History of Northern California
1891
Biographies

  

GEORGE J. TUTRTON is proprietor of the Turton Nurseries, situated about eight miles north of Napa. This orchard and nursery, covering about sixty acres, was set out in 1883, and is one of the largest in Napa Valley. There are some 3,500 peaches, 500 French prunes, 250 apricots, 3,000 Bartlett pears, and 1,000 cherries. He has four acres in nursery, which will be doubled the present season. He has sold 10,000 trees already this year, and will probably have 30,000 more; and next year not less than 60,000-, principally peaches and plums. He was born in Hull, England, in 1829. His parents were John and Anna (Johnson) Turton, both of whom died during his infancy. At the age of seven he was brought to America by his uncle, George Johnson, and grew up on his farm in Western New York, attending the public school for about three months in the winter season, when not needed on the farm. But with characteristic energy he spent his evenings and spare time in study, mastering algebra, geometry, trigonometry and surveying by himself, without any help except from books. At twenty-one his uncle gave him $100. He remained with him for two years longer and soon after engaged in the practice of his profession as a surveyor. At the age of twenty-four he was appointed United States Assistant Surveyor, and was actively employed in the States of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska, running the State line between Kansas and Nebraska on the fortieth parallel line. In 1856, while surveying in Kansas, the Border Ruffian excitement being then in full blast, Mr. Turton was captured three times on his trip to the Surveyor General's office to make his returns, by different squads of General Buford's company of cavalry, which was organized in Mississippi and Alabama for the purpose of making Kansas a slave State. After examining him for arms, and finding that he was on Government service and carried a pass from the United States Marshal, he was allowed to proceed. During the same summer he surveyed the sixth principal meridian, and the first and second parallels east through Nebraska. The next year he settled down to farming in Nebraska as one of the first settlers in the Platte Valley, where there was at that time about twenty Indians to one white man. He lived on this farm for twenty years, following his profession as a surveyor at the same time. Mr. Turton was a member of the first State Legislature in Nebraska, and voted for the first Congressman from that state. He was County Commissioner. (Supervisor) of Dodge County, Nebraska, for three years, Justice of the Peace for six years, and Postmaster of North Bend for five years.

 

He was married in 1857, to Miss Harriet Bachelder, a native of the State of New York. Her parents were Luther and Clarissa (Judson) Bachelder, natives of Vermont, who moved to Western New York in early life. Four children were born to them in Nebraska: Frank, the eldest, died in Napa, California, at the age of twenty-five years; Luther, an architect, located in Napa; Frederick, now in partnership with his father; Clara the youngest, and only daughter, died in Napa, at the age of seventeen years.
In 1877 he sold out his farm in
Nebraska and moved to California, purchasing a ranch one and a half miles from Napa, where he lived for six years, and planted an orchard. He then bought his present home, which, with the help of his sons he has developed to its present flourishing condition. In this State he has not become identified with politics, though in Nebraska he was forced to take an active interest in all political matters, on account of his extensive and intimate acquaintance with the State as a pioneer and prominent citizen.


ISAAC FISHER, a farmer near
Woodland, is one of the enterprising ranchers of Yolo County who have demonstrated that a small farm can be made sufficiently remunerative for a livelihood. He was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, March 4, 1829, a son of Henry and Magdalene (Snavley) Fisher. Her father was a miller by trade and also a farmer by occupation, and moved to Indiana in 1837, where he lived until 1858. Then he came overland to California, in company with his son John H. He was taken sick on the route, and lived but three weeks after his arrival at the home of the subject of this sketch, dying at the age of sixty-three years. Isaac was seven years old when he was taken by his parents in their change of residence from Pennsylvania to South Bend Indiana, and until 1853 he was engaged there in farming and also employed for a time in the woolen mills, tanneries, etc. In March, 1853, he left for California, with horse teams, and came by way of Council Bluffs, Salt Lake and the Carson route, the trip occupying about six months. He arrived at Sacramento September 19, and for three months he worked at odd jobs, and then in the mines a few months, and then returned to the valley in January, and again commenced work at odd jobs. In a short time he and his brother J. H. purchased a squatter's title of 160 acres of land and they cultivated it in partnership until 1859, when they dissolved. Isaac now has eighty acres of land, upon which he nets as great profit as many who have larger farms. The place is devoted chiefly to alfalfa, and it is furnished with the best of buildings. It is four miles south "cif Woodland, on a fine gravel road. In 1886 Mr. Fisher raised five. tons of alfalfa seed from twenty-five acres, which sold at ten to twelve cents a pound, and he cut on an average five tons of alfalfa hay to the acre, from sixty-five acres, and does not boast of the crop. He is a genial, good-natured gentleman, now over sixty-one years old, appearing, however, not to be over fifty. He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 22, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is a Republican in his political views. In 1840 he helped to raise a flag-pole to the honor of General W. H. Harrison. 

He was married in 1866, to Miss Mary Cunningham, a native of Ohio, who is now deceased; they had two daughters. Mr. Fisher was married again in March, 1878, to Miss Anna Rhoads, a native of Indiana, and by this marriage there have been three sons and one daughter.

ALBERT SYDNEY JOHNSTON McCOY. Among the many native sons of the Golden West, residing at
Redding, California, none are more worthy of mention than the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, nor can any: claim a better ancestry. His great- great-grandfather was a Scotch judge, and his great-grandfather left Glasgow, Scotland, at the age of fourteen years, came to the American colonies, and settled in Virginia, where he resided until the time of his death. His grandfather, William W. McCoy, was born in Campbell County, Virginia, December 3, 1774. On the 26th of August, 1799, he wedded Nancy J. Goodrich, a native of Virginia. They removed to Boone County, Kentucky, in 1810, and the following year, on the 14th of June, their son William Wirt McCoy, was born. He was reared in his native State, graduated as an M. D., in 1835, and afterward commenced the practice of his profession at Shelbyville, Indiana. In 1839 he was elected a member of the State Legislature, and served until 1841. Then he resumed his practice until 1847.

 

In that year Dr. McCoy raised a company of volunteers to aid his country in the war with Mexico. The Fourth Indiana Regiment was organized and he was commissioned its Major. He participated in the storming of the city of Huamantla, and the colors of his regiment were planted on its arsenal. He there so distinguished himself that General Lane tendered him his thanks and made honorable mention of him to the Secretary of War. While at Vera Cruz his skill as a physician was of great value to the soldiers, for, in addition to his other duties, he fearlessly treated the victims of the much dreaded yellow fever. At the close of the war he was mustered out of service with distinguished honor. He returned to his home and the practice of his profession.
In 1852 he was a delegate at large for
Indiana to the United States Democratic Convention, which nominated Franklin Pierce for President. 

He removed to California in 1852, and for some time turned his attention to the raising of fine cattle, on a large ranch in San Mateo County, his home being at that time in Santa Clara County. He afterward removed to San Jose, and, in 1858, was elected to the California State Legislature. In 1867 he was one of the organizers of the San Jose Savings Bank ; was a stockholder in the street railway between San Jose and Santa Clara. Be also gave his influence and. aid to the construction of the first railroad between San Francisco and San Jose.

 

In 1869 Major McCoy removed to the State of Nevada and settled at Eureka, where he purchased a large number of mining locations. He had the honor of successfully operating the first furnace in eastern Nevada for the reduction of rebellious ores. In 1869 he located and platted the town of Eureka, and originated a system of water works for its use. He was soon afterward elected a State Senator of Nevada, and at the next session of the Legislature the county of Eureka was created and Eureka became the county- seat. While in the Senate he received the complimentary Democratic vote of both bodies of the State Assembly for United States Senator. The remarks of the members who nominated him were complimentary in the highest degree, alluding to him as a veteran soldier, ripe scholar and patriotic citizen. He was appointed by Governor Bradley United States Centennial Commissioner for Nevada, and was elected vice-president of that commission. He was placed at the head of the Committee on Mines and Mining, and his report on that subject was a valuable accession to that industry.

 

He purchased the Bells Bridge ranch, 3,000 acres, in Shasta County, in 1879. On it he made many improvements and resided there until 1881, when his death occurred. He met with a railroad accident, in which his hip was broken. After lingering for six months he passed away. Major McCoy was a man of rare ability, high moral character, and was possessed of a kind and gentle nature. He was a true gentleman, a loving husband and a most indulgent father, and his death was deeply lamented by all who knew him. This was the honored father of Albert Sydney Johnston McCoy.

 

His mother, nee Mary J. Walker, was a daughter of Hon. John Walker of Shelbyville, Indiana. She and Dr. McCoy were married July 2, 1839. To them were born nine children, several of whom died in infancy. Two sons and one daughter - still survive. Their daughter Frances, married H. W. Chappell, of Jefferson City, Missouri; and another daughter, Nancy, married A. L. Fitzgerald; a district judge of Eureka Nevada.

 

Albert S. J. McCoy was born in San Jose, in one of the original Spanish adobe houses, May 6, 1860. He received his education at the Pacific Methodist College and at the Boys' High School in San Francisco. He also took a commercial course at Heald's Business College. At the age of nineteen years be came to the farm which his father had purchased, and has been its manager since that time.

 

This ranch is a noted one in Shasta County. It was formerly a part of the Rancho Buenaventura and was first settled in 1852 by J. J. Bell, who built and ran a ferry at a point near where Clear Creek empties into the Sacramento River. In the fall of the same year he moved to where the McCoy mansion now stands, and built a hotel -and toll bridge, the immense travel of the early days making it a valuable property. Mr. Bell leased from Major Redding till April 18, 1859, when he purchased 1,337.64 acres of land: In 1860 he erected the hotel that is now used as a residence by the present owners: The California & Oregon Railroad passes through this valuable estate. A short line is soon to be built to the sandstone quarry, a distance of three and a half miles, west to Texas Springs, which will further enhance its value. Mr. McCoy has been raising cattle, sheep and Angora goats, but more recently he has turned his attention to horticulture. He has planted sixty acres to walnuts and chestnuts, thirty acres to French prunes, and ten acres to Bartlett pears, and intends to extend the work of tree-planting. All of his fruit trees are growing without irrigation.

 

Mr. MCCoy is practicing law in the city of Redding. He is Senior Past President of the Parlor of Native Sons of the Golden West, at Anderson. He is also a Knight of Pythias, and Past Chancellor of Mount Shasta Lodge, at Redding.

 

In 1887 he was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Klink, a native of Vallejo, California, daughter of the Rev. Nathaniel B. Klink. At the present writing (1890) he and his wife, his mother and his brother, Dr. J. W. McCoy, reside in Redding. Mr. McCoy's political views are in harmony with the Democratic principles.

WILLIAM N. CAMPBELL is the senior member of the firm of Chambers & Campbell, hardware merchants of
Redding, California. He was born in Sacramento, October 25, 1865. His father, W. L. Camp-. bell, a native of Ohio, born in 1838, was for many years-the manager of a large hardware business in Sacramento. He married Miss Alice Hatch, daughter of John Hatch, who crossed the plains with his family in 1849. His daughter Alice was one of the first white children there. He opened and conducted the pioneer jewelry business of that city.

 

The subject of this sketch is the only son in a family of three children. He was reared and educated in Sacramento; was a page in the State House during the Constitutional Convention and in the Assembly for two terms. At the age of sixteen years he entered the house of Huntington, Hopkins & Co., and was with them until he was twenty-two. Air. Campbell and his partner, Mr. Chambers, are cousins and have been together all their lives. They were engaged in the cattle business in Butte County for two years. In 1888 they came to Redding and purchased their present hardware store from Garrett, Lyon & Co., and are doing a large business, their trade extending 275 miles toward the north, in several of the northern counties and also into Oregon.
Mr. Campbell is secretary of the Parlor of Native Sons of the Golden West, and is also a member of the National Guard of California. He is a bright, active and obliging business man and is bound to succeed.


JOHN ALLYN, capitalist, in
St. Helena, a truly representative and most highly respected citizen, has resided in this place for over twenty years, always taking a forward part in matters of public benefit, and standing prominently before his fellow townsmen. He is an unusually good instance of the self-made man,-- one who by diligence, economy and rectitude has made his way upward from narrow circumstances to affluence, who has won a superior education by his own efforts and by the native force of his mind has taken a leading part in every position in which lie has been placed. As a writer of polished and forceful English, in the domain both of poetry and prose, he has been much noticed and admired.

 

Dr. Allyn was born in 1820, in Litchfield County, Connecticut, where his father was a respected but not wealthy farmer. In his sixteenth year the family removed to Ohio, where Mr. Allyn took the full advantage of his educational opportunities. After reaching the age of twenty he obtained a school, which he taught during the winter, working during the simmers and all the time carrying on his studies at Oberlin College. He went thence to Illinois, .and thence to Cincinnati, and graduated at Lane Theological Seminary. At that time Dr. Lyman Beecher was at the head of that institution, and Dr. Stowe was one of the professors. His health failing, young Allyn was forced to abandon his intentions of entering the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, and he began to practice law at Carrollton, Greene County, Illinois. He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Illinois, May 5, 1846, his name being enrolled April 8, 1850. His health failing again, however, he decided to try a change of climate, and accordingly came to California in the summer of 1851, reaching San Francisco, September 1st of that year, after the great fire that devastated that city. He did not stop there but went on at once for Tuolumne County. Whilst in Stockton on his way, his money gave out, and he had to walk all the way to Sonora meeting while on the way three men with blankets on their backs who informed him that the dirt at Sonora had been worked over three, times already. He pushed on, however, and found that after the rains came many did well. Not being strong enough to mine, Mr. Allyn went into the manufacture of rockers, " long- toms," etc., and afterward engaged in store- keeping, at the same time paying some little attention to real. estate. In 1858 he went to the Fraser River, following the excitement of that year. The rush was tremendous, a large proportion of those going losing money. There were no less than 10,000 people in Victoria in one day during that season. Mr. Allyn went up to Fort Yale and from there to Fort Hope, on the Fraser, and in the latter place stayed for the winter, going into business at that point. He then returned to Victoria, going into business first for a year, and afterward for the remaining two years of his residence in that city, buying and selling real estate. During the year 1861 he lived at Port Townsend and followed the profession of dentistry, for which he had fitted himself.

 

In 1864 he went to Oakland and located in that city, it having then a population of only 2,000 people. In the summer of 1870, as• already stated, he came to St. Helena, bought a tract of twenty acres in the town, built his comfortable residence and set out twenty acres of grapes. When the vines were six years old the vineyard yielded ninety-six tons of grapes, ar eight tons per acre. The following year the return was $200 per acre in grapes. These facts show the value of vineyard land in the vicinity of St. Helena, and although fluctuations in prices have made a difference, yet there is always a demand for better varieties. To further illustrate the fertility of the soil it may be stated that Dr. Allyn, in the presence of the writer, measured some gum trees which he had planted along Scott avenue in 1873. They ranged up to six feet and a half in circumference, or over two feet in diameter, with heights of over sixty feet, and tops cut off every three years; this is the growth of sixteen years without irrigation, the trees being simply planted and left to get along as best they might;

 

In his own person, however, perhaps Dr. Allyn is the hest recommendation of California that can be given, as he is a splendid instance of what our climate is capable of. Although never a man of robust health, yet he has attained the age of seventy years with still a capacity for close and continuous care to his multifarious business interests or to literary effort, and is never deterred by weather or circumstances from going out to everything that may need his attention.
Dr. Allyn has never sought political life, but has always had the confidence of his fellow citizens. He has been School Trustee and a member of the Board of Town Trustees for eight years.

 

His first marriage was unfortunate and resulted in a divorce. In June, 1851, he married Miss Sophronia Scott, daughter of the late William Scott, of Peterboro, New Hampshire, with whom he still lives. Twins were born to them, but died in infancy. He has one son, li'ving in Ventura.

 

In religion Dr. Allyn is liberal and a firm believer in a future life from his own investigations of spiritual phenomena. He claims that he has repeatedly received from deceased friends directly into his own hands writings between closed and sealed slates in broad daylight!

DAVID C. CHAMBERS, one of the promising young business men of
Redding, California, is a member of the firm of Chambers & Campbell, hardware merchants. He was born in San Francisco April 4, 1866.

 

His father, Horace B. Chambers, and his grandfather, David Chambers, were both natives of New York. They were stockholders in the bank of Page, Bacon & Co., San Francisco. The ancestors of the family came from the north of Ireland. Mr. Chambers' mother, nee Medorah Hatch, was born in Ohio. Her father, John Hatch, a native of Vermont, first came to California in 1834, in the interest of the American Fur Company. In 1849 he brought his family to this coast and settled° in Sacramento, living in a tent. He opened a jewelry establishment there and made that city his home until 1888, when his death occurred.

 

The subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools of Sacramento and at a boarding- school in Oakland; he spent six years of his young life in the hardware store of Huntington, Hopkins & Co., Sacramento. With his cousin, William N. Campbell, his present partner, he engaged in the stock business in Butte County. Two years later they sold out and purchased the hardware business they are now successfully conducting in Redding.

 

Mr. Chambers is President of McCloud Parlor, No. 149, Native Sons of the Golden West, at Redding. He is one of the building contractors of their Army Hall Building and Loan Association. On Admission Day, 1890, the Redding Parlor of Native Sons took sixteen Indians to San Francisco, under the charge of D. C. Chambers. They were dressed in their aboriginal attire, and formed an attractive feature of the procession.

 

R. LEONARD F. DOZIER, first assistant physician of the Napa State Asylum for the Insane, has been a resident of Calfornia for the past twenty years, during fourteen of which he has held his present position. Born in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, on his father's plantation, on the Great Pedee River, he received his primary education under private teachers at home, and graduated
in 1856, at the
South Carolina Military Academy at Charleston. Graduating at the Oglethorpe Medical College at Savannah, Georgia, in 1859, he practiced medicine in that city for one year, meanwhile occupying the chair of Materia Medica in the college. He then removed to Burke County, Georgia, where he continued in the practice of his profession until he entered the Confederate service as a private soldier in

ADAM FATH, a general farmer near Livermore, was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 20, 1821, and when twenty-one years of age he emigrated to America, the land of golden opportunities, and first found employment in Buffalo, on board of a steamboat plying between that city and Chicago. At the end of two years he went to West Troy and enlisted in the United States army, serving five years in the Ordnance Department, being discharged after he came to Benicia, this State, in 1852. After spending two years in the vicinity of that place, he was employed three years in the quarter- master's department, taking charge of stock by contract and not as an enlisted man. Then for two years he was engaged in the dairy business in Solano County, and then, in 1857, he came into Alameda County and was employed in stock-raising until 1864, when he unfortunately lost all his animals by starvation in consequence of the excessive drought. In 1865 be went to Livermore and located 160 acres of land on a land warrant granted to him for services rendered to the United States during the Mexican war; and here he has since remained engaged in general farming. In his political views he is a Democrat, and has been active in local polities. He was sent as a delegate to the State Convention, and has been county delegate a number of times; but he has never held office.

 

He was married in 1855, at Vallejo, to Miss Mary Fehily, and they have had eight children, five of whom are living, named, John A., Valentine, Mary M., Annie M. and Louisa L.
 

 

R. LEONARD F. DOZIER, first assistant physician of the Napa State Asylum for the Insane, has been a resident of Calfornia for the past twenty years, during fourteen of which he has held his present position. Born in Williamsburg County, South Carolina, on his father's plantation, on the Great Pedee River, he received his primary education under private teachers at home, and graduated in 1856, at the South Carolina Military Academy at Charleston. Graduating at the Oglethorpe Medical College at Savannah, Georgia, in 1859, he practiced medicine in that city for one year, meanwhile occupying the chair of Materia Medica in the college. He then removed to Burke County, Georgia, where he continued in the practice of his profession until he entered the Confederate service as a private soldier in May, 1862. After serving in that capacity for a few months, he was appointed to the Adjutancy of the Twenty-first Regiment of South Carolina Infantry, C. S. A. He served as Adjutant of his regiment until after the siege of Battery Wagner, on Morris Island, Charleston Harbor, which was, at first, garrisoned exclusively by his regiment. In resisting the landing of the enemy, during the first day of attack, he was severely wounded in the right chest. Being confined through the long siege of sixty days in the fort of Battery Wagner, his wound developed a very severe case of pneumonia. His health remained so much impaired that the surgeon advised his giving up the active exposure of the line for a position in the medical service, and he secured an appointment as surgeon, and was ordered to General Longstreet's command. He joined Longstreet at Knoxville, and was with his corps during all his campaigns in Virginia from May, 1864, to the surrender at Appotnattox in April, 1865. Immediately after the surrender he returned to his native place, but a short residence there under the changed conditions of the country determined him to emigrate to California, where he arrived in March, 1868. He commenced practice in Rio Vista, on the banks of the Sacramento River, in Solano County, where he developed a good practice and established a drug store, both of which he carried on successfully for seven years. In April, 1865, he removed to Napa, and was soon afterward appointed to the position he now holds.
He was married in May, 1859, to Miss Agnes Bona, of
New Orleans. They had five children, two of whom survive; Dr. W. E. Dozier, of Susanville, Lassen County, and Thomas B. Dozier, of the firm of Wiley & Dozier, attorneys at law, Redding, California. She died soon after their arrival in California. In 1874 he married Miss Mary Dudley, a native of Marlborough County, South Carolina. They have had three children, of whom only one is now living, John Dudley Dozier, now attending the Oak Mound School at Napa. Dr. Dozier is a member of the Masonic. Order, Rio Vista Lodge, and of the California State Medical Society.

Pages 357-364

 

DANIEL LUCE

 

Daniel Luce, prominent among the old and highly respected pioneers of California and residents of Haywards, is a ‘49er and has been conspicuously identified with several of the public enterprises of Alameda County He was a member of the board who secured the franchise for the electric light and the Knox water companies of Haywards in 1888.  He also owned and managed the water works of Haywards previous to the incorporation of the Knox Company.  Mr. Luce was born at Williamstown, Vermont, May 25, 1827, and while a babe his parents moved to Parkertown, Huron County, Ohio where he grew up and received his education. His father, Joshua Luce, was a native of Vermont and a farmer by vocation, and died in 1842.  His mother, whose maiden name was Electa Sanderson, was also a native of Vermont and died in 1846.  Their ancestry were emigrants from England to America in the seventeenth century.  Daniel was apprenticed to the carpenter’s trade under J. E. Crowell, of Bellevue Completing his term of service in 1847, he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and followed his trade there until 1849, when he started for California with an ox team by the southern route.  Six months later he arrived in San Francisco He and nine others hired a schooner to take them across the bay to San Antonio, now East Oakland, paying $80 for the trip; and here they worked for a time, getting out lumber in the redwoods.  In 1850 Mr. Luce went to Cold Springs on the north fork of the American River and followed mining for a few months.  He then became a dealer in cattle, which he drove back to the redwoods, where they were slaughtered.  In 1853 he returned to the “States,” where he remained a year.  Returning then to California, he located six miles north of Haywards, where he still owns 265 acres of farm and stock-grazing land.  In 1856 he moved to Contra Costa County and remained there until 1863. Returning then to Haywards, he located where he still resides.

 

He is a member of the Board of Town Trustees, and has been a School Trustee.  Politically, he is a Democrat, and has been a member of the County Central Committee of his party for eight years.  He affiliates with Alameda Encampment of Haywards, I.O.O.F., and Clinton Lodge, No. 2019, K. of H. of East Oakland.

 

Mr. Luce was married at Mackville, Kentucky, January 15, 1854, to Miss Elizabeth L. Cull, a native of that State.  Their four living children are: Lucinda F., George P., Alice C., and David.  Their deceased are: Eliza, who died when a babe, and Mary A., who died in 1887.

 

WATSON BARNES

 

Watson Barnes, an agriculturist in the northwestern part of Yolo County, was born January 2, 1844, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Silas P. Barnes, a native of New Hampshire and a farmer and stock-raiser by occupation, came to California in 1854. He was engaged in farming and stock-raising after 1851;  previous to that he was engaged in the mercantile business in the city ofBoston, Massachusetts, for some thirty years.  The mother, whose maiden name was Olive Clapman, was a native of the State ofMaine Both parents were of English ancestry.  Mr. Barnes, senior, arrived in Salt Lake City in July, 1851, and three years later came on to California, soon locating in Yolo County, where Black’s is now situated, and died April 11, 1888, leaving four children, and property worth about $100,000.  Mr. Barnes, the subject of this notice, owns 525 acres of finely improved land about five and a half miles northwest of Black’s.  He was married in Woodland, July 15, 1880, to Miss M. J. Houx, who was born in 1854, inCalifornia.

 

J. L. DENNIS

 

J. L. Dennis, street sprinkler, was born in Yolo County, March 6, 1864 His parents, B. S. and Elizabeth (Smith) Dennis, the former a native of Georgia and the latter of Missouri, have both died in Yolo County.  Since the year 1887, Mr. Dennis has been running an engine on a dredging-machine on the Sacramento River, building the levee; and for the last two years, he has been engaged in his present occupation.  He has a fine little cottage on Fourth Street In 1887, in Woodland, he was united in matrimony with Miss Nellie Powers, also a native daughter of this county.  Her father is at present a night watch of Woodland; and her mother died when she was very young.  Mr. and Mrs. Dennis have one son, born May 9, 1888, and named Ray W.

 

LOUIS DIETZ

 

Louis Dietz, of Woodland, was born in Bavaria, Germany, March 13, 1830, the son of John Frederic and Louisa (Schorm) Dietz. At the age of eighteen years he emigrated to the United States, landing at New York; and his first work in this country was for a farmer about three miles above Auburn, between the Erie Canal and Hudson River.  During the one month he was employed there, he earned $8, and continued his journey on toward Cleveland, Ohio, where he had relatives living, and which place was his original destination.  There he went to harness-making, an art that he had begun to learn in the old country.  In the fall of 1851, he went toSt. Louis, Missouri, and worked at his trade until spring, when he came on overland to California Starting from that city with a mixed train of horses and oxen, he passed Independence when the weather was bitter cold and wet  - the ice an inch thick.  No other event of importance occurred until they reached the Little Blue, where they found the cholera raging.  At Raft River, Mr. Dietz and two companions separated from the train and came on with two packed ponies and traveled on foot.  Arriving at CarsonValley, they sold their ponies and walked over the mountains without any provisions; but at the summit Mr. Dietz distanced his companions and came on alone to Volcano, then in El Dorado County, but now in Amador.

 

He followed gold-mining until after election that fall, when he and another gentleman went to San Antonio Bar in Calaveras County, put up at a tolerably convenient hotel, and the following day left Vinita, crossed the Stanislaus River to Columbia, where his comrade, an old man named Jones, became sick and was sent back to the old mines where he came from.  Mr. Dietz then returned to Angel’s Camp, mined there three months, walked to Stockton and thence to San Francisco, failed to find work there and finally went up to Sacramento and found employment there at his trade from a man named Nute for a year and a half.  He then bought out Mr. Nute and admitted a partner named Lawrence Heblin, under the firm name of Dietz & Co.  This was in 1854.  A short time afterward he established also a branch store at Folsom, and continued in business to the time of the great flood of 1861-62, which caused him a total loss of his property.  The next fall he moved to Woodland, just then started, and laid the foundation of a little business which has grown since then to magnificent proportions.  He is one of Woodland’s most successful businessmen and now owns considerable fine property in the town besides some farming land in the State of Washington.

 

In early life Mr. Dietz was a Democrat, but soon after the organization of Republicanism he became a member of that party and has remained in that relation ever since.  He is now treasurer of the Republican County Central Committee of Yolo County, and has been a member of that committee at different times for the past twenty years.  He is a member of the order of Chosen Friends.  Mr. Dietz was married in 1855 to Samantha Selby, a native of Ohio, and they have three sons and two daughters.

 

T. M. ROBERTS

 

In the course of a very thorough examination of Napa County for the purpose of this work, no more beautiful or genuinely attractive place was found anywhere than Valley View Ranch the lovely country home of Mr. J. W. Roberts, the well-known mining man.  It is romantically situated just at the crest of the hills that shut in the upper end of Napa Valley, at an elevation of about 1,000 feet above tide level, and directly overlooking the picturesque town of Calistoga Nature has been lavish with her charms about the spot, and she has been so admirably helped out by art that it seems hard to imagine any improvement over what now exists.  The estate is not a very large one, comprising only ninety acres, but every inch of it is made to tell, either in the way of attractive surroundings and the development of the magnificent and unequaled view, or of practical and successful fruit-growing.  The residence, a cottage that devotes more attention to the comforts of living than to making an external show, stands at the edge of a veritable forest grove of pines and other trees that stretch off along the ridge that extends behind.  In front of it is a sloping flower-garden, in which appears, besides flowers and ornamental shrubs, many semi-tropical and exotic plants and trees.  Some orange trees growing here were of exceedingly thrifty growth, while the Abyssinian banana, Japanese polonium, and many other striking examples, showed clearly that Valley View is in the thermal belt and rarely knows of frost.  Over the tops of these trees and shrubs, as well as the pines, oaks, etc., of the mountain side lower down, is caught that ever wonderful and attractive view, up the valley to Mount St. Helena, down the valley a long distance, and into the valley where Calistoga seems a collection of dolls’ houses.  It would seem that one could never tire of such a prospect.

 

The fruit orchards stretch off to the right and behind the residence, and were formed with equal interest with the parts already described.  In all there are about 5,000 trees, most of them in bearing.  Otherwise about 2,500 are the silver prune, 1,000 the royal apricot, 400 apples, and the balance chiefly the Crawford peach.  It was observed that the trees had a most thrifty and well-cared-for appearance, comparing favorably in this regard with anything in the valley;  indeed it is one of the largest and best conducted and therefore important orchards in the upper end of the county.  It was noticed that in some parts the trees were somewhat close together;  Mr. Roberts finds that thus the ground is better shaded, thus retaining the moisture in the soil and helping stifle the weeds.  In the upper part of the orchard is the reservoir, an excavation 10 feet deep, capable of containing 250,000 gallons of water, thus affording a most abundant supply, which is piped to the house, grounds, fountains, etc., for irrigating purposes, and another spring of clear, cold water for the house.  Mr. Roberts has a large fruit-dryer on the back end of the place, just above the road that winds up the hills and over toward the Petrified Forest Above is the hot chamber, where the dried fruit is sweated before shipping.  Below is the dryer, a No. 4 California Acme, of very large capacity and good construction.  It has 124 trays, which will take, on the average, twenty-five pounds of fruit to the tray.  The product is chiefly packed in boxes before shipping, and has won a name for excellence wherever it is introduced.  The market is famed throughout the East generally:  Omaha, Baltimore, New York,Denver, etc., at top prices ruling for dried fruits. 

 

It hardly seems possible that this beautiful and well-improved place could be the work of only seven or eight years, yet such is the case, for Mr. Roberts only in 1883 took the place, then in a state of nature, and began its improvement.  It shows what an intelligent appreciation of the possibilities of the location, coupled with an artistic eye and backed by ample means, can do.  No wonder that Mr. Roberts’ children are the picture of healthful youth and vigor, and that the place should be a popular one with visitors from the valley and from the cities.

 

Mr. Roberts is a native of Ohio, the home of the Presidents.  He was born in 1837, near Columbus In 1857, he came toCalifornia, and until he purchased and began the improvement of Valley View, was engaged in mining enterprises in different parts of the coast.  His brother, George D. Roberts, is the well-known mining operator of New York City, having been a partner with the most famous Californians, such as Hearst, Gashweiler, Charles Felton, R. B. Monon, etc.  Mr. Roberts is a hearty, whole-souled gentleman whom it is a genuine pleasure to meet, a man of unusual energy and enterprise who accomplishes a great deal more than he talks.  In the best source of the term, he is a representative citizen of Napa County.

 

WILLIAM D. BASSETT

 

William D. Bassett, a farmer three miles south of Lakeport, is a native of Ohio, born in Coshocton, February 4, 1840 his parents were natives of New York State, from whence they emigrated in an early day to Ohio Here Wm. D. received his education in the public schools.  In 1853 they again started westward, crossing the plains with ox teams to California They first settled in TehamaCounty, where they engaged in farming four years.  They then removed to Sonoma County, where they remained about one year. In 1858 they came to Napa County, and settled near where the Bradford mine is now located, where they were engaged in stock-raising for nine years.  In 1867, they bought a ranch named Glenbrook, where the father, mother and brother now reside.  In 1884 William D. bought 160 acres, three miles south of Lakeport, where he now lives and has a beautiful home.  His products are grain, hay, and stock.  He has a fine residence and barn, a large orchard of bearing fruit trees and good improvements throughout. 

 

He was married June 16, 1887, to Miss Nancy Millikan, a daughter of Henry and Rachel Millikan, native of Indiana They have one child, William Cornelius.  Politically, Mr. Bassett is a stanch Republican.

 

C. SNAVELY

 

C. Snavely is a member of the firm of Snavely & Baker, proprietors of the Woodland Winery, situated on Main Street, opposite the gas works, where they manufacture wines, vinegar, syrups and brandy.  The capacity of this establishment is 91,000 gallons of wine, 25,000 of syrup, and 3,000 of brandy.  Their syrups are mostly sold to the general Government.  Although this has ever been known as the Woodland Winery, it has changed hands several times.  The present proprietors make a complete success of their enterprise, having now established a reputation throughout the United States.

 

The subject of this sketch was born April 29, 1851, Washington County, Maryland His parents, John H. and Lydia (Dobson) Snavely, were also natives of Maryland, and are still living at their birth-place.  The father was born October 16, 1811, and still holds the old homestead as a farmer; and the subject’s mother was born March 6, 1818.

 

November 25, 1871, in Washington County, Maryland, Mr. Snavely was united in matrimony with Miss Myers, who was born on the adjoining farm to the old homestead.  They have five children living and two deceased, as follows:  Willie D., Fred, Leo, Mary J., Claudie H. (deceased), Fannie A. (deceased), and Clayton K.  Mr. Snavely is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 111, I.O.O.F., and Woodland Encampment, No. 71;  also of Court Star of Woodland, No. 6854, A.O.F., and of the Woodland Fire Company, No. 1.

 

JOSEPH SPENCER CONE

 

Certain types of our American civilization as developed in California have been selected for this volume, the study of which should quicken the patriotism of a people, proud not only of the country’s marvelous development, but also of the phenomenally large proportion of her citizens whose lives are worthy to enter into permanent archives of our time and our national history.

 

Joseph Spencer Cone, of Tehama County, California, is one of the representative men of his time, and of his region, and of his occupation.  Although vice-president of a large banking corporation and the head of a large mercantile firm, he is essentially an American farmer, and proudly registers himself as such wherever called upon to state his occupation.  The farm has been always generous and kind to him.  Natural selection brought them together early in his life, and neither money changing, merchandising, politics, nor other allurements have ever shaken his love for the simple yet noble occupation of tilling the soil.

 

The lineage of Mr. Cone is traced back to the days of the Norman conquest, embracing eight and twenty generations, among the last of whom were many families which cast their lot in what was then the British-American colonies.  He is the son of Timothy Cone, a native of East Haddam, Massachusetts, who was the son of Joseph Cone, a naval officer in the Revolutionary War.

 

Joseph Spencer was the seventh of Timothy’s ten children, and was born on the 26th day of August, 1822, near Marietta, Ohio Of noble lineage, reaching by connected historical records to the invasion of England by William I, a more unaffected and thoroughgoing American, despising cant and humbug and modern snobbery, cannot be found anywhere.

 

Until reaching his twenty-second year Joseph worked on his father’s farm, making the best of such scanty educational facilities as the neighborhood afforded.  His choice inclined toward a profession, especially to that of the law;  and had he selected this career, he would, beyond a doubt, have achieved success, for he possessed a full share of the qualities required for this calling  - soundness of judgment and a ready wit, coupled with a remarkable force of character and an almost unlimited capacity for work. But this was not to be, and fortunate it proved for his adopted State, and perhaps for himself, that while losing a good lawyer his county gained the assistance of one whose later services in developing the resources of Northern California, it is impossible to overestimate.

 

But Mr. Cone was resolved to make his own way in the world, and as a beginning set forth in 1843, upon obtaining his majority, on a trading expedition among the Cherokee Indians, with the results of which he had no reason to be dissatisfied.  From that date until 1850 the incidents of his career contained nothing calling for special mention. In the spring of this year the excitement that followed the discovery of gold being at its height, he joined a company of adventurous spirits like himself bound for California, starting from Jasper County, Missouri, and following the banks of the North Platte to the neighborhood of Fort Laramie Here he became wearied with the slow and tedious travel of the wagon trains, and with four others, packing their effects on horseback, made their way to Green River, where, as he supposed, a settlement was near at hand.  Meanwhile their animals had been stolen by the Piute, and now provisions ran short, so that for a fortnight they were compelled to live on  crow soup, to which were added a few teaspoonfuls of flour.  At length, however, all arrived in safety at Nevada City, following exactly the route afterward selected by the Central Pacific Railroad.

 

He mined, engaged in merchandising, packing and all the varied occupations of that early period until 1857, when he settled down to the stock-raising business in Tehama County, on Alder Creek, where he remained with fair success until 1868.  In that year he purchased the celebrated Rancho de Los Berrendos, near Red Bluff, which he has developed into the finest ranch property, probably, in the State.  The limits of this article will not permit a description of this noble estate.  It has grown under the inspiring genius of its owner until it embraces nearly 100,000 acres, and is a principality.

 

Every branch of agriculture known to the wonderful climate of California can here be seen.  Cereals, stock of all kinds, fruits, gardens, orchards, - indeed, all the varied products of our generous soil and climate here find splendid development.  Mr. Cone is vice-president of the Bank of Tehama County and one of its largest stockholders;  he is also at the head of a large mercantile corporation – the Cone & Kimball Company.  Other business also engages his attention, and yet every detail of his great farm receives his supervision.  He was president of the first railroad commission under the new constitution in 1879, and served with great benefit to the State for four years.  He was the leading spirit in the railroad commission, and through his practical knowledge of affairs and his friends in dealing with the question of freight rates, he succeeded in obtaining for the people a reduction on all the staple products of the soil going toward tide-water, from twenty five to thirty-three per cent.  He has marvelous executive ability, and yet does his work in so quiet a way as to appear not to do it at all.

 

Mr. Cone is a man of strong and decided convictions.  He is a Republican in politics and believes profoundly in the doctrine of protection to American industries and labor.  His recent travels abroad have confirmed him in this belief.  While not a communicant of any church, he respects all creeds and supports the church liberally and endeavors to walk uprightly before God and man.

 

In 1867 Mr. Cone returned to his native State and married the daughter of Colonel Reppert.  One son and two daughters are the fruit of this marriage.

 

Kind and generous and helpful to the needy; enterprising and broad-minded on all questions, he is one of the foremost men of this region, and has stamped his influence and his character upon the history of his time.  We regret that this work does not admit a more extended sketch of his career.

 

DANIEL CHISHOLM

 

Daniel Chisholm, one of the prominent and prosperous businessmen of Haywards, located there is 1879, and has been conspicuous in the establishment and management of the electric-light system of that place, which was put into operation in 1888.  By this system a company has been incorporated, comprising Messrs. Chisholm, Farrel and Ingram.  The power is located on A Street, in the same building where are the wagon, carriage and agricultural works of Chisholm & Farrell.  This is also a general repair shop and blacksmith shop.  Wheelwrighting is also a specialty; and they also have a feed mill, where they grind different grains and sell the product to the local trade.  They employ about twelve men throughout the year.

 

Mr. Chisholm was born September 23, 1854, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, where he grew up and learned blacksmithing.  His father, Hugh Chisholm, was by occupation a school-teacher.  His mother’s name before marriage was Catherine Monroe and the ancestry of both parents were Scotch.  Mr. Chisholm, our subject, came into the United States in 1878, locating in PlumasCounty, where he remained one year;  then he came to Haywards, worked for a time as a journeyman blacksmith, and later set up a shop for himself.  Finally, he bought an interest in his present business, which by shrewd judgment and progressive ideas he has made firm and prosperous.

 

He was married in Oakland, March 19, 1885 to Miss Isabella V. Foster, and they have two children:  Zelda G. and an infant daughter, Trello A.  Mr. Chisholm is politically a Republican, and socially a member of Sycamore Lodge, No. 129, I.O.O.F., at Haywards.

 

GEORGE TANDY, JR.

 

George Tandy, Jr., a harness manufacturer of Madison, is one of the old and respected citizens of the place.  His parents, George and Belle (McFedgen) Tandy, were natives of Ireland and remained there all their lives;  the father died in 18--, and was a cabinet-maker by trade; the mother died in 1868.  The subject of this sketch was born in Dublin, Ireland, and in 1868 he came to America, and by the Isthmus of Panama to California, having a voyage of about three weeks to San Francisco.  He went directly to Buckeye, now Madison, where he has since remained.  He learned his trade in Dublin, serving seven years as an apprentice.  He is a member of Madison Lodge, No. 253, F. & A.M., and of Madison Lodge, No. 150, O.C.F.

 

CORNELIUS YAGER BROWN

 

Cornelius Yager Brown, of the firm of Latimer & Brown, attorneys at law, Martinez, was born February 24, 1861, at La Fayette, Contra Costa Country, son of Lawrence M. Brown; and graduated at the school of Martinez in 1877.  In 1879, he went to Fresno County, took up land there and followed farming three years.  Returning to Martinez, he was appointed deputy sheriff under D. P. Mahan and served two years.  On the appointment of Paul Shirley as warden at San Quentin, he served in a position under him about eight months.  Returning again to Martinez, he was appointed Town Marshal, to fill out the unexpired term of Frank Pitts, who died in office.  About the time that he went to Fresno, where he began his law studies, and after serving his term as Marshal of Martinez, he continued his legal studies under the preceptorship of his uncle, Judge Thomas A. Brown, and was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court June 16, 1886.  He opened an office in Martinez, and in 1889 formed a copartnership with R. H. Latimer under the firm name of Latimer & Brown.

 

Lawrence M. Brown, deceased, formerly a resident of Contra Costs County was born in Greene County, Illinois, January 13, 1834, being the youngest son of Elam Brown, and was only ten years of age when he was brought across the plains by his father, his mother having died in Illinois.  They located in the San Antonio redwoods in Contra Costa County.  Lawrence remained with his father until he was about twenty-two years of age, when he was married and took charge of his father’s flour mill at La Fayette; the town was then call Brown’s Mills.  In 1861, Mr. Lawrence M. Brown opened a general merchandise store and hotel in La Fayette.  When R. B. Hard was elected sheriff in 1867, Mr. Brown was appointed under-sheriff and moved to Martinez in December, 1867, taking charge of the office, which he conducted two years.  At the expiration of Mr. Hard’s term of office, Mr. Brown was candidate for Sheriff, on the Democratic ticket, while his brother, Warren Brown, was a candidate for the same office, on the Republican ticket, and was elected.  The subject of this sketch then entered law practice with his brother, Judge Thomas A. Brown, and continued in that relation until his death, August 10, 1877.  He had been admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of California in 1868.  He was a strong Democrat, an active politician, was a candidate for office several times, but was defeated on account of the strong Republican majority of the county.  He was generally known as “Doc. Brown,” which title was given him, although not a physician, on the following occasion: In early days, while living at La Fayette, he was called upon to dress the wounded hand of a man, as there was no physician convenient;  so that in after years when he was asked who dressed the hand he would humorously reply, “Why, Doc. Brown.”

 

January 1, 1855, Mr. Brown married Miss Mary E. Yager, a native of Missouri, and they had two children:  Eugene Elam and Cornelius Yager.  The former is a practicing physician in Selma, Fresno County, and the latter is an attorney in Martinez.  Mr. Lawrence Brown was a member of the Odd Fellows order for a number of years. Lawrence M. Brown was beloved by all who knew him or ever came in contact with him, a man of sterling integrity, of a most amiable disposition, kind and affable;  and during a long and intimate acquaintance with him a friend never heard him spoken of or his name mentioned but as a model man.

 

J. B. MC ARTHUR

 

J. B. McArthur, cashier of the Bank of Winters, is personally an illustration of the rapid rise to prominence which characterize the young blood of California.  The Bank of Winters first opened its doors for business in 1885, with E. Wolfskill, president;  William Sims, vice-president; and E. E. Kahn, cashier.  In 1886 J. B. McArthur succeeded E. E. Kahn as cashier;  Mr. Kahn’s other business duties requiring so much of his time he was compelled to resign his position as cashier, but still acted as secretary. These have held their respective positions from that time until the present.  Mr. McArthur was born March 24, 1849, in Ontario, Canada, a son of Daniel and Catherine (McDonald) McArthur.  His father, a farmer by occupation, resided in Canada a greater portion of his life, dying there in 1857, at the age of sixty-five years; and the subject of this sketch was but four years old when his mother died.  He was brought up on a farm and started out in life for himself at the age of fourteen years, going to Minnesota, where he spent a year, thence to Nebraska, where he was six years engaged in farming.  The next three years he passed as a student at a college in Illinois; thence he went to the State University of Nebraska, where he attended one term;  in 1875 he came to California and located at Vacaville, where he accepted a position in the service of the Vacaville & Clear Lake Railroad Company as station agent, and remained three years;  and he finally removed to Winters, accepting a position with the railroad in that city. He was employed as station agent until 1886 when he accepted his present position.  It may be said of him that “he was old when young that he might be young when old,” and his success in life has been entirely the result of his own industry, energy and perseverance.

 

He was married in 1877 to Miss M. L. Bryce, a native of Kentucky.  Three of their four children are living, namely:  Mary E., Charles S. and Bessie M.

 

Mr. McArthur has about 480 acres of land in Tulare County on which is carried on general farming, and 960 acres in Washington. His neat and tidy residence in Winters is located on East Abbay Street.  He has been a member of the Baptist Church since he was eighteen years of age.

 

SILAS D. INGRAM

 

Silas D. Ingram, one of the prominent and progressive citizens of Haywards, was born in the township of Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County, New York, March 31, 1821;  followed farming, lumbering, blacksmithing and studied medicine, but practiced it very little.  In 1855 he moved to Wisconsin, and afterward to Flint, Michigan;  Brighton, Ohio, following his trade here until 1859, and then moved to Morgan County, Missouri;  May 2, 1861, after seeing the Confederate flag raised in Kansas City, he started across the plains in company with others, for the Golden Coast.  While in camp at Mountain Springs, July 18, his train was attacked by Indians and a number of the whites were killed;  all the mules, sixty in number stampeded, and the Indians secured them.  Two members of the train started toward Salt Lake and overtook another train of emigrants, whom they finally induced, through fraternal suasion, to aid them on the way.  Soon afterward Mr. Ingram was fortunate enough to purchase some mules, and continue the trip on to California.  Locating at what is known as Pleasant Grove, Sutter County, Mr. Ingram was the first resident there and consequently the founder of the town, where he carried on his trade until 1866, when he moved to San Francisco, and became a dealer in live-stock for two years.  Then he moved to Sonoma County one year, thence to Austin Creek, near Duncan Mills, where five years later he was burned out, losing nearly everything.  In 1878 he built a hotel and conducted it as a pleasure resort.  In this and other enterprises, Mr. Ingram spent money freely in the construction of a wagon road over the mountain, from Guerneville to Fort Ross, passing by his hotel, this enterprise alone coating him some $8,000.  His next struggle was to induce the North Pacific Coast Railroad Company to extend their road to his place, in which he succeeded, thereby making his hotel easy of access from San Francisco.  In 1888 he sold out this resort and moved near Haywards, locating for a time on thirty-five acres of land which he still owns, and on which he raises nearly all varieties of deciduous fruits.  He is now a dealer in real estate, having his residence at Haywards.  He was the prime mover in establishing the electric light system in 1888, and he still owns half of the stock.  This company was incorporated by S. D. Ingram, D. Chisholm, and J. H. Farrell May 1, 1890.  Politically, Mr. Ingram is a Republican, and fraternally, he affiliates with the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders, -- latter being a member of Unity Lodge, No. 131, at San Francisco, of which he was also one of the charter members; he has passed all the chairs.

 

Mr. Ingram was married in Sequatchie, New York, February 12, 1855, to Miss Sarah A. Rolston, and they have three children: Frederick S., Charles W., and George B.  The ancestors of Mr. Ingram on the paternal side were from Leeds, England, and on the maternal side Scotch and German.

 

G. D. STEPHENS

 

G. D. Stephens, farmer near Madison, Yolo County, is one of the old ‘49ers of this golden county.  Leaving Cooper County, Missouri, May 10, 1849, he crossed the plains to the Golden Coast, arriving in Sacramento August 6, following.  He followed mining at Mormon Island, Missouri Bar, on the American River and Hangtown, and then with other parties he wintered in a cabin on the Sacramento River.  In the spring, he returned to mining on the middle fork of the American River.  July 4 he returned to Sacramento.  Soon, he entered the business of buying cattle and mules from arriving immigrants, and drove them down to Cache Creek, where in 1850 he made a camp, thinking it was Government land, but found it to be on the Berries grant, which they bought.  In 1853 he returned to Cooper County, Missouri, bought cattle, and in 1856 went to Oregon, continuing in the cattle trade.  He arrived again in Yolo County in March, 1861, where he has ever since made his residence.  Of the home ranch there are 3,400 acres and on the Gordon grant 1,000 acres.  He is engaged principally in the raising of livestock and grain.

 

Mr. Stephens was first married in 1872, is Sacramento, to Laura O. Wilcoxson, and they had two children:  Josie and Katie L.  He was subsequently married to Miss Nanie Lucas, in Woodland in 1877, and by this marriage there are nine children:  John L., Lulu M., Sallie S., Minnie, Bessie, George D., William F., Frank W., and Benjamin G.

 

EPHRAIM Q. CRITES

 

Ephraim Q. Crites, a farmer near Black’s, was born April 22, 1838, in Wayne County, Ohio, the son of Jonah and Lucy Ann (Kindich) Crites, both natives of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; the father was a merchant until he was about forty years of age.  In 1856 Mr. Crites, our subject, sailed from New York for California, and after arriving here stopped for a few days at Sacramento; then mined two months on the Consumnes River; made a trip northward, stopping in Marysville for a short time; was next employed in a hardware store at Sacramento four years, and finally, in 1860, he went into Yolo County and purchased a tract of 170 acres, and one and a half miles northwest of Black’s, which is now a very fine ranch.  Fifty acres are set out in grapes, of which eighteen acres are in bearing, and thirty-two acres are two years old.  Twenty years ago he set out the first orchard in this vicinity.

 

August 3, 1884, he was united in marriage with Miss Delia F. Naupin, who was born February 12, 1863 in California, and they have two sons, named and born as follows:  Charles C., December 10, 1886, and Harry E., July 31, 1888.

 

JOHN ZVIERKOVICH

 

John Zvierkovich, proprietor of the Opera Restaurant at Woodland, is the son of John and Mary (Vidole) Zwierkovich, natives of Dalmatia, Austria.  The father was a brick-mason by trade, and died in his native country in 1866;  and the mother is still living in the old country.  Mr. Zvierkovich, the subject of this brief mention, was born in Austria in 1864, and in 1878 came to California, locating directly in Stockton, where his first employment was as a waiter in a restaurant.  Being ambitious to excel as a caterer, he at length began to conduct such an institution upon his own responsibilities, in the city of Woodland, Yolo County, and he has now as fine a restaurant as can be found in any town of 15,000 inhabitants.  His present place was opened by him in 1887, and is estimated at $2,000 value.  He is a member of the I.O.R.M. of Sacramento, Lodge No. 39, is yet unmarried, and is esteemed by all as a good citizen and a responsible business man.

 

HON. SENECA EWER

 

While the life history of the men of ’49 is always interesting and always instructive beyond that of any other body of men that ever lived, yet there are always a few the record of whose life and actions should be written more fully and read more generally, especially by the young, than any other.  The man who has made his way laboriously upward from the narrow circumstances of youth to the affluence of mature life;  who has achieved an education against the obstacles of lack of means and fortune, and who has climbed to a position high in the respect, esteem and honor of his fellowmen, the life of such a man should be written fully and without reserve, and be placed within the reach of the newer generation as an example of diligence.  It is such a career that it is our pleasure here to record – that of the Hon. Seneca Ewer, who is one of the prominent men in Northern California.

 

Mr. Ewer was born near Auburn, western New York, in the year 1823, his father being an agriculturist of that section.  When he was but nine years of age the family moved to Michigan, settling on the shores of the Huron River.  Here young Ewer grew up a stout and sturdy lad, inured to the hard work of a farm in those early days, and spending as much of his leisure time during these years as he could upon the water, gaining a knowledge that stood him in good stead afterward.  But he did not waste his time.  He fitted himself to become a teacher in the district schools, and with the money earned in this manner paying his way first to a preparatory school and then to college, graduating in 1847 at the Michigan University.  Remember that all this was done without aid from any one, saving only that a loving mother knit his socks, and fitted him out with pants and vests.  Like all the country school-teachers of that day, he boarded around from house to house, often having to walk as much as two miles to school.  A most amusing incident of the time, but one that will illustrate the state of affairs that then existed, occurred to Mr. Ewer.  While he was boarding at the house of an English family, one cold night  they brought out a warming-pan to warm the schoolmaster’s bed. It was the first thing of the kind he had ever seen and he was much interested in the novel instrument.

 

Determining to come to California in 1849 and test for himself the truth of the golden stories that were flying over the country, he set out for the long trip overland from Michigan.  At. Lexington, Missouri, a party of five, consisting of Mr. Ewer, Ben Manning, George Reeves, and son and another set out together.  Later on they united with the famous Michigan train that called themselves the Wolverines and came in by the Lassen route.  On the road they fell in with Mr. Loring Pickering, of the San Francisco Call and Bulletin, and family, and finding the route difficult, they joined teams and left a wagon behind.  Nearing the headwaters of the Feather River, Mr. Ewer with Mr. Pickering and family packed over the Feather River in Sacramento Valley, leaving the team to follow as fast as it could.  They had a pretty hard time of it, being short of provisions;  but the lucky shooting of a deer by Mr. Ewer provided for them abundantly.  They came out at Long’s Bar, reaching there November 4, 1849.  The wagon, reduced to a cart, came in soon after and Mr. Pickering began trading in a small way, while Mr. Ewer mined and knocked about generally.  The hardships of the time may be imagined when the only bed that Mr. Ewer had for quite a time was a wagon bed shared with others.  The boat used for crossing the river was swept away during the high water with several men in it, one of whom was drowned.  To replace it one of the old-fashioned curved wagon beds was used for a ferry and answered until a better one could be constructed.  Meantime, the soaking rains prevented the wagons from coming in with provisions and “grub” ran short.  Mr. Ewer and four others were sent out on a perilous trip down the river by boat to Sacramento to obtain supplies.  Mr. Ewer’s boating experiences on the Huron River came into play, he acting as steersman.  They got the provisions and after a terrible hard pull up the current, found to their disgust that, the rains being over, wagons had got in and there was a plentiful supply of everything.

 

The following summer Mr. Ewer was engaged in mining on the middle fork of the Feather River, twenty miles above Bidwell’s Bar, and from the fall of 1851 to 1855 was in the general merchandise business at Hamilton, then the county-seat of Butte County, and in the fall of 1855, he went to Oroville and began the practice of law, at the same time devoting himself to the breeding of stock , cattle, sheep, etc., in Butte County, and rapidly attained a prominent position.  In 1854 he was elected a member of the Assembly on the Democratic ticket, attending the session which met at Benicia, and removed the capital to Sacramento, and again in 1865, he was chosen to represent Butte County in the State Senate by the Republican party for the years 1866-68.  Previous to this he had in 1852 been Judge of the old Court of Sessions of Butte County.  He was also delegate to all political conventions, etc., of his own party during these years.  Finally, in 1870, he came to Napa Country and settled in St. Helena, since which time he has been one of the most active and public-spirited residents of the Napa Valley.  It is chiefly to his energy that St. Helena owes her excellent water supply.  He has been an active promoter of the wine-growing interests of the valley, and is the possessor of large vineyards.  The splendid fire-proof, stone wine-cellar belonging to Ewer & Atkinson at Rutherford is a signal proof of his efforts in this direction.  He was one of  the organizers and the first president and is now a director of the Bank of St. Helena; and is a member of the board of directors of the Grangers’ Bank of California in San Francisco, and of the Napa Bank at Napa City.  He has one of the finest residences, surrounded with magnificent grounds, in St. Helena, where he is now enjoying the comforts that have been so well earned by his active and energetic life, and in which, regarded with the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, he can justly spend the remainder of his days, as becomes the man who by long and successful labors has carved out his fortune with his own hands.

 

Mr. Ewer was a Democrat previous to the war, being elected to the Assembly on that ticket.  Since the war he has been a Republican, active, yet conservative.

 

His son, Fred S. Ewer, is following his father’s footsteps and seems likely to take an equally prominent place in years to come. He is the secretary of the St. Helena Water and Gas Companies, and is active in the wine interests of his father, showing promise of becoming an expert wine-maker.

 

JACOB SCHRAM AND THE SCHRAMSBERG VINEYARDS

 

It is the general opinion among experts that while California can make wines as good as are to be found in any other part of the world, yet, on account of the dryness of the atmosphere, she does not succeed in aging them, as a general thing.  The remedy for this has been found in adopting the system of storage for aging purposes in tunnels run into the hills, where a uniform low and moist temperature can be maintained and the resultant wine be found perfect in every particular.  The cellars at Schramsberg Vineyards were found to be the most complete component of this fact of all in this part of the State, and this circumstance accounts for the exceedingly high reputation that the Scramsberger wines have attained.  The cellars are nothing but a series of tunnels, with cellar-like excavations and transverse connections, run into the hillside.  There are two sets of them, the upper consisting of two tunnels extending into the hill a distance of 200 feet, and connected by cross tunnels, and the lower, of a similar character, only 400 feet in length.  In front of the former is the fermenting house, 85x45 feet in size of wood, but shortly to be replaced by an erection of stone, to be 130x45 feet in size, with a central tower 60x60 feet, the whole suitably and conveniently arranged for the purposes of winemaking.  When this fine building is completed the whole establishment will present an entouragethat will have no equal for substantial beauty and convenience anywhere in the State.  The house-mansion, as it might be more properly called, which has lately received it finishing touches, is large and very handsome, being built of stone with hard-wood finish.  The inside finish is rich yet ornate, every detail and particular the best of its kind.  Before the house stretch ornamented grounds, now being laid out to flowers and shrubbery, with taste and discrimination.  The barns and stables, of a similar class of architecture, the stone work constructed from material quarried on the premises, are like handsome structures.  The location of vineyards and buildings is one peculiarly romantic and pleasing, advantage being taken of the natural capabilities of the position to consult at once utility and a love of the beautiful.  The vineyards are in the thermal belt, where no frost touches the vines, and from their commanding situation of the western foothills of the Napa Valley, they present views of great extent and of singular beauty.

 

It is no wonder, under all these circumstances, that the wines from Schramsberg are so excellent -- this statement, however, going almost without saying, considering the high and rapidly extending fame that the Schramsberger wines, both red and white, have attained throughout the United States and Europe – in fact wherever introduced.  The drive up to Schramsberg from the valley is not the least of the attractions of the spot.  It is one long to be remembered, the road winding upwards amid almost tropical verdure, and beneath the lofty forest trees, most of the way beside a babbling brook that flows in every season.  As one emerges at last from the forest, and the elegant mansion and other buildings are seen nestling against the hill, while the orderly rows of grapevines stretch up out of sight, the picture is one to arouse enthusiasm, and can certainly never be forgotten.

 

This great establishment is the product of the life-work of Mr. Jacob Schram and his estimable wife.  In the thirty years or so since they bought and began the improvement of the Schramsberg Vineyards, they have transformed a rough, unpromising hillside from its native jungle of forest and underbrush to an estate worthy even of the banks of the Rhine itself for beauty and worth.  Perhaps the memory of the old home worked in their minds as they planned and labored, for both Mr. and Mrs. Schram are natives of the Rhineland, one born two miles and the other within one mile of the historic city of Worms, or rather at the very side of the famous Liebfrauenberg Vineyard, whence comes the noblest of wines, the “Liebfraumilch,” which they are now coming near to reproducing in the New World.

 

Mr. Schram’s life has been one of singular variety and incident, with the many ups and downs so characteristic of the Californians of the earlier days.  No matter what came, he never gave up;  and though he had many difficulties and discouragements to encounter, he was always master of the situation, and came out superior to the emergency.  His life shows well what may be accomplished by energy and pluck when joined with common sense.  Perhaps, too, he was actuated by character derived from his ancestors in his successful struggle upwards from narrow circumstances to affluence and eminence.  His uncle, General Schram, will be remembered by all students of history for his prominence in the Napoleonic Wars.  His father was also a member of the celebrated guard as captain under Napoleon.  Certain it is that he has never allowed any difficulty to daunt him, but he has always pressed energetically forward.

 

Mr. Schram was born May 26, 1826, at Pfeddersheim, two miles from Worms, on the left bank of the Rhine.  In 1840, when but a mere lad, he set out for America to push his own way in the world.  In 1852 he came to California having had many a trial to overcome, but always meeting them bravely.  The exigencies of a busy life brought him to Napa Valley in 1857, and shortly afterward, having lost his health, he purchased the hillside property and immediately began its improvement, being assisted in every detail by Mrs. Schram, to whom he was married in February 1859; her maiden name being Annie Christine Weber, and her birthplace Hocheim, one mile from Worms.  She has proven a most worthy helpmate to her husband, cheerfully bearing the full share of the hardships and trials of the earlier days, staying at the vineyard alone while her husband was carrying on business in the valley, herself directing the improvements and ordering the dealings.  Today, with equal talent, she graces her handsome home, as in the earlier days she conducted the petty affairs of the laborers.  The knowledge gained in the old home on the Rhine – the true home by the way of the vine, of the soil’s varieties and the value of the hillsides for grape-culture, have all been put into profitable use by Mr. and Mrs. Schram;  and hence it is they chose the admirable location in the foothills and are now reaping the return for the greater labor of clearing those hillsides, in the superior quality of the Schramsberger Riesling, Hock and Burgundy that have become so celebrated.  It is safe to say that the 100 acres of vines upon this estate are worth five times as much or more that number in the valley bottom.  An extensive young olive orchard has also been set out, and judging by appearances, it will prove an equally wise investment with the vines for excellence of quality and worth.

 

Mr. and Mr. Schram have one son, Herman Adolph, now a young man of nearly thirty years, who is developing the same traits of energy, intellect and diligence which so abundantly characterize his parents.  He is busy improving a property of his own in Knight’s Valley.  Mr. and Mrs. Schram had another child, a daughter of unusual brightness and promise.  Her death in youth was an irreparable blow to her parents.

 

Such is the brief and in no way sufficiently appreciative sketch of the life and labors of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Schram, yet, we hope, a correct account as far as it goes.

 

CHARLES H. TOZER, M. D.

 

Charles H. Tozer, M. D., deceased occupied a most prominent position in the ranks of his profession, and is known to thousands as a skillful, attentive, and well-read physician, while regarded as an authority in the profession.  He was born in the city of New York in the year 1801, but when an infant was carried to England, where he received his classical and medical education and began the practice of his profession.  In the study of medicine he had the advantage of a hospital practice at Guy’s Hospital, London, under the celebrated Doctor Abernethy.  In 1849 he started for California, but tarried a while on the way at Panama to care for fever patients at that point, finally coming on to this State in 1850.  In the early days, he went with a party of fourteen to Shasta mines, but soon returned to Sacramento, where he practiced until after the great flood of 1861, when he removed to San Francisco, practicing there until his death, which took place June 29, 1880, at his residence in Oakland.  His son, Charles F., whom the writer found hard at work improving the snug ranch of eighty acres perched on the summit of the divide between Conn and Napa Valleys, was born in Oakland, May 11, 1872, and was proceeding with his education at Hopkins” Academy and elsewhere, when he lost his health.  For his benefit, Mrs. Tozer purchased the present place two years ago, erected a cozy little house and has settled down to remain until the health of her son will permit a return to her comfortable home in Oakland. Meantime, they are improving their place, which is one of great beauty and commands a view of wide range and great attractiveness, by planting out trees, vines, etc.  Mrs. Tozer, whose maiden name was Miss E. J. Billings, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and came to California in 1862 to join her former husband, Mr. P. O. Valentine, who had preceded her here. Shortly after her arrival, he died.  In the course of time, she was married to Dr. Tozer, and is now his widow.  Her family all reside at Medford, Massachusetts, a well-to-do and prominent family.  She has one brother, Frank D. Billings, of Lathrop in this State, the only relation on this coast.  Dr. Tozer has a daughter by a previous marriage, who was the wife of the late Mr. McNeill, of Adams, McNeill & Co. of Sacramento.

 

GEORGE E. ALEXANDER, M. D.

 

George E. Alexander, M. D., of Haywards, began his medical studies under the preceptorship of an eminent practitioner at Beloit, Wisconsin, and taking the regular course of lectures at the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, he graduated in 1878.  He accepted an appointment as physician in the Government service and came to the Pacific coast and filled his position as such under the command of Generals Davis and Howard, in the department of the Columbia.  He resigned this commission in 1875 and came to Gilroy, Santa Clara County, practiced for seven months, then followed his profession at San Ramon, Contra Costa County, for a period of ten years, and finally in 1886, he moved to Haywards, where he has already built up a lucrative practice.

 

He dates his birth October 15, 1847, Pennsylvania.  He enlisted as a private in the Sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, and served as such until 1865, when he was mustered out.  He then entered Beloit (Wisconsin) College, where he commenced his literary education.  He then spent a few months on the Kansas and Colorado plains; then a year at Monmouth, Illinois, and then returned to Beloit, where he began his medical studies as already stated.  He is the eleventh of thirteen children in his father’s family.  His parents, Randall and Sarah (Carothers) Alexander, are both native of the Keystone State, his father being born in Franklin County in 1807.  His paternal ancestors were from the north of Ireland, of Scotch-Irish extraction.  His great-grandfather, Reynold Alexander, was one of the early settlers of Pennsylvania and served in the Revolutionary War.  His grandfather, William Alexander, was born in what is now Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and served as an officer in the War of 1812.  Politically, Dr. Alexander is Democratic and takes an active part in political matters.  He is a member of Alamo Lodge, No. 122, of Walnut Creek, and of Oakland Commandery, No. 11, K. T.  He was married at San Ramon, October 15, 1877, to Miss Mary E. Lynch, a native of California, and they have two children: Archie and Adele.

 

F. M. STRICKLAND

 

F. M. Strickland, member of the firm of Howells and Strickland, proprietors of the leading grocery house in Madison, is the son of Thomas and Louisa (Rother) Strickland, the former a native of England, born in 1803, and a physician, who died in Guthrie County, Iowa, at the age of sixty-three years, and the latter a native of Germany and still living in Guthrie County.  Mr. Strickland was born in the same county in 1862, and came to Madison, California, in 1880, where he has ever since been successfully engaged in mercantile business.  The present partnership was formed September 1, 1888, and they carry between $5,000 and $6,000 worth of stock.  Mr. Strickland was married in 1889, in Madison, to Miss Mamie Brown, a native of Placer County, California, and they have one son, Harry Francis, born in Madison, Yolo County, California, April 13, 1890.

 

JAMES G. COOPER, M. D.

 

James G.  Cooper, M. D., Haywards, is an old practitioner of the regular profession.  He was born June 19, 1830, in New York City.  In 1840 his parents moved into New Jersey, where our subject completed his school studies.  His father, William Cooper, was born in 1797 in New York, and was a farmer by vocation until he was appointed Associate Judge by the Governor of that State.  He also served in the war of 1812, as an officer.  He married Miss Mary Wilson, a native of Troy, New York, and they had six children, our subject being the first.  The Doctor’s paternal grandfather was a native of Yorkshire, England; the ancestors on his mother’s side were also English, and came to America during the last century, some of them serving in the Revolutionary War.  Dr. Cooper graduated in his profession at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City in 1851, and practiced in the city hospitals there two years.  In 1853 he received an appointment from the Government and came to the Pacific Coast as the physician of the surveying party of the Northern Pacific Railroad.  He remained with this party until 1856, when he returned to New Jersey, and practiced his profession there until 1860, when he joined another expedition, accompanying 300 soldiers to the Pacific Coast by way of Fort Benton and the northern line of forts, who left detachments at different points along the line.  He wintered with the troops at Fort Mojave on the Colorado River, and then went to San Diego and thence to San Francisco.  He volunteered and served as surgeon in the Second California Volunteer Cavalry, and served until 1865, when he resigned and came to Oakland, remaining one year.  Then he practiced medicine in San Francisco until 1871, when his health became impaired and he moved south to Ventura County, where he followed agriculture until 1873.  He then moved to East Oakland and remained there until 1875, when he finally settled in Haywards, where he has retired from active practice.  He is a member of Haywards Lodge, No. 18, A.O.U.W., and of Clinton Lodge, No. 2019, K. of H., of East Oakland.

 

The doctor was married at Oakland, January 9, 1866, to Miss Rosa M. Wells, a native of New York, and they have three children, namely:  William W., Fannie S., and James S.

 

DR. ANDREW R. PENNINGTON

 

Dr. Andrew R. Pennington, dental surgeon at Haywards, at the corner of Main and Calhoun Streets, was born at Hillsboro, Ohio, August 22, 1842, the eldest of fifteen children of Jacob and Mary J. (Keys) Pennington.  His father was born in Virginia, October 4, 1816, and moved with his family to the State of Ohio in 1826; he is a farmer by vocation.  Dr. Pennington in 1862 enlisted as a private soldier in the Sixtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and subsequently in the Twenty-fourth Battery of Light Artillery of that Sate, and was mustered out of the service in 1864.  After the war he returned to his native State and engaged in the live-stock trade until 1866, when he went to Macomb, Illinois and remained there two and a half years.  After spending a year in Kansas, he came in 1870 to California to improve his health.  He visited San Diego, Lathrop and San Jose, and spent a year, 1874-1875, in Oakland. In the fall of the latter year he went to Salem, Oregon, where he studied dentistry until 1878.  Returning to California he located at Lathrop two years; then he was one year at Grass Valley, and then until 1887 at Nevada City, when he finally located at Haywards, where he has established a good reputation and has a good business.  Politically he is Republican; is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic and also affiliates with the Druids and Ancient Order of United Workmen at Haywards. He was married in Ohio to Miss Martha A. Parker, and they have two children – John E. and Ira S.

 

AMOS S. DU BOIS, M. D.

 

Amos S. Du Bois, M. D., San Leandro, was born in Allegany County, New York, March 8, 1829, of the old Du Bois stock of French extraction, who settled in New York probably before the Declaration of Independence in America.  His grandfather, Conrad Du Bois, was a private soldier in the American Army during the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812.  The doctor’s father, Abram Du Bois, was a native of New York and a Methodist minister, who, in 1836, moved to Pennsylvania.  He married Miss Mehitabel Whitmore Sumner, a native of Massachusetts.  After a residence of two years in Pennsylvania, they returned to New York State, where Dr. Du Bois finished his education at Milan, Ohio, and taught school in Ohio until 1852.  Returning to New York, he came thence to California by the Nicaragua route, landing in San Francisco on February 1, 1853.  Until 1858, he followed mining in the vicinity of Sacramento, where he was employed by the water company for about two years.  From 1861 to 1865 he taught school and studied medicine, graduating in San Francisco.  He practiced his chosen profession at Lincoln, Placer County until 1868, when he went to Auburn, the county-seat, and took charge of the county hospital, which position he filled until August, 1874.  He continued in general practice there until 1874, when he went East, took a course of lectures in New York City and special studies in surgery at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College of that city, and graduated in 1875.  Returning to California he located at San Leandro, where he is now, and has been for fifteen years a member of the board of health, and also visiting physician and surgeon to the Alameda County Hospital and Infirmary, and has an extensive practice.  Socially he affiliates with the F.&A.M. and the I.O.O.F.  May 28, 1865, at Oakland, he married Miss Georgiana Barlow, a native of Canada.  Her grandfather on her father’s side was a colonel in the Revolutionary War.  Dr. Du Bois has a grown son named Sumner V.

 

JOHN CYRUS

 

On these pages we present a sketch of the eventful life-history of one of the oldest and most worthy of Napa County’s pioneers. During the forty-four years of Mr. Cyrus’ residence in the valley, he has been an active participant in the changing of the face of nature from a wild and untamed state to the beautiful country of today; and during this time it is safe to say that no one in the valley has been more generally respected or more universally esteemed or more justly entitled to the same.  Mr. Cyrus is the son of Enoch and Rebecca (Cook) Cyrus, born in McDonough County, Illinois, March 20, 1831, at a point near La Harpe, not far from the Mississippi River.  His grandparents were originally from North Carolina.  A few years later the family removed to Missouri, settling first in Jackson County, and late Andrew County.  In the spring of 1846 a train of about fifty wagons was made up for the long journey to the Pacific Coast, among which were included the outfits belonging to the Cyrus family.  The train scattered as they made their way across the plains, about twenty wagons that were bound for California keeping together.  On the Humboldt River the Indians became troublesome, stealing quite a number of cattle and stock.  The trip was made via Truckee, and the Sacramento Valley was finally reached October 21, 1846.  The Cyrus family pushed on directly to Napa Valley, arriving there in November of that year.   For a little time they stayed on the Yount Ranch, and then pushed on to a point a little below St. Helena, where they remained for two and a half years.  In 1849 they removed to Calistoga and a year later to their present place, one of the most fertile and lovely spots in the whole valley, a short distance above the town.  Here, February 3, 1853, the father died of small-pox, being followed shortly after by two sons and two daughters.  The mother died in 1873.

 

Mr. Cyrus has cut up his place, dividing it among his children, and selling portions, but still retaining sixty acres for himself, and still residing in the comfortable residence which has long been a landmark of the upper end of the valley.  In 1849 Mr. Cyrus went to the mines, visiting the Stanislaus and the upper waters of the Sacramento, and being well acquainted with the stirring incidents and leading characters of those exciting times.  From him is obtained much material in regard to those days, as also with reference to the virgin state of the Napa Valley, the abundance of game, the grizzly bears, the disappearance of the Indians and the rise of the town, etc.  He has been a farmer all his life, paying but little attention to politics as a general thing.  He was brought forward in 1877 as a candidate for County Treasurer on the Republican ticked, but was defeated by A. G. Boggs.  He has steadfastly declined all other political preferment, wishing rather to attend to his private affairs.

 

Mr. Cyrus was married June 5, 1855, to Miss Lavina Graves, a native of Illinois, and a pioneer of 1846, and the heroine of stirring events.  They have five children:  H. E., now in the lumber business in Calistoga, who has one daughter;  J. W., a civil engineer and surveyor at Tacoma, and unmarried;  Mrs. M. A. Sherwood, whose husband is in business in Calistoga; Mrs. Sarah G. Crouch, living at home; and Miss Rachel E., also at home, the latter being a graduate of the Calistoga High School, and deeply interested in Indian relics and in matters archaeological.  Mr. Cyrus is one of the most interesting talkers to be met – a perfect mine of incident and information in reference to early events, hunting scenes, and everything of the past.  A worthy man and popular, he is truly a representative citizen of the Napa Valley.

 

EMANUEL MANASSE

 

Emanuel Manasse has lived in California for the past twenty-five years, and in Napa since 1872.  Born in Frankfort-on-the-main, Germany, in 1842, he received his education in the public schools, and was then apprenticed to the tanning business, serving for two terms, the first in the tanning of heavy and the second in the tanning of light leathers, thus gaining a thorough knowledge of the business.  At the age of nineteen he came to this country, and at once secured employment at a large salary.  Owing to the war then in progress and the heavy duties on French calf and kid skins, Mr. Manasse invested his entire capital, about $300, in a small plant for tanning leather.  He was very successful, realizing some $7,000 in one year, when a fire swept factory, stock and all his means into oblivion in a couple of hours.  Having about money enough to bring his wife and children to California, where her father then lived, he started in business in San Francisco, with the usual ups and downs of those days, where he remained until 1872, when he came to Napa to take charge of the manufacturing in the establishment of B. F. Sawyer & Co.  Beginning as foreman, he soon originated a method of dressing leather now known as the Napa Patent Process, which he at first allowed the firm to use on payments of royalty, but in 1879 he became a member of the firm, and later on its incorporation as a stock company, he was elected vice-president and was one of its directors.

 

Mr. Manasse was married in 1864 to Miss Amelia Helwig, born in his own native town, and a daughter of Henry Helwig, for many years engaged in the tanning business in San Francisco.  They have six children: Lena, a graduate of Snell Seminary, Oakland; Henry, who graduated at Napa College, and is now connected with the Norton Tanning Company of San Francisco, of which Mr. Manasse is a stockholder and director;  Anna, also a graduate of Napa College; Edward, who is now learning the tanning business in the Sawyer establishment;  August, attending Oak Mound College; and Amelia, who is still attending the Napa public school. Mr. Manasse is a member of the Masonic order, Yount Lodge, No. 12;  member of Napa Chapter, No. 30;  member of the Napa Lodge, No. 18, I.O.O.F., and of the Odd Fellows’ Hall Association of Napa.

 

D. A. JACKSON

 

D. A. Jackson, horticulturist near Woodland, is one of the most extensively known citizens in Central California;  is well-known even in the Eastern States as a fruit raiser and packer.  He was born February 14, 1831, in Knox County, Ohio, a son of B. B. and Polly (Ruggles) Jackson, natives of Pennsylvania.  The father, a farmer by occupation, removed to Ohio at an early age, remained there until 1860, and then came on to California in company with his sons, and here he remained until his death, which occurred in 1868, in Yolo County, when he was about sixty-eight years old.  Mr. Jackson, our subject, was brought up on a large farm in Ohio.  In 1864 he came to California across the plains, the trip occupying some ninety days.  Going directly to Yolo county, he rented land in the vicinity of Woodland and began farming, raising wheat.  In a few years he found himself able to purchase a home for himself, which he did by buying eighty acres for $1,750.  The farm is now valued at $400 per acre, and improvements $8,000. For ten years he continued wheat-raising, hauling the same to Sacramento to market.  He began the fruit industry in 1883, and has sold his land in ten-acre tracts until he now has only thirty acres left, which is in the city limits of Woodland and devoted to choice fruit trees and vines.  He took the first premium at the State Fair in 1889, receiving the gold medal for the best six varieties of table, raisin and shipping grapes.  In the season he employs from thirty to forty hands, white labor, all from Woodland.  He is also a large buyer and packer.  His goods are shipped and sold to all the eastern states and Canada.  This year (1889) he shipped 100 tons.

 

Mr. Jackson was married in 1850, to Miss Cynthia Cummings, a native of Ohio, and their children are:  Ellis, wife of Henry Fisher, a resident of Hunsford, Tulare County; also one son, Ralph W., twenty-one years old.

 

B. F. HOLDEN

 

B. F. Holden has been a resident of Napa for seven years.  For two years of this time he purchased wool for the Boston market and for the same length of time was bookkeeper for the Sawyer Tanning Company and the Norton Tanning Company, at their San Francisco office, but for the past three years he has been treasurer and manager of the Napa Woolen Mills.  This concern was originally started in a small way, but in 1885 it was formed into a stock company, of which S. E. Holden is now president, B. F. Holden , treasurer and manager, and C. R. Gritman, the cashier of the Bank of Napa, secretary.  This company doubled the capacity of the mill, which now occupies one main structure, 100 feet square, of two stories and basement, and an adjoining building for the engine and boilers.  On the main floor there are sixteen broad Knowles looms, and the finishing machinery; on the second floor is located the carding and spinning machinery;  while the scouring and assorting of the wool is carried on in the basement.  Two boilers, one of fifty-horse-power and one of thirty, furnish steam for the engine and for the necessary process of manufacture.  About $150,000 worth of goods, principally flannels and blankets, is turned out by these mills every year.  They employ about forty hands, use mostly Californian wool, and manufacture only fine wool blankets and a fine grade of flannels, used for shirts and suitings.  Since Mr. Holden has assumed the management of the mills, they have gradually improved in their general results, and are now in fairly prosperous condition, and the outlook is very promising.  Their products are mostly disposed of in San Francisco, through the house of Murphy, Grant & Co., Green Baum, Weil, Michels & Co., but they have also been forwarding a considerable quantity to T. A. Shaw & Co., of Chicago.  They also ship goods to Sacramento, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.

 

Mr. Holden was born in Saxonville, Massachusetts, in 1842.  His parents were B. F. and Harriet (Morse) Holden, both branches of the family being of old New England stock, whose ancestors emigrated from England in the seventeenth century.  His father moved to Concord, New Hampshire, in 1843, and established a woolen factory under the firm name of B. F. & D. Holden, which afterward became the Concord Manufacturing Company, in which B. F. learned the business, and later acquired an interest that he still continues to hold.  He attended the public schools of Concord, and was a member of the class of 1865 of Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut.  He was married in 1864 to Miss Minnie Crockett of Middletown.  Returning to Concord, after leaving the University, he engaged in the woolen business at Bristol, New Hampshire, where he remained until 1883, when he came to California.  They have two children: Mary Genevieve, a graduated of the State Normal School at San Jose, and now engaged in teaching in Napa County; and Clarence, who is attending school at Napa.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. Holden was a member of the New Hampshire Legislature, elected from Bristol for the sessions of 1874-1876.  In 1887 he invested in the stock of Napa Woolen Mills, and took charge as treasurer and superintendent.  This position he now holds. During the few years he has lived in California, Mr. Holden has applied the same active and intelligent effort to his business that distinguished him in his New Hampshire home, and as a result the establishment he represents is moving forward successfully, and building up a very large and successful business.

 

WILLIAM DAY

 

William Day, one of the prominent businessmen of Sunol, was born at Aurora, Erie County, New York, June 20, 1852.  His father, Ithamar C., a Canadian by birth, emigrated into the United States when a young man.  He married Miss Elvira Davis, a native of Vermont.  William was reared and educated in this native town, and on reaching the age of manhood, he went to Portage County, Wisconsin, and in a few months came on to California, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and located at Sunol.   First he worked upon the ranch of Charles Hadsell for twelve years, and in 1886, he established his present business as proprietor and manager of the livery, feed, and sale stable and trader in live-stock.  He has also a large warehouse for the storage of hay, grain, etc., and he also has an extensive commission business.  He is a member of the Board of School Trustees, a worthy citizen and a man who enjoys the confidence and respect of his neighbors.

 

Mr. Day was married in San Leandro in 1871 to Miss Nettie Bennett, a native of Wisconsin, and they have nine children, namely: Frank, Daisy, Frederick, Walter, William, Emma, Arthur, Nellie and an infant son.

 

HENRY PERRY

 

Henry Perry, machinist and proprietor of a shop in Woodland, is the son of Elisha and Nancy Perry, natives of Maine.  He was born in Franklin County, that State, March 16, 1822.  At the age of twenty-two he went to Wareham, Massachusetts.  In the year 1847, he went to Penobscot County, Maine, where he was engaged in blacksmithing for ten years.  He then came to California in 1858, by water, and since then has made two trips East.  He first came to Yolo County in 1860, when there was but one house in Woodland, and was owned by Frank Freeman, and ever since then Mr. Perry has made Woodland his home.  He embarked in the machine business in 1870, in a shop back of the present Bank of Woodland.  His present establishment is on Fourth Street, between Main and Lincoln Avenue.  He does a much larger business than the size of his shop would indicate.  The machinery he is running here cost $2,500.  The engine is a five-horse power.  Blacksmithing is also an industry included within his operation.

 

In 1849 Mr. Perry married Miss Elizabeth Whitehouse, by whom he had two children, John F. and Jessie R., and Mrs. Perry died in 1864, while Mr. Perry was in California.  January, 1869, he married Mrs. Rachel Mudgett, a widow with two sons.  By the present marriage there are the following children: Etna J., aged eighteen years; Emma W., seventeen years, and Clarence H., sixteen years.

 

GEORGE C. MARTIN

 

George C. Martin, a farmer near Woodland, is a son of James and Lina (Williams) Martin, who were among the early settlers of California, and will be remembered by many old pioneers.  They were natives of Virginia, where they remained until 1844;  they then moved to Livingston County, Missouri, and resided there until 1853;  he sold his property there, spent one summer in Texas, returned to Missouri and remained there until the spring of 1854, when he with his family came overland to the Golden State, with horse and ox teams, and settled in Yuba County, eight miles above Marysville, on the Yuba River.  There the senior Martin resided until his death in 1861, when he was sixty years of age.  His wife survived until 1884, when she died, in Yolo County, at the age of seventy-five years.  In their family were four sons and one daughter, all of whom came to California.  One son, M. D. Martin, came in 1849, and died in Yolo County in June, 1872.

 

George C. was born January 30, 1833, in Giles County, Virginia and had been all his life upon a farm.  He was with his father in Yuba County until 1862, when the well-remembered floods of that year destroyed their agricultural stock.  He sold out and came to Yolo County, purchasing a farm northwest of Cacheville, where he remained until the fall of 1870.  He then purchased his present property, consisting of 160 acres of choice bottom land, a mile and a half southeast of Woodland, which is well improved and fertile and well stocked with farm buildings, etc.  He has altogether in Yolo County 410 acres.  His home place is especially adapted to the raising of fruit and alfalfa.

 

Mr. Martin was married March 7, 1867, to Miss Mary A. Waysman, a native of Missouri, and they have three sons and two daughters, namely:  Jackson L., Anna L., James W. (who died July 25, 1883), George V., and Mary V.

 

AARON BELL

 

Aaron Bell, Superior Judge of the county of Shasta since 1879, came to California in 1852.  He was born in Pennsylvania, December 2, 1832.  His ancestors have resided in America since before the Revolution and were from Scotland.  His grandfather, John Bell, participated in the Revolution on the side of the colonies; served under Benedict Arnold; went with him on his expedition to Quebec, and after the war settled in Ohio where the city of Cincinnati now stands.  Afterward he moved to Pennsylvania and settled on a farm.  Later he was in the mercantile business for some years.  He was a zealous Presbyterian; was married in New Jersey, and has six sons and two daughters.  John Bell, Jr., the fourth child, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was in the iron foundry business for many years in the State of Pennsylvania.  He married Miss Christiana Evans of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and with his family settled, in 1855, in El Dorado County.

 

Judge Bell was the eldest child of their family of six children, four sons and two daughters.  He was educated in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, studied law in a law school there, and after coming to California pursued his studies for several years and was admitted to practice in the old District Court in 1864.  He practiced law in the city of Sacramento for three years, gave United States land law his special attention, and became an expert in that department of law practice.  A United States land office having been established at Shasta, and the officers thereof not understanding their duties very well, had some complications with the department at Washington.  The Judge went to Shasta to assist in straightening out matters.  Becoming favorably impressed with the county, he located there.  He was appointed Register of the Land Office in the place of the register who had resigned.  He served in this capacity until 1879, when he resigned to run for the office of Judge of the Superior Court, having received the nomination from the Republican Party.  The county at that time had a 250 Democratic majority, but Judge Bell was elected by a 600 majority, a very flattering vote.  The duties of the office of Superior Judge were at that time quite onerous, and many times he had to decide cases on which there had been great difference of opinion.  In his first term a most trying and unheard-of case came before him.  The sheriff elect of the county was refused the office by the incumbent on the ground that he had not given the county sufficient bonds.  It was claimed that by the census of 1880 the county had advanced from a county of the third class to that of the second class, and that he should not hold the sheriffalty, as he had not given legal bonds.  The Judge was applied to and the matter duly tried before him;  he gave an order to an officer to seize the books and papers of the office and to take sufficient force to execute the order.  The out-going sheriff, with his men armed with Henry rifles, held the court-house with the door barred on the inside, refused admittance and threatened the officer if he touched the door it would be at the peril of his life.  It took the force of several men to break it in, which they did and seized the books and papers of the office.  The people took sides in the affair and many were very much incensed with the out-going sheriff’s course.  The case was carried to the Supreme Court and the Judge’s action sustained in every particular.

 

Another very exciting and notable case was that which was held to prevent the removal of the county-seat from Shasta.  When Judge Bell gave his decision in that case the court-house was filled, anvils were fired by citizens of Redding and great excitement prevailed.  The case was taken to the Supreme Court, and after three years’ litigation the case was decided in accordance with Judge Bell’s decision.

 

It is a matter of record that in eleven years only one case was returned and retried.  His decisions have been made with reference to his duty as a judge of the law, and his legal ability has been most flatteringly sustained, both by the Supreme Court of the State and by his fellow citizens.  At his last election his majority was 700, when the majority of his ticket was only eighty.  During most of his history in California he has been interested in mines and mining.  In 1853 he was a partner with Marshall, and was often with him and his men.  He has a cane made of the head block of Sutter’s Mill where gold was discovered.  Judge Bell and his brother, who is an expert miner, are interested in several valuable mines and also in timbered lands at the base of Mount Shasta.  He is interested in a box, shingle, and lath factory, and in 1889 manufactured over 400,000 raisin boxes.

 

Judge Bell takes an active part in several of the fraternal societies of the county.  He became an Odd Fellow in 1855;  has been a member of Grand Lodge since 1861, and is a member of the Veteran Association of the State.  He is one of the charter members of Shasta Lodge, A.O.U.W., which started in 1878; and he has been made Grand Commander of the American Legion of Honor of the State for two terms.  His father died in 1862, and his mother is still living, a hale, hearty, old lady of seventy-seven years.  She resides with the Judge and his interesting family in a nice residence in Redding, where he can spend the evening of life, having merited the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens.

 

He was married in January, 1874, to Miss Julia Fipps, a native of Missouri, and formerly a successful school-teacher in Shasta. They have had three sons, born in Shasta County, viz.: Jesse, George E., and Harvey.

 

J. M. BUFFINGTON

 

J. M. Buffington, an old, honored pioneer of the Pacific Coast, and one of the most influential of the early settlers of Stockton was born in Somerset, Bristol County, Massachusetts, February 15, 1818.  Originally of English descent, and in the old Massachusetts colony, his ancestry dates back to the early settlement of Salem, when three brothers – John, Joseph, and Jonathan – immigrated to that place about 1660.  The subject of this sketch attended school in his native State, and at the age of fourteen he took a thorough course in English, mathematics and the Latin classics at the State Normal School of Rhode Island, and after reaching manhood he entered the business of manufacturing boots and shoes at Providence, that State.

 

On the breaking out of the gold excitement from California, he came hither, by the Isthmus, landing at San Francisco June 13, 1849, from the steamer Oregon, on her second trip.  He joined the throng of miners, and searched for gold over a year, averaging fifteen ounces per day.  Coming then to Stockton, he started a bakery, when flour was $12.50 a barrel; in a few months it advanced to $50 per barrel and bread sold for 32 cents a pound.  But Mr. Buffington was not the man to be limited to an underling’s life.  Being public-spirited, he made his mark in the “city of the plains,” which is yet strikingly visible.  He organized the public schools of Stockton, was elected Superintendent and served as such from their organization until 1853, when he was elected Alderman.  In April, this year, he was elected Mayor of Stockton, and held this office one term of two years.  Being also actively interested in the political interests of the country, he organized the first Republican club and was chosen its first President.  He also served as superintendent of the Sunday-school for several years.

 

In 1857 he removed to San Francisco, and since then, for over a third of a century, he has been actively engaged in business and prominently identified with commercial and mining interests.  He was elected member of the Board of Education of San Francisco, and served in this position several years.  For a time also he was Registrar of voters, when the enrollment was in the different wards.  In 1884 he changed his residence to Oakland.

 

He has been prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity for over thirty-six years, having become a member of Morning Star Lodge, in Stockton, in 1854, and he is a Knight Templar and a Thirty-third-degree Mason, Scottish rite.

 

March 8, 1848, Mr. Buffington married Miss Mary West Eddy, daughter of one of the oldest families of Providence, Rhode Island, and they have had two sons and three daughters.

 

J. SOVEREIGN

 

J. Sovereign, manufacturer of wagons and buggies at Woodland, is the son of Richard and Elizabeth (Plummer) Sovereign.  His father, a native of Pennsylvania, was a carpenter by trade; and his mother was a native of New Jersey.  Mr. Sovereign was born in Canada, in 1833, and in 1845 he went to Illinois and learned his trade;  and in 1860 he came to California and for the first seven years resided in El Dorado County;  in 1867 he moved into Yolo County, where he has ever since remained.  He is following his trade at Woodland, with signal success.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 22, A.O.U.W., and also of the K. of P.

 

For his wife he married Elizabeth Collins, who was born in Watertown, New York, and they have five children, viz.:  Emma, aged thirty-two, now the wife of John Freeman, and residing in Fresno;  Isabella, aged thirty, is now Mrs. J. H. Martin, of Woodland; Arthur, aged twenty-eight, a blacksmith of Woodland;  Seth, aged twenty-six years, and Charley, aged twenty-one.

 

J. W. OSBORNE

 

J. W. Osborne, a blacksmith and wheelwright at Sunol, was born near Barrie, Canada, Februaty 22, 1856, where he grew to manhood.  His parents, Edward and Elizabeth (White) Osborne, were both natives of England,  He came from Canada into the United States in 1872, settling first in the State of Nevada, where he learned his trade and remained until 1879.  He next followed his vocation two years in Washington Territory, and then until 1884 in Umatilla County, Oregon; and then about three years in Modoc County, this State.  In 1887, he went to Shasta County for a year, and in the spring of 1889, he finally settled at his present place, where he is prospering in his calling.  He was married at Weston, Oregon, July 31, 1881, to Miss Frances Ferguson, a native of Iowa, and they have three children – Emma J., Eunice J., and William C.

 

B. G. PERKINS

 

B. G. Perkins, proprietor of the flouring mill at Woodland, is a son of Frederick F. and Eleanor (Lee) Perkins, natives of Connecticut, the father a farmer by occupation.  Mr. Perkins of the sketch was born at Niles, Michigan, in 1846; in 1863 he came to California and was first engaged in keeping books in San Francisco.  In 1871 he started for Lower California with 18,000 head of sheep, but suffered misfortune and got out with 2,500 head, turning them over to creditors.  He returned to his old home in Michigan and there remained until 1888, when he again came to California to prospect for a permanent home.  He finally selected Woodland, in June, 1889, where he has since run the City Mill.  It is owned by the Bank of Woodland;  its capacity is thirty-five barrels a day, the engine being seventy-five horse-power.  The expense of running the mill is $25 a day.  It was built in 1860.

 

In 1872 Mr. Perkins was united in marriage with Miss Josephine Glover, of Detroit, Michigan.

 

W. H. ROBINSON

 

W. H. Robinson (colored), farmer and teamster at Woodland, is the son of Denis and Mary A. (Winrow) Robinson, natives of Kentucky.  His father was a slave up to the time of his death in 1839, in Ralls County,  Missouri;  his mother died in California, February 17, 1889, at the age of eighty-five years.  She was freed by Robert Briggs, of Ralls County, when W. H. was sixteen years of age.  He was born in the county, March 11, 1835, and was freed at the age of thirty by the emancipation proclamation, up to which time he was owned by John C. Briggs.  He came to California in 1868, landing in San Francisco December 24, having made his journey by sea and the Isthmus.  He was a resident of Buckeye, Yolo County, until 1873, when he went to Woodland, where he now has a nice little home on two acres of land.  He does all kinds of farm work for other parties, having all the varieties of farming implements necessary, and he is well known as an industrious and upright citizen.  He is a member of the Christian Church, as is also his family.  He married, in Ralls County, Missouri, Sarah A. Shields, who was born in Kentucky, and they have two children – Mary A. and Samuel H.

 

VILLA MIRAVALLE and TIBUREIO PARROT, ESQ.

 

One of the most picturesque and attractive spots in the vicinity of St. Helena is the Villa Miravalle, the delightful country-seat of Tibureio Parrot, Esq., the well-known viticulturist.  Located in a sheltered cone or glen in the Myacamas range of mountains which skirt the western border of the Napa Valley, with full view of the town and only a mile distant from its center, it is led up to by a winding and romantic road and avenue.  The residence is situated at some distance from the county road on an eminence that displays its fine architectural proportions to great advantage.  A rough description may not be out of place.  Including verandas, which are broad and ample, running quite around the house and covered with the finest specimens of sub-tropical plants, the residence has a frontage of eight feet, by a depth of forty-five feet.  It is of two stories, with central tower rising to a height of seventy feet above the ground.   The lower story is of the beautiful white liparite, quarried in the vicinity, and the upper of brick, the whole house finished in hard wood and of a pleasing mediaeval architecture.  From the tower a magnificent view, panoramic almost in scope and variety, is presented, including the whole of St. Helena and all the adjacent portions of the Napa Valley, while the eastern horizon is cut by the green folds of hill and mountain that form the eastern littoral of the valley.  Immediately beneath the eye are the orchards and vineyards of the estate, and beyond these the miles of grapevines, for which the section is noted.  The estate is of 800 acres, and reaches from the valley to the crest of the first range of hills, looking down on the further side upon the famous White Sulphur Springs.  The hillsides, when not cleared and planted to vines, are covered with a thick growth of forest trees – pines, firs, oaks, manzanita, madron, buckeye, etc., proving a fine bed – fields we should rather say – of roses, chrysanthemums and other flowers, for which the Villa Miravalle has won a name.  Mr. Parrott is doing a work of more than individual benefit upon his place.  He was the first to make a serious attempt to raise olives at St. Helena.  He has a fine appearing plantation of 5,000 trees, now between six and seven years old, and some loaded with fruit when seen.  They seem to prove the perfect adaptation of the valley for olive culture and present a timely alternative to the vine-growers of the section, wearied out as they are by depression and ruinous prices.  Mr. Parrott has 125 acres of vineyard, all of the better foreign varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, from which is made the Chateau-Margaux and Chateau Lafite wines, so dear to connoisseurs.  The vineyard is all mountain-hill land, thus receiving perfect drainage, and the best results.  So far, the wine cellar is the cellar of the house, and a visit to it and a sampling of its contents shows the value of the vineyard as well as the knowledge and experience of its master. The wines were perfect, each in its kind.  A cellar of a larger size is now being constructed, tunnels being run into the hillside to afford finer storage.  A small plot of vigorous and healthy tobacco plants, of seed brought from Havana, was seen, which will probably prove still another resource of this very fertile section.  Amidst the other trees and plants were noticed specimens of palms, palmettos, banana, persimmons, guavas, oranges, lemons, almonds, walnuts and other sub-tropical growths, all thrifty and luxuriant at time of visit (December) and showing that the villa is in the thermal belt and above the frosts.  Water in abundance is piped direct from springs on the mountain side to house and grounds.  This beautiful place is the out come of only five years’ work upon its improvement, being begun only in January, 1885.  Its beauty and the wholesome luxuriance of every plant and tree are better than many volumes to prove the possibility of the section.  The Villa Miravalle justly ranks as one of the finest residences in the Napa Valley.

 

CHARLES SAMUEL COUSINS

 

Charles Samuel Cousins, Recorder of Contra Costa County, was born in Clinton County, New York, December 14, 1830, of ancestry traceable on the paternal side back to the Norman French.  His father, John Cousins, was a native of Yorkshire, England, and educated for a branch of the government service; but instead of entering that he went into mercantile business in London, and was successful on a large scale until his managers of a branch house, by ill-advised measures, broke him up.  After that he emigrated to the United States, locating in Clinton County, New York, where he resided some years engaged in agricultural pursuits.  In 1840 he removed to Chataugay, Canada, where he spent the remainder of his days.  The lady whom he married was Elizabeth Harrison, a native of Yorkshire, England, and died April 19, 1846.  Of her eight children, six were born in London; and of the four now living, the subject of this sketch is the only one residing in California.

 

In 1840 or 1841 Thomas Cousins, brother of John, with his family of nine children, emigrated to America, by way of the St. Lawrence River;  and while ascending that stream on board a steamer the works exploded and all the family were lost excepting the wife, who was saved as if by miracle!  She was thrown high into the air and fell upon one of her own featherbeds!  From the wreck she was taken to the residence of a gentleman named Pennyman, where she remained a resident until she died, at a very advanced age.  Mr. Pennyman esteemed her so highly that he gave her a home, rather than that she should go elsewhere.  This was at Lachine, in the province of Quebec, nine miles above Montreal.

 

At the age of seventeen years the subject of this sketch struck out into the world for himself, as his mother had died and the family was broken up.  At Rouse’s Point, at the foot of Lake Champlain, in his native county, he was employed as a clerk in a store for a time;  then, more for the purpose of education, than anything else, he took up the study of law; but, his taste for it increasing, he concluded to complete the course.  Just before the required three years were expired, however, Mr. Cousins won a case in justice court, upon which his preceptor has also been employed, C. B. Wright, and this incensed him so that he would not want to give a certificate of time to Mr. Cousins, and the result was that the latter peremptorily and forever quit both his preceptor and the law.

 

Next, until 1854, Mr. Cousins was road or mail agent on the Northern New York Railroad from Rouse’s Point to Ogdensburg;  then he was engaged in the civil-engineering department of the Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad at Chicago;  the line was completed to Waukegan January 1, 1855, and work in his line was suspended.  He opened the railroad station at Waukegan, returned to Chicago and took charge of the freight and ticket department, and was also auditor for the company.  He inaugurated the entire office business of operating the road, drafted all the blanks and books of the road and put everything in shape for running.  He was also paymaster for the company, and on one occasion when he was upon a car in transit from one gang of men to another in a narrow cut, he came near being killed by a collision.  He and his party barely had time to stop their car and turn it bodily off the track.

 

 

The onerous duties of his manifold situation at length began to affect his health.  Young as he was, every dollar in the business of the road passed through his hands, and every item checked on the several books and report blanks;  and he also had the supervision of all the reports of the station agents, conductors, etc.  One night his nervous system had been under so intense a strain, while he was sitting in his chair attending to business, that he fainted and fell to the floor.  Therefore, late in the year 1857, after three years’ service, he was compelled to resign, although offered the position of assistant superintendent.  He took a position as bookkeeper in a large country store, where he had easy duties and a larger liberty, remaining there until December, 1859, when he came to California and immediately located in Contra Costa County, with his wife’s relatives.  His first position here was as clerk in the Golden Eagle Hotel at Sacramento during the exciting times of building the Central Pacific Railroad and the inauguration of the “pony express” system.  In June, 1861, he became clerk in the United States Mint at San Francisco, and while in that position he obtained leave of absence and went to Gold Hill, Nevada, to settle up the estate of a widow.  The “Plato mine,” under his management as a part of the estate, paid a larger dividend than any other mine in that State.  In 1864-1865 he held a more responsible position at the mint;  then he was appointed assistant melter and refiner in the institution, and given the entire management of the department.  In 1869 he resigned to engage in real estate in that city.

 

In 1870 he came to Pinole, Contra Costa County, and engaged in farming;  and while there he fell from a load of hay and broke the muscles of his hip so seriously that he can never fully recover.  In the fall of 1882 he was elected County Recorder, on the Republican ticket, and took charge of the office the following January; and by re-election he has ever since held the office.  At each election his majority is greater than at the preceding election.

 

Mr. Cousins was first married in December, 1856, at Waukegan, Illinois, while he was in the service of the railroad there, to Miss Sarah C. Denio, of New York State, who died in 1865, in Martinez, California;  and subsequently Mr. Cousins married Kate T., daughter of the late Dr. Samuel J. Tennent, of Martinez, and a relative of the Martinez family, one of the oldest in this section. May 15, 1889, on a leave of absence, Mr. and Mrs. Cousins made a trip to the East, visiting old friends, who were greatly rejoiced to see them.  Arriving at Chicago he could not resist the temptation to take a ride over the old Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad, whereon he had labored so assiduously for years, and peculiar were the sensations awakened by the occasional sight of something familiar amid the multitude of changes that had taken place since that time.

 

JOHN H. EATON

 

John H. Eaton, a Woodland merchant, who died at his residence in the city January 2, 1890, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, October 2, 1807, and removed with his parents in 1810 to Middle Tennessee.  At the age of twenty-two years he left his parental home and went to Indiana, where he was married, September 27, 1829, to Miss Rebecca A. Simpson, a native of North Carolina, who now survives him.  Crossing the plains to this State in 1849, he followed mining at Bidwell’s Bar, on the Feather River, but the next year he returned to Missouri, where he remained until 1862, engaged in mechanical and mercantile pursuits. He then came to Nevada, where he engaged in farming until 1868, and then came on again to California and soon commenced mercantile business at Woodland, as a member of the firm of Eaton, Green, & Co.  Theirs was the first exclusive grocery house in the place.  Their next firm name was Eaton, Lawson & Co., and in November, 1879, it became Eaton & Son, the present style.

 

Mr. Eaton was religiously inclined from boyhood.  At the age of fourteen he joined the Baptist Church, but during life changed his views somewhat and united with the Christian Church, in which he remained during the remainder of his life.  He was very zealous in the propagation of the cardinal principles of Christianity.  He emphasized the scriptural idea that there is but “one baptism,” while the churches of modern times generally have several modes of baptism, or doors into the church.

 

Seven of his eleven children survive, namely:  Mrs. G. W. Green and A. M. Eaton, of Woodland;  J. L. Eaton, of Lake County;  G. M. Eaton of Irvington, Alameda County;  Mrs. J. E. Woods, of San Francisco;  T. F. Eaton, of Dighton, Kansas; and Mrs. Dr. D. A. Bryant, of Jackson County, Missouri.

 

A. M. Eaton, the surviving partner in the firm of J. H. Eaton & Son, was born in Jackson County, Missouri, in May, 1852, where he remained until he came to Nevada and California.  He completed his education at the Hesperian College in Woodland.  In 1869 he became a partner with his father in the grocery business, when the firm style became J. H. Eaton & Son, under which name the business was carried on until July, 1890, at which time A. M. Eaton purchased the other interest and now conducts the business in his own name, carrying a full stock of everything in the line of a well-furnished grocery house.  Mr. Eaton deals largely in grain, hay, wood, nursery stock, etc.  He is yet unmarried, making his home with his mother, who is now seventy-eight years of age.

 

 

 A. J. HULL

 

A. J. Hull, attorney at law, has resided in California and Napa since 1874.  Born in Johnson County, Indiana, in 1846, he was kept busy clearing up his father’s and other farms by contract from the time he could set fire to a brush-heap or carry the lunch to the older workers.  There were no public schools in that section until 1853;  the family was large and it required the united efforts of the twelve children and the parents to wrest a livelihood from the most unbroken country up to the fifties.  In 1857 the family removed to Illinois, where he lived until he enlisted as a private soldier in Battery H, Second Illinois Light Artillery, at the age of fifteen years.  His command served under General Grant until after the fall of Island No. 10, and were then transferred to the Army of the Tennessee Fourteenth Army Corps, until after the occupation of Atlanta.  The battery was again transferred to the Twentieth Corps, and was with General Thomas during the campaign against Hood, and remained with that army until the close of  the war. He was mustered out with his command August 7, 1865, at Springfield, Illinois, at that time until in his nineteenth year, after serving almost four years, having re-enlisted as a veteran, March 4, 1864.

 

Mr. Hull had three brothers and one brother-in-law in the service. While in the army Mr. Hull had spent all his leisure moments in study, beginning with the primary branches, and finally becoming proficient in mathematics, geography and history. He had the good fortune during his term of  service to have a comrade who was a graduate of one of the Philadelphia Colleges, and who took an interest in and guided him in his studies, and stimulated him continually to further advancement. Immediately on his discharge Mr. Hull engaged in farm work for the purpose of continuing his education, and during a six months' course he paid for his own tuition by taking charge of the higher classes in mathematics. After this course he passed an examination and received a certificate as a teacher, but it being the spring season and no schools open he returned to farm work until the fall. Then he passed a second examination, and taught his first school in a district adjoining the one where he grew up. Returning to Illinois he entered the Salem Methodist College, and by alternately studying and teaching school, or, failing to get a school, by labor at any work to be had,  splitting rails, digging wells, working on the railroad, etc., he managed to acquire a liberal education, finally graduating in the law department of the Iowa State University in 1873, and was thereupon admitted to the bar of the courts of that State. He then returned to Illinois, and by working and teaching school accumulated money enough to pay up all his indebtedness, and bring him to California. He taught school in Napa County for a time and then commenced the practice of the law in which he has since continued. He was for some time in partnership with Judge Crouch, now Superior  Judge, later with R. Burwell, and then for two years with Judge Ham; but for the past three years he has been alone in business. His parents were Andrew P. and Jane (McGuire) Hull, his father being of English and his mother of  Irish descent.

 

He was married in 1874 to Miss Lottie J. Waite, of Shoreham, Vermont. They  had three children: Lottie M., Pliny R. and Junie W. Mrs. Hull, his first wife, having died, ho was again married, September 7, 1889,

to Miss May E. Stockley, a native of California. 

 

A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891

Transcribed by Marianne Swan, September 2008 - Pages 380-408

 

 

RANK W. GIBSON, a native of England, was born near London, May 28, 1846.  In 1849 his parents came to the United States.  They landed at New Orleans, and immediately started up the Mississippi River for Illinois.  In 1850 they removed to Quincy, where Mr. Gibson started the Quincy Whig, which was afterward the first newspaper in Illinois to unfurl the Republican banner.  In 1855 he went to Fontenelle, Nebraska, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits.  In 1856-’57 he represented his district in the State Legislature.  In 1859 he crossed the plains to Denver, Colorado, where he established the Rocky Mountain News, the first newspaper published in that place.  He afterward published the Commonwealth and Republican, and other papers in different points of the State.  In 1886 he removed to California, and settled in Los Gatos, where he now resides.

Frank W., the subject of this sketch, received his education in the public schools and in the Denmark Academy, at Denmark, and located in Lee County, Iowa.  In 1868 he went to Fremont, Nebraska, where he engaged in the book and stationery business for a little more than a year.  He then sold out his business, and went to northern Nebraska, where he engaged in general merchandise for one year.  In 1870 he came to San Francisco, California, where he joined an expedition to Victoria, British Columbia, which was then being organized in consequence of the Jim Creek and Peace River gold excitement.  From Victoria he went on to the interior of Alaska, where he mined for six months.  On his return, in 1871, he stopped at Seattle, and from here he traveled overland through Washington and Oregon to San Francisco.  In 1872 he went to Colorado, where he took a contract of twenty-seven miles on the Colorado Central Railroad, with two of his brothers.  From there he returned to Nebraska, and engaged in the paint, oil and glass business, in Fremont, until 1880; then engaged in the grocery business until 1882; then in building and renting houses until 1887.  In that year he returned to California with his wife, and they traveled over the State in search of a location, returning to Nebraska in the fall.  In 1888 they removed to Lake County, California where they located permanently.  He has 440 acres of land, a half mile south of west of Lakeport, on which he has a fine residence and barn; 120 acres are under cultivation, and the whole under fence.  He has about fifteen acres planted in fruit trees and vines.  Water for domestic use and stock is brought through pipes from a clear cool spring in the mountains.  A portion of Mr. Gibson’s land lies adjoining the corporate limits of Lakeport, which he has subdivided into town lots, and which he offers for sale at a remarkably low figure.  Mr. Gibson has adopted a novel feature in the sale of his residence lots, which consists of giving one lot to any party building on the same and selling them the adjoining lot at a low price if he want to buy, making a nice home for little money.  Mr. Gibson also owns 440 acres of land in Pierce County, Nebraska, adjoining the town of Pierce, the county-seat of Pierce County.  A portion of this land is also within the city limits and is also laid out in town lots, and given away and sold the same as the above.  He has fine business lots in the most desirable part of the city, and some fine lots in the heart of the city of Fremont, Nebraska, the county-seat of Lodge County, which he will sell on easy terms.

 Mr. Gibson has very appropriately named his beautiful property in Lake County, “Glenwood Ranch, “ with his beautiful addition to Lakeport as Glenwood Place.  He has published a fine folder with maps, with the ranch subdivided showing the locality and giving the practical points of the county.  Mr. Gibson has now a nice cannery on the ranch, known as the Lakeport Canning Company, canning all kinds of fruit, and making a specialty of canning figs, something new for California, and his best brand, known as his Glenwood Ranch brand, one can always depend on being straight goods.

 He was married in 1873 to Miss Helen Lewis, a daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Conrad) Lewis.  They have two children: Birdie and Cora, both attending school in Lakeport.  He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and has filled all the chairs in the subordinate, and taken all the degrees in the encampment and canton.

 ELIJAH D. HAM, attorney at law, has resided in California for sixteen years and for the past nine years in Napa.  He was born in Talladega County, Alabama, in 1840.  His parents were James T. and Elizabeth (Whaley) Ham, his father a native of Petersburg, Virginia, and his mother of Walker County, Georgia.  They removed while he was a child to Bedford County, Tennessee, where they lived until he reached the age of fifteen years, and then to Washington County, Arkansas.  His father, who was a Union man, died during the war from the effects of exposure incurred in the cold winter of 1863, his feet being frozen while lying out to avoid the Confederate troops, he then having three sons in the Union service.  Judge Ham received his education in Tennessee, and later in the Arkansas College at Fayetteville, where he took the usual course.  He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and was fairly launched in his profession in Huntsville, Arkansas, when the war broke out.  He with other Union men was obliged to leave home and live in the mountains to avoid being either conscripted by the Confederate forces or hanged as a Union sympathizer.  Early in 1862 he escaped into Missouri and joined Bowen’s Battalion, attached to the headquarters of General Curtis.  He was immediately detailed as a messenger and scout, carrying dispatches from one command to another; a service for which he was well fitted, owning to his thorough familiarity with the country and the mountains.  He was soon appointed Chief of Scouts, with the rank and pay of a Captain of cavalry, and held this important post under Generals Brown, Totten and Schofield, with headquarters at Springfield, Missouri.  He continued in this position until February, 1862, when he was commissioned Major of the First Arkansas Infantry Volunteers, serving in that capacity until the close of the war, and participating in all the battles of southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas, including Pea Ridge, Cotton Plant, Prairie Grove and Fayetteville.  This last was especially noted as a fight between Arkansas Union men on one side and Confederate forces on the other, and resulted in driving the Confederate forces from their section of the country.  About this time he was appointed by President Lincoln United States District Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, which embraced the eleven western counties of Arkansas, as well as the whole Indian Territory.  He held this office until 1868, and was then appointed by Governor Clayton, Circuit Judge at Fayetteville.  He resigned this position in 1874, when he came to California, where he settled in Santa Rosa, and engaged in the practice of law until 1879, when he spent one year in Portland, Oregon.  Returning to California he settled in Napa, resuming his practice, which he has continued since that time.  He was married in Arkansas, in 1857.  His wife’s health requiring a change of climate, he took her to Denver, Colorado, where she died, after a residence of about nine months.  Some thirteen years ago he married Miss Julia Conn, a daughter of Dr. Conn.  There are three children: Ross, the wife of W. W. Wright, cashier of Hot Springs (Arkansas) Savings Bank and Treasurer of the city of that name; Lucie, the wife of L. W. Gregg, attorney at law at Fayetteville, Arkansas, son of Judge Gregg, formerly Chancellor and one of the Judges of the Supreme Court; and Kate, at the present time visiting in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Judge Ham is a member of Yount Lodge, No. 12, F. & A. M., and of Kit Carson Post, No. 74, G. A. R.

 

SAMUEL R. RHODES, dentist, has been a resident of California for about thirty-five years.  His parents, Judge A. L. Rhodes and Elizabeth (Cavins) Rhodes, came from Indiana in 1854.  His father had occupied a prominent position in the legal and political history of the development of California.  He represented the Santa Clara Senatorial District about the time of the breaking out of the Rebellion, was one of the Justices of the Supreme Court for a period of sixteen years, and was for two years of that time Chief Justice. He is now practicing law in San Francisco, and residing in San Jose.  Dr. Rhodes received his primary education in the Gates’ Institute of San Jose, attended for three years Santa Clara College, and was graduated at the University of California, at Berkeley, in 1875.  For some four years he underwent a process of preparation for his life-work by engaging in numerous branches of business, as journalist, merchant, clerk in a stock-broker’s office, then undertaking the studying of medicine, and finally drifting into dentistry, which he decided to make his profession, and which he has studied and practiced ever since.  He practiced for about two years in Havana, Cuba; then returning to the United States he settled in San Jose, where he remained for about a year and a half, and then removed to Napa, where he has since devoted himself to his profession.   He was married in 1879, to Miss Josephine Brito, a native of New York.  Her father, Dr. Brito, a native of the Island of Cuba, was a naturalized American citizen.  He was accustomed to practice dentistry there during the winter and in New York during the summer seasons.  He died six years ago.

 CHARLES E. GREENE, deceased, formerly a prominent farmer of Yolo County, was born in Shelburne, Vermont, May 24, 1825, his parents being Rufus and Betsey (Weed) Greene.  His ancestry is traceable to the De Gras family of France, and later to the family in Rhode Island named Greene, with whom the famous Revolutionary General Nathaniel Greene was connected.  When the subject of this sketch was twelve years of age his parents removed to Hopkinton, New York, resided there seven years, where Charles attended the Hopkinton Academy, and then removed to South port (now Kenosha), Wisconsin.  There Mr. Greene taught school awhile and then clerked in a drug store of his brother, Pliny P., a practicing physician.  March 13, 1849, he started for California with an ox team, and arrived in Sacramento, October 13, after a comparatively pleasant trip.

 Upon his arrival in California, Mr. Greene engaged in mining for a time, with success; then he was in the mercantile business, in partnership with Mr. Hutchinson, in Sacramento, on J street, where the old Fountain House now stands, until 1852; and while there the firm was obliged to take some land in Yolo County in security for a debt, and Mr. Greene took charge of it.  It was twelve miles from Woodland and known as the “Big Ranch.”  The grant title was proven fraudulent, after expensive litigation in the courts.  This, with other things, caused Mr. Greene to lose all that he had saved.  He lived there, however, until 1860, when he moved upon the place where his widow now resides.  After located there he had many discouraging failures, but fortune at length crowned his efforts, and at the time of his death, in July, 1886, he had one of the most productive farms in Yolo County. It is situated five miles north and east of Davisville, and contains 1,280 acres, all enclosed.  It is the best of white land; and here the widow and two of the children reside, continuing in agricultural pursuits.

 Mr. Greene was a settled Republican and a public-spirited and exemplary citizen.  In July, 1855, he married Miss Bertha L. Bennett, of Sacramento.  She was a native of Muscatine, Iowa, and a daughter of Milo and Mary J. (Gibson) Bennett, the father a native of Vermont and the mother of New Hampshire. Mr. Bennett crossed the plains with his family to Sacramento in 1851, principally for the sake of his health; but he died the next year.  Mrs. Greene has had three children: the eldest, Kate A., who is now Mrs. B. B. Tuttle, of Portland, Oregon; Ella A. and Charles E. Jr.

 Mrs. Greene relates the following encounter with Indians while crossing the plains in 1851:

 “When we left Council Bluffs, our company numbered about sixty persons, all expecting to go to Oregon, but before reaching the junction of the California and Oregon roads, my father with some others decided to go to California.  Our division consisted of ten men, two women and seven children, separating from the main company, taking our way toward California. Occasionally we were visited by Indians in small numbers, and while we treated them kindly always refused their request for ammunition, which they seemed anxious to have.  A few days after one of these visits we had some cattle shot, but as they were not greatly injured we did not leave them.  They may have angered the Indians, for we began to notice signal fires in all directions.  Arriving at the Humboldt River, where water and grass was plentiful, we concluded to rest for a few days, but on a second consideration we thought it prudent to try and overtake a company who were only two days in advance of us.  The signal fires increased in numbers, making us feel that danger threatened.

 “At the close of the second day we reached a place called Stony Point, and as usual one of our number was sent forward to choose our camping grounds; my sister and myself accompanying him to the place selected, we went down to the river to get a drink and wash our faces.  The gentleman with us stooped down to get some water and was in the act of putting it to his lips when he discovered an Indian on the opposite bank just raising his gun.  Simultaneously a report sounded from both sides, and our escort called to us to run as the Indians were upon us.  This we did crying ‘Indians!’ ‘Indians!’ at every step.  Our cry was heard just as the wagons were forming the camp.  Immediately our captain ordered a retreat from the willows, and we barely reached a place where the Indians could not fire on us from ambush, when we were surrounded by between seventy-five and 100 yelling, dancing Indians.  The wounded man had managed to reach the camp in a short time; two others were disabled, thus reducing our defenders to seven men.  We made breastworks of bed and pillows, thus affording a slight protection from which our men could return the fire of the enemy.

 “The sun went down on a seemingly doomed company, surrounded by overwhelming numbers.  Our death, or, worse, our capture, seemed inevitable.  Within our camp there was a deathlike stillness, each one realizing that the next moment might be our last on earth.  The firing from both sides continued until midnight, when we could see that some sort of a council was being held.  We were not left long in suspense as to their intentions, for suddenly the sky grew red and we were inclosed in a wall of fire.  The grass was about eighteen inches high and very dry, and as we saw the flames advancing toward us we felt that there was no longer any hope.  Surely God was our defense; for when the fire had reached within twenty yards of the camp it went out.  They did not dare relight it, as any attempt to do so would have brought them within range of our guns; so they continued shooting at us until about eight o’clock the next morning.  Then, seemingly discouraged, they disappeared.  After a consultation among our company it was deemed advisable to proceed, but as the traveled road was for the greater part of the way among the willows we decided to abandon that, taking our way across the hills with only the sun for our guide.  Each man carried his gun in one hand, a whip in the other, the women and children always carrying weapons.  The wisdom of our course was soon manifest, for the Indians once more swarmed from their hiding places and commenced firing upon us.

 “For three days and nights we were without water, excepting such as we found in the stagnant pools and this so foul that we could only drink it with vinegar or make it into coffee.  The stock was watered by women and children passing buckets from hand to hand, while every man with gun in hand stood ready to fire in case of emergency.  For a week we dared not stop to rest, making a fire once a day, and then only enough to make our coffee, lest the smoke should reveal us to the enemy.  Day and night we journeyed on until it seemed as though death was better than the terrible suspense.  Gradually our fears lessened, though it was weary traveling.  As my father had lost all his stock, and only by dividing the teams belonging to others were we enabled to bring one wagon, which contained all we possessed in the world.  After met a company of prospectors from California we felt comparatively safe, experiencing no farther trouble from the enemy”.

 

JONATHAN C. TYLER, prominent among the old and respected pioneers of California, was born in Pigeon Prairie, Michigan, January 11, 1830, the son of Isaac and Eleanor (Knapp) Tyler.  His father was a native of Massachusetts, and his ancestors were of English origin.  His mother was born in Canada, and her ancestors on the paternal side were English, and on the maternal side of German extraction.

 Our subject was reared and schooled in his native State until eighteen years of age, when he concluded to battle with the world on his own account.  On leaving the home of his childhood he proceeded to Cincinnati, Ohio, and from there down the river to Gaines’ Landing, Arkansas, then to New Orleans, intending to come to California by water; but on his arrival in that city he found no regular vessels were sailing from that port to the Golden State; and the cholera was at that time raging fiercely as an epidemic.  He remained but ten days in the Crescent City, when he returned North to St. Louis, thence to Beardstown, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for a time.

 In 1849 he crossed the plains by ox teams, arriving the following year at Hangtown.  He became engaged in mining at various camps, his first experience being on Weber Creek, then Nevada City, Grass Valley and Boston Ravine, occupying his time in those camps the first year.  Later he visited Feather River and Spanish Ranch, remaining in the latter camp some four weeks.  Thence he went to what was known as Rich Bar, on Feather River, remaining there a few months.  He next visited the Wyandot diggings, and from there he next went to Shasta County, where he built the old Eagle Hotel.  In the fall of the same year, 1853, he came to his present place and purchased 600 acres of land, and from this period he has followed the life of a practical farmer.  In 1856 he purchased a portion of the Spanish grant then owned by Robert Thombs, this being the first purchase of Spanish grant land made in the State of California.  His present farm consists of 2,000 acres, located two miles north of the flourishing and prosperous town of Tehama, and is a portion of the Thombs and of the old Sicard grants, all under full cultivation and used for grain-growing and stock-raising.

 Mr. Tyler and Miss Mary Dement, a native of Iowa, who crossed the plains in 1853, were the first white couple married in Red Bluff, the marriage taking place March 10, 1854.  They five children living: George A., John W., Ulysses B., Sierra Nevada and Mary E.  Mr. Tyler is politically a Republican, and takes an active part in politics.  He also affiliates with the F. & A. M. of Molino Lodge, No. 150, of Tehama; also Commandery No. 17, K. T., of Red Bluff.  Of this commandery Mr. Tyler was one of the founders.

 

FRED MICHAELSON is one of the many reliable and enterprising citizens that Germany has furnished the United States.  He was born in Holstein, Germany, August 23, 1830, the son of German parents.  His father, John Henry Michaelson, was a saddler and leather tanner.  The family were Lutherans.  The subject of this sketch received his education in his native land, and there learned the trades of miller and carpenter.  He was a soldier in the Schleswig-Holstein army, and served in the war against Denmark in 1849.  In the battle of Idstad he received a wound on his thigh, which made him a partial cripple for life.  He came to America and to Illinois in 1856, and, notwithstanding his lameness, he worked on farms and in loading cars until the spring of 1859.  At that time he came to California.  In Shasta County he worked both at mining and at the dairy business.  At first he was employed by James Wolf.  Later, he purchased an interest in a fruit and vegetable store, and kept it two years.  Then he formed a partnership with Frank Litsch and engaged in the general merchandise business, continuing it until the fall of 1869.  In that year Mr. Michaelson purchased a store in Lewiston, Trinity County.  Three years later he sold out, and engaged with Mr. Reid in 1872, in the production of Angora goats.  That business they followed twelve years, having as many as 1,500 goats at one time, and receiving as high as eighty-seven and a half cents per pound for the mohair.  The price went down, however, until it reached thirty-four cents per pound, when they sold out, getting $2,200 for 1,100 goats.  Mr. Michaelson has 200 acres of land, on which he is raising hay and vegetables.  He has dealt considerably in the city real estate in Redding, has loaned money and built a number of houses.  He is president of the building association that erected the fine I.O.O.F. block, and is a stockholder in the building.

 Mr. Michaelson has been a member of the I.O.O.F. for twenty-four years, has passed all the chairs of the order and has taken much interest in the society.  He is an intelligent Republican, a kind-hearted man, and is ever ready to do all in his power for the advancement of the best interests of the county.

 CHRIS SIEBER, proprietor of the Pacific House at Woodland, is an example of those who came from a foreign land to young America and have attained affluence under our benign institutions.  He was born January 29, 1847, in Germany, in the Kingdom of Wirtemberg, a son of Ludwick and Rosa (Linck) Sieber.  His father, a farmer, came to America and to California in 1886, and died the next year, in Woodland, at the age of sixty-seven years.  The subject of this biographical mention remained at home on the farm until he was fifteen years of age, when he commenced to learn the tinsmith trade.  After completing that he sailed from Liverpool to New York city, where he remained a year working at his trade.  In 1866 he came by the Nicaragua route to California, worked a year in his vocation at Sacramento, and then two years at the same in Woodland, when he engaged in a bakery and saloon, which he ran successfully for three years.  He then disposed of his bakery and continued the saloon until 1881, when he purchased the Tackney House. He afterwards changed its name to the Pacific House, under which name he is now running it, with magnificent success.  He is also interested in the Woodland brewery, the electric light system of the city, the Woodland street railway and various other enterprises.  He was elected in 1878 a member of the City Council, and he served also as City Treasurer two years.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 111, I.O.O.F., and also of the O.C.F.

 He was married in 1874 to Miss Frederica Buod, a native of Germany, and their children are Frieda, Christ, Louie, Elsie and Bertha.

 

J. C. WEINBERGER, deceased.- One of the most complete and conveniently arranged wineries and wine cellars in the vicinity of St. Helena was found to be that erected a short distance north of the town by the late J. C. Weinberger, and now carried on by his widow, under the management and superintendence of Captain C. T. McEachran, her brother-in-law.  The buildings are of the fine, light-colored sandstone of the valley, are tow stories in height and about 80x100 feet in size, presenting a fine appearance from the road.  The vineyard is 100 acres of the most approved varieties of wine grapes, and present a very fine, clear and thrifty appearance.  They are about half and half on hill bottom land.  The annual make of wines is about 100,000 gallons, chiefly dry wines, while in the distillery, which is conducted in connection with the winery, about 5,000 gallons of brandy are made.  In order to make so large a production, large quantities of grapes are purchased from growers in the valley, in addition to those grown in the vineyard.  On the property is also a fine-appearing orchard of some 300 trees, comprising, pear, fig, etc.  From ten to twenty men are employed according to the season.  The wines of this cellar are noted for their high merit, and are chiefly taken as fast as they become aged by regular customers in New York, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Texas and other Eastern points, being in constant demand.  The greatest possible care is taken in every process connected with the manufacture of wine, each step being in the hands of experienced men, the uniform excellence of the product being no doubt due to this fact.

We copy herewith entire the sketch of the life of Mr. Weinberger that appears in the history of Napa County:

 "Mr. Weinberger was born in Weissenburg, Bavaria, July 13, 1830, and is the son of Christian and Madeline (Rebesberger) Weinberger.  He resided at his birthplace until 1848, during which time he was

 Educated at the common schools.  At the age of fourteen he began the confectionery trade, which he followed until March 1848.  He then came to America, landing in New York the latter part of May.  He remained there and worked at his trade until 1853, when he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked but a few months only, when he went to Indianapolis and began business on his own capital.  He remained there until 1865.  He then purchased a farm, in connection with W. H. Ragan, and began the fruit and nursery business, which he followed until 1870.  In 1869 he paid California a visit, and was so pleased with the country that he returned to Indiana in 1870, and settled up his affairs, and came back to California to make his permanent residence.  He came to Napa Valley, and located at his present place, a short distance above St. Helena, and has since paid his entire attention to the manufacture of wine.  He is an active member of the St. Helena Viticultural Society.

 He was married January 27, 1860, to Miss Anna Von Dokkun, of Cincinnati, who was born in Paris France, November 5, 1838.  By this union there is one daughter, Minnie, born December 27, 1861.  Mrs. Weinberger died in 1866.  He married, secondly, Miss Hannah E. Rabbe, a native of New Albany, Indiana, born October 7, 1840.  They have had children as follows: Emily D., born January 23, 1875, is deceased; Hannah, born June 7, 1876; Marie, born July 4, 1878, is deceased; and John C., born March 4, 1881.

 Mr. Weinberger died in March, 1882, being foully shot down without provocation by a miscreant.  His death was felt to be a public misfortune, for although quiet, unostentatious and modest, there were few indeed more generally beloved by the community.  He was public-spirited, energetic and enterprising, very thorough in all his dealings and aided much in every good work.  He was the first to erect a stone wine cellar in the valley, a portion of which was completed in 1876, all his investments being made with an eye to the future.  The business, since his death, has been carried on by Mrs. Weinberger, as her husband would have expected, and she has met continued and satisfactory success as a consequence.  She still resides in the handsome residence, surrounded by well-kept grounds, erected by her late husband.  He was a prominent member of the Masonic order, being a Royal Arch Mason.  He was a stockholder in the Warehouse Association of St. Helena.

 Miss Minnie Weinberger is now the wife of Mr. Zierngibl, the manager of W. B. Bourn’s great wine cellar, married in 1885.

 

CAPTAIN C. T. McEACHRAN.-In addition to superintend ending the business of his sister-in-law, Mrs. J. C. Weinberger, Captain McEachran owns and conducts an extensive establishment on the eastern side of the valley.  Here he has a fine wine cellar, 100x100 feet in size and an extensive and well-cared-for vineyard.  The grapes are hauled to the Weinberger cellar and there made into wine, the cellar on Captain McEachran’s place being used for the storage of old wines.  Upon his place he also raises stock and animals of various kinds and carries on general farming.  He has had a life of more than usual variety and interest, containing, too, a lesson to those who have ambition, as showing what may be accomplished by energy, rectitude and perseverance.  Captain McEachran is of Scotch birth, being born in 1824, in the city of Greenock.  A short time later the family removed to Edinburg, where he resided until 1831, when he was brought to America by his parents.  He was brought up and received his education for the most part in the State of New York, but, manifesting a love for a sailor’s life, he went to sea being engaged in different capacities on the great lakes and elsewhere, the latter part of the time being in command as master of the vessel.  Later on the Captain engaged in trade, being in the ship-chandler business in Chicago in 1854, in partnership with others, and afterward in other lines.  Finally, in 1858, he came to California and immediately went to the mines in Tuolumne County, remaining there with varying success for three years.  He then went to Arizona, Idaho, Virginia City, and elsewhere, and having accumulated a little money determined to quit mining and settle down.  Accordingly he came to the Napa Valley in 1870, began wine-making and has been engaged it  ever since, having now the reputation of being one of the best and most experienced wine men in the county.  He has made his way from the start almost without assistance, owning all his success to his quick brain and ready hands, coupled with intelligent foresight and attention to business.

 Captain McEachran is a Republican in politics, but never a politician.  In private life he is universally respected and esteemed, those who know him best thinking most highly of him.  He is a member of the Odd Fellows order, having held the high honor of being the Grand Master of the order in 1887-”87.

 

JOSEPH MECKLENBURG is the pioneer milling man of Napa County, and a gentleman of experience, well posted in regard to the history of the county, and one who is well regarded and popular in the county, being now the Roadmaster of his district.  Mr. Mecklenburg was born in Germany, in 1825.  In 1842, when a lad of seventeen years of age, he came to America, and at Toledo, Ohio, learned the milling business, following it later at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for five years.  After that he was engaged in his business in Illinois, having married, in Michigan, Miss E. Hamilton, a native of New York State.  Her mother, born in Connecticut, is still alive, at a very old age.  She draws a pension as the widow of Bemis Hamilton, a soldier in the war of 1812.  In 1852 Mr. Mecklenburg and family crossed the plains to California, and spent two years at Sacramento, San Francisco and Davisville, running flouring mills for Wilson and Conroe & Co. at the former cities, and for Jerome C. Davis at the latter place.  In the fall of 1854 he removed to Napa County, with which he has since been prominently identified.  He first started a mill at Yountville, for Mr. Yount, and ran it for a year and a half.  He then went to the mines in El Dorado County, spending a year at that business.  He then returned to Yountville, and for a year longer carried on the mill at that point.  In 1858 Mr. Mecklenburg took the mill on the Bale place, where W. W. Lyman now lives, carrying it on for a year, later on again returning to Yountville, spending in all about five years at that point, between the years 1854 and 1864.  Later, in partnership with Mr. Lyman, he carried on the Turbine mill at the Lyman place, until the extension of the grape business in the valley made it unprofitable.  For twelve years, from 1865 to 1876, inclusive, Mr. Mecklenburg was a Supervisor of Napa County, and was one of the most active promoters of its interests.  During Garfield’s administration he was appointed United States Deputy Collector under Hartson, for Alameda, Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties, holding the position four years.  For a time he was also the tobacco inspector at San Francisco, under United States Secretary of Treasury Folger, but he early resigned that position.  For the past three years he has served as Road Overseer of this district.  Mr. Mecklenburg is an ardent Republican, an abolitionist and free-soiler, with very decided opinions on the leading questions of the hour, in regard to which he takes a broad and comprehensive view.  Unfortunately, failing health has of late militated much against his comforts, but it is hoped that he will overcome this and regain health and strength.

Mr. Mecklenburg has three children, - one daughter and two sons.  The former is now Mrs. Cora Fawle, of Oakland; the sons, Lincoln, is a printer in Oakland, and J. H. is engaged in ranching near his father’s place, four or five miles above St. Helena.

 

JOHN D. LAWSON, a real-estate dealer of Woodland, was born in Jackson County, Tennessee, July 15, 1832, and he was eight years of age when the family moved with him to Chariton County, Missouri.  In 1852 he came by the overland route to California, settling in Sierra County, where he resided one year.  He then came to Yolo County, where he has continued to reside until the present time.  For a number of years he was engaged in farming, a few miles southwest of Woodland; but in 1860 he moved to Woodland, and built a residence on Lincoln avenue.  In 1861-’62, together with his only daughter, now Mrs. W. R. Pond, of Woodland, he attended Hesperian College.  He built the first livery-stable in that city in 1862.  In 1869 he entered mercantile business where he is now in the grocery of Eaton & Son; at the end of two years he sold to Mr. Eaton, and was appointed Deputy Sheriff and Jailer by Sheriff J. P. Bullock for four years.  Just before his term expired he was elected County Recorder, and left his former situation and assumed the duties of the latter for a two years’ term, commencing March 4, 1874.  The next two years he was engaged in the real-estate business, and then, in partnership with H. L. Marders, he kept the Fashion Stable: this was in 1878.  In 1883 he was again appointed Deputy Sheriff and Jailer, by Sheriff Jason Watkins, and held the position two years.  In 1871, while serving under Sheriff Bullock, he was elected the first Marshal of the town of Woodland, and served from March until May, under a temporary government until the charter for the incorporation was obtained.  After that he was elected a member of the Board of City Trustees for two terms.  His present business as real-estate agent was established in 1885.  In 1887 he admitted a partner, the firm name becoming Lawson & Maxwell, the latter retiring a year later.  Mr. Lawson continued the business alone until March, 1889, when he formed a copartnership with Louis Walker.  The firm name is now Lawson & Walker.  Politically, Mr. Lawson is a Democrat.

He was married to Miss Jane Browning, in Yolo County, September 13, 1855, Elder J. N. Pendegast performing the ceremony.  The result of this marriage has been a large family of children, all of whom are living at Woodland.  Their names are, respectively: Genoa, Wm. H., James B., Robert G. and Edward.

JOSHUA LAWSON, deceased, was born April 4, 1804, in Jackson County, Tennessee, and in November, 1829, he married Mary Chaffin, also a native of Tennessee.  The family made two trips to Missouri, - first in 1838, spending one year there and returning in 1839.  In 1840 they made their second trip, locating in Chariton County, and remained there until 1848, removing thence to Macon County, where they resided four years, when he came to California, with ox teams.  Leaving Bloomington, the county-seat of Macon County, April 13, 1852, they arrived at Gold Hill, Sierra County, September 6.  The whole family followed mining about a year.  In September, 1853, they came into Sacramento, where they sojourned about two or three months in an old hut on K street, between Eighth and Ninth, and on December 14, came into Yolo County and located permanently on a farm four miles southwest of Woodland, now owned by Dr. Strong.  The Lawson family all located land in the same neighborhood.  Joshua Lawson died in Woodland, December 21, 1862, and the widow is still living, at the age of eighty-three years.  In their family were seven daughters and two sons, of whom several died when young; four died in Woodland, and only two are now living, namely: Mrs. Shellhammer and J. D.  Joshua Lawson was a fine mechanic, and followed mechanical pursuits for over thirty years prior to coming to California.  He was a preacher of the Christian Church from 1835 to the time of his death.  He was the prime mover in the organization of the Christian Church at Woodland, the first pastor of the Church worshiping there, and unlike most pastors, he preached on Sunday without pecuniary reward, and attended to his mechanical pursuits during the week, -wagon and carriage-making, blacksmithing, gunsmithing, etc.  He was also one of the originators and founders of the Hesperian College at Woodland.

 

 W. G. BULLARD, merchant and Postmaster at Davisville, dates his birth June 20, 1831, in Monroe County, New York.  His parents, Benjamin and Eleanor (Weaver) Bullard, were natives respectively of Vermont and New York.  The father, a shoemaker by trade, but chiefly a farmer by occupation through life, moved in 1836 to Oakland County, Michigan, settling near Walled Lake, upon land which he purchased there.  In 1849 he sold out and moved to Fredonia, Calhoun County, same State, where he remained until 1853, and then he came to California with his family, overland, being five months and two days on the route, ending at Sacramento.  He was interested in a hotel there until 1870 and then he was a resident of Davisville until he died, in December, 1884, at the age of seventy-nine years.  In his family were three sons and five daughters.

 The subject of this sketch was brought up on a farm and was with his parents when they came to California.  The first work which he did for his own interest was at mining, principally at Timbuctoo, above Marysville, and in this business he continued about nine years, in company with a brother and brother-in-law.  He closed his mining experience with $2,200, to be divided between the three.  Then for about four years he was in the transfer business in Sacramento; next he was book-keeper for a canal company and a general mercantile house at Michigan Bar for three years; and then, in 1870 he removed to Davisville and was bookkeeper for Drisback & Company until that firm failed; then he started out for himself in the grain and mercantile business, but, not having the courage to deny credit, he failed in this enterprise.  His general character and uprightness was too well known for him to be long waiting for an opportunity, and in 1886 he was appointed Postmaster at Davisville, in which position he has served the people to the present time.  In connection with the office, he runs a very neat store of groceries and general merchandise.  He is a member of Dixon Chapter and Woodland Commandery of the Masonic order.

 Mr. Bullard was married October 20, 1868, to Mary A. T. Farrell, a native of Ireland, and they have two daughters and three sons, whose names are Mary E., Walter W., Edward F., William G. and Nettie B.

 

SMITH BROWN is the manager of the Eshcol Vineyard and Winery, of which James H. Goodman & Company are the proprietors.  This ranch contains 300 acres, 200 in vineyard and about twenty-five in orchard, and a portion was originally planted in 1882.  It has been largely replanted by the present owners.   The winery has a storage capacity of 800,000 gallons; building, 125 x 75, of three stories; the first floor devoted to storage, the second floor to fermenting and storage, and the upper floor to the crushing of grapes.  This product is sold to the trade in Napa and San Francisco.  Mr. Brown has been a resident of California since 1852, and of Napa County since 1855.  Born in Burrillsville, Rhode Island, in 1819, he attended the public schools of his native place, and later an academy in Fall River, up to the age of eighteen.  Two years afterward he embarked in the grocery business in Providence, under the firm name of Brown & Steere.  Selling out to his partner, he assisted to organize and was chosen president of the first company to establish a factory and engage in the manufacture of India rubber, before Goodyear’s experiments were known to the world.  With three friends he furnished one-third the capital which enabled the original discoverer of the vulcanizing process, Martin, to perfect and develop that great invention.  They began with the manufacture of rubber shoes in a small way.  For their own amusement the girls employed in the factory made little toys and animals, and gradually the business extended into new directions.  After one trip through the west Mr. Brown arrived home to find his factory destroyed by fire, and Goodyear, who had meantime patented his process for preparing rubber, brought suit enjoining the company from further manufacturing.  As so much had been lost by the fire he sold out his interests and removed to Baltimore, where he established the first stove foundry in the State of Maryland.  Of this he made quite a success, increasing the plant to $50,000, but in 1849 his foundry was burned, leaving only a lot of scrap-iron as the result of his labors there.  He then went to Massachusetts and engaged in the woolen manufacture with an uncle; but, his health failing, he spent one winter in Missouri, and in the spring of 1852 started on his trip across the plains, coming by way of Salt Lake and the Mojave Desert, and arriving at the little Mormon town of San Bernardino in 1852.  He spent the winter there and at Los Angles, coming to San Francisco in the spring of 1853, where he opened a livery stable on the corner of California and Webb streets, which he carried on for about two years.  In 1855 he put on the first line of stages running between Sonoma, Petaluma, Napa, the White Sulphur Springs and Sacramento, meantime, for one year, owning and conducting the Napa Hotel in connection with his stage line.  He sold out both in 1858, and, buying 1,000 acres of land from Cajetano Juarez, he engaged in grain and stock farming until 1866.  During this time, with Sam Brannan and others, he built the railroad from Soscol to Calistoga, and was its president until it was sold to Ryder & Roelofson in 1872.  Mr. Brown was interested in quartz mining in California, Nevada and Mexico from 1858 until he sold out his last mine at Angel’s Camp, in Calaveras County, in 1887.

Mr. Brown was married in 1840 to Miss Chloe Thayer, a native of Douglas, Massachusetts, who was the daughter of Marvel and Lucinda Thayer.  Both were descended from old England stock.  They have three children living:  Frances R., now the window of Henry Edgerton; Summit, now the wife of Homer S. King, of San Francisco, and Dana W., now residing in Nevada, and in the employ of the Carson & Colorado Railroad.  For many years of his earlier residence in California Mr. Brown dealt largely in cattle, driving them from Mexico and Southern California.  During his entire manhood he has been actively engaged in large business interests.  He has property in Seattle, Washington, and large landed interests in this State.  He was appointed a member of the State Board of Equalization by Governor Newton Booth in 1872.

 

MICHEL De KEYSER, a Pleasanton jeweler, was born at Antwerp, Belgium, July 6, 1857, the son of Charles and Lucia (Verbiest) De Keyser, natives also of that country, who had seven children.  At an early age Michel, their third child, was sent to Macon, France, where he learned the watchmaking and jewelers’ trade.  In 1881 he returned home and worked at his trade until 1884, when he came to America, landing at New Orleans.  Thence he came by train to San Francisco, where he followed his profession a year, with a partner of the name of H. De Houck, until 1886.  The latter then absconded, leaving Mr. De Keyser to pay all the debts.  Our subject next went to Hayward, and a year afterward removed to Pleasanton, where he is now well established in the jewelry business.  He has also one other shop, namely, Livermore, where he manufactures jewelry.  He has concluded that partner-ship is a very poor “ship” to sail in, having been robbed and broken up in his business twice through the rascality of such associates in business.  He thinks now that he will sail through business life alone.  Being of an inventive genius, he has devised several combinations, which he expects to render useful.  One of them is an economical process for extracting oil from seeds, which he claims will extract and take out a larger percentage then any other process now in vogue.

Mr. De Keyser was married in Belgium, May 11, 1881, to Miss Natilia De Lombaerde, and they have two daughters and a son.

 

HON. WILLIAM MINIS.-In retracing the genealogy of this gentleman, we find that a grandfather, John Minis, was a native of the north of Ireland and came to the United States in old age with five sons, landing at Pittsburg in the year 1800.  The eldest of these sons, William Minis, was the father of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch.  He first settled in Butler County, Pennsylvania, and then moved into Beaver County, same State, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1859.  He married Mary Cochran, also a native of Ireland, and they brought up two sons and two daughters; both the daughters are deceased.

The younger of the sons, the subject of this sketch, was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, March 7, 1819, and spent his younger days with his father upon the farm, indeed until he was thirty years of age.  Being in a “backwoods” section of the State, his advantages for education were limited to what could be obtained in the pioneer log school-house, and a short term at an academy.  During the early gold-mining period, a company of 300 members was formed at Pittsburg, called the “Pittsburg Company,” to come to California.  This was joined by Mr. Minis, who at the time was living eighteen miles distant on the Ohio River.  They came upon a chartered steamboat to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Mr. Minis and three others left the company and joined a stock company with Captain Winters at the head.  They crossed the Missouri River April 7 and landed at Sacramento August 7, 1849, among the first immigrants of that year.  Going immediately to the mines on the Yuba River above Marysville, at a place called Long Bar, Mr. Minis and his comrades began work; but as there was much sickness there they soon returned to Sacramento.  They next went to Clear Creek, twelve miles west of where Shasta is now, and camped there about six weeks, during which time they buried one of their number at that place.  Of sixty miners at that point, twenty sickened and died.  But gold was plentiful; every man able to work took out from the dry diggings there $50 to $500.  The rainy season approaching, they returned to Sacramento, arriving there a few days before Christmas, 1849, and wintering in and about that city.

 In the spring three of Mr. Minis’ mess companions went to the mines, while he and another man named Wells built a house on the Coloma road, as a wayside hotel.  This was conducted by Mr. Minis about fifteen months, when he sold out his interest and joined his messmates at Ford’s Bar on the American River, and worked there in the river mines until the autumn of 1852.  Then, together with his companion, J. J. Lytle, he came into Yolo County, settling on the banks of Putah Creek, and followed agricultural pursuits there until 1858.  They intended to buy land at first, but the title was not clear.  In 1857 the grant upon which they settled was confirmed to William Wolfskill; and in that year Mr. Minis purchased the old Tule House seven miles west of Sacramento, which in those days was the great place for making money, Sacramento being the commercial center.  After running that house about three years he sold out and bought 2,000 acres of land in this county, which he fenced for grazing purposes; and on it he built a nice residence.  Altogether, he expended upon the place about $10,000; but the flood of 1862 came and everything went down the river.  This of course left Mr. Minis in financial straits.  In the spring he settled in the little town of Washington, in Yolo County, directly opposite Sacramento, and remained there until December, 1865.  During that fall he was elected Sheriff of Yolo County and at the end of two years he was re-elected- thus serving four years.  In 1869 he was elected joint Senator for Solano and Yolo counties, and served a term of four years.  On going out of the Sheriff’s office he was elected Justice of the Peace and Town Recorder for Woodland.  In 1875 Mr. Minis was elected Surveyor General for the State of California, which office he held from January, 1876, to January, 1880.  For the next six years he was a grocer in Woodland; but in the autumn of 1886 he was elected County Treasurer, and in the fall of 1888 was re-elected, and is therefore holding that position to the present time.   In 1853, while living upon the Wolfskill grant, he was elected County Surveyor, and re-elected several times, without opposition.  In 1856, while he was keeping the Tule House in Yolo County, he was elected to the Legislature and served four months.  He has always been a Democrat, and an efficient worker for the party; has never been beaten for office but once; has also been a faithful attendant at the county and State conventions of his party for more than thirty years past.  He has never been known to have an enemy.

In 1857 Mr. Minis was married to Mrs. Elmira Gale, a native of Ohio, and by this marriage there was one son, George, who is now in the United States Land Office at Sacramento.  By the present marriage there is one daughter, Mollie, who is the wife of F. E. Lambert, of Sacramento, and the mother of two children.

 HIRAM P. MERRITT, of Merritt Station, Yolo County, the most extensive breeder of live-stock in Northern California, is a representative of the best type of the American business man.  Like most men who have achieved distinction in their respective callings, he started in life without capital save a fine physical organization and an active and well poised brain.  A pioneer of 1850, he came here a young man, and after passing through more than the usual vicissitudes and reverses of those early days, he has by industry, economy and shrewd judgment long stood in the front ranks of Yolo County’s wealthy, influential citizens.

 Dr. Merritt was born January 24, 1830, in Fairhaven, Rutland County, Vermont.  His father, Noble Merritt, was a lumberman.  His mother’s name before marriage was Elizabeth Bates.  He was three years of age when his parents moved to Allegany County, New York, by way of Lake Chaplain and Erie Canal.  In their new home his father engaged in the lumber business, as that portion of the State of New York was then a dense forest; and here young Hiram assisted his father to the extent of his ability, thus forming the habits of industry which he still retains, although of late years his heavy work has been more of the intellectual kind.  As the prospects in Western New York for business with the commercial world were not satisfactory to his ambition, he started for the West, in company with his uncle, Sydney Merritt, as far as Detroit, and alone to Indiana.  On starting, his cash capital was only $15, and arriving at South Bend, Indiana, he found his capital reduced to $2.50.  Here he first secured employment in a drug store, which place he retained for six years, receiving as compensation only his necessary expenses, with the privilege of studying medicine.  By diligence and economy, and occasional practice at dentistry, he became able to attend medical lectures and graduate at the State Medical College of Indiana, in the spring of 1849.  Returning to South Bend, he followed his chosen profession, in partnership with his old preceptor.  His father sent him $100 at the beginning of his practice for the purchase of a horse to use in attending calls.  He gave #25 of this to an aunt to keep for him, with the intention of coming to California, which he did the next year - 1850.  He joined an Indiana party, comprising the Wall Brothers (now of Denver) Dan W. Earl, of San Francisco, and others.  At Council Bluffs he utilized his medical knowledge in a small-pos epidemic, vaccinating the multitudes as he sat upon the wagon-seat.  He also had many occasions to exercise his medical skill while crossing the plains.

 The party arrived in Sacramento in August.  The first business in which Dr. Merritt engaged after arriving here was that of running a meat market, at Bridgeport, on the South Yuba, and financially he was successful.  In three months he sold out, went to the North Fork of the Cosumnes River, in Placer County, intending to follow the practice of medicine; and while residing there he became famous as a hunter.  On one occasion, while out hunting deer, he was shot at by an Indian, the ball striking the rock on which he was sitting and throwing the splinters into his face.  At another time he was engaged with a party of miners in a skirmish against Indians who had stolen their horses and mules, and in this engagement about thirty Indians were killed.

But, as the settlers were few and there was but little sickness among them, and as the Doctor had no taste for mining, he would have returned East could he have collected money enough, and continued his medical studies in Philadelphia.  As it has turned out, however, it is probably the best for him that he remained in this State.  On the first day of January, 1851, he passed through Yolo County the first time, being at the time engaged in transporting merchandise by mule pack-train between Sacramento, Scott’s River, Yreka and other points north, a distance of 400 miles; and although his capital was small, he made money.  Going next to Carson Valley, with some $2,000, he did a prosperous business buying cattle, horses and mules of emigrants on their way to California and selling them to settlers in the Sacramento Valley.  After thus accumulating considerable money he entered farming pursuits on an extensive scale in Yolo County; but the first effort was a failure.  Yet he took courage and began to retrieve his fortune by returning to Carson City and resuming his old trade with the emigrants.  He did not undertake to wait in idleness for his grain to grow, as most others did, but improved his time in trading.  He adhered to his agricultural pursuits until about three years ago when he rented all his agricultural lands in Yolo County, since which time he has been occupied looking after his extensive stock-breeding farms and other interests.  Thus he has been busily employed every season since he first came to the State, except that of 1856, when he made a visit to the East; but even this time he utilized the opportunity by bringing with him a herd of horses, which he disposed of profitably after his arrival here.  Although he early abandoned his medical profession, his knowledge of hygiene and medicine has doubtless been of great benefit to him through this long period.  He has made some money, of course, by the natural rise in the value of his lands, and has become by far the most extensive stock-raiser and mule-breeder in Central California, having grazing grounds in several other parts of the State besides Yolo County, and also in Nevada.  In Yolo County alone he has over 4,500 acres of good land; the exact number of acres cannot be told without a study of the public records, and is the largest land-owner in the county.  He has 2,500 acres of the finest land where he resides, at Merritt Station, which point is named after him.  It is on the line of the railroad between Woodland and Davisville, whence as much grain is shipped as from any other point on the road.  The Doctor has 14,000 acres in Trinity and Mendocino counties, devoted to grazing and breeding mules and cattle.  On an extensive tract in Nevada he has 30,000 sheep or more.  He is one of the original owners in the great Seventy-six Canal in Fresno and Tulare counties, which serves to irrigate immense tracts of land.  It is one of the most gigantic enterprises of the kind in California.  The Doctor’s example has ever shown that he is a firm believer, not in luck, but in untiring industry.  He has been President of the Bank of Yolo ever since its organization.  He has made two trips to the Eastern States, and in 1878 he made a trip across the Atlantic, visiting Great Britain and various points on the continent of Europe; was in Paris during the great exposition of that year.  He is so firm a believer in the capacities of the soil and climate of Central and Northern California that he really maintains that an industrious man can not only make a living off of ten acres of ground here, but actually lay up money.  In view of this fact he holds that the price of land here is absurdly low.

The Doctor was married May 26, 1868, to Miss Jeannette E. Hebron, and has two sons and two daughters.  The sons, Alanson A. and George N., are both with their father, and by both inheritance and training they are exemplary young men, having been brought up to appreate ate the utility of industry.

 

J. L. ELLIOTT, manager of a lumber yard at Winters as agent of F. B. Chandler, is one of the well-known men of Winters, born May 22, 1864, in Linn County, Oregon.  At the age of three years he was brought by his parents to California.  His father, J. M., was born in Kentucky July 1, 1820 and came to this State in 1849; finding the cholera raging here he proceeded immediately to Oregon, where he remained until 1867; then he came to Solano County, where he was engaged stock-raising and farming to the time of his death, October 30, 1883.  Mr. Elliott’s mother, whose maiden name was Celia Paul, was born in Missouri, November 9, 1826, and died in Vacaville, September 17, 1880, leaving four sons and four daughters.   The subject of this notice, next to the youngest of the family, made his home at Vacaville until he completed his school days, and served four years as Wells & Fargo’s express messenger, and then he located upon his present place, April 1, 1889.  His wife, whose maiden name was Hattie E. Dafoe, was born December 6, 1867, in Canada, and they were married in Winters, October 2, 1889.  They have one son, Charles Arno, born July 27, 1890.  Mr. Elliott is a member of Vacaville Lodge, No. 83, I.O.O.F., and of Damocles Lodge, No. 33, K. of P.

 

C. D. MORIN, dealer in tin and hardware at Woodland, is the son of John and Julia (Brandmore) Morin, natives of Canada.  His father was a cooper by trade, for a time held the office of inspector of potash, and died when C. D. was a small boy, in Montreal, Canada; and the mother died in Brockville, Upper Canada.  Mr. Morin was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1832, and at the age of seventeen years he began to learn the trade of tinner in Brockville, Canada, with John Lafayette.  In 1852 he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was employed nine months, and then he came overland to California, stopping, however, at North Platte and Fort Laramie, where he was engaged for a time in trading with the Indians.  He came that far with a band of sheep owned by Z. Rochon.  He arrived in Sacramento in 1853 and followed mining one summer season at Salmon Falls on the American River; next he followed his trade a year at Sacramento; then mined again one year at Indian Diggings; returning to Sacramento again, he remained there until 1858, when he went to Fraser River, during the first flush of excitement from that quarter, and for a short time was employed there by a man named Bragg.  He spent a month in the mines, and returned to Sacramento, stopped there four months, and then for eight months he worked for M. Winchell at Cacheville, Yolo County, in the tin business, and he then bought him out.  After conducting the business there for seven years he moved to Woodland, where he has succeeding well in business, and being one of the prominent citizens of the place.  He has a nice residence on Court street.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 22, A.O.U.W.

Mr. Morin married Miss Minnie B. Schindler, a daughter of David Schindler, born in Wisconsin, and they have three children: Mattie M., aged twenty-two years, and Minnie M., aged twenty years.  Mattie is a music teacher, and Minnie is a dressmaker.

 

WILLIAM H. WELCH, Superintendent of the County Hospital of Yolo County, is a son of Robert and Jane (Crawford) Welch, natives of Kentucky.  His father, a farmer by occupation, raised the first barley on the plains of Yolo County and died in 1854, at the age of fifty-four years, within three miles of Woodland.  His mother died in 1871, at the age of sixty-eight years, in Yolo County.  The subject of this sketch was born in Tennessee, December 11, 1833; in 1854 he came to California across the plains, stopping first in this county, within three miles of Woodland, where for some time he followed farming and ran a trading store in Buckeye for four years, and also a store in Woodland two years.  For an exception, it can be said of him that he never struck a pick in the mines.  He was elected to position in February, 1888, and is well known as an industrious man who deserves all he receives and even more.  He is well liked at the hospital and by people in generally.  The average number of inmates at this institution is about twenty-five; and among them there is at present a lady, named Ellen Smith, who is aged 103 years, being born in Dublin, Ireland; and she is remarkably active.  The hospital stands on forty acres of well improved land, where Mr. Welch raises some fine hogs, as well as fruit and other farm produce. 

 He was married in Tennessee, to Susan Pinkley, a native of Macon County, that State, who died in 1861, in Yolo County , leaving three children: Mattie, now the wife of A. G. Reed, and living in Woodland; W. F., a resident of Woodland, and R. L., a resident of Colusa, this State.

 FRED CRAIG, a prosperous farmer residing on his fine farm five miles southeast of Davisville, was born in the State of New York; his parents having died when he was quite young he went to Ohio, where he made his home with an uncle, Mr. Craig, a farmer of that State.  Here he received a limited education in the common schools.  In 1852 he started for California, taking passage on a steamboat  at Wheeling, Virginia, and traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans.  From there he took a vessel for Havana to inspect a steamer from New York to Chicago.  The voyage was tedious and uneventful.  Having crossed the Isthmus of Panama, he was obliged to wait fifteen days for a vessel to San Francisco.  He finally secured a passage on a sail vessel, which proved to be unseaworthy and scantily provisioned.  After a few weeks of stormy weather, which drove the ship out of her course, they landed at San Blas for provisions.  From here they again started for San Francisco and again encountered severe storms, which drove them to the Sandwich Islands, where they landed for a fresh supply of provisions.  They finally landed in San Francisco, in September, 142 days from the date of leaving Panama.  Mr. Craig worked for a short time near San Francisco, then went to Nevada City, California, and engaged in mining for two years and a half.  From Nevada City he went to Coloma and worked in the mines of that camp about the same length of time.  In April, 1857, he came to Yolo County, and worked as a farm laborer for three years. In 1860 he commenced farming on his own account, on rented land; and in 1862 bought the farm where he now lives.  His home farm contains 160 acres and he also owns 160 acres in Solano County, adjoining the home place.  He devotes his attention entirely to grain and stock-raising.

He was married April 2, 1868 to Miss Juliett A. Royce, a daughter of Alpheus Waldo and Jane (Olmstead) Royce.  Mr. Royce was a native of Connecticut and his wife a native of Vermont.  Mrs. Craig has one brother who resides in San Diego, California.

 

H. G. FINCH, farmer of Solano County, is the son of John and Mehetabel (Brown) Finch.  His father, born in the State of New York in 1766, was a blacksmith by trade and in the war of 1812 did the shoeing of horses for many regiments; he died in Hamilton County, Indiana, at the age of eight-one years; his mother was born also in New York State, in 1777, died in Hamilton County, Indiana, some years previously.  Mr. Finch, our subject, was born in Wayne County, Indiana, in 1819, and resided in Hamilton County, Indiana, until the Mexican war, when he took the position of clerk of a quartermaster’s office, and was employed by the Government until 1849, when he came here through the Straits of Magellan, in the steamer Panama, commanded by Admiral D. D. Porter, U. S. N., to California, being 107 days on the trip.  He first employed himself in this State in mining on the north fork of the American River; and then engaged in mining about three months at Big Bar; and then he went to Benicia, where he was again employed as a clerk in the quartermaster’s office, and then in a similar position in San Francisco.  During the civil war, he spent a year and half in St. Louis, Missouri, and after this he traveled over the United States a great deal in the employ of the Government.  He settled in Solano County in 1871, within five mils of Winters, Yolo County; and here he now has 182 acres of well improved land, devoted mostly to fruit.  He rents the land and lives at Winters.

For his wife he married Miss Mary A. Cosebolt, who was afterward killed by a railroad car while crossing the track at Suisun City, February 10, 1888.  Mr. Finch as one son, named Fabius T., aged fourteen years, attending school at San Francisco. 

 

JACKSON BROWN, a farmer of Yolo County, was born in Otsego County, New York, August 8, 1828.  His parents, Amos and Eliza (Tubbs) Brown, were natives of the same county.  His father died in New York, after which his mother moved to Minnesota, where she died at an advanced age.  Jackson Brown came to California in 1854 via the Nicaragua route and landed in San Francisco May 4.  From there he came directly to Yolo County, where he engaged in farming; he owns 480 acres of land, all under cultivation.  He devotes his attention exclusively to grain and stock raising.

He was married, April 12, 1852, to Miss Anna Eliza Hubbard, a native of Otsego County, New York.  She came to California in 1856, having remained in New York the first two years that her husband was in California.  She died in 1858, leaving two children, a son and a daughter.  Robert S., the eldest, is married and lives on his father’s farm, with whom his father makes his home.  Anna Eliza, the daughter, was married to Edward Broad.  They reside in Sacramento.

 

ELI SNIDER, proprietor of Putah Nursery and a fruit-raiser, Yolo County, is a native of Ohio, born in Springfield, Clark County, March 1, 1853.  He received his education in the public schools of his native place.  At the age of seventeen years he engaged as an apprentice in one of the excellent machine shops of Ohio, where he served three years, thoroughly learning the machinist’s trade.  In the fall of 1875 he came to Yolo County, California, where he worked for five years, most of the time either as engineer for steam thresher or steam pump.  In 1880 he engaged in farming, on rented land, giving a portion of the crop in payment for rent; he continued farming on rented land for four years.  In 1885 he bought the farm on which he now resides.  He has ten acres of nursery stock, which consists of all kinds of fruit and ornamental trees and vines.  On his fruit farm he has seventy acres planted to apricots, prunes, peaches and pears, twenty acres of which are bearing.

He was married, November 17, 1880, to Miss Minnie Montgomery, a daughter of Alexander and Susan (Martin) Montgomery.  Her father was a native of Kentucky and her mother of Virginia; they crossed the plains to California in 1850.  Mr. and Mrs. Snider have one child, a son, Alexander, aged eight years.  Mr. Snider is a member of Yolo Lodge, No. 169, I. O.O.F., and Athens Lodge, No. 228, F & A. M., both located in Davisville.  He is also a member of Pythias Lodge, No. 43, Knights of Pythias, located in Woodland.  He has a fine two-story house on his farm, is energetic and thorough in all he undertakes, and therefore is deservedly prosperous.

 THEODORE PLEISCH.-Among the prominent business men of Anderson are none more worthy of mention than the gentleman whose name heads this biographical sketch.  His parents, Theodore and Josephine (Angler) Pleisch, were natives of Switzerland and emigrated to America in 1850, locating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He also is a native of Switzerland, dating his birth October 7, 1849, and during his parents’ residence in Milwaukee he had the benefit of the public schools.  The family moved in 1859 to the State of Indiana, where the mother died.  In 1869 the father recruited a company for the war, and received a commission as Captain in the army, commanding Company A, Sixtieth Indiana Infantry, in which capacity he served actively until 1863.  While in action before Vicksburg he received a wound which incapacitated him for service, and he was discharged in 1864, but never fully recovered from his injury, and died in 1867.

Our subject has also an army record.  He was enlisted in 1861 as a drummer boy in the Sixtieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was engaged in many battles, serving until 1865, when he was discharged.  During his term of office the family had moved to Philadelphia.  When dismissed from the service he also went to that city and engaged as clerk to E. Stipina & Co., wholesale liquor dealers, leaving their employ in 1868, when he came, via Panama, to San Francisco.  Here he remained until the spring of 1869, then went to Sacramento and became engaged in handling stock in the interest of George Leet for two years, and followed the same business two years for Clarke & Cox.  In 1872 he commenced stock-raising on his own account, in Lassen County, and was successful in that enterprise until the winter of 1876, when he lost most of his stock by severe weather and want of food.  In the spring he sold what remained of his stock, and took charge of fourteen miles of road owned by A. M. Jackson, and known as the Montgomery Creek & Burney toll road, running over the mountain districts of Shasta County.  Mr. Pleisch managed this enterprise until 1881, when he purchased ranch property, but sold out the same year and came to Anderson, where he engaged in the real estate business, buying and selling town property the first year.  His next enterprise was the building of a large livery and sale stable, and he has since conducted the livery business, having also connected with his stables a large corral for loose stock, and accommodation for teams hauling to and from the mining districts.  He is the owner of residence property in Anderson and farm lands near town, and has been connected with several of the public enterprises of this section of the county, being one of the incorporators of the Anderson Canning establishment in 1890.

 Mr. Pleisch is a man of family, being joined in marriage at Montgomery Creek, Shasta County, November 1, 1881, with Miss Arabella Bainbridge, a native of California, and daughter of John P. Bainbridge, of Colusa County, who was a pioneer of 1849.  Mr. and Mrs. Pleisch have three children, viz.: John T., Eliza and an infant son.

 

ORMISTON W. SWAYZE, A. B., M. D. of Lakeport, was born near St. Catherines, Canada, in the year 1865, and in 1870 his parents removed to Michigan, and in 1875 to California.  He lived in Quincy, Plumas County, two years, and then moved to Lakeport, Lake County.  In 1880 he entered Adelbert College, of the Western Reserve University, at Cleveland, Ohio, where he pursued his studies until 1884; then he entered the Homeopathic College of that city, and graduated there with honor.  After serving a year as assistant house-surgeon at the Huron Street Hospital of Cleveland, he commenced the practice of his chosen profession in Lakeport, in the spring of 1889, and has been so uniformly successful that his practice is not exceeded by any physician in the city, and extends to nearly every part of the county.  He is the only homeopathic physician in Lakeport.

 

S. A. HOWARD, a farmer near Woodland, is the son of Edmaer and Mary (Roberson) Howard, natives of Missouri; the father, a farmer by vocation, and an exemplary member of the Baptist Church, died in Cooper County, Missouri, and the mother died at the same place, leaving two sons.  S. A., the subject of this notice, and the youngest son, was born in that county in 1831, and in 1857 came across the plains to California, bringing 212 head of cattle, and all the family came with him, and settled in Yolo County, and here Mr. Howard has been engaged in the rearing of and dealing in live-stock, devoting his fine farm to this profitable business.  He has a splendid ranch, a mile north of Woodland.

In 1857, in Cooper County, Missouri, Mr. Howard married Elizabeth Stevens, and their children are as follows: Marshall L., born December 14, 1857; Edward S., January 16, 1859; James M., February 10, 1861; Mary L., May 9, 1862; Willie E., born May 3, 1864; died January 3, 1884.  Mr. Howard is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 186, F. & A. M., of Woodland; No. __, A.O.U.W., and of Woodland Lodge, No. 24, O. C. F.

 

WILLIAM O. EDMANDS, Jr., a farmer of Upper Lake, Lake County, was born at Newton, Massachusetts, December 23, 1859.  He received his education in the public schools of Newton and Harvard College, where he graduated in the class of 1883.  In the fall of 1884 he came to Lake County with Messrs. Charles Mifflin Hammond and Gardiner Greene Hammond Jr., to look for a location to engage in wine manufacture and in fruit and stock raising.  They were pleased with this section of country and purchased 1, 300 acres of land on the east side of the northern part of Clear Lake.  This tract of land was not improved, having been used previously as a sheep ranch.  They took possession of this property, since known as “Red Hill Ranch,” November 1, 1884, and immediately entered upon a vigorous and systematic course of improvement.  The climate and soil have proven to be admirably adapted for the purposes for which it has been utilized, and the results accomplished in the few years under management of the proprietors is truly wonderful.  Mr. Edmands’ ranch consists of 482 acres, 100 of which is cultivated, the balance being used as pasture lands.  He is engaged principally in raising fine cattle and horses, making a specialty of the short-horn Durham breed of cattle and grade Percheron horses.  He has a very attractive house, which commands a magnificent view of Clear Lake and the grand scenery surrounding it.  He is constantly making new improvements, being now engaged in laying pipes to conduct water from a fine spring on the mountain side about one mile distant, to his residence.  Mr. Edmands is very systematic in all he does, which, in connection with his good judgment and enterprise, has led to his present prosperity, and which cannot fail to result in future success.  His accomplished wife, nee Hammond, is a daughter of Mr. Gardiner Greene Hammond, a gentleman of New London, Connecticut.

 

RICHARD C. RUST. “a native son of Gold West,” was born in Marysville, Yuba County, California, October 19, 1855.  His parents, Richard and Eva line (Church) Rust, natives of Vermont, emigrated from that State in an early day and settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, where they resided until 1849.  In the spring of this year, his father, having been appointed one of the Government Commission to establish the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, removed to San Diego, California, where he resided until 1851.  From 1849 to 1851 he held the position of Alcalde for San Diego County, which corresponds to the office of county clerk and recorder, of the present time.  Was elected County Clerk of San Diego County at the first election after admission of California as a State.  In 1851 he went to Marysville, and established the Marysville Express, a newspaper which he published and was connected with till 1857.  During the same time he established the Placer Herald, which he sold in a short time.  The Herald is still published at Auburn, and is one of the leading papers of Placer County.  In 1857 he sold out his interest in Marysville and moved to Sacramento, where he was employed as editor on the State Journal till 1858.  At the time the Vigilance Committee of California was organized in 1856, Mr. Rust was strenuously opposed to this organization and used his influence for its dissolution, and the re-establishment of a government on democratic principles.  I 1859 he moved to Mokelumne Hill, becoming connected with the Calaveras Chronicle, which he conducted until 1861.  He then sold his interests in the Chronicle, and retired from the newspaper business; the paper is still being published at Mokelumne Hill.  Mr. Rust was engaged in several newspaper enterprises before he came to California.

In 1861 he purchased a homestead about ten miles above Mokelumne Hill, and engaged in domestic pursuits, until the time of his death, which occurred August 15, 1872.  Mr. Rust never entirely gave up his literary pursuits, having continually acted as correspondent for a number of leading newspapers of the State, to the time of his death.  His wife is still living and is seventy-four years old.

Richard C. Rust, the subject of this sketch, was married November 30, 1887, to Miss Lizzie G. Hosmer, a daughter of H. B. and M. V. (Tagart) Hosmer.  They have one child, Richard Whitney, born December 3, 1889.  Mr. Rust is a stanch Democrat, and received his early education in the public schools of Calaveras County, after which he attended D. C. Stone’s preparatory school for the State University.  In March, 1876, he commenced the study of law with O’Connor & Pardow in San Francisco, after which he was with Hon. A. C. Adams.  He was admitted to the bar, November 10, 1879, and March 19, 1885, was admitted to the United States District Court, and November 11, 1887, to the United States Circuit Court, and from 1879 to 1883, practiced law in San Francisco.  In 1883 he came to Jackson, Amador County, and formed a partnership with Hon. A. Caminetti, with whom he remained until January 1, 1887.  He then formed a partnership with Hon. John A. Eagon, under the firm name of Eagon & Rust, with whom he is still associated.  They have an extensive law practice, and are one of the leading law firms of the foothills of Northern California.

 

PETER LAUENER, a farmer near Capay, was born April 26, 1835, in Switzerland, the son of Christian and Ann Lauener, natives also of that country; the father, by occupation a farmer, died there in 1849, at the age of forty-five years.  Peter was brought up on a farm in Switzerland until 1851, when, he emigrated to America, with his widowed mother and five other children, and came direct to Richland County, Illinois, where he remained until 1859, on a small farm owned by his mother.  In 1859 he came overland to California, by way of Pike’s Peak, where he remained two weeks.  The ensuing winter he spent at Placerville, and during the following spring he entered Capay Valley, and worked for wages until he purchased his present place in 1887, which he is preparing for a fruit farm.  It comprises 300 acres, and is situated three miles from Capay.  He has a sister in Yolo County, and a brother at Sonora.  He is a member of Lodge No. 242, O.C.F., at Capay.

He was married in 1872, to Miss Nancy Lang, a native of New York, and a sister of J. A. Lang, an old, time-honored pioneer of Yolo County.  Mr. Lauener is an energetic and prosperous farmer, with brilliant prospects before him.

ROBERT J. ADAMS, Sheriff and Tax Collector of Amador County, was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, November 10, 1846.  He received his education in the public schools of that country.  His father was a farmer, and Robert stayed at home until about the age of twenty, when he came to California and engaged in the lumber business on the Mokelumne River.  He remained in that business until 1882, then took a position with F. M. Whitmore, as book-keeper and business manager for about two years.  In 1884 he was nominated, on the Republican ticket, for Sheriff, but was defeated in the election.  In 1884 he went to work for the Amador Canal Company, where he remained till 1886.  In that year he was again nominated for Sheriff and this time elected.  In 1888 he was re-elected, and is the present Sheriff of Amador County.  His parents were natives of Scotland.  His father still resides in Canada and is well advanced in years:  his mother died in February, 1887, at the age of sixty-five.

 Mr. Adams was married May 17, 1887, to Miss Ann Nickols.  They have three children living; the oldest, Nellie O., is twelve years of age; the second, Alexander Garfield, is nine years old; the third died at the age of three years; and the fourth, Robert J., is four years old.  Mr. Adams is a gentleman of pleasing address, but firm in the line of his duty, and makes a very efficient and popular officer. 

 WILLIAM Y. BROWNING, a farmer near Woodland, was born March 15, 1829, in Tennessee, a son of Charles and Elizabeth (Crawford) Browning.  His father, a native of South Carolina, was a farmer by occupation and moved to Kentucky in early day, locating upon land which he purchased in Monroe County.  In 1854 he came overland to California, with ox teams and a small drove of cattle, and settled in Yolo County, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1861, when he was sixty-two years of age.  His surviving wife died in 1882, aged seventy-nine years.  They brought up a large family of children.  William Y., our subject, left home at the age of twenty years, resided in Missouri a portion of 1849-”50, and in the spring of the latter year came to California, with ox teams; returning to the East, he came again in 1854 and 1856.  On his first arrival in this State he followed mining on Dry Creek, near Drytown.  In the spring of 1851 he mined at Gibsonville, and ever since 1852 he has been engaged in farming and stock-raising.  He now has 540 acres of choice farming land, his residence being two and a half miles from Woodland, on a splendid gravel road.  He is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 156, F. & A. M.

He was married in 1856 to Miss Rowena Howard, a native of Missouri, whose mother is now in California, aged ninety years.  Mr. and Mrs. Browning have two sons and four daughters, namely: Zella, wife of Dr. B. F. Clark, of San Francisco; Tillie, now Mrs. W. A. Hall, of the same city; Charles L., William H., Mary and Ida.

 ALVAH C. VAN DER VOORT, Justice of the Peace and real-estate dealer at Pleasanton, dates his birth in Canada, near Bellville, March 14, 1851, where he was reared and educated.  His first engagement after the cessation of his school-days was as a book-keeper in a manufacturing establishment.  His father, Jacob E. Van Der Voort, a native of Canada, whose ancestors were from Holland, was a farmer by occupation, and at the age of twenty-one years was elected a Representative to Parliament.  His wife’s name before marriage was Deborah Hageman; she also was a native of Canada and of Holland descent; both the parents died in 1853.  The subject of his biographical mention came into the United States in 1870, locating at Sunol, California, where he was engaged with his uncle, A. S. Sabome, on his farm for twelve years; and then until 1884 he was engaged in agricultural pursuits on his own account.   He then moved to Pleasanton, and for two years was connected with Albert E. Crane in real-estate business, having an office also at San Francisco.  In 1886 he was elected Justice of the Peace, and in 1888 was re-elected.  In the real-estate business he is now connected with Carnall, Fitzhugh, Hopkins & Co.; capital stock, $100,000.  This company was incorporated with the following officers:  Nathan C. Carnall, President; William M. Fitzhugh, Vice-President; George W. Hopkins, Secretary; Bank of California, Treasurer.  Mr. Van  Der Voort is also engaged in fire and life insurance and debt collections.  He is a member of Industry Lodge, No. 62, A. O. U. W., of Pleasanton.  He is a Republican in his politics, and is active in local affairs.

He was married at Sunol, September 9, 1884, to Miss Alameda Frakes, and they have one daughter.  His wife’s father, a native of Kentucky, and her mother, a native of Illinois, were married at Santa Clara, and have seven children. 

 WILLIAM OBERHOUSE, a Yolo County farmer, was born May 5, 1823, in Prussia, and was only six months old when his father died.  In 1845 he emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans.  The first five years in this country he was a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, engaged as a ship-calker.  In the spring of 1850 he came overland with mule teams to California, driving a team every day and having the ground for a bed every night.  He was just ninety days in making the trip, which was a pleasant one.  He was among those who were the first to go upon the south side of the Humboldt, where there was plenty of feed.  Arriving at Sacramento, the company disbanded and Mr. Oberhouse followed mining two months at Coloma, when he was taken sick and returned to Sacramento.  Then he went by water from San Francisco to Humboldt County, being three weeks on the ocean.  He visited Scott’s River and Scott’s Valley and Shasta Creek on mule-back, and, his mule becoming mired in the snow, he turned him d own upon his side and dragged him down the hill b y the tail!  He stopped two weeks on Shasta, or Whisky Creek, and was raided one night by some Indians.  Some of his company were killed and some robbed.  He returned to Sacramento and drove a water-wagon until 1853, when he returned to Missouri by way of the Isthmus.  Remaining at St. Louis until 1855, he came again to California, by way of the Isthmus.  After visiting Sacramento and Yolo County, he took a piece of land in Solano County, which afterward proved to be grant land and he rented it for a time.  Crossing the creek into Yolo County he purchased a squatter’s claim to a tract which he has ever since made his home and which he has highly improved.  There are now 480 acres of the homestead, and he raises hay, grain and live-stock.  It is three miles east from Winters.

Mr. Oberhouse was married in 1854, to Miss Frederica Bearnbum, a native of Prussia, and they have had three sons and four daughters, namely:  Emma L., wife of George Sims; Ella L., George, William D., Louis E. and two deceased.  All the sons are married.

 GEORGE E. GOODMAN has lived in California since 1852, and in Napa since 1855.  Born in Rochester, New York, in 1823, he attended the common and high schools of that city up to the age of nineteen, when he removed to Memphis, Tennessee, where he had an uncle in business, and engaged as a shipping clerk in a cotton commission house, remaining there until 1852.  Returning to Rochester for a visit to his parents, he proceeded to New York and thence to San Francisco by way of Panama, arriving October 3, 1852, after a trip of thirty days.  Among his fellow-passengers on that trip were ex-Senator W. M. Gwinn, ex-Congressman McCorkle, Mr. Hardenburgh, formerly Surveyor-General of the State, and Nicholas Luning, the millionaire of San Francisco.  During that voyage Dr. Gwinn frequently prophesied the building of the transcontinental railroad, which was carried out twenty years later.  Mr. Goodman was engaged in the wholesale grocery and produce business in San Francisco until 1855.  At that time business in San Francisco was very lively, and all merchandise was shipped around Cape Horn.  Passengers and mails only came by way of Panama.  When Mr. Goodman crossed, the railroad was built for only about fourteen miles up the Chagres River, then about ten miles by rowboat, and the rest of the way by mule to Panama.  Thus it will be seen that no merchandise could come by the Panama route, which at that time was hardly capable of carrying the passengers and mail.  This left a grand opportunity for the wide-awake speculators who then abounded in San Francisco to get up corners on certain accommodations, and at the same time rendered the market liable to be so glutted with other articles that boxes of tobacco, for instance, weighing from 140 to 150 pounds, were used for crossings in the streets, and doubtless in some parts of the city these boxes could now be found marking the foundations of those streets.  At times corners were mode on goods so that they sold for fabulous prices, and at others they would not bring the cost of freights.  In 1855 Mr. Goodman left San Francisco for Napa, where he engaged in mercantile business as a member of the firm of Hart & Company.  Their trade was very extensive, reaching as far as Clear Lake, in Lake County.  At that time there was much wheat raised in the Napa Valley region, while Berryessa and other valleys were large producers of stock, and Napa was the shipping and supply point.  Everything was hauled by ox teams, many of which had come across the plains from the East.  He continued in the mercantile business until 1859, when he engaged in banking, as a partner of his brother, under the firm name of James H. Goodman & Co., private bankers.  This was the first bank established in Napa County.  Money was worth three per cent, per month, and profitable use could be made of it even at that figure.  He has remained in this business since that time, and continuously on the same block.  In consequence of the death of James H. Goodman, in 1888, the firm was changed to a corporation, under the name of the James H. Goodman & Co. Bank, with $500,000 incorporated stock and $300,000 paid-up capital.

 In 1861 Mr. Goodman took the place of the County Treasurer elect, who went to Virginia just previous to the breaking out of the war and failed to return.  After serving out Mr. Wood’s unexpired term, he filled the office by successive re-election for a period of almost nine years, when he declined further nominations.  He has always been a member and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church.  Both he and his brother James H. contributed largely to the building of their fine edifice, costing over $30,000, fully half of this amount being furnished by these gentlemen.  They were also largely interested in building the gasworks of that city, owning much of the stock, and were the principal promoters of the Napa City Water Company, furnishing to a large extent the means necessary to its successful development.

He was married in 1860, to Miss Carrie A. Jacks, a native of New York, and the daughter of Judge P. Jacks, of Napa.  They have two children, -Harvey P., now engaged in the bank as Vice-President, and George E. Jr., also connected with the bank as a Teller.  Mr. Goodman has always been a supporter of the Republican party.  He is largely interested in the Eshcol vineyard and wine cellar, and, from his position as a large capitalist and the leading banker of the place, is naturally an important factor in all its business interests, while his broad and liberal views and his generous assistance in the promotion of large enterprises have given him a powerful and wide-spread influence throughout this section of the State.

 D. B. HURLBERT.-We mention here one of the oldest citizens of Madison, a farmer and stock-raiser of Yolo County, who once owned the land upon which the flourishing village of Madison now stands.  For the purpose of starting the town, he donated the land there to those who would properly improve it.  He located here in 1865, coming from New York State, where he was born in 1811.  His journey across plain and mountain was a specially difficult one.  He visited a number of localities and several cities, but concluded that California was the best of all, and hither he came, in 1851, with his own team.  He first stopped in Hangtown, from 1851 to 1854; then he retuned to Wisconsin, and located upon a farm with his family.  Subsequently he sold that place and resided nine years in Minnesota.  Starting then for California, he lost all of his cattle on the way, and he went off into Montana for a time, and since then he has been a resident of his present place in Yolo County, landing here November 13, 1865.  He purchased 844 acres, sixty-three of which he gave for the village of Madison; and he also has given to his two sons a ranch, to one a quarter-section, and to the other 391 acres.  He still holds the home place of 413 acres, his residence being one-fourth of a mile from the village of Madison.  He is successful in raising large quantities of fine wheat and cattle.  He is a member of Knights Templar, Masonic blue lodge, and the I.O.O.F.

In 1846, in Wisconsin, he married Margaret Ream, and they have tow children, - Charles M. and George R.  Mr. Hurlbert’s parents were Daniel and Sybil (Martin) Hurlbert, natives of Connecticut.  His father, a farmer, died in the State of New York.

 C. M. DAMERON, a farmer and stock raiser of Yolo County, was born in 1832 in East Tennessee, the son of Felix J. and Mary (Damarel) Dameron.  His father, a native of North Carolina, and a horse-trader by occupation, died in 1848, in Cobb County, Kentucky; and his mother was a native of East Tennessee.  The Damerons were French Huguenots and came over in the same ship with the Dupuys, Tribins and Clays, settling in Virginia and North Carolina in 1700.  Mr. Dameron’s mother was from Scotland.  The subject of this notice came overland to California in 1854, with a party of friends, some of whom are still living in his neighborhood.  He worked his way by driving stock.  Stopping first in Marysville, he followed mining and lumbering in that vicinity and in Butte County for two years, and in 1856 he settled upon his present place, where he took up 160 acres of the best land.  He now has 640 acres of well improved land, whereon he raises grain principally and some live-stock.

In 1864, in Woodland, he married one of the ladies who came across the plains with him, Miss Mary Browning, a native of Monroe County, Kentucky, and they have tow children living: Rowena and Charles F.; Montie B. died in 1879.

 BENTON V. CRUMRINE, one of the successful and energetic farmers of this county, is a native of Washington County, Pennsylvania, born November 20, 1849, the son of Abraham and Sarah A. (Boyd) Crumrine:  the former is a native of Pennsylvania, and a millwright by trade, and the latter is a native of Virginia, who moved to Putnam County, Illinois, in 1856.  In 1862 the subject of this sketch enlisted in the regular army, the Sixteenth Regiment of United States Infantry, serving as a private soldier nearly three years.  He then re-enlisted in the Second United States Infantry, serving until after the close of the war, and during his army service he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant-Major of his regiment, and was honorably discharged at Livingston, Alabama, in 1867.  After his return to Illinois he engaged in the milling business with his father and brother.  In 1872 he sold his interest to his brother and associated himself with the coal mines of Bureau County, Illinois.  In 1875 he sold his interest in the mines and in the following year came by rail to California, locating near Marysville, and engaged in farming on the Feather River.  This enterprise proved a failure, caused by the overflow of the river for two years in succession, inundating his farm and entirely destroying his crops both years.  Nothing daunted, however, he looked around to mend his fortune, and in the fall of 1877 he came to Tehama County, landing here without a dollar, but by hard work he has come to the surface, and now resides on his farm of 200 acres, located in the foothills twelve miles west of Corning, where he carries on farming and stock-raising.

Mr. Crumrine was married in La Salle County, Illinois, October 1, 1872, to Miss Ellen R. Barr, whose father was one of the early settlers on the Vermillion River, that State.  They have four children: Romeyn E., Mabel H., Burrett and Ralph O.  Politically Mr. Crumrine affiliates with the Democratic party, and takes an active part in political matters.  He has represented his party in the State and also in County conventions, and at the last election was their candidate for State Assemblyman.  He is a prominent member of the G. A. R., and affiliates with the F. & A. M., Moline Lodge, No. 150, and also the A. O. U. W., No. 187, of Tehama.

 JOHN SIMPSON.-Among the prominent and progressive men in the business circles of Tehama for the past thirty-five years is a gentleman whose name heads this sketch.  He was born in Dumfries, Scotland, March 22, 1837, the son of John and Robinia (Craik) Simpson, who were of Scotch parentage and emigrated to the United States in 1838, locating in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, where our subject was reared and educated.  He afterward learned the blacksmith and machinist’s trades, which he followed until 1856, when he came via Panama to California, remaining in San Francisco but a short time.  He then came to Tehama and took charge of the shoeing department and repair shops of the old California Stage Company, remaining in their employ until 1868.  Mr. Simpson then became the partner of Charles Harvey, now deceased, in 1869, of which firm A. G. Toombs became the third partner, and they conducted a general merchandise business under the firm name of Harvey, Simpson & Company.  In 1873 Mr. Simpson with drew from the firm, taking as his interest the town water-works, which the firm then owned and controlled.  His next enterprise was the establishing of an extensive hardware and tin business, carrying a large assortment of crockery, glass, wood and willow ware, also agricultural implements of all kinds.  His store is located at the head of Main street, where he owns one of the best appointed and most complete establishments in this section of the county, carrying a stock the year round of $25,000.

Since Mr. Simpson located in Tehama he has been prominently identified with the growth and prosperity of the town and county: has now in the course of construction, at the head of Main street, a large tank about sixty-two feet above the town level, with a capacity of 20,000 gallons of water, which is intended principally for fire emergencies and he has also two tanks of small capacity for supplying the town with water.  The supply drawn from the Sacramento River by steam power is inexhaustible.  In addition to his business property he is the possessor of a fine residence, with beautiful and well-kept grounds, and many choice varieties of citrus and deciduous fruits, under a high state of cultivation.  Mr. Simpson is one of Tehama’s enterprising and public-spirited men.  Has represented the county in the Legislature in 1873-’74, and was appointed County Supervisor by Governor Stoneman in 1884.  His sons, John and George, are employed with him in business and now have charge of Wells, Fargo & Company’s express and postal telegraph system of Tehama.

Mr. Simpson was joined in wedlock at Carbondale, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1856, with Miss Jennette McNeal, a native of the Keystone State and of Scotch parentage.  They have six children, of whom four are deceased.  Politically Mr. Simpson is a Democrat and takes an active part in the local matters and also affiliates with the F. & A. M., Moline Lodge, No. 150, and the A. O. U. W., Tehama lodge No. 187, of Tehama.

 GEORGE W. TABER, a farmer of Capay Valley, Yolo County, being one of the old settlers there, was born in 1847, the son of Lorenzo and Eveline (Painter) Taber.  His father, a shoemaker by trade, died in Capay, February 10, 1878, and his mother died at the same place, August 22, 1883.  Mr. Taber came across the plains in 1852 to California, with the family, and they stopped in Sacramento, and the father ran a hotel in the foothills during the fall of 1861 and winter following.  After residing there six years in Oregon he became the proprietor of a fine ranch in Capay Valley, which is still the homestead occupied by the subject of his sketch, who is well and favorably known through the valley for his good qualities.  The farm contains 340 acres of well improved land, within three miles of Capay, and his principal product is grain.

August 14, 1882, in Woodland, Mr. Taber married Mrs. Catherine J. Harley, and their children are: Jennie, the wife of Lee Wood, a farmer in the valley; Allen and Yuba. 

 

A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891

Transcribed by Carol Andrews, 04 October 2008 - Pages 436 - 464

 

EAN ARBIOS, a farmer and vineyardist nr Pleasanton, was born July 4, 1832, in Eysus, Basses-Pyrenees, France, where he was reared and educated, and brought up on a farm. His parents were Joseph and Jeanne Maria (Laroude) Arbios, natives also of France. The father died in 1865 and the mother in 1885. Mr. Arbios came to America in 1864, landing in New York, and soon afterward came by way of Panama to this State, and was employed at farm labor for a time near San Francisco; next he was at the Almaden quicksilver mines for a year as a butcher; then he was engaged in mining until 1867 at Boise Mines, Idaho; then he was employed in conducting a dairy for five years in Marin County, this State; in 1872 he went to Sunol, and finally he located upon his present place , a mile and a half south of Pleasanton, on a farm of thirty-three acres, eight acres of which is in vineyard. He also owns 160 acres of pasture land eight miles southeast of Sunol. He was married in France, February 18, 1857, to Miss Genevieve LaLanne, a native of Lurbe, Basses-Pyrenees, France. Three of their children, Joseph, Mary J. and John P. were born in France; and the other three, Edward, Theresa and Harry, were born here in California. Mr. Arbios became a naturalized citizen in 1881, at San Francisco.

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PETER LAUENER, a farmer near Capay, was born April 26, 1835, in Switzerland, the son of Christian and Ann Lauener, natives also of that country; the father, by occupation a farmer, died there in 1849, at the age of forty-five years. Peter was brought up on a farm in Switzerland until 1851, when he emigrated to America, with his widowed mother and five other children, and came direct to Richland County, Illinois, where he remained until 1859, on a small farm owned by his mother. In 1859 he came overland to California, by way of Pike’s Peak, where he remained two weeks. The ensuing winter he spent at Placerville, and during the following spring he entered Capay Valley, and worked for wages until he purchased his present place in 1887, which he is preparing for a fruit farm. It comprises 300 acres, and is situated three miles from Capay. He has a sister in Yolo County, and a brother at Sonora. He is a member of Lodge No. 242, O. C. F., at Capay.

 

He was married in 1872, to Miss Nancy Lang, a native of New York, and a sister of J. A. Lang, an old, time-honored pioneer of Yolo County. Mr. Lauener is an energetic and prosperous farmer, with brilliant prospects before him.

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ROBERT J. ADAMS, Sheriff and Tax Collector of Amador County, was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, November 10, 1846. He received his education in the public schools of that country. His father was a farmer, and Robert stayed at home until about the age of twenty, when he came to California and engaged in the lumber business on the Mokelumne River. He remained in that business until 1882, then took a position with F. M. Whitmore, as book-keeper and business manager for about two years. In 1884 he was nominated, on the Republican ticket, for Sheriff, but was defeated in the election. In 1884 he went to work for the Amador Canal Company, where he remained till 1886. In that year he was again nominated for Sheriff and this time elected. In 1888 he was re-elected, and is the present Sheriff of Amador County. His parents were natives of Scotland. His father still resides in Canada and is well advanced in years: his mother died in February, 1887 at the age of sixty-five.

 

Mr. Adams was married May 17, 1887, to Miss Ann Nickols. They have three children living; the oldest, Nellie O., is twelve years of age; the second, Alexander Garfield, is nine years old; the third died at the age of three years; and the fourth, Robert J., is four years old. Mr. Adams is a gentleman of pleasing address, but firm in the line of his duty, and makes a very efficient and popular officer.

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LOUIS J. FONTENROSE, County Clerk, Auditor and Recorder of Amador County, is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, now serving a fourth term as County Clerk for Amador County; was born September 27, 1850. He came to California in 1857, receiving his education in the public schools of Amador County at Sutter Creek. He resided with his parents at Sutter Creek till 1879, then came to Jackson, having been appointed Deputy County Clerk, which position he held until March, 1880. In 1879 he was elected on the Republican ticket, as County Clerk, and in March, 1880, took the office, which he held until January, 1883. He then received the nomination for re-election by the Republican party, and was defeated by a small majority. In the fall of 1884 he was again nominated by his party for the County Clerk and elected, and has held the office ever since.

 

His parents are natives of Italy, both born near Genoa. They came to America about the year 1845 and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they remained several years, when they removed to Baltimore, Maryland, where they resided till 1857. His father then removed with his family to California and settled in Amador County, where he established a home at Sutter Creek, and remained until his death, which was in 1874. His mother is still living, at the old home at Sutter Creek. He died at the age of fifty-five years. His mother is now about sixty-five years of age, and is active and vigorous for one so advanced in years.

 

Mr. Fontenrose is a very pleasant gentleman, strictly attentive to his business, and has many warm friends, irrespective of party, throughout the county.

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ALVAH C. VAN DER VOORT, Justice of the Peace and real-estate dealer at Pleasanton, dates his birth in Canada, near Bellville, March 14, 1851, where he was reared and educated. His first engagement after the cessation of his school-days was as a book-keeper in a manufacturing establishment. His father, Jacob E. Van Der Voort, a native of Canada, whose ancestors were from Holland, was a farmer by occupation, and at the age of twenty-one years was elected a Representative to Parliament. His wife’s name before marriage was Deborah Hageman; she also was a native of Canada and of Holland descent; both the parents died in 1853. The subject of his biographical mention came into the United States in 1870, locating at Sunol, California, where he was engaged with his uncle, A. S. Sabome, on his farm for twelve years; and then until 1884 he was engaged in agricultural pursuits on his own account. He then moved to Pleasanton, and for two years was connected with Albert E. Crane in real-estate business, having an office also at San Francisco. In 1886 he was elected Justice of the Peace, and in 1888 was re-elected. In the real-estate business he is now connected with Carnall, Fitzhugh, Hopkins & Co.; capital stock, $100,000. This company was incorporated with the following officers: Nathan C. Carnall, President; William M. Fitzhugh, Vice-President; George W. Hopkins, Secretary; Bank of California, Treasurer. Mr. Van Der Voort is also engaged in fire and life insurance and in debt collections. He is a member of industry Lodge, No. 53, A. O. U. W., of Pleasanton. He is a Republican in his politics, and is active in local affairs.

 

He was married at Sunol, September 9, 1884, to Miss Alameda Frakes, and they have one daughter. His wife’s father, a native of Kentucky, and her mother, a native of Illinois, were married at Santa Clara, and have seven children.

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WILLIAM OBERHOUSE, a Yolo County farmer, was born May 5, 1828, in Prussia, and was only six months old when his father died. In 1845 he emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans. The first five years in this country he was a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, engaged as a ship-calker. In the spring of 1850 he came overland with mule teams to California, driving a team every day and having the ground only for a bed every night. He was just ninety days in making the trip, which was a pleasant one. He was among those who were the first to go upon the south side of the Humboldt, where there was plenty of feed. Arriving at Sacramento, the company disbanded and Mr. Oberhouse followed mining two months at Coloma, when he was taken sick and returned to Sacramento. Then he went by water from San Francisco to Humboldt County, being three weeks on the ocean. He visited Scott’s River and Scott’s Valley and Shasta Creek on mule-back, and, his mule becoming mired in the snow, he turned him down upon his side and dragged him down the hill by the tail! He stopped two weeks on Shasta, or Whisky Creek, and was raided one night by some Indians. Some of his company were killed and some robbed. He returned to Sacramento and drove a water-wagon until 1858 when he returned to Missouri by way of the Isthmus. Remaining at St. Louis until 1855, he came again to California, by way of the Isthmus. After visiting Sacramento and Yolo County, he took a piece of land in Solano County, which afterward proved to be grant land and he rented it for a time. Crossing the creek into Yolo County he purchased a squatter’s claim to a tract which he has ever since made his home and which he has highly improved. There are now 480 acres of the homestead, and he raises hay, grain and live-stock. It is three miles east from Winters.

 

Mr. Oberhouse was married in 1854, to Miss Frederica Bearnbum, a native of Prussia, and they have had three sons and four daughters, namely: Emma L., wife of George Sims; Ella L., George, William D., Louis E. and two deceased. All the sons are married.

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GEORGE E. GOODMAN has lived in California since 1852, and in Napa since 1855. Born in Rochester, New York, in 1823, he attended the common and high schools of that city up to the age of nineteen, when he removed to Memphis, Tennessee, where he had an uncle in business, and engaged as a shipping clerk in a cotton commission house, remaining there until 1852. Returning to Rochester for a visit to his parents, he proceeded to New York and thence to San Francisco by way of Panama, arriving October 3, 1852, after a trip of thirty days. Among his fellow-passengers on that trip were ex-Senator W. M. Gwinn, ex-Congressman McCorkle, Mr. Hardenburgh, formerly Surveyor-General of the State, and Nicholas Luning, the millionaire of San Francisco. During the voyage Dr. Swinn frequently prophesied the building of the transcontinental railroad, which was carried out twenty years later. Mr. Goodman was engaged in the wholesale grocery and produce business in San Francisco until 1855. At that time business in San Francisco was very lively, and all merchandise was shipped around Cape Horn. Passengers and mails only came by way of Panama. When Mr. Goodman crossed, the railroad was built for only about fourteen miles up the Chagres River, then about ten miles by rowboat, and the rest of the way by mule to Panama. Thus it will be seen that no merchandise could come by the Panama route, which at that time was hardly capable of carrying the passengers and mails. This left a grand opportunity for the wide-awake speculators who then abounded in San Francisco to get up corners on certain accommodations, and at the same time rendered the market liable to be so glutted with other articles that boxes of tobacco, for instance, weighing from 140 to 150 pounds, were used for crossings in the streets, and doubtless in some parts of the city these boxes could now be found marking the foundations of those streets. At times corners were mode on goods so that they sold for fabulous prices, and at others they would not bring the cost of freights. In 1855 Mr. Goodman left San Francisco for Napa, where he engaged in mercantile business as a member of the firm of Hart & Company. Their trade was very extensive, reaching as far as Clear Lake, in Lake County. At that time there was much wheat raised in the Napa Valley region, while Berryessa and other valleys were large producers of stock, and Napa was the shipping and supply point. Everything was hauled by ox teams, many of which had come across the plains from the East. He continued in the mercantile business until 1859, when he engaged in banking, as a partner of his brother, under the firm name of James H. Goodman & Co., private bankers. This was the first bank established in Napa County. Money was worth three per cent per month, and profitable use could be made of it even at that figure. He has remained in this business since that time, and continuously on the same block. In consequence of the death of James H. Goodman, in 1888, the firm was changed to a corporation, under the name of James H. Goodman & Co. Bank with $500,000 incorporated stock and $800,000 paid-up capital.

 

In 1861 Mr. Goodman took the place of the County Treasurer elect, who went to Virginia just previous to the breaking out of the war and failed to return. After serving out Mr. Wood’s unexpired term, he filled the office by successive re-election for a period of almost nine years, when he declined further nominations. He has always been a member and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church. Both he and his brother James H. contributed largely to the building of their fine edifice, costing over $30,000, fully half of this amount being furnished by these gentlemen. They were also largely interested in building the gasworks of that city, owning much of the stock, and were the principal promoters of the Napa City Water Company, furnishing to a large extent the means necessary to its successful development.

 

He was married in 1860, to Miss Carrie A. Jacks, a native of New York, and the daughter of Judge P. Jacks, of Napa. They have two children, Harvey P., now engaged in the bank as Vice-President, and George E. Jr., also connected wit the bank as Teller. Mr. Goodman has always been a supporter of the Republican party. He is largely interested in the Eshcol vineyard and wine cellar, and, from his position as a large capitalist and the leading banker of the place, is naturally an important factor in all its business interests, while his broad and liberal views and his generous assistance in the promotion of large enterprises have given him a powerful and wide-spread influence throughout this section of the State.

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D. B. HURLBERT. -We mention here one of the oldest citizens of Madison, a farmer and stock-raiser of Yolo County, who once owned the land upon which the flourishing village of Madison now stands. For the purpose of starting the town, he donated the land there to those who would properly improve it. He located here in 1865, coming from New York State, where he was born in 1811. His journey across plain and mountain was a specially difficult one. He visited a number of localities and several cities, but concluded that California was the best of all, and hither he came, in 1851, with his own team. He first stopped in Hangtown, from 1851 to 1854; then he returned to Wisconsin, and located upon a farm with his family. Subsequently he sold that place and resided nine years in Minnesota. Starting then for California, he lost all of his cattle on the way, and he went off into Montana for a time, and since then he has been a resident of his present place in Yolo County, landing here November 18, 1865. He purchased 844 acres, sixty-three of which he gave for the village of Madison; and he also has given to his two sons a ranch, to one a quarter-section, and to the other 391 acres. He still holds the home place of 413 acres, his residence being one-fourth of a mile from the village of Madison. He is successful in raising large quantities of fine wheat and cattle. He is a member of the Knights Templar, Masonic blue lodge, and the I. O. O. F.

 

In 1846, in Wisconsin, he married Margaret Ream, and they have two children, - Charles M. and George R. Mr. Hurlbert’s parents were Daniel and Sybil (Martin) Hurlbert, natives of Connecticut. His father, a farmer, died in the State of New York.

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C. M. DAMERON, a farmer and stock raiser of Yolo County, was born in 1832 in East Tennessee, the son of Felix J. and Mary (Damarel) Dameron. His father, a native of North Carolina, and a horse-trader by occupation, died in 1848, in Cobb County, Kentucky; and his mother was a native of East Tennessee. The Damerons were French Huguenots and came over in the same ship with the Dupuys, Tribins and Clays, settling in Virginia and North Carolina in 1700. Mr. Dameron’s mother was from Scotland. Te subject of this notice came overland to California in 1854, with a party of friends, some of whom are still living in his neighborhood. He worked his way by driving stock. Stopping first in Marysville, he followed mining and lumbering in that vicinity and in Butte County for two years, and in 1856 he settled upon his present place, where he took up 160 acres of the best land. He now has 640 acres of well improved land, whereon he raises grain principally and some live-stock.

 

In 1864, in Woodland, he married one of the ladies who came across the plains with him, Miss Mary Browning, a native of Monroe County, Kentucky, and they have tow children living: Rowena and Charles F.,; Montie B. died in 1879.

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DENTON V. CRUMBRINE, one of the successful and energetic farmers of this county, is a native of Washington County, Pennsylvania, born November 20, 1847, the son of Abraham and Sarah A. (Boyd) Crumrine: the former is a native of Pennsylvania, and a millwright by trade, and the latter is a native of Virginia, who moved to Putnam County, Illinois, in 1856. In 1862 the subject of this sketch enlisted in the regular army, the Sixteenth Regiment of United States Infantry, serving as a private soldier nearly three years. He then re-enlisted in the Second United States Infantry, serving until after the close of the war, and during his army service he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant-Major of his regiment, and was honorably discharged at Livingston, Alabama, in 1867. After his return to Illinois he engaged in the milling business with his father and brother. In 1872 he sold his interest to his brother and associated himself with the coal mines of Bureau County, Illinois. In 1875 he sold his interest in the mines and in the following year came by rail to California, locating near Marysville, and engaged in farming on the Feather River. This enterprise proved a failure, caused by the overflow of the river for two years in succession, inundating his farm and entirely destroying his crops both years. Nothing daunted, however, he looked around to mend his fortune, and in the fall of 1877 he came to Tehama County, landing here without a dollar, but by hard work he has come to the surface, and now resides on his farm of 200 acres, located in the foothills twelve miles west of Corning, where he carries on farming and stock-raising.

 

Mr. Crumrine was married in LaSalle County, Illinois, October 1, 1872, to Miss Ellen R. Barr, whose father was one of the early settlers on the Vermillion River, that State. They have four children: Romeyn E., Mabel H., Burrett and Ralph O. Politically Mr. Crumrine affiliates with the Democratic party, and takes an active part in political matters. He has represented his party in the State and also in County conventions, and at the last election was their candidate for State Assemblyman. He is a prominent member of the G.A.R.; and affiliates with the F. & A. M., Moline Lodge, No. 150 and also the A. O. U. W., No. 187, of Tehama.Page 462

 

 

JOHN SIMPSON. - Among the prominent and progressive men in the business circles of Tehama for the past thirty-five years is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He was born in Dumfries, Scotland, March 22, 1837, the son of John and Robinia (Craik) Simpson, who were of Scotch parentage and emigrated to the United States in 1838, locating in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, where our subject was reared and educated. He afterward learned the blacksmith and machinist’s trades, which he followed until 1856, when he came via Panama to California, remaining in San Francisco but a short time. He then came to Tehama and took charge of the shoeing department and repair shops of the old California State Company, remaining in their employ until 1868. Mr. Simpson then became the partner of Charles Harvey, now deceased, in 1869, of which firm A. G. Toombs became the third partner, and they conducted a general merchandise business under the firm name of Harvey, Simpson & Company. In 1873 Mr. Simpson withdrew from the firm, taking as his interest the town water-works, which the firm then owned and controller. His next enterprise was the establishing of an extensive hardware and tin business, carrying a large assortment of crockery, glass, wood and willow ware, also agricultural implements of all kinds. His store is located at the head of Main street, where he owns one of the best appointed and most complete establishments in this section of the county, carrying a stock the year round of $25,000.

 

Since Mr. Simpson located in Tehama he has been prominently identified with the growth and prosperity of the town and county: has now in course of construction, at the head of Main street, a large tank about sixty-two feet above the town level, with a capacity of 20,000 gallons of water, which is intended principally for fire emergencies, and he has also two tanks of small capacity for supplying the town with water. The supply drawn from the Sacramento River by steam power is inexhaustible. In addition to his business property he is the possessor of a fine residence, with beautiful and well-kept grounds, and many choice varieties of citrus and deciduous fruits, under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Simpson is one of Tehama’s enterprising and public-spirited men. Has represented the county in the Legislature in 1873-‘74, and was appointed County Supervisor by Governor Stoneman in 1884. His sons, John and George, are employed with him in business, and now have charge of Wells, Fargo & Company’s express and postal telegraph system of Tehama.

 

Mr. Simpson was joined in wedlock at Carbondale, Pennsylvania, September 8, 1856, with Miss Jennette McNeal, a native of the Keystone State and of Scotch parentage. They have six children, of whom four are deceased. Politically Mr. Simpson is a Democrat and takes an active part in the local matters and also affiliates with the F. & A. M., Moline Lodge, No. 150 and the A. O. U. W., Tehama Lodge No. 187, of Tehama.

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GEORGE W. TABER, a farmer of Capay Valley, Yolo County, being one of the old settlers there, was born in 1847, the son of Lorenzo and Eveline (Painter) Taber. His father, a shoemaker by trade, died in Capay, February 10, 1878, and his mother died at the same place, August 22, 1883. Mr. Taber came across the plains in 1852 to California, with the family, and they stopped in Sacramento, and the father ran a hotel in the foothills during the fall of 1861 and winter following. After residing six years in Oregon he became the proprietor of a fine ranch in Capay Valley, which is still the homestead occupied by the subject of this sketch, who is well and favorably known through the valley for his good qualities. The farm contains 340 acres of well improved land, within three miles of Capay, and his principal product is grain.

 

August 14, 1882, in Woodland, Mr. Taber married Mrs. Catherine J. Harley, and their children are: Jennie, the wife of Lee Wood, a farmer in the valley; Allen and Yuba.

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WILLIAM SIMS, a prominent citizen near Winters, Yolo County, California is a wonderful land. Its inhabitants have become renowned the world over for a spirit of enterprise and perseverance that has never been witnessed elsewhere. It is indeed a land of gigantic undertaking and grand achievement, even in this country of great attainment, remarkable for the conspicuous success which the resources of the country so uniformly grant to them who are diligent in attention to business and adopt judicious methods. It is therefore a peculiar pleasure to write the history of the lives of Californians. A striking example is the gentlemen whose name heads this article.

 

He dates his birth July 14, 1832, in Fayette County, Virginia, of humble parentage. His early days were spent upon a farm. He left Virginia March 19, 1849, and located in Cass County, Missouri, expecting to begin the study of law with an uncle there; but the gold excitement of California drew him on as with a hurricane. May 7, 1850, he crossed the western line of the State of Missouri, his mind not full of adventure but on honest principle. Coming with an ox team, he met with the usual experiences of the route, and remained about eight days in Salt Lake City. The last 300 miles he came on foot, arriving at Georgetown, August 31, 1850. He began work in the American River mines at $7 a day, but worked only three days and a half when fever attacked him and held him to his bed for three weeks. Alone in a strange land and his means exhausted, not having even a “two-bit” piece with which to secure a scanty meal, he soon found a man with a heart that recognized his condition and took him in; but his exposure had caused a relapse and for nearly three years he was an invalid. He spent some time in a store as a clerk and book-keeper. In 1856 he went to Lake County, where he was engaged in farming until 1861; then he went to Yolo County and purchased a squatter’s title, which he afterward sold, in 1863, for $400. Purchasing an outfit, he commenced teaming to the mines, and at the end of the first season he had $20 as the result of all his work! But with a remarkable degree of grit he continued in the same business the following season, and made sometimes as much as $100 a trip. In 1866 he put on another outfit and made as high as $700 a trip. From 1867 to 1876 he was engaged in running threshing -machines, in which business he was successful. In 1869 he took a contract to cut 900 acres of grain for $4,500. In 1870 he purchased his present property,-240 acres three miles northeast of Winters, - upon which he built a large and elegant resident in 1887. He now has some 560 acres in Yolo County, on which he carries on general farming, and he also has some thirty-five acres in fruit. Thus, after the privations, failures and sickness already referred to, on his coming to California, we find him to-day enjoying prosperity in connection with a fine ranch and a comfortable home. He takes great interest in political affairs, but does not aspire to office, although he has often been asked, - even to fill some of the highest stations in the county and State. He voted at Murderer’s Bar, at the first election held in California. He has been one of the School Trustees since 1862, and now nearly all the business in that relation is imposed upon him. He became identified with the Grange movement in 1873, in which he has taken a very active part. He is a large stockholder in the warehouse at Winters, and also in the Bank of Winters, of which he has been vice-president since its organization. He is a member of Lodge No. 195, F. & A. M., of Dixon Chapter, No. 48, R. A. M.; of Lodge No. 33, K. of P. at Winters, and for fourteen years of the I. O. G. T., of which he is now G. C. T.

 

In 1857 he married Miss L. A. Sims, a native of Ohio, who was reared in Virginia, and they have four children: George, Wilburn, Nora and Fred.

Page 464

 

 

ANDREW B. AITKEN. - Among the many prominent and progressive business men of Tehama County, none, perhaps, are more worthy of mention than the above named gentleman. His residence in California dates back to 1858, and since that period he has been prominently identified with the mercantile business men of this and other sections of the State. Having been eared to a business life from boyhood, he has indeed been a close observer of the ups and downs that naturally follow those pursuits, and he has witnessed the rise and fall of many prominent business operations. He himself has shared the fate of others before him, not so much perhaps through his own indiscretion or oversight as by the stumbling-blocks placed in his way by lukewarm friends in whom he had confided and confidentially trusted. As is natural in business life, our subject found himself worshiping at the shrine and zealously courting Dame Fortune; and just at the time when he believed that she was fairly won-she evaded his grasp, and substituted her ungovernable daughter, Mis-Fortune, and left them to settle the question as best they might. The old adage that “business life seldom runs smooth” meets many cases. However, our predictions are that progressive men will surely rise to the surface in spite of the impediments thrown in their way.

 

Mr. Aitken is a native of the Old Keystone State, born in Luzerne County, June 13, 1853, and at an early age he came with his parents via Panama to California, locating in Tehama County. Our subject attended the public schools of Tehama and Yolo counties, and later attended the grammar schools of Sacramento, completing his education at Marysville. Here he was the recipient of a handsome prize given for best scholarship, by Mayor C. M. Gorham, now of San Francisco. Immediately following his school days, he became the clerk of Charles Heintzen, a banker, merchant and mine operator of Forest City, Sierra County, remaining in his employ until 1872, and was then employed by the firm of Cooley and Cady. After severing his connection with this firm he became the salesman of Harvey Simpson & Co., of Tehama, remaining in their employ and handling the business of Wells, Fargo & Co.’s Express until 1878. He then came to Riceville, where, June 13, 1878, he opened a general merchandise store, operating it under the firm name of A. B. Aitkin & Co., continuing until the railroad was built, November 1883, when his store and the town was moved near the road, and the town of Corning succeeded that of Riceville. The following notice appeared in the Corning “Observer”, September 21, 1889; - “The firm of A. B. Aitken has closed its doors. Mr. Aitken is the successor to the firm of Simpson & Aitken, which started business twelve years ago at Riceville and entered on the road to prosperity. Two years ago Mr. Simpson retired from the firm, to the surprise of all, and from what we can learn the good feeling that before existed did not continue. Poor crops and long credit, with a very low price for white and 35,000 sacks on hand was perhaps the cause. The only wish is that the suspension may be only temporary, and that Mr. Aitken will be on his feet again soon, as it would be a sad blow to Corning should this gentleman be compelled to retire from business. He has been its main stay for many years, and it was through his enterprise that Corning is what it is. With Mr. Aitken’s retirement from active life, many things that were about to be purchased for the advancement of Corning will stand still in their present condition, unless we are blessed with another enterprising citizen like him”.

 

Mr. Aitken was joined in marriage in Tehama Township, March 17, 1877, to Miss Ella I. Miller, a native of Iowa, and they have three children: Jennie Irene, Liston E. and Irma J. Mr. Aitken affiliates with the order of F. & A. M., Moline Lodge, No. 150 of Tehama, also the Corning Council, No. 160, O. C. F. of Corning. Politically he is a Republican and takes an active part in local politics, and is at the present time Notary Public of Corning.

Page 493

 

 

JOHN W. FARMER, the pioneer of the cheese-making interest in California, has been a resident of this State since June 1855. Born in Cayuga County, New York, near the city of Syracuse in 1820, he early engaged in the dairy business as well as in buying butter and cheese for the New York and Boston markets, and continued in that vocation until he came West. On his arrival here there was but one dairy ranch in Solano County, and there butter was the only product. Purchasing a ranch of 800 acres three miles from Vallejo, he began to establish a dirty for the purpose of making cheese also. Soon afterward he sold 450 acres, at the price he gave for it, $13 an acre, and finally the remainder of the land became so valuable that he was sold, also at $100 an acre. He then bought another ranch, 550 acres, about six miles from Vallejo, then in Solano County, but now in Napa County, and on that place he followed dairying until about a year ago, devoting his attention principally to the manufacture of a fine grade of cheese; he had the reputation of making the finest cheese in California. While other cheese was selling at twelve and half cents a pound he received no less than twenty-five cents a pound. For a number of years he also managed the ranches and dairies of General Frisbie, and later of the Vallejo Land and Improvement Company, but for the last few years he has been retired from active business. He has been a member of the Masonic order for the past forty-eight years, being now the oldest Freemason in Solano County, a member of the Naval Lodge, No. 87, of Vallejo, also of the Eastern Star Chapter. He has a charming home and family circle, and is now enjoying the rest which he has so well earned in his long life of labor and enterprise.

 

His parents were Josiah and Nancy (Eidridge) Farmer, and as a boy he was raised in the same part of New York State where the great leaders of Mormonisn were brought up. He was a play-mate of Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, Mr. Clausen and Mr. Hooper. Mr. Farmer’s cousin, H. S. Eldridge, was one of the most prominent of them and was in charge of the co-operative store at Salt Lake City, and was also president of the Salt Lake City and Ogden banks; he owned a third of the co-operative store and was also its manager.

In 1837 Mr. Farmer married Miss Phoebe Farmer, and they had five children, of whom three are now living, in California, namely: Winfield Scott, now engaged in the cattle business in Solano County; Hiram Milo, now an engineer for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company; and Emma, now the wife of J. C. Rounds, of Vallejo. One son, Coburn, died in 1880, and a daughter, Mrs. Ella Rounds, died in 1873. Mrs. Farmer died in 1884, and in 1886 Mr. Farmer married Mrs. Mary Ballard, a native of Pennsylvania.

Page 493 - 494

 

MATTHEW ROOT BARBER, fruit-raiser near Martinez and an old and respected pioneer of the county, was born August 7, 1815, in Delaware County, Ohio, son of Joseph Barber, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and Clara, daughter of Rev. Daniel Kent, of Benson, Vermont. When he was two years old his parents moved to Bond County, Illinois, where they were engaged in farming and stock-raising. Losing both his parents when young, he was taken by the family of Hon. Elam Brown, of Morgan County, Illinois, to bring up. He obtained the usual common-school education and at the age of twenty-one started out in the world for himself. He followed farming and wagon-making until March 15, 1849, when he joined a train for the Golden State. After a weary journey of six months, he stopped at Hangtown and followed mining in that vicinity for a short time; then he engaged in the redwood lumber trade near San Antonio, then in Conta Costa County. He wrote tickets at the residence of Hon. Elam Brown for the election of delegates to form a State Constitution; also wrote tickets for the election of the first county officers. The county then included also Alameda County. After that he followed the carpenter’s trade, building several of the first houses in Martinez, some of which are still standing. On February 14, 1851, he returned to Illinois by way of the Isthmus and New Orleans, and brought overland his family and a drove of cattle, arriving at Martinez August 22, 1852. During the ensuing fall he purchased his present beautiful place, then consisting of unbroken hills and plains with no improvements, two miles from Martinez. Upon his fine farm he now raises a variety of excellent fruit, including grapes, which alone occupy an area of fifty acres. Mr. Barber was elected to the office of Public Administrator for four successive terms, as shown by the records. His marriage to Miss Orpha Bean, of Pike County, Illinois, took place November 14, 1837, and their children are: Maria B., born December 30, 1838, is now Mrs. Lander, of Martinez; William H., born February 8,1841, deceased; Daniel N., born August 5, 1843, deceased; Elam B., born June 13, 1847; and Clara E., born January 29, 1849, is deceased. Her first husband was Hon. George W. Bailey, of Martinez, and her second husband was Judge James E. Goodall, of Bodie, California

Page 495

 

HON. HENRY HOOK.- One of the best known officials of the United States Custom House of San Francisco, is Assemblyman Henry Hook, of Martinez; Contra Costa County, who is cashier. He, like many other prominent citizens of this State, came to California with his parents in early times, his family arriving here in 1850, coming direct from Arrow Rock, Missouri, where young Hook was born, October 1, 1848. Almost immediately upon the family’s arrival in this city they departed for the gold fields of Hangtown, now Placerville, where they remained till 1851, when they moved to Sacramento and engaged in the merchandise business, and continuing in that line until the fall of the following year, when they moved to this city, and continued in the same line of business, locating on Jackson street, where they carried on a very large business, until they were driven out by the fires of 1852-’53. William Hook next turned his attention to the building of a hotel to accommodate the State Legislature at Vallejo; but before the completion of the hotel a change was made in the location of the State capital, and the capitol building started here in Vallejo was never completed. We next find the enterprising father of the subject of this sketch located in the mercantile business at Martinez, Contra Costa County, going there in 1854, where the family has since resided, the firm then being known as Agnew & Hook, the former being the founder of the well-known dry-goods firm of Murphy & Grant, of this city. Mr. Hook amassed a large fortune, and converted the same into farms throughout Contra Costa County, giving his realty interests his whole time. He gave up his mercantile pursuits, and died, near Martinez, in 1882. Young Hook was given an excellent education, attending the public schools of that county till 1865, when he entered the Benicia College, graduating in 1867.

 

Returning to his home, he engaged in farming one year. At the age of twenty years he was appointed abstract clerk in the naval office of the United States Custom House, remaining in that position until 1875, after which he accepted the position of salesman in the carpet department in E. Hook’s well-known store in Oakland. After ten years of continuous labor, he took a trip over the United States, visiting every large city of the country, and was the guest of President Hayes, at Columbus, Ohio, just before his election. He commenced farming on the ranches he now owns, in Contra Costa, in 1877. In 1886 he was nominated for County Treasurer of Contra Costa County. Having made such a thorough canvass when running for office, and being energetic and active, the Republicans of that county nominated him for the Assembly in 1888. He was elected by a large majority. While a member of the State Legislature, Mr. Hook filled several prominent positions on various committees. He was the father of the agricultural bill that was passed by both houses, separating his county from Alameda and San Francisco. He was also a strong advocate of, and was mainly instrumental in having the appropriation bill of $10,000 passed for the location of the United States Grange, thereby causing the first sitting of the United States Grange in California; was also the main-stay and backer of the Feeble-minded Home bill, which is now located at Hillgirth, Sonoma County. At the solicitation of his many friends he was induced to accept the position which he now fills,-cashier of the United States Custom House. Since he has been connected with the Custom House he has made many friends, who speak of him in the highest terms

 

In 1873 Mr. Hook married Miss Elizabeth A. Benningham, assistant principal of the Oakland High School, and they have one child, born February 8, 1875, and named Elizabeth Benningham

Page 495

 

 

RICHARD and THOMAS HEXT, farmers in Yolo County, west of Davisvillle, are the sons of Richard and Elizabeth (Lucom) Hext, natives of England. Richard was born in March, 1835, and Thomas, May 13, 1832; the former came to California in 1851 and the latter in 1854. Richard located in Sacramento, and worked at different jobs for ten years. On the arrival of his brother they went together into Yolo County, and purchased a tract of 450 acres on Putah Creek in 1857, and in 1869 he purchased the place where they now live, containing 960 acres and situated west of Davisville four miles, and ten miles from Woodland.

Page 496

 

A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891

Transcribed by: Carol Andrews ,  August 2008  Pages 451-496

 

 

WILLIAM GASTON HUNT.— This well known and prominent citizen of Wood land has had a very stirring and eventful life, and one which affords a lesson for those  who have to make their own way in the world. Thrown upon his own resources at an early age, with a number of sisters largely dependent upon his efforts, he has fought manfully and well the battle of life, and is deservedly ranked among the successful and representative pioneers of the State.

 

Mr. Hunt was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, in 1827, his parents being Asa and Diana (Stanley) Hunt, and the latter being a member of the Society of Friends. The father was an active, hard-working man of no very large means, engaged in the milling business, having a saw-mill, cotton-gin and woolen mill. The family consisted of ten children, eight daughters and two sons. Desiring to better his circumstances, he removed with his family in 1843 or 1844 to Andrew County, Missouri, then a new and wild country, as a result of which they had to endure many hardships. The mother died in 1846, and in 1848 the father followed her, leaving the children all alone to tight their way, William Gaston being one of the youngest. As may readily be perceived from the foregoing, his book learning was not of the deepest, and yet, profiting by the lessons taught in the practical school of experience, Mr. Hunt has gained an education from the world probably of more value to him than anything else could have been, and could not now be mistaken for anything else than he is — a genial, whole-souled gentleman, his Southern blood showing plainly in his easy bearing and knowledge of the world. The death of his father placed him practically at the head of the family, they being nearly all girls and depending largely on him. He was equal, however, to the emergency, not hesitating for a moment to undertake his duty. On the outbreak of the gold fever in 1849 they determined, one and all, to come to California, and the brothers and sisters formed a train of five wagons in that neighborhood to make the trip across the plains.   

 

The father had taken up the farm when it was Government land on a five-years purchase, and two or three annual payments had been made when the children decided to try their fortune in the far West. Leaving enough money with a justice of the peace to pay another annual installment and interest when due, they left for California Arriving there, they found it of course impossible to get any answer to a letter written to their old home in less than six months, and the first news they learned from their old home was that the custodian of their money had died, the payment on the Missouri homestead had been neglected, and the property had passed out of their possession. Thus was severed another one of the ties that bound them to the old home.

 

They left Missouri May 1, 1849, and after a journey of just four months they reached Hangtown (now Placerville) There they opened a hotel or boarding-house, which was carried on by the sisters and sister-in-law of our subject, while the boys went to freighting between Sacramento and the mines. When the large emigration commenced in 1850, Mr. Hunt saw a profit in buying up the immigrants' stock.

 

Late in that year he went to Carson City, bought a band of cattle and drove them over the mountains into the valley, turning them to graze on the place he now owns on Cache Creek, in the spring of 1851 Mr. Hunt closed up the hotel at Placerville and brought his sisters down to the ranch, where he engaged in the business of raising cattle and general ranching. In 1852 his brother, Alvis Hunt, died, they having been in partnership in all their undertakings prior to that time. In the fall of 1853 Mr. Hunt was married to Miss Jennie Day, a native of South Bend, Indiana. Meanwhile he continued his operations, going extensively into sheep-raising, having between 10,000 and 15,000 at one time, and finding it very profitable. This he continued for ten years when, in 1863, he sent one drove up to Oregon and the other to Lower California, closing out the business. From that time he was engaged in general farming, raising stock, cattle, hogs, etc., at the same time doing a large business in buying and selling wheat, running several warehouses, located in Woodland and other advantageous points along the line of the railroad, and be- came known to the producers throughout the entire Sacramento Valley. He has now also a large interest in and is president of the Yolo Winery, an incorporated institution, of which he was one of the founders. The winery was originally one of his grain warehouses, but within the past five years has been remodeled and converted into a wine-cellar.

 

Mr. Hunt is an influential stockholder in the Bank of Woodland, with which he has been connected a number of years. His ranch on Cache Creek, northwest of Woodland, comprises 800 acres of choice land, and he has considerable property, both" business and residence, in the town, including his handsome and commodious home place on the corner of Fisk and Oak avenues. He has long been a firm believer in the value of land as the true-basis of wealth, and his opinions in regard to the matter have been strengthened by personal observation while traveling abroad. Mr. Hunt is a man of unusual business ability, and these qualities have been brought out in strong relief during his residence in this county. While generally considered a conservative man in business matters, he was not backward about taking risks when they were necessary in transactions. During the days when free-landers were the great exporters of California wheat, he and his partners had at times as much as $200,000 or $300,000 worth of wheat in the hands of the forwarders, from which they had received no returns. These risks were necessary to carry on a large business of that kind then, but a failure of their commission men would have meant ruin to all. It took men of nerve to do that kind of business, and a history of the grain trade shows an unusual small percentage of men who have come out on the right side in the end. Mr. Hunt did so, and is certainly entitled to the credit of having been a shrewd operator.

 

While never having been in any sense a politician or office-seeker, Mr. Hunt has always taken a commendable interest in public affairs j is an ardent supporter of the principles of the Re- publican party, and has done his share in keeping up the spirit of the party in this region.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Hunt have three children, viz: Alice Edith, wife of L. D. Stephens, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; Rowena D., wife ot E. J. Du Pne; and A. G., a brief sketch of whom follows:

 

Alvis G. Hunt was born in Yolo County, April 19, 1859. He commenced his schooling in the schools at Cacheville, continuing his studies in the State University at Oakland, finishing with a commercial course in the Sacramento Business College, where he graduated in 1875. He then embarked in the warehouse trade, assisting in the business of his father's firm, and becoming thoroughly familiar with its details. He has, since entering upon his business career, been identified largely with the grain trade; and that is now his line. He has considerable property interests, including a ranch in Fresno County, which he rents out, a business building on Main street and realty in Chicago. He is an unassuming young man but has had quite a business career for one of  his years. [Pages 577 – 579]

 

F W. GAFFORD, proprietor of the Gafford Hotel, at Davisville, California, was born June 30, 1834, in Pike County, Missouri, a son of William C. and Nancy G. (Clempson) Gafford, father a native of Virginia and mother of North Carolina. The father was a mechanic and moved from his native place in Virginia to Pike County, Missouri, where he lived about three years, then moved to Randolph County, Missouri, where he lived until 1864, when he came to California, across the plains, with his family, excepting two of the children who had come previously. On arriving in this State he located first at Michigan Bar, and afterward at Santa Cruz, and then returned to El Dorado County, where he died in 1872, at the age of eighty-two years. Mr. J. W. Gafford came to this State in 1850, when he was fifteen years old, and at once began work in the mines in different localities, with moderate success, until 1866. He was then engaged at various employments until 1874, when he went to Davisville and built a large and commodious hotel on Main Street. Mr. Gafford is a genial landlord, knowing well how to conduct his well-furnished house in a faithful manner. He is a member of Yolo Lodge, No. 169, I. O. O. F., and also of the K. of P.

 He was married in 1871, to Miss Hannah J. Benjamin, a native of Canada, and of their four children three are living. [Pages 582-583]

T F. DOPKING, a farmer near Woodland, is a son of D. and Hannah (Daniels) Dopking. His father, a native of New York State, came to California in 1863, with two brothers, Joseph and Ira, and his mother is a native of Canada. He was born six miles east of Buffalo, and was but one year old when his parents moved with him to Canada. At the age of thirteen years lie went to Van Buren County, Michigan, and in 1850 came across the plains and mountains to California, with one of his neighbors. He started without a cent of money, and worked his way through. Going to the mines, he was satisfied with fair success, remaining there until 1863. In 1860 he purchased a ranch of 240 acres about two miles east of Woodland, and settled upon it in 1863 when he quit mining. He has been improving a portion of this ranch, of which he now owns sixty-live acres, in good condition.

February 20, 1871, in Capay Valley, on Cache Creek, Mr. Dopking married Miss Mary E. Evert, a native of Iowa, who died in February, 1875. For his present wife he married Mrs. Ann Barnhart, in Woodland, Decembers, 1875- She is a daughter of Jonathan and (Buttolph) Pierce. Her father is a native of New York State and her mother of Massachusetts. They have living with them a grand-child, named George Hopkins. [Pages 584-585]

JOSEPH C. HULSE, Justice of the Peace at Winters, was born in Clark County, Kentucky, March 12, 1816, a son of John and Mary S. (Davenport) Hulse, the former a native of Kentucky; his grandparents were from Maryland. He was brought up as a farmer's son, and continued on the farm until 1849, when he came overland to California. At Humboldt the company dissolved and came by packed-animals to Sacramento. Mr. Hulse became one of the early gold hunters. He located in Colusa County, was the first Sheriff of that county, and later was elected County Judge. During the administration of James Buchanan he was appointed to a position in the custom-house at San Francisco, by Colonel B. F. Washington. In 1861 he settled in Pleasant Valley, Nevada, and built the mill called the Camlack mills, and lost heavily. Returning to California, he worked for G. P. Swift, and afterward was engaged as a butcher and meat-cutter for F. Roop one year at Sonoma; then he was employed as a guard at the State Prison at San Quentin a year,  under Governor Haight, and he then located at Buckeye, Yolo County, where he was elected Justice of the Peace in 1863. In 1864 he re-signed, and when in 1875 Buckeye was moved  to Winters he went there also, and was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, which position he still holds, and he is also a Notary Public.

 He was married in 1839, in Madison County, Kentucky, to Anna Collins, and they had two children: Richard, who died in Kentucky when one year old, and America K., who is now the wife of Thomas G. Hulse. [Pages 588-589]

J E. DURHAM, a farmer near Pacheco, Contra Costa County, is a well-known  and prosperous agriculturist. He was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, December 6, 1829, and lost his mother at an early age. His father transferred \\\i residence to Arkansas, and a year afterward he settled in Barry County, Missouri, where J. E. attended school six years; returning again to Arkansas with his father, he lived six years longer with him, and then went again to Missouri, where he maintained a continuous residence until March, 1850, when he proceeded to Independence, fitted out and came across the plains and mountains by way of Fort Laramie to California. He was employed as teamster, and at Fort Laramie he joined a train of Mormons, who were on their way to Salt Lake City. At this place he passed the ensuing winter, and in the spring resumed his journey, arriving at Georgetown, El Dorado County, in June, 1851. In the vicinity of that place he followed mining until 1853, when he began running an express and stage line from Stockton to Hill's Ferry, continuing in this business six years. At one time he owned the ferry at the month of the Stanislaus River. Coming to Contra Costa County, he purchased his present place of 305 acres. He also owns 118 acres a mile distant and 434 acres at Bay Point. The home ranch is four and a half miles from Pacheco, in the Ygnacio Vlley. He devotes his attention to general farming, stock-raising and fruit.

 He was first married, in San Francisco, October 2, 1862, to Miss June E. Sherman, a native of Ohio, and they had seven children: Burnett S., born August 15, 1863; John E., born February 21, 1865, died March 8, 1873; Melvina I., born November 16, 1867; Fannie, born November 23. 1869, died April 25, 1885; Cora E., born April 16, 1871; Levi B. H., born April 15, 1873, and Aurelia, born August 23, 1874. For his second wife Mr. Durham married, in Pacheco, October 10, 1877, Miss Melvina Strickland, a native of Illinois, and they have one son, named Herbert S.[Pages 590-591]

 

JAMES T. MARTIN, M. D.— The history of this State is unique, thrilling and wonderful. No other country can boast of such exciting and romantic events, or of example so worthy of emulation as California.

The historian here has an almost unlimited storehouse from which to select his material, and to relate the narratives of the many interesting and exciting incidents which have taken place in our midst, and the wonderful prosperity which is ascribed to the growth and development of this — the land of promise.  

Of course the experiences as told by the pioneers, who came here in an early day, form a most valuable part, and, in fact, are indispensable in chronicling events which have occurred here, and go a long way in making up a history. But aside from all this, there is another class of men, who, in their way, bear just as important a part in the introducing of new ideas, and revolutionizing, as it were, the old set and fogy ways that are so characteristic to many of the old Californians.  

In making a retrospect of this country during the past few years, we find that the young men of to-day are rapidly assuming relations, both in the business and professional circles, as well as in the managing of our political affairs and local and public institutions.   In making any mention of this class of men, who are now prominent in one way or another, we feel no hesitancy in presenting the name of James T. Martin, a leading physician of Woodland.  

Dr. Martin is a homoeopathist, who has un- bounded faith in that method of treating disease, and in him the people of Yolo County have an able physician, thoroughly versed in his profession. He is in every sense of the word a self-made man, and though now in the very vigor of manhood has had to undergo many trying hardships in order to properly fit himself to work out the problem of life. A few points of interest in his career, will, perhaps, deserve proper mention at this time. His father, Norman Martin, was a descendant of the Scotch Highlanders, coming from that old Celtic stock which underwent so many hard ships in the history of that country, and was born in Stronoway, Lewis Island, off the northwest coast of Scotland.  

He was a carpenter by trade, and, in 1841, left his native country in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company, coming to Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia River, arriving there in the spring of 1842. He married a lady named Julia Bridgefarmer, who came from Pennsylvania Dutch stock, and from the time he first went there continued to make his home in Oregon.  

James Thurston Martin, the subject of this article, was born in Yamhill County, Oregon, November 26, 1850. His education was partly received in the public schools, but principally at the Pacific University, at. Forest Grove, where he worked his way through school, and was graduated from that institution in 1876, in a class of six, three of whom were Japanese, who have since become prominent in their own country. After graduation he went to Washington, then a Territory, and commenced teaching. He was principal of the public schools at Seattle for nearly two years, and occupied a similar position with the schools of Olympia, the capital of Washington.  

All this time our subject was bent upon studying medicine. While in Olympia he met J. B. Huntington, with whom he made arrangements to take a drove of cattle overland to Cheyenne. Upon arriving there, he also proceeded with these cattle by rail through to Council Bluffs and Chicago. This was done with the intent to work his passage East, and avoid paying out any of his limited amount of funds, knowing full well that the plan he had laid out before him would require all the means at his command, and indeed more. At Chicago he bought a railroad ticket to Ann Arbor, which was the only money paid out for fare up to this point of the journey. Arriving at Ann Arbor October 6, 1880, he entered the Medical Department of the University of Michigan, and in due time, after a great amount of perseverance on his part, devoting his vacations to work in the cornfields, and employing every spare hour to the best advantage, he won for himself a diploma from that noted institution, June 28, 1883.  

Now being well versed in the theoretical part of his profession, the young physician turned his attention toward the attainment of further knowledge in a practical way. Through some friends he shortly afterward obtained the appointment as physician for the Skokomish Indian reservation, with headquarters at the head of Hood's Canal. There he remained until the change of administration occurred and President Cleveland went into office, when Dr. Martin resigned his position and came to California. He opened an office in Woodland September 10, 1885, since which time he has been engaged in the active practice of his profession.

While Dr. Martin is an excellent physician, he is at the same time an able surgeon, having a high reputation in this department of his profession.   While a medical student at Ann Arbor he joined the Masonic order, in 1883, and is now connected with Woodland Lodge, No. 156. Since his residence in this city he has associated himself with the Order of Chosen Friends, Ancient Order of Foresters and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a member of the Congregational Church of Woodland, first joining that body in Forest Grrove, Oregon, some fifteen years ago.  

Dr. Martin is at present a member of the Advisory Board to the Trustees of the Hahnemann Medical College of San Francisco.  

He was married March 31, 1885, to Mrs. M. M. Huntington, a native of Switzerland, but reared in Memphis, Tennessee. She was a widow with two children, viz.: Lutie and Fred. Huntington, the former born in August, 1874, and the latter April 26, 1877. Mrs. Martin is a sister of the eminent artist Carl Guthers, whose paintings have taken an international prize at the Paris Salon. She is also a sister-in-law of General Flower, of St. Paul, Minnesota. By the present marriage there are four children, viz.: Genevieve, born January 26, 1887; Thurston Guthers, born May 5, 1888; Lewella and Lenala (twins), born April 25, 1890.  

Such in brief is a resume of the life of our subject. He is a man of fine gentlemanly ways, possessing a modest and unassuming manner, and is not gifted with any unnecessary display or waste of language, — more especially so in his professional capacity. Yet in a social way he is pleasant and congenial, and has a happy faculty of making many friends.  

He is a man who is thoroughly interested in his chosen field of labor, and practices his profession for the love he has for it, and the interest he takes in suffering humanity.   He was elected a member of the International Hahnemann Association at the meeting held in Montreal, Canada, in 1889.  

He was elected Vice-President of the California State Homeopathic Medical Society, at San Francisco, on the 14th of May, 1890, and was also chosen as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Legislation, having for its object supervision of measures of legislation affecting the welfare of medicine, and especially of the Homeopathic school.   Dr. Martin certainly has a bright future be- fore him, of which, it is equally certain, he is deserving of. [Pages 593-595]  

JOHN MULL, a horticulturist at Woodland, is a son of Jacob and Ahnira (Sage) Mull. His father was born in 1807, in the State of New York, and his mother in 1812 in Connecticut, and they are now both living in Oberlin, Ohio. Mr. Mull, the subject of this brief notice, was born in Nunda, Livingston County, New York, February 20, 1832, and was but a year old when the family removed to Ohio. He grew up to manhood there and married Charlotte Chandler, the daughter of Salmon and Naomi Chandle born May 1, 1832, in Ohio, the date of their marriage being November 9, 1854. Mr. Mull was engaged in agricultural pursuits in Ohio until 1859, when he came over- land to California, settling in Yolo County. He took up a quarter section of land about six miles south of Woodland, and occupied it for fifteen years, when he sold it and purchased seven acres in the eastern portion of Woodland, where he now resides. Mrs. Mull is the owner of forty acres six miles south of Woodland, which is rented. Mr. Mull was Road-master for six and a half years, and during his term of office he put upon the county roads the first load of gravel. The children are: George T., who was born September 20, 1855, and Rosa L., who was born October 24, 1857, and is now the wife of William Wallace: both are natives of Ohio. [Page 596]

SAMUEL SHRYOCK, engineer of the Woodland City Water-works, is a son of John and Mary (Sheets) Shryock, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Rochester, New York. He was born in Hamilton County, Indiana, November 14, 1827, where he, on growing up to manhood, served his time as an apprentice at the carpenter and joiner's trade. In 1853 he came to California and was in the mines until December, 1855, when he went to Yolo County and purchased a squatter's right near Woodland. Subsequently he purchased an interest, with William Borden, in a general machine and blacksmith shop in Woodland, and conducted it for three years. Next he was engaged in the manufacture of syrups for two years; and then he started a machine shop, and three years subsequently he and a man named Studenburg bought the Woodland Flouring Mills and ran them two years. In 1868 he sold out, went East on a visit, when he was married to Miss Rachel Williams, a native of Indiana. Returning in 1874 to Wood- land, he began running a threshing-machine, and continued with it nine years, when he disposed of that and was employed by the Wood land Water Company in his present position. His wife died in June, 1875, leaving three children: John J., born in May, 1869; Gertrude A., in 1871, and Josephine A., November 8, 1873. Mr. Shryock, when running his machine shop, furnished a great deal of the material for the court-house at Woodland. [Page 599]
 
JOHN KEITHLEY, a Yolo County farmer, was born in Harrison County, Indiana, November 15, 1828, a son of Jacob and Sarah (Roberts) Keithley, natives of Kentucky. The grandfather of John Keithley was a pioneer of Kentucky. Jacob was a farmer, and moved from Kentucky to Indiana when a young man, and thence in 1837 to McDonough County, Illinois, which was at that time a new and wild section of the country. He came to California in 1869, but in the fall of the same year he re- turned to Illinois. During 1870, however, he came again to California and purchased land near Santa Rosa. This he sold and returned to Illinois the second time in 1871. In 1872 he came the third time to the Golden State, principally for the sake of its climate, and purchased land near Fnlton Station, in Sonoma County, and lived there until he died, in August, 1875, at the age of sixty-nine years. His wife re- turned again to Illinois, where she is now residing, at the age of eighty five years. They had ten sons and two daughters, all of whom are living except one son, who died in California.  

Mr. John Keithley, whose name heads this sketch, was reared on the Illinois farm, commencing to plow corn at the early age of eight years. He was a member of the parental house-hold until twenty-three years of age, when, with all his earthly possessions in a " prairie schooner," he set out. in 1852, across the interminable desert for the Golden Coast. His journey, occupying six months, was a pleasant one. After visiting Downieville, Marysville and Sacramento, he went to Mormon Island, and was engaged in digging a canal about six weeks. Returning to Sacramento a short time, he was persuaded by friends to go to the mines again, and he spent one month among them at Placerville, but with poor success. After paying for his board he had $300, with which he decided to return to Illinois; but on ascertaining- the fare at San Francisco, he was afraid to start, and he went to the San Jose Valley for a short time, and then, in company with his brother, William, and a friend, went to Redwood City and took a contract to cut redwood lumber. At this work they each cleared $1,160 in seven months. Going again to Sacramento, they purchased cattle with the expectation of returning to Redwood City and following the business of teaming; but on arriving there they sold the cattle, at an advance of $20 a head; and they immediately purchased other cattle and during the following winter followed teaming to Redwood City. The following spring they sold their teams to the mill company and worked by the month until fall. Then the company " broke up " and Mr. Keithley and his partner took back their teams for the purpose of carrying on the farm with them a year.   They then returned to Sacramento and followed teaming, principally to the mines at Nevada City, doing a little farming at the same time in Sacramento County, for two years. During the ensuing winter they sold out, and they found themselves in possession of $14,000, which they invested in the cattle trade. Two years subsequently they sold out again and engaged in sheep-rearing in Solano County, having at one time over 7,000 head; but a collapse and they retired from that business, with a loss of about $20,000.

In 1860 they purchased the Henry Conner tract of land, consisting of 1,000 acres, and began raising wheat, and teaming again to Virginia City, and thus they were engaged in partnership until 1865. when they divided their funds. Since then Mr. John Keithley has been a constant resident on the Yolo County farm, where he has made all the improvements and where to-day he is enjoying prosperity. The ranch now contains 840 acres in Yolo County, 640 in another portion of the county and 320 in Solano County. With his general farming business he also makes a specialty of mules and line horses. In his political views he is a Republican. In 1889 he visited his old home in Illinois, for the first time since he left it in 1852. He was married, in 1865, to Miss Maria E. Briggs, a native of Massachusetts, who died November 15, 1866; and he was married again, in October, 1868, to Miss Alicia Reynolds, a native of Canada, and they have three sons and one daughter: George F. L., William E., James R. and Geneva E.  [Pages 615-616]  

W G DUNCAN, a farmer near Capay, Yolo County, was born October 1, 1828, in Amherst County, Virginia, the son of John I. and Margaret (Toler) Dun- can, natives also of that State, who moved to the northern part of Missouri when their son was a small boy. Remaining with his parents until 1850, the subject of this sketch, in company with his brother, William H., came overland to California, with Dr. Lane, who supplied the penniless boys with the necessaries of the journey, in consideration of half their earnings for a year. They followed mining at Mud Springs for three months, but with little profit, and Dr. Lane agreed to release them with three months' work for him, which proposition was accepted and the work done. The brothers then followed mining again, until the spring of 1853, when they took up a tract of land two and a half miles from their present place. In 1869 they disposed of that farm to Mr. Woodard. During the previous year they had bought the place where they now reside, a mile from Capay, where they now have 7,300 acres, besides eighty acres near Woodland.   Mr. Duncan was married in Woodland, March 13, 1879, to Miss Mary Franklin, a native of California, and they have one child, who was born in 1883 and is named Elvira G.  [Pages 619-620]    

D VAN ZEE, farming near Woodland, was born in Holland, September 14, 1828, son ' of Garret and Mary (Dikop) Van Zee. His father, a farmer, died there in 1878. In 1851 Mr. Van Zee came to America. For the first two years he was employed on a farm in Iowa. He then came to California, and followed mining four years, at Gibsonville. In 1857 he came to Yolo County, rented a piece of land seven miles from Sacramento and engaged in farming one year; then, taking up a piece of land near Willow Slough, six miles from Woodland, he engaged in farming. In 1869 he bought half a section of land two and a half miles from Wood- land. In 1879 he bought his present place, and now owns there 395 acres of land, of which forty-one acres are in grape-vines.   For his wife he married, in Yolo County, 1869, Ernestina Fourch, who was born in Germany in 1851, and their six children are: William, Mary, Fred, Sarah, Garret and John. [Page 621]  

JOHN H. WALKER, a farmer near Black's Station, Yolo County, was born in Hanover, Germany, July 6, 1830, the son of Herman H. and Helena (Sinning) Walker, both natives also of that country; his father was most of his life a sea captain. In 1849, Mr. Walker, the subject of this brief notice, emigrated to America, remained a year at New York and then sailed for California, landing at San Francisco in the autumn of 1850. After working in the mines until 1857 he visited Germany, returned eleven months afterward and followed mining again till 1861, when he revisited his native place a second time, remaining until 1869, this time becoming married, September 16, 1862. On returning to California, he rented land for three years, following agricultural pursuits, and then he purchased the place where he now resides, comprising 480 acres well improved and now in fine condition. It is about three miles north- east of Black's Station.   Mr. Walker married a daughter of Herman and Elizabeth (Mams) Baldwin, a native of Germany. Their children are: Herman J., born July 30, 1863; John F., December 20, 1866; William J., February 15, 1870; Elizabeth M., June 6, 1872; and Helen E., July 25, 1874. [Page 622]    

EDWARD S. RUSING, railroad agent at Black's Station, Yolo County, was born in Fountain County, Indiana, about six miles from Covington, August 15, 1830, a son of John and Margaret (Loveless) Rusing, natives of South Carolina. He landed in San Francisco March 26, 1864, and in a short time went to the placer mines, where he was engaged in digging gold for eleven years, and from that time until the present he has been in the em- ploy of the railroad company, for the last eight years in his present position. He owns a nice little home at Black's, and is a member of the orders of Freemasonry and Chosen Friends. He is faithful to his company as well as accommodating to the public.   August 7, 1878, in Oakland, California, he married Miss Henrietta Blyther, who was born in the State of Maine, in 1848, and the children in their family are two daughters: Grace M., born October 19, 1879, and Hazel O., August 3, 1883.  [Pages 623-624]  

HENRY F. JUDY, of the firm of Judy Bros., liverymen, at Winters, was born in Clark County, Kentucky, March 21, 1858. (See sketch of David O. Judy). In March, 1860, he was taken by his parents to Missouri, where he lived until 1880, when he came to California. The first three and a half years in this State he was a resident of Lincoln, Placer County. In 1883 he came to Winters and worked for Edward Wolfskill a year, when he entered into partnership with his brother, as stated in his sketch.   He was married in Oakland, September 15, 1885, to Lucy Sparks, who was born October 26, 1864, in Sutter County, this State, a daugh- ter of E. J. and Mary (Duncan) Sparks; her father is a native of North Carolina and her mother of Missouri.  [Page 635]  

THOMAS
ROSS, M. D. -Dr. Ross has descended from the sturdy, independent Highland Scotch stock, whose influence has always been powerfully felt wherever they have resided. He himself is by birth a Canadian, and in that land of solid ideas received the practical training of every-day life so characteristic of that country, and the medical education and experience that have borne such substantial results in Dr. Ross's after life. He is the son of Murdoch Ross, a native of Rosshire, Scotland, who emigrated' to Canada about 1815, and established a carriage and agricultural implement manufactory at Lancaster, Gletigariy County, Ontario. This he carried on success- fully, building it up into a large concern.

He married, in Lancaster, Miss Catherine Ross, not a relative although of the same name, but of good Scottish lineage like himself. Her father was George Ross, originally a farmer in New York, and one of that worthy band of United Empire Loyalists who left home and possessions in the United States to follow the flag of their birth, the English — -after the Revolutionary war. Of the children of Murdoch and Catherine Ross, four are now living, viz.: Mrs. Bathia Fortune, now in British Columbia; Thomas, the subject of this sketch; John, residing on the old home- stead in Canada; and Janet, who is married to Andrew Harkness, a successful physician, of Lancaster, Ontario.

 In his latter days Murdoch Ross closed out his manufacturing business, and turned his attention to farming, an occupation that he followed until the time of his death. His farm was one of the largest in the county-, consisting of 300 acres.   Thomas was born in Lancaster, Ontario, November 25, 1840. His primary education was received in the common and grammar schools of his home, and later he took a course at St. Andrews Academy. His medical studies were begun in 1858, lectures being attended at the Med- ical Department of that stanch old institution, McGill University, Montreal, at which he was graduated in 1863, having also become a licentiate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. Ross located at Lancaster, Ontario, and in the seven years of his residence there he built up a large and profitable practice. But at the best the opportunities at that point were limited, and besides, Dr. Ross was desirous of finding a milder climate.

He came in 1870 to California, and after an examination of the State located in Woodland, with whose progress he has since been actively identified. He was led to choose this location by seeing the vast fields of wheat and grain waving over the rich and fertile lands of Yolo County, and noting the prosperous condition of the section. His experience since that time has shown him that he chose wisely and well.   In August of the same year lie was married at San Jose, to Miss Martha, daughter of Captain Alexander Lindsay, of Malone, Franklin County, New York. She died in December, 1881, leaving one daughter, Olita.

The Doctor was married to his present wife in August, 1886. She was before marriage Miss Libby, daughter of J. W. Chiles, an old and respected pioneer of the coast, arriving in California in 1849, and has long been a resident in Yolo County. They have one daughter, Janet.   Dr. Ross has rapidly risen to the front rank professionally, and to-day stands among the fore- most practitioners of this portion of the State. He is a prominent member of the California State Medical Society, as well as of the Yolo County Medical Society. From December, 1878, to June, 1882, he was official physician for this county. In political matters Dr. Ross ranks as one of the Republican leaders, though in no sense of the word as office-seeker, but takes such an active interest in all public affairs as to necessitate active work by him and in the councils of his party, and is a working member of the Yolo County' Republican Central Committee.

He is a Mason in good standing, and a charter member of Yolo Lodge, No. 22, A. O. U. W.   Of late years Dr. Ross has devoted consider- able attention to business matters, and is interested in several important local enterprises. He is the present Vice President of the Woodland Street Railway Company, and is financially interested in the Yolo Winery and the Woodland Gas and Electric Light Company. Of all these he was among the organizers. On his ranch he has thorough-bred and graded Holstein cattle, and a number of good horses, some of them being from high-class stock. His place is but a mile and a half northwest from Woodland, and was purchased by him in 1881. It contains 100 acres of land, and is among the best improved places in the county. His attention was first given to the matter of planting grapes, of which he set out ten acres the first year, and working from this beginning he now has a large acreage in vines and fruits. One field of twenty-five acres is all planted to grapes, and of another field, of forty acres, the three outside rows are devoted to White Adriatic figs, pears and French prunes; the remaining space is all de- voted to grapes. There are the Tokay and Emperor table varieties, the Muscatel and Seedless Sultana raisin grapes, while the wine varieties are represented by the standard Zinfandel and Matero.

The vineyard must certainly be ranked among the finest in the State at its age. The ground seems to be peculiarly adapted to the healthy growth of the grape, the vines are all in tine condition, and the yield is surprisingly and uniformly heavy. An irrigating ditch, supplied from the waters of Cache Creek, divides the two fields mentioned, but irrigation has not yet been required on the grapes, generally, and has only been used in dry seasons alone on the raisin varieties, as it is claimed they do better with irrigation. He has live acres devoted principally to apricots, with some Bartlett pears, which also show fine growth and excellent prospects. A field of twenty acres, which is left to clover, fallows handsome net results each year.   Dr. Ross has made all the improvements on this place, which was a mere grain-field when he purchased it. Among the more recent additions to its equipment is a large and well- appointed dryer, covered throughout with corrugated iron, and constructed on the plans most approved in that branch of industry.

A feature of his own was the construction of the building two stories in height, so as to utilize the surplus heat from the artificial dryer in an additional dry-room, a measure resulting in much larger drying capacity without increase in amount of fuel used. Having identified himself so thoroughly with the fruit, raisin and wine interests by his investments in these directions. Dr. Ross has given much attention to the subject of their development, as well as to the problem of properly marketing products. At the convention of fruit-growers held at Woodland in May, 1890j lie delivered an address, which slowed such intelligent thought upon the subject of the new and old industries of this county as to command the profound attention of all hearers. As a result a lively interest in the subject was en- gendered, and some opposition in sentiment was encountered among those whose attention has been given entirely to grain-raising.

The able and convincing argument employed by the Doctor in support of the theory that grain is surely giving way in California to the vine and fruit trees, shows how thoroughly he has digested the subject. The entire address is here recorded, partly as a matter of instructive reading now and partly as a prophecy on the correctness of which history should pass.

"Mr. President and Gentlemen, Fruit Growers of Yolo County: When I say that I am in hearty sympathy with the objects and aims of this Convention, I express myself very feebly. The object is stated in the call to be, ' To consider the advisability of establishing a raisin-packing union, and maintaining in the interests of the fruit industry of Yolo County a mutual protective and educational society.'  

" The experience of each one of us, especially with commission men, proves that the establishment of an organization of this character is a great desideratum. We grow as fine table and raisin grapes, prunes, pears and apricots in Yolo County as can be produced in the world. In fact, a Yolo County man, the pioneer raisin- grower of the State of California, Mr. E.. B. Bloners, demonstrated that Yolo County can produce the best raisins, by carrying off the first premium in the Centennial at Philadelphia in open and fair competition. Then why, ask you, are our raisins not first sought for? and why do they command the highest price in the market? 1 think you will agree with me in the opinion that it is principally because each grower has his own mode of packing, — that we have no uniform grade so that the dealers can confidentially rely on the brand stated on the box. The London layers of one grower is very different from the London layers of another. The same with the Three Crown loose and so on. This uncertainty of quality, of care in packing, etc., acts to our detriment reduces our profits, and gives our product a bad name.  

"The aim of this convention is to form an organization to correct this great error. Many benefits would be secured to the producers by the organization of a union as is today contemplated. Among which may be stated:  

 " 1st. — Unity of action in effecting sales, thereby disposing of our products to the best advantage.  

" 2d. — 'The dissemination of practical information from one grower to another in regard to the cultivation, irrigation, pruning, etc., of vines and fruit trees.   " 3d. — The impetus and stimulus which the raisin industry would receive, and that necessarily follows the interchange of ideas among practical men. Many other benefits could be named as instructive in planting, etc.  

" I would suggest that the association take into consideration also the disposing of green fruits, as we grow here in Yolo County, — table grapes of tine quality possessed of remarkable shipping virtues. Tokays here yield enormously and are of fine quality, color beautifully and can be shipped further without injury than those grown in any other section of this State.  

" The fruit-growing industry in Yolo County is yet in its infancy, but is destined to be the industry., and a great source of wealth.   " We may roughly divide the industrial history of California into four decades. The first may be called the Mining Period, when Cali- fornia was considered to be of no value except for the precious metals its mountains and river- beds contained. The second, the Live-Stock Period, when our fertile valleys and plains were considered fit for nothing but grazing stock. Wheat-raising as a profitable industry was not dreamed of. The third is the Wheat- Raising Period, which continues to the present time. The fourth, the Fruit-Growing Period, which is even now in its infancy, a healthy and vigorous youngster, threatening to crowd out the wheat industry, which now shows marked tendencies of decline and decay.  

" The wheat-grower has fallen into hard lines lor the past few years. He generally owns large tracts of land, which trebles and quadruples in value, so that his taxes are yearly increased on each acre. The rate is yearly getting higher while its wheat producing capacity is gradually decreasing. The value of wheat in the market is steadily growing less, while the cost of labor remains about the same. He is, however, fighting nobly, and by the aid of steam plows and steam harvesters he hopes to so curtail the cost of raising wheat that he will reap a respectable profit, even at the low prices now prevailing, if he will not succeed in this, his last effort, then wheat-raising will indeed be a thing of the past, a pleasant memory.  

" I cannot but feel, when I see those enormous machines passing through our streets, that they are mighty evidences of the nearing end; that they indicate the last expiring struggle of a great and honorable industry among us, which has added millions to the wealth of the State In fact, the history of wheat-raising in the United States plainly points to the migratory habits of the wheat industry.  

" I will read an extract from Erastus Wiman, an eminent writer in the North American Review of January, 1889, which I think will be a surprise to you. He says: 'The steady movement toward the north of the wheat producing regions of this continent is remarkable. Wheat might be supposed to be cultured safely only in the most temperate zones. But the movement of the wheat-producing areas toward the North Pole has been as steady as the movement of the needle in the compass in that direction. Within the memory of many the Genesee Valley, in the State of New York, was the great wheat- producing region, and Rochester was named the Flour City. No longer is Rochester the center of the wheat-producing areas. Westward these took their way, first to the valleys of the Ohio, then to the prairies of Illinois and Iowa, and the valleys of California, until now the most northern tier of States and Territories is found the great source of natural wealth in the production of the great cereal.

The milling activities of Minnesota, the marvelous railroad development of the Northwest, both toward the West and North, and more recently toward the East, for the special accommodation of this flour and wheat trade, tell the stor^', so far as climate is concerned. Wheat has found its greatest success in the States of the extreme north.'  

" Its steady trend to the north for so many hundreds of miles, makes it highly improbable that beyond the 49th parallel wheat should be produced largely and profitably. Indeed, this is certainly so, for it so happens that north of the Minnesota line and within the Canadian territories are wheat areas possessing all the advantages of the regions to the south, but in richness, fertility and extent much greater. It will be a startling statement to make, that even in its extreme northern latitudes, the Dominion of Canada possesses a greater wheat-producing area than does the entire United States, — that the soil of this area is richer, will last longer, and will produce a higher average of better wheat than can be produced anywhere else on the continent, if not in the world. Wheat is known to have been grown in the vicinity of numerous Hudson Bay Company's stations for twenty consecutive years, without rotation and without fertilization, and annually producing crops aver aging thirty bushels to the acre.  

" In corroboration, I quote a portion of a letter received from a brother-in-law, A. L. Fortune, a stock-raiser and wheat-grower located over a hundred miles north of the forty-ninth parallel of latitude north of the northern boundary of the United States; and in order to show his veracity, I will state that he was a Scotch Presbyterian minister of the Gospel, whose health failed in the ministry and was regained in the occupation of farming and stock-raising. I quote from his letter: ' Now, last year, on forty-five acres of land we estimated that there was ninety tons of fall wheat, and the balance that was under crop by unfavorable tillage only yielded one ton to the acre. The year previous twenty-five acres of the same produced twenty- eight tons, while thirty acres produced forty- five tons. All the land in this valley is wonder- fully productive.'  

" It is plain to every intelligent observer, who has given this matter any thought, that in the near future wheat-raising in the best parts of Yolo County, especially in the remarkable rich country around Woodland, will cease to be profitable. This, combined with the high price the land will command, will induce the land- owners to sell in small tracts to fruit-growers, who will build homes, improve the lands thus secured and contribute to the prosperity of our merchants, mechanics and all of our people, by adding a most desirable class of industrious, prosperous and intelligent citizens.  

" The natural advantages of Yolo County are the successful growth of grapes of all kinds, and fruits especially, the pear, prune, apricot, fig and olives, cannot be excelled in any portion of the State. Nature seems to have designed it for the fruit-growers. We have the soil, the climate, and an immense natural reservoir of pure, fresh water, just waiting to be coaxed into this valley to make it smile like a veritable Eden — to shower treasures of wealth right and left among us. This reservoir is twenty-five miles long and ten miles broad in some places, and has an area of 200 square miles; it is situated at an altitude of 1,500 feet above the level of the sea, and has an average depth of twenty feet. I allude to Clear Lake, Lake County, the main source of Cache Creek. If this beautiful body of fresh water, so vast in extent and so favorably situated for irrigation purposes, and so easy to turn to profitable account, was located in almost any other portion of the State, especially in the southern part, it would have long ago been utilized and would have contributed millions to the wealth of the State. It, how- ever, remains unused, in seclusion, patiently awaiting the time when the dormant energies of our people shall arouse and invite it into our valleys and scatter blessings and riches along its path.  

"California is the home of the raisin grape, is the only country in the United States which is especially adapted to the grape, possessing climate, soil and conditions necessary for its luxuriant growth. Wheat is considered and has been shown to do best in northern latitudes.   " By a provision of nature the extent of country where wheat can be profitably grown is immense, while that in which the raisin grape vines the peculiar combination of soil and climate necessary for its profitable culture is very limited. Raisin grapes cannot be grown in northern climates; the severe winters will destroy them; if attempted in any country it is desirable to plant or sow that which has been found to be best adapted to its soil and climate.  

" This paper has exceeded in length anything I intended. I thank you for your patient and attentive hearing."  [Pages 625 – 629]

A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891

Transcribed by Martha A Crosley Graham: 7 October 2008 - Pages 577 - 629

                                                                                         

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Assistant State Coordinators: Claire Martin & Joy Fisher


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Site Updated: 1 November 2013