Solano County

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Traditionally known as the "father of Suisun" and memorialized as an honored and respected citizen is the late D. D. Reeves. He owned the land upon which the thriving little city of Suisun is now situated and to his efforts, as much as to any other single agency, is due the development and growth of the community. He was a native of North Carolina, born in Sumner county, March 23, 1815. His wife, whose maiden name was Eliza Gant, was also a North Carolinian by birth.

D. D. Reeves crossed the plains with ox teams in 1852. He was captain of the emigrant train which started from Independence, Missouri, and he arrived in Suisun on November 14 of that year. He was a blacksmith by trade, and he built his shop on the farm then occupied by a Mr. Ledgewood. There he worked until 1857 and then moved into Suisun city and erected one of the first brick buildings in the settlement. In fact he erected many buildings in Suisun and offered every encouragement for outsiders to locate here, in which effort he was very successful. He developed the canal to the bay, having had it dug by Chinese laborers, and he constructed a large warehouse on the water front. His efforts and interests were not all confined to material things, however, for he was a charter member of Suisun Lodge No. 55, Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of the Royal Arch chapter. This lodge held its first meetings in an old adobe house in the valley. Mr. Reeves also helped to establish the Methodist Episcopal church here and later helped raise the money for a comfortable house of worship. He became one of the founders and was a director of the Bank of Suisun, and he also owned a large amount of ranch land in the valley. He was long a man of prominence and marked influence in the Suisun valley and was undoubtedly the most important individual factor in its early development and resultant prosperity. His death, which occurred March 23, 1884, on his sixty-ninth birthday, was considered a distinct and irreparable loss to the entire community.

In 1859 Mr. Reeves returned to Missouri and brought back his only child, Victoria, his wife and other daughter, Henrietta, having died. The father and daughter came by way of the Isthmus of Panama, crossing the isthmus on the first train to be run from Aspinwall to Panama. They arrived at Suisun, May 21, 1860, coming up the river to Suisun on the steamer Rambler.

Mrs. Victoria Alden survives her father, and to her belongs the distinction of being the oldest pioneer in point of years in Suisun. When she came here the population was about one hundred and fifty; there were no streets and but few houses, and the era of modern improvement was then far distant. There is not a person now here who was living in Suisun when she came, and she has been a witness to the wonderful transformation which has taken place not only in this immediate community, but throughout this section of the state. Mrs. Alden was born in Richmond, Missouri, February 14, 1844. On December 19, 1885, she became the wife of Eugene B. Alden, whose biography follows. By a former marriage to Joseph S. Haile, Mrs. Alden had two sons - R. C. Haile, an attorney of San Francisco; and D. R. Haile, of Suisun, both of whom are now deceased. Mrs. Alden is a member of the Wednesday Club of Suisun and of the Eastern Star and she is very popular in the circles in which she moves. She owns a large amount of property in Suisun, including both residence and business structures, and continues to maintain her interest in the welfare of the community with which the greater portion of her life has been so closely linked.

History of Solano County, California By Marguerite Hunt and Napa County, California By Harry Lawrence Gunn. From Their Earliest Settlement To The Present Time. Chicago. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1926. 883 pages.

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This page was last updated 07 Oct 2007

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