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Madera Biographies: CAPURRO
E. M. CAPURRO. The manager of the Madera Electric Light Company and the Madera Water Company was born in Stockton, this state, April 22, 1864, and is a son of Emanuel and Pauline (Sopania) Capurro, natives respectively of Genoa, Italy and Mazatlan, Mexico. His father, who was captain of a vessel in Italy, came to California during the great mining excitement of 1849, but did not himself become directly interested in seeking for gold. Instead he took up the freighting business as offering a more certain income and with his pack trains traveled all through the mountains and into the mining camps, building up a large business in the sale of merchandise to mining camps, building up a large business in the sale of merchandise to miners. Much of his profits he invested in farm lands, the value of which constantly increased, thus yielding him gratifying returns. For years he made his home in Stockton. On his retirement from business he spent some time in Italy, visiting the friends of his youth and such relatives as remained near Genoa. His death occurred in Stockton in 1888 when he was eight-two year of age.
In a family of two daughters and one son the youngest, was E. M. Capurro, who was educated in the grammar and high schools of Stockton. While still a mere boy he gave evidence of mechanical ability. At the age of nineteen he was apprenticed to the machinistís trade in the machine shop of Farrington & Hyatt, with whom he remained for four years. He then went to Modesto to erect a planing mill for Gilbert & Bennett, and after completing the plant he remained for two years as its superintendent. During the following three years he was master mechanic for the Second Street Cable Company in Los Angeles and superintended the building of their cable road. For about a year afterward he acted as chief engineer of the San Diego cable road, and from there went to Sam Francisco as superintendent of the plant of D. Block & Co., trunk manufacturers. Later he was made chief engineer of the electric street railway in Oakland, and was next with the Oman Engine Manufactory in the construction and setting up of is machines and engines.
Coming to Madera in 1894, as master mechanic of the Krogh Manufacturing Company, Mr. Capurro completed the electric plant and has since been its manager, meanwhile enlarging it from time to time as the increase business demands. The plant is an exceptionally fine one carefully, and substantially constructed and thoroughly equipped. It has a capacity of one thousand incandescent lights and fifty arc lights. In addition Mr. Capurro is manager of the Water Company, whose works he constructed. The plant comprises four wells, respectively three hundred and eighty, two hundred and ten, one hundred and ten and six hundred feet deep; also two triple action Krogh pumps with a capacity of eighteen thousand gallons per hour for each pump, one Warrington duplex of steam pump with a capacity thirty-six thousand gallons per hour; with one hundred and ten pounds pressure for fire purposes, and two tandem compounds of sixty horse-power each, oil being used for fuel. The plants are locate on E and Fifth streets. To Aid in his work Mr. Capurro has invented a number of devices one of these being a system of alarm by electricity which starts the pumps. Besides his other positions he acts as manager of the Sunset Telephone Company at Madera. He is a member of the National Association of Marine Engineers of San Francisco and maintains a deep interest in everything pertaining to his chosen field of activity. Politically he is a Republican, while in fraternal matters he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Foresters at Madera and San Diego Parlor, N. S. G. W.
Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 1278.
Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.
Last update: August 30, 2000
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