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Madera Biographies: EDWARDS

   JOHN GILBERT EDWARDS.  The people of Madera are justly proud of the character and enterprise of their business men and claim that no city of the same size I the entire state can boast of a larger number of progressive, capable and resourceful men of affairs.  Whether as merchants mechanics or tradesmen, whether as professional men or men of commerce, they have been, with few exceptions, men of the highest principle of honor and unwavering integrity of character.  As an example of this class of citizens mention should be made of John Gilbert Edwards, who, with his brothers, David, Franklin and James H. Edwards, has long been a factor in the business progress of the city.  Mention of his ancestry and the record of his parents will be found elsewhere in this volume, in the sketch of his brother, David F. and from it the reader will see that the family is numbered among the pioneers settlers of California, having come west during the period of the great gold excitement. From that time this the various members have contributed to the progress of the communities where they resided.

  While the family were living in Tuolumne County, this state, John Gilbert Edwards was born August 31, 1852. Primarily educated in grammar schools, he has added to the information thus acquired by subsequent habit of reading and observation, so that he is now a well-informed man.  Upon starting out to earn his own way in the world he went to Borden and took up the trade of wagon-maker.  After a year as an apprentice, in 1875 he started a shop of his own in that place, engaging in work especially as a repairer of wagons and carriages, but also manufacturing certain parts of the vehicles.  During 1882 he operated not only the shop but a blacksmith’s shop as well.  Since he came to Madera in 1889 he has been engaged in the management of his wagon and carriage shop.  Through his skilled workmanship he has gained a large share of the trade of Madera and the surrounding country.  Among his patrons he is known as a reliable workman and an honest and honorable man.  Many of them have retained his services ever since he came to the city, having been so well pleased with his work that they have never desired to look elsewhere for such labor.  While he has never been prominent in political affairs nor has it been his wish to become and office holder, yet he is a pronounced upholder of the Republican Party and at every election, whether local or general, votes for the men and measurers of the Party.  In addition to his property in town, he is the owner of a grain farm in Madera County, situated near Borden, and comprising one hundred and sixty acres.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 652.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: September 10, 2000
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