Northern California Biographies
Benjamin Shurtleff, M. D.
Among the present representatives of the learned professions identified with Napa is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch; yet so widely is he known, especially in the upper half of the state, that a much more than passing notice of his career and of his antecedents becomes valuable, and even essential, in a history of Northern California. From manuscript and published records of undoubted authority, this genealogical and biographical sketch has been for the most part compiled.
Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff was born on the ancestral estate in Carver, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, September 7, 1821, a son of Charles and Hannah (Shaw) Shurtleff. On both sides he is descended, without admixture, from old settlers of New England, members of the first successful colony, that of Plymouth. The name of Shurtleff has been found in old records of the Plymouth Colony, spelled in various forms and therefore at times incorrectly—something which often occurs when those doing clerical work write names from sound. The natural evolution of the language may also have cut some figure. In some cases the name is quite distorted by the spelling, and it appears in different places respectively as Chyrecliff, Shiercliff, Shirtley, Shurtlef and Shurtleff.
The founder of the family in this country was William Shurtleff, who was born in England (probably in Yorkshire), about 1619. He landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, some time prior to 1635, a youth in his ‘teens. He is on record as having been enrolled for military duty there in 1643, and also as having been married unto Elizabeth Lettice, October 18, 1655. While at Plymouth his estate was at Strawberry Hill, near the Reed Pond, not far from the boundary line of Kingston. He afterward moved to Marshfield, where his name is of record in 1664. He died there June 23, 1666, being killed in a severe tempest by a stroke of lightening. In the marriage record referred to his name is written Shirtley. He is said to have written it with one final “f” – Shurtlef, --and one of his grandsons added an “f,” since which the name has been spelled, as now, Shurtleff. It is so spelled on the tombstone, at Plymouth, of William Shurtleff, the eldest son of the above first settler, who died in 1729.
William and Elizabeth (Lettice) Shurtleff had three sons, William, Thomas and Abiel. The latter, born in June, 1666, at Marshfield, was married in January, 1693, to Lydia Barnes, a daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth Barnes, of Plymouth, who bore him seven sons and three daughters. Their son Benjamin (first), who was born in 1710, was the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch.
To supplement this genealogical record it will be necessary at this point to turn back and refer to other of the original families of the old colony. Isaac Allerton and his family came in the Mayflower to Plymouth, in 1620, among whom was a daughter, Mary. She in due time was married to Thomas Cushman, who, at the age of fourteen years, came in the ship Fortune, in 1621, with his father, Robert Cushman. Among the children of Thomas and Mary (Allerton) Cushman was Elkanah, who had a son named Josiah Cushman; and of the children of Josiah Cushman was a daughter named Susannah Cushman, who was married to the aforesaid Benjamin Shurtleff (first), and was the great-grand-mother of the subject of this sketch.
Thus it will be seen that by this union the veins of this branch of the Shurtleff family received an affluent from a conspicuous source more remote in the past than the point to which the family name can be traced. Isaac Allerton and Robert Cushman were leading and historic characters in connection with the Puritans, not only as regards their settlement in the “old colony” of Plymouth, but in their native England and in their chosen exile of Amsterdam and Leyden. They lived in the Elizabethan age. Thomas Cushman, son of Robert, was born in 1607, the year in which, according to Shakesperean commentators, “Antony and Cleopatra” and “Timon of Athens” were written, and nine years before the death of Shakespeare. Hence his father, Robert Cushman, was strictly a cotemporary with Shakespeare Charlotte S. Cushman, mentioned because so widely known, and who honored the stage more than any other woman America has produced, was a descendant of these Cushmans.
To resume the original thread, Benjamin (first) and Susannah (Cushman) Shurtleff had a son, Benjamin (second), who was born in 1748, and who, being an only son, inherited his father’s estate in Carver, on which his life was spent. His son, Charless, the father of our subject, was born there, October 20, 1790. He was reared on his father’s farm. Soon after his marriage to Hannah Shaw, he removed to New Hampshire, and entered upon a mercantile career. Abandoning this, he returned to Carver, Massachusetts, where he died at about the age of fifty, being an exception in the Shurleff family, most of whom have reached the Scriptural three-score years and ten, or more.
The above is a mere genealogical outline, necessary in introducing the sketch of a pioneer of California, a descendant of some of the first settlers of the Atlantic coast, and of necessity brief, though much of interest could be written of members of the family, who have attained more than local destinction in various walks of life, but expecially in literary and professional pursuits. Rev. William Shurtleff, a grandson of the first settler, was a graduate of Harvard, about 173 years ago (1717), when such an education was alone a distinction. Roswell Shurtleff was a graduate in 1799 and also a Professor of Dartmouth College, during the period when Daniel Webster and his brother, Ezekiel, were students there; and his reminiscences of the college life of these famous alumni are published in one of the biographies of the great statesmen. Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff, an eminent physician of Boston, a brother of the father of our subject, was a founder of Shurtlett College, at Alton, Illinois, to an extent which caused his surname to be given to the institution. His son, the late Dr. N. B. Shurtleff, was Mayor of Boston two terms, and did much in aid of the progress of the city, but is more distinguished for his exhaustive genealogical and antiquarian researches, and for the accuracy and value of his writings on these topics.
Our subject has had two uncles, five cousins and a brother who were regular graduates in medicine—the latter the well-known Dr. G. A. Shurtleff, of Stockton. This gentleman, who came to California in 1849, was a member of the first and second city councils of Stockton, two years Recorder of San Joaquin County, and became a Director of the State Insane Asylum at Stockton, in 1856, and its Medical Superintendent in 1865, holding the position with signal ability until admonished by failing health, brought on by overwork, to resign in 1883. He was one of the Commissioners who located the Napa State Insane Asylum, and was the author of the bill providing for it. He has been President of the State Medical Society, and is Emeritus Professor of Mental Diseases and Medical Jurisprudence in the University of California. He was for years a prominent member of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, and attended the meetings of the Association at Madison, Wisconsin, in 1872, at Baltimore in 1873, at Philadelphia in 1880, and the American Medical Association also in 1880, in New York city. He was elected, in 1876, as the sole delegate for the State of California to the International Medical Congress. He was also the first President of the San Joaquin Society of California Pioneers. Thought now retired from practice, he stands to-day one of the most honored and representative of the medical profession who ever lived in California, and is one of the most favorably known men in the State, in or out of the profession.
Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff spent his boyhood days in Carver, Massachusetts, where he attended the public schools to the age of fifteen years. He continued his education at Pierce Academy, and when he was nineteen years old he began teaching school during the winter seasons, attending the academy during the intervals until he had completed the regular course. He first studied medicine with his brother, Dr. G. A. Shurtleff, and afterward with the late Dr. Elisha Huntington, of Lowell, Massachusetts. He also graduated at Harvard, in 1848, meantime attending Fremont Medical School of Boston, and being in both a pupil of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes.
While at Harvard, in 1846, he heard Rufus Choate’s celebrated speech in defense of Albert J. Terrill, charged with the murder of Maria Bickford, and considers the great advocate’s address to the jury on that occasion the most fascinating display of eloquence he ever witnessed. Reared in the county where Daniel Webster resided, he occasionally heard him discuss the political issues of those times. He often speaks of the great orator’s celebrated Marshfield speech, in the Taylor campaign of 1848, as one of rare eloquence and power.
His last year at school was the memorable on in which Marshall discovered gold in California, and the news at once turned his thoughts in that direction. When the early reports were verified by President Polk’s message, he at once determined to try his fortune on the faraway shores of the Pacific, and began making preparations with that idea in view. Late in December, 1848, he secured passage on the schooner Boston, then fitting out in the New England metropolis for the trip to San Francisco, and while waiting for the departure of the vessel he put in his time about the city. Learning through the newspapers that Choate and Webster were to appear on opposite sides of the patent case of March vs.
Sizer, he eagerly availed himself of the opportunity to witness these two giants of the forensic arena arrayed against each other, and as a result enjoyed one of the greatest treats of his life. Both were at their best, while every available particle of the space allowed for spectators about the courtroom was crowded with the representatives of the brain and the beauty of Boston. The scene was an inspiring one, and the occasion worthy of its brilliant setting.
Preparations being completed, the vessel made ready to depart with her passengers on January 25, 1849, though on account of adverse weather the start was not effected until two days later. Those who sailed with Dr. Shurtleff were for the most part fin specimens of bright young manhood of New England, men of nerve, adventurous and of more than ordinary capacity, as indeed were the great majority of the pioneers who came to California before the proofs of California’s golden wealth were actually laid down before their eyes. Instead of rounding Cape Horn, the vessel route of 1849, the schooner passed through the Straits of Magellan, and without any unusually noteworthy incident, proceeding on her way, casting anchor in the harbor of San Francisco July 6, 1849. That was quite a noted day in the history of arrivals, as no less than five other vessels of note also appeared in the harbor, namely, the ships Edward Everett and Atilla, and the brig Forest of Boston, and the ships Mary Stewart and Taralinto of New York. The Boston made the voyage in 160 days, which was more than an average trip, as the California-bound fleet of 1849 could boast of only a few fast sailers. The ship Gray Eagle, a Baltimore clipper, made the best record of all the vessels of that year, having arrived in San Francisco from Philadelphia on May 18, in 117 days. But the discovery of gold in California quickened the spirit of commercial enterprise and created a demand for the fleetest ships that mechanical skill and invention could devise. The Flying Cloud, built at East Boston, in 1850, by Donald McKay, made the voyage in 1851 from New York to San Francisco, a distance of 13,610 miles, in eighty-nine days and eight hours, and on one occasion making 374 miles in twenty-four hours. No other sailing vessel has ever made the voyage from any Atlantic domestic port to San Francisco in less than ninety days.
Of course all on board had become more or less acquainted during the long voyage, and Dr. Shurtleff recalls, among his fellow-passengers O. M. Craig, the well-known Sonoma viticulturist and the late William Wallace, who was a member of the San Francisco firm of Sisson & Wallace in after years. He and others debarked from a boat at Clark’s Point, and proceeded to town by a path which followed an undulating course, sometimes twenty or thirty feet above the water, and again only a foot or two over. Many of the passengers, however, landed from boats about where Montgomery street now is, and spent a week looking about the city, and becoming acquainted with prospects in mining districts. He was struck with the novel appearance of San Francisco, which yet wore the old Mexican air, and like everyone else he little thought that the place would grow back into the hills, which it has, or that Knob Hill and similar sites would be crowded with the places that stand there to-day; yet he felt that the city must be an important commercial center, and a large one, too, --good places for investment in reality bit for the general uncertainty that hung about land tittles in those days. The scooner Olivia, which had been with them in the passage through the Straits of Magellan, arrived in San Francisco a few days before the Boston; and as she was to proceed on up the river to Sacramento, our subject, who had been on shore a week, took passage on her for the trip. This required about three days’ time, and the first night the vessel anchored at the junction of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers, where some ambitious person soon afterward endeavored to start a settlement, which he encumbered with the high-sounding title “New York of the Pacific.” The Doctor will always remember that night, when the mosquitoes made it so hot for him that he thought there was certainly not more than one place warmer! On July 16, he landed at Sacramento, where he saw a busy village of tents, among which he recollects seeing only two or three wooden buildings.
As soon as convenient, he proceeded to Beal’s Bar, which is now in Placer County, near the El Dorado line, and commenced mining, meeting with fair success. Among those in the vicinity was a man from Oregon, who had come down in 1848, and had secured a claim of unusual richness. His location was then such a fortunate one that he could take out two or three hundred dollars’ worth of gold in a few hours, and he thought the metal would soon become so plentiful that it would not be worth scarcely anything. As a result, he had sold much of his dust for coin at the rate of eight dollars an ounce, half what it was worth, and had gambled his wealth away or otherwise disposed of it with a lavish hand, thinking he would have a good time while it was worth something, anyway. Now, things had begun to change. His claim was not so good, new arrivals appeared every day, and he saw that gold was not going to decline. He was terribly despondent, and when asked by Dr. Shurtleff the reason of his downheartedness, he related the facts above mentioned, saying he had thrown his gold away when he could get plenty of it, and now, when he realized its value he could not take out more than $50 to $100 worth a day! He was truly an unfortunate man.
After mining on his own account for a time the Doctor went to work for a company, who were engaged at a point near the confluence of the American River and its south fork, in digging a canal between those two streams. The dirt taken out in constructing this canal, and which was used in damming the river, was the richest he ever saw, and fairly shined with the yellow metal. He received $16 a day for his work, and while a few shovelfuls of the dirt taken out would have paid his wages, the result of his enterprise when finished proved disappointing to the promoter of the scheme, who had supposed that the bed of the river would be almost lined with gold. Another party, above them, imbued with the same idea, had made great preparation for celebrating the turning of the river, which they had also undertaken at that point. Among the festivities planned was an elaborate banquet, for which they procured all the delicacies known to the mining camp, including even a supply of champaign purchased at great expense in San Francisco. When the work was completed, and the water commenced to flow through the new channel, they had their banquet and drank their champaign, but an inspection of the river bottom in the morning showed only the barren rock as a result of all their work, and the end of their dreams of wealth.
While mining on the American, Dr. Shurtleff did not entirely neglect his profession, which he practiced when occasion demanded. In the fall of 1849, hearing the reports of rich discoveries in what is now Shasta County, he went up to Reading Springs, (now called Shasta), where he arrived on the 21st of October, and there resumed mining on Middle Creek, and he took up a good claim in the bed of the creek. Among the miners on Rock Creek were two ministers of the gospel from Oregon, who worked every day in the creek, including Sundays. For this some of the miners called them to task, but in reply the preachers said they had families at home to which they were anxious to return as soon as possible, so that the ministers had the best of the argument, expecially as most of those who lay off on Sunday put in their weekly holiday at the gaming tables.
The Doctor continued working in his claim, with an occasional bit of practice until the November 2, 1849; but as the rains then commenced and the high water drove him from his claim, he gave up mining. The rains caused quite an exodus from the camps. Some of the emigrants, on their way up there, had laid in heavy supplies of provisions, with a views of selling them after reaching their destination; but when the weather changed in the fall, they wanted to get away, and offered their supplies very cheap. The late R. J. Walsh, afterward widely known as the extensive Colusa farmer and stock-raiser, who was at one time President of the State Agricultural Society, was then a merchant at Reading Springs; and while he was a far-seeing business man, he was the fortunate possessor of considerable money as well, and he bought in the greater portion of the staples offered. Flour, for instance, which was always of Chilean manufacture, packed in hundred-pound sacks, was purchased by him at 20 to 25 cents per pound, while freights were 40 to 50 cents. When communication between that point and Sacramento were shut off by the high waters of winter, prices began to rise on all the necessaries of life, and it was not long until Walsh was selling flour from $2 to $2.25. Miners would come in and buy a sack, and Walsh would take $2.25 from their sack of dust, the transaction being treated on both sides with as great nonchalance as would be the buying of a fifty-pound sack of flour now. Other things sold proportionately high.
One of the noteworthy features not to be forgotten about many of these early California mining camps was the large proportion of men of marked ability, from the different pursuits in life, some being representatives even of the learned professions, but all on the same level as miners, store-keepers, etc., with no distinction to be recognized by dress or the other usual signs. Perhaps at a meeting held to discuss the rights in a disputed mining claim or other matter of that nature, some quiet man who had never made any pretensions or given to his associates any evidence of being more than the ordinary run of a miner, would rise and address the assembly in a speech that would be a credit to the United States Senate. To illustrate this characteristic it may here be related that Harrison J Shurtleff, a cousin of our subject, who had come out with him on the Boston, came to the tent in which he and the Doctor lived, and announced to the latter that there were some fellows in the lower part of the town, near the creek, who made splendid peach pies. After that they occasionally visited the pie camp, and patronized the proprietors, who found a ready same for their pies at $1.50 each. Years afterward the Doctor learned that the men who composed that pie firm were the late Colonel Benjamin F. Washington, an influential Democratic leader and editor of California, and Collector of the port of San Francisco during Buchanan’s administration; Vincent E. Geiger, another prominent editor, and Indian agent at the Nomelachie reservation; and the late Colonel William S. Long, subsequently one of the foremost leaders at the Sacramento bar. Geiger cut the wood and packed it into camp; Long was salesman and washed the dishes, while Washington made the pies. These men were Virginians, and could have known nothing of such work previously, but they adapted themselves to circumstances, and their pies were excellent, the only criticism of the Doctor, who had been accustomed to the splendid cookery of New England, being that their upper and lower crusts were a little too close together,--a fact explainable by the high price of the dried Chili peaches used in making them.
Soon after his arrival at Reading Springs, Dr. Shurtleff was elected to the office of Alcalde, which, as Americanized, was one of almost unlimited power, the incumbent being competent to try any kind of a case as Judge. An Oregonian named Bowles, charged with murder, had a jury trial before him, the hearing lasting two days. The counsel for the prosecution was Royal T. Sprague, late Chief Justice of California, while the defense, presented as its attorney W. R. Harrison, a distant relative of the President, who later became the first County Judge of Shasta County, and subsequently District Attorney in Tehama and also in Lassen counties. The trial, despite the seriousness of the charge, was an amusing one in some respects. Sprague, who had practiced in New York State and afterward in Ohio, quoted from the statutes of those States in support of his position, while Harrison relied upon the inspiration to be drawn from the codes and reports of Indiana and Iowa, in which commonwealths he had in former time resided. Judge Shurtleff, who could not have been supposed to be posted on the laws and practice of those States, said that in order to arrive at correct conclusions he wanted the statutes of Massachusetts. However, he was compelled to rely upon his own judgment. Bowles was acquitted. He filled the post of Alcalde satisfactorily to the residents of the district, until the summer of 1850, when he resigned. The records of the office were destroyed in the conflagration of June 14, 1853, which laid Shasta in ashes.
During the spring and summer of 1850, the Doctor was associated in mercantile business with A. C. Brown, afterward County Judge of Amador County. From that time until the latter part of 1851 he continued merchandising, in partnership with Dr. Jesse R. Robinson, who was the first County Clerk of Shasta County, and both meanwhile practiced their profession, to which our subject, after the last mentioned date, devoted his entire attention. When Shasta County was organized he was elected its first Treasurer, and later as a member of the Board of School Trustees. With the late Chief Justice Sprague and the late Governor Isaac Roop, of Susanville, he established the first public school in Northern California. For ten years, by successive annual appointment from the Board of Supervisors, he held the place of County Physician. He took a prominent part in the Whig party organization, of the principles of which he had been since his early manhood a warm supporter and an earnest advocate. He was a great admirer of Henry Clay, and has always looked upon his first Presidential vote for that immortal leader in 1844 as the proudest of his life. As long as the grand old party held together as an organization, he remained under its banners, but when the end came he united with the Democracy.
In 1857 he was tendered the office of County Judge of Shasta County, by Governor J. Neely Johnson, to fill the unexpired term, but declined the appointment. In 1860 he supported Douglas for the Presidency, and in the following year was elected to the State Senate from the district comprising Shasta and Trinity counties, serving with credit in the two sessions of is term, and adding largely to his already considerable prominence and popularity. In 1863 as a war Democrat he received the opposition vote for the United States Senate against John Conness. Shortly thereafter he severed his connection with the Democracy, and in 1864 he supported Abraham Lincoln, in his second presidential campaign. Since that time he has been an active and ardent worker in the ranks and councils of the Republican party, and in 1872 was nominated by the State Convention of that party for alternate Elector at Large.
In 1874, after a residence of a quarter of a century in Shasta County, he removed to Napa, where he has since been an honored resident. In May, 1876, he was elected a member of the Board of City Trustees, and was reelected in 1878 serving both terms as president of that body. In 1878 also he was elected from the Third Congressional District as one of the Delegates at Large to the State Constitutional Convention, and in the sessions of that important body, which sat from September 28, 1878, until March 3, 1879, he was one of the most prominent figures and earnest workers. He took a leading part in the debates of the convention, especially where he led the forces opposed to the incorporation in the constitution of an age limit under which candidates should be ineligible for office. His closing speech on that measure was a masterly and convincing effort, and is here incorporated with an outline of the circumstances of its delivery:
Previous sections having been disposed of, section 24 was taken up, which read as follows: “No one shall be eligible to the office of the Justice of the Supreme Court unless he be at least thirty-five years of age, and shall have been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the State; and no one shall be eligible to the office of the Supreme Court unless he be at least thirty years of age, and shall have been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the State:” Dr. Shurtleff offered as a substitute the following: “No one shall be eligible to the office of the Supreme Court, or of the office of Judge of the Supreme Court, unless he shall have been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court.” He then addressed the convention in these words:
“Mr. Chairman: That leaves it right where it is in the present constitution, and requires no qualification as to age. I hope that the substitute will at least have a fair support from the Committee on the Judiciary itself. I see nothing in the history of this State that requires that there should be a limitation upon the age of those who are to be eligible to judicial office. One of the members of the Judiciary Committee, who, I am sorry to see, is now absent, held the office of Chief Justice when he was only twenty-nine years of age, at least of Justice, and he was made Chief Justice when thirty years old. Another distinguished jurist of this State, long since passed away, Hugh Murray, was called to the Supreme Bench at the early age of twenty-seven. Every lawyer concedes that Hugh Murray was one of the most brilliant jurists of the State, young as he was. Then, if we look further back and examine the history of other States, and even the nation itself, we find that many of the best legal minds have been promoted to important judicial positions when young. Levi Woodbury, of New Hampshire, was Chief Justice of that State at the age of twenty-seven, and was afterward made a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was a man of signal ability, as evidenced in the various positions which he subsequently held. His experience while on the bench of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire was of much benefit to him and the people. James Iredell, of the State of North Carolina, was called to the bench at the age of twenty-six. Hugh L. White, of Tennessee, was made a Justice of the Supreme Court at the age of twenty-eight. Stephen A. Douglas was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois at the age of twenty-eight. Young men, comparatively, have been promoted to the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Story was appointed there by President Madison when only thirty-two years of age.
“Therefore I think it unwise to made this limitation. Nobody claims that young men have been raised to exalted judicial positions to the detriment of public interest. I believe in giving the young men a chance. Martin Van Buren, when a little boy playing marbles and flying his kite in the streets of Kinderhook, told his comrades he was going to be President of the United States. The fire of his youthful ambition never quenched. His education completed, he rose quickly to the position of State Senator, then became Attorney General of the State of New York; then Senator in Congress. He was then appointed Secretary of State by President Jackson, and then Minister to England. He was then elected Vice-president, and finally reached the goal of his ambition and became President of the United States. Though opposed to his school of politics, I glory—what American does not glory?—in the success of the ambitious boy of Kinderhook. It is due to the boys, the young and rising men of California, that the paths of honor shall be left open to them, and I shall not consent, for one, to placing anything in their way.”
This pithy, brilliant and logical speech won the applause of the convention, and carried the cause of that speaker, who thus gained an important point of advantage for the young men of California.
Another debate in which Dr. Shurtleff took a prominent part in this convention, was that of representation in the Legislature. In opposition to those who favored a large increase in the number of legislators, he took the ground that a small and compact body would be the more effective one, instancing the well-governed State of New York, where State Senators represent constituencies larger than Congressional districts. This view prevailed, and the provisions of the old constitution in regard thereto remained in force.
In March, 1880, Dr. Shurtleff was appointed, by Governor Perkins, as one of the trustees of the State Asylum for the Insane at Napa, and has been ever since president of the board, and a hearty advocate of the policy which has already given the institution wide prestige. The incumbency of this position caused his declension of the nomination of the Presidential Elector tendered him by the Republican State Convention of 1884, as he feared his State office might interfere with his eligibility, and an elector then be lost to his party.
Dr. Shurtleff’s career in this State proves him to have been possessed of much more than the ordinary capacity and public spirit as from the first he has taken a leading part in the affairs of his adopted State, and been one of her prominent figures since the pioneer days. As a professional man he has ranked with the ablest, and as a politician he has moved upon the highest plane, always actuated by the purest and broadest of motives. As a citizen he is honored and respected far and wide, and loved and esteemed by those who know him best. Having conserved his strength and physical resources in his young manhood, when the temptations of the gaming tables caused so many of his comrades to fritter away their youth and health by the light of the midnight candle, he is yet, at this writing, in the full possession of his strength and faculties, reaping the dividends on his early investments of self-denial. Thus it is that he has been in active practice of his profession constantly since 1849, besides attending to his manifold public duties, and he stands today as one of the half-dozen pioneer practitioners yet engaged in their profession. He is a life member of the Society of California Pioneers.
In his domestic relations he has been happy, and is the head of an interesting family. On a visit to New England, he was married February 21, 1853, to Miss Ann M. Griffith, a native of Wareham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. They have three children, all born in Shasta, viz: George C., who was born April 7, 1854, educated at Oakland High School, and is now with the great hardware firm of Baker & Hamilton, San Francisco; Charles A., born April 4, 1857, a graduate of Hastings Law School, and now a member of the legal firm of Whitworth & Shurtleff, No. 120 Sutter Street, San Francisco; and Benjamin E., born April 21, 1867, a student in the Medical Department, University of California.
Clarence W. Bush
…one of the most prominent business men of Woodland, and at present cashier and manager of the Bank of Yolo, has been in the banking business for twenty-five years. He was born August 28, 1848, in Copiah County, Mississippi, a son of J. P Bush, one of the pioneers of that section and a physician, but now deceased. Mr. Bush’s mother’s maiden name was Nancy Quick; she was a native of Texas and died in 1854, when the subject was a small boy. When seven years of age he lived one winter in Michigan, then was in New York State and Massachusetts, attending school up to his thirteenth year, principally at Great Barrington. Then until the age of sixteen years he was clerk in a country store in Central New York. He then entered the banking business, first taking a position in the First National Bank of Candor, Tioga County, New York, upon the organization of that institution, and he was elected assistant cashier before he left it. In the spring of 1868 he came to California and remained in San Francisco until the organization of the Bank of Woodland, when he was elected cashier, which position he sustained for thirteen years; then, upon the organization of the Bank of Yolo, he was elected to his present position, and it is by his effort and influence that this institution has been brought up to the high standing which it now enjoys. Mr. Bush is a member of the A. O. U. W. and of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He was married October 16, 1872, to Miss Lucy, daughter of Camillus Nelson, an old resident and prominent citizen of Yolo County, and they have two children, --Camillus and Florence.
George W. Langan
…an attorney at Livermore, was born in East Saginaw, Michigan, February 17, 1849, and was taken by his parents to Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, in their change of residence to that place, where he grew up and was educated. He graduated at the Mansfield State Normal School in the class of 1870. Within two years after that he completed the course of study in the law, being admitted to the bar December 5, 1872. The then came to the Pacific coast and for five years was engaged as teacher in the public schools, at Steilacoom, Washington, Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County; River District and Lodi, San Joaquin County, California. In 1877 he was admitted to the higher court, of the latter State, and commenced the practice of law at Oakland, where he remained until 1880, when he finally went and located permanently at Livermore, where he has since been a prominent and successful lawyer.
Mr. Langan was a soldier of the late war, enlisting February 26, 1864, in the Sixteenth United States Infantry for the term of three years. He served one year, under General Sherman on his march to the sea, as a private, and the remainder of the term as a musican, having been honorably discharged February 26, 1867, at Augusta, Georgia, and he is now a prominent member of Lou Morris Post, No. 47, G. A. R. In addition to his law practice he is interested in viticulture, owning a profitable vineyard near Livermore.
He was married at Livermore, October 3, 1883, to Miss Luella Mendenhall, and now has three children: Philip M., Chester G. and Verula. (Pages 297-298)
John R. Palmer
…an attorney at Pleasanton, is one of the prominent citizens of Amador Valley. He dates his birth March 15, 1836, at Bedford County, Pennsylvania, where he was reared and educated. He learned the trade of tanner and currier, following it from the age of fourteen to twenty years; and from 1856 to 1861 he was engaged in several callings, --teaching school a few years, photographing, etc., and drifted into the study of law, reading Blackstone and other great legal authorities. He was admitted to the bar in his native State; in 1861, he was elected District Attorney for three years, and in 1864 re-elected. After the expiration of his last term, in May, 1867, he bade farewell to friends and associates, and came by steamer by way of Panama to San Francisco. In a short time he went to Black Rock, Nevada, where he followed mining and prospecting for a time; then, returning to San Francisco, he was engaged in handling various publications for a few months, and in 1868 he located in Pleasanton, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his chosen profession, having had many noted lawsuits in regard to land claims. He has also been Notary Public since 1870. He is a gentleman of literary ability, having been on the local staff of several prominent journals; was local editor of the Bed ford Gazette, in his native State, from 1861 to 1867. He is still unmarried.
R. W. Lemme
One of the most beautiful places in Napa County is that belonging to Mr. R. W. Lemme, on Spring Mountain, at a distance of about three miles and a half from St. Helena. The drive up the mountain side, with its ever changing and ever beautiful succession of views over the hills and valley, is charming enough; yet it hardly leads one to expect to find such a place as one comes upon when he reaches Mr. Lemme’s house and grounds. The estate consists of 282 acres, and was purchased by Mr. Charles Lemme, in 1875, and its improvement immediately begun. In 1877 was put up a concrete storage cellar of 80,000 gallons capacity, there being another of slightly smaller capacity. The vineyard now covers eighty-five acres of ground, the varieties planted being Zinfandel, Chasselas, Riesling and Burgundies. There is a very perceptible difference between this mountain-grown wine and that produced in the valleys, altogether in favor of the former, so much so that a very much larger price is obtained for the mountain wines. There is upon the place a great abundance of water, it being piped all over the grounds and to the houses. Mr. Lemme has dammed the creek that courses down through the ranch for the double purpose of affording a head of water and of providing a fish pond. But it is about the residence itself that the chief beauty of the spot is found. A fine grove of young redwoods shades almost too densely the grounds, under them being swung hammocks and easy chairs. These redwoods are a feature of the place, and an object of great interest. A large cement tank with German carp and trout, generously supplied by a spring near by, is also shadowed by these trees. Oranges, walnuts, indeed fruits of every sort are planted and do excellently well, better by far than in the valley, for the place is within the thermal belt, and never knows damaging frosts. There are two residences on the property, roomy and comfortable, surrounded with flowers and shrubs, and the picture of country loveliness. In addition to making up his own grapes into wine, Mr. Lemme purchases nearly all the grapes raised upon the mountain and turns them into wine.
He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1857. He came to California in 1861 with his father, and received his education and upbringing in this State. His father, Charles Lemme, died in 1886. Mr. Lemme was married in 1884, to Miss Alice McPike, daughter of J. McPike, who lives near St. Helena. They have two sons, stout, sturdy little fellows, and one daughter, the picture of good health. They are named Charles and John respectively, after their grandfathers. (Pages 298-299)
J. B. Atkinson
The splendid double stone wine-cellar at Rutherford, of Messrs. Ewer & Atkinson, is one of the sightly structures in the county, and upon examination was found to be as well arranged and fitted as could be the case and a model of convenience. In dimensions the main cellar is 120 x 97 feet in size, two stories in height. It consists of two cellars adjoining with a stone wall running through. At the rear is an addition 25 x 40 feet in size, four stories in height, where all the wine-making is done, the upper floor being the crushing room, to which the grapes are raised by elevator. On the next floor are two large tanks for whit grapes. On the next floor are the presses, while on the ground floor will be the bottling room when everything is in running order. The first half of the cellar was erected in 1885, and the other half in 1889. The total capacity is about 400,000 gallons of wine. It is the intention shortly to put up a distillery in connection with the cellar. The building is entirely of stone and iron, and therefore secure from fire. Water is in plentiful supply from artesian wells, and the building is supplied with automatic bells throughout. Adjoining the cellar Mr. Ewer has 100 acres of vines, while a little south of Rutherford Mr. Atkinson has a vineyard of 115 acres surrounding his comfortable home.
Mr. J. B. Atkinson is a pioneer to California, and for a great many years has been a leading spirit in the mercantile and financial circles. He is a native of New Jersey, born in 1827. In 1849 he determined to come to California, although not yet out of his ‘teens. He took passage on the ship Sara and Eliza, landing safely after a long and tedious voyage of seven months and twenty days with but one stop, at Valparaiso, in San Francisco, September 7, 1849. Like all the rest of the world he went to the mines, going in 1850 to the upper waters of the Yuba River. He soon came back, however, and entered into business in the city of San Francisco, and for twenty years was one of the most prominent wholesale merchants of the city of the Golden Gate. Perhaps no firm in the city enjoyed a better rate or a greater popularity than that of L. Atkinson & Co. Since 1855, when he settled down to business, he has been going back East nearly every year. Ten years ago, in 1880, he decided to abandon the more active part in affairs and retire from business to his elegant ranch at Rutherford. It consists of 154 acres, of which 115 is in vines. He is largely interested elsewhere, however, aiming rather to see the better side of life and leaving his foreman to take charge of the ranch. He is interested elsewhere, however, aiming rather to see the better side of life and leaving his foreman to take charge of the ranch. He is interested in the Napa Valley Wine Company, in the California Hosiery Company, and is a Director in the St. Helena Bank, etc. He is married but has no children. He is one of the most able businessmen, a man of stanch integrity and a leading figure in anything he undertakes. (Pages 299-300)
Judge Edwin Rice Bush
…of Woodland, was born in Copiah County, Mississippi, October 17, 1846, son of Dr. J. P. Bush, a pioneer of California of 1849. The latter commenced practicing his profession in San Francisco about 1851 or 1852, and so continued most of the remainder of his life, but died at Woodland, at the age of seventy-six years.
At the age of nine years the subject of this sketch removed with his brothers and sisters to Western Massachusetts to attend school, and then the subject of this sketch attended for several years Sand Lake Collegiate Institute, in New York State, situated ten miles east of Albany; he also attended school at Geneseo, Livingston County, in said State. After attending for a term the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, he entered the office of the Hon. Scott Lord, at Geneseo, New York. Judge Lord at the time of his death was one of the most prominent attorneys in the United States, and was at one time the law partner of Hon. Roscoe Coukling, at Utica, and was elected to Congress from that Congressional district. Judge Bush remained in Judge Lord’s office about two years, and then, after studying in other offices a short time, went to the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville, Albemarle County, in said State, and graduated in the law department in June, 1869. In August, that year, he came to California and sojourned in San Francisco until the spring of 1870, when he came to Woodland, where he has since resided. Here he entered into partnership, for the purpose of practicing law, with C. S. Frost, which business relation was broken by the election of Mr. Bush to the office of County Judge. Shortly after his arrival at Woodland he was elected to the office of Public Administrator for two terms. In the fall of 1875 he was elected to the office of County Judge, as above mentioned, and assumed the duties of that office on the first day of January following, holding that position for four years. At the close of his term, under the new State constitution the county and district courts were consolidated, and named the Superior Court; and at the first election thereafter Mr. Bush was chosen the Superior Judge and served a term of five years. Since that time he has been engaged in the private practice of the law.
Politically Judge Bush is a Democrat. He has belonged to Pythian Lodge No. 43, K. of P. for several years.
The Judge was married, June 14, 1876, to Mary J. Yerby, a native of California, and they have three sons. (Page 300)
J. G. Farhner
…one of the business men of Redding, California, was born in Pennsylvania, June 16, 1848. His parents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Rohm) Farhner, were both of German ancestry, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Pennsylvania. Grandfather Farhner and grandfather Jacob Rohm emigrated from Germany to this country. The subject of this sketch is the oldest son and third child of a family of ten children, seven of whom are now living. He was educated in Illinois, and learned the trade of carriage and wagon maker in Missouri, to which State his father had moved.
April 14, 1876, Mr. Farhner came to California and settled at Shasta. He carried on business there for four years; then removed to Redding and conducted a wagon and carriage-making business and also undertaking. In 1882 he was elected Coroner and Administrator of the County, on the Democratic ticket. In 1888 he purchased a furniture store. The latter part of that year he was one of the organizers of the Redding Planing Mill Company, which he is now running, and in connection with it is doing contracting and building. He has effected most of the best buildings in the city, including the following: Good Templars’ Hall, I. O. O. F. Hall, Golden Eagle Hotel, McCormick & Saeltzer’s store, and the Bank of Northern California. He is an Odd Fellow, a member of the Encampment of the K. of P., and a member of the A. O. U. W. He is also a member of the G. A. R., having served in the Fifty-eighth Illinois Infantry under General A. J. Smith.
Mr. Farhner was married in 1872, to Miss Amanda Lovina Lockridge, a native of Illinois. They have four children, the first born in Missouri, and the others in California, viz.: Lora, Myrta, Ambrose and Emory. Mr. Farhner has built himself a comfortable home, in which he resides with his family. By his fellow-citizens he is regarded as an active business man, full of push and energy. (Pages 300-301)
William H. Martin
…a representative pioneer of California, and a highly esteemed citizen of Pleasanton, Alameda County, came to the Golden State in 1850. He was born in Canada, near Quebec, April 19, 1837, and at an early age was brought into the United States by his parents, who settled in Missouri. They were John and Catharine Martin, natives of Ireland, who emigrated to Canada in 1825, and in 1840 to Missouri. In 1850 they came across the plains by ox team to California, arriving at Ragtown, or Diamond Spring, September 8. They went directly to Searsville, San Mateo County, where William finished his schooling and clerked in his father’s hotel until 1858. The family then removed to Dublin, Alameda County, and engaged in farming there. In 1863 William took a trip to the State of Sonora, Mexico, where he engaged in mining for one year. Returning to California, he located at mission San Jose and conducted a hotel there for eighteen months; then he was a resident at Dublin again for twelve years, engaged in farming and stock-raising. In 1877 he engaged in the butchering business, in addition to his interests in the farm, which he still owns. In 1886 he moved to Pleasanton, where he is now successfully engaged in carrying on a meat market on Main street, opposite the Rose Hotel. He keeps three wagons in his employ to supply the local trade.
He was united in matrimony to Miss Katherine Riley, at mission San Jose, July 13, 1865, and they have two children—Mary and W. J.
Dennis Martin, uncle of the preceding, died June 18, 890, at San Francisco, at the age of seventy-two years. The name of Dennis Martin will long be remembered by the early pioneers of California, as he was among the very first. A native of Ireland, he came to Canada in 1825, to the United States in 1838, and in 1844 he started with his father’s family of six children across the plains by ox team, he being the leading spirit of the company. They arrived in Carson Valley, now the State of Nevada, where they were snow-bound. Later the entire family successfully crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains on snow-shoes, arriving at Sutter’s Fort on Christmas day. This trip Mr. Martin claims to have been one of the greatest hardships of his life. In the spring of 1845, Mr. Martin returned to the valley and in due time brought over his wagons and outfit. Settling in San Mateo County, he put up the first sawmill in this State, working in the Redwoods of that county. In 1853 he converted it into a flour-mill, building another saw-mill near the site of the first. Mr. Martin had a family of six children, of whom there are three now living.
W. W. Hannum
…deceased, formerly a farmer near Cacheville, was born April 23, 1828, in Robertson County, Tennessee, a son of Miffin Mayppen and Nancy (Pitt) Hannum, natives of Tennessee. The senior Hannum was a farmer and remained in Tennessee until his death. Mr. Hannum, our subject, was brought up on a farm, and at the age of twenty-one years he went to Morgan County, Missouri, where he was employed most of the time as a farm hand until he came to California in 1850. He came overland, with ox teams, being about three months on the road. Until 1853 he followed gold mining in El Dorado County and vicinity, and then went down to the valley in Yolo County and commenced agricultural pursuits upon land he had purchased two miles from Cacheville. He sold this out and in 1879 rented land until his death, which occurred in 1885, when he was fifty-seven years of age. He was a member of Yolo Lodge, No. 81, F. & A.M., for twenty-six years. The mention of his name revives tender memories and kind recollections among all who were acquainted with him.
August 18, 1857, he married Mrs. Eunice Mateer, a native of Illinois, who died May 6, 1866. By that marriage there were four children, three of whom are now living: Charles H., Martha e., wife of A. G. Mitchum, and James A. Mr. Hannum was again married Maya 24, 1870, to Miss Priscilla Hill, a native of Missouri, and by this marriage there were also four children, namely: Albert S., Eunice C., Warren H. and William C. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Hannum came down into the valley and purchased her present home, in 1887, consisting of twenty-eight acres, two miles south of Woodland. It is principally devoted to the production of alfalfa, which is here a very profitable crop. She also has a small vineyard, and manages to support herself, with the aid of her children. Their home is one which shows neatness and comfort.
a prominent and promising young attorney, is a native of California, born in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, September 2, 1860. He received his primary education under private tutors, up to the age of twenty years, when he entered St. Mary’s College, San Francisco, where he graduated in 1879 as Bachelor of Arts. He commenced the study of law in the office of Judge Robert Crouch, now Superior Judge of Napa County, and completed his course at the law school in Albany, New York, graduating thereat in May, 1883. He was selected by the faculty to deliver the class oration, being the first student from west of the Mississippi to receive the honor. This oration, entitled “The Perils of Asiatic Immigration,” struck a popular chord in the hearts of the people of the Pacific coast, and it was generally reprinted there, while in the East it opened up a fuller knowledge and consideration of this important question, which was then being agitated in Congress in the form of the Exclusion Bill.
Returning to San Francisco, he entered the law office of M. M. Estee, late chairman of the Republican National Committee, and chairman of the convention which nominated Benjamin Harrison for President. Here he remained as head clerk until the fall of 1884, when he was tendered by the Democratic party of Napa County the nomination for District Attorney. This he accepted, and, notwithstanding the fact that Napa County is strongly Republican, he was elected by 109 majority in the campaign in which Blain carried the county by 300 majority. He was renominated in the succeeding election and was again elected. During his incumbency he prosecuted several murder cases, and a large number of important felony cases successful.
In July, 1886, he took a short vacation, revisiting Albany, New York, where he was married to Miss Emma Von Kruen Mann, only daughter of P. H. Mann, of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, whose acquaintance he had formed while at the law school I 1882. He then established himself in the active practice of his profession, in which he has already built up a satisfactory business. Mr. Hogan is a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West and Past President of Napa Parlor and a Grand Trustee of the order, also a member and President of the Young Men’s Institute. (Pages 301-302)
Honorable Gurdon Backus
The Argonauts of California are a race by themselves, standing up like giants among the people who have flocked in to profit by their early trials, hardships and tireless labors, just as the huge redwoods overtop the smaller trees of the forest. California can never do sufficient justice by her pioneers, for the reason that without them she would never exist. They came thousands of miles over sea and land, literally taking their lives in their hands, and notwithstanding the most incredible difficulties and dangers they fought their way, and as a result we of a later day are reaping the benefits of their sufferings, in this, the fairest of all lands.
Amid the many life-histories of the pioneers that it has been the good fortune of the writer to pen, he can safely say that none have been so full of incident, of interest, of indomitable energy, of great accomplishment and of lessons worthy the reading and remembering as that of Gurdon Backus, which we here present.
He was born in the old Green Mountain State, November 6, 1820, and is therefore at the time of this writing nearing the close of the sixties, yet as active, as energetic and as young in appearance as if he had yet to touch the half century. Of his earlier days and of his family we present the following:--His father was a contractor and builder of ships, and built the flag ship Saratoga at Vergennes, Vermont, which whipped the English at the battle of Plattsburg; was on board himself as volunteer. He died in Burlington, Vermont, when Mr. Backus was but eight years old. He was a first class chip builder and mechanic, traveling all over the continent in the course of his business. He had six children, two boys and four girls. The youngest son, brother of Gurdon, left his home for the battle-fields of Mexico, where he fell in battle. Commodore McDonough boarded with his grandmother at Vergennes, Vermont, during the building of the fleet in 1814. The maternal grandfather, Colonel Nichols, was a pensioner of the Revolutionary war.
The subject of this sketch was brought up on a farm until fourteen years of age, and was then engaged in the clothing business in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Burlington, Vermont, and next in New York city. He was an active worker for Harrison in 1840, and was a member of a log-cabin club. He entered business for himself at the age of nineteen years, and was in the clothing trade until he came to California. He was married twelve days after he reached his majority.
Mr. Backus was among the first to set out from his Eastern home for the El Dorado, leaving Burlington, Vermont, January 13, 1849, and New York in March, for the long trip across the continent, driving a six-mule team from the city of St. Louis. He tramped the whole seventy-five miles from Cumberland to Brownsville, being three days and a half on the old National road. The long journey was successfully accomplished with the usual hardships and difficulties, but without serious mishap, and the Golden State was reached August 29, 1849, the arrival in Sacramento, then the objective point for every one, in the September following. After a few days in this city, Mr. Backus went up to Redding’s Diggings in the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, but did not remain long after the winter rains came on. He made his way back to Sacramento, through miseries and difficulties, such as can only be appreciated when heard from the lips of the men who underwent them. He took a position in the Empire Hotel, kept by Keefe & Butler, the latter a brother of the celebrated General, at $195 a month and board, remaining with them until the end of January, 1850. Then he opened the Anglo-Saxon Hotel on Front street, and continued the business with good success until the fall of that year.
The outbreak of cholera, however, induced him to transfer his energies to another point, and accordingly we find Mr. Backus in San Francisco in November, 1850, homeward bound for the East, with a comfortable little pile of $17,000 worth of gold dust in his sack. He did not get farther than that city, however, and soon leased the Commercial Hotel, on the corner of Jackson street and Jones Alley, where Colonel Haraszthy now has his wind depot, paying no less than $800 for his monthly rental. He made the house the best and one of the leading hotels in the city, for he always does his best, and was patronized by the best class, and fairly earned money for a while, having bought the house and enlarged it, when the disastrous conflagration of May 4, 1851, swept the hotel and all its contents out of existence, and left Mr. Backus with only $50 in his pocket.
Nothing daunted he stepped aboard the Sacramento boat the next day, determined to go back to the mines and retrieve his fortune. On reaching that city, he was accosted by a Jewish merchant, J. Pinchover, on the levee, and offered a position with him as clerk at $150 a month and board. This position he retained until the end of December, 1851, and then, receiving a Government clerkship, he went to Vallejo, then the State capital, and with this begins another and more prominent chapter in the eventful life of the worthy pioneer. At this time, too, begins the literary activities of Mr. Backus, letters from him giving the best resume of matters, political and general, of all published, appearing in the Eastern and other papers. Fortunately he kept a diary of those early days,--a perfect treasure house of facts and circumstances used for this article. He took an active part in the great struggle over the State capital, working energetically in the interests of Sacramento. He went one night through the rain and darkness, up the Sacramento River for State Senator Henry E. Robinson, to assure his vote for the final test.
Mr. Backus clerked in the Legislature until May, 1852, when he began business in Sacramento for himself on J street, in the clothing trade, gradually enlarging his business and launching out into new departments of enterprise until he was one of the most extensive dealers in central California. In April, 1853, he was made Harbor-master of Sacramento, holding the office for two years, being then and afterward largely interested in Sacramento scooners and shipping. In 1851 h3 built for himself the fine mansion at the corner of Tenth and E streets, then one of the finest residences in the city, and still ranking with any for beauty and comfort, surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers, and bringing out his family from the East to occupy it.
In March, 1852, Mr. Backus became the Sacramento agent for Charles Crocker, who was then carrying on a store at Negro Bar, and later on he admitted Mr. Crocker as a partner. November 2, midnight, 1852, occurred the great fire, which destroyed almost the whole city, his store among others. His house and one other were the only houses left north of J street on Tenth street, and he fed and housed his friends for some time to the number of sixteen or more, among them E. B. Crocker and wife, whom he was instrumental in saving from the horror of that fearful night. There was great suffering at this time, and the price of provisions went up to fabulous rates, yet through all Mr. Backus went unflinchingly and nobly, helping his friends, although himself one f the greatest losers. The general election had just taken place, and the ballots, etc., had been carried to his house and were thus saved. In February, 1854, he went into business in partnership with W. R. Strong, of Sacramento, now so well known, and was again extensively launched into business, only to lose everything again by fire, July 12, 1854, at midday. In 1855 he was elected Public Administrator, holding the office for two years.
The war feeling that resulted later in the desperate civil struggle was already rising high. In all this Mr. Backus was for the Union, “first, last and all the time;" and when Lincoln’s call for volunteers was made, he at his own expense published a notice calling for volunteers, organized three companies, and at great expense and difficulty outfitted them, through the Union Club of Sacramento, and kept them together until the war department sent out an officer, Colonel Kellogg, to take command. He aided in organizing the Union Club of Sacramento, formed of men whose united action did more than almost any other cause to keep California in the Union, and stifle the hot Southern desire for secession and war, although the leaders of this element were his close personal friends. The money raised by Mr. Backus and the Union Club was the means of arousing the movement that placed this State among the loyal commonwealths and steadied the feelings of all. His son, General Samuel W. Backus, so well known for his many public positions and his great worth of character, now Postmaster of San Francisco, was his father’s right-hand man in all of this, and he himself went East and served honorably and well throughout the civil struggle.
For seven years Mr. Backus was in the internal revenue service in San Francisco, going to that city in 1861. Sixteen years ago he accepted the agency of the Southern Pacific at the important station of St. Helena, the wine center of California, a position which he still holds with satisfaction to the business public. His beautiful cottage home in the eastern part of the town is the picture of home-like comfort, being surrounded by trees and veritably embowered in flowers and flowering shrubs. He was a member of the common council of Sacramento (sitting with Mark Hopkins) in 1853, which built up the city, improved its streets, etc., and was active in railroad matters.
Mr. Backus has always been a clear-sighted and acute observer of the events of which he has made a part. He is a powerful writer, an exact and careful business man, a good conversationalist, and a most genial host. His popularity is shown by his long occupancy of his present position, where he has to meet and adjust affairs with all classes of people, not less than by the majorities which he has received when a candidate for public office. He is an honored member of the Pioneer Society of San Francisco, and of Washington Lodge, No. 20, F. & A. M. of Sacramento. His motto through life has been, “Duty: results take care of themselves.” (Pages 303-305)
E. M. Keys, M. D.,
Livermore, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 14, 1855. In 1874 he began the study of medicine in the office of his father, L. H. Keys, M. d., an old practitioner, and in 1878 attended lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, same State, and graduated there. He practiced five years at Walker, Linn County, Iowa, and five years in Hampton, Iowa, and in the fall of 1888 came by rail to California, first locating at Pescadero, then Monterey for a short time, and finally in 1889 he settled in Livermore, taking up the practice of Dr. W. B. Taylor, and now has a lucrative business, his success being marked. He is a member of Anchor Lodge, No. 191, F. & A. M., and also of the K. of P.,--both at Hampton, Iowa. March 1, 1878, at Earlville, in Delaware County, Iowa, he married Miss Jennie R. Carter, and they have two children: Fannie and Harold. (Page 305)
Chauncey Carroll Bush
…called the father of the active business city of Redding, is one of the men of mark, who with others planned and laid the foundation of the prosperity of the county of Shasta. He comes of good old Revolutionary New England stock. His great-grandfather, David Bush, married Thankful Pettibone at Smisburg, Connecticut, and had two sons, born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The eldest of these sons, David Bush, Jr. (Mr. Bush’s grandfather), was born October 29, 1762, and married August 13, 1783, Anna Brown, a twin daughter of Major Jacob and Anna Brown. They had seven children, all born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The third of their family, Daniel Brown Bush (Mr. Bush’s father), was born May 18, 1790. David Bush, one of Mr. Bush’s uncles, reared several children, among them Charles P. Bush, a Congregationalist minister in Michigan, and his brother, George Bush, a Congregationalist minister in New Jersey. Peregrine, another of them, married a daughter of John Francis, a Baptist minister, and their son, John P. Bush, was at one time publisher of the Oneida (New York) Observer. The Judge’s ancestry were all men of distinction in their town. Jacob Brown, his maternal grandfather, in 1775, joined the Revolutionary army in Boston, was elected a Major and marched through Maine to Quebec, Canada, with Benedict Arnold. All the soldiers suffered with hunger, and they were compelled to eat horses and dogs. Mr. Brown died on the Plains of Abraham, with small-pox. Mr. Bush’s grandmother’s uncle, John Brown, was a lawyer in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, joined the Revolutionary army, was made a Colonel, and was killed by Indians and Tories in ambush at Stone Arabia, New York. Major Henry C. Brown, a cousin of his grandmother, was sheriff of Berkshire County for twenty years. Mr. Bush’s father, Daniel Brown Bush, married Maria Merrick, a daughter of Lieutenant Joseph and Mercy (Smith) Merrick. They had three sons and three daughters, of whom he was the youngest. His mother died when he was five months old. His oldest brother, Joseph Merrick Bush, has resided in Pittsfield, Illinois, since 1838, and has published a paper there for over thirty years. Judge Bush’s eldest sister, now Mrs. Ellen Dewitt Hatch, resides at Big Timber, Montana, and is a writer of much ability. His sister, Maria Merrick, married Hon. Jackson Grimshaw, a noted lawyer of Illinois. His brother, Colonel Daniel Brown Bush, resides in Portland, Oregon, and is manager of the Home Mutual Insurance Company. He served through the Mormon war at Nauvoo, Illinois, after that through the Mexican war and through the war of the Rebellion. Judge Bush’s father married for his second wife, a widow, and a daughter of Captain Greer, of New York city. They had five children, only two sons of whom now survive. One of them, a brother of Judge Bush, is Colonel Edward Greer Bush, a graduate of West Point, who served through the war of the Rebellion. There is a sister, now Mrs. Lucia Bates, residing at Pittsfield, Illinois. Judge Bush’s family are noted for longevity. His father died November 23, 1885, aged ninety-five years, six months and five days, and none of his brothers died under seventy years.
Judge Bush was born July 31, 1831, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His parents moved to Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois, in 1834, then called the far West. In 1850, at the age of eighteen, he crossed the plains, by way of St. Joseph’s, Missouri, Fort Hall, Fort Laramie and Carson Valley, arriving in Hangtown, now Placerville, July 22, 1850; wintered at Ophir, near Auburn, until February, 1851, and then removed to Shasta County, arriving at Shasta February 21, 1851. For several years he followed mining, then clerking in stores and engaged in other callings. In 1861 he was elected Justice of the Peace in Shasta, afterward Associate Judge of the Court of Sessions. The next year he was elected County Judge, and re-elected twice afterward, the satisfaction given to all parties during the first two terms being so great that the Democrats declined to nominate a candidate against him the last term. During his three terms as County Judge, only one case was appealed to the Supreme Court, and that was affirmed. Having decided to remove from Shasta he declined to let his name go before the people for re-election. For ten years he was engaged in merchandising to Shasta. He spent much time and money in trying to induce the railroad company to build their road to the town of Shasta. Failing in this he decided to move to the newly projected town of Redding, and induced a few of his neighbors and friends to do likewise. Acting upon this decision, the night of July 22, 1872, found Judge Bush sleeping on a soft pine board, with one blanket over him, on the lot where now stands the Bush block, which at present contains the Bank of Shasta County, Chambers & Campbell’s hardware store, the post office and other occupants. August 12 the first bill of goods from a general stock of merchandise in the town of Redding, was sold by him. He cast his lot with the town, and has staid and worked for its success.
It is no disparagement to the efforts of others to say that Judge Bush is the father of the city of Redding, and the father is and has just reason to be proud of his child, as it has become at eighteen years of age a fine city with its many brick blocks, electric lights, fine system of water-works and sewerage, and every brick laid and every timber put in place to make it the lovely, populous city it is destined to become. It is a monument to his sagacity, enterprise, faith and tenacity of purpose, and is destined to become the “city of the north.” Judge Bush is now its very efficient Postmaster, and has held the position three different terms and makes a very obliging and prompt official. He held the office of United States Court Commissioner for twenty-two years. Has been a Mason for twenty-five years, and Master of Western Star Lodge two terms, and of Redding Lodge two terms, and is now Grand Bible Bearer of the Grand Lodge. He has been a School Trustee for several years, taking a deep interest in educational matters. Was a member of the School Board that erected Redding’s fine brick school house. He was the founder of the Bank of Shasta County, and its first president. He was a delegate to the National Convention at Chicago, that nominated James G. Blaine for he Presidency, and was one of the Pacific coast committee that visited him at his home in Augusta, Maine, and congratulated him on his nomination; and he was also one of the committee that notified Logan of his nomination at Washington, District of Columbia. Although not a communicant he is a firm and consistent supporter of Sabbath-schools and churches. During the war he was a worker for and a member of the Sanitary Commission.
In 1865 he was married to Miss Ida M. Schroeder, and they have had seven children, three of whom died in infancy. The surviving children are Eda Ellen, Chauncey Carroll, Jr., George William and Harry Edward. Judge Bush and his estimable wife are held in high standing by their neighbors and a large circle of acquaintances. Their silver wedding was held Jun3 27, 1890, and their warm friends gathered around them in throngs to do them honor. The pleasant and commodious home was filled to overflowing, as well as their beautiful grounds that surround their home.
Mrs. Judge Bush and daughter, Eda, are members of the Presbyterian Church, and constant workers in the church and Sabbath-school, Mrs. Bush being now and for several years Assistant Superintendent. The family is noted for its many charities and assistance in times of distress, Miss Eda being a very active member of the Young Ladies’ Aid Society, that is well known for its good works. (Pages 305-307)
H. H. Pitcher
The Bank of Livermore—This solid financial institution, which has proven so beneficial in this valley, was opened for business as a private institution on the 13th of March, 1885, and on the 11th of December, 1885, was incorporated under the laws of California. The board of directors, consisting of all the stockholders, was as follows: Thomas Varney, H. H. Pitcher, G. W. Langan, John Taylor and T. H. B. Varney. The first officers were: Thomas Varney, President; H.H. Pitcher, Cashier, and G. W. Langan, Attorney. After the death of Thomas Varney, which occurred February 13, 1890, T. H. B. Varney became President, and John Taylor Vice-President. The bank, which has a paid-up capital of $100,000, handles practically all the business of the Livermore Valley. The bank has been a success from the start, and the volume of its business is constantly on the increase.
H. H. Pitcher, the able cashier of the Bank of Livermore, is a native of Sacramento, born August 16, 1850, his parents being E. M. and Jane H. (Hay) Pitcher, the former a native of New York, and the latter of London, England. Both came out to California at the same time with Strowbridge, and, becoming acquainted on the steamer, were married after their arrival in California. Mr. Pitcher, Sr., was for a time in the cattle business, but afterward conducted a hotel in the country a short distance from Sacramento. He also engaged quite extensively in dealing in fine horses, and imported some of the first fine stock ever brought to California, Among these was the noted John Nelson, which as a famous animal. He was also for a time in the mercantile business in Sacramento, in connection with Mr. Strowbridge. His death occurred in Sacramento County, in 1863.
H. H. Pitcher, the subject of this sketch, was reared in Sacramento, and there received his education. When but eighteen years of age he entered the employ of Treadwell & Co., a large mercantile firm there, as book-keeper. That firm became insolvent, and their creditors, the Bank of California, took their stores and placed Mr. Pitcher in charge of the business at Sacramento to close. He closed the business there about two years later, and so well pleased were the bank officials with the work of the young man that they made him a favorable offer to enter the Bank of California in San Francisco, which he accepted, continuing there until starting in the Bank of California in 1885.
Besides his banking interests, Mr. Pitcher is largely interested in the chrome iron trade, he and Mr. Knight, of San Francisco, handling in partnership nearly all of the product on this coast, and shipping most of the ore to the Kalion Chemical Works, Philadelphia. Mr. Pitcher has a fine ranch of 500 acres in El Dorado County, not far from Placerville, which he is planting largely to fruit, to which the land is specially adapted.
Mr. Pitcher was married in San Francisco, February 3, 1872, to Miss Annie G. Clark, a native of San Francisco, and daughter of Reuben Clark, the leading architect of the State Capitol at Sacramento. They have two children, viz.: Pearl F. and Hazel Belle.
Mr. Pitcher is a member of Masonic Lodge, F. & A. M., and Doric Chapter, R. A. M., of Livermore; and of Golden Gate Commandery, Knights Templar, and Islam Temple of the Mystic Shrine, San Francisco. Mr. Pitcher is a Republican politically. He was elected a member of the Board of Trustees of Livermore in May, 1889, and was chosen president of the board. In May, 1890, he was re-elected.
Mr. Pitcher is a high-toned, honorable gentleman, of rare business qualifications, and is indeed a valuable acquisition to Livermore and its surrounding valley. (Pages 307-308)
Livermore Spring Water Company was incorporated in 1874 by John Alyward, Robert Livermore, Valentine Alviso, Michael Mullanay, Charles Hedzal and W. Gibbons. The first officers elected were: John Aylward, president; W. Gibbons, Secretary; and Robert Livermore, treasurer. The first board of directors consisted of Messrs. Hedzal, Aylward, Livermore, Alviso and Mullanay. In 1878 a mortgage upon the company’s plant was given for the purpose of obtaining ready means for prosecuting the work, and it was foreclosed and bought in by John Aylward in 1885, since which time he has been sole proprietor.
The water used in this system is obtained from two sources—the Arroyo Mocho and the Los Positos Springs. The point on the Mocho from which water is taken is about three miles from Livermore, giving a fall of 125 feet. The Los Positos Springs are about two and a half miles from town, and this gives a fall amply sufficient for all purposes. Water is conveyed to the city through iron pipes of the best construction, and over ten miles of piping are used in the entire system, which supplies the life-giving fluid for all domestic as well as fire purposes in Livermore. Much credit is due Mr. Aylward for the active interest he has taken ever since becoming connected with the water company, in the matter of improving its facilities.
John Aylward, proprietor of the Livermore Water Company, and the leading spirit in this valley in the line of manufacturing, is a native of Ireland, born in the county Kilkenny, in January, 1843. He was reared at his native place, and there commenced the blacksmith’s trade. In 1865 he came to America and located in Boston, where he continued the trade with T. K. Very, veterinary surgeon, who had a shop where the most intricate work in horse-shoeing was performed in a scientific manner. Under instructions there Mr. Aylward obtained a thorough knowledge in that branch of his trade, and, having a natural taste for the trade he had adopted, he became expert in the business. To this day he attributes much of his success to the knowledge obtained in the shop of Mr. Very. He remained with the latter until September, 1866, working as a journeyman after he had finished his trade. Leaving Boston, he proceeded to New York, where he took passage for California on the steamer Santiago de Cuba (since sunk). The vessel was shipwrecked and he returned to New York and again took passage, this time on the steamer San Francisco. He made the trip via Nicaragua, finishing the journey on the Pacific side on the steamer Moses Taylor, and landing at San Francisco on the 7th of October. He soon went to Mission San Jose, where he worked for N. Bergmann six months, then started in business for himself, doing general job work, and built up a fine trade. To this he gave his personal attention until 1874, when he came to Livermore to start a shop and manufacture the iron piping for the Livermore Spring Water Company. His business in Livermore proving a large one, he sold out his shop at mission San Jose in 1876 to James Stanley (now public administrator). Mr. Aylward has made a through success of his shop in Livermore.
In 1886 he patented a hay press, which, it can be said with strict adherence to the truth, is far and away ahead of any other press now in use. Other hay presses are simply not in competition with it. Though the machine has many skillful devices for the perfect compressing of hay, yet everything about it is of such strength that there is practically no stoppage for repairs when once in operation. This is accomplished, too, without making the press at all unwieldy. In fact, it is a handsome-appearing machine. Two bales of hay are constantly being made at the same time by the process used, so that there is no loss of time or power. The saving in cost of compressing is very great, and then the bales are very compact, so that it is possible to get in a car about twice as much hay as if packed by other machines. In shipping either by sea to the islands or by rail to the coast points, this is a great item, the difference in this particular alone affording a good profit to the commission man. About fifty of the Aylward presses have been made by the proprietor, who has been unable to supply the demand, and the writer of this article predicts great results for Mr. Aylward when the merits of his great hay press become known in other sections as they are now recognized in the Livermore Valley. He is also manufacturing the Aylward Automatic Gate, constructed of either iron or wood, which also has a wide reputation and a good sale. Mr. Aylward is a natural mechanical genius, and has patents on other useful articles, which, however, he has never pushed, owing to the pressure upon his time by other machines and general business interests.
He was married at Mission San Jose in May, 1869, to Miss Margaret Downs, a native of Ireland, but reared in this country at Nantucket, from childhood. They have six children, viz.: Mary Frances, wife of John J Aylward, of San Francisco; Richard, who is with his father in the shop; Lulu, John, Grace and Edward. Mr. Aylward has held the office of Trustee of Livermore, though he is in no sense of the word an office seeker. He is now a supporter of the principles of the American party. He is a member of Mosaic Lodge, F. & A. M., and Doric Chapter, R. A. M., of Vesper Lodge, A. O. U. W., and of the Legion of Honor. If Livermore reaches the destiny outlined for her by some, it will be through the efforts of just such men as Mr. Aylward, who, while a safe and conservative man, has that spirit of true progress, aided by pluck and perseverance, which is always the leading factor in building up communities. (Pages 308-310)
Daniel W. Smith
…engaged in agriculture near Livermore, was born in New York city, December 9, 1836. At the age of two years he was taken by his parents in their removal to England, and he received his schooling in Kent. At an early age he chose seafaring life as a vocation, and he followed it in various capacities for many years, from cabin boy to ordinary seaman; and in 1856 he became part owner and took command of the schooner Ida Jane, of San Francisco, a coasting merchantman. After running this vessel until 1869 he resigned and sold his interest. Moving to Livermore he purchased 112 acres of land near that place and has since been engaged in cultivating it. “Captain Dan, as he is universally called, is fifty-four years of age, hale and hearty, and has the respect and friendship of his fellow farmers and acquaintances. His father, John Smith, was a native of Castine, Maine, while the mother, Maria, is a native of Edinburg, Scotland. The Captain was married in 1870, at the mission San Jose, to Mrs. Helen Welch, nee Hickey. She has a daughter, named Agnes. (Page 310)
…a farmer five miles southeast of Woodland, and an early settler of Yolo County, was born June 19, 1827, in Butler County, Ohio, a son of George D. and Mary (Dennis) Kirkham. His father, a native of Kentucky, was a tanner and also a farmer, and moved first to Ohio and then to Illinois, and to California in 1876, where he died, July 7, 1878. Samuel also worked in the tannery and upon the farm until he was twenty-two years of age, when, in the spring of 1850, he came across plain and mountain to California with ox teams, being on the road from April 28 to August 20. He remained at Hangtown until 1854 engaged in mining, when he selected his present home, which has long been a model residence. Mr. Kirkham is a very liberal-hearted man, generous to a fault and has generally been too “easy” with his debtors, else he would have been worth thousands more than he is.
He was married in 1860 to Miss Mary R. Chandler, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Salmon and Naomi (Beebe) Chandler, who came to California in 1859 and who are now both deceased. Mr. And Mrs. Kirkham have had two children: George E., deceased, and Naomi J., wife of Jonathan Scott Harmon, of Oakland. (Page 310)
A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Janice Giachino, January, 2007 Pages 289-310
…a native son of California, was born near Napa, in the original adobe residence of his parents, Cayetamo and Maria J. (Higuerra) Juarez, in 1854. He received his primary education in the public schools of Napa, and later attended St. Mary’s College at San Francisco, the Oakland College, and St. Augustine College at Benicia. He returned home at the age of fifteen, and since that time he has been engaged in attending to the various interests connected with his own and his father’s ranch near Napa. He was married in 1876 to Miss Helene Newhouse, a native of Sierra County, California. They have three children: Roy, born July 5, 1877; Ethel, born September 14, 1882; and Vivien, born January 8, 1884. He is a member of Napa Parlor, No. 62, N S. G. W., and the organizer and leader of the Juarez Orchestra, which has furnished the music for the surrounding country for years past. His father was the earliest locater of land in the Napa Valley, having been granted, in 1841, by Governor Manuel Jimeno, a tract of 8,865 58-100ths acres, called the Tulcay Rancho, which extended from the Suscol Creek on the south to Arroyo Sarco on the north, and to the Napa River on the west. He was a Mexican soldier from his early boyhood, joining the army in 1827, and took a very active part in the control of the Indian population, fighting those that were insubordinate, and managing and caring for on his ranch those who were peaceful. In 1840 he removed to the grant above mentioned, where he built the original adobe house in which he lived until 1845. In that year he built the second old large adobe, which is still occupied. In the year 1854 he was elected the alcalde of the district of Sonoma, in which year a party of twenty Americans assembled near the present site of Healdsburg for some unlawful purpose, when Don Cayetano with a force of men drove them away. The excitement growing out of this affair continued to increase until the Americans and Mexicans began to look upon each other with general distrust, and finally culminated in what is known as the “Bear Flag War.” Don Cayetano also owned a rancho of 10,000 acres where Ukian now stands, but this was never confirmed to him by our Government, as he had already disposed of it before the American Land Commission was appointed. He died in 1883, and is buried in the Tulucay Cemetery, the ground for which was donated by him. His wife, Madame Maria J. Juarez, was born at the Presidio in 1815. Her father, Francisco Higuerra, was a soldier and also an interpreter of the Russian language in the intercourse with the Russian settlements in Alaska and on the Russian River. He built the first wooden house in San Francisco, the material being brought from the mill on the Russian River. He owned all the lands in the immediate neighborhood of the Presidio, but being lost at sea on a voyage to the Sandwich Islands, his children, who were young at the time, were defrauded of their property. Mrs. Maria Jesus Juarez survived her husband six years, dying January 7, 1890, aged seventy-four years, one month and twenty-three days, and was buried by the side of her husband. (Pages 310-311)
…President of the Bank of Northern California, is one of Shasta County’s prominent citizens and business men. A brief sketch of his life is as follows:
He was born in Albany, New York, November 18, 1826, the son of Eleazer and Cynthia (Cornell) Frisbie, both natives of the State of New York, the former of French ancestry and the latter of English. He was the fourth born in the family, was reared on his father’s farm and received his early education in Albany. At the age of fourteen young Frisbie left home to work on a farm at six dollars per month. He worked out four years and in the meantime attended school six months at the Albany Academy. April 16, 1846, he was united in marriage to Miss Phebe Ann Klink, a beautiful young girl of his own county. He started a small dairy at Albany and continued it successfully for four years. At the end of that time he removed to Syracuse and purchased a farm, remaining there seven years.
In 1855 he sold out and came to California and settled in Napa County. He purchased a farm five miles from Vallejo, where he farmed successfully for twenty-two years. In 1877 Mr. Frisbie purchased 20,000 acres of the Redding grant, covering the towns of Redding and Anderson. He divided the property up, put it on the market and sold it off, having disposed of the last of it in 1885. He engaged in lumbering on the Pitt River, floated the logs to Redding and sawed them there. In 1888 he formed a banking corporation, composed of the following gentlemen: E. Frisbie, F. H. Deakin, J. McCormick, Captain T. G. Taylor and T. A. C. Doland. They gave it the name of the Bank of Northern California. They started with a capital of $100,000. Mr. Frisbie was elected President, which position he still occupies. He also has large farming interests in this State; owns a stock-ranch of 920 acres on the Bald Hills in Shasta County, where he is raising cattle and horses. With one of his sons and another gentleman Mr. Frisbie is farming 12,000 acres of land in Monterey County. On this place they have a large dairy. About one-half of the place is being cultivated. On it they harvested 63,000 sacks of wheat and barley.
There were born to Mr. Frisbie by his first wife eleven children, all of whom are married and have children of their own. At this writing Mr. Frisbie has twenty-four grandchildren. July 17, 1886, after a useful and happy life, Mrs. Frisbie was called home. The loss of this loving and indulgent mother and true and devoted wife was deeply felt by her family and many friends. In June, 1887, Mr. Frisbie wedded Miss Laura A. Walden, a native of California and daughter of Mr. Jerome Walden, an early settler of the State. This union is blessed with a daughter, Edwina Fay.
Mr. Frisbie’s brother, now General J. B. Frisbie, was a Captain of one of the companies in General Stevenson’s regiment, and came with that regiment to California in 1846. He is now a resident of Mexico. Another brother, Eleazer, came to this State with the same regiment. General J. B. Frisbie and Dr. L. C. Frisbie married General Vallejo’s daughters. Dr. Frisbie has resided at Vallejo since 1852.
Previous to the civil war the subject of this sketch was a Democrat, but he voted for John C. Fremont, and has since given his vote and influence to the Republican party. In all business matters he is very exact, both to give and receive what is just. In public affairs he has always been very liberal, having given much to aid in the many improvements made in his section of the country. He is one of the citizens of California, who, by his industry, integrity and well-directed efforts, has risen to an enviable position in a business point of view, not only in Shasta County but also throughout Northern California. (Pages 311-312)
Calvin C. Griffith
…horticulturist, Napa County, who is one of the oldest pioneers of this place, having crossed the plains in 1845 with the new historical train that brought out the Hudsons, Yorks and many other well-known names in California, and that was the first train that brought wagons over the Sierra Nevadas. The hardships of that truly pioneer journey, the road-making through the mountains, is all a part of history and need not be enlarged upon here. Yet notwithstanding it all, and despite his sixty-one years, Mr. Griffith is still a young-looking, hardy, healthy as well as hard-working man. He was born in Chatham County, North Carolina, the son of James A. Griffith, and grandson of Mason Griffith, who served honorably throughout the Revolutionary war. On the father’s side he is of an old Welsh family. On his mother’s side the family is English, of the name of Rogers, also an old family, so that it will be seen Mr. Griffith comes of old families on both sides of the house. In 1835 the family removed to Macon County, Missouri, and engaged in farming and stock-raising. The years later, in 1845, the family set out as already mentioned for the West. Oregon was at first the destination, but meeting a man at Fort Hall, by name Greenwood, he gave them such glowing accounts of California that a part of the train, among them the subject of this sketch, set out for this place, under Greenwood’s guidance. They reached Johnson’s ranch, the first point in the Sacramento Valley, on October 17, and pushed on at once to Sutter’s fort, glad enough to get a supply of fresh provisions. The Sacramento River was crossed on rafts, and on November 1, when at the Yount place in the Napa Valley. Mr. Griffith’s father rented a portion of the Yount ranch, now owned by Colonel J. D. Fry, and put in grain. The outbreak of the Mexican war, shortly after, however, disturbed all plans, and the family was forced to take refuge at Sonoma. The following incidents of that contest with its important results and the raising of the Bear flag, are related fully elsewhere and need not be gone into here. Mr. Griffith was a volunteer in Fremont’s force, and saw active service for the greater portion of a year, being at the occupation of Los Angeles, and later at San Gabriel. In the spring of 1847 he was finally honorably discharged and returned at once to Sonoma. During this war he was first in the company commanded by Captain Hastings, was transferred at Monterey to that of Captain Sears, and in the southern country to Captain Hudspeth. He engaged in farming and stock-raising at Sonoma, although not there constantly. Mr. Griffith and Ben Moore were the men sent up to Clear Lake, in Lake Couunty, after the murder of Kelsey and Stone by the Indians, to look after their cattle. They found Kelsey’s head stuck in the window of their cabin. The Indians, however, did not molest them, but they had some very exciting adventures. Returning to the Napa Valley in 1853, he farmed near St. Helena till December, 1856. He then went to Sonoma County, near Santa Rosa, and engaged in agriculture until 1871, when he once more came to Napa Valley, after a short sojourn of four months at Knight’s Valley, and bought land near Rutherford. He then sold in 1883 and purchased his present place on the eastern edge of the valley, and where he resides with his family. He raises grapes, having a good-sized vineyard, hay, grain and stock. For four years past Mr. Griffith has been Road Master of road district No. 6, having forty-five miles of road under his charge. He is one of the most highly respected and popular men of the valley, known by everyone and regarded by all as an excellent citizen. He was married, September 6, 1855, to Miss Lydia Sensibaugh, at St. Helena. Mrs. Griffith is the daughter of Colonel Robert Sensibaugh, who has been a pioneer of more than one State, and is still living at the good old age of eighty-three years, in Wise County, Texas, to which place he went from California in 1861. Mrs. Griffith was born in Dade County, Missouri, in 1838, and came overland with her parents in 1852, residing from that time till the date of her marriage to Mr. Griffith in Napa Valley.
Mr. Sensibaugh is of German descent, the son of Adam Sensibaugh. He married the daughter of Enoch Hudson, who was the father of the well-known Hudsons of Napa County. Mr. And Mrs. Griffith have seven children living and three deceased. The names of those living are: Oliver C., who is at San Francisco; Mary E., now Mrs. Harmon, and living at Los Angeles: Alice M., the wife of Fred W. Loeber, of St. Helena, a notice of whom appears elsewhere; Clara A., now Mrs. Taplin and residing near Home; Albert G., farming in Chiles Valley; George and Jesse both at home. (Pages 312-313)
Silas L. Savage, M. D.
…Livermore, California, was born at North Windsor, Kenebec County, Maine, August 29, 1842, and was but about fourteen years of age when he removed with his parents to Lee Center, Lee County, Illinois, where he attended school at the Lee Center Academy for about three years, when his parents again moved (in the fall of 1859), settling in Auburn, Sangamon County, Illinois, where he commenced the study of dentistry; and soon after getting into practice he took up the study of medicine, and graduated at the Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri, in St. Louis, in 1874, and entered into partnership with the late Dr. W. C. F Hempstead for the practice of medicine in Edwardsville, Illinois. On account of the failing health of Dr. Hempltead, he removed with him (together with their families) by rail to California. Stopped a short time in Marysville, and after going through the memorable “flood” of January, 1875, he dissolved partnership with Dr. Hempstead, and located at Wheatland, California, where he did a large practice for about three years. His health failing, on account of the unhealthfulness of the climate, together with overwork, he removed to Santa Rosa, California, and remained three years, and in January, 1881, came to Livermore in hopes of recuperation by change of climate, which he partially realized. Since his arrival here he has practiced dentistry only, in which he has a good patronage.
He was married March 18, 1867, to Miss Delia C. Hempstead, of Virden, Illinois, and has three children living, namely: Frank L., Emma. And May L. He is a member of Mosaic Lodge, No. 218, F. & A. M., of Livermore, and Sutter Lodge, No. 100, I. O. O. F., of Wheatland. (Pages 313-314)
P. T. Teale
It is not always the life of most variety and incident that is of the most value to the country, but rather that of the man who honestly and diligently conducts his affairs, doing fairly and honorable by himself, his fellow man and his Maker. Yet it is hard for any man who came to California in the early days not to have seen and experienced a very great deal, as will be seen in this short sketch of Mr. P. T. Teale, a worthy and respected pioneer of Napa Valley. He was born on the island of Santa Cruz, in the West Indies, in 1826, his father being a manager of a sugar estate on that island, and of English descent. His mother was a native of France. In 1832 the family removed to America, settling at Lachine, near Montreal, in Canada, being induced to do so by two uncles, Colonels Anderson and Viscount, formerly of the British army, serving in the war of 1812, who had settled in Montreal. After six years in Canada, the family went to Cleveland, Ohio, and two years later to Coshocton County, same State, where Mr. Teale resided until he set out for California, fifteen years later. Here he was married in 1848, to Miss Mary A. Tucker, daughter of R. P. Tucker, the old California pioneer of 1846, mention of whom and her brother, especially in connection with their rescue of the survivors of the Donner party, will be found elsewhere. They had two children when in 1852 they crossed the plains to California, meeting with the usual hardships and difficulties, but fortunately coming through safely. Mr. Teale brought cattle out with him, and came on directly to Napa
County, taking only an interesting look at the mines as they passed through.
He settled at a point first about three miles below his present place, but nine years later came up within a mile of Calistoga, and purchased a ranch of 300 acres of as fine and fertile a soil as any in the world. He still retains 170 acres where he resides, and is passing the remainder of a useful and well-spent life in a comfortable home, tree-embowered, and the grounds handsomely adorned by flowers, in one of the most beautiful parts of the county, surrounded by his children, and respected and esteemed by the entire community. The spot where his house stands, by the way, is the site of the oldest building in the upper end of the county. The spot was chosen by the old pioneer, John Fowler, as the place to put up his cabin in 1844. Ben Kelsey, John York and the old pioneers have all lived there. Mr. Teale relates that it was a famous place for game. He has often seen bear tracks on the road before his house, and up to twenty-five years ago, they used frequently to kill his hogs. When the first house was built there four deer were killed within an hour quite near the place. Mr. Teale himself has killed two California lions inside of a week. He has paid as high, in the early days, as $30 for a hog, 25 cents a pound for flour, $1.50 a dozen for eggs, $4 apiece for hens, seed wheat 10 cents a pound, etc. Such prices did not last long, however.
Mr. Teale is a Republican of decided principles, and has frequently been urged by his many friends to permit himself to be brought forward as a candidate for office. He has, however, always consistently refused, preferring rather to serve his country by attending faithfully to the duties of private life. One of his brothers is a clergyman in the Baptist Church in Washington, and another still resides in Ohio. Mr. And Mrs. Teale have five children, viz.: W. R., living at home; George W., farming across the valley; Charles, farming near home, and married; James, farming near home, and Emma, the wife of E. F. Pratt, of Knight’s Valley.
Jonas Clark, M. D.
…Woodland, was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, September 23, 1853. His father, also named Jonas Clark, was a native of the same State, while his mother, whose maiden name was Rachel S. Bagley, was born in Brookfield, Vermont. He was educated at the Waltham school and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he remained three years. He completed his medical course at Harvard University, where he graduated in June, 1875. In 1874 he received the appointment of Interne of the Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary, which position he filled until 1877, thus obtaining special opportunities in the treatment of the eye and the ear. He arrived in California in March, 1877, and in June following located in Yolo County, where he has since been engaged in his chosen calling. He first settled at Dunnigan’s, then at Yolo and Knights’s Landing, and finally in 1881 opened an office in Woodland. His competency is well attested by an extensive and lucrative practice. On the first of August, 1889, he formed a partnership with Dr. L. M. Gray, under the firm name of Clark & Gray. During his residence here he has also paid considerable attention to citrus culture, having a ranch of 160 acres in Colusa County, where he had at one time a nursery of 5,000 orange trees; but they were destroyed by the rabbit pest two years ago. During the present year (1889) he set out on his land about thirty acres of peaches. He also has ten acres of choice land at the town of Escalante, at the mouth of Capay Valley, which was planted in 1889 to citrus fruits.
The Doctor is a member of the orders of Knights of Pythias, Chosen Friends, Foresters and United Workmen,--all at Woodland. He is also a member of the Medical Society of the State of California, the Yolo County Medical Society, and for a number of years has been secretary of the Yolo County Board of Health.
Dr. Clark was married in June, 1876, to Miss Nora Tiernay, of Boston, Massachusetts, and they have two children, John and Marie, aged ten and twelve years respectively. (Page 315)
…a farmer eight miles southeast of Woodland, was born June 25, 1834, in Pennsylvania, a son of Andrew and Martha (Bowser) Tauzer, natives of Pennsylvania. Andrew Tauzer was a foundryman and iron worker by trade all his life. He moved to Illinois in early day, settling in Hardin County upon land he purchased there, and remained until heath. Albert was brought upon a farm and was twenty-two years of age when in 1857, he came overland to California, leaving Illinois April 2, and arriving at Georgetown August 31. The trip was a pleasant one. He was only one day ahead of where the great massacre occurred on the Humboldt River. After mining in El Dorado County four years, with moderate success, he went to Yolo County, and November 27, 1861, homesteaded his present property, 160 acres of choice farming land. He found it entirely wild and has made of it a complete home. He has now 960 acres, all in one body. Does a general farming business. He has, like nearly all other men, had his drawbacks and disappointments, but his energy and good sense have carried him victoriously through. In 1887 he suffered a total loss of his residence by fire.
He was married February 11, 1857, to Miss Mary Scroggins, who died December 21, 1874. They had five children, four of whom are now living, namely, Anderson B., Ellen, George, John Albert and Andrew, deceased. Mr. Tauzer was again married in 1880, to Miss Caroline Guy, and by this marriage there are two children,--Pearl M. and Eleanor R., both of whom are living. Mr. Tauzer has a sister in California, who is the wife of J. R. Jones, residing in Yolo County. (Pages 315-316)
Hon. D. B. Carver
…banker, St. Helena, who is the founder and head of the Carver National Bank. Probably no resident of this town is more widely or favorably known than Mr. Carver, as he has held a semi-official position during the greater part of the twenty-six years of his residence here, having been Postmaster continuously for about twenty years, and retiring only because of the pressure of duties involved by the establishment of the bank. He was also one of the first to undertake the manufacture of wine at St. Helena, being associated for five years, from 1866 to 1870, in partnership with Mr. H. A. Peller. Mr. Carver is a native of Harrison County, Ohio, where he was born February 9, 1831. Early in 1852 he set out for California, via New Orleans and the Nicaragua route, arriving in San Francisco, June 4 of that year. For six years he mined in Yuba, Placer, and Sacramento counties, meeting with a fair share of success. His name is still remembered in the neighborhood of the town of Folsom, where he mined for some time. After a visit to the East in 1858, he returned to Tehama County and was engaged in milling until in 1863 he removed to Napa County and shortly afterward engaged in a general merchantile business, which he continued until he established the bank six years ago. It was conducted first as a private banking house until August, 1887, when it became the Carver National Bank. Mr. Carver was married August 1, 1860, to Miss Annie Webber, of Penobscot County, Maine. One son, D. B., Jr., now a promising lad of sixteen years, is the only living child of this union; another son, Henry, and a daughter, Laura, being deceased. Mrs. Carver died on June 20, 1884. Mr. Carver married for the second time in February, 1886, to Miss Minnie A. Logan, the eldest daughter of Mr. J. I. Logan, of St. Helena. They have two sons, the eldest, Ervin L., born January, 1887, the youngest, Joseph W., born August, 1889. Mr. Carver is a man of great energy and of decision of character, public-spirited and in every sense a model business man and citizen. (Page 316
James Achilles Douglas
The Douglas family are of Scotch origin. The great-grandfather of our subject, James Douglas, came from Scotland to the United States long before the Revolutionary war, and after the war settled in
Albermarle County, Virginia, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, five miles from Charlottesville, and near what was afterward known as the residence of Thomas Jefferson. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and he also had two brothers in the war. The Douglas family continued to make that section of Virginia their home until 1839, when the grandfather, with a part of his family, emigrated to Missouri, two of the sons locating in Cooper County, and a daughter also in that county, while the grandfather, James, and William J., the father of our subject, and John J. Douglas, located in Howard County. William J. and John J. were in the war of 1812, and participated in the battle of New Orleans. Thomas Douglas, one of his grandfather’s brothers, went from Virginia to Tennessee in the early settlement of that State and remained there. Beverly Douglas, his grandfather’s brother, also at an early date settled in Kentucky. William J. Douglas, his father, was a farmer in Missouri, and raised hemp and tobacco, and died in Howard County in 1875, at the age of eight-seven years, and his father was ninety-four years old when he died, never having had a day’s sickness during his life, never eating more than two meals a day and some days but one meal; he was strong and active, never lost a tooth, and at the time of his death did not have a gray hair in his head. In William J. Douglas’ family there were three daughters and one son.
The mother of the subject of this sketch, whose maiden name was Ann Bridgwater, was born and raised in Richmond, Vifginia; and her family is probably of German descent. She died in Virginia in 1827.
James A. Douglas, the subject of this article, was born in Albermarle County, Virginia, on the old plantation, near Charlottesville, March 24, 1827, and therefore was a babe when his mother died. His father, being a farmer and a slave-owner, gave James into the care of a favorite black nurse, who cared for his wants, etc. His father and grandfather moved to Missouri in 1839, while young James was left behind and went to school in Virginia until 1842, when he also went to Missouri. At length he served an apprenticeship of two years and nine months learning the saddlery business, becoming a competent journeyman. He did all the fine work of the shop, some of which was placed on exhibition and drew the first premium in St. Louis; but he soon abandoned the trade, went to St. Louis and took a position on a river steamer as second clerk, and at the same time began studying the science of river piloting. He was promoted through the clerkships to the position of pilot, where he commanded a salary of $250 a month. At the end of five years he bought a drove of mules in Missouri and drove them to Texas and sold them at a profit; and while he was in that State he saw the first gold dust from California, brought there in a goose quill, and he immediately resolved to come to the mining region here. Returning to his home in Howard County, he found his train had been goon eight weeks; he started in company with John Lowrey, now of Sonoma County, and hurried on until they overtook the train this side of Fort Hall, in Montana Territory. In Mr. Douglas’ mess were nine men, all young and unmarried, and full of life. They landed at Sacramento, August 14, 1849. During the following autumn they built a cabin at Hangtown and followed mining there that winter. In the following spring the company divided, several of them going over on the Middle Yuba at Washington and mining there during the summer.
In October Mr. Douglas went down to the bay with a brother-in-law who came a little later, and another gentleman named Lewis Walker. His brother-in-law, Allen Rains, disliked this country, and started back to the East. While waiting for the steamer at San Francisco, and on the very day it was to sail, the subject of this sketch was tempted also to buy a ticket and go with him; and all three went back together. On board the vessel Mr. Douglas was taken sea-sick, and at Acapulco they all three left the ship, bought mules and started across Mexico, a distance of 700 miles; while at the city of Mexico they stopped ten days, and hired a guide to take them all over the old battlegrounds. At Vera Cruz they boarded a little schooner, which took them and thrity-seven other passengers to New Orleans, being a seventeen and a half days on the way. In February, 1851, Mr. Douglas left New Orleans again for California, visiting en route his people in Missouri and coming by way of ship to Acapulco, at which place he and another party bought a hotel and conducted it for seven months, making considerable money--$14,000. Coming on to Yolo County he spent the ensuing winter on Cache Creek. In March he and three other men went to German Bar on the Middle Yuba, where they had a fine supply of water and followed mining; and while thus engaged news reached them of a new place called the Minnesota Diggings, whither 5,000 people congregated within ten days after the discovery of gold there.
In 1852 Mr. Douglas quit mining, came down to the valley and again entered the mule trade. He again went back to the Atlantic States in October, and in the spring of 1853 brought a drove of horses and mules across the plains to California. In 1854 he went to Oregon for the purpose of mining, but changed his mind, and, in company with another man, went to packing, making journeys from Crescent City, in Oregon, to Jacksonville, and at that time there was a hostile Indian behind every tree on the trail. Although he made considerable money in this business, yet it was accompanied by much hard work and exposure, and within five months he returned to the Sacramento Valley. In 1855 he was elected Sheriff of Yolo County, and served four years, and on October 24, 1860, he married and settled on Cache Creek; but his place there he at length sold, and he bought a quarter section of land a mile northwest of Woodland, put up a fine, large residence on it and made it his home for about seven years. He sold out again, at a good advantage, and moved to Woodland, in 1878, where he has since resided. His homestead on Third street consists of five acres. His residence, which he put up in 1884, cost $10,000, including the ground, and is one of the most elegant in the city. Mr. Douglas is a true type of a Southern gentleman,--hospitable, genial, social, and a good financier. In politics he was a sound Democrat. He was arrested April 5, 1865, as a citizen prisoner by sixty United States soldiers and taken to Fort Alcatraz in the bay of San Francisco, and wore a ball and chain twenty-four days for expressing his Constitutional rights and was released on May 4, 1865, without any trial by court either martial or civil, and without any charges being preferred against him, or without taking the iron-clad oath. O, justice, what a jewel!
October 24, 1860, is the date of Mr. Douglas’ marriage to Sallie A. Moore, who was born in Platte County, Missouri, March 24, 1842, and came to California in 1853, with her parents. They settled first in Sacramento county, and moved to Yolo in 1857. Mrs. Douglas died May 24, 1889, the mother of four daughters, the youngest of whom is deceased. Her death is a great loss to the family, --a severe one in every sense of the word. (Pages 316-318)
Thomas B. Smith
…a well known and prominent citizen of Shasta County, came to California in 1853. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, March 10, 1844. His parents, Asa and Jane Smith, were natives of Tennessee. His father died when he as a child, and his mother married a second husband, with whom she and Thomas B. came to California. He was only nine years old at that time. Three years afterward, in 1856, his mother died. He remained with his step-father two years after her death and then started out in life for himself. The family had settled in Jackson, Amador County, and Mr. Smith was reared in the mines. Much of his life since then has been spent as a miner. After leaving home he mined in the summer, in Nevada County, and went to school in the winter. With others he became interested in the Hudson River Mining Company, went in debt, and, as the enterprise proved a failure, he lost not only the money he had invested but also a year and a half’s time.
In 1863 he enlisted to help put the rebellion in Company I, Seventh California Volunteer Infantry, for three years or during the war. After they were drilled they were ordered to Arizona to fight Indians, to their great disappointment, instead of being sent to participate in the war for the Union. In 1865 they were returned to San Francisco and honorably discharged. Mr. Smith then went to Moore’s Flat, Nevada County, and engaged in hydraulic mining, continuing there until March, 1867. At that time he came to the western part of Shasta County, and engaged in mining.
December 5, 1867, Mr. Smith wedded Miss Martha A. McFarlin, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of Mr. George McFarlin, a California pioneer. Their union has been blessed with five sons and two daughters: George T. and Samuel E., born in French Gulch, Shasta County; Burton L., Hattie, Fred, Nellie and Harvey were born in western Shasta.
Mr. Smith takes a prominent part in fraternal societies. He has been through all the chairs in Odd fellowship; a D. D. G. M., and as such instituted Lodge No. 271, at Redding, and No. 254, at Anderson. He has been a member of the Grand Lodge for sixteen years. He is also Past Patriarch and a member of the Grand Encampment. Is Past Master of Clinton Lodge, F. and a. M., and a member of Shasta Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he has been a life-long Republican. In 1880, 1881 and 1882 he was County Deputy Assessor under W. S. Kidder. In 1882 he was elected County Clerk, and in 1884 he was re-elected for a second term, by a majority of 443. After having served two terms he was succeeded by Albert F. Ross, and was appointed his deputy, which position he now (1890) fills. At the general election held November 4, 1890, he was elected to the office of County assessor.
Mr. Smith is a man of excellent habits and good business ability. Two of his sons have grown up to be honorable young men, and hold positions of trust and responsibility in the city of Redding.
A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Janice Giachino, January, 2007 - Pages 310-319
J. H. Paget
…proprietor of a boiler and machine works and blacksmith shop at Livermore, was born at Keokuk, Iowa, October 1, 1852, and in 1854 came with his parents to San Francisco, where he learned the machinist’s trade in the Stoddard Iron Works. Desiring to travel around and see the world, he went in 1874 to the Black Hills of Southwestern Dakota, being among the first prospectors to enter that country. He spent two years there, with but little fortune, however. He became then a courier in the military service of the United States Government, and was in the immediate vicinity of General Custer’s massacre in June, 1876; thence he went to Brainerd, Minnesota, thence to Leadville, Colorado, and in 1880 he returned to California and settled at Oakland, where he followed his trade as a journeyman for about three years. In 1884 he went to Livermore and worked in the shops of N. B. Holmes until 1889, when he bought him out and has since operated the works in all departments of blacksmithing, boiler and machine repairing and mill work.
He was married in Oakland, August 10, 1881, to Miss Mary E. Thompson, of Berkeley, who died September 5, 1889, leaving two children: Gracie E. and Howard. Mr. Paget is a member of Live Oak Lodge, No. 17, K. of P., at Oakland, and he takes also a prominent part in local politics and in the general welfare of the community where he resides. (Page 319)
The Roseberry farm, at the head of Chiles’ Valley, is one of the finest places in Napa County. It comprises 1,200 acres, including the whole of the valley and the mountain land on either side. It is carried on at present as a general farm, with stock and sheep raising, etc., but Mr. Roseberry is setting out trees and will soon have a fine orchard. He intends shortly to put up good improvements in the way of a stone barn, dwelling-house, etc., the plans of which are very artistic.
Mr. Roseberry is a native of Western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburg, born in 1836. He is the son of Hon. Thomas H. and Mary (Hill) Roseberry, the father being still a hale and hearty old man in Kansas. He was born in 1806, and in early days removed with his family to Clark County, Missouri, of which he was elected County Judge for twenty-seven years, although he served only twenty-one, being legislated out. His people were of the substantial old Dutch stock of Pennsylvania, probably of Jewish descent. His mother, Mary Hill, was the daughter of Colonel Reese Hill, a hero of the war of 1812, who traced his ancestry back to old Governor Reese, of Virginia, her great-grandfather. Colonel Reese Hill was afterward elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature, of which he was Speaker. Mr. J. Roseberry came to California in 1862; B. Hughes Roseberry came in 1854 and now of Yolo County. He started a store in Yolo County, remaining there until 1867, but his health failing him he went to San Francisco, and, as he had been brought up to the business of flour-milling when a boy, started the Yolo Mills, on the corner, originally of Beale and Market streets, but moving it in 1879 to the corner of Main and Mission streets, where it still stands, and a successful and paying business is conducted under the firm name of Roseberry & Co. In 1881 he sold out to Hinz & Plagemann, who still operate it, and began the grain business in the city, operating on the exchange until 1885, when he purchased his present place, and began its improvement. Mr. Roseberry is a man of great originality and enterprise, large-hearted, plucky and energetic. He was formerly extensively interested in Oakland, having built in that city many fine houses. He built and owned for a time the fine building now used as a home for foundlings in Welt Oakland.
Mr. Roseberry was married January 1, 1871, to Miss E. J. Adamson, in Sonoma County, a brother of whom, Professor W. H. Adamson, lives at Lower Lake, California, and is conducting the Clear Lake Press, one of the most influential newspapers in Lake County. Mrs. Roseberry was born in Iowa, but came to California when a child, in 1854. Her father, Jacob Adamson, was of Scotch descent, and born in Tennessee; but his father was from Virginia, and the name will be recognized among the roll of Revolutionary heroes. Mr. And Mrs. Roseberry have five children: Mary Eva, the oldest, is attending school at Oakland; the others are all boys and are at home. Their names are James William, Fred Thomas, Lewis Heaton and Martin Grover.
Hon. Thomas H. Roseberry, a brother of J. Roseberry, lives in Modoc County, and formerly carried on a store at Adin; he represented Modoc and Lassen counties in the Legislature of 1884. Reese Heaton Roseberry, of Linn County, Kansas, is a brother, and he also represented his county in 1884.
Charles A. Brown
…real estate, insurance and collection agent at Woodland, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, December 29, 1839. His father, H. C. F. Brown, was born near Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, and moved when he was a small child to Ohio before it was a State; and when a young man he went to Lexington, Kentucky, where he married Hannah Stainton, a native of that State. He was a contractor and millwright by trade, and died in Kentucky in 18--. His wife is still living in Bloomington, Illinois, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years. In their family were six sons and four daughters, of whom three sons are the only ones now living.
The subject of this sketch, the only member of the family in this State, was raised in Lexington, and in 1855 he came to California, by way of Atchinson and Salt Lake, packing through the Sierra Nevadas, and arrived in Sacramento August 2. After a residence of six or seven years at Grass Valley he came to this county. He followed mining there and also in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. Most of the time since 1862 his home has been in Woodland. In 1864, in the spring, he went to St. Helena, Napa County, and remained there about six months; and was in Nevada during the mining excitement at Washoe, a year, engaged in mining and other kinds of business. Most of the time in that State he was at Lake’s Bridge, where Reno now stands. For the past twelve or fifteen years he has been engaged as already noted, being one of the most active citizens of the place, thorough-going and reliable. Having been thrown upon his own resources ever since he was sixteen years old, and constantly mingling with strangers, he has obtained a practical education in the ways of the world.
Politically, Mr. Brown is a Democrat, and has been influential in the various campaigns.
He was married in 1862 to Fannie M. Ingram, a native of Virginia, and by that marriage there were three children, of whom two daughters are now living. The parents were separated by a divorce, and Mr. Brown, for his present wife, married Clara Leman, a native of St. Louis, Missouri; she was born February 12, 1851. They have four children living and two deceased.
George H. Jackson, M. D.
Among the foremost of Woodland’s representative men of today stands the gentleman whose name heads this article. A few facts in regard to his career and genealogy will therefore be of value and interest in this volume. His ancestors, on both sides, originally came to this country from England. His great-great-grandfather, on his father’s side, was early in life bound to a worsted-manufacturer in England. At that time they combed the wool, tied it to a rack and drew it out just as the women of this country were afterward accustomed to convert flax into linen with which to make their wearing apparel. As this worthy sire grew to manhood, being possessed of uncommon physical strength, he wanted to change his trade to that of a house joiner, but being unable to get free papers from his master he ran away, and gave an indenture upon himself to a ship captain for four years as a compensation for his passage. His indenture was afterward bought by a man named Hughes and taken to Virginia. He left seven brothers in England, but never knew of any of them coming to this country. The wife of this gentleman was the daughter of Captain Jarvis, of England, a captain in the King’s Life Guards. Prior to this she had married the captain of an English vessel contrary to her father’s wishes, and consequently went with her husband to sea. The ship was lost in a storm, and she with six or seven others floated on the wreck for six or seven days, when the survivors were rescued by a convoy from a French fleet, and she with the others was sold for salvage. The same man bought her service who had previously bought the indenture of Mr. Jackson, and while acting as servants on this man’s estate in Virginia they were married.
This constitutes the start of the Jackson family in America, or at least that branch with which our subject is connected. The younger son of these two was Jarvis Jackson, so called after his mother’s maiden name. He married a lady who was the daughter of General Lee, and a sister of “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, of Revolutionary fame, father of General Robert E. Lee, C. S. A. The grandmother of Dr. Jackson was a daughter of Stephen Hancock, who came to Kentucky with
Boone, and settled at Boonesborough, in the fall of 1775. She was then six years old and lived first at Martin’s Station, about three or four miles from Boonesborough, and later at Hoy’s Station, three or four miles further in the country. Afterward the settlers at Boonesborough were granted a pre-emption upon a settlement of 1,400 acres of land by the Legislature of Virginia, and Stephen Hancock and Christopher Erwin located land adjoining on the tract in Madison County near where the city of Richmond now stands, and built a fort on the Erwin side of the line, and called it Erwin’s Station. Stephen Hancock began clearing his land, but had his residence inside the fort until he considered it was safe for him to change it to the outside.
He was a son of George Hancock, who is believed to be a brother of John Hancock, the signer of the Declaration of Independence of the United States. The father of Dr. Jackson was John Lee Jackson, a native of the State of Virginia, as also was the latter’s wife, whose maiden name was Mary E. Scales. The heads of these two families emigrated to Kentucky, where John Lee Jackson and his wife were married. He accumulated considerable wealth in that State, but being a man who took a deep interest in the welfare of others he fell a victim to his own generous impulses. Having indorsed to a large amount the papers of several individuals who failed financially, he became seriously embarrassed, and from his entire property only succeeded in saving a section of land in Clark County, Missouri. In his straitened circumstances he decided to remove his family from the scene of his late misfortune to his land in Missouri, and did so in 1850. In the following spring he lost his wife by death, and in 1854 he himself passed to his long rest.
The death of the parents left the children to look out for their own welfare, and George H. Jackson, the subject of this sketch, who was the eighth child, and is the youngest living member of the family, went to Kirksville, Missouri, where he had an uncle living. The relatives were engaged in merchandising there, and with him our subject made his home, assisting in the store, and spending any time he had in study and in improving his mind for the life struggle he knew was before him. In this way, while his school facilities were of a meager order, he laid the foundation for a good practical education. In 1861 his brother-in-law, Dr. B. B. Allen, repaired to remove to California, and our subject joined in the idea. They made the journey by the overland route, and reached California in August. They proceeded to Pine Grove, Sierra County, then known as Howland Flat, where lived an elder brother of young Jackson, who had come here some time previously. Here Dr. Allen entered upon the practice of medicine, and our subject entered a store as clerk. He decided to become a physician, and after he had put in the long hours required of him in the store he would study medicine with Dr. Allen. Work and study absorbed nearly all the time not given to sleep, so that sometimes he became disheartened and felt tempted to abandon his task. In such moments his sister, who sympathized with him in his struggle, encouraged him, and by her hopeful words stimulated him to even greater efforts, and to her the Doctor now gives much of the credit for his ultimate success. For two years he kept up the role of clerk and student at this place; then Dr. Allen removed to Freeport, Sacramento County, where he opened up a small drug store in connection with his medical practice, our subject accompanying him as clerk. He also continued his studies and by 1866 he had saved enough money to pay his expenses during one course of lectures at a medical college. With this in hand, and relying upon assistance from Dr. Allen during the second course, he went to San Francisco and attended the first course of study and lectures at the Toland Medical College, during four months in the spring of 1866. When the time for his second term approached his brother-in-law, who had found but a limited field for practice at his new location, was unable to assist him. In this dilemma he was undecided for a time in which direction to turn his steps. But his determination to enter the profession at length prevailed, and as practice by non-graduation was then allowed in this State, he decided at once to enter the field as a practitioner. He felt justified in this course from the fact that his long experience and study with Dr. Allen, his clerkship in the drug store and attendance at lectures had better fitted him for actual practice than are many graduates, especially those whose hearts are not in their work. Going to Georgetown, Sacramento County, he opened his office as a physician and met with gratifying success, both professionally and financially.
While there he married to Miss Lizzie E. Julian, then living near Freeport, but now a resident of Oakland. Shortly after his marriage, having made $500 in addition to all expenses, Dr. Jackson removed to Gold River, Placer County, where success again attended him, and at the end of two years he had a practice worth about $800 per month. Here he made the acquaintance of a then well-known citizen of Yolo County, Mr. Moore, who urged him to remove to Woodland, assuring him that there was a demand there for a physician of his ability. Following his friend’s advice, Dr. Jackson came to Woodland, and here success attended him much beyond his expectations. In 1870, in order to avail himself of college and clinical study, which he was then so fully competent to appreciate and utilize, he went to San Francisco for that purpose, and was duly graduated at the Medical Department, University of the Pacific.
His advancement in his profession has been steady and rapid, and he now holds a prominent place in medical circles on this coast. His excellent qualities as a physician and as a man are held in high appreciation by his fellow-citizens, who have on more than one occasion displayed their confidence in him. He has been physician to the County Hospitals for periods aggregating five years, and has served on the Board of Trustees of Woodland for ten years. He is a zealous Democrat in his political views, and takes a lively interest in the welfare of the party, and an active part in its councils.
Dr. Jackson’s career, as viewed from an historical standpoint, is certainly an instructive one. A brief retrospect of the pages of this sketch will show that he started in life for himself at an unusually early age, almost without opportunities except those he made for himself. Against all obstacles, however, he ascended the ladder of success, round by round, and fought his way to the front until he has become recognized as one of the foremost figures in the community with which he has cast in his lot, with a reputation as a professional and business man extending much beyond its limits. His advancement in his profession has been gained by his earnest, conscientious efforts, and the exercise of all the abilities with which nature endowed him. Yet a young man comparatively, he has succeeded so well that the question of giving up or remaining in practice has already become a matter of choice. He is just opening up a business career of such promise that he is already rated as one of the shrewdest and safest financiers of the community, and capitalists are satisfied to invest when Dr. Jackson leads. His judgment must therefore be entitled to much respect in regard to Woodland, which he considered a safe and promising field for investment. His confidence in the future may be gauged by what he has done and is doing toward her improvements. The Curtis residence and grounds, recognized as among the most beautiful in Woodland, re the result of his enterprise, and his own present office and residence block on Main street was also built by him. He has put his money unflinchingly into business property here, and the future will prove that he has other and yet more important improvements in view. He has also made investments in real estate in other and promising localities, notably adjoining the town of Willows.
Dr. and Mrs. Jackson are the parents of four children, viz.: Mary Louise, Georgia, Alice and Julian Allen. (Pages 321-323)
…was born in Cooper County, Missouri, March 9, 1823, a slave to James G. Campbell, whose widow, Mrs. Ellen, is living with her son-in-law, Jefferson Maxwell, in this county. When thirteen years old, in September, 1836, he was sold to Joseph Stephens for $700. In 1837, Mr. Stephens died, and for some four or five succeeding years the slave-boy was put yearly up at auction, and his services for one year sold to the highest bidder. One of those years, he was put upon the scales and found to weigh 151 pounds, and taking his place upon the auction-stand, was bid off at $151 per year by Thomas Adams, a brother of D. W. Adams, of this county. A son of the purchaser, T. H. Adams, is this year working in Yolo County one thousand acres of land, that he hires from the boy whose services as a slave his father purchased at one dollar per pound. In about 1842, the estate of Mr. Stephens was divided among the heirs, and Basil had to be sold again, as he could not well be divided, and Mrs. Catherine Stephens, the widow of the deceased, purchased him for $450 (a depreciation in the market). In October, 1853, he was again sold to J. D. Stephens, now a banker in Woodland, for $1,200 (stock going up), and the following year, Mr. Stephens came to California and settled on the south side of Cache Creek, bringing with him his twelve hundred dollar purchase. Before leaving, an agreement had been entered into between the parties, to the effect that Basil was to work in California ten years for Stephens, and have his liberty at the end of that time; one hundred dollars per year, to be paid annually, was to be given to Basil during that time, and if, during the ten years, he had money enough to buy his freedom in a less time, Mr. Stephens was to name a reasonable price. In 1861 he paid $700 for the remaining three years of his time, and then was free. During those seven years, Basil had been investing his money in stock, and was worth in 1861 probably $10,000. In 1865, he commenced acquiring real estate, and in 1879, had 2,960 acres, worth about twenty dollars per acre on an average, and between five and ten thousand dollars’ worth of live stock. In 1865 he was elected as a delegate to attend the State convention of colored people that met at Sacramento, being chosen as one of the vice-presidents. In 1873, he was again elected to the State Colored Convention, and was chosen by that body as a State delegate to attend the National Colored Convention at Washington, District of Columbia. He was married to Rebecca Dalton, at Sacramento city, August 5, 1866, and has an adopted child—Leonora. Mr. Campbell is living upon the proceeds of his accumulated wealth. He informed us that he considered himself fortunate in his masters in those days of servitude; that he was always kindly treated; and that in J. D. Stephens he found a friend rather than a master, who gave him a chance in the world that few of his race had been favored with.
In conclusion, we would like to ask you, reader, how many white men of your acquaintance, think you, could be mentioned that would have fulfilled the contract of working ten years for freedom, when the law gave it without a cent as soon as the soil of California was reached, as did this man who had been born a slave.
Baron A. Von Schilling
This gentleman is the manager of the celebrated Edgehill vineyard, near St. Helena, one of the finest large vineyards set out in this part of the valley, and long famous for the fine quality of the wines manufactured. It was originally set out by a General Health many years ago, and has associated with its history many well-known names. The estate comprises 1,500 acres, running from the valley to the summit of the mountains, possesses a great abundance of water, a desideratum in the Napa Valley, and is splendidly improved. The residence is one of the finest in the vicinity, has fine grounds and commands an expanded view. The wine cellars, etc., are solidly constructed and conveniently arranged. The vineyard proper comprises 160 acres, planted with the choice varieties of grapes. Messrs. George W. Phillips, capitalist, E. Dichman, banker and lawyer, both of New York city, are the chief owners of the Edgehill vineyard, and direct its general affairs. As a matter of friendship for them, Baron Von Schilling has taken charge of the Edgehill. The Baron is also the general manager in California for the American Concentrated Must Company, which erected the successful Must Condensing establishment (Springmuhl patent) at Geyserville, Sonoma County, now in successful operation.
Baron August von Schilling Canstatt is a member of one of the oldest and most famous German families, the genealogical or historical tree of which goes back to 1019, A. D., and includes statesmen, warriors and leading men in almost every department of life, and has its home at Canstatt, Wurtemberg. A cousin of the Baron, the Baron Paul von Schilling Canstatt, now dead, was a member of the Russian Imperial ministry and the inventor of the electro-magnetic telegraph in 1835. By imperial decree the first telegraphic cable was laid between Peterhof and Canstatt in the Finnish bay, in May, 1837.
Baron August was born January 12, 1840, at Carlsruhe, in Baden, and is the youngest of his family, his oldest brother still residing on the family estate. Baron August was educated as a civil engineer and architect, although on the old home place also learning thoroughly the business of a farmer. For fifteen years he was engaged in the building of railroads in Germany, until in 1881 he came to America, and was sent with a Mr. Windsor to travel over the country and inspect the line of the Northern Pacific for Mr. Villard, going in this way on horseback across Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, visiting the Yellowstone Park and the Sioux and Crow Indians. After this journey he remained in Portland until Villard resigned the presidency of the road, in 1884. The Baron then came to San Francisco, went thence to Blue Lake, Lake County, where he had an interest in the Blue Lake summer resort, and thence to Geyserville, to take charge of the condensed must plant, which is succeeding so well.
He is an unmarried man, a gentleman in the fullest sense of the word, whom it is a pleasure to meet. (Pages 324-325)
Solomon Gable Family
The father of these gentlemen, Solomon Gable, was born May 21, 1796, the seventh son of a seventh son. In the family there were probably nine children, eight sons and one daughter. Frederick, one of these sons and probably the only one who became wealthy, was a banker of Little York, Pennsylvania; but after his death the executors appropriated all the property, so that the heirs obtained none. Although married, he died childless. Solomon Gable married Elizabeth Dull, also a Pennsylvanian, and after six children were born in his family he moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, where eight of his children were born. He had altogether nine sons and five daughters. The youngest girl of the family died at the age of three years, and there are now living five sons and one daughter. Eleven of the family grew up to years of maturity. Three brothers are in California, one of whom, Aaron Sylvester Gable, is a resident at Soledad, Monterey County, and two—A. W. and H. C. –are the subjects of this sketch. The eldest son, Andrew Gable, was a commissioned officer in the Mexican war, being promoted to that position for great merit and bravery; and he received the title to a large tract of land in Texas, where he made his home, and while a resident there he made two visits to his parents. He died there, willing his property to some friends who took care of him during his sickness. In 1843 Mr. Solomon Gable moved to Van Buren County, in the southeastern part of Iowa, settling upon a rented farm, and afterward, in the spring of 1846 he removed into Appanoose County, n ear by, where he took Government land and followed farming and stock-raising for the remainder of his life, being prosperous in both vocations. He died in June, 1846, from the breaking of a blood-vessel caused by lifting some logs, in the prime of life.
Mr. A. W. Gable is a director of the Bank of Yolo, which was incorporated in January, 1883, with between sixty and seventy stockholders. At the time of the organization no one was allowed to hold more than $10,000 stock; and it is a stipulation that no additional purchases can be made except by permission of the board of trustees. At present no stockholder holds more than $13,000, and only one holds that amount. There are only three stockholders outside of the county, and the total amount of their holding is but $12,000. Paid up capital is $300,000. On the first of next January it will have a reserve fund of $66,000, which has been accumulated during the six years of its organization, besides the regular dividends,--which have been never less than eight percent per annum, and for the last two years it has been nine percent per annum. The first assistant cashier, Ed. G. Gregg, died at Riverside, San Bernardino County, in 1888; and Charles L. Richmond succeeded him in the position; this is the only change in the official board since organizati9on except as noted below. The directors are Hon. D. N. Hershey, Hon. Charles F. Reed, H. P. Merritt, W. W. Brownell, Hon S. N. Mering, E. R. Lowe, A. W. Gable, Benj. Peart and A. D. Porter. The present officers are H. P. Merritt, President; W. W. Brownell, Vice-president; C. W. Bush, Manager and Cashier; and Charles L. Richmond, Assistant Cashier. Mr. J. W. Freeman, an original director, disposed of his interests in the bank, soon after its organization, and Mr. A. W. Gable was elected his successor. (Pages 325-326)
…a prominent blacksmith of Livermore, was born in Sharon, Canada, October 1, 1845, and learned in his native place the trade of blacksmith and wheelwright. Was educated in Queensville, Ontario, Canada, and in 1875 he came to California and the first year stopped in Stockton. Thence he went to Linden, twelve miles east of Stockton, for a short time, and finally, in 1876, he came to Livermore, where he is now carrying on general repair shop for agricultural implements, and is enjoying a lucrative trade. He was married in Canada, in May, 1875, to Catharine Robinson, and their two children are George A. and Ethel C. Brammar. (Page 326)
L. H. Trainor
This gentleman is a member of the leading firm of Mackinder & Trainor, real estate and insurance agents of St. Helena and Napa City. The office in the latter city was established in the spring of 1890, when Mr. Trainor took up his residence there, the business being originally established in St. Helena, where Mr. Trainor lived for many years. In Messrs. Trainor and Mackinder is found two splendid business men, the former seeming especially adapted to the outside “rustling,” and the latter to the office duties. Between them they make as bright and lively a firm as possible to have, each of them being a favorite with every one and commanding the entire confidence of the community. Mr. Trainor is an excellent example of that best type of the American citizen, the self-made man, having received nothing from his parents but a level head and a strong frame coupled with an unlimited capacity for work. Consequently he deserves all that he has got.
Mr. Trainor was born near Galena, Illinois, in July, 1852, his father being Oliver I. Trainor, a farmer of that section until 1859, when he came to California, and shortly after died, leaving his family in narrow circumstances. At the outbreak of the war the elder sons went to the front, and would have been followed there by L. H., had he been old enough to go. In 1862, when about ten years of age, he came to this coast, and for several years was employed about farms in the vicinity of Sacramento. In 1870 he went to Oregon, and was engaged in the cattle business. He was a pioneer of the Umatilla section in that State, helping build the now prosperous city of Heppner. In 1879 he returned to California and engaged extensively in the cattle business at Reno, Nevada. Owing to an open season, however, he lost all, and was forced to make another start. This he did by entering the employment of the Central Pacific Railroad. Thus he continued for three years. In 1882 he came to Napa County, purchased a vineyard above St. Helena and engaged in grape-growing. Later on he sold this and bought again, finally buying his present beautiful place below town, in 1885, and erecting his comfortable home upon it. He has thirty acres, all planted to grapes except the site for the house and grounds. At the same time Mr. Trainor traveled on the road, selling wine, until in 1888, when he entered into partnership with Mr. Mackinder. He was married in Colfax, Placer County, to Miss Ida M. Graham. They have two sons, one twelve and the other seven years of age. Mr. Trainor is a Mason in high standing, being also a Knight Templar. (Pages 326-327)
J. I. McConnell
…of Woodland. The father of the subject of this sketch, George M. McConnell, was born December 24, 1817, in McMinn County, East Tennessee, and in 1850 came with his family, consisting of wife and two sons, to California, by way of Salt Lake, arriving at the mines at Coloma in September. After working in the mines for two years, he came down to Sacramento city with the intention of returning East by water; but, as the floods were high and no steamers going, he was persuaded by friends to go into Yolo County and pre-empt a claim about a mile east of the city of Woodland. He followed farming there until 1858; then he moved to Sonoma County, where he remained until 1868, and finally settled in Hollister, San Benito County, where he still resides. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Jane Adams, was a native of Tennessee, and died at Hollister in 1871, at the age of fifty-three years. They were the parents of three children, all of whom are now living, viz.: William e., who resides in Santa Rosa; James I., the subject of this sketch, and George W., who was born in Yolo County, and resides at Hollister.
James I. was born in Tennessee, December 18, 1845, and was therefore five years old when he was brought to this State. He was educated at different places, but mostly at Sonoma, at a Presbyterian school, as his father was a Cumberland Presbyterian. From 1868 to 1871 he taught school in San Joaquin County; then two years in the department of mathematics in Hesperian College at Woodland; nest 1880-’85, he was Principal of the public school of Woodland, and then, 1885-’87, he had editorial charge of the Daily Democrat; and finally, in 1888, he was appointed Postmaster of Woodland. He is president of the Woodland Building and Loan Association, which was organized about four years ago; and while he was a teacher he was also a member of the Educational Board of this county for six years. In all his public positions he has given satisfaction, being social, pleasant-mannered and accommodating. He is a member of the orders of the United Workmen and Knights of Pythias, and has filled all the offices in the lodges of both societies in Woodland.
Mr. McConnell was married in 1871 to Miss Lillian Swain, a native of Marshall, Michigan, and they have one daughter, named Gertrude L.
A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Janice Giachino, February, 2007 Pages 319-327
…a farmer northwest of Davisville, in Yolo County, was born January 9, 1828, in the Kingdom of Wirtemberg, Germany, a son of Franz and Margaret Heinz, natives of Germany. He was brought up on a farm in the old country; his father being a blacksmith he learned the same trade, and at the age of twenty, being the only son and his father over sixty years old, he was exempt from further army service. In 1849 he sailed from France to America on the vessel Havre, and was thirty-six days on the voyage. Landing at New York he remained there for a short time and went to Philadelphia, and engaged at farm work near by in Chester County, in the employ of a man named Robert Brown, for one year at $87. He then was employed at his trade, blacksmithing and boiler-making, in Philadelphia until the fall of 1852, when he sailed from New York on the steamer Uncle Sam for California, by way of the isthmus, on the Pacific side taking the steamer Cortez, and landing insane Francisco January 6, 1853. In that strange city he endeavored to find employment for a month, but in vain, and as he was without means h became sadly discouraged. Board was $13 a week, even for the plainest kind. At length he obtained a position in a manufactory of iron doors and shutters, at $5 a day; but in a month he concluded to go with some friends to Australia and gave up his situation; but the trip was given up and his occupation gone. He went to Sacramento and then started to the mines near Colusa on a steamer, which broke a shaft on the way, and while if it was lying to for repairs Mr. Heinz met some miners returning who gave discouraging accounts. He returned again to Sacramento, heart-sick and discouraged. He went to the mines again, only to meet further discouragement, and even opposition. After hunting around for some time for employment, he was engaged by Wallace Barnes, at $50 a month, and he worked for him six months, but never received a cent of money for it! Next he engaged in a manufactory of iron doors and shutters at Sacramento; next in a vegetable garden for Mr. Muldrow until spring, when he again went to Sacramento and engaged in the manufacture of iron doors and shutters for Radcliff & Company. Thus he was employed until the fall of 1854, by which time he had accumulated about $400. Placing this in a bank, he struck out for the mines at Iowa Hill, where he worked for a while, only for poor returns. In the spring of 1855 he went again to Sacramento, only to find that the bank had failed and all his hard-earned money gone! This almost uninterrupted series of disasters were enough to drive any common man insane, but Mr. Heinz still held up his head, and hired himself to a Yolo County man named Alexander Manor for the summer. He worked for various parties until the fall of 1860, when he with a band of sheep, located where he now lives, upon a half section of land, which he obtained of a squatter, at a cost of $800; and three years later he bought it a second time with school warrants of the State of California. He has, however, continued courageously on until long since he has made a fine home. His farm is one of the best kept in that section of the county, and comprises 337 acres. What an example we have, in the sketch of such a noble citizen, of patience and perseverance!
Mr. Heinz was married December, 1862, to Miss Caroline Weiner, and they had two sons—Charley and Theodore. Mr. Heinz was married again in the fall of 1871, to Miss Lucia Kuehnel, a native of Germany, and they have three children, namely, Julia, August J. and Lucia. (Pages 327-328)
Milo Bushnell Pond, M. D.
…has been a resident of California since 1853, and of Napa for the past twenty-three years, during which latter time he has been constantly engaged in the practice of the medical profession. His parents were A. R. and f. M. (Bushnell) Pond, natives of Vermont, and descended from the original Puritan stock. They had settled in Dearborn County, Indiana, where the subject of this sketch was born in 1836, but afterward went to Illinois, and later still to the county-seat of Grant County, Wisconsin, where the father engaged in farming in that frontier settlement, then in the very vanguard of civilization, the son bearing his share of its labors, and attending the public schools of the town. At one of the occasional school exhibitions, the teacher introduced a spelling bee on a small scale as one of the attractions, where young Pond spelled down the school. Among those present were Allen Barber, District Attorney for the county, and Judge Nelson Dewey; and when volunteers were called for to defeat the champion, they accepted the challenge. Elevating the boy, then only six years old, upon a barrel, the contests were renewed. Each one who failed to spell his word correctly being forced to take his seat, young Master Pond was again the only one left standing! Frightened by the cheers that arose, he fell off the barrel, and was a last “knocked out” by the applause that followed his victory!
In 1849, during the excitement following the gold discovery, his father crossed the plains to California, meeting with the varied experiences common to those who piloted the prairie schooners of that day over the almost trackless desert. Following the usual variety of employments, he first engaged in mining, then ran a freight boat on the Sacramento River, then back to the mines, and finally settled in Vaca Valley, Solano County, on a farm. Meanwhile the family, in 1853, fitted themselves out with ox teams,--one driven by the subject of this sketch and the other by his eldest brother, Jared James,--and started to cross the plains to join the father in his California home. Arriving safely, and bringing through with them the same teams with which they left the States, in spite of the hardships of the journey and the attempts of the Indians to run off their stock, the happily united family settled down upon the farm in Solano County.
Here he invested in two scholarships of the Ulatis Academy, organized and managed by James W. Anderson, the present superintendent of schools in San Francisco, where he received the balance of his English education, alternately attending school and assisting his father upon the farm, mastering Davies’ elementary algebra while resting his team at the plow. Leaving the academy he taught school at Fairfield for one year, at the same time holding an appointment as one of the County Board of Education, which position he retained for three years. While teaching, he began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Stillman Holmes, then and for some years afterward practicing at Vacaville. Beginning with 1862, he attended two courses of medical lectures in the University of the Pacific, at San Francisco, after the first course being appointed apothecary at the city and county hospital, retaining this position until1865, and continuing as assistant physician in the same institution for a year after his graduation. The medical department of the university having temporarily suspended operations, and the Toland Medical School, now the medical department of the University of California, opening in 1864, Dr. Pond attended his third course of lectures there, passing his examination in March, 1865, and receiving his diploma as a physician and surgeon. In 1870, the University of the Pacific, having re-organized its medical department, and being about to hold its first commencement, invited Dr. Pond to an examination and participation in the exercises as one of their students, where, after passing the usual examinations, he was awarded an ad-eundum degree from this institution.
In 1866 he removed to Napa, where he has since devoted himself to his extensive practice as a physician. To Dr. Pond is really die the invention of the split tracheotomy tube, which enables the operator to explore the trachea for the purpose of cleansing the throat in cases of membranous croup, or removing the membrane or foreign bodies that may accidentally lodge in that passage. The occasion of this invention was its necessity in the case of a child two years old under the Doctor’s care, who had drawn a watermelon seed into its windpipe. By means of this instrument the operator can dilate the opening so as to look down into the windpipe or upwards into the larynx, can use a sponge to cleanse, or a forceps to withdraw any foreign body, and all under the direction of the eye. Dr. Pond presented this invention to the medical society in 1873, with a description of the operation, which was published in the transactions of that body, illustrated with an engraving. At the same time he presented an instrument he had designed for the introduction of sutures in operations in case of cleft palate and vesico-vaginal fistula. This was a double-curved needle, with an eye in the point, by means of which sutures were introduced with much greater facility in these difficult operations than with those needles in common use by the profession. A cut and description of this needle was also published in the same volume of the transactions of the society.
Some years ago the State Legislature passed an act authorizing the Governor to appoint a commission for the purpose of selecting a site for a sanitarium for the treatment of consumption. This commission examined every situation of promise in the State; three of them, Drs. Logan, Gibbon and Hatch (since deceased) visited Napa, and, with Dr. Pond investigating the different points in this county, finally confined their endorsement to two of them, Mount Veeder and Atlas Peak. More favorably impressed with the latter from the probable dryness of its atmosphere on account of its great elevation, they still felt that this advantage might be offset by the presence of the fir timber on Mount Veeder. Nothing has ever been done by the State toward establishing the sanitarium; but, feeling the necessity and the advantage to California of such an institution, and its great value to those needing a dry, equable and bracing atmosphere and healthful surroundings, Dr. Pond has since acquired 225 acres, comprising the choice part of this mountain tract, retaining the beautiful groves of firs, redwoods, madronas and other fine trees, and clearing off the open space for orchards, vineyards, gardens and buildings. Here, besides the largest Japanese persimmon orchard in the northern part of the State, he has a fine growth of olives, prunes, apricots, peaches and vines, most of them being now in their first bearing, in all about thirty acres. He will have this year about four tons of French prunes, 5,000 gallons of finest grades of wine, and other fruits in proportion. When the natural beauties and advantages of this tract have been sufficiently developed and the conditions are favorable, Dr. Pond proposes to erect an institution on Monte Verda (Green Mountain) which shall be a credit and a blessing to the State.
This busy physician is a member of the United States, State and County Medical Societies, secretary respectively of the City and County Boards of Health, and corresponding member of the State Board of Health for Napa County. He was largely instrumental in establishing the County Hospital, and was for many years County Physician, until at last he succeeded in turning over the responsibilities of that position to one of his own students. He is a member of the Masonic order. Dr. Pond was secretary of the first Union League Club organized in Suisun, Solano County, California, on the evening following the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and has been a progressive Republican ever since.
The Doctor was married in 1866, to Miss Josephine E. Everts, daughter of Dr. T. C. and Maria (Holland) Everts, who came to California from Indiana in 1856. They have one son, Paul E. Pond, now an attendant of the Napa College. (Pages 328-330)
Detlef Lafrenz, Jr.
…a farmer near Livermore, was born in Lieth Holstein, Germany, June 28, 1857, and in 1874 came to America, landing at New York, and thence by rail to California. He went first to San Francisco, to Spanish Town, San Mateo County, near which place he was employed upon a farm for seven years. Since 1881 he has occupied his present place as a prosperous agriculturist. He is a member of Vesper Lodge, No. 62, a. O. U. W., also of the A. L. of H., Council No. 1,070, and is president of the Lodge of Sons of Hermann, all of Livermore. He was married in San Francisco, May 22, 1883, to Miss Metha Biersterfeldt, and their four children are named Elsie, Emma, Minnie and Metha. (Page 330)
John W. Buck
…an extensive rancher near Pleasanton, was born in Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine, December 24, 1858; completed his education at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1869-’71; came to San Francisco and there enlisted in the First United States Cavalry, as a private in the company commanded by Captain Moses Harris, and served satisfactorily for ten years, being honorably discharged in the presidio of San Francisco in 1882. For the next two years he had charge of the farm of Mrs. Mary P. Woldram, in Sacramento County. Next for four years he had charge of the hop farm of Dr. D. P. Durst, near Wheatland, Yuba County. Then he was employed by the Omnibus Street Railway Company, of San Francisco, as a carpenter in their shops, he having learned the trade of carpentry in the army; and after one year in this relation he located near Pleasanton, where for the last two years he has been in charge of the Black estate of 1,100 acres, good farm land, all under cultivation. He has two assistants as foremen. Mr. Buck is not married; is a member of Pleasanton Lodge, No. 225, I. O. O. F. (Pages 330-331)
…of Woodland, has been a resident of California since 1850. He was born near the town of Inverness, Scotland, and when he was about the age of thirteen years he came with relatives to the United States, locating in Livingston County, New York, on the Genesee River; there he was an employee upon a farm. In the autumn of 1829, in connection with his brother, he located upon a farm near Elgin, Illinois; but the year afterward, in company with another brother, he began the carpenter’s trade in Elgin, and after he completed his knowledge of the business he worked two years in that calling in Chicago, and afterward about Elgin until he started for California. This trip was made with eight other parties. Crossing the Missouri River at a point called Old Fort Kearney, May 5, 1850, they followed the trail to New Fort Kearney, now simply known as Fort Kearney, Nebraska. The road was alive with people and teams, on their way to the new El Dorado. As part of the company desired to travel faster than the rest, a division took place, and Mr. Frazer, who had made new acquaintances among the immigrants, joined a new company, along with some of his old friends, who were agreed on the rate of travel, and they appointed a man named Overall, from St. Louis, captain. As their cattle and stock had to be guarded during the night, the men were detailed by the captain for the various duties, day and night. At one point they paid some Indians, on demand, some flour, sugar and tobacco, for the privilege of passing through their territory. By the time they reached the Humboldt River they began to experience considerable hardships for the want of water free from alkali, and lack of provender for their horses. To obtain grass they put two wagon-beds together, with wagon-covers underneath, and with these made their way to the islands in the river, where the desired forage was found. They arrived at Placerville August 27, having good luck in getting all their animals through.
Mr. Frazer followed mining the first three years, suffering a great deal of exposure, and then for a year and a half he followed teaming from Sacramento, and next he came over into Yolo County and began farming on Willow Slough, where he and others took up a tract of land which was not then surveyed. For years afterward he began running a threshing machine, in which he had a half interest. Dry weather and short crops put a stop to this enterprise, and Mr. Frazer sold his farm with the intention of returning to the States; but before he got under way he changed his mind and entered the live stock business, in which he did well—by hard work and strict watch on a number of hard cases, however, until 1864; when he sold out the most of his stock. The next year, with other parties, he took an interest in another large band of cattle, as in 1864, being a dry year or season, any were driven out of the country, and the consequent scarcity raised prices. He continued in this trade until about 1878, when he sold out and moved into Woodland, where he has since led an easier life. In November, 1885, the grocery house of A. D. Porter was purchased by the firm of Harling, Frazer & Co., which subsequently became Smith, Frazer & Co., which establishment is one of the oldest in the city and is unquestionably one of the leading mercantile houses.
In political matters Mr. Frazer has been a Republican ever since the party was organized, although not in any sense a politician. When Woodland was first organized as a town he was elected a member of the Board of Trustees, and was re-elected for the second term. He has been a member of the Masonic order for the past ten or twelve years.
Mr. Frazer was married in 1865, to Harriet C. McCreary, a native of the State of New York. (Pages 331-332)
…a blacksmith of Woodland, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1835, the son of A. Spencer and Eliza (Wing) Dunphey. His father, a native of New York State and a millright by trade, died in Cook County, Illinois; and the mother, who was born in Canada in 1811, died in Illinois. When Mr. Dunphey was but two years of age the family removed to Cook County, Illinois, and subsequently to Jo Daviess County, same State. April 13, 1852, he came overland with ox teams to California, and for five years was employed at Sacramento in the trade of blacksmithing. He then went to Cottonwood, now Madison, where he worked at his trade for seven years, and then he settled in Woodland, where for twelve years he has been conducting a prosperous business. He worked for Mr. Knox three years and has now resumed business for himself in Woodland. He is a man well known throughout the county and has many friends. He has a neat little home on Third street.
June 2, 1860, in Cottonwood, Yolo County, Mr. Dunphey married Lydia Willard, the daughter of A. H. and Mary A. Willard. Her father was born I 1812 in St. Louis, Missouri, and her mother in 1823 in Vandalia, Illinois; they had seven sons and seven daughters. Mr. Dunphey has eight children, the following their names and ages: Spencer, twenty-nine years; Charles, deceased at the age of fifteen years; Lydia, aged twenty-five, and now the wife of r. a. Patterson of San Diego County; Eliza, twenty one; Dexter, twenty-three; Lizzie, died at the age of eight years; Willard, sixteen; and Minerva, twelve. (Page 332)
…a prominent farmer near Pleasanton, Alameda County, was born in Holstein, Germany, May 13, 1831, and at the age of twenty-two, in 1854, he came to America by sail vessel from Hamburg. Landing at San Francisco, he was employed on the farm in that vicinity for two months; then until 1865 in Eden Township, Alameda County; then in Washington Township, same county, for three years. In 1868-’71 he was a farmer in Monterey County; in 1872 he located in Murray Township, near Pleasanton, and followed farming there about eleven years, when he purchased 650 acres of land where he now resides. He has about twenty acres in vines, which yield annually forty to fifty tons of grapes.
He was married in Eden Township, May 25, 1861, to Miss Metta Luders, and the names of their eight children are: Ernestine a., Charles H., William F., John H., Matilda M., August A., Walter J. and Louise C. Mr. Schween is a member of Industry Lodge, No. 63, A. O. U. W., at Pleasanton. (Page 332)
…a thrifty farmer near Pleasanton, Alameda County, is the son of Louis and Elizabeth Nusbaumer, and was born in San Francisco, March 15, 1854. When but a child, in 1857, his parents moved to Pleasanton (then Alisal), whence at the end of a few years they moved upon a ranch near the same place, and there our subject spent most of his time until the age of eighteen, attending school and assisting at ranching. Next he went to San Francisco to learn the machinists’ trade, at which he worked during the following twelve years, when he made several trips to Mexico, at one time taking down and setting up a lot of mining machinery near Topia, in the State of Sinoloa. He remained there a year, during which time the troublesome days of Ramirez, the outlaw and revolutionist, occurred, when life and property was almost in danger. On his return to California he engaged in farming, and is at present cultivating 240 acres; is also a part owner of 900 acres of farming land in the Vallecitos. He is a young and rising Californian, who devotes his time principally to farming.
He was married to Miss Pauline Schweer, daughter of Frances and the late Frederick Schweer, who is also a native of California, being born at Mt. Eden, Alameda County. (Pages 332-333)
John C. Mohr
…superintending a farm of 325 acres of land near Pleasanton, was born at Mr. Eden, Alameda County, January 5, 1860, the son of the late Cornelius and Cecelia Mohr, who came to America from Holstein, Germany, in 1855. He is a member of Eucalyptus Lodge, No. 243, F. & A. M., at Hayward. (Page 333)
Oliver H. Buckman
…surveyor and civil engineer, has been for the past six years County Surveyor of Napa County, and since 1880 City Surveyor and Superintendent of Streets of the city of Napa. He was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, in December, 1847. His parents, Phineas and Cynthia (Roberts) Buckman, natives of Maryland, though of Pennsylvania Quaker extraction, removed to Iowa in 1845, where they continue to reside. He received his education in the public schools of Atalissa, his father owning and occupying a farm near that town. At the age of twenty-two he entered upon a course of civil engineering and surveying at the Iowa State University at Iowa City, graduating at that institution in 1876. Remaining at home for about a year, he came to California, settling at Napa, where he at once entered upon the practice of his profession, and has continued here since that time. Besides the ordinary duties of his profession as a surveyor, Mr. Buckman has been the engineer of the Napa City water works, of which George F. Allardt was the consulting engineer, and all the details of construction were carried out under his supervision. He has also superintended all the work done on the sewerage system of Napa for the past ten years. The racetrack of the Napa Agricultural Association, which was made famous by the lowering of the stallion trotting records, and later by the phenomenal performance of the great three-year-old Sunol, was laid out by him. Experts who were present at the last races pronounced the Napa track equal to any in the United States and superior to most. He was employed in laying out the Villa Verona colony tract near Oroville, and adjoining the Palmero orange tract. He is now engaged in making a series of assessment maps for Napa County, showing each separate track of land in the county, and giving the name of the present owner. This is the first series of such maps, and will greatly facilitate the work of the assessors. Mr. Buckman furnished the plans for the sewerage system of Suisun City, which has been in successful operation for five years. He has also laid out many of the mountain roads of the county, and has performed most of the important engineering work of that section for the past ten years. (Page 333)
The Livermore Herald
…is a distinctively local newspaper, established in 1877 by W. P. Bartlett, its present editor and proprietor. It is the medium of the party of improvement in Livermore Valley, and has taken a very prominent part in the introduction of many new industries, such as vine and fruit growing, manufacturing, coal and chromo mining, which has added so materially to the growth and prosperity of the country. Personalities and all matters (including advertising) of a questionable character are excluded from its columns. (Pages 333-334)
A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Janice Giachino, February, 2007 Pages 327-334
…is one of the first settlers and one of the most prominent business men of Redding, Shasta County, California. He is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Philadelphia, November 1, 1831. He comes of good old Scotch-Presbyterian stock. His grandfather, John McCormick, was one of the hardy sons of Scotland who settled in County Donegal, Ireland, and reared his family there. His son James was born at that place, and when he grew to manhood, in 1829, married Isabella Black, also a native of Donegal County. Immediately after their marriage they emigrated direct to Philadelphia to make their fortune in the United States. They settled in Philadelphia and Mr. McCormick engaged in the manufacture of starch. O the two children born to them in that city, the subject of our sketch was the second. He family removed to Quincy, Illinois, where the father purchased and improved a farm. The mother died in 1845, and the father lived on the property until his death occurred, in 1886. He lived the life of an upright and worthy citizen.
James was given his father’s name that he might be an honor to it and perpetuate it in the world. He was reared to manhood on his father’s farm, went to school in winter and drove the team and held the plow in summer. When he reached his majority, like his parents, he started out for himself. He left his home in Quincy, Illinois, in December, 1852, and arrived at San Francisco, February 5, 1853, making the trip via the Isthmus of Panama. Little did he think when he came to the El Dorado of the West in search of gold, that he was going to help improve and build the grandest commonwealth of the United States. His first venture was to dig for gold in Tuolumne County. Some months later he went to Coloma. The business of teaming was then very profitable and he engaged in that for a time. He afterward purchased a miners’ supply store in El Dorado County, and conducted it for two years. After this, and until its collapse, he was n the employ of the Adams Express Company. Then he acted as Wells Fargo & Co’s. agent nine years, and purchased millions of dollars worth of gold dust. He removed to Woodland, Yolo County, and worked in the interest of the Western Union Telegraph Company two years. In 1873 Mr. McCormick came to Redding, and the following three years was operator for the Western Union Telegraph Company.
In 1876 he went East to the great Centennial and also visited his father and his friends whom he had not seen for twenty-five years. On his return to Redding the firm of McCormick, Saeltzer & Co. was formed, Mr. W. L. Smith being the other member. They started with $9,000 capital, and conducted the business with remarkable success for ten years. At the end of that time they incorporated under the firm name of the McCormick-Saeltzer Company, their capital having increased to $100,000. They have built a brick store, 70 x 200, which comprises five departments, each 40 x 70 feet. They wholesale and retail general merchandise and furnish supplies to Northern California and a part of Oregon. Mr. McCormick has been one of the busy factors in building the city of Redding; was one of those who aided in its incorporation; served two terms on its board of trustees. He was one of the originators of the Shasta County Bank and its first vice-president; also aided in starting the Bank of Northern California, and is its present vice-president.
The day after he was twenty-one years of age Mr. McCormick voted for General Scott for President of the United States. Since the organization of the Republican party he has been one of its consistent adherents. His marriage occurred at the residence of Judge Bush, December 16, 1877, the lady of his choice being Elizabeth Buckingham, a native of Whitestown, New York. He is now engaged in building one of the finest residences in the city. (Pages 334-335)
…a general farmer of Murray Township, Alameda County, was born in Holstein, Germany, January 19, 1840, and was brought up as a farmer. In 1864 he emigrated to America, stopping in New York a short time and then came on by way of the Isthmus to California, landing at San Francisco. Going direct to Murray Township, he has since then, in partnership with another man, been cultivating a tract of 570 acres, with good success. He is a member of Vesper Lodge, No. 62, A O. U. W., of Livermore, and he was married in San Francisco, September 23, 1867, to Miss Margaret Steinboch. Their children are Lena, Tillie, Mary and Frederick. (Page 335)
W. A. C. Smith
…real estate and insurance dealer, St. Helena, was born in Lincolnshire near the celebrated St. Botolph’s Church with its 365 steps to the top of its steeple, the date August, 1834. He was intended for a shoemaker, and learned that trade while a boy, and from the premature age of ten years having to depend solely upon his own support. Drawn irresistibly to this land of liberty and opportunity, in 1851 he used his earnings to bring him across the Atlantic to Philadelphia, and to set him up as a farmer in the Conestoga Valley, Pennsylvania. He was not satisfied, however, with a life of manual labor, and had been profiting by every chance to enlarge his knowledge and complete his education, stinting himself to get the necessary books, and studying far into the night to master their contents. By the winter of 1852-’53, he was prepared to take and teach a country school, this employment being only the stimulus to further studies, as from this time until 1875, when he finally gave up the teacher’s occupation, he was a very hard student, and becoming so proficient especially in mathematics as to win a solid and lasting reputation. To give an idea of the energy and economy which the Professor manifested at this early and formative period of his life, it may be stated that he walked a distance of three and a half miles night and morning to the Pennsylvania school, in order to save $2 out of his meager salary of $18 per month. Later he went to Onodaga County, New York, where he taught for some time. In 1857, he came to California, via the Isthmus of Panama, and for three years devoted himself to mining in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, but afterward engaged in teaching in the mining regions, until in 1862 he removed to Vacaville in Solano County, taking charge of the public schools in that town. His eminence as a mathematician at this time led many of the pupils then in attendance at Vacaville College to resort to him to perfect themselves in that science. In September, 1863, he was appointed principal of the St. Helena schools, giving up that position in the following year to accept the professorship of mathematics in the Academy at Healdsburg. In 1865 he purchased the Democratic Standard newspaper in that town, and for two years conducted it as editor and proprietor, in an able and efficient manner. In 1866, he was recalled to St. Helena to resume the principalship of the public schools, a position he held for nearly ten years continuously, with great efficiency. Meantime, he became extensively interested in vineyard and other business, and finally in 1876 opened a private bank in St. Helena, at that time the only banking establishment in the town. This he carried on until in 1886 he gave up the banking business and has since then devoted himself strictly to real-estate, insurance and conveyancing business, having also a large interest in internal revenue broking for the many distillers and others in his county.
Professor Smith is a Democrat in politics, decided yet liberal in his sentiments, and a leading man in his party, having frequently been chairman of county and other conventions. His family consists only of wife and one child. (Pages 335-336)
…a farmer near Livermore, was born in Holstein, Germany, September 10, 1858, and was brought up as a farmer. In 1882 he emigrated to America, stopping a short time in New York and then came across the continent by rail direct to Livermore, near which place he has since resided. He is in partnership with his father-in-law, C. Stohl, in the cultivation of 570 acres of ground devoted to farm products generally. He is a member of the Sons of Hermann, of Livermore, is a liberal Republican, but spends no time in politics. He was married in San Francisco, October 18, 1885, to Miss Lena Stohl, and he now has two children, --
Bertha and Minnie. (Page 336)
The fine ranch belonging to Colonel J. D. Fry of San Francisco, situated near Yountville, Napa County, has been under Mr. McVicker’s management for over twelve years, and its present high state of cultivation and fine appearance is due to his care. He is moreover a practical horse-breeder, taking an enthusiastic interest in the Colonel’s fine stud of horses under his charge, and breeding the fast animals that have made the stud famous, such as Arab, out of Arithon, dam Lady Hamilton, and other well-known horses. He is also engaged in rearing Holstein and short-horn Durham cattle and Southdown sheep.
Mr. McVicker was born in Napanee, Canada, in 1851, where his father, John McVicker, is a farmer. He left there in 1868, when nineteen years of age, and has resided almost constantly in California since, engaged entirely in the business of horse breeding and raising, sometimes on his own account and at other times in the employment of others. For four years he was with Mr. Tallant in Wheatland, for two years with Mr. Jasper, and then at San Jose with Frank Malone, as also in Sacramento and elsewhere for himself. He owns some property in Sacramento, which he is improving, and is an active, energetic and thoroughgoing man in all he undertakes. He was married to Miss Annie McLennan, in San Francisco, in 1886. They have one child. (Page 336)
…a Yolo County farmer, was born June 5, 1822, in Worcester County, Massachusetts, a son of Cheney and Anna (Walker) Olds, natives of Massachusetts. The father, a farmer and shoemaker, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and received a pension from the Government. He was a pioneer settler in Illinois, in 1836, in Whiteside County, where he lived until his death in 1874; his wife survived until 1883. They had six sons and three daughters. Lewis was raised on a farm, and when of age he engaged in lead-mining in Wisconsin for several years. In 1850 he came across plain and mountain to California with horse teams, the trip occupying four months. He arrived at Hangtown and commenced mining at Coloma. In the fall he went down in the valley to sell some stock, and he also killed some animals and elk. Late in that season he went to San Jose and spent the winter. In the spring of 1851 he was a short time in San Francisco, and then spent three years in the mines at Yanke Jim’s and Michigan Bluff, with moderate success. In 1854 he settled upon his present property, six miles from Woodland, which he obtained from the Government by pre-emption, and on this he made all the improvements now existing there. The place consists of 160 acres, and he carries on general farming and stock-raising.
C. Olds, his brother, was born in August, 1832, in Cattarangus County, New York, was raised on a farm in Illinois, and was twenty years of age when in 1852 he came across the plains to California with ox teams, the time of the journey being five months. After arriving here he spent five years at the mines at Yankee Jim’s with moderate success, in collecting gold. Then, in 1857, he settled in Yolo county upon a farm adjoining his brother, where he has ever since been a constant resident engaged in agriculture. In 1868 he returned to Illinois by way of the Isthmus, and in 1889 he visited Illinois again, but is more than ever satisfied with his location in the Golden State. (Pages 336-337)
Honorable Chancellor Hartson
…deceased, was born in Otsego County, New York, in 1824, his parents being Horace and Asenath (Lidell) Hartson. The Lidells were of English descent and had long lived in that State, and the family seat was Exeter, where the mother of our subject was born. The Hartsons were of Scotch ancestry, and the founders of the family in this country settled in New England. His grandparents on this side were John and Sybil (Hitchcock) Hartson. His father early engaged in the tanning business, but later in life established himself in agricultural pursuits. The subject of this sketch graduated at Madison University, New York State, and then at Fowler Law School, at Cherry Valley, in 1848. In 1850 he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of New York. Came to California the same year.
In July of the following year he came to Napa, where he at once entered upon the practice of law, and soon became popular. In September, 1851, he was elected to the office of District Attorney, and at the close of his term the people chose him for the more important position of county judge, which he filled with ability until 1858. In the meantime, in 1856, the Republican party first entered the field as a national organization, and Judge Hartson, who had previously been a Whig, threw the whole force of his strong nature into the service of the new party of progress. Almost alone he stood at that day a champion of the party’s cause in the community, but his strength proved of untold benefit in the cause of Republicanism. He was a regular and interested reader of the New York Tribune, and as the tone of that paper was exceedingly radical in favor of the new party and indeed of abolition, the fact of his taking it caused murmuring and even threats among the extremists in the ranks of the opposition. Observing this, Judge Hartson sent for additional copies of the great journal, saying that if one copy of the Tribune causes such a commotion, he would like o see the effects of two dozen! which he subscribed for and distributed among the people; but the threats against him were not carried out. He felt that there were troublous times ahead for the country, and bent every energy to the task of building up a strong support for the Government, with the result that when the civil war came on he was conceded the greater part of the credit for the strong organization of the Republican party which then existed. In 1861 he was elected to the Lower House of the State Legislature, and when the Assembly was organized for the important work of that session, the “war Legislature, “ he was chosen Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. In 1862 he was elected to the State Senate, and in that body was also appointed by its president to the first place on the Judicial Committee. His record in the Legislature of California during these, the Nation’s darkest hours, is a part of the State history; and his unselfish services were duly appreciated by the constituents who sent him there, and who, by their suffrages, kept him in the Senate continuously until 1866, when affairs again began to wear their former peaceful aspect.
He then felt that he deserved a rest from his arduous labors in the public behalf, and returned to the practice of his profession, which had naturally suffered while he was in the Senate. The law claimed almost his entire attention until 1871, when, for the first time, he entered extensively into the fields of finance. In that year he aided in the establishment of the Bank of Napa, and upon its organization was elected president. He conducted the affairs of the bank with unusual executive ability until January 1, 1879, and his management gave it wide prestige. In the meantime he also took a prominent part in the organization of the Bank of Lake, at Lakeport, and of the board of directors of which he was for years a member.
In 1879 W. J. Maclay was elected to the Assembly, but shortly afterward his death occurred. To fill the vacancy thus caused so much pressure was brought to bear upon Mr. Hartson, that, despite his earnest protestations, he was compelled to accept the nomination, which was heartily ratified by the people at the ensuing election. In this session of the Legislature, with the prestige of his former service and the advantages of the ripe judgment and mature mind he then possessed, he stood the peer of any man upon the floor of either House, and his natural ability as a shrewd financier came into splendid play upon the question of revenue and finance. His speech on Assembly Bill No. 404, embodying these subjects, was conceded to be the master effort of the session, and so great was the demand for it that an edition of 75,000, subsequently published, was in a very short time exhausted. An extract from this address, which will not be out of place in this connection, will give the reader an idea of the force and character of the man who uttered these sentiments:
“I rise under deep feelings of embarrassment and regret, inspired principally by the painful recollection that in the advocacy of this great constitutional measure, I am in conflict with the wishes of many highly esteemed friends, in and out of this House, whose good will I crave, and for whose opinions I entertain the highest respect. Nothing but a strong sense of duty and a clear conviction of right has impelled me to take so decided a stand, and maintain it with whatever of vigor and ability I possess. So far as I am concerned, I have no trouble in so construing that language as to tax all credits, all stocks and all property. I am decidedly in favor of rolling back and off the industries and lands of this State, and back up on the bondholders and stockholders, the great burden of taxation that belongs to the latter class to bear. I came here to do a great constitutional duty. I promised the suffering men and women of my home, when elected, that I would stand up for their rights against power and wealth and prerogative. I am here by my voice to fulfill that promise. My judgment approves that measure, and the work done for its accomplishment is the work of my hand and my heart as well as my intellect.”
In November, 1880, Judge Hartson was reelected to succeed himself in the Legislature, and took an active part in the sessions of that and the following year. In 1881 he received, at the hands of President Garfield, the appointment as Collector of Internal Revenue for San Francisco district, and filled out his term of office in a masterly manner. This was his last public position. His death, which occurred suddenly, September 25, 1889, was a shock to the community, and drew forth expressions of profound regret throughout the entire State. From the Napa Daily Register is taken the following account of the circumstances of his death: “About one o’clock, to-day, as Hon. Chancellor Hartson was passing from the library of his home into the sitting room, he fell to the floor as if in a faint, when a gentleman, who happened to be present, placed him upon a lounge and ran for a doctor. Meanwhile Mrs. Hartson worked incessantly over the loved and lifeless form of her husband with the restoratives she had at hand, but in vain. Drs. Wrightman and Hostetter soon arrived, and one glance at the ashen face of the prostrate man was enough to tell them that the vital spark had fled.
“Mr. Hartson had been complaining of not feeling well for a week or more, but he was up and about all the time, engaged in the temperance work he had so cordially espoused, and no one had any idea that his end was so near—that the rest he had so royally earned was at hand. Death was probably occasioned by paralysis of the heart.”
The eulogies recited after his death show forth a character of greatness and nobility and true integrity, such as falls to the lot of but few men. That those who knew and respected him in life may tell further of his history and characteristics, the following extracts are here given. In the course of the funeral address delivered by A. J. Nelson, D. D., pastor of the Epworth Church, San Francisco, that eloquent divine took occasion to say:
“His life was an unceasing benediction to the community, the church and the State. In the history of the State, I find him in her legislative halls again and again, both in the Assembly and the Senate; the choice of the best people of the State more than once for Governor and for Congress. But he was no politician. Too honest to be a demagogue, too wise to be deceived by political tricksters, he preferred integrity to office, and manhood to money. But he left his impress on the political history of the State and party he loved so well.
“He was the friend of the common people. He stood like a wall of granite against political power, the influence of money, and the prerogatives of office and party. He was a financier of no ordinary ability, and had he loved money as he loved integrity, he would have been a millionaire. In every position he has occupied, he has shown himself the peer of any man in the management of the affairs of State.
“He was a beneficent man as well as benevolent: his purse and heart were open alike to all good works. In the early history of your city he is found on the board of trustees of the Presbyterian Church. He was president of the board of directors for the Insane Asylum, and president of Napa County Bank. His name is but a synonym for Napa College. On every board he was the chief brain and inspiration of all forward movements. He represented his own church at the last general conference held in New York City, in May, 1888. He took a part in the great debate—the right of women to a seat in the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He voted for and maintained with his usual enthusiasm the right of his sisters to a seat in the highest councils of his church. General conference elected him a member of the National Committee of the American Sabbath Union.
“We admire a man that stands for something; some thought; some great principle; some party; some church. When such a man dies, the world loses something; his friends have something to bury, and posterity something to honor and to copy,--some incarnation of some living issue.
“The evening work of his life was an original and well-planned assault on the saloons, that have blasted the hopes of thousands of families, and are the chief blight upon all the prospects of the State. He fell in the midst of his plans, a martyr to the cause; an overworked brain and a burdened heart which gave way under this great pressure.
“He was my friend and brother: a truer heart never beat in the mortal bosom.”
Rev. John Coyle, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Napa city, and Rev. Richard Wylie, of the Napa Presbyterian Church, each delivered an eloquent address, in which they paid tribute to his many noble qualities of head and heart. The newspapers of the State expressed the general sorrow felt upon the death of Judge Hartson,and the following extracts are but expressive of the general tone:
“Thus suddenly one of the most kingly of men has been summoned from earth. It is as if some grand temple had fallen—some mighty oak had been twisted from its well-rooted foundation—and so sudden we are dazed by the unlooked-for blow. The eulogies that shall be spoken over his casket need no artificial force. They will partake of the sincere sorrow that dwells in every true heart that knew and appreciated Judge Hartson—the loyal head of a beloved home, the sympathizing friend of suffering humanity, the one out of the few who ever said by his acts, ‘I dare do all that may become a man.’
“Napa is in mourning, for she is in the shadow of a great affliction: her truest and best citizen is no more.”--Napa Daily Reporter.
“In the death of Hon. Chancellor Hartson the State loses one of its most honored citizens. As a citizen, his integrity of purpose was unimpeachable, and as a politician he stood on the highest plane. He was honest in all his dealings, whether with men, the interests of the State, or her relations to political matters. He was a man of great force of character, and during many years of public life made a marked impression on the affairs of the State, always for the best interests of the commonwealth. His death causes sincere regret in all parties; and hundreds of intimate friends, familiar with his sterling traits of character, will regard his sudden death as a personal bereavement.”—Oakland Times.
“The State of California has met with an irreparable loss in the death of Chancellor Hartson, which occurred at Napa yesterday. He was one of our ablest and purest men, and as a citizen, and a man of business, his equal is seldom found. As a lawyer Mr. Hartson was able, and as a public speaker he had few equals. His political record had no stain. As a business man he was a model. But those admired and loved him most who knew him as a true and unselfish friend.”—Oakland Inquirer.
These references to Judge Hartson show him to have been one of the strongest and truest of characters—a might power in whatever he participated. In his home life he was exceedingly happy, and a brief reference to his immediate family will be fitting in this connection.
Mrs. Hartson was, previous to her marriage, which occurred January 26, 1854, Miss Electa Burnell. She is a native of Sinclairville, Chautauqua County, New York, and a daughter of Rev Joel and Electa (King) Burnell, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts. After their marriage in that State, they removed to western New York, where they took up a large farm. While living there, Mr. Burnell studied law, was admitted to the bar, and afterward became Judge, in which capacity he served many years, being one of the leading men of western New York, and one of the most active figures in public affairs though in no sense an office seeker. He afterward became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, serving the churches throughout Chautauqua County, where he was loved and honored to a high degree. He and his wife both died in New York. Of their sons five grew to maturity, viz.: Madison, who became distinguished as one of the ablest jury lawyers of the nation; he died in 1865, in New York; Lorenzo, who followed the ship-building industry, and afterward was navigator, died in California, in 1857; Joel, who became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, now resides at Eureka, where he supplies the local congregations; Ransom, a lawyer, came to California in 1850, practiced in the courts of this State served in its Legislature, and died in February, 1879; and Philo, a physician, died in 1857.
Judge and Mrs. Hartson reared four children, viz.: Burnell C., Ernest, Channing and Daisy Asenath. Ernest died August 22, 1884, being thus cut off at an untimely age from what would have undoubtedly been a brilliant career. He was a lad of great promise, of an unusually manly demeanor, and gave evidence of signal musical ability in addition to other qualities, which made him a general favorite. He was the pride and almost constant companion of his father, who was grief-stricken beyond expression by the loss of his boy. He never recovered from the shock, and indeed his own death is thought by many to have been hastened by this cause. (Pages 337-341)
A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Janice Giachino, February, 2007 Pages 334-341
J. L. Logan
…undertaker and dealer in furniture, at St. Helena, was born November 5, 1829, at Beaucoup, Washington County, Illinois, the son of David and Margaret (Phillips) Logan. He remained at home until he reached his nineteenth year, working upon his stepfather’s farm at first and afterward learning the trade of carpenter. His education was gained in the country schools of the section and by diligent toil at night, winning in this was a thorough training. In 1858 he removed to Centralia, Marion County, and engaged successfully in the furniture and undertaking business; continuing this until March, 1864, on account of failing health, he sold out and crossed the plains with his family.
At the beginning of the war he enlisted a company at Centralia to go into a certain regiment. He failed to agree with the Colonel, however, and so went directly to General Logan, and they were mustered in at Carbondale under him as Company A. At the time of raising this company, Mr. Logan pledged himself to bring his men all back dead or alive after their term of service was over; and he did so, at great peril and loss to himself, although, unfortunately, most of them came home in boxes. The regiment to which the company belonged was with Grant in the series of his terrible engagements in Kentucky and Tennessee. Mr. Logan received a commission to visit the battlefields and prepare and bring back to their friends the dead not alone of his company but also of the whole county. Although at the time no civilian was allowed at the front, by daring and skill he obtained an interview with General Grant, who so much admitted his courage that he gave him a special pass. He spent thirty-five days on the battle-field, doing a great deal of good and finally shipping back no less than thirteen car-loads of bodies of dead and wounded, with their baggage, who were sent back by special train under his care. Among those were all his own company save only twenty-two persons, left alive. This deed of heroism nearly proved his end, for as a result of his efforts he became a severe case of blood poisoning.
Upon recovery, however, he set out for the trip across the plains, hoping to recuperate on the way. He bought fourteen head of mules and horses and four wagon-loads of drugs, liquors, etc. San Jose was his first stopping place, but he soon came up to Oakland and engaged in the real-estate business there and in San Francisco; yet he suffered serious losses from the dishonesty of parties whom he had trusted. As an undertaker and embalmer Mr. Logan has few equals in the State. By means of a preparation devised by him he was enabled to keep dead bodies almost an indefinite time, being most successful in preparing them for shipment to all parts of the world on a special guarantee of perfect condition. Once, on a test, he prepared a body and it was deposited in the vaults at San Francisco, where it lay for six months, at the end of which time it was found in perfect preservation,--a fact very surprising to the undertaker and physicians of the day. In fact, Mr. Logan’s discoveries in this direction are the basis of the whole modern system of embalming, and aroused attention in all parts of Europe and America. Mr. Logan has been very active in all matters of benefit to St. Helena, as the incorporation of the town, the laying out of a cemetery, etc. Logan’s addition to St. Helena was laid out by him on his ranch at the south of town, where his fine residence is situated.
He was married November 15, 1849, to Miss Unity J. Livesay, of Washington County, Illinois. They have seven children: J. Melvin, engaged in the cattle export trade to Europe; M. Hill, a successful physician of San Francisco; Minnie Adelle, the wife of D. B. Carver, the banker of St. Helena; C. Mead, a printer formerly, and proprietor of the Daily News at St. Helena; now engaged with his father in furniture and undertaking; Aura Pearl, Daisy Bell and Lee Ross, who are at home. (Pages 341-342)
…a farmer near Black’s, Yolo County, was born November 12, 1830, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Gilbert) Cunningham, both natives of that State. His father, a tanner by trade for over sixty years, died in that State in 1885, and his mother died in 1876. Of their nine children, two sons are living in California. In 1859 Mr. Cunningham came by water to California. For the first year and a half he followed gold mining at Oregon Bar in Placer County. Then he settled on land about one and a half miles from where he now lives, and at length he sold it, in 1867, and purchased where he now resides. The present ranch, of 160 acres of fine land, is owned by himself and his brother Jacob, and they intend to devote it mainly to fruit raising. They already have twelve acres of figs and three of prunes. Jacob was born in Pennsylvania, in 1845, and came to California in 1868. He married Miss Nellie Murphy, and they have three children:--Maud, Winnie and Jacob. Francis is yet unmarried. (Page 342)
Hial N. Maybee
…nurseryman and orchardist, near Lakeport, was born in Canada, August 6, 1835. His parents were natives of Dutchess county, New York, and moved to Canada, then back to Michigan.
Hial received a common-school education while at home with his parents in Michigan. He afterward attended Bacon, Bryant & Stratton’s Mercantile College in Cincinnati, where he graduated in 1859. He then went to Stevens’ Point, Wisconsin, where he engaged in the wholesale lumber business, in partnership with his brother. He remained in business in Stevens’ Point until 1865. In the spring of that year he sold out and went to New York city, where he took passage on the steamer Golden Rule, which was wrecked on Ronkador, on French Keys, May 29. There were 1,000 passengers on board, all of whom excepting one escaped to the reef, where they subsisted for eleven days. On June 9 they were rescued by the gunboat Georgia, and taken to Aspinwall, from where they came to California and arrived in San Francisco, July 1. Mr. Maybee first settled in Nevada, Marin County, where he bought land and engaged in dairying for seven years. In 1872 he sold out and went to Alameda, where he engaged in contracting and building. In 1876 he went to Buckeye Valley, five miles west of Ione in Amador County, where he engaged in farming and nursery business. He also worked some at carpentering, having secured several contracts from the railroad company. In 1881 he returned to Alameda, where he again followed the business of contracting and building for two years. In 1883 he came to Lake County and bought land two miles south of Lakeport, where he now resides. He has forty-one acres of land, which he devotes principally to nursery and small fruits. He has a nursery stock of about 50,000 trees. He has one acre planted in strawberries of different varieties, which yield an enormous quantity of luscious fruit. He also has black berries, currants and other small fruits, the acreage of which is increasing each year. He has two fine, flowing artesian wells on his premises; also an excellent spring from which he conducts water to his residence through pipes for general uses.
Mr. Maybee has been twice married. His first wife was a Mrs. Carpenter, of Lincoln County, Maine, to whom he was married in 1873, and who lived only a short time after their marriage. In 1885 he was married to Mrs. Meyers, a native of Germany. She has two daughters from her first marriage, who are living in the old country. Mr. Maybee is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the A. O. U. W.
Honorable James Kerson Smith
…grocer at Woodland, California, was born in Richmond, Virginia, June 10, 1831, son of William N. and Ann (Brown) Smith, who moved in 1839 from Virginia to Glasgow, Howard County, Missouri. The mother died in Virginia about 1833 or 1834, and the father survived until 1878, dying in Missouri. Mr. Smith was brought up in the latter State from the age of eight years to the age of nineteen. In 1850, with a party from his neighborhood, he started across the plains for California, arriving at Hangtown on the last day of August. He followed gold-mining, mostly in Nevada and Yuba counties, until 1868, when he came to Yolo County. While living in Nevada County he was elected to the Legislature, serving during the years 1857-’58, and while in Yuba County he was a member during the sessions of 1867-’68.
On arriving in Woodland, Yolo County, he first engaged in furniture and undertaking for a number of years, and during that time served one term on the Board of Supervisors of this county, being elected in 1875. In 1880 he was elected County Clerk and served three years: on his election to this office he disposed of his furniture business. Being a candidate in 1883, he was defeated by M. O. Harling, the present county clerk. He then purchased the interest of C. B. Culver, who was in the grocery trade in partnership with T. S. Spaulding, and the firm became Smith & Spaulding. In 1885, having become a candidate, he was elected County Treasurer and served a term of two years; being renominated for the same position, he was defeated. He then bought the interest of M. O. Harling in the grocery firm of Harling, Frazer & Company. He is now a member of the Town Board of Trustees, having been elected in May, 1888, and is the only Republican member of the board. He has been a member of the Masonic order ever since 1854, and has been for the past three or four years the Masonic Inspector for the nineteenth district. He is also a member of the I. O. O. F. and of the A. O. U. W., in which latter order he is financier.
Mr. Smith was married in 1859 at Nicolans, Sutter County, to Miss Abbie O. Gilman, a native of the State of Maine, but brought up in Illinois. She came to this State in 1854 with her brother-in-law, Dr. D. Ray, at one time a resident of Yolo County. Mr. And Mrs. Smith have one son and five daughters.
In 1887 Mr. Smith made a visit to his old home in Missouri, which after a lapse of thirty-seven years presented many remarkable changes, but the most extraordinary change witnessed on the trip was the difference in the mode of travel between the older States and the coast, the time being reduced from four or five months to as many days.
During the Fraser River mining excitement, which began in 1858, Mr. Smith was one of the many who repaired to that point, the journey being exceedingly difficult. He went by steamer from San Francisco to Whatcom on Puget Sound, and thence by pack animals crossing the Cascade Mountains. At some of the points on the way he had to do considerable excavation in order to make his road, being the pioneer over that route. It is well known that nearly every one that went to that region returned without finding anything of value. (Pages 343-344)
…”Rocklands,” the large and beautiful vineyard belonging to Mr. W. B. Bourn in the upper part of the Napa Valley, is properly considered one of the finest in the county. It consists of 400 acres of land, of which 120 acres are in vines, all of fine varieties, about the borders of which and along the driveways are planted some 500 fruit trees, pears and cherries for the most part. Since November 17, 1880, it has been under the charge of Mr. Maloney, and shows the marks of a careful and well-kept place, everything being in a thrifty growth and in apple-pie order. Along the southern side of the vineyard, and along the creek that flows beside it, is a massive and altogether unique wall built of the stones gathered from the surface of the vineyard. Some of it is twenty-five feet wide and six feet high, representing a tremendous amount of work. The whole vineyard is perfectly drained by tile laid at suitable distances. The balance of the estate makes a fine farm, where Mr. Bourn is raising some fine horses and stock, raising his own hay, grain, etc.
Mr. Maloney, the foreman of this place, is a native of County Kerry, Ireland, where he was born in 1844. He came to America in 1866, and in the fall of 1867 made his way to California, coming via Panama. He began work in the vineyards at once, being employed on Judge Hastings’ place, near Rutherford, during 1868-’69. He then pre-empted 160 acres in Spring Mountain and went into the wood business and the raising of cattle, hay, etc. He then came to St. Helena and engaged in teaming until 1880, when he took charge of “Rocklands.”
Mr. Maloney was first married in October, 1869, in Napa City, to Miss Faley. She died in 18--. In May, 1890, he was married secondly to Miss Kilduff, a native of St. Helena. He has four children. Neely, the eldest, is learning the machinists’ trade at the Risdon Iron Works, San Francisco; Mary, the second child, is learning the dress-making business in the same city; and the others, Tom, Richard and Nellie, are at home and going to school. It is needless to say that Mr. Maloney is a Democrat. He is a self-made man, well respected wherever known. (Page 344)
C. D. Mooney
…is the proprietor of one of the leading business houses of St. Helena, and takes rank among her most forward young business men. He carries on a general grocery and provision business, buying produce as well, his country trade being excelled probably by none in the town. The location of the store is on Hunt Avenue, and during the five years it has been carried on by Mr. Mooney the business has been made by his energy, enterprise and popularity a leading one.
Mr. Mooney was born August 26, 1861, in Jefferson County, New York, where his father, Thomas Mooney, was a farmer. The latter now conducts the blacksmith shop a mile below St. Helena. Back East he was engaged in buying and selling produce and was in general business, but by signing with another met with serious reverses. As a result he came to California, where his family followed him in 1874. In March, 1880, in company with his son, C. D., he put up the blacksmith shop, and was assisted by the latter until 1883, when on account of a severe kick from a horse C. D. retired and left the business entirely to his father. Mr. Thomas Mooney is a native of Ireland, but when nine years old came with his parents to America, settling near Watertown, New York, where members of the family still reside. He married a Miss Reid, whose parents came originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and settled near Kingston, Canada. They had a family of eight children, five boys and three girls.
Mr. C. D. Mooney, the eldest son, was brought up as a blacksmith, serving three years at the trade. When he came to California with the rest of the family, in 1874, he went to work first for Mr. Inman, in his nursery. Then in partnership with his father he put up the blacksmith shop below St. Helena, as already mentioned. While shoeing a horse he met with a serious accident from a kick, and was forced to give up the business. In February, 1883, he went to ranching on a place above town, carrying it on until October, 1884, when he sold out and in November following began the business which he is still carrying on. He was married in June, 1884, to Miss McArron, a native of San Francisco. They have three children, a daughter and two sons. Such in brief is an account of the life of Mr. C. D. Mooney, an active, successful and thoroughly self-reliant one. When he landed in St. Helena he had only 50 cents, but he has made his way since without calling upon any one for assistance, and has made it well. He has two brothers and one sister in the county, their names being F. T. and W. D., brothers, and Mrs. Jennie Tyrrell, whose husband is conducting the Napa carriage factory. (Pages 344-345)
John A. Lechleiter
…manufacturer of all kinds of farming implements, wagons, carriages etc., at Winters, is the son of George (a native of Lorraine, France) and Geneva (Krenzberger) Lechleiter, a native of Germany. His father is now running a wholesale tobacco store in Lincoln, Illinois. He was born in 1854, in Louisiana, within fifty miles of New Orleans, and came to California in 1870, landing in Sacramento. After residing there a year he went to San Francisco and remained there until 1877, when he married and went to Honolulu. While in San Francisco he built the omnibus for the Lick House, and also for the Baldwin Hotel and the Russ House, also many other large transfer wagons and hacks, and he prosecuted the same trade also in Honolulu. Returning from the Sandwich Islands in 1879, he opened a carriage shop at Maxwell’s in Colusa county, in April, 1881, where he flourished for eight years; and then, in 1889, he settled in Winters, Yolo County, where he has a fine shop and a prosperous business. The works are run by a ten-horsepower engine, the model for which he had made by Mr. Williams, of Colusa County.
Mr. Lechleiter married Susan M. Webster, a native of Tennessee, in Oakland, November 29, 1877, and their two children are Emma Elvira, born February 17, 1880; and Frank T., August 30, 1881. (Page 345)
…a prominent citizen of Livermore, was born at Pottsville, Pennsylvania, August 17, 1837; moved with his parents to Wisconsin, and then to St. Louis, Missouri, remaining there some two years; then to Wisconsin again, where he was in business until 1850; next to St. Louis again, where he was connected with the transfer business, until some time in 1852, when he started by ox teams for California. Arriving August 17, he located first in Amador County and followed mining there until 1859, when he moved to Centerville, where he remained about nine years, and then he came to Livermore, where he has since remained. In 1869 his son, George T., was born, the first white boy born in Livermore. Since his location at his present place he has been connected with hay-pressing and steam threshing throughout this and adjacent counties. Each of his machines gives steady employment from June to November to seventeen men.
Mr. Budworth, at Centerville, in 1864, was joined in marriage to Miss Margaret Walker. Their children are Margaret, George, Benjamin, Emma, John, Wesley, Nellie, Bertha and Albert. Mr. Budworth is a member of Vesper Lodge, No. 62, A. O. U. W., at Livermore. (Pages 345-346)
…fruit-grower and nurseryman, proprietor of the Napa Valley nurseries, has been a resident of California for the past fourteen years, and of Napa nearly that entire time. In 1878 he began business in a small way in a nursery on the old Magnolia farm, six miles north of Napa, purchasing the stock owned by J. M. Thompson, of the Suscol nursery. He pushed this business energetically, until now his nursery is known all over the State, and he ships stock to points all the way from San Diego on the south to Shasta and Humboldt counties on the north. He has now a ranch of ninety acres, four miles from Napa on the Big Ranch road, known as Sausal fruit farm, forty-five acres of which are now in orchard five years old, and seven acres one year old. This is divided as follows: twenty-two acres in peaches, fifteen in prunes, French, silver and golden; about seventeen in Japanese plums, Kelsey-Japan and Satsuma, and one acre planted with a variety of oranges, berries and other fruits. This forty-five acres he purchased in 1886, but he has lately added another tract of the same size, which he proposes to devote partly to orchard and partly to alfalfa, the intention being eventually to make of this place a model fruit farm. His plans are fully matured, and he h=now has a fine residence and other buildings erected that are in keeping with this idea. Mr. Coates commenced operations in California by working the first year on the old Magnolia farm, for Professor Heald, and the next year in different parts of the State, in order to familiarize himself with the various peculiarities of climate and soil and their adaptability to different kinds of fruit. Meanwhile an offer was left open by Professor Heald to furnish him land to begin work upon. His nursery is now situated just below Napa, occupying the space between the railroad and the Napa River for the distance of half a mile. He will have this season over 150,000 trees for sale, besides a large stock in dormant bud for the following year.
He was born in Saffron-Walden, Essex, England, in January, 1855. His parents were W. T. and Emma (Harrison) Coates, now residents of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, of which town Mr. Coates, Sr., is the Mayor. He attended private schools in Bedfordshire, graduating at the collegiate school at Luton in the same county, in 1870. He first entered mercantile life, in which he continued for nearly six years, but failing health and the advice of his physicians decided him in favor of out-door pursuits. Having had a little experience as an amateur horticulturist, and a taste for study in that direction, his attention was turned toward California, where he arrived early in 1876.
He was married in 1881, to Miss May Crow, a native of this State and daughter of A. M. and Sarah (Stark) Crow, pioneer settlers of California. They have one child, Ronald, born in 1884. Mr. Coates is a charter member of the State Horticultural Society, and for three years past one of its directors. He has lately returned from a six months’ visit to Europe, during which trip he gave particular attention to the opportunities of disposing of California fruits and fruit products abroad. He was lately called upon to lecture upon these subjects before the Horticultural Society of Yuba and Sutter counties, and has been invited to address the State Horticultural Society and the National Grange upon “California Fruits Abroad.”
…one of the old and well-known farmers of Yolo County, residing near Woodland, dates his birth November, 1821, in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, a son of Henry and Margaret (Stavely) Fisher. Henry Fisher was a miller by trade and also followed farming. He moved to South Bend, Indiana, in 1837, and in 1857 came overland to California and died three weeks after his arrival here, at the age of sixty-two years. Daniel, the subject of this notice, was reared on a farm, and lived in South Bend with his parents. In 1844 he started out in life for himself, going first to Ohio, most of the way on foot, through mud and rain, to Holmes County, where he learned the trade of weaving figured coverlets, and followed the same for twelve years, until 1857, when he came to California, that journey occupying the time from March to September. The trip was a pleasant one, although the emigrants generally suffered a great deal, over 500 being killed by Indians that year. On arrival here Mr. Fisher at once rented land and began farming it. In 1858 he purchased a squatter’s title to his present home, consisting then of 160 acres, three miles southeast of Woodland. In 1864 he made a purchase of 160 more adjoining, and since then he has had one of the best farms in the county. It is now well stocked with substantial buildings and other improvements. The land is specially adapted to alfalfa, and he carries on general farming and stock-raising. In religious matters he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in political a Republican.
In 1846 he married Miss Margaret Shuder, a native of Ohio, and they have four sons and three daughters, namely: Henry; Emma, wife of Ira Dopkins; Elizabeth, wife of Alexander Stamp; Frank; Charles; Amelia, now Mrs. Henry Jeans; and Edgar H. (Pages 346-347)
Joseph O. McKown
…druggist at Livermore, was born in New York city February 11, 1863, the son of Joseph O. and M.E. McKown, of Louisville, Kentucky, who moved to San Francisco in 1869. At the age of nine years he was sent of Livermore, where he received his education, in Livermore College. Returning to San Francisco, he became clerk in a drug store for five years. In 1883 he moved to Livermore, and was employed six months as a clerk in the drug house of M. A. Scott, when the proprietor died, and then Mr. McKown became owner of the establishment, and has since been managing the business upon his own responsibility, with success. The Postal Telegraph and the Sunset Telephone have their offices in the same building, for which Mr. McKown is agent. He has also purchased the stationery business of G. Beck, and he has other interests in Livermore. Since February, 1890, he has been Postmaster. Although a young man, he has already made a splendid reputation for business. In Freemasonry, he is a member of Oakland Commandery, No. 11, K. T., and of Mosaic Chapter, No. 66, at Livermore; and he is also a Senior Warden of Livermore Lodge, No. 218, F. & A. M. (Page 347)
…a farmer at Yolo County, was born January 13, 1831, in Sweden, and sailed for New York in 1852. He lived there until 1859, and then came across the plains and mountains to California, first locating in Butte County. In the spring of 1860 he came into Yolo County, and was employed by the man who owned the place which he, Mr. Anderson, now occupies. He purchased it in 1864, 160 acres of good land.
March 2, 1873, at Mr. Wolfram’s place near Black’s, Mr. Anderson married Miss Mary Bopp, a native of Switzerland, and they have a family of five children: George, Oscar, Andrew, John and Anna. Mr. Anderson is an industrious citizen, as nearly all Swedes are. (Page 347)
C. H. Wente
…a vineyardist near Livermore, was born in Hanover, Germany, August 19, 1851. In 1881 he came to America, landing at New York and coming directly to Kansas, where he was engaged in farming for six months near Topeka. Then he came to California, stopping in San Francisco and in Contra Costa County for a short time, and then he was engaged in the vineyard and winery at St. Helena, Napa County, for a year; then he was in the same business in Lake County; and finally, in 1884, he went to Livermore and purchased a vineyard of fifty acres, twenty-eight acres of which were in vines five years old and yielding 120 tons of grapes annually. At the present time the same acreage yields more than that. He has a large winery on his farm, and last year made 50,000 gallons of wine, and increased the capacity 20,000 gallons this year, a large portion of which is shipped to New York and Philadelphia; besides, he supplies a large local trade. Now the entire farm is a vineyard. He has his bottling department and office at 33 Post Street, San Francisco. Twenty acres are in the highest type of clarets and white varieties.
August 19, 1884, in Oakland, he married Barbara Trautwein, and they have three children living, namely, Ida M., Caroline F. and Charles F. (Pages 347-348)
…vineyardist and wine manufacturer of Livermore, is a native of Ticino, Switzerland, born February 14, 1838. He was educated and taught school there until 1886, when he came to America, landing in New York. He came by steamer, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, to California, arriving August 28, and remained in the city of the Golden Gate four months. Spent some time in Sonoma County, returned to San Francisco, engaged in a wine cellar for a year; about 1871 he went to the Napa Valley, where he was employed by Mr. Von Bever, in a wine cellar, and there made the first 5,000 gallons of wine that was stored in what is known as “Uncle Sam’s Cellars.” Von Rever’s establishment, now owned by C. Carpy, is a present the largest of the kind in Napa Valley. From Napa Mr. Bustelli went to St. Helena, where he was in the same business three years; and in 1884 he came to Livermore and purchased property, in partnership with Mr. Aguillon, and now, under the firm name of Aguillon & Bustelli, he is engaged in the business already mentioned. Their output of wine in 1884 was 60,000 gallons. Since then they have made 70,000 to 80,000 gallons annually, and this year (1890) their product will exceed 100,000 gallons, the most of which will be disposed of by wholesale, a few thousand gallons being consumed by the local trade. They also have a distillery, in which they manufacture a fine quality of grape brandies. Mr. Bustelli is a member of the fraternities of F. & a. M., I. O. O. F. and K. of P. (Page 348)
A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Janice Giachino, March, 2007 Pages 341-348
S. M. Tool
…has a ranch of seventy-one acres two and a half miles northwest of Napa, on the line of the railroad, all of which is in orchard and in full bearing. It consists of some 10,000 trees, 4,000 being pears, 3,000 peaches, 1,000 cherries and the balance made up of apples, prunes, plums and apricots. Part of the orchard was set out thirteen years ago, and the last of it about five years since. Most of the product is shipped East, though some is sold to the local trade and to the canneries. For some time Mr. Tool has had a canning establishment of the place, which is utilized as a means of disposing of the crop when the conditions are not favorable for shipping. This cannery was burned down in August of this year, and has just been rebuilt with all the appliances necessary for putting up 100,000 cases of goods during the season. The average output of this orchard may be summed up about as follows: 5,000 to 6,000 boxes of Bartlett pears, 4,000 being shipped East and the remainder sent to the cannery; 4,000 boxes Beurre Clairgean (fall pears), also shipped East; 5,500 boxes of cherries, mostly sold to the local trade of San Francisco and Sacramento, but next year the cherry-growers will probably ship East through an association; 3500 boxes of plums, mostly shipped to the Eastern markets; 500 boxes of Alexander apples, mostly sent to the mountain States and Territories; 3,000 boxes of peaches, which have generally been sold to the canneries; and ten tons of dried French prunes. Mr. Tool purchased this ranch in 1883, and since owning the place he has set out about 3,000 trees.
He was born in Posey County, Indiana, in 1848. His parents were John W. and Jane M. (McKinley) Tool, his father a native of Georgia and his mother of Kentucky. When he was three years old the family removed to Iowa, near Keosanqua, where his father operated as a pilot on the Des Moines River, as he had been accustomed to do on the Mississippi during his earlier life. He was one of the first pilots on the Des Moines. Mr. Tool received his primary education in the public schools of Iowa, which he continued at the printer’s case, where he worked for twelve years. During that time he assisted in establishing the first morning daily paper published in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1872. This paper was called the Politician, and was owned by Sheldon, Tool & Sweet. He sold out his interest the same year and came to California, where he worked at his trade in the office of the Napa Register, afterward purchasing a half interest in that paper. He left this for the grocery business, in which he continued for ten years, and sold to purchase the orchard which he has managed since. He has probably the largest bearing orchard in Napa Valley, and conducts it in a thorough business-like manner. He was married, July 10, 1877, to Miss Jennie Marks, a native of Iowa. (Pages 348-349)
…the leading hotel man of the city of Redding, California, is a native of England, born August 7, 1834, the son of English parents. He received his education in his native land and, at the age of eighteen years, came to New York and began his business career in this country. For a number of years he was variously employed; worked in a seed garden in New York for eight dollars per month; went to Ohio and drove a team on the Ohio State Canal during the summer of 1852, at twelve dollars per month; for two years worked on a farm in Mercer County, Illinois, at thirteen dollars per month; engaged in flat-boating on the Mississippi River, selling wood to steamboats, being in that business three years; purchased a farm in Illinois and engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1861 r. Groves sold out and returned to England. Two years later he came back to the United States and settled in the iron district of Pennsylvania, where he learned the iron-molder’s trade and worked at it five years. He then removed to Mercer County, Illinois, and took charge of a foundry, which he ran for a year. From there he went to Burlington, Iowa, and worked one winter. In 1865 he went on a farm and engaged in fruit culture, continuing that business four years. Then he purchased eighty acres of land, which he fenced and improved and which, three years later, he sold.
In 1873 Mr. Groves came to California and settled in Colfax, Placer County. There he furnished wood to the railroad and leased a hotel for a year and a half. He also engaged in hauling freight to Nevada City until the completion of the narrow-gauge railroad. In 1878 he sold out and went to Redding and ran the stage and express business from Redding to Shasta. He took the contract for planting eighty acres of land in vineyard and completed the work. He then engaged in the restaurant business on the present site of the Paragon Hotel. After running it a few months he added a lodging house to it. In 1883 the building was consumed by fire, after which Mr. Groves purchased the adjoining lot and built the Paragon Hotel. The increasing demands of his business caused him, in 1886, to build an addition to it. In 1887 he built the Hotel Del Monte, a fine large structure, for lodging purposes. He attractive grounds, ornamented with flowers, shrubs and vines, which surround this house, give it an inviting appearance. The Del Monte is a delightfully quite retreat for those who wish to avoid the noise and bustle of the center of the city where the Paragon is located.
In 1858 Mr. Groves married Miss Rebecca Gregory, a native of Indiana. Their union was blessed with three children, only one of whom is living—William Sherman, born in Illinois. He is with his father in Redding and has charge of the Del Monte House. Both he and his father are obliging business men and are regarded with high esteem by their fellow citizens. Mr. Groves adheres to the Democratic Party. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. (Pages 349-350)
J. H. Steves
…hardware dealer, St. Helena, is truly a representative business man, commanding a large and constantly increasing trade and possessing to the full the confidence and esteem of the community. He is a self-made man in the best sense of that term, having had to make his own way from the beginning. Although still young in years, he has already achieved what many far older than he desires eagerly, namely, success and comfortable means.
Mr. Steves was born in Durand, Winnebago County, Illinois, June 12, 1851, and resided in his birth-place until he was twenty years of age, attending the common-schools of that place and afterward the High School at Rockford in the same State. At Durand he served an apprenticeship of three years at the tinsmith’s trade, and in 1871 moved to Beloit, Wisconsin, and there worked at his trade, remaining with one firm during the whole six years of his stay. On the first day of the year, 1877, he paid a visit to his home at Durand, and, finding his father about to start for California, decided to accompany him. They arrived in San Francisco, January 25, remained in that city a short time, and then, hearing of the opportunities afforded in the Napa Valley, paid it a visit. As a result Mr. Steves settled in St. Helena, finding employment in the shops of W. L. Philllips, with whom he continued for a year and a half. Then (August 13, 1878) bought out the tinware store of Mr. Phillips and began business on his own account. This he carried on with increasing success, adding to his plumbing and tinning business a general line of hareware, and taking the agency for the Cyclone windmills, agricultural implements, wagons, etc., carrying in all a stock of a value approaching $20,000. He has also the agency for Gladding, McBean & Co., of San Francisco, for terra cotta, drain tile, etc. His store is a large and fine one in the new Odd Fellows’ Building, of dimensions 30 x 80 feet. In the large storage yard is piled the drain tile, the store presenting a well-stocked and handsome appearance, such as is hardly to be expected outside the large cities. In addition he has a shop 30 x 30 feet in size, with storage-rooms adjoining of same size. He employs some eight or ten people, under the direction of his efficient foreman, Mr. W. A. Bingham, who has been with him for ten years, and has full charge during Mr. Steves’ absence.
Mr. Steves is a strong Republican in politics, but is far too busy a man to seek for or accept office, although an active worker in conventions and during campaigns. He was married January 8, 1879, to Miss Ida S. Warren, a native of California. They have three children: Henry Edgar, born November 12, 1879; Charles Emory, born August 5, 1881; and Warren Carlton, born May 20, 1884. (Page 350)
George D. Fiske,
...Real-Estate and insurance agent, Woodland, was born in Fiskdale, Worcester County, Massachusetts, July 31, 1827, a son of Henry Fiske, a native of Sturbridge in that county. Fiskdale is now a part of Sturbridge. According to one historian, the origin of the Fiske family in America was as follows:
Two sons of Nicholas Fiske, a knighted physician who emigrated from Stadhough parish in the county of Suffold, England, came to the United States and settled in Massachusetts, which at that time comprised far more territory than it does now. There is now in the possession of the subject of this sketch the coat-of-arms which was given to Nicholas Fiske in the year 1635, in the time of the reign of Charles, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland. Henry Fiske, father of George, was born in Sturbridge in 1795, married Susan Helen Fales at Wrentham, Massachusetts, twenty-two miles from Boston; she was born in that locality. They resided in Massachusetts until 1837, when they removed to Ingham County, Michigan. After a residence of nine years in Ingham County, he died in the town of Leslie, that county, the day before Christmas, 1845. He was the second incumbent of the office of Judge of Probate in that county. After his death, his widow moved with a part of the family back to Massachusetts. Late in life she removed to New Hampshire, where she died, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Susan F. Geround, in 1881, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. She was the mother of seven children, of whom two died in Michigan, one in California from an accident, and Francis L. is residing at Ottawa, Illinois. Her eldest son, Henry M. Fiske, of San Francisco, is a member of the State Board of Health. The daughter is the wife of S. A. Gerould, in Keene, New Hampshire, and the remaining son is George D., the subject of this sketch.
The latter ended his school education at the academy in Jackson, Michigan, returned to Massachusetts and became associated with his uncle, Elisha Fales, commission merchant in Boston, who afterward turned the management of the business over to Mr. Fiske.
In 1848 news of the California gold discovery reached Boston , and after preparation he sailed the next spring on the barque Edward Fletcher for California, in company with twenty-eight others. Three of the organized party, however, came overland through Mexico, arriving a month in advance of the others to make arrangements for transportation to the mines. The vessel belonged to William Fletcher, and was built for the Mediterranean trade and to carry missionaries abroad. Leaving Boston March 4, they came around Cape Horn and arrived at San Francisco on Sunday, September 7—180 days from Boston. They had several exciting experiences on the trip, which would be interesting to relate had we space. Four days after their arrival they went to Sacramento on the schooner Jacob M. Ryerson, paying $14 each as passenger fare and $20 per ton for freight. They hired ox teams and too two loads of provisions to Hangtown; but Mr. Fiske and two others were left behind to take charge of the freight and secure other ox teams as they came in from overland, with which to take the freight and other provisions, etc., to the mines. About a week afterward, with four yoke of oxen, they started on their journey, Mr. Fiske accompanying; but two of the oxen died on the way, the teamster became sick, and finally, after about four days’ travel, they reached Hangtown. The company then voted to dissolve, each one to go his own way, finding that as an organized body they could not accomplish anything.
Mr. Fiske went to the mines on the south fork of the American River, engaged in gold-mining at Salem Bar and also kept a little store. In the fall of that year he sold out his store, returned to Sacramento, and in company with a man named Phillips, bought a team and a lot of goods, with which they made another trip to the mines, sold the goods there, and then went to McDowell Hill and bought out the McDowell & Read store and boarding-house. Business was very brisk at that point, the water having been turned from the bed of the river and the gold yield very large. Mr. Phillips, in making a trip to Sacramento for more goods, died with the cholera, and Mr. Fiske then had to take the road himself while the fearful epidemic was raging. Mr. Fiske, leaving his business in charge of his cousin, William L. Messinger, went East by way of the Isthmus, taking charge of an invalid young man from Rhode Island named Durfee, and sailed for Panama on board the old British barque Enterprise, and was nearly three months reaching Panama. From the Isthmus to New York he sailed on the steamer North America, then the fastest steamship plying between New York and Chagres.
July 26, 1851, Mr. Fiske was married, and on the same day took the train for New York on his way to California, taking also in charge his cousin’s wife, Mrs. Messinger and her child. They sailed on the steamdhip Cherokee for Havana, when they were transferred to the Falcon for Chagres. The Chagres River being very high they took the stern-wheel steamer Aspinwall up that river to Gorgona, and by barge to Cruces, then by mule back to Panama, where they took passage on the steamer Northerner, landing at San Francisco September 9.
Mr. Fiske sold out his store at McDowell Hill the following spring and went into mining operations on a very large scale; but the early rains of October were so heavy as to carry away their flumes and machinery. After the great fire of November 2, 1852, which destroyed Sacramento, Mr. Fiske moved down to that place; and soon the city was inundated, and Mr. Fiske and his wife’s brother, George Loring, were engaged in taking goods around to Brighton in lighters, where they could be conveyed to the mines by teams. In the spring, after the water had subsided, Mr. Fiske and Mr. Loring started in the grocery business and continued it until the fall of 1855, when they sold out and removed to Capay Valley in Yolo County, and engaged in stock-raising and farming. Mr. Fiske, then wishing to locate where he could educate his children, sold again in 1859 and moved to where Woodland now stands. In 1862 he purchased land adjoining Woodland and the same year was appointed United States Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue for the Fourth District, being connected with the department for eight years. Part of this time and subsequently he was Deputy Sheriff under Charles H. Gray. Since about 1863 he has been engaged in the real-estate and insurance business.
Mr. Fiske married Elizabeth C. Loring, a native of Yarmouth, Maine, by whom he had two sons: Harry Waterman, born on McDowell Hill in 1852, graduated at the Cooper Medical Institute at San Francisco, and has since practiced his profession in Plumas, Yolo and San Luis Obispo counties, and died at Cambria, in the latter county, July 31, 1887, leaving a widow. The second son, George Damon, was born in Sacramento in 1855, married a daughter of William Hazelton of Kings River, Fresno County, which is his present home; he has a son and a daughter. April 13, 1890, the subject of this sketch was by the hand of death deprived of his companion of nearly forty years. (Pages 350-352)
William A. Christie
…a farmer near Lakeport, is a native of Callaway County, Missouri, born in 1845. His father was a native of Scotland, and his mother of New Jersey. In the fall of 1852 his father with his family moved to Santa Clara County, California, where he engaged in farming for the following four years. In 1856 he came to Lake County. When William A. was twenty-one years old he engaged in farming, in partnership with his brother. In February, 1889, he bought the farm on which he now lives. It is located about three miles south of Lakeport, in Big Valley, and contains twenty-eight and three—fourths acres of choice land, which he devotes to the production of fruit and vegetables. He has a fine two-story residence and a good barn.
He was married in 1872, to Mrs. Catharine Bourne. They have three children: Isabel, Maggie and Carrie. Mrs. Christie has one daughter from her first marriage, Mary Ellen Bourne . Mr. Christie is a member of the order of the Iron Hall and of the A. O. U. W. (Page 352)
W. S. Humphrey
…harness-maker at Winters, is the son of E. a. and Louisa Catherine Humphrey. His father, a native of Virginia, born March 14, 1832, was a harness-maker by trade, and came to California in 1854, settling first in Sacramento, where he worked at his trade for some time. He then went to Liberty (now Galt), same county, and there owned and conducted a shop until he moved to Winters in 1875, and resided there until his death, November 17, 1889. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Humphrey’s mother is living still. Walter S. Humphrey was born July 6, 1860, in Liberty (now Galt), Sacramento County. In partnership with a brother, R. L., born in the same place in 1864, he is carrying on his father’s business since his death, having now about $3,000 worth of stock, and employing one man.
Mr. Humphrey married Ethel Stewart, who was born in Jones County, Iowa, the wedding taking place in Winters, July 17, 1885. Mr. Humphrey is a member of Damocles Lodge, No. 165, K. of P. (Pages 352-353)
…one of the worthy and reliable citizens of Redding, California, is a native of Sandwich, Illinois, born December 27, 1841. His father, William L. F. Jones, a native of the Green Mountain State, emigrated to Pennsylvania and from there to Illinois in 1836. He was a farmer and blacksmith and one of the brave pioneers of the latter state. Mr. Jones’ grandfather, Nathaniel Jones, was also a native of Vermont. The mother of the subject of this sketch, nee Betsey Misner, was born in Indiana, of German ancestry. To Mr. And Mrs. Jones six children were born, five of whom are living.
Benton remained with his parents, receiving a public-school education and spending his summers in work on the farm. He continued to work on his father’s farm, of which he is the owner, until 1885, when he rented it and came to California, purchasing a home and settling in Redding. He is engaged in the real estate and abstract business and is interested in several placer mines.
In 1875 Mr. Jones married Harriet R. Vance, daughter of Dr. G. E. Vance. One son was born to them, Edwin D., in Redding. The loving wife and mother was attached with that dread disease, typhoid fever, and notwithstanding the best medical treatment and care were given her she died in September, 1887. Politically Mr. Jones is a Republican. He frequently held offices of trust in his Eastern State. He is a member of the A. O. U. W., and is a Chapter Mason. (Page 353)
Norton Parker Chipman
…the subject of this brief sketch, was born at Milford Center, Union County, Ohio, March 7, 1836. Both his parents were born in Vermont, and on his father’s side several of the family were distinguished as statesmen and lawyers in the early part of the country’s history. He had such advantages of education while a boy in the private and public schools as were afforded in Ohio; but his parents moved to the farther West while he was yet in his ‘teens, and settled in Iowa. Here the boy assisted his father in building up a home and conducting his business as a merchant, but not to the neglect of his studies. Young Chipman was a pupil of Samuel F. Howe, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa—one of the most successful educators of his day—and later entered college at Washington, Iowa.
With a liberal education, but without graduating, he became impatient to enter upon the activities of life, and chose the law as a profession. He graduated later at the Cincinnati Law School, and at the beginning of the war was engaged in practice at Washington, Iowa, as a partner of Hon. Joseph R. Lewis, afterward Chief Justice of the United States Court in Washington Territory. When Mr. Lincoln’s call for seventy-five thousand volunteers was sent out, Mr. Chipman was the first to enroll his name in his town, and a company was at once there organized. It became Company “H” of the Second Iowa Infantry—the first three-year regiment from that State—and Mr. Chipman was Lieutenant of the company. The Colonel of the regiment, Hon. Samuel R. Curtis—then a Member of Congress—appointed Lieutenant Chipman Adjutant of the regiment. Upon Colonel Curtis’ promotion as Brigadier General, Lieutenant Chipman was elected by the officers and was commissioned Major of the regiment by Governor Kirkwood. He took part in the early campaigns in Northern and Central Missouri, and was Chief of Staff to General Curtis up to the movement on the Tennessee River by Grant. He was severely wounded at Fort Donelson while charging the enemy’s entrenchments with his regiment. For gallantry at this battle he was commissioned by President Lincoln, Colonel and Additional Aid-de-Camp in the United States Army on the staff of Major-General Halleck, and was, after the siege of Corinth, assigned to his old commander, Curtis, and made Chief of Staff. The Secretary of War detailed him for duty at the War Department in the winter of 1862-63, where he afterward remained until the close of the war. His position was one of confidence and responsibility, and he was near to that great War Secretary until the war ended. He was Judge Advocate of several important military courts, and prosecuted and convicted the Andersonville jailer, Wirz.
He resigned from the army in 1865, after his promotion as Brevet Brigadier General by Secretary Stanton, and opened a law office in Washington City, where he built up a large business. In 1871 he was elected, and in 1873 re-elected by the people of the District of Columbia as Delegate in Congress, and was the first and last Representative ever chosen for that office from the District. He was one of the founders of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was the first Adjutant General under the re-organization, while General John a. Logan was Commander in Chief in his first term, and was Judge Advocate General for General Logan’s second term.
His health failing in 1875 he came to California, intending to return to Washington; but he soon became fascinated with the large enterprises then offering and the health-giving climate everywhere to be found. And he never after lived out of the State, but at once identified himself with her best and highest development.
As an evidence of General Chipman’s enterprise and tireless devotion to active business pursuits, he organized, immediately on coming to the State, a large lumbering company, which, in less that one year from its incorporation, had ten saw mills, two sash and door factories and three flumes I n operation; and in 1876-77 manufactured and sold over 40,000,000 feet of lumber in one season. The investment was large, and, but for the general failure of all enterprises which followed the downfall of the Bank of California, this great scheme would have succeeded and been profitable to its owners. It went down for the time, but was reorganized, and is now one of the most important industries in Northern California. The General has been practicing his profession of the law at Red Bluff since 1879, and has built up a wide clientage, and is among the foremost lawyers of his part of the State. His law partner, Charles A. Garter, has recently been appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, and now resides at San Francisco.
General Chipman takes an active interest in all local enterprises and has given much thought and has written and spoken much upon matters concerning the material development of the State, and is a practical and large fruit grower. He is Vice President of the State Board of Trade, whose labors are solely in the interest of State growth. He is also President of the California World’s Fair Association, whose Executive Committee has in charge the whole matter of the State’s exhibit at Chicago in 1893.
He has never been active in politics in the State, but always takes the stump for the Republican Party on occasions of National and important State elections. He has made the distinctive Republican policy of protection a special study, and his tariff arguments are pronounced clear and convincing by all who hear them, except the tariff-for-revenue believer and free-trader who prefer not to be convinced. At the Republican State Convention in August, 1890, he was a prominent candidate for Governor, and though not nominated he made a most favorable impression, and, as a representative man of the North, the honors of the party may yet await him.
General Chipman writes with great facility upon many subjects, and his helpful pen finds frequent expression through the press and periodicals. His annual address at the State Fair in 1886, and at the Stockton District Fair in 1887, published in the State Reports, are full of material of permanent value to agriculture and the fruit industry of California. He was the first to present in satisfactory form the rise, growth and importance of our fruit industries, which he did in a report to the State Board of Trade in 1889. When the people of Northern California shall make up their minds to demand a larger recognition in the distribution of places of political influence and power, somewhat commensurate with the grand capabilities and the existing merits of that region, it is not improbable that General Chipman may be chosen as their leader.
General Chipman married the daughter of Robert Holmes, of St. Louis, Missouri, in January, 1865; and his wife has been his constant companion ever since. Their home is widely known for its generous hospitality. (Pages 353-355)
Calvin Ruddock, M. D.
…although not a practicing physician at present, yet is one of the oldest citizens of Woodland, and of this State for forty years. His present hardy constitution and hale physique he inherits from the sturdy Scotch. His father, Edward Ruddock, emigrated from Scotland about the age of eighteen years, and the Doctor’s mother is a native of Massachusetts, town of Whately. The Revolutionary War being in progress at the time, he (Mr. E. Ruddock) enlisted in the American Army at Bunker Hill, and served through the remainder of the war. The Doctor’s step-grandfather Stafford, and his grandfather on his mother’s side, Thomas Sanderson, were also both soldiers in this war, serving from the beginning to the end. Edward Ruddock first settled in Boston, where his first occupation was milk-peddling. He afterward moved to Whately, Franklin County, Massachusetts. Shortly after he married and moved into the town of Buckland, where he made his permanent home, bringing up a family of six sons and six daughters. His wife’s maiden name was Martha Sanderson. She was a native of Franklin County, and was seventeen years old at the time of her marriage, while her husband was three years her senior. They lived a happy life together for seventy-eight years, the old gentleman being ninety-eight years old and his wife ninety-seven at their death. When they went to the town of Buckland they rode, both on one horse, a distance of twenty miles into the wilderness and settled on 200 acres of heavily timbered land, which in due time was all cleared except a scanty amount left for fuel.
Calvin Ruddock, our subject, was born in Buckland, Franklin County, Massachusetts, January 18, 1814, and was brought up to the monotonous labor of farm life. At the age of sixteen years he began to learn the carriage making trade in Ashfield, same county, and served an apprenticeship of five years.
After his five years’ apprenticeship expired he went to Clinton, in Oneida County, New York, where he attended a literary school called the Liberal Institute. He afterward began the study of medicine, under the instruction of Dr. Stewart, of that place. About that time the celebrated William H. Seward was elected Governor of New York, in 1840, and Mr. Ruddock went to Albany and attended medical lectures. While there he spent a year in the office of Drs. Wing & Boyd, and continued his study there, while at the same time he attended lectures. Next he attended another course of medical lectures at the Berkshire Medical Institute at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1842. All through this period the Doctor had to devote his vacations from study to teaching school, in order to replenish his scanty store of funds. His first practice was in the town of Pitcher, Chenango County, New York, which, by the way, is the burial place of all his parents. A year afterward he moved four miles further down to the town of Cincinnatus, in Courtland County, where he thought he could do better. Later he removed to Gilbertsville, Otsego County, same State, where he remained until he came West.
During all this time he was a regular physician, but had given considerable attention to homeopathy, and he at length became a zealous and thorough homeopathist. He feared that his change of system would make him unpopular, but it actually increased his patronage.
A digression to general history is here justified. Samuel A. Ruddock, a brother of Edward, was a well-to-do merchant in Boston, who at length became bankrupt; but he was so far advanced in mathematics that the government appointed him Topographical Surveyor for the western country. For nine years he was absent on this duty from his family at their home in Charleston, South Carolina, who during all this time heard nothing from him! His work called him through the Western Territories full to the pacific coast. He gradually worked his way here through Mexico. While here he found gold on what he termed the “Coast Range of the Rocky Mountains.” He had several pieces of metal in his possession when he was captured by the Indians near Fort Hall. To prevent the loss of his life, and even of his effects, he managed to obtain communication with some whites, who came to his relief, proving to the Indians that he was a Government officer; they therefore released him.
The letter which was written by him from this coast, to his brother Edward, gives the details relative to the above facts, and also a general description of the country. He returned to the East by way of Fort Hall, where he met Kit Carson. In later years, Dr. Ruddock having this point in mind, saw Carson at Placerville in 1849, and spoke to him on the subject. The surveyor, having only one eye, was easily described; and when asked as to whether he saw such a man at such a time, Carson replied that he did recollect him, and gave the place of meeting as being between Fort Hall and the States, where Ruddock was then going. He went on to the East, and while in New York had his precious findings assayed, and it proved to be gold twenty-two carats fine.
Mr. Ruddock then continued on his journey to Washington, resigned his position and organized a company for a trip to this coast to follow gold-mining; but as he was about to start, the mountain fever was revived which he had contracted on his journey to the East, and he died; and all traces of his travel and discoveries were lost to the family. It is supposed that by the phrase “Coast Range of the Rocky Mountains,” used in his letter, the Sierra Nevada was meant, as at that day the geography of this region was very obscure. His letters nerved many a ‘49er for the contest and fatigues of the journey. Samuel A. Ruddock laid out his route through the Southern States, New Mexico and onward to the Pacific Coast by way of Fort Hall; and it was while in New Mexico or Arizona on this trip that he was taken sick and was laid up on the desert where there was no water or food for either man or beast, and the escorting company had to move on to some place for subsistence. Mr. Ruddock had therefore to be left alone to die; for to remain was death, and to go on was hope. They left him with his horse, rifle and blankets, etc. On the third day, about sunset, an elk appeared in sight; Ruddock rolled up on his elbows and brought the animal down with his rifle, and by extraordinary effort he crawled up to the fresh carcass, opened a blood vessel and drank to satisfaction. That night he slept well. His fever was broken on the fourth day, and he moved on in pursuit of his company. Before reaching it, and while crossing a small stream running west, he discovered what proved to be told, twenty-two carats fine.
This discovery was made eighty years ago, and the letters referred to were the wonder of Calvin’s youth, and were worn into pieces by frequent perusal. Thus we have another account, to be added to several already published, of the discovery of gold in California prior to Marshall’s discovery in 1848.
Mr. Calvin Ruddock, our subject, left New York State in 1848, with the intention of making a trip to this State with a company of others to whom he had imparted a knowledge of the above facts as a secret; but some of them failed to give security, and the organization was not completed. However, he continued westward, stopped in Wisconsin and practiced his profession for one year, and while there the news went abroad over the world of Marshall’s discovery. He quickly organized a company and crossed the plains with a band of cattle, coming by the old Fort Hall route, and first stopped in this State at Findlay, on Bear River, where for a time they pastured their cattle. They ended their march at Sacramento in 1849, on the site where the old French Hotel was, on Front Street. A few days later the Doctor went on to Placerville, where he spent a portion of the winter mining and practicing medicine. His patients became so numerous that he opened a hospital at Placerville, the first homeopathic hospital on the coast. In the fall of 1851 he came down into the Sacramento Valley to collect money which he had lent, and having to take live-stock for payment, he floated it into Yolo County, and has made it his home here ever since. This movement caused him to turn his attention to stock-raising. He first located on the Monument ranch, on the west side of the Sacramento River, eight miles above the city. About 1857 he bought a place on Willow Slough, half way between Woodland and Davisville, near where Merritt’s Station now is. There the Doctor carried on general farming until 1872, when he moved into Woodland, where he has since resided. The first fifteen or sixteen years of his residence in this city he was in the eastern part of the town; in 1887 he purchased his present home, comprising two and a half acres of land on Oak Avenue, west of Cleveland.
He was married December 25, 1862, to Mrs. A. B. Guilford, who was born in Portland, Maine, a daughter of William Bell.
In political matters the Doctor was an old-time Whig, casting his first Presidential vote for General Harrison. His next vote was for James G. Birney, of Detroit, Abolitionist. Birney had been nominated by a convention in Albany, New York, to which Dr. Ruddock was sent as a delegate from Oneida County. The Doctor was also nominated on the Abolition ticket in Chenango County, for the New York State Senate. He now is a strong Prohibitionist Republican. Religiously he was educated a Congregationalist, and joined that church at the age of sixteen years, but for the past six years he has been a Methodist. (Pages 355-357)
A Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California: Chicago : The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891
Transcribed by Janice Giachino, March, 2007 Pages 348-357
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