Charles Frederick Holder.

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ness College. Mr. W. C. Ramsey is
the principal and proprietor of it, and
under his able management and di-





rection it has been raised to the high-
est standard of excellence hitherto
reached by similar institutions.

Mr. Ramsey is one of those self-
made men whose elevation by their
own exertion marks them as pos-
sessed of exceptionally high quali-
ties, and of energy and determina-
tion rising above the general plane.
Born in central Illinois, and left an
orphan at an early age, he worked
on a farm during the summer and
attended school in the winter. Such
was his economy that he saved suffi-
cient means to enable him to finish his
education at the State Normal Uni-
versity of Illinois, graduating from
that institution in 1873. In 1879 he
came to California, and in 1881 was
engaged as a teacher in Stockton
Business College, which had then
been established six years. He be-
came proprietor of the institution in
1886, at which time there were but
eleven pupils enrolled; during the

past year there were over 700 stu-
dents. Twelve teachers are empl<
in this college — persons of experience
and abilit) r , who combine couru
treatment with firm discipline. Mr.
Ramsey's long experience of nineteen
years in the profession has taught
him what constitutes success in a
teacher, and he surrounds himself
with men of worth and capability.
The courses of the school are thorough
and comprehensive. In the theoreti-
cal department, which includes pupils
from those who are just learning to
read and write to graduates from
the high school, the student decides
for himself how much he learns, the
work being for the most part indi-
vidual, without the incentive of com-
petition. The most interesting de-
partment is the Actual Business or
Practical Department, in which two
banks are established, doing business
with one another as if they were in
cities far distant from each other.


The pupils are supplied with all
the requisites for such a business, a
good representation of money, drafts,
checks, notes, mortgages, deeds, due
bills, etc. , being in full supply. Then
there is the Shorthand and Typewrit-
ing Department, and lastly the Nor-
mal or Teachers' Department, where
about one hundred students are being
prepared for the educational profes-
sion. The courses are all elective,
and a pupil may select such and as
many studies as he may choose.

In the matter of churches, Stock-
ton is as well provided as in the
matter of schools. There are now
twenty-three houses of worship in
the city and twenty-six
religious organizations,
exclusive of those auxil-
iary to the churches. Un-
til recently the church
architecture of the city
was rather antiquated, as
much of it still is. With-
in a few years, however,
the principal Methodist
congregation erected a
magnificent church edi-
fice at a cost of nearly
$60,000, and St. John's
Episcopal parish erected

a handsome new church -

at a cost of nearly $30,-
000. St. Mary's Catholic
church has recently been remodelled
and improved at a cost of $10,000,
and within three years five small
churches have been built to accom-
modate the people in rapidly growing
suburbs, and in those districts within
the city which are rapidly being filled
with residences.

Among the public buildings of the
city, the Court-house stands pre-emi-
nent. It is a magnificent granite
pile erected at a cost of $260,000,
and is a spacious and commodious
edifice in which are all the county
and city offices. It is furnished with
the best and most improved modern
furniture and office fittings, fire-
proof vaults, and conveniences for
transacting public business. The

court-rooms are spacious, and the
judge's chambers conveniently situ-
ated for those having business th<
in, and the rooms are heated and
lighted with natural gas, furnished
by a well sunk by the countv on the
lot whereon the jail is situate
Court-house is 156 ft
feet wide, and stands in the 1
a block 300 feet square. It is sur-
mounted by a dome 17a feet high,
on which stands a colossal
the Goddess of Justice
dome a fine view of the surrounding
country and its farms, fields, vine-
yards, and orchards can be had I Mi
the east the Sierra Ne


tains bound the landscape, on the
south is the vast San Joaquin valley,
on the west the Coast range, and on
the north the view is limited by the
scattered oaks and other forest trees
which from that height and distance
appear like a forest.

One square north of the (
house on San Joaquin Street is the
new jail, a handsome red brick struc-
ture with stone trimmings, which,
were it not for the steel gratings at
the windows, would not be recognized
as a prison. It is within two s<ji:
of the business centre, and, instead of
being regarded as damaging to the
surrounding property, is admired
an improvement.

On the block next south from the



Court-house is the Free Public Li-
brary building, a small building of
granite of modest design, which was
erected in 1889, and is soon to be in-
corporated in a building that will
cover an area of 150 by 100 feet, de-
signs for which have been prepared
and accepted. The new building
will be a work of architectural art of
which any city of double the size of
Stockton could well be proud. The
present building was erected from a
fund the nucleus for which was a
donation of $5,000 by Frank Stewart,
a pioneer business man of the city,
and the new will be paid for out of
$75,000 bequeathed by Dr. W. P.
Hazelton, a pioneer dentist of this
city, who died in 1890 in Tarrytown,
N. Y. Dr. Hazelton accumulated
his first capital in Stockton, and when
he had become wealthy determined
to testify his gratitude to its people
for the encouragement he received
here. The bequest shows that his
gratitude was great, and as
he also left an ample fund
for the purchase of books,
and for medals for those
grammar-school pupils who
excel in scholarship and de-
portment, he has in his turn
placed Stockton under an ob-
ligation of gratitude deeper
than that which he has so
richly repaid.

The Masonic Temple is a
plain but substantial build-
i ng that
occupies a
half- block.
It is of
brick with
stone trim-
m i n g s ,
three stor-
ies high,
and con-
tains a
music hall,
rooms, and
other as-


sembly rooms, on the upper floors,
and on the first floor is the post office,
stores, offices, etc.

The post office will not long re-
main in the Masonic Temple, how-
ever, for the United States has pur-
chased a site on the southeast corner
of California and Market Streets, on
which will be erected a building to
contain all the Federal offices located
here. The appropriation for the
purpose is only $75,000, which, after
the price of the site is deducted, is
inadequate to the purpose of putting
up a becoming structure, and Con-
gress should appropriate an additional
sum sufficient to erect a building
worth $75,000.

The County Hospital, a frame
building just outside the eastern
border of the city, was destroyed by
fire in the fall of 1892, and will be
replaced by a handsome brick build-
ing sufficient to house 250 inmates.
The means for that purpose were
raised by the sale of county bonds
which were recently taken at a
premium of 2 per cent.

The California Asylum for the
Insane, which was the first institu-
tion of that kind in the State, is
located in Stockton. It consists of
four large asylum buildings, three
physicians' residences, with store-
houses, engine-houses, laundries,
stables, workshops, etc., within an
enclosure embracing sixty acres,
all of which was donated by Cap-
tain Web-
er, whose
1 iberality
was almost
A detailed
d escription
i n gs and
would b e
too long for
such an ar-
ticle as this,
and this
brief out-



line must suffice. Within the en-
closure are three natural gas wells,
one of which supplies all the gas
needed for fuel in the laundry, and
another is being sunk which will be
sufficient to supply fuel and light for
the whole institution. The first,
which was sunk for water, yields but
a small supply of gas, which is not
utilized, but the water of both the
completed wells is used for irrigating
the gardens within the grounds. The
cost of the asylum buildings was
about $503,000, and they are sufficient
for the accommodation of about 2,000

The Yosemite Theatre has been
built by a company which was incor-
porated on June 1st, 1891. Ground for
the building was broken on August
15th. The structure, which is of the
finest red pressed brick with terra-
cotta trimmings, covers an area of 150
feet square. It is in the form of an H.
The theatre and the office building
are separate. They are divided by
a lighted court ten feet wide, on each
side of which are brick walls and iron

The entire main entrance, includ-
ing the box-office lobby, is finished
with marble wainscoting, imported
tile floor of a buff hue, and hard-
wood. Plastic relief decorations in-
crease the pleasing aspect of this
corridor. Oil colors of soft tones
that blend with the dark marble and
hard- wood have been used.

The foyer decorations are a splen-
did example of the Empire style. The
chandeliers in the foyer deserve to
be termed magnificent. They were
especially designed for a house fur-
nished in the strict Empire fashion.

There are niches in the wall on
the right of the foyer — the right on
entering. One of them <ach

side of the ladies' parlor. In t';
niches are settees, which are uphol-
stered in corduroys. They afford
handsome and comfortable louagifig-
places between acts. The seats are
the best grade of Andrews' opera
chairs. They are made of polished
oak wood, are upholstered in rich old
yellow plush, have springs, and are
not only wide enough to suit all, but
are set far enough apart in rows to

73 6


avoid any cramping of knees. Three
rows in front in the dress circle
are upholstered like the orchestra

The boxes are all embraced in the
limit of the proscenium arch. This
arch is a grand sight. Its grandeur
is better appreciated when viewed
from the dress circle than beneath.
Its soffit is 26 feet deep. The boxes
on each side of it emerge from be-
tween beautifully proportioned Ionic
columns. One of these columns sep-
arates adjoining boxes, and another
is on the outer side of each box.
The columns carry purely classical
entablature, which is surmounted by
a rich Empire frieze. From the top
of this frieze on each side the sound-
ing board rises toward the centre of
the arch. The acoustics of the. the-
atre are perfect.

The stage was constructed under
the personal supervision of Thomas
Harrington. It is 38 feet deep, 68
feet wide and 60 feet high, being 3
feet deeper than the California thea-
tre. It is a completely equipped
stage. There are twelve large dress-
ing-rooms. A pretty feature is the
brass chain and posts which form the
footlight guard.

The school architecture of Stock-
ton is not, as a whole, a matter of
which the city can boast. Until
recently the buildings, like most
other buildings in the city, were
more remarkable for strength than
beauty. The spirit of improvement
which has inspired individuals to
modernize and beautify their homes
and business houses reached the
schools when the Fremont school
building was erected. This was so
satisfactory that the hand of im-
provement was next laid on the Jef-
ferson building, which was trans-
formed into a handsome structure.
Then the wand of art was laid on the
Washington or High School, and it
rose one story higher and assumed
form more becoming to the modern
city of Stockton, and to its beautiful
surroundings of beautiful residences,

neatly improved streets, and the
beautiful little park called Fremont
square, its northern vis-a-vis.

The architecture of Stockton has
undergone much change in ten years.
Severe utility seemed the rule a dec-
ade ago, but now great attention is
paid to ornamentation, and the result
in the residence quarters is delight-
ful. With the rise of a few modern
residences, taste seemed to change
almost at once, and now those who
can afford handsome homes seem to
have become imbued with a spirit of
emulation in that direction. The
number of handsome residences that
have been built within five years is
remarkable in a city that has had a
reputation abroad for being almost

Among the fine residences erected
within a few years are those of R. E.
Wilhoit, and R. C. Sargent, views of
which are printed herewith. J. M.
Welsh recently finished a residence
which cost him $20,000. E. W. S.
Woods and his brother J. N. Woods
each erected residences that cost
$15,000 each, and the number of those
that cost from $5,000 to $10,000 that
have been added to the city's homes
in a few years is too great to notice
in detail here.

Wheat-raising has been the chief
agricultural industry of the territory
tributary to Stockton. Though far-
mers have prospered, it is becoming
more and more apparent every year
that it is not a profitable industry.
To escape it, and to secure greater
prosperity, an increase of population,
and more desirable rural homes,
great attention is given to irrigation.
One system with about twenty-five
miles of canal is now in operation
and is working magic changes. The
orchard and vineyard, the dairy farm,
and the handsome rural residence
will soon supplant the great wheat
ranch with its wide and lonesome
stretches of field, varied but not re-
lieved by occasional shanties. Water,
the great resolvent, will soon make
the soil yield any kind of a crop in


any season, and fine farm-houses will
no longer be moved five, six, and
eight miles into Stockton as has 'been
done by ranchers whose families
would escape the lonely life. Homes
in the country will then be desirable,
and the more there are, the more
prosperous will Stockton become.

The other irrigation projects are
being- industriously pushed, and
when they are completed, within the
present year, nearly every acre of
land in the country will be within
reach of their waters. This will
effect a great change in the city as


well as in the farming districts, and
the population of the city, which has
increased about one-third since the
census of 1890 was taken, will more
than double itself before another
federal enumeration is made.

Though Stockton is net noted as
being in a fruit-raising region, the
records of fruit shipments by rail
show that it is the third in po'int of
magnitude in the State. These ship-
ments do not include the large amount
that goes to San Francisco every day
m the fruit season, when a steamer
leaves in that trade two or t




hours before the regular daily packet
steamer. Eight hours is required
for the trip to San Francisco, and
fruit and vegetable raisers can send
their products to consumers in that
city, and lay them on their breakfast
tables fresh from the gardens but
little more than half a day after they
leave the gardens.

There is a large amount of capital
in Stockton, and most of its impor-
tant enterprises have been carried on

capitalists and thus got them. The
indebtedness of both city and county
is therefore virtually all due to their

Stockton's five banks are almost
exclusively owned by the people of
the county. Of these three doing a
general banking business, only one
being a national bank, while the
other two are savings banks. They
are among the soundest and best
managed in the country, and in fact


with the money of its people. Its
city and county bonds issued for
street, sewer, wharf, and building
improvements have been bought
largely by its resident capitalists,
who, knowing how secure is the in-
vestment, have usually bid higher
than non-residents. An exception
to this rule was found in the recent
sale of county bonds for the new poor
farm and the re-erection of the
county hospital. An agent for the
State school fund outbid the local

Stockton has had but one bank failure
in many years, and that was such a
small one that it did not cause a rip-
ple in the business world; the bank
having almost wound up its affairs
before a sudden demand upon it dis-
closed its weakness.

Failures in Stockton are rarities in
any line. Its business is carefully
conducted ; most of its business men
have been long in the city, and those
who are not old residents are trained
business men who have recently



been attracted hither by learning of
the solidity of its growth, and by
having a knowledge of its resources
and surroundings. Good and pru-
dent business men have no difficulty
in obtaining money with which to do
business, but Stockton is a poor place
for the mere adventurer. Within
the past ten years several such have
come here with dazzling schemes to
ensnare capital, but after wasting
much eloquence have gone elsewhere
to succeed where men are more san-
guine and have more capital than

The influence of the combined
agencies enumerated have operated
to cause Stockton to grow very
rapidly within the past few years.
In 1880, the census credited the city
with 10,287. This was only 221
more than were counted in 1870. In
1890 the increase was 4,096, and the
population was given as 14,376. A
city census, completed May 5th this

year, shows 17,759 inhabitants, an
increase of 3,383 in less than three
years. All these figures apply
the city proper, which is comprised
within the quadrangle two miles
square. On the north, the east, and
the south, the population has o\
flowed until there are probably 5,000
people in the suburbs. Then
nothing to mark the city from t:
suburbs. Thecentresol veil

lined with residences on each side,
form the eastern and southern bound-
aries. The northern boundary
street on whose north side lie some
of the most elegant residences and
grounds in the country, while on
each of these three sides the suburbs
spread out from a half-mile to a mile,
and two of them are thickly covered
with the homes of people who <.
their bread in the great manufactories
within the city limits.

Stockton's situation, at an altitude
of only thirty feet above mean sea-




level, on land that was originally
intersected by sloughs or sluggish
streams, that in the dry season had
little or no current, made the drain-
age problem a grave one, that grew
graver as the years went by, and the
population increased. Most of these
sloughs and streams have now been
filled, and the water diverted into
other channels, but no system of
sewers was devised to take their
place until a few years ago.

A very complete system was
adopted, however, and is being rapid-
ly constructed. As the natural slope
of the land is very slight, art had to
supply the deficiency. The system
adopted was that of draining the city
sewage into a vast reservoir, and then
by powerful pumps lifting the sew-
age and forcing it through pipes to
the San Joaquin River, two miles dis-
tant. Rain-water is disposed of in
a separate system of mains which
flow into the channels of the harbor.
The pumping station, located in the
southwestern part of the city, is a
handsome little building that is fur-
nished with means of consuming the
foul gases that arise from the sewage
in the reservoir, and no unpleasant
odors escape therefrom.

The outfall pipe is provided with
outlets, from which the sewage may
be taken in the dry season to be used
on the land over which it passes for
irrigation or fertilization.

Water is supplied to the city by a
corporation whose works are located
on the eastern border of the town.
The source of supply is a large num-
ber of deep wells, sunk far below all
danger of pollution from the surface.
The works have recently been re-
built, the machinery greatly enlarged,
and new mains laid throughout the

The streets are illuminated with
electric lights, and electricity sup-
plies the power by which street-cars
are propelled every few minutes over
two lines, one of which is nearly four
miles long and the other two miles.

Other lines are to be constructed

at an early day, and the shorter of
the existing lines is soon to be ex-
tended northward and eastward, into
suburbs that have grown up within
the last three years.

Stockton is only two miles square
as its plat is recorded in the county
records. Stockton in reality has
overflowed those lines a mile to the
eastward, a' like distance to the south-
ward, and is rapidly extending north-
ward, but its progress westward must
be limited to the land lying north of
Stockton channel, because that to the
south is too low to be desirable for
residences. The population of legal
Stockton is a little over 15,000 and
the population of actual Stockton is
nearly 20,000.

Stockton owes much of its pros-
perity to its location at the head of
tide-water navigation. This made
it the natural metropolis of the great
San Joaquin valley. From this port
wheat is transported by water to San
Francisco Bay for seventy-five cents
per ton, hence vast quantities of
wheat and barley find a market here
beside that which is used by the
mills. Being one of the "terminal
points" on the Southern Pacific Rail-
road, it enjoys lower railroad freights,
and these two advantages have oper-
ated greatly to its commercial ad-
vantage. The advantage of cheap
river transportation has made it the
greatest lumber mart in the interior
of the State, and its grain, lumber,
and manufacturing business attract
large numbers of people from distant
towns, who greatly enliven the retail
trade in all lines.

The traffic on the river is so great
that one transportation company has
thirteen steamers, large and small,
almost constantly in commission,
another has two large steamers, and
besides these there are nearly or quite
one hundred other craft that carry
lumber, coal, ha3% grain, tan-bark,
and other bulky commodities hence
or bring them to Stockton. There
are three miles of improved wharves,
and the whole water-front of about



:seven miles must, within a few years,
be improved by bulkhead wharves
to accommodate the increasing com-

Another factor in producing the
prosperity which Stockton enjoys is
its natural gas. It has been known
for nearly forty years that inflamma-
ble gas could be found at an incon-
siderable depth in the earth under
the city. That knowledge was not
utilized to any extent until 1887,
when Jerome Haas, a Pennsylvanian,
who had had some experience with
•gas wells in his native State, sunk a
well whose depth is only known to
him, within the city limits, and got
a flow of gas sufficient to justify him
and his associates in laying an ex-
tensive system of pipes in the city,
■and supplying the gas for lights and
fuel. This gave great impulse to
gas-seeking, and there are now fifteen
gas-wells either within the city limits
or within a short distance. Some of
these supply but few besides stock-
holders in the corporations owning
them, while others sell enough to
pay handsome dividends. They
range in depth from 976 to 1,970 feet,
and from 8 to 12 inches in diameter.
The gas is found in heavy flows of
water, and is thereby divested of its
carbon, which makes it an excellent

tfuel, but makes it necessary to supply
carbon by artificial means to make it
a good illuminant.

Among the moral agencies of
Stockton, her newspapers must be
counted as equal, in their province,
to the schools and the churches.
The history of daily journalism in
Stockton extends back forty years,
and is necessarily too long to be fully
treated here. The daily newspapers
of to-day are the Independent, the Mail,
and the Record. The first-named was
removed here from San Andreas,
Calaveras County, early in 186 1. It
has had a checkered career, and has
■changed proprietors many times, but
■during eight years past has been
published by J. L. Phelps and C. L.
Ruggles (J. L. Phelps & Co.). Mr.

Phelps, who has lived in Stockton
nearly twenty-five years, is the editor

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 98 of 120)