J. P Munro-Fraser.

History of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. online

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estimated at considerably over $50,000.

Let us now draw this sketch of Vallejo to a close. Her interests
prospered through the successive regimes of Trustees and other officers.



Appointments had been made whereby the public coffers were filled and
trade was brisk ; so much so, indeed, that the possibility of a decline never
presented itself to the minds of the people. With General John B. Frisbie
as a moving spirit, this conception of prosperity was almost reasonable; but
there came a day when his helping hand was of no avail, and the years of
plenty, in a great measure enhanced by the presence of the dock yard, gave
way to a season of decline, which commenced in 1874, when trade dimin-
ished to a lamentable extent, continuing its downward course until 1878,
when it, in a measure, again revived, and left its lessened population once
more on the increase, with a distant propect of some day recovering the
ground already lost.

The officers of succeeding Boards were as under :

1869— Trustees, A. Powell, President, S. G. Hillborn, Eben Hilton, A. P.
Voorhees, and E. T. Starr; City Recorder, Charles C. Hall; Marshal, Joseph
L. Likins ; Treasurer, J. E. Abbott ; Assessor, J. W. Batchellor ; Clerk, C.

A. Kidder. In this year a term of service of two years was first inaugura-
ted. The fourth Board was organized on September 16, 1871, with John

B. Frisbie as President, having for his colleagues A. Powell, S. G. Hillborn,
A. P. Voorhees, and E. H. Sawyer ; Treasurer, J. E. Abbott ; Assessor, J. W.
Batchellor ; Marshal, J. J. Watkinson ; Recorder, T. H. % Lawlor ; Clerk,
Judson Haycock ; Surveyor, E. H. Rowe. During the tenure of office of
this Board an Act was passed whereby the corporation were empowered to
borrow $50,000 as a fund to protect the city from fire, the principal to be
paid off in twenty years, and bearing interest at the rate of eight per cent
per annum. This Act was passed on January 11, 1872. The original
intention was to appropriate this fund for the building of a reservoir on
Bolsa hill, an elevation to the north of the town, but the project was aban-
doned on the formation of a water company. SI 5,000 of it was used on
digging and planking the Fifth street cut, between North and South Vallejo;
$8,000 were expended on the construction of the City Hall ; while a consid-
erable sum was spent on the City Park, which to-day only shows a result
in a few pickets and eucalyptus trees. Other expenses of a desultory nature
were incurred, swallowing the entire original sum, and, though the interest
is met with becoming punctuality, the principal debt remains unpaid. South
Vallejo had in the meantime claimed an interest in the governing affairs of the
city; therefore, on May 12, 1872, Messrs. J. B. Robinson and Luke Doe were
first elected from that portion of the town. On the 6th of March, 1873, John
M. Gregory, Jr., was elected City Clerk and Attorney, and on December 24,
1873, J. E. Abbott was elected City Clerk and Attorney vice Gregory,
resigned, and J. R. English as City Treasurer vice Abbott, resigned. The
election of the 26th of March, 1 874, resulted in the following selection :
Trustees, W. Aspinall, President, C. B. Denio, E. H. Sawyer, D. W. Harrier,
Henry Connolly, and J. E. Williston ; Treasurer, J. R. English ; Assessor,


William Tormey ; Marshall, S. J. Wright, and City Clerk, J. E. Abbott. In
the year 1876 a new era had commenced in the municipal election, for a
system of elections by wards had been inaugurated, with the accompanying
result : First Ward — William Aspenall, Ed. McGittigan, H. K. Snow ;
Second Ward— E. J. Wilson, President, P. R. Walsh, Charles Weideman ;
Third Ward— John P. Dare ; Treasurer, J. R. English ; Assessor, George
Rounds ; Marshal, Charles Derby ; H. H. Snow, City Clerk. The election
of March 26, 1878, and the second by wards, resulted ; First Ward — D. J.
Reese, J. A. Mclnnes, J. H. Green ; Second Ward — E. J. Wilson, President,
S. C. Farnham, W. C. Greaves ; Third Ward — F. Deininger ; Marshal, W.
McDonald ; Treasurer, J. R. English ; Assessor, W. A. Brace ; City Clerk, A.
J. Brownlie. The Board meets on the first Tuesday of each month.

On the 13th of May, 1878, the Board of Health was organized, and their
first meeting held on June 6th, when the following officers were elected :
President, James Frost, M.D. ; Secretary, A. J. Brownlie ; with a Board
composed of James Topley, F. Deininger, and John Callender. Meetings
held on the last Thursday of each month.

In reference to the different surveys of the city, the first was made in the
year 1850 by Surveyor- General Whiting, Edward Rowe, Mason Fay, and
Doctor L. C. Frisbie, attended by three or four vaqueros to drive away the
wild cattle while the lines were being run. Only that portion of the pres-
ent city lying south of Georgia street was laid out as then surveyed. It
contained about 160 acres of land. In 1856 another survey (already alluded
to) was made, embracing a league of land ; while a third was made when
the town took its rapid start in 1867 or '68.

The site of the city of Vallejo is undoubtedly picturesque ; the undulating
hills which forty years ago General Vallejo had looked upon with becoming
pride, have now been occupied by hundreds of beautiful homes, nearly all
of which are snugly ensconced in their own gardens, surrounded by flowers
of the richest hue and rarest perfume, while for miles around, the hills which
promised so rare a fertility, are now sprouting with a crop, finer than which
no other country can produce. To the right and to the left, as far as the
eye can reach, we gaze upon nought but the progress of civilization and the
richest vegetation. Standing on Capitol hill the placid bay lies at our feet,
its surface without a ripple, and glancing from its peaceful bosom the many
shadows reflected from the shore. The busy Navy Yard breaks what
would otherwise be the monotonous water view ; on its other side we have
the San Pablo bay, while here and there a white shimmering sail proclaims
the passage of some sailing craft, and a cloud of smoke defines the locality
of the fast traveling steamboat, and again, as it were the background of the
picture, Marin county shows its well marked outline. The Coast range of
hills are followed in their uneven line, and grand old Mount Tamalpais
stands like a stolid sentry over its lesser brethren. Below is marked the


busy landing-place, whither flock passengers bound to all points of the com-
pass ; the shrill shriek of the locomotive is heard above the other sounds, as
it is brought back by many an answering echo. Now we hear the more
hollow whistle of the steamer, as she arrives or departs with her freight of
human beings. Again comes the toll of the time bell giving the hour to
the weary workman in the Yard; while the scene is filled in with vessels of
great tonnage riding cosily at anchor at the piers, awaiting cargoes of
precious wheat to be taken across the seas. To the north the fertile Napa
valley stretches away for miles, presenting a landscape of the most ravish-
ing order, backed as it is by mountains of very fantastic shape, while in
the foreground we have that glorious monument erected by the Sons of
Temperance for all orphans whose parents have been called upon to
cross the dark river. A noble thought, nobly executed! Pity 'tis that the
cares of rude business should blot so fair scene ! !

It may not be uninteresting here to produce among the curiosities of
literature connected with Vallejo, the specimens of ways in which it can be
spelt. It is one of the axioms of English grammar that there is no rule for
the spelling and pronunciation of proper names, a rule which would appear
to have been carried out with remarkable unanimity by the correspond-
ents of residents in the city. The list was collected in six months from the
Vallejo Post-office, and is without doubt a most curious specimen of
orthography. They number about one hundred, and are as follows : Val-
laho, Valahoe, Valaho, Valao, Vallajo, Vallajoe, Vallajo, Valajoa, Vala Jae,
Valaja, Vallago, Valago, Vallaiho, Valeejo, Valeajo, Valeijo, Valoege, Valegoa,
Valegio, Valego, Valejo, Vallejo Valle Jo, Vallejoe, Vallejio, Vallejaio,
Valler, Vallejeo, Vallegeo, Valleo, Vallejho, Vallerio, Vallesso, Valeyo, Val-
leyo, Valleyoe, Valleyio, Valley Joe, Valleygo, Valleya, Valeyegoy, Vaeygo,
Valgeo, Valgo, Valiego, Valigo,Valliejo, Vallijo, Valligo,Valigeo, Valliju, Valljo,
Vallo, Valgho, Vally Joe, Valley Jog, Valyo, Vallyo, Vealejo, Veleajho,
Velajo, Velaow, Vellajo, Velegio, Veleijo, Velego, Velegoe, Veleo, Vellejo,
Vellego, Velleijo, Velighlow, Velijo, Velioe, Veljaho, Vel Ja, Vialojo, Villeiu,
Villigj, Villejo, Villgo, Vallejalahoe, Ballejo, Bellejo, Billejo, Salliegro, Levejo,
Falesso, Ralejo, Wallajo, Wallego, Wallejo, Walleja, Walleio, Welayego,
Yallejo, Yalleyjo, Valley Joow and Valahough.

Churches — Schools — Associations — Industries — etc. — of Vallejo.

Methodist Episcopal Church. — The appended historical sketch of the
Methodist Episcopal Church of the City of Vallejo has been supplied by
the Rev. E. I. Jones, the present Pastor — About the middle of 1855, Rev.
William Willmott was appointed in charge of a circuit which included
the towns of Benicia and Vallejo. During that year and a part of the


one following, he preached at Vallejo and partially organized a Methodist
church. Before his advent, Mrs. Commodore Farragut, the Misses Turner
and others had conducted a Sunday school, which seems to have been the
nucleus around which Mr. Willmott gathered his congregation.

In January, 1856, Gen. John B. Frisbie donated and deeded the present
church site to David G. Farragut, David Turner, Simeon Jenkins, Charles
H. Oliver and James H. Green " in trust for the use of the Methodist
Episcopal Church in the town of Vallejo, etc." Upon this lot, and largely
through the exertions of Farragut, was built a small, rough structure which
served for a time the double purpose of chapel and school-house. Mr.
Willmott went to the Atlantic in the summer of 1856 and his pulpit was
supplied by Rev. Geo. B. Taylor.

Rev. C. V. Anthony who became pastor in September, 1856, perfected
the organization. Written by him and preserved among the church records
is a quaint narrative from which the following extract is taken. " The church
was built of planks placed endwise and battened with narrow strips.
Only the casings and cornice were planed ; the other parts were rough and
washed with yellow ochre and lime. The pulpit was a high, old-fashioned
concern, with a trap door under the preachers feet, where the sexton who
was generally preacher also, kept the sperm oil and other things for light-
ing the church. In former times this room under the pulpit had served
another purpose. The pastor who built the church put a cot down there
and, when he retired, simply lifted the trap-door and went to bed, leaving
the door up. During my first year, we succeeded in paying the old debt of
four hundred dollars. More comfortable seats were provided, the church
was painted and a fence put around it. Aforetime, it had been a convenient
place for cattle to shade themselves, and on Sundays we were often dis-
turbed by their contentions and sometimes shaken by their scratchings
against the corners of the church."

At the close of this pastorate the church had fourteen members. This
number does not, however, indicate the actual size or strength of the con-
gregation, which included among its most zealous workers the adherents of
other churches which then had no organizations in the town. In Mr.
Anthony's narative, David Turner and Mrs. Farragut, Episcopalians, and
Nehemiah Smith, Presbyterian, are mentioned as having been notably
active and helpful. Dr. Woodbridge, Presbyterian, held services in the
church every Sunday afternoon but had no organization.

The following named pastors succeeded, their terms beginning in Septem-
ber of the years specified : James Hunter, 1858 ; Kilpatrick, 1859 ; W. B.
May, 1860 ; J. W. Hines, 1861 ; B. F. Myers, 1863; P. L. Haynes, 1865.

During the pastorate of the last named, the membership nearly doubled
and the church was greatly improved by the addition of a vestibule and
bell tower.


Rev. Galen A. Pierce became pastor in September, 1867, and had a
notably acceptable term of two years, at the close of which there were fifty-
five members and a property valued at $4,600.

Rev. Charles E. Rich followed in August, 1869. The city was more pop-
ulous and prosperous during his term than before or since. The congrega-
tion so increased that the church was lengthened fifteen feet, a vestry-room
was added, and the whole edifice so improved as to be substantially, a new
one. A debt was, however, incurred which greatly embarrassed the church
for about seven years. In August, 1870, there were ninety-five members
and property valued at $7,000, including the present parsonage, then but
recently acquired.

Rev. A. K. Crawford was pastor for one year from September, 1872, re-
porting fifty-five members at the close of his term.

Rev. W. S. Urmy followed in 1873 and remained three years, at the end
of the second of which he reports the membership at one hundred and
$2,600 as having been expended upon the church property, mostly in partial
payment of the debt heretofore mentioned. At the close of his term the
membership had decreased to seventy-one and nearly one-half of these
were nominal or non-resident.

Rev. Ed. I. Jones, the present pastor — 1879 — became such in September,
1876, at which time removals had so deciminated the membership and
business depressions so discouraged those remaining, that this pastorate
opened unhopefully, especially, in view of the fact that there was still an
indebtedness of about $1,500. On Sunday eve, December 8, 1878, the
church was almost totally destroyed by fire, originating, it is supposed in
a defective flue. The proceeds of an insurance policy for $1,500 were
applied upon the indebtedness. The society now numbers about fifty, owns
the fine church site, upon which is a vestry-room and a parsonage. Geo.
W. Smith, James H. Green, Samuel Kitto, John Q. Adams and Frank L.
Carlton are the trustees.

Throughout its twenty-five years of existence this church has been
peculiarly impeded by the floating character of the population and by suc-
cessive drafts upon its original resources consequent upon the organization
of four other Protestant churches in the town. Its officers not vanquished
by move than ordinary obstacles, are hopefully planning for the future.

First Presbyterian Church. — Previous to the arrival of the present pastor,
Revd. N. B. Klink, in Vallejo, the Reverend S. Woodbridge, D. D. of Beni-
cia, had preached to a congregation in this city for several years on the
afternoon of every sabbath. At the time there was no Presbyterian church ;
service was therefore held in the Methodist Episcopalian building. On as-
certaining that it was Mr. Klink's intention to reside permanently in Vallejo
Dr. Woodbridge resigned the duties to him ; and the Methodists, being now
without a minister, invited him to supply them, and granted the use of their


house of worship until September, 1863. The First Presbyterian Church
was organized in the month of November, 1862, while they were still wor-
shipping in the Methodist Church. According to public notice, the congre-
gation met in the Methodist Episcopalian Church, November 22, 1862, for
the purpose, if the way be clear, of organizing a Presbyterian Church. The
meeting was called to order, and opened with prayer. The Reverend N. B.
Klink was chosen chairman of the meeting, and Henry Blackman, secretary.
The following named persons being present with letters of dismission from
other Presbyterian Churches, and voluntarily wishing to be associated to-
gether for Divine and Godly living, were, on motion, formed into a Presby-
terian Church of the " old school," within the bounds of Benicia Presbytery
and Synod of the Pacific : Mrs. Helen Williamson ; Carrie E. Frisbie ;
Susan Callender ; Elizabeth Chapman ; Isabella Rule ; Eliza Roloff ; Phebe
A. Frisbie ; Sylvia M. Burns ; J. Wright ; J. Tessroe, with Messrs. Stephen
Klink and E. H. M. Bailey. There being none present who were willing to
accept the office of " Ruling Elder," the church was only provisionally or-

The Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church in the United States
of America, and also the Form of Government and the Directions for Wor-
ship, were adopted as their standards of Faith and Order ; and A. Powell,
Daniel Williamson, James Topley, E. H. M. Bailey, and Stephen Klink,
were elected a Board of Trustees, and were also chosen as a building com-
mittee, when immediate steps were taken for the erection of a house of wor-
ship on two lots on the northwest corner of Marin and Carolina streets,
which were the gift of General John B. Frisbie.

During the summer of 1863 the building of the church was proceeded
with ; and on the first Sunday in September in that year the opening ser-
mon was preached by the Reverend A. Fairbairn; yet, though incomplete,
worship was maintained in it for full two years, when, on November 5,
1865, it was solemnly dedicated to the worship of Almighty God by the
Reverend Doctor Woodbridge. The edifice, along with the bell, cost $8,500.

In April, 1866, Messrs. E. H. M. Bailey and L. G. Oliver were elected
Ruling Elders ; and on May 8th, they having been ordained, were duly in-
stalled as officers of the church, on which ceremony its organization became
complete. The present session consists of Samuel Duncan, C. B. Towle,
and Robert B. Barr, with whom is associated the acting pastor. The whole
number of members received from the organization is 185 ; the number now
in membership being 77, while the Sabbath School, under the superinten-
dency of Elder Robert B. Barr, numbers about 100.

The Church of the Ascension — Protestant Episcopal. — For many years
prior to 1867, service, according to the form of the Protestant Episcopal
Church, had been held in Vallejo; but it was not until the 21st of July, of that


year, that any steps had been taken to form a permanent association of the
kind. On that Sunday the services were conducted by the Bishop of the Dio-
cese, the Right Reverend Wilbraham Kip, and the Reverends Messrs. Tread-
way and Perry, during which, intimation was given that a meeting of the
association would be held at the office of the Honorable Paul K. Hubbs, on the
Monday following. The meeting was duly convened, and an association in-
corporated under the laws of the State, and the Diocese of California, under
the name as given above, the following gentlemen subscribing to the Decla-
ration and Articles of Association : Paul K. Hubbs, T. H. Gardner, R. D.
Hopkins, W. H. Lamb, Paul Shirley, Jas. Price, L. C. Fowler, Win. Taylor,
Jr., Casper Schenck, Thomas A. Thornton, Ed. A. Willats, Jas. A. Green, A.
T. Hawley, W. C. Root, Geo. Loomis, Wm. A. Parker, J. W. Haskin, and W.
H. Stanley. The subjoined vestrymen were, thereupon, elected : Messrs.
Paul K. Hubbs, Wm. H. Lamb, L. C. Fowler, J. H. K. Barbour, Wm. A.
Parker, J. W. Browne, W. C. Root, Wm. Taylor, Jr., J. W. Haskin, Philip
Hickburn, and R. D. Hopkins, with Messrs. Fowler and Hubbs, as Senior
and Junior Wardens, and Messrs. Hopkins and Lamb, Secretary and Treas-
urer respectively. After the election of these officers the Rev. A. C. Tread-
way was unanimously chosen the first Rector of the Church of the Ascen-
sion, at Vallejo. In the course of time laws and by-laws, for the governing
of the executive body, were framed and brought into effect. On the 29th of
July, a building committee was appointed, with power to solicit subscriptions
in aid of the erection of a church. General John B. Frisbie generously pre-
sented them with two lots whereon to erect the sacred edifice ; plans and
specifications were gratuitously prepared by Mr. Gunning, architect, of Mare
Island ; and a Fair was held by the ladies of the congregation and their
friends, to still further augment the funds. The foundation stone was laid
on the 4th of May, 1868.

On the 8th of April, 1868, Mr. Tread way, in a letter of -great feeling,
tendered his resignation, which was duly accepted, in fitting terms, in meet-
ing assembled, when it was resolved to invite the Rev. Dr. Breck to take
charge of the parish, in connection with the Associate Mission, which he had
established in Benicia. In the meantime, Mr. Treadway had returned to New
York ; but such was the estimation in which he was held, that it was unani-
mously resolved on the 15th of July, to invite him to return to his former
charge, which he signified his willingness to do ; and on the 10th of December
he once more presided at a vestry meeting of the parish. During this period
the building of the church progressed satisfactorily. On the evening of the
9th of March, 1870, the introduction of gas into the building was com-
pleted ; and on Sunday, the 13th, the edifice was duly consecrated by the
Bishop of California, before an overflowing congregation. On the 5th of
August, 1871, Mr. Treadway once more tendered his resignation, the accept-
ance of which was declined, on the plea " that the interests of the church


would not prosper so well under the ministry of any other person," when
the Rector signified his willingness that the question of his retirement re-
main in statu quo ; he, however, again opened the question on the 7th of
February, 1872, stating his intention of returning home to the East in
April or May following.

Still, the vestry were unwilling to part with their pastor, who, they sug-
gested, should be tendered a leave of absence ; but at last he prevailed, and
his resignation was accepted, to take effect on the 31st of December, 1872.
His farewell sermon is described as being a deep utterance of pastoral love,
which was both appropriate and impressive. A successor was found in the
Rev. Adam A. McAllister, who was nominated to the vacant Rectorship on
the 13th of November, 1872. On the 21st of December, the vestry lost, by
death, one of its most active members, in Paymaster Mead, IT. S. N., when
condolotary resolutions were directed to be forwarded to his family ; the
meeting, however, whose painful duty it was to pass the foregoing, had a
more pleasant one in thanking the " ladies of the Episcopal Benevolent
Association of Vallejo, for having realized the means, and by their generosity,
devoted them to the liquidation of the debts of the Church of the Ascension
from embarrassment, and enabling the church, unfettered by pecuniary
obligations, to renew and enlarge its work." On the 5th of January, 1874,
Mr. McAllister now resigned, when the pulpit was offered to and accepted
by the Rev. E. L. Greene, who, on account of family affliction, sent in his
resignation on the 18th of February, 1875 ; it was accepted ; and on the
25th of the same month, the Rev. W. H. Moore was offered the parish. At
a meeting of the vestry, held on the 16th of June, 1875, it was resolved to
move the church back 25 feet, which was subsequently carried out, and the
ground graded, a fence built, shrubbery planted, and the premises
otherwise adorned. The funds of the parish were in somewise aided by a
bequest from the late Senior Warden, Paul K. Hubbs, who had died on the
17th of November previously. In the death of this gentleman, the church
and parish lost one of its staunchest supports ; it was mainly to his good
offices that the " Church of the Ascension " was organized ; and the esteem
in which he was held is touchingly alluded to in the resolution directing
realization of the bequest. On the 6th of April, 1876, death had again en-
tered in ; once more there was a vacancy among the wardens ; this time, in
the person of Mr. W. C. Root, the first person confirmed in the parish. He
was elected a vestryman at the time of the organization of the parish, and
had been one of its officers in successive years.

At a meeting held on the 18th of April, the Reverend W. A. Moore an-
nounced his wish to resign, which took effect on the 15th of May. Mr.
McAllister once more temporarily occupied the pulpit until the appointment
of a successor, who was found in Dr. Chapman, who in his turn left the
parish for his home in Sacramento in August, and was succeeded by the

Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 23 of 57)