J. P Munro-Fraser.

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

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charter members : Jas. Johnson, S. P. Sorenson, A. H. Hawley, M. S. Stone,
John Davis and Chas. Davis. The following named members have served
as N. G's : M. S. Stone, 1870 ; S. P. Sorenson and A. H. Hawley, 1871 ; Jas.
Johnson and E. W. Westgate, 1872; J. D. Ingersoll and Wm. Ferguson,
1873; J. M. Perry and Rev. A. F. Hitchcock, 1874; Jos. Nevin and J. C.
Kraus, 1875; John O'Haraand J. E. Pratt, 1876; J. E. Pratt, (re-elected) and
John Davis, 1877; A. H. Peterson and S. Neilson, 1878. Following is the
list of officers elect for the ensuing term : Simon Neilson, N. G. ; Jerome
Emigh, V. G. ; J. C. Kraus, Secretary ; S. P. Sorenson, Treasurer. The pres-
ent membership is 65.

C. of R. C. — River View Encampment No. 6, Champions of the Red Cross,
was organized October 4, 1872. The following is a list of its charter mem-


bers : J. D. Ingersoll, J. D. Tillery, Wm. Ferguson, Jas. Williams, Mrs. H.
W. Stone, S. C. Edwards, Mrs. Emeline Westgate, C. A. Pine, Mrs. M. E.
Kraus, J. T. Hadley, R. C. Sidwell, Thos. E. Morgan, Mrs. M. E. Morgan.
The following named persons are the officers elect for the ensuing term : J.

F. Morey, Com.; Mrs. M. Davis, J. C; H. H. Hudson, R. S.; Jas. Williams,

Rio Vista H. and L. Co. — The Rio Vista Hook and Ladder Company was
organized October 21, 1871. The following named gentlemen were organ-
izing members : S. Craner, R. C. Sidwell, Jas. Donovan, Chas. Scarlett, G.
W. Roberts, Chas. Green, R. C. Carter, J. M. Sidwell, W. W. Elliott, Jas.
Johnson, Geo. Clarridge and H. Craner. R. C. Carter was the first Fore-
man. The company have always been in a very prosperous condition, and
the present membership numbers 30. S. Nielson is the present Foreman,
he Tcompany, with the aid of the citizens, has supplied the town with 72
buckets, several hooks, ladders, axes, etc., and with their own private means
have purchased 500 feet of four-inch hose at an expense of $300, and have
lately constructed a building at an expense of $245.

Congregational Church. — The " First Church of Christ in Rio Vista " was
organized by Rev. J. H. Warren, Superintendent of the American Home
Missionary Society for California, and Rev. S. B. Dunton, Acting Pastor
of the Congregational Society in Rio Vista, on the 29th day of May
1869. The following are the names of the original members of the Church:
Rev. S. B. Dunton, Mrs. H. W. Stone, Mrs. N. J. Munson, Mrs. Virginia E.
Brown. M. S. Stone, Jos. Munson, Dr. L. F. Dozier, Josiah Pool, Dr. S. C.
Brown, Mrs. Mary E. Hawley, Jarvis Emigh, Peter H. Hamilton, Mrs. A. E.
Pool, Barton Dozier, Margaret Brandon, Neil Cook, Rob't Watson, Mrs. Mary
A. Watson, D. McCormac, Mrs. Catherine McCormac, Mrs. Ann Denoville.
The following-named gentlemen have acted as pastors since its organization :
Rev. S. B. Dunton, acting Pastor from May 29th to November, 1869 ; Rev.
J. J. Powell, elected October 24, 1869, installed March 2, 1870 ; Rev. A. F.
Hitchcock, elected December 29, 1872, installed March 19, 1873; Rev. G. F.

G. Morgan, elected May 1, 1875; Rev. G. H. Smith, elected September 24,
1876. The present membership is forty-six.

Congregational Sunday School: — A Sunday School was organized in
the Congregational Church on the 11th day of July, 1869. The following
is the list of Superintendents and time of election: S. C. Brown, elected
July 11, 1869; re-elected July, 1870. Rev. J. J. Powell, elected August 1,
1871; re-elected July 2, 1872; L. L. Palmer, elected July 14, 1873; Rev.
A. F. Hitchcock, elected July, 1874; H. S. Vining, elected May, 1875; Wm.
Ferguson, elected March, 1876, and still continues in office. The present


scholarship is about sixty-eight. The Sunday School is ably managed, and
there is a considerable interest taken in it by the scholars and teachers.

M. E. Church: — This Church organization was effected in the. latter part
of 1877, by Rev. T. H. Woodward, who served as Pastor till September,
1878. Rev. R. E. Wenk supplies the pulpit at present. The membership
at present is not very large, but is increasing. They have no church build-
ing of their own; as yet, but have a very acceptable place of worship rented.
There is a Sunday School connected with the Church, which was organized
December 1, 1878, with L. L. Palmer as Superintendent. The average
attendance is thirty-five.

Catholic Church: — This was the first church edifice erected in Rio Vista.
It was built in 1868. It is in the same parish with the church at Suisun,
and the same priest serves at both places. The first priest who officiated
here was Rev. Father Auger. He served the church until December, 1872,
since which time Rev. Father McNaboe has officiated. The membership is
quite large, and the church services well attended. Father McNaboe is an
energetic, hard-working man, and is well liked by all his parishioners.

St. Gertrudes Academy : — This Academy for young ladies, under the
direction of the Sisters of Mercy, is beautifully situated on an eminence in
the pleasant and accessible town of Rio Vista. The location is remarkably
healthful, the building new and well furnished with all that contributes to
the health and comfort of the pupils. The pleasure-grounds are extensive,
and well adapted to healthful exercise. Pupils of all persuasions are equally
received. The course of instruction embodies all the useful branches of a
solid education. The academy building was erected in 1876, by the munifi-
cence of Mr. Joseph Bruning, and was formally dedicated by Bishop Ale-
many on the 10th day of December, 1876. There are nine Sisters engaged
in teaching, which constitutes a most efficient corps of teachers. The Acad-
emy is justly popular with its patrons, and we are sure the time is not far
distant when its sphere will be extended so much that new and larger build-
ings will be required. We bid it "God speed."

The Public School: — The first school building in Rio Vista was erected
during the summer of 1862, on the site of the present building, on a lot
donated by Joseph Bruning, for that purpose. The first teacher was James
U. Chase, who opened the first school during the fall of 1862. We could
find no records until the year 1870, hence are unable to give an authentic
list of the teachers who have taught, but the following list is tolerably cor-
rect: J as. U. Chase, Byron Hunt, Mr. Burdell, Miss Mary Burns, Mrs. R.
Thrush, Miss Sweetland, Miss Stone, Miss Fannie Davis. On the records
which begin with 1870 we find the following-named teachers: Anthony
Dozier, M. C. Winchester, H. W. Fenton, *Miss Irene Canright, W. E. Mc


Intyre, Miss V. P. Stevens, *Miss D. M. Stone, Miss Bertha A. Bicknell,
*Miss Mary S. Warren, L. L. Palmer, *Miss Mary Linton, *Miss Jennie
Robertson, M. T. Sickal, *Miss Florence Sickal. In 1871 the school was
graded into Grammar and Primary Departments, and those marked with an
asterisk (*) were teachers in the Primary Department. There are at present
three grades in the school: Primary Department, Miss Florence Sickal,
teacher; Intermediate Department, Miss Jennie Robertson, teacher; Gram-
mar Department, M. T. Sickal, teacher.

The present building was erected in 1875, and is a large, neat-looking
structure, being truly an ornament to the town. It is two stories high, with
basement. It contains two school-rooms on the first floor, and one school-
room and two rooms for library purposes on the second floor. The building
is located on a quarter-block 120x120 feet, on the corner of Fifth and Mon-
tezuma streets. The location is very good, and is central. The following-
named persons comprise the present Board of Trustees: Dr. M. Pietrzycki,
Win. K. Squires and Wm. Ferguson. Dr. M. Pietrzycki is Clerk of the

Newspapers: — On the 6th day of September, 1877, the Rio Vista Weekly
Gleaner made its first appearance, being the first paper ever issued in the
town. L. L. Palmer was the editor and publisher. The printing was done
in Suisun, at the Solano Republican office, and conjointly with that paper.
On the 22d of September, 1877, the Rio Vista Enterprise made its appear-
ance. John H. Whitmore and W. A. Bushnell were proprietors and pub-
lishers. They put in a news office, type, press, etc. On the 17th of April,
1878, L. L. Palmer opened an office in Rio Vista, putting in a full line of
news and job type, news and job press, etc., in which the Gleaner was
printed. The Gleaner was continued till February 22d, 1879, when it was
discontinued, and the publisher became connected with the Solomo Repub-
lican at Suisun. The Enterprise continued for three months longer, and
issued its last number on May 30th, 1879.

Business Directory: — Folio wing is a full and complete business directory
of the town on December 31, 1878: Bruning, Jos., warehouse; Brown, B.
B., River View Hotel ; Bell, P., tinsmith ; Christiensen, M., wharfinger C. P.
R. R.; Carter, R. C, water- works; Clarridge, Geo. A., Western Hotel; Craner,
S., merchandise; Craner, A. H., merchandise; Currie, John, harness-maker;
Chase, Ed., news-dealer; Davis, C, contractor and planing-mill ; Davis,
John, contractor and builder; Erlanger & Galinger, merchandise; Fiscus,
John B., livery stable; Eraser, George, meat market; Fallman Bros., black-
smiths; Ferguson, Wm„ wagon-making, etc.; Gurnee, J., saloon; Hawley,
R. H., wharfinger C- T.; Hunter, R. C, drugs and medicine ; Hadley, Sam'l
T., blacksmith; Halderback, Jos., blacksmith; Ingersoll, J. D., fruit and


vegetables; Johnson and Emigh, warehouse; Kiernan, Thos., undertaker;
Kearney, Jas., boot-maker; Kalber, F., wagon-maker; Kelly, J. A., con-
tractor and builder; Lawson, H., saloon; Malone, John A., boot-maker and
Manager S. V. Tannery; Matthewson, S. R., vegetables, etc., Merritt, Chas. &
Co., drugs and medicines; Miller, Louis, painter and grainer; McGrah, Dan'l,
saloon; Nelson, C, saloon; Nielson, S., contractor and builder; Nesbitt,
Jos., wharfinger C. S. N. Co.; Ostrander, J. D., soliciting agent; Perry, J.
M., merchandise;' Pond & Knox, meat market; Peterson, A. H., livery stable;
Parker, Miss A. E., millinery, etc.; Pietrzycki, M., physician and surgeon;
Palmer, L. L., publisher Gleaner; Roberts, G. W., saloon; Runk, Mrs. L. C,
Central Hotel; Stanton, J. C, dentist; Squires, W. K., Squire's Hotel;
Stumm, F. I., jeweler; Smith, Jas., saloon; Smith, J. E. T., truckman;
Stoll, C. M., harness and saddlery; Sorenson, S. P., furniture; Thompson,
Geo., saloon; Whitmore & Bushnell, publishers Enterprise ; Westgate Bros.,
merchandise; Williamson, Wm., flour mill; Weslar, Geo., barber; Whit-
man, D. G., plasterer; Wadsworth, Wm., fruits and vegetables; Wilcox
Ruble & Dozier, merchandise.

Official Directory: — Notary Public, M. Smyth; Justices of the Peace,
J. D. Ingersoll, Lewis Chase; Constable, James Dobbins; Deputy Sheriff,
John B. Fiscus; Postmaster, L. C. Ruble; W., F. & Co's agents, Westgate

The Future: — So much for the past and present of the beautiful and
thriving town; a word for the future and we will close this sketch. The
town is so located that it is sure to be prosperous in the years to come.
There are natural advantages which but few towns possess. Cheap trans-
portation is insured, and that is one great factor in the prosperity of a town.
The unbounded resources of the tule lands will always pour a goodly stream
of gold into its coffers. The hills will always yield a handsome income for
the town. They need more industries. There is no reason why this should
not become a great manufacturing center. They have every facility possi-
ble. The climate is the most salubrious and healthful. The temperature is
universally moderate and mild. Strong winds prevail there during the
summer months, which serve to keep the atmosphere cool and refreshing.



Geography. — Silveyville township is bounded on the north by Yolo
county, on the east by Tremont township, on the south by Maine Prairie
and Elmira townships, and on the west by Vacaville township. The Rio
Los Putos extends along its northern boundary.

Topography. — The surface of the entire township is almost perfectly level.
The land is rolling in places, but not hilly. One is reminded very much, in
passing through it, of the prairies of Illinois and Iowa.

Soil. — The soil of this township is alluvial in formation and character.
It is a sandy loam, for the most part, with scarcely any adobe m it. It is
very fertile and productive, and the finest farms in Solano county are
located here. Everything about these farms betoken thrift and prosperity.

Climate. — The climate in this township differs very materially from that
in the townships in the southern parts of the county. Here the sea
baeeze is shorn of its dampness and force, and sweeps as gently over the
country as a zephyr. Ordinarily the temperature is several degrees higher
here than at Suisun. A person will often find a linen coat burdensome in
Dixon at 4 p. M., and after a 40 minutes ride on the train arrives at Suisun,
and finds that he needs an - overcoat. The wind prevails from the north
more here than further south, and this wind is burdened with sultry oppres-
sive heat, and also oftentimes with electricity, which seems to oppress and
enervate everything. Fortunately these siroccos are not very common.
The atmosphere is comparatively free from malarial poisons, and is, on that
account, quite healthful.

Products. — The principal products of this township are wheat and barley.
Fruits and vegetables do quite well in all parts of the township, though but
little more is grown than home consumption demands, except along the line
of Rio Los Putos, where are some of the finest orchards and gardens in the
State. In this section oranges, figs, dates, olives, lemons and bananas thrive
equal to any section of the State, and the quality is said to excel that grown
in Los Angeles county.

Early Settlement. — To this township belongs the honor of having the first
permanent white settler in Solano county. In 1842 Wm. Wolf skill, then a


resident of Los Angeles, secured a grant from the Mexican government for
a tract of land one league in width and four leagues in length, lying on either
side of Rio Los Putos. Some time during the same year he sent his brother,
John R., with a band of cattle to take possession of the new grant, accord-
ing to law. From this time on, an occasional settler would locate somewhere
on the Rio Los Putos, until in 1852 there was quite a neighborhood, with
houses, ranging from three to ten miles apart. Upon the outbreak of the
gold fever the most practicable road to the mines from San Francisco passed
from Benicia to Sacramento, through this settlement. For the accommoda-
tion of these travelers, Elijah S. Silvey, in 1852, built a house and stock
corral. He at first called his house the " Half-way House". In those early
days the trail was not very well defined, and the belated traveler was liable
to lose his way and wander about the plains all night. To obviate this,
Silvey used to hoist a red lantern high in air every night, so that it might
serve as a beacon light to the wanderer, and guide him safely into the haven
of Silvey's hotel. The hardy pioneer, Silvey, came to an untimely death by
accidentally falling from a porch. His widow still lives on the old site of
those early scenes of the early life of California and of Solano county. The
next building at this point was a blacksmith shop, built by Messrs. Wm.
Dryden & Noble. On Christmas day, 1856, Geo. A. Gillespie began the
foundation of a store building. From this time on Silvey ville began to
assume quite goodly proportions, and reached its zenith about 1865, at
which time there were, perhaps, 150 inhabitants in the town. Quite early
a post-office was established at this place with E. S. Silvey as post-master.
It was called Putah. There was, at one time, a telegraph office there also.
But all this is now among the dead past, and another quarter of a century
will banish all traces of the town, and only in legend and on these pages
will any knowledge of it exist.

The history of Silveyville would remain incomplete without honorable
mention being made of a newspaper being published at that place, by Wm.
J. Pearce. The type was set and the forms made up in Silveyville, but
they were sent to Sacramento to be printed from. The paper was strongly
Democratic, and soon after the editor got into a political altercation with
one Dr. J. C. Ogburn, a strong Union man, in which Pearce shot the doctor,
and was forced to flee the country.

Dixon. — The place to which all the business and houses of Silveyville
went was Dixon. In 1868 the C. P. R. R. was completed. Seeing a
probability of its completion, and realizing the fact that it was a good point
at which to build a town, W. R. Ferguson purchased an acre of land from
Thomas Dickson, and built a dwelling-house upon it. This was the first
house built in the town. He immediately afterwards erected a stone
building. On the 7th day of July, 1868, he opened his store for public


patronage. The next building was erected by Bernard Greinburg. He
used it for hotel purposes. It was called the " Empire." Messrs. Eppinger
& Co. were the next to engage in a mercantile enterprise in the town. The
second family which located in town was that of Jasper Kattenberg. The
town was named in honor of Mr. Thomas Dickson, who donated ten acres
for the purposes of a depot and town site. The difference in orthography
is accounted for in the fact that the first consignment of goods which came
to the town were marked " W. R. Ferguson, Dixon." The spelling being
simpler it was at once adopted by all. The present population is about
1,200. It was incorporated by a special Act of the Legislature during the
session of 1877-8. It is a beautiful town nestled amid a grove of shady
trees, which gives it a cosy and cheerful appearance. It is growing, and
evidences of prosperity are visible on all sides.

Free and Accepted Masons.— Silveyville Lodge, No. 201, F. & A. M., was
organized June 25, 1869, at Silveyville. It was moved to Dixon September
12, 1871. The following named gentlemen were its charter members :
James W. Howard, Wm. H. Wells, H. E. McCune, John P. Kirsch, Walter
Ellis, Wm. Killibrew, B. Meyer, Henry Goeffort, J. S. Garnett, Chas. Wolf,
C. M. Robinson, Daniel King. The following gentlemen have been honored
with the office of W. M. , J. W. Howard, W. H. Wells, Jas. A. Ellis, A.
Hockheimer, John Sweeney. The present membership is 65.

Royal Arch Chapter. — Dixon Chapter, No. 48, R. A. M., was organized
February 9, 1875. The charter members were as follows : J. A. Ellis, A.
Hockheimer, A. G. Summers, B. Ethiger, H. Eppinger. J. C. Merryfield, H.
Wilcox. H. Goeffort, H. E. McCune, John Sweeney, Geo. C. McKinley, M.
Blum, Wm. Steele, D. Longmire, A. Fraser, J. C. North, J. P. Kirsch, E. M.
Tyler, J. W. Sallee. The following gentlemen have been elevated to the
dignity of High Priest : Jas. A. Ellis, John Sweeney, H. Eppinger, George
C. McKinley. The present membership is 51.

Rebecca Degree Lodge. — Hyacinthe Rebecca Degree Lodge, No. 26, was
organized May 26, 1875. The present officers are Jas. K. Vansant, N. G. ;
Mrs. Sarah McPherson, V. G. ; Edward Weihe, R. C. ; and Mrs. Nancy Van-
sant, Treasurer. The present membership is 70.

I. 0. 0. F.— Montezuma Lodge, No. 172, I. O. O. F., was organized June
20, 1870. The following named gentlemen comprise its charter members :
R. S. McKinley, D. Mack, J. D. Carey, Wm. M. Bernard, Geo. W. Smith,
Thomas Kelley, James M. Clark, John Patterson, T. A. Buckles and R. E.
Hewitt. The following named gentlemen have had the honor of presiding
as N. G.'s : Wm. Bernard, T. A. Buckles, R. E. Hewitt, J. Kline, A. Kirby,


R. R. Neirell, J. Fredrickson, V. A. Collins, P. Siebe, I. Rhodes, J. K. Van-
sant, W. H. Northcutt, Charles Schirmer, R. C. Christian, A. J. Kasten,
Edward Weihe. The present membership is 100.

Knights of Pythias. — Othello Lodge, No. 31, K. of P., was organized June
29, 1875. The following named gentlemen were charter members : E. L.
H. Bibby, J. B. Bloom, S. Blum, J. R. Creighton, John Ferguson, John
Fredrickson, H. Goeffort, R. D. Hopkins, D. B. Huff, Wm. Johnson, Wra.
Johnson, C. W. Johnson, J. 0. Johnson, J. D. Johnson, A. Levy, S. G.
Little, J. P. Martin, C. J. McCoy, E. Wenf elder, H. A. Ross, E. W. Striplin,
Dr. A. H. Pratt, Chas. Schirmer, F. A. Schnitzlein, P. Siebe, Wm. Simms,
Wm. Straub, J. Sweeney and H. West. The following gentlemen have
been honored with the office of Chancellor : R. D. Hopkins, John R.
Creighton, H. A. Ross, Dr. A. H. Pratt, J F. Hamilton, S. G. Little and P.
Olmstead. The present membership is about 40.

Independent Order of Good Templars: — -Dixon Lodge, I. 0. G. T., was
organized February 5th, 1870. Following are the charter members: Mrs.
Julia A. Ferguson, J. R. Beane, E. H. Beane, J. C. Graves, Thomas Pritch-
ard, C. M. Daffield, J. Sullivan, Mrs. A. F. Beane, Mrs. M. Bernard, G. S.
Dudley, Mrs. E. Dudley, H. McGale, Thomas Doody, L. A. Moore and J. F.
Cook. The following members have held the office of Worthy Chief Tem-
plar: J. R. Beane, Mrs. F. A. Beane, J. M. Dudley, Joseph Kline, H. Ever-
ingham, J. H. Peters, W. B. Wyman, Rev. George Morris, W. H. Northcutt,
A. R. Storey, M. T. Sickal, J. K. Bateman, W. T. Mayne, Wm. Olmstead,
Miss Ella Hoovey, George Martin, and Stewart McBride.

Ancient Order of United Workmen: — Dixon Lodge, No.- 50, A. O. U. W.,
was organized September 11th, 1878. The present officers are : A. J. Kasten,
M. W., A. J. Buckles, P. M. W., Charles Donahoe, G. F., Charles Schrivner,
O. B. Ethiger, Receiver, J. M. Dinsmore, Financier, A. R. Storey, Recorder.
The present membership is 27.

Bank of Dixon: — The Bank of Dixon was organized and incorporated in
October, 1873, but was not opened for business until April, 1874. The
authorized capital stock is $500,000. The original board of directors was
as follows: J. S. Garnett, S. G. Little, James Millar, Ed. Wolfskill, Hanse
Rohwer, James Porter and D. B. Huff. The presidents of the bank have
been, S. G. Little, James Millar, J. C. Merryfield. The cashiers have been,
Ed. Wolfskill, H. B. Sheldon, G. W. Wyman, A. J. Kasten and Robert

The Dixon Fire Company : — This company was organized October 15th,
1872. Their present aparatus consists of one Babcock engine, hooks, lad-


ders, and other appliances necessary to make them a very efficient depart-
ment. The following gentlemen have acted as foreman : J. Fredrickson, W.
A. Dashiel, E. Weihe, H. Eppinger, W. S. Hinman, George King, Owen
O'Niel, George Frahm.

Catholic Church: — This church building was erected in 1868, by Rev.
Father Auger. It is located on Second street, between A and Mayes
streets. It is a frame building, 48x32, with a seating capacity of 140.
From floor to ceiling is 16 feet. The ceiling is hard-finished, walls wains-
coted, and finished with redwood tongued grooved and painted. The
pastors who have served this church are, Rev. Fathers Auger, McNaboe,
Powers, Moore, Ward and Nugent.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South: — Was organized in Solano
County, in the town of Suisun and vicinity, in the year 1852 or 1853.
Afterward a society was formed near the present site of Vacaville. This
was called the Vacaville circuit.

A neat and substantial stone church was built at Rockville in 1858.

In 1861 the M. E. C. South built a college known as Pacific Methodist
College, at Vacaville. Its first president was Rev. J. C. Stewart. After
the first year Rev. W. T. Luckey, D. D., was elected president, which position
he held for eight years.

Rev. J. R. Thomas, D. D., LL. D., was the next president. In 1871 this
college was removed to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, where it is now

Three years ago a beautiful church building was erected at Elmira. The
church at Vacaville was destroyed by fire in 1877, where it was rebuilt a
few months thereafter.

In the Fall of 1878 a church was purchased in Dixon, and a minister was
sent by the conference to fill the pulpit. There are at present three min-
isters actively engaged in the work, residing in the county. Rev. J. C.
Simmons presides at the present time.

M. E. Church — Dixon and Binghamton. — In the month of March, 1858,

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