J. P Munro-Fraser.

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

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are hereby received from the contractor, Larkin Richardson. The said
Richardson hereby giving up and releasing all claims and demands against
the said Board of Supervisors on occount of said buildings ; the said Board


having made the said Richardson an allowance in full amount due on the
original contract, and for all extra work done on said buildings."

On the completion of Batcheller's contract, shortly after, an order was
made for the county officers and courts to remove from the temporary
buildings used into the new Court House, which was at once complied with,
and these buildings are in use at the present date.

The old frame Court House, used temporarily, was, a few years after the
completion of the new building, removed to the present Court House block
and placed on the west side of the Court House, about the same distance
from it as the jail is upon the east.

The Hall of Records. — At the session of the Legislature of 1877-8, an
Act was passed authorizing the Board of Supervisors of Solano county to
issue $15,000 of bonds, bearing seven per cent, per annum interest, to create
a fund to be called " The Court-House Improvement Fund," and also to levy
an annual tax for their redemption, for the purpose of erecting a fire-proof
addition to the Court House for the safe preservation of the records of the
County Clerk's and County Recorder's offices. In 1878, these bonds were
prepared and, after advertising for proposals to purchase them, were sold to
Sutro & Co., Bankers of San Francisco, for $15,356. The board then pro-
ceeded to build the desired edifice, plans and specifications were prepared
by George Bordwell (the former architect of the Court House) which
were approved and accepted and proposals were immediately
invited for the erection of said fire-proof building. A large num-
ber of bids were received and, at the opening thereof by the board, the
contract was awarded to Richard and John McCann, of San Francisco, for
the erection of said building according to the plans and specifications, at
the sum of $11,597. The building is located twenty feet from the Court
House on the west side ; and is sixty feet long by thirty feet in width, and
two stories in height, and is fire-proof in all particulars, connecting with the
Court House by an iron bridge, crossing in the second story. The contract
was let in July, 1878, and it was completed in November of that year ; the
furnishing contract was let to John B. Lucksinger & Co., of San Francisco,
for $2,000 ; and after all the extra work done by both contractors was paid
for and certain other extra articles furnished — the whole outlay amounted
to the sum of $15,400.

This building has the Recorder's office on the first floor, with an excellent
fire-proof vault for the records in the rear of the front office, and the
County Clerk's office in front on the second floor, with the Supervisor's
room in the rear — being one of the best arranged and satisfactory buildings
of the kind to be found anywhere in the agricultural counties of the


M. E. Church — Fairfield. — The first methodist sermon preached in Suisun
Valley was at the house of D. M. Berry, in November, 1849, by Rev. Isaac
Owens. Rev. S. D. Simonds was the first regularly appointedcircuit preacher
and his jurisdiction embracing " all north of the bay." He was appointed
February 1, 1851. Rev. M. C. Briggs had preached occasionally prior to
this. The first class or society was organized by S. D. Simonds, in the
Spring of 1851, the following were members : Jas. Dorland and his wife,
Benjamin Davisson, Jasper S. Sheldon and Charlotte Berry. The first
Sunday school was organized the last of March, 1851, at D. M. Berry's by
S. D. Simonds, S. D. Simonds was succeeded in August, 1851, by Jas.
Corwin ; he traversed the same territory until February, 1853. The head-
quarters of this extensive circuit was at Sonoma. In February, 1853, E.
A. Hazen was appointed to Suisun and Napa circuit ; he remained until
May, 1855 ; during this time a small church was built about three miles
west of Suisun, which was known for years as the " Valley Church." In
May, 1855, Jas. Corwin and Colin Anderson were appointed to the circuit
as colleagues. In September, 1857, Jas. Hunter was appointed and the
Suisun circuit established. He remained until September, 1859 ; during the
year 1858, lots were secured in the then newly laid out town of Fairfield,
and about the same time the present parsonage was erected. In September,
1859, Rev. J. W. Hines was appointed; he remained two years, until Sep-
tember, 1861 ; during the first year of his pastorate the construction of the
present brick church in Fairfield was commenced, but remained unfinished
until the next year ; it was then completed and dedicated in the Summer
of 1861. Its total cost was about $8,000. In September, 1861, Jas. Corwin
was appointed pastor. In September, 1862, H. J. Bland was appointed. In
September, 1863, W. S. Urmy. He remained until September, 1865 ; during
this time the debt on the brick church was paid and it has since remained
free of debt ; during this period the Valley Church was sold and, after re-
moval, was converted into the present school house in Gomer District. The
subsequent pastors have been as follows : September, 1865, W. S. Corwin ;
September, 1866, John Daniel ; September, 1867, W. S. Turner ; August,
1869, R. W. Williamson ; September, 1870, 0. S. Frambies ; August, 1871,
A. R. Sheriff; September, 1872, J. M. Hinman; September, 1874, E. E.
Dodge; September, 1875, G. D. Pinneo; September, 1877, M. D. Buck;
September, 1878, R. E. Wenk, present incumbent. During these years the
church has had fluctuating prosperity. The present membership is thirty.
A Sunday school has been maintained throughout the whole history of the
church ; the present number is sixty ; Superintendent, R. E. Wenk.

Grace Church, Suisun — Episcopal : — What is now known as Grace
Church was the first place of worship erected in Suisun, being built A. D.
1857, under the auspices of the "Old School Presbyterians." Captain


Richie of Fairfield offered a lot in that town ; but the people of Suisun offered
to give the land and put up the building. Their proposition was accepted,
and Mr. Joseph Merrill received the contract for building the Church. Mr.
Reubin Pringle gave the lot. The Rev. Mr. Wood was the first minister in
charge. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Fairburn, who only remained a
short time, as the zeal of the people had weakened, and he was not sup-
ported. The church remained without a pastor for some time, and in the
year 1861 it was sold to the Methodists. The first minister of this denomi-
nation was the Rev. Mr. Baily. He was succeeded by the following named
ministers : Rev. W. B. Gober ; Rev. 0. P. Fitzgerald ; Rev. Samuel Brown ;
Rev. O. Fisher ; Rev. A. P. Anderson ; Rev. T. E. Barton ; Rev. Samuel
Brown ; Rev. T. H. B. Anderson ; Rev. Samuel Brown ; Rev. W. F. Comp-
ton. The first Episcopal service was held April 28th, 1867, by the Rev.
Henry G. Perry, at that time rector of St. Paul's Church, Benicia. These
services were continued by the same clergyman, at intervals, until August
25th, of the same year, when he resigned the mission to the Bishop of Cali-
fornia. The parish was organized July 28th, and the Bishop made his first
visitation in company with the Rev. Mr. Perry, August 25, 1867. From
this time until 1872 the following clergymen held service at this place :
Rev. Messrs. Smith, Gray, Breck, Cowan, Powell, Brotherton and Kelly. In
the winter of 1872 the church was purchased by the Episcopalians, and the
Rev. Geo. R. Davis was called from Nebraska, and assumed the rectorship
of the parish, March 10. Before the year closed he accepted a call to Ma-
rysville, and the parish was again vacant. On the sixth Sunday after Trinity,
1873, the Rev. T. E. Dickey took charge of the parish, and on the 28th of
September, 1874, he resigned his rectorship, and accepted a call to Silver
City, Idaho. The Rev. Giles Easton held services in this church from
August, 1875, to May, 1878. The present rector, Rev. E. C. Cowan, as-
sumed his duties on the 1st of August, 1878.

St. Alphonsis, Catholic: — Was established about the year 1860, Father
Dyeart officiating. He was followed by Fathers Ougar and McNaboe, the
latter being still in charge. The construction of the present church edifice
was begun in 1868, and a debt of $6,000 incurred by its building, which has
been entirely liquidated under the able management of Father McNaboe.
This year (1879) they are building an addition. The membership of this
church is about three hundred.

The above history is taken from the county atlas, as no other could be
obtained, notwithstanding repeated efforts to get it — indeed such has been
the case with the churches of the Catholic persuasion throughout the

The Congregational Church, Suisun: — Preliminary steps were taken at a
meeting held at the residence of E. P. Hilborn, on October 30, 1876, J. W.


Warren, D. D., presiding, for the purpose of organizing a congregation to
worship under the Congregational form of religion, at Suisun, when a com-
mittee was selected, who appointed to meet on the 5th of November follow-
ing, to take into consideration the formation of a permanent organization of
that body. Success would appear to have attended their efforts, for we
find the 22d day of December of the same year set apart for the holding of
appropriate inaugural services, the following churches being represented by
their pastors: First Congregational Church of San Francisco; Plymouth
Congregational Church of San Francisco; First Congregational Church,
Oakland; Congregational Church, South Vallejo; Congregational Church,
Dixon; Congregational Church, Sacramento; with J. H. Warren, D. D.,
Superintendent of American Home Missions. The sermon was preached by
J. E. Dwinelle. The first membership numbered seventeen, who were under
the pastorate of the Rev. J. W. Brier, Jr. All the services of this church
have been held in an edifice erected by the people of Suisun, on Morgan
street. In July, 1878, Mr. Brier resigned, when he was succeeded by the
Rev. A. F. Hitchcock, the present incumbent. Not the least interesting
record in connection with this church is its admirable Sunday School, the
classes of which give frequent exhibitions, each of them being attended with
more than ordinary success. The first superintendent of the school was C.
W. Childs, the present holder of the position being A. C. Wood. The church
membership is about twenty-seven, while the number of school children is


Suisun Lodge, No. 55, F. and A. M.: — This lodge was chartered by the
Grand Lodge on May 4, 1855, the chartered members being J. H. Griggs,
Miles Dean, W. B. Brown, C. Manka, S. Maupin, P. 0. Clayton, Charles
Maul, Sampson Smith, Jacob Cutter, Philip Palmer, D. D. Reeves, John W.
Owen, M. A. Long, A. P. Jackson and G. W. Hays. The lodge was instituted
in the Armijo adobe, in Suisun Valley, and held a number of its meetings
there during the year 1855. Shortly after, however, a move was made by
the brethren to erect a lodge building, and the result was that in the Fall
of 1855 a neat wooden structure, two stories in height, was erected at what
was then known as Barton's Store, in Suisun Valley. The lower story of
the building erected was used as a school-room, and the upper story was
used by the craft. In 1856 the town of Suisun began to assume some im-
portance, and the brethren, after considerable parleying, decided to move
the lodge to Suisun, and just at that time Bro. Hiram Rush began the erec-
tion of a large brick store-room in Suisun, and the brethren bargained with
him to add a third story to his building for a lodge-room for the Order.
This he did, the lodge paying all the expenses of the third story, and on its
completion Bro. Rush deeded it, the property, with a right of way of ingress
and egress. For about twenty-three years the lodge has occupied its present



hall, and which is to-day one of the most comfortable and suitable Masonic
halls in Solano County. The lodge has prospered from the first, and at the
present time numbers about seventy-five members. The present officers
are: W. G. Davisson, W. M.; J. Frank, S. W.; William Leithead, J. W.; Co.
P. Reeves, Treasurer; George A. Gillespie, Secretary; J. B. Richardson, S.
D.; John A. Lockie, J. D.; N. Anderson, Tyler.

Suisun Lodge, No. 78, I. 0. O.F.: — Was organized September 13, 1858,
by C. W. Hayden, D. D. G. Master District No. 15, with John Doughty, D.
M. Stockman, J. M. Duncan, A. E. Charles and J. Frank as charter mem-
bers. On the night of its institution W. H. Stephens and W. Farmer be-
came members by deposit of card, and T. J. Owen, M. Meehan, M. Dinkel-
spiel, Albert Knorp and M. A. Wheaton were admitted by initiation. The
first officers of the lodge were as follows: N. G., John Doughty; V. G., D.
M. Stockman; R. S., J. M. Duncan; Treas., J. Frank; R. S. N. G., M. Dinkel-
spiel; L. S. N. G., Albert Knorp; R. S. V. G., T. J. Owen; L. S. V. G., W.
H. Stephens; Warden, M. A. Wheaton; Cond., A. E. Charles; I. G, W.
Farmer; O. G., Maurice Meehan.

The first meetings of the lodge were held in the second story of the brick
building, over J. Frank & Co.'s store, and continued to be held at that place
until about the year 1866, when the lodge made arrangements with the
Masonic lodge and moved into their hall. In 1872 the lot and building
where the present hall now stands was purchased, at a cost, including the
improvements for hall purposes, of about $8,000. The new hall was dedi-
cated April 26, 1873, R G. Master Charles N. Fox presiding. This hall
is a beautiful one, well ventilated, and with its present furniture, which
was recently purchased at an expense of about $1,000, places it among the
most pleasant halls of the Order in the State.

From the time of its organization 228 persons have held membership
therein, and its present roll, from last report, numbers 113. The following-
Past Grands have held the appointment of D. D. G. Master for this district:
John Doughty, 1860-61; M. Dinkelspiel, 1864-65; Henry Hubbard, 1866-
67; Valentine Wilson, 1868-69. The lodge at present is nearly out of debt,
and its assets amount to about $13,000.

The present officers of the lodge are as follows: C. N. Edwards, N. G.;
John R. Morris, V. G.; Rev. A. F. Hitchcock, R. S.; H. Hubbard, P. S.;
George W. Greene, Treas.; John Henry, Warden;, J. M. Jones, Cond,; J. W.
Kerns, I. G.; W. J. Morris, O. G.; George T. Whitley, R. S. N. G.; Fred.
Frank, L. S. N. G.; H. Hansen, R. S. V. G.; H. Manuel, L. S. V. G.; Frank
Whitby, R. S. S.; William Trudgeon, L. S. S.

Suisun Lodge, No. Jfi, A. 0. U. W.: — This lodge was organized September
3, 1878, the chartered members being D. M. Miller, Rev. A. F. Hitchcock,
John Krause, and ten others. The first officers elected to serve were: J. M.


Gregory, P. M. W.; Alexander Dunn, M. W.; H. Robinson, F. W.; S. G.
Palmer, 0.; 0. R. Coghlan, Recorder; A. P. Spence, Financier; John Henry,
Receiver; W. N. Bowen, Guide; John Wagoner, I. W.; C. F. Montgomery,
O. W. The objects of this Order are too well known to be stated at length.
It embraces, in addition to the mutual-aid principles common to many secret
societies, an insurance of $2,000 on the life of each member. Its system of
mutual aid and life insurance is almost entirely free from the risks and
failures of ordinary life-insurance companies. The Order now numbers
over 10,000 members in this State, and is rapidly increasing, as it meets the
wants of the great mass of men who wish to make provision for their fami-
lies in the safest and most economical way.

Bank of Suisun:- -This bank was established February 7, 1876, with an
authorized capital of $100,000, under the management of R. D. Robbins
president, and W. Wolf, cashier, the directors being R. D. Robbins, C. F.
D. Hastings, E. P. Hilborn, W. H. Turner and J. B. Hoyt. It does an ordi-
nary banking business, and corresponds with the Anglo-Californian Bank
of San Francisco, and J. and W. Seligman & Co. of New York.

Suisun Fire Department. — The history of the Fire Department of Suisun
City may not unfairly be said to have commenced March 24, 1860, when the
Solano Herald (A. R. Gunnison, editor,) modestly urged the necessity of an
organization, and said that " the first step in the matter of preparation is to
build two or more cisterns on the plaza, which may be kept always full of
water and ready to meet any emergency." "A large force-pump, with hose
attached," was considered sufficient apparatus for a beginning. In the next
issue of the paper an anonymous advertisement appeared, calling for " a pre-
liminary meeting of firemen, April 4th, at Wheaton's Hall," inviting all to
be present who " were interested in the matter of protection against fire."
At the time specified, as appears by an item of April 7th, a meeting was
held and " a committee was appointed to take the matter into consideration,
ascertain the cost of cisterns, force-pumps and other apparatus, and report
April 11th at Chrisler's Hall. The next week's paper contained an item
headed " Fire Wardens," showing that " at a meeting of those interested in
protection from fire, Messrs. D. Ballard, D. E. Stockton, and J. B. Lemon,
were elected Trustees, to receive the money subscribed by the citizens, ex-
pend the same in building cisterns and superintend the construction thereof."
Another item shows that " at a meeting of Union Fire Co. No. 1, held on
April 11th, John S. Miller presiding, T. J. McGarvey, J. Frank, and P. A.
Wood, were appointed a committee on laws, and they thereupon presented
a copy of the Constitution and By-laws of Weber Co. No. 1. of Stockton,
which was adopted with slight amendments. The first officers elected were:
Win. J. Morris, Foreman; J. C. Owen, 1st Assistant; T. J. McGarvey, 2d
Assistant ; D. Ballard, Secretary ; J. H. Marston, Treasurer.


After a season of struggles sufficient means was finally procured to pur-
chase an engine, and it reached town on the steamer Rambler August 22,
1861, escorted by Ex-Chief F. E. R. Whitney, and half a dozen of the "How-
ard" boys of the Fire Department of San Francisco. It was manufactured
by Hunneman & Co., of Boston, in 1857, and was the last one made by that
firm for that city prior to the introduction of the steam engines now in use
there. The reception was enthusiastic, and the " boys " had a good time at
the " social hop " in the evening. In June, 1862, the paper referred to the
needs of the department, and recalled the facts that since the first advocacy
of its formation " the company had constructed two capacious cisterns,
furnishing an ample supply of water, at a cost of $400, and purchased an
engine at a cost of $1,600, and still owed for 550 feet of hose." September
12, 1862, John W. Owen and his associates in title donated the lot whereon
the present engine-house was built. Since its formation, the company has
passed through various grades of adversity and occasional prosperity, but
since April 8, 1874, when the present foreman, John T. Hammond, was ap-
pointed to its leadership, it has been steadily progressing toward perfection
and efficiency. It is now out of debt, owning its house, lot and apparatus,
and is fairly officered and manned. Five public and two private cisterns in
different parts of the town, averaging a capacity of 10,000 gallons each, help
to insure the place against devastation by fire.

Suisun and Fairfield Water Company. — Was organized as a joint stock
company, with one thousand shares of one hundred dollars each, on April
24, 1866. The officers, after permanent organization, were: Samuel Breck,
President ; M. Dinkelspiel, Vice-President ; F. O. Staples, Treasurer ; George
A. Gillespie, Secretary, and W. K. Hoyt, Superintendent. There were five
directors, from which the above officers were elected, except Hoyt. The re-
maining director being D. M. Stockman. The tanks, pumps, etc., were erected
on land bought by the company, formerly owned by John Doughty and W.
S. Wells, situated about one-half mile from Fairfield. Work was commenced
soon after organization and completed March, 1868. There is a large " main"
laid from the tanks through Fairfield to the south side of Suisun, a dis-
tance of 1^ miles, and is made of cement, the smaller ones, leading to dwel-
lings, etc., are iron. The present officers are : E. P. Hilborn, President ;
Lewis Pierce, Vice-President ; Harvy Rice, Treasurer ; D. M. Stockman, Sec-
retary, and Josiah Wing, Jr., Superintendent. The company have erected
this year (1879) two new tanks of 10,000 gallons capacity, and one tank-

Suisun City Mills. — At the head of the industries of California stands
the growing of wheat; second in the catalogue is the manufacture of flour.
The latter branch is steadily increasing, to keep pace with the demand, and
the rapid progress being made in the cultivation of wheat.


First among the industries of this town is the turning of wheat into flour.
The flouring mill of Suisun is not only an honor to the city, but a credit to
the county. Solano county being one of the banner wheat counties of the
State, a milling interest has obtained here that deserves more than a pass-
ing notice in this volume.

J. G. Edwards and S. C. Reed commenced the erection of a frame mill on
the site where the present brick structure stands, May 1, 1854. It was a
two-story building, in which were but two run of stone, and was only used
as a custom mill. It was run by steam, and did its first work on October
1st of that year. In order to give place to a larger and better structure,
this mill was torn down and moved away in the spring of 1858, a portion of
which is now the Roberts' Hotel.

This firm the same spring commenced the erection of what is known as
the Suisun City Mills. It turned its first wheel in October of that year.
The main structure is 42x52, three stories high. The foundation story or
basement is a solid system of stone masonry, two feet thick. The two stories
above the basement are brick, with pitch and gravel roof over all. On the
first floor is where the wheat is received. There are elevator spouts, screen
spouts, and a garner in which the wheat is dampened for grinding, also the
line of shafting, which drives the stones above, are located on this floor On
the second floor are four run of stone, supported by wooden hurst frames,
one wheat garner and one revolving wheat screen. In the third story is
where the wheat cleaning is done. There are two smutters, one National
cut separator and one suction fan. There are also three hoppers, two for
wheat and one for middlings, which feed the stones below. On this floor,
but separated from the cleaning room, is the bolting chest and five reels.

To the east and rear of the main building is the engine room, 30x60 feet,
built of brick, in which is a forty-horse steam engine, the main shaft of
which rests on a solid stone foundation, thereupon hanging a balance wheel
weighing one ton.

To the south of the engine room is located the boiler room, in which are
two (36) tubular boilers, sixteen feet long.

S. C. Reed sold his interest in this mill to Jerry Marston, in October, 1859,
and the enterprise was conducted under the firm name of Edwards & Mars-
ton until July, 1860, when Edwards sold to Stockman Bros. D. E. Stock-
man sold to Marston in 1866, and D. M. Stockman on August 3, 1867. This
firm erected during the year 1866 a warehouse, one and two stories high, of
brick, running east and north of the main building. It is 62x110 feet, with
a capacity of one thousand tons. The office occupies a portion of this room,
and there is also a car track running the entire length of the building to the
slough dock, which affords the shipping facilities for the entire building.

Jerry Marston sold to E. P. Hilborn & Co., July, 1872, who are at present
conducts the business, with Richard P. Le Gro as manager.


Suisun Glee Club. — This club was temporarily organized at the residence
of D. M. Stockman, on June 14, 1878, and took permanent shape by the
adoption of a constitution on the 12th of July following, with D. M. Stock-
man, President ; T. G. Whitley, Treasurer and Secretary, and J. K. Bateman,

Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 34 of 57)