J. P Munro-Fraser.

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

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with a certain amount of success he, in the meantime, erected a building of
brick 50x80 feet as a College, while attached to the principal erection, at a
distance of about 75 feet, a temporary structure was built two stories in
height. There was also constructed a boarding-house of brick for the
female department, and other houses in the grounds, for the males. The
building, as originally erected by Mr. Anderson, was situated on the south
side of Ulattis creek, on block No. 8.

In the year 1861, or, possibly later, the Rev. J. C. Stewart, by dint of ex-
treme labor, received an endowment from the people of Solano, and the ad-


jacent counties, to the amount of $20,000, which, with the interest on this
sum, was the Pacific Methodist College started by the Pacific Methodist
Episcopal Church, South. Its first President was the Rev. J. C. Stewart,
who would appear only to have served a year. The next President was
the Rev. W. T. Lucky, D.D., an office he maintained until the spring of
1865. During his regime, though, it was then reported for political reasons,
the college was burned. This did not, however, interfere with the pros-
perity of the school, for on the destruction by fire of the principal edifice, a
temporary use was made of a tent until after the exhibitions. The fol-
lowing term was commenced in a boarding-house arranged for the purpose,
whre they continued until the completion of the present building, which is
of brick. Considerable delay was caused, however, in the attempt to con-
struct the edifice of concrete ; this was a failure, from the consequences of a
storm which washed all the necessary amalgamations away. The loss to
the M. E. C. S., was considered to be between five and six thousand dollars.
Almost immediately thereafter, a brick building of 60x90 feet was in the
the course of construction on an elevation of land overlooking the town
that had been originally owned by Mason Wilson, who had exchanged it
for other property to the M. E. C, S., and which was completed in the year
1866 at a cost of $25,000. Shortly after the erection of the new college,
Dr. Lucky resigned the presidency and was succeeded by the Rev. Mr.
Gober, who held the position for one term and was in turn succeeded by
Rev. J. R. Thomas, D.D., LL.D., who held it until 1871, when the College
was removed to Santa Rosa, in Sonoma county.

The College then would appear to have changed hands, as will be gleaned
from the following excerpt from the report of C. L. Fisher, Chairman of
the Committee on Education, at the fourteenth anniversary of the Pacific
Baptist Association held at Petaluma, Sonoma county, in October, 1871 :

" On the first day of December, A. D. 1870, we came into the possession of
the well known college property of the Southern Methodist denomination
at Vacaville, Solano county, California, valued at $25,000. By the payment
of $4,000 on the 3d day of November, A. D. 1870, this property was formally
accepted by our denomination through an Educational Convention duly
called for that purpose ; who also at that time elected a Board of Trustees,
to whom was intrusted its future management and control, and who
adopted a Constitution and By-Laws for their guidance. Being thus at
once put in possession of a property valuation sufficient to enable us to
secure a college charter under the laws of our State, on the day of

the present month such charter was duly received under the name of
" California College."

" On the 4th day of January, 1871, by the election of the aforesaid
Trustees, Professor Mark Bailey, of Petaluma, assumed the Presidency of
the College and opened its first session with fourteen scholars. Since that


time its cause has been onward ; its influence widening ; and under God's
blessing, with the fostering sympathy and encouragement which is due from
us as a denomination, its success assured."

A settlement made by Rev. J. E. Barnes, and appended to the report
quoted above, shows the amount received up to May 16, 1871, to be
$2,971 38. Of this amount there was paid to teachers, agent, and inci-
dental expenses, $1,193 15, leaving a balance of $1,778 23 to be paid on
notes given for the purchase of the college.

As is seen, Professor Mark Bailey, who was the first President, held his
office until the spring of 1873, when Dr. A. S. Morrell, of Kentucky, was
elected. In November, 1875, he was superseded by the election of T. W.
G. Green, who held office until May, 1877, when Dr. S. A. Taft, of Santa
Rosa, was chosen President until 1878, when the present Principal, Dr. U.
Gregory, was elected.

Endowment : — In April, 1873, at a convention held at Vacaville, there
was subscribed the sum of $3,700, a large portion of which was given by
the residents of the town for the purposes of endowment, which, in the
same summer, J. B. Saxton, on the same plan, increased by $6,000, when
the financial work was handed to Dr. Morrell, who swelled the amount by

The institution has in money and remunerative land $20,000, as an en-
dowment. A valuable farm of 255 acres, within two miles of the college,
has been given by Deacon Lankershim, of the Metropolitan Church, San
Francisco. The Trustees have authorized the President to raise a fund of
$3,000, the semi-annual interest of which is to be applied in the purchase
of books for the college library, which now contains about 2,500 volumes.
The Degrees of Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts are conferred.




Geography: — On June 27, 1866, the boundaries of Green Valley town-
ship were finally ordered to be as under : Commencing at a rock mound
on the crest of hills in section 34, township A, N. R. 3 W., established by R
N orris for a boundary between Napa and Solano counties ; thence northerly
along the boundary line of said counties, to the north line of township 5, N.
R. 3 W.; thence east along said township line to the dividing ridge running
to the peak called " Twin Sisters ; " thence southerly along said divide to
Suisun creek, passing on the line of A. Blake and William Brown's land ;
thence down said creek to the south-east corner of Hiram Macy's land ;
thence south to the north line of section 16, township 4, N. R. 2 W.; thence
west to Cordelia slough ; thence down said slough to the north line of sec-
tions 31 and 32, township 4, N. R. 2 W.; thence west along said north line
to the boundary line of Solano and Napa counties.

Topography : — This picturesque valley lies to the eastward of the Suscol
hills, four miles east of Suscol valley, is six miles in length, one and a half
in breadth and derives its name from a large portion of it being green the
year round ; it is watered by the Green Valley creek which rises in the
south-west corner of township 5, N. R. 2 W., and runs in a south-easterly
course for about eight miles and finally empties itself into Cordelia slough
at Bridgeport.

Green Valley : — This is without doubt the acme of perfection as regards
scenery, no finer could scarcely exist anywhere. Starting from Bridgeport
and taking a northerly direction, following the creek as it meets us with
many a babble and rush, we enter the narrow gorge which brings us into
Green Valley proper. To the left are the bold and well defined mountains
which separate Solano from Napa county ; to the right are those which
mark the boundary of Suisun valley, while in front is a prospect of ravish-
ing beauty of hill and glade, interspersed with wooded knolls and shady
ravines, which almost defy description. On either side are well laid out
grounds having residences placed in the midst of gardens gladdening the
eye with every color of flower and foliage, while on the hill sides appear
acre upon acre of grape vines, arranged with the regularity and perfection
of extreme nicety. After passing through what may be termed the throat
of the vale, the scene extends into a wide amphitheatre of untold glory ; at
the upper end are the famous Green Valley falls developing a prospect


which repays any amount of fatigue and toil. From either hand the speak-
ing rills pour their murmuring waters into the parent stream, after purling
down the mountain sides in many a beauteous rapid and cascade ; shady
pools give promise of rare sport to the followers of the gentle art, high
rocks suggest the lair of snakes and other creeping things ; wild flowers n
inaccessible spots add quietude to the scene, while the swooping hawk high
over head acts as a terror to the merry songsters as they Hit in frightened
excitement from branch to twig and back to, branch again. Our feeble pen
can give no semblance of an idea as to the beauty of this scene ; appreciation
can only be attained by seeing it for oneself.

Grape Groiuing Interest : — This enterprise was commenced by John Voly-
pka, an Austrian, who located a farm at the foot, or near the foot of the
" Twin Sisters " mountain in the spring of 1858, planting a vineyard at that
date and commencing the manufacture of wine in 1863. In the fall of 1860
Henry Shultz planted out a vineyard, being joined by his brother in the
fall of the year, the firm now being C. Shultz & Co. They have on their
grounds a wine cellar 38x100 feet in dimensions in which are about twenty-
five casks with a capacity of from five to thirteen hundred gallons each.
In the cellar there are also ranged pipes and barrels, making the entire
capacity in the vicinity of about ten thousand gallons. S. F. Jones, the
largest manufacturer, settled in Green Valley in the year 1860, where he
has erected a very complete cellar capable of containing fifty thousand
gallons, and having all the necessary appliances appertaining to an estab-
lishment of this nature. From Mr. Jones we learn many most interesting
facts connected with the making of wine. He has ninety acres laid out in
vines from which he distills about six thousand gallons per acre when
crops are good. Henry Brown also commenced the business in 1863. The
foregoing are among the more important names interested in the develop-
ment of this special trade ; there are, however, many others, but want of
space precludes our mentioning all, save those of the principal manufacturers.

Cordelia : — Next to Benicia this is the town of longest life in the county.
Originally it was situated in Green Valley, about one-half mile north of the
present town of Bridgeport, on the old stage road between Sacramento and
Benicia. As far back as the year 1853 there was a post office established
here, but it was afterwards removed to Rockville and thereafter to Bridge-
port. The place, which now only exists in name, has been the scene of
many of the meetings of the early county conventions, but the require-
ments of the times, plus the railroad, have absorbed it.

Bridgeport : — The successor to the glories of the above described town
is a station on the California Pacific Railroad situated about fifteen miles


from Vallejo. It is located upon the banks of a navigable slough which
falls into Suisun bay, and is situated at the entrance to Green valley. It
has one Episcopal church, a school, railroad depot, hotel, box factory, etc.,
and possesses a population of about three hundred souls.

Rockville : — This hamlet lies on the old stage road about five miles
west of Fairfield. A stone church, a school house, and a solitary village
blacksmith's establishment make up the present city. It formerly had a
post office, hotel, and store, but now, Ichabod, the glory is departed ! Rock-
ville is a veritable " deserted village." It has a slight history, however, if
little else, for here was the headquarters of the Suisun Indians, and indeed
in this locality was the first cultivation of grain carried on. Here, too, was
the anvil's music first heard from the forge of John M. Perry, who was
wont to produce in those good old days, a rude ground tearer or plough at
the moderately low figure of $65.



Geography : — On May 22, 1871, it was ordered by the Board of Supervi-
sors that a new township should be formed out of portions of Vacaville,
Silveyville, and Maine Prairie townships, the boundaries being: "Beginning
at the south-west corner of the south-east quarter of section No. 3, town-
ship 5 N., R. 1 W., Mount Diablo meridian and base ; running thence north
seven miles to the quarter-section corner on the north line of section 3,
township 6 N., R. 1 W.; thence along said township line six miles ; thence
along quarter-section lines south seven miles."

Topography : — The topography of Elmira township is not hard to desig-
nate. It is that portion of the plain of Suisun valley described in the
foregoing boundaries. Comparatively speaking, not an inch of it is there
but what will fructify and produce ; still, from its position and the want of
any perennial streams, it is a matter of difficulty, in the seasons of drought,
which, happily, though rare, will occur in California, to find water save by
the digging of wells, and this has been done to some purpose.

Settlement : — The settlement of Elmira township is coeval with that of
the Suisun valley. In the days when it was settled, and for many years
later, Elmira was still a portion of other townships. As the increase of
population made itself felt, the necessity to make a new partition arose, and
thus, those who erst belonged to the adjacent townships, suddenly found
themselves included in entirely new boundaries.

Elmira. — The thriving little town on the line of the California Pacific
Railroad, formerly called Vaca Station, was renamed after the city of
Elmira, in the State of New York. It is the junction of the above named
railroad, which passes in a direct line through Solano county ; and the Vaca
Valley and Clear Lake Railroad, which, up to the present time, has thirty
miles of track laid to Madison, in Yolo county, with stations, of much com-
fort and easy of access, at Vacaville, and Winters, on the Yolo county side
of Putah creek, on the route to its terminus. Elmira is located on the
south-west quarter of section 19, township 6 N., R. 1 W. The plat of the
city was filed for record October 20, 1868. The site comprises about forty
acres of ground, and was originally the property of Stephen Hoyt, who laid
out the town in 1868.

The settlement of the county may be said to have commencd with ■ the


location of Stephen Hoyt, Charles Pearson, and Jediah Williams in 1853.
In 1854 Hazen Hoyt and Allen Van Fleet settled near the present town site,
while, at much about the same time, Wellington and James Boone became
settlers on what is usually known as the Hawker's place. The first crops
of barley were raised by Stephen Hoyt and A. Van Fleet. Sacramento, at
the time, was the principal market for the products of the township.
Elmira is distant ten miles, in a north-easterly direction, from the county
seat of Fairfield. The population is about 500.

The churches, and schools as well, are creditably represented ; while its
commercial relations are fairly prosperous, there being two stores, doing a
general merchandise business, two hotels, two warehouses, a lumber yard,
livery stable, and three blacksmiths' shops, as well as extensive premises,
the property of both railroad companies.

In connection with the prosperity of Elmira, we should not omit to
mention the name of John H. Barrett, the present County Assessor. His
residence is in the town. He was the first Justice of the Peace elected for
the township ; has the welfare of the embryo city in his thoughts ; while a
community may well feel grateful at having so energetic a member in its

/. 0. 0. F., Elmira : — This Lodge was organized January 15, 1873, the
first officers being : John H. Barrett, N. G.; M. D. Cooper, V. G.; L. David-
son, Recording Secretary ; J. A. Collier, Treasurer.

A. 0. U. W.; — This is a new order in the country, and had been only
instituted but a short time when we made our appearance.




ALVORD, LUKE, was born in Syracuse, State of New York, on Septem-
ber 16, 1812, and remained in that city and neighborhood working at his
trade and farming until February, 1850, when he sailed in the " Tennes-
see" for California, arriving in San Francisco in April, having been
detained in Panama three weeks awaitino- her arrival. At once went to
Tuolumne county, at Wood's creek, four miles above Jacksonville, and
remained there engaged in mining until July 12, 1851, when he left to
return home. In February, 1853, he again left Syracuse for California,
on this occassion accompanied by his family. On his arrival he went
back to the mines, moving from place to place, principally in Sacramento
and Amador counties, having lived for twelve years in Volcano. In 1867,
he came to Sacramento city and in the following year took up his resi-
dence in Vallejo, where he has remained ever since. Is a carpenter by
trade, and was foreman on the grain elevator when it was built. Mr.
Alvord married at Syracuse on November 12, 1834, Miss Henrietta S-
Childs of Saratoga, New York, by whom he has : Cass, born September
13, 1836 ; Marion, born May 9, 1840, died 1844; and Helen Burnett, born
August 30, 1845, married at Volcano, 1867, Professor W. H. Tripp, of

ANDERSON, M. D., WALTER DUNCAN, was' born in Tatamagonche*
Colchester county, Nova Scotia, April 17, 1840. At fourteen years of age
he moved to Canada, where he resided for seven years, at the expiry of
which he returned to Nova Scotia ; thence to Boston, Massachusetts, where
he studied medicine and graduated at the Harvard Medical School on
March 9, 1864. Dr. Anderson practiced for three months in the Magda-
len Islands, two years in Wallace, Nova Scotia, and on December 23, 1866,
came to Vallejo, where he still resides. Married Mary Jane, daughter of
Thomas Wallace, machinist, on 5th February, 1879.

ASPENALL, WILLIAM, arrived from Panama, in the ship " Harriet Rock-
well," in June, 1850. On landing in San Francisco, he found letters in-
forming him of the whereabouts of former friends and companions in
arms, of the Mexican campaign, among them being Col. James M. Stuart,
Postmaster of the present House of Representatives, Major Cooper and


N. K. Swope, ex-Captain of Mexican fame. Mr. Aspenall soon after
started for the southern mines, and * arrived in Jamestown, Tuolumne
county, in July, 1850, and there engaged in mining, with some success,
for two years. In 1852, the Scott-river excitement broke out and he,
with five others, determined to organize themselves into a party and pro-
ceed thither. At that time, provisions were exhorbitantly high. They
purchased a pack train of mules, in Sacramento, consisting of fifteen head
besides saddle animals, loaded them with flour, sugar and tobacco, and
made a successful voyage to Trinity valley. When here, the Indians
stampeded the animals belonging to the expedition, when everything was
lost save two mats containing two hundred pounds of China sugar. The
entire party got snowed in when crossing the Trinity mountains, being
twenty-one days in working their way to the summit, which is known as
the Devil's Backbone. They endured many hardships on this occasion ;
food was scarce ; they, therefore, contented themselves with mule's flesh
and sugar ; yet, ultimately, arrived at Scott's river bar in time to take a
hand in the Rogue-river war, which was then being carried on against
the Indians ; the hostilities were soon terminated on the capture of fifty
squaws by Governor Joe Lane. We next find Mr. Aspenall in Oregon, on
the banks of the Willamette river, where he had built himself a log-
cabin, but, getting weary of the solitude of the Oregonian forests, in 1852,
he once more returned to California and, for a second time, proceeded to
Jamestown, Toulumne county, where he was appointed Deputy, under
his friend, Sheriff Swope. In March, 1853, he was joined by his family
from New Orleans, who had sustained shipwreck on their journey. In
1854, Mr. A., with others, took a prominent part in the contest which re-
sulted in the location of the county seat of Tuolumne county, at Sonora,
whereupon, he, with Charles M. Scott, ex-Member of Congress, James M.
Stuart, already mentioned, and Captain Arnix, left Jamestown, the two
first going to the county seat at Sonora, while the latter came to Vallejo,
where they purchased some property, Arnix, after a while, giving up all
his possessions, on account of faulty titles. Mr. Aspenall now erected a
store in Vallejo, which was opened on June 1, 1855. It was his original
intention to make this a one-storied building, but, finding a few Brother
Masons in the city, he added another story to it and helped to start a
Masonic Lodge in September, 1855, and the Odd Fellows' Lodge in the
same building in October of that year. Was elected a Justice of the
Peace, in 1856, for Vallejo Township, and, on the incorporation of the
city of Vallejo by the Legislature, in 1865, Mr. Aspenall was on the first
Board of Trustees. In 1874. he once more was elected to the Board of
Trustees and became their President for two years, and, in 1877, was
again elected a Justice of the Peace for Vallejo township, a position
which he still holds.


AYLWARD, THOMAS, was born in Quebec, Lower Canada, where he re-
mained till October G, 1837, when he left for New York, arriving there
in the same month, where he bound himself apprentice sailmaker with
Stout & Blackledge, 144 South street. In 1846 he went to Virginia,
being employed in the Gosport Navy Yard as sailmaker for five months
and twenty-seven days, where he assisted in fitting out the men-of-war
"Mississippi," "St. Lawrence" and "St. Mary's." Returned to New York
in May, 1847, when he was dispatched' in charge of some men to New
London, Connecticut, where he worked for three months. He then was
removed to Sag Harbor, remaining there three months, and was again
changed to Greenport, Long Island, when, at the end of six weeks, he
went back to New York, and shortly afterward returned to Greenport,
where he stayed till November 5, 1848. It was Mr. Aylward's intention
to have left Greenport on November 3d, but owing to a terrific snow-
storm which prevailed he delayed his depaiture, and well for him that he
did so, for the train which he should have traveled by was run into and
more than twenty lives lost, and a large number wounded, those who
escaped having done so by jumping into the snow. He remained in New
York till March 12, 1849, when he sailed in the ship "Salem," owned by
a stock company, who were on board, the captain, George Douglas, being
part owner. Spending eighteen days in Hio de Janeiro and fifteen at
Talcahuana, they arrived at San Francisco October 12, the voyage having
occupied precisely seven months. The day after Mr. Aylward arrived he
set to work at his trade, making as high as one hundred dollars a day,
but this he was forced to relinquish on account of a neuralgic affection,
which the fogs of San Francisco enhanced. He therefore got his party
together, chartered a schooner and sailed for Stockton, en route for the
mines. From Stockton they went to the Chinese Camp in Tuolumne
County, where he remained a fortnight, and then removed to Murphy's
Camp, prospecting; and, returning to Chinese Camp, took his whole party
back to Murphy's, in Calaveras County, in March, 1850, and there re-
mained until November 21, 1853, when he left for San Francisco. It was
now Mr. Aylward's intention to go to the Amazon, but he did not. Sev-
eral of his party started thither, however, but nearly all of them perished
from cholera, in Callao. One month after returning to San Francisco he
went into business as a sailmaker, on the corner of Clay and Davis streets,
which h'e carried on till May, 1856. He then sold out, and recommenced
mining operations in Oroville, Butte County, remaining there six days,
when he moved to Forbestown. In October he left this district for San
Francisco, and commenced working as a journeyman sailmaker, and as
such continued till 1858, having occasional jobs in the Mare Island Navy
Yard. In the Spring of that year he restarted on his own account, at the
corner of Clark and Davis streets, remaining in business there till May,


1860, when he left his partner in charge and once more went himself to

Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 37 of 57)