J. P Munro-Fraser.

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

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packs. At length all was made snug, and the quartette, climbing up to
the fork of a tree, out of the reach of the now rushing stream, in the driv-
ing snow, philosophically awaited the dawn of day. Of such were the
hardships endured on this memorable journey.

In the spring of the year 1850, the subject of our memoir established a
store, having a mule team in connection therewith. The former combined
all the mining luxuries cf a boarding-house, ten-pin alley and card-room,
as well as the agency for Adams' Express. At the time when the first
snow fell, Mr. B. found himself with a large accumulation of staple goods
for which there would be a ready market; he therefore turned out his
animals to pasture on what was known as the Texine ranch, when on
one day he was informed that a force of Indians had been seen driving
them off. This was a cause of the hastening of another Mariposa war.
On the receipt of this intelligence Major Burney, then Sheriff of the
county, raised a company of twenty-two volunteers started in pursuit,
and overtaking the Indians engaged them for three or four hours, when
they fled leaving behind them partially eaten portions of the beasts which
had been cooked between the time of their capture and the conflict. At
this juncture the war had assumed proportions which were likely to
develop. The Major, therefore, appealed to Governor Burnett at San
Jose for aid, when he despatched Neely Johnson to organize three com-
panies of militia in Mariposa county, Mr. Brownlee being suttler of the
battalion, and as such he found himself possessed of a large amount of
scrip, paid to him by the force, which he wished to have recognized by
the officers of the State. To gain this was the object of his first visit to
Vallejo in 1851, on which occasion he remained only two months, return-
ing to Mariposa county, and thereafter visited Sacramento in 1852 on the
same errand, after which he once more went back to Mariposa, wound up
his affairs and started to return to Scotland, but having missed the steamer


from San Francisco to Panama, he remained for three weeks in Val-
lejo. On the 1st day of March, 1852, Mr.Brownlee sailed from San Fran-
cisco, visiting en route Arkansas and Kentucky, where he met his wife,
went to Scotland, but in two months from his arrival, having visited a
few of the most noteworthy places in his native land, once more turned
towards the United States and landed in New York, where he was
married soon after his arrival. In October, 1852, we find Mr. Brownlee
on his second voyage to California, on this occasion accompanied by his
bride and his brother, his wife and son, traversing the route, not by the
plains as he had done three years before, but by the more pleasant and
swifter one of Panama, arriving in San Francisco in the end of Novem-
ber, and having pleasant recollections of Vallejo, immediately thereafter
proceeded thither, where both families located in December, 1852.
Early in the next year he commenced farming and a dairy business on a
small scale, purchased a tract of fifty acres of land two miles north of the
town limits, which he afterwards exchanged with General John B. Frisbie,
in 1857 for his present place, now in Napa county, but which was then
in that of Solano. Since his arrival, up to the present time, Mr. Brown-
lee has been inseparably connected with Vallejo and its associations, and
though he does not reside in the county, he is still spoken of by all as
the most reliable source of information in regard to the doings in early
days. His residence is a magnificent two-storied building, having rooms
of fine proportions, situated about fourteen miles from Vallejo ; he farms
over 1,100 acres of land, 650 being in Solano county, while this season he
has under wheat and barley no less than 1,100 acres. The line of rail-
road to Sacramento from South Vallejo passes his gate, while there is an
averagely good road to his dwelling. A more genial companion, a bet-
ter citizen or hospitable host does not exist than Robert Brownlee.
He was born at Bunkle, in the parish of Oambusnethen, in the county of
Lanark, Scotland, in 1813, married Annie Lamont October 24, 1852,
born in Tamhorn, in the Carse O'Gowrie, Perthshire, Scotland, in 1834,
by whom he has Robert A., born October 14, 1853, (the first white boy
born in Vallejo) ; Mary J., born August 1, 1855 ; Margaret R., born June
4, 1857 ; Gracie A., born July 10, 1862 ; George, born February 23, 1864 ;
William, born November 25, 1866, died March 17, 1868 ; and Frederick
J., born August 19, 1870.

BROWNLEE, THOMAS, was born in Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, Scotland,
in the year 1816, where he remained until the year 1842 when he emi-
grated to America and settled in the State of Arkansas. In the year
1846 he enlisted in the Arkansas Regiment, under command of Colonel
Yell, and with it served in the Mexican war for one year, being present
at the engagement at Buena Vista. On the expiration of his service he


returned to Arkansas and there remained till 1852 when he came to
California, and was in that year among the very first to settle in Vallejo
where he was the original blacksmith of this now thriving city. Is a
charter member of the Benicia Lodge of F. and A. M., being one of the
few originators of that lodge who are now living ; is also a charter mem-
ber of the Masters Lodge of F. and A. M. of Vallejo. Married June 29,
1849, Mary Lamont, by whom he has Alexander J., Annie, and John.

BUTLER, 0. H., was born in Utica, N. Y., in May, 1829, and there re-
mained until 1833, when, with his parents, he moved to Michigan, resid-
ing there until 1842. In this year he went to Illinois, and worked at his
trade of a mason at Chicago, Bloomington, Peoria, and finally settled there.
In 1855 he moved to Livingston county, Mo., where he resided until
1862, when he crossed the Plains to California, and settled at Woodland,
Yolo county, and there established a brick-yard, combining this business
with that of a contractor. At the end of two years he moved to Santa
Kosa, Sonoma county, and there erected a flour mill, with water power, on
Markwest creek. This enterprise he conducted for five years, when, in
1869, he sold his property and came to Vallejo, where he has since re-
sided. Was appointed Quarterman-mason on the Navy Yard at Mare
Island, July 22, 1872, and is still employed there. He married July 22,
1851, Julia A. Michael, of Bloomington, Ills.

CALLENDER, JOHN, was born in Bucks county, Pa., November 16, 1822,
and after two years residence here he, with parents, moved to Philadelphia,
where he learned the carpenters' and joiners' trade, following that oocu-
pation until March 19, 1852, when he started for California, arriving in
San Francisco on the 13th day of August following. Having brought
his carpenters' tools with him, he work in the city for one month, when
he came to Vallejo on the ship " Empire," it being the same he crossed
the ocean on to San Francisco. We record his arrival here on September
13, 1852. There being no house in which he could live he had to remain
on the boat until a temporary dwelling was erected on Mare Island, in
which he lived until the Navy Yard was established there by the Gov-
ernment, when he moved on the Vallejo side, and, in company with John
North, opened the Central House, but continued working at his trade. In
1859 he commenced the livery business, and in 1864 established the
undertakers' trade, both of which he has followed to the present time.
Married Catherine Fraser, daughter of James P. Fraser, a native of Phil-
adelphia, Pa. They were married in Vallejo, September, 1858. They
have had three children, all of which are deceased. Mr. C. has served
two terms as Supervisor, and in 1871 ran for Sheriff and was only beaten
by 653 votes, which was owing to the " tape- worm ticket."


CARMAN, A. S., is a native of the province of New Brunswick, where he
was born on September 7, 1849. Entered a mercantile and ship-building
firm at the age of fourteen, and, after remaining there two years, entered
the employment of a mercantile, ship-building, and grindstone manufactur-
ing company, where he continued for one year, when he left for California,
arriving there in September, 1867, and entered into the lumber business
with Houghton & Lee, of Vallejo. Afterwards was engaged by the firm
of Doe & Moore, of South Vallejo, as salesman and later as bookkeeper,
who having sold out to Pope & Talbot, he was appointed manager to the
new firm, a position which he still occupies. Married in November, 1876,
to Miss Estelle Davenport, of Monterey, a native of Michigan, and has
one son. '

COLHOUN, EDMUND R., U. S. N., Commandant Mare Island Navy Yard,
was born in Pennsylvania, May 6, 1821 ; appointed midshipman from
Missouri, April 1, 1839 ; attached to sloop "'Marion," Brazil Squadron,
1839-41 ; frigate " Congress," Mediterranean and Brazil Squadrons, 1842-
44 ; Naval School, Philadelphia, 1845 ; promoted to passed Midshipman,
July 2, 1845 ; frigate " Cumberland," Home Squadron, 1846-47. Com-
modore Colhoun took part in the Mexican war, being present at the
first attack on Alvarado, under Commodore Connor, and that at Tabasco,
under Commodore Perry, which resulted in its capture. Served as passed
Midshipman on board the armed prize schooner "Novata"; attached to
the receiving ship " Philadelphia," 1850-51 ; frigate " St. Lawrence,'
Pacific Squadron, 1851-53; resigned, June 27, 1853. Re-entered the
service as Acting Lieutenant in 1861; comm?.mded steamers "Shawsheen"
and "Hunchback," North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 1861-62. Was
present at and took part in the following engagements : Battle of Roan-
oke Island, February 7 and 8, 1862 ; capture of Newbern, March 14,
1862 ; engagements on the Blackwater river, below Franklin, Virginia,
October, 1862 ; received his commission as Commander November 17,
1862; commanded steamer " Ladona," North Atlantic Blockading Squad-
ron, 1863; commanding monitor " Weehawken," South Atlantic Block-
ading Squadron, 1863 ; was present at the different actions with Forts
Sumter, Wagner, Beauregard, etc., from July 10 to September 15, 1863 ;
commanded the monitor " Saugas," North Atlantic Blockading Squadron,
1864-65 ; engaged Howlett's Battery on James river, June 21, and again
on December 5, 1864 ; took part in the bombardment of Fort Fisher,
December 25, 1864, and the different engagements therewith until its
capture on January 15, 1865 ; was on special duty at New York, 1866 ;
Fleet Captain, South Pacific Squadron, 1866-67, and commissioned as
Captain 1869; commanded iron clad "Dictator" 1869-70; appointed
in 1873 to command the flag-ship " Hartford," on the Asiatic Station ;


was in command of that Station four months, when he was transferred
to the " Richmond " flag-ship, on the South Pacific Station, where he
served from August, 1874, to July, 1875. The Commodore's next official
duties were in connection with the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia,
where he was three months, when he was placed on the Examining Board
at Washington, serving on it for six months. Promoted to the rank of
Commodore April 26, 1876, and, having been appointed to Mare Island
Navy Yard, he relieved Admiral Rodgers of the command April 17, 1877.
Commodore Colhoun is married and has a family.

CONDON, JAMES, born in Ireland, in 1826, and came to America in 1848,
first settling in New York. In 1855, he came to California and located
at Sacramento, engaging in the nursery business in connection with A. B.
Smith, whose agent he was until 1862. In that year he went back to the
Eastern States, returning to California in 1864, and once more settled in
Sacramento, where he stayed four years, after which he engaged in farm-
ing in Yolo county, and remained there until he took the management of
the White Sulphur Springs near Vallejo, where he now resides. In 1855,
he married, in New York, Miss Rose Maclean.

CONNOLLY, HENRY, was born in 1826, in the county of Fermanagh,
Ireland, from whence he emigrated to the United States in 1846, and
settled in New York city, remaining there till 1853, when he left for
California and settled in San Francisco. In 1857, he removed to Vallejo,
where he commenced business in the Washington Hotel, which he carried
on for many years and which property he still owns. In connection there-
with, he opened a livery business 'in 1859, which he still continues. Mr.
Connolly also opened a wholesale wine and liquor store in 1875. He
married Catharine Elliott in 1853, who was born in county Fermanagh in

DARE, JOHN T., is a native of Brook Haven, Long Island, New York,
and born March 27, 1843. Here he was educated in the common schools,
and, at the age of thirteen, went to sea as a cabin boy, going up through
all the different grades to that of first mate. This occupation he followed
eight years. In May, 1861, he arrived in San Francisco on the ship " W.
L. Richardson," being second in command of that craft, but left her on
his arrival and shipped for the South Sea Islands and return. In 1862,
went to Shoalwater Bay, oystering, returning the same year with a large
number of oysters, planting them in San Pablo bay ; but the high water
in the Winter of 1862-3 destroyed them. The following year, read law
with C. Greenwich Howard, of San Francisco. About the time of the
El Dorado Canyon or Colorado river gold excitement, he went to that


locality and, after experiencing the changeable fortunes incident to a miner,
he returned and settled in Los Angeles, and was engaged in driving team
for other parties. Next we find him in the employ of the Government,
under Major Morris, at Drum Barracks", running trains across the desert.
During Brigadier General John S. Mason's expedition through Arizona
1 Territory, Mr. Dare accompanied them as master of transportation. After
making a complete tour of the Territory, he selected Prescott, in the Ter-
ritory, as a place of residence ; here he established the first pony express
from Prescott to California, via Fort Mojave, riding the pony himself,
without escort, through bands of hostile Indians, for six months ; then
run a wagon train from Prescott to Colorado river. In 1867, he was
elected to the lower house of the Arizona Legislature, and was the framer
of several bills which still are a part of the laws of that country. Soon
after the expiration of his office, the large wagon train he was then run-
ning, was captured and destroyed by Indians, his train-master losing his
life in the battle. Becoming disgusted with the country on account of
the hostilities of the savages, he returned to California, settling in Vallejo,
in 1868. Here he worked at various occupations, then a freight clerk in
the office of Cal. P. R. R., and eighteen months thereafter was A. D. Starr
& Co.'s cashier and book-keeper. In the Fall of 1877, he was elected to
the lower house of the State Legislature, doing the State excellent service
in framing: and working through the Bank Commission Bill, also the Fish
and Game bills, and a strong advocate of the Postal Savings Bank bill.
He has made a continuous residence in south Vallejo since his coming in
1868, and is now one of its business men. Married in this place Miss
Anetta, eldest daughter of George H. Martin, of Albany, New York, on
January 18, 1872, their children are Ellen S., Starr D. and Edith.

DEININGER, F., born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1832. In 1856, came to
America and settled in San Francisco, where he remained but a short
time, then removed to Los Angeles where he engaged in the brewery
business. In the Summer of 1857, he established a brewery at Long
Bar, Yolo county, and the same time commenced farming on a large scale
nine miles from Marysville. In 1866, he moved to Meadow Lake, Nevada
county, and opened a brewery there, which he continued until 1870, when
he established a like undertaking in Vallejo, in which city he now resides.
Married at Marysville, in 1858, Madelina Young, by whom he has : Jessie,
Louisa, Daisy, Jacob, Mary, Lena, Maggie and Rose.

DERWIN, MICHAEL S., was born in County Galway, Ireland, in 1812,
and resided there till 1834, when he emigrated to America, first settling
in Philadelphia. In 1837 he went to the Florida war, being connected
with the quartermasters' department, and leaving there, came to New


York in March, 1841, proceeding thereafter to Philadelphia. In that city
he embarked in a grocery business, which he continued till 1848, when
he moved to New Orleans, where he lived till 1852, in which year he left
for California, via Panama, arriving in San Francisco on February 28th
of that year. In March he paid a flying visit to Vallejo, and thence pro-
ceeded to Stockton, from which place he went to the mines in Tuolumne
County, where he engaged in mining for one year. At the end of that
period he returned to San Francisco and began draying, which business
he prosecuted for eight months. In the latter part of the year 1853 he
returned to Philadelphia and then to New York, in which city he started
the wholesale and retail liquor trade. In July, 1854, he once more turned
towards the Golden State, arriving in San Francisco in August, and took
up his abode there until January, 1855, when he moved to Vallejo and
located in that city, and was employed for fifteen months in the Navy
Yard at Mare Island. In 1856 he started for the mines in Oregon, so-
journing there for one year and a half, at the expiration of which he
came back to Vallejo, where he has since resided. In 1870 Mr. Derwin
visited his friends in Philadelphia, and having returned to Vallejo, em-
barked in the grocery business. Mr. D. is a member of the firm of Der-
win & McCudden, is married, and has a family.

DOYLE, JAMES, born in Montreal, Canada, December 25, 1828, and re-
sided there till 1846, when he went to New York City, and on April 1,
1852, sailed from there on the ship "North America," for California,
arriving in San Francisco September 1 of that year. Remained in that
city till 1855, and then proceeded to Vallejo, where he has since remained
a permanent resident. Mr. Doyle started the Pioneer Marble Works in
Vallejo in 1862, which he still owns, and was elected Constable for the
Township of Vallejo on September 5, 1877, and commenced his official
duties in the month of March following. He married in New York, De-
cember 25, 1849, Anna Fleury, by whom he has Sarah A., Thomas, Mary
E., Addie, Jonas, Robert E., Annie, Elizabeth, Charles and Gertrude.

DRAKE,. SIMON S., farmer, Section 16, post-office, Vallejo; was born in
Chichester, New Hampshire, September 15, 1831, and remained there till
1848, but did not leave the State till the Spring of 1854, when he. moved
to Fillmore County, Minnesota, there engaging in general merchandising,
pre-empting land, and farming, until the early part of 1857, when he re-
turned to the Eastern States and settled in Massachusetts, but remained
there only two years. On January 6, 1859, he sailed from New York, via
Panama, arriving in San Francisco in February, and immediately went to
Sacramento, and there worked on a dairy farm till the following Septem-
ber, when he proceeded to South San Francisco and entered the employ-


ment of John J. Haley, then proprietor of the International Hotel. In
the Spring of 1860 he moved to Contra Costa County, and rented a farm
from Victor Castro, but in the following Spring he left that portion of
the country and sought employment in the Mare Island Navy Yard, in
the plumbers' department. Leaving Mare Island in the Fall of that year,
he proceeded to Idaho Territory, and commenced mining on Newsom
Creek, which he prosecuted till November, 1862, keeping also a miners'
store, when, at that date, he once more returned to San Francisco. In
February of the following year Mr. Drake proceeded to Austin, Nevada,
and was employed as engineer at different mills till 1865, when, on Feb-
ruary 10th, he once more went to San Francisco, from which city he pro-
ceeded to his home* in the East, on the loth of the month. While at
Lynn, Massachusetts, he engaged with his brothers in the grocery and
provision business, which he continued till April, 1866, when he left
for Minnesota, and from thence went to Kansas City, Missouri, arriving
there July 4, 1866. He next proceeded to Ray County, Missouri, where
he worked as an engineer for two years. On October 7th, 1868, he was
married to Miss Mirza C. Craven, and soon after left for California, but
after a few months returned to Missouri for his wife, coming back to Cali-
fornia in November, 1869, and settled on his present farm of 360 acres.
Mr. Drake is a member of the Grangers, as well as of the Ancient Order
of United Workmen and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has by
his wife three children — Walter Frank, born in Ray County, Missouri,
September 18, 1869; Harry Clyde, born April 14, 1871, at Vallejo; and
Joey Howard, born September 23, 1872.

EDWARDS, WILLIAM P., was born in London, England, on July 8, 1821,
and in 1837 came to New York, to which place his father had preceded
him. Was employed in different mercantile houses in New York and
Philadelphia until May 5, 1849, when he set sail from the latter city in
the bark " Ralph Cross " for San Francisco, where he arrived November
5, of the same year. Mr. Edwards had brought with him a machine for
cutting shingles, which he erected on what was known as the Widow
Reed's Ranch, in Marin county, but he was forced, after giving it a trial
to succumb to the want of experience in this particular industry. Mr.
Edwards thereafter went to the Middle Fork of the Yuba River, to a
place called Snow Camp, in the summer of 1850, but returned to San
Francisco in the fall of the same year, and after a time engaged in mer-
cantile pursuits, which he continued until 1865, when he settled in
Vallejo. Has been Secretary of the Association of California Pioneers
since its formation, with the exception of two terms, he is also a member
of Vallejo Lodge No. 64, I. O. G. T.


EGERY, B. D., of the firm of Egery & Lamont, was born in Penobscot
county, Maine, on December 12, 1838, remaining there until 1859, when
he came to California. First engaged in mining in Butte county, remov-
ing therefrom one year after, when he removed to Chico, and from there
to San Francisco, from whence he went to Owen's river, where he again
engaged in mining. In the fall of 1863 he obtained employment as a clerk
in San Francisco, at which he remained until January, 1867, when he left
for Vallejo and opened a grocery, fruit and provision store, which was
destroyed by fire in the following June. He then became a clerk with
E. T. Starr. In September, 1869, he entered into partnership with John
E. Williston, whose interest his present partner purchased in Septem-
ber, 1870, when the firm of Egery & Lamont was started. Mr. Egery
married November 24, 1871, Miss Carrie G. Lambert, a native of Phila-
delphia, who was born in 1846, by whom he has Lambert D., John A.,
Benjamin C, and Eugene.

FARNHAM, JOHN, Clothing, Gents' Furnishing Goods, Trunks and Valises.
The subject of this sketch was born in Bucksport, Maine, in 1840, and in
1860 took to the sea as a profession, which he followed for four years.
In the natural course of his calling he arrived in San Francisco in 1863,
and proceeding to Mare Island he at once obtained employment in the
Navy Yard. In 1867 he returned to his native town and engaged in the
hardware business, under the style and firm of S. A. &. J. Farnham. In
1868 he disposed of his interest in that firm and once more returning to
California came to Vallejo and established his present business, under the
name of Farnham & Voorhees, which partnership continued until the
year 1871, since when he has been alone. Mr. F. has also a dry goods
business in Salem, Oregon. Vallejo has few more public spirited citizens
than John Farnham. In 1877 he was elected to fill the chair of the Re-
publican County Committee ; again in 1878 the like honor was con-
ferred upon him, and, never being behind-hand where duty in the public
interest is demanded, he has served on the Board of Education, and filled
other responsible offices. In 1868 Mr. Farnham married Mary L., daugh-
ter of Andrew J. Ketcham, of Brandon, Vt., who was born in 1841. In
this connection an episode occurred which may here be mentioned :

Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 39 of 57)