J. P Munro-Fraser.

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

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Maine, and born March 16, 1832. Here his father died when he was but
five years old, and at the age of ten he took up a residence in Baldwin.
At the age of fifteen removed to Bedford, York county, Maine, where he
was educated in a Grammar school. It is no easy task to give the reader
an idea of the sufferings, hardships and toils this boy experienced, thrown
into the world as he was and on his own resources to obtain a livelihood
at the age of ten. But with a courage that is commendable in one so
young, and a determination to surmount all obstacles be they great or be
they small, he went at work with a will, saved his earnings, and in March,
1851, — then but 15 years old — had sufficient funds to pay for a passage on
the steamer " Pacific " to San Francisco, arriving July 2d of that year.
For five years after his arrival in that city he was apprentice to a baker,
after which he did business on his own account for five more years, then
came to Suisun with a few thousand dollars, engaging in the grain trade
amassing a fortune equalled by few in this county. Married Miss Nellie
B. Staples, January 22, 1874. On a plateau in a westerly direction
from Suisun, on the banks of Suisun Creek, stands Mr. Pierce's
handsome new residence. The location is one of the most picturesque
and attractive to be met with in this part of the county. It commands
a magnificent view of the bold mountains that fringe the western border
of Suisun valley. Half encircling it, is a grand amphitheatre of cliffs
dotted with timber, grass lands and cultivated fields. The building is of
wood, two stories above a basement of cut stone, constructed in a most
substantial manner, and in an unique and highly attractive style of archi-
tecture. It is finished and furnished in a manner appropriate to such an
enterprise. This house enjoys a happy combination of the useful and the
beautiful. It is a well-lighted, ventilated, convenient and cheerful home.
Everything pertaining to its construction is substantial, heavy, rich and
elegant, but not gaudy.

SOHULTZ, C, & Co. The brothers, C. and Henry Shultz are natives of
Hamburg, Germany. The latter came to California in 1853, and in the
spring of that year went to the mines, remaining until 1855, when he
came to this county, settling near Bridgeport where he engaged in farm-
ing. In 1858 moved to Sacramento county, returning that fall buying
his present farm in Green Valley township. Mr. C. Shultz came from
Germany in 1860 joining his brother in business in the fall of that year.
He married Anna Schacht in 1871. Their children are Maggie C. S., and


Gesine Henry. These brothers are engaged in manufacturing wine from
their own vineyard, a full account of which appears in the history of this

WILSON, CURTIS. After receiving the foundation of a practical educa-
tion, in the year 1848, with the rest of the world, Mr. Wilson emigrated
to California, first proceeding to Oroville, Butte county, where he engaged
in mining. He only continued at this occupation for one year, when, in
1850, he came to the Suisun valley and embarked in the occupation of
farming. In 1852 he was elected to the office of Constable for Suisun
township, which position he held until the year 1855, when he was called
upon to take his seat as a Justice of the Peace for Green Valley town-
ship. Mr. Wilson was elected to the office at the general election of 1855
and filled the position until 1879, a lengthy period of twenty-four years.
In the year 1860 he was one of the Associate Justices of the Court of
Sessions. In 1867 he came to Cordelia, and in the following year was
appointed station agent of the California Pacific Railroad Company and
agent for Wells, Fargo & Co., which he held until this year.

On February 7, 1866, Mr. Wilson married Miss Melia A. Gilmore, who
was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, April 14, 1829, by whom he
had an only child, Thomas, who died March 24, 1870. Mr. Wilson was
born in Wayne county, Illinois, June 18, 1827.



BENNETT, WILLIAM F., is a native of England, born at Birmingham,
August 23, 1822, and left his home at the age of seven for Australia,
where he served an appenticeship as carpenter in Sydney, remaining
there until 1849, when he sailed for San Francisco, arriving in August.
After two weeks he came to Benicia and began work at the Government
Barracks, where he was employed on and off till 1874, when he went to
Australia and sojourned for three years, again returning to Benicia, where
he has since resided. Mr. B. married Mary Ann Boornes, a native of
Scotland, March, 1874, she being born Septembr 2, 1833.

BROWN, JOHN R., was born in Nova Scotia in 1845, where he learned
the business of tanning and currying. He resided there until 1855,
when he went to Woodburn, Mass., remaining there till 1859, when, in
May of that year, he went to California and resided in Tuolumne county
for one year, when, in the spring of 1860, he went to Santa Clara valley,
where he began farming. In the fall of 1861 he purchased an interest in
a stock farm on King's river and began the raising of stock, when the
the flood of 1862 swept away most of the cattle. This disgusted him
with the business, so sold out and returned to Santa Clara valley, where
he found employment. He then went to Stockton and began tanning on
a small scale. On March 16, 1866, he came to Benicia and again engaged
in the tanning business. Messrs. McKay and Chisholm being afterwards
in partnership in the same business.

Mr. Brown married Annie Ross in 1863, by whom he has two children,
Anna L. and Elma D. Mr. B. is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. and has
held office in the City.

BURNS, JAMES, was born in Ireland in the year 1840, and emigrated to
the United States in 1864, first settling in California, for the last ten
years of which he has been in this county, and for the last five years on
his present farm. Married, in 1871, Mary Linehan, by whom he has
John, Mary, Julia, Katie, Dennis, and an infant.

CHISHOLM, A., is a native of Nova Scotia, and was born in 1845. In
1865 he went to the United States and settled in Boston, where he was
engaged in the business of tanning and currying, remaining only a short
time, when he started for California, first settling in Santa Cruz, where
he resided for a little over a year. He then came to Benicia and con-
nected himself in the same business in 1867, which he still continues.


CLYNE, JAMES, manufacturer of wagons, carriages, and agricultural
implements, was born in County Longford, Ireland, February 22, 1847.
In 1863 he came to California, and on September 20th of that year
arrived in Benicia. There he served his apprenticeship with Charles
Crawford Allen at his trade. In 1868 he established himself in the busi-
ness which he still continues. Married in San Jose, May 14, 1871, Mary
Donlon, by whom he has Joseph F., born February 14, 1872 ; Mary M.,
born September 9, 1874 ; Frederick, born February 23, 1877, and Therese,
born March 25, 1879.

CUMMINGS, FRANCIS, is a native of Prince Edward's Island, having
been born November 18, 1839, where he lived till the age of 18, and
learned the trade of tanning and currying, when he went to South Hing-
ham, Mass.; thence to Woburn, Mass., where he resided until 1873. En-
listed in Company G, 5th Mass. V. I.; serving one year, and participating
in a number of engagements in North Carolina, under Major-General
Foster, 18th Army Corps ; after which he was honorably discharged, and
returned to Mass,, where he resided till 1873, when he emigrated to Cali-
fornia, first settling in Benicia on 16th of June of that year, and estab-
lished a tannery, a history of which will be found in its proper place.
Married in Woburn, Mass., Martha C. Richardson.

DALTON, ALFRED, was born in London, England March 13, 1830. At
the age of 13 he went to sea, which he followed till 1852, during which
period he visited his native place several times. He arrived at San Fran-
cisco in July, 1852, on the clipper ship, "Antelope." Thence he went to
Sutter Slough, and engaged in gardening and chopping wood. He re-
mained there until April, 1853, when he was obliged to leave on account
of a flood ; and having made some slough boats, was enabled to drift down
with the current to old Rio Vista, where he resided till the flood subsided,
which was about three weeks. Thence he went to Cache Creek Slough,
and fixed a tent in the fork of a tree for fear of another flood, and con-
tinued the same occupation until 1855, and came to Benicia in July or
August of that year. In 1859 he laid the first pipe to supply the city of
Benicia with water. In I860 he purchased a schooner and traded in
general merchandise on the Sacramento river, and returned to Benicia
January 1, 1862, where he has since remained. Mr. Dalton has held
the office of School Director for six consecutive years, being elected in
1873. He is now clerk of the Board, and supervisor of this county, being
elected September, 1878, on the Republican ticket.

Mr. D. married Mary Kenny in 1857, at Benicia, who died in 1871, by whom
he has a family : John H., Alfred, Willie, James C, George E., Ella Flor-
ence, living, having lost four children — one daughter and three sons. Mr.
D. married again in August, 1873. Emma Carr, by whom he has no issue.


DEMING, CAPTAIN JOHN, (deceased,) was born in Preston, Connect-
icut, January 9, 1792, where he resided till 1808, when he went to sea, and
at the age of twenty-one years old, was commander of a vessel following
the sea for many years ; his last sea voyage being on the ship, " Iowa,"
which brought General Riley to the State of California, and landing at
Monterey, the place for which they were chartered, early in 1849. From
there they proceeded to Benicia, where he afterwards was engaged as a
pilot, between Benicia, Vallejo, and San Francisco, for many years. He
married Clarissa Hillard, in Preston, Connecticut, September 11, 1817.
She was born in Preston, January 29, 1792, and died in New York City
December 18, 1846. By this union they had six children. Ann
Louisa, born July 10, 1821, who married, in New York City, Charles
Edward Shea, died, in New York City, July 27, 1857, leaving four chil-
dren and her husband died, in New York City, November 21, 1859*
Their third son, Edward, was born March 18, 1826, and was married
in Peakskill, N. Y., on March 18, 1850, to Esther McCoord. He died
in -New York City, March 1, 1852, leaving an only son, who is now re-
siding in Brooklyn, N. Y. Clarissa J., born June 19, 1829, in New
York City, died June 23, 1830. Charles; born in New York City, Octo-
ber 29, 1832, died November 30, 1833. Charles Benjamin, born in
New York City, March 29, 1837, now residing with his brother, John F.,
was married to Mrs. Annie G. Corwin, on August 12, 1868. John F.
Deming, proprietDr of Glen Cove Ranch, the second of the family, was
born in New York City, July 9, 1823, where he resided till February,
1849, when he sailed for San Francisco, arriving there in the latter part
of June, 1849. He immediately proceeded to the mines, on the north'
fork of the American river, and prosecuted mining for a few months
when he returned to Sacramento in December, 1849, and began the gen-
eral merchandise business on K street, when the flood of 1850 swept
away all of his possessions. He then proceeded across the river. In
April, 1852, he returned to New York, and on December 16, 1852, was
married to Mehetabel C. Geron, she being born in Blooming " Grove }
Orange county, N. Y., December 12, 1823. Mr. D. returned to Cali-
fornia in 1853, and immediately proceeded to Benicia, where he ^remained
as book-keeper until the spring of 1855, and again returned east, where
he remained one year. In June, 1856, he again returned to California,
this time being accompanied by his wife, and settling on their present es-
tate, where he now owns 460 acres of land, all under good improvements.
Their family consists of two children; Clara, born November 19, 1858?
and Henry B., November 14, 1861.

DILLON, PATRICK W., farmer and stone cutter, Section 28, Benicia Town-
ship, Post-office Benicia, was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, February


3, 1820, where he resided till May, 1840, when he sailed for America,
arriving in New York City in June of that year. He at once proceeded
to Troy, N. Y., and resided three months ; thence to Lockport, N. Y., and
remained one year. He then proceeded to Youngstown, on fourth
Niagara, where he worked at his trade during the summer of 1842, and
from there he went to Toronto, Canada, where he spent the winter of 1842,
and '43. In March, 1844, he went to New York City, and worked till
1846, when in the fall of that year he went to St. Johns, New Bruns-
wick, where he was employed till May, 1847. He again returned to
New York and carried on his trade till Janaury, 1849, when he sailed
for California, arriving in San Francisco July 8, 1849, and remaining
in the city for a few weeks helping unload vessels at eight dollars a day.
He then proceeded to the southern mines, on Wood's creek, and worked
two months at mining with good success. He then went to Mogason's
Creek, and from there to Mariposa, Mariposa county, but meeting with
poor success he returned to Mogason Creek with a colony of Texans, who
settled there for a short time, and continued mining in different .places
till May, 1851, during which time he endured many hardships. The
stories told by Mr. D., during his life spent in the mines, are very interest-
ing, but for want of space we will have to omit them. In May, 1851, he
came to Benicia, bringing with him eighteen hundred dollars, which he
invested in the wharf built at Vallejo while the Capitol of the State was
situated at that place.
In 1851, he opened a stone quarry on his fruit farm, and in connection with
the other, started the Pioneer Stone business in San Francisco, and among
the contracts taken by him, is the St. Mary's Cathedral, at San Fran-
cisco, and many other buildings. In 1856, he purchased his present farm,
now consisting of four hundred acres of land, and seventy-six acres of
tule. He married, at St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, Bertha G.
Jordan, January 6, 1856, she having been born in Hanover, Germany,
January 29, 1830.

DURNER, GEORGE ADAM. G. A. Dinner was born at Weilheim, in Wur-
temburg, Germany, February 16, 1827. In his early life he was appren-
ticed to a tailor, and has pursued his trade ever since. In 1847 he left
Germany for America, and arrived in New York in April of the same

While working at his trade in New York he formed the acquaintance of
one Rosy Anthers, the youngest daughter of the family of that name, to
whom he was married in 1851. She was born at Algei, in Damstadt,
Germany, September 10, 1831, and came to America in 1848, and resided
in New York. In 1858 Mr. Durner left New York for California, by
way of the ocean, and was followed the year afterwards by his wife and


children. He arrived in San Francisco the forepart of May, but re-
mained there only one month, after which he came to Benicia, where he
built himself a splendid home and has resided ever since, except at one
or two intervals.

In 1863 he went to Virginia City, Nevada, where he worked both at his
trade and at mining, for about six months, after which he returned to
Benicia. He then worked at his trade until 1874, when he was employed
by the firm then known as Brown, McKay & Co., tanners, as night watch-
man, and has remained there ever since, although the firm is now known
as McKay & Chisholm.

The products of his marriage were eleven children ; five were born in New
York, two of whom died, both girls, and the remaining six were born in
Benicia, one of which, a son, died some two years ago. At present he has
living three sons, named John George, Charles, and Henry, the fourth
son, Georgie, having died September 21, 1870. His daughters, five- in
number, are named Katie, Elizabeth, Matilda, Annie, and Henrietta. The
two former are married and live at present in Benicia. The remaining
children are at present at home going to school.

His eldest child and son, John G., is at present employed as traveling agent
for W. S. Townsend's Steam Candy Factory, San Francisco.

The second son, Charles, was for a while employed as salesman in a large
clothing house at San Francisco, after which he came to Benicia and
started a business for himself, known as Durner's Palace of Sweets. He
is but nineteen years of age, being born January 14, 1860. He has a
thriving business and is doing well.

His third son, Henry, was rather unfortunate in being born a cripple, March
23, 1862, being but seventeen years of age. He received a somewhat ad-
vantageous education, having entered St. Augustine College when but
thirteen years of age, in August, 1875. He graduated here on June 1,
1878, with the first honors of his class and of the school. He was but
sixteen years of age, still he was chosen to deliver the valedictory address
on the occasion of his graduating, which won for him the hearts of many
strangers. On September 28, 1878, he was appointed Page of the Con-
stitutional Convention, then assembled at Sacramento, by the President
pf that body. He remained there the full session, which lasted until
March, 4, 1879, since which time he has been studying law at his home in

Mr. Durner is considered one of the most faithful and law-abiding citizens
of Benicia. He is honest and upright in all his dealings, and his charac-
ter is without a stain. His moral character can not be exceeded, and he
is a diligent employe, aiming to do everything to the interest of his em-
ployers. He has lived a quiet life, never mixing himself in political af-
fairs, and always casting his vote according to his sound judgment.


ENOS, JOSEPH, was born in 1834. Iu 1852 he emigrated to the United
States, and followed the sea for seven years. In 1859 he settled in Bed-
ford, Mass., where he remained a short time, and in 1860 came to Califor-
nia, and worked in the mines for two years ; thence he came to Benicia,
where he has since resided on his farm of 195 acres. Married to Mary
Roderick in 1869, by whom he has a family of five : Constantine, born
1870 ; Joseph, born 1872 ; Mary, born 1874 ; John, born 1875, and Isa-
bella, born 1877.

FISCHER, JOSEPH, was born in Switzerland, March 7, 1823, where he
received his education. In 1844 he emigrated to the United States, first
settling in Staten Island, fourteen miles from New York, where he found
employment on a farm. He remained there one year, when he went to
New York City, residing there until the spring of 1849, during which
time he was employed in various ways. On March 7, 1849, he started
across the plains for California, and arrived in Sacramento September 20,
1849, where, after about ten weeks, he went to Benicia, and engaged in
butchering, with Lawrence Graber, which they continued two years, at
the expiration of which they had saved some money. His partner wished
to return to the States, and died in Salt Lake City. Mr. Fischer then
took another partner, John Gorring, but a dissolution occurred inl861,
since which time he has conducted the business alone. Mr. F. married
Catherine Hall in May, 1854, by whom he has three children.

GRAY, SAMUEL C, born in Boston, Mass., October 11, 1816, where he re-
ceived his early education. At the age of sixteen went to Baltimore, and
from there came to California. Married Miss Lucy, daughter of Chaun-
cey Wetmore, of Middletown, Conn., December 14, 1847. In January, 1849,
started for California, by way of Panama, where they waited seven weeks
for the steamer "Panama," and arrived at Benicia June 3, 1849. Had
remained in Benicia in business until elected County Treasurer in 1861.
Has been in business, in the leather trade in Benicia, since June, 1867.
Was a Trustee of the city of Benicia for seven years, until he left for San
Francisco. Is the author of the interesting lecture on " Recollections of
Benicia " in this work.

HANBRICK, PETER, was born in Rhenish Prussia, July 13, 1825, where
he remained till 1849, serving an apprenticeship at the blacksmith trade
for two years, when he emigrated to America, first settling in Boston*
Mass., where he resided until 1851, when he sailed for California, Decem-
ber 18th, on the ship " Flying Child," and arrived in San Francisco April
12th. He immediately proceeded to the mines in Nevada, and continued
mining till 1871, but during this time he visited his native place. He


then returned to San Francisco, where he lived till 1878, when he came
to this county and engaged in farming and the manufacture of wine.
Married Mrs. Mary Diet, June 19, 1871, who was born in Europe Decem-
ber 18, 1853, and who has, by her first marriage, two children. Mr. Han-
brick has three children : John, born July 8, 1872 ; Benjamin, born No-
vember 10, 1875 ; Clara, born March 17, 1878.

HASTINGS, D. N., was born in Newton, Massachusetts, December 17, 1821,
and at six years of age went to Brighton with his parents, where he re-
mained five years, when he removed to Wollertown, Massachusetts, and
resided there three years. At the age of fourteen he left home and went
to Boston, where his time was spent in the provision business, the last
seven years of which being hard work. On September 5, 1849, he left
Boston for New York, and sailed thence on the bark " Florida " on Sep-
tember 12th. At that time it being impossible to obtain a through ticket
to California, but could secure one to Chagres, Panama, where he re-
mained four days, and continued his journey to Chagres, arriving in San
Francisco December 1, 1849. On the Sunday following he was engaged
in carpentering at $12 per diem, when, at the end of one week, he was
put in charge of eight men at $20 per diem, and resigned that position
on February 1, 1850. He then proceeded to Sullivan's creek, and turned
his attention to mining, and worked for eight days, taking out $40, when
he started for Stockton, a distance of fifty-six miles, when, after a week,
he went to San Francisco, and was engaged to work in Fulton Market,
on Washington street, remaining there until May 6th, when he was sent
to Benicia, and opened a butcher shop, where he built himself a small
market, 12x14 feet, which he occupied four months. A year afterwards
he purchased a lot and carried on his business there until May, 1852, when
he sold out, leased his property, and returned East to bring out his family.
They sailed on the ship "Onward," via Cape Horn, and arrived in San
Francisco December 11, 1852, going to Benicia the same day, there find-
ing the Sheriff in possession of his property. It cost him $1,600 before
he could recover it, after which he engaged again in the business of
butcher, combining stock-raising with great success, till 1860, when he
sold his business and retired, owning at the time three-fifths of 44,000
acres of land. He now possesses 3,000 acres. Mr. Hastings has never
been a politician, although he held office under the city government of
Benicia, and is at present one of the City Trustees.

The main house now occupied by Mr. Hastings was built by Dr. Wood-
bridge, from whom he purchased it in 1852, and has resided in it ever
since. Mr. Hastings planted all the trees with his own hands. The
property was originally owned by eleven men, it having been purchased
in lots the ultimate size being 75x125 feet. The house at first was 20x30,


with a kitchen 8x12 feet, made of dry-goods boxes, which was rebuilt
and is now 34x36 feet, the size of the lot being 270x450 feet. There
are over seven hundred trees in the enclosure. Water is brought from a
piece of land owned by Mr. Hastings over 9,000 feet to the house. The
Seminary is also supplied in the same way. Mr. Hastings has five chil-
dren : George A., born in Boston, Mass., December 8, 1846 ; William F.>
born in Boston, August 25, 1848 ; Hannah M., born in Benicia, March 8
1857 ; Alice (twin), born September 5, 1862 ; Eben J. (twin), born Sep-
tember 5, 1862.

HOYT, JOSEPH, born in Belknap county, N. H., November 14, 1830.
Here he received his education, and when sixteen years old went to Essex
county, Mass., where he learned the stone-cutter's trade, afterwards going
to Virginia, following this occupation, but returned to his native home,

Online LibraryJ. P Munro-FraserHistory of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. → online text (page 50 of 57)