J. P Munro-Fraser.

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

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In December, 1867, W. H. Mills, then the Grand Worthy Secretary of the
Order of Good Templars, being inspired with the idea suggested, visited
George W. Simonton at Vallejo, and they formed the plan, and were the
originators of the Orphans Homestead scheme. On December 3d, by request
of Mr. Mills, Mr. Simonton introduced the subject to the officers and mem-
bers of Vallejo Lodge No. 64, I. O. G. T., at which time the following
committee was appointed to consider the matter : George W. Simonton, A.
D. Wood, and S. C. Baker. This committee immediately placed itself in
communication with the Executive of the Grand Lodge, Messrs. R. R. Mer-
rill, G. W. C. T. ; W. H. Mills, G. W. S. ; Mrs. F. L. Carlton, G. W. V. T. ;
A. C. McDougal, G. W. Counsellor. After considerable correspondence
between the two committees, that first named proposed to " incorporate a
Homestead Association, purchase a tract of land, donate twenty acres to the
Grand Lodge as a site for a Home for Orphans, divide the remainder of the
tract into lots for the Homestead, to be sold at $100 each, and, after paying
for the land and all incidental expenses, the excess of money should be
placed in the hands of the Trust Committee of the Grand Lodge and the
Directors of the Association, to be expended in the erection of suitable
buildings on the site donated for the Home." The propositions were
accepted by the Executive Committee of the Grand Lodge and one hundred
and three acres were immediately purchased of John B. Frisbie, Edward
Frisbie, and A. D. Wood ; Messrs. Wood, Simonton, Mills, Baker, E. H. M.
Bailey, and C. A. Kidder, perfecting the Articles of Incorporation, Associa-
tion, By-Laws, etc., with the following named persons as the original
incorporators : A. D. Wood, W. H. Mills, George W. Simonton, Mary F.


Carlton, S. C. Baker, Harriet T. Hildreth, E. H. M. Bailey, and C. A. Kidder.

On January 22, 1868, a meeting of the Directors was had at the office of
S. G. Hilborn, Esq., when A. D. Wood was elected interim President, and G.
W. Simonton, Secretary pro tern. At a subsequent meeting had, January 29,
1868, the same gentlemen, with E. H. M. Bailey as Treasurer, were named
the permanent officers of the Association.

On May 4, 1868, the stockholders held their first meeting, at which time
the same officers were selected, and S. C. Baker, C. A. Kidder, E. Giddings,
J. F. Coffey, C. S. Haswell of California, and Adolphus Waitz of Nevada,
were chosen Directors of the Association.

The enterprise was liberally supported by the members of the Order
throughout the jurisdiction, many paying up the full price of the lot or
shares subscribed for, viz., $100, at once. In the report of the Secretary,
G. W. Simonton, presented September 23, 1868, the following interesting
statistics appear :

Total number of shares in the Association 334

Total number of shares sold 242

The following named stockholders have paid for their shares in full :


Elijah Wadsworth. . . . Yreka 1

J. N. Chappelle Sacramento 2

Henry Miller Sacramento 2

Henry Ashcroft Sacramento 2

W. C. Ralston San Francisco 1

Horace L. Hill San Francisco 1

Alexander Badlam . . . San Francisco 1

G. H. Greenwood Vallejo 1

N. Smith Vallejo 1

Benjamin F. Cole Folsom 2

The following Lodges of Good Templers also subscribed for stock, as follows :


Pacific Lodge No. 1, of Santa Cruz, California. . 1

Union Lodge No. 4, of Carson City, Nevada. ... 2

Rainbow Lodge No. 9, of Washoe City, Nevada... . 2

Roseville Lodge No. 255, of Roseville, California. . 1

Morning Star Lodge No. 25, of Marysville, California. . 1

California Lodge No. 7, of San Francisco, California. 2

Reform Lodge No. 287, of Lincoln, California. ... 1

Vallejo Lodge No. 64, of Vallejo. California 1

Maine Lodge No. 100,of Binghampton,California. 2

Sylvania Lodge No. 12, of Grass Valley, California. 2

Red Bluff Lodge No. 1 92, of Red Bluff, California. . 1

Evening Star Lodge No. 114,of SanFrancisco,California. 1

Taylor Lodge No. 222, of Forbestown, California. 1

Grand Lodge of California 20


In his annual address delivered before the Grand Lodge at its ninth
session in 1868, G. W. C. Templar, R. R. Merrill, speaking of this matter
said : " This enterprise needs no vindication at my hands. It bears upon
its face its own recommendations ; its affairs have been faithfully and
honorably conducted and its merits are so patent to the common sense of
all men, that I feel confident it will be fully appreciated without further
encomium. The thanks of this Grand Lodge are due in an eminent degree
to Brothers W. H. Mills, George W. Simonton, A. D. Wood, and others, for
their energy, enterprise and zeal, in conducting its affairs to its present
gratifying state of success."

It should have been mentioned that at the eighth annual session of the
Grand Lodge in 1867, a resolution was adopted authorizing a levy of one
dollar for each member of the Order for the support of the Home. This
appears to have been the first action taken towards raising money for the
purpose of meeting the current expenses of the institution. At the ninth
session the Constitution of the Grand Lodge was amended by the adoption
of Article XVII, whereby the financial system of the Home was perfected.
At this session the following persons were elected to serve as the first Board
of Trustees for the Home : for the long terms, Doctor C. S. Haswell of
Sacramento, George F. Mallett of Vallejo, and Joseph Middlemiss of Sacra-
mento, those for the short terms being the Rev. N. B. Klink of Vallejo, J.
A. Albertson of San Francisco, F. A. Hornblower of Sacramento, and M. H.
Eastman of Marysville. At this session also the plans and specifications
reported by the committee were approved by the Grand Lodge, and adver-
tisements soon appeared for proposals to construct the building ; when the
time expired, however, the committee or Board of Trust found themselves
without a single bid ; under these circumstances it was resolved by the
Board after due consideration, to build the Home by day work, and it was
unanimously agreed to employ Bro. E. M. Benjamin to superintend the
same ; and as soon as practicable a force was set to quarry and supply stone
for the foundation, which, fortunately, was obtained in the vicinity of the
Home grounds. On May 11, 1869, the corner-stone was laid with appro-
priate ceremonies and the construction of the building progressed very
rapidly. In his annual address to the Grand Lodge at its tenth session,
held in the Assembly Chambers at Sacramento, September 28th of that
year, the G. W. C. T., A. D. Wood, speaking of the Home said : " But few
can realize the labor which the successful prosecution of this enterprise has
involved. The Order and the Cause owes a debt of gratitude to the pro-
jectors of this scheme, and when its history is referred to, the names of
Brothers Mills, Wood, Simonton and Benjamin should be remembered ; nor
should the names of Carrington, Hornblower, and others be forgotten." At
the same session the Grand Secretary, W. H. Mills, closed his report on
Orphan's Home matters in the following language : " In closing my official


relations with this institution, I may be indulged in the reflection that its
existence and interests have occupied much of my time and thought, and I
feel assured that its importance to our Order will be better understood and
more fully appreciated in coming years. I indulge no fears of its failure
and decline, for the Orphan's Home is in the line of true policy. If there
are any who regret this and kindred undertakings, they are destined to be
numbered with those who are to be forgotten when the true actors of this
temperance reform come upon the stage. That reform will not go back-
wards. Men may desert it ; they may renounce it ; they may fall by the
wayside ; they may prove wanting in faith to believe, or courage to endure ;
but others will arise to take their places, and the cause will finally triumph.
In success or failure our Orphan's Home will be a proud landmark in the
history of our cause. Greater achievements than this are yet to be accom-
plished before this warfare is over ; greater labors are to be endured ;
greater sacrifices made than any we are proposing to ourselves to-day, so,
whatever may be the fate of our Home, it will have served a grand purpose,
and one which cannot now be defeated."

During the session of 1869, Brothers W. H. Mills, R R. Merritt, and F.
A. Hornblower, were appointed a Committee to memoralize the Legislature
at its next session, praying for a portion of such moneys as the State may
set apart for the maintenance of orphans, in the State of California. This
seems to have been the first step taken to secure State aid. At this session,
G. W. Simonton, M. J. Wright, of Vallejo, W. H. Mills, and Brother East-
man, of Sacramento, and C. B. Proctor, of Healdsburg, were elected trustees
of the Home. In accordance with a resolution passed by the Grand Lodge,
on September 29, 1869, the Home was declared open for the admission of
children ; on and after October 1st, when it was dedicated, with imposing and
impressive ceremonies Doctor C. S. Haswell, P. G. W. C. T., delivering the
address in the presence of a large number of the friends of the institution.

To convey some idea of the deep interest taken by the members of the
Order in this admirable undertaking, it may not be out of place to state
that on the third day of the Grand Lodge Session, September 29th, Mrs.
Tlomteaux and Mrs. Hayden were appointed a committee to raise a collec-
tion in the Grand Lodge, for the benefit of the Home. In a very short
time they reported as collected :

Gold ' $248 50

Currency 25 00

And the following individual pledges :

A. D. Wood $ 100 00

J. Bartlett 50 00

F. A. Hornblower 50 00

J. V. B. Goodrich 20 00

J. T. Counts 20 00


N. V. Wagner 15 00

R Swarbrick 10 00

E. G. Houston 10 00

T. H. Woodworth 10 00

And others 20 00

Vallejo Lodge, No. 64 1,000 00

Sacramento 500 00

Brooklyn Lodge, No. 384 100 00

Star of Hope Lodge, No. 32 100 00

California Lodge, No. 7 100 00

Athens Lodge, No. 286 100 00

Union (of Nevada), No. 4 100 00

Woodland, No. 237 100 00

Eleven other lodges, $50 each 550 00

San Francisco Dramatic Club 50 00

Thirteen lodges 340 00

Making a total of $3,618 50

At every succeeding session of the Grand Lodge, liberal donations and
pledges were made in support of this noble charity. From 1867 to 1878,
inclusive, the donations and pledges thus made and paid into the Home
treasury have amounted to $31,003 61, besides $12,504 75, per capita,
tax raised by the Grand Lodge, for the same purpose.

While touching on the financial history of the Home, it will be proper
here to repeat the closing remarks of Bro. George W. Simonton, Secretary
of the Orphan Homestead Association, in his report under date September
19th, 1870 : " In conclusion, permit me to say, that at the time the associa-
tion was organized, we claimed the benefits to be derived from the associa-
tion, to the Grand Lodge, for the Orphans' Home, would be twenty acres of
land, and $20,000. Our figures above show twenty acres of land and
$23,120 76, $3,500 of which is represented by thirty-five lots remaining

The following Table will clearly explain the financial position of the

Orphans' Home :

Nucleus of the Home Building Fund was $23,120 76

Donations from members of the Order to 1878.. . . 31,003 61

Per capita tax paid by Grand Lodge 12,504 75

Earnings of the Home, by fees, farm, etc 27,509 77

Aid from the State 24,186 02

General Bi dwell, Chico (donation) 1,000 00

Sundry donations 149 25

Making a grand total of $119,474 16

raised for the erection and maintenance of the institution, up to September
30th, 1878.


At the Twelfth Annual Session of the Grand Lodge, held in 1871, G. W.
Simonton, W. H. Mills, A. G. Clark, and J. B. Carrington, were elected
trustees of the Home. It was at this session also that Grand Secretary W.
H. Mills, in his report, advised the creation of a Board of Lady Managers 5
to have charge of the domestic affairs of the Home ; and the Grand Lodge,
acting on the suggestion, elected the following as a Board of Lady Managers :
Mrs. E. J. Wilson, Mrs. N. B. Klink, Mrs. G. W. Simonton, Mrs. E. M. Ben-
jamin, of Vallejo ; Mrs. E. C. Fowler, Valley Ford; Mrs. M. M. Carpenter,
of San Francisco, and Mrs. C. P. Huntoon, of Sacramento.

The first Board of Trustees chosen by the Grand Lodge, at its Ninth
Session (the subsequent Boards are given seriatim), were elected in :

1868 — Doctor C. S. Haswell, Joseph Middlemiss, of Sacramento ; George
F. Mallett, Rev. N. B. Klink, of Vallejo; J. A. Albertson, F. A. Hornblower,
and M. H. Eastman.

1869— W. H. Mills, G. W. Simonton, M. J. Wright, F. A. Hornblower,
C. B. Proctor, G. F. Mallett, and Joseph Middlemiss.

1870— C. S. Haswell, G. W. Simonton, M. H. Eastman, William Carpenter'
M. J. Wright, Joseph Middlemiss, and G. F. Mallett.

1871— G. W. Simonton, G. F. Mallett, C. S. Haswell, A. G. Clark, J. B.
Carrington, H. dwell, and W. H. Mills.

1872— G. W. Simonton, President; W. H. Mills, C. S. Haswell, A. G.
Clark, I. S. Haisey, J. B. Carrington, and Rev. N. B. Klink.

1873— W. H. Mills, S. Kitto, C. S. Haswell, G. W. Simonton, I. S. Haisey,
J. B. Carrington, and A. G. Clark.

1874 — W. H. Mills, President ; George B. Katzenstein, Secretary; I. S.
Haisey, treasurer ; S. Kitto, C. S. Haswell, G. W. Simonton, J. B. Carring-
ton, and A. G. Clark.

1875 — J. B. Carrington. President ; W. Crowhurst, Secretary ; I. S. Haisey,
treasurer; W. H. Mills, C. S. Haswell, A. G. Clark, and S. Kitto.

1876 — A. G. Clark, President; W. Crowhurst, Secretary; I. S. Haisey,
treasurer ; A. D. Wood, R. Thompson, W. H. Mills, and S. Kitto.

1877— AG. Clark, President; C. H. Haile, Secretary; I. S. Haisey,
Treasurer; W. H. Mills, Robert Thompson, J. B. Carrington, and S. Kitto.

1878 — George B. Katzenstein, President ; C. H. Haile, Secretary ; I. S.

Haisey, Treasurer ; W. H. Mills, S. Kitto, A. G. Clark, Bagley, of

Stockton, and T. T. Heald.

The G. W. C. Templar and G. W. Secretary are ex officio members of all
meetings of the Board of Trustees.


The first Board of Lady Managers chosen by the Grand Lodge (the sub-
sequent Boards are given seriatim) was composed of the following ladies,
who were elected in the year

1871 — Mesdames N. B. Klink, President; G. W. Simonton, Secretary;

E. J. Wilson, E. M. Benjamin, of Vallejo; C. E. Fowler, Valley Ford; and
C. P. Huntoon, of Sacramento.

1872 — Mesdames Klink, President ; Benjamin, Secretary ; Wilson, Fowler,

F. L. Carlton, Huntoon, and Alsip.

1873 — Mesdames Wilson, President ; Robbins, Secretary; Huntoon, Alsip,
Carlton, C. B. Thompson, and Benjamin.

1874 — Mesdames Carlton, President ; Robbins, Secretary ; Wilson, Ben-
jamin, Thompson, A. G. Clark, of Napa, and M. M. Carpenter, of* San

1875 — Mesdames Carlton, President; J. Macarty, Secretary; Wilson,
Alsip, Benjamin, Carpenter, and M. E. Partridge, of Oakland.

1876 — Mesdames Carlton, President; Klink, Secretary; Wilson, Car-
penter, Alsip, Partridge, and Clark.

1877 — Mesdames Klink, President; Carpenter and Partridge, Secretaries;
Clark, Thompson, Alsip ; V. A. Rix, of Washington Corner ; and M. G.
Morris, of Vallejo.

1878 — Mesdames Klink, President ; Carpenter and Thompson, Secretaries ;
Aslip, Clark. Rix, and Partridge.

The first matron was Mrs. R. C. Armitage ; the second matron was Mrs.
M. L. Pexton ; the third matron was Mrs. H. M. Chandler ; the fourth ma-
tron was Mrs. Geo. Morris, (nee Mattie Parker) ; the fifth matron was Mrs.
B. Derby ; the sixth and present one, Mrs. L. Stewart.

The teachers are Mr. and Mrs. N. Smith. The average number of child-
ren who have been admitted to the Home for Orphans since its foundation,
is about four hundred ; while the approximate yearly attendance has been
in the vicinity of fifty and sixty. Present number one hundred and three.

The school is managed under the direction of the Board of Lady Man-
agers, and the Vallejo Board of Education, with a daily attendance of about
eighty pupils, twenty of whom are admitted from the outside. The school-
rooms have been newly furnished with the best double desks, at a cost of
about three hundred and fifty dollars, and paid for by voluntary subscrip-
tions of members of the Grand Lodge, while visiting the Home in October
last. We next draw attention to the



Was incorporated on June 24, 1872, under the Presidentship of M. R.
Miller, with Messrs. J. B. Frisbie, and John M. Gregory, Jr., as Treasurer
and Secretary, respectively ; and has for its object the holding of a District
Fair, embracing the counties of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Lake, Mendocino, So-
noma, and Marin, when premiums are offered in the following departments :
Live Stock, Cereals, Fruits, Wines, and Dairy Products, as well as for all
manner of Agricultural Implements made in the district ; Domestic Manu-
factures ; Carriages, Buggies, etc.; Saddlery, Harness, etc.: Painting, Orna-
mental Work, etc.; Embroidery, Needlework, etc.; Bread, Crackers, etc.;
Plants, Bouquets, etc.; with a special class where prizes are offered to child-
ren. Special premiums are open to competitors ; while there is a speed
programme which is carried out on each of the days during which the fair
is held. The exhibition grounds and park are situated on the Napa road,
about three miles from Vallejo, and cover an area of sixty acres, having
buildings for the benefit of exhibitors ; while there is accommodation for
from two to three hundred animals. The hotel is a two-storied erection of
handsome appearance ; the sheds are all in the very best condition ; while
nothing is wanting that may ensure the comfort of the visitor. The race track
is declared to be, by men of experience, one of tbe very best in the country
for speed, while it possesses many other advantages. Up, until last year,
the Society was more or less a private one ; but by operation of the Legis-
lature last session, a sum of fifteen hundred dollars was granted to them,
which now officializes their position, and calls for a yearly report from them
to the State Board of Agriculture. The officers for the present year are :
President, John B. Carrington ; Vice-President, John T. Dare ; Secretary,
A. J. McPike ; Treasurer, J. K. Duncan ; Directors, John E. Williston, L. B.
Abernethie, Robert Brownlee. W. P. Durbin, John Neate, John Callender,
J. B. Hoyt, Stephen Eaton, John Wilson, William Carter, H. Connolly, John
Brownlie, D. W. Harrier, C. Hartson, Luke Kelly, A. Goodyear, W. A. Fisher,
J. C. Wolfskill, John Farnham, J. M. Thompson, S. S. Drake.

Meetings are usually held in September of each year.

We have, in the commencement of this chapter, entered upon the appear-
ance of the county in the days when but few white men had penetrated
into its wilds. A faint attempt was made to picture the beauties of the
wild waste, as described by the first settlers in Solano ; we now select a
spot whither to allure the reader, namely, the


Of all the spots worthy of a visit in the vicinity of Vallejo, none can,
probably, compare with the White Sulphur Springs in regard to the beauty


of its surroundings. Originally being included in the grant to General
Vallejo, he disposed of them to Milton Brockman, who, in turn, sold them
to Henry Connolly, from him they were purchased by General J. B. Frisbie,
and latterly, falling into the hands of the Vallejo Land and Improvement
Association, the property was bought by James Kelly, the present proprie-
tor, for the trifling sum of twenty-five thousand dollars. When the Springs
became the property of General Frisbie he, with a taste which it would be
next to impossible to excel, ornamented the grounds in the most lavish
manner, expending no less a sum than one hundred and thirty thousand
dollars in beautifying the property which consists of about one hundred
and sixty acres. The management of the White Sulphur Springs is now
vested in Mr. James Condon, than whom no more hospitable a host exists.
These Springs lie in a north-easterly direction from Vallejo, with which
city they are connected by coach, which runs the distance of four miles,
direct from the railroad depot, and are situated in a hollow of the hills,
which rise in easy slopes, surrounding them on all sides and protecting the
grounds from the rough breezes of the bay. The road passes through a
country of rare cultivation, cattle may be seen browsing on a thousand
hills ; while the residences of the thriving farmers, with the bright sun
glittering on their whitened walls, add an appearance of life to the scene,
which goes a great way towards enlivening the prospect. For rare beauty
the environs cannot be surpassed. In spring and summer the flowers and
foliage attain their truest perfection ; the former in their brilliant colors,
forming a charming contrast against the darker leaves of the trees. A small
lake has been excavated, around which are secluded walks and cosy seats,
placed within the shadow of the spreading weeping willow. An island in
the centre, which is gained by a bridge or boats, is laid out with marvelous
skill, revealing many a gorgeous vista of color ; here, again, the weary may
find rest, the social enjoy their tete-a-tete, or the book- worm be free from
intrusion. Summer houses and kiosks are built along the margin of the
water, arranged with tables and rustic chairs, where the merry tea or enchant-
ing kettle-drum may be partaken ; while labyrinthine walks traverse the
grounds in all directions, amply shaded by umbrageous trees, offering seclu-
sion to those who may wish to converse with " ling' ring sweetness long-
drawn out." Canopied bowers and bosky dells, evergreen shrubbries, flower
gardens and vineyard, diversify the sloping surface and give a fairy-like
effect to the landscape that cannot well prove otherwise than enchanting to
the visitor. Nature has given the White Sulphur Spring a magnificence of
position which recalls the most perfect spots of Swiss scenery, and forms a
watering place where the votary of pleasure may find delight, and the hard-
worked city merchant obtain relaxation from the cares of business.



Are cosily placed in a recess in the mountain side forming a small pond of
about forty feet in circumferrence and built around with a rockery over
which creepers and lichens cling in tangled confusion. The water presents
a pale bluish color, imparting at first a slightly unpleasant odor, and is
protected from the rays of the sun by a large weeping willow, while con-
tiguous to it is a circular seat and table whereat the invalid or the curious
may take the waters, which is not by any means unpleasant to the palate.
The liquid it is believed has never been properly analyzed but it is princi-
pally composed of sulphur with a very slight proportion of iron. To prove
that there is nothing obnoxious in its flavor, this water is generally used on
the premises, while the stock on the ground drink it with great relish.
Adjacent to those already described there is a sweet water spring bubbling
forth the clearest and most delicious beverage for those who may not appre-
ciate the medicinal properties of the former.


On the grounds are all of framework and of elegant design approached by
a well kept carriage drive. The first erection which is passed on arrival
is a kind of bachelors' home, for on the first floor is the saloon, containing
bar and billiard room which connects by an archway ; the appointments in
these appartments are of the first order and in themselves should be an
inducement to visitors. Off these there are lesser rooms, one being fitted
up with a telegraphic apparatus, the wires of which connect with Vallejo
and thence to San Francisco, while the other is used as a barber's shop and
office. The second story is divided into one parlor or club-room, seven bed-
rooms and a large and convenient bath-room with all the necessary improve-
ments. Some fifty yards from this building stands the main structure, of
two stories in height and protected on three sides by a spacious verandah.