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Aurelius O. Carpenter.

History of Mendocino and Lake counties, California, with biographical sketches of the leading, men and women of the counties who have been identified with their growth and development from the early days to the present online

. (page 113 of 121)
Online LibraryAurelius O. CarpenterHistory of Mendocino and Lake counties, California, with biographical sketches of the leading, men and women of the counties who have been identified with their growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 113 of 121)
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986 MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES

Miss Sarah Gertrude Herald, who was born at Calais, Me., November 19,
1855. Orphaned by the death of her parents when she was a young girl, in
1875 she came alone to Tomales, Cal., to make her home with a sister and the
following year she became the wife of Mr. Berry. They are the parents of
six living children, besides which they lost their eldest, Reuben, at the age of
twenty years. The others are as follows: Lelia, Mrs. B. A. Harris, of Vallejo;
Grace Elizabeth, wife of Charles M. Ware, of Bennett Valley; Ina L., Mrs.
George P. Odell, of Mont Rio: Allie W'.. a trained nurse, who makes her home
with her parents; Susie. Mrs. Harry J. O'Brien, of San Francisco; and John
Edward, Jr., who married Crystal Clow and lives at the hotel, being a capable
assistant to his father in the business and on the farm.

SIMON WILLIAM WALTER.— In Schaffhausen, the northernmost
canton of Switzerland, whose broad, fertile acres have afforded the early en-
vironment of many of California's most prosperous farmers, was born Simon
William Walter, June 1, 1873. His early childhood was spent there, but at the
age of nine he came to America and has ever since made California his perma-
nent home. Circumstances caused him to be sent at this early age to rela-
tives in Oakland, Cal., his journey being made alone, and, as he was unable
to speak the English language, in order to assure his safe arrival he was
ticketed with name and destination. Very disheartened, a forlorn young boy
among- strangers, he arrived in California about 1880 and immediately entered
the public schools. Apt, obser\'ing and naturally quick of intellect, it v.'as not
long before he had mastered the English tongue and was soon at ease in his
.-urroundings.

An ambition to do for himself and be independent instigated Mr. Walter,
in 1887, to go to Covelo. Mendocino county, to start for himself, and there he
obtained work from G. E. \\'hite, working for board and clothing for three
years, and at the same time attending school in Round Valley. .'\t the end of
this period he ceased his studies at school, but continued in Mr. \\'hite's
employ for ten years,' his willingness to do whatever work there was to be
done and his earnest desire to forge ahead winning him the approbation of all
who came to know him. In 1897 he accepted a position from G. N. Merritt on
his ranch and for twelve years he remained there, learning ranch life in its
every phase and, meanwhile, accumulating a competency. In 1901 he pur-
chased twenty-six acres of his present eighty-one acre ranch and rented it
out until 1911, when he embarked in general farming for himself. Seventy
acres are all under cultivation to alfalfa and grain, and in connection with his
agricultural pursuits he carries on a flourishing dairy. Mr. Walter has all his
life been a hard worker, and one who has combined good judgment with his
labors, actual experience being his teacher and sober thought his best ad-
viser. He has made the best of his opportunities and throughout his life has
evidenced the sterling traits of character for which his nation is noted. He is
a Democrat in politics and as he has grown to manhood he has acquired and
held a strong feeling of patriotism for his adopted country, which has brought
him prosperity and happiness.

The marriage of Mr. \\'alter occurred in Covelo. Cal., June 3, 1897, to
Miss Edith Hurt. She was a native of Lake county, Cal., born August 20. 1878,
and to their marriage two children have come to bless their home. James and
\\'illiam. Their comfortable home, one mile east of Covelo, is the center of
many happy gatherings of friends and well wishers, and they enjoy the res;iect
cf the entire community.



MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES 987

JOHN W. GRIST. — it is interesting to chronicle the life history of a man
who since a child has lived on the frontier and during all that period has de-
voted all of his time and energies towards aiding in the development of a new
country and making it habitable and luxurious for coming generations. Dur-
ing all these years he has quietly pursued the even tenor of his ways, strictly
observing the Golden Rule, and winning the confidence and respect of his
fellowmen to the highest degree. Such a man is John W. Grist, who has
resided in California since 1852, having been brought by his parents across
the plains when only three years of age. They traveled overland with o.x-
teams and prairie schooner. His birth occurred near Harrisburg, Pa., June
12, 1849, and he is the second oldest of six children born to Isaac and Irene
(Casson) Grist, natives of Dauphin county, Pa. On arriving in California
Isaac Grist followed mining in Eldorado county until 1866, when he came to
Round Valley, Mendocino county, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres
on the west side of the valley. In 1868 he brought his family, purchased an
adjoining one hundred and sixty acres, and engaged in farming and stock-
raising until his death, in 1877. His wife died in 1885.

John \\'. Grist's early life was passed at French Creek, Eldorado county,
where he attended school until ten years of age. Then his father took the lad
with him to the claim to help pick rock and make himself useful at mining.
For this reason the most of his education was obtained from a teacher who
boarded at their place, and, subsequently, by reading and also observation, he
has become a well-informed man. When eighteen he came to Round Valley
with the family, and helped his father with the stock. When he was twenty-
five years of age the father, through some misfortune, lost the ranch, and
John decided to buy it. Taking charge of affairs, he continued ranching,
raising grain, hay, hogs and cattle, and met with deserved success, paying for
the three hundred and twenty acres. .Afterward he sold a half interest to his
brother George, continuing to operate the ranch until 1907, when he sold it and
located in Covelo, where he built a comfortable residence. He has a portable
barley mill and woodsaw operated by a gas engine, and he does a large busi-
ness throughout the valley. He is also agent for the White Bronze Monu-
ment Manufacturing Company of Bridgeport, Conn.

Mr. Grist's first marriage was to Miss Georgie Duncan, a native of Mis-
souri, who died some years after their marriage. In Covelo, in 1<;04, he married
a second time, being united with Mrs. Ida (Carner) Long, a native of Point
Crittenden. Utah, the daughter of Madison and Mary (Rogers) Carner, who
crossed the plains, in 1860, to Utah, where the daughter Ida was born. In
1861 they came on to Meridian. Cal., and after three years they located in
Potter valley, where Mr. Carner was a farmer. However, they spent their
last days in Covelo. Of their eight children five are living, of whom Mrs.
Grist is the eldest. Her first marriage occurred in Ukiah, being united with
Thomas E. Long, who was born in Missouri, and who came to Potter valley
when sixteen years of age.

For a time Mr. and Mrs. Long followed stock-raising in Potter valley,
then in Santa Barbara county until 1868, when they located in Round Valley,
purchasing a ranch there. He later sold it to engage in the livery business in
Covelo for a year and then started a store. W^hile thus engaged he was
elected suj^ervisor from the Third district, but soon after taking the office he
died, in ^lav, 1902. Of this union there were four children: Mary Martha.
who died at two vears of age: Edward H., who is a merch;\nt in Covelo;



988 :\IENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES

Addie May, who died at sixteen, and Dewey, who died at three years.

Mr. Grist was made a ]\[ason in Covelo Lodge No. 23L F. & A. M., and
with his wife is a member of Angusta Chapter No. 80. O. E. S. They attend
the Methodist Episcopal Chnrch, of which he is a trustee. Politically he is
an ardent Republican. It is to energetic, enterprising citizens like Mr. and
Mrs. Grist that Round Valley has become known as a rich farming country
and a desirable place in which to live. By such example of Christian and up-
right life as theirs the standard of morals and society has been raised.

MRS. EUGENIA HAYDON.— .\mong the women of Mendocino county.
who are making a success of the stock business we find Mrs. Eugenia (Carner)
Haydon. She was born at Meridian, Sutter county, Cal., the daughter of
Madison and Alary (Rogers) Carner, who crossed the plains in 1860 and were
pioneers of Alendocino county. Eugenia was reared in Potter valley and re-
ceived a good education in the public schools. Her marriage occurred in
Round Valle}" in March. 1882. when she was united with Thomas Haydon,
born in Grundy county, Mo., December 15, 1852. He was brought across the
plains by his parents when he was ten years of age and was also reared in
Potter Valley, but later removed to Round Valley.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Haydon engaged in stock-raising, in
which they were very successful. For many years they ran their cattle on
Mad river, their brand being T. H. & 3 combined. In 1910 they purchased a
ranch on Long Ridge, where they continued in the cattle business until Air.
Haydon's death. June 10, 1913. Mrs. Haydon has continued in the cattle busi-
ness in partnership with her son, Frank M. Haydon, but while she devotes
some of her time to her ranch, she makes her home in Covelo, where she owns
a residence and also conducts an hotel, attending to the cuisine herself. It is
the finest and best kept hotel in the valley. Their ranch embraces about
one thousand acres on the north fork of Eel river, the place containing con-
siderable farming land which is devoted to the raising of grain and hay ; the
balance is used for range land. They are raising cattle and hogs, and are
meeting with unusual success.

Air. and Airs. Haydon were the parents of three children: Bertha. Airs.
Charles Grist, of Covelo : Frank AL, manager of the ranch ; and Dora G., Airs
leans, of Humboldt county. In her political affiliations Mrs. Haydon is a
Republican. She is a woman of much tact and ability, and in her career has dis-
played rare business acumen. Her faith and optimism in the future of the
county is such that she is always willing to do her share towards the upbuild-
ing of the community and the betterment of its citizens.

JAMES A. FRENCH.— In Hingham county, Alass., in the year 1848, was
born James A. French, whose father died when he was a boy of eleven years
of age. In 1857 his mother came to San Francisco. Cal., sailing around Cape
Horn, having been engaged as stewardess of the vessel, and in 1860 the chil-
dren joined her. traveling by way of Panama. The mother continued to make
San Francisco her home until her death. James A. received his schooling in
Massachusetts and in San Francisco. In 1864. when sixteen 3'ears of age. he
responded to his county's call, enlisted in Company A, 8th California Volun-
teer Infantry, and served until the close of the war in 1865. when he was
mustered out and honorably discharged. On his return to the Bay he was
employed on a dairy farm in Alarin county, and followed that occupation
later in Monterey county. He then entered Heald's Business College in San
Francisco, where he completed the course, after which he continued in the



MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES 989

dairy business. In 1880 he was appointed receiving clerk at San Ouentin,
holding the position for four years, and after this he was wharfinger at the
Alameda Mole, until he resigned and went to Monterey county as superin-
tendent of a dairy.

In 1888 Mr. French was appointed dairyman at the Agnew Hospital, fill-
ing the position until 1890, when lie resigned and made a trip to Alaska,
going via Fort Wrangle and spending twenty months in the frozen north.
On his return to California he was again employed at Agnew. In June
(;f 1902 he was appointed dairyman at the Alendocino State Hospital, a position
he has held ever since. He is well posted in the dairy business and a good
judge of a dairy herd and it is largely due to his experience and knowledge
of the details of the raising of cows that the dairy herd at the haspital is
among the finest in the state. Fraternally Mr. French is a member of the
Knights of Pythias at Ukiah.

GUSTAV HENRY SWANSON.— A very enterprising and self-made man
is Gustav Henry Swanson, born May 22, 1875, in Smaland, Sweden, where
he grew up on the farm and received a good education in the local schools.
In 1892. when a youth of seventeen years, he came to America and the spring
of 1892 found him in Winnipeg, where he spent six months in the employ of
the Canadian Pacific Railroad. At the end of this period he came to Caspar,
Mendocino county, and found emjiloyment with the lumber company at that
place, working in different departments in their mill until 1902. In that year
he entered the filing room and continued as a filer until 1905, when he ob-
tained his present position as head filer for the Mendocino Lumber Company.
Since then the has made his home in Mendocino, where he owns a comfortable
residence and two acres of land.

While living at Caspar ]\lr. Swanson formed the acquaintance of Jennie
Olson, a native of that place, and there they were united in marriage. Mr.
Swanson was made a Mason in Mendocino Lodge No. 179, F. & A. M., of
which he has served as master. He is also a member of Mendocino Chapter No.
88, R. A. M., and with his wife is a member of Ocean View Chapter. O. E. S.
He is also a member of Stella Lodge No. 213, I. O. O. F. In political affilia-
tions he espouses the principles set forth in the Republican platform. He
was reared in the Lutheran faith and adheres to those doctrines. Personally
he is well and favorably known and his exemplary habits coupled with his
progressive and enterprising views make him greatly appreciated by the
citizens of Mendocino and vicinity.

BELIO & ALLUE.— The proprietors of the Willits Steam Laundry,
Florence Belio and I'irmin .\Ilue. are enterprising men and are building up a
laundry business that reflects credit on the city. Since they purchased the
laundry they have remodeled it and put in new and modern machinery, so they
are equipped to do the work by the latest and most approved process. Both
men are thorough going and enterprising, and their business is increasing in
a deserving measure.

Florence Belio, the senior member of the firm, was born at Pan. iiasses
Pyrenees. France, in 1882. and learned the carpenter's trade in that country. In
1905 he came to San Francisco, v^'here he was employed in a laundry until
1913, when he came to Willits to become a partner of Mr. Allue in the Wil-
lits Laundry. In Basses Pyrenees he was married to Marie Allue. wlio was
born in that country and by tills union there were born two children. Anielie
and Antone.



990 MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES

Firmin AUue was born in Pan, Basses-P_vrenees, France, in 1890. In 1909
he came to California and at Suisun entered the employ of the steam laundry,
ivhere he learned the laundry business. Thence lie went to San Francisco,
where he worked at his trade until October, 1912, when he came to Willits as
an employe of the steam laundry until January, 1913. It was then that he and
Air. Belio bought tlie business which they have continued ever since with
good success.

ERNEST EUGENE FITCH.— The rugged, bleak country of Nova Scotia
was the home of Ernest Eugene Fitch during the first sixteen or more years
of his life, during which time he accjuired the robust and hardy constitution
possessed by so many natives of that country, learned the lessons of sturdy
manhood and hard work and became a clean-cut, healthy man, whose men-
tality, in keeping with his physical well-being, evidenced strength and capabil-
ity. He was born in Kings county, October 16, 1862, the son of Henry and
Olivia (Bishop) Fitch, sturdy citizens of Nova Scotia, who afforded him the
advantages of public school instruction and imbued in him the habits of tem-
perance and honor. When sixteen he left school to go to work as a day
laborer and a few years later decided to try his luck in the west with his
brother Harry, who was preparing to go to California. Arriving here in the
spring of 1882 they immediately settled in Mendocino county and in 1883
located in Point Arena. First working as day laborer doing general farming
and in the lumber camps, he soon discovered that he could win better returns
if he could work for himself, and he started the contracting business for team-
ing and hauling tan bark and ties to Point Arena. This occupation he fol-
lowed until 1893, at which time he decided to enter the dairy business, and
relinquishing his contracting interests he rented land, chiefly stock range, and
entered upon the dairy project at Manchester upon a small scale. This prov-
ing a successful venture he soon broadened his holdings and increased the
business, until he had a large stock-raising and dairying business, his ranch
comprising three hundred and thirty acres. In 1903 he took up a timber
claim on Alder creek, above Manchester, which land he still owns. Besides
the dairy he was interested in a creamery, and this proved a very successful
enterprise. In 1907 he sold out the dairy and removed to Boonville, Ander-
son Valley, where he purchased two hundred and ten acres of partially im-
proved land about one mile north of town. Since the purchase of this land
Mr. Fitch has spent means and time in improving the same, and has engaged
principally in general farming and stockraising. In 1911 he set out fifteen
acres of his place to apples and the trees give promise of bringing large
returns in a few years.

Mr. Fitch is a thrifty, persevering farmer, devoting all of his time to
ranch life and his home. His wife, whom he married in Manchester March
31. 1889, was before her marriage Miss ]\Iartha Taylor, a native daughter of
Manchester. Her father, Samuel H. Taylor, crossed the plains with ox
teams in 1849, and in 1865 located in Mendocino county, where he was a
blacksmith. His death occurred in Manchester. Her mother. Catlierine Mor-
rison, a native of Wisconsin, now resides in Santa Rosa. Of their family of
eight children, of whom Mrs. Fitch was the third, four are still living. Mr.
and Mrs. Fitch have four children, as follows: Myrtle O.. Richard (engaged
in the blacksmith business in Boonville), Samuel and Tva. Mr. Fitch unites
with the Democratic party in political principles and with his wife is a
member of the Presbvterian church.



MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES 991

FRANCIS L. MOSIER.— Among the citizens of Upper Lake and the
adjoining territory of Lake county whose personal worth has gained them
the highest regard must be named Mr. and Mrs. Francis L. Mosier, who
reside northeast of the village on the Bartlett Springs road. They are promi-
nently associated with various local interests, business and social, and in all
their relations with their neighbors and friends have shown themselves deserv-
ing of the unqualified esteem in which they are held.

A native of Nebraska, Francis L. Mosier was born in Cass county, July 2,
1864, the son of William J. and Mary Ellen (Fine) Mosier, of Franklin
county, Ala., and Iowa, respectively. His father settled in Cass county. Neb.,
in 1862 and engaged in farming. It was in 1870 that he came to California,
locating at Hopland and engaging in farming until in 1874, when he pur-
chased a ranch in Little Lake valley. This he operated until he retired and
made his home in Willits. Mrs. Mosier died in 1897. leaving eight children,
as follows: Louvina, Mrs. George Endicott, of Willits; Francis L., of whom
we write; Ellen, Mrs. George L. Hamer, of Ukiah; Nettie L., Mrs. Ora
Street, of Coalinga; Callie, Mrs. Grant, of Ukiah; Frank C, of Potter Valley;
Alfred, deceased ; and John W., of Ukiah.

Mr. Mosier came to Lake county from Mendocino county, and is success-
fully engaged in the blacksmithing business at Upper Lake, his reliable work
and straightforwardness making him one of the leading men in his line in this
section. The beautiful ranch of forty-five acres which he and his wife own
and reside upon is located in the East Upper Lake precinct along the Bartlett
Springs road, and Mr. Mosier's time being principally occupied with running
his blacksmith shop the management of the place has to a great extent
devolved upon Mrs. Mosier, who has shown rare ability in looking after the
work of its cultivation. The place has been systematically improved under
their ownership, and they have a handsome residence, which Mrs. Mosier's
lather, Matthew Johnson, one of the venerable pioneers of Lake county, shares
with them, (A sketch of the latter will be found elsewhere in this volume.)
I'Vancis L. Musier married .\nnie Johnson, and they have one living child.
A\'illmat.

LEWIS M. RUDDICK.— The record of the life of Lewis M. Ruddick
shows a quiet round of patient, purposeful endeavor fired by an ambition to
attain independence and governed by a strict regard for honesty. Laborious
and industrious in temperament, he had the qualities that make for thrift
and independence. His early life showed little of excitement or adventure
nor (lid it bring to him any educational advantages, for the hampering environ-
ment of pioneer days in Indiana forced him into the broad highway of self-
support at the age of only thirteen. Self-reliance was develo]3ed through
his early struggles in the world. Lack of education had it compensations
in the mental traits developed in those years (if youthful effort. Born in
Jackson county, Ind., in 1836, he was just starting out to earn his livelihood
when he learned of the discovery of gold in California. Being then too young
in years to earn the money needed for a long trip to the coast, he patiently
bided his time and finally at the age of nineteen he had the long coveted
opportunity to come west. A tedious but to him interesting trip via the
Isthmus of Panama had its finish when he disembarked from an ocean vessel
in the harbor of San Francisco during 1855. Naturally the mines attracted
him by their alluring opportunities. Yet he had little good luck in his mining
ventures in .\niador C(iuntv and after a visit in 1857 at the old eastern home



992 MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES

and a return trip via Panama the same year, he turned his attention to
agriculture.

A tour of investigation into ]\Iendocino county led Mr. Ruddick to invest
in one hundred acres of raw land near Ukiah, where in 1864 he began to raise
hops, being one of the pioneers in the industry. Later he acquired additional
land, which he devoted to hops. In some seasons the crop proved ver}- profit-
able, while at other times he was less fortunate. On the whole, however, he
regarded the hop industry as well adapted to the soil and climate. In addi-
tion he planted prune trees and other varieties of fruit, not only for a family
orchard, but also for sale. From 1864 until his death, June 18, 1910, he
remained on the same farm, successfully engaged in general farming and
fruit-growing, patiently caring for the land with prudent forethought, making
improvements as needed and by wise cultivation maintaining the original
fertility of the soil. It was his good fortune to have an efificient wife as
helpmate and children as industrious and capable as himself, and when the
time came for him to lay aside heavy responsibilities, they took up the man-
agement of the property, added other lands to the original holdings, and
now have four of the best kept and most productive ranches in the valley.
The children, eleven in number, are May (Mrs. Cowsert, of this county),
Myrtle, Lewis, Ernest \'., Elmer, \ernon, .\rchie, Myrle, Freda. Leva and Ila.
all at home. The mother bore the maiden name of Sarah S. Miller. From
her native place. Lafayette county. Mo., when three years of age she crossed
the plains to California with her parents, James and Rosanna (Gann) Miller,
in 1860. settling in Calaveras county. In 1871 they located on the old Miller
place adjoining the state hospital near Ukiah, which place she now owns.
When she had completed her education, on the 1st of July, 1875, she became
the wife of Mr. Ruddick, thereafter establishing a home on the farm that
continued the center of the activities of their later years. She survives her
husband and makes her home at the old homestead and with her sons she
supervises the four ranches of the estate.

HENRY WARD MONTAGUE.— Among the representatives of one of
the oldest families of Mendocino county who have taken an active part in its
development from a wild country inhabited by Indians, we find Henry ^^'ard
Montague, the present postmaster at Covelo. A native son of Rotind Valley,



Online LibraryAurelius O. CarpenterHistory of Mendocino and Lake counties, California, with biographical sketches of the leading, men and women of the counties who have been identified with their growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 113 of 121)