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 118 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 118 of 121)
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tice of his profession. Dr. Scott was so well and favorably known in Mendo-
cino county that he did not have to wait for patronage, but soon found himself
with a healthy and growing practice.

In his political afifiliations Dr. Scott is socialistic and is considered by the
Socialist party to be one of the strongest men of the organization in his com-
munity. As proof of their admiration for and confidence in the ability of the
rising young dentist, it may be said that he was chosen as a candidate of
his party for the Assembly, and that the vote cast in his favor was a very
flattering one, and an evident tribute to his personal popularity and to the
confidence and esteem in which he is held by his neighbors and friends of
other political faiths as well as by his party supporters.

Dr. Scott attributed his success largely to the influence of his mother,
who made every efifort to make it possible for her children to obtain an edu-
cation. Through her influence he was inspired to make the most of his oppor-
tunities and to attain as high a place as possible. Dentistry became his chosen
profession, and in pursuing it he has ever held aloft the banner of excellence
which was his watchword in earher days.

Dr. Scott is a man of much public spirit, and a progressive in all matters
for civic and social betterment. He has become closely identified with local
afTairs and is acknowledged as a man of influence and a leader of no small
ability. He is a prominent member of Mendocino Lodge No. 179, F. & A. M.,
a member of the Ocean View Chapter, O. E. S., an Odd Fellow, a Red Man
and a Moose. Of these latter two he is past dictator of the Moose and is past
sachem of Santana Tribe No. 60, 1. O. R. M.

On August 16. 1914, at Yerington, Nev., Dr. Scott was married to Miss
Frances Louise McGowan, daughter of Mrs. T. M. McGowan of that place.

JOSEPH HENRY CLARKE.— A native of Fillmore City, Millard
county, Utah, Mr. Clarke was born June 16, 1853. His father, Thomas Clarke,
was born in Herefordshire, England, and came of an old English family. He
was a gardener in his native heath and there married Eliza Carpenter, who
was born at Bushev. England. In 1850 they started for the United States,
but the vessel was wrecked and thev were returned to England. Determined
to come to the land of the Stars and Stripes they started again in 1851. and
this time made the vovage without accident. For one year they lived at St.


Louis, Mo., then starting across the plains with horses in a big train. Arriv-
ing at Fillmore, Utah, it being late in the year, they thought best to winter

It was while the family lived at Fillmore that Joseph Henry was born,
and when he was but a few weeks old they started, in July, for California.
Arriving at Bidwells Bar, Thomas Clarke there followed mining with such
success that he continued at it for seven years. He then began vegetable
gardening, farming and fruit raising, owning a farm near Bidwells Bar. In
the spring of 1870 he located near Cahto, where his son William, who had
preceded him a year, had entered one thousand acres of land, and the family
engaged in farming. The father built a residence on the Westport road and
with his wife resided there until his death. Of their six children five grew
to maturity: William died in Ukiah in 1912. Alfred resides in Butte county.
Frank died just before graduation at Heald's Business College in San Fran-
cisco in 1875. Joseph H. is mentioned below. Eliza. Mrs. Black, died at
San Jose in 1903.

Joseph H. Clarke's boyhood was spent in Butte county. His school ad-
vantages were very limited, but having a desire for knowledge and being a
close reader of good literature, he has become a well-informed and well-posted
man in most all of the sciences. In November, 1869, he came to Cahto,
Mendocino county, and with the rest of his family engaged in farming and
stock-raising. In 1872 Mr. Clarke started a dairy at the old home place,
continuing the business until 1881, when he began raising sheep, in which he
has been unusually successful. He experimented with Merinos, then Shrop-
shire, but in 1902 he began breeding Rambouilette sheep, having purchased
some splendid specimens from Seeley & Hansen in Utah. He is now
breeding thoroughbred Rambouilette sheep, and has raised and sold hun-
dreds of fine specimens ; his whole flock is now full-blooded and a source of
great pride to him. He is said to be the largest breeder of thoroughbred Ram-
bouilette sheep in Mendocino county.

Mr. Clarke now owns over forty-seven hundred acres ; the ranch is known
as the Canyon, lying about six miles southwest of Laytonville, on the Westport
road, between Jackson and Sherwood valleys. It is located on the headwaters
of Ten ]\Iile river and is only a little over ten miles to the coast, .=0 that they
get a sea breeze. The Canyon, as it is called, is a stretch of country almost en-
tirely free from frost, and they have very little frost, if any, before Christmas.
On the ranch is about two hundred acres of redwood and several hundred
acres of tan oak, with lots of spruce and fir. The ranch is abundantly watered
by streams and numerous large springs. JNIr. Clarke has piped the water in from
three springs to the orchard, a distance of half a mile, giving an .ibundance
of water for irrigation. In 1913 he built a comfortable and commodious resi-
dence at the Canyon and with the many improvements he has made on it it is a
very beautiful country place. He has gone to much expense in fencing the
entire ranch with a fence that keeps the coyotes out, otherwise success in the
sheep industry in these parts would be impossible.

In Ukiah, February 7, 1884, occurred the marriage of Mr. Clarke, uniting
him with Annie R. Fowzer, a native daughter of San Francisco.

She is the daughter of James and Eliza (Lovejoy) Fowzer, born in Pitts-
burg, Pa., and London. England, respectively. The latter were married in
Ohio. In 1849 Mr. Fowzer came around Cape Horn to San Francisco, while
his wife joined him in 18.S2. coming via Panama. In 1864 they came from San


Francisco to Sanel ^■alle\■, Alendocino count}-, where he purchased a twelve
hundred acre ranch. In 1867 he located in Ukiah having been elected county
clerk in the fall of 1866, and during his term he studied law and was admitted
to the bar. After completing his term he engaged in practicing law. He
was soon afterward elected county treasurer and was re-elected to the office
several terms, serving until his death in 1887. His widow survived him many
years, her death occurring in Ukiah in 1911. The following of their children
grew up : Elizabeth, I\Irs. Stockwell, died in Snohomish, Wash. Jacob is a
prominent photographer in San Francisco. Annie R. is Mrs. Clarke. Jackson
died in San Francisco in 1897. ^Irs. Clarke graduated at the San Jose state
normal in 1878 and then followed teaching until her marriage.

To Mr. and Mrs. Clarke have been born six children : Cecile, a graduate
of the Universit}' of California, is the head of the history department in the
Eureka high school : Frank Cuthbert is a graduate of the University of Cali-
fornia and now managing his father's ranch ; Belle, a graduate of the Uni-
versity of California, is the wife of Asa C. Chandler, of Corvallis, Ore. ; Annie,
a graduate of the Ukiah high school, is vice principal of the Greenwood
schools ; \Villiam V. is attending the Oregon Agricultural College at Cor-
vallis ; Alay, the youngest, is still under the parental roof.

^Ir. Clarke is a member of the National Wool Growers Association. He
has been a student of natural history, as well as the sciences and is well in-
formed. He is a fine conversationalist and it is indeed enjoyable to be num-
bered among the friends of Afr. and Mrs. Clarke and partake of their un-
bounded hospitality.

JOSEPH HENRY BILLING.— As proprietor of the Dilling's Stanley
Steamer stage line between A\'endling and Cloverdale, Mr. Billing is possibly
best known in his community, but he has also another line of industry, that of
photography, which he follows with much success.

Born in Bathurst, a city of New South ^^'ales, Australia, on December
8, 1868, he was the son of Andrew Dilling. The latter was a native of Ger-
man}' and started active life as a sailor, going to different ports of the world,
which eventually brought him to Australia. There he followed mining and
was married to Isabella ^^'right, an native of England. In 1868 they made
their way to California, and at Cufifey"s Cove the father procured employment
at different lumber mills, but later engaged in ranching, having a farm south
of Greenwood, where he passed away. The mother now makes her home in
Fort Bragg.

Joseph Henry Dilling was the fourth eldest of the eleven children born
to his parents, and he was less than two years old when they brousfht him to
California. On the ]\Iendocino coast he was reared and educated, attending
the public schools of Bridgeport. Assisting on the home farm until seven-
teen, he then began working on farms in the neighborhood until he was twenty,
when he worked in the woods for some time. Going then to San Francisco
he remained about six years, following the trade of photographer. He traveled
for the next four years through Sonoma and Mendocino counties, having
studios in different cities, and his business became lucrative and highly satis-
factory. In 1905 lie located in^^'endling, where he engaged in the photography
business, also building up a good livery and stage business. The stage line
which he runs between ^^'endling and Cloverdale connects with trains on
the Northwestern Pacific, and regular trips are made there daily. In 1914
he purchased a new nine-passenger Stanley Steamer car. which has proved


a sagacious investment, as well as a source of comfort to his passengers. Mr
Dilling also runs the stage from Philo to Greenwood. His progressiveness
has been evidenced by the putting in of a pumping plant, about eight years ago,
which furnishes water not only for his own place, but also for several hotels
and residences in Wendling. Still retaining his studio there, he finds recreation
in this work. Up-to-date, enterprising and ready to take his part in all for-
ward movements, he has become one of the most active citizens of his locality,
and he has earned a favorable and enviable reputation throughout the count}'.
In religious faith he is a ^lethodist.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BRANSCOMB.— Nestling among the foot-
hills of the Coast range mountains we find the Branscomb ranch, store, post-
office, hotel and resort. The man who made all the improvements is Benjamin
Franklin Branscomb, an old settler. He was born near Jackson, \\''ashington
county, Ohio, March 24, 1836. His father, Joseph E., a native of Henry county,
Va., went to Fayette county, Ohio, when seventeen j-ears of age. Afterwards
he there married Diana Pierce, a native of that county. The young couple
resided a while in ^^'ashingto^ county, that state, then returned to Fayette
county, where they resided until 1838. In that year they removed to Knox
county. 111., locating on a farm on the Spoon river. In 1854 they moved to
Dubuque, Iowa, and thence to DeKalb county. Mo., where Joseph E. Brans-
comb was a farmer and served as sheriflf of the county during four years of
the war. He met with sudden death,- being assassinated just a few days before
Lincoln's assassination. The wife died in Colorado. Of their nine children
six grew up, as follows: Benjamin F., of whom we write; Virginia, Mrs.
Littleton, of Santa Rosa ; Eliza, ^Irs. Cook, who died at Burlington ; Emma,
Mrs. Pritchard, of San Francisco : Joseph E., residing in Wyoming ; and
Charles A., of Grangerville, Idaho.

Benjamin F. Branscomb was brought up on the farm in Illinois, receiving
his education in the public schools. In 1854 he removed with the family to
Iowa, and in 1856 to Missouri. In !March, 1857. he started for California in an
ox-team train that was in charge of Capt. Benjamin Taylor, whose daughter
Jane was also a member of the train, and whom 'Sir. Branscomb afterward
married. After about five months they reached California. 'Sir. Branscomb
ran a ferry at Bidwell's Landing, near Chico, the first winter, and in the spring
of 1858 he came to Sonoma county, where on August 7, 1859, he was married
on the Taylor ranch, three miles above Sebastopol, to Jane Taylor. She was
born in DeKalb county. Mo., the daughter of Capt. Benjamin and Rachael
(Earnest) Taylor, both natives of Kentucky.

Mr. Branscomb engaged in farming and dairying on the Laguna for nine
years, then moved to a place four miles north of Guerneville, where they fol-
lowed stockraising until he sold the ranch, when he resided for a year in
Green valley. In 1880 he came to Mendocino county and homesteaded one
hundred and sixty acres, and entered forty acres adjoining under the timber
act. Here he cleared the land and made substantial improvements, building
a comfortable residence with barns and other buildings. He brings the water
from a large spring across Eel river, two thousand feet in two-inch pipe, and
then uses five hundred feet of pipe for distributing the water. Altogether he
has a splendid water system on the place. He also started a hotel, which has
become a particularly popular summer resort, being crowded to the limit
during the season, guests enjoying excellent hunting and fishing. Branscomb


ranch is located thirteen miles southwest of Laytonville and is reached by
daily stage.

Mr. and Mrs. Branscomb had ten children, as follows : C. VV., a black-
smith at Covelo; Sarah R., Mrs. J. P. Miller, of Santa Rosa; Elizabeth, Mrs.
Ward, of Ukiah; Joseph Edmond, a rancher in Long valley; Martha, Mrs.
Chris Hansen, of Willits ; John M., former merchant and postmaster at Brans-
comb; Arthur T., a resident of Merced; James H., of Butte Mountain; Law-
rence E., a farmer on the Ten Mile creek; and Lelia, Mrs. Wells, residing at

Mr. Branscomb was one of the organizers of the Jackson school district,
helping to build the school house, and served as a member of the board of
trustees for many years. About 1895 Mr. Branscomb secured the postoffice
for Branscomb and was appointed the first postmaster, an office which is now
filled by his son, John M. In his career Benjamin Branscomb has been ably
assisted by his wife, who is known throughout the region as a most excellent
cook and housekeeper, and, as Ben claims, has been the secret of his success.
Mr. Branscomb was made a Mason in Lafayette Lodge at Sebastopol, of which
he served as master. He is now a member of Abell Lodge No. 164, F. & A. M.,
Ukiah. Politically he is a Progressive Republican.

D. CLAIR SMITH was born in Ukiah August 16, 1885. His father, John
Henry Smith, was born in Solano county February 1, 1856, the son of John
P. Smith, a pioneer of Ukiah, who is represented elsewhere in this work.
During his boyhood and early manhood J. H. Smith assisted his father in stock-
raismg and farming, and laid the foundation of a splendid constitution and
clear brain, which later proved of so much value to him. In 1876, seeing the
necessity of a first-class livery stable in Ukiah, he purchased the interest of
N. Henshaw, who was in partnership with A. C. Perry. The firm was Perry
& Smith, and still later became Smith & Morrison, running the Ukiah stables.
In 1882 Mr. Smith sold his interest in the stable and engaged in general
trading and teaming. In 1885 he purchased the livery business of C. P.
Smith and continued the business with different partners, his last partner
being John Hill, with whom he was in business for nine years, until Mr.
Hill's death. After this Mr. Smith purchased the Hill interest in the Fashion
Stable and conducted it alone until his death. He was married to j\Iary B.
Milne on Februar}- 16, 1879, and they had four children. In 1898 he was
appointed to fill the une.xpired term of Sheriff J. R. Johnson, and that fall
was elected sheriff on the Democratic ticket, performing his duties so well
that he was re-elected in 1902. On December 22, 1905, in the Judge's cham-
bers in the Ukiah courthouse, he was unfortunately killed by a half-breed
prisoner, who had a gun concealed on his person. The bullet killed the
sheriff' instantly. His wife died in Santa Clara August 16. 1912. Fraternally
Sheriff Smith was an Odd Fellow. A man of sterling worth and sound busi-
ness judgment, in his death the community lost a truly good man.

D. C. Smith was the third eldest of his parents' family, his childhood
being spent in his native city. He received his elementary education in the
public schools, and after completing the grammar school, entered Mount
Tamalpais Military Academy at San Rafael, where he attended for two years.
He then became a junior in the Ukiah high school, but quit in his senior year
to take a course in Mathews Business Colle,ge, Ukiah, where he was graduated.
He spent two years with Baker & Hamilton in San Francisco, then two
vears farming near Holtville in the Imperial valley, after which he became


foreman for H. A. Eldred of the Eagle Stables in Ukiah. He continued here
until he purchased the stables, with Ralph R. Byrnes, in 1912, since which
time they have continued as proprietors of the Eagle Stables under the firm
name of Smith & Byrnes. To the management of this business Mr. Smith
devotes all of his time.

In Oakland occurred the marriage of D. Clair Smith with Mabel Anna
Stitt, a native of Michigan. ^Ir. Smith was made a Mason in Ukiah Lodge
No. 146, F. & A. iNI., and with his wife is a member of Casimir Chapter, Order
of the Eastern Star, in L'kiah. He is a member of Santa Rosa Lodge No.
646, B. P. O. E.

A. J. LOWELL was born at Kibesilah, Mendocino county, January 28,
1872. His father. Prof. A. J. Lowell, was born at Bangor, Me., February 13,
1819, was a graduate of a college in Maine, and became a school teacher. He
was for a period principal of the Grenada Academy, in Mississippi. In 1852
he came to California and for about thirteen years taught school and practiced
law in this state, mostly in jMendocino county. In 1867 he settled at Cot-
toneva, Cal., where he located a claim, which he improved, and where he
followed farming and stockraising until 1898. Then he retired to Westport,
where he died November 14, 1900. His first marriage was at Gibsonville, Cal.,
in 1855, to Mrs. Mary Ann Van Alstine, a widow, who died November 1,
1864. He was married (second) in Potter Valley, Mendocino county, in 1865,
to Mrs. Mary E. (Bevans) Devilbiss, who was born in ^laryland and died at
Cottoneva July 3, 1890.

Of Professor Lowell's first marriage there was one child. Julia, Mrs.
Henry Devilbiss, of Los Angeles, and of the second union there were two
sons, J. W., a farmer and surveyor, with headquarters in Westport, and A. J.,
whose name heads this article, and whose early life was spent on the farm at
Cottoneva. L^pon completing the public schools he entered Heald's Business
College. San Francisco, where he was graduated in 1891, after which he be-
came associated with his brother in the production of ties and tanbark at
Rockport. They owned timber claims in the vicinity of Rockport. from which
point Lowell Brothers shipped their product. In 1898 they sold their interests
in the Cottoneva and dissolved partnership.

A. J. Lowell then located at ^^'estport, where he became clerk and book-
keeper for the Westport Commercial Company, a position he filled ably and
well for three years, the company being then sold to J. S. Kimball. He then
spent two years in San Francisco, after which, in partnership with M. Hart.
he purchased the stock of J. S. Kimball Company at Westport and continued
the mercantile business under the firm name of iNI. Hart & Co. for two years.
In ^larch, 1907, Mr. Lowell bought out Mr. Hart's interest, and soon after-
wards he incorporated the Westport Mercantile Company with himself as
president and manager of the company. The business grew, the stock was
increased and became very large, having a full line of general merchandise,
including a large stock of hardware. But unfortunately, on June 29, 1914. the
building and stock were burned, entailing a loss of over twelve thousand
dollars above insurance. At the time of the fire Mr. Lowell had purchased
the interests of others and was practically the sole owner. Since then he is
closing out the alifairs of the old company and proceeding to disincorporate.
Nothing daunted over the heavj- loss, he began business again on his own
account, putting in a stock of general merchandise in a place across the street
from where his business was burned, and he is engaged in general merchan-


dising under the old name of the W'estport Mercantile Company, on his own
account. All these years he also has been engaged in the production and
shipping of ties and tanbark from Westport and other landings in northern
Mendocino county to San Francisco.

The marriage of Mr. Lowell occurred in San Francisco, when he was
united with Rose E. Dunn, a native daughter of that city. Fraternally he was
made a Mason in Fort Bragg Lodge No. 361, F. & A. M., and is a member
of ^Mendocino Chapter, R. A. M.

FRANK ASA CUMMINGS.— A man who has traveled much and has
had a diversified experience is Frank Asa Cummings, who was born at Iowa
Hill, Placer county, Cal.,. January 26, 1864. His father, Jonathan Francis, a
native of Somerset county. Me., came to California in 1856, and engaged in
mining at Iowa Hill, with more or less success. During the construction of
the Central Pacific railroad he became carpenter foreman in construction of
the railroad over the Sierras, and afterwards held the same position on the
construction of the Salinas branch and the building of the line across the
Oakland estuary. In 1874 he located in Mendocino county, where he im-
proved and built up the stage station called Cummings, and though he pre-
empted one hundred and sixty acres some distance away, the place on which
he made the improvements did not come into the market until after his death
in 1901. His widow then homesteaded and proved up on the place they had
devoted so many years to building up and improving. Mrs. J. F. Cummings
was in maidenhood Mary Eliza Brace, who was born in Michigan, and she died
at her old home about 1906.

Of her four children Frank Asa, the second oldest, was only ten years
of age when he came to Cummings. Here he made himself useful on the
farm and attended school until 1884, when he entered Heald's Business Col-
lege, San Francisco, and graduated therefrom. Subsequently he becam.e a
clerk in the store of W. A. Hoffman at Ukiah for a short time, when he
began driving stage between Sherwood and Alderpoint. In 1886-87 he was
employed op the geological survey in Oregon and then entered the employ
of Leonard & Ellis of the Valvoline Oil Company. San Francisco, as book-
keeper, continuing with them until 1890, when he resigned and engaged with
the Pacific Improvement Company in townsite work in the San Joaquin
valley. Later he was with the Southern Pacific railroad on location and
railroad survey work in Arizona and Southern California. It should be men-
tioned that on the survey corps originally he began as a brush cutter, then
became stake artist, after which he rose in turn to chainman, rodman, leveler,
transitman, then engineer in charge of work. He developed into a very
thorough surveyor and his work became known for its accuracy and com-
pleteness. He was also on railroad location and surveys in the states of
Nevada and Texas. For two and one-half years he was with the Brown,
Craig & Co., general insurance men, in San Francisco, as bookkeeper on
their farm books. Then for a while he drove stage again, this time in Hum-
boldt county, then became storekeeper for F. Helmke at Blocksburg for a
period of eighteen months. But surveying was his hobby, so he entered the
employ of the Santa Fe railroad on the construction of the Valley railroad,
and for three years of the time he was with the company as inspector
on the Franklin tunnel, the last year being in charge of the surveying, then
spent a year on other work for the company. Subsequently he went with
the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and was sent to Arizona and Sonora,


Mexico, where he was on railroad survey and location. During these j^ears
he helped survey the towns of Dos Palos, Firebaugh, McMullen, Collis and

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 118 of 121)