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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

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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 23 of 121)
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As a member ot the Democratic party Mr. Hurt has maintained a warm inter-
est m local politics. He served for nearly seven years as deputy United States
marshal for the Northern District of California under Baldwin and afterwards
under John H. Shine, during which time he performed the duties of the office
with fidelity and conscientiousness. In fraternal relations he holds member-
ship with Covelo Lodge No. 231, F. & A. M., of which he was Master for eight
years and to whose charities he contributes when called upon He is also
a member of Ukiah Chapter No. 53, R. A. M., and with his wife is a member
01 Augusta Chapter No. 80, O. E. S. Modern agriculture represents his chief
interest. He is a believer in modern methods of farming and is quick to adopt
any new method of planting or caring for the crops if once convinced of the
utility of the plan. High grades of stock and the latest machinery may be
seen on his farm, while the general appearance of thrift indicates that he is a
farmer of efficiency and intelligence.

AUGUSTUS M. AKINS.— It is a matter of interest that the modern
establishment of A. M. Akins & Sons, leading general merchants at Lower
Lake, Lake county, stands on the site where he began work on coming to the
town in 1862, in the employ of Herrick & Getz. Living in this region from
pioneer days, Mr Akins, though himself ahvays engaged in ordinary business
pursuits, has been brought into contact with many of the most exciting phases
of Its development and growth, and has had a rich variety of experiences with
ihe characters and adventures which form so appropriate a background for
the history of California. His own career to some extent has been typical of
1 he era through which he has lived, for he was carrying on an independent
business at an age when most youths are learning to take care of themselves,
and he is one of the leading citizens of his town because he has shown the
qualities which entitle him to such standing.

Mr. Akins belongs to an old American family. His grandfather. Middle-
ton Akins, was born in Georgia, moving from that state to Arkansas with
his son John and the latter's family in the year 1847. John Akins, who was
the father of Augustus M. Akins, died in Arkansas, and the family (including
the grandfather) subsequently came to California, in 1856. They made the
journey by the southern route overland with ox teams through the Indian
country, being robbed of stock by them. Arriving in San Diego, they re-
mained for a year and a half, and then moved up to Los Angeles county,
living at El Monte for two years. Then they followed the coast route up to
Clear Lake, settling on Coal creek, three miles southeast of Kelseyville, in
1859. The mother of Augustus M. Akins, whose maiden name was Lucinda
Rudy, was married (second) near Kelseyville in the fall of 1861 to S. A.
Copsey, by whom she had one child, George W., who died in March, 1910.
To her marriage with John Akins were born five children : Jane, the eldest,
married Robert Denham, of Kelseyville, who started the first blacksmith shop
at that place, and she died at Woodland; Augustus M. is mentioned below;
Mary Elizabeth, now Airs. Rannels, resides at Lower Lake; Emaline is the



182 MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES

wife of Thomas Faley and lives at Calistoga; Martha is the wife of J. C.
Copsey, a farmer near Lower Lake.

Augustus M. Akins was born May 23, 1845, near Augusta, Ga., and was
only an infant when the family moved to Arkansas. He was a boy of fourteen
when they settled in Lake county, and on April 1, 1862, he came to Lower
Lake, where he found employment with Herrick & Getz, merchants, who had
their store on the site where he is now located. Part of the time he was en-
gaged in clerking, but he was mostly employed at outside work, taking care
of teams, etc. He was less than seventeen when he began teaming on his
own account, that work taking him all over Lake county, and thus he laid
the foundation for his substantial fortune and the extensive business he now
conducts. He drove two, four or six horse teams, as occasion required,
freighting to Calistoga, Knoxville and other places, and did so well that he
has always been engaged in busirress for himself since. His first year's wages
amounted to one hundred and iifty dollars, and he attended school about
three months that year. Gradually he built up a profitable trade, at one time
running six six-horse teams to Sulphur Bank, Calistoga and Knoxville. After
Mr. Herrick withdrew from the mercantile business Mr. Getz was burned
out, and Air. Akins bought the old Herrick & Getz lot in Lower Lake, in
1909-10 erecting thereon the fine modern store building in which the mercan-
tile business of A. M. Akins & Sons is now established. They began business
in June, 1904, in the old Palestine building, and their trade has been expanding
ever since. Their present quarters, to which they moved in 1910, comprise a
store forty by sixty feet in dimensions, the finest in the town, with a large
warehouse fifty by sixty feet some fifty feet to the rear, and a lumberyard to
the southeast of this property. The store is clean, light and dry. well venti-
lated and conveniently arranged, and occupies an ideal location. The stock
includes boots and shoes, dress goods and other dry goods, hats and caps,
and jewelry. In the warehouse is the heavy stock, such as oils, machinery,
farm implements of all kinds, fencing and fencing wire, hardware, cement,
hay and grain, salt, etc. — a comprehensive line designed to meet all the needs
of the many patrons who find this a most satisfactory trading place. Rough
and dimension lumber is handled at the lumberyard. The firm are agents for
Studebaker automobiles. Three clerks are employed all the year round, the
members of the firm also helping in the store, and besides there are two
teamsters and another outside man, as well as a bookkeeper. The firm is
composed of Augustus M. Akins and his two sons. Alma and Frank, and the
manner in which they have conducted their business has given a decided
impetus to trade conditions in the town. Mr. Akins' early business opera-
tions gained him a wide acquaintance. Though for a number of years he
was brought into close association with many men of rough character and
loose principles, he has always kept his own course straight, living a tem-
perate, industrious life, which has been the means of keeping the confidence
of all who know him. As one of the foremost residents of Lower Lake, he
holds an influential position among his fellow citizens, and well deserves their
high regard. He has served one term as supervisor of his district, giving
public-spirited attention to his duties. In political connection he is a
Democrat.

In 1871 Mr. Akins joined Clear Lake Lodge, No. 130, I. O. O. F., at
Lower Lake, and he has passed through all the chairs and represented that



MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES 183

body in the Grand Lodge ; for the last fifteen years he has been serving as
treasurer of the Lower Lake Lodge.

One of Mr. Akins" experiences in his young manhood will serve to show
The dangers to which pioneer residents were exposed in their ignorance of
the character of many who came into this section, then so far from civiliza-
tion. One evening, soon after he began working for Herrick & Getz, he was
eating supper with a stranger when Jack Stubbs, then constable, and Frank
Harrington, as his assistant, came in and ordered the stranger, seated beside
Mr. Akins at table, to give himself up. Instead he drew a Bowie knife and
advanced upon the officers, whereupon Stubbs shot him dead. It was after-
^vard ascertained that he was an escaped convict from San Quentin.

On January 4, 1872, Mr. Akins was married to Miss Elizabeth Bainbridge,
in Sacramento. She was born in England, and in 1857 was brought to
America in infancy by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John and Alice Bainbridge,
pioneer farmers of Sacramento county. Mr. and Mrs. Akins have two chil-
dren. Alma M. and Frank P., both of whom are in partnership with their
father in the firm of A. M. Akins & Sons. Alma J\I. Akins, born at Lower
Lake November 19, 1872, is married to Madeline Mahan, and has two chil-
dren, Raymond and Marie. Frank P. Akins, born at Lower Lake October 1,
1875, married Maude Knauer of Lower Lake, and they also have two children,
Leila and Donna.

MATT MARKKULA. — Well known among the farmers and orchardists
of Little Valley is Matt Markkula, who came to Fort Bragg in 1888. He
was born April 9, 1871, in a place in the northern part of Finland. His
father, Isaac F. Markkula, a carpenter by trade, came to Michigan in 1882,
his family joining him in 1883 in Houghton county, where he followed lum-
bering. Five years later the family moved to Fort Bragg, Cal., where the
father was employed at carpenter work with the Union Lumber Company
until he retired. He is now seventy-three years of age. The mother before
her marriage was Louisa Tuomaala, and she died in 1906. Of their seven
children, three are living: Matt Ma;-kkula being the second eldest.

Attending the public schools until the age of twelve, Mr. Markkula then
came to Michigan where he found it necessary to go to work and was em-
ployed in the woods with axe and saw from daylight until dark. At this occu-
pation he continued until 1888, when he came to Fort Bragg and first worked
at making ties, later being in the lumber yard of the Union Lumber Company.
It was in the car shops of this company that he began the carpenter trade in
1898. and he learned car repairing. From this he rose to the position of
assistant foreman, and in 1902 became foreman of the car shop, this position
including the oversight of the car department, pattern and paint shop. He
owns a farm of forty acres in Little Valle}', a distance of six miles from Fort
Bragg, as well as two residences in the same city. He is now engaged in
farming and orchard growing.

Mr. Markkula married in Fort Bragg Mrs. Jennie (Anias) Heikkila, who
was also born in Finland. They have three children : Reina Regina and
Raymond Frederic, twins, and Armas Clififord. By her first marriage, Mrs.
Markkula had four children : Jennie. Axel, Heija and Lea. Mr. Markkula
is a valued member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a Re-
publican and for fifteen years has been a member of the Fort Bragg Hook
and Ladder Company, being treasurer of the association.



184 MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES

HON. THOMAS LANGLEY CAROTHERS.— In point of age, expe-
rience and actual identification with the bar of Mendocino county, Mr.
Carothers has the distinction of being the oldest attorney in the county seat
With justice it may also be stated that none possesses a more comprehensive
knowledge of the law than he, and certainly none is more logical in reasoning,
more forceful in argument, more eloquent in speeches before judge and jury
or more keen to penetrate the hidden motives for which the efficient attorney
must search in many criminal and civil cases. His broad knowledge of
the law comes principally from experience and habits of close observation
and careful study, rather than from extended terms of attendance at law
colleges in his young manhood, but the education acquired through his own
determined efiforts at self-culture has been in no respect less valuable than
that which a modern college could afford. Whether alone or in practice
with a partner, always he has represented the highest and best in his profes-
sion and has stood as a leader of the bar in the local courts.

A native of Illinois, born in Carthage, Hancock county, September 26,
1842, Mr. Carothers left there in 1853 and accompanied his father James H.
Carothers across the plains via the overland route. A period of farming
near Petaluma was followed by the removal of the family to Sacramento in
the spring of 1859 and the father engaged in teaming until the disastrous
floods of 1861-62 caused him to return to Petaluma, where he took up teaming
and hauling. Meanwhile the son had attended the Sacramento high school
and had taken up the study of law in that city with Harrison & Estee,
and continued his studies in Petaluma with the Hon. George Pearce, being
admitted to the bar in 1863. For two years he held a position as deputy
district attorney of Sonoma county. During the spring of 1866 he came to
Ukiah, hung out his shingle in front of one of the primitive frame structures
characteristic of the town in those daj's, and gradually built up a practice
in this community. Ever since coming here he has acted as a notary public.

When the practice of the law did not occupy his time, Mr. Carothers turned
to the cultivation of the soil. For some years he was interested in viti-
culture. Buying one hundred acres of raw land, he planted vines, cultivated
the vine3'ard, developed it into a productive property, and then sold at
some profit. During 1872 he became district attorney of Mendocino county,
filling the office until 1874. In 1884 he was the nominee for Congress on
the Republican ticket, but suffered defeat with the balance of the ticket
in this district. Ever since the law went into effect in 1898 creating the office
of United States referee in bankruptcy, he has filled the position for Mendo-
cino and Lake counties. At the time of the building of the Mendocino county
state asylum (now the Mendocino State Hospital) at Ukiah he was a
member of the E'oard of Directors, and during the first six years of the exist-
ence of the hcispital he filled the office of president of the Board of Trustees.
Since 1893 he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the city of
Ukiah, and for more than two decades he has been president of the board,
a position equivalent to the office of Alayor. It would be difficult to name
any criminal or civil case of great importance in the county witli which he
has not been connected. In 1883 he prosecuted the famous Mendocino
outlaws and secured the conviction of all. At another time he defended
the famous Frost vendetta case, which figured extensively in the early history
of the epunty. As a criminal lawyer he has gained prominence throughout
this portion of the state. Fraternally he has been Master of Abell Lodge








y^ ^, Qx-iu(t^Uju/



-MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES 187

No. 146, F. & A. M., a member of Ukiah Chapter No. 53, R. A. M., and
Ukiah Commandery No. 33, K. T., of which he is Past Commander. One
son, Mack, now deceased, was born of his first wife, Lucy P. Pierson, a
native of Illinois, whom he married in 1866 and who died thirty years
afterward. His second marriage was solemnized in Ukiah in 1897 and united
him with Mrs. Isabelle (Church) Reeves, a native of Ashfield, Franklin
county, Mass. She was a descendant of Capt. John Church, who came to
Massachusetts in the Mayflower.

Mrs. Carothers was the widow of Tapping Reeves, a native of Owego,
N. Y., born March 7, 1832. the son of Lorenzo and Mona (Clark) Reeves,
the former a merchant. A brother of Mr. Reeves was D. W. Reeves, a
celebrated musician and composer, and leader of Reeves Band at Providence,
R. I. A sister, Lucinda J. Reeves, was teacher of music, painting and drawing
and a prominent leader in social, church and public affairs in Ukiah. Tapping
Reeves became a prominent machinist and engineer. Coming to California
via Panama in 1851, he was afterwards engineer at the Albion mill, and
while there invented an edger as well as other improvements for the saw mill.
In 1871 he built a saw mill in Reeves Canyon near Ukiah, where he engaged
in the manufacture of lumber until his death in 1885. In Fairmont, N. Y.,
in 1875, he married Miss Church and to them was born a daughter, Edna
Mary, who graduated at Leland Stanford University as A.B. in 1905, and
is now a teacher in the Mendocino High School. Mrs. Carothers is a member
of Kingsley Chapter, O. E. S., and is an active member of the Presbyterian
church.

CYRUS GORDON TURNER.— The tenant on the large stock farm
in Long Valley precinct, Lake county, known as the Spring Branch farm since
October, 1909, Mr. Turner is engaged in raising general crops and to some
extent in stock growing. He is a man known for his straightforward disposi-
tion and reliable character, and his industry and evident public spirit have
made him a most desirable citizen of the section where he resides. Practically
all of his life has been spent in Lake county, for he was only a child of
six years when his parents settled in the Loconomi valley, near Middletown,
where he was reared.

Mr. Turner's father, John Turner, was a native of Virginia, and served
during the Civil war as a soldier in the Confederate army. He was married
in Missouri to Ruth Cummings, a native of that state, and they came with
their family to California in the year 1870, the parents passing the remainder
of their lives in Lake county. Until he retired, John Turner was a farmer
and stockman. His death occurred near Lower Lake in 1908, when he was
seventy-five years old, many years after that of his wife. They had a family
of seven children : William, who died in Jerusalem valley, Lake county,
when thirty-one years old, was married and had two children ; Cyrus G. is
mentioned later ; Samuel conducts a pool hall in Lower Lake ; Josie was the
wife of Charles Hopper and died leaving two children ; John died at nineteen ;
Emma married George Copsey and died leaving two children ; Sallie is the
wife of John Wright, of Santa Rosa, and has a family of six children.

Cyrus G. Turner was born August 8, 1863, in Clay county, ^Missouri, and
was six years old at the time the family left that state for California. His
mother died when he was but eleven years old, and he began to work out as
a farm hand when a bov of twelve. Nevertheless, he managed to acquire a



188 MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES

good education, attending school winters and doing chores to pay his way
meantime. His first employer was "Tom" Parker, for whom he continued to
work off and on for several years, perhaps remaining with him three years in
all. Farming has always been his occupation, and he has been renting land
for a number of years, having been in Little High valley for several years
before he came to the Spring Branch farm, usually known as the Ouigley
farm, in October, 1909. It is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Brown, of Richmond,
Cal., and comprises seven hundred acres of good land, upon which he raises
mixed crops, meeting with gratifying success in his operations. His stock
includes fourteen head of cattle, twenty-two hogs and six horses, and he is
also engaged in raising chickens and turkeys. The present condition of the
place betokens the thrifty care which Mr. Turner gives to it, and his work
and upright life have won him the highest respect of his neighbors in the
precinct.

On November 1, 1903, Mr. Turner married Miss Nora Estella Cunning-
ham, of Lower Lake, who belongs to pioneer families of this section in both
paternal and maternal lines, being a daughter of William H. and Nancy Jane
^Howard) Cunningham and granddaughter of James Howard, who estab-
lished Howard Springs Resort. Mr. Cunningham was well known as a black-
smith at Lower Lake for years, and served ably as assessor of Lake county.
He died recently, and his wife is also deceased. They had two children, Nora
Estella and Bertie Leone, the latter now the wife of Thomas A. Wing, a
carpenter, who lives in Merced county, this state. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Turner have
two children. Ruth E. and Bertie E. Mrs. Turner is an excellent cook and
housekeeper, and like her husband has many good personal qualities which
have won her the regard and esteem of her neighbors. On political questions
he is a Democrat, but he has not been active in either party affairs or public
matters.

WILLIAM C. GOLDSMITH.— There is no better known citizen in the
town of Lower Lake than its venerable postmaster and oldest pioneer, William
C. Goldsmith. He has lived there continuously since August, 1858, has been
justice of the peace thirty years, for the last twenty-four years consecutively,
and postmaster for the past fourteen years, holding the office now under ap-
[jointment from the \\'ilson administration, though he himself is a stanch
Republican. He is a veteran Odd Fellow, having belonged to the order for
forty-seven years.

Indiana is Mr. Goldsmith's native state. He was born in Knox county
.April 2. 1830, son of Henry and Elizabeth (Ferkins) Goldsmith, the former
born in Harrisburg, Pa., of Dutch descent, the latter at Beaver Pond, Ky.,
of French extraction. In 1833 the family moved out to what is now Scott
county, in Illinois, settling at Winchester, where Henry Goldsmith passed
the rest of his life, engaged at his trade of boot and shoe maker. He died at
Winchester in 1856. and was buried there. His wife's death occurred there
also, in 1875. Of the children born to this couple seven grew to maturity.
William C. Goldsmith was the eldest, and his early life was spent at Win-
chester, where he served an apprenticeship of four and a half years at the
trade of harness maker with W. C. Gwin. At the end of that time he began
to work as a journeyman harness maker, in 1849, following his trade at various
locations. Greenfield. Tersevville and Rockford, in Illinois; St, Louis. Mo.; and



MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTIES 189

in 1850 returned to Indiana, where he worked mainly at Vincennes, though he
was also employed at Petersburg, Pike county, and Washington, Daviess
county. He left the latter place in February, 1852, to go to California, leaving
the parental home at Winchester, 111., March 28, 1852, in company with his
father and uncle, John Goldsmith, and James Hamilton. They had a large
immigrant wagon and four yoke of oxen, and equipment and provisions for the
long journey across the plains. About April 1st they crossed the Mississippi,
at Hannibal, Mo., went over the Missouri at St. Joseph, Mo., camping there
six days, and on May 6th started overland toward the coast, making their
way along the south side of the Platte river. They arrived at Hangtown, Cal.,
August 8th, by which time the father was so discouraged that he started back
lor Winchester the next day. William C. Goldsmith went over to Kelsey's
Bar, on the middle fork of the American river, and hired out as a cook. He
also mined, farmed in the Santa Clara valley, and did other work, at different
places, but after coming to California he followed his trade for only one month.
He gave up farming in the Santa Clara valley when his crops dried up, and
later was in the wood business at Grass Valley, coming from there to Clear
Lake, Lake county, in 1857. In the fall of the year he went back to Marys-
ville, where he worked the next year until the harvest was over, returning to
Lake county and arriving at what is now Lower Lake in August, 1858; since
the 23rd of that month he has been a permanent resident of Lake county.
Now, at the age of eighty-four years, he is hale and hearty, and as he has
never required the services of a doctor or a dose of medicine since he settled
here his advice is, "If you want to live always, come to Lake county." In 1861
Mr. Goldsmith went into the sheep business in Morgan valley, continuing to
engage in that line until April. 1866, when he sold out and came to Lower
Lake to live. He bought his present property there, a tract of twenty-three
acres, in 1870. For twenty-four years he was engaged in the liquor business in
the town, giving it up about 1901, when he became postmaster, at the age of
seventy years. His popularity is well attested by the fact that he has been
continued in office ever since, having many friends among the Democratic
element in town as well as in his own party. His duties are conscientiously
and faithfully performed, and he also serves as justice of the peace, first taking
that office in the year 1867. Twent3'-four years ago he was re-elected, and has
retained the office to the present. He has also been deputy assessor for super-
visor district No. 2, having filled that position ably for two terms. ]\Ir. Gold-
smith's first presidential vote was cast for John C. Fremont in 1856. He was
one of the petitioners for the establishment of Lake count}-, which was made
\ip of territory taken from Napa and Yolo counties.

Mr. Goldsmith stands high in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to
which he has belonged for forty-seven years, holding membership in Clear
Lake Lodge, No. 130, at Lower Lake, of which he is the oldest resident mem-
ber. He has been through all the chairs, has been representative to the Grand
Lodge six times, and is a member of the Veteran Odd Fellows at San Fran-



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 23 of 121)