Chicago Standard Genealogical Publishing Company.

A Volume of memoirs and genealogy of representative citizens of northern California, including biographies of many of those who have passed away online

. (page 103 of 108)
Online LibraryChicago Standard Genealogical Publishing CompanyA Volume of memoirs and genealogy of representative citizens of northern California, including biographies of many of those who have passed away → online text (page 103 of 108)
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always true and faithful to the trust reposed in him. At the battle of Xew
Orleans he had sustained a wound which crippled him for the remainder of his

James Thomas Currey was one of a family of thirteen children, but as
far as he now knows he is the only survivor. He was the twelfth in order of
birth and was reared to manhood in Kentucky. At the age of twenty-seven
years he started uixjn the long and tedious journey to California, his wagon
drawn by oxen whose slow gait made the trip an almost interminable one.
However he finally arrived at his destination and engaged in mining at Rat-
tlesnake Bar on the American river, being quite successful in his operations.
He took out eighteen hundred dollars in a single day and continued to mine
there for three or four years. Later, however, he invested considerable of his
savings in other mining ventures which proved unprofitable. Be it said to lu-
honor, however, that he neither gambled nor drank in those days when such
practices were common among the miners, and wdierever he was he commanded
the respect and confidence of all with whom he was associated. For a tim"
he was employed on a ranch and later began working on the Old Bear river
ditch, remaining with the company for twenty-nine years, a fact which mdi-
cates in an unmistakable manner his capable service and his fidelity ti) duty.
He has charge of the water in this vicinity, acts as collector for the cnnipany
and is one of its most reliable and trustworthy employes.

Mr. Currey took up his residence in Loomis in 1886 and built the seciind
residence in the town. He has planted many fruit and ornamental trees here
and is now' living in a pleasant home amid comfortable surroundings, ha\ing
through the years of his active and honorable career acquired a handsome com-
petence. He was married in 1869 to Miss Elizabeth Freeman and unto them
was born a son, Harry, who is now a resident of Sacramento. After the death
of his first wife Mr. Currey was married, on the first of July. 1884. t<i Miss
Amelia Cutsgar, a native of Prussia, who has since been to him a faithful help-
mate and companion on life's journey. She is a member of the Catholic
church. He is not identified with any religious organization, but socially is con-
nected with the Red Men, and in politics he is a Democrat, but at local elections
where no issue is involved he votes for the man rather than the party, regard-
ing merely his fitness for the ofiice. His life has been quietly passed ])ut the


elements of his character are tln.ise which constitute lionorable manliood and
in the locahties where he lias resided he has enjdved the unc^uahhed contidence
and esteem of liis fellow men.


In the year 185S Silvester ^NI. Sprague came to Californfa and is now iden-
tified with inisiness interests in Iowa Hill. He is a native of Vermont, bom
April 22. 1S48. His father, Lucius Sprague, was born in Hanover, Germany,
and in 1850 emigrated to California, casting in his lot with the mining popula-
tion that laid the foundation of the present prosperity and progress of the com-
monwealth. He became one of the first settlers in this portion of the state and
one of the fourth owners of the North Star mine, out of which he took consid-
erable gold. He had various other mining interests and later was engaged in
freighting from Colfax to Iowa Hill, receiving seventy-five dollars per hun-
dred-weight for hauling goods to this place. Later he removed to Sacramento,
where he continued to reside up to the time of his death,wdiich occurred in July,
1895, at the age of seventy-three years. He was a stanch Republican and a
strong L'uion man during the Civil war and was a thorough, upright citizen.
His wife died in Auburn, California, in 1864, leaving five children, three of
whom yet survi\'e. namely : George, a resident of San Diego, California : Sil-
vester \l. : and Mary, wife of John Faferty, of Sacramento. Charles died at
Colfax, California, in the twenty-second year of his age, and Julia died in
Sacramento, at the age of twenty. She was married and left a son, Ernest

Air. Sprague, whose name introduces this record, acquired his education
in the public sch(.iiils and early in life began dealing in plaster-paris statues on
Market street, in San iMancisco. On the 20th of May, 1864, in answer to the
call of this country for vounteers to put down the relaellion, he enlisted in Com-
pany B, Second Regiment California Infantry, under Captain Fairfield. He
served at Fort Green, California, participated in several engagements with the
Indians and received an honorable discharge in San Francisco in 1865. He had
been promoted to corporal.

After the close of the war Mr. Sprague came to Iowa Hill and was in the
pottery business for fifteen years. At the same time he was connected with
numerous mining enterprises, operating the Blue W'ing and W'ashington and
the Aurora mines. He took out large quantities of gold, but the law prohibiting
hydraulic mining ended his operations, and all the mining machinery and the
valuable property is now standing idle. Mr. Sprague is a stockholder and
superintendent in the General Green and the Dewey Consolidated drift mine
and is a part owner of the Oriental and Reeta quartz mines and in the Last
Chance gravel mine. He also has a farm of three hundred and twenty acres —
the Fallbrook place — four miles from Lincoln, in Placer county. This is a
grain and fruit farm and is a valuable property, yielding excellent returns. Mr.
Sprague has other real-estate interests, being the owner of the Arcade building


and also of one of tlie finest residences in Iowa Hill, where he resides with his

in 1876 occurred the marriage of Silvester I\I. Sprague and Miss ]\Iary
Smiley, a native of Canada and a sister of John Smiley, one of the pioneers of
this state. They now have five children, as follows : Elsworth, wdio is now the
proprietor of a meat market ; O. L., who is engaged in business in Sacramento ;
Nellie, wife of Samuel Watts, deputy county clerk at Auburn ; and Adelbert
and Budd. who are at school. They were all born in Iowa Hill,

^Ir. Sprague has always been a very active member of the Republican
party, attending all of its conventions and doing everything in his power to
promote the growth and insure its success. He may well be termed a leader of
his party in the county and his labors have been very efficacious in promoting
its welfare. He served for some years as deputy county assessor, yet has
never been an aspirant for political honors. For twenty-seven v^ears he has
been connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, was one of
its charter inembers at Iowa Hill and has filled the office of receiver. He is
in full sympathy with all the progressive mox'ements about him and watches
the outcome of events with the keenest interest. He has been a leading factor
in the progress of Iowa Hill. Educational, church and social interests owe their
promotion in a considerable degree to him. For many years has this place
been his home, years largely de\-oted to the public good.


The history of northern California would be \er}' incomplete and unsatis-
factory w ithout a personal and somewhat extended mention of those whose
lives are so closely interwoven with the development of the state. Among this
number is Thomas B. Harper who is classified among the pioneers of 1849 and
is now one of the most highly respected citizens of Lincoln. He is a native of
Virginia, his birth having occurred in Dinwiddie county, on the 19th of Sep-
tember, 1 83 1. His Scotch ancestors, w'ho were the founders of the family in
America, became early settlers of the Old Dominion. His father, William
Halloway Harper, was born in Virginia and was married there to Miss Sarah
Warshin Scott, by whom he had eight children, all born in that state. The
father died in Virginia in 1836, and his widow with her children afterward
removed to Missouri in 1837, becommg identified with the farming interests
in that part of the covmtry. There the mother li\ed uiuil her death, which
occurred in the fifty-seventh year of her age.

Thomas Burrell Harjjer. of this review, was only five years of age when
his father died, and when a little lad of six summers he accompanied his
mother to Missouri, where he was reared and educated. He is now the only
survivor of the family. In 1849 he crossed the plains with oxen, traveling with
a wagon train of twenty-two wagons, accompanied and commanded by William
Pope. They were organized like a military company, the men taking turns in
doing guard dutv frnm the lime they left Missouri until the\- arrived at Bear
Vallev, California. One nf tlie compan\- was ilrowned while en route, but aside


from that no casualties happended and all reached the (icildcn state in safety.
They left their old homes on the 17th of April and reached their tleslination
on the 23d of August. Mr. Harper engaged in prospecting and mining in
Bear river but did not meet with very good success. His brother, George
B. and a friend, Benjamin Tucker, were his partners, but both have long
since passed to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler
returns. Leaving Bear Valley they went to Sacramento and thence pro-
ceeded up Clear creek and while there their efforts were attended with but
little success. They also went to Trinity county and later returned to Sacra-
mento. In February, 1850, they proceeded to Nevada county and in their
mining operations on the South Yuba for a time took out no inconsiderable
cjuantity of gold. Subsequently Mr. Harper and his brother went to Jackson,
Amador county, where again they were successful in their mining operations.

Our subject was also at Michigan Bluff and while at that place he was
elected assessor of Placer county, which office he filled during the years of
1859 and i860, at the same time conducting a store in Auburn. In 1863
he l^ecame the agent for the Bear River Ditch Water Company and the same
year was elected district assessor, discharging the duties of that office in a
capable manner, and at the same time owning and conducting a livery stable.
His ne.xt venture- was as owner of a store in Lincoln, where he has since
done a good business, enjoying the confidence and respect as well as the
patronage of the public.

He was elected justice of the peace, served in 1893-4 and in 1897 was
again chosen to that position, which he is still filling. He is a man of
intelligence and good judgment and weighs careftdly the evidence and the
law applicable to it and his decisions have never been reversed by the higher
court. It will thus be seen that through the years of an active business
career ]\lr. Harper has also been frequently honored with public office and
he has e\-er discharged his duties so as to win the commendation of those

In 1S64 occurred his marriage to Miss Frances Rebecca Nickerson, a
native of Missouri, who came to California in 1850 with her father, James
R. Nickerson, who still survives and is now in the eighty-third year of his
age, a respected and honored pioneer living in Nevada county. Unto Mr.
and Mrs. Harper were born two daughters, but both have passed away, —
Laura, when only fourteen months of age, and Hattie, in her twentieth year.
She was a beautiful and lovable young lady, a favorite in social circles and
her death was deeply mourned by her parents and all who knew her. Mr.
and Mrs. Harper have a delightful home which stands near his p-lace of
business and is surrounded by trees and beautiful flowers of their own plant-
ing. Mr. Harjier is the proprietor of a book and stationery business, and is
the news agent of the town. He likewise owns his own justice courtroom.
He is a member of the Pioneer Society at Sacramento and is a prominent
Mason, having joined the order at Michigan Bluff in 1858. He attained the
sublime degree of Master Mason at .Auburn in 1839. and is a Royal Arch
I\Iason. For four terms he served as master of the Gold Hill Lodge. No.


2)2. of Lincoln, while of the chapter he is past king. In 1854 he joined the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has filled all of the chairs in both
branches. He has been district deputy grand master of the encampment, and
is past master workman of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mr. and
!Mrs. Harper have a wide circle of friends in Placer county where they have
so long resided and possess the happy faculty of drawing them closer as the
years pass by. Sterling qualities of character insure them high regard and
in the history of California the}' well deserve honorable mention.


The various states of the Union have furnished their cpiota of citizens
to California, and the different characteristics seen in different portions of
the country have combined in making an amalgamation that contains the
best elements of all. The shrewdness and ingenuity of Xew England, the
conservatism of the east, the substantial qualities of the south and the pro-
gressiveness of the middle states have contributed to the upbuilding of this
commonwealth of the Pacific coast, of which the entire country is proud.

John Andrew Lee came to California from Indiana. He was born in
Fort Wayne, that state, on the 9th of September, 1841, and was of English
and Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather James Lee was the progenitor
of the family in America and established his home in New York. There
Heniy Lee, the grandfather, was born, reared and married Miss Margaret
Courier, a native of Pennsylvania, of Scotch lineage, becoming his wife. They
removed to Indiana and reared their family upon a farm in what was then
a new and largely unde\-eloped country. They were industrious, honorable
people and in the Presbyterian church held membership. The father de-
parted this life in the sixtieth year of his age, and the mother passed away
at the age of seventy-two. They had five children, but as far as is known
Mr. Lee is the only one living.

L'pon his father's farm the subject of this review was reared. Through-
out the long summer days he worked in the fields, plowing, planting and
harvesting, and through the winter months he pursued his education in the
public schools. At the early age of fourteen years he began t/) earn his
own livelihood, working as a farm hand. He was an active, stout and will-
ing toy and earned fifteen dollars per month. As he grew older he was
paid twenty-five dollars per month, which was considered high wages for farm
help at that time. He also learned the cooper's trade, which he followed in
Chicago, Illinois, and in St. Joseph and Kansas City, ]\Iissouri.

In 1875 ^I^"- Lee arrived in Sacramento. California, and followed cooper-
ing in that city and in San Francisco until 1877, when he came to Rocklin
and entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, acting
as engine wiper for three years. He worked in the blacksmith shop for two
years and was a machinist's helper for two months. Since then he has been
stock inspector and boiler-maker, keeping the boilers of the locomotives in
repair. For twenty-three years he has been one of the most faithful and


reliable employes of the company. He possesses excellent mechanical ability,
thoroughly understands the work with which he is connected, and is very
conscientious in its execution. <

In 1873 occurred the marriage of 'Slv. Lee and Miss Hilary Steel, a native
of Utah, and unto them have been born four children, namely : Alary Bell,
who became the wife of J. D. Thomas and died in the twenty-sixth year of
her age ; John Walter ; James Garfield ; and Alice. Mr. Lee is a member of
the Lidependent Order of Odd Fellows, and in his political affiliations is a
Democrat. In 1898 he was elected as one of the trustees of Rocklin and
has since served in that capacity, taking a deep interest in all that pertains
to the prosperity of his town. He and his family occupy a nice residence
which he erected in 1889. He is a citizen of intelligence and marked
industry and richly deserves the comforts of life which have come to him
through his honest toil.


Of the mercantile interests of Georgetown, Warren C. Green is a well
known representatiA-e, and he is also prominent in mining. Of California he
is a native son, his birth having occurred in Placer county on the 226. of
July, 1862. His father, R. P. Green, was born in Springfield, Illinois, in
1824, and engaged in lead-mining at Galena, that state. He came to Eldo-
rado county at an early epoch in the development of California and engaged
in placer mining and mercantile business.

In 1859, however, he returned by way of the water to Platteville, Wis-
consin, where he was married. Then he again came across the plains to the
Pacific coast. They were annoyed by the Indians and the men in the train
stood guard all night to give the warning if the savages should make an
attack. On other occasions they traveled all night in order to escape the
red men. On the second trip Mr. Green was accompanied by his wife and
brother. On again reaching the Golden state the father of our subject located
near Placerville, where he continued mining, and later in Placer county. In
1864 his wife died, in the twenty-fourth year of her age, leaving to him the
care of their two sons, Edwin and \^'arren C. He then discontinued mining
and was in the stock business for some years in Colusa county. In 1880
he and his son Edwin removed to Montana, locating at Corvallis. They were
eleven months traveling b\' wagon, spending the winter at Salem and reach-
ing the Bitter Root valley on the 26th of July, 1880. There the father
located on four hundred and eighty acres of land, on which he erected a good
home, making it his place of abode until his life's labors were ended in death,
on the 24th day of February, 1895, when he was in his seventy-first year.
Edwin Green is the proprietor of the well known Plaza shoe store in Placer-
ville. He married Emily Gardner and they have five children : Ruth,
\\^alter, Frank, Hazel and De\\'itt. The Green l)rothers are rated among
the niost enterprising business men of the county and W. C. Green is the
proprietor of the leading mercantile establishment at Georgetown.


\\'arren C. Green was educated in the pulDlic schools of Eldorado county
and in Colusa county, and at the age of eighteen he put aside his text-books
to learn the more difficult lessons in the school of experience. He engaged in
mining as a common laborer and was employed in that way for five years,
after which he served as a foreman of mines for two 3'ears. On the expiration
of that period he became a mine owner and mine superintendent, but con-
tinued his active connection with the development of mines until January,
1899, when he purchased a general mercantile store in Georgetown. He has
since conducted this enterprise and has found it a profitable source of income,
but he is still largely interested in the development of the mineral resources
in this part of the state, and has seven hundred acres of mining land four
miles east of Placerville. For a number of years he has been one of the
most active and successful mining men in his county and he has in his pos-
session thirty-two pieces of pure gold taken from mines in which he was
interested, that are valued at from twelve to one hundred dollars apiece, the
value of the entire collection being nine hundred dollars. Mr. Green has also
purchased and sold mining properties, and at one time he was largely inter-
ested in mining land on the Georgetown divide, which he sold to the Two
Channel Alining Company, mostly formed of Indianapolis capitalists.

]\lr. Green was married in 1881 to Aliss Mary Hoxie, of Placerville,
a nati\e of that place and a daughter of P. P. Hoxie. a California pioneer.
They have four children. — Ruby, Stella. Edwin and Myrtle. i\Ir. Green
is an active member of the Republican party and for thirteen years has served
on the Republican county central committee, his efforts proving of great
benefit. He is a man of marked business ability, never making an engage-
ment which he does not fulfill and ne\-er incurring an obligation which he
does not meet. His prosperity is the result of his diligence, capable manage-
ment and keen sagacity.


Edward Charles Kavanaugh, the popular proprietor of the Forest House,
at Forest Plill. is a native son of California. He was born at Michigan
Bluff, Placer county. July 29, 1872. His father. Edward Kavanaugh, was
born in Ireland ancl came to the United States when he was fifteen years of
age, in company with an older brother.

After a rough and perilous journey the brothers landed in Xew York
and from there went to Philadelphia where they remained until 1852, at which
time Edward Ka\-anaugh crossed the plains to California. The journey
overland was made especially dangerous by repeated attacks by Indians. One
member of the company was killed and much of the stock belonging to the
little band of travelers was stolen. Finaljy reaching Hangtown Mr. Kava-
naugh engaged in placer mining and remained there for several years, meet-
ing with the usual fortune of prosj^ectors and miners of those days. Leav-
ing Hangtown, he went to Iowa Hill, and later to Grizzly Flat and ^Michigan
Blufif, where he made several claims on the north fork of the .\merican river.


Here he met with gratifying success, taking out a well paying quantity of
gold, but like many others he lost considerable money in other mining enter-
prises. In 1870 he married Mrs. Ann Williams, widow of John W'illiams,
also a native of Ireland. She had two sons, Thomas and John, the former
an electrician in Sacramento and the latter associated with Air. Kavanaugh in
the hotel. jNIr. and Mrs. Kavanaugh had six children, of whom hve are
living: Edward, the subject of this sketch; Annie, wife of Henry L. Banks;
Arthur, a miner; Kate and Alaggie, who are in school. The father departed
this life in 1895, aged sixty-five years. His wife survives him and is now
sixty-three years of age. Both were members of the Catholic church and in
that faith reared their children.

Edward C. Kavanaugh. the eldest son, was educated in the public schools
of his native county and became clerk in the Rea House at Forest Hill.
Later he accepted a position in a wholesale liquor house in Sacramento. In
1896 he and Richard Thomas rented the Forest Hill House and for two years
the partnership was continued. 'Sir. Kavanaugh purchased his partner's
interest and has since conducted the business with gratifying success. He
now owns the Forest Hill House and leases the Rea House, the entire hotel
business of the town being in his hands. His livery stable is the only one in
the town and he also owns a stage line.

Mr. Kavanaugh was married, in 1897. to [Miss Annie ]\IcHo]e. a native
of his own town, daughter of Patrick McHole, a prominent California pioneer,
who was a member of the state legislature and held other important offices
of honor and trust and for many years was the proprietor of tlie Orleans
Hotel in Auburn, Placer county. Mr. and Mrs. Kavanaugh have a bright
little son, Emmet, who is the pride and joy of his parents. IMrs. Kavanaugh
was reared in her father's hotel and her experience and business ability have
been of inestimable value to her husband. The hotel patrons are made to
feel at home and are most agreeably cared for by Mr. and Mrs. Kavanaugh,
who make a charming host and hostess. They have many friends through-
out the whole county.

Mr. Kavanaugh is a charter member of the Knights of Pythias lodge in
Forest Hill and was one of its first officers. Fie is also a Native Son of the
Golden West. Mr. and Mrs. Kavanaugh are members of the Catholic church.
As a boy of seventeen Mr. Kavanaugh began business life for himself. He
has by honorable methods and business sagacity gained a p]a;:e foi himself
at the front and enjoys well deserved success.


Samuel N. Whallon is a native of Minnesota, born at Blonmington Ferry,
on the 24th of September, 1853. His grandfather, Samuel Whallon, was
a native of New Jersey. His son, Charles Henry \\'hallon, the father of our
subject, was born in the state of Illinois, whither the grandfather removed
in the early history of that commonwealth. Having arrived at years of
maturitv Charles FI. ^^'hallon was married in the Prairie state to Aliss Ann


Online LibraryChicago Standard Genealogical Publishing CompanyA Volume of memoirs and genealogy of representative citizens of northern California, including biographies of many of those who have passed away → online text (page 103 of 108)