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

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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 107 of 108)
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Judge R. O. Cravens was born January 13, 1829, in Harrisonburg, Vir-
ginia, and was the third in the order of birth in a family of ten children.
With his ])rents he removed to Alissouri. in 1839, and bis early life was
passed ui)(in his father's farm. His father, however, was a physician, and


in connection with tlie management of his landed interests he engaged in the
practice of medicine. Our subject acquired his education in a private school
and in 1850 he started across the plains for California, making the long and
arduous journey across the sandy deserts and through the mountain passes
to the Pacilic coast. He journeyed by way of the old emigration trail, passing
by Fort Hall on Snake river, and after one hundred and twenty days spent
upon the road, arrived in Sacramento. Here he sold the stuff which he had
brought with him and for a time he engaged in teaming, but later went
to the mines near Georgetown, Eldorado county, where he spent the summer
of 1 85 1, being very successful in his mining ventures. He next engaged in
merchandising at the Yankee Jim mines in Placer county, where he remained
for several years. In tliat period, when disorder ruled to some extent, he
Avas elected justice of the peace, in 1853, and aided in maintaining the law.
The position was one which demanded great bravery and fearlessness on the
part of the incumbent and at all times the Judge was faithful to his duty
and the trust reposed in him.

Determining to make the practice of law his life work. Judge Cravens
began studying in the office of General Joseph Hamilton, of Auburn, and
after his admission to the bar engaged in the practice of law in Auburn until
1870. when he returned to Sacramento. His fellow townsmen recognized
his worth and ability and called him to public office, and various appointments
ha\e retained him in the public service for many years. He was appointed
state libarian, which position he held for twelve years, and during President
Cleveland's first term of office he was deputy internal revenue collector. On
his retirement from that position he was elected police justice and served for
one term, after which he again became connected with the state library, hold-
ing his position for four years. He has ever been most loyal to the trusts
reposed in him and his service has been efficient and capable. In politics he
has always been a stalwart Democrat and was especially active in the work
of the party during his residence in Auburn.

March 4. 1855, Judge Cravens was united in marriage to Miss Mary J.
Robinson, a native of New York, and they had two children, but Fannie
E.. the eldest daughter, born September 23, 1870, died July 23. 1892. Mary
R., the younger, was born July 19, 1880. and is at present a student at Stan-
ford University. Socially the Judge affiliates with Tehama Lodge. No. 3,
F. & A. M., and has filled all the chairs of the order. He has also taken the
Royal Arch degree of ]\Iasonry, and he and his family are consistent members
of the Episcopal church. Not all men order their lives to their liking, nor
yet are all men true to themselves in living as near to their ideals as ])Ossible
and attaining to such heights as their talents and opportunity render accessible.
In recording the history of Judge Cravens, however, we write of one who
has done much and has done it well,— wherein all honor lies. Not a pre-
tentious or exalted life has been his, but one that has been true to itself and
its possibilities and one to which the biographer may revert with a feeling of
respect and satisfaction.



From the early period in tlie pioneer development of California until the
time of his death Alartin Andrew Schellhous was a highly esteemed resident
of California, his last days being spent near Roseville. He was born in
Ohio in July, i8ig, and was of German lineage. His paternal grandfather
came from Germany to America about 1756, and served as a soldier in the
Revolutionary war. He was with Washington at Valley Forge and was
wounded in two battles. The maternal grandparents, named Anderson, were
Scotch people and emigrated from Vermont to Ohio about 181 2, locating
in Huron county. The father of our subject was born in Vermont in 1790,
and became a resident of Ohio in 1808. In 181 2 he commanded a brigade
under General Harrison, and after the war settled in Huron county, where
he opened up a farm. In 1831 he removed with his family to Michigan,
which was then a territory, and in 1835 lis ^'^"^s elected a delegate to the con-
vention which framed the first constitution of the state. Afterward he was
also a member of the legislature for a number of years. He died on his
farm in Michigan on the fifty-ninth anniversary of his birtli, passing away
January i. 1849.

Martin .-V. Schellhous, his eldest son, pursued his education in the dis-
trict schools at intervals until eighteen years of age and was then sent to
the State University, where he remained for several years pursuing the higher
branches of learning. He remained in Michigan until March, 1849, when
he started across the plains to California. Marshall had discovered gold,
others had seen evidences of the precious metal and news of the rich finds
had reached the east. Many young men had crossed to the Pacific coast with
the hope of rapidly acquiring a fortune and among the number was ^Martin
Schellhous. He traveled with a company of friends and neighbors, the
journey being made across the plains with ox teams. They did not reach
Salt Lake until August and there exchanged their outfit for pack horses,
as it was too late in the seaSon to cross the country with ox teams. \\'hen
they had proceeded about two hundred miles their company was fired upon
by about four hundred Indians. This was about one o'clock in the after-
noon. The emigrants returned the fire and the battle lasted until night. The
Indians killed two of the company and stampeded all of their horses, also
carrying away all of the provisions and blankets. With the aid of some
Mormons, who were going from California to Salt Lake, Mr. Schellhous and
the other members of the company returned to that place, where they obtained
some mules and provisions, and in Novemljer, 1849, they again started for
the Golden state by the Santa Fe route, reaching Los Angeles in Feliruary,
1850, after a long and painful journey. They then chartered a small sail-
ing vessel and in that way proceeded to San Francisco, where they arrived
in April. There taking passage on another vessel up the Sacramento river,
they finally reached the mines. Mr. Schellhous and his brother engaged in
placer mining and soon took out between five and six thousand dollars. In
the fall of i8tI he returned to Michigan with the intention of returning to


California the next season, and in 1852 he again retnrned to the Golden state.

In March of that }'ear 'Sir. Schellhous was united in marriage to Miss
Caroline Ferris, and with his young wife and a number of the members of his
family he again started across the plains. This time the party suffered from
cholera and experienced many other hardships and trials. This disease
caused the death of one of his sisters and a child. The former had partly
recovered from her attack of cholera, but in her weak condition was stricken
with mountain fever which terminated her life and her remains were laid to
rest at Diamond Springs, California.

Mr. Schellhous brought with him from Michigan a number of American
cows and turned his attention to stock-raising, farming and fruit culture.
He purchased a ranch of two hundred and forty acres, three and a half miles
from the present site of Rose\'ille and there improved and developed his prop-
erty, making it a very rich and highly cultivated tract. So successful was
he in his operations that before his death he had accumadated four hundred
acres of land, which yielded to him an excellent return for the care and labor
bestowed upon it. He was also a successful stock-raiser and lived an hon-
orable and upright life. Far a number of years he held the position of justice
of the peace in Placer county. He was a man of good education, of marked
ability and of strong fnrce of character, and his influence was a potent ele-
ment for good in the cnmmunity in which he made his home.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schellhous were born tweh-e children, ten of whom
are living, and his wife still survives, residing on the old home farm near
Roseville, highly respected by all who know her. The daughter, Helen, now
Mrs. Bisco, is a widow and resides in Rocklin. George is a farmer near
Roseville. Martin A. and John are engaged in blacksmithing in Roseville
and both are esteemed business men of the town, also owning farms and suc-
cessfully following fruit-raising. The other members of the family are :
Carrie; Stella, wife of \\'illiam Sawtell, the leading merchant of Ro.seville;
Loren and Ed. at home: Annie, a successful school teacher; and Earl, at
home. The family is one of the highest respectability, widely and favor-
ably known, its members occupying leading positions in social circles. The
father departed this life in September. 1873, at the age of fifty-four years,
and in his death the community mourned the loss of one of its valued citi-
zens. He left to his family not only a comfortable competence, but an hon-
ored name, for his was ever an upright career in which fidelity to duty and
trustworthiness were among his characteristics. He enjoyed the confidence
of all his fellow men in an unusual degree and his life was in many resji^cts
well worthy of emulation.


J. B. De Jarnett is the owner of Brentwood fruit farm, one of the finest
ranches in Colusa county, California, and his real-estate holdings are quite
extensive. He was born in Kentucky in 1846, and at the age of seven accom-
panied his parents (m their removal to .Andrew county. Missouri, where his


father cunducted a general mercantile establishment until }863, during which
time the subject of this review pursued his studies in th? public schools. In
the year mentioned he accompanied his father to Denver, Colorado, and in
the spring of 1864 crossed the mountains and made his way westward to
Yamhill county, Oregon, where the father carried on agricultural pursuits,
while the son accepted the position as clerk and bookkeeper in the store in
LaFayette, Oregon. In 1866 he came to Colusa county, California, arriving
on the 5th of June of that year. Here he obtained a position in the office
of Mr. Hart, county clerk, with whom he remained for four years, and in
1870 he entered into copartnership with General ^^'. S. Green, and opened
a real-estate business in the city of San Francisco, in connection with which
they established Green's Land Paper, of which they published ten thousand
copies weekly. The following year he went to Colusa and in 1872
again entered the county clerk's office, where he remained two years.
In 1S74 he made the first map of Colusa county. In 1877 he was
elected county clerk and filled that office for two terms, proving a pop-
ular and capable official. He was very faithful to the trust reposed in him
and his able discharge of the duties of the office won him high commendation.

In April, 1868, Mr. De Jarnett was united in marriage to Miss M. A.
Green, of Missouri, who came to Colusa county when a little maiden of five
summers. In 1883 they took up their residence upon Brentwood fruit farm,
one of the finest country homes in this locality. Their residence is very beauti-
ful, is commodious and tasteful in its equipments and all who pass lieneath
its portals find there a cordial welcome. In 1883 j\Ir. De Jarnett began
fruit-growing and in that enterprise has been very successful. He has made
a close study of the best methods of raising various kinds of fruits, and scien-
tific principles and practical common sense have rendered him one of the
prosperous fruit-growers in this locality. He is a man of marked energj^, of
keen discernment and unremitting perseverance and his labors have been suc-
cessfully conducted. He has made judicious in\estments in real estate and
liis property interests bring to him a good income.

He has been prominent in the Masonic fraternity during the past c|uarter
of a century, having been honored by his fraters by election to the position
of grand junior warden of the grand commandery Knights Templar of the
state of California, \\hich position he now occupies..


In the death of the honored subject of this memoir there passed away
another member of that little group of distinctively representative business
men who were the pioneers in inaugurating the building up of the chief com-
mercial interests of Sacramento. His name is familiar not alone to the resi-
dents of the state to whose development he contributed so conspicuously, but
to all who have been in the least intimately informed concerning the history
of central California. In the jicriod of primitive development he came to the
Pacific coast and allied his interests with the ciMumerce of the capital city,


and by the exercise of marked industry, keen discrimination and honorable
business principles he won a place among- the leading representatives of trade
here and gained for himself a good name.

Charles Robin was born in Alontreal, Canada, December 24, 1827, and
is a son of Da\-id and Charlotte Robin, who were also natives of that coun-
try. The Robin family is of French lineage, the paternal great-grandparents
of our subject having removed from France to the new world. Peter Robin
was for many years a leading and influential citizen of Canada, and served
in the French war in the English Dominion. He also became the owner of
extensive property interests, having large reality holdings consisting of entire
lots in Chicago, but the great fire of 1871 destroyed his property, which other-
wise would have made him a multi-millionaire. He at one time owned all
of Robin street in [Montreal, Canada, which thoroughfare was named in his
honor. His judicious investments brought to him a handsome competence,
and he exerted wide influence in business circles.

Charles Robin, of this review, spent his boyhood days in his native state
and in early manhood JDecame proprietor of a store, which after a short time
was destroyed by fire. He then engaged in clerking in a general grocery
store, but wdien twenty-three years of age removed to St. Louis, Missouri,
where he accepted a clerkship with Mr. Martin, at that time one of the lead-
ing merchants of the place. When he had accjuired two hundred and fifty
dollars he invested it in making preparations to go to California. Attracted
by the excellent opportunities which the Golden state was offering to the
people of the east, he started for the Pacific slope in 1853, by way of the
water route, and on landing in San Francisco came at once to Sacramento.
Like almost all others who arrived in California in pioneer days he began
mining, but after a few weeks abandoned that work and accepted a clerk-
ship in a clothing store, where his genial manner and unfailing courtesy soon
made him \ery popular. His employers recognized his usefulness and later
he was admitted to partnership in the business. From that time on he was
actively associated with the commercial interests of Sacramento, and won
through his well-directed efforts a very gratifying success. Honesty was the
key note of his character, and this combined with resolute purpose and con-
tinuous application gained him capital and an honorable name. He was con-
nected with the financial interests of the city as a director in the People's
Savings Bank.

On the 14th of January. 1S5S, ^Ir. Robin was united in marriage to
Miss Kate Hager, wdio was born in Europe and came to the United States
when about twenty-one years of age. The steamer reached harlwr at two
P. RL and on the evening of the same day she became the wife of Mr. Robin,
the wedding ceremony being ]5erformed in San Francisco. The lady is the
daughter of Frederick and .\nn (Menkin) Hager, who spent tlieir entire
lives in their native country, where the father owned an extensive calico
manufactory and carried on a large dry goods business. He was very prom-
inent in the' community in which he lived, and was frequently called to posi-
tions of public trust, serving as alderman and in other offices. He died at


the age of forty-two j-ears, and his wife passed away at the age of seventy-
eigiit years. Unto "Slv. and Airs. Robin were born four children, but one son
died at the age of fifteen years, and another at the age of five months. The
li\ing children are: Mahisa Millie, wife of Albert Garritson, by whom she
has one child; and Leta Gallatin, now fourteen years of age. In 1886 Mr.
Rol)in, accompanied by his wife and children, made a trip to Europe, spend-
ing six months, after which he returned to California, where he remained for
three years, and on the expiration of that period he again came to San Fran-
cisco and carried on business until within four years of his death, which
occiu-red on the 17th of March. 1899. In 1868 he erected for his family
one of the most beautiful and commodious residences in the city. He was
at all times most devoted to the interests of his wife and children, doing
all in his power to promote their welfare and insure their happiness. In his
political views he was a Democrat when questions of state or national im-
portance were involved, but at local elections when there was no party issue
before the people he voted for the men whom he thought best qualified to
safely conduct the municipal aiYairs. For many years he was a member of the
Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. When called
to his final rest the community mourned the loss of one of its valued citi-
zens, and all who knew him shared in the grief of the family. His life was at
all times upright, commanding the respect and confidence of those with wliom
he came in contact, and over the record of his career there falls no shadow
of wrong or suspicion of evil. Mrs. Robin is a member of the Episcopal
church, and yet occupies her beautiful home in Sacramento. She occupies
a leading position in social circles, being highly esteemed for her manv ex-
cellencies of character and her gracious manner.


Great and interchangeable laws of nature underlie all industrial de-
partments of life, and scientific research is continually bringing these to jnib-
lic notice, so that no longer does the mechanic operate his machinery with-
out a knowledge of the great immutable principles which govern it. or the
farmer or fruit-raiser cultivate his fields, orchards or gardens without an un-
derstanding of the great laws of nature which find exemplification in every
growing thing. Cause and efifect in horticultural circles are to-day under-
stood as never before, and this wide dissemination of knowledge is manifest
in the quality of fruits raised. — superior to anything known before. Mr.
Stephens is one of the most prominent horticulturists of California, and few.
if any. have done more to advance the improvement of fruit-growing inter-
ests of the Golden state than he. He has thus gained a \ery wide rejnua-
tion. being well known throughout California.

Russell D. Stephens, of Sacramento, is one of the most prominent men of
the city. The family from which he sprang is traced back in an unbroken
chain to the year 1630. A brief abstract of the genealogical record will be
found interesting, introducing as it does so many historical characters.


On the i_nh of June, 1630, jnlin \\'imlin>i). first governur of Massachu-
setts Ba}-, hinded at Salem with a cnmijaiiy of nine hunchxHl. Among- the
number was Captain John Gallup, who settled in Boston and there became
the father of a family consisting of seven children. John, Jr., married a rela-
tive of Governor W'inthrop, afterward became a cai)tain and moved to Pequot.
Connecticut, where he reared a family of four lioys and five girls. Captain
Gallup was killed December 25. 1675, in the swamp fight in northern Rhode
Island with the Narragansett Indians, under King Philip. His seventh child,
Elizabeth, married Henry Stephens, who settled in Stonington, Connecticut.
It is a family tradition that Nicholas Stephens was a brigadier general in
Oliver Cromweirs army, and after the death of Cromwell he, with his sons.
Nicholas, Thomas and Henry, fled from England on account of the persecu-
tions of the Royalists. In 1668 a census was taken of Stonington, Connecti-
cut, and of the forty-three inhabitants Henry Stephens and his wife were two.
General Nicholas Stephens had three sons, — Nicholas. Thomas and Henry.

Henry' Stephens, the second of the name, married Elizabeth Gallup, the
seventh daughter of John Gallup, who resided in Stonington, Connecticut.
Their children were: Thomas, born December 14, 1678; Richard: Henry;
Elizabeth ; and Lucy. They became members of the Congregational church
organized here June 3, 1674. Thomas, a son of Henry, married Mary Hall,
May 26, 1702. Their children were seven in number, — Thomas, Phineas,
Uriah. Andrew, Benjamin, Samuel and Zebulon. and these chiklren were
born at Plainfield, Connecticut. The father died at Canaan. Connecticut, in
1750, at the age of seventy-two years.

Uriah Stephens, torn January 21, 1708, married his cousin, Sarah
Stephens, a daugliter of Richard. She was iaorn May 4, 1708. The children
born unto Uriah and Sarah Stephens were: Uriah, Jr., born .\ugust 2/. 1830;
Mary; Sarah; Lucy; and Phineas, all born in Canaan, Connecticut, and ad-
mitted to the church there. Uriah Stephens, Jr., married Margaret Rath-
bone, and their children were: Sarah; Benjamin, who died in the Revolu-
tionary war ; Martha ; John ; Phineas ; Elijah ; Elias Williams, who had a
twin sister; and Benjamin, who was born after the death of the first Ben-

Elijah Stephens, of this family, died December iS. 184^1, at the age of
seventy-one years, ten months and six days. He married Abigail Stephens,
the eldest daughter of Rev. Jedediah Stephens. They had Rebecca, who
became the wife of Charles LofYert; Nathan, who married Lncinda Bostwick,
and they became the parents of our subject; Benjamin .\lansi)n ; Eliza; Nar-
cissa ; Marian ; Cynthia ; and Abbie Etta.

The following facts, obtained from history and authentic records, con-
cern the Stephens family. Canisteo, New "S'ork, was settled in 1738. .\mong
the names which api:)ear in Book i of the town as grantees of the islands
are .Vndrew. Uriah. Thomas. Samuel. Zebulon and Benjamin Stephens. (The
name was spelled Stevens; the librarian thought it must be the same name
or family: such mistakes often occur, he said.) The Sejiarate church, of
Plainfield, was organized from members who had withdrawn from the stand-


ing town church, aljout 1746. They ordained one of tlieir number. Thomas
Stephens, to Ije their pastor. Mr. Stephens (or Stevens) was a very clear and
powerful preacher of the Gospel, as was acknowledged by all who heard him.
(Taken from the book Hornellsville, compiled by Millard Roberts, and pub-
lished in Syracuse 1891.) There is mention on page 352 of the famous
tavern of Colonel William Stephens, which stood near Colonel Bill's Creek,
on the ground now occupied by the residence of the late Thomas Hallet, about
one mile east of Canisteo village. It was at this old hostlery a few years
later that the early members of the Evening Star Lodge, No. 44, of Can'isteo,
now Hornells\'ille, sometimes held their secret meetings during the height
of the great anti-iMasonic excitement which began in 1827 and practically
ended in 1835. About twenty years ago this house was burned.

Judge Hornell (from whom Hornellsville was named) married Alartha
Stephens, at Elmira, New York, or Newtown, as it was then called, and "they
spread their tent in the wilderness" in 1794, or, as his granddaughter claims, in
1792. Judge Hornell was one of the associate judges of the cuuntv and
first postmaster of the town. In 1808 he was elected to the legislature. He
died in 1813. His widow survived him nearly thirty years.

Polly Thatcher married Elias Stephens, a brother-in-law of Judge Hornell,
and lived in a hewed-log house near the crossing where the railroad shops now
stand. Their family consisted of two sons and five daughters. Erastus
Stephens, who died in 1877, and Mrs. Maria Holmes, who died in 1886, were

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 107 of 108)