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 18 of 108)
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settlers, who had always opposed its change. Mrs. Squier is a most estimable
and agreeable lady, a worthy representative of the pioneer women of Califor-
nia. Their daughter, Abbie, belongs to the society of the Native Daughters
of the Golden West and is the first past president of the parlor at Dutch Flat.
She is a successful school-teacher and for eight years has had charge of
the primary department at this place. She and her mother are valued mem-
bers of the Baptist church, and to tlie daughter we are indebted for the his-
tory of the father. Throughout the pioneer days and through the later period
of the development and i)rogress in California Mr. Squier always took a
deep interest in the upbuilding and improvement of his state, and as one of the
rein-csentati\-e citizens of his adopted county he is well worthy of honorable
nicntiun in this volume.



134 REPRESEXTATIVE CITIZENS

FRAXK R. LEEPER.

Frank Robert Leeper is numbered among California's native sons and is
now residing- at Stockton. He was born at Angel's Camp, May 4, 1865.
His father, Robert B. Leeper, was a California pioneer of 1852, and was one
of the valued citizens of Angel's Camp. He was born in Cass county, Illi-
nois, on the i6th of September, 1836, his parents being Robert and Julia
(Runyan) Leeper, natives of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively.
In 1828 they removed to Illinois, becoming pioneer settlers of that state.
They located on a farm and made it their home throughout their remaining
days. They were members of the Presbyterian church and were people of the
highest respectability. They left their property to their son, Robert B. He
was reared in the state of his nativity and became a man of broad reading
and intelligence. He always kept well informed on topics of interest and the
questions of the day and his opinions were the result of mature deliberation
and earnest consideration of the questions involved. He came to California
in 1852, makin* the journey across the plains with a government train of one
hundred head of cattle. He was then seventeen years of age, full of life,
energy and spirits. He relates an incident showing how he exchanged a red
flannel shirt with an Indian for a pair of trousers. The shirt had shrunk con-
siderably in washing, but the Indian strutted around in it with little else
on, to the great amusement of the men in the train.

When Mr. Leeper arrived in Stockton he had a cash capital of fifty cents
and this he invested in crackers and cheese. In order to earn a livelihood
he engaged in herding cattle for a time, but a little later he might have been
foflnd driving a delivery wagon in San Francisco, for Shepherd Brothers, at
seventy-five dollars per month. They invited him to invest his wages in town
lots, but he declined. Later the stakes which designated the division of the
lots were covered with sand and no one could identify the property. Subse-
quently Mr. Leeper came to Angel's Camp and engaged in placer-mining.
He was afterward the discoverer of the Utica Quartz mine, which he operated
for a number of years. In 1884 he sold the property to Charles D. Lane for
ten thousand dollars. It became one of the greatest producing mines in Cali-
fornia and is still being worked, many men being employed there. Three
years after the disposal of the mine, Robert Leeper sold the Jackson mine,
which adjoined the other, for eight thousand dollars. His work in those
mines and his faith in this section of the country were the two most important
elements in the development and growth of Angel's Camp. In 1898 he built
a fine brick block in the town, which is still in the possession of the family
and is now rented by a large mercantile firm.

Robert B. Leeper was an active member of the Democratic party, doing
all in his power to. advance its interests. He was a liberal member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and passed all of the chairs in both
branches of the fraternity. In business he was active and successful and he
contributed liberally of his time, money and influence for the upbuilding of
the town and the advancement of its interests. His word was regarded as a



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 135

synon_vm for everything that is straightforward and honorable, and over, his
life there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil. His neighbors and
friends had the utmost confidence in him and their trust was never betrayed
in the slightest degree. His stanch integrity furnished to his fellow towns-
men and to his family an example that is well worthy of emulation, and his
memory remains as a benediction to all who know him.

Robert B. Leeper was married in 1863 at Angel's Camp, to Miss Susan
B. Stephens, a native of Missouri, who was reared in Racine, Wisconsin. She
was the daughter of Christopher Stephens. They had two children, Julia,
the wife of Theodore Whitlow, and resides in Angel's Camp; and Frank
Robert, of this re^■iew. The father departed this life in 1899, dying in the
comfortable home which he had built at Angel's Camp, near the Utica mine.

Frank Robert Leeper, who until recently occupied the old home place,
was in his boyhood very active and energetic. His neighbors and the older
people sometimes accused him of being very "mischievous," for he was full
of life ; but it has always been found that the men who amount to the most in
the world are of that character in youth. Later their energy is turned into
channels of usefulness and they become prominent, substantial and reliable
citizens. Thus it has been that Mr. Leeper, as he grew to manhood, "put
away childish things" and is now spoken of as following closely in the foot-
steps of his father, being an honest, enterprising and progressive citizen.
He pursued his education in the public schools of Angel's Camp, in the Hop-
kins Academy, of Oakland, and was graduated at the Pacific Business College
in December, 1891.

On the 3d of February, 1892, ]\Ir. Leeper was united in marriage to
Miss Lottie L. Fisher, a native of San Francisco. Unto them were born two
children, but one is now deceased. The surviving son is a bright little lad
who was born on the 30th of September, 1895, to whom they gave the name
of Robert F. The wife and mother also passed away. She was a most lov-
able woman, a member of the Second Presbyterian church of San Francisco,
and a devoted Christian woman who had many friends. In 1896 Mr. Leeper
again married, his second union being with Miss Eunice Ford, of Oakdale,
California. This marriage was blessed with one child, named Ford Arthur.
October 16, 1900, in San Francisco, Mr. Leeper married Ida E. Howell,
of Stockton, and moved to Stockton, where he has his two boys with him.

The business affairs of our subject are of an important character. He
owns and operates a five-stamp mill near the Leeper & Bennett mine, and he is
now working that mine, wliich is a satisfactory producer. Like his father,
he is a stalwart Democrat and in 1893 he had the honor of being appointed
postmaster of Angel's Camp. He at once began the improvement of the
office by putting in new lock-boxes and adding many other conveniences.
During his incumbency the receipts of the office were greatly increased, and
it was raised from an office of the fourth class to one of the third class.
Mr. Leeper is widely and favorably known throughout the state, his abili-
ties well fitting him for a position of leadership in political, business and social
life. The terms progress and patriotism might be considered the keynote of



136 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

his character, for throughout his career he has labored for the improvement
of e\ery line of business or public interest with which he has been associated,
and at all times has been actuated by a fidelity to his country and her welfare.

JOHN PEREIRA.

The well known California pioneer of 1850 whose name is above is a son
of a Portnguse father and mother and was born in Funchal, Aladeira, Portu-
gal, in 1814, the second in order of birth of a family of eleven children, of
whom only himself and two sisters survive. His father's and mother's families
have long been well known in Funchal. Mr. Pereira came to the United States
in 1838 and afterward learned the shoemaker's trade. Eventually he went to
New Orleans, Louisiana, where he worked at his trade until 1S-J.9, when he
set out for California by way of Panama. Soon after his arrival at San
Francisco he went to Sacramento and from there to IMarysville, Yuba county.
From Marysville he went to Foster's Bar, on the Yuba river, and at first en-
gaged in the work of turning the river from its course to facilitate mining
in its bed, but was obliged to abandon this labor because working in cold
water gave him rheumatism. He mined there successfully, however, for six
weeks, in which time he and his comrades took out about eighteen hundred
dollars each. But Indians had killed several white men there and threatened
another attack, and the miners abandoned their claim and went back to San
Francisco. Three months later, yellow fever broke out there and ^Ir. Pereira
was seriously thinking of returning to his native land, when he was induced
to buy a stock of goods and engage in trade in Jamestown. He sold his
goods on credit, and, the season being very dry and mining poor, he was
unable to make collections and was soon without merchandise or capital. He
mined on Wood's creek for a time, with poor success, and was taken sick and
carried to Jamestown on an improvised stretcher. Upon his recovery, with
Dr. Clark as a partner, he bought a team of horses and a wagon and engaged
in teaming between Jamestown and Sonora. Later they established a livery
stable and a stage line from Sonora to Columbia Hill and other lines to Stent
and to other points in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. In 1857 Mr. Pereira
and Dr. Clark dissolved partnership. Mr. Pereira retaining the livery and all
other property except the stage line, which in the division went to Dr. Clark.

The historic Eraser river excitement followed, with all its hopes and
disappointments, and was instrumental in almost depopulating Jamestown for a
time and in ruining its business. Mr. Pereira remained and bought land and
became one of the pioneer fruit and grape growers of Tuolumne county, own-
ing three hundred and fift) - nine acres and prosecuting the vineyard and wine
business vigorously and successfully, making wine some years to the amount
of eighteen thousand gallons. He sent his fruit and wine by large wagon
loads to all parts of the surrounding country and secured a large and valuable
trade, and was one of the foremost in building up Jamestown. He became
interested in quartz and gravel mines and now owns valuable mining claims
in addition to extensive real-estate holdings. When the railroad was built



OF XORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 137

to Jamestown he gave twenty-five acres to the company for passenger depot
grounds and donated one hundred and forty acres for a town site, and for
many years he has been active and prominent in constructing and improving
roads in all directions from Jamestown. He also built the Jamestown hotel,
now known as the \\'illow hotel, at an expense of six thousand, five hundred
dollars. \Miile this enterprise was in progress many of his townsmen believed
the hotel was not needed and would not be a success, but no sooner was it
opened than it was found inadequate to accommodate its patrons, and it
became one of the popular hotels of the town and was a paying investment
for Mr. Pereira, who rented it for some time at one hundred dollars a month
and eventually sold it for four thousand dollars.

Air. Pereira is a Democrat, active in party work, but is not personally
an office-seeker. He is an Odd Fellow and a Mason, and, popular as he is
in fraternal circles, he is no less popular in the business and social world. He
was married at New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1846, to Miss Hannah Morgan,
a native of Dublin, Ireland, who bore him eight children, of whom six are
living, and died in 1871. His second wife was Elizabeth Brown, who died
in 1897. His daughter Mary married S. Stoniga. John lives at Jamestown.
Sarah married George Miller and lives in San Francisco. Frank lives on his
father's ranch, and James and William live at Sonora. The home at James-
town in which Mr. Pereira is passing his declining years is a pleasant one, and
he is honored by his fellow citizens not only as a pioneer but as a man who
has lived a just and upright life, and has been generous in his support of
every measure tending to the public good.

SAMUEL B. BURT.

An enumeration of those men of the present generation w'ho have won
honor and public recognition for themselves, and at the same time have hon-
ored the state to which they belong, would be incomplete were the failure to
make prominent reference to the one whose name appears above. A native
of New York, Samuel Blane Burt was born in Corning, Steuben county, on
the i6th of September, 1828. At an early date in the history of Springfield,
Massachusetts, his ancestors, natives of England, located there, the progenitor
of the family in the new world being Henry Burt. He took up his abode in
Springfield, in 1638, and served as one of the selectmen of the town. Our
subject is a representative of the eighth generation of his descendants. The
great-grandfather. Benjamin Burt, became one of the pioneers of Orange
county, New York, where occurred the birth of Belden Burt, the grandfather.
Benjamin Burt, our subject's father, was also born in that county, and when
he had reached man's estate he married Miss Dorcas Ackerson, a native of
that locality and a descendant of one of the promment Knickerbocker families
of the Empire state. They were Baptists in religious faith and were indus-
trious farming people. They became the parents of eleven children, only four
of whom now survive. Both the father and mother died in their seventy-



138 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

eighth year. Beldeii Burt, their elclest surviving child, now resides in River-
side, Cahfornia.

Samuel B. Burt, the next of the family, was educated in Alfred College,
near Allegany, New York. During his youth he remained on his father's
farm assisting in the work of field and meadow with the exception of the
time passed in school. At the age of seventeen he began teaching and fol-
lowed that profession for three years ere his emigration to California. The
year 1850 witnessed his arrival on the Pacific coast. He sailed from Xew
York on the steamship Georgia and after traveling on foot across the isthmus
of Panama he took passage on the steamship Columbus, bound for San Fran-
cisco. On the 7th of June he arrived at the Golden Gate and thence made
his way to the Sacramento river, and by steamer to the city of Sacramento,
going afterward to Salmon Falls, in Eldorado county, with a company of
twenty who had a claim in the river bed. There he engaged in placer-mining
for about a month and by the ist of October had taken out one thousand dol-
lars, his companions being equally successful. He then came to Placer county
and located a mining claim seven miles below the town of Auburn, near where
the Loomis is now mined. There he engaged in a search for the precious metal
for a short time with fair success, after which he joined others in the building
of a sawmill and began the manufacture of lumber, which at that time was
worth two hundred and fifty dollars per thousand feet. The enterprise had
hardly been started, however, before the price dropped to twenty-five dollars.
Mr. Burt continued the operation of his mill for eight years and then went
to Bath, wh^ere he engaged in merchandising for fourteen years. On the expi-
ration of that period his building and its contents were destroyed by fire, the
loss amounting to twenty thousand dollars. After this disaster he turned his
attention to cjuartz-mining at Bath, but the new venture proved unprofitable,
although he is still the owner of the niiiic, whicii has since produced about
one hundred thousand dollars.

j\lr. Burt's fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, called him
to public ofifice and he was elected a member of the board of supervisors of
Placer county. His course there was so commendable that in 1873 '^^ ^^'''s
elected a member of the state assembly, and was later chosen to represent
his district in the state constitutional convention, where he assisted in
formulating the present organic law of California. Subsequently
he was chosen by popular suffrage for the office of state senator, in which
•capacity he served two years, ably representing his district. An incident
worthy of mention in connection with his election is that he made no canvass
for the office and did not spend one .dollar in treating, — something unusual
in California. As a legislator he gave close and earnest study to every ques-
tion which came up for consideration, and wheal his mature judgment sanc-
tioned a measure he earnestly labored for its adoption.

Tiring of public life, he again turned to general mercliandising, opening
a store in Auburn, which he has since successfully conducted. His iionorable
business methods, his rea.sonable prices and unselfish dealing have secured him
success, yet he has met many obstacles. On the 20th of September, 1898, two



OF NORTH ERX CALIFORXIA. 139

of his wareliouses were destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of five thousand
dollars. He is a man of marked perseverance and courageous spirit, however,
and these cjualities have enabled him to work his way steadily upward.

In 1874 occurred the marriage of Mr. Burt and Miss Ruth Augusta
Eastman, a native of New Hampshire. Their union has been blessed with one
daughter, Sarah Willis, who is now in school. They have one of the pleas-
antest homes in Auburn and are among the most respected and prominent
citizens of that place. He has ever been a stalwart Republican since casting
his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont, and in political circles he has
attained prominence, which is a merited recognition of his ability. He has
long been recognized as a leader in public thought and opinion and his
influence in the legislature of the state has been beneficial. He has a wide
acquaintance among the most prominent men of California and is held in the
highest regard. After a pure, honorable and useful life, actuated by unself-
ish methods, prompted by patriotism and guided by truth and justice, he may,
in the evening of life, rest assured that the people of his county are not
unmindful of those who have devoted themselves to its interests.

GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS LELAND.

The same characteristics which made the pilgrims and their successors
successful on a foreign shore have made their descendants successful as pio-
neers in all parts of the country. This has been proven especially true in Cali-
fornia, where the number of New England representatives among early set-
tlers was large. One of these, Gustavus Adolphus Leland, the suliject of this
sketch, came to this state in the fall of 1850 and is now a well known citizen of
Jamestown, Tuolumne county.

Mr. Leland is of English extraction. His first American progenitor was
Henry Leland, who came over as early as the year i/OO, and his father was
John Leland, a native of Holliston, Massachusetts, who married Sylvia
Leland, a distant relative, who also was born at Holliston. His two grand-
fathers, Daniel and Oliver Leland, fought for American independence in the
Revolutionary war, and each lived to be more than ninety years old. His
father was a captain of militia, was a prominent man in his town and lived
eighty-five years. His mother died when in her sixtieth year. John and
Sylvia (Leland) Leland had thirteen children, of whom Gustavus Adolphus
Leland was the youngest, and of whom he is the only one now living. One of
his brothers came to California in 1849 and two of his sisters in 1855.

Gustavus Adolphus Leland was born in Holliston, Masschusetts, Novem-
ber 19, 1830, and was educated in common schools near Philadelphia, Penn-
sylvania. For four years he sailed before the mast, and in 1850, when he
was in his twentieth year, he started for Panama en route for California, on
board the steamer Republic.' which left New York city April 14, 1850.
While helping to take in water at Panama, he was knocked senseless by a
heavy cask which came in contact with his head and fell into tlie ocean; but



I40 REP RES EX TAT IV E CTTIZEXS

though he was unconscious when rescued, lie soon recovered from his injury
and went on his journey apparently none the the worse for it.

Soon after his arrival at San Francisco, he went to Mokelumne. Hill with
the intention of engaging in mining, but fell a victim to ague and was obliged
to return to San Francisco, where, as soon as he was able, he workeil at
whatever his hands found to do until January, 1851, when he went to Shaw's
Flat and from Shaw's Flat to Sonora until 1853, when he went to Jamestown.
For a time he did placer-mining, with some success, hut went to Sonora and
was a salesman in the store of Ford Brothers until the fall of 1853, when
he came back to Jamestown and engaged in merchandising there with
Stephen Streeter as a partner. In 1855 Mr. Leland gave vip the general mer-
chandising business and opened a bakery, which he conducted success full}'
for thirty years. He early bought one hundred and four acres of land at
Jamestown from the United States government. To this he added a subse-
quent purchase of about one hundred and eighty acres and eventually he sold
a portion of his property to Mr. Nevils, who later transferred it to the
Sierra Railroad Company, and the station building at Jamestown stands on
that purchase. He is at this time the owner of considerable property, includ-
ing a good home at Jamestown and a business building on the main street of
the town. His house, which was built in 1856, is surrounded by fruit trees
and flowers of Mr. and Mrs. Leland's own planting.

Mr. Leland was married in 1856 to Miss Frances JNIcPhillips, a native of
Ireland, who came to California in 1855, and the union has been blessed by the
birth of ei,ght children, five of whom are living. Alice is the wife of C. C.
Miller, of Anaheim, Orange county, California. William lives in San Fran-
cisco. John is a resident of Jamestown. Cordelia married William Symons,
of Carters. Thomas B. W. is a physician and lives in San Francisco. Mr.
and Mrs. Leland have three grandchildren.

Mr. Leland has been a Republican since the organization of that part}-
and while never an active politician he has always labored quietly and respect-
ably for the success of Republican principles. Public education has always had
in him a true friend, and he has filled the ofiice of school trustee and has other-
wise done all within his power to ele\'ate the educational standard of his town
and county.

DANIEL A. RUSSELL.

Daniel A. Russell, a prominent citizen and business man of Colfax, Placer
county. California, is a native of the Golden state, and dates his birth at
Georgetown, December 21, 1S57. The Russell family, of whicli Daniel
A. is a representative, is of Scotch origin. His father, Daniel Russell, and
mother, ncc Elizabeth Duncan, were born, reared and married i'n Scotland,
and in 1843, with their first child. William, sought a home in America.
This son, William Russell, is now a resident of Santa Clara, California.
For several years after their arrival in this country the family made their
home in Kansas City, where two daughters were born: Elizabeth, now
Mrs. Wardwell: and Nellie, the wife of Fayette Moore. In 1853 the parents



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 141

with their three httle children crossed the plains, with ox teams, to Cali-
fornia, landing, after a long and tedious journey, at Georgetown, Eldorado
county, where the father engaged in merchandising and where they made
their home until 1S57. That year they removed to Salmon Falls and he
turned his attention to stock-raising and later to teaming, freighting between
Sacramento and Virginia City, at that time a profitable business. His son
William was then old enough to drive a team, and was of valued assistance
to the father in freighting, which they conducted together successfully until
the advent of the railroad. The elder Russell was a man of sterling integ-
rity and was well known and much respected by the early pioneers of the
locality in which he lived and through which he traveled. He was a worthy
member of the Masonic order. Both he and his good wife have long since
passed away, his death ha\-ing occurred in 1871; hers in 1867, and side by
side they rest at Salmon Falls in Eldorado county. Three children 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 18 of 108)