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 19 of 108)
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added to their family circle after their removal to California, namely : Katie,
now ]\Irs. William Pearson; John H.. a resident of Santa Cruz; and Dan-
iel A.

Daniel A. Russell, the direct subject of this sketch, was educated at
Salmon Falls and Rattlesnake Bar, and at the early age of sixteen showed
his independence by starting out to take care of himself. His first venture
Avas stock-raising and buying and selling cattle, in which he was successful
from the start. He did a large business, supplying the butchers of the
adjoining counties, and later also carried on a butcher business of his own
in Auburn, New Ca.stle, Forest Hill, Iowa Hill and Colfax; was also for five
vears in the saloon business at Iowa Hill. In December, 1898, he concen-
trated all his interests at Colfax, where he has the exclusive control of the
meat-market business of the town. He owns valuable real estate here, includ-
ing the opera house, the building in which his market is located, and his
residence, one of the most attractive homes in Colfax.

Mr. Russell was happily married, in January, 1882, to Miss Lizzie
Lautgrofif, of Green Valley. Eldorado county, California, a daughter of
Antone Lautgrofif, and their home is made cheerful by the presence of three
children, viz. : Melvin. Edna and Donna.

Mr. Russell is a member of the I. O. O. F. and F. & A. M.

HER^IAN M. ALBERT.

.\mong the pniniincnt lawyers of Colusa is Judge Herman I\I. Albery.
who has jiracticed at the bar of this state for twenty-three years, winning
an enviable rejuitation by his erudition and ability to give to each point of
the case its due prominence, his force of argument and his mastery of the
intricate problems of jurisprudence. He is now occupying the bencli of
the superior court, and, thoroughly versed in the principles of law, he is
indee:1 capable of handling the involved questions which present themselves
for solution. His success and .standing at the bar afford the be.<t evidence
of liis capability.



142 REP RES EXT AT IV E CITIZEXS

The Judge was born in Franklin ciuniy, Ohio, October 12. 1 85 1, and
traces hisancestry back to John Albery, a native of England, who came to
the United States soon after the Revolutionary war. He was married, in
Maryland, to a German lady, who was born in Pennsylvania, and about the
year 1804 they remo\-ed to Licking county. Ohio, where he lived to a ripe
old age. They were farming people and had the respect of all who knew
them in the locality in which they made their home. Their family num-
bered seventeen children, including seven jiairs of twins, but fi\e of the children
died in youth. The others located in Licking and Franklin counties, Ohio,
where they followed agricultural pursuits and had large families. Among-
the children of the next generation w-ere judges, law)'ers, doctors, mechanics,
civil and operative engineers and ministers of the gosi^el, these departing
from the business to w-hich their parents and grandparents had devoted their
lives. Mr. Albery, the father of our subject and the son of John Albery,
the English emigrant, was born in Ohio and was married in Franklin county,
that state, in 1832, to Miss Sarah Baldwin, a daughter of Isaac and Hannah
(Keepers) Baldwin, the former of French and the latter of Scotch lineage.
Her father was a native of the Empire state, was a millwright by trade and
in New Jersey married Miss Keepers, whose birth occurred in that state
about 1774. In 1814 they removed to Muskingum county, same state, and
later to Franklin county, where Ixith attained an advanced age. They had
two sons and five daughters, the sons being Thcnnas, who died in 1S47; and
Isaac, a carpenter residing in Sonoma county, California.

Air. and Mrs. Albery, the parents of the Judge, resided in Franklin
county, Ohio, until 1863, when they removed to IMercer county, that state,
where the mother died in i86g, the father, however, spending his last days
in Iowa, where his death occurred in 1872. They had eight sons and four
daughters, four of whom — Keepers, Morgan, John Wesley and Herman
Meir — reside in northern California. The first named is a lawyer at Wil-
low, Glemi county. John Wesley resides at Butte City and is the super-
visor of the fifth district, in Glenn county. Morgan is a carpenter, mill-
wright and engineer and resides in Inwood, Shasta county. Martin is a
carpenter, making his home in Celina, Mercer county, Ohio. Richard is
the proprietor of a mill and electric plant in Covington. Miami county, Ohio.
Amanda is the wife of J. J. Ayers, a chief engineer at Logansport. Indiana.
Mary Jane is the wife of a Mr. Lyon, who resides on a farm near Pleasant-
ville, Clarion county. Iowa. The other four children have long since been
dead.

Judge Albery spent his boyhood days on his father's farm in the Buck-
eye state and pursued his preliminary education in an old log school-house
furnished with crude benches. In 1864 he removed with his parents to
Mercer county, Ohio, where he remained until the fall of 1871, when, at
the age of nineteen years, he bade adieu to his old home and went to Iowa,
locating near Des Moines. He attended school there, earning the money
with which he paid his tuition bv working at the carpenter's bench. In
Decenilicr. 1873. he returned to Ohio on a visit and while there entered the



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. i43

law office of liis brother at Celina, in Mercer county, continuing his read-
ing until February, 1876, when he was admitted to the bar before the supreme
court of the Buckeye state. He then determined to follow Horace Greeley's
advice, "Go west, young man ; go west," and with borrowed money he made
his way to California. In that year a history had been published, giving
an account of every county in the United States, and his perusal of this
volume led him to select Lane county, Oregon, as his destination. (Jn his
way he visited his brother in Colusa county, California, and eventually reached
Eugene City, Oregon, where he remained six weeks, and after visiting sev-
eral other places in Oregon he returned to California, going to his brother's
home, where he resumed work at the carpenter's trade, which he followed
until he had accumulated one hundred dollars. It was his intention, how-
ever, to devote his energies to the practice of law, and in the spring of 1877
he started out in search of a location, and at length arrived in Colusa with
se\-en rlollars and a half in his pocket, having traveled extensively in the
meantime.

Since July. 1877. Judge Albery has been a resident of this place and
has won distinctive preferment as a representative of the bar. He was
twice elected district attorney and ably conducted the litigated interests which
devolved tipon him. He cast his first presidential vote for General Han-
cock, in 1880, and has since been a supporter of the Democracy. In 1896
he was elected superior judge for a six-years term and is therefore filling
the position at the present time. His decisions are models of judicial sound-
ness, for perspicuity and comprehensive legal knowledge. He leaves no
one in doubt as to his position concerning any suit and his opinions stand
the test of the closest criticism.

On the 29th of December. 1881, Judge Albery was united in marriage
to Mrs. Florence L. (Hatch) Kirk, a daughter of Hon. F. L. Hatch, now
deceased. Mrs. Albery had two daughters by her first husband, and by the
second marriage has a son, Herman, who is yet in school. She attends the
Episcopal church, is an accomplished musician and a lady of culture and
refinement, enjoying the warm regard of many friends.

JOHN W. SURFACE.

In modern times and to a large extent in the past, banks have constituted
a vital part of organized society, and governments, both monarchical and
]jopular, have depended uijon them for material aid in times of depression
and trouble. Their influence has extended over the entire world, and their
prosperity has been the barometer which has unfalteringly indicated the
financial status of all nations. Of this important branch of business John
Whitten Surface is a worthy representative, he and his son Jacob being the
owners of the bank at lone, Amador county. California, where thev are
conducting a perfectly reliable institution, which now receives a liberal and
constantly growing patronage.

Mr. Surface is one of the prominent and early settlers of this state. He



144 REl'RESEXTATirE CITIZEXS

was born in Henr}' county, ]Missouri. on llie i8tli of November, 1833, and
is of German lineage, his ancestors having come to America from the father-
land at an early day. The first of the name to locate in Virginia was Jacob
Surface, the great-grandfather of our subject, who was German Lutheran in
his religious faith. The grandfather, who also bore the name of Jacob, was
born in Virginia, as was Jacob Surface, — the third, — the father of our subject.
Each generation of the family has used the name of Jacob. The grandfather
removed with his family from Virginia to Indiana, becoming a pioneer settler
of the Hoosier state. He located there a large tract of land, which he
later divided with his children. Jacob Surface, the father of our subject,
accompanied his parents on their removal to Indiana and was there reared
amid the wild scenes incident to life on the frontier. He married Miss
Almyra Cecil, and they became the parents of seven children, four sons and
three daughters, of whom three sons and a daughter are yet living, two of
the sons being in lone, while the third is in Los Angeles, California. Esther
^'. Neill, now the only surviving daughter, resides in Seattle, Washington.
The father of these children removed to Missouri, and died in that state,
at the early age of thirty-three years, although his father had attained the
age of eighty years. His wife survived him, and, coming to California,
died, in lone, in the sixty-ninth year of her age. The Surface family, in
its earliest history, were farming people, of the highest respectability, and
were members of the Christian church.

Mr. Surface of this review was the second child in his father's family.
He is largely self-educated, and is a man of much practical information
and ability. In 1852, when only seventeen years of age, he crossed the plains
to California, accompanied by his mother, two sisters and two brothers.
They made the journe}" with ox teams, leaving their ^Missouri home on the
15th of May and arriving at \'olcano, Amador county, on the 17th of
September. Fifty people made the trip together, and there was much sick-
ness, the cholera being ]:)revalent that year: but Dr. Fitchew, a most able
physician, was of the ]3arty, and was instrumental in saving the lives of
those who were ill. They passed through the Indian country in safety, and
settled first in Dry creek valley, where Mr. Surface and his brothers engaged
in farming, raising grain and stock. The property on which the family
located is still known as the Surface ranch.

In 1 86 1 Mr. Surface of this review went to Lewiston, Idaho, where
lie engaged in prospecting. In 1863 he returned to lone, where he engaged
in the livery business, in which he continued successfully for twenty-nine
j'ears, making and saving money. During that time he also gained a wide
and favorable acquaintance throughout the county, and became recognized
as a very reliable business man. During most of that time he was in part-
nership with Robert Ludgate. w1k> died in 1878, after which Mr. Surface
and his brother became sole owners of the business. In 1SQ5 the former
opened the bank, under the firm name of J. W. Surface & Son, the latter
being Jacob Surface, who was born in Amador county and is a very capable



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. MS

and reliable young business man. They do a general banking business and
from the beginning have met with creditable and gratifying success. Mr.
Surface was also one of the founders of the Amador flouring-mill, and is
also a member of the Brighton Milling Company, in Sacramento. He and
his son have a fourth interest in twenty-three hundred acres of land in
Contra Costa county, which rents for seven dollars per acre and is yearly
growing in value, and is used for raising potatoes. They also have property
in Oakland and Santa Cruz, and in lone have a one-half block, on which
they have one of the finest residences in the town, together with other val-
uable real estate here.

In 1866 occurred the marriage of ]\Ir. Surface and Miss ]\Iary C. Rector,
a native of Arkansas and a daughter of James P. Rector, who came to
California in 1855. Their union has been blessed with three daughters and
a son. The daughter, Susie A., is now the wife of M. C. Harris, of San
Francisco; Lucy H. is the wife of L. A. Moberry. assistant cashier in the
bank at lone; and Ethel A. is at home. The family attend the Presbyterian
church, taking an active and zealous interest in its work. Mr. Surface was
largely instrumental in the erection of the church, and his son Jacob is now
acting as one of its trustees.

In 1855, when he attained his majority, he became a Free and Accepted
]\Iason, and has most acceptably passed through tlie different branches of
the order and is also a member of the Mystic Shrine. His son Jacob, also,
when he attained his majority, became a member of the Masonic fraternity,
passing through all its branches, including the Mystic Shrine. He has
filled all the offices in the blue lodge and chapter, and is a thoroughly well
infomied Mason. He has been a valued member of the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows for over twenty years and also belongs to the Ancient Order
of United Workmen. He is also a trustee of the Masonic and the Odd
Fellows lodges. He is a good citizen and successful and reliable business
man and stands very high in the county in which he has so long resided.
The cause of education has always found in him a warm friend, and for
twenty-five years he has served as a trustee of the lone schools, doing all in
his power to advance their standard and promote intellectual activity in
the community.

In politics he has been a lifelong Democrat, but is not strongly partisan.
For a number of 3'ears he took a very active part in county and state politics,
but more recently has devoted his attention to his business and local interests,
outside the pale of politics. Through more than fort}' years' residence in
Amador county he has been a substantial factor in the material upbuilding
and improvement of this part -of the state, and well deserves honorable
mention in its history as one who has ever been true to his duties of citizen-
ship and faithful in all business and social obligations. He was elected
township assessor, serving for four years, and in 1865 was elected the asses-
sor of Amador county, in which position he was retained by re-election for
six successive years.

\



146 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS



FREDERICK UlRDSALL.



Frederick Birdsall, now deceased, was one of the most prominent pio-
neers ol northern Cahfornia, the year 1850 witnessing his arrival in the state.
He was born in Peekskill, New York, in 1829, of Holland lineage, repre-
senting one of the prominent New York families that was established in
the Empire state during the pioneer eiwch of its development. His educa-
tion was obtained in New York city, and when in his twenty-first year,
having heard of the gold discoveries in California, he sailed around Cape
Horn, making- his way by the Pacific ocean to San Francisco. He thence
came to Paradise, Placer county, where for some time he was engaged in
selling supplies to the miners. Subsequently he was the owner of a silver
mine in Nevada and very successfully engaged in its operation for a number
of years. He afterward sold the property and removed to Sacramento,
where he was connected with a number of prominent enterprises of the city
that contributed not only to his individual prosperity but was also of marked
benefit to the public. He was the builder of the narrow-gauge railroad from
Lodi tc Valley Springs, in Calaveras county, and afterward sold it to the
Southern Pacific Railroad Company.

In 1887 he purchased the heights above .\uburn, a beautiful, sightly,
attractive tract, and with characteristic energy began the improvement of
the property. He named the place Acolia, laid out drives, built a beautiful
residence, planted an olive orchard and otherwise added to its value and
attractive appearance. He sold a few lots to persons who have built elegant
homes thereon : liut the Birdsall family still retain possession of sixty-five
acres, on wliich they have eight thousand fine olive trees and are now erect-
ing an olive-oil manufactory. In the midst of the successful conduct of his
numerous business undertakings, however, Mr. Birdsall became ill and passed
away on the 23d of April, 1900, at the age of seventy-one years, five months
and fourteen days.

In 1866 he was happily married to ^^liss Esther Stratton, a native of
Marietta, Ohio, a most estimable lady. Their union was blessed with five
children, three of whom are living, namely: Etta Tylor, Jane and Ernest
Stratton. The last named is now managing the estate, and to him we are
indebted for the material which furnishes the substance of this brief account
of his honored father. The daughters are at home with their motlier in
Sacramento, but the son resides in his beautiful home in Acolia Heights.
He was born in Sacramento June 27, 1876, and was educated in the State
University at Berkeley. On putting aside his text-books he became asso-
ciated with his father in the improvement of Acolia Heights. He was mar-
ried, on the 7th of January, 1899. to Miss Mabel Blair, a native of Placer-
ville, Eldorado county. He belongs to California Lodge. No. i, F. & A.
M., of San Francisco, and is a progressive, enterprising business man who
has a l)right future before him.

His father contributed in a large measure to the substantial improve-
ment an<l upbuilding of his section of the state. He was a man of strong



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. i47

force of character and left the impress of his individuaHty upon the pul>hc
progress. In manner he was kindly and his actions were ever sincere and
straightforward, so that wherever he went he won a host of warm friends.
His death was deeply mourned and when he passed away northern Cali-
fornia lost one of its most valued representatives.

JOHN ROBERTSON.

Forty-six years covers the period of Mr. Robertson's connection with
California and its interests. Since 1854 he has been a resident of the
^Mountain Spring district of Amador county and has witnessed its wonder-
ful growth and improvement, withholding not substantial assistance from
the various movements and measures which have contributed to its welfare
and progress. He is widely and favorably known to nearly all of the old
settlers in this section of the state, and many will read his life history with
interest.

A native of Canada, he was born in Westmeath county, near Pembmok,
on the 23d of November, 1839, and is of Highland Scotch ancestry. His
father, Alexander Robertson, was born in the highlands of Scotland and
when a young man crossed the broad Atlantic to Canada, where he met,
wooed and married Miss Margaret Otterson, a native of Nova Scotia and
of English lineage. He died in the fifty-fourth year of his age, leaving
a widow and four sons and seven daughters, who came to California. She
li\e(l to be seventy-eight years of age, dying at her home in Amador county.
Her husband had been a strict Presbyterian in religious faith, while she
was a devout Methodist. There were eleven children in their family, seven
of whom are yet living.

Mr. Robertson of this review was Init fifteen years of age when he
came to California with his mother and the other children of the family.
Prior to that time he had pursued his education in the public schools of his
native land. Two of his mother's brothers had persuaded them to seek' a
home in the Golden state, and by way of the Panama route they made the
voyage to San Francisco. Although only a boy, Mr. Robertson began placer-
mining in Eldorado county, following that pin'suit through the winter and
following spring, with only moderate success. He afterward went to school
for a short time. Quartz-mining was then a new industry, not much known.
Tlie family took a ranch of three hundred and twenty acres, and he then
engaged in farming and stock-raising. In i860 he came to lone and secured
employment in a gristmill. For twenty-eight years be followed that pur-
suit, becoming perfectly familiar both in principle ancPdetail with the work
of manufacturing flour. For three years he was employed in Nevada, where
be received five dollars a day for his services, but in 1863 he put aside all
]ierst)nal considerations to enter the Union army during the Civil war. He
joined Company C, Seventh California Volunteer Infantry, and served against
the Indians in Arizona until the close of the war, being stationed most of
tlie time at Fort ^Ioha\-e. engaged in escorting supplies to the interior. He



148 REPRESEXTA Til '£ CITIZEXS

served as first duty sergeant and received an honorable discharge in 1865.
Disease contracted in the service has greatly undermined his health, and
the government, recognizing its indebtedness to him, grants him a pension,
to which he is justly entitled.

]\Ir. Robertson is now engaged in quartz-mining and owns a third
interest in a gold-bearing property three and a half miles northeast of lone.
The ore is very rich and they have three hundred tons on the dump and
are erecting a mill in order to separate it from the rock. His property joins
the Erzula mine and is considered very valuable by mining experts. What-
ever success he has achieved in life is due entirely to his own efforts, his
close application, resolute purpose and untiring energy, and is certainly well
merited.

In 1877 ]\Ir. Robertson was united in marriage to }iliss Maria M. Lin-
inger, a native of Ohio and of German descent. She is a daughter of Chris-
tian Lininger, who was an early settler of California but is now deceased.
They have had four children : George L., Mabel G.^ Edgar and Elizabeth
Miller. They have also reared an adopted son, Wesley Walker. Mrs.
Robertson is a Se\-entli Day Adventist. Mr. Robertson is connected with
no religious denomination, but is a valued member of the Ancient Order
of United ^\'orkmen, in which he is serving as overseer. In politics he is
a stanch Republican, earnest in his advocacy of the party and its principles,
and though he has nexer been an aspirant for office he keeps well informed
on the issues of the day and is thus able to give an intelligent support to
the measures he supports.

ROBERT F. ROONEY, M. D.

]Man"s worth in the world is largely determined by what he has done
for his fellow men, and judged by this criterion the profession of medicine
takes first rank among the callings to which individual effort is given. A
well known representative of the medical fraternity is Dr. Rooney, who has
gained prestige in Auburn, yet his practice has by no means been confined
by the limits of that city. He is a native of the province of Quebec, Canada,
Ixirn June 17, 1842, and the blood of Scotch-Irish ancestors flows in his
veins. His paternal grandfather, James Rooney, emigrated from Belfast,
Ireland, to Canada, bringing with him his wife and their little son, John
Rooney, the Doctor's father. The grandfather was a practicing physician
and was also successfully engaged in school-teaching. John Rooney was
educated in Canada and became a farmer. He was married to Miss Frances
Margaret Sloan, a native of Belfast, and they became the parents of three
ciiildren, of whom two sons survive. The other son. James Francis, resides
in southern California. The father died in the eighty-seventh year of his
age, and the mother passed away August 24, 1900, aged ninety years. The
parents were Episcopalians in their religious faith and the son was baptized
and confirmed in that church.

He was educated in McGill College. Montreal, Province of Quebec, and
was graduated on the 31st of March. 1870, being thus well qualified for the



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. i49

practice of his chosen profession. He opened an office in Stanstead Plain,
Canada, where he remained until 1877. January i, 1873, he was mar-
ried to Miss Ann Eliza French, a native of the Province of Quebec. They
have one son, Harry B., born July 15, 1890. The Doctor acquired a large
practice in Canada, but his health became impaired through overwork and
this determined him to seek a home in California in 1877. For a year



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 19 of 108)