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 24 of 108)
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where he arrived in 1854. He was a native of Kentucky and was of English
lineage. In the state of his birth he spent his boyhood days and acquired
his education. Attracted by the discovery of gold in California he came
by way of the isthmus of Panama to California, and was engaged in placer
mining in Placer county. His efforts in this direction brought to him suc-
cess. He made as high as twenty and thirty dollars a day, and after mining
for a time he became connected wdth mercantile interests, opening a store
at Stewart's Flat, near Newcastle, conductiug the enterprise from 1858 until
1865. In the latter year he directed his attention to farming, securing two
hundred and forty acres of land, which is still in possession of the family.



i8o REPRESEXTATIJ'E CITIZEXS

His political allegiance was given the Democracy, and in the early days he
served as a constable and also as the recorder of the mining district. Later
he was for three terms the assessor of the county, and the trust reposed in him
was never betrayed in the slightest degree. Of the Improved Order of Red
IMen he was an active member. He married Miss Alice Graham and their
union was blessed with four sons, two of whom — Homer C. and George E. —
are living, and Thomas H. and John S. are deceased. The father, John
Henry Mitchell, passed away April 30, 1894.

The boyhood days of George Mitchell were quietly passed on his father's
farm and through his youth he applied himself to the mastery of the branches
of learning which formed the public school curriculum. For three years
he engaged in teaching and later was appointed a deputy assessor. Subse-
quently he filled the office of deputy sheriff and in 1898 he was elected on
the Democratic ticket as assessor of Placer county, receiving a majority of
one hundred in a county which has a normal Republican majority of
four hundred. His election was certainly a tribute to his personal worth,
indicating the kindly feeling of his fellow men and their confidence in his
ability.

In 1887 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Mitchell and Miss Lizzie
McCarthy, who was born in Colfax. Placer county. They now have an inter-
esting daughter, Genevieve. Mr. Mitchell belongs to the Knights of Pythias
fraternity and the Native Sons of the Golden West, while his wife holds
membership in the society of the Native Daughters of the Golden West. Their
many admirable qualities have made them highly appreciated by hosts of
friends in the county in which they have both spent their entire li\-es.

FRANK T. JOHNSON.

Among the officials of Sacramento county is numbered Frank T. John-
son, who is filling the office of county sheriff. He has long been in the public
service and at all times has been faithful to the trust reposed in him, so that
he commands and enjoys the confidence and regard of all with whom he is
brouglit in contact. A native of Sacramento, he was born April 12, 1855,
his parents being Benjamin F. and Sarah E. (Taylor) Johnson. The John-
son family is of English lineage, while the Taylors are of Scotch descent, and
a brother of Mrs. Johnson married into one of the old French families of
St. Louis. The father was born in New York about 1817, and in 1849, after
some years residence in JNIissouri. he joined the "Argonauts" and went to
California in search of the "golden fleece." The journey was made by way
of the isthmus of Panama to San Francisco, whence Mr. Johnson made his
way direct to Sacramento and there resided until his death.

He became well known throughout the state by reason of his connection
with hotel interests and his prominence in political affairs. He was the pro-
prietor of the Blue Wing and afterward of the Magnolia Club, a leading
hostelry of California. He was elected a member of the fir.^t city council of
Sacramento. .Sul)sef|uently he resigned a pnlitioal office which ]iaiil him two



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. i8i

liunclred dollars per month, liecause tlie body of which he was a political mem-
ber pursued a course which he considered detrimental to the people. This
is the first and only instance on record in that city of a man resigning so
lucrative a position for conscientious or even other reasons. His hotel, the
Magnolia Club, was a favorite resort and therein he entertained many of the
most prominent and distinguished men of the state. Under its roof political
records have been made and unmade to a greater extent than in any other
hotel in the state. The case of David C. Broderick and Gwinn, the cele-
brated controversy over the United States senatorship, was instituted and
planned in the Magnolia Club house. Mr. Johnson died in Sacramento, at
the age of sixty years, and the community thereby lost one of its leading and
influential citizens. He was married in St. Louis, in 1852, to Miss Sarah
E. Taylor, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Three years previously he
had located in California and with his bride he returned to the Golden state.
She was a sister of Daniel G. Taylor, a prominent resident of St. Louis who
served as mayor of that city. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson became the parents
of three children, our subject and two sisters, who reside with their brother.

Frank T. Johnson pursued his education in the public schools of Sacra-
mento, completing his course by graduation in the high school of that city.
He subsecjuently entered the employ of Ed Cadwallader, a real-estate and
insurance agent, for whom he acted as clerk and manager from 1874 until
1879. He then resigned his position to accept the office of deputy state treas-
urer, to which he was appointed by John WtU, the state treasurer at the time
when G. C. Perkins was elected the chief executi\e of California. At the
conclusion of his service there he entered the eniplDV of the California State
Bank as assistant cashier and teller, continuing m serve in that capacity for
two years, when he resigned and joined the former state treasurer, Mr.
Weil, in the real-estate and insurance business. That connection was con-
tinued for several years and the firm enjoyed a good business, receiving a
liberal patronage. Their connection was dissolved when John Henry Miller
retired from the position of auditor and recorder, and Mr. Johnson was
appointed to fill the vacancy. He discharged his duties so promptly and faith-
fully that he was elected to the office and for three terms served, retiring
in 1894, as he had entered the position, with the good will and confidence
of the public. Further political honors awaited him, for he was then elected
the sheriff of Sacramento county in 1894. and in 1898 was re-elected, so that
he is the present incumbent. He is strictly fair and impartial in the dis-
charge of his duties and his name awakens a feeling of confidence in all the
law-abiding citizens and a feeling of terror in those who are not amenable
to the laws which protect our liberties, our homes and our lives.

^Ir. Johnson exercises his right of franchise in supnort of the men and
measures of the Repul^lican i^arty, with which he has affiliated since casting
his first presidential ^-ote for Rutherford B. Hayes. He was reared as a
Congregationalist and has always attended the services of that church. In
fraternity circles he is very ])rominent. is the past master of Washington
Lodge, F. & A. M., also belongs to the chapter and commandery and^is a



1 82 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

Noble of the Mystic Slirine of San Francisco. He has served also as the
Ijresident of Simset Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West and is
a charter member of tlie Bene\olent Protective Order of Elks. A man of
unswerving- integrity and one who has a perfect appreciation of the duties
of citizenship and the higher ethics of life, Mr. Johnson has gained and
retained the confidence and respect of his fellow men, and is distinctively
one of the leading citizens of Sacramento with whose interests he has always
been identified.

FREDERICK S. STEVENS.

Frederick S. Stevens, the well known proprietor of the Stevens Drug
Store, in Auburn, is one of the native sons of the town, his birth having
occurred there on the 23d of May, 1864. He is a son of Solon Mills Stevens,
whose life record appears elsewhere in this volume. He is the second of four
sons, w'as educated in the public schools and received his business training
in his father's drug store, of which he is now the proprietor. In 1892 he was
honored with the appointment of postmaster of the town in which he was
born and reared, and he was most capable and efficient in discharging his
duties. He also made many improvements in the ofBce, securing a complete
outfit of new boxes and modern post-office furnishings, meeting the needs
of the office in every particular; and after serving four years he purchased
his father's drug store, in 1896, and has since conducted that enterprise, enjoy-
ing a large patronage. He keeps a complete stock of drugs and such other
goods as are usually found in a first-class drug store, and conducts his busi-
ness so honorably that he enjoys the unqualified confidence and the liberal
support of the citizens of his native town.

Mr. Stevens belongs to Auburn Parlor of the Native Sons of the Ciolden
West and has served as its president. He is also a past grand of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and has attained to the Knight Templar degree
in the Masonic fraternity. In his political affiliations he is a Republican.
On the 24th of February, 1894, Mr. Stevens was united in marriage to Miss
Alberta Mitchell, a native of Placer county, born in Newcastle, and a daugh-
ter of Berry Mitchell, one of the highly respected pioneers of this community.
Mr. and Mrs. Stevens now have two daughters, — Olivia and Madaline. He
inspires warm personal friendship by his courteous and genial manner and
retains his friends by reason of his reliability and upright life.

CHARLES N. POST.

In the legal profession, which embraces many of the most brilliant minds
of the nation, it is difficult to win a name and a place of prominence; many
aspire but few attain. In commercial life one may start out on a more ele-
vated plane than others; he may enter into a business already established
and carry it still further forward ; but this is not true in the' case of the
lawyer, where one must commence at an initial point, must plead and win
his first case and work his way upward by ability, gaining his reputation by



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. i«3

success and merit. Of this class (General Post is an illustrious type. He
began as all others do in the practice of law, and his present prominence
has come to him as a reward of fidelity to trusts and recognized ability, lie
is no\v occupying an important position as assistant attorney general of Cali-
fornia and is'a recognized factor in the political circles of the state.

General Post is a native son of California, his birth having occurred
in Eldorado county March 14, 1853, his parents being Albert Van \'orhees
and Cornelia M. (Almy) Post. The father was born in Peekskill, New
York, and was a larassmolder and machinist by occupation. He received
a common-school education ar.d learned his trade in Paterson. Xew Jersey.
In the fall of 1849 he came to California and was first engaged in running a
pack train out of Sacramento. Subsequently, in partnership with John W.
Nightingale, he opened a store in Greenwood Valley, Eldorado county, called
the Wish-ton Wish. In 1852 he became the proprietor of a hotel situatecl in
Eldorado county, on the Coloma road, near Folsom, called the Rolling Plills.
conducting the same until 1864, when he sold out.

He then came to the capital city and entered the employ of the Central
Pacific Railroad Company. From that time until his death he held official
railroad pusitions in Sacramento and St. Louis, and in 1883, at the age of
sixtv vear^, lie pa-scil awav. He probably cast his first presidential vote
for (ieneral 1 larrikin and was a supporter of the Whig party until the organi-
zatimi lit the Republican party, when he joined its ranks, continuing alfilia-
tiiiii - therewith throughout the remainder of his life. He served as a dele-
gate u> many conventions of the party and labored most earnestly and effect-
ively for its advancement and success.

His wife, who w-as a native of Schoharie county. Xew ^'<irk, dietl in
California, in 1863, at the age of thirty-six years. She arrived in Cali-
fornia in 1 85 1. By her marriage she became the mother of five children,
but only two sons and one daughter are now living. Her parents were
George Washington and Gertrude Adelaide ( Kittle) Almy, the former being
a godson of General George Washington. The Almy family was of French
origin, the name being originally D'Almyr. The first of the name to come
to America was a French officer under General LaFayette.

Charles Nicholas Post, whose name introduces the initial paragraph
of this review, began his education at Mormon Island, Sacramento county.
He afterward attended the public schools in Folsom, California, and sub-
sec|uently was a student in a private school in Sacramento. In i86g he
liecame an apprentice in the Central Pacific Railway shops at Sacramento,
California, working in their shops for four years, after which he entered
the wholesale grocery house of Adams, McNeil & Company, serving as porter
and salesman for two years. He was then appointed deputy in the office
of the county recorder of Yolo county, and about that time began the study
of law. In 1878 he was elected clerk of the Swamp and Overflowed Land
Committee of the assembly of the state and served during that session. He
then entered the law office of Colonel Creed Haymond. and in November.
1879. was admitted to practice in all the courts of the state. In January,



1 84 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

1880, he was appointed deputy clerk of the supreme court, holding the posi-
tion in 1881-2-3, and was twice elected city justice of the peace of Sacra-
mento, serving in the latter office from 1883 to 1888. He then resumed
the private practice of law, which he continued from 1885 to 1891. In the
latter year he was appointed the city attorney of Sacramento, holding the
office one year. He served as deputy attorney general of the state during
the 3'ears 1895-6-7-8, and is now serving as assistant attorney general of
the state.

On the 26th of March, 1880, General Post wedded ^Miss Nellie 'SI.
Outten, a native of Mormon Island, Sacramento county, and a stepdaughter
of Frederick A. Shepherd, of Sacramento. Her parents were John and
Lucy (Cantlin) Outten. Her father was a native of Delaware, and in 1850
came to Mormon Island, California, where he engaged in mining, and died
in 1862. Her mother was born in Philadelphia and joined her husband at
Mormon Island in 1855. She died in Sacramento in April, 1896. She had
five children, three of whom are j-et living. After the death of her first
husband she became the wife of F. A. Shepherd. Airs. Post holds mem-
bership in the Protestant Episcopal church, and the General and his wife
occupy a very prominent position in social circles. He is a charter member
of Sacramento Lodge, Xo. 328, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,
and one of the oldest members of Sacramento Parlor, Xo. 3. of the Xative
Sons of the Golden West. In politics he has been a stanch Republican since
casting his first presidential vote for R. B. Hayes, in 1876.

As a lawyer he is sound, clear-minded and well trained. The limita-
tions which are imposed by the constitution on federal powers are well under-
stood by him. With the long line of decisions, from ^Marshall down, by
which the constitution has been expounded, lie is familiar, as are all thor-
oughly .skilled lawyers. He is at home in all departments of law. from the
minuti;c in practice to the greatest topics wherein is involved the considera-
tion of the ethics and philosophy of jurisprudence and the higher concerns
of public policy. He is not learned in the law alone, for he has studied long
and carefully the subjects that are to the statesman and the man of affairs
of the greatest import — the questions of finance, political economy, sociology
— and has kept abreast with the best thinking men of the age. He is feli-
citious and clear in argument, thoroughly in earnest, full of the vigor of con-
viction. ne\-er alnisixe of achersaries. imbued witli highest courtesy, and yet
a f(ie worthy of the steel nf the most aljle np])()ncr-t.

FREDERICK .\DAAIS.

The history of Judge Frederick .\dams covers a long period of develop-
ment in this country, in which the United States has made marked progress
in luisiness and useful inventions, has displayed considerable military prowess
and has led the van in the settlement and development of her own and foreign
lands. His is a career of marked interest, owing to his active connection with
many events which have had marked bearing upon the annals of the country.




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C:^^44yL^



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 185

He is a veteran of the Mexican war, of the Civil war and the Rogue River In-
dian war, and his work has figured prominently in connection with the prog-
ress and advancement of California, for he came to the Pacific coast in 1849,
before-this state was admitted to the Union. A man of marked individuality
and great strength of character, his opinions and judgment have aided in shap-
ing public policy and have influenced public thought, feeling and action. He
is still engaged in the practice at Placerville and has long been accorded a po-
sition of distinction at the bar of central California.

Judge Adams is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Crawford county, on
the I2th of July, 1833, of Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather on the pa-
ternal side emigrated from Scotland to Pennsylvania at a very early day, bring-
ing with him his wife and children, one of whom was the grandfather of our
subject. This son was reared and educated in the Keystone state and became
a prominent physician there. As a surgeon in the Continental army during the
war of the Revolution he participated in the battle of Bunker Hill and was
actively connected with the Colonial troops until the surrender of Lord Corn-
wallis. He attained the very advanced age of ninety-four years, living to
see marked progress in the republic which he aided in establishing. His wife
was Susanna McAuslan and their son, David M. Adams, became the father of
our subject. He was born in Philadelphia, in 1806, and having arrived at
years of maturity married Grizella Hickman, a daughter of Captain Hickman,
one of the heroes of the Revolution. Both her paternal and maternal grand-
fathers were in the war of 1812 and the father served in the Black Hawk war.
In his family were ten children, and five of the sons loyally served their country
in the Civil war, two of them laying down their lives on the altar of their
country and one being severely wounded. Two of the si'Sters and one brother
of Judge Adams are still living.

The Judge obtained his education largely under the direction of his
mother, who was a lady of superior mental culture. He was also instructed
by Father Deleman, a Catholic priest. In 1835, the family having in the
meantime removed to St. Louis, our subject's father embarked in the profes-
sion of law in that city. Young Frederick had through long connection with
the Indian children learned the language of several tribes, and when but ten
years of age he went with a commission, consisting of T. P. Andrews, Thomas
H. Harvey and Gideon C. Matlock, to Kansas to act as the Indian interpreter
for Major Matlock, being able to converse with five different Indian nations.
For two 3'ears he was in Kansas and then came to Westport, where Kansas
City now stands, and there he was in the employ of Alexander Majors as an
interpreter. When the Mexican war was inaugurated he joined Captain
Neal's Company, of the First Missouri Cavalry. His father was an ex-army
officer and, objecting to his enlistment, forced him to leave the army and sent
him to St. Louis. After arriving there he went on board the Adelia as a cabin
boy, but later joined the Second Indiana Regiment and with that command
went to Mexico. In a battle in the vicinity of Brownsville he was wounded
and sent to the hospital at San Antonio, Texas. Later he was transferred to
the Second Texas Regiment, with which he was sent out to fight the Indians.



I 86 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

He participated in tlie battles at Wild Horse creek, both at the fork of the creek
and at its head. The regiment also had an engagement with the Indians at
Silver Springs, in which the red men were victorious and the Texas regiment
lost tour hundred and seventy-six men in the four battles. After their re-
turn to San Antonio ^Ir. Adams was detailed with an escort and sent with
dispatches to Colonel Doniphan, but the command passed El Paso before tiie
escort arrived there. ^Vt that place he was honorably discharged. Subse-
(juently he carried the military mail for six months from El Paso, Texas, to
Albuquerque, Xew Mexico. Indians were very troublesome at the time, show-
ing great hostility to the white men, and during the six months he had five
horses shot from untler him and he experienced many hairbreadth escapes.
Judge William J. Graves at that time had command of his escort. Subse-
<|uently Judge Adams returned to Captain Neal's company and to Westport.
Missouri, in October, 1848, where he learned of the discovery of gold in
California.

With the spirit of adventure strong within him, stirred with a desire to
gain a fortune in the land of the precious metal, he started on the 14th of No-
vember, 1848, for the gold fields. In New Mexico he joined Captain Marcy's
battalion and with it went to Los Angeles, where he received an honorable
discharge. From there he came to Eldorado county, where he engaged in
placer mining from 1849 until 1854. He owned rich claims and made much
money. He arrived at Screech Owl district just about the time its rich dis-
coveries were made. He inquired of a man where he would find a gold mine
and the man replied "In the gulch." Mr. Adams was certainly very fortunate,
for his first find was a nugget worth one hundred and twenty-three dollars,
and on the first day he took out gold to the value of four hundred and seven-
teen dollars. He succeeding in getting on an average of about six ounces a
<lay. and thus his fortune rapidly accumulated.

In April, 1854. he went to Siskiyou county. He took with him sixtv-
three head of brood mares, but at the Oregon line the Indians stampeded the
horses and he lost all but the ones they were riding. Subsequently Mr. Adams
engaged in mining on the Klamath and Scott rivers, where again his efforts
were attended with splendid success. He with others in Jackass claim, oppo-
site Scott's Bar, took out two hundred and seven pounds of gold in one day. one
piece weighing fourteen pounds. At Clarksville. in the spring of 1850, Mr.
Adams found a piece worth five hundred and thirty dollars. Like other pio-
neer miners, he both made and lost money in different speculations, but al-
together met with prosperity in his search for the precious metal.

When a boy he had read Blackstone. In 1853 he was interested in a ditch
over which there was litigation, and this led him to continue his study of law.
He made his first case on French Bar in 1855, where he was opposed by Cap-
tain J. D. Fair and Kentuck Lewis, another prominent lawyer of that time;
but his marked ability enabled him to win his suit. When it was appealed he
succeeded in having the appeal dismissed. Flis success encouraged him, and.
having a natural taste for the law, he resolved to devote his energies to prac-
tice, and in 1862 was admitted to the bar. His career as a member of the legal



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 187

fraternity was somewhat unlike that of lawyers in the east, for the unsettled con-
dition of the state made continuous practice impossible. He was a volunteer
in the Rogue River Indian war and was elected the captain of his company.
After his admission to the bar he volunteered for service in the Union army
with the California troops and was sent on detached service to Idaho, being-
stationed for a time at Bannack City, where he served as provost marshal.

After the war Judge Adams took up his abode in Grant county, Oregon,
ai\d was soon regarded as one of the most prominent citizens of the place.
He served as county treasurer and county judge and was elected to the Ore-
gon assembly, but his seat was contested and before the close of the session he
lost it. He practiced law in Oregon until 1868, after which he practiced at



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 24 of 108)