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 25 of 108)
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different times in Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties and in San Fran-
cisco and Oakland. In 1898, on account of his wife's health, he removed to
Placerville, where he soon acquired a large and distinctively representative
clientage. He occupies an eminent position in the ranks of his profession in
this county. He has been interested in business ventures and has met with sev-
eral financial reverses, losing heavily in going security for a friend. He also
lost a large number of cattle in one of the severe drouths that visited Arizona.

In i860 Judge Adams was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Miller, a
daughter of Henry Miller, who came to California in 1854. She was born
in North Carolina, and their union has been blessed with two daughters : Mrs.
E. R. Tutt, of Oakland; and Mrs. H. A. Barklew, of Fresno. Mrs. Adams
is a member of the Methodist church and a lady of Christian culture who
enjoys the high esteem of many friends.

Judge Adams has been an Odd Fellow since 1857, a Mason since 1868,
and in the latter has attained the Knight Templar degree, and also belongs to
the Mystic Shrine, and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which
in i8go he was the grand master workman of the state of California. He is
also an esteemed member of the Society of California Pioneers and of the So-
ciety of Veterans of the Mexican war.

In politics he is an unswerving Republican, and four times has canvassed
the state in behalf of his party, being one of the leading political speakers at
the time of the election of General Grant. Although a veteran of three wars
and familiar with the hardships and trials of pioneer life, he is still a well
preserved man. His record has ever been honorable and straightforward,
commending him to the confidence and regard of all with whom lie has been
associated. Socially he is held in the highest regard by many friends who de-
light in doing him honor.


One of the well known farmers of Sacramento county is David Reese,
who was born in Llsaint, Carmarthenshire, Wales, August 7, 1849, h's par-
ents being John and Elizabeth (Anthony) Reese, who were also natives of
that place. The father was born in 1S19 and followed shoemaking until
thirty-five years of age, when he came to the United States, crossing the


Atlantic from Liverpool to Xew Orleans, where he arrived after a voyage
of eight weeks, lie was accompanied by his wife and three children, and
they proceeded by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to Kansas City, where
they made preparations to continue their journey across the plains to Salt
Lake City. Oxen hauled their goods across the long stretches of dry plains
between Missouri and Utah, but at length they reached the latter place and
the father made a settlement in that state. There he carried on stock-raising
for six years, after which he sold out and in i860 started for California. He
spent two months of that year on the Sierra Nevada mountains and in Octo-
ber arrived in the city of Sacramento. Purchasing land in San Joaquin
township, he made his home there until his death, which occurred on the
nth of September, 1869, his wife passing away on the 6th of February, 1889.

In their family were five children: Catherine, the wife of John B.
Brown, a resident of Sacramento county; David; John; Elizabeth, the wife
of W. W. Kilgore. a resident of Colusa county; and Thomas, who died while
crossing the plains to Utah. The father was a Republican in his political
affiliations, casting his first presidential vote in America for Abraham Lin-
coln, in i860. He was a stanch advocate of the principles of the party
but never sought office. The paternal grandparents of our subject, Thomas
and Mary Reese, spent their entire lives in Wales, where the former followed
the occupation of shoemaking. The maternal grandparents were William
and Elizabeth Anthony, also natives of Wales, and the grandfather was a
farmer by occupation.

David Reese spent the first four years of his life in his native village,
and then accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world. He
obtained his education in this county, and during his youth aided in the
development and cultivation of the home farm. He was twenty years of
age at the time of his father's death, and upon him devolved the care and
management of the homestead. He superintended that property until his
marriage, whicli occurred in October, 1879, when Miss Myra Kilgore became
his wife. Their union has been blessed with .seven children, and the family
circle yet remains unbroken by the hand of death. In order of birth the
children are as follows: Edward E.. born August 2, 1880; Ethel E., born
September i. 1882; Percy D., born May 31, 1884; John K.. born December
.^o, 1886; Frank L., born July 14, 1889; and Nellie completes the family.
The eldest son is now a student in the law office of Johnson & Shields, an<l
has studied law in Hastings Law College, but the others of the family are
at home.

.•\ftcr his marriage j\Ir. Reese purchased a farm, upon which he now
resifles. It was then a tract of three hundred and ten acres and no improve-
ments had been made upon it save of a i^rimitive character. He also has
two hundred and fifty acres in Colusa county, and his landed possessions
altogether aggregate six Inniflred and forty acres. His home farm is under
a very high state of cultivation, the fields, being well tilled and all the acces-
sories and conveniences of a country home of the nineteenth century are
found there. Mr. Reese is continually making additional improvements, and


his labors ha\-e resulted in making the Reese property one of the most val-
uable and attractive in this section of Sacramento county.

Mr. Reese gives his political support to the Republican party, and his
first presidential vote was cast for General Grant in 1868. He has never
sought office and is in no sense a professional politician, but at the present
time he is capably serving in the position of under sheriff. He is a charter
member of the Odd Fellows Society of Florin and of the Florin Grange, in
which he has filled all the offices. He and his family attend the Methodist
and Baptist churches. His life has been in a way uneventful, yet has been
characterized by strict fidelity to duty at home, in business and in public
office. He has witnessed the greater part of the wonderful growth which
has transformed California from an uninhaljited region to one of the lead-
ing commonwealths of the Union, and among the pioneers he well deserxes


The history of pioneer life has long rivaled in interest the tales of bat-
tles and of life on the tented field. Without the roar of cannon and musketry
or the inspiring notes of fife and drum, hosts no less brave and determined
have gone forth into the wilderness to reclaim it for purposes of civilization
and have fought the hard battle of conquering the wild land, the sturdy forest
and the rocky fastnesses of the earth, making each yield of its treasures such
elements as can be utilized for man. This is an arduous labor and one to
which are due recognition and commendation; and therefore in preparing
a history of California it is with pleasure that we introduce. the life records of
such worthy pioneers as the Macomber brothers, whose identification with the
state antedates the formation of its territorial government.

The Macoml)er brothers, of Sonora. California, are actively identified
with the industrial interests in their section of the state, where they are
extensively and successfully engaged in the manufacture of cider from apples.
Thev also manufacture pickles, champagne cider and vinegar, and deal in
grain and dried fruits. Under their capable management, owing to executive
force and keen discernment, their business has assumed extensive propor-
tions, bringing to them a very desirable prosperity.

The Macomber brothers are highly respected California pioneers wdio
arrived in Hangtown in April, 1850. They were natives of the Empire
state, born in Utica. George Macomber -was born in May, 1814, and was
long associated with his brothers under the firm name which is still main-
tained. He was a thoroughly reliable business man and a representative
California pioneer. His death occurred on June 3, 1900. in the eighty-sixth
year of his age. Henry S. Macomber was born in December. 1836. and
Frederick Macomber in Feliruary, 1838. and since their brother's death they
have continued to conduct the business.

As stated above, they arrived in Califurnia in the year 1850. They left
the Empire state the previous year and secured an outfit in St. Louis, Mis-


souri. This outfit consisted of horses, a wagon and mining utensils and a
large supply of provisions. They traveled much of the way with Johnson
Lawton's train, but during the latter part of the journey they came on ahead,
following trails and cut-offs that shortened the distance. On the journey,
when in company with the train, they had much trouble with the Indians.
At Goose creek a large number of the savages were hidden in the willows
which are abundant along the banks of the stream, and from that retreat they
fired on the emigrants. One of them received a shot through his head, but
the travelers immediately returned the fire and drove the Indians out of the
willows. Later they could be seen like the shadow of a great cloud on the
mountain side, as they passed over out of range of the guns of the white men.
At Green river the Indians succeeded in stampeding all the stock the emi-
grants ])ossessed and again the party started out in pursuit and succeeded
in killing four of the Indians, capturing the stock and securing forty Indian
jionies besides. As they neared California they met supply wagons which
liad been sent out to meet the needy emigrants. They were obliged to pay
■very high prices for provisions, but the Macomber brothers had no need to
buy, as they had brought plenty with them. They followed the Fremont
trail and had no trouble in getting water or finding their way. for they were
guided by a jNIr. Ayres who had previously crossed the plains.

On arriving in Hangtown the Macomber brothers proceeded to the
south mines and engaged in the search of gold at Angel's Camp, on Angel's
creek, where they worked for about six months, meeting with excellent suc-
cess. They removed to Jamestown, Tuolumne county, where they secured
a good claim and mined with rockers on Blackstake Gulch. Success also
attended their efforts at that place, for they took out from forty to two hun-
dred and fifty dollars per day. The diggings were very shale, only from a
foot to a foot and a half deep. The brothers remained there for about two
years and also mined at ^Nlaloney and Murphy before leaving Calaveras county.
Thev had very rich claims at those places and their success far surpassed
their highest expectations. They also mined at Table Mountain, having
one of the best claims there and taking out what might be considered a fab-
ulous amount of gold. At Shaw's Flat and W^ood's creek they also did
well. They usually worked the claims out pretty close, as they thought.
but .-old the last one for one thousand dollars. Tliey mined in Volcano in
Amador county, but did not meet with as good success there as they had

\\'hen thc> mining tlie Macomber brothers purchased the

Bailey & Morg:i: <! fi tlcen hundred acres of heavily timbered land,

adding to that prupcrty until they were the owners of twenty-six hundred
acres. They operated the sawmill with excellent success until a fire swept
over that section of the country and destroyed their mill and lumber to the
value of about one and a half millions feet of lumber and eighty thousand
dollars invested. Soon afterward they sold the timber land and the sawmill
site and came to Sonora. where they purchased the Morse orchard, com-
jirising twenty-two acres of land, located in Sonora, and planted apples, pears.


grapes and other fruits. From that beginning they have developed a very
extensive business, deaHng in fruit, cider, vinegar, champagne cider and
pickles. In each department they have met with very gratifying success
and their products are shipped all over the country and to some foreign ports,
the superior quality insuring them a ready sale in all markets. They have
a plant well equipped for carrying on their work and the volume of their
business has annually increased until its magnitude represents a large outlay
of capital and a proportionate income derived from the sale of their goods.

In their political views the brothers are Republicans, who take a deep
interest in the welfare of the party, doing all in their power to promote
its growth and success. They have a wide acquaintance through the state
in which they have so long ranked among the more successful business men,
and they belong to that class of honored pioneers to whom California ov.'es
her present progress, prosperity and advanced position. They aided in lay-
ing wide and strong the foundation upon which has bsen reared the super-
structure of the commonwealth that it is the pride of the entire nation. Their
labors have contributed largely to the growth and upbuilding of their portion
(if the state and no history would be complete without mention of the Macom-
ber brothers.

The above limited biography does not include their individual enter-
prises and has been taken from the diary of Henry S. Macomber.


J. A. Jenkins is a well known civil engineer of Cirass \'alley. and for
several years was actively associated with railroad-building in this state.
Thus has he contributed to the material growth and advancement of the
commonwealth, and at all times, not only in the line of his business but also
in other ways, he has manifested a deep interest in the progress of the state,
doing all in his power to promote the general welfare.

Mr. Jenkins is of English birth, his natal day being November 24, 1866.
His parents, John H. and Elizabeth (Martin) Jenkms, were also born in
England, and the father, a miner by occupation, came to California in i860,
locating at Grass Valley, where he yet follows his chosen vocation. His
son, J. A. Jenkins, was reared and educated in Nevada county^ and on com-
pleting his course in the public schools entered the State University at Berke-
ley, where he pursued a complete course in civil engineering, and was grad-
uated at that institution in the class of 1890. and later was employed on the
_ government geological survey. Subsequently he went to Oakland, Cali-
fornia, and was employed in the city engineer's office for some time. He
next made a trip to Central America, aiding in railroad surveys, and after
almost a year had passed he returned to the Golden state. He secured a
position in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, in the
engineering department, making surveys through California, Arizona, Nevada
and I'tah. continuing with that corporation until 1896. when he returned to
Grass A'alley and established his office on Main street. He was the deputy


county surveyor in 1898. and at tlie present writing is filling the position
of city engineer, being the first incumbent to hold that oftice in the town.
He is the superintendent of the new sewer system and has discharged his
duties in a most capable manner, for his knowledge along the line is com-
prehensive and exact. He is also energetic and industrious, and these qual-
ities render him a very competent official, and one in whom his fellow towns-
men may well place their trust.

In politics Mr. Jenkins is a stalwart and earnest Republican, doing all
in his power to secure the success and adoption of the principles which con-
stitute his party's platform. Socially he is connected with the Masonic fra-
ternity and the Knights of Pythias. Almost his entire life has been passed
on the Pacific coast, and he has ever been deeply interested in the growth
and prosperity of this section of the state. His efforts have been effective
along the line of progress, and he justly deserves mention among the rep-
resentative men of Nevada county.


S. B. Smith, public administrator, now residing in Sacramento, is one
of the worthy citizens that England has furnished to the new world, his birth
occurring in Somersetshire on the 29th of March, 1835. His father. Samuel
Smith, a nati\e of England, was a hat. manufacturer in the country of his
nativity, and after coming to the United States engaged in business. He
died in Beloit, Wisconsin, at the age of seventy, and his wife, who bore the
maiden name of Mary Ann Jeffries, and who also was born in England, died
in Beloit, at the age of seventy-two years.

S. B. Smith spent his early childhood in the place of his nativity, and
there worked in the hat factory, which was owned by his grandfather and of
which his father was the foreman. In 185 1 he crossed the broad Atlantic
to the new world, and took up his abode in Beloit, Wisconsin, where he
partially learned the patternmaker's trade. Subsequently he removed to
Fond du Lac. \\'isconsin, and in 1856 became a bookkeeper for a lumber
firm at that place. Four years later he left the Mississippi valley for the
Pacific coast. Journeying westward to Nevada City, he secured employment
there as a ditch agent, and in the spring of 1862 he continued on his way
to the Salmon river, in Siskiyou county. California. The year 1863 wit-
nessed his arrival in San Francisco, where he became the foreman of the
Street Railroad Company. He entered the employment of that corjKjration
in a very humble capacity, but his marked ability won him rapid advance-
ment. _Sul)se(|iiently he went to Fort Point, as' the foreman of the labor
gang of the United States engineering department, and in 1869 liecame a
resident of Sacramento, where he opened a store known as the Chicago C.
O. D. .Auction House. That he successfully conducted until 1876, when
he sold out and went east, and in October of the same year returned to Sacra-
mento and ])urchased a half interest in an auction 'house, with which he
remained for ten years. In tlie fall of 18S6 he was elected public admin-


istrator, on the Republican ticket, for a term of two years, and has ever since
been engaged in the settlement of estates and other business of similar char-
acter by appointment of the judges of the superior court, and in 1897 was
re-elected to the office of public administrator for the full term of four years.
He has probably handled more estates than any other man in the county, and
his reputation for honesty and fidelity is irreproachable.

On the 3d of January, 1856. in Beloit, Wisconsin, was celebrated the
marriage of Mr. Smith and Miss Helen Mar Gates, a native of New York,
who died at Sacramento, at the age of sixty years. She was the mother
of six children, four of whom are yet living, namely: Mrs. F. I. \Vhitney,
who has one child : iNIrs. L. E. Tliorp, who also has one child ; Dottie, at
home; and Samuel A.

For forty-two years Mr. Smith has been a member of the Odd Fellows
order and has passed all the chairs in the grand and subordinate lodge and
encampment. In 1856 he joined the new Republican party, which took an
advanced stand in favor of many political reforms and in opposition to the
further extension of slavery. He has since been identified with that party,
belie\'ing it to contain the best elements of good government. His long resi-
dence in Sacramento has made him widely known, and throughout his hon-
orable business career he has won the confidence and good will of his fellow
townsmen in an unqualified degree.


Among those who have been successfully identified with mining inter-
ests in Tuolumne county is Joseph Bray, a well known resident of Sonora,
where his prominence is indicated by the fact that he is now a member of
the board of trustees of the city, having been chosen to that office by the
vote of his fellow townsmen. He has been a resident of this place since 1862,
having come to the west when a young man full of determination, ambition
and resolute purpose. He was born at Phillips, Franklin county, Maine,
on the loth of May, 1835. and comes of a family that had its origin in Eng-
land. His paternal grandfather emigrated from that country to New Eng-
land", locating in Portland, Maine, at an early period in the development of
the Pine Tree state. Melzar Bray, the father of our subject, was born in
Portland, and after arriving at years of maturity he married Miss Betsy
Clark, a native of Franklin county. They were Methodists in religious faith.
The father was an industrious farmer and followed his chosen occupation
until liis death, which was occasioned by quick consumption in the
forty-ninth year of his age. His wife passed away some years previously,
leaving seven children, Joseph being then but a little lad of six summers.
Five of the family still survive, Morris Bray being now a resident of Santa
Clara county, California.

Joseph Bray was educateil in his native state and reared on his father's
farm. On the bright sunshiny days of summer he took his place in the fields,
performing his share in the labor that resulted in securing good crops.


Througliout liis residence in tlie east he was connected witli agricultural pur-
suits. At length he determined to try his fortune in California and hy way
of the isthmus of Panama came to the Pacific coast. He experienced much
rough sailing on the voyage, the great waves dashing over the ship until the
vessel seemed in imminent danger, but at length they reached the harbor of
San Francisco in safety, at 2 p. m. on the 13th of May. 1861. IMr. Bray
then proceeded to Stockton, but followed farming on the plains in the employ-
ment of a ]\ir. Davis, who was largely engaged in handling stock. His
wages were more than double what he would have received for the same
work in JMaine and he was pleased with the change made. Later he came
to Sonora, which has been his home since 1862. In this locality he began
mining on his own account just a half mile from the town, and was success-
ful from the lieginning. He became interested in the Bonanza mine, which
had been worked in 1852 but was abandoned. When it was reopened Air.
Bray bought out a claim in it in 1876, and he and his partners afterward took
out gold to the value of three hundred thousand dollars. A little later he
sold his interest for seven thousand dollars. He afterward engaged in loan-
ing money and also worked at the carpenter's trade. He has a large brick
shop in a good locality on the main street of the town and is one of Sonora's
well-to-do citizens.

In politics Mr. Bray has been a lifelong Republican and for eighteen
years he has served as one of the trustees of the city. No higher testimonial
of his efficient service could be given. He has exercised his official prerogative
to advance the best interests of the county in securing the improvement of
the streets and in the building of substantial bridges, all of which have
been of great value to the town. He is a faithful and progressive city officer
who richly deserves the gratitude of his fellow townsmen. He is most true
and loyal to every duty and no trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed.


Few, if any. of our American families can trace their ancestral history
back through the chronicles of the dim and mystic past, through a more hon-
orable and exalted lineage, or to a higher or noisier source, than can the
Moulton family. The records of their family are not surrounded in doubt
or founded on conjecture.

In the Doomsday Book, comiiiled in T086, mention is made of the Moul-
tons as Ijeing one of the most distinguished families of the Merry Isle. The
name is of Norman origin. When William the Conqueror crossed the chan-
nel and made his conquest of England, in 1066, the ]\Ioultons also liecame
residents of that land. In a history published by John T. Moulton, of Lynn,
Massachusetts, appears the following:

Thomas de Moulton was a favorite of Richard Coeur de Lion in 1190.
He is called Lord of Gillisland in Cumberland. Sir Walter Scott intro-
duces him as Lord de \'aux in the "Talisman." He is probably the same


Thomas de Aloulton who as one of the barons signed the Magna Charta in 12 15.
Thomas de Monlton, a grandson of Thomas (ist), was also a signer of tlie
Great Charter of Edward in 1297. They were Lords of Egmont in Cum-

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 25 of 108)