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 27 of 108)
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the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Methodist church he is a
leading and earnest member, having long served as one of its trustees. His
belief has permeated his life and ruled his conduct toward his fellow men. Of
unswerving integrity and honor, and having a perfect appreciation of the
higher ethics of life, he has gained and retained the confidence and respect of
those with whom he has associated and is distinctively one of the leading citi-
zens of Tuolumne county with whose interests he has long lieen identified.


The California pioneers of 1849 ai'^ fast passing away, but there are still
among the residents of the state those who came to the Pacific coast the year
following the discovery of gold in California, attracted by the possiliilitv of
ra])i(lly securing wealth. .Among this number is Lsaac Cooper, now one of the
prominent citizens of Oleta, Amador county. He has reached the eightv-sev-
enth milestone on life's journey and receives the veneration and respect which


is always accorded old age, for his life lias been upright and worthy of high

Mr. Cooper was born in New York on the 8th of February, 1813. and
traces his ancestry back to James Cooper, a minister of the Society of Friends
who settled in Philadelphia in 1650 and became one of the prominent mer-
chants in that city, being connected with its commercial interests for many
years. His son, William Cooper, was the father of James Cooper, and the
latter had a son William, who was the grandfather of the subject of this
review. Representatives of the name were participants in the war of the Revo-
lution and were prominent in public office and in all the public affairs in the
early history of the country, leaving the impress of their strong individua.lity
upon events which aided in shaping the destiny of the nation. His birth
occurred in 1734, and after arriving at years of maturity he became a leader -
in thought and movement of the public "life of the community. He served as
a judge of the court of common pleas, for two terms was a member of the
United States congress and in 181 1 occupied a seat in the state legislature.
He was killed by a political antagonist who struck him over the head with a
club. One of his sons, Fennimore Cooper, has gained world-wide fame as a
writer of stories concerning the early conditions of America. Another son,
Samuel Cooper, the father of our subject, was born in New Jersey and when he
had attained his majority married Miss Elizabeth Bartlett, a lady of English
lineage whose ancestors were early settlers of the colonies. Her father was
captured by the British in the Revolutionary war and was held as a prisoner
in the New York sugar-house until the cessation of hositilities. They had
three sons, of whom Mr. Cooper is the only survivor.

Our subject is a self-educated and a self-made man. He received but
limited educational privileges and began to earn his own living by chopping
wood at twenty-five cents a cord. In 1849 he was employed in a similar man-
ner ii} California, but received eight dollars and board for his work. He spent
the year 1833 in Toledo, Ohio, and in 1834 went to Chicago, being present
at the time the last payment was made to the Indians for the land on which
that metropolis is now located. In 1836 he was a resident of Iowa, and thus
has he been a pioneer in various states. In 1839 he married Miss Caroline
Armstrong, in Ohio. Five children were born to them : Frances, the wife of
F. M. Hubbell, of Des Moines, Iowa; George Pomroy; Florence, a widow;
Alice, deceased; and Fennimore Isaac.

His love of pioneer life and the hope of securing wealth on the Pacific
slope led Mr. Cooper to cross the plains to California in 1849. He made the
journey with an ox team and was accompanied by two companions. Unmo-
lested by the Indians, they arrived at Shingle Springs on the 7th of September,
and at Sacramento Mr. Cooper began work on the levee, for which he was paid
ten dollars a day. Subsequently he engaged in placer mining at Coloma and on
the -American river, where he met with a fair degree of success. In the fall of
1850 he returned to the east, but voted on the question of the adoption of the
state constitution before leaving. He had made on an average twenty-five
dollars per day while in the placer mines, and with the capital he had acquired


he purchased a farm near the city of Des Moines, Iowa, after his return to the
Hawkeye state. There he carried on agricuhural pursuits and afterward acted
as a clerk in the United States land office and also discharged the duties of
receiver and registrar in the city of Des Moines. He likewise engaged in deal-
ing in stock and conducted various other enterprises, which were capably man-,
aged and netted him good returns.

In iS/O ;Mr. Cooper was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who
died in that year, leaving three children : George Pomroy, Florence Alice and
Fennimore. For his second wife Mr. Cooper chose ^liss Charlotte I\Iann, a
niece of Horace Mann. He then returned to California on a visit and while
at Oleta he purchased the fine house in which he now resides, the place being
surrounded by seven acres of valuable land. Here he is now spending the
evening of his active and successful life. Since returning to this state he has
been extensively interested in mining enterprises and is the owner of the
Cooper mine.

In politics he has been a Democrat since the time of Andrew Jackson, but
the honors and emoluments of public office have had no attractions for him.
He is still a hale and hearty old gentleman and still associated with business
affairs. Old age does not necessarily indicate weakness, nor incapacity, for there
is an old age which is an inspiration and a benediction to all, and which gives
out of the rich stores of wisdom and experience to those who have more
recently started upon life's pilgrimage. Of such a type Mr. Cooper is a repre-
sentative, and in Amador county he is widely known and honored.


Frederick Cox is first of all a typical Sacramento business man with the
abundant energy and enterprise of the class that has laid the solid foundation
of one of the leading cities on the Pacific coast. He has been connected with
the business interests of California for more than forty-five years. Flis life has
been one of great activity, directed by an ambition to succeed on the lines of
usefulness and an unconquerable spirit of determination. While eminently
con.servative, he is therefore always safe. Once he decides upon a course of
action he enters upon it with an enthusiasm that conquers opposition, and
overcomes obstacles that leads to a triumphant accomplishment of his purpose.
Through all his business life he has been the soul of honor, counting honesty
and integrity as the best capital that a man can possess.

Frederick Cox is a native of England, his birth having occurred in Somer-
setshire, in 1828. His father was John Cox, who also was born in Somerset-
shire and died at the age of sixty-two years. His mother bore the maiden
name of Thomazin Luxton, and was a native of Devonshire. England. In
tlieir family were four children, two of whom are now living, Frederick and a
sister wlio makes her home in England. The subject of this review pursued
his early education in the land of his birth, but when still very young came to
the new world, and after spending six montlis in New York state removed
to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There the father occupied a position as a book-


keeper and buyer for a firm carrying on a wholesale and retail meat business,
and in his youth his son became familiar with the butchering business.

When gold was discovered in California and the tide of emigration turned
strongly toward the Pacific coast, it was his desire to make his way to the
golden state, but lack of funds prevented his doing so at that time. In 1850,
however, he joined a party who were preparing to make the long and weari-
some journey across the plains. Crossing the Missouri river near the present
site of Omaha they obtained their guide-books, which had been pitblished by the
Mormons and which indicated the route and camping grounds. These were
found to be very reliable, and following directions they at length arrived safely
at Salt Lake City. At that point they procured another guide-book which gave
directions from there on to California ; but this publication led them into many
difiiculties. However, they pressed on, reaching Ringgold, Eldorado county,
California, at the end of that year. Not long after reaching Salt Lake City it
•was found that Mr. Cox was the only member of the party who had any
funds left, so that from that time until they reached their destination he paid
all the bills. Pitching their tent in the middle of a little mining camp, the
entire capital of the company, seven dollars, was invested in beef steak, molasses
and flour. After regaling themselves with this sumptuous fare, ]Mr. Cox made
his first attempt at oratory and in a most forceful and politic manner addressed
his comrades as follows, saying that it was now "every one for himself."

In the fall of 1850 Mr. Cox formed the acquaintance of Lloyd Tevis, a
member of the firm of Haggin & Tevis, who were engaged in trading in horses
and buying stock from the immigrants. Mr. Cox secured employment of a
butcher in Ringgold, for whom he worked two months, receiving five hundred
dollars for his services during that time. His employer wishing to leave the
country, he purchased the business which he conducted for nine months, when
he sold out and went to Carson river valley in Nevada. There he engaged
in stock-dealing enterprises, which have grown to such extensive proportions
that he is now known as one of the leading and best known stock-raisers of the
state. In Nevada he purchased horses and cattle from the immigrants, fat-
tened them on the rich meadow lands of the valley and sold them in California
at a good profit. In the spring of 1852 he removed to Shingle Springs, Eldo-
rado county, where he purchased a meat market, and while there entered into
partnership with Crawford ^^^ Clarke, a connection that has since been con-
tinued, covering a period of forty-seven years. During this time nothing
has occurred to disturb the harmonious relations between them and the part-
nership has proved of mutual pleasure and profit. From the beginning success
attended their efforts and at the end of two years they sold their business in
Shingle Springs at a good iirofit and took a six-months trip to the eastern

In the fall of 1854 they returned and opened a market in Grass ^"alley,
Nevada county, where they also extended the field of their operations by buy-
ing and selling cattle. The latter branch of their business became so extensive
that they sold the market and remo\-ed to the Sacramento valley, where they
have since controlled one of the most extensive cattle ranches of the Pacific


coast. As 'this region of the country became more thickly settled it was impos-
sible to secure tracts of land large enough to serve as grazing grounds, and
this led to the purchase of extensive cattle ranges in the counties of Sutter,
Kern and San Luis Obispo and eastern Oregon, which they still hold. In con-
trol of one of the mammoth cattle industries of the state they have secured
therefrom a handsome income which has numbered them among the wealthy
citizens of the county. JNlr. Cox has also been connected with other business
interests of Sacramento, holding the presidency of the California State Bank,

In Xo\-ember. 1857, was celebrated the marriage of Air. Cox and Miss
Jennie A. Holdridge, of Eldorado county, and to them have been born two
sons and three daughters, of whom one son and two daughters are living. One
daughter died in infancy and a son at the age of seven years. Crawford John
is married and has three children; Mrs. Jennie A. Peltier has two children;
Fredda is at home with her parents. The family are communicants of the
Episcopal church. They have a beautiful residence in Sacramento and the
circle of their friends is very extensive.

Mr. Cox has long taken a deep interest in ]5oliticaI affairs and has been
more or less actively connected with the party's work. He votes with the
Democracy and in 1882 was elected state senator, serving through two regular
and two extra sessions of the legislature. In 1886 he declined a re-nomina-
tion. By appointment of the governor he has served for seventeen years as a
member of the state board of agriculture and in this capacity has largely
advanced the interests of the farming classes in California. Applying honest
principles in the affairs of life, he has won the confidence of the business com-
munity and in a high degree of the pulilic at large.


T!ie schools of Sacramento county owe their present excellenceand advanced
position in a very large measure to Professor B. F. Howard, the county super-
intendent. In the eras of antiquity a man's prominence was rated by his phys-
ical prowess, and his powers of endurance and his strength ; but as tlie'years have
passed these tests have been relegated to the background. Alentality has come
to be regarded as the standard which indicates his rightful position in the
world. The work of the educator is regarded by all as one of the responsibil-
ities to which man can direct his energies. The careful training of the mind
of the young leads to success in after life that could never otherwise be
obtained. It is not alone the knowledge one gains from text-books, but the
power of mental concentration, of keen discernment and of utilizing readily
thoughts acr|uircd in youth which makes the work of the educator of vastlv more
importance than that of any other calling in life. With the full realization of
the responsibility that rests upon him. Professor Howard has for a number of
years guided and controlled the work carried on in the public schools of Sac-
ramento county, and under his management marked advancement has been
made in methods of instruction and in promoting intellectual activitv.


His entire life has lieen passed in California, his birth having occurred in
the Golden state on the nth of October, 1S51. Professor Howard is a son of
Mark and Jane (Kelso) Howard. The latter, a native of Ireland, was three
times married and with her first husband, J. McKinstry, came to the United
States. The only surviving child of this marriage is J; K. McKinstry, of
Gait, California. The children of the second marriage were Mark E. ; Charles
B.. a prosperous farmer of Sacramento county; and B. F. Howard, our subject.
The third marriage was her union with Thomas Armstrong, a native of Eng-
land, a prominent engraver of international fame. There was one child by this
union, who is now the widow of Dr. A. P. Whittell, for many years a noted
oculist of San Francisco. The Howard family, of which our subject is a mem-
ber, was represented in the famous battle in Manila bay. May i, 1898, by a
cousin of our subject, Thomas Benton Howard, of Galena, Illinois, who bears
the title of lieutenant. His position in Admiral Dewey's fleet was that of
navigating gunnery officer of the Concord. As a cadet in the academy young
"Ben" accjuitted himself so nobly that President Grant frecjuently made him
the subject of the most flattering comment. He was often, by special invita-
tion, a guest at the White House and was usually appointed Grant's aid when-
ever the president visited Annapolis. Lieutenant Howard was graduated
at the top of his class in 1869, was promoted ensign in 1874, junior-lieutenant
in 1878 and lieutenant in 1883. He has served on the 2v[editerranean, the North
Atlantic. West Indies, Pacific and Asiatic stations and at the Xaval Academy.
He married ]\Iiss Anne Claude, the daughter of Dr. Al:)ram Claude, of Annap-
olis. Their son was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1895, at the instance
of the late Congressman Cooke of Chicago, and is now in the senior class.

Professor Howard was educated in Sacramento and Oakland. During
his early life he assisted in the work of the farm and stock ranch. Determining
to devote his energies to educational lines, he was made the principal of the
schools in Yolo county, and acceptably filled that position from 18.79 ^mUl
1886. In the latter year he was elected cnunty superintendent of Sacramento
county, which position he has since acceptably filled, discharging his duties
in a manner so prompt and reliable that he has won the high commendation of
many of his fellow townsmen and gained the esteem of all with whom he has
come in contact.

Mrs. Howard, the wife of our subject, is a recognized leader in the musical
circles of Sacramento, and has superior powers as a vocalist. She bore the
maiden name of Sarah Morton, was born in iMariposa county, California, and
is a daughter of Edmund G. and Adaline (Hicks) Morton. She has a sister,
Mary E., who was graduated at the State University at Berkeley, California,
in 1890, and is now a teacher in the high school in Sacramento. Her mater-
nal great-grandfather, William Hicks, was one of the heroes of the Revolution-
ary war and took part in the famous "tea party" when the loyal colonists
destroyed the chests of tea, throwing them into the bay. He resided in Yar-
mouth, Maine, and by occupation was a farmer. He died at the age of one
hundred and ten years. William E. Hicks, the grandfather of Airs. Howard,
married Adeline Drinkwater, and the grandparents were natives of Var-


month, and there spent their entire lives, the former dying at the age of forty-
five and the latter at the age of thirty-eight years, ilr. Ilicks was a .seafaring
man, and many other members of the family also followed the sea. Mrs. Hicks
was a daughter of Elbridge and Sarah (Loring) Drinkwater, and were natives
of Yarmouth, the former an old sea captain who died when about sixt3-five
years of age. The Drinkwater family is of Scotch origin, the ancestors being
traced back to Hugh Drinkwater, who resided in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The father of Mrs. Howard was a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
and at the age of seventeen removed to Boston, where he learned the painter
and grainer's trade. In 1852 he left the "Hub" and sailed around Cape
Horn to California, where he arrived in the month of August, landing at San
Francisco. He first worked in the mines, later went to Stockton and subse-
quently to Sacramento county, but is now living in Colusa county, at the age
of seventy-five years. His wife was a native of Yarmouth, Maine, born in
1827. and is also living. Mrs. Howard attended school in Sacramento county
and was also a student in Perry Seminary in Sacramento. When eleven years
of age she began studying music, being instructed in piano-playiug by Madam
Routier. She afterward took a course in voice culture under Madam Rose-
wald for three j'ears, and others of the best teachers of the city, including
Mrs. Lester, a daughter of one of the old pioneers, Conrad Clinch, whose wife
is still living in Sacramento. Mrs. Howard first began singing in public in
1888, as a memlier of the choir of the Baptist church, later for eight years
the leading singer in the choir of the Congregational church, and has also
been employed in St. Paul's Episcopal church and the Presbyterian church.
Tiirough her own efforts she secured her musical education, engaging in teach-
ing that she might obtain funds to prosecute her studies.

In his political views Professor Howard is a stalwart Republican, having
• supported tlie party since he cast his first presidential vote for General Grant
at tlie time of his second nomination. He has been a member of the Sacra-
mento city school board, having been appointed to the position in 1886, to fill a
vacancy. However, he has never sought office outside of his chosen vocation.
He is a member of Sacramento Parlor, Xo. 3. N. S. G. W., and belongs to the
local organization of the National Union. He and his wife attend service at
the Congregational church. He is a man of strong individuality, of marked
intellectual attainment, of broad human sympathy, and his influence upon
the educational circles of Sacramento county has been most marked and


Nature has been very bountiful in bestowing upon California rich mineral
resources and from an early period in the history of the state Mr. Parks has
been an active factor in developing its mining interests. He is now the super-
intendent of the Kennedy and South Eureka mines located at Jackson and Sut-
ter Creek, and his long mining experience makes him particularly efficient as
the manager of these interests.


Rlr. Parks is a native of Missouri, his liirtli having occurred in Cooper
county, on the 9th of September, 1835. He is descended from one of the old
famihes of the south, his father, Samuel Parks, having been born in 1812 in
Kentucky, whence he removed to Cooper county, Missouri, when a young
man. In the latter state he was married to Miss Christiana Clark, a native of
Virginia, born at Hanover Court House. They became the parents of nine chil-
dren, seven of whom are living. In support of his family Mr. Parks followed
the pursuit of farming and stock-raising. He was a Universalist in his relig-
ious faith, and died in 1875, in the sixty-third year of his age. His wife still
survives him and now resides in Windsor, in her eighty-fifth year, being well
preserved both mentally and physically.

James Franklin Parks was her second child and is now the eldest sur-
vivor of the family. He was only seven years of age when taken by his parents
in their change of residence to Benton county, Missouri, where he acquired
his education. In 1855, having attained the age of twenty years, he crossed the
plains to California, driving an ox team. It was a long and tedious journey,
but after four and a half months of travel across the long sandy stretches and
over the mountains he arrived safely at \'olcano, California, where he left the
party with which he had traveled and for some time he engaged in prospecting
and mining on Kern river and also followed mining in Mariposa county. His
first experience at quartz mining was at Hornitos, where he was paid four
dollars per day, mining in the Bear Valley and Princeton gold mines.

Subsequently he went to Virginia City, Nevada, being employed in the
Comstock mines for eight years in the capacity of foreman. For a period of
two years he was the superintendent of a White Pine mine, and while in Vir-
ginia City he there voted at tlie first territorial election and the first state election
held in Xevada, continuing in \\"hite Pine county until 1871. He then assumed
charge of the Indian A'alley mine in Plumas county, California, where he
remained for two years, when, in 1873, he came to Amador county to take
charge of the Keystone mine at Amador City. For fourteen years he operated
that property which made good dividends throughout the period. He was
highly esteemed by the members of the company for which he worked so long
and faithfully until he severed his connection with them, when he took charge
of the Kennedy mine at Jackson, in February, 1887, a position which he has
since continued to fill. During twenty-seven years he has had charge of mines
located within a radius of five miles and his long service well indicates his
ability and his faithfulness to the trust reposed in him. During this time he
has acquired many mining interests of his own and is now the possessor of
considerable valuable property of this character.

]\rr. Parks was united in marriage, in 1871, to Miss Mary Pheby. a native
of England, and their union has been blessed with four children, natives of
Plumas and Amador counties, namely: Lillian, now the wife of Judge John
F. Davis, of Jackson: Samuel Thomas, who is connected with the mining
interests in -Amaflor county: James Franklin, who is a student in the Lick
Schodl of Mechanical .Arts, in San Francisco; and Mary Elizabeth, who resides
with her parents. Airs. Parks is a valuable member of the Methodist church,


and Mr. Parks has membership affiliati(jns witli tlie Independent Order of
Odd Fellows and the American Order of United Workmen. He is also con-
nected with the Chosen Friends and has many times been presiding of^cer of
these organizations. He and his family reside at Kennedy Hill, adjacent to

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 27 of 108)