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

. (page 32 of 108)
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 32 of 108)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

prise for many years.

Jn June, 1854, ]\Ir. Sch<jettgen was united in marriage to ^liss Johanna
Boemmer. a native of Germany, whom he had known in the fatherland. They
were married in St. Louis and the wife remained there while he made the
trip to California and secured a start in business in the far western state. In
1857 she joined him in his new home and here they have become the parefits
of eleven children, six of whom are living at the time of this writing, namely:
Louisa, the wife of George Napoleon; Wilhelmina, who is acting as her
father's housekeeper; August, a resident of Stockton; Katie, the wife of
George L. Adams: John B. and Frank, who are in the meat market. One
son, \\^illiam, died in his thirtieth year, and the mother of these children was
called to her final rest May 20, 1899, when in the sixty-seventh year of her
age. leaving not only her family but many friends to mourn her loss. She
was a devoted, faithful wife and mother and indeed proved a companion and
hel])mate to her husband. Her many acts of kindness gained her the respect
and esteem of all with whom she came in contact and her memory remains
as an unalloyed benediction to all who knew her.

Mr. Schoettgen has been a lifelong Republican. u])holding the principles
of that party by his ballot; but at local elections, where no national issue is


invoh-ed, he votes independently. As a business man and citizen he has
made a good record. His devotion to his adopted country is above c[uestion
and no native son of America is more true to her institutions or more faith-
ful to the duties of citizenship. From Germany he came to the new world
and entered upon a successful career, yet his prosperity is not the outcome of
propitious circumstances, but the honest reward of labor, good management,
ambition and energy, without which no man can win success.


Through the years of his identification with the interests of California
]Mr. Reichling has watched the marvelous growth and development of the
state, for he came to the Pacific coast when this region was sparsely settled
and when the work of civilization had scarcely begun. He has been an
acti\e factor in the business affairs of Amador county and at all times his
honorable methods and straightforward dealing have gained for him the con-
fidence, good will and respect of tliose with whom he has been brought in

!\rr. Reichling is a native of Prussia, Germany, his birth having occurred
there on the i8th of December, 1824. His parents, Jacob and Mary (Claf-
nian ) Reichling, were also natives of Germany and the father was a forester
by occupation. Both he and his wife were devout members of the Catholic
church, and were people of the highest respectability. He lived to be eighty-
three years of age. while his wife passed away at the age of seventy-five
years. They were the parents of ten children, of whom only four are now

Peter Reichling wa.? educated in the schools of his native country and
there spent the days of his minority. In 1856 he bade adieu to friends and
fatherland and sailed for the new world with the hope that he might better
his financial condition thereby. In December of the same year he arrived at
Volcano, Amador county, California, where he resided with his brother
Francis, who had crossed the plains to California in 1849. Together they
engaged in purchasing gold from the miners who took the precious metal
from the earth, and n 1858 Mr. Reichling, of this review, came to Jackson
and opened a jewelry store, which he conducted in connection with the other
liranches of the business. He handled large amounts of gold, shipping it to
San Francisco and Sacramento, having an account with banks in both of
those cities.

He enjoyed an unlimited credit, the banks lionoring his check for any
amount. In this way for many years he served as a private banker for the
miners and was of material assistance to the business interests of the town.
He acted as his own assayer and the gold was received at the banks without
question, such was his known honesty in business affairs. Through all the
years he was also extensively engaged in the development of the rich mineral
resources of the state, for ten years occupying the position of superintendent
of tlic Kennedy mine, and is now one of the principal owners of the Anita


mine, w Inch has an eiglit-liundred-foot shaft on the main ledge of the Mather
lode. Mr. Reichling has prosecuted his business interests with such energy
that lie has won most desirable success and is to-day one of the wealthiest
residents in Jackson.

In 1861 occurred his marriage to Miss Antonie Kroll, a native of Ger-
many, and tiiey have six children, namely: Oscar, Waiter, Olga, Lilly,
Clara and Wanda. The daughter Clara is now the wife of David C. Cham-
bers. Mr. Reichling is one of the oldest representatives of the Masonic fra-
ternity in Jackson and also has a membership relation with the Chosen Friends.
In politics he has been a lifelong Republican, unswerving in his support of
the principles of the party. He and his family occupy a nice home in Jack-
son and have the respect of all those who know them. He has been the
architect of his own fortune and has builded wisely and well. His life has
ever been an honorable, active and useful one, and over his business record
there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil, his reputation in business
circles being at all times unassailable. Such a history certainly demonstrates
the truth of the fact that honesty is the best policy, and should serve to
encourage others to pursue a course that will at all times bear the closest


Frederick V. Grohs. residing in Auburn. Placer county, California, is a
well known old settler of the state, coming in 1S52. He was born in Ger-
many October 7, 1827. His parents, John and Catherin (Meseck) Grohs,
emigrated to the United States in 1837. bringing with them the subject of
this sketch, who was then twelve years of age. They settled in Philadelphia,
where tiie father engaged in the manufacture of hats during the remainder
of his life. They were members of the Lutheran church and liighly respected.

Mr. Grohs. the only child, attended the public schools of Philadelphia
and later learned his trade, that of butcher. Influenced by the gold e.xcite-
ment in California, he crossed the plains in 1852, the route overland being
that year almost lined by newly made graves of the victims of cholera, which
was making such ravages in the ranks of the emigrants. There were twenty-
nine in Mr. Grohs' company, and. notwithstanding the fact that they were all
attacked by this disease, all recovered and arrived safely at their destinations.

]Mr. Grohs first lived in "Hangtown" and from there went to Sacra-
mento, arriving in Auburn in the fall of 1852, where he engaged in placer-
mining a short distance below the town. There he, with two others, averaged
twenty-nine dollars a day for some time. lie afterward went to Sacramento
and engaged in the butcher business. .\t first he was paid a salary of one
hundred and twenty-five dollars a month, but later owned a meat market and
remained there in business until the summer of 1855. when he removed to
Nevada City. At the latter place he opened a meat market and continued
in business until i860. Next he removed to Dutcli Flat, where be carried
on his butchering business until 1873. During this year he removed to


Aulnini, where he was engaged in the hrewing l)usiness for ten years. In
1882 lie went to southeastern Oregon and turned his attention to cattle-raising,
i'H which business he lias since continued. He has had as many as ten to
twelve hundred head of cattle at one time.

Mr. Grohs was married in 1859 to Miss Louisa Brandeau, a native of
Xew Orleans and a daughter of John Brandeau. The union was blessed with
nine children, the surviving members being : Emma, now her father's house-
keeper; Minnie, the wife of Dr. William Martin and a resident of Benicia;
Jewel, the wife of Emory Carpenter, residing in Sacramento; Frank, who
is in Oregon, attending to the interests of the firm there, and Lollye, who
is at home. Mrs. Grohs is now deceased, her death having occurred in
1897. Her daughter Emma now presides over the home and with her Mr.
Grohs is spendi'ng the evening of an active and successful life. He and his
family have many friends among the early settlers of the state.

Mr. Grohs was made a Master Mason at Dutch Flat in 1863. He is
also a member of the cliapter of Royal Arch Masons and of the I. O. O. F.
In politics he is a Democrat.


John H. Graves, who is now acceptably filling the position of auditor
and recorder of Glenn county for the third term, is an esteemed resident of
Willow and belo^o-s to the class of representative self-made men whose
sterling worth and determined purpose have led to their advancement in life.
He was born in Macon county, Missouri, January 21, 1868, and is a son of
Anderson R. and Mary' (Pierce) Graves, the former a native of Kentucky
and the latter of Missouri. The father died in Macon county, Missouri, May
7, 1884, at the age of fifty-four years, and his wife passed away at that place
April 17, 1870, when only twenty-six years of age, leaving three chddren, all
of whom are yet living.

John H. Graves was reared upon the home farm until after the death
of his parents. He obtained his education in the district schools and in a
business college, being graduated in the Stockton Business College in the
class of 1 89 1. During his youth he worked as a farm hand and his early
life was one of arduous toil. He was a young man of eighteen years when,
in 1887, he came to California, locating in Glenn county, where he has since
made his home. It was after this that he pursued his commercial course,
feeling the need of more advanced educational facilities in order to be w-ell
prepared for the practical and responsible duties of life. He devoted his
attention to agricultural pursuits until his fellow townsmen, recognizing his
worth and ability, elected him to the office of county recorder and auditor,
being the second auditor of Glenn county. Twice has he been re-elected to
the position, .so that he is now filling his third term, — his long continued
service being an unmistakable jrroof of bis fidelity to fluty and the ability which
he manifests in discharging the tasks that devolve upon him. He has always


ber of the Independent Order of Foresters. He is recognized as one of
the leading citizens of Cilenn connty. lionorabie in business, faithful in friend-
ship, and ever true to the duties of public life.


As the proprietor of a well conducted drug store in Columbia Mr. Tib-
bits is widely known, and his name also appears upon the roll of honored
pioneers who a half century ago came to California to establish in the midst
of this wild fastness homes for themselves and families and to utilize the
resources of the state and turn them to purposes of civilization, tlius trans-
forming California from a vast unpopulated district to a state of great
numerical strength, of boundless business enterprises and of marked influence
in the affairs of the nation.

Air. Tibbits was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, October i. 1843, ^"d
is of Welsh and German descent. His great-grandfather, Allen Tibbits, was
born in Wales, but, bidding adieu to the land of his birth, he crossed the
briny deep to the new w'orld, becoming a pioneer of the Empire state. Three
generations of the family were born there, and representatives of the name
were prominent in affairs that figured on the pages of New York's history.
Oliver Tibbits, the grandfather of our subject, was one of the heroes of the
Revolution. His son, John Powers Tibbits, was a native of Onondaga
county, New York, and after arriving at years of maturity he married Miss
Rachel Johanna Bartlett, a native of Jefferson county, Ohio, and a descendant
of Josiah Bartlett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The father of our subject became a practicing physician in Ohio, and in the
year 1849 took up his abode in California, when it was still in its territorial
regime. He journeyed westward by way of the isthmus of Panama and
engaged in mining in Eldorado county, on the middle fork of the American
river. He was fortunate in his mining ventures, securing three thousand
dollars in a short time. With this capital he then returned to his family in
Ohio, and in 1850 brought his wife and children to the Pacific coast. They
crossed the little narrow neck of land connecting the two continents and on
its western shore embarked on Pacific waters, ultimately reaching San Fran-
cisco, on the 5th of July, 1850. Dr. Tibbits established his home in Sonora
and there engaged in the practice of his profession, his two little sons being
the first white children in the town. One w-as nine, the other seven, years
of age, and they became general favorites in the mining camps, where the
presence of white children was a new thing. In the spring of 1S56 the
family removed to Iowa Hill, in Placer county, where Dr. Tibbits practiced
his profession for ten years. On the expiration of that period he went to
Tdaho for a time, making money rapidly, for all prices were high, whether
in professional service or in exchange for any of the commodities needed
by man, their principal Inisiness being mining, taking out about seventeen thou-
sand dollars. He returned to San Francisco and from that citv made his
way to Columbia, where he spent liis remaining days, an esteemed and hon-


oretl resident of the town. He passed away in 1885. at the age of eighty
years, and his estimable wife died in 1S81, at the age of seventy years. Mr.
Tibbits of this review is the only surviving son. His sister is now the wife
of Captain Alonzo Green and resides in Almeda county, California. Her
husband was one of the pioneers of the state and built the City Hotel in

Lyman C. Tibbits l)egan his education in the puljlic schools at Iowa
Hill and later continued his studies in the Durant Institute, at Oakland, Cali-
fornia, now the State L'nixersit}-. He acquired a knowdedge of the drug
business in San Francisco, where he was a representative of that department
of mercantile trade for eight years, on the expiration of which period he
came to Columbia in order to be able to care for his parents, who were then
well ad\'anced in years. He opened a drug store in this town and has since
successfullv conducting it, meeting with success. He enjoys a liberal patron-
age, which has come to him in recognition of his honorable dealing and
reasonable prices and his earnest desire to please those who give him their
business support. His efforts, however, have not been confined to one line,
as he is now interested in the Green and Tibbits consolidated mine, out
of wliich they have taken nine hundred dollars. He is also one of the owners
of the Jim Budd mine, for which the stockholders have been offered ten
thousand dollars, but declined to accept that sum, as the mine is a very val-
uable propertv. IMr. Tibbits is also the owner of the old family homestead
and of other realty in the town, including one of the fine residences of Colum-
bia, wliich was erected under liis supervision.

His home life is very pleasant. In 18S0 was celebrated the marriage of
Lyman C. Tibbits and Miss Helen Clark, a native of Edinburg, Scotland,
who. however, had resided in San Francisco from her tenth year. Three
children have come to bless their home, all bright sons, namely. John P.,
William J. and Lyman C. In public affairs of the city Mr. Tibbits is deeply
interested, withholding his support and co-operation from no movement cal-
culated to prove of public benefit. He has had the honor of being the post-
master of the town for a numlier of years and his administration has been
characterized by promptness and fidelity. He is independent in politics and
fraternally has been associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
for thirty years. In the line of his profession he is comprehensive and
accurate and is well qualified to dispense drugs for medicinal purposes,
knowing well of their properties and the effects produced thereby. In the
circle of his acquaintances there is no man who has more friends than Mr.
Tibbits. and they have been won and are being retained by his attractive per-
sonalitv. his outspoken devotion to the best interests of the community and
his adherence to high manly principles.


In some parts of California it is not usual to find important positions
filled by natives of the state, for reasons which will be obvious to every student
of the history of that part of the country. A notable exception to this rule


is Claude I. McLaine, who was born at Oakland, California, November 19,
1876, and is in charge of the interests of the Sierra Railroad Company at
Carter's, Tuolumne county.,

Mr. AlcLaine is a son of Donald ]\IcLaine, of highland Scotch ancestry,
who was born in Prince Edward Island in 1830 and was educated and re-
mained there until he was twenty-one years old, when he sailed around the
liorn to California. He landed at San Francisco and began mining in Ama-
dor county, where he was one of the original silver miners. Later he es-
tablished a bank at Volcano in that county and was a successful business
man there until he returned to San Francisco, where he was prominent in
business and other circles until his death July 8, 1889. He was one of the
executors of the INIcLaughlin estate, was a leading Democrat and was widely
known in the Masonic fraternity, and as a citizen he was a leader in all
patriotic public movements. He left a widow and five children, four of whom
are living at this time. Mrs. McLaine is now in her fiftieth year. Their
daughter Cora is the wife of E. C. Farnsworth, of Visalia, Tulare county,
California. Carrie B. married B. Mason, a newspaper man of' Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania. William Laughlin is a clerk in the Crocker-Woolworth bank
at San Francisco.

Claude L McLaine, who is not only the local representative of the Sierra
Railroad Company at Carter's, but is AVells-Fargo Express agent there also.
He was educated in the public schools at San Francisco and at Stanford Uni-
versity. After completing his education he went to Jamestown .and took
up railroad work, being an assistant to the agent, where he remained for one
year and then went to Sonora, where he was assistant agent for one year
previous to assuming the agency at Carter's on February i, 1900, and has
proven himself to be a bright and capable young business man of much
promise. Politically he is a Democrat, and though he is not an active politician
be is not without influence in his party.


Captain Roberts — for by that title he is generally know-n — is one of the
enterprising citizens of Sacramento, belonging to that class of representative
Americans whose success in life is the outcome of their own well directed
labors. He was born in Detroit, Michigan, February 22, 1832. and is a son
of John Thomas Roberts, who was born in Denhy. northern Wales, in 1793.
and Iiecame a contractor and canal builder. In 1827 he came to the L'nited
States, after which he was selected by the North Wales'Missionary Societv to
learn all he could of the Welsh Indians, supposed to be in the Yellowstone
country. He went up the ]\Iissouri river from St. Louis, on the first steam-
boat : but the obstacles in the river and the hostility of the Indians in the terri-
tory through which the boats were forced to pass caused him to abandon the
l)roiect. Lieutenant Colonel Lewis had visited those IndiansTn the early '50s
and found in use among them one hundred words of the \\'elsh tongue. An
old adobe church of Santa Fe. Xew Mexico, is also supposed to have been builf


by these Welsh Indians. The father of our subject died in Sacramento, at
the age of ninety-one j-ears, and the mother, Margaret, ncc W'ilhams, who was
born in the isle of Anglesey, off the coast of Wales, died in Sacramento when
about seventy-two years of age. In their family were five children, three of
whom grew to maturity; but our subject is now the only one living.

Captain Roberts spent the first eighteen years of his life under the paren-
tal roof and then started out for himself. In 1850 he came westward with his
parents, locating first at Nevada City, where he engaged in mining until 1852.
He then secured control of flatboats owned and run by his father, and in 1866
he began operating steamers on the river. He is now the owner of a number
of the steamers in use on the Sacramento river and is thus extensively con-
nected with the transportation interests of the capital city. His capital, ac-
quired by his own efforts, has been judiciously invested and to-day he is num-
bered among the wealthy residents of this section of the state.

In September, i86g, the Captain was married, by the Rev. A. Benton,
to Miss Minerva Walrath, of New York. They have a wide acquaintance in
Sacramento and enjoy the friendship of many. The Captain was a member of
the "freeholders' " committee wdio framed the charter of Sacramento City. He
cast his first vote for General Scott and is now a Republican in politics.

If those who claim that fortune has favored certain individuals above
others will but investigate the cause of success and failure, it will be found
that the former is largely due to the improvement of opportunity, the latter
to the neglect of it. Fortunate environments encompass nearly every man at
some stage in his career, but the strong man and the successful man is he who
realizes that the proper moment has come, that the present and not the future
holds his opportunity. The man who makes use of the Now and not the To
Be is the man who passes on the highway of life others who started out ahead
of him and reaches the goal of prosperity far in advance of them. It is this
quality in Captain Roberts that has made him a leader in the business world
and won him a name in connection with shii)ping interests that is known
throughout the state.


While the disposition to do honor to those who have served well their
race or their nation is prevalent among all enlightened people and is of great
value everywhere and under all forms of government, it is particularlv appro-
priate to, and to be fostered in, this country, where no man is born to public
office or to public honor, or comes to either by inheritance, but where all
men are equal before the law, where the race for distinction is over the road
of public usefulness and is open to every one who chooses to enter, however-
humble and obscure he may be, and where the advantageous circumstances of
family wealth count, in the vast majority of cases, for but little or nothing.
According to a true democratic doctrine they should never count for any-
thing at all. Under our system, whose very existence depends upon the


virtue (jf the people themselves, who are not only the source of all political
power but on whom also tlepends the very existence of our free institutions,
those who have distinguished themselves in the public service, whether in
statemanship or in arms or in whatever sphere of usefulness, should not fail
of recognition. Mr. Birney has long been an active factor in the public life
of California and has left the impress of his individuality upon the legislation
of the state. His residence in Tuolumne ccnmty dates from 1S57. and through
the intervening years he has ever laljored for the welfare of his community
and of the entire commonwealth.

A native of Ohio, Thomas Carolus Uirney was l)orn in Cuyahoga county
on the 17th of March, 1835. His father, Timothy Birney, w^as a native
of county Down, Ireland, and obtained his education in that country. When
nineteen years of age he crossed the Atlantic to Canada, but after a short time
he removed to Ohio, where he found and married ]Miss Jane Carroll, a native
of W'estmeath, Ireland. In 184J they removed to Livingston county. Mich-
igan, residing at Meadville until 1848, when they became residents of Bunker
Hill. Michigan, the father purchasing a farm in that locality, upon which
he spent his remaining days. He li\xd to be over eighty years of age, and
his wife passed the eighty-fourth milestone in life's journey. In 1852 he

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 32 of 108)