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 36 of 108)
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positions by men who are true to the trust reposed in them. That Islr. Gregory
is fully worthy the confidence given him by the public is indicated by the fact
that he is now serving for the third term as the sheriff of Amador county, and
he has also been the representative of his district in the state legislature. He
has resided in California for more than thirty years, and in the community
where he has made his home he has been an integral factor in promoting t!ie
general good.

A native of Texas. Mr. Gregory was born on the ist of July, 1S49, and is
of Scotch descent. His father's ancestors, who came to America with Lord
Baltimore, located in Virginia, and Umbleton Gregory, the father of our sub-
ject, was born in the Old Dominion. He served his country in the war of 181^
and afterward removed to Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, successively.
He was a successful farmer and stock-raiser, and also a slave-holder. He dis-
approved of the movement of secession, but when the south had full}' deter-
mined upon that course his sympathies remained with the people among whom
he had been reared. He married Miss Mary Hewitt, a native of Iowa, and to
them were born eight children, of whom two sons and four daughters are liv-
ing. Mr. Gregory's mother was the third wife, and by these three unions the
father had twenty-one children. He was a consistent Christian man, upright
and honoral)le in all things and was a member of the Methodist church. South.
He died in 1864, at the age of sixty-five years. One of his sons, John Gregory,
was killed in the war with Mexico, and three other sons served in the Confed-


erate army iliiriiig tlie Civil war. mie as captain in a regiment of Texas volun-
teers, tlie other oii tlie staff of General Forrest with the commission of captain.
"Wlien only tliirteen years of age U. S. Gregory left home, and during the
last two years of the war was in Tennessee and northern Alabama, where he
witnessed much of that great struggle between the tw^o sections of the country.
After General Lee's surrender he returned to his home and found that his father
liad dietl the i)revious year, that the property was destroyed, the negroes free
and that a chaotic condition reigned. In June, 1868, he came to California,
taking u]) his abode in lone, Amador county, where for a number of years
he was successfully engaged in the lumber business. He was also the owner of
lumber interests iii Nevada and had mining property in the British possessions,
being part owner of the Cassaiar mines. In 1881 he returned to lone, where
he conducted a harness, hardware and drug store. After the organization of
the twenty-sixth agricultural district, composed of the counties of Sacramento
and .\mador. he was elected its president and held the office for seven years,
exercising his official prerogatives to advance the farming interests of this sec-
tion f)f the state. His labors were very effective and he was regarded as a most
capable official. Further political honors awaited him, for, in 1884 he was
elected a member of the general as-sembly and served on several important com-
mittees, among which were committees on mines and mining and county gov-
ernment. For the third term he is now filling the office of county sheriflf and
will have served in that capacity for ten years on the expiration of his present
term. He is prompt, reliable, courageous and fearless in the discharge of his
duty, influenced by no political associations or personal favoritism. He has
been jjarticularly successful in arresting the criminals that have infested this
section of the state, including a notorious band of couiiterfeiters, and .Amador
county is now practically free from crime. Mr. Gregory is regarded as a Gib-
raltar of strength and protection by the law-abiding citizens and with feelings
of ilisiike by those who have no regard for justice and right. His course has
been consistent, winning him high regard.

In March, 1871, j\Ir. Gregory was married to Miss Ella Fythian. a native
of Ohio, and to them have been born two children : Mary L., who is now clerk-
ing in her father's office; and Charles Joseph, who is now serving as one of
liis father's deputies. Mr. Gregory has been a lifelong Democrat, active in sup-
jxirt of the ])arty, and socially he is connected with the -Ancient Order of United
Workmen, in which he is a past master. A citizen of honor and worth, he has
a wide acquaintance, and his circle of friends is verv extensive.


< UK' .1 mc (ii-ungui.shed members of the bar of Glenn county. California,
is Judge I-'rank Moody, who has won an eminent jxjsition as a representative of
the legal profession, gaining honors that man'- an older practitioner might
well covet. .\ man of .strong mentality, whose mind is keenly analytical and
whose judgment is rarely at fault, he' has gained many notable forensic tri-


imiphs and is accountetl one of the distinguished la\v}'ers of his section of the

A native of ^lissouri, tlie Judge was born in Platte count}', that state, on
the 15th of February, 1S67. His father, James Moody, was a native of Ken-
tucky and a farmer by occupation. During his boyhood he removed to Mis-
souri and subsecjuently emigrated to Cahfornia, spending his last days in Los.
Angeles, where he died, at the age of seventy-three years. His wife bore the
maiden name of Sarah Jasper and was born in Virginia. Her death occurred
in Missouri, when she had attained the age of forty-eight years. In their fam-
ily were ten children, seven of whom are yet living, one of the number being-
a minister of the Baptist church, while two are members of the legal profession
and another brother is devoting his energies to educational work.

The Judge spent the first sixteen years of his life in the state of his nativity,
and then, with his father, crossed the plains to California. He was reared at
his parental home and acquired his elementary education in the district schools^
but home courses in reading added largely to his knowledge; and when he took
upon the study of law he had a broad fund of general information to ser\-e as a
foundation upon which to rear the superstructure of professional learning. He
was twenty-two years of age when he began reading law in the office and under
the direction of James G. Scarborough. He continued with that gentleman for
four years, during which time he applied himself earnestly to the mastery of the
principles of jurisprudence, and on the expiration of that period he was admit-
ted to the bar in Los Angeles, on the 7th of April, 1891. For two years there-
after he remained with his former preceptor, gaining a practical knowledge of
the methods of courtrooms, and then removed to Santa Ana, where he con-
tinued for three years.

When that period had passed he came to Glenn C(_iunty, locating in Willow,
where he has since made his home. During his residence in Santa ,Vna he
served as assistant district attorney, and his experience and study continually
added to his fund of knowledge and made him one of the best informed law-
yers at the bar in this section of the state. He throws himself easily and natur-
ally into an argument, with a self-possession and deliberation which indicates
no striving after effect. There is, on the other hand, a precision and clearness in
his statements and acuteness and strength in his arguments which speaks a mind
trained in the severest schools of investigation, and to which a close reasoning
is habitual and easy. In November, 1894, he was elected a judge of the super-
ior court for a four-years'term, and upon the bench his record was most credit-
able. His decisions were extremely fair and impartial, being based upon a thor-
ough knowledge of judicious principles, accurately applied to the points in

On the 28th of April, 1897, occurred the marriage of Judge Aloody and
Miss Rita French, a daughter of Milton French, one of the esteemed residents
of Glenn county. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church and
occupy an enviable position in social circles where true worth and intelligence
are received as a passport into good society. Li his social relations the Judge is '
a Mason and enjoys the warm regard of his brethren in the craft. In politics


tlic fiulge lias alwavs l)eeii a standi Democrat since casting his first presidential
ball<')t for (;n,)ver Cleveland. His professional prominence, as well as his social
IK>siti(>n. renders liim one of the leading and influential citizens of the commu-
nity. At the bar his fidelity to his clients' interests is proverbial, yet he never
forgets that he owes a higher allegiance to the majesty of the law. His dili-
gence and energy in the preparation of his cases, as well as the earnestness,
tenacitv and courage with whicli he defends the right, as he understands it,
challenges the highest admiration of his associates. He invariably seeks to
present his arguments in the strong, clear light of common reasoning and sound
logical principles, and upon the bench he was inspired by an innate inflexible
love of justice and a delicate sense of personal honor, wliich has controlled
him in all life's relations.

In this connection it will be interesting to learn something of the history
of the family to which Mrs. Moody belongs. Her father, Milton French, was
born in Callaway county. Missouri, June 23, 1833, and is a son of John and
Jane ( Clark) P'rench, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Ken-
tucky. His parents both died in Missouri. In their family were eight chil-
dren, and as the parents were in somewhat limited circumstances Milton French
started out in life on liis own account at the earh* age of twelve years, and what-
ever success he achieved from that time forward was due entirely to his own
efforts. For a time he worked by the month as a farm hand, and in 1850, after
the discovery of gold in California, he determined to seek his fortune upon the
Pacific slope.

On the /th of May. that year, he joined a party of seventy-five members
that with mule teams made the journey across the wide and arid plains to the
GoUlen state, where they arrived on the 27th of August. For six years Mr.
French engaged in mining and herding cattle, and in 1856 he returned to the
east, where he purchased a large drove of cattle, with which he came to Cali-
fornia, in 1857. taking up his abode at Chico, Colusa county. Since that time
he has been extensively engaged in the raising of cattle, having a very large
ranch alwut thirteen miles from the town. When he took up his abode' on his
present farm it was destitute of all improvements; but as the years passed he
added all the accessories and conveniences known to a model farm. Good
buiklings were erected and from time to time the boundaries of the place were
extended by additional purchases of land until he became the owner of fourteen
thousand acres. This large ranch is under his personal supervision, and in the
management of his property he has been very successful, lieing known as one
of the most jirosperous as well as one of the leading and influential citizens of
the community.

Mr. l-rench was united in marriage to Miss Salona Elizabeth Williams.
who was iM.rn in Missouri and came to California with her parents, Xathan
P. an.I Sarah ( Rice) Williams, about 1853. Her mother is still living, but her
father died in Dixoii. They were prominent southern people and had the
high regard of all who knew them. Unto M,-. and Mrs. French were born three
clnl.lrcii : Rita, now Mrs. Moody: Xalalia. now Mrs. Eogle: and Currv. Mrs.
I-rench and her daughters are members of the Baptist church. Mr. French gives


his political support to the Democracy, having been identified with that party
since casting his first presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas. In connection
with his farming interests Mr. French has other property, being part owner
of a business block in Willow. He is also the vice-president of the Bank of
Willow, and is accounted one of the leading business men in this section of the
state. He deserves great credit for his success and may well be termed a self-
made man, for the difficulties and obstacles in his path he has overcome by deter-
mined purpose and has steadily worked his way upward to a jMsition of


John Raddatz, the proprietor of the Sutter Creek Brewery, is a native of
Germany, born on the 23d of X' i\ ember, 1845. He was educated in that coun-
try and in 1872 left home, taking passage on a westward-bound vessel for New
York. On reaching the new world he made his home in Oxford, New Jersey,
where he obtained work in an iron mine and remained for five years. During
that time he married Miss Wilhelmina King, also a native of Germany, and
before they removed to New Jersey, their union was blessed with two children,
—Lena and Lizzie.

Li 1878 Mr. Raddatz came with his family to California, accepting a
position in the Gwin mine, in Calaveras county, where he continued for five
years, after which he came to Sutter Creek. Here he was employed in the Maho-
ney mine and also worked for some time at Plymouth in the chlorination works.
Li 1 89 1 he returned to Sutter Creek and purchased the brewery owned by L.
Robolt. In this enterprise he was associated with A. Ludwick, the partner-
ship continuing for eight months, when Mr. Raddatz bought out Mr. Lud-
wick's interest, becoming the sole manager. He has since rebuilt and remodeled
the brewery and now has an excellent plant, brewing an article of beer from
California hops and barley. The high grade of his product commands for it
a ready sale on the market. After coming to California the family circle was
increased by the birth of five children, but two little sons died, one at the age
of a year and the other at the age of three months. The daughters born in
California are Pauline, Minnie and Carrie. The eldest daughter is her father's
clerk and is a bright, capable young lady. The other daughters are all at home.
The parents are Lutherans in their religious faith and Mr. Raddatz is a Demo-
crat in his political faith, but is not strongly partisan, voting for the man whom
he thinks is best fitted for the office. His home is a very attractive residence
situated in the midst of tasteful grounds, and the family enjoy the high regard
of many friends in the locality.


.\n enumeration of those men of the present generation who have won
honor and public recognition for themselves, ami at the same time ha\-e hon-
ored the state to which they belong, would be incomplete were there failure to


make prominent reference to tlie one whose name initiates tliis paragraph. He
has left liis impress indelibly upon the political history of California, as well
as upon the business life of "the capital city. He has been and is distinctively
a man of affairs, and one who has wielded a wide influence. A strong mentality,
an invincible courage, a most determined individuality have so entered into his
make-up as to render him a natural leader of men and a director of opinions.
As the president of the People's Savings Bank of Sacramento, he is an impor-
tant factor in financial circles, and his management of this institution reflects
credit not only upon himself but also on the city of his adoption.

Mr. Beckman is a native of the Empire state, his birth having occurred in
Herkimer county. New York, on the 19th of December, 1832. He is of Ger-
man parentage, and during the infancy of their son William the parents
removed to Illinois, locating on a farm in Du Page county. There the subject
of this review spent his early boyhood days, becoming familiar with all the
duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He assisted in the
work of the fields through the summer months and attended the district school
of the neighborhood in winter seasons until fourteen j'cars of age, when he left
the parental roof to enter upon an independent business career. He has since
been dependent upon his own efTforts, so that the success he has achieved is the
merited reward of his enterprise and diligence. His life demonstrates most
forcibly the possibilities that are afforded young men of ambition and energy
in a land where honest effort is unhampered by caste or class. He began earn-
ing his own living in the humble capacity of stage-driver and was thus employed
until 185 1. Two years previously gold had been discovered in California, and
the state still offered an excellent field to those who wished to avail themselves
of the opportunity of making money rapidly. With the hope of bettering his
financial condition, therefore, Mr. Beckman started for California, arriving
in Sacramento in January, 1852.

Through the following summer he worked in the mines in Trinity county,
and in 1853 he became the proprietor of a hotel in Sacramento, successfully con-
ducting that enterprise for five years. In 1857 he took up his residence upon
a farm near Florin, in Sacramento county, where he lived for fifteen years,
devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits, and making his place one of the
most valuable and highly improved farming properties of the locality. He also
engaged extensively in stock-raising, making a specialty of hogs and cattle.
In 1S79 lie became connected with the banking interests of Sacramento, being
elected the ])rcsident of the People's Savings Bank on its organization. He
has since served in that capacity, and under his able management it has become
one of the leading and reliable institutions of the state. Its business policy is
marked by a safe conservatism in loans and investments and from the begin-
ning prosperity has attended the enterprise.

In 1876 Mr. and Mrs. Beckman went abroad, spending two vears in
Europe, during which time they visited most of the places "of historic and
modern interest on the c<Mitinent and in Great Britain, together with the most
famous .scenes of the Old World. In 1900 they again visited the Old World,
visiting the Paris exposition and other places of interest. .\ volume is now
being printed giving the personal experiences and items of interest as gleaned


by jMrs. Beckman while abroad. Tliey are people of refinement, holding an
en\iable i)(isition in the social circles of Sacramento.

l'"( ir many years Mr. Beckman has taken a deep and active interest in
])i)litical affairs, and keeps well informed on the Cjuestions and issues of the day.
While residing upon his farm he served for ten years as a member of the county
board of supervisors, representing the fifth district. In 1875 he was the Repub-
lican nominee for state treasurer, but the entire ticket was defeated. He, how-
ever, received ten thousand more votes than the candidate for governor. He
served for three years as fire commissioner of Sacramento, and in 1890 was
elected one of the railroad commissioners of the state, in which capacity he
served for four years. He is a man of unassailable integrity, and no trust
reposed in him, whether of a public or private nature, has ever been betrayed.
In his business he has manifested a far-seeing judgment, indomitable resolu-
tion and marked enterprise. — qualities which always insure success and which
have made him one of the most prosperous citizens of Sacramento. At all times
his career has commanded uniform confidence and respect, and to-day he stands
among the honored and eminent citizens of the Golden state.


The subject of this sketch, Andrew Jackson ]'"lsliree, is a well known and
highly esteemed early settler of Sonora, Tuolumne cnuntw Califnrnia, who
came to the state in 1855. He was born in Fall Ri\cr, Massachusetts. Septem-
ber 18. 1S28, his ancestry being easily traced to the landing of the Pilgrims on
Plymouth Rock. His parents were John and Susan (Sanford) Elsbree, the
mother also descending from an. old New England family. Her sister, Mrs.
IMartha Tinkhan, is still living near Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of eighty-
nine, showing remarkable vigor for one of her advanced years. Mr. Elsbree
was a nailer by trade, an industrious and temperate man, but his death occurred
at the early age of thirty-eight, and nur subject is the only survivor of the
four children. ]Mrs. Elsbree died at the early age of twenty-nine years.

Andrew J. Elsbree was educated in his native town, and at the age of
seventeen began a seafaring life, going almost over the world. He cast
anchor in forty-two seaports, sailing on commercial vessels and on the warships
Albany and Franklin, and following the sea for nine years. He then took
passage from New York to San Francisco, by way of the isthmus, arriving
there June 7, 1855, and thence making his way to Jamestown, Tuolumne
county. Here our subject began placer-mining, remembering his stepmother
with a gift of the first gold he took out of the river.

Mr. Elsbree worked at various claims in Columbia with the usual amount
of success and failure familiar to the California placer miner, but finally came
to the spot in Sonora upon which his pleasant home now stands, known as
the Greaser Gulch. A small ravine runs through the rear portion of the prop-
erty, and in 1858 he took from this ravine from thirty to forty dollars per
day, taking out forty-four ounces of gold in one week, and in ten weeks
he had taken out three thousand, four hundred and eighty-one dollars. He


is still digged in mining on liis own place, and upon one occassion took
out a nugget weighing six and a halt pounds! Upon one part of his prop-
erty stands his tine residence, tlie fruit and ornamental trees surrounding it hav-
ing been planted hv his own hands.

Mr. Elsbree was married November 23, 1S67, to Mrs. Pamelia C. Tucker.
a native of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the widow of a soldier in the Civil
war, who suffered at Andersonville and finally gave up his life for his country.
His one son, George Tucker, resides in Oakdale and is a splendid specimen of
inanh(jod, being considered the strongest man in Tuolumne county. Of the
family born to Mr. and Mrs. Elsbree, Andrew Eugene was killed in a mine acci-
dent at the age of twenty-seven ; he had been successful in his mining opera-
tions, taking out as much as five thousand dollars in one month ; .Alonzo E.
is a cigar manufacturer of Sonora; Susan S. is the wife of Eli Miller; Fannie,
the wife of Henry Ball; and Sadie, Charles. Hattie and Laura, are at their
parental home. I'his is a highly respected family, well known throughout the

Our subject has seen many changes in this locality. He has often beei:
placed in positions where he was obliged to exert great shrewdness to avoid
personal violence. Being well known as a man of courage, he was made deputy
constable, with full power to keep the peace, and for twenty-three years and
sf^vcn months was night watchman ior the city of Sonora, being the oldest night
watchman in the state. Many thrilling experiences and hairbreadth escapes has
he had in the prosecution of his duty, and ever has he been loyal to those whom
he served. At all times he was assisted bv his faithful dog "Rover," which on
a I. umber of occasions was instrumental in the saving of his life. Night Watch-
man Elsbree and his dog "Rover," are widely known in their section of the
state to both desperado and the law-abiding citizen.

Socially Mr. Elsbree is an Odd p-ellow, joining the order in 1856, and is
one of the oldest members in California. He is also connected with the
Ch(jsen Friends. In politics Mr. Elsl)ree is a stanch Republican and has done
much for his party. Although seventy-two years old, our subject is as well
preserved as many younger men. his vigor testifying to a life of virtuous activ-
ity. He is one of the best representatives of the earlv settler to be found in
Tuolumne county.


Powell S. Laws<in is one of the California ".VrgDnauis," who in search of
the "golden fleece" came to the Pacific coast in T849, enduring all the hard-
ships and trials of the long and tedious voyage around Cape Horn. The his-
tory of pioneer life in California is very familiar to him, for he was an active
parlicijiant in the eveiUs which framed the annals of the state. He was here
through the i)cri(id when, without the restraining hand of law. mob violence
was often executed; but later the men who believed in order and justice took
affairs into their own hands and chaos was followed by a righteous rule. The

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 36 of 108)