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 38 of 108)
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him. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights
of Pythias fraternity and the George H. Thomas Post, No. 2, G. A. R. In
addition to his store he owns a good residence in Amador City, and is one
of the valued representatives of the town who contribute liberally to every
measure calculated to prove a general good. He is as true to-day to his
county, his state and his country as when he followed the stars and stripes
upon the battle-fields of the south.


In connection with the stock-raising interests of central California no
name is more familiar than that of Albert DeForest Miller, whose labors
have iir.t only brought to him individual success but have also been of great
benefit in pn^moting the interests of stock-raisers by improving the grade
of horses and thereby advancing prices. He is a reliable business man.
widely known and everywhere esteemed for his honorable methods.

Mr. \Iiller was born in Onondaga county. New York, February 7. 1844.
His father. Henry Miller, was also a native of the Empire state, and after
arriving at years f)f maturity he wedded Julia Adams, who was born in
Oneida county. New York, in 181 1. His parents emigratedl westward,
locating in Walworth. Wisconsin, and in 1844 became residents of Colum-
bia county, that state. In i860 the Miller family, numbering twelve mciu-
liers. started overland for California with five v.-agons, beginning the journey


on the 7th of May. On the nth of October, 1S60, they reached Sacra-
mento county, and Mr. Henry Miller, the father of our subject, took up his
abode in Brighton township, where he rented a farm for two years. In the
winter of 1862-3 he returned to the east, wliere he remained for a year,
but from 1864 until the time of his death he resided continuously in Sacra-
mento county. Both he and his wife spent their last days at the home of
their son Albert. Their children are: W. B., who died in Ventura county
a few years ago; Mrs. Schafer; ^^^ A., who died in Sacramento county a
few years since; Sophia, who married Mr. Powderly and after his death
became the wife of Mr. Townsend; Allen DeLorin, of San Francisco; Sarah,
who died in New York; Albert; Sanford DeLorin, who died in Wisconsin;
George Alonzo, who resides near Yreka, California ; Frederick, a farmer of
Oregon.; JNIiner Adelbert, a farmer of Eldorado county; Henry, who resides
near Yreka, California; Josephine Elizabeth, the wife of Henry West, of
Sacramento: and Sarah, the wife of Charles Robinson, of Sacramento.

\Mien the father of the family returned to the east Albert DeForest
Miller was left in charge of the home and the children, most of whom were
younger than he. During the flood of 1861-2 he was operating a tract of
rented land. The wind storm carried his house ten or twelve feet from
its foundation, upsetting everything within and carrying the kitchen fifty
yards away, but injuring no one, although eight persons were in the house
at the time. They were rescued by boats. Mr. Miller plowed his land and
sowed his crops between floods and raised seventeen hundred bushels of
wheat and barley that season, hauling the same to Folsom. In 1862 he
removed to a farm just east of Brighton, and from 1863 until 1S67 he fol-
lowed teaming o\-er the mountains, using six horses to the wagon. In 1864
his crops were not xtvy large, and during the fall he worked on the canal
in Yolo county, but found this an unpr(jfitable venture.

In 1866 he purchased eighty acres of land in Brighton township, built
a house upon it and followed farming and teaming for others. Subse-
quently he engaged in agricultural pursuits and speculated in live stock and
hay, tliis proving his first really successful enterprise, and was the foundation
of his present prosperity. In 1868 he rented and cultivated three hundred
and twenty acres of land in Yolo township. His farm in Brighton township
comprises two hundred and forty acres and is largely devoted to stock-raising.
He was one of the, pioneers in the breeding of fine horses in California. He
owns the offspring of the famous stallions Morgan, Messenger and Black
Hawk, and in 1880 he bred to Governor Stanford's horse Young John Nel-
son. He has raised some of the finest horses produced on the Pacific slope.
From the time of his early boyhood Mr. Miller has manifested a special
fondness for horses, and has displayed excellent judgment in their care.
He is to-dav a recognized leader in his line of business, and his success is
well merited.

On the 28th of December. 1868, Mr. Miller was united in marriage to
Mrs. ]\Iargaret J. Lea. who was born on Prince Edward's Island July 4, 1848.
and was reared in Boston, Massachusetts, coming to California in 1862.
By her first marriage she had one daughter, Annie R.. Six children were


born to Mr. and Mrs. Miller, two of whom died in early childhood. They
are: Mina .\lberta. born Xovember 13. 1869; Arthur Eugene, born Feb-
ruary J/. 1872; .\my Elizabeth, born July 23, 1874; Bertha Belle, born
September 9. 1877: Ruby May, who died February 9. 1885. at the age of
twenty months; and Leland Stanford, born January 2"/, 1886, who died
at the age of four years. The living children are: ]Mina Alberta, who
resides with her parents on the farm ; Arthur Eugene, who is married and
is now a promising young attorney of Sacramento; and Amy and Bertha,
who also are married.

Mr. Miller casts his xote in support of Re]nil)!ican principles and is a
stanch advocate of the party, yet has never sought or desired political pre-


The subject of the ])re.sent sketch is one of the highly respected old
settlers of California, having arrived in the state on the 26th of June. 1831.
He was born in the city of London. England, on the 9th of. June, 1828. and
was of English and Huguenot ancestry. His father, Thomas Bell Peachey,
was a native of England, born in (jreenwich, and followed the occupation
of sailor, l)eing' present at the siege of Copenhagen, where he received a
wound on the shin from the bursting of a shell. He served seven years
in the British navy, following the same life for the next fifteen years before
the mast, after which time he engaged in liusiness as a painter; but in 1843
he came to America. He remained in New York city, where his line of
work was so superior that he soon was engaged as the superintendent of
the paint shops where the vessels belonging to Commodore Vanderliilt
received their coats of paint. Eight years later he resolved to try the gold
fields and took the trip to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama.

Our subject and his three sisters had come from England with their
father and our subject accompanied him to California: the following year
his brother Henry came, and in 1857 his mother, followed by his sister,
Lucy Jane, who is now Mrs. Lewis, a widow, living at San Andreas. The
maiden name of this Spartan mother who had crossed sea and land to join
her loved ones had been Mary Ann Garard. She had married Thomas Bell
Peachey December 22. 18 16. After joining her husband they resided on
Little Johnnie creek: but Mr. Peachey did not make a marked success of
mining, although he visited .several localities. He died October 15. 1884,
aged eighty-three years, his wife ha\ing preceded him two years before,
at the age of eighty-two. They had li\ed lives of honest industry and died
with the respect of those who had known them in life.

l"ntil his fourteenth year Thomas G. Peachey attended school in Lon-
don, England, and in his fifteenth year accompanied his parent to the L'nited
States. He learned his father's trade and was with him in all of his min-
ing experiences, a strong afYection binding them together, ^^'hen the Repub-
lican party was formed Mr. Peachey took a strong interest in its principles
and became well known throughout his section as an able and progressive


man. He was made superintendent of schools for his county in 1880, serv-
ing in that capacity for three years under the new constitution of the state.
He was a member of the board of education and taught school in the county
for twenty-three years, taking a deep and earnest interest in the education
of the youth. Ivlany of the best educated men of the country, who were
then of the rising generation, were his pupils and gladly and thankfully
testify to his faithful efforts in their behalf. In 1891 his fellow citizens
honored him by securing his appointment as postmaster of his town, under
the administration of President Harrison, wdiich position he filled in the
most satisfactory manner. In the same year he was appointed notary public,
and has since done much work in that office.

Mr. Peachey was married, August 3, 1870, to Miss Charlotte C. Fletcher,
but on March 7, 1872, the young wife passed away, an infant of a year also
dying June 9, thus doubly bereaving him. Eight years later, January 3,
1880, he was united in marriage to Miss Jane Brucella Price, and two little
daughters have been added to the family, — Lucetta Maybel and Bertha May.
They are left to comfort their father, as Mrs. Peachey died April 2, 1885.
He considers that he has been particularly blessed in having had the com-
panioiiship of two as lovely characters as were both of his wives.

One of the most admired cottages in the village of Altaville, adjoining
Angel's Camp, was bought by Mr. Peachey, where he has a small farm of
four acres, a small space of garden land and a valuable cjuartz mine. Mr.
Peachey conducts also a cigar store and is the only wdiolesale dealer in the
newspaper business in .\ngers Camp. His long residence in California has
made him familiar with many legal points ancl his advice is much sought
by litigants.

Socially he is a member of the I. O. O. F. organization and has been
so for thirty-five years, a veteran of the order. His classical knowledge and
literary attainments make him a reliable authoritv on many points. He
has the merited reputation of being one of California's honorable and
respected pioneers.


William C. Farnsworth was born December 21 1828, in Brooke couniy,
Virginia, and is a son of Seba and Hulda (Shaw) Farnsw^orth. The ances-
tral history of this family can be traced back to a very early epoch in the
settlement of America. On Ijoth sides he is of English lineage. In 1628
two brothers of the name of Farnsworth left their home in England and
on one of the primitive sailing vessels of that early day crossed the broad
Atlantic to the new world, there to found families whose representatives are
now living in many states of the Union. One of the brothers located in
Boston, where he engaged in merchandising: the other took up his abode
in New Hampshire. It is from the latter that our subject is descended.

Calvin Farnsworth, the paternal grandfather, was born in New Eng-
land, whence he removed to Virginia in 181 2. From that state he went
to New Orleans, where he died of cholera, when about thirty-live years of


age. He married Lydia Haskett, who died in \'irginia, at the age of sixty-
seven years. Selja Farnsworth, the father of our snl^ject. was born in Xew
Hampshire, and in 1812 accompanied his parents on their removal to Vir-
ginia, wliere lie learned the trade of manufacturing woolen goods. He also
followed that pursuit in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and after a time began
business on his own account in tlie Old Dominion, where he remained until
about 1832, v.hen he removed with his family to Ohio. He was married
to Miss Hulda Shaw, also a native of New Hampshire and a daughter of
William and Elizabeth Siiaw, who were residents of New England, whence
they removed to Steuben, Oliio, dying in the Buckeye state. The former
was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and also in tlie French and Indian
war. and went with Wolfe to Quebec, taking part in the capitulation of
that city. He died when more than sixt}^ years of age, and his wife passed
away after reaciiing the ninetieth mile-stone on life's journey. Seba Farns-
■worth continued his residence in Ohio for a time, but subsequently went to
West \'irginia, and in 18^2, accompanied by his wife and five children,
started to California, making the journey across the arid plains of the
west. On the way one of the children was drowned. Eventually reaching
the Tiolden state a location was made in Eldorado county, where for some
time Mr. Farnsworth conducted an old-fashioned tavern. About 1870 he
renin\ed to Sacramento, where he spent the last days of his life, dying at
the age of seventy-three years. His wife was called to heir final rest when
living in Eldorado county, at the age of sixty-five years.

W'illiam C. Farnsworth, whose name introduces this review, spent his
childiiood days under the parental roof, remaining at home until 184Q, when,
attracted l)y the discovery of gold in California, lie came to the Pacific slope.
This was three years before the emigration of the family. With a party
of seven men he started from \\'est \^irginia and after a long and tedious
journey of six months reached Eldorado county. There he engaged in
mining through the first winter and in the spring of 1850 went to Placer
county, where he devoted his energies to mining for two years. At the
ex])iration of that period he met his parents and aided them in establishing
a hdine. \\'ith the mining interests of the state he was connected until the
fall of i860, when he removed to Sacramento, where he learned the car-
penter's trade of his brother-in-law, following that pursuit through the
twelve successive years. He became an expert workman and in 1869 removed
to Portland, Oregon, being identified with the building interests of that
city until 1S72. On his return to Sacramento county in the latter year he
became connected witli tlie dairy business in Richland, but after a year came
to the city nf Sacramento, where he has since made his home. Through
the past twenty-two years he lias been connected with the improvement of
the cemetery grounds and is now in charge of many plats in the city of the
dead. He served as sexton from 1877 until 1884 and again from 1888
until 1892.

On the .;th of May. 1868, Mr. Farnsworth was united in to
Miss Mercy Baker, who was born in Towa, and bv her marriage she became
tlic mother of seven children, three of whom are yet living, namely: Mercy,


at home; Percy E., of Sacramento, who is married and has one son; and
Grace E. One of the family died at the age of three years and three of the
children ched in infancy. The H\ing ciiildren have aU been provided with
excellent educational privileges, and Mercy has been a student in the normal
at San Jose and in the Leland Stanford University. The family attend the
Congregational church. Mr. Farnsworth is a member of the Ancient Order
of United Workmen. In politics he was a Whig until 1852, and his first
vote was cast for the governor of California. He is now a Democrat on
national issues, but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to devote his
time and energies to his business interests, in which he has met with credit-
able success. He has gained for himself a ccimfni-table competence and is
now practically living retired.


Charles W. Long is occupying the position of constable, and is one
of the reliable and popular officers of Nevada county. He is of German
lineage, but for many generations the family has been a resident in Amer-
ica, the ad\-ent of his ancestors in the new world antedating the war of the

Mr. Long is a native of the Hawkeye state, his birth having occurred'
near Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, on the 14th of December. 1849. His father,
Winthrop S. Long, was a native of New Hampshire, whence he removed
to the west in 1845. For a number of years he occupied the position of
purser on a line of steamboats on the Mississippi river, plying between St.
Louis and New Orleans. Attracted by the discovery of gold in California,
he resumed his westward journey and made his wav to the mines of Placer-
ville, where for some years he devoted his energies to the search for tlie
precious metal. Some years later he became a resident of Nevada county,
and his fellow townsmen recognizing his worth and ability called him to
public office in 1877, by electing him assessor of Nevada City. He filled
that position until 1882, when his life's labors were ended in death. His
wife, whose maiden name was Nancy Jane Neice, was born in Pennsylvania
in 1 8 19. and belonged to one of the early and prominent families of that
state. She was relatetl to the well known Cary familj', among whose mem-
bers was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Mr. Long now has in
his possession some of the teaspoons which originally belonged to Rachel
Cary, of Philadelphia, one of the early members of the family in America.
Mr. and Mrs. Long became the parents of three children, only Qne of whom,
C. W. Long, is living.

The subject of this review, the second of the family, was reared and
educated in Nevada county, for it was during his earlv infancy that the
family came to California. He completed his education in 1864, and after-
ward entered upon his business career, working in the mines and in a mill.
Four years were thus passed, during which time he became an expert in
his capacitv as a batteryman. In 1868 he took up his abode in Truckee,
and in 1873 was appointed deputy constable under J. R. Cross. In 1891


he was elected constable and is now ser\ ing his fourth term in the position,
his incmnhency continuing until 1903. He discharges the arduous duties
which devolve upon iiim in a most creditable manner, and no higher testi-
monial of his service could be given than the fact tliat he has been continued
in the office for so many years.

In Julv. 1876. Mr. Long was united in marriage to Miss Linnie D.
Erratt, a native of Maine and a daughter of Stephen G. Erratt. a native
of London. England, wiio is numbered among the California pioneers of
1849. Socially Mr. Long affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Work-
men and with tiie Knights of Pythias of Truckee, and has filled ail the
offices in both organizations. He was at one time identified with the Order
of Red Men and the Foresters. Politically he is allied with the progressive
wing of the Democratic party, and he takes a deep and active interest in
ix)litical affairs, keeping wdl informed on the issues of the day. He belongs
to that class of progressive and public-spirited citizens who give a substantial
support to the measures which they believe will prove a public good. One
of the honored pioneers of the state, he has watched the wonderful growth
and progress which have transformed California in the past few centuries
from a trackless wild into one of the leading states of the Union. At the
time of his arrival the mountain fastnesses were the haunts of wild beasts
and savage men. for the Indian tribes roamed through the forests at will.
Little mining settlements indicated the beginning of civilization, and with
the passing years the work of jirogress was carried forward. In the com-
munity in which he has made his home Mr. Long aided in the work of
advancement and upbuilding, and well does he deserve mention among the
honored early settlers and reliable citizens of northern California.


George \\'ithington. deceased, who for many years was a leading resi-
dent of lone, was one of the most highly respected pioneers of California.
The town of Shingle Spring. Eldorado county, stands as a monument to his
memory, for he was its founder and to it he gave its name. He was born
in the state of New York, at the foot of Lake Geneva, Seneca county, on
the loth <if May. 1821, and when two years of age accompanied his parents
on their removal to Monroe, ^Michigan, which state was then under terri-
torial government and was situated almost upon the border of civilization.
There he grew to manhood aniid the scenes of pioneer life, and on the 3d
of December. 1845, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Kirby. Their union
was blessed with three children, but Mrs. Augusta Welsh is now the only
survivor of the family.

In the spring of 1849. attracted by the discovery of gold in California.
Mr. Withington crossed the plains, arriving at Sacramento on the 15th of
.\ngust of that year. He made his way to the present site of Shingle Spring
and there he built a shingle mill in September, 1849. In the following month
he erected the first shingled house in the town and in upper California. His
liome fanned the nucleus .nronnd which sprang the village, and he called


the place Shingle Spring, but the post-olifice is simply known by the first
name. Shingle. In 1851 he sold his property there and removed to lone
valley, in Amador county, settling on a farm on Dry creek, between the Swift
and Perkry places. This proiaerty was afterward declared by the court to
be a part of the Arroyo Seco grant, and with many others he was dispossessed
of his farm. In 1S55 he removed to Muletown and built the first shingled
house in that place. Two years later he took up his abode in lone and in
1857 erected a good brick residence on the banks of the creek, just below
the town.

In 1877 ]Mr. W'ithington was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife.
They were charter members of the Presbyterian church at lone, which was
erected in 1862, and in its work they took an active part, Mr. Withington
long serving as one of its ofiicers. Seven years passed and on the 3d of
December, 1884, he was united in marriage to Mrs. S. J. Maddux, the
widow of James Maddux, an early and prominent settler of Sacramento,
who was widely and favorably known as a business man and citizen. She
had four children by her first marriage. Mr. Withington attained the ripe
old age of seventy-eight years, and was known among his friends as "Uncle"
George Withington. He was one of the first elders in the Presbyterian
church at lone and was an exemplary man, enjoying the unciualified con-
fidence of his fellow citizens by reason of his honorable career. Mrs. With-
ington, a most estimable lady, still survives him and enjoys the warm friend-
ship of many of the leading people of the county.


Joseph Hannibal Gassaway is the proprietor of the Excelsior Dairy, of
Grass Valley, and the success he has achieved has been won as a result of
the improvement of the opportunities which surrounded him. He is one
of California's native sons, his birth having occurred in Nevada county
September 22, 1863. His father. James Gassaway, was born in Kentucky,
but the family is of Welsh lineage, the original American ancestors having
come from Wales with Lord Baltimore. James Gassaway was a carpenter
by trade. In 1857 he crossed the plains to California, locating in Nevada
county, where he followed farming and mining, meeting with very desirable-
success in the latter undertaking. His death occurred in 1883. Before
leaving the state of his nativity he was united in marriage to Miss Olevia
Gassaway, who also was a native of Kentucky but was not related to him
through family ties. They became the jiarents of se\en children. Joseph
H. being the third in order of birth.

In the public schools of Nevada county Mr. Gassaway, of this review,
became familiar with the branches of English learning which fit one for
the practical duties of life. He laid aside his text-books in 1881, and then
became connected with the dairy business, with which he was familiar from
boyhood, his father being the owner of a farm. At this writing Mr. Gassa-
way has charge of the Huntly ranch, three miles west of Grass Valley, which
he is operating under lease. He milks forty-two cows and sells milk and


cream to tiie residents of Grass \'alley and people of that vicinity. His
business is now extensive and brings to liini a good income. From 1S89
to 1893 he was actively engaged in mining, filling the position of foreman
of the old Pennsylvania mine during that period.

Mr. Gassaway was united in marriage, in 1893, to Miss Annie S. Harry,
a native of Xe\ada county and a daughter of Alexander E. Harry, a native
of Cornwall, England. Tliey have two children living. Reta and Katie,
and have also lost two daughters. Mr. Gassaway is a valued member of
the .Ancient Order of Foresters, tlie Knights of "Honor, and Independent
Order of Odd Fellows ; and politically is a Republican, but has never sought
or desired office, preferring to give his time and attention to his business

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 38 of 108)