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 42 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 42 of 108)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

tion of teaming with oxen, hauling logs to the sawmill. After four years
his wife returned on a visit to her relatives in the east and remained there
for two years, when she returned to her husband in California and they
resided in San Francisco for some time. Subsequently they went to XajKi
valley and Mr. Linn aided in the erection of a large elevator at Vallejo,
where he was also engaged in other important work. Li 1876 he purchased
his farm of one hundred and sixty acres about a mile from the town of
Towle. He was for six years in the employ of the Towle Brothers hauling
logs for them to the mills and was a most fortunate and capable man in the
lumber business.

While residing in Amador county he creditably filled the office of county
assessor. He had in youth been an advocate of the Democracy, but his
love for his country caused him to vote for Abraham Lincoln when it
seemed imminent that the country would become involved in civil war. From
that time until his death he was found in the ranks of the Republican party,
earnestly sunporting its men and measures. He was also a valued memlier
wf the independent Order of Odd Fellows. On the 9th of April, 1883, he
departed this life and the community mourned the loss of one of its valued
citizens and his family a faithful husband and father. He w'as w'idely and
favorably known throughout the county and he left to his family the price-
less heritage of a good name. He was survived by his widow and three
children, — William E., Hattie H. and John Albert. The daughter is now
the wife of Charles H. Decker. The younger son is in the employ of Towle
Brothers Company, and is the tallest man in Placer county, being six feet,
seven and one-half inches in height, his weight being two hundred and thirty-
five pounds. The eldest son, ^Villianl E. Linn, married Hattie M. Lee, a
daughter of William Lee. a respected pioneer and neighbor of the Linn fam-
ily. One child graces the marriage, Mable Clare, \^'illiam E. Linn is
operating the home farm, which is carried on under the direction of his
and his mother's management. They have fourteen hundred winter-apple
trees on the farm ami have sold fruit to the value of three thousand dollars
in a single season. They also raise other products on the farm, such as
hay and vegetables, and even their sales of butter and eggs are extensive.
This is one of the valuable farming properties of the county and is improved


witli ri guild residence and all modern conveniences and accessories. Will-
iam E. Linn is a member of tlie Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His
mother is a member of the Rebekah and Oriental Eastern Star lodges. The
family is one of prominence in the community, enjoying a wide 'acquaintance
among the best people in this iX)rtion of the state.


The era of progress and development in the various sections of this great
western republic of ours has been almost invariably ushered in by railroad con-
struction, and the vast network of glistening rails that trace their parallel course
over mountains and plains and through the fertile valleys represent more than
corporate enterprise and accomplishment, since the railroad has proved the
avant-courier of civilization an.d of that substantial and permanent improve-
ment which has placed our national commonwealth upon a stable foundation.
Railroading operations in the United States represent one of the most com-
plex and yet one of the most perfect systems which it is possible to imagine,
and in the various details are demanded men who are alive to the responsibili-
ties placed upon them, and possessed of that mentality and technical knowledge
which will enable them to discharge their duties efYectively. The great rail-
roading industry is one which retains many men of marked ability, and among
those who have contributed in no small measure to the success of operations in
these lines is the sul)ject of this review, who has been active in connection with
railroad-building in the west and is now the general manager of the Nevada
County Xarrow Gauge Railroad, hrs home being in Grass Valley.

Mr. Kidder is a native of New York city, born July 2, 1830. and his father.
Levi Kidtler. was born in Massachusetts and was an educator of considerable
note in his early life. Later he engaged in business as a shipping merchant and
during the year 1836. while visiting Charleston, South Carolina, with a cargo
of goods, he suffered a sunstroke which caused his death. His wife, who bore
the maiden name of Elvira Parker, was also a native of Massachusetts and
a descendant of one of the old and influential families of New England, trac-
ing their ancestry back in direct line to Theodore Parker. Her death occurred
in 1893. John p-lint Kidder, the elder of her two children, was reared in the
city of his birth. He acquired his preliminary education there, which was
com])leted by a collegiate course in Rensselaer University, in which he was
graduated in 1847, having completed the civil-engineering course. He after-
ward held the position of city engineer of Syracuse. Xew \o\-k. antl was also
the superintendent of streets for some years.

In i860 Mr. Kidder came to the west, locating at Carson City. Nevada,
whence he afterward removed to Portland, Oregon, where he engineered and
built a portion of the Xorthern Pacific Railroad, making the survey and .super-
intending tiie construction of the line from Kalama. \\'ashington. for a dis-
tance of si.xty miles. He also located the Nevada County Xarrow Gauge from
Colfax. California, to Grass X'alley. doing the work under contract, and in
1876 was ai)i)ointe(l superintendent of the mad, which was built and e(|uipped


at a cost of six hundred and forty-one thousand dollars. The road is twenty-
three miles in length and was incorporated April 4, 1874. At the time the
new charter went into effect the line was sold, Mr. Kidder becoming the pur-
chaser, and at the present time he owns the greater part of the stock.

In his political views Mr. Kidder is a Republican and is very active and
earnest in the support of the principles of the party. His labors have been
eft'ective in promoting the growth of the organization, and on the Republican
ticket he was elected and served as a representative from Eldorado county
in the state legislature in 1866. He has also held a number of important state
offices by appointment of the governor, and in all these positions has discharged
his duty in a most able and creditable manner. Socially he is connected with
the [Masonic Lodge of Syracuse, Xew York, and has taken the Royal Arch
degree. He also belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Grass

In May, 1873, ■^^''- Kidder was united in marriage to ^liss Sarah Clark,
a lady of culture and refinement who presides most graciously over her hos-
pitable home. She is a native of Iowa and a daughter of Joshua Clark, an Ore-
gon pioneer. Mr. and Mrs. Kidder now have one child, Beatrice. Their resi-
dence, which is con\-eniently located near the depot, is one of the finest in
northern California. It was erected thirteen years ago at a cost of many thou-
sand dollars. It is built in a pleasing style of architecture, is finished throughout
in hard wood and supplied with all modern conveniences. It is both richly
and tastefully furnished and contains many handsome pieces of old furniture,
some of which have been in existence for one hundred and fifteen years. The
large library is composed of rare and valuable works, as well as the more mod-
ern \olumes, and indicates the literary taste of the owner who therein spends
many of his most pleasant hours. The grounds are beautifully adorned with
shrubs and flowering plants and the home is one of the most attractive in
this section of the state. ]\Ir. Kidder is a man of the highest business integrity,
of the utmost loyalty in matters of citizenship, and of a genial and social
nature, manifesting in his relations with his fellow men those sterling charac-
teristics which in every land and in every clime command respect.


Frederick A. Ebel is one of the quiet and unassuming, yet thoroughly
trustworthy, residents of Sacramento, his time and energies being de\oted
to business without thought of winning fame or notoriety in political lines. It
is a noticeable fact that different industries and occupations exert a wide and
varying influence upon their followers, and Mr. Ebel gives his attention to a
business which develops in man all that is best and noblest. He is a landscape
gardener and the proprietor of the well known Park Nursery, which is located
at the corner of Tenth and P streets, and his close association with nature has
given him an appreciation of its beauties and its possibilities known to but few.

Frederick August Ebel was a nati\e ai Hamburg, Germany, born .\pril
30. 1845. H'^ iiarents. iM'iiz and Christina Ebel, were both of (iernian birili


and are now deceased, the lallicr liaving passed away in 1865 and tlie mother
in 1870. He was a gardener by occupation, and to that calling our subject was
reared. He obtained his education in tlie schools of his native land and there
resided until 1868, when he came to America, locating in Sacramento. Here
he has mr/de his home for more than thirty years. For six years after his
arrival in the capital city he was in the employ of E. B. Crocker, and later was
engaged as a gardener on the capital grounds. About 1874 he began busir.css
on his own account, at his present location, and through cultivation and im-
provement he has made the I'ark Nursery a garden of great beauty, unexcelled
by any in northern California. He carries a large and complete line of both
native and tropical plants of all kinds, and has studied so closely the needs of
plant life that in his work he produces splendid results, both as to the coloring,
])lanling and the hardiness of the plants which he cultivates. He not only sup-
plies a large local trade but also lilies orders from Nevada, and his shipments
have been made as far east as Utah.

On the 14th of February, 1874. was celebrated the marriage of ]\Ir. Ebel
and Miss Dora Stehr, a lady of German birth who came to America in 1870.
They now have three children, — -Mark H., Lucy D. and August J. Mr. Ebel
is unswerving in his advocacy of Republican principles, and socially he affiliates
with the Order of Elks, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Grangers
and the German Red ^len of Sacramento. He has never sought public notice
in any way but has always attended closely to his own affairs, quiet in manner
and modest in demeanor. Thus he has gained many friends, winning the
respect and good will of all who know him.


Daniel Ayres Cooper, who is now livir.g a retired life at Sutter Creek and
is numbered among the leading pioneer settlers of California in 1852, is a
native of Denville. Morris county. New Jersey, l)orn January 16, 1825, and is
of Holland and French Huguenot ancestry, the families having been founded
in Haverstraw, New York, at a very early day. Representatives of the name
have been prominent in the events which form the history of the nation. The
grandfather. John Cooper, and the maternal grandfather, David Garrigus,
were both Revolutionary soldiers, as was also Robert Ayres, our subject's
great-grandfather, who, as minute men. i)articipated in the struggle which
brought independence to the nation.

David Cooper, the father of our subject, was born in Denville. New Jer-
sey, and married .\nnie S. Ayres. who on the i)aternal side was of Scotch-
Irish lineage, while on the maternal side she represented the Garrigus family
f)f I<"rench Huguenot lineage. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper were respectable farming
people who spent their entire lives in Denville and in Franklin, New Jersey,
the towns being only two miles ai)art. The father attained the very advanced
age of ninety-seven years, nine months and twenty-two days, and his wife was
eighty-eight years and six months old at the time of her demise. In their fam-
ily were six sons and six daughters, all of which reached the age of maturity,


with one exception. The largest and apparently the strongest member of the
family died in his eighteenth year. Fonr years before the death of David
Cooper, an enumeration of his direct descendants showed that there were thirty-
six grandchildren, forty-eight great-grandchildren and five great-great-grand-
children. Thus he lived to see five generations of his name. Our subject now
has in his pns^e'^sion a pamphlet history of the Cooper family in the United
States sli,,\\ Jul; iliat it is not only strong numerically but that many of its rep-
resentatue> lia\c l)een prominent in professional, commercial and industrial
life. David Cooper's longevity may undoubtedly be attributed to his temperate
habits, for he never used liquor or tobacco in any form. He was an honest,
industrious man, true to every manly principle and wherever he was known he
commanded the respect of those with whom he came in contact.

Daniel Ayres Coojjer, whose name introduces this review, the second in
order of birth in his father's numerous family, was reared on the home farm,
attended the common schools in his nati^-e town and the Union school in
Franklin. In early life he learned the wheelwright trade and was engaged in
the manufacture of wagons and carriages in Rockaway, New Jersey, until
1852, at which time he came to California, sailing around Cape Horn on the
clipper ship Empire. It was a merchant vessel with about one hundred pas-
sengers on board. Mr. Cooper's most intimate friend, Simeon Van Fleet, died
on the \-oyage and was buried at sea. .-Vfter rouiiiling Cape Horn they encoun-
tered a fearful storm, in which all of the rigging of the ship was carried
away, and it was believed that every one on board would meet a watery grave ;
but the stanch vessel at length came ofT victorious and in her wrecked condition,
after much delay, reached San Francisco with all on board. Mr. Cooper went
al once ti> Benicia, Solano county, where he worked at his trade for a month,
after which he removed to Tuttletown, Tuolumne county, spending the winter
al the i)lacer mines. He met with ill success, however, in his mining ventures
and in .\pril he returned to Benicia, working for the Pacific Mail Company at
the carpenter's trade for six dollars per day. He also did shop work at which he
made eight dollars per day.

In 1855 he returned to his family by way of the Xicaragua route and again
engaged in the manufacture of wagons and carriages. He remained at Rock-
away for five years, meeting with a fair degree of success in his business ven-
tures, but preferring the climate of California he returned by the Panama
route, the trip being a pleasant one. Again reaching the Golden state he took
up his abode in Sacramento, where he worked at his trade until the 6th of
March, 1861, when he arrived at Sutter Creek and accepted a position in the
foundry and machine shop owned by Frank Tihliits. There he remained fnr
seven and a half years, his excellent workmanship and his reliability making
him a valued employe. In 1868 he again made the trip to the east to Ijring liLs
wife and daughter to California. They returned by tlie Panama route and lie
once more entered the foundry and machine shop. After Mr. Tibbits' death
he continued with the latter's successor, Samuel Manning, for two years, and
then opened a wagon and carriage shop of his own, building wagons of
various descriptions and doing repair work. Success attended his efforts and he


carried on a large and profitable Inisiness until 1894, when he sold out his shop
ami retired to private life. As the years passed he made judicious investments
in real estate and is to-day the owner of ten thousand acres of land in Texas,
which he rents and brings to him a good income.

Mrs. Cooper died January i. 1881, at the age of fifty-four years, and Air.
Cooper now makes his home with his daughter Sarah, the wife of Thomas
Trudgen. His life has been ever honorable and upright and his activity in
business afifairs has brought to him a merited competence. He has relied
entirely upon his own efforts and his industry has been most marked. In
addition to the Texas property he owns a good residence at Sutter Creek. In
early life he gave his political support to the Democracy, but his devotion to his
country led him to espouse the Union cause, and he joined the Republican
party, which was formed to prevent the further extension of slavery and which
upheld the government at Washington during the Civil war. He. however,
believes in the fitness of the candidate for office and always takes this into con-
sideration. He has never had political aspirations for himself, but at all times
has been faithful to his duty, to his country and to his fellow men. His honor-
able life commends him to the respect of all. and his example is in many ways
well wortln- of emulation.


It is usuall}- found that the men who have succeeded best in life have had
to struggle against adverse fate in starting out on their business career, but
obstacles and difficulties have seemed to serve but as an impetus and incentive
for greater effort. Such has been the case in the life of Mr. McCaw, who is
now a successful wood and coal dealer of Sacramento. He is of Scotch par-
entage, but was born in the north of Ireland, on the i8th of January, 1846, the
third of the four children of William and Rosanna ( Smily) AlcCaw. Both
of the parents were natives of Scotland, and died in that country. The father
was foreman of a steam loom factory, first in Glasgow and for nine years in
Belfast, Ireland, and for several generations the family had been connected
with the occupation of weaving.

James AlcCaw was very young when his parents returned to Scotland, and
his education was obtained in the schools of Glasgow and in Ireland, near Bel-
fast, where he acquired a fair knowledge of the common English branches,
thus being fitted for the practical and responsible duties of life. The surround-
ings and occu|)ations of iiis youth were such as were common to lads in his
station of life. He came to the United States in 1867. locating in St. Clair
county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for three years. On the expira-
tion (jf that period he returned to New York city, where he married Aliss .Annie
McCaw, a lady of the same name though not related by the ties of lilood. She is
a lady of Irish birth but of Scotch parentage, and was brought to .America
when quite young. The wedding was celebrated on the 4th of April, 1872,
and tiie same year Air. McCaw secured passage on a mail steamer bound for
California. For three years he operated a .sawmill in Xevaida City, and then


returned to New York city, wliere lie remained one year. Realizing the ad\'an-
tages of the west and their superiority over the opportunities furnished in the
east, he again came to the Pacific slope, locating in the capital city, where he
has since resided. For three years he was employed in the works of the gas
company, the plant being at that time under the process of construction. Later
he was in the service of the firm of Huntington & Hopkins for a year, and when
that period had elapsed he established his present business as a .dealer in
coal and wood at Xo. 518 L street. In addition to the local trade he fills large
contracts for parties in other sections of the country, and has now a very liberal
patronage, which brings to him excellent financial returns.

Unto Mr. and ]\Irs. McCaw have been born six children, namely: ]\Iary
Jane, the wife of R. B. Laidlaw, and they have one son, Rupert; Annie, Alex-
andria, Margareta, John, James and Irene H. All of these are yet living, and
they have lost two, \Villiam J. and Ellen, who died in childhood. In his politi-
cal views Mr. McCaw is a Republican and earnestly advocates the principles of
that party, believing that they contain the best elements of government. Socially
he affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pyth-
ias, the Inde]3endent Order of Red Men, the Druids and also the Caledonia
Club, of which he was one of the organizers. He has filled many of the offices
in those societies and is a valued representative of the different fraternities.
His business methods have always been straightforward, commending him to
the confidence of those with whom he is brought in contact. He has closely
applied himself to the work engaging his attention, and his consecutive efforts
and enterprise have wmi him a place among the subsiimtial residents of Califor-
nia's capital city.


One of the most important mines in Angel's Camp, California, is managed
and partly owned by the subject of this sketch. ]\Ir. Chalmers was born
of Scotch ancestry, in Canada, February 24, 1842, a son of \Villiam and Eliza-
beth ( Tem])letnn ) Chalmers, both natives of Scotland. They came to Amer-
ica in 1832. settling on a farm and becoming highly respected and influential
residents of that locality. Mr. Chalmers was elected to the Canadian parlia-
ment, although residing upon his farm until the time of his death. Both
]\Ir. and Mrs. Chalmers were devoted adherents of the Presbyterian church,
and were well and widely known as persons of reliability and the highest
respectability. Of their family of fourteen children, two of them, George and
our subject, are now residents of California, the former now living in San

Alexander Chalmers was reared on the farm, attending the schools of the
district, but he received his higher education at the Ohio W'esleyan L^niversity,
following which he spent four years on the great lakes, in the employ of the
Steam Navigation Company. Chang-ing his residence, he taught school for
four years in Canada ,and in 1864 came to Coloma, California, where his
brother Robert had resided since i8;o, and for twentv-two vears cnnducted the


Sierra Xevcula Hotel. Ixuberi Chalmers was much interested in vine culture,
was a practical man of business, was elected to the state legislature and died
in 1886.

Our subject engaged in general merchandising in Coioma for four years,
removing then to Stockton, where he engaged in the same line of business for
tiiirty-two years. Selling out. on the first of May, 1900, he then took charge
of the Lightner mine, in which he had been one of the principal stockholders
and a member of the board of directors since the incorporation of the company,
and vice-president for two 3'ears. He is now the active manager, and since
assuming the duties of the position he has given the stockholders entire satis-
faction, reducing the paj- roll two thousand, five hundred dollars and the sup-
plies two thousand, five hundred dollars, and increased the output nine thousand
dollars monthly, placing it upon a sound basis. Such a desirable result displays
the practical methods which are characteristic of Mr. Chalmers. He has intro-
duced machinery into this mine, which reduces the loss to but thirty cents to the
ton, less than that of any other mine in the locality.

The marriage of Mr. Chalmers took place in Stockton, in 1869, being
contracted with Miss Fannie Wilkins, a native of New Hampshire and a niece
of the late United States Senator Patterson, a widel}^ known statesman. Mr.
and Mrs. Chalmers have two daughters : Anna, the wife of L. A. Redman, an
attorney of San Francisco; and Harriet, the wife or F. P. Adams, now in
charge of the electric plant of the cit^ of Stockton.

Mv. and Mrs. Chalmers and family are esteemed members of the First Con-
gregational church of Stockton, in which he has been a trustee for twenty-nine
years. Socially he is a Mason of the highest degree, is a past master of San
Joaquin Lodge, Xo. 19, A. F. & A. M. ; a past high priest of Stockton Chap-
ter, Xo. 28, K. A. M., and a past commander of Stockton Commandery, Xo.
8, K. T. He has taken a great interest in Masonic aftairs, attaining the highest
degrees in the order.

The beautiful residence of Mr. Chalmers is located on the corner of Eldo-
rado and Linsey streets, Stockton, where the family has resided for the past
twenty-eight years. It is a charming home, indicative of the taste and refine-
ment of its owners.


A modern philosopher has said, "It is possible to fool all of the pco]ik
some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all

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 42 of 108)