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 55 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 55 of 108)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

1 85 1. Mr. and Mrs. Moser have three daughters, named as follows, in the
order of their nativity: Eugenie C, Florence M. and Mamie E. Eugenie C.
married E. C. Fisher, the express agent at Merced, ^Merced county, California,
and a prominent citizen of that town. Florence M. and Mamie E. are popular
and successful school-teachers. The several members of the family are com-
municants of the Protestant Episcopal church. The family residence at
■\lokelumne Hill is one of the most homelike and hospitable in the town and
the Mosers are held in high esteem by all who know them.


There are few of the pioneers of 1850 left to tell the tale of the early
development and progress of this section of California; but Henry C. Mills
is one whose memory can picture forth the experiences of that frontier epoch.
For almost half a century he has resided in Xc\ ala c^ mnty and therefore needs
no introduction to the readers of this volume, in win in his personal biography,
however, will pro\e a matter of interest. ^Ir. Mills is a native of the Buckeye
state, his birth having occurred in Portage county, Ohio, July 21, 1828. His
father, Uriel Mills, was born in Connecticut and was a representative of one
of the old and influential families of that commonwealth. He was a lawyer
by profession and was also a practical farmer, meeting with success in those
widely different callings in life. He married Miss Mary Etta Streator, who
was also descended from one of the old New England families. She died in
1 84 1, the year following the removal of the family from Ohio to Marion
county, Illinois. The father's death occurred in 1886.

In the Prairie state Henry C. Mills was reared to manhood, becoming
familiar with the work of the farm. In 1850 he sought a home in California,
attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific slope, and made a location
in Grass Valley, where he was actively engaged in mining for three years.
On the expiration of that period he removed to Ne\-ada City, where for six
years he was engaged in the dairy business, after which he established a feed
and liver)' stable, carrying on business along that line for about forty years.
His barns are located at the corner of Pine and Spring streets and he now
has a liberal patronage. He is also the owner of one hundred and ten acres
of land, located about four miles west of the city. Of this six acres are planted
to fruit, ])rincipally pear trees of the Bartlett variety. His business interests
liring to him a good income that has classed him among the substantial citi-
zens of his adopted county. He has now passed the Psalmist's s])an of three-
score years and ten, yet displays an activity in business affairs that wi.nild da
credit to a man of much younger years.

On the 1st of July, 1856, occurred the marriage of Mr. Mills and ]\liss
Cecilia Berbush, a nati\e of France, who died se\'eral vears ago, leaving two


children, — Eugenia C. and Franklin H.. — both residents of San Francisco.
The daughter is now married.

Mr. Mills gives an unswerving support to the Republican party, for its
platform embodies his ideas of governmental policy. He has served upon the
board of city trustees for fifteen years, and was county supervisor for three
years, discharging his duties in an acceptable manner. He is a member of
the Knights of Pythias fraternity and affiliates with the uniformed rank of the
order. Although more than seventy-one years of age he is still fond of the
chase, and each fall enjoys a few weeks in hunting in the mountains in search
of deer and other large game. He has been identified with this section of
the state from the period of its earliest development, when the majority of its
citizens were miners drawn hither by the hope of gaining a fortune through
their search for gold. All the accessories of civilization have been intro-
duced with the passing years, and with the work of progress Mr. Alills has
been entirel_\- in sympathy, doing all in his power to advance the substantial
welfare of the community.


A member of the board of city trustees of Grass Valley, Air. Collins was
born in the place which is yet his home, July 9, 1868. His father, Daniel Col-
lins, Sr., was a native of Ireland, born in 1822. When a youth of eleven
A-ears he crossed the briny deep to the new world, and in 1850 came to Cali-
fornia, where for some time he engaged in mining. Subsequently he devoted
his energies to merchandising in Nevada City, and for eleven years was
the county assessor of Nevada county. He also filled the ofifice of
city marshal of Grass Valley for several years, and died in 1888. In i860
he was married to Miss Hannah Finnegan, a lady of Irish birth, who came
to the west in 1852 and is now residing in Grass Valley, In their family
were ten children, the subject of this sketch being the fifth in order of birth.

Daniel S. Collins acquired his education in the public schools of his native
town and there spent his childhood and youth. Up to 1899 Mr. Collins
engaged in various pursuits, but since then has occupied a responsible posi-
tion in the grocery house of Clinch &: Company, one of the largest estab-
lishments in that line in northern California.

On the I2th of May. 1894, Mr. Collins was happily married to Miss
Marietta Bennallack, a native of Nevada county and a very estimable lady.
She died March 14, 1897, leaving a son, Donald. Socially Mr. Collins is con-
nected with the Native Sons, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights of Honor,
and the P.enevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is also connected with
the fire department and is prominent in the public affairs of the city. For two
terms he served as a dei)uty in the county assessor's oftice, his father then being
his superior in that position. In 1892 he was elected public administrator for
a term of two }-ears. in 1898 he was elected a member of the city council, in
which position he is now serving, and for three years was a member of Com-
])aiiy H, California National Guard, in which he held the rank o\ corporal.


He exercises his right of franchise in support of tlie men and measures of the
Repubhcan party and is earnest in liis advocacy of its priciples. He with-
holds his support from no movement or measure calculated to prove a public
benefit and is ranked as one of the representative and progressive men of his
natix'e town, where he has a large circle of friends who entertain for him high


This is distinctively an age of machinery and one in which the ingenious
and judicious inventor often reaps the rewards of his enterprise. Henry
Bryan, of Modesto, Stanislaus county, Calif(.>rnia, the owner of the Modesto
machine shops and planing-mill, is one of the best known inventors and
machinists in California. He was born in the state of New York, July 5, 1835,
and is a descendant of Quaker ancestors, who settled early in New England.
His grandfather Bryan was a Connecticut Yankee and his father, H. C.
Bryan, who was born in New York, married Miss Elizabeth Yates, a native
of that state and a daughter of Captain Peter Yates, who participated in the
battle of Bemis Heights and witnessed the surrender of General Burgoyne to
General Washington. H. C. Bryan began life as a farmer, but later became a
manufacturer of farm implements. He was an estimable citizen and a mem-
ber of the Lutheran church, and died at the age of fifty-three years, his wife
surviving him until she had passed the eighty-sixth anniversary of her birth.
Of their five children only two are living.

Henry Bryan was e(kicated in the public schools in the state of New
York and has given his whole life to mechanics, having learned the machinist's
trade under the instruction of his father and elder brother. He came to Cali-
fornia in 1884 ^nd to Modesto in 1886, when he established the important
business to the upbuilding of which he has since devoted himself. He has
built a large machine shop, which is fitted up with e.xpensive machinery so
various in kind that he is able to do all kinds of iron and steel work in his
line, and is the originator and patentee of six valuable inventions, the last of
which is an attachment for reapers, an improvement for oiling, which does
away with friction and prevents machines from setting the field on fire. Many
hundreds of these attachments are already in use and the sale is constantly
growing and extending. Mr. Bryan has proven himself a thorough mechanic,
expert in everything pertaining to such machinery as is in his line, and is
recognized as an inventive genius of much ability. His public spirit has
impelled him to assist many movements for the public good.

He is an earnest Democrat and is not without influence in the councils
of his part}- ; but he has resolutely refused every political office wdiich has been
otTered him. hi> taste leading him to devote himself exclusively to his business.
He is not married and has never joined a secret society, but his geniality and
real interest in the welfare of his fellow citizens ha\-e won him many stead-
fast friends, not only in Stanislaus county but also throughout central



Samuel W. Pearsall, deceased, of Mukelumne Hill, was one whose mem-
ory covered a long period of advancement in American history. He was a
veteran of the Mexican war and a California pioneer of 1849. He was born
in New York city, on the 22d of August, 1821. and on the 26th of Septem-
ber, 1846, he joined the American army for service in the Mexican war, under
the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry S. Burton, of Stephenson's regi-
ment. They sailed from lower California in the steamship Lexington and
landed at Santa Barbara on the 4th of July, 1847. -'^ small party was sent
to hold that place and they were besieged there for thirty-one days. The
United States frigate Independence afterward landed troops at San Jose and
they were taken prisoners. Four months later Lieutenant Hallock arrived
from Mexico and thirty-one veterans were called for to go and rescue the
prisoners. Mr. Pearsall was one of the men who started on horseback, under
the command of Lieutenant Hallock, at two o'clock in the morning, on this
difficult mission. They rode 'sixty-five miles, passed the enemy and rescued
their fellow soldiers, who were Lieutenant Duncan, Lieutenant Wallace and
Sergeant Boyd of Campany A. On the return trip they succeeded in cap-
turing a number of the enemy, but the others afterward amluished the Amer-
ican troops and a fight ensued, in which jMr. Pearsall was shot in the side.
However, they fought their way back to Santa Barbara, although they had had
no food or drink for thirty-six hours. There were about one hundred and
two American soldiers at Santa Barbara and the enemy numbered twenty-five
hundred, of whom twelve hundred fought them in the day time, while the
remainder of the Mexican force engaged them in battle at night. The Amer-
ican soldiers became so exhausted that the men w'ould fall asleep standing
up; but soon ships came to their relief, one being the Independence and another
imder Commodore Jones. Both landed men for the relief, five hundred in all,
and the besieged Americans were thus permitted to obtain some rest. The
fighting, however, continued for six weeks before the news was received that
peace had been declared.

The discovery of gold in California attracted Mr. Pearsall and others of
his companions to the mines, they being among the first to engage in the search
for gold. Our subject prosecuted his mining operations on Big Bar, on the
Mokelumne river, and experienced all the hardships and trials of the time.
Prices of provisions w'ere very high, bacon selling for two dollars and a half
a pound, flour at a dollar per pound, oysters at sixteen dollars a can, while
shoes sold for twenty-five dollars a pair, boots for eighty dollars, blankets for
one hundred dollars and wash-pans brought from sixteen to twenty dollars
each ! Fifty cents apiece was paid for nails and twelve dollars for a dozen of
eggs; but Mr. Pearsall and his partner secured from sixty-four to sixty-seven
ounces of gold daily and thus were able to afford the exorbitant prices asked.
In 1 85 1 a nuinber of Frenchmen secured a rich claim at Mokelumne Hill, but
some trouble arose between them and the Americans and a fight ensued, which
resulted in the Americans obtaining possession of the claim. Mr. IVar.-all


did not think the matter entirely just, hut after the Frenchmen left he secured
a claim at that point, out of which he took a great quantity of gold. Suhse-
quenly he conducted a saloon, which proved a" very profitahle venture, bringing
him from two to five hundred dollars every twenty-four hours! Subsequentlv
he dissolved the partnership and had charge of the bar of the first Parker
House. After the fire at that place he removed to Mokelumne Hill, where he
resided until his sudden death. August _', 1900. fronj heart failure, in the eight-
ieth year of his age. while his memory was still clear and filled with many
interesting reminiscences.

During the Civil war Mr. Pearsall served his country against the Apache
Indians, and the California troops had many fights with those blood-thirsty
savages, the commander going on the supposition that "there were no good
Apaches unless they were dead."

He was one of the oldest sur\i\ors of the first miners of Mokelumne
Hill, and the early settlers and the native sons of California ever regarded
him with much respect. The go\ eminent paid him a pensidu nf twelve dul-
lars a month and he occupied pleasant (|uarters. a bedroom an<l li\ing room.
furnished him by Frank W. Peek. There lie li\'ed in peace and contentment
with a record of service in the Mexican war and as a "4i,)er that few could


Henry Bernhard, a prominent merchant and native of Auburn, Placer
county, California, was torn on the nth day of Oct(iber, 1856, and is a son
of the pioneer, Benjamin Bernhard. Benjamin Bernhard is a native of
Germany. He was born in 1832, and in 1852, at the age of twenty, emigrated
to this country, stopping first at St. Louis. From that city he came, via
the isthmus route, to California. Upon his arrival in this state he located
at Sacramento, where he spent one year, removing thence to Auburn and
from this point carrying on a freighting business, which was then very profit-
able. He freighted from Sacramento to most of the mining camps, and
continued the business successfully until the building of the railroad, which
put an end to the freighter's profits. After this he purchased a ranch, on
which he engaged in fruit-culture, in connection with which he built a dis-
tillery and manufactured l>oth wine and brandy, being as successful in this
as in his other ventures. There sailed in the same vessel" from Germany with
Mr. Bernhard a young lady by the name of Teressa Howe. On the voyage
they became fast friends and after their arrival in this country were happily
married. To them have been born seven children, only two of whom are
now living, — Henry and Annie.

Henry Bernhard was reared and recei\ed his education in his native
town. His first business venture was in the mercantile line in Carson City,
where he remained three years, and also spent three 3'ears in Bodie in the
same business. From the latter place he returned to Auljurn, opened a large
stock of general merchandise in a store building owned hv himself in the



center of tlie town, and liere lie lias since conducted a successful business
and enjoys the C(.infidence and esteem of the jjeople among whom he was

Mr. Bernhard was married in 1883 to .Miss .\nnie Grennan. a native
of Vallejo, and they have four children. — Fred. Maliel. Joseph and Alton.
Their home is one of the handsome residences nf .\uburn and their friends
are many.

Mr. Bernhard is a member of the I. O. O. I"", and in politics is a Democrat,
active and influential in the councils of his party. He holds to the Catholic
faith, in which he was reared.


For fortv years Walter Roliie has resided in California and is therefore
one of tlie honored pioneers of his portion of the state. He has not only wit-
nessed the entire growth and development of his locality but has also ever borne
his part in the work of progress, and his name should be indelibly inscribed on
the pages of history. The breadth of a continent lies between his present home
and his birthplace, for he is a native of Xew Hampshire. He was born on the
25th of November, 1826, of Xew England ancestry, and is a son of John
Robie, who was reared and educated in the old Granite state. He made farm-
ing his life w^ork, following that occupation as a means of providing a liveli-
hood for his family. In Xew Hampshire he married Miss Sophia Gibbons,
also a native of that state, and they became the parents of six chiklren, of whom
only three are now living. In religious faith the parents w-ere Congregational-
ists. The father lived to the advanced age of eighty-six years and the mother
passed away at the age of seventy-nine.

Mr. Robie, of this review, spent his boyhood days in Canada and attended
the common schools. He was a farmer until the discovery of gold in California
caused him to aljandon the plow and seek his fortune on the Pacific coast. He
accordingly sailed on the Republic from Xew York city and on reaching the
isthmus he and his fellow passengers went up the river in small boats, and
reaching the Pacific coast they took passage on the vessel called the Tennessee,
bound for San Francisco, where J^Ir. Robie arrived in safety in 1850. After
about a week spent in that city he went up the Sacramento river to the present
capital of California and thence to Georgetown, where he engaged in placer-
mining, continuing there until the 1st of January, 1857, at which time he went
to Sacramento, taking with him al)out three hundred dollars, which he had
secured in liis mining ventures. From Sacramento he proceeded to San Fran-
cisco, thence to San Andreas and to the Mokelunme river, where he engaged
in mining with good success : his largest find of gold in one piece was six dol-
lars, and his largest day's work netted him eighty dollars. After leaving the
Mokelumne river he returned to San Andreas, where he continued mining
through the three succeeding months. He then purchased an interest in a
store, about three miles from the town, and engaged in selling goods for two
years, on tlie expiration of which period he to(_)k up his abode at Xorth


Branch, a trading post, where he continued for two years. He also had a
store at Jenny I.iiid, which he retained for live years. His next venture was
in the stock Jiusine - ^ 111 L'alaveras county, with headciuarters at Jenny Lind,
meeting with crcdiialilc -access in his undertakings. Later he turned his atten-
tion to the sheep in(Ki>try. rai^ing both cattle and sheep, and in connection
with his son still carrio 1 >n liu.-iness along that line. He has had upon his
ranch as high as six thi inland sheep and two hundred head of cattle at one
time, his business tlius being carried on on a very extensive scale. He owns
three thousand six hundred and eighty acres of land, on which is a gi^od resi-
dence pleasantly situated near the town of Milton.

In 1862 occurred the marriage of Mr. Robie and Miss Berry Reed, a
native of Ma.ssachusetts. Tliey lived happily together for twenty-six years,
wdien, in 1888, the union was broken by the death of the wife, who was to
him a faithful companion and helpmeet on the journey of life. They have
tW'O children : Walter J., wdio is now associated in business with his father ;
and Georgiana, the wife of Chandler Huntington, a resident of Milton. Mr.
Robie now resides with his daughter. He has been a life-long Republican,
unswerving in his advocacy of the principles of the party since its organiza-
tion. He is a man of high moral character and of genuine worth. In all his-
business relations he is popular and influential. His marked financial and
executive ability have gained him pre-eminence in agricultural circles, wdiile
his pleasant personality and un(|uestioned integrity have won for him the
respect of all.

WILLIA?^! G. LORD. , >

Activity in business affairs, when directed by sound judgment, always
results in obtaining a due measure of success, and the enterprise and energy
of our subject have been such as to win to him a comfortable competence.
For more than forty years he has resided almost continuously in Grass Valley
and during that time has labored earnestly and perseveringly to advance the
■welfare of the city and promote its substantial improvement. He is a native
of the Keystone state, his birth there having occurred on the 28th of Janu-
ary, 1854. His parents, George and ]Mary J. (Goyne) Lord, were both of
English ])irth, and for many generations their families resided in the "Merrie
Isle." They became the parents of six children, .William G. being the eldest.
The father left England wdien a mere lad. crossing the Atlantic with his
parents and the family locating in Pennsyhania, wdiere George Lord was
educated and reared to manhood. In carh- life he learned the trade of the
machinist, which he followed for many years, making that his chief occupa-
tion. In 1858 he came to California, taking up his abode in Grass Valley
and for several years he was chief engineer of tlie Idaho mines and superin-
tendent of other mining properties. He also follciwcd merchandising and
thus became an active factor in the business and industrial life of the cm-
munitv. His death occurred in 1897.

Mr. Lord, whose name introduces this sketch, was a child of onlv four



years when he came with his parents to the golden west. He was for some
vears the foreman of mines, and a practical engineer for a period of twelve
rears. In 1882 he engaged in the livery business, with which he has since
been connected. He has a large number of roadsters, which he has care-
fully selected for their excellent jxiints, and is prepared to meet the demands
of the public along his lines of business. His efforts to please, his honorable
dealing and his reliability have secured to him a large business. He has
not confined his labors, however, to this one undertaking, but is the man-
ager of the Sunset Telephone Company, whose offices are located in his
building. His efforts have been productive in increasing the volume of the
business done by the company, and in fact he was instrumental in having
the line extended to the city. The system is a perfect one and its value
and utility to the town are now wideh' recognized.

Mr. Lord votes with the Republican party and is deeply interested in
jx>litical affairs, well informed on the issues of the day that affect the wel-
fare of the state and nation. He holds membership in the Masonic fra-
ternity, the Knights of Pythias lodge and with the uniformed rank of the
order, and has filled all the offices in the organization. Elected a member
(^f the city council in 1898, he uses his official prerogatives in support of
the measures of progress and reform, yet withal is practical in his advocacy
of the questions which are introduced for consideration by the board.

On the 25th of May. 1880, INIr. Lord was united in marriage, in \'irginia
City. Nevada, to ^liss Jennie Pedlow. a native of Pennsylvania, and they now
have five children, namely: Ethel, Anne. Clifford. Percy and Vivian. Mr.
Lord is a man of liberal views and progressive ideas. In business he sustains
an unassailable re])utatiiin and in all life's relations has won respect and con-


.\ ])romincnt representative of the mining interests of Amador county
residing in Drytown. Mr. Weymouth was l)orn in Boston, Massachusetts,
on the 23d of I^Iay, 185S. and is of English lineage, his ancestors having emi-
grated from Portsmouth. England, to the new world at a very early day.
The grandfather. Shadrach Weymouth, was a prominent Methodist minister
and lived to an advanced age. His son. \Varren Weymouth, was born in
^'ermont. was educated for tht ministry, and when a young man began preach-
ing the gospel of ])eace <>n earth, devoting his entire life to the holy cause.
He exercised marked influence for good and it has been an unalloyed bene-
diction to all who knew him. He married Miss Charity Fenno. of North
Springfield. \'ermont. and they had four children, all of whom are living.

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 55 of 108)