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 62 of 108)
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above reproach, and his name is now conspicuous on the long roll of eminent
men.

J.VMES L. GIBBS.

James L. Gibbs is a resident of Carter's and is one of the native sons of
Tuolumne county. He was born on his father's ranch, situated on the banks
of the Tuolumne river, four miles from the town, his birth occurring on the
2ist of March, 1864. His father, William D. Gibbs, came to this state in
1849. He was a native of Alabama, born April 4, 1827, and was descended
from one of the old southern families. When he was five j-ears of age his
l)arcnts removed to Texas, and he was therefore reared in the Lone Star state.



OF XORTHERX CALIFORXIA. 473

^\'he^ James Marshall discovered gold at Coloma, the news of that dis-
covery spread like wild-fire throughout the country and from all sections there
flocked to California men of strong purpose who were resolved to seek fortune
in the mines. Mr. Gibbs crossed the plains with mules and a pack train, leav-
ing home in April, 1849, and arriving in San Francisco in August. While
en route the party with which he traveled had several encounters with the
Indians, in which a number of the emigrats lost their lives and many of their
horses and other animals were stolen by the red men. The company was a very
numerous one when they started, but after a time they separated into several
divisions, and, thus divided, the smaller companies continued on their way.
The train with which Mr. Gibbs traveled proceeded to Los Angeles and thence
up the coast. He at once made his way to the mining district and began the
search for gold at Big Oak Flat, where he was \-ery successful, taking out
several ounces of gold each day. Later he went to the Tuolumne river and
built a dam across the stream, but when the hea\y rain storms came it was
washed out and the money he thus expended was lost. Subsequently he
engaged in ranching near La Grange, and in 1861 he came to Carter's, which
was then called Summerville. Here he became interested in quartz mining
and prosperity again attended his efforts. He was also in the butchering busi-
ness for a time, but ultimately removed to his ranch, where he had three hun-
dred and twenty acres of valuable land. He carried on stock-raising exten-
sively and his fields were highly cultivated. He had a good home upon his
place and for thirty-five years it was his residence. A man of much intelli-
gence, Mr. Gibbs was formerly a very active and influential member of the
Democratic party, but he left ofiice-holding to others. He was a valued mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity.

^Ir. Gibbs was united in marriage. December 24. 1853, to Miss Mary F.
Summers, a native of Missouri and a daughter of a California pioneer. They
had sixteen children, twelve of whom reached years of maturity, while eleven
are still living. The father died on the 9th of September. 1895, but his good
wife still survives and is now in the sixty-fifth year of her age, one of the
highly esteemed and brave pioneer women, whose identification with Cali-
fornia covers a long period. The children living are : G. J., now a resident of
Texas: Laura E., the wife of Robert A. Sowrie. a minister of the Methodist
Episcopal church. South ; Flora E.. the wife of William R. Barger ; James Lee
and his twin sister, Lee Dora, the latter the wife of Fordy Ball; Frances, the
wife of W. .E. Booker, one of the supervisors of the county; H. J., who is in
Texas; W. A., a resident of Chinese Camp; Rosie. the wife of Rev. Z. Xeed-
ham, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. South; J. J., wdio is now
in the store with his brother; and Roy, who is in Fresno county.

James Lee Gibbs, whose name introduces this review, and who has so
kindly furnished the material for the history of his honored parents and family,
was educated in the public schools of Tuolumne county, and resided on the
ranch with his father until his twentieth year, when he learned the blacksmith's
trade, which he followed at Carter's until 1896. He then embarked in mer-
chandising and now carries a new and well selected stock of general merchan-



474 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

disc, keeping evervtliing needful for tlie pn])ulation of the town and surround-
ing country, including mining supplies. He is a very obliging and popular
merchant, his straightforward dealing and courteous treatment of his custo-
mers securing him a very lilieral i)atronage. which is constantly growing. His
trade thus grows in volume and importance and is now a profitable source of
income.

Mr. Gibbs was married August 24, 1898, to J^lrs. Dell Pruett. a widow
with two children. — Harvey and Jessie. Mr. Gibbs is a valued member of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has followed in the political foot-
steps of his honored father, being a stanch Democrat. He has a wide acquaint-
ance in the county in which he makes his home and where his entire life has
been passed, and those who have known him from boyhood are numbered
among his warmest friends, — a fact which indicates that his career has been
worthy of regard.

DAVID MATTLY.

Since an early period in^ the development of California Da\id Mattly has
resided within the borders of the Golden state and is now an esteemed resident
of Jackson, Amador county. For many years he was a representative of the
industrial interests, carrying on an extensive dairy business, but at the present
time he is living retired, enjoying the rest which he has truly earned and
richly deserves.

A native of the land of the Alps, he was born on the 25th of December.
1831, and his parents, Felix and Kate (Gerrich) Mattly, were also natives of
that land, belonging to old families of that country. Our subject was reared
and educated there and in 1853 came to America. Two years later he made
his way to California, bj' way of the isthmus route, crossjng Panama on the
railroad, which had just been completed. He came direct to Placerville. where
lie was engaged in placer-mining for some time. The work, however, was
very hard and at most he could make only twelve dollars a day. On one occa-
sion he took out a nugget worth ten dollars, found near Georgetown.

He followed mining only for a j'ear, however, and then started out in
the milk business at Placerville, having twenty-five cows. He received a dol-
lar per gallon for milk in the early days and made money very rapidly, his
business steadily increasing in magnitude. After a time he was forced by pop-
ular demanii to keep forty cows, and throughout the surrounding country he
sold the prLiducts of the dairy until 1857, when he disposed of his business
at Placerville and removed to Jackson, where he purchased fifteen acres of
land. There he again embarked in the dairy business, and owing to his indus-
try and systematic methods his trade steadily increased and his income pro-
portionately grew. As his financial resources became larger he added to his
landed possessions until he is now the owner of two thousand acres, in Tack-
son and adjacent counties. He has had and handled as many as two hundred
head of cattle at one time: but he is now living retired, the fruits of
liis former toil supplying him with all the necessities and many of the luxuries



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 475

of life. He made the dairy l)usiness his chief occupation throughout his active
career, but at one time was the owner of the Globe Hotel at Jackson.

In 1899 Mr. Mattly erected a ver}^ attractive and commodious residence
on Main street in Jackson and there he and his family are living. He was
maried in i860, on Sutter creek, to Miss Mary Yager, a native of Switzer-
land, and their union has been blessed with nine sons, six of whom are living,
namely : William, David, George, John, Albert and Joseph. These sons
are still with their father and are carrying on the dairy business as his
successors. Mr. Mattly is of the Catholic faith, while his wife is a Protestant
in her religious belief. He has been a life-long Democrat and since 1862 has
been connected with the Masonic fraternity. He also belongs to the Independ-
ent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the
Chosen Friends.

For many years his life has been one of ceaseless activity in the business
world. Industry and enterprise are numbered among his chief character-
istics, and through the aid of these qualities he advanced steadily on the road
to prosperity. Meeting with creditable success, he won a handsome competence
and is now in possession of a property that enables him to live retired. He has
surrounded himself with a large circle of friends \\ho were won to him by his
genuine wi>rth and his unselfish interest in his fellow men.

EMUXD C. SNOWDEX.

This highly respected retired business man of Auburn, California —
Edmund Christopher Snowden — is a native of England, but has been a resident
of this country since his boyhood and is thoroug'hly identified with its inter-
ests, having fought for the preservation of the Union during the days of civil
strife and having enjoyed a long and prosperous business career. The fol-
lowing sketch of his life is of interest in this connection.

Edmund Christopher Snowden was born in England in 1838, and there
spent the first fourteen years of his life. Then he accompanied his relatives
to this country. They located on a farm in the state of New York. After
leaving the farm he tried several branches of business, after which he took
up the study of medicine and was preparing himself for a professional life
when the Civil war broke out. In the meantime he had taken up his abode
in Texas, but on the opening of hostilities he went north to Illinois. There
in 1 861, in answer to President Lincoln's call for one hundred thousand vol-
unteers for three years' service in the suppression of the rebellion, he enlisted
and went to the front as a member of Company E, Twenty-second Illinois
Volunteer Infantry. He was with his command in Missouri, Kentucky, Ten-
nessee, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, and participated in nearly all the
actions in which it was engaged. At Belmont he was wounded, a ball passing-
through his hand. At the expiration of three years he re-enlisted, becoming a
member of the One Hundred and Forty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry,
with which he remained until the close of the war, when he was honoral)ly
discharged.



476 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

After llie war Mr. Suowden resided for sijme time in Iowa. I'rom
there he removed to Concordia, Kansas, and engaged in the drug business,
and was thus occupied at that place until 1874, the year he came to California,
His first location in this state was in Santa Cruz county, where he opened a
drug store. He remained tiiere, however, only a short time, coming thence
to Auburn. Here lie engaged in the drug business and was very successful.
Having for his motto "Live and let live," he conducted his store on a liberal
basis, and soon acfjuired a large trade. From time to time he made investments
in property, acquiring both city and farm realty. His residence is modern and
attractive, is located on the top of a hill, and commands a pleasing view of
the town.

Mr. Snowden has been twice married. In 1871 he wedded a !Mrs. Jack-
son, with whom he lived most happily until her death in 1889. She left no
children. On the 13th of May, 1891, he married Miss Bertha E. Meyer,
and the following year, on the (|ucen"s birthday, a little daughter was born,
whom the\' named Frances X'ictoria. and who is now the sunshine of their
home.

Mr. Snowden has all his life harmonized with the Republican party, not,
however, being active as a politician. For a number of years he has served
the town of .\uburn as a trustee. He is identified with the Masonic
fraternity.

THOMAS COXLOX.

Thomas Conlon, a leading representative of the insurance business and
one of the early settlers of .Amador county, who for more than forty-three
years has been a reliable business man of Jackson, was born in county Clare,
Ireland, on the 12th of July, 1836, his parents being Daniel and Anna (Hayes)
Conlon. They have two children, and the mother died in early life, after
which the father was again married, his second marriage being blest with five
children. He lived to a ripe old age and commanded the respect of all who
knew him.

Mr. Conlon, of this review, obtained his early education on the Emerald
Isle aiul in 1852 bade adieu to friends and home preparatory to seeking his
fortune in the new world. On the 19th of May he boarded the sailing vessel
^VilliaIn Tell, bound for the harbor of Xew York. The ship carried one
Inuidred and forty-five passengers in addition to the crew and Mr. Conlon
made some ])leasant acquaintances on board. After forty-five days spent on
the water they reached the American port and Mr. Conlon remained for some
time in New Jersey and Xew ^'ork. where he followed farming and was also
em])loyed as a clerk in a dry-goods store in Xew \'ork city. Subse(|uently
he came by steamer to San Francisco and went direct to Mokelumne Hill,
where he operated a i)lacer-miniug claim. He was associated with three part-
ners and they took out from seventy-five to <ine hundred dollars' worth of
gold per week. Later Mr. Conlon removed to Butte City, .\mador county,
and was also engaged in placer-mining at Scottville. where he took out a gold



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. ^77

nugget of large size. On account of its size lie valued it \-er}' highly,
Lut it was stolen from him. He met with average success in his mining ven-
tures and at length came to Jackson to fill the office of county clerk. He after-
ward served as the clerk of the district court and as a deputy assessor for
eight years, and for a similar ])eri(id \\a> a de])Uty sheriff. During his long
public service he discharged his .hity \\ itli marked ability and promptness, ancl
over the record of his oHicial life there falls nn shadow of wrong or suspicion
of evil. He is now serving as a notary public and is very extensively engaged
in the insurance business, representing several good insurance companies,
chief among which are the North British and London Assurance corporations.
In 1895 ^^^'- Conlon was united in marriage to Miss Ella Lanord, a native
of Calaveras county and a daughter of John Lanord, a California pioneer.
Their marriage has been blessed with two little daughters, one of whom is
living and is named Anna C, in honor of Mr. Conlon's mother. Our subject
and his wife are memljers of the Catholic church. He has kept well informed
on the political issues of the day and since becoming an American citizen has
exercised his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the
Democratic party and is a stalwart advocate of its principles. He is a charter
member of Jackson Lodge, No. 138, A. O. U. W., and enjoys the high regard
of his brethren of the fraternity. In his business life he has met with creditable
success and is regarded as a citizen of the highest worth.

WILLIAM A. FREEMAN.

The pioneers of a country, the founders of a business, or the originators
-of any undertaking that will i)romote the material welfare, or advance the
educational status and moral influence of a community, deserve the gratitude
( if Ininianity. Mr. Freeman is numbered among the early settlers of California,
and is now a representative citizen and a trustee of Auburn.

He was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of October, 1837.
His father, Abel Freeman, was born in Vermont and married Sarah Camp-
bell, and became the father of eight children. In 1841 he removed with his
family to Ohio, William A. being four years of age. Not long after the father
went to Illinois to seek a location in what was then a new countr}', and was
there taken sick and died. The means of communication were then so prim-
itive that he had been dead for several months before the sad news reached his
family. They were left comparatively poor in a new country and the support
of the children devolved upon the widowed mother.

Mr. Freeman, of this review, remained with his mother until his seventh
year, when he went to live with a family in Delaware, Ohio, continuing a
member of that household for iseven years. He then made his way to the
neighborhood in which his mother was living, near Columbus, Ohio, and
continued to serve as a farm hand in that locality until his twentieth year.

In the meantime gold had been discovered in California and toward this
Mecca the pilgrims of the east turned their faces. Mr. Freeman was among
the number who sought a home nn the Pacific coast. He sailed on the (lolden



478 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

Age and after crossing- tlie istlinius lie took passage on the Moses Taylor.
This was his first experience on the salt water and he was very seasick. Two
of the passengers on hoard were huried in the ocean ere they reached San
Francisco. When our suhject landed at the Golden Gate he went directly
up the river to Sacramento and thence to Forest Hill, working in the mines
hy the day. Later he engaged in lumhering and teaming, which work con-
tinued to occupy his time for seven years. \\'ith the capital he had then
ac(|uired through his own efforts, he purchased an interest in the Paragon
mine at Bath, and during his three-years ownership of a part of its stock the
mine declared dividends to the sum of thirty-one thousand dollars. On the
expiration of that period Mr. Freeman sold his interest for twenty-five thou-
sand dollars, realizing a handsome profit, for it had only cost him eleven
thousand, five hundred dollars. Subsequently he removed to Oakland and
engaged in the produce business for three years, when he returned to Forest
Hill and purchaised the Young America mine, which he operated for three
and one-half years, then selling the property to a French company. He made
money out of this investment also. A million dollars were afterward taken
from the mine.

Removing to Auburn, ]Mr. Freeman purchased the Freeman Hotel, for
ten thousand dollars, and for seventeen years conducted this house with emi-
nent success, selling the property for twenty-eight thousand and five hundred
dollars. He also retired with realty to the value of eight thousand dollars,
which he had purchased with the profits of his hotel. He is now the owner
of Black Hawk mine at Forest Hill, which adjoins the Mayflower and is con-
sidered a valuable property. Two and one-half miles from Auburn i'S located
a (juartz mine which he owns and which is now bonded to a San Francisco
conii)any for thirty thousand dollars. He is also the owner of a farm of one
hundred and eighty acres, on which he is growing stock and fruit, and both
departments of work annually contribute to the augmenting of his capital.

.•\ life-long Republican he is unswerving in his supix)rt of the principles
of that party, and he has had the honor of serving as a trustee of Auburn
since the incorporation of the city, with the exception of two years. He has
. ever exercised his official prerogatives in support of those measures calculated
to advance the material progress and substantial upbuilding of the city, and
for his progressive, energetic methods he deserves much credit, as they ha\o
contrilnited in wo small degree to the advancement of Auburn. In November,
I goo. he was elected county supervisor, with the largest majority ever given a
candidate in his district.

J'or more than thirty years he has been a faithful member of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows; he also belongs to the Improved Order
of Red Men and to the Knights of Pythias. He was married in January. 1870,
to Miss Elizabeth Laycock, a native of Illinois, returning to that state for his
bride. They have three children: Charles H., now a practicing physician at
Angel's Camp, Calaveras county; Rose and Edgar, who are with their parents.

Mr. Freeman is a strong^ active, well preserved man. full nf life and
vigor, and ready for any emergency. Deprived of a father's care in early life.



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 479

in his youth he was thrown upon his own resources and from his seventh
year he has practically earned his own living. As the architect of his own
fortunes he has builded wisely and well. Indolence and idleness have never
found a place in his character, and he has mastered all difficulties through
determination and perseverance. In business affairs he is energetic, prompt
and notably reliable, and justice has ever been maintained in his relations with
his fellow men.

WILLI A.M TREW'ARTHA.

Among the young business men of Angefs Camp. Calaveras county, Cali-
fornia, none are more pleasantly or conveniently located than is the subject
of this sketch. He is the proprietor of the drug store of the town and has
gained the confidence of his patrons to such a degree that success has attended
his efforts almost beyond expectation.

William Trewartha was born at Confidence, Tuolumne county, California,
March 17, 1871. He is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth A. (Oliver) Tre-
wartha, both of English birth, who in 1863 came from their" native home to
the L'nited States, locating immediateh- in California. He settled in Mariposa
county, where he engaged in mining, which occupation he has followed ever
since and now resides in Sonora, one of the highly respected citizens. Of a
family of nine children, seven are still surviving.

\'y. Trewartha, of this sketch, was educated in the public schools of his
nati\e county and engaged in the study of pharmacy under the instruction of
his !)rother Samuel, a graduate of the state board of pharmacy. After com-
pleting his course Mr. Trewartha remained with his brother in Tuolumne
county for several years, but in 1892 he opened his present place of business.
His capital was small, but the same careful methods and thorough under-
standing of drugs which made him reliable during his stay with his brother
in this business has enabled him to build up here a fine trade, and he has the
satisfaction of owning both the store and the house he occupies.

!Mr. Trewartha was married, in 1894, to Miss Fannie Drown, a native
of San Jose, and they have been blessed with one bright little son, Oliver.

The parents of Mr. Trewartha are members of the Methodist church,
and he was reared in that faith also, but Mrs. Trewartha is a member of the
Congregationalist church. Socially our subject is popular and has identified
himself'with the I. O. R. M., the Foresters and the K. of P. In politics he
lielie\es in the i^rinciples of the Democratic party, is intelligently informed'
upon all of the important issues of the day, does his own thinking and makes
a valual)le citizen.

JACOB L. SARGENT.

Amador county figures as one of the most attractive, progressive and
prosperous divisions of the state f)f California, justly claiming a high order
of citizenship and a spirit of enterprise which are certain to preserve continuous



48o REPRESENTATIVE CITIZEXS

development and marked advancement in the material upbuildinij of the sec-
tion. Tlie county has been and is signally favored in the class of men who
have controlled its affairs in ofificial capacity, and in this connection the sub-
ject of this review demands representation as one who has served the county
faithfully and well in positions of distinguished trust and responsibility. He
was forn'ierly a member of the state legislature, and by his commendable course
honored the commonwealth which thus honored him.

Mr. Sargent is a native of San Joaquin county. California, his birth hav-
ing occurred on the 4th of July. 1871. The family is of English origin and
was established in New Hampsliire in 1630. Many of its representatives have
been prominent in the public affairs which form a part of the history of the
nation. His grandfather. Jacob Sargent, was a captain in the Revolutionary
war, serving throughout the entire struggle which brought independence to
the nation. Subsequently he emigrated westward, becoming one of the first
settlers of Chicago, where lie built the old Canal House, which he conducted
up to the time of his death, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. Andrew Jack-
son Sargent, the father of our subject, was born in New Hampshire and mar-
ried ^riss Julia ?iIoffatt. a native of county Mayo. Ireland. The wedding
was celebrated in Chicago, and by way of the isthmus route they came to
California, in 1853, locating in Sacramento. After a short time, however,
they removed to San Joaquin county, taking up their abode near Stockton,
where Mr. Sargent's brothers. J. L. and R. C. Sargent, owned a large stock
ranch. At a later day. however, our subject located on Mokelumne Hill,
where he engaged in stock-raising and in the butchering business with his



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 62 of 108)