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 64 of 108)
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Railroad Company, and in 1867 was appointed a member of the police force
of Sacramento, which position he occupied for ten years.

On the 19th of March, 1874, Air. Rider was united in marriage to Miss
Anna Eagan, of Boston, Massachusetts, a daughter of Thomas and Alary
A. Eagan. who were natives of Ireland but died in San Francisco, the
former at the age of seventy years and the latter at the age of sixty years.
They were the parents of thirteen children, eleven of whom are yet living.
It was in i860 that they took up their abode in California, and Mr. Rider
has since been a resident of this state. In his political views he has al-
ways been a stalwart Republican since casting his first presidential vote for
Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He is an inflexible adherent of the principles of the
organization, and does all in his power to promote its growth and insure
its success, yet has never been an office-seeker. For thirty-two years he has
been numbered among the members of the Odd Fellows Society, is also a
member of the Exem])t Firemen's Association, and has been the commander
of Fair Oaks Post, G. A. R. His fidelity to duty, whether of public or
private nature, is most marked, and has won for him the confidence and
esteem of his fellow men. which he enjoys in an unusual degree.


For nearly forty years Dr. \\'oodmansee has engaged in the practice
of medicine and surgerj-, and his marked skill and ability have gained him
prestige in the ranks of his chosen profession. It is a calling in which suc-
cess niust depend upon individual merit, upon a comprehensive and accurate
knowledge of the medical science, upon deep interest in the work and upon
fidelity to the responsibilities that are imposed by the calling. When one has
reached a position of distinctive preferment it is an indication that he merits
the advancement accorded him, and this is certainly the case with Dr. Wood-

Born in Clinton county. Ohio, on the 3d of June, 1836, he is a son
of James Woodniansee, who was a native of Pennsylvania. His paternal
ancestors resided in Xew Jersey, and their advent on American soil ante-
dates the Re\<>lutionary war, in which the family was worthily represented
by many eminent heroes loyal to the cause of independence. The Doctor's
mother bore the maiden name of Joanna Cook, who was born in Virginia,
being descended from one of the old and influential families of the south.
In 1852 James Woodniansee removed with his wife and cliildren from Ohio
to Knox county. Illinois, where the Doctor ac(|uired his education, including
a course in Knox College, at Galeslmrg, that county. He was a student


in that institutirm tor <ine year, and was graduated in i860. Subsequently
he attended Abingdon College, in Abingdon, Illinois, where he pursued a
three-years course and was graduated with the degree of bachelor of science.
His excellent literary learning served as a foundation upon which to rear
the superstructure of professional knowledge, and during the four years
succeeding his graduation in Abingdon his entire attention was given to
the study of medicine. In 1864 he won his medical diploma from the Col-
lege of Physicians & Surgeons, in Keokuk, Iowa, and soon afterward he
entered the army as a surge<3n, lieing attached to the One Hundred and Twen-
tieth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. He was on detached duty as post
surgeon at Fort Pickering, in Memphis, Tennessee, and continued at the
front until 1865, rendering efifective service to the ill and w^ounded.

When the war was over Dr. Woodmansee located in Aberdeen, Missis-
sippi, where he continued in active practice for twenty-five years. In 1890
he located in Grass Valley, where he has since secured a large and lucrative
practice. Although a general practitioner and well versed in every depart-
ment of the me<lical science, he makes a specialty of office practice in the treat-
ment of eye, ear and throat diseases, in which he is very proficient. From
the faithful performance of each day's duty he gains inspiration and en-
couragement for the work of the next, and his labors have been followed by
such excellent results that he is accorded a foremost place among the medical
practitioners in northern California.

In 1866 the Doctor was united in marriage to Miss Sarah M. Harrington,
a native of Mississippi, whose ancestors were among the old families of South
Carolina. The Doctor is prominent in Grand Army circles, being a member
of Chattanooga Post. No. 1 15. G. A. R.. of Nevada City, and is also a member
of the J\Iasonic fraternity, of which he has taken the Royal Ardi and Knight
Templar degrees. He is a man of many excellencies of character, of de-
termined purpose, of strong mentality and of broad, human sympathy. These
have not only gained him ]irofessional eminence l)ut ha\e won him the re-
gard of his fellow men in the various communities where he has lived anil
wherever he is known.


The story of the struggles and triumphs of a self-made man is usually
interesting, and it is always instructive and encouraging. One of the best
known of this class of men in Tuolumne county is John N. Lyon, the pro-
prietor of the Stent hotel, who is also well known in connection with min-
ing interests. Mr. Lyon was born in Mentone, Kosciu.sko county. Indiana.
March 4, 1869, a son of Isaac and Sarah (Nichols) Lyon, both of Irish an-
cestry but descended from early settlers in New York. They were them-
selves pioneers in Ohio and later in Indiana, and in 1869 removed to Kansas,
where Mr. Lyon died, in November. 1882. in the thirty-seventh year of his
age. and his wife three years afterward, at the age of thirty-five. A man
and woman of the highest respectability, thev \verc members of the Meth-


udist Episcopal churcli. and 'Sir. Lyon's keen intelligence made him locally
prominent as a business man, and, as a Republican, he filled the office
of county assessor for three terms. Isaac and Sarah (Nichols) Lyon left
three sons and a daughter. Their daughter, Charlottie. died in March. 1S97,
and two of their sons, John X. and William, lixe at Stent. The other >^nn.
David, lives in Labette county, Kansas.

John X. Lyon was reared on his father's farm and had small opportunity
to obtain an education during the years of his youth, but by reading and
observation he has become a well informed man. At the age of eighteen years
he began to earn his own living, as a miner in Missouri and Kansas, .\ftcr
coming to California he remained a while at Fresno, and then came to Stent,
where he was one of the first settlers and where he built the Golden Rule
store, the first building erected in the tow-n, in which he engaged in mer-
chandising, and in which, as postmaster, he handled the mail of the town.
Eventually he sold out his stock of goods, and in 1896 he built the Stent
hotel, a sightly structure containing an office, parlor, dining-room, kitchen and
forty-four rooms for the accommodation of guests. By close attention to
business and by his studying the wants of the traveling public he has made
a success of the enterprise and does the hotel business of the town. He is
perhaps the best representative of the class of self-made men so large in
California which his town affords. Xo longer ago than 1893, he was in
such a financial strait that his capital amounted to no more than fifteen cents:
but he is now the ])rinci]Kd property-owner and business man of his town
and is the proprietor of a ])art of the town-site, and also the owner of un-
develo])ed mining claims. He is a member of the Miners' Union, of the Order
of Foresters and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a lead-
ing and influential Republican and a citizen of much public spirit, who never
loses an opportunity to advance the interests of his town. He gives the
closest attention to his business and is of a genial, whole-souled nature, easilv
making and retaining friends. Mrs. Lyon is a most hospitable woman and is
known as a model "landlady" and has contributed not a little to his success
in the hotel business.

Mr. Lyon was married October i, 1898, to Miss .Mice Fitzgerald, a
native of Tuolumne county and a daughter of Andrew Fitzgerald, an early
settler in California, and they have a little daughter named Maud, who was
lK)rn Deceml)er 4, 1899.


There is ])erhaps no profession in which such rapid progress has been
made through the past half century as that of dentistry. In fact it has been
a comparatively short i)eriod in which the profession has had a place among
the business interests to which men devote their energies. Wonderful discov-
eries, however, have been made, and dentistry has reached a degree of per-
fection that is truly marvelous. In all the discoveries connected with the
science Dr. Thomas has kept abreast, and is particularly skillful in the manip-
ulation of the tools used in the practice of his chosen calling. Thus has !)e


won a large practice and has gained a place among the leading representatives
of dentistry in this section of the state. His parlors are located on the corner
of Main and Alill streets, in Grass \'alley, and there his time is largely occupied
with the lahors resulting from the large practice which he no\\- cnjijys.

The Doctor is a native of the Keystone state, his birth having occurred
in Susquehanna county, September 29, 1866. His father, Charles 'Ihomas,
was also born in Pennsyh-ania and was descended from one of three brothers
who came from Wales in the early part of the seventeenth century. His wife,
who bore the maiden name of Lydia Giles, was born in Pennsylvania, and is
a daughter of Judge Samuel Giles, who was one of the loyal American soldiers
during the Revolutionary war. Dr. Thomas is the youngest in a family of
five children, and with his parents he removed from Pennsylvania to Iowa
county, Wisconsin, in 1867. He was seven years of age when taken by
them, on their removal, to DeKalb county, Missouri, where he obtained his lit-
erary education in the public schools.

He was but a youth when he started out to make his own way in the
world, and many are the experiences that have come to him thrtnigh the
varied business interests with which lie has been connected. Upon leaving
home he went to Topeka, Kansas, where he began the study of pharmacy,
spending two years in a drug store there. On the expiration of that time he
went to St. Clair county, Missouri, and was employed in a drug 'Store for five
years at that point. Although not a graduate of any school of pharmacy,
he has a comprehensi\e knowledge of the science and also of anatomy, which
he has made a special study for several years. In 1888 he came to Cali-
fornia and accepted a position as a traveling representative of a wholesale
drug house, and later he became associated with Dr. C. A. Perry, a dentist of
San Francisco, having in the meantime passed an examination before the state
board of California. For five years he engaged in practice in San Francisco
and then came to Grass \'alley, where he opened an office.

On the 3th of November, 1898, the Doctor was united in marriage to
Miss Marie Clements, an estimable lady, who was born in this state and is a
daughter of L. B. Clements, now deceased. Her father was one of the Cali-
fornia pioneers of 1849, ^''^d for more than twenty years served as justice
of the peace of Santa Cruz. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have one son, Rialto F,.,
born November 18, 1900. The Doctor exercises his right of franchise in
support of the men and measures of the Republican party, and socially affiliates
with the Knights of Pythias of which he is now vice chancellor. Both he
and his wife have the high regard of many friends and enjuy the hospitality
of the best homes in this locality.


He who is now filling the ofiice of secretary of state of
young man fnr whom the future doubtless holds in store still
for his abilities well entitle him to high distinction either in .-
He has the strong intellectuality and keen foresight of the si



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Ijined with wiiicli is a spirit of patriotism wliicli places the national welfare
before partisanship and the general good before personal aggrandizement.
He is one of the most popnlar men ever called to public oflfice in California,
and in his present high position is discharging his responsible duties in a man-
ner which shows that the confidence reposed in him has not been misplaced.

Mr. Curry is a man of marked individuality- and striking personality
and would attract attention anywhere. His face is somewhat of the Lincoln
type, strong, rugged and noble. He is probably over six feet tall and when
walking his head is slightly inclined forward, which indicates the studious
mind and scholarly habits of the man. A heavy growth of black hair crowns
a broad forehead, and a pair of dark eyes Mash fire as he attacks injustice
or anything worthy of contempt, but usually beams with kindliness, too, that
indicates the true spirit of the man. His face at once indicates firnmess, thor-
oughness and an inflexible perseverance, yet a genial smile wins the friend-
ship of all. No duty is by him neglected, no task slighted, yet he finds
time to manifest his sincere interest in his fellow-men, and his social nature
and pleasant, courteous manner is such as to endear him to all and make
him a favorite in all classes. These elements, combined with his mentality,
well fit him for leadership, and the position of secretary of state is ably filled
by Charles F. Curry, the record of whose life follows:

Charles Forrest Curry was born in Mapleville, Illinois, ^ilarch 14, 1858.
His paternal great-grandparents were Judge William and Annie E. (Jenkins)
Curry, natives of England, coming to America in 1S44. They took uj) their
residence at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, in the territorial days of that com-
monwealth. There the Judge was extensively engaged in dealing in cattle.
By profession, however, he was an attorney and served as one of the local
judges of southwestern Wisconsin. He died in 1863. at the age of sixty years,
and his wife passed away in San Francisco, at the age of seventy-eight years.

Charles H. M. Curry, the father of our subject, was born in England.
Koveml)er 4. 1833, ^"^^ ^^'^'1 '^'s parents came to the L'nited States. He was
educated in the schools of Mineral Point and in his eary life learned the
printer's trade, but never followed that pursuit. Instead he joined his father
in the cattle business and was connected with that enterprise until coming to
California. In 1876 he left the ilississippi valley, after residing for thirty-
five j-ears at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, and came to California, but soon after
went to Washington territory, where he remained for two years. On the
expiration of that period he returned to San Francisco, taking a very active
interest in jxilitics and was soon recognized as a leader in the Republican ranks
of this state. He had aided in the organization of the Rcpulilican party
. in Wisconsin and was the mayor of Mineral Point and sui)crintcndent of
pulilic instruction. He was one of the first representatives of the Knights
(if Honor in California, served as the grand reporter for fourteen years and fur
twelve 3^ears he \vas a member of their supreme lodge of the United Stntv-
To him the society owes its present proud position on the Pacific coast.

Charles H. M. Curry was married, in Mineral Point. Wisconsin. Im
Miss Emma J. Kimb.'dl. who was l)i>rn in Xajierville. Illinois. June JO, 1837,


and is a daugliter of Leonard and ]\Iinerva (Chatfield) Kimball. Her
nmtlier is now living with onr subject. Her father was a pioneer farmer of
W'isciinsin. Illinois and California. After coming to the Pacific coast he
returned to the east, but later again came to California and died in Sonoma
county, at the age of seventy-three years. His wife passed away in Illinois,
in 1897, ''t the advanced age of eighty-five years. The great-grandparents
of our subject on the maternal side — the Kimballs — were natives of Ver-
mont and the great-grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war.
His great-grandfather Chatfield was also a Revolutionary hero, and Sherman
Chattleld .-erxed through the war of 1812. Edmond Mallory, another
gre:a-!;ranili';itlier of the subject of this review, was also a soldier in the war
of tlie Rc\iilution and was the president of the first university established
in New Hampshire. Judge William Curry, an uncle of our subject, is yet a
prominent resident of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He has served for three
terms as county clerk, as treasurer for two terms, as notary public and has occu-
pied the bench of the police court. For many years he has been identified
with the banking interests of the town and is alike prominent in business

lion. Charles F. Curry pursued his early education in ?ilineral Point,
Wisconsin, and later continued his studies in the Lincoln school, of San Fran-
cisco, and the University of Washington Territory, remaining in the latter
institution for one year. Subsequently he engaged in clerking in a book-
store for two years, and for four years was emjjloyed as a salesman in a
jewelry store. On the expiration of that period he began business for himselt
as a jeweler and continuecl in that line until 1892, when he accepted a position
in the Sacramento post-office. There he remained for four and a half years,
at the end of which time he resigned to accept the position of county clerk.

Mr. Curry has always taken a deep interest in politics and has made a
close study of the questions and issues which affect the state and national wel-
fare. When only twenty-two years of age he was elected to the state legisla-
ture of California, where he served for one term, taking an active part in the
legislation and labored earnestly for the adoption of the measures which he
believed would be a benefit to the commonwealth. He was made the chairman
of the committee on employes, and on crimes and penalties, and was a member
of the committee on education and public buildings and grounds. He has
frequently served the public as the secretary of the San Francisco delegation
at the conventions of his party, and his opinions carry weight in its councils.
•He filled the ottice of county clerk for a term of four years, and on the expira-
tion of that period still higher honors were accorded him; for by a vote of
the people he was elected to the responsible position which he is now so
acceptably filling.

Mr. Curry is an esteemed memlicr of the Knights of Honor, with which he
lias been connected for twelve years, and for three years he has been its
representative to the supreme lodge. He has belonged to the Ancient Order
of United Workmen and for some time has attended the sessions of its grand
lodge, in which he was made the chairman of the finance committee in 1898.


On resigning that pusiticm he was a])|)i)inle(l a member of tlie arbitration
committee. He also lielongs to the .\Iasonic fraternity, having his member-
sliip in a lodge at San Francisco, am! in his life exemplifies the benevolent prin-
ciples of these orders.

He was married, in 1891. to Lillie .\. Sipperly, who was born at Thomp-
son Flat. Bntte county, California. March 1. 1864, a daughter of Frederick
\V. and Sarah (Thompson) Sipperly, both of whom were natives of the
Empire state. Her father died in Butte county, where he had engaged in
mining. Her mother is still living. Mrs. Curry, was engaged in the schools
of Red Bluff and San Francisco and was a lady of marked culture and rehneii
character. By her marriage she became the mother of two children : Flor-
ence A., born August 17. 1892; and Charles F., born August 13, 1893.
She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, and when called
to her final rest October 25, 1895, her death was deeph- mourned by her
many friends in San Francisco. Such in brief is the history of one of the
younger representatives of the public life in California. His years, however,
have been no bar to his progress, as his strong intellectuality, his keen dis-
cernment and his patriotic spirit have won recognition in the high political
honors accorded him. He has already left the impress of his individuality
upon the Golden state, and in future years will undoubtedly be actively con-
cerned in shaping the public policy of California.


Jackson Dennis is a self-made man who, without an\- cxtraordinarv familv
or educational advantages at tlie commencement of life, has battled earnestly
and energetically, and by indomitable courage and integrity has achieved both
ciiaracter and fortune. By sheer force of will and untiring effort he has
worked his way ujjward and is to-day one of the most prominent business
men of Sutter Creek.

Born on the ist of X'ovembcr. 183J. in .Xudrain county. Missouri, he
is a son of James Dennis, whose birth occurred in Missouri, in 1815. His
father was a farmer and for many years was a leading citizen of his com-
munity, holding the office of district judge. He was married in his native
state to Miss Mary A. Donavan, whose birth occurred in Linn county. Mis-
souri, and in that state they became the parents of five children, who in 1853
accomjianied them on their journey across the plains to California. The
father was the captain of the company which made the trip at that time.
They secured their outfits at St. Joseph, Missouri, and in the i)arty were one
Inmdred and twenty men. women and children, their e<|uipments consisting
of twenty-three wagons, drawn by ox teams. They were harassed by savages
and had several hard fights with the red men. four of their numl)er being
killed, while a consideral)le amount of their stock was captured and driven
away. Mr. Dennis, with a squad of men. followed the Indians, and when
they overtfHik them, jnuiished tliem severely antl recaptured most of the cattle.
On the riatte ri\er they succeeded in i)urchasing more cattle and were thus


enabled to make their way over the plains to the land nf gold. Thev crnssed
the Sierra Nevada mountains and came tlown the old \'olcano road u> lime,
Amador county, where Mr. Dennis followed his trade of carpentering.

For some years he carried on contracting and building, after which he be-
came the proprietor of tlie Arcade Hotel, which he conducted successfully
for a considerable period. He then left lone and engaged in copper mining
near what is now the Xewton mine in Amador county, but in that venture
he lost much money and was obliged to resume his work as a contractor.
He assisted in I)uilding the towns of Shingle Springs and Latrobe. in El-
dorado county, and followed his chosen vocation until his eyesight began
to fail, when he was forced to retire from active business. He then came
to Sutter Creek, which place he continued to make his home until his death,
which occurred on the 4th of March. 1897. when he had attained the age
of eighty-two years. He was an upright, honorable man. and in politics a life-
long Republican, supporting the Union cause during- the Civil war. His
wife survived him until the i6th of November. 1899. when she, too, passed
to the home beyond. Two chikh-en were added to their family in Cali-
fornia, making seven in all. and of that number five are yet living, namely:
John D., who is a druggist in San Iaus Obispo; Henry, a telegraph operator
and station agent for the \'alley Road; Maggie, the wife of William Land;
Louise, the wife of A. Adams, of Sacramento; and Jackson, the subject of
this sketch.

The last mentioned was only a year old wlien brought by his parents
to California. He was educatetl in the public schools of lone. Latrobe and
Shingle, and when his literary course w^as completed he began reading medi-
cine under the direction of E)r. J. A. Brown, of Sutter Creek, and subse-
r|uently took a course in the medical department of the Cooper School of
San Francisco. On leaving- that institution he accepted a clerkship in his
brother's store, which was subsequently sold to the firm of Dunlap & W^alker,
and ac a later day Mr. Dennis purchased the interest of Mr. Walker, the
firm then being Dunlap & Dennis, which relationship was retained for eight
years, when Mr. Dennis l)onght out his partner, becoming sole proprietor.

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 64 of 108)