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 65 of 108)
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Through the succeeding years he has conducted the leading drug store at
Sutter Creek, having nearly all the trade in his line in the town. He car-
ries a large and complete stock of everything found in a first-class estab-
lishment of the kind, and his commendable business methods, reasonable prices
and honorable dealing have secured to him a large patronage.

Mr. Dennis has always been an active factor in the life of Sutter Creek
in every way. For over thirty years he held the jiosition of postmaster,
being appointed by President Grant and serving in the ofiice until after the
inauguration of President McKinley, when he resigned in order to give
more undivided attention to his commercial interests. His long retention
in office indicated his fidelity and his promptness in the administering of the
afifairs of the office. He is also a representative of the Western Union Tele-
graph Company, the Wells-Fargo Express Company and has the agency for
the Sunset Telegraph Com])any. which has recently been extended to the



496 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

tuwn. He is an expert telegraph Dperator and an able representative of the
corporations mentioned. He owns the brick business block in which his
drug store and the post-office are located, and in all his business affairs he
has prospered. On the 26th of March, 1900, Mr. Dennis organized a bank,
the only one in Sutter Creek. He expected it would have a steady growth
and build up a banking business in a gradual manner; but on the first day
of opening he was rushed with deposits, doing a ten-thousand-dollar business!
The first three months' business aggregated what he expected to do in a
year's time. So encouraging is his success that a building must be erected ex-
pressly for his bank.

On the 30th of January. 1872. Mr. Dennis wedded Miss FraiKes Ricard,
and 'ji them have been born the following named children : Wilfred, who is
the superintendent of the Free American Quartz I^Iining Company and the
princijjal stockholder; Harry S.. who enlisted in the heavy artillery at the
breaking out of the Spanish-American war and was stationed at Fort Canby
until after the close of hostilities, when he received an honorable discharge.
He next enlisted in the Third Cavalry and is now engaged in the pursuit of
Aguinaklo in the Philijjpines. Hazel, the daughter of the family, is at home
with l:er parents, who occupy a very pleasant residence adjoining Sutter
Creek, where Mr. Dennis owns forty acres of valuable land. He is a mem-
ber of the blue lodge and chapter of the ilasonic fraternity and has filled'
all the offices in both branches of the Odd Fellows society; and is also a
member of the Independent Order of Foresters and of the Chosen Friends.
His w ife is a valued meml)er of the ]\Iethodist church. He contributes lilierally
to all enterprises and interests calculated to prove a public benefit and is one
of the valued residents of his community. His official conduct was that
of an upright, honorable business man, who retired from office as he liad
entered. — with the confidence, respect and esteem of his fellow citizens.

FRED WERXER.

Fred Werner, recently deceased, was numbered among the honored Cali-
fornia i)ioneers of 1849, who after long connection with the affairs of life
enjoyed in the evening of life a well earned rest. He resided at Sutter Creek,
in .\mador county. His life history began on the banks of the Rhine, in
Bavaria. Germany, where his birth occurred on the 24th of March, 1824. his
parents being Henry and Elizabeth (Xeu) Werner. His father was a shoe-
maker by trade, following that pursuit in order to provide for tiie mainte-
nance of his family. He had five children. His death occurred in his forty-
eighth year and his wife passed away in her sixtieth year.

Mr. Werner, of this review, was their second born, and in his native land
he obtained his education and learned the butcher's trade. The favoral)le
reports he received concerning the ojiportunities and advantages of the new
world led him to seek a home across the -Atlantic, and in 1846 he .sailed for
New York, landing at the .\merican metropolis, amid strangers whose lan-
guage was unknown to him, without money or infiuential friends to aid him.



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 497

He worked at liis trade in Xew York city until 184S, and then made his way-
westward to Chicago, wliere he followed the butchering business until the spring
of 1849. Desirous of trying his fortune in the newly discovered gold fields of
California, he then started upon the hazardous journey across the plains to the
Pacific slope, leaving his Chicago home on the first of April and arrivin;, at
San Francisco on the 19th of November, 1849. He was witii a party of five
young men, who made the journey with two wagons drawn by oxen. They
were five months upon the wa}' but in safety reached Sacramento, where Mr.
Werner engaged in the butchering business on his own account. Beef Avas
then selling for ten dollars per hundred-weight at wholesale and sirloin '^teak
brought twenty-five cents a pound. He continued business in the capital city
for fi\'e years and then obtained a large ranch in Solano county, where he
engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of cattle and horses. He pur-
chased thoroughbred cattle and fine-blooded horses, and for many years was
prominently identified with the stock-raising interests of California and did
much to improve the grade of animals raised on the Pacific 'slope. At one
time he was the owner of Rattler, the best horse in the commonwealth.

After conducting business here for seven years he returned to the land
of his nativity to .visit relatives and friends, but the great affection which he
had formed for his new home led him again to California, when he took up
his abode at Sutter Creek. Here he purchased a butchering business, which
he carried on for manv years, meeting with marked success in his undertak-
ing. In 1873 he erected a brick building, twenty feet wide and extending
to the rear boundary of the block. It was located in the very center of the
business district, and through many years he furnished to the inhabitants of
the town choice meats at reasonable prices, and thus he gained a very liberal
patronage. His business methods were ever honorable and commendable, and
he gained the respect and confidence of his fellow men. At the time of his
death he owned a ranch of two thousand acres and still was raising stock, but
practically living retired, having relegated to others the more arduous duties of
his business, to which, however, lie gave to some extent his personal supervision.
He was a charter member of the Pioneer Society of Sacramento and reached
the traditional age of three-score years and ten. He died August 12, 1900,
very suddenly, from a stroke of apoplexy, and his passing away occasioned a
gloom throughout the community, fur he was held in high esteem by the
citizens generally.

EDWARD HARRIS.

Edward Harris, the superintendent of the Big Bonanza mine, of Cala-
veras county. California, owned by the Oriole Mining & Milling Company,
is a native son of California, born in Angel's Camp on June 10, 1876. His
father was James Harris, who was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1833,
and in 1852 left his native land and came to America, immediately directing
his steps to San Francisco and later located at Angel's Camp. Ide had been
a ver\- successful miner in Calaveras, ]\larii)osa and Eldora<l(i counties, at



49S REPRESEXTATIVE CITIZEXS

one time, wlien working- iliu Dead Horse mine, taking out a nugget that was
valued at seven lumdred dollars. Before his death, in Angel's Camp, he
was engaged in many mining enterprises, many of them very successful, as
he was a man of both industry and good judgment. The mother of our
subject was married, in Angel's, to James Harris, her name being Jane Mc-
Cann. She was a nati\e of Louisiana and had emigrated to California with
her family in 1855. 'Pen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Harris: Car-
rie, now the wife of George Glass, of Angel's Camp, California; Nellie, the
wife of C. Powell, residing in Stockton, California: Annie F., the wife of
J. Davis, residing in Angel's Camp; Henry James, a miner, lias his residence
also in Angel's Camp: and Mary J., the wife of F. Lyons, of the same city.
These, with our subject, are the survivors of the children, and the beloved
mother in her fifty-tifth year is enjoying the respect of her family and friends
and may live long to still cherish and encourage them.

Edward Harris was educated in the public school and when but sixteen
years of age began to follow the example of his father and engage in mining,
the family owning the mine of which he now is superintendent, for twenty-
five years. It is a very rich mine, fcnu'teen thousand dollars having been
taken from the surface. It is now being operated and has a shaft five hun-
dred and thirty-fi\-e feet deep, much ore being already dumped. But this
is not the only mining i)ro])erty jiossessed by Mr. Harris, several other valu-
alile tracts rich in ore being in his possession. He understands the .science
of mining, being a mining expert, and much success has attended his efforts
in developing the mineral resources of this part of the state.

Mr. Harris was married August 16, 1897, to Miss INLiud Dolan, of
Grass X'alley, and this union has been blessed with one beautiful little daugh-
ter. Mar\el .Mmira. Mr. and Mrs. Harris are located in a handsome residence
at .Xngel's Camp, with beautiful surroundings, and they are held in the high-
est esteem by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

1-RAXK HOFF^LVX.

b'rank I InfTman is numbered among the pioneer settlers of Amador county
and in the affairs of life he has achieved success, demonstrating the fact
that ])rosperity is not the outcome of genius or talent but follows persistent
and well directed efforts. A native of Germany, he was born in Evarsdorf.
April 18. 1825. and is a son of John Hoffman, a farmer by occupation and
a member of the Lutheran church. In his family were two sons and a
daughter, but the latter has passed away, and the parents both died in tlio
sixty-fourth year of their a.ge.

Frank Hoffman pursued his education in the schools of his native land
until he had attained the age of thirteen years. In 1844, at the age of nine-
teen, he came to the I'nited States, having but little money and little ex-
perience in the ways of the world. He was not familiar with the English
language or the customs of the country, but he readily adapted himself to
the latter and soon mastered the fiirmer. Locating in St. Louis, Missouri.



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 499

lie learned the butcher's trade, and in 1850 lie crossed the plains, with mule
teams, with a company of sixty-two families journeying- westward with the
hope of accjuiring a fortune on the Pacific slope. Mr. Hoffman's immediate
companions were three unmarried men who ate and slept together, having a
wagon in which to haul their goods, drawn by two mules and two horses.
The trail was marked b\' newly made graves of ^'ictims who had been killed
by the Indians, but the}- proceeded on their way unmolested until they ar-
rived at Clreen ri\-er, where they left their wagon and loaded their effects on
their horses and mules, thus continuing the journey to Hangtown, the men
covering the distance on font. After four months and ten days upon the
way they arrived at their destination. They had crossed the Mississippi
at St. Joseph, Missouri, on the 4th of May and had endured the usual hard-
ships of life on the plains. There were no bridges, and therefore all the rivers
had to be forded, and they narrowly escaped being drowned in the Platte.

At Mud Springs, California, Mr. Hofifman secured a position as a butcher,
and after three weeks his employers purchased fifteen head of cattle, of which
Mr. Hoffman butchered four. \\'hile he was herding the remaining eleven
he was approached by three men who asked him if he owned the cattle. On
receiving a negative answer they inquired for the owners, and Mr. Hoffman
pointed out to them his employers. They then proceeded to drive oft' the
cattle and took with them the owners, whom it is supposed were hung, for
nothing- was ever heard from them afterward! INlr. Hoft'man w-as thus de-
prived of his wages, except that he was given half of a beef, -which he sold.

He then engaged in mining in the gulch and became associated in busi-
ness with a John Hoffman, who though of the same surnanie was not a
relati\-e. They spent the winter together and in the spring purchased a
number of cattle, which they took to Grass Valley, erecting there a little
Initcher shop. Our subject then slaughtered the cattle, selling the beef for
thirty-five cents a pound. After a few months, however, prices greatlv de-
preciated there, and with William Barker and Tom Bryne he went to Mission
bouse, six miles above Aulnirn, where five hundred men were engaged in
building a canal. There he followed the butchering business, securing twenty-
five cents per pound for his beef. When the work on the canal was almost
completed he and his companions proceeded to the IMokelumne river, wliere
he secured a claim of one hundred and sixty acres of bottom land. They
cut hay on the Mokelumne Plill, and soon afterward I^Ir. Hodges and Mr.
Rryne built a log stable and corral and engaged in the livery business. In
the spring Mr. Brvne returned to the ranch and Mr. Hoffman began mining
on Mokelumne Hill, taking out from eight to ten dollars per day. and on
one occasion securing fifty-two dollars in a single day. In connection with
his partner he planted barley, wheat and vegetables upon the ranch and the
same spring cut about sixty-five tons of wild oats.

On the 1st of June, 1852, they came to Jackson and purchased a lot
opposite the present site of the Globe Hotel, where they embarked in the
livery business. They built the stable of shakes which they split in the moun-
tains, the building being twenty-eiglit by forty feet, with a corral in the



500 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

rear. They hauled llieir liay t<j the town, and in tlie conduct of tlieir business
met with good success. In 1854 Mr. Hoffman purchased a lot on Main street,
on which a brick stable is now located, paying one thousand dollars for it.
He built a two-story frame structure on the place, and there conducted a
Hvery in connection with his partner until the following year, when the busi-
ness relation was dissoh-ed, Mr. Hoffman retaining the ownership of the
stable and his partner securing the ranch for his share of the property.
Subsequently the stable was destroyed by fire and a large amount of hay
also was lost. In i860 he bought the brick stable built by Judge A. C.
Brown, the purchase price being thirty-five hundred dollars. He afterward
purchased the lot and frame house above it and made a livery barn forty
feet wide and one hundred feet in length, with a large yard in the rear. He
successfully conducted the business until 1885, when he sold out, having in
the meantime accumulated a comfortable competence.

In 1859 yiw Hoffman had purchased the forty acres of land uiK)n which
he now resides,— the tract adjoining the town-site of Jackson. Since then
he has added to the pro])erty until he now has two hundred acres, the place
being improved with large barns and a fine residence. He has also erected a
number of other good dwellings and f^om his property investments derives
a good income. He also has various mining interests and has met with
creditable success in his business affairs during the greater part of his life.
This has resulted from industry, economy, capable management and sound
judgment.

In 1862 ^Ir. Hoffman was united in marriage to Mi.ss Christina Clamm,
a nati\e of Germany, born March 2. 1836, and was a daughter of Colonel
l-'rederick and Calina (Bauman) Clamm, both natives of Rheigonheim. Ger-
many. They are members of the Methodist church and take an active in-
terest in its work and upbuilding. Mr. Hoffman has been a lifelong Republi-
can, casting his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont. He belongs
to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has filled all the offices in
both branches of the organization. The story of pioneer life in the west
is familiar to him, and he has experienced many of the hardships and trials
borne by a brave band of frontier settlers who came to California when the
state was in its primiti\e period and the work of civilization had hardly been
begun. He has ever been true to the duties devolving upon him, as is ex-
emplified in his life and honorable business methods, and thus has he won and
retained the confidence and respect of his fellow men.

XILS L. KXl'DSEX.

The German element in our national civilization is an im])ortant one.
The citizens who liave come to .America from the fatherland possess in a
large measure the power of assimilation that enaliles them to adopt the man-
ners and customs, as well as the language, of the i)eoi)le in the new world.
They are industrious, conduct business interests on broad princii)Ies and at-
tain success as easilv as anv other class. Mr. Knudsen is bv no means an



Of XORTIIERX CALIFORNIA. 501

exception to the rule, lie Ijclongs rather to the large majority whose pro-
gressi\-e and intelligent industry is having an int^uence more and more marked
un our general prosperity as we enter upon the new century.

Mr. Knudsen was born in Germany on the i8th of September, 1854. his
parents being Nils and Anna Maria ( Thygesdatter ) Knudsen, both of whom
were natives of Germany. The father was a prominent business man in his
locality and was a very highly respected citizen. In religious faith he was
a Protestant. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Knudsen were seven children,
five of whom are living. The subject of this review is now the only one
in California. He acquired an excellent education in his native land, in-
cluding the mastery of several languages. Subsequently he traveled in differ-
ent parts of the world, thus gaining a comprehensive knowledge of men and
customs in other countries. He \\'as also practically trained in different lines
of work and was taught to have a regard for the opinions and feelings of
others and entertain respect for those older than himself. Thus an excellent
character foundation was lai<l. while his education prepared him for life's
]iractical and responsible duties.

In 1877 he came to America, liringing with liim considerable capital with
which his father had pro\-ided him in order to enaljle him to gain a good
start in the new world. He arrived in Chicago, tra^■eled all over the country
and in 1887 took u]) his abode in Los Angeles, California. He was for some
time in ."^an iM-ancisco and Sacramento, and also resided in Amador county.
-Vfter coming Im Tudjumne county he served for fom' years as a bookkeeper
for the Rawhide Mining Company. In 1895 he purchased a lumber business
in Sonora from George W. Hale, and also became the owner of a sawmill.
He at once liegan to make improvements in the plant and from the beginning
of his connection with the enter])rise his trade has steadily increased in volume
and importance. He engages both in the manufacture and sale of lumber
and is at the head of one of the leading industries of the state. In his yards
he keeps a larg-e supply of all kinds of lumber, and he also deals in grain.
Among his buildings are good offices and store rooms, and he has an ex-
tensive planing-mill supplied with all the needed machinery for prosecuting
his work in a first-class manner. There is also a well equipped blacksmith
shop, containing an apparatus in which refractory horses can be easily shod.
Sixty-two hor.ses are utilized in hauling the lumber from his mill and he
employs fifty skilled workmen. He employs only experts and pays to them
good wages, thus commanding the best service. His mill has a capacity of
twenty-five thousand feet of lumber per day, and, on account of the excellency
of its quality, his reasonable prices and his honorable dealings, he has se-
cured a very liberal and constantly growing patronage. On his grounds are
also large stables and corrals for the shelter and protection of his hor.ses,
both at the mill and in Sonora. He is a man of excellent business ability
and executive force, and his practical knowledge of the best methods of the
manufacture of lumber enables him cajiably to direct the efforts of the work-
men and thus secure excellent results.

Socialh- ^Ir. Knudsen is an actix'c and \-aluc(l member of the !^Iasonic



502 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

fraternity, belonging to llie l)lue lodge, cliapter, council and coniniandery. He
has served as the senior warden in the blue lodge and junior warden in the
coniniandery, and has been Royal Arch captain in the chapter. Jn ix)litics he
is a stanch Republican, and in 1900 was elected a member of the board of
trustees of Sonora. where his efforts toward the upbuilding and improve-
ment of the city are \ery efficient. He was married January 17, 1894, to
Miss Olive Sarah Hale, a daughter of George \\'. Hale, the former owner
of the luml)er and sawmill business, of which Mr. Knudsen is now the head.
They have a large and beautiful residence in Sonora and their home is blessed
with the presence of two little children, — Hale and Anna Maria. Their home
is celebrated for its charming hospitality, which is widely extended to their
many friends. They are jwpular people, of sterling worth, and enjoy the
warm regard of all with whom they have been brought in contact. The
record of Mr. Knudsen is that of a man who has, by his own efforts, worked
his wav upward to a position of affluence, whose life has been one of industry,
perseverance and systematic and honorable business methods; and this, to-
gether with his diligence and al)ility, has won him the patronage and con-
iidence of many. He is now numbered among the most prominent and in-
fluential men of this portion of the state, and his native genius, keen discern-
ment and unfaltering ai)])lication are the stepping-stones on which he has
mounted.

ALEXANDER M. GALL.

The inevitable law of destiny accords to tireless energy and industry a
successful career, and in no field of endeavor is there greater opportunity for
advancement than in that of the medical profession, whose votaries must, if
successful, be endowed with native talent, sterling rectitude of character and
singleness of purpose, while equally important concomitants are close study,
careful application and broad knowledge, in addition to that of the more
purely technical order. Dr. Gall has won distinction in his profession, result-
ing from his possession of those necessary (|ualitications. and is one of the
most successful practitioners of Jackson.

.\ native of Aberdeen, Scotland, he was born ^larch 30, 1866, and in
1869, when only three years of age, was brought to California by his parents.
His Scotch ancestry extends back to one of the noted Highland clans. His
father, George Gall, was Ijorn in the parish of Reign, near Aberdeen, and
was a respected farmer there. He married Miss Isal>ella Marshall, and in
the land of hills and heather they became the parents of five children. In
1869 they started for New York, on a westward Ixiund steamer, and from
the .American metropolis made their way to California, locating first at Stock-
ton, where the father engaged in merchandising, continuing there to make
his home until May. 1898. when he was called to his final rest, at the ago
of sixty-six. His wife had departed this life in 1873. Four of their chil-
dren, two sons and two daughters, yet survive them.

Dr. Gall was educated in the schools of Stockton, graduating at the high



0/' ^'ORTHER^' CALIFORNIA. 503

scliool in 1886. He sul:)se(|uently engaged in teaching for five years, and
tlien, with the desire to make the practice of medicine his hfe work, entered
tiie CaHfornia State Medical College, now the medical department of the
State University, in which he was graduated with the degree of M. D., in
1893. He began his practice in connection with Dr. Hudson, his former
preceptor, and soon afterward came to Jackson, where he has met w-ith ex-
cellent success both as a physician and surgeon. He has a comprehensive
knowledge of the principles of medical science, and is particularly well in-
formed concerning surgery and his operations have been very successful. This
has gained him marked jjrestige in his chosen calling, and his skill and ability
ha\-e won for him a liberal and constantly increasing patronage.

On the 8th of August, 1896, the Doctor was united in marriage to Miss



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 65 of 108)