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 71 of 108)
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Tlie time wliicli followed the loss of the savings of years was a dark
and discouraging one for Mr. Curtin. He sought to repair his fortunes, but no
claims in which he worked seemed to pay for the labor, and he finally engaged
in peddling fruit to make a living. In i860 he entered into what has proved
a very successful enterprise, that of teaming and transporting freight from
Stockton to various points, and since that time has been actively engaged in the
business. It was enlarged and extended until many men and teams were
necessary to properly conduct it, until the advent of the Sierra Railroad int )
Tuolumne county, when he then ceased that business.

Mr. Curtin now resides at Cloudman's, where he has a ranch of twelve
hundred and eighty acres of land, which he purchased in 1879, and here he
entertains teamsters and has as high as seven hundred head of cattle. He is
in the sixty-ninth year of his age, while his estimable wife lived to be forty-
seven, dying in February, 1891. Mr. Curtin has seen many hardships incident
to the early life in the county, but can now take much comfort in his advancing
jfcars. Of their seven children two have passed away, the survivors being —
Mary Hannah, the wife of John C. Weyburn, of San Francisco county;
Margaret Ellen, the wife of Joseph \\'arren, a mining engineer: Michael J-,
in San Francisco; Robert Andrew, who is on the ranch with his father, while
the residence of our subject is in Sonora.

John Barry Curtin received as many educational advantages as it was in
the power of his parents to bestow, attending the public schools and later
receiving instruction from a private tutor employed by his father at the
ranch. His mind early displayed a legal bent, and he began the study of law
under the supervision of Col. E. A. Rogers, passing in 1892 a most creditable
examination. He was admitted to practice in all the courts of the state, soon
displaying such ability and legal acuinen that he was chosen by the Demo-
cratic party as its nominee for prosecuting attorney of the county, to which
ofiice he was elected with a handsome majority. He entered into the duties of
the office, immediately meeting with such success as the public prosecutor
that his name became well known throughout the state, preparing the way
for his present prominence. His services were early engaged for the Great
Raw Hide Mining Company, where he is in legal connection with some of
the brightest lawyers of the state; and at the close of the celebrated Golden
Gate case he was accorded the honor of making the closing appeal to the
jury, fuliilling every expectation and displaying rare powers of oratory ;'.s
well as deep legal ability. On November 8, 1898, he was elected to t!io
state senate, having the largest majority on the state ticket and also the
largest vote cast for any senator from that district.

Mr. Curtin was married November 22, 1897, to Miss Lucie A. Shaw,
the youngest and accomplished daughter of John Shaw, a citizen of Sonora,
and one child has been born to Senator and j\lrs. Curtin, which has been
named Milton Barry. The home which the family owns and occupies is the
most attractive among the many beautiful ones of this city, and there is dis-
])ensed a most delightful hospitality, worthy of the esteemed subject and his
charming wife.


Socially, Senator Curtin is connected with the Foresters, and is a jjast
jiresident of the Native Sons of the Golden West. In his position as an earn-
est, honest and worthy citizen, as well as an able lawyer antl incorrnptihle
pnblic servant. Senator Curtin receives and deserves the esteem and uncpial-
ified respect of the residents of Tuolumne C(junty.


There are few "fort} - niners'" left in California, for most of them have
g-one over the "great divide" to a land of treasures richer than those which
drew them away from home and friends over the "Rockies" and Sierras
and down into the gold-laden land of California. One of the best known of
those who yet live in Calaveras county is Adolphus Henry Coulter, of San
Andreas, who fills the office of county surveyor.

Mr. Coulter was born at Charlotte, North Carolina, June 29th, 1827.
a son of David and Catherine (Shinn) Coulter. On his father's side he
is descended from Swiss ancestry, who settled in Maryland as early as 1680.
whence some more immediate ancestor removed to North Carolina. David
Coulter removed with his family to Arkansas in 1847, and there his wife,
a native of North Carolina and a Presliyterian. died in 1852, leaving three
sons. Mr. Coulter was reared in the Lutheran faith. He came to California
in 1856 and was more or less engaged in mining. He was born in North
Carolina in 1790 and died in California in 1877, aged eighty-seven years.

Adolphus Henry Coulter was educated in North Carolina, and says that
he first thought he "would become a doctor, then a lawyer, and finally be-
came a surveyor." He crossed the plains with the Clarksville company, from
Fort Smith, in 1849. The party consisted of one hundred and sixty men and
their outfit consisted of forty-five wagons and a forge on wheels. They set
(lut from Fort Smith, Arkansas, April 2, and celebrated the Fourth of July
beside the Rio Grande, below Albuquerque, New ^Mexico. At that point
twelve wagons left the outfit and came on in advance of the others. At the
Gila river Mr. Coulter and three companions bade good-bye to the party and'
come on on foot and arrived at San Diego, California, September 25. From
there they went by steamer to San Francisco, where they landed October
V and the combined cash capital of the four probablv did not exceed fifty

Mr. Coulter's first employment was at dressing redwood lumber at eight
dollars a day, and soon he and a companion engaged to weather-board a
building at ten dollars per hundred feet and made ten dollars a day at the
work. Later they went to Sacramento city in a skiff and there found em-
ployment until November i, at eight and ten dollars a day. and on that date
they started for the mines at Deer Creek, now Nevada City, and the 24th
of December, 1849, found them at "Caldwell's new stand," on a flat at the
head of Gold Run. where flour was at that time one dollar and a half a
pound, sugar a dollar and a c|uarter a pound, coffee a dollar a pound, whisky-
four dollars a bottle and brandv five dollars a bottle. Here he mined and


met with only moderate success. If he had fifty or sixty dollars on Satur-
day night he was always "flat broke" on Monday morning, and his com-
panions were not more fortunate or more provident, and June i following
he was one hundred and twenty-five dollars in debt, principally because of
expense he had incurred in contributing toward an outfit destined for Wild
Goose lake.. A little later he went to Slate creek, where he took out about
two hundred and fifty dollars per month and had about six hundred dol-
lars left after paying his debts; but the season was now far advanced,
and. fearing that he would be snowed in, \\t determined to go to Stock-
ton and he and six others set out together, supplied with about one
thousand dollars' worth of provisions; and he mined at Big Oak Flat until
March 20, 1851, making ten to twelve dollars a day.

'Sir. Coulter had come to California to stay three years, at the expira-
tion of which time he was to go back to Arkansas and marry; but as his
prospects were not encouraging in California he determined to accompany
his intended father-in-law to his old home. They set out for San Francisco
on the 2d day of April and arrived at Russellville. Arkansas, May 15, and
on the nth day of September following Mr. Coulter was married to Miss
Martha Shinn, a native of North Carolina and a daughter of B. D. R. Shinn.

]\lr. and Mrs. Coulter settled in Russellville, where Mr. Coulter be-
came a druggist and read medicine and was a general merchant later until

1855. when he sold out liis store and invested his money in cattle, which he
intended to take west but which took the murrain and died, leaving him
without capital or definite plans for the future. But he was determined to
go to California and his wife wanted to go with him. and he taught school
for a year to replenish his pocket-book. They left Russellville. January 20,

1856, bringing their first-born daughter, Mary, and. going by way of the
isthmus of Panama, arrived at Jackson, Amador county, March 3 follow'ing.
They located at Volcano and Air. Coulter split "shakes" and built them a
small board house with a stick and clay chimney. Their furniture was as
primitive as their residence. The flexor was covered with gunny-sacks, their
chairs were stools of the rudest construction and their bed consisted of an
improvised tick filled with pine needles and supported on a scaffold-like pro-
jection at one side of their cabin. Poor as were these household belongings.
Mr. Coulter was proud of the fact that he ow-ned them with the roof that
covered them, and he has owned a home from that day to this. He de-
termined to build a ];)icket fence about the place and set some men at work on
a hillside near the house, sawing a dry sugar-pine three or four feet in
diameter into lengths of four and a half feet and rolling them down the hill
where they could be s])lit uj) into pickets near where the latter would be needed.
One of these huge billets of wood was deflected from its course and came crash-
ing into the house, where it injured Mrs. Coulter so seriously that she was
lame for a year, and also struck Mrs. Tunc, now of San .\ndreas. who was
with Mrs. Coulter at the time.

In 1857 Mr. Coulter removed to Dry creek, five miles from San .An-
dreas, where he mined with some success until 1862. taking out fifteen hun-


dred dollars in a sinole year. After that he mined until 1865 at El Dorado,
ten miles from San Andreas, where he had good luck ; but b}- this time he was
tired of mining and he threw down his pick, declaring that he would not use
it again; and, removing to San Andreas, built there the residence in which
he still lives. He also built several other houses and business buildings and
is the owner of considerable valuable town property.

While living at El Dorado, in 1863, Mr. Coulter was elected justice of
the peace and he was re-elected for a second term. In 1866 he was elected
supervisor and three years later he was re-elected to this office also. He read
law in his spare time and became thoroughly jMsted in everything pertain-
ing to its application to the practical interests of California. From 1873
to 1883 he taught school, giving his attention meanwhile to surveying, and
in 1882 he was elected county surveyor and in 1884 was appointed deputy
United States surveyor, which office he still holds. In 1896 he was re-elected
to the office of county surveyor, in recognition of the efficiency and fidelity
with which he had served his fellow citizens to that time.

Islr. and Mrs. Coulter have had eight children. Their daughter, Mary,
who accompanied them to California, is the widow of the late Lieutenant
Governor Reddick, of California, and lives at San Francisco. Their daugh-
ter, ]\Iartha C, married U. C. Hanscom, and they have a son named Waldo.
IMr. Hanscom keeps the Poplar Grove Hotel at San Andreas, a popular
private hotel which stands in the midst of a large grove of poplar trees,
about a building originally erected for a residence, which has since been en-
larged to meet its present requirements. Mr. and Mrs. Coulter's eldest son,
'W'illiani S.. is deputy surveyor under his father: and their son, Charles
Benjamin, is interested in mining at Eldorado. Their four other children
are dead. Mrs. Coulter died Octoljer 16. i8g8, deeply regretted by all who
had known her.

]\Ir. Coulter has been a life-long Democrat, always active in advancing
the interests of his party. He was made a Master Mason in Evening Star
Lodge, No. 54, F. & A. M.. of Russellville, Arkansas, in 1852, and since
i860 has affiliated with San Andreas Lodge, No. 78, F. & A. M., in which
he has been senior warden and of which he has been the secretary since 1886.
He is a strong advocate of temperance and a worthy representative of the
sturdy, strong-minded, progressive California pioneers of 1849, a man of firm
•will, good judgment and much public spirit, who has been a model husband
and father and has in many ways proven himself an ideal citizen,


Thomas Silva, a respected pioneer citizen of Amador county, is a native
of Portugal, born on the 15th of June, 1837. He acquired his early education
in the land of his nativity, and in 185 1 came to California, arriving in San
Francisco in the month of May. His boat had just arrived in the harbor
when the great fire swept over the city, bringing destruction to the greater
part of the town. Leaving the Pacific port ^Ir. Silva made his way to 'S\ar-


mon island, w liere lie engaged in jilacer-niining. He also mined at I^M-d's
Bar. on the American river, but did not meet with the success he had antici-
pated. He had no trouble with the Indians in tliose early days, and such was
his quiet and ])eaceful nature that he avoided difficulty with all men. even
at a time when trouble was very prevalent. After two years spent in mining
he engaged in the butchering business in Drytown. and during the tir.-i \-ear
was associated with a partner, but since that time has always conducted busi-
ness alone. In the pioneer epoch he supplied meat to people over a great
radius of territory, and his honorable dealing and enterprising spirit brought
to him creditable success. In 1883, howe\er. he sold his market in Drytown
and came to Plymouth, where he built a shop and for a number of years
conducted the only meat market here. At a recent date, on account of his
advanced years, he turned his business over to his son-in-law, Lorenzo Burke
In 1863 Mr. Silva was united in marriage to ^Irs. Dolores Parris. who by
her first had one child, Paseta Dolores, now the wife of \'incent
Monserro. Mr. and Mrs. Silva also had a daughter, Antonia M., now the wife
of Lorenzo Burke. Mrs. Silva died 'in 1895. and Mr. Silva now makes his
home in his declining years with his daughter. He has been a life-long Rei)ub-
lican, unswerving in his allegiance to the ])rinciples of the party. He was
made a Master Mason in Drytown Lodge, Xo. 174. F. & A. M., and is one of
the oldest rejjresentatives of the craft in this locality. He is recognized as
one of the most valued members of the organization, has filled all of its offices
and is now past master. He has acquiretl a thorough knowledge of the ten-
ets of the society, and in his life he e.\eni])lifies the noble principles of the
fraternitv. A good Mason is always a good citizen, for the order inculcates
among men all that is just, true, upright and honorable. Throughout his
business career his industry and capable management were marked and bnnight
to him a creditable competence, which now enables him to enjoy the rest
which should e\er crown the later years of man.


Those wlio have opened the way for civilization in our land, as the star
of empire has taken its way towards the sunset gates, have been men of
strong character. — courageous, hardy, tenacious of purpose and willing to
endure hardships and privations for the sake of making homes for themselves
and posterity. All honor has been paid the pioneers who blazed their wax-
through the sylvan wilderness of the middle west in the past generations. whiL-
not less is homage due to those whose fortitude led them to traverse the
plains, invade the mountain fastnesses and do battle with a ilusky and treach-
erous foe in the great emi)ire of the far west. Ann)ng those who are to be
considered as genuine jiioneers of California is John Mundorf. wh<i cinic
to the state in 185J and is \v>w a prosperous ami ])rogressive merchanr ot

Mr. Mundorf was born in Germany, on the 21st of January, 183 1. and is
of German lineage. His parents. Jacob and Gatherine (A"^) Mnndnrf,


had eleven children with win mi in 1845 they crossed the Atlantic to Amer-
ica, locating- in Xew York city, where the father carried on a tailoring estah-
lishment, conducting a successful enterprise until 1865, when his life's labors
were ended in death, he ha\'ing then attained the advanced age of eighty-
three years. His good wife had departed this life six years previously, at the
age of .^ixty-iise years. They -were people of true worth and instilled into
the minds of their children lessons of industry, economy and honesty. Three
sons and thre.- dauyiUers of the family are yet living, but the subject of lliis
review is the nnly .mc in California.

John Air.niliirf |)ursued his education in the fatherland and during his
earl\- boyhood attended night school in New York city, while in the day time
he worked at the trade of white-smith, making edged tools. He served a
three-years apprenticeship in that way and then accepted a clerkship in his
brother's grocery in the eastern metropolis. In 1852, attracted by the dis-
covery of gold in California, and the possibility of rapidly acquiring a fortune,
he took passage on the Northern Ligllt, wdiich sailed from New York city
to the isthmus of Panama, whence he made his way to San Francisco, arriving
on the 14th of December, 1852. He at once continued his journej^ to James-
town, Tuolumne county, where he en^a^cd in phicer-niining for seven and
one-half years, sumetimes cnjcixin^ a ptTind df hi^ii [jrosperity and again
meeting with ill fortune. On the expiration (jf that period he opened a bakery
and saloon in Sonora, next door to his present location. He conducted the
bakery business for three years and then added a grocery stock, and as the
years have passed he extended the field of his labors by adding other depart-
ments to his store until he now has the largest general mercantile business in
his county. He occupies three stores, side by side, filled with all the various
kinds of merchandise used in this portion of California. His stock is care-
fully selected, with a view to the needs of his patrons, and his earnest desire
to please, combined with careful management, indefatigable energy and hon-
orable principles have secured him a large and constantly growdng trade,
whereby his bank account has been annually increased. He also has a ranch
of four hundred acres near the city.

Mr. Mundorf was married in 1861 to Miss Elizabeth Kline, a native of
Germany, and their union was blessed with nine children, of whom se\-cn are
yet living, namely: Lizzie, now the wife of Richard Inch: George, who is
married and is engaged in business with his father; Kittie A., who married,
November 27, 1900, John Reid and resides in Sonora: Maggie, Daisy ]\I.,
Lottie and Luzie. Llis children were all born in Tuolumne county and assist
their father is conducting his very extensive business, wdiile two men are
also employed in the store. The family ha\-e a very commodious residence
and Mr. Mundorf is to-day the possessor of a h.andsome competence, well
earned by honorable business methods.

In 1 86 1 he was made a Master Mason in Tuolumne Lodge, No. 8. and
since that time he has taken the Royal Arch, council and commandery degrees,
becoming thoroughly familiar with the teachings and tenets of the fraternity
and exemplifying in his life its principles of mutual heljjfulness, bene\'olence


and brotherly kindness. His Democracy has been a part of his Hfe since
he gained the right of francliise, and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his
ability, have called him to public office. He has been treasurer of his county
and is now the mayor of the city. His administration has been of practical
benefit, and he has been the promoter of needed reforms and improvements,
exercising his official prerogatives in supjxirt of all that he believes will prove
of general good. His career has ever been upright and honorable and his
friendship is prized most b}- those who know him best.


The combination of English and German ancestors such as is repre-
sented by Dr. Judson Arthur Holland, of San Andreas, Calaveras county,
California, has in all periods of our history resulted in good citizenship.
Dr. Holland, whose standing as a citizen and as a physician has been recog-
nized by his choice to the office of county physician of Calaveras county, was
born on his father's farm, a mile and a half from San .Andreas, .Vugust 4,
1858. a son of William -August and Theresa (Frank) Holland, natives of
Berlin, Germany, the father of the former being English. William .August
Holland settled at Whitehall, New A'ork, in 1849. ^"cl engaged in the to-
bacco business. In 1852 he came to California and took up mining, and his
wife joined him three years later. Four children were lx)rn to them after
they came to this state. Their daughter, Emma T.. is the widow of John
Rathgeb, and lives at Alameda. Jerome F. is an engineer and resides in San
Andreas. Hattie E. died at the age of twenty-three years. Mr. and Mrs.
Holland were reared in the Lutheran faith, but the latter has during recent
years been a Congregationalist. They are honored by their fellow citizens
as pioneers and because they possess those sterling qualities which constitute
good men and women.

Dr. Holland was educated in the pulilic schools at San .\ndreas and at
the state normal school at San Jose. He then taught in the public schools
of Calaveras county for sixteen years, and then took up the study of medi-
cine, being graduated at the Cooper Medical College in the class of 1894. Im-
mediately after receiving his dijiloma. he entered u])on the practice of his
profession at San .Andreas, and has met with marked success antl has a large
and increasing practice.

In 1884 he married Miss .Agnes Mercer, who bore him three children. —
Sumner R. and Eloise P. (twins), and .Agnes P. The mother died in 18S9.
Dr. Holland's present wife, whom lie married in 1897. '^'^"^s Miss Marietta
Godfrey, a native of New Jersey, a lady of much education and refinement
who is an active and efficient worker in the Congregational Sunday-school.

The Doctor was made a Mason in San .Andreas Lodge. No. ~?^, F. &
A. M., in 1896, and soon became thoroughly posted in the work of the order
and is now in his second term as the master of his lodge. He is an Odd Fellow
also, being a past grand of San .\ndreas Lodge, No. 50. and P. D. D. G. ^T.
of his district, and a member of the Native Sons of the Gulden West and is


a past president of the local parlor of the organization last mentioned; he is
also a member of the .\ncient Order of United Workmen. INIrs. Holland
holds membership in the Eastern Star order, and the Indge of the Rebekah
degree. They have a pleasant home, and Dr. llnlland's professional suc-
cess and [lersonal popularity constitute an anijile guarant}' as to their future.


It is worthy of note that the majority iif the pioneers of California were
young or comparatively young men. They did not come to mold a new
community in accordance with antiquated customs which had been worn
out elsewhere. They came open-eyed, susceptible to conviction, ready to take
conditions as they existed and shape them according to the time and place.
How they succeeded every one knows who is at all familiar with the his-
tory of the state. One of the most far-sighted of these pioneers is the man
whose name appears above, and therefore we enter upon record an account
of his ancestry, his life and his success.

Mr. Schroebel is a native of Alabama, born ]\Iarch 12, 1827, and is of
German and French lineage. His grandfather, Henry Schroebel, emigrated
to the new .world from Germany, taking up his abode in South Carolina, and
in tint state his son, Jacob Henry Schroebel, the father of our subject,
was born. There he remained until after his marriage to Miss Louise A.
Colzy, of French ancestry, her father having been a refugee from the mas-
sacre of San Domingo. After their marriage they removed to Alabama,
where they continued to reside for some years. The father was a Baptist
minister and a devout Christian. For many years he served as the pastor of
the church of his denomination in Mobile, filling that position when, in
1843. lie ^'^■^s stricken with yellow fever and died. He was then forty-two
years of age. His noble life, characterized In- the broadest human sympathy

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 71 of 108)