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 77 of 108)
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Judge Anderson was lK)rn at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, on the 25th of
February, 1846. His parents were Hartford and Susan Anderson, pioneers
of California. His grandfather was a native of Scotland, his home being in
Edinljurg, and the paternal grandmother of our subject was born in the
north of Ireland. Hartford Anderson was born in Pennsylvania, and his
wife, Airs. Susan (Atkins) Anderson, was a native of Kentucky, but for
some time they resided in the Badger state. He was a wagon and carriage-
maker by trade, and in 1849. hoping to benefit his financial condition in the
land which held forth golden promises, he crossed the plains to the Pacific
slope, bringing with him his little family. Airs. Anderson did not long sur-
vive her arrival here, her death occurring in 1852, during the cholera epi-
demic. Air. Anderson, however, was a resident of Sacramento not only
through the part of its early dex'elopment but also during the era of much
of its latter-dav i)rogress and adxancement. liis death occurring in Octol)er,
1896.

Judge Anderson was only four years of age at the time the family came
to the west. He obtained his literary education in the common schools, in
Santa Clara College and at the Benicia Law College. His earlier studies
were directed in such a manner as to prepare him for the profession of civil
engineer, but at a later date he determined to pursue the study of law and
was graduated in the Benicia Law College in the class of 1865. Immediately
afterward he began practice and has since followed the profession with excel-
lent success. He was admitted to the bar of the supreme court in 1866 and
to the United States circuit court in 1880, and has held a number of offices
in connection with his profession. His knowledge of law is comprehensive
and exact and its scope is being constantly increased, for he is an earnest
student. His (le\'otion to Jiis clients" interests has been proverbial and in argu-
ment he has e\-er been forcible, logical and convincing. The earnest prepara-
tion which he gives his cases enables him to present each case in a manner
that will show it forth in its strongest light, and his keen analytical mind
enables him tf) give to each point in controversy its due prominence.

Tl-.e Judge was first chosen to public office before attaining his majority,
being elected county auditor in 1866. He was assistant adjutant general
in the I'ourth Brigade of the California National Cuard from 1868 until
1879, and was city attorney from T875 until 1886. In 1890 he was super-
visor of the census, being one of the tliree sujiervisors for the state. In 1893
he was elected to represent the eighteenth district in the general assembly,
and his course in the liou.se won him the commendation of his constituents
and the respect of his political op]xinents. .\t the jiresent time he is the
police judge of Sacramento and is strictly fair and imjiartial in the discbarge
of the duties that devolve u])on him. In politics he has always been a stanch
Republican and has can\-assed the state in the interest of the party. He was
one of the originators of the McKinley movement in California, a member
of tlie executive committee and has been a delegate to nearly every Re]>ub-
lican state and count\' convention for thirty years. In 1898 he was a dele-
gate t,' the Xation.'il l\ci)ul)lican League convention in Omaha.



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 5 89

Judge Anderson has been twice married, and by the first union had one
son. Osmer W. Anderson, who was 1)orn August 22. 1871, and is a volunteer
in the Phihppines. On the Stli of Septemljcr, 1880, the Judge married Miss
Mary C. Cadwell. Their home is the center of a cultured society circle and
they I ccupy an en\-iable position in society where true worth and intelligence
are recei\ed as passports. The Judge is a member of the orders of Free-
masons and Odd Fellows. He was reared in the Episcopal faith, but is a
man of broad and liberal views in religious matters and is nut a communicant
of any church organization at the present time. A man of literary tastes and
of broad general, as well as classical, infurmatinn. he finds considerable enjoy-
ment in giving his time to literary i)ur>uits and is a fre(|uent contributor to
the daily papers. He was one of the founders of a literary journal called
Themis, which was noted for its historical merit and for its clear-cut and
literary editorials. He has written some dramatic works and is well known
n-; •', I'ramatic critic and lover of the drama. He has studied from the art
,-taiiil]Mint many of the most celebrated dramas of the w'orld and has had a
pcr-o,i;il acquaintance with most of the great dramatists of a generation ago,
including Edwin Booth, John McCullough, Lawrence Barrett and other emi-
nent actors and actresses. His writings are fluent and entertaining, eloquent
and versatile. For thirty years he has been known to the public on the lecture
])latform and his lectures have created wide-spread interest. He has borne
a marked influence upon the literature and esthetic culture of the state and
at the same time has given a practical support to the measures intended to
advance the material interests of Sacramento. In fact he deserves mention
among the distinguished citizens who are honored and resj>ected in every
class of siiciety. He has for some time been a leader in thought and move-
ment in the ]iublic life of the state and his name is inscribed high on the roll
of lionor and fame, his honorable and brilliant career adding luster to the
history of California.

ADAM KEILBAR.

Adam Keilbar is the proprietor of a meat market at Murphv's. A native
of Germany, he came to the United States in 1854, arriving in Wisconsin
with only five cents left in his pocket. He possessed a determined purpose,
however, and sought and obtained a position on the Milwaukee & La Crosse
Railroad. In 1856 he went to Chicago, by way of the Illinois Central Rail-
road proceeded to Cairo, thence to New Orleans and on to Havana and to,
Aspinwall. Crossing over to Panama, he took passage on the Golden Age
for San Francisco, and when he reached California his capital was entirely
exhausted, nor had he an acquaintance in the country. He was willing to
accept any employment which would \ield to him an' honorable living until
he could better his financial condition. He worked at dishwashing in the
Philadelphia Hotel for three years and then took a position on a Stockton
boat, working as a deck hand for his passage to the city of Stockton, whence
he walked to A'allicita, where he obtained a position as a cook, serving in that
capacity for two and a half years. On the expiration of that jieriod he was



590 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

receiving eightv-five dollars a month for his services. With the capital which
he had acquired through his own efforts he then opened a meat market at
\'allicita and also at Murphy"s, conducting his stores in both towns through
the past forty-three years.

He is a man of unquestioned business integrity and unfaltering energy,
and by his honoraljle endeavor he has made a success of his business, steadily
advancing in the public regard and in financial circles until he is now so favor-
ably known that his check for any amount is accepted anywhere in this sec-
tion of the state. In addition to his commercial interests he owns a number of
farms and holds a number of mortgages on farms, and through the careful
conduct of his affairs he has become a wealthy man in this county, owing his
prosperity entirely to his unaided efforts.

In 1868 ]\Ir. Keilbar was united in marriage to ]\Iiss Bessie Thompson, a
native of Long Island. Xew York. They were married in Murphy's, and
unto them nine children have been born, — all natives of that place. In order
of birth they are as follows : Ida, who is a teacher and resides in Oakland ;
Effa, also a teacher; Ollie. Theodore, .Mice. Florence. Lcland. Clarence
and Eda.

In his political views Mr. Keilbar is a Republican, but he has never sought
office, nor has lie become identified with any society, preferring to devote his
time and energies to his business affairs, in which he has prospered beyond his
expectations. His desire of attaining success in America has been more than
realized, for in this land where energy and ambition are not hampered by caste
or class he has worked his way steadily upward and to-day his record is such
as to command the respect and excite the admiration of all who are familiar
with his history.

WILLIS BLEDSOE.

The American family of Bledsoe is of French extraction and lias long-
been jjrominent in \'irginia. where Willis Bledsoe. Sr.. the father of the sub-
ject of this sketch, was born in 1797. Early in life he settled in Kentucky,
where he married Miss Jane McDonald, a member of an early and i^rominent
pioneer family of that state. Their son Willis was born in Kentucky ]\Iarch
22. 1841, and three other sons and a daughter were born to them in that
state. In 1846 Air. Bledsoe removed with his family to Missouri, where
he bought a farm and became a successful, well-to-do and highly respected
citizen. Originally of the Baptist faith. Mr. Bledsoe later became a L'niver-
salist. He died in 1870, having attained the ripe old age of eighty- four years.
Their children are all living and W'illis Bledsoe is the only one of them in
California.

The subject of this sketch was educated in public schools in Missouri and
at the end of April, 1862, when he had just passed his twenty-first birthday,
he set out for California overland with Dr. Glenn, assisting the latter to
bring out one hundred and forty-six head of mules, and they arrived at Sac-
ramento July 6, following. They were enabled to make this journey in such
a short time because Dr. Glenn had previously crossed the plains seven times



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 59 1

and tlierefore knew all the caniijing jjlaces at which water could be obtained
for the nudes, yiv. Bledsoe secured his first position in California in a
garden, at twenty-five dollars a month. From there he went to Shaw's Flat,
Tuolumne county, but remained only a week, going from there to San Joaquin
county, where he had a letter of introduction to J. \\'. J"nes, on whose farm
he worked for five years, beginning at thirty dollars a month and receiving
additions to his salary until he was paid six hundred dollars a year and his
board. During the succeeding six years he and Mr. Jones were partners in
the sheep business, owning- at times as many as fifteen thousand sheep. Dis-
jMsing of this interest, tliey engaged in farming on a large tract of land
which they had ac(|uired. Mr. Jones owning twenty-one thousand acres and
Mr. Bledsoe one thousand, two hundred and eighty acres. Since then Mr.
Bledsoe has acfpiired three thousand and two hundred acres more, making
an aggregate of four thousand and four hundred and eighty acres, which he
lias farmed successfully, harvesting in one year twenty thousand sacks of
wheat, which he sold at one dollar and sixty cents a hundred pounds. Of
course that was an exceptional }iel(l and an exceptional price, but he has
lieen continuously successful and is regarded as one of the successful men of
the county.

He is a Freemason and a Democrat, and as a citizen is wide!}' known
and popular. In 1885 he built one of the most delightful residences in the
city of Modesto, which is surrounded by beautiful grounds that he himself
])lanted and improved and is an elocpient witness to his good taste and refine-
ment.

In 1870 'Slv. Bledsoe married ^Nliss Edna 'M. Jones, a daughter of his
former partner, J. \\'. Jones, who was a California pioneer in 1852 and arrived
there a poor man with only such effects as were hauled by one horse and
bringing no other stock except a cow. His family consisted of his mother,
his wife and four children. The present Mrs. Bledsoe was then only three
months old. Mrs. Jones was taken sick while crossing the plains and died
of cholera on the Platte river. The history of Mr. Jones' business success
is well known in California, where by the most admirable methods he rose
from comparative poverty to affluence. Mr. and Mrs. Bledsoe have had three
children. Effie A. is the wife of M. E. Leek, of Modesto, who is the official
repfM'ter of the courts of Stanislaus county. Walter G. is a farmer living in
Alerced county. Alfred L. is a student at the University of California at
Berkeley. 'Mr. and Mrs. Bledsoe are members of the Alethodist Episcopal
church, in wliich Mr. Bledsoe is holding the office of trustee.

HOX. PIAROLD T. TOWER.

Harold T. Power, the president and superintendent of the Hidden Treas-
lu'e Gravel Mining Company, has the distinction of being the first white child
born in Damascus. Placer county, California, the date of his liirth being Feb-
ruary 7, 1857.

':Mr. Power's father. :\Iichael Harold Power, was a native of Waterford,



592 REPRESEXTATIVE CITIZENS

Ireland, and was descended from English nobility, several of his ancestors
having- been prominent officers in the English army. When Ijut a youtli he
left tile Emerald Isle and came to .\merica. landing at Philadelphia and going
from tliere to New York city, where he was in business for a number of years,
until his health failed and he was advised by his physician to take an ocean
voyage. Accordingly, in 1854, he sailed from New York for San Francisco,
via the isthmus of Panama, and early in September landed in the Golden
state. His first work in California was building the toll road between Iowa
Hill and Illinois Town. Later he was engaged at Iowa Hill in the manage-
ment of the ditch interests of James Hill, and from there he went to Damas-
cus, where he resided until 1875. being interested in the Alountain Tunnel and
Mountain Gate mines, where his efforts were attended with success.

Selling his property at Damascus in 1875, he came to the Sunny South
side of the divide, and he and William Cameron became the discoverers of
tiie Hidden Treasure mine. A company was at once organized for the develop-
ment of this mine, of which Mr. Power was the secretary from the time of
its organization until Mr. Cameron's death, the latter portion of that period
also lieing its superintendent. To his talent and industry is due much of the
credit for the successful development of this mine.

.\ public-spirited citizen, from the time of his coming into the county
to reside he took an active part in public affairs, doing all in his power to
advance the liest interests of the county. An enthusiastic Republican, he was
honored by his party with official position, being elected in 1867 as one of
the county supervisors, and two years later, in 1869, being elected to repre-
sent his county in the state legislature. These offices he filled in a manner
that reflected credit both upon himself and the people whom he represented.
For years he was a valued member of the Masonic order, and in his Jife
exemplified its teachings. Wiien he passed awav, July 17, 1S85, the com-
munity at large as well as his immediate family circle felt a deep lo^s. and
long will his memory be cherished.

Of his domestic life it may be said that Mr. Power was hai)pily married,
June i. 1856, to Miss Isaline K. Devely. a native of Switzerland, who came
to Xcw ^'ork when a young girl and to San Francisco in 1855. Previous to
her marriage she was a go\-erness in the family of Commodore Stockton, of
California. Accompanying her husband to Damascus, they began house-
keeping in a rude cabin and she soon adjusted herself to the style of living
so different from that to which she had been accustomed. For nearly a year
she was the only woman in that mining cam]). Small and destitute of con-
veniences though the cabin was. she bv her refinement and her cheerfulness
made it a charming home and exerted an influence that was felt for good
tliroughout the camj). It was in this cal)in that her son Harold T. was born.
One other son and two daughters blessed their union, and of this family of
four only two are now living, — the subect of our sketch and his sister, Mrs.
Lizzy P. Biggs, a widow, residing with her mother in .\uburn. To Mrs.
Power was given the honor of naming the Hidden Treasure mine. On her
sixty-sixth birthday, u^;. she read a i)a])er entitled '•The (lold r.ell of the



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 593

Sierras," lielorc the annual meeting of the pioneers of the county, the article
showing that she has a remarkable knowledge and memory of life here in the
pioneer days. This paper was published by the press throughout the county
and was highly commented upon.

From the honored father to the worthy son has fallen the mantle of use-
fulness and deserved success. Harold T. Power received his early education
in the public schools of his native county, after which he entered the Pacific
Business College in San Francisco, of which institution he is a graduate.
Upon completing his course in the college he accepted the position of assist-
ant bookkeei)er for the firm of Stien, Simon & Company, of San Fran-
cisco. He found, however, that the close confinement of office work was
detrimental to his health, and, acting upon the advice of his physician to
adopt a more active occupation, he went into the Union Iron Works and
ser\ed an apprenticeship of four years to the trade of machine smith. At
the end of this time he came to Sunny South and entered the blacksmith shop
of the iiiine with which his father was connected, as abovfe stated, and worked
at his trade until his father's death. In September. 1887, he was made the
secretary of the company, the office his father had filled, and also soon
succeeded to the superintendency of the mine. In 1890 he was elected to
sui)erintend the Mayflower mine, and filled that position two years, in
addition to performing his duties connected with the other mine. During
those two }-ears his residence was at the Mayflower mine. At the end of
that time, in 1893. he returned to reside at the Hidden Treasure mine, and
since that date has operated the property on a larger scale than ever before.
The following year. 1894, the company was incorporated under the name of
the Hidden Treasure Gravel Mining Company. Thirty-six thousand shares,
at the par value of ten dollars each, were issued, to the twenty-eight stock-
holders, in numbers ranging from 100 to 11,500. Mr. Power having a con-
trolling interest and being the president and superintendent. The mine is
equipped with an electrical plant costing twenty thousand dollars, which has
reduced the expense of mining and handling no less than thirteen per cent.
One hundred and ninety men are employed, and under Mr. Power's able
management — he being recognized as an expert mining- engineer — the prop-
erty is a most productive and paying one. He is likewise the president and
sujierintendenr of the Aborning .Star Mining Compau}-. at Iowa Hill, this
state.

While he has been so successful as a mining engineer, IMr. Power has
not confined himself exclusively to mining, but has. like his honored father,
taken a prominent part in promoting the welfare of the county and state.
He is the president of the Placer County Miners' Association and a member
of the executi\e committee of the California Miners' Association. The aims
'if these associations are the protection and development of the mineral in-
dustries of this county and state and the rehabilitation of hydraulic mining.
Mr. Power has been a director of the agricultural society of the county, a
director and stockholder in the Placer County Bank, and has served a term
in the legislature of California, having been elected in 1897. He was a



594 REPRESEXTATirE CITIZEXS

(leles^ate from California to the l\epnl)lican national convention held in Phila-
delphia, in June. 1900. which renominated McKinley for the office of presi-
dent of the United States, and nominated Roosevelt for vice president. He
was nominated and elected a presidential elector, of this state, on the Repub-
lican ticket in the last campaign.

Xovemher 2t,. 1871. \lr. Power was married to Miss Mary \". Sweeney,
of San Francisco, and they have se\en children, namely: Harold, Treasure,
Henr}-. Anita. Edward, (irace and Raymond McKinley.

Fraternally Mr. Power is identified with the Freemasons, Native Sons
of the (jolden West and the order of Elks. As a business man. a public-spirited
citizen and gentleman, he is a credit to the state.

CROCKER BROTHERS.

The history of a community is no longer a story of wars and conquests
but is an account o'i its business activities, whereon depends its growth and
prosperity. The Crocker Brothers, now at the head of one of the leading mer-
cantile concerns of Placerville. are prominent in commercial circles and are
recognized as enterprising citizens, widely and favorably known in their com-
munity. They are both native sons of California, the elder. Fr?nk Crocker,
having been born September 29, 1858, and the younger, Warren Crocker, on
the 29th of March, 1863, in Eldorado county.

Their father. Benjamin S. Crocker, one of the early and respected pio-
neers of the county, was born in \'irginia. April 20. 1827. and in 1S32 accom-
j)anicd the family on their westward journey to Hannibal. Missouri. Three
years later they removed to (irant county. Wisconsin, and when fourteen
years of age Benjamin S. Crocker started out in life on his own account, work-
ing in the lead mines. Later he to<-)k flatboats down the Mississippi river to
New Orleans, and in 185 1, attracted by the discovery of gold in California,
he made his way to this state, coming by the Nicaragua route. The ship on
which he sailed on the Pacific being an old slow-going tug. the supply of water
and provisions became exhausted ere he reached his destination. This occa-
sioned much suffering, and a number of the passengers died. They were
obliged to fight for water and the captain landed them at San Diego instead
of taking them on to San Francisco. Mr. Crocker remained there for a time,
working in a hotel, after which he made his way to San Francisco and sub-
sef|uently to Sacramento. There he earned a few dollars by removing prop-
erty that was endangered by a flood whicii threatened to carry them away.

In March. 1852, he arrived in Placerville. without friends and without
money; but he -soon discovered an old acquaintance whom he had known
in the lead mines of W' isconsin and who rendered him kindly assistance. He
engaged in placer mining, meeting with desirable success in his work, and after
about a year opened a large mercantile store in Upper Placerville. The enter-
])rise has since been conducted. l>eing now the property of his two sons. As
a business man the father was thrift}- and straightforward and had the trade
and confidence of a large circle of friends. He was one of the successful pio-



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 595

neer merchants of tlie town and his husincss contriliuted in no small measure
to its commercial acti\'it}". (Jn the JOtli nf June, 1S38. he married Miss JNlary
Myers, and they had six children, naniel\' : I'.nima Artilla, William Franklin,
Dora, Warren, Arthur Benjamin and lr\ing- Samuel, all of whom are living-
with the exception of Dora, who died March 11, 1863. The mother was called
to her final rest in March, 1870, and on the 5th of May, 1872, Mr. Crocker
married Miss Caroline E. Cruson, who with four children survived him,
namely : Robert, Raymond Clinton, Sarah Catherine and Bernice. The father
of these children departed this life on the 6th of September, 1895, and in his
death the community lost one of its valued citizens.

Frank Crocker, as he is familiarly called, was educated in Placerville and
when eighteen years of age began hauling goods for the store of which he
is now the proprietor. He was thus employed for twenty years, and upon
the death of his father he became a partner in the store in connection with his
borther \\'arren. On the Tjth nf April. 1900. he was elected one of the alder-
men of the town ami is n^w acccplalily ser\ing in that capacity. Warren
Crocker was also educated m I'laccrville and during much of his life he has
been connected with the stnre as his father's assistant and now as a partner.
Under his father's direction he accjuired a thnniugh knowledge of the ])usiness
and was well cjualified to assume the management when he liecame one of the
partners. In addition to their mercantile interests they are larL;cl\ interested
in valuable mining properties and are wide-awake, progre^hi'.c liusinr-s men
who carry forward to successful completion whatever they undertake, deterred
by no obstacles that can be overcome by honorable effort.



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 77 of 108)