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 78 of 108)
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Our subject was married, in 1881, to Miss Alberta Coats, a native of
Placerville and a daughter of George Coats. He came to California at an early
epoch in the state's history. They have two children, — Elma and Marion.
The brothers, Frank and Warren Crocker, are both Republicans.


Occupying the position of postmaster at Shingle and identified with it.s
mercantile interests, Samuel C. Pelton is numbered among the progressive men
of his community. He was born on the ist day of February,. 1837, a native
of Canada, but his i^arents were natives of the United States. His father's
birth occurred in \'ermont, in which state he was married to ]\Iiss ^Margaret
Wagner, who also was born in the (ireen Mountain state. Subsequently they
removed to Canada and in 1858 came to California, establishing their home
in Eldorado county. The father became the owner of the Pelton claim located
near Shingle Springs. He operated his mine for a number of years and it is
still being worked, the yield thus far amounting to one hundred thousand dol-
lars. His political support was given to the Democracy and he served as a jus-
tice of the peace for a number of j^ears, discharging his duties without fear
or favor. He was a citizen of u])right and iionest principles, and respected
for his sterling worth. He died in 18S2, at the age of eighty-two years,
and his wife passed away in 1884. at the age of seventy-three. They had


thirteen cliildren. of wliom se\en are yet living. The inotlier and her children
joined the husband in Calilornia. in 1862, making the journey thither by the
way of the Nicaragua route. They narrow!}- escaped shipwreck off Cape Hat-
teras and were six weeks on the voyage.

Samuel C. Pelton was twenty-five years of age at the time of his arrival
in. California. He engaged in mining with his father and two brothers, and
they have since worked the claim continuously. In 1888 he opened his mer-
cantile establishment, successfully carrying on business until 1898, when his
store was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of between si.x and seven thousand
dollars. Phcenix-like, however, his new enterprise arose from the ashes and
with characteristic energy he purchased liis present store building, secured a
new stock of goods and has since engaged in general merchandising, keeping
drv goods, boots and shoes, drugs and farm implements. — in fact everything
needed bj' the citizens of Shingle and vicinity. He has also a branch store
at Folsom, and is a part owner of a steam laundry at Placerville. He is also
interested in several mining enterprises, being part owner of the Rose Kim-
berly mining claim. In addition to these he is the owner of a farm and is
interested in agricultural pursuits.

In 1882 Mr. Pelton was united in marriage to Miss May Biggs, a native
of West Virginia and a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Tomlinson) Biggs.
The Biggs family were early settlers of Ohio, while the Tomlinson family were
very prominent in West Virginia. His jx)litical allegiance is of benefit to the
Republican party and its principles he warmly advocates. He attends the
county and state conventions and his opinions carry weight there. He has
the honor of being the postmaster at Shingle, under the administration of
President McKinley. He has seldom sought political preferment as a reward
t)f party service. He is a man of resourceful business ability whose efforts have
never been confined to one line and his marked energy and enterprise in indus-
trial and commercial affairs have enabled him long since to leave the ranks of
the many and stand among the successful few. He is one of the substantial
residents of Eldorado county.


L. P. A. Sonne, a well-to-do and highly intelligent citizen of P'-'Ci-clin, is
from the little kingdom of Denmark, where on the 24th of November. 1836,
he first opened his eyes to the light of day. His parents, Peter and Kate Sonne,
were also natives of that country and were farming peoi)le of sterling worth
who, in the faith of the Lutheran church, of which tliey were members, reared
their family of four children. The father departed this life in the sixty-fiftli
year of his age. and the mother died in her seventy-fifth year. Three of the
children survive, two in California. Andrew, of Sacramento, and L. P. A.

The subject of this review was educated in his nati\e land and in early life
went to sea. A life on the ocean wave was his lot for nine years. He lias
visited many ports throughout the world, but sailed principally to Europe and
South America. In his voyages he gained a wide knowledge of tl'.e cour.tries


wliich cover the face of tlie gk)be and the people which inhabit them, knowl-
edge that can be obtained so well in no other way. During the last Schleswig-
Holstein war he served as a sailor on the frigate Jylland and took part in tne
engagement at Heligoland on the 9th of May, 1864.

After the war was over, on deciding to make his home in America, he
took up his abode in Illinois, in 1865. and three years later came to California.
making his way across the isthmus. He established his home here with the
hope that its mdd climate would prove beneficial to his health. In the mean-
time he had spent nearly all of his money in paying physicians' bills. He
located in Stanislaus, making his home with a physician in order to have his
care. Subsequently, however, he removed to Loomis and purchased one
hundred and sixty acres of land, which he improved and cultivated success-
fully, thus demonstrating to the people of Placer county that crops might be
raised in this portion of the state. After residing upon his farm for eleven
years he sold the property, for five thousand dollars, and in 1883 took up
his abode in Rocklin, where he became a dealer in real estate, principally town
lots. He is not only the owner of many desirable lots Init also has come into
possession of ten dwelling houses, which he rents, his income being thus mate-
rially increased. His home is a comfortal)le cottage which is also one of his
realty possessions.

Mr. Sonne's study of the political issues and c|uestions has led him to
give his allegiance to the Republican party. Although baptized and confirmed
in the Lutheran church, he now attends the Congregational church in Rocklin.
He owes his success in life to his well-directed efforts, his willing hands being
directed by sound judgment, his indefatigable energy being supplemented
by keen sagacity. He lias never interfered with other people, but has attended
closely to his own business and is now the ])ossessor of a comfortable C(.)mpe-
tence which earnest toil has brought ti;i him.


James Hamilton Sherer is acceptably filling the ofiice of high sheriff of
Colusa county. We hear much to-day of corruption in politics and that i)ublic
ofiices are filled liy men who care naught save for self-aggrandizement: and
while this may be true in a degree concerning the larger cities and towns,
places of pul)lic trust are occasionally filled by those who are competent to
discharge the duties and are conscientious in the ijerforniance of the tasks
that devoh'e upon them. Mr. Sherer is one in whom the county may well
place confidence, and in the office which he is now filling he has manifested
marked loyalty and capability.

.V native of Missouri, he was born in .\ndrew county, on the 6th of
Xovember, 1856, and is a son of Joseph Sherer, of .\rl)uckle. His paternal
grandfather, \Villiam Sherer, was born in Washinp'ton county, PennsyKania,
in the year 1809. On the ])aternal side he was of Cierman lineage, while on
the maternal side he was of English descent. .\t an early age he was left an
orphan and was reared in \'ireiiiia, by an uncle and aunt b)' the name of


Buclianan. who also iieltl a similar relationship to 1 'resident Buchanan. In
Knox county, Ohio, in 1829, lie wedded Mary Kincaid, who was born in
Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 181 1, and was of Puritan Scotch ances-
try. Her father, Joseph Kincaid, was a native of Pennsylvania and was of
Scotch lineage. In Maryland he married Martha John Alexander, who was
born in Scotland, and is a representative of a family whose members are
still living in Pennsylvania, Xew York and Maryland. Her grandmother
resided in the last named state. After their marriage they remained in
Ohio until 1848, when they removed to Missouri, and in 1857 they started for
California, crossing the Missouri river on the 13th of April, arriving at
Sacramento river on the 25th of October of the same year. They settled
on the old home place and there resided until death, the father passing away
in April, 1882, while the mother died !May 20, 1895.

Joseph Sherer, the father of our subject, was born in Knox county, Ohio,
December 14, 1835, '^"'1 after arriving at 3-ears of maturity married, in
Andrew county, Missouri, July 5, 1855, a daughter of Ezekiel and Sarah
( Walker) Smith. They were both natives of Tennessee and in an early day
removed to Missouri, locating in Andrew county, before it was organized.
In pioneer days he was appointed sheriff and after the organization of the
county he was twice elected to the same office, discharging his duties with,
iiiarked fidelity and ability. At the time of his death he was a candidate
for the general assembly. He passed away in April, 1849, and his wife, long
surviving him, departed this life July 24, 1874. Their daughter, Mrs.
Sherer, was born in Clinton county, Alissouri, January 7, 1835.

Upon the old farm James H. Sherer was reared to manhood, acquiring
his education in the district schools. He was in his first year when his parents
came to the Golden state, taking up their residence near Arbuckle. When
he had mastered the rudimentary branches of learning he pursued more
advanced studies in Pierce Christian College, and prepared for his business
career as a student in the business college of San Francisco. On putting aside
his text-books he engaged in farming and stock-raising, and in these enter-
prises met with creditable success. lie has shipped stock extensively, one of
his principal markets being the Hawaiian islands.

On the i6th of September, 1883, Mr. Sherer was united in marriage
to Miss Maria Gillenwaters, who was born in Nevada county, California, her
father being Joseph (lillenwaters, of Nevada City. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Sherer
have had a daughter, Mary Agnes Sherer, who died at the age of thirteen
years, eleven months and three days. He and his wife attend the services
of the Christian church, in which Mrs. Sherer holds membership, and in
the community where they reside they have a wide acquaintance and are favor-
ably know'n.

Mr. Sherer cast his first presidential vote in 1880. supporting the candi-
dates of the Democratic party, and has since that time labored for the success
and upbuilding of the political organization with wdiich he is identified. In
i898*lie was elected sheriff of Colusa county, and for two years has held the
position, discharging his duties without fear or favor. He is a pronr'nent


Mason, belonging to both the bine lodge at College City, California, and
Chapter No. 60, R. A. M., at Colnsa. A self-educated, self-made man, In.j
position in life is due entire!}- to his own efforts, and his prosperity has come
to him as a reward for his labors. He has many excellent qualities, and
his genial nature has gained him the warm regard ot those with whom he has
come in contact.


One of the leading and influential citizens of Eldorado county living
at Diamond Springs is David T. Loofbourrow, whose residence in California
covers a half century, the date of his arrival being September 9, 1850, the
very day on which California was admitted into the Union. He has already
reached the Psalmist"s span of three-score years and ten, for he was born in
Ohio, December 6, 1829. The blood of Scotch and English ancestry is in his
constitution and in his life he has exemplified many of the best characteristics
of the Anglo-Saxon race. The first of the name to settle in America located
in Pennsylvania. His father. Wade Loofbourrow, was born in the Keystone
state, and on emigrating to Ohio located in Washington, Fayette county,
where he was married to Miss Xancy Swinney. He was a lawyer by pro-
fession, attained prominence at the bar and was elected and served as the
judge of the district court. Many positions of honor and trust were conferred
upon him and he was accorded an eminent place in the ranks of the legal
fraternity. He died in 1852, at the age of sixty-seven years, and his wife
passed away at the age of forty-se\-en years, leaving four children, all of
whom yet survive.

^Ir. Loofbourrow of this review, the onh- one of the family in California,
pursued his education in the academy at Chillicothe, Ohio, and entered upon
his business career as a salesman in a store. Hoping to better his financial
condition in the far west he crossed the plains to California in 1850, allured
by the disco\-ery of gold and the prospect of securing a fortune in the gold
fields. He traveled with a compau}- of one hundred and thirty men who with
thirty wagons crossed the hot and arid plains. They were annoyed by the
Indians, but a guard was kept on watch most of the time and thus they avoided
an attack. Ten of their number died of cholera and the route was marked
by many a new-made grave. For ten days they were without bread and they
suffered other hardships and difficulties. A short time after leaving Salt
Lake they abandoned the wagons and packed the oxen with their gooifs. On
reaching Flumboldt, Nevada, they sold their oxen and came on foot to Placer-
ville, wdiich was one of the historic i^laces in California in the early mining
days. — the scene of its most noted gold diggings. Thus the long journey
was safely pursued but the experiences of that trip will never be forgotten
by those who made it. During a part of the time they made bread of bran
without salt, but although it was not very palatable they had keen appetites
and were glad to get what they could.

After reaching California ^Ir. Loofliourrow engaged in mining for a


numljer of years on \\el)l)er creek, also in llie neig-Iilwrliood of Kelsey and
Auburn and in various places in Xevada county. He never met with more
than moderate success, although he found one nugget of gold that was worth
sixty dollars, another worth eighty and a third worth ninety dollars. With
his two partners he took out one day two hundred and fifty dollars. Like other
miners, he traveled over the countrj' a great deal to see what he could find,
when it would have been more profitable to have remained at the mines when
they were meeting with fair success, — thus "letting well enough alone."
During his first day's mining on Webber creek he ilug a little hole in the bed
of the creek and from thirty-five panfuls of dirt he took out gold to the
value of seventeen and a half dollars. The hole filled with water and they
abondoned it: but had they been more experienced they would have continued
there and probably would have realized a handsome fortune.

In i860 Mr. Loufbourrow returned io Eldorado county and took charge
of the Gold Hill canal and continued in that occupation for five years. In
1866 he began merchandising at Cold Springs. For seven years he engaged
in trade at Grizzly Flat, and in 1879 he removed to Eldorado, where he sold
goods for fourteen years, meeting with excellent success. He next went to
Tacoma, Washington, and dealt in town lots, meeting with some success dur-
ing the boom. He was fortunate enough to leave just before the boom -sub-
sided, and since then he has been engaged in merchandising in Placerville.
and also at his i)resent location at Diamond Springs and Eldorado.

Until 1896 Mr. Loofbourrow affiliated with the Democratic party, but
since then he has entertained socialistic and populist ideas. In 1858 he was
elected by his party a member of the state legislature and in 1873-4 was the
chief clerk of the state assembly.

He was married in 1863 to Miss Elizabeth Englesfreid, a native of Illi-
nois, and unto them were born ten children, all of whom are living, namely :
Wade, who resides in the state of Washington : Reno Paul, who is with his
father in the store; Charles F., an agent of the Southern Pacific Railroad Com-
pany; Xancy, the wife of E. L. Roussin ; Kate, the wife of R. M. Wren:
Twinney, the wife of Albert Bliss; Margaret and Emma, who are attending
school at San Jose; and Clance. his youngest son, and Agnes, who also are
students. Mr. Loofbourrow has ne\er been identified with any social or
fraternal society, giving his attention exclusively to his business, and by an
upright and honorable course he has prospered.


Througli forty-nine .\ears John Wesley CrofY has been a resident of
California. He was born in the far-off state of New York, his birth having
there occurred, in Genesee county, on the 13th of October, 1830. He is of Ger-
man and English lineage, his fatlier, Xathan Croff, having Ijeen born in Ger-
many, whence he came to the L'nited States at the age of thirteen years, lo-
cating in Xew York cit\-, where he learned tlie trade of shoemaking. He
married Miss Olive Marston, a native of Xew Hampshire, who, however, was

' /^r ■ yy/A-



reared in the Empire state. After their marriage they removed to Wayne
county, ^Michigan, and suhsequently resided in tlie town of Eaton, that state.
They were industrious farming people and reared nine children, five of whom
are now living. The father attained the very advanced age of ninety-eight
years, two months and two da3'S, while his wife was seventy-four years of
age at the time of her demise.

]Mr. Criiff, their fifth child, was reared U> manhood in Michigan, ac-
quiring his education in W'ayne county. When the discovery of gold was
made in California the hope of rapidly acquiring wealth drew him to the
Pacific coast. He crossed the plains in 1851, with a company of ninety-two
men, and the journey was safely accomplished, he arriving in Sacramento on
the 20th of August. 185 1. As did most of the other immigrants, he made
his way to the mines, searching for the precious metal on the middle fork of
the .\merican ri\er. cm Xew ^'nrk Bar. He met with good success in the
undertaking, taking out une thousand dollars, above expenses, before the
time of high water, in Xovemjjer. Subsequently he engaged in mining in
Placerville. Eldorado county, where he was successfully engaged for two
years. On the expiration of that period he came to Fiddletown, now Oleta.
He had sent twenty-fi\e hundred dollars to the east and had fifteen hundred
dollars remaining. He had also spent considerable money in prospecting. In
Amador county he made a claim of one hundred acres of government land,
on which he has since engaged in farming, in connection with placer-mining.,
and during all these years has met with creditable success in his undertak-
ings. He also has a ^-ery pleasant home and five acres of land in Oleta. He
still continues placer-mining, and with his own hands has taken out seventy-
five thousand dollars.

In 1866 occurred the marriage of Mr. Croff and Miss Mary McKee,
the wedding being celebrated in Oleta. The lady is a native of Ohio and
came to California in 1863. Both Mr. and Mrs. Croff were reared in the
faith of the Methodist church and are worthy and reliable citizens. He has
made the golden rule his practice through life and his integrity is above
question. In politics he has long been a supporter of the Republican party;
and, other than being deputy sheriff in Eldorado county for three years and
deputy sheriff in Amador county for two years and constable for six years,
he has never sought or desired political office, preferring to devote his time
and attention to his business interests, in which he has met with most credit-
able success. His life has been well spent, and he justly deserves mention
among the hor.ored California pioneers.


To tlie de\-elopment of the mining interests of California the state largely
owe^ it^ ]>rosperity; and in presenting the life record of Simeon C. Jordan we
gi\c ;i lii-torv of one who has been an active factor in developing the mineral
resources of his portion of the Golden state. He now resides at Dutch Flat;
but Iowa is the state of his nati\ity, as he was born at r)uhu(|ue, on the 30th


of Marcli, 1845. On the paternal side lie is of (iernian and Irish .ancestry,
and on the maternal, of Kn^lish and Scotch. Several of his ancestors came
to America before the war of the Revolution, and his grandfathers Clark and
Jordan both aided the colonists in their struggle to attain independence. The
latter afterward located in Iowa, becoming one of the very first settlers of that
state; and George Washington Jordan, the father of our subject, was born

In 1850 George W. Jordan started across the plains to California, but
died at Port Laramie. He left in Iowa iiis wife and four children. — three
sons and a daughter. For her second husband the mother chose Lewis
Costell, and in 1852 she came to California with the family, by way of the
isthmus, Simeon C. Jordan being then in his eighth year. They located
three miles from Dutch Flat, at Mountain Springs ; l)ut not even a single
cabin marked the spot at which our subject now lives. Mr. Costell had come
to California in 1850, starting in the same company with Mrs. Costell's former
husband. He made a fortune in this state and returned and married Airs.
Jonlan. and together they came to the Pacific coast, and liere Mr. Costell
spent his fortune in mining enterprises.

In 1857 Mrs. Costell. the mother of Mrs. Jordan, niarricl I'.bcn Smith
and the next year they moved to Colorado, where Mr. Smith entered into
partnership with Jerome B. Chaffee, constituting the mining firm of Smith
& Cliaffee. who owned the Gregory and Bobtail mines, which produced many
millitm dollars' worth of ore. ^Ir. Smith is still living and is associated
with the David Moffit National Bank at Denver. The mother of our subject
died in 1892, at the age of seventy-three years. The children who came w ith
her to California were William Thomas, Simeon C, F. ^^^ and Mary Ann.
The daughter is now the wife of Charles B. Patrick, of Pocatello. Idaho.

Simeon C. Jordan was educated in the pulilic schools of Dutch Flat and
Woodland, and graduated in the commercial college at San Jose. Thnnighout
his business career he lias been connected with mining enterprises, having
engaged in mining and been active in the development and disposal of mines,
and thus acquiring a considerable competence. His early experience was
in quartz and hydraulic mining, being trained to this work under the direction
of his stepfather in Placer county. His first introduction to quartz-mining
was under the guidance of Mr. Smith, already spoken of, whose knowledge
of quartz mines and mining in general is the best in the world to-day. Mr.
Jordan made considerable money in Placer and Nevada counties, his net gain
being about ten thousand dollars a year; but the debris law put an end to
hydraulic mining and since that time his attention has been given principally
to drift mining." He is now engaged in operating the Blue Lead mine just
l>elow Dutch Flat. He has recently erected a gcxxl ten-stamp mill, each
stamp weighing one thousand and fifty pounds. The mill and all of its
machinery is of the latest improved patterns, and he is now operating the
plant with the aid of sixteen employes. He is rapidly extending his work,
liowever. so that be will soon cmi)loyment to sixty men. fie has
bonded this mine to a large company and its success is assured.


Mr. Jordan is considered a mining expert whose nnderstanding, expe-
rience and practical working has made liim an excellent judge of minerals
and the best method of securing the metal from the earth and of preparing it
for use. He is a man of great energy and strong purpose, and carries forward
to successful completion whate\er he undertakes. His opinions are considered
authority throughout Placer couiUy and his portion of the state: and he has
spent considerable time investigating mining properties throughout California.
so that he is well known in mining circles.

In 1879 Mr. Jordan was married to Miss Augusta ;\I. Horner, of Nevada
City, and they have had live children, only two of whom are living, however,

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 78 of 108)