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 8 of 108)
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up the canyon, — I suppose to the top of the mountain. The rest of us decided
to elect Air. D. W. Frazee, the editor of the San Bernardino Guardian, as
our guide and captain, he being the oldest; and we soon found that he was
equal to the occasion, for we managed to climb the wall of the canyon in

Now, no well equipped mountain party would think of taking a trip in
the mountains without a bottle of what is often called "snake-bite remedy;"'
and we, of course, were well equipped. Well, when we got to the top of the
ridge we drank the contents of the bottle and made a record on the tly-leaf
of a note-book something like the following: Lost on San Bernardino
Mountain, May 30. 1876, the following persons. Then we signed our names,
placed the paper in the bottle, corked it up tight and put it in a hollow tree.
Many times I have wondered if that bpttle were ever discovered. In about
three hours we made our way to camp; and Petty, the guide, came in some
time during the night, more dead than alive, leading his mule. But all is
well that ends well. And the next day we made a downwartl trip to the
valley, pretty well tired out.

Returning to San Bernardino, I went into the jewelry business with
Air. X. B. Hale; and in the spring of 1877 bought a small ranch of five acres
north of town, putting up a house that cost fifteen hundred dollars. In 1881
or '82, I purchased the interest of Mr. Hale and conducted the business until
1889. In 1882 I was elected to represent San Bernardino count}- in the
legislature; also in 1884. In 1890, unsought by myself, I was appointed by
the United States census bureau to assist in taking the recorded indeljtedness
of the Sixth Congressional District of California, and I was in the field from
February to September. In the fall of 1890 I was elected county treasurer
for a two-year term, and again in 1892. In 1894 I was elected to the office
of treasurer and tax collector for the term of four years, serving in all eight
years. In the fall of 1898 I was elected state treasurer by a \-ery decisive
vote, — 23,400 majority.

During my long term of ofticial scr\'ice, I do not remember that my con-
stituents ever found cause for complaint of neglect of duty, or otherwise. I
have tried to treat the rich and poor alike.

I have gone over the last few years of my life very hurriedly, because
I do not care to bring into this sketch people or events now prominently
before the public eye, preferring to let the historian of the future tell the bal-
ance if he shall see fit, etc.



Ill no profession is there a career more open to talent than in that of the
law, and in no field of endeavor is there demanded a more careful preparation,
a more thorough appreciation of the absolute ethics of life, or of the underly-
ing principles which form the basis of all human rights and privileges. Un-
flagging application, intuitive wisdom and a determination to fully utilize
the means at hand, are the elements which insure personal success and prestige
in this great profession, which stands as a stern conservator of justice; and it
is one into which none should enter without a recognition of the obstacles to
be overcome and the battles to be won, for success does not perch on the fal-
chion of every person who enters the competitive fray, but comes only as the
direct and legitimate result of capacity and unmistakable ability. As the
essential qualifications of an able lawyer are found in Judge Holl, he has won
creditable success at the bar of Sacramento.

A native of Pennsylvania, his birth occurred in Lancaster county, July 8,
1833, his parents being Daniel and Barbara (Leib) Holl. His father was
the eldest child of Ephraim and Magdalena ( Royer) Holl. The grand-
father died January 29, 1808, at the age of thirt3'-six years, and his wife passed
away April 18, 1832. The ancestry of the Holl family may be traced back
to Johannes Holl, who with his young wife came from Switzerland to Amer-
ica in 1730. They had four sons, namely: Johannes, Johan Peter, \\'endell
and Isaac; and the second named was probably the great-grandfather of our
subject. Daniel Holl, the father of the Judge, was born in \Varrick township,
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, December 28, 1795. On account of his
father's ill health he was early forced to start out in life for himself, and
thus his youth was more largely occupied with toil than that of many other
boys of the period. After his father's death, in 1808, he was his mother's main
support until her second marriage in 1812. He did most of the teaming in his
section of the country and made considerable money in that way, driving
■■four-in-hand" to Philadelphia. On attaining his majorit}^ he came into
possession of a part of his father's estate, but on account of inflated money
values he lost all he had and he gave to his sister his interest in the- home
farm in order to payher her dues.

In the pioneer days of Ohio he removed to the Buckeye state, locating
near Xew Berlin in 1825. He was accompanied by his wife and four chil-
dren, for his marriage had occurred in 1818. Later, however, they returnetl
to Pennsylvania, and it was not until 1832 that they again took up their
abode in Ohio. The journey of three hundred and fifty miles was made bv
land, being accomplished in sixteen days. They lived in one of the primitive log
cabins, common at that period, and the father began the development of the
farm of one hundred and sixty acres. As the years passed his capital increased
and he made other investments in real estate, at length becoming a rich,
influential and popular citizen. In the fall of 1869 he met with an accident
that brought on blood poisoning and resulted in his death, December 31, 1870.
His many excellent qualities endeared him to all witli whom he came in con-


tact, and his loss was mourned througlnjut tlie entire community. His early
political support was given the Whig part)-, and when the Republican party
was formed he joined that organization, being a tirni adherent of the Union
cause throughout the dark days of the Civil war. Charitable and benevolent,
he was known as the poor man's friend, and in all life's relations he was just
and honorable. His wife was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, July
21, 1803, a daugther of Jacob and Barbara (Smith) Leib. After her hus-
band's death she removed to New* Berlin, Ohio, and later met with an accident
that caused her death, on the i6th of August, 1882.

Judge Holl was a child of only nine months when his parents removed
from Pennsylvania to Stark county, Ohio. He was reared near the village
of New Berlin, and acquired his education in what was then known as
Packer's school, but now is called the Apple Grove school. His childhood was
passed in the usual manner of farmer lads of his period, and at the age of
eighteen he learned the carpenter's trade, ser^-ing an apprenticeship with
Israel P. Feather, near New Berlin.

When the California gold fever broke out lie suffered an attack, and.
being a young boy of unusual enterprise, he determined to seek his fortune
in the land of gold. Accordingly, in the spring of 1850, he bade adieu "to
home and friends in Ohio and started down the Mississippi river, going by
way of the gulf of Mexico and Nicaragua river and lake, and then on foot and
ox-cart to the Pacific ocean, where he boarded a sailing vessel bound for San
Francisco. He left home on the 4th of March, 1850, and arrived at the
Golden Gate on the 27th of August. Delay was occasioned by mismanage-
ment on the part of the transportation agent, and their progress was further
barred by the breaking out of cholera, and they were thus held in quarantine
in New Orleans. They were also delayed on the west side of that country by the
failure of the vessel to put in an appearance at the time appointed. Scarcity
of provisions on the Pacific coast occasioned much suffering. There were one
hundred members of the party with which Judge Holl traveled. On the 4th
of July the captain gave them some flour and a small pig for a 4th-of-July

At length, however. Judge Holl safely reached his destination and began
mining near Grass Valley, but met with indifferent success; and after a year
he decided to leave the search for gold to others. He then began work in a car-
penter shop in Grass Valley, and was very prosperous in that venture until a
fire destroyed all his property. Phoenix-like, however, his business arose from
the ashes, and he was soon again enjoying a liberal patronage in the line of his
chosen vocation; but a second time he met with heavy losses by fire, and this
determined him to engage in work that required other than physical labor.
Coming to Sacramento, he took up the study of law, and an excellent memory
enabled him to gain not only a broad knowledge of the principles of juris-
prudence but also wide general information. He spent much time in the state
library and remembered all that he read. Since his admission to the bar
he has been one of the leading practitioners in Sacramento, and was elected
judge of the Sacramento police court, acceptably filling that position for a


number of years. He is widely known on the Pacific coast as a leading repre-
sentative ot the legal fraternity and enjoys the high regard of his professional

January i6, 1868, the judge was united in marriage to Miss Julia Hart-
well, and to them have been born two sons : James, who is managing his
father's ranch in Lassen county ; and Charles, a rising young attorney of Sac-

Not long after his marriage Judge Hull extended the field of his labors
by securing large tracts of land near Mount Shasta, California, and engaged
in sheep raising. He started with over two thousand head of sheep and a
number of cattle, but a deep snow rendered the \'enture largely unsuccessful.
For months snow to a great depth lay upon the ground, and when spring
came Mr. Holl had only nine sheep and one bull ! However, he continued in
the stock-raising business and he is still interested in stock-raising in northern
California. But he is probably better known in connection with his law prac-
tice. As few men have done, he seems to realize the importance of the pro-
fession to which he devotes his energies, and the fact that justice and the
high attribute of sympathy he often holds in his hands. His reputation has
always been won through earnest, lionest labor, and his standing at the bar is
a merited tribute to his ability.


There are no abstract rules sufficient for building character : none for
achieving success. The man who can rise from the ranks to a position of
eminence is he who can see and utilize the opportunities that surround his
path. The essential conditions of human life are ever the same, the sur-
roundings of individuals differ but slightly; and, when one passes another on
the highway to reach the goal of prosperity before others who perhaps started
out before him, it is because he has the power to use atlvantages which prob-
ably encompass the whole human race.

To-day among the most prominent business men and political leaders of
Sacramento stands Findley R. Dray. At a very early age he started out
upon an independent business career, and his diligence and enterprise have
enabled him to overcome all the obstacles in his path and secure a leading-
position in the ranks of the prosperous business men of the capital city. He is
also a potent factor in political circles and his labors have to-day largely
advanced the growth and success of the Republican party.

A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Dray was born iiT Bedford. October 23,
1833, and the genesis of his family line, so far as accurately known, is as
follow'S: Edward Dray and Nancy Dray, his wife, about the year 1740 in
Pennsylvania. Thomas Dray and James Dray, sons of Edward and Nancy
Dray (James Dray being born in year 1767 and died in the year 1867, at
Niles, Ohio), both of whom became early settlers of the Western Reserve,
Ohio. Thomas Dray married Miss Elizabeth Thompson and was finally
drowned in the Mahoning river, in INIarch, 1812. The children of Thomas


Dray and Elizabeth ncc Thompson were Moses, Joseph, Thompson and Mar-
garet, the last named becoming the wife of i\mos A. Stoddard, of Cleveland,
Ohio. Moses Dray was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and married Eliza, a
daughter of Abel Findley, of Mercer county, Pennsylvania, and the children
of Moses Dray and Eliza Findley were: Findley R. Dray, of Sacramento,
California : Caroline E., who married P. J. Miller, of Athens, Illinois ; Walter
S., of Chicago. Illinois; Sherman B., of Browning, same state; W. H. H. and
Thompson. Walter S., W. H. H. and Thompson are deceased.

Findley R. Dray married Miss Mary F. Orrick, of Missouri, in the year
i'86i, in Sacramento, California, and the names of their children are as fol-
lows : Laura E., who married George H. Perry, of San Francisco; Caroline E.,
who married Charles A. Culver, of Mount Vernon, New York; Mary F.,
deceased ; Anna B., who became the wife of James H. Warrack, of Sacra-
mento, California; Bruce L., married to Mabel A. Johnson, of Sacramento;
Arthur F. ; Alice M., of Sacramento; and Dr. Frank R. Dray, of San
Francisco, single.

Findley R. Dray, whose name introduces this re\-iew. first attended school
in New London, Iowa, and later pursued his studies to a limited extent in
Missouri; but his mother, wliu was a very intelligent and cultured lady,
taught her children their fust lessons, instilling into their minds principles of
noble manhood and wonianhnod. They were taught to be truthful, indus-
trious and self-reliant, and the lessons of usefulness which Findley R. Dray
thus learned in his youth have influenced his entire career and made him a
man of firm purpose, of strong character and inflexible integrity. Although
he never served a regular apprenticeship, he worked at the carpenter's trade
with his father. When he came to California across the plains, arriving in
Hangtown July 17. 1850. and in Sacramento September 10, 1850. he was in his
seventeenth year, and from that time he was practically dependent upon his
own exertions.

After many varied experiences in mining at Drytown, Amador county,
in the fall 01 1850; at Rabbit Creek, Sierra county, in 1851; Shasta, in 1852;
and Bear River, Nevada county, in 1853, he returned to Sacramento and
engaged in farming in connection with George L. Clarke, and about eighteen
months later bought out his partner and carried on agricultural pursuits alone
until 1857, when he sold out and returned to Sacramento.

After his marriage. Mr. Dray again engaged in minino-, near Austin,
Nevada, until the summer of 1864, when he returned to Sacramento and
entered the office of James McCIatchy as deputy sheriff. This was his first
official position and his initiation into active connection with political afifairs.
He afterwards served for two years as the public administrator and was then
elected county assessor, in which office he served most acceptably and efficiently
for eight years. Later he was appointed a super\-isor to fill out an unexpired
term, and on his retirement from that office he entered the real-estate and
insurance business, with which he was connected one year. Since that time he
has been a prominent representati\e of the Sacramento Bank, acting as a sur-
veyor of the lands belonging to that institution for about ten years, and since


the second year of his connection witii the bank lie has been a member of its
directorate. He is a man of sound judgment, keen sagacity and unquestioned
probity, and his opinions are highly vahied in financial circles.

His prominence and special fitness for office also led to his selection for
higher political honors than had theretofore been accorded him, and in 1886
he was elected a member of the state senate, in which he served two terms.
He was a member of various important committees, including those on finance
and the judiciary. He has always been a stalwart Republican since casting
his first presidential vote for the pathfinder, General John C. Fremont, in 1856.
His labors in the campaign of 1896 were most effective. He was instrumental
in organizing the Sacramento McKinley League, composed of fifty of the
most prominent Republicans in this section of the country, and largely through
the efforts of this organization many Republicans, who were in doubt as
between Allison of Iowa, Reed of Maine and JMcKinley of Ohio, came over and
the vote of the California delegates was given to President IMcKinley. Mr.
Dray is the president of the League, and the executive committee is com-
posed of the following named : William Beckman, \V. B. Thorpe, T. R. Dray,
E. S. Hadley, C. T. Jones, W. A. Anderson, Judson Brusie, J. H. Batcher,
George C. McMullen, C. F. Gardner and J. B. Devine. Under the adminis-
tration of Mr. Dray and the able work of the secretary, W. B. Thorpe, the
work of the league was most splendidly planned and carefully executed, and
was ijroductive of most desirable results.

Mr. Dray has been a member of the Lidependent Order of Odd Fellows
for forty-two years, and has passed through all the degrees of the subordinate
lodge. His family attend the Congregational church and occupy a very prom-
ment position in social circles in the Capital City. He is a well informed man,
possessed of broad general information and in his nature there is nothing
narrow or contracted. He has a spirit that while devoted to his community, is
liberal enough to recognize and appreciate advancement and progress in any
other part of the world. He has the esteem and confidence of all with whom
public or private life have brought him in contact, and his name is now insep-
arably interwoven with the history of the state's advance, and with the finan-
cial annals of the Capital City.


Prominent among the leading" law practitioners of Sacramento is the
gentleman whose name heads this review, who has won a distinguished posi-
tion in connection with the jurisprudence of centra! California. He is one of
the native sons of the Golden state, his birth having occurred in the ancient
and interesting city of Monterey on the 26th of January, 1848. He is the
youngest of the four children of Joseph and Sarah A. (Wright) Aram. His
father was one of the early pioneers who aided in laying the foundation for the
present development and progress of California. He was born in Oneida
county. New York, March 24, 1810, and his boyhood days were spent on his
father's farm. On the ]:)aternal side he was of English lineage and on the


maternal side of Scotch and Irish descent. His father, Matthias Aram, was a
native of Yorkshire, England, and came to America toward the close of the
eighteenth century, and married Sarah Tompkins. He served with distinc-
tion in the American army in the war of 1812.

Captain Joseph Aram, the father of our subject, married Miss Mahala
Birdsell and in 1835 they removed to Ohio, where the young wife died eight-
een months later, leaving an infant daughter, Sarah M., wdio is the widow of
the late Rev. P. Y. Cool and resides in Los Angeles, California. Subsequently
he married Miss Sarah A. Wright, a native of Vermont and a representative
of one of the early colonial families. She was the daughter of Seaman and
Fanny (Briggs) Wright, her birth occurring near M(.>ntpelier, Vermont,
November 14, 181 1. Seaman Wright was a native of \'ermont, born Septem-
ber 12, 1782. His wife Fannie was born June 12, 1788. They were the
parents of eight children : Lydia, X. L. M., Sarah A.. George S., Peter, Daniel
H., Elias M. and Francis 1.)., only due nf whom survives, ^Colonel Elias M.. —
who resides in Clevelantl, Ohio. In 1840 they removed to Joe Daviess county,
Illinois, where Mr. Aram engaged in farming and lead-mining until 1846. In
that year he crossed the plains to Cailfornia and played an important part in
the early history of the state. He aided in laying the foundation for the
present prosperity and progress of the commonwealth and his name is inse])-
arably interwoven with its annals. He w^as a member of the first cimstitutional
convention and also of the first legislature of California. A man of strong-
individuality, of keen intellectuality and of marked force of character, he
was well fitted for leadership, and a spirit of patriotism prompted him to render
effective and beneficial service to the new state. His wife, who bravely shared
with him all the hardships of pioneer life, died in 1873. He passed away
March 31, 1899, 'it ^'i" Jose, California, and is survived by only one brother,
John Aram, of Grangeville, Idaho. By their union there were four children,
namely: George, who is now deceased: Jennie E., who became the wife of A.
E. Pomeroy, and died in 1868; Martha, who died in 1858: and Eugene, our

Eugene Aram, the youngest of the family, acquired his education in the
public schools of San Jose and in the University of the Pacific. He was
graduated at the latter institution with the class of 1870, and immediately
afterward began the study of law in the office of Judge D. S. Payne, of San
Jose. He applied himself diligently to the mastery of the principles of juris-
prudence, and after three years was admitted to the bar. He has practiced his
profession continuously since and is classed among the leading and successful
lawyers of Sacramento. For a few years he engaged in practice in Arizona
and in 1885 was elected to the legislature of that territory. In 1896 he took \\\->
his residence permanently in Sacramento and entered into partnership with (ieii-
eral J. L. Hart. He has already secured a large patronage here and is
accounted one of the leading lawyers of the capital city. In politics he is a
stalwart Republican and has been a delegate to many of the conventions of the
party. A close student of political issues, his sound judgment in such matters


has made him a leader in the ranks of the part}-, and in 1895 and 1897 he rep-
resented the sixth district in tlie state senate.

Mr. Aram has won for himself very fa\-orable criticism for the careful and
sj-stematic methods which he has followed in the practice of law. As an orator
he stands high, especially in the discussion of legal matters before the court,
where his comprehensive knowledge of the law is manifest and his application
of legal principles demonstrates the wide range of his professional accjuire-
ments. In connection with the legislative interests of California his course
has been marked by devotion to the public good. He has studied closely the
questions at issue uring the sessions of the senate and his careful consider-
ation is manifested in the earnest and able support given to the measures
which he believes will prove beneficial to the commonwealth. In professional,
political and social circles he has gained the high regard of those witii whom
he has been brought in ctjntact and all who know him esteem him for his
sterling worth.

On the 17th of March, 1875, Mr. Aram was united in marriage to Miss
Elizabeth J. Jasper, a native of California, and a daughter of J. M. C. Jasper,
of Wheatland. Her death occurred March 6, 1892.


A glance at the history of past centuries will indicate at once what would
be the cimdition of the world if the mining interests no longer had a part in
the industrial and commercial life. Only a few centuries ago agriculture was
almost the only occupation of man. A landed proprietor surrounded himself
with his tenants and his serfs who tilled his broad fields, while he reaped the
reward of their labors ; but when the rich mineral resources of the world were
placed upon the market industry found its way into new and broader fields,
minerals were used in the production of thousands of new articles of trade and
in the production of hundreds of inventions, and the business of nations was
re\()hiti()nized. When considering these facts we can in a measure determine
the value of the mining interests to mankind. No name is more inseparably
connected with the mining interests of California than that of James W. Mar-
shall, the discoverer of gold in this state; and that the people recognized what
he has done for the commonwealth is indicated by the fact that in recent }'ears
there has been erected to his memory a fine monument.

James W. Marshall was a native of New Jersey, born on a farm near

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 8 of 108)