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 81 of 108)
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who design and construct its buildings is due the credit of the position it holds
in this direction. Among those who have done a large amount of work
which adorns the streets and avenues of ^Modesto, Stanislaus county, is Moses
Adams, who is well versed in the details and principles of this branch of
industry and has established an extensive and lucrative business. He i>
prepared at all times to execute orders with accuracy and promptness and
manifests the courtesy and fairness which ever marks the successful business
man. Many of the fine structures in his city and the surrounding country
stand as monuments to his industry and skill.

Mr. Adams was bom in Waterford, Vermont, on the 12th day of July
1838, of old English ancestry. The ancestors of one branch of tiie family
landed with the Pilgrims from the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock. The
great-great-grandfather of our subject became one of the early settlers of



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 619

^^'aterford, Vermont, and men of worth and prominence belonging to the
family have since resided in that portion of the Green Mountain state. The
family is one of distinction in American history. Jonathan Adams, the father
of our subject, was born in Waterford, on the 3d of May, 181 1, and became
an industrious and well-to-do farmer. He was also a valued member of the
Methodist church and his life was well worthy of emulation, while his influence
was ever on the side of right and the good. He married Roxanna Ladd,
a native of his own town, born November 3, 1814. She belongs to another
branch of the family descended from the ancestors to whom he traced his
lineage. The Ladds were honored early settlers of the Green Mountain
state and were noted for their uprightness, intelligence and prominence in
the commonwealth in which several generations had lived and died. Mr.
and Mrs. Adams spent their lives on a farm near Waterford, respected and
esteemed by all who knew them. The mother of our subject departed this
life on the 3d of February, 1889, and the father was called to his final rest
on the 2 1 St of March, 1894, having attained the ripe old age of eighty-three
years. He left to his children an untarnished name. Five of the six sons
and daughters who constituted the family are still living, Martin having died
in 1856. Tlie others are Otis, Moses, Jonathan C., Orange and Hannah, the
last named being the wife of Henry Hudson, of Vermont, while the sons are
well-to-do and respected citizens of the Golden state.

Moses Adams, the third child of the family, acquired his elementary edu-
cation in the public schools of Vermont, and at the age of eighteen began
to learn the carpenter's trade, following that vocation in the east until 1862,
in which year he came to California, in August. In Sacramento he joined
his brother Otis, who had come to this state in 1854, having made the journey
across the plains. They proceeded to Aurora, in Esmeralda county, Nevada,
where for some time the subject of this review engaged in contracting and
building. He then returned to the southern mines and engaged in the search
for the precious metal at Angel's Camp and vicinity for two 3^ears, but met with
only moderate success. Subsequently he returned to the east to visit his
parents, relatives and friends, and since then has made the trip across the
continent four times. After remaining for some time at his old home in
Vermont, he went to Chicago, where he was engaged in the building business
for a year, after which he returned to California, where he has since resided.
The year 1873 witnessed his arrival in Modesto. The town had been founded
in 1870, ancl Mr. Adams began work on the new court-house which was then
being erected. Through the past twenty-seven 3-ears he has been acti\elv
engaged on many of the leading structures, including the Odd Fellows build-
ing, of which he was also the architect, and the Modesto bank building, having
charge of its construction and making it one of the model bank buildings of
the state. During his residence in the city he has won a creditable reputation
by reason of his skill, his executive force and his thoroughly reliable methods.
Mr. Adams belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having
become identified with the fraternity in all its branches, his connection there-
with covering a period of more than a quarter of a century. He passed ail



620 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

the chairs in botli the suborcHnate lodge and tlic encampment. In pohtics
he has been a hfe-long Repubhcan, and is earnest in his support of the party
which stands for the protection of American industries, for national expan-
sion and which believes in upholding the supremacy of the flag wherever it
has been planted.

Mr. Adams returned to the east in 1890, and on the 24th of September
of that )-ear was united in marriage, in his native town of Waterford, to Miss
ilary E. Ladd, who was born in that town and is a representative of that
branch of the Ladd family of which his mother was a member. She had for
some years been a successful teacher in her native state and is a lady of sterling
worth, culture and refinement. Their union has been a most happy one, and on
the 24th of May, 1892, there came to bless their home a little son, whom
they named Ezra Parker. Theirs is one of the pleasant residences of Modesto.
It was erected by Mr. Adams and is surrounded by orange and other fruit
and ornamental trees which were planted by him. Both Mr. and ^^Irs. Adams
enjoy the warm regard of a large circle of friends in Modesto and in the
best homes of the community they receive a cordial welcome.

PHILO H. MEDLEY.

Philo Hamilton Medley, of Modesto, is engaged in the bo<jk and sta-
tionery business and conducts a well appointed store in which he receives a
liberal patronage. He was liorn in the town of Howland, Trumbull county,
Ohio, on the 17th of July, 1836, and is of Welsh and Scotch ancestry. His
grandfather, Elijah Medley, emigrated to New York at an early date, and
his son, Elias iledley, was born in Ohio, whither the grandfather had removed
during the pioneer development of the Buckeye state. The father of our sub-
ject was educated in Ohio and in 1846 remo\-ed to Grant county, Wisconsin,
having in the meantime married Miss Margaret Ann Espey, a native of Penn-
sylvania. Her ancestors were Scotch and located in the Keystone state at
an early date. On his removal to \Msconsin Mr. Medley was accompanied
by his wife and four children. He purchased government land in Grant
county and became a pioneer farmer there, continuing to devote his energies
to agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1881, when he was
seventy-two years of age. His good wife survived him until 1894, when she
passed away, at the age of eighty-four. Two children were added to their
family in Wisconsin, and six of the seven children still survive.

Philo H. Medley, being the only one of the family in California, was
reared on his father's farm in the Badger state, working in the fields througii
the summer months, plowing, planting and harvesting. h\ the winter season
he conned his lessons in an old-time log school-house furnished with slab
seats and heated by an immense fire-place. Li 1859. when he was twenty-one
years of age, he crossed the plains to California, with oxen, in company with
three gentlemen. They had one wagon and three yoke of oxen and were
well armed, thus being prepared for any attack that might be made by the
Indians or the desperate characters that then infested the west. They made



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 621

the journe}- by way of Salt Lake City and at length arrived safely at their
destination, after five months spent upon the road. Mr. Aledley first located
at Placerville, Eldorado county ; thence came to the Sacramento valley, work-
ing on a farm for four months, at thirty dollars per month. Subsequently,
however, he returned to Placer\'ille and for eight months engaged in driving"
three yoke of oxen from that place to the mountains, hauling shakes. For
this service he received thirty-five dollars per month. Later he began work
at the blacksmith's trade, which he followed in Placerville from 1861 to Jan-
uary, 186.V

He then went to Aurora, Nevada, and opened a shop of his own. Aurora
was then a very rough town, in which crime was prevalent, being committed
with a high hand and the lawless element was so bold that no man's life or
property was safe. In 1864 a Peter Johnson, a farmer, was murdered, and
Mr. Medley was one of those who served on the coroner's jury. The deed
was so bold and the gang was so daring that they had no trouble in ascertaining
the perpetrators of the crime, John Daily being the leader. Associated with
him in this and other crimes, was "Black-leg" Gallagher and "Three-fingered"
Jack and another man. Two days after the verdict of the jury was announced
a \igilance committee took those men out and hanged them in broad daylight
in the presence of more than one thousand people, a company of volunteer
infantry and a company of cavalry giving their assent to the execution ! When
the rough characters of the community saw that the law-abiding citizens had
taken matters into their own hands and that criminals were to be prosecuted,
they fled the district and life was thus made more secure.

Mr. Medley continued in business in Aurora until 1867, when he went
to Columbia, Tuolumne count}', where he carried on blacksmithing for a time,
and subsequently conducted the Fallon Hotel. In 1873 he came to Modesto,
where he opened his book and stationery store and continued to conduct the
same until 1885, when he sold out and retired from business. He was not
actively connected with commercial afifairs again until 1896, when he again
opened a book and stationery store and is now enjoying a good trade in that
line. He carried a large and well selected stock; and his earnest desire to
please his patrons, combined with his unfailing courtesy and honorable business
methods, has secured to him a very creditable success.

Mr. Medley is a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, has passed all the chairs in its various branches, and had the honor
of being chosen district deputy grand master. He is also a member of the
Knights of Pythias fraternity. His military connection began with his enlist-
ment as a private in the National Guards of California, becoming a member of
Company D, of the Sixth Regiment. He was elected to serve as the second
lieutenant for two years, and was then appointed on the staiif of Colonel
Eugene Lehe, with the rank of first lieutenant, and was the inspector of rifle
practice. After the termination of Colonel Lehe's term he continued on the
staff of Colonel J. J. Nunan, acting in the same capacity during the latter's
service of four years. He was also for four years on the staff of Colonel S. S.
Wright, and on the expiration of that period, at his own request, he was put



622 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

on the retired list with the rank of first heutenant. He had efiiciently and
intelligently served in the National Guard of California for fourteen successive
years, making an honorable record in connection with the military history
of the state. Mr. ^Medley has accumulated considerable property in Modesto
and is living there amid a host of warm friends, whose confidence and good
will he enjoys in an unusual degree.

ELI D. CLARK.

Eli D. Clark, the owner of the New El Dorado Hotel at Eldorado, Cali-
fornia, is a native of the state of Iowa, born on the 15th of December^ 1854.
Rufus B. Clark, the father of the above-named gentleman, was a "Forty-niner."
Ele was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1795, and passed the greater part of
his life in the middle states. After his arrival in California in 1849 lie at
once engaged in placer mining in Eldorado count}^ and met with signal suc-
cess. In 1852 he returned east and made up a company which he brought
back with him to this state, he having charge of this party while en route,
as he also did of the first company with which he crossed the plains. He
resumed mining in Eldorado county, which he continued uninterruptedly luitil
i860. That 3'ear he brought his family to California. He ha<l married, in
1848, Aliss Elizabeth Merritt, of Iowa, and two children were born to them
in that state, one of whom is now Mrs. Lucy Margaret Levy, a resident of
San Francisco. Another child, a son, was born to them in Lake Valley,
California. Mr. Clark also had three children by a former marriage.

The winter of 1860.-1 Mr. Clark and his family spent at Suisun, and in the
spring he went up to the summit below Lake Tahoe, on the western side, and
built what lieeame known as Clark's Station. It was afterward called the
Teamsters' Home, and later Philips Station. Subsequently Mr. Clark pur-
chased the V^n Sickle Hotel, to which he removed, and still later went to Lake
Valley, purchased a ranch and built a hbtel, which became known as the State
Line House. He also speculated in minVg operations and in a large ice
plant at Virginia City. In the fall of 1867. he engaged ill the hotel business
at Shingle Springs. He remained there, ho\\-^yer, only a short time, removing
thence to Puget Sound, where, though then advanced in j^ears, he was prom-
inent and active in the movement which tended to^ the growth and prosperity
of Seattle. He died in Seattle, in 1870, at the iige of seventy-two years.
His widow survives him and is now a resident hi Sacramento, where she
enjoys the esteem of a large circle of old acquaintances. Of Rufus B. Clark
it may be said that he was a thorough pioneer. New scenes and new enter-
prises had for him a fascination, and he had the pluck and courage to carry
through whatever he undertook. Up to the very close of his life he was acti\e
and progressive. He was patriotic and he reared a familj' of patriotic sons,
two of whom, Mason and Sylvester, enlisted in the' .Union army during the
Civil war and served until the conflict was ended, each receiving then an honor-
able discharge. Mason is, and has been for years, a resident of Seattle, where
he is operating in timber lands. He is a surveyor.



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 623

Eli D. Clark was educated in Shingle Springs and at Placerville. During
the time when teaming was such a profitable business he took advantage of
the tide and made considerable money in hauling goods from Sacramento City
to Placerville, and over the mountains to Bodie, Virginia City and Carson.
In this freighting business he drove a six-horse team. Afterward he was
variously employed. For some years he was in the saloon business in Eldo-
rado. He conducted the Ivy House in Placerville and three years ran the
Depot saloon at that place. In 1895 he built the New El Dorado Hotel, at
Eldorado, which is the leading hotel in the town and which he has conducted
the past five years. He also has other property interests here, owning the
post-oftice building and a livery-stable budding.

Mr. Clark was happily married on the i6th of I\Iay. 1S84, to Miss Hattie
Fitzgibbons, a native of Eldorado, and the union was blessed in the birth of
two children, вАФ ^Jessie Leola and Hattie Anneta. Mrs. Clark departed this
life December 11, 1899. She was a member of Placerville Parlor, Native
Daughters of the Golden West, and was a woman whose many estimable traits
of character endeared her to her circle of friends.

.Mr. Clark is a member of the Foresters of America, Court Confidence, No.
117, and is also a Druid, affiliating with California Grove, No. i. Politically
he is an enthusiastic Republican.

JA^IES LEFEVRE.

The Canadian-French element in our national commonwealth is descended
from French ancestry and has been a factor for good in our population,
although it perhaps has not been so much in evidence as some other elements.
The reason of this is probably in the fact that the people of this blood are
not ambitious for publicity, but are lovers of home and have therefore not
emigrated to all parts of the country as rapidly as other peoples that could
be mentioned ; yet they are found on the Pacific coast, and in Tuolumne county
the French Canadian citizenship is worthily represented by the family of
Lefevre, of which James Lefevre, a prominent resident of Quartz, is a well
known member.

James Lefevre, who has ably filleil the office of justice of the peace at
'Quartz and is at this writing a prominent Republican candidate for the office
of county supervisor of Tuolumne county, is a son of Abraham and Mary
Louise (Qunel) Lefevre, both of whom were born of French ancestry in
Canada, where their forefathers were early settlers. Abraham Lefevre, who
was a native of Montreal, born October 17, 1815, in the course of events set-
tled in Missouri, and there his son James was born, April 19, 1852. In 1856,
when the subject of this sketch was four years old, his father came witli his
family to California and located at Stevens Bar, Tuolumne count.v, where he
mined and conducted a hotel until 1866. In the year just mentioned he
removed to Quartz mountain, where he resumed hotel-keeping and took up
quartz-mining, and remained until his death, which occurred July 24, 1884,
when he was sixty-nine years old. His wife survived him until June 18,



624 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

1899. when slie died, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was a pushing,
industrious, thoroughly rehahle business man, of mucli private enterprise and
pubHc spirit. James Lefevre is his only child.

Mr. Lefevre was educated in Tuolumne county, inherited the family
homestead and was in the liquor and hotel business until 1897, and was
associated meanwhile with various mining enterprises. He sold his interest
in the Clark mine for five thousand dollars and now has an interest in the
Lava Hill mine, wliich is being operated with success. He is a business man
of ability and his interest in county affairs has led fiim into public life. He
has always voted the Republican ticket and worked for the success of Republi-
can principles. He was elected a justice of the peace in 1898 and has filled
that office witli so much fidelity and good judgment that the decisions he
has rendered have given general satisfaction, and not one of them has been
reversed by a higher court. In the fall of 1900 he was nominated by his
party for the office of supervisor of the fifth district of Tuolumne county, but
was defeated. He is not a member of any secret society, is quiet and unas-
suming and has never made any special effort to gain public favor. His hos-
pitable home is one of the landmarks of the town and he and his family are
widely known and highly respected.

In 1874 j\Ir. Lefexre married Miss Helen Sweet, who was Ixirn in Illi-
nois, in 1854, and came with her parents to California in 1S56. They have
three children : Mabel, who married G. H. Cornell; James Edward and Ruliy.

WILLIAM X. FIXXEY. M. D.

Devoted to the noble antl humane profession that has for its object the
alleviation of human suffering. Dr. Finney has gained notable precedence
as a regular physician and surgeon. He is practicing in Lincoln and his
patronage is extensive. He was born on the ist of February. 1849. in
Vienna, John.son county, Illinois, and on the paternal side is a representative
of one of the old families of Virginia, while his maternal ancestors were
from Tennessee. His paternal grandfather became one of the pioneer set-
tlers of Illinois, and there G. P. Finney, the Doctor's father, was born and
reared. When he had arrived at years of maturity he married Miss Rachel
Latham, who also was a native of Illinois and a consistent member of the
Methodist church. Mr. Finney followed agricultural pursuits as a means
of livelihood, having for his family a wife and eight children. He died in
the thirty-ninth year of his age, and his wife departetl this life in her thirty-
fourth year. Only two of the children now^ survive.

The Doctor acquired his preliminary education in the public schools, and
his professional training was obtained in the Mis.souri Medical College, in
which he was graduated in ]\Iarch, 1878. He began the practice of his
profession at Clear Creek. Illinois, and for six years was a member of the
medical fraternity of Missouri, also conducting a drug store there. In 1888.
however, he disposed of his interests in the ATississippi valley and came to
California, establishing his home in Lincoln, where he .soon acquired a large



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 625

and lucrative practice. He realizes fully the responsibility which devolves
upon the profession and is therefore a close and earnest student, who embraces
every means that will assist him in preserving health and life. He has made
judicious investments of his capital and is now the owner of a good resi-
dence in Lincoln and a ranch of one hundred and fifty acres, on which he is
raising Jersey cattle and fine poultry. The loyal ancl patriotic spirit of Dr.
Finney was manifest in his boyhood, and on the ist of January, 1865, when
he was only fifteen years of age, he enlisted in Company E of the Twenty-
ninth Illinois Infantry, for service in the Union army. With his regiment
he was sent to Texas to aid in suppressing secession movements there and
in guarding government property. At the close of the war he received an
honorable discharge, and while in the east he was a prominent member of the
Grand Army of the Republic and served on the pension board for two years.
He is a Royal Arch Mason, is a member of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen and of the Independent Order of Foresters. He is of a genial
nature and sterling worth which renders him a favorite with his brethren of
these fraternities. His political support is given to the Republican party and
he and his family are Congregationalists in religious connection.

The Doctor was married, in Eldorado, Saline county, Illinois, to Miss
Rachel Baine, antl three children were born to them: Charles Edward, who
is now engaged in the drug business; Ellen, now the wife of F. C. DeLong;
and Alice B., the wife of H. Taylor. Both daughters are residents of New
York city. The mother died in 1885, and after coming to California Dr. Fin-
ney was married to Mrs. Martha F. Leavell, who by her first marriage had
two sons: Lewis and Arthur, whom they have reared. One is now in the
drug business, the other in the grocery business. There are two children by the
second marriage : John Marshal! and Norma Frances.

Dr. L'inney is a popular resident of Lincoln, rendered so by his uniform
courtesy, kindly disposition and interest in others' welfare, as well as his
professiiinal skill and ability.

THO^IAS ROBERT SCOON.

The combination of pure Scotch and English blood with that of good
American families has in all periods of our history been productive of a
high order of citizenship. Of such stock is Thomas Robert Scoon, the d'ep-
uty auditor and recorder of Stanislaus county, California, and in 1900 the
candidate of the Republican party to represent his district in the state legis-
lature. James Scoon. his father, was born in Scotland, and came to the
United States with his parents when he was seven years old. The family
settled first in the state of New York and removed thence to Michigan and
thence to Marshall county, Illinois, where in the course of events James
Scoon married Alice Manock, a native of England and a daugliter of Thomas
Manock, who had lived in the United States since her childhood. James
Scoon became influential in his township in Marshall county, Illinois, and
held mail}' important offices there.



626 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

Thomas Robert Scoon \vas born at his father's old home in ^larshall
county, IlHnois, April 3, 1S74, and came with his father's family to Cali-
fornia in 1886. The family settled in Tulare county, where James Scoon,
who had served through the Civil war as a member of Company D, Seventy-
seventh Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, soon became well acquainted
through other ex-soldiers and was for a time a prominent stock-raiser. He
now lives in Alameda county, where he is well known as a stockman and
produce and meat dealer. He has attained to the age of fifty-si.x and his
wife to the age of fifty-two. They have had five children, four of whom
are living, their two (laughters in their parents' household and their son,
Walter T., at Fresno, where he is in the employ of the First National Bank of
Fresno.

Thomas Robert Scoon was educated in public schools in Tulare county
and at the University of California. For three years he was a grocer at
Oakdale, Stanislaus county, and during that time was the assistant post-
master at that place. In October, 1899. he was appointed deputy auditor



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 81 of 108)