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

. (page 83 of 108)
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 83 of 108)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


is also devoted to the cultivation of fruit, and while Mr. Bosquit resided there
the property was one of the most productive and valuable in the county.



634 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

On the iJtli of October, 1873. our subject was united in marriage to
IMiss Sarali Catherine dray, a daughter of Allen T. Gra)', a prominent pioneer
of 1854 and the founder of Gray's Flats, in Eldorado county. They have three
sons, all born in this county, namely: Dallas A., Edwin L. and Owen T., who
are residents of I'lacerville. Mv. Bosquit is a member of the Ancient Order
of United Workmen, the Foresters and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
and in the last named he has filled all the offices and has served as a representa-
tive to the grand lodge . He is an active and earnest Democrat, a progressive
and enterprising citizen and a thoroug'hly capable and faithful public officer.

ALEXANDER B. McRAE.

A vacillating purpose will never bring success. It is in persistency that
the elements of prosperity lie, and continued effort, when guided by sound
judgment, never fails to gain a gratifying and desirable reward. Prominent
in the business circles of Roseville is Alexander Bell McRae, and his life
record demonstrates what may be accomplished through determination, energy
and capable management.

A native of Ontario, Canada, he was born on the i6th of June, 1853,
and is of Highland Scotch ancestry. His grandfather, John McRae, w-as
born in the Highlands of Scotland, and emigrating to Canada brought with
him his wife and two children. He spent his remaining days in the English
province and attained the ripe old age of eig;hty-five years. Alexander I\IcRae,
the father of our subject, was also born in Scotland and during his childhood
accompanied his parents to the new world. He was reared in Canada and
there married Miss Josephine Monro. By trade he was a millwright and
followed that occupation until he lost his life by drow^ning, when his son
Alexander was five years of age. The mother of our subject had died when
he was a babe of nine days, and he w-as reared by his grandparents, acquir-
ing his education in Canada in the public schools. He came to California in
1872 to accept a position as a bookkeeper in a San Francisco house, but instead
he purchased timber land and engaged in dealing in wood, furnishing that
commodity under contract to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. He
carried on the business successfully for a number of years, it proving a profit-
able venture.

He then purchased a ranch near the present tow-n of Roseville, where he
engaged in farming and in the breeding of fine horses. He has since con-
ducted the business and is now one of the most extensive breeders of Norman
Percheron, Clyde and English coach horses in this section of the country.
In this w^ay he has done much to improve the grade of horses found in north-
ern California, and his efforts have not only been of individual benefit but
have contributed to the general prosperity, for the improved grades of stock
raised bring higher prices. Mr. McRae also deals in hav and gram, which he
raises and sells in large quantities, doing a wholesale business. He built a
large brick warehouse in Roseville. and bv his capable business methods has
acquired a very enviable rcinitation as a reliable and trustworthy man through-



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 635

out California and adjoining states. He was tlie owner of Colier, one of
the most celebrated French coach horses ever brought to California. His
farm adjoins the corporation limits of Roseville and one portion of it was
within the border lines of the town. This he platted and sold as town lots.
He is most reliable in all dealings and his word can be depended upon entirely.
He has never permitted himself to bet on any horse, believing it a kind of
gambling. If he recommends a horse the purchaser may be sure that it is
all that he claims for it. In all transactions his word is as good as his bond,
and such a life record as his, crowned with enviable success, proves that
honesty is the best policy.

In 1875 Mr. McRae was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Kerr, a
iiati\-e of St. John, New Brunswick, and unto them have been born six chil-
dren, of whom five are now living : Lizzie, a successful school-teacher now in
the State University; Clarence, a student in Atkinson College, of Sacra-
mento; and Lester, Russell C. and Cecil, at home. Mr. McRae and his
family attend the Presbyterian church, of which he is a trustee. He assisted
largely in the erection of the house of worship and is very liberal in his con-
tributions to church and charitable work and to all movements that are cal-
culated to benefit the town. He is recognized as one of the most liberal and
progressive citizens of Roseville and withholds his support from no enter-
prise that is calculated to advance the social, material, intellectual and moral
welfare of his community. He is a strong advocate of temperance and of
all that will benefit humanity. Of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows he
is an exemplary member and is now serving as its treasurer. In politics he
is an unswer\'ing Republican. His marked capability in business, his watch-
fulness, his indefatigable industry and above all his honorable methods have
made him one of the most prosperous citizens of the community, and at the
same time he has won that good name which is rather to be chosen than
great riches.

GEORGE E. LUKENS.

George E. Lukens, a prominent business and professional man of Auburn,
Placer county, California, is a native of Wabash county, Indiana, born April
2, 1 85 1. The Lukens family is of Scotch origin and its first representatives
in this country were residents of Massachusetts. Abraham Lukens, the
grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was in early life a Philadelphian.
At an early period in the history of Ohio he moved west to that state, and it
was there that his son Mathias, the father of George E., was born. In 1834
the family went over into Indiana and settled on Eel river, in W'ab^ash county.
Mathias Lukens married Miss Nancy Rentz, a native of \\'illiamsport. Penn-
sylvania, Avho survives him and is now seventy-three years of age. He died
in 1897, at the age of seventj'-eight years. For many years they were prom-
inent and active members of the Baptist church, he serving as the clerk of
the church. To them were born nine children, of whom five are now living.
two of the number being in California, — Charles A., of Placerville, and
George E.



636 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

George E. Lukens was educated in \\'abash Seminary and Franklin Col-
lege and pursued a course in the Albany Law School, of which last named
institution he is a graduate, with the degree of Bachelor of Law, in the class
of 1885. He came to California in 1873, and on the 15th of December,
1880, he was married to j\liss Dora B. Cram, a native of Eldorado county.
Subsequently taking up the study of law, he applied himself to the same and
was duly admitted to the bar. Then he was elected and served two terms as
the district attorney of Alpine county. It was after this, in 1884, that he
returned east and entered the Albany Law School. Coming back to Cali-
fornia after his graduation the following year, he located at Clarksville. He
practiced there and at Placerville until 1898, when he came to Auburn. Here
he purchased a residence and a store, and, in addition to having a supervision
over the store, continues his practice. The store, in which they carry a
stock of both new and second-hand goods, was purchased for his sons, and it
is the intention to turn it over entirely to them as soon as they become of age.
Mr. and ^Irs. Lukens have five children, namely : S. Guy, Judson Earl, Nancy
P., Gladis G. and Dora May. ^Ir. Lukens is politically a Republican and
fraternally a Knight of Pythias.

ABRAM ^1. HILTS.

A respected resident of Knight's Ferry, Abram iNliles Hihs arrived in
California in 1852, reaching Stockton on the 6th of September. Almost the
width of the continent separates him from his birthplace, whicli is Schoharie
county. New York, his natal dzy being September 28, 1833. The family is
of German lineage, for his grandfather. Theobald Hilts, emigrated from Ger-
many to the new world, locating in Schoharie county, Xew York, among its
pioneer settlers. There Christian Hilts, the father of our subject, was born.
He married Jannette Schell, also a native of that county and thej^ were
respected farming people, members of the Presbyterian church. Their lives
exemplified their Christian faith. Three children were born of their mar-
riage, of which Mr. Hilts and his sister Catherine now survive, the latter
being the wife of Menzo A\'atson, of Selma, Alabama. Both the father and
the grandfather of our. subject lived to be eighty-eight years of age, and the
mother was eighty years of age when called to her final rest. Their fidelity
and worthy principles won them the respect and friendship of all with whom
they came in contact.

Mr. Hilts of this review was seventeen years of age when he left home
and entered upon an independent career. Fie had previously learned the
carpenter's trade. He came to California by way of the isthmus of Panama,
and after spending four years in Stockton he removed to Knight's Ferry,
where he engaged in the express business with his uncle. They also pur-
chased gold dust and their speculations in the precious metal proved profit-
able. Later Mr. Hilts conducted a livery business for three years. On sell-
ing out he turned his attention to merchandising in Copperopolis, where he
remained until the town began to decline, for the mining interests of that



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 637

regiim Ijecame exhausted. He then returned to Kniglit's Ferr}- and followed
carpentering until 1870, and then under the administration of General Grant
he was appointed to a government position in the appraiser's department of
the custom-house, where lie was employed for eighteen years, or until the
middle of President Cleveland's first term, when he was succeeded by a
Deniucrat. Again he went to Knight's Ferry and was engaged in agricult-
ural pursuits in Stanislaus county, having fourteen hundred acres of wheat
and pasture land. This, however, is now rented and he has retired from
acti\e business, having acquired a handsome competence that enables him to
put aside business cares and enjoy life as he sees fit, his necessities being sup-
plied by the fruits of his former toil.

In 1858 Mr. Hilts was married to Miss Susan R. Bishop, a native of
Zanesville. Ohio, and a lady of English lineage, and who. after a useful life,
passed away January 24, 1884. Four children blessed their union, namely:
Sarah B., born November i, 1862. who is now acting as her father's house-
keeper; Violet B.. born June 24. 1868, and now the wife of William Cowin, a
railroad employe: Callie F., Iwrn February 2, 1871. now the wife of Henry
L. Clark, whose home is at Port Costa: and Janette S., the oldest of the chil-
dren, born April 13, i860, died in September, 1871.

Mr. Hilts was reared in the Democratic faith and supported Douglas,
but at the time of the Civil war he became a strong Union man and joined
llie Republican partv. which gave so many defenders to the government when
it was imperiled. He has since voted with that party, being an inflexible
adherent of its principles. An honorable retirement from labor is a fitting
reward of a well-spent life, and this Mr. Hilts is now enjoying. Through
many years he vigorously prosecuted his business interests, and his diligence,
indefatigable energy and strong resolution enabled him to conquer all the
difficulties and obstacles in his path, and to wrest fortune from the hands of
fate. His characteristics are those which go to make up an honorable man-
IkkkI. and through the years of his business career he ever enjoyed the con-
fidence and respect of those with whom he was associated.

JOHN F. LBIPINSEL.

In the business affairs of Placerville John F. Limpinsel is a prominent
factor, conducting there a well equipped grocery, in which he is meeting with
creditable success, having a large patronage from among the best citizens of
the place.

^Ir. Limpinsel is numbered among the native sons of Eldorado county,
his birth having occurred on the 18th of .\ugust. 1862. His father. Fred
Limpinsel, a native of Germany, in 1853 crossed the Atlantic to the United
States and came to California in 1854. The following xtzi\ by way of the
isthmus of Panama, he came to the Pacific coast and for a number of years
was engaged in placer mining- in Eldorado county. Like others, he both
made and lost money, sinking considerable in mining speculation. He was
the nwner of several placer and quartz mines, among which are the Limpinsel



638 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

mines, owned Ijy his son Jolin and considered a verj' valuable property. It
is located on the Mather lode in the city of Placerville. He married Miss
Margaret Aliller, also a native of the fatherland. His death occurred March
31, 1884, when he had reached the age of sixty-eight years, and his wife,
surviving him about five years, passed away February 3, 1889, at the age
of sixty-seven.

John F. Limpinsel acquired his education in the public schools of Placer-
ville and is a graduate of both the public school and the academy. On putting
aside his text-books he accepted a clerkship in a store in Placerville and was
employed in that capacity for seven years, acting for a time as a salesman in
the store of which he is now the proprietor. In 1889 he acquired an interest
in the business, entering into partnership with George Schiff. This connec-
tinn was maintained for eight years, on the expiration of which period Mr.
Limpinsel purchased his partner's interest and became the sole owner of the
business, which has steadily increased until he is now the leading grocer of
his town. He has by close application and honorable methods won very
gratifying success, and in addition to his store he owns valuable mining jjrop-
crty and considerable real estate, including residences and other realty in the
town.

He was one of the organizers and charter members of Placerville Parlor,
No. g, X. S. G. W.. and in it he has filled all of its ofiices, being now a past
president. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the
Foresters of America. In Eldorado county he is known as a prominent,
reliable business man and richly deserves his prosperity, and his friendship is
most highly prized by those who know him best.

MANFRED O. SMITH.

When the era of California's rapid progress and development dawned
upon her the majority of the citizens of the rapidly growing commonwealth
gave their attention to mining, and the hillsides and river beds yielded of
their rich metals, promoting individual wealth and the general prosperity of
the land. In later years, when it was found that all could not profitably fol-
low mining, some of the Californians began to attempt other industrial ^\Tlrk,
and it was found that California ofifered lioundless advantages to the agri-
culturist and the horticulturist. For many years identified with mining inter-
ests in the state, Mr. Smith is now known as one of the fruit-growers, and
from his orchards fine fruit is shipped to tbe various markets of the coun-
try. He is a man of resolute will, of strong determination and of indefatigable
energy, and thus he has worked his way upward to a place among the sub-
stantial citizens of the community in which he is located. He came to Cali-
fornia in 1854 and is now living near Knight's Ferry.

A native of tbe Green Mountain state. Manfred Orlando Smith was born
in the town of Waterford on the 3d of February, 1836. His grandfather.
David Smith, was a native of Rhode Island, and at an early date emigrated
to Vermont, where Samuel Smith, Jr., the father of our subject, was born,



OF XORTHERN C ALIFORM A. 639

in \\'aterfoi"d, in 1S06. Having an"i\-etl at years of matnrity he married Miss
Wealthy Foote, also a native of Vermont, born in ]\Iiddlebnry. In 1814 he
came to California, by way of the isthmus route, making his way across the
little narrow neck of land on the back of a mule. On reaching the California
coast he proceeded to Knight's Ferry, and aided in building the first grist-
mill in the town. For some years he engaged in mining. His wife had
died in the east, leaving five children, but only two are now living, namely :
Manfred O., of this review; and Mrs. Ellen Britt, a widow who is now the
proprietor of the Duncan Hotel at Santa Cruz.

Mr. Smith of this review came with his father to California and with
him was engaged in mining at Goat Hill, also on the flat beside Knight's
Ferry. The company turned the river and mined the entire flat. For a
number of years Mr. Smith engaged in searching for the precious metal,
meeting with fair success, and then purchased a ranch, a mile and a half
west of Knight's Ferry. He planted a portion of this in fruit and sold it in
1863. It is now a fine fruit ranch, owned by David Emart. He then pur-
chased the land in Knight's Ferry, becoming the owner of nine acres, the
entire amount being utilized for fruit-raising purposes. He grows the finest
varieties of fruit of every discription, his princijial crops, however, being
oranges, peaches and prunes. His place is very attractive, everything being
conducted in an orderly manner, while in matters of horticulture Mr. Smith
is extremely well versed and his opinions are largely received as authority
by the people of the community. On the place is a commodious and com-
fortable residence, and his orchard and his grounds show that he is a man of
excellent taste and of marked enterprise. " Any shipment of fruit which bears
his name as the shipper is regarded as reliable, being exactly as it is rep-
resented.

He votes with the Repul)lican party, but has neither time nor inclination
for public office. His business claims his entire attention, and having been
well-directed it has brought to him a good return.

LEAXDER D. IMARKS.

Leander D. Alarks, of Placerville, is a native of the Empire state, his
birth having occurred in St. Lawrence county, on the 3d of June, 1821. Fie
has therefore almost reached the eightieth milestone of life's journey. His
record has ever been that of a man true to the duties of public and private
life, faithful in friendship and honorable in business. He is a representa-
tive of one of the early families in New York. His grandfather, Reuben
Marks, reared his children in the Empire state and among the number was
Richard Marks, the father of our subject. He was born in New York and
when he had attained manhood he married Miss Annie Bristol, also a native
of that state. They were industrious farming people, faithful members of
the Methodist Episcopal church, and both attained the age of sixty-five years.
In their family were eight children, but Leander Douglass is now the only



640 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZEXS

111 1S34 the parents removed witli tlieir children to Ashtabula county,
Ohio, and tlie father entered land from the government. There amid the
■wild scenes of frontier life Leander D. Marks was reared to manhood and in
the public schools acquired his education. At the age of twenty years he
went to \\'atterdown, Canada, where he was engaged in the manufacture of
farming implements, such as scythes, sickles and rakes. While residing there
he met the lady whom he afterward made his wife and who for the past fifty-
eight years has been to him a faithful companion and helpmate on life's
journey. She bore the maiden name of Harriet Griffin Kent and was a
daughter of William Kent. Their marriage was celebrated in 1842 and
four sons were born to them in Canada. Hoping to more rapidly acquire a
competence for his family in the west, Mr. Marks came to California in 1859
by the way of the isthmus of Panama, and the following year he sent for
his wife and children. On the voyage one of the children had a violent
attack of diphtheria, but owing to the tender and unremitting care of the
mother his life was saved and with her little sons she reached her destination
in safety. They settled in Amador City, where Mr. Alarks was first engaged
in school-teaching. Later he became tlie proprietor of the Scott Hotel, then
the only hostelry in the town. Subsequently he removed to San Joaquin
county, locating ten miles below lone, where he purchased a ranch. He made
many improvements thereon and learned later that it belonged to a Mexican
grant, and he and many other settlers were thus ruthlessly dispossessed of
their property and he lost all he had made. He then rented the old Chapman
place and in 1864 came to Placerville.

In this city I\Ir. Marks turned his attention to the grocery business and
next engaged in teaming over the mountains from Placerville to Virginia
City. Xe\a<1a. .Along that route at short intervals were hotels and between
four and five thousand teamsters were engaged in hauling goods. Later he
became interested in freighting from Shingle Springs to Placerville. At
that time the teamsters over the mountains were registered and at the depot
they l-.ad to await their turn to get their load. It was a time of wonderful
business activity, owing to the rapid development of the silver mines in Nevada.
In 1867 Mr. ^iarks was called to public service, being elected a justice of the
peace, and .such was his ability in the office that he was elected ag:iin and
again, filling the position for twenty years. His decisions were strictly fair
and impartial and during all that time not a single opinion that he rendered
ivas reversed. This was a splendid record and shows him to be a man of
high rectitude of character and large intelligence. He has done an insurance
business in Placerville and has had the agency of the firemen's fund since
1873. He also represents several other companies and has enjoyed the con-
tinuous patronage of many people, .\nother enterprise which has claimed
his attention is a meat market, which he conducted for three years. He is
now in a measure retired from active business and resides with his good wife
in a neat cottage, which he erected in i88q. .\ daughter was born to them
in California, whom they named Grace Darling. In her seventeenth year
deatii claimed her and tliev felt their loss keenly. Three of their sons are



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 641

still li\-ing, — Watson S., Henry K. and Louie, — who are all men of high
respectability.

]\Ir. Marks came to California about the time the Republican party was
formed. He espoused the cause of the Union and the restriction of the exten-
sion of slavery, and has ever been a stanch advocate of the party upholding
the supremacy of the national government during the Civil war, which has
stood as a protector of the American industries and American rights, and is
now upholding the honor of the flag upon the foreign soil that the fortunes
of war have given to this country. His wife is a valued member of the
Methodist Episcopal church and both are members of the society of Chosen
Friends, and having passed the seventy-fifth anniversary of their births they
have received from the order the benefit of one thousand dollars each. Through
fifty-eight years they have traveled life's journey together, sharing with
each other its joys and sorrows, its adversity and prosperity, and now in the
e\ening of life they are resting side by side in the companionship of love
which has been growing l)rig]iter and brighter until the perfect day.

THOAIAS F. SXEDIGAR.

Thomas F. Snedigar is a ]irominent pioneer farmer of Stanislaus county,
owning a large tract of land four miles west of the town of Oakdale. In
the year which witnessed the arrival of so many of California's prominent
pioneers — 1852 — this gentleman cast in his lot with the early settlers and
through the period which has since elapsed he has been an important factor in
tlie development and progress of the state.

;\Ir. Snedigar was born in Pike county, Illinois, December 25. 1840, and
is of German lineage, his ancestors having been early settlers of Kentucky,
in which state his father, Japtha Snedigar, was born and reared. He removed
to Pike county, IMissouri. and afterward to Pike county, Illinois, where he
married Miss Mary Jane Richardson, a sister of Thomas Richardson, one
of California's prominent pioneers, whose history appears elsewhere in this
work. The father of our subject died when the son was only two years of
age, and he was reared by his uncle. Thomas Richardson, with whom he
came to California in 1852, crossing the plains. He was then but twelve



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 83 of 108)