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 87 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 87 of 108)
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large patronage, which has come to him by reason of his marked skill and
ability in the line of his chosen vocation.

The Doctor gi\es his political allegiance to the Republican party, yet
he is liberal and independent in his views. He is a valued member of the
Masonic fraternity, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter and commandery,
and is very active in the order, being thoroughly familiar with its tenets and
its principles which he exemplifies in his daily contact with his fellow men.
He is a past master of the blue lodge and thrice past and high priest of the
chapter, and in 1895 he was made a Sir Knight. He is also a member and
past grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Since locating in
Georgetown he has manifested a deep and commendable interest in every-
thing pertaining to its advancement and Avelfare. withholding his support
from no measure or movement calculated to prove of general good. He has
acquired a very enviable reputation in the line of his profession and has a host
of warm friends who regard him highly by reason of his professional skill
and of his many estimable qualities.


John D. Tate, a retired capitalist of Sacramento, who for many years
has been a resident of the city, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, Feb-
ruary 28, 1829, his parents being \\'illiani and ^lary (Longnecker) Tate.
The latter was a daughter of Daniel Longnecker, who lived and died near



Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Tlie father of our subjeci also was a native of
the Keystone state, whence he removed to Ohio when his son John was a
little lad of six years. Taking up his abode in Richland county, he there
carried on agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred when he was
sixty-five years of age. His wife was born near Gettysburg, and died in
the Buckeye state, at the age of sixty years. Four children were born of
their union, two of whom are yet living.

John D. Tate spent his boyhood days upon the home farm, giving con-
siderable time to the duties and labors of field and meadow, but also en-
joyed the sports and games in which boys of that period indulged. He remained
with his father until he had attained his majority and then determined to
seek a home and fortune on the Pacific coast, for it was about this time that
the discovery of gold in California was attracting to the far west many of
the reliable and enterprisini;^ ynunt;- men nf the east. In the spring of 1850
he made preparations for the jnurney, and on the 4th of May left Philadelphia,
arriving at his destination on the 15th of June, following. He went direct
to Nevada City, and there remained for a few months, after which he came
to Sacramento. Here he began dealing in wood and also conducted an exten-
sive ranch until the floods of 1861-2, when he sold his propert}' and has since
lived retired.

In his political views Mr. Tate has been a stalwart Republican since the
organization of the party, and in early life he voted with the Whigs. In
1856 he cast his ballot for John C. Fremont and has since exercised his right
of franchise for the men and measures of the party which stood by the Union
in the Civil war and which has ever upheld American institutions. He fre-
quently attends its conventions and his influence in its councils is marked.
]\Ir. Tate has reared an adopted daughter, Emma, who was married and died
at the age of twenty-four years, leaving three children, — Minnie Zoe, Amey
Zella and ^Master Harrison, — all of whom JNIr. Tate has legally adopted, giv-
ing them his name.


The business interests which contribute to the prosperity and activity
of Oakdale include the industry which is managed by Mr. Warren, who is
successfully engaged in carriage-making and Ijlacksmithing in that town,
and his diligence and enterprise are characteristics that are well worthy of
emulation. A native of New York, he was born in Medina, Orleans county,
in the Empire state. June 15, 1842, and is descended from one of the old
New England families, his parents 1:)eing William T. and Celesta (Foote)
Warren, the latter a native of Orleans county. In the year 1853 the father
came to California, going directly to Sonoma City, Sonoma county, where
he engaged in wagon and carriage inaking. He removed to Flangtown and
there he was honored with the position of mayor of the city. — now the town
of Placerville. While in Virginia City. Nevada, he served as alderman, and
at Watsonvillc he was a justice of the peace. Thus it will he .seen tiiat he


was not only an active#fact()r in industrial circles hut also liad marked influ-
ence upon the public lite in the execution of the duties of his various official
positions. He was industrious and intelligent and a thoroughly reliable citi-
zen and was a faithful member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
He departed this life in 1896, at the age of seventy-six years. The mother
of our subject had died in the east, and the father afterward contracted a
second marriage, by which he had one child, who was born ere his emigra-
tion to California. On coming to the Pacific coast he brought with him his
second wife, his son Admiral and a daughter of the second marriage.

Mr. Warren, of this review, was in his eleventh year when he came
to California. He pursued his education in the schools of Placerville and
Sacramento and was afterward sent east to complete his course, at Three
Rivers. Michigan. He also took a course in a commercial college and was
thus well equipped for the duties and responsibilities of business life. He
opened a carriage and blacksmith shop in \"irginia City, Nevada, where he
remained for thirteen years, making considerable money ; but through invest-
ment he lost all of this. In 18S3 he went to the territory of \\'ashington and
was taken ill there and returned to California, arriving in June of that
year. The four years following, however, he carried on business at the Twen-
ty-six Mile Hotise, after which he opened his present shop in Oakdale, and
here he has carried on business with excellent success for the past twelve
A'ears, numbering among his patrons many of the best residents of the town
and surrounding country. In addition to his shop he has a good home and
has acquired considerable other town property.

In 1886 was celebrated the marriage of ^Ir. \\"arren and Mrs. Mary
IMarkley. of Chinese Camp, Tuolumne county, a daughter of George Carter.
By her former marriage she has one child, named Anna Belle Markley. 'Mv.
Warren has a son, named William Admiral. After seven years of happy
married life- the mother was called to her final rest. Ill 1895 Mr. AA'arren
was again married, his second union being with Miss Etta Dickson. Their
pleasant home in Oakdale is the center of a cultured social circle and their
friends are many. ^Ir. Warren has always been ready to aid every enter-
])rise intended to Ijenefit and improve his town. As the architect of his own
fortunes he has builded wi.sely and well, for all he has has been made through
his own efiforts and he is to-day d united one of the substantial citizens of the
•community in which he resides.

JOHN Q. wKi-:xx. ^r. d.

Engaged in the prosecution of the most humane ])rofession to which man
devotes his energies, that of the alleviation of human suffering. Dr. John
Ouincy Wrenn is accorded a place among the ])rominent practicing physicians
of Eldorado county. He makes his home in Placerville. A native of Indi-
ana, he was born in Westfield. that state, on the 2.^d of August, 1S-14. ^ni\
is of English lineage, his ancestors being early settlers of Virginia. In that
state his grandfather, William \^'renn, was born, making his home within


its borders throughout an active and useful career. I'nr many years lie was
a prominent e'hicator in Sussex county. His son, Elijah W'renn, was burn
in that county on the 17th of Xnvember, 1796, and when he had attained
his majority he married Martha Draper, also a native of Virginia. He
^vas a carriage manufacturer and he represented a family of Quaker faith.
Mr. W'renn had five children, three of whom are living. In 1830 they emi-
grated to Ohio and subsecpiently took up their abode in Indiana, where Mr.
W'renn spent his remaining days, dying in Januarv, 1891, at the advanced age
of ninety-five years, and his widow now being a resident of Xoblesville, that
state, and now in her eighty-eighth year.

The Doctor was educated in Indiana and Ohio, completing his profes-
sional training in the Medical College of Ohio. He I^egan the practice of
his profession in Anderson and for ten years was a practitioner in Cincinnati.
The year 1886 witnessed his arrival in Placerville, where he has enjoyed a
well earned success in the line of his profession, building up a large and lucra-
tive practice. He was the superintendent of the county hospital for eight
years and has long been accorded a foremost place as a representative of the
medical fraternity of Eldorado county. He is a physician of pronounced
ability, who has strict regard for the ethics of the professional code and who
through the years of his practice has kept in touch with the progress made
by the profession. He has a nice residence in the town and is the owner of
valuable mining interests in this county.

In 1807 Dr. W'renn was united in marriage to Mrs. ^lartha A. JNIills, a
tlaughter of John Metsker. Their union was blessed with one son, W'hom
they named John M. He became a young man of splendid promise and
was engaged in the study of medicine in the University of California when
he was stricken with spinal meningitis, the disease terminating his life. The
mother had died during the early childhood of her son and thus the Doctor
was left alone. In 1875 he was again married, his second union being
with Miss Margaret Elizabeth Kaiser, a native of Bavaria. She came to the
United States when six years of age, became a graduate of the W'oman's
Hospital Medical College, of New York, and had practiced her profession
with much ability. A noble woman and a devoted wife and mother, her life
w^as an unalloyed benediction to all who knew her. By their marriage she
had two children, a daughter and 'son. The son. Joseph T., is now a student
of the University of California; Florence, who when attending the Oakland
high school was attacked by typhoid fever. She was a bright, beautiful and
interesting young lady but death claimed her. The mother departed this
life in 1898, her loss being deeply mourned.

Dr. Wrenn was schooled in the Republican party, his father being one
of its founders and a man who had pronounced views and always took a deep
interest in the principles which the party advocated, but he was not an office-
seeker. Like his father, Dr. Wrenn has been an active worker in the Repub-
lican ranks and has never sought office. However, being a bimetalist. Dr.
Wrenn could no longer affiliate with their party, and since 1896 has been a
warm admirer and supporter of William J. Br}an. lie is not a memlier of


ail}- church or any secret or fraternal order, Init is a humane and moral man,
having strong convictions in all matters of \ital interest concerning the prog-
ress and elevation of the race.


Judge ilatthew Fontaine Johnson, at the time of his recent deatii. occu-
pied the bench of the second district of the superior court of California, and
as a lawyer and judge he stood among the foremost. It recjuires unusual
equalities of mind, heart and character to rise into conspicuous prominence as
a member of a judiciary like that of California, v.hich has contained and
still contains some of the most brilliant men that the legal profession has ever
produced, and to do so ought to be sufficient to satisfy the greatest ambition.
The profession and the public acknowledge that Julge Johnson was eminently
cjualified for the high position liamed and upon the rolls of California's judi-
cial history his name is deeply and honorably engraved.

A native of Hempstead county, Arkansas, he was born December 31,
1844, a son of James G. Johnson, who was born in Maine and became a min-
ister of the Presbyterian church. He was also a successful teacher, and along
the lines of intellectual and moral progress his efiforts were most effective
and beneficial. His father, Samuel Johnson, was a native of Scotland and
served under General Jackson in Florida throughout the Seminole war. He
married IMiss Moody, who was born in the north of Scotland. Their family
included Rev. James G. Johnson, who on attaining his majority married Miss
Paulina K. Fontaine. His death occurred in Fulton, California, at the age
of sixty-three, and his wife, who was born in Arkansas, died in Lake county.
California, at the age of fifty-one years. They became the parents of eight
children, six of whom are yet living, two being successful teachers in Sacra-
mento. Mrs. Johnson was a daughter of Matthew Fontaine, and iier mother
in her maidenhood bore the family name of Johnson. She was a native of Ken-
tuck}-, while Mr. Fontaine was born in Virginia, and both spent their last days
Arkansas. He belongs to one of the old historic families of France, con-
nected with the Pluguenots, and was a cousin of Commodore Fontaine.

Judge Johnson was born on the old family farmstead in Arkansas and
came with his parents to California in 1852. His preliminary education was
acquired in the common schools and was supplemental by a course in the
JNIethodist Episcopal college in Vacaville. California, which he entered at the
age of sixteen years. Fie was graduated in 1865 and afterward engaged
in teaching for a year. On the expiration of that period he came to Sacra-
mento and took up the study of law. under the direction of Mr. CofTorth. a
prominent legist of this city. In 1867 he was admitted to the bar by tiie
supreme court, and the following year, when General Joe Hamilton was made
attorney-general of California, the subject of this sketch was appointed dep-
uty in his office., ^^'hen General Hamilton was again elected to the position,
in 1875. he once more served as de])uty. during the latter part of the second
term. He has served as a member of the board of education and also a


term as trustee of the state library and was one of the freeholders who framed
the present Sacramento city charter. He was appointed to till the \-acancv
left by Judge Van Fleet on the bench of the superior court. At that term
he filled the oiifice for four years and was then re-elected and was serving his
second term at the time of his death, June 30, 1900. Judge Johnson was
always a Democrat in his political afiiliations, casting his first presidential
vote for Seymour in 1868. He was a veteran member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and also belonged to the Ancient Order of Druids, the
Modern \\'oodmen of America, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
In his religious faith he was a Methodist. On the bench he won a most envia-
ble reputation. His decisions were models of perspicuity, of judicial learning
and fairness. Ready at all times faithfully to discharge all the obligations
of life, whatever they might be, he was exemplary in his private career and the
the soul of honor and fidelity in official positions.

In 1 87 1 he was married to Miss Clara J. Jones, who, with her two daugh-
ers. — Rita Emily and Pauline Fontaine, — survive him.


A record as a gallant soldier, an efficient and faithful pulilic official and
an upright and progressive citizen, fully meets the requirements of the best
order of Americanism. Such a record has been made by Wesley Smith
Mann, of Modesto, Stanislaus county, California, who was born on his father's
farm in Hendricks county, Indiana, October 28, 1845, ^ son of Frederick
and Elizabeth (Moore) Mann. The Manns are an old family in Scotland,
^vhence came Mr. Mann's grandfather in the paternal line, who settled in
X'orth Carolina, where was born Frederick Mann, who early in life emi-
grated to Marion county, Indiana, where he died at the age of eighty-three
years. His wife, also of Scotch ancestry, departed this life in the sixty-
fciurth year of her age. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal
clun-ch, and were of the highest character and respectability. Of their ten
children six are living, — four in Indiana, one in Texas and one in California.

Wesley Smith Alann was brought up on his father's farm in Indiana
<md secured the basis of his education in the public schools near his home.
He was only sixteen years old when President Lincoln issued his first call
for volunteers to put down the slaveholders' rebellion. The following year
the great magnitude of the strife and the imperative need for more soldiers
impelled him, a boy of seventeen though he was, to bear arms in defense
of his country's honor, and he enlisted in Company A. Fifty-third Regiment,
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, February 6, 1862, and served through the war
by re-enlistment after the exi;)iration of his first term of ser\-ice. He was
first in battle at Shiloh, and after that fought at Corinth, IMatamora Heights
and at Vicksburg, where he received a ball in the arm June 27, 1863, which
he carries to this day. He participated in the battle of Kenesaw Mountain,
Georgia, where Sherman's army was repulsed June 27, 1864, and he was
taken prisoner by the encm\-. Only thirty-two memliers of his company


were in tliis engagement, in wliich the first and second lieutenants were both
killed. \Vith his ca])tain and tlie remnant of his company Mr. Mann endured
the horrors of six nx)nths' incarceration in the Andersonville prison pen. After
his parole he returned home for a time to recuperate and then rejoined his regi-
ment and had the honor of participating in the grand review at Washington,
D. C. of the \ictorious army of the republic. After that he went with his
regiment to Louisville, Kentucky, where its members received an honorable
discharge from the service, and he was mustered out at Indianapolis, Indiana,
and returned home with the proud record of a veteran and a victor completed
while he was yet in his twentieth year.

After the war Mr. Mann took up farming in Indiana, and in 1866 he
went to Kansas, where he successfully continued in agriculture until 1874,
when he came to Stanislaus county, California. For five years afterward lie
resided at Tuolumne City, managed a ferry for four years and then com-
menced banking, which he punsued for sixteen years. In 1896 he took up
his residence at ^lodesto, where he opened a cash grocery, an enterprise which
has been so prosperous as to place him among the prominent business men
of the town. He was elected one of the trustees of the city in 1898 and
filled the office with so much ability and devotion to the interests of the
people that he was re-elected in 1900. He is a member of I»th branches of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he and his wife and daughters
are members of the associate order of Rebekah. He is the present chief patri-
arch of his encampment. He has been an enthusiastic member of the Grand
Army of the Republic, always active in its work and helpful to all its interests.

While a resident of Kansas, Mr. Mann married Miss Rose ]M. Schu-
maker. a native of Iowa, and they have had three daughters : Ettie. who mar-
ried George Armstrong, of Stanislaus county; Ida, who is Mrs. A. J. Saferite,
of Stanislaus county : and Lotta, who married S. C. Geer, of Stanislaus. Mr.
and Mrs. Mann have a pleasant home at Modesto and enjoy the friendship
of a large circle of acquaintances.


Missouri, which during recent years has come to the front as one of
the great states of the Union, has, during the formative period of its his-
tory and later, su])plied many valuable citizens to California. Richard Benja-
man Purvis, the sheriff of Stanislaus county, is one of the most prominent
citizens of Modesto. He was born in Callaway county, Missouri, September
15, 1844, and is descended from Scotch-English ancestors, who settled early
in Virginia. His parents. Nicholas and Elizabeth (Sterns) Purvis, were
1»rn and married in Virginia, and in 1841 went with their six children to
Missouri and were among the early settlers in Callaway county, where they
made a large farm and became successful agriculturists and lived out their
days, Mr. Purvis d\ing at about the age of fifty years, while Mrs. Purvis
lived to the advanced age of eighty- four years, dying in 1883. Their deaths
were deeply regretted by all wlio had known them as active members of the


Baptist church and people of the highest and most aih:iiral.)le character. Three
children were added to their family after they renio\-ed to Missouri, increas-
ing the total number to nine, of whom six are now li\'ing, including- the
subject of this sketch, who is tlie only member of his family in California.
When ]\Ir. Purvis came to California he was only nineteen years old.
He farmed fur a year in Napa county and in 1864 went to Idaho and mined
near Idaho Citv in 1865 and 1866. Init with only moderate success. Return-
ing to Xapa county, he remained there until 1870, when he came to Stanis-
laus county, where his enterprise as a farmer was richly rewarded. As he
prospered he bought more and more land from time to time until he owned
an aggregate of eight hundred and nine acres, which he brought to a high
state of cultivation and improvement, building on it a good residence and
adequate farm buildings, and on which he lived until 1884, when the Democ-
racv of Stanislaus county nominated him for the office of sheriff, for which his
upright and resolute character peculiarly fitted him and for wdiich he had
had some training, when, as a boy, he had seen dangerous service in the
Confederate cause under General Sterling Price. Two years of frontier war-
fare, in which he had many times risked his life, always coming out unscathed,
gave him confidence to pit himself against the criminal and lawless element
of Stanislaus county. He was elected and filled the pffice with so much
al)ilitv and success that he has been six times re-elected to succeed himself.
His work in ridding the county of bad men and in establishing and maintaining
law and order was most effective, and very much that would be interesting
might be written about his experiences in an official capacity.

Air. Pur\is has been a valued member of the Masonic fraternity since
1873, when he was received as an Entered Apprentice, passed the Fellow
Craft degree and was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, Later
he took the degrees of capitular iSIasonry and was exalted to the august degree
of Royal Arch :\lason, and in 1890 he 'took the degrees of chivalric Masonry
and was constituted, created and dubbed a Knight Templar, He is also an
Olid Fellow and a Knight of Pythias: and not only is he popular in all the
orders mentioned but is also esteemed as one of Stanislaus county's most use-
ful and prominent citizens, for his public spirit has impelled him at all times
to aid to the extent of his ability every movement promising to benefit his
fellow men.

He was happilv married, in T87r). to Miss Jennie Philips, a native of the
state of New York, an influential member of the Christian church and a
woman of much education and refinement, and iheir home at Modesto is nr>ted
for its heartv and genial lio^pitality.

M. V. M.WX.

]\I. \". Mann, who is now practically engaged in the undertaking business
at Oakdale, was born in \\'est Monroe. Oswego county, Xew York, January
5, 1836, and his Scotch ancestry were early settlers of the Empire state. His
"father, Moses T. ]\[ann. married Miss Abigail Paine, also a native of Xew


York and a dauglitcr of Tlionias Paine, a Revolntionary soldier, \vIio was
born in Scotland and became one of the early settlers of the state in which her
birth occurred. Two of their sons and a nephew fought in the Union army in
the Civil war. With his family Moses T. ]\Iann removed to Wisconsin in
1855, and in 1838 went to Kansas, locating in the Miami reservation, where
he remained throughout the troublesome times that preceded the rebellion.
His good wife departed this life at the advanced age of ninety-three, and he
was ninety-five years of age when called to his final rest. Throughout his life
he was a strong temjierance man and served as president of the Temperance
Society in New York. His total-abstinence principles were undoubtedly one

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 87 of 108)