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 88 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 88 of 108)
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of the means of prolonging his life. He was a thoroughly reliable and worthy
citizen and enjoyed and merited the respect of all with whom he was asso-
ciated. Of the Alethodist church his wife was a consistent member. They
became the parents of thirteen children, eight of whom are living, and with
one exception all reached years of maturity. One of the sons, A. J. Mann, is
now a resident of Oakdale.

]\I. V. Mann, whose name introduces this record, ac(|uircd his education
in the public schools of New York, but his privileges were limited and the
greater part of his knowledge has been obtained through reading, observation
and experience. He arrived in Los Angeles, California, on the loth of May,
1861. He followed mining in Nevada, also worked at farming and did car-
pentering for a time, and in October of the same year became a resident of
Stanislaus county. However, he afterward engaged for some years in sheep-
raising in the southern part of the state and found that industry a very profit-
able one. For a long period he engaged in farming on Sherman's island, but a
flood caused him to leave that place and in 1870 he returned to Stanislaus
county, taking up his abode on a farm a half mile south of Oakdale, where he
remained for two years. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode
in this city, invested in town lots, erected a store building and embarked in
the grocery business, which he continued until 1888. He then sold out and
after a short time opened a cigar and stationer-y store, which he carried on for
two years, when, in 1890, he again took up the farming business, which he
successfully followed for three years and then devoted his time to carpentering
in Oakdale until the spring of 1897. He then launched in the undertaking-bus-
iness in Oakdale, becoming the manager for Howe & Smallwood, where he
continued until July, 1899, when he purchased their business and became the
sole proprietor and manager. He keeps a good stock of undertaking supplies
and has the entire business of the county over a radius of fifteen miles.

Mr. Mann was married on the 24th of December, 1861, to Miss Ellen
Rodgers, a native of \'^irginia and a daughter of Hayden Rodgers. who came
to California in 1853. They lost their only child. Mr. Mann is a valued
member of the Inde])endent Order of Odd Fellows, with which he has been
identified since 1880, and in both its branches he has filled all the chairs. He
was made a Master Mason in Oakdale Lodge, No. 275, and is an exemplary
representative of that organization. He has twice served as master and was
presented liy the lodge with a splendid past master's jewel, which he prizes very


highly. He is in thorough sympathy with the work of the craft, wliicii is
l^iased upon the underlying principles of mutual helpfulness, benevolence and
brotherly kindliness. Since 1856, when he cast his first presidential vote for
John C. Fremont, he has been a loyal Republican and is a citizen who is true
to all interests that are calculated to promote the welfare and progress of the
town and county with which he is identified. His has been an upriglit career,
worthy of public confidence, and his circle of friends is almost co-extensive
with the circle of his acquaintances.


A witness of the great changes which have been wrought in California
since the early mining days, when the discovery of gold attracted to the Pacific
slope men of all nationalities and positions who sought fortunes in this sec-
tion, William Henry Prouty has been numbered among the residents of Ama-
dor county since August, 1852. This county at the time formed a part of Cala-
veras county.

He is a native of Knox county, Ohio, born on the 27th of JMarch, 1837.
and on the paternal side is of Scotch and French ancestry, while on the maternal
side he is of German lineage. He represents the fifth generation of the family
born in America. His great-grandfather, Tirus Prouty. emigrated from
France and located in New York, where the grandfather and the father of our
subject, the latter Anson T. Prouty, was born and reared. For many years
Anson T. Prouty resided in the Empire state, taking a prominent part in its
public afifairs, while other members of the family also aided in promoting the
substantial upbuilding of the sections of the state in which they resided. Two
of his uncles participated in the war of the Revolution; and Hugh Prouty,
another uncle, served in the war of 1812. The religious faith of the family
has been that of the Methodist church ; the business of its representatives has
been farming or a profession.

Anson T. Prouty was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Helms, a
native of Pennsylvania and a descendant of an old German family that was
early founded in the new world. Her father was Charles Helms. By her
marriage Mrs. Prouty became the mother of seven children, five sons and two
daughters, of whom four are now living. In 1852 the parents with their children
started on the long journey across the plains to California. For five years pre-
viously they had resided in Iowa, where the father had located land now occu-
pied l)y Newton, the county seat of Jasper county. On the 20th of April
they left their Iowa home, crossing the river near Omaha, on the gth of May.
The country to the westward was a vast open waste, traversed by the Indians.
After the party had passed Fort Laramie cholera broke out among them and
many died. The Prouty family suffered the terrible affliction of losing the hus-
band and father, who was ill for only one day when death claimed him. The
mother and children, however, escaped the dread disease, although there were
inanv new graves along their route. They were also in constant danger from
the Indians, but were not altacketl. Joseph Prouty, a son of the family, now


deceased, emigrated to California the year prex'iously. The widow and lier
three sons, after witnessing the bnrial of husband and father on the plains,
proceeded on their way to the Pacific slope, arriving at Volcano on the 24th
of August, 1852, after a journey of four months and four days. Mrs.
Prouty's capital amounted to a few hundred dollars.

The subject of this review, then only fifteen years of age. began wurk as
the driver of a mule and cart used in hauling mining dirt. He was to receive
two dollars per da}^ in compensation for his services. Another dutv was
assigned him, — that of riding the baby in a cart, and Mr. Prouty thought it
good pay for such light work. His mother opened a bakery and he also
engaged in peddling pies and cakes to the miners ; but. belie\ing that the mining
settlement was not a good place to rear her boys, she removed to Dry Creek,
where she purchased a squatter's claim of one hundred and si.xty acres of land
There was a little cabin on the place and a brush fence had been built around
a portion of the land. There, under the guidance of their mother, the sons
engaged in farming for ten years, until the land was taken from them on the
ground that it was a part of the Pico land grant. All of the brave pioneers
who had aided in reclaiming the wild tract for jntrposes of civilization were
thus dispossessed and were forced to begin life anew. Mrs. Prouty took up
other land and resided with her son, C. C. Proutj", until called to her home
beyond, in 1873, when in her eightieth year. She was a brave pioneer woman,
courageous and determined, to whom great credit is due for the noble way in
which she met difficulties and reared her children. Such women had marked
influence in California in those early days, being largely instrumental in ;i\\ak-
ening better manhood among the men who sought fortune in the west.

In 1858 William H. Prouty returned to the east, where he remained for
five years, his attention being devoted to farming interests in Towa. It was
during that time, in the year 1859. that he was united in marriage to Miss
Mary Helen Charlesworth, a native of Maryland and a daughter of Solomon
Charlesworth, who was born in England. In Iowa their home was blessed
by the presence of two children, namely: Madora and Austin Lee. In 1S63
Mr. Prouty returned to California, by the water route, crossing the isthmus
of Panama. He took passage on a ship loaded with ammunition and off Cape
Hatteras they encountered a severe storm, which necessitated throwing over-
board the entire cargo. In the midst of the storm the captain attempted to put
the ship about, and when in the trough of the sea two great waves went over
her and all on board felt that they were lost: but fortunately they were not
engulfed and weathered the storm. The next day, when the sailors said the
storm was over, Mr. Prouty was permitted to go on deck, but the great waves
Avere even then running "mountain" high. Thus twice he and his loved ones
looked death in the face. — once when they were crossing the plains and once
upon the water.

In safety, however, lie and his family reached San Francisco, in Septem-
ber, 1863. He had Idst all that he had made and again he engaged in farming,
near the old home on a tract of rented land, where he continued for eight years.
He then purchased a ranch of one hundred and thirty acres in Jackson valley,


which lie still owns. He has met with well earned success and has liought
and sold several farms. He also has a nice residence in lone. He is to-day the
business manager of thirteen hundred acres of land and owns a very fine prune
orchard, the cultivation and shipment of that fruit forming an important part
of his work and bringing to him an excellent return.

In 1881 he was called u]Mn to mourn the loss of his wife, who died leav-
ing him with six children, namely : Madora Adalaide, now the wife of James
S. Amick; Austin Lee. married; Jennie died at the age of fourteen
years; Byron Grant, married; Alice May, now the wife of E. Marchand ; and
Arthur Lewis and William Xorris, both married. That Mr. Prouty is a
liberal-minded man, free from personal prejudice, is indicated by the fact that
he named one of his sons Grant and the other Lee, being an admirer of both
the great generals, whose superior military ability and skill is widely acknowl-
edged now both in the north and the south. Li 1887 he was again married,
his second wife being Miss Amanda J. Harbour, a native of Illinois. They
have a son and a daughter, — Hazel and Chester Harbour. The family is held
in the highest regard in the county in which they have so long resided. They
attend the services and contribute to the support of both the Methodist and
Presbyterian churches. j\Ir. Prouty is a valued member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, with which he has been connected for twenty-six
years. He is also a member of the Independent Order of United Workmen
and of the Chosen Friends. Several times he has rejiresented the Odd Fel-
lows subordinate lodge in the grand lodge.

In politics he is a stalwart Democrat, and was a delegate to the constitu-
tional convention which framed the present organic law of California. He is
a companionable, genial gentleman, having a host of friends. In his home
he is an indulgent father, a kind and devoted husband, and his genuine and
manly virtues are witlely recognized. He never acts except from honest
motives; and in all his varied relations, in his business affairs and in social life
he has maintained a character and standing that have impressed all with his
sincere and manly purpose, — to do by others what he would have others lo by


Xewton Edward Leek occupies the important and responsible ])osition of
superior court reporter in Stanislaus county, his home lieing at ^Modesto. He
is one of California's native sons, his birth having occurred in Calavera.s
county on April 18, 1868. His grandfather and grandmother on the paternal
side emigrated from Germany to the new world in their early youth, and
William Leek, the father of our subject, was a nati\-e of West Virginia, born
at \M:eeling on the 28th of February! 1835. With his fatlier and the family lie
remi:)\ed to Missouri, where he was reared to manhood and was happily mar-
ried to Miss Sarah Roundtree. August 15. i860. In 1863 he was drafted for
service in the Civil war, but on account oi ])hysical disability was rejected. It
was a time of great excitement in Missouri and he received a permit to leave


tlie state. Relatives of hotli him and liis wife decided to come to the golden
west and make their future home, and accordingly left the state on the 20th of
March, 1864, and crossed the plains to California. They were harassed by the
Indians, but succeeded in making a safe journey. Mr. and Mrs. Leek were of
the party. They remained for a short time in Utah on the way, arriving there
in August, and also in Colorado, and the father of our subject prospected in
these states, but without success. They arrived in California in 1867 and for
some time Mr. Leek engaged in mining in Calaveras county, at Quail Hill,
after which he removed to Contra Costa county, locating near Antioch. He
engaged in raising vegetables for a time, and afterward took up his alwde in
Merced county, securing a squatter's right to a quarter-section of land, on
which he made his home until 1878, farming with indifferent success. In the
fall of that year the San Joaquin & Kings River canal was completed, carry-
ing water to the thirsty plains of the "west side," and Mr. Leek disposed of
his holdings near the foot-hills and purchased a quarter-section of land
"under" the canal, improved it and has since made it his home, residing
thereon continuously until the last year, when he removed to Gilroy, Cali-
fornia, where he now resides.

He has been a life-long Democrat and is an active and \-alued member of
the -Ancient Order of Cnited \\'orkmen. He is now in the sixty-sixth year of
his age and is one of the respected pioneer residents of Merced county. His
good wife, who shared with him the dangers of crossing the plains and of
establishing a home on the frontier, departed this life in 1873. They had two
sons and two daughters, namely: Frances J., now the wife of William Brad-
ley, of ]\Ierced county ; ]Mrs. S. P. Walters, of Washington, who had a daugh-
ther and two sons, and died in 1884, at the age of twenty-six years; Jasper
O., who is married and resides in Santa Cruz cnunty: and Xewton E., of this

Mr. Leek, whose name introduces this record, was only five years of age
when his mother died, and thus he was deprived of her tend<sr care and coun-
sel. He was educated in the public schools of Pierced 'and Contra Costa coun-
ties and also completed a commercial-college course, accjuiring a knowledge
of short-hand in connection with the other branches taught in tlie school. His
boyhood was s])ent on his father's farm, to which he devoted his attention
until he decided to take up short-hand as a profession. The choice made,
he pursued it dilgently, and was appointed January, 1890, by Judge Minor
to the position of superior court reporter, and for the past ten years he has
ably and satisfactorily filled that position. He is an expert stenographer,
and this, added to his broad general knowledge, well qualifies him for the
position which he fills. He has always been an active supporer of the Dem-
ocratic party and in the present year, 1900, he filled the office of chairman
of the Democratic county central committee of Stanislaus county. He is
actively engaged in achancing the interests of his party, doing everything
in his power to promote its growth and insure its success.

!\lr. Leek was married, in 1897, to Miss Effie A. Bledsoe, a daughter of
Willis Bledsoe, one of the prominent early settlers of California. Two


cliildren lia\-e come to bless their union, — Elbert E\-erett and Geraldine.
Mr. Leek is a valued member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
of the Artisans and of the Masonic fraternity, and is now secretary of the
blue lodge. He and his wife are very highly respected people in Modesto
and have a host of warm friends there. Well may they be numbered among
the representative citizens of the state in which they were born and of whose
history and progress they have every reason to feel a just pride.


AMien we take cognizance of the importance of a profession or business
calling we cannot but accord to the medical fraternity a high place, for its
representatives are men whose lives are devoted to humanitarian interests
and whose efforts contribute in a marked degree to the welfare and happi-
ness of their fellow men. There is nothing man so highly prizes as the gift
of health. It is a necessary foundation for all accomplishments, and a man
whose labors can restore this much high prized possession is indeed a public
benefactor. Dr. Bayley has attained a wide and merited reputation as a
prominent physician and surgeon at Oakdale, Stanislaus county. He was
born in New York, October 16, 1845, and is of English and Scotch-Irish
ancestry. His paternal great-grandfather was a general in the Revolution-
ary war. Representatives of the family followed commercial and agricul-
tural pursuits and in religious belief were Presbyterians and Methodists.

Cyrus Aloore Bayley, the Doctor's father, was a representative of the
family of Thomas Moore, the Irish poet, his mother being a cousin of Sir
Thomas ]\Ioore. He was born in Vermont, and in his native state was
united in marriage to ]\Iiss Mary Sanborn, a native of New Hampshire.
They remo\'ed to St. Lawrence county. New York, where ]Mr. Bayley pur-
chased a farm, taking up his abode thereon and spending his remaining
days as an industrious and respected agriculturist of his community. His
wife died at the age of thirty-three years, leaving six children, and the' father
afterward married and had live children by the second union, of whom three
are living. He attained the age of seventy-four years and was laid to rest
in St. Lawrence county, Avhere he had so long resided, being known as a
man of sterling worth and as a man of the highest respectability.

The, Doctor is one of the three surviving children of the family. He
was educated in St. Lawrence county and after completing his literary
course obtained his medical education in Albany, New York, and in the med-
ical college at Burlington, Vermont, where he was graduated in 1876. He
first began practice in St. Lawrence county. New York, and there remained
until 1895, when he came to Oakdale, California, and opened an ofifice. Here
his skill and ability soon won recognition in a constantly increasing ]iat-
ronage, and he now enjoys a business such as is accorded only to those who
are well prepared to practice medicine. He has a good office and one of the
most pleasant and attractive homes of Oakdale.

In 1880 was celebrated the Doctor's marriage to Miss Carrie Cooper,


a native of St. Lawrence Cdunt}-. New N'ork. and a tlanghter of William
Cooper, also of the Empire state and a cousin of J. Fennimore Cooper, the
celebrated writer of Indian tales. The Doctor and Mrs. Bayley have a
daughter, Lucretia, who is now in school. They are valued members of the
Episcopal church and have many warm friends in the town in which thev
reside. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and in politics a Repub-
lican. He takes a great interest and pride in his work. Almost from the
day on which he opened his office in this flourishing California town he had
a good practice, and it has constantly grown and extended into the country
surrounding Oakdale until it has now assumed extensive proportions. He
represents that class of physicians who would practice for the love of the
profession even under less favorable environments than those with which
he is surrounded ; and he recognizes the fact that the physician endowed with
superior knowledge and skill is under grave responsibility to suffering hu-
manity, regardless of any mere question of pecuniary gain.


The history of mankind is replete with illustrations of the fact that it
is only under the pressure of adversity and the stimulus of opposition that
the best and strongest in men are brought out and developed. Perhaps tlic
history of no people so forcibly impresses one with this truth as the annals
of OUT own republic. If anything can inspire the youth of our country to
persistent, honest and laudable endeavor it should the life record of such
men as he of whom we write. The example of the illustrious few of our
countrymen who have risen from obscurity to the highest position in the
gift of the nation serves often to awe our young men rather than inspire
them to emulation, because they reason that onlj' a few can ever attain such
eminence; but the history of such men as Adolph Heilbron proves conclusively
that with a reasonable amount of mental and physical power success is bound
eventually to crown the endeavor of those who have the ambition to put forth
their best efforts and the will and manliness to persevere therein. He has
long been actively connected with business affairs in northern California,
promoting many enterprises of value to the community as well as of individ-
ual benefit to the stock-owners.

Mr. Heilbron w^as born in Bohmte, Hanover, Germany, January iS.
1833, and in the schools of his native town acquired his education. In his
youth he became an assistant in his father's store. He also learned the
trade of manufacturer of tobacco, which is considered a very important
one in the fatherland. In 1852 he bade adieu to the home and friends of his
youth and sailed from Bremen for New York city, arriving in the metro])-
olis of the new world after a voyage of fifty-six days. He proceeded thence
to St. Louis, where he had a brother living, and there he secured work at his
trade, being employed in that capacity until 1854, when he came to California,
by the way of New Orleans and the isthmus route.

For a short time '\h. Heilbron remained in San Francisco and thence


went to Eldorado count}-, where, in connection with two other young men,
he began prospecting. They hail fair success and he ctjntinued in the mines
until the fall of 1856, when he came to Sacramento and joined his brother in
conducting a meat market. They also bought and sold live-stock. In 1874
they organized a company in San Francisco, under the firm name of Poly
Heilbron & Company, wholesale dealers in meats, and in 1874 they leased
a grant of land in Tulare and Fresno counties on the Kings river kn<jwn
as the Rancho Laguna cle Tache, comprising over fifty-four thousand acres.
In 1880 they purchased the grant and added to it until their landed posses-
sions aggregated sixty-nine thousand acres. They continued as owners of
that extensive tract of land until 1891, when they sold out. However, they
still conduct their San Francisco and Sacramento houses, also the wild
Flower stock farm in Fresno county, where they are breeding the celebrated
Durham and Hereford cattle. Their herds are known as the best in the state;
and not alone the stockmen of California have drawn young stock from them
tt) improve their herds but also those of Xe\-ada, Oregon, Mexico, Central
America, the Hawaiian islands and Japan.

Mr. Heilbron is a man of excellent business ability, resourceful and ener-
getic, and has been an active promotor of many enterprises. He was one of the
originators of the Germania Building and Loan Association, in 1876, the
the first association of its kind organized in California. From the beginning
he served as a member of its directorate and was also elected its president,
continuing in that capacity until 1887, when he resigned in order to take a
trip to Europe. He visited his old Imnie and other places of interest, remain-
ing abroad for eighteen months. In iSSX he was one of the incorporators
of the Buffalo Brewing Compan_\-, of .Sacramento, and has continuously
served as its president from that time to the present. He was also one of
the incorporators of the Capital Telephone & Telegraph Company and is still
serving on its board of directors. He is a director of the California State
Bank, was one of the organizers and a director of San Joaquin Ice & Creamery
Company, one of the largest institutions of the kind in the state, and he is
ir.tersted in the wholesale hardware firm of Shaw, Ingram, Batcher & Com-

In 1879 Mr. Heilbron was elected sheriff and tax collector of Sacramento
ci lunty, which office he held for two terms.

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 88 of 108)