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 90 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 90 of 108)
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their power to promote the comfort of their guests and provide their house
with every convenience found in first-class establishments. They have made
many Avarm friends among the traveling public and in Lincoln, where they
are widely known, and their circle of friends is limited only by their circle
of acquaintances.


Frederick William Turner, whose identification with the business interests
of Loomis in mercantile lines and as the proprietor of a hotel has made him
one of the leading factors in commercial circles there, well merits representa-
tion among the leading citizens of Placer county. For fort3'-seven years a
resident of California, he has always maintained a deep interest in the develop-
ment and progress of the state and at all times has borne his part in the work
of upbuilding and advancement.

Fle was born in Xeedham, Massachusetts, on the 17th of ]\Iay, 1847. anil
is the son of Joseph and Ann (Dexter) Turner, both of whom were natives of
England, whence they emigrated to the United States in 1816. The father
was then three years of age. His parents settled in Xeedham, ;Massachusetts,
where he was reared, and after arriving at years of maturity he was mar-
ried. In April, 1850, he came to San Francisco, leaving his family in the
east. He hoped to rapidly acquire wealth here, for he had hearcl of the
splendid gold discoveries, and to mining on the American river he directed
his attention. Later he engaged in mining at Secret Ravine, a half-mile from
tlie present site of Loomis. In 1853 he sent for his wife and two sons. Fred-
erick William and Joseph Charles, who joined him in his California home,
where three other children were added to the family, Frank A.. Elizalieth
and George W. : but the last nanied and our sul)ject are now the only sur-
vivors of the family.

Oil arriving in California they located on a farm of two hundred acres
a half-mile from the town of Lofimis and there developed an excellent property,


the father continuing his farming operations until 1894, at which time he
retired to pri\-ate hfe, making his home with the subject of this review in
Loomis until his death, which occurred on the 8th of December, 1899. He
was one of the brave pioneers of 1850, a man of courageous spirit and marked
energy and uprightness of life, and he was well and favorably known by all
the pioneer settlers of the community and held in the highest regard by all
later arrivals who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. His wife departed
this life in 1S95. She was devoted to .her family, considering no sacrifice
too great that would promote their welfare and happiness; and she was a
W'Orthy representative of the Ijrave band of women who bore uncomplainingly
the hardships of life in the far west before the introduction of the comforts
of the east.

Frederick ^^^ Turner was but six years of age when he arrived in Cali-
fornia in 1853. He was educated in Placer count)', where he has made his
home for forty-seven years, and upon the home farm with his father he
remained until twenty years of age. wlien he accepted a position as a brake-
man for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. He was afterward a freight
conductor and subsequently a passenger conductor. In his boyhood he peddled
newspapers, at the tinie the Southern Pacific was being built. Since retiring
from the employ of the railroad company he has been recogiiized as one of the
leading factors in the business life of Loomis. conducting here a general mer-
cantile establishment and also carrying on a hotel. In the store he carries a
large and well selected stock of general merchandise, such as is in demand
l)y the mining and fruit-growing community surrounding Loomis. The hotel
is a new one. which he has built for the accommodation of the traveling pub-
lic, and the enterprise has met with favor, as is shown by the liberal patronage
accorded it. Both Mr. and ]\Irs. Turner do all in their power to promote
the comfort of their guests and have supplied the hotel with all the modern
conveniences and accessories. Mr. Turner is also the postmaster of Loomis,
to which iwsition he was appointed in 1889 by President Harrison. He has
since served in that capacity in the most creditable manner, his administration
of the office being satisfactory to all concerned. It is conducted in his large
mercantile store, and his son Frederick \\"illiam is acting as his clerk and
deputy postmaster.

ilr. Turner was married, in 1869, to Miss Martha E. Whitehead, a native
of ^[issouri and a daughter of Timothy Whitehead. In 1853 she crossed
the plains with her parents and has since been a resident of California. Mr.
and Mrs. Turner have one child. Frederick William, who is now his father's
able assistant. ]Mrs. Turner acts as agent for the ^^'ells-Fargo Express Com-
pany, and in addition to his other business interests jNIr. Turner is a notary
])ub]ic. In politics he is a stalwart Republican, unswerving in his support of
the i^arty. He has never joined any fraternal society, but has steadily given
liis attention to his business affairs; and his close application, methodical habits
and his careful management of his enterprise have made him one of the sub-
stantial citizens of this communilv who now enjovs a comfortable competence
that is an honorable reward of his labors.



Each community is judged by the character of its representative citizens,
and its social, intellectual and business standing is determined thereby. The
sterling worth, commercial ability and enterprise of the leading men are
mirrored forth in the public life of the town, and therefore the history of the
people of prominence is the history of the community. No account of Oak-
dale would be complete without the life record of Gabriel Lindsay Rodden,
a man whose public spirit is manifested in his many efforts to improve the con-
ditions and promote the upbuilding of the town. Throughout a period of
forty-seven years Mr. Rodden has been numbered among the residents of
northern California, his home being now in Oakdale, Stanislaus county.

He is a native of North Carolina, born near Charlotte September 15,
1S23. On the paternal side he is descended from an old family of that state,
while on the maternal side he represents an equally old Virginian family.
Both of his grandfathers served in the Re\-olutionary war. Jackson Rodden,
his father, was born in North Carolina in 1788, and was married, in that
state, to Miss Mary Corum, who is closely connected with the historic Settle
family of North Carolina. One of her brothers was a soldier in the war of
1 81 2 and was killed at the l)attle of New Orleans. Six children were born to
them in North Carolina, after which they removed to Tennessee and there
fiiur children were added to the family. Subsequently he, with his wife and
three children, took up his abode in Arkansas, but he was not long permitted'
to enjoy his new home, for at the end of one year he departed this life, in
1852, being then sixty- four years of age. His wife long survi\-ed him and
attained to a ripe old age.

Mr. Rodden of this rex'iew acquired his education in Tennessee, and
afterward engaged in teaching there for a year. Subsequently he was for
eight years a teacher in the subscription schools of Alabama. In 1853 'lis
health failed and he was advised to seek the climate of California. From the
isthmus of Panama he journeyed to the land of sunshine. On reaching the
Pacific coast he made his way direct to Sonora, Tuolumne county, where in
connection with some of his Tennessee friends he engaged in mining at Colum-
l)ia, but they met with very moderate success and accordingly he secured a
situation as clerk in a store owned by Mr. Moss. Afterward he became the
proprietor of the Sierra Nevada House, which he conducted for its owner,
lieing ]iaitl by the month for his services. Subsequently he again tried mining,
at Sonora, but made little more than his expenses. He next went to the
mountains, where he engaged in making sugar-pine shakes and shingles, that
enterprise iiroving a profitable one and occupying his attention until 1856.
He then engaged in teaming from the mountains to Columbia. Sonora,
Knight's Ferry and Jamestown, with oxen.

Li i8:;7 Mr. Rodden returned to Alabama to wed his sweetheart. Miss
Elizabeth Ditto, a native of that state and a daughter of ^^'illiam Ditto. With
his l)ridc he again started for California, by the isthmus route, accomixuiied
l)v one of his wife's brothers. After their arrival thev lived for some time


in the mountains, where Mr. Rocklen had pre-empted a claim, and later they
took up their abode in Sonora, where he built a good residence. For some
years be was engaged in freighting from Stockton to Sonora and Columbia
and also in Mariposa county. While residing in the mountains the Indians
stole bis neighbor's oxen and with a party of others he went in pursuit of the
red men, and when they found them discovered that one of the oxen had
been killed and partially eaten. Shots were exchanged and some of the
Indians were struck, but were carried off by their unwounded comrades. The
pursuers, too, had several narrow escapes, but succeeded in driving away the
red men and securing the stolen stock, after which they returned in safety.

iNIr. Rodden was often in Oakdale between 1871 and 1879, and in the
latter } ear he took up his permanent abode in the town. He continued in the
transportation business until the building of the Sierra Railroad and met with
gratifying success, accumulating a handsome competence which enables him
to live retired from active business, the interest on his capital being sufficient
to supply him with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. He
has a nice home in Oakdale, where he and his good wife reside in peace
beneath the shade of beautiful fruit and ornamental trees which they have
planted. Their union has been blessed with five children, four of whom are
yet living, namely: I\Iary, now the wife of D. B. \A'arfield. of Oakdale: Liz-
zie, who for the past thirteen years has been successfullv engaged in teaching;
■William A., a money-lender and a notary pulilic; and Edward, who is engaged
in business with his brother William, under the firm name of Rodden Brothers.

ilr. Rodden of this review has been a life-long Democrat, but he has
never sought or desired office. The cause of education has ever found in
him a warm friend and he has done much to promote the efficiency of the
schools. He served as a trustee for twelve years, and while in Sonora had
the honor of organizing the public school under the school law of California.
He was also the clerk of the school meeting in that city and was secretary of
the first school meeting held in Tuolumne county.


Alexander A. Fransioli (Francis in English), for forty-seven yea-'s a
resident of California and now a well known and highly respected citizen
of Cieorgetown. is a native of the land of the Alps, his birth having occurred
in canton Ticino, Switzerland, May 29, 1837. His parents, Joseph and Maria
(Sartor) Fransioli. were 1x)th natives of the same country, and with his
father the subject of this sketch crossed the Atlantic to the new world, in
1832. The former came to California that year and engaged in placer min-
ing in Eldorado countv, near Placerville, meeting with gratifying success in
his labors. In 1856 he rettn-ned to his native country, where he died at the
age of sixty-eight years.

Alexander A. Fransioli. the only son of his parents, was educated in his
native land and was fifteen vears of age when he arrived in California. Here
he worked in the placer mines of Eldorado county with his father, and as this


country was rich in its mineral resovnxes he gained a goodly supplv of the
precious metal. Subsequently he removed to San Francisco, where he engaged
in dealing in cigars and fruit during the year 1857. On the expiration of
that period he returned to the mines and later devoted his energies to the
butchering business for a time. He purchased the store from the firm for
which he was working and conducted a successful meat market in George-
town on his own account for a fjuarter of a century. He was also the pro-
prietor of a saloon and has also been in the livery business. It will thus be
seen that he is a man of resourceful ability and one of marked energy who
carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. His dili-
gence and his careful management brought to him a desirable capital and
this enabled Inm to put aside the arduous cares of business life in 1897, since
which time he has lived retired.

In 1870 Mr. Fransioli was united in marriage to IMiss Flora Farni. a
native of Switzerland, and their union has been blessed with seven children,
all of whom were born in Georgetown, namely: Joseph S., Alexander, Frank,
Sartor. George, Louisa, the wife of George Barklage and Beatrice, who is
at home with her parents. Tbey have a commodious home, situated in the
midst of lieautifu! grounds, and its social functions are enjoyed b}' their hosts
(if friends. Mr. Fransioli is still interested in farming and stock-raising,
although he is practically living retired. Socially he is connected with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the A. O. U. ^^^ and the Chosen Friends.
He is well known as a man of the highest business integrity, and his varied
interests have contributed not alone to his individual success but have also
been of benefit to the cnmnnufity through his promotion of commercial activity.


The pioneers of a community are certainly deserving of gratitude, for
they master the rough conditions of nature, meeting the hardships and trials
which must he borne ere the land gives bountifully of its fruits. Rich in agri-
cultural resources, California yet had for her pioneers a mighty task in pre-
])aring this great state for the incoming tide of settlers who were to carry
forward the work already begun by the pioneers and aid in placing California
in the front rank among the commonwealths that constitute this nation. The
traveler of to-day, as he sees its splendid mining camps, its richly cultivated
fields and orcliards, its beautiful homes and thriving cities, can scarcely realize
that hardly half a century has passed since the entire northern and central
])(>rtion of the state was a wild region, dotted here and there with nu'ning
cam])s, ha\ing little of the comforts of civilization and separated from the east
by almost interminable stretches of sandy waste or by a long and tedious ocean

^Tr. Boggs was among the pioneers of 1849 who. attracted by the dis-
covcrv r,f gold, came to the Pacific coast. lie is a native of Pennsylvania,
born in Greencastle. Franklin county, on the 18th of October. 1825. On the
jiaternal side the jiarents were of German lineage and on the maternal side of


Scotcli descent, the ancestry having lieen early settlers of the colonies and
jjarticipated in the e\-ents which form the colonial history, and the men were
in the Revolutionar}- war.

Dr. John Boggs, the father of our subject, was born in Franklin county,
Pennsylvania, on the 17th of August, 1787, and was a fine classical scholar
and learned physician. Throughout his entire life he resided in Greencastle
and during the war of 1812 he served as a surgeon, being then a young prac-
titioner of twentj'-five years of age. For thirty }-ears after the second struggle
with England he continued to practice medicine in Greencastle, one of the
most beloved and eminent physicians in the county. He was a devout Chris-
tian man and was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian church of Green-
castle. Of liberal and generous impulses, his home was celebrated for its
hospitality and in it he had a "prophet's chamber," in which the ministers of
all denominations were entertained. Without distinction the rich and poor
alike were the subjects of his professional skill. He was married, in 181 7, to
Miss Isabella Craig Allison, a daughter of William Allison, a prominent resi-
dent of Greencastle. They reared eight children, two of whom — F. Johnson
and Charles H. — became distinguished ministers of the gospel and made life
records of great usefulness in the world. Others of the family were highly
talented and respected in other departments of life. Their honored father,
Dr. Boggs, passed away on the 12th of July, 1847, at the age of sixty years,
and his wife attained about the same age. Five of the family still survive.

John Craig Boggs, who was the fourth born, received a public-school
education, but was of a somewhat restless and adventurous nature and did
not take readily to the classics and theology as did his brothers, and conse-
quently when gold was discovered in California he was attracted to the mines
and took passage on a sailing vessel from Baltimore, on the Xylon, and sailed
around Cape Horn to California. His father had died two years previously,
but he secured the consent of his relatives and of his mother, who gave him
one thousand dollars with which to start out upon his perilous voyage. The
captain of the boat proved a rough and overbearing man, who put the passen-
gers on a short allowance of water and treated them very inhumanely. The
passengers therefore elected a committee to wait upon the captain and compel
him to land and get water. A. A. Sargent, later United States senator, Robert
Armstrong and Mr. Boggs were chosen as the committee, and they succeeded
in persuading the caiJtain that it would be better for him to land and secure
a sufficient supply of water : but such liad been his course on the voyage that
Mr. Sargent reijorted him to the United States consul at Rio de Janeiro and
he and his mate were relieved from the command of the ship. A\'hile on the
voyage one of the passengers jumped overlx)ard and was drowned, but all
the others reached San Francisco in safety on the 14th of September, 1849.
They found a town of a few rudely constructed buildings, built on and among
the sand hills, the bay extending to the present site of Sansome street.

Mr. Boggs proceeded to W'ood's drv diggings, now the lieautiful city
of -Auburn, where he arrived on the 28th of Septemlier. 1840. in company
with his partner, K. M. Hall. They had been up the Sacramento on the


schooner I. O. O. F.. and at tliat place :\Ir. Boggs met his brother, William
Allison, whom he had not seen for four years. The meeting was a great
but happy surprise. At Sacramento they secured pack mules on which'they
loaded their effects, while the men walked the entire distance to Wood's dry
diggings. This was before Auburn was given its name. There were five
men of the company and they at once engaged in digging and washing the
dirt for gold. On the first day Mr. Boggs picked up a nugget worth sixteen
dollars, which greatly elated him and his companions. They made money
fast and spent it as easily and went frequently from one camp to another.
Our subject was in Nevada and Yuba counties, and in 1854 returned east
to visit his relatives: but in the spring of 1855 again came to California.
He was one of the large company that fiumed the American river at great
expense ; but the enterprise proved a failure. The most successful day which
Mr. Boggs experienced during his mining ventures was at ConccMxl bar on the
Yuba river, where he took out one hundred dollars. Like the other pioneer
miners, he had times of good fortune and of adversity. He was a man of
lilieral impulses and his generosity led him to spend his money freely. He
has always continued his interest in mining and is now a half owner of the
Never Sweat mine at Canada Hill, above Michigan BlufT. He is also inter-
ested in the oil lands of Kern county and was one of the pioneer fruit-growers
in Placer county, also one of the first to engage in the fruit-shipping business.
He has certainly been one of the leading men in advancing the interests of
his county.

In early life ]\Ir. Boggs was a ^^'hig, but became identified with the
Republican party on its organization. After returning from the east in 1855
he was made a deputy sheriff of his county and for ten years he held the
office of constable, rendering very efiiicient service in maintaining law and
order. He was elected sheriff of Placer county, filling the position until 1883
and proving himself to be a most fearless and reliable officer. He was instru-
mental in ridding the country of the famous Tom Bell and Rattle Snake Dick.
He was also the assessor of the county for one term, and perhaps not a resi-
dent of this locality is better acquainted with Placer county and its affairs
than Mr. Boggs. His was the honor of establishing the first Republican paper
in the county, known as the Stars and Stripes. He began its publication in
i86-^ and continued to be its owner until 186:^, when he sold out to \\'. A.

Mr. Boggs was united in marriage, in 1857, to ]\Iiss Livisa Chandler
] larrington, of Maine. Unto them have been born two children, one of whom
is living, John Gove. The daughter, Isabella Allison, passed away in her
thirty-second year, greatly beloved by hosts of friends. After forty-one years
of happy married life Mrs. Boggs was taken from her husband by death.
She had come to California in 1856 and was one of the brave pioneer women
whose influence in the affairs of the state was very marked. She possessed
considerable talent, was earnest in support of her honest convictions and had
a very large circle of warm friends. On the i6th of .'\pril, 1890. I\Ir. Boggs
wedded ^iiss Alice S. Watson, of Sacramento, a native of IMissouri and the


\-oungest daughter of General Ralph Watson, a native of Hartford, Connecti-
cut, who was general-in-chief of the state militia. Her mother was in her
maidenhood Miss Julia Crawford, of Virginia, a descendant of one of the
old families of that state. Her father removed to JNIissouri and became prom-
inently engaged in the raising of blooded horses and cattle. He lived in that
state only two years, and during that time Mrs. Boggs was born.

In 1852, accompanied by his family, he started across the plains for the
Willamette valley in Oregon, taking with him a drove of stock and herders
to care for them. The elder daughters of the family, Miss Anna Watson
and Byrd Watson, had horses to ride, and the party was excellently equipped.
After passing Fort Laramie the father was stricken with cholera and died,
the widow and the family then being left to continue the sad journey alone.
After arriving in Salem, Oregon, Mrs. Watson let out her stock on the shares.
She resided in that state until 1861, at which time she removed with her fam-
ily to Sacramento, where Mrs. Boggs remained the greater part of the time
until her marriage. She is an accomplished and intelligent lady and she and
her husband are now living very happily in a beautiful residence in ' New-
castle, their home being surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers of his own
planting. He is now capably serving as the postmaster of the town, during
the administration of Presitlent McKinley. Still strong in lx)dy and intellect,
he is ;i grand representative of the California pioneers of 1849.


California fruits are celelirated throughout the country. Every state
in the Union receives its consignment from the Pacific coast, for its horticult-
ural products are unecfualed in size and perfection. The business of fruit-
growing and shipping has therefore become one of the most important in
California, and of this industry Joseph Studarus is a worthy representative,
Ijeing in control of an extensive and valuable farm which is largely devoted to
fruit-culture. His entire life has been passed on this place, which is there-
fore endeared to him from the association of boyhood, as well as connections
of later years.

His birth occurred November 20, 1855, and as the years passed he
assisted in the labors of the farm, thus gaining that broad, practical experience
that well fitted him for carrying on a business of his own when years of
maturity were attained. Good educational privileges were provided him, and
he is to-day a well informed man, not only on the lines of his business but
on all subjects of general importance. He became his father's assistant, and
early acquired a thorough knowledge of agricultural and horticultural methods.
He represents one of the pioneer families of the state, for his father, John

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 90 of 108)