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 93 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 93 of 108)
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tution he was graduated in the class of 1889, and he now i)ractices in full ac-
cord with the teachings and beliefs of the latter school of medicine. However,
he takes the best out of both and at all times he is ready to accept the new dis-
coveries made by the representatives of the medical science that are calculated
to ad\-ance the object of the calling, — the per])etuation of life and the
restoration of health. He practiced in San Francisco previous to coming to
Calaveras county, where he has practiced for ten years, the four last years being
located at Angel's Camp, where lie has met with gratifying success and has
built u]i a large and lucrative practice. He has the honor of being the pioneer
homenjxithic physician of Calaveras county, and has erected a nice home on



7IO REPRESEXTATIVE CITIZEXS

one of tlie commanding l)uikling sites of Angel's Camp, in wliich he has a well
equipped office.

Dr. Weirich was happily married in 1887, to Miss Catherine H. Smith, a
native of Alarysvihe. California, and a daughter of Colonel S. P. Smith. The
Doctor and his wife ha\e three childern : Xorman E., Catherine G. and X'ictnria
G. He is a valued member of the order of Freemasons and of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and is a past noble grand in the latter. In politics he is
a Republican. He enjoys fully the respect and esteem of all who have the
pleasure of his acquaintance ami in the professional circles he occupies an envia-
ble position.

JOHN CURTIX.

John Curtin. one of California's pioneers of 1853, now owning a large
stock ranch eight miles from Chinese Station and the same distance from
Knight's Ferry, is a native of the green isle of Erin, his birth having occurred
in Mallow, in county Cork, on the 31st day of March, 1835. ^'s parents,
Michael and Margaret Curtin, were also natives of that land. His father
passed away at the age of fifty-one years, his death resulting from the kick
of a horse. He and his wife were the parents of three sons and six daughters.

Mr. Curtin of this review was only thirteen years of age when he bade
adieu to home and friends and crossed the Atlantic to '"the land of the free."
He took passage on an American clipper ship, the Sarah Perkins, of New
York, at a London dock on the 17th of March, 1848, the ship being under
the command of Captain Samuel Kilpatrick. They encountered severe head
Avinds and were ten weeks and four days on the voyage. The supply of
water became exhausted and a flag of distress brought a steamer to their
relief and they were given twenty-five barrels of water. At length they safely
reached the harbor of New York and ]\Ir. Curtin proceeded to Boston. Soon
afterward he obtained work from John Houlett. at South Reading. :\lassa-
chuselts, and was given seven dollars per month as a compensation for his
services. Not long after he obtained a position as stage driver at twenty-
five dollars per month, his route being from the city of Lawrence to Boston.
He saved his money and as soon as he had accumulated enough h: sent it
"back to Ireland to pay the passage of his mother, six sisters and two brothers,
wdio then came to the new world. He built a home for them and had theni
comfortably situated, accomplishing all this before he was eighteen years of
age.

Not long afterward, when still in his eighteenth year, John Curtm was
united in marriage to Miss Annie Corroan. a native of Kinsale. county Cork.
Ireland. She was then sixteen years of age. Deciding to seek his fortune
in the Golden state, Mr. Curtin a'rrived at Volcano, Amador county, in 1853,
and thence went to Fiddletown and later to Drytown, Calaveras county. In
l\Iav, 1854, he crossed the Stanislaus river into Tuolumne county, and struck
a rich claim at Gold Springs. He secured gold in large quantities, but sunk
all his money in the Stanislaus River Water Company, thus losing fifteen



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 711

thousand dollars. After becoming- estaljlished in his Cahfornia liome lie sent
for his wife, who came by way of the isthmus of Panama and joined him on
the Pacific coast. They settled at Gold Springs, and there four sons and
three daughters were born unto them, of whom two have passed away. The
remaining children are : Mary, now the wife of J. K. Weyburn, a resident of
San Francisco; Margaret Ellen, the wife of P. F. Warren, superintendent of
the Clio mine, of Jacksonville. Tuolumne county, California; M. J., who is
now in the employ of the harbor commission in San Francisco; J. B., a
prominent state senator and one of the most distinguished lawyers of Tuol-
umne county; and Robert Andrew, who graduated at Alameda. University
Academy and York School, of Stncktim, and is now associated with his father
in the cattle business.

Tn 1880 Mr. Curtin removed from Gold Springs to his present farm,
■where he has fourteen hundred acres of land. He has on his place about
five hundred head of cattle at a time, and is now breeding a grade of Dur-
ham and Holsteins. This produces excellent stock and of hardy nature,
excellent for food and therefore commanding good prices upon the market.
In 1 88 1 Mr. Curtin erected a commodious, substantial and attractive farm
residence, but five years later it was destroyed by fire. \\'ith characteristic
energy, however, he replaced it with a pleasant home, in which he now
resides. In 1891 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died
on the 14th of February, of that year. Her many excellencies of character
had endeared her not only to her family, but to her many friends. The fol-
lowing obituarv appeared in the Sonora Democrat, issued on the ist of IMarch,
1891 r

"O. Remorseless Time!

Fear Spirit of the Glass and Scythe !

What power can sta}^ him in his onward
course.
Or melt his iron heart to pity?"

One after the other crosses the "Ixirder line" — one of Tuolumne's oldest
highly respected and best known citizens.

On the oth day of February. i8gi. died Mrs. Annie Curtin, the wife of
'Mv. John Curtin, who with his much beloved wife, were among the oldest
citizens of Tuolumne countv. She was born in the town of Kinsale. county
Cork, Ireland, on the 7th day of July. 1838, and at her death was in her
fifty-third year. She came to America in April, 1850, at the age of twelve,
and lived with her people at Lynn. !^Iassachusetts, and married Mr. Curtin at
the age of seventeen. Both actuated by the spirit of adventure and the gold
excitement of the times, they came to California, for "westward the star of
empire takes its flight." and lived at Gold Spring, near Columbia, where all
her children were "born. In May. t88o. the family moved to Cloudman's.
and in 1882 a post-office was established at this place. Mr. Cloudman was
apjifiinted postmaster, with ]Mrs. Curtin as his deputy. Mr. Cloudman served
but a short time, when she was appointed in his place and filled the position



7 1 2 REPRESEX TA TI VE CI TIZEXS

until her death. She lea\es a htisl)and, four sons and two daughters to
mourn the loss of a loving and faithful wife and devoted mother.

Life is a mystery! Death is a mystery! None can explain. In the
language of Ingersoll : "There is, after all, something tenderly appropriate
in the serene death of the old. Nothing is more touching than the death of the
young and I^eautiful. But when the duties of life have been nobly done; when
the purple twilight falls upon the present, the past, and the future; when
memory with dim eyes can scarcely spell the records of the vanished days,
then, surrounded by friends, death comes like a strain of music: it is a w-el-
come relief. The day has been long, the road weary, and we gladly stop at
the inn." Our deceased friend was not among the young nor the old. But
the duties of her life had been nobly done. Her sun on earth touched the
horizon. We cannot explain the reasons why, though the days had not been
long, the road weary, or the memory dim. and at the age of fifty-three she
stopped at the universal inn from which no traveler ever returns, and there we
will bid her a sorrowful and eternal adieu.

In 1898 Mr. Curtin was again married, his second union being with
Mrs. Honora Fogarty, of Modesto, with whom he lived happily until May,
1900. when she, too, departed this life and he was once more left alone. The
following mention of her demise occurred in one of the local papers: "This
morning at 9 o'clock, after a lingering illness from cancer, Mrs. Honora
Delaney Curtin, the wife of John Curtin, died in this city. For a long time
the lady had been a patient sufferer from cancer of the stomach. A short'
time ago she was taken to San Francisco, where an operation for her relief
was attempted, hut the malady had so weakened her that the operation had to
be abandoned. She was a native of Xew Birmingham, Thurles. county Tip-
perary, Ireland, coming to this country when but a small girl. She came
to Modesto about nineteen years ago, and reared five children here. They
are two daughters and three sons : Mrs. Henry Hamilton, ^Irs. D. J. Mc-
Allen, Dennis A., Thomas D. and Alphonso L. Fogarty. She married John
Curtin about two years ago. Her age was fifty-one years, five months and
twenty-one days. She was well known and highly respected throughout this
community and man}^ will mourn her loss.

Mr. Curtin exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and
measures of the Democracy, but has never been a politician in the sense of
office-seeking, yet lie served as ])ostmaster for twenty years, the office being
at his home. He has a wide accpiaintance among the business, men in this
jwrtion of the state and all esteem him for those reliable qualities tjiat every-
w'here command resi)ect and confidence. In the early days he was engaged
in the freighting business between Stockton. Oakdale and the different min-
ing camps in the mountains. He became well known to the majority of the
residents in this section of California and won their respect, friendship and
regard.

William L. Curtin. a son of the subject of the foregoing sketch, was
born December 17. i87_'. and died April 20. 1802. He was a young man of
excellent qualities and a promising career was before him.



OF NORTHERX CALIFORNIA. 71 3

Robert Andrew Cnrtin, another son, is a graduate of the York School
at Stockton and of tlie Alameda University Academy, and has just passed the
civil-service examination for a position on the police force of San Francisco.

ALEXANDER HEMPHILL.

Ireland has furnished many of her sons h:' the new world, whose x'cr-
satility, adaptability and enterprise have been important factors in the up-
building and progress of the communities with wliich they have been asso-
ciated. Among the sons of the Emerald Isle now residing in California is
Alexander Hemphill, a citizen of Lincoln, who arrived in the Golden state
in April, 1853. He was born in county Donegal, in 1832, and is of Scotch-
Irish ancestry. The religious faith of the family was that of the Presby-
terian church. His father,' Richard Hemphill, married Miss Sarah !McCann,
and two sons, John and Alexander, were born unto them. The mother died
■when the subject of this review was only thirteen years of age, and in 1843
the father came with his two boys to America, sailing from Londonderry to
New York. They located in Adams, Clark county, Ohio, and the father
died there in the sixty-fifth year of his age, spending his last days in the
home of his brother, who had preceded him to the new country. He was a
man of means and of the highest integrity and respectability.

Alexander Hemphill acquired his education in the schools of his native
county and in the public schools of Ohio. \\'hen nineteen years of age he
entered upon his business career, and determining to try his fortune in the
far west he sailed from New York for San Francisco, making his way from
the Atlantic to' the Pacific waters over the isthmus of Panama. He took
passage on the Independent, having six hundred people on the vessel. Ofif
jMarguerite island she ran on the rocks, caught fire and was totally destroyed,
two hundred and fifty of her passengers being drowned by the sw'amping of
her boats in the surf! ]\Ir. Hemphill battled with the w-aves, swam ashore
and thus saved his life, but lost all of his possessions save a pair of trousers
and a coat. They were three days upon the island before relief came. It
was supposed that the old ship was heavily insured and that she was run
aground on purpose; Init the perpetrators of the fearful crime were never
brought to justice.

After his arrival in San Francisco ilr. Hemphill came to Placer county
and engaged in mining. He has since made his home in this county and has
aided in the search for the precious metal at Auburn, Iowa Hill and Dutch
Flat. He was engaged in lumbering with the Towle Brothers for fifteen
years and in all of his enterprises his efforts have been attended with success.
In 1879 he came to Lincoln and has since devoted his energies to farming.
He now has sixteen hundred acres of valuable land and is extensively engaged
in raising the various cereals best adapted to this climate. He has erected
one of the most pleasant and commodious homes in Lincoln and there he is
now spending the evening of an active and prosperous life, surrounded by



714 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

many of the comforts and luxuries that have l^een securetl to liini through his
well-directed efforts.

Mr. Hemphill was married in 1878 to Miss Eliza Disque. a native of
Iowa and of French lineage. They have only one son, whom they have
named \\'allace George. He was born in Lincoln and is now making a tour
of Europe, including a visit to the World's Fair in Paris. Mr. Hemphill
was made a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Olive Lodge,
No. 81, at Dutch Flat, in 1867, and is still identified with the organization.
He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In politics
he is a stalwart Republican, but has never desired or held office, preferring
to give his entire attention to his business.

JOHX M. EATOX.

John Alarion Eaton, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits near Oakdalc.
Stanislaus county, is a native of Tennessee, born in Alexandria on the 23d of
March, 185 1. He is descended from an old southern family who were early
eniigrants to North Carolina, the ancestors having emigrated from Englanil
to that state during the colonial epoch of our country's history. ^Mr. Eaton is
also descended from the Fox family that furnished several prominent represen-
tati\'es to the war of the Revolution. His father, \\'illiam Jasper Eaton, was
born in the state of Tennessee and was married there to ]Miss Catharine Ward
Scrivner. He was an industrious and highU^ respected farmer and was a
member of the Christian church, while his wife belonged to the Methodist
church. They became the parents of six children, four of whom are living.
At the time of the Civil war the father, true to his loved southland, joined the
Confederate service, under the command of Captain Wright and Colonel Eller-
son. He was taken prisoner and confined at Camp Chase, in Ohio, where his
grief and confinement caused his death ! He passed away in the winter of 1864,
at the age of forty years. His good wife still survives him and is now in the
seventy-fifth year of her age, her home being still in Tennessee.

John Marion Eaton is the only representative of the family in California.
He is the eldest of the sons and was educated in Tennessee, being reared to
manhood on his father's farm. In 1883 he was married and came to Stanis-
laus county, California, having no capital but possessed of a strong determina-
tion to improve his opportunities and steadily work his way upward to success
if he could do so through earnest and honorable efforts. He began work here
as a farm hand and was thus employed for six years, after which he rented land,
which he \n\t in wheat, sowing as high as twelve hundred acres in 1884. In
that year he raised six thousand sacks of wheat, which sold at one dollar and
forty cents per hundred. He is now farming eight hundred acres, which is
planted in wheat, and his labors are bringing to him an excellent financial re-
turn. He owns a residence in Oakdale and has one hundred and seventeen
acres of land adjoining that town.

In 1883 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Eaton and IMiss Mary Eard-
ley, a native of Illinois and a daughter of Charles and Emma Eardley, now re-



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 715

spected citizens of Oakdale. Their marriage has been Ijlessed u ilh tliree cliil-
dren: Alpha Myrtle, Inez Vivian and Eva. The parents hold menihershii) in
the Methodist church and are people of the highest respectability. Mr. Eaton
exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the
Democratic jjarty, but has never been an office-seeker. He is a good citizen
\vho has a wide reputation as a man of sterling worth and who in all life's rela-
tions is faithful and true to the trust reposed in him, to the oliligations of citi-
zenship and to the duties of manhood.

JOHX COLLINS.'

The business interests of Rocklin are entrusted to a board of trustees, one
of whom is Mr. Collins, and in the faithful discharge of his duties he manifests
a loyal and progressive spirit that is of marked benetit to the community. J\Ir.
ColHns was born in Staffordshire, England, on the 5th of September, 1841.
His father, James Collins, was born in Ireland and belonged to a wealthy and
prominent family who owned large estates there. In England he married Miss
Bessie Elizabeth Hughes, who was born on the merrie isle and was of Englisli
lineage. By trade the father was a glass cutter and engraver, but his busjness
career was not of long duration as he died in the thirty-fourth year of his age.
leaving two sons to the care of the widowed mother. The daughters died
when very young. In 1844 Mrs. Collins married John Meyrick, a blacksmith,
by whom she had six children, — Richard, Martha. William, Samuel. Janey and
Lucy. Richard and William are deceased. Mrs. Meyrick passed away in the
fifty-eighth year of her age, in the city of York, Yorkshire, England. Mr.
Meyrick's father kept the Royal Oak Inn, at Clayhills. near Ludlow, Shrop-
shire.

The subject of this review was educated in England anil in his native land
learned the blacksmith's trade. He chose as a companion and helpmate Q)i life's
journey Miss Sarah Hannah Francis, who was born in England and belonged
to one of the old families there. A daughter came to bless their home, to
whom was given the name of Ann Elizabeth, and with their first-born tiiey
crossed the Atlantic to the United States in 1869, settling in Wyoming, where
Mr. Collins worked as a blacksmith for the Union Pacific Railroad Company
for one year. He then removed with his family to Carlin, Nevada, where he
remained for two and a half years, and then came to California, taking up his
, abode in Sacramento. In the latter part of September, 1876, he arrived in
Rocklin, where he has since resided and has been continuously employed as a
blacksmith for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company at this place. He is a
sturdy, capable and industrious man and an expert mechanic, capable of mak-
ing anything out of iron. He has ever given the best satisfaction to the com-
pany through his excellent service and enjoys the unqualified confidence of
those by whom he is employed.

Four children have been l)orn to Mr. and Mrs. Collins in California.
namely: Fannie, now the wife of Paul Walters; Charles Albert. .Arthur and
.Vlma Willard. Mr. Collins has erected a commodious residence in Rocklin



7i6 REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS

and o\\ ns six city lots, on which stand liis home and outI)uildings. The gronnds
are ornamented with trees, flowers and shrubs of his own planting and the art
of the landscape gardener has added much to the attractiveness of the place.
He also has a forty-acre farm a short distance from the town, and his posses-
sions are as a monument to his industry and enterprise.

Socially ]\Ir. Collins is connected with the Independent Order nf Odd
Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and politically he is a
Republican. He was elected one of the trustees of the town in April. 1900.
an office which he is filling with credit to himself and satisfaction to his con-
stituents. He is spoken of as a sensible, practical business man, ever ready to
do his part in promoting the best interests of the town, and he and his family
are held in high esteem by their fellow citizens among whom they have so long
resided.

BEX'JA:\nX A. }iIARDI.S, :\[. D.

Dr. Benjamin Allen. Mardis, a prominent practicing physician of Forest
Hill, claims California as his native state and dates his birth in San Francisco
on the 17th of April, 1870. He is descended from French ancestors who Avere
among the early settlers of the South. Both his grandfather and father were
born in the state of ^ilississippi, and the latter, Benjamin Allen Mardis, Sr.,
married jMiss Fannie Washington Read, by whom he had two children, Benja-
min Allen, Jr., and a daughter, who is now Mrs. W. H. Foulkes, a resident of
San Francisco. The father served his country in the Mexican war, and soon
after the close of that war came to California, where he spent the rest of his
life and died, his death occurring in 1873. His widow survives him.

The subject of this sketch was three years old when his father died, ami
was reared by his uncle, T. J. Read, his early education being received in the
public schools of Napa county. Entering the University at Berkeley, Califor-
nia, he pursued a course in pharmacy and graduated in due time. Then he took
up the study of medicine in Cooper Medical College, and of that institution
is a graduate with the class of 1892. Immediately after his graduation he
came to Forest Hill and entered upon the practice of his profession, and t(.n-
the past eight years has conducted a practice in the town and surrounding coun-
try that has gradually increased, each year adding to his success and poinilarity.
He also owns and conducts a drug store in the town.

Having established himself in his profession. Dr. ]\Iardis took to himself
a wife, wedding, in 1S96, Miss Belle Nevada Hines, a native of Nevada Citx-,
California, who presides OA-er his pleasant home.

Like many of the leading citizens who were born in this sunny state, the
Doctor has identified himself with that popular organization known as the
Native Sons of the Golden West. He is also a prominent member of the Ma-
sonic order, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter and commandery. and being
a thrice past master of the blue lodge. Of him politically it may be said th;it
he is an independent, as he votes for men and measures rather than holding
close to party lines. ... '..



OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 717

SAMUEL B. IIARRIMAX.

Included amung the prominent citizens of Dutch Flat, California, is
Samuel Bacon Harriman, who has long lieen a resident of the place and who
owns and occupies one of its most commodious and atti:acti\-e homes. Mr.
Harriman is a native of the Green ^Mountain state, and was born August
26, 1828. His ancestors were of German and Scotish origin. Several gen-
erations of the family have been residents of New England, and John Har-
riman, the grandfather of Samuel B., was a soldier in the war of 181 2. Our
subject's parents, Joshua and Mary (Elkins) Harriman, were born, reared
and married in \'ermont, and in that state reared their family and died,
each reaching an advanced age. He was ninety-four years of age at the time of
his death; she, eighty-four. Of their eight children, six are still living.

Samuel B. Harriman passed the first twenty years of his life on his father's
farm in Vermont. About that time Wisconsin was receiving emigration from
the east, and among those who landed there in i8.|8 was young Harriman.
He spent four years in Wisconsin. In the meantime news of the discovery
of gold in California spread over the country like wildfire, reaching even the
remote and sparsely settled districts. Leaving \\'isconsin in 1852, Mr. Harri-
man started. for Californiaj making the journey by waj' of New York and
the isthmus of Panama. The Atlantic voyage he made on the Moses Taylor,
and the Cortez carried him from the isthmus to San Francisco. A number
of passengers on the last named steamer sickened and died and found a grave
in the Pacific. In due time ;\lr. Harriman landed safely in San Francisco and
at once sought the mining districts, going first to Placerville, Eldorado county,
where he met with good success and where he was engaged in mining until the
fall of 1853. At that time he went to Michigan Blufif, Placer county, and dur-



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 93 of 108)