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George Henry Tinkham.

History of Stanislaus County California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the pres online

. (page 102 of 177)
Online LibraryGeorge Henry TinkhamHistory of Stanislaus County California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the pres → online text (page 102 of 177)
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1904. Mrs. Coleman, who was Miss Nancy Lester before her marriage, a native
of Arkansas, died in 1906.

Mr. and Mrs. Coleman were the parents of four children, three of whom are
living, and of them, Mrs. Rogers is the second eldest and the only one in California.
She was educated in the public schools, came to California with her parents at the
time of the land excitement here, and while at Visalia was married to David Rogers,
a native of that place, who was both a farmer and a carpenter. A most interesting
chapter in the life of Mr. and Mrs. Rogers covers the period from 1900 to 1904,
spent in the frozen North. Mrs. Rogers' brother-in-law, W. H. Davis, while pros-
pecting in Alaska, made a discovery of gold on a creek about 180 miles inland from
Nome and called it Old Glory Creek. Mr. Davis having located for Mrs. Rogers
claim number one below his discovery and number two above, which on their
arrival in Alaska they proceeded to develop. Mrs. Rogers' claim proved to be the
richest on the creek. They were very successful in their mining operations and
incidentally they had a splendid opportunity to familiarize themselves with life in
the Land of the Midnight Sun, being located within the Arctic Circle. In the fall
of 1904, having received word that Mrs. Rogers' father was very ill, they came
back to Fresno, intending to return to their mine the next spring, but owing to her
mother's prolonged illness the next year, much to their disappointment they never
went back, although they had left their camp, mining equipment and dog trains.

In 1904, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers located in Coalinga, when the town was begin-
ning to build up on account of the oil development there, and with a laudable desire
to help the town, Mr. Rogers engaged in contracting and building, for which he was
reputed to be a man of originality and initiative. During the month of November,
1912, he passed away at Fresno. In the following July, Mrs. Rogers moved to
Fresno, but the next year she located at Modesto, where she purchased the con-
fectionery which she at present conducts with such taste and appreciation of what
the public demands. She has since enlarged and remodeled the establishment and
built up a large business with a laboratory, while she has a completely equipped
basement for the making of ice cream and confectionery. She is the sole proprietor,
and her products are familiar to patrons under the name of "Rogers" or as the



912 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

R. & G. Confectioner}'. The largest establishment of the kind in the city, there is
seldom an hour when it is not among the busiest of centers.

Aside from her business, Mrs. Rogers is greatly interested in viticulture and
horticulture, having improved a splendid ranch of twenty acres on McHenry Road
to Thompson seedless grapes and peaches. She also owns sixty acres of vineyard
in Fresno County, as well as a ten-acre almond orchard at Arbuckle, Colusa County.
Optimistic and endowed with much business acumen, she is making a decided suc-
cess of all her enterprises, and she is naturally an enthusiastic member of the Modesto
Merchants Association and the Chamber of Commerce. Fortunate in a pleasing
personality, Mrs. Rogers is well and favorably known in the business world of the
San Joaquin Valley. A member of the Rebekahs, she enjoys an enviable popularity
in its circles. Two children blessed her union with Mr. Rogers: Robert is a success-
ful rancher in Arizona and Carl has a vulcanizing works at Oroville.

HENRY T. CROW.— A pioneer of Stanislaus County well known for his
integrity and high standards of business conduct is Henry T. Crow, the proprietor of
the Hotel Modesto, now receiving, under his aggressive management as sole owner, a
fifth story, called for by the ever-increasing patronage of the popular hostelry. He
was born in Crawford County, Wis., on March 10, 1871, the son of Henry Dodge,
or "Dod," Crow, who had married Miss Mary Anderson. They were born in Wis-
consin, were married there, and there worked hard as worthy farmer folk until 1880
when they removed to Kansas. Nine years later, the Crow family came out to Cali-
fornia and Salida, when Mr. Crow for a couple of years worked for wages. Then
they removed to Madera County, rented land and became grain farmers ; and in the
year of the St. Louis Fair they migrated to Oakland, and are both still living there,
retired, at 617 Thirty-fourth Street.

There were ten children in the family, among whom Henry T. was the third in
the order of birth, and the lad attended the public schools of Wisconsin and Kansas, but
only for about thirty months in all. The father took up a homestead and a timber
claim in Ness County, Kans., and proved up on both. He worked in Denver, and
supported his family with money which he sent from that city while proving up; and
when they sold the property they went to Cloud County, Kans., and farmed for four
years, when they came to California. They furnished a home six miles from Salida,
when Mr. Crow had only $240 left of the snug sum with which he started.

It has been a fine traditionary habit with the Crow family that they should work
together and help each other, and so five members went to work at once for wages,
and for two years they shared their earnings. Then they bought sixteen horses and
mules and went to Madera County and rented two sections of land two miles from
Berenda. For three years they raised grain, and after that Henry Crow and his
brother Herman rented another two sections and farmed it to grain.

In 1895, after two years of farming with his brother, Mr. Crow struck out for
himself, and in September rented two sections of land which he put into grain. In
November, 1896, he was married to Miss Kate Montgomery, who has proven a most
excellent wife and helpmeet. She was born in New York City and came to California
a young girl, and was reared about ten miles south of Modesto. Both of her parents
are now deceased, but she has a sister, Mrs. Mary Freeman, living at Madera. Mr.
Crow continued as a grain farmer in Madera County until 1900, when he came to
Stanislaus County, and in Laurel Lodge Precinct bought 320 acres, and soon pur-
chased 146 acres more, making 460 acres in all. He worked hard and effected many
and desirable improvements, and after dry farming for three or four years, he was
active in helping along the Modesto Irrigation District project, and water was at last
available for irrigation. He put 200 acres into alfalfa, and ran a dairy there, and
after bringing the place up to a high state of cultivation, he sold one after another
part of the ranch until he had only sixty acres remaining.

In 1911, Mr. Crow became associated with Oscar Hogin in the project of a first-
class hotel for Modesto, and they bought the southwest corner of Eleventh and H
streets, and in 1913 built a thoroughly modern and up-to-date hotel, a four-story
building which was opened in June, 1914. They conducted the hotel under the firm



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 915

name of Crow & Hogin, with a manager, and except for two years when Mr. Hogin
managed it alone, Mr. Crow has been interested in running the hotel. On January
1, 1920, Mr. Crow bought out the interest of Mr. Hogin and put in his sixty acres
as part consideration. Assisted by his wife and family, he employs thirty-three people.

Mr. Crow has enlarged the Hotel Modesto from a four-story to a five-story
building. The structure is built of brick, 100x140 feet in dimension, with a concrete
basement and an asbestos roof. Hot and cold water are to be had throughout the
building, as well as steam heat and electric light, and the 142 guest rooms will easily
make it the largest, as it is the finest appointed, hostelry in this part of the state.

Five children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Crow. Clarence served in the
Ninety-first Division in France, was honorably discharged and came home, and mar-
ried Miss Ella Brower, and now he is a clerk in the hotel, a very popular fellow.
Isabelle is a graduate of the Modesto high school, and serves the hotel as its stenog-
rapher. Harry is buyer for the hotel, and the younger members of the family are
school girls — Lenna and Dorris. Mr. Crow is a standpat Democrat; but like all
men of broad views, he still prefers to exercise his judgment and to vote for the best
men and the most appealing measures, and particularly in the matter of local issues,
he knows no partisanship such as often interferes with men becoming of real service
to the community in which they live and prosper. As a member of the Chamber of
Commerce he does his part to build up Modesto.

CHARLES LE ROY WOODSIDE.— A prominent, influential business man
and public official of Stanislaus County, himself a native son, Charles Le Roy Wood-
side was born on the Tuolumne River, three miles east of Modesto, November 25,
1876, the son of Thomas and Emeline (Marvin) Woodside. His father was born
at Shaw's Flat of Scotch ancestry. His grandfather, Daniel Woodside, was a New
Englander, who removed to Missouri and there married Harriette Blackwell, and in
the early fifties crossed the plains in an ox-team train, whose leader was Emmett
Grayson. Daniel Woodside engaged in freighting between Stockton and southern
mines, and also followed mining. He was a leader in the community and particularly
in sports and for years kept a bear to take part in the bear and bull fights so popular
in those days of early California life. He died in Nevada, while his widow passed
away in Stockton in 1894.

Thos. Woodside followed mining until seventeen years of age, when he came to
Empire City, where he was married in 1875 to Emeline Marvin, a native of Empire
City, whose interesting life history is in another page in this volume. For some time
Thos. Woodside was engaged in farming, then became interested in the hotel business,
and when he gave up the Tynan Hotel in 1895 he engaged in mining at Algerine until
he died in 1907. His widow now lives in Oakdale. Charles Le Roy is the only one
of their children to grow up. His childhood was spent in Modesto from the age of ten
until he was eighteen, and when he had completed the public schools he entered the
post office as assistant postmaster under Chas. Post, and later served under Asa
Fulkerth. After two and a half years, he resigned and removed to Algerine, Tuol-
umne County, with his parents and then followed mining until his father died in
1907. He then began railroading, running out of Oakdale as a fireman for three
years, when he resigned and entered the employ of the Oakdale Lumber Company for
three years. Next he was with the Standard Oil Company, but after six months
resigned in 1915 and purchased the store at Cooperstown from F. H. Lee and has since
conducted the business of general merchandising. On June 13, 1919, he met with a
heavy loss, his building and stock being completely destroyed by fire, his loss being
$18,000, and only covered by $3,000 insurance. Nothing daunted, he started again
and immediately rebuilt a new store and put in a new stock of goods to supply the needs
of his patrons. Since July 15, 1916, he has also been the postmaster at Cooperstown,
the post office being domiciled in his store. In connection Mr. and Mrs. Woodside
also own and run the large, comfortable and well-kept hotel at Cooperstown.

Mr. Woodside was married in Oakdale June 27, 1915, being united with Minnie
Ellene Lee, a native daughter of Oakdale. Her father, Wm. Fred Lee, was born in
Hamburg, Germany. He was an early settler of California, crossing the plains in



916 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

the early days and locating at Jamestown. He was a musician and taught music and
was a bandmaster; he was also an architect and builder and built the toll bridge at
Jamestown. Later he removed to Oakdale, where he was a pioneer builder up of the
town until his death. His widow still survives him. Of their eight children, Mrs.
Woodside is next to the youngest and spent her entire life in Oakdale, and after com-
pleting the public schools was engaged in business until her marriage. Mr. Woodside
is a member of Tuolumne Lodge No. 21, I. O. O. F., at Columbia, and a member of
Stockton Lodge No. 391, L. O. O. M., while Mrs. Woodside is a member of the
Oakdale Lodge of Rebekahs and the Native Daughters of the Golden West. Mr.
Woodside is very much interested in the preservation of the early history of California
and its early landmarks and believes all possible effort should be hade to perpetuate
the story of the hardships and trials of the early pioneers, as well as the stirring events.

CHARLES H. EDISON. — To the enterprise and industry of such forceful men
as Charles H. Edison is due the continued prestige of this section of California. A
native of New Jersey, he was born near Rahway, on December 15, 1874, the son of
Charles H. Edison, a native of Denmark, and a millwright, who had married Miss
Rebecca Hone, born in Cornwall, England. Mr. Edison was active in millwright
installation and construction work in New York City, after coming to America, the
family afterwards moving to New Jersey, locating at Jersey City. There, first in
the grammar school, and later in the high school, Charles obtained his education.
After graduating from the Jersey City high school, he served an apprenticeship of
three years in Brooklyn, learning the butcher's trade. However, when he struck out
in the world in his middle 'teens, he did not continue at this trade, but began railroad-
ing, his headquarters being at Philadelphia, Pa., and while there he was married at
Dover, Del., on June 12, 1893, to Miss Edith Taylor. She was born at Smyrna, in
that state, and after their marriage, they took up their residence in Philadelphia,
where Mr. Edison was with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. After only a little
more than three years, Mrs. Edison passed away, on September 15, 1896, leaving a
little daughter, Emma, who survived her mother until March, 1897.

After the death of his daughter, Mr. Edison removed to Chicago and entered
the employ of the C. W. & I. Railroad. At the end of three years he was trans-
ferred from the interlocking to the locomotive department and under that direction
he served for two years as fireman, and as engineer for two and a half years on runs
between Danville and Chicago, 111. When twenty-four years of age, Mr. Edison's
second marriage occurred when he was united at Wayne, III, on March 11, 1899,
to Miss Fannie G. Johnston of Chicago, a native of Linkoping, Sweden, she was the
daughter of John Johnson, a farmer of Kiso, Sweden, where he passed away in 1914.
His widow afterwards came to Flagler, Colo., where she resided until her death, at
the age of eighty-nine. For a year after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Edison con-
tinued to live in Wayne, and then in Chicago, for two more years of railroading.

Coming to California, Mr. Edison settled at Modesto in 1903, where he started
dairying. He leased a ranch of 160 acres in the Westport section and for a year and
a half maintained a first-class, thoroughly sanitary dairy there. Then he sold off his
stock and went to Ceres in the employ of J. C. Garrison, later purchasing a half
interest in the business, dealing in all kinds of fresh meat. Eventually, however, he
sold his interest back to Mr. Garrison.

On March 1, 1914, Mr. Edison came to Hughson and purchased a meat market
in partnership with Harvey Van Selus, and under the firm name of Edison and Van
Selus made it a market such as might be a credit to any town in the county. The
result has been a substantial patronage, which enables the proprietors to maintain
their establishment much above the average of what one would expect to find in a
town of this size. They have installed a Cyclops ammonia cold storage system for
their double cold storage plant, which includes their wholesale as well as their retail
trade, the former having a capacity of fifteen beeves, besides sheep and hogs.

One child has blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Edison, Emma E., who is a
graduate of the Hughson high school, and who, as an expert bookkeeper, is a valued
employee of the well-known Williams Clothing House in Modesto. With her father




W4iM/^«-^o



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 919

and mother, she is a member of the First Christian Church at Modesto. A Republi-
can in matters of national political import, Mr. Edison has found pleasure in putting
aside partisanship in local civic affairs. Intensely interested in the cause of education,
he has served for the past six years as clerk of the board of trustees of the Hughson
high school. During this time bonds were voted and the new high school built at a
cost of over $100,000, with fourteen large class rooms and a corps of seven teachers.
Mr. Edison's fraternal preferences have made him a Mason, affiliated with Auburn
Park lodge No. 789, A. F. & A. M., at Auburn Park, near Chicago, 111.

HORACE WALTER OLDENHAGE.— Among the successful ranchers of
Stanislaus County is Horace Walter Oldenhage, who is still very actively engaged
on the 500-acre farm located five miles southwest of Crows Landing, of which he has
the controlling interest. He was born at Athens, Clark County, Mo., on January
16, 1861, the son of John H. and Mary Jean (McCarter) Oldenhage. His father,
who was a native of New Orleans, was a harness maker and leather worker. His
mother was born in Virginia, a descendant of an old Scotch family by the name of
Hickman, who moved from Virginia to Missouri in 1844. Several members of the
Hickman family fought in the war of 1812 against England. Mr. Oldenhage's
mother, who still resides in Clark County, Mo., is hale and hearty at the age of
eighty-eight and was recently awarded a medal for being the oldest settler in that
county. John H. Oldenhage served in the Union Army in the Civil War and was
at Centralia, Mo., when Bill Anderson and his guerrilla band massacred the inhabit-
ants of the town, when he was wounded but escaped with his life on his horse, while
his captain, whose horse had been shot from under him, escaped on a big gray horse
captured from one of the guerrillas who had been killed.

Horace Walter Oldenhage was educated at the public schools at Athens, Mo.,
and after school days were over learned the harness trade under his father, with
whom he worked for three years, and then spent seven years railroading on the Chi-
cago, Rock Island and Pacific from Des Moines, Iowa, to Keokuk, Iowa. In 1887
he came to California, going by stage from Banta to Grayson, and since 1889 has
worked some of the J. A. Crow ranch of 1,260 acres each year, also leasing other
lands, so he farms about 2,000 acres to grain. He has never had a written lease,
simply a verbal lease or understanding, but has always made his word his bond and
has never been involved in a lawsuit. In 1917 he had a crop of forty-seven sacks of
barley to the acre, a record that has not been beaten so far on the West Side.

At Eddyville, Iowa, in November, 1886, Mr. Oldenhage was united in mar-
riage to Miss Nettie Totman, who was born in that vicinity, the daughter of Simon
P. and Mary Jane Totman, who came to California in 1890. He was bereaved of
his faithful wife March 3, 1898, and has never remarried but has devoted his life to
the three sons she left him: Walter, a rancher at Concord, Contra Costa County;
Harry, who is on the home ranch ; and John, also a rancher at Concord. At the
declaration of war against Germany, Walter, the eldest son, was employed as a
mechanic at Detroit, Mich., but he immediately enlisted in the engineer corps,
sailed for France and, while there, was engaged in repair work on the War Depart-
ment railroad cars. He now lives in Los Angeles. Harry F. was in the three hun-
dred sixty-third Regiment, U. S. A., Ninety-first Division, serving at Camp Lewis
until he was honorably discharged on account of disability. He is the father of one
son, James, and is now associated with his father in grain raising. John H. was in
the Aviation Corps of the U. S. Army, serving overseas in England ; he is now
ranching at Concord. Mr. Oldenhage thus has every reason to be proud of his sons'
record under the Stars and Stripe's.

Horace Walter Oldenhage is a well-read man and informed on general topics
of the day and keeps abreast of the times and takes a keen interest in all public affairs.
About a year ago he unfortunately lost his house by fire, but he has since erected a
splendid bungalow on the old home site. In national politics he is a Republican, but
in local politics he believes in fitness of the man for the office, and casts his vote
accordingly. Mr. Oldenhage has never regretted casting in his lot in California,
particularly in Stanislaus County, which he considers the garden spot of the world.



920 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

MR. AND MRS. OSCAR CARL HOLT.— A worthy member of that class of
citizens whose practical education, inherent ability, and ready recognition of oppor-
tunities have advanced them to positions of prominence and substantiality, Oscar Carl
Holt occupies an authoritative place in his profession as a construction engineer. He
was fortunate in spending the early years of his life on the farm of his father, John
Holt, in Smaland, Sweden, where he was born on December 28, 1884, receiving there a
wholesome training in industrious habits that have been the foundation of his success.
The Holts were an old and well-known family in this part of Sweden, where they had
been for generations. Grandfather Peter Holt was a Swedish army officer.

Oscar C. Holt received a good education in the excellent schools of his country.
When he was fourteen he was apprenticed to learn the carpenter's trade at Uldschult,
where he also studied architecture. He continued there until he W2S nineteen years
of age, when he came to America, locating in St. Paul, Minn., in 1903, where he fol-
lowed his trade, and studying to perfect himself in the English language in every spare
moment. Having a great desire to see the Pacific Coast country, he came to San
Francisco in 1905, taking up carpenter work there. With the determination to forge
ahead, he attended night school, continuing the study of English as well as archi-
tecture and construction engineering, later on completing a course in the above branches
with the International Correspondence School.

Accepting a position with the Amalgamated Copper Company at Coram, Shasta
County, he proceeded thither and was foreman on construction of their smelters, built
the aerial tramway, seven miles long, from the mines to the smelter, and erected the
big ore bunkers at the mine. After all was satisfactorily completed, he worked on the
construction of a gold dredger on the upper Sacramento River until it was completed
and started to operate. He returned to San Francisco in 1910 and there began con-
tracting and building for himself. He built the Ramona Apartments at Twenty-fourth
and Harrison streets, Oakland, residences for Dr. Hull, Mrs. Horace Mann and
many other beautiful homes there, designed and built an apartment house at Kenneth,
the grammar school at Coram, and many other structures. In 1919 he built the Hil-
mar high school and while making his headquarters at Turlock he found much to
attract him in this thriving locality. Upon investigation he learned more of its won-
derful resources and possibilities and decided to cast in his lot with this progressive
community. Since establishing himself here in the construction line he has been very
busy and has met with instant success. Even with the large volume of business he
handles he keeps a personal superintendence over the construction of all his contracts,
and completed his buildings in such a masterful and satisfactory manner, with such fin-
ished workmanship, that his thoroughness and care are much appreciated. He has built
the Mitchell school, the Turlock high school, concrete bridges for Stanislaus County,
did the remodeling of the Turlock Irrigation offices, and built the beautiful Masonic
Temple at Turlock, as well as many of the attractive homes on Sierra Avenue and in
that section. Mr. Holt has just completed a very artistic and beautiful bungalow at
1015 Sierra Avenue, where he makes his home with his accomplished wife, and in their
whole-hearted and generous way dispense a genuine hospitality. His offices are in the
new Masonic Temple building on East Main Street.

Mr. Holt's marriage, which was solemnized at the First Congregational Church
at Oakland, Cal., on June 22, 1920, the Reverend Brooks officiating, united him with
Miss Fannie Etoile Granger, who was born in Hazleton, Ind. Her father, Clyde
Granger, a native of Michigan, was educated at Columbia University, and with a



Online LibraryGeorge Henry TinkhamHistory of Stanislaus County California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the pres → online text (page 102 of 177)