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

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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 103 of 177)
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decided talent for the stage, he took up that profession. He chose for his wife Miss
Nellie Hazleton, a talented young actress, who was- born in Indiana and a graduate
of Valparaiso University, that State. Congenial in their tastes, with a mutual love for
dramatic art, they traveled for years at the head of the Granger Stock Company, of
which they made a decided success. The Hazleton family is a very prominent pioneer
family of Indiana. Grandfather G. L. Hazleton, with his father, who was a civil
engineer, was engaged to make a survey of Blennerhassett Island, in the Ohio River,
near Parkersburg, W. Va., and made famous through the activities of Aaron Burr.
Proceeding to this island, which had been transformed into a garden of beauty and

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luxury by Blennerhassett, they found that the enterprise of the parties was question-
able, almost to treason, but when they sought to leave, they found it was not easy to
elude the promoters. They finally made their way to an Indian settlement on the
White River, however, and located in Gibson Count} 1 , Ind., where they were among
the pioneer settlers. Gervas Hazleton was a military surveyor in the early days and
for his services he was given a land grant, and so took up a site on the White River,
where his son, G. L. Hazleton, afterwards laid out the town of Hazleton. Here he
built a number of mills and engaged in the manufacture of lumber until his death. His
wife was Lucinda Wardell, a native of Friendship, N. Y., whose ancestors served in
the Revolutionary War. Clyde Granger passed away in San Jose, Cal., in 1909, after
which his widow returned East to her people, but came back to California in 1911,
purchasing a ranch five miles from Turlock. Fifteen months later she went back East
again and when she returned to California, a few months later, she was accompanied
by her daughter, Fannie Etoile. Mrs. Granger was married a second time in Berkeley
in 1915, being united with M. A. Niland, after which they located at their beautiful
home ranch near Turlock.

The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Granger, Mrs. Holt is a graduate of the San
Jose high school and the University of California, graduating from the latter institu-
tion in the class of 1917 with the degree of A. B. She majored in languages and
economics and is now the head of the department of Spanish and teacher of accountancy
in the Turlock Junior College, demonstrating much ability in her profession. She is a
member of Norroena at the University of California, of which she has been president;
is a member of the California State Teachers Association, the Stanislaus branch of the
state association and of the California Spanish Teachers Association.

Mr. Holt was made a Mason in Turlock Lodge No. 395, F. & A. M., and is a
thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, being a member of the Oakland Consistory
and Aahmes Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Oakland, and with Mrs. Holt is a member of
Wistaria Chapter No. 296, O. E. S., and the Modesto Court, Order or Amaranth.
Politically they are strong protectionists and Republicans and in their religious affiliation
are members of the Christian Church. A man of genial disposition, strong and forceful,
Mr. Holt and his charming, talented wife are indeed valued acquisitions to the com-
munity, where they take a lively interest in all movements for its upbuilding.

J. B. JENNINGS. — Prominent among the well-known members of the bar at
Modesto, Cal., is J. B. Jennings, a native of Warrenton, Warren County, Mo.,
where he was born March 19, 1852. His father, R. H., and grandfather, William H.,
were born in Virginia. The grandfather brought the family to Missouri in pioneer
days and engaged in farming, ending his earthly career in Missouri. The father was
also a tiller of the soil in Missouri, and after the war removed to Fort Worth, Texas,
where he continued the occupation of farming. In those days there was only fifty
miles of railroad in Texas, and Fort Worth had a population of less than 10,000.
The father died in Texas. The mother of J. B. Jennings was, in maidenhood, Mar-
garet Jamison, a native of Missouri and granddaughter of Carlson Jamison, who was
also born in Missouri. She died at Modesto, Cal., at the home of her son J. B. Of
her thirteen children, six are living.

J. B. Jennings is the oldest of the children, and was reared in Missouri until
1871, experiencing the usual lot that fell to the youth of those early days during and
after the war, the tragedy of the Civil War having its prelude in Missouri and on
the fertile plains of Kansas. J. B. attended public school after 1871, and later entered
the University of Missouri at Columbia, Mo., where he was a student two years,
after which he taught school in Texas for a time. He then entered the University
of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Mich., and after two and a half years was compelled to
relinquish school because of impaired health. Returning to Texas, he recuperated in
health, and when well enough took the examination, was admitted to the state bar
of Texas and began practicing law at Fort Worth. After two years in that city he
went to Lincoln, Nebr., and continued the practice of his profession for eight years.
In 1882 he was elected to the assembly of the state legislature of Nebraska, and served
during the session of 1883. In 1890 he located at Denver, Colo., where he engaged


in the practice of law three years. In 1893 he located at Salt Lake City, Utah, and
engaged in law practice, making a specialty of irrigation law, in which he was well
versed. He spent two years in Idaho in irrigation litigation at St. Antony. He made
a number of trips to California, the first in 1894, and traveled in all parts of the
state, finally deciding on Modesto as the city of his choice in which to locate. In
June, 1906, he opened a law office in that city and began the general practice of law,
which he has continued up to the present time. He is a member of Stanislaus and
California Bar Associations.

Mr. Jennings was married in Utah to Miss Anna Schroder, a native of Utah,
and they are the parents of five children. Leona Jennings is Mrs. Lee of Modesto,
and Ora May, John Burt, Catherine and Margaret are at home. In his politics Mr.
Jennings is a stanch supporter of Republican principles. He is affable, honorable
and fearless, and respected by all who know him.

JACOB W. FALK. — A Californian of high standing who is widely known as
a very successful cantaloupe grower and shipper, is Jacob W. Falk, who has a splen-
did ranch one mile from Turlock on the Geer Road. There he has been particularly
fortunate in raising melons; but he has been even more successful in shipping the
fruit to market, so much so that his neighbors have asked him to pick up theirs and
ship them, also. This he has consented to do, and the only charge he has made for
the service has been the actual expense of loading. When he came here, 200 crates
of cantaloupes to the acre was considered a good average crop ; and now by intensive
cultivation and conscientious care, he sometimes raises three times that amount, or
600 crates to the acre.

Mr. Falk was born at Dalene, Sweden, on April 24, 1859, where he received
a good education in the public schools; after which he was employed for some years
in a rolling mill and then apprenticed as a cabinet maker. In April, 1879, he came
to the United States with his parents, and settled at Malmo, Saunders County,
Nebr., when they purchased land and engaged in farming. There were three chil-
dren in the family, and his brother had preceded the rest to Nebraska.

Jacob Falk went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad Company, laying steel
and otherwise helping to construct the line, and he also worked at the round house,
until his parents became too old to care for the farm. Then he took up agriculture
on the home place, even then in a frontier country. Hq broke the prairie and
improved the place by raising grain and stock, and he made a specialty of raising pure-
bred Poland-China hogs, having the most excellent specimens from which to draw
and also to sell for breeding purposes. He came to own 80 acres of land ; and while
thus engaged, he was elected a delegate from his district to the National Democratic
Convention which was held at Kansas City in 1900, where they nominated Sen. Towne
of Minnesota, but he withdrew in favor of Wm. Jennings Bryan. Mr. Falk still has
ihe badges of that convention.

In the fall of 1910, Mr. Falk located at Turlock and 'bought fifteen acres on
Geer Road ; and having improved this land, he built for himself a large, comfortable
residence and put up the other necessary farm buildings, and began growing canta-
loupes. Finding local buyers, however, and shipping facilities very unsatisfactory,
the fourth year he began shipping his own products, and the next year twenty of his
neighbors applied to him for his cooperation in shipping their output. The following
season forty-five were shipping with him, and recently over twice that number had
consigned their output through his loading shed on the Southern Pacific Railroad,
which he erected at a cost of $2,500 and uses for the inspecting and loading of cars.

In 1919, Mr. Falk shipped 270 carloads of cantaloupes, sending them to vari-
ous large cities in the East, where he has commission agents; and he has thus been
able to obtain more money for the producer than any other shipping concern. At
the California Land Show in San Francisco in 1913, he received the gold medal, the
highest award for cantaloupe display and he took the highest prizes for his display
of cantaloupes at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915, where
he was given the grand prize. At the same time he received honorable mention for
his watermelon display, which was the highest award on watermelons. He finds

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Colorado seed the best for good production, and he has bought more and more land
as he has prospered. The fourth year of his growing and shipping he paid $500 an
acre for what he added to his holdings, and he now owns forty acres of land at
Turlock and twenty acres at Denair entirely devoted to melons. Mr. Falk used to
supply the best hotels, cafeterias and restaurants in San Francisco and Oakland with
melons, until the labor problem became so complex, when he gave it up. He is now
supplying the Southern Pacific dining cars and steamers with cantaloupes, a deal
which was arranged with Mr. Falk by the visit of a representative from the com-
pany. If he has succeeded far beyond the ordinary man, it may be safely averred
that he has worked hard for all that he has acquired.

In Saunders County, Nebr., Mr. Falk was married to Miss Sophia Amalia
Rergbom, a native of Sweden, and they have had seven children — Anna, Emma,
Hilda. Ellen, Fridolf, Henry and Edward. The family attend the Swedish Mission
Church, of which Mr. Falk has been a member since he was seventeen years of age.
He belongs to the Republican party.

Mr. Falk is a very strong man, of a muscular and athletic build, and has great
physical strength. He is a very energetic man and is never idle, for besides manag-
ing his own ranches he takes an active hand in the ranch work. When a young
man in Nebraska he never found a man stronger than himself, for he was able to
lift a thirty-foot steel rail alone.

Mr. Falk is a member of the Board of Trade, and a live wire, as might be
expected from the up-to-date appointments at his ranch. These include a pumping
plant with a capacity for raising and distributing two hundred gallons of irrigating
water a minute.

EDWARD O. TRASK.— In the history of our American families three gener-
ations are usually required to stretch from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific
slope. This is true of the ancestry of Edward O. Trask, the able and efficient super-
intendent of the Modesto County Hospital at Modesto, Calif., who was born June
9, 1866, at Oregon, Ogle County, 111. His grandfather, Captain Isaac Trask, was
born at Boston, Mass., and followed the vocation of the sea as a captain for twenty-
one years before he renounced the calling and removed to the frontier state of Illinois,
where he took up Government land and improved a farm from the unimproved
prairie land at Oregon, Ogle County. Captain Trask's wife, who was Isabelle Rut-
ter before her marriage, was born at Baltimore, Md. Civilization was beginning to
knock at the portals of Illinois when their son, Israel, was born. The grandfather
died in Illinois, and Israel married Adeline Worthington, a native of Illinois who
died in California in 1918 while visiting her son, E. O. Trask. Of the four chil-
dren born to Israel and Adeline (Worthington) Trask, Isaac lives in Illinois, John
B. and Edward O. are pioneer residents of Modesto, Calif., and the only daughter
of the family is Miss Florence Glencora Trask of Montana.

Edward O. received a public school education, supplemented with a college
course at Mt. Morris College, 111., after which he engaged in the meat business with
his brother, John B., at Ashton, 111. He afterwards went to Chicago, 111., where he
worked with a member of the Pinkerton detective force for two years. He then
became manager for the big restaurant of John R. Thompson, in Chicago, and about
1898 came to Newman, Stanislaus County, Calif., where his father and mother were
living on an alfalfa ranch, and engaged in dairying for two years. At the end of that
time they all returned to Chicago and Edward O. again became manager of a res-
taurant. But California appealed to him so strongly that he returned to the land by
the Western sea in 1904. For a year he was engaged on special assay work for
McGee Bros., in their Nevada silver mines, and in 1905, he came back to Modesto
and engaged in ranching with his brother, John B. In 1907 he was appointed assist-
ant to the superintendent at the county hospital, and eighteen months later received
the appointment of superintendent of the hospital. So ably has he filled the position
that he has been reappointed yearly ever since. The hospital was built in 1891 on a
plot of nineteen acres, twelve acres of which are tillable.


At Stockton, Mr. Trask was united in marriage with Miss May L. Forsberg,
who came to California in 1904. She is a native of Albert Lea, Freeborn County,
Minn., and a daughter of John and Emily Forsberg, well-to-do Minnesota farmers,
both now deceased, the mother passing away in September, 1920, in Minnesota. Mr.
and Mrs. Trask are the parents of a daughter, Marguerite by name. In their religious
views they are Presbyterians. Mr. Trask adheres to the principles of the Republican
party politically. He is a man of unimpeachable integrity, takes a keen interest in all
that concerns the life of his community and is ever alert to advance its best interests.

MRS. LIZZIE MULLALLY.— An interesting early settler of Stanislaus
County, Mrs. Lizzie Mullally is a native daughter, born at Milpitas, in Santa Clara
County, on September 3, 1861, the daughter of Michael and Catherine Curran. Her
father was a highly-educated man who studied, once upon a time, for the priesthood,
and who came to the United States from Australia ; and when excitement concerning
the discovery of gold was at its height, he came on a sailing vessel around Cape Horn
to San Francisco, and mined for a while at Columbia on the Yuba River. Later, he
settled in Stanislaus County and established himself as a sheep doctor ; and that he was
a progressive man in the field of developing science one may judge from the fact that
he attempted to get a bill passed by the Legislature to prohibit sheep herders from
driving scabby sheep through the ranges — a wise proposition which, naturally, on
account of the influence of those most vitally concerned, was duly killed and never
heard from again, until years later when others accomplished what Mr. Curran first
tried. When our subject was born the Currans lived at Milpitas, but as a babe w T as
brought to their home in Stanislaus County. Here the father took up land in the
canyon west of Westley ; and on that account this canyon came to be named for him,
Curran Canyon, although it is popularly mispronounced "Kern" Canyon.

Mr. Curran was a man of foresight, and he was experienced enough to see the
future possibilities of this region which first attracted him. He acquired 480 well-
situated acres, and there Mrs. Mullally now makes her home, honored as one of the
oldest settlers west of the San Joaquin River. She has about 500 goats on her farm,
eighty head of sheep, some cattle, some turkeys and chickens and domestic stock; and
these, as well as the land, she handles in such a manner as to reap the largest returns.
Mr. Curran died November 8, 1880, his widow surviving him until January 28,
1898. Mrs. Mullally was their only child.

On September 15, 1885, Miss Curran was married to Patrick Mullally, a native
of Kilkenny, Ireland, who had come to California in 1883; and seven children have
been born to their union. Thomas reached the age of twenty-six and was killed in a
mine disaster at Tonopah, New Leslie is Mrs. J. Costello of Patterson. Michael
lives at Oak Flat. Stella is Mrs. Strait, and lives in San Francisco. Theresa died in
1908. Consuella is in San Francisco, while Rosaline is attending the Patterson high
school. Mr. and Mrs. Mullally are engaged in stock raising and general farming.
Mrs. Mullally has pure bred Angora and Toggenburg goats and actively superintends
the ranch. She is now one of the oldest settlers in these parts.

SAMUEL F. SANGER.— A resident of Stanislaus County whose many-sided
work has already borne such good fruit that his labors for the spiritual advancement of
others will no doubt exert a benign influence on the coming generation, is Samuel F.
Sanger, the elder in charge of the Church of the Brethren at Empire, and formerly
president of the Co-operative Colonization Company at South Bend, Ind., an agency
which has promoted migration to the Golden State. He was born near Harrison-
burg, Va., on February 4, 1849, and spent his early life in the Old Dominion. His
father, John Sanger, was a Rockingham County farmer, noted for his firm religious
convictions, and he was a deacon in the Church of the Brethren. He was born near
Harrisburg, Pa., and came to Virginia in 1814. In that state, too, he married Miss
Elizabeth Flory. The Sangers were of German origin ; the Florys probably French.

Samuel Sanger grew up in Virginia on a farm, and was never, therefore, a
stranger to hard work. His educational advantages were meagre in comparison to
those afforded today, for during the Civil War, school was suspended. The young


man was of a studious turn, however, and when by himself, or at night, did a deal
of study. His father was one of two men in his precinct who did not vote for seces-
sion. The other man was killed by a drunken mob, and the elder Sanger and his
family were singled out for persecution.

In 1869, Mr. Sanger started West to visit friends in various places, and during
the winter of 1869-70, he was at South English, Keokuk County, Iowa, and attended
the first teachers' institute at Sigourney, Iowa, where he took the teachers' examina-
tion. He taught his first public school near South English, and in the fall of 1870,
returned to Virginia, and during 1871 and 1872 taught in public schools, four in all,
an incident of more interest than ordinarily, for in 1871 the free public school was
introduced into Virginia. He then entered the drug business at Bridgewater, Va.,
and conducted a drug store there for thirteen years, during which time, however, he
kept up his interest in educational and religious work, and became one of the first
trustees of Bridgewater College. During this time, he married Miss Susan A.
Thomas, the sister of his first wife, Rebecca F. Thomas. The latter, Mr. Sanger had
married on May 14, 1872, while he was teaching school. She died in 1873, after
eighteen months of wedded life, but left one child, Elizabeth S., now the wife of W.
H. Johnson, a carpenter and building contractor, at Empire. The second wedding
ceremony took place at Bridgewater on August 23, 1875. Then Mr. Sanger branched
out in business there, adding general merchandise to his stock of drugs, and running
the whole with the co-operation of his two brothers, David and John. He continued
in Bridgewater until 1878, when he removed to Manassas, Va., and from there, in
January, 1900, to South Bend, Ind., where for ten years he was engaged in the manu-
facture of proprietary medicines, which were sold extensively in the United States and
foreign countries, although his main interests were religious and educational. While
at South Bend, he became a trustee of Manchester College, at North Manchester,
Ind., and with rare fidelity discharged his sacred duties for seven years.

In 1910, Mr. Sanger came out to California, although he had previously visited
here in 1907 when, in passing through Stanislaus County on the train, he was favor-
ably impressed with both Modesto and the surrounding country, so much so that on
his return home to South Bend he conceived the idea of making an organized effort
to colonize in Stanislaus County. Going north from Modesto on the Southern Pacific
train, he viewed the country from the rear platform, and made notes according to the
impression made upon him by Modesto, Wood Colony and Salida. Soon after he
reached home, he was called upon by Mr. P. H. Beery, Colonization Agent of the
Santa Fe, and the two interested others, and the Co-operative Colonization Com-
pany was organized, and the company appointed Messrs. Sanger and Beery, a com-
mittee in the Church of the Brethren to look up a location for a colony. They
toured and viewed New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California, and came up
through the latter state, but saw nothing which met their requirements. Then Mr.
Sanger got out his old folder and determined to examine the country which he had
marked "good" on his first trip. This led to their visit to Modesto; and once there,
they were taken in hand by the Chamber of Commerce and shown various localities in
Stanislaus County, and among them was the Empire section, and here, at last, they
found land which met their expectations.

Mr. Sanger's first visit to Empire was in 1907, and the first three families to
locate here in the fall of 1908 were those of J. W. Deardorff, now at Waterford,
Levi Winklebleck and Philip Detrick, all of whom had settled here by December.
The Church of the Brethren at Empire was organized on March 14, 1909, with
eleven members, and now numbers 300 members. The Sunday school work alone is
remarkable; there are sixteen classes, and they have 265 members. The congregation,
being pressed for room for the Sunday school, is contemplating the building of a
larger church, although their edifice is now the largest rural house of worship in
California, seating 700 people. Mr. Sanger has been so favorably impressed with
the future of Stanislaus County that he has invested all his spare means in land at
Empire, and now he owns one ranch of twenty acres, which he is arranging to plant to
fruits and vines. There being no postmaster at Empire, he accepted and served for


seven years in that capacity. He has been one of the bishops of the church at Empire,
and he is now elder of the church.

Mr. Sanger's second wife died on November 22, 1898, at Manassas, Va., and he
was married a third time, at Salisbury, Pa., in October, 1899, to Mrs. Matilda
(Yoder) Beechy, the widow of A. P. Beechy, of Salisbury, Pa., the daughter of
Henry and Gertrude (Hostetler) Yoder. Four children were born of Mr. Sanger's
second marriage: Mary R. is the wife of Virgil L. Miller, a farmer at Bridgewater.
Va. ; Lula V. is Mrs. W. A. Dull, and her husband is a carpenter and builder at
Empire; William T. Sanger, Ph. D., of Wooster University, the third-born, is at
present the dean of Bridgewater College, in Virginia, a leading educator of that state,
and formerly dean of the State Normal School of Harrisonburg, Va. ; Vesta is instruc-
tor of mathematics at La Verne College, in Los Angeles County. Mr. Sanger is a
member of the board of trustees of La Verne College and chairman of the educational
board of Northern California.

In supporting the cardinal principle of the church — purity — Elder Sanger has
aided the temperance and Prohibition parties, and participated heartily and courageously

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 103 of 177)