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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

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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 105 of 177)
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his experience, enthusiasm, intrepidity and winning personality having won for him
the confidence of his superiors in office and his compatriots, he was commissioned captain.

PETER BLADT, JR.— Descended from a sturdy line of Danish ancestry,
farmers for many generations, Peter Bladt, Jr., is proving true to family traditions in
becoming one of the most successful grain ranchers of Stanislaus County, operating
the 1,000-acre ranch which was formerly owned by his father, and where Peter, Jr.,
was born January 28, 1883.

Peter Bladt, Sr., was born in Schleswig, under the Danish flag ,and came to
America in the early '70s, locating in Salinas County, where he farmed one year. A
short trip through the Middle West confirmed his preference for California, and he
located in Stanislaus County, in the Garcias Creek district, where he took up exten-
sive lands and began to raise grain. In Modesto he married Miss Annie Peterson,
who was born in Schleswig. This most estimable woman and devoted wife and



938 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

mother was called above in 1886. Peter Bladt, Sr., became a well-to-do farmer and
finally retired, making his home in Gustine until his death in 1917, aged sixty-four.
He married a second time, and his widow makes her home in Salinas.

By his first union, Peter Bladt had a son and a daughter and by the second
inarriage there were three daughters, Peter, Jr., being the eldest of all, and it was on
these wide acres that he was born and where he spent his boyhood days. When he
was twenty he started out to find his own "fortune," going to San Francisco, where
he carpentered for four years from 1904. In 1908 he returned to Gustine as a con-
tractor and builder, constructing the Gustine Bank building and many of the best
residences. In 1914 Mr. Bladt returned to the home place to raise grain, in which he
has been markedly successful. It is fully equipped with tractors and other machinery,
and is under a high state of cultivation. He raises barley and wheat, operating with
the Holt seventy-five-horsepower tractor, which is also utilized to pull the Harris
combined harvester.

He joined San Francisco Lodge No. 3, I. O. O. F., in 1906, but is now a member
of Romera Lodge No. 413, I. O. O. F., at Gustine. Mr. Bladt is enterprising, liberal,
and progressive, and can invariably be counted upon to aid movements enhancing
the comfort and welfare of the people.

MARION G. EASTIN. — Doubly interesting as among the very few pioneers
remaining on the West Side of Stanislaus County, the Eastin family, well and favor-
ably known for miles around, and worthily represented by Marion G. Eastin, the
grain and dairy rancher to the southwest of Newman, is deserving of all honor and
permanent record on account of their long and enviable association with the develop-
ment of the Golden State. Mr. Eastin was born at Hill's Ferry, Cal., on November
16, 1884, the son of C. C. and Emma Eastin. The paternal ancestry is Scotch and
traceable back to John Eastin, who migrated from the land of Burns to Kentucky
and there took up agriculture. Although of British origin, he stood by the colonists
in the Revolutionary War and so gaVe a priceless heritage to his son, James T.
Eastin, who was born near Madisonville, Hopkins County, Ky., and later removed
to Pike County, Mo., where he farmed extensively. He, too, was a loyal American
and did valiant service in the War of 1812. Later, as a Whig he was influential
in civic reform, and when he closed his life, at about the time of the outbreak of the
Civil War, he had accomplished much in his many years that was well worth while.
He joined an old Virginia family of English extraction through his marriage to
Theodosia South, a native of Kentucky, whose father was a Kentucky planter and
during the War of 1812 held the rank of general. Mrs. Theodosia Eastin lived to
see her ninety-sixth year and passed away at the California home of her son, Brutus
Eastin. The patriotic, pioneer spirit of her family was amply displayed: the Federal
cause in the Civil War was supported by four of her volunteer sons, two of whom
eventually fell for the principles they espoused, and four sons came to California
during earlier mining days of 1849 and 1850.

C. C. Eastin, the father of our subject, was born near Bowling Green, Mo., on
Washington's Birthday, 1840, and having finished the local grammar school courses,
he was fortunate in studying for four years at Watson Seminary. He studied medi-
cine in 1858 under Dr. South, and in 1861 was graduated from Pope's Medical Col-
lege, when he received the degree of M. D. Although he voted against secession, he
was driven, by the action of Missouri, into the Southern Army, and during the four
years of the War he served in a regiment of artillery, was present at the siege of
Vicksburg, and accompanied Gen. Joseph Johnston in the Georgia campaign and
through North Carolina. Finally, he served under Gen. John Bell Hood, and when
the war was over, settled in Mississippi, where he went in for raising stock and
grain. In 1865 he came west to California and established himself as a pioneer in
the San Joaquin Valley, purchasing one thousand head of sheep which he pastured
on the Orestimba. In 1870, he removed to Tulare Lake, Fresno County, and for
four years engaged in the cattle and sheep business, and he then settled near Newman
and organized a first-class dairy. He came to have sixty cows or more, and in this




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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 941

responsible, arduous work he was ably assisted by his devoted and accomplished wife,
who in maidenhood was Miss Emma Compton, a native of Mississippi.

Marion G. Eastin attended both the Canal and the Newman schools, after
which he took a course in a business college in Los Angeles; and in 1903 he went to
the University at Berkeley to study dairying. Now he has 207 acres of the original
Eastin ranch acquired by his father, and of this splendid tract he devotes 160 acres
to grain and forty acres to alfalfa, all of which is below the canal. He also has an
interest in the dairy on the old home ranch. This farm of our subject used to be
known as the Totman Place, and the buildings were put up twenty years ago. On
September 24, 1908, Mr. Eastin was married to Miss Mabel Pickard, a native of
Indiana where she was born near South Bend, the daughter of Alonzo and Katherine
Pickard. Her father was a rancher who settled in Merced County, and she came to
California in 1902 with her parents.

C. C. Eastin is still living, at the age of eighty-one, but Mrs. Eastin passed away,
beloved by all who knew her, in 1909. One of their sons is Lucius O. Eastin, who
was born on April 9, 1878, and is living on the old home place. His father acquired
1.600 acres in Hill's Ferry in an early day, and the land is still held by members of
the Eastin family. Lucius O. Eastin was educated at the high school at Los Angeles,
and spent his early days with his father on the home farm. On September 4, 1918,
Mr. Eastin was married to Mrs. Ada (Croop) Eastin, a native of Pennsylvania and
the daughter of William Croop, an early settler in the San Joaquin Valley, where he
lived, for years with his wife, Grace. He is an attorney-at-law and lives and prac-
tices at Merced. All in all, there are seven children living who have an interest in
the old Eastin estate, where there is a dairy with a herd of eighty Holstein cows.
Both brothers, Marion G. and Lucius O. Eastin, are independent in politics and both
are Knights of Pythias Marion Eastin is also in the Newman Odd Fellows.

MRS. EDITH M. LAYMAN. — An enterprising, successful business woman
whose operations in the raising of poultry is a credit to the industrial and commercial
reputation of her community, is Mrs. Edith M. Layman, who began her business of
hatching eggs in the spring of 1914 in a very modest way. She then had only $200
in cash with which to launch the venture and commence with one incubator; since
then she has not only increased her output so that sixteen incubators hardly meet the
demands of her trade, but. she has been able to pay two separate hospital bills such as
might have proven with many persons millstones of cumbrous weight for years.

She was born at St. Edward, Boone County, Nebr., the daughter of Samuel S.
Berry, a native of Illinois, who married in Wisconsin Miss Cynthia Jones, also a
native of the Prairie State; Mrs. Layman's father having descended from William
Penn, and her mother from New England stock that braved the ocean dangers and
crossed the stormy deep in the historic Mayflower. Her parents moved across the
plains by ox teams to Nebraska, and there homesteaded land and went through the
hard times and other experiences incidental to the settling up of a new country.

Mrs. Layman was brought up in St. Edward, and finished her education at the
Wesleyan University at Lincoln. In 1904 she came to Los Angeles, and ten years
later she selected Turlock as the most desirable place for residence and the poultry
business. In the fall, however, she was taken sick and had to go to the hospital, so
that the following spring she was compelled to borrow $100 to start again. The
third year, on account of her health she was again forced to go to the hospital, and
in June, 1915, she bought a place near Turlock and moved her 1500 chicks there.

She has made numerous improvements on her choice property, and had two differ-
ent incubator houses and brooders, with different breeding pens, breeding thorough-
bred Buff Orpingtons, and also Barred Plymouth Rocks, and taking several prizes
for her birds. She also raised Single Comb White Leghorns and Single Comb Rhode
Island Reds. Some of the Thompson strain of Rhode Island Reds were scored by
Dinwiddie as having a laying capacity of over 200 eggs. She bred the White Crested
Black Polish, and all in all had the very best stock procurable. She made the busi-
ness, which was conveniently located close to Turlock, pay its way, and always had
more orders than she could fill. She has done a great deal of commercial hatching



942 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

and is the local agent for the Pioneer Incubator, being the only woman agent in Cali-
fornia. In the spring of 1921, Mrs. Layman sold her place near Turlock and located
five miles south of town, at Delhi, on the State Highway, where she has a place of
ten acres. Here she expects to build another hatchery, equipped with electric incu-
bators and brooders, and will call it the "Delhi Hatchery." Popular among her
neighbors, Mrs. Layman is especially a favorite in the circles of the L. O. T. M. in
Turlock, and belongs to the Sacramento Business Woman's Club.

OSCAR H. OLSON. — A young man of high ideals who has built himself up
to pronounced success in business, is Oscar H. Olson, the popular manager of the
Hilmar branch of the Commercial Bank of Turlock. He came to California about
sixteen years ago, and was less than a year determining that Turlock offered him more
than all other localities in the favored Golden State.

He was born in Sweden in 1880 and when only four years of age came across
the ocean to the United States and settled in Grant County, Minn., where they were
farmer-folk on the Red River of the North. Mr. Olson's father homesteaded 160
acres, and later bought half of that amount, so that he had 240 acres. The mother
died in 1895, while the father now makes his home in Wilmar, Minn.

Oscar attended the public schools of his district, and then went to the North-
western College and Business Institute at Minneapolis, Minn., from which he was
graduated in 1900. Then he worked as bookkeeper and clerk at Braham, Minn.,
continuing there until he came out to San Francisco in 1904. After that he was with
the E. J. Bowen Seed Company of San Francisco, Cal., and traveled for them in
California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma — a trip lasting nearly a year.
This established his reputation for business ability and added to his valuable stock of
knowledge respecting human nature.

In 1905, Mr. Olson located at Turlock as manager of the Turlock-Rochdale
Company, a post he filled acceptably for four years, and then he resigned and went
with C. C. Morse, successor to E. J. Bowen, and made another trip through the same
territory. After that he entered the People's State Bank as assistant cashier, and two
years later he became cashier of the bank. At the end of four years, on May 1, 1916,
he resigned ; and in August of the same year, when the branch of the Commercial
Bank of Turlock was established at Hilmar, he was made, its first manager, and he
has served in that capacity ever since. He worked the enterprise up from almost
nothing until it is today a decidedly successful institution. As a proof of his individual
prosperity, it may be mentioned that he owns several ranches which he rents to others,
and which are devoted to grain and alfalfa.

In February, 1906, he was married to Miss Minnie Julien, a native of Minne-
sota, and they have one child, Sidney. He built a residence in Turlock, Cal., as early
as 1906; but he has now erected a still finer one at the corner of Ninth and Sierra
streets, which is a handsome ornament to the artistic Crane Addition to Turlock, and
where he now resides with his family.

GUST CARLSON. — Among the successful brick contractors and builders in
Stanislaus County must be mentioned Gust Carlson, who was born at Norkoping,
Sweden, on February 1, 1867, the son of Carl J. Carlson, a farmer there who brought
his family across the ocean to the United States in 1882 and settled in Schuyler
County, Nebr. Two years later, he removed to Cheyenne County, Nebr., and there
homesteaded and farmed until his death. He had married Miss Ida Josephson, and she
died in Nebraska, the mother of five children. Gust, the second eldest, was sent to
the local schools of his native place, but when he reached Nebraska he went to work
on a farm, and after a year he was apprenticed to learn the plasterer's trade. After
two years in Schuyler, he went to Sidney, Nebr., and there completed the trade of
plasterer and brick mason, after which he later worked in Cheyenne, Wyo.

In April, 1903, Mr. Carlson came out to California and located in Turlock, and
here established himself as a contractor and builder; and this line of business he has
followed actively ever since, first as a partner of Ed. Johnson, in the firm of Carlson &
Johnson. In 1914, they dissolved partnership, and then Mr. Carlson remained in



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 945

business alone ; at present he has two partners in the business, and they keep busy
under the firm name of Carlson & Company.

Alone, or associated with others, Mr. Carlson has put up some fine buildings in
Turlock and vicinity, including the Berg Block, the brick work on the Commercial
Bank, the People's State Bank, the Carolyn Hotel, the Joyce Annex, the Chatom
Block, the Vincents Block, and the Union Block, and he was interested in building
the Enterprise Block, the Turlock Hardware Company building, the brick work on
the Turlock Theater building, both of the grammar schools and subsequent additions,
the high school at Hilmar, the Scott building, as well as the two Hedman buildings,
the Hale Bros, building, the new addition to the Emanuel Hospital and the brick work
on the Masonic Temple. Mr. Carlson, like so many others who have come to Cali-
fornia for commercial or industrial pursuits, has also become interested in ranching,
and has bought and sold no less than five different ranches.

On August 5, 1906, Mr. Carlson was married at San Francisco to Miss Ruth
Anderson, a native of Hudvigsvald, Norland, Sweden, who came with her parents
to Minneapolis. Minn., when she was a child of eight years. Her parents were
August and Anna Anderson, who were farmers in Southern Minnesota for six years ;
and in 1894 they came to California and bought a ranch one mile south of Turlock,
where they farmed until they retired. They now make their home in Turlock. Two
children have blessed this union of Mr. and Mrs. Gust Carlson — and they are both
girls, bearing the names of Grace and May.

MRS. CHARLES HENSHAW.— Among the successful business women who
have made an imprint on the commercial life of Newman is Mrs. Charles Henshaw,
whose fully-equipped millinery store would be a credit to a much larger city. Her
extensive trade reaches from Turlock on the east to the hills on the west and from
Dos Palos as far north as Tracy. Mrs. Henshaw, who was Mary Luvena Weddle,
was born in Gallatin County, Montana, near Helena, and is the daughter of S. B.
and Susanne A. (Savacool) Weddle. Her father, a native of Missouri, came to
California when four years old with his parents across the plains in an ox-team train,
and was reared in Napa City until he attained the age of nineteen. He then went to
the Gallatin Valley, Mont., where he entered the cattle business. Her mother, a native
of Pennsylvania, was reared and educated in Iowa. Mary L. Weddle was educated in
Gallatin County's schools, and accompanied her father in 1885 when he crossed from
Montana to Hill's Ferry, Cal., with his wife and six children in wagons, camping
en route. In the Hill's Fern,' district the father took up water well boring. He died
in August, 1900, and his widow spent her sunset days with Mrs. Henshaw until her
demise in March, 1918.

Mary Weddle was first married in Modesto August 26, 1886, with Wesley
Wilson, a native of Missouri, who came to California shortly before. They had one
child, now Mrs. Pearl Koch, who dwells with her mother and has a son, Vincent
Henshaw Koch. In Stockton, in 1898, she was united in matrimony with Charles
Henshaw, born in Iowa, a business man of Newman. Mr. Henshaw died August 28,
1915. Pearl Henshaw established the millinery store in Newman before her marriage
with Mr. Koch in 1908, and Mrs. Henshaw was associated with her from the start,
and after her daughter's marriage she took over the business, which she has since
conducted so ably. It is located centrally and is the oldest and finest millinery estab-
lishment on the West Side.

Mrs. Henshaw's late husband was affiliated fraternally with the F. & A. M. and
the Knights of Pythias. In his political views he was a Republican. Mrs. Henshaw is
a strong Republican and since the women of California have gained their suffrage
takes pleasure in exercising her ballot privilege.

In 1918, Mrs. Henshaw, with friends, toured by automobile over the Lincoln
Highway across the Rocky Mountains to Chicago, making the trip in fifteen days.
After visiting the Middle States, they motored west via the old Santa Fe trail through
Albuquerque, Flagstaff and Needles to Southern California, returning to Newman
after a delightful trip contrasting markedly in comforts with the journey she made
with her parents in earlier days.



946 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

FREE HANEY.— Among the old residents of Modesto the well-known rancher
and horseman, Free Haney, is deserving of special mention. He was born on the
Spoon River, near Babylon, Fulton County, 111., November 7, 1865, and is the son
of Capt. F. H. M. Haney and Sarah (Foster) Haney, farmers and natives of
Illinois. The father was a veteran of the Civil war who served in Company A of
the Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteers. He was captain of his company and was wounded
at the battle of Shiloh. He came to Petaluma, Calif., in 1875 and engaged in the
livery business, which he afterwards sold to his son, Free. Later he went to Oregon,
and after a while returned to Cloverdale, Cal., where he passed away.

There were three boys and two girls in the paternal family, all of whom grew
to maturity and are living. Free was the second child in order of birth and was
reared on the Illinois farm, educated in the public schools and studied veterinary
surgery with J. M. Cook, V. S. He worked on the farm and pursued the profession
of veterinarian until he came to California in 1882, arriving June 1 of that year at
Petaluma. He entered the livery business with his father, practiced his profession
and was associated with W. DeFreis, V. S., in the livery and horse business and pur-
chased his father's livery business before the latter went to Oregon. In 1888 he
began training standard-bred horses, and upon his father's return to California sold
the livery business to him in 1890 and devoted his attention to training horses. He
was driver for Capt. Wm. Beeler of San Francisco, and in 1892 began training in
various sections of California, Sacramento, Stockton, Lodi, San Jose. In 1894 he
moved to Lodi and in 1899 came to Modesto and took charge of the race track, train-
ing the horses on a one-mile track and breeding standard bred horses. Later he added
draft horses to the category, and about 1902 purchased a thirty-three acre ranch just
outside of Modesto on the state highway. The ranch now comprises thirty-five acres.
He engaged in breeding horses and mules and was the owner of Prince Nutwood,
whose record was 2:12 T 4- He owned other fine standard horses and also fine jacks
and draft horses, among others the stallion, Baron Primrose, 2nd. He finally turned
his attention to the culture of beans and alfalfa on his well- kept ranch.

At Petaluma he was united in marriage with Miss Linda Helman, a native of
Illinois. Thev have four children, namely: Dr. William F. Haney, county veterinary
surgeon ; Ralph E., associated with the Santa Fe Railroad at San Francisco ; Luella,
a graduate of the University of California, who is now Mrs. Russell and lives in
Kansas, and Evelyn, also a graduate of the University of California. In politics
Mr. Haney is a staunch supporter of the Democratic party and takes an active part
in politics. He is a liberal, kind-hearted, enterprising man, and has many warm
friends throughout Stanislaus County and California.

GEORGE W. SHANNON.— A far-seeing, progressive leader in a notable field
of California industry is George W. Shannon, manager of the G. W. Hume Canning
Company, canners of high-grade fruit, who was born, a native son worthy of the
Golden State, at Folsom, in Sacramento County, in 1872. His father was John
Shannon, a native of Chicago, who came across the plains to California in the early
sixties and was a merchant at Folsom until he retired. He died there, survived by his
widow, a native of Kentucky and a member of an old Southern family. They had
four children, and George was the youngest.

He was brought up in the village of Folsom until he was twelve or fourteen, but
he was educated for the most part in Sacramento. When eighteen, he was employed
by a local canning establishment, and he continued in that line and enlarged his
experience in the service of the old Sacramento Packing Company, under the direction
of R. I. Bentley. Later, this became a part of the California Fruit Canners' Associa-
tion, with which he continued until he was placed in charge of a department. Later
still, he took up work in that company's first asparagus cannery, which he managed
fin six \ears, remaining altogether in their service fifteen years. In that period the
establishment grew from a small plant to a large, modern and widely-known factory.

In 1905, Mr. Shannon resigned to enter the employ of the Hunt Bros. Company
at Hayward, where he assumed charge of the asparagus canning, as well as a branch of
the fruit canning; but in 1910 he resigned again, this time to go to the G. W. Hume



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 947

Company, in whose service he came to Turlock in 1910. He had charge of the con-
struction of the present plant here, and has been manager of the works ever since.
The company began here in a small way, and little by little the plant has been enlarged
until the output has more than ten times multiplied, and it now reaches from four to
five thousand cases a day, being one of the largest plants of the kind in the state. The
company packs principally peaches, apricots and tomatoes and spinach, being most active
from about the middle of June until the first of November. The plant is equipped
with the most modern machinery, and has automatic sealing and closing outfits. The
steam boiler has 325 horsepower. Electric power is the force employed. The company
commands a switch on the Southern Pacific and Tidewater Railroad. The plant covers
an eight-acre site and the business gives employment to from five to six hundred hands.
The company has built forty-six modern cottages for the men and their families, and
twenty tents with kitchens, and such have been the wise and considerate and generous
provisions by the employers for their employed that the state inspector of housing



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 105 of 177)