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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 109 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 109 of 177)
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apricots and Thompson Seedless grapes. Mr. Will gained fame as a fruit grower in
El Dorado County, where he owned a 400-acre fruit orchard not far from Folsom.
He sold this orchard in 1912, and later purchased a 960-acre ranch at Montpellier,
which was devoted to grain, and in 1917 planted seventy acres to almonds. The above
ranch has since been sold.

At Oakland, on New Year's Day, 1914, Mr. Will was married to Miss Lela
Helms, a native of Denver, and a daughter of Charles Helms, a miner and a real
estate dealer of Denver, in which city she attended school. Mr. Will belongs to
Lodge No. 391 of the Moose at Stockton, and Lodge No. 218, B. P. O. Elks, of the
same city. He is a member of Commodore Stockton Camp No. 4, of the Spanish
War Veterans at Stockton, and is a past commander of that camp. He is a member of
Thomas Enright Post No. 97, Veterans of Foreign Wars, at Modesto, having trans-
ferred from Luneta Post No. 52 of Stockton, which post he organized and was its
first commander. He is also a national past deputy chief of staff of the Veterans of
Foreign Wars. In national politics, Mr. Will is a Republican.

EVERETT L. CALLANDER.— An enterprising man of affairs whose activity in
the interests of motorists has given him an enviable position, is Everett L. Callander,
a native of Hartney, Manitoba, where he was born on December 31, 1892. His father
was Robert C. Callander, a merchant and landowner who was interested in farming,
and his mother in maidenhood had been Miss Edith Cressard. The Callander family
traces its roots back to Scotland, and descendants were early settlers of Canada. They
went into Huron when they first came to America, and when Manitoba was opened,
some of the Callanders went there. In 1896 Mr. and Mrs. Callander came to Cali-
fornia and Pomona ; and both the father and mother are still living in Modesto, Mr.
Callander farming at the corner of Ohio and California avenues. Prior to coming
to Stanislaus County, Mr. Callander had a citrus ranch near San Dimas, in Los
Angeles County, forty choice acres in the frostless belt; but in 1910 the lure of
Modesto and its environs induced him to migrate hither and take up ranching.



974 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

Having finished the courses of both the grammar and the high schools near
Pomona — our subject was a student of the Bonita Union high school — Mr. Callander
attended for a couple of years the University of Southern California, taking there a
medical course which, however, he did not complete. Instead, he took a commercial
course in the Modesto Business College, and then for nine months took a position with
the G. P. Schafer Company. He next entered the service of the Tuolumne Lumber
Company at Riverbank, and next was transferred to the branch of the main office at
Modesto. He was with that company for seven years, and then worked in the main
office of A. B. Shoemake, where for eleven months he had complete charge of the com-
pany's books. Later he was a salesman with the Dalton Adding Machine Company
and covered Stanislaus County for that concern. He was with the Modesto Motor
Company at the time of its incorporation, in October, 1920, and at present he is the
company's secretary and treasurer. For four months, while he was with the Tuolumne
Lumber Company, he made his home at Oakdale. Mr. Callander is a Republican.

DR. JAMES W. ROBERTS.— A thoroughly-trained and successful veterinary
surgeon, Dr. James W. Roberts is interesting also as the worthy representative of a
hero of the Modoc Indian War. He is a native son, and was born at Davis Creek,
in Modoc County, the son of James Roberts, who was born in Ohio on April 18,
1834, and came to Iowa as a child with his parents. Grandfather Joseph Roberts, a
native of Ohio, was an early settler in Iowa, and had a son in the Civil War who lost
his life by sickness. James Roberts was reared in Davis County, and first came to
California in 1859. He crossed the great plains with ox teams to Placer County,
went in for mining, and later worked in a box factory where they made butter firkins.
In 1871, he located in Modoc County, and homesteaded a tract of 160 acres on Davis
Creek, at which time he served in the Modoc Indian war. He added to his holding
until he had 520 acres; and then, as a pioneer horticulturist, he set out an orchard
and started the first nursery in that valley. He died on March 16, 1911, aged seventy-
seven years. He had married Miss Sarah Fisher, a native of New York, and the
daughter of John T. Fisher, who brought his family to California, via Cape Horn,
when Sarah was a child. She was reared near Wyandotte, Butte County. Grand-
father Fisher was a miner, who engaged in stock raising and removed to Modoc County
in 1872; and there he died. Mrs. Roberts was a pupil in the Oroville schools, and
now resides on the ranch at Davis Creek. She was first married to Jacob Watkins,
and bore him two children — C. T. and J. W. Watkins, the stockmen of Modoc; and
by her second marriage she also had two children. Mary E. died when she reached
her twentieth year ; and James W. is the subject of our review.

He was born on May 26, 1893, and reared on the home farm, while he attended
the local grammar school, and also studied at the high school at Cedarville. From a
boy he had been interested in veterinary science, and in 1911 he entered the San Fran-
cisco Veterinary College, from which he was duly graduated in 1915 with the degree
of D. V. M. He went back to the ranch and practiced there until the fall of 1915,
when he located at Turlock, and has since been recognized, through his active and
growing practice, as one of the leading veterinary surgeons of the County of Stanis-
laus. His veterinary hospital is located at 140 South Broadway, and is a Mecca to
many seeking the best medical aid for animals. He still owns the old homestead of
520 acres on Davis Creek, which he rents out, where the apple orchard set out by his
father, for example, although half a century old, is in full bearing. He belongs to the
American Veterinary Medical Association, the State Veterinary Medical Association,
San Joaquin Valley Veterinary Association, the Turlock Board of Trade, and the
Progressive Business Club, being a director in the latter organization.

At Oroville, Dr. Roberts was married to Miss Laura E. Darby, a native of
Bangor, Cal., and the daughter of Henry Darby, a pioneer there who still resides on
his father's estate, the old Darby ranch. Two children have blessed their union,
Dorothy and James W., Jr. Doctor Roberts was made a Mason in Turlock Lodge
No. 395, F. & A. M., and he belongs to the Knights of Pythias of Turlock, the
Modern Woodmen, and he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star.



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 977

LOUIS NELSON SPERRY.— An experienced, successful rancher, Louis N.
Sperry, who resides two miles north of Denair, enjoys the esteem of his fellow-
citizens, both as a rancher and also as an alert, public-spirited official. He is a native
son, and his confidence in and enthusiasm for California is natural.

He was born in Stanislaus County on July 10, 1878, while his parents, Charles
E. and Clara (Sabin) Sperry were farming on the Whitmore Ranch, north of where
Hughson is now located. When he was four years old, his parents located perma-
nently on a farm of raw land two and three-fourths miles north of Denair, and there,
on some 960 acres which he owned, his father engaged for many years as a grain
rancher, and our subject spent his boyhood days. Louis attended what was then called
the Empire district school, but which was later called Hughson.

As a young man, Mr. Sperry spent twenty summers in the harvest field, helping
to harvest the grain, for the Sperry ranch was very productive; and he also assisted
in the extensive farming of 5,000 acres of wheat and barley, for in those days a very
small acreage was devoted to any other crop. He joined his brother, Charles A.
Sperry, and up to 1902 they were regarded as among the leading operators on a large
scale. In that year, they began to subdivide their property into the Sperry and the
Gratton tracts, colonized by a prosperous set of farmers. They supported ener-
getically the movements for irrigation, and now, where there were once raw grain
fields, the district has become a veritable garden spot, and over one hundred pros-
perous families are living in contentment and prosperity. Since 1902, Mr. Sperry
has intensively farmed some forty acres of the original Sperry tract at Denair.

At Visalia, in 1904, Mr. Sperry was married to Miss Lois Halbert, a native of
Tulare County, and they have had three children — Charles E., Evelyn Lois and
Louis Nelson, Jr., who died aged two months. Mr. Sperry is a Mason and belongs
to Turlock Lodge No. 395 F. & A. M.

Besides serving on the precinct election board, Mr. Sperry has served as a deputy
sheriff, and he was a committeeman on the various drives during the World War;
and at present he is fire warden for Denair district. He is a Republican.

WILLARD E. SPERRY. — Another native of Stanislaus County who is proving
in every way a worthy son of pioneer parents is W. E. Sperry, half owner of the
Ceres Garage and its manager since 1918. For the entire span of his life time he has
been actively identified with the farming interests of the county. He is descended
from one of the splendid old pioneer families of the state, and inherits the sterling
characteristics on which the foundations of California have been built. His father was
Charles Edward Sperry, of whom a sketch appears on another page of this history.

The old Sperry ranch lies near Denair, about fourteen miles from Modesto, and
here the subject of this review was born, October 14, 1884. He was reared on the
home farm, attended the grammar school in the Empire District, now the Hughson
school, and graduated from the Modesto high school in 1900. He was closely asso-
ciated with his father in his farming industries and at an early age became efficient
in all details of farm management. His keenest interests turned toward engineering
enterprises and he determined to follow the career of civil engineer. Accordingly,
he matriculated at the University of California, at Berkeley, in the engineering depart-
ment, attending there for two and a half years. He is a member of the Alpha Delta
Phi fraternity and took a prominent part in college life and activity. In the winter
of 1907 he was called home by the death of his father, and became identified with
the management of the home farm. He had remained with his father practically all
of the time until he was twenty-two, at which time he became a deputy county sur-
veyor, under E. A. Annear, serving for two years.

On the home farm Mr. Sperry now found ample scope both for his skill as a
farmer and his knowledge as an engineer, and met with success in his management of
the ranch at Denair. He remained there until 1918 when he came into Ceres and
bought a half interest in the Ceres Garage from L. E. Service, and since then has
acted as manager of the business, and it is needless to say that the business has pros-
pered under his management. Mr. Sperry is owner of a valuable eighty-acre ranch in
the Baldwin Precinct, devoted to diversified farming and to fruit raising, which he



978 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

personally manages. He is an active member of the Ceres Board of Trade, and politi-
cally he is a Republican and a stanch supporter of party principles, but in all local
matters he considers only civic betterment.

The marriage of Mr. Sperry was solemnized at Berkeley in 1907, uniting him
with Miss Lynda Rose Service, the daughter of the late John and Julia Service, of
Ceres. Of their union have been born four children: Janet R., Willard E., Jr., Julia
Clair and John Service. Fraternally, Mr. Sperry is a member of the Native Sons of
the Golden West, and of the Modesto Lodge of Elks. His recreation is principally
found in hunting and fishing trips into the High Sierras, which he declares to be
Nature's most beautiful spot.

JOHN F. DICKINSON. — An entergetic business man of Modesto who has
gradually extended his operations throughout the entire county of Stanislaus is John
F. Dickinson. He was born at Cedar Rapids, Nebr., on January 14, 1889, the son
of F. R. and Emma Dickinson, worthy farmer folk of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where
his father was a pioneer and a native. He moved into Nebraska, took up Government
land and then went into the grain business; and in 1901 he came out to Santa Clara,
California.

John F. Dickinson attended the Santa Clara high school and after he had con-
cluded the course of study there he learned the plumbing and sheet-metal trades; then
he came to Modesto in 1908, took up the plumbing trade and worked for a time for
L. A. Watson. He was naturally both industrious painstaking and thorough, and
what he learned he understood, held on to and applied in a practical way.

Thus finely equipped, in 1909 Mr. Dickinson went into business for himself
and for five years had his first shop on Ninth, between G and H streets. He attended
carefully to the wants of his patrons and easily built up a patronage of the most desir-
able kind. Since then he has moved into his present location on Tenth between G
and H streets, where he has steam-fitting and steam-heating appliances, and also every
facility for doing first-class plumbing. He employs six men on an average the year
'round and his work extends throughout the entire county. Since he started in business
for himself he has worked on many of the more important business structures erected
in the city and the better class of residences show the results of his handiwork.

Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson, the parents of our subject, are still living at Santa
Clara, proud of their son's well-merited success and of his popularity among the
Knights of Pythias, to which organization he belongs; and he is also a member of
both the Chamber of Commerce and Merchants Association and to the Progressive
Business Club. Mr. Dickinson is a Democrat, but too broad minded to allow selfish
partisanship to stand in his way in any needed support of any good measure.

DR. K. M. LUNDBORG.— A distinguished member of the dental profession in
California, connected on both his father's and his mother's side with historic families,
is Dr. M. Lundborg, president of the Central California State Dental Association.
He was born in the city of Orebro, Sweden, on October 31, 1869, the son of C. G.
Lundborg, a native of Stockholm, where he became a banker. He was a descendant
of A. A. Lundborg, a manufacturer of cloth in Norkoping, a member of an old and
prominent family in Sweden, whose son, Andres Gustaf, succeeded him in that line
of trade. His son, Lars Adolf, was a manufacturer of furs, while Lars' son, Claes
Gustaf, the father of our subject, was one of the pioneer bankers in Orebro, and the
first cashier of the Orebro National Bank. Later, he was president of the Orebro
Savings Bank, and he remained a prominent director in other financial institutions
until he died in 1886. He was very prominent in civic and state affairs. He was
married in 1865 to Ingeborg Kallstrom, the daughter of Nils Kallstrom, who was
a mining superintendent and is descended from a family who came to Sweden from
Holland several generations ago. Mrs. Lundborg resides in Orebro, the mother of
seven children, five of whom are still living.

The eldest son, and the only one in California, K. M. Lundborg, after complet-
ing the Orebro high school went to South America in 1889," and while at Buenos
Ayres enlisted in the Argentine Navy and served under President Celmen during the




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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 981

revolution in 1890. Having an uncle — Dr. John A. W. Lundborg — in San Fran-
cisco, whither he had migrated in 1864, after which he had risen to be a prominent
dentist there, K. M. decided to join him in California, and immediately after the
revolution he came to California, and for six years studied dentistry under his uncle.

In 1893 he entered the dental department of the University of California, where
he was graduated in 1896 with the degree of D. D. S., and then he located in Ukiah,
where he practiced for four years. He then removed to San Francisco, and prac-
ticed there until 1902, and after that he located in Lake County, where he established
a home at Lakeport and practiced his profession on the Coast, having offices at Fort
Bragg and at Ferndale. During all of this time, he had a ranch at Upper Lake, just
north of Lakeport, where he was accustomed to go, from time to time, for rest and
recreation ; and there, too, he was school trustee and took part in civic affairs, always
working for the uplift as well as the building up of the place.

In 1918, Dr. Lundborg established himself in Turlock, and recognized as among
the most progressive practitioners in the state, he has always since enjoyed an increas-
ing dental patronage. He has also always been prominent in the various dental soci-
eties of the counties in which he has practiced, and he was able to do much in helping
to organize the Humboldt County Dental Society.

While at Lakeport in 1912, Dr. Lundborg was married to Mrs. Lucy Bella
(Allison) Allen, who was born in Dade County, Mo., a daughter of John and
Mollie (Gross) Allison, born in Ray and Dade counties, respectively, the father
being a prominent educator in Missouri, Mrs. Lundborg being the eldest of their
three children. She was married in Missouri to Jesse Allen and afterwards they
moved to Lake County, CaL, and engaged in farming and horticulture south of
Lakeport, where Mr. Allen passed away in 1908.

Mr. and Mrs. Lundborg's fortunate marriage has been blessed with the birth of
four children — Reseda, June, Conrad and Lydia. Mrs. Lundborg by her first mar-
riage to Jesse Allen had six children: Eulla, Jettie, Mattie, Orplea, Birma and Wil-
lard, who have made their home with Dr. Lundborg and their mother.

Dr. Lundborg was made a Mason in Hartley Lodge No. 199, F. & A. M., at
Lakeport, from which in time he was demitted, and he is now a member of Turlock
Lodge No. 395, F. & A. M., and with his wife is a member of Wistaria Chapter No.
296, O. E. S. at Turlock. The family belong to the First Baptist Church at Turlock.

MRS. JUSTINE E. JOHNSON.— A shining example of the woman of rare
attainments, who has demonstrated her executive ability as a leader, is afforded in
the life and work of Mrs. Justine E. Johnson, R. N., the efficient superintendent
of the Emanuel Hospital at Turlock, where she has been since its opening. She was
born at Sunne, Vermland, Sweden, the daughter of Nils Nelson, who was a close
student of agriculture and was superintendent of a large farm. Later, he followed
agriculture for himself. His good wife was Britta Olson, and she survives her hus-
band and now resides in Stockholm. They had three children. John came out to
America and is an insurance man in San Francisco. Maria has become the wife of
Jonas Svedlund, of Stockholm, and the second in the order of birth is here reviewed.

In 1899 Miss Nelson, who had been carefully educated in the excellent public
schools of Sweden, came to Providence, R. I., and there she attended the high school,
after which she entered the Rhode Island Hospital, from which she was graduated
in 1906 with the degree of R. N. For three years she had charge of the operating
room at the Rhode Island Hospital, until she accepted a call from the Swedish Mis-
sion Society of Chicago, as missionary to China.

She was stationed in the Province of Hupeh, and there, on September 3, 1910,
she was married to the Rev. Oscar Johnson, who was born in Ostergotland, Sweden,
and was a graduate of North Park College, Chicago. He was an ordained minister
of the Swedish Mission Church, and had accepted a call from, and been sent out by
the same society as missionary to China. Rev. Mr. Johnson was in charge of King
Menchow Mission, and she had charge of the dispensary there; and for four years
they continued in that field in their noble work. By that time, the health of both
had become impaired, and in 1913 they returned to the United States; and then Rev.



982 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

Johnson proceeded to Chicago to further fit himself for the missionary field. A few
months later, he was suddenly afflicted with acute nephritis, and in a short time he died.
After this blow, Mrs. Johnson returned to Sweden, and spent three years in
Stockholm recuperating, while she resided with her mother ; and during the last year
of her stay there, she took a course in massage and Swedish movement. Inactivity
did not suit her, and when she was well enough she returned to the United States
and located at Turlock in 1916. The movement for the hospital was on, and she
was chosen superintendent, a position she has filled ably and well from the start, and
to which she gives all of her time and energy. A woman of high moral convictions,
coupled with a pleasing personality and a refining influence, she has been the means
of guiding the hospital in a steady, upward growth, until it is the finest and largest
in the county, second to none in equipment and service in the San Joaquin Valley.
Mrs. Johnson is a member of the Swedish Mission Church and the Dorcas Society,
and also of the State Alumni Association for Nurses.

WALTER H. WEBB.— A successful cement contractor, Walter H. Webb is
a native of Rush Valley, Utah, born August 31, 1873, and the son of Edward Webb,
of Missouri, who is still living in his eighty-fourth year. In very early days he trav-
eled westward to Utah, and from there drove ox teams for the Mormon emigrants,
conveying them and their freight. By 1849, that year of golden romance, he had
reached California, and after successful seasons with eight and ten big freight teams,
he settled in Rush Valley, Utah, and became both a stockman and a landowner. Later
he removed to Millard County in the western part of Utah, where he founded the
town of Oasis — named by his wife— and built the first store, school and hotel. The
Utah Central Railroad built through the place, and the town became prosperous. Mr.
Webb, having lost by death his devoted wife, now lives with his children. Grandfather
Chauncy Webb was a well-educated man who made five trips to Utah ; his daughter
was Ann Eliza, and she became Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's nineteenth wife,
well known to history, through her leaving him and the Mormon Church and exposing
polygamy. When she thus bade adieu to the institutions of Mormonism, Edward Webb,
his wife, her father and all the family also left with her. Edward Webb's wife was
Elizabeth Home before her marriage ; she was born in a covered wagon on the plains
while her parents crossed the great desert. Grandfather Joseph Home was a pioneer
builder in Utah. Of Edward Webb's family four children grew up, among whom
Walter Webb was the youngest. He was brought up in Rush Valley until he was
three years of age, and then he went to Oasis, where he was educated in the public
schools, continuing his studies at the high school at Nephi, Utah, from which in time
he was graduated. He then went on the A. C. Cleveland cattle ranch in Nevada,
and he also trailed cattle in Arizona, Idaho and Montana. During some of the drives,
there were weeks when he spent twenty out of twenty-four hours in the saddle. His
wages were forty-five dollars a month and expenses, so he quit the range and went
to Alberta, Canada. Then he removed to Nelson, B. C, where he was a general
contractor when he was only twenty-four years old.

Three or four years later, Mr. Webb came to Idaho where, for a year, he was
busy with a railroad job. He next went to Seattle, and in that city he was a general
contractor for eleven years, reaching out in his activities to contracts for Victoria,
Vancouver and other places. He made a big stake; but in 1907, when the panic
came, he lost $38,000. He kept on, however, and was again successful. For five years
he was a contractor at Bandon, Coos County, Ore., making a specialty of street work.

In 1916 he located at Modesto and engaged in cement contracting. He is noted
for his excellent work, enjoys a flourishing trade, and very naturally likes the place.
He is an authority on drainage and the laying of concrete pipe lines for irrigation sys-
tems; and he is the largest contractor of cement walks, curbs, etc. Mr. Webb is the
inventor of Webb's guaranteed pavement, a composition wearing surface. It is deemed
remarkable for its hardness, does not crack or break and maintains a smooth surface.



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 109 of 177)