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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 110 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 110 of 177)
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This pavement has been subjected to hard usage on the main streets of cities for eight
years, showing no perceptible wear.




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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 985

At Oasis, Utah, March 25, 1897, Mr. Webb was married to Miss Annie M.
Maxfield, a native of Murray, near Salt Lake. Mrs. Webb's father, Robert Max-
field, was born in Prince Edward Island of English parents. He came to Illinois when
a young man and soon afterwards crossed the plains to Utah, where he made the
acquaintance of Miss Mary Jane Cahoon, who was a native daughter of Utah, whose
father, Dan'l S. Cahoon, a native of Illinois, lived at Carthage and was a close friend
of Joseph Smith, and visited him in the Carthage jail just before he was killed. He
was a member of one of the first trains that crossed the plains to Utah, and one of
the first settlers of Salt Lake. Being a brick mason he was one of the builders up of
Salt Lake City. Was also engaged in manufacturing brick and also a farmer. Robert
Maxfield engaged in general contracting, prospecting and mining. He discovered the
Maxfield mine which has since become a famous producer. However, he died soon
after he located the mine, so his family did not derive the benefit they should have
done. He was aged only forty-two years, his wife having died before him. Of their
two children, Mrs. Webb is the only one living. When ten years old she moved from
Murray to Oasis and there attended the public schools and there, too, she made the
acquaintance of her future husband, Mr. Webb. Their union has been blessed with
three children: Raymond, Elva and Blanche. Mr. Webb belongs to the Modern
Woodmen of America and the Modesto lodge of Moose, and in national politics
he is a Republican. No one could be more thoroughly loyal as an American ; and
in local political affairs he knows no partisanship, but works for what seems best.

JOHN M. GONDRING.— For a number of years, John M. Gondring has been
justice of the peace of Ceres Township and judge of the recorder's court of the City
of Ceres. Judge Gondring is one of the most prominent, active and public-spirited
citizens of Stanislaus County and ever ready to forward worthy public and benevolent
enterprises and a strong believer in and advocate of liberal and progressive principles
of popular government, personal liberty, and the diffusion of education throughout the
masses of the nation. He is broad in his views, keen of intellect, and endowed with
a personality that wins and holds the confidence of his fellowmen. He enjoys an emi-
nent reputation as an able and reliable lawyer and as a trial judge has established
an excellent record for promptness in ruling, accuracy of decision and absolute im-
partiality in the conduct of court proceedings and the administration of justice.

In 1905, Judge Gondring moved from Columbus, Nebr., to California on ac-
count of the poor health of himself and his wife. He located first at San Jose
where he practiced his profession for several years, but office confinement not being
conducive to his recovery, he was obliged to discontinue the practice of law and lead
an outdoor life and devote time to recover his health. He came to Stanislaus County
in 1910 and settled near Ceres, where for several years he followed dairying and
farming with marked success. In 1912 he moved to Ceres, where he has since resided
and followed his profession and devoted himself to civic duties and interests.

Judge Gondring is a native of Illinois, born in Chicago, September 1, 1856.
He grew up on his father's farm in Porter County, Ind., attending the public schools,
and afterwards graduating from the scientific course in the Northern Indiana Normal
School at Valparaiso. He then engaged in teaching for a time. In 1881 he entered
the law department of his Alma Mater, graduated in 1883, and was admitted to the
bar the same year. The next year he settled in Platte County, Nebr., and there re-
sided and practiced law until his removal to California in 1905. In 1886 he was
elected to the office of county and prosecuting attorney and served four terms in that
responsible position. His conduct of his office and citizenship was such that he was
accorded, during those troublesome times, the unanimous nomination of the Demo-
cratic party for state senator in 1896 and was later endorsed by the Populists and
elected by a large majority, representing the Twelfth Senatorial District of his state.
The Nebraska legislative year book of 1897 contains the following concerning him:
"Senator Gondring is chairman of the committee on accounts and expenditures, and a
member of the committees on judiciary, finance, ways and means, municipal affairs,
banks and currency, privileges and elections, and constitutional amendments and
federal relations. He is one of the most arduous workers, both on the floor of the



986 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

senate and in the committee room, is recognized as an authority of weight on matters
of general discussion, an excellent debater, and is untiring in his labors for the best
interests of his constituents and the state."

Judge Gondring was married July 31, 1883, to Miss Dillie Mitzner, a native
of La Porte County, Ind., whose parents were prominent pioneers of that state and
the first white couple to be married in La Porte County. Of their union have been
born seven children, one dying in infancy and the others all living and all well and
honorably known in Stanislaus County. They are: Nettie, now the wife of C. H.
Hansen, a successful contractor and constructing engineer of Modesto, a member of
the firm of Hansen-Wood Company; Mrs. Hansen is a graduate of the State Normal
School of San Jose, and is the mother of three children ; Miss Frances O, a graduate
of the State Normal School of San Jose and also of Columbia University, New York,
is now a teacher of manual arts in the schools of San Jose. In 1919 and 1920 she
was engaged in various army and public health hospitals as a reconstruction aide in
occupational therapy ; Florence L., also a graduate of the State Normal School at San
Jose and of Columbia University, New York, and a teacher of home economics in
the Stockton high school; John M., Jr., a rancher near Ceres, married to Miss
Margaret W. Palmer, a native of Texas; Augustus O, a rancher and an ex-service
man, and Alfred W., also a farmer, an ex-service man, and at present on the active
reserve list of the United States Naval Reserves. These latter two sons are both
unmarried and living at home.

Judge Gondring has not only given his sons and daughters excellent educations
and started them on the way to useful and profitable life service, but has also brought
them to manhood and womanhood in a spirit of Christian faith and activity. The
family attend the Congregational Church at Ceres, and take an active part in its service
and support. Judge Gondring is a member of the Masonic Order.

PHILLIP DARR. — A rancher whose advanced methods have been the admira-
tion of all who have studied his procedure, is Phillip Darr, who farms five or six
miles to the northwest of Turlock. He was born in McDonough County, III.,
on October 21, 1865, the son of James B. Darr, a native of Ohio, whose parents were
originally of German descent. J. B. Darr was reared in Illinois, and with his good
wife, Nancy Chittenden, were numbered among the pioneers in both Illinois and Iowa.
Later in life, he engaged in the management of a hotel. The Darr family came from
Germany direct and was founded in America by three brothers who located, about
1829, in Ohio, in Illinois and in Arkansas.

Phillip Darr as a boy much needed on the home farm had very limited oppor-
tunities or time for schooling, and when twenty-two years of age he left Warren
County, Iowa, where he had grown up, and pushed westward to Baker, Ore. There
he homesteaded and proved up on 160 acres of rich land. During his stay in Oregon,
his wife — whose maiden name was Sarah Elizabeth Glenn, and whom he had married
in Baker County, on December 20, 1891— died October 30, 1899, leaving him with
three children. Neta M. is Mrs. Scott Bonham of Oakland ; Mildred Beatrice mar-
ried Walter Hiett of Modesto, and they have one child ; Hayward married Miss
Elita Amargaust of Modesto.

Having had his home thus broken up, Mr. Darr sold out his property and went
to Minnesota, whither his parents had moved, and there he remained for one year.
In 1900, Mr. Darr removed to Des Moines, Iowa, where he lived for seven years,
and there on September 28, 1902, he married Mrs. Luetta Page, a native of Nebraska,
by whom he has had one child, Arline, who is attending school at Berkeley. By
Mrs. Darr's first marriage she had one son, Edgar Page, manager in Des Moines,
Iowa, for the Burroughs Adding Machine Company.

In 1907, Mr. Darr came to California with his family and settled in Stanislaus
County ; and for four years he acted as foreman for the Securitv Land Companv.
During this period he purchased twenty acres on which he erected his residence, six
and one-half miles from Turlock, in the Service precinct. There, for the past ten
years, Mr. Darr has engaged in diversified farming, and he has made every acre tell



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 110 of 177)