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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 111 of 177)
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the family was well known and highly esteemed. Both parents passed away when the
subject of this sketch was seventeen years of age, and it was then that he undertook
the care and education of the three younger children, and for five years successfully
operated the farm of 125 acres.

It was in 1896 that Mr. Haynes first found himself free to follow his own in-
clination, and that inclination led him to come into the West for opportunity and
adventure. He went first to Idaho, where for a period of years he engaged in office
and clerical work. In 1904 he came to California and soon located at Ceres, where
he soon found work on the C. N. Whitmore ranch and continued there until 1920,
when he accepted employment with L. H. Whitmore and he was made foreman of
Mr. Whitmore's ranch, where he has been successful in its management. He is also
interested in horticulture and is an expert in all matters pertaining to orcharding, and
has been instrumental in the development of several large orchards near Ceres.

Soon after coming to Ceres, Mr. Haynes was married, on July 8, 1905, to Miss
Caroline Baldridge, a native daughter of Ventura County. She was well known in
Ceres, where she made her home with her father, C. F. Baldridge, the foreman of
the C. N. Whitmore ranch. Three children have been born to them, Wallace, Eva-
line and Marguerite, all students in the Ceres grammar school.

Always keenly alive to the welfare of his fellowmen, Mr. Haynes is serving as
one of the city trustees of Ceres, in which capacity he stands for clean government and
business-like administration of the city's affairs. He is a member of the Ceres Board
of Trade, and of the United Artisans, and for five years has been the master of the
local lodge. Mr. and Mrs. Haynes own their home, where they dispense a gen-
erous hospitality, and Mrs. Haynes is prominent in many social and civic movements.

HANS N. PETERSEN. — An industrious and far-seeing ranchman who believes
that he gets better results by doing his own farm work, is Hans N. Petersen, a native
of Schleswig, Germany, where he was born on April 24, 1882, the son of Paul and
Anna Petersen. His father was a German farmer, who believed in bringing the lad
up on the home farm, at the same time that he sent him to the local schools; and
when, at the age of twenty-one, our subject was ready to set out for America, he
brought with him a practical knowledge certain to assist him in the New World.

Coming directly to California, Mr. Petersen spent a few years as a farm laborer
working for wages, three years alone being given to the Howard Ranch ; and then, in
1910, he started dairying for himself. He bought forty-seven acres next to the Canal,
west of where he now is located ; and his dairy herd, carefully selected, grew to thirty-
five head. He installed the best of everything for the work, kept his cows well fed





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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 995

and under the most sanitary conditions, and succeeded beyond what he himself had
hoped for. On January 1, 1919, Mr. Petersen sold his ranch, and then he purchased
twenty acres of alfalfa about two and a half miles to the northeast of Newman. And
there he has about fifteen head of good dairy stock.

At Newman, on November 15, 1910, Mr. Petersen was married to Miss Anna
Hansen, who was born, reared and schooled in the same vicinity as was he. She came
to America in 1907. A child died in infancy, but they still have two daughters and a
little son — Paul Christine, Anita Margaretha and Howard Hans. Mr. Petersen and
his wife have many friends, and nowhere more than in the circles of the Woodmen of
the World ; to the Newman Camp of which he belongs.

PERCY F. JONES. — A man of much ability who thoroughly understands the
many intricate details of his professional work and is popular as a broad-minded,
liberal-hearted fellow, is Percy F. Jones, the chief engineer and superintendent of the
Modesto Irrigation District. He was born at Presque Isle, Aroostook County,
Maine, on September 2, 1875, the son of Albert and Julia Jones, natives of Massa-
chusetts and Maine respectively. The father enlisted in a Massachusetts regiment
of infantry during the Civil War and, being captured, was imprisoned in Libby
Prison until he was exchanged. He then served in a Massachusetts cavalry regiment
until the close of the war. Thereupon he returned to Presque Isle, after which he
engaged in the hardware business.

In 1888 Albert Jones came to Gilroy, where he was a hardware merchant until
he retired. He died in Fresno, mourned by many. Of five children born of this
union, only our subject and a younger sister are still living. Percy Jones was edu-
cated, therefore, in the public schools of Presque Isle until he was twelve, when he
came to Gilroy, Cal., and in 1888 he commenced his schooling at Gilroy. He then
attended the Hollister high school, after which he followed mining in Calaveras and
Tuolumne counties. In 1900 he made a trip to the northern mines at Nome; but
the following fall he returned to Seattle and volunteered his services to help put
down the Philippine insurrection. In August, 1900, he enlisted in Company C of
the Twelfth U. S. Infantry, and was sent to the Philippine Islands. He served for
about two years at Luzon and Samar, and having returned to San Francisco, was
honorably discharged there as a sergeant, in the fall of 1902.

After that, Mr. Jones began his work as a civil engineer and for a while was
employed on the Western Pacific as a surveyor, helping to make the survey of that
road, through the Feather River Canyon. This work required about a year. Then
he was on the railroad survey from Weed, Cal., to Klamath Falls, Ore., and he
began on the actual construction of the road. When he had conluded two years in
that company's service, he quit to go to the Imperial Valley with the California
Development Company and was assistant engineer for them. He commenced in the
spring of 1907, at the closing of the big break in the Colorado River, and continued
until May, 1910, when he resigned to accept the position of assistant and resident
engineer for the Spring Valley Water Company of San Francisco. He continued
there for four years, during which they made the investigating survey and started
construction of the Calaveras dam. In 1914 he resigned to return to Imperial as
assistant engineer in charge of the dredging on the West Side Main Canal.

In May, 1915, Mr. Jones came to Modesto as hydrographic engineer for the
Modesto Irrigation District; and one year later he was made assistant engineer. He
threw himself enthusiastically into the problems of the hour; and his peculiar ability
and fitness were so well recognized that in May, 1917, he was made chief engineer
and superintendent of the district. Some idea of the import of his work may be
gathered from the fact that in conjunction with the Turlock district, the Modesto
district is now building a massive concrete dam across the Tuolumne River, six
miles east of La Grange, in a natural gorge. The dam will be 280 feet high above
the stream bed, and built on an arch. At the bottom it will be fifty feet, and at the
top 900 feet long. It will thus be a gravity-type arch dam. When completed, this
will impound 260,000 acre feet of water, which will insure a sufficient supply of
water the year around for both districts and, as the highest dam above stream bed



996 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

and one of the finest in the world, will take two years to complete. The initial
power production will yield an output of 16,000 horsepower, while the ultimate
production will be 45,000 horsepower. Mr. Jones very naturally belongs to the
American Society of Civil Engineers.

At Redwood City, Mr. Jones and Miss Alice Bradley, a native of San Jose,
were married, and two children blessed the union. Bradley is the name of the son,
and Patricia, of the daughter. Mr. Jones was made a Mason in Calexico Lodge,
F. & A. M., and he is now a member of Friendship Lodge No. 210, at San Jose.

W. ROSCOE SERVICE.— There is no place in the wide world where true
worth is recognized more quickly, nor appreciated more sincerely, than in California,
and when a man proves himself to be a worthy son of a worthy sire, he is doubly
honored. Such is the standing of W. Roscoe Service, a native son of Stanislaus
County, president of the Bank of Ceres, extensive landowner, farmer, and friend to
half the men and women of the county, where he has spent his lifetime in worthy toil
and achievement. He is descended from one of the most esteemed of the early pioneer
families, and is himself "carrying on" in the truest sense of the word, building solidly
on the firm foundation which his splendid father helped to lay.

W. Roscoe Service was born October 22, 1874, in Stanislaus County, Cal., the
son of John and Julia Hall (Warner) Service, and a sketch of their lives will be
found elsewhere in this volume. W. Roscoe Service spent his boyhood days on his
father's farm, and under the training of that able man, early learned the art of farm-
ing and the value of industry. He attended the grammar schools of Ceres and
Auburn, and has become well informed, and a wide reader along practical lines. He
chose as his life companion in 1900 a native daughter of Stanislaus County, Miss
Estella Updike, of Modesto, the daughter of I. W. Updike, who was born near Tur-
lock, August 7, 1879. She attended the Ceres grammar school and later the Curtner
Seminan,', now Anderson's Academy, at Irvington. Of their union have been born
three children, Newell T. and Vivian, students in the Turlock high school, and
Evelyn, still of grammar school age.

In 1899, when the sons of the Service family took over the family ranch. W.
Roscoe and Hubert E. Service engaged in farming on an extensive scale. They bought
the farm machinery and implements from the home farm and after a few years this
partnership was dissolved. When W. Roscoe Service was married, he and his wife
moved to the present ranch of 130 acres, which has since been their home, the land
having come under the Turlock Irrigation District canals.

In addition to his farming interests, Mr. Service is active along many lines. He
became president of the Ceres Bank in 1914, succeeding L. A. McDonald, and has
greatly developed the business of the bank. From 1908 to 1912 he served as super-
visor of the second supervisorial district of the county, rendering service for which
his supporters are duly grateful. He is a member of the board of trustees for the
Turlock Union high school and a stanch supporter of progress in education. Frater-
nally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and both he and Mrs. Service are
members of the local parlors of the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West.
He is also a veteran of the Spanish-American War, having served in the Sixth Cali-
fornia Infantry. Mrs. Service is active in all lines of women's organizations and
undertakings, and is a member of the Delphian Society, Turlock Chapter.

HUBERT E. SERVICE.- — Another native son of California who is bearing out
the splendid traditions of the state, is Hubert E. Service, son of John Service of early
pioneer fame, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. A pioneer farmer of
note, a director of the Bank of Ceres, and one of its heavy stockholders, he is a pro-
gressive and energetic citizen of recognized ability and worth. He was born on the
old John Service home ranch, two and a quarter miles southeast of Ceres, on the
Service Road, May 15, 1873, and has passed most of his lifetime in this county.

Hubert E. Service, better known as "Bert," spent most of his boyhood days on
the old farm southeast of Ceres, attending the district school and assisting with the
farm work. Later he went with his family to Auburn, where he completed his educa-




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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 999

tion. He was always a great admirer of stock, especially of horses, and it was his
delight to spend long days on the range with his father, looking after the horses and
cattle. At the age of twenty-one years he started out for himself, after the manner
of the farm boys of his day, working for wages for four years. In March, 1900,
together with his brother, W. Roscoe Service, he took over the farming interests of his
father and has been engaged in farming enterprises since that time. In 1907 he
branched out into the fruit raising industry, planting a part of his own splendid 240-
acre ranch to grapes and peaches. His efforts were not rewarded at first, for the price
of grapes and peaches went to bedrock, but Mr. Service did not lose faith, and in the
end his perseverance won through, and today his fruit farm is one of the most beauti-
ful and profitable in the entire county. The balance of this farm is given over to the
growing of melons and sweet potatoes, and is leased to farmers who do the work on
shares. This valuable acreage is under the Turlock Irrigation District.

Mr. Service has made many improvements to his property, including the erection
of a substantial and beautiful modern residence in 1915, on the site where stood the
original farmhouse of his father. Here he resides with his wife, formerly Miss Flora
Ward, a native of California, to whom he was married in 1899, and their two sons,
Elwin and Ward. Of these the former is now a student in the University of Cali-
fornia at Berkeley, and the latter attending the Ceres high school.

Mr. Service has avoided all public office, although he is ever ready to do his
full duty as a citizen in supporting all worthy causes for the advancement of public
welfare, but he is a home-loving man, and the quiet pleasure of his own fireside, with
the companionship of his family and a few chosen friends, constitute his greatest joy.
Those who knew his father best say that this son is following worthily in his footsteps
and is keeping alive the traditions of the Service blood.

FRANCIS M. WASHBURN.— A leading resident of Turlock, Francis M.
Washburn has been a decided asset to the community since he located here in 1912,
both for his worth as an agriculturist and for the contribution he has made to the
building up of this city, by the erection of a number of attractive residences, and thus
aiding in the development of a new residence section and adding greatly to the mate-
rial beauty of the place. A native of the Sunflower State, Mr. Washburn was born
near Wheaton, Pottawatomie County, Kans., December 27, 1880. His father,
George Van Rensslaer Washburn, was born in Wisconsin, but came to St. Joseph,
Mo., in his young days with his father, Samuel Mills Washburn, who during the
Civil War was engaged in breaking horses for the Union Army. The Washburns
later removed to a ranch near King City, Gentry County, Mo., and here George
Van Rensslaer Washburn met and married Elizabeth Carson. She was born in
Tennessee of an old Southern family, but later removed with her parents to King
City, Mo. Although a Southerner by birth, her father, William Carson, served for
nearly five years in the Union Army.

From Missouri, Mr. and Mrs. George Washburn removed to Kansas, settling
on a 160-acre farm near Wheaton, where they remained until 1888, when they
located at Prairie Grove, Washington County, Ark., and after sixteen years there,
they went to Perkins, Okla., in 1904, where they continued to farm, and there Mr.
Washburn still makes his home, his wife having passed away in March, 1920. Of
their eight children, six are living, and Francis M. Washburn, the subject of our
review, is the eldest. Removing to Arkansas with his parents at the age of eight, he
grew up on the farm there and attended the Prairie Grove schools. He remained
at home until he was twenty-one years old, and on starting out to make his own
way he engaged in farming principally, but with a decided inclination toward car-
penter work, he spent considerable time in house building at odd times.

On April 23, 1903, Mr. Washburn was married to Miss Monia Frances Wil-
hite at Fayetteville, Ark. She is the next to the youngest in a family of four boys
and one girl born to Quinn and Margaret Ann (Stuart) Wilhite. Her father, who
was born in Nashville, Tenn., came to Arkansas in the early days and settled at
Siloam Springs, in Benton County. Grandfather Wilhite was driven out of his
home bv the Ku Klux Klan and as he was a stanch anti-slavery man he made his



1000 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

way to the Union lines and served with them for nearly five years. Mrs. Wash-
burn's mother, who was of Scotch-Irish descent, was also born in Nashville, Tenn.,
and attended the same school as her husband. They homesteaded in Arkansas when
conditions were most primitive, taking up land near Siloam Springs, but they now
reside in Oklahoma. One son, Manson N., has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Washburn.
After his marriage, Mr. Washburn remained for a year at Siloam Springs,
then went on to Oklahoma, where he was busy at contracting and building at Talala,
and also engaged in teaming while there. In 1912 the family decided to remove to
the Coast, and on reaching California, settled at Turlock, where Mr. Washburn
took up his former occupation of farming again, raising grain and alfalfa and prospering
in this great grain section. Purchasing land on Almond Avenue, he built the first
house there, meanwhile engaging in contracting and building for others. Later he
bought two acres at the corner of Almond Avenue and Geer Road, and here he
erected two fine residences. Since that time, in the past two years, a dozen fine
residences have been erected here and it is fast becoming a beautifully built-up street.
Mr. Washburn is extremely capable in his work as a contractor and builder, and
the fine workmanship and finish displayed in the houses he-has built have made them
a pattern for many others, thus keeping the neighborhood up to a high standard. In
his political convictions Mr. Washburn has ever been loyal to the principles of the
Republican Party. Since their coming here both he and his wife have been an active,
helpful force in the business, social and religious life of the town.

FELIX SIGNOROTTL— A Californian by adoption, of Italian-Swiss origin, is
Felix Signorotti, who was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, on April 23, 1879,
the fifth son of a family of nine children of Joseph Signorotti, a native of Switzerland,
who had married Miss Veronica Borodore, also a native of that country. Mr.
Signorotti died in 1902, but his esteemed widow still lives in Switzerland. They
owned several farms and plenty of cattle and other stock, and so Felix had the best
of opportunities, while growing up at home, to learn the ins and outs of agricultural
pursuits as the experienced Swiss are accustomed to follow.

While attending school until he was fourteen, Felix was also able to earn, and
being even then of a thrifty nature, he saved his money. At eight years of age he
was worth a good deal as a helper in the dairy, and at nine he went up into the moun-
tains and became an expert in the making of cheese. At ten he helped care for the
cattle in the Alps during the summer, and at fifteen, a year after he had cast aside his
books, he was helping in the dairy. After a while he entered upon the military serv-
ice expected of him, and in 1899, at the age of twenty, when he had been honorably
discharged after forty days under the colors of his fatherland, he bade good-bye to
home and friends and crossed the ocean to America.

He was fifteen days on the journey, and in November, 1899, arrived in California,
and at Salinas, in Monterey County, he went to work for wages in a dairy. In Febru-
ary, 1906, he came to Modesto, and having formed a partnership, he managed a dairy
with from eighty to ninety cows on 160 acres of choice land, taking for his share one-
half of the profits and assuming one-half of the responsibilities. This dairy ranch was
on Maze Road, about three miles from Modesto ; and so well did he progress there,
that he remained a co-partner dairyman for seven years. He sold milk to the Modesto
Creamery, and ice cream to the stores in town.

In 1911 Mr. Signorotti, again acting with some one else on shares, purchased
140 acres on Grayson Road, in the Westport district, having already increased his
dairy herd to 130 head of stock and milking from 60 to 100 cows. The land was
merely a series of barley fields, but he worked hard to improve it, and went in for
general farming, raising beans, corn and feed. He raised the standard of his cattle,
little by little, and in time had the satisfaction of walking among over 100 grade
Holsteins. He engaged in the stock business, in fact, both buying and selling.

Until the past year, Mr. Signorotti has rented 3,600 acres of range-land on the
West Side, near Westley, and used the same for raising young stock for dairy pur-
poses, assisted by his brother, and he owned 375 head of high-grade Holstein cattle
on the West Side, which he sold in 1919. He is also a third partner in 574 acres of



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1001

land near the Patterson Colony, subdivided into small farms. He received his' natural-
ization papers on June 22, 1915, and ever since has been particularly active in helping
his fellow-countrymen arriving here to get settled and speedily to fall into line with
the rest of Americans. He served on the committee to plan the Swiss picnic which was
held at Modesto in 1920 for Swiss-Americans in Stanislaus County, a great success.

At Modesto, on July 5, 1908, Mr. Signorotti was married to Miss Fannie Brea-
getta, a native of Switzerland, by whom he has had six children — Hazel, Alma, Alfred,
Herbert, Rose, and Laura; in 1919 he purchased a town residence, where he and his
family resided until again moving to the ranch in December, 1920.

CHARLES JOHN CARLSON.— A prominent citizen of Patterson and a repre-
sentative of the progressive spirit of the town, is Charles John Carlson, who was born
in Cokato, Wright County, Minn., on August 23, 1870, the son of John and Christina
Carlson, both natives of Sweden. John Carlson came from the northern part of that
northern country in 1869, bringing his wife with him ; and from New York they jour-
neyed to St. Louis, then up the Mississippi River by boat .to La Crosse, Wis., and from
La Crosse they rode overland by horse and wagon to Wright County, Minn., where
they settled. They used their homestead rights and each proved up on a quarter-
section of land. After farming there for a number of years, Mr. Carlson went into
the general merchandise business; for a time he was head buyer for the Minneapolis
Millers' Association, but he soon gave that up and became an independent buyer,
dealing in grain, handling merchandise, and owned and operated a farm.

Charles John Carlson attended the district schools in Wright County for a couple
of years, and then he took a special course at the Minneapolis Academy, finishing his
schooling at the Caton Business College in that city. On June 24, 1894, he was mar-
ried to Miss Anna M. Larson, a native of Wright County, Minn., and soon afterward
lie was appointed postmaster at Cokato, in which fourth-class office he served 5,000
people from 1894 to 1898. In 1897, he purchased the Cokato Enterprise, a local
weekly, and by undertaking the duties of editor, he raised the standard and efficiency
of the newspaper. This editorial work extended from 1897 to 1900, and it was during
part of this period that he was also in charge of the post office.

In 1902, Mr. Carlson organized and became the cashier of the Farmers &
Merchants State Bank of Cokato, and he continued in that capacity until April, 1912,
not actively and personally performing the duties toward the end, for he came to
California in 1911 and accepted the position of cashier of the Bank of Patterson. While
in Cokato, Mr. Carlson participated in public life ; he was on the town council for
many years, he served for years as mayor, and he was also treasurer of Cokato Town-
ship. He was treasurer, too, of the Stockholm Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of
Cokato, from 1902 to 1908, an excellent local company having $2,000,000 worth of
insurance in force, mostly in Wright and adjoining counties. In 1898, directly after
resigning from the postal service, Mr. Carlson went to the state legislature, as the
representative of the Forty-sixth Minnesota District on the Progressive Republican
ticket ; and during his one term there he fought for the high principles of his party.

In 1911, as has been stated, Mr. Carlson came out to Patterson and was appointed
postmaster of the town for one year. He also became cashier of the Bank of Patterson,



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 111 of 177)