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 113 of 177)
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ness Club, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and the Automobile Trades Association.

JOHN HENRY EVANS. — Patterson has among its citizens many men of more
than the average ability and intelligence who are doing a great work for its advance-
ment and John Henry Evans, owner of the Patterson telephone exchange and mayor,
may with justice be classed among that number. He was born at Lebanon. Boone
County, Ind., on May 14, 1875, the son of William Henry Harrison and May Jane
Evans, farmers of that vicinity, the mother passing away in 1906, and the father sur-
viving her twelve years. John Henry Evans grew up on the home farm until he was
sixteen years old, receiving his education in the grammar school of Lebanon, and then
started out to make his own way. For the first two years he worked by the month on
farms, and then took up electrical work with the Bell Telephone Company in Boone
County, remaining with that company until 1908, when he migrated to California,
being employed for the ensuing year by the Burlingame Telegraph Typewriter Com-
pany. He then accepted a position as manager of the Bell Telephone Company of
Stanislaus County, having supervision of the lines from Tracy to Los Banos and at
that time made his home in Newman. Coming to Patterson in 1912. Mr. Evans
built the telephone lines of the Patterson Colony and established connections with all
long distance lines. Through the aid and encouragement of Mrs. Evans, as well as
using good judgment and wise forethought, Mr. Evans has made a splendid success of
the telephone company. Aside from his personal affairs, he takes a keen interest in
local matters and has been elected president of the board of trustees for a term of four
years, as well as having been president of the Chamber of Commerce of Patterson.

In Knightstown, Ind., on October 11, 1904, Mr. Evans was united in marriage
with Miss Estella C. Collins, a native of Rushville, Ind., and the daughter of Frank
and Virginia Collins, early settlers of that state. Mrs. Evans was reared in her home
town and received her education in the grammar and high schools there. She is the
mother of two children : Mary Virginia and John Henry, Jr. In his political affilia-
tions Mr. Evans is a Republican, and fraternally is associated with the Knights of
Pythias of Newman and the I. D. E. S. of Patterson.

ARENDT H. ROHDE.— Among the residents of Stanislaus County whose
artistic tastes and professional work have enabled him to exert an important and
happy influence upon art and aesthetic standards in California, mention should be
made of Arendt H. Rohde, who was born in Jutland, Denmark, on May 20, 1862,
the second son of Andrew H. Rohde, a retired tradesman now living at our subject's
home in Keyes at the age of ninety-two. His sketch also appears in this history.

In 1874 Andrew H. Rohde moved with his family into Northern Denmark, as
a protest to the military programs of the Germans in that part of the country, and
inasmuch as the son, Arendt H., evinced an aptness for art, both pictorial and plastic,
and spent his spare time in studying the masters, he was permitted to serve an appren-
ticeship of four years in a fine arts and decorating shop, at the end of which time he
established his own business of commercial art and decoration, which engrossed him
until he was thirty years old, when he started for America. After a stay of two
months at Salt Lake City, he reached the Pacific Coast in 1891. While in San Fran-
cisco, Judge Graham granted him American citizenship.


During these first years in the United States, the land of his adoption, business
and industrial conditions were unfavorable for the ordinary workman ; but Mr.
Rohde's superior training and equipment in skilled art work enabled him almost from
the beginning to get employment and at good pay. He had become particularly expert
in imitation graining and marble painting, and as a consequence was compelled to work
for wages for only two years. Then he started to contract for work on his own
account; and having made a reputation for ability, he was kept busy from morning
rill night. For eighteen years, in fact, he was known in San Francisco as one of the
most successful contractors in interior decoration.

On October 25, 1886, Mr. Rohde was married to Miss Ellen Maria Yaquet,
a native of Denmark, and four children were born to them: Carla Elizabeth, now
deceased, having passed away in 1912, became the wife of George Armstrong of San
Francisco; William H., a rancher living at home, served in Company 338, Camp
Fremont, from July 25, 1918, to January 25, 1919, and was transferred to six differ-
ent camps in the United States Army. On the day when the armistice was signed,
he was on board off Camp Mills, but he was released before being sent across the
ocean, and on January 25 he received his honorable discharge at the San Francisco
Presidio; Albin is a contracting painter at San Francisco, and Mildred remains at
home with her parents. In 1906 Mrs. Rohde died at San Francisco, and two years
later Mr. Rohde was married to Mrs. Christina Anderson, a native of Denmark.

Having retired from business in 1912, Mr. Rohde settled in Stanislaus County,
first on account of the change of climate, and secondly, to afford his sons the finest
agricultural opportunities known to him anywhere. Another attraction has proven
to be some forty acres which he owns — bounded on the south by Keyes, and on the
west by the State Highway and the Southern Pacific tracks. Here Mr. Rohde and
his family dwell in enviable comfort.

In 1912 Mr. and Mrs. Rohde and their daughter, Mildred, voyaged to Europe
and made a tour of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, England, France, Germany, Spain,
Italy and Switzerland, traveling also widely through the United States, and during the
fourteen months in which they were away from home, they stopped on an average
of two weeks at each of the great centers of art, including Berlin, Dresden, Munich,
Paris, Nuremberg, Florence, Rome, Venice and Pisa. They also gave due attention
to such famous resorts as Monte Carlo, and, last but not least, New York City. Mr.
Rohde is a member of the Helga of Dania, and he also belongs to the Danish Ladies
Relief Society. Although never having submitted his work for competition, he owns
priceless specimens of his own design, and goes miles to see other artists' work.

JOSEPH JOHNSON LONG.— Coming from a distinguished old Virginia fam-
ily, Joseph Johnson Long is counted as one of the prominent men of Stanislaus County.
He was born in Sonoma County, Cal., January 18, 1866, at Bodega Corners, the son
of Joseph Johnson and Elizabeth (Stump) Long, both natives of West Virginia, the
mother having been born in Wheeling. His paternal grandmother was Barbara John-
son, a sister of the Confederate general, Joseph E. Johnston. They were the parents
of six children: James was born in West Virginia; Ellen, the wife of Jerry Mc-
Donald, has six children and resides at San Jose, Cal. ; John passed away, leaving a
wife and five children ; Franklin J. resides at Salinas, Cal. ; Joseph Johnson is the
subject of this sketch ; Elizabeth Virginia, Mrs. Branstetter, resides in Oakland and
has three children.

In 1862 the Long family decided to locate in California, and sailing around the
Horn they settled at Bodega Corners, where Joseph J. was born. In 1871 they moved
back to West Virginia, but remained there only six months. A brother of Mr. John-
son. Enoch Johnson, lived in Texas, and he persuaded them to come there, but they
did not like that state either, so came back to California and settled in Salinas Valley.
A year later- they located on the Gonzales ranch, where they built the first house in
the town of Gonzales. The father died in King City and the mother in San Jose.

Joseph J. Long was married in San Benito County in 1892 to Miss Hattie
Mylar, born in San Juan, Cal., a daughter of Enoch and Lucretia (Hames) Mylar.
Her grandfather, Israel Mylar, came from Kentucky to Missouri and crossed the



plains to California in 1849. He mined gold at Hangtown and Sonora and discovered
the first gold mine at Jamestown. Mr. and Mrs. Enoch Mylar now reside at Hollis-
ter, aged eighty and seventy years, respectively. Of their ten children, six are living,
and Mrs. Long is the eldest of the family. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Long
lived for ten years in King City, Monterey County, farming there, and in 1902 they
moved to Hickman, Stanislaus County, buying a place of twenty-six acres one mile
east of town. Here they raised alfalfa and engaged in dairying, and also had a vine-
yard of Thompson Seedless grapes. They suffered a severe loss when their home was
burned to the ground, without insurance, but they immediately built a new home in
which they are pleasantly located. Mr. and Mrs. Long are the parents of two chil-
dren: Zelma, who is preparing for her junior year at the University of California,
and Phyllis. Zelma is actively boosting for the Modesto Herald, getting subscriptions
in the hope that she may win the prize and thus help out her college course at Berkeley.
She is also teaching piano and has a class at La Grange.

The family are members of the Presbyterian Church at Hickman, and Mrs. Long
is active in the Sunday school. Mr. Long is a member of the Stanislaus County Farm
Bureau and also a member of the Stanislaus Lodge No. 206, F. & A. M., at Modesto,
having been made a Mason in Santa Lucia Lodge No. 302, F. & A. M., at King City.
Mr. Long's father was sixty-two years old at the time of his death, his mother sur-
viving her husband until January 18, 1918, when she passed away at the age of eighty.

TRAVIS B. TOWNSEND.— A thoroughly representative man who has attained
to his present enviable position as a highly-esteemed, influential official of Stanislaus
County through his own hard work and unaided efforts, is Travis B. Townsend, a
native of Hanford, Tulare County — now Kings County — where he was born on
July 30, 1884, the son of William W. and Alice (Pendergrass) Townsend. His
father was a merchant who came from Springfield, Mo., to California and settled in
Snelling, Merced County, where, about 1880, he embarked in ranching. After two
years he moved to San Jose, and there he continued ranching. When once more he
shifted his tent, it was to make the vicinity of Hanford his home, and there he estab-
lished a dairy. These removals gave his family a varied valuable experience.

Travis began his schooling at Visalia, continued his courses at Hanford, and
finished his studies at the San Jose Normal School, and then for three years he taught
school in the Philippines, first at one place and then at another. On his return to the
United States, he accepted a position with the Utah Fuel Company in Castle Gate,
Utah, and for a year was their weigh boss, discharging his responsibilities to the satis-
faction of everyone. After that, for a year, he was principal of the Castle Gate
grammar school.

When Mr. Townsend took up his residence in Stanislaus County in 1909, he
settled at Ceres and for a year was identified with the Turlock Irrigation District;
and then he spent a year and a half with Collins & Warner, the well-known merchants
of that town. He then took up surveying, and for some years followed construction,
inspection and engineering as a private practice; and having made an enviable reputa-
tion for both ability and fidelity, it was natural that he should be requisitioned by the
county as field man on inspection and construction. In 1915, then, he entered the
county's service on construction and inspection, and the following year he had charge
of a layout or surveying crew, and in that field he continued until March, 1917.
Then, until March, 1918, he inspected work on the highways for the county, and in
the spring of the latter year he assumed the office of deputy county surveyor.

On Christmas Day, 1907, Mr. Townsend was married at Castle Gate, Utah, to
Miss Elizabeth Jones, a native of Scofield, Carbon County, Utah, and the daughter of
Edward and Mary Jones. The father was a successful mining man, and he is still
living, in the enjoyment of the rewards of his years of labor, at Castle Gate. Three
children have blessed this union: Lolita May and Travis P. are in the grammar
school; and Edward W. Townsend is at home. In national political affairs a stand-
pat Republican, Mr. Townsend can nevertheless be the best of nonpartisan "boosters."
He is a member of the Modesto Masons and Sciots. Mrs. Townsend is an Eastern Star.


EMANUEL EDWARD ENOS.— In various ways, Emanuel Edward Enos
has been identified with the progress and development of Stanislaus County. He was
born near Clayton, Contra Costa County, Cal., December 2, 1892, a son of Joseph
and Mary Ann (Nunes) Enos, both natives of the Azores Islands, the father born
on the island of St. George and the mother on the island of Corvo. Joseph Enos left
his native land when only fifteen years of age, arriving in California during the year
of 1876, engaging in farming for a number of years. Until 1904 he was extensively
engaged in cattle raising, but is now living a retired life at Livermore, Cal. Mrs.
Enos left home when she was eighteen years old and came to California and while
residing in Pleasanton met Mr. Enos and there they were married. Ten children
were born to them, all of whom are living, Emanuel Edward, the subject of this
biography, being the second oldest of the family. Mrs. Enos passed away in 1910.

Emanuel Edward Enos attended the public schools of Contra Costa County, later
taking a business course at Heald's Business College. After finishing business col-
lege, he assisted his father on the farm, and was thus engaged until he entered busi-
ness life. He began as clerk in the Farmers and Merchants Bank and by his patience
and perseverance was advanced to the position of cashier. After leaving the employ
of the bank he engaged in the real estate business, mainly in country property.

The marriage of Mr. Enos occurred in Oakland, Cal., December 17, 1917, and
united him with Miss Jennie Adaline Jesseman, born in Meldin on the Hudson, a
daughter of Charles and Mary E. (Minard) Jesseman, natives of New Hampshire
and Nova Scotia, respectively. In 1906 the family removed to Modesto where the
father was engaged at his trade of carpentry, and continue to reside in Modesto. Mr.
and Mrs. Jesseman are the parents of three daughters, all residing in Modesto.
Mr. Enos is identified with the U. P. E. C. of Modesto, and is a Republican.

EMIL H. TIENKEN.— The cashier of the Patterson Commercial Bank, Emil H.
Tienken, who has occupied this important position since August, 1920, is a business
and financial man of long experience and is recognized in' banking circles of the state
as one who has a splendid grasp on financial and commercial conditions generally.

Mr. Tienken was "born in San Francisco, April 6, 1876, where his father, Henry
Tienken, was a prominent merchant, being engaged in the provision business. He was
one of the early pioneers of San Francisco, having reached that citv in 1860, after a
perilous journey across the Isthmus of Panama. His mother was Katherine Thomas,
a native of Germany. The family moved to Stockton when the future banker was
but eight years of age, and he passed his boyhood in that thriving city, attending the
grammar^ school and completing one year in the high school. But the lure of the
business world proved stronger than the inducements of the class room, and when
young Mr. Tienken was seventeen years of age he laid his academic books aside and
went in for practical commercial pursuits. He soon became proficient as a book-
keeper and stenographer and was with the Standard Oil Company in that capacity
for three years, located in their Stockton office. An opening then presented itself
with the Eastman Kodak Company, in the San Francisco branch, and he occupied
a similar position with them for a time, going from there to the Spool Cotton Com-
pany, in the San Francisco branch, where he was head bookkeeper for three years.

The marriage of Mr. Tienken was solemnized at Stockton, June 22, 1902, and
united him with Miss Alice Burt Long, a native of that city, and descended from one
of the early pioneer families of the state. Her father, Elias O. Long, came to Cali-
fornia from Pennsylvania, with his wife, in the early '60s. He was by trade a
mechanic, but he was principally engaged in farming, and was engaged on an exten-
sive scale in the San Joaquin Valley, raising grain and cattle. He passed away at the
age of seventy-six. Following his marriage, new and broader opportunities opened to
Mr. Tienken, and he soon became cashier of the Anglo-American Crockery and Glass
Company of San Francisco, a position he was holding at the time of the earthquake
and fire in 1906. Following this he went with the-Mission Bank in San Francisco,
as note and exchange teller, remaining with this institution a year, and then going to
the First National Bank of Berkeley, as paying teller, remaining for three years.


Stanislaus County then called for the enterprising young banker, and he came to
Crows Landing, where for three years he served as manager of the Bank of Newman
branch at that place. The opportunities offered by the mercantile business were such
that Mr. Tienken now went to Lindsay, Tulare County, and for several years engaged
in the general merchandise business there, meeting with good success. During his
residence in Lindsay he was also vice-president of the First National Bank of Lindsay,
and occupied an important position in financial circles in Tulare County.

The wide commercial and financial experience of Mr. Tienken peculiarly fits him
for the important position of cashier of the Commercial Bank of Patterson. Already
he has taken hold of local matters with a vigor that promises the fulfillment of this
expectation, having identified himself with the best interests of the Patterson district.
Politically he is a Republican, and keenly alive to governmental affairs, local, state
and national. He is prominent in fraternal circles, being a member of the B. P. O. E.,
Visalia Lodge No. 1298, a member of the F. & A. M., Patterson Lodge No. 488, and
of Scottish Rite Consistory at Fresno.

WALTER A. STEVENS. — A thorough, excellent workman who enjoys the dis-
tinction of being one of the oldest contractors and builders still in business in Mo-
desto, is Walter A. Stevens, who was born in Bedford, Lawrence County, Ind., on
December 20, 1860. His father was T. N. Stevens, a native of Old Virginia who
settled in Indiana and was a contractor and builder. In 1881, in the prosecution of
his work, he was accidentally killed. He had married Amanda Allen, a native of
Salem, Ind., and one of the line of Ethan Allen, New ^England stock, and she sur-
vived him until 1895. The worthy couple had thirteen children, twelve of whom are
still living, and among these Walter, the fourth oldest, is the only one in California.

Having attended the grammar and the high schools of Bedford, the young man
learned the carpenter trade under his father, and when nineteen he went to Ohio,
returning home in six months. He then made a trip to Florida, but later he came back
home and again worked at his trade. When his father died, Mr. Stevens engaged in
contracting and building, and after a year he went to Pierre, Dakota Territory, where
he continued operations in the same field. He also located a homestead of 160 acres,
and was in South Dakota when it was made a state. He then operated in the Black
Hills and Huron, but finding his health broken, he sought the salubrious climate of
the Coast. He first came to Roseburg, Ore., but in six months he removed to San
Francisco, working for a while at his trade.

In the fall of 1905, he bought a ranch at Modesto, three miles to the north on
the Carver road, and he put into alfalfa twenty-five acres, sowing also grain. Then
he bought a ranch of ten acres nearer town, which he improved and sold. All this
time he engaged in contracting and building, so that he came to erect many residences
and such notable public buildings as the Presbyterian Church, the old Masonic Hall
and the City 'Hall, as well as the Berthold, Weeks, Ward and Daunt buildings, and
the Steel residence and the new grammar school. In 1917 he took into partnership
with him his son L. W. and since then they have been contracting together.

At Pierre, S. D., on May 3, 1885, Mr. Stevens was married to Miss Linnie M.
Monroe, a native of Berlin, Wis., and the daughter of Elias and Persis (Day) Mon-
roe, who had been born in Ohio and settled in Berlin, Wis. The father, who was a
saddler and a harness-maker, moved to Osceola, Iowa, but he spent his last days in
California. Mr. and Mrs. Monroe had three children, two of whom are living, a
son, James L., residing in Texas. Mrs. Stevens was educated at Osceola, and is the
mother of two children. Newton T., a graduate of the Los Angeles Medical Col-
lege, is a Doctor of Medicine, and during the recent war served as a sergeant in the
U. S. service. Louis learned the carpenter's trade and is associated with his father.

Mr. Stevens was made a Mason in Modesto lodge, No. 206, F. & A. M., and
both his sons, having taken up Masonry, belong to the same lodge. He and his wife
are members of Electa Chapter No. 72 of the O. E. S., and both belong to and are
active in the First Presbyterian Church.


JOHN C. SCANLON. — A successful rancher operating extensively and enjoying
a wide and enviable repute as an aggressive, decidedly progressive American citizen^
is John C. Scanlon, who was born in New York City on March 22, 1872, the son of
Thomas and Margaret (Halpin) Scanlon. His father was in railroad work and
drove one of the early street cars; and after coming West to Colorado, he became a
leading contractor, establishing his headquarters in 1879 at Denver. John C. Scanlon
attended the public schools there, and early entered the greater school of practical
experience in the world. He worked with his father until he was eighteen years of
age, and then, leaving home, he came out to California in 1892. He settled in Stanis-
laus, and for eleven years he worked on the Jones ranch, west of Newman.

Then he ran the Julius Cain ranch, known as the Ostrom Ranch, of 1,600 acres,
devoted to grain, for four years, and after that rented the Jasper Stuhr ranch of New-
man, consisting of 800 acres, which he has since been operating. In connection with
this enterprise, he has also farmed the Stonesifer ranch of 320 acres. He works a
tractor equipment of the first-class, owning both Holt and International tractors, and
he also uses a fair number of mules of stock of his own raising.

In September, 1911, Mr. Scanlon was married to Mrs. Julia Totman, the
daughter of Archibald Diederich Elfers, a native of Hanover, Germany, where he
was educated and grew to maturity. As a young man, he determined to come to a
newer country to seek his fortune, and sailing around Cape Horn in 1849, he was one
of the real Argonauts to reach the gold fields, and for a couple of decades thereafter
was employed in mining, first at Downieville and then at Comptonville. In 1864
he began a residence of several years in San Francisco, and in 1869 he located on
the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley, where he engaged in farming and stock
raising. At first he had a ranch of 320 acres, but afterward he bought a large tract
of land near Crows Landing, and he kept on buying until he had 1,500 acres. In
1900, after having made agriculture a real success, he turned his large ranch over to
his son, Louis, and removed to Alameda. His wife, by whom he had eight children
who grew to maturity, was Catherine Elfers, who was also a native of Hanover.
Children born to Mrs. Scanlon's first marriage were Frank, Howard, Dorothy Totman.

Mr. and Mrs. Scanlon make their home on a half section of the old Elfers
ranch, directly south of Patterson — a farm with thirty acres devoted to alfalfa, while
the balance is used for the raising of grain. They have also 280 acres of pasture
land adjoining the old Zacharias farm.

WILLIAM ADOLPH OBERKAMPER.— An enterprising rancher who is
doing his part to bring California agriculture to the highest state of development, is
William Adolph Oberkamper, who was born at Buff Creek, Franklin County, Mo.,
on February 10, 1882, the third son and next to the youngest child in a familv of four

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 113 of 177)