Copyright
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 119 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 119 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


spot are all the personal work of Mrs. Smith, and there are many rare and valuable
trees to be found among the great variety, including the holly, from which the park
takes its name. The public spirit evinced by Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the matter of
this park is an index to their splendid characters, and Mrs. Smith has been favorably
mentioned for a place on the State Park Commission.

Mr. Smith is a native of Mexico, Audrain County, Mo., where he was born
March 20, 1871, and where his parents were well and favorably known. His father,
James Marion Smith, was a dealer in livestock, raising stock on a great ranch of 1,100
acres and buying and selling mules and cattle in the general markets. He was a
native of Missouri, where he was reared and educated and where he was married to
Miss Nancy Harrison, also a native of Audrain County. Nancy Harrison was de-



1068 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

scended from the same branch of the old Harrison family that gave the world William
Henry Harrison, once president of the United States, and in direct line of descent
from one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. She is still living, hale
and hearty, at the age of ninety years, her home being still in Mexico, Mo., where her
husband passed away at the age of seventy-seven. They were the parents of nine
children, of whom our Mr. Smith was the seventh born, and the youngest now living.
He received a common school education and was associated with his father in the
livestock business until he was thirty years of age.

The marriage of Mr. Smith, which united him with Miss Tina Myers, was
solemnized at Mexico, Mo., March 14, 1895. Mrs. Smith is the daughter of William
and Fannie (Scott) Myers of Audrain County, Mo., where they were engaged in
farming 120 acres of land. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Smith continued to
make their home in Missouri until 1902, when they came to California, locating first
in San Luis Obispo, where they remained for about a year. Mr. Smith then bought
a team and drove through the state until he came to Stanislaus County and located
his present property, which he bought. This property then contained 160 acres, sixty
of which have since been sold off. The remaining 100 acres is now operated by Mr.
Smith, twenty acres of which is being set out to grapes by his son, James William.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have a family of five splendid sons, all of whom are well and
favorably known in Stanislaus County. They are: Emmett, a rancher here; James
William, who now is engaged in grape growing; Paul H., a student of Armstrong's
Business College in Berkeley; Sydney M., attending the Modesto high school, and
Mainard Clayton. Of these sons, James W. was a pilot in the air service during the
recent war, and was stationed at Redlands, Cal.

Another public interest of Mrs. Smith is the Sylvan Club, of which she has served
acceptably as president, and has always been one of the active and influential members.
She has also served as delegate of the San Joaquin Federation of Clubs. A woman of
marked executive ability, Mrs. Smith finds time for much public service, and yet
never neglects her husband or her sons, but, on the contrary, is a devoted wife and
mother, and a rare home builder. She and her husband are in true sympathy in their
many interests, and their greatest pride is in their sons, who will so ably "carry on"
when they themselves are ready to lay down some of the responsibilities of life.

WILLIAM FRANKLIN YOUNG.— An expert mechanic of eminent respect-
ability who has many friends in Central California, is William Franklin Young, the
carpenter at Montpellier, who was born May 11, 1859, at Montezuma, in Tuolumne
County, where he was also reared and schooled. His father was William Maloney
Young, and he married Miss Sarah Bryant. They were both natives of Benton
County, Mo., and migrated westward to California together, arriving in Stanislaus
County in 1857, when the Turpins and the Hudelsons came. Mr. Young was a
hard-working man, who tried his luck at mining, and both made and lost a fortune
in that perilous venture ; and Tuolumne County was the place where he later engaged
in stock raising. After his death, in 1877, his widow married again, and now as Mrs.
Harder, once more a widow, she resides in Montpellier.

In 1880 our subject was married to Miss Julia Lebright, who was also born in
Tuolumne County, the daughter of Fred and Martha Lebright, who came to Cali-
fornia as one of the glorious company of '49ers; and six children have come to bless
the Young homestead, or to honor the family name in the outside world. Ernest resides
with his wife and child in San Francisco. Effie is the wife of Ralph Davidson of
Hughson, and the mother of three children. William L. married and resides with
his wife and child at Tudor in Sutter County. Mattie is a stenographer. Maude
is the wife of Arthur Perkins of Montpellier, and they have two children. And
Leslie is in San Francisco. He saw twenty-four months of overseas service as a
member of the signal corps. In 1899 William F. Young established himself as a
liquor dealer and later as a blacksmith at Montpellier, continuing the latter business
until 1918. He is well known in the community as a well-read, thinking citizen of
independent action in political matters.



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1071

HANS L. ALBERTSON.— A well-known rancher, at one time a successful
breeder of high-grade mules and now an equally successful grain rancher, is Hans L.
Albertson, who enjoys the % esteem of all who know him — one of the most satisfactory
of all rewards of good citizenship. He was born on Alsen Island, Schleswig, Denmark,
on February 9, 1881, the son of Albert and Mary (Lorensen) Albertson, who, having
heard of the wonderful land across the Atlantic, came to the United States in June,
1881, bringing with them their family of two children. On June 25 they settled in
the place where a part of Newman now stands, but at that time a town center on the
San Joaquin River called Hill's Ferry. Hans Albertson was well grounded in the
Old World in the science of agriculture, and it is not surprising that he became an
extensive grain raiser, leasing about 2,000 acres. He finally purchased 320 acres
southeast of Newman, where he engaged in farming until he retired, when he pur-
chased a small farm just north of Newman, living there until his death in October,
1914, aged fifty-seven years, a most excellent man who was highly esteemed by every-
one. His widow survived him until 1917. His maternal grandfather, Hans Lorensen,
had made a trip to the United States, remaining six years and resolved to have his
family join him; but he was taken ill and returned to Denmark and it was not until
1882 that he came to America again, bringing his family. He came immediately to
Newman, where he purchased a small farm and here he resided until his death. His
widow, Mrs. Mary Lorensen, still lives in her ninetieth year in Newman.

Hans attended the Canal school northwest of the present location of Newman
and aided his father until the latter quit large-scale farming. Then, in 1906, with his
brother, Alfred, he farmed the Santinella grain ranch of 1,320 acres, owned by Miller
& Lux; but in 191 1 he removed to where he now makes his home, six miles southwest
of Newman. When his father died in 1914, he owned 480 acres, and when, three
years later, his mother passed away, our subject inherited one-third of the estate,
or 160 acres. Mr. Albertson, however, now farms about 320 acres, all in grain, with
tractors and tractor machinery. He aims to heed the last word of science and to em-
ploy only the most up-to-date apparatus, and as a consequence, yields handsome returns.

On September 15, 1916, Mr. Albertson was married at San Francisco to Miss
Catherine Maag, a native of Apenrade, Schleswig, Denmark, where she was reared
and attended school. Her parents were Yes Maag and his good wife, whose maiden
name was Anna Catherine Damm, and both are still living. Mrs. Albertson came to
California in 1913. and since then she has been steadily identifying herself with the
land of her adoption. Three children, Anna Marie, Harold J., and Blanche Margaret,
blessed this union. Mr. Albertson is a member of Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82,
Odd Fellows, of Los Banos, in which he is past grand, and also of the I. O. O. F.
Encampment at Newman.

EMMETT LEE ELMORE.— A faithful and efficient public official with a
valuable, varied experience, is Emmett Lee Elmore, the popular deputy sheriff, who
is a native of the county, having been born at Salida on November 28, 1880. His
father was Benjamin T. Elmore, a member of the family well known in Virginia, and
also as pioneers in Missouri, where they took up Government land. He was born in
Ashley, then in Pike County, and when a young man of nineteen left for California
with his brother, J. G. Elmore, who was two years his senior. They set out with the
train commanded by Brad Crow, and arrived in Stanislaus County in 1865. Mr.
Elmore married Miss Cordelia Dale, one of a family who hailed from Carroll County,
Ga., and settled near Salida in 1869. There her father, V. B. Dale, a one-armed
veteran, highly esteemed by all who knew him, has lived and farmed at one place from
1869 until the present day, and he is now eighty-five years old. His devoted wife,
Susan M., passed away at their home on January 6, 1920, at the age of eighty, also
respected and beloved throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley.

Emmett Elmore attended only the grammar school at Salida, continuing his
studies in the "school of hard knocks" in the world, and when twenty-one, he started
out to do for himself, working for wages. He superintended grain ranches, and
about 1910 went in for farming on his own account. He cultivated, at different
times, from 200 to 500 acres, and he also bought and sold stock, and did contracting.



1072 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

In 1916 he sold off his stock and gradually discontinued all buying and selling, and at
the time of the war, he endeavored to dispose of his ranch interests.

Mr. Elmore, who is very public-spirited, also tried to enlist, but he was turned
down twice. He then came under the second draft, but, although ready for the affray,
he was never called to the colors. On January 6, 1919, he was appointed deputy sheriff
under Robert Dallas, a commission generally endorsed by public sentiment, and he
has continued to fill that important post ever since.

M. C. TALBOTT. — A man of integrity who before coming to California had
made for himself a career as an agriculturist and educator, is M. C. Talbott, who
was born near Carrollton, Carroll County, Ohio, on April 20, 1853, the son of
Thomas F. and Henrietta (Allen) Talbott. The Talbott family is traced back to
Lord John Talbott of England. Grandfather Joseph Talbott was born in Mary-
land, but came to Jefferson County, Ohio, in the early days and was one of the
pioneer farmers of that county. Here Thomas F. Talbott was born and reared,
and when a young man learned the trade of a millwright. He later became exten-
sively interested in the grist and sawmill business and was the owner of several grist
and sawmills in the vicinity of Carrollton. The mother, Henrietta Allen before her
marriage, was a native of Maryland, coming from a line of distinguished old New
England families. On her mother's side she was descended from Roger Williams,
the founder of Rhode Island, while her Grandfather Allen was a brother of Ethan
Allen, of Revolutionary fame. Both Mr. and Mrs. Talbott passed away at their
Ohio home, the father at the age of sixty-six, the mother forty-nine. Of their four-
teen children, twelve grew to maturity, but only four are now living: Mrs. Ruth
A. Cogsil of Ohio; Micajah C. Talbott of this sketch; Mrs. Belle Patterson and
Mrs. Hannah E. Telfer, both of Carrollton, Ohio.

M. C. Talbott spent his childhood at Elkhorn, Ohio, where one of his father's
gristmills and sawmills was located, and here he attended the country school, sup-
plementing this with a course of study at Harlem Springs College. He then started
teaching school, but as his father died when he was twenty years old, with his
brother he kept up the business, operating their grist and sawmills, a work with
which he was familiar, since from a boy he had assisted his father around the mills,
dressing the burr stones for the flour mills, sharpening saws for the lumber mills
and other details connected with mill work. He continued with his brother until
he was twenty-four years old, then began teaching again, both in his home county
and in Putnam County.

It was during these days that Mr. Talbott's marriage occurred, when he chose
for his bride Laura A. Ruse, a native of Kilgore, Ohio, the ceremony being per-
formed at Harlem Springs on August 21, 1879. Her parents were George William
and Susannah (Stenger) Ruse, the latter's father, George Stenger, being one of
Carroll County's pioneer farmers and cabinet makers, coming there from his birth-
place, Boone, Pa., in the early days. George W. Ruse, who came of an old West
Virginia family, came from that state when a boy, and settling in Ohio, engaged in
farming there until his death, which occurred in 1902, his wife having passed away
in 1895. They were the parents of four children: Mrs. Sarah J. Chase of Ohio;
Mrs. Laura A. Talbott; John died a youth of twelve; Mrs. Lillian M. Albaugh
of Ohio. Mrs. Talbott was reared at Kilgore, Ohio, and was educated at Harlem
Springs College, which her husband also attended, and she was engaged in teaching
school until her marriage. Seven children were born to them: Purl R. is a rancher
near Modesto; Lillian Belle is Mrs. Stearns of Stockton; Ernest O., a graduate of
the College of the Pacific, is vice-principal of the Glenn County high school at Wil-
lows ; Glenn C. is a farmer at Madeline, Lassen County; Zina A. is Mrs. Sheaffer
of Fowler; Chester Allen is on the home ranch; Winona is Mrs. Titus of Madeline.

In 1893 Mr. Talbott went to Oklahoma, and located at Alva, Woods County,
being among the first homesteaders there. At the time of the opening of the Chero-
kee Strip by the Government, Mr. Talbott, with a brother and two nephews, made
a cart, and with two Hambletonian horses three of them joined the rush when



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1073

the land in the strip was thrown open, making three and a half miles in twelve min-
utes. In the mad excitement that followed, Mr. Talbott was the only one of the
three to land a prize, but he was fortunate in staking out a good claim of 160 acres.
Going back to Ohio, he settled up his affairs there and returned to Oklahoma with
his family. He located on his claim and improved it, going in for grain farming
and stock raising. Naturally conditions were very primitive there, with no schools
or churches, so Mr. Talbott filled in the breach by teaching the first school in that
section, which was held in a little dugout. Here, too, he organized the first Sunday
school in the vicinity, this dugout then being their only meeting place. The next
year a frame schoolhouse was built, where he taught two more terms. Well quali-
fied for leadership, Mr. Talbott was justly prominent in the community, serving as
school trustee and for three terms as justice of the peace. He was very successful
in his farming operations and continued in Oklahoma until 1905, when he sold out
and came to California. Locating in Stanislaus County, he bought 100 acres near
Keyes, paying sixty-five dollars an acre. Forty acres of this was already in alfalfa,
so Mr. Talbott went into the dairy business, continuing with good success until
1917, when he sold off his stock and now leases the ranch. He has set twenty-nine
acres of it to grapes, the balance being in beans and barley. After being free from
the responsibility of his ranch, Mr. Talbott with his wife made a trip back to his
old home in Ohio, and on returning to the land of sunshine, located in Turlock and
in 1920 built the residence at 550 Geer Road, where the family now dwell.

Mr. Talbott served several years as a trustee of the Turlock Union high school,
being on the board at the time of the organization and during the erection of the
building. Both he and Mrs. Talbott have been devoted members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church since childhood. They helped organize the first church and Sun-
day school in Driftwood Township, Woods County, Okla., then at Ceres, where Mr.
Talbott was a trustee and Sunday school superintendent, and later at Keyes. They
are now prominent in the Methodist Episcopal church at Turlock, where Mr. Tal-
bott is a trustee. This worthy couple have always been stanch advocates of tem-
perance, and their Christian lives radiate a beneficent influence.

BENJAMIN T. ELMORE.— An early settler in California, arriving here
in 1865, in an emigrant train commanded by Brad Crow, Benjamin T. Elmore has
had much to do with the development of agricultural resources of the San Joaquin Val-
ley since he first settled in the state. He was born in Pike County, Mo., September
24, 1845, the son of Anderson P. and Sarah Jane Elmore, pioneers of Missouri,
where the father took up Government land and was engaged in farming when that
country was then virgin soil. The family formerly hailed from Virginia, going thence
into North Carolina and from there into Missouri.

When Benjamin Elmore was about nineteen years of age he left his home and
with a brother, J. G. Elmore, set out for the Golden State, and the emigrant train,
of which they were members, arrived after a long and tiresome journey across the
plains. Mr. Elmore came to Stanislaus County via Murphy's Ferry, and he at once
sought some kind of employment. Having been accustomed to farm work in Missouri,
it was but natural that he should seek something along the same line and he was
employed for two years near Salida. Longing to once more see his native state, he
went back to Missouri by way of the Panama route and remained there for three
years. The lure of California called again and, accompanied by his father, A. P.
Elmore, once more arrived in this state, traveling via stage by way of South Platte
and Salt Lake Citv. Benjamin settled near Salida, where he was united in marriage
in 1880, with Miss Cordelia Dale.

Miss Dale was a member of a family that hailed from Georgia and had settled
near Salida, Cal. Her father was V. B. Dale, a highly esteemed rancher of the Salida
district where he has lived and ranched ever since 1869, and was known as "One-
Armed Dale." Her mother, Susan M., died at the age of eighty, on January 6,
1920. Mr. Elmore ranched in Fresno County for six years and then went north into
Sonoma County and near Fulton had a ten-acre vineyard. In 1914 he purchased ten
acres on the Dale Road near the town of Salida, where he raised alfalfa until he sold



1074 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

his ranch and in March, 1920, moved into Modesto and is now living retired. There
were three children born into the Elmore home : Emmett Lee, deputy sheriff of Stanis-
laus County ; Oren, and Estella, who married Alfred Hendricks and died on Decem-
ber 6, 1920. In Fresno County Mr. Elmore first had 160 acres of land and after
cultivating it three years sold it and bought a half-section near the old town of Center-
ville. In all, he spent about twenty-six years in Fresno County and became an active
participant in its early development. For that many years Mr. Elmore has been a
member of the Masonic Lodge at Modesto and is always welcomed in its circles. He
is a Democrat in political matters when it concerns national issues, but holds to the
men and measures in matters of local moment. He is a self-made and self-educated
man, as his early schooling was obtained in the log cabin schoolhouse of the early days
in Missouri, and the finishing touches have been secured by contact with the men of
the world, which gives him a sympathetic view of life.

WILLIAM AUGUST DINKELMAN.— A rancher who has always worked for
the forward movement of the community in which he lives is William August Dinkel-
man, a native of Germany, where he was born near Brockum on April 27, 1871, the
■ second son of Frederick Dinkelman, who had married Miss Charlotte Voight, like
himself a native of that section. She passed away in the spring of 1889, and in that
same year William crossed the ocean to America, in company with a brother and his
father. They arrived at Modesto on September 24, and repaired to the home of an
uncle, Mr. Voight, who lived at the corner of Sixteenth and J streets; and soon after,
in 1889, our subject became a laborer on his ranch near Montpellier, and worked for
him three years; four years were then spent in the employ of Henry Long, and the
next year he worked again for his uncle.

After getting on his feet, financially, he formed a partnership with F. H. Dinkel-
man, his brother; and they farmed together two years, in Merced County; then Mr.
Dinkelman farmed independently in that county for three years. In 1902 he came
to Stanislaus County and for eleven years farmed what was known as the Swan
Ranch. In the fall of 1913 Mr. Dinkelman bought 812 acres of the Ross Ranch in
partnership with his brother; 468 acres of this is owned by him, and the balance by the
brother, who is now a resident of Stockton. His ranch is a model with its various
improvements, including a Matthews electric light plant, and he is a stockholder in
the California Farm Bureau Elevator Corporation.

Mr- Dinkelman was married at Modesto on January 16, 1898, to Miss Anna
Cleven, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. Cleven, natives of Norway. There, too, she
was born; and in 1890 she migrated from Europe to America. Five children were
born to their union. Ervin A. is a rancher; Clarence O. follows agricultural pur-
suits ; Blanche M. and Florence C. attend Turlock high school, and Aldon the Mont-
pellier grammar school. Mr. Dinkelman was made a citizen of the United States at
Modesto on June 5, 1903, and soon afterward joined the Republican party. He
also served as trustee of the Montpellier school.

EARL F. HASLAM. — An experienced mechanic thoroughly posted as to auto-
mobile conditions in California, and well known for his association with the building
up of the largest garage in Oakdale, with the best of repair facilities in this part of
Stanislaus County, is Earl F. Haslam, the city trustee and half-owner of the Highway
Garage. He was born at Knights Ferry on March 10, 1896, one of the two children
of West and Sadie Haslam, well-known pioneers of Knights Ferry, but residents of
Oakdale since 1899, where West Haslam is at present engaged in trucking. He was
formerly an expert teamster, and drove twelve, fourteen and sixteen head of mules
and horses at one time, and hauled all the heavy machinery and freight to the Alto
gold mine, twelve miles above Knights Ferry, but he now uses an auto truck.

Earl Haslam grew up in Oakdale, where he finished the grammar courses, and
in 1915 was graduated from the Oakdale high school. Shortly before Christmas, 1915,
he and his father bought the Laughlin Garage ; and under Earl's management the
business was successfully developed and built up. When he enlisted in the great war,
his brother, W. W. Haslam, left his school work and undertook the management, also




j^Lytlfi^cA



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1077

with success; but on Earl's return, the latter immediately assumed his former position
of manager. Born two years later than Earl, William Wesley Haslam first saw the
light at Knights Ferry on September 14, 1898. He grew up in Oakdale, finished
there the grammar school work, and studied for a year in the Oakdale high school,
and then, entering upon his trade work, began specializing in the electrical field, par-
ticularly with batteries, and bought out the half-interest of his father, who was long
proprietor of the Haslam Livery and Feed Barn, for a quarter of a century located
on the site of the Highway Garage, on the route to the Yosemite. William W. Has-
lam was married on January 1, 1920, to Miss Emelie Violet Brooks of Sonora, the
daughter of Mrs. Anna Brooks of that place. His fraternity is the Oakdale Moose.

The Haslam Bros, make an excellent working team, and well deserve their suc-
cess. Their shop is fitted with lathes, power drills, forge, etc., so that they are able
to do first-class repair work on all kinds of cars, and they are favored with such a
volume of trade that they employ from three to four first-class mechanics. They are
the Oakdale agents for the Chevrolet car, and keep a full line of auto accessories, in-
cluding the United States and Goodrich tires and Philadelphia batteries.



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 119 of 177)