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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 120 of 177)
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Earl Haslam was married on June 9, 1920, to Miss Helen Kimball, who taught
school at Riverbank for a couple of years, and is a daughter of Harry Kimball, for
the past nine years the Santa Fe yardmaster at that place. Mr. Haslam was elected
a trustee of Oakdale in the spring of 1920, and is a valued member of the city auditing
commission, and is well-deserving of some of the credit for the excellent municipal
administration with which Oakdale is favored. Besides being, naturally, a live mem-
ber of the American Legion, he belongs to the Native Sons of the Golden West, and
was president of the Oakdale parlor at the time of his enlistment with the U. S.
Marines, in April, 1918. He served as private in the First Regiment in Philadelphia
and Cuba, and was honorably discharged at Philadelphia on August 15, 1919, where-
upon he returned home with the satisfaction of having faithfully performed one of
the highest duties, even at personal inconvenience and financial loss.

JOHN W. McCABE.— A very alert and progressive citizen, John W. McCabe
was born in the Fairview district, seven miles southwest of Modesto, on what was
known in the early seventies as the James McCabe ranch, on April 10, 1874, the
youngest son of James McCabe, a native of Ireland who came out to the United States
when he was thirteen years of age and in Boston was apprenticed to the trade of a
cabinet maker. In 1858 he crossed the Isthmus of Panama, sailed north to Southern
California, and then came overland up to San Francisco on mule back. He arrived
in Columbia, Tuolumne County, and went into the mines; and having been fairly
successful, he invested what he had thus acquired in farming. In Tuolumne County,
too, in 1862, he married Miss Catherine Mullin, a native of County Clare, Ireland,
by whom he had six children, among whom John W. is the youngest boy. After sur-
viving the turbulence of the rough-and-ready days as a miner in Sonora Town, the
elder McCabe came to Stanislaus County and settled on a farm in the Westport dis-
trict; and it was there that our subject first saw the light of day. There, too, he was
reared, attending the Adamsville school; but in 1881, when his father died, as the
result of a runaway accident, he and his brothers carried on the farm work. This they
continued to do even when the mother also died ; the oldest in the home having been
designated as "boss," and the other elder children agreeing to look out for the younger.
Much credit, therefore, should be given all of the boys and girls for the manly, woman-
ly and helpful spirit they developed as they grew up in a home without their parents.

John W. McCabe, the subject of this sketch, engaged in farming in copartnership
with his brothers, E. P., Thomas F. and James S. McCabe, and with them ran the
home place of 280 acres, also farming for grain on rented land in Madera County, and
together they worked 3,000 acres devoted to wheat and barley. They first ventured
into Madera County in 1892, but at that time the country was known as a part of
Fresno County. Later on, the brothers purchased 1,700 acres at Minturn, Madera
County, which yielded handsomely. They sold out their interests in 1912, and E. P'.
McCabe served as a director of the Turlock Irrigation District until his death. At
the time when the brothers thus farmed in Madera County, the McCabe home ranch



1078 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

supplied the mules and horses for the Madera ranch, as many as fifty head of mules
being used there to do the work and run the machinery.

John W. McCabe has had, therefore, wide and valuable experience in general
farming, first harvesting with the old reapers, then with the combined harvesters.
For years the home ranch yielded chiefly alfalfa ; but since the 280 acres were plowed
under, corn, grain and beans have made up the crops. Mr. McCabe is a member of
the Stanislaus County Farmers Union, the Farm Bureau and the Farm Bureau Ex-
change, and is a strong exponent of the cooperative marketing system, and is a member
of Modesto Lodge No. 1282, B. P. O. Elks.

On October 16, 1915, Mr. McCabe was married to Miss Helen Chapman, a
daughter of F. C. Chapman, well known in Stanislaus County as fruit grower and
shipper, and she has shared both the work and the honors of all that pertains to what
the world calls the McCabe luck and success.

WILLIAM FLOYD WHEELER.— Prominent among those who have mate-
rially advanced the science of husbandry in California, William Floyd Wheeler has,
during the thirty years of his residence in this favored locality, built up an excellent
nursery, large and varied in its assortment, and his choice nursery stock is sent far and
wide, even beyond the confines of the state.

He was born at Marion, Smyth County, Va., on March 13, 1862, the son of
Capt. W. C. Wheeler, who was a farmer and also a U. S. revenue collector before the
war and afterwards held the same position with the Confederacy, and was captured
by the Union forces a couple of times during the Civil War. Grandfather John
Wheeler lived to be ninety-nine years of age, and his wife lived to be ninety-seven.
The family is of English origin, and Capt. W. C. Wheeler was married in Virginia
to Miss Harriet Porter, a lady of an old line of Virginians of English extraction.
They came of Colonial stock and enjoyed Revolutionary fame, no less than seven of
our subject's uncles having fought throughout the entire Civil War, and returned
home safe and sound to tell the tale of many battles. There were nine children in
Captain Wheeler's family, and five are still living; our subject was the fifth in the
order of birth, and is the only one in California.

He grew up on the large farm of his father in Virginia, and attended the public
grammar school at Marion, and he continued at home until he was twenty. Then,
in 1882, he went to Nebraska, but after one summer's work there, he returned to Vir-
ginia and remained until he was twenty-three. Then, in 1886, he came to California,
landing at Stockton on the thirteenth of March ; and the second day of his experience
here he went out to Linden and commenced working in a nursery at that place, and
he has been a nurseryman ever since, never losing a day save when he was sick. In
1896, however, he took pleuro-pneumonia, which settled in his right knee and ankle;
necrosis of the bone set in, and an amputation was performed in the German Hospital
in San Francisco on July 29, 1896, and the right leg was taken off above the knee.

Handicapped, and his means all used up, but not discouraged, Mr. Wheeler set
himself resolutely toward the future, and he has become one of the substantial nur-
serymen of Central California, a man of affairs of whom Oakdale and Stanislaus
County are justly proud, for he has made a valuable scientific and industrial contribu-
tion toward the permanent development of this part of the state.

At Stockton, on June 20, 1895, Mr. Wheeler was married to Miss Mary Thorn-
ton, a native of San Francisco and then hailing from that town; and with her encour-
agement and assistance he went forward faster than ever. He continued to work in
the nursery at Linden for two years, and then he went to Acampo, in San Joaquin
County, and worked in a nursery there for another two years. In 1890 he came to
Oakdale and entered the service of A. V. Stuart, the proprietor of the Oakdale
Nursery, where he remained for three years, and in 1893, he bought out Mr. Stuart
and became the proprietor of the nursery. Now he also owns two farms near Oak-
dale, mostly river-bottom land and aggregating eighty acres, rich soil and very valu-
able, under the Oakdale Irrigation District. He and his wife live in their attrac-
tive residence on Railroad Avenue, which Mr. Wheeler built. He bought ten lots in



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1081

this section of the town, and on a part of this land he has built another fine stucco
residence, which he rents.

He conducts a general nursery, and grows all the leading varieties of nut and
fruit trees, and berry trees and bushes, and he has built up a large retail business. He
also ships, by retail and wholesale, nursery stock from his own nursery to all parts of
California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, and even ships his nursery
stock to such foreign countries as Japan and South Africa. He is always on the alert
for new varieties, imports a good deal from France, and is in close connection with
such great horticulturists as Luther Burbank and Albert Etter, and does a consider-
able business with the great nursery at Shenandoah, Iowa.

One child, a son named Floyd, now a partner with our subject in the nursery
enterprise, was granted Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler. He married Miss Mae Prows of
Oakdale, in which town they now reside with their one child, Virginia. Mr. Wheeler
is a Democrat and was elected a member of the first board of trustees of Oakdale, hav-
ing been elected and reelected each succeeding term, serving several times as president
of the board. Each time he was returned to that responsible office with a larger ma-
jority than at the previous election, but found it consistent to resign in 1918, when
his private business affairs demanded his personal attention. He belongs to the
Woodmen of the World.

CHARLES J. KING. — A progressive and thoroughly wide-awake leader in the
building world, who has made an enviable reputation as a brick contractor able to
meet any emergency in the delivery of first-class goods, is Charles J. King, one of the
oldest contractors in Modesto, who was born in Bristol, England, the famous seaport
city on the channel from which Cabot sailed for America on May 1, 1880. His
father was Isaac King, a millwright and one of a family of shipbuilders, and he carried
on his business in one establishment in Bristol for forty-two years. He married Miss
Mary Webb, and both parents are still living, seventy or more years of age.

Charles King attended both the grammar and the high schools of Bristol, and
then served an apprenticeship of seven years under the well-known contractor, W.
Woods, of Bristol, where he studied drawing and architecture and also attended night
school at the Mechanics Institute at Bristol, where he specialized in architecture and
building construction. In 1904 he came out to America, traveling to Los Angeles
by way of New York and New Orleans, and for four months he worked at his trade
in Los Angeles and then he went to San Francisco, and was there at the time of the
earthquake and fire. He had charge of the construction of the terra cotta of the
California Theater building and also the Centenary Methodist Church on Bush
Street, and was foreman for the Gladding & McBean Company, building contractors
in terra cotta construction, and traveled to various sections in California in charge of
construction work for this company. He also had charge of the erection of the new
Elks Hall at San Luis Obispo, and well merited the praise given for the excellent
manner in which that structure, one of the best in San Luis Obispo County, was carried
to completion. In 1918, too, he had charge of the construction of the Deseret National
Bank building at Salt Lake City, Utah, for his company.

On removing to Modesto, Mr. King embarked in business for himself, and now
he is well known as a manufacturer of cement brick, some of his finest product being
displayed in his two beautiful residences at the corner of Eighteenth and G streets, put
up after his own design. In 1909 he had purchased forty acres near Sanger, in Fresno
County, where he set out twentv acres to peaches and twenty acres to Muscat grapes.
This ranch he sold in 1914 for $10,000, and three years laterit sold for $65,000. Mr.
King came to Modesto first in 1915, when he purchased a ranch of eighty-five acres
on the Oakdale Road devoted to grain and figs. This ranch he sold when his wife's
health failed, and he moved back to San Francisco. Since coming to Modesto he has
been very successful as a general contractor, the excellency of his work bringing him
more and more into notice so that his business has grown rapidly and very satisfac-
torily. He also specializes in the manufacture of brick from cement, the yards being
located at 1501 Ninth Street. At the same place he is also manufacturing ornamental
garden furniture from cement.



1082 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

At Bristol, England, on April 23, 1904, Mr. King was married to Miss Rose
Bryant, who was born in the same locality in which Mr. King had grown up, the
daughter of William and Sophie Bryant, and three days after their marriage the happy
couple sailed for America. Mr. and Mrs. King are Methodists. In national politics
Mr. King is a Republican. The recent World War brought sorrow to Mr. and Mrs.
King's home circle. Three brothers of Mrs. King were in the conflict; one left San
Francisco and was killed in France, and the other two saw service in that country.
Mr. King had four brothers in the service ; all were wounded and all were gassed,
but each recovered. One was honored with the Military Cross.

MILTON L. ST. CLAIR.— A live-wire newcomer to Salida who, as merchant,
banker and operator of a portable alfalfa mill, has become closely allied with the com-
munity, intensely interested in its progress and prosperity, is Milton L. St. Clair, one
of the partners of C. E. Capps & Company and vice-president of the First National
Bank of Salida. He was born at Salesville, Guernsey County, Ohio, on January 9,
1866, the son of George M. St. Clair, a justice of the peace and flour-mill owner at
Salesville, who was born at St. Clairsville, Ohio, named after William St. Clair, who
died in March, 1871, in the ninety-second year of his age. He was one of the earliest
pioneer settlers of Eastern Ohio, and was born in Virginia of Quaker parents, in
1779. In 1803, with his wife, child and furniture, all stowed away in a four-horse
wagon, he crossed the mountains and settled in Belmont County, Ohio, and located on
some land his father had previously taken near Lloydsville. About 1807, he put up
a large stone house, still standing, and there resided until 1825, when he removed to
within a mile of Salesville, Guernsey County, where he lived for forty-six years.
About 1810, he put up a grist mill, with an overshot wheel, probably the first water-
mill erected in the county of Belmont, and when a dry summer threatened, he con-
joined to the water-mill a horse-mill. In 1836, he erected a huge grist-mill, pro-
pelled by a Parker wheel, which contributed largely to the settlement and prosperity
of the country around. The St. Clair Mill was kept in good repair and running by
the father of our subject until 1885, when Theodore Taylor, the incendiary and
notorious outlaw, set fire to and destroyed it, entailing a large loss. William St. Clair
voted at every presidential election up to the time of his death, in the history of the
United States, except at those when Washington was chosen ; he served six full terms
as justice of the peace, was once elected to the legislature, and during the War of 1812
he started out as captain of a company of volunteers to strike terror to the hearts of
the intruding Britishers. At the end of four or five days' march, however, the com-
pany was so decimated by desertion that Mr. St. Clair began to think he would be
left to himself, but orders were received to go home, as there was no need of men
at the front. The St. Clair family each year hold a reunion in the northern part of
Ohio. The genealogy of the family thus worthily represented in Stanislaus County
by Milton L. St. Clair may be proven up from 912 A. D., tracing through twenty-six
generations a direct descent from Rolf or Rollo, Prince of Norway, to whom was
given for his bravery and devotion the entire province of Normandy. The last, and
seventeenth earl, recently invested with Scottish titles, was an American citizen resid-
ing, in the nineties, in Lakota, Nelson County, N. D. George M. St. Clair was mar-
ried in Ohio to Miss Mary J. Linn, and both parents are now deceased.

Milton St. Clair, who has four brothers and three sisters still living, was the sixth
child in the order of birth. He attended the common schools of the locality, helped
his father run the grist-mill, later was interested in a sawmill, and still later in a
hardware store. He was married in Ohio the day before Christmas, 1890, to Miss
Amy L. Williams, of Salesville, who was born in Noble County in that state, the
daughter of Joel and Catherine (Kritzwiser) Williams, Quakers from New Jersey.
Mr. and Mrs. St. Clair came to California in 1907 and to Salida three years later.

With his brother, Dr. J. A. St. Clair of Modesto, and J. H. Kaufman, Mr. St.
Clair in 1910 bought the Joe Miller ranch of 490 acres, and the ranch, having been
divided into three parts, in 1912 Mr. St. Clair disposed of his holdings at a handsome
profit. He next bought out the large stock of general merchandise of H. S. Capps, in
the spring of 1916, and the next month the establishment was burned out. He then




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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1087

sold the salvage stock to C. E. Capps, who has run the general merchandise store in
Salida ever since. A year and a half ago he also bought a forty-nine per cent interest
in that mercantile establishment, which is the largest store in Salida, and is doing a
live business that is constantly on the increase. He owns a half section of rice land in
Colusa County, purchased in 1913.

Mr. St. Clair has also become interested in a portable alfalfa mill capable of
grinding twenty tons of alfalfa meal a day; and this mill he operates for four months
a year, using a sixty-horsepower engine and employing eight men. He was the prime
mover in organizing the First National Bank of Salida, and is the vice-president ; and
he owns a comfortable residence upon an acre of land in the north part. of Salida.

A Republican in political affairs of a national character, Mr. St. Clair never
thinks of permitting party allegiance to interfere with his hearty support of whatever
may seem to be the best for the community. He is a Mason and belongs to the Blue
Lodge at Quaker City, Ohio, and the chapter at Cambridge, Ohio, and he is affiliated
with the Knights Templar of Modesto. He also belongs to the Scottish Rite Masons
of Sacramento, and to Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., in San Francisco. In addi-
tion, he is a member of Wildey Lodge, I. O. O. F. Mrs. St. Clair is a member of
the Woman's Improvement Club of Salida.

J. AUDLEY YOUNG, M. D.— The pioneer physician of Oakdale and recog-
nized as one of the leading practitioners of this vicinity, J. Audley Young, M.D., is
highly esteemed both for his worth as a sterling citizen and for his self-sacrificing
work in the alleviation of human suffering. Doubtless many of the qualities that
have been potent factors in his success were inherited from his father, who also was
a prominent phj'sician, and, fortunate in this heritage, he ministered to his patients
with a kindliness and skill that has given him the good-will and high esteem of the
people in his community. He is the son of Dr. John Philip and Sarah Ann (Murtha)
Young, born in Armstrong County, Pa., and Michigan, respectively. Dr. John P.
Young was a graduate of the Keokuk, Iowa, Medical College, and also studied in
the University of Michigan. He was married in Crystal, Mich., where he first prac-
ticed, and of this union there were four children, of which only two are living, J.
Audley, born at Crystal, Mich., August 4, 1876, being the eldest, and Ethel Murtha,
now the wife of D. C. Stoddard, state statistician for the Standard Oil Company for
the state of California. Dr. J. P. Young came to California from Michigan in 1882.
settling with his family at Turlock, which was then the bonanza grain growing dis-
trict in California. He was considered one of the best diagnosticians of his time; his
judgment was said to have been well-nigh unerring. The progenitor of the Young
family came to America from Germany, settling in Penn's Woodland, and was
a contemporary of William Penn. Murtha, Mrs. Young's maiden name, was orig-
inally spelled Murtaugh ; she was of English-Irish blood, having descended maternally
from Lord Pendleton of England.

J. Audley Young lived in Turlock until 1889, when, with his parents, he moved
to Alameda County for the purpose of schooling. He attended Washington College
at Irvington and graduated with the class of 1894, with the B.S. degree, the last
class to ever graduate from that college. He then entered the University of California
and took up the regular six years' course, three years of premedical work and a three
years' medical course with the class of 1898, but later went East and completed
his medical course at the Saginaw Valley Medical College at Saginaw, Mich., in
1901 receiving the degree of M.D. This college is now consolidated with the Detroit
College of Medicine. After two and a half years' practice at his birthplace in Mich-
igan, he came West and located at Oakdale, Cal., in the spring of 1903. The firm
was then Young & Young, and consisted of father and son. He then entered Cooper
Medical College in the fall of 1903, took the regular senior work and graduated April
26, 1904, receiving a second degree of M.D. His father continued to maintain their
office in Oakdale until his death, which occurred while his son was at college. The
mother is still living, residing at Oakland, Cal. Returning to Oakdale in 1904, Dr.
Young has since been a resident of this place and here he has practiced continuously
with the exception of twenty-two months, which time he spent in the military service.



1088 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

In 1917 he volunteered his services in the U. S. Medical Corps and was commissioned
a first lieutenant, rendering valuable service during the war. He was sent overseas,
serving eight months in France, and received his honorable discharge as captain,
although he had been promoted to the rank of major four months prior to his discharge.
Dr. Young was married at Eaton Rapids, Mich.,, in 1905, to Miss Zella Bellows
of that city, a daughter of W. E. Bellows, pioneer of that section. She is a graduate
of the Central State Normal at Mt. Pleasant, Mich. They are the parents of one
child, Richard Audley. Dr. Young has served as a member of the Democratic State
Central Committee and the Democratic County Central Committee ; is a member of
the county* and state medical societies, and the American Medical Association. He is
also president of the Stanley L. Collins Post No. 57, American Legion, at Oakdale,
president of the county conference and the San Joaquin Valley conference, and a
member of the state executive committee and is a representative of the interior of the
state of California in the Department of California, American Legion. He is a
member of the Masonic Lodge at Oakdale, having been made a Mason in Crystal
Lodge, Crystal, Mich. His father was a charter member and first master of Crystal
Lodge. Dr. Young has an extensive general practice in medicine and surgery, and
he and his family have a large circle of friends.

JEROME B. TUPPER.— One of the leading horticulturists in the Ceres dis-
trict, Jerome B. Tupper is well known as an authority on fruit growing, a good judge
of market conditions and price fluctuations, and a strong advocate of cooperation
among the orchardists of the county and state. He has made a success of his own
endeavors, and is well informed on all matters of importance to fruit growers. He
owns two valuable fruit farms near Ceres, one in the Smyrna Park Tract, where he
makes his home, and another tract of forty acres at Keyes, where he is engaged in
almond culture, in which he is meeting with success. He is a member of the Stanis-
laus County Farm Bureau and the Farm Bureau Exchange.

Mr. Tupper came to California when a lad of eleven years, when his mother
located in Santa Clara County, where she bought a prune orchard near Los Gatos.
When he was eighteen, his mother passed away, leaving him the responsibility of
the ranch on his young shoulders. He bought out the other heirs before he was
twenty-one, and carried on the ranch work. It was in 1900 that he came to Stanis-
laus County and located at Ceres, purchasing a ranch of twenty-two acres from the
C. N. Whitmore tract in Smyrna Park, two miles east of town. The property was
an open barley field, the flumes of the Turlock Irrigation District having just been
completed, and the water just made ready for distribution over the land. He immedi-
ately planted his land to alfalfa, and engaged in general farming and in the breeding



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 120 of 177)