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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 125 of 177)
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two brothers he purchased 160 acres of the John Hill ranch at Ingomar, near the old
cottonwoods. They were the first Swiss family to locate in these parts and among the
very first to make a success of intensive farming. When eighteen years of age, at the
old home town, Mr. Giovannoni had, in 1882, married Miss Geneva Maria Bizzini,
who joined her husband in California in 1893, since which time she has given her best
efforts and energy in improving their lands. Mr. and Mrs. Giovannoni later pur-
chased forty acres four miles south of Newman, to which place they moved, built
residence and farm buildings and sowed alfalfa, thus developing an excellent dairy
ranch. They, however, retained their interest in the Giovannoni ranch. Through
their industry and thrift they were soon able to make many improvements and today
the Giovannoni ranch is one of the most up-to-date dairy farms near Newman, with
thirty cattle and much younger stock. Mr. Giovannoni left six mourning children,
as follows: Alfred, who died December 2, 1908; Delphina M., now Mrs. Carry of
Gustine; Cash Ernest, bookkeeper for Gas & Electric Company of Newman; Emil W.,
in business in Newman ; Tranquil F., who resides with his mother, and Elsie I., now
Mrs. Lopez of Newman.

On June 8, 1917, Emil W. enlisted in the U. S. Army, arrived in St. Nazaire,
France, on August 13 and went to the front in October, 1917. He saw two years in
France and was made corporal in Headquarters Company, Fifth Field Artillery, First
Division, being in all the major American engagements. The whole division received
a citation for Croix de Guerre medal.

Mrs. Giovannoni is a member of the Fraternal Brotherhood, and a Republican.
Since her husband's death, she manages the ranch and dairy, having become proficient
in her many years' experience and she is making a splendid success.

HENRY WEISS.— A resident of Stanislaus County, California, since 1887,
Henry Weiss came with his parents, Fred and Catherine (Klempp) Weiss to North
precinct, arriving here May 4, 1887, when he was twelve years old. His uncle,
Jacob Klempp, was a very early settler in this county, coming via Panama in the
fifties. He purchased Government land and engaged in raising livestock. Fred Weiss
and his wife assisted Mr. Klempp on the ranch till they died. There were three
girls and two boys in the Weiss family. Growing up in the livestock business,
Henry and his brother, Fred, assisted their uncle, Jacob Klempp, until he retired
and moved to Stockton, when they rented the ranch and continued stockraising. For
seven years they followed sheep growing, when they sold and started raising cattle.
Later on a brother-in-law, W. R. Jones, purchased the interest of Fred Weiss, and in
1908 they bought the Klempp ranch of 150 acres and since then have added to it



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1129

until they have 2,800 acres in a body, all fenced. It is an historic old ranch, miles of
substantial stone fence enclosing the acreage. When Mr. Klempp had this fence
constructed, he was ridiculed, but it has proved to be the most substantial and ever-
lasting type of fence.

The Klempp ranch lies immediately south of old Telegraph City and is improved
with substantial buildings, located at the foot of Hawk Hill, a landmark used as an
observation point, and commands an unparalleled view of the valley. The ranch is
well watered by Shelby Gulch and Telegraph Creek, as well as by numerous springs,
and is an ideal cattle ranch, their brand being the S Bar O, and they are raising both
Durham and Hereford cattle. They also own 1,440 acres at Wheat Meadows in the
Forest Reserve, as well as 160 acres on the way, which is used for a camp on their
drives to their summer range. They also own 600 acres at the Woodward Reservoir,
north of Oakdale, which they use as winter range. Mr. Weiss is a member of the
California Cattle Association and the Calaveras and Alpine Live Stock Association.

DICK H. ARAKELIAN. — An enterprising Californian whose success had made
him a man of large affairs is Dick H. Arakelian, who came to California in the early
nineties and has more and more since that time found it a "Golden State." He was
born in Marsovan, Armenia, on August 28, 1872, the son of Hagop Arakelian, a dry
goods merchant there, and attended first the local public school and then Anatolia Col-
lege at Marsovan. On completing his studies he came to America and arrived in
California in January, 1892. He had spent three months in Chicago, where he ar-
rived in September, 1891, but having an uncle, John Arakelian, in Fresno, a very suc-
cessful raisin grower, he came out there and for three or four months was employed
as a viticulturist. Then he leased ten acres for himself and engaged in raising melons,
having as partners his cousins, K. and Harry Arakelian, and under the firm name of
Arakelian Bros. & Company they did business for fifteen years.

Their business grew rapidly and later they raised cantaloupes and tobacco. They
made their headquarters in Fresno, but branched out into Merced and Stanislaus coun-
ties, and into the Imperial Valley. In 1917, they were the largest cantaloupe growers
in the world, having had over 3,000 acres devoted to that variety of melon. Since
1919, however, they have been engaged in growing and buying and shipping grapes.
They still have their headquarters in Fresno, with a packing house on the Atchison,
Topeka & Santa Fe pronerty, and an office in the Edgerly Building. Mr. Arakelian
owns a large ranch near Escalon, devoted to the culture of Tokay and Malaga grapes,
and has packing sheds in Escalon, operated as the Arakelian Vineyard Company.

After an absence of nine years from his native land, Mr. Arakelian returned to
his old home on a visit, and on February 15, 1900, he was married to Miss Rebecca
Shekergian, and they have had four children: Lillian R., who was educated in the
Turlock high school and who is now the wife of Fred E. Michaelian, and Violet,
Hagop and Grace. On June 20, 1914, Mr. Arakelian moved to Turlock, where he
built his residence on North Broadway, and he also built the Arakelian Apartments in
1917, at the corner of North Broadway and Flower Street. In 1920 he put up, too,
the Turlock Theater at the corner of North Broadway and Olive Street, one of the
largest and finest theaters in the Valley, with three stores adjoining. He is also a
stockholder in the Yosemite Hotel Company. In politics Mr. Arakelian is a Republican.

JAMES L. CROSSMORE. — A resident of California for more than forty-six
years, James L. Crossmore was born five miles from Elkton in Cecil County, Md.,
September 23, 1851, a son of John and Virginia (Wills) Crossman, farmer folk, and
James was the youngest of their three children.

When twenty years of age he came to Pennsylvania where he remained for three
years and then spent a year in Kentucky, after which he returned to Pennsylvania.
In 1875 he came to Stockton, Cal., where his uncle, Geo. Crossmore, resided. The
latter had come to California around Cape Horn in 1849, was a banker in Stockton.

Soon after his arrival, James L. entered the employ of C. C. Baker and later
leased land from him and engaged in farming until 1893, when he quit to engage in
the furniture business in Stockton, but not meeting with the success he anticipated,



1130 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

he sold out and for seven years was engaged in mining on Rose Creek, Tuolumne
County. On returning to Modesto he purchased the old Tuolumne City ferry, which
he operated until the bridge was completed in the fall of 1905, and then had charge
of the bridge until 1909, when he resigned. After spending a year in Santa Maria
he returned to Modesto, and since then has been in the employ of J. Walker Baker,
the son of C. C. iBaker, his first employer in California. He is a member of Wilder
Lodge, I. O. O. F., at Modesto, and also of the Encampment, as well as the Knights
of Pythias. He is now among the oldest settlers in these parts, is well posted on the
early history and interested in presenting its annals and landmarks.

EDWARD WORTHINGTON DORSEY.— Enviably prominent and influen-
tial because of their extensive and successful operations advancing steadily agriculture
in the West, Dorsey Bros, enjoy a wide repute as grain farmers and wheat growers.
The firm consists of Edward W. Dorsey, who farms their 1,200 acres in Cashman
precinct, north of Oakdale, and E. Sydnor Dorsey, who cultivates the 3,000 acres
owned by them near Rocky Ford, Alberta, Canada. This firm, however, must be
distinguished from the earlier Dorsey Bros., the pioneer bonanza grain growers in
Stanislaus County, which included Thomas B. Dorsey, the father of the gentlemen
mentioned, and his two brothers, John W. and Colonel Caleb Dorsey — all promi-
nent in agricultural, 'financial and political circles of former times.

Edward W. Dorsey was born at Joplin, Mo., on February 20, 1878, and came
out to California with his parents, Thomas B. Dorsey, a native of Maryland, who
married Miss Emaline Fanny Sydnor at Troy, Mo., in 1872. When a young man,
he came from Maryland to Missouri ; and then, lured by the discovery of gold, he
started from Missouri for California across the great plains, with ox teams, and
reached California in 1850. On this first trip, he was accompanied by his brother,
John W. Dorsey. He returned to Missouri, and on his second trip he brought out
400 head of cattle, and in this enterprise he was assisted by the same brother. He
again made a trip back to Missouri, and for the third time he crossed the plains to
California, again driving before him a large herd of cattle.

The Dorsey brothers first settled in Stanislaus County in 1865; and later, in
this county, they were joined by Caleb, known as the Colonel, because he had fought
in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Both the Dorsey and the Sydnor
families descended from proud English Cavalier stock; the former settled even before
the Colonial period in Maryland, while the Sydnors settled in Virginia. They
became planters and were among the largest operators of their day. After his mar-
riage, though possessed of a large acreage in Stanislaus County, he operated the
plantation of his father, Edward W. Dorsey, who was known as the "Southern
Planter." He owed 3,000 acres in Missouri, and a great many slaves. Mr. and
Mrs. Thomas B. Dorsey continued to live in Missouri for fifteen years, and three
children — two boys and a girl — were born to them there. Ella W. has become the
wife of Horace P. Badgley, retired, and resides in San Francisco. Edward W. is
the subject of this review; and E. Sydnor has become a partner with Mr. Dorsey,
his brother. The maternal grandfather, Sydnor, also owned a very large plantation,
known as the Sydnor Plantation, in Missouri, and was also an extensive slave-holder,
and like the Dorseys, they sympathized with the South and the Confederacy.

About 1890, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Dorsey and their family returned to
California, and settled for a while at San Jose, where Mr. Dorsey built a handsome
residence and lived there for the education of their children. The father retained his
acreage owned jointly by the aforementioned three brothers, Grandfather Dorsey
having died in 1865 and left it to his sons. Thomas Dorsey outlived his two broth-
ers, John W. and Col. Caleb Dorsey, attaining the age of seventy-nine. He was a
Knights Templar Mason and was laid to rest with Masonic honors at Oakdale.
Mrs. Dorsey also outlived her husband ; she died in San Francisco, in her seventy-
fifth year, but was buried at Oakdale. Col. Caleb Dorsey outlived John Dorsey,
and died about 1900. The estate was thus divided into three parts; the two boys,
Edward W. and E. Sydnor, had then just finished school at San Jose; and the father
turned over his share in the lands north of Oakdale to them. They farmed their



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1131

father's portion of the original three Dorsey brothers' land north of Oakdale, and
other lands, which they leased, and they carried on their operations so extensively
that they had as high as 4,000 acres planted to wheat and barley; and they soon took
rank with the bonanza grain farmers of California.

Coming to California in 1850, Thomas B. Dorsey had just seventy-five cents
left of his capital, and arriving at Sacramento, he worked by the day ; then took a
job digging a well. He then engaged in gold mining; dammed up a stream; found
an abundance of gold, but soon after the dam was completed, a great rain fell,
the dam and landmarks, with all prospects for placer mining there, were swept
away. Then, broken in purse but not in spirit, he went to farming, with the results
we have seen. An enormous crop rewarded E. Sydnor Dorsey 's operations at
Alberta in 1920, yielding as high as fifty-five bushels to the acre of hard. Northern
wheat which brought two dollars and a half per bushel.

Edward W. Dorsey was married in 1908 to Miss Nina Thomasine Woon, a
native of Nevada City, Cal., and the daughter of Thomas K. Woon. He was born
in England, was an early California gold miner and pioneer, and twenty-five years
ago returned to England, where he is still living in affluence, a member of a well-
known family of English manufacturers and tradesmen. They have one child, Edwa
Elizabeth Woon Dorsey, in the Oakdale Union Grammar School.

The uncle of the Dorsey brothers, Col. Caleb Dorsey, was well known both as
a doughty Confederate soldier and as a member of the assembly in the California
Legislature. He became president of the Modesto Bank in the early '80s, when
Thomas Dorsey was president of the Oakdale Bank, and ranked high as a financier.

WILLIAM McLAUGHLIN.— An able, efficient business man and public official,
who in both civic, private life and by hard military service has proven an exemplary
and influential citizen, is William McLaughlin, the enterprising hardware merchant
nnd postmaster at Valley Home, formerly Thalheim. He was born in Independence,
Mo., on February 28, 1869, the son of Enos McLaughlin, a native of Greenville, Pa.,
who had married Miss Mary Jane Bush of Buffalo, N. Y. The ceremony took place
at Clinton, DeWitt County, Iowa, where the elder McLaughlin was a merchant and
Miss Bush was a music teacher. Enos McLaughlin was a gold miner of wide expe-
rience, and -mined in Australia, South America, and California. He was a pioneer of
Denver, and his wife, the mother of our subject, was the first white woman there.
He was also a pioneer of the Black Hills, and went there from Kansas as early as 1876.
During the Civil War, he enlisted in the Second Colorado Cavalry, and served in
Missouri and Kansas against Quantrell and the James brothers, and their bushwackers.

After the Civil War, he found himself beaten out of his Denver property through
having trusted a friend to whom he had hastily given a writing, really fraudulently
obtained, which proved to be a power of attorney; and when he came back to Denver
he found his twenty-seven lots, including two lots belonging to his wife, situated in
the heart of Denver, sold and the money embezzled. He also lost in the same way
160 acres on the Platte River, so he had to begin life anew. Settling at Independence,
Mo., therefore, he took up farming, at which he was engaged when our subject was
born, and afterward he again sought his fortune in mining. He died at Deadwood,
S. D., in March, 1914, aged eighty-six years, leaving a widow and three children.
Eugene died at the age of forty-five, at Benton Marbor, Mich., where he was engaged
in farming, leaving a widow with one child, Esther. Eva S. is the wife of James
Soutar, and resides at Deadwood. Frank is an attorney in Denver. William, the
fourth youngest, is the subject of our story. The McLaughlins were of Scotch-Irish
blood and pre-Revolutionarv stock, and settled in Penn's Woodland, and eminent
as exponents of the Protestant faith, they have been prominent as professional men,
in mining, as merchants, and as farmers. They have also been identified with every
American war. William McLaughlin was taken to Kansas when he was a mere baby,
and there passed his earliest years on his father's farm of 160 acres in Montgomery
County. When eight years old, he accompanied his parents to Deadwood, S. D.,
which they reached on May 7, 1877, in the early days of the Black Hills, and only a
year after the Custer Massacre. Later, as he grew up, he studied at the Ohio Normal



1132 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

University at Ada, from which he was graduated in 1891, with the Bachelor of
Science degree. When the United States needed men in the war with Spain, William
McLaughlin enlisted in Company L, First South Dakota Volunteer Infantry, and
went to Sioux Falls as second lieutenant, and was made captain of Company L and
was mustered into service on May 17, 1898. He sailed from San Francisco on July
23, and reached Cavite on August 24, 1898. From that time on he campaigned against
the Filipinos, and guarded the Spanish prisoners. He served in the islands just one
year, and participated in fourteen engagements. The South Dakota regiment covered
itself with glory, and while on the firing line they slept over 100 nights without
blankets. In the beginning the regiment had 1,040 men; and after their last battle at
San Fernando, when they captured Aguinaldo's second capital, the able-bodied men
remaining numbered only 276. Mr. McLaughlin fought at Manila, Malolos, Caloo-
can, Meycauayan and other battles and all through the jungles and swamps, where
there was plenty of malaria; and the conditions were very unhealthful. They cap-
tured the two Filipino capitals, Malolos and San Fernando. Returning to the United
States, he landed at San Francisco on August 28, 1899, and was mustered out at San
Francisco on October 5, 1899.

On the twenty-first of the following November, Mr. McLaughlin was married
at Fort Dodge, Iowa, to Mabel Elliott, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Elliott.
She was a native of Castle Rock, Minn., who was brought up in that state and attended
the Minnesota State Normal school. Her mother died when she was a little girl; her
father was a Civil War veteran, who enlisted in the Union Army and served in the
First Minnesota Regiment of Infantry. Two children have blessed this union of Mr.
and Mrs. McLaughlin: Everett Elliott, who married Miss Lucile Dunn of Valley
Home, and runs a trucks, served as a mechanic in the Aviation Corps, and was trained
at Kelley Field, Texas. He was sent to St. Louis to the Government mechanical
school, and in time was honorably discharged. Merritt, the younger son, is still single.

After the Spanish-American War, Mr. McLaughlin came back to Deadwood,
S. D., and worked at mining, assaying and prospecting; and then he was elected auditor
of Lawrence County, and served two terms of two years each, being elected in 1904
and reelected in 1906. In 1908 he came West with his family to California and
Turlock, where he purchased and improved a forty-acre ranch three and a half miles
southwest of town, until six years later he moved to what was then Thalheim. He
established a store, but in the general fire of 1916 he was burned out. He at once
rebuilt and now he owns his own store building, which contains the Valley Home
postoffice. He deals in hardware and general merchandise ; he also carries a full line
of auto supplies. He was appointed postmaster under the civil service on April 1
1915, and no choice could have suited the community better. He was an active mem-
ber of the original board of trustees of Irwin Union high school while residing in that
district. He still owns his ranch at Turlock, which he rents to others. He also owns
a five-acre ranch at Valley Home, where he resides with his family. Mr. and Mrs.
McLaughlin belong to the Christian Church, and Mr. McLaughlin is one of the Sons
of Veterans and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also belongs to the
Knights of Pythias at Spearfish, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, having
his membership in the Deadwood lodge.

JOHN D. JENSEN. — To the goodly list of men who have succeeded in Cali-
fornia another name is added when mention is made of John D. Jensen, rancher and
dairyman of Newman. He was born on August 27, 1874, in Schleswig, on the Isle
of Fohr, the son of William and Caroline (Paulsen) Jensen, and was educated in his
native country. The ambition of youth filled him with a desire to come to the new
world and branch out on his own account, so at fifteen he migrated to America, com-
ing directly to California and settled in Monterey County, near Salinas. He spent
two years there working on various ranches and then went to Petaluma, where he
worked for one year, removing to Crows Landing in 1893, where for two years he
was employed by W. F. Fink. In 1895 he returned to his home in Fohr, spending two
years there, returning in 1897 to California to resume ranch work. In 1898 he pur-
chased a three and one-half acre tract near Newman and a hay baler, farming for




. 7 « fold. $Z*siAy • O^aAlXc&^t^



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1135

himself and baling hay for various farmers. At the expiration of one year he was
made foreman of the Howard ranch, 374 acres devoted to alfalfa, and in 1900 be-
came foreman of the Hunt ranch.

On March 21, 1901, in San Francisco, he was married to Miss Inge Margaretha
Boyen, the culmination of a romance which had started in the days when they were
schoolmates in Fohr, an acquaintance which was renewed on his visit to the old home
in 1895-97. Mrs. Jensen was born and reared in the vicinity of Mr. Jensen's birth-
place, remaining at home as had been arranged until 1901, when she came to Cali-
fornia with the blessings of her parents and wedded Mr. Jensen at the Lutheran
parsonage in San Francisco. Soon after Mr. Jensen leased- a forty-acre dairy ranch
near Gustine, which he later purchased, and erected a fine house which since has been
his home. Besides the home place he also owns a half section west of Newman devoted
to grain, purchased in 1917. Until a year ago he was extensively interested in dairy-
ing, having thirty cows, but in 1919 he sold most of his stock.

Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Jensen: William H., who is a
graduate of the Gustine high school, class of 1921, after having spent one year last
season at the California Concordia College at Oakland ; Boyd J. was a student at the
California Concordia College at Oakland, but now of Gustine Union high school
and will graduate with the class of 1922; Anna O, who attends the Gustine Union
high school and will graduate in 1923; Tina F. and John D., Jr. Politically Mr.
Jensen is a Republican and the family are members of the Lutheran Church of New-
man. In 1911 Mr. and Mrs. Jensen and family went abroad to visit their old home
and relatives, returning to the ranch at Gustine with many recollections renewed.

HARRY ARAKELIAN. — A man of affairs, able to grasp and carry out large
enterprises, is Harry Arakelian, who was born in Marsovan, Armenia, on February
16 (Turkish Calendar February 29), 1868. His father, John Arakelian, was a dry
goods merchant and a farm-owner, as well as a mill-owner and operator; but in 1883
he sold all of his holdings and came to America and Fresno with his wife and six
children. Here he engaged in farming, buying a ranch on California Avenue.

Mr. Arakelian came with the family and remained until May 5, 1891, when he
returned to Armenia. On July 1 of that year he was married in Constantinople to
Miss Lucy Yeramian, a native of Constantinople, who was educated at the American
Home School, afterwards called the American Girls' College, where she remained
until her marriage. Her father was the Rev. George Yeramian, a minister of the
Gospel who died when she was six months old; he had married Takouhi, or Queen
Samuelian, who was born near Constantinople. She went through the first Turkish
massacre at Cantu but is now, thanks to her devoted daughter and son-in-law, the
subject of our story, comfortably protected and tenderly cared for in their home, to
which he came across the seas in 1896.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Arakelian came to Fresno the same fall of their marriage,
and in 1892 he began raising watermelons in partnership with his brother on ten acres
of land. When his brother, K. Arakelian, returned to Armenia to attend college, he
continued in a partnership with his brother Joe, raising watermelons and grain hay
In 1895, he entered into partnership with his cousin, D. H. Arakelian, and a cousir
of his wife, Jacob Light, and they continued to raise melons and hay, while he wenl
to Oakland to handle their product, shipping to that point and selling to the stores.



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 125 of 177)