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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 127 of 177)
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WILLIAM G. NEWSOME.— A native son of the Golden West and a pioneer
of Newman, who has seen it grow up from a sparsely settled district to its present
state of development is William G. Newsome, the proprietor of a garage and repair
shop of that city. He was born on February 11, 1868, in Sacramento, the son of
John M. and Mary E. (Hutchins) Newsome. His father, a native of Virginia and
one of the pioneers who helped in the development of California, came to this state in
1853 across the plains in a prairie schooner drawn by ox teams. He was elected mem-
ber of the Legislature from Stanislaus County, and he also has the distinction of being
one of the first supervisors of Stanislaus County, afterwards serving as justice of the
peace. His mother is a descendant of an old American family, her father, Chas.
Hutchins, serving as lieutenant in the War of 1812. As stated, Wm. Newsome was
born in Sacramento; this was during a session of the State Legislature, of which his
father was a member, and while the family were sojourning there. He was reared at
Hill's Ferry and was educated in the Hill's Ferry school. He was employed by cattle
growers and rode the range, and also for a time as a stationary engineer, principally in
running engines for threshing machines. After this he turned his attention to stock
raising, leasing land on which he raised stock for a number of years. In 1907 he
changed his occupation, establishing his present garage and auto repair shop in New-
man, being located on N Street, where he does general automobile repairing and has
a service garage. For about fourteen years he was deputy constable and is now con-
stable of Newman since 1919.

In Jackson, Amador County, Cal., on July 13, 1893, Mr. Newsome was united
in marriage with Miss Villa Shealor, who was born and reared in that vicinity, the
daughter of George and Mary Shealor, the father being a gold miner in the early days.
Three children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Newsome: Cecil; Merrill,
who passed away in 1915 at the age of seventeen, and Mildred. In national politics
Mr. Newsome is independent, and fraternally is a member of the Woodmen of the
World and Ancient Order of United Workmen.

JOHN W. BENOIT.— A truly self-made man is John W. Benoit, and a splendid
example of what honesty, integrity and ability can accomplish, for when Mr. Benoit
came to Modesto in 1907, he was obliged to borrow money to make his start, and in
less than thirteen years he has grown independently wealthy. Mr. Benoit gives much
of the credit for this splendid success to the fact that he has had in his wife a real
helpmate, in all his enterprises and undertakings. They were married at Watsonville,
December 6, 1906, Mrs. Benoit being then Miss Lucile Bentley, a native daughter
of California and the daughter of W. A. Bentley, a farmer of Watsonville, now
retired and living in Oakland. A son, Adelbert, has been born to this marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Benoit's beautiful home, "The Lone Oak Farm," is located on
California Avenue, five miles west of Modesto, and consists of forty acres of fine land
under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Benoit is engaged in dairying and, since 1912,
in the breeding of registered Holstein stock, in which enterprise he has met with great
success, having taken many first prizes at livestock exhibitions throughout the state.
Mrs. Benoit is a chicken fancier and is engaged in the hatchers business, owning a
flock of 600 pure-blooded White Leghorn hens.



1146 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

A native of Canada, born in Montreal, August 26, 1880, Mr. Benoit is the eldest
son of Charles Benoit, also a native of Montreal, whose parents came directly from
France, settling in Montreal in the early period of French colonization. His mother
was Miss Matilda Pepin, also a native of Montreal. The family removed to San
Diego when John W. was a lad of six years, and he became an American citizen
through the early naturalization of his father. When he was nineteen, his father
met with an accident which broke his foot and ankle, and the young son was obliged
to leave school and undertake the support of the family. For some time he was em-
ployed with a teaming and freighting company and became an expert with horses.
The family removed from San Diego, where the father had been a designer and
plasterer on the interior decorations of the Hotel Del Coronado at Coronado Beach,
in 1892, and located at Watsonville, where they purchased twenty-six acres of land
which they set out to apples. Later our subject engaged in farming for himself and
was so occupied when he was married in 1906, a year before he came to Modesto.
Since coming to Modesto, Mr. Benoit has not only prospered financially, but has made
many warm friends as well, and the Lone Oak Farm is the center of much neighbor-
hood activity. Mr. Benoit is active in the National Holstein Breeders' Association.

A. F. BERTHOLD. — A well-educated, highly-esteemed, representative citizen of
Oakdale, A. F. Berthold, the master-baker proprietor of the popular Moss Rose
Bakery and Confectionery, is helpfully influential, standing as he does in business for
the square deal, and advocating everything progressive likely to advance the best in-
terests of the town. He was born at Fort Wayne, Ind., on January 26, 1884, and
grew up in his birthplace, attending the Ft. Wayne schools until he was fifteen years
of age, when he went to Chicago and immediately apprenticed at his trade. He re-
mained there for six years, and during that time completed the baker's trade. Then, in
the spring of 1905, he landed at Stockton, Cal., where he found work under Johnny
Ingalls in the old state bakery. At the end of six months, he went back to Fort
Wayne, Ind., and was married to Miss Frieda John, a native of Fort Wayne, after
which he returned to Stockton and was re-engaged by Mr. Ingalls for another six
months. In 1907 he came to Modesto, and entered the service of the Modesto Bakery,
and four years later, he started a bakery for himself at Riverbank. In 1913, he
moved back to Modesto, and in 1916 he came on to Oakdale.

Here he bought out the Moss Rose Bakery and Confectionery, but after eighteen
months sold it again and went to Turlock, and in the latter town he became pro-
prietor of the Home Bakery, which he ran for a year and three months, when he and
his wife made a trip to Fort Wayne to visit the old home scenes and relatives and
friends. The lure of California, however, urged them to return at the end of a year,
and in 1920 they came back to the Golden State and Oakdale, whereupon he once
more bought the Moss Rose Bakery. This he conducts in the most sanitary manner,
making the best of bread and pastry, and handling and delivering the same in such a
cleanly and prompt way that the Oakdale housewives, famed throughout the state,
could not suggest improvement if they would. Not only meeting but anticipating the
wants of his customers, Mr. Berthold has found it easy to both increase the number
and quality of his patrons, and to hold all trade when once acquired. He employs four
men and three girls to assist him, and otherwise uses the most up-to-date outfit and
only the best, and if need be, the highest priced materials for his piping hot wares.
Air. Berthold is a member of the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants
Association, and he also belongs to the Oakdale lodge of Odd Fellows, in which he
is an officer. Mr. and Mrs. Berthold have two children — Ella and Wayne.

Mr. Berthold's mother is still living in Fort Wayne, Ind., although. his father,
who was a moulder, died in that city in his fifty-seventh year. He was born in Ger-
many, married there, and came to America in 1881. The mother's maiden name was
Christina Metz, and having taken a medical training, she practiced for years at Fort
Wayne. In that city our subject was sent to school, one of three children, Louis E.,
who used to be the proprietor of the Modesto Bakery, is now living retired in that city.
Emil is proprietor of the Home Bakery on Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, and Anton Fred
is the subject of this sketch.



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1149

The bakery which was the predecessor of the Moss Rose Bakery at Oakdale was
started by a Mr. Nagle. It changed hands several times, once being run by Mr.
Connell, who gave it its name, Moss Rose. Mr. Berthold bought it of a Mr. Dalton,
and in 1917 he sold it to H. A. Wood of Oakdale, and in 1920 purchased it again
from Mr. Wood, and June 19, 1921, he moved into his new quarters in the Rodden
Building on Third Avenue, adjoining the post office. This place he has equipped new,
with a G. P. Glazer oven, and he has installed the most modern bakery machinery-
obtainable, which is operated by electric power, Mr. Berthold seeing to and insisting
the whole be kept clean and sanitary and a marvel in neatness. The Moss Rose is also
equipped with a modern, up-to-date soda fountain and a well-furnished ice cream
parlor, also serving lunches, and is Oakdale"s finest and most popular place.

FRANK COX. — The unrivaled resources of Stanislaus County have challenged
the enterprise and experience of the rising progressive agriculturalists, prominent
among who is Frank Cox, the son of John Dunlap Cox, a native of the Evangeline
country in Nova Scotia, although a descendant of fine old Mayflower and other New
England stock. He made his way to California by way of Panama in 1859, pushed
inland to Stockton, farmed and teamed among the mountains and mining camps, un-
armed and yet unmolested, in a period when highway robbery and murder were rife,
embarked in sheep-raising and was nearly ruined when the price of sheep and wool took
a tumble, and finally settled in the Grayson district, where he has been active and
influential since 1877, the owner of upwards of 3,500 acres and distinguished as prob-
ably the oldest pioneer still living in Stanislaus County. He married, at San Francisco
in 1878, Miss Rebecca Curry, by whom he has had five children.

Frank Cox was born on the old Cox ranch on January 18, 1882, and attended
first, the grammar school at Grayson, then, for a year, the high school at Oakland, and
finally Heald's Business College at San Francisco, whereupon he became bookkeeper
for J. R. McDonald at Grayson. After a brief term there, he associated himself with
his father in farming, and with him he has operated, sometimes on a large scale, ever
since. He is now farming the McPike ranch of 2,600 acres near Grayson, and also
the ranch of 6,863 acres about three miles north of Westley, where he has the neces-
sary complement of buildings and makes his home. He also farms the Morton ranch
west of Patterson, including 1,700 acres, as well as some 8,000 acres of grain on the
West Side. In addition, he has about 7,000 acres of range land west of Patterson,
regarded of late as likely to develop into valuable oil land. He is one of the extensive
cattle raisers on the West Side, and has about 1,000 head of cattle on the range at one
time and has dealt extensively in mules. He is a stockholder and director in the
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Stockton.

On September 30, 1915, at Oakland, Mr. Cox was married to Miss Ann E.
Shannon, a native of San Jose, and the daughter of J. W. and Elizabeth M. ( Sheehan)
Shannon. Her father came from Utica, N. Y., when he was nineteen years old, and
settled in San Jose, where he engaged in business; and in that city she attended the
grammar and high school, and later took a course at the State Normal school in the
same city. She also taught school for a year in San Jose, and then came to Westley
and taught for another year. Three children give joy to the Cox household: Eliza-
beth Frances, Phyllis Jane, and Madaline. In national politics a Republican, as was
his pioneer father, who voted for Lincoln, before him, Mr. Cox believes in a standard
of broad citizenship. He is a member of the Elks of Stockton.

WALTER T. SCOON. — Prominent among the successful business men of Stan-
islaus County is Walter T. Scoon of Modesto, who was born near Lacon, Marshall
County, 111., on April 20, 1879, the son of James and Alice (Mannock) Scoon,
esteemed residents of that place, and natives respectively of Scotland and England,
from which countries they migrated while still children. His father grew up in
Illinois as a farmer and stockman, and when he came to California, he continued the
cattle business at Tulare. In 1895, he removed to Modesto, where he established a
butcher business and continued to raise stock. At the age of eighteen he enlisted for
service in the Civil War in the Seventy-seventh Illinois Regiment and served three years.



1150 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

Walter accompanied his father to California when he was eight years old, and
having gone through the Tulare grammar school, he pursued the prescribed courses
of study at the high school in Modesto. When he was eighteen years of age, he struck
out for himself and for nine months he was bookkeeper on the Bald Eagle ranch.
Then he went to Fresno, where he was accountant for two months with the Raisin
Growers Association ; and after that he accepted a position with the First National
Bank of Fresno, as bookkeeper. At the end of six months, he entered the employ of
the Sperry Flour Company at Fresno, working as both salesman and accountant ; and
in the fall of 1903 he came to the Modesto Bank. He entered the bank's service as
bookkeeper, and when he left, at the end of fifteen years, he had been made cashier.

In 1918, Mr. Scoon entered the real estate, loan and life insurance fields, and now
is interested in valuable properties in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. He also
has a partnership interest in the Sullivan Electric Company of Modesto, a concern that
energetically covers the entire county. His experience, sound judgment and reputa-
tion for fair, square and generous dealing have made him a favorite with those seeking
advice as to realty, financial encouragement, or insurance protection.

Mr. Scoon has been twice married. In 1901, at Modesto, he took for his bride
Miss Myrtle Crow, the daughter of Albert N. and Laura Crow, both natives of
California, by whom he had one child, Edyth, now a high school student. A favorite
with a wide circle of admiring friends, Mrs. Scoon passed on in 1913. Two years
later, in November, Mr. Scoon married Mrs. Grace Hansel, a native of Arizona and
the daughter of W. A. Daggs, and their union has been blessed with the birth of a
daughter, Jean, now aged four years. Mr. Scoon belongs to the Knights of Pythias,
and Modesto Lodge No. 1282, B. P. O. E., in which organization, in 1914-15, he
was exalted ruler, and is now serving as treasurer of the Elks Hall Association; he is
a member of the Progressive Business Club of Modesto. Politically he is a Republican
and generally works for better citizenship.

HORACE S. CRANE. — A man who has had a far-reaching influence in shap-
ing the destinies and the building up of Turlock is H. S. Crane, who has been a resi-
dent of the place since 1871. He was born in Woodbury, Conn., in 1866, a son of
S. H. Crane, a New Englander who was a pioneer of Turlock, represented on another
page in this history. Horace S. Crane came to Turlock with his parents in 1871,
when the place was just starting, a few buildings having been moved to the new
Southern Pacific station from Empire City and Paradise. After completing the local
schools he assisted his father at grain farming and in the livestock business and when
his father retired, he took the helm and has since been one of the largest stockmen in
the valley as well as an extensive operator in real estate, banker and business man.
Since 1904- he has been engaged in raising cattle on their lands near Livingston, Merced
County, being associated vyjth his brothers. However, in 1918, they sold most of
their cattle and rent their lands.

Mr. Crane's uncle, John Mitchell, left an estate of about 117,500 acres when
he died in November, 1893. After his death the heirs assigned their interest to the
Findesiecle Investment Company and H. S. Crane was secretary and manager of the
company for many years. The original subdivision in Turlock, laid out by Mr.
Mitchell, comprised three whole blocks by three half blocks on the east side of the
railroad and he donated the site of the grammar school west of the railroad. Since
his death the Findesiecle Investment Company have laid out and platted most of the
land on the west side and several additions on the east side, which are now all built up.
Mr. Crane has individually laid out several additions which have been built up, and
he donated the new Crane Park and the site for the new high school and its grounds.

The first alfalfa was grown in 1902, at the time the water was brought to Tur-
lock, since which time Mr. Crane has always been interested in raising alfalfa. He
has been a builder up of Turlock in many ways, building the First National Bank
building, corner of East Main and Center streets, and was the prime mover in the
organization of the First National Bank. In 19*06 they purchased the bank here from
O. McHenry. Later the bank was converted to a state bank and chartered as the
Commercial Bank. Mr. Crane was its president from 1906, establishing branch



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1151

banks at Denair and Hilmar. This was the first bank in Stanislaus County outside of'
Modesto and has become a large and very strong financial institution. In 1914 he
sold the controlling interest and resigned as president, while he still retains a large
amount of stock and is chairman of its board of directors. For many years he was a
stockholder in and a director in the Merced Security Bank, Mr. Crane subdivided
lands into twenty-acre tracts and built the ditch for irrigating the land, selling it for
about twenty-five dollars an acre, and has seen these lands grow in value from the
intensive farming of these lands until they sell for $800 and even $1,000 an acre, a
wonderful transformation from the sand dunes and barren land of the early seventies.
Mr. Crane's marriage occurred in San Francisco, where he was united with
Miss Mary Roselle, who was born in Nebraska, and they have been blessed with two
children, Horace Richard and John W. Active in the incorporating of the city of
Turlock, he was a member of its first board of trustees, serving for eight years, being
the second chairman of the board. Fraternally he is a member of Turlock Lodge of
K. of P., and has been an active member of the Board of Trade since its start. A
strong prohibitionist and an ardent Republican, he has always been active and prom-
inent in the councils of that party.

JOSEPH M. AVILA. — Prominent among the progressive farmers who helped
to develop Stanislaus County is Joseph M. Avila, who owns a ranch of 120 acres at
Crows Landing and also 1,200 acres situated near San Juan, in San Benito County,
where he conducted a large cattle ranch. In 1900 Mr. Avila leased 120 acres in Stan-
islaus County from Mr. Crow and there ran a dairy for five years, when he bought it
and all the improvements placed thereon were the result of his industry. He continued
dairying there until 1913, when he leased his ranch and retired to a home in San Jose.
He became well-to-do and took an active part in all progressive movements in Stanis-
laus County. He is a stockholder in the Bank of Newman and at Crows Landing.

Mr. Avila was born on St. George Island, in the Azores, December 25, 1852, the
son of Joseph Machado and Anna Francisca Avila, who were farmers in the Azores.
Having heard of America and how people had made good in this new country, he
decided he would see what opportunities it offered for him. Upon his arrival here,
when only thirteen years old, he was employed by a farmer near Boston and worked
there three months for the small sum of five dollars per month. Thinking that he
would like to see a little more of the world, he made his way to New Bedford. Mass.,
and from there set out to sea and for the next three years and seven months his time
was divided between his duties on board and learning of the different countries, people,
climate, and all the peculiarities of the countries and customs of the people. He visited
Alaska, California, South America and many other points of interest the world over.

When he returned from these voyages, he came back to New Bedford and went
to work at a factory in that city and was thus occupied for the next year. Having on
one of his trips seen the great opportunities afforded in California, he boarded a
steamer and went to Panama and then on to California, settling in San Francisco in
1870. From there, he went to San Felipe and worked for James Dan, a large cheese
manufacturer of that day ; then from San Felipe he made his way to San Juan and
started farming there. At first he operated, leased farms and then having made a suc-
cess of farming, he purchased a 1,200-acre ranch and began raising cattle, which
proved a very successful undertaking.

On February 14, 1881, Mr. Avila was united in marriage with Miss Isabel
Nunes, born on the Island of Pico of the Azores group and who came to California in
1879. They became the parents of twelve children: Daniel is a rancher in Stanislaus
County; Antonio died in San Jose in 1912, aged twenty-eight; Mary is Mrs. John
Borba of Newman ; Joseph is engaged in the wholesale stock business and operates all
over the state, he lives at Crows Landing; Manuel has a dairy ranch in Santa Clara;
Frank lives in San Juan ; John is a partner with his brother, Joseph, in the stock busi-
ness and lives at Newman ; he served about two years in the U. S. Army with the
Siberian forces during the World War; George resides on his father's ranch at Crows
Landing; William is on a dairy ranch at Santa Clara; Anna E. is assistant cashier in
the bank at Gustine; Rose M. is at home; Belle is single and is at home. The twelve



1152 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

children were all born in San Juan, and the priest, Rev. Father Close, who married
Mr. and Mrs. Avila, christened all the children and also married Mary and Frank.
They have all been educated in the public schools of San Benito and Stanislaus counties.
Mr. Avila has had an active and useful life in which he has improved his opportunities
wisely and well, not only in the advancement of his individual fortunes, but for the
benefit of the community at large. Fraternally, he is a member of the I. D. E. S. at
Gilroy, Cal., and of the U. P. E. C. at Hollister.

PETER BRUNOLD. — Although a native of Switzerland, where his ancestors
for many generations have been tillers of the soil, Peter Brunold, one of the most
successful dairy farmers and stock breeders of Stanislaus County, is a true American
in every sense of the word, and has been a resident of the United States since he was
a lad, having crossed the ocean with his parents. Three sisters and two brothers had
preceded them several years and had located in Amador County, Cal. It was in
1882, when Peter Brunold was sixteen, that he and his parents came to California, also
locating in Amador County, and there his mother passed away at the age of sixty-
eight, while the father spent the remainder of his days with his son Peter, his death
occurring at Modesto, when he had reached the age of eighty-four years.

Mr. Brunold came to Stanislaus County in 1904, and immediately purchased forty
acres of land, soon after adding another twenty-six acres, all unimproved wheat land,
paying therefor sixty and $100 an acre. Recently he sold forty acres of this land for
$300 an acre, cash, thus indicating the increased valuation of land in this section of
the county. He has improved his property until it is now one of the show places of
the vicinity, with a modern residence and other improvements of a high character. He
is engaged in the dairy business and in breeding registered Holstein cattle, owning a
herd of thirty head. His herd sire is King Pontiac Sarcastic Korndyke, whose sire,
King Korndyke Pontiac, 20th, was sold to Burns & Company of Los Angeles for
$12,000, while a half brother of King Pontiac Sarcastic Korndyke was recently
sold to Mrs. Anita Baldwin for $41,000. He also owns some very valuable regis-
tered Holstein-Friesian cows that make about a thousand pounds of butter a year.
Mr. Brunold is a member of the Stanislaus County Holstein Breeders Association and
of the National Holstein-Friesian Breeders Association.

Born in Bergiin, Canton Grisons, Switzerland, August 7, 1866, Peter Brunold
was the youngest of six children born to George and Margaret (Yager) Brunold
He received his early education in the public schools of his native village. After com



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 127 of 177)