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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 128 of 177)
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ing to California in 1882, he attended school at lone and then clerked in a genera
store at lone until 1888, when he moved to Los Angeles, where he was employed at
farming and dairying, and in 1894 had a dairy on South Main Street, near Slauson
Avenue, now one of the thickly settled portions of Los Angeles. His brother, Andrew
Brunold, is still a resident of that city. Selling his dairy on South Main Street, Mr.
Brunold moved to Tropico, where he had a dairy until 1904, when attracted by the
low price of land in Stanislaus County, he came to Modesto.

The marriage of Mr. Brunold and Miss Louise S. Hayden took place in San
Francisco, December 23, 1889, his wife being a native daughter, born at Sutter
Creek, Amador County. Her parents, James and Hariette (Whitt) Hayden, were at
that time residents of Sutter Creek. Her father was born in Ohio, and when a youth,
his mother having passed away, he ran away from home and enlisted in Company C,
Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, serving in the Civil War. He fought in the battles
of Winchester, Port Republic, Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Gettysburg, Mission
Ridge, Chancellorsville, Dallas, Lookout Mountain, Resaca and others, serving until
the close of the war. Through exposure and lack of care his eyesight became impaired
and he eventually became totallv blind. At Sutter Creek he married Hariette Whitt,
who was born at Fiddletown, Amador County, the daughter of Harry and Martha
Whitt. James Hayden died in 1911, while the mother made her home at Sacramento
till her death in 1908. Mrs. Brunold is the only child of the union and received a
good education in the schools of Sutter Creek.

Mr. and Mrs. Brunold have been blessed with seven children, all well and
favorably known in the county: Alma, now the wife of Ed Peterson, garage owner



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1155

of Patterson; Margaret, Mrs. Alfred Davis of Modesto; Andrew, Hefti, Dawnna,
Jeanette and Isola. Mrs. Brunold is a cultured woman, having a taste for the artistic
and beautiful things of life. She is an active member of the Prescott W. C. T. U.,
in which she has been an official, and is a member of the Baptist Church and a teacher
in the Sunday school. Mr. Brunold is one of the most enthusiastic boosters for the
state and county that one can find, the type of citizen that has made the Southwest
one of the favored places in all the world. And like most western men, Mr. Brunold
gives a large measure of the credit for the success he has achieved to the sympathy
and cooperation of his wife.

WILLIAM G. BACH. — A progressive cattle-raiser is William G. Bach, popu-
larly called Billy Bach, who keeps from 400 to 500 head of cattle on the Bach
Ranch still belonging to the family estate. He was born on the home place near
Knights Ferry on January 13, 1884, the son of William Francis Bach, whose parents
were Johann Gotfried and Johanna Rosina Bach, and was a native of Prussia, first
seeing the light in 1834. His home was at Burdschultz, near Keitz, in the Kingdom
of Prussia, until he came to America, and while in Europe, he followed the occupa-
tion of a miller. He took passage from Bremen on a sailing vessel bound for New
York, and arriving in the New World, he passed a year in Philadelphia, after which
he kept a store at Little Rock, Ark. From the latter city, Mr. Bach came to Cali-
fornia, reaching Sonora in 1853, and for a time he resided at Buena Vista, in Stanis-
laus County, whence he removed to his latter home in Knights Ferry precinct,
twenty-five miles from Modesto, nine miles from the railway, and five miles from
a school. There he had a farm of 3,020 acres near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada
Mountains, one-third of which was cultivated for grain, producing the best of wheat.
The remainder was grazing land and supported some 3,000 head of sheep.

On November 24, 1867, William F. Bach was married to Miss Cordelia Gobin,
by whom he had four children : Lelora, William Francis, who died when six months
old, and Rose and Bessie. Mrs. Bach died on February 25, 1877, and on November
25, 1877, Mr. Bach took for his second wife Miss Lena Kuhn, a native of California
from near Copperopolis, Calaveras County. William Francis Bach was well known
as a cattle and sheep man, and gave him name to the Bach school district. He died
in Oakdale, December 14, 1913. He was a Knight Templar Mason, being a charter
member of Summit Lodge No. 112 at Knights Ferry. They had three children.
Ella May became the wife of B. L. Sisson, and they reside on the Bach home place,
with their one child, Marjory. Katherine, the second-born, married Fred Stone, a
rancher, of Knights Ferry precinct. W. G. Bach is the subject of our review.

William G. grew up to become familiar with the stock business, and attended
the schools of the Buena Vista and Knights Ferry precinct. His first investment was
the personal property of his father, including some 250 head of cattle, after getting
which he rented the home ranch two miles south of Knights Ferry. On January
16, 1908, he was married to Miss Rosalie Marckley of San Francisco, the daughter
of Frank F. Marckley, and they have three children — Avery, Thelma and Evelyn.
He bought his building site in Oakdale in 1918, and a year later he built his beau-
tiful stucco residence. He is a member of the California Cattlemen's Association,
and may well be regarded as successful and prosperous. He was made a Mason in
Summit Lodge No. 112 F. & A. M., is a member of Sonora Chapter No. 2 R. A. M.,
and Sonora Commandery No. 3, K. T. In national politics Mr. Bach is a Republican.

HARRY R. FOSTER. — An enterprising man of affairs who has a record for
success of which anyone might well he proud, is Harry R. Foster the wide-awake
jobber and shipper of Keyes, who was born at Greenfield, in Greene County, 111., on
July 3, 1875, the eldest son of Alonzo L. and Mary L. (Morrison) Foster. His
paternal ancestors came from Ireland and settled in New York; while on his mother's
side his forebears were of Scotch blood, and after crossing the Atlantic, settled in
Kentucky. Alonzo Foster devoted himself to farming in Illinois and Kansas, to
which state he and his wife moved on account of his poor health, when the subject
of our review was four years old. The family resided near Parkerville for two and a
half years; and on Christmas Day, 1881, they arrived in Los Angeles. Mr. Foster



1156 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

purchased a tract of forty acres near Tropico, where he continued to devote himself
to agriculture and orchard work.

Harry attended an excellent school on the East Side in Los Angeles, and also
found good instruction at the Verdugo School, and for a couple of terms, or until his
folks removed to Riverside, he was a student at the Los Angeles high school. From
1896 to 1898, he attended the Riverside Business College, but after finishing the
course, he decided against making office work his life activity. He therefore engaged
in the bakery business, becoming one of the partners in the firm of Bennett & Foster
he continued as a baker on Eighth Street in Riverside for five years, selling out about
1905. He at once settled at San Bernardino and there remained over two years.

In the fall of 1907, Mr. Foster came to Turlock, where he established the pioneer
bakery and for two years engaged successfully in producing the best bake-stuffs in the
town ; but on account of ill-health he was forced to get out into the open. He sold
out, therefore, in 1909, and next became foreman for F. E. Robertson on his dairy
farm at Denair. In 1912 he took entire charge of the Turlock Shipping Company's
activities at Keyes, that company holding a five-year lease on the holding of H. M.
Hatch at Keyes; he had charge of the seeding, growing and harvesting of the entire crop
of melons and sweet potatoes for the entire five years, and it need hardly be said that
he had plenty to do. Since then Mr. Foster has engaged for himself in the brokerage
of melons, other fruit and sweet potatoes, having established his present business in
1917, and has attained desirable success in shipping in carload lots. Naturally enough,
he is a good "booster" for the land of his adoption.

When Mr. Foster married he took for his wife Miss Anna R. Drew, a native of
Canada, who came to the United States with her parents when a girl of seven years
and settled at Riverside. Two children have been born to them: Edna W. is the
wife of Harry Stammerjohan of Keyes; and Glen M. is attending the grammar
school at Keyes. Mr. and Mrs. Foster are the owners of their choice residence and
lot. where he has dwelt since 1912. Mr. Foster belongs to the Ancient Order of
Foresters, and served on two of the Liberty Loan committees, as well as on various
emergency drives during the war.

JAMES T. MOREHEAD.— A practical developer of Stanislaus County
especially active in leveling and checking lands, who, seeing the commercial possibility
of a swimming pool, erected one of the best bathing places in the county, is James T.
Morehead, who was born in Sutter County, Cal., on August 16, 1868. His father,
A. Clinton Morehead, came from his native state, Virginia, to Missouri, where he
married Sarah Reed and continued farming. In 1861 he crossed the plains with ox
teams and located in Sutter County, Cal., where he followed ranching for thirty years;
and then, for ten years, he settled in Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County. After that
he went to San Jose, where he died in 1908, at the age of seventy-five. Mrs. More-
head, who is in her eighty-second year, now resides in San Jose.

James was the youngest of four children, and he was brought up on a farm in
Sutter County, where he enjoyed the advantages of the usual public school education.
He continued farming for a while there, and then he removed to San Luis Obispo
County, where he practiced breaking horses. He also bought and sold horses, traveling
through different parts of California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and British
Columbia. In 1908 he came to Modesto, where he engaged in general contracting,
leveling, checking and building canals and di;ches; and such has been the acknowledged
quality of his labor that he has done more work for the Modesto Irrigation District
than any other contractor. He has also done more checking of land and built more
ditches in the county than anyone els\

Mr. Morehead's far-sightedness was demonstrated when, in 1918, he built a
swimming pool, 50x150 feet in size, and from three to nine feet deep, which is sup-
plied from the waste water of the Valley Ice Plant, flowing through the pool day
and night at the rate of from 900 to 1,200 gallons a minute. The pool is one of the
largest in the state, and is equipped with the latest swimming-pool devices. For a



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1159

cooling system he arranged a gigantic spray of aerated water, the whole flow forced
through a pipe eighty feet long, placed horizontally twenty feet above the pool, from
which the water comes as a shower the whole eighty feet, dropping on a sieve, which
makes a fine spray, cooling the entire area, the water being reduced from ninety
degrees to seventy degrees, undoubtedly the largest shower bath in California. The
pool is drained out every night and thoroughly cleaned. It is generously patronized
and has accommodated as many as 800 in a day, or about 250 in the pool at one time.
People who have traveled all over the United States and Europe give it as their
opinion that the Modesto Plunge is the finest and cleanest pool they have ever seen.
Besides this, Mr. Morehead owns nineteen acres adjoining the city, in alfalfa.

Mr. Morehead's first marriage occurred at the Buttes, in Sutter County, when
be took Miss Bertha Gray for his wife. She was a native of that section, but she
died at Modesto. One child blessed their union, a daughter, Ruth. On the occasion
of his second marriage, at Modesto, Mr. Morehead was united to Mrs. Ethel (Lammi-
man) Cable, a native of Ontario, Canada, who came to California first with her
parents in 1897, attending grammar school at Aromas and the high school in Watson-
ville. By her first marriage she had four children — Webley, Amanda, Monte and
Shirley. Both Mr. and Mrs. Morehead are members of the Christian Church ; and
he is a member of the Loyal Order of Moose.

CAPTAIN PETER KNUTSEN.— An interesting citizen of Turlock is Capt.
Peter Knutsen, who comes of noble Northern lineage and for years sailed the deep
seas, guiding his vessels laden with rich cargoes safely from port to port, visiting most
of the notable harbors and coast cities of the world, and seeing no end of adventure
and stirring historical events. A wide reader, a man of pleasing personality and
with an exceptional supply of stories well worth the hearing, Captain Knutsen is wel-
come everywhere as a genial conversationalist.

Captain Knutsen was born at Rangeven, Bergen, Norway, on September 19,
1869, and after attending the excellent public schools of that country until he was
fourteen years of age, he was apprenticed as a sailor in the coasting trade for two
years, and then went on to the big merchant vessels. He sailed, for instance, on the
barque Meda of Christiansand to Brazil and back for a year, and then for two years
he was on a Danish vessel. After that he went to sea on various vessels for years,
until he was twenty-six, when he entered the Navigation School at Bergen, and studied
to be a mate. When papers had been granted him for second mate, he continued until
he was commissioned first mate on the Lyderhorn, and later he was made master of
her. This was in 1907, and as captain he sailed that vessel through the Mediterranean
to Africa. Then he became captain of the Blaamanden; but wishing to return to his
old home, after an absence on the high seas of five years, he obtained a lay-off and
came back to Bergen. A new law at that time went into effect requiring all masters
of vessels to submit to an examination as to their eyesight, and as he could not pass
muster, he was compelled against his wish to retire from the sea.

His brother, Knute, had come back home on a visit from California, and from
the glowing description of the Golden State, the captain determined to cast in his lot
in the land of sunshine and flowers, and so came to Turlock in 1912 and started in in
the warehouse business as a partner in the firm of Knutsen Bros. At the end of two
years of trade on the Southern Pacific reservation, the firm built its present large
warehouse on the State Highway, and the captain has luckily continued in that business
enterprise. The firm has every desirable modern equipment and is properly rated
among the leading merchants in their field in Stanislaus County.

While still in Norway, Captain Knutsen was married to Miss Alvina Nickelsen,
who died at Turlock in 1915, the friend to all and beloved by those who knew her.
She had been a devoted mother to three boys — Berger, who is assisting his father in
business; Eivin, who is in the high school at Turlock; and Ralph. Captain Knutsen
married a second time, choosing Miss Marie Danielson of Bergen for his second wife,
and the ceremony took place at Turlock. Since coming to California, Captain Knutsen
has made a host of friends, and all wish him and wife long life and smooth seas.



1160 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

HARRY OSCAR FETTERMAN.— A hard-working rancher and a self-made,
progressive citizen is Harry Oscar Fetterman, the proprietor of the sanitary, high-grade
dairy one and a half miles northeast of Crows Landing. He was born in Columbia
County, Pa., on April 16, 1881, the son of Urias and Susana Fetterman, worthy folks
of a worthy generation, and parents of a good, old-fashioned family of thirteen children.
His father is still living at the ripe age of eighty-one, active in the management of not
only one, but two Pennsylvania farms, and well-known as an agriculturist.

Owing in part to the death of his mother when he was four years old, Harry Fet-
terman attended school for little more than three months of each year, and at the age of
sixteen left home for York County, Nebr., where he ranched for two years on grain
land. In 1899, having learned of the greater advantages in California and, particu-
larly, in Stanislaus County, he came to Crows Landing and worked for three years
on various alfalfa ranches ; and then he took up carpenter work and made a specialty
of putting up farm buildings. His thorough understanding of the needs of the farmer
enabled him to give entire satisfaction; and when, in 1919, he discontinued work at
that trade and took up dairying on the George Thoming Ranch, he did so with the
conviction that he could attain still greater success in that field.

The ranch comprises 116 acres, in addition to which Mr. Fetterman manages sixty
acres also belonging to the same owner. He has 100 or more head of cattle, and sixty
are of milch stock. He has formed a partnership with Mr. Thoming, and together
they enjoy the fruits of the ranches, representing no small part of the local output.

On August 10, 1898, Mr. Fetterman married Miss Mary Bowman, a native of
Ashland County, Ohio, and the daughter of William and Elizabeth Bowman. They
came to California with the pioneers, and Mr. Bowman founded a gunsmith establish-
ment at Crows Landing, notable in its day. Mr. Bowman died in 1904, esteemed for
his clever and honest workmanship, and Mrs. Bowman passed away six years later.
Five children — all bright and shining lights in the grammar schools, have blessed this
union, and their names are Doyle, Cecil, Edwin, Helen and Harry.

ANGELO BASSO.— A genial and old settler is Angelo Basso, the bridge tender
on the Waterford and La Grange highway, who was born in the little town of Basso,
Italy, east of Genoa, on May 6, 1846. He crossed the ocean to America when seven-
teen years of age, and came to California by way of New York and Panama, arriving
in San Francisco in the fall of 1863. His father, John Basso, had preceded him to
America, and was mining at Moccasin Creek, in Tuolumne County ; and his mother,
Theressa Basso, followed after our subject was established here. She died in Liver-
more Valley, in 1890, leaving four children, a boy and three girls, among whom
Angelo was the oldest ; and Mr. Basso passed away there also the following year.

Angelo Basso engaged in placer mining with his father until 1868, when he sold
his claim and became a teamster, hauling heavy freight. Then he entered the employ
of John Breccia, the merchant at La Grange, and engaged to run a vegetable wagon ;
and this wagon he drove about for two and a quarter years. Then for seventeen
years, he took up hydraulic mining, for the La Grange Gold Mining Company, and
'rom 1890 to 1900 ran a hydraulic mine near La Grange; but when the enterprise
failed, he lost everything, including his hard-earned savings. Then, in 1901, he began
anew as a prospector and driller for the Gold Dredging Company.

In 1902, he was employed by the county supervisors to run the ferry across the
Tuolumne River, and he continued in that rather arduous field until 1912, when the
authorities of Stanislaus County built the new steel bridge across the Tuolumne River
about two and a half miles below La Grange, called Basso's Bridge, as the ferry had
been called Basso's Ferry.

Mr. Basso came to Stanislaus County in 1870, and he has been here ever since,
acquiring more and more of an acquaintanceship, and adding to his number of loyal
friends. He first married Mrs. Floto, and in 1882, he was again married, this time
to Miss Carmillo Podesto, a native of Padgi, Italy, who came to California in 1881.
Three children were born to this union: John works the dredger at La Grange;
Nettie is now Mrs. Batz, and also lives there; and Angelo lives at Modesto.



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1161

S. GEORGE KOUNIAS.— It was fifteen years ago that George Kounias first
came to Modesto, accompanied by his uncle, S. Athanasiu, who opened and con-
ducted the first grill in the town. Today, as the genial host of the Modesto Grill,
George Kounias is accounted among the leading citizens of the growing city, and
he numbers among his personal friends the most influential men of the state. Besides
the restaurant business, he has invested his surplus in valuable Stanislaus County
farm lands, and has been amply rewarded by increased valuation and profits in
production. One of his side lines, and one in which he has become well known
throughout the state, is in the breeding of registered Holstein cattle. He started
with one registered milch cow in 1913 and built up one of the finest registered herds
in the state. His famous herd sire, King Korndyke Hengerveld Ormsby 7th, won
the grand championship during the Modesto Fair in 1917, defeating the winner of
those honors at the State Fair at Sacramento that same year. This naturally attracted
attention to the Kounias herd, and it was soon found Mr. Kounias was breeding a
strain that not only showed the characteristics of the breed but were producers as
well, as the official records of his cows and heifers showed. He has since taken
other blue ribbons and the official records for his herd show some of the best pro-
ducers in the state. His breeding ranch consists of ninety acres, and was started in
1913, and gradually developed under the personal supervision of Mr. Kounias. In
October, 1920, he disposed of many of the best-known animals of his herd, keeping
only a few famous cows and his herd sire for breeding purposes. By this means he
intends to develop and improve the strain and to increase the herd's production record.

Mr. Kounias is a native of Greece, born about 118 miles north of Athens, May
8, 1891. His father, George S. Kounias, was a farmer and building contractor, now
past seventy years of age. His mother, Ellen (Athanasiu) Kounias, passed away
during the influenza epidemic in 1917. George Kounias was reared on his father's
farm and was well educated, being taught thoroughly in the Greek tongue, with an
appreciable knowledge of French and a smattering of English, by the time he was
fourteen. He early developed a great desire to come to America, and when he was
fourteen won the consent of his parents to join his uncle, S. Athanasiu, at Santa
Rosa, Cal. Accordingly he set sail from Piraeus, July 18, 1905, coming by way of
Naples, and landing in New York on September 1. On September 7 he reached
Santa Rosa, where his uncle was engaged in the restaurant business and owned a
small farm. He immediately went to work in the restaurant and developed an
unusual ability in the concoction of palatable dishes. He worked hard during the
day and studied at night, mastering the details of the restaurant business and the
customs and language of the new country.

On January 8, 1906, Mr. Kounias arrived in Modesto, with his uncle, who
had sold his interests at Santa Rosa. Mr. Athanasiu opened the first grill in Mo-
desto, and for four years Mr. Kounias was employed by him. By this time he had
determined to make a success of the restaurant business and in 1909 he went to San
Francisco, where he worked at some of the leading grills, making a special study of
modern methods and the latest dishes. Returning to Modesto in the latter part of
that same year, he engaged in partnership with Tom Vlahos, who was the original
founder of the Modesto Grill, and at the end of a year he bought his partner's interest
in the business.

On December 20, 1920, Mr. Kounias left Modesto for a visit to his old home.
One of the principal reasons was to bring his aged father to live with him in his adopted
country. From New York he sailed on the Olympic, December 29, via Southampton,
to London. Then he crossed the Channel to Paris, remaining two weeks, making pil-
grimages to the battlefields of the World War, as well as to Versailles, of treaty fame.
Going on to Trieste, Austria (now Italy) thence to Sophia, Bulgaria, and to Serbia,
and on to Athens, via Saloniki, and thence to Constantinople, he found unsettled
conditions, but remained for month and a half at the Golden Horn. Then he made his
way to his home at Peristassis, Greece.

As sometimes happens to travelers, he was detained by the authorities for four
months. Mr. Kounias' messages and telegrams were held up and he could get no word



1162 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

to his friends. After weeks and weeks of delay he finally succeeded in sending word to
Modesto and to the American consul in Constantinople. The latter sent word to the
American consul at Athens. Through the efforts of friends in Modesto, and the assist-
ance of Senator Shortridge and Secretary of State Hughes, who kept the cables hot with



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 128 of 177)