George Henry Tinkham.

History of Stanislaus County California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the pres online

. (page 134 of 177)
Online LibraryGeorge Henry TinkhamHistory of Stanislaus County California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the pres → online text (page 134 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

valiant service for his adopted country in the war of 1812. The Yates family settled
in Indiana, and Grandfather Yates, who went to Missouri from Indiana when only
four years old, was reared and married in Missouri. Mr. Yates' father, James G.,
was also born at Spickard, Mo. His mother, Mary (Applegate) Yates, was a native
of Indiana. His parents are now making their home at Turlock.

James D. grew to maturity in his native state, assisting his father as a lad with
the work on the farm. His education was acquired in the public schools, and at nine-
teen he passed the examination for a teacher and taught school five terms. In 1909
he came to Sonora, Cal., and clerked for a while at Angels, near Sonora. From
Sonora he went to Modesto, where he purchased city lots and built eighteen or twenty
houses which he disposed of. Among other vocations that have claimed his attention
is the poultry business. He served as judge of the poultry exhibits at Fresno four
years, was also judge of the Oakland poultry exhibit one year, and was director of
the Poultry Producers Association of Central California one year.

His marriage in Lodi united him with Miss Edna Tubbs, a native daughter of
California, born near lone, and daughter of R. C. and Nellie (Greene) Tubbs. One
child has been born of their union, a daughter named Eleanor Frances. Gifted with
a fine baritone voice, Mr. Yates did a great deal of singing while at Modesto, both in
the churches and as a soloist in local concerts. He was a member of the Methodist
Church choir, the Modesto Choral Society and the Yeomen.

CHARLES L. JARRETT. — To say that a man is a native son implies more
to any true Californian than a mere accident of birth, for it presupposes broad-minded,
progressive ideals and a generous and hospitable nature. All these qualifications has
Charles L. Jarrett, native son and son of a native son, his grandfather, Frank Jarrett,
having come to California from Illinois in 1849, crossing the plains in an ox-drawn
prairie schooner. Here he married Martha Bisby, and at Monterey, in 1858, was
born their son Clifford, father of Charles L. Jarrett.

Clifford Jarrett was married to Laura E. Walton, a native of Pennsylvania,
and they became the parents of three daughters, Mrs. M. A. Beckwith, of Hart Pre-
cinct, Mrs. Scott Beach, of Los Angeles, and Mrs. E. W. Smith of Salida, and of
one son, the subject of this sketch. The family removed to Pennsylvania in 1884,
where Clifford Jarrett engaged in farming and in the breeding of fast horses. He
was killed in a railroad accident in Warren County, Pa., in 1903.

Charles L. Jarrett was born at Meridian, Sutter County, in the Sacramento Val-
ley, March 23, 1878, and was but a lad of eight years when his parents moved to


Pennsylvania, the former home of his mother. He was educated in the schools of
Erie, Pa., and worked with his father on the farm until the latter's death. He was
married at Brocton, N. Y., to Miss Maude Shepart and returned to settle on his
father's old farm in Warren County, Pa., where three children were born to them.

It was not until 1907 that the call of the West sounded clearly enough to bring
Mr. Jarrett back to California. He located first at Dinuba, where he ran a dairy
farm of 640 acres for D. T. Curtis for two and a half years. In 1909 he came to
Stanislaus County and bought eighty acres on the Beckwith Road, near Salida. Later
he sold one forty of this to his brother-in-law, E. W. Smith, and has developed the
remaining forty into a home place which is a credit to the community and a property
of value. Two more children have been born to them since coming to California,
giving them three sons and two daughters, Marion and Melville, now in high school
in Modesto, Velma, Clifford and Elwin. Mr. Jarrett is a trustee of the Salida school
district, a member of the Farm Bureau and the Milk Producers Association. He is
also an active member of the Native Sons of the Golden West.

GEORGE WASHINGTON PRICKETT.— Although but a comparatively
short time a resident of Salida, an interested part in its upbuilding must be accorded
to George Washington Prickett, owner and manager of the Sterling Garage, owner of
valuable residence and other property in Salida, and operator of a string of twelve
two-ton trucks, handling all the milk for the Carpenter Milk Products Company,
now owned by the Nestles Food Company.

Mr. Prickett was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 16, 1890, the son of
William H. and Cora (Ayer) Prickett, also natives of Ohio, but now residing at
Fresno, where Mr. Prickett's father is a well-known raisin and peach grower at
Oleander. The family removed to California when Mr. Prickett was but fourteen,
and his education was completed at the Fresno high school. In 1910 he was married
to Miss Ella Moller, a native of Fresno, and the daughter of one of the prominent
pioneer families of the state. They are the parents of three children, Orval William,
Harold George, and Alta Cora.

Up until 1916, Mr. Prickett resided in Fresno County and engaged in raisin
growing. He then came to Modesto and engaged in the trucking business, starting
with one truck which he operated himself. In 1917 he came to Salida, where he
opened the Sterling Garage, and purchased a city block of unimproved property.
This property he has highly improved, having built thereon two handsome resi-
dences, one of which he occupies, and the well-equipped garage and repair shop. He
holds the contract with the Nestles Food Company for the handling of all their milk,
and the trucks cover the territory twice daily, and he employs thirteen men the
year around. He personally owns two of the trucks and the balance in partnership
with others. Both Mr. and Mrs. Prickett are members of the Congregational Church
at Salida and take an active interest in church affairs, Mr. Prickett being clerk of the
official board of the church.

GEORGE W. JOHNSON.— One of the many residents of Indiana who have
come to California and made a success of farming is George W. Johnson, who, in
partnership with his brother, Jesse W. Johnson, owns a fine seventy-five acre ranch.
He is a man of high ideals, of ability, judgment, and a successful farmer.

Mr. Johnson is the eldest son of James and Martha Elizabeth (Hughes) John-
son, now residents of Prescott precinct, this county, making their home on five acres
which originally belonged to the ranch owned by the subject of this sketch. Their
former home was in Indiana, where our Mr. Johnson was born at Grantsburg, August
14, 1873. He attended school but a limited time, for, although ambitious to obtain
an education, necessity appointed him to a life of early toil. He acquired a great
desire to see California, and the passing years did not dim his determination to do so.
Accordingly, in 1900, together with his brother, Charles, he came to California, going
to Ventura County. The brothers engaged in ranching at Santa Paula, where they
met with merited success, and later George W. Johnson engaged in various enter-
prises. Finally he and his brother, Jesse W., bought a ten-acre ranch in Ventura


County, which they operated successfully until 1907, when they disposed of it at a
profit and came to Stanislaus County, purchasing their present property in January,
1908. This originally contained eighty acres, but five acres have been sold as a home
place to the parents. George W. and Jesse W. each own an undivided half-interest
in the remaining seventy-five acres, each having built his own residence thereon.

One of the strongest characteristics of Mr. Johnson and his family is the close
bond of fellowship among them and the manner in which father and brothers work
together, giving support and cooperation in all undertakings. This bond is especially
close between George W. and Jesse W., who have operated their business enterprises
in a close copartnership for practically their entire lives. They attribute not a little
of their success to this ability to work together in harmony and unison, and it is a
generally known fact that they never have any trouble in agreeing upon the details of
the management of their extensive interests.

The marriage of Mr. Johnson occurred while he resided in Ventura County,
uniting him with Miss Hattie Barker of that county, in 1907. They are the parents
of three interesting children, Vernon, Vivian and Glenn. Mr. Johnson and the
various members of his family occupy a place in the esteem of their friends and
neighbors, which is a direct tribute to their ability as farmers, to the vigor with which
they take hold of any enterprise, and carry it through to a successful conclusion, to
their honesty and integrity in all dealings with their fellows, and to the spirit of
brotherly love which prevails in the family circle.

ROBERT JACKSON ROSS.— Coming to Stanislaus County less than ten
years ago with practically no capital, Robert J. Ross, through his ability, integrity and
industry, has made himself financially independent and now owns a valuable 100-acre
ranch on the Empire and Hughson Road, one mile south of Empire, which he has
developed and brought to a high state of productivity. Mr. Ross is a native of Mis-
souri, born near Hartville, in Wright County, February 5, 1862. He was brought up
in the Ozark region, where his father was a blacksmith, his father, his uncles and his
brothers all being mechanics. His father was John Ross, a native of Kentucky, born
August 9, 1839. He died March 4, 1904. The mother was Nancy J. Box, a native of
Tennessee, who moved to Missouri with her parents when she was a young girl of
sixteen. There she was married, and passed the remainder of her years, passing away
in 1909, at the age of seventy-four. She was the mother of six children, of whom the
subject of this review was the first born. From a boy he helped around the black-
smith shop until twelve years old, then began to work for wages. The opportunities
for education in the Ozarks were few and poor, and he received no early training and
at the age of sixteen could not write his own name. But he was ambitious and ener-
getic, and through night study and reading in spare hours he advanced himself so mate-
rially that at the age of twenty-one he was able to enter the Southwest Baptist College
at Bolivar, Mo., attending almost three years, earning the means by teaching school in
the Ozark region, having obtained a certificate to teach after his first year at college.
But the schoolroom was too confining for his outdoor-loving spirit.

Mr. Ross' first wife was Miss Alice Mayfield, whom he married in Polk County,
Mo., and of their union were born six children, all of whom are living. Of these,
V. D., the eldest, served in the Guard Force at Fort Douglas during the recent World
War, was honorably discharged, and is now married and residing at Montgomery,
Ala. His health was unfortunately impaired by the hardships of military service, and
he is now undergoing special hospital treatment. The second son, T. R., was a lieu-
tenant in the cavalry in the same great war, and an instructor at Camp Lee and Camp
Sheridan, Ala. He is now employed with a construction company in Alabama.
C. J. is married and resides at Hanford, Cal., where he is employed as a cream tester;
Verna Alice is the wife of J. B. Kauffman, a farmer at Wichita, Kans. ; Cornelia E.
is the wife of E. B. Holmes, an undertaker at Wichita, Kans. : and Luella J. is the
wife of Elmer Talbert, employed by the Ward Lumber Company of Modesto, where
they reside. Mr. Ross continued to farm in Missouri until 1898, when he went to
Oklahoma and homesteaded a o.uarter section of farm land near Capron, Woods
County, residing on it for twelve years. His wife passed away September 15, 1900,


and in September, 1904, he was married to Mrs. Bertha McWilliams Hager, born
in Illinois; by her he had one son, Lloyd R., who lives with his father at Empire.

It was in 1911 that Mr. Ross came to Stanislaus County, where he has since
made his home. He stepped off the boat at Stockton, October 17, of that year, with
just $100 to his name. His sons, T. R. and C. J., were with him, and that same
evening they went to Tracy and secured employment, going to work at eight o'clock
that night. Since that time Mr. Ross has been a very busy man, and the tide of his
affairs has turned. He bought thirty-five acres on Carver Road, northwest of Modesto,
in 1916, and held it until 1919, when he sold at a satisfactory figure. He then pur-
chased his present holding, which he has improved until it is one of the most attractive
as well as one of the most valuable in the vicinity. He is engaged in diversified farm-
ing and dairying, and is highly successful. A self-made man in every sense of the
word, Mr. Ross has always kept up his interest in the accumulation of information,
and is widely read and well informed on many subjects. He is a member of the
Stanislaus County Farmers' Union and a strong advocate of cooperation.

ALVIN D. MEDFORD.— Of the genial Southern type which is so fast disap-
pearing is Alvin D. Medford, of Salida precinct, well known for his business ability
and integrity, and for his unusually good judgment of land values. He is a native
of the "Old South," having been born on a farm near Atlanta, Ga., September 23,
1878, where he passed his boyhood, attendirfg the public schools and later attending
college at Rock Mart, Ga. His parents have never left their native state and are
now residing at Woodstock, Ga., his father having retired from active business.

Mr. Medford came to California in 1902, stopping at Modesto, where he com-
menced working on a farm at the then accepted wage of one dollar per day. Later
he bought land near Oakdale, acquiring in all some eighty acres. A year later, in
1904, he was married to Miss Rosetta Litt, a native of Oakdale. Their union has
been blessed with three children, one daughter, Reon, now attending the Modesto
High School, and two sons, J. B., Jr., known as Harold, and Merle A., aged ten.

The eighty acres first purchased near Oakdale were improved and sold in 1913,
and Mr. Medford then purchased his present place in Salida Precinct, numbering
100 acres of land under a high state of cultivation. He also does considerable busi-
ness in the buying and selling of country property, and owns and operates a modern
McCormick combined harvester and reaper and other first-class machinery. Politi-
cally Mr. Medford disclaims strong party affiliations, and stands strong for men and
principles, clean government and progressive methods in all things.

WALTER M. SPROWL. — During their ten years' residence in Stanislaus
County none have made for themselves a more enduring place than have Mr. and
Mrs. Walter M. Sprovvl, of Prescott precinct, where they reside on the Carvel Road,
taking an active interest in all matters of general welfare and contributing largely to
the upbuilding of community interest. They are members of the Prescott Community
Hall, and of the First Presbyterian Church at Modesto, and Mrs. Sprowl is an
active worker in W. C. T. U. circles. Mr. Sprowl is president of the Sylvan local of
the Stanislaus County Farmers Union, and one of the original organizers of this
local, being keenly alive to its practical advantages.

Mr. Sprowl made his first visit to Stanislaus County in the fall of 1909, visit-
ing his wife's brother, Will M. Way, of Standiford Station, Sylvan precinct. This
visit determined him to come here to make his home, and in December he arrived,
with a carload of household goods, his wife and family coming by way of Seattle,
where Mrs. Sprowl visited relatives, arriving December 27, 1909. Mr. Sprowl im-
mediately purchased twenty acres on the Carvel Road, and four years later bought
the adjoining twenty, now farming forty acres. He was born in Yankton, S. D., his
father being Robert Sprowl, a native of Ormstown, Canada. Robert Sprowl was
married at Mt. Forest, Canada, to Miss Maria Martin, and they came west to what
was then Dakota Territory, in 1868, settling at Yankton, where they were for many
years identified with the development of the country, knowing such pioneer characters
as General Custer. He was a carpenter by trade and in 1875 removed to Lemont,



111., and in 1886 to Kentland, Ind., where he passed away in January, 1905. His wife
lived to be seventy years of age, passing away at Kentland in 1916. She was the
mother of five, of whom the subject of this sketch, born July 21, 1872, was the third.

Owing to an eye affliction, Mr. Sprowl found himself unable to attend school
except for limited periods, and early turned his attention to mechanics, for which
he had a natural aptitude. He worked for a time with any sort of machinery he could
attach himself to — with threshing machine crews, running a threshing machine en-
gine, stationary engine, and similar occupations, and finally took up practical civil
engineering, making a specialty of the subject of drainage for irrigation and general
farming purposes. For some time he was engaged along this line in Newton County,
Ind., and later in Pocahontas and Palo Alto counties, Iowa, gaining experience.

Mr. Sprowl was married in Stockton, Jo Daviess County, 111., January 1, 1902,
to Miss Linnie Way, a native of the same county and state and born near Nora. Her
father was Griffin Way, a native of Indiana, and her mother Elizabeth Unthank.
They came to Jo Daviess County in the early days, and Mrs. Sprowl was educated
at Nora and at Wheaton College, Wheaton, 111. She has in Stanislaus County at
this time two brothers and a sister, William M. Way, rancher of Sylvan precinct,
and Fred and Miss Josie Way of Modesto, and a sister, Mrs. Mattie Barrett, at
Ferndale, Wash. Mr. and Mrs. Sprowl have a son and a daughter, Willard G.
and Sadie. Mr. Sprowl has been engaged in the dairying business and in general
farming since coming to Prescott precinct and has been very successful. His property
on Carvel Road is highly improved, with a comfortable, modern home.

ARTHUR C. McCREADY.— A man of unusual ability and great strength of
character, is Arthur C. McCready, but has closely identified himself with the best
interests of Stanislaus County during the four years of his residence here. Mr.
McCready is a pioneer of the Middle West, his boyhood and youth having been spent
in Dakota Territory, where his father was one of the well-known pioneer preachers
of the time. A. C. came to Modesto in 1917 and bought sixty-two acres of fine land
near Salida, on the Oakdale Road, a part of which he has planted to orchard, and
where he resides with his family.

Mr. McCready is a native of Missouri, born in Cass County in 1872. His
father, the Rev. William McCready, D. D., was a Methodist minister, and the family
moved from one charge to another, until he was made presiding elder with his resi-
dence at Yankton, Dak., and later presiding elder in the Huron conference in South
Dakota, then Dakota Territory. Here he did much pioneer work, establishing many
new churches, and resided at Yankton for many years when that city was then capital
of the territory. He was in the prime of his life and knew all the leading men of
Dakota, being a warm personal friend of Governor Ordway, Gov. Andrew E. Lee,
and such prominent men of his day and location. He was the chaplain of the last
territorial legislature which assembled at Yankton, was also elected temporary chair-
man of the national Populist convention, at Kansas City, in 1892, having been active
in the affairs of that party during its popularity in the Middle West. Rev. McCready
also took up a homestead of 160 acres at Blunt, S. D., on which he proved up, and
which was the home of his family for many years.

The McCready family moved further west in 1882, at the time of the gold
rush to the Black Hills, crossing the Missouri River at Pierre, and crossing the plains
of Western Dakota in a prairie schooner. Always an apt scholar, Arthur McCready
took advantage of every opportunity and finally completed his education in the Spear-
fish Normal School, at Spearfish, S. D. He taught school for two years, but the call
of the great outdoors was too strong, and he became interested in forestry, entered the
U. S. Forestry Service and for three years served as a forest ranger. While thus
engaged he was induced to accept a position as forest ranger with the great Home-
stake Gold Mining Company, and for fifteen years continued constantly in their em-
ploy, being a foreman of a portion of the company's timber operations and having
charge of 16,000 acres of timber lands owned by the company, lying mostly in Wyoming.

Mr. McCready was married at Nemo, S. D., to Miss Janet Robinson, born in
Ontario, the daughter of Robert Robinson, who was the lumber expert for the Home-


stake Gold Mining Company. Mr. McCready came with his family to Modesto in
1917, and from January to October made a careful study of local conditions and lands
before purchasing his present property. He has entered heartily into the spirit of
the community life, and; together with his family, has become an established factor in
local affairs. He was appointed census enumerator in 1920, in that portion lying west
of the Southern Pacific Railway tracks, bounded by the Stanislaus and Tuolumne
rivers, and in the ninety days thus engaged he made the personal acquaintance of
practically every man, woman and child in the district. Mr. and Mrs. McCready
have six children: Gordon, Alan, Ruth and Jessie (twins), Howard and Catherine.

Politically Mr. McCready is a consistent Republican, standing always for the
highest principles. He is a strong advocate of prohibition and a supporter of the Eight-
eenth Amendment and of the Volstead Act. Mr. McCready 's father and mother came
to Palo Alto, Cal., a number of years ago, where his youngest brother, Harry L., a
graduate of Stanford University and now holds an important Government position as
head of a department under the state engineer at Sacramento. Rev. McCready passed
away February, 1917. The widow, now seventy-five, resides at Palo Alto.

EDWARD EALEY. — One of Stanislaus County's successful real estate dealers
is Edward Ealey, who has been a resident here since 1911, and is recognized as one
of the best informed ranchers and business men of the vicinity, especially on matters
touching farm lands, city property, and land valuations generally. He owns a fine
ranch of twenty acres, situated four miles north of Modesto on the McHenry Road,
in the heart of one of the most beautiful residence sections.

Mr. Ealey is a native of Center Point, Clay County, Ind., born June 13, 1884.
His father, the Rev. William Martin Ealey, is a native of North Carolina. He moved
to Urbana, 111., when our Mr. Ealey was but three years of age, and still resides on
the same place which he bought so many years ago. He was a minister of the
Christian Church, but has retired from active labors. He was married to Miss Louisa
Presnell, also a native of North Carolina, and they became the parents of eight
children, five daughters and three sons, of whom the subject of this sketch was the
fifth born. When he was a lad of twelve years Edward began to shift for himself,
selling papers to keep himself in school. After graduating from high school at
Urbana in 1902, he came to California, single-handed and alone, and for six years
worked as a conductor on the electric railway lines running out of Los Angeles. In
June, 1911, he came to Stanislaus County, where he has met with such merited success.
He bought a ranch, but has always been interested in buying and selling real estate. In
1915 Mr. Ealey began his career as a realtor in Modesto, establishing himself at 915 I
Street, later moving into his present large offices in the Hughson Hotel building.

It was in March, 1919, that Mr. Ealey bought his present home place on Mc-
Henry Road, and moved into the new home in February, 1920. He has owned other
very valuable property in various parts of the county, which he has improved and
sold. He handles both city property and farm lands, and is in close touch and cooper-
ation with leading real estate dealers throughout the United States and Canada, so that
he can supply his clients with practically any kind of property that they desire, or can
negotiate almost any kind of deal for them. He has not confined his local transactions
to this county by any means, but is well and favorably known in the surrounding
counties. Mr. Ealey is absolutely a self-made man, and his long, hard years of climbing

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 134 of 177)