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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 142 of 177)
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than for their own. Of such men is D. Power Boothe, engineer, mining and irriga-
tion expert, and owner of one of the most profitable orchards in the county, located two
miles northeast of Ceres. D. Power Boothe, since coming to Stanislaus County in
1915, has been identified with its best interests and has taken an especially active part
in irrigation development. A native of Illinois, Mr. Boothe was born at Kinmundy,
Marion County, August 22, 1881. His father was Lemon Ferris Boothe, also a
native of Illinois, and his grandfather was J. W. Boothe, a veteran of the Civil War.







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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1281

having served as a colonel in the Forty-fourth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers. The
mother was Miss Emma Power, also born in Illinois. Lemon Ferris Boothe moved
his family to Eastern Washington in 1887, locating at Spokane, where he engaged
in the wholesale grocery business. Here the mother passed away in 1900, leaving to
mourn her loss her husband and three children.

D. Power Boothe received his early education at Spokane, attending the grammar
;ind high schools, which are noted for their excellence. Later he graduated from the
University of California at Berkeley, taking his degree in the College of Mining
Engineering in 1905. He followed the profession of mining engineer for a period of
years, winning for himself a most enviable reputation in his chosen work. He was for
some time at Wallace, Idaho, and later at Tonopah, Nev., where he was engineer and
geologist for the Tonopah Extension Mines and later superintendent of the Tonopah
Victor Mining Company. In this capacity he was associated with many of the biggest
mining men of the day, and his responsibilities were many and heavy.

After ten years devoted to the mining industry, Mr. Boothe determined to make
a change in his plans and came into Stanislaus Countv in 1915 and engaged in civil
and irrigation engineering on an independent basis. He bought fifty-five acres of raw
land just north of Ceres, and has improved and developed this property along the
latest scientific lines, and has it planted to alfalfa, figs, grapes and other fruits.

The marriage of Mr. Boothe occurred during his college career, uniting him
with Miss Margaret Stewart, a native of Portland, Ore., and like himself a student
at the University of California. Of their union have been born two sons, Dyas
Power. Jr., and Thomas Wheeler. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boothe take an active part
in social and civic life in Ceres, where they have a wide circle of friends. Mr. Boothe
is a member of the Ceres Board of Trade, having served as treasurer since 1919. He
was president of the Ceres Center Farm Bureau in 1920, and has done much to
promote the interests of this organization. Mr. Boothe had charge of the engineering
in connection with the construction of the Ceres sanitary sewer system. In 1921 he
was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Ceres Union high school.
Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic Order, Modesto Lodge, and of the
Delta Tau Delta Fraternity of the University of California.

ANTHONY A. FARLEY.— A successful merchant who has kept well abreast
of the times and in affording a high grade mercantile service for Keyes has contributed
definitely toward the expansion of Stanislaus Countv, is Anthony A. Farley, who was
born near Bates, in Vernon Countv. Mo., on April 6, 1882, the son of Edward Farley,
a farmer, a native of Illinois. He married Nora Hicklin, a native of Missouri, and
thev now reside in Hanford, Kings County. All three of their children survive, and
Anthony is both the eldest child and son. When thirteen years of age he accom-
panied his parents to Kings County and settled near Hanford, and there his boyhood
was spent upon his father's farm. On September 12, 1899, he enlisted in Company I,
Fortieth U. S. Volunteers, and served in active warfare for eighteen months in the
Philippines; and at San Francisco he was discharged on June 30, 1901.

Upon returning to civil life, Mr. Farley entered the employ of Gravatt & Com-
pany, retail grocers at Hanford, and nine months later he went to Fresno to take a
position for fifteen months in the Sperry Mills. From Fresno he went to the oil
fields at Coalinga, where wages were higher and the future seemed brighter to him ;
he was paid $250 per month, and that was then considered very fair remuneration.
He became expert as a driller, as well as in the dressing and making of tools, and such
was his proficiency that during the entire eight years he was connected with only two
companies, the American Petroleum, now the Aztec Oil Company, and the Mercantile
Crude Oil Company.

On September 16, 1906, Mr. Farley was married to Miss Laura Wilson, whose
parents, Egbert Livingstone and Mary (Thailer) Wilson, were numbered among the
interesting pioneers of Sacramento. The father was born in Illinois, and in 1850
crossed the great plains to Sacramento with oxen and engaged in mining for several
years before he entered into extensive stock raising and grain growing at Sacramento.
Mrs. Wilson was born at Placerville, of parents who came from Missouri in 1848,



1282 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

and early went into the mines. Mrs. Farley graduated from the grammar school at
Folsom, attended a private academy and was granted her certificate as a school teacher
at Sacramento in 1905. She taught school for four terms at the Harvard school in
Sacramento County, for two terms at the Alphic school in Fresno, and for half a term
at the Arena school in Merced County. In July, 1920, Mrs. Farley was commissioned
postmaster at Keyes; and she has also carried on the county librarian's work. Two
children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Farley: Ray and Ruby, who attend
the Keyes grammar school.

Mr. Farley is the successor to L. A. McMains in the general merchandise busi-
ness at Keyes, having bought out the latter in January, 1920, and he carries a com-
plete line of groceries, sundries and drygoods. Near Livingston, in Merced County,
he owns twenty acres of raw land, and at Coalinga he owns a number of town lots,
and he also has realty interests in Monterey County. He owns a half-acre of resi-
dential property in the city of Sacramento; and Mrs. Farley has one-third of a share
in the stock farm near Folsom, known as the "Wilson Stock Farm." Mrs. Farley
has one brother, who is manager of this farm.

LEWIS H. RICKENBACHER.— The present water superintendent of the
Turlock Irrigation District, Lewis H. Rickenbacher, has been a resident of Turlock
since 1908. He was born at Topeka, Kans., November 10, 1885, the son of Wm.
Rickenbacher, a native of Columbus, Ohio. Grandfather John Rickenbacher served
in the Mexican War, was a merchant tailor in Columbus, Ohio, and served as sheriff
of Franklin County, being a man of influence and prominence. Wm. Rickenbacher
migrated to Kansas in 1875, where he entered the employ of the Santa Fe Railroad,
becoming a trusted and valued clerk in the general offices until the fall of 1920, when
he retired on a pension. His wife was Henrietta Dressel and she is the mother of
seven children, of whom Lewis H. is the youngest.

After completing the grammar schools, he entered Topeka high, where he was
graduated in 1906, after which he attended Washburn College for a year. Next he
spent one year in a mercantile establishment; resigning his position he came to Tur-
lock, Cal., in 1908. The first year was spent working as a horticulturist, and then he
came to be employed by the Turlock Irrigation District in the engineering department
under Burton Smith, and he was made assistant engineer under him and continued in
the same position until his successor was appointed.

In 1915 Mr. Rickenbacher was transferred to the position of water superin-
tendent, which he held until the fall of 1918, when he resigned to accept the position
of resident engineer for the State Highway Commission at Grass Valley, and was in
charge of the district for nine months. Resigning, he went to Topeka, Kans., and
engaged in the mercantile business until January, 1920, when he sold out and returned
to California. After three months as engineer with the Oakdale Irrigation District,
he returned to Turlock, since which time he has been water superintendent of the
Turlock Irrigation District, to which lie devotes all of his time, filling the position
creditably and with satisfaction to everyone.

In Turlock, in 1914, Mr. Rickenbacher was married to Miss Lutie Wasson,
who was born in Minnesota, but reared in Seattle, the union having been blessed with
two children, Richard and Maxine. Mr. Rickenbacher believes in the principles of
protection for Americans and is naturally a Republican.

JOHN SCERPELLA. — An industrious and progressive young man, John Scer-
pella was born in the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland, January 9, 1890, the son of
James and Rosa Scerpella, who were the parents of ten children, John Scerpella being
the fifth child. Having heard of the great opportunities afforded in California, he
bade his parents good-bye in their Swiss home, never to see them again, as they have
since passed away.

Upon arriving in America, he proceeded to go direct to the cinnabar or quick-
silver mines at Mt. St. Helena, three miles northwest of Middletown, Lake County,
Cal., and there engaged in the mining industry for Mr. Rocco about four months,
then obtained a position in a wine cellar and worked there the rest of the year. Going



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1285

to Guadalupe, in Santa Barbara Count}-, he engaged as a milker on the large farm
of Mr. Rusconi there for a period of two years, then decided to go to the Imperial
Valley, where he rented land and operated a dairy farm on a large scale, milking
about eighty cows, where he continued three years. His next move took him to Tulare
County, where he remained for ten months before coming to Oakdale, and here, in
partnership with a younger brother, James, he rented the A. L. Gilbert ranch of 240
acres, two miles north of Oakdale, securing a three-year lease, obtaining possession
October 15, 1919. They are now milking fifty cows, all high-grade Holsteins.

The Scerpella brothers are among the most successful dairy farmers in the Oak-
dale section and are taking rank among the progressive young men of the north-
eastern part of the county. They were fortunate in receiving good educations in their
native Switzerland and since coming to this country they have, through their own
efforts, acquired a knowledge of the English language.

On December 23, 1920, Mr. Scerpella was united in marriage with Mary
Lesnini, the daughter of Tobia Lesnini, whose biography appears on another page
of this work, and their home is the center of a wide circle of friends.

GEORGE D. TURNER.— Native son and son of a well-known pioneer family
of the famous old gold days, George D. Turner has always believed implicitly in
the future of California, and began to put his surplus cash into land when he was a
young man. He has constantly added more land to his holdings, until today he owns
5,500 acres near Hornitos, Mariposa County, where for twenty-five years he has been
engaged extensively in the cattle business, raising beef cattle for the markets of the
world. In 1920 he had on hand about 600 head of beef cattle of the highest grade,
mostly Herefords and Durhams. Mr. Turner owns in Stanislaus County a splendid
ranch of sixty acres, six miles southeast of Modesto, where he resides with his family,
and rents several farms, totaling an acreage of about 800 acres. His farming industry
for the past several years has been principally the raising of beans, in which he has
been unusually successful.

Mr. Turner was born in Mariposa County, in Hornitos, October 19, 1871. He
was the second son of William T. Turner, who came to La Grange, Cal., with his
father when a lad of fifteen years. Grandfather Turner had answered the call of the
gold excitement and was for many years engaged in mining enterprises in the state.
William T. Turner, however, turned to farming, and became an extensive stock
raiser, owning 2,000 acres of good Mariposa County land at the time of his death.
For a time he also engaged in the livery stable business in Hornitos, and in the buying
and selling of livestock in the open markets. He died in 1892. Mr. Turner's mother
was Mary Camp, who crossed the plains with her parents when she was a girl.
She died in Turlock some years ago. Of their living children, George is the fourth.

The boyhood days of Mr. Turner were much the same as those of any California
boy of his age; he helped his father on the farm, in the livery stable business, and with
his livestock enterprises, attending the district school when it was in session. When
he was only five years of age he was a capable horseman, and often rode out after
the cattle. He engaged in the teaming business for his father, and when he was
twenty-four he started teaming in the mountains, carrying supplies to and from the
mines, negotiating the dangerous roads with safety and ease. It was while thus
"ngaged that he bought his first land, 160 acres, the nucleus of his present vast ranges,
in Mariposa County. In 1914 Mr. Turner came to Stanislaus County and bought his
present home farm of sixty acres, located near Ceres, where he has since made his home.

The marriage of Mr. Turner occurred at Hornitos, Mariposa County, January
26, 1896, his bride being Miss Nellie Shepherd, born near Redding, Cal., but reared
in Fresno and Mariposa counties. Her father, Benjamin A. Shepherd, was an early
pioneer, crossing the plains in a "prairie schooner" in 1849 from Nevada. After mining
for some years in Northern California, he engaged in farming in Fresno County,
afterwards taking up mining again. He married Jane Ride, a native of Kentucky,
and she died in Shasta County when Mrs. Turner was a baby. Mr. and Mrs. Turner
are the parents of nine sons and daughters: Ethel is a graduate of the State Normal
School at San Jose, and a teacher in the Lowell district school, where she is regarded as



1286 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

an educator of more than ordinary ability ; W. G. is associated with his father in the
stock business. The younger children, all at home, are Mary, Clarence, Lena, Grace,
Herbert, Elton and Alice. The home is a popular one in the community, and the
scene of many a gay gathering of young people.

Mr. Turner is regarded as a conservative business man, whose judgment is un-
usually well balanced, and whose ability in forecasting the market is a byword among
his intimate friends. Politically he is a Republican and a strong party man. He has
never sought public life, nor had time from his extensive business interests to accept
the duties of public office, although he comes from a family that is well known for its
splendid public service, his father having served as sheriff and constable of Mariposa
County for many years, while his youngest brother, A. B. Turner, is the sheriff of
that county at this time, and has won an enviable reputation for the efficiency with
which he discharges the duties of that office. It is such men as Mr. Turner who are
so worthily upholding the traditions of California, having themselves inherited the
sterling worth of their pioneer ancestors, which they bequeathed to their children.

HERBERT D. FELLOWS.— The eldest son and third in the order of birth
'of a family of six, H. D. Fellows began life on June 13, 1871, at Petaluma, Sonoma
County, the son of David S. and Zelpha (Raynard) Fellows. The advent of the
Fellows in America was when some of that name came over from England soon after
1620, since which time they and their descendants have been instrumental in the up-
building of America, some having served as legislators, while others have tilled the
soil. A great-great-grandfather of H. D. Fellows was a grantee in New Hampshire,
but on account of his services to the colonies in the army, lost his land by order of the
British courts. D. S. Fellows is a native of New Hampshire, but his parents removed
to Iowa when he was a babe in arms; while Zelpha Raynard was born in North Caro-
lina, later removing with her parents to Missouri, and at the age of seven to California,
where the family settled in Sonoma County. In the early pioneer days David S.
Fellows, together with a brother and two sisters, crossed the plains with oxen and
settled in Grass Valley, and being a harness maker by trade, established shops and
taught the business to the Californians, later engaging in the same line of business as
his father — that of dairying and making cheese on a large scale in Napa, Marin and
Sonoma counties. Being a conservative and successful business man and the owner
of a very productive ranch, he had the distinction of shipping the first cheese from
Sonoma County to San Francisco.

As a boy, H. D. Fellows attended the Eureka district school in Tulare County,
where his parents removed when he was only six years of age, and after completing
a course in the business college at Santa Cruz, cultivated his father's farm for years
and was also engaged as a clerk for four years in a general merchandise business at
Hanford. In addition to being the owner of 160 acres of the old Fellows farm, he
has owned several different farms at different intervals, at one time owning and
cultivating a farm in Kings County, always selling to good advantage. He is a pioneer
of the Modesto Irrigation District, having settled there in 1902, and is actively identi-
fied in its development and advancement since the first water was turned into the
ditches. During his residence in the latter mentioned place he was engaged as a
clerk by B. Weil & Sons for seven years.

In Hanford, in June, 1895, Mr. Fellows was united in marriage with Miss
Susan Reed, a native of Wisconsin, who later came to California with her parents.
Seven children have been born of this union: Carl D. enlisted on September 8, 1917,
in the Three Hundred Sixty-third Infantry and was later transferred to the Thirty-
ninth Infantrj of the regular army, where he was soon made corporal, and after
seventeen months of service was among the first thousand men to be sent to Coblentz,
Germany, in the Army of Occupation, receiving his honorable discharge on August 18,
1919; Harold volunteered in the Three Hundred Nineteenth Engineers, was sent
overseas the same month, stationed at Brest in the construction forces, and on April
23, 1919, was honorably discharged at the Presidio. After receiving his discharge he
went to work in the harvest fields at Canada; Marjorie is the wife of A. A. Pitts,



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1287

a rancher of Stanislaus County ; Elizabeth, who is a stenographer and cashier at
Modesto ; Doris, Gertrude and Marion in school, all four living at home.

Mr. Fellows, though by no means a politician, believes in the Republican princi-
ples. With his brother, Charles Fellows, he was the first successful nursery salesman
in the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation District of the county, and in 1920-21 he
devoted his time to the planting of vineyards. Assisted by his eldest son, Mr. Fellows
recently embarked in the dray and transfer business, in which enterprise he has met
with marked success. Since June, 1920, Mr. Fellows and his family have been
occupying their new residence, which he erected on his property south of Modesto,
near Franklin Avenue.

EDWIN A. PETERSON.— A resident of Stanislaus County since 1910, Edwin
A. Peterson, proprietor of Peterson's Garage at Patterson, is one of the prosperous
young business men of his section. He has rendered invaluable service on various
public movements, and at present is serving as city recorder, to which position he was
appointed by the City Council. He is also secretary of the Board of Health and a
deputy under Sheriff Dallas, and is regarded one of the city's valuable young citizens.

Mr. Peterson is a Native Son of the Golden West, having been born in San
Francisco, July 18, 1892, the son of George and Alma Peterson, both natives of
Sweden, who came to California at an early age. They located in Oakland, where
the father was a prosperous shoe merchant. The sons received their education in the
schools of Oakland and Berkeley, and Edwin Peterson struck out for himself when
little more than a lad. He was always interested in mechanical work of all kinds,
and turned naturally to this line of activity. For a year and a half he was employed
at the Loren Station Garage, going from there to Modesto, where he was with C. R.
Zacharias for a time, and later with Litt Brothers, w T ho then operated the place where
the large cooperative garage is located today. Mr. Peterson is now recognized as one
of the best mechanical men in this part of the state, thoroughly informed on even-
department and in every detail of such work. He has given his best efforts along this
line since 1908, when, as a boy of sixteen years, he made his first independent venture
into the world of business.

In 1915 Mr. Peterson engaged in business in partnership with his brother, A. W.
Peterson, and ran the Depot Garage at Modesto successfully for a year. In March,
1919, he came to Patterson and opened the Peterson Garage, still in partnership with
his brother, and has since made this his home. They now have the agency for the
Lexington, Reo and Dort cars and one of the best-equipped shops in the county.

Mr. Peterson's marriage to Miss Alma Brunold took place in Modesto January
16, 1915. Mrs. Peterson is, like her husband, a native of California, born at Los
Angeles. Her parents, Peter and Louise Brunold, are well-known pioneer settlers in
this state, having come from their native Switzerland more than forty years ago. Her
father has been engaged in farming since coming to California and still resides in
Stanislaus County. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson are the parents of one child, Maxine
Theone, and they reside in their attractive residence on Third Street.

ARTHUR W. PETERSON.— As the junior member of the enterprising firm
of Peterson Brothers, proprietors of the Peterson Garage at Patterson, A. W. Peter-
son is recognized as one of the coming men of this part of the county. He is a native
of California, having been born in San Francisco, January 10, 1894, his father being
at that time a well-to-do shoe merchant at Oakland. His parents, George and Alma
Peterson, are natives of Sweden, but came to California Bay District at an early date.

A. W. Peterson attended the excellent schools of Oakland and Berkeley until
he was eighteen years of age, at which time he decided to follow his natural bent for
machinery and mechanics, and start out for himself. Accordingly, he secured employ-
ment at the Keystone Garage, in Oakland, where he remained for a short time, and
then joined his brother in Modesto, where for three years he was employed by C. R.
Zacharias in the mechanical work of his garage. He then went to Texas and worked
at various undertakings of a mechanical nature, in various parts of the state, starting
at Wichita Falls and ending at Victoria, where he worked at his trade in 1913-14.



1288 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

Returning eventually to California, he was employed with C. R. Zacharias for a
period of two years, following which he and his brother, Ed. A. Peterson, ran the
Depot Garage at Modesto for a year. After a short time at Stockton, he went into
Klamath River country, where he was engaged in the truck hauling of chrome from
the mines, an undertaking rilled with hardship and requiring nerve and ability.

The recent World War interrupted the chosen labor of Mr. Peterson, for he
entered the service of the Government in 1918, serving in the Eight Hundred Sixty-
ninth Aero Squadron as a mechanic on aeroplane motors, receiving his training at
Kelly Field. He was honorably discharged at the Presidio at San Francisco, February
1, 1919. Since returning from the service Mr. Peterson has been identified with
his brother in the business of the Peterson Bros. Garage. They have the agency for
the Reo, Dort and Lexington cars, and are doing a splendid business.

The marriage of Mr. Peterson, an event which occurred in Modesto in 1914,
united him with Miss Ivy L. White, a native of Kansas, and the daughter of Aleck
W. and Minnie (Dixon) White. Her parents came to California from Kansas when
Mrs. Peterson was a very young girl, and located in Stanislaus County, where Mr.
White for a time engaged in farming. He is now at the head of the Modesto Meat
Packing Company. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson are the parents of one son, Richard A.



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 142 of 177)