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 146 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 146 of 177)
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Chicago's large buildings, including the old court house and post office.

When he was nine years of age George accompanied his parents into South
Dakota, where they located near Spirit Lake and became genuine pioneers, the nearest
station being forty miles distant, upon a homestead and tree claim of 160 acres.
For the first three years there were no schools for the lad to attend; and when finally
in the fourth year a school was established, he could not enjoy its benefits, as he had
previously agreed to herd cattle for a neighbor for eight months, in return for a
total wage of fifty dollars, and the neighbor refused to allow him to throw up the
job. When he reached the age of nineteen, he had already commenced to farm on
his own account, and he continued to put his earnings into land investments until


he owned 390 acres of fine grain land. In recent years Mr. Alquist has leased this
rarm, although living in California, preferring to hold on to it rather than dispose
of an old holding. Later, Mr. Alquist took a live interest in this school, became
a trustee and served as its treasurer for eight years.

In 1903, Mr. Alquist's father came to Turlock, and two years later he died.
Our subject, also, seeking milder climatic conditions more favorable to health, removed
to Southern California, and in November, 1906, came to Stanislaus County and
purchased twenty-five acres, devoted to fruit culture, northwest of Turlock; in which
town, in 1913, his beloved mother passed away. In 1907, he erected his residence, a
very comfortable modern dwelling, upon the ranch; for on December 5, 1897, he had
been married to Miss Sadie Dwight, a descendant of the famous family which included
Theodore William Dwight, the eminent jurist of New York; and also Timothy
Dwight, president of Yale. She was born in Fillmore County, Minn., on September
13, 1878, the daughter of Dan Dwight, who was born in Pennsylvania on December
2, 1841, and married Miss Frances Amelia Owen, who first saw the light in Wis-
consin, on October 1, 1848. Many of her family were substantial farmer-folk,
although there were also those who added lustre to the professions. Mrs. Alquist
was reared in South Dakota, where she was married, and now she is the proud
mother of six children: Dorothy Amelia and Lois Eleanor both graduated from
Turlock high school with honors, and Dorothy A., a student at Oregon Agricultural
College; J. Homer, Robert Gordon, George Dwight and Richard Everett Alquist.
The family attend the First Methodist Church of Turlock.

In 1911, Mr. Alquist made a transcontinental tour, by automobile, and return
ro South Dakota — a trip under conditions deemed at that time as hazardous as were
those of many an early pioneer — and he derived the greatest benefit from the experi-
ence, and enjoyed every moment while away. As a committeeman on all the Libert)
Loan drives he threw himself into the patriotic task and did commendable work.

JOHN D. HALL, — A representative Swedish-American, who has done so well
is a rancher in America that he is now able to live in comfortable retirement, is
John D. Hall, who was born on January 7, 1866, at Ostergotland, a small place in
Southern Sweden, next to the youngest son of Gustav F. Hall, a native of the same
place. The mother, Anna Matilda Hall, was also born near by, in the same province.
John attended both the public and private schools of his locality, and when sixteen
years of age was confirmed in the Swedish Lutheran Church. When only nineteen
years old, he crossed the wide ocean to America, and proceeding directly westward,
located with relatives in Iowa, where he stayed a year. Then he took up farm work
as a laborer, and at the same time, for three of the winter months, attended the
country school and learned English. After having been in Boone County for five
years, he removed, in 1890, to Pocahontas County, and there purchased a farm of
eighty acres, where he raised corn and stock.

In December of 1906, Mr. Hall came from Iowa to California with his family,
and acquired his fine ranch about three and a half miles southwest of Turlock, now
devoted to dairying and the raising of poultry and fruit, the whole managed mostly
by Mr. Hall's son, now that the owner has retired, and it may be classed as one of
the very desirable farms of the size in the county.

In 1894, Mr. Hall was made an American citizen — an incident in his life which
he welcomed with proper pride — and four years later he was married to Miss Emma
Sophia Peterson, who was born in Buena Vista Count\', Iowa, March 19, 1877. Three
children blessed their fortunate union. Anna Neary, the eldest, presides over the
home; Arthur P., the rancher, also lives at home; while the youngest was Esther.
On December 19, 1920, when she was in her sixteenth year, she was run down and
almost instantly killed by an automobile, the accident occurring when she was on her
way to the Young People's Circle meeting, in company with her sister and a girl
friend. Her mother had died in Iowa on May 10, 1906, and no one can picture,
save those most affected by the awful tragedy, how the departure of the maiden has
darkened the once merry household. The girl was all that a daughter and a sister
:ould be expected to be, and was a general favorite, and the memory of her life,


hardly begun in its development, will be treasured forever by her intimates. Blessed
are the dead who live in the hearts of others.

Mr. Hall is a member and a deacon of the Swedish Mission Church of Turlock,
and for a period of nine years he was a trustee of the school district of the Wash-
ington school, and twice president and clerk of the board. As a committeeman, he also
did very commendable work during the war in the various Liberty Loan drives, dem-
onstrating his real patriotism, and his love for the land of his adoption.

CHARLEY J. LEEDHOLM.— A rancher whose hard, intelligent work, and
plenty of it through years of ups and downs, has met with success and financial
rewards, is Charley J. Leedholm, who was born near Kalmar, in Southern Sweden,
on September 20, 1867, the only son of J. and Anna (Jonson) Johnson, both natives
of the same province. He went to school at Kalmar, and was in time duly confirmed
in the Swedish Lutheran Church. At the age of sixteen, he came out to America, and
for a while stopped with an uncle, John Eckstadt, at Fort Madison, Iowa. His first
experiences proved a very hard trial ; he worked from early till late as a farm laborer,
and received in money only ten dollars for the whole year. In 1890, he made a trip
into Central Missouri, and the following year he came to the Pacific, pitching his
tent at Le Grand in Merced Count}'. There he took up dry farming on rented land,
and did sufficiently well to be induced to stay there for fifteen years.

In 1907 Mr. Leedholm came to Turlock and purchased a farm of forty acres
two miles southwest of Turlock, which he developed and otherwise improved, and
to this he added twenty acres, making sixty acres in all, and in 1913 sold forty acres
at a decided advantage, retaining twenty acres and this farm, which he still owns.
He brought this up to a high state of productivity. He belongs to the Stanislaus Farm
Bureau, and is a stockholder in the Turlock Merchants & Growers, Inc., since 1915.

While at Le Grand, Mr. Leedholm was married in 1907 to Miss Martha L.
Snider, a native of Michigan, although she was reared in Western Kansas. She is a
member of the Woman's Relief Corps, and of the Stanislaus County Women's Chris-
tian Temperance Union. Both Mr. and Mrs. Leedholm are members of the First
Methodist Episcopal Church of Turlock, and as a committeeman, Mr. Leedholm
did good work, during the World War, in helping along the Liberty Loan drives in
the West Turlock district. This activity was not at all surprising, however, for
Mr. Leedholm has always been a good "booster" for Stanislaus County. At Fort
Madison, Iowa, in 1888, Mr. Leedholm was granted American citizenship; and since
then he has marched with the Republicans.

JOSEPH F. AND MARY L. A. FERNANDES.— After long and strenuous
years of labor, Joseph F. and Mary L. A. Fernandes, the well-known dairy-folk, are
enjoying a comfortable, leisurely home life at their country residence off West Main
Street, about three miles southwest of Turlock. Joseph Fernandes was born in the
Island of Flores, in the Azores, on April 12, 1846, the eldest son of Manuel F.
Fernandes, a native of the same isle, who had married Miss Mary Piver, of that
locality. The father was a hard worker, and in order to support his large family
lie had to do much extra labor, besides attending to his farm duties, for outsiders.

It may have been in part these modest conditions of the parents which urged
Joseph early to leave home, and led to his sailing out upon the deep; and when only
sixteen years of age, he had "sailed the seven seas." At the age of twenty-five, he
came to America, and he had the pleasure of crossing the great continent in the
third train sent out from the East to the West.

He located at first upon a mining claim in Osborne, Placer County, but owing
to reverses, he had to abandon the claim three years later. He was also active for
a while in the mines near Folsom, in Sacramento County. In 1875 he came into
the San Joaquin Valley; he went in for sheep-raising on the West Side principally
and the following eighteen years he spent as a very extensive owner of sheep, grow-
ing into the business gradually, and increasing his holding of stock until he had 6,000
head. From sheep raising he passed to dairying at Fruitvale, in Alameda County,
where he carried on an extensive and lucrative retail trade.

(f ^QJUMsiU^t^


In 1902, while they were living at Melrose, they suffered very heavy losses in the
destruction of their property and the ruination of their business, through the Lukins
Powder Plant catastrophe, which led them to move to Elmhurst with their stock
where they remained until 1913, when the property was sold for subdivision. They
then came to Stanislaus County, in 1913, with their stock and a resolution to yet
win at any cost. Here Mr. Fernandes engaged in dairying in the Tegner district
three miles southwest of Turlock; and he did sufficiently well that he remained there
for ten years. Now he is the owner of a fine farm of seventy-nine acres, the income
from which has enabled him for the past five years to retire from hard work. He
employs five men steadily, and sometimes as many as seven, to run the ranch for him.

On June 28, 1886, Mr. Fernandes was married to Miss Mary L. A. Piver, a
native of Providence, R. I., where she was born on October 18, 1871, who came to
Alameda, Cal., when she was five years of age, with her parents, John and Margaret
(Hart) Piver. Her father had been a Portuguese sailor and came from the Island
of Flores and he served in the Civil War as a sailor; while her mother was a native
of Liverpool, England. From 1876 they lived in Alameda County until they died.
Mary Piver was reared in Alameda, and there attended both the public and the
private schools. She is a member of the Ysabel Portuguese Society, and both she
and her husband are Republicans. About forty years ago Mr. Fernandes was granted
American citizenship, and ever since that time he has striven, especially among the
Portuguese, to intensify American patriotism, and a love for all that is good here.

Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Fernandes. Joseph, the first-born,
died in infancy. Marguerite is the wife of Frank M. Leanhares of Turlock, and
the mother of one child, William. Amalia is deceased. Then there is Josephine
Marie, custodian of the books in the Tegner library; Mabel M. attends the Turlock
high school, and Ferdinand Joseph goes to the Tegner school.

CHARLES C. SORENSEN.— A popular caterer of Modesto, is Charles C.
Sorensen, the enterprising proprietor of the Mint grill and restaurant, on I street
near Tenth. He was born near Marne, Cass County, Iowa, in 1881, the son of
Antone and Mary Sorensen, who are still living, the former ninety-three years of age,
the latter eighty-seven. His father was a concrete contractor, and it is a matter of
record that there was none better for miles around.

Charles attended the grammar school of Marne, one of a family of six children
who were cared for to the best of their parents' ability, and when fourteen began to
earn his own living. For four years he worked for wages in Iowa, and then on April
23, 1899, while at Denver he enlisted and joined the U. S. Army, as a member of
Company M of the Fourteenth Infantry, and during the three years that he served
was in the Philippine Insurrection and in China during the "Boxer" rebellion.

In 1902, when he received his discharge from the service, he followed the car-
penter's trade in Manila for a year, when he came to San Francisco, where he re-
mained for two years. Returning to Omaha, Nebr., he became cook in the Millard
Hotel for a period of two years, then taking the position of cook on a Pullman diner
running between Omaha and Oakland, Cal, until he quit the Pullman service to
locate in California. Shortly after he quit the Pullman Company, the car he had
run on for years was wrecked in the Rocky Mountains and two cooks and a waiter
were killed, so he had a rather miraculous escape. On locating in California in 1914
he followed his line of work in Oakland for two years and then for about a year in
San Francisco, when he opened a grill in that city at the corner of Third and Howard
streets. Three years later, in 1917 he came to Modesto, where he established a still
finer grill which he called the "Mint." In May, 1920, he built a second place called
"Little Mint" on Ninth street. The "Mint" on I street is easily the finest restaurant
in Modesto and Mr. Sorensen is a very busy man, giving it all of his time.

Mr. Sorensen was never intended, with his genial, social temperament, to live
alone, and it was quite natural that, at Centralia, Wash., on April 2, 1912, he should
choose a life partner, Miss Catherine Brown, a native of Centralia, and the daughter
of W. R. and Catherine Brown. Mr. Sorensen belongs to the Eagles, of Hoquiam,


Wash., and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and he is also a member of the Imperial
Order of the Dragons, a military order of the Chinese Relief Expedition, as well as
the military order of the "Coolie."

Mr. Sorensen prefers the party platforms and organization of the Democrats
and is a member of Modesto Chamber of Commerce and the Progressive Business
Club of Modesto, and takes an active part in civic matters.

EMANUEL M. LINDEN. — A representative rancher of Stanislaus County,
interesting in particular because he belongs to the group of those who are aggressively
progressive and working steadily to bring their favored locality into the front rank of
agricultural sections in the Golden State, is Emanuel M. Linden, a native of Central
Sweden, where he was born at Dalarne, west of Stockholm, on March 17, 1875. He
is the eldest son of Magnus Magnusson, who was born in the same province in 1846
and married Miss Katherina Danielson, who first saw the light ten years later in
that same neighborhood. Magnus Magnusson was the owner of a small farm ; but
he derived support for his family mainly from his work as superintendent for a
lumber company. He died in 1881, survived by a widow and five children. Mrs.
Magnusson remarried, choosing for her second husband Lewis E. Lofven, and three
sons and four daughters were born of her second union, one daughter being deceased.

Although Emanuel could have remained at home until he was of age, he desired
to make some mark in the world and. so decided to come to America. In 1888 his
stepfather came out to the United States and settled in Kerkhoven, Swift County,
Minn., where he became a very extensive landowner and farmed some 400 acres,
a stretch of choice land which he still owns. Emanuel, accompanied by his mother
and other members of the family, came in 1889. He commenced as a farm hand and
worked hard, meanwhile saving a portion of his earnings.

In 1902, having disposed of his land investments in Minnesota, where he had
bought acreage, then rented it to others and continued to work for wages himself, he
came to California and Hilmar, and a year later removed to Kingsburg, where for
/ive years he engaged in fruit farming. In that town, too, on June 2, 1909, he was
married to Miss Alma Victoria Anderson, the daughter of the late Lewis and Carolyn
(Carlson) Anderson, farmers and early settlers who did much to found and develop
Hilmar. Two children have been born of this happy marriage. The elder is Helen
Dorothy, the younger Valerie Evangeline, and both attend the Turlock grammar
school. In 1910, Mr. Linden returned to Stanislaus County, where, until 1915, the
late Mrs. Carolyn Andersen, the mother of Mrs. Linden, lived with them and her
oldest daughter, Mrs. Risell, enjoying with them their fine ranch of eleven and a half
acres, devoted to fruit cluture.

Mr. Linden was made a citizen of the United States — to him a profound satis-
faction — at Modesto, in 1917, a date somewhat delayed, because he had always
supposed that he was a citizen from the time when, while he was twenty-one years
old, his stepfather took out for him his first papers. The final papers were, there-
fore, in some way or other delayed. He is a Republican, and under the banners of
that party endeavors to work for still higher civic standards and a still healthier
patriotism. Both he and his wife are with Turlock's Swedish Mission Church.

HOMER HARPER. — How much of California's present-day prosperity is due
to such successful ranchers as Homer Harper only those can tell who are familiar
with such a man's accomplishment, year after year. He was born near Washington,
in Daviess County, Ind., on October 22, 1882, the son of Charles W. Harper, also a
native of that county, who farmed there for the major portion of his life where the
Harpers are pioneers. He served as county supervisor in 1890, and still resides in the
same place, hale and active. He had married Miss Joana B. Myers, another native
of Daviess County, who resides near her birthplace. Both the Myers and the Harper
families came from New York and brought with them the best that the Empire State
could give. Of a family of eight children, Homer Harper is the eldest son among
three sons and three daughters surviving, and he is the only son in California. A
sister, Mrs. Pearl Beaty, lives at Wilmington, Los Angeles County.


Homer attended school until he was twelve years of age. and then, under the
instruction of his grandfather, and in the latter's large shop near Odon, Ind., he took
up the carpenter's trade. When nineteen, at Evansville, Ind., he enlisted in the U. S.
Army and was assigned to Company H of the Tenth Infantry, and after reaching
the Philippines, he served for twenty-six months with Company H of the Tenth and
the Fourth Infantry, suffering many hardships and privations in the service of Uncle
Sam. He sustained serious injury, and was returned to San Francisco in 1904 as a
convalescent. After spending seven months in the general hospitals of Manila and the
Ray City, he received his honorable discharge at the Presidio at Monterey on Febru-
ary 9, 1905. Mr. Harper is a member of the Order of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In 1906, Mr. Harper came to Inyo County to help install a ten-stamp mill for
the Great Western Ore Purchasing and Reduction Company, Inc., and there he
remained for about a year. In 1908 he was married at Salinas to Miss Mabel M.
Erwin, a native of Coalinga and the daughter of John and Mary Erwin. He then
removed to Coalinga, and for seven years he was a driller in the service of the Shell
Oil Company, and himself made notable progress in assisting the development work
there. He went into the oil fields as a tool-dresser, and by hard, honest labor he
became a trusted expert driller.

Coming from Coalinga to Stanislaus County in 1914, Mr. Harper purchased a
farm of thirty-one and three-fourths acres nine miles south of Modesto on the Crows
Landing Road ; and since then, by level-headed procedure and hard work, availing
himself of the last word of science and utilizing the most up-to-date methods and appli-
ances, he has developed his farm into a highly" productive ranch and has even rented
additional ground for his own farming. For four years he was engaged in dairying,
but he sold this branch in 1918. He is still a member, however, of the Central Cali-
fornia Milk Producers Association, as he is also a member of the Stanislaus Farmers
Union. He believes that the farmer's life and work is the best in the long run, and
has turned down a number of flattering offers to re-engage as an expert driller.

Two children have added joy to the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Harper: Clele
attends the Mountain View school, and Helen. In national politics a progressive,
Mr. Harper is especially broad-minded in relation to local problems, and is ever
ready to support all that is best for his community.

FRANK McVEY. — A highly esteemed, retired citizen of Stanislaus County who
has always been interested in politics and political reforms, operating on such a broad
basis that he has been more or less nonpartisan, although by preference a Democrat,
is Frank McVey, who was born near Rochester, Cedar County, Iowa, February 9,
1860, second son of John McVey, a native of County Antrim, Ireland, who came to
America when a very young man, a member of a family of Irish farmers. He settled in
Pennsylvania and there married Miss Catherine Gallin, also a native of Northern Ire-
land. Later, the couple removed to Iowa; and during the Civil War, Mr. McVey
served in the Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry for two years, returning to his family in
Iowa in August, 1864. Six of their eight children, two sons and four daughters, now
survive the parents, and among the eight Frank was the second eldest.

At the age of eleven he accompanied his parents to Pottawattamie County, Iowa,
and he remained at home helping develop the raw country and enjoying but very lim-
ited schooling. At the age of twenty-two he made up his mind to strike out for him-
self, so he went into Lyon County, Iowa, where he rented for three years, then he
spent a year in a lumber yard in Hastings, Neb. Locating in Pike County, 111.,
in the fall of '86, he became extensively interested in the raising and handling of
stock, which he shipped direct to Chicago markets; and during his twenty years there,
he advanced to the desirable standing of a leading citizen and for nine years was a
school trustee in Griggsville Township. He also served on the Democratic County
Central Committee of Pike County.

In 1906, coming to California on account of the milder climate, Mr. McVey
chose Stanislaus County as the most desirable home place, and located permanently on
120 acres which he purchased of Waymire tract, and which lie some four miles from
Turlock. This land was then a mere desert waste; but with the aid of his sons, Mr.


McVey converted it into a highly-developed and productive farm. Now, able to retire
from farm work, Mr. McVey has leased the farm to his two sons who work it on
shares with him. The ranch is devoted to vineyard fruit, alfalfa, and general diversi-
fied farming. Mr. McVey is a member of the Central California Milk Producers
Association, and engages in dairying on his farm. He is one of the hardest of work-
ers among the members of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, and has also served
as president of the Tegner local ; he also belongs to the Farm Bureau Exchange.

The day after Christmas, in 1883, in Pike County, 111., Mr. McVey was mar-
ried to Miss Jennie Sweeting, who was born on January 4, 1861, the daughter of
Richard and Dorothy (Marshall) Sweeting, of Perry, 111., of English stock; and
nine children have blessed their union. Annie M. lives with her husband, Arthur
Grieve, a retired farmer from Illinois, at Turlock, and has four children. Charles H.
married Miss Ruth S. Douglas, by whom he has had one child, became a farmer and
went overseas to participate in the World War. Russell F. is at home. Marshall F.
married Miss Mildred Lundgren, and is farming near Parker, Ariz., with a family
of four children. Arthur C. took for his wife Miss Lois Drew, and is also ranching
near Parker; he has three children. Edith M. has become the wife of Arnold Robinson,

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 146 of 177)