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 148 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 148 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ford, Tex., 150 miles west of San Antonio, and for three years, or from 1915 through
1917, he engaged in development work there. This was a tri-partnership enterprise,
and Fred R. Walti was a stockholder and director.

In 1912, Mr. Walti's father acquired a fine farm of 100 acres in Stanislaus
County, twelve miles south of Modesto and six and a half miles west of Turlock. In
1918 Fred W. became owner of the place and he has engaged in general diversified
farming. He has spent a good deal of time also in his efforts to further the success
of the Mountain View Farm Bureau, a branch of the Stanislaus County Farm
Bureau, and he is now serving his second term as president, and he is also a member
and one of the organizers of the Tri-Counties Farm Bureau Exchange. This activity
on behalf of the best interests of the farmer generally may be taken as evidence of Mr.
Walti's natural public-spiritedness.

At UvahV, Tex., on September 25, 1917, Mr. Walti was married to Miss Hat-
tie Leonore Coston, daughter of H. T. and Leonore (McLarin) Coston, both natives
lit North Carolina. She is a graduate of Miss Harrison's widely-known seminarv at


San Antonio, and holds a Texas State certificate to teach ; and for a year she joined
the pedagogical profession. She is also an accomplished musician. One daughter,
Phyllis Leonore, has blessed this fortunate union. At college, Mr. Walti belonged to
the Theta Chi fraternity, and he is a member of Lodge No. 824 of the B. P. O. Elks
at Santa Cruz. In politics he believes in a liberal democratic principle, rather than
in adherence to any party. While at Berkeley, in 1914, Mr. Walti had a year of
military training, and he took a keen interest in the late war and favored war work.

WILLIAM GROTHMANN. — Successful to an unusual degree as a practical
rancher, William Grothmann, on his fine farm nearly ten miles south of Modesto
on the Crows Landing Road, has been able amply to demonstrate the exceptional
advantages of agriculture when pursued in Stanislaus County and according to the
most up-to-date methods. He was born near Metropolis, in Massac County, 111., on
January 28, 1876, the youngest son of Frederick Grothmann, a native German who
migrated to America in the fifties. He was a baker by trade; but he followed farm-
ing in America, and was known and. honored as one of the sturdy pioneers in Massac
County. He married Miss Sophia Bultdmann, a native of Southern Illinois. Botb
parents are now dead, and of the family, only the sons, William and Henry, survive.
The latter is a successful farmer in Massac County.

William attended school until he was fourteen, when he was thrown upon his
own resources, and he left the home of his uncle, where he had been reared when his
father and mother passed away — the latter when he was only six months old. He
worked as a farm laborer for wages until he was twenty-one, and then he removed to
Perkins County, Nebr., and there engaged in general farming. Later, at Greeley,
Colo., he was active in the potato industry; but owing to adverse climatic conditions,
he was not successful.

In 1907 Mr. Grothmann came West, and the following year he settled in Tur-
lock, where he purchased eighty acres on which he now resides. Later still, he added
twenty acres, and now he farms 100 acres. He also leases farm land adjoining. He
is a member of both the Farm Bureau and the Farmers Union, and is always ready
to pull a hard and steady stroke for "the other fellow" in the farm world.

A Republican in matters of national political import, Mr. Grothmann is always
loyal to the community and vicinity in which he lives and earns his prosperity; and
those of his neighbors who know him best see in him the true American patriot,
For years he has been affiliated with the Modern Woodmen.

MICHAEL JOSEPH McGEE.— An up-to-date dairyman who thoroughly
understands the problems of his field of labor and best serves his increasing number of
patrons by maintaining his dairy in the most sanitary condition possible, is Michael
Joseph McGee, who was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, on December 6, 1873.
His father was Patrick McGee, a farmer and a member of a well-to-do family of
farmers in Northern Ireland ; and his mother, who was Lucy McFarland before her
marriage, was also of a circle in very comfortable circumstances. Both were members
of the Roman Catholic Church. Mrs. McGee is still living, but Mr. McGee died in
November, 1920. They had eight sons and two daughters, all still living.

Michael attended the country public school of his neighborhood, and in 1898,
when twenty-five years of age, he bade good-bye to his parents and friends, and crossed
the ocean to America. Two brothers followed him to San Luis Obispo County, and
there he remained for twenty-one years. His first engagement was as a laborer in the
dairy of the William R. Hearst farm, and after that he leased for ten years a dairy
of 140 head of cows on the Hearst Ranch, in the management of which he was very
successful. He employed four men, and one of his brothers, as foreman, helped him.
. In 1919, Mr. McGee came to Stanislaus County, and now he owns a ranch of
twenty-six acres eight miles from Modesto, off from the Crows Landing Road. He
maintains a dairy on this farm, and has built up a large and satisfying patronage. He
; s a member of the Central California Milk Producers Association, and takes a thor-
ough interest in the Farmers Union. He uses the most modern equipment in his dairy


During 1918, Mr. McGee made an extensive tour of the Eastern States; and
on October 2, while in Philadelphia, he was married to Miss Susan Toel, who had
come to America from Ireland ten years before. They live in a comfortable resi-
dence on the ranch, for Mr. McGee believes in enjoying some of the fruits of toil.

A year after his advent in California, Mr. McGee took out his naturalization
papers; and' at San Luis Obispo he was admitted to full citizenship. He belongs to the
Roman Catholic Church, and also to the Knights of Columbus, and he has a brother
— the youngest of the McGee family — who is a graduate of Dublin University and a
Roman Catholic missionary in India.

EDWARD E. BIESEMEIER.— Among the successful men of affairs of Stanis-
laus County whose ability and hard work have brought a substantial reward for them-
selves, while benefitting others in many ways, must be mentioned Edward E. Biese-
meier, who was born at St. Louis, Mo., in 1854, and there grew up to his nineteenth
year in one of the most interesting periods of that historic city. Thrown upon his
own resources when a lad, he learned the blacksmith and wagon-maker's trades. Then
he went to Taylorville, Christian County, 111., and there set up his forge. At the
time he learned to be a smith, he also hammered out tools and shaped steel plow-
shares, mould-boards and other implements, getting the wood from nearby timber.

In 1872, he made a trip to Panama, and was employed in helping to construct
the canal under the French engineer, De Lesseps. As a machinist he gained much
experience. In 1874 he returned to Taylorville, 111., and then, for eight years, he
worked in different parts of the state, until he removed to Hiawatha, Brown County,
Kans., where he was successfully engaged in business until 1898. In that year, he
moved on to the vicinity of Weatherford, Okla., and there he homesteaded and
improved a farm, at the same time that he maintained on his farm a blacksmith shop
and did general smithy work for the neighborhood. In 1906, he moved again, this
time to Twin Falls County, Idaho, and there he also both farmed and ran a black-
smith shop. In 1908 Mr. Biesemeier came out to California and Modesto, and since
that year he has been engaged here principally in the blacksmith trade, having bought
a valuable lot on Seventh Street, where he built a commodious and well-fitted shop,
and he also owns a comfortable home at 1321 Tenth Street.

While in Illinois, Mr. Biesemeier was married to Miss Eliza Jones, a native of
London, England, and now the mother of ten children, seven of whom have gradu-
ated with honors from some educational institution. Robert graduated from the
Lewis Institute, and is an instructor in the high school in a suburb of Chicago; two
boys, Alfred and Charles, are with C. C. Parks, the Ford agent at Modesto, Alfred
being manager of the sales department; Harold is a graduate of the Naval Academy
at Annapolis, and is captain in command of submarine L-4 stationed at Norfolk, Va. ;
Mrs. Rose A. Parks of Modesto; Nellie, Mrs. Mitchell, of North Yakima; Esther,
Mrs. Rasmussen, of Waterbury, Conn.; Stella is attending the University of Cali-
fornia; Mary is in the Modesto high school, and Pearl in the grammar school.

In 1874 Mr. Biesemeier joined the Odd Fellows through Taylorville Lodge No.
413, and in 1895 he demitted and became a member of Hiawatha Lodge No. 83, in
Kansas, where he passed all the chairs. Later, while homesteading, he became a member
of Weatherford, Okla., Lodge, and when he moved to Idaho he became a charter
member of Kimberly Lodge No. 123 at Kimberly, Idaho, where he was a representa-
tive to the Grand Lodge and deputy district grand master of the Grand Lodge of
Idaho, from Twin Falls. Now he is a past chief patriarch of the Hiawatha Encamp-
ment of Odd Fellows and was formerly a member of the Rebekahs. He belongs to
Diamond Lodge No. 236, K. of P., at Hiawatha, Kans., and was made a Mason
in Cloud Chief Lodge No. 44, in Oklahoma, and when demitted joined the Western
Star Lodge No. 46, now No. 138, at Weatherford, Okla. He is a member of
Modesto Chapter No. 49, R. A. M., and a member of Weatherford Commanderv
No. 7, K. T., Weatherford, Okla., and India Temple A. A. O. N. M. S. in Okla-
homa City, also a member of Guthrie Consistory No. 1, in Guthrie Okla., and with
his wife is a member of Occidental Chapter No. 71, O. E. S., at Weatherford, Okla.


MANUEL FURTADO. — Among the esteemed citizens of foreign birth who
have both ''made good" in California and then contributed toward rendering the great
commonwealth a still better place for those who, like himself, aspire to the best that
life affords, is Manuel Furtado, who was born on the Isle of San Jorge, in the Azores,
near Villa, at that time the island's capital, on March 8, 1876. When he was fifteen
years old, his father, Joseph Furtado, passed away, and his good wife Maria was left
with her three daughters and two sons. Mr. Furtado had been a cabinetmaker and
finisher, and as an expert in his line he had amassed a comfortable competence.

In 1891, Mrs. Furtado came out to America and that same year she sent for her
three daughters, and during the following year, Manuel Furtado followed, accom-
panied by his older brother Joseph. Our subject then commenced to earn his first
money in America, working at odd jobs, for which he received about eight dollars per
month. He spent about twelve years laboring in the dairy center of Alameda and
Contra Costa counties, and learned American methods.

In 1910 Mr. Furtado first came to Turlock, and in the intervening decade he
has come to enjoy the enviable reputation of a leader of leaders among the dairy
ranchers. He has acquired extensive dairy interests in both Stanislaus and Merced
counties and has 120 acres in the home ranch and thirty acres across the road, all
developed and improved by himself, and owns 160 acres in Merced county all im-
proved for dairy ranches by himself, and is an influential member of both the Farm
Bureau and the Central California Milk Producers Association. He is a stockholder
and past director of the T. M. and G. Inc., which was organized at Turlock in 1915,
and also a member of the Board of Trade.

At Oakland on May 20, 1898, Mr. Furtado was married to Miss Isabel Silva,
the attractive daughter of Frank and Andresa Silva, and their fortunate union has
been richly blessed in three equally attractive children — Mary, Isabel and Edward.
Mr. Furtado belongs to the U. P. E. C, the I. D. E. S., the I. O. O. F. and the
Rebekahs; and Mrs. Furtado is a member also of the Rebekahs, the S. P. R. S. I. and
the U. P. P. E. C.

Mr. Furtado was made a citizen of the United States at Modesto in 1915, and
during the recent World War he did commendable work for the United States Gov-
ernment, thereby amply demonstrating his patriotism and love of adopted country.

GEO. A. HODGES, D. D. S. — Prominent among the members of his fraternity
of California who have contributed much to make Stanislaus County one of the most
desirable of residential sections in all the Golden State is Dr. Geo. A. Hodges, the
able and popular dentist, who was born a native son proud of his association with
the Pacific commonwealth, at Del Rey, in Fresno Count}', Cal., on April 17, 1880.
He attended the public schools, including the high school of Fresno, from which he
was graduated in 1900, and then he entered the dental department of the University
of California, which gave him, on graduating, in 1903 the degree of D. D. S. For
a while he practiced in Oakland, and then he had an office in San Francisco, and
next he came south to Modesto; and after a short period there, he established him-
self in Turlock, where he has been an exponent of the modern science of dentistry.

From the beginning, Dr. Hodges met with pronounced success, through his
pleasing personality and the thoroughness of his highly skillful work; and it is not
surprising that he now enjoys a wide and lucrative practice. This prosperity in his
professional work has enabled him to become interested in farming, and he owns a
fine ranch in the Turlock district which he has developed from raw land and devotes
to general farming, although he was at one time engaged in dairying, and had a
herd of pure-bred Jerseys. He is a stockholder in the Turlock Theater Company
and stands ready at all times to encourage all commercial and financial interests.

For some years Dr. Hodges was a member of the Turlock Union high school
board, and he is, of course, a member of the National Dental Association, the State
Dental Association and the San Joaquin Valley Dental Association. When he was
at the University, he belonged to the Psi Omega Fraternity, and he was made a
Mason in Turlock Lodge No. 395 F. & A. M. He also belongs to the Modesto
Chapter No. 49 of the R. A. M., and to the Eastern Star and Knights of Pythias.





ASA SHINN FULKERTH.— A sturdy pioneer of Stanislaus County, whose
upright life and thoroughly honest administration of public office gave him a strong
following and made him mourned by many, when he closed his active career, was Asa
Shinn Fulkerth, the son of Henry and Sarah (Casner) Fulkerth. He was born in
Woodsfield, Monroe County, Ohio, in 1833, and when seven years old removed with
his parents to Morgan County, in the same State, where he was educated in the com-
mon schools.

His father, Henry, was a blacksmith and at that trade, and under his father's
tuition, he began one of those old-fashioned apprenticeships through which a boy
learned something — and usually many things. In Morgan County he remained until
1855. and then he came to Van Buren County, Iowa. There he established himself
as a smith, and continued at the forge until 1863, when his health began to fail.

Having heard of the wonderful attractions of the Golden State, he crossed the
great plains to California, braving the many inconveniences and dangers of that raw
life and time, and after a hard pull, arrived in Waterloo, San Joaquin County, where,
with his brothers, he started a blacksmith business. The firm name was styled Ful-
kerth Bros., and very successful the enterprising and reliable young Easterners were;
but owing to his poor health, he abandoned the trade and in 1866 began farming.

Two years later, in 1868, Mr. Fulkerth came to Stanislaus County and com-
menced to ranch near Turlock; and there he continued until 1878, when he was elected
sheriff of Stanislaus County. In 1880 and again in 1882 he was re-elected, serving
with credit and to the entire satisfaction of the people and especially through this post
of honor and responsibility, Mr. Fulkerth became well and favorably known through-
out Central California, where he was regarded as a most efficient and fearless officer,
thoroughly reliable and deserving of the confidence of everyone. After his term of
office expired, he followed the business of a realtor until he was appointed postmaster
of Modesto, under President Cleveland, serving a term of four years, until the spring
of 1898. He only lived until the same fall, his demise occurring October 17, 1898,
leaving an honorable and enviable record.

In Iowa, in 1855, Mr. Fulkerth was married to Catherine McBride. who was
born there and crossed the plains with her husband, bringing their two-year-old son.
Four of their children grew to maturity and each became the center of a circle of de-
voted friends. The three daughters are Emma F., Mrs. W. A. Harter, deceased ;
Etta L. and Myrtize E., Mrs. W. L. Tregea; while the son, the eldest of the four,
is the jurist, Loren W. Fulkerth, superior judge of Stanislaus County. The mother,
Mrs. Catherine Fulkerth, survived her husband four years, passing away December
7, 1902, a woman much loved and esteemed for her many virtues.

JAMES V. DATE. — As a prominent citizen and a well-known pioneer realtor
and insurance man of Hughson, James V. Date's standing in his community is one
of consequence, both for his association with the early days of this thriving town and
the large part he has contributed to its development. His parents were James and
Elizabeth (Williams) Date, natives of England, born near Land's End, Cornwall.
They came to the United States about 1870, settling at Berea, Cuyahoga County,
Ohio, and Mr. Date, who was a stone mason, entered the employ of the Lake
Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, as foreman of their bridge building depart-
ment. After twenty-five years of service with this company, he resigned to engage in
farming, and both he and his wife continued to reside there until their demise.

There were five children in the Date family', and of these, James V. was the
youngest. He was born at Berea, Ohio, February 6, 1878, and there was reared,
gaining his education in the public schools and graduating from the high school.
After his school days were over, in 1896, he went to work with his father, assisting
him in his construction jobs. Realizing the great opportunities in the West, he
determined to cast in his lot here and came to Los Angeles, Cal., in 1899. He re-
mained in this vicinity for several years, engaging in various pursuits, removing to Tur-
lock County in 1907, where for two years he was in the real estate business at Angiola.
In 1909, Mr. Date came to Hughson as proprietor of the Hughson Hotel, which
he conducted successfully for four years, at the same time maintaining a real estate


office in connection with it. When he arrived here at that time, there were no
improvements to speak of, as the surrounding country was still vast grain farms.
There were only a few buildings here and the railroad station was an old box car.
Farsighted and optimistic, however, Mr. Date saw its possibilities and set about to
make them realities, and the present growth can largely be attributed to his enthusiasm
in those early days of development. It can probably best be perceived by the fine class
of people who have settled here and the finely improved orchards and farms surround-
ing the town, which too, has been built up wonderfully. Outstanding among the
new improvements which will reflect credit on the progressiveness of this community
is the new high school, which will be enlarged to a fine group of buildings, $110,000
being expended on its construction.

In 1914, Mr. Date built the Date business block, and opening up an office in the
building, he formed a partnership with Earl Sawdey, under the firm name of Date &
Sawdey. Here they have developed a large real estate and insurance business, and
with an increasing volume of transactions to their credit, they are contributing much
to the steady, prosperous growth of both the town and the surrounding country.
Mr. Date is the owner of a fine apricot orchard of ten acres, which he set out and
improved, and besides, has a comfortable, attractive home place on Seventh street,
where he resides with his family.

On April 7, 1901, Mr. Date vas married to Miss Lucy Brown, the ceremony
taking place at Colton, Cal. She was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the daughter of
Angus M. and Lucy Brown, her father being a veteran of the Civil War. Three
children have come to bless their union : Vivian, Lucille and Jessie. Mr. Date is a
member of the Episcopal Church, a staunch Republican, and a wide-awake citizen,
who takes a live interest in all moves for the good of the community in which he lives.
During the late war, he was chairman of all th? Liberty Bond and Red Cross drives
and had the satisfaction of seeing Hughson double its quota in most of the drives.
He is a member and trustee of the Stanislaus County Board of Trade, and for a
number of years was president of the Hughson Board of Trade. His fellow-townsmen
of Hughson respect him, as do those with whom he has been connected throughout the
county, and he is a representative, substantial man, who has profited by the advant-
ages of this great western country. Stanislaus County owes much to men of Mr.
Date's caliber, who have not been afraid to trust to their judgment and put their
shoulder to the wheel to confirm their faith, and so have helped the county to make
the rapid strides that have put it among the foremost counties of the state.

MRS. VEDA HATFIELD CALKINS.— The proprietor of the Turlock
Tribune, who is a native daughter of California, is Mrs. Veda Hatfield Calkins,
who was born in Tulare. Her father, Win. R. Hatfield, was a native of Ohio, who
was reared in Illinois, where he enlisted in an Illinois regiment and served in the
Civil War, being wounded in battle during the great conflict. About 1870 he came
to California, entering the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad shops in Sacra-
mento, where he became a locomotive engineer. He had his headquarters in Tur-
lock and had the distinction of running the first train through Turlock. He was
married in Tulare to Miss Emma L. Hopper, who was born near Stockton. Later
Mr. Hatfield's headquarters was moved to Fresno and then to Oakland, his active
service continuing until he retired on a pension. Then made his home in Pacific Grove
until his death. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and
G. A. R., and was a past master of the Masonic lodge. His widow now makes her
home with her daughter, Mrs. Calkins, being an active member of the Presbyterian
church and the W. R. C.

Veda was their only child, being graduated at the Oakland high school. In San
Jose she wedded Malcolm F. Calkins, a newspaper man. In 1914 Mrs. Calkins pur-
chased the controlling interest in the Monterey Cypress Publishing Co., and continued
an active member of the Company until she sold her interest in October, 1916, to
W. C. Brown, of Pacific Grove, after which she came to Turlock and in partnership
with S. K. Newfield, purchased the Turlock Weekly Tribune from H. W. Dockman.
They made it a tri-weekly in June, 1919.


April, 1920, Mrs. Calkins bought Mr. Newfield's interest and continues as sole
proprietor. The Tribune was established in 1911, by H. W. Dockman, who edited
it until Calkins and Newfield purchased it in 1916. It is a six column quarto, devoted
to the interests of Turlock and boosting Stanislaus County, and is independent Repub-
lican. The Tribune has a complete publishing plant with job printing department.

Mrs. Calkins has one son a very interesting and sturdy lad named Wm. M. Mrs.
Calkins is an active member of the Presbyterian church and its Sunday school, in
which she is a teacher. She is a member of the Turlock Woman's Club, the Delphian
Society and the American Press Association.

REV. CHAS. PHILIPPS.— A young man of scholarly attainments and deep
religious convictions is Rev. Charles Philipps, rector of St. Anthony's Catholic Church
at Hughson. He was born in Strasburg, Alsace Lorraine, in 1881, of French parent-
age. Being reared on the farm he is still interested in farming and building up of
farming districts. He attended school at Besancon and then the French college in

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 148 of 177)