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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 149 of 177)
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Belfort. He completed his classics and philosophy here, and after his graduation
entered the University of Milan, Italy, where he studied languages for two years.
He also studied in the seminary of Fribourg, Switzerland. On completing his studies
in theology he was ordained a priest by Archbishop P. B. Riordan of San Francisco
on July 9, 1991. Settling immediately in the metropolis of the Pacific Coast, he
located in September, and became assistant at St. Bridget's Parish, on Van Ness
avenue, where he spent five years and then was assistant two years at St. Anthony's
Church, in East Oakland, and another two years at St. Mary's Church in Oakland's
down town district. Meanwhile he had become a naturalized citizen.

In 1920, Father Philipps made a trip to Europe, spending almost a year at the
University of Lisbon in the study of the Portuguese language, literature and history.
He visited Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Spain and France, recalling the scenes so
dear to his childhood. Then, too, he saw the devastation caused in France and the
havoc wrought to Rheims and other places by the big guns in the World War. He
returned to San Francisco after a very profitable year of study and research and soon
was appointed by Archbishop Edward J. Hanna as the first rector of St. Anthony's
Parish at Hughson on August 9, 1921, the parish having been officially established
the day before. St. Anthony parish embraces about twelve square miles. As a
mission it had been attended by priests from St. Stanislaus parish until the appoint-
ment of Father Philipps, and the first parochial mass was said by the Rector August
14, 1921. Father Philipps immediately began to plan for a new edifice. A lot has
been secured on the State Highway opposite the grammar school and on this central
location the Catholics expect to erect a fine church at a cost of about $10,000, with a
seating capacity of 400. Father Philipps has had ten years experience in the diocese,
is talented as a public speaker and his years of experience as a clergyman qualify him
to assume the responsible duties of rector of the new parish of St. Anthony. He
is a popular member of the Knights of Columbus and the Young Men's Institute.

MRS. ANNA C. ERICKSON.— One of the old residents in Turlock who with
her late husband, John Erickson, did much to aid in building up intensive farming
is Mrs. Anna C. Erickson, who was born in Smaland, Sweden, in 1858. She is a
daughter of Andreas and Johanna (Stenson) Appelquist, who also came to Minne-
apolis, where the mother died, after which Andres Appelquist returned to Sweden and
spent the remainder of his days. Anna C. is the oldest of their seven children and
the only one living in California. She was schooled in Sweden and in her twentieth
year, in 1878, came to Goodhue County, Minn. The next year she was married in
Red Wing, Minn., to John Erickson, who was born in Westergotland and had come to
Minnesota in 1869. After their marriage they purchased eighty acres in Goodhue
County, which they farmed for five years and then sold. They removed to the Red
River Valley of the North, purchasing 160 acres of railroad land sixty miles northeast
of Crookston, later purchasing another quarter section and for nineteen years farmed
and raised stock.

They read good reports of California and particularly Turlock, so they sold out
and moved hither, February 23, 1903. They immediately bought 120 acres four



1342 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

miles southwest of Turlock, at $25 an acre, which they improved to orchard, vineyard
and alfalfa. The first couple of years their crop and some of the trees were des-
troyed by grasshoppers and rabbits, but they fought the pests and replanted and in
time succeeded, raising the trees and vines. They also did dairying. In 1909 they
rented the ranch and moved to Turlock, building a residence at 301 South West
avenue, and here Mr. Erickson passed away on April 21, 1910.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Erickson was blessed with seven children: Esther
Josephine, Mrs. Egvall of Turlock; Enoch Theo., with the Turlock postoffice;
Phillip in an oil station in Turlock; David Herbert who died in 1920, aged thirty-
one years; Lydia Ruth, with her mother; Hilda Elizabeth of San Francisco; Alice
Rebecca a graduate of the San Jose State Normal, now teaching. Since her husband
died Mrs. Erickson continues to reside at the old family home, looking after the
valuable holdings left by her husband. She belongs to the Swedish Mission Church.

NATHAN HARVEY KING.— A prosperous business man of 'Modesto is
Nathan Harvey King, who enjoys the distinction of b-ing a pioneer spring manu-
facturer, catering to one of the most important of present-day industries. He comes
of an old San Joaquin Valley family, and hence it is onlv natural that he is first,
last and all the time for the Golden State. He was born at Stockton on April 20,
1892, the son of Nathan Harvey Kins', who made three trbs across the great plains,
coming West on the first occasion with the gold rush of '49, and becoming, with
thou=ands of others, an early prospector. He also helped to build the Quien Sabe
Canal. As a farmer and a stockman, he acquired large tracts of land, and grew to
operate extensively. When he died, he left our subject, a mere baby, and a widow,
nee Anna Bustard, who survived until 1910.

Nathan Harvey, Jr., attended the grammar schools of the county, and when
twelve years old started to hoe his own row in the world. He took up the trade of a
blacksmith and a machinist, worked at the same in Stockton, in Johnson's shop, and
in 1905 came to Modesto, where he found employment for a couple of rears with
M. H. Noonan. In 1907, he formed a partnership with Rov Reynolds and for several
years ran a blacksmith shop. Then he sold his interest to Severin, and later bought
out Severin's holding. By this time, his business was so well established that he
could afford to try a specialty; and in 1915 he commenced the manufacture of springs.
Being verv expert, he starts from the beginning, uses the best of raw materials, and
makes entire any form of springs needed for autos or trailers. He was the first man
in this part of the country to establish a factory exclusively for the making of springs,
and it is not surprising that his patrons come from all over the San Joaquin Valley.

At Modesto, on April 18, 1918, Mr. King was married to Miss Frances Beneter,
who was born and reared at Los Banos, the daughter of Fred and' Bertha B«neter.
Her father came to San Joaquin County in 1885, and as a farmer was one of the first
settlers in Stockton, and afterward was a successful grain rancher in Merced County.
Mildred. Frances and Walter are the three children born to this worthy couple. In
national politics, Mr. King is a Democrat.

LA GRANGE GOLD DREDGING COMPANY.— A prime factor in the
development of the La Grange section is the La Grange Gold Dredging Com-
pany, a continuation of the old La Grange Ditch & Hydraulic Mining Company. As
early as 1869-70, the La Grange Ditch & Hydraulic Mining Company had taken
over a small private ditch and enlarged it, and began using it for hydraulicing on
what was called French Hill diggings, meeting with good success. They also
hydrauliced at Don Pedro, a town of 500 to 600 people in early days, now the site
of the great reservoir being built. After mining operations ceased, most of the people
moved away and the town was entirely wiped out by fire. The old company also
mined at Patricksville.

In 1905 the capital stock and holdings of the La Grange Ditch & Hydraulic
Mining Company were purchased by John Hays Hammond, the world-renowned
mining engineer, and J. E. Doolittle, and they incorporated two companies — the La



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1343

Grange Gold Dredging Company and the La Grange Water* & Power Company.
They spent two years in careful prospecting and development work, Keystone drilling
the holdings, and they also built an electric power plant at La Grange, generating
power for their own use in operating the dredges. In 1906 the dredge was built and
started in March of that year. Finding that they had considerable excess electric
power, they proceeded to install power lines throughout the county, distributing power
and lieht to La Grange, Modesto, Turlock, Hickman, Waterford, Ceres and Keyes.

About 1917 a sale was made of the power plant to the Sierra & San Francisco
Power Company, reserving suffcierit water to operate their dredges and to irrigate
their olive grove consisting of 250 acres, containing 10.000 olive trees, 1,00!) English
walnuts, 500 pecans and 3,000 prune trees. This large orchard is planted on virgin
soil on a level plateau above La Grange, is four years old, and is irrigated bv an
underground concrete conduit system. It is the intention of the company to build a
plant for pickling the olives and extracting oil. This will give La Grange a perma-
nent industry and as other groves are planted, will give employment to many people.
The olives grown in this orchard are large and of fine quality, and will be put on the
market under the name of the La Grange Superior Brand. As the success of this
orchard is shown, it will open the way for others in this section to grow olives, as the
soil and other conditions are particularly adapted to this tree.

The present ownership of the company is now vested in John Hays Hammond
of Washington, D. C and John G. Barker, the latter being the president and man-
ager. A new dredge is being built by the company which will be in operation in
December, 1921. It will have a capacity of nine cubic feet per bucket and will handle
2,000,000 cubic yards of gravel per year. It will be used on their La Grange hold-
ings, and the dredge formerly operated here will be transported to their property
lying between Snelling and Merced Falls. The Merced property of 1,000 acres was
formerly known as the Mather land, and was purchased by the company after rinding
-100 acres of valuable land for dredging. The housing facilities of the company are
most excellent : they have built a modern camp on the old company road above the
Tomlinson River. The location is sightly and most sanitary, with its modern cottages,
dining hall and clubhouse. Water for domestic use is obtained from a well 180 feet
deep and the analysis of the U. S. chemist gave a flattering report of its excellence. It
has certain medicinal properties, being strong with sulphur and iron, and is, in addi-
tion, pleasant to the taste, so that many employes, after leaving, send for it to use in
their homes.

ALBERT H. GIOVANETTL— A representative of an old pioneer family,
Albert H. Giovanetti is the son of Angelo and Fidelia (Prescott) Giovanetti. He has
been reared in Prescott precinct, this county, where his father's wide acres lie, although
lie was horn at the home of his maternal grandparents, near Columbia, in Tuolumne
County, where his mother was visiting at the time of his birth, April 4, 1894. He
grew up on the old Giovanetti place, attended the public schools in Stanislaus school
district, and at an early age took an active part in the farm affairs. His father was a
grain farmer on an extensive scale and with the aid of his three stalwart sons became
one of the leading grain growers of the county and one of its influential men.

At the age of twenty-six years, Albert H. Giovanetti has already taken his place
in the community as a progressive rancher. Besides the home place of 900 acres,
which he runs in partnership with his brother Frank, they also farm an additional
1,500 acres which they have leased, raising principally barley. With the details of
grain farming Mr. Giovanetti became familiar at an early age, under the capable
tutelage of his father, and was a capable driver at fourteen years of age, driving the
great combined harvesters and reapers and threshers, drawn often by as high as from
sixteen to thirty-six head of horses or mules. The Giovanetti ranch, however, has
always been kept fully abreast of the times, and with the advent of motor-driven
machinery, the day of the horse has passed. Caterpillar tractors are used to propel
the two great combined harvesters and threshers, the cutting, elevating and threshing
being done by auxiliary motors stationed on each harvester and thresher. These
machines can cut and thresh fifty acres a day each.



1344 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

Mr. Giovanetti not only understands every detail of the farm, but is an accom-
plished mechanical engineer as well, his practical knowledge of machinery having
been supplemented by a mechanical engineering course in the International Corre-
spondence School. The Giovanetti brothers employ from seven to thirty men. They
are enterprising, industrious and frugal, and are always ready to do their duty in the
community where they reside. Through carefully scientific methods they get a yield
per acre of about as great as thirty years ago, on land that has been farmed every year.
They are also extensively engaged in dairying, and their stock is all high grade, while
they also have three registered Holstein cows and a registered Holstein bull from
the best milk strains of that excellent breed. Like his father, Albert Giovanetti is a
consistent Republican and associated with the progressive movements for the better-
ment of farm conditions.

ERICK W. OHLSSON.— A prominent member of the Swedish Mission
Church whose success as a dairy rancher with one of the choicest stretches of alfalfa
land in the Patterson Colony has made him, rather naturally, a public-spirited man
interested in local history, past and that which is daily and hourly being made, is Erick
W. Ohlsson, who was born in Smaland, Sweden, on July 15, 1884, the son of A. P.
and Hedvik Ulrika Ohlsson. At the age of seven the family went to Norkoping,
where his father was engaged in commercial gardening. There Erick gained his
education in the public schools, also attending the evening school, and here he was
confirmed. He remained at home until he was twenty years old, and then set sail for
America in 1904. He first located in Kane County, 111., where he worked on a dairy
farm for a year, and then for a year in the Peterson Nursery in Chicago. The fol-
lowing year he spent in Oklahoma, then went to Denver, Colo., for a six months' stay,
returning from there to Chicago, where he remained until 1909. During this year
he came to California, and took up gardening at Montecito, Santa Barbara County,
where he had charge of the famous Bingham estate for a time, going from there to
Oakland, where he spent a year at gardening.

On May 4, 1910, Mr. Ohlsson was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Westa-
borg, a native of Moline, 111., the daughter of Magnus and Matilda Westaborg, old
residents of that place. Both parents are now deceased, the father having met his
death in an accident. Mrs. Ohlsson came to Santa Barbara County, and here she
met Mr. Ohlsson. Meanwhile, he had purchased twenty acres at Patterson on Elm
Avenue, north of Las Palmas, devoted to alfalfa. Here he built himself a cosy home,
and put up the necessary farm buildings to maintain a choice herd of twenty dairy
cows. In 1916 he bought an additional ten acres. Five children have blessed their
fortunate union: Edith E. is a pupil in the grammar schools, and Alvin Erick, Herman
Axel, Marion M. and Lloyd Milton are at home.

Mr. Ohlsson finds satisfaction with the platforms of the Republican party, and
great hope, through the principles and ideals of the land of his adoption, for the future.
He believes in Stanislaus County, as he has great faith particularly in Patterson; and
Stanislaus will take more and more stock in him, the better she gets acquainted with
his ambitions, his experience and his capacity for hard, effective work.

ARLO V. TURNER.— The manager of the Oakdale Milling Company, Arlo
Verner Turner was born at Modesto on May 22, 1891, the second son and third
child of Henry Garrison and Emma Catherine (Rice) Turner, the well-known
pioneers, who were the parents of four children. He completed the course of the
Modesto high school in 1909 and four years later was graduated from the University
of California with the Liberal Arts degree of B.L. Then he matriculated at the
Law School of the University of Washington, at Seattle, and in 1915 was graduated
there, receiving the degree of LL.B.

Mr. Turner became a member of the law firm of Turner, Hartge & Turner
of Seattle, and in that city on June 15, 1915, he was married to Miss Gladys Wood,
the daughter of Judge W. D. Wood, ex-mayor of Seattle, who established the first
regular line of steamships to Alaska during the gold rush of 1896-99. One child
was born to this union — Henry Garrison Turner. Mr. Turner practiced law in



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1345

Seattle for some time, and then came south to California to become resident manager
of the Oakdale Milling Company, whose history is full of interest.

In the late seventies, Messrs. Haslacher & Kahn ran a bank and a grain business
here, and in 1895, Haslacher having previously withdrawn, Kahn failed, and the
warehouses were bought at receiver's sale by the Oakdale Milling Company, which
also bought the mill from Haslacher, and the warehouses and the mill were then run
by Oakdale Milling Company. On February 15, 1917, the Oakdale Milling Com-
pany sold all its stock to The Grange Company of Modesto, and this led to Mr.
Turner's coming here. The Oakdale Milling Company operates warehouses at the
following place: Athlone and Merced, in Merced County; Paulsell, Arnold, War-
nerville, Oakdale, Claribel, Burnetts, now known as Adela, and Valley Home, and at
Cometa, Farmington and Escalon, in San Joaquin County. The company buys hay,
corn, barley, beans, wheat and alfalfa seed, and is also engaged in insurance.

PETER AHLBERG.— One of the early settlers of Turlock who has set out

and improved an orchard and helped to make a success of this growing town is
Peter Ahlberg, a native of Sweden, born May 11, 1862, the sixth oldest of a family
of eight children, born to Elias and Britta Christine Ahlberg, an estimable couple of
that north country. There Peter attended the public schools, securing a good educa-
tion, and after school days were over he learned the carpenter's trade under his father.
When twenty-two he began serving in the Swedish army, and after two years, having
filled the required term of service, he received an honorable discharge, thus enabling
him to migrate to any country without hindrance from his native land. Continuing
the carpenter trade, he finally resolved to cast in his lot with the land of the Stars and
Stripes, and came forthwith to Wisconsin in 1890, locating at Marinette, where he
followed carpentering and lumbering for a period of twelve years.

Having became interested in Turlock from reading of the cheap land with its
irrigation possibilities, Mr. Ahlberg purchased land in Hilmar Colony, and in the fall
of 1903, he arrived in Turlock with his family. Wishing to be nearer town he
bought ten acres just south of Turlock and built a residence and began the improve-
ments of his ranch, later on selling his Hilmar land. He has now a well improved
place with a splendid peach orchard. About six years ago his residence was totally
destroyed by fire, but he immediately built a new, comfortable residence. While living
in Marinette, Wis., Mr. Ahlberg was married to Miss Anna Christine Isgren, who
was also born in Sweden and had come to Marinette, Wis., when a young lady
and they have twelve living children, a splendid family. Ruth assists her mother in
presiding over the house; Levi is engaged in the garage business at Ripon ; Astri
resides in Oakland; Hilga, a student at the nurses' training school in Merritt Hospital,
Oakland; Paul is with the Turlock Mercantile Company; Sarah, Anna and Alice
are attending Turlock high school; Hildur, Carl and Linnea. Mr. Ahlberg is a
member of the California Peach Growers, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Ahlberg, as well as
the children are members of the Swedish Mission Church and contribute to its benev-
olences and charities, while Mrs. Ahlberg is also a member of the Dorcas Society.

J. W. HUSSEY.— In Springfield, the capital of the state of Illinois, J. W.
Hussey first saw the light in 1866. His father, Stephen A., is also a native of that
state, and served throughout the Civil War as a volunteer in the Thirty-second Infan-
try, which was later consolidated with the Thirty-third Illinois Infantry. During
his service for his country he was offered a commission at various times, once by
General Grant, but in each instance refused the honor, preferring the position of a
private. Two of his brothers, Jacob and Frank, were also in the service with him.
He married Miss Mary Darnell, a native of Illinois, whose mother, Agnes Simpson
before her marriage, still living in Williamsville, 111., was a cousin of General Ulysses
S. Grant, her mother and General Grant's mother being sisters. In 1878, Stephen A.
Hussey removed to Nebraska and bought 16,000 acres of land in Nuckolls and Clay
counties when land was cheap. The greatest price he paid for any of it was $435
for a quarter section, and most of it was purchased for much less. Later he disposed
of the property at thirty-five dollars per acre. He is now living in Hastings, Nebr.



1346 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

J. W. Hussey is the oldest child in a family of five children, three of whom are
living. He was brought up at Williamsville, Sangamon County, 111., on a farm and
was educated in the public schools of his native state. When sixteen years old he was
apprenticed to the carpenter's trade for three years in Red Oak, Iowa, and afterwards
started for himself in the contracting and building business in Edgar, Clay County,
Nebr. Later he returned to Illinois and followed the business of contracting and
building at Middletown, and still later continued the occupation in Kentucky. He
formed domestic ties while living in Brownsville, Kv., and was united in marriage
with Miss Amanda Been, a native of the Blue Grass State, and they became the
parents of seven children: E. F., Julia May, now Mrs. Davis; Albert, Alfred, John,
Ollie and Clyde, all of whom live in Modesto.

In 1906, the year of the earthquake at San Francisco, Cal., they came to that city,
where Mr. Hussey worked at his trade and helped build up the stricken city after the
disastrous fire. From there they went to Santa Cruz, where he continued to follow
the building and contracting trade until he came to Modesto and located in 1914.
He has been successful in following his vocation in Modesto and vicinity. He resides
on a five-acre orange grove and in addition to the contracting and building business
runs a dairy very appropriately named the Orange Blossom Dairy. He has a fine
herd of milch cows and is doing a satisfactory business delivering milk in Modesto.
In his political views Mr. Hussey adheres to the principles of the Socialist party.

CHESTER G. SNYDER. — An enterprising firm which may justly claim much
of the credit for improved conditions in the Stanislaus County automobile world, is
that of Snyder Bros., whose senior member, Chester G. Snyder, worked for several
years in a factory where the block for the Ford engine was manufactured. The
brothers are well and favorably known in the county, where they grew up to farm
work and attended the public schools. They were worthy sons of an honored pioneer
>n Stanislaus County, with his devoted wife good, honest farmer folk. Chester Snyder
went East in 1915 and remained there until 1919. He was fond of machinery since
his boyhood, and he set out to get the most practical knowledge of motor work and
construction, and to get it as accurately as possible. He engaged with the Michigan
Steel Manufacturing Company and there worked on the construction of the famous
French seventy-five-centimeter guns. He worked on the lower part, or the gun-mount
portion, and also made munitions for that gun. He next engaged with the Campbell,
Wyant & Cannon Manufacturing Company at Muskegon, Mich., and then helped to
manufacture Ford motor blocks. . After that he was with the Continental Motor
Works at the same place, and then helped to make four and six-cylinder motor cars,
and progressed so well with that firm that he was made inspector. While in Muske-
gon, he married Mrs. Hilda Fisher. Mr. Snyder is a Modern Woodman.

The Snyder Garage building was bought by the father, and the firm of Snyder
& Son was started in June, 1919, made up of the father, Charles B. Snyder, and the
subject of this review. When the father died in November, 1919, the brother, Norman



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 149 of 177)