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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 155 of 177)
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who was himself an old-fashioned, standpat Republican. He married Miss Emma
Luella Hattan, of Kentucky, who came to Illinois with her parents when a girl.

When Harry was ten months old his parents removed with him to Fillmore
County, Nebr., and until he was twelve years old he spent his boyhood there on the
home farm. Then Mr. and Mrs. Perry moved into the city, where they retired, and
Harry continued his schooling at the Shickley high school, from which he was gradu-
ated with the class of '03. After a while the family removed to Lincoln, Nebr., and
there in 1912, Mrs. Perry passed away, mourned by all who knew her. Mr. Pern-
still resides in Lincoln. Availing himself of the opportunity to graduate from the
Lincoln high school, also, he received his diploma there in 1905.

Harry Perry then taught school for a term in Fillmore, and later entered the
State University at Lincoln, where he pursued the academic course and majored in
mathematics. Three years later he began a six-years' course in law; but after a year
of study, he dropped the subject, and in 1910 was graduated with the degree of A.B.
During his college career he was active in athletics, prominent in field and track
events, and captain of the basket-ball team. Having finished his studies, he was super-
intendent of city schools at Utica, Seward County, Nebr., for a couple of years; and
upon his retirement he came out to California and gave up the teaching profession.

In the fall of 1912, Mr. Perry came to Denair, where he now owns a farm of
twenty acres. He is a director in the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, also in the
Tri-County Farm Bureau Exchange, and also of the California Farm Bureau Market-
ing Association. He is clerk of the board of trustees of Denair, having charge of both
the grammar and the high schools, and has thus seen active and responsible duty in
the erection of the new high school building at Denair. During the World War, also,
he was a deputy sheriff. His public-spiritedness has repeatedly found expression when
something worth while had to be done and he was one of the first to volunteer to do it.

In 1910, Mr. Perry was married to Miss Stella N. Lull, who was born in Fill-
more County, Nebr., on October 13, 1885, of parents now deceased. She graduated
from the Nebraska State Normal in 1908, and was for some time active in her pro-
fession of teaching prior to her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Perry have four children —
Emma Gene, Margaret Luella, Francis and Harry O. Perry, Jr. Mr. Perry belongs
*o the Woodmen of the World, and at Lincoln, Nebr., was elected to the "Honorary
Senior Order of Innocents," of the University of Nebraska.

ZEARLE A. KINSER.— An experienced ditch tender is Zearle A. Kinser
who was born southeast of Montpellier on June 26, 1891, the oldest son of James B.
and Laura (Davis) Kinser, now residents of Denair. Zearle attended school for a
year at Montpellier, then went to the Madison School at Merced, and finally finished
his schooling at Denair. After that, he helped to run his father's farm of 160 acres,
north of Denair in the Elmwood Colony. In 1911, he went east to Fort Wayne, Ind.,
and for three years he attended the Mission Church Association Bible Training
School; and when he came back to Denair, on June 5, 1914, he was married to Miss
Ethel Moore, who was born near Humboldt, Tenn., of parents who died when she
was six years of age. Once more going east, Mr. Kinser took up his residence at



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1375

Sterling, Kans., and for a year served as the pastor of the Mission Church there :
then, removing to Groveland, 111., he was the pastor of a Mission Church for a couple
of years, or until it seemed desirable to seek again the balmier climate of California.
In May, 1917, Mr. Kinser returned to Denair, and since that time he has been
in the employ of the Turlock Irrigation District as ditch tender in charge of Lateral
No. 2 and Lateral No. 3. He owns twenty acres of land north of Denair, which he
is fast developing into a vineyard. Two children add to the attractions of home life
for the Kinsers — James Alvin and Harold Davis. Mr. Kinser is a Republican.

MRS. ROMA J. HOLLINGSWORTH.— Prominent among the successful
women of affairs in Stanislaus County, Mrs. Roma J. Hollingsworth, although retired,
still enjoys the enviable status of a natural leader, to whom many look for guidance
or encouragement. She was born near Ridge Farm, 111., on July 24, 1860, the daugh-
ter of John and Elizabeth A. (Reynolds) Folger — the former a native of Vermilion
County, 111., the latter a native of Parke County, Ind. Roma attended the local
public schools, and for three winters the Friends Academy at Vermilion Grove.

On June 6, 1883, she was married to Jacob Mark Hollingsworth, who was born
in Vermilion County, 111., on September 26, 1858, educated in part in the public
schools and in part in Michigan Agricultural College, from which he was graduated
in 1882. He took a keen interest in his chosen field, and as a trustee of the school
board and a member of the Farmers Institute, he was able to do much toward the
building: of the Agricultural Building for the University of Illinois. His own opera-
tions as a farmer were in grain and stock, and as a Republican he was able to exert
a sound and helpful influence in civic affairs.

In 1906, the Hollingsworths removed to the Pacific Coast, and located at Whit-
tier, in Los Angeles County; and there, on April 18, 1907, he passed peacefully away,
thus closing a true Christian life. He left, besides a devoted widow, eight children.
Harry C. Hollingsworth married, but both he and his wife are now deceased, and
•heir two children, Ruth and Grace, are being reared by their grandmother. Lester F.
is manager of the Hollingsworth ranches at Denair. Elsie; Alice (deceased) ; Mildred
and Christine are teachers; Louise; Warren F. served as an artilleryman in the Philip-
pines for three years.

In 1907, after a careful survey of San Joaquin Valley lands, Lester purchased
135 acres northwest of Denair; and there is the present residence of the family. Since
buying the above, the Hollingsworths have sold some eighty acres, so that they retain
only fifty-five; and this tract is devoted to general farming. More recently, Mrs.
Hollingsworth and Lester have purchased forty acres four miles north of Denair,
and this land Mr. Hollingsworth is checking in order to seed it to alfalfa and set it
out with fruit trees. The Hollingsworths belong to the Milk Producers Association.

CHARLES H. ERWAY. — A worthy representative of a most interesting his-
toric family of English origin is Charles H. Erwav, the rancher living to the east
of Turlock, who was born in Hastings, Mich., on September 1, 1879, the oldest son
of Owen and Mary J. (Shively) Erway, members of a family founded in this countn -
by ten brothers who came from England, and on establishing themselves in the New
World, changed their name, by common agreement, from Auway to Erway. When
Owen Erway was fourteen years of age, his parents migrated from New York to
Michigan, and there he was reared, a farmer. There, also, he married Miss Shively,
one of the attractive belles of her time, and a cousin of the famous lawyer, Benjamin
F. Shively, a member of Congress from Indiana for several terms.

Charles spent his boyhood da\s on his father's farm, and when he had graduated
from the graded schools, he left home to make his way in the world. He had developed
sufficiently strong to do hard work, and so accepted a post as brakeman on the Toledo,
Ann Arbor and Michigan Railroad, an activity which he followed on the same line
until 1905, sometimes acting as conductor.

Ln 1905. Mr. Erway came to Oakland and entered the employ of the Southern
Pacific Railroad, in their western division; but owing to an accident he was later given
yard service. Retiring from railroad work in 1912, he worked at carpentering for



137c" HISTORY O] STANISLAUS COUNTY

three years in San Francisco; and then he came to reside on his ranch, which he had
purchased near Turlock in 1907 while still railroading. Into the work of the new
field he threw himself enthusiastically; and with his intelligence and experience, it
would have been strange if he had not succeeded in an enviable manner. Now he is a
live wire in the Farm Bureau, the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union of
America. He is also one of the seven men on the state board of the Turlock Farmers
Union of which he is the local president.

At Durand, Mich., in 1903, Mr. Erway was married to Miss Anna Marie
Paisley, a native of Ontario, Canada, where she was born on April 11, 1877, the
descendant of a distinguished line of Scotch ancestry. Mr. Erway is connected with
the Farmers Warehouse Association, and is a director of the Turlock Journal, a paper
owned by the farmers. He is also a stockholder of the T. M. & G.

LESTER J. NEILL. — A public-spirited citizen having no aspirations for official
position of any sort, but untiring in his efforts, whenever the opportunity is presented,
to boost Stanislaus County, is Lester J. Neill. He was born in Jennings County,
Ind., on March 5, 1870, and is today comfortably settled about one mile to the west
of Denair on the State highway. He was reared in Jennings County and there
attended the public schools, after which, in 1891, he was graduated from Earlham
College at Richmond, Ind. The next year he was married to Miss Isabella Bewley,
a native of Jennings County, by whom he has had three children, all a credit to the
family name. Clayton, who is attending Stanford University, served for six months as
seaman in the U. S. Merchant Marine; Margaret is the wife of Merle L. Harmon of
Denair, and the mother of one child ; and Roberta is a student.

Following his marriage, Mr. Neill was railroad agent, and later merchant, in
Butlerville and Westfield, Ind. ; and in 1908 he came west to California and selected
Denair as the place of greatest appeal. He took up ranching, buying twenty acres west
of Denair which he sold, and then bought another tract of twenty acres. He ioined the
Denair local of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau at its inception in 1915, and is
(1921) local chairman of the Bureau at Denair. Mr. Neill has become more and
more interested in and identified with the development of this section of Stanislaus
County, and it is not surprising that whenever any movement of importance affecting
Denair is proposed, the citizens there look to Mr. Neill to assist in seeing it through.

WARREN L. TRUMBLY.— A worthy successor of an able blacksmith is
Warren L. Trumbly, who bought out W. F. Young at Montpellier. He was born
on the old Fanning farm, near La Grange, on September 8, 1884, the son of Edward
Trumbly, who was born in Stanislaus County about 1 854 and grew up to be a farmer.
He married Miss Margaret Davis, who was also born in this county, the daughter of
Harvey Bates Davis, a native of Virginia who migrated to California in 1849, became
a large landowner, and at one rime owned thousands of acres in Stanislaus County,
as well as in surrounding territory. The Baggs Ranch, for example, is one portion
of the original Davis Ranch. Mr. Davis was both a public-spirited and a public man,
and served his fellow-citizens in the State Legislature from 1856 to the early seventies.

Warren Trumbly attended the local school, and then worked on his father's
ranch until he was nineteen years of age. In 1910, he was apprenticed to learn the
blacksmith trade in a shop at La Grange; and three years later he set up a smithy
on his own account at the same place, and there remained for five years. In 1918,
he purchased the blacksmith business of W. F. Young at Montpellier, and there he
has since continued, his trade growing with each year. Able and willing to maintain
the high standard set by Mr. Young, and having additional experience and ideas of
his own, he has been fortunate in giving to Montpellier and vicinity the best service.

At Modesto, on March 3, 1915, Mr. Trumbly was married to Miss Ellen
Uhlinger, a native of Amador County and the daughter of Jacob and Ellen Uhlinger,
pioneers of '49 who came to Amador County and there did their part as settlers in
helping to develop the agricultural industry of the state. Two children sprang from
this union, and they hear the names of Earl and Louisa.



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1377

ARTHUR M. WATSON.— Occupying an enviable position among those in-
dustrious and thrifty ranchers whose hard, intelligent labor and consequent success
have contributed to swell the general prosperity of the state, thereby adding blessings
for others as well as for his family and himself, Arthur M. Watson was born near
Oakdale on September 20, 1878, and grew up proud of his relation as a native son
to the great Pacific commonwealth. His father was John Watson, a native of Penn-
sylvania who migrated with his parents to California in the historic year of 1849
and located at Copperopolis, where he tried his luck seeking gold in the Southern
mines. He married Miss Lizzie Gatzman, a native of the Golden State, having
been born in Stanislaus County. John Watson is now deceased ; but his devoted widow
resides, retired, at Fresno.

Arthur spent his boyhood on his father's farm near Oakdale, where he attended
the grammar schools; and later, in 1893, he finished his studies at Modesto. As soon
as he was able, he began to farm on his own account and cultivated seven hundred
acres near La Grange. Now he is located on a fine grain ranch of 1,600 acres, known
as the Evans & Harder tract, near Montpellier, raising barley and oats. He employs
three men steadily, and during the harvest time, six men ; and he uses the most
improved machinery and methods, and so gets the most satisfactory results.

On March 3, 1919, Mr. Watson was married at Modesto to Miss Elsie (West-
fall) Green, a native of Amador County, where she was born near lone on February
9, 1889. Her father was John Westfall, a native of West Virginia, and her mother,
hefore her marriage, was Miss Ella Smith, a native of Iowa. By her marriage with
J. W. Green one child, a son, Wallace, was born. By a former marriage with Beatrice
Trumbly of La Grange, Mr. Watson was the father of four children : Vernon, Arthur,
Nadine, and Marguerite. Mr. Watson takes a live interest in the cause of popular
education, and was on the board of trustees of Montpellier Union grammar school.

JOHN WINSON QUINLEY.— A representative California citizen keenly in-
terested in all the problems pertaining to progressive agriculture and the development
and advancement of country life, is John Winson Quinley, the rancher living east of
Montpellier. He was born near Waterford, on May 6, 1866, the son of John Cinclar
Quinley, who was born in Kentucky and migrated to California in 1857 from Mis-
souri. He spent the better part of six months in crossing the plains by ox-teams and
mules, and among those in the same wagon-train were the Quinleys, the Hudelsons,
the Turpens and the Davis families, all of whom settled in Stanislaus County. Mr.
Quinley located first of all near Knights Ferry on the south bank of the Stanislaus
River; and while there he was able to help materially in the establishing of the county
government. He married, in 1855, Miss Martha Matilda Turpen, in Missouri, and
together they became substantial farmer folk. Mr. Quinley died on Washington's
Birthday, 1898, and his estimable widow passed away at the home of our subject near
Montpellier, on June 19, 1919. She had lived for years a retired life at Modesto, and
finally wished to return to the country, but she died soon after making the change.

John Winson Quinley, the fourth child and the third eldest son in a family of
nine children, spent his boyhood on the home farm ; and since then, with the excep-
tion of four years spent in mining at Copperopolis, he has always been a grain farmer
in Stanislaus County. He attended the Rinehart school, seven miles east of Modesto,
and is a graduate of the Tilden district school. When twenty-three, Mr. Quinley
assumed the responsibilities in the management of his father's grain farm, and since
1917 he has farmed the 800 acres three and a half miles east of Montpellier, growing
there both barley and oats with a marked degree of success. He is a stockholder in
the California Farm Bureau Elevator Corporation at Montpellier.

At Ceres, on September 27, 1893, Mr. Quinley was married to Miss Cora Belle
McCoy, a native of Ashland, Ore., where she was born on July 28, 1878, the daugh-
ter of Silas and Martha (Frier) McCoy, the former a native of Missouri, the latter
of Arkansas, who migrated to Oregon in the early seventies. The union has resulted
in the birth of eleven children. Ormal Alvin lives with his wife and a child at
Fresno. Clarence Winson and his wife are residents of Keyes. Lester Herbert is a
student at the College of the Pacific at San Jose, and so is Esther Vivian. John Cinclar



1378 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

i* a student at the Turlock high school. Ora Viola, George William and Martha
Almeda are pupils in the Union district school. And the little folks of the family are
Mildred Carlyle. Cecil Woodrow, and Corabel. Mr. Quinley's father taught school
for years in Stanislaus County, and was a well-educated man ; and Mr. Quinley has
found pleasure in serving as a director in the Union grammar school board. The
family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Quinley usually votes and
acts with the Democratic party, but is not bound in slavish fashion on local issuse.

ABNER M. BARNES.— A live wire from Montpellier in the Farm Bureau
Exchange is A. M. Barnes, who was born at Albany, Shackelford County, Tex., on
November 2, 1884, the son of A. J. and Frances (Yancey) Barnes, who migrated to
California in 1895 and located at Modesto. In 1902 Mr. Barnes purchased 1.000
acres three miles from Montpellier; and after finishing school in 1900, our subject was
initiated into dry farming, and for the last seven years has engaged in the raising of
grain at Alontpellier on his father's ranch.

In 1906, at Modesto, Mr. Barnes was married to Miss Ethel Thome, and they
have two children, Frances and Mildred, the pride and the life of the household.
Mr. Barnes, who is a Democrat, takes an enthusiastic interest in public education,
and he is serving as a clerk of the board of trustees of Montpellier Union school.'

Although busy enough, from morning till night, with his own investments and
enterprises, Mr. Barnes affords an excellent example of the broad-minded and public-
spirited citizen who somehow or other always finds time to render civic service for
the benefit of the community at large. His farm is a model in many respects, and he
is happy when he sees others ambitious to strive for, and attaining, what he also, by
his intelligent, steady labor, has come to enjoy.

JOHN CLEVEN. — A Norwegian-American who has "made good" to such an
extent in California that he enjoys the esteem of a wide circle of acquaintances, is
John Cleven, the rancher, who lives about two miles east of Montpellier. He was
born in Guldbrandsdal, Norway, on November 27, 1882, the son of Engebrit and
Carrie (Olsen) Cleven, both natives of Norway, who became substantial farmer-folk.
Mr. Cleven died about 1898 at his old home; and his good wife is still living in Nor-
way, making her home with a younger sister of our subject. Of the six surviving
children, four are in California. A daughter is now Mrs. W. A. Dinkelman ; Claus
resides at Alontpellier, and Caren lives near by, while John is the enterprising agri-
culturist of whom we are writing. The oldest of these children, Airs. Dinkelman,
came to America in 1890, locating at Alodesto ; and the last of those who came, John
and Caren, arrived in 1904. Air. Cleven first worked for wages on ranches.

Since 1913, Mr. Cleven has farmed 720 acres, helped by his brothers and the
sister, Caren, who is in charge of the home ; and he has become a very successful grain
farmer, and is a stockholder in the California Farm Bureau Elevator Corporation at
Alontpellier. He endeavors to operate according to the last word of science, with the
most modern and approved machinery and implements; and whatever may be said of
his methods or aims, he certainly gets results.

At Alodesto, in 1915, on one of the proudest days of his life, Air. Cleven was
made an American citizen; and as such he rendered good service as a fire warden dur-
ing the war period when many fires occurred on the Alontpellier ranches, the cause or
origin of which was very difficult to explain.

LEON K. FARGO. — Although one of the more recent arrivals in Stanislaus
County, Leon K. Fargo, engaged in the handling of trucks and used automobiles,
in partnership with C. R. Strait, has a high standing in Modesto among the leading
business men of the city and enjoys a large patronage. He is a skilled mechanician
and thoroughly understands every detail of repair or construction on his cars, and is
recognized as an excellent judge of motors and all other mechanical construction.

A native of South Dakota, Air. Fargo was born in Aberdeen, May 25, 1888, the
son of E. H. and Nina Frances (King) Fargo. His father was a railroad man, and
drove the first freight train into Aberdeen, S. D., over the tracks of the Chicago.
Alilwaukee & St. Paul Railway, with which road he was employed for fifty-two



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1379

years previous to his coming to California. It was in Aberdeen that our Mr. Fargo
passed his boyhood and youth, receiving his early education in the grammar and high
schools of that city. He was ever energetic and ambitious, with a natural bent for
mechanics, and at the age of nineteen years he started out to win his fortune, his first
venture being as a mechanic in an Aberdeen bicycle shop.

It was on December 2, 1905, that Mr. Fargo came to California with his par-
ents, locating in Santa Cruz, where he made his start in the automobile business,
p being engaged as a mechanic in the Santa Cruz Garage. He remained in this con-
nection until he came to Modesto in November, 1909, where he has since made his
home. He was engaged for a time with the Roy Mires Garage on Ninth Street, now
known as the Overland Garage, where he established an enviable reputation for effi-
ciency and dependability in all his work. The opportunities offered in this rapidly
developing city soon became apparent to Mr. Fargo, and after a few years' successful
service with Mr. Mires, he determined to go into business for himself. Accordingly
the present partnership with C. R. Strait was entered into, and today he enjoys a
flourishing business, handling Traffic and Moreland trucks and used cars, with com-
modious quarters at 526 Tenth Street.

The marriage of Mr. Fargo and Miss Avis Rossel was celebrated in Modesto.
January 20, 1913. Mrs. Fargo is the daughter of Charles and Jessie Rossel, one of
the early pioneer families of Stanislaus County, and herself a native daughter of
Modesto, where she was reared and educated. Her father was for many years one
of the well-known dairy farmers of this vicinity, but is now retired and living in
Modesto. Mr. and Mrs. Fargo own an attractive home on Virginia Avenue. Dur-
ing the World War, Mr. Fargo rendered excellent service as a deputy sheriff. Politi-
cally he is a Republican and a stanch party man, although in local matters he stands
strongly for businesslike administration and progressive legislation.

CHARLES S. KERR. — The motorist in Stanislaus County owes much to such
broad-minded, far-seeing representatives of the automobile industry as Charles S. Kerr
for the betterment of conditions making motoring more than ever a safe attraction.
He was born in the historic city of Edinburgh, Scotland, on April 19, 1882, the son
of Robert J. Kerr, a Scotch veterinary surgeon of wide repute, who had married Miss
Annie Forbes, like himself still a resident of the land of Burns; and he attended the
George Watson College at Edinburgh, and also studied for a year at the university
there. He took up medicine, but with the outbreak of the Boer War he joined the
field intelligence department of the British forces in South Africa, and did his duty
by his native land. This experience alone contributed much to enable Mr. Kerr, in
subsequent years, to take part in affairs in whatever corner of the world he was found :
and it was also of value to him when the recent World War broke out, and he was
called upon to assume a new and responsible leadership.

In 1905 Mr. Kerr came out to the United States and settled in Los Angeles,
where he engaged for a few months with Hyman & Pearson in the automobile trade.



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 155 of 177)