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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 161 of 177)
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held in reserve for five months. Then, on Armistice Day, he was called upon to report
at Garden City, N. Y. ; but he never got on the way. He is a Mason, affiliated with
the lodge at Modesto. His father is also a member of the Masonic order and is affili-
ated with the lodge at Red Bluff.

JOHN E. FREITAS. — A modest, but popular young man whose heroic service
for his country in the late World War — in which he was wounded three times — will
be sure to entitle him always to the good-will and esteem of his fellowmen, John E.
Freitas, the Hughson rancher, is also fortunate in such returns from his hard work
as may fairly be considered the evidence of real success. He was born in Boston on
July 29, 1891, the son of Lewis and Ida (Correia) Freitas, and his father was a
merchant of New Bedford, Mass., where John attended the common schools. When
only seventeen years old, in 1908, he left home and came to California.

He settled at Hollister in San Benito County, and worked for wages on farms:
and after eight years of such ranch labor, in which he pretty thoroughly mastered the
ins and outs of California agriculture, in 1916, he located in Stockton and entered
a grocery store as a clerk and continued there until he enlisted in the Army in June,

1918, leaving his wife and infant son, two weeks old, with her brother. He trained
for three weeks at Camp Lewis, in Company B of the Thirty-seventh Infantry of
the Seventh Division ; and from Camp Lewis went to Camp Fremont, where he
stayed a short time before going to Long Island, in New York State. Thence he
sailed for Brussels; and immediately after the arrival of his regiment in France, they
went into action, so that he was in the St. Mihiel, the Argonne and several other
drives, in each of which he was over the top several times. He was wounded by both
shrapnel and bayonet; but he was able to make some counter-strokes. In America
he had won the rank of a sharpshooter, and he was made a sniper at the front. Once,
when out on advance sharpshooting, one of the enemy crawled up behind him, that
is, behind the rocks where he was concealing himself, and Mr. Freitas turned just
in time to dodge a thrust of the bayonet, which made an ugly gash in his leg, but
which would otherwise have pierced his body; and in the fight that followed, he at
last got his man. Another time three of the enemy had stolen upon him unawares;
he discovered the first in time to get him, when two others appeared over the boulder,
the first of them throwing his bayonet at him, but Mr. Freitas caught it in his hand
and stopped the force; a comrade in the rear got this man, while Mr. Freitas got the
third one. As proofs of his participation, Mr. Freitas carries scars of three wounds.
In February, 1919, he was honorably discharged as a corporal.

Returning to California and taking up his duties, Mr. Freitas went to farming
on a ranch of twenty acres, two miles south of Hughson, where he is engaged in
raising sweet potatoes and melons. He had married in Stockton before the war on



1408 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

January 10, 1917, Miss Mamie Macedo, a native of New Bedford, Mass., the
daughter of Tony and Amelia Macedo, now of Turlock ; and their union has been
fruitful of two children, Ernest L. and Loraine Freitas. Mr. Freitas prefers the
platforms of the Republican party in all matters pertaining to national politics, but
he is always ready to put aside partisan claims in order to support the best local
candidates. He is a member of the U. P. E. C. and Farm Bureau of Hughson, and
there is no one more popular. Mrs. Freitas is a member of the U. P. P. E. C.

FRANK L. HEINZLE. — It is interesting to note that many of the prosperous
business and professional men of Stanislaus County are also engaged in farming enter-
prises of various sorts, and among them is Frank L. Heinzle, who is engaged in the
tailoring business in Patterson, where he enjoys a large patronage, and also owns and
operates a ranch of ten acres on Eucalyptus Avenue, which he farms to alfalfa. Mr.
Heinzle is a native of Austria, born at Bregenz, September 15, 1869, the son of
Joseph and Josephine Heinzle, the father a stonecutter by trade. He received his
education in the public schools of Bregenz, and was then apprenticed to a tailor,
where he learned his trade. Later he traveled throughout Europe for seven years,
engaging in his trade in various large cities, and visiting Switzerland, Germany, and
other of the central countries.

It was in January, 1910, that Mr. Heinzle came to California, locating first
at San Diego, where he remained for a short time. He then went to San Francisco,
where he established himself in the tailoring business, remaining for a year. An
opportunity then presented itself at Colma, San Mateo County, and he transferred
his interests there until 1913, when he came to Stanislaus County, locating at Patter-
son. Here he built up a good business and prospered, but in 1915 was induced to
return to Colma, where he remained until 1920, but in May of that year, he again
returned to Patterson, where he has now established a permanent home.

Mr. Heinzle has been married twice, the first time to Miss Caroline Michael,
in Bregenz, in 1896, and of this union there was born one child, a son, Frank. The
second marriage was solemnized in San Francisco, in February, 1911, uniting him
with Miss Anna Zoyer, and two children have been born to them, Josephine and
William, both now students in the grammar school at Patterson. On April 26, .
1921, Mr. Heinzle became an American citizen.

MARTIN OLSEN.— A broad-minded and liberal-hearted citizen who, as a
naturalized American, is proud of his adopted country and loyal to the great com-
monwealth of California, is Martin Olsen, whose good wife has contributed much
toward their common success and prosperity. They now live retired about seven
miles from Modesto toward the southwest, happy in their environment.

Mr. Olsen was born on the Island of Bornholm, Denmark, on June 2, 1853, the
son of Ole Nelson, a native of that same island and a tradesman cobbler and shoe-
maker. Having thoroughly acquired a knowledge of his trade and art, and having
started early in life with a reputation for character of a high order, Mr. Olsen estab-
lished such a remunerative trade that he was able to employ fifteen men, and so he
became rather well-to-do. He had married Miss Severina Choler, a native of the
same island, and their union was blessed with the birth of five children, among whom
Martin was next to the youngest.

Martin attended the public school at Roco, Denmark, and when fourteen years
old went to work on a farm, where he remained until he was twenty-eight years of
age. Then, in 1881, he crossed the Atlantic to the United States, and after thirteen
days on the ocean, he arrived in New York, after an enjoyable journey. Coming
west to Denver, Colo., he spent some years in that state, part of the time working at
railway construction ; but learning of the far greater opportunities in California, he
came out to Modesto, in 1883, and soon familiarized himself with the conditions and
prospects in Stanislaus County. Since then he has been able to note the great progress
in land valuations alone. For six years he worked for thirty dollars a month on a
grain farm, and in association with others, he managed from 2,400 to 3,000 acres.
In 1898 he rented land from John Service, and for seven years raised stock, barley and



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1409

wheat in Merced 'County. In 1900 he bought sixty acres, his present place, where he
erected a comfortable residence, and having now retired from active farming, he
lives in his well-appointed home with his devoted wife. He was one of the first to
buy land in this vicinity under the Turloclc Irrigation District.

At Modesto, July 27, 1887, Mr. Olsen was married to Miss Anne Due, a
native of Bornholm, Denmark, who came to America in 1887. They have eight
children, and they are all native sons and daughters of California. Andrew W. Olsen
is married and has become the assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Ventura.
James O. is a successful agriculturist, farming the old home ranch. L. C. Olsen,
married, is a citrus rancher at Empire. T. M. Olsen, also married and equally suc-
cessful, is a farmer in Merced County. A. A. Olsen lives at home and devotes him-
self to farming; while the next youngest is Melvin Olsen, a bookkeeper in Modesto.
The latter two both served in the World War. Anna Maria, the oldest, married
James Soper, the farmer of Merced, and Myrtle Olsen assists her mother to do the
honors of the home. The family attends the Methodist Church in Ceres. Mr. Olsen
is a Republican ; but he does not adhere rigidly to party lines in local affairs.

MANUEL D. MACHADO. — Near Newman may be seen one of the neat and
thrifty ranches that abound in this vicinity and which represents the toil and industry
of its owner. As it was necessary for Manuel Machado to go to work early in life,
he had but little opportunity to secure an education and it was only through his own
untiring efforts that he acquired this finely equipped farm with its good dwelling,
farm buildings and fifteen milch cows, and without the assistance of any farm hands
he cultivates the land and conducts his dairy business. Born on May 8, 1880, on
St. Michael of the Azores Islands, the son of Tony and Mary Machado, farmers of
that country, he left the old world for the new when only eighteen years of age, the
first two years of his residence in America being spent in Boston doing various kinds
of work. In 1900 he crossed the continent for the Golden State, where he was
employed by different ranchers until he purchased his present holdings of thirty-one
acres, four miles southwest of Newman, devoted to alfalfa and dairying.

On February 4, 1914, he was married to Miss Delphina Vincent, born in San
Leandro, Alameda County, Cal., daughter of Joe and Isabell (Munyan) Vincent.
When only one year old, Mrs. Machado's parents removed to the vicinity of New-
man, where she was reared and educated in the Canal school. Her mother was also
born in San Leandro, while her father, a native of Flores of the Azores Islands,
came to California in the early days. Five children have been born of the marriage
of Mr. and Mrs. Machado: James, Manuel, Dell, Cecelia and Frances. In fra-
ternal circles Mr. Machado is associated with the I. D. E. S. of Newman.

ARNOLD KAISER. — A progressive dairy rancher, and one whose scientific
methods are the source of profitable interest, is Arnold Kaiser, who was born near
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, on November 23, 1886, the son of Antone and Theresa
Kaiser, natives and well-known citizens of the Swiss Republic. They are well-to-do
as expert dairy folk and cheese makers, and have a. model farm, where Arnold was
reared, one of a family of eleven children.

Having been well-grounded in the fundamentals of education at the Allweg
district school, Arnold Kaiser, with two brothers and his fiancee, Miss Mary Wiirsch,
crossed the ocean to America and landed in New York in 1910, soon after which they
came west to Butte County, Cal., where Mr. Kaiser's brother, L. A. Kaiser, had
already settled several years before. For a few months he attended evening school,
in order to acquire English ; but he gained most by private study and wide reading.

For three years, Mr. Kaiser engaged in dairying in Butte County, and in the
second year of his venture he suffered a heavy loss by fire caused by internal com-
bustion, when he lost 300 tons of hay. In 1915, he removed to Ceres with some
ninety-three head of graded Holstein stock, and located on the Dan Whitmore ranch,
where he engaged in dairying for three years, erecting buildings, making many improve-
ments and raising the standard of and increasing the size of his herd. In the fall of
1918, he located, with his two brothers, Mike and Warner Kaiser, on the alfalfa and



1410 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

dairy farm of 160 acres in Westport, settling there permanently in the following
March, and since then they have become widely and well-known as extensive breeders
of registered Holsteins, operating under the firm name of Kaiser Bros. Mr. Kaiser
is a member of the Milk Producers Association of Central California.

The sire of the junior herd is from the Carnation ranch at Seattle, and was pur-
chased when a calf for $700. There are 140 head of stock, young and old, on the
farm, and no herds in California are better cared for. Among the latest modern
improvements on the farm are the two 175-ton concrete silos; the ranch is also
equipped with an electric power plant, while Empire milking machines are employed.
A fine representative of the Swiss-American, of whom Stanislaus County may well be
proud, Mr. Kaiser as a man of high integrity and intelligence, endeavors to bring
about the maximum results by living up to scientific standards.

Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser were married in New York on November 23, 1910, the
bride having been a daughter of Jacob and Mary Wiirsch, farmers from the same dis-
trict, that of Lucerne, in Switzerland. Mrs. Kaiser works with her devoted husband
to make California the best home state of the Union, and to advertise Stanislaus
County as the section of greatest opportunity. They have one son, Arnold, born
December 22, 1913, attending the public school. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser are
members of the Roman Catholic Church.

KARL J. INGEBRETSEN.— The life which this sketch records began in
Aalesund, Norway, where Karl J. Ingebretsen was born on May 26, 1888, the son of
a seafaring man, Hilmar, and his wife, Helga Ingebretsen. He was reared and edu-
cated in the schools of his native country and then in 1907 migrated to the New
World seeking the greater opportunities of America. Coming directly to San Fran-
cisco he went to work as a painter, remaining in that city for seven years working
for various employers. In 1914 he came to Patterson, where he continued at his
trade doing contract work, and in that year was married in San Francisco, on April
12, to Miss Ingeborg Lilleland, the daughter of O. A. and Laura Lilleland. She
was born in the vicinity of Stavanger, Norway, migrating with her parents to America
in 1906. Mr. and Mrs. Ingebretsen are parents of two children, Hilmar and Arne.

Aside from being interested in the paint business Mr. Ingebretsen farms twenty
acres of land devoted to alfalfa and fruit trees southwest of Patterson. In national
politics he is an independent voter, supporting the man who, in his estimation, is best
qualified to fill the office for which he is aspiring, and in church affiliations is a mem-
ber of the Lutheran Church of Patterson. Mr. Ingebretsen is a loyal American and
always ready to give his assistance to any matters that tend to progress.

LEWIS TUCKER. — A newcomer in Stanislaus County who has already proven
himself capable, is Lewis Tucker, a native of Oklahoma, where he was born at
Doakesville on July 29, 1876, the son of John Tucker, a cattleman, and his good
wife Susan, who were pioneers there when it was part of the Government range
known as the Indian Territory. Mr. Tucker was an extensive breeder, and raised
large numbers of cattle until the country was divided up and each Indian received
a certain quota of land. He then took up grain raising, buying until he had acquired
about 2,000 acres of fine Oklahoma land. He died in June, 1912.

One of the older of a family of ten children — five boys, five girls — Lewis Tucker
attended Spence Academy at Doakesville. After completing the course he helped
to run the home farm, which was kept intact until the death of John Tucker, when
each member received the share he had inherited ; as a result of which division, Mr.
Tucker now has, with what he has bought of others for a homestead, about 410 acres,
devoted to general farming. He left home at the age of twenty-one and went into
coal mining in Oklahoma, near his home ; and he remained in the coal fields for seven
years, when he returned to ranching, farming on his 410 acres until he came further
west, in 1917. On October 1 of that year,' Mr. Tucker reached Modesto, and here
took up the creamery work in which he has made himself so proficient. At present,
he is foreman of the casein department of the Milk Producers Association of Stanis-
laus County, and those who are familiar with his knowledge and the thoroughness



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 1411

of his conscientious attention to duty, know to what an extent he deserves credit for
the association's enviable reputation for the excellency of its casein products.

At Phillips, Okla., on Labor Day, 1903, Mr. Tucker was married to Miss Ida
Sanders, a native of Kentucky, where she was born near Louisville, and the daughter
of Frank and Mary A. Sanders. Her father came to Oklahoma with his family
when she was a young girl, and she attended school at Lehigh. One child has blessed
this union, Ronald Lewis, now a student at the Modesto high school. Mr. Tucker
is a Democrat, and is a member of the Odd Fellows and the Encampment in Mo-
desto, and with his wife is a member of Rebekah Lodge.

HERMAN VOLLSTEDT.— A thoroughly progressive man of business, who
has come to the front in a very short period, is Herman Vollstedt, who was born at
Albersdorf, Holstein, Germany, on August 1, 1886, the son of Claude and Theda
Vollstedt. His father was a farmer, and also ran a transfer business. Herman
attended the public schools at Albersdorf, and then, for three years, studied as an
apprentice to learn the tile work, mantel and fireplace construction of the building
trade. He next moved into Hamburg for another three years, and during that time
he was foreman for contractors in the building of first-class homes.

In 1911, Mr. Vollstedt crossed the ocean to New York and spent three months
in the New World metropolis, continuing westward to California and settled for a
while at Madera, where for two years he specialized in cement work. He then made
a trip to Mexico and Texas; but as would be expected, he hastened back to Cali-
fornia. He was not long in engaging to work for the county on the highway, and
he soon became foreman, and under Mr. Annear, the county engineer, he had charge
of the preparation work for the grading and laying out of the McHenry Road. After
that, he was foreman of the construction of forty miles of county road, and he super-
vised the construction of the grading of the highway from Waterford to Roberts
Ferry, and the Crows Landing and Newman highways. In 1918, Mr. Vollstedt
established himself at Modesto as an experienced cement contractor, and ever since
then he has been seldom without all the work he could do in concrete contracting.

On May 15, 1920, Mr. Vollstedt was married at Napa to Miss Norma F. Pat-
terson, who was born at San Francisco, the daughter of Norman and Henrietta Pat-
terson. Her father was a native of Rochester, N. Y., and came to California about
1890, and was soon well known as both a construction engineer and a horticulturist.
She grew up at Napa, and attended both the grammar and the high school in that pro-
gressive town. Mr. Vollstedt received his full citizenship papers from Judge Ful-
kerth in 1920, making him in truth a son of the great American Republic, as he
long was in spirit, and on being admitted to the franchise, he joined the ranks of the
Republican party.

JOSEPH LAFRANCHI. — A thoroughly competent and dependable dairyman,
Joseph Lafranchi is the son of Joseph and Margarite (Olivetti) Lafranchi,
both born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland. They were the parents of five
children: Orsola, the widow of Mike Punchini, is now living in Sacramento, Cal. ;
Jesse, resides in San Luis Obispo County; Giacomina, the widow of Cave Wakini,
lives in Canton Ticino, Switzerland ; Mary is married and living in San Luis
Obispo, Cal.; Joseph. Mrs. Lafranchi died at the age of forty. By his second mar-
riage, Mr. Lafranchi had six children: an infant died; Judita died when only four
years old; Linda is the wife of Louis Marioni, a hotel keeper, and resides at Sonoma;
Sylvian is in Amador County running a dairy; Ligio is married and works on a
dairy farm near San Francisco; Austino, runs an auto truck in Nicasio, Marin
County. His second wife having died, Mr. Lafranchi married Mary Petsalio.

Joseph, the subject of our sketch, was born August 25, ISco, and upon reaching the
age of six, he was bereaved of his mother. For three months of the year he attended
the public schools in the neighborhood of his home, while the other nine months were
spent in work, when at that age he should have been at play. When ten years old
he was a hod carrier, assisting his father, who was a stone mason. He was taken
out of school nt the age of eleven and began to work out by the month, herding cows



1412 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

and goats. When fourteen and fifteen he worked with his father and learned the
stone mason trade, then when nineteen years old, having tired of this drudgery, he
left Switzerland and sailed from Havre, France, landing at New York City Decem-
ber 30, 1882, thence to California and to Guadalupe. For twenty-three years he
worked as a milker on several large dairy farms, first on one and then on the other
in the vicinity of Guadalupe in Santa Barbara County. In 1905 he went to the city
of San Jose and engaged as a milker there for several of the leading dairy farmers.
He worked for Andrea Able, a large dairy farmer, steadily for a period of ten years,
then went back to San Luis Obispo for two years. In 1919 he worked for a large
dairy farmer as a milker in the North Precinct in Stanislaus County, near Eugene,
Cal., and from time to time has worked for the Richina Bros., the men with whom
he is now employed. He has known the Richina brothers since they became engaged
as dairy farmers at Guadalupe and has worked for them from time to time ever
since the year 1885.

Although his education was very limited, he had learned to read, write and to
speak the Italian language while in the public schools of Switzerland, and has learned,
since coming to California, to speak the Spanish language and to read, write and speak
English. He has lived a great deal of his life at the home of the Richina brothers
and they consider him one of their best friends. He has become an American citi-
zen and votes the Republican ticket and is a member of the Foresters. In religious
-faith he is a member of the Catholic Church.

EUGENE A. FUENTES. — A thoroughly efficient manager of the conscientious,
dependable sort is Eugene A. Fuentes, who is employed by the Turlock Irrigation
Company to run their boarding house and care for their premises and work-stock,
consisting of forty mules, at the Turlock Irrigation District's camp, below La Grange.
His father was born in Chile, South America, and as Juan de la Cruz Fuentes came
to California when he was thirteen years old. He settled in Tuolumne County,
and was one of the first gold miners there; and there he was married to Senorita
Forquera, a native daughter, born in Calaveras County, by whom he had five chil-
dren, two of whom are living. John is employed in the lumber yard at Tuolumne,
and Eugene A. is the subject of our sketch.

He attended school at Jacksonville, Algerine and Marshall's Flat, at the same
time that he was brought up in the Catholic Church ; and his first work was that of a
placer miner. Then he entered the service of Henry Adams at Marshall's Flat, and
for five years remained steadily with him. During that time he was married to Miss
Lupie Soria, a native daughter and the sister of Archie M. Soria, who is head ditch-
tender and boss of ditch construction at La Grange. She was born at Modesto;
and when she died, in 1911, mourned by many, she left four children: .Eugene,
Celestine, Margaret and Phyllis.

Eight years later, Mr. Fuentes married Mrs. Delia (Cavalli) Gavalian, who
was born in San Jose and had six children, one of whom is still living, Katie, now
the wife of Felix Contrarias, and resides with him in Salt Lake City. Mrs. Fuentes
is painstaking and considerate, and she is doing much to assist her devoted husband.
After five years of farm work, Mr. Fuentes took up lumbering in the woods and
work in the saw mills, and proved an excellent chopper and all-around worker, and
in November, 1920, he and his wife came to the Turlock Irrigation District camp
two or three miles below La Grange, where they assumed charge.

C. O. SHANAHAN. — A young man who hails from Indiana is C. O. Shanahan,
who is now operating the J. A. Hindman eighty-acre ranch known as the "Hoosier



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 161 of 177)