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 165 of 177)
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of horses into the county. They continued to farm together until 1921 ; at this time
Mr. Morgan wished to retire from business, and Mr. Hanson traded his sixty acres
for Mr. Morgan's old home of 140 acres, where he continues dairying and general
farming. Mr. and Mrs. Hanson have two children, Chas. Henry and Clarence
Morgan. The family attend the Christian Church at Ceres, and Mr. Hanson is a
member of the Woodmen of the World, while Mrs. Hanson is a member of the
Ladies of Dania in Modesto.

In the spring of 1902 Rev. A. Hallner came to Turlock and during the summer and
fall preached in the Brethren Church to the handful of Swedish people who then
lived in Turlock and vicinity. The Sunday school was also begun at the same time,
December 18, 1902. The congregation was organized and services were continued
in the Brethren Church. The ministers taking turns about preaching were Rev. A.
Hallner, Rev. C. O. Sundquist and Rev. P. Drinberg.

The original members of the congregation were Rev. A. Hallner and wife, Rev.
P. Drinberg and wife, Rev. C. O. Sundquist, A. G. Anderson and wife, C. J. Carl-
quist and wife, Henry Lundell and wife, Peter Erickson and wife, and G. R. Larson
and wife. The board of trustees were Carlquist, Erickson, Drinberg, Larson and
Anderson; the latter was chairman and Mr. Larson was the secretary. Of the orig-
inal members all are still living except Rev. Drinberg and Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Ander-
son. Later on Rev. Sundquist was selected the regular pastor and on the arrival of
Rev. J. O. Boden he was also made a pastor, the two preaching on alternate Sundays
until Rev. Boden organized the Youngstown congregation and then gave all of his
rime to that charge. The next regular pastor was Rev. E. M. Carlson, who served
about two years, and was succeeded by Rev. Schalander, who also remained two years,
until Rev. A. G. Delbon was called as pastor, his arrival being in June, 1911, continu-
ing until April 20, 1919, when he resigned on account of his health, and was succeeded
by Rev. Carl Anderson, the present pastor.

As stated, the congregation worshiped in the Brethren Church for a short time,
until they found the property of the Methodist Episcopal congregation on the corner
of West Main and Lander Avenue was for sale, which they purchased for $2,000,


and being centrally located, it has, since the rapid growth of the town, become a very-
valuable property. A new church was built on the site of the old one during Rev.
E. M. Carlson's pastorate. During Rev. Delbon's pastorate the congregation grew
rapidly and it was found necessary to enlarge the church. The congregation now
numbers almost 600, and is the largest Swedish Mission congregation on the Coast.

In 1920 the congregation purchased twelve lots on West Main Street, about a
block west of their present location, giving them a space of 300x196 feet, on which
they plan in the near future to erect a large and magnificent church at a probable
cost of $100,000, as they have outgrown the capacity of the present building.

The present officers of the congregation are: A. E. Sandberg, chairman; C. E.
Ellsburg, vice-chairman; Conrad Ward, secretary; Walter Moline, vice-secretary;
A. P. Klint, treasurer; Axel Peterson, financial secretary. The trustees are Adolf
Johnson, Claus Johnson, A. P. Klint, Otto Johnson and Axel Peterson, while the
deacons are J. A. Holmquist, E. M. Carlson, C. O. Moline, Oscar Wenstrand, E. J.
Wallstrom, J. D. Hall and August Johnson. The superintendent of the Sunday
school is A. W. Persson, and the vice-superintendent is August Gustafson. Edwin
Ullberg is organist and leader of the choir.

The Dorcas Society is large and well attended, numbering over 100; while the
Young People's Society has still larger numbers, and the Sunday school has grown to
large and satisfactory proportions.

MRS. ANNA CLARIN. — An affable and liberal-hearted woman who has been
a resident of Turlock since March, 1913, is Mrs. Anna Clarin, who was born in
Dalena, Sweden, a daughter of Charles and Carrie Skoglund, farmers in their native
Sweden, who brought their family to Isanti, Minn., when Anna was seven years of
age in October, 1865. They were pioneers on an 160-acre homestead, where both
parents died.

This worthy couple had three children, two of whom are living: Erick makes
his home with Mrs. Clarin. The latter attended the public schools in Minnesota, re-
maining at home until her marriage in 1883 to Jonas Clarin, also a native of Sweden,
who came to Minnesota in 1879. After their marriage they engaged in farming the
old Skoglund farm until Mrs. Clarin and her brother, Erick, became owners of the
place, which they operated until March, 1913, when they came to California. Her
oldest son, Robert Clarin, had come to Turlock in 1911 and purchased ten acres for
them and here they have since made their home, having improved it to a valuable
peach orchard. Mr. Clarin passed away in Minnesota in 1907, aged fifty-eight years.

Mrs. Clarin has three children: Robert Clarin operates the home ranch; Ericka
is Mrs. Theo. Berlin of Turlock, and Frank, who served in a California regiment in
the World War, being stationed at Camp Lewis ; he is now at home. Mrs. Clarin is
enterprising and generous and is always ready to do her part as far as she is able to
develop and improve the county of her adoption. She is a member of the Swedish
Baptist Church of Turlock.

SIDNEY C. VANATTA. — A wide-awake, representative business man of Stan-
islaus County, with plenty of public spirit such as has again and again proven so
helpful in the broad and permanent development of the Golden State, is Sidney C.
Vanatta, proprietor of the Newman Steam Laundry, which furnishes profitable em-
ployment to thirteen persons and fine service, with the most modern equipment, for
the community. He was born at Muscatine, Iowa, on October 2, 1881, the son of
David and Anna (Zeahringer) Vanatta, a grandchild of pioneers who came from
Pennsylvania in early days to Iowa, and were among those who first turned the fur-
rows in the soil of the Hawkeye State. He attended the grammar and high school
at Muscatine, and grew up under the stimulating guidance of his father, who was
twice sheriff of Muscatine County, in which section he is still living. David Vanatta
also served as assessor for twelve years, and his son, Edward Vanatta, succeeded him
and held it for ten years.

From 1907 to 1908, Mr. Vanatta was engaged in business at Muscatine, and
from 1908 for the following five years, he manufactured pearl buttons in the same


city. In 1913 he disposed of that interest and came west to Denver, Colo., where he
was engaged in business for about two years, but in 1915 he spent five months in
Alaska on a recreation trip, after which he returned for a short time to Boise, Idaho.

On January 15, 1915, Mr. Vanatta came to Newman and purchased the steam
laundry from Messrs. Sheares and Miller; and since he has taken hold, the business
has steadily increased. He endeavors always to give the best, the promptest and the
cheapest service (compatible with excellence), and inasmuch as no higher standard
could be set, no one could give the public greater satisfaction.

Mr. Vanatta's marriage took place on June 9, 1915, when he was united to Miss
Emily Vadner, a native of Minnesota. He is a member of the Muscatine, Iowa, Order
of Elks, Lodge No. 304, and in national politics Mr. Vanatta is a Democrat, and is
an active member of the Newman Chamber of Commerce as well as the California
State Laundrymen's Association.

EHLER FRANZEN. — A worthy pioneer still very active and always interest-
ing, who has had the good fortune and honor, with the devoted cooperation of his wife,
a native daughter, to rear a large family, is Ehler Franzen, who was born in Holstein,
Germany, on March 13, 1851, the son of Ehler and Ella Franzen, hard-working and
conscientious folk who provided well for his common school education. He then
learned farming as it was done in that country under his father on the home farm ;
and in one way or another he secured the best of preparation for a self-supporting life.

In 1880, having luckily decided to come to America, Mr. Franzen selected Cali-
fornia as his immediate destination. After working a year on a farm in San Mateo
County, he settled west of Hill's Ferry, near the present location of Newman ; he took
up ranch work with a will. He homesteaded 160 acres of land in the foothills, and
preempted a like amount; and for twenty years he lived there, west of what is now
Newman, engaged in stock raising, working away industriously, steadily getting ahead,
and deserving and earning the esteem and good-will of his neighbors.

When he sold out in 1910, he bought twenty-eight acres south of the city limits
of Newman, which he has devoted to alfalfa and silage. He erected the necessary
buildings, all *rim and suited to the purpose, and established a small dairy. The high
quality of his products makes it easy for him to command both the best market prices
and confidence in all that he offers for sale.

At the old Williams home, on February 14, 1900, Mr. Franzen was married to
Miss Carrie Williams, who was born on the old Williams ranch, ten miles southwest
of Newman, on Garcia's Creek, the daughter of Charles and Caroline (Madsen)
Williams, well-known pioneers, born in Sweden and Denmark, respectively. Chas.
Williams was a sailor from the time he was fourteen years, and was a pioneer of San
Francisco and took part in the Indian war in Oregon. He was an early settler of the
West Side and was the harness maker in Hill's Ferry; later he was a farmer. Both
parents are now dead. Eight children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs.
Franzen. The eldest is William, then comes Leland, and after that Charles, Alice,
Lloyd, Robert, Henry and James. No Californian by adoption could be more patriotic
than Mr. Franzen, who finds in the platforms of the Republican party the best expres-
sion of high civic standards.

MRS. LOTTIE HARRIS.— Among the pioneer women of the West Side who
have given of their time and best efforts to build up and improve the community — to
make life comfortable and conditions more attractive to the people, is Mrs. Lottie
Harris, who was fortunate in being reared in an atmosphere of culture and refinement.
She is an excellent nurse, with years of experience, and has won for herself an enviable
place among the people of the West Side. She has been so successful as a nurse that
she has found it necessary to arrange her residence for a private sanitarium, where she
can give her patients the greatest comfort and ease. She has built a beautiful home on
a convenient corner in Newman, which is surrounded by well-kept lawns, adding to
the beauty of her home.

A liberal and kind-hearted woman, Mrs. Harris has hosts of friends, and she
never tires of showing generosity and dispenses a true old-time California hospitality.


Mrs. Harris was born in Chicago, 111., a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Newell)
Lake, natives of Connecticut and England, respectively. Her father came to Chicago
when a young man, where he met and married Miss Newell, who had come to Chi-
cago from England when a child of twelve years. After Mr. Lake died, the mother
came to Newman, where she lived until her death. The last five years of her life she
was an invalid and Mrs. Harris nursed and took care of her until she passed away.
Lottie was the youngest of her two children and was educated in the public schools in
Chicago. After school days were over she became Mrs. Chas. Kellogg and removed
to Lewiston, Idaho, in 1878, and after five years she made her way to Cottonwood,
near Mt. Idaho, and there she homesteaded 160 acres and also preempted a like
amount, and in time became the owner of 480 acres, where they engaged in stock
raising. In 1892 she came to Newman, a new town then. After spending a short
time on the ranch she took up nursing and has followed it ever since. It was in 1912
that she built her comfortable home, which she uses for a private sanitarium. Mrs.
Harris' second marriage united her with James Harris. By her first union she had
three daughters, two of whom are living: Mrs. Marcia Clement of San Jose, and
Mrs. Mettie Stahlman of Newman. By her second marriage she has a son, Eddie
Harris, a contractor and builder in Visalia. During the World War, he served in
the Twenty-second U. S. Engineers for one year. Mrs. Harris is a member of the
Christian Science Society.

MICHAEL LEO McDONELL.— A native son of the Golden West who has
become a successful rancher in Stanislaus County, is Michael Leo McDonell, born in
San Francisco, July 26, 1870. His father, John McDonell, born in Ireland, June 19,
1837, went to Australia in 1861 and followed mining there and afterwards in New
Zealand. In 1867 he came to San Francisco, being employed in a furniture store
until 1870, when he located in Stanislaus County. He homesteaded 160 acres on Dry
Creek and also preempted 160 acres, engaging in stock raising and farming; by pur-
chase he added to it. Later he disposed of this place and bought the Thos. Maxwell
ranch of 700 acres, moving on to it in 1903, farming it until he died, October 30, 1918,
eighty-one years of age. He was a generous and kind-hearted man of noble and
honorable impulses. He assisted materially in starting the first school in the district
and was a strong supporter of the cause of education. He had married in San Fran-
cisco, being united with Margaret McNamara, also a native of Ireland, who came to
San Francisco in 1868. She passed away in 1881, leaving four children: Michael
Leo, the subject of this sketch; Mathew, who died at the age of ten years; Catherine
is in San Francisco, and James J. is Seattle manager of the Detmer Woolen Company.

Michael Leo McDonell passed his boyhood on the ranch on Dry Creek, where he
attended the district school, while he also assisted his father at farming and riding the
range, continuing with him until 1896, when he made his way to Lassen County and
located a homestead and also a desert claim near Standish. After remaining there for
two years, he found that the prospect for water for irrigation was not very hopeful,
so he sold his claims and returned to Stanislaus County, resuming the occupation of
farming with his father until he began cattle raising on his own account, establishing
his brand, an M with a bar underneath. He purchased land and became the owner
of 400 acres. On the death of his father, Mr. McDonell became the manager of
the estate for the heirs. He purchased the forty-acre townsite of Warnersville, adjoin-
ing his ranch, so he owns 440 acres, all plow land and devoted principally to wheat
growing. He operates his ranch with the most modern machinery and implements,
including a C. L. Best tractor and a McCormick harvester. He finds the tractor most
satisfactory and the best of any tractor for his purpose, and not only harvests and
threshes his own grain, but also that of some of his neighbors.

In San Francisco, May 17, 1916, Mr. McDonell was united in marriage with
Mrs. Annie (Halliman) Fleming, born in Coulterville, a native daughter of Cali-
fornia, the daughter of John and Eliza (Fagan) Halliman, born in Ireland. Her
father came to California about 1850 and engaged in mining at Big Oak Flat and
Coulterville. He, however, soon turned to stock raising, in which he was successful,
becoming the owner of 800 acres of land. He now lives retired at Coulterville at


the age of eighty-seven years; he was a prominent and influential man and very active
as a school trustee. The mother, who came to New Orleans, La., with her parents
when six years of age, made her way to San. Francisco when she was twenty-four and
thence to Coulterville. She is now eight) -two years of age. This worthy pioneer
couple had nine children, six of whom are living: Julia, Mrs. Gustafson of Coulter-
ville ; Lizzie, Mrs. Cavel of San Francisco ; Thomas of Oakdale ; James resides in
Coulterville ; Ella, Mrs. Bolton, of San Francisco ; Annie grew to womanhood on her
father's ranch and received a good education in the public schools. She was first
married in Sonora to John Fleming, a stockman, who passed away in 1911, leaving
her four children: John, who is serving in the U. S. Marines; Julius, in the employ
of the West Side Lumber Company ; Thomas died at eight years of age ; Elizabeth
Margaret, who remains at home. Mr. McDonell has always been interested in the
cause of education and has served as trustee of Dry Creek school district for many
years, and since 1913 has been clerk of the board. He is a member of Oakdale Parlor
No. 142, N. S. G. W., and with his wife is a member of Oakdale Catholic Church.

JOHN A. LINDWALL. — A man of excellent mind and heart who, aided by his
devoted wife, did much to improve the Turlock section, was the late John A. Lindwall,
a native of Kalmarlan, Sweden, born September 7, 1853, where he was reared on his
father's farm and served two years in the Swedish army. He came to Iowa in 1880,
and engaged in farming in Page County, and there he was married December 27,
1884, to Miss Maria Louisa Nilsdatte, also a native of Kalmarlan, the daughter of
Nils Johnson, a farmer who, with his wife, spent their entire lives there. She was
educated in the excellent public schools in Sweden, crossing the ocean in 1880 to the
land of the Stars and Stripes, coming to Page County, Iowa, where she married Mr.
Lindwall. After their marriage they farmed for four 5 ears until 1888, when they
removed to Oakland, Burt County, Nebr., where they farmed and raised stock.

Desiring the more congenial climate of the Pacific Coast, Mr. and Mrs. Lind-
wall located in Turlock in 1902, among the first Swedish settlers, and purchased six
acres just south of town, now in the city limits, but at the time never expected the
town to be built up to their ranch. They set out an orchard of peaches and a vine-
yard, but when they came into bearing they found no sale for the peaches and no return
for their shipment of grapes and no market for the raisins, so fed them to the horses,
and grubbed out the trees and vineyard and engaged in raising grain. They improved
the place and built a beautiful and comfortable residence, but Mr. Lindwall was not
permitted to enjoy the fruits of his labors, for he was taken away January 20, 1913,
mourned by his family and many friends, but particularly by the Swedish Mission
congregation, which he had helped to organize and of which he was a faithful member.

Since her husband's death, Mrs. Lindwall continues to reside at the family resi-
dence, looking after her little ranch. They had three childern : Alvin is in the employ
of the State Highway Commission; Hulda is Mrs. Rhoades of Turlock; Albert died
May 27, 1917, aged twenty-two years. Mrs. Lindwall is now one of the oldest among
the Swedish settlers of this region and has aided materially in improving and building
up the new Turlock. Like her husband, she is deeply religious and zealous for a high
standard of morals. She is a member of the Swedish Mission Church and is an active
member of the Dorcas Society and the Ladies' Missionary Society of the church.

CHARLES A. LA BREE.— At the age of thirty-six Charles A. Le Bree,
through his own perseverance and efforts, has achieved success. He was born in Castro-
ville, Monterey County, Cal., on December 28, 1884, son of Thomas P. and Catherine
(Regan) La Bree, natives of Maine and Canada, respectively. His father, who was
a builder by trade, is a Civil War veteran. Charles A. La Bree grew up into man-
hood in Castroville, was educated in the grammar schools there and made his start in
the business world when only eighteen years of age. His first position was with a
paint concern in San Francisco and later worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad at
San Jose. He then went to work for the Wells Fargo Express Company as express
messenger and later was agent at Modesto and Newman. He remained in the employ
of the Wells Fargo Company for fourteen years, severing connection with them in


1917, when he took a position with the First National Bank of Newman. A year
later he was made assistant cashier, in which capacity he served until the bank went
into the hands of a receiver in January, 1920, since which time he has been assistant
receiver, with H. P. Hilliard.

Mr. La Bree was united in marriage in San Francisco with Miss Anna Gowan-
lock in 1907, who was born in Castroville, Cal., and a graduate of the same school
as Mr. La Bree. Her mother is a member of an old highly-respected Scotch family,
early settlers in Monterey, Cal. Mrs. La Bree passed away on January 22, 1920,
leaving one son, Cyrus Edward, a student of the Newman school.

In April, 1920, Mr. La Bree was elected town clerk of Newman, Cal. He is also
clerk of the Newman grammar school district, which had an enrollment last season of
415 pupils and employing fourteen teachers. It is of just such men as Charles A.
La Bree, who by their own efforts make a place for themselves, that even,- community
is proud and Stanislaus County is indeed fortunate to number him a resident.

ROY E. STONE. — One of Newman's energetic and enterprising young
business men, Roy E. Stone, a native of St. Joseph, Mo., was born July 1, 1887, and is
the son of Emerson and Emma (Sargent) Stone, and the eldest of a family of ten
children, cftnsisting of six boys and four girls. The father's people were early settlers
of the state of Ohio, and on his mother's side of the house the Sargents were of good
old Illinois stock. Grandfather Sargent was a Civil War veteran and served with
distinction in the Sixty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Roy accom-
panied the parents when they removed from St. Joseph, Mo., and settled in the
town of Troy, Doniphan County, Kans., where he received his education in the
grammar schools. Assuming life's responsibilities at the age of sixteen, he left home
and began to care for himself and acquire the broader education that comes only
through the riper experience that life's school offers. Going to Denver, Colo., the
lad engaged in the news service on the Moffat Railroad running out of that city, and
after spending one year in Denver, came to California, where he settled at Fresno in
1904. He engaged with the Stewart Fruit Company of Fresno and did contract
work, making lug boxes and shipping crates. Later he became manager of their pack-
ing house and remained with the company until 1916, when he removed to Newman,
Cal., and started for himself in the grocery business, which has expanded until he is
now owner of the largest strictly grocery, vegetable and fruit business in town.

His marriage occurred December 6, 1910, at Fresno, Cal., and united him with
Miss Hazel L. Robertson, a native daughter of California, born at Goshen Junction,
Kings County, daughter of George and Etta (Donner) Robertson. Mrs. Stone com-
pleted her education at Sanger, Cal., whither she removed with her parents, and was a
student in the Sanger high school. Mr. and Mrs. Stone are the parents of two
daughters, Barbara and Geraldine by name. Mrs. Stone is a member of the Donner
family of early pioneer renown in California. Grandfather Donner was the head of
the famous "Donner party" that crossed the plains in early days and whose name is
perpetuated in Lake Donner and in the history of the days of the Argonauts. Mr.
Stone is a man of liberal views, and on political subjects believes in voting for the man
best fitted to serve the people, regardless of politics. He is a member of the Inde-
pendent Order of Foresters at Newman.

AXEL PETERSON. — A progressive man prominent in business and church
circles in Turlock, is Axel Peterson, born in Smaland, Sweden, February 15, 1869,
where he was reared on the farm and received a good education in his native country.
Having reached the age of seventeen, he decided to migrate to the land of the Stars and
Stripes, arriving at Ludlow, McKean County, Pa., in 1886, where he eventually
found employment in a tannery. In the fall of 1889 he entered the employ of an oil
well supply company in Clarendon, Pa., beginning at the bottom and working up, at
the same time attending night school. After eighteen months he was transferred to
Warren, Pa., and after the same period there was sent to Kane, where he was made
assistant manager and still later was made manager of the Kane stores for the company,

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 165 of 177)