George Henry Tinkham.

History of Stanislaus County California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the pres online

. (page 166 of 177)
Online LibraryGeorge Henry TinkhamHistory of Stanislaus County California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the pres → online text (page 166 of 177)
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a position he filled acceptably for about six years.


After eighteen years with the company, Mr. Peterson resigned to engage in busi-
ness for himself. With two others, he formed the Smith Hardware Company, Inc.
After giving this enterprise all of his attention for eighteen months, he found his
health impaired, so he disposed of his interest and came to Turlock, Cal., and for about
five months engaged in the grocery business. During this time he purchased a corner
lot on East Main Street and built a residence. In 1908, however, he leased his resi-
dence and returned to Kane, Pa., and under the firm name of Stoll & Peterson, engaged
in the hardware and plumbing business, continuing successfully for a period of ten
years. During this time he often wished himself back in the land of sunshine and
flowers, and in 1918, unable to longer resist the call of the West, he sold his business
and returned to Turlock. He purchased a grocery store and engaged in business in
the Geer block and ran it until July, 1919, when he disposed of it. Soon afterwards
he purchased an interest in the C. E. Ellsburg Company, to which he gave his time
until February 1, 1921, when he sold his interest. Being the owner of 105 feet on
East Main Street, he built a new residence in the winter of 1920-21, and in February,
1921, he built a new store building, where he is now engaged in the grocery business.

Mr. Peterson was married in Warren, Pa., to Miss Tillie Johnson, a native of
Skane. Sweden, and they have been blessed with two children: Harry is a plumber
with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Stockton, and Griffin is an electrician in Turlock.
Fraternally Mr. Peterson was made a Mason in Kane Lodge No. 566, A. F. & A. M.,
in Kane, Pa. He has for many years been a prominent and active member of the
Swedish Mission Church, being chairman of the board of trustees of the church in
Kane, Pa., for many years, and he is now a member of its board of trustees in Turlock.
In Kane, Pa., he was city treasurer for many years, up to the time he left for Cali-
fornia in 1918, when he resigned. Mrs. Peterson is a member of the O. E. S. in
Kane, Pa., and the Dorcas Society in Turlock. Mr. Peterson is a Republican.

J. WILSON REED, M. D. — Among the recent acquisitions to the professional
ranks of Newman is J. Wilson Reed, M. D., a man with a rich and varied experience
in his profession in the Northwest and in the Orient. A native of the South, he was
born at Delhi, in the northern part of Louisiana, January 19, 1878, and is the son of
J. R. and Eliza J. (Cooper) Reed. Dr. Reed received his primary education in the
public schools of Gibsland, La. He did preparatory work for a literary course at
Georgetown, Texas, and was afterward a student at the University of Oklahoma at
Norman, Okla. He then took a literary course at Centenary College, Jackson, La.,
and took his first medical course in the medical department of the Tulane University.
He was afterward a student for three years in the medical department of the Vander-
bilt University at Nashville, Tenn., and graduated from that institution with the class
of 1907 with the degree of M. D. In that year he went to Korea and Japan, where
he did his first practicing, and besides his practice did special construction work for
the Southern Methodist Mission. While in Korea he built three mission stations:
One at Songdo, one at Seoul, and a third at Choon Chun, remaining in Korea until
1910. The same year of his arrival in the Orient, Dr. Reed was married in Yoko-
hama, Japan, on November 5, 1907, to Miss Emma Bruun of Red Wing, Minn.
Mrs. Reed is a trained nurse, and studied for her profession at Trenton, N..J. She
first met Dr. Reed while nursing at the Baptist Orphanage at Nashville, Tenn. The
doctor preceded her to Japan, and there a few months later their marriage occurred.

After Dr. and Mrs. Reed returned to the United States in 1910, they settled at
Victor, Mont., where the doctor practiced until 1912. In that year he went to
Alaska and spent the next seven years in the frozen North. He was located at St.
Lawrence Island one year, and spent another year at Bethel, on the Lower Kuskokwim
River, in Government service with the Department of the Interior. The next year
was spent at the Russian Mission on the Yukon, and the following year he was located
at Pilot Station, on the Yukon. He spent the next year at Fort Tuna Ledge, a mining
camp on the Yukon, where he engaged in private practice. Another year was spent at
Flat, in the Iditarod district, where he was in charge of the hospital for the Yukon
Gold Company. In 1918 he returned to the United States and located at Granite
Falls, Wash., where he practiced his profession. In March, 1919, he came to San


Francisco, and in June of that year he located in Newman, where he is practicing his
profession and is superintendent of the Reed sanitarium.

During the late war Dr. Reed was chairman of the Red Cross district work in
the Iditarod district, Alaska. During one drive for the Red Cross, $10,000 was raised
in ten days, and in one year $16,000 was raised for the Red Cross, this being the
greatest amount per man -in all the Alaskan districts. Dr. Reed had many alien enemy
sympathizers to deal with at first, but by vigorous efforts succeeded in lining up the
country strong for the American issue. He has traveled extensively in the Orient,
and the presence of himself and his wife at Newman is a distinct addition to the
community. In his fraternal affiliations Dr. Reed is a member of the Masons, having
been made a Mason in Gibsland Lodge, A. F. & A. M., from which he was demitted
and is now a member of Victor Lodge of Masons in Victor, Mont.

FRED KNUTSEN. — A self-made man whose enterprise has brought him into
prominence and made him a man of much influence for good, is Fred Knutsen, drawn
to many through his winning personality. He was born at Bergen, Norway, in
August, 1878, and there, in that beautiful mountainous country, on the shores of the
North Sea, he was reared, the son of a merchant and a man of large affairs. Thus,
while he was given a business training, Fred also had excellent public school training.

In 1900 he came out to the United States and settled at Council Bluffs, Iowa,
where he entered the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, and two years
later he continued his migration westward and came to California. At Turlock he
purchased land ; and while he was improving it, he worked for the Modesto Lumber
Company as foreman in their yard at Turlock. He liked his employers so well, and
they were so satisfied with his service, that he continued in that capacity for twelve
years, when he started in the grain and feed business.

First, he made a partnership with his brother as one of Knutsen Bros., but later
they dissolved and Mr. Knutsen continued in business for himself, building up, by hard
work and foresight, a first-class wholesale grain and commission trade. In 1915 he
bought his warehouse at the corner of Spring and First streets in Turlock, a structure
60x125 feet, or having 7,500 square feet, and he also secured another warehouse at the
Southern Pacific track, 60x150 feet in size, with 9,000 square feet of flooring. Be-
sides handling goods at wholesale, Mr. Knutsen sells grain, feed, coal and wood at
retail, and having established himself as an up-to-date, straightforward and thoroughly
dependable merchant, never wants for customers.

At Fresno, on April 12, 1905, Mr. Knutsen was married to Miss Minnie Hend-
rickson, a native of Nebraska, and they are the parents of two children, Bernice and
Constance. The family are active, prominent members of the Swedish Mission Church,
of which Mr. Knutsen has served as a deacon, and he has been a trustee of Emanuel
Hospital since its organization, and assisted materially in its building. He belongs to
the Turlock Chamber of Commerce and to the California Fuel Dealers Association.

SETH WADE. — One of Newman's best-known residents, and one who has

the progressive interests of that city at heart, is Seth Wade, superintendent of the
Newman Water Works and chief of Newman's volunteer fire department. Although
there has as yet been no official provision made for a park commissioner, Mr. Wade,
with his usual public spirit, has taken upon himself this work, donating his time
and services. The eldest of a family of nine children, Mr. Wade was born at Yam-
hill, Ore., August 19, 1873. His parents were Benjamin F. and Rebecca (Laughlin)
Wade, Mrs. Wade's family being pioneers of Oregon, coming there in 1850 from
their old home in Missouri. He attended the public schools at Yamhill, but when
he was thirteen years old, he started out to make his own way, working on farms in
the vicinity of his home for a short time before coming to Stanislaus County, Cal.
He turned his hand to various kinds of work on arriving here, finally taking up work
on the Newman ranch, three and a half miles northwest of Newman. His industry
and capability soon won for him the position of foreman ; he remained eleven years.

While on the Newman ranch Mr. Wade helped develop the first irrigation
pumping plant in the valley, this being located on the ranch. The well had a ten-inch


flow and the pump forced out the full capacity of the pipe line ; it was used to irrigate
the property known as the Noxen ranch, which was too high to receive water from
the irrigation canal. The many years of hard work finally began to tell upon Mr.
Wade's health, however, and necessitated a change of occupation, so he gave up the
superintendency of the property, and took the position of superintendent of the New-
man Water Works. This plant is fed from three wells, two of them being 400 feet
deep, and the other having a depth of 666 feet, furnishing 600 gallons a minute. A
booster pump is used to force the water into a steel aerial tank, with a capacity of 500
gallons a minute. For a period of five years Mr. Wade was the owner of a dairy farm
of twenty-three acres, but this he disposed of in 1918.

Mr. Wade's marriage, which occurred on August 27, 1904, at Modesto, united
him with Miss Esther Mann, a native of Neosho Falls, Kans., who came to Modesto
with her parents, W. S. and Rosa Mann, and was educated in the schools there. The
father was a veteran of the Civil War, and both he and Mrs. Mann are still living
and make their home at Modesto, where they have resided for many years. Mr. and
Mrs. Wade are the parents of a son and a daughter: Ray S. is a student at the
Newman high school, while Ruth A. attends the grammar school. A Republican in
politics, Mr. Wade takes an active part in the civic and political life of the com-
munity, and is now serving his second three-year term on the board of trustees of the
Orestimba Union high school district. In fraternal circles he holds membership in
the Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World.

WELTY BROTHERS. — Prominent among the progressive and energetic men
who have contributed largely toward making Stanislaus County what it is today must
be mentioned Welty Bros., well known throughout the entire West Side on account
of their extensive agricultural operations. Their father was Abraham Welty, a native
of Fairfield County, Ohio, born near Bremen, who married Miss Sarah Beery, who
was born about four miles from his birthplace; and as highly esteemed farmer folk
they were reared, lived and died in the Buckeye State. The partners in the aforesaid
firm are John S. and Noah E. Welty.

Noah Welty was born at Bremen, in Fairfield County, Ohio, on February 27,
1864, about two years after the birth there of John Welty; and both boys attended
the common schools at Geneva, Ohio, after which they continued on the home farm
until they came out to California. John came first, in 1881, and worked for wages'
for nine years in San Joaquin County; and five 3'ears later Noah left the old home-
stead and removed, at first to Nebraska, where he worked for a year on a farm near
Hayes Center. In the spring of 1887, he went to North Platte, Nebr., and worked
until fall on the Buffalo Bill ranch of some 3,000 acres; and after having demon-
strated his capability in the stock department there, he came out to California while
the "boom" was still at its height, and for three years labored at farm work near San
Joaquin City before the days of Vernalis.

In 1890, the two brothers formed a partnership and rented the old Will Draper
home ranch near Newman, consisting of 1,100 acres devoted to grain, at the same time
that they took in a third partner, Swan Munson ; and for three years they farmed this
land. The partnership was then dissolved, and the two brothers came to Grayson
precinct and bought a half-section of land. Since that time they have added some 480
acres, making 800 acres, and this forms what is known today as the Welty home ranch
at Vernalis. Later, the brothers bought 914 acres three miles southeast of Vernalis,
where John S. Welty makes his home, which they rent out to Reuben D. Poling.
They have a fine farm residence, barn and the necessary farm buildings on the home
ranch, and there Noah Welty and his family reside, dispensing appreciated hospitality.

Recently, the Welty Bros, have purchased section No. 27 and section No. 33,
south of the home ranch, and they also now own eighty acres in San Joaquin County,
a part of the old Naegle-Burke r^nch. This eighty-acre tract is in alfalfa and has a
pump and private irrigation system.

The Welty Bros, erected the Welty building in Patterson soon after the town
was started. They are also stockholders in the Bank of Newman and the Modesto
Bank, and John Welty is a director in the American Bank of Tracy. Noah Welty


was a director in the San Joaquin Valley Bank of Stockton before it became absorbed
by the Bank of Italy.

In 1905 the Welty Bros, farmed the Love ranch, southeast of the present location
of Patterson, at present a part of the Patterson Colony, just east of the old Day ranch;
it contained 1,700 acres and it was devoted to grain. They were breeders of mules
and had about fifty head on hand until the advent of the tractor, but they now use a
C. L. Best seventy-five-horsepower tractor for preparing the land for the crops as well
as propelling the Harris combined harvester.

The wedding of Noah Welty and Miss Loretta Roberts occurred at Columbus,
Ohio, on October 13, 1911, when Mr. Welty was making a trip to his native state.
Miss Roberts was born near Zanesville, the daughter of Manley Roberts, her parents
having now passed to the Great Beyond. She is the mother of a promising boy, Robert
Beery Welty, who attends the Rising Sun school.

JOSEPH ETCHETO. — A young man who is taking an active part in the
business life and building up of Turlock is Joseph Etcheto, who was born in Ustarits,
Basses-Pyrenees, France, April 15, 1890. He was reared on a farm until the age of
fourteen, when he was apprenticed at the baker's trade, continuing for three years
in the city of Bayonne, ten miles from his old home. Having a longing to try his
fortune in the lands of the Stars and Stripes, particularly in California, on account
of the favorable reports he had heard, Mr. Etcheto's desire was accomplished in
March, 1908, when he arrived in Stockton. Looking about, he found employment
in San Francisco, and for two years worked at his trade in the French Bakery in that
city. Next he attended school for three months and during this time he made good
progress in studying English. Then making his way to Reno, Nev., he was employed
on the large ranch of Fleming & Ward for three years, and at the end of this time
he came to Turlock and immediately purchased the City Bakery from August Sexting,
changing its name to the present City French Bakery. It was then located on Front
Street, the present site of the Fire Department quarters.

In 1916, Mr. Etcheto moved to 116 South Center Street, where he built up a
large patronage and did a very successful business, turning out a splendid line of
bakery goods. In 1920 he erected a new brick building at 315-317 East Main Street
on a valuable lot he had purchased there, and there he installed the latest and most up-
to-date methods for a modern bakery, with a capacity of 10,000 loaves a day to meet
the demands of Turlock and vicinity. His goods are all retailed in his store, which is
well equipped with beautiful fixtures for displaying bakery goods and confectionery.
He built the residence he occupies at 332 Elm Street and owns the residence adjoining.

In Turlock, July 16, 1916, occurred the marriage of Mr. Etcheto and Mathilda
Erreca. She is a native of Buenos Ayres, Argentine Republic, South America, but of
French parentage. Coming to Stockton in 1916, it was in the land of sunshine and
flowers that she met Mr. Etcheto, the acquaintance resulting in their marriage. This
union has been blessed with three children: Pierre Joseph, Raymond and Frances.
Fraternally, Mr. Etcheto is a member of the Woodmen of the World. He is enter-
prising, progressive, and willingly assists all movements for the upbuilding of his
adopted city and is an active member of the Turlock Board of Trade.

MARTIN ETCHETO.— The proprietor of the Turlock French Laundry and
an enterprising and progressive man is Martin Etcheto, a native of Ustarits, Basses-
Pyrenees, France, born in March, 1888, where he was reared on a farm. His parents
being in limited circumstances, he was early set to work and from a lad helped to sup-
port the family. When seventeen years of age, he entered the employ of a nobleman
for three years, when he enlisted in the Fourteenth Regiment of Artillery in the
French Army from Tarbes, serving for two years. Having served the required time,
he was honorably discharged and free to leave his country for other shores.

In 1911, Mr. Etcheto migrated to California, choosing San Francisco as his
location. He purchased an interest in the Pleasant French Laundry, which he ran
for four and one-half years. Selling out, he removed to Reno, Nev., where he worked
at stock raising and riding the range for a year. In March, 1919, he came to Turlock


and purchased the Turlock French Laundry, then located on North Broadway, and
continued the business. It prospered and grew and he found it necessary to secure
a new location, so in the fall of the same year he purchased the present location on
South First and erected the new building, 25x120, installing new, modern machinery
for the latest and most up-to-date method of laundry work, having ample boiler
and electric power capacity. He is meeting with deserved success and is well satisfied
with his venture and pleased with the prospects of the town of his adoption.

Mr. Etcheto's marriage took place in Modesto September 6, 1913, when he was
united with Miss Marie Claverie, also born in Basses-Pyrenees, where she secured a
good education in the public schools. Her father had made a trip to California in
former years, but returned to his native land and resided until his death ; her mother is
still living. Mrs. Etcheto came to California in the spring of 1913. Fraternally,
Mr. Etcheto is a member of the Eagles, and politically is a Republican.

WILLIAM S. COSTNER.— Starting out at twenty-five with $800 he had
saved, William S. Costner has been extremely successful, now owning two valuable
ranches in Stanislaus County, one of 540 acres at La Grange, and one of sixty-six acres
on the Carver Road, six miles north and one mile west of Modesto, and is well known
as a successful farmer and dairyman and a breeder of high-grade horses, mules and
cattle. He resides on the Carver Road place, together with his wife and three of his
four children; the fourth child, Earl, is married and resides east of Waterford, where
he is a promising young farmer.

Mr. Costner is a native of Maryville, Tenn., born March 9, 1858, his father's
plantation being sixteen miles from Knoxville. His father was Phillip Costner, a
native of North Carolina, and married there to Miss Mary Hayes. They migrated
to Tennessee, where the father engaged in farming. Phillip Costner was not a slave
holder, but was a strong Union man, three of his elder sons being in the Union Army.
He and his family were subject to great hardship during the period of the Civil War,
and he was himself taken away to Richmond as a prisoner of war, where he suffered
such hardship that his health became impaired and death resulted, probably from
starvation. Wm. S. Costner remembers very clearly the privations and distress of
the Civil War period, the family being reduced to destitution. There were ten chil-
dren in the family, eight sons and two daughters, he being next to the youngest.

When Mr. Costner was twenty-five years of age he left the home farm and went
to Emporia, Kans., where he worked at various occupations for several years, when he
was taken with chills and fever, and, in an effort to throw off the malady, came to
California in 1885. He improved greatly in health and was so pleased with conditions
that he determined to remain, and from 1885 to 1890 he worked for wages, but at
the latter date he leased land near Whittier, Los Angeles County, and commenced
farming for himself. He was married at Norwalk, September 15, 1889, to Miss
Mattie Holliday, the daughter of John Holliday, born in Illinois, who had married
Mrs. Sarah (Sitton) Triplett, a native of Missouri, whose father, Brice Sitton, came
from England to the States. He made two trips across the plains to California in the
days of the gold rush, and then his family joined him, coming via Panama. John
Holliday and his wife moved to Texas, where he was a blacksmith and farmer. In
1875 he brought his family to Norwalk, Cal., where he located on a farm. Later he
returned to and lived in Los Angeles, where he died in 1917, over ninety-seven years of
age, being survived by his widow. She was the mother of seven children, of whom
Mattie is the oldest, and was born in Texas, but came to California when only three
years of age and grew to young womanhood in Los Angeles County. Mr. Costner
continued to farm near Whittier for a year, at which time he moved to Stanislaus
County, in about 1890. He was employed by L. O. Brewster for one year and by
Joseph McGovern for two years, following which he rented and farmed for himself for
two years just across the Stanislaus River in San Joaquin County. At the end of this
period he returned to Stanislaus County and for six years engaged in stock raising at
La Grange, at the close of this period purchasing his present holding of 540 acres there,
farming this and additional leased land. He had at this time about 100 head of cattle
and as many horses and mules, and was engaged in the breeding of horses and mules


for the market, in which enterprise he has been very successful. In June, 1912, he
purchased the place on Carver Road, and here he runs a dairy of thirty cows and has
about thirty high-grade Hampshire sheep. His main crops are barley and beans.

Mr. Costner has always taken a keen interest in fraternal matters and is a prom-
inent member of La Fayette Lodge No. 65, I. O. O. F., at La Grange, and is also a
Woodman. Mrs. Costner is a charter member of La Grange Rebekah Lodge No. 323
and was the first noble grand and has been representative to the Grand Lodge. She
is also a member of the Sylvan Club, and the Methodist Church. Politically, Mr.
Costner is a Republican and takes an interested part in all elections, and both have
served as school trustee, Mrs. Costner having been clerk of the board of Live Oak
district for fourteen years. Mr. and Mrs. Costner were blessed with four children, all
sons: Lennie, Earl, Rudy and Clair. The two youngest are assisting their father in
the operating of the two ranches, as they are still engaged in stock raising at La Grange.

JAMES M. NICOLAISEN. — A representative and prosperous grain rancher of
Stanislaus County's West Side is James M. Nicolaisen, born in Brenninge, Acroe,
Denmark, on December 8, 1883, son of Erich Nicolaisen, a well-known tailor, and
Christine (Jorgensen) Nicolaisen. Before coming to his adopted country he worked
on farms in Denmark until 1904, when he landed in New York and soon settled in
Newman. The first four years he spent on ranches and then he cultivated land which
he leased. He first farmed 150 acres near Cottonwood for one year, and for seven
years he farmed the 2,000 acres of the San Luis ranch, on which he raised wheat and

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 166 of 177)