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 167 of 177)
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barley. In 1917 he purchased his present place of 640 acres, part of the Simon New-
man ranch, west of Newman, on twenty-eight acres of which he raised alfalfa for his
own use. The place is improved with residence and farm buildings. He has twenty-
eight fine horses and mules, which he raised, and twenty-two fine Holstein cattle. The
balance of the ranch he farms to wheat and barley, utilizing a Hauser-Haines combined
thresher, which he propels with a Holt caterpillar.

In Newman, on March 1, 1908, Mr. Nicolaisen married Miss Sallie M. Jensen,
a native-born daughter, her parents being Christ and Marie Jensen, who came to
California from Denmark in the early seventies, acquired large, modernly-equipped
acreage and became well known in Stanislaus County. Seven children were born to
Mr. and Mrs. Jensen, Mrs. Nicolaisen being second. Mr. Jensen passed away April
6, 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Nicolaisen have one son, Everett, a student in Newman
school. Mr. Nicolaisen is a Democrat and a member of Newman I. O. O. F.

JASPER NEWTON CONNER.— Prominent among the ranchers of California
whose years of hard, intelligent work, rewarded by abundant success, entitle them to be
considered as builders of the great commonwealth, must be mentioned Jasper Newton
Conner, who lives about six miles to the north of Modesto. He was born in Coshocton
County, Ohio, on January 1, 1856, the son of Richard Conner, who had married Miss
Cynthia Ferguson, also a native of Ohio, and of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Robert Conner,
the grandfather, was a native of West Virginia, and migrated from there to Ohio,
where he became an early settler. He afterwards settled in Knoxville, 111., and there
followed agriculture for the remainder of his days. Born and reared in Ohio, Richard
Conner farmed for a while in his native state, and in Knox County, 111., continued the
same pursuits. He went from there to Missouri, and passed his last years at Kansas
City, dying at the age of fifty-four. Mrs. Conner continued to reside with her son,
Jasper, and in 1911 closed her life at the age of eighty-five. She was a most estimable
woman, and a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Nine children
blessed their union, our subject being the fourth.

Jasper Conner experienced the hard work and the pleasures of a boyhood on an
Illinois farm, and went to the district school. Starting out for himself when he became
of age, in 1875, he made for the Black Hills and for a year engaged in mining, but
owing to the frequent raids by Indians upon the unprotected miners, he moved on to
Butte City. After a short experience in the mines, he bought horses and wagons and
commenced to freight on a large scale ; and so successful was he that he ran ten four-
horse wagons and employed forty-six horses every day. He transported freight from


the Anaconda and Garrison mines, and averaged four loads a day of 10,000 pounds to
a team. He also mined and prospered, and discovered two good mines, the Blue Bird
and the Black Rock, which he sold at a satisfactory figure. When the railways came
in 1893, Mr. Conner sold his freighting outfit and pitched his tent at Great Falls,
Mont., and there he bought 680 acres of land, upon which he raised stock and other-
wise farmed for two years.

In 1895, to safeguard the health of his wife and children, Mr. Conner disposed
of his farm in Montana and came to California, and for a couple of years settled at
San Fernando. In February, 1898, he went to Alaska to try his hand at prospecting,
traveling up the Copper River and pushing on as far as the Divide. He found some
of the largest copper deposits at that time known, but owing to the dangers of fording
streams and scaling precipices, he deemed it useless to file claims, and so returned to
ranching at San Fernando. In 1911, Mr. Conner moved to Modesto and bought his
home-place of twenty-six acres, devoted principally to alfalfa.

At La Cygne, Kans., Mr. Conner was married to Man' Kendall, a native of that
state and the daughter of David Kendall, a soldier in the Civil War; and it was to
favor her health that Mr. Conner sought the more genial climate of the Golden State.
She died, however, in November, 1896. In February, 1904, Mr. Conner was married
for the second time, at San Fernando, choosing for his wife Helen Wisner, a native of
Iowa, but a resident of California since 1902. They have had nine children : Daphyne
is the eldest; Otto Dallas died when he was two and a half months old; then comes
Walter L., Gladys H., and the others are Violet Pearl, Hazel, Roberta A., and Lenora
W., Cynthia Dorothy, the fifth in the order of birth, having died when she was a year
old,. Mr. and Mrs. Conner are Seventh Day Adventists.

EMANUEL HOSPITAL. — Foremost among the number of institutions in
Stanislaus County whose worthy motive is the alleviation of human suffering, is the
Emanuel Hospital at Turlock, the largest hospital in the county, as well as the most
complete building of its kind. Established in 1916 by the Swedish Evangelical Mis-
sionary Association, the building was begun in the fall of 1916 and was completed
in the spring of the following year, opening in June, 1917, with Mrs. J. E. Johnson,
a registered nurse, as superintendent.

The hospital, as planned, was twice the size of the first building, which was
erected at a cost of about $30,000, with a capacity of twenty-five patients. In the
spring of 1919, an addition was built with the same dimensions as the first, and at
about the same cost. It was opened in January, 1920, the whole building now can
accommodate fifty patients. The rooms are well furnished and most of them private,
affording the complete quiet and seclusion needful for the best results, and many are
equipped with private baths. The whole hospital is most modern in every way, with
reception rooms, offices and head nurses' rooms on each floor. There are two fine
operating rooms on the top floor, well arranged and lighted with side and skylights, as
well as strong electric lights when emergency cases make operating necessary at night.
One of these rooms is particularly large, being designed for major operations, while
the other is for minor surgery. The sterilizing rooms, supply rooms, doctors' dress-
ing rooms and bath rooms are all fully equipped with the latest scientific appliances.
The obstetrical department is in a separate part of the building, with birth room and
nursery supplied with every necessity.

There is one large main kitchen, with dishwashing room adjoining, and on each
floor are serving and diet kitchens. For the nurses there is a large, well-lighted dining
room, very cheerful and attractive. The grounds are large and well laid out, the
beautiful lawn, with trees, shrubbery and flowers making the whole very attractive in
appearance. The nurses' quarters are in three cottages adjoining the grounds and
plans are completed for a new nurses' home, which will be built in the near future.
In addition, there is the Emanuel Hospital Training School for Nurses, opened in 1918,
having now 20 pupils in training, with four supervising nurses, besides special nurses.

The hospital had its inception largely through the efforts of the late A. G. Delbon,
who interested people locally and collected the money to finance it. Mr. Delbon
served as a member of the board of trustees until his death. The present officers are:


President, Rev. Carl Anderson; secretary, A. E. Sandberg; treasurer, Edwin Johnson.
The directors, including the above, are Charles Dahlquist, A. P. Nylin, S. A. Hult-
man, Fred Knutsen, C. E. Ellsburg and Rev. E. N. Train. The city of Turlock can
well congratulate itself on being the home of an institution of such prestige as
Emanuel Hospital, its reputation for scientific care of the sick and efficient manage-
ment having spread far and wide.

JACK VENTULETH.— Left an orphan very early, Jack Ventuleth, a native-
born Californian, has from childhood made his own way, through untiring efforts and
industry. He was born in San Francisco on July 28, 1894, the son of Jacob and
Emily Ventuleth. In Gilroy, while attending the grammar and high schools there, he
worked after school to pay expenses. Interested in agriculture, he later worked his
way through the University of California farm school at Davis. He was then engaged
in a creamery near Davis, and in the fall of 1916 came to Newman, to the California
Central Creameries.

In November, 1917, Mr. Ventuleth entered the U. S. service and trained at
Camp Lewis, Wash., then Camp Mills, N. Y., and later Newport News, Va. With
the One Hundred Seventh Ammunition Train, Forty-first Division, on April 12, 1918,
he sailed overseas, arriving at St. Nazaire, France, on May 10. The Forty-first divi-
sion was made a replacement division, hence he served with the Thirty-second. At the
time the armistice was signed his ammunition train was located at Gondrecourt,
from which point he was transferred to Heimbach, eight kilometers beyond Coblenz,
until April 23, 1919, when he left Germany, via Brest, on May 1, 1919, on the
Louisiana, and received his honorable discharge at the Presidio in San Francisco on
May 31, 1919. He returned to Stanislaus County and is now the owner of forty-eight
acres a short distance from Newman, devoted to dairy farming. He raises silage and
alfalfa and has thirty dairy cows.

On July 8, 1919, Mr. Ventuleth married Miss Clara E. Harvey, born in Sonora,
the daughter of Joseph G. and Hattie E. Harvey. Miss Harvey's mother is also a
native daughter from Rio Vista, Solano County. Joseph Harvey is a native of Detroit,
who came to California at twenty-one, in 1888, settled in Los Angeles and later in the
Bay Cities, where, as a contractor, he erected houses in Oakland and San Francisco.
For twenty years, however, he has been a dairy farmer near Newman and at present
is in the cattle business in Oregon, owning about 500 head on the public range.

H. C. FRIES. — An experienced, prosperous San Francisco merchant who gave
a new impetus to business at Newman when he opened his well-organized establish-
ment and displayed his comprehensive stock of hardware, is H. C. Fries, born in the
Bay City on February 26, 1885, the son of M. O. and Sophie (Nicholsen) Fries. He
was born in Denmark and came to California, rounding Cape Horn by steamer to
San Francisco in 1875, where he ran a restaurant. Mrs. Fries, also born in Den-
mark, belonged to an early California settler's family.

Equipped with a public school education, H. C. Fries supplemented his studies,
while working, with night school courses in bookkeeping, business arithmetic, mechani-
cal drawing, and so, as a self-made youth of fifteen, started after his own fortune. He
served an apprenticeship as machinist in the Robbins Press and Dye Works in San
Francisco, and then took a position as foreman mechanic with the Alaska Packers
Association in the Bering Sea, spending three seasons in the frozen North. On his
return to San Francisco, Mr. Fries entered the wholesale hardware firm of Baker &
Hamilton, continuing for five years, and on March 1, 1920, he came to Newman and
bought out Lewis & Byrd, hardware merchants. His wide, intimate knowledge of the
hardware business and mechanics enabled him to give satisfaction, with the result
that his patrons have steadily increased.

At San Francisco, on July 16, 1907, Mr. Fries married Miss Adele Gaillard, a
native daughter, born at Sonoma, to Leon and Marie Gaillard, of Belgian ancestry.
Her father was a shoe merchant, and is now retired, and at this writing is revisiting
Belgium. Mrs. Fries' mother passed away when she was thirteen; but she was given
the best education at the public schools. Two children have sprung from this for-
tunate union : Earl is twelve years, and Jack is younger by four years.


The international phase, so to speak, of Mr. and Mrs. Fries' marriage is interest-
ing considering the experience of M. O. Fries, the father of our subject. His parents,
on a trip to the old home in Schleswig, were helping celebrate the golden wedding of
Grandfather Fries, previous to the late World War. M. O. Fries was at the cele-
bration ; and having refused to salute a German officer, he was given forty-eight hours
to get out of the country — a departure he was not sorry to take. In national politics
a Republican, C. H. Fries is active as a director in the Newman Chamber of Commerce.

HENRY CHARLES MEIER.— In California, where such a large percentage
of the population is made up of people from other states, it is pleasing to meet a man
born and reared in this land of sunshine and flowers. Henry Charles Meier was
born on August 27, 1883, at Hill's Ferry, three miles from what is now Newman, his
parents being Henry F. W. C. and Elizabeth (Miller) Meier. The father is an old
Californian, coming from his native Germany in 1871. On reaching California he
spent a year at Rocklin, Placer County, working for his brother-in-law. The next six
years he resided in San Francisco, going thence to Hill's Ferry, where he worked eight
years, settling at Newman in 1888, where he conducted the Newman Hotel. He
became interested in the bottling business, and since 1899 has given practically all of
his time to it. He has one of the largest plants in this section, a profitable business.

There were twelve children in the Meier family, Henry C. being the third. His
education was gained in the public schools of Newman, and then he apprenticed as a
plumber under Ed Simpson, one of the pioneer plumbers of Newman, and after he
completed his apprenticeship he continued with him until 1910, when he started in
business for himself. He has been very successful, as a thorough workmanship and
satisfactory service have each year brought increased patronage. He is located at
109 South O Street.

Mr. Meier was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Wilson on December 12,
1912, at San Francisco; she is a native daughter of Oregon, her parents, C. S. and
Sarah Wilson, being engaged in farming. Mr. Meier is of the Foresters of America
and of the Woodmen of the World, being a past officer. Politically he is nonpartisan
where local measures are concerned. The owner of a well-established business, which
he built up through his industry, Mr. Meier stands high in the esteem of his many
friends. During the late war he was a member of the Newman company of fire fight-
ers organized on the West Side, and through this organization many thousands of
dollars' worth of valuable grain and feed were saved. He is an active member of the
Newman Fire Department.

MARIE JENSEN. — The name of Jensen figures prominently among pioneer
families in Stanislaus County. Marie Jensen, widow of Chris Jensen, was born at Son-
neborg, Alsen Island, Denmark, September 13, 1859, but since the early seventies has lived
in California. In Modesto, in 1881, she was united in marriage with Chris Jensen, also
a native of Denmark, who was born in Moen Island July 15, 1855, who also came
to California in the early days. In 1879 he leased a large tract from the Newman
Company, on which he raised wheat and barley; but through his thrift he was soon
able to purchase a half section of this land at twenty-five dollars an acre, which to this
day is the old home place. More land was purchased and improvements made until the
Jensen ranch, with its fine modern farm buildings, garage, thirty dairy and beef cattle
and a seventy-five-horsepower Holt tractor, is one of the best equipped ranches for
tractor farming in Stanislaus County. Mrs. Jensen's sons, Grover and Harvey,
besides farming the 320 acres in the old home place, work 800 acres of hill land
adjoining and thirty acres purchased by their father below the canal, devoted to
alfalfa. Mr. Jensen died April 6, 1920, mourned by his family and friends. In his
religion he was a Lutheran; in politics, a Democrat.

Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Jensen: James, the husband of
Anna Bladt, a native-born daughter of Merced County, near Gustine; Sallie, Mrs.
James M. Nicolaisen; Elmer, husband of Fannie Bladt, a sister of the wife of James
Jensen, also born near Gustine ; Grover, Harvey and Irene, living at home, and Leslie,
who dwells in Newman and who married in Santa Cruz on July 6, 1918, Miss Anita


Redman, born in Napa, Cal., and the daughter of Louis B. and Ida V. Redman, the
father being an early settler of Napa.

During the late war three sons of Mrs. Jensen responded promptly to their
country's call. Harvey enlisted on October 5, 1917, and served as blacksmith in the
Supply Company, One Hundred Sixty-fourth Infantry. He was trained at Camp
Lewis, served eighteen months in France, and was honorably discharged on June 4,
1919, at Camp Kearney; Elmer enlisted in December, 1917, as mechanic on aeroplane
engines in the Three Hundred Twenty-second Aero Squadron, was stationed at the
large aeroplane center in Romorantin, France, and received his honorable discharge
in May, 1919; Leslie was in the United States service only three days when the armis-
tice was signed and soon after was honorably discharged.

PETER A. JUNCKER. — On his twenty-seven acres southwest of Newman,
Peter A. Juncker is prospering as a dairy farmer through his industry and perseverance.
He was born in Vilslev, Denmark, April 11, 1893, the son of Andrew and Caroline
Juncker, and a grandson of Peter Juncker, who was a revenue officer in Denmark,
attended the grade schools and early assisted his father on his Denmark dairy farm.
In 1909, when only sixteen, he emigrated to America to seek his fortune, and came
directly to Petaluma from New York, and he worked at dairy farming, but in 1911
came to Newman, working in creameries in Gustine, Bakersfield and Modesto.
Preferring farming, however, he went back to it and later purchased his present hold-
ings of twenty-seven acres, on which he raises alfalfa and keeps twelve cows, handling
all the work on the farm alone. His ranch is irrigated by the San Joaquin Canal.

In Fresno, on September 20, 1916, Mr. Juncker wedded Miss Christine Olesen,
a native-born daughter of Newman, born to Andrew and Carry Olesen. Mr. and
Mrs. Juncker are the parents of three children : Andrew, Carl and James. Mr. Juncker
is a member of Gustine Lodge No. 22, Dania Order, of which he is past president,
while Mrs. Juncker is a member of the Gustine Lodge of Danabrog, in which she is
an officer. Both are members of the Lutheran Church.

JOHN H. PRIEN. — A truly self-made man, earning and enjoying the fruits
of honest industry and integrity in business dealings, is John H. Prien, owner of the
largest, best-equipped blacksmith shop in Newman or vicinity. And to say that Mr.
Prien is self-made means that he started out for himself at the tender age of twelve,
earning his way, learning his trade and conscientiously following it; that down
through the years he has adhered to principles of honor, depending only upon his own
toil and earning capacity to build up his business and maintain his family.

John H. Prien is a native of Germany, born at Heide, in Holstein, July 30, 1883,
the son of Frederick and Sophie (Kohlsaat) Prien. His father was a blacksmith,
and at twelve John H. was taken from school and apprenticed to learn that trade
under his father, which he did with characteristic thoroughness. When nineteen
young Prien entered the army, serving in the Ninth Artillery as a blacksmith. Dur-
ing his three years he served six months in a horseshoeing school in Hanover and six
months in a horseshoeing and veterinary school in Berlin. At the end of three years
he received his honorable discharge. Then, after two years more with his father, he
turned Californiaward. In October, 1907, Mr. Prien came to Newman, where he
became blacksmith on the Quinto Ranch, remaining two winters, one of the summers
being spent in the blacksmithing business with his cousin, Gustaf Prien, in Newman.

In 1911 Mr. Prien entered into partnership with Grant Schornick and they opened
a first-class blacksmith shop in Newman, under the firm name of Schornick & Prien,
continuing until 1919, when Mr. Prien sold out. Mr. Prien opened his own blacksmith
shop, erecting therefor a commodious building at O and Kern streets, which he has
fitted out with more than ordinarily complete equipment. This venture has proven
very profitable and is in a class by itself in Newman.

Mr. Prien and Miss Anna Lorenzen were married in San Francisco, June 19,
1912. Mrs. Prien is a native of Fohr, Germany. She came to California with her
brother, James Lorenzen, in 1904, from her native village, where she was educated.
Mr. Prien returned to Newman with his bride and they have resided here continuously,


winning the confidence and respect of fellow citizens. They are the parents of two
children, Ernest Lorenzen and Bertha Sophie. Mr. Prien made application to become
a citizen soon after coming here and was made a full citizen on June 19, 1913, and
exercises his franchise under Republican standards.

Mr. Prien is interested keenly in civic and fraternal affairs and stands at all
times for progressive methods. He is a member of the local Woodmen of the World,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Foresters of America. Both Mr. and Mrs.
Prien are members of the Lutheran Church, and he is an active member of the New-
man Chamber of Commerce.

JOHN BORBA.— Born on the Isle of St. George, at Norte Grande, in the
Azores Islands, January 11, 1877, John Borba left the flag of Portugal for the Stars
and Stripes, having been in California since he was a lad of seventeen years. He is
recognized as a splendid type of citizen, giving of his best to his business and to the
community. His parents were Manuel and Barbara Borba, the father being a farmer
on the Isle of St. George, where John Borba attended school and helped his father
until the fall of 1894. California's fair fame had already reached his eager young
mind, and he soon secured work on a ranch near San Juan, San Benito County, where
he remained five years, "getting a start."

It was in 1899 that Mr. Borba came to Stanislaus County and started farming
and dairying for himself, leasing the old Tom Crow ranch near Crows Landing for
two years, in partnership with John V. Azevedo, who now resides at Gustine, Merced
County. Then Mr. Borba leased Mrs. Crow's ranch, just east of the Tom Crow
property, where for seven years he engaged in dairying alone, meeting with success.
In 1908 Mr. Borba purchased fifty-five acres near Crows Landing, and a little later an
additional fifty acres, making in all an extremely productive alfalfa ranch, where he
kept fifty or sixty milch cows. Here he built a residence and farm buildings. In
February, 1920, he sold his dairy stock, rented the land and purchased a home place
of ten acres immediately north of Newman, where he now resides with his family.

Mr. Borba's marriage with Miss Mary M. Avla, a native daughter of California,
born in San Juan, San Benito County, occurred October 19, 1903. Mrs. Borba is
the daughter of Joseph and Isabell Avla, her father farming near San Juan, where she
grew to womanhood and secured her education. Of this union have been born five
children, two sons and three daughters: Mamie, Frank, Florence, John and Elizabeth.
Politically, Mr. Borba is a Republican ; with his family are communicants of the
Catholic Parish of Newman, and he is a member of the Foresters of America,
U. P. E. C. and I. D. E. S., being a past president in the local council of each ; while
Mrs. Borba is a member of the U. P. P. E. C. and S. P. R. S. I.

HARRY A. TRUEBLOOD.— An energetic, far-seeing and thoroughly wide-
awake young man whose strong, steady pull has enabled him to make far more progress
than the average person and to early attain much enviable success, is Harry A. True-
blood, who was born in Indiana, near Indianapolis, the son of L. B. and Sarah True-
blood, substantial farmer folks. His father died when he was fifteen, passing away
in Indiana, and then he came out to California with his mother, who established a
home for herself and family of nine children at Whittier.

When old enough, Harry became a clerk in a hardware store at Whittier, having
previously attended both the grammar and high schools at that place ; and on removing
to Modesto in 1908, he took up plumbing, steamfitting and sheet metal work, for
which he easily demonstrated efficiency. In addition to having made a reputation for
ability and conscientious work, Harry has added to his popularity through his genial,

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 167 of 177)