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 173 of 177)
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value of steady-going industry, is Manuel Garcia, who was born on August 26, 1875,
on the Island of Pico, in the Azores, the son of Jose and Mary Garcia, both of whom
are now deceased. In 1893 he came out to California and settled in Alameda County,
and for five years he engaged to work for others as a laborer. About May 1, 1899,
Mr. Garcia commenced to work on a dairy farm on shares ; and such was his success
with the undertaking that by May, 1908, he had purchased a tract of forty acres
near Keyes, in Stanislaus County, where he now owns twenty acres more, northwest
of Turlock and leases in addition considerably more land.

At Santa Clara in 1899, Mr. Garcia was married to Miss Mary Enos, who was
born in Alameda County on September 2, 1883. Ten children were born to this
fortunate union. Augusta Josephine is the wife of A. A. Ramos, and the mother of
one child. Florence V. is Mrs. A. R. Gorge, and they have one child. Manuel C.
Garcia is a rancher, and so is John E. And Marie E., Frank, Joe and William are
students, while Alice and Floyd are the little ones at home. Mr. Garcia was made a
citizen of the United States at Modesto in 1913, and thereafter joined the Republi-
can party. He belongs to the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S. and has been a mem-
ber of the Woodmen of the World for twenty years. Mrs. Garcia belongs to the
S. P. R. S. I. and the U. P. P. E. C.

VALENTINE COTTA.— A native son of the Republic of Switzerland, Valen-
tine Cotta is the son of a California pioneer, and the love of the sunny land over-
looking the Pacific was early instilled in Valentine's heart by the reminiscences of
his father. He has resided at Empire, this county, where he owns a valuable fifty-
four acre farm under a high state of cultivation, since 1911. He is a true American
in views and in spirit, and is one of Empire's most successful dairy farmers.

Mr. Cotta was born in Corippo, in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, December 31,
1868, the son of Bartholomew and Mary ( De Carly) Cotta. His parents are both


still living in their native Canton Ticino, the father now past eighty-five, and the
mother past seventy-five. His father, now a retired capitalist, was actively engaged
in mining enterprises and dairy farming for many years. He early made a trip to
the gold fields of Australia, later returning to Switzerland, where he was married.
Leaving his wife there, he came to California and ran a dairy farm in Marin County
and later in Sonoma County for a period of years, meeting with great success. Re-
turning again to Switzerland to visit his family, he found it impossible to be satisfied
there, and made a second trip to California, remaining from 1884 to 1894, during
which time he again engaged in dairying in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Since
1894 he has made his home in Switzerland.

Valentine Cotta grew to young manhood in his native canton, receiving his edu-
cation in the local public schools, which were conducted in the Italian language. He
learned the trade of carpenter, at which he worked until he came to California. He
was married in Corippo, Switzerland, to Miss Rose Silacci, of Canton Ticino, in
1891. Shortly before this time he had been elected secretary of the town of Corippo.

It was in 1895 that Mr. Cotta determined to come to California. He bade
farewell to his wife and family, whom he left in Switzerland for the time being,
landing at Castle Garden, New York City, May 16, 1895. Being already in love
with California through the tales of his father, he came through at once to Salinas,
Monterey County, arriving on May 22, and that same day went to work. For five
years he was employed with V. Marcetti, at Gonzales, Monterey County, at the
end of which time he bought a dairy leasehold near that place and engaged in dairy-
ing for himself. As soon as he was established in this independent undertaking, he
sent for his wife and the little daughter, Palmyra, and they joined him there in 1901.
For the following ten years he ran this farm, managing a dairy of 120 milch cows,
and meeting with great success. In 1911 Mr. Cotta came to Stanislaus County and
bought his present home place a half mile southwest of Empire, and here he has
developed an attractive country home. Over this household Mrs. Cotta presides
gracefully, with ability and charm. There are two daughters, Palmyra, who came
with her mother to California, and Marie, a native daughter of the Golden West.

Mr. Cotta lost no time in becoming a citizen of his adopted country, taking out
his naturalization papers in Salinas, Monterey County. Politically he is a Republi-
can, and an advocate of clean party government and business methods in civic and
national administrations. He is a member of the Stanislaus County Farmers Union,
the Federation of American Farmers and of the Milk Producers Association of
Central California, and California Peach Growers, Inc., and preaches cooperation.

MANUEL A. AZEVEDO. — An enterprising and influential Portuguese-Ameri-
can who has the distinction of being the first person of Portuguese birth to exhibit at
either a State or County fair in California, is Manuel A. Azevedo, who was born at
Pico, in Calita, among the Azores, on February 19, 1890. His parents were Manuel
and Mary Azevedo. Manuel grew up to help his father on the farm, at the same time
that, for a couple of seasons, he attended the local school. Having entered on his
teens, Manuel ventured across the Atlantic, first stopping at a farm near Fall River,
Mass., where he worked for six years for wages. At the age of nineteen, he started
a retail milk business in Fall River; and he did sufficiently well that he kept at it
for two years. His wages at the beginning were only eight dollars a month, and
this was advanced, toward the end of the six years, to twenty dollars; from which it
will be seen that although he worked very hard, he had not been able to accumulate
very much when he needed capital of his own.

When Mr. Azevedo had attained his majority, he came West to California, and
for a month or so he worked for a Mr. Morris on a dairy in Kings County, and then
he came to Patterson and continued dairying for a year. He next bought a hay-
baler and for two years baled hay for farmers in the Patterson Colony. With a
brother, who had come to California in 1914, he then bought fifty acres of alfalfa
land on Lemon Avenue, and after two years he sold his portion for $7,000, or much
more than was paid for the land. He then purchased a ranch of forty-six acres on
Sycamore Avenue, and after holding it for only two months sold it at a profit of


$5,000. He next bought a sixty-acre ranch at Sycamore and Magnolia avenues, and
after holding it for three days, sold it at a profit of $7,000. Following these invest-
ments which, by the way, indicate very fairly the possibilities of Stanislaus agricultural
land, Mr. Azevedo bought 173 acres on Sycamore Avenue, north of Magnolia, and
there he has placed 250 head of stock, the property really of four partners all inter-
ested in common in a dairy project. On a part of the ranch, facing on Fruit Avenue,
Mr. Azevedo owns twenty head of young stock and twenty-five pure Holsteins.

One of the four partners referred to is Estacio J. Oliveria, a native of Pico,
where he was born on March 8, 1890, the son of Estacio and Maria Oliveria. He
went to the common schools at Pico for four seasons, and when he was twenty-one
came to America and Sacramento, and for a year worked for wages on a dairy farm.
Then he removed to Hollister, and for seven years was a valued farmhand in the
dairy of W. McCloud and J. L. Lean, and also did orchard work at Hollister. In
1918 he came to Patterson, worked for a year for wages, and then bought an inter-
est in the Azevedo dairy. He is a member of the I. D. E. S. of Hollister.

During the past year Mr. Azevedo has given his attention in particular to the
raising of pure-bred Holstein cattle, having obtained his stock originally from the
Bridgeford herd at Patterson, and he took five head of pure-breds to the Sacramento
fair, in the fall of 1919, and won the first prize on the junior yearling bull, the sec-
ond prize on the junior yearling heifer, and the third prize on the junior bull. He
took the same number of cattle to the San Joaquin County fair and won the first
prize on the junior yearling bull, the first prize on the junior yearling heifer, the first
prize on the junior heifer, the second prize on the junior calf, the second prize on the
junior bull, the first prize on the grade sire, and the first prize on the calf herd.

At Fall River, Mass., during his seventeenth year, on February 19, Mr. Azevedo
married Miss Mary Ferry, a native of Terceira, Azores, and daughter of Joaquin
and Mary (Viera) Ferry, and six children have been granted them: Manuel, Alice,
Joaquin, George, Serfina, and John. Mr. Azevedo took out his citizenship papers in
Massachusetts, and since then he has marched in the ranks of the Republican party.
He belongs to the U. P. E. C. of Patterson.

SERAFEIN S. CORREA. — Prominent among the prosperous Portuguese-
Americans in California, Serafein S. Correa was born in Fayal, in the Azores, on
October 7, 1888, the son of Antone Correa, who had married Katherine Silveira.
His father was a farmer, and Serafein spent his boyhood at home on the farm, work-
ing hard and attending school only one year. When he was fourteen, he bade good-
bye to the balmy isles and sailed for America.

Reaching the United States, he came directly to California, and for three years
worked for wages in the service of the Niles Nursery, at Niles, in Alameda County,
receiving only ten dollars a month at first. He then spent two years in school at
Alviso, after which he returned to the Niles Nursery, in August, 1909, where he
worked for another seven or eight months. Then he went to San Francisco, and for
a couple of months was with the Ludiman's Nursery. This led to his going to Bur-
lingame and working for Mr. Tevis, the financier, under Henry Meyer, the head
gardener. At the end of two years, Mr. Tevis sent him to Lake Tahoe to continue
in his service from May until October. Another move, to Bakersfield, still kept him
in the employ of Mr. Tevis, five miles west of the town, in the winter, and the next
spring he again returned to Lake Tahoe, to handle the Tevis place in the summer,
after which he once again went back to his former work in Bakersfield. While at
Bakersfield, Mr. Correa transplanted the largest tree known to have been moved up to
that time — an English walnut tree measuring eighteen inches in diameter and weigh-
ing thirty-five tons — and he also transplanted two Italian cypress trees measuring
forty-five feet in height.

In 1912, Mr. Correa settled at Hughson in Stanislaus County, and went into
the dairy business with his brother-in-law, Antonio Victorino, renting an alfalfa
farm of sixty acres, and for ten months they conducted a dairy there with thirty cows.
In 1914 Mr. Correa came to Patterson and rented twenty acres of alfalfa land on
Walnut avenue, west of Sycamore, and for four years, operating alone, he had a


dairy of twenty cows. He then rented forty acres of alfalfa on Eucalyptus Avenue,
and enlarged the dairy to twenty-five cows. In the fall of 1919 he bought sixty acres
on Eucalyptus, east of Elm, and there he has since resided.

At Oakland, on May 28, 1912, Mr. Correa was married to Miss Ida Rasmus-
sen, a native of Southern Sweden, and the daughter of a miller by trade. Three
children have been given Mr. and Mrs. Correa: Reynold and Oscar attend the Pat-
terson grammar school, while Ernest is at home. A man of exceptional activity among
his fellow Portuguese, Mr. Correa is a member of the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S.,
and in both he has been an officer, and as such has been able to accomplish a deal of
good, stimulating a greater interest in American civic life and problems. In national
politics he is a Republican.

PAUL W. CARLSON.— The youngest son of Abel and Ella Carlson, the well-
known residents of Turlock, Paul W. Carlson was reared in Nebraska, where he
attended the public school at Chappell ; for at that time his father, always a man of
service and enviable position, was treasurer of Deuel County, and there made a home
for his family. Paul's boyhood days were also spent on his father's farm. He was
born in Deuel County, on March 6, 1887; and at eighteen years came to California.

The year previous, Paul's parents had settled in Turlock, on their farm three
miles to the northwest of the town, and thither he went and resumed his ranch duties
with his father, who was engaged in dairying for the first four years of his resi-
dence in Stanislaus County, and so experienced has he become that he has managed
the farm of eighty acres — of which he owns the half — for the past ten years, with the
exception of the two years when he served in the U. S. Army. Responding to the
call of his country, Mr. Carlson enlisted on December 11, 1917, and served in the
ammunition train; and on February 11, 1919, he was honorably discharged at the
Presidio. He is a member of the American Legion.

On June 21, 1920, Mr. Carlson married Miss Ellen Carlson, who was born in
Brule County, S. D., on July 23, 1893. Mrs. Carlson is a member of the First
Baptist Church of Turlock, and Mr. Carlson is a member of the Turlock Masons.
Interested in public affairs, Mr. Carlson served as a member of the Board of Trus-
tees of the Monte Vista School District, and he is a member of the Farm Bureau,
and loses no opportunity to advance the interests of the California agriculturist.

MRS. ALICE M. PROUTY.— An interesting, highly esteemed daughter of the
Buckeye State whose success as a farmer anyone might wish to attain to, and whose long
years of steady application have been crowned with comfortable retirement, is Mrs.
Alice M. Prouty, who was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, where she also went to
school, leaving her studies only when impaired health made it necessary. She is the
daughter of Samuel Brownrigg, a pioneer in Hamilton County who had married Miss
Sarah Williamson, also a native of Ohio; and both of her parents were fortunate in
commanding the high regard of the many who knew them.

In 1886 Miss Brownrigg was married to Wallace H. Prouty, and they resided
together in Ohio for many years. He was born at Worcester, Mass., on August 16,
1845, attended the public school, and early in life engaged to work in a manufactory in
his native town. He was ambitious, however, to be a railroad man, and when the
opportunity presented itself, he became a brakeman on the Massachusetts Central Trunk
Line; and having risen to the responsible positions of general passenger agent and
chief clerk for two companies, he gave the best part of his life, or twenty-five years,
to railroad work, which he came to thoroughly understand. Located at Newport
News, he was for a number of years general passenger agent for the Newport News
and Mississippi Railroad; and at Cincinnati for fourteen years he was chief clerk for
the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton. This railroad work gave him great satisfaction.

In 1892, owing to failing health, Mr. Prouty came West with his family and
settled in Santa Clara County ; and there, for eleven years, he engaged in farming on
a small scale. Then he accepted a clerical position at Solomon, Kans., for two years.
In 1906, the family moved to Keyes, Stanislaus County, and Mr. Prouty purchased
forty acres of the old McHenry Tract, on which now stands Mrs. Prouty's home.


He was among the earliest to build in that locality, and for a number of years he lived
there while his eldest son, William F. Prouty, was engaged in general farming and
dairying. He himself did some office work for the Grange Company, at Modesto.
He died on January 31, 1912; and shortly before his death he sold twenty acres of
the farm, leaving twenty acres which he willed to his widow.

Four children were granted Mr. and Mrs. Prouty, and they received a thorough
Christian training through their mother's example and attention. William Francis
lives at Orin, Wash., is married, and has two children ; Wallace H. is both man-
ager for his mother and a farmer on his own account at Keyes ; Sarah Alina attends
the Modesto Business College, and C. Russell Prouty, who lives at home, is farming
leased land situated near that of his mother. Mrs. Prouty belongs to the Free Metho-
dist Episcopal Church at Turlock, and is ever busy with church and humanitarian
work, a firm believer in unostentatious charity. She has alwaj's been devoted to the
cause of temperance, has voted the Prohibition ticket, and has left no stone unturned in
both Ohio and California to abolish the sway of King Alcohol.

ANTONE R. VIEIRA.— A successful rancher of the Turlock district is A. R.
Vieira, who was born on the Isle of Flores, in the balmy Azores, on June 9, 1862, and
now resides a mile to the north of the town on Colorado Boulevard. He passed his
boyhood on his father's little farm, and then tried the life of a sailor, which he fol-
lowed for five months. Arriving in New York in 1880, he came on West to Cali-
fornia, and in the fall of the year reached Watsonville. For some years he lived and
worked in the Santa Clara Valley, and for another period of vears he labored and
advanced at Fresno and in the San Joaquin Valley ; breaking the arduous routine with
a trip back to the old Azores home in 1889. On his return to the United States, in
1890, he was married at Boston to his sweetheart, Miss Maria Louise Vieira, a life-
long acquaintance, who had come to America to join him.

In 1900. Mr. Vieira came from Santa Cruz County to Ceres, and for a period
of four years worked on the Whitmore ranch. In 1904, he purchased thirty acres in
the Crane Colony, near Turlock, and since then he has engaged in general farming
there, carrying on for himself also a thoroughly up-to-date, sanitary dairy. He has
recently added a tract of twenty acres to his holding, making his total area fifty acres.
A self-educated man, Mr. Vieira has made his way, step by step, in the New World,
and what he has accomplished reflects creditably in the highest degree both upon him-
self and the community in which he lives.

Fourteen children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Vieira's prosperity. Frank,
the eldest, is deceased. Mary is the wife of A. J. Lawrence and the mother of two
girls. Antone, a resident of Merced County, is married and has one son. Anna is
Mrs. John Bettencourt, and resides with her husband and little girl in Merced
County. Louise and her husband, Arthur Vieira, have their home at Turlock.
Evangeline, Mrs. Carlos Pereira, lives at Escalon ; and the younger members of the
family are Mildred, Joe, Willie, Josephine, Hazel, Mabel, Ida, and Evelyn. Mr.
Vieira belongs to the U. P. E. C. and the I. D. E. S. lodges.

ERMINIO PETERPOSTEN.— A Swiss-American who has well maintained
the reputation of the sturdy, industrious and frugal sons and daughters of the mountain
Republic in their contribution to the development of the Golden State, is E. Peter-
posten, who was born on October 17, 1891, the third son of Angelo and Rosie (Torri)
Peterposten, both natives of Canton .Ticino, Switzerland. Mr. Peterposten was a
dairyman and a farmer of experience and repute; but he was something more: as a
patriotic, public-spirited citizen, he served his country as a soldier in the National
Guard. Mrs. Peterposten lived until 1906, the mother of several devoted children.

In 1907, E. Peterposten crossed the Atlantic with his father, following a brother
and a sister who had come out here some years before. Soon afterward, two brothers
and three sisters also joined them. They came to California, and Mr. Peterposten
went to Plumas County, where he was engaged on a dairy ranch. After a while he
acquired interests in the Sacramento Valley, where he established a dairy at Gait,
which he managed successfully until his coming to Stanislaus County, in 1918.


Now he is the owner of forty-eight acres near Hughson, where he has engaged
since 1918 in the raising of thoroughbred Holstein cattle. His attainments in this
field have been such that when he exhibited at the Patterson Fair in 1920, he received
a number of ribbons, which gave him great satisfaction. He is also a stockholder in
the Lambert Stock Remedy Corporation of Modesto, and a newly-elected director in
the Central California Milk Producers' Association. As a member, too, of the com-
mittee on the Calf Club of the Stanislaus County Holstein Breeders, he shows his abil-
ity as a leader, and it is not surprising that he has become one of the county's finest
boosters. In 1920 he sold out his stock interests to good advantage but expects to
re-enter that field in the near future.

In August, 1912, at San Francisco, Mr. Peterposten was married to Miss Emilia
Fillippi, a native of Switzerland, who came to America in 1910 and located at her
sister's, in San Francisco. In 1914, Mr. Peterposten was made a citizen of the United
States, at Sacramento, and not long afterward he joined the Republican party. When
the World War involved the United States, Mr. Peterposten supported all the loan
and Red Cross drives ; and since then he has shown his appreciation of the advantages
of life in the New World by attending the night school at Hughson. He is also a
member of the Odd Fellows.

MANUEL J. FRAGO. — A wide-awake, successful rancher is M. J. Frago, who
was born in Flores, in the famous Azores, on March 6, 1877, and is now comfort-
ably situated, about two miles north on Colorado Boulevard, in Turlock. His father
was Jose, and his mother Mary C. Frago, and he spent his boyhood as a sheep herder
on his father's ranch. There he not only had plenty to do, but he learned many
things which were useful to him later when, far from home, he worked to estab-
lish himself and to attain independence. When twenty-two years of age, he came
to America and located in Montana, and for six years he worked in that state in the
cattle industry, spending his time on the ranges and stock farms as a laborer. There,
again, he accomplished something more than the mere earning of his monthly wage:
he learned a good deal about American life and agricultural ways and got ready for
migration to the Pacific Slope. During this time he made a trip back to the Azores.

In 1905, Mr. Frago reached California and Turlock, and soon after he pur-
chased forty acres of raw land which, by very hard work, he has improved from raw
land to a fine, productive ranch. He has made a number of desirable improvements
which reflect his experience and taste, and attest to his prosperity.

While in the Azores, in 1898, Mr. Frago was married to Miss Maria J. Gloria,
and four children have blessed their fortunate union. Maria has become the wife of
Joseph Vasconcellos, and the younger children are Joseph, Adelina and Zelda. Mr.
Frago for twenty years has been a faithful member of the U. P. E. C.

JOE D. CORREIA. — An energetic, prosperous farmer who well deserves all
the good luck that has come his way, is Joe Dutra Correia, who was born at Castello,
Branco Parish, Fayal Island, in the Azores, the son of Jose Dutra Correia, a very
respected farmer, who had married Miss Maria Ramos. These worthy parents,
being both industrious and frugal, were able to bring up their family with exception-
ally good care. Joe D. Correia attended the local school, but reached only the third
grade, for in 1887 he was obliged to quit in order to help his father work their small
farm. At times, too, he worked out for neighbors, at from twenty to twenty-five
cents a day, and this hard work was welcome, for it increased the needed income.

On June 18, 1890, Mr. Correia said good-bye to his home and crossed the Atlantic
in a sailing vessel bound for Bedford, Mass. There, after a hard voyage, he arrived
on July 18, for by accident the vessel ran short of provisions, being buffeted about
by the adverse winds. He did not stay long in New England ; but on July 22 started
for California. On the night of July 27, the train was wrecked, and many of the pas-
sengers were killed. Fortunate in himself escaping, Mr. Correia reached Carmel in
Monterey County on August 1, and stopped with his sister there, Mrs. Victorino.
On August 21 he commenced to work on a dairy farm near Salinas, where he remained
for thirteen months at fifteen dollars a month, when he returned to Carmel to take a

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 173 of 177)