September, 1911, as a company paper. It was a six-column, four-page weekly edition,
and edited by Elwyn Hoffman. The present editor and owner is L. C. Fleharty.
Purchasing the Irrigator in 1919, he enlarged it to a seven-column, four-page edition.
The proprietor puts out a good paper and it is a credit to the town.
The churches are numerous, seven in number, one church to every ninety-five of
the population, men, women and children. They are designated as the Catholic,
Church of the Brethren, Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints, Lutheran,
Methodist, Norwegian, Presbyterian and Swedish Mission.
The Women's Improvement Club has been established for several years and
their crowning work is the Carnegie Library now being erected. Some time ago the
agent of the fund gave $3,000 to the erection of a free library and the citizens, by
subscription, raised money sufficient to erect a $11,000 library. The project was
placed in the hands of the Women's Improvement Club, and on the afternoon of
April 26, 1921, the cornerstone was laid with appropriate ceremonies. The president
of the club, Mrs. J. H. Corcoran, presided, and short talks were made by C. J. Carl-
son and J. M. Kerr, city trustees, and the children of the public schools sang several
songs under the direction of their music teacher, Miss Ruby Lambert. The Patterson
orchestra rendered several selections.
Patterson was incorporated in 1920 as a city of the sixth class. The following
were the officers elected: board of trustees, John Evans, C. J. Carlson, J. M. Kerr,
HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 187
Harry Heintz and W. L. Kirk; J. M. Smith, marshal, and J. M. Kerr,
justice of the peace. The trustees are already engaged in a good work for health
and prosperity in the installation of a $52,500 sewer system with septic tank, to
be completed during the summer of 1921. They have also shown themselves of
a high moral standard, higher than that of any other city in the valley, by passing
four to one a Sunday law. It prohibits the showing of any entertainment where ad-
mission is charged on that day, also the playing of cards, pool or billiards in public
on the Sabbath. They also passed some time ago what is known as "the little Vol-
stead" ordinance, which prohibits the sale or use of any liquors in the citv unless
authorized by a physician's prescription, or transportation of the same.
The city has an excellent water supply, the water being pumped from deep wells
into a large steel tank. It is of sufficient height and capacity to supply the homes
with all the water desired and also gives an immense supply and heavy hose pressure
to the firemen in case of fire. The Chamber of Commerce was established on a firm
basis in 1920 and now has a membership of more than sixty active business men and
farmers. E. H. Tienken is the president of the organization at this time, and he also
was the presiding officer at a dinner served by the ladies of the Presbyterian Church
on the evening of April 25, 1921. The banquet followed a splendid boosters' meeting
under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, which was addressed by Thomas
H. Reed of the University of California.
Although Patterson is dependent upon the farmers of the surrounding country
for its life and support, it has two industries within the town limits worthy of mention,
namely, the Western Meat and Dairy Products Company and the Mineral Products
plant. This plant, erected in 1917, obtains its mineral from the Ouinto mines in
the Coast Range. The plant covers about fourteen acres of ground, and in the ex-
traction of the magnesia about 120 men are employed. Another industry known
throughout the nation is the Bridgeford Holstein Company. They are breeders of
pure-blooded Holstein cattle and two of their cows have at present the world's record
for producing butterfat.
About 1895 the San Francisco & San Joaquin Valley Railroad was built through
what is now Riverbank and the station by that name established. The railroad was
operated under that name until 1900, when it was taken over by the Atchison, Topeka
& Santa Fe Railroad. In 1910 Riverbank was made a division terminal, dividing
the long division between Richmond and Fresno, and the company immediately began
the construction of concrete machine shops, roundhouses, oil storage tanks, towers, etc.
As soon as the buildings were completed the company began making it a terminal
point, consequently in less than a year the town had a population of 400 or 500 per-
sons, railroad employees and their families. Mercantile stores, a bank, religious denomi-
nations and secret societies were soon established. The first load of lumber arrived
July 3, 1911. It was owned by A. W. Jackson of Modesto, who intended to establish
The Riverbank Land Company was organized about 1910, and securing several
hundred acres of land, laid out the town of Riverbank and began building up the
place. The Riverbank Water Company was formed for the purpose of furnishing
water to the town for domestic, railroad and fire purposes. The company controls
an abundance of exceptionally pure water and has a well 226 feet deep, equipped
with two fifteen-horsepower motors for pumping. About 1911 the Oakdale Irrigation
District was formed under the Wright Act, and covered all the lands in the section
not already under irrigation.
The First National Bank of Riverbank was organized in 1913 with a capital
stock of $25,000 and occupies exceptionally fine quarters in the land company's build-
ing. Riverbank has twelve hundred inhabitants and being a division point on the
Santa Fe, has a pay roll of from $30,000 to $50,000 a month, all of which means that
188 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY
many of the shopmen and trainmen living here have their own homes and from one
lo twenty acres of land each.
Riverbank is practically the gateway from the rich gold and timber counties of
Calaveras and Tuolumne, and it is in the heart of over 400,000 acres of rich and fertile
irrigated lands. The temperature here seldom drops below freezing and the rainfall
averages about twelve inches during the year. There is no malaria and no alkali
to handicap the prospective settler. All the land has water and as early as sixty
years ago the country was a solid grain field. The transportation facilities are unsur-
passed for a town of its size, no less than twent}'-six passenger and eighteen freight
.trains leaving each day, and its roads and. highways connect with the great state and
national thoroughfares. Its entire population, with a few Mexican railway employees,
is made up of white folks, and it is well provided with schools, churches, a library,
newspaper, and mercantile establishments of all kinds. The dairy, sweet potato, peach,
plum, pear, cherry, fig, olive, nut and berry industries are of imposing proportions
and ever growing, and there are few places in the world where mixed gardening can
be carried on to better advantage.
The present pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mahlan J. Williams, says
that the Riverbank Church was originally the Burneyville Methodist Episcopal
Church, organized in 1865, by Reverend Belknap, Sr. That church had the following
pastors: The Reverends Belknap, Sr., Stewart, D. E. George, Belknap, Jr., Peters,
Sheriff, Palmer, Crabb, Chilon, Wolf, S. Kinney, Hilbrook, Hugh, Copeland, Bratley,
Walton, Buck, Strawbridge, Childers, Bryne, J. H. Sanborn and J. H. Rodgers. The
Riverbank Church was erected in February, 1912, at a cost of $2,000. The following
are the pastors up to date: James H. Rodgers, 1912-16; J. H. Ainsworth, September,
1916-17; Wallace Cutter, 1917-19. The present pastor, M. J. Williams, was
appointed in September, 1919.
The First National Bank
The First National Bank was incorporated June 26, 1913, with a capital of
$25,000. R. W. Hobart was president, J. W. Walker, vice-president, and C. B.
Pressley, cashier. The present officers of the bank are John M. Ormsby, president;
R. W. Hobart, vice-president, and R. L. Evans, cashier. On May 10, 1920, R. W.
Hobart and his associates retired.
Riverbank's First July 4th Celebration
The spirit of patriotism in woman sleepeth not and the Woman's Improvement
Club resolved that the nation's birthday should not pass unnoticed. Under their
management, on that morning a large crowd of patriotic citizens assembled in front
of the Methodist Church. At ten o'clock a procession was formed of some fifty
public school children, each child carrying a flag, together with the citizens of the
town. The procession then marched to the water tower, preceded by the old-time
revolutionary music, a fife and drum. On arrival at the tower a large flag, presented
by an enterprising firm, was hoisted to the top of the flag staff, Mrs. Louise Riech-
man singing the "Star Spangled Banner." The Declaration of Independence was
then read by Robert Callandar, and F. A. Raney delivered the oration. The school
children then sang "The Red, White and Blue," followed by the reading of Whit-
tier's famous poem, "Barbara Frietchie," by Mrs. Bradley. The exercises closed by
the entire audience singing "America." Refreshments of ice cream and lemonade were
served free throughout the day. About four o'clock a kite raising contest took place.
The celebration closed with a grand ball in the auditorium under the direction of
the Misses Myrtle and Rose Riechman.
This beautiful little city, situated in the midst of a forest of live oaks, was so
named because of its location. Situated about a mile south of the Stanislaus River,
the town sprang into existence almost in a day, because of the fact that the Stockton
and Visalia Railroad, so-called at that time, would cross the river at a point now
known as Burnett's station.
HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 189
As to the founder of Oakdale there are two different stories. Branch says the
town was founded in 1871 by Patterson, Purcell and Jackson and the deeds to the
town lots bear their signatures. A. J. Patterson, Alfred E. Purcell and a man named
Jackson purchased land where now stands the city. They gave the right-of-way over
their land and one-half of the townsite to the railroad to locate there the future town.
The second story accords A. V. Tuohy as the "father of Oakdale." In the early '70s
he carried on a store and the ferry at Burneyville. He and his brother, John H.,
owned about 1,500 acres of land across the river on which they raised grain. Early
in the year he sold his Burneyville store and removed to Oakdale and there opened up
a store. Later he divided the land into town lots and sold them to the first settlers.
Regarding the store, a newspaper reporter attending an excursion of the Champions
of the Red Cross, a temperance organization, from Stockton to Oakdale, October 13,
1871, says: "A. V. Tuohy, formerly of Burneyville, has a store well stocked with
general merchandise. He is also doing the forwarding of Chicard & Company, Stock-
ton, and will soon erect a hotel to be called the Oakdale Hotel."
The hotel, which was later known as the Tuohy Hotel, was destroyed by fire
February 19, 1878. The hotel at the time was kept by Fred Wier, formerly of
In October, 1871, just two months before the locomotive entered the town,
there were twenty-one buildings in Oakdale. The reporter located them as follows:
A large stable has just been erected for Harden, Schadlich & Hamlin on the east
side of the railroad. On the east side of the stable a blacksmith shop is in full blast.
This probably was J. B. Stearns' blacksmith shop. Dr. Hazen has an office and
dwelling a short distance to the south. Located nearby there is a barber shop and
Buddington's saloon, the proprietor having recently removed from Knights Ferry. On
the west side of the railroad Mr. Snyder has erected a general merchandise store, in
the rear is a Chinese wash house. Further west Mrs. Dodson, who owns the
premises, has a small hotel. In the middle of the block a skating rink 40x140 feet
has been opened. In 1881, says Branch, Oakdale had a population of 600 persons,
fifteen stores, seven saloons, two hotels, one restaurant, three blacksmith shops, a lum-
ber yard, a steam power barley mill, steam plow factory and two or three livery
stables. Lots, he said, were selling from ten dollars to fifty dollars each, according
to location. Two years later, October, 1883, there was a great demand for property,
and lots which W. L. Moulton had sold in price from ten dollars to twenty-five
dollars had advanced and were selling at prices varying from fifty dollars to $150,
the lots being 25x100 feet in size.
Fire Destroys Pioneer Buildings
The first store in Oakdale, says J. E. Threlfall, was R. B. Syber's, located where
now stands the First National Bank. Across the street, south, was Tuohy's Hotel,
then the Moulton Hall, and adjoining the hall was the postoffice. Another statement
says that adjoining the hotel came Mrs. Anderson's restaurant and ice cream parlor,
then Thomas Caskey's butcher shop and the M. A. Lewis forwarding house, a branch
of Geo. Ladd & Company, Stockton. In March, 1890, quite a number of houses on-
Railroad Avenue were destroyed by fire and several more buildings severely scorched.
These buildings were occupied by A. S. Emery, dry goods; Hammond's saloon, C. W.
Spann's restaurant, Haslacher, Kahn & Co., general merchandise ; J. Horslev, W.
Pennell, J. S. Kerr, W. S. Woods, Phillip Myers, MacAllister & Dunbar, Spragh &
Head and Mrs. H. Lyons, who kept the Central Hotel, L. M. Smallfield and Howe
& Smallfield. Moulton Hall was destroyed by fire on the evening of January 3,
1890. The building was owned by S. L. Smallfield and his brother, E. B., occupied
the first story with a furniture store and undertaking parlors. About one o'clock on
the morning of July 20, 1893, a fire broke out in the Harris livery stable on the east
side of the railroad. The barn and twenty horses were burned, together with a saloon,
the livery stable of Baker & Descant and a Chinese laundry. These fires wiped out
the majority of the pioneer buildings.
190 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY
Excursions to Oakdale
Oakdale in its early days was a delightful spot for picnics and excursions. The
first of these picnics was given by a temperance organization of that day known as
the Champions of the Red Cross. The excursion was run from Stockton October 13,
1871, and about 350 people went out to see the new town and enjoy a picnic "in one
of the finest groves in the valley." The train stopped on the north side of the river,
as the bridge was not completed and the party were transported over the shallow
stream in wagons. The citizens provided a fine barbecue. There was music by the
Stockton Concert Band, singing, and an oration was delivered by George B. Taylor,
the state commander of the organization. An address was also given by George
Hamlin of Oakdale. The following day, October 14, the superintendent of the
Stockton and Visalia Railroad, W. J. L. Moulton, tendered a free excursion to the
village of oaks. There was quite a large attendance and the following morning the
Stockton paper gave a lengthy description of the new town. On April 23, 1875, the
Sunday school of the Stockton Baptist Church held an excursion picnic at Oakdale.
Lebanon Lodge, Rebekahs, of Stockton, celebrated the anniversary of. the order
April 25, 1879, in a basket picnic at Oakdale, joining with the Oakdale Lodge of Odd
Fellows on that occasion. Forty years later, a degree staff from that lodge initiated
sixteen candidates in Acorn Rebekah Lodge in September, 1919.
By invitation of Superintendent Pugh of the Stockton & Visalia Railroad, on
June 7, 1890, about fifty of Stockton's business men visited Oakdale. The passenger
coaches were prettily decorated and upon either side of the cars was a banner bearing
the words, "San Joaquin County Board of Trade Greets Oakdale." On arriving at
Burnett's station they were met by the Oakdale reception committee comprising
J. W. Dunlap, Levi Bardo, L. Kahn and J. Haslacher and escorted into the city.
Carriages were provided, and accompanied by some thirty citizens, the party visited
Knights Ferry and were shown the vineyards and immense wine vault of Abraham
Schell, by his nephew, H. R. Schell. Returning they tarried at the Oakdale irriga-
tion canal and several of the party walked through the 800-foot tunnel. Again in
Oakdale they were tendered a reception and banquet in the pavilion by the citizens.
Over 150 were present, the reception committee consisting of A. S. Emery, C. H.
Threlfall, E. L. Barkis, Supervisor J. W. Dunlap and M. A. Lewis. Toasts were
offered and three of the responses were: "Oakdale," Toseph Haslacher; "The Past,
Present and Future of Oakdale," C. S. S. Hill; "The>ress," W. C. Haliday of the
The Oakdale Societies
The oldest lodge is Oakdale Lodge No. 238, I. O. O. F., which was instituted
on Saturday evening, February 27, 1875, by John F. Miller, grand master, assisted
by the following grand officers pro tern: H. T. Dorrance, deputy district grand
master; A. T. Bartlett, grand warden; H. S. Winn, grand secretary; Henry Lewis
of Modesto, grand treasurer ; George Perley, Modesto, grand guardian ; C. F. Rea,
grand marshal, and H. A. Manchester, grand conductor. The deputy grand master,
marshal and conductor were from Stockton. The lodge was honored as H. T. Dor-
rance was a past grand master of Vermont and H. A. Manchester a past deputy
grand sire. The following were the charter members: A. G. Gardner, E. S.
Waterhouse, W. A. Coley, W. G. Werth, C. B. Ingalls, E. Monroe, and S. P.
Bailey. There was a large attendance of Odd Fellows from Modesto, Dry Creek,
Knights Ferry and Stockton. Two new members came in by card and eight candi-
dates were initiated. After the ceremony the lodge entertained their guests at a
banquet in Bob Patton's Hotel, formerly Harden's Hotel.
Ruth Lodge of the Rebekahs was instituted September 27, 1879, by J. A. Brown,
deputy district grand master. The charter membership comprised ten sisters and
thirteen brothers. They surrendered their charter in October, 1894.
Acorn Lodge No. 21 of the Rebekahs was instituted May 2, 1910, by Isabel
Anderson, deputy district president, with the following charter members: Sarah
Woodside, Maggie Crawford, Etha Palmer, Lottie SutclitT, Elizabeth Patterson,
HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 191
Addie J. Fowler, Ada Brooks, Eunice C. Reid, Bryon C. Sutcliff, Andrew J. Brooks,
Robert Reid, J. F. Fowler, William H. Palmer, and Eugene Crawford.
The Rebekahs, and, in fact, nearly all of the secret societies in Oakdale, hold
their meetings in Odd Fellows Hall on West Railroad Avenue between E and F
streets. A two-story brick building was erected in 1888, the building committee be-
ing comprised of Louis Kahn, A. Arnold, C. Crenfal, C. E. Davy and N. Talbot.
The hall was dedicated December 25 by Grand Master Charles N. Jenkins. The
pretty little hall was crowded and the exercises consisted of the singing of the ode.
vocal selections by the choir led by Professor Lawlor, and short talks by the grand
master and members. The program concluded with a public ball in the pavilion.
The Oakdale Masonic Lodge
Oakdale Lodge No. 275, F. & A. M., was granted a dispensation by Grand
Master Jonathan D. Hines June 24, 1884, and a charter was granted to them
October 16, 1884, with the following officers and members: Joseph Warner, worthy
master; Dennis B. Warfield, senior warden; John D. Crittenden, junior warden;
Jacob Haslacher, secretary; George F. Stearns, treasurer; John W. Tulloch, senior
deacon; Levi Bardo, junior deacon; James G. Booth and Thomas Richardson,
stewards, and Andrew J. Swift, tyler. The past masters were Joseph Warner and
J. D. Crittenden. The Master Masons were Archibald Beith, Silas Bishop, James
R. Broughtbn, Alexander Campbell, Win. H. Cook, Sampson Deeble, Caleb Dorsey,
John Hubel, George W. Lancaster and Edwin S. Waterhouse.
Knights of Pythias
It seems that a lodge of the Knights of Pythias was in existence in 1884. They
attended the state convention of Knights at Stockton April 8, 1884, and were then
the "baby lodge" of the state. They, however, surrendered their charter at some
later date. The uniform rank at that time comprised some thirty members, as follows:
W. C. Gilmer, commander; H. C. Watson, lieutenant; John Newman, herald;
Edward Pattie, Gus Fugitt, W. C. Matteson, J. C. Burt, John Parker, Henry Gray-
son, Rudolph Buchow, C. H. Head, B. Seeber, Edward Trimbley, Wm. Sheldon,
Frank Warner, James Collins, Scott Woodside, A. Carter, Frank Hill, John M.
Woodside, Charles Murray, Fred Crawford, John S. Kerr, H. Eveland, E. S. Watroys
and George Washington.
The second Knights of Pythias lodge was instituted December 16, 1899, by H.
Schoffner. He was assisted by George E. Perley, W. H. Bartel and W. A. Downer of
Modesto; C. A. Campbell of Stockton, George Conway and F. A. Roberson of Merced,
and J. W. Anderson of Oakdale. The following officers were elected and installed:
B. Seeber, J. H. Owens, A. D. Ames and J. A. Miller as past chancellors; R. E.
Murtha, chief chancellor; E. M. Endicott, vice-chancellor ; B. S. Thomer, prelate;
J. W. Anderson, master of work; Henry Sanders, keeper of records; A. S. Emery, mas-
ter of exchequer; J. C. Whyte, master of finance; C. W. Pointer, inside guardian: F.
W. Jesse, outside guardian ; Dr. C. A. Case, physician ; D. B. Warfield, Dr. Case and
B. Hoisholt, trustees.
Native Sons of the Golden West
Oakdale Parlor No. 142, N. S. G. W., was instituted in the early history of the
town but soon passed out of existence. It was again instituted, however, November 1,
1899, by Frank Madison, grand president, assisted by Hugh McNoble, grand trustee,
with charter membership of fifty-seven members, forty-two being initiated that night.
The following officers were elected and installed: J. W. Dunlap, past president;
J. A. Buthenuth, president; M. A. Lewis, first vice-president; R. L. Thompson,
second vice-president ; Earl P. Tulloch, third vice-president ; W. J. Hughes, treasurer ;
Edward Schadlich, recording secretary; J. H. Kahn, financial secretary; R. H. Archer,
inside sentinel ; B. L. Sesson, outside sentinel, and W. E. Miller, F. H. Randall and
William Hughes, trustees. A large delegation from Stockton Parlor No. 7 was in
attendance and at the close of the meeting all enjoyed a feast at the hotel.
192 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY
Woodmen of the World
Oakdale Camp No. 326, W. O. W., was instituted August 8, 1896. One of
the greatest log-rolling events of the camp was held June 24, 1911, which took place
in Hughes Hall. There was a large attendance of Woodmen from all parts of Cali-
fornia, over 300 arriving in a special train from Lodi and Stockton. A number of
the grand officers were present, these including the head consul, J. K. Boak of Den-
ver; deputy head consul, P. J. Gilman of San Francisco; head banker, A. E. Suther-
land of Fresno, and head manager, Thomas Robinson of Oakland. On arrival of
the visitors a procession was formed and after parading the principal streets to the
music of several bands, with illuminations of red fire and fireworks, the procession dis-
banded near the hall. The line of parade comprised the Woodmen of the World,
Rough Riders, Oakdale, Stockton Cornet Band, head officers in automobiles, Protec-
tion Uniform Camp, Stockton ; Tokay Camp, Lodi ; Saw Log Camo, Tracy ; Merced
Band, Uniform Team, Merced ; Waterford Uniform Camp, Modesto Silver Band,
Moss Rose Camp, Modesto, Oakdale Band and Oakdale Camp. The committee of
arrangements comprised Henry Sanders, chairman ; E. T. Gobin, Roy L. Acker, George
W. Baker and J. W. Hoffman, and after the closing of the lodge session they pro-
vided a large banquet in the Oakdale Milling warehouse.
The American Legion
The allied war with all of its horrors is not yet a dream but slowly it is fading
from memory and its only reminder is the high cost of living, the war tax and the
American Legion of Honor. The boys who crossed the sea and those who were dis-
appointed in not meeting the enemy have formed themselves into a Legion of jolly
good fellows. In every city they have their post, and Oakdale has its Legion of
valiant sons who fought for liberty and died. One of these who lost his life in the
service of his country was Stanley L. Collins.
The Stanley L. Collins Post
Stanley L. Collins Post, American Legion, was organized at Oakdale, November
27, 1919, by the Oakdale veterans. Its first officers were J. A. Young, president;
Charles Williams of Riverbank, first vice-president; Nathan Fereuson, secretary and