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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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drawing a six-shooter, shot Arnold, who died in a few minutes.

In 1854 the first drilled oil well was sunk at Oil City, Pa., in the garden of Samuel
Smith, father of M. O. Smith of Knights Ferry. That was the beginning of
petroleum and coal oil in the world's commerce. Smith that year came to California
and, locating at Knights Ferry, he and Monell Locke assisted in building the flour
mill that was washed out in the flood of 1862. He died six years ago and his son is
still growing oranges at Knights Ferry. — Press report, June 5, 1901.

The new town of Merced was being rapidly built up in February, 1872, and the
steamer Empire City, with the barge Franklin, sailed up the San Joaquin River with
seven loads of lumber for that place.

One of the greatest grain and pasture fires in the history of Stanislaus County was
that of July, 1906. Starting late Saturday night on the West Side, it burned until
the following Wednesday, destroying over 20,000 acres of grain and pasture land.
The fire burned on both sides of Georgias Creek and extended south along the foot-
hills as far as Merced County. Hundreds of men with gang plows, water wagons
and wet sacks fought the fire, but failing to stop its progress it finally burned itself out.

The Stanislaus Republican Club met in Ross hall, August 24, 1872, for a per-
manent organization and active work during the campaign. The following officers
were elected: J. S. Alexander, president; W. Witherell and Fred Keet, vice-presi-
dents; J. C. James, secretary, and Charles Post, treasurer. The Honorable J. M.
Cavis of Stockton addressed the club on the political issues of the campaign. He
made a very able and forceful address and his speech was highly appreciated by
those fortunate enough to hear him.

Smith & Overheiser of Patterson's ranch, in this county, make it their exclusive
business to raise Patterson's Merino sheep for themselves and the market, said the
Herald, September 27, 1872. The flock numbers some 3,000 head of the purest
blood in America. Their immense flock comes from sixty-seven head of Spanish
Merino sheep imported into California in 1860 by the late John D. Patterson. The
shearing of these sheep this season amounts to 30,000 pounds of wool of the finest



222 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

quality. At the state and county fairs they exhibited sixty-seven sheep and carried off
the first premiums. The sheep were on sale and one buck was sold for $200. Thirty-
eight pounds of wool was sheared from one of the finest rams this season.

Mrs. De Yoe of this county a few days ago signed a contract with Clark &
Heriery of Stockton to build 430 feet of bulkhead along the levee of her ranch. —
July 31, 1899.

September 9, 1873. — Judge Samuel D. Booker, judge of the district court, arrived
yesterday from his Stockton home to hold court in Modesto today. He was accom-
panied by the court reporter, Edward E. Hood, and by Judge David S. Terry, who
comes on official business. The court will convene for the first time in the new
courthouse.

In August, 1906, between 700 and 800 acres of fine pasture land about four
miles southeast of Oakdale was destroyed by fire in a rather peculiar manner. The
fire was caused by the running away of a team of horses. The driver set the brakes
and the wheels, coming in contact with rocks, struck fire, setting fire to the grass.

This evening about six o'clock Chapman & McKennan's gas works took fire,
causing considerable excitement. A Babcock fire extinguisher was soon on hand and
the flames quickly distinguished. — Modesto Neics, November 6, 1873.

Riverbank has a brass band. The new band effected its organization January 17,
1920, by electing J. A. Snively band leader. The membership comprises twenty-five
men, all of them having instruments, and eighteen of them are expert players. They
will meet for practice in the Harding building.

One of the most important transactions in the history of Oakdale was completed
April 2, 1918, when Armour & Company, the big Chicago packers, bought the plant
and all of the stock of the Oakdale Creamery Company. This is the first entry into
the California butter field of the Chicago capitalist, with a capital of $1,000,000. It
will be operated as the Oakdale Creamery and will be in charge of A. D. Schadlich.

In September, 1872, a press reporter, writing of the progress of Modesto, said,
"The large building near the depot being erected by Mr. Peters already contains a
large amount of grain in storage. Isaac Friedlander's warehouse is being completed
rapidly and will hold 7,000 tons of grain. The brick work on Eastin & Wilson's two-
story building, corner of I and Tenth streets, is finished ready for the fireproof roof.
Mr. Farrish is excavating for his new brick on the corner of G and Ninth streets,
which he intends to use as a store. D. S. Husband will soon be ready to commence
his new two-story brick structure on I and Tenth streets. Mr. Chapman contem-
plates erecting a brick next to Mr. Farrish and Mr. Brickman will shortly build a
brick building on the site now occupied by his place of business. Mr. Brown, the
photographer, will erect a second story on his building on Ninth Street to be used
by him as a photograph gallery."

The entire San Joaquin Valley is interested in the third annual festival to be
held in Modesto May 3 and 4. Throughout the valley Modesto is known as the
musical center and the Modesto Choral Society are working to make this festival
larger and better than ever before. Among the famous soloists to take part in the
concerts are Mrs. Zilpha Jenkins, soprano; Mrs. Carroll Nicholson, contralto; Charles
Bulotti, tenor, and Lowell Redfield, bass, the famous San Francisco artists. Last
year the festival was held in a temporary covered pavilion in the center of the main
street. This year it will be in the immense auditorium seating 2,000 persons. — April
29, 1912.

The demands upon the Modesto Gas Company have been so large because of the
growth of the city that the company have applied to the railroad commissioners for
authority to issue $65,000 first mortgage bonds at six per cent. The company intends
to erect a $45,000 gas holder and install generating apparatus at a cost of $12,000.
In the vear 1918 the gas consumers numbered 1,420 as against 1,308 the previous
year.— July 12, 1919.

The overwhelming defeat of the high school bonds makes it clear, says the News,
that the people do not want to spend $110,000 for a high school on a single block of
land, with the traditional courses of study as its principal feature. They want a high



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 223

school that will prepare the young people for their life duties in a better way than is
done on the old traditional lines. They want manual training, shop practice, agriculture,
and domestic science made the leading features. Furthermore, they want the students
to have play room for their athletic sports and their practice work. — February 7, 1911.

1876. — Oakdale Lodge No. 228, I. O. O. F., will celebrate its first anniversary
February 28 in Patterson's hall. An oration will be delivered in the early part of the
evening to be followed by a grand ball. The tickets, including supper, are three
dollars.

The Salida Library Society met Thursday evening in Maple hall and nine new
members were added to the list. New books are being purchased and Robert Miller
kindly offered to subscribe for the Library Digest for the use of the librarv directors.
—February 5, 1912.

January 3, 1920. — At their request, the Oakdale city council will license the
Jaundrymen at a figure high enough to keep outside laundrymen from getting the
cream of their patronage. Frank Grangers, one of the aggrieved laundrymen, says
that he has expended $12,000 in putting in a first-class equipment and should be pro-
tected from outside laundrymen, who run wagons into the city and pay no city taxes.

November 1, 1911. — Charles M. Hatfield, the so-called rain maker, has again
signed up with the land holders in Stanislaus County to increase the annual rainfall.
This is his seventh yearly contract and it calls for not less than ten inches of rain
between November 1 and May 1, 1912. The rainfall is six and a half inches, and
last year he increased it to over thirteen inches. His territory extends from Volta
on the south to Westley on the north. His headquarters last year were at Crows
Landing, but this year he will set up his towers at Newman.

A wedding of considerable interest to the citizens of Stanislaus County took
place in Berkeley on October 12, 1911, when A. E. Schadlich and Miss Nellie
Saunders were united in marriage by an Episcopal minister of Berkeley. The mar-
riage took place at the home of Miss Charlotte Nichols. Mrs. Schadlich was for-
merly the bookkeeper in Hughes' store, where her fiance first met her. Mr. Schadlich
is one of the best-known residents of Stanislaus County, and he and his brother own
and conduct the Live Oak Inn.

October 26, 1911. — The Central Baptist Association was organized in Ceres a
few days ago. The association comprises eight churches in this district organized to
carry on a more aggressive campaign in church work in the central part of the state.
The following officers of the association were elected: Moderator, C. F. Daniels of
Hughson; vice-moderator, Rev. J. M. Hensley of Ceres; clerk, Rev. D. J. Weddie
of Turlock; treasurer, H. C. LefHngwell of Modesto.

October 28, 1911. — An irrigation convention was held yesterday in Modesto
with W. A. Patterson of Oakdale presiding, and E. N. Pierce and Mrs. M. Sorenson,
acting secretaries. During the order of business, Attorney L. L. Dennett was author-
ized to prepare a memorial to Governor Johnson asking him to incorporate in his
call of a special session of the Legislature a provision that that bod)- may pass irriga-
tion district laws.

May 22, 1912. — The board of supervisors yesterday counted the returns of the
primary election with the following result: Roosevelt, 1,591 ; Taft, 554; La Follette,
791. The high licensing of saloons was bottled with the following result; No, 5,250;
yes, 2,106. As the result of this election the sixteen saloons in the county outside of
incorporated cities must close their doors within the next ten days.

May 4, 1912. — An amusing incident occurred in the auditorium last evening
as the Modesto Choral Society were giving their first evening concert. Just as the
orchestra were taking their seats after the ten minutes' intermission, an electric fuse
blew out, leaving the room in total darkness. From out of the solemn silence there
came a loud voice from the stage saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, the next number on
the program will be 'Hold Thou My Hand.' " The laugh that followed relieved the
tension, and everybody began talking to his neighbor. Mr. Redfield, the celebrated
baritone, who had come up from San Francisco to take part in the concert, came out



224 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

in the darkness and sang the old favorite song, "Drink to Me Only with Thine
Eyes." In a few minutes the new fuse was placed and the concert continued.

May 13, 1912. — The Modesto high school debating club defeated the Newman
high school club in the Modesto auditorium Friday evening. The Newman club,
represented by E. Beall, F. McGinnis and L. Hoyt, took the affirmative side of the
question, "Resolved, That the Panama Canal should be operated by the Government
for profit." The winning debaters were H. Breseiner, Jennie Commez and Win.
Moore.

May 25, 1912. — Hog raising is becoming an important industry in Stanislaus
County, and while it is the shipping of dairy products that this section is noted for,
says the Herald, many carloads of hogs leave Modesto during the month. Kincaid &
Sons report that they have shipped six carloads from Modesto to San Francisco since
May 1. The large amount of hog business already done here has proven that this
industry is a profitable one to the farmer.

Considerable amusement was afforded the citizens in the business section of
Modesto by the enforcement of the traffic ordinance when it went into effect.
Policemen Elliott and Smith stood on the corner of I and Tenth streets, and they
were busy all day directing the drivers of horses and the auto chauffeurs how to turn
the street corners in accordance with the law.

February 13, 1906. — Coroner Howell arrived at Modesto early this morning
from Waterford, having in charge the remains of the young man twenty-four years
of age who was accidentally killed at that place on Monday last. The young fellow,
Harry Theinon, was a member of the railroad crew engaged in building a bridge
across the Tuolumne River. While standing on the structure he failed to see the loco-
motive moving along, and the engine, striking him, he was knocked off the bridge anc
almost instantly killed.

January 1, 1920. — The livestock breeders of Stanislaus County have started to
organize a breeders' association to further their interests generally, and incidentally
to establish a fair grounds in Modesto where they can exhibit animals and hold big
sales from time to time.

March 7, 1912. — Thomas Maxwell, an Oakdale boy, will run against Roy Acker,
present incumbent, for city clerk at the next municipal election. Roy Acker has made
a good and efficient officer and he has a host of friends. The fight will be a hot one,
as both boys are very popular and capable. Alban Rydberg will run for city treasurer.

December 20, 1911. — Work is rapidly progressing on the sewer and water
system that is being installed in Oakdale and when completed it will be one of the
most up-to-date systems in the San Joaquin Valley. The sewer pipe is laid in the
center of the street from two to eight feet to get the proper grade. James Griffith,
the local cement contractor, has just begun work on the big concrete reservoir on
the Cottle hill about a mile from town. It will be about sixty feet in diameter and
twenty-five feet above the top of the hill, will hold 500,000 gallons of water. This
will give a water supply and hose pressure in case of fire, not excelled by any other
city in the valley.

May 25, 1912. — At a meeting of business men held in Druids hall Saturday
afternoon, the Modesto taxpayers' league was formed. To block the coming pro-
hibition movement, they intend to present a petition to the city trustees requesting them
to call a vote of the people calling for an ordinance licensing the saloon $1,000 a year,
with specific regulations of the liquor traffic.

February 22, 1906. — Ora McHenry, president of the First National Bank of
Modesto, died at his home yesterday of cancer of the intestines. He was the wealthiest
man in the county and one of the most enterprising and progressive men in the valley.
As the owner of the Fresno meat market and the principal stockholder in the Henry
Packing Company on the Bald Eagle ranch, he controlled largely the meat product of
this section of country. His estate is estimated to be worth close to a million dollars,
as he had stock in a number of banks and 20,000 acres of land in this county.

June 21, 1912. — The plans for the annual festival of the Woman's Improvement
Club of Modesto are being perfected and the fiesta will take place June 27-28. In



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 225

boosting the fiesta, five automobile loads of the members of the club made a tour of
the eastern section of the county. The women who made trip comprised Mesdames
H. Hart, E. C. Dozier, H. W. Husband, J. A. Edwards, C. A. Threfall, C. B.
Husted, J. J. McMahon, J. Frank Russell, C. R. Weeks, Wm. H. Langdon, Geo.
P. Schafer, J. P. Coffee, F. A. Cressey, W. H. Bowker, Taza Grollman, D. C.
Wood, H. A. Bates, D. C. Davidson, and W. J. Scoon.

July 2, 1919. — At a meeting of the Oakdale high school board of trustees they
voted to raise the salaries of all the teachers $200 per year. This is the second in-
crease this month because of the high cost of living, the teachers having been given
$50 per year increase some two weeks ago. This was an additional amount given by
the trustees, as the teachers had already signed their contracts for the year 1919-20.

April 25, 1912. — The gold medal contest given in Maple hall, Salida, on April
16 by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was won by Mrs. Reuter Joliff of
Woodland colony, who competed with Inez Bowman, Leona Jennings, Isabelle Black-
man and Wallace Van Leoz of Modesto, and Mrs. L. Lollich and Florence Wilder
of Salida.

June 7, 1912. — Auctioneer Clark Kefford held a sale of dairy cattle on the
McDonald ranch Wednesday of twenty-six Jersey and Holstein cows, which sold at
an average price of $68.35 per head.

June 2, 1901. — Oakdale will have a fine celebration this year and Attorney
Hugh R. McNoble, a prominent member of the Native Sons, born in "old Cala-
veras," will deliver the oration. Congressman James C. Needham of Modesto will
be the president of the dav. Twentv-five Knights Ferry Native Sons will appear in
parade uniform, and the Modesto Native Sons will attend, accompanied by a band.

March 9, 1912. — The powder magazine of the Utah Construction Company,
now engaged in building the Oakdale canal, was blown up yesterday. Singularly
enough, not a person was injured. The magazine contained two carloads of black
blasting powder and about fifty boxes of giant powder, which did not explode. The
magazine was located about a mile from the city and was constructed of three-inch
plank, armored with quarter-inch steel. The town was shaken by the force of the
terrific explosion and for a time the citizens were badly frightened.

January 13, 1906. — During the past year Stanislaus Countv jumped from the
seventh to the fifth place as a producer of butter in California and is closelv pressing
Fresno for the fourth place in the butter world. Fresno in 1905 produced 2,166,048
pounds of butter, while Stanislaus produced 2,006.071 pounds of butter.

January 19, 1911. — The Salida Library Association recentlv held a meeting in
Maple Hall and elected officers for the ensuing year. The following officers were
elected: President. Ralph Thompson; vice-president. T. Scott; secretary' and treas-
urer, Sadie Fox. The books will be moved to Ralph Thompson's store and Miss Mar-
garet Byington will be the librarian.

February 11, 1920. — At an election held yesterday in the Modesto Irrigation
District, the question of issuing $2,550,000 bonds for the completion of the Don Pedro
dam project carried by a vote of 1,556 for and 96 against the issue. The proposition
of issuing $1,208,000 bonds for the putting in of a power plant also carried by a vote
of 1,491 to 109. The $500,000 bonds for drainage carried, 1,499 to 92.

December 16, 1881. — An exciting trial was in progress yesterday in Justice
Burney's court when Ducker & Casebolt, restaurant and saloon proprietors, were on
trial for violation of the Sunday law. The trial commenced the day previous and
two venires were exhausted in obtaining a jury. The trial was held in the superior
court room to accommodate the crowd who were deeply interested in the outcome.
The saloonkeepers were defended by Russell Ward.

June 2, 1901. — Clarence Hewel is on his way home from the Philippine Islands
to visit his folks in Modesto, says the Herald, and will arrive in San Francisco June
15. He was on the battleship Oregon throughout the Spanish War. He received
the orders from Secretary Long of the Navy granting him permission to return home
just two hours before he was to start on a long cruise.



226 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

January 31, 1906. — The Modesto district school trustees met last evening in the
store of Robert Elder for the purpose of considering the plans for the proposed new
school building on the west side of the railroad track. Several plans were submitted,
among them two from the Stockton architects, George Rushforth and Beasley & Son.
The Rushforth plan is for a four-room brick building covered with cement, the ap-
proximate cost being $14,320. The Beasley plan also shows a four-room brick build-
ing, Mission style, with wide halls, costing $12,000.

February 3, 1920.— The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs of Oakdale held a joint
installation January 29 and the following officers were installed: Oakdale Lodge —
Noble grand, William Rafter; vice-grand, George Wilds; secretary, M. P. Kearney;
treasurer, E. C. Crawford; warden, M. Hildberger; conductor, Earl Anderson.
Rebekahs — Sitting past grand, Rosa Ames; noble grand, Lulu French; vice-grand,
Ruth Lord; secretary, Ada L. Brooks; treasurer, Martha Arnold; warden, Luella
Byington; conductor, Zella Reynolds.

July 1, 1919. — After some thirty years of continuous business seven days a week,
the saloons of Newman closed their doors at midnight last night with comparatively
little excitement or unusual features. A notable number of "last chances" were taken
during the day and evening and under the particular conditions the officers were a
little lenient in checking hard drinking, so that there were more drunks than for
many moons.

June 30, 1901. — -The northern part of Stanislaus County near Eugene was
visited yesterday and last night by one of the most disastrous grain fires in the history
of the county. Ten thousand acres were burned over, half of which was in stands
of wheat and barley of good crop. The fire is supposed to have started from a camp-
fire on the county road. The heat was intense and many of the men were pros-
trated while fighting the flames. Two barns were destroyed and several combined
harvesters had a narrow escape from destruction. The total loss is between $25,000
and $30,000.

Edward R. Crawford, one of the best-known citizens of Stanislaus County, died
at his home near Oakdale January 12, 1906. He was one of the earliest settlers of
the county, coming from his native state, Michigan, and locating on the ranch where
he died at the age of seventy years. He was regarded as one of the most practical
and successful farmers of the county. He leaves behind a son, Henry, and three
daughters, Gertrude and Margaret, who live on the home ranch, and Mrs. Archibald
L. Finney, wife of the county survej'or, who lives in Modesto. The second-named
daughter is a teacher in the Oakdale school.

July 10, 1919. — The long-standing controversy over the ownership of the
Goodwin dam was settled yesterday when F. W. Reeder paid into the Tuolumne
court $10,500, which was the amount awarded the heirs of Howard Preston. Preston
had a mine which he later abandoned as being of no value, and it was sold to the state
for nonpayment of taxes. When, however, he learned that the dam had flooded his
mine, he redeemed the mine from the state and commenced suit against the Oakdale
and South San Joaquin Irrigation District for $15,000 damages. The trustees re-
fused to pay this holdup, claiming that he had abandoned the mine as worthless, but
after a long litigation they concluded to pay the amount.

January 31, 1920. — Real estate is again on the boom in Oakdale, due in a
measure to the oil excitement a mile from town. One man, H. T. Griffith, has
already profited by the oil excitement by selling 100 acres to James Coates and his
associates of Stockton at $100 per acre. He offered the same land a year ago at
$38 per acre, with no buyers in sight.

In Modesto February 24, 1906, a no-saloon license meeting was held in Mc-
Henry hall to nominate a city municipal ticket. The call for the meeting, which was
signed bv Henry Turner, L. O. Ferguson, C. W. Webster, T- M. Finlev, Garrison
Turner, J. E. Saunders, J. W. Wherry, B. J. Smith, B. H. Kendall and J. W. Webb,
all strong no-liquor men, said, "All citizens interested in the material and moral
welfare of our growing city are invited to a meeting in the McHenry hall February
24 for the nomination of a straight no-license saloon ticket for the coming municipal



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 227

election." The citizens met at the place named on March 5, 1906, and nominated

B. J. Smith and J. H. Hudelson for city trustees, and L. S. Martin for marshal.
As the nominees made by the other party were satisfactory to the no-license men, they
made no nominations for city clerk or city treasurer.

March 23, 1906. — The trustees of the Modesto school district will call for
bonds in the sum of $17,000 for a new school building and furniture on the west side
of the railroad track. The election is called for April 14 and the following officers of
the election have been appointed: L. B. Walthall, inspector, and H. P. Weyer and

C. W. Perley, judges. The bonds will bear five per cent interest and run for twenty-



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 35 of 177)