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 62 of 177)
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came to California in the year 1853, located near French Camp, San Joaquin County,
and engaged in fanning and stock raising. John Campbell was an Ohioan who grew



up on a farm and was about twenty-one years old when he crossed the wide plains. In
San Joaquin County he was married to Miss Savilla A. Funck, an orphan who was
adopted into the Funck family near Burlington, Iowa, while an infant. Her real
name was Dotterwich, and she was born near Burlington, and came West with Mr.
and Mrs. J. P. Funck. She grew up on a ranch near Farmington, east of Stockton,
and died in Stockton in February, 1920, aged seventy-eight years. John Campbell
died at Farmington in 1873, when forty years old. There were seven children in the
family, and six grew to maturity.

The oldest and the only one now in Modesto, John F. Campbell, has spent all
of his time in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. When fourteen he began work-
ing out by the month on Funck's farm, where he drove horses and mules ; and he
assisted his father, who ran the hotel there for years, was a justice of the peace and
also postmaster. He died when the subject was about thirteen years old, and so the
lad had to help make a living for the family. He had only a few years of public
schooling, and then he worked on Funck's farm until he was twenty-two.

In 1882 he bought a half interest in a threshing outfit, run by a portable steam
engine, and the next year he bought his partner out, and for twenty seasons managed
the outfit. During three of the twenty seasons he operated four headers, and threshed
grain from the header wagons. He was one of the few men who ever made threshing
pay; and his biggest day was reached when he threshed 2,007 sacks of barley, another
day with 1,607 sacks of wheat. So, also, the biggest season's threshing averaged 1,220
sacks for the day. Besides threshing, he farmed and raised wheat and barley in San
Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. For a while he rented land ; then he made his first
purchase near Newman in 1891, when in partnership with Fred Bartch of Grayson,
he bought 800 acres. At the same time that he was running the threshing outfit, he
also ran a barley crusher, aijd for twenty-five summers he moved around from place
to place with it. He crushed barley for farmers in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced,
Madera, Fresno and Tulare counties, and employed a foreman and an engineer, and
at times was also present with his threshing rigs. To that extent was he interested in
farming that he ranched as much as 2,000 acres in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

In January, 1911, Mr. Campbell embarked in the real estate business. He
assessed before the threshing season commenced each year from 1895 until 1911, but
the last eight years of his official career his time was almost entirely taken up with
the assessor's work. He went into the assessor's office during the hard times of the
Cleveland administration, when land values had depreciated very much, and found
that the assessed values of the county were placed at from eighty to one hundred fifty
per cent of their real worth. Property was then so depressed that it was almost
impossible there to sell land at any price. He found that in other counties, especially
the big and rich ones, were assessed at from only fifteen to twenty-five per cent of
their actual value. A third of the taxes, too, at that time went to the state. So he
set about manfully at the task of reducing the valuations in Stanislaus County before
the State Board of Equalization, and he brought on a hard, bitter and long fight. He
persisted, however, and never gave up until the values here were lowered to an
equality with the standard of the assessed values of other counties. This made a sav-
ing of from $20,000 to $40,000 to the taxpayers of Stanislaus County which, had it
not been for our subject's efforts, would have been unjustly extorted.

In 1911 Mr. Campbell started in the real estate and insurance business in part-
nership with J. M. Moyle and opened an office in the Schafer Building, where they
remained until the following May, when they moved to 909 Tenth Street. Mr.
Moyle retired from the firm in 1915, and the firm was John F. Campbell, a name
among the best known and most dependable in Stanislaus County. In 1920, the firm
was changed to J. F. Campbell & Son. They deal in fire insurance, representing the
Law Union and Rock, the Queen, the Commercial Union Association, the Union
Assurance, the New Zealand, the Insurance Company of North America, the Stand-
ard Insurance Company, and he represents the Ocean, Accident & Guarantee Com-
pany, and the United States Fidelity & Guarantee Company. He also represents the
Mutual Building and Loan Association of Los Angeles. He deals in lands in Stanis-


laus County and even in other counties and states. A stanch Republican, Mr. Camp-
bell has attended the State Conventions at Sacramento as a delegate, and has done
his full share in political circles in the county.

At Stockton, on April 7, 1885, Mr. Campbell was married to Miss Hattie E.
Rogers, a native of and reared in and near French Gulch, Cal., and the daughter of
Benjamin F. Rogers, the well-known pioneer, who married Helen Clark at Reno, and
later was chief of police of Stockton. Four children were born to them. Erroll P.,
now employed by the U. S. Government as petroleum engineer, with headquarters in
Bakersfield, with his field covering west of the Rockies. He was graduated from
the Modesto high school and Stanford University, where he was considered a crack
athlete, being a prize-winner at the track and field day events. He made a state
record, and they sent him East one year with the Stanford track team, and another
year he went East with the Olympic Club of San Francisco. He is a sprinter, pole
vaulter and high jumper, and a specialist in putting the shot. Hazel E. is at home,
studying to be a trained nurse; and Ruth L. was stationed at Washington, D. C,
during the war in the Government service, in the Adjutant-General's office. She
was code girl, coding messages from France ; and at times she received messages ahead
of even the President. She took a two-year course in music and elocution in Texas
and a year in Detroit. The youngest member of the family is Howard F., who gradu-
ated from the Modesto high school, became a student at Stanford, and enlisted in the
Naval Reserve. He was located at San Pedro from June, 1918, to January, -1919,
when he was honorably discharged, after which he returned to Stanford on April 1,
1919. He also has been an athlete and made a record as such at the Modesto high
school and at Stanford, where he "made" the football team as a freshman. He is
now a partner with his father.

Mr. Campbell belongs to the Knights of Pythias of Modesto, where he is ex-
chancellor commander, and he is prominent in the United Artisans of Modesto,
having been treasurer ever since it started in this city in 1897. He is also a member
of the Woodmen of the World. The family reside at 310 Elmwood Street.

JOHN FERGUSON STEWART.— Newman is one of the principal milk
shipping centers of the Pacific Coast today, and it is interesting to recall that this vast
industry has been developed within the past twenty-five years; for it was John Fergu-
son Stewart who shipped the first can of cream from Crows Landing to San Fran-
cisco in 1896, paying the regular rate of express. During the years that have inter-
vened, the dairy business in Crows Landing and Newman have come into their
own, with special transportation rates, special legislation along various lines, special
milk products companies, etc., and throughout all that time the man who took the
initiative and drove the opening wedge has taken an active interest in every move-
ment for the development of this great industry and the upbuilding of the community.
Since 1890 Mr. Stewart has made Crows Landing his home and market center
and so for more than thirty years has been identified with its welfare. He was born
near St. John, New Brunswick, October 7, 1858, where his father, Jno. Stewart, a
native of Perth, Scotland, was engaged in farming, and there he had married Christine
Ferguson, born in New Brunswick, and John F. was the oldest of their family of five
children. When he was eight years of age his parents came to California, locating for
the first year at Petaluma, and then settled at Rio Vista, Solano County, where Mr.
Stewart purchased a half section of land on which he raised grain and hay, and there
they passed the remainder of their days. Here John F. Stewart grew to young man-
hood, attending the public schools and later attended the University of the Pacific,
now the College of the Pacific, at San Jose. Always energetic and ambitious, he quit
college in his senior year to carve out his own fortune. Then, with his brother Robert,
he bought a half section adjoining his father, where he did general farming.

In San Jose, December 4, 1888, he was married to Miss Nellie Crow, born in
Shaw's Flat, Tuolumne County, his bride being the daughter of Clinton P. and
Margarette (Stewart) Crow, and a descendant from one of the oldest and best-known
pioneer families of the state. Clinton P. and Margarette Crow came to California
in 1849 over the plains in an ox-team train and settled near Crows Landing, giving


this location its name. The country was then in a very wild state, but they engaged in
stock raising and were very successful, Mr. Crow making several trips across the
plains, bringing cattle, horses and mules from the Middle 1 West to his ranches. They
have both passed away. Nellie Crow was reared and educated in Stockton.

Mr. Stewart made his first visit to Newman in 1889 and a year later returned to
make this his home, and with his brother Robert purchased 560 acres near Crows
Landing. This they improved and farmed by taking out the first permanent ditch
from the Orestimba Creek to irrigate their lands. In 1900 he sold his interest in this
land, previously purchased and bought a quarter section south of where he has since
made his home. The land is devoted to general farming. He also leases additional
lands, controlling in all about 400 acres, engaging in grain and stock raising.

Hard working and capable and regarded as one of the most progressive citizens
of the county, Mr. Stewart always stands ready to give his aid and support to matters
of public moment. During the recent World War he rendered valuable service as a
member of the local draft board. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart are both active members of
the Presbyterian Church in Crows Landing, in which he has been an elder since its
organization. They are the parents of three children: Margaret, a graduate of the
University of California, now teaching in Napa high school ; Irving was in the Medi-
cal Department of the Aviation Section of the U. S. Army as sergeant till mustered
out after a service of over two years ; he is now engaged in farming near home ; Ruth is
attending the University of California. Mr. Stewart has been elected assessor, tax
collector and treasurer of the West Stanislaus Irrigation District, a district formed
to formulate plans for securing water to irrigate about 36,000 acres of West Side
lands extending from Merced County across Stanislaus to San Joaquin County. Thus
it is seen that Mr. Stewart has been active and progressive in the development and
upbuilding of the West Side and can always be counted on to aid all movements for
the improvement of the locality.

SIMON NEWMAN.— The founder of Newman, one of Central California's
thriving communities, and for many years identified with all its business and industrial
affairs, the late Simon Newman had the genius of a business builder, the power of
attracting to himself those elements which constitute success. The immense mercantile
and ranch interests of the Simon Newman Company are a present monument to the
unusual organizing ability of this pioneer.

Simon Newman was born at Mellrichstadt, Germany, in 1846, where he grew
up and received a good education during his early years. Coming to the United States
at the age of fifteen, when seventeen he enlisted and served in the Civil War, thus
early identifying himself with the life and problems of his adopted country. After the
close of the war, he came to California and spent some time in the mines. He soon
began clerking and there he laid the first foundations of his insight into the mercantile
business which he made such an outstanding success in later years.

Coming to Hill's Ferry, in Stanislaus County, he was one of its pioneers and there
he conducted a store which he conducted until the Southern Pacific Railroad built its
road through in 1889, when he built and opened the first store at Newman, which was
named in his honor. Mr. Newman started this store in a small way, beginning
modestly so as to conform to the growth of the section, but always keeping ahead of
the needs and demands of the community, and now it is known as one of the largest
corporations on the Pacific Coast, the establishment at Newman carrying the most
complete and diversified line of merchandise in this part of the state.

Another vast interest of the Simon Newman Company is the ranch, comprising
several thousand acres, lying north of Newman. Formerly in the great grain center
of the West Side, the property had been highly improved and now has a fine irriga-
tion system, making intensive cultivation possible. Thousands of acres of grain and
alfalfa are grown to supply the dairies and the thousands of cattle roaming over the
hills. The Simon Newman ranch features Hereford cattle and they own the finest
herd of this stock on the Pacific Coast, the milking herd comprising from 1,200 to
1 ,400 cows. A visit to the offices of the Simon Newman Company at Newman would
be of great interest to those interested in thoroughbred cattle, for on the walls one


would see hundreds of "first prize" ribbons framed and many pictures of fine Hereford
cattle on the walls, besides the many prize cups won. In addition to the large land
holdings in Stanislaus and Merced counties, the company has a chain of seven large
grain warehouses, which handle an immense amount of business.

The affairs of both the ranch and the mercantile business enlarged so rapidly
that in 1898 the Simon Newman Company was incorporated, with its founder as its
president. He then established his headquarters and offices at San Francisco and
made his residence there, continuing as the head and directing genius of the colossal
enterprise he had developed until his death on October 6, 1909. He had in addition
many other large interests; he was founder of the Bank of Newman and its president
until his resignation; he was president of Newman Bros., grain merchants of San
Francisco; president of the Pacific Vinegar and Pickle Works at Haywards, and
president of the North Alaska Salmon Company.

In San Francisco Simon Newman was united in marriage with Miss Pauline
Strauss, whose father was a pioneer of the Bay metropolis. She passed away in 1907,
leaving to mourn her loss five children: Mrs. Blum and Mrs. Cahn of San Fran-
cisco; Louis J., the vice-president and resident manager of the Simon Newman Com-
pany, whose sketch appears on another page of this history; S. W. and E. S. Newman
are in business in San Francisco.

The West Side of Stanislaus County was indeed fortunate in the early days of
its development in having a man of Mr. Newman's forcefulness at the helm, for the
present generation is reaping the benefits of his far-sightedness and ability and his
early recognition of the possibilities, unbounded in their scope, of this garden spot of
Central California. A leader among men, he was prominent among his associates and
stood high in the ranks of the Masons and Odd Fellows.

HUMPHREY LINCOLN WILLIAMS.— Among the progressive business men
of Knights Ferry and Buena Vista, and known as live wires throughout the county,
are Humphrey L. and Thos. L. Williams of Williams Bros., ranchers and cattlemen,
the sons of an intrepid Argonaut, Louis Williams, a pioneer of Buena Vista and
Knights Ferry, who had extensive holdings in the eastern end of Stanislaus County
and the western part of Tuolumne County.

Louis Williams was born in North Wales and came to America in the year of
1849, making the perilous trip around the Horn, and landing in San Francisco, in
1849, where he spent some time as a gold miner. Deciding to make California his
home, in 1858 he made a trip back East and chose for his life .companion Miss Jane
Thomas. She was also born in North Wales and had come to Pennsylvania. The
young people had been acquainted in Wales, and upon returning to California, this
time by the way of the Isthmus of Panama, settled at Two Mile Bar, where he ran
a store and continued mining. Later he proved up on a homestead and preempted land
in Western Tuolumne County, and then becoming interested in stock raising he quit
the mercantile business and mining and went into farming and cattle raising. His
first wife died at Two Mile Bar, about five or six years after their marriage. So in
1866 he again made a trip to Pottsville, Pa., and while there married a second time,
being united with Miss Elizabeth Thomas, a sister of his first wife, and soon after
their marriage he returned to California with his bride, continuing as a cattle grower
until his death, which occurred on November 19, 1872, at the age of fifty-six years.
The property and business, 1,180 acres, remained in his wife's name until her death,
March 1, 1910, at the ripe old age of eighty-three, when the property was inherited
by her two sons, H. L. and T. L. Williams, her only children, who now conduct
the business under the firm name of Williams Bros.

Humphrey L, Williams was born September 23, 1867, on Williams ranch, in the
western part of Tuolumne County, and being the elder of the two sons, although very
young, felt it his duty to do all he could to help his widowed mother, and in assuming
this responsibility he really did himself a good turn, for it was in this way that he
learned the cattle business. "Linck" Williams, as he is familiarly called by his friends,
attended the public schools of Buena Vista, Stanislaus Countv, then went to the
San Joaquin Valley College, near Woodbridge, in San Joaquin County, and graduated



from the business department. He became an expert stenographer, being able to write
280 words per minute. He was first employed as bookkeeper for the Fancher Creek
Nursery, in Fresno, eighteen months, then as clerk in Knights Ferry, but the outlook in
the cattle business was more prosperous so he quit this work and went back to stock
raising. He also owns a half interest in an ochre mine near Knights Ferry, which is
operated under the firm name of Prowse and Williams, getting from $7.50 to $10
per ton for their product.

In 1905, at Northport, Mich., Mr. Williams was married to Miss Tina Ethel
Johns and they are the parents of two children, Albert Louis, and Elizabeth L. Mr.
Williams and his brother, Thomas L., operate the home place together, using it for
the raising of high-grade Hereford and Durham cattle, and having added to it a num-
ber of times, they have increased the acreage until the total acreage is 1,580 acres,
running from 150 to 200 head of beef cattle on it. Mr. Williams is also the owner,
individually, of 311 acres of stock range land below Two Mile Bar. Their brand
is L. W., recorded in Tuolumne County as early as May 18, 1852.

The junior member of the firm, Thomas L. Williams, was born February 3,
1870. He attended the public schools of Knights Ferry and in the year of 1912 mar-
ried Miss Anne Kahl of Tuolumne County, whose grandparents were pioneer gold
miners at Rawhide and Jamestown. She was born and reared in Jamestown. Mr.
and Mrs. Williams are the parents of four children: Ernest, Lewis, Leslie and Wil-
liam. Mr. Williams has a five-year lease on the Grayson Inn at old Buena Vista, one
mile southeast of Knights Ferry on the south side of Stanislaus Road on the main state
highway, with its wonderful paved roads, from Oakdale to Chinese Camp, Sonora,
and the Yosemite. This is also the eastern terminus of Bob Young's stage line from
Stockton to Groveland on the Yosemite Road, which 1921 will see extended as far as
Yosemite Park. Mr. Williams acts as agent of the stage line at this point, giving the
best of service possible where hundreds of travelers are passing, especially during the
vacation season. He also takes an active part with his brother in the raising of cattle,
giving considerable of his time to the firm's business. Both brothers are leaders in all
movements for the good of the community and have a host of friends, as they are
known far and wide for their hospitality. Politically, they are both firm adherents
of the principles of the Republican party.

ISAAC BRINKERHOFF.— A grateful posterity, glad to do honor to those
whose hard work and unselfish endeavors have paved the way for thousands coming
after, will not soon forget such worthy pioneers as the late Isaac Brinkerhoff .who
was born in the good old Dutch city of Albany, N. Y., on December 16, 1831, and
was reared in the Empire State. He spent his boyhood on his father's farm, where the
years passed quickly in the sleepy summer and vigorous winter days of the upper
Hudson. When he was a young lad of twelve years he accompanied the family to
Joliet, 111., and when about twenty he left to seek fortune in the Pacific West.

Reaching California in the spring of 1850, he located in Placer County and
identified himself with the staking and development of various mining claims; and he
became a survivor of the turbulent days of placer mining. At the outbreak of the
Civil War, however, he put aside all prospects of gain and volunteered for service in
defense of his country: he organized a company, drilled his men, and waited for the
eventful summons : but he was never called into actual service, although he was in
duty bound to act as a home guard until the war was ended.

When Mr. Brinkerhoff was married, he took for his bride Miss Mary Ann Pear-
son, a native of Kentucky, whose family numbers among its near-of-kin such well-
known men as ex-Congressman Richmond Pearson Hobson, the hero of the sinking of
the "Merrimac ;" and after their marriage the young couple farmed near Dixon,
Solano County, until 1879, then removed to Stanislaus Countv, farmed to grain on the
West Side near Grayson for many years. Mr. Brinkerhoff used all his faculties and
soon came to be widely known as a very successful grain farmer; and he was also an
extensive raiser of sheep and cattle, which he let out to graze on the plains of the West-
port district. Later, Mr. Brinkerhoff purchased land at Adamsville.


Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Brinkerhoff, the eldest dying in infancy.
The others are : Martha E., widow of George M. McKenzie of San Diego ; Mrs.
Mather E. Brinkerhoff resides in Berkeley and has a daughter, Mrs. Grey Worswick;
Charles E. died unmarried ; George Everett married Grace Walthall and they have
two boys, Joris and Hugh. Mrs. G. E. Brinkerhoff is a daughter of the well-known
pioneer, L. B. Walthall.

Isaac Brinkerhoff was a member of the Odd Fellows. He was also a "stand-
pat" Republican, and did yeoman service under the banners of that great organization.
He died in Modesto in 1892. Mrs. Brinkerhoff makes her home in Santa Cruz, and
is in the enjoyment of all her faculties.

JULIUS C. LAUGHLIN.— A successful, well-to-do capitalist noted for his ex-
cellent judgment of soils and land values is Julius C. Laughlin, one of the directors
of the First National Bank at Oakdale, who enjo)s, with his gifted wife, the esteem and
good will of the community to a marked degree. He was born in Osage County, Mo.,
five miles from Linn, the county seat, on November 18, 1839, and reared a farmer.
When sixteen years old he received an injury while playing, by which his left hip and
leg were rendered permanently stiff, and this handicapped him, but his resolution to win
out overcame even that. He attended school in the winter time, and worked hard all
summer. His father was William Laughlin, a native of Kentucky, who married Mary
Eads, also of that same state and a relation of Captain James Buchanan Eads, the
engineer of the Eads steel-arch bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis, and builder

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 62 of 177)