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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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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 63 of 177)
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of the Eads jetties near New Orleans. Mr. Laughlin owned 480 acres in Osage
County, Mo.

Although he had been laid up for a year and a half with his stiffness, Julius C.
Laughlin enlisted in Company D of Major Glover's battalion, the Horse Guards, on
May 14, 1861, and served in Osage County, Mo., where he was honorably discharged
after ninety days' service. From 1862 to 1864, he kept a store at Chamois, Mo. On
June 5, 1864, he was married to Miss Martha Dallas, a native of Osage County and
the daughter of Marmaduke Dallas, who came from Lynchburg, Va., to Missouri. He
was a true-blue Union man, and had three sons in the Union Army. He had moved to
Missouri before the war. His wife, Elizabeth (Scott) Dallas, was also born at Lynch-
burg. Once married, Mr. and Mrs. Laughlin took up farming together, and they con-
tinued in agricultural pursuits until they came out to California in 1873.

They landed at Modesto, and for fifteen years followed farming. Then they re-
moved to Oakdale and in 1888 bought 981 acres about six miles southeast of Oakdale.
They worked hard, and fourteen years ago they were able to retire at Oakdale. the
honored parents of ten children: Evelyn is the wife of John V. Crow, the rancher,
seven miles south of Oakdale; Charles Ira is a rancher eight miles west of Fresno;
Herbert G. resides at Oakdale ; Guy is a farmer and lives at Modesto ; Annie is the
wife of J. A. Sisk, the farmer and director in the Turlock Irrigation District, residing
south of Modesto; Fred is at Richmond, Cal., and Earl V. the dairy farmer, now owns
and operates a portion of the old Laughlin ranch. Three of the children died : Roy
died at 18; Ella, who was twenty-one days old, and Neva, who became Mrs. Carl B.
Moore and left a son, Gilbert Julius, now twelve years old. Mr. Laughlin believes in
aiding his children to get started and has given to each of his five sons a 240-acre farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Laughlin are members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Oak-
dale, and Mrs. Laughlin belongs to the Ladies' Aid Society and the Red Cross. The
Laughlins are of Scotch-Irish descent — which may account for Mr. Laughlin being a
Lincoln Republican.

Mr. Laughlin himself long followed the plow, and he owned and operated a Holt
combined harvester, using thirty-six horses, and one year he raised 4,300 sacks of grain.
Another year he raised and sold $9,600 worth of wheat, and he had seed and feed
left after that. He is a stockholder in the First National Bank, and also in the Savings
Bank at Oakdale, and has been a First National director ever since the bank was
organized. At four-score and two years, Mr. Laughlin drives his own automobile and
is among the most interesting and entertaining citizens in the county.



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 511

EDWARD KIERNAN. — Prominent among the successful ranchers and highly

esteemed citizens of Stanislaus County, whose memory always will be honored and
revered by those who come after and work and succeed- the easier because he toiled
and accomplished before them, was the late Edward Kiernan of the Salida precinct.
He was born in Ireland in 1832, and came to America as a boy with his parents.
They settled at Milton, a suburb of Boston, and there Edward grew up, with the
advantages of the New England metropolis, and learned the cabinetmaker's trade.
He married, at Milton, Miss Catherine Kelly, and there their oldest child, Edward
Kiernan, Jr., was born. Then the father, leaving his wife and child, sailed around
the Horn to San Francisco; and later the mother and the boy, Edward, followed
and joined Mr. Kiernan at Columbia in Tuolumne County, where the father was
mining, and where T. F. Kiernan was born.

When the latter was six years old, the Kiernans removed to the Salida precinct
and settled five miles west of what is now Salida; and there Mr. Kiernan home-
steaded 160 acres of land and preempted a like amount. He built for himself a
home, where he resided at the time of his death in 1872, a place disposed of after the
father's demise. Then the mother and children acquired the Kiernan home place,
three miles west of Salida, which they handsomely improved, so that Mrs. Kiernan
found much comfort and happiness there prior to her death in 1918. Some years
before her death, she divided and deeded the estate to the children, and after her
death it was distributed, yet the Kiernan places still bear the stamp of the old-time
prosperity and hospitality given them by the interesting and thoroughly American
family. The Kiernan home place of the mother's selection is managed by the young-
est son, John Joseph Kiernan, while the home — a handsome country place — is pre-
sided over by the youngest daughter, Miss Katherine Kiernan.

Eight children, besides his widow, survived the death of Edward Kiernan.
Edward, Jr., became a rancher and married a Salida girl and later moved to Tur-
lock, where he was chairman of the board of directors of the Turlock Irrigation Dis-
trict for eight years, and two years longer a trustee. He died in 1914 and left two
boys and three girls. Cecilia, the second oldest, also is deceased. Then came Thomas
Francis and after him Mary Ellen, who is a milliner and dressmaker, and resides at
Stockton with her sister, Delia A., who is a partner in the business. Margaret is a
trained nurse. Kathryn has already been mentioned as doing the honors of mistress
of the Kiernan home, while J. J. Kiernan operates the home place.

T. FRANK KIERNAN. — A popular citizen long prominent in official and
political circles who is also an experienced and successful rancher, being about to
take advantage of the qualities of soil and climate near Salida and to put his entire
ranch into Thompson seedless grapes, is T. F. Kiernan, or Thomas Francis Kiernan,
usually known among his friends as Frank. He was born in Columbia, Tuolumne
Count), Cal., on December 28, 1861, the son of Edward and Catherine (Kelly)
Kiernan, and when the lad was six years old, the family removed to Stanislaus
County and settled upon a homestead and preemption in the west end of Salida pre-
cinct. The father prospered, bought more land, and there established the home in
which he dwelt at the time of his death in 1872. He was then the owner of 480
acres, a property which testified to his thorough understanding of agriculture.

T. F. Kiernan grew up on his father's place and shared the common experience
of other Stanislaus County farm boys in early days — scant educational advantages,
plenty of hard work and none too much pleasure. Having the ambition to rise and
make something of himself, however, he acquired by observation and self-teaching such
proficiency as to make himself the competent official he has proven himself to be in the
office of the U. S. Marshal at San Francisco — an efficiency testified to by the Hon.
C. T. Elliott, U. S. Marshal of the Northern District of California from 1906 to
1914, who wrote Mr. Kiernan under date of January 15 of the latter year:

"Dear Frank — Now that the pleasant relations that have existed between us
while I have been U. S. Marshal and you have served as an Office Deputy Marshal,
are severed, because I am no longer Marshal, permit me to express to you the appro -

25



512 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

ciation I feel for all you have been to the office while discharging the arduous duties
that have fallen to your lot. Honesty, faithfulness, efficiency and loyalty have been
your characteristics, coupled ' with a willingness for work and an intelligent concep-
tion of your duties. What more can I say ? Your work has contributed in large
measure to any success this office has attained. I thank you for your loyal support and
all that you have been to me. You have my best wishes for your continued prosperity
and happiness. Sincerely your friend, C. T. Elliott."

In 1918, Mr. Kiernan was the unsuccessful candidate for sheriff of Stanislaus
County, but he was previously twice elected constable in the Salida precinct when he
made it hot for cattle rustlers and other criminals. Then he was appointed deputy
sheriff of Stanislaus County under Sheriff Purvis, and he served six years in that
capacity. After that, he received appointment under U. S. Marshal Elliott.

Mrs. Kiernan, the mother of our subject, died in 1918, and the estate, previously
deeded by her, has since been divided among the heirs; and forty-four acres of the
original home place, three miles west of Salida, fell to T. F. Kiernan. This home-
place was the property bought and improved by Mrs. Kiernan and the Kiernan chil-
dren after the father's death in 1872. The farm of forty acres where the father died,
on the other hand, was located about one and a half miles west of the present Kiernan
home place; the mother sold the latter acreage and then bought the other place,
which was soon improved, in part by the erection of a large and substantial residence
still standing and known as the Kiernan residence.

WILLIAM WARREN GIDDINGS.— One of the successful, interesting and
well-posted business men of the Newman district, and whose experiences embrace
many interesting phases of the early life in California, is William Warren Giddings,
held in high esteem throughout the community. A son of Elisha Giddings, he is a
worthy representative of the native-born citizens of Stanislaus County, his birth
having occurred August 24, 1874, in Turlock. He comes from honored Colonial
stock, being a lineal descendant of George Giddings, who immigrated from Ipswich,
England, to Massachusetts in 1630, settling permanently in Ipswich, Essex County,
where he became well-known and prominent in public affairs. Mr. Giddings'
paternal grandfather, Benjamin Giddings, a life-long resident of Hartford County,
Conn., was for many years one of the leading and influential citizens of the town of
Hartford. A strong Republican, he was very active in the affairs of his community,
serving as representative to the state legislature, as commissioner to the Superior
Court, and as postmaster of Hartland.

A native of Hartland, Conn., Elisha Giddings was born September 6, 1829.
A young man of great enterprise and shrewd business foresight, he early cast his lot
with the brave pioneers of California, taking advantage of the great opportunities
afforded the settlers of a new country. Crossing from the shores of the Atlantic to
the Pacific in 1852, he located in Stanislaus County, opening a general merchandise
store in Turlock. He was successful in carrying on an extensive business until his
death in 1879. He married Miss Cookson, who passed away in 1876. Two sons
and one daughter were born of this union, William Warren, the subject of this
sketch, being the youngest child.

Left an orphan when but six years old, William Warren Giddings went to live
on a ranch on the West Side owned by Mr. Stansifer, remaining there two years;
then to Hill's Ferry on the San Joaquin River and was brought up in the home of
J. C. Green, one of the early pioneers of the county, receiving his education in the
graded schools of Turlock and Newman. He was subsequently engaged in the hard-
ware business as an employee of Mr. Green, first at Hill's Ferry, and later at New-
man, remaining with him six years; then he became a clerk in a drug store in New-
man, when the town was in its infancy, remaining there for four years. He then
removed to Sanger and entered the employ of the Sanger Lumber Company, begin-
ning at the bottom of the ladder in the sawmill and working his way up until he
became a bookkeeper; after his resignation he returned to Newman. On June 1,
1 897, he was appointed postmaster of Newman by President McKinley, and was
reappointed by President Roosevelt, serving until 1903. Resigning that position, he




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HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 515

assisted in organizing the Bank of Newman, accepting the position of cashier, con-
tinuing in that capacity for seventeen years. From its inception, the Bank of New-
man has steadily increased and today it is among the strongest in the San Joaquin
Valley with resources of over $2,000,000, and to him is accorded the honor of the
success of this enterprising and sound banking establishment. In 1920, he resigned
to accept the position of vice-president and manager, of the Modesto Bank, and
removed with his family there. During his residence on the West Side, he was
actively interested in agriculture, owning and operating several ranches, which were
improved and sold to advantage. With others he owns a 6,000-acre ranch devoted to
the raising of grain and stock. He built the city water works at Newman, acting
as its efficient head for twelve years.

The marriage of Mr. Giddings occurred in Oakland, September 14, 1904, unit-
ing him to Miss Julia V. Johnson, a daughter of Capt. James Johnson, a well-
known resident of Oakland. They are the parents of two children, William Warren
and Richard J. Fraternally, he is a Mason, being a member of Lodge No. 236 at
Newman ; also a member of the Modesto Chapter No. 49, and a Knight Templar
of the Modesto Commandery; also of the Aahmes Temple A. A. O. N. M. S. of
Oakland. He and his wife are active members of the Eastern Star lodge of Modesto.
He is also a member of the Modesto Lodge No. 1282 of the Elks; also of the Knights
of Pythias. In his religious convictions he is identified, with his wife, with the
Presbyterian Church of Modesto. One of the foremost members of the Republican
party, being chairman of the County Central Committee, and has served on differ-
ent occasions as a delegate to state and county conventions.

BENJAMIN F. SURRYHNE, M. D.— While Modesto enjoys a material
prosperity unrivalled by any city of its size in the entire state, there are evidences also
of thoughtfulness for the sick and afflicted, many of whom come to Modesto to recuper-
ate and enjoy the benefit of its salubrious climate. The founder of the Modesto Sana-
torium, Dr. Benjamin F. Surryhne, is a native of Oakland, California, where he was
born March 18, 1867. His father, Edward, a native of Michigan, born near Saginaw,
and a veteran of the Civil War, was one of the boys in blue wounded in battle in that
sanguinary struggle. He married Miss Elizabeth Melinda Van Dusen in Michigan,
and came to California in 1866, where he followed the vocation of merchant and
farmer. He was well known in Oakland and died in 1899 from injuries received in
a fall on his Sonoma County ranch. His widow lives in Santa Rosa.

Dr. Surrvhne is the third child in a family of six boys and three girls, and grew
up in Oakland and on his father's ranch in Sonoma County. He attended the public
schools in both counties, and the high school at Santa Rosa for six months. From the
Sonoma high school he went to work in fields and orchards to earn enough money to
prepare for the university entrance examination. His efforts were indefatigable, and
he did double work, studying five hours in the morning and working hard during the
lemainder of the daw He successfully passed the entrance examination and matricu-
lated in the medical department of the University of California, March, 1887. Of
thirty-one entrants at this time only thirteen graduated. Dr. Surryhne graduated with
honors in 1890, standing fifth best in his class, and after serving a year as interne in
the County Hos->ital at San Francisco went to Bodie, Mono County, Calif., and began
the practice of his profession. He practiced two years in Bodie and after the first yeai
became county physician. He came to Modesto in 1893, and in 1899 went East to
pursue a post-graduate course in surgery in the Chicago and New York hospitals.

In 1903, Dr. Surryhne built the Modesto Sanatorium, an institution much
needed in the community, and the first hospital built here. He ran the institution suc-
cessfully as a general hospital for sixteen years, and also conducted a school for nurses
in connection with the hospital and trained his own nurses to the point of efficiency.
In 1915, he continued his post-graduate studies in general work in Rochester, New
York, and also in Chicago and New York City. In February, 1919, he sold the
sanatorium to Dr. Falk, its present owner.

Dr. Surryhne married Miss Mamie R. Hicks in Sonoma County, California.
She is a native of Illinois and was reared in Sonoma County. They are the parents of



516 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

four children. Hubert was in the army at Camp Kearney, Rodney served in the
Naval hospital at Mare Island during the war, and is taking a medical course in the
University of California, and Philip completed a fourteen months' cruise in the mer-
chant marine. All three boys are graduates of the Modesto high school, and the
daughter, Helen, is also a graduate of the Modesto high school.

Dr. Surryhne is a member of the American Medical Association and of the State
Medical Society, and a leading member of the Stanislaus County Medical Society, of
which he is a charter member and its first chairman. Fraternally, he is a Mason and
is a past master of the Blue Lodge. He is also past grand in the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows. In his religious convictions he is a member of and an elder in the
Presbyterian Church at Modesto. The family live in a beautiful home built by Dr.
Surryhne at 116 Sycamore avenue, and his office is in the Modesto Bank building.
He is one of California's leading physicians and best citizens. Of irreproachable
character, broad-minded, benevolent, bright and cheerful, he is beloved by all who
know him. Dr. Surryhne has just returned (1921) from a four months' trip through
Manila, China, Japan and Korea, investigating the hospital and missionary work.

WILLIAM H. HATTON.— One of Stanislaus County's foremost lawyers, Wil-
liam H. Hatton, whose office is located at 922 I Street, Modesto, was born in County
Wexford, Ireland, February 7, 1856. He is the son of Prof. John Hatton, principal
of the Erasmus Smith College at Wexford, Ireland. The father, who lived and died
in Ireland, retired from his life work at the college fifteen years before his death at
the age of eighty-six, in 1890. Although William H. Hatton's parents lived and
died in Ireland, his grandparents and the other members of the family came to the
United States and settled at Harrisburg, Pa., the center and home of the Hatton
family in America.

William H. Hatton received the rudiments of his education under his father's
tutelage, and at the age of sixteen embarked for the shores of America in company
with a younger brother, Robert H., fourteen years of age. After a year's residence
in Harrisburg, Pa., the brothers went to Missouri, where an uncle, William H. D.
Hatton, owned a farm at Warrensburg, Johnson County. There Mr. Hatton
attended the South Missouri State Normal School, graduating with the class of 1876.
He taught school in Missouri until he came to California in April, 1878, and stopped
at Knights Ferry, Stanislaus County. He soon removed to Mendocino County and
continued the occupation of teacher at Albion in that county. He then returned to
Stanislaus County, and on February 6, 1879, became principal of the Modesto schools,
retaining the position until the close of the school year in 1882, when he stopped
teaching and adopted the legal profession. He graduated from the Hastings Law
School, the law department of the University of California, with the class of 1883,
and formed, a partnership with L. W. Fulkerth, one of his classmates at the Hastings
Law School. They began practicing law under the firm name of Hatton and Fulkerth,
and were in partnership from 1883 until 1890, when Mr. Fulkerth was elected dis-
trict attorney of Stanislaus County and the partnership was dissolved. Mr. Hatton
collaborated with C. C. Wright, who was elected assemblyman in 1887, in drafting
the Wright Irrigation Act, and also acted as attorney for the organization of the Tur-
lock Irrigation District and for the Modesto Irrigation District, the first districts
organized under the Wright Act. As one of the attorneys he had a great deal to do
with the litigation which arose in connection with the formation of these districts.
■ When W. H. Hatton came to Stanislaus County it was one vast wheat field,
and he has had an eyewitness of the county's wonderful transformation since those
early days. He was married to Miss Ora Davis February 6, 1889, at Salida,
Cal. She is the daughter of Franklin C. Davis, the well-known pioneer, who for
many years was president of the board of directors of the Modesto Irrigation District.
Mr. Hatton is the Nestor of the bar of Stanislaus County; he has a fine practice, is
well-to-do, is well read and widely experienced. Mrs. Hatton, who is a native of
Stanislaus County, is a highly accomplished woman and moves in the best circles,




• : ■




HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 519

where she is a social favorite. They reside in an attractive home which Mr. Hatton
built at 909 Fourteenth Street.

Fraternally, Mr. Hatton's affiliations are confined to the Masonic order, in which
he is prominent, his membership being in Stanislaus Lodge No. 206, F. & A. M., at
Modesto, of which he is past master; is also past high priest of Modesto Chapter No.
49, R. A. M., and member of Modesto Commandery No. 48, K. T., and is a mem-
ber of Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of San Francisco.

F. W. HOSMER. — A banker of exceptional ability, both in respect to his excel-
lent judgment and enterprise, and in his fine, personal qualities, is F. W. Hosmer, the
manager of the Modesto Branch of the Bank of Italy. A native son with an inherited
understanding of the splendid institutions of California, he was born near Santa
Barbara on July 4, 1868, the son of Newell Hosmer, a native of New York State.
When a lad, young Newell ran away to sea, shipping as a steward on a sailer bound
for San Francisco around Cape Horn; and when the vessel landed at San Pedro, he
left the ship and made his way into Los Angeles. He was then only thirteen years of
age, but his pluck enabled him to reach the mines, where he held out, working hard
at various jobs until he drifted to Santa Barbara. There he met and married Theresa
Collin, whose parents were early California pioneers; and he settled there as a farmer
in Santa Barbara County. When his wife died in Santa Barbara, he took his two
little sons back to New York State, traveling by way of Panama ; and having gone to
Buffalo, he next moved out to Quincy, 111., near where he engaged in farming for
twelve years. Then, in 1882, he and his two sons responded to the Calif ornian lure
and once more came out to the Coast ; and they located at Modesto. Sad to relate,
an unexpected heavy snowstorm brought disaster to their happy household, for the
father took cold, and then was seized with pneumonia, from which he died, in sixteen
days after their arrival in the land of promise. And so passed away one of those
sterling pioneers of far more worth in their day to the Golden States than the precious
ore for w T hich so many came and toiled and sacrificed.

A brother to Walter Hosmer, the rancher near Modesto, F. W. Hosmer came to
Modesto in his fourteenth year, well-equipped with a good training received in the
public schools of Adams County, 111. After his father's sudden death, he herded
horses for Frank Ross on his ranch for two or more years, but went back to Illinois,
only to find, after another four months in the East, that there is no place like home —
when that home is in California. He therefore returned to Modesto, drove the big
teams in the grain fields, and worked on the huge harvesters. This proved valuable
experience, but his natural ambition could not permit him to remain long at such
labor, and once more he shifted, to his decided advantage.

He learned telegraphy in the service of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company
at Ceres, and then he was an operator or agent at various stations, until he was as-
signed to the agency at Merced; but at the end of fourteen years of service with the
company, including three years' service at Merced, he resignd to accept a position as
cashier with the First National Bank of Turlock. The following year, in 1907, when
the bank was reorganized as the Commercial Bank of Turlock, he was continued as
its cashier; and still later, when" they organized the First National Bank, he became
the cashier of both banks. On June 10, 1919, he resigned as cashier of the First
National Bank, and on October 1 of the same year as cashier of the Commercial Bank.

On June 10, 1919, he accepted the position of general manager of the Turlock
Merchants and Growers Association, and continued in that responsible capacity until



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 63 of 177)