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

. (page 78 of 177)
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 78 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

sightedness and staunch faith in the town have contributed to make him very pros-
perous, is John L. Ward, a native of Illinois, where he was born four miles from
Decatur, in Macon County, on November 8, 1867. His father was Alfred Ward, also
a native of Illinois, who came of an old family descended from the Wards of Ken-
tucky. After he had demonstrated his ability as a farmer in Illinois, he moved to
Missouri and there continued farming until he retired. Charlotte Fernhause was the
name of Mrs. Ward before her marriage. She was born in Germany, and came as a
child to America and Illinois, accompanying her parents. She ended her days in
Missouri. Of a family of nine, five sons and two daughters grew up ; six survive.

John L. Ward is the third oldest of the family, and the only one in California.
He was educated at the public schools, and was so well advanced that when he was
only sixteen years old he obtained a teachers' certificate. The same year the family
moved to Missouri, and for nine years he taught school in Dade County, near Green-
field, in that state, during which time he became principal of the school at Everton,
Mo. When twenty-five years of age, he quit teaching to engage in general merchan-
dising at Everton, and for five years there he was postmaster and school trustee.

Attracted by the superior advantages of California, in 1905 he came West and
located at Modesto, purchasing a lot on Tenth Street, between I and J streets. He
built a store, bought a small stock of furniture, and continued in business. His
furniture trade grew, and he built a brick store building 50x140 feet in size, and two
stories high, where he did a very thriving business.

In 1913 he sold his stock to Mr. Weils, and leased the store; but five years
later he bought the business back again, and continued his management. In June,
1919, he leased the building to the J. C. Penny Company for ten years and moved
into his new building on Tenth Street, between J and K streets. As early as 1913
he had bought this lot, and in the spring of 1918 he erected a new business block,
50x146 feet, two stories and a basement, all of which he occupies with his large furni-
ture stock, including a complete line of goods of the finest description. The busi-
ness is known as the Ward Furniture Company, and he is sole proprietor. He also
owns the Ward Apartments, 75x140 feet, at the corner of Fourteenth and I streets,


comprising eleven apartments. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and
he belongs to the Merchants Association.

While at Everton, Mo., Mr. Ward was married to Miss Clara Fyffe, a native
of Illinois; her father, Milton Fyffe, a native of Scotland, came to Illinois and later
to Everton, Mo., when he was a merchant and farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Ward have
been blessed with four children: Raymond, completed his education in the Modesto
high school and business college, assists his father in managing the store; Frances, a
graduate of the University of California, is her father's bookkeeper; Daisy is attend-
ing the State University at Berkeley, and Anita is in the Modesto high school. Mr.
Ward has a fine residence at 825 Sixteenth Street, which he had built for himself. He
was made an Odd Fellow at Everton, Mo., and now belongs to the Modesto Lodge.

WILLIAM E. WAITE.— An experienced, well-informed rancher, William E.
Waite enjoys the esteem of all who know him in and around Turlock. A native son,
he was born in Snelling, Merced County, on September 16, 1889, the son of the late
Allen D. Waite, a native of Illinois. He was born on January 17, 1850, and mierated
to Virginia Citv with his parents when he was seven years of age. Grandfather Waite
was a miner; but in later years the family took to raising grain and stock, both in
Merced and Stanislaus counties. When Allen Waite married, he took for his wife
Miss Louisa Miller, who was born at La Grange, the former county seat of Stanislaus
County, on November 27, 1864. Six children were born of this marriage, and five
survive the father: George is deceased; Dora is the wife of Fred Segars of Turlock:
William E. is the subject of our story; Emma is the wife of C. K. Harvey, and they
reside at Fallon, Nev. ; Bert R. is at home with all the honors due one who served for
ten months overseas, as a member of Company I of the Sixty-second Division ; and
Lilly is the wife of Elmer Warner of Turlock. Allen D. Waite was a man of high
integrity, of unimpeachable character, and was never a politician, as were so manv of
the £arly settlers. He passed away near Turlock on the farm of 240 acres, which
he had purchased and which was being farmed by himself and sons.

William Waite attended the Madison school in Merced County, but owing to his
services being required on the farm, he was taken from school before he had finished
his studies, and through this sacrifice he was able to make a success of the well-irrigated
ranch four miles east of Turlock. Fortunately for him, he has the intelligence, the
ambition and the patience to study at night and in other spare hours, and so, by well-
selected reading, to make up for what he did not receive in formal education along
with the other boys. He belongs to the Order of Red Men, the Pocahontas Auxiliary,
the Woodmen of the World, and the Women of Woodcraft ; and in national politics
he takes an active interest in unison with the Republicans.

A. P. MEILY. — A studious, painstaking and industrious farmer who under-
stands every detail of the work in hand on his model ranch, is A. P. Meily, the repre-
sentative of a hardy and prosperous Pennsylvania family who, with the aid of his gifted
and devoted wife, one of the highly favored daughters of Stanislaus County, has also
succeeded in other fields, notably in Modesto land speculations. He owns forty acres
devoted to dairy farming and vineyard on the McHenry Road, three and a half miles
north of Modesto, and he is also interested in several other ranches.

He was born in Lebanon, Pa., on November 5, 1886, and grew up in the Key-
stone State until he was twenty-three years of age. His father, John M. Meily, was a
tailor by trade, but as the children grew up, he speculated in Lebanon County farm-
ing lands, became the owner of several farms, and is now living retired at Lebanon.
He was once a candidate for the legislature of Pennsylvania, and is well known and
justly popular. He married Miss Jennie Light, the mother of our subject, and she is
also living. They had nine children, among whom the youngest, Elmer J., is now a
student at the Modesto high school and lives with A. P. Ira L. Meily, another
brother, also works on this ranch.

A. P., as the oldest child in the family, had to abandon his studies at the Lebanon
Valley College on account of the sickness of his father, and to throw himself into the
work on the farm, and he continued faithfully at home until 1909, when he came out



to California. He left his Pennsylvania home on August 25, and six days later stepped
off the train at Modesto. For a while he worked on Stanislaus County farms, and
then he took up work in packing houses in Los Angeles County, returning later to
Modesto and farm work here. On November 9, 1913, he was married to the only
daughter of James H. Boren, Miss Mildred Buford Boren, and the only granddaughter
of A. N. Standiford. She is popular and talented, and they work in enviable
harmony, both in their real estate deals and in their dairying.

Mr. Meily's home place consists of a tract of forty acres, which is well improved
with substantial barns and outbuildings, and their home is a modern bungalow. All
of the improvements have been placed here by Mr. Meily since he became owner of
the property. He is a member of the Stanislaus County Holstein Breeders Association
and of the national association. His operations in real estate have been generally made
in conjunction with others ; that is, with real estate men familiar with the game.
For every forward movement in the county to advance the interests of the people in
general, he has always given liberal support. A brief visit even to his ranch discloses
his master mind, and one may confidently hope to hear more of Mr. Meily, and a good
deal that will be highly interesting, as the years go by.

WILLIAM D. FAHEY.— A well-known stockman of Oakdale, William D.
Fahey was the junior member of the firm of Fahey Bros, until the spring of 1921 when
they divided their holdings. They jointly owned 5,000 acres lying in Tuolumne and
Stanislaus counties, and were the owners of more than 1 ,000 head of cattle which they
raised on an extensive rented area besides, leasing grazing lands from private individuals,
as well as Government range. Ninety-two acres of the holdings of this enterprising
firm lie within the confines of the Oakdale Irrigation District. The firm was composed
of John T. Fahey and William D., his brother, the two eldest of the three sons of the
late Dennis Fahey, the successful stockman long well known in Tuolumne County as
a pioneer. Dennis Fahey was born in Ireland, and as a young man came out to
Louisiana, where he remained until 1853, when the lure of California gold led him to
migrate to San Francisco by way of the Isthmian route. He proceeded at once to the
placer mines of Tuolumne County, where he worked out several claims with a fair
degree of success. He was married in San Francisco to Mrs. Margaret (Fahey) Mann,
whose husband had been drowned. She was left a widow, with a little girl of six
months, named Katherine J., who is now the wife of S. J. Rosasco of Sonora, Ca.l.

Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Fahey: Mary A. is Mrs. M. J. Curtin
of Sonora, in which town Maggie A., her sister, a school teacher, also resides. John
T., already referred to, married Miss Lizzie Warren, of Santa Cruz, and they reside
at Sonora. Genevieve J. became the wife of Thomas Corcoran, and resides at San
Francisco. William Dennis is the subject of our interesting review. The youngest is
Joseph E., formerly a partner in the butcher business at Tuolumne, and in the cattle-
raising enterprise in Tuolumne and Stanislaus counties, when there were three brothers
in the firm of Fahey Bros. John T. and William D. Fahey, in 1918, bought him out.
Joseph E. now lives at Stockton, and is married to Zetta Paradis.

William D. Fahey was born at Sonora on June 5, 1871, and when only seven years
of age, rode the range on his father's extensive ranch. He grew up familiar with the
cattle industry, and learned all about live-stock raising when yet very young. He
attended the schools of his home district, and when twenty-nine years of age lost his
mother, the father surviving until his eighty-fifth year, in 1914.

The three brothers started in business while they were yet young, and became the
proprietors of the West Side Market at Tuolumne City, which they conducted very
successfully, building up a large trade through supplying the lumber camps, and a good
retail trade at the West Side Market, continuing there for four years. On September
2, 1913, Mr. Fahey was married at Sacramento to Miss Lillie Sloan of that city, a
native of Seattle, Wash., a charming young woman, now the mother of three boys, the
pride of their parents: Robert W., George E. and Allison Sloan.

Mrs. Fahey is a daughter of Wm. and Clara (Haskell) Sloan, born in the state
of Maine. They came west to Missouri, thence to Seattle, and later to Placerville,


Calif. Mr. Sloan was a lumberman of much experience. He was camp boss for the
West Side Lumber Company, then superintendent of the Yosemite Lumber Company's
logging camps until he resigned to engage in horticulture and now resides on his prune
orchard near Irvington, Calif. Lillie Sloan was educated in the public and high schools
in California until her marriage to Mr. Fahey.

At the time of his death, Dennis Fahey was the owner of 1,600 acres in Tuolumne
County, his home place, devoted to cattle raising ; and he left a will devising his prop-
erty to the six children equally. The three brothers bought out their three sisters, and
later, as has been said, the firm was reduced to the two sons. They worked hard and
managed well, and added to their father's holdings by the purchase of about 3,400 acres
ten miles southwest of Oakdale in Stanislaus County, with which they became among
the most substantial cattlemen in this part of the state. They raised graded Herefords
and shorthorn Durham cattle, and usually had on hand about 1,000 head of stock.
However, in the spring of 1921 the brothers divided their holding, and each owns half.

William D. Fahey moved to Oakdale with his family in 1914, and bought an
attractive residence on Laurel Avenue. Consistent Catholics, they belong to and help
maintain the Roman Catholic Church at Oakdale. Mr. Fahey is also a member of the
Knights of Columbus at Modesto.

CAPTAIN HENRY GEORGE JAMES.— Few men have had a more interest-
ing, as well as serviceable career, than the late Capt. Henry George James, a native
of Camborne, England, and the son of William and Elizabeth Eva James, who had
three sons, all born at Camborne, the others having been named Edward and William.
The elder James belonged to an English exploring company which visited South
America; and having accidentally broken his ankle, he was carried over the Andes
Mountains lashed to a chair strapped to the back of a stalwart native. After returning
to England, he immigrated to the United States, about 1832 or perhaps before; and
with his brother he took part in the Black Hawk War. His brother was a corre-
spondent of the St. Louis Democrat, and he lost his life in war journalistic service.
During the trouble with the Indians in this Black Hawk outbreak, the men of Iowa
County, Wis., formed companies for drill, and so did their sons; and thus it hap-
pened that Henry G. James was dubbed "Captain," a title he always bore.

He came out to California in 1850, walking across the Isthmus of Panama in
the more primitive days before the railroad was built there ; and on his arrival at
Sonora, Tuolumne County, he engaged in mining. Later, he went into the cattle
business and became one of the largest cattle owners in the San Joaquin Valley, and
for twenty years furnished cattle, hogs and sheep to wholesale butchers in San Fran-
cisco. During his experience in furnishing cattle for a butcher's firm in Sonora, he
once made a journey to the Coast to purchase stock; and meeting with a company of
men in charge of a band of steers, he bought what he wanted and started to drive
them home. Before long, however, the real owners of the steers overtook him and
informed him that the cattle had been stolen; whereupon the Captain and his com-
panions pursued the thieves to San Francisco, where they obtained the assistance of
Captain Harry Love, a famous detective of that time, through whom they arrested
one of the thieves, while the other escaped. While on the way back, they stopped to
have lunch ; and ostensibly to give him a trial, they assumed an air of carelessness.
The thief thought that it would be a good opportunity to escape and crawled off into
the chaparral; but several shots soon followed him, and he was presto! a dead thief,
and no one knew just whose shot did the business.

In 1873, and at Salida, Captain James was married to Miss Nannie Jamison, the
daughter of Harvey Jamison, a native of Arkansas, who served for two terms as super-
visor in Stanislaus County when the county seat was at Knights Ferry. One daughter
married John R. Barnett, sheriff of Madera County. Captain James was a Democrat,
and a sympathizer with and active supporter of the Confederacy of the Southern States.
He served for two terms as supervisor in Stanislaus County, and he was a trustee of
Modesto. He belonged to the Masons and assisted with their ritual at the laying of
the cornerstone of the Modesto courthouse. He died at the home of his sister at Salida.



J. H. HOSKINS. — A progressive young man who, by his well-directed efforts,
has made a name such as would do credit to anyone, is J. H. Hoskins, the county sur-
veyor of Stanislaus County, who was born at Fresno Flats (then in Fresno, but now
in Madera County) on July 27, 1887. His father was Louis Ulman Hoskins, a
native of Merced County, Cal., his grandfather, William Hoskins, having come from
the East across the plains to California in 1848. For a while he followed mining,
and then coming to Merced County, he engaged in farming and stock raising, after-
ward embarking in business at Fresno Flats. Retiring to Clovis, he died in 1918,
aged eighty-two. His father, "Lou" Hoskins, as he was familiarly called, was
elected assessor of Madera County when it was organized in 1894, serving for six,
years, and was the first assessor of the county. In 1900 he came to Stanislaus County
and for a while located on a farm near Ceres, when he moved to Turlock, where he
improved an alfalfa farm ; at the same time that he engaged in general contracting and
in time ran a very large outfit, building canals and ditches for the Turlock Irrigation
District. He was also the assessor for the district for two years, and as a hustler has
made a big success. He is now engaged in raising rice at Paulsell, where he devotes
250 acres to rice culture. He married Miss Lela Wilson, who was born in Bodie,
Mono County, Cal., and whose father was a pioneer of that county. Mr. Hoskins'
parents still survive, and they have three children living, our subject being the eldest.

J. H. Hoskins was brought up in Madera County until he was thirteen years of
age, and then he came to Turlock. He was educated at the grammar schools of his
neighborhood and at the Modesto high school, and when fifteen years of age began
to work on Saturdays and Sundays as a surveyor under E. H. Annear. In this way
he continued as best he could, and little by little mastered the profession of surveyor.
He became an assistant to Mr. Annear and continued with him until January, 1907,
when he was appointed a deputy county surveyor under the same gentleman. On
March 15, 1918, Mr. Annear enlisted in the great War, and Mr. Hoskins was ap-
pointed to fill the vacancy caused by his withdrawal. In August, 1918, he was nomi-
nated for that office at the primaries, and at the No\ ember polls he was elected by a
majority of 1,700; and on January 6, 1919, took the oath of office. Mr. Hoskins
completed a course in civil engineering in the International Correspondence School,
and he assisted Mr. Annear to survey the route for the 126 miles of new concrete
highways in the county now completed from the county bond issue of $1,482,000.
He gave all of his time to secure the very best results, and they have succeeded in every
way. Together, these accomplished engineers also built the bridges and siphons for
this highway, among them the Tuolumne bridge at Modesto.

At Modesto, on September 7, 1912, Mr. Hoskins was married to Miss Veda
Rinehart, a native of that city and. the daughter of William and Isadora Rinehart,
old settlers of the Golden State. Mr. Rinehart, full of years and having enjoyed the
esteem, and good will of everybody, is dead, and Mrs. Hoskins' mother is making her
home at Modesto, where she is the center of a circle of devoted friends. Mr. Hoskins
belongs to the Modesto Lodge of Elks, and is a member of the parlor in Modesto of
the Native Sons of the Golden West.

MRS. JOSIE KIDD.— The mother of four splendid sons, Mrs. Josie Kidd is
fortunate in their co-partnership with her in the operation and management of her
ranch in Paradise precinct, and are all held in high esteem in the precinct and in
Modesto, where they are well known. Of these sons, Hubert E., the eldest, is manager
of the ranch, under his mother's clear-headed direction, while he is assisted by Clarence
W., Milton L. and Herman M., the latter students in high school. Clarence W.
enlisted as a mechanic during the war, the day before his twenty-first birthday; he
received his honorable discharge at Spokane, Wash.

Mrs. Kidd is the second daughter of E. S. Wilkinson, of Marysville, Term., and
the granddaughter of J. B. Wilkinson, a Confederate officer during the Civil War.
Her father was a professor of languages and taught in the public school at Marysville,
and after retiring from the teaching profession, he took up the duties of township
justice of the peace, which office he filled for many years. A brother of Mrs. Kidd,
E. L. Wilkinson, is at present holding this same office at Marysville, Tenn. Her


mother was Miss Janey Carpenter, a daughter of the Old South, whose paternal
ancestors came from England and settled in Virginia and thence moved into Tennessee.
Mrs. Kidd was born November 15, 1867, and she was married to M. B. Kidd at the
home of her parents on February 14, 1893, and with him went to reside in Texas.
M. B. Kidd was a native of Marysville, Tenn., born December 12, 1863, the son of
E. E. and Margaret Kidd. He grew to manhood in his native state and in 1885
sought his fortune in Texas, residing near Waxahachie, Ellis County, for many years.
In 1910. he removed to near Dallas, that same state, and there passed away, April 28,
1911. He was a man of exceptionally high character, a lifelong member of the
Methodist Church, and guided by its principles in all the affairs of his life.

After her husband's death, Mrs. Kidd determined to make a change, seeking a
more congenial climate in an effort to regain her health. In 1912 she came to Stanis-
laus County with her four sons and bought twenty acres in Wood Colony. Here she
financed the sons and they successfully carried on a dairying business for some years.
In 1919, she sold her ranch in Texas and in Wood Colony and with her sons (who
own forty acres) purchased 110 acres on Pauline Road in Paradise precinct, formerly
known as the Schafe Ranch. Here the sons are engaged in dairying and in double
cropping, running forty head of cattle, with thirty-five acres in alfalfa. They are
exceptionally successful, and plan to improve the ranch greatly, and later to plant it
to vineyard and orchard, for which it is well adapted. A new residence, modern in
every detail, has been erected, and other improvements, including a new twelve-inch
well and a seven-inch pump, which have just been installed.

Mrs. Kidd was educated in the Marysville (Tenn.) Presbyterian College, is a
graduate of the Tennessee State Normal School, and taught school for eight years
before her marriage. She possesses a brilliant, active mind, and is of the true type
of Southern gentlewoman, respected and admired by all.

FRED A. GEER. — A freeholder whose life and experience are of more than
ordinary interest is Fred A. Geer, who was born near Turlock, on July 24, 1880, the
youngest son of Henry F. Geer, who was born, probably about 1841, near Hartford,
Ct., and who married Miss Mary Stone, also of that locality. He served his country
gallantly during the entire period of the Civil War, becoming an honored veteran,
and at the close of that great conflict came West to California, where he joined his
uncle, the late John Mitchell, who was the pioneer developer of the Mitchell ranch
stretching for thousands of acres through Stanislaus and Merced Counties. In 1881,
he purchased from Mr. Mitchell a tract of 2,000 acres just north of Turlock, and
from that time he directed his attention toward improvements in farming, extensively
growing wheat and grains. About 1904 he retired from active duties to a comfort-
able residence in Oakland; and in 1914 he passed away there. He was a member
of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a Master Mason, and due honors were ac-
corded him by the fellows in his fraternities.

Fred Geer was reared at Turlock, where he spent a lively boyhood on his fath-
er's farm; and, after the usual round of grammar school studies and farm chores, in
1897 he entered St. Matthew's Military Academy at San Mateo, and two years later
finished the preparatory course there. Then he spent three years as a student at Stan-
ford University at Palo Alto, studying mining, and was soon offered the position of
mining assayer and sampler with a New York mining company, which had over 100
claims in the territory of Thunder Mountain, Idaho, 180 miles from the nearest
wagon road or town.

After a hazardous trip with pack-horses, during which the traveler was forced to
pack over again on their backs, and continue the rest of the way by foot, Mr. Geer,
who had left Boise, Idaho, in May, 1902, arrived on the ground for active work

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 78 of 177)