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 81 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 81 of 177)
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was three months old, and his mother remarried and died when he was eight. Life
was hard under the new conditions, and before he was fourteen the fatherless lad
had learned the weariness of long hours of hard toil in the fields. Leaving home, he
took up his abode with his brother-in-law, where he learned the carpenter's trade, in
which he engaged for thirty years, being an expert workman and an excellent finish
worker. Several pieces of furniture now in Mr. Bauman's home are hand-wrought,
of his own workmanship, and will prove interesting and valuable family heirlooms.

The marriage of Mr. Bauman to Miss Elsie Edgecomb took place in Prophet,
Crawford County, Kans., in 1892. Mrs. Bauman is the daughter of William Edge-
comb, a minister of the German Baptist Church, now retired and living in Whittier,
Cal., being well past four score years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Bauman are the parents
of eleven children: Mrs. A. L. Scrivner, of Modesto, mother of two children: Edgar
H., ex-service man with the rank of corporal, now living in Modesto, married and
the father of one child ; Roy E., a rancher in Wood Colony, married and with two


children; William H. G., single, in Sacramento; Elmer L., married and engaged in
ranch work with his brother Roy, at Modesto; Ora and Thelma, residing at home;
Estella, Verna, Ralph and Melvin Roosevelt, attending school. They were all born
in Missouri, where the father was engaged for many years as a contractor and engineer
on a threshing machine, in which occupation his health broke down, and he came to
California where he has regained his former robust physique.

Mr. Bauman first settled in Sacramento County, nine miles from the city, in the
spring of 1913, where he farmed a six-acre ranch, setting it to almond trees and
growing vegetables and small fruits, producing some of the finest strawberries in the
state. In 1917 he met with financial reverses, and in the fall of that year disposed of
this property and came into Stanislaus County, and now owns a valuable twenty-acre
ranch in the Rossmore Park Tract, two and one-half miles west of Modesto, where
he is engaged in diversified farming, having a profitable dairy and poultry business.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Bauman are devout Christian characters, whose lives are devoted
to family and friends and to the faithful discharge of business and social responsibilities.

JOHN MILTON FINLEY.— A pioneer who helped pave the way in the develop-
ment of Stanislaus County so that coming generations might better enjoy the comforts
and luxuries of today, was the late John Milton Finley, who had been a resident of
Modesto for forty-six years and one of its most prominent as well as influential and
best-liked citizens. He was born in Missouri, September 20, 1841, of a family of old
settlers in that state. On July 5, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Sixth Missouri
Volunteer Cavalry, serving in the great conflict of the Civil War until July 16, 1864,
when he was honorably discharged.

In 1873 Mr. Finley came to California, locating in Stockton, where he resided
for a year before coming to Stanislaus County. Here he engaged in farming owning
a ranch on the Maze Road, six miles west of Modesto. Here he made his home for
many years, until he retired, when he located in Modesto. He was married in Mis-
souri to Miss Sarah Tennessee Hailey, a native of Tennessee, who came to Missouri
with her parents. They became the parents of seven children: Estella became the
wife of W. H. Frazine and died in 1919; Fannie, Mrs. J. W. Ross of Oakland;
Jesse M. Finley of Waterford ; Dr. J. H. Finley of Seattle ; Lulu, Mrs. W. O. Thomp-
son of Modesto ; Edna, Mrs. W. W. Cox of Westley, died in 1915 ; Edgar died at the
age of three years. Mrs. Finley passed away at Modesto in December, 1906. Mr.
Finley spent his last days with his daughter, Mrs. W. O. Thompson, passing away
on March 23, 1920, at the age of seventy-eight years, five months and twenty-nine
days. He was active in local reform work and was an ardent advocate of prohibition.
He was a charter member and an officer of the Christian Church and for many years
was superintendent of the Sunday school. Generous, kind-hearted and enterprising,
he was a valuable citizen, and at his passing Stanislaus County lost one of her best men.

prising dairyman of strict integrity, is H. H. Thompson, known and esteemed as a man
who has already accomplished much for Stanislaus County and the advancement of
Modesto as an agricultural center. He was born in Orange County on October 16,
1888, the eldest son of David B. Thompson, a native of Canada ; he was brought, a
babe in arms, by his parents to the United States and settled in Minnesota.

When a lad of sixteen, David B. crossed the great plains with his folks, who were
of a party of fortune-hunters traveling by ox teams; and after all kinds of thrilling
experiences with Indians, he pitched his tent in Ventura County and went in for raising
stock on the open range. He also engaged in agriculture in Modoc County. He had
married Miss Mary Spaulding, a native of New England, who proved a model wife
and most devoted mother. Both Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are now deceased. He
died in April, 1917, leaving behind, among other memories worth while, a record of
efficient service as a Republican and as a delegate to various state conventions ; also a
record of forty-six years a member of the Masons. He also did much to help develop
Stanislaus County, having improved a ranch of forty acres on the Carver Road, where
he carried on dairying and stock raising; also improved other properties and at the time

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of his death he was living on the Oakdale Road, practically retired from active labor.
He was one of the most progressive farmers in the county during his residence here.
Perhaps was best known as the man instrumental in making a success of the Stanislaus
County Fair, an institution formerly of great value, especially for its educational and
"boosting" influence. Mr. Thompson was also one of the jurors of agriculture at the
Panama- Pacific Exposition in 1915, and was a live wire in many other public affairs.

H. H. Thompson attended the district school at Tustin, Orange County, and
he grew up to follow farming and the stock business. In October, 1905, he came to
Stanislaus County, and with his brother-in-law, Blake Vent, engaged in dairying on
the T. K. Beard ranch on the Waterford Road. He went to Chowchilla in 1913,
having spent practically the entire time until he was twenty, under the home roof,
ranched there for a time and did not prosper as he anticipated, and in 1919 returned to
Stanislaus County and bought 120 acres in Central school district and he now has a
dairy of fifty cows on the place and is adding improvements from time to time.

In April, 1908, H. H. Thompson was married at Modesto to Miss Nellie West,
a native of Moscow, Latah County, Idaho, who came to Stanislaus County in 1905.
Her father and mother were E. E. and Mary West, and they were both residents of
Peck, Idaho, where thev raised grain and stock. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson have seven
children: Harriet Marian, Clarence H., Lowell R., David H., Edna Ethel, Ellis R.
and Evelyn L.

EDWARD KIERNAN.— A highly-intellectual and influential citizen, who was
especially interested in irrigation and worked hard to start the Don Pedro dam project,
was the late Edward Kiernan, a native of Boston, Mass., the son of Edward Kiernan,
who sailed for California by way of Cape Horn in 1849, at the time of the first great
rush for gold, and followed mining, with ups and downs, in Columbia, Sonora County.
He finally located at Salida, Stanislaus County, and there he died. Edward came out
to San Francisco with his mother when he was three years old, the two traveling by
way of Panama ; and growing up in California, he received^ a good education in her
progressive schools.

He was married at Salida to Miss Annie Smith, who came with her mother, when
a girl, via Cape Horn to San Francisco, and in 1887 he moved to Turlock, which place
thereafter became the scene of his important operations. He engaged in grain raising,
then all the vogue there, until the canal was built, and from its start became intensely
interested in the plans for the Turlock Irrigation District. Later he was elected a
trustee, which position of responsibility he held for many years, and he was made
president of the board, a post he was ably filling at the time of his death in 1914.

Mr. Kiernan was also one of the most enthusiastic movers in starting the Don Pedro
dam project, now soon to be a reality. He was outspoken in his support of popular
education, and gladly served in earlier days as a school trustee. He owned a ranch of
forty-three acres west of Turlock, which he set out to trees, vines and alfalfa, and
there he made his home until he died. In January, 1916, his devoted widow followed
him to the Great Beyond. The family still own the old Kiernan ranch, renting it out.

Five children blessed this worthy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Kiernan: John L.,
who belongs to the Turlock Board of Trade, is a member of the firm, the Turlock Ice
& Fuel Company. William E. was also interested in this live concern until his death,
from accident, in December. 1916. Irene is a teacher and resides in Modesto. Frances
is proprietor of the Hat Shop at Modesto.- And Agnes, who is also a valued member
of the Turlock Board of Trade, is associated with her brother, John, as proprietor of
the Turlock Ice & Fuel Company.

In the passing of Edward Kiernan, Stanislaus County lost one of her best citizens,
for all the active and business years of his life were spent in the count). He had
studied and knew of its wonderful resources, was optimistic for its future greatness
and his ambition was to make it what he knew the county would some day be — the
greatest agricultural and horticultural section of California. He was fair in all of his
dealings, conscientious and upright in his decisions, and his integrity and honest)- of
purpose were never questioned.


TURLOCK ICE & FUEL COMPANY.— One of the important business con-
cerns of Turlock is the Turlock Ice & Fuel Company, owned by John L. and Agnes
Kiernan, and has been successfully built up by them from a small beginning until it is
one of the largest of its kind in the county. The business was established in the
spring of 1907 by William Kiernan, at the time only handling ice. In the fall of
the same year his brother, John L. Kiernan, became a partner, and the firm was
known as Kiernan Brothers; the business was then located on South Front Street.
In 1916 a sister, Miss Agnes Kiernan, became a partner, the firm then taking the
name of the Turlock Ice & Fuel Company. On the death of William Kiernan,
John L. and Agnes Kiernan became the sole owners and since then have continued
the business, enlarging it as the growth of the surrounding country demanded.

Finding their quarters on South Front Street becoming too small for the increas-
ing trade, they purchased a favorable location at 540 North Center Street, 150x200
feet, where they have erected new buildings, sheds and scales, the office being of con-
crete construction. The yards have a siding from the Southern Pacific Railroad, the
whole being one of the most complete plants of the kind in Stanislaus County.
Delivery of ice, coal and wood is made both by truck and teams.

The proprietors of this business, John L. and Agnes Kiernan, are natives of
Stanislaus County and represent one of the oldest pioneer families in this section.
Their father, Edward Kiernan, was one of the most prominent men in the upbuilding
of the county and took a leading -part in irrigation matters, being president of the
Turlock Irrigation District at the time of his death and was one of the most enthu-
siastic workers for the Don Pedro dam project now in course of construction.

GEORGE C. NELSON. — The son and grandson of pioneers who thus crossed
the plains by ox team, George C. Nelson, one of the younger generation of native sons
of California, was born near Waterford, Stanislaus County, November 7, 1883. He
is the son of George Washington Nelson, a native of Lee County, Iowa, born Sep-
tember 16, 1849. His grandfather, John Nelson, a native of Virginia of English ex-
traction, was among the pioneer farmers of Iowa, and crossed the plains to California
in 1850, where he followed mining a few years in Placerville and at Sonora, Tuol-
umne County. He returned to his Eastern home via Panama on the historic old
John L. Stevens, and farmed in Iowa until 1857, when he sold his interests and
started overland for Texas, dying en route of pneumonia. His wife, Elizabeth
(Hizer) Nelson, was born near Montreal, Canada, and was the daughter of Dennis
Hizer of Canada, who settled in Pennsylvania, where he afterwards died. Two chil-
dren were born to John Nelson and his wife, George Washington Nelson, passing
away October 1, 1919; the other son, William, a farmer by occupation, died in
March, 1916. After the death of her husband, Elizabeth Hizer Nelson returned to
Iowa, contracted a second marriage with Joshua Martin, and crossed the plains to
California in 1861. They settled at Linden, San Joaquin County. Mr. Martin after-
wards died at Placerville. His widow was living with her son George W. at the
time of her demise at about the age of eighty-six.

George W. Nelson was a lad of twelve when he accompanied the family across
the plains by ox-team train. He grew to maturity in the San Joaquin Valley, was
educated in the public schools, and in 1869 went to Stanislaus County, rented land
and engaged in raising grain. Later he purchased 540 acres in the Tilden school
district, and also leased land, and continued the occupation of raising grain. He
farmed from 4,000 to 5,000 acres at one time, and ran a combined harvester, using
five ten-horse teams. Later he purchased more land, owning altogether 1,440 acres,
640 of which he afterwards sold. He owned 800 acres at the time of his death in
the fall of 1918. He married Elizabeth Hudelson in Stanislaus County, a native
of California, and daughter of James Hudelson, a pioneer of the valley. Two chil-
dren were born of their union, George C. and Lena, now Mrs. George H. Sawyer,
who resides near Waterford.

George C. was reared on the farm until fourteen years of age. He then attended
the Oakland high school, graduating with the class of 1902. Afterwards he engaged
in ranching on his own account, leased land in the vicinity of Waterford and raised



grain on 1,400 acres for about three years. In October, 1906, he entered the First
National Bank of Modesto as bookkeeper. He was with this bank four years, and
when the Union Savings Bank moved into its new quarters, in 1911, he became cashier
of that institution, retaining the position until October, 1917, when he resigned and
nccepted the position of manager of the Bank of Italy, at Mode c to. He resigned
from the latter position January 1, 1919, to accept a positio • as manager of the
Langdonmerl Company. He devotes his entire attention to their business, and has
charge of the several ranches of the company. He is also president of the Woodtite
laboratories, a Modesto company that manufactures a line of automobile accessories,
particularly spoktite, toptite and other chemical accessories.

Mr. Nelson was married at Modesto to Miss Lena Conneau, a native of that
city and daughter of Frank Ernest Conneau, a native of France, who came to Cali-
fornia in 1849, and to Modesto in 1871.

Mr. Nelson served as treasurer of the city of Modesto from 1915 until his
resignation in 191 S. In his fraternal relations he is a member of the Modesto Lodge
of I. O. O. F., is affiliated with the W. O. W. and Modesto Lodge, B. P. O. E., of
which, in 1916-17, he served as exalted ruler. He is also a director of the Modesto
Chamber of Commerce.

DENNIE HACKETT.— A Native Son of the Golden West, whose father and
grandfather crossed the plains with ox teams in 1865 and settled in Tulare County,
is Dennie Hackett, one of the prosperous and influential farmers of Stanislaus
County, owning and operating a splendid ranch six and a half miles southeast of
Modesto. The family is one of the best known and highly esteemed in Central
California, and has been intimately associated with the extensive farming interests
of the state for well over half a century. Mr. Hackett's father was John S. Hack-
ett, well known in Stanislaus and Tulare counties as a man of character and ability.
He came to California from his native state of Indiana in 1865, and located in Tulare
County, where he engaged in farming both in Tulare and Fresno counties on an
extensive scale. At the time of his death in May, 1913, he was stopping with a son
at Reedley. The mother was Lois (Leonard) Hackett, a native of Ohio, and of her
marriage with John S. Hackett were born eleven children, all of whom she reared
to maturity. Four of these are now prominent residents of Stanislaus County,
namely : Dennie, the subject of this review ; W. J. Hackett, whose sketch also appears
in this work; D. M. Hackett, who lives north of Modesto, and Mrs. E. E. Murray,
of Ceres. The mother passed away at Modesto in July, 1911.

Dennie Hackett was born at Hanford, then in Tulare County, January 26,
1879. The family at that time resided on the home farm, three miles north of Han-
ford, and here he was reared, attending the district school until he was sixteen years
of age. He early learned the details of farming through assisting his father with
his grain and stock raising enterprises, as all farm-reared boys do. Later he went
into Fresno County where, in partnership with his brother, George T., he engaged
in dry farming 1,500 acres for a number of years, being also extensively interested
in the live stock business.

It was in 1908 that Mr. Hackett came into Stanislaus County and bought thirty
acres on the Ceres Boulevard, six and a half miles from Modesto, in partnership
with his father. For this land they paid thirty-five dollars an acre, and today, only
twelve years later, it is valued at more than $600 an acre. Here Mr. Hackett
engaged in the dairy business and in the breeding of high-grade Jersey milch cows,
meeting with more than ordinary success. In 1915 he sold his dairy interests and
has been since engaged in dry farming and double cropping. He has eight acres now
set to vineyard, and purposes to devote the entire thirty acres to grapes in the near
future. In 1920 Mr. Hackett bought 400 acres of land near Snelling, Merced
County, which he devotes to grain raising.

The marriage of Mr. Hackett and Miss Bessie Howe was celebrated February
5, 1911, at Modesto. Mrs. Hackett is the daughter of William G. and Caroline
(Morgan) Howe, her father a native of Canada and her mother of Indiana. Thy.
father was for many years a well-to-do farmer in Nebraska, and Mrs. Hackett was


born in that state, at Herman, Washington County. She is the mother of four
children: Alice May, Orena Lily, Lenna Caroline and Dennie Mervin.

Mr. Hackett has always taken a keen interest in the welfare of his native state
and is especially active in supporting any measures for the benefit of his own com-
munity. He is a Democrat in his political affiliations, but in all local matters he
believes in supporting the man best fitted for the office and in demanding effective,
economical administration in all public affairs. He has been interested in all mat-
ters of cooperation among the farmers since the inception of the cooperative ideas,
believing that the solution of many disturbing questions of production and distribu-
tion will be solved in that way. He was one of the charter members of the Central
California Milk Producers' Association and has always been active in its affairs, is
a member of the Bean Growers Association, the Keyes Farm Bureau and the Farm
Bureau Exchange of the Tri-Counties. He stands high in farming and business
circles of the county, and holds the confidence and esteem of the leading men of
Stanislaus, Fresno and Tulare counties.

JACKSON W. SEARCH. — A pioneer of Stanislaus County and one of the old

business men of Modesto is Jaekson W. Search, who was born near Lebanon, Laclede
County, Mo., December 25, 1854. His father, John Search, was a native of Indiana,
who came to Illinois and there married Rachael Williamson, a native of Ohio. They
moved to Missouri where John Search ran a ferryboat in Laclede County until 1857,
when he brought has family across the plains, making the journey in a large train of
ox teams and wagons. In this same train came John Jones and his family. Mr. Search
purchased a ranch on the Tuolumne River at what is now Waterford, where he
engaged in farming and stock raising and there reared his family, becoming a man
of affairs and prominence. When he sold his ranch he retired to Oakdale and there
he died August 6, 1886, his widow surviving him until March 6, 1891.

The eight children born to the worthy pioneer couple are all living: Mary is
Mrs. Pinkston of Los Angeles ; Susie is Mrs. Chittim of Oroville ; Jackson W. is the
subject of this review; Wm. Thos. lives in Coulterville ; Nancy is Mrs. Prather of
Gridley; Louis lives in Stockton; James H. in Modesto, and John R. in Oakland.

Jack Search, as he is familiarly known by his numerous friends, is to all intents
and purposes a native son, for California is the scene of his first recollections. His
first schooling was at a subscription school on the present site of Waterford, taught
by John Quinley; then he attended school in Rowe district. He was brought up on
his father's farm on the south side of the Tuolumne River, assisting faithfully on the
ranch until twenty-three years of age. He then worked on adjoining farms for a
couple of years, when he took up carpentery, working in Modesto and Oakdale and in
time engaged in contracting and building in Oakdale for about twelve years, during
which time he built many substantial residences that are still a credit to his skill. H»
then purchased a half interest in a blacksmith shop in Oakdale and went to work
learning the trade under his partner, Mr. Hudson. Two years later, however, he
sold his interest and dissolved partnership and moved to Modesto. This was about
1890, and he purchased a blacksmith shop on Ninth and J streets. Soon afterwards
he bought 100x140 feet on Ninth street, between K and L streets, where he built a
shop and there did a large business in general blacksmithing and also built two resi-
dences. In 1919 he sold the property to Mr. Parks, who erected the Ford Garage
building. In April, 1920, he moved to Berkeley and purchased his present artistic
bungalow at 3026 Stanton Street, where he lives in comfort.

Mr. Search was married September 1, 1897, being united with Mrs. Mary
(Cornett) Voorhees, a native of Michigan, who migrated to California with her first
husband, an estimable woman much loved by all who knew her for her amiability and
kindness of heart and of whom Mr. Search was bereaved February 17, 1916. She
was a devout member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Search was for four years ■>
member of Company D, Seventh Regiment, National Guard of California. In polit
cal views he terms himself a black Republican. For many years, while living in Oal
dale and Modesto, Mr. Search sang in the Methodist choir, frequently favoring aud-
ences with selections, his beautiful bass voice being much appreciated by the people.

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JAMES J. HARDIE. — An enterprising Californian who is an enthusiastic advo-
cate of the Farmers Union movement and has become prominent in the good work
that organization has heen accomplishing for both the individual agriculturist and the
development of the state, is James J. Hardie, who was born at Dunfermline, Fife-
shire, Scotland, on March 17, 1872, the son of James Hardie, a farmer who came
from a very old family that had been resident on the same estate for about 300 years.
Mrs. Hardie was Margaret Auchmuty before her marriage, and she was also a mem-
ber of an old Fifeshire family of Scotch Presbyterians. Both parents died in their
native land, and of their eight children James J. is the youngest, and he and his two
brothers are the only ones in California.

James attended the common schools, and when fourteen was apprenticed as a clerk
in the offices of Messrs. McDonald, Fraser & Company, in Perth, Scotland, the larg-

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 81 of 177)