Copyright
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 90 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 90 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


mittee of the National Progressive Clubs. It will be seen by the foregoing that the
life of this business man is indeed a busy and useful one.

REV. A. G. DELBON. — Among the most prominent ministers of the Swedish
Mission Church in the United States and a leader among the clergy of that denomina-
tion, was the late Rev. A. G. Delbon, the principal in the founding of Emanuel
Hospital at Turlock. He was born in Dalena, Sweden, August 26, 1871, the son of
Andres Gustaf Pearson an agriculturist who now resides in Norway, Mich.

The fourth eldest of a family of seven children, who all took the name Gustafson,
but on coming to Turlock, Reverend Gustafson changed his name to A. G. Delbon for
convenience, particularly in obtaining his mail, which frequently went astray because
of the great number of the name of Gustafson. Coming to Michigan in 1890, he
first followed mining and in 1894 he began to study for the ministry, entering North
Park College in Chicago, where he graduated in 1898, and was ordained to the minis-
try in the Swedish Mission Church in June of that year. During his college course
he preached, serving as pastor of the Swedish Mission Church at Elgin, 111., during
the last year of his course and one year afterward. Then Reverend Delbon went to
Butte, Mont., organizing and building the Swedish Mission Church there and was its
pastor for five years. In January, 1904, he located in Omaha, Nebr., as pastor of the
Swedish Mission Church, but in the fall of 1905 he suffered a nervous breakdown and
came to Los Angeles. Here his health improved and he became the pastor of the
Swedish Mission Church there and through his efforts the congregation was greatly
increased and the new church was built on Francisco and Lincoln streets. He con-
tinued there until June, 1911, when he came to Turlock as the pastor of the Swedish
Mission Church. Here he had a successful and congenial pastorate and during this
time the flock grew from 130 to over 400, and the church was rebuilt.

Reverend Delbon also started the movement to establish a hospital at Turlock,
which resulted in raising the money for the building of Emanuel Hospital, and was
completed in June, 1917, at a cost of $30,000, and in 1920 an addition was completed
at an equal cost. It has accommodation for fifty patients, with private rooms, and is




Jt^AAAJill? 77/^/uJjU



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 803

open to physicians of all schools. During this time, Reverend Delbon had been
president of the hospital, but he resigned April 20, 1919, from his pastorate in order
that he might devote his time to other matters he had undertaken.

At Norway, Mich., June 25, 1898, Rev. Delbon was married to Miss Ida M.
Forsberg, also a native of Sweden, born in Westergotland, a daughter of P. J. and
Anna (Bengtson) Forsberg, who were farmers in their native land, until they passed
away. Ida M. came to Norway, Mich., when she was twelve years of age, receiving
her education in the excellent schools in Michigan. Mrs. Delbon was reared and
educated in an atmosphere of culture which well fitted her to preside over his home and
assist him in his religious work, and as a leader among the ladies of the congregation,
always giving him her encouragement and aiding him in everything he undertook.
They were blessed with six children: Naemy is a fine pianist and an excellent teacher
of this branch of music and she frequently favors the people of Turlock with her
rendition of beautiful selections from the classics. The other members of the family
are Montana, Elfie, Astrid, Walden and Rodney.

Mr. Delbon was not privileged to enjoy the fruits of his labors, however, for
his health failed and he passed away February 11, 1921, mourned by his family and
friends, not only in California, but in the various places where he had resided. He
was president of the California Ministerial Association of the Swedish Mission Church
for several years and was also a trustee of the state organization of the denomination.
With Mr. Ullberg he started the publication of California, the church organ for the
Swedish Mission Church in California, and was its editor for the first year. An
eloquent speaker, Rev. Delbon had always been a great student and was well informed,
not alone on religious subjects, but on the current events of the day, and his sermons
and speeches were much enjoyed. His death was a distinct loss, not only to Turlock,
but to the Swedish Mission Church of California.

SAMUEL NELSON McBRIDE.— A man of more than ordinary ability and
prominence in Stanislaus County is Samuel Nelson McBride, well known as an edu-
cator, and owner since 1910 of a model dairy farm in Prescott Precinct, near Salida,
where he resides, and manager since 1919 of the three Grange Company warehouses
at Salida, through which pass annually tens of thousands of sacks of grain and tons of
alfalfa from the fertile fields adjoining.

Mr. McBride is a native of Ohio, but came to California with his parents when
he was a small lad. He was born near Deshler, Ohio, April 6, 1863, the son of
Rev. John and Mary (Hubbard) McBride, the former a minister in the United
Brethren Church. When he was eleven years of age his mother died, and thereafter
he passed much of his time with his paternal grandparents, Samuel and Abigail Mc-
Bride, on a ranch in Yolo County, near Sacramento. His preliminary education was
obtained in the public schools, and he was graduated from San Joaquin Valley College
at Woodbridge, Cal., then took a post-graduate course at the Normal School in
Weston, Ore., and now holds a California state life diploma. For a year following his
graduation, Mr. McBride engaged in farming, and then answered a call to teach in
the United Brethren School at Huntsville, Wash.

And now began an active career as an educator, which lasted for twenty consecu-
tive years, with the exception of one year, during which he engaged in the general
mercantile business at Montpellier, in partnership with his brother-in-law. H. C.
Keeley. Following the year at Huntsville, Mr. McBride taught the commercial
department at Weston College, Weston, Ore., for a year, returning then to California,
where he taught for four years at Salida, and for the following seven years in the
schools of Tulare County. He then returned to Stanislaus County and taught for one
year at Langworth, one year just east of Claus, and for four years in Stanislaus.

Although an active educator, Mr. McBride did not by any means confine his
interests and activities to his profession. In 1891, while still engaged in teaching, he
commenced to spend his summer vacations in the employ of the Grange Company, and
in May, 1919, was appointed manager of the three large warehouses at Salida, in
which capacity he has established an enviable reputation for integrity and ability.



804 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

In 1910 Mr. McBride purchased forty acres of the old Keeley ranch, which he
made into a model dairy farm and operated with marked success, owning at one
time a herd of thirty graded milch cows. In 1917, after seven years of constructive
labor, he sold the herd and leased the ranch, retaining for his own use only the
residence portion, including a handsome modern bungalow and a splendid orchard.

In 1889 Mr. McBride was married to Miss Alice Keeley, and their union has
been blessed with one son, Willard K., now in the employ of the California Milk
Products Company at Gustine, Cal. When the war was declared he was attending
school in Philadelphia and he at once enlisted, took the examination for the aviation
corps, was accepted and assigned to the Quartermaster's Department, and later passed
successfully an officers' training camp and then was assigned as an instructor in military
tactics to men being sent to France until discharged for physical disability. Mr. and
Mrs. McBride are members of the Presbyterian Church at Modesto, and Mr. Mc-
Bride is a prominent member of Wildey Lodge No. 149, I. O. O. F., and is a past
grand of that order. He also belongs to Modesto Encampment No. 48, and the
Woodmen of the World. Politically he has always been allied with the temperance
forces, and several years ago, in spite of his reluctance to enter public life, he was
persuaded by friends who realized his sterling qualities and ability to accept the
nomination for county school superintendent on the Prohibition ticket. Mr. McBride
first came to Modesto in 1873, accompanying his father, who came here to fill a pulpit
of his church, and who w y as for many years prominently identified with the work of
the United Brethren Church in this state; he now resides on a ranch in San Joaquin
County, north of Riverbank, retired from the active ministry, being now eighty-four
years of age, but is still recognized as a powerful influence in the church. His first
wife bore him four children, of whom our esteemed fellow citizen is the only one
living. After her death he married Miss Eliza Monholland of Stanislaus County,
who bore him nine sons and daughters, eight of whom are living and are well known
in this county. They are: Henry, Orin, Lena, Lettie, Louis, Leo, Dillon and
Esther. Levi died in early youth.

REV. JOHN M. SPENCER.— A worthy representative of the Christian min-
istry who, by proving a successful rancher, has also done something in advancing
California agriculture, toward making the state more golden and roseate to those seek-
ing homes and fields of occupation, is the Rev. John M. Spencer, the head of a large
and highly respected family, and the owner and proprietor of two farms in Lang-
worth precinct, in Stanislaus County. He was born at Canton, in Fulton County,
111., on December 18, 1848, the son of Richardson and Jane (Hardesty) Spencer, who
were among the highly respected folks of Canton, 111. Richardson Spencer was born
in Indiana in 1800, and came from Indiana to Fulton County, 111., about the time
when Peoria was founded. There he farmed successfully ; and in Canton he died at
the age of eighty-nine. His wife had preceded him about fifteen years. Nine children
were born to this worthy couple; and our subject, the youngest, is the only one sur-
viving today. Some years ago he returned to Illinois for a visit, and four of his
sisters were then living ; but they have since passed away.

John M. Spencer had the ordinary school advantages while he grew up on his
father's farm and worked hard. Self-made and self-taught, he studied for the
ministry, and in 1885 was ordained in the Free Methodist Church, and at different
times had charge of the churches at New Bedford, Algonquin, Streator and Marengo,
111. He was married in Hermon, Knox County, 111., September 24, 1872, to Miss
Mary M. Goforth, a daughter of Andrew and Phoebe (Eggers) Goforth, and in
addition to attending to the work of the minister, he also ran a farm in Illinois. For
a few years after his marriage, he lived in Kansas, where he also farmed ; but he was
persuaded to return to his native state, from which he came to California in January,
1895, coming almost direct to Oakdale.

After pitching his tent here, he was ably assisted by his sons, who ran the farm
while he traveled about as a missionary, organizing congregations and establishing
churches under the rules of the United Brethren. He was cordially received and
helped by many persons, but he will always remember with gratitude the late Thomas



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 805

Snedigar of Oakdale, who gave him the right hand of fellowship. He has served as
presiding elder, and in 1920, was appointed conference missionary by the United
Brethren conference.

The Rev. Mr. Spencer resides upon his home ranch of sixty acres, where he has a
flourishing grove of forty acres of almonds. He also has another ranch, of thirteen
and one-half acres, where he has three acres of timber and the balance in alfalfa. He
is a member of the California Almond Growers Association of Oakdale, and he main-
tains, besides, a keen interest in all that pertains to the cultivation of the soil and the
development of Stanislaus County's resources. As a minister of the Gospel seeking to
work in the most practical*manner, he not only preaches at Oakdale frequently, but he
travels throughout the San Joaquin Valley, where many recall the uplifting influence
flowing from his visits and labors on behalf of others. They had eleven children, nine
of whom grew up and eight are living, and add joy to the lives of this pious couple.
Cludia May was born in Kansas, and married and died in DeKalb, 111., leaving one
child ; Charles Andrew is an upholsterer in San Francisco ; Niles Franklin works in
the furniture trade and resides in Modesto ; Alvin Howard is a farmer in Los
Angeles County ; Walter is a farmer in the Langworth precinct ; Mary Edith is now
Mrs. C. A. Lukins of the home place ; Roy is a rancher at Oakdale and grows almonds ;
Robert B. works out on ranches, and Ida May is Mrs. Elmer Turner of Modesto.

I. A. HODGES. — Among the most reliable real estate dealers in Turlock, and
the oldest realty man in the local field, is I. A. Hodges, who was born in Lincoln-
shire, England, on May 1, 1851, the son of Isaac and Rebecca (Scarbra) Hodges, who
brought his family out to Canada in 1855 and settled near Brussels, Ont. There our
subject was reared on a farm, while he attended the public schools; and there, on
March 3, 1873, he married Miss Mary Buchanan, a native of Ontario. In 1874, he
removed to Virginia City, Nev., and followed mining, becoming well known as the
able and considerate superintendent of the quartz mill of the Comstock Mine. Three
years later, on July 12, he moved on to Fresno and bought land on the McCall Road
six miles north of what is now Selma, and there, with 280 acres, he engaged in general
farming. He bought 160 acres of this land at seven dollars an acre, and forty acres at
five dollars an acre, and with this advantage, he went in for grain and stock raising,
having fine standard-bred horses.

In 1898 Mr. Hodges went to the Klondike over the all-Canadian route to the
Nation River country, then back to Pt. Simpson and "then to Glendora at the foot of
Teslin Lake, and after that to Dawson ; and as superintendent of mines, he continued
there for three vears. He was the first man in the Klondike to thaw ground by using
steam. After that he returned to California and took his wife and son back to Nome,
where he remained for a year as superintendent of a mine. When he came back to
California, he located in Oakland, and for a year was in the real estate business there.

Mr. Hodges permanently identified himself with Turlock in February, 1906,
when he opened a real estate office here. He had always been a "booster" for California,
and he bought lots, built a residence, owned and sold farm and city propertv, and acted
as agent for tracts. He maintained an office at the corner of Front and Main streets,
where patrons always knew that fair and open representations, corresponding to the
truth, would be made, and he, naturally, joined the Board of Trade and, quite as
naturally, became more than a mere member in it. He has been actively engaged in
the real esfate business in this valley for about thirty-five years and he is the best posted
man on land values and production in Central California.

A Democrat in his preference for national political platforms, Mr. Hodges was
for four years deputy sheriff under George Davis, but he has otherwise never sought
or agreed to fill office, although he could doubtless have had other public trusts. He
belongs to Turlock Lodge, Loyal Order of Moose. Four children acknowledge him
with pride. Cora B. is Mrs. Rice of San Francisco, and the mother of a son, Virgil H.
Dr. George A. Hodges is a dentist at the same place. N. Corinn, a mechanical dentist,
volunteered for service in the navy during the World War and was stationed at Yerba
Buena as an instructor in the hospital and a sergeant-at-arms. And Delia M. is Mrs.
L. R. Payne of Fresno, and the mother of two daughters, Marian F. and Dorothy D.



806 HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY

HENRY S. KRIGBAUM.— For more than forty-five years a resident of the
Pacific States, including California, to which he came first at the age of twenty-three
years, Utah, Nevada and Montana, Henry S. Krigbaum is truly one of the pioneers
of the West, and has within the span of his years here witnessed many wonderful
changes in the growth and development of the country. He has been actively engaged
in various enterprises during that time, and has met with merited success at all times.
He has been a resident of Patterson since 1916, and stands high in the community
He has taken an active part in all movements for the welfare of the town and vicinity.
is public spirited and patriotic to the core, and is exceptionally proud of the splendid
service record of his son Lowell during the recent World War.

The son of Jonathan and Agnes (Gaynor) Krigbaum, Henry S. was born near
Zanesville, Ohio, June 9, 1855. His father was a woolen manufacturer, formerly of
Maryland, and the Gaynors were also a well-known family of Maryland. Our Mr.
Krigbaum received his education in Ohio, but at an early age was filled with a desire
to go to California, and in 1878 he came west to Utah and 1879 to Grass Valley,
where he found employment in a commission business. Later he went to Corinne, Utah,
then the only Gentile town in the state, and was engaged with his uncle, J. W.
Guthrie, a banker of that place, later becoming cashier of the bank. The opportuni-
ties at Corinne were good and he soon engaged with his brother Charles in the general
merchandise business, meeting with merited success.

The marriage of Mr. Krigbaum came in the midst of his prosperous manhood,
uniting him with Miss Helen Mary Dayton at Salt Lake City, June 9, 1886. Miss
Dayton was a native of Illinois, born at Sycamore, De Kalb County. Her father was
a native of Vermont and her mother a New Yorker, the father being engaged in
the mercantile business at the time of her birth. When she was eighteen months old
the family removed to Denver, Colo., at the time of the great gold rush, and for a
time her father engaged in the mercantile business. Returning to Kansas after the
crest of the gold excitement had passed, he settled at Spring Hill, where for six years
he farmed, remaining until the time of his death in 1885. At Spring Hill, Kans.,
Mrs. Krigbaum passed much of her girlhood, receiving her education in the grammar
school, and later attending Park College, at Parkville, near Kansas City, Mo.
Following her graduation she came to Utah as a Presbyterian missionary to Brigham
City, where she taught for two years, followed by two years of successful teaching at
Corinne, where she met the energetic young merchant who claimed her for his bride.

Following his marriage, Mr. Krigbaum continued in the general merchandise
business at Corinne for a year, and then went to Marysville, Mont., where he opened
a general merchandise store, selling at the end of a year and going into the coffee, tea
and spice business at Helena, Mont., then a thriving mining town. Here he remained
for two years, selling at a profit at the end of that time, and returning to Utah, where
he located in Salt Lake City and engaged in the real estate and insurance business.

It was in 1893 that Mr. Krigbaum finally returned to California to make his
home. He came to San Francisco to take charge of the Casualty Insurance Company
as manager of the Western Division, covering Montana, Nevada, Utah, Oregon,
Washington and California, with headquarters at San Francisco. He was an ex-
perienced insurance man and the business prospered under his management, and San
Francisco became his family home for some years. He bought a fruit ranch in Yolo
County and in 1897 went there to make his home for the next three years. -Following
this he went to Bakersfield and ran the Grand Hotel, then the leading hostelry of that
city, for a year and a half. He then returned to San Francisco and engaged in the
hotel business, being one of the victims of the great fire in 1906, and remaining there
until he came to Patterson in 1916.

Mr. and Mrs. Krigbaum have many warm friends in Patterson, and their
pleasant home just north of town is a delightful place to visit. They were the
parents of one son, Lowell, a sketch of whose life is on another page of this work.
He was engaged as a mining and civil engineer with the California Debris Commis-
sion, and was among the first to answer the stirring call to arms when America
entered the great World War in the spring of 1917. He enlisted immediately and



HISTORY OF STANISLAUS COUNTY 809

was sent to an officers' training camp at Vancouver, Wash., on September 5, where
he received "his commission as first lieutenant. On December 22 of that year he was
transferred to Arizona, and trained for a short time, but was sent almost immediately
to France, w:here he was commissioned captain. For the greater part of his overseas
service Captain Krigbaum was attached to the Supply Transport Service in Tours,
where he saw much active service and met with many thrilling experiences, but escaped
without disaster. He returned to America in July, 1919, and received his honorable
discharge that same month at New York. He returned immediately to San Fran-
cisco, where he had been employed with the California Debris Commission at the time
of his enlistment, and within half an hour of his landing was again installed at the
old desk in the same office, ready and eager for business. He met a tragic death on
May 10, 1921, in an automobile accident while returning from the mines.

GEORGE K. PIKE. — A representative of an old and prominent California
family, George H. Pike is very naturally much interested in the preservation of Cali-
fornia history, nor is his good wife, a cultured, accomplished helpmate, less enthusiastic
about the obligation of the present generation to those of the past.

Mr. Pike was born in Montezuma, Calaveras County, Cal. — the region immor-
talized by Mark Twain — on October 25, 1861, the son of Samuel T. Pike, a native of
Eastport, Maine, who came to California by way of Panama in 1850, and in San Fran-
cisco worked at his trade of carpenter, earning at that time extraordinarily high wages.
He had a brother, too, named Jacob, who was first mate of a ship, and got the gold
fever; he came around Cape Horn to San Francisco, and Samuel Pike got him off the
boat at midnight, and Jacob, with three other shipmates, took a boat to Stockton. There
they fitted themselves out for the mines, and the first mining was done about a' quarter
of a mile below La Grange dam. Later they formed a company to turn the Tuolumne
River at Don Pedro Bar, and were very successful. In 1857 Samuel Pike opened a
store at Copperopolis, Calaveras County, which Jacob ran, while Samuel conducted the
Montezuma House at Montezuma.

On the trip across Panama, on mule-back, Samuel Pike met Janet Simpson, a na-
tive of Edinburgh, Scotland, who was brought by her father to Cincinnati when she
was three months old and where she was reared and educated. In 1850 she was coming
by way of the Isthmus to join her father on the Coast. She was placed in charge of
Mr. Pike, who saw that she was brought to Montezuma; and this acquaintance con-
tinuing pleasantly and ripening into friendship, they were married in Stockton in
1853, and she spent her last days in Oakland, passing away in 1920. Grandfather
Simpson went into Mexico, learned the language find held office there until the dis-
covery of gold, when he came to California and died at an advanced age.

Samuel Pike came to Milton and for three years was busy as a contractor and
builder, and then he came to West Side, where he took up 320 acres ; but on account
of the dry season he let it go, and it is now the site of Crows Landing. After that
he moved to Tuolumne City, and went in for farming; later he traveled for a San
Francisco cigar firm; then, with Jacob M. Pike he opened the U. S. Restaurant on
Clay Street, in San Francisco, and with this experience he came to Merced in 1882,
and opened a restaurant there. From 1887 to 1890 he ran the Cosmopolitan Hotel
at Tulare ; but when they moved -the Southern Pacific Railroad shops away, he retired
and died at Oakland in June, 1915, aged eighty-nine years. Three children were born
to this estimable pioneer couple ; but a daughter, Ella, now Mrs. W. D. Collins of Oak-
land, and our subject are the only two to grow up.

George K. Pike was educated in the San Francisco schools and enjoyed the ad-
vantage of the high school there, after which he attended the Bernard Business Col-



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 90 of 177)