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 97 of 177)
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Thomas W. Cheney was born at Bodega Bay, Sonoma County, March 21, 1863,
and when his school days were over he followed farming and stock raising in his home
neighborhood. Beginning with 1906, he engaged in the poultry business and came
to own one of the largest chicken ranches in Sonoma County. He was the proprietor
of the Twentieth Century Hatchery that had an incubator capacity of 12,000 chicks
and his extensive poultry yards comprised about 100,000 chickens. He also engaged
in breeding Jersey cattle, and in this, too, he was very successful, his cows testing the
highest for butterfat in Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties, the heart of that
prosperous dairy district, the average for the whole herd being 6.3.

While a resident of Sonoma County, Mr. Cheney was united in marriage at
Valley Ford to Miss Florence Wall, a native of Teegarden, Columbiana County,
Ohio. A physician of prominence at the time of her marriage, Dr. Cheney has
attained a high standing in her profession, a sketch of her life appearing on another
page of this history. They are the parents of one son, T. Walter Cheney, who has
an enviable record for service during the World War.

In January, 1910, the Cheneys located in Turlock, where Dr. Cheney opened an
office and sanitarium. Mr. Cheney brought his fine dairy stock with him from
Sonoma County and soon engaged in dairying on a ranch three miles east of Turlock.
He also has given considerable attention to raising standard-bred horses, owning
Sonoma King, with a record of 2:04. He also was the owner of several thorough-
breds, among others Gypsy Belle and Gypsy out of Gypsy Girl, that held a world's
record. Energetic and enterprising, Mr. Cheney has met with splendid success in
his undertakings and enjoys in a marked degree the confidence of the community.

FLORENCE V. CHENEY, M.D.— So well has the medical fraternity of Cali-
fornia — widely recognized as among the foremost professional bodies of the United
States — been represented for years past by women practitioners, that it is a pleasure
to add to that group one of the distinguished residents of Turlock, Dr. Florence V.
Cheney, the director of the Cheney Sanitarium. She was born near Teegarden.
Columbiana County, Ohio, the daughter of Peter Wall, a native of Ohio, who was
educated in that state and then became the proprietor of a sawmill. He also was the
owner of two farms, and a coal mine under one of them. In 1885 he sold out his
Ohio holdings and came out to California with his wife and eight children and set-
tled at Elsinore; he bought ranches at Lake Elsinore and was proprietor of a general

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merchandise store there as well as engaging in the drug business. He was also the
founder of the first bank there. There he made his home until 1910, when he came
to Turlock, bought lands and resided until his death in January, 1920, at the age of
eighty-four. He had married Elizabeth Long, a native of Ohio, and she passed away
in Sonoma County, the mother of ten children.

Miss Florence Wall attended the public schools at Mt. Nebo, Ohio, until 1885,
when she removed to Elsinore and there continued her schooling. Her grandfather,
Samuel Wall, was a graduate physician of the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical College
and practiced in Ohio, and she took up the study of medicine under Dr. C. L. Wright,
an Eclectic physician of Wildomar, Cal. Then she entered the California Medical
College at San Francisco, from which she was graduated with honors in 1891, receiv-
ing the M.D. degree, and soon after she began practicing medicine at Elsinore. At
the end of two years, she removed to Valley Springs, Calaveras County, where she
practiced for four years, and then she was assistant surgeon in the McLean Hospital
in San Francisco, where she remained until she removed to Valley Ford, Sonoma
County, to resume the practice in which she had steadily been so successful.

While there, Miss Wall was married to Thomas W. Cheney, who was born at
Bodega Bay, Sonoma County, the son of a pioneer settler there. Mr. Cheney became
extensively interested in poultry raising, having the largest chicken ranch in Sonoma
County, and was also engaged in breeding Jersey cattle and thoroughbred horses, a
sketch of his activities being found on another page of this work.

In January, 1910, the Cheneys located in Turlock, Mr. Cheney bringing his fine
dairy stock and settling three miles east of Turlock, where he engaged in dairying and
raising standard-bred horses. Dr. Cheney opened an office for the practice of medi-
cine in Turlock, and having enjoyed exceptional success, she built the Cheney Sani-
tarium at 200 Lander Avenue five years ago. This is now recognized as one of the
most necessary and serviceable institutions of the town and district, and it is not
surprising that it should have enjoyed that generous patronage so desirable if an
undertaking is to grow and increase in useful equipment. Dr. Cheney represents
the Eclectic school and her methods are consonant with the modern ideas of Twentieth
Century science. She belongs to the National Eclectic Medical Association, and also
to the Eclectic Medical Society of the State of California, and was at one time its vice-
president. Interested in all endeavor for the upbuilding of the community, Dr.
Cheney supports especially the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

One son, T. Walter Cheney, blessed the fortunate union of Mr. and Mrs.
Cheney; he was born in San Francisco and was a graduate of Turlock high school,
after which he entered the Government sendee. He served with honor in the Ord-
nance Department of the U. S. Armv during the great world struggle and holds a
citation signed by Maj.-Gen. C. C. Williams, presented when he was appointed to the
Adjutant-General's office in Washington, D. C. Later he was on foreign duty with
the Department of Labor and subsequently accepted a position with the Treasurv
Department at Washington. During this time he had been a 'student of law and will
soon take the examination for admission to the bar.

CHARLES GEORGE MAZE.— A young business man of decided ability whose
popularity is increased by the happy affiliations of both himself and his wife with
families distinguished for interesting historic associations, is Charles George Maze, the
wide-awake fire and life insurance aeent and grain dealer, who has a well-appointed
office at 911 H Street, Modesto, and dwells at 123 Elmwood Avenue, the same city.
A native son, he was born in Modesto on October 1, 1893, the only son of the late
Charles Maze. Jr., who died in this city on May 2, 1902, and a grandson of Charles
Maze, the elder, who came to Stanislaus County with his family before Modesto was
on the map. The grandfather hailed from Missouri and in that state married Mar-
garet Haley of Tennessee, who later lived in Modesto at the home of C. M. Maze,
Jr., where she died in March, 1919, at the aee of seventy-eight years.

The mother of Charles George Maze, Mrs. Ella Maze, nee Freeman, was born
in Calaveras County, and moved with her parents to Paradise, Stanislaus County.
When the railroad was completed, they moved their houses up to Modesto from


Paradise. Her father, Moses Freeman, a blacksmith and mechanic, came out to
California from New York in 1850, and made spades, picks, shovels for the miners.
At his shop, too, he constructed the first combined harvester and thresher ever put
together in California, a most interesting accomplishment, the patentee of said ma-
chine giving Mr. Freeman the order for the work. In moving his smithy to Modesto,
Mr. Freeman became the pioneer blacksmith of the town. A sister of our subject is
Mrs. D. T. Bunker of Modesto.

Charles George Maze attended the grammar school in Modesto, and the high
school at Belmont, from which he graduated in 1912, and then he went to the Uni-
versity of California and for three years pursued the law course. His father had died
when he was only nine years old, and the widowed mother, Mrs. Maze, had con-
ducted her husband's insurance business by the help of J. A. Lewis, formerly county
clerk and a true and tried man of affairs, as well as a pioneer of Modesto. Now our
subject is in partnership with his mother and conducts two large ranches. She was
twice married, her first husband having been S. P. Rogers who, with Robert McHenry,
organized the First National Bank of Modesto.

On October 25, 1916, Mr. Maze was married to Miss Lena Schafer, a native
daughter of California and the only daughter of George P. Schafer. While at the State
University she was a prize student, and was considered the most beautiful young
woman in the university. Her grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. Peter Schafer, the
well-known pioneers. Mr. Maze is a member of Modesto Lodge, B. P. O. Elks.

RALPH P. GIDDINGS. — Interesting historically as the first child born in the
town of Turlock, and honored as one of its useful and influential men, Ralph P.
Giddings fills the responsible post of postmaster of Turlock to the satisfaction of
everybody. He was born on May 14, 1872, the son of Elijah and Emily Giddings,
natives respectively of Connecticut and Massachusetts. His father crossed the great
plains in 1850 in an ox-team train, and after following mining for a time, engaged
in mercantile business at Empire City, Stanislaus County; and when the Southern
Pacific Railroad came through the county, and Turlock was laid out, he moved his
building and stock of merchandise from Empire City to the new railroad town, set
up one of the first structures here, and opened the first store, locating on East Main
Street; and in the sale of merchandise he continued until 1881, when he died. He
served as assessor of Stanislaus County in early days, and as an upbuilder of the county,
was honored by all who knew him. Mrs. Giddings, also beloved by those who knew
her, passed away in 1877. Three children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Elijah
Giddings. A daughter, Emily, is Mrs. W. S. Simpson of Modesto; Ralph P. is the
subject of our review; and W. W. Giddings is manager of the Modesto Bank.

Ralph Giddings was brought up in Turlock and vicinity where, from his tenth
year, he had to paddle his own canoe, aided by the grounding received in the public
schools. He worked on farms and learned how to drive big teams, and how to raise
and harvest grain. Then he leased a farm and engaged in grain raising and dairying
for himself. In 1907 he quit farming and moved to Turlock, and for five years he
was deputy county assessor under George Threlfall, giving up that work to become,
for two and a half years, manager of the Western Meat Company's business here.
These two experiences enlarged greatly his range of acquaintances, enriched his knowl-
edge of human nature, and increased the number of his devoted friends.

In February, 1915, Mr. Giddings was appointed postmaster of Turlock by Presi-
dent Woodrow Wilson, and in April he took the oath and assumed the duties of office.
On October 15, 1919, he was reappointed, and he has held the office ever since, grow-
ing more and more popular. It has been Postmaster Giddings' policy to require of his
assistants the closest attention to duty and the greatest courtesy toward the public, and
in this way, he himself setting the best example by actively participating in the work,
succeeds in having the Turlock postoffice render the very best service possible. When
he assumed charge, the number of stamps sold was 20,000, and now it is 28,000 ; and
the business of the money order and registry departments has increased in proportion.
Besides the free delivery service for Turlock, four extended rural routes are now
reached daily by auto. The large increase in the amount of mail handled necessitated


new quarters, which were duly arranged for and on January 23, 1921, the office was
moved into the new quarters, built and arranged in the most convenient manner to
save time for the employees and facilitate the handling and distributing of the mails.
Although a very busy man, who never neglects his duty, yet he finds time to partici-
pate in the Board of Trade and other local endeavors which have as their aim the
improvement of civic conditions and the general building up of the county.

At Turlock, his native place, Mr. Giddings was married to Miss Eva McBee,
a native of Tennessee, in which state she attended the excellent public schools. She
came to California when she was nineteen, and a California!! she has been ever since.
She and Mr. Giddings attend the First Presbyterian Church. Mr. Giddings was
made a Mason in Turlock Lodge No. 395, F. & A. M., and he is a past chancellor
in the Knights of Pythias.

DANIEL D. LUCID. — An experienced, progressive rancher with an unusually
interesting life-story, such as go to make up the annals of either the quiet neighbor-
hood or the bustling nation, is Daniel D. Lucid, who was born in Goderich, Ontario,
Canada, on December 10, 1862. His father, J. D. Lucid, a native of Ireland, died
when our subject was only four years of age; and his mother, whose maiden name
was Mary Dean, died about 1910. Mr. Lucid died of fever contracted after remov-
ing from Indiana to New Orleans. Three children survived these worthy parents,
and among them Daniel is the eldest.

Thrown upon his resources at the age of twelve and, what is more, made respon-
sible for part of the support of the other children, Daniel had little opportunity for
schooling, and he spent his youth in a print shop earning meagre wages, but learning
a trade at which he made good later in life. When a young man he became a mem-
ber of the Typographical Union No. 1 of Indianapolis, and true to the traditions of
old itinerant printers, he traveled throughout the United States and has stories galore
of adventures upon the way. He is now an honorary member of the Typographical
Union. In 1893, Mr. Lucid retired from printing to take hold of mining interests
in Arizona and Old Mexico ; but this departure proved a sadly instructive experi-
ence, and he pulled out of that mountain country without the riches dreamed of,
and with a clearer vision of the prospecting game.

In 1910 he came to Stanislaus County and settled on a tract of forty-three acres
eleven miles south of Modesto ; and having proven a thoroughly capable farmer, he
has brought his ranch, by unceasing efforts, up to a high state of cultivation and pro-
ductivity. He also owns twenty acres of rich land at Orland, Glenn County.

At Harque Hala, Ariz., and in 1896, Mr. Lucid was married to Miss Lelia Jage-
man, a native of Missouri, a graduate of the State Normal of Missouri, who taught
successfully for years before her marriage. This union has been blessed through the
birth of three children. Kathryn resides at Chicago ; Charles D. attended the State
University of Nevada, and majored in civil engineering; and the youngest is Elisa,
who was born in Old Mexico.

FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF SALIDA.— Stanislaus County owes much of
its prosperity, especially the rapid development of its resources, to its excellent banks
— institutions substantially founded by experienced and farsighted men, and afterward
managed with wise, yet progressive conservatism, and with the single purpose, aside
from a yielding of legitimate returns to the stockholders and sponsors, of rendering
the greatest aid possible to the communities in which they operate and flourish. Such
a pillar of strength is the First National Bank of Salida, conspicuous among the land-
marks of importance there of which the citizens are justly proud.

Its cashier is A. H. Hansen, who has demonstrated so well that one need not
be in a city long in order to both merit and enjoy the confidence of the people and
also to attain popularity. He has been in California only three years, and first came
here on March 1, 1920, to assist in the finishing of the building and in installing the
safe and furniture. On June 1, 1920, he opened the first set of books, and threw the
bank open for business. Since that day, the wide-awake folks of Salida have made the
bank their own, and have used it for the most varied financial transactions, so that


for a bank of its size it already has a very creditable record. Its connections with the
outside world are of the best, its facilities are constantly being improved, and it is in
the hands of those whose judgment, time, patience and sincere interest and sympathy
are always at the service of whoever needs them.

The officers of the First National Bank are: President, T. H. Kewin; vice-presi-
dent, M. L. St. Clair; cashier, A. H. Hansen; directors: S. A. Gaffnev,- Jr., Henrv
Vosti, M. L. St. Clair, J. G. Elmore, and T. H. Kewin. The capital of the bank is
$25,000; the surplus is $2,500; while the deposits amount to over $100,000. The
combined resources amount to $115,000 — not an insignificant sum for an institution
of this kind in such a young locality.

N. C. HANSCOM. — A well-posted, interesting old-timer in the San Joaquin
Valley who has seen a deal of what has happened in California for many years, and
has also helped to make the history of which, as an engaging and instructive conversa-
tionalist, he is able to talk for hours, is N. C. Hanscom, who was born, a native son,
near Stockton on March 1, 1856. His father, J. W. Hanscom, was a native of Maine
and left the East in 1849 to come to California around Cape Horn; and having
arrived in San Francisco early in 1850, he pushed inland to Mariposa and mined.

In 1852, Mr. Hanscom's betrothed came out by way of Panama; she was Miss
Amanda M. Tyler, also a native of Maine, and they were married at Stockton, after
which they located on some land and engaged in stock raising and general farming.
In time, Mr. Hanscom owned a farm at Atlanta; but he sold it in 1873 and removed
to Ceres ; and there both of these worthy pioneers died. They had seven children, five
of whom are still living : George T. is in the commission business in Modesto ; N. C.
is the subject of our story; B. B. is in Vallejo and works at the Navy Yard; S. L. is
in San Francisco; Elma was Mrs. Kirkwood and died in Oakland; N. B. died at the
age of twenty-one; R. H. is also at the Navy Yard at Vallejo.

The second oldest, N. C. Hanscom was brought up on a farm, while he attended
school, and at eighteen he entered the San Jose State Normal School, from which he
was graduated in 1875. Then he engaged in teaching, and was principal of successive
schools in Calaveras County, at San Andreas, in Stanislaus County, and also at Seattle,
Wash. From 1880 to 1884 he put in four years in newspaper work on the Post-
Intelligencer and the Daily Herald, in Seattle, and then he worked in various news-
paper offices in California, including Stockton.

In 1913, Mr. Hanscom started business in Turlock, opening a general commis-
sion house for shipments to the San Francisco market; and he became interested in
ranching in Stanislaus County, owning, with his brother, S. L. Hanscom, an excellent
farm. S. L. Hanscom also, while in Modesto, served for some years as editor of the
Modesto Herald. George T., S. L. and N. C. Hanscom are all interested in Stanis-
laus ranch properties, and they all have an interest in the commission business with
Lemos & Hanscom in the San Francisco enterprise, their energetic cooperation spelling
success where others fail.

By his marriage to Miss Martha Coulter, Mr. Hanscom has had one son, Waldo
Hanscom, who now fills with signal ability the very responsible position of chief
engineer of the city of Astoria, Oregon.

THE SYLVAN CLUB. — One of the most noteworthy of all modern movements
has been the organized co-operation of women in all matters of social, civic and
economic concern, especially along the lines where these conditions touch the home
and the family life. This is particularly far reaching in its effect upon country life,
for it has transformed the old-time farmer's wife from an isolated, more or less men-
tally starved being, into one of the best informed, active and influential citizens in
any community, keenly alive to her opportunities and to her responsibilities.

One of the most striking examples of the practical activities of the women on the
farms, is the Sylvan Club, a woman's improvement club in Sylvan precinct, the club
house being located at the corner of Sylvan Avenue and McHenry Road, both pre-
cinct and avenue taking their names from the club. It is the first organization of its
kind in Stanislaus County, and the second woman's improvement club in the entire


county, the first being the Woman's Improvement Club of Modesto. It owns, through
a board of three trustees, its own club house and grounds, the club quarters being a
handsome, commodious structure, in which the community social and civic activities
center, it being used for all community center work, for lectures, dances, parties, voting
headquarters, political meetings, as well as for the community Sunday school. During
the war it was the center of Red Cross work, war loan drives and similar activities.

The Sylvan Club was organized October 1, 1907, by a group of broad-minded,
public-spirited women, many of whom are now well known in woman's activities in
larger fields. Its first officers were: President, Mrs. Emma Parker, now Mrs. Young
of Pasadena; secretary, Mrs. James J. Hardie; treasurer, Mrs. Lula R. Smith, now
of Washington, D. C, and vice-president, Mrs. Dr. Eckstein, now of Los Angeles,
Cal. All of these women were keenly interested in the welfare of the community and
in their efforts for good they builded better than they knew.

The public took to the new idea immediately. The site of one and a half acres
was donated by Admer N. Standiford, one of the most prominent and progressive men
of the county, and the money for the improvements and buildings was obtained by
popular subscription, in the hands of enthusiastic women. Most of the labor for the
erection of the club house was the free will offering of the men and boys of the vicinity,
only the head carpenter being paid for his services, and the labor of love which went
into its construction seems to have become a very part of the spirit of the organization.
The building committee was composed of two members, Mrs. A. N. Standiford and
Mrs. W. F. Coffee, and much credit is accorded to their efficient and capable handling
of the many questions involved in the discharge of their duties. The original
board of trustees, through which the title of the propertv is held, was composed of Mrs.
W. F. Coffee, Mrs. Eckstein and Mrs. James J. Hardie.

Since its organization more than thirteen years ago this club has steadily increased
in membership and in power for good in the community, and has made of the Sylvan
Precinct one of the most delightful residence districts of the county, and might well be
the model for country organizations through the state. Its membership is over sixty.

RALSTON S. HIRST. — Among the newcomers of prominence whose native
ability and talents make them desirable additions to any community must be men-
tioned Ralston S. Hirst, the expert local head of the Nestles Food Company, owners
of the Carpenter Milk Products Company. He was born in New York City ; his
father, Penrose W. Hirst, ran a noted factor} - for the making of soaps and laundry
supplies in Camden, N. J. He is still living with his devoted wife, who was Margaret
L. Worrell before her marriage, at Pitman Grove, N. J. The date of our subject's
birth is August 9, 1872, and when he was two years old, his.parents removed to Cam-
den, N. J., where he grew up, attended the public schools, and later studied at the
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, pursuing there the course in chemistry, and later
becoming the chemist in his father's factory.

At Camden, too, he was married to Miss Lillian Hunter, and with her and the
rest of his family he came West in 1917 and settled at Gustine, in Merced County,
where he put up the milk sugar factory for the Smith, Kline & French Company, the
well-known concern making the Eskay's Baby Food. The following year, 1918, he
removed to Modesto and there superintended the erection of the sugar factory of the
Milk Producers' Association. Next he entered the service of the Carpenter Milk
Products Company, and in September, 1920, took charge of their Salida plant. He
is still superintendent of this finely-equipped establishment, which in May, 1920,
became an interest of the Nestles Food Company, although it is still being conducted

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 97 of 177)