Lewis Publishing Company. cn.

A memorial and biographical history of northern California, illustrated. Containing a history of this important section of the Pacific coast from the earliest period of its occupancy...and biographical mention of many of its most eminent pioneers and also of prominent citizens of today online

. (page 125 of 138)
Online LibraryLewis Publishing Company. cnA memorial and biographical history of northern California, illustrated. Containing a history of this important section of the Pacific coast from the earliest period of its occupancy...and biographical mention of many of its most eminent pioneers and also of prominent citizens of today → online text (page 125 of 138)
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sippi. He had a shipyard and dry-dock at
Milan, Ohio, about eight miles from Lake
Erie, where he built a great many vessels fur
the lake trade.

Judge Ruggles, the subject of this sketch,
was brought up in his native State. He was
nineteen years of age when he was educating
himself at an academy called the Huron Insti-
tute, at Milan, and the gold fever brought him
to this State, with the consent of his father.
In company with friends, he purchased and
completed a large oiitfit of wagons and horses
with provisions to make the long journey across
plain and mountain. They also started with
a Considerable quantity of clothing, hats, caps,
etc., but had to abandon it fifty miles west of
the Missouri River. The wagon was taken
back to Weston, Missouri, and sold, and the
party came on with pack horses and mules.
There were nine in the party, divided into two
messes, and they traveled together until they"
reached the South Pass of the Rocky Mount-
ains, when, as is natural and usual, they dis-
agreed and separated. The party of five, of
whom Mr. Ruggles was a member, by a little
stratagem the night before the separation, said
they were going by way of Sublette's Cut-ofE;
rising early next morning, they started towards
Salt Lake instead. The other mess, thinking
they had taken the other route, saw none of them
until they reached California. Mr. Ruggles'
party reached Salt Lake July 4 and Placerville
August 14, 1850, having the usual experiences
of the journey, spiced with a little trouble with
Indians, etc. The redskins attempted to steal
their live-stock, and one of them was killed.
In crossing the desert they had to kill all of
their horses, to put them out of their misery,
which was induced by want of nourishment
and water.

During the first five years in California Mr.
Ruggles was engaged in gold-mining at differ-
ent points, a part of the time with excellent
success; but he afterward lost his little fortune
in a tluining operation. The second year after


his arrival he was offered $10,000 for his in-
terest, which he refused. After he quit mining
he followed farming about fonr miles south of
Woodland, from 1856 to 1866; he then sold
his place and since November 6, that year, he
has been a resident of Woodland. Here he has
been Postmaster six years, — 1866-72; also at
the same time he ran a drug store, the first one
in the town, also a variety and jewelry store,
having a partner in his business. After his
term as Postmaster expired he continued in his
mercantile business three years longer, when
he sold out. Next for two years he prospected
around the State; then he was appointed Pub-
lic Administrator for Yolo County, by the
Board of Supervisors, and he also went into the
real-estate business and collection agency, in
which he has since been engaged. In the fall
of 1879 he was elected Justice of the Peace, in
which position he was ex-ofiicio Police Judge,
and in this double capacity he served for three
years; then for a time he confined himself to
the real-estate business and the duties of a
Notary Public. He has been elected to his
judicial seat three times. He is a thorough Re-
publican, and the fact that his district is at the
same time strongly Democratic shows his pop-
ularity. At the present he is secretary of the
Republican County Central Committee, taking
a lively interest in political matters. As a Re-
publican, however, he is not radical. In
religious matters he has been for many
years a member of tiie Methodist Church. As
to the liquor tratBc he believes in regulation in-
stead of pi-ohibition.

Judge Ruggles was married in 1859, to Miss
Mary Elizabeth Maddux, a native of Illinois,
and they have one son and three daughters.

fOTTLOB RAYER, proprietor of the Ger-
man baker}- on Castro street, Haywards,
was born in Wirtemburg, Germany, Octo-
ber 27, 1842, where he was educated and
hronght up to the baker's trade until 1864,

coming then to America. He stopped for two
months at Detroit, Michigan, and then was in
St. Louis, Missouri, until 1868, when he came
to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama.
After arriving here he followed his trade a year
in San Francisco, and then moved to San Lean-
dro and conducted the same business there five
years. His next location was at Haywards,
where he is now conducting a successful trade
in bread, pies of all kinds, and pastries, which
can be had fresh from his ovens daily; also
fancy and domestic confectionery, candies, etc.,
at wholesale and retail.

Mr. Payer affiliates with the Sons of Her-
mann, Lodge No. 14, of Haywards. He was
married at San Francisco August 1, 1868, to
Miss Caroline Fitzer, a native of Germany, and
they have three children, namely: William,
Frederick and Charles. Mr. Rayer is the son
of Lenhardt and Catrina (Finley) Rayer, the
father a native of Germany and a horticultur-
ist, and the mother also a native of the same
country; both are now deceased.

IHARLES E. FISH.— Among the promi-
nent and substantial farmers and stock-
rrowers of Tehama County we make
particular mention of the subject of this sketch,
who was born in Scott County, Iowa, March
27, 1852, the son of Erskine and Cordelia
(Freeman) Fish, both natives of New York.
His maternal grandparents, Samuel and Balinda
Freeman, were natives of New York, and moved
to the State of Iowa in 1844. His paternal
grandparents, P. William and Lois (Grover)
Fish, were born in the State of Vermont; the
former died in 1854 and the latter in 1870.

Mr. Fish is a self-educated man, being quick
of perception and unfiagging in his efforts to
improve the mind, and he certainly has raised
himself to the level, if not beyond that, of the
average man. He accompanied his parents
across the plains to California in 1860, locating
in Tehama County, where they followed farm-


ing for several years. In 1871 he moved to the
town of Tehama, and was tor several years con-
nected with the butchering biisiness. He then
went to Red Bliitt", continuing in tlie same busi-
ness for a short time, and then engaging in the
mercantile pursuits for one year. For live
years he was Deputy County Assessor. In
1886 he again engaged in farming, and is now
jiicated twelve miles north of Red Bluff, where
he and his partner, Frank L. Jelly, own 1,900
acres of land, and jointly carry on farming and
stock-raising. Politically Mr. Fish is a Repub-
lican, and is the regular nominee for County

He has been twice married, the first, Septem-
b u- 3, 1871, to Miss Mary C. Weitemeyer, of
Iowa, who died in 1881, leaving one child, Cor-
delia D. The second marriage was at Red
Bluff, to Miss Maggie C. Goodridge, a native
of California, and they have tiiree children:
Frank A., Erskine and Charles. Mr. Fish affil-
iates with the F. & A, M. of Vesper (blue)
Lodge, No. 84, Chapter No. 40, and Command-
ery No. 17, of Red Bluff.

— -^-m-^ —

J^ERBERT KRAFT, the richest, as well,
fra\ perhaps, as the most energetic man in
■^Is Tehama County, and banker, farmer and
politician, was boiM in Wurteinbjrg, Germany?
March 15, 1831, ami is yet a hile, hearty, active
man, with sufficient tireless vitality to attend to
his own diversified and immense business and
that of the county besides, as he is known as
the " working Supervisor of Tehama County."
He possesses nearly 20,000 acres of some of
Tehama County's richest lands, whicii might be
said to include the cream of the Sacramento
Valley. Besides the realty lie has some 9,000
acres of choice redwood timber, in one solid
block, iu Del Norte County, -within a few miles
of Crescent City, which alone is worth a round
million. He recently had a flattering offer for
an option upon this property from a syndicate
of London capitalists, but promptly refused.

Besides this wealth he is the owner of the Bank
of Red Bluff, conducted under his name; is a
stockholder and director of the Bank of Tehama
County, whose stock is never on the market; and
also a shareholder in the recently formed Mu-
tual Savings Bank of San Francisco, the guaran-
teed capital of which is $1,000,000. He also
possesses some choice property in the town of
Red Bluff.

His parents came to the United States when
he was ten years old. At eighteen he left home
without his father's permission, having gained
in the two years preceding a practical knowledge
of the tinning trade. When he left home his
worldly wealth amounted to $9. In 1852 he
started from Farmington, Illinois, for California
by the way of New Orleans. He got as far on
his journey, in a schooner, as Chagres, but there
learned that the rush across the Isthmus for
California was so great that his chance for pas-
sage was small; so he turned back and reached
St. Louis in March, and soon after left St. Jo-
seph, Missouri, in company with three more, to
" cross the plains." They started with a yoke
of cattle, a wagon and a saddle mule, and reached
Hangtown (now Placerville) August 2, 1852, at
which place the four dissolved their transconti-
nental partnership, sold their property and di-
vided, and Mr. Kraft at that time had $2.50 in
his pocket.

He worked at his tinning trade in Placerville
for one month and then left for Sacramento,
where he readily found employment and kept
at it steadily for two years, saving all his earn-
ings outside his necessary expenses. In 1854
he started north, on foot and alone, traveling
through Southern Oregon and Northern Cali-
fornia, in search of a permanent location. He
located in Red Bluff" and opened a small tin-
shop, where he found all the work he wished at
great profit. He continued to save, purchased
a fine store and stock of iiardware and tin-ware,
and by making direct importations of goods
Irom England soon found himself an independ-
ently rich man, with the largest hardware and
tin business north of Sacramento, which he con-


ducted for twenty-one years. He then sold his
business and gave his attention to other busi-
ness matters into which his surplus wealth
flowed. He loaned money to safe borrowers at
the prevailing rates of interest, and consequently
doubled his wealth very rapidly. National,
State and County securities which fell in his
way were discounted largely, while land pur-
chases were sold at a large profit. He gave his
attention to everything purchasable of a staple
nature, and iias secured grain by the train-load,
with which he chartered ships to carry the grain
to Liverpool. Anything tangible and safe he
has ventured into, often in opposition to the
advice of his friends, but the golden lining has
always turned to him. Although Mr. Kraft is
the largest holder of mortgages in Tehama
County, for the past ten years his legal proceed-
ings to collect the loans have not avei-aged one
per cent, per annum.

Mr. Kraft was married March ^15, 1861, to
Miss Elizabeth Krauth, at Louisville, Kentucky,
the home of her parents. This union has been
blessed with eight children, all born in Red
Bluif, six of whom are living, viz.: George H.,
Edward C, Augustine, Elmer, Nettie and Ger-

■^^• ! " ! - g—

fETEK KRELLENBEEG, furniture dealer
and undertaker. Woodland, was born in
Holstein, Germany, but at that time the
province of Denmark, June 22, 1828, a son of
Jocob and Mary Krellenberg, both of whom are
deceased. The mother, whose maiden name
was Jarvis, died in 1842, the mother of eight
children, seven of whom were living at that
time; the husband survived until 1849.

When a boy Mr. Krellenberg began to learn
the cabinet-making trade of his father. At the
age of twenty-one years he entered the military
service of his government and served four years.
He then worked at his trade until 1853, when
he emiorated to the United States and found
employment for ten years in New York city.

In 1863 he came to California, by way of Pan-
ama, and landed at San Francisco in the latter
part of June. His first year in the Golden
State he passed in Yolo County among relatives,
then went to Sacramento, where he followed his
trade five years. In 1869 he started in business
for himself at Woodland, with only a capital of
$600, which he invested in property for a resi-
dence. He also borrowed money and purchased
the corner lot where he is now located, upon
which stood a small frame building. This he
fitted up as a shop, put in a small stock of fur-
niture and began business. Three years later
he erected a one-story brick building and en-
larged his business. In 1881 his property was
destroyed by fire, his loss being about $16,000,
and the insurance only $5,000. Wholly un-
daunted by this catastrophe, he immediately re-
built his present large establishment on the cor-
ner of Main and Third streets, 76 x 90 feet and
two stories high. At present every available
space is utilized with his large and complete
stock of furniture; and he has besides a large
undertaking department, all of which is run in
the most improved style.

Mr. Krellenberg was married in 1854 to Julia
Claussen, a native of Germany, and they have
had nine children, only four of whom are now
living. While residing in Sacramento they
suffered much misfortune. It was there that
three of their children died; one died in New
York and one in Woodland. Those living are:
Eimel, who is associated with his father in busi-
ness; Emma, wife of Henry Kraft, of Colusa
County; Julia, wife of William Dose, of Oak-
land, and Nellie, living at home.


fEORGE C. LAHE, of Tehama County, is
a native of Salem, Massachusetts, dating
his birth February 16, 1847. He M%as
reared and educated in that place, and in early
life was connected with a boot and shoe manu-
factory. In 1868 he came, via Nicaragua, to
San Francisco, where he has been the book-


keeper for many mercantile houses. In 1884
he came to Tehama Cmmty, and lias since been
the book-keeper and cashier of the firm of
Simpson & Aitken, of Corning. Mr. Lake was
joined in wedlock with Mist. Lizzie Burnett, at
San Francisco, Januai-y 15, 1872, and they have
two children: 0. Hurberl and Jennie B. They
lost their two eldest children by death — Lizzie
and Florence.



the leading dentists of Red Bluff, is a son
of Dr. B. M. and Charlotte (Bidwell) Es-
terle. His father came to California in 1850,
and settled at Sacramento. He was the first
dentist of that city, and carried on a successful
business there. His mother was a daughter of
Samuel Bidwell, of Pennsylvania, and a de-
scendant of the noted family of Bidwells, who
were of English origin and were pioneers of
Philadelphia The Esterles are of French and
German extraction.

The subject of this sketch is the second of a
family of three children. He attended school
at Santa Clara College, after which he engaged
in the photograph business at Sacramento.
There he soon attained eminence in his profes-
sion, and at the State Fair held in Sacramento
he received the silver cup, a prize for the best
collection of photographs. . After continuing in
the business for some time, his health failed,
and for tiiree years he traveled througliout the
United States with his father, visiting nearly
every town of any size in the countrj'. On re-
gaining his health, he decided to become a den-
tist. He attended the Meadville College, Penn-
sylvania, and is a graduate of the St. Louis
Medical and the Missouri Dental College. For
live years he engaged in the practice of his pro-
fession in St. Louis, with Dr. Hall. In the
meantime his father made a trip to Shasta
County, California, to look after some mining
interest, and was taken with apoplexy and died
there. He was buried by the Masonic fraternity

of Red Bluff, of which he had been an honored
member. His death brought his son. Dr. Es-
terle, to this place, and he was induced to locate
here. He spent two years practicing his pro-
fession in San Francisco, and, with that excep-
tion, has been in Red BlutF since 1876. He
established himself in a splendid office on Main
street, corner of Oak, where he occupied saven
rooms and a conservatory, having it all furnished
and fitted with the best appliances for his busi-
ness, and being very successful. In 1882 the
building in which his office was located was de-
stroyed by fire. At that time Dr. Esterle was
buildingahouse on Washington street, and, after
the fire, he converted it into an office, and used
it as such for three years. Then he occupied
rooms on Main street for two and a half years.
This year (1890) he has established his office in
the northeast corner of the Cone & Kimball
building — the finest building in the city. The
Doctor, with his usual taste and ability, has
fitted up an office, consisting of a suite of four
rooms, in a most elegant and elaborate manner.
The rooms are carpeted, and fitted and furnished
with the most modern appliances of improved

Dr. Esterle is not only a skilled dentist, but
he is a refined and cultured gentleman and a
worthy citizen. He is identified with the best
interests of Red Bluff, and any measure that has
for its object the improvement or building up
of the city, finds in him a supporter. He has
made investments in town property, and at
present owns eight residences and places of
business. Politically he is a Democrat. He is
a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the
Eastern Star. He adheres to the Episcopal


fF. BURGAR, a member of the firm of
Nallman & Company, although a recent
" acquisition to Red Bluff, has thoroughly
identified himself with the best interests of the
city. A brief sketch of his life is herewith given.



Mr. Burgar's birtli-jjlace is in Ontario, Can-
ada, ten miles from Niagara Falls. His father,
Joseph Burgar, was born in New Jersey. Grand-
fatlier Bnrgar, also named Joseph, was a native
of Germany. He came to America before the
Eevolntion and was a soldier in that great
struggle. He lived to be 102 years old, and
his wife, who was of English ancestry, was 101
years of age when she died. Mr. Burgar's
father married Miss Aima Coneryman, a native
of New Jersey. To them were born live chil-
dren, two daughters and thi-ee sons. The sub-
ject of this sketch is the only survivor of the
family. He received a common-school educa-
tion in Canada and, at the age of seventeen
years, went to Buffalo, New York. There he
learned the carpenter and millwright trades.
After living in Buffalo ten years he emigrated
to Wisconsin, where he acted as manager for
the Fox River Improvement Company, building
locks on the canal which connected the Fox and
Wisconsin rivers. He was thus employed for
two years. Subsequently he engaged in the
lumber business, making shipments up the Fox
river and down the Mississippi to St. Louis.
After that he left Dubuque, Iowa, in a company
of twelve men, expecting to join a party of
sixty others and go to Idaho. They, however,
failed to overtake the larger party. After they
had gone some distance, one night while en-
camped, they were attacked by seventy Indians,
and Mr. Burgar's partner was shot and killed.
Our subject was treasurer of the company and
had $7,000 in his possession. Before setting
out on the journey he took a vote as to where
the money should be kept, and it was decided
to carry it in his trunk. When attacked by the
Indians they lost everything they had and were
compelled to retreat and fight for their lives as
they went. They killed sixteen Indians and
succeeded in making their escape. They traced
their way back to Omaha, reaching that place
exhausted and hungry. Before entering the
town they separated, thinking that method
would increase their chances for getting food.
Their plan did not succeed, for both the hotels

and private houses declined to help them. They
had been without food for three days and were
in a sad dilemma. Mr. Burgar had the good
fortune to meet with a friend, George Brown,
who at once loaned him money with which to
buy a coat and make himself presentable and
then invited him to his home. He gave $3 for
the coat. Arriving at the home of his friend,
a scant amount of food was placed on the table
and both Mr. Brown and his wife ate lightly
and helped him in the same manner. It ap-
peared to Mr. Burgar that they were starving
themselves as well as him. This, the doctor
atterward told him, they did to save his life.
Had they given him all he wanted at first he
would have died. When he recovered he went
to Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he worked at his
trade a year.

At that time he went to Monticello and while
there met and married Miss Elizabeth Blake,
who has since been his faithful helpmate through
all his reverses and successes. Mr. Burgar has
been a great traveler and has lived in a number
of places. After his marriage he returned with
his bride to Fort Dodge; from there he went to
Sioux Falls, Dakota, and remained two Tears;
next went to Dakota County, Minnesota, and,
with his brother, engaged in the dairy business;
a year later he sold out and went to Fargo,
Dakota. For two years he engaged in the
grocery business in Fargo. Then he built a
large brick store, 100 feet long, and tilled it
with general merchandise. He and his brother
conducted this store five years, also being
interested in grain and lumber. In connection
with their other business they shipped the
farmers' grain, for one cent per bushel, thereby
obtaining the farmers' trade. At this time his
brother's failing health caused him to seek a
change of climate. They rented their store for
three years, for $2,000, and removed to Grafton,
on the Manitoba road. There they built a large
double store, into which they moved their stock,
and conducted the business three years. They
then sold the stock but still retain the property.
Ilis l)rother's health continued to fail and even


a trip to California and a sojonrn in this balmy
climate proved of no avail, and his death oc-
curred soon after his return home. His wife
survived him onlj one month. Mr. Burgarand
his wife have taken the children and are rear-
ing them.

In Jnne, 1887, the subject of this sketch came
to California and, after traveling all over the
State for months, seeking a location, finally
settled at Red Bluff. He formed a partnership
with Mr. (y. JSallman, under the firm name of
Nallman & Company. They are dealers in
groceries, provisions, flour, feed, lumber, lath,
shingles, doors, sash, blinds, etc. The large
store they occupy, at the corner of Walnut and
Lincoln streets, was built and is owned by them.
Each of them has built a good house and owns
twenty acres of choice land, on which they have
planted a large variety of fruit trees, oranges,
olives, almonds, walnuts, apricots, peaches and
other fruits.

Mrs. Bnrgar is a member of the Baptist
Church. Her husband was reared a Presby-
terian. In politics he is Democratic, but al-
ways votes for the best man.

tNTON KLEMMER, senior member of the
firm of Klemmer & Etter, wholesale and
retail dealers in grain, hay and farm pro-
ductions. Redding, California, is a native of
Ohio. He was born March 29, 1842. His
father and mother, Anton and Catharine (Wig-
art) Klemmer, both natives of Germany, came
to the United States in 1838 and settled in
Trenton, Ohio. A short time afterward they
removed to Missouri, and in 1855 came to Cali-
fornia. They settled in Sierra County, and
there Mr. Klemmer engaged in mining. Next,
they moved to Long Bar, Yuba County. They
finally located in Virginia (3ity, where he died
in 1875. His wife survived him five years, her
death occurring in 1880.

The subject of this sketch was reared in
Missouri until fourteen years of age, when he

came with his pirents to California. While a
boy he mined with his father, meeting with fair
success. After becoming of age he started in
mining for himself at Virginia City, Aurora,
and Esmeralda, and has since followed mitiing
and store keeping in the differenr mining towns
of Northern California, having a miner's luck —
sometimes being successful and at other times
"broke." At Smartville, in 1868, he married
Miss Ella Thrush, a native of Virginia. Soon
after their marriage he returned to Grass Valley,
where he worked as an engineer one year and
lost the most of his wages. Then he tried work-
ing in the mines and had the same misfortune
again to lose his wages. At that time he went
to Colusa County, without money but with his

Online LibraryLewis Publishing Company. cnA memorial and biographical history of northern California, illustrated. Containing a history of this important section of the Pacific coast from the earliest period of its occupancy...and biographical mention of many of its most eminent pioneers and also of prominent citizens of today → online text (page 125 of 138)