Biographical Sketches C Surnames
"A Memorial and Biographical History of the
Counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties"
By Yda Addis Storke
Adolpho Camarillo was born in San Buenaventura, October 29, 1864. His father, Juan Camarillo, was a native of the city of Mexico, born in 1812. He came to California with a colony, in 1834, they having for their destination Monterey, and, becoming tired of the sea, land at San Diego and continuing their journey by land. Juan Camarillo left the party at Santa Barbara, and became a traveler and trader with the Indians from San Francisco to San Diego, selling them trinkets and receiving gold in return. The Mission Fathers were very obliging to travelers, and gave him a room in which to lodge, and there, when all was quiet at the mission, the Indians came to trade. In this trade with the Indians he accumulated $3,000, and with this money he opened a store in Santa Barbara, and there made his money.
Mr. Pedro Ruiz had a large government grant of land, and upon his death the heirs sold the property, 10,000 acres of beautiful land, to Mr. Camarillo. He also owned town property in Ventura. Mr. Camarillo's family consisted of four daughters and three sons. One of the latter is deceased. The father died December 4, 1880. The Ventura property was left to the daughters, who are now married and reside in Ventura, and the ranch was left to the widow and two sons. Mr. Adolpho Camarillo is the manager of, and resides upon, the ranch, while his mother and brother, Juan Camarillo, live in Ventura, the latter being engaged in the general merchandise business.
Adolpho Camarillo was educated in the public schools of Ventura, and graduated at the International Business College at Los Angeles. He has been on the ranch since his father's death, and is extensively engaged in the raising of sheep, keeping an average of 4,000 head. He also raises the horses and cattle required on the ranch. mr. Camarillo rents 2,500 acres of land to be cultivated in corn and Lima beans, 800 acres being devoted to the latter. The renters furnish every thing and pay one-fourth of the crop for the use of the land.
The subject of this sketch was married, in 1888, to Miss Isabella Mancheca, daughter of Francisco Mancheca, a native of Spain. They have one child, a daughter, Minerva. Both Mr. Camarillo and his wife are members of the Catholic Church. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party.
A. Canet came to Ventura in 1873. His native place was France, where he was born in 1833. He sailed for New York, and while there was engaged eight or nine years in the manufacture of bonnet frames. He returned to France, and then came again, to California, where he took up his present location of 137 acres of Government land. He afterward bought 270 acres, and has since added to his property until he now has between 1,300 and 1,400 acres of rich pasture and grazing land. The land was wild and uncultivated, but he is improving it, and as the country grows it will increase in value every year. He is raising cattle, horses and sheep, but most of his time is devoted to sheep-raising, keeping from 1,000 to 2,000. He employs from two to five shepherds, according to season, and hound-dogs to keep the wild-cats from his flocks. They shot fifteen during the last winter. When they are in pursuit of a wild-cat they make the hills resound with their "music." In addition to his stock-raising, Mr. Canet raises corn and barley, to which the land is well-adapted; nor could it be surpassed for fruit.
Mr. Canet was married in 1864, to Miss Kate Brangan, who was born in Ireland. They have one son, Ed. C., born in New York, in 1865. In his political views Mr. Canet is mostly independent, but has lately voted with the Republicans. Mr. and Mrs. Canet are members of the Catholic.
Oliver C. Carle was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, August 29, 1838. His father, Joshua Carle, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1800; passed his life as a farmer, and died in Illinois, in 1884. His ancestors were Germans. Mr. Carle's mother, Margaret (Oliver) Carle, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, and was of Scotch descent. Of the thirteen children born to them, Oliver C. was the seventh. He attended school at Hopedale and finished his educated at the State Normal School.
His young manhood was reached at a time when his country was in great danger and engaged in the most sanguinary struggle of its history. In August, 1862, he enlisted in the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, and did his duty with bravery all through the conflict. He was in the battle at Winchester, Frederick, and other places, and his division was sent to New York to quell the riots at that place. He participated in the battles of the Army of the Potomac, and at the battle of the Wilderness was captured and taken to Andersonville, where he remained from May until September. At that time they were being moved by train to Florence, when Mr. Carle and three otheres escaped. They spent days and weeks in the woods, traveling by night and hiding by day. They were at times defended by Union men and made many escapes, and only one of their men was recaptured. In the dark one night they were halted by seven men, with guns, and they themselves were only armed with clubs. They represented that they were Confederates going to the command, and produced a pass which Mr. Carle had written. When they were trying to light a match two or three of them were knocked down at once, and the escaped prisoners broke away in the dark, followed by shots, and made good their escape. They reached the Union lines at Knoxville, Tennessee, January 12, 1865. In the charge on Petersburg, Mr. Carle was wounded in the foot, and was at the hospital in Washington when President Lincoln was killed. Mr. Carle saw his full share of the horrors and sufferings of the war.
When peace was declared, the subject of this sketch was mustered out of the service, and engaged in agricultural pursuits, happy in knowing that the old flag waved over a united country. He bought a large farm in the vicinity of Kansas City, on which he remained about seven years, a greater part of the time engaged in farming, and for a while conducted a dairy. A portion of that ranch is now included in the limits of Kansas City, and his son, Edwin T. Carle, resides on the portion which they still retain.
When Mr. Carle came to Ventura, California, he purchased 120 acres of land, where he has a most delightful home and where he now resides. The rare taste displayed in the arrangement of the grounds and the perfect neatness which pervade the whole premises, make it one of those attractive homes for which California is noted far and wide. Its cost was $26,000. Mr. Carle has also invested in other real estate in different parts of Southern California. On his home ranch he has many fruit trees of different kinds: among them are 500 walnut and 500 apricot trees.
April 14, 1860, he was married to Miss Jennie Taylor, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1840. This union was blessed with two children: Edwin T., born March 20, 1861, in McLean County, Illinois; and Ethbert D., born May 20, 1866, now at home on the farm. Mrs. Carle was stricken with consumption and after a protracted illness, in which all efforts to save her life proved futile, died January 26, 1867. After living single four years, Mr. Carle was again married, January 12, 1871, to Miss Adelaide M. Maitland, a native of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of William Maitland, of Lawrence County. They have had one child, which they lost. Mrs. Carle is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Carle's parents were members of the Disciples'. While at New Castle, Pennsylvania, he united with the I. O. O. F. His political views are in harmony with Republican principles.
John Cawelti is the son of German parents, and was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, January 3, 1829. He received his early education in his native country, and at the age of nineteen years, in 1848, came to America. His first work in this country was in a brick yard in New York, where he was employed for three months. He then went to Milwaukee and learned the butcher business, working for $5 per month. He was taken sick there, and from that place went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was engaged in butchering from 1849 to 1845. In the latter year he went to Iowa, purchased 160 acres of land and engaged in farming, continuing to reside there for three years and a half. In 1864 he came to California, rented lands in Sonoma County and farmed there until 1863, then he came to Santa Barbara County (now Ventura County). Like many others, he thought he was on Government land and for a time he fought title, but when he found he could not hold the land, he rented the property, and in 1875 made about $5,000 on about 1,000 acres of rented land, raising wheat, barley and hogs. In 1877 there came a dry season and he lost nearly all he had before made. The property on which Mr. Cawelti is now located was owned by the Catholic church. They sold to the ex-mission, and when the land was put on the market he bought 1,000 acres, at $16.25 per acre; or $16,250 for the property, paying one-third down, and going in debt $11,000. Since purchasing he has made many improvements on the place, has cleared part of the land, built two barns, at a cost of $1,000, and a nice dwelling, at a cost of $3,000; also two other smaller houses, and has built nine miles of fence. He has bought 640 acres of hill land for pasture, at a cost of $2,000; and now owns 150 head of cattle and eighty head of horses, and is out of debt, having paid up in six years. His horses are part Belgium stock, and he is now introducing Seavern blood into the cattle.
Mr. Cawelti was married, in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852, to Mrs. Sipp, widow of Mr. Jud Sipp, by whom she had one child, Frederica Louisa. Mrs. Cawelti was born in Bavaria, Germany, and when a little child was brought to America by her parents. Their union has been blessed with nine children, three born in Ohio, four in Iowa, and two in California, viz.: David, John Henry, Catharine, Jacob, John George, Mary E., Dora and Andrew E., all living near him except David, who is in San Bernardino County.
The subject of this sketch is one of the many illustrations how the hardy and industrious sons of Germany succeed when they come to this country. By his own intelligent industry and judicious management, he has risen from a day laborer in a brick-yard to one of the reliable and wealthy citizens of Ventura County, California. Mr. Cawelti was reared a Presbyterian and still holds to that creed. Politically, he is a Democrat; has been elected to the office of school trustee, but is not, in any sense, a politician or office-seeker. he is a quiet and unobtrusive man, and deserved the success which has attended his labors. Long may he live to enjoy the home so nobly and honestly earned!
Walter Scott Chaffee, a pioneer and one of the most prosperous business men of San Buenaventura, was born in Madison County, New York, February 2, 1834. His ancestors were from Massachusetts, but his father, E. H. Chaffee, was a native of Madison County, and was a farmer in the "town" (township) of Petersburg, where the celebrated Gerrit Smith was brought up; they were playmates together. During the great slavery excitement Messrs. Smith and Chaffee were "under-ground railroad" men, and many a one of God's poor they helped along the road to liberty. Mr. Chaffee's mother, whose maiden name was Celinda M. Stranahan, was a native of Cooperstown, New York. He was the third child in a family of seven children, and at the early age of fourteen years he began his mercantile career, being ten years a clerk in the city of Syracuse, New York. In 1858 he went to Portage City, Wisconsin, and opened a general merchandise store; but a year afterward he sold out and returned to his home in New York, where he remained a year. Then, in company with Jerome B. Chaffee, he went to Pike's Peak and bought two claims at Leadville, where he was a miner for one season. The following year, 1861, he came to San Buenaventura, when there were but three American settlers in what is now Ventura County. Two of them still reside here, - V. A. Simpson and W. D. Hobson. Mr. Chaffee started a ranch on T. Moore's grant and engaged in raising hogs. Six months afterward he sold his interest and opened a general merchandise store, and has ever since been in mercantile life excepting two years. When he began here there was but one other store in the place. He purchased his goods in San Francisco, and had them brought here by schooner. He has also been engaged meanwhile in general farming and stock-raising. He was one of the original incorporators of the Bank of Ventura, and is at present one of its directors. When the town was incorporated he was appointed by the Legislature a member of the first Board of Trustees. During the late war he kept the United States flag flying night and day upon a liberty pole in front of his store. After several of the flags had been stolen, he guarded the next one with a shot-gun for several nights. It was the only flag south of San Jose that was placed at half-mast when the news of President Lincoln's assassination reached the coast. Although interested in the political welfare of the country, he has never accepted office.
He built his present brick store, 30 x 100 feet, on East Main and Palm streets, with a store-house in the rear, another 100 feet in depth. He has also built an elegant residence on a 100-acre ranch near town, and he has a 3,000 acre farm and stock ranch on the Santa Clara River, thirty four miles from Ventura, where he has several hundred head of sheep, cattle and horses, and is constantly improving the stock. Parties are now sinking the fifth oil well on this land, the four already in operation yielding an average of twenty-five barrels per day each. Mr. Chaffee, notwithstanding the fact that he has seen forty years of active business life, appears like a man in the prime of life about forty-five years of age. He has truly seen a "wilderness bloom as the rose." From a little Spanish settlement the city of San Buenaventura has sprung up to a place of 3,000 inhabitants living in homes of beauty and refinement, with their numerous business blocks, metropolitan hotels, fine churches, model school buildings, etc. San Buenaventura has indeed been to him what the name implies, - "Good Luck."
For his wife, Mr. Chaffee married Miss Rebecca Nidever, a native of Texas, born 1846, and of their nine children all are living save one. Walter Scott, Jr. was born in Santa Barbara, in his grandfather's house, and now has charge of his father's ranch. The following children were born in San Buenaventura: John Hyde, now teller of the Ventura Bank; Arthur Leslie, his father's bookkeeper; and Helen L., Ethel, Lawrence, Chester and Margareta, all of whom are at home with their parents. Mrs. Chaffee is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Chaffee, although brought up a Presbyterian, has never joined any church. He is a Master Mason and a Knight Templar.
Paul Charlebois, one of the leading business men of San Buenaventura, was born near Montreal, Canada. His father, of the same name, was also born in Canada. His grandparents were brought when children by their parents from France, who settled as pioneers in the dense woods of the Dominion. Mr. Charlebois, one of five children - three sons and two daughters - was educated in the French language in the public schools of Canada and in the English language by himself. When twelve years of age he went to Ogdensburg, New York, entering a store as package boy, and remained there seven years in the employ of the house. In 1868 he took a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, and remained there a year and a half; then he was at his native place until 1870, when he came to California, settling in Napa Valley. Next he went to San Francisco, where he was a clerk for a year in a dry-goods house. In the autumn of 1871 he came to San Buenaventura and clerked for the firm of Einstein & Bernham for fourteen years. For them he had charge of their hardware and grocery department, and they had an extensive trade. In 1885 he took charge of the business of Leach & Hunt in San Buenaventura for nine months, and he then bought them out and has since remained in business, dealing in hardware, tinware, stoves and farm implements, on the corner of Main and California streets, in the business center; of course he enjoys an enviable trade. In 1886 he was elected a trustee of the city, and by the trustees elected chairman of the board, a position equivalent to that of mayor in a city. He was re-elected to the same position in 1888. In the fall of 1889 he was elected County Treasurer on the Democratic ticket, being only one of the two Democrats elected that season; he ran ahead of his ticket about 300 votes. He has passed all the chairs in the I. O. O. F., and has been District Deputy for the order four years. Religiously, he was brought up a Catholic; his wife and children are Presbyterians. The life of Mr. Charlebois strikingly illustrates the rise of a chore boy to a position of affluence and honor, and it seems that he has many years yet to live to enjoy the fruits of early industry, enterprise and good judgment.
He was united in marriage in 1874 with Miss Agnes Ayres, a daughter of Robert Ayres, who is a pioneer of Ventura County. She is a native of the State of Illinois, and was only one year old when she was brought across the plains to California in 1858, and was brought up in Petaluma, Sonoma County; and she came with her parents to Ventura County in 1869. Mr. and Mrs. Charlebois have an interesting family of girls, all natives of San Buenaventura, namely: Blanche, Celima, Emma, and Florence.
H. F. Clark is one of the young business men of Saticoy. He was born in Horton, Bremer County, Iowa, July 14, 1863. His father, Otis Clark, is a native of Ohio; and for the past twenty years has been a resident of California, and is now engaged in the lumber business at Yuba City, Sutter County. His mother, nee Laura A. Patridge, was born in New York, in 1845, and her death occurred September 30, 1888. She was a devoted wife, a faithful and loving mother, and her loss is deeply lamented by the family. She was the mother of three children, all of whom are living, the subject of this sketch being the oldest. He is a graduate of the State Normal School at San Jose, class of 1885. Mr. Clark spent some years in teaching, being for two years Principal of the schools of Brentwood, California, and in 1888 came to Saticoy where he engaged in farming. He has 100 acres of very choice land on which he has recently erected a handsome residence. He has selected a beautiful location for building, and when the arrangements of the grounds are completed it will be one of the attractive places of the community. Mr. Clark is the manager of 900 acres of farm land adjoining his own, the property of his father-in-law, John Nicholl. The entire tract is rented in lots of from forty to eight acres to tenants who are mainly men of families and in comfortable circumstances, the principal crop raised being Lima beans.
Mr. Clark was married, July 27, 1887, to Miss Agnes Nicholl, a native of San Pablo, California, and also a graduate of the State Normal School. They have one daughter, born August 30, 1888. Since taking up his residence in this county, Mr. Clark has been identified with its best interests; and is justly proud of the great State of his adoption.
Thomas Clark, a pioneer citizen of the Ojai Valley, was born in Ireland, November 14, 1842. His parents, Bernard and Annie (McCarron) Clark, were also natives of Ireland. The subject of this sketch was educated in his native country, and, in 1855, came with his parents to the United States and settled in Wisconsin, where his father purchased a farm. mr. Clar, Sr., was a faithful member of the Catholic Church all his life, and died in 1865. Mr. Clark is one of a family of three children, all now in California, and his sister, Mrs. Thomas Thompson, lives on an adjoining farm. After working for some time on a steamboat, mr. Clark next engaged in the saw-mill business, and sawed lumber to aid in keeping the rebels out of New Orleans. In 1861 he returned to Wisconsin and there met the lady who afterwards became his wife and has been a faithful helpmate ot him thus far on life's journey. She is also a native of Ireland, and of the same town in which Mr. Clark was born, her maiden name having been Annie Murphy. She was a daughter of Hugh Murphy, who was a native of Ireland, a devout Catholic all his life, and who lived to the advanced age of ninety-nine years. After his marriage, Mr. Clark worked a year in Chicago and then, in 1864, came to Sonoma County, California, where he rented a farm. In 1868 he bought 150 acres of land in the upper Ojai Valley, lived on it for a year, and then moved upon his present ranch of 180 acres. Here he has expended much labor in improving the land, clearing off the brush and stones and "making the wilderness to bloom like the rose." He has erected a comfortable home and has one of the finest ranches in the valley, and his success is due to his own industry and enterprise. On this ranch is plenty of fruit, which was planted for home use, but they now have more than is needed for that purpose. Mr. Clark has a splendid vineyard and makes his own wine, a superb article, and has it in his cellar for years, growing better as it gets age. In addition to cultivating his own land, he rents other lands and raises large quantities of choice wheat. Mr. Clark is giving some attention to the raising of Morgan horses, Poland-China and Berkshire hogs and Jersey cattle. They also raise a great many fine chickens. mrs. Clark is a lady of refinement and takes much pleasure in the cultivation of flowers, which are found in profusion around her home, and in bloom all hte year. The beautiful pictures and many ornaments which are found in her cozy parlor also go to show her good taste.
One day a minister called to see Mr. Clark while he was at work in his vineyard, and, after following him around a while, he said: "Mr. Clark, I must congratulate you. The Lord has placed you in a fine vineyard." "Yes," said Mr. Clark, "but the Lord had nothing but brush and stones here when I came here." When they first settled in the valley, there were only three families in it - the families of Messrs. Ayers, Lucos and Proctor. The grizzly bears were plenty and quite familiar. Mrs. Clark says they would lift a panel of fence and set it to one side and pass through easier than a man could. They were thinned out and gotten rid of by poisoning. During eight years of his residence here, Mr. Clark owned and ran the Ventura grist mill, in company with Mr. McGuire.
The subject of this sketch belongs to the Democratic party and is often a delegate in their county conventions. Both he and his wife are members of the Catholic Church.
Edward M. Cleveland was born in Fluvanna County, Virginia, July 19, 1845. Both his father and grandfather, Jeremiah Cleveland, Sr. and Jr., were natives of Virginia. His mother, nee Sally Wills, was born in the same county, and his grandfather, Miles C. Wills, was also a native of the "Old Dominion." The subject of this sketch was the second of a family of nine children, eight of whom are now living, and he was reared and educated in Virginia. When the great civil war commenced Mr. Cleveland was only sixteen years old. In 1863, when the need of the South for soldiers became great, at the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the Fluvanna Artillery, under Captain Massey, in Colonel Nelson's battalion. He was in many skirmishes and in the battles of Kelley's Ford and Winchester. In the latter a twelve-pound cannon ball wounded him the the back part of the leg, near the knee, carrying away a portion of the flesh and injuring the cords. He was crippled and in Harrisonburg prison hospital twelve days; was considered unfit for service and was permitted to return home.
After his recovery he worked on his father's farm, and later rented 400 acres of grandfather Willis, which he farmed for five years. He was next employed as a clerk in a general merchandise store with his uncle, A. S. Burgess, of Central Plains, and the following year he came to California. He purchased twenty-five acres of choice land in Santa Paula, which he has improved and where he has made a very pleasant home.
In 1879 Mr. Cleveland was married to Miss M. J. Fowler. She was born in Indiana in 1855, and is the daughter of Mr. Welcome Fowler, of Indiana. Mrs. Cleveland is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Cleveland is a member of the I. O. O. F., and in politics affiliates with the Democratic party.
N. T. Cody was born in Onondaga County, New York, September 12, 1826. His parents were both natives of Edinburgh, Scotland, and came to America as early as 1820, settled in Cicero and built the first frame house in that town. Their name, Mr. Cody thinks, originated in the north of Ireland; if so, he is of Scotch-irish descent. He has only one son.
Mr. Cody was educated in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated at the Willoughby College of Medicine, after which he engaged in the drug business in Zanesville, Ohio. From there he went to Cleveland and from there to Europe. He afterward made a second trip to Europe. He spent a portion of his time in Toledo, Ohio, and was also engaged in the drug business in Waukegan, Illinois, three years. In 1850 he came to California, first worked in the mines and had a trading station near Hangtown; next went to Mariposa County, and also had a trading station on the Merced River, being at that place during the severe winter of 1852-'53. From there he went to Big Oak Flat, Tuolumne County, and opened a drug store, and was in business there until 1864, when he went to Washington Territory. He remained at the latter place a year and a half, and was in the drug business nearly all the time from 1856 to 1890. He came to Ventura May 18, 1881, and bought his present store of Mrs. Simms, a sister of Judge Williams. Mr. Cody has erected the building in which his store is located, and is doing a nice business. He is also agent for Wells-Fargo & Company, having received his appointment as express agent on St. Patrick's day in the morning, and his wife took the telegraph office in July, 1882.
Mr. Cody's first wife, who was the mother of his son, was nee Susan Adams, of Providence, Rhode Island. Her father was a merchant in that city. The son, N. T. Cody, was born in Waukegan, Illinois, and three weeks later his mother died. Young Cody is now traveling in Europe, and writes home that the more he sees of Europe the more he loves America. In 1872 the subject of this sketch was united in marriage to his present wife.
In many respects Mr. Cody is a remarkable man. Has never run for any office, nor has he ever joined any society. He does strictly a cash business; owes no man anything, either in his business or out of it. He is averse to lawsuits, and would rather lose a sum of money than bring suit in order to get payment. He is, withal, a jovial man, and none loves fun better than he. He both gives and takes a joke freely, and if there is any fun going he is sure to know of it and have a share in the same.
Simon Cohn is one of Ventura County's business men and the pioneer general merchant of New Jerusalem. He was born in Germany, of German parents, April 4, 1852, and was educated in his native land, and learned the mercantile business in his father's store. He came to California, in 1873, to launch out in business for himself, and has met with that success which is the reward of faithful, honest toil. He was first employed by his brother, at Saticoy, and remained there sixteen months, after which he came to his present locality, in 1875. Mr. Cohn is entitled to the honor of being the founder of the town of New Jerusalem and of naming it. The first settlers of the town were three Hebrews, the fields were loaded with golden grain, plenty of fine cattle were in the valley, there was an abundance of choice fruit, and also milk and honey; so, the name of New Jerusalem seemed quite appropriate. Mr. Cohn erected the first building in the town, and in it opened his store and continued to do business in the same until the increasing demands of his trade necessitated a larger store room. He accordingly erected the brick block in which he is now doing business. This is a double building, filled with all kinds of merchandise, and Mr. Cohn is doing the principal business of the town. He now owns several buildings, and is also interested in real estate out of the town, having sixty acres of well improved land.
Mr. Cohn was married, in 1885, to Miss Minnie Cohn, also a native of Germany and of the same name, but of no relation to him. Their family consists of three children, all born at New Jerusalem, viz.: Dora, Helen, and Jacob.
The subject of this sketch has been Postmaster of the town for the past ten years. In political views he is Democratic.
J. S. Collins. - In passing along the Main street of San Buenaventura, in the centre of the business portion, the eye of the observer is attracted by one of the most substantial and imposing blocks in the city. That is the banking house of William Collins & Sons. A little further up the street another fine building start up promply among the rest: that is the Masonic Block, built by the same firm. Mr. J. S. Collins is the manager and cashier of the bank, and is a reserved, considerate but pleasing business man, of excellent business habits and large executive ability. He was born in Perthshire, Scotland, May 21, 1847, of Scotch parentage, who came to the United States, settling in Illinois upon land which they owned and cultivated until 1864, when they came overland to California and settled in Oakland. In 1869 they purchased a tract in Ventura County and were here four years. In 1874 Mr. J. S. Collins graduated at the State University near Oakland and came to San Buenaventura, engaged in the lumber business as a member of the firm of Saxby & Collins. In 1885 Mr. Saxby died and Mr. Collins went into the Bank of Ventura, where he was a stockholder, to learn the business of banking, and for a year and a half occupied the position of teller and director. Having the capital, and seeing an opening for another bank, the Bank of William Collins & Sons was established, with a paid-up capital of $100,000 all owned by themselves: William Collins, President; D. E. Collins, Vice-President and J. S. Collins, Cashier. From the very start the business was large, and now they do the largest banking business in the county. Their farm they sold for $100,000. The subject of this sketch is highly spoken of by his fellow-citizens as a liberal gentleman. When asked for money, for town or church improvements, he shows his interest to the city by the way in which he "puts his hands into his pocket." Scotland has furnished many a scion to be grafted upon the United States tree, and it is a vigorous growth in the California climate; nor is it a bad tree for the country. Mr. Collins is also a Master Mason, belonging to both the chapter and commandery. He is President of the Board of Trustees of the city, is a deacon and the treasurer of the Presbyterian Church of San Buenaventura, being a faithful and efficient worker for the upbuilding of Christianity.
He was married in 1877 to Miss Belle Gerry, daughter of Waite Gerry, and a native of the State of New York. They have one daughter, named Bella Walker, and born in Oakland, this State. Mrs. Collins is also a member of the Presbyterian Church.
J. A. Conaway, residing near Fillmore, is one of California's pioneers. He was born in West Virginia, April 4, 1830. His father, Eli Conaway, was a native of Virginia, and his great-grandfather was born in Ireland, and came to America before the Revolution. His mother, Mary (Baker) Conaway, was a native of Virginia, of Welsh ancestry. They had a family of nine children, of whom Mr. Conaway was the sixth. He was educated in Virginia, and finished his education in Iowa. He left home in 1849, and remained in Wisconsin two years; he then went to Missouri, and he worked in Ashley, Pike County, that State, part of the time as an overseer on a plantation; the rest of the time he was in a shop running an engine and sawing lumber. In 1853 he crossed the plains to California, with an ox team, having a prosperous and safe journey. He settled on a ranch in Amador County, and engaged in raising stock. He then removed to San Joaquin County, and settled upon a Government ranch, where he perfected the title and made it his home for twelve years; he improved the place by building upon it and planting a vineyard and orchard. For his present place he bought a Government claim, and also paid the railroad for it. The railroad soon after wanted the right of way, and he received his money back. Mr. Conaway took the place when it was wild and uncultivated, and has since built a fine house, and planted fruit of all descriptions, and the whole place shows the work of a first-class farmer; every tree and shrub has been planted by his own hands. He is engaged in general farming, and his orchard contains fruit of nearly every variety.
Mr. Conaway has held public office in the county for years; he was one of the first Supervisors of the county, and Assessor seven years. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church at San Buenaventura. Mr. Conaway is a Democrat and a temperance man.
He was married in 1859, to Miss Lizzie Jane Blanney, a native of England. They have had thirteen children; only ten are now living, five boys and five girls, all born in California, viz.: May, Kate, Austin E., Alice P., Jennie B., Charles W., Lulu V. and Lelia V., twins, Ethan W. and Albion N. (twins), and T. Benton.
A. Connelly is another one of the prominent ranchers of the Santa Clara Valley, who has risen by his own frugality and industry to an enviable position as a citizen and land-owner. He is one of a number of gentlemen of Irish birth who left their native land to enjoy the liberty of citizenship in the United States. Several of them have settled in the same neighborhood, and when they came here they found the country a waste; by their industry they have made it a paradise, dotted all over with the fine homes of a thrifty people. The well tilled fields of this valley, the neat farm houses with their fruit and shade trees and flowers, all go to make up a picture beautiful to behold.
Mr. Connelly was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, March 10, 1844, and came to America in 1866, at the age of twenty-two years. He first worked for wages in New York and New Jersey. In 1869 he came to California. After working some time in Contra Costa County and also in Sonoma County, and not liking the country, he came to Ventura County and was pleased with the prospect here. He was employed by Mr. Leonard and Mr. Hill, and later he rented 200 acres of land and bought a small house. After working along in this way until 1876, he purchased his present ranch of 264 acres of Thomas R. Bard. By building and other improvements he has made a valuable property of this.
Mr. Connelly was married in 1878, to Miss Eliza Cline, a native of County Longford, Ireland. They have had nine children, six of whom are living, all born at their present home, viz.: John L., Ann C., Mary, Joseph A., Frances and James N. The whole family are members of the Catholic Church. In his politics Mr. Connelly is a Democrat. He has been Roadmaster of his district for the last five years.
William C. Cook, one of the prominent business men of New Jerusalem, Ventura County, California, was born in Toronto, Canada, October 28, 1856. His birth occurred in Canada while his mother was there on a visit, so that he is the son of a United States citizen. His father, William Cook, was born in England, came to America in 1837, and settled at Buffalo, New York. His mother, Hannah (Chappel) Cook, was also a native of England. Of the five children born to them, William is the only surviving one. His early life was spent in Rochester, New York, at Buffalo, and at London, Canada. He graduated at a high school and also spent one year at the Huron College. For nearly a year he sailed on the steamship Oceanic, White Star Line, between New York and Liverpool, after which he traveled in England, Ireland and France. His father sent him a ticket to return to America on the Atlantic. He missed that ship, however, and sailed in the Oceanic. On that voyage the Atlantic went down near Halifax, Nova Scotia, with 950 souls on board! His parents thought he was on the lost ship, and it was a glad surprise, indeed, when he reached them in safety. His father thinking it best for him to learn a trade, he chose carriage-making, and worked at it three years, receiving $25 per year and his board. After his term of apprenticeship had expired he worked in the same shop for a while, and later in Detroit and Chicago. He then accepted the position of brakeman on the New York Central Railroad. After being thus employed for two months he went home on a visit, and in May 1876, came to California. He worked in Saticoy two years, then went to the Conejo Valley, and next came to New Jerusalem. A year and a half he worked here for wages, and then was employed for four years in Hueneme. He returned to New Jerusalem and formed a partnership with Mr. Wilkes and opened his present carriage and blacksmith business. The firm now, 1890, is Cook & Joy, Mr. Joy having bought out Mr. Wilkes. Mr. Cook owns a five acre lot, on which he built his residence. He also owns another house and lot.
The subject of this sketch was married November 26, 1876, to Miss Annie Groves, a native of Canada. They have a family of two sons and two daughters, all born in Ventura County, viz.: Hannah, Emma, Charles, and Willie. Mr. Cook is a Republican and takes an active part in political matters. He holds the office of Justice of the Peace, and is clerk of the board of trustees of the school district. He has recently been appointed Postmaster of New Jerusalem. He is Deputy Grand Master of the A.O.U.W. and a charter member of the order at Hueneme, where he aided in establishing a lodge. Mr. Cook has recently united with the F. & A.M.
It should be further stated, in connection with the history of Mr. Cook's family, that his father, brother, and an uncle were Union soldiers in the late war. His brother and uncle both died at the Andersonville prison.
Crane Brothers are the leading merchants of Saticoy. The business was established by E. C. Crane in 1886, he conducting it until 1889, when his brother, L. P. Crane, became a partner, taking a half interest in the business. The store was first located on the Telegraph Road, and in 1887 it was removed to a point one-half mile northwest of where the depot now is. After the depot was built, as they are buyers and shippers of produce, and as the new hotel is at the station, they saw it would be to their interest to again move their store, and accordingly located near the station. They are now building a large store-room at the rear of the main building, making the whole depth of the building 110 feet. Over the store is a large hall which is used for public meetings. Both of these gentlemen are enterprising and are active in all measures tending to build up the town. Both are native sons of the Golden West, having been born in Ventura County, within a few miles of Saticoy, their father, J. L. Crane, being one of the earliest pioneers of this part of the country. (A sketch of his life appears elsewhere in this work.)
E. C. Crane, the senior member of the firm, dates his birth in 1863. He was reared on a farm and educated at Carpenteria. In 1884 he was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Cross, a native of Wisconsin. They have three childre, Cora L., Ella and Clarence. Mr. Crane's political views are Democratic. He was Postmaster under the Cleveland administration. Mr. Crane resides in a neat cottage which he built not far from their place of business.
L. P. Crane, the jjnior member of the firm, received his education in the public schools of the county. He is a successful farmer, woning a fine ranch in the Santa Clara Valley, one miles from their store, and is conducting this in addition to his other business. He has built a nice residence and barn and resides on the ranch. He was married in 1888, to Miss Abby Briggs, a native of Yuba County, California, and a daughter of John O. Briggs. They have one son, Bertie, born in Saticoy. L. P. Crane shares his brother's political views.
George G. Crane, one of the prominent citizens of Saticoy, was born in Sharon Township, Medina County, Ohio, July 7, 1835. His father, George W. Crane, was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1809, and removed to Ohio in 1834, bought a farm in that new country, cleared it and made it his home until his death, which occurred in 1884. Mr. Crane's grandfather, Barnabas Crane, was born in Dighton, Massachusetts in 1774. Their ancestors were English and Scotch, and were among the first settlers of the new world. Mr. Crane's mother, Louisa (Briggs) Crane, was a native of New York, born in 1815. She is now (1890) a resident of California. Her brother, George G. Briggs, was the pioneer in a promoter of the raisin-grape industry in California, devoting as many as 1,000 acres to their production. She is the daughter of Thomas Briggs, who was a native of Massachusetts. Mr. Crane is one of a family of seven childre, all now living except one, and was reared and educated in his native place. When a young man he came to California, worked in the mines and by the month, after which he returned to his native State and purchased 125 acres of land. After residing on that farm twelve years, he sold out and removed to Cass County, Missouri, where he bought a farm and lived six years. He then disposed of his property there and went to Denver, Colorado, engaged in the wholesale fruit business, and later in quartz mining, continuing the latter business six years. In 1884 he bought his present home place of 140 acres, situated in one of the very best valleys in Southern California, and improved the property by building, tree-planting, etc. He has fifty acres in English walnuts, four years old, and one-half acre in eucalyptus trees, planted in rows six feet apart and four feet apart in the row, now over fifty feet high, which will furnished all the wood needed on the farm. Mr. Crane raises from sixty to 110 tons of beans each year.
He was married in1859 to Miss Adaline Huntly, a native of Ohio, born in Granger Township, Medina County, in 1836. They have two children, both born at his home in Sharon, Ohio, -- Amie and Abbie. Amie is the wife of E. E. Huntly and resides at Saticoy. Mr. and Mrs. Crane are members of the Universalist Church, and are liberal in their religious views. In politics he is a Democrat, and has held the office of Suprvisor both in Ohio and in Missouri. He has always taken an active interest in schools, and has frequently held the office of school trustee. He is an intelligent and agreeable gentleman, and is highly respected by his fellow-citizens.
J. L. Crane. - Much credit is due to the pioneers who came to this country when it gave so little promise of being what it is to day, who, with astonishing fortitude, spent years of labor and experiment, and who overcame the difficulties and discouragements that beset their way. J. L. Crane is one of these worthy pioneers, and is deserving of more than a passing mention in these pages.
He was born in Sharon Township, Medina County, Ohio, June 17, 1839. His father, George W. Crane, was a native of Massachusetts, and a pioneer of Ohio. He went to that State in an early day, took a Government claim of heavy timber land, cleared it up, reared a family of seven sons and one daughter, and lived there until he died, in 1885. Mr. Crane's grandfather, Barnabas Crane, was a sea captain in summer and a school teacher in winter, and lived to be eighty-four years old. They trace their ancestry back to England. Some members of the family settled in Massachusetts before the Revolutionary war, and most of the Cranes of this country are descendants from that stock. The mother of the subject of this sketch, nee Louisa Briggs, was a native of New York, born in 1815. She is now a resident of California. Mr. Crane received his education in the public schools of Ohio, and has been engaged in agricultural pursuits all his life. Before coming to California he sold his farm in Ohio to his brother, sarted in October, 1861, and arrived here in November. He came to his present location on the Saticoy ranch in December of the same year. His uncle, G. G. Briggs, came with him from Marysville, and bought 16,000 acres of the Moore Brothers, the price being $45,000. Mr. Crane had been married a short time before leaving Ohio, and to this ranch, in Marrch, 1862, he brought his young wife. At that time it was a vast mustard-plant country. Their nearest neighbor on the west was ten miles away, and on the east, twelve miles. The only inhabitants of Saticoy were a few Indians. The country was full of game, and it was not unusual to see bands of fifteen or twenty deer on the hills. One could scarcely go out without seeing tracks of the grizzly bear. At that time it was thought that nothing could be raised without irrigation. Mr. Briggs brought nursery stock for his own use, and the next year 200 acres were plowed and planted. An orchard, containing a variety of fruits, was set out, the first attempt of that kind in the country. They planted the first ten acres of corn grown without irrigation. Up to that time, Mr. Crane had been in the employ of his uncle. In the fall of 1862 he went to work for himself. That winter proved to be a short one, and the drouth of 1864 caused Mr. Briggs to abandon the idea of colonizing the valley. Every one was discouraged and gave up the thought of staying or the possibility of living in such a country. Mr. Briggs sold his ranch in 1867 to E. B. Higgins. In 1864 Mr. Crane removed to Santa Barbara, and engaged in teaching school. The people of Santa Barbara at that time were so discouraged that they offered land in what is now the heart of the city for $5 per acre. After remaining in that town ten months, he returned to the ranch and planted a quantity of potatoes. They were planted too late, however, and were killed by the frost. After six years of discouragements here they were heartily sick of California, and decided to go back to Ohio, which they did. They remained only ten months, and, after all, found that California had its attractions, and they were sufficient to induce them to return to this coast. They came with a firm determination to stay, and have never wanted to leave again. He resided in Carpenteria seven years, was there at the time the county was divided, and has seen a wonderful change come over the Santa Clara Valley. Mr. Crane now has a farm of 100 acres at Santa Paula. Twenty acres of this are in fruit trees of different kinds, 700 pear, 300 apple, 100 plum trees, and all other kinds of fruit.
Mr. Crane's marriage occurred in 1861, when he wedded Miss Jenette Briggs, a foster daughter of his uncle. She is a native of Massachusetts. They have five children, all born in Ventura County: Emmit C., April 6, 1863; Lincoln P., September 28, 1865; Cora L., April 21, 1873; Charles, April 21, 1875; and Chancy, November 4, 1877. The two oldest sons are merchants at Saticoy, and the other children reside with their parents. Politically, Mr. Crane is a Free-trade Democrat.
John F. Cummings is a prominent and successful rancher living four miles west of Santa Paula on a farm of rich land and on one of the finest roads. He was born in Richland County, Ohio, September 19, 1835. His father, James Cummings, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1795, was a farmer, and lived to the age of eighty-five years. His wife, whose maiden name was Christine McMillan, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1801, of early American ancestry. Mr. Cummings, our subject, the fourth in their family of seven children, was brought up in Ohio, and began life as a farmer on one of his father's farms. In 1860 he came to California and for several years worked by the month in the northern part of the State. Taking 160 acres of land, he improved it as he gradually obtained the means. In 1872 he sold it and came to Santa Paula, bought 150 acres of unimproved land, and year by year he has been making it one of the finest ranches in the county. He has erected the buildings and fences and planted the trees and witnessed their wonderful development. He has added other land to his original purchase. On this place he has raised heavy crops of corn, and also raised and sold many hogs; but his principal business now is the raising of Lima beans. Last year (1889) he raised on seventy-five acres sixty-five tons of beans, for which he has, at date of writing, refused four and a half cents per pound. On ten acres he raised 3,300 pounds of beans to the acre; this quantity, at five cents per pound, would be for the ten acres $1,650. His crop for 1889, at the same price, would amount to $6,500. He has harvested three large crops of potatoes from one planting; has raised corn sixteen feet high and ten feet to the ears; so that the productions of his farm are truly marvelous; and yet not all of his land is in cultivation. Politically, although he voted for James Buchanan for President, he has long been a Republican. He is a man of industrious habits, executive ability and hospitable disposition.
In 1880 Mr. Cummings married Miss Georgia Sweeny, a native of Long Island, New York, and a daughter of Charles Sweeny, a native of the same state. Their five children are: Ada B., Madge, Christine, Walter W. and an infant daughter named Esther.