Biographical Sketches D, E, F Surnames
"A Memorial and Biographical History of the
Counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties"
By Yda Addis Storke
F. C. Davis, one of the prominent business men of Santa Paula, was born in the town of Derby, Orange County, Vermont, May 12, 1857, the son of Dudley M. Davis, a native of Canada, who came to the United States in 1838, settling upon a farm in Vermont, where he brought up his family and still resides. He has been selectman of his town for many years. His grandfather, Enoch Davis, was a Canadian, and lived to be ninety-four years of age. Mr. Davis's mother (name before marriage Lydia Blake) was born in Canada, a daughter of Rev. Isaac Blake, a Methodist minister, who was also a native of the Dominion. His grandfather was Daniel Blake, and the Blake family trace their ancestry back to the Normans of England, and their forefathers have been of more or less historical note. Mr. Davis has an uncle, Isaac Elder Blake, now living in Denver, Colorado, who made a vast fortune in the oil regions in Pennsylvania, but lost it all in speculation; yet he has regained another fortune and is immensely rich. He is a fine musician and organist; has donated to the Methodist Church a magnificent pipe organ, equal to six common organs combined, at a cost of $30,000, and he himself is the performer upon this instrument. He is still Superintendent of the Continental Oil Company. His youthful resolution never to drink tea or coffee or any strong drink, he has faithfully kept.
Mr. Davis, our subject, next to the youngest of four children, completed his school education at Derby Academy, Orleans County, Vermont, at the age of sixteen years. He obtained his certificate and taught school in the winter seasons for seven terms. In 1879 he visited the oil fields of Pennsylvania, where his father and uncle had made money, but decided to come to California, where his uncle had come two years previously, to introduce the shipping of oil on a car he had invented. On arriving in San Francisco his uncle met him at the station and offered him $100 per month to run the Sacramento station of the oil business, which position he declined because he did not feel competent. He finally went to the warehouse without his uncle's knowledge and told the keepers that he was a young man from the east wishing to learn the oil business. They permitted him to commence work, at $750 per week, and in two years he became one of the salesmen. During the first year in his new situation he and four others were each to receive $100 per month if they sold 300 gallons each a day; but if less than that, $75 per month. At the end of the year it was found that his sales nearly equalled all four of the others, and he was given the position of superintendent and general manager of the business in San Francisco.
In 1873 he came with his uncle to Santa Paula on a prospecting tour, and while here organized the Mission Transfer Company, for the purpose of transferring oil by pipe-lines and marketing it. Leasing the territory they obtained a royalty on the oil produced. He and his uncle held fifty-one shares of the stock, and two years ago sold out their entire interest; but Mr. Davis has revived his interest in the company, and has also stock in the Oil Company of California. He also has a large stock ranch and considerable real estate in Santa Paula. He is one of the owners of the Champion Livery Stable, is interested in the driving park, being secretary of the association, which has eighteen or twenty fine blooded horses in training. He has a neat home in the town. He is a Master Mason, being now Senior Deacon of his lodge; is also an Odd Fellow; at San Francisco he was Vice-Grand of the lodge. In his political views he is a Republican, and as a business man he is one of Santa Paula's best citizens.
He was married in 1884, to Miss Miriam Garrison, a native of San Francisco and daughter of Lewis B. Garrison, of New York; she was born April 27, 1864, of Scotch ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have had two children; the first born, a daughter, died; and their son, Walter Elmer, was born April 1, 1888.
James Allen Day, one of the pioneers of the orchard business in Ventura County, came to Ventura in 1874, and engaged in horticulture, planting 100 acres to apricots. He also let 150 acres, which was planted to fruit, under his directions, and he built the first fruit dryer in the county; so that he is entitled to the credit of having faith that the soil of this county would raise fine fruit, and he backed his faith with his works. He is a native of Franklin County, New York, and dates his birth July 3, 1828. His father, Orrada Day, was a native of Springfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Day's grandfather, Robert E. Day, was one of the first settlers of Hartford, Connecticut, having gone to that State before the Revolution. They were Welsh people. His parents had twelve children, three of whom are now living, Mr. Day being the sixth of the family, and the oldest survivor. He was reared and educated in the State of New York, and his first business was the manufacture of lime and brick. He made a success of it in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for twenty years. Before going to Wisconsin he had spent five years in Massachusetts. When he came to Ventura he invested in land. He is still largely interested in real-estate, having 807 acres in one locality, and seventy-five acres adjoining Ventura. He has more recently interested himself in the construction of some fine blocks in Ventura. With three others he built the Masonic Block, one of the grandest buildings in the city, if not the finest. It is a credit to the city and also to its builders. Mr. Day had the superintendence of its construction. It contains two fine stores on the first floor, and above are several office rooms and a splendid Masonic hall, all the rooms being occupied. Mr. Collins and Mr. Day built the Collins Block, in which the Collins Bank is located, and this building is another ornament to the town. Mr. Day has done his part in the public enterprises of the place, and has been ever ready to help in what he believed was for its success. He was made a Mason in 1860, and is Commander of the commandery at the present time.
He was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Jane Warren, of Connecticut. She is the daughter of Mr. Alonzo Warren, of that state. Their union has been blessed with four children: the oldest, Alice, was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and is married to Mr. Charles G. Bartlett, of Ventura; Bera C. is now attending a university at Los Angeles; Mark E. and Lillie V.
Mr. Day has now, in a measure, retired from business. He spends his time in the lovely home he has built, on a sightly spot, overlooking the town and the ocean. He has also a nice club room, in which he may often be found, enjoying especially the company of his friends.
C. H. Decker is a pioneer of California, having come to the State in 1855, to Santa Paula in 1867, and to his present ranch in 1870. He was born in Kennebec County, Maine, August 20, 1832. His father, Stephen Decker, was a native of Maine, and was a merchant and farmer there; and Joshua Decker, his grandfather, was also born in that State. Great-grandfather Decker was an Englishman by birth. Mr. Decker's mother, nee Phelinda Pratt, was also a native of Kennebec County, Maine, and her father, David Pratt, was born in that State, and was at one time a hotel-keeper. Her ancestors were English people.
The subject of this sketch was the youngest, except two, of a family of fifteen children, six of whom are now living, three sons and three daughters. He was reared on his father's farm and received his education in his native State. When he came to California he engaged in mining, in Yuba County, three years, and was partially successful. For two years he furnished blocks for blumes, and from that turned his attention to the lumber business in the redwoods, being engaged in the latter business eight years. Since then he has resided in Ventura County. He is the owner of 146 1/3 acres of well-improved land, and is engaged in raising fruit and walnuts. The walnut trees were planted in 1878 and began to bear at five years old. They now average from fifty to sixty pounds to the tree. Has has a few orange trees that are doing well. At the time he settled here, Mr. Decker supposed his ranch to be Government land, and has had not a little trouble in securing proper title to the land. At last, after an expensive suit, he now has both Government title and a deed from the railroad.
Mr. Decker was married, in September, 1853, to Miss Mary Lewis, a native of Maine. To them was born a daughter, Frances, June 14, 1854, who is now the wife of George P. Willer, and resides at Newton. He was again married, August 12, 1873, to Miss Emily M. Rowell, a native of Maine. They had three children, all born at their present home in Ventura County: Burtis L., May 17, 1874; George V., October 12, 1876, and Bertha N., October 16, 1878. Mrs. Decker's death occurred October 22, 1885. June 2, 1888, Mr. Decker wedded Miss Gertrude Hill, at Santa Paula. She is a native of Missouri, born in Richmond, November 18, 1865. They have one daughter, Ruth, born October 22, 1889.
Mr. Decker is a member and a trustee of the Sespe Methodist church. Politically he is Prohibitionist. He is a man who has been identified with the best interest of the county ever since he took up his residence here: has served the public as School Trustee, and also as Postmaster of Fillmore, having been the first postmaster, when the office was established in 1870.
Jose De La Rosa was born in the city of Los Angeles, Mexico, January 5, 1790, at one o'clock in the morning, and was baptized in the cathedral the same day at seven o'clock in the evening. He is the son of Senor Don Jose florencio de la Rosa and Dona Maria Antonia Narzisa Rosa. His baptismal name is Jose Maria Telisforo de la Solida de los Santos Angeles de la Rosa. He has the distinction of being the first printer in this State, having arrived from Mexico in 1834. He was sent by the Mexican government, as government printer in California. In the year 1845 he was appointed by the government as Alcalde of Sonoma (which is the same in the English language as district judge). He remained in Sonoma until 1867, when he removed to Martinez, Contra Costa County. Here he resided until 1879, and in that year he came to Ventura, where he still lives, in the enjoyment of good health, at the advanced age of one hundred years. He is a devout Catholic.
Donlon Brothers are prominent ranchers of Hueneme, and natives of California. Their father, Peter Donlon, came to Ventura County in 1870, with his wife and their two little sons. He purchased 400 acres of land, which has since become valuable property. It was at that time a wilderness, and the little board house, still standing not far from their more modern home, speaks plainly of pioneer times and days of small things. Peter Donlon was born in County Longford, Ireland, in 1846, both his parents being natives of Ireland. he was an industrious and respected citizen, and by his honest toil he had provided himself and his family with a comfortable home, surrounded by fruit trees and fields of waving grain, in one of the most fertile valleys of the State. Here, when he was so favorably situated to enjoy life, a fatal accident occurred, in 1888, that terminated his useful life. He was engaged in cutting trees, and a ladder was thrown against his head by a falling tree, which resulted in his death a few hours afterward. This sad accident was a severe trial to his family, and a shock to the community in which he had resided so long. He left a family of five children, three sons and two daughtes, as follows: James T., born in Alameda County, July 29, 1868; Charles, also born in Alameda County, August 30, 1869; Joseph, born at the home ranch in 1871; and both the sisters, Mary and Ida, also born at the home place.
Since their father's death the farm is being conducted by the sons, under the firm name of Donlon Brothers, and the sisters manage the housekeeping. The crop raised on this ranch is principally barley, but they also do general farming and raise horses, cattle and hogs. They are agents for 600 acres of land besides their own ranch, and 350 acres of it they are farming.
The family are all members of the Catholic Church. The two oldest sons belong to the Young Men's Institute and the youngest is a member of the order of Native Sons of the Golden West.
John Donlon is one of the prominent ranchers of Ventura County, California. He was born in County Longford, Ireland, in the year 1847, the son of Irish parents. He came to California, in the fall of 1870, and since that time has been variously employed. He first worked for wages at San Jose and in Alameda County for three years. Next he went to San Francisco, where he was employed for two years. In 1875 he came to Ventura County, and worked out for a year, after which he engaged in sheep-raising, following that business seven years, and keeping from 500 to 3,000 sheep. He sold his sheep and purchased 403 acres of land, and on this property he has since lived, engaged in farming. His principal crop has been barley, of which he has raised 3,400 sacks in a single year, which sold for ninety cents per hundred pounds. He also raises horses, cattle and hogs.
Nearly all this time Mr. Donlon lived the life of a single man. June 24, 1886, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Forrer, a beautiful young lady, native of Utah, and daughter of Fred and Caroline Forrer, natives of Germany. Now things are changed at the once dreary bachelor's hall, for here are two interesting children: Peter A., born April 28, 1887, and William C., born December 2, 1888. The patter of children's feet can be heard and the prattle of childish voices greet the tired father as he returns from his daily routine of ranch life; and he whispers to himself, "How much I missed by remaining single so long!"
Mr. Donlon is, religiously, a Catholic, and, politically, a Democrat. He has served the public as School Trustee, and is much interested in the development of his section of the country. Living, as he does, so near the village of New Jerusalem, he enjoys the advantages of stores, school and church.
Henry Dubbers, a rancher residing in Ventura, came to Ventura in 1862, and as he is one of its most worthy pioneers, this history would not be complete without recording his life. He was born in Holstein, in the year 1819, and came to America in 1851, coming direct from Germany to California. His parents were both natives of Germany, and his father was a merchant. When Mr. Dubbers came to San Francisco he was sick, and his intentions were to go to South America; but becoming acquainted with other Germans, who were engaged in farming, he was induced by them to stay in California. They had rented land in San Mateo County at $4 per acre, and induced him to put capital in the business; he soon discovered that there would be a loss in the venture, and took it under his own management. He soon after bought the property - 500 acres - and made good to the other parties all that they had put in and more. The property advanced on his hands, and he sold it at a liberal advance. He then came to Ventura, but the title to the lands was so unsettled that he did not buy at that time. A few years afterward oil was discovered, and it was pronounced very rich; New York and Philadelphia capitalists came in, and as he could talk Spanish he was taken in with them. They bought a large tract of land, and Mr. Dubbers took charge of the receiving of the machinery and supplies for the soil wells, and forwarding it to the wells. When Mr. Dubbers came to Ventura only two or three schooners stopped here during the year, to bring supplies and provisions, and for a good while the country was very much isolated from the outside world.
He bought an interest in the Santa Ana ranch, and owns about 930 acres; he is raising wheat and barley on it. He had fifteen acres in city tracts, which he subdivided, and has sold about half of it at renumerative prices.
In 1859 Mr. Dubbers was united in marriage to Miss Wilhelmina Osterman, a native of Germany. They had four children: - Henry, born in San Mateo; Hattie, born in Ventura, and is married to Mr. J. B. Ward, a civil engineer from Cleveland, Ohio; Alfred, born in Ventura, and is now at the Berkeley University; Emma, born in Ventura, and is now with her sister in Pittsburg. Henry is married, and lives at Point Reyes. Mr. Dubber's ancestors are all deceased, in Germany, but he thinks of making a visit to that place; he has lived in Brazil and buenos Ayres, and can speak English, Spanish, French and German. When he came to Ventura there were only a few Americans in the place, and no mail conveniences. When the postoffice was established, Mr. V. A. Simpson was the first postmaster, and a stage route was established twice a week from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. Mr. Dubbers is leading a quiet and retired life, in his old-style, adobe house, surrounded with life's comforts. He is spending the remainder of his life under the shade of some large trees planted by his own hands.
F. H. Dunham is one of the most prominent business men of Santa Paula, is a stockholder in and a director of the Hardison & Stewart Oil Company, and Superintendent of the Mission Transfer Company's oil refinery. There are four companies here interested in the oil development: the Hardison-Stewart Company, the Sespe Oil Company, Torrey Canon Oil Company, and also the Mission Transfer Company, which latter are refiners and marketers of the oil and transfer it from the wells to their refinery and see to its shipment. Mr. Dunham was born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, October 26, 1855. He is a son of Rufus A. Dunham, a native of Massachusetts, born in September, 1819. His grandfather, George Dunham, was also born in Massachusetts. They are of English ancestry. Robert Dunham, who is the progenitor of the American branch of the family, was born in England about the year 1760. When sixteen years of age he was drafted into the English army to fight the American Colonies. When he reached America he took the first opportunity offered to join the American forces, and at the close of the war he made his home in Massachusetts. He was a descendant of Sir R. Dunham, a Knight of the west of England. They had a family coat-=of-arms, which is yet in existence, and it is stated that at the close of the war he expected to found an estate in America, but was not successful as it was contrary to the ideas of the founders of a republic. Mr. Dunham's mother's name was Hannah Morton Westgate. She was born in Rochester, Massachusetts, in 1821. In speaking of Mr. Dunham's paternal ancestors, it should be further stated that his great-grandmother, nee Mary Albertson, was a direct descendant of Peregrine White, one of the original Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony. The subject of this sketch was the seventh of a family of twelve children, ten of whom are now living. He was reared and educated in his native town, graduating at the high school at the age of sixteen. When he was eighteen years old he engaged in the steam laundry business in which he continued six years. He then removed to Olean, New York, and went into the employ of the Acme Oil Company, remaining with them seven years and in that time learning the business thoroughly. From there he came to Santa Paula, California, to superintend the construction of the oil refinery and to operate the works, in which business he is still engaged. The capital stock of the Mission Transfer Company is $250,000, and their refinery is the most complete of all on the Coast. The quality of their refined petroleum is unsurpassed by any in the world. Mr. Dunham is a most competent man in his line of business. He is a man of few words, but has a fine business head and is a gentleman of first-class business integrity.
Mrs. Dunham is a native of Massachusetts, born in April, 1863. Her maiden name was Alice M. Green, and she is the daughter of Captain Paul Green, of that State. She and Mr. Dunham were married in 1882. They are both Methodists and he is a steward and trustee of that church. Mr. Dunham is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Dunham reside in a beautiful and substantial new house of their own planning and building. The grounds are being ornamented with trees and flowers, and the place is fast becoming one of those delightful homes, of which there are so many in Southern California.
C. S. Duval, the building and proprietor of the Charles Hotel, Saticoy, was born in Maine, August 4, 1858. He is a son [of] E. A. Duval, mention of whom will be found in another part of this book, where the history of the family is given as far as known. Mr. Duval came with his father to Saticoy in 1868, and was engaged in the general merchandise business, under the name of Crane & Duval, for two years. He sold his interest and purchased lots of the Pacific Improvement Company, with the understanding that he would build a hotel for the accommodation of their trains. He accordingly erected the Charles Hotel, 56 x 100 feet, two stories high, having a balustrade on three sides, and containing twenty-five rooms. It was built at a cost of $12,000 and was opened to the public June 2, 1889, being the first hotel in this part of the valley. After being successfully conducted for eight months, it was destroyed by fire. The cook upset a pot of lard on the range, and, there being a strong wind blowing, the whole house was soon in flames. Their best efforts to save the building was ineffectual, only a portion of the foundation being left. The property was insured for $8,000, which the company paid in full; and Mr. Duval commenced the erection of a new building on the 3d of March, 1890, which was opened for business April 4. It contains eighteen rooms and is suitably finished and furnished throughout. It is the eating-house for the trveling public between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, trains stopping for both dinner and supper. This house is being conducted in a first-class way, and Mr. Duval, by his genial and accommodating manner, has secured a good patronge.
Mr. Duval was married in 1879 for Miss Mary E. Know, a native of Iowa, and daughter of John Knox of that State. This union has been blessed with three children, Elmer H., Lawrence and Melvin, all born at Saticoy.
Mr. Duval belongs to the Regulators of Santa Clara Valley. In politics he is Republican.
E. A. Duval is an early settler and a prominent business man and racher of Saticoy, Ventura County, California. He was born in one of the Windward Islands of France, September 14, 1834. His parents and all his ancestors were French people. Mr. Duval came to American when sixteen years of age, and has become thoroughly identified with American principles and government. A part of his life was spent in the State of Maine. He came to California in 1861, went to the mines in Nevada for three years, and was afterward in the grocery business. From Virginia City he came to Saticoy, in 1868. This country was then a vast field of mustard. Mr. Duval purchased seventy-five acres of land, built a house, and at once commenced the work of planting trees. Some of the trees first planted have attained a wonderful growth. His land is now mostly devoted to fruit - apricots, peaches, plums, prunes, nectarines, apples, pears, figs, oranges, lemons, blackberries, almonds and walnuts. At the time he bought this property, land was sold at from $12 to $20 per acre. It is now worth from $150 to $500 per acre, according to the improvements made. Mr. Duval has disposed of a part of his land, but retains a fine home, where he resides; and in addition to his ranch interests he is also engaged in mercantile business.
He was married, April 15, 1855, to Miss Artemisa G. Hopkins, who was born in Frankfort, Maine, daughter of Captain Smith Hopkins and Susanna Hopkins. Their union has been blessed with ten childre, nine living, viz.: Charles S., Carrie, Winton, Gertrude, Anna, Willie, Walter, Earnest, and Edwin. The first three were born in Maine, and the others in Saticoy, California. They are members of the Union Church of Saticoy. In his religious views Mr. Duval is a Conditional Immortalist. Politically, he is a Prohibitionist. He is a public-spirited citizen, and is much interested in the upbuilding of his town.
R. J. Ealy, a rancher near Fillmore, was born in Johnson County, Iowa, February 12, 1853. His father, William C. Ealy, is a native of Pennsylvania, born November 3, 1815; was an architect and builder, and is now a resident of Kansas. His grandfather, John Ealy, was German, as was also his ancestry. He emigrated with his brother to this country during the Revolutionary war, in which they both took part, on the side of American liberty. One of the brothers settled in New York, the other (John) in Pennsylvania, and from these sprang two distinct lines, one called the Yankee and the other the Dutch. Mr. Ealy's mother, nee Margaret Ellen Williamson, was born in Kentucky, March 19, 1824. Her father, about thirty years before the civil war, was the owner of a number of slaves in Kentucky, and, becoming convinced that slavery was wrong he voluntarily freed them. William C. Ealy's eldest child is now Mrs. Lizzie Jepson of Ventura County. His second son, John William, is a publisher in New York city. The third child, Henry B., is a dealer in agricultural implements in Keokuk, Iowa.
The subject of this sketch, the youngest son, was reared and educated in Iowa City, and there learned the tinner's trade, which he followed for nineteen years. He had a hardware store in Dysart, Tama County, Iowa; but, being in poor health, he disposed os his business interests there and came to his present location in Southern California. He purchased from the railroad company and Government a ranch of 200 acres, and secured satisfactory title to the same. This property is located two miles and a half east of Fillmore, in one of the most productive sections of the country, and is each year becoming more valuable. Mr. Ealy at once set about its improvement, built a home and planted a large variety of fruit trees and also walnut trees. A fine spring and two wells furnish an ample supply of water for the place. Mr. Ealy also started a general merchandise store, and for four years was Postmaster. Since coming to this sunny land he has fully recovered his health, and is now in a fair way to enjoy life.
He was married in 1872, at Iowa City, Iowa, on Christmas eve, to Miss Ella Whisler, daughter of John Whisler, a native of Pennsylvania. She was born and reared in Cedar County, Iowa. Their union has been blessed with two children, Willie C., born in Dysart, Iowa, January 7, 1876, and Ray J., born in Ventura County, California, October 20, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Ealy are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Ealy is a lifelong Republican.
Fred A. Earll was born in Shasta, Shasta County, California, May 13, 1857. His parents, Warner and Cornelia (Scoville) Earll, were both natives of Onondaga County, New York. Warner Earll followed Fremont's trail to California in 1848, and was City Judge of Tehama for a number of years; he was also an Associate Justice on the Supreme Bench of Nevada. He was a prominent lawyer of California, residing at Shasta and Red Bluff for years. He also held the position of attorney for the Central Pacific Railroad, in Arizona, His three children were Arthur R., Fred A., and a daughter, A. H., who is now Mrs. Webb, and resides in Oakland, California. Arthur R. was a graduate of the Law School of California; was elected District Attorney of San Luis Obispo, and died three months after. Their father's death occurred in 1888.
The subject of this sketch attended St. Augustus College, and at the age of fifteen years, having obtained a good English education, he started out to work for himself, and since that time his education has been more of a practical character - obtained behind the desk. He worked for E. M. Derby & Co., lumber dealers, of Alameda, four years. He then engaged in business for himself, dealt in wood and coal, and did a thriving business; but, being anxious to make a fortune by quicker methods, he speculated in mining stocks, and lost his coal business. After that he went to Arizona and opened a stationery and cigar business, which he conducted three years; then removed to Ventura County, bought twenty acres of land, and, after planting an orchard, sold the property and returned to the lumber business. Saxby & Collins offered him the management of the lumber yards in San Buenaventura, which he accepted and conducted for two years. He then went to San Francisco and from there came to Paso Robles, to take charge of the warehouse, lumber yard, storage and shipping business at this point. At the time he came, November, 1886, there was nothing in the town. The railroad had just been built, and the station was in a box-car beside the track. Since then the shipping interests of the town have taken a great start. Shipments of wheat for the past year were about 9,000 tons. Mr. Earll has made real estate investments in the town.
He was married in October, 1879, to Miss Ida Barnes, a native of Dixon, Illinois, daughter of A. M. Barnes, of Ventura. Their union is blessed with two daughters, Bertha May, born in Arizona, and Helen, in Paso Robles.
Mr. Earll, being a native of California, took an active part in the organization of the Paso Robles Parlor, no. 122, Native Sons of the Golden West. They started with twenty-four members, composed largely of the best young business men of the town. Mr. Earll was elected its first president, and still holds that position of honor.
L. F. Eastin, the county clerk of the county of Ventura, is one of the best known and well-informed men in the affairs of the county, having acted as a clerk from its organization to the present time. He was born November 8, 1845, in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri. His father, James W. Eastin, was a Kentuckian, born January 7, 1821. The ancestors of the family came from Ireland early in the history of the country. He came to California August 20, 1847, settling at Sutter's Fort. From there he went to Sonoma and engaged in the mercantile business, and in the time of the gold excitement became a miner. In 1850 he settled on a farm in Santa Clara County, where he is still resident. Mr. Eastin's mother, nee Rebecca A. Pine, was born in Tennessee, August 19, 1811, and died March 15, 1883. Of their five children three are living. A brother, John W. Eastin, was born in San Francisco October 9, 1848, the first child both of whose parents were "Americans" born in that city.
The subject of this sketch graduated at the University of the Pacific, in Santa Clara County, in 1866, and followed farming with his father until 1868, when he was appointed Deputy County Clerk of that county under John B. Huston, serving two years under him, and a second term of two years under J. M. Littlefield. In May, 1873, when the county of Ventura was organized, he was requested by telegraph to come and take charge of the office of this county, and everything in connection with the records of the county feel under his supervision, and the manner of keeping and preserved the records has devolved upon him. During the years 1875-'76 he served the county as Under-Sheriff, appointed by John R. Stone. In 1883-'85 he practiced law and dealt in real-estate and lent money; and in 1886 he was again elected County Clerk, and in 1888 re-elected, and he now holds the office. He is a Democrat, and generally runs ahead of his ticket in the elections. He has aided in the establishment of the fine library of Ventura and has been one of its trustees; and he has also held the office of Court Commissioner two years. He is a member of the blue lodge, chapter and commandery; has been Secretary of the blue lodge and Master several years, and since 1876 has been Secretary of the Chapter. He is also a member of the A. O. U. W., and of the Catholic Church; his parents were members of the Christian Church.
Mr. Eastin was married July 19, 1874, to Miss Fanny Sutton, who was born in Canada April 12, 1850, and they have three daughters and two sons, all born in San Buenaventura, namely: Mary A., Fanny R., Ruth, Charles P. and George Russell. Charles is attending school at Los Angeles.
James Evans, one of the early settlers and prominent pioneers and ranchers of Ventura, was born in Clarke County, Indiana, July 5, 1839. His father, Thomas Jefferson Evans, was a native of Kentucky. The ancestors of the family were Virginians of Scotch and English origin. Mr. Evans' mother, whose name before marriage was Catharine King, was a native of Pennsylvania, and her parents were Pennsylvania Dutch. Thus our subject has inherited an unusual degree of good quality. He was the third in order of birth of a family of five children. He received his first schooling in Missouri; afterward, in 1844, his parents removed to Missouri, in 1852 to Oregon, and in 1859 to California, settling in Sonoma County, and he attended school in each of these States. In starting out in the world for himself, he first followed farming two years in Sonoma County, and then followed mining most of the time for four years in Idaho, made some money, but lost it; then he came to Salinas Valley in Monterey County and engaged in farming for two years; and finally, in 1869, his father came with his family to Ventura County, purchased 111 acres of land, and he (our subject) bought eighty acres, which he still owns. He has therefore been cultivating his present ranch for twenty years. He has raised corn, beans, barley and flax; but his principal crop at present is beans, on which he realizes $35 to $40 per acre.
Mr. Evans has never joined any society or held office, but he has ever been a Union man and a Republican. He was married in October, 1884, to Miss Osmosen, a native of Germany, and they have two children, Plasent and Hallie, both born in Ventura.
Michael Fagan is a pioneer of California and of Ventura County. He was born in Pennsylvania, August 26, 1840, the son of John and Annie (Dinnell) Fagan. The father was born in Dublin, Ireland, and emigrated to Canada when a boy. Michael Fagan is one of a family of nine children, five of whom are now living. After living in Illinois nine years he came across the plains with ox teams to California, arriving August 13, 1852, and he was reared and received his education in Calaveras Country, California. Hie mother died in 1851, and his father in November 1852. He spent the years 1852-'53-'54 in mining, and when he was eighteen years of age he had about $11,000. Then for a time he was engaged in stock-raising. In 1862 he went to Arora, where he was interested in quartz-mining. About that time he met with reverses and lost nearly all that he had made. In 1863 he engaged in farming in San Joaquin County, in partnership with his brother. They sowed 1,000 acres in wheat, and, the season being dry, the crop was a failure. In March, 1864, Mr. Fagan sailed for Mexico, where he engaged in cotton-raising, and the last six months of his stay there he was in a store. He sold out, prospected a year in Arizona, with but little success, returned to California and settled in Stanislaus County, where he purchased 640 acres of land at Dry Creek. Two years later he again sold out, went to San Joaquin, engaged in the meat business with his brother, and after remaining there a year, disposed of his interest in the meat market, in 1869, and came to Ventura. Here, for four years, he was engaged in sheep=raising, having as high as 3,500 head of sheep at one time, and a part of the time being in partnership with Mr. Snodgrass. He traded the last of his sheep for property in Ventura, and during the boom sold it and bought 100 acres of land in the vicinity of Saticoy. He planted the first orchard there, improved his property, and, in 1884, sold it for $75 per acre. He then bought his present ranch, 740 acres, and erected his pleasant home in a most picturesque spot. The property is principally a stock-farm, is fenced in two fields, and an abundance of water is supplied for stock from a sulphur spring on the place, the water being brought in pipes. Mr. Fagan has some fine Durham cattle. His property being located so near Santa Paula, he pastures a great many horses for other people. In addition to other improvements made, Mr. Fagan has planted a large variety of fruit trees, principally for home use.
He was married, April 9, 1879, to Miss Hattie Tillotson, a native of New York. They have five children, all born in Ventura County, namely: Frank D., Cora May, Ettie Bell, Walter Miller, and Marion Morris. The children are all at home with their parents and attend school in Santa Paula. Mr. Fagan is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and votes the Democratic ticket.
George W. Faulkner is the son of George Faulkner, who was born in England in 1806, came to Ohio in 1838, and settled on a farm in Richland County, where he still lives and where, August 16, 1846, his son, George W., was born. Mr. Faulkner's mother was nee Julia A. Green, a native of Franklin County, Ohio. Her father, William Green, was a pioneer in Ohio, and built the third house in the township in which he lived. The subject of this sketch was the fourth of a family of six children, was reared and educated in Ohio, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits on the farm on which he was born until coming to Ventura County, California, in 1879. He purchased seventy-three acres of land near New Jerusalem, and three years later came to his present location, near Santa Paula. Here he bought a farm of 150 acres, on which he has made many improvements, planting trees and building a large barn. He has not yet built his new house, but has selected a beautiful building site and already has the grounds planted with shrubbery and trees. Mr. Faulkner has eighteen acres of apricots and a general assortment of prunes, apples, pears and citrus fruits, and has twenty-eight acres of bearing walnut trees. This place presents a fine appearance with its flowers, fruit-trees, ponderous barn, and well kept stock grazing in the green pastures. Mr. Faulkner is carrying on general farming, but the crop of which he makes a specialty is Lima beans, raising as high as a ton to the acre, the price being now four and a half cents per pound. He employs two farm hands all the time and often more.
Mr. Faulkner was united in marriage to Miss Roda S. Seymour, a graduate of Baldwin University, class of '72. She is a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Rev. S.D. Seymour, of the North Ohio Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, now a resident of Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner are the parents of two daughters and one son: Alpha and Stella, born in New Jerusalem, and George Seymour, in Santa Paula. Mr. Faulkner is forty years older than his little son, and his father is forty years his senior. He showed the writer something unique in the way of a picture, the three portraits, father, son and grandson, being arranged on one card.
Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner are members of the Methodist Church. Politically he is a Prohibitionist.
Michael Flynn, one of the prominent and progressive ranchers of Springville, Ventura County, was born in the west of Ireland, October 13, 1858, his parents, David and Ellen Flynn, also being natives of that country. In 1875, Mr. Flynn came to America and worked for one year in Boston, Massachusetts, and in 1876 came to San Francisco and engaged in teaming in the city two years. He then came to Ventura County and engaged in farming and sheep-raising, following that business five years, a part of the time in partnership with his brother-in-law. He bought out his partner's interest and continued the business alone for awhile. In 1885, the country becoming developed and much of the land being used for farming purposes, Mr. Flynn closed out this business and turned his attention to speculating in grain at San Francisco. A year later he removed to Los Angeles, and in October, 1886, came to his present location in Ventura County. He purchased 142 acres of land, on which he has since resided, and which he has improved by erecting a good dwelling-house and suitable out-buildings, surrounded by well-kept grounds. He has planted a quantity of walnut trees, and is going into that business quite largely. His present principal crop is beans and corn. Mr. Flynn is also engaged in raising horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, in partnership with Mr. Paulin, having some very fine specimens of horses. They are devoting about 800 acres of land to wheat and barley, and employ eight men and six teams.
Mr. Flynn was married in 1878 to Miss Lavelle, who was born near his own native place, her parents being Irish people. They have a family of six children, all born in Ventura County, viz.: David E., Robert E., Mary Grace, Albert E., Clarence E., and Sarah Clara. Mr. Flynn is a Democrat. He and his family are worthy members of the Catholic Church.