Biographical Sketches G Surnames
"A Memorial and Biographical History of the
Counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties"
By Yda Addis Storke
B. W. Gally, one of the prominent business men of the Ojai Valley, was born in Wheeling, Virginia, July 9, 1852. His father, Hon. Thomas M. Gally, was a native of Virginia, a leading Whig politician, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention of Virginia in 1852 and 1854. His mother, who, before her marriage, was Miss Mary List, was a native of Wheeling and a daughter of H. List, Esq., a leading banker of Wheeling. Mr. and Mrs. Gally had but two children, a son, the subject of this sketch, and a daughter.
B. W. Gally, after receiving a liberal education, was engaged in the banking business until his health became impaired. He was advised by his physician to give up a sedentary business and seek a milder climate; and with that object in view he came to California in 1883. He purchased seventy acres of land, on which was located a pleasure and health resort, one mile east of the town of Nordhoff. This was formerly the property of W. S. McKee. Mr. Gally has improved the place very much by erecting four new buildings. The hotel is on the cottage plan, with main buildings in the middle containing parlor and dining-room, and the cottages affording home conveniences. It is situated on a beautiful lawn, shaded and made delightful by scattering live-oak trees. It is both a winter and a summer resort; is patronized in summer by Californians, and in winter by Eastern people. All are delighted by the grand and picturesque scenery, which meets the eye in every direction. A fine new Presbyterian Church edifice stands near the hotel, and the beautiful tree-embowered town of Nordhoff is only a mile distant. The whole valley is noted for its equitable climate and balmy and health-producing air. In the valley are found mineral springs, and at the hotel an abundance of good water, choice fruits of all kinds, and the best of Jersey milk and butter.
Mr. Gally was united in marriage in 1885 with Miss Mary Davidson, a native of Jefferson City, Missouri, and a daughter of Dr. William Davidson of that place. Howard and Killborne, their two children, were born at their present beautiful home. Mr. Gally is possessed of those courteous and agreeable manners so characteristic of the Southern gentleman. In his political views, he is Republican. Mrs. Gally is a member of the Episcopal Church.
Philemon Garcia is a native of California, born February 10, 1849. His father, Francisco Garcia, was a native of San Francisco, and his grandfather Garcia, also named Francisco, was born in Mexico, and came to California in an early day. His mother Maria Antonia (Paraulta) Garcia, was born in San Jose, this State. They had nine children, seven sons and two daughters, of whom six are now living. Philemon Garcia was educated in the English schools, and at the early age of eleven years began to work for himself. He was first employed to ride race horses, riding Langford, Miami and Norfolk at the most noted races. They were then considered the best horses. He then worked on a ranch for H. Williams, and afterward on threshers for different parties, until he had a thresher of his own. Mr. Garcia, in company with A. B. Smith, was the first to start a cook house, in connection with threshing-machines, to board the hands. He came to Ventura County in 1873, and bought of Edward Borchard his present home place of twenty-six acres, paying $1 down, the purchase price of the property being $500. He paid it all the same year, and since then has built a house and barn and made other improvements, making his money by raising grain and threshing. He cleared a piece of land for Thomas R. Bard, and raised a crop on the same, for which he received $2,000. He is also clearing up other lands for Mr. Bard. Mr. Garcia runs a steam corn-sheller, with which he is doing a large business.
In 1884 he was married to Miss Filetica Vasques, a native of California, and daughter of Francisco Vasques, also born in this State. They have three children, Filetica, Anneta, and Philemon. Mrs. Garcia is a member of the Catholic Church. For several terms Mr. Garcia has served the public as School Trustee. Politically, he affiliates with the Republican party.
Colonel Russell Garrett, a resident of Ventura, had seen this portion of the State in 1849-'50, and was so impressed with the desirability of Ventura that he never lost sight of it, and in 1880 bought the property on Ventura avenue, which is his home. He has also bought a ranch of 600 acres, where he raises wheat and barley. He has built on the ranch and planted fruit trees for home consumption.
Mr. Garrett was born in Ohio, September 29, 1829. His father, Charles B. Garrett, was born in Virginia, in 1794, and was in the war of 1812, under General Scott. His grandfather, William Garrett, born also in the Old Diminion, was a soldier in the Revolution under Washington, in Lee's army. The family in early day had its origin in Ireland, whence they emigrated to France and became Huguenots. Mr. Garrett's mother, Maria Walker, was born in Detroit, Michigan, August 9, 1807. Her father, William Walker, was born in Virginia, captured by the Indians when a boy and taken to Michigan. Governor William Walker, of Kansas, was her brother, and R. J. Walker, Secretary of the Virginia State Treasury, was another brother. Mr. Garrett, our subject, is the third child in a family of six sons and three daughters, of whom two are nowing. After finishing his education at Chape Hill College, Missouri, he came in 1849 to California overland, and spent two years in the mines, he and his associate being the first white miners on the north fork of Feather River. They obtained on an average about $4 worth of gold to the pan of dirt, and they took out sometimes as much as $500 a day. The deep snow and mountain fever drove them from those rich mines. Returning to Missouri, Mr. Garrett engaged in farming, and when the war commenced he had a number of negroes, and in order to preserve his property he enlisted under General Rosser, of Virginia, and they were drilled all winter before the war. During the war they formed a portion of the army of General Price and participated in the battles of Lexington, Oak Grove, Pea Ridge and in the retreat from Springfield, Missouri, and at the engagement at Boston Mountain, -- Hill, Helene, and on the Red River and at Campden, - at all of which the Confederates were victorious except at Helena, where they were badly whipped by General Grant's lively regiment. Mr. Garrett was of course in many minor engagements resides the above named. He enlisted as a private; at the battle of Lexington he was promoted to the Colonelcy, when he was permitted to raise a regiment, General Jackson appointing him to that position. After the war closed, according to the advice of General Price, he went to Springfield, Missouri, with 300 of his men, intending to enlist under Colonel Grovely to go out and subdue Indians; but he was the only one of the 300 who enlisted. He was in that service from March 13, 1865, to October 26 following. Being discharged, he went to Kansas City and engaged in agriculture upon a farm of his own; in 1880 he sold this and came to Ventura, where he has since resided. He was appointed by President Cleveland Deputy Revenue Collector of this district. In his fraternal relations he is a Master Mason.
The Colonel was married in 1860, to Miss E. J. Lane, a daughter of Isaac W. Lane, of Utica, New York, of English descent; she was born in Ohio in 1839. Mr. and Mrs. Garrett have had no children of their own, but have brought up three. The girl is now Mrs. Honeywell, and the boys are Charles M. Garrett and John McMullen, all grown up. Mrs. Garrett is a member of the Christian Church. During the war she gave her services one year to the hospital at St. Louis, and afterward had the care of the sick and wounded at Gajoso Hospital in Tennessee.
A. N. Garrison is a veteran of the great war of the Rebellion. He was born in Tompkins County, New York, March 26, 1845, the son of John and Sarah (Cooper) Garrison, both natives of New York, the former born in 1820. His grandfather, Abram Garrison, was also born in that State, in Putnam County, his ancestors being among the early settlers of the State. The subject of this sketch was the third of a family of five children. He was reared and educated in that State, and spent some time clerking in a store. The war broke out, the old flag was fired on at Fort Sumter, and the fires of patriotism burned in the hearts of the loyal people of the North. President Lincoln called for volunteers. War meetings were held. Every little town had its company of volunteers, and the larger places more. The fife and the drum could be heard every day. When the strife began Mr. Garrison was only sixteen years old, and, although eager to enter the service, could not on account of his youth. The following August, 1862, when seventeen years of age, he enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Seventh New York Volunteer Infantry. It was in answer to Mr. Lincoln's 300,000 call; and they went forth into the deadly strife singing, "We are coming, Father Abraham, 300,000 more." In a little over a month they were in the battle of Antietam; and the peaceable farmer boy and clerk and student from school had, as by a miracle, been transformed into a hero. Then they were at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and at the battle of Lookout Mountain, and in the great and notable march with General Sherman from Atlanta to the sea. he participated in all the battles that his regiment was in during the last three years of the war, and never received a scratch, nor was sick a day - a noble record for a youth of seventeen. He came in at the grand review at Washington, when the war veterans, crowned with victory and glory, made their triumphant march through the beautiful capital of the great country that their heroism had saved. What a glorious chapter in a man's life was that!
On being mustered out of the service, Mr. Garrison returned to his home and was in the oil regions for a time; and not long after engaged in business in Saginaw, Michigan, four years as a merchant and four years as a dealer in stock and produce. In 1876 he came to the Golden State, and was engaged in farming and stock-raising in Yuba County. While there he was burned out and met with several financial reverses. He is now, 1890, located in Ventura County, four miles east of Hueneme, on an 800-acre ranch, raising barley, hogs, horses and cattle and is very successful. Last year he sold $3,000 worth of stock from the ranch. Everything about the place indicates industry and thrift.
August 11, 1877, Mr. Garrison wedded Miss Mary Bayley. She is a native of Vermont, daughter of George B. Bayley, also of the Green Mountain State. In his political views Mr. Garrison is a Republican.
Waite Gerry came to Ventura in September, 1873. He was born in New York in 1824, the son of Euroclydon and Pauline (Avery) Gerry, the former a native of Hatfield, Massachusetts, and the latter of New York. His grandfather's name was Nathan Gerry. His maternal ancestors were English and Welsh, and one of them, Benjamin Waite, was the hero of Hatfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Gerry's parents had two children, a daughter and son, the former being now the wife of Mr. Burr, of New York. Mr. Gerry received a common-school education and completed his studies in Williston Seminary, Massachusetts. The principal part of his life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits, but for a time he resided in Pennsylvania, where he ran a sawmill and conducted a store. He also spent some time in Indiana. In 1864 he crossed the plains with Major Bridge, and after returning he emigrated to Cass County, Missouri. Having a love for pioneer life, he continued his way westward, and engaged in mining in Utah, and after returning from this trip he came to California in 1872. For a time he was employed in Oakland, after which he came to Southern California and worked at Los Angeles for the telegraph company. From Los Angeles he went to San Bernardino, and from there he made an overland trip to Reno, Nevada, to see the country.
In 1873 Mr. Gerry sent for his family to come to Ventura County, where he had rented a farm from Mr. William Collins. On this ranch of 550 acres they lived a year and were very successful. The next year he removed to Saticoy, leaving his family in Ventura, where they had built a home on a lot he purchased. Mr. Gerry engaged in farming, in company with J. L. Starr, in Aliso Canon, and also kept a small apiary. In 1880 he purchased seventy-five acres of choice land at $22 per acre. On this property he has built a good house, planted trees, and the place has become valuable, being rated at $200 per acre. The principal crop raised on this ranch is beans, but it also produces corn and fruits. The land yields 3,500 pounds of shelled corn to the acre, and as high as 2,500 pounds of beans per acre.
Mr. Gerry was married in 1850 to Miss Ester Craig, who was born in Pennsylvania, May 12, 1827. Her father, John Craig, was a native of Russia; came to America in 1817, and settled near Scranton, Pennsylvania. Mr. Gerry's family consists of six children, four daughters and two sons, namely: Mary E., born in New York, September 2, 1851, and is now the wife of J. L. Stone, of Los Angeles; Eva P., born in Pennsylvania, April 5, 1854, wedded Mr. A. Everett, of Saticoy; Isabell G., born in New York, February 17, 1857, now the wife of J. S. Collins, of Ventura; Lacetta H., born in Indiana, April 24, 1861, now the wife of George E. Preble, of Tustin City, Orange County, California; Ellsworth E., born February 4, 1863, in Indiana, is now renting the home ranch; Edmund W., born April 2, 1868, in Missouri. Mrs. Gerry and the family, save one, are all members of the Presbyterian Church. Ellsworth and Edmund are members of the Y.M.C.A. Mr. Gerry has been a Republican but he and his sons are now Prohibitionists.
C. T. Gilger, the junior member of the firm of Livingston & Gilger, of Hueneme, Ventura County, was born in Ohio, April 13, 1865. His father, Daniel Gilger, is also a native of that State, and his grandfather, Jacob Gilger, was born in Germany and settled in Ohio in the early pioneer days of that State. He was a weaver by trade, and the family still have in their possession cloth made by him at a time when everything they wore was woven from their own wool and flax. Mr. Gilger's mother, Cynthia (Turbett) Gilger, was born in Ohio, of Pennsylvania Dutch parentage. They had three children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest. He first came to California and to Ventura, with his father and family, in 1871. They returned to the East, settled up their business, and came back to this State the following year, remaining a year in Sutter County, In 1873 the family came to Ventura County, where the father purchased foryt-five acres of land, near New Jerusalem, on which he erected buildings and otherwise improved, and engaged in the real-estate business, in which he met with fair success. In 1877 he purchased 120 acres of land.
The subject of this sketch had two farms near New Jerusalem, which he sold and afterward bought ninety-five acres of his father. They are both pleasantly situated and have erected comfortable homes. In February, 1890, Mr. Gilger bought a half interest in their present grocery, hardware and produce business. They have a good stock of goods and have established a fine trade.
Mr. Gilger was united in marriage with Miss Annie Middleswarth, a native of Ohio. They have one child, Fred, born in Ventura County. Politically, Mr. Gilger is a Republican.
S. L. Gisler is a well-to-do citizen and an early settler of New Jerusalem. His father, Max Gisler, a native of Switzerland, was a poor but worthy and industrious man, with a wife and thirteen children. With the intention of trying to improve his financial condition and to better provide for his family, he borrowed the money to pay his passage to California and came to Ventura County in 1876. The second eldest son came with him, and together they worked as sheep herders for two years, and during that time they saved money enough to pay the borrowed money and also to bring the eldest daughter and son to this country. S. L. Gisler and two brothers were the next sent for. By the united efforts of all, the mother and other members of the family were brought to California, and here prosperity has been the reward of their labor. When persistent effort is coupled with a determination to succeed in any undertaking, it is seldom that failure is the result. Mr. Gisler purchased sixty-five acres of land adjoining the town of New Jerusalem, on which he built a fine residence, where he and a part of the family now reside. Five of the children are married and settled in this county.
S. L. Gisler dates his birth June 6, 1861. He arrived in California May 6, 1878, and his first work here was as a farm hand and teamster, for Edward Borchard, remaining with him six years and three months. He next worked two seasons on a thresher, at $55 per month and board. In 1886 he opened his Swiss saloon in New Jerusalem, which he is still conducting. Mr. Gisler was married December 1, 1888, to Miss Theresa Puentener. Both are members of the Catholic church. His political views are Democratic.
J. D. Goodyear was born in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio, October 23, 1825. His father, Merritt Goodyear, and his grandfather, Joseph Goodyear, were both natives of Connecticut. His great-grandfather, Stephen Goodyear, came from England in an early day and settled in Connecticut, and was the ancestor of the Goodyear family in America. Charles Goodyear, the man of such notoriety as a rubber inventor, and whose name is stamped on nearly all the genuine rubber boots and shoes in the civilized world, was a cousin of Mr. Goodyear's father. The mother of the subject of this sketch, nee Fanny Smith, was born in the State of New York. She was the daughter of Zenas Smith, who married a Marvin, niece of Marvin the great safe manufacturer of New York. Mr. Goodyear spent his early childhood in Ohio, and, at the age of seven years, went to New York State, where he remained until he reached his majority. He has been an industrious man all his life, began work when he was quite small, and has been engaged in many different kinds of employment, and among other things, has worked in the redwoods of California. He has been the owner of several pieces of property that have become very valuable since he parted with them. He thinks the mistake of his life has been that he did not hold on long enough. Mr. Goodyear has learned wisdom through the years that are past, and it is his intention to keep the beautiful ranch which he now owns. In 1887 he bought 120 acres of land. This property had been improved to some extent, and Mr. Goodyear has continued the work of tree-planting and improving and remodeling until the place is now a delightful and attractive home. There is a fine artesian well on the ranch. Mr. Goodyear's principal crop is corn. He also has a fine variety of fruit, and has given some attention to the raising of horses.
The subject of this sketch was married in 1851, to Miss Sophina Wright, a native of Illinois, and daughter of Peter Wright, who was a Kentuckian by birth. They have had ten children, six of whom are now living, viz.: Harriet, wife of Henry Root, resides in Oregon; Eugene, who married Miss Lizzie Paulson; Willie, who is at home with his father; Everett, now attending college at Berkeley; and Edward and Fanny, at home. Emma married Albert Coyle, and died in 1883, leaving one child, Emma.
Mr. Goodyear was a Democrat until the organization of the Republican party, and has been a Republican since that time. The Goodyear family is one that has seen much of pioneer life, and can fully appreciate their comfortable home, which is situated in the beautiful Santa Clara Valley, only three miles from Hueneme. Mr. Goodyear was a pioneer in the Territories of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and voted for the admission of both into the Union. Himself, wife and children represent five States, by birth.
Alonzo L. Gordon was born in Caspar, Mendocino County, California, June 22, 1865, and was reared and educated there. His parents are of Scotch ancestry. His father, Alexander Gordon, was born in Montreal, Canada, and his mother, nee Christine Martin, is also a native of Canada. They have five children, of whom Alonzo is the third. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon came to California and settled in Mendocino County, in 1863, and there Mr. Gordon bought a ranch of 1,000 acres and engaged in cattle-raising and butchering. They still own and reside on that ranch. In 1885 they purchased a fine ranch of 1,000 acres of level land, located eight miles east of Hueneme, in Ventura County.
Alonzo Gordon has been reared on a ranch, and is thoroughly informed in all matters pertaining to ranch life. He gives strict attention to business, and is an enterprising young man; is manager of this ranch, and has five men in his employ. Since its purchase, many improvements have been made on this property, a house and suitable out-buildings having been erected. Mr. Gordon is extensively engaged in stock-raising, and also raises some barley, corn and hay. They have some fine Holstein cattle; and their horses, of which they keep about fifty, are mostly the Black Lewis stock crossed with the Clydesdale. They have a Black Lewis horse that is considered a very fine animal.
The subject of this sketch is a member of the I. O. G. T. Politically he is a Republican.
T. B. Gosnell, a prominent rancher of Ventura County, was born in Newark, Ohio, November 2, 1848. His father, Nelson Gosnell, was also born at the same place, and his grandfather, Joshua Gosnell, was a native of New York, his ancestors having emigrated from England to that State. His mother, Samantha (Barrick) Gosnell, daughter of John Barrick, a native of Pennsylvania, traces her ancestry back to the Pennsylvania Dutch. Mr. and Mrs. Gosnell had thirteen children, seven of whom are now living. The family removed from Ohio to Illinois when the subject of this sketch was nine years old, residing there eight years. In 1865 they removed to Missouri and remained there ten years. Mr. Gosnell was reared a farmer, and also learned the carpenter's trade. He returned to Ohio, and, in 1885, came to his present locality. Here he purchased 102 acres of land on the Ventura avenue, and built on it two houses and a barn. He is now engaged in erecting a very fine family residence on one of the most sightly spots of the whole avenue, it being on a high point of land that overlooks the entire valley in every direction, with all the beautiful homes on Ventura avenue in full view. Mr. Gosnell has a family orchard with a variety of fruit of nearly all kinds, and also 300 walnut trees.
In 1879 the subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Miss Caroline McGuire, sister of William McGuire, a history of whom will be found on another page of this book. It was on account of Mrs. Gosnell's health that they came to California. They are the parents of two children, Ira and Lena, both natives of Ohio. Mr. Gosnell is a Royal Arch Mason. Politically he is a Republican.
Z. Graham. - Among the rising citizens of the Santa Clara Valley, mention should be made of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He arrived in California, April 28, 1876, and at first worked for wages. By his intelligent industry and perseverance he now owns 160 acres of land, which he has improved. He came to his present locality December 28, 1882. Here he is engaged in farming, raising barley, Lima beans and potatoes. Last year his beans averaged twenty-six centals to the acre. Two years ago twenty-eight acres of corn averaged forty-six centals of shelled corn to the acre, which he sold for ninety cents per hundred pounds. Mr. Graham also raises horses, hogs and poultry. He keeps a hired man and a Chinaman cook.
Mr. Graham was born in Richland County, Ohio, December 1, 1848. He is the son of Samuel Graham, a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, born in 1815. His grandfather, James Graham, was also a native of Pennsylvania. His mother was Rachel Clingan. She was a native of Virginia and was brought by her parents to Ohio when three years old. Her father, James Clingan, was a native of Ireland, and emigrated to America in an early day. The subject of this sketch is one of a family of six children, five of whom are living, three daughters and two sons. He was reared at Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio, and received his education in the public schools of that place. Mr. Graham has made one visit to the East since coming to California, and contemplates returning again for a visit this summer. Politically, he is a Democrat.
Mr. Graham is unmarried and consequently one chapter of his history remains unwritten!
K. P. Grant, a Ventura rancher. When the Americans began to settle at Ventura the whole face of the country was covered with mustard plants to tall and thick that one could scarcely ride a horse through it - indicated that the soil was of the best quality. The town was then a Spanish village. The American seeking a productive soil was allured by the rich alluvium and delightful climate of this region. Dr. Voorman had come to Ventura, and, being acquainted with Mr. Grant, informed him of the fine opening at Ventura, and September 29, 1869, Mr. Grant arrived in the town, where he has since made his home and met with success so satisfactory as to render him content.
Mr. Grant is a Master Mason and belongs also to the Chapter and Commandery, having passed all the chairs. He is Past Master and Past High Priest, and is now filling the second office in the commandery. He has also held the office District Deputy in the Odd Fellows order for seven years, and is a charter member of the A. O. U. W. and K. of P., and is a member of the A. L. of H. Politcally he has been a steady Republican. Recently he was appointed by Governor Waterman a member of the commission to locate the new insane asylum. In his manner he is genial and unassuming, and in his general character a very practical man.
Jacob K. Gries is one of the best known and highly respected citizens of Ventura County. He came to California in 1852, and has had large experience in the early history of the State, as well as the early settlement of Ventura County. He has been a leading man - a man of nerve and of great natural ability. His early experience in the Golden State would make a book of interest; but he declines to recount the privations, dangers and exciting times that tried men's souls in the settlement of the great State in which he has had a share, and in which he has borne an honorable part, and for which he is now rewarded by having his home in the most civilized, enlightened and delightful portion of the world. All new countries have their ruffians and renegades, and California was no exception to the rule, but she has proudly and grandly outlived the stormy days, and the pioneer looks with just gratification and pride upon the great country he has helped to develop.
Mr. Gries was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, July 16, 1830. His father, Jacob Gries, was a native of the same county, and was a soldier in the war of 1812. In early life he had been a hat-maker, but after his removal to Ohio he became a farmer. He died on his own farm, in Ohio, in 1870. The subject of this sketch was reared in Ohio. At the age of twenty years he removed to Indiana, and a year later took his course westward to the Pacific Coast. He arrived in June, 1852, and July 16, following, he was twenty-two years old. He went to Foster's Bar, on the Yuba River, and mined until late in the fall, then, in company with others, he engaged in the hotel and staging business, two very important occupations at that time. The hotel in which he was interested was the Oregon House, in Yuba County, and he was thus engaged for three years. From 1857 to 1860 he was in the butchering and meat business. In the latter year he removed to Nevada, remaining there until 1869, ranching and mining. He owned a ranch in the Washoe Valley, which he sold in the fall of 1868, and removed to White Pine County, where, for several months, he was interested in the toll-road business.
November 1, 1869, Mr. Gries came to Ventura County and engaged in farming, raising barley, corn and wheat, on eighty acres of land which he purchased of the Briggs grant, near Santa Paula. This property he still owns. He also bought 360 acres of Thomas R. Bard, on the Colonia Ranch, which he afterward sold at a great profit, and bought 412 acres in the ex-Mission ranch, still retaining it. He has a one-half interest in 426 acres on the Colonia ranch. Mr. Gries came to Nordhoff in December, 1887, and has here built a fine residence, where he resides with his family. For a number of years he has been interested in the production of thorough-bred horses, mostly trotting stock.
In 1860, Mr. Gries was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Foulks, daughter of John Turbett. By her he had one child, Belle, born in Yuba County, California. She married Norris Claybury, and they reside near Santa Paula. After twenty-two years of wedded life, Mrs. Gries died. Four years later Mr. Gries married Mrs. Mary Simpson, a native of Texas, and widow of Frank J. Simpson. Mrs. Gries is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Gries is a Republican; he was a Democrat before the war, but at that time took a strong stand in favor of the Union and has since affiliated with the Republican party. He is a man of strong convictions, a natural leader among men, and has been prominent in Ventura County ever since its organization. He has been active in helping to maintain law and order in his county, for which he has the respect and good will of every worthy citizen in the county. Mr. Gries has enjoyed pleasant business relations with others, and has had in his employ men who have remained with him for years, all of them speaking highly of Mr. Gries, and some of them having risen to wealth and influence. It is scarcely necessary to add that he is a warm admirer of California and considers Ventura County the cream of the great State.
Brice Grimes is one of the prominent pioneers of Ventura County, having arrived in what was then Santa Barbara County in 1866, and was intimately connected with the formation of the county of Ventura. He was born in Missouri, December 12, 1829. His father, Thomas H. Grimes, was a native of Kentucky, and his grandfather Grimes was born in Virginia, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, the original American ancestors of the family having settled in the "Old Dominion" as early as 1748. Mr. Grimes' mother, nee Sarah Gibson, was born in St. Charles County, Missouri, daughter of Joseph Gibson, a native of South Carolina, of English ancestry. The subject of this sketch is the oldest of a family of ten children, five of whom are living. His father owned a large farm in Missouri, and there he was reared and received limited school advantages. In 1852 he came to California, and engaged in mining with the usual success and reverses of the miner. While he was mining in Shasta County he lost $1,600 by the failure of the Adams Express Company, besides suffering other heavy losses about the same time. After three years spent in the mines, he went to Napa County to regain his health. Upon his recovery he went to work again with that indomitable will which is always sure to overcome reverses. He engaged in draying for a time, then built a warehouse, was in the forwarding and commission business, and afterward turned his attention to general merchandise. He remained there until 1860, when he located in San Luis Obispo County. While there was under sheriff for two years, and had some of the roughest characters to arrest and imprison, having as many as fifteen in jail at that time. Murders and robberies were frequent at that time, and the utmost care and shrewdness was required in the detection and arrest of the perpetrators of crimes. Mr. Grimes removed to Los Angeles County and farmer there three years, after which he came to San Buenaventura, and, in partnership with Mr. Edwards, opened the pioneer hardware store of the city, and also did a produce business. Two or three years later he sold out to his partner, who afterward sold to Mr. F. W. Baker. Mr. Grimes came to his present locality and purchased 160 acres of land in the picturesque canon which bears his name. He has here planted several thousand trees, French prunes, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, and other varieties, including oranges and lemons. Mr. Grimes is now a dealer in lumber and builders' hardware in Fillmore.
In 1858 Mr. Grimes wedded Miss Elenora Hogle, a native of Jefferson City, Missouri, whose father, John Francis Hogle, was born in Canada; her mother, Jane (Jacoby) Hogle, was a native of Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Grimes have four children, George H., Frank, Lillie and Robert. Those of the children not at home are married and settled near by. Mrs. Grimes is a worthy member of the Christian Church, and her husband's preferences are for that denomination.
At the time of the formation of Ventura County, Mr. Grimes was an active worker in that movement and one of the committee to help draft the bill for the division of the county, as he also was in the construction of the fine brick school-house in San Buenaventura, which was built at a cost of $10,000, and was considered a grand achievement for the place. He has long been a school trustee, and at that time was clerk of the school board, and much of the management of the building devolved on him. When he removed to the Willow Grove district he helped to build the school-house there; was afterward cut off into the Bardsdale district, and was also instrumental in the erection of a fine school-house there. Mr. Grimes has been a prominent Democrat, has been a delegate to many of the State and county conventions. In 1884 he made many speeches, advocating Grover Cleveland's election for President, and in 1886 he made a strong speech in favor of ex-Congressman Berry for Governor. Was one of the candidates for the election to the State Constitutional Convention, and ran ahead of his ticket more than 2,000 votes; and in 1890 he was much talked of by the papers and his friends as an available candidate for Congress in the Sixth District of California.
In speaking of his experience as a miner, Mr. Grimes says that a man who was at work for him on the Yreka flats, in 1853, picked up a nugget of solid gold that was sold for $1,028, a little over four pounds in weight of very pure gold. Notwithstanding his long pioneer and business career, Mr. Grimes is still an active business man, and bids fair to spend many years in the enjoyment of his home in Grimes Canon.
S. A. Guiberson, one of the early settlers and prominent ranchers of Ventura County, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, January 1, 1838. He was the son of Rev. J. W. Guiberson, a native of Pennsylvania, and a minister of the Methodist church for many years. He removed to Ohio and from there to California, where his death occurred at the age of seventy years, caused by the bite of a rattlesnake in the hand; he only lived seven hours after receiving the wound. Mr. Guiberson's grandfather, Samuel Guiberson, was born in New Jersey, and removed to Ohio when it was a wilderness. When he reached majority there was some member of the Whig party who objected to his voting, although he had been raised a Whig; he was so enraged at them that he voted the Democratic ticket, and for several generations, to the present time, the Guibersons have voted that ticket. Mr. Guiberson's mother was Catherine (Knight) Guiberson, a native of Ohio, born in 1805. She was the daughter of Mr. George Knight, a native of England. They have six children, three boys and three girls, four of whom survive.
Mr. Guiberson, our subject, was educated in Ohio, and raised on his father's farm. In 1860, when twenty-two years of age, he came to California, and settled at Placerville, engaging in contracting. He then went to Napa Valley, and leased land, and in 1869, came to what was then Santa Barbara County, now Ventura County, and settled upon what he supposed to be Government land, where he remained three years, and on discovering his mistake he left it and went to his present place, twelve miles east of Santa Paula and three miles from Fillmore Station. Here he has a fine ranch of 1,300 acres, and in 1888 built a fine residence upon it. He is engaged in raising grain and stock, but his specialty is stock; he is raising Berkshire hogs, Durham cattle and draft horses.
Mr. Guiberson was married in 1860, to Miss Ellen Green, a great-granddaughter of General Nathaniel Green, of Revolutionary fame. She was born in Missouri, in 1840, and is a daughter of Mr. Joseph N. Green, a native of Virginia. They have eight children, five boys and three girls. The first two were born in Napa County, and the others on the ranch in Ventura County, viz.: Lorane, J. W., N. G., S. A., W.R., Zuleki, Carrie, Blanch. J. W. is a merchant in Santa Paula; Nathanial S. is clerking for his brother in the store; he is nineteen years of age, being six feet seven inches high, and weighing 225 pounds. Lorane is in business in Arkansas. Mr. Guiberson and his two eldest sons are members of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Guiberson is a member of the Methodist church at Fillmore. He has been too much occupied on his ranch to give much attention to politics, but has been appointed deputy sheriff, and also deputy assessor of the county of Ventura. Notwithstanding the hardships of pioneer life for thirty years, he still is a young-looking man, and has a long life before him in which to enjoy the fruits of high cultivation that has now come to the beautiful valley, and which he has helped to bring about.