Biographical Sketches S Surnames
"A Memorial and Biographical History of the
Counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties"
By Yda Addis Storke
John Scarlett, one of the old settlers and prominent ranchers of the Santa Clara Valley, is a native of the "Emerald Isle," born in County Fermanagh, June 18, 1825. His parents, Richard and Elizabeth Scarlett, were natives of Ireland, lived on a farm, and were members of the Episcopal Church. John was educated in his native country, and came to the United States in 1852. He engaged in the wool and cotton dyeing business five years. He came to California in 1867, and had charge of an engine in a San Francisco sugar refinery. Mr. Scarlett remembers Mr. Spreckles when he started a little business there at that time. After three years spent in San Francisco, he moved to Alameda County, built a hotel and conducted it from 1861 to 1870, after which he rented it. There was a deal of travel on the roads at that time and the hotel business was very profitable one. Mr. Scarlett next engaged in sheep-raising, keeping from 4,000 to 5,000 sheep. This also proved a profitable business and he continued it four years before coming to his present locality. While in this business he lived in a tent both winter and summer. When he came to this county he brought 2,700 sheep, three men and a cook. The journey was made by land, and their diet was principally biscuits and bacon, though they sometimes got an antelope, and they slept on the ground at night. Mr. Scarlett bought an interest in a grant and when it was divided his share was 700 acres, which he has farmed since that time. When he made the purchase, his neighbors, Mr. McGrath and Mr. Leonard, were both here. The land was bought of Mr. William Rice. Mr. Scarlett does general farming and raises horses, cattle and hogs, his principal crop being barley and corn. He has several splendid fields, perfectly level and in a high state of cultivation. From the highway, which passes through Mr. Scarlett's ranch, the traveler is at once impressed with the pleasing appearance of this attractive home. The house, an elegant one, is shaded and surrounded by ornamental trees and flowers, and the whole premises indicate that the inmates are people of taste and refinement. Mr. Scarlett says that the improvements of the grounds may be attributed to his wife, as he gives his time and attention to his stock and ranch.
Mr. Scarlett wedded Miss Annie Lester, a native of Australia, and daughter of Lawrence Lester. Their union has been blessed with five children, four of whom are living and all at home with their parents. Their names are lizy, John, Sally and Annie.
In his political views Mr. Scarlett is a Republican.
Schiappa Pietra Bros., upright and capable business men of San Buenaventura, came here as pioneers in 1857, when there were scarcely any Americans in the whole county. They are natives of Italy. Sr. A. Schiappa Pietra was born February 2, 1832, and in 1853 came to California, and after spending six months in San Francisco he came to San Luis Obispo and opened a general merchandise store, which was conducted successfuly for fourteen months. He then sold out and went to San Francisco in search of a locality for business, but, failing, he visited San Diego, San Bernardino and other places in Southern California and located in Santa Barbara, engaged in general merchandise; and while there, in 1857, he started a store in San Buenaventura, and in 1878 sold out his business there. In 1864 he bought the Santa Clara del Norte ranch of 13,900 acres and stocked it with sheep; 30,000 or 40,000 are now kept upon it. Also there are planted on the ranch trees of various kinds, including olives and oranges, and they are doing well. Formerly about 4,000 acres were devoted to barley, but this year it is the intention to plant 5,000 acres to beans.
The younger brother, Sr. Leopold Schiappa Pietra, was born February 3, 1842, and came to California in 1866, since which time his business was united with that of his brother. He married Miss Ampara Arenas, a native of California, and they have a son and a daughter, both of whom are deceased.
In 1877 the brothers built their present fine residence, and have made it a place of unusual beauty. The grounds are planted and decorated with artistic skill, and are extremely well cared for. They are also the owners of the St. Charles Hotel at Santa Barbara and the Palace Hotel in San Buenaventura. They are zealous members of the Holy Catholic Church, and are exemplary citizens.
Dr. O. V. Sessions is a native of Union County, Illinois, born February 27, 1852. His father, Richard Sessions, was born in North Carolina, March 20, 1820. He removed to Illinois in an early day, was reared there and became a merchant, spending the whole of his life in that State, with the exception of the first eight years. He was a prominent Methodist and a devoted Christian. His death occurred in Illinois, in 1876. The Doctor's grandfather Sessions, also named Richard, came from England to America in the latter part of the seventeenth century. His mother, nee Mary House, was born in Tennessee, September 14, 1826, the daughter of Robert House, who was of German descent. The subject of this sketch was the oldest child of a family of four sons and one daughter. He was reared in Illinois, and at the age of fifteen years began to assist his father, who was conducting a general merchandise business in Hamburg, and was engaged in the store for ten years. Hen then began the study of medicine, first reading with Dr. J. I. Hale, of Anna, Illinois, and afterward attended the Chicago Medical College three years, graduating in 1882. He then went to Springfield, Missouri, where he practiced two years, after which he returned to Illinois, and continued the practice of his profession at Hamburg and at Anna. He next came to California, opened an office in Hueneme, and has here met with marked success. When he came here he was the only physician in the place, and by his skill and close attention to his patients, he has established a fine practice. His ride extends out twenty-five miles, and he now has the principal part of the practice on the ocean side of the Santa Clara River. He is the owner of a nice home and office in the center of town, the grounds extending through from Broad to Market streets. The house fronts on one street and the office on the other, with an attractive flower garden between, in which the Doctor takes much pleasure and needed rest from his labors.
Dr. Sessions was married in 1875 to Miss Lucy Martin, a native of Missouri. They have one son, Kenneth V., born in Springfield, Missouri, November 20, 1877. The Doctor is a Republican, but does not give politics much attention. He is strictly a temperate man, using neither strong drink nor tobacco believing both to be injurious. He is not only a successful practitioner, but is also a good business man and a worthy and respected citizen.
George G. Sewell, residing near Santa Paula, is a pioneer of California, having come to the State in March, 1851, and is also a pioneer of Santa Paula, as he arrived here in 1872. He has to the present been one of the most prominent ranchers, and occupies a most delightful suburban home, graced with vine-embowered retreats, and ornamental trees and shrubbery. He was born in Glens Falls, New York, February 24, 1819. His father, Jonathan Sewell, was a native of Dutchess County, New York, born in 1770, and was an early settler of Glens Falls. His ancestors, from England, first settled in the East, in the early history of the country. His mother, Wealthy Skinner, was born in 1780, in Connecticut. In their family were nine children, of whom George was the seventh. Five of this family are still living, their ages now aggregating 376 years. Mr. Sewell went to Wisconsin in 1844, bought a farm and cultivated it for six years; he then sold out and came to California, where he engaged in mining for a few months in Placer and El Dorado counties; but exposure to cold water induced rheumatism, which compelled him to abandon a miner's life, and he located upon a section of State school land, on Auburn Ravine, near Lincoln, Placer County, on which he spent twenty years of his life as an industrious farmer. In 1868 he was elected County Clerk of Placer County and subsequently re-elected. He is a Republican, casting his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, and his last for his grandson, Benjamin Harrison. Mr. Sewell sold his fine farm at the close of his term of office, resided at Sacramento for a few months, and then came to Santa Paula and purchased about 1,000 acres of valley and grazing land. Barley and corn being the principal productions of the valley at that time, his experience in Placer satisfied him that to grow small grain for the San Francisco market, entailing the expense of labor and machiner for harvesting and threshing, would not pay. He, therefore, at once stocked his ranch with sheep and hogs, principally, and by raising hogs enough to do the harvesting and save the threshing, and conveying to market the corn and barley grown on 200 to 300 acres yearly, made his investment remunerative. The dry season of 1877 forced him to dispose of his sheep, but by growing two crops of barley and corn on land that could be irrigated, other stock did not suffer. He after that engaged in dairying for five years, milking from fifty to seventy-five cows, making butter and cheese, which he found to be profitable.
Recently he has subdivided his land and sold portions of it. His home place, one mile west of Santa Paula, contains sixty acres. Mr. Sewell has lived in four or five different States, and as many localities in California, and is best suited with his present place.
He was married in 1849 to Miss Harriet Benedict, of Glens Falls. She lived only a year, and in 1858 Mr. Sewell married Eliza Rich, of Shoreham, Vermont, who was born in 1825, the daughter of Hiram Rich, of Richville, Vermont, which place was settled by and took its name from her grandfather. His brothers came from Massachusetts and settled there. Mr. and Mrs. Sewell are original members of the Universalist Church of Santa Paula. While at Lincoln, Mr. Sewell was a member of the Union League.
J. M. Sharp is one of the prominent ranchers of Saticoy. He was born in Cadiz, Ohio, March 3, 1844. His father, John Sharp, was born in Pennsylvania, March 27, 1797, and his mother, C. A. (Hesser) Sharp, was born in Virginia in 1808. They had seven children, all of whom are now living. The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in Oregon, and was a school teacher there. He has also been engaged in the profession of teaching since coming to Ventura County, having graduated from the State Normal School in 1871. He came to California in 1867, spent two years in Placer County, working for wages; then, for six years, was a book-keeper in San Francisco; worked one year on a farm in Sonoma County. In 1876 he came to Southern California, resided six years on a farm in Santa Ana, and, in November, 1882, moved to his present ranch where he has since resided. This property consists of 140 acres, and is most beautifully located. Mr. Sharp has built and made many improvements, and is now engaged in the construction of a fine residence which, when completed, will contain all the modern improvements of a first-class home, including gas, hot and cold water. It is being built some distance from the highway in order to afford ample room for ornamental grounds. This farm cost $40 an acre, and is not for sale, but is valued at $200 per acre. Mr. Sharp is engaged in the production of Lima beans, for which the land is wonderfully well adapted. He has twenty acres in walnut trees, which will soon yield $100 per acre. Mr. Sharp was married in 1874 to Miss S. R. Plank, a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1851, and daughter of Joseph Plank, who was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, September 13, 1813. Mr. and Mrs. Sharp have an interesting family of seven children. She is a member of the Baptist Church, and was graduated at the State Normal School of California, in the class of 1871. Mr. Sharp is a strictly temperance man, and adheres to the Prohibition party.
Charles H. Sheldon was born in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, June 9, 1839, and is a descendant of an English family. His grandfather, Timothy Sheldon, was long a resident of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, New York, and his father, Henry Sheldon, was a native of that place, born July 2, 1814. Mr. Sheldon's mother, nee Betsey Botsford, was born in Darien, New York, September 14, 1817, her ancestors being English and Welsh. The subject of this sketch was the oldest of three children. He finished his educated in the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary. His uncle, Robert Botsford, being a blacksmith, Mr. Sheldon, early in life, conceived a liking for that trade, learned it with his uncle, and has made it his life work.
At President Lincoln's first call for troops, Mr. Sheldon enlisted; but, the quota of his State, Michigan, being full before he was mustered in, and being determined to engaged in the great struggle, he went to Chicago and joined Battery C, Chicago Light Artillery. He went to Washington, where the Captain, Richard Busteed, Jr., was taken with inflammatory rheumatism. General Berry, then Chief of Artillery, went over to their camp on East Capitol Hill, and informed them that they were at liberty to join any branch of the service or go home, as they liked, the battery not having been mustered into the United States service. Mr. Sheldon then enlisted in the First New York Light Artillery, Battery G, and served three years without receiving a wound or being a day from duty. He participated in the following battles: Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Auburn Hill, Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Habor, and several others; and during all this time he was blacksmith for his battery, shoeing all the horses and keeping every thing in repair.
In 1875 Mr. Sheldon came to Ventura County, California, and in partnership with Mr. Vickers built their present shop. They are also engaged in the manufacture of wagons and carriages, and are doing a thorough and reliable business. Mr. Sheldon owns a ranch of eighty acres, sixteen miles from town, which he is devoting, principally, to the cultivation of orange trees, Washington Navels. Water is flumed to this place. He is also interested in bees, having 200 stands on his ranch.
In 1861, Mr. Sheldon was married to Miss Elizabeth Young, a native of England, by whom he had six children, four born in Michigan, viz.: Frederick Henry, Emma C., Sarah S., Charles Leroy, and two born in Ventura County, Harriet E. and Maudie. Mrs. Sheldon having died in 1881, Mr. Sheldon was married, in 1883, to Mrs. Nellie Bradley, a native of Indiana, and daughter of Gabriel Newby, a Quaker of that State. Mrs. Bradley had two daughters, Edith R., born in Santa Barbara, California, in 1869 and Effie N., born in Ventura, in 1873. Mrs. Sheldon is the owner of a good home in Ventura, in which they reside. The subject of this sketch is a member of the Masonic fraternity; and was a charter member of the Grand Army of the Republic, in Ventura. Mr. Sheldon is a respected and worthy citizen, and no man is more entitled to respect than he, who by honest industry makes a livelihood and a competency.
Judge S. A. Sheppard was born May 22, 1824, in the District of Columbia. His ancestry on the paternal side were English and Scotch, and on his mother's side Scotch and Irish. His ancestors were Colonial settlers of Virginia and Maryland. His father, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, in early days was a farmer, and afterward resided in Baltimore city and the District of Columbia, and owned both city and country property. Judge Sheppard completed his school life in a classical academy in Georgetown, District of Columbia; commenced to study law in 1844, in Cincinnati, in the law office of William T. Forrest, and removed to Baltimore in December of the same year, where he continued his law studies and was admitted to the bar in the city of Baltimore, in January, 1847. He practiced his profession there and in the United States courts in Washington city until February 3, 1849, when he started for California. He came around by way of Cape Horn, and landed in San Francisco September 9, and went to the mines with a party of seven friends who had come to the coast with him. They went to the Shasta Diggings, Redding's Bar, and after prospecting there for a while they went to the Feather River, locating at Bidwell's Bar. Soon after the rains set in, the mines became inundated, and he, with others, returned to San Francisco, where he opened a law office, December 10, 1849. He soon had a paying practice and he continued his profession there successfully ten years. He then removed with his family to Tulare County and opened an office at Visalia, and practiced law there seventeen years, namely, until April, 1876; and since that time he, with his family, has been a resident of San Buenaventura, engaged in the practice of law. In San Francisco he was Public Administrator; in Tulare County he was District Attorney two terms; was also Mayor of Visalia; was appointed by Governor Haight Judge of the County Court to fill a vacancy, and was afterward elected to a full term. While residing in San Buenaventura he was elected County Judge of Ventura County, and since a member of the Board of Town Library and President of the Board. Politically, he sympathizes with the old Jeffersonian Democratic principles. He was initiated in Washington Lodge, No. 1, I. O. O. F., it being the first lodge organized in the United States.
In 1848 Judge Sheppard married Miss Margaret L. Armstrong, a native of Baltimore and a daughter of James Armstrong, a wholesale leather merchant and manufacturer of that city, and they have now living two sons and three daughters, viz.: Isabella, nor the wife of George E. Stewart, of Nordhoff; Margaret, now Mrs. Horace Stevens, residing in Batavia, this State; Summerfield D., residing at Hueneme, Ventura County; Thomas A., who is also there, in the drug business, and Annie R., the youngest, is at home. Mrs. Sheppard is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and the Judge's father was an Episcopalian. Judge Sheppard has built a nice home in the beautiful and healthful village of Nordhoff, where, with his children near him, and also his many friends whom he has know so long, he will spend the ev4ening of his long and eventful life in peace.
Thomas A. Sheppard is a native of the Golden West and a business man of Hueneme. He was born in Tulare County, November 5, 1862, and is a son of Judge S. A. Sheppard, a native of Maryland. (His history will be found on another page in this book.) The subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools and also took a course in the Heald Business College, San Francisco. After completing his education, he went to Los Angeles, where he engaged in the real-estate business, under the firm name of T. A. Sheppard & Co., Peter Ward and William Wright being the other members of the firm. They did a thriving commission business, and continued it until 1887. They were the exclusive agents for an East Los Angeles tract belonging to Dr. J. H. Griffin, and were also agents for a Sister of Charity tract, both of which they closed out in a satisfactory manner to all parties concerned. Mr. Sheppard then removed to the Ojai Valley and engaged in the real-estate business with Mr. Stewart. He remained there until business became dull. He next moved to Hueneme, and her bought out the drug business of his brother, S. D. Sheppard, which he still continues. He has the only drug store in the town and is doing a fine business.
Mr. Sheppard was married, in 1884, to Miss Bell Hutchings, of Los Angeles. She was born on the plains, while her parents were en route to California. They have three daughters: Madge, born in Los Angeles, Florence, in Ventura, and the youngest (not named) born in Hueneme.
Politically, Mr. Sheppard is a Democrat.
W. E. Shepherd was born in Fairfield, Iowa, June 30, 1842. He is the son of Thomas Shepherd, a native of Ohio, who followed the business of tanning. His ancestors were Scotch-Irish. Mr. Shepherd's mother, Sarah S. (Edgar) Shepherd, was born in Ohio. Her parents were formerly residents of Pennsylvania, and her remote ancestors were English people. The subject of this sketch is one of a family of five children, and he was reared and educated in Iowa. His legal education was obtained at Oskaloosa. After his admission to the bar, he at once began the practice of his profession. When Mr. Lincoln was elected to the Presidency, Mr. Shepherd was appointed Postmaster of his town, and also held the office under Grant's administration. During the campaign in which Mr. Greeley was a candidate for President, Mr. Shepherd was on the Greeley ticket for Elector from his district, and he was defeated by General Weaver, who was then the candidate on the opposing ticket.
In 1873 Mr. Shepherd came to California, and, in Ventura, engaged in the newspaper business, and conducted the Ventura Signal for five years. Since then he has been engaged in the practice of law, and is one of the leading attorneys of the city, being associated with Mr. Blackstock. The firm stands high and enjoys a lucrative practice. Mr. Shepherd has a quick preception, a strong, resolute will, good reasoning faculties and fine argumentative ability, and is a fluent speaker. He is wide awake to the interests of his chosen city, and contributes his full share to its success. The side on which he arrays himself has in him a powerful advocate.
He was united in marriage to Miss Theodosia B. Hall, daughter of Augustus Hall, formerly a member of Congress from Iowa - a man of rare ability - and late Chief Justice of Nebraska. Mrs. Shepherd was born in Keosauqua, Iowa, October 14, 1845. Until 1873, except when in Batavia, New York, at school, she resided in Iowa and Nebraska. In that year, with her husband, W. E. Shepherd, and family, she came to Southern California, and soon found a home in Ventura. From those who know her well we learn she has been prominently connected with every movement for the good of the town and county; that it was greatly due to her and her lady co-workers that the town has a fine library of 3,000 volumes.
In addition to the care and education of her children, Mrs. Shepherd has, in the past five years, established a prosperous business, and formed in that business the nucleus of an important industry. When, five years ago, she told her friends that she intended to grow seeds and bulbs and to sell them in large quantities to Eastern dealers, she was met with good-natured but incredulous smiles. Knowing something of the magnitude of the demand, and having unbounded confidence in the soil and climate of the country, and being possessed with a passionate love of flowers, she went to work as the pioneer in this work - at first in a very small way. Her first green-house cost only the small sum of $2.50, and from year to year, without capital, she increased her facilities and trade. Now she keeps three men at work the year round; and has under her control, in addition to her beautiful two acre tract in town, five acres planted to calla lilies, smilax, and other rare plants and bulbs.
Mrs. Shepherd modestly attributes her success, which is really remarkable, to the glorious sunshine and soil of Southern California. Her friends insist, however, that her success is due to her pluck, perseverance, push and energy. They say not one in a thousand would have withstood the rebuffs of dealers, the discouragements, the disappointments, the lack of capital, the mishaps, the losses and the derisive smiles of friends. She was induced to go into the business through the advice and encouragement of the late Peter Henderson, of New York. He wrote to her a very kind letter, saying Southern California had the soil and climate for the production of bulbs and seeds and that he believed in fifty years it would grow seeds for the world. Mrs. Shepherd is a slight woman, weighing a little over 100 pounds. She has unusual executive ability. Her business correspondence now is very large, which she conducts herself, besides replying to letters from many women who write to her for advice as to how to go to work to do for themselves what she has done in her line. She takes a just pride in being known as the pioneer flower-seed and bulb grower of the Coast, and is entitled to all the praise she has received from the press of the State and from the many correspondents who have visited her grounds and written up her work.
When the writer went through her grounds and green and bath houses and packing house, heard her tell in her quiet, unassuming way, how she had worked, saw her directing her employes; considered what a vast amount of labor she must have personally performed, and what tax on her memory it must be to hold at her tongue's end the names of her endless variety of plants and bulbs and shrubs; and then entered her parlors and saw her there with her husband, her daughters and son, the queen of the household, whom they all honored; saw there the evidence of culture and refinement, - when he saw all this, he gave a hearty assent to every word of praise so generously bestowed by her many friends in her home town.
Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd have an interesting family of four children: Augustus H. and Myrtle, born in Iowa; and Madge and Eda, in Ventura.
Mr. Shepherd enjoys the distinction of being a veteran of the late war. In his country's first call for volunteers, he enlisted in the Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry, for six months, and afterward in the three years' service. A part of the time he was in the postal service, by order of General Grant, under General A. H. Markland. He is a member of the G. A. R., and his political views are Democratic.
J. W. Shick was born in Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio, August 18, 1819. His father, Peter Shick, was born in Philadelphia in 1791, and his grandfather came to America from Germany. His mother was Elizabath (Woodruff) Shick, a native of Brown County, Ohio, born of English parents. Mrs. Shick was the third of a family of eleven children, five of whom are now living, and are scattered over the United States. He was educated in his native State. When he became of age he purchased the old homestead on which his father had lived six years, the youngest of the family were born, and on which his father died in 1835. It contained 100 acres. His father had settled on it in 1829, had reclaimed it from the bush, and, at his request, was buried on it. After living on this property five years, Mr. Shick sold out and went to Davis County, Iowa, where he bought eighty acres of improved land, farmed it for two years, then sold, and in the same neighborhood bought 100 acres. On this property he made his home for twenty years.
In 1861, when the bar broke out, he enlisted in Company G., Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served during the war. He made that remarkable march with General Sherman from Atlanta to the sea. On this march he was detailed to the ambulance corps, and drove the mail ambulance for General G. M. Dodge, of Iowa. On his way from Dallas, Georgia, to Kingston, after the mail, his team ran away and he was thrown from the wagon and run over, his left ankle being badly injured, also right shoulder and knee slightly. He has, to some extent, been a cripple ever since. At the time of General Lee's surrender, he was in the hospital from the effect of this injury, where he was discharged on surgeon's certificate of disability July 10, 1865. He returned to his home and engaged in agricultural pursuits on his farm and, in winter, also taught school. In 1877 he sold his property and came to California. In Inyo County he bought 116 acres of land, and resided there ten years. He then sold and came to Santa Paula, where he bought the house in which he now resides with his family. He has received a small pension, dated from the date of discharge.
Mr. Shick was married in 1843, to Miss Eleanor A. P. Clark, a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of Mr. John Clark. They had one child, Elizabeth, born in Ohio, and is now the wife of Thomas Bates, of Missouri. Mrs. Shick died in 1845. For he second wife he wedded Catharine Srofe, a native of Ohio, and daughter of Elijah Srofe. Her father was born in Ohio, and was the son of a soldier of the war of 1812, who was wounded in the battle of Lundy's Lane. By this wife he had four children, two of whom are living: Mary A., born in Ohio, now married to A. J. Humphrey, and resides in Davis County, Iowa; David T., born in Davis County, Iowa, resides at his father's old home. This wife died in 1855. Mr. Shick's next wife was nee Martha J. Mohler, also a native of Ohio. She lived only a short time after marriage, her death occurring in 1858. He was afterward married to Annie M. Torrence. She, too, was a native of Ohio, and her death occurred a year after her marriage. Mr. Shick's present wife was formerly Mrs. Catharine Tull, widow of Mr. W. Tull, of Davis County, Iowa, and daughter of Mrs. Thomas Clark. They have had four children, three of whom are living. Their eldest son, T. M., lived to be twenty-three years of age, and was murdered by one Henry Brown, who was convicted of the crime and sentenced to imprisonment for life. Ida May, and Rena C. and Francis M. were born in Davis County, Iowa, and now reside with their parents. Mrs. Shick is a member of the Baptist Church, and her husband of the Christian Church. He is a worthy member of the G. A. A. In Davis County, Iowa, Mr. Shick held every township office, and was Justice of the Peace for eight years. In Salt Creek, that county, he served as Postmaster. Notwithstanding his advanced age, seventy-one years, he is still hale and hearty, and bids fair to enjoy a long life in his happy California home.
John Simpson was born in Concord, New Hampshire, September 17, 1843, son of James and Eliza (Grant) Simpson. His father was born in Philadelphia, in 1808, his ancestors being natives of Massachusetts; and his mother was born in New Hampshire, in 1812. Her parents were also natives of the Granite State, and her father was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. John Simpson was the second of a family of four children. He was educated in Lowell, Massachusetts, after which he served an apprenticeship in his uncle John Simpson's machine shop.
When the call for volunteers resounded through the land, in 1861, he enlisted in Company K, Fifty-seventh Regiment, Illinois Infantry, and was in the service two years and a half. He participated in all the battles of the Army of the Tennessee, under General grant and General Sherman, until the battle of Shiloh, where his regiment suffered heavily. Of the 520 who went into that engagement, 285 were lost. Mr. Simpson was wounded in the knee with a musket ball, and was crippled for six weeks. After he was wounded the army was driven back, he was captured on the field and was a prisoner four months in the South, at Mobile and Cahaba, Alabama, and at Macon, Georgia. While engaged with his regiment, supporting a battery, both the drums of his ears were so injured that he is quite deaf. After his exchange he served nearly a year on detailed duty, on account of his deafness. He was finally discharged for disability, and has since been in the railroad business. He learned telegraphy, and was in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, Central Pacific and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul.
In 1877 he came to California and served as agent at Davisville, Yolo County, until 1884. In 1887 he came to Ventura and accepted the position of railroad agent, which he now fills.
Mr. Simpson was married in 1878, to Miss Lillie Pierce, a native of St. Louis, and daughter of Dr. T. B. Pierce, a dentist, of San Francisco. They have three children living: Arthur B. and George, born in Davisville; and Florence D., in Ventura.
Mr. Simpson is a worthy member of the G. A. R. of Ventura, and also of the Masonic fraternity.
V. A. Simpson came to California in 1860 and to Ventura in 1861 when there were only three or four other Americans in the place, namely, William Hobson, James Beebee, and Alex. Cameron. He was born in York Township, Jefferson County, New York, August 27, 1825. His father, Sylvanus Simpson, was a native of the State of New York, of Scotch descent; and his mother, nee Susan Harrington, was a native of Vermont. They had four sons and two daughters, and moved from New York to Ohio when the subject of this sketch, the fourth child, was eleven years old, and settled on a farm in Sandusky County. Mr. Simpson was therefore reared upon a farm, and began agriculture on his own account on a quarter section of land in Indiana, upon which he moved directly after his marriage. His wife died five years afterward, and then, in 1852, he came to California, spent two years in Los Angeles County, stopping a short time in San Francisco and then returned East, married again, and in 1859 sold his place and came again to California. This time he settled first in Santa Barbara County, in that portion which is now Ventura County. He brought with him across the plains forty head of American cows, three yoke of cattle, three mares and two wagons. In Ventura he opened the first hotel, in an adobe building on West Main street, on the south side, and west of Ventura avenue. He was also the first Postmaster of Ventura, holding the office four years. His hotel, called the American House, he sold, and also his cattle and other live-stock, and in 1865 bought his present homestead property of 150 acres, of which he has since sold fifty acres: forty acres are on the other side of the avenue. Previously he speculated to some extent until 1872, when he built his present nice residence, which he occupies with his children, whom he has given a good education at San Francisco and Oakland. Of the homestead there are twenty-five acres of fifteen-year-old bearing walnut trees, which now yield from fifty to 200 pounds to each tree. He has also twenty acres of apricots, apples and other fruit. The apples are of the varieties Pearmain, Bellflower, Rhode Island Greening, etc., and they all do well. The fruit sells at from one to two cents a pound. The remainder of the farm is devoted to general agriculture, - corn, barley, alfalfa hay and potatoes. Mr. Simpson is a member of the three principal branches of Freemasonry, in good standing; and as a citizen he has seen the country grow from its pioneer condition to its present paradisical proportions.
Mr. Simpson was first married in 1847, to Miss Eliza Smith, a native of Ohio, and they have one child, Helen L. Mrs. Simpson died, as before stated, and he afterward married Miss Sarah Bisby, a native of Canandaigua, New York, and they had two sons and one daughter: George B., Charlie C. and Sarah B. This Mrs. Simpson died in 1864, and since then Mr. Simpson has not again married. Mr. Simpson's daughter Helen is married to J. H. Walker and resides in Tacoma, Washington; George is married and lives in San Francisco; Charles is at home with his father; Sarah B. is married to G. W. Huston, a son of Dr. George Huston of San Francisco, ex-Mayor of that city.
Luther Skellenger, of Santa Paula, is a native of New Jersey, born in the town of Decker, Sussex County, March 20, 1825. He followed the contractor and builders' trade until in April, 1861, when President Lincoln made his first call for volunteers to put down the Rebellion, he enlisted as a private in Company C, First New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. At the expiration of six months he re-enlisted in Company C, Seventh New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, and was detailed on recruiting service. He raised a company, of which he was elected First Lieutenant.
When he returned for the service he bought a small flour-mill and was engaged in the milling business several years. Mr. Skellenger came to California in 1887, on account of his wife's health, and in San Buenaventura started a large furniture store. Mrs. Skellenger did not recover her health, and died soon after coming here. He sold his furniture store in 1889, and bought a ranch in Wheeler Canon, consisted of 800 acres, on which his son, Fred, is in charge. They removed to Santa Paula, where he bought property and built a home and furniture store. The business is under the first name of Skellenger Brothers. They are doing the principal business in their line of goods in the city. Mr. Skellenger has retired from active life, and his sons are conducting the ranch and store; the store is in charge of Walter H. Skellenger. They are enterprising men of high character.
The ancestors of the family came from Amsterdam, Holland, and settled on Long Island. At one time most of the island was owned by the family, and some of it is still in the family, which was obtained in 1842. W. H. Skellenger's son, Frank Herbert, is the last of an unbroken line of eight generations, as follows: Jacob Skellenger was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1825, and came to America in 1653. His son was Jacob (second); his son was Daniel, born on Long Island; his son was Daniel (second), and was also born on Long Island; his son, Elisha P., was born in Morris County, New Jersey, and was a shoemaker; he died in 1839, at seventy-two years of age; his son, Elisha, was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, November 24, 1800. He was the father of Luther, the subject of this sketch, who was the father of Walter H., the father of Herbert Frank.
Mr. Skellenger, our subject, is a member of the G. A. R. and of the I. O. O. F. In the East the family were Congregationalists; but in Santa Paula, as there is no church of that denomination, they have united with the Presbyterian Church. Walter H. is a member of the choir, and also superintendent of the Sunday-school. He is a member of the K. of p., the K. of H., the S. of V. and the I. O. F. Since the death of his wife Mr. Skellenger makes his home with his son in Santa Paula.
Mr. Skellenger was married in 1847, to Miss Maria Vaness. They have had three children, all of whom are deceased. After six years of wedded life Mrs. Skellenger died, of consumption. In 1855 he was again married, to Miss Ada C. Kelsey, a native of New Jersey, born June 30, 1837, and daughter of J. B. Kelsey, also a native of New Jersey. They have four children, two boys and two girls, viz.: Walter H., born in Newark, New Jersey, May 31, 1856, and was married in 1879 to Miss Maggie A. Nichols, a native of Ner Jersey, born in 1860. They have three children: Frank H., born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1882, Luther J., born in Newark, in 1886, and Marion Ethel, born June 6, 1890, at Santa Paula, California. Fred, born October 17, 1859; Mary Ida, April 15, 1862, and Clara K., March 6, 1864.
D. A. Smith is one of the great family of Smiths and is a worthy citizen of the Ojai Valley, Ventura County. He was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, September 18, 1845, the son of Morgan and Elizabeth (Martin) Smith, both natives of Pennsylvania, the former of Scotch descent, and the latter of Scotch-German descent, her father's ancestors having been Scotch and her mother's German. They were the parents of six children, five of whom are living. The subject of this sketch was their second child. He was reared in Ohio, and was attending school when the war of the Rebellion burst upon the country. The call to arms resounded through every city and village throughout the entire North and East, and the sound of the fife and drum could be heard in every town. Young Smith, filled with patriotic ardor, enlisted in Company E, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as a high private, and served through the whole bloody struggle, re-enlisting when his first term of service expired. He participated in all the battles of the Army of the Cumberland. Sometimes his clothes were torn by shot and shell, but, strange to say, his flesh never received as much as a scratch. The most sanguinary battles in which he was engaged were Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge and Nashville. In these battles vast numbers of brave men were slain on both sides, besides the thousands who were mutilated for life. Mr. Smith's re-enlistment occurred at Chattanooga. He was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee, in October, 1865.
At the close of the war Mr. Smith returned home and engaged in farming, which he continued on a farm of his own until 1872, when he sold out and emigrated to Nebraska. He there took up a Government claim of 160 acres, and improved th land by erecting buildings, etc., and resided there eleven years. His health failed at that time, his disease being asthma, and his physician advised a change of climate. In 1883 he disposed of his property and came to California, first to Los Angeles, and a few months later to Ventura County. Finding the climate of the Ojai Valley conducive to his health, he purchased forty acres of land, upon which he has erected a neat and commodious home. He has planted trees, which have grown rapidly, and his place has become an attractive one. His property joins the town of Nordhoff on the easst, and he enjoys the advantages of schools, churches, postoffice and stores. Mr. Smith is engaged in raising poultry, horses and cattle, and he also produces large quantities of hay. The balmy air of this delightful climate has restored him to health, and life that had become a burden is now a pleasure.
In 1867 the subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Miss Ann G. Eddy, a native of Athens County, Ohio, and a daughter of Thomas Eddy, a farmer of that county. They have five children, all living, two born in Ohio, two in Nebraska, and one in Ventura County, California, viz.: Clara H., Fanny A., Winnie V., Ira Blaine, and Ellsworth, named for Colonel Ellsworth, who pulled down the rebel flag and was shot.
Mr. Smith was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, from Nebraska, in 1884; was sent as a Grant man, but, under the unit rule, voted for Mr. Blaine. Mr. Smith, like James K. Polk, enjoys the distinction of being the Roadmaster of his district, and the district enjoys the convenience of first-class roads. He is a temperance man, a Republican, a member of the I. O. O. F., and a member of the Temple of Honor.
Nathan Brooks Smith is a native of the State of Massachusetts, born in Concord, January 17, 1850. He is the son of Joseph A. Smith, who was born in Concord in 1818, and still resides there, engaged in farming. He is a lineal descendant of Paul Revere, the hero of Revolutionary days. Mr. Smith's mother, Rebecca (Brooks) Smith, was born in Acton, a town adjoining Concord. She came of Puritan stock. Her grandfather, Seth Brooks, was a Sergeant in the Acton "Minute Men" and was in the "Concord Fight" of 1775. There were six children in the family, the subject of this sketch being the oldest. He received his education in the institutions of learning in his native city; and afterward engaged in railroading in Kansas and Nebrasks. Then he was book-keeper for Mr. Josiah Quincy, in Boston. Later, he went to Concord, bought a farm and engaged in general farming. That property he sold before coming to California. Upon his arrival on this coast, he located in Ventura County and engaged in sheep-raising, which proved a paying business. They had as many as 7,000 sheep at one time. This business he closed out, and, in 1882, with his partner, purchased his present fine fruit ranch of forty-five acres, on Ventura avenue. It is planted principally to walnuts, apricots, prunes and apples, but he also has a variety of other fruits. They are farming a large tract to wheat and barley, 4,000 acres being devoted to the cultivation of these crops, the yield being correspondingly large.
Mr. Smith, in 1875, married Miss Agnes E. Tolman, a native of Concord, daughter of Benjamin Tolman, also a native of that city, and the owner of a large printing house. They have one son, Allen Tolman Smith, born in Concord in1880. Mr. Smith is a member of the Masonic fraternity. In politics he is independent.
H. K. Snow, Jr., a native son of the Golden West, was born in Vallejo, Solano County, September 5, 1865. His father, H. K. Snow, was born in Whitefield, New Hampshire, in 1833, and his grandfather, James Snow, was an Englishman who settled at Whitefield, New Hampshire, in an early day. They were prominent people there. Mr. Snow's mother, Cynthia O. (Downs) Snow, was born in Wisconsin. They had eight children, the subject of this sketch being the fourth. He was reared and educated at his native place, Vallejo, until he was twelve years of age, at which time the family moved to Santa Ana, now Orange County, where his father bought a ranch and engaged in the culture of oranges and grapes, and where he still resides. In 1887 they purchased 171 acres of land, one-half mile from New Jerusalem, Ventura County, where Mr. Snow is engaged in the culture of walnuts, having 100 acres of English walnut trees, all doing well. Between the trees they raise large crops of Lima beans and peanuts, one of the future industries of California. The rest of this ranch is devoted to nurseries, there being more than 50,000 trees of different kinds. They intend to do a large business in fruit and ornamental trees. They also grow some alfalfa and barley. A sightly residence, surrounded with flowers and shrubbery, is an attractive feature of this place.
Politically, Mr. Snow is affiliated with the Republican party. He is a mbmer of the Tustin Lodge, I. O. O. F., and is a young man of fine business qualities.
C. E. Soule is one of the prominent citizens of Ventura County, California, and a pioneer of the Ojai Valley. He was born in Canada, December 31, 1838, and is the son of Charles and Louis (Hurd) Soule, the former a native of Canada, of English and German descent. He was the younger son and the second child of a family of four children, two sons and two daughters, and received his education in his native country. Before he had quite reached his majority he came to California, in 1859, and worked on a farm for two years, after which he spent two years as a machinist on mill-work, in the mines in Nevada. He then returned to Sonoma County, California, and purchased a ranch on the Russian River, near Healdsburg. On this he built a house and barn, and otherwise improved, and in 1874 sold the property and came to Ventura County. The journey was made in sixteen days, with two wagons, a four-horse wagon and a covered wagon for his family, which consisted at that time of his wife and four children. Mr. Soule had previously been to the Ojai Valley, and had bought land and erected a house which was ready for their occupancy when the family arrived. The valley at that time was a sheep ranch, with 10,000 sheep, owned by Messrs. Olds & Daily, and the only two houses there were those of Mr. Waite and Mr. Ayres. At first Mr. Soule obtained his mail at Ventura, and after getting a route established, the few settlers had to pay for the carrying themselves for a long time. Mr. Soule engaged in wheat-raising, but now devotes his time to general farming and fruit culture. He still retains 195 acres of his original purchase, upon which he raises fruit, hay, and horses, both draft and roadsters. His principal fruit crop consists of nectarines, apricots and prunes. He has ten acres in olives not yet in bearing. They have a dryer and dry their own fruit.
Mr. Soule was united in marriage, in October, 1862, to Miss Addie Koger, daughter of William and Matilda (Anglen) Koger, the former of German descent and the latter of French. Her father was a Virginian by birth, and was one of the pioneers of California. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church, and a prominent rancher of this State. His death occurred when Mrs. Soule was quite young. Mr. and Mrs. Soule are the parents of five children, viz.: William E., a resident of Reading; Lillian E., Nina E. and Earl E., natives of Sonoma County, and Zadie E., born at their home in Nordhoff. Mrs. Soule is a warm lover of California, and rightly thinks there is no place like the Golden West. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is a lady of culture and refinement. Her family are talented, being gifted in both music and drawing. Mr. Soule and his wife were charter members of the Grange. He was the first Master of the lodge, and she has also held important offices in the same. In politics Mr. Soule is a Republican, and has been a member of that party since its organization. For four years he has held the office of Justice of the Peace; and has been clerk of the School Board for fourteen years out of the sixteen years he has resided in the town. During the building of the Presbyterian Church, a fine structure, Mr. Soule was a member of the board of trustees. He has been a member of the Republican Committe of the county for the past ten years.
Marvin Steward, a prominent citizen of Ventura, was born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, December 29, 1828. His father, Marion Steward, was a native of the State of Connecticut, and was of Scotch ancestry. Mr. Steward's mother, Sarah A. (Dart) Steward, was of English parentage. They had a family of twelve children, and most of them are now living. His father removed to New York, and from there to Ohio, where he received his education in the public schools. He engaged in the business of milling and distilling until 1850, when he removed to Quincy, Illinois, and engaged in business there for six years. In 1856 he removed to Hannibal, Missouri, and engaged in the flouring-mill business; he then went opposite Hannibal, and built a mill and distillery, and during the year 1863 his revenue tax was $18,000, the tax being twenty cents per gallon. He came to Marysville, California, and engaged in farming and stock-raising, and also bought the Oregon House and ranch, and continued in business there until 1868, when he sold out and went back to the Atlantic States, and also to Texas. After remaining away five months he returned and bought the Oregon House and ranch back, and after two years sold it, and went to Bangor, Butte County and engaged in mercantile business and stock-raising. He also bought a ranch on the Honcut, Yuba County, and in 1875 came to Ventura. He first settled near Santa Paula, buying 150 acres of land and improving it, and also building a nice house. He bought the property for #36 per acre; and sold it for $100 per acre; it has since been sold for $200 an acre. After selling his land Mr. steward came to Sonoma County and engaged in the mercantile business, and in a year and a half sold out and returned to Ventura, engaging in farming and fruit-raising near Santa Paula. This property he traded for land in Ventura, and now resides in a two-story residence of his own building on Ventura avenue; he retains the town property in Ventura, which he rents. He spent one year in Grass Valley for his health, and while there built a nice house. He has been only two years in his home on Ventura avenue, but the place is a fine one, with a nice hedge, beautiful flowers and ornamental trees and shrubs in profusion, - showing what can be done in a short time in this delightful country and climate.
When Mr. Steward was nineteen years of age the Mexican war began, and he enlisted in Company C, Fifteenth United States Infantry, and served through the struggle. He was sent to re-enforce General Scott at Vera Cruz, and was in all the fights until the city of Mexico was taken. In taking the city he received a musket shot in his right foot, for which he receives a pension. He has been Postmaster twice. In his political views he is a Democrat, but always voted for the best man. Mr. Steward is not an old, worn-out looking man, notwithstanding he is a veteran of the Mexican war, and has been active so long.
Mr. Steward was married in 1852 in Quincy, Illinois, to Miss Sarah A. Abner, a native of Illinois. They have six children living: Alice D., the wife of Mr. J. Brown, of Yuba County; Rosanna C., at home with her parents; Charles Richard, a book-keeper in a wholesale house in San Francisco; Minnie D., wife of Mr. Faulkenstein, and residing in Ventura; Lora May and Mattie M., both at home with their parents. In 1883 Mrs. Steward died, and Mr. Steward has since married Mrs. Eliza McNett, of Quincy, Illinois. He was made a Master Mason in 1850 in Springfield.
Henry M. stiles, one of the pioneers of California, came to Ventura in the winter of 1867. He was born in Medina County, Ohio, December 15, 1837. His father, Milton Stiles, was born in the State of Massachusetts, in 1808. A large part of Mr. Stiles' life has been spent, both in Ohio and California, in the mercantile business. He is now spending the remainder of his days with his son Henry M. in Ventura; he is eighty-two years of age. Mr. Stiles' grandfather, Dorus Stiles, was also a native of Massachusetts; his mother, Catherine (Nelson) Stiles, was a native of Massachusetts. Mr. Stiles was the fifth child in a family of seven children. He received his early education in the public schools in Ohio, and at fourteen years of age began to earn his own living by working on a farm. In 1852 he went to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and worked there for a while, and then to Minnesota, then a Territory, and, like President Lincoln, ran a flatboat on the Minnesota River to St. Paul, and was soon made captain of the boat. He had three men under him; the business was freighting lime. After being engaged in this business for two seasons, he returned to Ohio, and from there came to California, in 1856, and settled in Amador County, and with his father engaged in mining for five years. In 1864 Mr. Stiles went to Oregon, and remained there one winter, then he went to the mines in Placerville, Idaho Territory, being very successful. The next year he lost all he had made, and went to Montana and prospected for a while, and then to Salt Lake and next to Prescott, Arizona, where he drove a four-horse team for a time; thence he came to Los Angeles, and from there, in 1867, in November, to Ventura. Here he purchased a lot, erected a livery stable, - the second in the town, - which eh ran for four years; and since that time he has been back and forth in the Territories several times, but has always considered Ventura his home. In 1866 he made a prospecting trip into Idaho, with sixty men and 100 hroses. Getting far into the snow, the party became disgusted with their leader and separated. While two or three were out hunting the Indians shot one of them; the others made their escape back to their comrades. They started twenty-five men on horseback after the Indians, but they failed to reach them.
In Arizona Mr. Stiles made another prospecting tour, with fifty men, to the head of Black River, but found neither gold nor silver; and they were not troubled by the Indians. Since coming to California he has made three trips to the East. He is now proprietor of the Ventura Soda Works, furnishing the whole of the county with temperance drinks. In company with his brother, he also owns 266 acres of land in Pleasant Valley, which they are improving, by planting trees, sinking wells and erecting buildings. In 1874 Mr. Stiles built a brick building in Ventura, the best in the town at that time. He also built the house where he resides and owns a building on Main street above the Ventura Bank. Mr. Stiles has seen much of frontier life and has had many interesting experiences; he is now one of Ventura's reliable and prosperous citizens.
He was married in 1874 and had one son, Freddie, who now resides in Idaho. In 1885 he was again married, this time to Miss Theresia Frank, who was born in San Francisco. Her father, Philip Frank, N. D., was from Vienna, Austria, and her mother was a native of New Orleans. By this marriage there are two children: Wilbur H., born in Lead City, Dakota Territory, and Milton P., born in Ventura.
Frederick Stock. - The able and efficient manager of the works of the Los Angeles Granite and Brown Stone Company, at Sespe Canon, Ventura County, California, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He is a thoroughly competent superintendent, having been reared to the business in his father's quarry in England. The quarry which this company is operating is located eight miles east of Santa Paula, on the banks of the Sespe River. The brown stone here obtained is exceedingly durable and of a splendid texture. For uniformity and permanency of color it is unsurpassed by any brown stones on the continent. The works, under Mr. Stock's management, are being run to their greatest capacity, filling orders for many public buildings of the country. They are now at work on orders for the Academy of Science and the Concordia Club building, San Francisco, also the Keating Block, San Diego. They also furnish the stone for the Reform School building. The stone for the Whittier building was supplied by them, the corner-stone of which weighed ten tons. They are now getting out six stones, fifty-two feet cube, each weighing seven tones.
Mr. Stock was born in England, October 9, 1859, the son of John and Ann (Thomas) Stock, natives of England. John Stock was the owner of a quarry, and both his sons learned that business with him. The quarry is still in the possession of the family, and is now being conducted by his son Charles. Mr. Stock was married in 1878 to Miss Alice Emily Player, a native of Bristol, England. They have three children, born in England: Walter, Victor and Greta. Mr. Stock is a member of the Congregational church of Los Angeles city.
William R. Stone, one of the leading business men of San Buenaventura, was born in Winchester, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, eight miles from Boston, August 17, 1854. His father, Hon. j. F. Stone, a native of New Hampshire, was a business man of that State for many years, and for the last eight years of his life represented his district in the Legislature of Massachusetts, as a Republican. His wife, nee Melvina Clark, is also a native of the Old Granite State. They have five children, of whom three are living. Mr. Stone, our subject, finished his education in a Bryant & Stratton business college, located at Boston, Massachusetts, and when of age he became a traveling salesman for John M. Davis & Co., in the line of gents' furnishing goods, and continued three years in their employ, with good success. Then, for four years, he had charge of the furnishing-goods department of C. C. Hastings & Co.; next he was salesman until 1885 in the hosiery department of Murphy, Grant & Co.; and then he embarked in business for himself in San Buenaventura, buying out John A. Walker's establishment of dry goods, fancy goods and gents' furnishing goods. He conducted the business with marked success until November 23, 1887, when he moved into his large, new store, the "White House," where he enjoys a large trade from the better class of customers, based on keeping fine fashionable goods. The store is kept well filled with stock; it has a nice, cosy office, and a gallery in the rear for a cloak department. Every feature is metropolitan, showing that the proprietor is a trained merchant of experience, although comparatively young. He is Master Workman of Ventura Lodge, No. 173, A. O. U. W., Chancellor Commander of the K. of P., a member of the K. of H., and is a prompt and efficient officer as First Lieutenant of Company D, Seventh Infantry, First Brigade, National Guard of California.
He was married in 1879 to Miss Minnie C. Clark, a native of San Francisco. By this marriage there was one daughter, named Maud C., born in San Francisco February 23, 1880. In 1882 Mrs. Stone met with a sad accident which caused her death; and in 1884 Mr. Stone was again married, this time to Miss Emma Ellinghouse, whose place of birth was San Jose; and by this marriage there is also one daughter, named Arlie B., and born in San Buenaventura, in 1886.
R. G. Surdam, the founder of the towns of Nordhoff and Bardsdale, was born in Dutchess County, New York, August 11, 1835. His father, Lewis L. Surdam, was a native of Connecticut. His ancestors came from Germany and had been residents of America for many years. Mr. Surdam's mother, Julia (Lockwood) Surdam, was born in Dutchess County, New York, the daughter of Hanson Lockwood, a native of Connecticut. His great-grandmother, Julia Williams, attained notoriety and fame during the Revolution by the daring deed of swimming her horse across the Hudson River to escape the Red Coats, with her little son, Mr. Surdam's grandfather, on her lap. The subject of this sketch is one of a family of four children, two sons and two daughters, all now living. He received his education in Illinois, and was there until 1854, when he came to California, and has remained in this State ever since. For ten years he was engaged in mining, in all the mining regions of the State, and made and lost fortunes and experienced all the vicissitudes and hardships of mining and pioneer life. In 1864 he came from San Francisco to Los Angeles, sick with bilious fever. Old Dr. Griffin sent him to the care of the Sisters of Charity, who nursed him, and to them and Dr. Griffin he owes his life. In 1865 he had charge of the mines on the Santa Catalina Islands, and had much to do in entertaining visitors to the islands and showing them points of interest.
In 1866 Mr. Surdam came to San Buenaventura, built a warehouse and handled grain and oil for ten years. He sent the oil to San Francisco, which was used to preserve the timbers of the Palace Hotel. He purchased 1,700 acres of land for public purposes, and it soon became a noted sanitarium. He sold the whole tract in two years; and when he named the town after Mr. Nordhoff, the author, Mr. Nordhoff wrote him a letter thanking him for the honor and speaking in the highest terms of the climate and picturesque location of the beautiful new town.
Bardsdale is located about one mile north of the railroad station at Fillmore. A number of nice houses have already been built, surrounded with thrifty trees and shrubs, all supplied with a fine system of water works. In this beautiful valley Mr. Surdam now resides, and is the manager of the whole property, which is, as he terms it, his pet tract. The subject of this sketch has never married. He is a man of very generous impulses, - not so much after making and hoarding money as to help his fellow men. It may truthfully be said of him that he has done much to build up Ventura County. He has long been identified with its interests, has seen its day of small things, and has great faith in its future.
Mr. Surdam is a Royal Arch Mason, and has been a staunch Republican all his life. He is a man well known and much respected throughout the county.