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Biography of F. Garner

F. Garner, residing on Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, was born near Quincy, Illinois, March 5, 1835. His parents were George and Elizabeth Garner. His father moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, at an early day, and remained there one year when he crossed the plains to Utah, where he spent one winter. Frank was fifteen years of age when they left the Missouri river, and he drove an ox team all the way to California. While crossing the Missouri river on a ferry-boat, the team which he afterward drove became frightened and jumped off the boat into the water, and swam across safely with the yoke on. They left St. Joe with a train of sixty wagons in the spring of 1850, but many died on the way of cholera. The train being so long they divided it into six divisions of ten wagons each, and took turns leading. The ten wagons that led one day fell behind the next.

George Garner was captain of ten wagons, and one day he was to lead he told his men to follow, and do hard driving, and by that means they would leave the rest behind, which they did, and got to the end of the journey just two weeks in advance of the rest. They lost two of their number by cholera and had some trouble with the Indians. Mr. Garner had a family of eight children. For a while after their arrival they lived in the fort at San Bernardino, and then Mr. Garner took up Government land, which he farmed fifteen years. He then purchased 100 acres on Base Line.

In 1853 the subject of this sketch went to San Jose valley, and was in the northern mines for some time; and also farmed and ran a thresher. In 1855 he came back here and was married to Miss Amanda Thompkins. She was the daughter of Thomas Tompkins, who came to San Francisco from Steuben County, New York, on the steamer Brooklyn, the first that ever sailed. He then went to Utah, and then as a Mormon missionary he went to the Tahiti islands. After this he moved to the San Jose valley, where he farmed on an extensive scale for several years. He then removed to San Bernardino County, where he died.

Mr. and Mrs. Garner have reared eight children: Frank, who is a stock-dealer in Aniz; Jane, now Mrs. George Evans; Levina, wife of Harry Hagan; Charley, Addison, Lewis, Jessie and Arena. Mr. Garner has been one of the successful men of San Bernardino, and is now retired from active business, in his comfortable home on Mount Vernon avenue.

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