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Biography of James W. Layman

James W. Layman deceased, late of Santa Ana, was born in Peoria, Illinois, January 24, 1846. His parents, Martin and Elizabeth Layman, were from the State of New York, and had thirteen children, of whom James was the eighth. He was educated at Minneapolis, Minnesota, where his father had moved when the son was seven years old. He followed farming with his father in Minnesota until 1871, when he came to California. His first purchase here was a ranch near Newport, where he lived four years. He then purchased property on Main Street in Santa Ana, which he improved and converted into a beautiful home. Subsequently he bought the Santa Ana Hotel, of which he was the proprietor for eleven years. The brick block on Fourth Street, west of the First National Bank, stands as a monument to his enterprising spirit. Later he bought property on the corner of Sixth and Birch streets, where he erected a magnificent residence. He was a very liberal and public-spirited man, aided every enterprise both public and private, which had for its object the good of the people, and in his death Santa Ana lost one of her best citizens. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, having joined the order in Minnesota, at the age of nineteen years; and he was a charter member of the Santa Ana Lodge of the same order. Politically, he was a strong supporter of the Republican party. His death occurred October 19, 1889. He was married in Minnesota, June 22, 1871, to Miss Mary J. Moran, who was born in Canada, and whose parents were...

Biography of Carey R. Smith

Carey R. Smith President of the Savings Bank of Santa Ana, was born in Strykersville, New York, in 1843. His father, Rev. Dexter P. Smith, D. D. was a native of New York State, and his mother, nee Hannah J. Borland, was a native of Vermont. They moved to Iowa in 1845. Carey was educated at the State University of Iowa, graduating in the normal department in 1860. He then taught school until 1861, when he entered the army, in Company F, First Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, and served three years, most of the time on detached service, his health failing. After the war he returned to the University, entered the collegiate department, and studied a year, and then his failing health compelled him to find a freer life. He owned and managed a dairy farm for five years, thus recruiting his physical powers to enable him to aim again for his greatest ambition, namely, a university education. Accordingly he returned to the University, but at the end of a year was again compelled to desist, and he returned to the dairy farm, engaging also in the breeding of Holstein cattle until about six years ago, when he became a resident of Santa Ana in the best part of the Golden State. In the cattle business he had some extraordinarily good stock; he refused $5,000 for a single cow. His knowledge of cattle was so thorough that he was elected by the American Holstein Breeding Association as an Inspector of the Advanced Registry for the Coast, and has been re-elected ever since. For two years he edited the Western Stock...

Biographical Sketch of J. E. Sharp

J. E. Sharp a retired capitalist of Santa Ana, was born in East Tennessee, November 17, 1809, a son of Joseph and Sarah (Lamb) Sharp, who had but two children: the subject of this sketch and a boy named Prophet, who died in 1850. The parents died in 1828, the father one day and the mother the next. In 1830 Mr. Sharp went to Illinois, where for several years he followed farming in Madison County; after this he went into the mercantile business at Bunker Hill, Illinois, and subsequently he moved to Litchfield, that State. In 1864 he came to California and spent the first ten years in Sacramento County. In 1874 he came to Westminster, where he followed farming two years; then he purchased property in Santa Ana and built two houses. Since then he has been in the real-estate business until about two years ago. He also owns property in Pomona. Mr. Sharp is a true Christian gentleman, and has been an active worker in the Baptist Church for over fifty-four years. He was married first in 1832, to Mary E. Robinson, a native of North Carolina, and a daughter of Zachariah and Elizabeth Robinson. By this marriage there was one child-Sallie A., now the wife of William Kell, of Pomona. Mrs. Sharp died June 12, 1873, and December 21, 1875, Mr. Sharp married Mrs. Clarissa M. Trask, of Jefferson, Maine; her parents were Alexander and Mary (Curtis) Trask, who had ten...

Biography of William Dresser

William Dresser the proprietor of extensive farms and a resident of Santa Ana, was born in East Smithfield, London, England, August 20, 1813. His parents, Christopher and Mary Dresser, came to America in 1824, landing at Montreal. Subsequently they settled in northern New York, in 1833 in Ohio, and in 1836 in Boone County, Illinois, They had four children. His father was born January 1, 1769, and died June 13, 1841; and his mother, born June 25, 1772, died November 9, 1845. By trade his father was a “linen draper,” which in England corresponds with a dry-goods merchant in the United States. Mr. Dresser was educated at Alleghany College, Meadville, Pennsylvania. Afterward he followed forming in Boone County, Illinois, until 1850, when he came to California. He had intended to come the previous year, but the company which he was to join did not organize. In April, 1850, he started with a Beloit, Wisconsin, company. They arrived at Council Bluffs May 10, passed the Humboldt desert on the night of the 4th and 5th of July, and between Council Bluffs and Carson Valley they probably passed 30,000 immigrants. July 19 Mr. Dresser first saw the gold miners at work. He arrived at Ringgold on the 20th, and was at Kelsey’s Diggings when they received the news that California had been admitted to the Union. Mr. Dresser is a farmer and rents land in Tulare and Yolo counties, while he lives in the genial climate of Southern California for his health. He is probably the oldest Sunday-school worker in the State now living. He organized and conducted the first Sunday-school...

Biographical Sketch of A. R. Dresser

A. R. Dresser one of the pioneers of Santa Ana, and a successful businessman, was born in De Kalb County, Illinois, in 1839. For his parentage see sketch of William Dresser. He started out life for himself at the age of twenty-one as a farmer. In 1861 he came to California, located first in Sutter County, where he “held down a squatter’s claim” until 1870, when he Came to Southern California and located in Santa Ana, where he has since resided; and here he devotes his attention mostly to agricultural pursuits. His first purchase was that of 140 acres in the northeast part of what is now Santa Ana, when there were but two or three houses in the place, and he has seen a lively city spring up around him, and has added his share toward its growth and development. Mr. Dresser is a quiet and unassuming man and a true Christian gentleman He is a Republican in his political sympathies and also an able advocate of the principles of temperance. January 3, 1862, in California, he married Mary E. Willock, by whom he had three children: Clarence, Frank and Willie. She died April 12, 1873, and Mr. Dresser was married again February 9, 1875, in Illinois, to Frances Mabie, whose parents were Peter and Eliza (Chapel) Mabie. By this marriage there are Albert, Arthur, Louis, Perry, Harry and...

Biography of F. E. Kellogg

F. E. Kellogg farmer and stock-raiser near Anaheim, was born in Morgan County, Illinois, April 31, 1822. His parents, Elisha and Elizabeth (Derrick) Kellogg, were natives respectively of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and of Scotch descent. They settled first in western New York, where most of the children were born. They emigrated to Morgan County, Illinois, in pioneer times, where Mr. Kellogg built the first house in the county. Elisha Kellogg was a prominent politician in his day, serving as county judge and sheriff of Genesee County, New York. He died in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, in 1844. The subject of this sketch left Independence, Missouri, in May, 1846, and came overland with teams to California, arriving in Napa County in November, before gold was discovered. His journey was a very tedious and troublesome one. He enlisted in Fremont’s army and served six months, being discharged at Mission San Gabriel, in April, 1848. He still receives a pension of $8 per month as a veteran of the Mexican war. He is able to relate many thrilling anecdotes of hardship and adventure. He and three brothers came in ’44 to the Rocky mountains in search of a silver mine, and not finding it they built Fort Laramie by contract. Once he and a brother were attacked by Pawnee Indians, stripped of then clothes and robbed. They had to eat walnuts and raw frogs, and once he scorched the hair off his buffalo robe and ate the hide! He became sick and exhausted; his brother got lost from him, but afterward they met and were twenty-six days in reaching the borders of...

Biographical Sketch of Jacob Maggard

Jacob Maggard residing near Anaheim, was born in Caldwell County, Kentucky, August 12, 1815. His parents,. Jacob and Susan (Bright) Maggard, natives respectively of Virginia and Tennessee, had ten children, he being the fifth. At the age of twenty years he started out in life for himself by working by the day in Scotland County, Missouri, whither his father had moved fifteen years previously. He was reared principally in Randolph County, Missouri. He continued in his calling as a farmer, in which he was successful, until about twelve years ago, when he came to California and purchased property in Sonoma County. More recently he purchased his present residence, where he will spend the evening of his life. He and his wife have long been earnest workers in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and are exemplary in their conduct as Christians. Mr. Maggard was married in Missouri, February 11, 1841, to Elizabeth Myers, a native of that State, and a daughter of Henry and Catharine Myers. Theirs was the first recorded marriage in Scotland County. They have five children: Irvine J., M. D., of Oxford, Kansas; James A., M. D., of Denver, Colorado; William F., M. D., of Corning, California; Emma, wife of Sidney Holman; and Sarah Frances,...

Biography of John Harris

John Harris of Westminster, was born in Cornwall, England, in May, 1832, and came to the United Sates in 1852. After spending three and a half years in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and one year in Missouri, he came in 1859 to San Franciso, and was in the mines for several years. Afterward he served as Superintendent of the Pine Tree mines for John C. Fremont. In 1874, his health failing, he came to Westminster and purchased 160 acres of land. For several years, in company with his son, Richard T., now the sheriff of Orange County,-he was in the general merchandise business at Westminster; for some time past he has been retired on account of delicate health. He owns a stock-farm, and gives his attention principally to raising horses. For many years he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is recognized as a true Christian gentleman by all who know him. The names of his children are: John, deceased; John E., Arthur, Richard T., George W., deceased; Clara, wife of Jerome Fulsome, of Garden Grove; Eliza A., Frederick, at Westminster; Ernest A., deceased; Albert E., Lora and...

Biography of Sheldon Littlefield

Sheldon Littlefield Supervisor from the third district of Orange County, was born in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in 1834, and was brought up on a farm. At the age of seventeen years he went to Charlestown same State, and clerked in a grocery for a year. He then took what money he had saved and went to Appleton Academy so long as his money lasted. Then he taught school at Brookline, New Hampshire, and next returned to Massachusetts and for a time was engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, and then obtained a position for three years in a Charlestown provision store; and by this time he had saved money enough to bring himself to California, a journey he had been contemplating for the last six years. Taking a steamer at New York city, May 21, 1855, he traveled on the Northern Light to the Isthmus, and from there to San Francisco on the Uncle Sam, arriving June 12. Then he went by steamer up the river to Marysville, arriving there the next day, and before that night he had hired himself out to work on a ranch in the harvest field. After he had paid his hotel bill he had but fifty cents left. The price paid for his labor was $3 a day and board. After the harvest was over he took charge of stock for two months, and then went to the mines, where he continued some nine years. He kept books, clerked in a store, cooked and took care of the mules. After this he bought a mining claim and worked until 1864; then...

Biographical Sketch of Henry Stephens

Henry Stephens a farmer near Westminster, was born in Monmouthshire, England, in July, 1827, and in 1851 came to the United States. He traveled awhile in the Eastern States, and in 1852 came to California, by sail-vessel from New Orleans to the Isthmus, across which he traveled by the Nicaragua route, and thence to San Francisco, where he landed in August, having been six months in coining. After spending a year in the mines he returned to the Southern States, purchased a number of cattle and drove them across the plains, starting from Clark County, Arkansas, and arriving in California in September, 1854, after a six-months trip, by the way of the Evansville route. Subfrequently he mined two years near Sacramento, disposed of his cattle, and for twelve years ran a saw-mill in Calaveras County. He was then a resident of Stockton for a year and a half, and finally moved to Westminster, where he bought land, and has since lived there and bought other tracts of land. He is one of Westminster’s must prosperous farmers. He was one of the partners in the co-operative store at Westminster, and has aided every enterprise wisely inaugurated. In 1865 he married Miss Olive W. Shaw, who was born in Warren County, Pennsylvania. Her father, O. W. Shaw, was a cabinet-maker by trade, and crossed the plains to this State in 1852. He served as a soldier in the last war and helped build the Government barracks at Wilmington, California. Mr. and Mrs. Stephens are active members of the Congregational Church, and highly respected as members of society. Their four children are:...
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