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Biography of George H. Keller

The name of George H. Keller, one of the founders of Leavenworth, stands among old-time residents for all that is brave and generous and stable and whole-souled, in the most trying times of the territory and the state. As John Speer once said: “His name was a synonym for honesty, integrity and patriotism; his house in Leavenworth illustrated the proverbial hospitality of the ‘Old Kentucky Home.'” “Uncle” George Keller was born in that state in February, 1801; his wife, a Van Dyke, was also a native of Kentucky, and both were descended from Holland Dutch stock. Soon after his marriage the couple migrated to a timbered farm near Terre Haute, Indiana, where he raised live stock and conducted a large inn on the National Road. In 1835 they moved to Platte County, Missouri, and for fifteen years Mr. Keller engaged in farming and manufacturing, when he disposed of all his interests, equipped a large train with merchandise and started for Sonoma Valley and the gold fields of California. He there founded the Town of Petaluma, now a prosperous city of several thousand people. In 1852 he located at Weston, Kansas, resumed farming, and was thus engaged until the spring of 1854, when, with other citizens of Weston, he founded the Town of Leavenworth. In the fall of that year, after completing the Leavenworth Hotel, the third building constructed in the new town, he moved his family thither. Selling his property in 1855, he built the famous Mansion House, corner Fifth and Shawnee streets, which he conducted until its sale in 1857. There John Sherman and other members of the...

Biography of Archibald Gammell

Archibald Gammell, county assessor and tax collector of Latah County, now residing in Moscow, is a native of Nova Scotia, his birth having occurred February 23, 1835. He is descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry, of Presbyterian faith. William Gammell was the progenitor of the family in the New World. He crossed the Atlantic to Nova Scotia about 1776, since which time three generations of the family have been born there. Industry, uprightness and reliability are the chief characteristics of the Gammells, and they are also noted for longevity, most of the name having attained the age of eighty years or more. John Gammell, the grandfather, and William K. Gammell, the father of our subject, were both born in Nova Scotia, and the latter married Miss Martha Millen, a native of Ireland. They had seven children, but three are now deceased. The mother departed this life in her eighty-first year, and the father survived her only twenty-eight days. They were about the same age, and had celebrated their fifty-sixth wedding anniversary. In religious belief they were Presbyterians, and their upright lives exemplified their faith. Archibald Gammell is now the eldest of the surviving members of the family. He was reared on his father’s farm, educated in the common schools, and entered upon his independent business career as an employee in a woolen factory. He also learned the miller’s trade in a flouring mill, and in 1875 removed to Petaluma, California, where he was engaged in the draying business for three years. He met with moderate success in that undertaking, and in 1878 came to Idaho, securing a farm on American ridge,...

Biography of Edwin Caldwell

Edwin Caldwell, of Riverside, was born in Putnam County, New York, September 13, 1824. His father, Absalom Caldwell, was a native of that State, and a farmer by occupation. Mr. Caldwell was reared upon his father’s farm, and educated in the public schools. In 1846, deciding to seek his home in the great west, he went to Wisconsin, and located in Washington County, establishing his residence in the town of West Bend. There, in partnership with his brother, he built saw and flour mills, and was prominent in building up the pioneer industries of that section. The California gold fever claimed him as a victim, and in 1849 he joined the army of gold seekers, and crossed the plains. Upon his arrival in California he located in the mining districts, and for a year or more endured the hardships and discomforts of a miner’s life. In 1851, having met with moderate success, he returned via the Isthmus route to his Wisconsin home, and engaged in his old pursuits In 1856 he sold out his business interests in Wisconsin, and transferred the scene of his operations to St. Paul, Minnesota. There he engaged in a brokerage and commission business. The year 1861 again found Mr. Caldwell seeking the Pacific coast, and in that year he located at Gold Hill, Nevada, and again engaged in mining. While there he was superintendent of the famous Yellow Jacket mine, which during his superintendence advanced from $25 per foot to $2,700 per foot. In 1864 he resigned his position, and came to California, first residing at Petaluma, and later in Oakland and San Francisco....

Biography of John Henry Stewart

John Henry Stewart, one of the most prominent citizens of San Bernardino, was born of Scotch parents in Williamstown, Massachusetts, April 28, 1823. His father, Samuel Stewart, removed his family to Oswego County, New York, when John Henry was but two years old, and his childhood and youth were passed there. At an early age he learned the trade of house carpentering and joining, which he followed for many years. Being the oldest in a family of eight children and his father not enjoying good health, a large share of the support of the family fell on his shoulders,-a burden which proved too heavy for his youthful years; so he came westward to Illinois, and worked at his trade in Rockford. In 1846 he returned to New York State, and was there married to Miss Charlotte Woodworth, in September of that year, and returned with his wife to Rockford, Illinois. In 1850 failing health induced him to come to California. In 1852 he returned to Rockford for his family, and on their arrival they settled at Sutterville, Sacramento County, where he engaged in the freighting business, and also worked at his trade, receiving $16 a day. In 1855 he removed to Cloverdale, Sonoma County, bought 400 acres of laud and engaged in stock raising. A year later he was stricken down with a severe and protracted illness, which resulted in a permanent muscular paralysis of his lower limbs, and lie was never again able to walk without the aid of crutches or canes. In 1857 Mrs. Stewart died, leaving two sons, Clarence and Richard, who are respected citizens of...

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