Location: Placerville California

Biographical Sketch of Horace H. Walling

Horace H. Walling has been a resident of San Mateo County since October, 1905. He was born in Kirkville, Iowa, on December 5th, 1869. In 1882 his parents came to California, locating in Woodland, Yolo County, where he finished his education in the public schools. Upon leaving school he entered the office of the Woodland Mail to learn the printing trade and journalism, and for a number of years followed the printing and publishing business. During his newspaper experience he was the founder and owner of one of the principal papers of Placerville, El Dorado County. In 1901 he became identified with the Type Foundery and Printers Supply business in San Francisco, and since then his business interests have been in San Francisco. He is the Vice-President and Manager of the Keystone Type Foundary of California, located at 638 Mission Street. In 1891 he married Miss Elisa Stevenson, of one of the pioneer families of Marysville, California. Mrs. Walling is a prominent worker in Civic and Literary Clubs in San Mateo, taking an active interest in the welfare of the Public Schools as President of the Parent-Teachers’ Association. They have two children, Horace S., and Elisa B. Mr. Walling takes an active part in fraternal circles; is a member of San Mateo Lodge No. 226 F. & A. M., and San Mateo Lodge No. 1112 B. P. 0. E....

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Biography of John H. Townsend

John H. Townsend was born at Smyrna, Costa (now Kent) county, Delaware, March 16, 1843. When seven years of age his parents removed to Madison county, Indiana, and settled at Collinsville, where he lived with them until he reached the age of eighteen years, and was there educated. On leaving home in 1861 he went to Placerville, California. On his arrival there he had but six dollars. On the first day after his arrival he was employed as a clerk by B. Meacham, a dry goods merchant, at a salary of six hundred dollars per year and board, and remained with him until 1865, receiving an increase of salary each year. By investing his earnings in mining stock and loaning he accumulated enough to return to the East. Leaving Placerville in October, 1865, by steamer, and by way of the Nicaragua route, arriving at Brunswick, Missouri, where his parents had removed to during his absence, in the following November. In the spring of 1866 he engaged in the mercantile business at Brunswick with his uncle, Luke Townsend, in the firm name of L. & J. H. Townsend. Their co-partnership was of short duration as his uncle died in nine months after. However, young Townsend purchased his uncle’s interest of the executors and continued in business at that place until December, 1874. In this latter year he came to Gallatin...

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Biography of Jacob Frazier

This pioneer of the wool business in Eastern Oregon, and owner of some of the best buildings in Pendleton, is a native of the Buckeye state (1820), and while but a boy of ten went with his father to Indiana, and as a youth of sixteen to Iowa. In this state, then known locally as the Black Hawk purchase, his father died at the advanced age of eighty-three. In 1850 Mr. Frazer crossed the plains to California with horses, being one of a party of five. This company was made to pay a toll of sugar, flour, etc., by the Sioux, and near Salt Lake had eight of their eleven horses stolen. Frazer himself was sick at the time; but two of the company gave chase and recaptured the animals, arriving at Hangtown (more euphoniously Placerville), our pioneer began gold digging. One of the first men he met in the country was his brother Montgomery, who had been out a year, and who had been very successful, insomuch tat he returned East soon after and bought the farm in Iowa which Jacob had first purchased with the avails of a big job of wood-chopping that he had undertaken for the brother of Jefferson Davis. Four years of mining life proved hazardous. Indeed, the list of casualties to which Mr. Frazer was subject suggest some sort of protecting agency that...

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Biography of Hon. Ransom Beers

Hon. Ransom Beers is one of the oldest pioneers of this section and a man of enterprise and energy, having wrought in all the arduous and trying occupations of the frontier life, being eminently successful in them all, as well as having done much here for the up building of the County, while his life of uprightness and integrity, with manifestation of sound principles, has commended him to the confidence and esteem of all who have the pleasure of knowing him. The birth of our subject occurred in Ohio, near Columbus, on March 27, 1831, and his parents were Conrad and Jemima (Zin) Beers. He was reared on a farm and received his education in the primitive log schoolhouse of that section. At the early age of ten, his mother died and he knew the sorrows of that sad event mingled with his boyhood days. Until the fall of 1852 he remained with his father, and then he removed to Henry County, Iowa, and the following spring set out across the plains in a train of twelve wagons to California. Four months later he was digging gold in Placerville, having completed the trip without special incident. Eleven years were spent in that section in mining and success crowned his efforts. Then, in the spring of 1864, he went by ship to Portland, and thence to Mormon basin, where he...

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Biography of Frank Harris

Hon. Frank Harris, the leading lawyer of the bar of Weiser, and a member of the state senate of Idaho, is a native of California, his birth having occurred at Placerville, on the 20th of June. 1854. He is the second in order of birth in a family of seven children, whose parents were William and T. E. (Saltzman) Harris. The Harris family is of English descent and was founded in Virginia in colonial days. William Harris, the grandfather of our subject, was born in the Old Dominion, and when the Revolutionary war was inaugurated aided in the struggle for independence. His son, William Harris, was born in Virginia, in November. 1809, and after attaining the age of forty years he married Miss T. E. Saltzman, a lady of German lineage. In 1849 William Harris removed to California, where he engaged in mining for a number of years, but later devoted his energies to farming in Humboldt county, where his death occurred in 1886, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. His estimable wife still survives him, and is now seventy years of age. All of their seven children are also living. Frank Harris acquired his literary education in the public schools of California, and on determining to make the practice of law his life work entered the office of Buck & Stafford, well known attorneys of Eureka. He...

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Biography of John H. Nelson

John H. Nelson. A man of strength, force and character is John H, Nelson, president of the Bennington State Bank and mayor of Bennington, having been thrlce elected to this highest municipal office. He comes of sturdy pioneer ancestry and belongs to a family that had become prominent and honorably influential in Kansas in less than a half century. John H. Nelson was born at Placerville, California, January 9, 1856. His parents were Christian and Nancy Jane (Hereford) Nelson. The father was born on a farm near Bergen, Norway, in 1823, and died at Bennington, Kansas, September 17, 1897. The mother was born in Illinois, in 1836, and died at Bennington, July 4, 1902. Of their nine children John H. was the second in order of birth, the others being: Susan Jane, who is the wife of P. P. Talle, a retired merchant at Pasadena, California; Sarah Maria, the wife of Adolph Gilbert, who is president of the Chapman Valve Company, formerly a resident of Bennington but now of Maseaehusetts; Mary, twin sister of Sarah Maria, who is the wife of Robert McCollen, who formerly lived at Bennington but at present is in the tin and plumbing business at Salina, Kansas; Emma C., who is the wife of Edward C. Davis, of Massachnsetts, secretary of the Chapman Valve Company; Lena, the wife of David Binns, who is well known...

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Biography of Jacob Zuber

JACOB ZUBER. – Without doubt the subject of this sketch is one of the men whose name should be among the list of those who are accorded representation in the history of Union county, since he has wrought here with an energy and assiduity that have placed him in possession of a goodly competence, while also he has the distinction of always being allied with those enterprises that were for the benefit of the people of the county, and his life has been one of long and continued activity and manifestation of wisdom and ability, and having been in the path of the frontiersman for many years, he now justly deserves the retirement that is accorded him. In 1822, where rolls the Rhine its pleasant course through rich valleys and vendured hills in the land of Germany, our subject was born and there he received the thorough training given in the common schools. He remained at home, assisting his father on the farm until 1844, and then sailed from the Fatherland to America’s free lands. He settled in Richland county, Ohio, until 1850, then crossed the dreary plains to California, landing in Hangtown, thence to Sacramento, and after a short stay there came into Trinity county, where he took up mining. Six years were spent in this industry and he did well in a financial way, then he came...

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Biography of Abner E. Callaway

The old adage that ‘”truth is stranger than fiction” finds exemplification in the annals of the northwest. The most marvelous characters of the novelist cannot exceed in courage and daring the hardy pioneers who have opened up this vast region to the advance of civilization. Traveling across the hot, arid, sandy plains, climbing the steep mountains, threading their way through dense forests of towering trees, they came to this land of the “silent, sullen people,” whose hostility made existence most uncertain, and here they have established homes, churches and schools, developed the rich agricultural and mineral resources of the country and thus carried the sunlight of civilization into the dark places of the land. The tales of their hardships and trials, however, can never be adequately told. They left comfort and luxury behind them to face difficulties, dangers and perhaps death; they labored on, day after day, uncomplainingly, and the present generation is enjoying the prosperity made possible through their efforts. To them is due a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid, but their names will be enduringly inscribed on the pages of history and their memories will be revered long after they have passed from earthly scenes. Among the honored pioneers of Idaho is Abner Early Callaway, who has borne his full share in the work of development and progress, who has experienced the trials and...

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Burwell, Walter J. – Obituary

Union, Union County, Oregon Died-At his home in South Union, October 9, 1926, at 12:30 a. m., W. J. C. Burwell, age 72 years, 3 months and 8 days. The funeral took place from the Episcopalian church October 10, 1926. The services were conducted by Rev. Bradner of the Episcopalian church. W. J. C. Burwell was born, June 30, 1854, in Placerville, Calif., where he lived until young manhood, when he did governmental work in Alaska, Canada and South America. He then came to Oregon remaining but a few years, after which he moved to San Francisco, Calif., where he resided until the time of his death. He leaves a widow and one nephew who lives at Eugene, Oregon. Mr. Burwell had been ill for a number of months being finally confined to his bed until his death. He was a conscientious member of the Episcopalian church. Contributed by: Larry...

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Hall, John – Obituary

His Eternal Rest The Eldorado county (Cal:) Republican of September 27th, contains the following notice of the death of Mr. John Hall, a gentleman who was known by many here, and father of the Hall brothers of Union: “The death of this old and well known resident occurred at his residence in Placerville last Thursday after a long and very severe illness arising from heart disease. A large crowd of his old friends attended the funeral, the interment being in City Cemetery where children of the deceased were entombed years ago. Mr. Hall was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1824, and was a veteran of the Mexican war. He came to California in 1850 and was engaged in mining ever since. Only a short time before his death, while delirious, he was heard to say something about panning out and striking it rich, which showed that his love for this fascinating pursuit of wealth ceased only with his death. In his family and his social relations, John Hall was esteemed as a kind and liberal man and a quiet and agreeable neighbor. Much sympathy is expressed for the family who have been bereft of his presence. HALL:-At Placerville, Cal., September 20, 1888, John Hall, aged 64 years. Eastern Oregon Republican, Thursday October 4,...

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Biography of Samuel K. Klinefelter

Samuel K. Klinefelter is the junior member of the firm of Hayt & Klinefelter, the proprietors of the well known Fashion Livery Stables of Riverside. Mr. Klinefelter was born in Richland County, Ohio, June 10, 1845. His parents, Joseph and Elizabeth Klinefelter, were natives of Pennsylvania and were among the early settlers of the county in which he was born. He was reared in his native place until twelve years of age. In 1857 his father moved to Brown County, Kansas and was there engaged in farming occupations until his death in 1858. Mr. Klinefelter was brought up to farm life. In March, 1862, although less than seventeen years of age, he enlisted in the military service of his country as a private in Company C, Seventh Regiment of Kansas Cavalry, and was for more than three years engaged in that memorable struggle, the war of the Rebellion. His regiment was attached to the Sixteenth Army Corps or the Army of the Tennessee, and participated in some of the severest campaigns and hardest-fought battles of the war. He was engaged at Iuka, Corinth, Oxford, Holly Springs and many other battles, and also took part in many of the cavalry raids which his branch of the service was called upon to execute. After his honorable discharge from the service in October 1865, he returned to his home in Kansas and...

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Biography of William Francis Holcomb

William Francis Holcomb, a member of the Society of California Pioneers of San Bernardino County, and the discoverer of gold in the valley which bears his name, was born in Indiana in 1831, but his parents moved to Will County, Illinois, in his infancy, where they lived till he was eight years old. They then went, in 1839, to Iowa and located in Portland, Van Buren County Iowa. His father having died, his mother moved with her family in 1845 up into Wapello County and took up a piece of Government land. The same year his oldest brother, Stephen Holcomb, went to Oregon, where he still resides near the city of Portland. Stephen achieved considerable celebrity as an Indian scout in the employ of the Government out on that then wild frontier. After eleven years’ residence in the Hawkeye State, the subject of this memoir left Ottumwa, Iowa, on the 5th of May 1850, for California, In crossing the plains his company narrowly escaped a conflict with the Indians several times, but experienced nothing more serious than slight skirmishes. They came via Fort Laramie, Green River and Sublet’s cut off. In crossing Green river, the ferryboat sank and Mr. Holcomb’s wagon and the entire contents, including his boots, which he had taken off to assist in getting their cattle across, were lost. Securing a mule to pack their little...

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Biography of Henry Babel

Henry Babel, deceased, formerly proprietor of the celebrated springs which bear his name, and which are now the property of his widow, was born near Hanover, Germany, on August 2, 1826. In 1845 he immigrated with his parents to America, and settled in Lebanon, Illinois, where his father and mother both died within a year. After their decease Henry went to St. Louis, Missouri, and on October 8, 1849, he married Miss Elizabeth Holadway, a native of Tennessee, a descendant of Scotch ancestry on her father’s side, and English on her mother’s. Early in May, 1850, Mr. Babel and his young wife started’ from their home in Missouri to cross the plains to California, as part of a train comprising a hundred families, nearly all of whom came with ox teams, though Mr. Babel had horse teams. The trip was a trying one to Mrs. Babel, as their eldest child, a daughter, was born en route, at Fort Laramie. They reached Salt Lake on September 17. Having lost one of their horses, and being advised that an attempt to continue their journey over the Sierra Nevada mountains so late in the season would be attended with great risk, Mr. and Mrs. Babel stopped in the Salt Lake valley, and remained there eighteen months, during which time they both worked hard to try to get a start in life. While...

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White, George Martin – Obituary

George Martin White, 77, died on Jan. 30, 2003, while visiting his daughter in Oasis, Nev. He was born in Salt Creek, Wyo., to John and Irene (Ritchie) White, May 30, 1925. A World War II veteran, Mr. White enlisted in the navy in early 1943 and served until the War’s end. Assignments included the USS Shannon and the USS Chester. After his discharge he became a private pilot and enjoyed flying his Aeronca in Western Idaho and Eastern Oregon where he met Helen Watkins of Hereford. They were married Aug. 11, 1951. He lived an adventurous and varied life, which included scuba diving, gold dredging, rail road work, Merchant Marines, falling and bucking timber, hunting and marksmanship, befriending wildlife (such as hawks, badger and raccoon), making obsidian arrowheads, fishing crayfish commercially on the Sacramento River and running a small engine repair business. He, Helen and their three children moved to the Placerville area in 1959 where he worked on local dam projects, powerhouses and overpasses. He retired as a carpenter after 20 years, always taking great pleasure in fixing the “un-fixable.” He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Helen (Watkins) White of El Dorado, Calif.; son, Bert White of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; daughters, Debra Beaugez of Oasis, Nev., and Audrey Greenlaw of Sheepranch, Calif.; brother, Bert White of Southgate, Calif.; sister, Betty Gulbranson, of Yakima,...

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Biography of Green Arnold

GREEN ARNOLD. – One of the earliest pioneers of the country lying east of the Cascade Mountains is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He was born in Niagara county, New York, in 1919, and received his education at his native place. In 1833, he moved to Michigan with his parents, where he remained until 1850, when hearing of the wonderful stories of the rich discoveries of gold in California, he buckled on his armor of faith and started across the plains, landing in Hangtown (now Placerville) on the 6th day of August of the same year. He remained in California till June 1, 1851, and then returned to Michigan, where he remained till 1852. He then recrossed the plains, landing in Milwaukee, Oregon, in October of the same year, where he went into the hotel business, and remained there until May, 1853, when he went to Champoeg. Here he again went into the hotel business, remaining until July, when he went to The Dalles, and from thence to Butter Creek, on the old emigrant trail in Umatilla county, with a pack train of goods, for the purpose of trading with the Indians and the emigrants then en route to the Willamette valley from across the plains. He remained at Butter Creek until October, when he returned to Champoeg, and in the spring of 1854, returned to Eastern...

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