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Dyas Power Boothe (1881-1944)

George H. Tinkham, History of Stanislaus County, California, with Biographical Sketches
(Los Angeles, CA: Historic Record Company, 1921) page 1278

The record of development and growth which has been made by Stanislaus County is largely due to the splendid type of public-spirited men who compose her citizenry, men of vision and ability, who have unselfishly given of their time and means to develop the natural resources of a region rich in promise and possibility, building for the welfare and happiness of future generations rather than for their own. Of such men is D. Power Boothe, engineer, mining and irrigation expert, and owner of one of the most profitable orchards in the county, located two miles northeast of Ceres. D. Power Boothe, since coming to Stanislaus County in 1915, has been identified with its best interests and has taken an especially active part in irrigation development. A native of Illinois, Mr. Boothe was born at Kinmundy, Marion County, August 22, 1881. His father was Lemon Ferris Boothe, also a native of Illinois. and his grandfather was J. W. Boothe, a veteran of the Civil War, having served as a colonel in the Forty-fourth Regiment, Illinois Volunteers. The mother was Miss Emma Power, also born in Illinois. Lemon Ferris Boothe moved his family to Eastern Washington in 1887, locating at Spokane, where he engaged in the wholesale grocery business. Here the mother passed away in 1900, leaving to mourn her loss her husband and three children.

Spokane, Washington
June 8th, 1900 Federal Census, Series: T623 Roll: 1751 Page: 195

D. Power Boothe received his early education at Spokane, attending the grammar and high schools, which are noted for their excellence. Later he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, taking his degree in the College of Mining Engineering in 1905. He followed the profession of mining engineer for a period of years, winning for himself a most enviable reputation in his chosen work. He was for some time at Wallace, Idaho, and later at Tonopah, Nev., where he was engineer and geologist for the Tonopah Extension Mines and later superintendent of the Tonopah Victor Mining Company. In this capacity he was associated with many of the biggest mining men of the day, and his responsibilities were many and heavy.

After ten years devoted to the mining industry, Mr. Boothe determined to make a change in his plans and came into Stanislaus County in 1915 and engaged in civil and irrigation engineering on an independent basis. He bought fifty-five acres of raw land just north of Ceres and has improved and developed this property along the latest scientific lines, and has it planted to alfalfa, figs, grapes and other fruits.

The marriage of Mr. Boothe occurred during his college career, uniting him with Miss Margaret Stewart, a native of Portland, Ore., and like himself a student at the University of California. Of their union have been born two sons, Dyas Power, Jr. and Thomas Wheeler. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boothe take an active part in social and civic life in Ceres, where they have a wide circle of friends. Mr. Boothe is a member of the Ceres Board of Trade, having served as treasurer since 1919. He was president of the Ceres Center Farm Bureau in 1920, and has done much to promote the interests of this organization. Mr. Boothe had charge of the engineering in connection with the construction of the Ceres sanitary sewer system. In 1921 he was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Ceres Union high school. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic Order, Modesto Lodge, and of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity of the University of California.


1918 - WWI Registration


1942 - WWII Registration


Modesto Bee, December 17, 1944

D. Power Boothe, 63, Modesto industrialist and civic leader, died in St. Luke’s Hospital, San Francisco at 1:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Boothe was stricken by a heart attack December 1st and when he failed to respond to treatment was removed to the San Francisco hospital the next day. His condition was such he was placed immediately in an oxygen tent.

He was born in Kinmundy, Ill August 22, 1881. The family moved to Spokane, Wash., when Boothe was 6. An outstanding athlete, he was the talked about 114 pound quarterback of the Washington State championship football team and his grid prowess preceded him to the University of California, where he was nicknamed Pod by one of the burlier members of the squad. He was the lightest man ever to play varsity football at the university and was a stellar performer during the two years he was a squad regular.

He was a member of the Delta Chi Delta Fraternity and graduated in 1906 with a degree in mining engineering.

In 1907 Boothe married Miss Margaret Stewart of San Francisco and for the next eight years followed his profession in the mining industry.

Entering into an entirely different field, Boothe purchased a ranch near Ceres in 1916 and devoted his time to studying and developing his new acquisition and in 1926 when he organized the Boothe Fruit Company, he introduced the Golden Bleach Raisin. This product was made possible through his own method and process of dehydration.

While successful in business he found time to take a leading part in the affairs of the city and state. He was a member of the Modesto School Board for 10 years and director of the state chamber of commerce. He was also a past president of the Modesto Rotary Club and the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.

Ill health caused him to resign from the school board and from the state chamber of commerce early last Summer. He had, however, taken an active interest in the direction of his holdings until his last illness.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Margaret Stewart Boothe, and the following children: Lieutenant Commander D. Power Boothe, Jr., United States Naval Reserve, who has just returned from fleet duty in the Pacific, Lieutenant Thomas W. Boothe, United States Naval Reserve, a fighter pilot in training at Dallas, Texas, Lieutenant Ferris F. Boothe, United States Army Air Force, in training at Delhart, Texas, and Miss Peggy Boothe, serving as publicity director for the American Red Cross in San Francisco.

Funeral services will be conducted privately, followed by cremation, in San Francisco tomorrow.


Kinmundy Express, December 28, 1944

Services were held in San Francisco, Cal. for D. Power Boothe, 63, in Modesto Civil Leader and dehydrating plant owner, who died Sunday after a 2 week illness. He founded the Boothe Fruit Co. in 1926. The plant is now dehydrating fruits and vegetables for the armed forces. He was a graduate of Spokane H.S. and the Univ. of Cal. He followed the profession of mining engineer after being graduated in 1906. He was a native of Kinmundy, Ill. Surviving are his widow, Margaret Stewart Boothe; 3 sons, Lieutenant Commander D. Power Boothe Jr., Lieutenant Tom W. Boothe (USNR), Lieutenant F. Boothe (AUS); a daughter, Peggy, and a brother, James W. Boothe, of British Columbia. Mr. Boothe was born in Kinmundy, his father being a brother to the late Mrs. Ingram and Mrs. Gilmore, Denny and the late Robert Ingram, as well as George and Jim Gilmore, being his cousins.