HOSEA G. ALLEN
††††††††††† The state of New York has contributed to California an element of its citizenship, which from the pioneer days to the present time has been valuable because it has been progressive, prosperous and law-abiding.† One of the old New Yorkers, of San Andreas, Calaveras County, is Hosea G. Allen, who was born in Orleans County, New York, April 7, 1836, a son of Isaac and Maryetta (King) Allen.† Mr. Allen comes of French and English ancestors.† Early Allenís of his line settled in Maine and his great-grandfather Allen fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War, as did also his great-grandfather King, and he is of Revolutionary stock in both lines of descent.† His father was born in Maine and his mother was a daughter of William King, of French ancestry, who settled early in the state of New York.† Isaac Allen was a farmer and schoolteacher, a man of excellent character, who lived industriously and usefully and died in his forty-fifth year.† His wife died in her fifty-first year.† Of their eight children, four are now living, two of them in Calaveras County, California.† One of the latter, William D., came to the state in 1852 and lives at Vallicita, Calaveras County.† At the time of his fatherís death Mr. Allen was eight years old, and he was fully orphaned by the death of his mother not many years afterward.
††††††††††† After acquiring such education as was available to him in his native county, Mr. Allen at the age of fourteen began to earn his own living, and his first employment was as a clerk in a general store at twelve dollars a month.† April 5, 1853, bound for California, he sailed from New York on the Star of the West.† He came by way of the Isthmus of Panama and fell a victim to Panama fever and had to be carried ashore at San Francisco. He soon recovered his strength, however, and went to Sacramento city and thence to Placerville in quest of his brother William, who had come out the year before.† At White Rock he became ill of typhoid fever, and being without money, might have seen hard times had he not been stopping with a man who had lived near his father in New York state and had known him well.† When he became strong enough to do light work he began clerking in a store at five dollars a day and soon saved a little money, but when he had paid his debt to the man who had taken care of him he had but seven dollars and fifty cents left.† With that sum in his pocket he started on foot to San Andreas, where he had been told his brother was, and he was so anxious to see him again that he covered forty-three miles in his first dayís walk.† He stopped overnight at Jackson, where one Allen, who kept the local hotel, claimed relationship to him.
††††††††††† At San Andreas he found his brother in the hotel business, in partnership with a man named Sykes.† He soon engaged in mining and met with varying success, but was prosperous in a modest way, managing to secure considerable gold, and remembers that he once got a hundred and ten dollars out of a single pan of dirt.† He became a stockholder in the Union Water Companyís ditch and in 1857 was in charge of the lower end of it.† In 1858 he was one of a party that made a fruitless journey to Fraser River, British Columbia.† He returned by way of Vancouver and was glad to resume work in his old claim at the head of Wallace Gulch, where he had taken out about an average of twenty dollars a day, but during the first week he and another man got only fifteen dollars each, and during the following week only ten dollars each, and he gave up mining and attended to the ditch, sold water and made collections until in 1860 with two partners he opened a liquor store at San Andreas, his interest in which he sold in 1862 and bought a farm and engaged in raising fruit and vegetables in Salt Spring Valley, where he remained six years and made the first wine ever produced in Calaveras County, which he sold at two dollars and fifty cents a gallon.† At the expiration of that time he returned to San Andreas and with C. M. Whitlock as a partner turned his attention to general merchandising.† After he was appointed postmaster by President Johnson he sold his interest in the store to E. C. Rowarth and gave his attention to the duties of the office, which he held through all administrations until 1892.† During this period he was the local manager for the Western Union Telegraph Company and gained a reputation as an expert telegrapher; and he also conducted an insurance agency.† For two terms he filled the offices of administrator and coroner for Calaveras County and he was for six years one of the trustees of the public schools of San Andreas, and in that capacity was active in building the fine schoolhouse which adorns the town.
††††††††††† Long a Republican, he has during recent years been independent in politics, and he has for thirty-eight years been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.† He owns a pleasant cottage home on one of the hills of San Andreas and has considerable other town property, besides an interest in the Albion mine on Table Mountain, a gravel mine which is considered valuable.
††††††††††† Mr. Allen was married in 1871 to Miss Lucy McDuffee, a native of Rochester, New Hampshire, and a daughter of John McDuffee, and she has borne him six children.† Sadie B. is a telegraph operator in San Francisco.† James B. and Louisa are twins, the latter is now Mrs. C. T. Toon and lives at San Andreas; and her brother is a miner.† Hosea G., Jr., is engaged in mining.† Maud S. is a member of her fatherís household, and John has gone to Cape Nome.† Mrs. Allen is a member of the Congregational Church.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010† Gerald Iaquinta.