El Dorado County
JAMES WILLIAM SHANKLIN
James William Shanklin, who has been justice of the peace at Placerville, since the year 1911, and is one of the most prominent Republicans in the county, now serving as secretary of the county central committee, has also had a long and successful career in the newspaper and printing business. He was formerly the owner of a number of important newspapers, and resurrected many of them from what appeared to be certain death.
James W. Shanklin was born in Linn County, Iowa, February 7, 1860, a son of Jacob Thomas and Sarah (Boltinhouse) Shanklin, both of whom came from Crawfordsville, Indiana. The family came to Millerton, California, in 1873, and in the spring of 1875 moved to Fresno, where the father was a contractor and builder by trade. Both of the parents are now deceased, and are buried at Fresno.
James W. Shanklin received his education in the public schools, and as a boy entered a printing office to learn the trade. He helped to unpack the type and cases that were used to print the first issue of the Fresno Republican on September 26, 1876, and it is an interesting fact that he afterward owned and edited this newspaper. There were seven shareholders of the paper in the beginning, and Chester A. Rowell was editor and manager. Mr. Shanklin was foreman in the plant for three years, then, in company with Clarence Hedges, he purchased the Fresno Republican. In 1880 in partnership with A. J. Pilsbury, he bought the Tulare Register which he published for a year, and in the spring of 1882 again purchased the Fresno Republican, and sold a half interest to John W. Short. In the spring of 1884, Mr. Shanklin changed it to a daily sheet, and so continued until 1893. Later he was connected with various newspapers until 1907. Then he worked in the state printing plant at Sacramento under his old partner, Mr. Pilsbury, and also did work on the Sacramento Union. At this time he was induced by George E. Pierce to assume charge of the Placerville Nugget. He did so, and developed it into a first-class newspaper, remaining with it for three years. He next engaged in promoting the Diamond Ridge Ditch Company until 1911, at which time he was elected justice of the peace and has served continuously in this capacity since. He also engages extensively in buying and selling real estate. A Republican in politics he has been most active in the party now serving as secretary of the county central republican committee, and as a member of the state central committee, representing El Dorado County and his opinions carry weight in party councils. He is secretary of the Placerville lodge of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Mr. Shanklin was married to Bardie M. Frey, a daughter of C. P. Winchell, a former sheriff of the county and county administrator. By a former marriage, Mr. Shanklin has three children, as follows: C. E., of Fresno, California; F. L., with the Shell Oil Company; and Ouita, who is the wife of C. Keenan, of San Francisco.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.