El Dorado County
JOHN H. TINNEY
John Henry Tinney, one of the prominent young men and successful fruit growers of El Dorado County, is a native son of California, born October 8, 1870, at Granite Hill, on the farm where he now resides and on which his father settled at an early day in the history of this state.
His father, Henry John Tinney, was born in Somersetshire, near the Cathedral of Wells, in England, April 19, 1831, and was a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Griffin) Tinney, both natives of England. Unfortunately his father died when he was a mere lad and his educational privileges were limited and his boyhood days were mostly spent at work. With the hope of bettering his condition and securing a fortune in the new world he likewise crossed the ocean, at the age of seventeen years, going direct to Chicago, where he learned the trade of sail making; and his spare moments were devoted to attending night school until 1850 when he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he followed his trade and furthered his school work until 1853. He had learned of the rich gold fields in California and the fortunes that were awaiting the ones who had the courage and strength to battle with the hardships of pioneer life. He likewise determined to cast his lot in the far off west and with a small company crossed the plains with ox teams, landing in Placerville in the fall of 1853. For five years he was engaged in placer mining in El Dorado County, with the usual “ups and downs” of a miner. In 1858 he located upon the ranch above referred to, where he resided for a period of thirty-nine years and where his death occurred, July 5, 1897, when he had attained the age of sixty-four years. He early turned his attention to fruit raising, beginning at first in a small way and proving the adaptability of the soil for fruit culture, including peaches, French prunes, pears and apples, before he extended his operations. Then he planted a large portion of his land with fruit trees, of choice varieties, and gave his best efforts to their cultivation, the result being a superior product. Frequently he exhibited his fruits at the El Dorado County Fair and was the recipient of numerous premiums. His hopes of success in the new world were surely gratified, for when death claimed him, yet in the prime of life, he was enjoying many of the luxuries of life and left his family in very comfortable circumstances. He had hosts of friends in the county in which he lived so long, and his best friends were those who knew him longest.
Mr. Tinney was happily married, November 21, 1864, to Miss Mary Linehan, a native of Ireland, born March 5, 1834, whose death preceded his some years, occurring November 13, 1880. They were the parents of two sons and four daughters. The elder son, George, is engaged in the livery business at Auburn, Placer County, California. On January 31, 1900, he married Miss Mary E. Brady, a native daughter of California, being a resident of San Francisco. Their home has been made brighter by a little son, born February 3, 1901. Elizabeth is the wife of Daniel J. Akin, a farmer living near Granite Hill. Clara is engaged in teaching school, and Hannah, Ellen and John Henry occupy the home place, he having charge of the farming operations, which he has conducted since his father’s death, having been reared to the business and being familiar with every phase of fruit culture as conducted in this locality. They are among the representative people of the community and are held in high esteem by all who know them.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.
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