Edward Mallows is the well known proprietor of the Dutch Flat Hotel, and his identification with the interests of Dutch Flat dates from the pioneer epoch of the town. The traveler of today as he passes through California and views its highly cultivated farms, its splendid orchards, its improved mining plants, its thriving towns and cities, can scarcely realize that this great change has been wrought in less than half a century. Very different from the present, indeed, was the condition of the state when Edward Mallows came to California in 1856. He experienced want and many of the hardships of the early days, but by his own exertions has overcome all difficulties and now in his advanced years has a comfortable competence to supply him with the necessities of life, and enjoys the respect of his fellow townsmen.
A native of New York, he was born in the town of Lyons, on the 15th of November, 1834, and is of English and German lineage. His father, Samuel Mallows, was a native of England and after emigration to the United States was married, in Paterson, New Jersey, to Miss Margaret Ervin, a native of that state and of German descent. Some time afterward they removed to Lyons, New York, where the father followed his trade, that of brickmason. While thus engaged he sustained an injury that resulted in his death. His widow was left with the care of her two children, a daughter and son, the latter being but two years of age. The daughter, Samantha, subsequently became the wife of Dr. R. C. Green, of Chicago. The widow afterward again married, and with her second husband removed to Canton, Fulton County, Illinois. She lived to the advanced age of seventy-eight years and departed this life in Chicago.
When Edward Mallows was seven years old he was bound out to live with a Mr. Holt until he became fifteen years of age. After he had been with that man for a time he wished to go home to see his mother and the other members of the family, but Holt whipped him and forbade him going, so he ran away and went to live with Ansel Kimball, an acquaintance of the family who had no sons. While there Mr. Mallows attended school in the winter months and worked on the farm through the summer, working with Mr. Kimball until he became of age. About that time his friend and employer died and our subject went to Chicago, where he arrived without a dollar. He began to learn the ship carpenter’s trade and continued in that city until his emigration to California in 1856. Shortly before his removal he had left the city and rented a farm nearby, but soon after he had his land plowed he resolved to seek a home in the Golden state. This resolution came to him while he was working in the fields. He unhitched his team and drove the horses to the house. The man from whom he had rented the farm asked, “Have you broken down?” Mr. Mallows replied, “No; I am going to California;” and go he did. He came by way of the Isthmus route, and when he had arrived in California he had only twenty-five cents in his pocket.
The first man he met here was Mr. Judd, his old Chicago employer, who offered him work at eight dollars per day; but he declined it, saying that he had come to mine. He proceeded to Sacramento, where he met another old friend, Mr. Madden, whom he had known in the east. From him he borrowed five dollars and at Folsom he secured work at a dollar and a quarter per day. After working four days he was told he would have to pay his board at the rate of a dollar per day, and at this he was so offended that he left the table and remained outdoors all night, refusing to again enter the house! The following morning he started in search of work, making his way up the Auburn road, and met a man whom he asked if he knew where he could get a position. The man replied, “Mr. Harlan hires nearly hires nearly every one that comes along, and he resides six miles below Auburn.” Mr. Mallows therefore proceeded to the Harlan ranch, where he was informed that they needed no more help. Mr. Mallows, however, offered to work for his board until he could do better, and he was set to work building a fence. He had eaten little supper and no breakfast, and no one asked him if he had had a meal that day. He worked at the fence until two o’clock in the afternoon. He had heard no bell nor was he asked to dinner, and getting extremely hungry he went to the house and asked about dinner. Mr. Harlan said, “Why didn’t you get dinner? Make me a cup of black coffee and get dinner.” Mr. Mallows replied that he had not been told to do that, and was not much of a cook, but would do the best he could. He found coffee, a ham and some bread, in that way appeasing his hunger. At night he went into the store, where Mr. Harlan was as drunk as could be and all the men were drinking freely. He was then asked to tend bar, but declined. His employer then told him to put some money in the safe and handed him five thousand dollars. He did not know how to open the safe and hid the money under some papers on top of it. In the morning he was asked for the money and handed it to his employer, who said, “We need you: you must never leave me;” but Mr. Mallows replied that he must do better than work for his board. A few days later Mr. Harlan asked him how he would like to engage in mining, and said: “I will sell you my mine for three hundred dollars and you can pay me when you take the money out of the mine.” The bargain was concluded in this manner and Mr. Mallows had his partner from Folsom join him. They at once began working that mine and remained there until the Washington gold excitement broke out.
They went to Virginia City with about twelve hundred dollars each, but sank it all in unprofitable speculations. After a year passed there Mr. Mallows started back on foot with seven dollars and a half in his pocket. He had to pay a dollar for meals and the money was all spent. Mr. Mallows and his partner slept out one night in the snow without blankets, building a big fire, and from time to time changed their position to another side of the fire in order to keep warm. At four o’clock in the morning they heard the rooster’s crow and found that they had camped within a short distance from a house. They proceeded on their way to North San Juan, and there our subject met a friend from the east; but he was too proud to mention to him his condition, although he had had nothing to eat for four days! In passing the Buena Vista ranch he saw potatoes in a field and pulled up some and tied them to his handkerchief. Proceeding along the road a short distance he and his partner stopped and built a fire, and as soon as the potatoes were fairly warm they began to eat them. In their hungered condition the potatoes seemed more palatable than many expensive meals they had had. This was in the fall season and the fire spread through the dry leaves, extending rapidly. The boots, lower part of the trousers and the coat tails of the men were burned. In the morning they enjoyed again a good breakfast of potatoes. The potatoes had become very black in the fire, and as the men had no water with which to wash them they somewhat resembled Negroes in their appearance after partaking of their morning meal. They came to a milk ranch owned by a Mrs. Barker, and there they asked for a drink of water, but the kindly woman gave them milk instead and allowed them to wash their faces there.
Again they started off happy and soon afterward Mr. Mallows began working for his friend Madden, who was building a road near Colfax. After being thus employed for a month our subject took the contract to build a mile of the road, at a dollar per rod and furnish all the tools. He had worked only half a day on the job when his partner left him and he built the entire mile of road alone. It formed a portion of the road between Colfax and Dutch Flat. When his contract was completed he became boss of the gang of chain men and superintended the road to its completion. He received for his pay a six-horse team, and for two years, in 1861-2, he engaged in teaming from Sacramento to Dutch Flat, thus making some money. He afterward graded a piece of land, on which he laid the foundation and built the hotel and barn at Marlow Station, on Canyon Creek, above Dutch Flat. While located there he purchased the depot site at Cisco and built the Terminus Hotel there, at a cost of ten thousand dollars, opening it for business on Thanksgiving Day of 1866. The enterprise proved profitable. Mr. Madden had leased his property and raised the money for part of the hotel, becoming the silent partner, Mr. Mallows to have management of the enterprise. Not long afterward Madden purchased a bill of goods in San Francisco and sent it out to Mr. Mallows, who refused to receive it, saying he did not need it and would not take it. This made trouble between the partners and Mr. Madden raised the money and purchased Mr. Mallows’ interest in the hotel, the latter getting about what it had cost him, ten thousand dollars. A month later Mr. Madden was sold out.
In 1867 Mr. Mallows returned to the east and on again reaching California located at Dutch Flat in 1869. He worked as foreman in the mines for the Cedar Creek Mining Company, for five dollars a day, and was thus engaged for four seasons. In 1875 he purchased the Dutch Flat Hotel, which he has since successfully conducted and has thus become one of the wealthy men of the town. To quote his own words, “I have had three meals a day at any rate since 1860.” He is justly accounted one of the substantial citizens of his community. In addition to the hotel property he owns twelve or fourteen dwellings in the town, is the proprietor of a brewery and has an interest in eight thousand acres of valuable land. He is also the owner of the Golden Shaft mine, on which he has built a good eight-stamp mill. He is likewise the owner of the livery stable of the town. He is a very liberal and kindly man, a popular hotel proprietor and has a wide acquaintance throughout the northern portion of the state.
In 1861 Mr. Mallows was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Stewart, who died in 1870, and in November, 1872, he wedded Mrs. Mary Starr, who by her former husband had two children, whom they have reared: Minnie, now the wife of Fred Trousdale, of Dutch Flat; and Nettie, the widow of Walter Parrett, and a resident of San Francisco. They now have nine grandchildren.
In early life Mr. Mallows was a Democrat, but his love for the nation caused him to vote for President Lincoln and since that time he has been a staunch Republican. He has never been an office-seeker, but has served his district for six years as school director and is a warm friend of the cause of education. His life has been a varied one in its experience, but though his career has been checkered he is now enjoying a well earned prosperity and is surrounded by hosts of warm friends who entertain for him high regard.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.