San Joaquin County
WALTER T. RUTHERFORD
A worthy citizen of San Joaquin County, with whose agricultural and other interests he has been identified for a great many years, is Walter T. Rutherford who, for the last four years has been in charge of the field work of the Lodi branch of the Earl Fruit Company in San Joaquin County. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, July 25, 1867, a son of John and Mary (Bowie) Rutherford, both natives of Scotland, and where the father was superintendent of a large estate until his death at the age of forty-eight years, the mother living to be eight-two years old. There were eight children in the family, seven of whom are living: Isabelle, Annie, Archie, Walter T., our subject, John, William, Angus gave his life for his country during the World War, and Mary.
Walter T. received his education in the schools of his native country and when twenty years of age came to New York, where he became a landscape gardener in the city parks of Buffalo and New York for three years. In 1889 he left New York for the west, traveling through New Mexico and Arizona and reaching California he settled in Sacramento, where he followed farming and the breaking of raw tule land; some for Arthur Thornton at New Hope and for the Eppenger Company on Ryer Island; he also worked on Grand Isle and Staten Island. He broke tule land on Ryer Island when the levees were constructed by Chinese with wheelbarrows.
The marriage of Mr. Rutherford, November 28, 1906, at Sacramento, united him with Miss Jeannette A. Chase, born at San Andreas, California, a daughter of Charles Lowe and Addie Jane (Hatch) Chase, and is one of a family of eight children: Rule L.; Jennie, Mrs. M. J. Burke, resides in Sacramento; Mrs. Elizabeth Morf resides in Sacramento; Mrs. Florence A. Blodgett resides in Lodi; Charles Victor is at Mare island; Daniel P. resides in Sacramento; Mrs. Jeanette A. Rutherford; Wilbur Richard is a printer residing in Seattle, Washington. Mrs. Rutherford’s parents were natives of the same town in Maine and descendants of old Colonial stock. Mrs. Rutherford’s maternal grandfather, Mark Hatch, came to California in 1849 during the gold excitement and engaged in mining near Jenny Lind, and there built the first house. Mrs. Rutherford’s maternal grandmother died in Maine and as the grandfather was already in California, the children were obliged to come to California to be with their father, so in 1862 Addie Hatch, Mrs. Rutherford’s mother, brought five brothers and sisters to California via the Isthmus route to the home in Jenny Lind which the father had prepared; Mark Hatch also planted the first peach orchard at Jenny Lind.
Charles Lowe Chase came to California via the Isthmus route in 1852 and settled first at San Jose, then to the mines of Calaveras and El Dorado counties; he cast his first vote in 1856 at Murphys, Calaveras County; later he engaged in the lumber business at Willow Creek and was known as the champion shingle splitter; he also owned mines at Chee-Chee Flat, called the Mountain Ranch, and here the mother taught one of the first schools of the district. He passed away in 1905 at the age of seventy-two and the mother was sixty-three years old when she died in 1906. Mrs. Rutherford was educated in the grammar schools of Lodi and Stockton, and then entered the Stockton high school from which she was graduated; then entered the University of California, graduating in 1903. She specialized in natural science. After graduating from the University of California, she taught school for two years in the Alpine District of San Joaquin County, one year at New Hope and one year in the Stockton schools; she was then obliged to make a trip to Maine to settle her father’s estate and soon after her return was married to Mr. Rutherford.
Soon after their marriage they removed to New Hope where they purchased 100 acres of what is known as the Pocket of the Mokelumne River and on this ranch Mr. Rutherford conducted a dairy for six years; leveled the ground for gravity irrigation and built a comfortable bungalow. When the Western Pacific Railroad was built through his section of the county, he did the grading work for the tracks through Thornton. Two years ago, Mr. Rutherford sold his ranch and purchased a home at 201 North Church Street, Lodi, where he and his wife now reside. Mr. Rutherford was a school trustee of the Ray School District and is a member of Franklin Lodge at Cortland, California, and also a member of Lodi Chapter, O. E. S., of which Mrs. Rutherford is matron. Mrs. Rutherford has been a member of the Eastern Star for twenty-four years; she is also a member of the Lodi Woman’s Club and the N. D. G. W., of Lodi. Mr. and Mrs. Rutherford are both ardent Republicans and members of the Congregational Church of Lodi.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Tinkham, George H., History of San Joaquin County, California , Page 657. Los Angeles, Calif.: Historic Record Co., 1923.
© 2011 Gerald Iaquinta.