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The subject of this sketch was born in Thomaston, Knox County, Maine, June 18, 1810, where he was raised and educated.  He sailed from Boston, Massachusetts, in the ship “California Packet,” on March 4, 1850, came around Cape Horn, and landed in San Francisco on the following August 24.  He went to Woolf’s Creek, on the Yuba River, where he mined for a short time, and then returned to San Francisco, thence coming to this County and settling at Shaw’s Flat, in October, 1851.  Here he was engaged in mining until August, 1852, when he went to Springfield, and followed the same occupation. In 1856 he purchased his present farm, known as “The Evergreen Ranch,” situ­ated near Springfield.  It is a beautiful home, commanding a view of the surrounding country, which a lover of the beautiful can not help but enjoy.  Mr. Fales married Mary P. Morse, on July 25, 1835.  She was a native of Maine.  Her death occurred on July 16, 1876, when, having no children, he was left alone until the following Fall, when W. H. Harding and his wife (a niece of Mr. Fales) came from Nebraska and took up their residence with him, where they still remain.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 357.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton







Was born in Ireland, and came to the United States with his parents when an infant, settling in Washington County, New York. During his boyhood he lived at East Troy, West Troy and at Port Jackson, New York.  His father being a stonecutter, young Fallon learned the trade, work­ing at the same at Amsterdam, on the Erie Canal.  He subsequently moved to New York City, and with his father was employed cutting stone for a seawall around the Government works, at Governor’s Island. In the Fall of 1840, he went to sea on a whaling voyage, and afterwards sailed on a merchantman, which occupations he followed until he came to this State on the ship “Ohio,” Captain Hale, Mr. Fallon being one of the mates.  He settled at the Mission Dolores, San Francisco, and was employed by Elliott More.  During the Summer of 1851, he, in company with others, went to San Mateo County, cutting wild oat hay for the market.  Mr. Fallon returned to the Mis­sion, and, in company with Terrence Riley, followed gar­dening. Here he was elected Constable, and afterwards was appointed on the police force of San Francisco. He married Ellen Gregg on Jan. 14, 1854, and in 1856 came to this county, settling in Columbia, and engaging in mining a while. He purchased the “Maine House,” on the ground where his present hotel stands, keeping the same until it was burned, Aug 24, 1857. He rebuilt the hotel, and again, on Aug. 27, 1859, the building was de­stroyed by fire. He at once erected a brick fire-proof building, which now bears the name of the “Fallon House,” the subject of our sketch being still its proprietor.  James G. is his only son.



“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 328-329. 

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






John Ferral, father of Judge Robert Ferral, located in Sonora in 1854, and for a time kept the old “Young America” theater. He was an active, energetic man, an able writer, and a ready and powerful public speaker. Although never an office-holder, Mr. Ferral took a promi­nent part in many political campaigns, and during the Know-Nothing excitement met in hot discussion several of the ablest representatives of the American party. Mr. Ferral, senior, died in San Francisco, July 9, 1882, at the advanced age of 82 years. During the last ten years of his life he was an invalid.


“A History of Tuolumne Co, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix pg. 46.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






The Judge, the details of whose life are familiar to most of the former and present residents of Tuolumne and other sections of the coast, was born in Philadelphia on October 13, 1841.  Coming to California a boy, in 1852, two years later he arrived in Tuolumne, in 1854.  His active life began with the commencement of his labors in the printing office of the Sonoma Herald, edited at that time by J. J. O’Sullivan.  After a few months he left that employment and entered the office of the Union Democrat, published by A. N. Francisco, and so acquired his trade of a practical printer His connection with the last named paper ceased in 1862, the last two or three years having been devoted to editing it.  It In that year he went to Aurora, Nevada, and became editor of the Daily Times of that town, taking the place of E. D. Draper, who had been shot in a duel by Dr. W. E. Eichelroth.  During his stay in Aurora, Mr. Ferral was admitted to practice law by the Hon. George Turner, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court.


In the Fall of 1863 he removed to Montgomery, Mono County, and entered upon the publication of the Pioneer, and practiced law in addition to his editorial duties.  In the year 1865 he removed to San Francisco, and became editor of the Irish People newspaper.  In 1866 he went to Sonoma County and edited the Sonoma Democrat, at Santa Rosa.  In 1871 Mr. Ferral was chosen Chief Clerk of the Assembly, and shortly after the expiration of his term he proceeded to San Francisco and was appointed Assistant District Attorney, and afterwards nominated by acclamation District Attorney; but was defeated in a close a contest.


Next chosen Secretary of the Senate, and again Chief Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Ferral was finally appointed, by Governor Irwin, Judge of the City Criminal Court of San Francisco, and was afterwards elected by the people to the same office.  This tribunal was abolished by the New Constitution.  Judge Ferral was elected one of the Supe­rior Judges, which position he now fills.


Judge Ferral married in San Francisco some years ago, and is the father of a bright little five-year-old, who is al­ready widely known in the Western Addition, where the Judge resides, as ‘‘Bob Ferral,” a name which will call up familiar recollections to many early residents of ‘‘ Old Tuolumne.”


“A History of Tuolumne Co, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix pg. 43-44.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Editor of the Union Democrat for several years, subse­quently editor of a paper at Aurora, Nevada, later on moved to San Francisco, and getting admitted to the Bar ran for office, being elected Judge of one of the criminal courts in that city, which position he now holds. Demo­cratic in politics and extremely energetic, his controversies with the opposing political sheets in Sonora were absorbi­ngly interesting. Many incidents of these disputes are still treasured in the memories of the old-timers.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 389.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Smote the ungodly for a while in Tuolumne; at a later time to have charge of a so-called College at Vacaville, and later still at Santa Rosa.  At one time his political lean­ings placed him in the position of Superintendent of Schools for the State of California.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 397.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Born at Villanovia, Chatauqua County, N. Y., on the 25th of June, 1821, Mr. Foot went to Michigan at the early age of twelve years, located in Iona County and re­maining there until his departure for the Pacific slope.  This journey he made with ox-teams in the traditional way, walking a great part of the distance that separated his home in the Lake State from the broad Pacific. Spending the next two years in Sierra and Eldorado Counties, in gold seeking, he then came to this vicinity, locating permanently at Groveland. Mining in that vicinity, store-keeping at Second Garrote, and hotel-keeping at Groveland, have engrossed his attention ever since; the last mentioned busi­ness continuing under his charge up to the present time, it being carried on in a way highly acceptable to the traveling public. Marrying in Groveland Miss Mary J. Burns, they have two children: Sarah and Delora R.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 370.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






The subject of this sketch was a pioneer of “Old Tuol­umne,” having arrived in the county in the latter part of ‘49 or early in 50.  A more genial, pleasant and courteous gentleman, in all the relations of life, never came to Cali­fornia; and the memory of ‘‘Little Frank,” as he was familiarly called, is cherished in grateful remembrance by his friends and acquaintances of other days.  Mr. Francisco was born in Ohio, but went to New Orleans when quite a young man, where he was for some years foreman of the Picayune newspaper, a leading journal of the Crescent City.  On arriving in our State he settled on Brown’s Flat, near Sonora, where for several years he followed the avocation of a miner.  Oftentimes has the writer heard him speak in glowing terms of the beautiful appearance of the Flat, with its groves of towering trees, before it was torn lip and washed away by mining operations.  In 1854 Mr. Francisco began the publication of the Union Democrat, in Sonora, continuing time same to the date of his death, which occurred in 1867.  He was widely known for his noble qualities of mind and heart, and will not soon be forgotten.  He left a widow and one child, a boy, who bears his father’s name.


“A History of Tuolumne Co, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix pg. 46-47.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Was born in Pictou County, ,Nova Scotia, in 1832. He came to the United States and settled in Boston, Massa­chusetts, in 1848, thence going to Bath, Sagadahoc County, Maine, in 1851.  There he resided, until, coming to this State, in 1860, he took passage on the steamer “Ariel” to Panama, thence on the steamer “Golden Age” to San Francisco, where he arrived in August of that year.  On the 25th of that month he came to this County, settling at Columbia, where he has since resided.  Here he mined for about six months, and then (on April 1, 1861) was appointed Agent for the New England Water Company, which posi­tion he has held down to the present time.  Mr. Fraser married Rebecca S. Kelly, in Bath, Maine, on May 23, 1860, and has had seven children, six of whom are now living.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 356-357.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton


© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton

Tuolumne County Biographies