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This pioneer settler of California and Tuolumne County was born in Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. He received his primary education at the common schools, and his academic learning at the Academy at Westfield. He first moved to Wayne County, N. Y.; thence to Picka­way County, Ohio; thence to Hampton, Mo., and finally to the States of Texas and Louisiana, coming from the latter place to California, and arriving in Monterey in June, 1849. He at once came to this county and settled at Jamestown, where he arrived in July of that year. He mined at that place and on the Tuolumne River, and at Angel’s Camp until 1850, when he settled on his present place near Tuttletown. In March, 1853, he came into possession by purchase of the Jackson Flat Ditch, and the letting of water to miners has been his principal business. Mr. Gale has, however, quite a large vineyard and wine cellar, the latter being well filled with a vintage of his own growing.


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

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






After a prosperous career as a lawyer, passed away, two years since, leaving the details of his life yet fresh in men’s minds.  The earlier part of his legal career was passed in Columbia, where he became Justice of the Peace.  Remov­ing afterward to Sonora, he held the office of District Attorney for two terms. A man of uncommon talents and shrewdness, and an able rival of the lawyers of his day.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 378.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






A native of Butler County, Alabama, Mr. Gibbs spent a portion of his boyhood on the old homestead, going to Texas with his parents when nine years of age. In 1849, after spending the intervening years in the pleasant pur­suits of farming, he came across the Plains, a route so many were then taking with such hardships, and located at Hawkin’s Bar, then in the zenith of its importance as a mining camp. Passing the succeeding winter at Big Oak Flat, he returned in the ensuing year to the Tuolumne River, at various points on which he mined until 1852, when going down to the lower country, he engaged in farm­ing near La Grange, remaining occupied in that pursuit during the six following years.  Locating himself next at Summersville, he has followed his favorite agricultural pursuits up to the present time. Having now a capital farm of one hundred and sixty acres, well cultivated and improved, he is able to enjoy the ease that his wanderings have made essential to him.  Marrying Mary F. Summers, at La Grange, in 1853, the large number of fifteen children have been born to them, of whom twelve are now living. There names are as follows: George J., Laura E., Flora E., James L., L. Dora, Francis M., William P., Henry J., Rosa V., Walter A., Jessie J., and Ada.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Pub’d by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 336-337. 

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Was born in Wilmington, Delaware, April 19, 1812.  At the age of twelve he entered a printing office to learn type setting, where he remained for three years.  Subsequently he was connected with the Franklin Type Foundry, one of the largest establishments of the kind in the United States.


Leaving the foundry, he went into business for himself, but failing health obliged him to give it up.  After living on a farm for two years, he sufficiently recovered his health to take charge of a young ladies seminary in Poughkeepsie, New York.  His health again failing, the Doctor came to California, practicing medicine in San Francisco, having graduated in that branch in 1847, at the University of New York.


San Francisco’s cool climate not agreeing with him, he removed to Tuolumne County in 1857, with headquarters at Colombia.  Dr. Gibbons practiced here successfully for thirteen years, changing his residence, at the end of that period, to Alameda, where he has since remained, being one of the prominent medical men of that place.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 420.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Mr. Goodwin says: ‘‘ I was born near to Boston, Linconshire, England.  Emigrated to the United States in 1844.  Was then eighteen years of age.  Made my way to the town of Farmington, Ontario County, N. Y. There went to work on a farm for Thomas Elwood Smith, who taught me to milk cows, rake and bind grain, and all work to be done on a farm.  I had made no bargain for wages, and in the Fall he paid me $9 00 per month.  He then ad­vised me to go to school in the Winter, telling me I seemed to be in need of schooling, and I could stay with him and do chores for my board.  I took his advice, went to school and was put in a class with small shavers, felt a good deal ashamed, but stayed with it until Spring.  The schoolmarm then told me I had learned pretty well, and had better not stop there.  In that school were some large boys and girls who were in the back part of the arithmetic, while I was in the first part.  I thought if could ever catch up with them I would be all right, but I did not much expect to.  The next Summer I went to work for the same man, and to school again in the Winter.  The same thing was repeated the next Summer and Winter.  I had now caught up with the large boys and girls, and had saved what little money I had earned, so I went to the Canandaigua Academy the next Summer, and in the Winter commenced teaching school.  The following Summer I went to the Academy again, and taught school in the Winter; and the same thing was repeated the third Summer and Winter.  I will remark that the first school I attended, where the large boys and girls were so far ahead of me, I taught afterwards, and some of the same boys and girls came to my school.  In the Fall of 1850 I went to Wisconsin and taught there for three seasons, and in the Spring of 1853 came across the plains to California, where I arrived in the Fall, and went to work at the Mountain Pine Mill, staying there about a year, and then located on this place on the second day of November, 1854, where I have been up to the present time, which makes twenty-­seven years.  The first seven years I was a bachelor, and the last twenty have been married.  On the place are some fig trees planted by my own hand (mere twigs) which are now nine feet in circumference.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 404-405.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






This well-known citizen of Columbia was born in Canada East, on April 1, 1837, being raised and educated there and in the United States, which is accounted for from the fact of his residence being close to the line separating our Government from the dominions of England’s Queen. He left Canada in 1860 for this State, came via the Isthmus of Panama, and landed in San Francisco in August of that year. On the last day of that month he arrived in this county, and settled at Sawmill Flat. In 1868 he came to Columbia, leased Fallon’s Hotel, and bought the furniture thereto attached, and was the proprietor of that hostelry for eighteen months, when he sold out, and opened a saloon on Main Street, but only remained in that business about one and a half years.  Two years ago he was appointed Deputy Sheriff, and about nine months since became Constable.  Mr. Gorham learned the carpenter’s trade when young, and has since been engaged in it as one of his occupations.  He married Eliza Jane Wilson, a native of Huntington County, Canada East, on June 9, 1860.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 335. 

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton

Tuolumne County Biographies