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GRADY, JOHN H.

 

Was born in San Francisco, July 23, 1852, and in 1855 re­moved to Yankee Hill, Tuolumne County.  His early edu­cation was acquired at Shaw’s Flat and Springfield, at which places he lived alternately until 1864, returning then to his native city.  At the age of fifteen Mr. Grady learned the upholstering trade, and remained in the furniture busi­ness until elected to the office of Tax Collector, in 1881, and of which office he is the present incumbent.

 

Mr. Grady was one of the only three Democrats elected on his ticket, and is the youngest executive officer in the City and County of San Francisco.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 419-420.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

GREEN, CAPTAIN ALONZO

 

Captain Green arrived in Sonora on the first day of August, 1849.  His companion on this trip to the place was James Lane.  He tells the story of his travels somewhat as follows: He left San Francisco on the schooner Favorite, proceeding in her to Stockton, paying twenty-five dollars for the passage, and providing his own bedding and food.  Getting into a so-called stage, he next proceeded to Sonora, by way of Taylor' s Ferry.  This stage, the Captain says, was merely a common wagon having hay in the bot­tom on which the passengers’ feet might rest, and being otherwise totally devoid of comforts or conveniences.  At a certain point upon their route breakfast was procured.  The hotel which provided it was a large tent, whose utmost resources in the way of food extended only to whisky, hard-bread and pork and beans.  Proceeding onward, the stage soon after passed the diggings at Woods’ Crossing, then the great resort of the miners, and where not fewer than two thousand men, says the Captain, stood in the water, engaged with pan and rocker.  Contrary to the gen­eral feeling of enthusiasm, the new arrival promptly decided that he would never be a miner.  On arrival in Sonora, the Captain made inquiries of Major Elkins as to where new­comers were expected to lodge, and was referred to the ground as a proper place of deposit for the human frame.  The following morning Mr. Green took a survey of the place, which resulted in his finding Joshua Holden, who had just established himself in business, occupying for that purpose a tent.  Directly after this, the two men (acquaint­ances at a former date) formed a partnership, and built the first house which was ever constructed in Sonora.  The new structure was of logs, eighty by twenty feet, and was covered with canvas.  Entering into trade, the two cleared within twelve months no less than two hundred thousand dollars.  Other years more or less successful were passed in Sonora, and in 1858 the Captain came to San Francisco.  During his stay in Sonora the firm of Green & Holden was the most important one then doing business in the Southern Mines, it including the conduct of a bakery, as well as the store containing a miscellaneous assortment of dry goods, grow shrieks, clothing, miners’ implements, etc., which were suited to the demands of a community like Sonora.  This extensive business house was burned out in the great fire of 52, the partners losing more than forty thousand dollars.

 

Captain Green is now a resident of San Francisco, where he performs the duties of Superintendent of Washington­ street Wharf, an office under the charge of the State Gov­ernment.

 

His living children are five in number: John Henry and Adeline Savilla, who, with Austin, now deceased, were born in Sonora; and Charles D., Frank M., and Verdenal N., who were born in San Francisco.

 

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 408-410.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

GREENWOOD, OTIS

 

A prominent man as Otis Greenwood, whether regarded from his attainments and prominence as a law­yer or his remarkable persistence and success as a practical joker. Interesting stories are related of him, among which the Knight — Eastabrook duel takes a prominent place.

 

Falling out about some trifling dispute and imagining that their honor was impugned, two men, H. Knight and Eastabrook, residents of the vicinity of Sonora, determined to resort to arms for a settlement. Eastabrook, once a pop— manufacturer of Shaw’s Flat, accepted Knight' s challenge, and choosing pistols as the weapons, began, under Jim Stuart’s and Jack Cole’s fostering care, to perfect themselves in marksmanship.  To Eastabrook the affair was a serious reality; but between his opponent, the two seconds (Coles and Stuart), the surgeons (Drs Walker and Clawson), and the bottle-holders (Otis Greenwood and Judge L. Quint), a hoax had been arranged which was to include the whole town.  Meeting on Cannon Hill, in view of the entire population, who had been drawn out by the report of the interesting event, the principals exchanged shots, but as the weapons had been loaded by Major Ball with cork bullets covered with tinsel, the damage to life and limb was not important.  However, as arranged by pre­concerted measures, Knight fell, and was carried from the field, while his adversary congratulated himself upon remaining uninjured and proclaimed himself “High--cockalorum of Tuolumne County!”  The Sheriff appearing at this juncture, caused the victorious duelist to seek safety in flight.  But it was not long before the truth the mat­ter becoming known to him, he returned to his old habitation.

 

What added more to the hilarity of the proceeding was a mishap to Greenwood.  By previous collusion, doses of a nauseous and violent medicine had been prepared by the physicians to he administered allopathically to such of the surrounding crowd whose excited state of mind would allow them to mistake jalop for gin or croton for cornjuice.  By a natural error (or was it the Doctor’s intention?)  Mr. Greenwood himself became the victim, and furnished a patient's fee to the man of sells and a jest to the community for many days.

 

Few who dwelt in Sonora in 1857 have forgotten the “Royal Order of G. S., Mighty and Terrible,” who held meetings in their "Hall of Comparative Ovations,” and who were supposed to have change of the morals of the town; but whose chief and only object consisted in originating and carrying out practical jokes.

 

The prince of jokers, Lawyer Greenwood, held a promi­nent part in their deliberations, and the honored gentleman who officiated as the other second in the before mentioned duel, was also a star of magnitude.  Many of the familiar names in Sonora’s history were on the list of this unique organization; names, it is sad to think, of those who are now no more.

 

One of the characteristic tricks of this band of humorists was the never-to-be-forgotten Honorable Judge Garland episode.  Miss Annette Ince and her sister, with their com­pany of actors, were performing at Valleau’s Theater, then standing on the corner lot on Washington street next south of Mr. Cady’s store.  Among their numerous admirers was one Garland, an inhabitant of San Joaquin County, who had followed the Misses Ince on their travels to the mines, while under the influence of a tender feeling for one of the ladies, as well as being stage--struck to a remarkable degree.  Aside from these peculiarities, the man was a good—natured specimen of the genus “crank.”  No sooner had these facts become known than the "G. S."  took him in hand, their first care being to obtain his confidence and regard.  This they effected easily; and then commenced a series of tricks and impositions the like of which were certainly never before played upon any man.  Upon the opening night of the theater, the unsuspecting Garland was seeing in the dress circle, seated upon a raised dais, a huge wooden sword pendant at his side, a paper cap upon his head, and an enormous blue metal, a heart-shaped and a foot in diameter, upon his breast, and bearing the mystic letters, G. S.  Surrounding him were the brethren of that order, each with a wooden sword, and bearing a similar badge.  These constituted the "Committee of Honor and Safety."  The effect of this upon the unsuspecting actresses was ridiculous beyond description.

 

After the play was over, G. was taken to the Placer Hotel, where he attempted to address an audience gathered in the street, but being given a glass of whisky in which was a powerful medicine, he soon had to cease; when, leaving the stand for the City Hotel, he was pursued by the crowd, and taking to his heels, he made quick time to the hotel, amid cries of “Hang him!” etc. The exertion and the medicine were too much for him, and he remained for several days under the kind charge of those good Sa­maritans, the “G. S., Mighty and Terrible.”  During this time a new joke was concocted; and the unhappy Garland was induced to display his histrionic talents (a weakness with him), and to this end a week was spent in drilling him in the part of Macbeth, and in preparation for his appear­ance before the public.  On the stage, he came out at the “dagger scene,” dressed in a single garment —a sort of smock frock—with his arms and legs painted as the ex­uberant fancy of the “G. S. “ had dictated.  All the acces­sories were in keeping with the actor, and probably no such scene was ever witnessed on any other stage.

 

The poor fellow was sent away from Sonora armed with a gigantic parchment diploma, ornamented with a seal the size of a soup plate, and certifying his good standing in the order “G. S.” at Sonora, and asking that the imaginary society below would take good care of him.  This paper be was commanded to keep in his possession at all times, and to guard it as he would his life, and the dupe actually de­prived himself of sleep for more than one night that he might be assured of the safety of the precious document.

 

Otis Greenwood came to Tuolumne from Massachu­setts, and, entering upon the practice of the law, be­came prominent and well known throughout the county.  Although possessed of admirable talents, and achieving quite a degree of success, his unfortunate addiction to drink kept him from the full measure of success which, with steadier habits, he would have earned, and brought him to the grave, in 1863, at the early age of thirty-four years.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 390-394.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

F. J. GROSS

 

Was born in Georgetown, D. C., where he resided until coming to this State, via Panama, in 1859. He came direct to Tuttletown, and commenced the butcher business, continuing the same until 1863, and then engaged in min­ing. About two years ago, he purchased a saloon at Tut­tletown, which he is now conducting.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 337. 

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

GUNN, DR. L.C.

 

An able physician, became an inhabitant of Tuolumne in 1849.  Practicing medicine and surgery, he became widely known throughout the region.  In 1850, he was part proprietor of the Sonora Herald, and maintained a connection with that sheet through a large part of its prosperous career.  He built, in 1852, an elegant dwelling near the present site of the County Hospital.  The drug business engrossed his attention for years, repaying him largely.  At one time he held the office of County Treasurer, serving with general acceptance.  His present home is in San Diego, where he is spending the latter years of an active and useful life.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 377-378.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton




© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton



Tuolumne County Biographies