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The subject of this sketch was born in Surrey, Hancock County, Maine, on August 23, 1819.  He received his primary education at the common schools of Surrey and

Ellsworth, and his academic learning at Exeter, N. H., and at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Cumberland County, Maine. He studied law in Bangor, with Judges Hathaway and Shepley, and after being admitted to the Bar practiced his profession at Ellsworth.  In 1849, he came round the Horn to this State, landing in San Francisco on April 7, 1850.  He first settled at San Jose; thence going to the south fork of the American River, where he was engaged in mining.  He came to this county in 1851, and took up a residence at Columbia, and soon after moved to the place where he now lives, giving it the name of Vine Springs.  Mr. Jarvis has sixty acres of land planted with grape vines, and an orchard of the same size.  He has an excellent wine cellar, and all the necessary appliances for making fine wines.  Near his house are two large springs, the water of which is conducted by means of a hydraulic ram to the house, and by ditches to the wine cellar and other parts of the farm. Mr. Jarvis married Mary A. Robinson (now deceased), a native of Ellsworths, Maine.


Mr. Jarvis has in his possession a number of rare and invaluable heirlooms, the large and richly chased silver tankard presented to Sir William Pepperrell by the mayor of the city of London after the capture of Louisburg, also a large and beautiful silver candlestick, belonging to Sir William, and in his parlor hangs a life-size portrait of St. Paul, by one of the masters, which though nearly 250 years old, is in perfect preservation and appears almost to start from the canvas.



“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 379-380.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






This old settler is a native of the city of York, the seat of Yorkshire, England, and was born June 13, 1823.  He emigrated to the United States, sailing from Liverpool April, 1849, in the ship “Ajax,” Captain Adams, com­mander, as the second ship to leave England for the Cali­fornia gold fields.  On arriving in California, he mined on Woods’ creek, and in April, 1850, moved to his present place of residence at Gold Springs. Mr. Jolly was one of a company of ten who went to dam and mine the Stanis­laus river, at the junction of the South Fork and main river, but the high water swept away the dam, and, nearly penniless, he, in company with a friend, went to mining at Gold Springs. A company commenced to mine on the ranch where Mr Jolly now lives, and by dint of persua­sion, induced him and his partner to join them and assist to build a ditch, and to appropriate the water from Gold Springs to their mines in Sandy Gulch. A large cabin was erected where Mr. Jolly’s house now stands, and it was known in the early days as the “Fort.” Mr. Jolly has bought out all other interests in the land and water rights, and is now the sole owner. He married on the 4th of April, 1857, Amelia Moore, who was born in New York City, Feb. 20, 1835. Their children are Amelia, Hattie, Emma, Laura, John, Elenor and Carrie.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 352.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






A celebrated lawyer of New Orleans, came here early, and was a delegate to the Monterey Convention with Ben Moore and others, in 1849.  Died in San Jose in 1851, while Judge of the United States District Court.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 401.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Concerning Nevada’s millionaire Senator and the friend of President Arthur, Tuolumne knows a great deal.  Liv­ing here in the "fifties," he figured in the celebrated mock trial of Barnes vs. Stuart, concerning ownership of a ranch.  Otis Greenwood was Judge.  The verdict of the jury, fill­ing a dozen sheets of foolscap, gave Stuart three feet of the surface, and to Barnes the “remainder, to the center of the earth.”


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 396.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton





© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton

Tuolumne County Biographies