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MAJOR P. L. SOLOMON

 

"King Solomon," Sheriff, came from Tennessee.  He was a hatter at first, then Mexican war soldier, rising to the rank of Major.  Democrat in politics.  Did excellently well as Sheriff.  Quiet, far-seeing, energetic.  He after­wards became U. S. Marshal in San Francisco, dying in 1863.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 400.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

BEN SOULSBY

 

Is a Pennsylvanian, having been born in Alleghany County, of that State, in October, 1840. In 1851, he, to­gether with his parents, came to this State, by way of New Orleans and Panama. Living first on Sullivan’s Creek, the family moved thence to Brown’s Flat, there remaining until the Fall of ‘53, when they changed their residence to Soulsbyville, where ‘‘Ben” has since resided. Mr. Soulsby was the discoverer of the celebrated ‘‘Soulsby” mine, a claim that has enriched many, but which circumstances compelled the discoverer to part with. A veteran prospector, Mr. S. still evinces a most excellent judgement in mines, owning now an interest in a valuable claim a mile north of Soulsbyville, which he with his partner are in process of developing. Possessing also a well improved and valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres, upon which is a tiptop residence, the gentleman is well situated to enjoy life and to dispense an open-handed hospitality, as all who have experienced the latter may testify. Mr. Soulsby and his excellent lady have one child, Thomas by name.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 324.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton 

 

 

 

ALEXANDER STAIR

 

Who was born in York, York County, Pennsylvania, on February 9, 1828, came to California in November, 1849.  Locating first at Sonora, and stopping there for a brief period, he went from there to Mariposa County.  Remain­ing in the latter place for a short time, he returned to Tuolumne County, this time taking up his residence at Chinese Camp, in 1854, his occupation being Stage Agent, which place he filled for nine years.  Leaving Chinese Camp in 1863, he came to San Francisco and engaged in mercantile pursuits, at which place he yet remains, at present being connected with the firm of J. Wagner & Co., Nos. 105 and 107 Mission street.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 412-413.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

JOHN B. STETSON.

 

Mr. Stetson, whose portrait is presented herein, was born in Kingston, Massachusetts, on the 27th of March, 1831.  He came to California in 1852, arriving in San Francisco in September.  Somewhat later in that year, he arrived at Shaw's Flat, in Tuolumne county, and afterwards entering into business at Columbia as a dealer in hard­ware; his firm being known as Osgood & Stetson.  Re­maining in Columbia until 1860, the firm then removed to San Francisco and opened a store where the Occidental Hotel now stands, continuing in the hardware business.  In 1877, his partner having retired, Mr. Stetson conducted the business alone for one year, at the end of that time forming a partnership with others under the designation of Holbrook, Merrill & Stetson.  The business house of this great firm is now No. 225 Market street.

 

Mr. Stetson is a man of family, having four children— Sarah F., Nellie M., Albert L. and Harry N. Mrs. Stet­son, formerly Miss Maria Slack, is a native of Pennsylvania.

 

The gentleman, like many of the former settlers of Tuol­umne County, carries in his memory a very large store of reminiscences of the early days.  Among these recollections, some relating to the time of his stay at Shaw’s Flat are pe­culiarly interesting.  It is related that during the time in which he there resided he held the office of constable, as­sisting in the capture of Ned McCaulley, who murdered Bond, an account of which has been given.  The circum­stances of the capture not having been mentioned, place may be given here.  The slayer had, previous to the kill­ing, been engaged in an assault, for which he had been brought before Judge Drake at the Flat, and allowed to go on his promise to return later, when sentence would be pronounced.  This somewhat loose way of transacting af­fairs had a painful result, for it gave the desperado an op­portunity of seeking the quarrel which led to such a lamentable result.  When the murder took place.  Mr. Stetson set out to apprehend McCaulley, but was unable to ascertain his whereabouts, because none of the neighbors cared to win the enmity of his gang.  At last a half-breed secretly gave the desired information, and, securing help, Mr. Stetson proceeded in the gloom of the evening, and apprehended the murderer, who was awaiting the arrival of his friends, who were expected to bring him money wherewith to make his escape from the vicinity.

 

Mr. Stetson was at Columbia when the murderer of John Leary met his deserved doom at the hands of the mob, being hanged to the flume.  The gentleman relates an anecdote bearing upon this affair.  J. L Hamlin, once Assemblyman, was a man of imposing presence, being over six feet in hight.  This gentleman, out of his own sense of fitness and respect for the laws which he had helped to frame, stood up at the hanging, and stretching out his hands, cried out that he thanked God that his soul was free from the blood of the executed man!  At this a little fellow stepped forth from the mob, and in a calm voice said to Hamlin that if he uttered another word they would hang him too.  The ridiculous part of the story relates to the terrified departure of the moral law­maker, as he rose to a full appreciation of these words and retired from the scene with a velocity that made his coat­tails assume a horizontal position.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix Pg. 14-15.

 

 

 

COLONEL (OR CAPTAIN) THOMAS R. STODDART

 

Was for many years a noted character in Tuolumne.  Originally a man of intelligence and education, he passed his life amid stirring scenes in Texas, Mexico and other distant lands, eventually finding his way to Tuolumne, where he exercised his talents in various ways to gain a livelihood, but with meager success. As a newspaper correspondent he had few equals, his letters signed ‘Cosmo­rama,’’ in the Tuolumne Courier, and other communications from time to time, entitling him to a good standing among writers.  He prospected, he did ornamental writing, as cards, diplomas, etc, and he taught writing school.  At a later date his mind became weakened and nature gradually broke up.  During these later years be was a resident of Sonora, where he lived in the solitary life of a bachelor.  Interested in military affairs, the old soldier joined the Tuolumne Rangers.  Afterwards he was a member of the fire department of Sonora, and almost the last recollections that the people retain of him is the spectacle of Colonel Tom parading at the head of the new wing proud and erectly conscious of his imposing figure, and grandly bearing the beloved Stars and Stripes, in whose whose defense he had given freely of his best blood. His last years were divested of care by the ministrations kind friends and the veteran sank peacefully to rest a few years ago.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 389-390.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

W. S STONE.

 

This gentleman, now a prosperous and valued citizen of Tuolumne County, was born in Montgomery County, Mis­souri, on the 4th of March, 1830. When he was quite young his parents removed southward to Washington County, Arkansas, where they followed farming. When twenty-one, Mr. Stone was united in marriage to Miss I. Fitzgerald, and the following year the young couple ‘‘crossed the Plains,’’ coming with their ox-teams via Salt Lake, arriving in Tuolumne in November, ‘52. After a short time spent in mining in ,Jamestown, he accepted a situation in a sawmill on Sullivan’s Creek, remaining so employed for two years; then purchasing the ranch now owned by Mr. Major, but selling it in 1856, to occupy his present beautiful farm, situated in the loveliest of valleys, eleven miles from Sonora. The amount of land embraced within the ranch is three hundred and twenty acres. Their children are five in number, whose names are 0. P., Thomas J., George L., Isabelle C., and Ida V.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg.  323-324.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

H. L. STREET.

 

The subject of this sketch, who is one of the pioneers of Sonora, was born in Genessee County, New York, on May 23, 1823. Prior to the year 1840, his uncle, M. B. Street, had taken up a residence in Hancock County, Illinois, and the nephew, H. L. Street, persuaded his parents to move to that place, which they did in the year above mentioned. Here the uncle and father were en­gaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1846, the Street families emigrated to Johnson County, Arkansas, where they lived till Mr. Street’s father and brother came to this State via Fort Smith, Fort Yuma and San Diego to San Francisco, where they arrived November 1, 1849.  Here they built a canvass house in which they lived till February, 1850; then came to this county, passing through San Jose. They camped a short time at Jamestown, thence moving to Woods’ Creek, about one-half mile above Sonora.  Here Mr. Street remained till about  May, 1850, when he in conjunction with his brother, C. L. Street, raised a tent at the head of Washington street, in which they opened a store, purchasing eight hundred dollars worth of goods in Stockton, on which they paid four hundred dollars for their transportation to Sonora. Here Mr. Street followed trad­ing and mining until March 15, 1851, then selling out his business and returning east by steamer to New York, thence to the State of Arkansas. He only remained, however, till August, 1851, when he returned to this State, coming via New Orleans, bringing his wife, and at once settled in Sonora, where he purchased a half interest in his uncle’s store. Mr. Street continued in trade until 1859. A year or two thereafter he went to Lewiston, Idaho, there going into business, but sold out, returned to Sonora and opened a store in 1861, which business he now follows at his place on Washington street. He was appointed Postmaster, in 1861, and has continued in the office to the present time. He married Ascenith, daughter of Dr. McConnell, on Feb­ruary 22, 1849. The lady is a native of Kentucky. Charles E, their eldest son, was born on April 17, 1852, and is the first white child born of American parents in Sonora. Harlow M. (deceased), and Minnie B., the wife of I. M. Kalloch, are the names of their children.

 

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 333-334. 

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

C. L. STREET

 

Is a native of Sheldon, Wyoming County, New York, and was born on November 10, 1821 receiving his primary education in that State.  In 1840, the family moved to Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois.  Prior to this, however, Mr. Street paid a visit to the Southern States, but located, finally, with his people in Carthage, where his uncle, M. B. Street, had also settled.  In 1846, the Street families emigrated to Johnson County, Arkansas, where they lived until coming to California via Fort Smith, Fort Yuma, thence to San Diego and San Francisco, where they arrived on November 1, 1849.  Here they resided until February, 1850, then came to this county, camping a short time at Jamestown, thence going to Woods’ Creek, about one-half a mile above Sonora.  In May, 1851, he, in comnection [communication? Or connection?]  with his brother, H. L. Street, raised a tent where the Episcopal church now stands, in which they conducted a commercial business. Mr. Street sold out on March 15, 1851, returned East, but again returned to Sonora in August of that year He purchased a one-half interest in a store then owned by his uncle, his partner being his brother, H. L. Street, and the business was conducted by them until 1859.  The subject of our sketch was elected Justice of the Peace in 1859, remaining in that office until 1866.  He was also one of the Associate Justices of this county.  He commenced the study of law while a resident of Sonora, and was admitted to the Bar, and opened his present office on the corner of Washington street and Yaney avenue.  He has since associated himself with his cousin, Frank W. Street.  He married Phoebe Weston, a native of Rockville, Connecticut, and by this union had one child, H. L Street.

 

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 372-373.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 

 

 

J.W. STUART

 

Was born in Maine, May 25,1819, where he was raised and educated. He came to this State in 1849, going to Sutter’s Fort, and to Coloma, El Dorado County, where he was mining, as wel1 as on the Feather and Yuba Rivers.  In 1852 he returned to Maine, and again came to California in the Spring of 1853, settling in this County, and on the land he now owns. In 1860, be commenced the raising of bees, with a capital stock of one hive, and now the hillsides present a beautiful picture, being dotted here and there with five hundred white homes for the busy bees. About two miles northwest from Sonora is the home of Mr. Stuart, which is beautifully named ‘‘Idlewild Apiary.”

 

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

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton

 

 




© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton



Tuolumne County Biographies