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Tuolumne County










            As the proprietor of a well conducted drug store in Columbia, Mr. Tibbits is widely known, and his name also appears upon the roll of honored pioneers who a half century ago came to California to establish in the midst of this wild vastness homes for themselves and families and to utilize the resources of the state and turn them to purposes of civilization, thus transforming California from a vast unpopulated district to a state of great numerical strength, of boundless business enterprises and of marked influence in the affairs of the nation.

            Mr. Tibbits was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, October 1, 1843, and is of Welsh and German descent.  His great-grandfather, Allen Tibbits, was born in Wales, but, bidding adieu to the land of his birth, he crossed the briny deep to the new world, becoming a pioneer of the Empire state.  Three generations of the family were born there, and representatives of the name were prominent in affairs that figured on the pages of New York’s history.  Olive Tibbits, the grandfather of our subject, was one of the heroes of the Revolution.  His son, John Powers Tibbits, was a native of Onondaga County, New York, and after arriving at years of maturity he married Miss Rachel Johanna Bartlett, a native of Jefferson County, Ohio, and a descendant of Josiah Bartlett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  The father of our subject became a practicing physician in Ohio, and in the year 1849 took up his abode in California, when it was still in its territorial regime.  He journeyed westward by the Isthmus of Panama and engaged in mining in El Dorado County, on the middle fork of the American River.  He was fortunate in his mining ventures, securing three thousand dollars in a short time.  With this capital he then returned to his family in Ohio, and in 1850 brought his wife and children to the Pacific coast.  They crossed the little narrow neck of land connecting the two continents and on its western shore embarked on Pacific waters, ultimately reaching San Francisco, on the 5th of July, 1850.  Dr. Tibbits established his home in Sonora and there engaged in the practice of his profession, his two little sons being the first white children in the town.  One was nine, the other seven years of age, and they became general favorites in the mining camps, where the presence of white children was a new thing.  In the spring of 1856 the family removed to Iowa Hill, in Placer County, where Dr. Tibbits practiced his profession for ten years.  On the expiration of that period he went to Idaho for a time, making money rapidly, for all prices were high, whether in professional service or in exchange for any of the commodities needed by man, their principal business being mining, taking out about seventeen thousand dollars.  He returned to San Francisco and from that city made his way to Columbia, where he spent his remaining days, an esteemed and honored resident of the town.  He passed away in 1885, at the age of eighty years, and his estimable wife died in 1881, at the age of seventy years.  Mr. Tibbits of this review is the only surviving son.  His sister is now the wife of Captain Alonzo Green and resides in Alameda County, California.  Her husband was one of the pioneers of the state and built the City Hotel in Sonora.

            Lyman C. Tibbits began his education in the public schools at Iowa Hill and later continued his studies in the Durant Institute, at Oakland, California, now the State University.  He acquired a knowledge of the drug business in San Francisco, where he was a representative of that department of mercantile trade for eight years, on the expiration of which period he came to Columbia in order to be able to care for his parents, who were then well advanced in years.  He opened a drug store in this town and has since successfully conducting it, meeting with success.  He enjoys a liberal patronage, which has come to him in recognition of his honorable dealing and reasonable prices and his earnest desire to please those who give him their business support.  His efforts, however, have not been confined to one line, as he is now interested in the Green and Tibbits consolidated mine, out of which they have taken nine hundred dollars.  He is also one of the owners of the Jim Budd mine, for which the stockholders have been offered ten thousand dollars, but declined to accept that sum, as the mine is a very valuable property.  Mr. Tibbits is also the owner of the old family homestead and of other realty in the town, including one of the fine residences of Columbia, which was erected under his supervision.

            His home life is very pleasant.  In 1880 was celebrated the marriage of Lyman C. Tibbits and Miss Helen Clark, a native of Edinburg, Scotland, who, however, resided in San Francisco from her tenth year.  Three children have come to bless their home, all bright sons, namely:  John P., William J. and Lyman C.  In public affairs of the city Mr. Tibbits is deeply interested, withholding his support and co-operation from no movement calculated to prove of public benefit.  He has had the honor of being the postmaster of the town for a number of years and his administration has been characterized by promptness and fidelity.  He is independent in politics and fraternally has been associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for thirty years.  In the line of his profession he is comprehensive and accurate and is well qualified to dispense drugs for medicinal purposes, knowing well of their properties and the effects produced thereby.  In the circle of his acquaintances there is no man who has more friends than Mr. Tibbits, and they have been won and are being retained by his attractive personality, his outspoken devotion to the best interests of the community and his adherence to high many principals.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 246-247. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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