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One of the pioneer settlers of this county, was born in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina, on March 26, 1825. He left New York City on December 1, 1849, taking passage on the steamer “Panama,” Capt. Bailey, coming via Panama, and arrived in San Francisco in January, 1850. After taking a trip to Stockton, and through Calaveras county, he returned to San Francisco, thence going to Sonora, where he arrived some time dur­ing the Fall of 1850.  During the Doctor’s residence here he has been engaged in the practice of his profession, and has also interested himself in mines and mining, to­gether with inventing machinery whereby gold may be the better extracted from the quartz.  This plain state­ment of a few facts is all the writer is allowed to give of a busy and extremely useful and valuable life.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 351.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Mr. Wells was born in Sonora on the 13th of August, 1857. He commenced the study of the photographer’s art at Sonora, and finished at San Francisco, under the direc­tion of J. H. Peters.  His Photograph Gallery is now located at the southeast corner of Washington and Dodge streets. The photographic business was first commenced here by Bachelder Bros., then passing into the hands of Wm. H Rulofson, and later of Daniel Sewell, after which it was purchased by Mr. Wells, who is now the only pho­tographer of the county. Mr. Wells married Maggie J. Harrington on June 27, 1881. Mr. Wells has signalized himself by a close devotion to his art that has resulted in the production of extremely good work. No pains are, in his estimation, too great to insure first-class pictures, and specimens of his work will compare favorably with the best done in San Francisco.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 374.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton







The present popular and genial proprietor of the Windsor House, corner of Ninth and Washington streets, Oakland, was an inhabitant of Tuolumne in former years. He was born in Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine, in 1834, but was reared in Norridgewock, in that State. His life has been mainly spent in mining and business pursuits in Cal­ifornia and Australia, he having spent three years in the search for gold in the latter country, and, after much travel, locating and mining at Table Mountain, near Shaw’s Flat. One year of farming on Johnson’s ranch succeeded to the four years spent at the Flat, and then Mr. W., hav­ing in the meantime married, proceeded to Oakland, and established the first of the express lines connecting San Francisco with the towns (then small) on the opposite side of the Bay. Merchandising at Placerville, Solano County, and similar pursuits at Healdsburg, Sonoma County, suc­ceeded to the express business, and finally, in the Centen­nial year, he returned to Oakland, and opened the excellent and convenient hotel which he now conducts.


Mr. Wheeler married Miss Angeline G. Stetson, in Co­lumbia, during his residence in Tuolumne. The officiating clergyman, Mr. L. Hamilton, was called upon twenty years later to officiate at the china wedding of the married couple, all the parties residing in Oakland.  This pleasant circumstance has received a tinge of melancholy from the recent death of Mr. Hamilton.


Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler have two children.



“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 386-387.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Is a Swede, who came to America in 1840, then at the age of sixteen years. For a livelihood, Mr. Williams fol­lowed the sea, until his voyage via the Straits of Magellan to this country, in a schooner commanded by Captain Wild, where he has since remained, devoting his time to mining and to improvements in mining machinery. His wanderings, which were numerous, as were those of almost every one of the early miners, began upon his departure, in 1851, from San Francisco for Taylor’s Bar, in Calaveras County. Mining there for a twelvemonth, he went to Campo Seco next, and became a saloon-keeper, until 1854, when, coming to Tuolumne, he stopped for a time at Big Oak Flat, and then at Deer Flat, mining at those places with small success.  One summer passed at Turnback Creek “let him out” of mining for awhile, and he then de­voted himself to the butcher business, at Roche’s Camp. Six months more saw him at Sonora, clerking in a store, soon to leave that employment for another trial at the meat-block. He followed the business of retailing meat at Sonora, Soulsbyville and Confidence, successively, until, finally becoming possessed of certain mining claims at Arastraville, he located himself there, constructing an arastra, and is now engaged in improving his mining property.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg 320-321 .

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton 






Mr. Wilson had the good fortune to be born in the good old State of Maine; consequently he is a “Down-easter;” very far down East, too, his birthplace was, for he was “raised” in Hancock County, almost on the eastern verge of the United States. Like nearly all of the able-bodied young men of his section, he worked at lumbering. Reaching the ambitious age of twenty-one, he cut loose from the home ties, and setting out for fresher fields and greener pastures, he came to Big Bar, on Sullivan’s Creek, where he toiled for ten years. Resuming his old occupation of lumberman, at the end of that time, he became head-saw­yer at Smith’s Mill, until 1871, when he accepted a similar position in Marshall’s Mill, retaining it for two years; after which he moved to his present location in Arastraville, to engage in quartz mining and in running a couple of arastras.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg 320.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton 







In the town of Sandwich, county of Barnstable, Mass., Mr. Wing was born, on March 1, 1836. In the public schools of the town in which he was born, he was edu­cated. When seventeen years old, he apprenticed himself  to the tinsmith trade in the city of New Bedford, Mass., which, when learned, formed the basis of his business operations in the present time. On November 26, 1862, he arrived in San Francisco, having come from New Bedford via Panama. On December 1, 1862, he arrived in Columbia, and at once entered into the hardware and tin business, and now keeps an establishment of that kind on Main street. He was elected to the City Council of Co­lumbia, and was selected as its President in the days when she was a city of more importance than any other in the county. He was also at the head of the Fire Department for a period of nine years.  He was also appointed Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue for the Third District.  His division was composed of Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa and Mono counties. He was appointed Deputy Collector of Revenues of the First District, which position he held for four years.  Married Malinda Pauline Schwilk, a native of Kentucky, on May 4, 1870.  Frederick S. and Laura A. are his children.


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

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton 








This gentleman, a prominent resident of Columbia for eighteen years, but now an officer of the United States Mint in San Francisco, has kindly furnished the following details of his life.


Reared in Massachusetts, his birth occurring on February 16, 1823, Mr. Wing made the Cape Horn passage to Cali­fornia in the Winter of 18 49-50, arriving in San Francisco in the Spring following.  The Fall of 1853 found him in Tuolumne, where for a year he resided in Jamestown, engaging in the sale of tinware and stoves.  Removing one year later to Columbia, he maintained a continuous residence there until the year 1872.  During these years he continued in the hardware traffic, with good success.  During this prolonged residence Mr. Wing’s qualities caused his election to several prominent positions of trust.  Before 1860, while the town was still active and prosperous, its citizens chose the subject of this account Trustee of their interests, he becoming President of the Board.  Dur­ing “War times” the gentleman’s patriotic tendencies led to his choice as Captain of the military company known as the Columbia Home Guards, succeeding Captain A. E. Hooker.  Still later, in 1868, Mr. Wing became State Sen­ator, which office he occupied for two terms.


After leaving Columbia, in 1873, his history has included a year spent in the service of the Government as Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue.  In 1873 he commenced to reside in San Francisco, receiving at that time his appoint­ment as Transfer Clerk of the United States Mint, which office he has ever since held.  He now resides with his wife, nee Miss Mabella Earley, at No. 23 Glen Park Avenue, San Francisco.


“A History of Tuolumne Co, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix pg. 45-46.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






The present District Attorney of Tuolumne County, is a Tennesseean by birth.  Residing first in Rea County, Tennessee, and later in Arkansas, he crossed the Plains in 1857, and settled near Sacramento.  He studied law with Judge Cross, of Visalia, during his six years’ residence in Tulare County, and on coming to Sonora in 1878 he completed his legal studies in the office of Hon. Caleb Dorsey.  Being admitted to the Bar in 1878, he was the next year elected to the responsible position which he now holds.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 402.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Bonnie Scotland is the place of Mr. Wright’s nativity, and he was born May 9, 1824. On the 7th of February, 1849, he left Edinburgh for London, leaving the latter place on March 1st of that year, having engaged his pas­sage in the bark St. George, of London, the first ship which left that port for San Francisco, and which arrived at the latter place on October 12, 1849. Having learned the cabinet and chair maker’s trade, in the old country, he was able to get work as a carpenter, at $12 per diem; afterwards engaging with the proprietors of the Delmonico Hotel as their private carpenter, working until they failed in the Spring of 1850. In March he went into the red­woods at Corte Madera, to get out lumber for wharfing, and there was burned out, leaving there about the end of April, for San Francisco. Left the latter place, May 1st, in a ship’s long-boat, bound for the diggings in Tuolumne County, in company with John Wallace and James Willson, and arrived in Sonora May 6, 1850, to saw lumber to be used for building purposes. In July of that year, he went to Sullivan’s Bar, remaining until the following Fall, when he moved to Campo Seco. Upon the 28th of June, 1851, he left the latter place for Summit Pass, as he had enrolled himself as a member of the Tuolumne County Water Company, who were to make a ditch for mining pur­poses, and was actively employed by that company eighteen consecutive years, and has been a member of that company thirty years and ten months. He now resides on his ranch, south of Springfield. Mr. Wright married Mary Ann Mer­ritt, March 29, 1864, and has a family of four boys and four girls.



“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 354-55.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton





© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton

Tuolumne County Biographies