Glimpses of Early California History – Though the plan of this work deals with today rather than with the struggles of yesterday, there is an irresistible temptation to delve into the past sufficiently to get a clear idea of the “beginnings of things” historical. And when one looks backwards in California history he is carried to the stirring times of the old Spanish freebooters. The Genoese mariner had scarcely made his great discovery known to the world when bold adventurers began to quarrel over unknown lands and to partition the distant parts of the earth among themselves.
It is the purpose of this chapter to present some of the vital truths about northern California, its climate, soil, resources, and general characteristics. The truth is more remarkable than any Aladdin-like tales that might be woven from the author’s imagination. This is perhaps the reason that the early legends that reached Spain attributed supernatural powers to the women of this land, which was supposed to be a living Eden, a sort of fulfillment of Shakespeare’s picture of fairyland, as portrayed in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The truth was added to by the early navigators until none could say where fiction and fact were blended.
By President David Starr Jordan, of Stanford University California is still very young and has most of her ahead of her. What in time she will do for civilization will make a great volume when its story is written. What she has already done, if adequately treated, will demand more knowledge than any one man can possess, and more space than this volume can give. All that can be attempted here is to give some slight analysis of the elements of which California’s past contribution consists. First we may consider those contributions independent of man made by sheer virtue of
A captain of industry who well merits the laurels bestowed upon him for his contribution to the expansion of local trade, is Alexander M. Allan, president of the Monterey Canning Company, Point Lobos, Monterey. He was born at Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles M. and Margaret Allan, the former a miner who had the misfortune to be killed at Nevada City, California. He was a hard-working, honest man, who gave his life, as have so many, in the pursuit of his occupation. Mrs. Allan died in 1924, and will long be Pleasantly remembered by many who knew her and
Few men have been more intimately associated with the great cattle interests of California than Robert R. Diaz. He was born in the city of San Francisco, October 3, 1857, of Spanish parents. His father, Thomas Diaz, was born at Santiago, Chili, and his mother, whose maiden name was Maria Torres, was also a Chilean, having been born in the city of Valparaiso. They were married in their native land and came to California in the early ’50s. Locating in San Francisco, then a straggling village of only a few thousand inhabitants, the father engaged in business as a cattle
S. Peter Anderson was born February 24, 1867, near Helsingborg, Sweden, a son of Thoed and Christine ( Sorenson) Anderson. He was reared on a farm, attended the common schools,and at the age of eighteen years came to the United States, and direct to San Francisco. Not finding employment to his liking in that city, he went on to Salinas, where he joined his cousin, John Ober, who had come to California from Sweden some fifteen years before. He remained with his cousin for about a year, after which he was employed for some time as a farm hand. Learning
Eugene Rianda is a native of Monterey county, having been born at Soledad on February 12, 1895. His parents, John and Rosa (Bianchini) Rianda, were both born in Switzerland and came to California in 1872. They first settled at Watsonville, where they resided for about twenty years, when they removed to Soledad. For many years after coming to California the father followed the business of grain farmer. He is now living at Soledad, retired from active labor. Eugene Rianda received his elementary education in the common schools of Soledad, supplementing this by studying in the high schools of Soledad and
What extraordinary progress has been made in both the designing and building of superior houses in Monterey county is pleasantly evidenced in the broad, progressive and very enterprising operations of Samuel J. Miller, of Twelfth street, Carmel. He was born in the state of Washington, February 6, 1888, and learned the trade of a carpenter in San Francisco, where he was afterward for seven years foreman of construction for L. H. Sly, one of the leading contractors of the Bay City. He added to his experience rapidly, and during that time superintended the construction of ten large apartment houses in
Barnet J. Segal of Carmel, the affable and progressive cashier of the Bank of Carmel, was born in New York city, January 31, 1898, and was reared and educated in the state of New Jersey. He attended and graduated from the Bayonne high school, and then became a student in the New York University; while later he benefited by the excellent courses in the Pace Institute of New York city, pursuing an accounting training. Following that experience, he was associated with various banks in New York and New Jersey. At the call for service during the World war he went
W. F. Nichols, manager and part owner of the King City Mercantile Company, was born at Aptos, Santa Cruz county; California, February 10, 1884. His father, Benjamin C. Nichols, came to that county in 1852, when the state of California was but two years old. He built and operated one of the first sawmills in the county and later followed agricultural pursuits. He married Miss Margaret Ward and the subject of this sketch is one of the children born to this union. After receiving a common school education W. F. Nichols learned telegraphy. While still in his teens he was