Biography of John A. Roduner

One of the prosperous and well-known ranchers and diarymen of Merced County, John A. Roduner has spent most of his life in the San Joaquin Valley, and has thus become well versed in its possibilities, both as to soil and climatic conditions, and in the products best calculated for successful growth in this most fertile region of California, and his success has been founded on the knowledge thus gained and on its practical application. He is a native of Minnesota, born March 10, 1853, at St. Anthony Falls, the eldest of two sons born to his parents. His father, John Roduner, was born in Switzerland on August 24, 1824, and came to the United States in 1846, with his parents, first locating in New York, then moving to Wisconsin, and later to Minnesota, following his trade of carpenter. He came to California in 1863, via Panama, bringing his family with him; they boarded the steamer Ocean Queen from New York, and from the Isthmus came on the Golden Shore to San Francisco. Locating in Stockton, Mr. Roduner, Sr., there worked at his trade as carpenter until he retired from active business cares. His wife died in Stockton on September 2, 1902, and that same year he came to Merced County and made his home with his son, until his death on August 19, 1909, at the age of eighty-four years. The mother is also buried in Merced County.

John A. Roduner received his education in the public schools of Stockton, and also took a course at Heald’s Business College, in San Francisco. He then followed teaming for ten years, in Stanislaus, Mariposa and Merced Counties, coming to the latter in 1869, as a teamster hauling grain to Murray’s Mill near Snelling. In 1871 he located in the county and worked for John Montgomery, and in 1879 located on land seven miles southwest of Merced in Merced County, 140 acres of which was given over to grain raising, and the balance to alfalfa and stock. In 1886 or 1887 he developed a fine nine-inch artesian well on his ranch, with an inch and a half flow at the top, and flowing 24,000 gallons every twenty-four hours, and this is the only one of five wells that is now flowing. Ranching was a little harder in his earlier days of development work, and it meant hard application and good management to bring land to where it meant success for the owner, and future prosperity for the whole section of which his life and work are a part. Of late years Mr. Roduner has been engaged in raising registered Holstein dairy cattle, and he owns a herd of 200 fine cattle of this breed, milking sixty-five cows; he was a breeder of pure bred Poland-China hogs, but since his son has taken over the ranch, he changed to Red Durocs. During 1891-96, he conducted a retail milk delivery in Merced, supplying a large patronage.

At Hornitos, Mariposa County, on November 7, 1879, occurred the marriage of John A. Roduner to Miss Hattie Arthur, who was born in Ohio, and brought to California in 1862, a babe in arms, and the eldest of ten children born to Robert and Belle (Steele) Arthur, both natives of Ohio, the father a blacksmith by trade and a pioneer in that business at Coulterville, and Hornitos, this State. Ten children have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Roduner: J. Edward; George A. ; Belle, the wife of Samuel Hale ; Julia, deceased ; J. Elmer ; Mary, wife of C. A. Blauert; C. Roscoe; Cornelius A., deceased; Walter P., who now rents his father’s ranch; Robert S., of Merced. Two sons, C. R. Roduner and Walter P., served their country in the World War; C. R. as a corporal in the A. E. F. from May, 1917, to July, 1919, receiving his honorable discharge at the Presidio, San Francisco. He is a member of the Merced American Legion post. Walter P. served in the U. S. N. R., attending the Radio School of the 12th Naval District, and received his honorable discharge September 30, 1921. In October, 1924, Mr. Roduner retired from the ranch and now lives at 436, Twenty-second Street, Merced. Fraternally, he belongs to Merced Lodge No. 1240, B. P. O. E.; Yosemite Lodge No. 30, K. of P., and the Woodmen of the World.

Source: Outcalt, John. A history of Merced County, California : with a biographical review of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present; Los Angeles, Calif. : Historic Record Company, 1925.

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