Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society
Excerpts about Murray Township from
Wood's "History of Alameda County, California," 1883
Go to Biographies, Part 1, Surnames A-L
Go to Biographies, Part 2, Surnames M-W
This is a verbatim transcription of page 458 (part) through page 481 of the massive history of Alameda County published by Myron Wood in 1883. These pages concern Murray Township, which at that time included the towns of Altamont, Dublin, Livermore, Midway, Pleasanton and Suñol, and their surrounding countryside.
MINERALS. - Not much is as yet known about the mineral resources of Murray Township. True, gold, silver, quicksilver, coal, coal-oil, building-stone, sulphur, and marble have been discovered, but with the exception of coal and building-stone, none of these have been worked to a successful end.
About the year 1875, Michael Rogan, of Suñol, erected a derrick and bored for oil on the ranch of James Brown, about five miles northeast from the town of Livermore, where he found indications which grew more marked and favorable as the work proceeded, but on the fifth day the well, unfortunately not being cased, began to cave, and was abandoned, Rogan not feeling like going to the expense of erecting the necessary casings. The oil which flowed was jet black, of a thick, sticky nature, and with a smell like kerosene. Several barrels were gathered and sold in its crude state in San Francisco, at a good price. During the winter of 1877-78 the soil in that vicinity was thoroughly saturated with water, and numerous streams ran out of the hillside near where the well was bored. In the water which flowed from these springs were clots of this black oil in considerable quantities. This substance still exudes from the earth in that vicinity, through springs, and can be seen floating on the surface of the water in large clots. Some time in 1871 James Farley, then living on his ranch in the eastern end of Livermore Valley, bored a seven-inch well for water. When down about twenty-five feet, the workmen suddenly heard a noise in the well like the rushing of water - a volume of gas had been struck, which escaped from the aperture with great force. A lighted match was placed over the mouth of the well, when the gas caught fire and burned readily, the flame rising to a height of several feet. This well, which was finally filled up, was located about a mile from the Brown ranch, where Rogan's prospecting was carried on four years later. These facts make it apparent that oil exists in that section, at no great distance from the surface, but its quantity, quality, and value can only be determined by research.
The only stone quarry in practical operation in the township is situated near Altamont, in its northeastern portion. The formation is of sandstone, of excellent quality, and is mostly used for cemetery purposes, large quantities of it being shipped to San Francisco for that use. It is a fine, close grain, and when cut and trimmed is very handsome, being also fitted for general building purposes.
The coal deposits of the township will be found treated on among the industrial enterprises of the town of Livermore, as well as in the chapter on the geology and mineralogy of the county.
[page 459] MINERAL SPRINGS. - These abound throughout the township, the most common being those impregnated with white sulphur, but there are several containing salt, alkali, and iron. On the farm of J. A. Neal, near Pleasanton, are a number of springs, one of which is impregnated with iron and magnesia, and the remainder with white sulphur, all being highly extolled for their curative properties and much resorted to by dwellers in the vicinity for their health. About half a mile from the Mountain House there is a spring impregnated with sulphur which we are informed possesses the property of petrification, while, a mile and a half away, in another direction are several more, containing iron, borax, etc.
MEXICAN GRANTS - The Mexican Grants, wholly or partly in this township, consisted of the San Ramon, four square leagues and eighteen hundred varas, granted to J. M. Amador in 1835; confirmed by the Commission, August 1, 1854; and by the District Court, January 14, 1857; extent in acres 16,516.96. The Santa Rita granted April 10, 1839, to J. D. Pacheco; rejected by the Commission April 25, 1854; confirmed by the District Court August 13, 1855; and decree affirmed by United States Supreme Court; 8,885.67 acres. El Valle de San José, granted to Antonio Maria Pico, April 10, 1839; confirmed to Antonio Suñol et al., by Commission January 31, 1854; by the District Court January 14, 1856; 51,572.25 acres. Las Positas, two square leagues, granted April 10, 1839, to Salvio Pacheco; confirmed by Commission to José Noriega and Robert Livermore, February 14, 1854, and by the District Court February 18, 1859. Cañada de los Vaqueros (mostly in Contra Costa County) granted February 29, 1842, to Francisco Alviso, et al., confirmed to Robert Livermore by Commission September 4, 1855, and by the District Court December 28, 1857.
EARLY SETTLEMENT. - Before committing ourselves to a history of the early settlement of Murray Township it is proper to state that it received its name in the month of June, 1853, when the county of Alameda was created from that of Contra Costa, its sponsor being Michael Murray, one of its pioneer settlers, of whom we shall have occasion to speak farther on. Let us now take up the chronological order of events so far as we have been able to gather them. Would it were possible to banish grim death, preserve the ancient colonist in his pristine vigor, and retain him with his memory unimpaired; were such things possible, then 'twould be an easy task to pen the recollections of the courageous men who were the harbingers of joy and comfort to what is now a fruitful district and a contented people.
As far back as fifty-seven years ago - the year 1826 - Don José Maria Amador settled in the valley which afterwards received his name, and soon after constructed an adobe house on the site of the present residence of C. P. Dougherty. We have been unable to learn the date of the erection of this building, but on the present owner's father, J. W. Dougherty, acquiring the lands in or about 1852 or 1853 he took possession of the house and resided in it until the earthquake of July 3, 1863, when it was so rudely shaken that it was found necessary to abandon it and erect tile present residence.
Don José Maria Amador is still alive, having reached the ripe old age of one hundred and six years, and as we write, Christmas, 1882, he is visiting friends in [page 460] San Francisco, having made the journey thither from Watsonville, Santa Cruz County. He is described as retaining his intellectual capacity to a marked degree. Such being the case, what changes must he have noted. When he first saw the light the United States of America had but just declared her independence and the Mission Dolores been established on the peninsula of San Francisco. When he was sixteen years of age the Pueblo de San José was founded. As he grew to man's estate he held high office under the Spanish and Mexican authorities, and when fifty years old he took up his residence in what is now a portion of Alameda County, but then known as the Contra Costa. When he arrived he found the country wild in the extreme; neither habitation nor cultivation met the eye. The wild cattle of the Mission San José roamed at will over the mountains and valleys; the Indian held undisputed sway over the soil of which he was the primeval monarch; the mountains and gorges teemed with game, both feathered and four-footed; and the inaccessible crags and timbered hollows were the lair of the beast of prey. This was solitude indeed!
The next settlement within the present borders of Murray Township was by Robert Livermore, whose name is a household word with the early Californian.
Robert Livermore was born in Bethnal Green, a suburb of London, England, in the year 1799. In his youth, feeling the restraints of home somewhat keenly, and the curb of filial duty slightly strained, he shipped as a cabin boy on board of a vessel and ultimately found himself in a Peruvian port. Here he joined the fleet of that nation, then under command of the redoubtable British Admiral Cochrane, afterwards Earl of Dundonald, but here finding the discipline of the navy too taut, he made his escape and found his way to Monterey in a hide-drogher. There are divers statements current as to the date of his coming to California, but we are inclined to the belief, and upon very reliable testimony, that it was in the year 1820, seven years after that of John Gilroy, the first Anglo-Saxon settler in the country. In the course of time, probably in the same year or that following, he arrived in the Pueblo de San José. where he soon made friends, chiefly on account of his sunny disposition, and tarried for a space, working on the ranch of Juan Alvarez and acquiring the Spanish tongue. He next proceeded to the Rancho Agua Caliente, or Warm Springs, and becoming acquainted with the family of Fulgencio Higuera afterwards found favor in the eyes of a daughter of the house whom he subsequently married. While resident in San José, he formed acquaintanceship with José Noriega, a Spaniard, and with him went to the valley which has since taken its name from the Suñol family where he located, built an abode, in a small way entered upon the cultivation of the soil, and embarked in stock-raising. It is presumable that in his wanderings after his cattle or game he became familiarized with the locality, and from the summit of one of the adjacent "lomas" first cast longing and loving eyes upon the fair vale which bears his name today, and whither he moved in the year 1835. From that period can be dated the first step toward the permanent settlement and development of the valley. Livermore at once devoted his attention, almost exclusively, to the raising of horned cattle, horses, and sheep. For the first few years he was greatly harassed by Indians, who stole and slaughtered his cattle and even rendered it unsafe at times for himself and family to remain in their wilderness home. On such occasions they sought [page 461] protection under the hospitable roof of Don José Maria Amador, which was rarely molested.
In the year 1839 the Rancho Las Positas was granted to Don Salvio Pacheco who also owned the Rancho Monte del Diablo, but he, during the early part of that year, transferred his interest to Livermore and Noriega who took possession thereof April 10, 1835. That same year they erected an adobe house near the Positas Creek, which stood until about the year 1875, when it was torn down. Here it was on this grant of two leagues of land that Livermore fixed his permanent abode and commenced a life that was truly patriarchal. In a few years his flocks and herds were counted by thousands, while they roamed about at will over a territory that vied in magnitude with many a principality. True it is that he was surrounded on every hand by frequent dangers, but these would appear to have added zest to his life. His eminent courage and infectious good-nature, however, soon made him friends among the families of the ranchos, who, although the distances were magnificent, he frequently visited, indeed it was not long ere he became one of themselves. In 1844 he planted a vineyard as well as a pear, apple, and olive orchard on the flat near his house, while he also raised wheat - the first produced in the valley - and by means of a ditch, the track of which is still to be seen, brought water from the Positas Springs for the purpose of irrigation. In addition to the occupation given to these enterprises, he killed his cattle for their hides and tallow - the meat not being salable was left on the ground - the latter of which he made in a large copper kettle which is still extant on the ranch of his son. When not engaged in this wise it is related that he turned his attention to the manufacture of bear's grease from savage grizzlies that had fallen victims to his unerring rifle.
Thus dwelt Robert Livermore for nearly fifteen years in the splendid valley which bears his name, while his cattle roamed untamed from the Amador Valley to the San Joaquin River. Here he brought up a family of sons and daughters, lived in peace with all men, unmolested and honored, little dreaming what a few years would bring to pass, and how the face of his beloved adopted country would be changed.
It should be mentioned that on September 14, 1846, Livermore purchased the Cañada de los Vaqueros grant, the greater portion of which lies within the boundaries of Contra Costa County. This rancho was originally granted in the year 1836 to Miranda Higuera and Francisco Alviso, and comprised three square leagues of land, or thirteen thousand three hundred and twenty acres.
Of the original grantees of land, J. D. Pacheco received in 1839 the Santa Rita Rancho, located between that of San Ramon and Las Positas, but we are not aware that he ever placed any building of a permanent nature thereupon, although it was occupied in 1844 by Francisco Alviso as major-domo; while about the same time, towards the east end of Livermore Valley, grants of land were made to Antonio Maria Pico, Antonio Suñol, and Augustin Bernal.
And now came the discovery of gold, with its accompanying influx of people of every tongue and from every clime. Well it was for many of them that a man like Robert Livermore had pitched his tent on one of the direct routes between San Francisco and the mines. Here was he wont to extend an unstinting hospitality to all. The immigrants found him ever ready to hold out the right hand of fellowship, to fill [page 462] their exhausted larders, and otherwise aid them with practical knowledge of an unknown country. This discovery of gold was also the means of bringing to him communication with people speaking his native tongue, and brought him forcibly back to his youthful days.
The first landmark of these post-halcyon days that we have been able to discover was erected in the year 1849, on the site of the Mountain House, not far from the spot where the three counties of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, and Alameda come to a point. It took the form of a "Blue Tent," and being on the direct road to the mines was opened and kept as a house of entertainment by one Thomas Goodale, or Goodall. Here McLeod's stage from Stockton changed horses, while for ten years it was a kind of special camp for stockmen, rancheros, and immigrants. Goodale, or Goodall, subsequently constructed an adobe house, in the building of which he employed Indians, and this edifice Simon Zimmerman occupied for twenty-seven years, when he added to it in 1868, by putting a frame building in front thereof, finally, however, pulling it down and erecting the residence now occupied by him on its site. Other than Goodale, we cannot find that the population was in any way increased in the memorable year of 1849.
Of the events that occurred in the year 1850, save that there was a small augmentation to the number of settlers, there is nothing to relate. In April of this year, Augustin Bernal brought up his family from Santa Clara County, built an adobe house, that now in the possession of Captain Chadbourne, on the west side of Laguna Creek, and there took up his residence. About the same time Michael Murray, after whom the township is named, located near where Dublin now stands, built the house and planted the orchard now owned by John Green, while with him came one Jeremiah Fallon, who settled on the place now occupied by his widow, in the Amador Valley. Also in this year there came to the township four brothers named Patterson and located in what is known as Patterson Pass. One of these, Nathaniel Greene Patterson, still a much respected resident of the township, perceiving from the great amount of travel on the road the necessity for a hostelry, conceived the idea of opening an hotel; for which purpose he rented the Livermore adobe and started the first permanent house of entertainment in the district. In this year, too, José Suñol came up to reside on his father's possessions, while there also dwelt there as major-domo an old Mexican named Diego Celaya. The house occupied was situated on what is now the land of Mr. Ruggles, a portion of the building being used as a kitchen. In this year we also find Joshua A. Neal as a resident major-domo for Robert Livermore, while it is thought that it was in 1850 that A. Bardellini, the subsequent proprietor of the Washington Hotel in Livermore, first cast his lot in the district.
The year 1851 is noteworthy as that in which the first frame building was erected within the boundary of the township. During that spring such a structure was built by Robert Livermore, the lumber therefor having been brought from one of the Atlantic States around the Horn to San Francisco and thence transported with much difficulty to its future resting-place. Seven hundred dollars was paid for its construction, the carpenter work being done by John Strickland and John Teirney. A portion of the building is still standing and is known as the "Old Livermore House." At this period more people commenced to settle than had done so formerly, among those being [page 463] that worthy gentleman and scholar, John W. Kottinger. From this pioneer, with whom we had a most interesting conversation and from whom we gained much valuable information, we learn that he came to the township in the month of August, 1851, and found already located an Englishman named Strickland, presumably the one already mentioned, lived five miles from Pleasanton on the El Valle Creek; near to him dwelt a trapper and hunter named Cook, and Francisco Alviso resided on the eastern bank of the Laguna Creek. In this year also, Juan P. Bernal commenced building his residence on the east side of the Laguna Creek and completed it in 1852, it being the habitation lately occupied by Joseph Black. On the bank of the stream known as the Old San Joaquin, in 1851, Thomas McLaughlin located, he being still a resident there engaged in fishing, while about that time, or shortly thereafter, Edward Carroll and a man named Wright took up a claim in the section known as Corral Hollow, where also in the same season Captain Jack O'Brien, commenced sheep-raising. Alphonso Ladd and his family also settled in Suñol Valley in 1851, where he built a two-story frame building, which he occupied until removing to and founding Laddsville, the eastern portion of the present town of Livermore, while Mr. Kottinger built unto himself the frame building now standing on the east side of Main Street, in the village of Pleasanton and occupied by Henry Strang.
Thus are we brought to the year 1852, one which saw the acquiring of a vast tract of land by American capital, for it is at this period that J. W. Dougherty came to the township and purchased the lands of Don José Maria Amador, which still remain in the hands of his son. Mr. Dougherty was a native of Tennessee, and as we have elsewhere said occupied the original Amador "adobe" until its being rendered uninhabitable by an earthquake. In this year, too, the Señors Lorenzo and Juan Suñol moved up into the Suñol Valley. These gentlemen were nephews of the grantee, and resided there for only about four years.
The year 1853 is a momentous one in the annals of the district now under consideration, for on January 6th it received its baptismal rites and by metes and bounds became an accomplished fact as Murray Township, what these boundaries were will be found on page 171 of this work. On that same date Robert Livermore was appointed Supervisor for the township. During that year (perhaps in the following) Greene Patterson erected a frame house about two miles southeast from where the town of Livermore now stands, while about the same time R. W. Defrees built and opened a caravansary on the main road about one mile west from the residence of Mr. Livermore. Not long after - in the same year - Thomas Hart came to the district, was employed by Livermore for some time, and in 1854 bought the hostelry mentioned above and called it the "Half-way House," it being popularly supposed to have been equidistant between Oakland, Stockton, and San José. Here Hart resided until 1860, when he removed to the town of Livermore, where he died in 1871. Among the settlers who came to the township in 1853 we have the name of John Whitman, who with his family took up his residence on the west side of Laguna Creek on land near Pleasanton now owned by Charles Duerr.
In 1854, during the autumn, Richard T. Pope came to the township, settled on part of the ranch now owned by J. P. Smith, and there engaged in stock-raising for eleven years, when, disposing of his property, he moved to the location he now occupies. [page 464] Mr. Pope says that when he came to the township he found Messrs. Grover and Glascock occupying a portion of the ranch where Mr. Smith now is; Ben. Williams was also living there; while John G. Griffith was on the place now owned by Mr. Black. In this year J. West Martin and others came to the section of country near Pleasanton and were the first to embark in farming upon a considerable scale two years later on the land now occupied by Abijah Baker. In the Spring of the year Simon Zimmerman located at the Mountain House, where he now resides, on the Stockton road fourteen miles from Livermore, but as we have already told the tale connected therewith we need not further trespass upon the time of the reader.
In 1855 Hiram Bailey, a carpenter, came over to Livermore Valley from Contra Costa to erect a dwelling-house for Joseph, son of Robert Livermore, in the eastern end of the valley, and here has he since made his home. In or about this year, or early in 1856, Frank Heare came to the place now known as Midway and settled in what was called the "Zinc House;" while F. W. Lucas it is said settled near Mr. Pope.
It has been estimated that at this period there were fully fifty thousand head of cattle and horses in the township, besides immense bands of sheep in the hills and mountains. Very few attempts at agriculture had been made, it being generally believed that the soil would produce nothing but grass. At Livermore's place, Alisal (Pleasanton) and Amador's both grain and vegetables had been raised, but in a very small way. Everybody in the valley was interested in stock- raising, and no other industry was in operation, nor hardly thought of. In the year 1856, however, the first blow toward the complete revolution of the industrial interests of the district was struck. Joseph Livermore had some time previously fenced a hundred-and-sixty-acre field on the Positas Grant, including a portion of the ranch now owned by Almon Weymouth, and that year sowed the same to wheat. This was the first field of grain ever raised in the Livermore Valley. In this year among the new-comers we have the names of Thomas Rafferty, J. L. Bangs, and Michael McCollier, while to this year is also the honor of seeing the first educational establishment in the township erected. It was placed about three-quarters of a mile south from Dublin and was first taught by M. G. Higgins.
In the Spring of 1857 Joseph Black and two brothers named Carrick began raising wheat in the west end of Livermore Valley, the first-named gentleman putting in four hundred acres on the ranch of Jeremiah Fallon and the brothers a like amount on the Dougherty estate, adjoining. In the Summer of 1857 Robert Livermore began sinking an artesian well near his residence. George Duel, a traveling well-borer, had charge of the work, which lasted seven months, and, owing to the high charges for labor and prices of material at the time, cost a very large sum. A depth of about seven hundred feet had been reached at the time of Mr. Livermore's death; at which period the work was abandoned. At that sounding the water came within ten feet of the surface. A cross-pipe was put in and a flowing stream of water brought out on the hill-side below the house. The cost of this well (which is still flowing), was not less than five thousand dollars.
The year 1858 is a sad one in the history of Murray Township. Robert Livermore, the pioneer par excellence of that district departed this life on the fourteenth day of February. [page 465] For over a quarter of a century had he dwelt within the hill-begirted valley which took his name, beloved and honored by all with whom he came in contact. A sturdy and adventurous argonaut he wrested that beautiful vale from the possession of the wily and murderous savage and paved the way for the onward march of civilization. The level plains where his countless herds stood to the breast in wild oats and clover, and the ribbed foot-hills, which offered him safety when pursued by the savage and relentless Indian foe, know him no more. Savage and herds have disappeared, never to return. Civilization has come and peopled the wilderness as with magic wand. Livermore was a good, brave, and enterprising mail. Surrounded as he was by a class to whom the word "enterprise," or its signification, was almost a stranger, he displayed that quality to a most remarkable degree. Thousands upon thousands were spent by him upon improvements of which another man in his position would never have thought. His house was always open to the traveler, and many are now living who can testify to his hospitality. Then, all honor to Robert Livermore; and let his name endure in the hearts of the people as long as lasts the beautiful valley he loved so well.
In the fall of 1858 Supervisor John Green came to the township and found, near where Dublin now stands, Edward Horan on a portion of the Dougherty property; four miles to the eastward lived William Murray, while about the same time John Martin and his family came up from San Mateo County and located among the rolling hills about a mile and a half from Dublin; and not long after James F. Kapp and Robert Graham settled in the township.
Among those who arrived in 1859 was Adam Fath, who located on land now owned by Charles McLaughlin, about six miles from Livermore, while in this year the first church in the township was erected in the neighborhood of Green's Hotel, in Dublin.
In the year 1860 Mr. Zimmerman started a school in his residence already mentioned, which was first taught by Miss White. The following year, however, it was transferred to a position on the plain about two miles and a half north of its former locale, but still bears its original euphonious name of Mountain House. In this year Lysander Stone and William Meek came to the township, while it was in 1860 the first town in Murray Township was started. This is the hamlet of Dublin, whose history will be found further on, and which had the honor of harboring Michael Murray and J. W. Dougherty for several years. In the year 1860 Hiram Bailey sowed eighty acres of wheat on the Positas Grant, three miles north of Livermore, and in the same year Joseph Black rented four hundred acres from Dougherty in addition to that he was already farming on the Fallon Ranch. In that year, also, S. B. Martin, who had in 1854 purchased the Santa Rita Rancho, increased his sowing area by several hundred acres.
During 1861 the acreage of sowed land was increased by Alexander Esdon by a thousand acres, situated next to Joseph Black's place on the Dougherty estate, while Hiram Bailey, too, added to his farming operations.
In 1862, when Charles Hadsell came to the Suñol Valley, he found the old portion of the house in which he now resides, but a short time before evacuated by Narcisco, son of Don Antonio Suñol, but it had been previously occupied by the eldest [page 466] son, who was murdered, in the spring of 1855, near the Mission San José. The Argenti Hotel was then kept by a Frenchman named Bertrand. George Buttner lived where he does at present, while Samuel Bonner resided near where Suñol Station now is; farther down the Laguna Creek was Isaac Trough, and not far from him was a man named Higgins. In this year wheat-raising was in full progress in the west end of Livermore Valley; fences sprung up everywhere, stock was crowded up towards the Livermore Ranch (which was then thought unfit for agricultural purposes) and flour-producing grain became an established fact, the. yield, in many instances, being enormous, while the general average was about a ton to the acre. The number of cattle was still on the increase, there being in that year no fewer than eight thousand head of calves branded on the rancho of the Bernals. In 1863, 4 the settlers who came to the township we have been enabled to learn of John Booken, Amos S. Bangs, and Maas Lueders.
In 1863-64, that commonly known as the "dry year," two brothers named Bean farmed about four hundred acres of the Bernal Grant, two miles southeast of the Livermore House, where the yield of grain was immense. At this period, too, John W. Kottinger sold some lots where now is the town of Pleasanton, to Jake Teeters, William Whittner, and Doctor Goucher, who at once built houses and started in their several occupations of blacksmith, carpenter, and medical practitioner.
In the year 1864 that excellent citizen and pioneer of 1846, William M. Mendenhall took up his abode near Livermore, where he has since resided - one of its foremost residents; and in this year the Pleasanton School, which stood to the south of Mrs. McLaughlin's house, was opened, under the tuition of a Mr. Powell. This year George May purchased a ranch on the grant near the east end of Livermore Valley, and put in two hundred acres of wheat, which produced an enormous crop, although scarcely any one had faith in the experiment, while that same season Richard Threlfall of Centreville leased four hundred acres adjoining Bean's, from which he had a large yield.
Encouraged by these results the sowing season of 1865-66 opened auspiciously, while the demands for land largely increased. Threlfall sowed one thousand seven hundred acres in the eastern end of Livermore Valley, belonging to Francisco Aurocoechea; Alexander Esdon bought six hundred acres of the Rancho el Valle de San José, or Bernal Grant, adjoining the ranch the former had farmed during the previous year, and sowed it all. He also farmed a large tract on the Dougherty property, thus making his lands under crop that season twenty-eight hundred acres. In this year a school was opened where now stands Scott's store, near Suñol, under the direction of Mrs. Sam. Brown, while among those who arrived and made their permanent homes within the limits of the township, we have the names of Doctor I. N. Mark, Frederick and Charles Rose, Martin Mendenhall, Hugh Dougherty, and Peter McKeany.
Thus far is it our intention to bring the settlement of Murray Township. We think the chief points in its history have been attained, and with considerable correctness, be it for the reader to endorse that statement.
The large yield produced by the lands above enumerated, which only a few years before had been deemed worthless, except for pastoral purposes, could not but induce [page 467] a large immigration. Settlers came in great numbers, and either by purchase or pre-emption located in the district in every direction. There was one drawback, however, to the immediate development and improvement of the country; this was the uncertainty of land titles. The chief cause of this was doubt regarding the boundaries of the Positas or Livermore Grant. The United States Patent, which was issued February 18, 1859, granted "two leagues, more or less," within certain boundaries. The limits described, however, contained upwards of eleven leagues, which amount was claimed by the heirs of Robert Livermore. On March 1, 1871, this matter was definitely settled by the approval of the second Dyer Survey (two leagues) by the Commissioner of the General Land Office at Washington, in accordance with a decision by the Secretary of the Interior, a decision which threw open for peaceable pre-emption a large extent of country, and, coming as it did immediately after the completion of the railroad through the valley, resulted in bringing in a large population. Towns sprung up as if by magic; every year widened the extent of the grain-fields, and witnessed the building of new homes. As will always follow, the stock interests had given way before the plow of the sturdy husbandman, and the hut of the Mexican vaquero was supplanted by the cozy cottage of the tiller of the soil.
The lover of the beautiful in Nature can spend many delightful days in Murray Township and its cañons. Here can be found every variety of scenery, from the broad but quiet panorama of valley and foot-hill to the wild, rugged mountain gorge hemmed in by ridges a thousand feet in height, and adown the bed of which, at times during the winter months, roll torrents of water in many a beautiful cascade.
ALTAMONT. - This hamlet is situated some eight miles east of Livermore and is on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad. It derives its name from its position in the Livermore Pass, it being seven hundred and forty-nine feet above the level of the sea. When William H. Wright came there and settled, in the fall of 1869, he found an hotel, kept by Edward Hobler, about a quarter of a mile above the present site of the village, and which had been built in the spring of 1868. Of the residents in the vicinity at the time there were John Campbell, a quarter of a mile below the village, where he located in 1868; E. Cockerton dwelt where he does now, about a mile and a half to the northwest, who also came in 1868; near him resided Nicholas Shearer, who afterwards lost his life in the Modoc war; there was no house between Altamont and Livermore; Alexander McKelvey lived on the place now occupied by Thomas Ryder, while near to them was Thomas Gunn.
Before 1868 there was no agricultural farming in the section, the land being almost all taken up by sheep runs, among the sheep-raisers being Charles Hobler, now a wealthy resident of Fresno County, who commenced that pursuit in 1864. The store in the hamlet was opened by William H. Wright, in 1872, and during the same year he put up his dwelling-house. In 1870 the school house was erected, since when it has been considerably enlarged, the first teacher being Miss Lelia Stone; while the same year saw the erection of the depot, which was placed under charge of E. Bridgeman.
Altamont consists of only about a dozen houses, but in its neighborhood is an extensive and excellent quarry of building-stone, which only needs development to become extremely valuable. [page 468] The little hamlet is situated in the midst of an undulating country, capable of the highest cultivation.
DUBLIN. - This village is situated on the main traveled road between Oakland and Stockton, and about nine miles due west of Livermore. Here it was that Don José Maria Amador erected his adobe, which afterwards passed into the hands of J. W. Dougherty; and here also was it that Michael Murray, the godfather of the township, pitched his tent. Other than these residences, the first house built in the hamlet was by John Green, who opened a store in 1860 on the site now occupied by the Amador Valley Hotel, and where the stages running between Oakland and Stockton, and San José and Martinez, changed horses. Six months later Scarlett & Grandlees put up what is now Marsh's Hotel, and thus the little village had its start. Here, in 1856, the first school in Murray Township was opened, and here the Roman Catholic denomination built, in 1859, a commodious church, near which is the only Catholic cemetery in the township. At one time Dublin was a place of considerable business activity, but the building of the railroad drew trade away from it, and left it naught but its departed glories. The soil in the vicinity possesses great fertility, there being within a few miles of the village several thousand acres of as rich land as is to be found on the Pacific Coast.
It is not precisely known how this place got its name. We fail to find a stream running through its center answering to the Liffey of Ireland's capital. It is said that in this locality most of the early settlers hailed from the "Green Ould Isle," and thus the only two clusters of houses were respectively named Dublin and Limerick (San Ramon) by the facetious American, but, mutato nomine - the name being changed - the first is occasionally called by the possibly less Hibernian cognomen of Dougherty's Station!
LIVERMORE. - With hills on every side and planted in the heart of the valley of the same name, stands the town of Livermore, which needs no spirit of prophecy to say whence came its title. Here have we truly a large inland city in embryo, and on every hand the necessary desiderata to make it so. It is located partly on two grants - the Las Positas and El Valle de San José - and sprang into life in the year 1869 with the advent of the Central Pacific Railroad. A portion of it known as Laddsville was a town before then; it is our purpose now to commence with its foundation.
We have already shown that in the year 1850 there came to the township and settled in the Suñol Valley one Alphonso Ladd. In the spring of 1864 he pre-empted a quarter-section of land near the "Old Livermore House," and on it erected for himself a small dwelling, which was the initial building in the place called Laddsville, and within the limits of the present town of Livermore. Later he commenced the construction of an hotel, the lumber for which he brought from Mowry's Landing, and completed it that fall. This was a fine frame building, costing a good deal of money. It, however, fell a prey to the devouring element during the year 1876, leaving naught but blackened ruins to mark its site. Having thus formed the nucleus of a town, he soon found neighbors. In the month of September Adam Fath built a dwelling-house not far from Ladd's, and occupied it, while, in a short time after, [page 469] a Spaniard named Alexander Mesa opened a saloon, that accessory to a rising place thought more necessary than church or school. The first store was started in the winter of 1865, by Henry Goetjen, who built a little house on the side of the rising ground above Ladd's, and he was followed in the next season by a blacksmith from Haywards, who setup his shop near to him. At this time, 1866, it was found necessary to do something by way of educating the rising generation, therefore a subscription was raised, a school district organized, a school house built, and Miss Weeks placed in charge thereof. In that winter, December 1866, the first free or public school was opened with J. M. Ginn as teacher. In 1867 Mesa's house was bought by Ladd, who moved it into the town, and the following year R. W. Graham, of Haywards, erected a large building near Ladd's Hotel, and commenced operations in it as a dealer in general merchandise, where he also conducted the first post-office. Next came the Italian restaurant of Anton Bardellini, and about the same time a man named Elliott opened a livery-stable. Israel Horton then built the first house used exclusively as a dwelling, while it was quickly followed by the store of Joseph Harris, the drug-store of Knight & Sproul, Booken's saloon, and other buildings. In 1868 Beazell & Crowell erected their blacksmith-shop, which was followed soon after by the residence of A. J. McLeod. The first child born in Laddsville was Elsie, daughter of Israel Horton.
Above we have tried to enumerate the first buildings on what is now the south side of the railroad track, and the McLeod addition of the town of Livermore. Let us now turn to the growth of that town itself.
During the summer of 1869 the line of the Central Pacific Railroad was pushed through the valley and the first depot located about half a mile to the west of Laddsville, the first train having made its appearance in August of that year. In the previous July William M. Mendenhall, already mentioned as a pioneer of pioneers, owning a large tract to the west of Laddsville, presented twenty acres to the railroad company, on which to place the depot, and had a town site surveyed, which he called Livermore, in perpetuation of the name of the hardy old settler. This was the signal for a grand building excitement, the first to commence being C. J. Stevens, who constructed his grist-mill there in the year 1869. This enterprise, which was originally started in Union City, or Alvarado, at a very early date, had its day of usefulness, and was burned to the ground on the night of October 16, 1882. Mr. Stevens' action was quickly followed by the store of A. J. McLeod, now occupied by his sons, the Livermore Hotel, R. B. Campbell's private residence, and others, such as Mendenhall's warehouse, and Whitmore's store. In the following year, 1870, a piece of ground situated on the Arroyo Mocho was donated by W. M. Mendenhall for the purposes of a collegiate institution, which was erected in the same year with the style of the "Livermore Collegiate Institute," which is justly a pride to the inhabitants, and of which an interesting history will be found elsewhere, while February 12, 1871, saw the organization of the "First Presbyterian Church of Livermore," with the appointment of Daniel Inman, W. B. Kingsbury, Jesse Bowles, F. A. Anthony, and Hiram Bailey as Trustees. In the month of November of this year the fiery fiend laid low the principal portion of Laddsville, which caused the business of that place to be transferred to the new town, and gave to it a great impetus. [page 470] In 1874 a Roman Catholic church was erected, while in 1873 the Odd Fellows raised their building two stories high, and the Presbyterians built their neat little church edifice.
Between 1870 and 1872 the population of the town and its business had doubled, while we are happy to say that its prosperity remains unimpaired. In May, 1874, the first newspaper was started and called the Enterprise. On February 1, 1877, it came under the management of W. P. Bartlett, as editor and proprietor, when the name was changed to the Livermore Herald, which will be found more fully described elsewhere. In 1875 water was brought from the Las Positas Springs by the Livermore Spring Water Company, and distributed through the town.
On April 30, 1876, by the Act of the Legislature entitled "An Act to incorporate the town of Livermore, Alameda County," the people of that place became incorporated within the following boundaries: "Commencing at the southeast corner of the north half of the northwest quarter of section nine, township three south, range two east, Mount Diablo base and meridian; running thence along the southerly line of said north half of the northwest quarter of section nine, township three south, range two east, and along said line produced one and one-fourth miles to a point; thence southerly and at right angles to said last-named line one and one-fourth miles, or thereabouts, to a point in the southerly line of plat eighteen, of the rancho El Valle de San José, as defined and laid down in the final decree of partition of said rancho; thence easterly and along said last-named line one and one-fourth miles to a point; thence northerly in a direct line to the point of commencement." At this time the population was by census determined to be eight hundred and thirty, and the number of buildings two hundred and thirty-four, since when the growth of the town has been steady.
As incorporated the town site contains eight hundred and forty acres, which is surveyed off into four distinct plats, as follows: The Mendenhall plat, or original town; the McLeod addition, the Waterman addition, and the Smith-Grant addition. Upon the first-named is located the larger portion of the town. The McLeod and Waterman additions contain substantial improvements, and there is little doubt but their growth will be rapid. The Smith-Grant addition was surveyed in 1878 by the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company, but only a portion of it is located within the town limits, that outside being divided into homestead plots of several acres each.
The population of the town is, at the present writing, upwards of fifteen hundred, while the number of buildings has increased in like proportion since the census of 1876.
The site of the town is one of the finest to be found on the coast. It is a gently sloping plain bounded by low hills on the north and the Arroyo Mocho on the south, the banks of which abound with oak and sycamore trees of great size. The soil is a gravelly loam, good for garden purposes, and most favorable to the growth of trees, both fruit and ornamental. Mud is almost unknown - a few hours after the most violent rain-storm the streets are free of water and in good condition.
The business portion of the town is compactly built, generally in a substantial manner. The brick block of Messrs. M. Waterman & Co., built in 1874, is one of the finest mercantile establishments outside of Oakland. The residences are generally neat and attractive. The public school building is a two-story, eight-room edifice, [page 471] and cost upwards of nine thousand dollars, with its furniture, the block on which it stands having been presented by William M. Mendenhall. just south of the town, on the bank of the Arroyo Mocho, is the Collegiate Institute, where pupils from all parts of the Pacific Coast obtain a thorough scholastic training. Its hotels are comfortable, its streets well kept, and its surroundings beautiful.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. - This church was organized on the 12th day of February, 1871, at a meeting held in a school house located in the old town of Laddsville, by Rev. W. W. Brier (who for several months previous had preached semimonthly, under direction of the Board of Home Missions), with nine members, W. B. Kingsbury, Horace R. Huie, Morton P. Scott, F. A. Anthony, Owen Owens, Mrs. F. A. Bias, Mrs. Mary M. Huie, Mrs. Margaret Scott, Mrs. Helen S. Kingsbury. H. R. Huie and Owen Owens were ordained as elders. Five Trustees were chosen by the congregation, as follows: D. Inman, Jessie Bowles, Hiram Bailey, W. B. Kingsbury, and F. A. Anthony. Continued to hold services in school house until the spring of 1872, when, by vote of the congregation, they moved to the College school building, then kept by W. B. Kingsbury, now occupied by J. D. Smith, where regular services were held until February 1, 1873, W. W. Brier acting as supply. Owing to the distance from the town of the College building, Exchange Hall was secured and occupied until July 26, 1874, Rev. C. W. Anthony, brother of F. A. Anthony, a graduate of the State University and a student in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, located in San Francisco, having preached several times while a licentiate. A meeting was held April 6, 1873, and a call extended, which was accepted, and soon after graduating, July 1, 1873, he commenced his labors as pastor, and continued until August 31, 1879, when he resigned, and soon after moved with his family to Illinois. June 16, 1872, by vote of the Trustees, it was resolved to enlarge the Board to nine members instead of five, and to take steps toward building a church. D. Inman, Jessie Bowles, F. A. Anthony, C. J. Stevens, Owen Owens, Hiram Bailey, H. R. Huie, W. W. Wynn, and Wm. M. Mendenhall were elected, but not until the last of 1873 was anything accomplished toward building. On the 8th of December, 1873, A. D. Spivalo Esq., of San Francisco, gave lots one and two, and the church bought lot three, block thirty-seven, paying seventy-five dollars for it, the contract having been let on December 1, 1873, to Messrs. Freeman, Conkrite, & Harrington, to build and complete the outside of the church, for two thousand dollars, estimated to seat two hundred and fifty. Application having been made to the Board of Church Erection for aid, which was given, amounting to eight hundred dollars currency, it was then decided to complete the same and furnish it, which was done at an entire cost of about three thousand five hundred dollars. Dedicated July 26, 1874, Rev. Dr. Scott of St. Johns Church, San Francisco, preaching the sermon, assisted by Rev. W. W. Brier, and the pastor, Rev. C. W. Anthony. After the resignation of Mr. Anthony the church was without a regular pastor until November 23, 1879, when a call was extended to Rev. Joseph Hemphill, a licentiate of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, which was accepted, and he commenced his labors January 4, 1880, and continued until March, 1881. On July 24, 1881, Rev. P. F. Phelps, of First Church, San Francisco, received a call, accepted, and now fills the pulpit. Present Trustees, W. W. Wynn, Dr. W. S. Taylor, John Armstrong, W. F. Mitchell, [page 472] J. R. Swartz, L. Laughlin, F. R. Fassett, F. A. Anthony, W. W. Colestock. Elders, Wm. Anthony, W. W. Wynn, Dr. W. S. Taylor, and W. W. Colestock. Superintendent of Sunday-school, W. W. Wynn.
LIVERMORE COLLEGE. - Livermore College, the only private institution of learning in the east end of Alameda County, is situated on the north bank of the Arroyo Mocho, a wooded stream skirting the suburbs of the bustling town of Livermore. The main college building is three stories in height, is flanked by lesser additions, and numerous out-buildings, and surrounded by shaded and beautifully kept grounds. Located as it is, in the very center of mountain-locked Livermore Valley, the view from the cupola of the building is very extensive, and one of the most beautiful in the State. Livermore College was founded in 1870 by Dr. and Mrs. Kingsbury. The site, of six acres (which has since been increased by purchase), was presented by Wm. M. Mendenhall, and the cost of the building was largely defrayed by the assistance of residents of the valley, and the then incipient town. In 1875 the premises were purchased by Prof. J. D. Smith, then an instructor in Washington College, who has continued as owner and principal, to the present time. Its pupils are about fifty in number, of both sexes, and from every part of the Pacific Coast. The principal is an experienced teacher, and excellent disciplinarian, and always employs assistants of acknowledged learning and ability. Graduates of this institution are now to be found all over the State, engaged in various occupations, with almost uniform success.
LIVERMORE PUBLIC SCHOOL. - The first public school in Livermore was organized in May, 1866, and taught by Miss Esther Weeks, now Mrs. Babb, of Washington Corners. School opened with thirteen pupils, six of whom were children of George May, who was one of the trustees. A school house, twenty-four by thirty-six feet, had been erected during the autumn of 1865 by Israel Horton, the cost of which was met chiefly by subscription. The house was located not far from the big oaks near the old Livermore House on the Dublin road, about a mile and a half northwest from what is now the town. A short time before the school opened a dancing party was held in the school house, to raise money to procure desks. It seems to have been a great success, as the people came from all parts of the surrounding country, and even from as far away as Antioch. The second teacher was J. W. Guinn, now of Los Angeles, and well known as a prominent educator in the State. In the spring of 1869 the house was moved east of the town to a lot given by A. J. McLeod, and in the following year another building was erected on the same lot for another department, to meet the demands of the growing school. F. R. Fassett was then placed in charge of the school, with Miss Brier (now Mrs. Fassett), as teacher of the primary department. Not long after a dispute arose with reference to the land title, and it became necessary to remove the buildings again. W. M. Mendenhall then donated to the district the block of land bounded by Fifth, Sixth, I and J Streets, and to this site, which is still the location of the school, both buildings were moved. In a few years the number of pupils so far exceeded the accommodations that new and larger rooms became necessary, accordingly, the old buildings were sold, one of which is now doing duty as J. F. Meyers' carpenter shop on Fifth Street, [page 473] the other as a saloon on Mill Square. The present school building was erected in 1877. It is fifty by eighty feet, two stories high and designed for eight rooms, with ample hallways, etc. The four rooms on the lower floor were sufficient for the demands of the schools at the time of its erection, but in the summer of 1880 it became necessary to finish half of the upper flat. At present the school trustees are: J. F. Meyers, Jesse Bowles, and Hiram Bailey. The present corps of teachers is as follows: J. T. McDonald, A. B., Principal, Department I.; Miss Mary F. Buckelew, Department II.; Miss Minnie E. Buckelew, Department III.; Miss Ada F. Allen, Department IV., and Miss Emma C. Smith, Department V. There are upwards of two hundred and fifty pupils in the school, and the number is increasing with the growth of the town.
LIVERMORE LODGE, NO. 218, F. & A. M. - The first meeting for the purpose of organizing this lodge was held at Pleasanton July 16, 1871, when the following brethren signed the petition: James Beazell, Charles M. Dougherty, Frederick Kapp, L. W. Winn, J. W. Goldman, Harris Arendt, John A. Bilz, Joseph Harris, A. J. Taylor, W. A. Jordan, Henry Angelopulo, J. Koopman, J. S. Moor, who received dispensation August 26th to open a lodge of Masons in due and ancient form. October 19, 1872, the lodge was instituted, with the following charter officers: Charles M. Dougherty, W. M.; Frederick Kapp, S. W.; J. S. Moor, J. W.; William A. Jordan, Treas.; John A. Bilz, S. D.; Joseph F. Black, J. D.; L. W. Winn, Tyler. In November, 1874, the lodge was transferred from Pleasanton to Livermore, where they had their first meeting on November 28th, in Odd Fellows' Hall. There are at present forty-seven members on the roll, the officers for the year 1882 being: James Beazell, W. M.; F. R. Fassett, S. W.; W. H. Wright, J. W.; R. W. Graham, Treas.; J. F. Meyers, Sec.; George W. Brock, S. D.; N. B. Holmes, J. D.; R. Hunter, Joseph Harris, Stewards. The lodge, which is in a flourishing condition, meets, on the Saturday on or after full moon, in Odd Fellows' Hall. They purchased in the spring of 1882 a tract of land for a Masonic Cemetery, about half a mile from the town, where it is the intention to lay out a burial-ground worthy of the Order.
LIVERMORE LODGE, NO. 219, I.O.O.F. - Was organized May 23, 1873, by Grand Master W. Garnett, of Oakland, assisted by T. Rodgers Johnson, R. W. G. Secretary, and Brothers Grand: Salz, Rix, and K. Pomeroy Osgood. Its charter members were: James Beazell, R. W. Graham, William Gibbons, J. F. Meyers, P. Hinckley, R. McGlashan, A. St. Clair, A. A. Overacker, J. T. Campbell, William H. Wright, P. C. Waltonbaugh; the first officers being: J. F. Meyers, N. G.; R. W. Graham, V. G.; P. A. Hinckley, Sec.; James Beazell, Treas.; William Wright, W.; Israel Horton, C.; J. H. Taylor, I. G.; A. St. Clair, O. G.; William Gibbons, R. S. N. G.; J. T. Campbell, L. S. N. G.; N. D. Dutcher, R. S. S.; E. P. Braydon, L. S. S. The officers for the year 1882 are: N. D. Dutcher, J. P. G.; W. F. Mitchell, N. G.; Wendell Jordan, V. G.; O. R. Owens, Sec.; A. G. Beazell, P. G. P., Sec.; R. W. Graham, P. G., Treas. The lodge, which has a present membership of fifty-six, in good standing, is in a flourishing condition, and meets in their own hall, built in 1874, every Thursday evening
VESPER LODGE No. 62, A. O. U. W. - This lodge was organized October 18, 1873, with twenty-two members, by Deputy Grand Master Dr. Barrows, with the following charter officers: [page 474] James Beazell, P. M. W.; Israel Horton, M. W.; N. D. Dutcher, Foreman ; Jesse Bowles, Overseer; George W. Brock, Recorder; A. J. McLeod, Financier; George E. Kennedy, Receiver; F. Malley, Guide; John Aylward, I. W.; R. Case, O. W. The number of members on the roll at present is ninety-five, and the officers for the year 1882 are: C. W. Bradshaw, P. M. W.; B. D. Morrill, M. W.; William Gibbons, Foreman; G. S. Fitzgerald, Overseer; F. A. Anthony, Recorder; G. E. Kennedy, Financier; Israel Horton, Receiver; J. S. Munos, Guide; H. Gardemeyer, I. W.; William Budworth, O. W. Meets at Odd Fellows' Hall every Tuesday evening. They have not lost a single member since organization.
LIVERMORE LODGE, NO. 200., I. O. G. T. - This lodge was instituted January 24, 1881, by G. W. C. T., R. Thompson, with sixty-eight charter members, the first officers being: Rev. L. Wallace, W. C. T.; Mrs. A. L. Smith, W. V. T.; F. A. Anthony, W. Sec.; G. W. Langan. W. F. Sec.; George E. Kennedy, W. Treas.; J. R. Swartz, W. M.; Miss Minnie Buckelew, I. G.; P. H. McVicar, O. G.; F. A. Anthony, Lodge Deputy. There are at present eighty-five members on the roll, who meet every Monday evening at the Odd Fellows' Hall. The officers for 1882 are: Joseph May, W. C. T.; May Smith, W. V. T.; G. V. Shearer, W. Sec.; A. K. Anthony, W. F. Sec.; A. Weymouth, W. Treas.; George Munroe, W. M.; Corinne Bardellini, W. I. G.; G. W. Langan, W. O. G.
LIVERMORE COUNCIL, No. 1070, A. L. of H. - This council of the American Legion of Honor was organized by D. S. Van Slack, D. C., December 22, 1882, with the following charter members: L. H. Cutler, G. B. Shearer, Joseph B. Bardellini, D. F. Bernal, William Bradley, William M. Mendenhall, C. J. Pullen, J. A. Wallman, J. H. Harden, C. Schmidt, F. Gonzales, Z. B. Cheney, H. W. Farmer, G. W. Raymond, P. C. Beaufort, M. F. Mack, J. McBride, Martha A. McBride, J. Schock, T. Gorner, A. Schlinghyde, L. Hilton. The present membership is thirty-five, and the original officers who are those now serving are: L. Cutler, G. C.; T. Gorner, V. C.; G. B. Shearer, Sec.; D. F. Bernal, Treas.; Joseph B. Bardellini, Col. Meets in Odd Fellows' Hall on the second and fourth Friday in each month.
THE LIVERMORE PUBLIC LIBRARY. - An organization known as the Livermore Public Library Association was organized in the spring of 1878, by a number of public-spirited men and women of the town, who recognized the advantages of such an institution. By means of public entertainments funds were raised, and a substantial library building, costing $500, erected during the fall of that year upon the principal business street, the use of a lot having been donated by C. J. Stevens. A debt was thus formed which, though afterwards increased by the purchase of books, was, three years later, entirely paid. The association has now about thirty life members, is the owner of property worth $800, and is free from debt. The library and reading-room is kept open by a librarian five hours a day, and its use is free to all. The parties most prominent in the organization and building up of this public institution were Israel Horton, W. P. Bartlett, George E. Kennedy, R. W. Graham, Elliott Aubury, Mrs. N. G. Patterson, Mrs. A. W. Bartlett, G. W. Langan, and W. F. Laumeister. Nearly all the parties above named are still interested in the Library, [page 475] and will continue their labors to build up an institution of which that of today is but a nucleus, and upon which the Livermorean of fifty years hence may look with commendable pride.
"HERALD." - The Livermore Herald was started in January, 1877, by W. P. Bartlett, and has at this writing entered upon its seventh year of publication. It is a four-page, seven-column newspaper, and has been for nearly three years entirely printed in Livermore ; is local in character and largely devoted to the advancement of the interests of Murray Township. In fact, much of the growth and development which is now taking place in the town and valley is ascribed by many to the efforts of the Herald in behalf of this section. The journal has been conducted to the present time by Mr. Bartlett, its founder and owner, a vigorous writer, who has in addition to his work on the paper, published considerable statistical, descriptive, and historical matter regarding Livermore Valley and other portions of the State. The Herald enjoys a wide circulation, both in the township and abroad, and a liberal advertising patronage. It is published on Thursday of each week.
LIVERMORE HOOK AND LADDER COMPANY, No. 1. - This, the senior company of the Livermore Fire Department, was organized October 12, 1874, with about thirty charter members, who elected the following officers: J. H. Mahoney, President; Anton Bardellini, Vice-President; their trucks being procured from San Francisco. In 1875 a two-story truck-house was erected, partly by subscription and partly by the issuance of stock, on Second Street. The present membership is seventeen, and the officers for 1882 are: W. Jordan, foreman; P. McKeany, First Assistant; F. Sangmaster, Second Assistant; J. F. Meyers, Secretary; F. Malley, Treasurer. The company is under the direction of the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, and has done good service. They meet in their own Hall.
NIAGARA FIRE ENGINE COMPANY, No. 1. - This organization was instituted in Exchange Hall, July 12, 1876, with the following members: George E. Freeman, F. A. Anthony, A. M. Jackson, William H. Church, Rod. Church, William S. Low, John T. Campbell, R. N. Caughill, E. P. Braydon, and C. J. Stevens, the first officers elected being: George E. Freeman, Foreman; John T. Campbell. First Assistant; William S. Low, Second Assistant; E. P. Braydon, Secretary; William H. Church, Treasurer. The present company consists of fifty-two members, with the following officers: C. W. Bradshaw, foreman; W. S. Smith, First Assistant; N. D. Dutcher, Second Assistant; Theo. Gorner, Secretary; C. J. Stevens, Treasurer. They hold their meetings at the Town Hall, on the second Wednesday of each month, and have in their charge a double-decker hand-engine, purchased from the Stockton Fire Department in 1876, which is still in a good state of preservation. This company is most active and in a high state of efficiency.
LIVERMORE SPRING WATER COMPANY. - This association was incorporated October 19, 1874, by John Aylward, Robert Livermore, William Gibbons, Valentine Alviso, and M. Mullany, the President of the company being John Aylward, and the Secretary William Gibbons. Water is supplied by the Las Positas Springs, [page 476] two miles and a half north of Livermore, and is brought in a flume two miles long to two reservoirs, whence it is conducted by pipe and distributed through the town. In 1876 the waters of the Arroyo Mocho were condemned and conducted through pipes five miles in length, to the northern water-works. The Company has three reservoirs with the respective capacity of five hundred and fifty thousand, two hundred and fifty thousand, and six hundred thousand gallons.
WAREHOUSES OF W. WATTERMAN & Co. - The storehouses of this firm were built in the year 1874 by Alexander Esdon, and subsequently sold by him to the present proprietors. They are three in number, and measure respectively three hundred by eighty feet, one hundred by eighty feet, and one hundred by sixty feet, and have a capacity in the aggregate of fourteen thousand tons of grain, while separated therefrom are the hay warehouses, capable of storing two thousand tons. This firm ranks among the largest grain-dealers in Alameda County, and has its buildings nearly always full of grain and hay.
LUMBER YARD OF HORTON & KENNEDY. - This yard was first started in the fall of 1869, by E. M. Derby, who continued it until 1878, when Messrs. Horton & Kennedy became its proprietors, since when it has been conducted by them, they keeping always on hand a large stock of lumber. In connection therewith they are the owners of the famous Horton & Kennedy Enterprise Windmill, manufactured for them in the Eastern States, and also deal in pumps, barb-wire, etc.
WAGON AND CARRIAGE FACTORY OF JOHN AYLWARD. - This enterprise was first located at Mission San José but transferred to Livermore in the month of September, 1879, when Mr. Aylward built his present premises, and has since carried on a general blacksmith and wagon-making business, whence he supplies a large portion of the surrounding country.
LIVERMORE BREWERY. - This enterprise was established, in December, 1873, by Messrs. Schwerin & Schobel, who continued it until June, 1874, when W. Jordan located it on First Street, since which time it has been considerably enlarged. It was originally run by horse-power only; in December, 1882, however, a six horse-power steam-engine was introduced to put the machinery in motion; while the capacity is about four hundred barrels per year.
OLIVINA VINEYARD. - This vineyard, the property of Julius P. Smith and managed by J. H. Taylor, is located three miles south from Livermore, on a ranch of two thousand acres, three hundred and fifty of which is planted in vines, which are in a flourishing condition, and promise to be a perfect bonanza to the proprietors.
THE LIVERMORE COAL MINES. - The first discovery of coal in Murray Township was made in Corral Hollow, upwards of twenty years ago, by Captain Jack O'Brien, at that time engaged in the sheep business in that vicinity. A company was formed, and for several years the mines were worked successfully. Finally, the entire property was sold to W. T. Coleman, of San Francisco, since which time but little has been done. The vein was about eight feet thick, and the coal of the same quality as that from the Monte Diablo mines. [page 477] In 1873 Thomas Harris and Jenkins Richards discovered fine coal croppings in the edge of the Livermore Valley, about three miles north of the Corral Hollow Mines. A stock company was immediately formed, and a copy of articles of incorporation filed by the directors, W. A. Jones, W. Jenkins, T. Harris, J. Richards, and W. W. Wynn, on May 2, 1874. The amount of capital stock was ten thousand dollars divided into twenty thousand shares. Operations were begun immediately, a shaft being sunk to a depth of five hundred feet, at which depth the coal became harder and brighter. From the bottom of this shaft gangways were driven east and west five hundred feet. Large and powerful machinery was erected for the purpose of hoisting, and upwards of two thousand tons of coal were taken from the mine and shipped to different locations along the railroad. This vein is about three feet six inches in thickness, but somewhat mixed with slate.
In 1876 there was discovered another fine vein of coal, four feet in thickness, and perfectly clean, overlying the first vein about one hundred feet, but running under lands owned by private parties. The company expended nearly seventy thousand dollars in the mine, but, owing to the large quantities of foreign coal which were being imported to the district at low rates, they became embarrassed and were compelled to suspend operations.
In the Fall of 1876 another organization was formed, known as the Summit Coal Mining Company. They discovered a vein of pure coal, four feet in thickness, one mile east of the old mine. A shaft was sunk on the vein some three hundred feet, and several hundred tons of coal taken from the mine.
All the coal strata in this vicinity dip to the north, at an angle of about forty-two degrees. The coal, as throughout California, is of a bituminous nature; it is distinguished from the majority of coals by its making a very hot fire with but little blaze or smoke. It is considered excellent for steam purposes.
These mines are in good working condition, with thousands of tons of clean, hard coal in sight, ready to be taken out at any time. At present, work is being carried forward on a scale sufficient for the supply of the towns of Livermore and Pleasanton but the principal mines are closed.
Their situation, however, but eight miles from the town of Livermore, and fifty-five from the city of San Francisco, together with the abundant and excellent quality of the coal, render these mines too valuable to remain idle for any great length of time. It is probable that they will within a few years be developed and worked on a large scale. But a little capital is needed to make this coal-field one of the most flourishing and prosperous on the Pacific Coast.
MIDWAY. - This is simply a station on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad sixty-three and one-half miles from San Francisco, and at present consists of about a dozen houses. It is located near the easterly boundary of the township on the slope to the San Joaquin Valley, and fourteen miles from Livermore. Here in 1855 or '56 Frank Heare put up and occupied what was known as the "Zinc House." The railroad company have no resident agent at this point.
PLEASANTON. - The name of this beautiful village, once called Alisal (Cottonwood), [page 478] is derived, not from its pleasant situation, as many suppose, but was so named by John W. Kottinger, after General Pleasanton, a dashing cavalry officer, who served during the rebellion under General J. C. Fremont in his Missouri campaign; the popular idea, however, is most correct, as it has many beauties of climate and location.
The ground on which the town now stands was, in the year 1839, in common with thousands of acres, granted to Antonio Suñol, Antonio Maria Pico, Augustin Bernal, and Juan P. Bernal. Pico having disposed of his interest to Suñol, he in turn conveyed it to Juan P. Bernal in 1846. Augustin Bernal, however, maintained his residence in the Santa Clara Valley until the spring of 1850, only visiting his newly-acquired possessions once a year to rodeo his bands of cattle, the estate during the balance of the year being left in charge of his hirelings.
In 1849 a widow named Wilson who had several grown up sons, moved to the rancho of Juan P. Bernal, and made a contract with the proprietor whereby one of them should act as his major-domo. In 1850 Augustin Bernal took up his residence in the vicinity, and built a house at the foot of the mountains, about a mile west of the present town. In August, 1851, there came to this section John W. Kottinger, a native of Austria, who at once erected a house, still standing, on a small eminence near the Arroyo Valle and commenced stock-raising. In September, 1852, Juan Pablo Bernal, brother to Augustin, built his adobe on the opposite side of the creek from Kottinger's, a portion of which is now in the occupation of Joseph F. Black, and thus matters rested until 1857, when Duerr & Nusbaumer opened a store in Kottinger's house, while, in 1859, Charles Garthwaite opened another trading-post opposite the residence of Augustin Bernal, which he continued four years.
During the year 1863 Mr. Kottinger, who had become possessed of a considerable portion of the Bernal estate by marriage, conceived the idea that a town might be established with advantage at Alisal, he therefore put a few lots in the market, which were soon purchased by Jacob Teeters, a blacksmith, William Wittner, a carpenter, and Doctor Goucher, all of whom immediately constructed houses, that of the first being on the site now occupied by the wagon factory of J. A. Bilz, the second, where Doctor Mark now is, and the third, on the land belonging to Mrs. McLaughlin. That same year Joshua A. Neal, a native of New Hampshire, and a pioneer of '47, who had been several years major-domo to Robert Livermore, removed to Alisal, and, by marriage with a daughter of Augustin Bernal, acquired over five hundred acres of land, upon a portion of which is situated the present town of Pleasanton. He immediately erected a residence on an eminence overlooking the valley. In 1864 the first public school was opened under the tuition of a Mr. Powell, it being erected to the south of Mrs. McLaughlin's house, and has since been superseded by the present commodious structure. In the following year Mr. Kottinger built the house on the creek bank now occupied by Jacob Johnson, and opened there a store and house of entertainment giving the latter the name of the "Farmer's Hotel." On the site of the Pleasanton Hotel, Anton Bardellini opened a hotel in the year 1867, which forms a portion of that caravansary, there being also a store opened within the building then.
In 1867 Mr. Kottinger made a survey of land in Alisal, [page 479] with the idea of laying out a town which he called Pleasanton, and in August, 1868, Mr. Neal, whose lands adjoined those of Mr. Kottinger, made a survey to supplement that of the latter, and began selling building lots on the county road, which is now known as Main Street. On September 20, 1869, Mr. Kottinger had a second survey made by Charles Duerr to agree with the line of the railroad, which was then being built through the valley; Neal also making a second survey, for the same purpose, in the month of December.
The growth of the town was very rapid during the years 1869 and 1870. The building of the railroad through the place and the location of a station there, gave assurance of its permanency, and induced settlers to come in rapidly. Since that time Pleasanton had continued to grow steadily, until it has reached a population of about seven hundred.
The public buildings consist of a large two-story school house, a neat church edifice, and a fine two-story building the property of the Odd Fellows. It also possesses Rose's Hotel, than which there is no more finely appointed house in the country. There are many fine residences in the town and in the suburbs, nearly all surrounded by well-kept grounds, while the streets are planted with rows of trees on either side, forming a delightful shade, and tendering the place one of the most beautiful and attractive in the county.
As throughout the entire western portion of Murray township, the country tributary to Pleasanton is held in large ranches, which of course is prejudicial to the interests of the town, and tends in a measure to arrest its growth. Several of these large tracts, however, are being gradually divided into small farms, and sold to settlers, a scheme which will go far towards increasing the prosperity of the town, and at the same time build up and improve the surrounding country.
While it was known as Alisal, the place was recognized as one of if not the most desperate in the county, but with all its lawlessness perhaps there was no scene enacted in it more exciting than that which we append below:
On Wednesday, September 19, 1866, a desperate encounter took place in Pleasanton, or Alisal, between Harry Morse, Sheriff of Alameda County, and the notorious highwayman and robber, Narciso Bojorques, in which the latter was wounded. This brigand had long been the terror of the Suñol Valley, having committed both robberies and murders in that locality and throughout the State, causing his name to be feared and dreaded in every household. His rendezvous was in the mountains, from whence he frequently sallied forth into the valley, plundering indiscriminately, and retreating at pleasure to his hiding-place. He had been arrested at various times, but escaped the penalty of his crimes by his shrewdness in having witnesses put out of the way. A short account of the career of this Dick Turpin may not be out of place.
In or about the year 1859 the murder of the Golding family - consisting of husband, wife, and child - occurred in Suñol Valley. The dwelling- house was burned down and the bodies were consumed. A vaquero was found hanging to the limb of a tree at the same time. This quadruple murder was laid at the door of Bojorques, but when the trial came nothing could be proved against him, although he was universally held to be the guilty party. Shortly afterwards, in company with another thief named Quarte about dividing the spoils, Narciso was too quick for Quarte, the latter falling dead in the roadside at the feet of his chieftain. [page 480] His next exploit was performed in connection with Procopio - cousin of the famous robber, Joaquin Murietta. They stole a band of cattle, and took them to Alvarado. Here a warrant was issued for their arrest, but before it could be served, Narciso succeeded in escaping. Not so with his companion, however. Constable Wood, afterwards of San Leandro, was deputed to arrest Procopio. The latter, after shooting several times at the officer, escaped, and took refuge in the salt-marsh near Alvarado. Here he was surrounded by a party of armed men, who finally captured him. Procopio, for his part in the robbery, served a term of nine years in the penitentiary.
Mariposa County next was visited by Narciso. Here he committed a robbery, for which he was arrested, but finally discharged, after an incarceration of three months in jail; no witnesses appeared against him.
His latest robbery was that of the butcher Gunnel, near Alisal, about the month of August, 1866. It may be remembered that on that occasion Narciso rode up alongside the butcher, and, after shooting him, dragged him from his horse, and plundered him of one hundred and twenty dollars in coin.
All these robberies were traced to Narciso. He knew that the people suspected him, and yet he appeared daily among them, reckless and defiant. Sheriff Morse, in order to get some legal foot-hold to arrest Narciso, corresponded during a month previously with the Sheriffs of various counties, inquiring whether they had any charges against him. On Wednesday (September 19th), a warrant was received from a Justice of the Peace in Los Angeles County by the Sheriff, ordering him to arrest Narciso on a charge of grand larceny. The Sheriff started immediately for the Mission San José, where he got on the track of the robber. From the mission the Sheriff went to Foscalini's store in Alisal (Pleasanton), where he learned that Narciso had passed up five minutes previously, mounted on a stout horse, and having an additional saddle - a new one - in his hand. The Sheriff suspecting that he would return that way, concealed himself in the rear of the store. Half an hour had scarcely elapsed before the robber returned, galloping, his horse and whistling. Pulling up in front of the store, he was invited in. He refused, being evidently afraid of an arrest. The Sheriff seeing that he would not dismount, went forward quickly, putting his left hand in his breast pocket to get out a pair of handcuffs. Narciso detected the officer at a glance. In a moment, and before Morse could lay his hands upon him, Narciso had him covered with an eight-inch revolver, the distance between the parties, at this time, not being more than six feet. The robber's pistol fortunately missed fire, and before he could repeat, the officer's weapon had sent a shot at him, which failed to bring him to the ground. A second shot took effect in the robber's side, causing him to throw up his arm and give a loud groan. Dropping his pistol, the robber put spurs to his horse, and jumping the animal over a fence into an enclosure, started for the hills. Unable to jump over the fence on the opposite side of the field, the robber dismounted, and started for a ravine close by, followed by the Sheriff afoot. Climbing over the fence, the Sheriff could see the robber in the distance entering the chaparral. Notwithstanding the woods were scoured all night, Narciso managed to elude his pursuers. An unsuccessful search was also made the following morning by the Sheriff. Parties from the mission, who started out in the forenoon on the 20th of September, [page 481] to hunt the robber, traced him fully a mile by drops of blood, until they reached a tree, where they discovered a pool of blood. Here the wounded man rested during the night, but was not captured at that time.
PLEASANTON LODGE, NO. 225, I.O.O.F. - This lodge was organized January 17, 1877, by District Grand, H. J. Tilden, with the following charter members and officers: H. Morris, N. G.; John B. Hortenstine, V. G.; Herman Detjens, Sec.; R. J. Butts, I. G.; Dan. McCaw, Treasurer. The present membership is twenty-nine, and the officers for the current year are: James W. Hortenstine, N. G.; William T. Harris, V. G.; H. F. Grasse, Rec. Sec.; J. R. Palmer, Per. Sec.; Herman Detjens, Treas. The lodge is in a flourishing condition, and hold their meetings every Tuesday evening in Detjen's Hall.
CARRIAGE AND WAGON FACTORY OF J. A. BILZ. - In the Fall of the year 1865 Mr. Bilz came to Alisal, or Pleasanton, and started in a small building where his factory now stands. In 1868 he erected his present extensive premises, in dimensions one hundred by one hundred feet, where he manufactures wagons, carriages, buggies, etc. In August, 1882, he received a patent for Bilz Excelsior two-wheeled buggy. The firm also does general blacksmithing, while the factory is supplied with all the most improved machinery, engines, etc.
SUÑOL. - The village of Suñol and the valley in which it is situated derive their names from the family whose possessions, as we have elsewhere said, extended throughout this section of the country. It is situated on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad, and is six miles west of Pleasanton. Here in 1865 a school was started under the tuition of Mrs. Sam. Brown, while the first store in the section was opened by George Foscalini, where what is at present known as Scott's store now stands. In 1862 the Argenti Hotel was kept by a Frenchman named Bertrand.
This village, like many others, sprang into existence at the time of building the railroad, and, owing to the fact that the entire region tributary to it is held in large ranches, by a few men, has grown little since. The Suñol Valley and adjacent foothills and cañons are much resorted to by camping parties during the summer months, on account of their wild and beautiful scenery and accessibility.
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06 Aug 2013, 22:54:09