Clements and Lockeford California History

History of San Joaquin County, California with Biographical Sketches - Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, CA - 1923

Clements and Lockeford History

History of Clements

Click to Enlarge A flourishing little village on the railroad about five miles northeast of Lockeford, with all the initial elements of a good society. Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 355, here was organized December 4, 4889, with five members: there are now twenty-two.  W. Buchanan, H. G.; J. Harris, B. G.; R. Baird, Sec.; and H. Plummer.  Banner Lodge, K. of P., is flourishing at Clements.  Population of Clements, about 200.

Clements, the most northeasterly town in the county, was founded by Thomas Clements, the biggest hearted and most generous man in that section of the country. The present site of Clements and adjoining bottom lands were purchased by him in 1871 from David S. Terry, and in 1872 Clements located on his ranch. Terry obtained this particular piece of property in 1850, the bottom lands along the river being some of the richest soil in the county.

Terry came to this ranch after his release from "Fort Gunnybags" by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee for the stabbing of Hopkins, and he there practiced pistol shooting just previous to his duel with Senator David C. Broderick. At this time the traveled road ran along the river bottom to the ferry, and in 1854 Terry and a man named Hodge established a flour mill on the flat and called it the Lone Star Mill, Terry naming it after Texas, the Lone Star State, his birth place. The mill is said to have continued in operation until 1885 under the management of S. L. Magee. The only house in that section for many years was the Poland House built by George Poland on the well traveled road to Mokelumne Hill. It was a stage and teamsters' station, and in boyhood the writer well remembers the place, as he slept in the attic over night, while assisting in driving some cattle from Stockton to Sutter Creek. In 1878 a man named Lukins established a blacksmith shop and home at Clements and Daniel Marceau opened a saloon. After the arrival of the railroad George Ringer erected a two-story brick building as a hotel and barroom. Then Moses Bruml and Charles Bomert came up from Lockeford and opened a general merchandising store. Soon after this Bomert was the leader in forming the Farmers' Trade Union, and buying out the M. Bruml and Bogert firm they erected a two-story brick building and put in a $15,000 stock. The San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada narrow gauge railroad running from Brack's Landing through Clements to Valley Springs, originated with Jacob Brack and others. They failed in their object, lacking the financial end, and about 1884 the Southern Pacific took it over and made it a broad gauge road with Lodi as the terminus. At Clements their agent was Wm. J. Siegel, who had the manifold position of railroad agent, warehouse man, telegraph and Wells Fargo agent, and a notary public. The first postmaster was Charles Bomert, and among his successors were Miss Cecilia Gillis and her sister. Their father was the first justice of the peace.

The schoolhouse was on the second flat, erected by P. A. Athearn in 1869. A two-story brick school was erected in 1877 on the upland about a quarter mile from the town. It was built by the cooperation of citizens. S. L. Magee deeded the land, Thomas Clements gave the brick from his brick yard, and other public-spirited men subscribed the money to purchase other building material and hauled it free of cost from Stockton. One of the first teachers was a Mrs. Hornshell. Later Amy Stowe and W. R. Stone, who later became a Stockton attorney, were teachers. Religious services were held in here by the Rev. W. H. Pascoe, a Congregational minister from Lockeford. In 1891 the Methodist Episcopal denomination erected a house of worship, and the pulpit was supplied by pastors from Lockeford. The Presbyterians had erected a house of worship the previous year at a cost of $6,000, which was dedicated Sunday morning, September 27, 1891. The dedicatory sermon was delivered by the Rev. D. S. McDonald of San Rafael, and those assisting in the dedication were Revs. M. D. Steen, the pastor of the church, J. C. Huber, president of the San Joaquin Valley College at Woodbridge, and Bishop Hott, of the United Brethren denomination.

The unincorporated community of Clements is located approximately four miles east of Lockeford and 20 miles northeast of downtown Stockton. Clements is situated on State Routes 12 and 88 (12188), the access roads to Camanche Reservoir and to resort and ski areas in the Sierra. The community is bordered by the Mokelumne River floodplain on the north. The Southern Pacific Railroad line passes through town and parallels State Routes 1 2/88. Clements is surrounded by agricultural grazing land, vineyards and walnut orchards.

The community of Clements was established in 1882 when the San Joaquin-Sierra Nevada Railroad extended service from the Lodi area. Thomas Clements, the major landowner, raised stock, dry farmed grain and later planted orchards and vineyards. The railroad provided regional access for local farmers who stored grain in warehouses near the tracks; cattle and sheep were housed in corrals in the eastern part of town. The railroad also provided daily passenger service until the depot and freight office were closed in 1938.

Closure of the passenger depot contributed to Clements' decline during the 1930s. During the following years, many businesses closed. Clements became a less significant supply center for agricultural operations.

The community's greatest distinction in recent decades has been the Clements Stampede, the largest one day rodeo in California. Every April, special grounds are prepared near the eastern edge of town and over 300 participants compete in the rodeo events. Most of the year, Clements remains a quiet rural residential community with a limited commercial base.

History of Lockeford

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National Register #82002253 Locke's Meat Market 13480 Highway 88 Lockeford

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11455 E. Locke Rd

A village of Lockeford is built upon the ranch or farm owned by Dr. D. J. Locke, and upon  the bluffs about one mile south of where the section line between ranges seven and eight crosses the Mokelumne river. It is a very pleasantly located among the live oaks.  The river bottom is about one mile wide at this place, and the banks on the south side rise suddenly form the low land about forty feet, where Lockeford is built, and one seldom looks out on a more attractive landscape than is presented on looking over and down upon the sleepy valley, sprinkled with oak, that cast their dark shadows upon the carpet of green.

Originally there came to this part of the county, in 1850, E. H. Locke, since deceased, and the beauty as well as the utility of the surroundings of this place filled him with enthusiasm for settlement.  He returned to Mississippi Bar, where Mr. Holman, D. J. Locke and his brother were stopping, and the result was that all these parties, as well as some others, packed up and moved to the Mokelumne, with a view of remaining and utilizing the soil for grazing and farm purposes.  The Lockes purchased 360 acres of land for $360, and Captain G. C. Holman and Charles Massack each 160 acres for $360 apiece from D. J. Staples. The Lockes erected a log cabin, on a knoll in the river bottom, that has since been destroyed. In those days, when night came their hired men roosted high in the trees like turkeys, for fear of grizzlies.

The first house built in Lockeford was by Dr. Locke, in 1855. The second was a hotel, built by John A Clapp, in 1860, and called the Lockeford House; this hotel gave the town its name, in 1860.  On the 5th of April , 1862, the little pioneer steamer Pert first tied up to the Lockeford landing, and the event was made the cause of general public demonstration, for the particulars of which seen in Chapter IX. The first goods for mercantile purposes carried in that village on the 24th of February, 1862, and the private residence of Dr. Locke's father was used  for a store until the fall.

On the 14th of June, 1862, the town was laid out and platted. S. P. Sabin came to the place in 1860 and built a blacksmith shop, and the same year he built a dwelling-house, which was afterwards converted into a store, and was burned down in 1865, a child of N. Kohman perishing in the flames. The wagon shop was built in 1860, by W. D. Read. Mr Bruml erected a brick store in 1865.

The second school building erected in the township was an octagon building, situated midway between Staples' Ferry and Lockeford, and was erected in 1856. It took the place of the cloth building nearer the ferry.  The octagon was moved to Lockeford in 1864, but the district increased to such an extent that, in 1874, a new and more commodious building was erected, where a graded school has since been taught, that is a credit to the place.

There are at present about 500 inhabitants in the village. The post office was established in June, 1861; Luther Locke, postmaster.

Congregational Church. As early as November 24, 1861, Congregational services were held in Sons of Temperance Hall, Lockeford (this hall is now used by Dr. Locke as a granary), and a Sunday school was organized July 28, 1861, at a residence of W. D. Read.  It was February 12, 1862, before the Congregationalists attempted a church organization. On that date a preliminary meeting was held, and an organization perfected March 2, of that year. The church was built in 1869, costing $2, 800, including $300 for a bell, and dedicated September 19, of the same year. The first officers were: T. B. Day, trustee for five years; D. J. Locke, for four years; George Hammond, for three years; Thomas B. Jeffrey, for two years, and Isaac Brown, for one year.

The "Church of Christ" was organized in Lockeford in March, 1876, the first religious services being held at Hotel Hall, by Rev. R.H. Boyles. The first officers were J. H. Haley, James Moshier and B. F. Morrain..

The San Joaquin Catholic Church was established here in 1876, by Father O'Connor.

The Sons of Temperance in 1860, and the Good Templars in 1869 began to flourish here.  Lockeford Grange, No. 131, was organized in January, 1874.

Progressive Lodge, No. 134, was instituted May 11, 1867, with the following members: Peter Moore, N. G.; Philip Wagner, V. G.; S. P. Sabin, Rec. Sec; P. Cahill, Treas.; J. S. Christian and John McDonald.   The present membership is fifty-eight.

Vesper lodge. K of P., is in existence at Lockeford.

Lockeford Railroads

Lockeford was one of the liveliest towns in the county, and a strong Union town during the Civil War, they hung Jeff Davis in effigy, and organized a military company called the Mokelumne Dragoons, with George C. Holman as captain. Settlers began locating on the river bottom and on the bluffs as early as 1849. D. J. Staples, Dr. D. J. and Elmer H. Locke coming at that time. Charles R. Montgomery located there in 1852, and trees are still standing on his place as landmarks. Joseph Putnam, Edward Whipple, and Daniel Howard took up land near Lockeford in 1851 and gave it the name of the New England ranch, they coming from the New England States. Putnam probably was a relative of Israel Putnam, one of the heroes of the Revolutionary War. Reuben Metcalf, crossing the plains with two oxen, located on the Mokelumne River in '57, and Charles Pope located across from the Athearn ranch in '53, and Mrs. Belle Sheridan, then a girl of four years of age, came with her parents in 1852, their home, the Ryan ranch, being west of the Harmony Grove church. Thomas B. Parker settled on his ranch in 1854 and Mrs. Amanda Flanders, Clarence Flanders and Mrs. Clara Howard came to California with their father, L. C. Flanders, and settled near Lockeford in 1860. The "mother of Lockeford," and one of the most patriotic women in San Joaquin County, is Mrs. Delia M. Locke. Marrying Dr. D. J. Locke in Massachusetts in 1855, then a girl of 19 years, she immediately started on their honeymoon for California and Lockeford, arriving there in July. She is the mother of thirteen children, all born in Lockeford.

The first domicile in Lockeford was the log cabin of the Lockes on what is called Yankee Hill. It was erected early in 1851 beneath three large oak trees, still standing. When Dr. Locke returned to the town with his bride the log cabin was replaced by a neat wooden structure now standing in the Locke orchard. The present two-story brick home was built in 1865. If Mrs. Lou M. Locke's history be correct Christian Megerle built the first hotel in 1857, where now stands George Clements' house, and in 1862 Mrs. Amanda Flanders kept the Megerle House. The so-called Lockeford Hotel was moved to its present site in 1859 by a man named Clapp, its owner. The building was erected in 1857 on Bear Creek ranch by Mr. Moore and sold to Clapp. Luther Locke deeded a lot to Clapp on condition that it be opened as the Lockeford House. Captain Vincent, who had been living in a tent, erected a new house in 1857. In 1858 D. J. Locke erected a two-story adobe house to be used as a granary, with a public hall in the second story. In that hall was organized the Lockeford Good Templar Society, the Congregational Church, and the Ladies Home Library Association. It was also during the Civil War the armory of the Mokelumne Dragoons. A wheelwright named Reed built a home in '61, which is now occupied by M. Bruml. The grandfather of J. C. Hammond built in '67 the house in which he lives. The first store was started in July, 1856, by Luther Locke. It is now the residence of N. H. Locke. It was known as the White House, the post office being in the store. In 1881 Lockeford was quite a manufacturing center; there were three firms making light wagons, two carriage painting shops, Tretheway & Daly employed four men constantly, and C. P. Grant had six men, Benjamin Steacy kept busy nine men and the J. M. Hooly saddlery and harness shop had three men.

The first school was taught in a canvas tent on the river bottom, supported by willow poles. Mrs. Belle Sheridan, who attended this school, called it "The Rag School House." A few years later, 1856, a wooden building was constructed about half way between Staples Ferry and the town. In 1864 the building was removed to Lockeford. The population a the place increased quite rapidly, and so did the children, and in 1874 a much larger and more convenient school was erected.

The first religious service in Lockeford was held November 24, 1861, by the Congregationalists in what was then known as the "Sons of Temperance Hall." This hall, an adobe building on the Locke property, now used as a granary or warehouse, was the public assembly place of all the people. The Congregational Church was there organized in February, 1862, and seven years later at a cost of $2,800, this amount including the bell, they erected a house of worship. It was dedicated September 19, of the same year. The first officers were: David J. Locke, Thomas B. Day, George Hommand, Thomas B. Jeffreys and Isaac Brown. It is still in use for religious services.

The so-called Church of Christ was organized in March, 1876. They purchased a little stone building then located on the Locke grounds, and removing it to its present location anticipated an increase of their numbers. They failed to materialize and the building was sold to the Catholics. They remodeled the building at a cost of over $1,000 and renamed it St. Joaquin Church. It is now in the Lodi parish.

The Lockes were a strong temperance family and as early as January, 1860, a Sons of Temperance Lodge, known as Live Oak Division No. 29, was organized with the following charter members: D. J. Locke, John Griffith, Jacob Hesman, Paul Dennis, John D. Wood, Peter Cahill, J. W. Simpson, John P. Hill, E. P. Megerle, John A. Simpson, R. T. Vance, H. P. Pelton, A. Hall, D. C. Fugitt, P. L. Megerle, T. J. Mofitt. In 1864 a Good Templar lodge was organized called Rescue Lodge No. 115, and this organization absorbed the temperance lodge.

Progressive Lodge No. 134, I. O. O. F.. was instituted on May 11, 1867, by Grand Master Charles N. Fox, assisted by Past Grand Patriarch B. W. Barnes and members from Woodbridge and Campo Seco. The officers elected and installed were Peter Moore, noble grand; P. B. Wagner, vice- grand; S.. B. Sabine, secretary; and Philip Cahill, treasurer. After the installation of the officers and the initiation of fourteen candidates the brethren enjoyed a banquet in Wm. Kitt's restaurant.

' Live Oak Rebekah Lodge was instituted October 26, 1885, by Grand Master Nathaniel Cook and Grand Secretary Wm. H. Lyons. The following officers were elected and installed: Mrs. Clara Howard, noble grand; Mrs. J. Ostrander, vice-grand; Mrs. Wm. B. Piper, secretary; Mrs. M. Bruml, treasurer; Mrs. George Ruger, warden; Mrs. J. B. Thorp, conductor; Mrs. M. G. Flanders, inside guardian; and Miss M. McCloud, outside guardian.

Vesper Lodge No. 194, K. P., was instituted February 7, 1884, with thirty-nine charter members. The first officers were: Wm. Ennis, past commander; Wm. B. Ambrose, chancellor commander; B. F. Foster, vice-commander; J. B. Throop, prelate; Luther Locke, keeper of records and seal; J. Blois, master of finance; M. Bruml, master of exchequer; C. McCloud, master of arms; C. H. Dial, inside guardian; A. V. Tretheway, outside guardian.

During the latter part of the Civil War the town boasted of what was known as the Lockeford Dragoons. They were in existence only a time and disbanding in October, 1867, their equipment consisting of saddles, bridles, swords and uniforms, were returned to Sacramento.

The Lockeford brass band was organized June 11, 1882, with John Wagner, Thomas Daly, W. B. Christy, D. Jane, F. Starkey, J. Curtain, J. Macgurney, Charles Baker, Thomas Baker, J. Brummel, John Blois, John Hammond, Jabez Harris, of Stockton, director. On October 11, 1890, the young men of Lockeford organized a second brass band with Henry Bruml as leader. The members were: Osias Grubs, Augustus Barker, Edward Locke, Virgil Holey, Charles Emsley, Abraham Farrington, George Hartwell, Early Farrington, Charles Maxwell, Daniel Dorsey and Charles Gilos
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