Tuesday, June 15, 2021

R.E. Gogings Sr. & Jr.

 

                                                         R.E Gogings

                             Sr. & Jr.

 

Richard E. Gogings Sr. from Maryland, started his drug store in May 1873. He took over the Plaza Drug Store at 262 J street Sacramento, which was owned by H. Bowman. One of the earliest drug stores in Sacramento. R.E Gogings Sr. had worked for Bowman and had made close relationships with their costumers which helped his business grow in popularity. In 1874 the growth of is drug store started to show with the new addition of a second floor which would be occupied by A.B. Nixon MD, a surgeon and physician with the CPRR Hospital. The Plaza Drug Store now owned by Gogings Sr. was a staple drug store in Sacramento through the 1870’s. Unfortunately R.E. Gogings Sr. died Dec. 1, 1880 at the age of 62. His son R.E. Gogings Jr. took over his father’s business in 1881. Now the Gogings Drug Company at 904 J Street still occupying the Plaza Drug Store building. Gogings Jr. having the same name as his father made for an easy transition of ownership and a name that long time costumers would recognize. Gogings Jr. operated the drug store up until 1898. There are no more listings for R.E. Gogings after 1898.


Here is the notice to the public of the new ownership of the Plaza Drug Store, R.E. Gogings and right underneath is his first advertisement. 

 Sacramento Daily Union May 23, 1873

      

 


Sacramento Daily Union, June 5, 1873




   Here is the notice to public of the addition to the drug store.

Sacramento Daily Union, Feb. 10, 1874



   

Placer Herald, Auburn, Cal. May 9, 1874





Sacramento Daily Union, May 17, 1875





Notice of his death, Dec. 1, 1880, Richard E. Gogings age 62

Sacramento Daily Union, Dec. 5, 1880


         

 Probate notice of Richard E. Gogings Sr. last will and testament. You can see Richard E. Gogings Jr. as one of the executors of the estate.

 Sacramento Daily Union, Dec. 7, 1880


   

  First ad for R.E. Gogings Jr., showing new address at 904 J Street still at same location as 262 J Street. The addresses changed in the early 1880’s to line up with the numbered cross streets. His drug store being at 9th and J Street.

 Sacramento Daily Union, Dec. 12, 1886


                                                


                                                              Sacramento Daily Union, April 8, 1887




                                                            Sacramento Daily Union, July 4, 1898                             



   This is the last advertisement published. There are no ads listed after 1898

 Sacramento Daily Union, July 7, 1898


        



Bottles produced by R.E. Gogings Sr. from 1873 - 1880




These come in clear, aqua, amber and blue




Bottles produced by R.E. Gogings Jr. from 1880 - 1898

 














Monday, May 17, 2021

 

TARGET BALLS : FROM A WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

 

It has been anecdotally noted that one Charles Portlock, an English immigrant living in Boston, Massachusetts, was the first person on U.S soil to have experimented with glass target balls, in the late 1860’s. He was an early sportsman involved with the past-time of pigeon shooting and was likely looking for a more available target.  I will leave the details of that to others.

 As was the custom of the day, a pigeon was thrown or catapulted skyward in a spring loaded trap, when the ‘sportsman’ would then fire his favorite shotgun. The general goal was to kill more pigeons than your competitor. While bird shooting carried with it a long history steeped in the basics of food gathering, the pigeons also became an expensive target that many saw as inhumane and unnecessary. Experimentation with several substitutes was tried. Glass balls eventually emerged as the most popular substitute since it was cheaper and had a more explosive flair, and the excitement of the game was as much about entertaining the attending crowd as it was the competition.

 In the U.S. glass balls are first noted as items available for sporting shooters about 1870. (Bedford County Press and Everett Press, Everett, Pennsylvania, June 10, 1870)  Several years later Ira Paine began using glass balls in his New York shooting gallery.

 

 

One of the earliest notices of the use of glass target balls for sporting competition is this article. The description in the text implies an increasing popularity. (Evening Star, Washington, DC, February 29, 1876)

The early 1870’s were dominated by Ira Paine and A. H. Bogardus as the top pigeon shooters in the U.S., and possibly in Europe as well. Both seized upon the emerging popularity of the new sport, each producing their own glass balls and spring traps. Paine, and perhaps others, even went so far as to initially fill his balls with feathers to add an allusion of reality to the sport.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, a new player in this game had recently settled in San Francisco. His name was Dr. William F. Carver. He had often described himself as a Civil War veteran, scout, and plainsman. The 1860 U.S. census for Winslow, Stephenson County, Illinois, schedules him living with his family and being nine years old. It is unlikely he was old enough to enter the Civil War. His occupations as a scout and plainsman may have been true, for he left his family and moved further west by the mid-1860’s. His first marriage was in North Platte, Nebraska, to Lizzie Morris, on October 19, 1874.   

Except for an exhibition shoot in December 1876, the famous marksman, A.H. Bogardus, previously had no known competitive shoots in California. After several pigeon shoots, in Oakland and San Francisco, most of which he won, Bogardus left his California competitive shoots in early February 1877.  Prior to his departure, Bogardus agreed to a competitive shoot with Dr. Carver using his newly developed glass ball trap. Carver was a relatively new resident of California arriving in 1875, and practicing dentistry in San Francisco from 1876 to 1878.  He was born in Winslow, Illinois, about 1851.  Although his father, William Daniel Carver, was a physician, there is no record of his son having any training as a dentist. It is still likely he learned his trade from his father.

 

It was Bogardus who introduced glass ball shooting to the American West with this exhibition at the Palace Opera House in San Francisco on January 29, 1877. (Daily Alta California, January 28, 1877)

 

 

A week later Dr. Carver had a chance to show his marksman skills in a match with Bogardus in Oakland, California. This was a ‘breakout’ moment for Carver that changed the direction of his life, from a dentist to a famous sharpshooter. He lost his match with Bogardus by one glass ball, but it was enough to put him into the professional ranks at which he excelled. (Daily Alta California, February 7, 1877) 

 The Bogardus exhibition in San Francisco and his competitive shoot with Dr.Carver in Oakland, created a huge interest in this relatively new sport, which spread like wildfire throughout California. Glass ball shooting clubs quickly organized throughout the State.

 A year later in San Francisco, Dr. Carver had challenged Bogardus to another competitive glass ball shoot and he accepted. In that ensuing year, Bogardus had popularized the use of competitive glass ball shooting like no other, except, possibly, Ira Paine. His patent trap for glass balls standardized the sport to the point that it was quickly becoming a ‘new’ alternative sport. And, the reduction of the often disdained inhumane use of live birds was looked upon as a positive gain. The match was agreed to be held in New York in May 1878.

 Dr. Carver and Bogardus became the superstars of the new sport of glass ball shooting, and often met as competitors, vying for the chance of becoming the world champion. Bogardus had a bit of a head start as he was already a key figure in pigeon and trap shooting as early as the 1860’s. Carver was a relative newcomer, achieving prominence after he had set up his dental practice in San Francisco, but was quickly entranced by his shooting skill, which brought him fame and fortune as a skilled marksman, with a healthy dose of showmanship thrown in as well.

 

This article underscores the rapidity with which glass ball shooting seized California. One other interesting note is the statement that the balls may be “procured” in San Francisco. Rather than an imported product the article implies that they may have been produced there by that date. (Sacramento Union, May 14, 1877

 

 


The C. NEWMAN embossed ball is most assuredly a product of Carlton Newman’s  San Francisco and Pacific Glass Works. Of the two balls currently known to have been associated with the West, it is the best documented.

 


Liddle & Kaeding was a wholesale and retail sporting goods company that sold their own glass balls which were produced by a currently unknown glass manufacturer. While it is assumed to have been produced in San Francisco no proof has yet to be found. Liddle & Kaeding operated from 1867 until 1889. (Photo from the 2016 FOHBC Sacramento National Antique Bottle Convention & Show Souvenir Program) Another mold variant, produced in amber glass, is also known, and carries the extra wording of SAN FRANCISCO.

 

Another San Francisco glass company, the California Glass Works, is known to have produced glass target balls. It is not known if they were blown with any identifying marks since none have been documented. The Nathanial Curry & Bro. business was a large and successful San Francisco company, and it is not impossible that just like Liddle & Kaeding, it had its own identifiable balls manufactured by the glass works. None have been found, so time will tell.  (Pacific Rural Press, April 21, 1883)

 

 

One of the more interesting of the shooting groups was called the Blue Glass Ball Club. It is not known if they took this name literally by specializing in blue glass balls, but it is an interesting thought. It was centered in Sacramento, California. (Sacramento Daily Union, June 8, 1877) One description of blue balls came from a shooting match in New Orleans. . . “The balls are of deep blue colored glass, and about two and one half inches in diameter.”(The New Orleans Daily Democrat, May 21, 1877) Blue glass target balls are not particularly rare as a group but not the commonest color either.  

 

The ‘back and forth’ competition between Bogardus and Carver was on a national scale not unlike the fervor generated by sporting events of today. The spectator attendance could be significant depending on the stakes, the location and the weather.  (Sacramento Daily Union, January 15, 1878)  In California, many towns formed their own “glass club”, often challenging other town clubs, similar to amateur baseball clubs of the time. 

 

While both Bogardus and Carver were undoubtedly great shots, their respective reputations may have been helped with a little deception. Bogardus was directly accused of bending the truth in his favor at a competition held at Gilmore’s Garden (later renamed Madison Square Garden) in 1879.   The whole affair was said to be designed as a ruse in order to attract paying customers, since an unknown, and probably fictitious person bet $3,000 that Bogardus could not achieve his boast of breaking 6,000 out of 6,200 glass balls, all to be sprung from a Bogardus patent trap. But, Bogardus was accused of using a little deception in the pursuit of his goal. “The glass balls were manufactured in Brooklyn, and six thousand of them were broken at the factory before being sent to the garden.  The workmen were instructed to crack off the necks of the balls with pincers before packing them into the barrels and six thousand were thus broken. The barrels filled with these prepared balls received a peculiar mark, so that they could be distinguished from the genuine article, and a supply of each brand was duly delivered at the garden.  The neat pyramids of glittering glass which ornamented the vestibule and entrances were not of the broken-necked variety, and a few barrels of sound spheres were scattered around for the inspection of the curious.  But the barrels which were rolled into the charmed circle, and from which the attendants charged the traps, all bore the peculiar X mark of villainy. When a ball was missed, it was picked up and handed to the referee, who examined it, and said: “See, the neck is broken here; tally one for Bogardus”.

 The Brooklyn workmen who had handled the pincers freely discussed such unusual employment among themselves and with outsiders, whence it happened that several gentleman went to the show with full knowledge of the intended fraud, and amused themselves by watching the child-like and bland air with which the chief actor blazed away at the already broken glassware.“

 If Miles Johnson, the referee, was not a party to this fraud, he is the phenomenal folly of the age, and should have had his head trepanned and some brains injected through a syringe.” (Sacramento Daily Union, February 22, 1879)

 

Dr. Carver probably used a few tricks of his own, and one was, perhaps, no secret. His gun of choice was not a shotgun but a rifle. Shooting a glass ball with a rifle was no easy task; however, his cartridges were loaded with bird shot, making it considerably easier to hit his target, at least at close range.

 Vast numbers of glass target balls were consumed, even for a single event. One notation mentions, “Dr. Carver Saturday finished his task of breaking 60,000 glass balls inside of six days at New Haven, Conn. (Sacramento Daily Union, January 19, 1885)  One can only imagine the wasted landscape that was laid bare with a layer of glass shards after that exhibition.

 

Even by the early 1880’s the nasty impacts of glass ball shooting were becoming evident. This is the very reason that the ‘clay pigeon’ eventually took the place of glass balls. (Morning Union, Grass Valley, California,  January 23, 1881)

 

By the mid-1880’s clay was becoming a popular substitute for glass balls, signaling a downward trend in their popularity. By 1890 glass ball shooting was a remnant of its former glory.  ( Chico Weekly Enterprise, May 15, 1885) 

 

This short death notice proudly notes Carver served as a scout for General Sibley in 1863. He would have been about twelve years old at the time of that skirmish. That would have been quite a feat. (Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, September 1, 1927)

Friday, March 5, 2021

 HOLLISTER & CO., HONOLULU

 

Hawaiian bottles are about as ‘western’ as possible when it comes to the U.S. Admittedly, some parts of Alaska are actually farther west but that doesn’t count when it comes to the presence and use of bottles. Hawaii’s trade and commerce was worldwide since the whaling industry was the first to put it on the global market. The proximity to California, and its commercial evolution after the gold rush, favored a strong trade between Western and Eastern hemispheres. This can be most readably witnessed today by reviewing the old Hawaiian newspapers, which contain a preponderance of advertisements for goods and services based in San Francisco.

 One Hawaiian company that took advantage of San Francisco’s manufacturing interests is familiar in the soda water bottles they used. Hollister & Company first emerged in Honolulu in the late 1860’s under the name of Hollister & Hyland – a partnership consisting of Henry R. Hollister and Philip G. Hyland. These two New Englanders first advertised their business of tobacco merchants in 1869. The earliest documentation of the firm of Hollister & Hyland was an advertisement for their company selling a variety of tobacco products, and with a small notation that “Soda Water always on hand ! In siphon or Soda Bottles.” (The Hawaiian Gazette, 25 August 1869)


 

This 1869 advertisement indicates that in the beginning the business interest of Hollister & and Hyland was primarily tobacco products.

 It has yet to be determined when Hollister & Hyland first ordered their embossed bottles from a San Francisco glass works but it is assumed that it was probably about 1869, when their partnership was created. Simply embossed H & H / HONOLULU, these bottles are relatively rare, and for good reason. The Hollister & Hyland partnership, which seemed to have been flourishing quite well, came to an abrupt end with the death of Philip Hyland in 1871.

 


An exceptional dark aqua example of the H & H soda water bottle. It would have been produced between the years of 1869 to 1871. (Collection of Randal Omon)

 

An article in the  Hawaiian Gazette, June 7, 1871, gives a rather detailed account of Hyland's tragic death:

 On Monday of last week, at 9 o’clock P.M., while making a passage to Hilo in the Kate Lee, Mr. G. P. Hyland, of the firm of Hollister & Hyland, Tobacconists and Soda Manufacturers, fell overboard and was drowned, when the vessel was about fifteen miles from that port.  Mr. Hyland, it seems, had been for some time suffering from ill health, and had undertaken the trip to Hilo with the hope that it might benefit him.  Capt. West, of the Kate Lee, discovered on the evening in question that Mr. Hyland was suffering from an aberration of mind, being impressed with the idea that a person on board had intentions upon his life.  Capt. West said all he could to calm his fears, assuring him that he would protect him, and used every persuasion to induce him to go into the cabin, but without effect.  The Captain, on going into the cabin temporarily, gave orders to those on deck to keep strict watch on Mr. Hyland,.  Only a few minutes had elapsed after going below, when he heard the cry of “Man overboard!” and rushing immediately upon deck he saw Mr. Hyland struggling in the water, a short distance from the vessel.  One of the crew immediately jumped overboard for the purpose of assisting the unfortunate man in keeping on the surface until a boat could be sent to his rescue.  The man was, however, unable to effect his object, owing to the fact that the drowning man struggled so violently that he could not retain his hold upon him without imminent risk of his own life, and although a boat was lowered with every dispatch, when it arrived at the spot where Mr. Hyland was last seen, it was found that he had disappeared.  It is supposed that Mr. H., who was sitting on the rail of the vessel when last seen on board, fell overboard during an epileptic fit, to attacks of which he was subject.

 

The rather strange reported actions of Hyland suggest he was suffering from some sort of physical or mental malady – or perhaps both. Either way it was a disastrous circumstance.

 Hyland’s partner, Henry R. Hollister, gave official notice of the dissolution of the partnership on June 8, 1871, with the actual dissolution date of May 30, 1871, the day after Hyland’s demise. Therefore, it is fairly certain that the H & H soda bottles would not have been blown after this date.

 


Hollister continued in the tobacco trade, along with soda water, until 1880, when he also opened a drug store as well. This would account for the numerous prescription type bottles with the name of Hollister & Co. embossed. His son-in-law, Henry A. Parmalee, was the silent partner.

 

 

 


One of the many old blob top Hollister & Co. bottles, of which there are several minor variants. On the earliest variant the area once carrying the "H & H" embossing is still visible. They are also found in an array of colors in a range of greens and light blue, but those colors have rarely made it to mainland collections. Note the curved leg on the letter ‘R’, a nearly sure sign the bottles were blown in San Francisco.

 

Just as with most bottlers of soda water, Hollister & Co., had the age old problem of diminishing supplies of their bottles. This advertisement of 1880 underscores the issue. (The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, (Honolulu, HI) July 24, 1880).

 

The earliest photo located showing the Hollister soda works in Honolulu.

 

The gravitating stopper variant of the Hollister & Co. bottle is one of the rarer of bottle styles used. (Collection of Kimo Legsay)

 

 

Hollister & Co. continued to prosper throughout the 1880’s and well into the 90’s. However, primary emphasis changed over time with the tobacconist element shifting to secondary status under the drug business. This 1884 advertisement underscores the increased importance of the drug business for Hollister & Co. It also gives some insight to the use of patent stoppered bottles, and shows various styles were being used simultaneously. The patent stoppers used by Hollister included the Mathews gravitating stopper (bottle pictured above), the Hutchinson wire stopper, and the British Codd stopper.

 

Hollister & Co. incorporated in 1894, thereby changing its name to the Hollister Drug Co. By any reasonable assessment, any bottles produced by the company after this date should no longer be embossed with the previous company name, using the ampersand. (The Daily Bulletin (Honolulu, HI) February 26, 1894)

 To confuse this issue somewhat, the tobacco arm of the Hollister conglomerate remained and continued under the name of Hollister & Co. until April 30, 1900 (The Hawaiian Star, Honolulu, HI, May 5, 1900). 



After a challenging, fascinating and successful life, Henry Hollister died in Honolulu, Hawaii, on May 12, 1896. Evening Bulletin (Honolulu, HI) May 12, 1896. His obituary touches upon adventures that could be located nowhere else.

 

I won’t even begin to tackle the myriad of mold variations of the Hollister bottles. I will leave that to the primary source of information on Hawaiian bottles by Rex Elliott and Stephen C. Gould (1988)

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

 

STOCKTON’S PORT WINE BITTERS

 

He was the son of Nathaniel Hiram Stockton, born in Tennessee November 6, 1818, and Mary Lynn. N. H. Stockton married Mary on October 17, 1852, in Watsonville, California, and resided near Santa Cruz, California, where their six children were born. Their oldest son, William Walter Stockton, was born in Santa Cruz on June 30, 1857. He then moved with his family to San Jose in 1862, where N. H. Stockton engaged in viticulture. W.W. Stockton was to graduate from San Jose State Normal School, which was established as a teacher’s college and is known today as San Jose State University.

 By March 1882, W.W. Stockton entered into a partnership with fellow San Jose resident, Lewis B. Wilson. Stockton opened a wine store in San Jose and Wilson opened a branch store in Grass Valley.

 Stockton’s short lived partnership with Lewis B. Wilson ended when Wilson was declared insolvent in Grass Valley. Wilson then returned to San Jose where he immersed himself in education, receiving his certificate to teach school. He eventually became vice-president of San Jose State College. Wilson married Alice Blythe in San Jose on January 10, 1883.  Wilson died in San Jose on 16 May 1924. Meanwhile W. W. Stockton married Sacramento native, Mary A. Gay in San Jose on August 12, 1882.

 W.W. Stockton wasted no time in creating a new business under the name of W.W. Stockton & Co. This was most certainly a business formed for the purpose of selling wines, etc., from his father’s own extensive vineyards, and soon included his Port Wine Bitters.

 

 

Stockton's Port Wine Bitters bottle.

 

The original label for Stockton's Port Wine Bitters, included with his trade mark registration for the brand, deposited with the California Secretary of State as trade mark Number 971 on April 9, 1883.
 


 As would be expected in the relatively small town of San Jose, the local newspaper gave notice to a promising new business by a well respected resident. (San Jose Mercury-news, 28 April 1883 )

 

 

A newspaper ad for his bitters, it originally incorporated the word “MALVOISIE” which represented the initial grape variety used to compound the product. (San Jose Mercury-News, April 17, 1883) 

 

 

An interesting news byte noting the original art work for Stockton’s Malvoise Bitters was being displayed in the window of Rhode’s drug store in San Jose.  (San Jose Mercury-News, April 7, 1883) 

 

By June 1883 the word MALVOISE was no longer used in his ads. This action, which is not completely explained, may be because of the varietal grape choices his father had made in his vineyards, which is where the juice was derived for Stockton’s Port Wine Bitters.

 


Stockton’s advertisements for his bitters soon dropped the reference to the Malvoisie grape probably represented a switch to the use of the more abundant Zinfandel grape from the much larger vineyards of his father’s Madera properties. (San Jose Mercury-News, June 17, 1883)  

 

The malvoisie grape, or malvasia in Italian, is a European species of the Vitus vinifera family, (aka Vitus vinifera “Cinsaut”) It has been commonly used in the production of port wines for many generations, and was a freely planted grape in the early orchards of California, especially Napa and San Jose. As different grape varieties became better tested in the new California geography, it was noted that the Malvoisie grape was not as hardy as first expected and fell out of favor by the early 1880’s.

 

All documentation located indicated a successful business venture that was to be an excellent financial success to both Stockton and the city of San Jose. (San Jose Herald, March 19, 1884) 

 

Much of Stockton’s success should be put squarely on the shoulders of his father, N. H.  Stockton, who was producing huge amounts of grapes.

 

Nathaniel Stockton’s Live Oak Vineyard became a model for the newly emerging viticulture that once rivaled its counterpart in Napa County. While Stockton was a successful grape grower he looked enviously toward the area of Fresno County where the climate was much more to his liking. 

 

Retaining his successful Live Oak Vineyard, N. H. Stockton later purchased as much as 640 acres in the warmer San Joaquin Valley and planted a large portion of it in grapes as well. He had been particularly critical of the milder, and wetter, climate of the San Jose ValleyStockton also established a house and winery at his Madera property.

 

A letterhead from N.H. Stockton, documenting his vineyards in Madera, Fresno County, California, In 1893 Madera became the county seat of the newly formed Madera County, reducing the size of Fresno County

 

 

It is clear from this newspaper advertisement that N.H. Stockton, and his son, W.W. Stockton, had a close relationship in the spirits and bitters business.   (San Jose Mercury-News, December 18, 1883) 

 

 

 

This somewhat close father / son relationship between W.W. Stockton and his father becomes even clearer with this IOU, on W.W. Stockton’s letterhead, with both father and son’s signature.    

 

The successful business of N. H. Stockton, and the newly emerging business of his son, W.W. Stockton, and his Port Wine Bitters, all came to an abrupt end when the senior Stockton died at his ranch in Madera on June 30, 1884.

 

W. W. Stockton, was the only surviving male sibling, along with his four sisters, when their father died. W.W. Stockton became the executor of his father’s rather large estate after N.H. Stockton’s wife, Mary Stockton, gave up her first right as executor. It took six years to finally complete the probate process which consumed much of his time. It is apparent that Stockton ceased producing his Port Wine Bitters and closed the wine and liquor store in San Jose which was considered part of his father’s estate.

 

Stockton sold his liquor business in May 1885, which by that time was only advertising Thistle Dew Whiskey. From that date he no longer was involved in liquor sales.

 

Not staying idle, Stockton soon exposed his inquisitive side. He had a great fascination for the properties of electro-magnetic energy and spent some time with the development of a telephone. He was noted as being the co-developer of a new type of highly efficient telephone transmission. (San Jose Herald, March 2, 1885) After an extensive interview with Stockton about his new invention, the local newspaper illuminated predictions about this new modern field.  “Mr. Stockton has given several years of careful study and systematic experiments to electrical science, studying the best textbooks obtainable and keeping informed on the progress made in the world through valuable sources as the Electrical World, Scientific American, Electrical Review and similar papers.  “And yet,” he remarked, “although what the world knows to-day about electricity would fill many books, what the world does not know to-day about it would fill a vastly greater number; and we are now on the threshold of a century in which there will be such discoveries and applications of known principles made as are too wonderful to contemplate.  One hundred years or so hence people will navigate the air by electrical force, will see a friend a hundred or a thousand miles away.  The refrangibility of light, refractive power of lenses, etc., will be so affected by electro-magnetic action that telescopes will be made powerful enough to show every pebble in the planets, and so will other wonderful results, ad infinitum, be obtained through the agency of this wonderful form of energy, electricity.”

 

Not overlooking more traditional innovations, in December 1885 Stockton and G. Phelps patented a yoke for double team draft animals. (draft yoke or bar for double teams,  Patent Number 332,366, filed July 29, 1885) Later that year he went to Mexico to superintend the installation of an electric light plant. (San Jose Mercury News, December 17, 1885)  By 1887 he was noted as a “constructing electrician” for the Risdon Iron Works of San Francisco (San Jose Mercury News, August 19, 1887). He remained in San Francisco for the next several years where the city directory lists him as an electrician.

 

The remaining stock of Port Wine Bitters was being sold by secondary parties as late as 1890 at THE FAMILY WINE AND LIQUOR STORE, in San Jose – at a reduced price of 35 cents per bottle, and noted as 11 years old. (San Jose Herald, February 28, 1890) By 1892 it was being sold at $1.00 for 5 bottles.

 

Stockton briefly moved to Niles, Alameda County, about 1890, where the voting register notes his occupation as an accountant. From that date he is no longer documented in California but probably stayed there until about 1894.

 

By 1891 Stockton left Niles and became somewhat aloof in his whereabouts, even though Mary Stockton, his wife, born as Mary Albertine Gay, remained in San Francisco and engaged in a variety of odd jobs to support herself. She even bore a child, Mary Arlene Stockton on August 22, 1893. It is assumed that her father was W.W. Stockton, even though Arlene’s death certificate notes her father was “Frank Stockton”. This is likely an error.  By 1895 the San Francisco city directories simply listed Stockton’s wife as a widow, which was a common descriptor for a woman who had no husband, for reasons including death, divorce and abandonment. She had relocated to Chicago, Illinois, by 1900 and eventually moved to Michigan, where she married John Herman Hensen in Grand Rapids, on April 11, 1938, at the age of 74 years. She died in Kalamazoo on January 24, 1946.

 

W. W. Stockton clearly determined to make another life changing move and was found next in Maricopa County, Arizona, in the voting register, when he signed up to vote on September 29, 1894, in Gila Bend, Arizona. He apparently had decided to stay in the area for awhile. Local newspapers periodically made note of his prospecting and mining activities in Arizona Territory.

William Walker Stockton died on December 24, 1901, at Castle Creek Hot Springs, Yavapai, Arizona. The only signed affidavit from the inquest of his death, except for the Coroners Jury final determination, was from William “Billy” Walker, a well known chef who went to work at the Castle Creek Hotel about 1899, according to a newspaper article. (Prescott Arizona Weekly Journal Miner, October 4, 1899) As an aside, in 1909 Walker, was arrested for an assault with a deadly weapon – a heavy beer glass, that he threw at Joe Bush in McDonough’s Saloon in Globe, Arizona. (The Daily Silver Belt, Globe, Arizona, July 21, 1909.

The Arizona probate court determined that although Stockton had an undivided interest in the Prosperity, Oro Grande, and Rich Rock mining claims in the Castle Creek Mining District of Yavapai County, Arizona, they were not sufficiently developed to have any true value, and probate was closed on February 2, 1903. 

In cases where deaths were either suspicious or unknown, Arizona law required that the coroner name a panel of six jurors that would look into, and attempt to determine, the cause of death. The Billy Walker inquest deposition for Stockton notes he had been drinking heavily, went to bed and died in his sleep.

 

The final result as determined by the Coroners’ jury was that Stockton had died from apoplexy (stroke). To say the least, it was a bit of a shock to note the signature of Maxfield Parrish as a member of the Coroner’s jury, as noted in this document.

 

Names of the Coroner’s jury:

Oren A. Ensign: jury foreman and miner in Castle Creek District

Charles M. Calhoun: Manager of Hot Springs, beginning in 1898

Maxfield Parrish: Artist – see below.

John Deck: Miner: Killed in a mining accident at Tip Top, Yavapai County, in 1905.

Charles E. Stuart: A pioneer painting contractor of Phoenix.

Thomas M. Kerr: He was a successful freighter operating in Yavapai County.

 

Maxfield Parrish, and his new bride, Lydia, visited Hot Springs in the winter of 1901-1902. He had been suffering from the effects of tuberculosis and jumped at the chance to accept an offer by The Century Magazine to visit the Southwest, and create pictures for a series of articles. He created a total of 19 paintings while staying at Castle Creek Hot Springs, considered Arizona’s first springs resort. It was here that Parrish first employed the intense blue that he experienced in the Western skies, which became a hallmark of many of his paintings. Little else need be stated about Parrish, as he is so well known, except this hidden fact about his Coroner’s jury obligation which has not previously been documented to my knowledge. The story how he was selected for the jury is a story that will probably never be discovered.

 

 

The Maxfield Parrish print, Daybreak, first produced in 1922, was the most popular, and recognizable print of the twentieth century. The original painting was sold in 2006, for $7.6 million, to the wife of actor, Mel Gibson. It was again sold in 2010, at a loss – for $5.2 million.

 

Eric McGuire