Lodi History

Mokelumne City

Probably not one pioneer out of one hundred ever heard of Mokelumne City, and but few persons today could tell its location and yet when it was founded, near the junction of the Consumnes and Mokelumne Rivers, its prospects were bright as the second largest town in the county, for it had deep water communication with San Francisco all the year round, an advantage not possessed by any other town in the county except Stockton. Parties began moving there in 1850. In August of that year the town was surveyed and many lots sold to individual parties for homes and business purposes. During one week five schooners arrived, loaded with groceries, hardware and lumber. "Schooners were constantly arriving with goods," said a writer in the spring of 1860, "and the town is increasing in size wonderfully, and several brick and wooden buildings have been constructed." In August, 1861, the town, included twenty-three houses and a hotel, erected by George Keith at a cost of $5,000, with lots selling in price from $600 to $1,000 each. It was a town of just ten years of history, for all the inhabitants then moved to Lodi

History of Lodi

In 1869 Messrs. Allen T. Ayers, J. U. Megley and R. L. Wardrobe petitioned the railroad company to establish a station at the place known as Lode, offering them an undivided half of a half mile square of land on which to lay out the site for a town.  This liberal offer was accepted, and the company proceeded to lay out the plat, naming the point Mokelumne station; but when some years afterward this name was found to be too similar to others in the State, the present name of Lodi was selected.

The village, which has now a population of about 1, 200, is pleasantly located on comparatively high ground, about three-fourths of a mile south of the Mokelumne river, eight miles north of the Calaveras, and fourteen miles north of Stockton.  The railroad runs north and south through its center, and its depot grounds comprise three squares.  Although the town plat remains the same, the houses occupy an area of one mile by three-fourths.  The land in the vicinity is sandy and excellent for almost all kinds of crops.  Watermelons have been a great specialty here for many years. The surface of the ground does not become miry in wet weather.  Below the surface is a hard-pan, and beneath this again, only about fifteen feet from the surface, good water is found in abundance.

In August, 1869, I. N. Stretch commenced building a dwelling-house and store, - the latter on the corner of Pine and Sacramento streets.

This store, when completed, occupied by J. M. Burt and C.O. Ivory; they were the first buildings erected in the place.  The second building was a hotel, called the Hooker House, a kind of ark that the flood of fortune had floated about the world until it finally drifted, in its wanderings, to Mokelumne station.  It was first built at Sancho Plano, in Amador County, for a hotel, in the fall of 1861 Charles Hopkins moved it to Campo Seco, in Calaveras County, and named it after General Hooker, who afterward became the hero of Lookout Mountain. 

In the spring of 1869, Dan Crist (commonly known as "Uncle Dan") bought the house from Hopkins, with a view of taking it to Dover, on the San Joaquin, and he moved it to Woodbridge, with this view, intending to ship it from there by water, but found the river too low.  While it was lying there the town of  Mokelumne was laid out, and the destination of the wandering hotel was changed to the new site, where it was erected under the name of Hooker House.  In January, 1870, Uncle Dan had an addition built to it by J. E. Spencer.

In December, 1869, the railroad company commenced erecting the depot buildings.  In the same month J. A. Allison and W. Jacobs established a state line between this place and Mokelumne Hill, which made connections with the lines to Tuolumne and the upper part of Calaveras and Amador counties.  Uncle Dan was appointed postmaster, keeping the post office at the Hooker House.  Thus in 1869 was concentrated the nucleus- at hotel, store, depot, post office and stage line- around which the future could rally and build a town.  In the spring of 1870, J. A. Allison built a livery stable, a butcher shop was erected by Thompson & Folger, and B. D. Beckwith finished a drug store.

It was in 1870 that by subscription a general fund was raised for the purpose of building a church.  The building was to be called the Union Church, and be free to all denominations except the Mormons.  After the building was enclosed and three services were held therein on the succeeding Sunday, before midnight it was accidentally burned down. The same committee raised more funds and erected on the same foundation another and a larger building, which was dedicated and turned over to the Methodists, the only organized religious body in the place.

During the month of September, 1870, J. W. Spencer and John Flannagan commenced the erection of the Spencer House; it was completed during the following winter and opened in February as a hotel by Edward Olwell and Mr. J. Barry, who occupied it for one year, and the J. E. Spencer became proprietor of the business.

Through Lodi east and west runs the San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada Railroad, a narrow-gauge track.

The Lodi Mill and Warehouse Company, composed mostly of farmers, in 1876 erected a flouring-mill at Lodi, of brick, with four sets of buhrs for wheat and middlings, and one set for barley.  The cost was $30,000. A. W. Gove was the first secretary of the company, and Mr. Bingham the first manager.  The mills were set in operation in the autumn of that year, with a 119-horse-power engine, which is still in use there.  The establishment afterward fell into the hands of George S. Locke, the mortgagee, and he ran it occasionally until the spring of 1882, when Sperry & Co., of  Stockton, rented it and ran the mills at intervals for about eighteen months.  In October, 1883, they abandoned them, and nothing more was done until July, 1884, when they were purchased by Corson, Lasell & Wright, who continued in partnership about two years, and then Corson (C.H.) purchased the interest of his partners.  About a year and a half afterward he admitted into partnership  F. R. Clark, but since October, 1888, Mr. Corson as been sole proprietor.

In the fall of 1884 the roller system was introduced and  combined with the stone work but in July, 1887, the latter was removed. The capacity of  the mill is 200 barrels a day, and is run for local trade nearly half the time.

The warehouse in connection therewith has a storage capacity of 4,000 tons.

The Lodi Land and Lumber Company, in 1877, built on the Mokelumne river, about a mile from Lodi, one of the finest saw-mills on the cost at a cost of $40,000, the mill having a capacity of 40,000 feet per day.

The Lodi Planing Mills were started in operation about the middle of April, 1889, by Huestis who now runs the mill, manufacturing furniture and building material, both redwood and pine.  When working to its full capacity the mill gives employment to seven or eight hands.

The Lodi Bank was incorporated June 7, 1888, and does a general banking business. B. F. Langford, president; Francis Cogswell, vice-president; Guy W. Currier, cashier.

The principal hotel in the place is the Sargent House, where a huge- fireplace, Southern style, is kept well supplied with burning wood, so that one can warm himself there thoroughly and quickly, with no confined foul air to breathe.  In this respect this is the best hotel the writer has found in all his travels in the Golden State.

The Lodi Hall Association erected in 1876 a magnificent two-story brick building, a 30x90 feet, at a cost of $16,000.

The Valley Review
was first issued July 20, 1878, being established by Mrs. Gertie de Force Cluff, sister of Mrs. Laura de Force Gordon.  Its size was a seven-column folio, 24x36 inches, weekly.  In 1884 Mrs. Cluff sold to Walcott & Cheney, and they in turn, about a year later, to Bloomer & Moore.  Subsequently the institution was sold by the sheriff.

In 1885 Mrs. Cluff started the Lodi Cyclone, same size, but eight pages with five columns to the page.  A year afterward she sold to Howell & Matteson, who changed the paper to the Lodi News.  In July 7, 1887, the office was accidentally destroyed by fire, with but little insurance.

August 16, 1888, the present Valley Review, a weekly folio, was started by Frank B. Cluff, a very young man who has been a resident here since October 1875.  He was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and was but eight years old when he came with his parents to Lodi.  His father, George F. Cuff, a native of Massachusetts, and his mother, of Pennsylvania, are residents of Lodi.  Young Cuff was only eighteen years of age when he assumed the business management of the Cyclone, and he is now proprietor of the Valley Review.  This, as well as all the papers started here by his relatives, have been, is a prosperous journal.

The Lodi Sentinel was first established July 9, 1881, by W.R. Ellis and J. W. McQuaid, from Napa County.  The former  is now proprietor of the Woodland Daily Mail; the latter sold to his partner in 1885 and is now connected with the Marysville Democrat.  In 1887 F. E. Ellis bought the paper, and in July , 1888, sold a half interest to his brother, H. F., thus forming the present partnership.  The paper, a weekly folio of seven columns to the page, is now printed in the Back block, up stairs.  Republican in politics. F. E. Ellis is editor, and H. F. Ellis is the printer.

F.E. Ellis was born and brought up in Napa County, this State, receiving his education at the high school in Napa City; taught school three or four years in San Joaquin and Calaveras counties, and then came to Lodi.  Here  he is also secretary of the Odd Fellows lodge, and he has passed all the chairs in the order of the Knights of Pythias.

The Lodi Library and Reading Room Association was organized in 1886.  The Sargent Brothers, of Lodi, and James A. Loutti, Esq., of Stockton, were liberal donors to the fund.  The library, now comprising 600 to 700 volumes, is kept in the Sentinel office, where it is conveniently kept open all day every workday by the proprietors of that paper, Mr. F. E. Ellis being secretary and librarian for the association.  W. C. Green is president.  For membership there is a small fee, but there are no assessments.  The selection of books is superior, as it has been made with a definite purpose, and it is not a mere storage room for old, worthless books.

By way of episode we may here relate that April 1, 1889, some members of the association loudly advertised, "with gun, drum , trumpet, blunderbuss and thunder" (Pope) on the streets of Lodi and Woodbridge, attracting immense crowds, that a monster minstrel troupe of  local talent would give a grand performance in the evening at a certain hall.  The sale of tickets amounted to about $100.  The hour for exhibiting arrived, but not the performers, when the citizens called to mind that it was "All Fools; Day," pardoned the roguish chaps for their philanthropic enterprise and went home calling it "square".

A two-story frame school building, 30x40 feet, was erected in 1872, at an expense of $42,169, raised by special tax.  The present school-house, a neat two-story frame of eight rooms in the southeastern part of town, was erected in 1881 or 1882, at a cost of $15,000.  Here the average attendance is about 200, while the number of children of school age in the village is 306.  School in maintained nine months each year.  J. N. Summers is the principal, and there are four assistant teachers.

Lodi Lodge, No. 256, F. & A. M.
., was organized in 1879, with twelve charter members, and Ralph Ellis as the first master.  There are now about thirty-three members.  Lodge meets every Thursday before the full moon.  Dr. E. F. Grant is secretary.

Lodi Lodge, No. 259, I.O.O.F., was instituted May 22, 1877, the charter members being John Rutan, P.G.; C. V. Williamson, P. G.; Morgan Crawford, P.G.; Howard M. Craig, Henry Witte, Samuel Ferdun, Reuben Pixley, John Hutchins, Ezekiel Lawrence, A. T. Ayres, W. D. Smith, Thomas Russell, Thomas Fairchilds, G. B. Ralph and C. T. Riggs.  The first officers of the organization were John Rutan, N. G.; Henry Witte, V.G.; Thomas Russell, R. S.; A. T. Ayres, P. S.; E. Lawrence, Treasurer.  The present membership is sixty.  William Ennis is D. D. G. M. of District No. 79, which includes Lodi, Woodbridge, Clements, Lockford and Elliott.

Pythagoras Lodge, No. 41 K. of P., was organized February 17, 1877, with, for its first officers, E. B. Sherman, C. C.; H. C. Gillingham, V. C.; H. M. Craig, Prelate; John Rutan, K. of R. & S.; F. Davis, M. of  F.; M. Bruml, M. of Ex.; G. Kirkland, M. at A. ; E. W. S. Wood, I. G.; W. D. Smith, O. G., and a strong membership.  In the spring of 1883 a division took place, and out of the old society was formed Salem Lodge, No. 105. and the two organizations continued separate until January, 1887, when they were united under the name of Lodi Lodge No. 41, K of P., which now has a membership of eight, and the following officers:  E. B. Wright, P. C.; George E. Carver, C. C., and H. S. Clark, K. of R. & S.   Lodge meets every Saturday night.  This society has paid out large amounts of money for benefits.

Lodi Lodge, No. 189. I. O. G. T., was organized October 19, 1877, with the following persons for its first officers: J. H. White, W. C. t.; Mrs. Mary Hill, W. V. T.; D. Wardrobe, R. S.; Mrs. Aldridge, F. S., Miss J. Parmeter, Treas.; Frank Smith, M.; Mrs. Blanch, D. M.; A. Wardrobe, I. G.; J. Rixon, C.; Rachel Parmeter, P. W. C. T.  This society went down and

Enterprise Lodge, No. 285, I. O. G. T.,  was instituted during the first week of  November,  1887, with about fifteen charter members; there are now seventy in good standing, and the chief officers are J. A. Anderson, C. T.; May Pickings, V.T.; Frank Christie, Rec. Sec., Marion Eliott, Fin. Sec.  Friday evening is the time of meeting.

The W. C. T. U. of Lodi was organized November 29, 288r, with only six members: there are now thirty-five. The officers from the first to the present have been:  Mrs. William Moore, president; Mrs. C. F. Grant, Secretary.  Society meets every two weeks.  At one meeting there will be a bible exercise , at another, hygiene will be the topic, at another heredity etc., there being a regularly elected superintendent for each department.  For the free distribution of temperance literature, they have also to some extent introduced temperance literature in the public schools.

The Loyal Legion, No. 1, a branch of the above, and consisting of persons of both sexes and of all ages, has been in existence for three or four years.  They undergo a sort of military drill.  The membership in this society is about seventy.

Lodi Grange, No. 92, P. of H., was organized August 29, 1873, and erected the "Odd Fellows Hall" building, which they still own.  The Odd Fellows sub-lease a portion of the building to the Knights of Pythias.  The first story is devoted to mercantile business. The Grangers' Co-operative Business Association was a private stock company which ran a general store.  Lodi is also the headquarters of the Pomona, or county grange, whose regular meeting occur four times a year.  S. Ferdun is master of the subordinate grange, and J. D. Huffman is secretary of both granges.

Source: Carolyn Feroben.


Transcribed by Kathy Sedler

Lodi Flag

Lodi Bank of America

Lodi Bauden & Wells Undertakers

Lodi Congregational Church

Bank of Lodi with Street Car

Lodi Grape Bowl

Lodi Grape Harvest Wagons

Lodi Green Ford Dealership

Old Lodi High School

Old Lodi High School

Lodi Historic Catholic Church

Hotel Lodi

Lodi Lippert Auto Court
917 S. Cherokee

Lockeford Street, Lodi

Main & Pine Streets, Lodi

Oak & School Streets, Lodi

Lodi Parade, Sacramento & Pine

Pine & School Streets, Lodi

Pine Street looking east to Sacramento Street

Pine Street looking east

Pine Street, Lodi

Lodi Residence

Roma Winery, Lodi

Sacramento Street looking south

Sacramento and Pine Streets, Lodi

Sacramento and Pine Streets, Lodi

Sacramento and Pine Streets, Lodi

Sacramento Street 1907, Lodi

School * Oak Streets, Lodi

School & Pine Streets, Lodi

Sierra Garage, Lodi

South School Street, Lodi

Lodi Buildings

Lodi Watermelon Wagon

Lodi, The Tokay City

TWELVE miles north of Stockton lies Lodi, the Queen City of the San Joaquin Valley. It excels all other cities not so much in the number of its population, about 7,000, nor in its area, about one mile square; but it excels in its progress, government, civil pride, splendid churches and schools, handsome residences and social qualities. It owns its own lighting and water plant, sixteen miles of fine asphalt streets, sewerage system, handsome little theater, and fine hotel. And during the past year it has expended over $1,638,000 in municipal improvements, public service utilities, business houses and private dwellings.
Soon after the Civil War J. C. Layman arrived overland and obtained from a man named Spencer his claim to 160 acres of land where now stands Lodi. He got the land for a span of horses. The land was so thickly covered with brush in many places that it was almost impossible to force one's way through. He bought several acres from R. L. Wardrobe, whose land was adjoining Layman's on the east side, at $2.50 an acre. He then owned some 240 acres of land on what is now north of Lodi Avenue and west of the Central Pacific Railroad. Layman with his family lived in a rudely constructed house on what is now West Walnut Street between Sacramento and School Streets. In 1867 he sold the entire tract to R. L. Wardrobe and Allen C. Ayers for $6.50 an acre and moved to Merced.

When the engineers of the Central Pacific Railroad Company started to find the best and cheapest route from Sacramento to Stockton they made three preliminary surveys over northern San Joaquin County. One of these surveys was through Woodbridge straight into El Dorado Street, Stockton, a second survey about a mile east of Woodbridge, and a third survey over the route where now lies Lodi. Woodbridge was their choice of routes, but it is said the owners of the land refused to give them the right-of-way and asked for damages far in excess of the value of the land. Others say that the engineers were advised to locate their track farther east on the high land, as the Woodbridge route was frequently flooded from the high waters of the Mokelumne River. Woodbridge was a thriving town with a farming community surrounding it, and on tidewater with river communication to the ocean, while the Lodi section appeared to be a waste of sand, forest, trees, sage brush and jackrabbits.

After the survey had been made through Lodi, A. T. Ayers, John U. Magley, R. L. Wardrobe and E. Lawrence petitioned the railroad company to locate a station on their land. As a bonus the three owners first named agreed if a station was there built and a town laid off to give the railroad every odd lot in the proposed town and a railroad reservation of twelve acres in the center of the town. Although the land at that time was of no great value, worth only the Government price $2.50 an acre, it was a good proposition and the company quickly accepted it. The survey was made in the spring of 1869, by the company's surveyor, Isaac C. Smith. He laid off the new town about one-half mile square, true to the points of the compass. It was a tract of 166 acres and included twenty-four acres of Magley's land, twenty-five acres of the Ayres tract and fifty-five acres of the Wardrobe property. A railroad reservation unfortunately was plotted in the center of the town. And now it is a great detriment to the city and getting worse every year. The streets were named running from east to west, Cherokee, Stockton, Main, Sacramento, School, and Church; from the north to south, Locust, Elm, Pine, Oak, and Walnut. Cherokee Lane, now the State Highway, was the eastern boundary of the town. The town plat from which this record is taken was filed in the county clerk's office August 25, 1869, by Dr. E. S. Holden of Stockton. The town was named Mokelumne City, but as it caused a confusion with Mokelumne station and Mokelumne Hill the citizens petitioned the legislature and in 1874 the name was changed to Lodi. Why the four-lettered name of Lodi? Nobody knows. Some say, among them George E. Lawrence, that the name was suggested "by the historic event of Napoleon at the Bridge of Lodi." Others say that in jest, it was named Lodi because of a famous four mile running stallion by that name stabled in the town, Lodi at that time being known as "the sporting center."

Old Lodi SP Depot

Lodi Railroad Station

Lodi Railroad Station

Lodi Railroad Station

Lodi SP Depot


Pioneer Building

The first building was the house erected by J. U. Magley in 1868 on the corner of what is now Pine and School Streets. After the laying off of the town the first building was a dwelling erected in August, 1869, by I. N. Stretch on the corner of Pine and Sacramento Streets. He also built a store for J. M. Burt & Ivory, who had come up from Woodbridge. The next building in the town was the famous Hooker House, so named after General Hooker, a famous Civil War general. The house was built for a hotel at Lancha Plana. Later it was removed to Campo Seco. In 1869 "Uncle Dan" Crist bought it intending to remove it to Dover on the San Joaquin River. It was moved to Lockeford, loaded on the steamer Pert, which sailed to Woodbridge. Then the future Lodi was founded and Crist then moved the old-timer to the new town. A post office was established and Crist was the first appointed postmaster. In the spring of that year, 1869, J. R. Allison built a stable and he and W. Jacobs established a stage line from Mokelumne City to Mokelumne Hill, the line making connections with the railroad. About the same time Thompson & Folger, from Woodbridge, opened a butcher shop, and Byron D. Beckwith opened a drug store. In September, 1870, John E. Spencer and John Flanigan built the Spencer House and it was opened in February, 1871, by Edward Olwell and J. A. Barry. The following year Spencer himself became the proprietor. In October, 1870, a correspondent wrote: "Our town is growing quite rapidly. Last spring we boasted of having eighteen houses, now we have fifty-six. Rev. Dr. Bryant is preparing to erect a church. R. Lefler & Co. are putting up a large hotel fronting 128 feet on two streets. W. B. Arnold has erected a substantial brick building. Charles O. Ivory of Stockton is putting up a two-story building for his bride, and R. C. Bosworth, James Ellison, C. M. Boalt, Isaac N. Stretch and Samuel Gray are erecting new homes. Woodbridge is contributing quite liberally towards building up the town, moving their houses to the railroad city. Liberty is sending her citizens, so also is Galt. George Crist, formerly the Woodbridge postmaster, is making improvements in his hotel, and has a big run of custom. Peck & Company are running a daily line of stages to Mokelumne Hill, and strangers are here looking for investments." Ten years later another writer declared, "Lodi owes its existence to the caprice of the railroad magnates. Had the railroad been built through Woodbridge, as at first mapped out, the site of Lodi would today have been a stubblefield. The population is about 800, and the various trades are well represented. Cluff & Smith are dealers in agricultural implements; J. E. Spencer has the only hotel; W. J. Rixon, restaurant and bakery; Ellison & Bunke, livery stable; Mrs. Herrington, millinery; Byron D. Beckwith, postoffice; Ralph Ellis, Lodi flour mill; A. Levinsky, dry goods; Ivory & Greene, general merchandise, and Dr. Williamson is the leading physician."

The Big Fire of 1887

One of the most disastrous fires of Lodi was that of October 11, 1887. It broke out on the roof of the Novelty planing mill and within an hour the principal business blocks bounded by Sacramento, Pine, School and Elm Streets were a smoldering mass of ashes. The only buildings left were the Grangers two-story brick and two dwellings in the northern corner of the block. The fire was first seen by the engineer of the mill, Len Williams, as he came from dinner. He instantly gave the alarm and the whistle of the Lodi flour mill was blown. There was no fire department nor fire apparatus, and the citizens' efforts to check the progress of the flames with buckets of water was a hopeless task. The loss was estimated at $70,000 and among the losers was Martin & Rolland, planing mill; Mrs. A. Prieter, blacksmith shop; C. A. Rich, dwelling; G. W. Hill, jewelry store; J. J. Collins, hardware; H. Marker, saloon; A. C. Chalmers, restaurant; W. D. Smith & Son, butchers; Dougherty & Duffy's saloon; George F. Cluff, real estate; Hanson & Co., druggists; Lee & Juline, saloon; Thompson & Flogers, butchers; Richard Cope, harness and saddle shop; A. J. Larson, restaurant, and John Mundell, butcher.

The Lodi Hall Association

The Grangers general merchandising store was erected at 71 S. Sacramento in 1876 by the Lodi Hall Association at a cost of $9,750, the contract being let September 2, 1876, to Matthew McCarty, the Stockton contractor of St. Agnes' Academy. The association was incorporated April 8, 1876, with a capital stock of $20,000, with shares at $25 per share. The directors were Byron D. Beckwith, Amos W. Gove, John Hutchings, Henry Witte, C. C. Stoddard, N. S. Misener and B. F. Langford. The building is the two-story brick now on the corner of Sacramento and Elm streets, and the men who built were the forerunners of the enterprising citizens of Lodi of today. Not satisfied with erecting a fine building for that day they made further improvements in October, '76, by laying a twelve-foot asphalt sidewalk around the entire building.

Lodi Lodge, I. O. O. F.

The fire was a great loss to the Odd Fellows, as they had just gone into the hall the previous year. Lodi lodge No. 259 was organized May 22, 1877, with fifteen charter members. The first officers were: John Rutan, noble grand; Henry Witte, vice grand; Thomas Russell, recording secretary; Allen T. Ayers, financial secretary, and Ezekiel Lawrence, treasurer. The additional charter members were: Past Grands C. V. Williamson, Morgan Crawford, Howard M. Craig, Samuel Ferdun, Reuben Pixley and John Hutchins. Where the lodge was organized or their place of meeting I know not. Probably in the same place they meet today, the hall being dedicated June 16, 1886. The hall was dedicated by Grand Master C. T. Eachran, assisted by brothers from the Stockton lodges. The ceremony was followed by a splendid program of musical and literary exercises. Then followed a fine supper at the Sargent House given by the Daughters of Rebekah, and the receipts of the supper went towards fitting up the new hall.

Flora Rebekah Lodge No. 162

This lodge, with a splendid membership of 154, including fifty-one Odd Fellows, was instituted October 21, 1890. The first officers were Mrs. E. Hunting, noble grand; Mrs. W. B. White, vice grand; Mrs. John Hunting, chaplain; Mrs. W. C. Green, secretary; Mrs. Reuben Pixley, treasurer; Mrs. H. Witte, conductor; Reuben Pixley, inside guard; Henry Witte, right support noble grand; Mrs. Samuel Ferdun, left support noble grand; Mrs. B. Jory, right support vice grand; Mrs. George Hogan, left support vice grand. A few weeks after the instituting of the lodge the staff of Lebanon went to Lodi and conferred the beautiful Rebekah degree on twenty-one candidates. The team was composed of May Neumiller, Mrs. R. Roeblin, Mrs. Hoyle Greenwood, Alice Kafitz, Ida Confer, Amanda Grider, Mrs. C. H. Keagle, Mrs. Sol Confer, Agnes Steiny, George Homage, Allie Fyfe, Mamie Oldham, Mrs. Harry Homage, May Woodhull, Grace Farrington, Emma Waters and Jennie Fyfe.

Knights of Pythias

Lodi lodge No. 41, Knights of Pythias is the outgrowth of Pythagoras lodge No. 41, instituted February 18, 1877, by Charles S. Eichelberger, past grand chancellor, assisted by members from the Stockton Knights. The lodge was instituted with a charter membership of fourteen Knights. The following officers were elected and installed: Henry Witte, past chancellor; E. B. Sherman, chancellor commander; H. C. Gillingham, vice chancellor; H. M. Craig, prelate; John Rutan, keeper of records and seals; Frank Davis, master of finance; M. Bruml, master of exchequer; George Kirkland, master at arms; E. W. S. Woods, inside guardian; W. D. Smith, outside guardian. In the spring of 1883 a new lodge was organized by the former members of Pythagoras lodge. The new lodge was hailed as Salem lodge No. 105. The two lodges were united in January, 1887, under the present name Lodi No. 41. Since 1901 the Knights have met in the Odd Fellows hall.

Chosen Friends

At one time, 1882, the Chosen Friends was a popular organization and a council of the order was instituted in Lodi, December 8, with twenty-five members. The following were the elected officers: P. C. C., W. R. Ellis; C. C., J. A. Wilson; O. C., Henry Kinard; pre­late, T. A. Wilson; secretary, C. J. Waldren; treasurer, E. R. Pease; W. M., F. N. Copeland; sentinel, S. H. Turndell; medical examiner, Dr. E. A. Burchard.

The 4th of July, 1885

Lodi has always been famed for its celebrations, and their first celebration of America's Natal day is a well-remembered event. Her enterprise in having a free barbecue as the chief feature of the celebration resulted in crowding the town with visitors. Senator B. R Langford was president of the day, and A. J. Larson, grand marshal. About 10 o'clock in the morning a procession, including a majority of the visitors, was formed at the corner of Sacramento and Elm streets and the march was taken up to Lodi park. The Lodi silver cornet band and the Lodi glee club furnished excellent music. Senator Langford made a short speech of welcome and F. B. Mills read the Declaration of Independence, Charles Ferdun gave a declamation, and Joel A. Snell supplied the original poetry. The opening prayer was delivered by Rev. W. R. Gober, and the benediction was pronounced by Rev. Dr. N. W. Lane. The oration was delivered by Judge Van R. Patterson, who did himself and Stockton credit. Foot races, base ball, other games and dancing supplied all the enjoyment that was needed after the general attack on the roasted ox, until 4 o'clock, when the horrible organization of Calethumpians paraded and then indulged in literary exercises.

Hartford Post, G. A. R.

The Grand Army of the Republic is fast being mowed down by the scythe of Old Father Time, and in a few more years their record will be complete. In 1890 there were quite a number of the old guard living in Lodi, and on a Saturday evening, May 12, 1890, thirty-three of them assembled and organized a Grand Army Post. They selected the name of Admiral Farragut's famous flagship Hartford as the name of their post. The following officers were elected: T. F. Tracy, captain; John Archer, post commander; Reuben Pixley, senior vice-commander; J. W. Horton, junior vice-commander; B. M. Vichey, adjutant; Eli Dayton, quartermaster; J. J. Robinson, surgeon; Lemon Williams, chaplain; A. A. McClelland, officer of the day. They were mustered in a few days later by Judge Buckley, the newly elected commander.

The Moquelemos Grant Celebration

Probably the most heart-felt celebration ever held in Lodi was that of May 19, 1876, when the settlers in that section celebrated their victory over the Central Pacific Railroad which claimed a large section of their lands. The contest between the settlers and the railroad was in the courts for many years and finally reaching the Supreme Court of the United States, May 8, 1876, the following joyful news was received by Henry S. Sargent of Stockton by telegraph from Congressman Horace F. Page: "Case of Newhall versus Sanger decided for the settlers, sustained in every point." The settlers were so happy over the fact that they would not be dispossessed of their homes that they resolved to celebrate the event with a big barbecue, a monster parade, an oration, games, baseball, and other amusements. Stockton had been invited and an excursion train of twenty-two cars attended the celebration. The crowd of over 2,000 citizens, including the Stockton Guards and firemen both in full uniform, the Knights of Pythias and the San Joaquin band. There was a short parade, an oration by Joseph H. Budd and then the barbecue, in the Lodi park. An immense crowd for that day were in attendance, from 10,000 to 15,000 people from all parts of the county.

The Salem District School

James A. Sollinger, then county superintendent, said in an address in 1883, that at first the school districts were designated by numbers and the children few in number and the school houses far apart. The section around Lodi was known as school district No. 2. The school commissioners were J. H. Woods, D. J. McNeil and Otis Newton. The district included both sides of the Mokelumne River. In 1858 the districts were given names and the Lodi district was known as Henderson, named after Thomas J. Henderson, the first school census marshal. In 1859 the district was divided and that portion south of the river was known as Salem district. In that year the county superintendent, L. C. Van Allen, appointed John Coldwell and George D. Compton as the school trustees of the new district. The first teacher of the school was J. P. Carleton, later a teacher in the Stockton schools. He was succeeded by Hamilton Wermouth, in the spring of 1860. The teacher first named was paid his salary from a subscription fund donated by the farmers. Wermouth was paid from the state and county fund, it amounting to the magnificent sum of $86.85. There was not a dollar in the Salem school fund, and when the trustees gave the teacher the order for his salary, they "fired him" and refused to permit him to continue teaching. Wermouth was determined to continue his school work. Going to a Mr. Willhelm near the ferry he rented the second story of his home and continued his school teaching. The third teacher was a pedagogue who liked his toddy. He would try to conduct his school while under the influence of liquor and one day a trustee gave him a severe caning, and he was discharged. The fourth teacher, Mr. Foster, was very successful in his school work.

The first schoolhouse in the Salem district was built in 1858 on the south side of the Mokelumne River on the land owned by Ezekiel Lawrence. The money for the building was subscribed by the settlers, and the lumber obtained in the mountains was brought to the site by Victor and Peter Jahant. The doors, windows, sash and furniture for the building were made by Mr. Lawrence, who was a carpenter. After the division of the district the little schoolhouse was removed to a point about a mile and a half further south on what is now known as the Barnhart tract. After the railroad came through, the building was again moved this time to the present location of the Salem school. It was again moved to make way for a larger building, and for several years it was the home of James Hutchins. Lucille Lefeber in a newspaper article published some years ago gives a different account of the first school, which consisted of one room and was located on the northwest corner of Pine and School Streets, hence the name of the street. She wrote: "The first schoolhouse on the present Salem school grounds was built in 1872. It was 30x40 feet, two stories high, and cost $2,160. In 1881 a one-room addition was added and the next year another room was added in the yard." The "Lodi Sentinel" published at that time speaks of one building as "the kitchen" and of the other as "the woodshed". Before the last room was added, the extra pupils were housed in Stoddard's hall, which is now the Cosmopolitan hotel, at the corner of East Oak and Main streets. The enrollment at that time was 193. Professor Russell was the principal when the present Salem school was erected. The old building was moved to West Pine Street, where it was used for the dining room of the old Lodi Hotel for years. A pupil in this school was Laura DeForce Gordon, one of the first advocates for woman suffrage and the second woman in the state admitted to the practice of law.
The Last Salem school, a wooden two story structure, was built in 1883 at a cost of $12,000, some say $15,000. It is located at 200 S. Stockton near Walnut street and was quite a school building in its day. The county superintendent in speaking of it said "This magnificent school building with its mighty dome to the heavens is a monument to the enterprise and energy of the citizens of Lodi and Salem district." It was dedicated October 13, 1883 and was abandoned by 1938. A few years later it was decided to form a high school to include the following districts: Salem, Harmony, Live Oak and Alpine district. An election for school trustees was held in the districts named July 11, 1891, and the following trustees elected: James A. Anderson from Salem, T. P. Heath, Harmony; George Hazen, Live Oak, and M. C. Dow, Alpine. In organizing as a school board John A. Anderson was elected president and George Goodcell, clerk. A part of the grammar school was given over to the high school which was known as the Lodi High School.

The following teachers were the principals of the school up to 1907. O. E. Swain, Freeman B. Mills, Wm. Piper, Edward McCourt, Mr. Somers, C. Adams; 1891, E. B. Wright, Eugene Hogan, M. C. Dow, F. B. Wooten, 1902, George M. Steele, 1904, John Anderson, John Williams, 1911, William Inch.

Lodi Salem School

The Emerson School

The Salem school in 1904 was more than crowded with pupils and as more school room was necessary the trustees called for a bond issue of $25,000 for the purpose of purchasing land and erecting a large wooden building. The bonds were voted and the trustees purchased a block of land just four blocks from Sacramento street between Elm and Pine streets. They named it Emerson after the famous essayist, and it was dedicated in 1907, the last of the fire-trap school buildings.
Lodi Emerson School

The Union High School

A mass meeting was held May 18,1911, for the purpose of discussing the question of a Union high school for the northern part of the county. George E. Lawrence was elected chairman of the meeting and L. V. Peterson secretary. It was resolved to organize a high school to include the Lodi, Lockeford, Victor, Henderson, Woodbridge, Alpine, La Fayette and Houston districts. It was proposed to bond these districts for $150,000, the bond election to take place December 14, 1911. The night before the election there was an immense mass meeting in the opera house which was addressed by Hillard E. Welch, George M. Steele, the Rev. E. B. Winning of the Methodist church, Wm. Inch, principal of the high school, and Hugh McNoble. On the morning of the election there was a parade of over 1000 school children, carrying flags and banners. The vote for the bonds was 931 for and only 366 against. The bonds were sold at a premium of $12,000. The trustees selected as the high school site the twelve-acre tract of Thomas Hutchings just west of the limits of Lodi. There was as usual in every progressive movement, considerable opposition to this site. And at the election for trustees, April 5, 1912, the knockers tried unsuccessfully to elect a new board of trustees, but the old board were re-elected, by a handsome majority. In 1919 the trustees erected a splendid high school in honor of the American Legion and named it Clyde Needham, in honor of the first Lodi boy to die on the battlefields of France. It is built of hollow tile and cost $110,000. Contractors declare it the final work in school construction and equipment. It has ten rooms, including the study room, which has a seating capacity of 400. The school will accommodate 200 pupils. The study hall is fitted with a stage and dressing rooms. There is also a projection room for moving pictures. The social science department is equipped with gas ranges, modern kitchen, dining room and other appliances. There is also a fine manual training shop. The school was opened to students on March 1st. The board of trustees follows: J. C. Kellar, William H. Faust, George A. Keagle.

The school was dedicated February 22, 1921, with very impressive ceremonies including a parade of the American Legion, Woman's Relief Corps, Boy Scouts, Golden Star mothers who lost their sons, and school children led by the Tokay band with Mayor John S. Montgomery as grand marshal, assisted by Walter Jahant, Harry T. Bailey, E. A. Thompson and H. L. Emerson. On arrival at the front of the school building the following program was given, singing of "America" by Mrs. Mary Mac Adam Yerbury; prayer, Rev. Charles Price; address, Maj. W. P. Garrison; address, Governor W. D. Stephens; presentation of flag to school by Mrs. Belle Wright for Hartford Corps No. 49, W. R. C.; solo, "Flanders Requiem," Mrs. Yerbury; address, Maj. W. A. Mason, commander of Needham's corps; "Star Spangled Banner," Tokay band. During the afternoon Governor Stephens was given a lunch in the Hotel Lodi as the guest of Maj. W. E. Garrison, Mayor John S. Montgomery, H. E. Welch, John B. Cory, J. M. Blodgett, Dr. J. P. Sargent, J. V. Bauer, V. R. Larson, George H. Moore, T. G. Elwert and Marshall Dement. That evening there was an entertainment in the Lodi theater for the benefit of the Tokay band, the proceeds to go towards paying for their new uniforms.

A second fine school building was erected in March, 1922, at a cost approximately of $65,000, in the southern part of the city on what is known as the Sturla tract. The building, 125x210 feet, is of concrete and hollow tile with a composition roof. The structure which contains six class rooms, including a manual training department, domestic science room, model dining room, large assembly hall capable of seating 400 people, library and board room, with offices for the superintendent and principal. The assembly hall will be fitted with a large stage with all the necessary equipment. The class rooms will be arranged around a patio, with covered walks connecting with each room.
Lodi Union High School First Lodi High Campus

Lodi Union High School

Lodi Lincoln School

The Methodist Episcopal Church

Approaching Lodi on a Sunday evening the traveler's attention is called to an unusual light in the horizon. Coming near he sees that it is a brilliantly electrically lighted revolving cross, some eighty feet in the air, surmounting the tower of the Methodist Episcopal church. It is a beautiful temple of worship of brick and red sandstone, erected in 1919 at a cost of $50,000, the outgrowth of the evangelistic work of the Rev. Colin Anderson, a Methodist circuit preacher, who held services in that vicinity in the winter of 1861 and '62. His circuit included the Live Oak and Woodbridge churches. Several years later the Rev. J. H. Bryant located in the Woodbridge region and he found forty-six Methodists in that vicinity. After the founding of Mokelumne city quite a number of Methodists settled in the town, and services were held in their homes with the Rev. J. W. Bryant as pastor.

The Burning of the Church

In 1870 the Christians of the town concluded to erect a house of worship. It was planned to erect a chapel at a cost of $1,500, a Union church in which all denominations could hold services except the Mormons. Unfortunately the building caught fire by some unknown means about 2 o'clock in the morning of February 7, 1878, when nearly completed and was entirely destroyed. With the characteristic energy that has always animated the people of Lodi the citizens held a meeting that evening and resolved to immediately rebuild the church and pay the debt on the destroyed building amount to $600. Subscriptions were called for and some $700 subscribed on the spot. The Methodists of the town having a complete organization, now took up the work and erected a church on the same lot as the destroyed structure, corner of Oak and School streets. One of the charter members of the church was George W. Hill, and in the farewell meeting in the pioneer building February 20, 1920, he said that they occupied the church for forty-five years. During that time and later the following pastors have been in charge: Revs. J. W. Bryant, 1870; E. K. Belknap, '73; E. P. Walker, '75; Hazen White, '77; Charles Haswell, '79; Thomas B. Palmer, '82; W. R. Gober, '84; Edward E. Dodge, '85; Seneca Jones, '86; J. L. Mann, '91; H. Copeland, 1902; Hindson, '04; E. B. Winning, '07; W. P. Grant, '20; J. H. Troxell, '22; the present pastor is H. B. Beers.

The Congregational Church

It is on record that the Congregational Church was organized March 6, 1862, and that "their first services were held in a barn." Proof of their organization at this time was given in March, 1912, when they held their Golden anniversary. In March, 1872, says another account, a Congregational Church of nine members was formed, with the Rev. O. A. Ross of Lockeford as their acting pastor. Mrs. Gertie DeForce Cluff said in the Valley Review in December, 1878, that the church was organized with the following members: Mrs. Crounch, Mr. and Mrs. Gillespie, Mr. Black, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Elliott, and Mrs. Collins. The first pastor was Rev. W. C. Stewart, who rode ten miles to attend services in all kinds of weather. In 1878 the membership had increased to twenty, the organization took a new start and the idea of building a church was determined upon and the following officers elected: Edward Elliott, Sr., and Charles Elliott, deacons, and Charles Elliott, secretary and treasurer, with Dr. Johnson, O. Gillespie, Edward Elliott, Sr., Thomas Farchilds, Charles Elliott, Allen T. Ayers, and L. S. Morse, trustees.

In September of that year the first Congregational society was organized with Mrs. W. C. Stewart as president; Mrs. Scott, vice-president; Mrs. Collins, secretary and treasurer; Mrs. L. M. Morse, Mrs. A. T. Ayers, Mrs. Thomas Fairchilds, Mrs. Merwin and Mrs. S. P. Sabic, directors.

A lot was obtained on School Street near Lockeford and a small wooden church erected at a cost, building and furniture, of $3,200. As the congregation increased in numbers additions were made to the building. During the pastorate of the Rev. F. M. Washburn, from 1904-11, the present large structure was erected. The following are some of the pastors during the past years: Rev. W. C. Stewart, C. C. Corwin, N. W. Lane, George B. Allen, John W. Brier, Jr., George H. DeKay, M. Washburn, who resigned in December, 1911, because of ill health, W. L. Schwimley and Charles S. Price.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest and numerically the strongest religious society in Lodi, has now a membership of seventy-two. The class-leaders are Mrs. C. W. McMaster and Mrs. Wm. Moore.  C. W. McMaster is superintendent of the Sunday-school, which averages about eighty pupils in attendance, including teachers, and  300 volumes in library.  The church building has already been referred to.  It is located in the south west part of the city, and the whole property is now valued at $4,000.  Besides, there is a fine parsonage on the lot adjoining that of the church, valued at $1,000.  The pastors have been:  Revs. John Bryant, 1870-71, when the church was built; Belknap, 1873; E. F. Walker, about 1875; Hazen; White, when the parsonage was built; C.S. Haswell, 1879-'81; Thomas B. Palmer, 1882-'84; W. R. Gober, 1884; Edward E. Dodge, 1885; and since September, 1886, Seneca Jones.  The last mentioned is a genius and independent thinker, as well as a "scholar and a gentleman."  Without having served an apprenticeship at organ building, he can construct one as well as any professional artisan, as is demonstrated in the Lodi church.

The Congregational church building, in the northwestern part of the village, was erected in 1879-'80, at  a cost of $3, 200, including the furnishings.  The ministers have been Revs. W. C. Steward, C. L. Corwin, N. W. Lane, George B. Allen and J. W. Brier, Jr., the present pastor.  The deacons are W. A. Perkins and C. T. Elliott; church clerk, T. B. Geoffroy.

Mr. Brier is a native of Michigan, and was about six years of age when brought to this State by his parents. His father Rev. J. W. Brier, St., is still living, in good health and discharging the duties of a pastorate, at the age of seventy-six years, after having a remarkable career in this State since the early days.  A native of Ohio, he came to  California a Methodist minister and co-laborer of Revs. Isaac Owen ("Father Owen"), M. C. Briggs (who came in 1851) and S. D. Simonds.  He was the leader of the party that discovered Death Valley in 1849.  Entering Antelope Valley near Newhall, he proceeded to Los Angeles and then by land up to San Jose.  Was stationed at Santa Cruz, Napa, Sonoma, Marysville and San Francisco.  In 1859 he became a Congregationalist.  In 1888 he delivered thirty speeches in the State canvass, traveling about 1,300 miles, and own golden opinions from all classes.  He is now pastor of the Congregational church at Palermo, Butte County, this State.

Lodi Methodist Church on School Street

Lodi First Christian Church

The Episcopalians

Although few in number the Episcopalians are an enthusiastic body of Christians. Organized early in the year 1900 they held services in a public hall, and T. C. Hawley acted as lay reader of the service of worship. Along about 1909 although with only a few hundred dollars in the treasury the vestrymen began making plans for a chapel and a church home. The following year they obtained a site for a church, corner of Lee and Locust streets, and at a cost of $3,000 erected a very pretty edifice, which was completed in September of that year. For a time the Rev. D. O. Kelley of San Francisco was the missionary in charge, conducting the services once a month. The remaining Sundays T. C. Hawley conducted the services. Rev. John Morgan conducted services along about 1893 and in 1911 they had a permanent rector, Rev. W. H. Hawkins, who preached his first sermon May 7 of that year. In 1919 the vestrymen called the Rev. George B. D. Stewart, who had supplied the pulpit of St. John's Church, Stockton, while the rector was in France. Rev. Stewart died in 1922.

The Incorporation of Lodi

The incorporation of Lodi as a city of the sixth class was under discussion as early as 1903, but the opposition to an incorporation at that time, prevented its attainment. According to the law governing cities of the sixth class it was necessary for a majority of the citizens within the limits of the proposed city to petition the board of supervisors to call an election for the citizens to vote upon the question of incorporation. The opposition of the saloon keepers to the movement naturally increased the desire of the better class of citizens for incorporation, and in October, 1906, a petition was presented to the board for supervisors by W. A. Young, Max Elwert, W. A. Spooner and George M. Steele, petitioning the board to call an election for the incorporation of the city of Lodi. As there was a large excess of names the petition was granted and the election called.

The business men were the leaders in the movement, and as they were desirous of hearing a business man's opinion upon the question, they sent an invitation to J. R. Broughton to address them. Mr. Broughton was a banker of Modesto, a business man and one of the leading movers in the incorporation of that city twenty years previous. A mass meeting was held in the Lodi Opera House November 20, 1906. At the conclusion of the address the business men nominated a ticket comprising a board of five trustees and other officers. The trustees were to hold office for four years, two or three, as the case might be, to be elected every two years. The charter also called for the election of a clerk, treasurer and marshal. The Business Men's ticket contained the following names for trustees:  George E. Lawrence, A. W. Keeney, J. M. Blodgett, F. O. Hale, and S. W. Beckman; for clerk, Henry E. Ellis; for treasurer, W. H. Lorentz, and for marshal, A. B. Krutz. Keeney and Beckman declined to serve and Leon Villinger and A. C. Rich were appointed. H. E. Ellis declined the nomination of clerk and J. A. McMahon was appointed.

The election was held November 27, 1906, and the incorporation of the city was hotly opposed by the saloon element. The vote for incorporation was two to one for it. The church bells rang out their joyous peals over the victory, and the Stockton Record, congratulating the citizens, said: "When the church bells of the town are rung in honor of the result of an election it is safe to presume that it has been no ordinary political contest. It would be a great thing for Lodi to be able to print on its stationery as in Riverside and other southern towns: 'No saloons in Lodi.' "

First City Officers

The following officers were elected together with their vote for trustees: J. M. Blodgett, 350; F. O. Hale, 362; George E. Lawrence. 290; C. A. Rich, 181; Leon Villinger, 186. For clerk: J. A. McMahon, 269; his opponent, 124. For treasurer, no opposition, W. H. Lorentz, 391. For marshal, H. B. Coleman, no opposition, 374. A few evenings after the election the citizens held a grand ratification meeting in the opera house. The meeting was addressed by Mayor M. J. Gardner and Judge Wm. B. Nutter of Stockton and by local speakers. The meeting was enlivened by the Lodi band and local vocalists. The first meeting of the trustees was held December 7 in the "new city hall on North Sacramento Street." They had no money in the treasury, no fixtures, books or papers of any kind with which to conduct business, and it was suggested that the trustees dig down in their pockets or hold themselves personally responsible for books, furniture, etc.

The following is the official roster of Lodi up to the present time: 

Board of trustees―November 27, 1906, president, George E. Lawrence; J. M. Blodgett, C. A. Rich, F. O. Hale, Leon Villinger. April 15, 1912, president, George E. Lawrence; M. J. Blodgett, C. A. Rich, F. O. Hale, C. A. Black. April 20, 1914, president, F. O. Hale; Max Foldendorf, E. M. Keeney, E. E. Deever, C. A. Black. April 15, 1918, president, C. A. Black; Joseph D. Crose, E. M. Keeney. F. O. Hale, John S. Montgomery. April 19, 1920, president, J. S. Montgomery; Joseph D. Crose, C. A. Rich, F. O. Hale, A. D. Hickok. April 17, 1922, president, J. W. Shattuck; John Mettler, Jr., C. A. Rich, F. O. Hale, A. D. Hickok.

Clerk―November 27, '06, J. M. McMahon; March 9, '14. C. A. Rich; April 20, '14, Harvey S. Clark; February 1, '21, John F. Blakely.

Marshal―April 20, '08, H. B. Coleman; August 8, '20, R. B. McClure; April 17, '22, F. Christensen.

Assessor―Nov. 27, '06, J. M. McMahon; March 9, '14, C. A. Rich; April 20, '14, H. S. Clark, Jr.; February 1, '21, John F. Blakely.

Treasurer―April 15, '12, W. H. Lorentz; April 17, '22, W. H. Lorentz.

Tax Collector―April 20, '08, H. B. Coleman; April 15, '18, W. H. Lorentz.

The Water Works and City Hall

Lodi was supplied with water by a corporation as early as 1891 by the Bay City Gas, Water and Electric Works; G. G. Buckland was the president and J. H. Fish the secretary with offices on Pine and Sacramento streets. They sold the plant to the Carey Brothers, who it appears supplied the citizens as did the Bay City company with water and gas. In November, 1901, the proposition was discussed by the citizens of having electric lights in the town. The Carey Brothers took the matter in hand and agreed to establish a lighting plant in Lodi within two months, and putting a very low rate, asked for a two year guarantee. The guarantee was given and the electric lighting plant was installed with a capacity of 500 lights, sufficient at that time to light the town. The lights were turned off at midnight.

After the incorporation of the city the board of trustees, Messrs. Lawrence, Blodgett, Hale, Rich and Villinger, thought it would be a paying proposition for the city to own its own water works. They made a proposition to the Carey Brothers to purchase the plan. They were also running an electric plant, and asked for the whole thing $55,000. It was certainly some hold-up, for in the spring of 1919 the trustees obtained the entire water and power plant for $30,000. The city at the time was bonded for some $130,000 for the plant, a sewer system, public utilities, etc. The trustees took out the old second-hand wrought-iron water pipes used by the old company and put in steel pipes. Then at the water works they erected on iron stanchions 138 feet in height, a 100,000 gallon steel tank; and with it a first class pumping plant. This plant more than paid for itself in a few years, and at present there is a profit sufficient to pay the overhead expenses of the city.

You remember that when the city was incorporated the city office was in a building on North Sacramento Street rented from the county. With the progressive enterprise that has always been characteristic of the board of trustees they concluded in 1912 to have a city hall owned by the city and stop paying rent.  They could not agree as to its location, as some of them wanted to purchase the Gealey lot on North Sacramento Street as the city hall site. The majority of the trustees voted on placing the building next to the pumping station on North Main Street. A two-story brick building was there erected and at a contract price of $4,500. The building was completed and ready for occupation in July, 1912.
Lodi City Hall

Lodi Fire Department

Lodi's first department was composed of volunteers with H. E. Welch the first chief engineer. The department at this time, May, 1911, consisted of two combined chemical and hose wagons drawn by horses. In November, 1911, there was a reorganization of the department comprising some eight men, and E. H. Stark, who had formerly been the fire department chief in Fergus Falls, Minn., was induced to take the chiefship of the Lodi Fire Department. Stark divided the city into four sections, the division lines being Pine Street and the Southern Pacific Railroad track. At the annual election in May, 1920, E. H. Stark was again elected chief. L. H. Rinn was elected vice-president; H. E. Welch, treasurer; Wm. H. Faust, secretary  M. R. Channell, first assistant chief; J. W. Landback, second assistant chief; T. R. Leeck, foreman of Wide-Awake hose company and M. Roracker assistant; Fred Spiekerman, foreman of Alert hose company and Henry Gimbell assistant; John Schaefer, foreman of hook and ladder company and P. W. Lehman assistant; the chemical engine company has George Olenberger for foreman and Wm. Schnabel for assistant.

The city trustees in September, 1920, purchased a Seagrave triple combined fire pump at a cost of $13,000. It is capable of playing three streams of water and one stream will deliver 750 gallons of water per minute, and from three 50-foot lengths of hose a stream of water was thrown from a two-inch nozzle more than 50 feet in the air and a distance of 200 feet. The machine was pumping 1050 gallons a minute at the time.

Lodi's first Board of Trade was organized February 28, 1887, and was known as the Northern San Joaquin County Board of Trade. The board organized by electing W. C. Childs president-recording secretary; J. B. Ruffman, corresponding secretary; T. C. Riggs, treasurer, and C. A. Rich, director, Lodi district. In 1901, April 9, Lodi's Chamber of Commerce was organized to develop the resources of northern San Joaquin County; to include immigration, foster trade and aid and encourage commercial intercourse throughout the county. The board of directors for the first year were C. M. Ferdun, W. W. Henderson, F. W. Beckman, Ed. Hutchings, George Hogan, C. L. Newton, Al. Breitenbucher, A. T. &well, J. B. Cory, M. Van Gelder and C. P. Garrison. There are now about 150 members.

The Lodi Press

Lodi's first newspaper, the Valley Review, was published July 20, 1878, by Mrs. Gertie De Force Cluff. It was a small seven-column folio, published weekly. Mrs. Cluff conducted the paper for six years, then sold the plant to Walcott & Cheney. They sold the paper a year later, 1885, to Bloomer & Moore, who failed to make good, and it was attached by the sheriff and sold.

In 1885 Mrs. Cluff started an opposition paper to the Review. It was a five-column eight-page sheet, and a year later she sold to Howell & Matteson. Hoping to make the paper a success by changing the name, they called it the Lodi News. The office was destroyed by fire July 7, 1887, and was not again republished. A second Valley Review was issued August 16, 1888, by Frank Cluff, who had formerly acted as manager for his sister's paper, the Cyclone.

The Lodi Sentinel, still in existence, was first issued July 19, 1881, by W. R. Ellis and J. W. McQuaid. Both men later sold out and took charge of other county papers. Frank E. Ellis and his brother, H. F. Ellis, bought the paper in 1887.

Post Office

Lodi today has one of the prettiest and most convenient post offices in the county, far and away ahead of the little dark corner it occupied in 1869 when Daniel Crist was the postmaster. This was a wooden building liable to be destroyed at any time, and when the Grangers erected their two-story brick building, northwest corner of Sacramento and Elm Street, Byron Beckwith leased the corner store and was appointed postmaster. About that time there was a young man named Robert L. Graham clerking for Beckwith. He learned the druggist trade and in time bought out the drugstore. The office of postmaster went with it and in 1881 Mr. Graham was appointed to the office and was postmaster through two presidential terms, that of Garfield and Harrison. He might have continued as postmaster, but the post office department demanded more room, so fast had the business grown, and the office was removed to Elm Street near Sacramento, with Harvey S. Clark, Jr., as postmaster. Clark held the office through 1902-04­06-11, and was succeeded February 9, 1914, by J. M. McMahon. About this time the office was moved to North Sacramento Street near Locust. McMahon was succeeded by John Blakely, and he by Claude Keagle. The present acting postmaster is Emerson E. Herrick, who enjoys the neat new post office leased by the Government of the City Improvement Company. The building is a two-story brick structure, 65x85 feet floor space, and is equipped in accordance with the plans furnished by the government. This includes a Government-owned cancelling machine, which is given only to offices handling 3,000 pieces of mail per day. The office employs five clerks and four city letter carriers, besides several rural carriers.
Lodi Post Office

Lodi's Progressive Banks

It is of record that a bank was established in Lodi January 21, 1884, with a capital stock of $375,000. The officers were Andrew Sink, president; and John Nevin, manager, The directors and stockholders were C. A. Rick, Augustus Thiel, Andrew Sink, Samuel Ferdun, John Nevin, W. D. Smith, David Kettleman, L. O. Gillespie, J. J. Hubbard, E. R. Pease, Dr. S. P. Hopkins, Dr. C. V. Williamson and E. D. McGreen.

The Bank of Lodi was incorporated June 7, 1888, with a capital stock of $25,000. It was organized by Ex-Senator Ben F. Langford, one of San Joaquin County's progressive citizens, with the following stockholders. T. C. Shaw, O. O. Norton, M. W. Shidy, John B. Cory, E. E. Moran, C. W. Norton, H. B, Backman, Owen Lacey, George McNoble, Gottleibe Doering, W. D. Sturdevant, Otto Spenker, Reuben Fixley, W. H. Lorentz, C. Fatheringham, Max Elwert, J. M. Blodgett, George E. Wilhoit, Ezra Fiske, R. T. Ogden, J. R. Mitchell, George W. Le :Min, F. W. Beckwith, Charles Sollars, Clara E. Love, Harriett D. Shaw, Mary E. Sargent, Mary B. Shidy and Hedwig Lorentz.

The First National Bank was organized March 1, 1905, with a capital stock of $25,000. Fitting up a neat bank in a brick building at 14 Pine Street, they were ready for business September 12. The officers were John B. Cory, president; M. W. Shidy, vice-president; W. H. Lorentz, cashier; J. P. Shaw, assistant cashier, and C. W. Norton, attorney. The officers, together with H. C. Beckman and O. O. Norton, constituted the directors. The bank immediately became so popular that in May, 1909, they increased their stock to $80,000. Again it was increased February, 1911, to $100,000, and in January, 1922, it was increased to $200,000, with a surplus of $120,000.

On April 9, 1907, the directors of the First National Bank organized the Central Savings Bank with the same officers and directors. The stock was $25,000. It was increased to $80,000 in 1909 and to $100,000, February 10, 1911. In June, 1915, these two banks were moved into the corner of the Hotel Lodi building, a handsome three-story pressed brick building erected by the bank, John E. Cory, who had been president of the bank since its organization, resigned December 3, 1921, and W. H. Lorentz was elected president.

In 1916, May 24, the Farmers & Merchants Bank was incorporated, capital stock $25,000. The first officers were Chris Allbright, president; Lot Lund, vice-president; E. B. Doering, secretary, cashier; H. B. Nelson, treasurer, with John Mettler, Jr., Gottlieb Doering, H. C. Large and Peter Joens, directors. Their capital stock in 1923 was increased to $90,000. The Citizens Bank of Lodi, the fourth bank in the progressive city, was organized in December, 1921, with the following officers and board of directors: John B. Cory, president ; Wilson H. Thompson, vice-president; Frederick Spoerke, cashier; and F. M. Mills, D, D. Smith, Henry Pope, G. L. Meisener, H. A. Fairbanks, M. V. Bare, John S. Montgomery, E. H. Humphrey and Burton A. Towne, directors. They began business in the Beckman Thompson building on School Street with a capital of $250,000. Shortly after this time they purchased a lot on the northwest corner of School and Oak Streets and began the construction of a handsome steel reinforced concrete building, at a cost complete of $90,000.
Bank of Lodi

The Tokay Carnival

 What was the idea of a Tokay grape carnival ? To show and to advertise to the world the beauty and the value of the flaming Tokay grape, so named because of its beautiful coloring when ripe, like a dark red flame of fire. It grows to perfection in no other section of the land and shipped east in New York it brings fancy prices. The Lodi section in its earlier history was known as the watermelon center and in a single month, August, 1881, they shipped twenty-one cars of melons. Later the growers learned that it was a wonderful grape growing district, and there was three times the amount of money in grapes. As to the amount grown and their value, we have only the report of 1920-21. In the year first named a total of 8071 carloads of grapes were shipped from the Lodi section. At the same time the dehydrators and wineries handled approximately 18,000 tons. In 1921 the Lodi district shipped out 9,133 carloads or 127,962 tons. These are S. C. Beane's figures, the Stockton freight agent of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Last year the crop in that section was estimated at $10,000,000 and yet they lost over $2,000,000 because of the car shortage. This was a prologue to the Tokay carnival, which was considered as a festival of far reaching importance. The idea of the carnival was first thought out by Charles Rey, a business man of Lodi. He interested Henry F. Ellis of the Lodi Sentinel, Joseph Friedberger, W. W. Henderson and Frank Christman. The carnival took place in September, 1907, the month when the Tokay grape begins to ripen into beauty. In commemoration of the event, they erected the Tokay arch, over spanning Pine Street junction of Sacramento. It is of purely mission style of architecture and erected at a cost of $500 obtained by subscription, and is today one of the most attractive features of the city. The carnival continued for three days, the principal feature being the parade and the crowning of the Queen, Bertha De Almado, on the first day. The parade formed with J. W. Dougherty as grand marshal. Then came the Lodi band, John Bauer leader, preceding Queen Zinfandel and her pages, Merle Lillie, and Mildred Stannard. Behind the Queen rode her maids-of-honor in a tally-ho, Minnie Harney, Nina Wilson, Myrtle McClung, Inez Smith, Tillie Doering, Florence Snedigar, Gladys Graham and Grace Freeman. Then followed a float representing a gunboat manned by young ladies, who had been drilled by Mrs. C. E. Pickering. A second float, that of the Rebekahs, represented a swan-appearing boat handsomely decorated in the colors of the order, pink and green. On arrival at the Arch the Queen was escorted to the throne on the platform by C. M. Ferdun, who presented the Queen her scepter as Queen of the Carnival. George E. Lawrence, as chairman of the board of trade, in a short address, presented her the keys of the city. At that hour the artillery band from the Presidio, San Francisco, had arrived, and the Coronation ode was sung by twenty-five young ladies, under the direction of May Ferrell, accompanied by the band. At this time Governor Gillett and J. H. Filcher arrived and made a short address. The carnival ended Saturday with dancing and a confetti battle.

Lodi Arch looking west

Lodi Arch and Depot

Lodi Arch

Lodi Arch 30s

Lodi Arch 50s

Lodi Arch looking east

Lodi Arch parade

Lodi Arch Pine & Main


The Lodi Brass Bands

Lodi has always been a musical city and not lacking in brass or military bands. As early as 1876 a band, was organized with George E. Lawrence one of the promoters of the movement. He told at one time how they decided to organize a band although they did not have an instrument, no music, no director, nor the money to pay for any of the necessities. Finally they saw an advertisement in a paper when an eastern company was selling out a complete set of instruments at a reduced price. With no money on hand they signed a note, there being eighteen members. Several philanthropists were found and $300 paid down.

This band, with a strong determination to succeed, now advertised for a leader, and as it happened, the Forepaugh circus was wintering on the Pacific coast and the band leader came to Lodi. His surprise was a terrific one when he found that not one of the eighteen members had an instrument or knew a note. He was persuaded to stay and after the arrival of the instruments they moved out to a little shack south of the city to practice. At that time, according to Mr. Lawrence, the city was a little strip along the railroad tracks. South from School Street was a forest primeval, and to the east an even worse tangle of brush, while live oak trees literally dotted the "business section."

This band organized in 1876 was a great success for the next two years, but finally died in 1878. There were several bands organized during the past years but they were not a success for some reason. At one time Edward Houseman, Joseph Condy and Jabez Harris of Stockton were band leaders, John Bauer, a competent band instructor, located in Lodi in 1897 and organized a band. He continued his residence in Lodi up to the time of the Allied war and at that time he had an excellent band of musicians.

The Lodi Prohibition Movement

Never in the history of Lodi has there been so much interest taken in an election as that of April 14, 1914, over the question of high licensing the saloons. The contest actually commenced April 4 over the election of a school trustee. There were two candidates in the running, John H, Davies and Otto Weihe. No particular interest was taken in the election until about noon. At that hour a number of the "dry" workers got out their automobiles and began carrying Davies voters to the polls. Then the wets became alarmed, thinking that Davies was a dry candidate and, getting out their automobiles, began working for Weihe. It was a false alarm, for neither man was interested at the time in the saloon movement. It gave the wets a good scare and it brought out an unusually large vote. Weihe, who had formerly been a school trustee, polled 416 and Davies 270 votes.

It was a hot campaign up to the time of the election. Meetings were held in public halls and the opera house which was crowded to hear such speakers as J. Stitt Wilson of Berkeley, Rev. A. C. Bane, then the president of the Anti-Saloon League of Northern California, Rev. F. A. Keast and Rev. E. J. Dennett of Stockton, in favor of high license. The first mayor of Lodi, then president of the Grape Growers Association, published letters in the press arguing that a high license was a foolish ordinance. Another prominent grape grower threatened that if the business men voted for high license the association would no longer trade in Lodi.     Early in the morning of the 14th the voters were at the polls, and by noon half of the registered vote had been cast. Automobiles were everywhere in sight carrying voters to the polls. Each party had about twenty-five automobiles at work. When the polls closed it was found that the drys had won by a small margin, 655 to 648. A committee of wets then went to the dry committee of twenty-five and requested them to let the raising of licenses rest until after the fall election, as the agitation was hurting business. They agreed. When the State election came on November 4, in which there was an amendment to the constitution prohibiting the sale of all intoxicating liquors, Lodi, in her four precincts, including Elkhorn and Live Oak, polled a heavy majority against prohibition, 559 to 337. The women voting for the first time evidently opposed prohibition, but favored the red light abatement act, which carried, 462 to 320. We all know what happened, the state went dry, including Lodi and in the exclamation of the old Methodist, "Glory to God."

The Women's Improvement Club

Go where you may throughout San Joaquin County and you will find that in the smaller cities and towns the women are taking the lead in improving and bettering the conditions of affairs in their localities. In Lodi the women have made a splendid success of their work, especially in erecting a splendid two-story brick club house, the finest in the county. The club was organized in 1906, the year of the city's incorporation. Its object was to assist in the progress and betterment of the city along civic, literary and other lines. The movement as a local organization was for some reason not a success. Mrs. John S. Montgomery, who was strongly interested in the movement, suggested that the club join the State Federation of Clubs.  The suggestion was adopted and in 1908 it joined the Federation of clubs, and was placed in the Alameda district which included Contra Costa, Solano, Alameda, Calaveras, Tuolumne and San Joaquin counties. The uniting with the State body put new life and energy into the club and they did some fine local work in planting trees along the highway, inaugurating a clean-up day every year, placing signs upon the street corners, petitioning the board of trustees to lay cement sidewalks, and other things that might be mentioned. In order to raise money to carry out many of their improvements they gave vaudeville and concert entertainments, gave social teas and dancing parties, and annually held a Jinx day. By these different plans of money making in one year they cleared over $1,500. Each member paid an initiation fee and dues and this money was also devoted to civic improvements. The club today has nearly 500 members and is in a flourishing, growing condition. The following ladies have been elected as presidents: Mrs. Emma Witte Humphreys, Mrs. Belle Cooledge, Mrs. Dora Clark, Mrs. John S. Montgomery, who was the first president under the Federated Clubs, Mrs. G. L. Meissner, Mrs. J. E. Nelson, Mrs, Cecil B. Clancy, Mrs. Harry D. Sharp, Mrs. O. S. Newman. In 1913 the name was changed to the "Woman's Club of Lodi."

The Woman's Club House

The crowning work of the club is the erection of a splendid club house 45x100 feet, corner of Pleasant and Pine street, at a cost of $40,000. Up to this time they had been assembling in the homes of their members and in public halls, and the idea of having their own club house was voiced soon after their uniting with the state clubs, and with that object in view in 1915 the Women's Building Association was incorporated with a capital stock of $20,000 with shares at $5.00. They soon found that their capitalization was too small and they then increased the amount to $50,000.  As incorporated the officers were Mrs. John S. Montgomery, president; Mrs. W. R. Thompson, vice-president; Mrs. Cecil B. Clancy, secretary; Mrs. C. M. Ferdun, treasurer, and those already named, with Miss Anna Brack, Mrs. Edward Hutchins, Mrs. Mamie Jahant, Mrs. A. J. Cook, Mrs. Theodore H. Beckman, and Mrs. Oliver S. Newman, were directors. Purchasing the lot at a cost of $16,000 at the annual stockholders' meeting and luncheon in the Hotel Lodi, April, 1922, it was decided to proceed immediately with the building of the club house. Work was commenced in November and completed in March, 1923. The building is of the colonial style and is not only fitted up in every way convenient for club purposes but it contains a fine auditorium seating over 600 persons and a large banquet hall.

The Carnegie Library

Lodi's first library was established in 1885, the citizens at that time fitting up three rooms in the Heald building for library purposes. Money was freely subscribed toward the library fund by Congressman J. A. Louttit, Ben F. Langford, Ross C. Sargent and many others, and about $1,500 was subscribed. The record states that the library was formally opened October 24 "with a concert by the local brass band and vocal and literary exercises." The library was supported by donations and entertainments, and February 4, 1887, an entertainment under the direction of Cyrus B. Newton was given in Barnhart hall for the benefit of the free reading room. The program comprised a vocal solo by Eva Custer; recitation, Mary Stevens; instrumental solo, Carrie Ivory; essay, Wm. B. Piper; recitation, C. B. Newton; cornet solo, George E. Lawrence; recitation, Nellie Shattuck. Was this library closed? There is no continuous record of the library until May, 1904. At that time says the State Library report, a library was established in a rented building with a rental of ten dollars per month. The Lodi Public library and free reading room in that year was on Sacramento Street near Pine, and Harvey S. Clark was the librarian. Rev. W. P. Grant of the Methodist conference was stationed in Lodi. Interested in library affairs, he conceived the idea of the library having its own building and he suggested the Southern Pacific Railroad Company that they give the citizens the old depot as soon as their new depot was completed. They agreed, provided the citizens would remove it from the railroad reservation. A few years later it was learned that a gentleman living in Lodi was well acquainted with Andrew Carnegie and his library-giving donations. In every donation he required that the city trustees or those in charge of the library movement must first select and have a clear title to the library site. It was now up to the Women's Improvement Club, and purchasing a lot at the corner of Pine and Pleasant streets an entertainment and dance was given June 5, 1909, and the money was used in completing the payment for the lot for a library. The plans were drawn for a handsome library to cost $10,000 and the cornerstone was laid that year, April 17, by the Grand Lodge of Masons, the cornerstone being laid with appropriate ceremony by W. Franklin Pierce, grand master. There was singing by the Masonic quartette and an oration by County Judge C. W. Norton. The library building was completed early in the following year and opened to the public February 12, 1910, with Jaison Swallow as the librarian. The Women's Improvement Club gave an entertainment in the opera house May 6, 1911, for the benefit of the library book fund. Donations of books were given by many different individuals, the writer gave quite a number of books, and the public Library of Stockton donated several hundred volumes.
Lodi Carnegie Library

The Heroic Dead

In the hallway of the Clyde Needham memorial school there is set in the wall a large bronze plaque and upon it is inscribed the following: "In Memory of Clyde Needham." He was the first young man from the Lodi district to die upon the French soil, his face to the enemy. Needham, who was twenty-two years of age when the Allied War broke out, was living with his grandmother, Mrs. M. F. Fuqua, 316 West Locust Street. After entering the army he rose to the rank of corporal, and was killed July 15, 1918, in action in the Champagne offensive. Upon the same plaque is inscribed the names of twenty-seven boys who made the supreme sacrifice, namely: James B. Anderson, John G. Anderson, Harold E. Cary, Joseph Drabkin, August Frey, Ralph Gillespie, Herbert Howard, Wilbur Hugill, Alexander Linde, George Mauch, Clyde Needham, James Miller, Virgil Pearce, Charles R, Patten, Wm. C. Rossi, Arthur J. Setzer, Roy Spencer, Clyde Stamper, Martin Troy, Henry Trimberger, W. I. Tredway, Arthur Vincent, Charles E. Walther, Vernon White, Henry Wittmeier, Ora Wynn and Henry Wisthoff. The solemn impressive ceremony of unveiling the plaque took place February 22, 1922, in the front of the school building. After the singing the "Flanders Requiem" by Mrs. Mary McAdam Yerbury, Major W. A. Mason, Clyde Needham's first commander, briefly related that terrible battle that began on the Fourth of July and as the Tokay band played the "Star Spangled Banner," and the large crowd stood with uncovered heads, the Major slowly drew aloft the flag, unveiling the plaque.

Armistice Celebration

After many months of anxiety and worry bedlam broke loose in Lodi, when the news was received about 1 o'clock in the morning of November 11, 1918, that the German army had surrendered. The fire whistle was blown, the church bells were rung, and in a short time everybody was on the streets, the automobilists blowing and tooting their horns. About 4 o'clock the Eagles' drum corps was upon the street and leading a procession the happy throng marched over the town, hurrahing, shouting and singing. During the forenoon hundreds of citizens went to Stockton to the impromptu celebration of victory. They returned to Lodi and about three o'clock a procession was formed at the Eagles' Hall on North Sacramento Street and after marching over the town they halted at the Tokay arch. At that point a platform had been erected, and a meeting of jubilee was held, C. C. Woodward was elected to preside. Then followed a patriotic song by the quartette comprising Wm. Brown, Floyd Lyon, J. C. Ferguson and Rev. J. W. Schwimley, patriotic addresses, Hilliard E. Welch and Rev. E. J. Bradner.

In the life of a parent there is no event more thrilling than the return of the boy from a terrible war, this case upon the field of France. There were tears of grief when they marched to the front and tears of joy upon their return, alive, but many of them crippled in limb and with health destroyed. Such an event occurred in Lodi June 4, 1919. In preparation for the "home coming" the streets were beautifully decorated with evergreens and red and white and blue and that night the town was in a blaze of color. The celebration began with a parade led by the Tokay band of over 600 soldiers, marines, Spanish and Foreign Wars veterans under the command of Maj. W. E. Garrison, Hartford Post, G. A. R., Boys Scouts, Women's Relief Club, Women's fraternal and religious societies and over 2,000 children of the public schools. Several closed cars were in line, each auto with a Golden star upon the door panel. And in the cars rode Mrs. H. R. Hugo, who lost her boy in Belgium; Mrs. L. Rossi, whose son died early in the war; Mrs. P. M. Pearce, her soldier boy dying at Fort Douglas, Arizona, and Mrs. L. M. Spencer, whose son died on Angel Island. The parade formed at the Eagles' Hall on Sacramento Street and after marching through the principal streets they halted at the Tokay arch, and address of welcome was given the returned soldiers by H. E. Welch and there was community singing led by the Rev. W. A. Schwimley. The soldiers were then honored by a barbecue which was held in the Municipal Park.



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