Pioneer Portuguese Families of the Sacramento Area
Joe TASH ( Jose Texeira) was born in 1844 in Santo Amaro, Sao Jorge. He came to America in 1862 when he was 18, reached California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and then settled in the Pocket. He first worked as a farmhand, and then later purchased his 37-acre ranch located to the east of the Gracia (Garcia) ranch.
He married Lucinda "Lucie" (maiden name unknown) who was born in 1858 in Graciosa, Azores, about 1878. Two of their children, Frank and Mary, died very young. The others: Marcel, born in 1879; Gregory, born in 1882; Fiance (1S84-1969); Mariana (1887-1892); Eselmo, born in 1889; Anna, born in 1891;and another Frank, born in 1895. Joe Tash stayed and ranched in the Pocket until his death in 1934, age 90. Wife Lucie died January 1923, age 65.
Joe raised vegetables and had a small dairy at one time. He had an additional 30-acre ranch in West Sacramento, near the trestle, and sons Fiance, Frank and Eselmo had an adjoining 30 acres. Marcel, the oldest son, ranched another adjoining 30 acres. Joe was the first in the Pocket to have electricity on the farm for lights and irrigation.
When he purchased his land it was all in tulies. Before he could farm, he had to clear a part of it. He would clear one section and plant, clear another and plant, and so on, until he cleared the entire land. He raised fruits and vegetables and would take them to town in a spring wagon. Buyers would buy off his wagon and take the produce to their stores.
Sacramento City then was a city of tents. Joe would row his boat to town once a week, purchase his provisions flour, sugar, etc., from a store near R Street, then row back home.
Son Frank Tash married Mary Amarel and they rented the Pocket ranch from Joe, with whom they lived. Joe was a generous donor to the St. Joseph's Church in Clarksburg, and gave generously toward additions to the St. Mary's Church in the Pocket.
[Mary Amarel Tash; William J. Davis, Illustrated History of Sacramento County, 1890]
MANUEL FERNANDES TERRA of Ribeirinha, Pico, left the Azores for New York City sometime in the 1860s, and in the early days crossed the plains to California where he lived and mined for about 20 years. He then returned to the Azores where he married Mariana and raised a family, farming and residing in Pico until his death. Three of the sons of Manuel and Mariana Terra were Manuel, Frank, and Antone:
MANUEL FERNANDES TERRA Jr., the oldest son, was educated in schools in the Azores. In 1903 he entered the U.S. and went to San Leandro and, two years later, to Sacramento. Back in his old home, at the age of 16, he had been apprenticed to the carpenter's trade, and he followed this trade in California, where he worked as a journeyman. In 1906 he went into the contracting business by himself, took on Joe Avila as a partner in 1909, and then in 1914 again went into business for himself, becoming a successful builder of fine residences, flats, cottages and apartments. In the Azores he had married MARY IGNACIA. They had three children: Arthur, George, and Fernando (Ferd). Art married Frances Rothmeier, George married Silvia Dinelli, and Ferd married Veda Riolo.
FRANK LEAL TERRA was born in Ribeirinha on December 20, 1893, and immigrated to the United States at age 18, reaching Sacramento by train around 1911.
He lived with his oldest brother, Manuel, for a short while, working as a carpenter, and then went to work for several other carpenters. For a short while he entered into a partnership in a bakery, and then went to work for the Southern Pacific Shops.
He married DINA DENNIS (Dionisio) July 25, 1914, at St. Elizabeth's Church. She was born May 9, 1891 in Ribeirinha, Pico, and was around 20 when she came to the U.S. She first lived with relatives in Chico, and then moved to Sacramento where she worked in the cannery until she found a better job at Mills working for the Humphrey family. She worked there two years.
Before they married, Frank used to ride his bicycle (with wooden rims) all the way up to Mills every Sunday to see her. Dina's brother, Daniel Dennis, was an attorney in Sacramento for many years, serving the Portuguese people. (See DENNIS.)
In 1920 Frank Terra bought a dairy in Antioch, and was there for two years. In 1922 he returned to Sacramento, and went into partnership with his brother Antonio, as builders and contractors, and continued building until his retirement in 1941. In Sacramento, one of the houses he built was the Alvernaz house on Riverside Blvd, and also the Manuel Garcia home just north of the Elks Club in the Pocket, both brick homes.
After he retired, Frank and Dina moved to Santa Cruz, where he continued to keep active, buying and fixing property, until 1974. In Santa Cruz he instigated the idea for a Portuguese Hall. The festas had been held on the grounds of the church in Santa Cruz up to that time. The ground for the hall was purchased at the base of the hill where the church was located. Frank supervised the construction and solicited help from the public.
The CPDES Hall (Santa Cruz Portuguese Holy Spirit Society) was completed in 1954. Frank also loaned the Society money to purchase a house which was located next to the hall, using the rent from the house to defray the cost of the hall until it was able to support itself. At the dedication of the hall, Frank and Dina were honored for all their work, support and dedication to the Portuguese community.
Dina Terra died in Santa Cruz on September 30, 1955. The next year Frank married ROSE CUNHA. Frank had a house built in Ribeirinha where he and Rose went every two years to spend the summer. Frank Terra died in Santa Cruz on February 8, 1979.
The children of Frank and Dina Terra: Evangeline, who married George Sequeira, and Mary Jane (Betty), who married Raymond Lee. George and Vange Sequeira's children are Jim and Dennis; the Lee children are Charles and John.
ANTONIO FERNANDES TERRA (Antone), brother of Manuel and Frank, was born in Ribeirinha April 10, 1892. He came to the U.S. and California in July 1908, and worked in the Pocket for the Silva Dairy, earning $17 a month room and board as a handyman. He also worked for Calisto Valine, an early-day contractor, as an apprentice carpenter.
In 1912 he helped establish the first Portuguese lodge, AADES. He and his brother Frank both played cornet in the 1914 Camellia City Portuguese Band.
On July 15, 1915, he married ROSE FURTADO, also from Ribeirinha, who was born March 15, 1897. She arrived here in 1913. They were married at St. Elizabeth's Church, with Father Azevedo officiating.
Antone and Frank Terra opened Lisbon Bakery on 4th Street between S and T in 1916, delivering bread by horse and wagon for five cents a loaf. Antone also worked for Southern Pacific as a carpenter. Then in 1917 he went into farming in Wheatland; in 1919 bought a dairy at Knights Landing; and the next year bought a dairy and farm at Roberts Island, near Stockton.
The family moved back to Sacramento in 1923, on 4th Street, and Antone entered the building contracting business with his brother Frank, operating as Terra Bros. He built a home at 2940 Freeport Blvd. in 1924, and lived there until 1948, when he and Rosa moved to Santa Cruz, where he built, lived in, and managed the Park Avenue Motel until 1957.
They then moved back to Sacramento to a home on 16th Avenue, and moved again to Starlit Circle, near Greenhaven Lake, to a duplex which their son, Alfred had built. Antone Terra died in June 1978. Rose was living in the duplex in 1989 at age 93.
After World War II, son Alfred came home and worked with his father before going into business for himself, building a number of new homes in the Greenhaven area. Alfred was born in Stockton in 1921, and married Avenell Wheeler. He died in 1962. Their children are Michael, and Claudia Terra Bradley. Daughter Frances Terra was born in 1925. She married Anthony Frank Bento, and had children Stephen, Stanley, and Bradley.
George and Silvia (Dinelli) Terra, son and daughter-in-law of the junior Manuel Fernan-des Terra, are the parents of Msgr. Russell Terra, who writes regularly for the Sacramento diocese newspaper, The Catholic Herald. He was ordained in 1962, and served at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento until his appointment on November 26, 1981, as pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Redding. He served on the diocesan Board of Education and the Priests' Senate, and as director of Aquinas Center. He was designated Monsignor in 1977.
[Rose Terra; Frances Terra Bento; Vange Terra Sequeira]
AMBROSE P. VALINE (Ambrosia Pereira Valim, also known as Charles P. Valine) was born June 6, 1855, in Pico, where his mother was a school teacher. He had a sister living in Chico, Minnie Venos, who had three children, Gilbert, Frank and Louis.
Upon coming to California, Ambrose married MARY Joseph, who was born in Sacramento on April 27, 1878, the daughter of Manuel Joseph and Mariana Azevedo, who was the sister of John Azevedo, Msgr. Azevedo's father. When they married, Ambrose was 40 and Mary was 16.
They settled in Rio Vista where in the early 1900s Ambrose was proprietor of the Cobweb Bar, just two blocks from their home. Two of their children, Ruth and Anne, were born there. The family later moved to Sacramento, where two more children, Mary and Ambrose, were born. There were two others named Ambrose, the first stillborn, the second dying at 16 months. Ruth, born in 1910, died in 1961. Daughter Mary, born in 1901, died in 1919.
Mary Joseph Valine had a sister, Rose Gertrude Joseph, who was born July 20, 1898, and who died at age 17. Mariana Joseph, probably another sister, is buried in the family plot and shown as born April 14, 1896 and died at age 42.
While living in Sacramento, Ambrose was involved in real estate and building, commuting to the Rio Vista area where he also had property and where he was active in the IDES lodge, having been elected secretary of the lodge in 1908 and is believed to have also become president of the lodge. He was one of the first to change the spelling of the name Valim to Valine (they're pronounced the same).
Ambrose Valine died February 20, 1922, at age 66. His wife died February 11, 1953, at age 74.
Son Ambrose Joseph Valine was born in 1903, attended Sacramento High School and Healds College, and was an instructor in radio at Healds, being a shortwave "ham" operator himself. Following army service in World War II, he went to work for McClellan Air Force Base, where he was chief of a radar unit. He died on October 30, 1983.
Daughter Anne Valine married Albert Fritzler and had a daughter, Patricia, who married Duane Clark. The Clarks had two boys, Steven and Michael. The latter married Kathy Peterson and they have a son, Kyle Clark.
[Anne Valine Fritzler]
ANTONE VALINE was born in 1849 in Ribeirinha, Pico, and came to the U.S. in 1869. He bought a 40-acre ranch in Clarksburg, next to that of Manuel Bettencourt, whose daughter, MARY BETTENCOURT, he married on January 9, 1879. Mary was born August 31, 1864. Antone's ranch, later owned by the Mesquita family, was the parcel east and adjacent to the IDES Hall in Clarksburg.
The children of Antone and Mary, in order of birth: Mary, Amelia, Tony, Manuel, Carrie, Eddy, Joe, Maggie ( who died as child), Maggie (who married Tony Pimentel), Frank, Alfred (Tommy O'Leary, the boxer), and Rosaline. Son Joe and his wife Mary (Nevis) were the first couple to be married at St. Elizabeth's Church in Sacramento, on February 2, 1913.
Antone Valine and Manuel Bettencourt were among the earliest Portuguese who settled and farmed in the area.
Antone and his son Manuel were musically inclined and played instruments for the Chamarritas and other Portuguese functions. Antone also played with the "Mascaradas." Antone played the banjo and son Manuel played the violin and viola. Antone was a hard-working man of excellent health who was attended by a doctor only when he died, on January 27, 1921. Mary died November 17, 1947.
Joseph Lester Valine, grandson of Antone and Mary Valine, and one of seven children of Joe and Rosie (Nevis) Valine, was born October 21, 1914, in Freeport. He attended school locally in the Freeport and West Sacramento area. As a youth he worked on his father's ranch. As a young man he worked first at the Silva Brothers Winery in Mills Station, and later for the Sun Land Oil Company delivering fuel.
On November 24, 1938 at St. Elizabeth's Church, Joseph married Lorraine Marie Rodgers, daughter of Frank Rodgers and the former Mary Agnes Silva. About 1942 Joe started a hay bailing business, and later in 1943 bought the 40-acre Lopes ranch from Anna Lopes, located just north of the Fortado ranch. They sold 37-1/2 acres of the ranch for subdivision around 1965, keeping the remaining 2-1/2 acres for their home. In 1945 Joe and Lorraine purchased 70 acres in West Sacramento which Joe farmed until 1980 when he retired. He also ranched the Goethe ranch (Glide property) adjacent to the Valine acreage in the Lisbon District of Yolo County
Joe was a school trustee of the Sutter Union School and the Cabrillo Elementary School. He was instrumental, along with Gabe Silveira and Jack Lewis, in having the new school named Cabrillo Elementary School.
He was a warm and generous person. He charged $30 a month rent for a house on his Jefferson Boulevard farm, and when the family moved out owing $600 back rent, his response was, "They must've really needed the money, and they did a good job watching over the equipment." On one of the family's Santa Cruz vacations Joe left his motel room to investigate an accident in the parking lot involving his car. The driver was pretty upset, so not wanting to ruin the man's vacation Joe didn't bother getting driver and insurance information, and instead gave him $50 to enjoy the rest of his time in Santa Cruz.
Joe Valine died July 24, 1989 following a stroke and heart attack.
[Maggie Valine Pimentel; Lorraine Rodgers Valine]
Joe ENOS VARGAS pose Ignacio Vargas) was born in Faial on July 25, 1889, and was living in California when in 1912 a wedding was arranged by relatives of MARIA SILVA, who at the time was living in New Bedford, Mass. Maria, born in Faial on June 13, 1892, the daughter of Lucio Perry Silva and Rosa Bettencourt, had been sent as a child to live with her grandmother because her parents had so many children five girls and five boys. Her father was a barber in Faial. When she was 18 she left the Azores to find a better life in America. After spending several scary days in quarantine on Ellis Island, New York, she proceeded on to New Bedford where her aunt lived. Mary Silva worked in textile factories there, and then obtained a job as a "nanny" housekeeper for a New Beford family.
Although she had never before met Joe Vargas, Mary traveled to Lincoln, Calif., and there the two were married.
Joe first worked as a laborer on a fruit ranch in Lincoln, and then ran the boilers for a pottery factory. In 1924 he bought a dairy farm and the family moved to Newcastle. They
bottled their own milk and delivered to homes and stores. In 1926 he sold the dairy and the family moved to Sacramento, where Joe went to work in the Southern Pacific Railroad shops.
Joe Vargas died May 8, 1956 in Sacramento; Mary died August 1, 1976.
They had two children: George Vargas, born February 16, 1914, in Lincoln; and Ceceli." Isabelle, born February 16, 1918 in Lincoln. George married Lillian Mello. Their children: Janicc (1937-1964), Susan, and George. Cecelia married Americo "Medico" Canische in August 1939 (See CANIJO.)
[Sandie Canische McGrath]
TONY VARGAS (Antonio Ignacio Vargas) was born October 3, 1890, in Pedrc Miguel, Faial. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1909, landing in Boston, then came to California about 1910. He drove an eight-horse team working on the levees along the Sacramento River, and also drove teams and worked on hay balers in the Sacramento Valley.
He moved to Lincoln about 1920, where he worked at the Gladding, McBean pottery in Lincoln, and in 1921 at St. Rose Church, Roseville, married ROSE CAREY, born July 6, 1900, in Providence, RI, the daughter of Joseph Carreira and the former Ignacia Luisa (Nancy) Duarte, (See CAREY.)
Rose was the widow of Tony's brother Manuel I. Vargas, who died about 1919 in the flu epidemic.
Tony and Rose Vargas bought a fruit ranch about 1924 in the Mt. Pleasant area of Placebo County, Tony continuing to work at Gladding, McBean while running the ranch, until he quit about 1942. About 1949 he went to San Jose for a year and worked there for Gladding, McBean, then returned to Lincoln and his ranch until his death March 27, 1958.
Tony and Rose had two sons, Joseph Enos Vargas and Edward Anthony Vargas. Because of Rose's illness, Edward Anthony was taken to San Jose as an infant, and later adopted by Marie (Vargas) Terra, Tony's sister. Rose Carey Vargas died September 8, 1935, at Weimar.
Edward was killed in an auto accident in 1958, leaving his wife, Eleanor Jean, and three children, Rodney E., Gary Anthony, and Jeanne Marie Terra.
Son Joseph Enos Vargas married Betsy Wilson of Lincoln, and they lived on the family ranch. Their six children: Mary Rose Covington, Lawrence J. Vargas, Richard S. Vargas (died July 15, 1972), David A. Vargas, Karen E. Pecorino, and Camille L. Vargas.
[Joseph Enos Vargas]
FRANK Joseph VARGUS, the son of Frank J. Vargus of the Azores and the former Mary Silveira, married MINNIE FLORENCE LEWIS, the daughter of Frank Lewis and Mary Rose, and lived in the Pocket near the Dutra house. They moved to the Florin area, which some people called "the Plains."
Frank Vargus worked for the California Vineyard Co. taking care of large pumps, while Minnie worked at Libby, McNeil & Libby to make ends meet. He died January 16, 1931, at age 47.
He and Minnie had eight children, raising seven of them: Lawrence, Manuel (died in 1986), Alice Behm, Virginia Von Behrm, Clifford (died 1989), Mary Clayton, and Dorothy. (See LEWIS.)
Frank Vargus's brothers and sisters were Antone, Manuel, Clarence, and William Var-gus; Carrie Santos, Rosa Fernandes, Virginia Maderius, Ida Fratis, and Mamie Francis.
[Alice Behm; Florence Hampton]
MANUEL GONCALVES VEIGA (Manuel Rosalena) was born January 6, 1885, in Raminho, Terceira, where he attended school for about two years. Around 1906 in Biscoitos, near Angra, Terceira, he married Juvencia RAIMUNDO, who was born January 18, 1892, in Biscoitos.
Upon immigrating to the United States, both Manuel and Juvencia worked in a shoe factory in Boston. Upon coming to California, Manuel worked as a laborer and fruit rancher.
They went to Newcastle about 1910, where Manuel worked on the George Kellogg ranch, and also worked for Gladding, McBean in Lincoln. He bought two ranches and lost them in the Depression, and returned to work for George Kellogg. Juvencia was a housewife and packed fruit during the fruit season.
They had five children: Johnnie, Mayme, Janevie, Gloria, and Johnnie, but only three lived to adulthood. The oldest, Johnnie, died at age four and the youngest, also named Johnnie, died at three days.
Juvencia died August 23, 1955 in Auburn, and Manuel died July 29, 1970 in Sacramento.
[Janevie Veiga Pacheco]
TONY VEGA (Antonio Viega) was born in Raminho, Terceira, on November 3, 1891, one of ten children of Joseph Viega and the former Marie Borges. Tony came to California and Newcastle in June 1910, and for a year worked for wages, then rented a farm on shares with the aid of his brother, FRANK VEGA, who arrived in 1912 with his wife.
The brothers leased the Kellogg orchard for six years, and did so well with the enterprise that they were able, in 1922, to buy an orchard of 45 acres, set out to various kinds of fruit, about a mile below Newcastle on the Sacramento highway. In October 1922 they began building a 14-room house on the acreage, and moved in the following May.
Frank Vega had been married on April 22, 1912, to PAULINE FERREIRA, also a native of Terceira, the daughter of Joseph and Maria Ferreira. Frank and Pauline had five children: Pauline, Tony, Josephine, Joe, and Mary.
The brothers and sisters of Tony and Frank Vega were Joseph, John, Manuel, Mary, Constance, Jennie, Jack, and Luis.
[History of Placer and Nevada Counties, 1924]
FRANCISCO MANUEL VIEGAS was born in Izeda in northern Portugal. His parents died when he was four years old, so he was raised by his godmother, who had ten children of her own. After he had served six years in the Portuguese Army, Francisco married 15-year-oid THERESA GRALHOS, who was from the small village of Sanceriz, Portugal.
Five years after they were married they had their first son, August, who was born in Braganca, Portugal. When August was nine months old, the family left Oporto on the English ship Willesden on December 11, 1911, bound for Hawaii.
At the time of their departure from Portugal, single men could go to Hawaii only in the company of a family, so Francisco and Theresa took with them Anibel August, Antonio Pires, and Frank Silva, who later became a rice grower in Delevan, Calif., and was godfather to all of the August boys.
After three months at sea via Cape Horn, all suffering from sea sickness, they reached Hawaii, where they worked in the sugarcane fields near Hilo. A second child, a girl, was born there, but died after one week. Two years later they had Valentine (Val), and two years later Camilo (Clark).
They stayed in Hilo, Hawaii, for eight years, then came to Sacramento, where Francisco went to work at Southern Pacific Railroad for a few years, and then worked for various Portuguese farmers in Natomas, the Pocket, and the Clarksburg area. For several years Francisco bossed a crew of Portuguese men, hoeing beans and working other crops.
Francisco and Theresa had eight more children: Lawrence (Larry), Daniel (Dan), Mary, Anthony (Tony), Eli, Francisco Jr., Theodore (Ted), and Robert. Robert died when he was just one year old, Camilo in 1962, Francisco Jr. in 1988, and August in 1989.
Francisco was very active in the Portuguese Holy Spirit Society, being president in 1940, and helped cook sopas at many of the festas. He was also active in IDES No.3 of Freeport, the UPEC, St. Elizabeth's Church, and other Portuguese groups. He was the caretaker of the ODES Hall at 6th and W Streets for many years, and in later years was also the janitor of St. Elizabeth Church for Msgr. Val Fagundes.
Theresa died in 1938; Francisco Sr. in 1966, at age 84.
[Mary Viegas Madeira]
Joseph W. WAXON (his Portuguese name not known) was born in 1830 in the Azores. As a young man he became a whaler and lived on a whaling ship until he was 15. He sailed around the Horn to San Francisco then made his way to Sacramento. He went back to the San Franciso area to a nearby island and stayed, catching huge sea turtles so large that two men could sit on them. He would bring them up the river and put them to pasture in a field on the Glide property, where they would be pastured there and sold as food.
Rosalyn Waxon Mosher, granddaughter of Joseph Waxon, remembered going to the ranch as a girl about eight or ten years old and seeing the turtle shell.
About 1861 Joseph married MARY GLORIA NEVES, who was born in 1837 in Sao Jorge, the Azores. She was the sister of Joseph Miller.
They bought three ranches in the Pocket. One was about 20 acres near the canal which later became the John Waxon's (Rosalyn's father) ranch and sold later to Manuel Waxon, John's brother. Another ranch was near the Lewis and A.L. and John L. Silva ranches. The third later became the Faustino Silva slaughter house property.
Joseph Waxon also had a large ranch in the Grant, near Mather Field, and raised wheat there. The ranch had a cabin where they stayed part-time while they also ranched the Pocket ranch. Altogether, Joseph worked hundreds of acres.
The 1870 census lists Joseph 40 as farmer, Mary 35 his wife, and children Mary, age eight; Joseph, age seven; John, age three; and Manuel, age one. Other children born later were Josie, Anthony, Frank, Peter, Theresa, Amelia (Millie).
During the time he was farming, Joseph Waxon had a schooner wagon with about a 14-mule or horse team in which he delivered produce to miners in the mountains. There were no established roads then. They would go up to Strawberry then continue to Virginia City, a trip taking three weeks up and another three weeks back. It was a hard but profitable business.
Rosalyn Mosher as a young girl remembered the schooner on the ranch with the skeleton of the top. Joseph Waxon delivered to hundreds of people. His son John (Rosalyn's father) accompanied him on one trip when he was about 15, which would be around 1875. He made numerous trips, some with his other sons.
Joseph Waxon stayed in the Pocket until he died in 1891, age 61. Mary Gloria, his wife, died in 1922, age 85. Their children:
MARY G. WAXON (1862-1902) married MANUEL H. GARCIA. Their children: Edward; Louise, who married John Fratis; and Madelyn M., who married Charles Jones.
Joseph WAXON, Jr. married Catherine Brady. Their children: Agnes; Gertrude, who married Maxwell Auth; and William, who married Julia V. Howard.
John WAXON (1867-1932) married Mary Brown (1870-1924). Their children: John Waxon, Jr.; Madeline A. Waxon (1897-1975), who married Albert Silva; Rosalyn Waxon, who married William Mosher.
MANUEL WAXON (1868-1929) married ROSA A. MILLER (1872-1959), daughter of Joseph Miller. They were first cousins. Their children: Eva married Leland Stirling and then Louis Laverone; Beatrice married William McCann; Cecelia married John O'Kane; Joseph married Ruth Summerfield; Ernest married Charlotte Lynch, a woman named Gloria, and Dorothy Russell; Rose married Gerald Griffin.
Josie WAXON (1870-1945) married MANUEL S. WILLIAMS (1849-1916).
ANTHONY WAXON (1872-1953) married Leonore (Lina), who died in 1954 at age 73.
FRANK WAXON died in 1929 at age 54. He married PHILOMENA SILVEIRA (1884-1976), known as Minnie. They had a son, Lawrence, who married Mecie Marie McDonald.
PETER WAXON (1876-1957) married CARRIE ROSE. Their daughter Margaret married Anthony Mealia.
THERESA WAXON, who died in 1981 at age 86, had married an Azevedo. MILLIE WAXON (1878-1923) married Aaron Kerr.
[Rosalyn Waxon Mosher]
MANUEL S. WILLIAMS was born in the Azores in 1849, and lived for several years in Sacramento as a bachelor before marrying Josie S. WAXON, who was 21 years younger than he, having been born in 1870, one of nine children of Joseph and Mary Gloria (Nevis) Waxon who lived at 1626 11th Street. (See WAXON.)
They were married at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacramento, and Josie later recalled coming down 11th street after the ceremony, in a surrey driven by a beautiful team of white horses, and driving around the State Capitol.
Manuel Williams had a grocery store at 11th and Q Streets, and it was in that store that the planning meetings were held which resulted in the building of St. Elizabeth's Church on property donated by him. (See Chapter 12.) He and Josie lived over the grocery store. Josie was a compassionate woman. During the Depression, when some people couldn't pay for the groceries they bought at the Williams store, Josie would let them have what they needed, permitting them to pay later whenever they could.
It was an exciting time on May 24, 1910, when a would-be robber entered the store as Manuel Williams was putting up orders for afternoon delivery. Holding a gun on Manuel, he was ordered to the cash register and to make no outcry. But Manuel yelled at the top of his voice. His family was upstairs in their apartment eating lunch, and 14-year-old Ernest heard his father's cry and rushed downstairs armed with a silver fork from the table.
The robber heard him and sought to escape by a side door, only to run into Ernest who threw the fork at him and gave chase, followed by his brother Arthur and by John Azevedo. The children at Harkness grammar school at 10th and Q Streets were just leaving for lunch, and as Ernest ran up the street in pursuit dozens of young boys also took up the chase, first to 10th and P, to 9th and 0, to 12th Street, and finally to the alley between 0 and P and 25th and 26th. The man spotted the police at the end of the alley, so he stopped and shot himself in the head. During the chase he had fired several shots over the heads of his pursuers. The would-be robber got no money from the store.
The church site which Manuel donated was one of many properties he acquired throughout downtown Sacramento, along R Street, 11th Street, the site of the present William Land School, and others.
Manuel died at home on February 24, 1916; Josie died October 9, 1945.
Their children: Adeline, who married Albert Cabler, an advertising salesman with the Sacramento Bee for 20 years; Ernest A. Williams, who worked for the Roma Wine Co. and who married Ida Ryan of the Ryan funeral home family; and Arthur E. Williams, a county claims auditor, who married Emily Hagerty, whose father was a Sacramento County marshal. Ernest's wife, Ida, was considerably older than he, and he eventually left her for another woman. Arthur and wife Emily were the only ones to have children. One son, Arthur E. Williams Jr., who married Doris Ann Harvey, was an executive with the J.c. Penney Co. Ernest died on May 11, 1970.
Whenever important people came to Sacramento to meet her father in connection with his many investments in town, it was daughter Adeline's job to show them the points of interest in Sacramento.
Arthur and Emily Williams were music lovers, and active in the local theater as producers of stage works and as actors in the late 1920s. Both were great ballroom dancers. In one American Portuguese Club dance competition at the Turn Verein Hall there was a tie between the Williams couple and Frank and Mary Rogers, the win finally being accorded to the Rogers couple.