Wednesday, February 01, 2012

California Newspapers Online

Thanks to Chris Graves for letting us know that the California Digital Newspaper Collection now has searchable 19th century California newspapers online: "A Freely Accessible Repository of Digitized California Newspapers from 1846 to the Present."

For example, here are California Newspaper articles about the Central Pacific Railroad from 1860-1869.

The project uses Veridian software for digitized newspapers.

A story

From: "Chris Graves"

This would be a gory, human interest venture. Here is a partial of it:

James Harvey Strobridge, Superintendent of Construction of the CPRR is often thought of as "The One-Eyed Bossy Man" of the Chinese, a tyrant perhaps, and one given to cursing without cause.

To counter this image, consider the following:

James Harvey Strobridge came to California aboard the ship "Orpheus," arriving in San Francisco on July 8, 1849. On board with him was George Washington Meacham, a 22 year-old gold seeker. Mr. Meacham had poor luck in finding gold; in 1852 he returned to New Jersey to marry his sweetheart, Phoebe Craiger. This couple eventually returned to California, where they had one child, a girl, named Laura Ida Meacham, born June 9, 1855 in Moraga Valley.

The new family moved to Humboldt County, Nevada, homesteading some land on the Applegate Trail. In 1868 Mr. Meacham built the Humboldt House, adjacent to the CPRR grade.

Laura Ida Meacham attended college at Mills Seminary in Oakland in 1878, while there she met Samuel Hooker (Whitmarsh) Strobridge [see below], the adopted son of James Harvey Strobridge. They married in San Francisco in 1884.

Samuel Hooker (Whitmarsh) Strobridge was the adopted son of James Harvey Strobridge and his wife, Maria (Keating) Strobridge. That adoption took place in Auburn, California in May, 1865, when the CPRR arrived at that place.

Samuel Hooker Whitmarsh was the child of Samuel H. Whitmarsh and his second wife, Hannah Conover, that marriage taking place in May, 1862. Hannah died sometime prior to 1865.

Samuel H. Whitmarsh was the Station Agent for the California Stagecoach Co. in Auburn. Upon arrival of the CPRR, in May, 1865, the California Stagecoach Co. closed its office in Auburn, and Mr. Whitmarsh became unemployed; this unemployment caused him to become despondent, and he shot himself in the eye and through and head on June 7, 1865.

James Harvey Strobridge adopted the Whitmarsh child and his half sister, Julia Conover. Samuel Hooker Whitmarsh then was known as Samuel Hooker Strobridge.

The link? Samuel Hooker (Whitmarsh) Strobridge married Laura Ida Meacham, she the daughter of the fellow passenger of James Harvey Strobridge on the "Orpheus" back in 1849. Sam Strobridge was 21 and Laura Ida was 29 at the marriage in 1883. Sam became ill in November, 1885, and died in Oakland, he was only 25.

Laura Ida Stobridge never remarried, she died in 1932 at age 76. She is buried next to her husband and children in the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.

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