What one intellectually keen and go-ahead woman can do, in directing her attention and energy toward her specialty, is well illustrated in the activities of Mrs. Almeda E. McDevitt, the well-known turkey-raiser operating extensively about eight miles to the northeast of Wheatland.  She was born on the old Bradshaw place about six miles to the northeast of Wheatland, the daughter of John and Susie (Hacker) Kuster, her father having been a native of Switzerland who accompanied his folks to the United States at the age of twelve.  Susie Hacker, her mother, was born near Wheatland on the James Richie ranch, the daughter of Eli Hacker, who came to California very early and lived all of his life here, dying at the fine old age of ninety-three.  The mother of our subject was reared on the James Richie ranch, and in turn she reared her own family in Yuba County.  She is still living in Oakland, at the age of sixty-two, the center of a circle of devoted friends.  John Kuster passed away, to the regret of all who knew him, when he had attained to his eightieth year.  There were six children in the Kuster family.  Dan F. now resides in Washington; Perkins L. lives at Marysville; Samuel Henry is in Sacramento; Almeda is the subject of our review; John B. lives in Los Angeles; and Louise is Mrs. Ernest Hutchinson, of Marysville.  Almeda attended the Elizabeth district school.

At Sacramento, on June 9, 1901, Almeda E. Kuster was married to Joseph McDevitt, who was born at Bodie, Nev., the son of Bernard F. and Annie McDevitt; the latter died when Joseph was three years old.  Bernard McDevitt was a gold miner and died in 1923, aged eighty years.  When he had lost the care of his mother, Joseph was placed in the Boys’ Convent at Grass Valley, and there he remained until he was ten; and then he was taken out by Miles Vineyard of Smartsville, to be brought up, and so came to attend the Lone Tree school.  Later still, he lived with John Walsh; and at the time of his marriage, he was residing with Thomas McGonigal.  Joseph McDevitt was a blacksmith, and after their marriage, he and his young wife moved to Sacramento, where he worked at his trade for a couple of years.  They then came back to the Elizabeth district of Yuba County, and for four years Mr. McDevitt ran a shop at that place.  He then went to Nevada City, and maintained a smithy there for two years; and after that he returned to their ranch in the Elizabeth district, where he and his wife continued to reside.  He served four years as a trustee of the Elizabeth school district.  On January 2, 1919, Joseph McDevitt fell a victim to that dread destroyer, the influenza.  Many owed their best help in the world to Joseph McDevitt.  A son, Thomas J. McDevitt, is a mechanic, and is now working for Martin Kuster.  Mrs. McDevitt has of recent years taken up turkey-raising, and in the 1922 season raised 600 bronze turkeys, and in 1923, over 800; in 1924 she expects to raise over 1000.  Mrs. McDevitt seeks to do whatever she can for the community’s welfare.  She is a member of the Elizabeth-Lone Tree Farm Center.


History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924

p 850





A practical and progressive rancher, William D. Mangels has led an active and useful life.  Since 1914 he has been actively interested in fruit-raising.  He owns a twenty-acre peach orchard in the O’Banion tract, and ninety acres nine and a half miles southwest of Yuba City; and besides attending to his own property, he leases eighty-seven acres on which he raises grain.  He was born in Oakland, Cal., March 22, 1877, the youngest of three sons born to Herman and Matilda (Doscher) Mangels.  Since his twelfth year, he has done ranch work throughout Sutter County.  He completed the grammar-school course at the Gaither school; and after leaving school he entered the railroad shops in Sacramento as an apprentice to learn the machinist’s trade, and worked there for three years.  In 1908 he began farming the Kimball place of 160 acres, situated adjacent to O’Banion Corners, in Sutter County, where he raised grain, his efforts being rewarded with substantial success.  In 1914 he located on his present home place, which he has improved to a peach orchard, and he is also engaged in farming and stock-raising.

The marriage of Mr. Mangels united him with Miss Alice Farmer, a native of Sutter County, and youngest daughter of the late Louis P. Farmer, a prominent and favorably known pioneer of the county.


History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924

p 854



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