YUBA COUNTY Biographies
JAMES ALEX ROSS
The fertile acres of Sutter County can be depended upon to bring returns to any man industrious enough to cultivate them, and to devote his time and energy to the study of soil conditions and crop marketing, realizing the aid of modern machinery and irrigating methods, in bringing his crops to fruition. One of the up-to-date ranchers of this county, James Alex Ross, was born in Texas, in Kerr County, January 26, 1881, a son of John and Margaret Ann (Monroe) Ross, his father a native of Scotland, and mother of Canada, of English descent; they were married in Canada and moved to Texas, where he was a stockman. In 1886 the family came to Ophir, Placer County, Cal., and there the father mined and also engaged in ranching, his death occurring at the age of eighty-seven, while the mother is still living, in Lake County. James Alex was third in a family of four children born to his parents, and was educated at the Ophir Grammar School, and for the last two years of schooling at Altaville, Calaveras County. He worked and took care of his mother until his first marriage, which occurred August 9, 1909, at Sacramento, and united him with Miss Maude James, born at Pleasant Grove and a daughter of Lewis F. and Mary (Trevathan) James. She passed away April 23, 1918, leaving no children.
Mr. Ross was united in marriage a second time at Stockton, where he took for his wife Mrs. Effie J. (Klemp) Richmond, widow of Ira B. Richmond of Pleasant Grove, and of this marriage Mr. Ross had one daughter, Alma Effie. Mrs. Ross, born in Sutter County, is a daughter of Henry and Anna E. (Slight) Klemp, the father a native of the Lorraine section of Germany, and the mother born in Sacramento County. Henry Klemp came to California at the age of seven years and has lived most of his life in Sutter County and there Mrs. Ross was reared and educated. Her first marriage, on April 30, 1899, united her with Eli Trevathan, of Pleasant Grove, a native of California and son of William and Sarah (Howsley) Trevathan; he died June 3, 1906, leaving three children: Elsie Irene, Floyd Lester, and Percy Mrul. December 17, 1907, Mrs. Trevathan became Mrs. Ira B. Richmond, her husband a native of Pleasant Grove and a son of Billings and Mary (Coppin) Richmond, and two children were the issue of this marriage: Eda Esther, and Roy Edward. Mr. Richmond died January 21, 1916.
Mr. Ross devotes his entire time to ranching interests, operating in all 480 acres, their combined estate, and has twenty acres devoted to alfalfa, the larger tracts being in grain. He also runs a dairy of Holstein cows. He is a Socialist in politics, and fraternally is a member of Gold Hill Lodge No. 32, F.&A.M. of Lincoln, Cal., and also belongs to Auburn Lodge No. 7, I.O.O.F. While not a native Californian he has passed most of his life in the state, and is a firm believer in the great future in store for all sections of this ďland by the sea,Ē where climate, soil and people all combine to make as near perfection as can be found on this footstool.
History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924
A successful rancher whose prosperity is all the more striking because he began life under the necessity of constant work from the time he set foot in the United States is Dominie Wiget. He was born in Canton Schwytz, Switzerland, October 23, 1862, a son of Joseph Martin and Joseffa (Lager) Wiget. His father, a farmer and stock-raiser, passed away in the same locality where he was born at the age of sixty-eight years; Mrs. Wiget died when she was seventy-one years old. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wiget were the parents of five children: Joseffa, Joseph Martin, Mariana, Dominie, and Katherine.
Dominie Wiget attended the public school in Switzerland and remained at home with his father until he was twenty-four years old, when he married Miss Katherina Marti, July 4, 1886, at her home in Switzerland. She was born near her husbandís home, a daughter of Joseph and Mariana (Reichmut) Marti. Her father was the owner and proprietor of a large dairy farm, and kept about forty milch cows; he was also a cheese-maker. About two years after his marriage, Dominie Wiget and his wife came to the United States and arrived in San Francisco in 1888. The second day he was in San Francisco he applied for citizenship, and was naturalized by receiving his final citizenship papers at Sonora, Tuolumne County. His ambition was to become a citizen of the United States, and how well his residence in California has entitled him to a foremost place in the ranks of its citizenry, is well attested by his many friends at Meridian and every place where he and his family have lived. When he landed in San Francisco he was unable to speak a word of English and his only assets were five cents in money and his good wife, who has proven herself to be the greatest of assets, and although not inheriting or receiving a dollar from her fatherís estate in Switzerland, has through her untiring work and effort contributed largely to Mr. Wigetís success, which has been such that he is now one of Meridianís most substantial men. Mr. Wiget and his wife worked for fifty dollars a month for four years on a ranch on Mission Street, South San Francisco. Here he milked thirty-five cows twice a day and Mrs. Wiget cooked for fifteen men, and did many other things besides. In 1892, they went to Tuolumne County, about seven miles above Sonora, where Mr. Wiget rented a 640-acre ranch on which he conducted a dairy from 1892 to 1899. This same ranch was later purchased by the Standard Lumber Company and Standard City now stands on the place. Mr. Wiget then purchased eighty acres of farm land near Princeton, Colusa County, and drove eighty head of cows and twelve head of horses from Standard City to this ranch in Princeton. After living there for one season he sold out and moved to Colusa, and rented the D. Arnold ranch, where he conducted a dairy and a forty-acre prune orchard for four years. On moving to Meridian, he purchased a quarter-section of land from Dr. Jacobs, on which he set out fifty acres of prunes, planted forty acres in alfalfa, and the balance is devoted to hay and grain. He has installed three pumping plants: an eight inch pump with a twenty-five horse-power motor, a six inch pump with a twenty horse-power motor, and a three inch pump with a seven and one-half horse-power motor. He also has a dairy of twenty-six cows besides other live stock. Mr. and Mrs. Wiget have been blessed with five sons: Joseph D., Jopseh M., deceased, Xavier C., Francis X, and Bernard A. Francis X. was married December 1, 1923, to Miss Marie Sullivan, and resides at Sacramento. Joseph D. entered the U. S. Army and served in Company B., 364th Infantry, 91st Division. He was trained at Camp Lewis and went to France and was wounded in Belgium, then was in a hospital three weeks, but for three days he did not receive any medical attention and came very near dying with lockjaw. Xavier C. trained in Company A, 363rd Infantry, 91st Division, at Camp Lewis until March, 1918, and was then transferred to the Vancouver barracks, working in the spruce lumber camp where he was a corporal. In the year 1919, Dominie Wiget lost $30,000 by loss in crops and a drop in prices in the rice business. In politics he is a Republican. He served as a school trustee in Tuolumne County, and he and his sons are all members of the Knights of Columbus, of Marysville.
History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924
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