HISTORY OF MERCED- page 451
JOHN W. AND CALPHURNIA NEEL THOMAS
SURNAMES: HAUN, VAUGHT, SPRAGUE., CREWS, BLAKE, DEXTER, JOHNSON, VOSS, FLORY
John W. Thomas was born at Mountain View, Santa Clara County, on
September 22, 1853, the son of Silas and Emaline (Haun) Thomas.
The father was a native of Missouri and came to California at the age
of nineteen, in 1849; he died in Mountain View. leaving a family of
four children; John W.; Seth, deceased; Eliza, who became Mrs.
Vaught of Watsonville and is deceased; Ellen, who became Mrs.
Sprague of Oakland and is also deceased. Emaline Haun was also a
native of Missouri and crossed the plains with an ox-team. She first
married Silas Thomas, and after his death married C. B. Crews. IN
1864 the family moved to a ranch at Old Gilroy which is known to this
day as the Old Crews Place.
John W. Thomas was educated in the schools of Mountain View and at a
private high school which was in Old Gilroy. He has been twice married,
first at Oakland, in March, 1875 to Miss Bell Doll who was born at Red
Bluff, Tehama County, in 1856, the daughter of Jacob Granville and
Harriet (Johnson) Doll. Mr. Doll was one of the early
settlers of Tehama County, coming with the gold rush. He was a
man of affairs and represented Tehama County two sessions in the State
Senate. Mrs. Thomas died in 1884, leaving four children,
namely: John M., who lives at Fresno and has two boys; Erin M.,
superintendent of the Frankenheim ranch of Oakdale, who has two sons;
Lucy,. Mrs. William Blake, of Gilroy, now deceased; and Emma, Mrs.
George Dexter of Betteravia, Cal., who has one daughter and two sons.
In 1875, in company with his brother -in-law, Mr. Thomas purchased 3500
acres of land tying three miles sough of Pacheco Peak in Pacheco Pass,
and they carried on the stock business on this ranch until 1900, when
Mr. Thomas moved to Dos Palos. Having traded some of his mountain
land for a thirty-acre ranch one mile northeast of Dos Palos, he
improved the place and built a home on it and other farm buildings and
has carried on a general farming and a dairy.
On May 14, 1888, in Gilroy, Mr. Thomas married for his second wife
Calphurnia Neel, born in Red Bluff, Tehama County, the daughter of
Barnett and Calphurnia (Johnson) Neel, and a cousin of the first Mr.
Thomas, their mothers being sisters. Barnett Neel was a native of
Pennsylvania and his family traces its ancestry back to 1700, when the
Neel family first landed in America. His great-grandfather fought
in the he American Revolution. Mrs. Thomas' mother came from Tory
stock in Virginia and she was born in Missouri, but her mother, Martha
Brock Johnson, Mrs. Thomas' grandmother, came from Virginia. In
1852 Calphurnia (Johnson) Neel came to California , across the
plains in the train under the command of Captain Bridger, and landed in
Truckee in the same year. Barnett Neel came to California later,
settling in Tehama County, and being an expert in figures he was for
years a public accountant and served as Tehama County as
treasurer. He passed away in 1869. Mrs. Thomas was one of
four children; Nora, Mrs. Voss of San Francisco; Martha Neel and
Grandville D., both of Watsonville; and Calphurnia She was
educated in the Oakland Grammar School, and after one year in the high
school she was later graduated from the San Jose State Normal
School. She began teaching in the Bryant district of Fresno
County and for fifteen years followed teaching in central California;
the last fourteen years she has taught in the Dos Palos Colony, and one
year in the Junior High School of Dos Palos. In 1923 he was
appointed by the superintendent of schools of Merced County as a rural
supervisor of general subjects, and has charge of all rural schools
west of the Merced state highway to the west county line. She is
a member of the county Board of Education.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have three children namely; Martha of Oakdale;
Granvile, of Berkeley, who has a daughter; and Helen, Mrs. E. E. Flory
of Dos Palos, who has two girls. These children have received the
best of education's and all are following the profession of teaching
and are very successful educators. MR. Thomas is a Democrat in
politics. Mrs. Thomas is active in club and lodge work, and is a
charter member of the Dos Palos Women's Improvement Club. She is
a member of the Eastern Star and a Past Worthy Matron of Morgan Hill
Chapter; she is also a member of the Ladies of Maccabees, of Dos Palos.
Outcalt, John.History of Merced County, California : with a
biographical review of the leading men and women of the county who have
been identified with its growth and development from the early days to
Los Angeles, Calif.: Historic Record Co., 1925, 903 pgs. transcribed by Carolyn Feroben