New Almaden, Methodist Episcopal Church

Bio-Pen Pictures


            Rev. J. Lewis Trefren, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at New Almaden, is a native of New Hampshire, born in old Stafford County, August 2, 1826, his parents being James and Sarah (Lochlen) Trefren.  Both were natives of New Hampshire.  His father was a licensed clergyman of the Free-will Baptist denomination.  The subject of this sketch was reared to the age of sixteen years in New Hampshire, and there commenced his education.  He completed his scholastic training at Hoadly Seminary, Connecticut, and entered into the study of theology at Manchester, New Hampshire.  He became a member of the New Hampshire Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1856, and was ordained by Bishop Simpson, at Manchester, in 1858.  He traveled eleven years in the New Hampshire Conference, as pastor of some of its most important churches, and was transferred to the Nevada Conference in 1865, and authorized to take charge of the Methodist Church interests in Central and Eastern Nevada.  He served as pastor at Austin, Nevada, for three years, and was then made Presiding Elder of the Austin District, when included Salt Lake City in its jurisdiction, he being the first to visit the Mormon capital in that capacity, and on his recommendation missionary work was subsequently begun there.  In 1869 he was transferred to the California Conference, and began his labors in his new field at Napa.  He was the father of the Napa Collegiate Institute, and was one of its first Board of Trustees, and one of the first committee on faculty, and was its first financial agent.  Since his Napa pastorate, Mr. Trefren has been in charge of congregations at Petaluma, Sacramento, Grass Valley, Marysville,--where he was elected and served as trustee of the city schools,--Santa Cruz, Dixon, Stockton, Vallejo, and Chico.  From the latter place he came to New Almaden in 1886.  He was the chaplain of the California State Senate in the regular and extra sessions of 1885-86.

            Mr. Trefren was married in New Hampshire to Miss Sarah Leavitt Pennyman, a native of that State.  They have four children, viz.:  Alice, wife of Capt. John Phillips, of Hudson, Massachusetts, who is a nephew of the late Wendell Phillips; they have six children; Frank A., who married Miss Belle Schermerhorn, of Healdsburg, and is head salesman of Austin Bros.’ hardware house in Stockton; they have one child; Jennie, wife of Stewart McBride, of Davisville; they have three children; and Caddie, wife of Charles Camper, resides at Chico.  Mr. and Mrs. Trefren have lost two children by death:  Rosie, who died in New Hampshire, aged sixteen months; and Sadie, who died at Sacramento, aged twenty-five years.  Mr. Trefren takes a live interest in California, and has prepared a lecture on her attractions, entitled, “Pen Pictures of California,” on the resources and railroad enterprises of the Pacific Coast, and has lectured quite extensively in the Eastern States.

            Politically he is a Republican.  He is also a member of Masonic fraternity, and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at whose anniversaries he has frequently been called upon to deliver orations and lectures.  He takes a deep interest in all educational work, especially the common schools, having frequently been called upon to deliver addresses before the High School graduating classes, and serve on visiting committees to universities and colleges.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 343
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


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