A well-to-do pioneer California rancher, who is historically interesting as one of the earliest settlers in the Laguna Tract, and today well sustains the honorable and enviable traditions of one of tile best early families, is Thomas F. Moody, who resides three miles west of Hardwick. He was born near Santa Clara, in Santa Clara County, on May 31, 1855, the son of George W. Moody, who was a native of Jackson County, Mo., farmed there and was there married to Emily Lynn. Grandfather Daniel Moody was born in Virginia and there became a planter. He came to Kentucky, and from Kentucky to Missouri; and thence to California, ten years after George Moody arrived here. The Moodys came from England, settled in Virginia, and had a very creditable part in the Revolutionary War. The Lynns were likewise of English blood, although Mrs. Moody's mother was born in Indiana. The paternal grandmother, Hannah King, was an own cousin of Daniel Boone. Back in Missouri in the early days there was a trapper and he came all the way out from Missouri to Oregon for trapping, thence moving south into California in the early thirties, when George was still a boy. Returning to Missouri, he related stories about California, and the lad George's imagination was fired and he resolved to come to California. Luckily, he was able to see his dream come true, for he was one of the few whites, forty in all who came to California from Jackson County, Mo., in 1847, Grandfather James Lynn being one of them, and the captain of his company. This company came through Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, and on September 12, 1847, they halted at where Stockton now stands. George Moody brought with him to California his young wife and first-born, William, who was then only one year old, and having established himself in the Santa Clara Valley, he engaged principally in store-keeping, farming and stock-raising. He owned the Fremont Place in that valley near Mountain View, at one time the headquarters of General Fremont while he was stationed on the coast; but through failure of title he lost it, and he died a comparatively poor man, in 1910, aged eighty-four years. The mother died in Santa Clara County, aged thirty-six, leaving eight children: William A. is at Elko in Nevada; John J. is at Boulder Creek. Santa Cruz County, Cal.; Mary is now Mrs. McDonald of Hanford; George M., married, lived and died in Nevada and left three children; Thomas F subject of this sketch; Charles S. resides at Elko, Nev.; Ellen, the widow of Stephen Henley, also lives at Elko; and Emma is the wife of Major Miller of Elko.

Marrying a second time, George Moody chose for his wife Mrs. Ellen Deitzman, widow of Henry Deitzman of Santa Clara, and the mother at that time of five children - Lovey J., Nellie, John, Emma, and Frank; and by her Mr. Moody became the father of three more: Lee, who resides at Stockton; Daniel lives in Lompoc; and Lena, the wife of Henry Barker, of Santa Cruz County.

Thomas Franklin Moody's early life was passed in the Santa Clara Valley, where he grew up on his father's ranch and went to the public school until his mother's death, which occurred when he was fourteen years old. Then after his father's second marriage, he started out for himself. He went to live with an uncle for a year, and worked for his brother-in-law McDonald; and from that time on until he was twenty-one he hired out by the month for various farm-labor. Then he was married to Miss Lovey Jane Deitzman, his step-sister; but she died in 1906 and left seven children: Pearl lives at home; Ernest resides at Elyria, Ohio, where he is married and is the foreman in a rubber-heel manufactory; George Cleveland is a rancher in Kings County; Lela resides nearby in Armona, the wife of Kenneth Starr, a rancher; Le Roy married Edna A. Laidley, and is now in Belgium, a lieutenant in the United States Marine aviation service; Lester is in the Marine aviation service at Peking, China; and Irene is at Berkeley, a junior in the University of California.

On Mr. Moody's second marriage, he was joined to Mrs. Daisy Mylar, widow of Fred Mylar of San Juan Bautista in San Benito County, by whom she had three children: Fred, Leslie and Elmer Mylar.

After his first marriage, Mr. Moody ranched for a couple of years in San Benito County; and when the extremely dry season of 1877 hindered operations, he went north into Napa County and worked around with his four horse team. Having returned to San Benito County, he moved in the Fall of 1878 to the San Joaquin Valley and settled near Lemoore, which was then in Tulare County, but now in Kings, and farmed for a year. Then he went to the south of Hanford, and farmed there two years; and next he came to the Liberty Settlement, about half way between Riverdale and Caruthers; and there he resided for ten years.

In 1899, Mt. Moody came to the Laguna de Tache Grant, where he rented for three years, after which he bought sixty acres from Names & Saunders. He has not only improved the place but added to it by purchase from time to time till it is now 200 acres in extent. He and his sons, George C. and Pearl, own a place of sixty acres in Kings County, south of the railway tracks near the county line between Fresno and Kings counties. He also owns a piece of land in the slough on Murphy Creek, consisting of twenty-eight acres, and owns a quarter interest in his wife's place of forty acres in Fresno County, near the Kings County line, where he now lives, three miles west of Hardwick. In 1909 he had an interest in city property at Coalinga, but he has disposed of his holdings there.

A Democrat in matters of national politics, Mr. Moody is non-partisan in his service as Trustee of the Laguna Grammar School and the Laton High School. He was also Road Supervisor for two years under John Clough, and he has done jury duty. He is one of three directors of the Riverdale Federal Land Association, and passes upon land values before loans are made. This is a plan by which any person owning real estate to the value of from $500 to $10,000 may borrow money to the latter sum, for from five to forty years, at six per cent interest.

An interesting bit of local history associating the Moody's with Santa Clara Avenue on which they reside, is furnished in the story of how that thoroughfare came to be named. When the Rural Free Delivery was established the Postal Department expressed the wish to have the avenue named; and Mr. Moody, as the oldest resident, selected Santa Clara because that was tile county in which both he and his wife were born.

Mr. and Mrs. Moody were for years identified with the United Brethren church, and Mr. Moody belongs to the Woodmen of the World.

History of Fresno County, California: with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present: illustrated
By Paul E. Vandor
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, CA (1919)
Page 772