JOHN LINDSAY MENDENHALL
John Lindsay Mendenhall, one of the extensive stock dealers in Colusa county, residing in Williams, was born in Greensboro Guilford county, N. C., November 6, 1866, son of Alpheus L. and Corina (Davis) Mendenhall. He traces his paternal ancestry back through five generations to the founder of the Mendenhall family in North Carolina, who emigrated from England at an early date in the colonial period, and prior to the latter it is traceable to a German origin. The Mendenhalls are Quakers. The family estate in Greensboro, which comprises nine hundred acres and was purchased from the Indians for a pony by the original American ancestor, has ever since remained in the family’s possession, and has never been incumbered by mortgage. Alpheus L., aged sixty, together with his brother Elihu Mendenhall, aged eighty-seven years, are its present owners. They were always opposed to slavery and during the Civil war were strongly in favor of the Union. Mr. Mendenhall’s paternal grandfather, Moses, was a tanner as well as a farmer. Alpheus L. Mendenhall, who is largely interested in farming and stock-raising, is also engaged in the tanning and shoe-manufacturing industries in Greensboro. His wife, who was also of English descent, and a daughter of Peter Davis of Greensboro, died in 1899, aged fifty-eight years. She was the mother of six children. Two of them came to California, namely: John Lindsay, and his youngest brother, Joseph D., who died here December 24, 1900.
John Lindsay Mendenhall was educated in the public schools of Greensboro. He acquired a practical knowledge of agriculture and the raising of live-stock on the family estate, and in 1889 he came to California, whither his brother Joseph had preceded him. For about two years following his arrival he was employed at farming in the vicinity of Arbuckle, but the spirit of enterprise which had brought the Mendenhall brothers to the Pacific coast urged them forward and when opportunity permitted they rented jointly twelve hundred acres of land lying two miles south of Williams, where they engaged in farming and stock-raising. They subsequently rented adjoining land operating eighteen hundred acres until 1895, when the partnership was dissolved.
In 1897 John L. Mendenhall bought four hundred acres of land located five miles south of Williams, which formed the nucleus of his present ranch. This he added to by the purchase of adjoining land amounting to six hundred acres, thus giving him a tract of one thousand acres in a body. Here he established a fine grain and stock ranch, erecting a residence, spacious barns and about eight miles of fence. He continued to reside there until the fall of 1904, when he placed his property in the hands of a tenant in order to devote his exclusive attention to the live-stock business. He deals in cattle, horses and mules, making a specialty of the latter, and is said to be the largest handler of mules in Colusa county. These animals he buys mostly in Nevada, eastern Oregon and northern California.
He was made a Mason in Tuscan Lodge No. 261, F. & A. M., of Williams, and is also affiliated with the Independent Order of Foresters. In politics he votes with the Democratic party and is a member of the county central committee.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: "History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sacramento Valley, Cal.," J. M. Guinn, Page 446. The Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1906.
© 2017 Cecelia M. Setty.