San Joaquin County
LEWIS MORRISON CUTTING
LEWIS MORRISON CUTTING, of L. M. Cutting & Son, conveyancers, real-estate and insurance agents of Stockton, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, September 1, 1831, a son of Lewis and Susan Julia (Morrison) Cutting. His father, born in Weston, Massachusetts, August 29, 1804, was a son of John and Cynthia (Warren) Cutting. John Cutting, born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, was a manufacturer of boots and shoes, and in the war of 1812, manufactured soldier’s knapsacks for the Government. After his marriage he lived in Weston, on the land inherited by his wife from her great-uncle, General Joseph Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill. Grandfather John Cutting was a deacon in the Congregational Church, but became a liberal in religion as are nearly all his direct descendants. He lived to be over eighty years. Great-great-grandfather John Morrison, an emigrant from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1736, died in Londonderry, New Hampshire, at the remarkable age of 108 years. John Warren, the brother of General Joseph, died in 1806 at an advanced age; and two of his sisters, Anna and Lydia, are known to have reached the age of eighty-two. He was the sixth John and in the fifth generation from John Warren, who with his brothers Richard and Jonathan came to Plymouth on the Mayflower. The first John was settled for a time near Mount Auburn, but afterward established the homestead in Weston still owned by one of his descendants, Marshall Cutting, an uncle of the subject of this sketch.
Lewis Cutting, the father of L. M. Cutting, after receiving the usual district-school education, turned his attention to mechanical pursuits and soon became identified with the Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1829, retaining his connection with them in a responsible capacity for thirty years, meanwhile investing and utilizing many labor-saving devices. Among these the “Stop Motion,” used in cotton spinning, proved to be one of the greatest inventions ever produced in that line. He came to California in 1858, and settled in San Francisco, where he established with his son Francis, the firm of Cutting & Co., and the Cutting Packing Co., becoming a pioneer in the canning industry of this State. He invented a machine for packing meat and a new method of soldering cans. He died August 26, 1889, leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter.
Of a genial but retiring nature he disliked display, and “with charity to all and malice toward none,” he occupied himself to the last with the fulfillment of his duties as a business man and good citizen, enjoying the respect and confidence of all who knew him.
L. M. Cutting, the subject of this sketch, left his native city of Lowell, Massachusetts, December 25, 1851, for California. He sailed from New York city January 4, 1852, on the steamer Ohio, and arrived in San Francisco by the Panama route early in February, 1852. His first employment was in a restaurant at $100 a month and found. He remained in that city a few months and then went to the “southern mines,” in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, by way of Stockton. In 1853 he returned to this city and became a clerk in the old hardware house of Paige & Webster, which was then the leading house in that line, remaining in their employ until 1857. He was then placed in charge of the Stanislaus Flouring Mills, at Knight’s Ferry. In 1858 he returned to his old place with Paige & Webster, and in 1859 went to work for a hardware firm in this city. On the first of August, 1860, he went to work for the late Captain C. M. Weber, who owned the great Campo Franceses, upon which Stockton is located taking the charge and the management of his business. In August, 1870, he purchased the stock of the Ames Plow Company, and the hardware stock of Joshua Webster, in an adjoining building, and carried on both lines of business through clerks, under his personal oversight, until January, 1876, when he was compelled to go into bankruptcy through the stringency of the times. The bank of California had failed in August, 1875, and many substantial firms, including almost all the hardware dealers on this coast, were forced into bankruptcy. Mr. Cutting lost the earnings of twenty-five years of an active and industrious life, amounting to perhaps $70,000. He still remained in the real-estate and insurance business, and took his son Francis into partnership in July, 1887, and relinquished his charge of the Weber estate in August of that year. Mr. Cutting is president of the Citizen’s Gas Well Company, a member of the Board of Education, Secretary and one of the Trustees of the Rural Cemetery Association, and was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of the State Insane Asylum. He has been a Mason for over thirty years, and has taken the thirty-second degree; he also belongs to the Knights of Honor, the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America, the Sons of Liberty, and did belong to the old Union Guards. Mr. L. M. Cutting was married July 1, 1857, to Miss Catherine Sophia Howland, born in Woodstock, Vermont, October 17, 1830, a daughter of John and Maria (Snow) Howland. Her grandfather, James Howland, lived to be ninety-eight and his wife ninety-six. Mr. and Mrs. Cutting are the parents of four living children, all born in Stockton: Lewis Howland, August 1, 1858, educated in the public schools, and brought up in the insurance business in San Francisco, is engaged in Stockton in 1890 as an insurance broker; Grace Julia, born in 1860 is a teacher in Stockton since 1887; Francis, born February 15, 1886, was graduated from the high school in this city, has worked in his father’s office since leaving school, and was taken into partnership by him in July, 1887. He was married March 28, 1888, to Miss Helen L. Henderson, born in Stockton June 5, 1867, and has one boy, Lewis Milton, born February 3, 1889; Maria Snow, born in 1868, is finishing her education in Field’s Seminary, Oakland, in 1890.
Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.
An Illustrated History of San Joaquin County, California, Pages 393-395. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago, Illinois 1890.
© 2009 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.