Placer County









            Among the leading representatives of the fruit growing interests of Placer County is Adanirum Judson Goding, whose interests in this direction are extensive and yield to him a good financial return.  His farm is located about one mile from Towle Station in Placer County, and its neat, thrifty appearance indicates to the passer-by the careful supervision of the owner, who since the spring of 1852 has been a resident of California.

            He was born in Livermore, Oxford County, Maine, on the 30th of May, 1823, and is of English lineage, although the family for many generations has been connected with American interests, having been founded in New England in colonial days.  Jonas Goding, the father of our subject, was born in the Pine Tree state and married Miss Jane Hathaway, also a native of Maine.  After their marriage they removed to Brighton, Massachusetts, locating on a farm in that vicinity, and were known as industrious, worthy farming people for many years.  The mother lived to the advanced age of eighty years, while the father passed the eighty-fourth milestone on the journey of life.  They were the parents of eleven children, of whom four still survive.

            On the old homestead farm Adanirum J. Goding spent his youth.  He arose early in the morning to assist in the work of clearing, cultivating and improving the fields and worked until the dewy eve.  Through the winter months, after the crops were safely harvested and the fruit gathered, he entered the district school of the neighborhood, where he pursued his studies until spring again forced him to take his place behind the plow.  He continued farming in the east until 1852, when attracted by the rich discoveries of gold in California he bade adieu to his friends in Massachusetts and started for the golden west, making the long voyage around Cape Horn on the sailing vessel, Samuel Appleton.  Although they were on the water for six months, the trip was accomplished in safety and the passengers reached San Francisco, the anchor being dropped in that harbor on the 1st of July, 1852.

            Mr. Goding remained in that place only a short time, when he went to Rattlesnake Bar, where he secured work, at five dollars a day, spending the remainder of the season there.  Subsequently he removed to Nevada City, where he engaged in mining for about three years.  His efforts there were crowned with excellent success.  On the expiration of that period he was the possessor of thirty thousand dollars in twenty-dollar gold pieces.  He continued mining and took out a great deal of the precious metal, but paid eighty thousand dollars for water and the expenses were so great that he had but little surplus remaining.

            Tiring of the hard work and the great outlay, he went on a hunting expedition in the mountains east of Dutch Flat and came upon a splendid, well-watered tract of undulating land.  He was delighted with the country, and looking over the ground he found a number of springs upon it.  He believed that he could make a good fruit farm there; and as this was government land he went home and informed his wife of his decision.  They soon removed to the farm and there he has since labored, securing from the development of the soil and the cultivation of the crops and orchards a handsome competence.  He now has one of the best and most profitable farms in the county, comprising two hundred acres of land.  He has perfected arrangements so that he can distribute the water from these springs all over the farm and irrigate it at will.  When he was clearing the place of the timber he furnished to a railroad company and also raised potatoes, which were then a very profitable crop.  In 1865 he had twelve acres planted with the vegetable and raised a crop of sixty tons, which he sold for five cents per pound.  This brought him some thirty-six hundred dollars.  As the years have passed he has added to his orchards and now has four thousand winter-apple trees in bearing.  From these he has taken thirty-five hundred boxes of apples in a season and receives for the same seventy cents per box.  He has extensive strawberry beds and blackberry patches, and also raises large crops of cabbages.  His splendid farm, now highly cultivated, represents years of earnest toil and diligent and unremitting effort, for Nature, although bountiful in her resources, does not prepare the land for the plow or the planting.  This is man’s work, and when this is well performed Nature is bountiful in her compensations.

            Mr. Goding has led an active and useful life.  He is now in his seventy-fifth year, a hale, hearty pioneer and one of the highly intelligent citizens of northern California.  His success has been honorably won through the legitimate channels of trade.  It has not come to him through the sacrifice of the rights of others, but has been the reward of the work of his willing hands, the product of the farm that he hewed out of the forest.  Not alone have his labors contributed to his own prosperity, but have resulted to the benefit of the community in showing the capabilities of Placer County for fruit and vegetable growing.  Others have followed his example and now there are many fine fruit ranches in Placer County, the prosperity of this section of the state being thereby materially increased.

            In 1851 Mr. Goding was united in marriage to Miss Ann Spelman, who was born in Ireland, but was reared in the United States.  Their union has been blessed with eleven children and the family circle yet remains unbroken.  Following is the record:  Francis is now engaged in mining; Mary is the wife of E. J. Robins, of Sacramento; Judson is a railroad conductor; Nellie is the wife of Fred Whitten; Louisa is the wife of James Allen; Edwin is at home; Hattie is now Mrs. King; Mattie became the wife of Robert Wilson; Charles A. is on the farm; George is married; and Jane is the wife of John Fry, of Sacramento.  The wife and mother died in 1893, in the sixtieth year of her age.  She had been a faithful helpmate to her husband, was devoted to her family, and to her neighbors was a faithful friend.  She enjoyed the esteem of all who knew her and her loss has been a very heavy one to her husband and children.  Mr. Goding still resides on his fine fruit farm that has been developed through his intelligent effort and he is justly counted one of Placer county’s best citizens and most honored pioneers.  He votes with the Republican Party, which he has supported since its organization, yet he has never sought or desired party reward for his allegiance to its principles.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 728-730. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




Placer County Biographies

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