Placer County







                To the development of the mining interests of California the state largely owes it prosperity; and in presenting the life record of Simeon C. Jordan we give a history of one who has been an active factor in developing the mineral resources of his portion of the Golden state.  He now resides at Dutch Flat; but Iowa is the state of his nativity, as he was born at Dubuque, on the 30th of March, 1845.  On the paternal side he is of German and Irish ancestry, and on the maternal, of English and Scotch.  Several of his ancestors came to America before the war of the Revolution, and his grandfathers Clark and Jordan both aided the colonists in their struggle to attain independence.  The latter afterward located in Iowa, becoming one of the very first settlers of that state; and George Washington Jordan, the father of our subject, was born there.

            In 1850 George W. Jordan started across the plains to California, but died at Fort Laramie.  He left in Iowa his wife and four children, three sons and a daughter.  For her second husband the mother chose Lewis Costell, and in 1852 she came to California with the family by way of the Isthmus, Simeon C. Jordan being then in his eighth year.  They located three miles from Dutch Flat, at Mountain Springs; but not even a single cabin marked the spot at which our subject now lives.  Mr. Costell had come to California in 1850, starting in the same company with Mrs. Costell’s former husband.  He made a fortune in this state and returned and married Mrs. Jordan, and together they came to the Pacific coast, and here Mr. Costell spent his fortune in mining enterprises.

            In 1857 Mrs. Costell, the mother of Mr. Jordan, married Eben Smith, and the next year they moved to Colorado, where Mr. Smith entered into partnership with Jerome B. Chaffee, constituting the mining firm of Smith & Chaffee, who owned the Gregory and Bobtail mines, which produced many millions dollars’ worth of ore.  Mr. Smith is still living and is associated with the David Moffit National Bank at Denver.  The mother of our subject died in 1892 at the age of seventy-three years.  The children who came with her to California were William Thomas, Simeon C., F. W. and Mary Ann. The daughter is now the wife of Charles B. Patrick, of Pocatello, Idaho.

            Simeon C. Jordan was educated in the public schools of Dutch Flat and Woodland, and graduated in the commercial college at San Jose.  Throughout his business career he has been connected with mining enterprises, having engaged in mining and been active in the development and disposal of mines, and thus acquiring a considerable competence.  His early experience was in quartz and hydraulic mining, being trained to this work under the direction of his stepfather in Placer County.  His first introduction to quartz mining was under the guidance of Mr. Smith, already spoken of; whose knowledge of quartz mines and mining in general is the best in the world today.  Mr. Jordan made considerable money in Placer and Nevada counties, his net gain being about ten thousand dollars a year; but the debris law put an end to hydraulic mining and since that time his attention has been given principally to drift mining.  He is now engaged in operating the Blue Lead mine just below Dutch Flat.  He has recently erected a good ten-stamp mill, each stamp weighing one thousand and fifty pounds.  The mill and all of its machinery is of the large improved patterns, and he is now operating the plant with the aid of sixteen employees.  He is rapidly extending his work, however, so that he will soon furnish employment to sixty men.  He has bonded this mine to a large company and its success is assured.

            Mr. Jordan is considered a mining expert whose understanding, experience and practical working has made him an excellent judge of minerals and the best method of securing the metal from the earth and of preparing it for use.  He is a man of great energy and strong purpose, and carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.  His opinions are considered authority throughout Placer County and his portion of the state; and he has spent considerable time investigating mining properties throughout California, so that he is well known in mining circles.

            In 1879 Mr. Jordan was married to Miss Augusta M. Horner, of Nevada City, and they have had five children, only two of whom are living, however, namely:  Caroline S. and Irene Ruth.  They have a nice home in Dutch Flat and its generous hospitality is enjoyed by their many friends.

            Mr. Jordan is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.  In politics he is a stalwart Republican, joining the party at an early period in its history.  He lost his left arm while loading a cannon during the second Lincoln campaign; but he has never swerved in his loyalty to his party, which saved the Union during the Civil War, which has ever been the champion of American rights and liberties, the protector of American industries and now favors national expansion.  It is a record of which he is justly proud; and throughout his active business career he has ever kept well informed on the issues of the day, so that he has been able to support his position by intelligent argument.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 601-603. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




Placer County Biographies

California Statewide

Golden Nugget Library