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 Stanislaus County California

Stanislaus County. Organized in 1854. Bounded north by San Joaquin; northeast by Calaveras and Tuolumne; southeast by Merced; and west by Santa Clara and San Joaquin. Area, 1,350 square miles. Assessed valuation of property for 1874, $7,426,776. County seat, Modesto. Principal towns: Buena Vista, Ceres, Crow's Landing, Grayson, Hill's Ferry, Knight's Ferry, La Grange, Oakdale, Oristembra, Tuolumne City. Turlock, Salida, and Waterford. Agriculture is the predominant resource, although in the eastern part are mines of gold and copper. The placers were once exceedingly rich, but their great wealth has been exhausted. The county comprises a section of the great valley of the San Joaquin, extending from the foot of the Sierra to the Monte Diablo range, and includes the valley of the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers, having 600,000 acres of arable land of high fertility. The portion east of the San Joaquin River is a rich, sandy loam, very easy of cultivation, and is the favorite wheat region of California. The western portion is of fertile soil, but is subject to drought to a much greater extent than that portion near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and cannot be relied upon for cultivation without irrigation. Large canals for irrigating have been proposed, heading far up the San Joaquin, and in the Tulare Lake, and much work has been done, but they have not yet reached this region. Stanislaus as well as other sections of the great valley, is distinguished for its large farms, there being nine in the county exceeding 10,000 acres in extent. One farm has 39,143 acres; two have 20,000 each; one 18,000; another 17,000; and down to 10,000, while below 3,000 is the exception. Wheat is the great staple, and the product vanes with the amount of water received by rains or irrigation. With abundant water, from twenty-five to fifty bushels per acre may be relied upon, but should the season be dry, or any locality be without water, the crop is short or fails altogether. The vast fields of waving grain, as they appear during the months of May, June and July, covering hundreds of square miles in one expanse, unbroken by fence and but slightly by roads, presents a scene of agricultural wealth seldom witnessed in the world. The San Joaquin River runs from south to north through the county; the Stanislaus forms the northern boundary, and the Tuolumne runs through the center from the east to the San Joaquin, all of which are navigable for light draft steamers the greater portion of the year. The San Joaquin Valley branch of the Central Pacific Railroad crosses the county on the eastern side of the valley, and the Oakdale branch of the Stockton and Copperopolis Railroad enters the extreme eastern portion of the county. These different means of transportation afford unusual facilities, and the free rivers prevent any extortion that monopolies might impose. While wheat, at present, is the chief dependence, other grains are grown, and fruit trees, vines and root crops flourish well in every part. The county is generally prosperous, and the rate of taxation is lower than in most sections of the State.
Officers: George W. Schell, County Judge; L. C. Branch, Clerk, Recorder, and Auditor ex-officio; John J. Scrivner, District Attorney; John Rogers, Sheriff and Tax Collector; George W. Toombs, Treasurer; A. H. Jamison, Assessor; Albro W. South, Surveyor; James Burney, Coroner, Public Administrator, and Superintendent Public Schools.

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875

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