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Sunday, July 19, 1998

County grows, mellows and heats up

Kristin Delaplane

1869 saw fires, trains in Solano

In 1869, a correspondent reported on the current changes due to the advent of the railroad:

“Maine Prairie, though not a beauty, has been a place of importance as a shipping point for Solano and Yolo counties, but is dead now. The railroad killed it. Formerly, there had been lively times in taking care of the countless tons of grain that were brought from a region extending inland 30 miles and providing for the wants of the many teams that thronged that place and in loading them with lumber and other merchandise. The saloons now are deserted. The hotels are not even making their expenses and the merchants speak of dull times.

“Dixonville is lively. Everybody is busy and new homes are being built and trade is brisk and the amount of grain shipped from that point is great.

“Silveyville is determined to live in spite of the fact of it is not on the railroad. It still does a good business and is growing in size. Two years previous the inhabitants, through conscience, closed the saloons and places of business on Sundays, but now the saloons and stores are open and drinking and gambling are in full blast. There are quite a number of professional gamblers in town, who had opened a faro bank and keeping poker and other games constantly going.’‘

Members of Professor Miller’s singing class gave a concert at Monson’s Hall in Binghamton.

In 1868, Miss Mary Boyle was set to open her house to boarders when it burned to the ground. Following this tragedy she was sued by Deck, Wilcox and Vial Co., the local warehouse and shipping company. Unable to pay, the property was sold in a sheriff’s sale.

In 1869, the citizens of Silveyville planned to celebrate May Day with a picnic in the hills eight miles west of the village followed by a grand ball that evening.

After 12-year-old Betty Wolf was accused of taking some buttons from a schoolmate, she went home and committed suicide by taking strychnine.

The lower portion of the new Masonic Hall was outfitted by W.E. Callen at a cost $3,500. A branch of Suisun City’s J. Frank & Co. was going to occupy this space to provide Silveyvillians with a store.

Emory Irving Upham of Montezuma owned about 1,000 acres of land. John Hagan attempted to establish that Upham claim was invalid and insufficient to keep the land from “pre-empters.” To do this, Hagan built a small building on the land. Upham immediately warned him that neither he nor the building could remain, however, he also offered not to force the issue if Hagan would procure a certificate from the U.S. Land Office showing that Upham’s title was not good. Hagan would not agree to do this, so Emory and Joseph Upham and two assistants armed with an ax, pistol and gun went to the place to demolish the structure. The place was torn down, but in doing so there was a scuffle and Hagan was received a blow and cut to the head with the ax handle. Hagan filed a complaint and the result was that Upham was bound to keep the peace on $500 and Hagan on $700.

Upham had just gained title in a sheriff’s sale and the town formally known as Collinsville and briefly as Newport was deeded over to E.I. Upham. He eventually increased his holdings to 6,000 acres.

There were two extremely hot days that June in the Suisun Valley and the heat caused the honey in Peter Long’s beehives to melt, which in turn was drowning the bees. In his efforts to save the bees, Long was stung severely about the head and neck.