According to Uncle Earl Wayne


Bonnie Wayne McGuire

(The following story was told to me many years ago)

Your dad and I had very fascinating experiences during our life. You perhaps know that your grandfather was quite an individual. He did much to develop the western part of the United States. Although your father and I were quite young, we did travel quite a bit as a result of our father's vocation. It required us to move frequently and we lived in every city in California of any size and consequence, Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico....particularly out in the Sonora country. Likewise, we lived in the eastern part of the United states, in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Because my father was in the mining business we moved accordingly.

I do not have too many of the details of our life as youngsters, except I can tell you a little bit about your grandfather from what he told both your father and myself. He left Pennsylvania as a young boy. He was born on a ranch, shared with nine sisters and two brothers. He was next to the youngest member of the family. When he was around eighteen years old he left home. He didn't like the farming environment so went to Michigan where he worked in the mines and became quite adapted to it. The iron mines etc.

Then he decided to go west....traveling through the Dakota's where he discovered there wasn't much going on in those days, although later on they developed big mines. He and another man then went to Great Falls, Montana where they filed a claim. That claim today would be in the center of the city of Great Falls. Things didn't work out too well for them, so they moved on to Butte where they were studying and planning to develop big copper mines. Your grandfather had the job of sinking the main shaft in this big mine in Butte.

While he was in the process of doing this he fell down the shaft and broke his back and legs, and was forced to spend a year in the hospital. He was a large man around six foot four or five inches tall, and never weighed less than 250 pounds even as a young fellow. He weighed about 300 pounds when we knew him. Neither one of us took after him in that respect...

The doctors told him he'd never walk again, but he was a very industrious man with a lot of will power. When he left the hospital he was determined to walk. He got a job in a mine working with a small bit and hammer. he'd crawl into the mine where he worked hard. Finally his power began to come back, and his legs functioned normally.

Then he went back to Butte where they were still in the process of digging the big shaft. He became foreman first, but they weren't making any progress. Then he became superintendent responsible for sinking the shaft...which he did. He accomplished something that had never been done before....a four compartment shaft. He became quite famous as a result of this, and became associated with Senator Clark and others promoting mines during the early day development of Montana. senator Clark was quite a character. They were all individuals and rough characters. Very powerful in their thinking and ways.

Your grandfather, meanwhile, had married and had a son and daughter during his years in Montana. Eventually he left Montana, because he couldn't stay in one place too long. I can't justify him for leaving his family behind, but he moved on to Virginia City.

He met your grandmother on the Narrow Gauge train as she was traveling to Virginia City (from Grass Valley) with her family. She was a young girl weighing about eighty-nine pounds in those days, and had beautiful red hair. He became quite taken with her, and they decided to marry not long after that. He was running for representative of the state at that time, and doing mine work also.

Anyway, they got married. He came to Grass Valley because her family was there....and decided to go to San Francisco on their honeymoon. But they had to take the Henwood family and Trezise family along.

The marriage announcement came out in the papers and shortly afterwards they discovered that your grandfather hadn't received his final decree of divorce from his wife in Montana. It caused quite a scandal in Grass Valley, because he was a prominent mining expert well known by Billy Bourne and others in his profession. he didn't spend much time in Grass Valley because he couldn't stand the narrow-mindedness.

Anyway, when his divorce became final he and your grandmother remarried and moved to San Francisco where he was probably promoting something. Then they left San Francisco and sent her family back to Grass Valley.

They settled in Arizona where he was developing several big mines. Someday I'll show you the newspaper that published quite a story on what he was doing. He also was developing a mine in Mexico, around Cananea I think, where some interesting stories developed.

Great grandmother Mary (Killoren, Callister) Tresise, Charles Henwood, baby Hoval and mother Grace sitting flanked by her sister Agnes Henwood and other son Larson.

Your grandmother became pregnant, and they didn't want your father to be born in Mexico, so they moved across the border to Arizona. Arizona was just a territory at that time. Years later they had a heck of a time determining your father's birth. At any rate, your grandmother eventually came back to Grass Valley where I was born.

Grandfather, Grandma, baby Earl and dad.

Then they went back together and moved to Silver City, New Mexico. There was a big copper mine a ways out that was going broke. They had your grandfather take over the bankruptcy, and he re-organized and developed it into a pit mine. It was the first court case in New Mexico where the mine rallied to pay all it's debts off. Of all the people involved, there was only one man who did anything to show appreciation. He was the Chinese man who gave your grandmother the silk shawl that used to be on the piano.

Earl and dad at Silver City, New Mexico in 1913.

During this period in New Mexico your grandfather achieved prominence in the mining field. He became associated with Hoval Smith and a man named Havalin. Hoval Smith later became the president of the Anaconda Company. He made the biggest copper mining company in the world. When I was working for GSA I was talking to one of the mining engineers I mentioned the name "Hoval" and he said, "Hoval! Say there's only one other Hoval...the famous mining engineer!"

I said, "Yeah, that's Hoval Smith. My brother's named after him because he was my father's partner."

He'd heard of my father too. This was during the 1950's. Hoval Smith was one of the greats in the copper fields. Havalin was an inventor and Dean of the University of Minnesota. He was well known in the educational field, and always said that when your father and I were ready for college we could have free tuition at his school. The third man of the group was a man named Hitchcock, who became famous later on as the publisher of the Chicago Sun and Phoenix Sun, or whatever, in Arizona. He became Postmaster General under Howard Taft, and initiated the Parcel Post system.
So you see, we had quite an acquaintanceship at times. It was quite an exciting life for us youngsters. Although there was one thing....We could never go to school for very long. We attended from ten to fifteen schools a year, and it's surprising we knew anything. Now understand that all these things happened when we were very young, because our parents separated when your father was thirteen and I was twelve.

It was very fascinating. Since then I've found out a lot of things that happened. I was in Phoenix, Arizona about ten or fifteen years ago with GSA (General Service Administration of the Federal Government) visiting and looking at the new Customs building at Nogales. I had to pick up the Superintendent who was down there from Tucson. On the way back he said he wanted me to see the new highway between there and New Mexico, so we went up on a hill near Tucson overlooking it. He said, "That's the General Hitchcock highway."

Flooded streets of Mogollon in 1914.

I answered, "That's interesting, because General Hitchcock and my dad were partners one time." He looked at me and said, "My God! It can't be! You're one of those little Wayne kids? My father was a foreman in a Mogollon (pronounced muggy-own) mine working for your dad. You were the orneriest little kids around there. You were just little tykes, and I remember going down and watching the two of you. Your brother would catch a donkey and make you hold onto it's ear with your mouth while he got on to ride it. You were more trouble around there than anything else....I was just a boy (about ten years older) too young to work in the mine, but I remember your dad was an immense man. He was a tough customer except when it came to his family."

The Last Chance....Ernestine Company Mill and Mine in Mogollon Mountains.

When we lived in Mogollon, New Mexico the Ernestine Mine belonged to my father. It was the biggest producing mine in the state. There were many mines scattered around in this region. I have a faint recollection of these as a little boy, and it was confirmed by my mother later....but apparently Pancho Villa came across the border and was raiding all the mines to get the gold away from them. I barely recall seeing all these Mexicans and their donkeys coming in a big long row. They were coming up the ravine towards the mine. The people had abandoned the other mines, but my mother and father hadn't moved because my father said, 'No we're not going to move. I used to know Pancho Villa and he wont do anything.' Down at the mine in Cananea he had been their butcher-boy. When Poncho and his men came up to their house, he recognized my mother's unusual bright red hair, and my father. They talked at the kitchen table, renewing an old friendship. Poncho never knew their gold bullion was hidden under the beds. He and his men left without taking anything from them, but raided the Maude S. and other mines in the area. It just goes to show that you never know what doing good to someone means. It's a small world. Apparently my mother had done nice things for Pancho and his family.

Our father and mother had many interesting the one of the "Titanic." We were living in Boston where my father had his office. Among his associates was a man in England named Sir Hague. They had developed this mining corporation and Hague was the chief engineer for it. Hague later became the famous general in World War I. They were all well-to-do people over there. Havalin, Taft, Roosevelt and the others had interests in the company too.

Anyway, my father was in England visiting and discussing plans to go to Africa and develop some mines. The Titanic was ready to make it's maiden voyage to the United States. Sir Hague made arrangements for my father to book passage on it. Everyone wanted on it. Meanwhile, my father was in Liverpool...growing very homesick, and the Lusitania was ready to sail, so he took it instead. The day the Titanic sank, our mother took us down to the office to hear the reports of its sinking, and while we were there our father walked in.

We were back there because mom had an operation at the Catholic hospital. Our great Aunt took care of Hoval and me. Their names were Dougherty. One of the boys was a monsignor in the Church. We attended the Catholic Church quite regularly at that time. This young priest eventually became a Cardinal...Dougherty. But he failed his mission to convert us. Back at home our grandmother was quite put out that they were trying to do this.

Grandma Tresise was originally married to a man named Callister, but before that she lived in Boston, where she was destined to become a Nun. It was quite the thing to do then, but she didn't like the idea. She had an Aunt that lived in Virginia City. This woman's husband was known as Uncle Hubbard. They never knew what he did for a living, but when he died he left a pistol, and the story leaked out that he had been a member of the Jesse James gang. To this day Wilford Callister, in Sacramento, has the pistol.

Grandmother eventually married Hugh Callister, who worked in the mines around Virginia City. She had the oldest daughter, the son Wilford, and was pregnant with my mother when her husband passed away. His family were prominent people on the Isle of Man who spent money for grandmother to bring their son home for burial on the Isle of Man. Old man Callister was a Squire...or Lord. They had a nice home. When he died he left all his great grandchildren five guineas. Mom, Agnes Callister Henwood and Will Callister.

It's interesting that Mom bought a piano with part of her $500 and gave it to her sister. Then she gave the rest of it to her brother. She didn't even buy a present for her husband. That's how the Henwoods had that house up there. She paid for part of that. It didn't belong to the Henwoods originally. It belonged to the Callisters (Trezise later on). That was a mistake on her part, because her husband was supporting the whole family. But that's how it goes.

Anyway, when grandma returned after burying her husband, she gave birth to my mother in Virginia City. I believe she lived with the Gracie family for awhile there. Then she decided we had to do something to earn a living, so she put up a big tent and opened a restaurant. She hired twenty Chinese people to work there. This was the early development of Virginia City, and there wasn't much there then. Your grandmother was one of the first children born there.

Eventually she built a two story restaurant right in town. She did pretty well. Meanwhile, she met a man named James Trezise who was quite an individual. They called him "Good-sound Trezise" because he spoke fluent English. The Cousin Jacks always turned their sentences around, so they named him Good-sound because he didn't do that. If you heard a real Cornishman talk you couldn't understand them without living around them to get the knack. Cornwall was the headquarters for all the pirates of the world. They were very independent people who were either small or large built...which was very peculiar. Most in this country are short fellows.

James "Good-sound" Trezise (1865).

Anyway, back to grandma Mary. She decided to come over here because he was in the mining here. She didn't use much judgment. She put the three little kids and the dog in a single horse wagon, and started over the summit. This was in the middle of November. They were near the Summit House when a blizzard obliterated the way. They couldn't see anything. The dog led them up the road to the summit House where they stayed until they could get out again. They finally reached Grass Valley and settled there. She married James Trezise. There are some interesting stories about him that mom told me.

It seems that in Virginia City they were having a heavy-weight boxing match. In those days they fought bare fisted. One of the contestants was a man from Australia named Tracy, or something like that. In those days they trained on whisky and soaked their hands to make them tough. anyway, they were in the saloon. Trezise was neatly dressed in a suit and probably looked like a dude to some. The Australian fighter was buying drinks for every-one and Trezise didn't drink so he ordered a sasperilla. The fighter said, 'No...You're going to drink whisky like the rest of us!' Apparently he took a swing at Trezise, who knocked the man down so hard he broke his leg, and they had to postpone the fight. I heard this later on from other sources, so it must have been well known.

When I lived with him and my grandmother for awhile on Townsend Street, old man Trezise had a big tub behind the house. Every morning he'd fill the tub with cold water, strip to the waist and wash with this water even when there was snow on the ground. It didn't matter. He did this every day. One day, when he was around 81, he came in the house and told my grandmother, "Mary, I'm going to die today."

She said, "No you're not. That's crazy. Why do you say that?" "Because I couldn't lift my dumbbells very many times this morning. It's the first time that's ever happened. I'm going to go lay down in the living room." He went in the other room, lay down and died. He'd never been sick in his life. Good-sound Trezise was a nice looking man with a white beard as I remember him when I was a small boy. He wasn't too tall. A well built man around five foot ten. (At right is his obituary that was published in the Morning Union Tuesday, December 23, 1913).

My grandmother was very religious. Quite the religious student, and I believe a follower of Russell. I'm not sure about her church, but think she may have belonged to the early Seventh Day Adventists Church in Grass Valley. She wasn't extreme. She kept to herself and never forced it on any of us.

My aunt Agnes (Callister Henwood) was a well versed woman and quite a painter when she was young. She had a great sense of humor. You never knew what to expect when she was around. She played baseball with all the kids in the neighborhood. One day when she was catching, a guy hit a foul ball that caught her in the eye and gave her the biggest shiner you ever saw. Her husband used to give her the dickens about being undignified.

You know Bonnie, very few people knew your father as well as I did. He had kind of a rough life. Everyone told him he was the oldest, and had to take on the family responsibilities. This happened when he was around twelve or thirteen years of age. Things hadn't gone well with our mother and father who separated, and as a result he had to go out and work when he was quite young.

We were living in San Jose when our father went to South America, so Hoval got a job in a box factory. He drew a full salary for a man's job. From there we moved to Richmond. I was going to school at the time, and he insisted he had to work. We didn't have much. Anyway, he went to work for the Pullman company that made railroad cars. They started him as an apprentice and shortly made him a blacksmith. He was very strong in the arms.

When he was fourteen we lived in Sacramento where he went to work for the Pacific Coast Candy Company. Already he was a carpenter, a blacksmith and now he was making candy. He became their head chocolate candy maker. It was rough work.

Prior to that we'd lived in Manteca. My father had bought two tractors. He'd decided to go back to farming. He ran one and Hoval ran the other tractor. His main job was plowing big wheat fields around Tracy. In those days they used big tractors that required half a mile to make a turn. They didn't turn very well. They'd hired him to plow the corners....and he'd go like a son-of-a-gun in his Fordson tractor. So Hoval was running the business, because dad would tire of it and leave to do other things.

Then your dad came to Grass Valley to work in the mines. He was standing in line when one old Cousin Jack came up to him and asked, "Say, aren't you Good-sound's grandson?" Your dad said he was, and the man told him that he didn't have to stand in go up to the office. Good-sounds family could always work there. He said that Billy Bourn and Good-sound had originally prospected over where the North Star Mine was. The foreman told Hoval that it was a tradition that any direct relative of Good-sound Tresise had a job at the Empire Mine if they wanted it. Your dad was around sixteen then. I started work underground about the same time at the North Star when I was fifteen.

You know Bonnie, your father was an interesting individual who could always get himself into little troubles, but could get out of them pretty well. This worried my mother quite a bit and she used to call me to go find him and see how he was doing. One time she called me and I went down to Oakland on Telegraph Avenue where all the engineers hung around. I knew he went there sometimes, so I walked in and sat down at the front end of this long bar. There were two men next to me, but got up and moved to the far end. I couldn't figure this out, until the bartender came over and said, "How are ya Hats?" Then he looked at me and corrected himself. I told him Hats was my brother, and asked if he'd seen him. He mentioned Hats had been in there the night before and some guy had become loud and boisterous. "Your brother doesn't like to show off in here, but this guy made some remark to him or did something, and your brother got up and hit him and knocked him through the door and broke his leg. Those guys over there probably thought you were Hats too. All the steel workers know him and respect him." Everyone called him hats because he always wore nice hats.

Another interesting story about your dad happened when he was running a clamshell (crane) on the Feather River, about 1000-1,500 feet in the air, while working on a railroad trestle. The whole structure and machinery started to fall, so he jumped out of the cab and grabbed a piece of steel sticking out at the end of the bridge and hung on there while everything else fell."

(This is the end of our taped conversation that wonderful afternoon we spent together talking about the things I wanted to know about our grandparents, dad and Uncle Earl. I've always wished I'd recorded more).


Friday, March 30, 2012 I received an email from Dave Trezise, who lives in Australia. His wonderful research breathes new life into our family history. I sent him some photos that were in James (Good-Sound) Trezise's album that he identified.

Hi Bonnie,

I love your site and all the history that you have recorded. I am researching James P Trezise and I am wondering if you have found who his parents were. I suspect the P stands for Pool. I note that he emigrated to the US in 1854 so he was in Grass Valley quite a while. Is it OK if I use the information in your Uncle Earl’s story about him for any research I produce about him. I am a member of the Trezise ONE Name group and they would be interested if I can find anything about his history.

I have done some work on a man I think is James’ brother Henry (see attached file).

If I am correct James was christened 20 May 1832 at St Just in Penwith, his parents living at Bosworlas, Kelynack, Cornwall. His parents were Henry Trezise (c.1 Nov 1795.SJ; son of Henry Trezise and Jane Wallis, d 23 Nov 1839 aged 45 from consumption) and Loveday Pool (c.11 Apr 1802.SJ; daughter of Oliver Pool and Mary Hicks, d 15 Nov 1887 Kelynack from fatty degeneration of heart & a fractured fibula). Loveday was a school teacher.

The indirect evidence for my suspicions are that James P was born Apr 1832 (US census data 1900) which is right for the christening date and that census tells us that he emigrated in 1854 which is the very year that Henry Pool Trezise from Kelynack emigrated as well. Makes sense for brothers to emigrate together.

I can finally put the chase to sleep. I have contacted one of Henry Pool Trezise’s descendants and she has a copy of the same photo. So the photos you sent belong to Loveday Trezise nee Pool (mother), Eliza Champion nee Trezise (sister) and Henry Pool Trezise (brother of James P Trezise). Thank you for providing the photos in the first place and for all your kind assistance. I have attached some newspaper articles that will interest you

PS Any other photos especially ones taken in England will be gratefully received and I will endeavour to get people id for you

Best wishes
Dave Trezise
(living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)