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Farmington News
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From "Doc Alders, Farmington's Lone Eagle" A Reminiscence. Averel (Doc) had the small berg of Farmington as a playground since the family home was the hotel located at the main intersection and adjacent to the train tracks. The depot was across the road. Passenger trains ran twice a day and freight trains ran regularly. Johnny Creek was at the edge of town and the family went by horse and buggy on fishing trips up the Sonora Road to where Rock Creek runs into Johnny Creek. They went nearly every day in the summer. There was good bass fishing along there. Duck Creek ran past their farm nearby on the road to Bellota. Doc's dad kept a black bear of the Ursus Americanus type tied behind the hotel in Farmington. The bear was a family pet that Alders acquired in the Sierra. Doc stated his dad brought the bear home not knowing whether it was an orphan or what. But, he brought it home and raised it. He had it for several years. The bear got away one night and ran over to Ripon. A farmer there found him up in an oak tree and shot him. Doc's dad got him back and had a rug made out of him. He kept it in the hotel.

Edward Alders put in a well to irrigate his forty-five acres. The one cylinder pump engine was built in Stockton by the Sampson Iron Works, which was founded in 1900 by John Minor Kroyer. The Sampson Sieve-Grip tractor was so popular the GMC bought Sampson in 1918 to compete against the Fordson tractor and moved it to Janesville, Wisconsin.

Edward Alders planted his forty-five acres in vineyard with walnut trees interspersed. Doc's father purchased his first tractor, which was a Bean. It had a one track in front and two wheels in back to hold it up. It was quite a contraption. The tractor was famous Track Pull built from 1915 through 1921 by John Bean Spray Company in San Jose. Doc stated his dad used it for two or three years. A connecting rod busted loose and punched a hole in the crankcase. He could not weld it, so he stored it in the stable and it stayed looking like new. Finally, Doc's mother sold it to a junk man. Doc's dad had a little plough he made. It was made like a Stockton gang plough with a wooden beam. He had another plough that he had a patent on that would get under the vines so it would get really close to the trunks.


Happy Birthday wishes go to Anthony Brodie, Dawson Murphy and Kristen Murphy on Thursday, January 5th.


Please contact me if you have items for the Farmington News column. E-Mail me at or phone 896-6697.