Frank J. Lease, a well known and prominent citizen of Lodi, has had his permanent home in California since 1888. He is a representative man of affairs in his section of the state, and has a wide variety of business interests which he has managed with prosperous results such as to rank him among the leading industrial managers in his part of the state.

Born on a farm on Wolf creek in Sandusky county, Ohio, September 30, 1854, a son of Rogers S. and Catherine (King) Lease, both parents natives of Ohio and now residing in Fremont, that state. Mr. Frank J. Lease was reared on a farm in Sandusky county until he was sixteen years old, and thence grew to manhood at the family home in Bowling Green, Ohio. He received a liberal education. At the age of twenty-five he went into the retail boot and shoe business at Bowling Green, and after continuing that for several years went to Eaton Rapids, Michigan, where he carried on a grocery and restaurant for some time.

Attracted to the territory of Alaska in 1887, he spent the summer season in mining gold quartz for the Alaska Commercial Company of San Francisco, his work being done on Unalaska island. In the fall of 1887 he returned to Ohio, and in the following year brought his family to California, where he has since maintained his home. For the first several years he was a resident of San Francisco, were he did a good business in manufacturing and selling Pansy adjustable bustles and ladies' and men's hose-supporters, and in 1892 he located in San Joaquin county and began farming three and a half miles east of Lodi, where remained his home until he moved into the town of Lodi in 1902. On his ranch east of town he planted forty acres to almond trees, and he is among the pioneers in this industry and one of the successful growers. During the open season of 1898, also, he returned to Alaska, going, via St. Michaels, to Golofinn bay. He located a number of claims in various parts of the territory, notably on Ophir creek, Crooked creek and Sweet Cake creek, and during that season he did some very successful placer mining. In the fall of 1898 he returned to California. He went back to Alaska in the season of 1899, when the gold fever took him thither, and he spent a very successful season in gold mining, which he has repeated each succeeding summer until 1904. He owns some valuable claims in Alaska, and is one of the few men who have made the industry of gold mining a steady and profitable source of revenue. In 1904 Mr. Lease began the manufacture of brick on Roberts island in San Joaquin county, and this industry, already successfully established, employs about forty men. The brick-making establishment of which he is owner and proprietor is known as the Stockton Brick Company. He is one of the leading owners of real estate in this locality, having extensive property interests in and about Lodi.

In politics Mr. Lease is a Democrat. he was married, May 10, 1881, to Miss Clara E. Smith, a native of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, and a daughter of John O. and Sarah (Holcomb) Smith. Both her parents were born in New York state and at present live in Eaton Rapids, both being over threescore and ten years in age. Mr. and Mrs. Lease have one daughter, Grace M.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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