Heman D. Shinn, a successful agriculturist near Woodbridge, San Joaquin county, has resided in this county since the pioneer year of 1854, when he was one year old, and in childhood, youth and manhood he has witnessed all the wonderful growth and development which have transformed this section of the state into one of the most fertile and productive garden spots in the world. Since arriving at years of activity he has been known as a capable and public-spirited citizen, and also as one of the substantial men of affairs in San Joaquin county.

Mr. Shinn was born in Burlington county, New Jersey, December 8, 1853, being a son of John R. and Maria A. (Doyle) Shinn, his father a native of New Jersey and his mother of Rochester, New York. John R. Shinn first came to California in 1853, but remained only a short time until he returned to New Jersey, and in 1854 brought his wife and son Heman D. out to this state by way of the isthmus route. For a short time after his second arrival he lived at Hangtown (now called Placerville), where he mined gold, but in the same year of 1854 settled in San Joaquin county on the ranch now occupied by his son Heman. John R. Shinn lived on this ranch until his death in 1867. He was a Republican in politics, and was well known among the early settlers of San Joaquin county. Three children were born to himself and wife, of whom the daughter Ida M. is deceased, and the two survivors are Heman D. and Denver J., the latter of Eldorado county. The widowed mother survives and resides at Woodbridge, being now in her seventy-third year and one of the venerable and representative pioneer women of the county.

Mr. Shinn was reared and educated in San Joaquin county, and has resided on the old Shinn ranch practically all his life. He has been successful as a farmer, and as a friend and loyal supporter of education and general progress he has made his influence felt on the right side throughout his career.

December 8, 1874, he married Miss Emma S. Tock, a native of Maine and a daughter of James Tock, who was born in Maine and was a former resident of San Joaquin county, being now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Shinn have three children: May F., wife of George Bancroft, and Elmer J. and Bessie. Mr. Shinn is a Republican in politics, and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Woodbridge. The son Elmer J. resides on the homestead place, and is a progressive young agriculturist and a popular citizen of his locality. He is a member of the Masonic order, and likewise Republican in politics.

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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