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 William Riley Knight

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William Riley Knight

  • Birth 6 May 1868 Solano County, California, USA
  • Death 5 Jan 1945 Tipton, Tulare County, California, USA
  • Burial Los Banos, Merced County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 102993749

William Knight Dies At Tipton
William Riley Knight, 78 year old pioneer resident of Los Banos, died last Friday at the home of his sister, Mrs. John Wesling, at Tipton, Solana county. Born at Tres Pinos, he came to this community with his parents when six years old and resided here, almost continuously until last July when he suffered a slight paralytic stroke at this ranch home four miles west of town, and was taken to the home of his nephew, Cecil Knight, at Newman, where he remained for a month before going to join his sister at Tipton. Funeral services were conducted at the Los Banos Methodist church Wednesday after noon at two o'clock, with Rev. Charles P. Martin officiating. Burial was made in the Los Banos cemetery. Mr. Knight is survived by his sister, Mrs. Wesling; another sister, Mrs. Martha Petee, of Oroville; and a brother, John Knight. The story of Mr. Knight's life in this community is a long record of firsts. In his early youth he and his father hunted antelope over most of this valley, and he was one of the first market hunters, using a 27-lb., No. 4 gauge shotgun imported from England. He has stated that he shipped the first sack of game from the Los Banos depot, which was consigned to A. P. Giannini, now president of the Bank of America. Soon after the town of Los Banos was founded he opened a gun shop here, which immediately prospered, and later the shop was expanded to include a bicycle shop. He was an expert gunsmith, and not only repaired the expensive English guns used by the market hunters, but also manufactured guns of his own make, of which there are still several specimens in state museums. Mr. Knight and his father built the first house to be constructed in Los Banos, a small cottage which is still standing in the 600 block on J street. The houses which then comprised the new settlement of Los Banos had been moved in from the plains. He also brought into this community and operated the first combine harvester, in the year 1893. Before then, stationary threshing machines were used to harvest the grain. Mr. Knight also owned the first automobile in Los Banos, a one cylinder Oldsmobile. He later sold this machine to Mace Roberts and purchased a newer model Oldsmobile. In 1904 he made a trip in this second car to Los Angels. The trip south required almost three weeks, due to numerous breakdowns. In Los Angeles, the car so frightened the dray teams that he was forced to leave it in a livery stable during most of his stay there.


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  • Created by: seacowz
  • Added: 2 Jan 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 102993749
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Riley Knight (6 May 1868–5 Jan 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 102993749, citing Los Banos Cemetery, Los Banos, Merced County, California, USA ; Maintained by seacowz (contributor 47461955) .