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Wiley James Tinnin

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Wiley James Tinnin

Birth
Jackson County, Mississippi, USA
Death
24 Nov 1910 (aged 81)
Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA
Burial
Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA Add to Map
Memorial ID
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Wiley James Tinnin (d. 1910) — also known as Wiley J. Tinnin — of California. Member of California state assembly 26th District, 1871-75. Died in Fresno, Fresno County, Calif., November 24, 1910. Interment at Mountain View Cemetery

HON. WILEY J. TINNIN. One of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of the San Joaquin valley is Hon. Wiley J. Tinnin of Fresno, an honored pioneer of the state, and a lawyer of note. He has had a busy and eventful career, and has wisely and faithfully served his fellowmen in various
capacities. A man of honor, and integrity, he has exerted a healthful influence in whatever community he has resided, and has ever been among the foremost in advancing the interests of town, city and county. A native of Mississippi, he was born near Jackson, October 7, 1829, a son of Asa Tinnin. His grandfather, William Tinnin, was a life-long resident of North Carolina, and was the descendant of a family of Scotch people that settled there in colonial times. One of Mr. Tinnin's paternal ancestors was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the swamps of the Pedee under Generals Marion and Sumter.

A native of North Carolina, Asa Tinnin subsequently settled in Mississippi, where he was engaged in raising cotton until his death in 1843. Asa was a man of patriotism, and served under General Jackson in the Seminole Indian wars in Florida. The maiden name of his wife was Matilda Carr, who was born in Alabama, of Scotch-Irish ancestors, and died in Mississippi in 1836. Eleven children were born of their union, two of whom survive.

Three sons came to California in pioneer times: Wiley ]., the subject of this sketch; John, who came in 1849, subsequently becoming a miner at Grand Junction, Colo., where he was murdered by robbers; and William W., who came in 1850 and died in 1880.

Reared on his father's cotton plantation in Mississippi, Wiley J. Tinnin attended first a private school in Jackson, afterward going to Tennessee, where he continued his studies at Franklin College, remaining there until the
close of his junior year. In 1850, joining a party of ten well educated and intelligent young men, he started for the Pacific coast. Leaving New Orleans on February 27, he went
by boat to the Isthmus of Panama, and from there the party were poled up the Chagres river to Gorgona by naked natives. The party then proceeded on the backs of hired mules to Panama, where they were unable to find a steamer going northward. While waiting in that city for transportation, the party enjoyed themselves as well as they could, considering that the majority of the population spoke Spanish, a language of which they were entirely ignorant, and found ample amusement. At the end of ten days, they embarked on a sailing vessel, the Paola, and on May 12, 1850, landed in San Francisco, just two days after
the great fire had nearly ruined the city.

Mr. Tinnin went immediately to a hotel, where he paid $10.00 a day for a room and $1 for each meal. Remaining there but four or five days, he went to the mines on the
American river, and for three months was located at Fisher's bar. Going then to Nevada county, Cal., he worked in the mines until the breaking out of the Gold Lake fever, when he joined a party starting for that region. On the
Yuba he was taken ill, and while the party waited there the crowd that had preceded them by mule trains began to return, having found out that the man who had started the stampede that cost a half million dollars was insane. The price of mules immediately dropped from $500 to $100 apiece. With his companions, Mr. Tinnin was employed in mining on Poor Man's creek until the fall of the year, when he returned to Nevada county, where, during the big storm that occurred that fall, hundreds of people died from pneumonia, among others being two of Mr. Tiniin's partners. Subsequently, with his two brothers, John and William, he went down the Sacramento valley to Benicia, but finding the prospects for making a living no better than in their former location they started back. On their way home, near Sacramento, they came across vast numbers of geese. A happy idea striking them, they shot a large number, which they packed on their backs to Sacramento, where they sold them for $1 apiece. The business proving profitable, they subsequently bought a mule to do their packing, and in course of time had made a sufficient sum of money to purchase four mules. Loading these animals with a quantity of provisions, Mr. Tinnin and his brothers started for
the Salmon River mines, but the Indians proved to be so troublesome in that region that they concluded to stop at the Trinity River mines, remaining there frgm March, 1851, until the following March. The ensuing year Mr. Tinnin was successfully engaged in mining at French Gulch, in Shasta county.

Returning to Weaverville, Trinity county, Mr. Tinnin then embarked in the mercantile business with his brother, William W., who had loaned money on a tin-shop, which then came into his possession, the tinsmith not being able to pay his indebtedness. Taking charge of the business, they added a stock of hardware, stoves, paints and glass. Subsequently erecting a two-story brick building, 40 x 100
feet, they embarked in general mercantile business at Weaverville under the firm name of W. W. Tinnin & Co., and also established a bank, and bought all the gold dust brought into the place. In 1861, Mr. Tinnin erected a house in Weaverville, and in partnership with John W. Owens continued in mercantile business as head of the firm of Tinnin & Owens. In 1867 the junior partner of the firm died and Mr. Tinnin sold out his business. Removing then to San Francisco, Mr. Tinnin became a dealer in real estate, and in 1870 he entered the political arena in Trinity county, serving in the house of representatives for two terms and for one term being state senator. In 1879 he was a member of the constitutional convention, and came within one vote of being elected chairman, the vote standing seventy to seventy-one.

In 1880 Mr. Tinnin was admitted to the bar, and began the practice of his profession at Weaverville. In 1884 he was nominated state elector on the Democratic ticket, and in 1886 was appointed by President Cleveland surveyor of the Port of San Francisco, a position which he filled for four years and one month, during which time he did his best to enforce the Chinese restriction laws. In 1890 he opened a law office at No. 420 California street, San Francisco, but on account of a catarrhal trouble was advised by his physician to seek a warmer climate. Accordingly, in 1891, he located in Fresno, where he has since been actively and successfully engaged in the practice of his profession. He is still interested in mining property, in company with C. J. Beck owning the Minerette mines on the head-waters of the San Joaquin river. He is also referee in bankruptcy for Fresno county, having been appointed by the United States District Court.

In 1861, in Weaverville, Trinity county, Mr. Tinnin married Irene Lowden, who was born in Brown county. Ill. Her father, Spencer Lowden, a farmer by occupation, came to
Trinity county, Cal., in 1856, joining his sons, William, who crossed the plains to the Pacific coast, in 1849, and Matthew, who came here in 1852. Politically Mr. Tinnin is an uncompromising Democrat, and is always active in state conventions. Fraternally he is very prominent in the Masonic order. In 1854 he joined Trinity Lodge No. 27, F. & A. M., at Weaverville, which he served as master, and
is now a member of Fresno Lodge No. 247, F. & A. M. In 1855 he became a member of Shasta Chapter No. 9, R. A. M., of which he is past high priest, and is now a member of
Trigo Chapter No. 69, R. A. M. In 1885 and 1886 he was grand master of the Grand Lodge of California; in 1880 and 1881 he served as grand high priest of the Grand Chapter of
California ; and he is also a member, and vice-president, of the Order of High Priesthood. Mrs. Tinnin inactive in the social affairs of the city, and is now president of the
Wednesday Club.
Wiley James Tinnin (d. 1910) — also known as Wiley J. Tinnin — of California. Member of California state assembly 26th District, 1871-75. Died in Fresno, Fresno County, Calif., November 24, 1910. Interment at Mountain View Cemetery

HON. WILEY J. TINNIN. One of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of the San Joaquin valley is Hon. Wiley J. Tinnin of Fresno, an honored pioneer of the state, and a lawyer of note. He has had a busy and eventful career, and has wisely and faithfully served his fellowmen in various
capacities. A man of honor, and integrity, he has exerted a healthful influence in whatever community he has resided, and has ever been among the foremost in advancing the interests of town, city and county. A native of Mississippi, he was born near Jackson, October 7, 1829, a son of Asa Tinnin. His grandfather, William Tinnin, was a life-long resident of North Carolina, and was the descendant of a family of Scotch people that settled there in colonial times. One of Mr. Tinnin's paternal ancestors was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the swamps of the Pedee under Generals Marion and Sumter.

A native of North Carolina, Asa Tinnin subsequently settled in Mississippi, where he was engaged in raising cotton until his death in 1843. Asa was a man of patriotism, and served under General Jackson in the Seminole Indian wars in Florida. The maiden name of his wife was Matilda Carr, who was born in Alabama, of Scotch-Irish ancestors, and died in Mississippi in 1836. Eleven children were born of their union, two of whom survive.

Three sons came to California in pioneer times: Wiley ]., the subject of this sketch; John, who came in 1849, subsequently becoming a miner at Grand Junction, Colo., where he was murdered by robbers; and William W., who came in 1850 and died in 1880.

Reared on his father's cotton plantation in Mississippi, Wiley J. Tinnin attended first a private school in Jackson, afterward going to Tennessee, where he continued his studies at Franklin College, remaining there until the
close of his junior year. In 1850, joining a party of ten well educated and intelligent young men, he started for the Pacific coast. Leaving New Orleans on February 27, he went
by boat to the Isthmus of Panama, and from there the party were poled up the Chagres river to Gorgona by naked natives. The party then proceeded on the backs of hired mules to Panama, where they were unable to find a steamer going northward. While waiting in that city for transportation, the party enjoyed themselves as well as they could, considering that the majority of the population spoke Spanish, a language of which they were entirely ignorant, and found ample amusement. At the end of ten days, they embarked on a sailing vessel, the Paola, and on May 12, 1850, landed in San Francisco, just two days after
the great fire had nearly ruined the city.

Mr. Tinnin went immediately to a hotel, where he paid $10.00 a day for a room and $1 for each meal. Remaining there but four or five days, he went to the mines on the
American river, and for three months was located at Fisher's bar. Going then to Nevada county, Cal., he worked in the mines until the breaking out of the Gold Lake fever, when he joined a party starting for that region. On the
Yuba he was taken ill, and while the party waited there the crowd that had preceded them by mule trains began to return, having found out that the man who had started the stampede that cost a half million dollars was insane. The price of mules immediately dropped from $500 to $100 apiece. With his companions, Mr. Tinnin was employed in mining on Poor Man's creek until the fall of the year, when he returned to Nevada county, where, during the big storm that occurred that fall, hundreds of people died from pneumonia, among others being two of Mr. Tiniin's partners. Subsequently, with his two brothers, John and William, he went down the Sacramento valley to Benicia, but finding the prospects for making a living no better than in their former location they started back. On their way home, near Sacramento, they came across vast numbers of geese. A happy idea striking them, they shot a large number, which they packed on their backs to Sacramento, where they sold them for $1 apiece. The business proving profitable, they subsequently bought a mule to do their packing, and in course of time had made a sufficient sum of money to purchase four mules. Loading these animals with a quantity of provisions, Mr. Tinnin and his brothers started for
the Salmon River mines, but the Indians proved to be so troublesome in that region that they concluded to stop at the Trinity River mines, remaining there frgm March, 1851, until the following March. The ensuing year Mr. Tinnin was successfully engaged in mining at French Gulch, in Shasta county.

Returning to Weaverville, Trinity county, Mr. Tinnin then embarked in the mercantile business with his brother, William W., who had loaned money on a tin-shop, which then came into his possession, the tinsmith not being able to pay his indebtedness. Taking charge of the business, they added a stock of hardware, stoves, paints and glass. Subsequently erecting a two-story brick building, 40 x 100
feet, they embarked in general mercantile business at Weaverville under the firm name of W. W. Tinnin & Co., and also established a bank, and bought all the gold dust brought into the place. In 1861, Mr. Tinnin erected a house in Weaverville, and in partnership with John W. Owens continued in mercantile business as head of the firm of Tinnin & Owens. In 1867 the junior partner of the firm died and Mr. Tinnin sold out his business. Removing then to San Francisco, Mr. Tinnin became a dealer in real estate, and in 1870 he entered the political arena in Trinity county, serving in the house of representatives for two terms and for one term being state senator. In 1879 he was a member of the constitutional convention, and came within one vote of being elected chairman, the vote standing seventy to seventy-one.

In 1880 Mr. Tinnin was admitted to the bar, and began the practice of his profession at Weaverville. In 1884 he was nominated state elector on the Democratic ticket, and in 1886 was appointed by President Cleveland surveyor of the Port of San Francisco, a position which he filled for four years and one month, during which time he did his best to enforce the Chinese restriction laws. In 1890 he opened a law office at No. 420 California street, San Francisco, but on account of a catarrhal trouble was advised by his physician to seek a warmer climate. Accordingly, in 1891, he located in Fresno, where he has since been actively and successfully engaged in the practice of his profession. He is still interested in mining property, in company with C. J. Beck owning the Minerette mines on the head-waters of the San Joaquin river. He is also referee in bankruptcy for Fresno county, having been appointed by the United States District Court.

In 1861, in Weaverville, Trinity county, Mr. Tinnin married Irene Lowden, who was born in Brown county. Ill. Her father, Spencer Lowden, a farmer by occupation, came to
Trinity county, Cal., in 1856, joining his sons, William, who crossed the plains to the Pacific coast, in 1849, and Matthew, who came here in 1852. Politically Mr. Tinnin is an uncompromising Democrat, and is always active in state conventions. Fraternally he is very prominent in the Masonic order. In 1854 he joined Trinity Lodge No. 27, F. & A. M., at Weaverville, which he served as master, and
is now a member of Fresno Lodge No. 247, F. & A. M. In 1855 he became a member of Shasta Chapter No. 9, R. A. M., of which he is past high priest, and is now a member of
Trigo Chapter No. 69, R. A. M. In 1885 and 1886 he was grand master of the Grand Lodge of California; in 1880 and 1881 he served as grand high priest of the Grand Chapter of
California ; and he is also a member, and vice-president, of the Order of High Priesthood. Mrs. Tinnin inactive in the social affairs of the city, and is now president of the
Wednesday Club.


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