Biography of Victor Hope
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





VICTOR HOPE. - Coming to Blocksburg forty years ago, and since that time continuously residing here and conducting a flourishing business until he retired from active life a few years ago, Victor Hope is known as one of the oldest and most substantial residents of this part of the county. He is a pioneer in the truest sense of the word, and blazed the way for more than one industry or undertaking. He purchased a blacksmithing business on his arrival here, and is well known to the farmers and ranchers for a radius of thirty miles. He invented a side hill plow which he manufactured and sold for many years, and also invented and manufactured a picket weaving machine. He built a tiny cabin back of his shop, cleared a small patch and improved it by planting a garden and orchard, he being the first man to plant apples in this vicinity, thus demonstrating the suitability of this locality for this great industry. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hope are very musical, he being an accomplished violinist, while his wife is a pianist of ability. In an early day they played very often for dances and other social events, but in recent years their music has been their chief social pleasure. They are both very socially inclined and are popular with a wide circle of friends.

It was in 1875 that Mr. Hope came to California, locating at once in Blocksburg, where he bought out the blacksmith shop of John Stemmons, this being the first business of the kind in Blocksburg, and is still owned by Mr. Hope and leased out by him. He was born in Washtenaw county, Mich., March 22, 1847. His father, the Rev. S. B. Hope, of the Universalist church, was born and reared in New London, Conn., while his mother, Lucy Moore, was born and reared in Ontario county, N. Y., where she met and married the Rev. S. B. Hope, who was attending college in that county. After their marriage they came by ox teams to Washtenaw county, Mich., where Mr. Hope, Sr., engaged in farming. Both parents died there, the father at the age of sixty years and the mother living to be seventy. There were ten children in their family, all of whom lived to maturity save two, Victor being the sixth born. He attended the public schools until he was fourteen years of age, and then ran away from home and traveled extensively. From the time that he was fourteen until he was twenty six he was in every state and territory of the United States, except Washington, Oregon and Montana. He learned the blacksmithing trade at Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo county, Mich., and became a journeyman blacksmith and an expert horseshoer. He is a natural machinist and has so been able to accomplish much more at his trade than would otherwise have been the case. He came to Colorado and worked for a time in the gold mines, prospecting for gold where Leadville now stands. He then went to Nevada and worked in the Belcher gold and silver mines on the Comstock lode at Gold Hill. From there he went to Reno, where for one summer he was employed in the lumber woods, and then came to Humboldt county in the fall of 1875, settling at Blocksburg, where he has since made his home. Mr. Hope was a strong Union sympathizer and at the time of the Civil war he tried to enlist in the cause of freedom, but the loss of an eye by an accident many years before prevented his being accepted. He drove cattle across the plains from Texas to Nevada and was in many skirmishes with the Indians where the fighting was close and sharp. He learned to understand the savages, however, and after coming to Blocksburg he had no trouble with them, although this place was one of their meeting places and on the exact spot where his residence now stands the Digger Indians had a large wickiup, and here they congregated and held their war dances. Often as many as five hundred bucks and squaws were assembled here, but there was never any resultant trouble. About two years ago Mr. Hope met with a serious accident. While he was drilling a premature blast of dynamite nearly tore his hands off, besides which he received other injuries, from which he was laid up for months, and even yet he cannot close his hands with a firm grip.

The marriage of Mr. Hope took place in 1879, uniting him with Mrs. Emily (Tooby) Prior, the daughter of George J. and Emily (Close) Tooby, both natives of England, the father having been born in Gloucester and the mother in London, within sound of Bow Bells. Mrs. Hope was born at Gloucester, and there was reared and educated, especial attention being given to her musical education, in which line she has marked talent. She was married there to Thomas M. Prior and came to Alderpoint in 1874. By this marriage she had two children: Gertrude, now the widow of Elisha Bosworth and residing in Eureka with her four children; and Douglas H. Prior, of the Tooby & Prior Cattle and Land Company. Mr. and Mrs. Hope have one child, Roscoe Moore, who resides at home and manages the Hope ranch of five hundred acres, of which this capable young man owns about one half.

The parents of Mrs. Hope both died in England, where her father was especially well known and respected. One of her brothers, George J. Tooby, formerly an extensive sheep owner, now lives in Eureka. All of his six children are well known in Humboldt county, and E. N. Tooby is the present county assessor, just having been reelected. He is one of the extensive land owners and stock men of the county and is held in high esteem.

Mr. Hope is a Democrat and has always taken an active interest in all local affairs, being broad minded and progressive, and having the courage of his convictions. Mrs. Hope is a member of the Episcopal church, in which she was reared. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hope are in sympathy with the cause of education and their influence in local affairs has always been felt on the side of right. They are also keenly interested in the early pioneer history of the county, and particularly of this section, being well informed on all details of early history and land marks.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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