Biography of Gilman C. Knapp
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





GILMAN C. KNAPP. - One who comes of a line of patriotic forebears, on both the father's and the mother's side, is Gilman C. Knapp, a well known mechanic of Eureka, Cal., who resides with his family at his Bucksport home, designed and built by himself. The grandfather of Mr. Knapp, Zelotes Knapp, was a pioneer of Ohio and later also of Iowa, the grandmother being Ann Baker, whose father served in the War of 1812. Their son, Edward Y. Knapp, the father of Gilman C., was born at Melmore, Seneca county, Ohio, July 31, 1838, and at the age of twelve years accompanied his parents to Iowa, in 1863 enlisting in Company L of the Third Iowa Cavalry Regiment, which was a part of the detail that captured Jefferson Davis. Having served until the close of the war, Edward Knapp followed farming in Decatur county, Iowa, also operating a woolen mill in Leon, in the same state. His marriage occurred in Decatur county, Iowa, uniting him with Miss Gertrude Mudgett, who was born near Defiance, Paulding county, Ohio, the daughter of Major Gilman C. Mudgett, who was born in New Hampshire and served during the Civil war in Company L of the Third Iowa Cavalry, where he enlisted as captain and was later promoted to major of the regiment, three of his sons also serving in the same company. Major Mudgett later removed to Humboldt county, Cal., where he was engaged in farming and was prominent in politics, serving one term as a member of the state legislature. Edward Y. Knapp, the son in law of the Major, also came to Humboldt county, locating in 1875 at Eureka, where for a while he followed the pursuit of farming, later becoming a millwright and shingle manufacturer. He and his wife both reside in Eureka, and of their three children two are now living, Gilman C., and Edward Y., Jr., who resides at Arcata, Cal.

Born in the town of Leon, in Decatur county, Iowa, March 18, 1871, Gilman C. Knapp came to California with his parents when only about four years of age and was educated in the public schools of Eureka and Arcata. In 1884 he entered the employ of the old Riverside Lumber Company, now known as the Northern Redwood Lumber Company, beginning his work under the supervision of H. W. Jackson, as a filer, later operating a shingle machine. After seven years spent with this company, Mr. Knapp went with Ole C. Hanlon to Bayside, where he worked as filer and mill foreman. Later, renting the Baird mill on Ryan Slough, he ran it for a year, then accepting the position of superintendent of George Pinkerton's mill at Freshwater for five years, while there inventing and patenting the Knapp shake machine for sawing shakes. This proved a success and he later sold the patent to the Eureka Foundry Company. In 1903 he entered the employ of the Whiting G. Press Company, becoming a stockholder therein on the incorporation of the company, and has been the secretary and superintendent of the same ever since. During the thirty years and more of his business life, Mr. Knapp has given special attention to the machinist trade as pertaining to the improvement of machines and saws for the manufacture of shingles and shakes. His revision of saw filing for shakes and shingles is well known to every shingle mill operator on the Pacific coast. In addition to his mechanical ability in shingle mills, Mr. Knapp has spent several years studying the mechanism of automobiles and is also doing considerable work in that line.

He has several real estate holdings besides his residence which he built in the town of Bucksport. His marriage to Miss Rhodena McLean, a native of Nova Scotia, was solemnized at Eureka, and they are the parents of one child, Helen. Fraternally Mr. Knapp is a member of the W. O. W.

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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