Biography of Joseph A. Oliveira
Merced County, CA Biographies





JOSEPH A. OLIVEIRA
Numbered among the prominent and progressive agriculturists and business men of Gustine is Jospeh A. Oliveira, who owns a 100 acre ranch three miles south of Gustine; he also owns two other large dairies in partnership with others and he is also part owner of a butcher shop which occupies the ground floor of his own building in Gusting. A self made man in every sense implied by the term, he is everywhere respected, and his honesty and straightforward business methods have gained for him the confidence of the community in which he resides. He was born July 2, 1875, on St. George of the Azores, where his parents, Joseph A. and Mary (Bontello) Oliveira were also born and reared. His father came to California when a young man, in 1855, and worked a few years for J. D. Patterson, the West Side pioneer. He was then married at Mission San Jose and lived for a time in California, where their first child, a girl, was born. Then the family returned to the Azores, where the rest of the children were born and where the father died. His widow returned to California and died in Haywards at the age of seventy two years. There were five children in the family, namely: Mary A., deceased; Manuel A; Josephine, Mrs. Frank Lopes; Joseph A., our subject; and Antone A., manager of the Jersey Milk Butter Company of Oakland, Cal.

At seventeen years of age Joseph A. Oliveira began to make his own living. After arriving in the United States he worked eleven years for one man in Rhode Island. Then he came to California and located in Oakland, where he worked in a paint shop for six months. Going then to Dutton Landing on the Sacramento River, he went into the dairy business and had succeeded in building up a fine dairy herd when the flood of 1906 wiped out the accumulations of years of hard work. He then removed to Newman and by borrowing money was able to establish a dairy business in this place, and did well. After seven months he bought the dairy business on the John Azevedo ranch, which he conducted for five years. By industry and economy he was able to lay up sufficient money to purchase forty acres of land six miles southwest of Gustine, upon which he conducted a dairy of about 130 head of cattle. Later he sold a half interest in his dairy business and, having decided to try another section of California, removed to San Jose; but after nineteen months spent there he was convinced that Gustine was the locality most promising for his line of work. Returning to Gustine, he accordingly rented 137 acres and started another dairy, which occupied him for four years, after which for four years he shipped cattle to the San Francisco markets. He then went into partnership in the grocery and meat business in Gustine, later selling out the grocery department and with his partner, Frank Carbello, continuing the meat business, in which they employ four persons. He carries on a dairy on 100 acres he owns, the old Kruger place, three miles southwest of Gustine. Under the firm name of Oliveira and Mello he operates a second dairy on fifty seven acres of the Isabel Bunker place, two and one half miles southwest of town, where he runs forty five cows; and he and John Mattos conduct a dairy ranch of 137 acres on the William Bunker place.

At Fall River, Mass., in 1904, Mr. Oliveira was married to Miss Mary Ayala, a native of Little Compton, R. I., and a daughter of Manuel and Rosie (Bettencourt) Ayala, both natives of St. George, Azores Islands. Mr. and Mrs. Oliveira are the parents of five children: Joseph A., George, Frank, Dorothy, and Henry. Mr. Oliveira is a Republican in politics; and fraternally he belongs to the I. D. E. S. of Gustine. The family reside in the new home bought by Mr. Oliveira.

From:
History of Merced County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by John Outcalt
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1925


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