Author: John Outcalt (1925)
JOSEPH M. SOUZA
It takes some character in a lad of fifteen to start out alone, for a strange country, on borrowed money and with no capital to see him through after his
arrival, but these handicaps did not daunt Joseph M. Souza. He was born in the Azores Islands, on February 7, 1877, and was educated in the common schools and at the age of fifteen came alone to America to locate with his brother in Merced, Cal. He had borrowed $200.00 to make the journey, and on landing in New York, took the overland train for California, and was eight days crossing the continent. It was a lonesome trip for the boy; he could not speak a word of English, and the only thing which cheered him on his way was the sight of numerous bands of sheep seen from the car windows, for he was raised in a sheep country and they made him feel a little at home in the strange land. Arriving in Merced on May 11, 1892, he first worked for his brother, A. M. Souza, herding sheep for two and one-half years, and later became a partner with this brother in the sheep-raising business for about eight years. He sold out his interest and worked for F. I. Freitas, herding sheep, and later engaged in the business for himself, but again sold out and became a partner with Mr. Freitas, this time remaining so engaged for six years. At the end of that period he disposed of his interest, and purchased a ranch of 170 acres, west of Merced, which he sold at a good profit in two years' time. In 1922, he bought a band of sheep, and now is raising about 3000 head, his partner in business being Bert Crane of Turlock.
The marriage of Mr. Souza in 1902, united him with Rosa A. Rodrigues, also a native of the Azores, and five children have been born to them: Joseph M. Jr.;
Elsie, wife of Toney Freitas of Merced; Clarence; Rosaline; and Clinton W., all native of California. A self-made man in every sense of the word, Mr. Souza was made a United States citizen in Merced, August 6, 1906, and he has never regretted his decision to come here and establish his home and raise his family, for he realizes the opportunities at hand. Fraternally he is a member of the U. P. E. C. Society.
The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development
from the Early Days to the Present
ILLUSTRATED COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME
HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
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