Samuel Crawford Cleek of Bath County, VA went to California looking for gold in 1849 but soon returned home. He enlisted in March 1862 as a Private in Company D of the 37th Virginia Infantry and was wounded at Sharpsburg in September. He returned to duty in November, but I don’t know anything more of his military service.

He married in Virginia in 1877 then went to Orland in the Sacramento Valley of California. Starting from nothing he built a successful one-acre farm there that became something of a wonder for the density and variety of its products.

There’s more about Cleek’s tiny farm in an article in the October 1905 Popular Mechanics magazine, cover seen here.

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