Alfred Goodwin


A member of a pioneer Manteca farm family, Goodwin held a number of patents on agricultural implements, operated a nut harvesting company and developed sprinkler system equipment for almonds. He served in numerous ag posts, was a Calla Grammar School board trustee and helped establish the Manteca Rural Fire District. He was inducted into lhe San Joaquin Ag Hall of Fame.

He also contributed to agriculture and the community through participation as a 4-H leader; president of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau; director of Bear Creek Winery: president of Rocca Bella Olive Growers; and president of the Production Credit Association. He was a president and founder of Farmers Mutual Farmers Insurance Co.

He died in 1959 at the age of 58.

Ed Powers


In the late 1910s, Powers was credited with using surface irrigation and deeper cultivations to convert exhausted farm land into fertile acreage. He was active in school leadership and headed the effort that established Manteca’s first high school. He is credited with convincing Spreckels to build its plant in Manteca. He also operated the Manteca Canning Co. and the Manteca Feed Store.

He was the first president of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau and developed Powers Park and Homesites in 1946 to provide homes for returning servicemen.

He was the first to commercially grow sunflower seeds in Manteca and produced a sunflower plant named “Manteca.”

He served several times as Manteca Chamber of Commerce President and was instrument in the movement to construct Manteca’s first grammar school after the old East Union School burned down in 1913, as well as helping organize the city’s first bank. He also built the city’s initial phone system.

George McParland


George McParland served as Principal at French Camp School. Altogether, he was a teacher and administrator in Manteca schools for 36 years.

He was an active storyteller at the Manteca Library as well as in Manteca schools and was well-versed in native Indian history.

McParland was active in St. Paul's United Methodist Church and was involved with various facets of the church from the musical program to penning the congregation's history.

McParland School on Northgate Drive in northwest Manteca is named in his honor.

George Murphy

Community Service

He was publisher of the Manteca Bulletin for 28 years. Murphy took an active role in all phases of the newspaper from writing editorials to setting type. He was considered one of the last “one man newspaper” shops in California when he retired in 1972. He served as president of the California Newspaper Publishers Association, was a Manteca School District trustee, and was named in 1949 as Manteca’s Outstanding Young Man. He belonged to numerous civic clubs and organizations and was past president of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, and past commander of McFall Grisham Post American Legion. He also survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Murphv won numerous state and national awards for his writing. In 1950, he was nominated for the highest honor in newspapers — the Pulitzer Prize — for one of his “Batting the Breeze” columns. It dealt with Korean War servicemen interspersed with remembrances of his own from World War II.

He died in 1991.

Joshua Cowell


Known as the "Father of Manteca" Cowell arrived in the area in 1863.

He's credited with the development ol Manteca as a town which started from his decision to locate his farm at the corner of what is now Yosemite Avenue and Main Street. At one time, Cowell owned 1,000 acres of what is now central Manteca and rented another 1,000. He was chosen as Manteca’s first mayor when the city incorporated in 1918 even though he did not seek office.

He was the builder of many of Manteca’s first buildings including the Cowell Building on the northeast corner of Yosemite and Main that presently houses Cal Travel.