John Franklin Jessee


John Franklin Jessee, known as "Frank" Jessee, was born in the eastern hills of Tennessee on Nov. 28. 1889. He arrived in Manteca on a train from Tennessee in 1909 at age 19, with no more than a small suit case and a coupe of dollars in his pocket.

Joshua Cowell gave him a room. His first job at the Cowell Ranch was driving a double wagon and a team of four horses carrying produce to the Stockton Port.

He later became an agent for Wells Fargo Stage Coach Lines which later became Railway Express Agency. He eventually branched into several other businesses including buying and selling horses as well as farming alfalfa, grapes. wheat and walnuts. In his later years, he concentrated on selling residential and commercial property.

Jessee was a charter member of the Manteca Oddfellows Lodge, served on the Manteca City Council from 1932 to 1936 and again from 1940 to 1944, served on the Manteca Elemenary School Board from 1932 to 1962 and was appointed to the National Selective Service Board by President Franklin Roosevelt from 1940 to 1944.