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Foorman and Prindle

Simon Foorman was born in Diefenthal, Germany in 1818 and immigrated to Ohio in 1847. Caught up in the 1849 Gold Rush, he took up mining in Mokelumne Hill but realized that he would have more success as a merchant.  He incorporated the Mokelumne Canal Company in 1858, which, in 1872, became the Mokelumne Hill and Campo Seco Canal and Mining Company. Stretching from the south fork of the Mokelumne River near Glencoe, the main line fed numerous side ditches which fed water to mining claims, towns, and agricultural enterprises as far west as Camanche.  

Samuel Linus Prindle turned from mining to waterman in 1859 when he was appointed collector for the Mokelumne Hill and Campo Seco Canal and Mining Company.  He speedly advanced to manager in 1862 and eventually part owner, holding nearly half of the company stock.. Wed to Annie Newhall, the couple established their socially and financially prominent family in Mokelumne Hill.  Under Simon's leadership, 165 miles of open ditch were converted to pipe, and a telephone established to monitor ditch conditions.  Upon his death in 1889, management of the company passed to his son Charles, and then in 1917 to Samuel's son William. 

Simon Foorman held the position of company President until his death in 1900, overseeing the massive growth of the canal system. Foorman practiced as an attorney in San Francisco, traveling to Mokelumne Hill at least once a year for the annual meeting of the stockholders. He also purchased considerable real estate in Mokelumne Hill as well as around the state. As his fortune grew, so did his name. Known all over Calaveras County as “Sam” Foorman, he was one of the best known of mining men. Simon and his wife Helena Neuberger had one son, Isaac, who became company President after his father’s death and in 1908 reorganized the holdings into the Mokelumne River Power and Water Company.  The company’s board of directors was still made up of members of its pioneering Foorman and Prindle families.