The Azores Islands lie in almost a direct line from Portugal to the capital of the United States, and from them come many of our best citizens, some to make money and remain loyal to the Stars and Stripes, others to make money and return to their native shores to spend the balance of their days in comfort among those they know best. One of the latter was Domingo Antone Noya, a native of Ponta Del Gada, who left his home at the age of fifteen and, after having sailed around the world, landed in California and made his fortune, then returned to his native land, married and settled down to farm and political life at Ponta Del Gada, and there he died at the age of sixty-two years. His good wife was Anna Margarida da Conceicao, and they had four children, three daughters, who are still in the Azores, and Manuel, our subject.
Manuel was reared on his father's farm and attended the local school until he was old enough to make his own way. It was but natural that he should want to come to California where his father had made his stake, for he had told his son of the wonderful opportunities that awaited the ambitious young men. When seventeen he left home and boarded the three-masted ship Sarah and twenty-four days later was landed in Boston. He did not tarry there for within two days he was en route for California, arriving there ten days later via New Orleans. Being a stranger in a strange land did not stop him from securing work in the cherry harvest at $1.25 per day; from that work he was employed on a ranch at twenty dollars per month, working from sun to sun, continuing so employed until 1898, when he visited the land of his birth and was absent for five months. Returning to California he located in Merced County and worked for Al. Owens near Atwater. In the meantime, in 1898, he had invested his savings in thirty acres of land in the Mitchell Colony near Atwater, and while he was developing this he worked on the Bloss ranch as foreman of the gang setting out trees of peaches and apricots, for nine years. Then he located on his own property and has since given his time to its intensive cultivation. Mr. Luiz was given his naturalization papers in San Francisco in 1896, and at the time he signed them he dropped the name Noya and wrote it Manuel Luiz, the latter being his middle name, and as such he has ever since been known. His father had received his citizenship papers before returning to Flores.
On November 18, 1909, at St. Mary's in Stockton, Manuel Luiz was united in marriage with Miss Mary Josephine Vieira, born in Swansea, Mass. She was the second of five children born to her parents, Manuel V. and Mary (Soares) Vieira, the father born in Flores and the mother in Pico Island. The latter is now
deceased but the father is living and resides on the ranch with his daughter and Mr. Luiz.
Manuel Vieira was born in 1859, was educated in the Portuguese schools and is a fluent linguist in Portuguese and English. He came to Boston a young man of seventeen on a sailing vessel, being thirty days on the water. The ship ran out of food and there was almost mutiny on the high seas, when the Bermuda Islands were sighted and there they landed and restocked for the rest of the voyage. He worked as a weaver in Massachusetts for five years, then returned to Flores, but remained only a short time, when he again came to America and straight on to California. He spent some time in Modesto as a barber in 1883. He was married in Oakland to Mary Soares, returned to Swansea, Mass., where two children were born, Alfred J., and Mary. With his family he made another trip back to the Azores to make a visit, but upon coming back to America he made for California
and settled in Sebastopol, where two children were born, Palmyra Tahoe, Mrs. H.L. Wrheman, and Ernest. His wife died there and he came to Oakland and ran a grocery store, then for seventeen years he was with the State Harbor Commission in San Francisco, when he retired to make his home with his daughter. In 1925 he started on another trip back to his native country and a tour of Europe. He is an interesting storyteller and it is expected that upon his return he will have many new stories to tell his grandchildren.
Mr. and Mrs. Luiz have four children: Mary C, born February 17, 1913; Anna Aileen, born December 23, 1915; Ernest D., born April 29, 1917; and Elaine M.,
born July 8, 1918. These children are attending the Atwater school. Mrs. Luiz is a great reader and is much interested in education, being a past vice president of the Atwater Parent-Teachers Association, and served on the Ways and Means Committee in 1923. She served as the treasurer of the U. P. P. E. C. society for some time. Mr. Luiz is secretary of the U. P. E. C, of which he has been a member for over fifteen years. He is the president of the Atwater Pentacost Club Association, which he helped to organize. He is a Republican in politics. Both Mr. and Mrs. Luiz are stockholders in the California Peach and Apricot Association and their thirty acres is in a highly developed condition, with trees from five to seventeen years old. They are liberal-minded and cooperate in all movements for the betterment of the community.
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