A native of Merced County, born below Livingston, on the Merced River, Mrs. Elizabeth Lee Olds is the seventh daughter and child of the pioneer couple, William G. and Ann Eliza (Jackson) Collier. The late William G. Collier is recognized as the "Father of Irrigation in California," and is mentioned at length on another page of this history. Mrs. Ann Eliza Collier is a direct descendant of former President Andrew Jackson. Mrs. Olds grew to maturity in Merced County, attending the public schools, and also received instruction from her father, who was a graduate of Columbia University and an able educator. On January 20, 1884, she was united in marriage with Edward Jerome Olds.
Edward Jerome Olds was born in Ingham County, Mich., in September, 1848, a son of Rev. Arice Olds, a Presbyterian minister. The mother was in maidenhood E. Louisa Gallup. The Olds family is represented by a long line of college professors, lawyers and ministers. The Gallups were prominent in financial circles for generations in New York State and Michigan. Edward J. Olds came to California in 1866, via Panama, in company with his brother-in-law, Dr. Samuel Blackwood. Some time after arriving in this State, Mr. Olds purchased land in Merced County and was the first settler in Livingston, where he erected the first hotel and store building. With the Cresseys, he was among the pioneer grain-growers in the Livingston section; and in time he became well-to-do.
Of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Olds six children were born. Calvin J. Is a mechanic and lives in San Francisco. Danton E. Is engaged in scientific dairying at San Mateo. He served in the hospital corps at Camp Lewis during the World War. Roscoe C. Attended the University of Nevada, receiving special honors in geology.
He became a writer of note and was a member of the Writers’ Club of Seattle, Wash. He was called the “Kipling of the West.” When war was declared he entered the 316th Engeineers, became a corporal, went over seas, and fell in the last battle of the war, in the Argonne forest. Beatrice D. Attended the University of California and became a dramatic reader of note and an esthetic dancer. She lives in San Francisco. Isabel K. attended Miss Head's School in Berkeley, specializing in music, both piano and voice. She makes her home with her aunt, Mrs. Harriet C. Whitworth, near Newman. Claude M. is in the employ of the P. G. & K. in Modesto. While a student in the Berkeley High School he received high honors for his poetry. He studied dentistry at the Affiliated Dental College in San Francisco, but never practiced the profession. At the age of twenty he married Miss Edith Coffey of Stockton.
Mrs. Olds has been a frequent contributor to newspapers and other periodicals. Something like one hundred poems from her pen have been published from time to time. The professor of literature at the University of Utah was attracted by their beauty, collected them, and had them typewritten preparatory to publishing in a bound volume. For several years she was a political editor on the staff of the Merced Sun. She was for many years an active worker for the principles which are embodied in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and delivered the first speech ever made in the San Joaquin Valley on woman's suffrage. Personally she is a strong advocate of prohibition. She is fond of out-of-door life, and her hobby has been the study of botany and ornithology.
Since the death of Mr. Olds, in December, 1913, at Berkeley, Mrs. Olds has been an invalid. She has lived at the Claremont Hotel in Oakland, and at various sanitariums, and has been a very patient sufferer. Her fondest recollections are of her many friends and acquaintances in Merced County.
History of Merced County, California: with a biographical review of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present.
By John Outcalt
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1925)
Olds, Mrs. Elizabeth page: 800/801

Transcribed by: Alma Stone