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Kincaid gains appointment to Ripon historical board
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RIPON — Jeff Kincaid seemed a natural to be named to the Ripon Historical Society board of directors by the city council largely because of his family’s pioneering history in the community.

Board President John Mangelos said he didn’t have to ask Kincaid twice about serving at the museum a couple times a month and being on its board – he’s there every weekend now helping out.

Kincaid’s great grandmother, Anna Johnson Kincaid, was born in Stockton in 1855 the second of 10 children of a Dutch father and a German mother.  She was the first Caucasian child to be born in San Joaquin County where she lived most of her life at their ranch home on River Road near Santos Road.  She was only two years old when her parents moved there from Stockton.

Kincaid tells a story about his grandmother while living at the River Road ranch of having bandit Joaquin Murrieta and one of his lieutenants stop by while her husband and his men were out in the fields – they were hungry.  She told of them “swaggering” into the home, putting their guns on the table and demanding breakfast.

She complied, fixing them a breakfast of ham and eggs while her first born baby slept in an adjoining room.  She told family members later that she was miffed because the two bandits didn’t offer to pay her for the food.

Mangelos said there are so many interesting things about Jeff Kincaid’s family background including his grandfather who was one of the individuals who set up the cemetery layout in the center of Ripon.  

“When you look at the cemetery you realize that Thomas Kincaid was one of the main elements, one of the individuals pushing to have that developed.  When you look at the irrigation district, Thomas Kincaid was one of the individuals who helped set up the irrigation district,” he said.   

Mangelos further pointed out that Jeff’s grandmother, Evelyn Kincaid, set the wheels moving on the creation of the Mosquito Abatement District after Jeff contracted encephalitis at the age of two after being bitten by a mosquito.  She decided she was going to do something to make a difference in the mosquito threat for other children after nearly losing her grandson.

Mangelos said Jeff now looks back at that life-changing (mosquito bite) event for him as “a small interruption in his life,” filling the needs of others.

“When you look at things in Ripon – things we take for granted – the Kincaids have always had their hands in it, doing a lot,” he said.  Despite the effects of his encephalitis Jeff Kincaid has continued moving forward in his life with the spirit of his ancestors.

Mangelos further noted that much of the funding for Bethany Home’s new one and two-story development near the shopping center on West Main Street, with its popular rose garden, was a gift from Evelyn Kincaid’s estate.  

“Jeff is a perfect individual to help carry on the history that his family for decades helped establish in this community,” he said.