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Full text of "History of Sonoma County, California, with biographical sketches 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 time"

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Gc Mil"" 

979.401 '^*''-'' 




1833 01067 7075 






The leading men and women of the County, who have been 

identified with its growth and development from the 

early days to the present time 



Complete in one'Aolume 



PREFACE il52320 

When I sought to collect material for a story of Sonoma I soon fouiid 
myself reaching out into the history proper of California. Every trail leading 
lu this count) runs back into the earlier times of the state. The Spanish-Amer- 
ican settlement of Sonoma was planned in the City of Mexico. The coming to 
Sonoma of the Mission San Francisco de Solano can be traced backward 
through San Rafael, Dolores, San Jose, Santa Clara, Carmelo and kindred 
institutions to the southern end of Alta California. Sonoma began at San 
Diego, — the first adobe laid in 1769, the last in 1823 completing the rosary of 
the missions. Territorial records having their opening chapters in Our City 
of the Angels, had their ending in Sonoma. The various governments sitting 
at various capitals marked Sonoma a key position on the line of the northern 
frontier. The legislative events occurring in Monterey were soon manifest in 
^ Sonoma. The first statesman of the California political period was the Coman- 
^ dante of Sonoma. When plotting officials snarled and wrangled from San Jose to 
V^ San Diego they in turn sought the adherence of Sonoma ; and when these 
^\,\->,same plotters were preparing to hand this logical-territory of the Great Repub- 
\- lie over to the tenderness and the tenaciousness of an European protectorate, 
\, ) the little game largely was blocked by that same Mexican military commander 
v\^ of Sonoma. When Fremont, advised by Benton at Washington, collected the 
American settlers for the first strike, they struck at Sonoma ; and Commodore 
Sloat, U. S. N., raised the Stars and Stripes over the country only after he 
had heard of the Bear F'lag at Sonoma. 

At an earlier day that jolly pirate, Drake, came hurrying along this shore 
with two millions of Spanish gold and several millions of leaking holes in his 
j\ weather-beaten and battle-worn little ship ; and while the carpenter on the 
\i beach was pumping the Pacific ocean out of the craft, he made out the title- 
deeds and calmly presented the whole coast to Queen Elizabeth, — nothing small 
about Francis. The hungry and frost-bitten Russians from the north found 
the Sonoma littoral an excellent summer-resort, and for thirty years the double- 
<^ headed eagle of the Czar from the palisades of Fort Ross screamed defiance 
\ out of his two throats at his brother-bird of Mexico. 

~\ So these trails, like the great "Camino Real," reach towards Sonoma, — 

\^ not hidden under the overgrowth of the years, but standing out in the light of 
history. They come up from the south over llano and mesa, over piney slopes 
and oaken meadows, along the sharp ridges and through the dark canyons 
where the pilgrim-priest ?ore-beset clasped tightly the syml^ol of his salvation 
fearful that death would meet him on the way : over the sunlit hills where the 
iiats tassled at his corded waist and the poppies dropped their golden petals 
over his sandled feet, along the wild beaches when the wind was on the waves 
and the shore-breaking billows lifted their deep organ-bass in the chant to Him 
who made the sea. Then in the rare Indian Valley of the Moon the Padre 
Pathfinder planted the cross and called to prayer, 'Tn Nomine Patris." 

Sonoma — 'Wonderland of this Wondrous State — jMasterpiece of creative 
power, a garden-place of fruitage and bloom — true domain of Luther Burbank, 
birthplaceof the Flag of the Golden West. There is no rincon — no corner within 
her mountain walls that is not stamped with the golden pages of California's living 
history. If this indifferent story of Sonoma were worthy, it would be dedicated to 
her greatest historical character — him who sleeps at Lachryma Montis. 

Santa Rosa, 191 1. TOM GREGORY. 






Sonoma — \'allev of The Moox 5 

Fitting Indian Title — The Fair Amazonian "Califa" — Empire Between 
River and Bay Between Mountain and S."a — The Beginning by Ca- 
brillo at San Diego — Telling the Rosary of the Missions — San Fran- 
cisco de Solano. 


Sonoma Enters California History lo 

Five Flags Have Waved Here — Sir Francis Drak^ and New Albion 
— Russians Come Hunting Sea Otters — Bodega and His Bay — Greek 
and Roman Crosses On Sonoma Soil. 


Hidden in The Coast Range 14 

Vegas and Mesas of Xever- Failing Fertilitv — Two Means of Tempera- 
ture Walk Hand in Hand— Where the Poppy Yellows the Plain- 
Kingdom of Luther Burbank — St. Helena, the Mother Mountain of 
the Sonoma Hills. 



An Imaginary Spanish Snub Brings the Moscoviaus Down the Coast 
— "Pioneer Squatters" of California — Early "Boom" Price of Sonoma 
Real Estate — Harvesting the Sea and Shore. 

El Fuerte de los Rusos 22 

Fierce Letter-War Between Madrid and St. Petersburg via Intermedi- 
ate Points — "Hold the Fort" — Shipbuilding in Sonoma — How the 
Gringos Came — The Russians Go. 

Captain Sutter Absorbs the Russian Realty 2=5 

A Secret Land Deal — The Gun of Austerlitz — Valhalla Becomes 
"Wolholler" — Fort Ross Dismantled, 


The Spaniard Reaches Sonoma 29 

At "The Point of the Creeks" — Planting the Mission Faith and the 
Mission Grapes — Stripping the Padres — The "Pious Fund" — Pueblo 



Mariano Gu.^dalupe Vallejo 

Premier Californian and First American Citizen of the New State- 
Patriot and Advocate of Annexation to the United States, 



Mexican State of Alta California 38 

The Secularized Indian Back lo the- Wilds— Humane Laws for the 
Ex-Neophyte — Vallcjo a Busy Official — Thu Carrillos — A Governor- 
Ridden Land. 


A Free and Easy People 43 

Uncomely but Comfortable .Adobe Dwellings — Wise Old Mother 
Spain Understood Her Simple Children — Solomonic Alcaldes — .'\bduc- 
tion if Josephine— Life on the Ranchos— Spurs of a California Knight. 

The Digger in His Eminent Domain 52 

Natural Unattractiveness — Indian Table Lu.xuries and Manners — .A 
Grasshopper Meal When Other Farj Failed— Chief Solano the Faith- 
ful Friend of Vallejo. 


"Lachryma Montis." Home of Vallejo 58 

In the Valley of the Rose — California Girls and Their Broad .\cres — 
Old Adobes That Are Crumbling Back to Mother Earth — Sonoma in 
"The Roaring Forties" — Just "Before the Gringo Came." 


Appearance of The Pathfinder 62 

Gillespie Brings Fremont Secret Orders — The Surveyor Turns Back 
to Sutter's Fort — Corralling Castro's Horses — .Americans Ride to So- 

"Republic of California" 65 

Won with a Breakfast Instead of a Battle — The Capture of Sonoma 
Spiked the British Guns— All Planned at Washington— Settling the 
Slavery Question in California. 


Commodore Sloat at Monterey 69 

Follows Fremont and Hoists the Flag Ashore — Where Jones Was 
Too Fast Sloat Was Too Slow — Setting the Commodore a Pace — 
President W. B. Ide. 


Fremont The ]\L\n of The Hour 72 

All Oth-T .\merican Officers On the Pacific Coast Disavow Him — 
The Patlilinder as Usual Sets His Lines and Makes No Mistakes — 
Country Without a Flag. 


Painting The Banner of The Bear ^^ 

The Lone Star of Texas— Grizzly Passant— Native Daughter's Red 
Petticoat — The General Said "Bueno" — Relative of Old Abe — Gallant 
Yankee :\liddy— Bear Flag Yet On Duty. 


Bringing Order Out of The Wilds 83 

Fierce Mexican War-Words — Murder of Cowie and Fowler — Ban- 
croft's Bro-Mexican Views — Clearing Out the Country. 



Castro On The War Path 87 

De La Torre Eludes The Pathfinder— Unjustifiable Killing of Three 
Californians — Sutter's Fort — California Republic Celebrates "The 

Country Drifting to Uncle Sam qi 

Old Glory Comes Ashore — Thi. "First Flag Day" — Sutter Becomes 
.'Xn American Citizen — The Grizzly Passant Passes — Stars and Stripes 
Are Over California. 

The Historian Continues the Conflict 

On the Trail of the Bear— Only a Deep Sea Yarn— The Paths Fre- 
mont Found — The War of the Gold Braid — Petty Persecution of 
the Pathfinder — Fremont Tried and Exonerated. 


General Vallejo in California History 102 

Imprisonment of the Sonoma Comandante the Only Error of the 
Bear Flaggers — lie Was Moro American Than Mexican — Generosity 
His Only Fault. 


California the Mecca of a Mighty Pilgrimage 104 

The Great Tr.-k Into the West— Sierras Bar the Way— In Donner's 
Dreary Glen .^f Death— Under Their White Pall— Among Those He- 
roes the Women and Children Fared Best — Wild Gales of Nevada 
Room Their Requiem. 

John A. Sutter and His Fort 108 

Wanted to S;-I1 Out Before the War — Forgot to Have Smith Ar- 
rested — He Forgot to Return — Some Americans Were Horse Thieves 
—Official Locusts That Devour the Earth. 

When the State of California Was Not a State 113 

"Legislature of a Tliousand Drinks" — Started the War of the Re- 
bellion— Sonoma's Bear on the Great Seal — California Forcing Her 
Way Into the Union — Drawing the Negro and the Boundary Lines — 
LTncle Sam's Grand Land Deal. 


Sacramento Corrals the State Capital 

Valleio Makes a Golden Offer— The Legislature Accepts— Sacramento 
Flealess if Not Flawlcs.s— San Francesco at Last Gets a Name— 
Benicia Sees the Legislators Go Up the River. 


Sonoma County Settles Down to Housekeeping 

When "Oro" Was Heard Around the World — Harvesting the Gold 
of Farm and Mine — Changes on the Great Ranchos^When the 
Mustang Galloped Out of the Twilight — The Early Californians Gave 
Away Tiieir Lands — Live Today and ^Vork Mariana. 


Captain Stephen Smith of Bodega 

Ready for a Fight or a Fandango — A Famous Pioneer Picnic— Val- 
lejo's Prediction Comes True — Old Sonoma Land Grants — Chain of 
the ^Missions — Strenuous Day of the Squatter — Petaluma and the 
Miranda Ghost. 


Peopling the Rich Sonoma Valleys 139 

Shades of the Old Adobe Halls— Sonoma the Vineyard of the World 
— The In-Dwelling Spirit of the Mission Grape — Pressed and Blessed 
by Church — Warm Volcanic Soil — From the Padre's Early Vines. 


Vulcan — Builder of a Continent 146 

The Redwoods Grew Deep — Devil-Waters for the Healing of the 
Nations — Hot Springs and Sweat-Houses — The County Seat Question 
— How Jim Williamson "Stole the Courthouse" — A Hundred Minute 
Mule Run — In Memoriam— Roll of Honor. 


Within the Vale of Santa Rosa De Lima 153 

Parson Amoroso Makes One Convert — Rosa Slips Wraith-Like 
Away But Leaves Her Name — Marring the Tonal Harmonies of Span- 
ish Titles— The Old Carrillo Adobe— Tragedy of Franklin Town. 


Mapping Out the City of the Rose 159 

Perplexing Thoroughfare Names — Alphabetic and Presidential Streets 
— Pioneer Mannerisms — Hahmann Wanted Plenty of Churches — 
Building the Temple of Themis— A Squad of the Old Guard. 


The Changes of the Years 164 

And the Railroad Dirt Flew— And the Printers Came Also— Hop Cul- 
ture — Utopias of Sonoma County — Fountain Grove and Its Faith 
That Failed — A Word-Storm Genesis. 

Thoroughbred Horses of Sonoma County 169 

When Lou Dillon Flung Her Silver Heels— Her Marvelous 1:58>1— 
A Nursery for Prize Trotters — Crossing the Blue-Bloods — Anteeo and 
His Speed Band— Racing With Father Time. 


Petaluma and Her Name Origin 174 

Guadalupe Vallejo Boggs — In the Fall of Forty-Nine — Or Spring of 
Fifty — The Settlers "Dropped In" — Always Fritsch and Zartman — 
How "Harry" Mecham Got Here. 

Tragedy of the Vigilance Committee Bell 182 

Its Golden Voice Filled the Valleys— Even Called the Santa Rosans 
to Repentance — Petaluma Thought of Arresting the County Seat — 
Destroyed in the Night — The Pioneer Class of Fifty-Six. 


City of the Little Chicks 187 

When the Hen Cackles a Market Falls — Science Does the Hatching — 
Byce the Incubator Alan — Eggs for Far Cathay — Does An Incubator 
"Set" or "Sit?" 


Where the An.^ly Apple Grows 190 

How Sebastopol Got Her War-Sounding Name — Incident of the 
Crimea — The Tempting Gravensteins — Apples and Women in Mythol- 
ogy — Fruitful Orchards and Vineyards of Gold Ridge — Ocean and 
Salt Point Townships. 


Nature's Ancient Grove — Redwood Township 196 

Among the Tall Sequoias — Whirr of the Mill is the Dirge of the 
Tree — Armstrong Woods — .'\long the Rio Russian — Valley of the 


Dale of the Clover Bloom 201 

Where Asti's Wine Sleeps Under the Mountain — Steamy Geysers of 
Knights Valley — Garden of Chemicals and Floods of Satanic Brew — 
Dead Trees Their Own Gravestones — In this Wonder of Wonderlands. 


In the Earthquake's Deadly Zone 206 

Santa Rosa Shattered in a Half-Minute — Then the Builders Began 
Building— Labor the Only Capital— A City Riveted to the Planet— 
The Newer Santa Rosa. 

Luther Burbank — Traveler in Plantland 212 

A Child Amid the Flowers — Giving Golden Poppy a Red Gown — 
The Great Shasta Daisy — Making the Cactus Cast Its Thorns — Un- 
known to His Countrymen — Wizardry — Down in the Life-Crypt of the 
Flower — Plant and Child Training. 

Farmers' Organiz.^tions of Sonojia County 224 

Agricultural Societies — The First Grange — Feast of Pomona — Among 

the Farms — -Assessed Valuation of 1910 — Sonoma Exhibits at the 
Fairs— Death of G. N. Whitaker— Rest. 

Sonoma County Statistics 246 

Assessed Property Valuation of 1911 — Present Population — Sonoma 
County Schools— Table of County Officials from 1849 to 1911. 



Abel, George L 806 

Ackerman, B. D 818 

Adams, Elmer F 611 

Adams, Samuel E 933 

Adler, Adam W 455 

Atruida, Augustine 1052 

Aldrich. Edgar D 1068 

Alexander, Cyrus ' 792 

Alexander, Thomas 533 

Allen, Samuel I 1006 

Alves, John J 821 

Anderson. Alexander, M. D 371 

Anderson. John 713 

Andrews. John H 1002 

Andrews, William C 1018 

Arenberg, Herman F 545 

Arfsten, Carl W 1005 

Arnhart, William H 1085 

Atchinson, Austin J 595 

Atwater, H. H 720 

Austin, Granville T 728 

Austin, Herbert W 321 

Austin, Tames 850 

Avers, William 683 

Ayers, William D 951 

Avers. William H. M 836 


Babbino. Mike 1059 

Bacon. Lafayette W 731 

Bailhache, Mrs. Josephine 494 

Bailiff. John ....' 786 

Bailiff. John D 752 

Baker. Albert 1017 

Baker, Charles A 1004 

Barham. Aubrey 758 

Barlow. Thomas E 1075 

Barlow. Solomon Q 584 

Barnes. Edwin H 259 

Barnes, Miss Florence M 704 

Barnes, WiHiam H 816 

Barnes. W. P 952 

Barnett. Harrv T 799 

Barry, Rev. M. ' 1 1082 

Barry, William R 1016 

Bassett. William D 1003 

Bassi. Rocco 1046 

Batchelor. David W 431 

Bauer. Tohn W 809 

Beeson. Edward 1 812 

Bell. George K 832 

Benjamin. Alexander 950 

Beretta. Joseph 1 104 

Bettinelli, Antonio 1103 

Bettinelli. Fillip 672 

Bidwell. Ira 440 

Bidwell, James 464 

Bidwell, Tohn 378 

Bird, Edward 805 

Birkhofer, Carl 880 

Bish, Lewis M 953 

Blackburn, Charles '. 606 

Blackburn, Frank L 357 

Blackburn, John S 602 

Blank, Tohn 1001 

Bline, James P 788 

Bloom. Adolph J 438 

Bloom. Americo J 438 

Bloom. James B. " 438 

Bock. David 947 

Bodwell. Charles A 408 

Bohan. Miles 613 

Bolla. Battista 689 

Bolla, Elvezio B 596 

Bondietti, Frank 612 

Bones. William H 345 

Bonniksen, John 1 577 

Bourke. A. E. ..' 509 

Bourke, William 1039 

Bowman, Henry C • 456 

Bowman, William F 946 

Boyes, Mrs. Antoinette C 299 

Boyes, Capt. Henrv E 297 

Boyse, Alexander E 823 

Bovson, Conrad C 629 

Brandt, Alonzo B 665 

Brown, Charles 594 

Brown, Sam.uel 449 

Bruner, Grant 876 

Bruner, John 876 

Burgess. James F 811 

lUirris. L. W 346 

Bussman. Peter W 874 

Butler, Charles H 800 

Byce, Lyman C . 503 


Cable. 1. N 1077 

Cadwell. Alexander 671 

Cahill, James 870 

Campigli, F. C 1064 

Canepa, Giovanni 1082 

Casarotti. Americo 1081 

Casarotti, Filippo G 1106 

Cassiday, Samuel '. 1015 

Cassin, John M 815 

Charles.' Elbert R 635 

Chauvet. Henry T 335 

Chauvet, Toshua 328 

Cheney, Tohn M 339 

Chenoweth. Charles J 383 

Christenscn. Tohn 959 

Clark, Louis ' W 844 

Clark, W. 1 600 

Clarke, James P 829 

Cline, Owen T 1042 

Clough, Manley E 601 

Collins, F. M 407 

Combi. Giovani 1102 

Comerford. Rev. T. J 970 


Comstock. Hubert G 817 

Comstock, William 716 

Conkle. Jacob .^ 959 

Connolly. John D 363 

Cook, Thomas G 822 

Cordano, Giovanni 1047 

Coulson PonUrv and Stock Food Co. 499 

Covey, Willian^ 1066 

Cowan, William F 353 

Cox, John J 719 

Cozzens, Davenport. Jr 1071 

Crawford, Richard F 589 

Crystal, Melvin R 482 

Cullen, Frederick T 945 

Cumminifs. Lawrence Q 1062 

CumminK?, Michael E 1000 

C'unningham. John 322 

Cunningham, Robert 985 

Cunning-ham, William J 878 


Dahlmann, Frederick 588 

Dahlmann, Henrv 607 

Daken, S. T 1072 

Dambrogi, John 608 

Dannhausen, William 1063 

Dayton, W^illlam A 410 

De Bernard!. E 1053 

Denman, Hon. Ezekiel 445 

Denman, Frank H 506 

Denner, Russell 605 

De Rezendes, Manuel 1045 

De Turk. Isaac 462 

Dillon, Charles H 614 

Dinucci, .Ans^elo 1064 

Di.xon, Tohn T 572 

Douglas, A. S 877 

Dou,fflas, Georee B 824 

Dowd, Frank E 1037 

Dowd, John W 624 

Downs, Vernon 975 

Doyle. Manville 511 

Drago. Marijaret T 945 

Drees. Emil E 954 

Drosbach, Mrs. Fredricka F 875 

Drouillard. Joseph W 873 

Duerson, Tohn H 619 

Dufranc, Vitale 1087 

Durand, Victor 587 


Fades, Georcre H 401 

Early. William H 540 

Eckert, Albert 1084 

Eckert, Frederick 1084 

Eckman, Jonathan 452 

Edgeworth, William J 312 

Elder, William 804 

Elphick, Henry, Jr 955 

Elphick, James F 948 

FJsi Brothers 944 

English, David B 861 

English, Joseph 1067 

Evans, Edward W, M 972 

Evart, William 497 


Fairbanks, Hiram T 1078 

Fehr, Jacques 882 

Fenk, Frank 971 

Fetters, George 618 

Filippini, AchiUe 1051 

Filippini, Charles 1033 

Fitch, Charles 492 

Fognini, Peter 1049 

Folsom, Fred N., M. D 491 

Foresti, Rafael 1061 

Fowler. Tohn H 530 

Fredericks. Morris H 1014 

Frei, Andrew 1035 

Fremont, John C 388 

Fulkerson, Richard 750 

Fuller, Charles E Ill 

Furlong, James 883 


Gale, L D 885 

Gallawav, Allen R 323 

GarlofT, August 620 

Garzoli, Arnold F 626 

Garzoli, Joseph 1105 

Garzoli, Peter 1050 

Gaye, Mercelin 999 

Genazzi, FJio M 632 

Geuglima, G 1 105 

Giberson, John K 943 

Gibson, James W 1073 

Giggey, Robert A 1013 

Gilman, P. E 397 

Gisel, Herman 884 

Goatley, .Armsted 969 

Goeller, John 637 

Goodenough, Monroe E 981 

Gossage. Terome B 593 

Gould. Captain Nathaniel 351 

Graham. Thomas J 968 

Graves. George W.. M. D 798 

Gray, James W 505 

Greenwood. I-ord W" 644 

Gregory, Harvey 931 

Greppi, Sylvester 1091 

Grider, Newton J 1032 

Griffith. Nathaniel A 714 

Grohe, Frederick 940 

Grove, William H 745 

Guglielmetti, Giovanni 581 

Gustafson, C 943 

Gutermnte, John M 998 


Hall, Albert S 838 

Hall, Clarence C 743 

Hall, George A 578 

Hall, L. J 886 

Hallberg, John F 1031 

Hallengren, Svente P 1029 

Halley, Robert E. L 488 

Hammell, Henry 552 

Hansen. Tohn 997 

Hansen, "Ole 761 

Harbine, Hardy R 995 

Hardin, Henrv A 721 

Hardin, Jefferson R 967 

Harris, Richard T 398 

T^art, D. B 702 

Hart, Marion 1088 

Hartsock, Adolphus 791 

Haskell, Barnabas 744 

Haskell, William B 740 

Herbert, Lewis 554 

Hesse, Fred \V 887 

Hiffby, Karl D 888 

Hill, Robert P 303 

Hill, William 275 

Hoar. Benjamin F., Jr 631 

Hockin, William 726 

Hodges, Harry C 749 

Hooten, M. V 927 

Hopper, Thomas 433 

Hopper, Wesley L 336 

Horn, J. W 674 

Hotclikiss, Benonia 930 

Hotle, Charles E 333 

Howard. William C 691 

Howell, W 673 

Hoyt Brothers 994 

Hnbhell, Orton 678 

Hnnt. Richard P 437 

Hunt. William T 655 

Hntchinson. .Samuel 575 


Irwin, George 925 

Italian Swiss Colony 376 


Tacobs, George H 395 

jacobsen, John H 1011 

Jamieson, Daniel T 1040 

Tensen, Tens C 547 

Jesse, T.'W., M. D 384 

Johnson, William 738 

Jones, Erainerd 701 

Tones, Joseph C 727 

Jones, T. Noble 1008 

Tones, William 939 

Jones, William D 977 

Joy, T. B 563 

Tuhl, Hans 935 

juilliard, Charles F 317 

Juilliard, Louis W 327 


Karr. Eerlel M 625 

Kelly, Charles 599 

Kelly, Tam.e.^ P 989 

Kelly, Tames W 992 

Kelly, John W 767 

Kent, Tames E 697 

Keough, Michael 1099 

King, George E 926 

King, Theodore G 912 

King, William 941 

Knittel Joseph 889 

Knowles. Tames H 310 

Knowles, William H 311 

Koch, Reuben 1023 

Korbel Brothers 900 

Kuhnle. Perry 529 


Lafranchi, Albino A 1049 

Lafranchi, Edward E 825 

Lafranchi. John 1084 

Lambert, V/illiam S 990 

Lamoreaux, George W 920 

Landis, A. L... 938 

Larison, Samuel 668 

1 asher, George A 698 

Laton, A. H 890 

l.auritzen. Christian 485 

Lauritzen, Teppe C 479 

l.auritzen, John 966 

Lauritzen, Knudt 929 

Lawrence, Henry E 957 

Laymance, George ^^' 480 

Lea, Clarence F 463 

I eahy, Rev. Teremiah 1098 

Leonard, S. C 499 

Leslie, Tohn 708 

Leveroni. G. B 993 

Lewis, Charles H 715 

Lewis. Charles W 515 

Lewis, Tohn B 457 

Lewis, William A 915 

Lichau. Henry P.. Tr 863 

Liggett, William T 928 

Lippitt, Edward S 315 

Lock, William H 965 

Lorenzini, D 677 

Loser, \. B 988 

Lumsden, Arthur G.. M. D 898 

Luppold, J 924 

I.uttringer, Toseph 773 

Lynch, John 1007 

McAfee, Charles 690 

McCandless, John 891 

McCargar, Hugh S 524 

McChristian, James 641 

McCutcheon, Arthur A 892 

McDonald, Mark L., Jr 360 

McDonald, Mark L 257 

McElrov, William 846 

McNamara. Thomas B 354 

McNear, Tohn' A 263 

McPeak, Anthony 523 

Maclay. Thomas 666 

Maestretti, .Antonio 1096 

Maggetti. Peter 547 

Mancini, Doniinico 1065 

Mandarini, Remigio 1058 

Manion, William 661 

Manion, William H 922 

Mann, Edwin E 1108 

Martin, Albert P 54.1 

Martin, Mrs. Frances McG 569 

Martin, Leopold 535 

Masciorini, Toseph 1057 

Mather, William 1070 

Matzen. Peter 548 

Mazza, Romildo L 1101 

Meagher, Thomas F 300 

Mecchi, Giovanni 1068 

Mecham, Franklyn A 1012 

Mecham, Harrison 854 

M eek, Thomas 662 

Meek, Thomas B.. Jr 470 

Meeker. Melvin C . . 289 

Mell, Toseph 1027 

Merritt, John 751 

Meyer, Lawrence 1028 

JMiller, Thomas B 956 


Mitchell, Samuel S 979 

Mock, Wesley 425 

Mock, William 1045 

Moebes, August 1067 

Moke, H. H 974 

Montgomery, De Witt 427 

Moonev, Thomas 901 

Mordecai, W. B 1112 

Moretti, G , 667 

Morris, Harry B 341 

Morse, Stephen C 309 

Moser, August 1074 

Mossi, lames 1107 

Mowbray, James R 921 

Murdock, Glenn E 415 


Nagle, Frederick G 1026 

Nay, Lewis G 467 

Nay, Samuel A 856 

Neil, John 987 

Nerz, "John 1025 

Nesbitt, Tames R 894 

Newburgh. Edward 914 

Nicoletti, Carlos 1097 

Nisson, Christian 923 

Nisson. Erick P 563 

Noble, W. L. J 877 

Nobles, Hermon 866 

Nolan, Charles P 857 

Nunn, Newton R 1024 


O'Farrell, Jasper 565 

O'Learv, Edwin F 986 

Oellig, Howard H 1038 

Offutt, Charles A 762 

fJliver, Charles C 835 

Orr, Thomas L 381 

Ottmer, Henry C, M D 461 

Overton, Albert P 402 


Parker, Freman 647 

Patocchi, Benjamin J 1086 

Patten, Richard R 734 

Patterson, Azel S 557 

Paxton, B. W 292 

Peoples, Joseph S 653 

Perkins, Dr. R. E 826 

Petaluma & Santa Rosa R. R. Co 919 

Peters, Lorenz R 964 

Petersen, Peter 1022 

Peterson, Allen 1110 

Petray, Edwin A 696 

Piazza. Angelo 1060 

Pickrell, Charles E 654 

Plow, Carl 1021 

Poehlmar.n, Conrad 539 

Poehlmann, Frank 1043 

Pool, Charles \ 534 

Poppe, Charles J 375 

Poulin, Louis 918 

Powell, Ransom 895 

Price, Wesley A 849 

Proschold, Edwin M 517 

Prunk, George E 450 

Puccioni, Angelo 1 102 

Purrington, Samuel W 443 

Quanchi, Gilo HOO 


Ramatici, Charles 725 

Rambo, James H 881 

Rand, Edward C 917 

Reid, Joseph B 638 

Richards, Theodor 1041 

Ricioli, Achille 649 

Rickman, David H 659 

Rickman, George T 660 

Ridenhour, Lewis W 865 

Riebli, Arnold B 1048 

Riebli, Sebastian 1056 

Rielly, George 899 

Robinson, William J 387 

Rodd, Sam.uel 909 

Rosie, James R 937 

Ross, George A 286 

Ross, James L 582 

Ross, Losson 305 

Ross, William 770 

Rosselli. Genesio 1095 

Rossi, P. C 317 

Rule, John 642 


Sacchi, Silva HH 

Sanborn, George D 781 

Sanborn, George N 330 

Sandberg, John 810 

Sartori, Arcangelo 707 

Sartori Brothers 893 

Sbarboro, Andrea 376 

Scatena, Martin 837 

Schieck, Hermann 558 

Schieffcr, William H 963 

Schultz, Gustav 961 

Scott, John C 469 

Scrutton. H. C 499 

Seawell, Judge Emmett 481 

Shaffer, Reuben H 571 

Shaver, Eli S 1044 

Shelley, William N 985 

Shelton, Abram C 794 

Simi, Casimiro 1054 

Sinclair. Henry G 830 

Sinclair, James 733 

Singlev, Frank B 1020 

Singley, tlon. James T 404 

Skiffington, John 962 

Slattery, Patrick A 1083 

Small, Joseph B 936 

Smith, John K 518 

Smith. Patrick 911 

Smith, William E 779 

Snider. Mrs. Jane 683 

Sonoma Vallcv Water, Light and 

Power Co 785 

Spencer, Byron M 686 


Spurgeon, Sidney F 803 

Stagg, Amos A 623 

Stengel, Christian 521 

Stevens, A. F 841 

Stevens. Ch.irles D 976 

Stewart, Dell 1111 

Stornetta, Louis 1093 

Stradling, William C 551 

Stratton, W. A. T 564 

Strode, John M 908 

Strom, G. A 278 

Stuart, Absalom B., M. D 848 

Stuart, Anabel McG 842 

Sullivan, Frank A 897 

Sullivan, John D 1019 

Sweet, James S P 774 


Taylor. Benjamin F 692 

Taylor, John S 867 

Temple, Jackson 684 

Thomas, Mary Tane 907 

Togni & Dado 1090 

Tombs, William L 474 

Traversi, Joseph 1092 

Tripp, Hiram 1 840 

Trondsen, Thorwald 960 

Trosper, Ernest E 500 

Irosper. Francis D 636 

Trosper, Thomas G. W 486 

Trowbridge, George T 475 

Truitt, Roland K 347 

Turner, John W 1069 

Urban, Kurt, M. D 853 


Valentini, Louis 1094 

Vallejo, Gen. Mariano G 413 

Varner, Philip E 703 

Varner, Samuel 768 

Vogensen, H P 617 


Waldrop, Mrs. Helen L 695 

Walker, Edward L 852 

Walker, John 1 109 

Walker, John 1079 

Walker, Joseph 905 

Walker, Willis Y 797 

Walls, David 828 

Ward, Thomas B 910 

Watson, Capt. Greenville 527 

Weeks, Lewis 277 

Welch, Charles 906 

Welling. Charles W 755 

Weyhe, Charles P 983 

Whitaker, Fred 709 

Whitaker, George N 419 

White, Harry 1020 

White, Josiah H 859 

Whitney, Albion P 283 

Whitney, Mrs. Susan D 285 

Wickersham, Isaac G 271 

Williams, George S 516 

Wilson, John 782 

Winkler, Clayton 358 

Winkler, George H 833 

Winton, Homer W 904 

Wolfe, Abraham L 780 

Wood, James W 973 

Vs'oods, Robert 903 

Woodward, Edward F 845 

Wyatt. Charles E 932 


York, Charles W 934 

Young, Ernest 1 902 

Young, Peter 473 


Zamaroni. Peter 1055 

Zanolini, Guissepi 1089 

Zartman, William 763 

Zartman, William H 756 

/weifel, Walter T 650 





Sonoma, -Valley of the Moon," was the fitting name which the Indian 
gave the most eastern vale of this many-valleyed county. It was in a day 
be}'ond the dawn of written history when the red Chocuyen looked over 
that graceful line of level land sweeping from the farther horn of its crescent 
in the Napa hills, around by the circling rampart of northern peak to its west- 
ern point where a spur of the great Coast Range dips under the tides of the 
San Pablo. To his nature-trained mind was that perfect lunar shape — its arc 
to the north, and to the south its chord — a wide frontage on the big inland 
water. And he called it Sonoma. And the rancherias of the aboriginal set- 
tlers multiplied in the Valley of the Moon, for within those oaken groves and 
along the willow-bordered streams they found in their early period that which 
has made this portion of the Pacific the most gifted land under the sun. The 
two great luminaries of the skies were the chief deities of the Indian's primi- 
tive worship, — the sun that brought, and yet brings, days of plenty and peace 
to that favored region; and the moon that mellowed the night there and gave 
her name to the valley, — and the eves are as nights in Eden when the moon 
silvers Sonoma's vine-clad plain. The fitness and the triple-vowel melody of 
the title, with the sweet tonal harmony of its three syllables sounding like a 
Spanish word, so appealed to Padre Jose Altimira, sent to establish a mission 
there, that he immediately applied it to the local Indian tribe, and afterwards 
to the pueblo which soon grew around the adobe church which he built. This 
new mission Altimira called San Francisco de Solano, in honor of St. Francis 
Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order of priesthood, and of St. Solano, the 
celebrated "Apostle of the Indies." It was the most northern and the last of 
the chain of missions that linked the coast settlements of the Californias to- 
gether. Like its kindred institutions Mission Solano droops under the bur- 
dens and the neglect of time. Even its sacred title once voiced in veneration 
by the neophytes kneeling before its altars, is now seldom spoken by men. But 
the Indian's name lives not only in the town and valley where the pioneer padre 
wrought for the moral uplift of the primitive Sonoman, but it has passed across 
the \ve5tern mountain range. It has spread over a noble territory bordering the 
wide waterways of the state and fronting twenty leagues on the Pacific, the 
present and future battle-wave where the world's commerce will struggle for 
supremacy, and throwing back from the sea into the interior of this grand 
domain a breadth of thirty miles. "The valley was found best adapted by rea- 
son of its climate, location, abundance of wood and stone for building pur- 
poses," wrote Father Altimira in his journal, "and above all for its excellent 
springs and streams." The far-seeing padre had looked over many proposed 
places for his mission and his choice of Sonoma proved him unusually wise 
in hi.s generation. 


The name ■'California" has ccmt: through broken accounts from an origin, 
vague, distant, impalpable. The treasure-mad adventurers from Spain always 
seeking undiscovered golden troves, believed, in the fierceness of their desire, 
there were other places on the new continent rivaling the stored wealth of the 
Peruvian Inca, from whom Pizarro looted so richly and murderously, or of 
Montezuma, the pitiful victim of the msatiable Cortes. Fictionists of the time 
wrote lurid stories of the cities in the mystic west peopled by semi-supernatural 
beings who jealously watched their vast treasuries. One of these writers was 
Ordonez de Montalvo, and his book, '"Sergas de Esplandian," published in 
1510, told of the magic "Island of California," where beautiful amazons ruled 
and grim griffins guarded not only the feminine wealth, but the mineral treas- 
ure as well. The young and valiant grandee and knight of belt and spur, 
Esplandian, meets the wild queen, "Califa,"' in her capital city, where after 
many fierce fights between his followers and her dragon-like people, he suc- 
ceeded if not in conquering the place, at least in having her fall in love with 
him. Califa was devoted to her Spanish cavalier, something of the devotion 
of a tigress, and it took all the watchfulness and valor of her lover to keep his 
life secure when she had an unusual "tender spell." Her savage soldiers had 
an unpleasing habit of flying around on their bat-wings and picking up the 
soldiers of Sergas, which they would lift to a great height and then drop. Of 
course the soldier thus treated was of no use afterwards. Because of their 
birdlike manners Montalvo in his book dipped into the Greek and called them 
"ornis," and "Califa" is from "Kalli" (beafutiful) in the same language. "The 
f was inserted for the sake of euphony," says Professor George Davidson, the 
translator, hence "California," beautiful bird. This golden Ali Baba tale was 
popular with the Spanish knights of fortune, and doubtless Juan Rodriguez 
Cabrillo, when he saw the islands oflf the southern coast of this state, named 
them after the mystic amazon queen, as they were first known as "Las Cali- 
fornias." Could this Portuguese in the naval service of Si)ain have gone farther 
into the province he found and named so fittingly he might have won the golden 
lure that drew him to the threshold of a greater discovery. But he died sud- 
denly in that vicinity and was buried on one of his Santa Barbara islands, in 
a grave nameless and unknown. But this portion of the Golden West assumes 
no indefinite or foreign derivation for her title. .She has supplied it from within 
herself; and her almost nine hundred thousand acres of soil — -lowland and 
upland — have never felt a drought, and where the fauna of all earth's zones 
blossom in richest beauty and fruit in generous harvest, is — Imperial Sonoma. 

The surveyor who chained off Sonoma County from the rest of the con- 
tinent smoothly moved along lines of least resistance — along natural boundary 
lines. The reader may imagine him setting his first stake in the southeastern 
corner, on the San Pablo bay shore. Starting northward he is soon on the 
crest of a range of high hills and on this elevated course he travels through 
innumerable turnings and twisting, passing Napa county on his right, and over 
the slope of Mount St. Helena, where he reaches the corner meeting place of 
Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties. Turning west he tramps along the parallel 
of latitude, tending to the south of this line, and finally striking the upper waters 
of the Valhalla — now known as the Gualala — river, and this dashing mountain 
stream is his guide till he reaches the sea. The Pacific is tlie western boundarv 

HISTORV ()!•■ S()\<1MA COl'NTY 7 

from that northwest corntr as far south as the mouth of the Estero Americano 
on Bodega Bay. He travels easterly up this creek to \'alley Ford, thence he 
chains a southeast, cross-country line to the upper part of the Estero de San 
Antonio. This stream down to its end in San Pablo Bay he marks on his 
survey the division line between Sonoma and Marin. It would seem that this 
county found for heiself a place within the natural barriers of hill and bay, 
stream and sea, during those distant days when mighty terrestrial forces were 
heaving hemispheres into form. And this amphitheatre of virile vale and mesa 
awaited through the unwritten savage years for the coming of the day when 
these acres would yield their wealth to the home-building Saxon. 


Nor does Scnoma begin her life with the sisterhood of counties in a late 
historical period. Her discovery came in 1774 — five years after somebody, said 
to have been Caspar de Portola, seeking Monterey, found Verba Buena. Who- 
ever found what is now known as San Francisco certainly was not so successful 
in finding a name for the place, as no later botanist or vegetarian has ever 
found there the "good herb" that suggested the Spanish title "Yerba Buena." 
Sonoma continued incognito for two hundred and thirty-two years after Cabrillo 
at San Diego saw and added this, the last, domain to the empire-kingdom ol 
that monarch who was at once an emperor — Charles Y of Germany, and a 
king — Carlos I of Spain. Charles, then only the German ruler (having suc- 
ceeded his maternal grandfather, Maximillian), was fighting in the Nether- 
lands when the death of his paternal grandfather, Ferdinand, lifted him to the 
Spanish throne. The warlike qualities of the sturd\- Dutchman kept him so 
busy in the Low Countries that he did not see his new kingdom — the greatest 
on earth — for years, and the maladministrations of his six immediate succes- 
sors further sent Spain on the downward road that ended when her flag dropped 
in Cuba and the Philippines. In constant turmoil at home, her far western 
possessions. Mexico and California, were left to get along with only intermit- 
tent attention. Between Portola, (1769) and De Sola (1822! ten Spanish 
appointees had more or less governed Alta California, but these easy-going 
soldiers of fortune had staid pret) close to the shore. They found the pueblo*; 
of San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara. Monterey and San Francisco more 
comfortable than the Indian-infested inland. The work of civilizing the wilder 
ne?s and incidentally raising food and other luxuries for the government officials 
and their soldiers were left to the mission padres and their native converts. 
These Franciscan priests, when Charles had expelled the Jesuits from Spanish 
dominions accusing them of jjlotting against his crown, succeeded to the rights 
and holdings of the deposed order on the Pacific. They also succeeded to the 
"Pious Fund", which had been set apart for the support of the Jesuit mission- 
aries in Lower California. This fund grown to large dimensions and withhel<l 
by the Mexican government, was returned to the ch>u-ch a few years ago by a 
decision of the Hague. The Dominican order, however, demanded a share in 
the mission field, and Junipero Serra, president of the Franciscans, looking over 
the sterile, uninviting hills of Baja California where the Jesuits had labored 
under such discouragements, was willing to cede the whole peninsula to the 
other order. This Serra did anfl the following years find him wit^^ his co-work- 
ers huilding missions from San Diego to .Sonoma, seeking the ? )nl-salvation 


of a sorditi savage who had more veneration for a pot of "carne y frijoles," 
beef anti beans, which the good fathers cooked, than for cross and creed held 
up to liis primitive mind. 

After the seizing of the pious fund, tlien grown to $78,000. and upon 
which Mexico had kept hungry eyes for years, and the secularization of the 
mission property, the institution went down and the great adobe chapels began 
to crumble back to their mother dust. The Spanish era was the "sleepy" period 
of California — the slumber just before the grand awakening when "the Gringo 
came." Of course the different governors and coniandantes frequentl} aroused 
themselves for family quarrels in which there was generall\- more fluent talking 
and letter writing than real fighting, but a few concessions and cheap compli- 
ments brought peace — till the next row was due. Even when Mexico threw off 
the yoke of Spain in 1822 and had her own emperor, Iturbide, crowned as 
"Agustan I," for a few months, the change hardly rippled the placid surface 
of this portion of the new ^Mexican empire. And when luckless Iturbide lay 
dead before a file of Mexican soldiers, as did ]\Iaximillian, another emperor, 
later on, the Californians quietly hauled down the new imperial standard and 
as quietly hauled up the old tricolor of the Republic of Mexico. It was "on 
again, off again" without an}- powder burned over the changes, in this "maiiana" 

Yet there was one c|uestion that drew these sons of old Spain into some- 
thing like unity, and while it did not cement the aggregated mass, it helped the 
Californians to present a considerable front to the common family enemy 
That question was the man. from the "States," the North American, — in contra- 
distinction to the Mexican of the South. From their minimum of geographi- 
cal knowledge they knew that the Great Wall of the Sierras stood guard 
on their eastern border and over those icy crests they desired no immigrant 
should come. For generations Spain had seen her standards torn and tossed 
on English bayonets and her armandas go gurgling down in the deep at 
the mere will of the invincible Albion, and no descendant of Castile and Aragon 
cared to come in contact with even a branch of that militant race. Moreover, 
the eagle of America and his brother-bird of Mexico were screaming w^arlike 
from shore to shore of the Rio Grande, and Texas was preparing the way for 
a march to the ancient city of Montezuma. The Spanish in California, with 
the purblindness which has been a distinct characteristic of that race always, 
carried their senseless antagonism to their only and more powerful neighbor 
occasionally to extreme lengths. They even desired to annex themselves to 
anyone of the European governments whose fleets were hovering watchfully 
on this coast. They knew that it was the world's belief that California was 
a logical part of the United States and that the stars and stripes would wave 
on the Pacific beach whenever those Yankee color-bearers so desired. So to 
these colonists playing like children at state-building, galloping their mustangs 
over vast hidden mineral and agricultural wealth yet finding it not, slumber- 
ing in a long siesta on the threshold of a great waterway that was to bring 
to their harbors — after their day — the cargoed riches of countless argosies, 
it was anything but the hated "gringo." It was this knowledge that in 1842 
hurried Commodore Jones with the Ignited States frigate Ignited States intc 
Monterey, where he hoisted his flag, even if he did haul it I'.own next dav. 


learning that General Taylor had not yet got his guns to working on the 
Mexican, Santa Ana ; and it was this knowledge four years afterwards that 
sent Commodore Sloat in the United States steamship Savannah racing ui; 
the coast with the British frigate Collingwood, Admiral Sir George Seymoui 
commanding, in the speedy Yankee's wake. War was on with Mexico and 
the good old wooden ship Savannah, fit mother of the modern cruiser of steel, 
was outsailing her Britanic majesty the Collingwood, and a state was the 
prize. That was a glorious "ride" over the sea that merits a place in song 
with the runs of Revere and Sheridan, for when Seymour came in port nexr 
day Sloat's ensign was over Monterey, and it has never come down. 

From July i6, 1769, the day Jimipero Serra founded his first Upper Cali- 
fornia Mission at San Diegp, the Spanish colonists, if comparatively straggling 
bands of ill-clothed, poorly paid or no-paid soldiers often with poverty-stricken 
families, can be called colonists, began to settle along the fringe of coast. 
This wave of civilization rolled sluggishly towards the north, led always by the 
mdefatigable lame padre of whom Pope Clement said, "I would that I had 
in my garden more junipers like that one." Under Serra's supervision mission 
after mission arose in the California vales fair as gardens of the Lord, until 
his body, bereft of the flame of a life-zeal, lay dead in the \'alle\- of El 
Carmelo. In 1817 the Mission San Rafael was established, the beautiful Marin 
valley chosen for an establishment to relieve the poor, unselfsupporting ]\'[is- 
sion Dolores in San Francisco. This brings the reader along the chain of 
missions whose links measure seven hundred miles and whose walls were a 
half century in the building, until he stands at the door of the twenty-first and 
the last — San Francisco de Solano, at Sonoma. 




To write the history of Sonoma one must, in part, write the histor)- ol 
Cahfoniia, for in this fifteen hundred and fifty square miles of Pacific slope 
were for awhile the northern and final ends of the records that began with 
the landing of the first European on this western rim of the continent. Hence 
the foregoing narration of events which marched county by county, — to give 
the different localities their present geographical designation, — into the north. 
Sonoma may be said to start the second half of California's colonial history, 
.San Francisco and San Pablo bays being practically the division line, with 
Sutter's "New Helvetia," now Sacramento, the only settlement beyond. But 
though written into the history of the state, Sonoma has a story as distinct 
as the five epochs marked on her pages, and even few of her own native sons 
and daughters know or feel the importance of that tale, or of the part this 
county played in the drama of Las Californias. Indian, Spaniard, Russian, 
Mexican, .\merican, with the ubiquitous Englishman hovering near, each in 
turn, has worked out his role on this stage of the continent. Four have gone 
lea\ing imperishable names, blood and racial characteristics in the soil they 
trod, and in the invincible race that remain. Each strove for the "goodlie" 
land ; each surrounded by different conditions lived his day, accomplished his 
political life work and passed at the coming of the fifth, — the last — who, like 
the march of empire, was holding west his wa\' till the ultimate sea beating 
against the bases of the hills thundered — "No farther." The primitive aborigine 
faltering in the strange first steps of Christian civilization, saw the soldiers of 
Castile's knightly king with sword and cross move over these waters and 
valleys and stamping their monarch's signet into the land that had been the 
Indian's land since the day the Supreme signed the title deeds. Then the 
bearded boyars of the Romanoff appeared out of the north and planted the 
two-headed eagle of their sovereign and the double-beam cross of their faith 
on the sea-clififs of the Redman's hunting-ground, and the crosses of Spain 
and Russia shone at the same time over Sonoma's soil. They too passed, — the 
Castilian back along the track Columbus had charted across the sea, and the 
JNIoscovite into the white wastes of his north. Then he saw the petty-officials 
of the nearby republic that had been reared on the blood-red ruins of the 
Aztec, rule and wrangle for awhile and cease to be, swept away by the irre- 
sistible Saxon. And finally the Indian turned from the successive coming and 
going to pass before the last and fittest. The curtain goes down on each 
following act, and vale and mesa of this golden plateau hear the actors no 
more. On moves destiny, unswerving, inexoral^le. 

The .soil of Sonoma has been claimed Ijy a kint^dom. an empire, a king- 
dom and two republics, while betw^een the two last appeared for brief periods 
a "homemade" em)3ire (Iturbide's) and an inde]iendent principality e(|uall\- lionie- 
made but mure homely, also more vigorous than the weak, imperial thing 


attempted on the Alexican repul:)licans. The Bear Flag was only a Miiear of 
lampblack on a piece of white cloth, it was without national sanction or recog- 
nition and the strongest argument for its existence was down in the barrels 
of its thirty-three rifles, but it foreshadowed the approach of a new order, the 
approach of that which was to vitalize this portion of the hemisphere. So, 
the hoisting of the grizzlv mildly regardant — to apply a fitting heraldic term- 
iner virtually the last Mexican and the last mission, was well timed, or the 
!)anner of the bear might have dropped ignobly like Jones' ensign at Monterey. 
But events just then began coming, crowding and overlapping, and the Repub- 
lic of California gently annexed itself to the United States. 


While writing the introductory pages of the history of Sonoma County 
the scribe must not miss an allusion to a man who has made more ocean 
history than any other individual in his day. He is of England — traveler in 
every land and sailor on the "seven seas," and to catch his first appearance on 
this coast the reader mn^t slip back to 1579, the year Francis Drake trans- 
ferred his ship-activities to the Pacific, or "Calm Sea," as he called it, remem- 
bering the three, out of his five vessels, which he had left in the stormy Atlantic. 
On the southern coasts he had conducted himself in a manner to win no little 
liatred from the Spaniards, and at that period in his career this pious people 
in both the new^ and the old world were ciu'sing him most prayerfully. As in 
the Spanish Alain, he had pretty well swept this ocean of the fat treasure-laden 
galleons homeward bound from the Philippmes to far Espaiia, and with $2,000,- 
000 or more of loot in the hold of his clumsy little "Golden Hind," Drake was 
himself trying to make home. Well knowing that the Spaniards were cruising 
over the southern seas supplicating all the churchly saints in their calendar and 
tb.e heathen god of winds to waft him safely into their hands, he had elected 
to sail west by way of Cape Good Hope instead of east through the Straits 
of Magellan. Rut unfavorable winds had blown him back on to the California 
coast, in this vicinity, which he then saw for the first time. Though his ship 
wa> loaded down with the pirated property of Spain he calmly annexed the 
entire country to the British crown, calling it "New Albion" because the white 
summer-hills reminded him of the chalk clififs of Dover. The hard strain of 
the long cruise and of the stiff fights he had put up had told on his insignificant 
craft, so in a bay, either Bodega in Sonoma or one in Marin now known as 
"Drake's Bay." he careened and repaired the "Golden Hind." What a prize she 
and her skipper would have been to the Spaniards could they have found them 
helpless on the beach of New Albion in that far June of 1579! But Drake 
went home, rounding the continent of .\frica, the first circumnavigator of the 
globe, and his queen knighted him in return for the Spanish dollars and domin- 
ion he presented her. She doubtless jnit the money to immediate use, but 
there is no existing record that she ever attempted to "prove up" on her Sonoma 
real estate claim. Somewhere on that shore is a pile of stones and near it is 
an English penny bearing the august profile of Elizabeth, elaborate head-dress, 
high ruflf collar and all, and this was the pre-emption notice left by Sir Francis 
Drake. When this coin is found it will mark the exact place of his twenty- 
six davs' stay, and will also he evidence of his claim to the country. Then it 


will be in order in this Augustan age of litigation, for George V of England 
to commence suit — if only a friendly suit — for the purpose of quieting title to 
New Albion. 


In 1792 — two hundred and thirteen years after Drake's day — so slowly 
time flew then — Captain George Vancouver, another wandering Englishman, 
came sailing down the coast. He visited the Spanish at Yerba Buena, 
enjoyed their hospitality but quietly ignored their name and claim. He also 
noted that the Spaniards were ill-prepared to defend their possessions against 
foreign invasion and advised his government to grab the grand domain. 
Great Britain just at that propitious time, was trying to keep out of the great 
French Revolution, and was also taking an occasional shot at Holland, and at 
Spain nearer home. Also she was out of money and the Bank of England .had 
suspended specie payments. JNIoreover, she had lately come out of the conflict 
with her rebellious colonies on the Atlantic seaboard — second best, and had 
no strong desire to get into a fresh fight so near the warlike Yankees. Other- 
wise, it is probable that a British fleet soon would have made short work of 
subduing the few, weak Spanish settlements on this coast, and California might 
have become a sister province of Canada. After Vancouver's departure the 
Spaniards awoke to the danger of having foreign ofificers spying out the land, 
and they set themselves to work making their position stronger. Ports and 
other exposed points were to be fortified, and one of these was Bodega. Since 
1775, when Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra in the Spanish 
warship "Sonora" explored the bay and gave a portion of his considerable name 
to the place, the comandante at San Francisco had apparently forgotten the 
discovery. Now a military road running along the east shore of Tomales Bay, 
through Marin county was projected, and four guns were mounted in a small 
redoubt on Bodega Point. But the military road only reached the dignity of 
a sheep-trail and the guns gathered rust until somebody hauled them back to 
San Francisco. Spain had troubles at home and the other European nations 
were busy with one another, and no more dangerous foreigners appearing, 
California was left to sleepily work out her destiny. A band of fur-dealing 
Russians from Alaska settled on Bodega beach and the bluffs at Fort Ross, 
but as they were more interested in sea-otter and agriculture than in adding 
more territory to the already over-wieldy empire of the White Czar, they were 
practically left unmolested to hunt skins, and snniggle garden-truck to the scurvy- 
racked Spanish soldiers in Yerba Buena. 


Sonoma, as has been stated, was the last stand of the padres whose mis- 
sions commenced at the southern cape of the Californias. The friars of St. 
Francis, generally native and loyal subjects of Spain, openly or secretly sympa- 
thized with the mother countr}- and against rebellious Mexico, and moreover, 
the Mexican in California was at best a weak churchman. The vast wealth of 
the missions in cattle that practically "roamed a thousand hills," and their 
leagues and leagues of land that covered most all the arable acreage of the 
.southern half of the state were not calculated to moderate the growing ill will 
of the improvident government officials. Added to this the mission people set 
their faces like flints against the immigration which the most enlightened Cali- 


fornians desired. From all this, secularization of the mission was inevitable. 
Also, the California Indian had not shown himself to be satisfactory or plastic 
material for whiteman's education, just as the Spaniard has never shown him- 
self to be a patient, just and practical teacher of subject native races. So not- 
withstanding the zeal of his ecclesiastical instructors the neophyte would "jump" 
the school, the chapel, and revert to the wilds of his native tribe. Hence, 
between the original natives who were indifferent and the original native sons, 
who were inimical, the mission of the Missions was failing. Yet Padre Jose 
Altimira, in obedience to the orders of his superior and the command, "Go ye 
and preach my gospel," sought a new field for labor. With Captain Alfres 
Sanchez and nineteen soldiers, accompanied by Senor Francisco Castro, repre- 
sentative of Governor Arguello, Altimira carefully explored favorable localities 
in Suisun and Napa valleys, finally selecting Sonoma because, as he wrote in 
his daily journal, "the valley was found best adapted by reason of its climate, 
location, abundance of building material and above all for its most excellent 
springs and streams." Thus did the representative of the civil, military and 
church power in that early day accord to this locality its full meed of merit, 
and wrote for Sonoma county its first "boom literature." July 4th — another 
auspicious fact and a date of happy omen— 1823, the eagle of Mexico flew over 
the pueblo of Sonoma and the cross of San Solano was raised in the valley of 
the Moon. 




Sonoma county niij^ht be said to be "'hidden" in the Coast Range. Spurs 
of this mountain cliain beginning at the bay shore on the south run northward 
and between them he the famed valleys fertile and fair as "the gardens of the 
gods." The line of high peaks, that divide Napa from Sonoma are the eastern 
ramparts of .Sonoma valley and its western limit, another chain cutting it from 
the broad I'etaluma i)lain which starts from tide-water and extends north 
toward the county-seat. West of Petaluma other spurs — like their fellows ever 
reaching north and south with the persistency of meridians of longitude — mark 
ofl:' the rich levels of Two Rock, Big, Blucher and Bodega sloping down to 
the ocean. The middle portion of the great central plateau of the county is 
ihe fame<l X'alley of Santa Rosa — a veritable park timbered and flowered and 
spreading out between the lofty oak-covered peaks to the east and its western 
wall of secpioia-clacl mountain. To the eastward of Santa Rosa are — rare gems 
in their setting of high hills — Bennett. Rincon and the beautiful vale of Los 
Guilicos ; while to the west over the wooded slopes is Green Valley — aptly 
named, for its vineyards, orchards or forest trees are in emerald the year around. 
As the Santa Rosa plain sweeps farther north it nears Russian river, which 
flowing from its Mendocino mountain source winds south and west to the sea. 
Though not navigable, it waters a large tract of densely timbered and exceed- 
ingly fertile lands. Russian River Valley is literally a parent-vale of the 
neighboring Dry Creek Valley — a striking misname, as the fruitful fields along 
its wooded banks testify. Then Knight's Valley nestling amid the slopes of 
Mount St. Helena, and Alpine-like — a hanging garden high in the air. two 
scenic levels where "Hills peep over hills and alps on alps arise." 

Oat Valle>', where Nature, the great Patroness of Industry, was making 
hay and sowing a name into the place long before the human sower appeared, 
and' spread out in a broad vega, is the big orchard space aroimd Cloverdale — 
Pomona's own Homestead. 

These are only the larger valleys "hidden" in the Coast Range. Compara- 
tively few acres of Sonoma's soil are inaccessible to the plow and reaper, and 
on these plant-nurturing plains and plateaus fall the never failing winter rain 
from the skies, and the tradewind moisture from the seas. A list of the things 
that grow in Sonoma would take in nearly all the things that grow in this 
hemisphere, and a large importation from the other half of the globe. Sun 
and shower in tiUMi call inevitably and impartially and earth responds in gener- 
ous fruitage. From the south where Petaluma, secure, independent and wealthy 
on the shores of her navigable estero. ships from her furrowed farms the rich 
vegetation and the golden cereal of commerce; from the west where full-fruit- 
age glows in the orchard and where the green of the vast potato fields paints the 
hilk rolling down to the sea : from the north where the Russian, "the river of 


c\ iT-blooming Howers," threads leagues of verdant plain, and where Cloverdale 
stands like a dryad under her oaks or like a bride amid her orange blossoms; 
and from the east where Sonoma in her matchless Vale of Luna, prunes and 
presses her grapes, racking and sending to the marts of the world the wines 
of her incomparable vineyards — from these fourfold compass points come unfail- 
ing harvests. On vega and mesa plant-life runs riot and agriculture holds 
high carnival. 

so .noma's fruits anu flowers. 
Sonoma soil ib old in history, but new in culture. On it are the pages of 
a record long pre-dating the white man, followed by the account of his coming, 
and then the years that went by leaving a grand state yet unoccupied by the 
master-builders, i'.ut immigration was lapping over the eastern mountain wall 
and the ox-trains, squadrons of "prairie schooners" began to end their "across 
the plains" voyage in the valley-places of the south. Then Sonoma, to use a 
titting figure of speech, began to move out of her adobes somnolent with the 
spirit of their Spanish builders. The wild-lands were becoming home-lands; 
the fruit-grower was planting on the slopes where the "warm belt," that phe- 
nomenal zone of thermal hanging above the middle levels, nurses the tender 
buds, and the vineyardist seeking the warm hillsides where the dry atmosphere 
will sweeten the vintage, was climbing higher. Where the first settler grazed 
his great herds on leagues of rancho, partition has taken place and the farm 
of the second comer is in tillage. Where the lumber and other timber-workers 
have cleared away the forests, the soil enriched by ages of tree-shade and 
autumnal vegetation is the favored place of the proverbial vine and figtree. 
Open to the mild tradewinds from the ocean, — to the full winter rains that 
shade off to the moist sea fogs as the year slips to her summer, — to a dry 
sun season tempered by occasional showers, — to a land where the two means 
of temperature almost may be said to walk hand in hand down the months, 
can one wonder that the spontaneous harvests crowd and overlap as the seasons 
come and go? Berries and oranges in January, apples and olives in December, 
and grapes, peaches, jiears. plums, prunes, limes, lemons, persimmons, apricots, 
cherries, nuts, currants, blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, dewberries and 
huckleberries the other ten-twelfths of the year. These are the fruits of this 
fruitful clime, and here it may be written of the "flowers that grow between," 
the delicate things that respond to the almost tropical rnildness of the months 
to clothe the land in blossom and beauty. Led by California's own peerless 
poppy — Flora's vestal virgin in flower — they sweep over slope and plain tro<3ps 
of tinted faeries, mad with the joy of living, a riot of life and color. It was 
when Dr. Eschscholtz was riding from San Rafael to Fort Ross that he noted 
and tried to classify that strange yellow bloom, the "Cup of Gold" of the 
Spanish, that painted the hills and vales with its rich tintings. The eminent 
(ierman botanist could not find for it a name nor place, and a comrade immedi- 
ately called the noble golden flower "Eschscholtzia." Thus was the "State 
Flower" culled from its wild and nameless existence on the California plateaus. 
Here on this page devoted to Sonoma's plant perfection, it will not be out of 
place to lay a flower — even his own — at the feet of the world's first florist. 
\\'here grows a Sonoma bloom, whether in cultured soil or in the wild nooks, 
it is of thf kingdom of Luther Rurbank. He has gone down into the soul of 


the flower and has called it into fairer and brighter form. He has entered the 
heart of the tree and has moved its vital forces into newer and better fruiting. 
Within her cryptic recesses he sought Nature, did this wizard scientist, and 
there she compromised with the man who learned her secrets. 


While the soil of this county is rich in plant- food and other surface quali- 
fications that make for the wealth and prosperity of the country, below the 
fields and uplands, below the forests of redwood, pine and oak, and the more 
humble subjects of the vegetable kingdom which grow in the wild places, are 
sub-earthic possibilities, and the county may yet add to her productions a noble 
mineral output. Coal, the father of fuel, and which has no choice of a special 
geological formation, has been found in excellent quality though as yet in 
limited quantity in several places on Mount Sonoma. The time may be rapidly 
approaching when the main body of that great stratum of carbon will be uncov- 
ered. On the slope of that mountain near Petaluma wells bored for oil have 
tapped subterranean reservoirs of natural gas, which gushing fiercely to the 
surface have been found to be pure and highly combustible, and is unmistakable 
evidence that under these hills flow the long-sought channels of oil. In many 
parts of the county the small streams trickle down from the heights, their waters 
thickly oleaginous, one being Mark West creek near Santa Rosa. There is 
no doubt that this valuable liquid fuel is here, but the tertiary formation shat- 
tered and displaced by volcanic or earthquake forces will not hold the oil in-situ 
as do the paleozoic rocks of Pennsylvania, lying horizontal and undisturbed 
since that stratum was deposited there. Here oil escapes from the under basin 
and forced through the broken beds of rock some of it reaches the surface, but 
where that deep tank is no man has yet discovered. If coal and its oil are yet in 
terra incognito the depository of quick silver is known, for the cinnabar mines 
near Guerneville and north of Cloverdale have long been worked with consider- 
able profit. From the numerous basalt quarries throughout the country, roads 
and streets are paved, as the rock cleaves true and is easily shaped into blocks. 
Marble, limestone, also a .^ne yellow and green lava much valued for building 
purposes, are found and quarried in the hills. Kaolin is one of the natural 
productions of the county, but as the dry, pure air will not decompose its native 
rock separating the feldspar from the ore, as the damp atmosphere does in 
England, porcelain will never be one of the products of California. Copper, 
iron, umber, borax, galena and magnesite ai'e among the stores found in tlie 
geology of Sonoma county. 

SCENtC S0N0M.\. 

To the practical utility of Sonoma county as a home place, to its possibili- 
ties as a wealth-producing field, and to its geographical location as to climatic 
advantages tending to the value of both desires, may be added its scenic attract- 
iveness, the features of which are now springing into greater public notice. 
Lying off and away from the great mains of travel through the Sacramento and 
San Joaquin vallevs, Sonoma was late in drawing the attention of the wandering 
stranger. The tourist saw Tahoe. Yosemite, Big Trees and Yerba Buena's 
peerless bay but failed to find the "show" places of this portion of the state 
"hidden" in the Coast Range. However, the change from the stage-coach to 
the railroad cars, and four lines of steel-way threading the country brought 


re-discovery, ami the near-future construction of projecteil extensi(ns northward 
through these coast counties to Oregon will turn a flood of honieseekers and 
sight-seeing travelers into the bywaxs of the Sonoma valleys. The sylvan 
banks of Russian river, its waters clean and cold from their founts in the 
higher altitudes, are the summer-places of the metropolitan. Here is the lordly 
Sequoia Sempervirens, the great redwood of commerce, of commerce — alas ; 
for saw and axe are ruthlessly destroying this noble race of trees — the chief 
wonder of the world-rover even in this Wonderland. Up Tn a wild canvon. 
the deep furrow of a wild glacial flood or the cleavage of an earthquake's mighty 
heave, are the Geysers — springs that seethe and bubble over eternal flames 
below, and almost touching them, springs that sparkle icily from some frigid 
underflow. The Petrified Forest, a prehistoric wood in stone as though stricken 
by the glance of a Medusa, the solemn burial ground of once living trees felled 
possibly by the death-rain from the craters of Mount St. Helena. Sonoma, 
probably more than any one of her sister-counties, evidences her volcanic cre- 
ation, for her appearance in the second tertiary was when these plains came 
up from the miocene sea. The redwoods are remnants of that geological period's 
gigantic vegetation, and the hardpan under the more recent alluvium of the 
central plain, the erosion of the younger surface, is of the same distant forma- 
tion. The broad and deep beds of basalt which are the bases and frames of 
these chains are of the output of St. Helena in that far day when the grand 
peak lifting the lips of her crater four thousand three hundred and forty-three 
feet above the valley-floor, was making mountains. The twenty-three hundred 
feet elevation that cuts the Sonoma from the Petaluma basin, Hood and 
Taylor, that throw their shadows across Santa Rosa, Fitch in the suburbs of 
Healdsburg, raising as it were, its steep walls from the semi-circular bank of 
Russian river. Sulphur Peak standing thirty-four hundred and seventv feet 
over the boiling rock-caldrons of the Geysers, ]\Iount Jackson nearer the sea, 
his foundations the red and brown crystals of mercury, and in the ranges north 
of Cloverdale where the pure silver globules well from the ruddy cinnabar, all, 
all these in their basaltic formation are the lava-creations of the Mother Moun- 
tain now silent and solitary, a noble landmark showing through the clear Cali- 
fornia atmosphere, a literal triple-corner-stone where the counties of Napa. 
Lake and Sonoma meet. The many mineral springs, hot and cold — the agua 
caliente and agua frio of the Spanish, health and pleasure resorts drawing their 
subjects from the world around, are products of the volcanic forces that long 
ago heaved the hills into being. In valley and in highland-gorge they flow 
strong in sulphur, soda, magnesia, iron and kindred chemicals, bubbling up 
from nature's deep laboratory. While life sweeps in warm floodtide around her, 
St. Helena sits in ashes : the once living fires cold and lifeless as the fair Rus- 
sian princess whose name the noble mountain hears. 




Sliortly previous to the tiniL' the Spaniards were settling down in their last 
pueblo at Sonoma there was nothing to take their attention from their internal 
troubles except the presence of the Russian interlopers at Bodega and Fort 
Ross. Spain, it will be remembered, claimed by right of discovery all the country 
between the Sierras and the sea and as far north as Puget Sound. Russia 
claimed the Alaskan territory and had quite a settlement at Sitka, conducted 
by the Alaska Fur Company under the protection of the imperial government. 
The coming of the Russians to California was more accident than design. 
Hunger drove them a-sea and southward. Most of the food and especially 
breadstuflfs for the colony came from Russia across the wide Siberian wastes 
or by a long ocean trip, consequentl}- much of the time at Sitka was passed in 
semi-starvation. April 5, 1806, Count Nicholi Petrovich Razanoff, the governor 
of Alaska, sailed into San Francisco bav, his ship filled with articles for trade 
and his crew filled with scurvx . His tirst reception was neither cordial nor 
commercial, the peculiar trade restrictions of the Spaniards prohibiting inter- 
course with foreigners although the people and padres needed the goods. Raza- 
noff could have bought for cash, as the Spanish port regulations did not taboo 
Russian gold, but unfortunately he was without the coin of anv realm. But 
love, whose laugh at locksmiths has long been proverb, unlocked the port of 
San Francisco. The Count while dancing attendance on Comandante Jose 
Arguello, trying to work that official into a more commercial attitude, met Dona 
Concepcion Arguello. and the old. old drama of the heart was played. The 
beautiful California girl took up the work that diplomacy unfinishing had 
dropped. She consented to marry her noble Russian lover and the stern old 
Don was not proof against the coaxing of his daughter. Neither was Governor 
Arrillaga at Monterey, for it seems that this fascinating Espanol-Aniericana had 
her own way in both the capitol and the chief port of the territory. When 
Razanoff sailed with his new cargo for Alaska he parted from Concepcion 
forever, as on his way across Siberia to St. Petersburg where he was to get the 
permission of the Czar to wed'the Spanish girl, he was thrown from his horse. 
P.efore fully recovering from his injuries he attempted to coin]ilete the journey, 
and from a relapse, died on the road. 

Tt was years before Concepcion, awaiting at San Francisco, learned of his 
death. She then joined the order of the Sisters of Visitacion, and after a 
long life devoted to noble work, died at Benicia. Bret Harte, the California 
poet, has placed in tender \-ersc this historical tale of a woman's waiting >ears 

"Long beside the deep embrasures, where the brazen cannon are. 
Did .she wait her promised bridegroom and the answer of the Czar; 
Watched the harbor-head with longing, half in faith and half in doubt. 
Every day some hope was kindled, flickered, faded and went out." 


As he passed up the coast, hurrying his ship-load of food home to his 
hungry countrxnien at Sitka, and also Inu-rying himself to a meeting with the 
emperor which meant so much to him, Razanoff's mind was not so taken up with 
thoughts of the pretty Spanish girl he was leaving that he did not notice that 
Spain had some localities along the Sonoman shore cjuite suitable for Russian 
uses and colonies, much more so than the wintry north. While strolling with 
the fair Concepcion along the bay-beach at San Francisco he had noted how 
weak were the fortifications and how few were the "brazen cannon" her father 
commanded ; in fact, the Spanish never at any time had enough power in Cali- 
fornia to resist the attack of a single foreign ship of war. Only a special brand 
of luck ; also that there was then plenty of unoccupied country for other land- 
graljbing nations ; also because the incalculable value of this territory being then 
a totally unknown quantity to the world, permitted Spain to possess California 
as long as she did. The Russians also noted that the waters of this coast were 
teeming with marketable possibilities, especially sea-otter, the fur of which 
was extremely valuable. Nor was Count Razanoff the first to notice this harvest 
of the sea awaiting the hunter, for two }ears previous a sharp-eyed Yankee 
skipper. Captain Joseph O'Cain, in the vessel, the "O'Cain," had done consider- 
able pelt-poaching here, to be followed three years later by Captain Jonathan 
Winship in the same vessel, employed by the Alaska Fur Company. Notwith- 
>tanding Governor Arrillaga issued strongly-worded pronunciamentos against 
illicit and contraband trade with foreigners, and against equally lawless hunting 
and fishing in Spanish waters, their vessels were constantly hovering around 
the Farallone Islands and Bodega Bay, and finding excuses to anchor in ports 
near the missions. In fact it is remarkable how often these sly skippers ran 
out of fresh water or food, or were in urgent need of repairs. The Spanish 
officials doubtless made efforts to carry out the government instructions, but 
the articles the courteous visitors had to sell or give away were too tempting. 
That peculiar commercial characteristic now known as "graft" must have been 
slightly known in those simple days "before the Gringo came." Probably the 
previous removal of the four-gun battery from Bodega in a measure caused 
the reluctance of the .Spanish comandantes to obc}- home orders. .\nd the 
universally known fact that bribery shoots further than cannon had much to 
do with the stay of the Russians on the coast. 

I 111-: i^iom'.i:r "souattf.k.s" oi-' (. ai ifok.-.i \. 

!-.arly in 1811 Alexander Kuskoff sailed into Yerba Buena. and not enjoy- 
ing his reception, in high dudgeon sailed out again. He stopped at Bodega 
Bay and yet smarting from the insult, real or imaginary, annexed the whole 
territory to the Russian crown, naming it Roumiantzof. He noticed a large 
stream of water flowing into the ocean and called it Slavianki. These euphoni- 
ous titles passed away with the "squatters," as General \'allejo always called 
them, but the river retained the name of "Russian." 

But these pioneer squatters were more practical locators than the Spanish. 
They treated the Indians kindly and showered small gifts upon the local chiefs, 
also going through the form of buying from them the territory they had taken 
possession of. There is no likelihood that Kuskoff was modest in the acreage 
of the land-present which he sliced off the Spanish dominion for the Czar, as 
it is known that Russian survev^rs worked through the Santa Rosa and Russian 


River valleys. They ascended Mount St. Helena leaving a copper plate on the 
summit of the grand landmark inscrijjed with the date of the visit; and what 
IS more important, the name of the Princess Helena, wife of Count Rotscheff, 
commanding officer of Fort Ross. That the big ranch they bought was within 
the area now known as Bodega township, with or without other townships added, 
old records show dimly. However, — and another credit to the Slavonians, — this 
is the only instance where the original owners of California lands were ever paid 
anything. The price gladly accepted by the Indians, according to statements 
made in later years, was three pairs of breeches ; three hoes ; two axes ; four 
strings of beads. Certainly this early valuation of Sonoma was not a "boom" 
figure, but it must be remembered that California soil was figuratively and liter- 
ally rated "dirt cheap" in those days preceding the dawn of the more modern real 
estate man with his florid literature. But this peculiar "cash" purchase had its 
long, long day in court as it passed to Captain John A. Sutter for $30,000, 
finally to William Muldrew for about one-fifth of that amount, and for years 
clouded the land titles from Tomales Bay to Cape Mendocino. "Pie de Palo,' 
Foot of Wood, as the Spaniards derisively called Kuskoff because of his wooden 
leg, remained at Bodega seven or eight months, making good use of his time 
notwithstanding the warlike protests from Yerba Buena. With his twenty 
Russians and fifty Kadiac Indians he secured 2,000 otter skins worth in the 
world's market at that period nearly $100 apiece, and built a large storehouse 
on Bodega Point. While the Russian farmers are noted the world over for 
crude workmanship, Kuskofif's agriculturists around Bodega, which he had 
formed out of his fur hunters, seemed to have done well. He built a commodi- 
ous farm house at Bodega Corners and put under cultivation considerable 
grain land. On his return to Sitka with his rich cargo of skins and equally 
rich accounts of the mild summer spent at Roumiantzof, Count Baranof, the 
Russian Chamberlain, was easily persuaded to found a permanent settlement 
on the California coast. Russia and Spain then were as much at peace with 
each other as was possible in those stormy days, and it is quite possible that 
the Russian official was acting under secret instructions from St. Petersburg. 
As the Slav visitors at Yerba Buena had used well their e^es around the poor 
fortifications of that port the imperial government had little regard for Span- 
ish objection, and was fully advised of Spain's inability to defend her domin- 
ions against invasion. 

.A. place on the seashore about eighteen miles north of Bodega, called by 
the Indians "Mad-shui-nui," was selected. Of course, the newcomers had their 
"tribal" name, but the one they gave the settlement — "Kostromitinof" — was too 
burdensome for the general usage of time. The Spaniards called it "Fuerte de 
los Ruaos," Fort of the Russians, and this finally, and for no known reason, 
evolved to Fort Ross. Knowing the possibilities of a hostile visit from the 
Spaniards or their allies, the Indians, the Russians built strong and well. With 
a rude sawmill they got ou<" lumber from the nearby redwood forests and erected 
a high stockade on the bluff overlooking the ocean. This enclosure, a rectangle 
containing about two acres, was at once a village and a fort, and the ingenious 
construction of its walls and bastions showed the frontier skill of this sturdy, 
selfsustaining people. The stockade was of thick planks the lower ends mortised 
into heavy timbers placed under ground, anfl the upper 'ends of these boards 


or slabs, twelve feet above, were again mortised, every mortise being keyed 
with a wooden peg. Two angles of the wall were further protected with octago- 
nal bastions twenty-four feet in diameter and two stories high, and built of hewed 
redwood logs strongly fastened together, and covered with a conical roof. At 
one of the angles was the Greek Catholic chapel, thirty-one feet long and 
twenty-five feet wide. As two of its walls were a part of the enclosure walls, 
they were strongly constructed and were portholed for cannon, as was the 
entire stockade. It must have been inspiring to the Spanish envoys when attend- 
ing divine service with the Russian officers to see those guns before the altar 
devoted to the worship of the Prince of Peace, their muzzles pointed towards 
Yerba Buena and ready for business; even when the owners of the battery 
were professing brotherly affection for their visitors, and which profession the 
visitors knew was only entertainment provided by their diplomatic hosts. Two 
small domes surmounted this church, one circular and the other pentagonal. 
A chime of bells called the farmers from the fields and the hunters from the 
sea at matin and vesper time. The chapel, also the large and roomy barracks 
building constructed within the fort, long withstood the ravages of the years 
and the neglect of the subsequent occupants of the place. The barracks which 
had likely only been used by the officers of the fur company is still the resi- 
dence of the owner, but the church before the 1906 earthquake completed its 
ruin, was in turn a grain storehouse and a hay barn. The location from a 
military point of view was an admirable selection as the ten and afterwards 
twent\- guns of the fort commanded not only the land approaches to the town, 
but protected the shipping in the little harbor, which was itself a cosy cove, 
lying under a high northern shore, a defense against the fierce storms sweep- 
ing down the coast. September 10, — or August 30, according to the Russian 
calendar which was then eleven days behind the almanacs of other nations— 
1812, they formally celebrated the founding of their settlement with gun salutes, 
mass and feasting. 



The comandante at San Francisco promptly notified Governor Arrillaga at 
Monterey of this invasion of Spanish territory. The document flaming with 
indignation was transmitted to the Viceroy at Mexico, who with additional 
fiery comments passed the package on to Madrid. After an interminable stage- 
wait the answer and order would start westward, and with long stops at 
Mexico and Monterey would reach San Francisco, but the paper breathed busi- 
ness. "Drive the Rusos into the sea !" would be the royal mandate, but as this 
would have been too big a contract for the Spanish in California, the pen in this 
case, if not greater, was safer than the sword, so the two parties at issue put 
in the time letter-writing. While the matter was a serious one to the official 
scribes, there is a flavor of humor around that correspondence which the years 
do not stale. After the Russian Commander at Fort Ross received the fierce 
Madrid ultimatum he would send it through the Chamberlain at Sitka to the 
Czar. There are many, many versts of sea and Siberian plain between Ross 
and St. Petersburg, and Russia would be farther behind the calendar before 
the emperor's answer would reach his "faithful Kuskoff," who, whatever the 
apparent contents of the paper, could readily read between the lines, — "Hold 
the Fort." While these polished diplomats were sparring for time and unreel- 
ing leagues of red tape that stretched from Madrid to St. Petersburg via inter- 
mediate points, the Russian colonists were busy, and under their industry the 
new place thrived and grew by leaps and bounds. ?^'Iuch of the level land 
around the fort was put under cultivation and in fact, during the warmest 
part of the letter-war that threatened to plunge the coast into conflict, these 
pioneer farmers of Sonoma were placidly sending to San Francisco in vessels 
of their own building, grain and vegetables of their own growing, lumber of 
their own sawing and leather of their own tanning. Fruit trees and berry 
vines procured from elsewhere bore, and were in that early day the commence- 
ment of the great acreage of orchard and vineyard that adds so materially to 
the harvest wealth of the county. The homemade burrs of their grist mills, 
run by windmills, are among the historic relics at Bodega and Ross. 

The Indians of the neighboring rancherias were utilized for labor in llie 
fields, while the Alaskans of the colony were used in the hunting and fishing. 
A little coaxing, a tiny drink of brandy and an insignificant wage made the 
Digger a passable workman. Moreover, the Russians took wives from out 
the Indian camps, an officer legally performing the marriage services, when 
no chaplain was attached to the post, in the little Greek chapel, should the 
high-contracting parties desire the blessing of "book and bell." These social 
and matrimonial alliances were of course confined to the rank and file of the 
company, as some of the officers brought out their wives from Russia to cheer 
a faraway exile. The Russian who is said to be a Tartar below the surface, 
and who is a fractional savage generally, is apparently more skillful in ban- 


dling neighbor barbarians than the more civiHzed Spanianls whu gladly pur- 
chased from the Moscovite "squatter" the products which the Indian laborer 
was persuaded to raise for him. To quote from a well-known writer regarding 
the earlier da\s of Fort Ross — "Rut few of Sonoma county's most intelligent 
citizens, we apprehend, are full}- advised in reference to the magnitude and 
importance of this Russian colony that planted the standard of civilization here. 
The oldest men among us were mere boys when the whole coast of this county 
from the Estero .Ymericano to the \'alhalla river was teeming with life and 
enterprise. Aleuts in their frail 'bidaskes' or skin canoes were exploring every 
bay, cove or estuary in quest of sea-otter, seal or aquatic fowl. Coming from 
the frigid north where everything is utilized that would appease hunger or 
protect the body from the chilling winds of those bleak hyperborean latitudes, 
they gathered and preserved much that by the less provident people of Cali- 
fornia would have been deemed of no value." During the last fifteen years of 
the colony 17,000 pounds of butter and 216,000 pounds of salt beef were sent 
to Alaska, the first product bringing thirty cents a pound. Lumber and pitch 
as well as dairy products were sent to Sitka and the Sandwich Islands. They 
were well supplied with horses, mules, cattle, swine and poultry, and with a 
fruitful continent on one side and an ecpially fruitful ocean on the other they 
were as lords of the manor. 


But the strongest commercial feature in the make-up of this sturdy people 
was their domestic shipbuilding industry, and the pretty little basin of a harbor 
under the bluffs of Fort Ross was the rendezvous of a small fleet born there. 
In 1818 the Roumiantzof, a 160-ton schooner, the pioneer craft of the yard, 
was completed at a cost of 20,212 rubles, in our coinage about $16,000 besides 
the labor of construction. In 1820 the Buldakof, a 200-ton brig was launched. 
She was a well-built vessel, copper-bottomed and cost upwards of 80,000 rubles 
— $60,000. Two years afterwards the \^olga of 160 tons was completed at a 
cost of 36,189 rubles and the following year the Kiakhta, 200 tons, was finished, 
costing 35,248 rubles — about $27,000. As this vessel was the same tonnage as 
the Buldakof whose cost was $60,000, there must have been considerable differ- 
ence in the value of the two crafts, or the price of the raw material fell con- 
siderably between the launching of the vessels. Besides these, several boats 
and launches were constructed for the Spanish at San Francisco. The first 
of these vessels were built of oak, Init the Russians becoming better acquainted 
with the pine and redwood around them as knnber material, used that timber 
in their yard. While the output did not have the fineness and finish of today's 
noble work, nor the vessels the long-life of the work of the modern yard, it 
is something to know that this was the pioneer fleet of the Pacific coast and 
it was built of Sonoma trees in a Sonoma shipyartl. The industrious builders 
thereof were dubbed "squatters" on another people's prior claim, but the prior 
claimants were of a race whose flower of knighthood was fading. Had the Span- 
ish here been of those chivalrous v.arriors whose lances have been leveled on 
many a red field of valor, no other nationality, not even .\merican, would have 
found it so easy to dispossess them. While the Russian with his calendar is about 
thirteen days behind the sun and the entire solar system, he seems to be "in 
season" and uv w itli the times in man\- practical matters ; and while they at 


Fort Ross and vicinity, mere novices in agriculture, were developing the land 
and b.arvesting the sea, the prior claimants were wasting their time and claim. 
Meantime, the permanent possessnr of the land and sea was working his ox-teani 
"across the plains.'' 

While at any time after 1825 the Fort Ross garrison was sufficiently strong 
and equipped to have marched from Sonoma to San Diego without much inter- 
ference on the part of the Mexican government they began to show a disposi- 
tion to leave California. The seal-poaching along the coast was thinning out 
the herds and driving the Russian hunters of Ross more inland — to the farms, 
and farming as a means of wealth is generally beyond the crude methods of 
this race. Governor Wrangell cf Alaska, the head of the fur company, intelli- 
gently realizing that the Russians must control more territory than that immedi- 
ately around Fort Ross, approached the Spanish for the purchase of all the 
country north of San Francisco and west of the Sacramento river. This was a 
pretty strong proposition, but it would seem that the California officials had 
suddenly undergone a change of heart, as they submitted the offer to the 
authorities at Mexico. It is believed that the presence of the North Americans, 
who were coming over the Nevada mountains in strong immigrant hands and 
planting themselves with all the airs of welcome-visitors along the coast, had 
much to do with Governor Alvarado's momentary toleration of the Moscovians. 
The Calif ornian, whether subject of kingly Spain or of republican Mexico, 
feared and disliked the "gringo," who had no fear, neither great love nor 
respect for the "greaser." the American's general title for the Californian. The 
word "gringo" has a peculiar origin. The song "Green Grow The Rushes O," 
was popular at that time and the Mexicans hearing the American frequently 
singing it, caught the words "green grow," and applied them to the Yankee 
vocalists, hence "gringo." The "greaser" title was first given by the Americans 
to the Indians. The old-time wooden axles of the immigrant wagons needed 
greasing frequently — an attention and task not nice nor agreeable — and the 
Digger's willingness to assume this and other humble labors around the camp 
of the good-natured white man earned for him this name as well as occasional 
rations of beef. The application of this title indiscriminately was neither grace- 
ful nor just, as many of the Californians were people of natural refinement 
and endowed with the nobility of their knightly Castilian ancestors. In the 
haciendas of these true grandees there was princely hospitaHty for the stranger 
no matter what his race or station, and today their blood flows in the veins 
of some of the best men and women of this state. And at the head of that 
company of honorables stands Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Premier Native 
Son of the Golden West. Nor were the Americans always disposed to deal 
fairly with the original settlers whose improvidence frequently placed them 
at disadvantage in business relations with the people from over the Sierras. 
It was easy to defraud a people so childlike. 

Although the Governor permitted the Russian purchase proposition to pass 
on to Mexico, under the influence of Vallejo who was Comandante at Sonoma 
and almost autocrat of all the territory north of San Francisco, .Mvarado grew 
lukewarm on the matter of the sale. 



General X'allejo had three American brothers-in-law, and so within the 
close circle of his own family had ample opportunity to become acquainted with 
the intelligence, energ_\ and push of the Yankees, it is known that he strongl\ 
objected to a permanent occupancy here by any other nation. However, the 
proposition was not encouraged by the Mexican government and the Russians 
oflfered to sell their holdings. The Mexicans not recognizing the Moscovite 
title to real estate in California, hesitated, and the transaction hung fire. 
Kostromitinofi', the commander at Fort Ross, proposed that General \'allejo 
buy the property, price $30,000, payable half in money or bills of the Hudson 
Bay Company and half in produce delivered at San Francisco. The Genera! 
expressed a willingness to accept, but while the matter was pending the Rus- 
sians proposed to sell to General Sutter, who w-anted only the movable prop- 
erty. Vallejo's of¥er was $9,000 for the livestock alone. An inventory of the 
property made at the time shows how well the Russians were equipped. Besides 
well constructed buildings of many kinds there were mills for grinding, run 
by wind-motors, and a mill run by animal power; shops, threshing floors, bak- 
eries, bath-houses and twenty-four residences, "nearly every one having an 
orchard."' At the commander's rancho, and included in the list of that prop- 
erty, was "a boat for crossing the Slavianka river." x\t Tschernich, or "Don 
Jorge's rancho," situated between Ross and Bodega, there were 2,000 bearing 
vines and a large fann under cultivation. This rancho was omitted from the 
inventory. The Bodega holdings were included, making in all an estate that 
was indeed going dirt-cheap. But the Mexican government said "no," most 
emphatically, and the sale was off. Vallejo and Governor Alvarado thought 
they had Kostromitinof cornered and were only afraid he would make a bon- 
fire of the combustible property before he bundled hi.s colony on shipboard for 
departure northward. But the Russian was more practical for he had worked 
Sutter around to an agreement. Sutter wanted only the inovable property 
which he could transfer to New Helvetia if Mexico showed a strong dispo- 
sition to cloud or obliterate any of his title, but the adventurous Swiss soldier 
of fortune, who possessed more enterprise than fortune, perhaps would not 
have turned down anv price if the deal could be made on a credit basis. The 
Russians finally agreed to sell everything except the land, the Mexican gov- 
ernment denying their ownership, and the contract was signed December 13, 
184T, bv Sutter and Kostromitinof in the office of the subprefect at San Fran- 
cisco, thus giving the transaction an official sanction. Sutter was to pay $30,000 
in four yearly installments, the first and second of $5,000 each, and the others 
$10,000: the first three in produce delivered at San Francisco free of port 
charges, and the fourth installment in cash. New Helvetia, and the property 
at Bodega and on the Khlebnikof and Tschernich ranchos were pledged as 
guarantee for pavment. From these terms it would seem that while Sutter 


was "safe" when he acquired the livestock, machinery, battery in the stockade 
and a schooner in the bay, did not make a "gilt-edge deal" when he took over 
a second-hand fort and farming appurtenances. But M. Le Capitaine Sutter, 
as he was known in French military circles, did not propose to "trade" him- 
self wholly into the hands of the reluctant and changeable-minded Mexican 
officials. At the delivery of the propert}- listed in the sale Sutter exhibited 
a certificate ante-dating the contract one day. It was from Manager Rotchef 
of Fort Ross and certified that all the lands held by the Russians in California 
for upwards of thirty years was included in the sale to Sutter for $30,000. As 
Kostromitinof, who executed the contract, was the general manager and head 
of the Alaska Fur Company, Rotchef either entered into a compact with Sutter 
to over-reach Governor Alvarado and the California officials, or assumed that 
he had authority to transfer the land. Whatever his reason, the clouded title 
created by the signature of a subordinate officer left leagues of coast land be- 
tween Bodega Bay and \'alhalla River to drag through dispute and court liti- 
gation in after years. As peacefully as was their coming the Russians hastened 
away leaving fort, village, farms and shipping in the little harbor for the new 
possessor. Probably the order to depart brought keen regi'et to those who 
for a quarter of a century had made their home in that place, but there was 
no disobedience to the virtually imperial edict. After the ship Constantine had 
returned them to the north the only original colonists left at Fort Ross were 
those of the graveyard, the Greek crosses marking the mounds extending east 
and west — on the parallel of latitude, as Russia buries her dead. Among these 
several hundred people virtually going into exile from sunny California to 
wintry Alaska was the Princess Helena, wife of Count Rotchef. Fort Ross 
is a ruin, even the Slavonic names with their unmixable consonants have passed 
from use. but the memory of this nchlewoman of the great White Empire 
will live as long as Mount St. Helena lifts its blue dome to the skies. 


Immediatelx after the evacuation of Ross, early in 1842, Sutter loaded his 
new schooner with movables including the guns, which he might find useful 
at New Helvetia should the Californians conclude to make him an armed visit. 
His well fortified adobe fort had always been a place of refuge to the Amer- 
icans and his kindness to the foot-sore immigrants trailing down the western 
slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains made his loyalty to the Mexican gov- 
ernment a matter of some doubt. It is likely the Captain's diplomacy and the 
rifles of his North American hunlers which could shoot true and far had much 
to do with the toleration of New Helvetia. One of the guns removed from 
Ross is a historv-maker in itself. It was a brass four-pounder cast in St. Peters- 
burg and first saw active service when Napoleon so signally whipped the Aus- 
tro-Russian forces under the sinking sun at Austerlitz. Though the Russians 
lost sixty pieces of cannon to the terrible Corsican, this gun was among the 
few saved. Sutter mounted the piece on the walls of his fort.- but when he 
marched south with his compan> to help Fremont whip Castro, that fighting 
Californian took it away from him at the battle of Couenga. It was afterwards 
recaptured bv the American forces and returned to Sutter, who presented it 
to the Societv of California Pioneers. The famous gun of two hemispheres 
received its last baptism of fire when it and its kindred relics went down in 


the flames that swept San Francisco. April 18, 1906. With Sutter as aids at 
Ci^uenga were General John Bidwell, afterwards of Chico, and Major Ernest 
Rufus, who, in turn, were in charge at Fort Ross. The schooner which Sut- 
ter re-christened "Sacramento" doubtless finding her Slavonic name unpro- 
nounceable even for his cosmopolitan tongue, became a historical character 
before she went to the graveyard of ships. She passed through a wreck or 
two on the coast and the river whose name she bore, and sent the title on to 
a street antl wharf in San Francisco ere she went out of commission for all 

During the years iinniediately following the departure of the Russian, little 
was done by Sutter's major-domos to keep up the property. A number of 
buildings had been removed to New Helvetia, but what remained, including 
the jjicturesque little church, were generally neglected — the formerly sacred 
edifice occasionally changed to a sanctuary for hay. The livestock left on the 
ranches heard the call of the wilds and found freedom in the neighboring pine 
forests so enticing that for a supply of meat it became easier to rope a bear 
than a steer. In 1844 William Benitz was sent to take charge of Ross and 
next year with Major Rufus he leased the place from Sutter. The Muniz 
Rancho on which the Ross property stands was granted by Governor Pio Pico 
in 1845, to Manuel Torres, but Benitz easily quieted that title by purchase. 
It extended from Russian River to Timber Cove and called for four square 
leagues or about 17,760 acres, and as usual when the Americans bought out 
the grant-possessing Californians, got it for "a song." Soon after, Major 
Rufus, who happened to be on the winning side in the "rebellion," received 
from the grateful government a grant for the Rancho de Herman, more known 
as the German Grant, of 17,580 acres lying north of iMuniz — big pay for a 
iittle labor, but people m those early golden days here reaped rewards whether 
for or against the Mexicans. Ernest Rufus and Henry Hagler, a fellow Ger- 
man, improved the rancho, the latter being a skillful mechanic having come 
10 this coast with Captain Stephen Smith as carpenter in the bark "George and 
Henry." Hagler constructed a grist mill on the grant, cutting the burs from 
ihe sandstone in the vicinity. He also cut the burs for Smith's mill at Bodega, 
and these two relics of California's early "stone-age" are left to corrode where 
they were finally dropped. These cultured and intelligent owners of Rancho 
de Herman named the beautiful little mountain stream that ran dashing and 
^-plashing through their estate down to the sea "Valhalla." They saw in this 
coast-range river scenic reminders of their own wild Scandinavia, and in that 
game-crowded, fertile region the peace and plenty of Valhalla, that paradise 
of the brave in Norse lore, where the feast eaten by the spectre-heroes at night 
becomes renewed ere the dawn. Alas for the poetic title— the pretty river be- 
came known as the Gualala (said to be of Peruvian lingo), and alas for the 
culture of the \"alhallans there, — it is often heard "Wol-hol-lar." 


.Mthough the Muniz grant lapped over the Ross property there seems 
to have been no disturbance between the two claimants. Sutter went on ship- 
ping grain in his schooner to San Francisco, making payments on his pur- 
chase, cleaning up the indebtedness of $30,000 in 1859 — fifteen years after the 
sale. After buying the ?\funiz claim Benitz refused to pav rent to Sutter but 


remained with his family at Fort Ross till 1867. Afterwards he removed to 
the Argentine Republic, where he died in 1876. In 1859 he sold his claim 
to William Muldrew, George R. Moore and Daniel W. Welty and here began 
the famous "Muldrew litigation," the purchasers basing their case on the 
shadow-title acquired by the Russians froin the Bodega Indian chief. While 
Benitz declined to pay Sutter rental he tried to quiet the Muldrew claim with 
a cash payment of $6,000, and as the other settlers declined to follow his lead, 
it is likely this amount is all that Sutter ever received for his coast princi- 
pality. The District Court finally brushed the Russian title out of existence 
and the great rancho whose price first was three pairs of breeches, three hoes, 
two axes and four strings of beads, second was $30,000 and third and last 
was $6,000, reverted to private life and so ends the Russian history of Sonoma. 



After the discovery of Bodega Bay in 1774 it was thought that that body 
of water extended southeast to San Pablo, making what is now Marin county 
an island. The next year two Spanish officers, Quiros and Canizarez, were 
sent to explore the localit). With their company of soldiers and Indians they 
sailed up a wide, deep slough to a place where the spur of high hills abruptly 
terminates, facing the broad valley and creeks below. This they fittingly named 
■■Punta de los Esteros" Point of the Creeks, and how that title became "Peta- 
luma" the local historians have not determined. It may come from punta de 
los lomas — point of the hills — or as the more classic aver, from the Latin peda 
— foot, or possibly pedra — rock. Others who lean to "home-made" names pro- 
fess a belief in an Indian origin, but as the aborigines in the valley called the 
place "Choculi," and the definition of that word passed away with the tribe, 
the Petalumans will doubtless accept without questioning its derivation the 
easily-pronounced name that has come down to their city — practically the sea- 
port of the count}-. This matter of changeling-names, or nnitilated-titlcs, is a 
sore subject to the writer, native of California, who all his life in this state 
has heard the smoothly flowing Spanish names frequently sacred and ever ap- 
propriate, nasaled and jarred into nondescript sounds, because the American, 
generally, fails to note and appreciate the richly harmonious vocalization of 
the Castillian. 'Tis a pity that less dead, and more of the alive languages are 
not taught in the California schools and colleges. 

The explorers returned from their Petaluma camp reporting that no for- 
eign fleet could reach Yerba Buena from Bodega by way of San Pablo Bay, 
and for forty-eight years the Spanish seemed to have forgotten this portion 
of their territorial claim. In 1821 Governor Sola sent a large expedition under 
command of Luis Arguella up to the Sacramento, which he called "Rio Jesu 
Maria." Near the Oregon line they turned west to the coast, thence south 
through Cloverdale and the Russian River valleys which they called the "Val- 
ley of the Libantiliyami." This is probably the longest piece of travel the 
Spanish ever made in California, and it certainly awoke them to the value of 
the terra incognito north of the great central bays. Not long after this Padre 
Altimira and his company, seeking a new mission site, entered Sonoma Val- 
ley. The route through the range of hills was by way of the Arroyo Pulpula, 
the site of the J. A. Poppe fish ponds. What he saw in the valley can best 
be told in his own words : "Leaving our camp and boat on the slough nearby, 
Vv'c started to explore, directing our course northwestward across the plain 
of Sonoma, until we reached a creek of about five hundred plumas of water, 
crystalline, and most pleasing to the taste, flowing through a grove of beau- 
tiful and useful trees. We went on, penetrating a broad grove of oaks; the 
trees were lofty and robust, offering an external source of utility, both for 
firewood and carriage material. The forest is about three leagues long from 



east tn west and a league and a half wide from north to south. The plain is 
waiereil b\' another arroyo still , more copious and pleasant than the former, 
rtowin.t; from west to east, but traveling northward from the center of the 
plain. The permanent springs, according to the statement of those who have 
seen them in the extreme dry season, are almost innumerable. No one can 
doubt the benignity of the Sonoma climate after noting the plants, the lofty 
and shady trees — alders, poplars, ash. laurel and others — and especially the 
abundance and luxuriance of the wild grapes. We observed also that the 
launch may come up the creek to where a settlement can be founded, truly a 
most convenient circumstance. We saw from these and other facts that Sonoma 
is a most desirable site for a mission." 

That the padre chose wisely the years have fully shown, for that level plain 
is now (ine of the famous vineyard places of the world and contains such 
splendid properties as Carriger, Wratten, Herman, Leavenworth, Craig, 
Hayes. Wohler. Hill, Stewart. Warfield. La Motte, Hood, Kohler, Hooper, 
Morris, Haraszthy, Tichner, Dressel, Gundlach, Snyder, Rufus, Nathanson, the 
hacienda of Lachryma Montis owned by the \allejo family and the Buena Vista 
Vinicultural Society. July 4. 1823, the first services were held on the site of 
Mission San Francisco de Solano, and thereafter no time was lost in building. 
Altimira seems not only to have been a practical manager, but a fiery-zealed 
worker as well. He reports to the Governor at Yerba Buena: "In four days 
we have cut one hundred redwood beams with which to build a granary." The 
first church was 105 feet long, 24 feet wide, built of boards, whitewashed and 
decorated, many articles having lieen donated by the Russians at Ross. This 
was succeeded by a larger adobe church which was destroyed in 1826 by the 
Indians ; the padre making good use of his energies, escaped with his life. While 
he was doing wonders constructing and converting alone in the midst of war- 
ring savages who only tolerated him and his little company because of the 
mild curiosity with which the\- then regarded him and the object of his presence 
there, he had quite a collection of other troubles. In his Paul-like impetuosity 
to get his new mission which was virtually to absorb the establishments at San 
Rafael and San Francisco, he easily procured Governor Arguello's acquies- 
cence, and went ahead while the matter was pending with Sarria, the president 
of the missions. The head of the order refused to discontinue the mission at 
San Rafael and the padre and his president locked horns over the matter with 
the governor, a very much interested spectator. Altimira brought to a standstill 
at Sonoma, insisted that "Mission Dolores was on its last legs and San Rafael 
could not stand alone," and that San Francisco de Solano was the best place in 
California for the purpose, and if he could not do his work there he would 
leave the country. However, the question was settled by the retention of the 
three establishments. 

pi.AXTixr. Till': FAirii .\xn THh: (;kai'I-:s. 

The Sonoma mission thrived during the first ten years, the pioneer vines of 
those great vineyards being planted and a large tract of the valley sown in 
grain. To keep the Indians from stampeding the stock and making bonfires 
of the mission buildings when they wanted a feast and pyrotechnic entertain- 
ment, a garrison from the prc<idio at Yerlia Faicna was stationed at Sonoma. 


Altiniira was succeeded by Padre I'ortuni, followed l.)\' Padre (iniirrrez, who 
was in charge till 1834, the year ol secularization, which may be said to. have 
ended the mission system. Always in need of inoney the Mexican government 
locked with longing gaze at the great herds and countless acres attached to the 
missions, and the officials never hesitated to call on the padres for supplies to eke 
(jul tlieir wretched commissar_\ , and it is likely innumerable government "I O U's" 
are \ et outstanding. While the mission management outwardly took no part in the 
political feuds and changes and internal discords that passed California from a 
kingdom to a republic, to an empire, then back to a republic, with several brief 
independencies between the regimes, it was well known that the padres, for the 
most part natives of Spain, were in sympathy with the mother country. To the 
Mexican republicans this was not in accord with the proper revolutionary spirit 
towards the ancient monarchy over the Atlantic. The Mexican Congress had 
passed a general colonization act which was so liberal and so wise in its pro- 
visions that it caused wonder as to its motives. Governors were authorized 
to grant vacant lands to foreigners as well as citizens, the grants not conflicting 
with prior rights. The lands claimed by the missions were exempt until it 
should be determined whose property they were. All grants must have the 
approval of the territorial legislature. After the colonization act the seculariza- 
tion came as a matter of course. Yet this stripping of the missions, though it 
threw open to settlement practically the State of California, had its precedent in 
the "borrow" — to express it mildly — of the Pious Fund by the Mexican govern- 
ment the year before. This money, grown to $78,000, had reverted to the Fran- 
ciscans when the Jesuit missions were suppressed, and was the desire of all the 
(political) ages of Mexico. It was farmed for the benefit of the always empty 
national treasury, and the monks of St. Francis, who were each to receive four 
hundred dollars annually, got their money only occasionally. However, the 
idea of turning these lands again to government control goes farther back than 
Mexico, as the Spanish Cortes in 1813, burdened with a huge Napoleonic war 
debt, was in favor of secularization of the missions. 

The foregoing in reference to the change in mission management is here 
given because it marks the change of Sonoma from the comparatively quiet 
existence of the priest and his band of neophytes to active life as an integral 
part of a great political state. The padre is the true Spanish pioneer of the 
Pacific wilderness, for alone he blazed the way and others followed. When it 
became known that under the colonization act a company was coming from 
Mexico destined for the Sonoma territory, an elifort was made to prepare places 
for their location. Governor Jose Figueroa, who had received special instruc- 
tions from Mexico, came from Montere\ to personally direct the establishing 
of "a village in the valley of Sonoma." Ten families of the coming colonists 
had agreed to settle at Petaluma and a house was erected at that point and occu- 
pied by several persons. After examining a number of proposed sites the Gov- 
ernor selected a location on Mark West creek in the Santa Rosa valley. The 
land is now owned by Mrs. Harrison Finley. The new town was marked oflf 
into lots, a plaza laid out in the center, and a title for the coming frontier city 
debated upon. These locators all agreed on the name of the president of Mex- 
ico, but they were not sure who then occupied that exalted position. Gomez 
Farias, last accounts, was in the chair, with Santa Ana vice-president, and that 


the arch revolutionist of the much-troubled republic was so menacing to the 
executive that the energetic conspirator might be termed the "near-president." 
So to be safe they called the village in the valley Santa Ana y Farias, and the 
next news from Mexico told of the change they had expected and provided 
for. A number of neophytes from Sonoma were quartered in the rude build- 
ings for a short time, but the place was so unprotected that the\- refused to 
remain, and "Potiquiyomi," as the Indians originally called it, was abandoned. 

Under the governor's instructions of June 24, 1834, M. G. Vallejo, whose 
title translated into English was Military Commandant and Director of Colo- 
nization on the Northern Frontier, laid out the "Pueblo of Sonoma," the first 
ofiScial use of its Indian name, the place heretofore being known by its mission 
title; and by this act virtually passes Sonoma from the ecclesiastical to the 
military and civil rule, although Vallejo did not complete the secularization of 
the Solano Mission property until the following year. In October the Sonoma 
colony under the command of Hijar and Padrez, respectively governor and 
director general of the "Cosmopolitan Company," as the colonization co-opera- 
tion was called, reached Monterey. Misfortune followed closely in their wake, 
for their vessel was wrecked during a violent storm in that bay a few days 
after. She was the historic Natalia, the little brig in which Napoleon escaped 
from Elba, coming back to jar the world again after its hundred days of peace. 
It was afterwards learned that this company was a sort of chartered monopoly 
formed to handle the commerce of the country, and its revenue was to be what 
it could squeeze out of the missions. Even the Natalia was to cost $14,000, 
and be paid for with mission tallow. As is usual m such schemes the colonists 
had been more or less deceived by the promoters, and moreover few of the 
people were fitted for a settlement on the frontier. There were artists, printers 
and music teachers for a land where farmers were in demand ; goldsmiths in a 
country where there was no gold in use ; blacksmiths where there was very 
little iron required ; carpenters where adobe and tile were the principal building 
material needed; painters where nothing was painted; shoemakers where people 
wrapped their feet in rawhide, and tailors where they wore blankets. 


And the missions knowing that their hour was striking declined to furnish 
the price. Instead of turning their property over to the so-called commission- 
ers or agents of the company the ])adres proceeded to realize all they could on 
the mission chattels. Thousands of heads of cattle were slaughtered only for 
the hides, and over the wide plains the coyotes feasted on the carcasses. Admin- 
istrators were appointed for the secularized property and these officials swin- 
dled all parties concerned. What with collected taxes and revenues that never 
got out of the hands of the collectors, neither Spain nor Mexico ever received 
any material profit from California. The territory was a political bull-pen where 
the governor and his officers generally baited one another from one adminis- 
tration to another, with the easy-going, shiftless population caring little for 
the outcome. Spain was disappointed with the country because she found no 
gold therein, and JMexico because of national pride held on to the territory 
till Scott and Taylor had beaten her armies to a standstill. GDvernor Figueroa 
conscientiouslv tried to do his duty and died while in office with no dishonor 


attached to his name. Opposed by the missionaries whose property was pass- 
ing from their possession, worried by tlie Indians who free from the severe 
disciphne of the padres were sHpping back into savagery and threatening to 
become a menace to the white people, harassed by gangs of thieving speculators 
who were taking advantage of the general confusion and alighting on every- 
thing that promised loot, he grew sick and disheartened and his death took 
place at Monterey, September 29. 1835. 



The passing of San Francisco de Solano after a decade of mission life to 
the Pueblo of Sonoma with its ten years of military and civil government pre- 
ceding the raising of the Bear Flag over the plaza, introduces a man whose 
splendid personality is stamped on every league of these vegas and mesas — 
Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. Flijo del Pais — son of the soil — was he, and alike 
under king, emperor or president was true to the land of his birth. Though a 
Californian and sharing with other natives a natural distrust of strangers Val- 
lejo possessed an admiration and sincere friendship for the Americans, and 
received them kindly even when his superiors demanded the expulsion of the 
dangerous foreigners. Though his patriotism was never doubted he coun- 
seled annexation to the United States when he saw that Mexico had no gov- 
ernment nor protection for California. His appointment in 1835 as military 
comandante and civil commissionado of the northern district proved to be a 
selection so wise that it stands out in relief from among the official blunders 
of early California's history, and during his ten years of almost autocratic rule 
at Sonoma it is seen that he governed with rare justice and practical common 
sense. Vallejo was born in Monterey, July 7, 1808, the eighth in a family of 
thirteen children, his father being Don Ignacio Vincente Vallejo, and the mother 
Maria Antonia Lugo, both members of distinguished Spanish families. During 
his youth he was a cadet in the' territorial army and a friend and comrade of 
General Castro and Governor Arguello. He was an earnest student and early 
acquired a fund of knowledge that fitted him to take a prominent part in and 
to a considerable extent, shape political affairs of the territory, especially during 
the critical time just prior to the American occupation. When California passed 
away from Mexico M. G. Vallejo was in all probability the first and best Mex- 
ican citizen within her borders; and when the red, white and blue of America 
took the place of the red, white and green of Mexico he was still of the best of 
California's citizens. Tall and erect, with a distinguished military bearing, 
and with grace of gesture and manner inherent from birth and breeding, an 
easy and fluent speaker in English, though learned late in life, charming with 
the strength of purpose and the seriousness of diction, filled with the chivalry 
of the past day when Spanish knighthood was in flower, was General Vallejo. 
While at Sonoma, 1840 and 1845, large companies of American immigrants 
came through the jnicblo, and though he was constantly "nagged" by his gov- 
ernment to drive the foreigners out of the country the comandante disobeyed 
orders and humanely treated the strangers. There is no doubt that Vallejo's 
gentle methods in dealing with the savage Indians surrounding him, his discre- 
tion in the management of his military affairs and his practical statesmanship 
making for the much-needed change of flags, proved him to be a greater man, 
a man more deserving of appreciation than any other within the limits of the 
territory — and it may be said in truth — deserving of more appreciation than 


lie receiveil. The following summary of his speech before the junta at Mon- 
terey, April, 1846. when affairs were approaching such a crisis that even Gov- 
ernor Pio Pico advocated annexation to France or England as an escape from 
"that mock republic Mexico," as he rather disloyally called his political mother- 
superior, or "that perfidious people," the Yankees, may be given here as it shows 
the sterling make-up of the man : 


"1 cannot, gentlemen, coincide with the military functionaries who have 
advocated the cessation of our country to France or England. It is most true 
that to rely any longer on Mexico to govern and defend us would be idle and 
absurd. To this extent I fully agree with my colleagues. It is also true that 
we possess a noble country, every way calculated, from position and resources, 
to become great and powerful. For that reason I would not have her a mere 
dependency on a foreign monarch, naturally alien, or at least indifferent to our 
interests and our welfare. It is not to be denied that feeble nations have in 
former times thrown themselves upon the protection of their powerful neigh- 
bors. The Britons invoked the aid of the warlike Saxons and fell an easy prey 
to their protectors who seized their lands and treated them like slaves. Long 
before that time, feeble and distracted provinces had appealed for aid to the 
all-conquering arms of imperial Rome, and they were at the same time pro- 
tected and subjugated by their grasping ally. Even could we tolerate the idea 
of dependence, ought we to go to distant Europe for a master? What pos- 
sible sympathy could exist between us and a nation separated from us by two 
vast oceans? But waiving this insuperable objection, how could we endure 
to come under the dominion of a monarchy. For, although others speak lightlx 
of a form of government, as a freeman I cannot do so. We are republicans — 
badly governed and badly situated as we are — still we are all, in sentiment, 
republicans. " So far as we are governed at all, we at least do profess to be 
self-governed. Who, then, that possess true patriotism will consent to subject 
himself and his children to the caprices of a foreign king and his official min- 
ions? But it is asked, if we do not throw ourselves upon the protection of 
France and England, what shall we do? I do not come here to support the 
existing order of things, but I come prepared to propose instant and efFecti\e 
action to extricate our country from her present forlorn condition. My opin- 
ion is made up that we must persevere in throwing off the galling yoke of 
Mexico, and proclaim our independence of her forever. W'e have endured her 
official cormorants and her villainous soldiery until we can endure no longer. 
All will probably agree with me that we ought at once to rid ourselves of what 
may remain of Mexican domination. But some profess to doubt our ability to 
maintain our position. To my mind there comes no doubt. Look at Texas and 
see how long she withstood the power of united Mexico. The resources of 
Texas were not to be compared with ours, and she was so much nearer her 
enemy than we are. Our position is so remote, either by land or sea, that we 
are in no danger of Alexican invasion. Why, then, should we hesitate still to 
assert our independence? We have indeed taken the first step by electing our 
own governor, but another remains to be taken. I will mention it plainly and 
ili'itinctlv — it is annexation to the United States. In contemplating this con- 


summation of our destiny, I feel notliing but pleasure and I ask you to share it. 
Discard old prejudices, discard old customs, and prepare for the glorious change 
that awaits our country. Why should we shrink from incorporating ourselves 
with the happiest and freest nation in the world, destined soon to be the most 
wealthy and powerful? Why should we go abroad for protection when this 
great nation is our adjoining neighbor? When we join our fortunes to hers, 
we shall not become subjects, but fellow-citizens, possessing all the rights of 
the people of the United States, and choosing our own federal and local rulers. 
We shall have a stable government and just laws. California will grow strong 
and flourish, and her people will be prosperous, happy and free. Look not, 
therefore, with jealousy upon the hardy pioneers who scale our mountains and 
cultivate our unoccupied plains ; but rather welcome them as brothers, who come 
to share with us a common destiny." 

Here stood this young California patriot and in his plea for his country 
he uttered the sentiments of Patrick Henry so often heard around the world; 
and while the junta did not act upon the suggested annexation to the United 
States, the proposed European protectorate matter was heard no more and the 
French and English representatives perforce accepted Vallejo's answer as the 
answer, and in a few months Commodore Sloat's guns were commanding Mon- 
terey and virtually all California. This digression and advancement out of 
chronological order to a period when the internal dissension and mismanage- 
ment of Mexican officials were ending, exhibits General Vallejo's part in the 
last act of that discordant drama. The final ten years of Mexico in Sonoma — 
and in California as well — must necessarily be largely of his acts as the coman- 
dante of that most important military post. Three times he took part in revo- 
lution against Mexico, in 1832-36-45, and the revolutionists won each time, 
but the successive governors they recognized alwa}s managed to get themselves 
in turn recognized by the Mexican government, in consequence of which mat- 
ters would drop back into the old rut. There is little wonder that Vallejo 
at Sonoma found his grandiloquent title of Military Comandante and Director 
of Colonization on the Northern Frontier, burdensome and occasionally asked 
to be relieved. And when the Bear Flag people did relieve him of further 
participation in Mexican affairs it was likely to him a relief indeed. 

General Vallejo began his official duties at Sonoma under the following 
order of Governor Figueroa : 


Monterey, June 24, 1835. 
Don M. G. Vallejo, Military Comandante : 

In conformity with orders and instructions issued h\ the Supreme Con- 
federation respecting the location of a village in the Valley of Sonoma, this 
comandancy urges upon you that, according to topographical plan of this place, 
it be divided into quarters or squares, seeing that the streets and plazas be 
regulated so as to make a beginning. The inhabitants are to be governed 
entirely by said plan. This government and comandancy approves entirely of 
the lines designed by you for outlets — recognizing as the property of the vil- 
lage and public lands and privileges, the boundaries of Petaluma, Agua Cal- 
iente, Rancho de Huichica, Lena de Sur, Salvador, Vallejo and La Vernica, 


on the north of the city of Sonoma, as the hmits of its property, rights and 
privileges — requesting that it shall be commenced immediately around the hill, 
where the fortification is to be erected, to protect the inhabitants from incur- 
sions of the savages and all others. In order that the building lots granted by 
you, as the person charged with colonization, may be fairly portioned, you will 
divide each square (manzana) into four parts, as well for the location of each 
as to interest persons in the planting of kitchen gardens, so that everyone 
shall have a hundred yards, more or less, which the government deems suffi- 
cient; and further, lots of land may be granted of from one hundred and fifty 
to two hundred yards, in opening for outlets, for other descriptions of tillage, 
subject to the laws and regulations on the subject, in such manner that at all 
times the municipality shall possess the legal title. 

This government and comandancy-general oflFers you thanks for your efforts 
in erecting this new city, which will secure the frontier of the republic, and is 
confident that you will make new efforts for the national entirety. 

"God and Liberty." 

Jose Figueroa. 




After laying out Pueblo Sonoma in accordance with the governor's care- 
ful instructions, Vallejo completed the secularization of the Mission Solano. 
With the distribution of the movable propert)- to them, the Indians generally 
returned to their rancherias, and the mission community having no legal exist- 
ence settled down into the status of a parish, though administrators were ap- 
pointed by the governor to attend to the disposal of the lands claimed by the 
institutions. Presently the ex-neophytes, in consequence of troubles with the 
hostile Indians, or "gentiles," as they were distinguished from the christianized 
natives, placed much of their livestock in the care of General Vallejo. Though 
the comandante's position as custodian of private property was not recognized 
by law it seems that he accepted that duty and faithfully cared for the herds 
of his red proteges for their benefit and protection and for the common good 
of the community. As this resulted in gain rather than loss to the livestock 
the wisdom of the choice and management is manifest. The comandante not 
only cared for the property that had been distributed to the Indians, but he 
tried to keep them in some kind of order and government around the mission, 
knowing that only within the influence of that institution backed by the mili- 
tary for emergencies could the natives be kept under that mild discipline that 
would make them useful to the community and useful in themselves. Gen- 
eral Vallejo would have established another — the twent\--econd — mission farther 
north, as he was wealthy and powerful enough to ha\e endowed it with a 
good-sized rancho, but the ecclesiastical power.s of the territory were discour- 
aged, and the military man's missionary plan got no further than a plan. 

The ex-mission convert reverting toward the original moral type soon 
became a mission-memory, and this was inevitable. Much unjust denunciation 
has been lavished upon the disestablishment of the missions, hut this has come 
from writers whose sentimental flights led them awa\ from the original pur- 
pose of the missions, and the causes of their ending. Those institutions, as 
christianizers and civilizers of the California aborigines, were doomed long- 
before the Spanish Cortes in 1813 passed but did not enforce the decree of 
secularization, and before the Mexican Congress in 1833 brought about the 
same enactment, for early in their history it was seen b\ intelligent Spanish 
officers that the missions could not make the Indians self-supporting citizens, 
and that the mere herding of them on the great mission tracts of land — taking 
about one thousand acres to support one Indian — was only maintaining them 
in a dependency, a servitude which doubtless was mild enough for his per- 
sonal comfort but did not lift him out of the low plane of ages. The Spanish 
Governor Borica, in 1876, said: "According to the laws the natives are to 
be free from tutelage at the end of ten years, the missions then becoming doc- 
trinaires, but those of New California, at the rate they are advancing, will not 
reach the goal in ten centuries ; the reason God knows, and men, too, know 


somtthing aljoul it." Utticial investigation several times during tiie decades 
of mission life showed that very few of the neophytes could read or had any 
literar) knowledge whatever beyond the simplest church service. Also, the 
general assembling of the Indians in and at the missions, however sanitary the 
change from the white man"s viewpoint, wrought disastrously in the end. The 
mission managers coukl not unilerstand the fatality of housing the Indians, 
and could not overcome the natural apathy of the native to anything remotely 
resembling hygiene, and the losses from disease were greater than gains from 
all sources. In a comparatively few \ears the missions would have been de- 
populated. Moreover, Spain when she established and foisted and protected 
the missions, also provided for their final secularization, as the following in- 
structions given \'iceroy Bucarili August 17, 1773, to the comandante at San 
Diego and Monterey. 

"Article 15, when it shall happen that a mission is to be formed into a 
pueblo or village, the comandante shall proceed to reduce it to the civil and 
economical government, which, according to the laws, is observed by other 
villages of this kingdom." Other sections of the Cortes decree provided that 
'the secular clergy should attend to the spiritual wants of these newly formed 
curacies," and that "the missionary monks relieved from the converted settle- 
ments shall proceed to the conversion of other heathen." 


The Mexican congress twenty years after followed closely the decree of 
the Cortes in a practical and humane distribution of a half of the lands and 
other property to the Indians who had for years assisted in the accumulation 
of this w^ealth. To protect him against himself the neophyte by law was pre- 
vented from selling, mortgaging or in any way disposing of the land or cattle 
given him. The other half of the mission holdings were for the pobladores — 
colonists- -the urgent need of whom at last Mexico became conscious, and 
whom that government tried to encourage just previous to the time the United 
States took the whole proposition into her own hands. The padre's vast ranchos 
were soon covered by the big government grants and the colonist who was to 
receive a tidy little farm and many other gifts out of the mission treasury, w-as 

Added to these disagreeable features, Jose Maria Hijar, the chief pro- 
moter of the enterprise, landed into tmuliles of his own when he landed here. 
He was a man of means and some eminence in ^lexico and if permitted might 
have carried his colonization scheme to some success, but among a people 
where every person watched some other with fear and distrust, official or pri- 
vate interference was to be expected. When Hijar left Mexico he had in his 
pocket his appointment to no less ofifice than that of Governor of Upper Cali- 
fornia, signed by President Farias. Shortly after the new appointee's departure. 
Vice President Santa Ana, with the promptitude of politicians in Spanish Amer- 
ica, chased his superior out of the republic and proceeded to revoke that ex- 
official's work. A horseman rode from IMexico to Monterey in forty days, 
heating Hijar and his company by sea, and when the new governor arrived 
he w-as again just a plain citizen. Governor Figueroa sent the colony to So- 
noma, where the families were located by the comandante on the pueblo lots, 
but among the leaders there were dissensions and disagreements which but for 


the strong hand of Vallejo would have broken out in open rebelHon. As it 
'vas, several of the adherents of Hijar went down to Los Angeles, where they 
soon had an active revolt under way — revolutions were easy and frequent in 
Los Angeles during the Spanish and Mexican periods. However, the Hijar 
insurrection subsided that same afternoon and the governor — on paper — was 

The colony plan of populating the territory with desirable Mexican citi- 
zens, as well as the building of the "city" in the Santa Rosa valley having been 
abandoned, Comandante Vallejo at Sonoma found himself — for about ten years 
— a very busy official. He had the lately mission-emancipated neophytes — about 
as helpless as children — with their property to look after, also the Indians of 
his military district who had never received any mission-taming, and were 
ready at any hour to rush him and his corporal's guard of soldiers out of 
the country. With the home-seeking colonists from Mexico, bands of Amer- 
ican immigrants were finding their way into the fertile Sonoma valleys, though 
he repeatedly had been ordered by his superiors to prevent this "lawless in- 
vasion." This Spanish characteristic order, utterly absurd as well as impos- 
sible of compliance, Vallejo did not even pretend to obey, and he was too strong 
in territorial politics to be molested. So he kept his pueblo of four leagues 
square in peace while the cheap "rebellions" of wrangling officials were troub- 
ling the country from San Diego to Monterey. In the corps of the Native Sons 
and Daughters of the Golden West may be found the names of descendants 
of the following settlers who drifted into Sonoma county during "35 and '45 : 
Mariano G. and Salvador \'allejo ; Julio, Joaquin and Ramon Carrillo : Rafael 
Garcia ; Ignacio and Pablo Pacheco ; Nazario and Francisco Berryessa ; Felipe 
and Lazaro Peiia ; Manuel Vaca : Domingo Suenz ; Gregorio Briones ; Juan 
Aliranda; Marcos and Cayetano Juarez: Bartolo Bojorques; Francisco Duarte ; 
Fernando Felix ; Rosalino Olivera ; Victor Prudon ; George Yount ; John Wil- 
son ; James Scott; Mark West; J. B. R. Cooper: Edward Manuel Mcintosh; 
James Black; Edward Bale; James Dawson and Timothy Murphy. General 
Vallejo in 1832 married Francesca Benicia Carrillo, one of the daughters of 
Joaquin Carrillo, and three prominent gringo pioneers of Sonoma, Henry D. 
Fitch, Jacob P. Leese and Juan B. Cooper, married sisters of Senora Vallejo. 
With these stalwart Yankee brothers-in-law as neighbors one may readily see 
where the Comandante got his high opinion of the Americanos del Norte. 


The Carrillos were prominent among the old California families, settling 
first at Santa Barbara. Jose Antonio Carrillo seems to have been the "states- 
man" of the south and as such took an active part in the "capitol city" and 
other contests that kept the two ends of the state in constant wrangle. Los 
Angeles, the hot-bed of political dissension, and San Diego were geographically 
mated, and the combination could always be counted upon opposing Monterey — • 
if they were not too busy opposing each other. San Francisco in those days 
had not reached a chief-city importance, so the "capitol" pendulum swung up 
and down the state— even after the Americans "came," till it finally stood sta- 
tionary on the Rio Sacramento. In 1835 Jose Antonio Carrillo as territorial 
delegate to the Mexican Congress lobbied through that body the decree making 


Los Angeles the capital city. Jose appears to have cut a pretty wide swath 
that session in Mexico, for next year it was learned that he had persuaded 
Presidente Bustamente to appoint his brother, Carlos Carrillo, governor of Cali- 
fornia. This pleased the Angelenos, because with a governor within their gates 
thev could humiliate Monterey. But Monterey was well supplied with gov- 
ernors that year. Governor Figueroa's death left Alta California legally in 
the hands of the diputacion or territorial legislature, of which Jose Carrillo 
was the presiding officer, but being a congressional delegate in Mexico, Jose 
Castro, another member, assumed the governship pro tern. The diputacion 
then decided to meet at Monterey. 


Four pro tem. governors passed through the office tiuring the next nine 
months, and after the last one had been shipped back to ?^fexico. General Jose 
Castro and Juan Bautista Alvarado, a customs clerk and a man of considera- 
ble ability, started a full grown revolution. The diputacion declared El Estado 
Libre de Alta California — The Free State of Upper California — forever inde- 
pendent, and arraigned Mexico for crimes that made the acts of George III 
of Great Britain seem lamb-like in comparison. Then California had two gov- 
ernors, and as Me.xico had revolutions of her own at home, she let the new- 
free state work out its own salvation, — and back into the Mexican confedera- 
tion. Afifairs were somewhat mixed. Governor Alvarado of the north was the 
nephew of Governor Carlos Carrillo of the south and Los Angeles was for 
anybody who made that city his residence. That civic peculiarity yet may be 
observed in Los Angeles. General Castro's army of one hundred Californians 
made an imposing array on parade, but his fighting force consisted of fifty 
American riflemen under the command of a Tennesseean named Isaac Graham. 
It is not known that these men did any fighting during that campaign, but as it 
was known in both gubernatorial departments that they could and would shoot 
to kill, their mere presence on the field won the battle. Although Governor 
Carrillo and his brother, the member to Congress, were from Santa Barbara, 
that pueblo in its turn got up a revolt and he sent troops to punish the rebels, 
but this force was badly used up by Pio Pico, his brother-in-law. This sent 
his southern excellency scurrying out of Los Angeles and as far away as San 
Diego. A number of his friends did not get out in time and were caught by 
the northern governor, who sent them up to Sonoma, where Vallejo could 
keep them in seclusion for a few months, which he did although they were the 
adherents of Seiiora Vallejo's gubernatorial kinsman. 

Alvarado's subjugation of the southerners progressed smoothly. When- 
ever Graham's riflemen showed up before a rebellious city, that rebellion was 
over and the ayuntamiento, or city council, would issue a voluble pronuncia- 
mento in which detestation for Mexico and veneration for a "hijo del pais" 
(son of the country) in the governor's chair were pretty well mixed. Finally 
Carrillo fell into the hands of his "arribefio" (upper) rival, and Alvarado, like 
a kind nephew, turned his captive over to his aunt, who assured him that she 
would keep el tio — the uncle — out of politics and otherwise be responsible for 
his behavior. Sefiora Carrillo seems to have been a woman of power and 
influence, at least in her own home at Santa Barbara, as she kept her word. 



which was more than did the city of Los Angeies. That place with San Diego 
so annoyed Alvarado with their intrigues and plots that he passed the word 
down the coast that if they did not behave themselves he would shoot ten of 
their leading men. As he had this number in the Castillo at Sonoma with the 
key safe in Comandante Vallejo's pocket, the Angelenos and the San Diegos 
quickly concluded that Alvarado could and would do what he threatened, and 
he had no further trouble with them. But the free and sovereign days of 
Alta California were numbered. Some months before this .'Mvarado had 
reached the conclusion that an independent state containing a contentious pop- 
ulation and menaced by a foreign immigration could not exist. He had quietly 
"explained" to Mexico and had taken the oath of allegiance to the constitu- 
tion of 1836, and in return for handing California back to the Supreme Gov- 
ernment of Mexico, he was appointed governor. As either a salve for his 
wounded dignity or for a place of exile, the ex-governor was given the Island 
of Santa Rosa in the Santa Barbara Channel. On this western Elba, or St. 
Helena, Don Carlos Carrillo, like another Napoleon, settled down on his sea- 
girt rancho and as a typical Californian let his todays slip into the "mananas." 
Considerable space is here given to the Carrillo name because of the part 
played by members of that family not only in the lower portion of the state, 
but later in Sonoma ; in connection with M. G. Vallejo, also with the settle- 
ment of the Santa Rosa valley. This digression into general history shows 
how Sonoma county on the northern frontier of the Mexican dominion played 
her role in the final act of Spain in the Calif ornias. Sonoma is the last set- 
tlement of the Spanish crown in America if not in the world, and is the last 
colonv from Mexico in California, hence the story of this county must carry 
much of the general history of the state. 




At this period in the tale, when Alexico. is moving in battle-array to meet 
her great northern neighbor, and California with the tide is drifting in the 
same direction, a chapter may be given on life among the earlier native sons 
and daughters of the golden west, El hijos y la hijas del pais of Spanish blood, 
the mild and easy-going people who found on this mild and sunny coast a 
fitting and ideal place of existence. Methods and manners in the new Pueblo 
of Sonoma, just coming into civic life under the fatherly care of Comandante 
Vallejo, may be described as a fair sample of life in all California towns. Madre 
Spain gave her municipalities a government that smacked strongly of maternal- 
ism, but it was a system that suited her simple and kindly people. In the haci- 
endas and out on the ranches the later-coming Anglo-Saxon found these milder 
Iberians, and took advantage of them. The North American in California 
survived and it was a survival of the fittest, not always of the best. We 
forced Mexico into a war. well knowing that our armies would be in her cap- 
ital in a few months, and because our pro-slavery politicians were calling for 
more territory. Only in the southwestern corner of the continent was the land 
then wanted, and our neighbor republic had to be whipped into gift giving. 
And a little more delay might have let France or England into Monterey and 
have given us a harder task to whip those settlers out. 

The adobe, in which the Spanish colonist housed himself, was not a thing 
of exquisite beauty, in fact it was not anything but a structure exceedingly 
ugly, but it was easily built and comfortable when occupied. There was no 
ornamentation without or within; but little variety, and while every man was his 
own architect and builder he "architected" and built like his neighbor. Some 
of the mission churches were imposing, while others, like the heavy dwellings 
of the people around them, were massed-up outside of every known rule of 
architecture. The Indian generally was the builder. He soon learned to cast 
the big clumsy, mud bricks, sun-drying them first on one side and then on 
the other and mud-plastering the hard cakes into walls. He was a fairly good 
workman — fairly good for that California day — and not difficult to herd onto 
his job. Plenty of carne for him when the vaqueros rode in with a fat steer, 
and a little, just a little, vino from the mission vineyard to wash the meal 
down. He never struck for higher wages, because he never received any 
wages. The white man who taught him a new tongue took care that the word 
"wages" didn't get into it. Probably he was as well off, herded with the other 
livestock of the haciendas, as he would have been running free and rounding 
up the sprightly grasshopper on the golden summer hills. From dirt-floor to 
tile-roof in the big houses there was so little wood or any combustible that the 
fire insurance business was the last thing that got over the mountains into 
California, and a full-fledged, active agent would have been considered fit for 
treason, stratagem and for spoils. ( )nl} the aristocrats could indulge in board- 


floors. A description of the gubernatorial mansion in ^lonterey in 1814 says 
it was floored in wood, its front door was rawhide and wooden-barred windows 
let in the sunshine and air. The front and the upper story, if la casa had 
such, were the quarters for the don and his family, which was generally a 
large one, and the other portions of the hacienda were for the ranch herders, 
house servants and the retainers and hangers-on around the place. These 
latter were Indians, mixed-breeds and world-tramps of an unknown moral 
quality. The Spanish-Californian was kind to his pensioners. Doubtless often 
in their numbers and uselessness he found them a never-ending nuisance, but 
while he had a league of rancho left or a head of cattle straying over it he 
shared with them. 

The wheat lands did not then produce as they did later under the plow 
of the gringo, but there was plenty of tortillas— thin cakes beaten into shape 
by hand and baked before the fire, — eaten at every meal. Out under a convenient 
tree, in the clear, dry air where it would keep fresh till the knife got it all, 
hung a carcass of beef, and when that was gone to the chile-con-carne pot, 
there was more on-hoof in the wild-oats on the hills. The bean — pabulum of 
the Bostonese and the proletariat — was the chief of the rancho vegetable gar- 
den; and the gaudy red-pepper — never absent from any table or dish — grew 
between bean-rows. Coffee — when the ships brought it in, — and wine — in the 
Sonoma and Santa Clara valleys where the grapes grew — for the padron's 
table ; and water, generally, for the others. Wliile the plains were covered 
with cattle, milk and butter were unknown on a Calif ornian's bill-of-fare. It 
was the enterprising Yankee here who went into the dairy business with the 
Spanish cow. Some of the missions had orchards hedged by willows and 
cactus, but tree-culture had little part in the early civilization of the country. 
Shade-trees, except on the alamedas along the roads leading to the churches 
or places of public resort, were not in favor. In those days when the noble 
oaks, the madrona or mother-tree, the peerless redwood or pine, the classic 
laurel, the wide-leafed maple and other princely growths made California a 
great natural garden, artificial planting was not necessary. That was to come 
when the ax and saw furthered the work of destruction among our groves — 
"God's first temples.'" 


A civic government in Spanish dominion was simply and wisely handled. 
It consisted of the ayuntamiento (junta) or council, and its members were one 
or two alcaldes (mayors or judges), two or four regidores (councilmen) and 
a procurador-syndico (treasurer). The alcaldes were the presidents of the 
council. The syndico was not only the custodian of the pueblo coin, but he 
was tax-collector, city attorney, and a number of other useful and industrious 
things — for all of which he got no salary. The care of the town money was 
generally the lightest of his official duties, as taxation and expenditures were 
in constant competition for the lowest point in the town business. Most of 
the cooking was done in outdoor kitchens or ovens, consequently there were 
no flues nor chimneys in the walls to keep the fire department busy. The 
water utility was a well in the plaza where the senoras met with their ollas or 
water-jars, and the street lighting consisted of a lantern hung before the door 


from twilight to bedtime — or until the candle burned out. Street work was 
confined to occasional digging or shoveling before one's own premises. No 
member of the ayuntamiento was salaried — the ofHce in those days sought the 
man, and held him after it found him. And as he was a sturdy old don, inclined 
to keep the municipal coin-sack tied up with a rawhide riata, there was no 
civic grafting in those adobe pueblos "before the gringo came." The few 
soldiers or a volunteer, unpaid night-watch did the policing of the town or 
village. The area of an official pueblo was four square Spanish leagues or about 
twenty-seven square miles, in square or rectangular form. The lands were 
laid out in town lots, grain lands, public pasture lands, vacant commons, muni- 
cipal lands the rental of which went to defray public expenses, and unappro- 
priated royal lands, also used for raising revenue. As under Mexican domina- 
tion in California no tax was levied on land and improvements, the municipal 
funds of the pueblos were obtained from revenues on wine and brandy ; from 
the licenses of saloons and other business houses ; from the tariff on imports ; 
from ball and dance permits ; from the tax on bull-rings and cock-pits ; and 
from petty court fines. Then, men paid for their vice and pleasure ami the 
money was put to good use. The following from Professor J. M. Guinn's 
excellently written California history, from which this writer has gleaned many 
paragraphs of valuable information, will give an idea of municipal economy 
in the ante-golden times. "In the early '40s the city of Los Angeles claimed 
a population of two thousand, yet the municipal revenues rarely exceeded 
$1,000 a year. With this small amount the authorities ran a city government 
and kept out of debt, but at that time it cost little to run a city. There was 
no army of high-salaried officials with a horde of political heelers quartered 
on the municipality and fed from the public crib at the expense of the taxpayer. 
Politicians then may have been no more conscientious than now, but where 
there was nothing to steal there was no stealing. The alcaldes and other city 
fathers put no temptation in the way of the politicians, and thus kept them 
reasonably honest, or at least they kept them from plundering the tax payers 
by the simple expedient of having no tax payers." 


The judiciary was as simple as the legislative. Among the Spanish pio- 
neers of Alta California, there were few breaches of law, and virtually no 
crime. The courts weighed the old. old questions of right and wrong, and 
not the verbal formation of a law term, and Spanish justice was not lost under 
American technicalities. There were few law libraries in California, and writ- 
ten statutes were vet in the future. Minor offenses and actions involving less 
than one hundred dollars were examined and decided by the alcalde, while 
cases of more weight or importance were passed up to the district or supreme 
courts. Either party could demand a jury, and as this body of three or five 
persons was always picked from the best and most intelligent citizens of the 
pueblo, the cases went through the court unhampered by wrangling lawyers 
and archaic rules of procedure. The jurisdiction of an ayuntamiento might be 
confined to a small village or a county, and its authority was often as extensive 
as its jurisdiction. Its members serving without pay were liable to fine for non- 
attendance, and resignations were difficult. Even under the government of 


a Spanish king, three-quarters of a century ago. CaHfornia had the referendum. 
When a question of importance was before the ayuntamiento and there was a 
division in opinion, the alarma pubHca bell was rung and ever\- citizen gathered 
immediately at the assembly hall. Those who failed without reason were fined 
$3. Then and there the public by the simple raising of hands voted and decided 
the question, ."^ome of the town ordinances were unique, but seemed to have 
filled the bill even though they often appeared to regulate the social as well 
as the civic functions of the pueblo. From an old municipal record it may 
be read that "All individuals serenading promiscuously around the streets of 
the city at night without having first obtained permission from the alcalde 
will be fined $1.50 for the first oflfense, $3 for the second offense, and for the 
third punished according to law." That third "law" punishment must haye 
been too fierce for a written municipal ordinance. A Los Angeles ordinance 
threatened: "Every person not having any apparent occupation in this city 
or its jurisdiction is hereby ordered to look for work within three days, count- 
ing from the day this ordinance is published; if not complied with he will be 
fined $2 for the first oflfense, $4 for the second oflfense, and will be given 
compulsory work for the third." It is evident these old-time city fathers 
intended to be severe in tramp-treatment, but it would be a simple-minded 
vagrant of an}- age that could not dodge those penalties. Just keep "a-lookin' 
and no fine, no work." 


Some of these judicial alcaldes — many of them Americans — frequently handed 
down judgment as rare as the finding of an eastern cadi. A Sonoma woman 
complained to the alcalde that her husband, who was something of a musician, 
persisted in serenading another woman, and his honor ordered the accused into 
court. There was nothing in the city ordinances touching the playing of musical 
instruments, but the wise judge looked beyond the law and saw the fellow and 
his guitar at the disjjosal of ihe wrong woman, and his honor trusted that 
insjiiratidn would lead him to an equitable adjustment of the matter. The 
man was sternly directed to play for the court the air he had played for the 
too-fascinating senora, and after he had nervously done so was fined $2 by the 
local Solomon on the ground that music so poor could only be a disturl>ance of 
the peace. 

Occasionall\- the padres got into the city ordinances measures tinctured 
like unto a Connecticut statute. Monterey in 1816 had a blue law which ordered 
that "all persons must attend mass and respond in a loud voice, and if any 
person should fail to do so without good cause he shall be put in the stocks 
for three hours." It is presumable that the good father found the attendance 
at church dropping oflf and took this means of reminding the unfaithful of their 
backsliding. However, there is no record that any of them ever got into the 
stocks or found the parishional regulations unreasonably severe. Tenacious 
of their ecclesiastical authority and constantly clashing with the military who 
were not loth to start "an argument" the Spanish priests maintained a very 
mild spiritual dominion over the Californians. Possibly a place where nature 
casts her gifts so lavish!}, and where heaven sends a benediction in every sun- 
ra} and rain-drop, cannot be governed with creed-charts. 


These padres in their strong opposition lo a non-Konian Catholic society 
laid the ban of the church on marriage between foreigners and native women. 
Rut dogma was no barrier to the pioneer American when he found one of the 
many comely seiioritas willing to annex him to the Republic of Mexico, and to 
her fair self. Generally the priest was willing to baptize the gringo convert and 
then marry him to the local maiden, but occasionally something would appear 
to delay the "yoking of the daughters of the land with unbelievers," or at 
least with husbands whose new profession was of more sentiment than spirit- 


One of these cases was the runaway sea-voyage and wedding of Captain 
and Mrs. Henry D. Fitch, well known residents of Healdsburg, and original 
grantees of the Sotoyome (48,836-acres) tract in Mendocino and Russian River 
townships. The fact that the heroine of this bit of early California romance 
was Doiia Josefa Carrillo, a member of the noted family of that name, also 
a sister of Senora \'allcjo, makes the story of lively interest. It was at San 
Diego where Captain Enrique Fitch, as the Californians called this marine 
Lochinvar, met the young daughter of Don Joaquin Carrillo. He was not of 
her religion nor nationality, but faith and the flag follow love, and the dashing 
Xew Bedford sailor was willing and even anxious to be naturalized — baptized 
— or martyrized, if necessary. The priest received Fitch into the church but 
was afraid to perform the marriage ceremony in his own parish, though he 
olTered to go with the young couple to some other country and there marry 
them. At this critical point Dona Josefa straightened out the tangle by sug- 
gesting, "Why don't you carry me oiT, Don Enrique?" This was enough for 
the Captain, and the next night she was taken secretly from her father's house 
by her cousin, Don Pio Pico, afterwards governor of the state. As Joaquin 
Carrillo already possessed three American sons-in-law, it may be understood 
that he complacently looked the other way while his last daughter was annex- 
ing a foreign husband. Pico on his horse conveyed the lady to the bay shore 
where she embarked. Captain Fitch received his Josephine, and his vessel, 
like a "Pinafore," sailed away for Valparaiso, where they were married. When 
they returned from South America he was arrested at Monterey on complaint 
of Padre Sanchez of San Gabriel, and his wife was placed in the custody of her 
brother-in-law, Captain Cooper. Governor Echeandia, who w-as not on the best 
of terms with the ecclesiastical powers of the territory, finally released Mrs. 
Fitch, but the investigation of the Captain's "heinous conduct" dragged on for 
months, Sanchez even contemplating making the governor a party to the crime. 
After all the points of clerical law were discussed the priestly authorities 
decided that the Valparaiso marriage was not legitimate but was valid, and 
the couple were condemned to present themselves in church with lighted candles 
in their hands to hear mass for three feast day.s, and to recite together for thirty 
days one-third of the rosary of the hoh' virgin. In addition to these joint 
penances Vicar Sanchez inflicted the following penalty: "Yet considering the 
great scandal which Don Enrique has caused in this province I condemn him 
to give as penance and reparation a bell of at least fifty pounds in weight for 
the church at Los Angeles, which barely has a borrowed one." There is no 
doubt that Don Enrif|ue, like a good churchman, did penance — till lie got to the 


bell — for it is of record that long after the couple settled in Sonoma the church 
at Los Angeles was without its gift. 


While in officialdom change followed change, often with remarkable rapid- 
ity for a people of such characteristic slowness, down in the rank and file of 
California there was "never an)' hurry." Within the big adobes there was the 
same roominess, the same simplicity in furnishings and on the great ranchos 
the same old slipshod methods from year to year. The rough table, a few 
rawhide-bottom chairs, a bench or two along the wall, in the bedrooms chests 
for the family finery, a rude shrine or a cheap picture of the family saint, and 
these were the general arrangements of the dwellings from San Diego to 
Sonoma. While the Spaniard and all his race is dressy, he is loath to change 
the style of his fine feathers, consequently the grandfather's hat or coat could 
pass through the third generation. The weakness of "fashion" was one failing 
the early Calif ornian did not have. That small vanity came in with the Ameri- 
can. Yet they dressed well and often richly; sometimes a don would be arrayed 
in a thousand dollars' worth of apparel — a princely sum and suit for that day. 
His shirt would be silk beautifully embroidered and a white jaconet cravet tied 
in a tasteful bow, a blue damask vest and over this a bright green cloth jacket 
with large silver buttons. Up to 1834 he would be wearing the knee breeches 
or short clotlies of the last century, but after that he would be clad in the 
calzoneras the Hi jar colonists brought from Mexico. These were long panta- 
loons, with the outside seam open throughout the length of each leg and on 
these seam-edges were worked ornamental buttonholes. In some cases the 
calzoneras were sewn from hip to middle thigh and in others buttoned or 
laced with silk cord. From the middle of the thigh downward the leg was 
covered by the bota or leggins. The Spanish gentleman wore no suspenders, 
but around his waist and over the pantaloons was the beautiful silken sash, 
the most picturesque article of dress the world over, and this could always be 
seen under the ornamental short jacket. Embroidered shoes or slippers for his 
feet and a black silk handkerchief gracefully tied covered his head. A wide- 
rim, high-peak sombrero, often richly and heavily ornamented with silver 
chains or braid, was the hat of this gaudy grandee. For an outer garment 
was the serapa, the cominon cloak of the Mexicano ranging from the cheap 
cotton and coarse serge to the costliest silk and the finest French broadcloth. 
It was really a square piece of cloth with a hole in the middle through which 
the wearer stuck his head, and this hanging over the shoulders and down the 
body as far as the knees made a useful as well as graceful article of clothing. 

All the world over there is no woman who can wear her clothing so well 
as the ever-graceful daughter of Spain. She niay have only the simple chemi- 
sette and skirt, but the combination is becoming and there is enough lace, 
embroidery, silk and satin, flounces and drapery and brilliant color for the 
completion of the charming picture. A silk or cotton robosa or mantilla droops 
from the shoulders, the lace edge thrown across the head to fall gracefully over 
the brow, is the outer garment, and velvet or blue satin shoes are on her feet. 
The women of the Latin race, whether they hail from Genoa or Andalusia, 
alone of the world's sisterhood, have learned how to wear their hair — anrl that 


is without an\ covering. Hence the Californian of the last cciuurv arranged 
her black braids free of the hat or bonnet and the comeliness of her coirt"in-e 
has not been improved upon. From her general attractiveness, to her part in 
the social destiny of this territory is but a thought and the Americans who 
wedded the daughters of the land found a pleasing cure for the loneliness and 
other ills of bachelordoni. These natives made good wives, devoted to their 
pioneer homes and good mothers to their large families. Whether the for- 
eigner came from Europe or the United States, over the Sierras or from the 
Columbia River country or by the broad ocean to the westward, — if he showed 
a disposition to settle down to home-building he soon found a young woman 
favorable to the project, also a large segment of her father's big rancho for 
experimental ground. And as the Mexican don for years had been tending 
away from tlie narrowness and the intolerant aristocracy of Spain, to the broad 
democracy of the North American, he approved of his young daughter's choice. 


From 1775 to 1835 the Pacific rim of this hemisphere slipped through 
sixty years — two generations of peace. Europe passed from war to war and 
the Atlantic seaboard trembled in the reverberation of hostile guns. California 
was too young, too far away and too little known, and her people between her 
mountains and her sea, left alone, eddied out of the great world's current 
Their activities were the activities of children — a racial inheritance — and they 
were careless and free. They were fond of the fandango, always ready for a 
dance, and made the most of their religious holidays with bull-fights and bear- 
baitings.. Many of them were ex-soldiers lost to the art of war and alive to 
the excitement of cattle-ranches. Except in occasional official salutes the old 
cannon on the presidio walls were silent and rusted from lack of use. The 
ex-mission Indians hanging around on the ranchos could be hired or cajoled 
into doing the little labor of the establishments and this left the people in general 
idleness. The only dissipation they had, however, was gambling and this was 
almost universal with both sexes and classes. Monte was the favorite card 
game, but anything that had in it the element of chance would be bet on. 
They accepted their good fortune without any lively demonstrations of joy and 
their losses with their characteristic childishness of mind, evidently caring 
only for the gaming and not the winning. On Sunday afternoons, devotions 
being ended, some gay festivity was in order. With the broad, rich plains 
crowded with cattle more or less wild, the fleet horse was necessary, conse- 
quently there were few such riders in the world. That was before the day of 
that human centaur — the American cowboy. Wild horses, though every one 
had its claimant, scoured the leagues of fenceless lands, and those that were 
accounted tame would seem to any other people unbroken. Connection between 
points was generally by horse or pack mule and the way was over the "pony 
trail." When a don set out en a long journe\ frequently he took a servant and 
a drove of horses with him, and as one horse wearied under the saddle another 
was made to bear the burden. In this way a rider could daily put long dis- 
tances behind him. Often the weary or worn-out animals were turned I(X)se to 
find their home-ranch at leisure, the brand or mark of the owner on the flank 


generally preventing the loss nf the horse — if he was uf sufficient value in 
that land of almost countless bands. — to be stolen. 


One of the most wonderful rides in history — though it has not been told 
in verse nor set to music — was made between September 24th and 28th, 1858, 
from Los Angeles to Yerba Buena, by an American named John Brown. He 
was known among the Calif ornians as "Juan Flaco" (Lean John) and was sent 
by Lieutenant A. H. Gillespie, L'. S. A., who was hard-pressed by the hostile 
California forces, to Commodore Stockton for re-enforcements. Brown made 
Monterey, four hundred and sixt} miles, in fifty-two hours without sleep. He 
expected to find there the fleet, but Stockton had sailed, and after sleeping 
three hours the sturdy rider completed the remaining one hundred and forty 
miles of his great Marathon in the same speed, and delivered his call for help. 
It was not a "broad highway," like Sheridan's, nor was the road as smooth 
as that of the "Ride of Paul Revere," but was a mere bridle-path over high 
mountains, through deep ravines, around precipitous clififs, across wide chap- 
arral-covered mesas, along the sea-beach. He was always dodging the enemy, 
harassed and pursued, riding shouliler to shoulder with death night and day, 
losing several horses — one shot from under him forcing him to go thirty miles 
afoot carrying his spurs and riata until he could commandeer another mount, 
Juan Flaco rode on and on showing that a California man on a California mus- 
tang has outridden the storied riders of the world. 

The boy at an early age was taught to ride at a break-neck pace and to 
throw the riata with unerrmg skill. The Spanish saddle was an elaborate 
piece of workmanship ; the frame or "tree," the\ called it. being fastened to 
the animal with a girth or "cinch" made out of the closely woven hair of his 
own tail. It was taking an unfair advantage of poor "caballo," but the hair 
cinch was stronger than any other and would not slip on his smooth coat. 
Over the sometimes roughly-made tree was fitted a wide leather cover called 
"niacheres" and on the stirrups to protect the rider's feet while rounding up a 
runaway steer through the thick undergrowth and chaparral were leather shields 
— "tapaderos," and leather leggins were for the same purpose. The bridle 
and "hacamore," or halter, was always a costly, be-silvered affair of braided 
rawhide, ornamental reins, but the peculiar shape of the bit made it an instru- 
ment of torture. To the half or quarter broken mustang this bit extending 
far within the animal's mouth compelled obedience to the slightest pull on the 
reins, in fact the horse soon learned to take his cue from the weight of these 
reins on his neck. .Secured with buckskin thongs on the wide saddle cover 
the rider carried his blankets and food, and when night overtook him he made 
his camp in comfort, while his horse picketed with the riata, fed in luxury. 


And always a ])art of this picturesque rider's make-up was a pair of big spurs, 
generally silver, the size and metal designing the owner's social or equestrian 
standing. Mount one of these skillful vaqueros on a spirited thoroughbred, saddle 
and bridle polished and ornamented and riata hanging in graceful festoon from 
the horn, silk sash around the rider's waist and silk serapa flowing from his 
shoulders, silver-braided sombrero on his head, and then set the little bell- 


tongues on his spurs tinkling musically to the pace of his caballo, and time 
never produced a more artistic and perfect centaur. It was at the fiesta or 
fandango that troops of these caballeros would appear and take part in race or 
game, principally for the admiration of the sprightly senorita out for a Cali- 
fornia holiday. The rodeo, or annual roundup of the stock, was the gala time 
for the vaquero when the corraling. the roping and the branding of the herds 
made the rancho throb with excitement. Then the fandangos where the guitars 
tinkled in the fantastic dances of old Spain and the satined dandy descendant 
of Aragon bowed and "looked love" to the western heiress of Castile. 




The Spanish pioneer found tliese slopes and valleys well peopled with a 
race of sturdy Indians, the mildness of the climate and the supply of game 
food in stream and forest making the country even for the aboriginal an ideal 
place of abode. Possibly the idealic characteristics of this coast existing here 
generation after generation took from this original Californian much of the 
spirit, independence and fighting attributes of his fellow redmen of the east and 
north. It was early patent to the Franciscan padres that the Pacific coast 
natives would not make loyal and valuable citizens of Spain and perhaps this 
is the reason the priestly trainers stopped trying, permitting the pupil to become 
a mere servant, and to be useful while the missions had beef and bread to 
feed their horde of retainers. Certainly they were before and after the missions 
had them, a very un-savage race of savages, except when driven by the injust- 
ice of the whites to acts of retaliation. Then their senseless work brought its 
own punishment, which hurried the grossly inferior beings along to extinction. 
Chief among the Sonoma tribes was Solano and his band whom Padre Alti- 
mira found in the Valley of the Moon. The priest named the new mission, and 
attached the Indian to the fortunes of the christianizing institution by giving 
him the same name. This provided the small settlement of whites a strong 
friend in the midst of irresponsible hostiles and early proved the missionary to 
be farsighted. After the passing of the mission and during the military regime, 
General V'allejo found the unusually intelligent Chief Solano a valuable assist- 
ant in handling the bands throughout Sonoma. From the somewhat meager 
records in mission archives it is learned that the neophytes came from the 
following tribes: Aloquiomi, Atenomac, Canoma, Carquin, Canijolmano, Cay- 
mus, Chenoco, Chickoyomi, Chocuyem, Coyayomi, Huilic, Huymen, Lacatiut, 
Lonquiomi, Libayto, Locnoma, Mayaana, Multicolmo, Malacu, Napato, Oleomi, 
Putto, Polnomanoc, Paque, Petaluma, Suisun, Satayomi, Soneto, Tolen, Tlaya- 
cama, Tamal, Topayto, Uluato, Zadow and Utinomanoe. 

As the names of several localities can be found in this tribal list it is evi- 
dent that the Solano mission territory covered portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, 
Contra Costa, Marin and Mendocino, and that those game-crowded valleys 
must have swarmed with Indians. And that they did not live together, inhabit- 
ing their Eden of a hunting ground in brotherly love, is known from Altimira's 
daily journal that the first unusual thing he observed on entering the new val- 
ley was a tribe of Petaluma Indians, on their own lands, hiding from their 
invading enemies, a band of Cainemeros of the Santa Rosa valley. Along the 
Russian River country were the Soteomelos or Yapos (braves), or probably 
Sotoyomos is the more correct name. However, this was a powerful and 
aggressive tribe and was able to occasionally visit and slaughter its red neigh- 
bors. Physically as well as along other lines these aborigines dififer from 


others of the continent. Both adults and children are heavy-set and clumsy, 
thick-bodied and thin-limbed, low-browed and strong-jawed, and having none 
of the stateliness, shapeliness nor dignity of demeanor, of the eastern, middle- 
western or even the Nevada Indian. Unless the women have a blend of Cau- 
casian blood to tame the savagery of the wilds, to lighten the darkness of the 
skin, to make more symmetrical the lines of their bodies, they are without 
attractiveness. But at the present day the Indians in this and adjoining coun- 
ties, through association with the superior race, have improved on their animal- 
like progenitors. They have exchanged the unclean rancheria, the unwholesome 
fare, for the neater and more sanitary home near some fruit or hop ranch 
where they find employment and opportunities to imitate in dress and manner, the 
whites. Like all "animals bred and reared in captivity," a domestic instinct, 
from somewhere, appears and marks a change. 


Rack within the wilds the native Sonoman's daily bill-of-fare was any game, 
flesh or fish, that fell victims to his bows and arrows, nets or other kinds of 
ingenious snares. Bear meat was considered a delicacy on Lo's table, or rather 
in front of his campfire, but the strong California grizzly had other uses for 
himself. Ursus Major was the king of beasts in these woods of the west and 
generally did the eating when the Indian with his crude weapons made the 
attack : but about every other creature that roamed the hills and plains graced 
the rancheria menu. When feet and fins were too fleet for hunters and fishers 
and the vegetation store was exhausted, edible roots, seeds and grasshoppers 
filled out the depleted bill-of-fare — and the hungry Indian. A great circle of 
hombres, mahalas and papooses armed with bushes and slowly drawing to the 
center where a hole had been dug, surely drove the insect jumpers to destruc- 
tion. They were considered a luxury when other supplies ran low. The grand 
oak of California shed manna for her forest tribes. In season the acorns 
were gathered and cached for safety in the mother-tree, and when required were 
hulled. These kernels were ground or mashed in the rude stone mortars that 
may be found on the sites of long passed-away rancherias. With water heated 
b}' hot stones in the quaint and tightly-woven fiber baskets which only an Indian 
woman can weave, the meal is formed into batter or dough and cooked in a 
mass or baked in loaves. This "daily bread" of the wilds seasoned with ashes 
and different kinds of dirts, was not rich in nutriment nor exquisite in flavor, 
but served with a plain salad of green clover and a relish of pinenuts, or served 
alone and even in limited quantity, made the quiet family meal or howling 
tribal feast what the rustic newspaper writer calls "a sumptuous repast." Bone 
or flint spear and arrow heads were used in hunting, also in fishing when the 
finny game could not be herded into nets or traps, and chips of obsidian, a 
volcanic glass, made passable knives before the Spaniards came with weapons 
of steel. 

It is not known how many tribes occupied what is now Sonoma county, 
but creeks and mountain ranges seem to mark the boundaries between the dif- 
ferent bands, and when one entered upon the territory of the other without 
some kind of a treaty or permission the act often brought a bloody retaliation. 
There were occasional fights between the tribes or rancherias, sometimes severe 


ones where a band would practically be wiped out in a dispute over some trivial 
or childish matter. Much of the time, however, of this historical period the 
Indians in the great vaJley between the Rio Sacram.ento and the coast were at 
peace because of one strong white man, General Vallejo, Comandante at 
Sonoma, whose wise policy, much wiser than any policy ever attempted in 
California, handled the natives with a fairness that made even the distant 
tribes his friends. Of the turbulence of the southern Indians H. H. Bancroft 
says : "Turning to the northern frontier we find a different state of things. 
Here there is no semblance of Apache raids, no sacking of ranches, no loss of 
civilized life and little collision between gentiles and Christian natives. The 
northern Indians were more numerous than in the San Diego region and many 
of the tribes were brave, warlike and often hostile ; but there was a compara- 
tively strong force at Sonoma to keep them in check and General Vallejo's 
Indian policy must be regarded as excellent and effective when compared with 
any other policy ever followed in California. True, his wealth, his untrammeled 
power, and other circumstances contributed much to his success ; and he could 
by no means have done as well if placed in command at San Diego: yet he 
must be accredited besides with having managed wisely. Qosely allied with 
Solano, the Suisun chieftain, having — except when asked to render some dis- 
tasteful military service to his political associates in the south — at his command 
a goodly number of soldiers and citizens, made treaties with the gentile tribes, 
insisted on their being liberally and justly treated when at peace, and punished 
them severely for any manifestation of hostility. Doubtless the Indians were 
wronged often enough in individual cases by Vallejo's subordinates; some of 
whom were with difficulty controlled; but such reports have been greatly exag- 
gerated and acts of glaring injustice were comparatively rare." 

THE Indian's love for a horse. 
After the California Indian learned how useful as a means of transporta- 
tion — also as an article of food — a Spanish horse was, that animal was to him a 
burning temptation, and the profession of horse-stealing was practiced among 
the red people as well as among the whites of the territory. Notwithstand- 
ing Vallejo severely punished horse-thievery among his subjects, he was not 
always able to prevent the neighboring tribes from fighting over a band of 
mustangs whose ownership was in grave doubt. Occasionally he would have to 
get out after some aggressor with his soldiers and friendly Indians and the 
fatherly castigation he would administer generally turned the horses back to 
their rightful possessors. The important tribe of the Cainameros, or Santa 
Rosas, had long been at peace with their neighbors, but having taken upon 
themselves to recover some horses stolen by the Sotoyomes, were furiously 
attacked by the latter tribe, who killed and wounded a large number of them. 
They appealed to Vallejo, their ally, and he quickly responded, defeating in a 
warm fight and driving back into the Geyser hills the Sotoyomes, almost 
exterminating the band. A treaty of peace with seven chiefs followed this 
outbreak and this ended the Indian internal troubles, although Zampay, head of 
the Yolo tribe, and Tobias, chief of the Guilicos Indians, tried to stir up trouble. 
Vallejo's old friend and ally, Solano, occasionally backslid from the high char- 
acter the General had built up fcir him. but a night in the guard-house would 


bring- a morning of shame and repentance and a vow to shun in future the 
seductive "spirit-water" of Sonoma's vineyards. 


A Stream of settlers and among them Spanish famih'es from the soutli were 
beginning to flow into Sonoma valleys. The Carrillos, relatives of Seiiora 
Benicia \'allejo. were of the first-comers, as was Captain Don Enrique de Fitch 
and wife — whose sea-elopement with Josefa Carrillo from San Diego was a love 
romance but a severe shock to the strict padre of that parish.- It is needless 
to state that after Henry D. Fitch got settled in his adobe hacienda on Russian 
river he shed his Spanish titles and passed to the status of a plain American 
rancher. In 1859 Padre Juan Amoroso with a companion, Jose Cantua, traveled 
up the great central valley until he reached a little river called by the Indians 
Chocoalomi. The missionary induced the Indians of the rancheria in the 
neighborhood to attend divine service in his camp and succeeded in making 
one convert, but history and subsequent events have made that service a notable 
one. The convert was a young squaw of the band, tribe name unknown, but 
the priest gave her a new and lasting one as he led her down into the baptismal 
waters of her native Chocoalomi. It is doubtful that she had the remotest idea 
what the lustral ceremony was about, but likely the kindly appearance and 
solemn manners of the white man won her childish confidence and she virtually 
left her people, their belief and traditions, and like another Ruth followed the 
stranger. When the Indian girl came out of the stream she was Rosa, a Chris- 
tian maiden and the Jordan of her doctrinal purification was Santa Rosa creek, 
the day of her baptism being the feast day of Santa Rosa de Lima. This 
occurred a short distance east from the city of Santa Rosa, where Seriora 
Maria Ygnacia Lopez de Carrillo in 1838 built the large adobe which yet marks 
the place, although the suns and storms of seventy-two years have told heavily 
on its mud walls. Near Sebastopol the ruin of her brother Joaquin's ancient 
house further marks the coming of this family to the valley. The race was a 
prolific one both in the southern and northern portions of the state — the boys 
taking part in the political affairs of the territory (Carlos Carrillo and Pio Pico 
had been governors ) and the many girls marrying advantageously, or bringing 
to their husbands — mostly American — rich Mexican grants of land. And where 
these American husbands held on to the lands of their California wives, the 
Californians with characteristic improvidence let the broad ranches which their 
own government had generously given them, wastefully slip away. Seiiora 
Lopez de Carrillo was granted most of the Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa and 
her son Julio inherited the portion on which the city of that name is located, 
while Joaquin Carrillo received a large tract of the Rancho Llano de Santa 
Rosa Iving to the west. John B. R. Cooper, another Carrillo son-in-law, was 
granted Rancho El Molino, three leagues (17,892 acres) north and west of 
Santa Rosa, while Jacob P. Leese, matrimonially of the same family, received 
two square leagues of the Rancho Huichica ( 18,704 acres) in Sonoma township, 
and Mrs. Carrillo-Fitch was one of the owners of eight square leagues (48,- 
836 acres) of the Sotoyome Rancho in Russian and Mendocino townships. The 
"Old Adobe" finally became the residence of Mr. and Mrs. David Mallagh. nee 
Carrillo, and her descendants were among the ciamiants of their grandmother's 
estate in the Imperial \''alley of Santa Rosa. 



Leaving the history of the famih' that pioneered the white immigration 
into the central and northern portion of the county the reader will be returned 
to Sonoma, where the stage is being set for the preliminary act, the curtain- 
raiser, of the short but snappy drama that passed the "California Republic" of 
the Bear Flag, to the most western star of the United States ensign. It was 
during this ante-bellum period that disaster fell on the Indian population of the 
locality, turning many rancherias into graveyards and many of the pretty little 
valleys into uninhabited places. It is said a soldier from the garrison at Sonoma 
was sent on duty to Fort Ross and there contracted small-pox in its most 
virulent form. Returning home he spread the pestilence abroad, and while the 
Spaniards escaped with moderate loss, the Indian having no sanitary habits 
or knowledge of therapeutics other than the unclean "sweat-house," followed 
with a plunge in cold water, under which treatment the deadly microbe struck 
right and left. So rapid and widespread was the epidemic that whole tribes 
were in a few weeks wiped out and in the territory north of the bay and west 
of the Sacramento fully 75,000 Indians died. Indeed there may have been rea- 
son for the statement that there was not enough of them left to oppose the 
coming of the whites into their lands. 

General Vallejo had made improvements on his Petaluma Rancho of seventy- 
five thousand acres, erecting with other buildings the large adobe hacienda yet 
standing at the foot of Sonoma Mountain. The General's "broad domain" 
practically extended from San Pablo Bay well up towards Santa Rosa and from 
the Napa hills to Petaluma creek. The "adobe" farm house as was usual on 
those big ranehos, was the castle of the owner where his retainers, vaqueros 
and Indians "herded," and where the don often ruled and entertained in the 
manner of the feudal over-lord. The house was generally provided with a 
large porch, or a patio or inner court, the lounging place of the establishment, 
and here these early rough-riders, when not mounted and out on the range 
rounding up a band of half-wild cattle, passed the time smoking, playing the 
guitar, repairing a riata or plaiting a horsehair-rope, with their vicious-look- 
ing mustangs saddled and bridled patiently standing near. A call to dinner 
would hurry all hands to a long table where great platters of chile con carne, 
frijoles — the universal beans — tortillas, as the white flour cakes baked by an open 
fire are known in Mexican lands, were eaten with full-grown appetite. Then 
came the inevitable cigarette and the siesta in some shade, while the tough 
little horses standing with shut eyes by the porch apparently did the same. 
When the sun got well to the west the sleeping vaquero would lazily roll over 
and to his feet, stumble out to his horse, coil his riata on the horn of the saddle, 
see that the cinch was still holding the clumsy, wooden aflfair to the animal who, 
by the way, was accustomed to that and other modes of torture. By this time 
the whole gang was making a like effort to get away and in action. A Mexican 
vaquero has been said to be when afoot a lifeless thing, but when in the saddle 
one of the most animated. When the band got mounted the riders started the 
big spurs to work, swung the riatas around their heads and galloped yelling 
down the arroyo and out on the range, often for no other object than to get 
into motion and shake off the drowsiness of the siesta. 


In that part of the hacienda devoted to the family of the padron or master 
there was more luxury — more furniture and more gentility. The grace and 
chivalry of Old Spain possessed by her grandees in the home land was also pos- 
sessed by their descendants wandering in the distant west, and this racial charac- 
teristic was manifested in the hospitality of the Californian homes. General 
Vallejo in his big rancho home on the eastern rim of the great Petaluma valley 
entertained his guests, American as well as Spanish and other nationalities, like 
an oid-world over-lord. His authority as military chief of the territory, his 
financial position as one of the wealtiest men in the country and his popularity 
as a just and humble official made his splendid hacienda — splendid for the rude, 
adobe days — a general resort for the highest of either republic, as well as for 
the humblest Indian on the estate. 




While the General's hacienda, once the great rendezvous of the coman- 
dante's army of guests and retainers, is crumbling back to its original earth on 
the Petaluma plain, the town-home in Sonoma is yet occupied by members of 
that family. It is located in the northern portion of the pueblo, at the foot of 
the crescent mountain that walls the Valley of the Moon, which the Master 
with his cultured and artistic taste made into an ideal homestead. Here he 
entertained with true Spanish hospitality distinguished officials from Spain and 
Mexico, governors of the Territory of Alta California, French and English 
travelers from over the sea, American naval men and pathfinders, and while 
acting as the courteous host of the latter guests he knew from intelligent obser- 
vation of the trend of political affairs that the day was rapidly approaching 
when the Stars and Stripes would be the only Hag in the land. Here also he 
entertained the courtly Russians from Fort Ross despite the fact that he con- 
sidered them the enemies of his government and called them the "pioneer 
squatters" of California. Within his doors they had broken bread with him 
and as his guests were honored as such. During one of their visits he forcibly 
prevented Chief Solano, his friend and ally, from carrying oflf to his mountains 
the beautiful Princess Helena, wife of the Moscovite commander, and with 
whom the Indian had become enamored. From the piazza of this dwelling one 
has an unobstructed view of the noble valley, the broad vista of bay, and 
farther to the south that other grand landmark, standing, a blue sentinel watch- 
ing over the great sweep of plain and called "Diablo" by the Spanish surveyors 
because the Indians said "Cucusuy," their tribal devil, made his home up on its 
crest. With this mountain of sulphurous title in close proximity to the saintly 
peak on the side lines of Sonoma. Napa and Lake counties, it looks as if the 
geography people set El Diablo guarding the beautiful Saint Helena — a sort of 
Mephisto taking care of Marguerite. 

Even in the matter of a name for his home the General chose in poetical 
and graceful fitness. Near and on the lower slope of the mountain just above 
the house is a spring of water gushing clear and cold from its reservoir deep 
under ground, an everlasting fountain opened, possibly, during one of the 
volcanic uplifts that shaped St. Helena and her brood of surrounding hills or 
laid the Petrified Forest in stone, back in some pre-historic, planet-forming 
period. Whatever its origin, whatever struck the rock which held it within its 
cavern source, that flow is the town water supply, inexhaustible, life-giving. 
To the General, likely, this was a reminder of the storied spring up in the 
Sierra Nevadas of Old Granada. Its crystal waters flowing down through the 
matchless grilled arcades of the Alhambra was called by the Spaniards as well 
as by the original possessors, the Moors, the "Fountain of Tears." So within 
the pages of splendid Moorish legendary tales where waters fed from snow 


heights ripple down through the green vegas of Andalusia, or through the lat- 
ticed courts of fairy palaces, and where clashed the Christian sword of the chiv- 
alry of Spain and the Moslem scimitar of the warriors of the Arabian Prophet, 
the Californian found a title for his home — "Lachryma Montis," the Mountain 
of Tears. Sorrow has no great depth in the soul of the son of Spain — whether 
Spaniard or Moor, and tears in connection with water rippling cheerily from a 
fountain could never be associated with grief. Hence the sparkling spring of 
"Lachryma Montis." 

Mountain of Tears — not tears — 

Tears that come from the places of sadness ; 
But the stream that appears 

From its mountain in ripples of gladness. 
And that stream from the heart 
Of the peak is a part 
Of the green valley's life, light and gladness. 


Year by year and page by page has this history of the Farther West been 
followed for three centuries. Time here went slowly from 1543, when Juan 
Rodriguez Cabrillo first flew the ensign of Castile and Arragon over Alta Cali- 
fornia, to 1846, when the flag of another day and race was raised above the 
territory. Spain thus began at San Diego and finished at Sonoma. The 
"Camino Real"^ — royal road — started at the most southern mission and stopped 
at San Francisco de Solano, where Padre Altimira's edifice, in the long chain of 
adobe churches, is crumbling back to the soil. From "Forty" to "Forty" the 
sleeping Mexican immigration traveling the broad highway cast up by the 
pioneer priests, was reaching the "northern frontier of colonization," as the 
territorial officials defined the upper line of their jurisdiction. In fact, "forty" 
appears to be an epochal number in the story of the state and more living history 
seems to have been made in those decades of the centuries than in the other 
of the hundred years. To properly bring the reader to the "still night in June" 
when Sonoma, sleeping in her moon-shaped vale, was rudely awakened to 
become the "California Republic," there will be noted here the nearby events 
which led up to the day of the Bear Flag — that homemade standard which the 
Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West fittingly adopted after it had 
served its time and had given place to the Stars and Stripes. 

California had been running along for several years without any practical 
assistance or advice from Mexico, and having her own political revolutions 
and oflicial changes quite independent of those of the mother republic. Noth- 
ing was stable except the happy-go-lucky disposition of the people. Whenever 
they became excited over anything, a revolution acted as a safety-valve. Speak- 
ing of these revolutionists, Colton says: "They drift about like Arabs. If the 
tide of fortune turn against them they disband and scatter to the four winds. 
Thev never become martyrs to any cause. They are too numerous to be brought 
to punishment by any of their governors, and thus escape justice. There was 
a conservative class in the territory, made up principally of the large, landed 
proprietors, both native and foreign-born, but these exerted small influence in 
controlling the turbulent. While Los Angeles had more than a fair share of that 


useless element, other large settlements in the territory could furnish their full 
quota of that class of political knight-errants whose pastime was revolution and 
whose capital was a gaily caparisoned steed, a riata, a lance, a dagger and pos- 
sibly a pair of horse-pistols. These fellows among themselves assumed a reck- 
less daring, but if they ever got within range of a 'gringo' rifle it was by acci- 
dent." President Santa Ana, whose social intercourse with the warlike Tex- 
ans had destroyed all possible affection for the Yankees, sent Micheltorena, the 
last governor provided by Mexico, out to the territory with an "army" of 
350 men recruited in prisons. He had orders to check the American immigra- 
tion, and to clear the country of the "malditos extranjeros" — wicked strangers. 
He landed at Santiago, in August, 1842, with his band of jail-birds and finally 
reached Los Angeles, where he was accorded a warm "welcome to our city" 
by the citizens, who hated Monterey, the rival capital. They hoped that the 
new governor would choose their place for his seat of government, but his army 
turned out to be such incorrigible tliieves that Los Angeles was soon glad to 
speed the parting guests. Micheltorena promised well as a governor, but the 
unpopularity and uncourageous character of his so-called soldiers and the fact 
that he was one of those Mexican "dictators" and offensive to the "hijos del 
pais" — native sons — tended toward his undoing. With promises of gifts of 
large ranchos he induced Sutter to join him, and Castro, Alvarado and Vallejo, 
leaders of the "revolutionists," native sons, to offset this "foreign legion," 
enlisted about fifty Americans to serve with their force. At the first battle these 
two companies of Americans, serving on opposite sides, withdrew from the lines 
to let the Californians and Micheltorena's jail-birds fight it out alone, which 
these two forces did — not do. After some long-distance artillery-shooting dur- 
ing which a mule lost its life by foolishly feeding into the fire-zone of a gun, 
the war ended. 


Micheltorena and his "braves" were corralled and >liij)ped back to Mexico 
and Pio Pico was appointed constitutional governor by the supreme govern- 
ment, which did not seem to take offense at the revolutionary tendencies of its 
subject Californians. The new executive made Los Angeles his capital, which 
pleased the southerners, and he appomted Castro comandante general, Alvarado 
customs inspector at Monterey and Vallejo to remain military comandante at 
Sonoma. Jose Antonio Carrillo, kinsman of Governor Pico, was made military 
comandante of the south. This officer, who was a nephew of Alvarado, was 
something of a governor-maker himself, and as he hated his uncle and Castro 
impartially and was intensely jealous of Pio's good luck, he was soon plotting 
against everything in sight. He was more able and more intelligent than any 
of the others, but the attempt to overthrow them was too big a job and after 
a laudable effort he landed in prison. The governor did not care to stir up a 
family row by shooting his brother-in-law, so he shipped him with several other 
conspirators to Mexico for trial. They were back home in a short time, and 
their plottings were forgotten. Pico was watching Castro but had a little side 
plot of his own. He professed much antipathy for Mexico and favored annex- 
ation to either England or France, trusting that such a change would better his 
political fortune. In the last meeting of the territorial Junta, held at the San 
Juan Mission, he had strongly advocated secession from "that mock republic. 


Mexico," before their "beautiful country" became a prey to "hordes of perfid- 
ious Yankees." He not only regretted the passing of the "golden days of the 
Spanish monarchy" before the era of the "miserable abortion christened Mex- 
ico," but hoped for the coming of the fleet or army that would again place them 
under the wings of a monarchy. Vallejo. another member of the Junta, in an 
eloquent speech shattered this annexation proposition and California drifted, — 
into the arms of Uncle Sam. While the storm-clouds were gathering, Castro 
in Monterey, was busy plotting. He had the custom-house in reach and could 
milk it at will, but even this rich privilege did not satisfy him, for he wanted 
the governorship as well. But before his plans for the outbreak he contem- 
plated were fully matured, he was halted by the appearance of a party of Amer- 
ican surveyors, who slipped over the mountains from the east and settled down 
in the California vallevs to make some history of their own. 



The leader was John Charles Fremont, then a brevet captain in the corps 
of the United States Topographical Engineers, on his third tour of exploration 
across the continent and was seeking a better route from the western base of 
the Rocky Mountains to the mouth of the Columbia River. Fremont visited 
Castro and solicited permission to take his surveyors, consisting of sixty- two 
men, through the country. Castro was all cordiality and courtesy and gave his 
word "on the honor of a Mexican soldier" that these strangers within the ter- 
ritory should not be molested. Of course, this word and promise was of little 
value, as he was immediately busy stirring up the Californians in the vicinity 
to attack the surveyors, hoping thereby to make political capital with Mexico 
and so further his designs on the governorship of the territory. He soon had 
an '"army" of several hundred men, and then sent Fremont the fierce ultimatum 
of quickly getting out of the country or be destroyed. Such bombastic ferocity 
was amusing to this band of armed pathfinders, among whom were Kit Carson 
and others of like caliber, the flower of American frontier manhood. These 
tried fighters curiously looked on while Castro maneuvered his gaily clad cavalry 
in view, dashing them toward the intruders' camp but always wheeling to one 
side before they got within range of the deadly rifles they knew were awaiting 
their too-near approach. Finally Fremont grew tired of Castro's circus antics 
and moved ofif towards the Oregon line to finish his work. May 9, 1846, lie 
was overtaken near Klamath Lake by Lieutenant A. H. Gillespie, United States 
Marine Corps, who had been dispatched from Washington the November pre- 
vious in search of him. Gillespie had held long conferences with United States 
Consul Larkin at Monterey, and then had slipped northward on the trail of 
Fremont before the Californian learned his real character or mission. "Mr. 
Gillespie, a private gentleman traveling for his health," carried messages from 
President Polk — unwritten — to prevent their contents from falling into the 
hands of the Mexicans in case they should catch the messenger. He also car- 
ried letters from United States Senator Benton, of Missouri, Fremont's father- 
in-law, and these communications certainly advised the Pathfinder of the politi- 
cal significance of the California question. It is sairl that Fremont sat long 
before his camp-fire that night reading those letters and consulting with Gil- 
lespie. In Congress the two parties had fought out the war of "territorial 
acquisition" and here it was transferred to the distant Pacific for final adjust- 
ment. Fremont understood, and clearly his work was cut out for him. 

Great Britain, Mexico and the United States, each from her corner, was 
watching the rich territorial prize in the center of the triangle. An English 
fleet was on the coast and the northern boundary matter was looming into 
prominence. The United States government demanded nine degrees more of 
latitude than John Bull was at first disposed to o^ncede and "Fifty-four fort\ 


iir fight," was a party watchword until botli countries at issue agreed to run 
the Hne along the forty-ninth parallel. The North and South were "debating" 
with increasing truculence the slavery question, the latter advocating the acquisi- 
tion of territory for the negro-working plantations, and the former opposing 
with the cry of "plotting to rob Mexico." Certainly Fremont, a junior officer 
in the government engineer corps, v^fith secret instructions or suggestions having 
the weight of direct orders, was in a peculiar position. Gillespie had been told 
to "find Fremont" and from Washington he had sailed to Vera Cruz, cro.ssed 
Mexico in disguise to Mazatlan where he found a United States ship of war 
awaiting him, thence to Monterey and the last lap of the long search up the 
Sacramento \'alley to the camp of the man who was to introduce California 
to her future family — the Sisterhood of American States. There is no doubt 
that the "hint" he received left him to consult his ovv'n judgment, a judgment 
which ]M-oved to be unerring, and which won him the perfect and flattering 
indorsement of the Secretary of State. Still he knew that a failure or a weak 
handling of the revolution he might inaugurate, or appear to inaugurate, would 
overwhelm him with reproach ; and it is quite certain in that event he would 
be left to bear his "troubles alone." He had won his famous title — Pathfinder — 
cutting his way through the perils of savage-infested wilds, and he was in the 
habit of weighing small chances of success against the multi-failures always 
menacing him. He did not hesitate at this new call, but he sat long before his 
camp-fire studying the orders. Then he turned toward the south. In a few 
days the Bear Flag was floating over the Castillo of Sonoma and another star 
was due to appear in the constellation of American States. 


It is to be regretted that history cannot record a more fitting reward for 
this work and that the pages devoted to jealousies and wrangling of his seniors, 
which made Fremont the official scapegoat, cannot be removed from the story 
of the Mexican conflict in California. He left this coast under arrest, the fame 
of his conquests blanketed by a degradation unmerited, to be court-martialed 
on frivolous charges from which he was partially vindicated by fellow-officers, 
and finally fully vindicated by the public. Stockton, Kearny and others who 
sought to crush a junior who had proved himself greater than they, left names 
to certain localities in the state, but Fremont, scientist, explorer, soldier, states- 
man and all but president, left a name written over all the mountains, plateaus 
and valleys of the wide west. 

After Comandante Jose Castro had "driven" Fremont and his "vagabonds" 
from the "Free State of Alta California," he \aliantly started in to complete 
the eviction of the Americanos, also to complete the downfall of Governor Pio 
Pico. His conquest of the intruding "gringos'' would make him so popular 
in Mexico and at home that the leap to the gubernatorial chair would be "easy." 
When Fremont returned to New Helvetia he found the settlers in great excite- 
ment over Castro's flaming proclamations and war preparations. The farm 
lands in the Sacramento valley gave promise of good grain crops and it was 
believed that the Indians in the neighborhood were being induced to destroy 
property of the Americans. Castro, securing all the horses he could to mount 
his cavalry, had directed Lieutenant De Arce, of the garrison at Sonoma, to 


gather all the animals he could find north of San Francisco Bay and remove 
them to Santa Clara. That officer with a number of vaqueros drove his band 
up the Sacramento river to Knight's Landing, the nearest point where he 
could swim the horses across the stream. This was reported at Sutter's Fort 
as "two or three hundred armed men approaching," and the settlers with their 
rifles rallied to Fremont's camp. It was decided by these settlers not to let 
Castro have the horses that would be used against them, and Ezekiel Merritt, 
with twelve companions, was ordered to capture the animals. On the night of 
June 9th, they surprised De Arce's camp on the Cosumnes river, and returned 
with the horses to Fremont's camp. The seizure was made without violence, 
De Arce oflfering no resistance, seeing that such would be useless. 

Having gone this far the Americans felt that they could not stop here. 
The constant threat of the Mexican officials to drive them from the territorv 
had grown tiresome, and there is no doubt that the advice of Fremont encour- 
aged them to "go ahead." Doubtless he evolved the entire plan from what he 
had read "between the lines" in the oral dispatches Gillespie brought him. He 
had no authority over the settlers, no war was on, and while he knew the guns 
were shotted for the coming conflict between the two republics, he remem- 
bered Commodore Jones" error at Monterey four years before, where the Amer- 
ican flag went up one day to come down the next; and he was careful not to 
appear untimely in an act that would involve the government he represented. 
Moreover, he knew that even then Commodore John Drake Sloat in the United 
States Frigate Savannah, was sailing northward along the Mexican coast closely 
followed by Admiral Sir George Seymour in the British ship Collingwood, an 
ocean race between America and England with California as the prize. Pos- 
sibly he knew that Secretary Bancroft of the Navy Department, fully advised 
that the British Vice Consul was impatiently awaiting the coming of Seymour 
and the guns that were to complete the plan of annexation, had ordered Sloat 
to take Monterey and hold it. Whether or not Fremont sent Merritt and his 
thirty-three history-makers from the camp on the Feather river down to So- 
noma, the pathfinder saw them start away and their mission, to him, was no 

They left at 3 p.m., June 12, for their one hundred and twenty mile ride, 
reaching Captain John Grigsby's ranch in Napa valley at g a.m., the 13th, where 
they received more reinforcements. Here the company was organized and 
prepared for entry into Sonoma. The following list of names of the party is 
probably correct: Ezekiel Merritt, Dr. Robert Semple, William Fallon, W. 
B. Ide, H. L. Ford, G. P. Swift, Samuel Neal, William Potter, Samuel Gib- 
son, W. M. Scott, James Gibbs, P. Storm, Samuel and Benjamin Kelsey, John 
Grigsby, David Hudson, Ira Stebbins, William Hargrave, Harrison Pierce, 
William Porterfield, Patrick and James McChristian, Elias Barrett, C. Griffith, 
William C. Todd, Nathan Combs, Lucien Maxwell, Franklin Bidwell, Thomas 
Cowie, W. B. Elliott. Benjamin Dewell, John Sears, George Fowler and W. 
Barti, known as "Old Red." James McChristian, a native of New York, was 
the youngest of the party, being eighteen. With his family he lives in Sebasto- 
pol, eighty-four years old, the Last of the Bear Flaggers. 



June 14, 1846. at daybreak, the company of Americans rode (|uietly over 
the Napa hills and down into Sonoma. All was peace in the quadrangle of 
adobes around the plaza. War was on south of the Rio Grande and already 
the tricolor of Mexico had been trampled under the hoofs of Taylor's charging 
dragoons. Santa Ana had lost Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma the month 
before, but their gun-thunders had not reached California. Even the bicker- 
ings and wranglings of the territorial ofificials over the meager spoils of the 
country, that kept Los Angeles and Monterey awake, were unknown north of 
the great bays. Merritt led his company across the plaza to the residence of 
Comandante JM. C \"allejo and awoke that officer from sleep. Hastily dress- 
ing himself, he admitted them to his premises and demanded their identity and 
mission. The answers were clear and brief. These visitors were not trained 
in the phraseology 01 war. There was no formal truce, no exchange of notes, 
as laid down in modern military tactics. Some writers have tried to make this 
important incident dramatic, while others have scolded these early morning 
disturbers. They have been described as being rude and lawless, without leader 
and without detinite object. It has been said their buckskin clothing was 
"greasy," and the\ frightened the folk of the town. Even H. H. Bancroft, 
the eminent historian, in his faithful narrative does not appear to be over- 
pleased with their manner. But there was nothing stagy in the appearance of 
this band of "conspirators," and they were not of the rude and lawless kind. 
\'allejo was a near-American — so near that only a change of flags in the plaza 
would complete his naturalization. He had long noted the drift of American 
immigration into the territory and the drift of Mexican institutions out of it. 
He was a republican and was opposed to the plots and counter-plots of Pico 
and Castro that would annex his native land to a monarchy. He had expected 
this hour and calmly rose to meet it when he heard English words calling him 
to his door. While the company of horsemen did not produce any visual 
authority authorizing their action, they told him that they arrested him virtu- 
ally by order of Captain Fremont. They told no more, possibly they had no 
more to tell. It is likely they had not heard the details of Gillespie's message 
to the Pathfinder, but Vallejo knew of the intrepid surveyor who was mapping 
the continent, bringing the West to the East, and he was satisfied that this was 
not the irresponsible act of a mere mob. He had little or no objection to an 
arrest by United States officers, as that would relieve him of his obligation as 
a Mexican official and his desire for annexation to the Great Republic made him 
regard his captors rather as welcome visitors. The arrest of two officers, Sal- 
vador Vallejo, the comandante's brother, and Victor Prudon. and the surrender 
of all the government property in the Castillo to the Americans ended Guada- 
lupe Vallejo's connection with the Republic of Mexico, and his official occupa- 


tion gone, lie became the graceful host and aroused the cooks to prepare break- 
fast for his guests. 


The stor}- of the menu of that early meal — that breakfast instead of a 
battle, does not appear in the annals of the times, but from verbal accounts 
that have come down from the table, it was a gathering of peace. The pueblo 
vineyards, in that pioneer period, had purpled on the warm slopes above the 
valley level and from the richest vintage of his cellar the ex-comandaiite toasted 
his captors in Sonoma wine. In war or in peace, he was the host — the expo- 
nent of California's hospitality. They were the enemies of his country, and his 
flag and his soldiery sword, his city, his trust, were in their possession. They 
were not fair foes fighting in the open, but were his guests and he served them. 
The flower of knighthood was in that service. Bancroft says, "those who met 
so unceremoniously, became merry companions." Dr. Semple had just finished 
modifying several pages of articles of capitulation, was satisfied with his adju- 
tant-labors and was enjoying the good things the gods — or rather, the Vallejos 
— provided. Merritt, who had led them to that "promised land" looked over 
the generous board and thought that war is not what General Sherman, years 
later, said it is. Knight, the interpreter didn't try to interpret; just let every- 
body eat and drink in his own mother-tongue. Ida, the new Captain, won- 
dered if the rest of the campaign would be where the blood of the Mission 
grape would be the only thing shed. It may not be true that one enthusiastic 
guest toasted the host and nominated him for the presidency of the new repub- 
lic, established just before the nominee called them to breakfast. If this took 
place Vallejo without doubt declined the doubly-dangerous honor, he having 
lost his post and yet having to reckon with the Government of Mexico for yiekl- 
ing without some appearance of a fight. The world has seen an army march up 
a hill and then march down again, but never before saw one come to battle 
and stay to breakfast. 

Regarding the capture, General Yallejo, at the Centennial celebration in 
Santa Rosa, July 4, 1876, said in part : 

"A little before the dawn, June 14, 1846, a party of hunters and trappers, 
with some foreign settlers, under command of Captain Merritt. Dr. Semple 
and William B. Ide, surrounded my residence at Sonoma and without firing a 
shot made prisoners of myself, Lieutenant Colonel Victor Prudon, Captain Sal- 
vador Vallejo and Jacob P. Leese. I should here state that down to 1845, I 
had maintained at my own expense a respectable garrison there, which often, 
in union with the settlers, did ttood service in campaigns against the Indians, 
but at last tired of spending money which the Mexican government never 
refunded, and most of the force that had constituted it had left Sonoma. Thus, 
in June, 1846, the place was entirely unprotected, although there were ten pieces 
of artillery with other arms and ammunitions of war. Years before I had 
urgently represented to the Government of Mexico the necessity of stationing 
a force on the frontier, else Sonoma would be lost, which would be equivalent 
to leaving the rest of the country an easy prey to the invader. What think }ou, 
my friends, were the instructions sent me in reply to my repeated demands for 
means to fortify the country? These instructions were that 'I should at once 
force the immigrants to at once recross the Sierra Nevadas and depart from 


the territory of the republic' To say nothing of the inhumanity of these orders, 
their execution was physically impossible — first, because the immigrants came 
in autumn, when snow covered the Sierras so quickly as to make a return ini- 
l)racticable. We always made a show of authority, but were well convinced 
all the time that we had no power to resist the invasion which was coming upon 
us. With the frankness of a soldier I can assure you that the American immi- 
grants never had cause to complain of the treatment they received at the hands 
of either authorities or citizens." 

The captors immediately drew up the following guarantee, which was 
signed and presented to Vallejo: 

"We, the undersigned, having resolved to establish a government upon 
republican principles, in connection with others of our fellow-citizens, and hav- 
ing taken up arms to support it, we have taken three Mexican officers as prison- 
ers, Gen. M. G. Vallejo, Lieut. -Col. Victor Prudon and Capt. Salvador Val- 
lejo. Having formed and published to the world no regular plan of govern- 
ment, feel it our dut\ to say it is not our intention to take or injure any per.son 
who is not found in opposition to the cause, nor will we take, or destroy, the 
property of private individuals further than is necessary for our support. 

EzEKiEi, Merritt. 
R. Semi'le, 
William Fallon." 


This voluntary on the part of the invaders, revolutionists, or whatever they 
have been called, shows that they were under discipline and were intelligently 
actuated with a definite purpiise. The details of the plan may not have stood out 
in relief to them but the object was in view. They respected the first rule of 
warfare — that lives and property of non-combatants be protected. Blindly, pos- 
sibly, as to the ultimate end, they were working along the way of destiny and 
thev were working well. The forces of the two republics were facing each other 
below the Rio Grande and these thirt_\-three settlers who left their threatened 
homes in the Napa and Sacramento valleys and rode down into Sonoma early 
that morning, were the forerunners of the war in the territory that was onl\- 
twenty-five days distant. \Miile Castro, plotter and blusterer, was driving the 
"perfidious" settlers, not out of the territory, but to arms, these same settlers 
capturing the Mexican battery in Sonoma were virtually spiking the guns of 
the British fleet then racing toward California. This is borne out by the fact 
that when Commodore Sloat sailed into Monterey, July 2, 1846, beating Seymour 
in their joint dash up the Pacific, he was at a standstill as to further action. 
War had been declared between Mexico and the United States but such was un- 
known on the Pacific coast. Nor did he know that Secretary of the Navy Ban- 
croft, May 15, 1846, had sent him orders instructing him with the ships under 
his command to take Mazatlan, Montere\ and San Francisco, either or all as 
his force would permit, and hold them at all hazard. On his arrival in port he 
learned more of the annexation scheme. In the last conference between British 
Consul Forbes, Governor Pico and General Castro, they discussed the plan of a 
fresh declaration of the independence of California and then an appeal to Great 
Britain for protection. A T'.ritish fleet was to be convenient to respond to the 
call. Mexico would be easily appeased, for California was luit a troublesome 


province, and her enemy, the United States, would thus be cheated out of the 
principal prize that made war acceptable to her. Of all this, which was con- 
cealed from the American people in California, intimations had reached Wash- 
ington through the vigilance of United States Consul Thomas O. Larkin, at 
Montere)'. Another detail of the plot was the establishment of a large British 
colony in the choice portions of the territory, and grants of land for that purpose 
only needed the Governor's signature. Possibly, in general the simple Cali- 
fornians, without seeking absorption into a foreign monarchy, were seeking for- 
eign protection from that "Bogy Man," the Yankee, whose energy, intelligence 
and "get-ahead" characteristics made him unwelcome in a land when they sleep 
today and work maiiana. Whatever their real intentions while trying to get 
under the wing of the purring British Lion, they would have remained there 
and California would have been a rich security and payment for the debts due 
in Mexico to English subjects. Washington, knowing this, drew Fremont back 
to the Rio Sacramento, from where, without revealing the plans of the govern- 
ment, he sent Merritt to Sonoma, which his civil engineering training readily 
told him was a strategic point, being in touch with Sutter's Fort, the objective 
of the eastern immigration, and near San Francisco Bay, the natural naval base 
of the territory. 




While Sloat was waiting-, undecided, at Montere\-, he heard of the capture 
of Sonoma by orders of Fremont and assumed that the Engineer officer must 
be in receipt of the news for which they were looking. He had been instructed 
by the Secretary of the Navy not to wait for official information of the declara- 
tion of war. but at the first news of it possess California. But the Savannah 
swung idle at her anchors and the Commodore still hesitated. He knew the 
British Frigate Collingwood — slow but sure — was nearing port and now was his 
opportunity. He also knew that the administration at Washington, pretty well 
harassed by the opposition and being charged with seeking a war of conquest 
and for the acquisition of territory in contravention of the spirit of American 
institutions and in violation of the popular wishes; and to offset this there was, 
on the part of the "war" party, an inclination to "coax" California away from 
Mexico and into the Union. He had been schooled from the tyrannical text- 
book of the long-ago quarterdeck where a subordinate had no discretion and 
never dared look behind the letter of an order ; and, he had seen Commodore 
Jones recalled for hoisting his flag in this same place four years too soon. His- 
tory was repeating itself, for he was now in exactly the same position as was 
Jones — on the horns of the same dilemma. H Seymour's flag got ashore first, 
then a courtmartial for Sloat; if Sloat's flag got ashore too soon, then Sloat 
would only have the fellow-sympathy of Jones. Finally, he took the dilemma 
by both horns and, July 7th, hoisted the stars and stripes for all time over Mon- 
terey. But Commodore Sloat was not satisfied with the range of affairs and, 
not without considerable reason, complained that he was being kept in the dark 
and that officers who were his juniors in rank — Gillespie being a lieutenant in 
an arm of the naval service, and Fremont in actual rank a second-lieutenant, 
the lowest grade officer in the army. And these young men were winning a 
state while he, a fleet commander, was virtually marking time and listening for 
the sound of their guns. Then it was borne in upon him that all hands were 
blundering and he ordered the two officers into his presence. It was a mem- 
orable interview. 


"I want to know," said the Commodore, "by what authority you are acting. 
Mr. Gillespie has told me nothing. He came to me at Mazatlan and I sent him 
to Monterey, but I know nothing. And, I want to know by what authority you 
are acting." 

Gillespie could not answer, and Fremont saw that the worthy naval man 
was not in the plan of campaign, consequently he made the best reply possible, 
that he was acting on his own authority. "And I have acted," said Sloat, "upon 
the faith of your operations in the north, as I would rather suffer from doing 
too much than too little." 


Fremont then, from the deck of the Savannah, might have called the Com- 
modore's attention to the Collingwocd which had arrived in port only the day 
before, and that she was only one of the big fleet of war vessels Great Britain 
was keeping in that part of the Pacific. Also that this was a time for quick 
action and not for the unwinding of red tape. If Sloat had then known that 
the declaration of war was two months oki and that an order censuring him for 
not taking Monterey sooner, was coming to him from the Navy Department, 
he might not have worried over the pace that Fremont had set him. Thus it 
is seen that the government made no mistake at that critical period when it 
directed this junior officer of the United States Topographical Engineers to move 
at his own discretion. He took part in the subsequent events — mere skirmishes 
— between the Californians and American forces, also in the skirmishes between 
himself and the fellow-officers whose malice followed him to the close of the 
conflict he began in the Plaza at Sonoma. 


.\fter receiving the surrender of General \'allejo and Sonoma, the Amer- 
icans organized themselves into something resembling a municipal government, 
with William B. Ide president and Dr. Robert Semple secretary. John Grigs- 
by was appointed captain, Ezekiel Merritt, who had conducted them there, not 
wishing to retain command. Henry L. Ford was made lieutenant. In order 
that the movement should go on record as proceetiing decently and regularly. 
Ide, as commander-in-chief, formulated the following declaration, which was 
published June i8th: 

"A proclamation to all persons ;ind citizens of the district of Sonoma re- 
questing them to remain at peace and follow their rightful occupations without 
fear of molestation. 

•■The commander-in-chief of the Iroops assembled in the fortress of Sonoma 
gives his inviolable pledge to all persons in California, imt found under arms, 
that they shall not be disturbed in their persons, their property or social rela- 
tion, one with another, by men under his command. 

"He also solemnly declares his object to be; first, Id defend himself and 
companions in arms, who were invited to this country by a promise of lands 
on which to settle themselves and families : who were also promised a republican 
form of government; w^hen, having arrived in California, they were denied the 
privilege of buving or re'.Uing lands of their friends, who instead of being al- 
lowed to participate in or being protected by a republican government, were 
oppressed bv a military despotism, who v.'ere even threatened by proclamation 
bv the chief officers of the aforesaid despotism with extermination if they should 
not depart out of the countr\- leaving all of their property, arms and beasts of 
burden ; and thus deprived of the means of flight or defense, were to be driven 
through deserts inhabited by hostile Indians, to certain destruction. To over- 
throw a government which- has seized upon the prosperity of the mission for 
its individual aggrandizement; which has ruined and shamefully oppressed the 
laboring people of California by enormous exaction on goods imported into this 
country, is the determined purpose of the brave men who are associated under 
my command. 

"I also solemnly declare my object, in the second place, to be to invite all 
peaceable and good citizens of California who are frienllv to the maintenance 


of good order and e<|iial rights, and 1 do herein- invite llieni in my camp at 
Sonoma without dela\- to assist us in establisiiing and perpetuating a republican 
government, which will secure to all, civil and religious liberty; which shall 
encourage virtue and literature; which shall leave unshackled h\- fetters, agri- 
culture, commerce and manufactures. 

"I further declare that I rely upon the rectitude of our i)itenlions, the favor 
of heaven and the bravery of those wluj are bound and associated with me by 
principles of self-preservation, by love of the truth and the hatred <>\ tyranny, 
for my hopes of success. 

"I furthermore declare that I believe that a government to be prosperous 
and happy must originate with the people who are friendly to its existence, that 
the citizens are its guardians, the of^cers its servants, its glory its reward. 

\\'lLLIAM B. IdE." 

This proclamation, while it was a laudable and intelligent effort on their part 
to set themselves right before the world, also to satisfy the people in the neigh- 
borhood that no lives or propert}' were in peril, was somewhat crude in its word- 
ings, and in its allegations often wandered some distance from the facts. The 
settlers, the proclamation declared, had been invited to this country under the 
promise of lands and a republican form of government and those promises had 
been violated. It docs not appear in the declaration who made the promises 
and the seizure of the mission propert\ years previous does not seem to be a 
sufficient cause of action. However, the preparation of state-papers is hardly 
the work of the pioneer and Ide was sufficiently explicit and direct for all pur- 
], and if his language was less splendid than the diction of Castro, who 
was issuing call after call for the Californians to arise and sweep from the 
earth the "gang of North American adventurers" who had captured Sonoma 
"with the blackest treason the spirit of evil can invent," Ide"s ofT-hand procla- 
mation drew better and he soon had in his camp enough men well-armed, to 
police the surrounding country and run out the several gangs of desperados 
that were disturbing the settlements. 



After the insurgents found themselves with a victory on their hands they 
were confronted with the question of what to do with it. Fremont was con- 
siderable distance away and fleet vaqueros would soon carry the news of the 
capture around the territory. There was a discussion as to the disposal of the 
prisoners and it was finally decided to remove them to Sutter's Fort. As very 
friendly relations existed between captors and captives the General took part 
in these discussions and was in favor of the removal as he wished to be more 
in touch with a United States officer. He advised his people in the pueblo to 
remain quiet, that they would not be molested and he would soon return from 
Sutter's Fort. In Sonoma and while enroute he was secretly approached by 
Calif ornians with the suggestion that they organize themselves into a strong 
force, attack the Americans and rescue the captives. Vallejo strongly disap- 
proved of this. He knew such action would only cause needless bloodshed in 
the district and he knew what even many American officers in California did not 
know — that this was the beginning of the end of Mexican dominion in the terri- 
tory. He was not obsessed with the madness that would send his simple 
vaqueros against those rifles whose discharge was the prelude of death. But he 
immediately communicated with Commander John B. Montgomery of the United 
States Sloop of War Portsmouth, in San Francisco, requesting that officer to 
use his authority or exert his influence to prevent the commission of acts of 
violence upon the inhabitants of Sonoma by the insurgents in that community. 
By order of Commander Montgomery the following reply was written by Lieu- 
tenant W. A. Bartlett, U. S. N., to Don Jose de la Rosa, Vallejo's representative: 

"Sir: You will say to General Vallejo, on my part, that I at once and 
entirely disavow this movement as having proceeded under any authority of the 
United States, or myself as the agent of my Government in this country, or on 
this coast. It is a movement entirely local, and with which I have nothing to 
do ; nor can I in any way be induced to take part in the controversy which 
belongs entirely to the internal policies of California. 

"If they are Americans, as they avow themselves, they arc beyond the laws 
and officers of the United States, and must now take all the responsibilities in 
which they have placed themselves, being answerable to the laws of Mexico and 

"I have now for the first time heard of this movement and in making the 
most positive disavowal, for myself and for my Government, as having in any 
wise instigated or aided this. I also disavow the same on the jiart of Captain 
Fremont, United States topographical engineer, now in the country for scien- 
tific purposes. 

"If my individual efforts can be at any time exercised to allay violence or 
])revent injury to innocent ])ersons, it shall be exerted; but as an officer of the 


Government of the United States I cannot have anything to do with either 
party. They must take the responsibiHties of their own acts. From what has 
already transpired I think it clear that no violence will be committed on any one 
not found with arms in their hands. You will assure General Guadalupe Val- 
lejo of my sympathy in his <lifficulties; but I positively cannot interfere in the 
local policies of California." 


Commander Montgomery was clearly within the scope of his official dui\ 
^as he had not been .sought by Gillespie — but his disavowals gratuitously re- 
peated, showed an interest strongly personal. At that period there was con- 
siderable disavowing of Fremont's work, on the part of United States officers. 
Sloat had to stir himself and follow the Pathfinder's lead and take Monterey, 
then he disavowed, and resigned his naval command in the Pacific, which did 
not save him from the departmental reprimand, he received for his delay. 
Stockton took his place, and in the intervals between some tough fights with 
the Californians in the southern portion of the state, did his share of the dis- 
avowing. General Phil Kearny, the conqueror of New Mexico, marched into 
California late, but early enough to disavow Fremont's action. Shubrick, 
another commodore, had his ship on the coast long enough to also do some dis- 
avowing. Colonel R. B. Mason came last and disavowed, but as he was inspec- 
tor of troops possibly this was somewhat along the line of his duty. However, 
they all did more or less disavowing of each other. At one time during the 
conflict, California had two military governors, and as they were antagonistic 
to one another, the territory appeared to be back in its normal condition under 
Mexican' rule. Colonel Philip Cooke, one of the latest arrivals, amusingly de- 
scribes that prevailing condition : "Colonel Kearny is supreme somewhere up 
the coast. Colonel Fremont is supreme at Pueblo de los Angeles, Commodore 
Stockton is supreme at San Diego. Commodore Shubrick the same at Mon- 
terey ; and I at San Luis Rey ; and we are all supremely poor, the government 
having no money and no credit, and we hold the territory because Mexico is the 
poorest of all." 

Commander Montgomery, who had not been schooled in the "secret work" 
of the administration, might better have remained aboard the Portsmouth and 
"attended to his knitting," instead of questioning without knowledge the action 
of an officer in another branch of the service ; as it was he assumed an unten- 
able position, and so places himself on the general record of official error. As 
his government and that of Mexico were then busily at war, — and he should 
have been in the "trouble" — his technically-blameless inactivity, his caution, 
assumption, and hurried proclamation of his government's California policy, 
show weakly before Fremont's soldierly activity and unerring judgment. The 
Patlifinder found a broad path by which California walked into the American 
Union while his brother officers were disavowing him. Yet to Montgomery's 
credit he supplied the Bear Flag people with United States powder from the 

To more fully acquaint himself regarding the situation in Sonoma, Mont- 
gomery sent one of his officers, Lieutenant John S. Missroon. to that town. 
His observation on conditions appears in the fcillowing jiortinn of his report: 


'it only remains, sir. for me to add that, so far as I could judge and 
observe, the utmost harmony and good order prevail in the camp, and that I 
have every reason to believe that the pledges of kind treatment toward all who 
may fall into their hands will be faithfully observed. I also enclose copy of a 
letter which 1 addressed to the Alcalde while 1 was at Sonoma, which copy is 
as follows: 

" 'Sonoma, June 17, 1846. 

'Sir: A^ \-ou were informed yesterday, through my interpreter, my visit 
to this place is of a strictl} mediatorial character, and was induced by the appli- 
cation of General Vallejo to Captain Montgomery, requesting him to adopt 
measures for the protection of the females and peaceable inhabitants of Sonoma. 

'I have the pleasure to assure you of the intention of the foreigners now in 
arms and occupying Sonoma, to respect the persons of all individuals and their 
]jroperty, who do not take up arms against them, and I leave with you a copy of 
the pledge which the commander of the party has voluntarily given to me, with 
a view to the pacification of all alarm.' I also enclose copy of Commander 
William R. Tde's pledge : 


'I pledge myself that I will use my utmost exertion to restrain and prevent 
the men in arms under my command, all of whom present acknowledge my 
authority and approve the measure of forbearance and humanity, from per- 
petrating any violence, or in any manner molest the peaceable inhabitants, in 
person or property, of California, while we continue in arms for the liberty of 
California. (Signed) Wm. B. Ide, Commander.' " 

While the naval commander at Yerba Buena in an unofficial way sought to 
counsel kindness and moderation on the part of the Americans toward the peo- 
ple of the pueblo, there was not at any time the slightest danger that the Sono- 
mans would be ill-treated. W'illiam B. Ide. a man of sterling worth and con- 
siderable culture, -seemed to shape and control the conduct of those under his 
command. .\nd this was no simple task, as his force largely included men 
unaccustomed to restraint and not sufficiently posted as to the cause and object 
of the movement and consequent!}- often disposed to oppose measures they did 
not understand. Ide was a native of Ohio, came across the plains, reaching 
Sutter's Fort in October, 1845. Military Governor R. B. Mason, June 7, 1847, 
appointed him land surveyor for the northern district of California and in addi- 
tion he was Justice of the Peace at Cache Creek. He received the grant of 
the Rancho Barranca Colorado, in Colusa county. Ide practiced law and was 
elected County Judge of Colusa county, September 3. 1851. He died at Mon- 
roeville. December 18. 1852, aged fifty years. 


Aiier General \'allejo and the other captured officers had been dispatched 
to Sutter's Fort under the escort of Captain Ide, Merritt, (irigsby, Hargrave. 
Kit Carson and several others, the "squatters" as General \'allejo might have 
called them, started out to look over their claim. They were new at State- 
making — that is when the fabric is built up in a night, or in a morning — before 
breakfast, it was an accumplishmenl somewhat larger than stocking a rancho 
or furnishing a farm. .\s to her defensive properties Sonoma was mjt a 


Gibraltar, and the several hundred slielt-worn muskets and other weapons in 
the place, seemed anything but dangerous to the Americans whose long rifles, 
many of them, had been tested in places where a miss meant the finish of the 
shooter. The chief government building in a Spanish town is called a citadel 
— Castillo ; a Spaniard ma_\ run shy on many accomplishments but he may be 
trusted to fill in on names. The investigators found the battery — nine or ten 
old brass cannon, each piece lying prone across the adobe wall as if the soul 
of war within the gun was dead. Vallejo almost to the tear-point had pleaded 
for better armament for Sonoma and the northern frontier, as protection against 
undesirable immigration, and the Supreme Government of Mexico had ordered 
him to shoot pronunciamientos at the invading strangers. But out on the plaza 
this board of inspection found something more alive — the national ensign of 
Mexico. A soldado viejo of the southern republic had stolen out in the half- 
light and hoisted the bit of bunting to the top of the staff. For hours, unno- 
ticed by the strangers passing below, the little flag, still faithful to the cause it 
served but could not saAC, saucily Haunted its eagle and its red, white and green 
in their faces. 

This reminded ihcm that they were yet without a goveriiiiienl standard. 
They were North American.-; and would have raised their red, white and blue 
when they lowered the red, white and green, but Fremont had advised them 
not to do so, fully knowing that as they were not acting umler the formal 
authorization of the United States government, such action would raise the 
ever-ticklish question of neutrality. Mexico had fiercely complained of the 
raising of the American flag at Monterey, four years before, and Commodore 
Ap Catesby Jones, U. S. N., had been made the convenient scapegoat — faithful 
government servants frequently are — to appease the Mexican minister at Wash- 
ington. So the Pathfinder, when he induced the historical Thirt}-three to visit 
Sonoma that June day-dawn knew, — even though he was obeying a secret 
order, its official existence not to be revealed, the office and the honor of the 
scapegoat for him was a strong possibility. But he anticipated the interference 
of the United States naval forces on this coast and again his judgment averted 
what would have been to the revolutionists an awkward international situation. 
This does not infer that their situation apparently was not tending in that direc- 
tion, or that Captain Fremont in his surveyors' camp on the American river 
was not anxiously listening for a gun-salute to an American flag waving over 
Yerba Buena. If the expected war had not taken place it is possible that pres- 
ently the rough-riders of the Bear, with their cub-republic, born at break o' day, 
would have been moving out of the pueblo with President Santa Ana's Mexican 
cavalry in the vicinity. Not only is all's well that ends well, but, at least in this 
case, all's well that begins well, for an American army was then fighting its way 
toward the City of Montezuma. The insurgents, revolutionists, filibusters or 
whatever they may be called, had "guessed" aright, and the California grizzly, 
strolling (en passant) leisurely along the folds of their flag, was umpired in 
— safe. 

Yet this movement, new and in advance of the wisdom of the period, this 
forerunner of the change that was to awake the sleeping territory to progress, 
came in for adverse judgment from the jxiliticians orbing around the national 
ca])ita]. The inconsistencx of this decision can be seen in the receptions of the 


two states that came to the northern repubHc during that decade. Texas, not 
menaced by a foreign power, and barely justified in her action, won complete 
independence from Mexico and then almost immediately offered herself to the 
Union. She was admitted, a slave state, by a whig administration whose cen- 
tral creed was anti-slavery. California, a ripe plum falling to a British squad- 
ron, her long length of ocean-shore to become a line of foreign fortifications 
whose guns would train eastward toward the American frontier and her then 
miserable system of government promising to be a constant thorn in the side of 
her neighbor over the wall of the Sierras, was encouraged to separate from the 
southern republic by a democratic administration in the face of a strong pro- 
test from these same whigs. The protesting statesmen, after the war, pro- 
posed that California be sold back to Mexico for $12,000,000, and if agreeable 
to the other party, the United States to retain San Francisco, shore and bay, 
allowing Mexico $3,000,000 on account. As this government by the treaty had 
assumed a Mexican debt of fifteen millions of money due American citizens, 
these diplomats of finance considered that they were proposing a highly profit- 
able real estate deal. Shortly after this, Marshall, digging a sawmill ditch in 
Coloma creek, struck his pick into a nest of nuggets and next day California's 
market value went up to nearer twelve hundred millions in gold, and to a moral 
figure that can never be estimated. 




When the Thirty-Three Immortals in Pueblo Sonoma, June 14, 1846, 
found themselves — a full-grown state with no flag to fit it, they made one, as 
they had made their commonwealth, — immediately and with the material at 
hand. The result was the Bear Flag. It was a domestic production, and it 
was not inglorious, if home-made. It was a symbol, — in the rough, but the true 
article, of liberty, justice and peace. And it readily gave place to its proto- 
type, the Stars and Stripes, when the little Sonoma republic was merged into 
the Great Republic of the North American States. In fact the Bear Flag's 
single red bar and star is one of the thirteen stripes and one of the thirty-one 
stars that shone on the national flag after California had been admitted to the 
Union. And this fact which Native Sons may remember : California's star 
now on the blue field of the American ensign, first appeared on the Bear Flag. 
This rudelv-fashioned standard of a small state that lived but a brief period 
beyond its inception, is more than the mere caprice of a leaderless band of 
American immigrants. It arose over the plaza in Sonoma at a critical time, 
and it cleared the air for the other flag, and the way for American occupancy. 
Commodore Sloat with his squadron had beaten Admiral Seymour's British fleet 
in the sea-race from Mazatlan, but the Yankee naval officer was lying at anchor 
in the harbor of Monterey hesitating to take possession of the port, and the 
entire territory. He had heard rumors of war being on between Mexico and 
the United States, but he feared to move before he had received official con- 
firmation of the news. And well he might hesitate. His predecessor, Com- 
modore Ap Catesby Jones, four years previous placed in a like position, had 
raised his flag over the old adobe custom house in that city, and had to haul the 
colors down next day, learning that he had been too rapid. His indiscretion 
had brought about his recall, to appease angry Mexico; hence Sloat's timidity. 
The two republics were then at war. though this was unknown on the Pacific 
coast. Captain John Charles Fremont, surveying across the continent, had re- 
ceived secret instructions from the administration — instructions that were ver- 
bal and have never been filed or published — to use his own judgment, taking all 
responsibility, even concealing the participancy of the national government, and 
forestall any occupancy of California by France or Great Britain. He sent 
the Bear Flag party to Sonoma, and when Sloat heard of the work in that 
pueblo and of Fremont's actions in other portions of the territory, he con- 
cluded that the "Pathfinder" was acting officially. Then he took possession of 
Monterey and directed Alontgomery in the "Portsmouth" to possess Yerba 
Buena, also to raise the American ensign at Sonoma. It is a matter of history 
that Sloat afterwards acknowledged that he made his first move only when he 
had become convinced that Fremont was working under department orders 
which he (Sloat) had not vet received. And as additional evidence of the 


ini]jt)rtant part playeri here b\- the Pathfinder, by the Bear Flaggers and their 
rlag. Sloat was severely reprimanded by the Navy Department, the administra- 
tion holding that his timidity with the British fleet in the vicinity ready to work 
in conjunction with the annexation-scheme of the Mexican government, jeopar- 
dized the claims and intentions of the L'nited States. Alas, poor Sloat. He 
was punished for doing too little, while Jones received the same punishment 
for doing too much, on the same job. 


In the knightly diction of heraldry the Bear Flag is: A grizzly passant 
on field argent ; star at right dexter point ; legend "California Republic" in 
lower half ; horizontal bar gules from base to base. As an armorial bearing the 
bear is a suitable choice. Often he has been met on his eminent domain, and as 
a true native son — representative of the wild west, he has qualified. His ordi- 
narily mild manner and willingness to be let-alone, also his latent prowess in 
argument when driven to the battlepoint, are well known. His high moral and 
physical standing in the animal settlements of the American continent make 
him socially fit for a place on anybody's flag. Though a carnivora, he has no 
objection to a huckleberry meal, but only dire famine will drive him to a diet 
of Digger Indian. And it is true that no Digger has ever eaten him. The 
single star is a reflex of the lone luminary that lighted Texas in the night of 
her deadly struggle, and the red colonial bar along the lower edge of the white 
cloth represents the California Republic's single colony. Airs. John Sears fur- 
nished the square of white sheeting and Mrs. John Matthews, the Mexican 
wife of an American, contributed a flannel petticoat for the red stripe. Some 
unchivalrous historian has tried to establish the version of the various Bear 
Flag stories that one of the hunters of the party donated his only shirt for this 
purpose, but as the nameless patriot never acknowledged the honor and the 
sacrificial red shirt, the alleged incident must be left out of the record. Chiv- 
alry, modesty and self-denial are the cardinal characteristics often found in 
heroes, so possibly he was a life-sufferer from all three of these virtues, and 
died unknown, unhonored and unsung. 

Here it may not be inappropriate tii insert the insjiiring verse of Ceorge 
Homer Meyer, a native of Sonoma county, and the first President of Santa 
Rosa Parlor, X. S. G. W. It was read on the occasion of the Admission Day 
celebration held in Santa Rosa, September 9, 1885, and attended by repre- 
sentatives from every Parlor in the State : 


\Vith the flag of all others we love and revere. 

And whose stars float above us today. 
Let us blend the Bear I'lag of the brave pioneer, 

While we wreathe theni with laurel and bay. 
With the names of our fathers its white folds engrave, 

Xo dishonor its history mars. 
.\n(l today do we hold it as fitting to wave 

By the side of the Stripes and the .Stars. 

L'nseemly and rude on that far June-day nmrn 
\\as tlie banner the\ lifted in air. 


Yet the deed marked tlie liuiir when an empire was hurn, 

And the Spirit of Freedom was there. 
So the}' raised up that Hag by the wesiernniosi sea — 

The flag of the grizzly, the star and the bar. 
Its sponsors were Men and its folds floated free — 

The Flag of the Stripe and the Star. 

.\ND ci-:ni-:u.\l \'.\i.Liijo .s.\in "nuK.No." 

The immediate iieed of a flag was borne in upon them by the following 
incident: Early that morning after General \'allejo had been notified by his 
captors that he, his sword, the old brass guns on the wall, the rusty muskets in 
the Castillo and everything else possessed by Mexico in Sonoma, were prisoners 
of war, the old Don batted his eyes once or twice, said "bueno," and invited 
the fierce Americanos to stay for breakfast. Senora Vallejo stirred up her 
Indian cooks, and soon the General's dining hall — that was never closed to a 
stranger, especially to an American, was thrown open, and on the tables were 
loads of chile con carne, frijoles, tortillas, and wine from the mission grapes 
growing out b}- the old church of San Francisco de Solano. Needless to sa_\- 
that banquet given by the Premier Native Son of the Golden West was a 
notable one. It has been reported that during the latter part of the feasting 
some of the invaders were swearing "Viva la Mexico,"' and that General Val- 
lejo was oti'ered the Presidency of the new republic. During the festivities an 
old Spanish soldier had stolen out into the plaza and raised the Mexican flag. 
He could not annihilate the hated gringos, but he could flaunt his country's 
ensign in their faces. This they found it doini; wlien they issued from the 
banquet room. 

William Lincoln Todd, nephew of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, was the artist 
of the Bear Flag. Henry Ford, one of the party, carefully outlined the general 
appearance of the grizzly, and then Todd insisted that he was an animal- 
painter, in fact a Landseer. His comrades told him to go ahead, and hurry. 
Witli a pen and ink he laboriously drew the figure of the bear on both sides of 
the white sheeting. ]i\ that time the "committee on flag" scouting around town 
had found and commandeered some linseed oil, lampblack and a can of red 
paint. These the "Landseer" of the republic mixed and spread on the cloth. 
In color the result was more cinnamon than grizzly, hut the new state was not 
seeking mere color and the work was accepted. X'arious art-writers have tried 
their pens on that result. It has been called a bear rampant. — meaning, possi- 
bly, on the rampage: also a bear regardant, — regarding the landscape in an 
effort to locate a dinner. But these heraldic descriptions were not so practical 
as the criticisms of the curious town-people who looked, laughed and said it 
was "el porcino;" and an English sailor present voiced in his natal vernacular 
that idea when he said that it was "nothing so like a bloomin' red 'og." 

Todd had no difficulty getting on what passed for a five-point star, but 
when he came to the inscription he found his first snag. This is recorded in a 
letter written from Los Angeles, January ii, 1878, in which lie says: "Mine 
was a grizzly bear passant, painted red; the flag mentioned by Hittell, the his- 
torian, with the bear rampant, was made. 1 believe, in Santa Barbara, and was 
painted black. The Hag I naintcil will be known by a mi-take 1 n'ade in tint- 


ing in the words 'CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC." The letters were l^rst lined 
out with a pen, and I forgot the 'L' and put the 'C in its place. Afterwards 
I put the T over the "C," which made the last part of 'REPUBLIC look as if 
the final two letters were blended." 


Red flannel petticoats have an honored place on American flags. The 
seven red stripes of the first national ensign flung to the winds were donated 
by the wife of an American soldier, who sacrificed her petticoat for that patri- 
otic purpose. James McChristian of Sebastopol, the survivor of the Bear Flag 
party, saw the "flag committee" at their work. He says that Jack Randsford, 
Peter Storm and John Kelly were told off by Captain Ezekiel Alerritt to do 
the "heavy" work. These three men, being sailors and necessarily sea-tailors, 
were supposed to know much about sails, flags and other fabrics. In their 
cruisings around the pueblo they found Mrs. John Matthews, a native of Cali- 
fornia, and the wife of the American express-rider between Sutter's Fort and 
Sonoma. She provided the flannel band and Randsford sewed it on the white 
sheeting below the bear passant. That bear may be a "native son," but the red 
petticoat-stripe is more distinctly "native daughter," and the N. D. G. W. may 
logically plead their stronger claim to the Bear Flag as an emblem of their 
order. Josefa Matthews — woman of Spain — wife of an American — is the 
Bear Flag daughter of the golden west. 

Los Osos — the bears — as the Californians called the Americans, were 
highly pleased with Todd"s labors, and Todd was correspondingly highly 
pleased with himself and their tributes to his handicraft. He wanted to in- 
crease his output of flags while he was about it, he said, but he had been so 
wasteful with his color-supply that there was no more in the California Repub- 
lic, and the one ensign had to do for the whole state. Captain Stephen Smith 
at Bodega made a fair copy of the original — fair enough for working purposes 
— which he used till the republic was lost in the American commonwealth. 

When the warpaint on the white-sheeting was sufficiently dry to stay where 
Todd had put it, the California Republic took her stand in the north-west cor- 
ner of the Sonoma plaza for the first flag raising. They did not use the old 
brass battery for a salute, as they did not know whether or not the ancient guns 
could be fired without bursting and destroying the new state. Moreover, pow- 
der was scarce. 

Then the Banner of the Bear 
With its single stripe and star 
Went aloft. 

And the brave little ensign of Mexico that had waved defiance all day to 
the invading gringos, its red, white and green rising and falling on the soft, 
saline winds that came up from the valley from the sea, dropped down from 
its place and out of history. 

Regarding the exchange of ensigns by LieutLMiant J. W. Revere of the 
IJ. S. Sloop of War "Portsmouth," the following incident is told by James 
McChristian : "After the Bear Flag had been unbent from the stafT-halliards 
and Revere was fastening Old Glory to the rope. Midshipman John E. Mont- 
gomery, the son of Commander John Montgomery of the "Portsmouth," care- 
fully folded the square of sheeting into a neat package and placed it in his 


coat-pocket, saying, 'this is worth taking care of.' The lad at that time was just 
my own age — 18 — a fine, manly fellow, and nobod_\ objected to his action." The 
gallant middy of the old-time Yankee navy, who appreciated and cared for the 
passing Bear Flag, gave his life in the service of his country and this State, as 
he was killed in a fight with hostile Indians near Sutter's Fort soon after this 
event. McQiristian, seventy-four years old, the last of the Bear Flaggers, 
remembers clearly the stirring times in this county during the "roaring forties." 
He was employed by Revere to haul two i8-pounder brass guns from Sonoma 
to the Embarcadero, where they were to be shipped to the "Portsmouth," at 
Yerba Buena. The officer had found them on the wall looking frowningly 
across the valley, and he intended to have them mounted at the Annapolis naval 
academy as object-lessons for the cadets. McChristian's two-yoke of oxen 
balked on the job, and his claim for the work has slept in the War Department 
for sixty-three years. 


Thougli the Bear Flag passes from the Sonoma plaza, it does not pass 
from further history. Its adoption by the California Republic June 14, 1846, 
makes its anniversary identical with that of the ensign that supplanted it, as 
June 14, 1777, Congress adopted the thirteen stars and thirteen stripes as the 
national flag. Its adoption by the Native Sons, June 8, 1880, makes it the 
standard of their order, and its adoption by the Legislature, March 3, 191 1, 
makes it the State Flag. Its lone star was the star of Texas, and is now the 
star of California on the national ensign. Its bear, at the request of Major 
J. R. Snyder of Sonoma, was placed on the great seal of the state. The Bear 
Flag is yet in active service, and not one feature on its folds is idle. Its polit- 
ical-life was only twenty-five days, but during twenty-three of them it was the 
sole American flag of any description in this territory, and its presence at 
Sonoma was a deterrent to the foreign powers hesitating to move for posses- 
sion. Its presence at Sonoma finally moved the hesitating United States naval 
commander at Monterey to send the Stars and Stripes ashore and seal Cali- 
fornia to Uncle Sam forever. What more honor and distinction could it have? 
Everv Native Son and Daughter of the Golden West may proudly wear the 
little emblem of the bear, for in the world of heraldry there is no more knightly 

The only ceremony other than the cheers of "Los Osos" and the attention 
of the Sononians who viewed the proceedings with mild curiosity, was the 
flag-raising oration of Lieutenant Henry L. Ford, who with First Sergeant 
Granville F. Swift and Second Sergeant Samuel Gibson composed the official 
stafif of the grand army of the new republic. The lieutenant's oratory was 
remarkably deficient in metaphorical flights and full-rounded periods, but it 
went directly to the point. There was a faint allusion to the alternative of 
disaster, but about it there was the old "we-must-hang-together-or-we-will- 
hang-separately" spirit of the Declaration of Independence. In all its rugged 
beauty and brevity here is the address in full : 

■'My countrymen, we have taken upon ourselves a damned big contract. 
We have gone to war with the Mexican nation, and that will keep us busy for 
some time. We are bound to defend one another or be shot. There is prob- 


ably no half-way place in the matter. To make our object good and take care 
of ourselves we must have order, we must have discipline. Each of you has 
had a voice in choosing your officers. Now that they have been chosen, they 
must be obeved. This is business, and there is no back-out from it." 



In the histon of the invasion of Sonoma there is recorded no instance of 
\iolence. not one overt act against the order and discipHne as insisted upon by 
the orator of tlie flag-raising celebration. Among the many adventurous men 
that were attracted there by tlie probabilities of war and the possibilities of gain, 
doubtless there were characters difficult to manage, but in the hands of those 
managers ready to use a loaded riHc as the last argument, if such appeared — 
they were managed. The grizzly on the cotton-sheeting may have been a far 
cr\- from the real thing ruling in his wild ravines, but the spirit symbolized in 
Todd's oil painting was the stunlx- spirit of California's forest king, — and Cali- 
fornia's gringo republic. 

The garrison was divided into two companies — First Rifles and First Artil- 
lery The Rifles broke out from the armory all the small arms they could find 
amid the rubbish of the place, cleaned them up and loaded all that would hold 
powder and lead. The Artilleries went to work on the battery. They scraped 
the rust and muck off the pieces, and would have improved the appearance of 
the gun-carriages but Todd had used all the paint on the flag. P.ut they were 
all captains of industry for the rest of the day, and after they had finished, the 
old cannons lying across the wall looked more shiny and more ferocious. Sen- 
tries were posted with strict orders regarding the approach of strangers and the 
military family of the republic set up a system of orderly housekeeping. Sup- 
plies were purchased for the use of the defenders on the credit of the new gov- 
ernment and accounts were o]5ened for regular rations of beef, flour and other 
necessities. Prohibition was early established — whiskey made contraband, with 
a little martial law to keep it so. This was not a political measure but a munic- 
ipal precaution. The citizens of the pueblo, who greatly outnumbered their new 
governors, were closely looked after. Among them were many old Mexican 
soldiers and able-bodied men that could have put up a warm fight should some 
energetic leader stir them up and the "Bear Flaggers" didn't intend to be caught 
dreaming in the drowsy, summery climate of Sonoma. 

The mail service in the lerritor}- at that period was an indefinite attair and 
mail reached Sonoma when some accommodating vaquero acting as pony-ex- 
press brought it. Few natives in ilic countr\- could read or write, even Lieut. - 
Col. Castro of the Mexican Army and Acting Coniandante of the Department 
of California, was without that accomplishment, but some humble secretario 
penned the fulminations that occasionally filtered into the pueblo, furnishing 
news and amusement to the "adventurers " he so longed to rise en masse and 
destroy. This is a sample translation of the high-color war-words of a Mex- 
ican statesman : 


"Fellow Citizens — the contemptible policx of the agents of the L^nited 
States of North America in this department has induced a number of adven- 
turers who, regardless of the rights of men, have designedly commenced an 
invasion, possessing themselves of the town of Sonoma, taking by surprise all 
the place, the military commander of that border, Col. Don Mariano Guadalupe 
\'allejo, Lieut.-Col. Don Victor Prudon. Captain Don Salvador Vallejo and 
Jacob P. Leese. 

"Fellow countrymen, the defense of our liberty, the true religion which our 
fathers possessed and our independence, call upon us to sacrifice ourselves rather 
than lose those estimable blessings. Banish from your hearts all petty resent- 
ments. Turn you and behold yourselves, these families, these innocent little 
ones, which have unfortunately fallen into the hands of our enemies, dragged 
from the bosoms of their fathers, who are prisoners among foreigners and are 
calling upon us to succor them. There is still time for us to rise en masse, as 
irresistible as retribution. You need not doubt that Divine Providence will 
direct us to the way of glory. You should not vacillate because of the smallness 
of the garrison of the general headquarters, for he who will first sacrifice him- 
self will be your friend and fellow-citizen. Let the fortunes of war take its 
chance with these ungrateful men who, with arms in their hands, have attacked 
the country. I have nothing to fear, my duty leads me to death or victory. I 
am a Mexican .soldier and I will be free and independent or I will gladly die for 
those inestimable blessings. 

"Jose Castro." 

But as the captured Sonomans, their families and their innocent little ones 
were getting along quite nicely with their captors, and no prisoner was calling 
for succor, no Californian hastened to sacrifice himself, and even Castro did not 
appear anxious to show up at the sacrificial point. So, the gims in the silent 
battery at Sonoma went on gathering dust. 


But the occupation of this portion of the territory was not destined to be 
bloodless and the first homicide was a foul murder. Soon after getting his 
garrison into ship-shape Lieutenant Ford found the powder running low and 
sent two of his men, Cowie and Fowler, to the Sotoyome Ranclio, where Moses 
Carson would supply them with the needed war commodity. They were captured 
near Santa Rosa by a band of cut-throats and desperados under the leadership 
of one Juan Padillo, a native of New Mexico. In the band was a notorious 
character known as "Three-Fingered-Jack," his hand having been mutilated in 
one of his bloody personal encounters, who with Padillo, decided the hideous fate 
of the Americans, though it is said the rest of the Californians wished to spare 
them. Next morning the prisoners were taken into the hills northeast of the 
town, stripped and lashed naked to a tree. After amusing themselves throwing 
knives at the bare bodies of the helpless victims, they were mutilated and 
butchered by the inhuman monsters with Apache-like fiendishness. It is a 
pleasure to record that the murderers paid with their lives for that morning's 
entertainment. An Indian named Chanate witnessed the deed from the bushes 
in the vicinity and quickly notified Carson, who hurried to the place where he 
found the remains. Carson dug a grave and buried the bodies where he found 
them; the spot is near Chanate or Pleasant N'alley, hut the exact location i.s 


unknown. Xo stone nor any object marks the place where these two pioneers, 
practically forgotten, lie. 

A member of the Carrillo famil\- was one of the band and his connection 
with the affair caused his brother Julio to strongly assert that Ramon Carrillo 
was in nowise responsible for the killing of the two Americans. The young man 
after made a sworn statement that Three-Fingered Jack stole out and barbar- 
ously slaughtered the prisoners while the rest of the band were deliberating over 
their disposal. There is not the slightest doubt of the story in its hideous details 
even to the tearing out of the jawbone of one of the unfortunates and the un- 
printable mutilation of both men as noted by the party that found the remains 
under the pine tree where they had been butchered. Yet H. H. Bancroft, whose 
pro-Mexican leanings frequently warp the pages of his splendid California his- 
tories, says : "In the absence of positive original evidence to the contrary, I 
choose to believe that Cowie and Fowler were killed in an altercation, in an 
attempt to escape, or by an individual desperado." The altercation, or attempt 
to escape, or individual desperado, in nowise moderates the revolting character 
of that horrible butcherv. 

Several days after this. William Todd while out some distance from Sonoma 
seeking his straying horses, was surprised and captured by the same band. 
Padillo and bloody coadjutors were for immediately executing the prisoner as 
they had finished Cowie and Fowler, but Todd could understand their Spanish 
words as they discussed his fate, and he took part in the discussion. He told 
them in that tongue that if he were killed the Americanos would shoot Vallejo 
and hang every greaser in Sonoma valley. This saved his life and his captors 
carried him to Olompali, an Indian rancheria, now Burdell's, Marin county. 

Upon the failure of the two men to return from Sotoyome Sergeant Gibson 
and four of his company were sent on their track. They first got the story of 
the murder of their comrades, and then they got the powder for the retaliation 
they determined to visit upon the murderers. It is hardly necessary to state 
that Ford and his mounted riflemen were soon on the war-path, but this was 
no new experience with them, most of whom had won their spurs in hanl ad- 
ventures, Indian fighting and privations that try the endurance of men. There 
was no special glorv in shooting common cut-throals but there was a score to 
be evened up. At the head of twenty-three picked men Ford first sought the 
Padillo place on the Ranclio Robler but the band had gone toward San Rafael. 
In that vicinity he suddenly ran into the combined forces of Captain Joaquin 
de la Torre, who had been sent across the bay by Castro to retake Sonoma ; also 
Padillo's band. Ford formed his fourteen men, having left the others at dif- 
ferent points, in a convenient brushy ravine and was ready for the charging 
Californians. He had no doubt as to his ability to whip them, for by actual 
count, while they were maneuvering, he found they numbered only eighty-five. 
Ford stretched his little dismounted squad among the willows of the arroyo, in- 
structing them not to fire till each one was "sure of his men." The Californians, 
as usual, were not disposed to crowd against the "gringos" and their terrible 
guns, and the only one who got hurt was a chap who, crawling through the 
underbrush to get a pot-shot at the malditos Americanos, inadvertently got 
within range of Old Red's rille, which weapon was never known to miss target. 


The spectacle of the Californian rollino down the hillside with the bullet in his 
stomach evidently was no entertainment for his conn-ades and they scattered 
down the ravine as fast as their mustangs could carry them. The injured man 
was treated aboard one of the war vessels until he recovered. Several historians 
have tried to make this meeting into a battle, with a considerable number of 
natives killed and wounded ; this is one of the weaknesses of the California his- 
tories. What went into the pages as battles were not even skirmishes. An 
American force of any size seldom could get the Californians close enough to 
shoot them. The natives could maltreat unarmed and helpless prisoners who 
fell into their hands : they might swagger in the absence of danger, but there 
was no big fight in them. In most of the "battles'" a few shots satisfied the 
"army" and the Generals in charge literally fought one another for the honor of 
leading the retreat. Then, after getting "safe" the valorous leader would get out 
a report of the affair that would be a literary masterpiece and a pronunciamento 
that would flash lightning. Here and there throtigh the population of the terri- 
tory was scattered a "better class." a small minority whose Spanish blood was 
not mixed with Mexican or California Indian and these from their ranchos 
looked on listlessly as the cheap adventurers among the official and irresponsible 
classes wrangled, plotted and revolutioned for the spoil the poor country pro- 
duced. California, her boundless possibilities not even dreamed of, was destined 
for the North Americans and the}- collectively committed a grievous sin of 
omission every da>- they left the territor\- in Mexican hanrls. 


Ford's party found Todd in the vicinity, uninjured, as just before the attack 
upon his captors an Indian woman had cut his bonds and set him free. The 
Bear Flaggers were unable to get the murderers of Cowie and Fowler, but in 
a few years most of the band had gone down before the bullet. Three-Fingered- 
Jack — his true name was Barnardino Garcia, was shot and killed with the no- 
torious Joaquin Alurietta when Captain Harry Love rounded up that band of 
bandits six years later. Padillo was shot by the vigilantes in the southern por- 
tion of the state in the early sixties. He was the man who stole into the camp 
of the Americans escorting the prisoner officers to Sutter's Fort. No guards had 
been posted, such not being considered necessary, as Vallejo was quite anxious 
to meet Fremont ; in fact he wanted to travel all night, but the others were too 
weary. Padillo quietl\- awoke the General and proposed that his band attack 
and kill the Americans who were sleeping so soundly, but \'allejo sternly or- 
dered him away because of the savage and treacherous character of the pro- 
posed action, and because of the red retaliation he knew would be visited upon 
the Californians. 



Castro, by the usual conscription ami other methods of enforced enlist- 
ment, had raised his force to about three hundred men. Soldiering in Cali- 
fornian armies was sans pay, sans glory and most of the time sans anything to 
eat unless the high-private put in his off-duty hours begging or stealing. But 
notwithstanding the non-military character of the eligibles for the ranks, the 
comandante general of the department was a skilled recruiter. He kept himself 
posted on the social matters in the vicinity and when he corraled a fandango 
or fiesta where he knew all the pleasure-loving men would be gathered, he would 
first secure their horses, which no gay caballero would be without, and then 
force the owners to volunteer in the work of driving back the savage Americanos 
who were coming to murder everybod)-. He now showed faint signs of re- 
deeming his promise to re-capture Sonoma, and moved up the Santa Qara valle)- 
as far as San Leandro. This, with Torre around San Rafael, stirred up the 
Bear Flag folks to the preparation of a fitting reception for the visitors. On 
June 23rd Harrison Pierce, a Xapa \'alle\- settler, rode from Sonoma to Fre- 
mont's camp at the Sinclair Ranch on the American River, with one change of 
horses, and that change at the John R. Wolfskill ranch on Putah creek. He 
reported that Castro with a large force was north of the bav and was threat- 
ening to retake Sonoma and hang every rebel on the place. Just as soon as the 
Pathfinder could get his men in the saddle they were riding southward and no 
grass was growing under their iiorse-hoofs. There were many nationalities in 
that band of ninety men but every one was a tried warrior, versed in woodcraft, 
skilled and daring and their rifles were always loaded. They rode into Sonoma 
at two o'clock on the morning of June 25, 1846. 

After a short rest from their forced march Fremont hail his troop mounted 
again and awav after Torre. I"or several days the nimble Californian and his 
men dodged around the Marin hills keeping out of sight of the Americans. 
One evening an Indian messenger was captured and he carried a letter purport- 
ing to be from Torre to Castro in which the writer stated that he would reach 
Sonoma and attack it in the morning. Gillespie and Ford insisted that the letter 
was a trick lo draw the Americans away, that the Torre force could escape to 
safetv across San Francisco bay. Fremont and others were inclined to this 
opinion, feeling that Torre would have no reason then to advise any one of his 
movements, but Sonoma was insufficiently garrisoned for any assault and could 
not be left in danger. Better risk the loss of Torre than the loss of Sonoma. 
While they were debating the> were moving towards home and about midnight 
rode into the town finding all safe and that they had been hoaxed. It was a 
clever trick and reflects credit on the Californian who escaped the Pathfinder. 
After a few hours' rest for the men and horses the troop was again in the saddle 
and away towards Sausalito, where it was known the retreating enemy would 
cross the bav. Xear Tiburon several scouts in charge of Kit Carson arrested 


Jose Berryessa and Ramon and Francisco tie Haro, as the three men landed 
from a boat, having come from San Francisco. The party shot the prisoners. 
Carson says that they were armed, were spies and carried letters from Castro 
to Torre urging that officer not to spare any Americans who fell into his hands. 
The Bear Flag force had started out to avenge the butchery of Cowie and 
Fowler, and they were not men accustomed to mild methods when dealing with 
an armed enemy. Kit Carson and the greater part of Fremont's hunters were 
in the habit of using the argument of the rifle to settle all disputes as well as 
to preserve life, but while these facts ma\- somewhat mitigate the ofTensiveness 
of the act, nothing can justify it. Mr. Bancroft chooses to doubt the reports of 
mutilation and other savage orgies around the dying Cowie and l'"owler, and 
accepts without ciuestion every detail of testimony that will stamp the shooting 
near Tiburon as an atrocious murder, and a part of the work of Fremont and 
his band of "filibusters" who captured Sonoma. Many versions of this unfor- 
tunate event have been published, but Bancroft selects the story that best fits 
his general character of the Bear Flag men: yet the historian admits that the 
statements most unfavorable to Fremont first ap]3eared at the time of that officer's 
court martial in Washington, two years after the ^N'larin war. Torre reached 
the bay far enough ahead of his pursuers to find boats, embark his force and 
escape. He joined Castro at the Santa Clara Mission. 


Captain William D. Phelps of the American bark "Moscow," lying at anclKjr 
at Sausalito during that period, gives the following account of his visit to Fre- 
mont's camp, also of his meeting with and of his impression of the well-known 
explorer : 

"The Americans camped opposite my bark, and they were early astir next 
morning when I landed to visit Captain Fremont, and all were variously em- 
ploved in taking care of their horses, mending saddles, cleaning arms, etc. I had 
not up to this time seen Fremont, but from reports of his character and ex- 
ploits my imagination had painted him as a large-sized, martial looking man or 
personage, towering above his companions, whiskered and ferocious looking. 

"I took a survey of the party,' but could not discover any one who looked as 
I thought the captain to look. Seeing a tall, lank, Kentucky-looking chap (Dr. 
Robert Semple) dressed in a greasy deerskin hunting shirt, with trousers to 
match, and which terminated just below the knee, his head surmounted by a 
coonskin cap. tail in front, who, I supposed, was an officer, as he was giving 
orders to the men, 1 approached and asked if the captain was in camp. He 
looked and pointed out a slender, well-proportioned man sitting in front of a 
lent. His dress was a blue woolen shirt of a somewhat novel style, open at the 
neck, trimmed with white, and with a star on each point of the collar (a man- 
of-war's-man's shirt) trimmed and fringed, which had evidently seen hard times 
or service, his head unincumbered by hat or cap. but had a slight, cotton hand- 
kerchief bound around it, and deerskin moccasins completed the suit, which if 
not fashionable for Broadway or for a presentation at court, struck me as being 
an excellent rig to scud under or fight in. A few minutes' conversation con- 
vinced me that I stood in the presence of the "King of the Rocky ATountains." 
Sutter's fort of refuge. 

.•\bout that time Lieutenant Joseph W. Revere ami several other officers of 
ihe United States sloop of war Portsmouth ascended the Sacramento river and 

HISTORY ()!• S().\"().\IA COL'XTV 89 

visited Suiter's I*'ort. Revere gives the foUov.'ino- description of the place destined 
to be the capital of the sovereign state of California : 

"( )n our arrival at the enibarcadero, or landing, we were not surprised to 
find a mounted guard of Sutter's hunters who had long been apprised by the 
Indians that a boat was coming up the river. These Indians were indeed im- 
portant auxiliaries to the revolutionists during the short period of strife between 
the parties contending for the territory of California. Having been most cruelly 
treated by the Spanish race, murdered even, on the slightest provocation, when 
their oppressors made marauding expeditions for servants and when captured, 
compelled to labor for their unsparing task-masters, the Indians throughout the 
country hailed the da\ when the hardy strangers from beyond the Sierra Nevada 
rose up in arms against the hijos del pais. Entertaining an exalted opinion of 
the skill and prowess of the Americans and knowing from experience that they 
were of a milder and less sanguinary character than the rancheros. they antici- 
pated a complete deliverance from their burdens and assisted the revolutionists 
to the full extent of their humble abilities. 

"Emerging from the woods lining the river, we stood upon a plain of 
immense extent, bounded on the west b\- the heavy timber which marks the 
course of the Sacramento, the dim outline of the Sierras appearing in the distance. 
We now came to some extensive fields of wheat in full bearing, w-aving grace- 
fully in the gentle breeze like the billows of the sea. and saw the white-washed 
walls of the fort situated on a small eminence commanding the approach on all 

"We were met and w^elcomed by Captain Sutter and the oflicers of the gar- 
rison ; but the appearance of things indicated that our reception would have been 
very dififerent had we come on a hostile errand. 

"The appearance of the fort with its crenated walls, fortified gatewa\ and 
bastioned angles ; the heavy-bearded fierce-looking hunters and trappers, armed 
with rifles, pistols and bowie-knives ; their ornamental hunting-shirts and gar- 
tered-leggings, their long hair, turbaned with colored handkerchiefs; their wild 
and almost savage looks and dauntless and independent bearing : the wagons 
filled with golden grain ; the arid yet fertile plains : the caballados driven across 
it by wild, shouting Indians, enveloped in clouds of dust, and the dashing horse- 
men scouring the valley in every direction ; all these accessories conspired to 
carry me back to the terbarous east; and I could almost fancy again that I 
w^as the guest of some powerful Arab chieftain in his desert stronghold. Every- 
thing bore the impress of vigilance and preparation for defense, and not without 
reason, for Castro then at the Pueblo de San Jose, with a force of several hun- 
dred men, well provided with horses and artillery, had threatened to march 
upon the valley of the Sacramento. 

"The fort consists of a parallelogram, enclosed iiy adobe walls fifteen feet 
high and two feet thick and their embrasures so arranged as to flank the curtain 
on all sides. A good house occupies the center of the interior area, serving for 
official quarters, armories, guard and state rooms, also for a kind of citadel. 
There is a second wall on the inner face, the space between it and the outer 
wall being roofed and divided into workshops, quarters, etc., and the usual offices 
are provided, and also a well of good water. Corrals for the cattle and horses 
of the garrison are convenienth- placed where they can he under the e\e of 



the guaril. Cannon frown from the \arions eniljrasures, and the ensemble pre- 
sents the very ideal of a border fortress. It must have "astonished the natives' 
when this monument of the white man's skill rose from the plain and showed its 
dreadful teeth in the midst of those peaceful solitudes." 


Fremont remained in camp at Sausalito until July 2. hoping for the ap- 
pearance of Castro. He sent a squad across the bay and spiked the guns in the 
presidio at Yerba Buena. These pieces were old. not of much use, and the 
magazine was without powder, but the visitors did their work so well that Com- 
mander Montgomery had considerable difficulty getting the spikes out a few- 
weeks later, wdien he took possession of San Francisco. But the party did not 
come awav altogether empty handed, as they captured Port Captain Robert 
Ridley and sent the prisoner to Sutter's Fort. Among the war claims presented 
in Washington during the after \ears was one by Captain Phelps of the "Mos- 
cow." He wanted $10,000 payment for providing- the boat or boats that ferried 
the party from Sausalito to San Francisco and return. He was allowed $50. 
The northern portion of the state being cleared of California forces the "Osos" 
returned to Sonoma, desiring, as one of them said, to have their first Fourth of 
July at home, in their California Republic. Out on the plaza they read the 
Declaration of American Independence under their Bear Flag — not having a 
United States ensign in the entire new state — spoke an oration, enjoyed a bar- 
becue, and the old battery on the wall bellowed a salute to the separation fron-i 
the mother kingdom across the eastern sea. It was a remarkable observance — 
the only one of its kind in histor\. The guns of the Mexican republic fired by 
the California Republic to celebrate the birthday of the .American Republic. It 
was a republican voice of thunder from Forty-si.x speaking to Seventy-six. C)ver 
the space of seventy years, over the space of a hemisphere, rebel called to rebel, 
brotherhood to brotherhood, one flag — one blood, after all. 

It was also a remarkable observance to the Californians who were then 
attending- a "Quarto de Julio" for the first time in their lives. But it was some 
kind of a fiesta, and they all had been invited, so they turned out in their 
native finery. Because of the flag and guns they knew the gathering- was of a 
patriotic character, but the literary exercises in the English language were mysti- 
fying. The Declaration seemed to Ijc a jironunciamento against somebody; they 
understood pronunciamentos, and when the reader fiercely hurled his denuncia- 
tion at King George III, the\ felt war in the air, and smiled at the anticipated 
enjoyment of witnessing- an .\niericano revolution, — seeing the gringos get up a 
fight among themselves. 

The July celebration i^robably reminded the liears that independence only 
could be while there were arms behinti it, consequently the next day the Cali- 
fornia Battalion of Mounted Riflemen, two hundred and fifty strong, was or- 
ganized. Brevet-Captain John C. Fremont. Second-Lieutenant of U. S. Topo- 
graphical Engineers, was chosen Commander; F-irst Lieutenant of V. S. Marines, 
Archibald H. Gillespie, was elected .\djutant and Inspector, with the rank of 
captain. Thus it will be noticed that the two leading- officers of the organization 
were commissioned officers in the I'nited States service, indicating how near the 
Sonoma republic stood to I'ncle Sam's great Rancho. 



Xaturally. the approval of Mexico to these important changes was not ex- 
pected, nor (Hd it manifest itself in any of the florid proclamations or accounts 
of the revolution. The following is one of the official reports of the TSear Flag 
rebellion ; 

"About a >ear before the commencement of the war with the United States, 
a band of adventurers, proceeding from the United States, and scattering over 
the vast territory of California, awaited only the signal of their government to 
take the first step in the contest for usurpation. Various acts committed by 
these adventurers in violation of the laws of the country indicated their inten- 
tions. P.ut unfortunately the authorities knew not how to arrest the tempest. In 
the month of Jul}, 1846, Captain Fremont, an engineer of the United States 
Army, entered the Mexican territory with a few mounted riflemen under the pre- 
text of a scientific commission, solicited and obtained from the Comandante- 
General, Don Jose Castro, permission to traverse the country. Three months 
afterwards, on the 19th of May, that same force and their commander took pos- 
session by armed force and surprised the town of Sonoma, seizing all the ar- 
tillery, ammunition, armaments, etc.. which it contamed. 

"The adventurers scattered along the Sacramento river, amounting to about 
four hundred, one hundred and sixty having joined their forces. They pro- 
claimed for themselves and on their own authority, the independence of Cal- 
ifornia, raising a rose-colored flag with a bear and a star. The result of this 
scandalous proceeding was the plundering of the jjroperty of some ^Mexicans 
and the assassination of others — three men shot as spies by Fremont, who, faith- 
ful to their duty to the country, wished to make resistance. The Comandante 
General demanded explanations on the subject of the Commander of an Amer- 
ican ship of war, the Portsmouth, anchored in the bay of San Francisco : and 
although it was positively known that munitions of war, arms and clothing were 
sent on shore to the adventurers. Commander J. B. Montgomery replied that 
'neither the Government of the United States or the subalterns had any part 
in the insurrection, and that the Mexican authorities ought, therefore, to punish 
its authors in conformity with the laws." 

The account has the usual Mexican flavor and is slightly astray in dates, 
but on the whole is fairly correct and especially true is the reference to the 
authorities then existing being 'iivided among themselves. This division may 
be said to have existed in California from the dawn of Mexican officialdom to 
the hour the American forces changed the administration- of the territory. 
\Mien Fremont first appeared in the valley near Monterey, the northern and 
.southern ends of the country were engaged in a civil conflict, and when Sonoma 
fell they were still at it. When Castro called on the south to forget old scores 
and sores and help him expel the invaders his political foes around Los Angeles 
considered his olive-branch offer a clever trick. Commodore Sloat took posses- 


sion of Alta California, but they did not seem to awake to the full significance 
of the thing' till the American riflemen began to mix in their internal troubles. 


But a change in the Bear Flag party's plans was coining near. July 6th, 
the riflemen set out by way of Knight's Landing on the Rio Sacramento to 
reach Castro in the Santa Clara valley, where the comandante general was as 
intently noting Pico in the south as he was watching Fremont in the north. 
At Sutter's Fort they learned that California was United States territory. Com- 
modore Sloat having raised the American flag at Monterey the 7th. And by 
his order, dispatched to Yerba Buena the day previous, Commander Mont- 
gomery of the United States sloop of war Portsmouth, had hoisted that vessel's 
ensign in the plaza that bears her name, and the noble harbor of San Francisco 
belonged to the Stars and Stripes. They also learned that Lieutenant Joseph 
Warren Revere, U. S. N., of the Portsmouth, July 9th, had raised the United 
States flag at Sonoma. On the nth, the national ensign floated over New 

Commodore Sloat with his fleet had been lying at Monterey since the 2nd 
inst., undecided as to action. He was a brave and faithful officer, careful and 
conscientious to a fault — but the fault was indecision, and that trait of charac- 
ter was his undoing. According to his departmental instructions he had long 
been in a position to go ahead and raise his flag over the ports of California 
and according to departmental opinion he should have done so. Twice the 
rumors of hostilities on the Rio Grande decided him to act, but instead of doing so 
he announced his intention to wait till he heard that the gulf squadron had 
commenced offensive operations. .\11 this was noted at Washington, and 
months later, even after he had placed the territory safe under the American 
flag, he was advised of official disapproval by the following severe reprimand 
from the Secretary of the Navy : "The Department willingly believes in the 
purity of your intentions : but your anxiety to do no wrong has led you into a 
most unfortunate and unwarranted inactivity." 


Next day after the receipt of this communication the commodore was re- 
lieved from command — at his own request — and for other reasons. As has been 
seen, he finally raised his flag at Monterey, and directly up went the colors at 
Yerba Buena, New Helvetia, Sonoma and Bodega. Sloat has acknowledged 
that he was guided more by Fremont's activities than b\' the Navy Depart- 
ment's orders, and while it may give some unmerited credit to the topographical 
engineer, the commodore's, blunder was an unwise one. But had he blundered a 
week earlier he would have escaped the departmental reprimand. On the night 
of July 5th, a council of war was held on board the flagship Savannah and the 
officers of the fleet advised immediate action. Sloat, still irresolute, was called 
to a sense of his personal danger by Captain Mervine of the LInited States sloop 
of war Levant, who angrily told the commodore that it was more than his 
commission was worth to hesitate in the matter. The Portsmouth's launch 
had just arrived from San Francisco bringing advices of Torre's retreat from 
the vicinity of Sonoma, of Fremont spiking the guns at Yerba Buena and 
showing some sign of extending his war-zone even as far south as Monterey — 


all these activities called for motion on Sloat's part and on the (>th, he sent the 
following dispatch to Commander Montgomery by the returning launch: "i 
have determined to hoist the Hag of the United States at this place tomorrow, 
as I would prefer to be sacrificed for doing too much than too little. If sou 
consider \ou have sufficient force, or if Fremont will join \ou, y:)u will hoist 
the flag at Yerba Buena, or an\ other proper place, and take possession of the 
fort and that portion of the country." 

"Flag Day," at Monterey, as well as at the other points in California where 
the stars and stripes went over the land, were days of peace and the ceremonies 
of raising the colors were short and simple. Just bent the ensign to the hal- 
yards, hoisted it aloft, fired the gun-salutes and read the proclamation in two 
languages, telling everybod\- what Uncle Sam proposed to do regarding their 
inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that was all. 
The Californian attended the show with the same apathy that had always 
marked his attitude when destiny or politics sent him a fresh batch of masters. 
True, he could always be induced to observe the official change with a fandango 
or a fight — he would dance or lance equally with little or no thought of cause 
or consequences. He was a good vaquero, but wasn't strong on other features. 
His wants were too few, too simple to make him covetous, — a prime virtue of 
his race. One never finds among the Spanish peasantry the choice frailties of 
the Saxon poor. However, the Californian was not an intolerable fellow even 
if his mind seldom got higher than the back of his mustang, and his world 
could be encircled with his riata. 

1'.\SS1NC, OF THE BE.\U. 

There was not on the program of flag-day exercises the feature-ceremony 
of lowering or publicly exhibiting the "conquered colors," with the victors at 
salient points on the stage, for there were no Mexican flags present to grace 
the occasion. Monterey and Yerba Buena had been colorless for months — sup- 
plies worn out, and Sutter at New Helvetia did not pay close attention to flags. 
Born in Switzerland, a naturalized Mexican citizen, and an American in sym- 
pathies, his nationality was somewhat mixed. At Sonoma the flag of "Los 
Osos" was lowered and the Portsmouth's ensign was substituted just as soon 
as Lieutenant J. W. Revere of that war vessel arrived from San Francisco 
with the colors. That was not a hostile point and the change of flags, giving 
full satisfaction, called for no formal ceremony. Lieutenant Revere sent an- 
other flag out to Bodega, but Captain Stephen Smith did not need it. He had 
kept the ensign of his old bark and that with a small bear flag had been flying 
quite brotherly from the same tall redwood pole. When the patriotic old mar- 
iner received the news the little bear came down and the stars and stripes alone 
waved over "Smith's Ranch." At Sutter's the news and flag were received with 
wild joy, and the men proceeded to wake the old Rio Sacramento with their 
celebration. They loaded the historic brass gun — purchased with the Fort Ross 
junk and renamed "Sutter," as even the Captain couldn't pronounce the original 
Russian name — and saluted until Sutter ordered "cease firing" to save his entire 
powder suppl\- and the cracking adobe walls of the fort. So the noted piece 
of ordnance, cast in Russia for the destruction of the vandal Bonaparte, and by 
him captured at Austerlitz and used with telling effect on its late owners, re- 
turned to the Russians by treat\, made a part of the Fort Ross equipment, sold 


to Sutter with tlie- Russian holdings in California for $30,000 (poor deal for the 
captain) roared out welcomes of peace to the flag of a Newer California until 
it broke every window in New Helvetia. Likely its spirit of destruction nur- 
tured on twenty battle fields when eagle clashed with eagle over Europe, was 
not whollv dead. 



The modest little republic of Los Osos ended as it had bet;un — without 
making- a stir among the old established governments nf the world. To one ob- 
serving- from afar it seems to have lieen a company of An-ierican pioneers in 
the California territorx- seeking conditions more favorable to settlers of their 
nationality, forcibly took possession of the town of Sonoma. In the minds of the 
leaders this was preliminary to the conquest of the Mexican territory bv the 
L'niteil States government, which conquest ivas wiilely anticipated and which 
conquest — unknown here — was thcii in jjrogress. The observer, still observing 
from his place afar, does not see that during that twenty-five days the "Osos." 
insurgents, revolutionists, filibusters cr whatever title may best fit them, checked 
or changed the march of events, whatever accomplishment may have been within 
their intentions. During that brief regime, law and order were in the pueblo, 
and no resident there suffered because of the new-comers. That the revolution- 
ists — at least the leaders and principal member.s — were of the stuff from which 
good citizens are made, their after-lives in this and adjoining counties have 
proved. Xo impropriety of act. no impropriety of intention has been established 
against these men, and in view of this fact one wonders why Hubert Howe 
Bancroft in his excellent work, the "History of California." wrote the following 
peculiar tribute to the ])assing men of the Bear Flag. 

"It will be remembered that Grigsbv and about fift\ men had been left as 
a garrison, the main force of the insurgents having gene to the Sacramento. 
This fact, perhaps, accounts in part for the commonplace, matter-of-course way 
in which the Bear Flag gave place to the Stars and Stripes. But while 
under the former regime with Ide in comniand, such an event might have 
been attended with more diplomacy, speechmaking and general excitement, 
there is no reason to believe that there would have been the slightest opposition 
b\- the revolutionists. Doubtless son-ie of the leading spirits would have preferred 
that the change should have come a little later, accompanied by negotiations which 
might give themselves more prominence; and many adventurers saw with regrt t 
their chance for plunder in the near future cut off; but there were very slight, 
if any, manifestations of displeasure, and no thoughts of resistance. The natives 
were naturallv delighted at the change; and as is usual in such cases, the-, were 
disposed to exaggerate the chagrin experienced by the hated "(^sos.' " 


Thus has Mr. Bancroft followed and camped on the trail .if tl-c Tear Flag 
party from the night they raided Castro's horse corral on the Cosumnes river, 
to the morning Lieutenant Revere hoisted the Portsmouth's ensign on the plaza 
at Sonoma. With tireless persistency, through his pages, he pursues the quarr\ , 
exults over the fallen bear, and discharges a Parthian arrow at closing, when he 
refers to the unholv joy of the natives over the change, and over the chagrin 
they imagine is experienced by the hated "Osos." Tlie historian repeats his 


assurance that there was no tliought of resistance on the part of the revokitioii- 
ists — an assurance so needless that one wonders why so eminent an annahst 
made it. Mr. Bancroft apparently did not learn that never was there any inten- 
tion to resist the raising of the United States flag at Sonoma. Among the large 
mimber of men. roughened in the severe school of their wild life, in Sonoma that 
dav, there were doubtless "irresponsibles," but if one of them for a moment con- 
templated an act so unspeakably foolish as resistance, his thought does not merit 
a single reference in the History of California. "It vvould be interesting to know 
what personal prominence would have satisfied the vanity of the leading spirits, 
and what greater gain in any form could have come to these leaders, possibly, 
if Sloat had waited inactive longer in Monterey bay : and what chances for 
plunder — and what kind of plunder — in the near future were cut ofT when the 
.\merican eagle superseded the California bear. It is true, plunder was the main- 
spring of action on the part of the ]^Ie.xican governors and other territorial 
officials, and their continuous struggling for the pitifully small loot the country 
then afforded, kept the state about as progressive as a prairie-dog settlement 
But to such pioneers as Merritt, Ide, Semple, the Grigsbys, the Elliotts, Sears, 
Ford, Todd, Knight, Gregson and others, mere prominence and plunder would 
have been too cheap for the sacrifice the>- were ready at all times to make in their 
labor of upbuilding a commonwealth. The only "plunder" possible to them was 
land, and that was "cheap as dirt." in fact, that popular comparison grew from 
California's market-valueless soil. And the cattle — the onl}- other possibility for 
plunder — "the cattle on a thousand hills" were as cheap as the hills. 


Having made fragments of the theory or belief that John Charles Fremont. 
United States Topographical Engineer, was secretly inspired by the administra- 
tion, or political power in Washington to anticipate the near-approaching war 
by inducing the American settlers to capture Sonoma, a frontier point easily 
held, and the western terminus of the great immigrant route, the historian turns 
and strips the Pathfinder of all patriotism, strips him of the results of faithful 
service in years of exploration, in two wars, in the United States Senate, in the 
gubernatorial chairs of California and Arizona, and leaves him a self-seeking 
filibuster, a cheap adventurer ; and the Bears stripped of cause and object, hang- 
ing in the air limp as their rude flag. Fremont, seasoned soldier, trained scientist, 
and a politician schooled by no less a master than Thomas Hart Benton, who 
learned his own les.sons during the thirty strenuous years in the United States 
Senate. — Fremont, a government officer possessing full knowledge that the 
I'nited States (lovernment was moving irresistibly to possess Alta California, 
is represented as craftily encouraging a company of immigrants to plant a toy- 
house state in the path of the Great Republic of the North. The alarm of Great 
Britain over the encroachment of the American government on the Mexican 
frontier, was a false alarm; the shin-building Briton whose sails crowd the 
Seven Seas had no interest in the grand harbors of the California coast, and 
the historical ocean race from IMazatlan to Monterey, the Savannah leading 
and the CoUingwood al her heels— or at least not ahead— is a deep, deep sea- 
yarn. We younger Californian.s^native sons and daughters — have clung to 
that storv. Not onlv is it the last record of a Yankee ship beating a Britisher, but 
it is our storv, and one that critics cannot destroy, nor the .\tlantic steal. Even 



the bear's titlt to distinction is clouded. In fact, Mr. I'.ancroft's route through 
this period of CaHfornia's history ma\ be traced by the broken idols that line 
tile wa\". 


No history of the American West can be written without the name of John 
Charles Fremont. Between the Missouri and the Pacific, from the Colorado to 
the Columbia, over peak and mesa, over dale and desert stretch away the trails 
he has found, and along these trails passed the pioneers who reared an empire 
on the shores of the sundown sea. Hence to him came the title "Pathfinder," 
and it could fit no other man, and the paths he mapped are as lasting as the 
continent he traversed. As Jessie Benton Fremont, who lives in Los Angeles, 
the honored occupant of the beautiful home the women of that city gave her, 
wrote in the story of her famous husband, "the pathfinder may be forgotten but 
the paths he found will never be lost." And the pathfinder was not forgotten, as 
was shown when the popular voice reversed the military court that sought to 
deprive him of his sword. He was named for the presidency not because of his 
training in statecraft or of his party standing, for he was without either qualifica- 
tion. He did not possess in any degree temperamental or technical fitness for 
that exalted position. Simmered down, the court martial aftair was a mere ques- 
tion of rank, of which officer wore the widest stripe of yellow lace; and the 
public not only brushed the whole matter out of sight, but in its place left a re- 
buke for the gilt-braid system that placed etiquette above worth, decorum above 

With the other .\rnerican forces operating in California, Fremont and his 
riflemen took part till the end of the war. As a surveyor mapping the country, 
as a soldier fighting for it, and as a governor ruling it. he was the faithful 
servant of the republic, yet he returned home to be tried on charges that were 
practically trivial. When Brigadier Stephen W. Kearny, U. S. A., reached 
California after his conquest of New Mexico, he was equipped with a volume 
of "discretionary" orders from the war department, one of which instructed 
him to leave the naval and other forces in their control of the seaports, and for 
him to organize for the country a civil government. The war-secretary's long- 
distance view of the situation was not a clear one, as he assumed that Stock- 
ton and his sailors, with some help from Fremont were keeping the peace in 
Yerba Buena, Monterey and San Diego, the interior was like a big unfenced 
rancho over which the guerilla forces of California were riding free. 

The near-war began just as soon as Stockton saw Kearny's instructions, 
the Commodore holding that the work was all completed, the coast corralled, 
the interior not quiet but scon would be. and the civil government which he 
had organized under his own instructions from Washington, pretty well estab- 
lished. So he stood b\- his theory that Kearny's contingent instructions had been 
superseded by events, since he and Fremont had already done the things which 
later the new-comer had been directed lo do. Under the question of rank 
Brigadier General Kearny was senior to everything on this side of the conti- 
nent. Commodore Stockton's relative plane being no higher than that of a colonel, 
and Fremont being a lieutenant-colonel, but the doughty navy man insisted in 
the consideration of the circumstances that had unexpectedly changed the sit- 
uation — which to the civilian mind seems not unreasonable. Moreover, he held 

98 HISI"()1\^' OF SOXO-MA C()L'^■'^^■ 

that ho (hd not want to l)e relieved of an\- duty until his reports had been acted 
upon at Washington. Kearny was further checked from precipitating an officer- 
fight bv the disastrous result of one he precipitated at San Pasqual a day or two 
after entering the state. With remaikable and inexplicable indiscretion for 
an officer of his experience, but perhaps to commemorate his first appearance 
with a won-battle. — he attacked a superior force of well mounted Californians, 
and when the enemy got his men. worn and weak from desert-travel, into a 
position for safe assault, they charged and lanced at will. The brush was short 
and sharp, and when it was over a large number of the Americans were dead 
or disabled, and among the latter was Kearny, who received two lance-thrusts. 
Gillespie also was painfully wounded and several of the ])rincipal officers were 

The unfortunate force was extricated from its preilicanient by Stockton, 
hence Kearny's reluctance for a personal quarrel, so soon, with the man who 
had undoubtedly saved him from capture, and had lifted him out of the muddle 
of his own sheer folly. He not only then declined to force the question to the 
test of an authoritative decision, liut actually offered to and did serve on Stock- 
ton's staff as aid. In fact, at the trial in Fortress Monroe, Kearny gave this 
testimony : "At San Diego Commodore Stockton said to the officers, 'Gentle- 
men, General Kearny has kindly consented to take command of the troops on 
this expedition. You will therefore look to him as your commander. I shall 
go along as governor and commander-in-chief in California.' I exercised no 
command over Commodore Stockton (continued Kearny in his testimony), nor 
did he exercise any over me." Mr. Bancroft, from whose work this extract of 
testimony is taken, and who cannot be accused of any tender leanings towards 
Fremont, further says: "Kearny's distinctions in this portion of the contro- 
versy are too finely drawn to be satisfactory to the mind not imbued with mil- 
itar\- technicalities, and the testimony that Stockton acted practically as am\- 
mander-in-chief is overwhelming." 


All the officers in California apparently were deceived by Kearny's seeming 
acquiescence, but it was afterwards known that there w-as in his mind even a 
recourse to arms, and that onl\- the fact that the force he could call his imme- 
diate command of the one hun(lre;l dragoons he brought with him kept hin' 
from extreme measures, even to jjlunging the territory into the spectacular 
display of an American civil war. .\ master of craft, a tactician as well, Kearny 
made two tests in one motion. l)m-ing a short absence of Stockton he suddenly 
directed Fremont to disregard an important order from Stockton relative to 
a movement of the troops. He wished to try Fremont's lo)alty to the commo- 
dore, also to keep these .soldiers where he could control them in case of a fight 
with Stockton's force. So he placed a subordinate who had no personal inter- 
est in the quarrel, between the devil and the deep sea, and that officer chose 
the deep sea and got the courtmartial — also the devil. Stockton presently was 
transferred to another station and the rank-question dropped, but Fremont 
was left to learn in full how unwisely he had chosen. With the commander- 
in-chief his avowe<l enemy, the subordinate officers cmdd easily bring them- 
selves to a jealous dislike Uir the man called "the pathfinder." Then ensued a 


period of "currying down." running from a personal insult to official indigni- 
ties. Kearny had to use his authority to prevent two duels that might have 
been attended with fatality. Fremont asked for permission to return to his 
surveying duties, which request Kearny refused. Public or government con- 
tracts and obligations into which he had entered when he was in an independ- 
ent official position, but which had not been settled or finished, were questioned, 
ill-considered or repudiated by Kearny and his sutordinates. This action nat- 
urally placed Fremont in a position perilous to his reputation, and forced him 
at the trial to the additional labor of defending his personal honor. 


-Vmong the official acts of Fremont which Kearn_\- suspended or modified, 
was the important treaty of Couenga, which Fremont made with the Califor- 
nians January, 1847. ^'Y i's wise and reasonable provisions Fremont gained 
the surrender of the enemy's entire force and brought about peace for the ter- 
ritory without hurting the super-sensitive feeling of a conquered people. It was 
a remarkable agreement, guaranteeing equal riglits and privileges to Ameri- 
cans and Californians alike, without the requirement of an oath of allegiance 
from the latter until the establishment of peace between the L'nitccl States and 
Mexico. .All paroles were canceled, and their conditions annulled, and the 
.Americans agreed to protect the life and property of all Californian and Ale.x- 
ican officers and privates, whether they took up arms while on parole or other- 
wise. The Californians gave up their arms, and returned to their homes well 
satisfied with the terms, and the war was ended. Fremont's critics have de- 
lighted to recall his alleged rude methods of "coaxing" the country. — such 
methods evidenced by the Bear Flag invasion and other "savage" acts, — yet his 
treatment of the Californians during his brief periods as military commander 
and civil governor in general, won that people's afTection and confidence. Even 
Air. Bancroft of the treaty, says, "the wisdom of granting such liberal terms 
cannot be c|uestioned ; since a rigorous enforcement of militar\- laws by inflict- 
ing due punishment on officers who had broken their paroles would have done 
great harm by transforming a large part of the native population into guerilla 
bandits." .After this decision the historian seemingly changes front, with this 
statement: "Fremont's motive was simpl\' a desire to make himself promi- 
nent and to acquire a popularity among the Californians, over whom he expected 
to rule as governor." The wisdom of questioning the motives of a measure 
the wisdom of which cannot be questioned, is not only in grave doubt, but would 
subject the questioner to a charge of asking frivolous questions, or a trial court 
to a charge of fitting evidence to a pre-determined judgment. 

Stockton's idea of seniority received a slight shock when he saw t'ae treaty, 
as he considered that as commander-in-chief he should have handled the matter. 
However, he sent the document to Washington unsigned by himself, but stating 
in the accompanying letter: "I have thought best to approve it." Kearny had 
urged its recognition and Stockton having a quarrel with Kearny on his hands 
was too shrewd to disapprove. Just at that time neither officer could aflford to 
quarrel with the man who made the treaty, but Kearny, just as soon as he had 
the power, abrogated the agreement, and the Californians choosing to consider 



such act an injustice and a gratuitous insult, were soon in tigiiting humor. While 
Fremont did not commit aii_v new overt act of insubordination there is no doubt 
that under the stress of the petty persecution to which he was then subjected, 
his manners were not lamb-like, he doubtless "struck back" to his technical dis- 
credit. When the two officers, relieved from duty in California, marched each 
with their respective escorts, Fremont was not officially under arrest, yet he knew 
that charges had been filed for the coming court martial; but Kearny, as his 
superior, and virtually his custodian, made his subordinate feel an inferior and a 
degraded position every mile of the way till they reached Fort Leavenworth. 
And the irony of it,— Fremont had found and surveyed the very trail back which 
he was traveling, a prisoner for his trial. The civilian cannot understand the 
helplessness of the soldier, especially the officer, whose position places him be- 
tween two fires that never menace the private. Discipline for the officer in the 
United States military service today is the discipline of the pink-tea circuit com- 
pared with the case-hardened, automatic tyranny of the system of fifty years 
ago. Ruin, absolute, inevitable, even instant death, stood "at attention" close 
to the subaltern who was contemplating disobedience of a superior order. Fre- 
mont was placed on trial before the military court at Fortress Monroe charged 
with mutiny and disobedience and a number of minor offenses. He was ably 
defended by his brilliant father-in-law, Senator Benton, and his equally able 
brother-in-law, William Carey Jones. Kearny's military position was upheld and 
the accused was found guilty of disobedience. Franklin Tuthill, the historian, 
savs, "On this trial Fremont behaved with spirit and pleaded his cause with an 
eloquence that made the people of the State reverse the decision so soon as they 
had read the proceedings. The court recommended him to the clemency of the 
President, on the grounds of his past services, and the peculiar position in which 
he was placed when the alleged disobedience took place." It is shown in the 
defense that Fremont's offense was in nowise premeditated, this conclusion of his 
written reply (produced at the trial) to Kearny's order, establishing such evi- 
dence: "I feel myself, therefore, with great deference to your professional and 
personal character, constrained to say that until you and Commodore Stockton 
adjust between yourselves the question of rank, where I respectfully think the 
difficulty belongs, 1 shall have to report and receive orders as heretofore from 
the commodore." H. H. Bancroft, after a close review of the case does not 
bring himself to justify Fremont, but relative to the charge, says: "True, the 
colonel's act was declared later to be technically nnitinous disobedience of a 
superior's orders, but this amounts to little, and is all that can be said against 


Aftei- this aci|iiittal — practically an exoneration and virtually an assertion 
thai the affair was nonsensical — coming from so intelligent a judge, a judge not 
predisposed toward the accused officer, tlte great case should be permitted to 
pass from memory and into the limbo of farces. President Polk relieved Colonel 
Fremont from arrest and directed him to report for duty with his regiment. 
Fkit he refused the President's clemency and resigned from the army. He 
afterwards represented California in the United States Senate, and was one term 
.governor of Arizona. In 1856 he was the Republican nominee for the presidency 
against Buchanan and received a popular vote of i. 341. 264, and 114 electoral 
votes. It was a "Democratic year," the presidential election before the rebellion 


and the long, fierce agitation over the extension of slavery and the successful 
outcome of the conflict with Mexico tended to the popularity of the party more 
identified with these events, and this made its candidate almost invincible. Fre- 
mont re-entered the service as a volunteer during the Civil War and was mustered 
out at its close as Major General. He died in New York, July 13, 1890. 



The raising of the American flag.s in California released Genera! X'allejo 
from Sutter's Fort. It is difficult to understand why he was kept in custody one 
hour. Certainly his universally kind treatment of the Americans who wandered 
into Sonoma when he was probably the most powerful military officer in the 
territory — at times not excepting the governor himself — should have won for 
the General kindlier treatment in return. ' His known desire for annexation to 
the United States, which could not advance him in the affection of his confreres 
and the government of Mexico, moreover, iiis moral standing in California should 
have gained hini more courteous attention. However, it is probable that neither 
Merritt, Ide nor Fremont was acquainted with the high character of their 
prisoner. The following extracts from Bancroft's Pioneer Register, written be- 
fore the General's death, give interesting details from the life of M. G. Vallejo: 

'Tn 1834 he was promoted to lieutenant, sent to secularize Solano mission. 
besides being intrusted with the preliminary steps toward establishing a civil 
government at San Francisco, and being elected a substitute member of the 
Mexican congress. In 1835 he was the founder of Sonoma, being made 
comandante and director of colonization on the northern frontier, and engaged 
also in Indian campaigns ; and from this time was indefatigable in his eflforts to 
promote the settlement and development of the north ; efforts that were none the 
less praiseworthy because they tended to advance his dwii jiersonal interests 
From this time (1835) he was the most independent and in some respects the most 
powerful man in California. Then 1836 brought new atlvancement, for though 
Lieutenant Vallejo took no active part in the revolution, such was the weight of 
his name, that under Alvarado's new government he was made comandante 
general of California, anii was advanced to the rank of colonel. In the sec- 
tional strife of '37-9, though not personally taking part in military operations, he 
had more influence than any other man in sustaining Alvarado. The new 
administration being fully established General Vallejo gave his attention to the 
development of his frontier del norte ; but to an attempted reorganization of the 
presidial companies in anticipation of foreign invasion, and to the commercial 
interests of California, insuperable obstacles were encountered, the general's 
views being m some respects extravagant, the jiowers at ^Monterey not being in 
sympathy with his reforms, and a quarrel with Alvaradci being the result. After 
several years of controversy with the government, ^nd large sacrifices of private' 
means in fruitless efforts to serve his country, lie induced the Mexican govern- 
ment to unite the military and civil commands in one officer from aliroad, and 
turned over his ct.immand to ^licheltorena. In '43 lie was granted the Soscol 
rancho in payment for supplies furnished the government, and his grant to the 
Petaluma rancho being extended. 



"From thi.N time tlie i;enei-al clearly foresaw the fate of his country and be- 
came more and more dissatisfied with the prospects, though still conscientiously 
performing his duties as a Mexican officer. In the movement against Micheltorena 
in '44-5 he decided to remain neutral, unwilling and believing it unnecessary to 
act against a ruler appointed through his influence, and still less. disposed to en- 
gage in a campaign, the expense of which he would have to bear, in support of 
a treacherous governor ; but he discharged his soldiers to take sides as they 
chose, and warmly protested against Sutter's acts in arming foreigners and In- 
dians against his country. Meanwhile, he was a faithful friend to the immigrants. 
In the spring of '^16 he was an open friend of the United States as against the 
schemes for an English protectorate, and in June-August, perhaps because of his 
devotion to the cause of the United States in its more legitimate form, he was 
cast into prison at Sutter's Fort by the Hears, being rather tardily released by 
the United States authorities, and even awarded some slight honors, and a con- 
siderable amount of his California claim being later allowed a partial recompense 
for his losses. Still mindful of the interests of his section, he gave the site on 
which Benicia was founded, the town being named for his wnfe. In '49 he was 
a member of the constitutional convention, and next year, of the first state senate 
From that time he was engaged in brilliant and financially disastrous schemes to 
make Benicia the permanent capital of California. 


"In later years lie continued to live at Sonoma, often called upon to take 
pait in public aflfairs, though reduced financially to what, in comparison with the 
wealth that once seemed secure in his .grasp, must seem like poverty. That he 
has been from '30 one of the leading figiires in California annals is clearly shown 
in the records. Here it must suffice to say that without by an\ means having 
approved his course in every case, I have found none among the Calif ornians 
whose public record in respect of honorable conduct, patriotic zeal, executive 
ability and freedom from pettx i)rejudices of race, religion or sectional politics, 
is more evenly favorable than his. As a private citizen he was always generous 
and k-ind-hearted, maintainmg his self-respect as a gentleman and commanding 
the respect of others, never a gambler or addicted to strong drink. In the earlier 
times he was not in all respects a popular man among his people, by reason of 
his haughty, aristocratic, overbearing ways that resulted from pride of race, 
of wealth and of military rank. Experience, however, and long before the 
time of his comparative adversity, affected a gradual disappearance of his least 
l)leasing characteristics. He is in a sense the last survivor of old-time Cal- 
ifornians of his class, and none will begrudge him the honor that is popularl\' 
accorded, even tliough the praise sometimes degenerates into flattery. He is a 
man of literary culture, and has always taken a deep interest in his country's 
historv. His collection of California historical documents, which he kindly 
placed at my service, is a contribution of original data that has never been 
equalled in this or any other state." 



Til the foregoing pages, the history-proper portion of this work, the writer 
places Sonoma county in her true position, the center of California history. 
White men first landed on Upper California soil in 1542 and on Sonoma's domain 
in 1775, and between these dates sleepy Spanish civilization had been crawling 
up the coast. It took two hundred and thirty-three years from San Diego to 
Sonoma, though time became speedier after reaching that farthest north. Events, 
slow moving before, began to crowd one another. The Russians in 1811. from 
their Alaskan waters following the sea-otter, found Bodega, and in 1812 Ross. 
and in their wheat fields the whiskered pioneers were harvesting the ocean and the 
shore. In 182.^, the tireless priests — Spain's cowled and corded preacher-pioneers 
— always seeking a place for prayer, saw from the waters of the San Pablo, 
green hills arise from greener vales where Sonoma's streams were threading their 
ways seaward, and there the mission cross arose. Then came other history-makers. 
The southland had dozed fitfully for two hundred and fifty years — a century and 
a half longer than the nursery fairy princess and her kingdom — but she awoke 
with the northland, awoke when the North American, the western wave of the 
restless Saxon flood, began to pour over the mountains and down into the sweep 
of valley between sea and sierra. The three names first and oftenest heard in 
the history of central California, are names closely connected with Sonoma. 
Through Vallejo, Sutter, Fremont, the student traces the history of the county 
back into the earlier annals of the state, as well as to the contemporary events 
in other portions of the country. The people of a locality cannot get too much 
of its history. Its first days, its early steps taken when it began its onward and 
upward progress should be the first lesson of that patriotism necessary for the 
organization and the upbuilding of a commonwealth. What more auspicious 
event than when the pioneer hews his way into a newly discovered country and 
there prepares to construct a state. The most interesting period in the life of 
a building is the ceremonious laying of its cornerstone. In the beginning is the 
grand soul of the builder, whether in the basement of the coral isle far under the 
sea, or in the foundation of the marble fabric lifting its rounded dome in air. 
Hence the value of the past. The present we have with us — always — but the 
past is only in the records that men have written. 
"across the plains." 

Between 1542 and 1824, two hundred and eighty-two slow-moving years, 
Spain's kingly standard waved over Las Californias. Sonoma, founded in 1823, 
had one year only of the mother dominion, before Mexico's tri-cnlor and eagle 
appeared above her plaza. They remained aloft twenty-two quiet years, and 
went down at the raising of the bear flag, which in twenty-five days gave way to 
the tri-color and eagle of the Great Republic. Then a brighter and clearer day 
began to break over the farther west, and the lure of the newer flag drew the 
great columns of immigration toward the Pacific. Mexico was a battleground. 


but the prize of all north of the Rio Grande and from ocean to ocean would 
soon be within the lines of the United States. At the capital of the nation, 
political parties wrangled in lesser war over the acquisition of territory, Init the 
wagon-trains rolled on and on to the empty places awaiting a people. The story 
of that great traverse of a continent, "the thousand miles of harness and of yoke," 
is an epic ni itself. The perils of defile, dark and unknown, of peak snowy and 
trackless, of desert blistering and waterless, and of the long, weary stretches 
through wilds where savage foes ambushed the passing pioneer, cannot all be 
told. That history, unwritten, is lost in the lost graves that border the way. 
"Across the Plains," a term fraught with tragic significance, long meant much in 
the California homes, but now it is seldom heard. It was spoken in the valley, 
on the slope, and down by the sea. The winds that blew over the wheat, whis- 
pered among the pines and swept the ranges, carried the words — "across the 
plains." The California-born children around their mother's knee, heard her tell 
of the soul-trying trek into the new-found Occident, but their children seldom 
hear the story. 


And after the plains — the wilderness of their wanderings, were passed, the 
Sierra, rearing its mighty walls, barred the way to the west. Over these rugged, 
wintry hills lay the valleys, fertile and fair in their golden summers, like the 
wonderful vales of the Palestine of old. Beyond these Nebo-heights was the 
Promised Land, the quest of the ages. Who has forgotten the Donner party? 
That sad narrative, because of its scene near the end of the journey, and because 
of its attendant horror, must be remembered. The large train of eighty wagons 
reached the mouth of the Truckee Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains, October 
31, 1846, one month too late for the winter snow-fall, and that snow-fall then 
coming several weeks earlier than usual, the dreadful inevitable was upon them. 
Repeatedly this heroic band of men and women assaulted the wintry barriers be- 
fore them, but they were driven back to the starting point. The days were 
going and death was gathering in every soft, fleecy flake that fell around them. 
The party divided, one division, farther seeing, built cabins for shelter and some 
protection against the bitter cold and awful storms of that savage region, and 
butchered their teams for food, knowing the animals would perish before the 
spring sun warmed the pass. The other division, led by Donner, with fatal per- 
sistence containued their efforts to cross the mountains till one night in an un- 
usually heavy storm their cattle strayed away from the camp and were lost 
under the snow. Thus were left in rude cabins, affording little shelter, eighty 
castaways, among whom being thirty women and several children, to face No- 
\'ember"s thirteen days of falling snow, December's eight and Jauuarv's same 
number of days when the white death dropped its pallid sheet upon them, and 
buried their cabins deep under its chilling mass. They could ward off the freez- 
ing, as the great pines that hung over them generously gave from their rough 
boughs, fuel for the camp-fires when the stormbound people could crawl up 
through and over the snow to the trees, but food was running short, and relief 
must come. 


It was death in the camp under the snow or death out in tke mountains on 
the snow and there was no particular preference, so a party was made up to 


break their way over the chain inlo C'aHioniia. This hand (.>f hisl resort ws? 
composed of eight men, five women, and two Indians who had been caught wi*-h 
ihe whites, to guide them through the Pass and down on the other side below the 
snow line. The horrors of that struggle are almost indescribable. They wore 
snowshoes, but often into the .soft, feathery mass they sank at every step, makini;- 
their progress difficult and slow. ( In the highest point of the great mountain 
chain the snow lay twelve feet deep, but they pushed on. Exhaustion and 
starvation were dropping them by the way, and within the first week three of 
their number were left with the pines standing sentinel over their snow-graves. 
For days during the heavy snow storms they would lie in their blankets under 
the snow, lly the evening of the tenth da)- they had been four davs without 
food and three more bodies were dead on the snow. The feet of the living were 
frozen and every step as they limped on their way was marked with blood. Only 
the buckskin strings of their snowshoes were left to eat, and to devour these 
\\as to sink in the snow and die. Then was the final resort of starving humanity 
— they stripped the flesh from the frozen bodies of the dead and dragged on up 
the interminable steeps. January first they were again without food. On the 
fourth the Indians having seen the ravenous and significant glances of the whites 
often resting upon them, wisely deserted the party. Next day a deer was shot 
but the small, thin carcass was little relief to the starving people, one of whom 
died while trying to eat his meager share. Then the deaths occurred more fre- 
quently and the wretched survivors fed oftener on their hideous rations. Finally 
this no more tended to sustain life in their over-burdened bodies and the\ laid 
down on the snow to await the end. One, however, of a little more heroic mold 
than his fellow-heroes, would not die. Dragging onward alone he fortunately 
met two Indians who almost carried him down the moimtains, reaching a settle- 
ment on Bear river that evening. By midnight a relief party had found the few 
survivors, sent them down to the settlement, and were hurrying on to the camp 
at Truckee Lake. 


Quickly the news flev\- down the valleys to New Helvetia, and soon as a 
mide train could be packed Captain Sutter was in the saddle. This was a labor 
just to the hand of the gallant Swiss officer and he was ofiF for his dash over the 
snowy mountains and down to the perishing immigrants on the other side. Other 
expeditions with food from San Francisco and the naval vessels in the harbor 
were hurriedly dispatched to the scene. At the two camps ten were found dead, 
the survivors having lived by eating hides during the last days of their starva- 
tion. The relief party left with the immigrants, too weak to travel, all the pro- 
visions they could spare and started back with the others, the relievers carrying 
the children on their backs. Indeed, through all that awful period even as they 
perished, the women and children fared best, such was the nobility — the true 
knighthood — of the men of the golden age circling around the Storied Fort\- 
Nine. The second relief party reached Truckee Lake March i. and started back 
with seventeen of the rescued, but a fierce mountain snow storm forced them to 
temporarily abandon their charges on the way. Days after, when they were re- 
lieved, three had dieil and the remainder had a.gain reverted to cannibalism. The 
last relief train reached Donner's camp in the latter part of April and all except 
a solitary survivor were dead. They had not only ]M-olonged life in the hideous 


alternative, but there was evidence that some had Ijoch killed that the wi-etched 
survivors for a brief |;eriod might lengthen life. Mrs. Donner, who was a woman 
of culture and native refinement, had carefully wrapped her husband's body in 
a sheet before she died — it is believed a victim of the semi-starved, half-insane, 
wolfish appearing man who met the party at the door of the hut where in a 
kettle he was then cooking his gruesome meal. Twenty-two males, twenty-two 
females were saved, and thirty-six perished. General Kearny on his way east in 
1847 collected and buried the mummied remains and burneil the cabins with their 
contents. Under the auspices of the Native Sons of the Golden West the place 
of this mountain tragedy has been marked by a monument telling' for all time the 
story of Donner"s dreary glen of death. 

There where the wild gales of the Nevadas boom their deep organ-bass 
through the pines, they lie, these lost argonauts who perished within sight of the 
garden of the golden ileecc they sought. And around their common grave stand 
the eternal-sentinel peaks that barred them liack to a doom that thrills and 
saddens when its tale is told. In Homeric verse Joaquin Miller, the "Poet of 
the Sierras", that noble minstrel of the western peaks and pines, has written of 
the first Overland Train ; 

"The ])lains. the shouting drivers at the wheel; 

The crash of leather whips ; the crush and roll 
Of wheels : the groan of yokes and grinding steel 

And iron chain, and lo ! at last the whole 

Vast line that reached as if to touch the goal. 
Began to stretch and stream away and wind 

Tow-ards the west, as if with one control; 
Then hope loomed fair; and home lay far behind; 
Before, the boundless plain, the fiercest of their kind. 

"The dust arose, a long dim line like smoke 

From out a riven earth. The teams went by. 
The thousand feet in harness and in yoke. 

They tore the ways of ashen alkali. 

And desert winds blew sudden, swift and dry. 
The dust, it sat upori and filled the train. 

It seemed to fret and fill the very sky. 
Lo! dust upon the beasts, the tent, the plain, 
And dust, alas ! on breasts that rose not up again. 

"Mv brave and unremembered heroes, rest; 

You fell in sUence, sdent lie and sleep. 
Sleep on unsung — forgotten, this is best, 

The world today has hardly time to weep ; 

The world today will hardly care to keep 
In her plain and unpretending brave; 

The desert winds, they whistle b\ and sweep 
Above \ou, browned and russet grasses wave 
Along a thousand leagues that lie one common grave." 




It is the constant effort of the history-writer to bring his readers face to 
face with other days, that they will readily understand in detail the conditions 
then existing. As time continues its work of obliteration the past grows more 
difficult to recall. The living figures of the once lively motion picture are dim, 
and blank spaces show where was life and action. The mountains and the val- 
leys and the seas of a locality are only an early result of its far past, not a 
living record. The records of a land are in its men and their works. What 
they thought, said and did, is a revelation thrown forward through the years. 
Among the stalwart California characters none are just like John A. Sutter. A 
soldier of fortune, he had adventured over two continents, an enthusiastic 
servant alike of king, emperor and president, and finally settling down in the 
broad vale where the Rio Sacramento ran silver}- to the sea, ere the miner 
muddied its waters. A Mexican citizen and loyal to that government, he dis- 
obeyed his orders — as did Vallejo — to discourage and check the coming of 
American immigrants into the valley. He was told to force them back over the 
Sierra Nevada, but he took them into his fort and fed them. The Russians at 
Fort Ross, having cleaned the wealth-producing otter out of the coast-waters, 
weary of the constant nagging of the Spanish-Mexican officials — whom they 
did not fear, and knowing from the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine and the trend 
of American territorial acquisition that no foreign government could acquire 
a claim on the California coast, offered to sell out. Sutter bought, and lost 
money in the deal. But he took the junk up to New Helvetia and used it trying 
to make the place more attractive. The following letter written by the Captain 
to a correspondent in Sonoma, not only pictures the true conditions of the time 
and place, but shows that the writer was fully awake to those conditions : 

New Helvetia, Jan. i, 1845. 

Sir and Dear Friend: — My reason for not writing sooner is that I lacked 
an opportunity, since your man was afraid of bad weather. 

"I was in hopes all the time that perhaps I might have the pleasure of see- 
ing you at Yerba Buena. 

"I spoke to Mr. Snyder and Alamans, who both promised to go to Sonoma 
and pay you a visit. The representation, etc., for Mr. Castillero, I have left in 
the hands of Mr. Forbes, and hope that the former will have received them 
before his departure from California to Mexico. I was astonished to hear over 
there the news that I had sold my establishment to the government, and in fact, 
Mr. Estudillo told me that you had gone to see those gentlemen at the Moque- 
lumne river, so that it seems that they have not kept the matter secret. What 
is your opinion about it, sir? Do you think that the government will buy it? 
I wish I was certain of that, so that I might take the necessary measures. In 
case the government decided about this purchase, do you think it would be pos- 


sible to obtain a part of the iiim on accoujit, enough to pay a part of my debts? 

"I could put them in possession of the estabhshment at the end of the 
harvest. It seems to me that the government ought not to neglect that affair; 
for next autumn many immigrants are bound here from the United States, 
and one thing confronts me, that there will be many Germans, French and 
Swiss amongst them. I have received letters to that effect from a few friends, 
through the last little party of ten men. 

(Sutter was in debt from bad deals and speculations and he was particularly 
anxious to sell New Helvetia to the Mexican Government and clear himself 
financially. He knew that sooner or later American troops would be marching 
up and down the valleys of California, and they, if not the California forces, 
might not use the property as its owner desired. But knowing the hungry 
condition of the Mexican treasury and the sparseness of that country's re- 
sources, he was anxious regarding payments.) 

"Among the immigrants who intend coming are gentlemen of great means, 
capitalists, etc., by some letters I have received from New York, I see that one 
will bring over all the machinery fit for two steamers; one is destined to be a 
coaster, while the other will sail the baj- to Sacramento. The Russians will 
also bring a little one for the Captain Leidesdorff, and the Russian Captain 
Leinderberg, my friend, has made me a present of a little machine large enough 
for a sloop, which he had made for his pleasure ; that will be very nice for the 
river. The Dr. McLaughlin, at Vancouver, has retired from the Hudson Bay 
Co., and intends to come and live here. He will give a new impulse to busi- 
ness; he is a great protector of agriculture. A ship is going to bring us print- 
ing material, and I intend to have a newspaper published, half Spanish half 
English. Such progress is made throughout civilization, and here we are so 
much behind. Even in Tahiti, there is lithography, and a newspaper is pub- 
lished — L'Oceanic Francaise. 

"We expect a ship from New York in the course of about a month; it will 
bring us all the necessary implements of agriculture selected on purpose for 
our valleys, comprising many plows, with farmers' garments, etc. The ship 
would enter without paying the custom house duties, if the thing was possible, 
or, at least pay them at a moderate rate; or do you think that arrangements 

could be made with Mr. by paying him four or six thousand dollars. 

that he might let the ship enter for the benefit of the inhabitants of Sacra- 
mento. This would render him quite popular among us ; the advantage derived 

for the country would be great; the inhabitants of would have the 

same advantage as we. In April will arrive another ship with another cargo 
well suited for our valley. The proprietors of these two ships are very rich, 
and form one of the wealthiest firms in New York and London. They contem- 
plate buying a lot near the Bay or Sacramento River, to open warehouses, and 
keep a stock of articles we may need. They would sell on credit to all the 
farmers who would desire their trust, and take in payment, wheat or any other 
product of the country, as well as a great quantity of salted salmon. The other 
merchants who transact business in this unfortunate country refuse to receive 
anything but leather and tallow. This is the rule of the country. If there was 
such a market and such a competition open, yon would soon see a great differ- 


I The reader nill douhtless note how practicall\- the writer reasons. Had 
there been more such in California. lier dasli towards ])rosperit\ would have 
taken place sooner than it did. ) 

'T hope you will find some means of having that ship enter; perhajis Mr. 

can assist you in the matter ; indeed I have heard tliat he was on very 

good terms with the jovial captain, and that affair ought to have as much inter- 
est for his as for us. 

"I regret very much being so far from you. and not having more oppor- 
tunities of corresponding, which is especially the case this winter. 

"T wish you could write to me as soon as possible, for I feel convinced 
that you could easily settle these affairs, since your position as secretary to 

■ ; and your friendly terms with Captain are advantages 

which would soon lead us to enrich ourselves, with good management. 

"The Captain Fremont of the United Stales Army, has gone to meet his 
other company, commanded by Captain Walker (under his orders) who had 
been sent after the discovery of another pas.sage through the mountains, more 
to the south ; I expect them daily. They will spend the winter here, and depart 
again in the spring for the Columbia. 

"Another small party of ten men has arrived since from the L'nited States : 
this will be the last ; they were fortunate in escaping the snow which fell in 
great abundance in the mountains at their arrival. 

"Samuel Smith has been here during my absence in Yerba Buena, and un- 
fortun.ately I forgot to leave orders for his arrest. They told him that I had 
orders to detain him as prisoner, and he answered that he did not care to be 
a ijrisoner. Since then he has not returned. 


( The captain does not appear to be a fierce martinet. Some one in author- 
it\ — Fremont, Y'allejo or Castro — had ordered him to arrest one Samuel Smith 
whenever that "gringo" found it convenient to visit Sutter's Fort ; but Sutter, 
when he set out for Yerba Buena had forgotten to make the necessary arrange- 
ments for Mr. Smith's reception. Somebody kindly acquainted Samuel of Sut- 
ter's intention, but he declined to remain, and he departed saying he would 
C(~ime some other time and be arrested with the captain present to enjoy the 
entertainment. The writer reports : "since then he has not returned." whicii 
omission on the part of Samuel Smith does not seem very remarkable. ( )ther 
men have declined to be arrested. What he had done is not known, but as the 
Smith race is noted for the mildness of its generic disposition, it cannot be 
that Sam's offense was of a more desperate character than imbibing more 
aguadiente than he could carry like a gentleman and a soldier. I'.ut the incident 
is evidence of John A. Sutter's kindly nature. He declined to mistreat the newly 
arrived immigrants, and he forgot to arrest a petty offender. ) 

"Among the people in the upper valley are a few bad characters who stole 
some of my horses, and some mares and cows of Mr. Corelua's. They are dis- 
posed to steal a great deal more, and intend coming near Sonoma before their 
departure, to steal as many cattle as possible. We must try to imprison some of 
the principal ones, and I hope I can depend on Capt. Fremont and his men. 
He will doubtless enable me to make his countrymen jjrisoners, for, to look 
over such acts, would be the worst influence for the future. However, in case 


Mr. Fremont refuses to assist in the capture of the \vor>t oi his counir\nien, 
I shall try to do it alone; and if 1 have not sufficient power to -uccced, 1 shall 
write to Mr. Vallejo for an auxiliary, etc. 

(From this leaf of unwritten history we learn that not all of the country- 
men of Mr. Fremont in California were of the highest order of respectability, 
anil not all the sinners of the territory were among the natives. There is no 
doubt that Sutter and X'allejo were constant!) annoyed by the bands of Amer- 
ican stock and other brands of thieves drifting over the country. The danger- 
ous criminals of early California were not the Californians, but were the Amer- 
icans, English and French adventurers that had floated in from all points of 
the compass. Joaquin Murietta has been written up in all shades of red tint 
as a sample of blood\ California bandit, but this ordinary Mexican took up that 
role only after he had been maltreated, robbed, his brother lynched anil his wife 
•outraged by Americans to whom he was only "a greaser.") 

"It is with the greatest displeasure that I heard from Mr. VVolfskill, 
who came here from Los Angeles, of that bad rascal Fluggs not being dead, 
but hope you will do your best to secure that lot of ground which will prove, 
no further than next year, a fortune to you. 1 hope that .Mr. Covarrubias will 
assist you. 

"In a few weeks the launch will come to Sonoma with some of Beaulieu's 
garments, and will bring at the same time some tanned leather for Mr. \'allejo. 
I therefore beg you that you would deliver the ten fanegas of wheat to Main- 
top (captain of the launch). If you have any corn I shall buy some. As for 
the deer skins which you have, I shall write by the same means and tell you 
whether I shall take them or not. 

"How inconvenient it is for us in the north, that the capital ( .Mexico) 
should be so far dstant. It takes at least four or five months before receiving 
an answer ; it would almost be as well not to write at all. for it tires one so 

"I make no more reports to the government, except to Mr. Castro, as he 
is the nearest, an<l he can make his statement to the government if he judge 
it necessary. 

"I have not yet received an answer from the Padre Real about the letter 
that you were kind enough to write for mc about fruit trees and vines. Vou 
know that Mr. Castro has given me the permission of receiving as much as I 
needed. Advise me, if you please, on what I can do. Will it be possible to 
receive some vine trees in Sonoma? If you could have them ready in aljout 
three weeks, something like 2,000 of them, 1 would pay as much as they cost. 
If I have vines here, you can have them quite near your farm. 

(The Sacramento Valley is practically one great orchard, and summer aftei- 
summer her million trees stand fruited full, and here is read the letter of the 
pioneer orchardist pleading for young trees and vines wherewith to plant the 
first orchard on that great plain.) 


"LeidesdorfY is appointed agent of the company (American-Russian) to 
receive the products from me and buy from them. I had the ])leasure to see 
the Captain de Lion, INlr. Bonnet, who told me the troops alone in .Marquesas 
and Tahiti, leaving out the inhabitants, consume 650 arobas of flour a day. and 


that the government would prefer to send here for provisions, if we can sell 
them at the same price, as in Chile, $4 the quintel; we could ver}- well compete 
at that price if this cursed custom house ceased to exist. If this country derived 
any utility from the custom house one would not complain so much, but it is 
only good to provide for a lot of useless officers who devour the very marrow 
of the country. If at last a paper could be published that would unseal the blind 
men's eyes. I trust that you may take a part and interest in that affair of 

(In the foregoing paragraph is heard the cry of ages — "How long, how 
long, will the official locust devour the earth?" At that period California virtually 
produced nothing for trade but what grew on the carcass of a steer, and no 
foreign horns, hide and tallow were competing with any domestic sale or export 
of these. Yet she had her custom house, to stand in the way of commercial 
progress and give her imported officials something to squabble over. But there 
were no public papers then to tell the truth — and be abused for so doing — and 
"unseal the blind men's eyes." While Captain Sutter was writing this letter 
his plows were preparing the pioneer wheat fields of the Pacific coast for the 
coming summer, and this thrifty farmer was looking out over the world tor 
a market, for which his successors are still looking.) 

"I am now constructing a mill with two pairs of mill-stones, for a great 
quantity of flour will be needed next autumn when the Immigrants arrive. 

(Castro had ordered him to drive the immigrants back over the Sierras, 
but instead, he was grinding flour for them. John .\. Sutter shows up better 
the more one sees of him, or reads of him.) 

"A much better road, some four hundred miles shorter, has been discovered, 
and the Captain Fremont has also found in the last chain of mountains a much 
easier passage than the one known so far: every trip they make some new dis- 
covery. I can assure you that in five years more there will be a railroad from 
the United States here. I can see that. Already the Rocky Mountains com- 
mence to be peopled, where eight years ago I could see nothing but deserts 
with Indians, and where now stand considerable cities. The crowd of immi- 
grants now arriving in the United Slates increase the population to such an 
extent that it will find its way even to the Pacific shores. A year or two more 
and no power will be able to stop this immigration." 

(The railroad was slower than the time of the Captain's prediction, but his 
prophecy regarding the immigration was even then coming to pass. With 
Fremont finding paths, Sutter finding a safe place to camp after their long 
journey across the plains, and the> . themselves, finding a goodly land unfenced 
and free, with climate made to order, what power could stop their coming. In 
the hundreds of ages, what has ever stopped the westward immigrating Aryan?) 




For Sonoma war was over. Lieutenant Revere, who had het-n of great 
assistance to the Bear Flag repubhc, was placed in charge of the garrison, and 
John H. Nash assumed the civil portion of the government by being appointed 
alcalde. The Vallejos, Jacob Leese, Julio Carrillo and other Californians re- 
leased from Sutter's Fort returned to their homes and peace became an ever- 
lasting settler in the \'alley of the Aloor.. General Vallejo easily transferred his 
allegiance from one republic to the other and from the first was a good American 
citizen, even as he had been a citizen of Mexico. His paternal influence among 
the Indians was strong, and the United States authorities placed him in charge 
of the natives of this section of the territory. This gave hiin a semi-military 
position under the government and often in the absence of the commander, the 
General would again be the Comandante, exercising authority over the northern 
frontier. Whenever the Californians became disposed to resent the sometimes 
too dictatorial manner of their conquerors, the Americans, and trouble was in 
the air, General V'allejo's methods of dealing with the questions, his advice and 
counsel of moderation generally cleared away the difficulty, and smoothed the 
way for order and good government. He afterwards served as a member of 
the first constitutional convention, which met at Monterey; and was Sonoma's 
Senator in the pioneer Legislature of the country, the historic "Legislature of 
a Thousand Drinks." The nickname did not come from the bibulous practices 
of the members, in fact, it was an unusually sober body, the majoritv of the mem- 
bers being above the average in intelligence, temperance and patriotism. They 
were not there for pay or political preferment, but for their adopted state 
and thev labored conscientiously for her benefit. However, if they drank 
well they worked well, and no later legislature in California holds their record 
— the record of these stalwart lawmakers of '49, Senator Green from Sacra- 
mento, a roystering fellow who had been elected in the spirit of a joke, con- 
tinued a joke through the session. He was a most hospitable chap and kept 
a full supply of liquors at his quarters, and when they would adjourn he would 
call, "Come boys, let us take a thousand driid<s." 

California was a nondescript — a civic problem — but members of the Legis- 
lature of the "Drinks" were equal to the occasion. They organized a state gov- 
ernment and put it into successful operation without permission from Wash- 
ington. Officials, state, county and town, were elected and sworn to support 
the constitution of the state of California, and yet there was no state of 
California. This was "nervy" but dangerous. There had been no new state 
adinitted into the Union. Governor Burnett advised them to go ahead, and 
they did, though for nine months they were running only a state de facto. 
California went to housekeeping without a cent. She didn't have a quire of 
paper, a pen or a bottle of ink. .\fter worrying along debating the perplexing 
financial problem the legislature passed an act authorizing a loan of $200,000 


inv ciiriL-nt expenses, and later on anuther act was passed authorizing the 
bonding of the state for $300,cxx), with interest at the rate of three per cent 
a month. And to get in some ready cash, passed laws for the collecting of 
revenue, taxing all real and personal property and imposing a poll of five 
dollars on every male person between the ages of twentv-one and fiftv \ears. 


When California's request for admission reached Washington, virtually 
the W ar of the Rebellion began. The sixty senators in Congress were equally 
divided between the free and slave states, and the two new senators from 
the far west — John C. Fremont and William M. Gwin — who would take their 
seats when their state, with her free constitution, came into the Union, would 
destroy the balance of power. The southern states bitterly fought the proposed 
admission. After months of conflict a compromise was affected and August 
13, 1850, California was admitted by the Senate, thirty- four ayes to eighteen 
noes, though Senator Jefferson Davis and his pro-slavery extreinists fought 
— as they did fifteen years later — to the last ditch. The l-[ouse passed the 
bill one hundred and fifty ayes to tiftv-six noes, and President Fillmore signed 
California into statehood de jure September 9, 1850. 

So, again the Goddess Minerva — who is the lady of the miner, and the 
Sonoma-flag bear, and the Sierra sunrise on the State Seal — sprang full-grown 
and full-armed and if not literally this time from the brow of Jove, she landed 
ready for business, and she has been busy every hour since. She had no 
childhood, no probation of any character, but was a woman from the start just 
as she is .seen in the sunrise of her golden birthday — Septemljer-Ninth-Fifty. 
It is not known whether the "Eureka" which always appears in her picture, 
refers to what she had individually "found" before she sat down to look at 
the surrounding country, or to what the miner or bear had just dug up. How- 
ever, the designer of the seal. Major R. S. (iarrett. U. S. .\., says the typical 
grizzly is ealmg grapes — possibly Sonoma grapes, and the Greek motto. "] 
have found." applies either to the principle involved in the admission of the state, 
or to the success of the mother-lode seeking miner. General Vallejo, one of 
the convention — surfeited with bears, — remembering June 14, 1846, wanted 
el oso ( whom he recognized) chiseled off the seal, or at least have the animal 
lassoed by a vaquero to keep it from starting another Bear-flag revolution in 
the scene. But Minerva of the Romans — Athena of the Greeks — in the role 
of Califa the amazon queen of an old Spanish romance, sits on the shore of 
her western sea. with her medusa-head shield at her knee and calls to the 
world — "Eureka." Tt is a far cr\ from Athens to Yerba Buena, but the <li- 
vinity of the .\tlic academies, as originally designed, went on the Seal and 
she cost the new State one thousand dollars. 

CAL1F0R\L\ l-T)R(INf; HER ^\■.\^■ INTO 'IlIE UNION. 

As several men of Sonoma played star parts in the stirring drama of 
California's entrv into statehood, and as .Sonoma had been closely connected 
with aft'airs that deeply affected the state, a few pages will here be devoted 
to the events that led along a new trail up to the first Admission Day. And 
no other state ever came in as did California. She blazed her own way. And 
in view of the exciting electitm ( 1910) through which this state has just 
passed. California's first dash into .\merican politics ma\ not be told amiss. 


Moreover, onc'^ own state in the great bo(l\ politic, like that state's star on 
the flag, is of first interest in the pages of a country history. Scott and Taylor, 
having finished the work laid out for them in Mexico, a treat) of peace was 
foi m'llated at Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2. 1848 ; and was attested by 
Secretary of State James P>uchanan, and promulgated by President James K. 
Polk as a part of the Fourth of Jul\ patriotic festivities of that year. Con- 
gress adjourned the last of that mondi, still fighting over the question of 
admitting California with or without slavery. This was a bitter disappoint- 
ment. Ever since the end of the war the people of California had been living 
under Alexican laws mixed with army rules administered by Mexican-born, 
American-born officials and army officers, and the human mind could hardly 
devise a poorer system of government. An American in his own country will 
not tolerate Mexican laws, and nobody except an enlisted soldier can exist 
under the straight- jacket code known as military law. When Congress ad- 
journed the deadlock was still on and California was hanging in the air, neither 
a state, territory, military department nor school district. President Polk in- 
formed the Californians that the\ already had a government de facto, and he 
advised them to submit to it, and not question the authority of the army officers 
who were governing them. But Senator Benton, who probably was better 
posted on far western affairs than his broriier-senators, had diliferent advice 
for the C"alifornians, and that advice he sent them in a letter through Colonel 
Fremont. He held that the right to issue letters expositor}- and advice was not 
exclusively with secretaries of state and with presidents, hence he assured 
them that by the treaty they were United States citizens, competent to govern 
themselves. He pronounced the e<licts of Governors Kearny and Alason, "each 
an ignoramus," null and void, and warmly advised 'them to call a convention 
and provide themselves with a governor and all the necessary officials for self- 
government. Brigadier-General Bennett Rile}, though acting as a sort of 
milito-civil governor, was anxious to correct the prevailing impression that 
California was governed by the War Department, and he approved of Benton's 
suggestion to form a provisional government pending something from Con- 
gress. The newspapers took up the matter and public meetings were held in 
different places, but nothing was accomplished except much talking, r-'inall} 
Sonoma — frequently it was Sonoma in the lead when there was something 
doing — without waiting took the initiative and elected delegates to the con- 
vention. This started the work and General Riley ordered a constitutional 
convention to meet in Colton Hall, Monterey, September 1. 1849. Sonoma's 
contribution to that illustrious company of forty-eight pioneer strttesmen were 
M. G. \'allejo, Dr. Robert Semple, Joel \Valker and F. W. IJnggs. The con- 
vention elected Dr. Semple its chairman. There were no individuals to award, 
no part\- axe.> to grind, no time to waste, consequentl} lhc\ did things during 
the six weeks of their sta} in the >)ld pueblo of Jimipem Serra. Framed a 
constitution, fixed the boundary lines, prohibited slavery, and adopted a new 
state -eal. 'i rue. the vote for delegates had been alarmingl} small, and on 
election :!a\- in some precinct polling places it lixiked a-^ if the voters would 
have to be lassoed and dragged in, as Senator Dayton in Washington had 
predicted, but there were enough ballots in. the boxes — some of them prob- 
,ibl\- were dropper there b\- — b\- accident. However, there were some big 


people in old Colton Hall during that term. Among these illustrious names 
were those of Captain H. W. Halleck. afterwards Commander-in-Chief of 
the United States armies; Captain John A. Sutter, who kept open house in 
the Sacramento Valley when the American immigrants, footsore and weary 
from across-the-plains, needed him most; Thomas O. Larkin, first and last 
United States Consul in California, and the confidential agent who did so much 
to smooth the Californian's way into the fam.ily of their new Tio Sam ; John 
McDougall, second governor of the State; Charles T. Belts, editor of a Demo- 
cratic paper afterwards published at Sacramento; Mariano de Guadalupe \'al- 
lejo, at home with his new "gringo" brothers, and Dr. W. H. Gwin, afterwards 
United States Senator. 


William G. Marcy was the secretary, Caleb Lyon and J. G. Field, assist- 
ants and J. Ross Browne, the world known writer, official reporter. The 
membership which had been increased to forty-seven, was cosmopolitan. The 
convention represented seventeen states of the Union, and five foreign countries. 
Seven were native Californians, and quite a number did not understand the 
English language and addressed the body through an interpreter. But there 
was not much verbiage, repetition or irrelevant matter in those debates even 
if the oratory was not flowery with eloquence. Dr. Gwin had several copies of 
the constitution of Iowa for reference, and for awhile, some member said, it 
looked as if California and Iowa would be doing business at the same stand. 
But as the session went on the New York constitution more frequently became 
the guide, making it appear that the Empire State was to be taken into the 
organic-law partnership. The dimensions of the proposed state was a cumber- 
some question, not only because of the natural bigness of the new addition to 
the Union, but because of its geographical relation to the slavery zone. After 
getting the "darky" safely out of the proposed constitution the convention started 
in on the boundaries. The western had been fixed — unknown ages ago — and 
the Pacific would continue to take care of that side of the state. We couldn't 
get any further south than Mexico — the treaty stood there — and Oregon blocked 
all extension on the north. But the east was wide open, without bounds and 
without ownership, an opportunity and a temptation. The committee reported 
a line that would haye taken in what is now the State of Nevada, while Mr. 
McDougall proposed the one hundred and fifth meridian of longitude, which 
would have pinched off a large slice of Kansas and Nebraska. Dr. Gwin 
seemingly was not so far reaching, and wanted the eastern boundary line to 
give California the Mormon settlements around Salt Lake. But the Doctor's 
scheme was soon apparent, and it showed that the negro was on hand — liter- 
ally ready to step across the boundaries as soon as they were drawn. Gwin 
and his plan would create a state with about four hundred thousand square 
miles of area, an enormous territory, the admission of which as free soil would 
draw the fierce opposition of the South. This probably would split the un- 
wieldy state in two pieces, the line of cleavage being the old slave parallel of 
thirt\-six-thirty, putting Southern California in the South. As the great national 
question stood fifteen slave to fifteen free states, any new admissions must be 
shaped to ])reserve the politico-industrial equilibrium. When Gwin's plan became 
known there was a jumble of the lines. Dr. Scmplc of Sonoma, appeared to 


be the only one able to strike the right point, and he did so when he proposed 
the boundary line pretty nearly where it runs todav. 


'J"he convention sensibl\- declined to make their state of imperial dimen- 
sions and hemispherical bulk under tlie argument that the California of Mexico 
was of this grand area and it was unbecoming to cut her up. The members 
could see no wisdom in taking up the white man's burden of governing a vast 
territory of deserts and wild lands, much of which was then worthless, noi 
of gathering in the Mormon problem which was becoming a territorial menace 
nor of making a new Northern State so large that the South would mass all 
her powers to fight its admission. So the discussion ended with the present 
line starting from the forty-second parallel of latitude and running south 
along the one hundred and twentieth meridian of longitude to the thirty-ninth 
parallel; thence southeasterly to the Colorado; thence along that river to the 
Mexican line. This was supposed to have taken in everything received from 
Mexico that was of earthly value — giving us plenty of land — one hundred and 
eighty-eight thousand, nine hundred and eighty-one square miles of it. Besides 
some fighting, we paid Mexico $25,000,000 for the strip of land southwest 
from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific ocean — a good real estate deal ; paid 
$15,000,000 to the French for the Louisiana Purchase- — Napoleon wanted war- 
money ; bought Florida from Spain for $6,500,000 and Alaska from Russia 
for $7,200,000 — neither government knew that it was throwing away a king- 
dom. So for $5.^,700,000 cash, thrift}- Uncle Samuel "traded" for a "few 
ranchos" as additions to his original holdings, the real value of which additions 
is beyond the comprehension of finite mind. 


Lotteries were adjudged an ofifense to public morals, and dueling, the 
cowardly code of Mississippi and Tennessee, was also prohibited. The capital 
was fixed at San Jose, but could be removed at any time at a two-thirds vote 
of each house of the legislature. The expenses of that first session of Cali- 
fornia's governmental body is an interesting item, and the amount is not large 
considering that in these "days of gold" a dollar to be of any account must be 
accompanied by three or four of its brothers. The secretary of the convention 
received for his six weeks' labor twenty-eight dollars per diem ; assistants and 
engrossing clerk, twenty-three each ; copying clerk, sixteen ; doorkeeper, twelve ; 
two chaplains, Protestant and Catholic, sixteen dollars. The reporter, J. Ross 
Browne, was paid $10,000 for preparing and delivering daily, the printed pro- 
ceeding of the session. November 13th, the constftution was adopted by the 
people in a vote of 12,064 to 11 ballots against it, about 1200 ballots being re- 
jected because of an error in the printing. Peter J. Burnett was elected gover- 
nor, with 6,716 votes, his competitors came out as follows: W. Scott Sher- 
wood, 3,188; J. W. Geary, 1,475; John A. Sutter, 2,201 ; William M. S. Stewart, 
619. The five' candidates spread the fourteen thousand votes over considerable 
surface giving Burnett a good lead. John McDougall was elected lieutenant 
governor, and George W. Wright and Edward Gilbert were elected to Con- 
gress, with five or six thousand votes apiece. This general vote result from 
a claimed population of over a hundred thousand, was not calculated to fill the 
local politicians with enthusiasm nor make a favorable impression in Congress 


where the matter of statehood would finally be threshed out. And they were 
glad when Governor Burnett decided that no more special legislation would 
be needed for some time, and incorporated the cities of San Francisco. Sacra- 
mento. San Jose, Monterey, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sonoma, Benicia and 
Santa Barbara without any more elections. 


Stephen Cooper was Judge of First Instance for the District of Sonoma, 
and Richard A. Maupin, long an old resident of Sonoma, Judge of the Superior 
Tribunal. The district of Sonoma polled at this first election five hundred and 
fifty-two votes, all but one hundred and twenty-eight being for Burnett, who 
was a candidate on one of the two People's tickets. General Vallejo went to 
the Senate and J. S. Bradford and J. E. Rrackett to the Assembly. Vallejo 
came near losing his election by a clerical error in which the returns from 
Larkin's Ranch gave Rev. James Spect, his opponent, twenty-two votes in- 
stead of two, the correct number. The roster of that legislature is worthy of 
insertion here, and as they have all passed over the "Great Divide," this list 
may be In JMemoriam. 

Senators: Selem E. Woodworth ; Davis F. Douglass; Elean Heydenfeldt : 
M. G. Vallejo ; Pablo de la Guerra ; Thomas \'ermeule : W. D. Fair ; Elisha O. 
Crosby; David C. Broderick ; Dr. E. Kirby Chamberlain (President pro tem. ) ; 
J. Bidwell; H. C. Robinson; Benjamin S. Lippincott. .\ssemblymen : Thomas 
J. White (Speaker); Flam Brown; J. S. K. Ogier; Dr. E. B. Bateman ; Ed- 
mund Randolph; E. P. Baldwin; A. P. Crittenden; Alfred Wheeler; James A. 
Gray; Joseph Aram; Joseph C. Morehead ; Dr. Benjamin Cory; Thomas J. 
Henly; Jose M. Covarrubias; Elisha W. McKinstry; George B. Tingley : John 
S. Bradford. 




Under the Spanish and Mexican regime the capital of Cahfornia was of 
a roving' disposition, and it might be said to have been wherever the man who 
liappened to be governor at that particular period hung up his hat. The pref- 
erence, however, was for Monterey and Los Angeles, and between these two 
points the distinction swung with pendulum-regularity. The first cit\- being 
a seaport had the custom house — no small item to a governor whose salary 
generally depended on what he could extract from the revenues of the country. 
But the City of the Angeles was gayer — more given to the world and the flesh 
and the devil — and the swell fandangos of the southern capital kept the execu- 
tive and his official family from going to sleep — when a revolution in the north 
was not keeping them awake. After the Americans got the country and the 
offices, Monterey acted as capital for a brief period, and Colton Hall was the 
state house. Then San Jose had an opportunity to entertain the first legisla- 
ture, but the two-story adobe building which she proposed to donate to the 
state was slow in construction and generally unsatisfactory when constructed, 
consequently the governor and his party decided to move again. During the 
vear 1850 Senator \'allejo laid out what is now the navy yard city of his name, 
but which he called "Eureka" and where he ofTered to locate the state capital 
free of charge. To his fellow legislators the offer looked all right, but the 
title of the town was too classical. Greek mottos might do for state seals but 
not for state capitals. So the\- per.^isted in calling the place Yallejo in honor 
of its founder, and the Senator perforce accepted the change. He proposed 
to give the state twenty acres for a Capitol and grounds. 

This was onlv the beginning of his munificence, as he also proposed to 
give the state one hundred and thirty-six acres for other public buildings and 
^rounds, as follows: Governor's residence, ten acres; other state offices, should 
they not be placed in the capitol, five acres: State Library and Translator's 
office, one acre; Orphan Asylum, twent\ acres; Male and Female Charity 
Hospitals, ten acres each : Blind and Deaf and Dumb .\sylum, four acres each ; 
Lunatic Asylum, twenty acres; four common schools, eight acres: State I'ni- 
versitv, twenty acres : State Botanical Garden, four acres : and a State Peni- 
tentiary, twenty acres. 


.\s (ieneral \allejo was a wealtln- man in the matter of acres. t)wning all 
the land in the vicinity, the proposal was a small aflfair to him, but he followed 
this up with an oiler that made his brother legislators suddenly sit up and gasp 
for breath. Within two years after the acceptance of his proposals he would 
pay to the State three hundred and seventy thousand dollars, to be apportioned 
as follows: For the building of a State Capitol, one hundred and seventy- 
five thousand dollars: furnishing same, ten thousand dollars: (iovernor's house, 
ten thousand: furnishing same, five thousand: State Library and Translator's 


office, five thousand: other offices, if separate from Capitol Building, twenty 
thousand two charity hospitals and five asylums, twenty thousand dollars each; 
State University, twent\ thousand ; scientific furnishing, sixteen thousand ; four 
common school buildings, ten thousand: books therefor, one thousand: Lunatic 
Asylum and Penitentiary, twenty thousand each: State P.otanical Garden, three 

Proving that the Senate from Sonoma was very much in earnest when he 
made his offer, worthy of a prince of the realm, he further proposed in his 
memorial address to the legislature, that in the event of the State declining 
his offer, that the proposition lie put to a popular vote at the general election 
held in November of tha'i year. His arguments were simple, direct and strong. 
He believed "the location indicated to be the most suitable for a permanent 
seat of government because it was the true center of the State, the true center 
of commerce, the true center of population, and the true center of travel ; that, 
while the Bav of San Francisco is acknowledged to be the first on the earth, 
in point of extent and navigable capacities; alread) , throughout the length 
and breadth of the wide world it is acknowledged to be the center between 
Asiatic and European commerce; the largest ship that sails upon the broad 
sea could, within three hours, anchor at the wharves of the place proposed as 
the seat of the State government : from this point by steam navigation, there 
was a greater aggregate of mineral wealth within eight hours' steaming, than 
existed m the Union besides; from this point the great north and south rivers 
San Joaquin and Sacramento — cut the State longitudinally through the center, 
fringing the immense gold deposits on the one hand, and untold mercury and 
other mineral resources on the other: from this point steam navigation ex- 
tends along the Pacific coast south to San Diego and north to the Oregon 
line, affording the quickest possible facilities for our sea-coast population to 
reach the State Capitol in the fewest number of hours: this age, as it has 
been truly remarked, has merged distance into time; in the operation of com- 
merce and the intercourse of mankind, to measure miles by the rod is a piece 
of vandalism of a by-gone age; and that point which can be approached from 
all parts of the State in the fewest number of hours, at the cheapest cost, is 
the truest center." 


The memorial received in the Senate, a flattering reception and a report 
on the matter to the President contained these words : "Your committee can- 
not dwell with too much warmth upon the magnificent proposition contained 
in the memorial of General Vallejo. They breathe throughout, the spirit of 
an enlarged mind and a sincere public benefactor for which he deserves the 
thanks of his countrymen and the admiration of the world. Such a proposition 
looks more like the legacy of a might}' emperor to his people than the free 
donation of a private planter to a great State, yet poor in public finance, but 
soon to be among the first of the earth." The matter was presented to the 
Senate by Senator David C. Broderick of San Francisco, finally accepted, and 
the necessary act signed bv the Governor. Vallejo's bond for the performance 
of his portion of the contract was accepted, his solvency was approved by a 
committee appointed by the Senate, and a favorable report of the commission- 
ers sent to mark and lay out the tracts of land to be tlonated, was adopted. 
The next Legislature— the third— met at the new capital, Vallejo. January 5, 


1852, but on account of the lack of accommo.lations iu tliat place the members 
were not generally pleased with the localit\-. It did not possess the social life 
of the other cities which liad in turn acted as capitals, Sacramento being on 
the broad trail from the F>ay to the mines, was making a cjuiet struggle for 
the prize, and many of the State government officers were anxious to get into 
near proximity to the golden store. 


Suddenl}. one sleepy afternoon of the session, the Assembly with a re- 
markable imanimity jumped up a bill for the removal of the session to Sacra- 
mento. So unusually harmonious was this usually comliative hodv over the 
removal "up the river," that peoj^le were generally luystified. Such, a half 
century later would have suggested bribery, but in that day there was nothing 
in the country with which to bribe an ofificial. It may be surmised that the 
lawmakers left the new capital because Vallejo, in his provision for their com- 
fort, hadn't got around to feather beds and table napkins. The bill went to 
the Senate where it was bitterly opposed, and beaten by one vote. Next day 
a Senator Anderson moved reconsideration, and the fight was on again. It was 
reported that the Senator, after one night in ^"allejo, had been persuaded that 
Sacramento was flealess, if not flawless. Whatever the argument, in a few 
days the whole government from State seal to House gavel was a-sailing 
through the Straits of Carquinez, their carpetsacks checked for New Helvetia. 
That was a proverbial Sacramento winter and the members of the Legislature 
put in much of their time keeping above high-water mark and from being 
flooded out of the latest capital. When it adjourned, it adjourned to meet at 
Vallejo. where the floods were the ocean tides and of regulation height, while 
the Sacrainento river, in winter, never could be depended on. 


January 3, 1853, the government was in business at Vallejo. but Sacra- 
mento was not idle. She appears to have entered into a treaty of offense and 
defense, sub rosa, with Benicia, a new town laid out by Thomas Larkin and 
Dr. Robert Semple on the Straits of Carquinez. seven miles from \^alIejo. 
General Vallejo, who never refused a donation from his leagues of land, had 
given the two men one mile square for the site of what they intended to be the 
chief bay-city. They had on tap for a name, "Francesca," which was one of the 
several pretty christian names of Senora N'allejo, and was also from the name 
of St. Francis de Assisi. But before the city of Francesca was ready for her 
name and the glory that was to come to her as the chief metropolis of Cali- 
fornia, Alcalde Bartlett, of Yerba Buena. squatted on the title. Long years 
ago the Spanish found a few sprigs of mint growing on an island in the bay 
and called the insignificant little plant and the island "Yerba Buena." The 
Spanish, who are good at names, as the noble and saintly titles up and down 
this coast show, couldn't seem to find some word or sentence suitable for the 
matchless port and harbor which is now the wonder of the world, and the name 
of the silly little weed came out of the bay and lent itself to the place. When 
the Alcalde was casting about for something fitting the grand locality, and some 
name the Americans wouldn't mangle trying to pronounce, he said, the padre 
in charge of Mission Dolores suggested the name of the head of the Franciscans, 
and the name stands — San Francisco. Thus at almost the last moment St. 


Francis, whose faithful missionaries had |H;t in centuries in an ill-rewarded 
effort to christianize the dull Californian Indians, was given the distinction of 
a city — but such a city, a golden city, worthy of a prophet's vision. And when 
the "Verba Buena" got back to its island home it found its claim jumped and 
its title clouded by the plebeian name "'Goat." But Doc Semple on the shores 
of Carquinez, just substituted another name of La Senora Benicia Francesca 
Carrillo-Vallejo, and Benicia it went mto the geographies. 


But it was a sorry trick Sacramento played upon her confederate. It was 
easier to pry the capital from the little town on the Straits than from Vallejo, 
so Benicia got the gubernatorial people and the distinction for a session of the 
legislature, as they passed drifting up the river. Then the Sacramentoans 
built a levee around the state institution to prevent their river from washing- 
it back to the bay. Vallejo tried to provide the buildings in accordance with 
his splendid offer, but was financially unable to do so. The city lost the state 
capital but she gained a navy yard, and that gave her a national standing. 
Benicia is geographically located for the seat of the state government but 
lost to the superior attractions of the great valley town and of the pleasures 
of steamboat rides up the noble stream that rolled deep and clear from mountain 
to sea before the hydraulic miner shoaled and muddied its waters and almost 
ruined it for navigable purposes. 



When California passed into the possession of the United States govern- 
ment, Sonoma meant considerable area ; she was called a "district" and her 
boundary lines ran a sort of go-as-you-please anywhere except out in the 
Pacific, and they enclosed a space within the beach, Oregon, Rio Sacramento, 
San Pablo Bay and Marin. With all that land-grab it is remarkable that 
little Marin nook of soil on the southwest escaped her. The legislative act 
of April, 185 1, drew in these wide lines to nearly the present limits, with the 
exception that on the north the line beginning at the mouth of the Russian 
river followed up that stream to the Mayacmas mountains, thence leaving the 
river it struck easterly across-country to Mount St. Helena, the northwestern of Napa count}. This made Sonoma county about half her present 
size, but by a peculiar provision of the act Mendocino county was "attached 
for judicial and revenue purposes" to Sonoma until a county government could 
be organized for her. Consequently this county mothered Mendocino until 
1859. kept her from straying away and getting lost in her own wild forests, 
decided her lawsuits, taxed her, trained her to govern herself — and in fact, 
raised her to county womanhood through a probation of eight years. Then 
Sonoma grabbed a piece of her. enough to double the grabber's area and 
spread her north line to the \'alhalla river, and then let Mendocino set up 
housekeeping for herself. Before the establishment of boards of supervisors 
the county government was vested in a court of sessions, consisting of the 
county judge and two justices of the peace as associates. These governmental 
duties passed to the boards of supervisors by the act of March 20, 1855. In 
1 85 1 the town of Sonoma was made the county seat. During the earlier time 
there were known to be four townships in the county — Petaluma, Sonoma. 
Bodega and Russian River — not surveyed or lined out, but just "guessed" for 
geographical convenience. That quartet has grown to fifteen well organized 
townships, namely : Analy ; Bodega ; Cloverdale ; Glen Ellen, Knight's Valley ; 
Mendocino ; Ocean : Petaluma ; Redwood ; Russian River : Washington : Salt 
Point ; Santa Rosa : Sonoma and Vallejo. 

On September 3. 185 1, California had her first election as a real state — 
as one of the great civic sisterhood with representation in Congress and a new 
white star on the flag. John Bigler was chosen governor with twenty-three 
thousand seven hundred seventy-four votes, over P. H. Redding with twenty- 
two thousand seven hundred and thirty-three. Martin E. Cook represented 
the Eleventh Senatorial District, which was composed of the counties of So- 
noma, Solano, Napa, Marin, Colusa, Yolo and Trinity, and this Assembly Dis- 
trict, composed of Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano counties was represented 
in the Legislature by John A. Bradford and A. Stearns. The population of 
Sonoma county at this time numbered five hundred and sixty-one. The new 
county officers were Judge C. P. Wilkins : sherit?. Israel Brockman and Dr. 


John Handly. clerk and recorder. Philip Thcimpson and A. C. Goodwin were 
appointed associate judges. The first board of supervisors for this county 
met at Sonoma July 5, 1854, and was composed of David O. Shattuck, chair- 
man; William A. Hereford; L. P. Hanson, and James P. Singley; W. O. King 
succeeded L. P. Hanson. At the election that year E. W. McKinstry was 
chosen judge, district judge; J. M. Hudspeth, senator; H. S. Ewing and James 
McKamey, assemblymen. In 1853 the elections resulted as follows: Senator, 
J. M. Hudspeth ; assemblymen, J. N. Burnett and W. B. Hagan ; county judge, 
Frank Shattuck, in place of P. R. Thompson ; sheriff, Israel Brockman ; county 
clerk, N. McC. Menefee; treasurer, G. W. Miller; district attorney, Ashael 
Clark, succeeding J. A. McNair ; assessor, R. F. Box, succeeding J. A. Re} nolds ; 
public administrator, Coleman Talbot; coroner. Dr. Elisha Ely; supervisors, 
H. G. Heald, James Singley, S. L. Fowler, and Alexander Copeland. Among 
the unsuccessful candidates that election was Captain Joe Hooker, a resident 
of Sonoma, who had been nominated for the assembly. The Captain was after- 
wards "Fighting General Joe Hooker" in the Union army during the Rebel- 
lion. James N. Bennett of Bennett \'alley was Hooker's running mate and 
fellow loser in the race for the legislature. However, the Captain was ap- 
pointed roadinaster and improved the condition of the cow-trails of the county 
during his incumbency. 

WHEN "org, org," was HE.\RD .\R()l'ND TliE WOIU.I). 

Between 48 and '53 the golden lure swept great lloods of people into 
California, the mining counties getting not only the metal-mad immigration, 
but pretty much of the settlers of the other portions of the state. However, 
"Marshall-Coloma-1848," is not the true record of the first golden discovery 
on this part of the coast. In 1841-2 the yellow mineral was mined in the San 
Feliciano Canon, Los Angeles county, and during those years these placers 
produced a large amount of gold despite the shiftless method of the Cali- 
fornians. In fact, it was an Indian from these mines who happened to be at 
work in Marshall's sawmill site at Coloma when the discovery-nuggets were 
shoveled out of the creek. Sutter and Marshall tried to keep the character 
of the find a secret but the Indian caught sight of it and his loud cry of "Oro ! 
Oro!" was heard around the world, and the Great Stampede was on. Yet 
there were people in California not blinded by the yellow haze that drifted down 
from the "diggings," and the ranches continued to receive their share of the 
new-comers. Some were even mining gold on the newly discovered farms. 
A German settler named Schwartz, on a few acres near Sacramento, sat in 
his doorway and saw the droves of men wildly plunging northward. The\ 
cheerily called him to join the rush, but he calmly smoked his pipe and let 
them pass on. From his small farm he raised and sold in Sacramento that year 
$30,000 worth of watermelons. In the rich, virgin soil of that incomparable 
valley his melons grew to $3 and $8 sizes and the would-be eater, with his 
"dust" was there to buy, though many miners returned poorer than they went. 
And Herr Schwartz was only a sample of the stones that did not roll and 
gathered moss. While in the aggregate, California volcanoed out the golden 
millions from her subterranean treasury, flashing a yellow gleam across the 
world, the individual average winnings from her great lottery were insignifi- 
cant. The production of the metal in 1853, when the industry reached its 


highest point, was about $65,ooo,(X)o, and to the one hundred thousand miners 
at work that year this was $650 for each man; $54.16 monthly — thirty days — 
Sunday was a lost day in the mines; $1.80 per diem; a wage almost ample 
enough then to keep the miner in his daily bacon — provided he was a moderate 
eater. The Schwartzs did better. 


The harvest of the mine was not the only harvest that was to be gathered 
from this wealth-producing land. The Spaniard or Mexican could get over 
countless leagues of the soil, but he seldom got down in it. Neither one was 
a prize farmer. He plowed with an iron-pointed forked tree-branch that turned 
no furrow, but simply scratched the -surface of the ground. S" he did his 
scratching in the most favorable spot he could find, sowed the seed, brushed 
the loose dirt over it with the branch of the tree that supplied his plow, and 
left the crop to fight it out with the weeds. He was either a stoic, easy in his 
"what will be will be, what won't be won't be" or he had a beautiful faith in the 
wheat's ability to choke down the tares, .^s this system of plowing gave en- 
couragement to the most backward weed, only the most propitious season 
saved the harvest. Yet notwithstanding the heavy odds favoring its growing 
enemies, often the wdieat won out with an enormous yield. But there was 
little market for the crop "before the gringo came.'' enough of him to count, 
and if the ranchers got enough out of his field for the family table, he was 
satisfied. Por mahana, porque" — Why for tomorrow? It was for the north- 
ern agriculturist to blend the seed and the soil and the season into the where- 
with to feed the world. If the Mexican colonist grew enough corn for his 
tamales, and enough wheat for his tortillas, also enough beans and peppers 
for the frijoles y chile con came against the coming of the meal hour, that 
was as far as he ventured into the luxuriant plant possibilities around him. 
The mission fathers striving to vary and improve the fare of their retainers 
and neophytes, brought from Spain slips of grape vines and fruit trees which 
they planted around the big adobe buildings. At that period the industry had 
not spread over the country. While the grapes would produce wine which 
appealed to the taste if not the peculiar thrift of the Calif ornian, apples and 
peaches he did not generally care for, and he had no time to waste on their 
culture. A different time and a different people came to the land lying idle 
and its trees and vines grew heavy with fruit. The padres planted a few orange 
trees at the Mission San Gabriel in 185 1, but little or no attention was paid to 
the cultivation of the fruit. It was long-believed that this noble citrus would 
thrive only in the low soils, especially on the banks of streams, but the River- 
side and Cloverdale experiments prove that it is on the mesa lands that the 
orange attains the perfection of its culture. While the cultivation of the mul- 
berry, and the silk industry does not belong to the early agricultural efforts of 
the Calif ornian, the tree grows rapidly and strong in this state. Some years 
ago the legislature, to encourage seri-culture, authorized the payment of a 
bounty of $250 for every five thousand mulberry trees two years old. It thus 
encouraged the silk worm culture with a vengeance, and only the repeal of 
the act saved the state from bankruptc\-. Then the ten millions of trees in 
Southern California fell into innocuous desuetude and the silk worms on the 


leaves fell into the English sparrows — one of California's unlucky importa- 
tions — to be endured till somebody imports something to eat the sparrows. 


W'hh the first missionary expeditions to this country came the Spanish 
horses, cattle and sheep. These animals were turned out on the wide plains 
and in the mild climate and rich vegetation became the countless herds of the 
great ranchos. No attempt was made to improve the original breed, as a steer 
was worth only the comparatively little the hide on his carcass and the tallow 
within it would bring after shipping it around the Horn to an Atlantic port. A 
blue-ribboned bovine would bring no more, and to a Spaniard his sirloin would 
be no more juicy. Milk and butter were unknown in a ranchero's home, as 
the Spanish cow with a young calf around to excite her maternal solicitude, 
was about as safe for dairy purposes as a female panther. The vaquero aboard 
his mustang — and that animal almost as wild as the cow — was afraid of noth- 
ing that wore hoofs, but dismount him to do the milking, even when the fight- 
ing-mad vaca was roped and tied, would place him at a disadvantage, and ulti- 
mately scare him to death. So she was left in peace to nourish her calf and 
raise him up to the age when his hide and tallow would be turned into the 
shoes and the candles of commerce, and the coyotes get the remainder of him. 
The Mission fathers used the sheep in their plan of salvation for the Indians. 
The wool was woven into a coarse cloth and when the good padre caught a 
"native son" gentle enough to safely handle, he pui a shirt on him, believing 
that decency is next to godliness. Tlie original Californian did not indulge 
in clothing, except the union-suit he wore after a rich, sticky mud-bath, and he 
was not particular about the fit of that if it was heating in winter and cold- 
storage in hot weather. In general, he objected to being made a fashion-plate, 
and if the father was too insistent, Lo shed his shirt and hiked for the distant 
rancheria. However, if the mission bells' call to prayers and frijoles y carne 
was louder than the call of the wilds, he tolerated — under protest — his shirt 
which made him itch, and stood without hitching, a fairly good Injun. 


It is not known just when the horse galloped out of the prehistoric twi- 
lights of animal creation to become man's beast of burden, or what was his 
disposition at that period, but judging him from the Mexican mustangs we have 
met, he was a "bad one." On second thought. Bronco might have come from 
liis natal wild with ferocity undeveloped and savagery was thrust upon him or 
hammered into' him by humanit)-. Certainly nothing but a Mexican horse can 
live under a ^lexican rider. But mount that vaquero, clad in his gaudy trap- 
l)ings, on a vicious, always-ready-to-buck equine-devil of the rancho, and a 
more complete and more fantastic centaur never plunged out of mythology. 
Consideration for the horse seems to have been unknown to those horsemen 
and the animal seems to have known that, and lived onl\' for the purpose of 
bucking ofif his rider. For this he endured abuse and starvation, climbed almost 
inaccessible places with the sure-footedness of a goat, and kicked the 
miles behind him with the perseverance of an express-train ; and all the 
time he was thinking of the debt of gratitude he owed man — the obligation to 
throw and kick him to death at the first opportunity ; and this obligation he 


always tried to pay. With the coining of the American fanner came the 
splendid draught horse — colossal and grand and the antithesis of the seemingly- 
frail, little mustang. Also came the Heet thoroughbred, every ripple of his 
blueblood showing under his silken coat, and the pride of his Arabian lineage 
in the swing of his daint> heels — a far remove from the shaggy-haired, hoof- 
worn, half-starved, wild thing of the western range. 

But with all this class distinction, here's to you, Mexican mustang. You 
look tough, you act tough, \ou are tough ; but you came into Old Spain with 
Moorish knighthood and you shared the glory of your warrior-rider. You are 
a poor, humble, despised bronc. hut vour patent to equine nobility goes back to 
the golden days of Good Haroun .\1 Raschid ! 


In those crude ohl days tlie mathematical accuracy of a survey seldom ap- 
peared in practice. Often the lines were run on a mustang, the surveyor tak- 
ing the bearings of a prominent point at the extreme range of his vision and with 
his nata he would mark ol¥ the acres, driving the stakes from his saddle. An 
ancient deed was filed wherein it stated that the lines of the tract of land began 
at a "shanty with a stove pipe sticking up through the roof." Sixty years 
have dragged heavily over the now unknown site of that shanty with the stove 
pipe sticking up through it, leaving only a cloud on the title of the ranch. 
The north boundary of anotlier farm is the edge of the creek "during high 
water." In the long interval of a half-century the creek found for itself another 
channel, and that change with the contingency of high or low water would 
make an interesting matter for adjudication should somebody put that deed 
on the witness-stand. It is no wonder that many a league got out of one 
rancho into an adjoining one and was the source of long land disputes in later 

Where now the six-c\lin(!tr touring-car with its purring engine marking 
off the miles fifty of them to the hour, sweeps along the broad highways, a 
creaking, rude, nondescript vehicle once moved over the plains. Its wheels 
were circular sections of a log with holes bored through the center, and the 
axles were the two ends of a straight, strong pole thrust through the center 
holes in the wheels. Another pole lashed to the middle of the axle served as 
a tongue to the cart and on this roughly-made running-gear was a framework 
of withes bound together with rawhide. This was the means of transporta- 
tion on the ranchos as well as the famil\ carryall in most instances. With a 
half-broken yoke of oxen lashed to the tongue and an Indian to prod them to 
something like speed, the inter-rancho tourists could make as much as four miles 
an hour. Two-wheel vehicles were the limit of their efforts as the coupling 
of the four wheels together for an\ thing like practical use was a trick too com- 
plicated for a Mexican colonist. However, as the American immigrants began 
to crowd into the territory their wagons and lighter vehicles began to be seen 
in use on the ranchos. Whenever there was any necessity to protect the grain 
fields from straying stock a ditch was dug around the tract and on the ridge 
of upturned soil a brush fence was made. The scarcity of saw- mills in the 
territory and the plenitude of Indian lalx)r made the most primitive fencing 


The ripe grain was cut with an} convenient implement and the threshing- 
floor was generally the hard ground of the stock corral. In this inclosure the 
crop would be piled and a band of liorses would be driven over it till most of 
the grain was trampled out of the chaff. Naturally with such rude methods a 
good percentage of the grain remained in the straw, but the cattle got it and 
there was no material waste. The grain was separated from the chaff by 
winnowing and came from this rude method very clean. Once a year the great 
bands of horses and cattle were rounded up, — rodeod — branded, and this was 
an occasion of not only rare exhibitions of skillful horsemanship in handling 
the wild and vicious animals, but was also an occasion of feasting and dancing. 
In fact the twin-recreations, feasting and dancing, were on the program if any 
industrv was to be gotten out of the "live-today-and-rest-maiiana" Mexicans. 
This was a happy-go-lucky day, but it was drawing to a close. The dis- 
integration of the big rancho into the smaller ranch was beginning and the im- 
proved home-farm with its flower beds and fruit trees commenced to show where 
once the unfenced tracts of wild oats grew. Who may say that the hand of a 
destiny, wise and exorable, was not m this? The Mexican statesman not alive 
to land values or to the mighty leverage to power in the ownership of the 
earth's surface, gave vast tracts of soil away with a prodigality that would ap- 
pear sinful to the acre-baron of the present. These leagues of land remained 
only a short time, comparatively, in the possession of the original rancheros, 
and were then parceled out to the last comers. The Almighty, when he said 
"Let the dry land appear," did not intend that it should appear exclusively for 
the monopolist, and the vacant tracts of California began to blossom as the 
rose when the ranches went to pieces. 




The chief pioneer west of tlie great central Soncjnian valle\- at the time was 
Captain Stephen Smith, of Bodeg;a. This gallant son of the sea was cast 
ashore in this part of the world in 1840. hailing from the old Bay State — an 
abrupt change from wintry Massachusetts to summery California. He was the 
skipper of the bark "George and Henry" and was trading his cargo of sugar, 
syrup, tobacco, cloth and many other articles for hides, horns and tallow, about 
the only products the country had to barter. He saw in the levels of arable 
land and in the leagues of lumber forests splendid possibilities of wealth. Hurry- 
ing back to the eastern coast he unloaded his bark and reloaded her with his 
mind at the future Bodega rancho far away on the shore of the distant Pacific. 
On his way to that ranch he took aboard the "George and Henry" something 
else — of more significance — a wife, showing- beyond doubt that the gallant 
captain intended to "jump the ship." He picked Mrs. Smith up in the port of 
Payta, Peru, where she was Dona Manuella Torres, a lady of intelligence and 
refinement, sixteen years old. The captain's years figured just the reverse — • 
sixty-one, the 6 and the i , apparently magic numbers, and in some way offsetting 
the age-disparagement of the couple. The bride's mother and brother (Manuel 
Torres) were passengers to this country in the bark. As Smith had in his 
cargo a saw and a grist mill he took care to bring with him men who could 
put together and handle them — was there ever a more practical colonist? In 
Baltimore he employed Henry Hagler, a carpenter; at Valparaiso he picked up 
David D. Button, millwright ; at Payta, where he found Mrs. Smith, he found 
William A. Streeter, an engineer. At other ports enroute he secured the services 
of Phillip Crawley and John Briggs, useful men for his colony. He arrived 
in Monterey in April, 1843, and at Santa Cruz shipped lumber for his mills. 
.\t San Francisco he shipped James Hudspeth, well known in this county, 
Nathaniel Coombs, now of Napa, John Daubinbiss, afterwards of Santa Cruz 
county, and Alexander Copeland. Captain Smith sailed his bark into Bodega 
Bar during the month of September of that year and landed his cargo. 


Of course he came up against the prior Russian claim then held by Sut- 
ter, and John Bidwell, the agent, notified the new-comer to get himself, goods 
and chattels, back to the bark. But the old sailor went ahead with his mill- 
building and warned Sutter's man that any interference would bring on a 
fight. As the Mexican officials had never recognized the Russian claim and had 
practically stood indifferent while Sutter was paying out his $30,000 for Fort 
Ross and the Bodega country, Bidwell received no sympathy from them. The 
government not only permitted Smith to land and build his mills, but shortly 
after granted him eight leagues of the land in question. While Captain Sutter 
had acted in good faith when he purchased the Russian holdings he did so in 



the face of the protests, though mild, of the Mexican government, and he 
knew his title was clouded beyond all clearing. However, he may have pos- 
sessed a faint hope that the annexation of the territory by the Americans 
would pass his claim to Washington, where his ownership might be affirmed, 
before Mexico had granted the tracts to other settlers too strong to be dis- 
possessed. Captain Stephen Smith, sturdy as his old Cape Cod, honorable in 
every detail of his life, industrious, and fearing nothing, could not be moved 
from the soil, and Sutter, stalwart pioneer himself, recognizing a brother-spirit 
in the man from the sea ranching out on the Bodega hills, left him in peace. 


However, Smith did not wait for events to come his way, he went after 
them. He soon had the machinery of his new colony unloaded from his little 
"windjammer" of a bark and it was not very long before the original town of 
Bodega, including the steam flour and saw mills, were ready for business. The 
two latter, however, were about one mile northwest from the "Corners," as the 
village is called, and at the foot of a range of hills upon which grew thickly 
the great forest of redwoods he had picked upon for his saws, and for the 
future frame buildings of Sonoma and other settlements of California. -Ml 
turned out as this far-thinking pioneer planned. When steam was up in his 
three, single-flue, thirty-six by two and a half feet boilers, and several logs 
had been cut on the hill above the place and easily rolled down to the mill, the 
captain invited the people of the surrounding country to attend the holiday. 
It was the first of Bodega's celebrated picnics and the most famous of all those 
social gatherings. All the dignitaries, rancheros, vaqueros and settlers of every 
nationality with their families were present in new sombrero, serapa. high- 
colored sash and mantilla. Several beeves had been prepared for the fire-pit 
of the barbecue, but Captain Smith made the provi.sion of the bread for the 
great feast an object lesson for their entertainment. Wheat that had been grown 
in the neighborhood was brought to the place and the steam engine set in mo- 
tion. Then power was communicated to the grist mill and to the surprise and 
delight of the crowd, many of whom had never heard of such a remarkable 
arrangement, the grain was sent between the grinding mill-stones to finally 
appear in the soft, beautiful, white flour, the chief food of man, the "staff of 
life." To the early Californian house-keeper the "flor de harina," the flour of 
wheat, that came from those whirling burrs was a happy improvement on the 
unbolted meal, ground in a rude hand-mill : the tortillas now would be whiter 
and more appetizing in consequence. Out of a big oven, heated for the occa- 
sion, presently reapjjeared that wheat in newly baked bread, and while the 
captain's guests were using up all the admiration-terms found in their voluble 
Spanish he had another pleasurable surprise for them. The lumber mill was 
thrown in gear and the "sash" saw was soon going through a redwood log, and 
the first boards turned out were used for tables whereon the\- feasted. 


.\fter the feasting came the toasting. General M. G. \allejo was present, 
the first guest by reason of his position in the territory, and as toast-master 
pledged the health and prosperity of his Yankee neighbor in a cup of his nwi^ 
Sonoma wine. In his oratory the general referred to the coming years when 


even many who were present would see more steam engines than soldiers in the 
fertile valleys of California. That was several years before the historic Fort_\- 
six, but with prophetic vision the speaker was looking into the oncoming future 
pouring its American population into those valleys. There are no soldiers in 
California and the beats of the engines that are moving her up the ways of 
destiny never cease. Long after, when reviewing the verification of his pre- 
diction, General Vallejo said, "The successors of Smith have not only proved 
the truth of my words, but have almost verified the remark of my compatriot. 
General Jose Castro at A'lonterey, that "the North Americans were so enter- 
prising a people that if it were proposed, they were quite capable of changing 
the color of the stars.' His observation was made with no sympathy for the 
North Americans, as he was no friend to either the government or citizens : 
yet I believe that if General Castro had lived until today he would unite with 
me in praise of that intelligent nation which opens her doors to the industrious 
citizens of the whole world, under the standard of liberty." 

Captain Stephen Smith and his mills continued to make Bodega township 
famous as a settlement and Bodega bay famous as a port for the shipment of 
lumber, flour, grain and dairy products. He operated the plant pretty steadily 
until the year 1850, supplying the entire coast with the output as well as 
exporting to the Sandwich Islands. With lumber he purchased the tract of 
land now known as the Blucher Rancho, situated in Analy township and con- 
taining 22,976.66 acres. This added to Bodega Rancho of eight square leagues 
or 35,487.53 acres, made Smith a land baron indeed. The Mexican govern- 
ment during the last years of its dominion in California had a tardy awakening 
to the necessity of a larger number and a better class of citizens, if the territory 
was to be welded into a formidable state, a vital part of the Mexican republic 
and a bulwark for defense on her northern frontier. Hence the grants of 
large ranchos, as encouragement to immigration, and a move most wise. The 
old California pioneer was not a land-grabber and a land-squeezer. That pirate 
of the soil appeared on the western plains forty or fifty years after. At this 
time there were twenty-three land grants within the survey of Sonoma count), 
the total acreage of which being about 400,000. The largest, the Petaluma 
Rancho, with its 75,000 acres occupying the big valley of that name, w-as orig- 
inally granted to Vallejo, while the Santa Rosa and Russian River valle.\- 
ranchos went to the Carrillos, to Jacob P. Lease, Henry 1). Fitch anrl John I'.. 
Cooper — all marriage kinsmen of the General. 


Yet it must not be concluded that because the land nf the territory \> as 
given away by the square league that everything here was marked up on a wealthy 
scale. Such was not the case. Notwithstanding their broad ranges of vale 
and hill, and great herds to graze over them, the settlers were soil and stock 
poor. What was in sight, what they had, was too plentiful for value. The 
country was only rich in possibilities, and the man who far-seeing, saw the 
future and prepared for it, was the man who was the "wealthy Californian" of 
after years when the wild acres were yielding their harvests of gold. A com- 
plete detailed history of the original land grants of this section cannot be gi^cii, 
but from the reports of the land cases determined in the L'nited .States District 


Court for the Northern District of California, 1853 to 1858 inclusive, ma} be 
noted the following: 

Rancho Musalacon, two square leagues, 8,866.88 acres, situated in Clover- 
dale township; originally granted by Governor Pio Pico, May 2, 1846, to Fran- 
cisco Berryessa. The tract was confirmed to Johnson Horrell by the District 
court January 14, 1856. 

Rancho Cotati, four leagues, 17,238.60 acres, situated in Santa Rosa and 
Vallejo townships of Sonoma county, originally granted by Governor Michel- 
torena, July 7, 1844, to Juan Castaneda. Confirmed to Thomas S. Page. Janu- 
ary 14, 1856. 

Rancho de los Guilicos, about four leagues, 18,833.86 acres, in Santa 
Rosa and Sonoma townships, this county, originally granted by Governor Juan 
B. Alvarado, November 13, 1839. to Juan Wilson. Confirmed to him March 

3, 1853. 

Rancho Canada de Pogolome, two leagues, 8,780.81 acres, m Marin and 
Sonoma counties — in Analy and Fiodega townships of the latter county. The 
claimant, Antonia (Dawson) Casares, stated that her deceased husband, James 
Dawson, E. M. Mcintosh and James Black had been encouraged by Coman- 
dante Vallejo to locate on tracts of land adjoining the Russian claims, they as 
Mexican citizens to act as barriers to further southern encroachments of the 
Fort Ross "intruders." Black selected what is now the Rancho Canada de la 
Jonive, mostly in Analy township, while Dawson and Mcintosh selected 
the Rancho Estero Americano, in Bodega township. As Mcintosh was a 
naturalized Mexican citizen he alone was eligible as a grantee, consequently 
Dawson's name was left out of the deeds of the rancho. Dawson moved his 
half of the common property including half of their dwelling house, to what is 
now known as Freestone, and again made application for a share of the Rancho 
Estero Americano. Remembering his former disqualification he not only be- 
came a citizen of Mexico, but the husband of a JNIexican woman — F^oiia An- 
tonia Casares. Dawson's apJDlication was not considered, but the Territorial 
Secretary recommended that he make application for a grant of land on which 
his house stood. He died before the papers were filed, but his widow acted in 
the matter and the grant of the Rancho Pogolome was issued to her by Gover- 
nor Micheltorena February 12, 1844, and confirmed by the District Court March 
24, 1856. (This irregular proceeding and its satisfactory ending is an eternal 
record of the justice and consideration that prevailed in the Mexican Land 
Office of the Territory. True, land here in those early days was worth only 
"a song," but the government that gave it away trusted that the gift would 
win an immigration that would make for the prosperity of the country. And 
it did, but in these later land-mad, trick-ofificial times where would such a 
claim get?) 

Rancho Llano de Santa Rosa, three leagues, 13,336.53 acres, in Santa Rosa 
and Analy townships, lying principally between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. 
June 22. 1843. Joaquin Carrillo petitioned Governor Micheltorena for a grant 
of land o!i the llano or plain west of the Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa, 
granted to his mother, Senora JNJaria Ygnacia Lopez de Carrillo. but the grant 
was not made, as no official survey had been made of the ranches in the vicinity. 
Pending the matter he was permitted to sow some of the land in grain. The 


next year his application was granted and he buih the adobe residence for his 
family near the town of Sebastopol. The original grantee was Marcus West, 
but the United States District Court, Afarch 24, 1856, confirmed the rancho to 
Joaquin Carrillo. 

Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa, a large tract extending southward from 
Santa Rosa creek to the northern line of Rancho Cotati, and from the east 
boundary of Rancho Llano to the head (cabeza) waters of Santa Rosa creek, 
was originally granted by Governor Manuel Jimeno to Maria Ygnacia Lopez 
de Carrillo, the mother of Julio and Joaquin Carrillo, and a sister of Senora M. 
G. Vallejo. Li the District Court the following claims on this ranch were 
confirmed: Julio Carrillo, 4,400.42 acres; Felicidad Carrillo; Juan de Jesus 
Mallagh, grandson of Senora Carrillo, 256.16 acres; John Hendley, one mile 
square, 640 acres; Jacob R. Mayer et al., 1,484.82 acres; James Eldridge, 
1,667.68 acres. 

Rancho el Molino, or Rio A^oska, ten and one-half leagues, 17,892.42 
acres, in Santa Rosa, Analy and Russian River townships of Sonoma county. 
Rio Ayoska was granted to John B. R. Cooper by Governor Figueroa, Decem- 
ber 31, 1833, and El Molino (the mill) by Governor Gutierrez, February 
24, 1836. Previous to obtaining the last grant he had occupied it, build- 
ing several houses, one of which was the mill— from which the tract took its 
name and which cost him $io,oco. Only the name of this pioneer establishment 
remains, as one rainy winter night several years after its construction it floated 
away to the ocean, and never returned. 

Rancho Huichica, 18,704.04 acres in Sonoma township. Two leagues of 
this tract were granted Jacob P. Leese by Governor Jimeno, October 21, 1841, 
and three and one-half leagues by Governor Micheltorena, July 6, 1844. 

Rancho Yulupa, three square leagues in Sonoma county, l}ing between the 
ranches of Petaluma, Cotati, Santa Rosa and Los Guilicos. It was first granted 
November 23, 1844, by Micheltorena to Miguel Alvarado. The claim of M. 
G. Vallejo for this tract was rejected by the Commission and the decision con- 
firmed by the District Court but reversed by the United States District Court 
and the cause remanded for further evidence. 

Rancho Sotoyome, eight leagues, 48,836.51 acres, in Mendocino and Russian 
River townships, granted September 28, 1841. by Micheltorena to Henry D. 
Fitch, confirmed by the Commission April 18, 1853, to Josefa Carrillo Fitch 
et al ; claim by Cyrus Alexander for two leagues of the rancho was rejected. 

Rancho Bodega, eight leagues, 35,487.53 acres, in Bodega and Ocean 
townships. Granted by Micheltorena September 14, 1844, to Stephen Smith 
and confirmed to Stephen Smith and Manuela Torres Smith July 5, 1853. 

Rancho Blucher, six leagues, 22,976.66 acre?, in Analy township, Sonoma 
county. Granted October 14, 1844, by Micheltorena to Juan \'ioget, confirmed 
January 26, 1857, to Stephen Smith. 

Rancho Callayom.e, three leagues, 8,2.11.74 acres. Sonoma county. Granted 
January 17, 1845, by Micheltorena to Robert F. Ridley, confirmed December 
22, 1852 to A. A. Ritchie and Paul S. Forbes. 

Rancho Muniz, four leagues, 17,760.75 acres, in Ocean and Salt Point 
townships, Sonoma county. Granted December 4, 1845. by Governor Pio Pico 
to Manuel Torres and confirmed October 17. 1853. 


Rancho Arroyo de San Antonio, three leagues, in ;\larin ami Sonoma coun- 
ties (Petaluma to-.vnship). Granted October 8, 1843, by Micheltorena to Juan 
Miranda and finally confirmed to Thomas B. Valentine. 

Rancho Laguna de San Antonio, six leagues, 24,903.42 acres, in Sonoma 
and Alarin counties. Granted November 5, 1843, by Pio Pico to Bartolome 
Bojorquez and confirmed September 10, 1855. 

Rancho Malacomes or Aloristal }■ Plan de Agua Caliente, four leagues, 
12,540.22 acres, in Knight's \^alley township, Sonoma county. Granted Octo- 
ber 14, 1843, to Jose de los Santos Berryessa and confirmed December 24, 1856. 
Lovett P. Rockwell and Thomas P. Knight were awardcl by the Commission 
8,328.85 acres of this tract. Claim of M. E. Cook et al. for 2,559 acres of this 
tract in Knight's Valley confirmed August 7, 1855. 

Rancho Roblar de la Miseria, four leagues, 16,887.45 acres, in Petaluma 
township. Granted November 21, 1845, by Pio Pico to Juan Nepomasena 
Padillo and confirmetl September 10, 1855, to David Wright et al. 

Rancho Canada de la Jonive, two leagues, 10,786.51 acres, in Analy and 
Bodega townships. Granted February 5, 1845. by Pio Pico to James Black, 
confirmed July 16, 1855. to Jasper O'Farrell. 

Rancho Estero Americano, two leagues, 8,849.13 acres, in Bodega town- 
ship. Granted September 4, 1836, by Manuel Jimeno to Edward Manuel Mc- 
intosh, confirmed April 11, 1853, to Jasper O'Farrell. 

Rancho German, five leagues, 17,580.01 acres, in Salt Point township. 
Sonoma county. Granted April 8, 1846, by Pio Pico to Ernest Rufus and con- 
firmed September 10, 1855, by the Supreme Court to Charles Mayer et al. 

Rancho Petaluma, ten leagues, 66,622.17 acres, in Sonoma and ^''allejo 
townships, Sonoma county. Five leagues granted October 22, 1843, by Michel- 
torena and five leagues sold June 22, 1844, to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, 
Confirmed by the Commission and by the District Court to M. G. Vallejo March 
16, 1857. Claim of J. A. Watmough for 640 acres rejected April 21, 1856. 

Rancho San Miguel, six leagues, in Santa Rosa township. Granted Novem- 
ber 2, 1840, by Juan B. Alvarado, and October 14, 1844. by Manuel Michel- 
torena to Marcus West. Claim filed before the Commission May 13, 1852, 
by Guadalupe \^asquez de West et al. and rejected, but confirmed by the I'nited 
States Supreme Court for one and one-half leagues. 

Rancho Tzabaco, four leagues, 15,439.32 acres, in Mendocino and Wash- 
ington townships, Sonoma county. Granted October 14, 1843, by Micheltorena 
to Jose German Pena. confirmed by the District Court March 9, 1857. to Jose 
Jesus Pena el al. 

Rancho Caslamayonie, or Laguna de los Gentiles, eight leagues, in Clover- 
dale and Washington townships, Sonoma county. Granted March 20, 1844, by 
Micheltorena to Eugenio Montenegro. Claim filed by William Forbes Septem- 
ber 7, 1852, rejected by the Commission, September 26, 1854. 

Rancho Agua Caliente, Sonoma township, granted July 13, 1840, by Juan 
B. Alvarado to Lazaro Pena. Qaim filed March 2, 1853, by M. G. Vallejo was 
rejected by the Commission and District Court, July 13, 1859. Claim of Joseph 
Hooker, filed same time, for 550.86 acres of this rancho was confirmed March 
2, 1857. Claim of C. P. Stone for 300 acres was confirmed on the above date. 
Qaim of Thaddeus M. Leavenworth for 320.33 acres was rejected March 2, 


Pueblo ol Sonoma, four league; S(|uare, i^ranted Ji'ue 24. 1835, by M. G. 
Vallejo to the Pueblo of Sonoma, was confirmed by the Commission January 
22, 1856, to the Mayor and Common Council of Sonoma. 

Lac, 1,000 varas square, in Sonoma county, granted July 25. 1844, by 
Micheltorena to Damaso Rodriguez. Claim filed by Jacob P. Leese confirmed 
by the District Court December 28, 1857. 

These large tracts rapidly passed through the hands of the grantees and 
were subdivided and sold ofif in farm lots. The pioneer could accumulate the 
acres — a whole province of them — but did not keep them beyond the second 
generation, a wise provision on the part of the Creator who intended that the 
surface of the earth He made should be partitioned to the pe<iplc. 


Sonoma was not only the last of the Mexican settlements, but as has 
been noted, the end of mission building in California and this adds to the his- 
torical importance of the old, crumbling, adobe church in that pueblo. Fifty- 
four years passed while they were reaching up the seven-hundred miles of 
coast, and then secularization, long threatened, quickly changed their status 
from almost independence of the civil and military authority to mere parishes. 
In some cases, however, the institutions because of unfavorable surrounding 
conditions, had failed. In fact, none of them were meeting the expectations of 
their founders and several were all but abandoned. The order of the mission 
building is as follows : 

San Diego de Alcala. San Diego county, July i, 1769. 

San Carlos de Borromeo, in Alonterey, June 3, 1770. The following year 
this mission was removed to the Carmel Valley, a short distance from Monte- 
rey, where it was known as El Carmel Mission. 

San Antonio de Padua, San Luis Obispo county, June 14, 1771. 

San Gabriel d' Archangel, San Luis Obispo county, September 8, 1771. 

San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Luis Obispo county. September i. 1772. 

Dolores, or San Francisco de Assis, San Francisco, October 9, 1776. 

San Juan Capistrano, Los Angeles county (now Orange county), Novem- 
ber 10, 1776. 

Santa Clara. Santa Clara county, January 12, 1777. 

San Buenaventura. Santa Barbara county, March 31. 1782. 

La Purisima Concepcion (Immaculate Conception) Santa Barbara county, 
December 8, 1787. 

Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz county, September 25. 1790. 

La Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude) Monterey county, September 29. 

San Jose. Alameda county, June 11, 1797. 

San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) Monterey county, June 24, 1797. 

San Miguel Archangel. San Luis Obispo county, July 25, 1797. 

San Fernando Rey de Espana (Ferdinand, King of Spain) Los Angeles 
county, September 8, 1797. 

San Luis Rey de Francis (Louis King of France) San Diego county, 
June 13, 1798. 

Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara county. September 17. 1804. 


San Rafael Archangel, San Rafael. Marin county, December i8, 1817. 
San Francisco de Solano, Sonoma county, August 25, 1823. 


Xaturallv, the tide of immigration that was sweeping from the eastward 
into the Territory began to menace the big land grants and trouble was on. 
In 1849 a commissioner from the land office at Washington reported that there 
were on record five hundred and seventy-six California grants. On the estab- 
lishment of the land commission eight hundred and thirteen claims were im- 
mediately filed before it for action. Under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 
made at the close of the war, the United States Government had agreed to 
recognize all land grants that had been authorized by the Mexican Govern- 
ment. In doing so it had to officially eliminate the fraudulent titles of which 
there cropped up a goodly number, and even when a genuine claim passed the 
local commission and got its legal standing it often had a long and tortuous 
journey through the court of last resort in Washington and some of the titles 
that passed that high tribunal had a "cloudy" appearance. The bribe germ 
mav have been in existence in that period, though not so fully developed as in 
the present century. Commissioner William Cary Jones stated that after he had 
returned to Washington he was ofifered $20,000 to report as genuine a fraud- 
ulent title. 

With so many claims pending in the courts it is not likely that the later 
home-hunters would hesitate in their settlements. Nor did they, and soon 
many ranches had their quorum of "squatters," as the contestants were called. 
And even when the original title was established the grantee frequently had a 
job on hand when he started in to dispossess the locators. When the American 
settler drives down his stake — nails his claim to a piece of the earth's surface — 
it takes time and force to pull that stake up. However, in many cases the 
rancho owners, especially where they were Californians. were willing on very 
liberal terms to dispose of large tracts to the settlers. Vallejo gave away 
several fine farms from his Petaluma Rancho simply because he wanted the 
Americano farmers for neighbors. In many localities throughout the state 
there were organizations, "Settlers' Leagues," fonned to fight the confirmation 
of the grants. Frequently these leagues were of the secret order with signs 
and pass-words and their fighting was not always of a lawful character. Even 
the grant owners sometimes assumed that they were higher than the law. 
Public opinion was with the settlers, and the newspapers, especially those of 
this county, strongly remonstrated against a law proposed at the time to pre- 
vent reviews in cases where patents have issued, the measure being without 
doubt for the purpose of checking investigation of fraudulent land titles. One 
of these land conflicts took place on the Bodega Rancho in 1859. When Cap- 
tain Stephen Smith died he left a third of the eight leagues of fertile acres to 
his wife in a life estate and all to be divided among their children at her death. 
The forest portion of the ranch was then under a ninety-nine year lease to a 
lumber company for $65,000. The widow soon after married Tyler Curtis, 
who immediately began proceedings of ejectment against about fifty settlers — 
renters and squatter.s- — located on the rancho. His methods were different from 
those of the gentle Captain Smith and he was soon floundering in needless 


trouble. He shipped a band of armed men from San Francisco provisioned 
for a war to the death. But all the able-bodied settlers from Petaluma to 
Bodega were soon on a warpath of their own and Curtis was glad of the oppor- 
tunity to lead his "army" back to San Francisco. He managed to "waste" the 
fine property in a few years and the three Smith children lost most of the inher- 
itance that their grand old pioneer father had won for them. 

After the death of Henry D. Fitch, in 1859, the Rancho Sotoyome, near 
Healdsburg, became the scene of a protracted skirmish of the "Squatter Trou- 
ble" conflict. While the title of the rancho was pending before the Cnited 
States courts the great ranch was cut up into smaller tracts and sold by order 
of the county Probate Court. Upon the issuance of the United States patent. 
Mrs. J. N. Bailhache, one of the Fitch daughters, obtained judgment in a suit 
of ejectment against a number of settlers on her share of the rancho. some 
fourteen hundred acres. There was never any doubt regarding the Fitch title, 
and the squatters were fairly beaten, but the war went on, spreading over to 
the adjoining ranches. Sheriff posses and militia companies were called into 
action and a number of persons prosecuted and heavily fined for contempt 
of court. Property of the squatters was destroyed and one man lost his life 
in the gun play. The night the Bailhaches were placed in possession of the 
ranch their premises were burned by parties, officially, unknown. 

rET.-VLl'M.V AND THE MIK.\X1).\ GIlllST. 

l-'or manv years the pale ghost of the Arroyo de San Antnnio grant flitted 
through the streets of Petaluma. The original grantee seems to have been 
Juan Miranda, but when the case came before the United States Land Com- 
mission there was another claimant — one Ortega, a somewhat irresponsible 
character, who had married a daughter of Miranda. The Ortega claim finally 
passed to James F. Stuart and that of Miranda to T. B. Valentine. The latter 
voluntarily withdrew that claim alleging that it had no legal standing, but it is 
generally believed that this action was to clear the way for the easier confirma- 
tion of the Ortega claim, in which he was secretly interested. The claim was 
several years passing through the slow mills of the law. during which time 
it was twice confirmed by the land commission and once by the District Court. 
In 1863 it was finally rejected by that tribunal. This looked like a knock-out 
for the ghost that had haunted the streets of Petaluma— but not yet. Valentine, 
doubtless regretting that he had thrown away the Miranda claim, which was 
the original and in all probability the winning one, was doing some haunting, 
himself, around the doors of Congress, trying by special act to get a re-hearing 
of the Miranda case, claiming that he had discovered new evidence in the mat- 
ter. But the land grant of the Arroyo de San Antonio, which included the 
city of Petaluma, had been declared subject to entry as government land and 
titles made, and consequently Valentine lost. Yet, showing how- near he came 
to jeopardizing the title to every vara of lot in and around the southern city, 
a bill passed Congress entitled "An act for the Relief of Thomas B. Valentine, 
approved June 5. 1872. By this the Aliranda claim was again admitted to 
court with the understanding that if \"alentine made his title he would accept 
lieu lands equal to the area of the tract in litigation. This time he won, the 
California Circuit Court and the I'nited States Supreme Court affirming the 


validity of the grant. In accordance with the compromise he conve3ed title to 
the Government in trust for the settlers, and the Miranda ghost was forever 
laid, and the clouds passed from the Petaluma homes. 

The Laguna de San Antonio tract also had its title-troubles and its session 
in the courts for upwards of twenty years. The rancho of 24,cxx) acres, which 
is about equally divided between Sonoma and Marin counties, was granted to 
Bartolemus Borjorques. There never was any conflict over the confirmation of 
the grant, the litigation came over the final disposal of the land to settlers. 
Borjorques deeded to his eight children, each one-ninth, reserving a ninth for 
himself. There was no partition of the estate and each heir sold and deeded 
his undivided ninth at will and often about as soon as he could, w^ithout much 
regard to survey or consideration. Very few of the buyers took the precaution 
to protect their slipshod titles with the signatures of the other heirs and the mix- 
up that soon came on would bring joy to the soul of the proverbial "Philadelphia 
lawyer." A suit with over two hundred persons as parties thereto was com- 
menced for the neglected partition and the big case was shuttle-cocked from 
court to court through long years of trial before the tangled titles were straight- 
ened out and the "Borjorques League" won its final judgment. 

In 1861 William Beihler, the claimant of the German Rancho which is 
situated north of Fort Ross, after some "warm" work in the United States 
District Court, ejected aboiit eighteen settlers from that grant. He quieted the 
title to his rancho but lie never quieted the disturbed feelings of the unsuccess- 
ful litigants and he seldom visited his "unsafe" ranch. It soon passed into 
other hands. 

The great Sutter-Muldrew litigation over a portion of the Bodega grant 
that for years kept the ranchers from Tomales Bay to Fort Ross fighting for 
their titles, has been narrated in this work. It was really a case of Russian 
vs. Mexican title and the latter won, the former having not even a shadow 
of validity, and the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty only concerning itself with the 
grants from Mexico. 




Sonoma today in her half-moon valle\- shows very Httle of the Sonoma of 
the roaring '40s, or of the milder '50s. Years, apparently do not age an Ameri- 
can city, though it is not built for everlasting, as time here is disposed to hide 
its ravages behind its newer creations. In the eastern hemisphere man built 
once for all, and ponderously. Not that he had any clear conception of a future 
with needed changes, for he didn't. His little horizon shut him in like the walls 
of a circular tent. He built that way because he did not want to do the job 
over again — the great stones were too heavy to handle — and that appears to 
be the only thought he gave to the matter. Then he died, and the buildings 
grew old and older. Time found it hard to destroy but it wore heavily on 
the structures and that dilapidation is their attraction, their stock in trade. If 
the ancient architect were to gather himself from his dust and see how profitable 
his old ruinous houses have become for show purposes, his astonishment would 
drop him dead again. On this half of the planet man begins in his present, but 
the in-rushing future soon jams him into the past, consequently he hasn't time 
enough to put up monuments reminding the after-comers how great he was, 
or to build eternal structures for the entertainment of tourists. Here and there 
in the old Pueblo Sonoma appear portions of the adobe walls of Mexico, bridg- 
ing the interval of a half century. Where the old houses have not been built 
around, added to or crowded out by modern structures, they have crumbled 
in the downpour of fifty winters' rains and the warp and strain of fifty summers' 
suns. It was in 1835 that Comandante M. G. Vallejo with pocket compass 
and tape line laid out the town, first measuring oflf a central plaza, without which 
no Spanish-American town was ever laid out, providing there was any level 
ground handy. This ancient plan is worthy of adoption as it insures a town 
breathing spaces, public parks — something which cannot be measured in dollars 
and cents. The first houses in Sonoma, including the inevitable church of a 
Latin settlement, the official residences and military quarters, were built on the 
four sides of this quadrangle, facing the open center. From this space ran in 
four directions the streets. A number of the old fabrics repaired with modern 
material are now in use, among them the barracks, also the "palace." as the 
residence of the comandante was called. A fortified structure, always known 
in a Spanish city as the "castillo," provided with portholes and a watch-tower, 
stood on guard at one corner of the plaza. The pavements of Sonoma may not 
have "resounded with the tread of mailed heel." but it was a place of some 
martial splendor in that early period. .-Kt the head of the soldierly line is the old 
Comandante Vallejo. Military Chief of the Northern Division of California, 
also one of the governors of the territory: Captain Salvador Vallejo, Mexican 
Army, dashing cavalier, rollicking fellow, held in leash by the steady hand of 
his more decorous brother and superior; Colonel John Charles Fremont, U. 
S. Engineers, Pathfinder of the Far \\\-st, the man who stirred the Bear 


Flaggers into action; Lieutenant John \V. Revere, U. S. N., of the United 
States sloop of war '■Portsmouth," who hoisted that vessel's ensign over 
Sonoma; Captain Kit Carson, logical successor of Fenimore Cooper's "Deer- 
slayer" and "Leatherstocking," and a grand specimen of the American back- 
woodsman ; General Persefer F. Smith, military governor and commander in 
chief of the United States forces in the State, who had his headquarters here ; 
Captain A. E. Gibbs, afterwards prominent in the great rebellion. Fighting 
Joe Hooker, commander in chief of the Army of the Potomac in 1863, lived 
here in '53. During the piping times of peace prior to the Civil war he resigned 
from the service and became a quiet citizen of the pueblo. A road-over- 
seer was wanted and as Captain Hooker — he wasn't a Fighting Joe then — 
was a graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he 
was considered qualified in the science of civil engineering enough for road- 
making and was unanimously chosen. It is of record that Joe kept the mule 
and cow trails in good order. This dip into the maelstrom of politics started 
the Captain in a dash for the legislature on the Democratic ticket, but he was 
considerably beaten by J. N. Bennett of Bennett valley, who swept into the 
Assembly on the Settlers' ticket. Hooker re-entered the arm}- in '61 and won 
his "fighting" title in the bloody battles of Antietam, Manassas, Fredericksburg, 
Chancellorsville and Lookout Mountain. He commanded a division with Sher- 
man in the tuneful march "Through Georgia." Another soldier of the Civil 
conflict who formerly was on duty at Sonoma was General Philip Kearny — 
nephew of General Stephen W. Kearny, who saw service in New Mexico and 
California. The gallant Philip lost an arm in Mexico, and his life in the battle 
of Chantilly, Va., while leading his brigade in attack on a strong Confederate 
position. Captain C. R. Stone, V. S. A., one of the heroes of the disastrous 
fight and retreat at Ball's Blufif. and Colonel Baker, the gallant California 
soldier who was killed in that battle, were at one time residents of the town. 
General T. C. Sherman and General Halleck, General George Stoneman. dis- 
tinguished cavalry officer of the bloody '60s, and afterwards governor of this 
.state, Lieutenant Derby, known to literary fame as "Squibob," also a number 
of other soldiers who afterwards became famous. Among the noted civilians 
were W. M. Boggs, ex-governor of Missouri, Count Agoston Haraszthy, a 
Hungarian nobleman, scientist and viticulturist, chief of the grape promoters 
of Sonoma valley ; Jasper O'Farrell, pioneer surveyor of the coast ; Judge D. 
O. Shattuck, Hon. George Pearce, and others of that troop of sterling men who 
have since disappeared over the Divide. 


Echoing faintly through the old adobe halls, one seems to hear voices 
and the empty places are peopled with the viewless forms of those who walked 
here in the long ago. In that squad of Sonoma's early population were the 
Bear Flag men and that other grim company known as Stevenson's Regi- 
ment. It may be noted that those citizens, in general, were not of the class 
marked "Safe To Fool With." There were no professional "bad men" in that 
band of mavericks, but no doubt many gun barrels there showed the significant 
"notches." Captain Henry D. Fitch, before he located on Russian River, and 
George Pearce, before he studied law, were hotel keepers ; the latter came to 
California with General Stephen Kearny's command and took part in the blun- 


dering fight at San Pasqiial when the American forces were signally defeated. 
Several prominent physicians, scholarly and cultured men, were attracted to 
the locality — in fact, Sonoma was in a fair way to become the early center of 
culture under the American regime. Among these were Dr. Oiarles Van Gel- 
dern. Dr. August Heyermann, and Don Frederick Reger, an educated Belgian, 
instructor of the young Vallejos. 

Sonoma arose to the dignity of an incorporated city in 1850 and her first 
mayors were Messrs. Cameron, Vallejo and Hopkins. For years she was the 
county seat — by default of any other town being in the county. The pueblo 
possessed a "seaport," a landing on the creek where that stream nears San 
Pablo Bay, fittingly called by the Californians, "Embarcadero." The place is 
now burdened with the misnomer "St. Louis." Wherever and whenever the 
Americans have changed the original Spanish names there appears a bald, 
glaring, verbal blunder. Sonoma through her embarcadero had direct commu- 
nication with San Francisco, and with a market for her selling and buying. 

The fertility of this crescent-plain has passed into a proverb that is heard 
in all the tongues of the world. Its soil will produce from valley-floor to hill- 
crest and its vineyards that compete with the famous vines of middle Europe, 
lie on the warm, volcanic slopes of the surrounding uplands. The igneous 
loam as well as the sunshine gives fire to the vintage. Somebody has said 
that the grapevines would cover Vesuvius and Aetna, and hide the scars 
of the past, if their craters would "go dead." Besides the one hundred and 
six or seven thousand acres of the valley proper, thousands of acres on the wide 
bay frontage for years have been under process of reclamation, consequently it 
truthfully may he said that Sonoma valley is growing — encroaching on San 
Pablo Bay. However complete and splendid its present, there will always be 
a grander future for this rich vineyard of the New World. The missionaries 
brought from Spain, with the seed of the faith they were to plant, the seed of 
the vines they were to plant at each successive mission they founded, and 
these vines nurtured along the adobe walls, were the pioneers of the vines now 
running so luxuriantly over the warm Sonoma hills. 


And amid these the mind of the visiting moralist goes a-wander. Every- 
thing is so winey, and suggests the volatility — the spirit of some rare vintage 
grown and gathered in a forgotten long ago. The green, leafy rows where the 
clusters are accumulating wealth from soil and sun ; the place of pressing — 
the "wine-fats" of old literature; the cave-like aging places where darkness 
and dust and cobwebs and years bring to the bottled blood of the vitis vitifera 
that matchless and perfect maturity. Possibly the genii of the grape — the 
wizardry of the wine — gets among his nerve-centers, though the in-dwelling 
spirit of a Mission grape should not inspire vagrant or irreverent thoughts. 
Yiet will the loiterer among the padres' sacred vines hark back nearly eight cen- 
turies to the ancestral vineyards of the Mission grape, purpling under the 
blue Persian sky, where he will hear again Omar Khayyam in the mystic spell 
of Shiraz wine recite his quatrains of eastern philosophy tliat is older than 
the Magi: 

"And lately, by the tavern door agape. 

Came .shining through tlie dusk an Angel Siiaiie 


Bearing a vessel on his shoulder : and 
He bid me taste oi it; and 'twas — the Cirape. 

"The Grape that can with logic absolute 
The Two-and-Seventy jarring sects confute ; 

The sovereign Alchemist that in a trice 
Life's leaden metal into gold transmute ; 

"Why, be this juice the growth of God, who dare 
Blasiiheme the twisted tendrils as a snare? 
A blessing, we should use it, should we not? 
And if a curse — why, then, who set is there?" 

So the thought can hardly be characterized as vagrant as it is not so far a 
cry from a Sonoma Mission grape to a grape of its generic vintage twice four 
hundred golden autumns ago. The rather audacious sentiment expressed in 
the quatrains of the Rubaiyat may be a needed justification for ill influences of 
the profane parent stock, but the Mission grape grown in the odor of sanctity, 
pressed and blessed by church, has been shrived of the black-art sins of the 
Wizard East. That the priestly grape whose juice should be of the same brand 
as the wine served by the Savior at the wedding feast in Cana, should be 
caught confuting the seventy-two "jarring" faiths, is after all an idea rather 
vagrant, and possibly irreverent. 


When the last cowled adobe-mason was working at the northern terminus 
of the "Camino Real" now at the ruined portal of Mission San Francisco de 
Solano, he noted that the crescent-shaped valley was well-watered, making 
irrigation an easy question for solution. So he found a patch of ground for 
his grape cuttings, to insure their living and producing, then turned to the sun- 
drying of the big mud bricks for his church. The early vineyardists always 
considered the grape vine a water-drinker antl calling for moist soil to root 
in, and to the thin, sour wine they made they added spirits to sweeten it. The 
person who discovered the error of this belief was Colonel Agoston Haraszthy, 
a political exile from his native Hungary, and a man of rare culture. He 
reached Sonoma in 1856 and being a practical viniculturist, he virtually landed 
in the exact place prepared for him in the scheme of things. He first began 
importing vines from abroad, and these he planted on the higher lands sur- 
rounding the valley. Tlie success of this venture proved that the grape is a true 
product of the slopes and not of the valley levels. Colonel Haraszthy soon 
became the head of the wine interests in the slate. In 1861 he was sent as a 
government commissioner to Europe, where he made a thorough examination 
of the vineyards of the different wine countries of that continent and returned 
with three hundred varieties of vines which now jjroduce the most valuable 
wines of the Pacific coast. Some of the vines proved to be superior t(^ others, 
but all were found to maintain in this soil their distinctive native qualities, but 
the several hunilred thousand roots and cuttings whicii he introduced to the 
virgin soil of Sonoma and other localities in the state, make California the 
wine growing state of the western continent. In 1862 he was chosen president 
of the State Agricultural Society and next year he organized the Buena Vista 


Vinicultural Sociel}-, to which he convened his four hunch-ed acre \iiievard in 
Sonoma. In 1869, while a resident of Nicaragua, he mysteriously disappeared. 
It is supposed that while attempting to cross a river on his plantation he fell 
into the water and was drowned. The remains were never found. The advan- 
tages possessed by California as a wine-growing country have been ably set 
forth by Arpail Haraszthy, son of the Colonel, in published articles, portions 
of which are here given: 

"California has one distinct advantage over any wine-producing country 
on the globe, and that is the certainty, constancy and duration of her dry sea- 
son. The grape is a fnut that needs, above all others, a warm sunshine, with- 
out interruption, from the time that the blossoms set forth their tender flowers 
until they gradually develop into their rich, luscious fruit in October. This 
advantage has always existed here, as far back as our record extends and no 
rain or hail ever destroyed the tender fruit. The sure and uninterrupted dura- 
tion of this dry weather secures a crop without a chance of failure and ripens 
the grape to perfection. One of the most serious drawbacks in all other parts 
of the world is the uncertainty of the seasons and the entire variance from 
preceding ones, thus creating a great diiiference in the quality of the wine pro- 
duced in successive vintages. This difference in quality is so great that 
it is quite common to find the prices vary from one to two hundred per cent in 
the same district. The products of the renowned vineyards have been known 
to have fluctuated even to a greater extent. In Europe they only reckon to 
secure in ten years one good crop of fine quality, but small quantity ; while 
seven vintages are reckoned as being of poor qualityi small quantity, and total 
failures. In our state the variation in quality seldom amounts to five per cent, 
while the most disastrous years have not lessened the crop below the ordinary 
yield more than twenty-five per cent in quantity. This variation in quantity 
can be fully known three months previous to the vintage, thus allowing the 
producer ample time to secure his casks, and furnishing him positive knowledge 
as to the number required. In other countries, even fourteen days before the 
vintage, there is no certainty of a crop ; a wind, a rain, a hail-storm is apt to 
occur at any moment and devastate the entire vintage. All is uncertainty there ; 
nor has the vintner any possible means of positively ascertaining how many 
casks he must provide. In abundant years in the old countries, the exchange 
has often been made of so many gallons of wine for an equal number of gal- 
lons' capacity of casks. The disadvantages of being forced to secure such im- 
mense quantities of casks in so limited a period are easily perceived and we 
certainly cannot appreciate our own advantage too much in being differently 
situated. Another great benefit derived from the long continuance of the dry 
weather, is the exemption from weeds in our vineyards after the final plowing. 
Thus all the nourishment and strength of the soil go wholly to their destina- 
tion, the vine, and hence the vigorous appearance that even the most delicate 
imi-'orted varieties acquire even in our poorest soils. This circumstance will 
also explain, in a measure, why our cultivation does not cost as much per acre 
as that in European countries, though our labor is much higher. The advan- 
tage of our dry weather does not end here : it precludes the jjossibility of con- 
tinued mildew and allows the vintner to leave his wines unstaked, the bunches 
of grapes actualh l\i'.ig. anil securely ripening on the ground witlimit fear of 



frost or of rotting. In this condition the grapes mature sooner, are sweeter 
and possess more flavor. 

"Above and beyond the abiHt\ and advantage we have of producing all 
kinds of grapes to perfection, of making from them wines that are pleasant, 
inviting to the taste, and which will keep, with but little skill and care, for 
years, whose limit has not yet been found, we still have a greater advantage 
over European vintners in the cheapness of our cultivation. Labor, material, 
and interest are all very high with us. nevertheless, the setting out and cultiva- 
tion of an acre of vineyard costs less in California than it does in France. F"or 
this we are as nuich indebted to our improved means of cultivation as to the 
nature of our climate. All labor, in the majority of the wine districts of 
Europe, is done by hand. We use the horse and plow, while they use the prong- 
hoe and spade, and with few exceptions they actually dig and hoe up their 
entire vineyards. After our spring cultivation is over, we need not go into our 
vineyards, and, having no summer rains, weeding is not necessary, and still 
their freeness from weeds and their clean appearance strike the stranger with 
surprise. Owing to the contrary, to the wet season of Europe, the vine-dress- 
ers are constantly kept among the vines, trying to give them a clean appear- 
ance, but in spite of all their efiforts, they but imperfectly succeed, and their 
vineyards never possess that appearance of high and perfect cultivation that is 
so apparent in our own." 


Thus in the written description by one of Sonoma's most intelligent and 
practical wine-growers may be seen the wonderful place Nature, the great 
vine-dresser, has prepared for the cultivation of that peerless plant — the grape. 
Since the morning when man started on humanity's long trek westward from 
his cradle in the Himalayan hills this princely scion of the vegetable kingdom 
has been a part of his domestic impedimenta and wherever in his migration 
he has halted, the vineyard has soon appeared near the new home. In the 
desert and desolate places of earth where the currents of life run slow, the grape, 
and its noble brother, the fig, have shaded with their broad, green leaves, the 
desert-dweller, or have fed him from their never failing store, until "l^nder- 
the-Vine-and-Figtree" has long been in tlie east the s\non\ni of peace and 
plenty. It would seem that this last and final stopping place of the race migra- 
tion has been found to be 'the perfect habitat of the grape ; that this plutonic 
loam holds yet a portion of its original heat; and that the rainless summer 
lapping over the autumn even to an often-belated winter, gives the growing 
fruit long golden days and mild, temperate eves in which to gather richness 
from sun and soil. In proof of this it may be mentioned that the vintage of 
1910 in Europe is lower than in any year during the last century. Lack of sun- 
shine during the spring and early summer, and excessive humidity throughout 
the entire season, all of which engendering various forms of insect life, blight- 
ing the grapes and destroying the harvest, are the causes of the disaster. All 
the wine-producing countries of Europe are aflfected, and the consular reports 
state that in France this is little short of a national calamity. Nor have the 
vineyard places of Sonoma failed in any particular, of their early promise to 
Aitimira as he entered the beautiful valley in that June of 1823. "Xo one can 
doubt the benignity of the Sonoma climate," wrote the Father in his journal. 


"after noting the plants, the lofty a'ltl shadv trees — and especiallx the ahundance 
and luxuriance of the wild grapes. ■■■ * * The permanent springs are almost 
innumerable. * * We saw from these and other facts that Sonoma is a 

most desirable site for a mission.'' And the output of wines, vintage after vin- 
tage, is superior on average to the product from any other country, not even 
excepting France. Long has it been known that much of the wines shipped 
from that country is a mixture of their inferior grades, flavored in imitation, 
artificially sweetened, strengthened with cheap alcohol and colored with chem- 
icals. This delectable combination is "watered" down to the claret per cent 
and in bottles that have the "grand foreign air" it sold in competition with pure 
California wines. And it is sold, too, because the American buyer is an anomoly 
in the market. He loves his incomparable country and its domestic institu- 
tions, certainly — in theory, and in practice he prefers the foreign article with it- 
antique labels and artistic packings. Even before Colonel Haraszthy demon- 
strated that a California grapevine without old world nursing and without irri- 
gation could turn out prize wine, the Sonoma vineyards were doing well. Sal- 
vador Vallejo probably was the pioneer grower of the valley and county, his 
vineyard being a part of what is now the big Buena Vista tract. In 1850, 
General Vallejo had about three acres in vines at Lachryma Montis, his home 
near the town, which netted him that year in the San Francisco market six 
thousand dollars. 

From those small patches of vines have grown the noble vineyards of 
Kohler and Frohling, W. McPlierson Hill, La Motte, Herman, Warfield, Wrat- 
ten, Craig, Tichner, Dressel, Gundlach, Snyder. Winchel, Hayes. Leavenworth 
and others. The Buena Vista vineyard is one of the largest in California, it 
being a portion of the six thousand acre tract belonging to the Buena Vista 
Vinicultural Society. Its winery plant is probably one of the most perfect in 
the world — modernized to the latest instant, and constructed against the side 
of a convenient hill it utilized the interior of the elevation and in the under- 
ground galleries the product gathers age and maturity. Nicholas Carriger 
dropped into the valley the year of the Bear Flag, and saw Jacob P. 
Leese, who then occupied a portion of the Buena Vista tract, making wine. 
The process was crude — the grapes being placed in a soft cow-hide and tramped 
out by Indians. Leese gave the newcomer some cuttings which were planted 
in the pueblo, but he hurried off to the mines and during his absence Vallejo's 
cattle pastured on the young vineyard. In 1849 '^e began planting his present 
extensive grape tracts, and construction of the costly winery on the Carriger 
estate, three miles west from town. While all of the many wine-growing estab- 
lishments of Sonoma add their individual testimony to the adaptability of this 
locality for grapes, it is on the estate of Colonel George F. Hooper that the 
most thorough fruit culture try-out has been made. In vineyard, orchard and 
grove, wealth, science and industry have proven that there are very few things 
that will not grow in Sonoma. Its soil apparently is "middle ground" between 
the zones of earth's vast acreage, and seemingly a true home for its cosmopoli- 
tan vegetation. A seed or cutting transported over seas finds here conditions 
ideal and identical witli its natal place of growing. 



When X'ulcaii. the classic gcmis of the earthquake, the busy blacksmith 
whose forge is in the volcano, but up this coast, there geysered up through 
the broken crust of the planet, from somewhere, several thousand springs, 
some that give off hot and cold water, pure and simple, fit for man and beast, 
while others are chemicals in solution, puddles of sulphur, rills of iron, or soda 
fountains which nature set playing away in the wilderness awaiting the health 
resorter. Sonoma early received her apportionment of mineral gushers — pos- 
sibly because of her nearness to Mount St. Helena, the mother mountain of 
these basaltic hills born from her flaming craters in that far day when the lava 
floods swept the plains. So among the vineyards, orchards and oak groves are 
the hot, cold, fresh, salted, fountains from the cavern sea, each in its own 
channel, piped directly from the central laboratory where the gnome-alchemists 
of the underworld "around about their caldrons go.'" Padre Altimira wrote 
in his log book — "We descended into the plain and in less than one-fourth of 
a league we found six hundred and seven springs of water." Down under 
that green vale a mighty river — feeder of those six hundred springs — is 
flowing, somber because no ray of light ever falls on its surface, and silent 
because no earth!\ ear can catch and change to sound the pulsation of its 
splashings. The thought recalls Coleridge's poem composed in a dream — 
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 

A stately pleasure-dome decree. 
Where Alph, the sacred river ran 
Through caverns measureless to man, 
Down to a sunless sea.'" 

In this plutonic land where the mountain chain is the upheaval of forces 
underneath, and the valley-level is the erosion of hilltops into the deep gorges 
below, the reminders of the strange, the weird, and the horror of that evolu- 
tion are ever at one"s elbow. It is a whimsical, yet true, idea that the broad 
central llano of this county was once an abyss, a great ditch — depth unknown — 
full of Pacific Ocean, whose tides sweeping northward between side-walls of 
coast-range, splashed against the highlands around Healdsburg and Cloverdale ; 
and that the side-walls of hills were loftier— even Alpine in altitude— before 
they began to wear down into the seas at their feet. To move on in the geo- 
logical dream, the filling in went daily and yearly and centuryly ahead. The 
tides passed no farther than the Russian river valley, and presently— ages 
may pass in the "presently" of that period— that river over dry land was cutting 
itself the crooked ditch it now uses in its run to the sea. As the detrition con- 
tinued the ocean stopped below Santa Rosa and the newly-formed creeks in that 
valley had to work their own way through the newly-formed soil or be dammed. 

More ages lost themselves in the lost past and enough mountain had washed 
down to check the tide farther south, and what is now the Petaluma plain began 


to be shoal-water. And the next change reported — though its date is uncer- 
tain — is that the sea had been blocked in the swamp lands south of Petaluma. 
So the ocean retired through the CJolden Gate, but leaving a great dry central 
valley, and at the southern end of it, San Pablo Bay — for another invasion 
northward should another volcanic disturbance drop the floor of the plain be- 
low the sea-level. A similar contract was completed about the same time in 
Sonoma valley, in fact a monster work of reclamation along the western rim 
of this hemisphere was then finished, and this was the evening of the first day 
of local creation. 


Vegetation came to the new district. Whence — we do not hazard a reply, 
except in the matter of the redwoods — the evergreen sequoia, which science 
calls "sempervirens," and not without reason, for they seem to be a deathless 
remnant of the order coniferae, intligenc of *he sub-carboniferous age, a pretty 
low plane in the strata-deeps that mark the building-periods of this multi- 
million-year-old planet. Think of it, — below the Cretaceous, the shell of vast 
seas ; below the Jurassic — the slate deposit ; below the Triassic — the old red 
sandstone : down under the far coal measures. But these trees are going now. 
\''olcanoes, earthquakes, all the stupendous forces that have heaved and racked 
the old globe in and out of shape — the crash and drag and grind of the slow 
moving, countless centuries, could not break the life-line of these noble trees 
till man the real, the i^erfect destroyer, appears on the earth. I\fan has not de- 
stroyed Death — who will one day destro\- his human rival — but the wrecking 
homo often trespasses on the domain of the grisled-monarch. But this is 
ahead of the geological story. Then was the evening of the second day. 

Some "tall guessing" must be indulged in — must be permitted — regarding 
date of coming, and personal characteristics of the pioneer mammalia of this 
then newly laid-out happy hunting ground, as little is known of it except a 
fragment of data science has scraped from the thighbone of a mastodon found 
conserved in the mud of Petaluma creek. That bit of fossil could not fit a 
Missouri male, and General \'allejo never confessed to the ownership of a 
Spanish steer of that heft. Possibly it was the solitary escape from its pre- 
historic home-woods in the Petrified Forest near Geyserville at the time those 
trees were withered and became their own gravestones : or when St. Helena 
had opened her furnace valves and was raining death around. And in a wild 
run across the quaking plain, showered with ashes and pursued by waves of lava, 
the animal had mired and entombed itself in the morass where found. Follow- 
ing the mammoth and the ponderous members of his quadrupedal set came a 
later growth of the old stock— the genera ursine, feline, cervine, lupine, but in 
the tongue of the present countryside — bear, panther, deer, wolf, also the smaller 
fry of the family. And this was the evening of the third day. 

Then following his brother-mammal came man — the more voracious animal 
of the two immigrants. Whether he came from the places of the cave dwellers, 
or from a more modern settlement somewhere on the bleak Siberian steppes. 
"hot-footing" it over the ice of Bering Straits before the returning summer 
melted his winter bridge, cannot with certainty be written. He was here feed- 
ing free on the fauna and everything else edible to a Digger Indian when we 
landed and set history recording his presence and his end. And finishes the 
fourth and the genesis of this local creation. 



This dream is made of real "stuff." The craters of St. Helena are cold 
and her prehistoric lava output is the basalt block of modern commerce. The 
earthquakes that jumbled the continent into gorge and cliff, and tilted the 
rnathematically-level strata into dips and spurs and angles, and general geolog- 
ical chaos, are not doing the business of the busy long-ago. Occasionally we 
feel a shiver running through our eminent domain like the muscular quiverings 
in a lifeless body, but though the tremblor moves us it does not move the 
mountains around us off their foundations, so we stick to our claims. Sonoma 
valley is Sonoma township, the area lying within the Napa line on the east, 
the bay shore on the south, the high range of hill on the west, and a zigzag 
line running easterly and westerly just south of Eldridge. This places the 
pretty little village of Glen Ellen — its name reminding one of some bonny 
heather hamlet of Scotland — with her highlands and lowlands, in a township 
all her own. In the Sonoma region are the aguas caliente, whose thermal 
mineral waters bubble for the healing of the nations, among which are the 
Boyes Hot Springs on the old Leavenworth rancho in the northern part of the 
valley. This well known and very popular health resort could date the beginning 
of its popularity before dates were used in the markings of time-flights. The 
Indians found the spring boiling and bubbling in its own hot vapors from the 
ground, and though fully believing that the heated water and malodorous gases 
were directly from the Devil, they also believed there were curative virtues in 
the demon fountain. The only thing in their wood-lore they did not understand, 
and did fear was the High Priest of Evil, whose abode they supposed was in 
underground places; and the eerie sounds they heard coming from the pent-up 
flow of gas and water were the chantings of some diabolical choir. So their 
sweathouse stood near the spring, and for generations — possibly ages,^this 
aboriginal sanitarium with its healthful heat, this fountain of Hygeia toiling 
and bubbling, like the troubled Pool of Bethesda, was the hope of the tribal 
afflicted. Dr. Leavenworth constructed a small bath-house and a tank at the 
spring and made it the pioneer health resort of the county. The doctor was 
]ieculiar and eccentric to the explosive point — which point one day he reached 
during a violent discussion with his wife over the cashiership of the institution. 
In his rage he burned the bath house and filled the tank with earth and stones 
and went out of business. Many years after General Vallejo told Mr. and 
Mrs. Boyes, a health-seeking couple just from England, of the existence of the 
old spring, and recommended its mineral waters. Mr. Boyes after long probing 
in the swampy soil found the old tank in its excavation. It was cleaned out 
and the long choked fountain set boiling again. The re-discoverers found the 
lost mineral spring a mine indeed, and the place well improved with modern 
conveniences is now one of the most popular health-producing resorts in the 


As the count\ was becoming more populated the location of its seat of 
government nearer the geographical center became a matter of public interest. 
In 1854 Mr. Bennett introduced a bill in the legislature authorizing a vote on 
the question of transferring the county seat from Sonoma to some other loca- 
tion. The transfer really began the year before when Joe Hooker and J. W. 
Bennett started in the run for the assembly. The question of county seat removal 


was not a publicly-discussed issue in the contest, but the tact that P.ennett 
received an almost unanimous vote in Santa Rosa, danonstrated that the "Court- 
house" was then in the ballot-box. The general tally-sheet of this early elec- 
tion is of interest showing how public opinion on county seat removal then 
stood, and the result, first figures for Santa Rosa, second for Sonoma, is here 
given: Sonoma, 21, 209, — the ballot, at least in Sonoma, must have been ex- 
tremely "secret," as nothing serious regarding those "21" voters is on record; 
Santa Rosa, 195, i, — that lone apostate "i" perchance has long slumbered in 
its grave unidentified; Petaluma, 32, 233, — Petaluma's opposition to Santa Rosa 
as a county seat was manifested early in the city of the Punta de los Esteros : 
Analy, 138, 2j : Estero Americano, 29, 16; Bodega, 54. i; Bodega Point, 64, 
o; Vallejo, 42, 17; Russian River, 85, i; Washington, 16, 13; Mendocino, 39. 
3; Big River, i, 26; Fort Ross, o, 16; — distance to the county seat was evidently 
no object to the voters of the last two precincts, or else they never expected to 
make the journey. 


By a vote of 716 to 563 the "court-house" left Sonoma, as a newspaper 
man of that period graphically writes, — "On Jim Williamson's two-mule 
wagon." Even with the popular decision against them the Sonoma people were 
loth to let the institution go, but a little head-work by N. McC. Menefee, and no 
little foot-work by Jim Williamson's team of mules quietly passed the county 
government from the pueblo. The man and the mules also have "passed." but 
their part in "the stealing of the court-house" merits honorable mention. Mene- 
fee was the county clerk, having only one leg, but he could get around rapidly. 
"Jim" and "Liza" were the team, but unlike the general run of mules, could, 
and would — and did — move with speed. By arrangement with the supervisors 
Williamson camjied near Sonoma the night before the da\- of the removal, 
and next morning having received a quiet notification that the board had 
officially adopted the "move" resolution, he was at the door of the building. 
William Hoggs and several other persons anticipating the move were trying 
to get out an injunction, even rushing a courier oflf to Napa for that pur- 
pose — but before the citizens in the vicinity were fully alive to the job, the 
county records, including the dusty old documents of the alcaldes, had been 
"rushed" aboard the wagon, and Jim and Liza were treading the "high-places" 
for Santa Rosa. Williamson was at the brake — which he never used in all thai 
wild, twenty-two mile flight, and which lasted just one hundred minutes. Menefee 
beside him on the spring-wagon seat, had to let his jointless artificial leg — z 
mere wooden stick— rest on the dash-board, the end of the "peg" onh- a few 
inches from Liza's lively body. If she lagged ever so slightly in the mad pace 
she touched Menefee's peg-leg and this would almost jump her through the 
collar. Dropping down into a gulch or any of the many low places of the rough 
road and starting to rise in the corresponding ascent Liza would not fail to get 
"a good punch," and this, reports her owner, "sent the team up faster than it 
had come down." 

Meneiee expected they would be overhauled b}- Sheriiif Israel Brockman 
with the writ, and he intended to take to the woods giving the injunction a 
run through the brush ; knowing that as an official he would be sought for service 
of the paper, and ^Villiamson would be left to continue the journey. Even 


with a wooden-leg he grittily determined to keep Brockman on the trail until 
Jim and Liza got home. They were not overtaken, but landed the "court-house" 
in Santa Rosa, — time, 4 :54. Jim Williamson — ever3body calls him '"Jim," is 
yet a citizen of the county-seat he "stole," and the petty-larcenous character of 
the act in nowise detracts from his popularity. Liza and the other Jim are 
no more, but their famous Hundred Minute Run is a living record. District 
Attorney McNair for his services allowed himself $250, but the supervisors 
amended it to $100. Jim Williamson modestly thought $15 was enough for 
the mules and himself, and the board thought likewise. 


The general sorrow in the pueblo over the loss appears to have found pub- 
lic expression in the following "in memorium" of editor A. J. Cox of the Sonoma 
Bulletin : 

Departed. — Last Friday the county officers with the archives left town 
for the new capital amidst the exulting grins of .some, and silent disapproval 
(frowning visages) of others. We are only sorry they did not take the adobe 
courthouse along — not because it would be an ornament to Santa Rosa, but be- 
cause its removal would have embellished our plaza. Alas. "Old casa dc 
adobe." No more do we see county lawyers and loafers in general, lazily en- 
gaged in the laudable eilfort of whittling asunder the veranda posts — whicli, 
by the way, require but little more cutting to bring the whole dilapidated fabric 
to the ground. No more shall we hear within and without and around it, 
lengthy political discussions, on which were supposed (by the discussers) to 
hang the fate of the world. The court house is deserted, like some old feudal 
castle, only tenanted, perhaps, by rats and fleas. In the classic language of no 
one in particular, "Let 'er RIP." 


California arrived at statehood September 9, 1850, and the Sonoma Dis- 
trict builders of the state, also their male descendants, comprising the counties 
of Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Marin and Sonoma, and whose names are among 
those in the cornerstone of this commonwealth, are as follows : 

William C. Adams, Louis Adler, Pierre Augardes, Stephen Akers, John 
Abbott, S. J. Agnew, O. S. Allen, J. M. Armstrong, Joseph Albertson, W. G. 
Alban, Thomas Allen, Horatio Appleton, N. H. Amesbury, D. H. Alderson, 
John Hall Allison, Charles H. Allen, W. F. Allen, Charles Alexander, Charles 
G. Ames. 

William M. Boggs, J. W. Boggs, H. E. Boggs, A. C. Boggs, H. C. Boggs, 
George W. Boggs. Joseph O. Boggs, Theodore Boggs, L. W. Boggs, J. B. Bean, 
William H. Brady, Herman Baruh, A. A. Basignano, E. Briggs, Louis Bruck, 
John Brown, Edward F. Bale, Samuel Brown, William Board, John F. Boyce, 
j. S. Brackett, David Burris, I. S. Bradford, R. Bunnell, R. T. Barker,' R. 
F. Barker. John N. Bailhache, E. N. Boynton, A. R. Barney, J. D. Beam, H. 
H. Bower, William P. Boyce, M. C. Briggs, H. W. Baker, Erwin Barry, Sim 
H. Buford, Sanford Bennett, Elias Bennett, William Baldridge, J. N. Bennett, 
P. (i. Baxter. Jesse P.easley, Z. Briggs. Robert BrDwnlie. Jonathan .\. P.ond. 
Peter D. Bailey, John Bright, T. C. Brown, A. B. Burrell. jolin Bailiff, William 


Nicholas Carriger, Solomon II. Carriger, C C Carriger, A. B. Carriger, 
Julio Carrillo, William Cory, Columbus Carlton, John Cavanagh, tloward 
Clark. G. W. Clark, W. W. Carpenter, B. L. Cook, T. S. Cooper, J. R. Cooper, 
VV. L. Copeland, R. Crane, J. Clark, O. W. Craig, G. W. Cornell, W. M. Cole- 
man, E. Coleman, H. K. Clark. S. B. Carpenter, V. B. Cook, D. Chamberlin, 
J. Cairn. O. Clark, W. R. Coburn. J. L. Cook, J. J. Coghill, L. Carson, J. C. 
Crigler, J. Custer, B. Capell, J. Cyrus. A. J. Cox, S. Clark, L. Chapman, Nathan 
Combs, D. C. Crockett, Dr. C. Crouch, W. R. Cook, J. Chauvet. 

H. Decker, M. Donohue. H. \V. Dickinson, D. D. Davisson. M. Dorman. 

B. W. Diffendorflfer, E. L. Davis, N. Dunbar, J. Dickerson. A. J. 
J. W. Easter, T. Earl, E. Emerson, B. E. Edsal, L. F. Eaton. W. Edgington. 
A. Y. Easterby. W. Ellis, J. Fernald, J. F. Fowler, J. M. Freeman, A. J. W. 
Fam-e, J. T. Fortson, J. Fulton, J. \A'. Mavell, H. Fowler. W. I'owler, W. A. 
Fisher, S. W. Faudre, F. Fisher. 

T. M. (iregson, T. C. Gray, F. V. (jreen, O. (ireig. J. (iibson, W. Green, 
J. F. Green, J. Gallagher, W. W. Greening, A. J. Gordon. J. Griffith, J. J. 
Goodin. Dr. J. B. liordon. G. G. Gardner. \V. Gordon, C. Griffith, J. Grigsby. 
G. Grigsby. P. D. Grigsby, J. T. Grigsby, R. A. (iiU. A. J. Gilbraithe, E. Gillen, 
P. Gesford. 

J. Henly. \\'. Hood, T. Hopper, H. Hall, L. M. Harmon, C. Humphries, 
H. Hill. W. M. Hill. D. Hudson, J. Henry. T. B. Hopper, B. Hoen, H. H. Hall, 
S. H. Hyman. A. Hixson, A. Haraszthy, L. C. Hubbard, H. P. Holmes, J. W. 
Harlan, T. F. Hudson, W. B. Hagans, C. Hazelrigg, J. R. Holloway. W. H. Hol- 
laday, J. B. Horrel. J. Henry, W. Hargrave, M. Hudson, J. Hudson, J. Har- 
bin, m" Harbin, G. Hallet, W. A. Ilaskins. F. M. Hackett. L. Higgins, J. H. 
Howland. I. Howell. J. Howell, I). Howell, M. R. Hardin, R. S. Hardin. C. 
Hartson, R. D. Hopkins, W. Houx, A. Henry, L. Haskell. R. .\. Harvey. 

M. Ingler, R. Jones, B. Joy. E. Justi, E. K. Jenner. D. Jones, C. Juarez. 
J. A. Jamieson, G. E. Jewitt. A. Krippenstapel, F. Keller. 11. Kreusc. A. Kohle. 
J. Knight, T. Knight, R. Kennedy. \\'. ^^■. Kennedy, R. I,. Killnu-n, I. Kellogg. 
A. W. King, W. Kilburn, L. Kilb'x.rn. 

C. W. Lubeck. N. Long. R. Lennox, G. W. Lewis. J. H. Lane, C. II. Lani- 
kin, J. A. Losse, J. Lutgcns, H. H. Lewis, H. D. Day, A. J. Lafevre. B. Little. 
F. F. Laniden, J. r>. Lamar, G. Linn, Dr. T. M. Leavenworth, H. Ludolph. 

J. E. Mcintosh. X. E. Manning, R. McGee. W. E. McConnell, J. Mc- 
Laughlin, S. McDonough, W. Montgomery, J. H. McCord. J. ^L Mansfield. 
R. G. Merritt. D. B. Morgan, P. McChristian, G. \V. McCain, J. Munday. 
M. T. McClellan, J. McCormick, L. W. :\Iayer, J. \V. Morris, J. R. Moore. 
A. C. McDonald, \V. J. March, J. Sedgley, J. H. Seipp, jas Singley, F. Sears. 
J. Stewart, A. A. .Solomon, J. H. Sturtevant, C. J. Son, j. F. Shinn, C. Stew- 
art T. Smith. J. Still, J. Stiltz. W. C. Smith, J. J. Swift. J. Snmers. A. Stines, 
Dr. B. Shurtleft", J. Short. 

Smith D, Towne, G. Tomkins. Edward Towne. W. S. Thomas, C. C. Toler, 

C. Talbot, R. Tucker, J. Tucker. G. Tucker. William Trnebod\. J. Truebody. 
^^'. Truebody, S. Tucker, T. H. Thompson. William Topping, G. W. Thompson. 

J. I'dali, F. Uhlhorn. 

F. \"an Hallan, P. J. \'as<|ucz, A. \dn Ouitsow. A. \an r.erver. M. G. 
\'allejo. .Salvator X'allejo" A. J. \'aii \\inkle. 


David Wharff, W. S. W. \\'right. Joseph Wright. H. L. Weston, 
H. M. Wilson, J. A. WiUiams, J. Walton, A. A. White, D. W. Walker, J. 
Wooden, W. H. Winters, J. Wilson, J. W^estfall, R. B. Woodward. C. B. Wines. 
J. B. Walden, J. M. White, P. Ward, A. J. Willis. 

D. York, H. York, J. York. 

L. W. Znager. 



Santa Rosa de Lima, titular patroness of the capital city of J'eru, was born 
in that place April 20, 1586, and died there August 24, 1617, after her almost 
entire life of thirty-one years passed in the austere existence of a nun of St. 
Dominic. Her family was of noble birth in Old Spain, numbering in its line 
many cultured and illustrious persons. Because of the remarkable flower-like 
beauty of the babe, her face showing forth the faint tintings of the queen rose 
of the Lima, there could be only one fitting name for her — Rose, and she was 
named Rose of Saint Mary. Even while little more than a child she evinced 
the deep spiritual feeling of a person of mature years, and such was her exalted 
and saintly character, that fifty-one years after her death, her beatification took 
place, and in 1671 she was canonized by the order of Pope Clement X, who 
appointed August 30th for her feast day. In Lima this day is celebrated in 
politico-religious splendor. In a great procession is carried her image covered 
with priceless jewels and decorated with beautiful red roses for which the 
South American city is famous. 

August 30, 1829, Padre Juan Amoroso, the founder of Mission San Rafael, 
with Jose Cantua, an attendant, held religious services on the bank of the 
River Chocoalomi — the name of a small stream which flows through the pres- 
ent county seat of Sonoma, and about a mile above the city. The zealous priest 
was doing missionary work, and under the trees he struggled in language 
laboriously fitted to their simple understanding, to portray the godliness of the 
Peruvian saint — it being her fast da>. The spirituality of a California Indian, 
the mission fathers found to be a rocky field to toil in, but this day, Padre 
Amoroso labored not wholly in vain, as one convert — a young girl — expressed 
a willingness to accept the faith of that other girl spoken of by the white 
stranger. He baptized her there giving her the name of Rosa. Then he ab- 
ruptly ended his ministrations on the Rio Chocoalomi, and the next minute — 
or less — he was aboard his mustang and flying south-bound through the wild 
oats with half a hundred yelling Indians trying to stick him as full of arrows 
as St. Sebastian. 

They had sat around on the banks of the stream and curiously watched 
the unknown "medicine man" at his strange ceremonies, and they had enjoyed 
the entertainment until he came to the rite of baptism. This mystic perform- 
ance was too much for their primitive nerves and they arose as one "Injun" 
and the whole rancheria broke loose. Talking to the braves even though they 
did not in the least understand the talk, was harmless; but bewitching a squaw 
with what seemed to be magic incantations was a deadly peril to the tribe. 
Father John safely reached Mission San Rafael, thanks to his good horse which 
had sufEcient Andalusian thoroughbred in his heels to lead the biped racers; 
and which "stunt" the priest fully appreciated, for he named the animal "Cen- 


tella." a direct reference to the lightning-like dash back to Marin county. 
Cantua after considerable dodging and doubling on the trail, landed in San 
Rafael next day. Iiis condition being what may be described as "all in." The 
padre continued his mission among the natives of the coast, but there is no 
record of Jose ever taking any more interest in their moral advancement. 


In the confusion of the missionary's hurried hegira from the valley, Rosa, 
after this brief appearance, slips wraith-like out of history, whither no man 
knowcth. Such is to be regretted ; she might have become the wife of some 
early Sonoma pioneer and the mahala-mother of a race of F. F. C. blue-bloods, 
like Pocahontas and her Virginians; or she might have been the theme of an 
immortal poem to tinkle like running water through old western forests, re- 
minding one of Minnehaha. But the red people of the Qiocoalomi rushed 
the white medicine man out of the scene and his neophyte back into the wilds 
so suddenly that her story ends unfinished. Whether Rosa renounced her new 
faith or suffered martyrdom for it and jjecame a second edition of Santa Rosa 
de Lima, no "early settler" in voluminous reminiscence has told. But her 
name-in-religion, and the name of her saintly patroness live in the stream whose 
lustral waters in sacred rite confirmed her Christianity; live in the floral city 
of the north where the Liman roses bloom in all the saintly beauty of the flower- 
sisterhood under the towering walls of the Andes ; live in the broad vega parked 
under its oaks, the level llano mapping itself out in fields of unfailing harvests. 

So the story and the name have drifted down the stream from the place 
of baptism — even changing the stream — the padre's Jordan, to Santa Rosa 
creek. They gave title to the township of Santa Rosa, to the plain or Llano 
Je Santa Rosa, also to the Rancho Cabesa de Santa Rosa, in the center of which 
is the city of Santa Rosa, and through which the creek flows. Farther west 
the stream finds tlie Lagtuia de Santa Rosa and during a joint run north they 
meet Mark West creek, when after a few more miles towards the west, all 
three splash into the Russian river; and mingling, the quartet ripple on to the 


Saint Rose of Lima, almost three hundred years in her tomb, is but a shred 
of memory and a handful of ashes — possibly the ashes are but a memory, but 
her noble name is pretty well spread over the middle belt of Sonoma county. 
What a genius was the Spaniard — especially the Spanish padre — for titles. 
Having as a base the tonal harmonies of his language — itself a child of the 
sonorous Latin— he has given Las Californias names holding marvelous cathe- 
dral melodies that will never die. 

The gringo in California seems to have made it his life-work to mar the 
noble music of these names. Occasionallx he will change the native or Spanish 
to titles senseless, foreign and unfitting. \ery few Spanish names or words 
are now correctlv spoken in California by Americans ; even in the schools little 
effort is made to teach the perfect pronunciation of the state's geographical 
names. In San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and in Vallejo the city names 
are on every street mis-spoken. In Santa Rosa the town-title is carelessly, even 
slovenly pronounced. 


The Indian girl here evoked from the forgotten past to round out a tale, 
was only a flash, an instant on the scene and was gone, but in that breath of 
being- she was the medium througli which ]:)assed the flower-title from saint to 
city — Santa Rosa. 


Santa Rosa township, to locate it in description more simple than the mathe- 
matical phraseology of the surveyor, may be mapped thus : Beginning at its 
northwest corner, the junction of Laguna de Santa Rosa and Mark West creek 
the boundary line runs easterly up that creek as far as there is any creek, then 
takes a cross-country run to Napa county. North of this line are Russian river 
and Knight's Valley townships. Santa Rosa township then uses the county 
boundary as far south as a point east of Santa Rosa, thence the line veers west 
to the headwaters of Sonoma creek, thence down this accommodating stream 
through Kenwood — one time Los Guilicos — then jumping the creek in time to 
leave Glen Ellen to the east in her own township, then after a short northwest 
dash, corners and runs directly south towards Mount Sonoma as though it in- 
tended to run over that peak. But it doesn't, for it turns at right angles several 
miles short of that elevation and darts west across the valley to Laguna de Santa 
Rosa, near Sebastopol and uses that .stream as the western boundary to the place 
of beginning. This incloses a space of about 130,000 acres of land, or an area 
equal to about fifteen miles square. Probably 100,000 acres of this — all not on 
the high mountain lands — are producing grains, fruits and grapes. Santa Rosa 
valley is the central part of the great Sonoma plain — a big auditorium lying 
between its side-walls of mountain range and reaching from San Pablo to Rus- 
sian river, while cupped within these mountain walls are tributary valleys, on 
the alluvial floors of which grow the cereals and fruits ; while on the warm upper 
slopes, where the ancient volcanic flame is yet in the soil, the grapes gather 
sugar for the rich vintage. 

There was no further attempt after Amoroso's visit, to make Santa Rosa 
valley blossom as the rose or anything else until 1834, when Mexico bestirred 
herself to get more people into the territory. A number of immigrants from the 
republic and the southern portion of California came to this locality and a town 
called Santa Ana y Farias started into being on the bank of Mark West creek. 
They parted the name of the place in the middle because of the uncertainty of 
political conditions in Mexico. Gomez Farias was president of that republic, 
with vice president Santa Ana an exceedingly close second — too close in that 
land of revolutions and lightning official changes. To give present incumbent 
the honor, and have the near-president chase him out of the capitol the next 
day, would place the new colony without the executive's love and affection. 
The use of both names was a wise measure as Santa Ana soon dispossessed his 
chief, and all was well — for a brief season. The local aborigines showed such 
a desire to revert the settlement to a howling wilderness that the settlers packed 
themselves and chattels to the safer Pueblo Sonoma, and the coming city of Santa 
Ana and Farias went back to Potiquiyomi — the Indian name for the creek and 
localit} . Among the colonists were the Carrillos, the pioneers of the valley. 
By reason of their relationship to Vallejo — the General's political pull in the 
territory at that time being Class A — the Carrillo famil\- received large grants 
of land in the neighborhood, Senora Maria Ignacia Lopez-Carrillo the Rancho 


Cabeza de Santa Rosa, and Joaquin Carrillo, her son, ihe Rancho Llano de Santa 
Rosa. Mrs. Carrillo erected the family mansion on the south bank of the creek 
a mile above Santa Rosa, at the spot where Padre Amoroso ten years before 
baptised Rosa of the Cainemeros. The building, now relegated to the "'old 
adobe" class of California architecture, and crumbling back to the earth whence 
it arose, was once the valley rendezvous of life and gaiety. The ten thousand 
virgin acres spread before the door provided good cheer. The Indian servant 
planted and winnowed the wheat, gathered the corn and beans — he was the 
pioneer granger, the charter member patron of industry in those far days 
vvhen California's wonderful soil began to turn out the harvests. And while 
la senora and her kitchen assistants were shaping tortilla for the baking, some 
one would startle into action a dozing vaquero — the newly arrived Missourian 
in fluent Spanish called him "buckkero" — and a fat beef soon would be roped 
and butchered to make a Carrillo holiday. Barbecues by day and fandangoes 
by night with mafiana always coming and never come, was a life in the olden 
California homes where over the entrance virtually was — "who enters here 
leaves care behind ;" where the spirit of welcome filled every apartment and 
pure hospitality ran riot. 


This madre of the early Santa Rosans died in '49, the year of the gringo 
and the gold, when the tidal wave of people was sweeping into every nook and 
corner of the self-unionized state. Maria Carrillo was of Siaain, but Anglo 
Saxon in the spirit that led her to make a home in a wilderness — howling, but 
fertile — she saw to that. A true North American pioneer mother, she did not 
forget the census, and her five boys and seven girls was the contribution she 
made to the colony of "gente de razon," as the Californians called themselves 
in distinction to the aborigines. After her death the property passed to the 
children, the family casa de adobe becoming the home of Felicidad Carrillo, 
wife of David Mallagh, who with another early American importation, Donald 
McDonald (Mon, the thistle grows whence that name came) opened a general 
merchandise store in the building. They also started a wayside inn — meals and 
drinks for man, mule and mustang — which gathered to itself the name of "Santa 
Rosa House." May 18, 1849, there landed in San Francisco from the bark 
John Ritson, Berthold Hoen, Alonzo Meacham and F. G. Hahmann. Hoen and 
Meacham had come by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and Hahmann around 
Cape Horn. The latter went to Coloma with the nugget hunters, and the other 
two into business at San Francisco, where they remained till the great fire of 
185 1 started them to wandering again. The next year they turned up at the old 
adobe, which property they purchased. In May, 1853, F. G. Hahmann, who 
was the book keeper of the large San Francisco shipping firm of Jabez Howes 
& Co., paid his two old fellow-voyagers a visit. It is not likely that a man of his 
practical mind and commercial inclinations would fail to combine business with 
pleasure as he looked on this noble valley in a blooming Maytime. Nor did he, 
and soon became the owner of Meacham's interest in the store and property. 
William Hartman presently became a partner and the firm name was "Hoen & 
Co." As immigration came into the great central llano the commercial im- 
portance of the place increased rapidly. It was the distributing point between 
the head of navigation on Petaluma creek and the settlements in the north and 


was the only trading post in tlie county. This was the coming to the locahty 
of the two pioneers who liad so much to do with the working out of the problem 
of Santa Rosa as ihat problem appeared fifty-seven years ago. Berthold Hoen 
and Feodor Gustav Hahmann made and introduced the new town to the grow- 
ing lists of county settlements, and the remaining years of their busy lives were 
spent here. Their children are of Santa Rosa's native sons and daughters, and 
in the local cemetery they rest — these two sturdy men whose names are first 
on the city's cornerstone. 

In 1853 the firm of Hoen & Hahmann purchased from Meacham about 
seventy acres of land lying east of a line drawn north and south through the 
center of what is, or was, the plaza, the price being $1,600. This was a portion 
of the six hundred acre purchase of Oliver Bolio from Julio Carrillo. BoHo 
built what was afterwards known as the old Lucas house, and this with a house 
on the Hanneth place, and the adobe, were the first dwellings in this valley. 
The first house in Santa Rosa was the dwelling of Julio Carrillo, built for him 
by John Bailiff, at what is now near the southwest corner of Second and Main 
(C) streets. 


While Santa Rosa — floral city of the plain — was in early bud, a near-city 
was growing up — in the night, as it were. Its forefathers called it Franklin 
Town. Why "'Town" and with a big T, has never been told. Only a few of 
the old guard yet this side of the cemetery gates really remember Franklin 
Town. As it came, it passed away in the night, or rather, in the morning of 
its first-day-after. 

Its site is just without the present city line on the east, near the reservoir 
hill. Some day, perhaps, the extension of the boundaries will take in the old 
place, and then Franklin Town will awake to life — becoming an addition to the 
Santa Rosa it sought to blight in tender flower. Chiefs of the city in embryo 
were Dr. J. F. Boyce — venerable "Doc Boyce" who medicined and surgeoned 
the later Santa Rosans for many a year, and eccentric to the point of profanity, 
which often drove his patients to recover quickly and get him out of the sick- 
room : also S. T. Coulter — good old "Squire Coulter," Pioneer Patron of Hus- 
bandry, Lord of the Sonoma Grange, and who didn't believe that the grass 
and herbs and the trees that bore fruit in their season were first sprouted on 
the Third Day of Creation, and said even Luther Burbank couldn't grow things 
that speedy. Now, deep under the turf these "old forefathers of the hamlet 
sleep," and heaven speed their run to the saints. 

One feature that shines like a star through this dark Tale of a Lost City, 
is, Franklin Town had a church, then the only church in the county except the 
Mission Solano at Sonoma. Its faith was Baptist, though all shades of the 
"two and seventy jarring sects," as Omar Khayyam phrases them, were wel- 
comed to use that sanctuary for the uplift of any possibly sinful citizen of 
Franklin Town. The willow-bank creek consecrated by Parson Juan Amoroso 
when he baptized the Indian girl and called her La Rosa — spiritual daughter of 
Santa Rosa de Lima — splashed and bubbled pure as the Jordan when John came 
preaching in the wilderness, but it is not positively known that Doc Boyce or 
Squire Coulter ever availed themselves of the lustral waters flowing by Frank- 
lin Town, unless to wash a shirt. 


But the finger of doom' was writing on the clap-board walls of Franklin 
Town. Hoen, Hahmann and Hartman — the triple H-builders of Santa Rosa, 
were housing up C — now Main — street. The diplomatic dads of the coming 
place got up a Welcome-To-Our-City barl)ecue, and when the Franklinites 
saw the hosts of all-invited guests gathering around the Santa Rosa flesh-pots, 
thev also saw the finish of Franklin Town. Soon it was in transit, the Baptist 
church, on four wheels, led the way like the Ark of the Covenant before the 
immigrant Israelites herding to the Promised Land, and it afterwards was the 
pioneer tabernacle, upholding the doctrine of close-communion and total immer- 
sion in Santa Rosa, and fitting the aging citizens for another immigration — into 


So vanished Franklin Town. Perchance in some far day, the antiquarian 
with the dust of lost civilizations in his whiskers, will turn from Troy, Thebes. 
Baalbec and other municipal Has-Beens, to burrow deep in excavations of 
Franklin Town ; and there will discover the ruins of a CoIt"s-44 with many mys- 
terious notches on its barrel: or a fossil half-plug of tobacco with teeth mark- 
ings at one corner ; or a metal plate bearing the talismanic word, which — 
though untranslatable into any modern tongue — appears to be "tomandjerry ;" 
and which did some household duty like the Latin "Cave Canem" (Beware of 
the Dog) found on the doorsteps of buried Pompeii. Thus will the delighted 
archaeologist discourse learnedly on his "find," and report to the Institute of 
Scientific Research that beyond all reasonable doubt even of a man from Mis- 
souri, a peaceable, moral and highly cultured people formerly inhabitated this 
county; but the causes of their destruction, or migration, are unknown, and no 
sample of gun, plug or talismanic word can be found in the adjacent city of 
Santa Rosa. 




[Meanwhile ihc "original surve\" of Santa Rosa was made and the land 
lying between the streets First and Fifth, and Washington and a line drawn five 
lots east of E. was mapped out for the "city." According to an agreement Julio 
Carrillo donated one-half of the central square for a plaza and Hoen and Hah- 
mann the other, or east-half. A grand grove of oaks grew on the portion given 
by the firm, and there was an understanding that this would not be removed; 
but when and where was an American woodsman known to spare a tree he 
could get his axe into? There is a national vandalism in the blood of this peo- 
ple — a destroying microbe ranging fanc\' free. Whether it came over in the 
Mayflower or any other immigrant shi]). or was a self-creation here, occasioned 
by the presence of the newly-arrived whiteman and the wide scope of country 
for him to destroy in. bacteriology fails of solution. Conservation may run riot 
through American politics, but the American Indian, was, is, and only can be 
the true conservist. It was a wise conserving provision or scheme of nature 
that set the Redman down here first (otherwise there would have been nothing 
left for us) and in contradistinction, the Exclusion Act might be said to have 
i)een born about four centuries too late. The noble growth was cut down and the 
plaza cleared for the county courthouse, although the plat of ground then could 
have been duplicated anywhere without its area for a mere nominal price. The 
I nl\ reasnii — if there can be a reason — is that whenever Santa Rosa mentioned 
'buying courthouse and grounds," other county towns mentioned "giving court- 
house and grounds." To be given to, is better than to buy from, and this para- 
phrase of the proverb was quite popular. Petaluma, growing by leaps and 
bounds, prosperous beyond the dreams of avarice, only needed that public build- 
ing to complete her happiness, and her standing oflfer of $100,000 and a block 
of land free, would not lie down. So the Santa Rosans sacrificed their little park 
and bequeathed a regret to their inheritors forevermore. Julio Carrillo, whose 
native and racial improvidence strippetl him of his broad acres. Old Julio — 
who could drop a league of rancho in a brief poker game with his gringo neigh- 
bors, with a cheerful "adios" to sjiectl the parting bet, frequently found him- 
self repenting his plaza-liberality. 


The "truly" oldest citizen of Anglo extraction was Achilles Richardson, 
who lived with his family and ran a small trading store on the west side of C 
street near the creek. When the surveyors pegged out the streets they desig- 
nated them with letters and numerals, wisely considering that the natural alpha- 
betic sequence of the Roman titles would ever be clear to the cloudiest memory, 
and that the mind of the average Santa Rosan must indeed be brief should he 
forget, under any mental stress, that "second," for all practical purposes closely 
precedes "third," and more remotel\ "fourth" and "fifth." However, the street 


alphabet ended at F, and the subsequent surveyors either forgot their a b c's, 
or the city government concluded to cut the primary department out of the 
civic-school for the public. Even the numerals fell from their individual places 
in the line. Whenever an enterprising citizen staked off a bunch of building 
lots as an "addition" to the town, he carefully marked the tract with his own 
name, but let the street-names, like Topsy, "jus" grow." Even C street blended 
into "Main,'" ran two blocks and fell into the creek. After a bridge had been 
constructed there, it got across and went on its way southward as "Petaluma 
road,'' having lost its "Main" in the stream. The "road" eventually evolved to 
"avenue," which was more municipal and aristocratic. In course of time it 
became Santa Rosa avenue, which if not in neighborly regard for a sister-city, 
was more patriotic. The fine thoroughfare, Sonoma avenue, was originally 
Walnut avenue, but somebody tacked "Sonoma road" onto the eastern end that 
hung over the cit} line, and this line of demarkation not always definite to the 
triaveler, the country right-of-way began to get into town, confusing the tax col- 
lector and troubling the soul of the street commissioner. Afterwards "Sonoma" 
displaced "Walnut," which looks better on the city maps. On the east after 
it was noted that F was the omega of the surveyor's alphabet, an addition was 
attached to the city by a Mr. Pipher. who had learned to play football at Palo 
Alto, and the streets of the tract bore the academic legend "Leland — ^Stanford — 
Junior — Universit}," names fully as unique and as inappropriate for the purpose 
as would be "In-God-We-Trust-All-Others-Cash." A late-at-night home-seek- 
ing resident, unless too-occupied with "lodge" affairs, may start in at the "Le- 
land" of the well-known educational title and easily work himself along the 
string of words, recalling them by their relative positions in the sentence. But 
should he strike the addition from the wrong point of the compass — and he 
might — the syntax of the street names is apt to become perplexing, and this in 
turn be the inspiration of thoughts or outspoken words very unbecoming. In 
proof of this contingency, one dark, rainy night "a highly respected citizen of 
Santa Rosa," alumnus of the great San Mateo county institution, became con- 
fused and wandered around in Pipher's Addition in geometric circles till the 
helpful dawn of another day worked out the verbal puzzle. The professor's 
pending damage suit against Street Commissioner Doc Cozad was compromised 
by the timely action of the local W'oman's Improvement Club in equipping the 
addition with luminous street sign-boards. 


The street laid out and called A was believed at the time to be the begin- 
ning — the alpha of the lettered streets — but the city moving westward from its 
center developed Washington street, the city council feeling that the Father of 
His Country merited a memorial in the municipality. Davis and Wilson streets 
followed this in turn, but when Hewitt's addition became a reality the presiden- 
tial line was again taken up. Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Polk were painted 
on the new street corners, but why Monroe, Jackson, Harrison and Tyler "too" 
were omitted in the jump across to Polk, has never been explained; nor is it 
known whether Adams street was named for John or John Q., and whether 
these omissions were caused by strong political partisanships or fault}- his- 
torical knowledge, cannot be written. However, in later years the party-affil- 
iation of the itizens did manifest itself in this manner, and such is a living 


record of the various changes in the poHtical complexion of the town. An Ilh- 
nois man insisted on "Old Abe" for his street, and the consenting city council 
ordered "Lincoln" to the thoroughfare. A war-democrat was satisfied only 
when Andrew Jackson received a like distinction. When Qeveland ousted the 
republican hosts from the national capital, an avenue appeared to proclaim that 
fact for all time. And when he ordered Great Britain and other effete mon- 
archies off Venezuela and all the Americas in accordance with Uncle Sam's 
famous "doctrine," the popular democratic president came near getting his 
first name, also, and a double honor, in Santa Rosa. But the milder counsel 
prevailed and the author of the notable stale paper was substituted. So Mr. 
Munroe came into his own. 


As mentioned, C street was the first, only and main street for \ ears, hence 
"Main," its present name. A frame Masonic Hall was early erected there, and 
Edward Colgan, Sr., constructed the Santa Rosa House, which he occupied for 
almost a generation, and which two of his sons now occupy with their black- 
sniithing plant. Clem Kessing's name is also a household word on old C street. 
G. and J. P. Clark, Charles W. White, Jim Williamson were part and parcel 
of the street. Such afterwards-prominent jurists as Jackson Temple and Will- 
iam Ross practiced law there, and J. F. Boyce, M. D., rugged old healer of 
many sick, who prescribed them medicine and "cussed" them well. J. N. Miller, 
storekeeper, successor to Barney Hoen, was the first county treasurer. The 
legend on his electioneering card was refreshingly frank — "Old Miller — Candi- 
date for Count\- Treasurer. Unsolicited by His Friends and on his own Hook." 
He was the watch-dog of the county cash box for years. F. G. Hahmann up- 
held the dignit^■ of the Federal Government — was postmaster and received as 
remuneration for his services the privilege of affixing "P. M." to his name if 
he cared for official distinction. In those days a postoffice had to get out and 
seek its own master. John Richards kept a barber shop on "The Street," and 
which vied with the postoffice as a popular resort, when whiskers were the 
topic of interest. C street was a close corporation, quite exclusive and tena- 
cious of its standing as the social and geographical center of pretty much all 
things. People who drifted away and showed indications of desiring to locate 
on "outside" lots became almost social outcasts, and were thought at some time 
in the past to have had insanity in the family. B. M. Spencer of Santa Rosa, 
when he first landed here received a cordial "welcome-to-our-city" from the 
older-timers, but when he began to build a frame store on Fourth street, — a 
thoroughfare then occupied only by the surveyor's stakes, — C street looked "out 
into the country"' where Spencer was preparing to do business, and wondered 
if perchance he had committed some crime in his youth, the memory of which 
ever drove him to isolate himself in lonely places afar from his fellow men. 
But the street outgrew itself and spread into surrounding tracts. The "county- 
seat agitation" was coming to culmination and Santa Rosa purposed to w-in by 
une strong stroke, so a barbecue, a picnic, public oration, etc., was held July 
4, 1854, which was followed by a grand ball in Hahmann's new store building, 
at night. People from "all over" attended, in wagons, on horseback and on 
foot and Santa Rosa got the county courthouse at the election. 



\\'hen the ballots were counted, Hoen, Hahmann and Hartman as usual, 
took the lead in preparing the city for the reception of the county government. 
They gave land near the northeast corner of Fourth and Mendocino streets 
for the public buildings. F. G. Hahmann donated lots to all the churches that 
cared to labor in this region. He was no respecter of creels — all who asked, 
should receive. It is not fully believed the near-coming of the county officials 
especially moved ^Ir. Hahmann in this regard and direction, or that he thought 
the city would need a denser religious atmosphere, Hoen — "Barney Hoen'" 
he was called — provided the donated site with a temple of justice. It was a 
very small temple of justice, not considered imposing even for those days when 
town-architecture, like the streets, ran along lines of least resistance. After 
two years the edifice was found to be too small for the growing number of 
people seeking justice, and was itself tried and condemned. It is now the 
humble annex to a residence in Hewitt's addition to the city. Then the lower 
story of the second courthouse was constructed on the northwest corner of 
Fourth and Mendocino streets at a cost of $9,000. A jail was added — as a 
tender, the town jokers reported, the total expense about $16,000. This was in 
1856. and three years later the upper story and additional buildings were 
ordered. The contract price was $15,000, but as the work neared completion 
it was seen that more expenditure was needed — the county would out-grow 
the new building before it was built. Then the superintendent of construction 
was empowered by the board of supervisors '"to make such changes in jail and 
courthouse as in his judgment is necessary, having in view the best interests of 
the county," From the "extras" charged he appears to have done so. The 
changes amounted to $25,891.23, making a total of $40,891.23, When all the 
work was finished, the contractors' unpaid claim was $22,078.23, and the de- 
bate was on. Finally the matter was arbitrated with the following payments : 
Contractors in full, $26,500: superintendent's salary, $1,200; cost of arbitration, 
$1,601. Total cost of building, $29,601.30. This was in i860, but the county 
law-mills had hardly got to grinding in the new house when the old question of 
removing the countyseat arose from the dead. Hon. Henry Edgerton officially 
announced the resurrection by a bill in the legislature authorizing an election of 
the voters of .Sonoma county on the removal proposition. The counting of the 
ballots — 314 for and 1632 against — seems to have returned the question to its 
tomb without any hope of any further resurrections. In 1866 the court-house 
was re-roofed and plastered at a cost of $2,600, and the next year the jail was 
rebuilt costing $8,999, Furniture and other additions were ordered, making a 
grrmd total 'of $60,000. Tlic old ])niperty was sold, Hnen lni\ing back the lot 
he had formerly donated, 


I'.ut this could not end the "courthouse chapter" in Sonoma county history, 
and at the meeting of the Ixiard of supervisors, January i, 1883, T, J, Proctor, 
member for Santa Rosa township, opened the old question of "a new court- 
house. " I'etaluma made her oilfer of a free lot and $100,000, and the mayor 
of .Santa Rosa offered the city plaza to the county. Petaluma's proposition 
"went by the board" — went by the board of supervisors letting a contract for 
the cnnstruction of tlie new building on the plaza in Santa Rosa at a cost of 


$80,000. It was of stone, brick and iron, classic in design, surnKjunted witli 
an imposing dome — which dome was its doom in the great earthquake of 
April 18. 1906. When in that quiet spring morning the state of California was 
suddenly awakened by the heave of the solid ground and the crash of her 
architecture, Santa Rosa saw her entire business quarter wrecked. The court- 
house, well-constructed, might have escaped with nominal injury, but this great 
steel dome with its heavy statue toppled, and crashing down on the roof shat- 
tered and ruined the structure beyond repair. Jhere were whispers of county 
division and county seat removal, but the supervisors went on clearing away the 
wreck and studying plans and specifications for a new building. A bond issue 
was authorized to pay for a $280,000 building that would be as earthquake 
proof as structural steel and reinforced concrete could make it; and would be 
large enough for coming generations; moreover, would be a noble bit of archi- 
tecture, in keeping with Imperial Sonoma. And well have those vows been 
kept. To hold fast to the original estimated cost was impossible and the in- 
crease was added to the splendid pile as it arose from foundation to dome till 
the total cost reached almost $500,000. And it is well worth it. Sonoma's 
courthouse is one of the many "show-places" of California. Entering the city 
of Santa Rosa from the four cardinal points of the compass, the traveler sees 
arising before him, this great white Temple of Themis, the classic Goddess of 
Law and Order, the Divine Mother of Civilization. Mighty indeed must be 
the forces moving through the crust of the globe that will lift that pile from 
its foundations or shatter its walls bound as they are in bands of triple steel. 


To go back into the 'sos, there came to Santa Rosa other men whose names 
\et live in the city, and the struggling village on the plain progressed from the 
labor of their strong hands. Such are the names of Thomas L. Thompson, 
Jackson Temple, William Ross, E. T. Farmer, W. B. Atterbury, B. Goldfish, 
Henry Wise, Jim P. Clark, W. H. Crowell, Fenwick Fisher, C. W. White, J. 
S. \'an Dorn, W. A. Eliason, H. T. Hewitt, Clem Kessing, Dr. Hendley, Mel- 
ville Johnson, T. B. Hood, T. J. Proctor, George A. Johnson, A. Runyon, J. 
H. McGee, A. P. Petit, Z. Middleton, C. G. Ames, H. G. Parks, B. Marks, 
< k'orge P. Koonan, Jerry Claypool, T. N. Willis. D. S. Sacry, Murray Whallon, 
S. T. Coulter, J. M. Williams, Edward Neblett, G. T. Pauli, George A. Thorn- 
ton, Edward Whipple, A. Thomas, Isaac DeTurk, T. J. Ludwig. Guy E. Grosse, 
E. W. Davis, J. B. Armstrong. A. P. Overton, Dr. R. Press Smith. B. S. Young, 
J. H. Boyce, T. J. Brooke, C. S. Sm\th, S. M. Godby, Frederick Kenyon, A. 
W. Riley, J. A. Hardin, John G. Pressley, J. M. Roney, Wesley Mock, W. H. 
Mead, George Pearce, John B. Davis, A. Ko.rbel, C. G. Ames. E. H. Smythe, 
Melville Dozier. These compose a squad of the "Old Guard'" that early located 
in Santa Rosa valle}. Probably all of them to a man are over the Divide, but 
the result of their work is here. 




In 1868 Santa Rosa bestirred herself from the siesta she had been taking 
for ten or a dozen years. Railroad was in the air, and her quiet enjoyment of 
a country home was over. Several lines, all starting from tide-water on the south 
reaching to the wilds in the north, were proposed, and a vote on selection gave 
the Petaluma-Cloverdale plan the popular right of way. This called for a 
county donation of almost $300,000 and interest additional of nearly that 
amount, also gifts of land for rights of way, because railroads are for the 
people, and by the people, and of the people, and the promoters or managers 
thereof only construct them and operate them in the spirit of extreme altruism. 
The company was slow in getting to work and another corporation. The Cali- 
fornia Pacific of Vallejo, offered to build a line from the Napa county line to 
Petaluma thence to Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Cloverdale, with branch to 
Bloomfield to cost the county a subsidy of $5,000 a mile. An election June 14, 

1869, voted the subsidy, and this action stirred the first compan) — the Sonoma 
County Railroad Co. — to business, it knowing that the institution "first on the 
ground" would get the subsidy. Colonel Peter Donahue heard of the plan, 
and August 2, bought out the right of the existing company for $40,000, called 
the new concern "The San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad Company." By 
October loth, he had ten miles of grading completed from Petaluma north and 
five days later got the first installment of issued bonds — $50,000. By November 
8, five more miles, between Petaluma and the town of Donahue, were finished, 
and $25,000 paid; December 5, eight more miles — $40,000. and December 31, 

1870, the rails were in Santa Rosa. 


Then the California Pacific of Vallejo, with its sulisidy — on paper — up 
its sleeve, started in at Santa Rosa, and the dirt — all kinds of dirt — began to 
fly. That company commenced to grade, moving northward, paralleling the 
Donahue road, to the surprise and entertainment of the country folk to whom 
it seemed to be raining railroads. Of course it was only a bluff — one of the 
shelf-worn tricks in the railroad gamble, and which worked, although the 
Colonel easily read the cards of his rival. He compromised with the other com- 
pany to hold its hand till he finished his line to Cloverdale, after which he 
transferred it to the troublesome competitor. When the Central Pacific absorbed 
the California Pacific, Oiarles Crocker strangely failed to see any value in the 
Sonoma line, and returned it to Donahue. The line was continued south through 
Marin county to Tiburon on the bay, and a branch was constructed from Ignacio 
up through Sonoma valley to Glen Ellen. On the coast a narrow gauge road 
was built, beginning at Sausalito crossing Marin and entering Sonoma county 
near the town of Valley Ford, the northern terminus being Cazadero in the red- 
wood belt. These two lines eventually became a part of the great California 


Northwestern Pacific, which is destined to cover the coast field from San Fran- 
cisco bay to the Columbia river. It was not in the nature of the Southern 
Pacific Railroad company to let such rich territory and such rich opportunity 
go to "waste," without efYort to avert the calamity. It proposed a line from 
Santa Rosa eastward threading Sonoma valley, Napa and Solano to the main 
line at Suisun. Sonoma county people were asked only to interest themselves 
in the matter of the rights of way across their lands and $50,000. Just consider 
the glittering possibilities of the thing — enough to take one's breath away — 
direct All-Through-Line over the American Continent, tapping the Atlantic 
seaboard, reaching across oceans, gathering in Europe and the Far East, wring- 
ing rich commercial tribute from O'ceanica — all, all this for Santa Rosa. The 
"hat was passed around," and a picnic, oration, poem, and the usual "last spike" 
that is always religiously driven into the fanciful final tie of a finished railroad, 
were the chief features of the celebration that marked the coming of the South- 
ern Pacific Railroad to the town. Without attempting to minimize the general 
benefits of railways there is a healthy belief locally extant that Santa Rosa paid 
at a maximum mileage rate for all she ever received from her two steam roads. 
Passenger and freight charges are record breakers in the matter of altitude, 
although the business increases year by year. The scenic features of the route 
attract annually hosts of tourists — travelers accustomed to the modern luxurious 
transportation facilities of the world, yet the passenger coaches at their service 
in Sonoma county are on par with the second-class cars in any state of the 

But the trolley wires that are electrifying the country, are rapidly rele- 
gating the steamers to the scrapheap. The little trains connect the towns, even 
the ranches together and with the market, and the country becomes a part of the 
great system of civilization. The pioneer electric road is the Petaluma and 
Santa Rosa Railway, via Sebastopol, with a line extending northward through 
the rich Green Valley to Forestville. Another electric line between Santa Rosa 
and Lake county is now in process of establishment. This road will bring a 
large railroadless area of territory out of its primitive wilds and will introduce 
the world of travelers to practically an undiscovered region. 


With the early immigration to Santa Rosa came representatives of that 
humble pilgrim band which appears in the van of civilization. They are the 
printers, the alphabetic craft that passes knowledge along. October 16, 1857, 
the Sonoma Democrat presented itself to the reading public, with A. W. 
Russell its editor. In i860 T. L. Thompson become owner and editor, and from 
1868 to 1871 the managers of the paper were Peabody, Ferrel & Co., Mr. 
Thompson having sold his interest in the institution. He repurchased the 
property in 1871 and continued actively in its management for many years, a 
portion of that time associated with his brother, R, A. Thompson. Santa Rosa 
and Sonoma county owe much to Thomas Larkin Thompson. He was easily 
the "first citizen" and as publisher, State Secretary, Congressman and United 
States Minister to Brazil was a true man of the people. Soon after his death 
in his Santa Rosa home by suicide while suffering from ill-health, the Democrat 
passed into the hands of Ernest L. Finley and Charles O. Dunbar, proprietors 


and publishers of the Evening Press. The two papers were merged and issued 
as the morning Press Democrat. The great earthquake and fire totally des- 
troyed the property, but it was quickly succeeded bv a more modern and com- 
plete plant. Attached to it is a full book-binding plant which is in constant 
operation. The Press Democrat has a large circulation. Herliert Slater is the 
city editor. 

The Evening Republican of Santa Rosa began its existence in 1875 as the 
Times, G. H. Marr, publisher. Three years after it was purchased by J. W. 
and T. N. Ragsdale. Colonel J- B. Armstrong and E. W. Davis for several 
years owned an interest in the property. In 1887 Allen B. Lemmon arrived 
from Newton,, and purchased the paper. The new owner, a journalist 
of wide experience, soon improved the paper. After the fire, which left the 
Republican a pile of ruins, a new plant took the place of the old. J. Elmer 
Mobley who had learned the mechanical part of the newspaper work on the 
Republican , purchased an interest in the paper and holds down the desk of city 
editor. Ross Campbell, a local attorney, recently purchased the Windsor Herald, 
vvhich he removed to Santa Rosa, and now issues as the ll'ccklx Sonoma County 


Among the varied growths in Sonoma fields is the hop vine. Like the 
grape, it is of antiquity and like that kindred plant is of the early east. The 
brewing of beer and other mild beverages of this class by ancient people must 
have necessitated the use of hops as a flavor and preservative. The Egyptians 
brewed from their barley fields that bordered the Nile, and legendary Germany 
introduced King Gambrinus of Brabant as the Bacchus of their beer. The hop 
vine as a culture first appears in the Germanic provinces about the year 768 
A. D. A few vines were tried in Green Valley, Sonoma county, in the latter 
part of 1857, by John Bushnell and Samuel Dows. The soil and general tem- 
perature was found suitable and the plants grew healthy and strong. Otis 
Allen did much to introduce the cultivation of the livel\ "humulus" in this 
portion of the .state : a steady increase in the tract planted has taken place until 
the acreage in this county amounts to about four thousand acres with an aver- 
age annual yield of 30,000 bales. Furthermore, Sonoma hops, like Sonoma 
grapes, have a world wide reputation, in fact, the local product is in greacer 
demand among the brewers of high grade beer in England and the United 
States. The places best adapted for this culture are the rich bottom-lands of 
the Santa Rosa and Mark West creeks and of Russian river. The most modern 
methods of cultivation, harvesting and drying, or curing, are here resorted to. 
The total annual income from this county is about $800,000. During the three 
weeks harvesting season probably 12,000 pickers are employed and these — 
men, women and children — make an outing, a picnic, of the period in the green 
arbors of the aromatic vines. The expense of harvesting probably amounts to 
$250,000. Considerable speculation prevails among growers and dealers and 
short-selling and contracting in advance are in evidence at all times. The 
grower who contracts to deliver his coming crop at a stated price sometimes 
does so to his advantage, and often to his disadvantage, catching himself de- 
livering his hops at a lower price than his neighbors — better guessers — are get- 
ting. Ten to eleven cents a pound, equivalent to about $20 per bale, have been 


the ruling prices, ihou.i;]! fix'(|uently a riurry in the market sends the figures up 
to thirty and forty cents. The prominent local growers are, Raford Peterson, 
C. \'. Talmadge, T. B. Miller, George Hall, Harry Hall, J. I. Jewell and J. E. 
Clark. The principal dealers are, William Uhlman & Co.. C. C. Donovan, Mil- 
ton \\'asserman, W. AT. Richardson and B. F. Hall. 


The rare Santa Rosa valley has long been the object point not only of the 
practical farmer home hunter, but for the Utopia seeker also. Intellectual pil- 
grims pressing into the higher plane of living have sought here a place where 
they could amid fitting surroundings practice the unselfish tenets of their so- 
cialistic creed. The followers of Edward Bellamy, working along the lines of 
the life dream of the great economist, established their Altruria on Mark West 
creek, just where the beautiful stream falls from its mountains onto the level 
vale. The colony existed for awhile and ceased to be, passing away like all 
communistic institutions — excellent in theory, deficient in practice. Near this 
place, or a few miles north from Santa Rosa, is the noted 400 acre farm and vine- 
yard of Fountain Grove. It was located in 1875 by Thomas Lake Harris, a 
native of Stafford, England. At an early age Harris evinced strong religious 
tendencies and poetic imagination. He was first an ardent Calvinist, then a 
Universalist, and finally organized a society which he called, "Independent 
Christians." In philosophy he was a Platonist, in spiritual science leaning to 
Swedenborgian and its heavenly revelations and celestial sociology. Harris 
says in one of his many books, "I inhale with equal ease the freedom and at- 
mosphere of either of the three heavens, and am able to be present without 
the suspension of the natural degree of consciousness, with the angelic societies, 
whether of the ultimate, the spiritual, or celestial degree." He also affirms 
that he had visited those regions and gave accounts of his remarkable visits. 
In his socialistic teachings he adopted theories of Fourier and sought through 
a spiritualism to turn public interest along an upper range of thought. The 
society which once numbered several thousand members scattered over America, 
Great Britain, India and a mere fragment in Japan, was or is without creed or 
covenant, only held together by the principles of fraternity and by an inspir- 
ation working through internal respiration from the divine spirit. Salvation, 
they hold, is neither b} natural progression nor philosophical self-culture, nor 
justifying faith, but that man only becomes free from evil through self-renun- 
ciation and a life of tmselfish labor for humanity and by such both spirit and 
body may become regenerate and pure. 

A "word" creation. 

The Harris version of creation, given in his "God Manifest in Creative 
Energy," which was published in 1852. is a word-storm of amazing violence. 
Notwithstanding he was a man of much culture, his books exhibiting an author- 
ship of no inferior grade, he chose to appear in the guise of an intellectual 
charlatan, and notwithstanding the superfluity of verbiage, tlie confusing clangor 
of sounds, the reader will hear behind them the simple, sublime utterance of 
the Almighty from which Thomas Lake Harris "lifted" bodily his tale of crea- 
tion. Because of his prominence for years as the head and master-spirit of 
the exclusive cult, so little known to the countryside, and colony so near Santa 
Rosa, a portion of his version of Genesis I — a verbal curiosity — is here given: 


■'In the beginning, God the Life, in God the Lord, in God the Holy Pro- 
cedure, inhabited the dome, which burning in magnificence primeval, and, 
revolving in prismatic and undulatory spiral, appeared, and was the pavilion 
of the spirit : in glory inexhaustible and inconceivable, in movement spherical, 
unfolded in harmonious procedure disclosive." 

The simple Mosaic original is — "In the beginning God created heaven and 
earth." Thomas Harris continues : 

"And God said let Good be manifest! and good unfolded and moral-mental 
germs, ovariums of heavens, descended from the Procedure. And the dome 
of disclosive magnificence was heaven, and the expanded glory beneath was 
the germ of creation. And the Divine Procedure inbreathed upon the disclosure 
and the disclosure became the universe." 

The Bible version is, "And God said, 'Let there be light.' " God evidently 
is a personality of fewer words dian Harris. But the Seer of the New Life 
exhales his limitless vocabulary when he serves notice on the world concerning 
the creation of Day and Night, and as in a disregard for sentence formation, 
he thus pours out a flood of language that overtops Babel and sweeps that his- 
torical tongue-mixer out of existence. Here is the awful thing : 

"And God made two great lights to rule the Zodiac, and to be for creative 
disclosure, disclosive manifestation, manifest glory, glorious radiation, inter- 
pretative aggregation ; and thence vortices, solariums, vorticle panetariums. 
planets, floral universes, universal paradises, heavens of spiritual universes, 
celestial heavens, seraphic habitations, seraphimal universes, cities of heavenly 
seraphima, and final consociative universal intelligence in unity of innumerable 
individuality, in triunity of unfolding universes, adoring and ascending in beau- 
tification unto eternal Ife." 


A number of prominent people joined the society, among whom were Lady 
Oliphant, a writer of considerable note, and her son, Laurence Oliphant, mem- 
ber of Parliament, distinguished English traveler and author and religious en- 
thusiast. During one of his periods in America he was private secretary to 
Lord Elgin, governor-general of Canada, and subsequently visited China and 
Japan with the English diplomat. In Japan Oliphant was badly wounded by 
a Japanese fanatic and was obliged to resign his position in the British diplo- 
matic service. About this time he met with Harris and the spiritualism of the 
new cult appealed to him. The Oliphants invested considerable money in the 
society, which fund was afterwards the bone of contention when the inevitable 
break was on and the Brotherhood became anything but brotherly. Albeit, 
after the Oliphants extracted themselves and their interests, — what was left — 
Laurence fell into moody and abstracted habits, making his home in Palestine, 
when he published a number of works of a religious cast and of no importance. 
Another prominent member of the Harris cult is Kanaya Nasagawa, a native 
of Japan. Unlike the Oliphants. he did not let the New Life dogma dull his 
sense of business, au'l being a practical agriculturist he did not let the occult 
mysticism of the east, grafted onto the cloudy spiritualism of the west, take up 
his time. He sought out ways and means of making the fine tract of grain and 
grape lands pay, and succeeded. Fountain Grove is now a buzzing Japanese 
colony, the property owned by Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Hart and Kanaya Nasagawa. 




Cattle (111 a thousand hills, the favorite phrase ui the wide, open west, wa.- 
coined in California, where the great Spanish ranches were crowded with live,- 
stock. In the mild climate of this "southland," with its broad sweep of grassy 
plain, the bands quickly bred into countless numbers. Too numerous and too 
valueless for branding they roved the unfeiiced ranges virtually free, obeying 
no call except that of their native wilds. And the\- obeyed that call, as the herds 
of ownerless hocjfs wandering over this portion of the continent bear testimony. 
A steer had some table-value, but the price of hide, horns and tallow was all 
that sent him to the open market. The swarthy vaquero spurring the flanks 
of his mustang to ribbons and riding the life out of his unshapely body cared not 
a centavo for the horse whose ancestor may have borne a king through the 
courts of the Alhambra. The restocking of the ranches was the first labor of the 
final settler and that decade saw American horses, lithe and powerful, American 
cattle, short-horned and sleek-coated, a part of the equipment of the California 
farms. The heavy ox at last got his neck out of the yoke, and the sturdy horse 
from Normandy did the work much better. The burro — slave of all the ages — 
was freed from the cart or carriage when the slim thoroughbred with a pedigree 
of speed took his place. The mild queen of the dairy from over the seas — from 
Holstein, Durham and Jersey — came to create and run a local milk route. The 
Spanish cow had never been asked to make this contribution to the productive 
wealth of the state, and the word "butter" had melted from the language. Her 
tigress-disposition, especially with her calf in the corral, generally made any at- 
tempt to milk her so near-suicidal that Pedro or Jose, instead, milked the goat. 
Robbing Nanny's kid was easier and safer. Alta California was full-ripe for a 
change \yhen the gringo came. 

Whether the horse appeared as a centaur, with the whiskered-head and broad 
shoulders of the homo reared on his own graceful torso, or as a unicorn, that fabu- 
lous freak of heraldry, rampant, always exhibited as just intending to horn a lion, 
or as a hipparion, the three-toed fossil what-is-it of the post tertiary period, this 
page pleads silence. But from a far hour to the present the horse has lived and 
died ever faithful to humanity. There is no bar sinister in the record of his loyalty. 
He has suffered himself to be bound to labor, and in car and furrow he has toiled 
for his master. I'red and schooled for flight he has sprung away, tense with the 
life that burns through his being, mad in desire to lead, to conquer, to wear the 
victor's ribbon — the mere fading color of an instant's triumphant. The bugle 
call to battle — his master's battle — calls his natural savagery from the wilds to 
match the natural savagery of man, and they plunge together, vibrant to destroy, 
down the red ways of death. Whatever the hand on his rein, he is. No greater 
tribute can be given this incomparable beast clothed in the flame-trappings of 
war, than in these sublime lines of Job where the Almightv speaks : 


"Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clotlied his neck with 
thunder ? 

"He paweth the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength : he goeth on to meet 
the armed men. 

"He mccketh at fear and is not afrightened ; neither turneth he back from 
the sword. 

"The quiver rattleth against hini, the glittering spear and shield." 

The sacred writers of all creeds have set him among the stars — Pegasus 
the winged steed of the gods, orbing through the systems of blazing suns : or 
in the great hereafter, glorious and eternal, harnessed to the flame car of 
Deitv. When man stands in the presence of this noble creation, he may well 
render salutation as to a contemporary, an equal, a comrade, whom it is an 
honor to honor. In true nobility of spirit, the horse, the real king of the ani- 
mal kingdom, is not inferior to man himself. 


It has been the mission of the horse to give Sonoma another high record 
in the scale of excellence, and where Lou Dillon, empress of the equines, has 
flung her silver heels she has carried the name and the color of her nativity 
before all others. Wherever the yet unbeaten "i '-S^yi" of this peerless trotter 
is known. Santa Rosa is known. Santa Rosa, where horses grow, and speed 
and beauty are in the bone and sinew of them. A royal race of racers have 
here learned to kick the miles behind them, and kick the time below them, 
since Anteeo years ago started record-breaking among the local flyers at 2:i6j/>, 
to be continued by his grand-filly, Sonoma Girl at 2:05^^. If the queenly Lou 
should now turn up on her home track at the Santa Rosa Stock Farm, where 
Frank Turner licks the speed youngsters into shape, and call the colts of her 
big blue-blooded family to muster, what a band of horse 400 would come at 
her neigh. All are of the line of sire Sidney — all true in gait and go as well 
as in name: Dollie Dillon, 2:0634; Katie Dillon, 2:0734; Ruth Dillon. 2:1514; 
Sadie, Lottie, Helen, Martha. Martiana. Carrie. Eveline, Gertrude, Edith, Fan- 
nie, Rebecca, California et al. — sounds like finishing school roll call. Then as 
companions to that bevy of equine beauties, Guy Dillon, Stanle\', Linwood, 
Millard, Harry, Adoo, Major, Lord and other Dillons : from every part of the 
compass would trot in the breed to that grand rodeo. 

After Lou had stepped out of obscurity, virtually, and into the blaze of 
horse civilization, the query- in sportdom was "Who is she?" The flow of her 
male blood can be traced through Sidney Dillon, an aristocrat, though there is 
a blank on his mother's shield. She was Venus, a "nobody." notwithstanding 
her goddess-title, yet her clan may have been speedy on some Central Asian 
course when the centuries A. D. were numbered in one figure. The colt was 
bred by Henry and Ira Pierce at the Santa Rosa Stock Farm. Pierce named 
him Sidney and then attached Dillon to the name merely to distinguish him 
from Sidney the elder, never dreaming that the title would become a hall-mark 
of nobility. On the maternal side of Lou's house — stable — the line cannot be 
run back through volumes of horse-bluebook. Her famih- may or may not 
have sported a crest, till she won it on the mile-oval. Yet her fore-sire might 
have carried the lordly Zengis Kahn over the Tartarian plains, or the fierce 
Attila of the Huns, who boasted that the grass never grew where his horse- 


hoofs trod. But links in the Hneal chain are lost under the tracks of time. 
Her mother is Lou Milton, whose dam was an unknown owned by Green 
Thompson at Pine Flat, in this county. This mare — Thompson called her 
Fly — died at colt-birth, and flew into the Beyond. But — plebeian or patrician — 
she left her grand-filly a quartet of feet that have trotted all trotting records 
out of the turf of her day. All honor to the pedigreeless Fly — there may have 
been something in her name after all. Who knows. May she fly with Pegasus 
among the planets. Lou Milton was raised on cow's milk, first from the bottle, 
then out of the bucket, fresh and foamy from her foster-mother. And where 
is that humble, nameless Pine Flat boss\- who mothered the mother of Lou 

When Lou Milton was a promising 3-year-old, Thompson one day drove 
her down to Healdsburg and Charles Brumfield, a well-known citizen of that 
place who had a running-record-smashcr, insisted on a race. After a number 
of refusals Thompson did an unusual thing — took his trotter out of the sulky, 
and put a saddle and a rider over her slim back. When the jockey had finally 
convinced her that she must "break" and run, she struck that gait and showed 
Brumfield something in the way of speed, showed his horse the way around 
that track, and incidentally showed the public that she could both run and trot. 
The mare has no lofty records to her credit, but her life flowered out in her 
queenly foal. After the "one-fifty-eight-one-half" episode, Al McFayden, the 
veteran turf-man, tried to find her a place in some Burke's Peerage of horses, 
but she is only Lou Dillon, the ;jeeress of all. 


It was the ambition of Henry Pierce to make the Stock Farm the nursery 
of the prize trotters of the time, and to that end he made its mile track with no 
superior on the Pacific coast. He did not live to see his colts graduate and win 
in their chosen profession, but his life-dream was realized after his life-work 
was over. The farm passed to the ownership of Frank S. Turner, and it was 
this experienced trainer who bridle-broke the great mare when she was trying 
out her baby-trots at her mother's side. He introduced her to the sulky and 
drew the lines over her silky-shoulders when she started to school. Millard 
Saunders, now superintendent of the noted Holt breeding establishment at 
Indianapolis, the firm that now owns Sidney Dillon, was Lou's maestro, and he 
was more to his noble pupil. He passed down into the springs of her being 
and awoke a latent thing within her called life, he flexed her growing muscles 
and taught them their lightning play over the surface of her supple limbs. He 
calmed her when she was impatient, he ruled her when she was wayward, and 
with the infinite tenderness of love he lifted her out of the crudities of youth 
and attuned her to action perfect and marvelous. He became a part of her — 
an elemental blending of man and horse — the new creation vibrant in union. 
In that grand harmony of mind and matter she trod the chords, arising to a 
symphony of wondrous theme and tone and the rhythm of her hoof-beats was 
heard around the world. 

At The Rosedale Stock Farm, a fine breeding and training station on the 
northern extension of Mendocino avenue, Santa Rosa, the ponies for many 
years have been taking their preliminary try-outs for the coming Marathons. 
The establishment makes a specialty of the famous McKinnv brand, and in 
their classes are 2:10 trotters, and pacers under the 2:20 clip. 



Several miles west of Santa Rosa is Wrights, a station and a farm. The 
station is a halting place on the electric railway, and the farm — a tract of sev- 
eral hundred acres of oaken-plain — is the home of Sampson B. Wright. 
While Mr. Burbank is budding and blending to perfection new fruits and 
flowers, Mr. Wright is crossing bloods and breeds in new animal creations. 
From hogs to horses he has been changing and improving until the stock from 
the S. B. Wright farm is widel}- known. At the head of his horse-class trots 
Sonoma Girl, 2 :o5^ — not slow for only a girl, considering that she at that 
pace is just eleven seconds faster than her famous grandsire, Anteeo, in his 
prime. Girl has a full-sister, Sonoma May, who started out in the game on a 
trial-heat of 2:1414. Another full-sister, Sonoma Queen, is a good third in 
the family record. Charley Belden, a brother of the trio of Sonomas, is a 
star member of turf-society with 2:083/2 on his visiting card. This splendid 
colt shares name with Charles C. Benden, a well known harness maker and 
horseman of Santa Rosa. The popularity of Charley Belden the man is only 
a quarter second behind the popularity of Charley Belden the horse. When 
Sonoma Girl was lifting herself over that record mile — at Lexington, Ky. — 
Lotta Crabtree, another native girl of the Golden West, was witnessing the 
exploit from the grandstand. When the actress left the track Girl went with 
her, and Lotta's check for $26,000 went to the trotter's California owner, 
Anteeo's first dash to fame was as the $10,000 racer of a local stock company 
organized at Santa Rosa in the early '70s by Mart Rollins. That string of 
men — thoroughbreds all, and fit to play the "Gentlemen's Game," was composed 
of Isaac DeTurk, James and John Laughlin, Judge Jackson Temple, George 
Guerne, Al. McFadyen, Captain Guy E. Grosse, James Warner and others ; 
many of these now sleep under the turf their horses trod with honor to their 
native place and distinction to themselves. 


When Anteeo shook the home-dust from his nimble heels he showed up in 
Kentucky, and after a bunch of victories on the blue-grass tracks, was sold 
for $50,000. He left behind a band of California colts worthy of the sire whose 
blood gave them "go" on many an oval field. One of the string. Alfred G.. 
bred and raised by George Guerne,— whence the G of the colt's name, — finally 
followed his illustrious daddy east to some Kentucky Home stable, leaving 
$20,000 in this state as a golden solace for the Guernes. Eva G.. another of 
the family string, owned by Ney Donovan, a prominent merchant of Santa 
Rosa, early trotted out in view. Her dam was one of the famous Nutwoods, 
and with such a blend of blood in her chestnut body, the young filly was soon 
hitting the high places in the Sonoma tracks at 2 :30. In rounding up the 
Anteeo band Maud Fowler must not be cut out. Her Sonoma Girl — Mav — 
Queen, Hattie Fowler and Olive Dillon are fillies of her blood and bone. An- 
other Dillon — Katie — is Anteeo from her mother. Grace Brothers' Ole — whose 
name reminds one of "Olsen" and other countless "sens" of Scandinavia, was 
foaled by a Nutwood dam, Maud Fowler's half-sister, and this equipped him 
to sweep the California tracks in his day and .generation, Ole exchanged the 
racing ring for a life of leisure and his later life-history would be an edition 
de-luxe. He is the one-horse-powcr motor of a Los Angeles capitalist's car- 


riage, and takes his oaten-fare in a stable that would make a Snltan's chargei 
in palace-stall grow green with envy. 

These are a troop of trotters that raced with Father Time, clipping second 
after second from the stretch, often leaving the old sport with his scythe and 
hour-glass at the quarter-pole sadly distanced and out. Mart Rollins is the 
man who has coached bevies of equine buds and drove his speedy debutantes out 
to make the track people sit up and take notice. Mart can tell of the day long 
ago when Seneca Daniels, pioneer of the California turf, from a middle-western 
State landed in Petaluma with General McClelland, Black Hawk and Morgan 
in his string. The ancient flyers were good for the time, when 2:58 or there- 
abouts, was not bad for speed, and they left descendants and successors that 
haA'e steadily changed the olden records until Lou Dillon has kicked bodily 
almost a minute from their mile. 



The history of Petaluma and her surrounding lands begins in the year 1836, 
when Comandante Vallejo occupied his great valley rancho with the adobe 
dwelling on the west slope of Sonoma mountain. The aged house and its four 
acres of grounds were, in 1911, given to the Petaluma Parlor of the Native 
Sons of the Golden West, to be restored and preserved as a relic of days too 
soon forgotten. The house, now tenantless, was once bustling with life. The 
wings and rear of the great two-story building were storehouses and factories. 
In the latter a coarse, serviceable blanket was made for the hundreds of In- 
dians employed or retained on the rancho. "Home-made" carpets were woven, 
and leather tanned for saddles and harness, boots and shoes. General Vallejo 
says in a letter dated May 16, 1889 : "My harvest productions were so large 
that my storehouses were literally over-filled every year. In 1843 ^y wheat 
and barley crop amounted to 72,000 Spanish bushels. My plowmen were only 
two hundred men. Corn about 5,000 Spanish bushels, besides a super-abun- 
dance of all grains, of daily use, such as beans, peas, lentils and vegetables of 
all kinds. 

"All these products were stored in different departments of this large 
house, besides giving freely to the Indians who lived in the surrounding coun- 
try in peace with me. A large number of hides were preserved every year, 
also tallow, lard and dried meat to sell to the 'Yankees." 

"In one wing of the house up stairs, I lived with my family when in Peta- 
luma valley. The south front was 250 feet, and formed a large square, the 
liouse having an immense courtyard inside where every morning the laborers 
met and called the roll before dispersing for their various occupations. 

"The house was two stories high and very solid, made of adobe and tim- 
ber, brought by o.xen from the redwoods, and planed for use by the old-fash- 
ioned saw, by four Kanakas (my servants) brought from the Sandwish Islands 
by Captain Cooper, my brother-in-law. It had wide corridors inside and out- 
side, some of which were carpeted by our own make of carpets. 

Mr. Fowler, father of Henry Fowler of Napa, was the last carpenter who 
worked at my old house. I sold it to Mr. White about twenty years ago for 
$25,000. It was never attacked by Indians. When I was taken prisoner by 
the Bear Flag party, this house was filled with what I have already mentioned, 
and they disposed of everything." 


Hon. William .M. Hoggs of Napa, who occupied the premises on his ar- 
rival from across the plains, 1846, says : "My father's family and myself and 
wife were kindly tendered the use of the building by General \'allejo when we 
reached Sonoma. It was the first shelter we obtained and it was not completed. 

It IS a large si|uare construction with the usual court (Spanish style) 



^^^^K^WM ' 


with verandas twelve feet wide on the upper story. The front of the building, 
looking toward Petaluma, also has the wide veranda. The walls on the south 
and east were not finished and were covered with a tule thatch to protect them 
from the rain. It was Vallejo's summer rancho residence and had been oc- 
cupied by the family before the General tendered it to us to winter in. The 
lower rooms were used for storing grain, hides and other ranch products. The 
Vallejo family furniture used during the summer sojourn was still in the rooms 
above. On our arrival in the night at the ranch, General Vallejo, who had gone 
ahead of our worn-out teams, had aroused his Indian servants to prepare supper 
for us. The tables were spread with linen table-cloths, sperm candles were in the 
chandeliers and we had a regular Spanish cooked meal, wholesome and plenty of 
it. With Spanish hospitality the General waited on the table, helping all the 
large family. After supper he handed Mrs. Boggs a large bunch of keys to 
the various rooms, and assigned one large well furnished apartment to her and 
me. Here in the ''Old Adobe," January 4. 1847, o"!" eldest son was born. A 
few weeks after this young immigrant's arrival, and while I was at Yerba 
Buena, an enlisted soldier in the war against Mexico, General Vallejo paid the 
baby gringo an offirial visit. He was much interested in the youngster and in- 
quired his name. My mother replied that the baby was yet unnamed and re- 
(|uested the General to supply the necessary title, which he did, naming the boy 
alter himself. Guadalupe Vallejo Boggs, who is now a resident of Oregon. 
claims to be the first white boy born under the American flag in California. 
( )ne or two female children were born in Sutter's Fort probably before or 
about this time of the year." 


It Will be remembered that Padre Altimira, seeking a mission-site, camped 
in June, 1823, where the General constructed his hacienda, thirteen years later. 
To begin Petaluma history back to chapter i, paragraph i — the Spanish ex- 
plorer, Captain Quiros, discovered and ascended Petaluma creek in September, 
1776, seeking a water route to Bodega bay which had been explored by Lieu- 
tenant Bodega, in his Catholic Majesty's warship Senora, the year before. 
Quiros did not learn that Marin county is an island, but he found a deep, clear 
stream of water with low, tree-covered hills on its west bank and a broad, level 
llano to the east. He camped on it near the head of tide water, and noting the 
several arroyos leading down from the liills and the sloughs threading the park 
of tules in the vicinity, also the bold point to the south, he called the place 
"Punta de los Esteros"— point of the creeks. The Americans afterwards desig- 
nated the point — or its locality "The Haystack"— .somebody's cattle ate up the 
origin of the name but the unmusical appellation is yet sticking to the Punta. 
The Indians of the valley called the vicinity "Chocuali," which doubtless is a 
tribal name. The Petalumas just call it Petaluma— probably a tribal name. 
The stream, in whatever tongue— Spanish, Indian, Gringo or Petaluma— be its 
title, is a noble piece of water, and as long as its tides flood and ebb, Petaluma 
will be free. Light-draught vessels sail and steam between bay and town and 
no railroad company can padlock the local transportation question while that 
busy fleet is carrying to market. The winter-waste from the plow-lands tend 
to shoal the creek, but an occasional congressional appropriation dredges and 
straightens the channel,— and never was a public dollar more righteously spent. 


And these sums, small compared with the results of their expenditure, keep the 
Rio Petaluma in active and excellent use. Rio Petaluma is good, for the stream 
is a river, having long outgrown the creek-age. and it only remains for the 
new maps to officially proclaim it. 

When the county was cut into townships this stream became a division 
line between two of the sections. Petaluma was platted in the township of that 
name, but when East Petaluma grew into municipal notice that portion of the 
city was found lost in the wilds of Vallejo township. The antithetical "found 
lost" can not appear more complex as a descriptive term than is the possible 
complexity of township and city official government on the same territory. 
Vallejo extends east to the crest of the high hills, anfl from San Pablo bay 
northward to the line of Santa Rosa township. When Petaluma creek heads in 
its various feeders five or six miles north of the city, the township line takes 
a cross-country run northwesterly to a common corner near Stony Point. The 
Cotati rancho is in the upper part and the original Petaluma Rancho occupies 
the remainder of Vallejo township, a portion of the grant, however, being in 
Sonoma township. Petaluma township lies to the west extending south to 
Marin county, over the hills and west to Bodega township, and north to Analy. 
Within this area is the Rancho Laguna de San Antonio, also nearly all of the 
Rancho Roblar de Miseria. As has been told. West Petaluma stands on the 
old Miranda grant, — now only an unpleasing memory of days when clouds 
hung over home-titles. On vega and hill was a luxuriant vegetation running 
from oats to oaks. The redwoods and pines were the towering lords of the 
mountains, but the oaks spread over the lower lands, over the oats that reached 
shoulder-high to a mustang. Even the name of its great rancho — Roblar de 
Miseria — refers to the strong, roborant, oaken groves that grew on the tract. 
Through these woods roved bands of wild horses and cattle, nominally they 
were owned by General Vallejo, and their home-corral was at the old adobe 
hacienda at the foot of Mount Sonoma, but they owed allegiance to no master 
and were as free as the coast winds that with them swept plain and mesa. 
Like their fellow-foresters, the elk and the deer, they were game for whoever 
needed them and r.iet them on the range. AFany a hide with the "^'" brand on 
the flank was dried on cabin-wall not owned by \'allejo. lUit it was the i.n- 
written law of the unfenced llano. This law grew from the prodigality of the 
supply and of the sii]3plier. and both finished in obedience to another law — the 
state of waste, \allejo, as many of his fellow-Spanish occupants in this state 
gave, gave until all was gone. gone. The knightly old don never ceased in his 
gift-giving, whether it was a fat beef to a thin immigrant just from "across 
the plains." or a rich ranch to another Americano whom the General loved. 
And for much of this he received only injury and ingratitude. He died at his 
home January i8. iSgo. having been identified wth political matters of this ter- 
ritor\ for sixt\ years, and California has no spot more honorable than the 
place wherein he sleeps at Sonoma. 


Petaluma came here in that legendary age— the spring of '50, or possibly 
the fall of '49. Like the Mayflower period to the man of Massachusetts, or the 
Randolph era to the Virginian, "49-5'-''" is the golden-time to the E. E. C. 
Dales before and after bear no, or dim, hall-marks of social distinction. Dr. 


August Heyermann built a log cabin tbeii, and that was Petalunia till Tom 
Lockwood and several companions, in October, 1850, drove in their stakes. 
They were hunters, and with their outfit in a whaleboat they had left San 
Francisco for the game-grounds. The riflemen camped in the Bell grove of 
oaks. Also came John Linus and Lemarcus Wiatt, and Thomas Bayliss and 
David Flogdell — the "Tom and Dave" of early Petaluma. These pitched their 
tents under the trees, and so populous and popular did the sylvan settlement be- 
come that "los robles" or "the oaks" .seemed destined to be the coming city. 
Then was the houses, real houses of wood, imposing structures of boards rip- 
sawed or split, or logs fitted into wall and roof. Jim Dawson, who landed at 
Bodega equipped only with gringo-grit and good looks, and married the widow 
Caseras and the Rancho Pogolome, had a "home-made" saw mill as early as 
1834. Dawson for years was busy sawing lumber, and many of the first frame 
houses of Sonoma, Santa Rosa and Petaluma came from his Bodega logs. 
Wiatt and Linus constructed a small shack on the bank where the creek horse- 
shoes itself around the point just above Washington street, and in it started 
"a store." Soon after Baylis and Flogdell inaugurated a trading post farther 
down the stream where was the dock of the old stern-wheel steamer Relief, a 
craft that zigzagged for man} a-year along the estero. G. W. Keller opened an 
emporium, warehouse, lodging house, eating house, trading house and house 
for almost anything that rode along that way. James M. Hudspeth and James 
McReynolds, afterwards the two pioneer "Jims" of Gold Ridge, built a ware- 
house and were soon doing a profitable business buying and shipping agricul- 
tural produce to Sacramento and San Francisco. Grain was coming in from 
the valleys, potatoes from out Bodega-way and hay from wherever the wild 
oats grew. Their first farm was the city site and the two Jims "raked the 
meadow rich with hay" where the residence-lawns are now nursed with hose 
into summer verdure. In the early part of '52 Keller laid out the town, this 
survey starting from the creek between Oak and Prospect streets and running 
west to Liberty near Kent, thence south to A street, thence northwesterly to 
the stream. 

And Petaluma was growing in the commonwealth-making "Fifties." The 
nimrods and their neighbors at "Los Robles" folded their tents and stole away — 
to acquire building lots in the new city of "los esteros," "little hills," "foot hills," 
or whatever gave the town title. And it was the sturdy band that came up the 
creek during that decade — the argonauts that threaded the tule-reaches and 
beached their galleys on a shore of wonderful fertility. Henry E. Lawrence 
landed in the town from Tennessee via Missouri. Next year he returned to 
the latter state for cattle with which to stock his Stony Point ranch, and in 1857 
made another round-trip "the plains across" for the same purpose, although 
the ranch this time being in Marin county and among the fog-drenched hills of 
the coast. James M. Palmer, from Buncombe coimty, N. C, the famous 
"Bunkum county" where hoop snakes took their tails in their mouths and rolled 
along the road— a sensation and a peril to the country-side; where the barrels 
of the rifles were curved to shoot deer that persisted in running around sugar- 
loaf hills; and where the people were such amazing story-tellers that the fame 
of their yarns got into the magazines, and the name of their county got into 
the dictionary, adding a new word to the language. Samuel N. Terrill, early 
justice of the peace, and who contests the honor of being the first postmaster 


with H. P. Hentzlemann, and W. D. Kent. Of the class of '51 was Major 
James Singley, one of Ireland's contributions to the west, sailor, merchant, 
legislator, and who as station agent of Peter Donohuc's road sold the first rail- 
way ticket used in Sonoma county ; George B. Williams, who hauled the lumber 
from the redwoods and built the present Washington hotel. There seems to 
have always been a Washington hotel in Petaluma — though an "American," a 
"Union," and a "Petaluma" hotel sprung up in after years, a patriotic list of 
inn-names appealing to the soul or the fiercest country-loving traveler. Robert 
Douglass built the first Washington, but Robert did more and better work in 
Petaluma than starting a line of Washington hotels, — he started a Petaluma 
clan. His marriage with Hannah Hathaway, December 31, 1851, was the first 
wedding in the city, and his daughter, whose birth was during the following 
vear. was the first white child born in Petaluma. 


The '52 crow-d was larger, at least the list extant is longer. All ways and 
trails were leading to Petaluma. Then a rival sprang up in the tales. On the 
creek, a short distance below Petaluma, H, P. Hentzlemann and M. G. Lewis 
constructed a wharf and several buildings, and upon this infant settlement — 
not enough of it to stand alone — they piled the ponderous title of "City of 
Petaluma." Colonel J. B. Hine of San Francisco was interested in the new 
municipality and by agreement ran his steamer "Red Jacket" between the bay 
and the creek landing. The "City of Petaluma" never got beyond the wharf- 
and-warehouse age, nor did it become a menace to the town of Petaluma. One 
of the early troubles was the establishment of its name. This sounded too 
much like the name of the original place and everybody insisted in calling it 
"New Town." One night the skipper of the Red Jacket was induced to start 
his engines and accept an invitation to visit "Old Town." The hospitality of 
his hosts and the depth of water under his boat while "up-river" were argu- 
ments too logical for the perpetuity of the tule-town, and it is of the things 
that were. Several steamers took .successive runs during after years over the 
new reach of navigable creek, among them the "Kate Hayes," Captain Van 
Pelt; "Sioc," Captain E. Latapie : "E. Corning." Captain C. M. Baxter; 
"Petaluma," Captain Charles Minturn ; and the yacht-like "Josie McNear," 
Captain Washington Neil. Not on the roster of the early fleet that carried 
Petaluma's flag and freight abroad, defending her commercial supremacy on the 
seven inland-seas, must be omitted the "Relief," beamy, snub-nose, uncomely and 
stern-wheel, now gone "over Lethe's wharf." When one saw skipper Dave 
Baylis in her pilot-house coax the full-breasted, wide-hipped ark up to the foot 
of English street, the observer would expect to see her step ashore — a lightning 
change, a magic transformation from boat to frau — and s^o thumping her wooden 
shoes up-town to visit the Poehlmann Brothers. 

In the squad of recruits that _\ear were A. B. Case — initial letters that on 
the store-sign always reminded the writer of his first days in the primary school ; 
John Bradford Tupjier : Ezekiel Denman, — "Zeke Denman" as the Two Rock 
farmers in neighborly spirit abbreviated him; Hiram Talbert Fairbanks, store- 
keeper, banker: John Merritt, rancher, stockman; Andrew Henry — dapper 
Andrew Henry, whose courtly individuality might have marked him for a 
Southerner. He made out Wells Fargo Express waybills while dressed in white 


shirt sleeves lurned up to protect the iniiiiaculate cuffs : !!\ ronic collar, black- 
lie, black cloth trousers, black low-crown broad-brimmed hat. He was patent- 
leather shod, seldom wore a coat on office duty, a prince of neatness, politeness 
and gentleness — one of the old-time express agents of the day of the six-horse 
stage coach ; the six-chambered Colt's : the wealth of a mine under the driver's 
seat ; the sawed-ofi' gun ; messenger peering- into the roadside bushes and ex- 
pecting to hear his own death-shot or the loud "throw out that box." A peculiar 
type of a da\ tliat is dead. 


And came John Fritscli ant! V\'illiam Zartnian. Incomplete would be any 
kind of a story laid down in oi- eveii remotely associated with Petalunia if 
Fritsch and Zartman were left out. Moreover, that wagon-building firm has 
history peculiarly its own. John Fritsch was born in France in 1829, the same 
year of William Zartman's birth in Pennsylvania. When Fritsch had reached 
the third annual post of his life-course, the family immigrated to Zartman's 
native state, but the "drift-tcjgether" of the young men trnik place in Calaveras 
county, Cal. Meeting again in Petaluma they engaged in wagon-making, later 
taking as a third partner James Reid. In 1857 Reid, enroute to New York for ad- 
ditional machinery for their shop, was lost at sea, and the firm was dissolved. 
It "came back" next year under the nan-ie of Fritsch, Zartman & Co., N. O. 
Stafford being the "Co." In 1861 these men with C. Tustin and J. Church, 
operated a quartz mill at Gold Hill. Nevada. Three years after this the wagon- 
making firm was doing business at the same old stand as Fritsch & Stafford. 
Mr. Zartman, out of the firm, concluded to take a vacation and a rest. He got 
them. On the trip east his steamship, the "Golden Rule." foundered in the 
Caribbean Sea. and after an interesting period of semi-starvation and other 
hardships on a small island, the seven hundred passengers were rescued. Zart- 
man concluded that Petakuna was safer for him and he hurried back to the Cit} 
of the Esteros. It is said on the authority of Matt Doyle, and others, that the 
next day after the traveler's return the familiar staccato-beats of a hammer were 
heard coming from the old shop clanging out the "Anvil Chorus." and investiga- 
tion found the indefatigable Zartman hanimering into being a wagon for a 
Bodega bav rancher who had waited oti the bcacli for "Rill" to cnnic back from 
the sea. 


In "53 appeared William Hill, born in New Y'ork, thence to Wisconsin, 
there learned the cooper's trade, thence to Hangtown, Cal., there learned to dig 
nuggets, thence to a ranch on San Antonio creek, finally to Petaluma, where he 
worked in a commission business, real-estate buying and selling, and banking. 
Also Harrison Mecham, another New Y'orker. Mechani wandered out to Mis- 
souri, — Missouri appears to have been the gathering place for the final jump 
westward into the yellow haze of the Eldorado. There Mecham heard the 
"fairv tales" from California — marvelous yarns the winds brought over the 
continent. Indians and grizzly fights, wild acres for the choosing, brandless 
horses and cattle for the roping, free gold for the digging, and the "open ses- 
ame'' to these hoards of treasure could be spoken by anybody. These "surface 
indications" ran the youngster away from home, and he hired out for the trip 
across the plains. His duty was to keep an ox-team moving towards California, 


dodge Indians, rattle-snakes, and deep water-holes m the river-fords, and for 
these services he was to get his daily board and clothes, and be shown the 
way to the Golden Stale. A? the party had to war with almost every 
kind of hardship from the Missouri river to the Rio Sacramento, many 
of the payments of daily-board went over to the following week and the collec- 
tion of the unpaid daily-clothes bill was long ago barred by the statute of lim- 
itations. However, he staid within whip-lash distance of his oxen and they 
showed him the way to the Promise Land, and when he unyoked for the last 
time he was on the Yuba. Some "Good Samaritan" grub-staked the young 
mineralogist from Missouri and his outfit was capitalized as follows: Wooden 
rocker, $300; crowbar two feet long, $96; common milk pan, $32; pick, $64; 
shovel, $116; wooden bucket, $25; frying pan, $40; pair blankets, $96; boots, 
$50. Out of some paying "pockets" among the placers he soon washed enough 
nuggets to square this indebtedness and had $2,000 invested in local real estate. 
Shortly he could have sold out for $20,000 cash, but on the "advice of friends" 
didn't, and next day went "dead broke." He scraped up enough dust to pay 
stage fare out of the "busted diggings," and struck out for the "valleys." 
"Harry" Mecham finally came to rest on his big ranch at Stony Point. Cap- 
tain "Wash" Neil, brawny Scot and dean of the ancient mariners of the creeks; 
gallant skipper of the "long, low, rakish" schooners that sailed the tule-bordered 
lagoons between the produce-piled wharves of Petaluma and the markets of 
Yerba Buena. Isaac G. Wickersham, frugal, thrifty, business-minded and from 
Pennsvlvania. He brought the first mowing mtichine to Petaluma and made 
hay where the Wickersham building now stands. Freman Parker — 
eccentric to the letter, that is, the letter of his words and "rote" only in "fonetic 

The enlistments of '54 were led in b\- Major James Armstrong— whose 
martial spirit knew no music like the drum-throb in the "assembly call." He 
had sailed with Farragut around the world, fought under Taylor in Mexico, 
and with equally fierce enthusiasm "licked into shape" the fresh, young rookies 
of the Petaluma Hueston Guard. While Major Armstrong was Petaluma's 
first military citizen, Captain Neil was "the ruler of her first navee." Brothers 
in contemporary arms, brothers in citizenship, they were also brothers-in-law, 
having wedded the daughters of the late John L. Mock — another of the noble 
pioneers now "in narrow cell forever laid." Then was G. R. Codding, A. 
Morse and John Raymond Fritsch. The last named immigrant's living record 
does not go any further back than that year, nor beyond the city limits. Though 
a pioneer, Fritsch, Jr., can claim nativity with the bear, and point to his first 
cub-day in the blooming Maytime of 1854. 

Sanuiel Cassiday was among the tourists who dropped their feet in Peta- 
luma during '55. Then followed Henry Weston and Thomas L. Thompson. 
This was the year of the printers and of the introduction of that pioneer pub- 
lisher, politician and statesman to Sonoma. Thompson was born in West \'ir- 
ginia May 31, 1838, and came to this state via Panama in "55. After working 
a few months at the type-case in San Francisco he landed in Petaluma. August 
18th of that year he started the Petaluma Weekly Journal, which he conducted 
till March, 1856, then selling out to H. L. Weston. In 1859 J. J. Pennepacker 
began the publication of the Petaluma Argus, and two years after sold it to 


James H. McNabb. In 1864 the Journal and Argus were consolidated under 
the management of Weston, McNabb and Noah W. Scudder. In a short time 
the "Journal" end of the title was eliminated and as the Weekly Argus the 
publication continued. Samuel Cassiday relieved Weston, and Mr. Scudder 
retiring from the editorial sanctum, McNabb and Cassiday were long its man- 
agers. The Argus is now a daily and weekly owned and conducted by J. E. 
& S. M. Olmsted. In the latter part of 1876 the Petaluma Courier was started 
by William F. Shattuck. It was afterwards sold to D. W. Ravenscroft and 
finally to J. C. Arthur, by whom it is now published as a daily and weekly. 
With the journalists came the jurists — George Pearce, Jackson Temple, William 
Churchman, J. B. Southard, et al. Manville Doyle appeared with a band of 
horses and cattle, pasturing them on the lands of the Old Adobe. 



Matt Doyle is historical because of his connection with that famous his- 
torical relic, the Vigilance Committee bell. He was christened Manville in the 
dawn of a long-ago Illinois day, and on the records in the Doyle family Bible 
(for eighty-one years) it has been Manville. But in the rough-and-tumble 
times of the "roaring forties" the name was too long for speedy utterance, and 

it wore down to Matt. So in the world the flesh and the dev stock market 

it is Matt. On the epitaph of the bel! should appear two other names — George 
Pearce and J. B. Southard, who years ago left to attend a court where case- 
continuances are unknown, and where the time-penalty is eternity. The noted 
sound-maker was brought from San Francisco to Petaluma and hung in the 
steeple of the Baptist church for missionary purposes. Like a sister-bell in 
Philadelphia it was cracked during Hfe, but these coincident facts spring from 
causes unlike. It was in the early '60s that the Petaluma followers of John 
the Baptist awoke to the double fact that from their empty belfry no voice 
went crying in the wilderness; and from the steeple of the Methodist church in 
another part of the town clanged insistent calls to repentance. This was a sad 
reflection on their seeming indifference, and a local "association" was held to 
settle the bell question. In that meeting there was an intensity of purpose and 
unanimity that made the atmosphere of the hall vibrant, and the word "bell" 
was spoken so frequently that the room rang as though a Poe recital had 
broken loose there. Matt Doyle was chairman self-appointed, and led in the 
argument, pro and con. He said in the preliminary that he had been raised 
a Campbellite, but "there was damned little difference between a Baptist and 
one of old Alexander Campbell's folks — the same water would do for both pro- 
viding there was plenty ot it.'' Then he further cheerfully swore that a bell 
was as necessary in a Baptist settlement as is a Jordan, and Parson Jehu Barnes 
was so filled with the pointed expression of the sentiment that he neglected to 
rebuke the speaker because of his unchurchly language. Next Lord's day the 
Rev. Jehu followed up with a powerful sermon on the prevailing spiritual deaf- 
ness of the Petalumans, also on the crying need of a bell to arouse them tn a 
sense of their deplorable moral condition. 

The great cleavage of Civil strife reached westward across the continent, 
and "north" or "south" held jubilee when the bulletin of battle jarred along 
the wires. Petaluma being above Mason and Dixon's fateful parallel, the good 
churchmen of that city in faith as of old, saw Jehovah, a deity militant, lead- 
ing the federal squadrons when the bird of victory fluttered over the northern 
bayonets ; when the dispatches pictured the gray warriors unsuccessfully saber- 
ing the troopers in blue, it was a case where the God of Battles in His inscru- 
table wisdom permitted the hosts of the unrighteous to prevail. But the south- 
rons of Petaluma didn't observe strikingly this theory of providential com- 


mission or omission. Such celebrations were safer up in the alleged "rebel" 
town of Santa Rosa, where they sang "Dixie" witli a thunderous "anvil chorus" 
every time General "Jeb" Stuart raided Union territory. In the sacred pre- 
cincts of the Petaluma Baptist church the dove of peace cooed for "a scrap." 
Doyle and his kinsmen, the Barnes, were northern democrats, and were con- 
traband. When the bell-question was ringing through the sanctuary, the other 
side of the divisional aisle did not respond in hearty choral "amens," but Matt, 
though he was the proprietor of two big livery stables and a string of running 
horses, did not lose faith. He went out among the ungodly and passed the hat. 
The collection amounted to $500. He was chosen to make the purchase, and in 
San Francisco found the old Vigilance bell, lying dumb in cold storage since 
Fort Gunnybags was dismantled. He quickly concluded the bell that had rang 
Casey, Cora and other hard men of a hard period into another world, would be 
capable of ringing the most flinty-hearted Petaluma abolitionist at least into a 
lively sense of sin and his soul's peril. Under the potent spell of this inspira- 
tional reasoning he sought Conroy, O'Connor & Co., and bought the bell. They 
dug it out of the junk-pile of a generation, and Matt paid the price — $550. He 
added the four golden eagle-birds needed on the bill of sale, and another eagle- 
bird for freight and drayage, and brought the fine old instrument home. He 
was exceedingly regretful as the steamer came plowing up the tule-bordered 
estero, that he could not ring the bell and make a joyful noise, and fittingly 
announce its coming and his triumphant return. But it was packed in a crock- 
ery-crate and its far-sound melody muffled with straw. 


The splendid bell in its new office filled the bill, and its golden voice filled 
all Petaluma and Two Rock valleys with persuasive calls to repentance. After 
its long silence it spoke as never tongue spake — at least in Petaluma. When 
the soft Sabbath winds blew up the great central llano the back-sliding Santa 
Rosans were awakened to a consciousness of spiritual shortcomings, and out 
on the Bodega beaches when the breeze went westward, its treble-harmonies 
blended with the deep organ-bass of the bellowing sea. It had been a "loud 
alarum bell" with its hollow dies irae falling on a startled city when tragedy struck 
the brazen key, now its steeple trembled in the sweet invitational vinite domine. 
or rocked in the harmonic reverberations of a grand gloria in excelsis. But 
the Petaluma mission of the bell was not to be only peace and good will to men. 
It clanged an exultant monody when Death harvested the federal regiments on 
Shiloh's shell-plowed field : and when the southern chivalry was halted in the 
gory trenches of Gettysburg a jubilee rolled impartially from that sounding rim 
in "molten golden notes." Soon the bell was a storm-center around which the 
sympathizers of secession and abolition revolved like two factions of bellig- 
erent bees. The ringing wrought confusion. Announcement of regular Sun- 
day service was attributed to a gunboat skirmish on some Mississippi bayou, 
or to a guerrilla raid across Kentucky's dark and bloody ground. Call for the 
Wednesday night prayer-meeting started a fierce non-sectarian contention that 
raged from McNear's wharf to the Revere house, that was anything but divine 
in character. Such militant worldliness was not to the moral uplift of the 
church, nor to the healthful placidity of the non-religious. The spiritual and 
political became jumbled together in this clash of creeds, and the godly were cor- 


rupted by evil communication, and overhead the great bell calm in the dark, cob- 
webby crypt of the steeple boomed its metallic messages to a discordant world. It 
may be said that this confusion of office — confusion of bell-tongue — was caused 
largely by a change in the office of the bell. It became lowered in dignity to a 
"town bell;" placed on a civic and social par with the public pump and the 
street-sweeper. Its additional duties were to tell Sonoma county — also a por- 
tion of Marin — just when the Petaluma common council met to provide a new 
hydrant ; when some citizen's house in that burg was beginning to burn down ; 
or when the small boy to dodge the curfew-cop must seek the shelter of the 
maternal wing. This over-time arrangement doubtless was convenient, but it 
was the moral ruin of the bell. 


Matters went from bad to worse as the war-clouds went from dark to 
darker. Petaluma was "union" from the creek to the graveyard — just put on 
the real estate market — back of town, but Santa Rosa was notoriously "disloyal" 
and there was strong talk of arresting the county-seat and confining it in Al- 
catraz. Petaluma's ulterior designs on that same county-seat began when Peta- 
luma was a civic baby prattling to the mud-hens on her creek. When the Bear 
Flaggers that early morning, June 14, 1846, pulled down Xallejo's Mexican 
red, white and green in the Sonoma plaza and then drank up all his mission 
brandy, they found two brass i8-pounders lying across the adobe wall, their 
warlike throats choked with last-year swallow-nests. Lieutenant Joseph W. 
Revere, U. S. N., tried to get the pieces aboard the "Portsmouth" then at 
Yerba Buena, with the object of having them mounted at Annapolis for the 
fighting-inspiration of the naval cadets. He employed Jim McQiristian, the 
sole-surviving Bear Flag maker, now living at Sebastopol in this county, to 
get the guns down to Embarcadero. The ancient trucks under the pieces 
wouldn't revolve and McChristian's oxen balked on the haul, and Revere lost 
his souvenirs. Mac was eighteen years old when he and Midshipman John E. 
Montgomery, the 18-year-old son of Captain John Montgomery of the "Ports- 
mouth," dragged that battery out of Sonoma, — but that is another story. The 
gallant middy soon after was killed by hostile Indians near Sutter's Fort under 
circumstances similar to the killing of the French Prince Imperial by the Zulus 
in Africa years later, — and that's another story. McChristian's claim for that 
haul has slept in its War Department pigeon-hole for sixty-three years. — and 
that is still another story. 

One of these brazen death-dealers turned up on Petaluma creek — how, 
no man knoweth — the battery of a low, rakish scow-schooner, possibly to be 
used in the capture of the Santa Rosa court-house. Major James Armstrong 
who had won his shoulder-straps with Dave Farragut and Zachary Taylor, had 
the "rookies" of the Hueston Guard all-rationed for the invasion, and 
Doyle had three Lexington colts with two-minute records, in his stable saddled 
day and night for a Paul Revere ride to Santa Rosa the moment Petaluma took 
the warpath. Jehu Barnes had been declared heretical and a parson late from a 
Boston conservatory of divinity was holding down the pulpit of St. John the 
Baptist. Tinctured with the literature of Harriet Beecher Stowe. he considered 
every "secesh" in the church a Legre. and threatened those unorthodoxies with 
expulsion from close communion, till Bill Barnes, the "Jack Hamlin" of the day. 


loaded his old-style Colt's and swore he would maintain his full membership 
if he had to shoot every "black abolitionist" out of the church. The assassina- 
tion of Lincoln rushed matters to a climax, and one night the bell disappeared 
from the steeple. Next day several "abductors" were haled before Justice of 
the Peace John Edward Cavanagh, and George Pearce with his "alibis" and 
"habeas corpuses" and "nolle prosequis" and citations from the Code Napo- 
leon kept the court busy till after candle-light. Then the "kidnapers" not in 
custody, made another visit to the steeple and cleaned it out, carrying away the 
bell-frame, wheel and rope. If Pearce had not gone the limit of his "motion" 
privileges, or could have kept Cavanagh longer from his dinner, the Barnes 
adherents would have abducted the church. Then Matt Uoyle bailed out the 
accused and the matter went over ad infinitum. The cases were settled out of 
court and the bell and its appurtenances were found in the Baylis warehouse 
under a pile of potatoes. The recovered was returned to its place and packages 
of blood-curdling warnings were freely handed to future kidnapers. 


One night not long after this event a single, short, sharp note clanged out 
from the steeple, and then all was still. Next day somebody rung the bell and 
instead of the expected round, throbbing tone, a harsh, discordant clangor broke 
out of the place. The bell had been broken, presumabl}- with a heavy hammer, 
and a wide crack running upward from the rim of the instrument, which could 
not be closed, nor in any manner repaired, forever ruined the grand relic. That 
final note was the death-shriek, the human-like protest of the dying, as the 
soul of melody tore itself out of the mutilated shell and went sobbing away in 
the night. The jarring clamor that in after years came from that steeple was 
condemnatory of the act destroying on one stroke that golden voice which was 
wont to roll in ever-widening chord-waves over leagates of rancho, — over mesa 
and vale, to fall afar like a great benediction. Though melody will come to that 
ruined rim nevermore, — how the funereal plaints of bells and ravens and 
Annabel Lees blend and whisper into recollection when the mind conjures up 
that melancholy singer whose life-song was a threnody and whose life-day was 
tlie shadow of death, — though silence broods in its "sounding cells," neither 
time nor vandal hand can mar its splendid record. Grand bell,— ancient herald 
of law and order, annointed prophet of peace and hope, its harmonies fire- 
born and fire-toned when its constituent-earths were annealed and its "sound- 
ing cells" were molded into graceful form, — is' there no crypt of honor for it 


George Ross who taught the first young Petalumans to dance gracefully 
and then photographed them in artistic poses, B. B. Munday, and John Augustus 
McNear, '56, household names in Petaluma, hung up their hats in town. Next 
year Isaac Bernhard, Conrad Poehlmann, John Cavanaugh and J. B. Hinkle 
attached themselves to the fortunes of the new settlement. The latter gentleman 
assumed the proud title of "the most popular man in Petaluma." The incident 
which authorized this distinction occurred in this wise: While absent in the 
southern portion of the state he became sick, and finally it was reported that he 
had died. Before a second report announced the error of the first, the news- 
papers had published the usual beautifully-worded biography of the deceased — 


an innocent little weakness of editors. When Mr. Hinkle returned home like 
"one arisen," he humorously proclaimed his astonishment at his own nobility 
of character and his great popularity, though unfortunately, he said, he never 
learned of these facts until he died. During "58, '59- '60, W. B. Haskell, W. 
H. Pepper, H. H. Atwater, B. F. Tuttle. F D. Starke. Kelly Tigh. John W. 
;\IcNear, were first seen around town. It not be understood that these 
names comprise a list of Felaluma's "solid" men. even during the ten years of 
'50-'6o. There are others. The> have passed. — some from recollection, be- 
cause those who might have recollected them have also passed. Under repainted 
sign-names are the names of men who were formerly in busines.s here and those 
•disappearing names have since appeared in the marl^le on the "Hill." 




i'etaluina on her navigable streani and in a territory of inexhaustible soil- 
fertiUty early began breaking records. She frequently repeats the exploit. In 
1858 the city was incorporated, the lines crossing the creek and taking in East 
Petaluma, originally a portion of the Tom Hopper tract, purchased from Gen- 
eral Vallejo. The building of the San Francisco and North Pacific railroad, 
beginning at Petaluma in 1869 and reaching Cloverdale in 1872, brought the 
central valleys down to the esteros. The (;ompletion of the Petaluma and Santa 
Rosa electric railway to Sebastopol, to the county-seat and into the splendid 
fruit-belt around Forestville, is drawing in the rich products of the coast coun- 
try. The northern extension of this line into Mendocino county along the grand 
Russian river scenic route, as proposed, and the southern extension, now build- 
ing to a bay terminal, will further make for this progressive place. Along 
the banks of the creek they have taken advantage of the easy solution of the 
transportation question, vacant places have been reclaimed for business and 
sites are ready for the manufacturer. Petaluma, the Poultry City of the 
present, may be a name-evolution from Petaluma, the "'duck-hill town" of the 
past, providing the tule-prowling Indian who is vaguely supposed to have 
originated this name, ever arose to the fitness of any town-title. This is not 
likely, but the domestic hen in her centuries of migration seems to have found 
here a nest to her liking. In detached barnyard places, heretofore, in a nail- 
keg or discarded yeast-powder box, she has supplied the family with breakfast 
"hards," "softs," "scrambled" or "overs," or has brooded her incubating season 
away in a wasted effort to hatch a setting of chickless eggs originally from Far 
Cathay. Since that time she has formed a partnership with science and has 
advanced her egg-output and herself, conunercially. She is a recognized in- 
dustry and when she cackles a world's market falls. Her native office of bring- 
ing out and up a family has been relegated to a machine and the downy flock 
looks out of its orphanage through glass walls. But this artificial incubation 
and cultivation of her young is a win-out of minds over tuatter — of man over 
the hen. Where a nest held a dozen eggs, a nest now holds a hundred dozen; 
when the big crop unshells itself, art mothers it to market, all in promptness 
and completeness never dreamed of since the birds began to incubate on the 
new earth. Poultry culture is not old in Sonoma county, but from bay-shore 
to north parallel line, and from sea-beach to eastern hill-chain the white hen- 
neries gleam thickly in the sheltered places. 


While the process of hatching eggs artificially was known among the 
ancients it seems to have become one of the lost arts, like gun-powder, glass 
and certain paints, to be found and practiced again in the Christian centuries. 
It is a long reach of time from the rude oven of an Asian chicken-yard a 
thousand vears B. C, to a Petaluma poultry nursery, A. D. 1911. The family 


record of the first practical incubator man is yet hidden amid the ruins of the 
past, but the last one is very much present. It is unnecessary to produce here 
an extended pen-picture of Lyman C. Byce, the foster-father of millions 
of orphaned chicks, and of countless millions more to come. In 1878 Mr. 
Byce landed in Petaluma from Toronto, Canada, and struck out to do some- 
thing for himself, and incidentall}' for his neighbors. A Canadian is a mover 
and a good argument for reciprocity. The sharp, cold airs of his upper lati- 
tudes and the clean, balsamic life of his pinev forests, perhaps, early get into 
him and he grows up a rustler. Byce's father was a farmer and the young 
man had assisted in the construction of crude incubators and brooders and he 
knew that a triumph awaited the perfecting of these machines. Petaluma 
valley seemed to be a promised poultry land. In his wagon he drove among 
the farmers of Sonoma and Napa counties and succeeded in buying several 
hundred fowls for his new venture. At so low ebb was chicken-culture on 
this coast that he was forced to fill out his hennery with purchases of eggs 
and poultry from Illinois, Indiana and Massachusetts. These imports, how- 
ever, were of the best breeds and from the stock have grown the thoroughbreds 
that are producing annually $4,000,000 worth of wealth for Sonoma county 
alone. Across the seas go the poultry product from the Byce brooders and 
incubators. The Far Easterners are far-eaters of western foods, and oriental 
exclusiveness does not exclude the lay of the Sonoma hen. In China the fan 
quai— foreign devil — is socially taboo, but he is commercially tolerated if he 
lives in Petaluma and carries eggs to market. 

The quartet of incubator factories in that city are turning out the per- 
fected hatching machines and trying to supply a world demand. Here is in 
operation the largest hatchery known, 160 feet long, with a working capacity 
of 50,000 eggs monthly. The accompanying brooder is 175 feet long and fills 
its contract of 100,000 broilers a year. These incubators are complicated 
affairs. It took years of study and experiment ere man was able to compete 
with the mother hen in her own nest. An egg with chicken possibilities is a 
delicate piece of organism and its three weeks of heat at 103 degrees must 
never vary if it becomes blood, bone and feathers. The incubator can be "set" 
with eggs, loaded into a cart or car and carried long distances and it will 
keep on "setting," hatching ninety -five per cent of the lay. The proverbial 
old hen who "sot" despite all attempt at dissuasion, and who "stood up and 
sot" in her laudable eflforts to perform her maternal duties, is outdone by an 
artificial competitor. And she lost, for ninety-nine per cent of her young now 
are hatched vicariously. 

And the daily bill of fare for a growing Petaluma chick; no common 
worm or weed-seed scratched out of the barnyard for these downy epicures. 
Oatmeal from Illinois and Kansas; hemp and millet seed from Germany; pep- 
per and canary-bird seed from Japan; rice from China; flax-seed from Ore- 
gon; corn from Nebraska and ginger from Africa. This is only the imported 
part of the menu. Home foods, flesh and grain, selected with care, are served 
to suit the pampered broilers, who in turn will be served at table. But there are 
millions in them, and this is the practical method in the poultry madness of 
Petaluma — the Citv of the Little Chicks. 



Vallejo township is tlie plain between Sonoma mountain and Petaluma 
creek. San Pablo bay and an east and west line dividing the tract from Santa 
Rosa township. In the upper part of Vallejo township, in the center of the 
Cotati Rancho is Penn Grove. This is also a station on the Northwestern 
Pacific Railroad and the shipping point of a considerable poultry district. In 
the lower or southeastern part of the township is Donohue, on the creek about 
eight miles from Petaluma and was formerly the bay terminus of the San 
Francisco and North Pacific Railroad. Another landing on the creek, a short 
distance north of Donohue is Lakeville. When Padre Altimira, eighty-seven 
years ago, was marching along this way headed for Sonoma he discovered "on 
a hillock, the Lake of Tolay, called after a former chief of the Indians in this 
vicinity." The hillock Lake of Tolay was afterwards drained, making a noble 
potato patch, but Lakeville retains a portion of its name. 




West of Santa Rosa township and east of Bodega township hes Analy— 
the vine and orchard township of the county. Its northern side touches Red- 
wood and Russian river townships, while its southern line is a boundary line 
of Petaluma township and Marin county. The southern portion contains the 
ranches Canada de Pogolome and Blucher; this with the adjoining Bodega 
township on the west is~ the famous dairy and potato country, in the midst of 
which is the town of Bloomfield. The central part of Analy contains portions 
of the ranchos Llano de Santa Rosa and Canada de Jonive, while the northern 
portion contains a part of the El Molino grant. If Sonoma township leads in 
the production of wine, Cloverdale in citrus fruits, Analy leads in much of 
everything else that grows and ripens on tree and vine. It is said that when 
Jasper O'Farrell, the noted surveyor, mapped ofif the counties, townships and 
ranchos of this section of the state, the only time that he turned to the family 
for a name is when he wrote "Analy," for his sister Anna. It is a pretty name, 
well fitting the tract that it designates. With the exception of the district 
bordering Marin county and the sea, the entire township is a park and the 
portion around Sebastopol, Graton in Green valley, and Forestville, is a veri- 
table "fruitland." The Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway enters Analy at its 
southeastern corner, near Stony Point, and extends to Forestville. This prac- 
tically gives to the entire length of the township hourly electric trains. Where 
in all the state has there been a more complete fitting of the natural and the 
artificial than here. Its warm, sandy loam has no peer in productiveness and its 
harvest-possibility is anywhere within the vegetable kingdom. The inaugura- 
tion of t)ie suburban roads among the full-fruited orchards, vineyards and 
hopyards, completed and perfected the settlement of this locality begun by 
Joaquin Carrillo at Sebastopol in 1846. The wooded hills of the coast range 
on the western border shield the eastern slope of the township from the sea 
gales howling down the Mendocino coast. The redwood belt along the Sonoma 
ocean shore for ages has been nature's wind-break, tempering the airs blowing 
across the Analy valleys. In 1849-50, the period William Hood settled in the 
Los Guilicos, William Elliott on Mark West creek and Martin Hudson in Santa 
Rosa i^lain, the settlers began to come into what is now Green valley. J. M. 
Hudspeth, Patrick McChristian and James McChristian, Josiah Moran, Otis 
Allen, Joseph Morgan Miller, Olander Sowers and John Walker. The chief 
pioneer of Blucher valley was W. D. Canfield. Farther to the southwest, in 
Big valley, came William Abels, Elliot Coffer. Henry Hall, Robert Bailey. 
Horace Lamb, George Woodson, E. C. and W. P. Henshaw, Jacob McReynolds, 
Patrick Carroll and William Jones. Joaquin Carrillo after receiving his portion 
of the Llano de Santa Rosa rancho, built his adobe home on the laguna just 
east from Sebasto]3ol, where the ruins of the ancient hacienda niav be seen. 


Inhn Walker and Joseph M. Miller oniducted a store and trading jjisl in the 
vicinity. Miller was the postmaster and the place which was the crossini; of 
several roads was the mail-distributing point for the coast country. It was 
known as the "Bodega Postoffice," a title hardly suitable. In 1855 J. H. P. 
Morris located a 120-acre claim and on this was Sebastopol's site and settler. 
The pioneer of the new town called it Pine Grove — a litting name from the 
forest of those trees which covered the hills in the locality. The fertile, yellow- 
tinted soil afterwards brouijhl the fruitful slopes the general title of ( ioM 
Ridge. The name, Sebastopol, associated with horrid war, would be sadly un- 
suited to the peaceful and sylvan scenes of this beautiful vale, but for the fitting 
local incident from which the title grew. The great Crimean conflict was 
raging between Russia and Turkey, France, England. Two doughty war- 
riors of Pine Grove — JefT Stevens and Pete Hibb.s — engaged in a ferocious 
argument over the outcome of the contest. They concluded to settle it, — the 
argun^.ent, not the war, — in a fist-fight. Peter presently was in full retreat, 
taking refuge in John Dougherty's store. The proprietor kept Stevens out of 
the building, protecting the ex-fighter who evidently knew when he "had 
enough." The crowd enjoying the entertainment, was reminded of Russia 
then besieged by the allies within her Sebastopol, and dubbed Dougherty'.- 
place "Hibbs" Sebastopol." The pine grove in the town disappearing and the 
humor of Pete's inglorious flight growing in popularity, there was a gradual 
change in name. So, out from the red flames of the Crimea, out from the 
bloody rifle-pits of the Redan, out from the fadeless glory of the Light Brigade, 
and out from the historical scrimmage at Dougherty's came our Sebastopol. 
Jefferson and Peter are aslumber on Gold Ridge, mingling their dust with 
the rich yellow soil, with orchards on the right of them, vine-ro\\s on tlie left 
of them, blooming and fruiting. 

api'i.f:s and women have made history. 
The apple has ever been an object of keen interest to man. In historx it 
is as old as he, in fact it is the fruit named as one of his earliest contemporaries. 
It was one of the properties provided when the stage was set for the first human 
drama — the play in which he was the star, and where the villain of the piece 
used the apple to the star's final undoing. It may not be gallant to make any 
reference, except with the utmost delicacy, to the star actress in that earl\ 
play so tragic to the human race. Possibly there are later Eves in the Anal\ 
Edens where the juicy Gravensteins grow, who might not be pleased at an 
allusion, though veiled, to their great ancestress. However, a gallant Gold 
Ridge orchardist, and one who evidently knows, says if there is a combination 
calculated to tempt a modern Adam, it is a girl and a Gravenstein. That young 
man truly was .speaking along the hnes of history, for the combination has 
worked fatallv in several instances of the past. It was to loot the famous 
golden apple orchard of the Hesperides run by three beautiful sisters and 
guarded bv dragons, that led Hercules into numerous difficulties. A woman 
and an apple brought about the fall of Troy when Venus in exchange for the 
fruit awarded Helen to the Trojan prince, Paris. This was a neat thought on 
the part of the love-goddess, but Helen happened to be the wife of another 
man — and a fighting man at that — and the tragedy wrought b\ that apple has 
been told in Homeric verse that will live through all the ages. .Another fair 


Grecian, Atalanta, to rid herself of many suitors, agreed to marry the one who 
beat her in a foot race, but the losers should die. As she was the speediest of 
mortals, and was heartily weary of the whole bunch of lovers, she thought and 
hoped she had them going — gone. However, the voung fellows, to their eter- 
nal creilit, were not discouraged by the awful alternative, and entered for the 
contest. Atalanta picked up her dainty feet and led from the start, but she 
finally was beaten by a trick. One of the racers carried a bag of apples which 
fruit he scattered one by one ahead of the girl along the track. They must 
have been prize-winners — they were as they won a wife — for she halted to 
secure them as they rolled past her.and lost that Marathon and her chance of 
remaining all her life an Arcadian bachelor-maid. 

Not only in mythology but in history, sacred and profane, in art, on mar- 
ble and canvas has this graceful, glowing globe, the most nutritious and life- 
sustaining of all fruits, taken a leading place. It has gone into proverb, for the 
Wisest of Men has said, "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold." To 
Jehovah, the monarch-minstrel of Israel swept his harpstrings and chanted, 
■"keep me as the apple of the eye." The apple is a native of southwestern Asia 
— not far from the supposed cradle of the human-race, and the scene of the 
Eden incident; and in the plant genera is third cousin to the rose, proving its 
aristocratic, even royal lineage. It is a sturdy, healtliy subject of the vegetable 
kingdom, and while it demands a thermal soil for its roots, it just as strongly 
demands a temperate, shading to cold, atmosphere for its fruit. A resume of 
Analy township is a resume of the Analy apple — the noble fruit of an old-time 
day coming to its own again. The citus and the grape are here taking advan- 
tage of the subtropical nooks and corners of the temperate zone. Even the 
potato is a native of South America, though Burbank made that tuber a far 
more edible food than it was when Pizarro landed in Peru to harvest the 
Inca. The apple tree is long-lived. Place that bit of vegetation in the hands 
of a horticulturist and it will be flourishing when he is among its roots. The 
first orchard in Sonoma county is at Fort Ross, set out by the Russians shortly 
after their arrival there in 1812, and these trees have borne fruit through all 
the ruinous changes at that historical ])lace. The pioneer orchards of Analy 
planted in 1850-1, are yet bearing. Among the oldest Gold Ridge growers 
are Alex. Caldwell, Isaiah Thomas, John Churchman, Major Sullivan, N. E. 
Gillnian, Henry Marshall and James Gregson. The successors of these early 
groves are the twelve or fifteen hundred orchards of this locality. There are 
probably twelve or fourteen thousand acres of orchards in the county, running 
from sixty to seventy-five trees to the acre. Young trees, seedlings, cost about 
$15 each, land for planting $200 to $250 an acre. In seven to nine years the 
orchard begins to pay, and is worth from $700 to $1,500 an acre. Many orch- 
ardists economize in space and increase their harvest income by planting berry 
vines between the tree-rows. Apple prices range from $30 to $40 a ton deliv- 
ered at the packing and drying houses in Sebastopol. It is estimated that fully 
one-half million boxes are packed yearly in Analy township, at a cost of twenty- 
five cents a box. The apple industry of this section is yet in the nursery stage, 
and no one can tell what it will be when all the rich sandy loam of these slopes 
and valleys is in orchard and the orchard is in fruitage. 



The fruit development of Gold Ridge began about 1880. when a few farm- 
ers of a horticultural turn of mind were trying out with tree and vine the 
productive qualities of the soil between the Laguna on the east and the crest 
of the western hills beyond Green valley. George D. Sanborn of Sebastopol, 
whose "recollections" go back to the early '60s, when the George Sanborns — 
father and son — came to the pretty little village of four or five houses in the 
pine grove, says: "These rolling hills which were covered with brush, were 
entirely ignored by the settlers who came into this section in the latter '40s 
and early '50s, so far as clearing any of the land was concerned, or trying to 
raise anything on it. They did not realize the great productiveness and possi- 
bilities of these higher lands when cleared of timber, and so chose their homes 
along the lower lands of Green valley." The result of an after test was highly 
satisfactory and the next decade found the sandy loam responding generously 
to the planter. Land values passed from $15 to $25 up to $75 and $100 an 
acre, and the orchards and vineyards were rapidly spreading over levels and 
hills. Twenty years more have demonstrated the superior productiveness of 
the section and Sebastopol is the center of the fruit zone of Sonoma county. 
Year by year the output has been greater than the last annual crop, in class 
and price. The apple yield in 1910 was 25,ocx),ooo pounds, valued at $320,000, 
sold to packers and dryers. The Gold Ridge apple won thirty-two medals and 
four cups at the last great Apple Annual exhibit in Watsonville. The first 
Gravenstein Fair, which was held in Sebastopol that year, was a marvel in the 
way of a fruit exhibition and demonstration to visitors from near and afar, of 
the horticultural possibilities of this naturally-favored locality. Says Luther 
Burbank, the highest authority on fruit culture, "the Gravenstein apple ■ has, 
above all others, proven to be the money-winner in Sonoma county. It always 
bears a good crop. It cannot be raised successfully in the hot valleys of 
southern California. Sonoma county seems to be its home. It is of the best 
quality of all known apples. If the Gravenstein could be had through the 
year, no other apple need be grown." The Sebastopol Gravenstein apple is on 
the market a month earlier than those grown in other sections of the Pacific 
Coast. The section now produces about 600 carloads annually. The unim- 
proved apple lands here are valued at from $125 to $250 per acre, and the im- 
proved from $1,000 to $2,000 per acre. From $250 to $800 per acre are now 
the season's earnings of these orchards. The Sebastopol Apple Association is 
incorporated with a capital stock of $50,000. Near Sebastopol is located the 
experimental farm of Luther Burbank and from this station many of his splen- 
did creations in fruits and flowers have gone out to enrich the vegetation of 
the world. 

The berry crop also looms up into the higher figures, being estimated at 
seventy per cent of the output of the state, with shipments running close to 
500,000 boxes a week during the berry season. The wineries at Forestville and 
Graton, also in Sebastopol, crushed a heavy tonnage of grapes, with prices paid 
the vineyardists $22 and $23 per ton. The cherry yield for the section was 
upwards of 700,000 pounds. 

Though the hen is not a horticultural or viticultural factor she has not 
been idle among these trees and vines, and like the planter, has scratched the 



favored soil for profit. She finds the warm, sandy slopes much to her liking 
and during 1910, she of the Gold Ridge yards, laid almost $200,000 worth of 
eggs. Even the other division of the industry, the incubator, of which she is 
the parent stock and provider of the raw material, is in action, and during the 
vear $50,000 worth of poultry passed through the Sebastopol market. This 
is the story of "Pine Grove" from the time Joaquin Carrillo reared his adobe 
dwelling on the shore of the Laguna, including the day Peter Hibbs was besieged 
in Dougherty's store and gave the town its Crimean war-title, up to its present 
place on the map. It has 1,500 people, two railroad systems, two banks, a big 
cannery employing 400 hands, six fruit packing houses, a large winery owned 
by the famous Italian-Swiss Colony of Asti, a $20,000 grammar school, two 
newspapers, — the Analy Standard and the Sebastopol Times — a pair of lively 
weeklies, that work for Analy, — city-owned water system, steam fire engine 
and other features that go to make a modern city. 


Bodega township lies on the western side of Sonoma county, bordering 
the Pacific ocean, and extending from the Marin line north to Ocean and Red- 
wood townships. Like all lands on the seashore. Bodega is hilly with small 
valleys among the elevations. The soil is a sandy loam suitable for the great 
fields of potatoes that grow there and the green pasturage that cover its slope? 
for the dairies that thrive there. Grain, except during unusually dry years, 
does not produce well, as the fogs and the moist winds from the sea that 
freshen the green plants in field and pasture, retard the ripening of cereal. Of 
late years much of the potato lands have been turned into dairy pastures, the 
gradual failing of the crops proving that the constantly harassed soil was losing- 
its vitality. The coast redwood belt, in fact the entire timber district, abruptly 
stops about the center of the township, making the lower portion of Bodega 
treeless, while the upper portion was formerly densely forested. The pioneer 
steam saw mill of the state began operations in this township in 1843, though 
Captain Stephen Smith, the Russians and other early settlers .had their rip-saw 
mills at work soon after their arrival. It was cheaper and less laborious to 
saw out a redwood plank and nail it into a housewall than to hoist the entire 
log into place. Such was hard work, moreover, a waste of log. The Spanish 
grants within the township were the Rancho de Bodega and Rancho Estero de 

After the Russians in 1840 had sold all their holding to Captain Sutter the 
new possessor left John Bidwell in charge at Bodega. The bay, then a deep 
and almost land-locked body of water, was a commodious harbor for small 
sailing vessels freighting produce. Northeast of Bodega Corners and on the 
North Pacific railroad is Freestone, so named from a quarry of soft sandstone 
near the town. Here the pioneer surveyor Jasper O'Farrell, located and the 
great rancho in the vicinity, occupied by members of his family, bears his name. 
F. G. Blume" who married the widow Dawson, formerly the widow Cazeras. 
the owner of the Rancho Pogolome, was one of the early settlers of this place. 
Bodega was even a port of entry and had a government inspector from 1852 to 
1854. His name was Michael Doherty and this industrious official held down 
his job and a good salary during that time. As it is not known that any for- 
eign vessel ever entered the port, Doherty's services to the United States only 


existed in his imagination. Among contemporaneous pioneers with Captain 
Smith, were Stephen and James Fowler, who afterwards located at Valley 
Ford, a small village between Bodega and Bloomfield. At one time Bodega 
"struck gold," traces of the mineral were found among the quartz ledges and 
considerable prospecting was done, however the excitement died out and the 
miners went back to the richer "pay dirt" in their potato fields. Occidental 
is also situated on the railroad north of Freestone and deeper in the redwood 
belt. The town has had several names, the first being Summit, from the fact 
that it is on the crest of the divide between Russian river and the country to the 
south. Much of the building being done on the land of M. C. Meeker, a prom- 
inent sawmill man, the place assumed the title of Meeker's, but when the rail- 
road company established a station they called it Howard's, in honor of an 
old settler. Finally the name grew into Occidental, from its western position 
on the county map. The first settler was Michael Kolmer, from whom the 
valley was named, but as early names are frequently elusive in Sonoma county, 
it became shifted to Coleman valley. One of his daughters became the wife of 
William Howard and another married William Benitz, one of the original 
owners of the Muniz rancho, upon which Fort Ross is located. Situated within 
the timber territory, Occidental is an important shipping point for lumber, wood, 
tanbark and charcoal. 


Ocean is a small township bordering the Pacific and extending ncirth 
from Bodega to Salt Point, the largest township in the county. The latter 
district also borders the sea and reaches to the northern county line. These 
townships are mountainous, the high lands being interspersed with small valleys, 
exceedingly fertile. The only streams here are the Russian and Valhalla 
rivers and Austin creek, a tributary of the former. It is a wooded couiitrx 
and the sawmills hum among the pine and redwood trees. Along the coast 
there are a number of landing places, coves, where timber is shipped, chuted 
from the bluiifs into vessels below. Of these are Timber Cove, Stillwater 
Cove, Salt Point, Fisk's Mill, Fisherman's bay and Black Point. Fort Ross 
is a thriving village, though little indications of its old Sclavonian occupancy 
can be seen about the place. The site of the old fortification is a state reserva- 
tion, as is the mission at Sonoma. During the last session of the legislature. 
Assemblyman Herbert W. Slater of Santa Rosa, introduced a bill for the 
preservation of these historical landmarks. The relief measure failed in the 
matter of Fort Ross, because of the dilapidated condition of the place — there 
being little left to preserve. The legislature appropriated five thousand dollars 
for the repair of the Sonoma mission church. The principal place in the two 
townships is Duncans Mills, a creation of the railroad. Samuel and Alexander 
Duncan were operating a sawmill on Russian river near the mouth. The sur- 
veyors of the new road decided to cross the river several miles farther up the 
stream and there was a move for the locality ; the Duncans transferred their 
machinery and the place became Duncans Mills. It is a pretty riparian resort 
in the heart of the redwoods and soon a fine town was in existence. A num- 
ber of small places, mill stations, as Moscow, Tyrone, Russian River Station and 
Markham's, are scattered here and there through these forest groves. The 
North Pacific Coast road up Austin creek vaile\- to its present ternu'nus 
at Cazadero. 




Sequoyah, cultured chieftain of the Cherokees, 

Here art thou honored in this Chief of Trees. 

Sequoia Semperviren, — ever vernal, — good 

Is thy name and claim, prince- of the western wood. 

In Rome's imperial tongue the nations call 

Thee "evergreen," thou noblest Roman of them all. 

You sprang from earth when earth was young and fair, and grew 

Straight up to God. From nature's mother-heart you drew 

The best of eartli up in that royal heart of thee — 

The clean, red shaft of thee, O, grand, majestic tree ! 

No autumn-mark showed on thy leafy-diadem 

As passing ages marked their cycles in thy stem. 

Change followed change, you knew no change, O. King! 

Hail Semperviren,- Evergreen, all hail! 

Ancient of days, and lord of hill and dale. 

Thou art the glor}' of the West Coast Range, O, King. 

The woods were sacred courts, the forest aisles and lanes 
Were paths of deity when these were God's first fanes. 
Among these slender boughs the ocean-gales harped free 
When burst the thunder mono-hvmnal of the sea : 
And nature's forest house of prayer from choir to nave 
Responded in the litany of wind and wave. 

In grand recessional the storm-chords died, and then 
Faint through the trees went whispering a great "Amen." 

■ Fittingly named is the little Redwood township under its forests, sur- 
rounded by Analy, Rodega, Mendocino and Ocean townships. Through its 
center flows the Russian river and along the shores of that stream grow the 
groves of sequoia — the kingly plants of the vegetable kingdom. On paper 
and canvas have been faithfully portraAed these splendid trees, but one must 
stand at the base of the great vertical shaft springing into the air to truly 
sense the grandeur of that growth ; must be within these rare groves where 
sunshine falls through the tree-tops to first glow silvery on the leaves, then 
fade away into soft twilight. Here must have been the retreats of the gods 
of the olden days, ere Pan and his elfin crew forsook the earth and eerie pipes 
were heard no more in sylvan shade. But the forest temples remained. Forest 
temple is not a term fitless or fanciful, for the clustered-columns and groined 
arch of the noble gothic cathedral grew from the tree-trunk and spreading 
bough of the woods. And later on in the reaches of time the Indian walked 



the sequoia groves as tenant in fee. How appropriate was the word-selection 
when the inspired naturahst stood among the red cokimns and named them 
for Sequoyah, the cuhured Cherokee, who gave his red people an alphabet, 
and lifted their simple dialect to the dignity of a written language. The tree 
may fall, but the fame of the scholarly Indian whose name it bears will never 
pass away. 


When the pathfinders in the plaza at Sonoma were lifting the Bear Flag 
to the California breeze, leagues of stately redwoods grew on the Coast range. 
They hung thickly on the slopes and crowded the vales — the park of the In- 
dian and the covert of the deer. They drew life from their mother-stream, 
the green-shored Russian river, and caught in their leafy deeps the silvery 
echoes of her murmuring flow. But the saw followed the flag, and many of 
the grand groves are gone. The whirring song of the mill is the dirge of the 
tree. Even in the primal periods of earth the forests were set apart as things 
sacred. To the ruder minds they were the hiding places of deity. The 
Aryan under the trees worshipped the sun, the visible essence of God, and the 
Inca on his forest heights heard the swell of that golden great harp's mono- 
chord. The classic grove of Dodona was the sanctuary of Jove before the 
building of the Grecian Parthenon. The Druidic priest by the sacred oak 
celebrated his mystic mass ere the later Briton hewed the cathedral shaft and 
laid the architrave. The bare domes of hill and the treeless cups of valley 
in the United States are not alone sad themes for the writer's pen and the 
artist's brush, but are motives for legislative action. The law-mills must reg- 
ulate the saw-mills if these splendid specimens of the plant kingdom escape 
the vandalism that is rampant in this country. 

In the center of Redwood township is Guerneville, a pretty sylvan town 
with a scenic river at its front door and a range of wooded hills in its back- 
yard. With one rail\\a\ system — another is building — tracking through its 
grounds, connecting its various forest industries, its fertile lands with the out- 
side world, Guerneville holds her own on the map of Imperial Sonoma. She 
is also the center of the numerous summer camps and resorts that flank the 
Russian river from Healdsburg to Duncans Mills. In little woody nooks at 
the water-edge or clinging to the steep sides of hill are the tents, brush- 
cabins and bungalows of the migratory river dwellers. They are known by 
names as fitting to location as to character. Monte (a wooded, hilly shore or 
bank) Rio, Monte Cristo, Monte Sano, Mesa Grande, Guernewood Park, 
Camp Vacation, Camp Meeker, Rio Nido (River-nest), and the grove of the 
Bohemians — the midsummer camp of this roystering crew. Near Guerneville 
is the Armstrong Woods, a noble group of sequoia and practically the only 
redwood grove of any scenic importance in the township. It is a splendid 
forest, the great trees standing on the level ground making a natural park, 
and they are yet on their stumps because Colonel J. B. Armstrong, the former 
owner, insisted on their preservation. 


The effort recently made to purchase the Armstrong Woods for $100,000, 
and make that four-hundred acre tract with its splendid grove of redwood 
trees a state reservation, was a partial success. The proposition to appropri- 



ate that amount for the purpose received the full appri^ival of every con- 
servationist in California. It was endorsed bv such organizers as The Cali- 
fornia State Grange, The State Federation of Women's Clubs, The Outdoor 
Art League of the California Club, The Sierra Club, Women's Improvement 
Clubs and Chambers of Commerce. The purchase price, coming from the 
entire state, would be an infinitesimal addition to individual taxation, and the 
preserving of a portion of the few remaining trees would be a noble object. 
The bill for the purchase passed unanimousl} both houses of the legislature, 
but Governor Gillett failed to sign it into a law. He gave as his reason the 
big batch of appropriation bills for that session, which he considered of more 
importance. Hon. William Kent, of Kentfield, Marin coimty, present repre- 
sentative in Congress from this congressional district, purchased and pre- 
sented to the public the noble Muir grove of sequoia situated in that county. 
This is the only group of trees, in the redwood belt north of San Francisco, 
which has been reserved, and being near the great Pacific metropolis, is a 
gem in the great scenic zone of this wonderland. The Muir woods are de- 
scribed and pictured in the route-folders of the Southern Pacific Railroad 
Company, but evidently Congressman William Kent is unknown to that great 
corporation, as his name does not appear in the railroad literature. Possibly 
some day ere the axe and saw have completed the destruction of the remain- 
ing trees a philanthropist will appear in Sonoma county and bid the vandal 
woodman spare the last of "God's First Temples" along the Rio Russian. 

Guerneville takes its name from the big sawmill of George Guerne and 
Thomas T. Heald, one of the several lumber-producing plants in the neighbor- 
hood. Several miles north from Guerneville is the Mount Jackson Quick- 
silver mining district ; the principal mine, the Great Eastern, is largely cele- 
brated for the huge lawsuit that has been connected with it for years. 


Mendocino township is a ratiier narrow district, and starting from the 
county of that name, maintains about the same width as it extends in a south- 
easterly direction until it reaches the north bank of Russian river, where it 
takes in Healdsburg. This is the only city or town in the township, the 
entire area being a succession of high wooded hills and fertile wooded val- 
leys, most important of the latter being Dry creek. This creek flows — when 
it does flow — into the Russian river within the limits of Healdsburg, its head- 
waters being well up towards ^Mendocino county. The valley of this stream 
is a perennial testimonial that there is "nothing in a name." as the soil of that 
vale between the hill-ranges is of marvelous richness, without any indication 
of aridity. The bedrock is far below the surface and while a deep and wide 
creek in winter sweeps violenth" down to the river, the waters sink through 
the alluvium before the summer is well on. leaving the name — Dry creek. 

Healdsburg began when Harmon Heald. in 1852 began "keeping house" in 
a small clap-board cabin on the west side of the city plaza near the site of the 
Sotoyome hotel. It was on the road leading from Sonoma town into Mendocino 
countv. Heald's store was soon doing "a good business." Thomas W. Hudson 
and famih- arrived in 1853. and their son Henry H. was the first white child 
born in the settlement. August Knaack built his blacksmith shop near Heald's 
store as the village was then known. In 1857 the town site was surveyed by 


]\. I'. Mock and "Hcaldsburg" took its place on the map. Tlierc were many 
anions the pioneer population in the town and valley who wished it named the 
more musical and more fitting "Sotoyome" for the tribe of Indians in the neigh- 
borhood and Captain Henry Fitch's big rancho, but "Heald's store" was nearer 
and more immelodious. \Miatever the name, it is a beautiful spot in the heart 
of the Russian river plateau and the rich lands of the valley soon drew the 
home-seekers. The pioneer of all the pioneers of this section of Sonoma county 
is Cyrus Alexander, who came to California in 1837. At San Diego he met 
Captain Fitch by whom he was sent north with a drove of horses and cattle for 
the Captain's grant of eleven leagues, the Rancho Sotoyome. He was to care 
for the property for four years, his payment to be one-half of the stock increase 
and two leagues of the ranch. On the completion of the contract Alexander 
built the well known Old Adobe at the foot of Fitch Alountain, a prominent 
peak on the river bank near Healdsburg. A tlouring mill and a tannery were 
also of his handiwork during that stirring earh' period. The Ijeautiful forest 
valleys of the Sotoyomes were zoological gardens and the flesh eaters headed by 
the grizzly— the ursus horribilis of the California carnivora — were quite fond 
of Spanish beef and mutton, and no objection to a feast of mustang now and 
then. This kept the settlers' rifles loaded for instant use and their dogs in 
leash for a bear-hunt. No\\' this monarch oi the Sonoma wilds — except in 
the Parlors of the Native Sons — ^is only a memory. His size, ferocity, courage 
and appetite made him a foe worthy of the pioneer's steel and he passed away. 
Even his milder brothers, the black and brown bears, whose vegetarian tastes 
made the huckleberry patches their habitat, are almost extinct. Occasionally 
hunger and a hope of getting a colt or calf will tempt a panther on a night trip 
from his deep woods, but the guns and dogs have made the big cats timid. The 
little brother of the once plentiful gray wolf, the coyote, remains on visiting 
terms with the hen-houses and sheep-corrals, but the bounty on his scalp gen- 
erally keeps him to a rabbit or grass-hopper diet among his native hills. The 
great herds of antelope, the fewer flocks of elk, are gone, but the black-tailed 
deer, his slaughter limited by law, inhabits the northern woods and affords game 
for the city clerk turned hunter for his two-weeks vacation. The hares, rabbits 
and squirrels practically complete the "field force" of Sonoma's mammalia, 
though a smaller fry of animal life might be listed. 


The township grew rapidly in population and presently most of the arable 
land was taken up by the settlers. Naturally the grants were objects of 
interest by the new comers and the usual squatter troubles were on. But these 
subsided and nothing has occurred to check the progress of this fertile region. 
Healdsburg because of its favorable location on the river was presentlv a "city" 
working under corporate regulations. Schools and churches were organized 
and public buildings constructed. Among the early arrivals were the printing 
people and Healdsburg had her pioneer newspaper. A. J. Cox who had run a 
paper in Sonoma opened the journalistic field in Sotoyoiue with the Review. 
This was in i860, and four years after it passed into the Advertiser, .\fter a 
series of changes in names and publisheri it appeared under the name of Russian 
Rircr Flag, owned by John (i. and S. S. Howell who afterwards sold out to 
L. .\. and A. D. Jordan. Tn 1876 John F. and Felix Mulgrew began printing 


the Healdsburg Enterprise. It was Democratic in politics — the Flag being 
Republican — and was edited with exceptional ability, in fact the two papers 
did much to promote the early growth of the city and locality. The Sonoma 
County Tribune was established in 1888 by Isadore Abraham, a merchant in 
Healdsburg, and Louis Meyer. The same year the Flag passed into the Enter- 
prise, and ceased to "wave." R. E. Baer is the publisher of the Enterprise, 
and Alexander Crossan directs the weekly issue of the Tribune. The So- 
toyome Scimitar conducted by Ande Nowlin is the third newspaper of the city. 
Among the excellent training and educational institutions of this county 
is Golden Gate Orphanage in Mendocino Township, conducted by the Salvation 
Army. It is not an orphanage in the usual meaning of the word, but is an. 
agricultural training school, where a large number of children of both sexes 
are given a practical education in farm management. It is the well known 
Lytton Springs property of 650 acres, four miles north from Healdsburg, and 
is conducted by Major and Mrs. C. Wilfred Bourne, S. A., and a corps of as- 
sistants. While the farm is a private property the school course of instruction 
is under the jurisdiction of the County Superintendent of Public Instruction. 
When its grammar school pupils are graduated they pass to the high school at 
Healdsburg. In addition to their school-room work the boys do practically all 
the work of the dairy, poultry-yard and farm, and the girls under qualified 
instructors are drilled in all branches of household duties, including cooking 
and laundry work. Situated as it is in the heart of the rich Russian River valley, 
this fine industrial farm is almost self-sustaining, but is burdened with an in- 
debtedness — the remainder of its purchase price. Major Bourne says : "We 
have no unifomis, no needless rules, no oppressive regulations, no formidable 
high-walled fences, no yard guards, and at all times one hears the hum of free 
and proper conversation. We base this tuition upon a carefully developed sense 
of right and wrong, and the knowledge that if he be good and in all things 
honest, he is in all things worthy. Thus is the child made a law to himself." 


-Across tlie stream from Healdsburg is the township of Russian River, 
the smallest township in the county. This district extends south to Santa Rosa 
township and contains one town, Windsor, though the building of the railroad 
made two towns. The surveyors arbitrarily declined to run the line through the 
pretty little village and passed about a mile to the west. A portion of the 
town went down to the track and was called West Windsor. Some early settler, 
more comical than correct in his statements, called this portion of the great 
central valley "Poor Man's Flat." That was before the flat became vineyards, 
hop-yards, orchards and grain fields and the homes of men who are anything 
but "poor." Practically all of the 41,000 acres of land of the township are 
under cultivation. Its southern boundary line is Mark West creek, named for 
the ancient Scotch mariner who "went ashore'' on the bank of that stream in 
an early dav. Near the old home and picturesque wreck of a flouring mill for- 
merh' owned by Mark West, is located the noted Burke's Sanitarium, and 
farther up the creek are the well known Mark West Springs, both places popular 
health resorts. Russian River township is occupied by portions of the Sotoyome, 
San Miguel and El Molino ranches : the former tract containing the ranch and 
home of Cyrus Alexander, the first white settler in the township. 



Like the name of Redwood township, the name of this section of Sonoma 
county is a growth from the soil. Here yearly for uncalendared ages the little 
blossoms have blown over the grassy levels and the place of the red and white 
floral jewels in their emerald settings could only be a clover dale. The time is 
lost among the unrecorded things of the past when this bit of vegetation Ijecame 
the symbol of pastures rich in the drapery of riotous plant life, and the pas- 
toral theme of "flocks thick nibbling through the clovered vale." It may have 
been when "belted earl" taking from the wayside as he rode to the tourney- 
field, the green trefoil which on his shield became a sign-manual of knightly 
valor, and to be one of the blooms when knighthood was a-flower. Or it may 
have been when the master-mason of the grand gothic temples saw in the three- 
leaf growth at his feet the graceful form that now appears chiseled in the tri- 
foliated ornamentation of architecture. The saintly missionary of Ireland, the 
land where the clover is the fadeless emblem of nativity, plucked from the sod 
a spray of the triple-blade of green and taught the fierce pagan Celts the faith 
of a Trinity, three in one, divided and indivisible ; and the shamrock, dainty and 
sweet clover of the Irish turf, grows green in the Irish heart when all else lies 
withered and dead. To the island-exile wandering afar over distant lands and 
seas it is the token of home. 

The name of this district fits into the fertility of its fields, and the grassy 
places among its hills. That wide map of valley and highland lay unrolled be- 
fore her as Mrs. R. B. Markle, just from "across the plains" fifty-five years ago, 
gave it the title it bears today. Probably a full degree of latitude north of the 
cooler bay airs, its warm volcanic soil under foot, Cloverdale township lies with- 
in a thermal zone. "Semi tropic" here is not a shop worn term of the real 
estate expert, nor was the local climatic condition invented for use in the scenic 
vocabulary of the railroad transportation agent. The Russian river watershed 
from its beginning in the Mendocino mountains to its ending in the sea is a 
vast plain of stored richness, not all of which the plow-share has touched and 
turned into activity. But time and intelligent tillage are widening the cultured 
area and the generous soil responds in plenteous harvests. Tree and vine here 
flower and fruit as successively as the seasons cycle on their orbits. The citrus 
and the grapes of this region are its specialties, the first coming near the open- 
ing of the year and the second when the leaves grow yellow in the forests. Thus 
Cloverdale appears as a winter bride in her orange blossoms and again as a 
russet-robed matron when the vineyard workers are calling blithely on the warm 
slopes. Cloverdale is the central market for fruit, wool, hops and stock of the 
surrounding country, even from Mendocino and Lake counties. Here in this 
mild climate grow oranges, lemons and olives to a high state of perfection and 
the annual Citrus Fair held in Cloverdale is the chief agricultural feature of 
Sonoma county. The exhibits in this institution at the "Citrus Citv" everv \ear 


are equal to the production of Southern California and Florida. Like Sanla 
Rosa. Cloverdale owns her own water system, installed m lyofj at a cost of It has a weekly newspaper. The 'Rez'cillc, published by Clayton T. 
Coffey. Its origin was the ClovcrdaJc Ncics, first issued in 1876. then removed 
to Santa Rosa, where it suspended. The plant was returned to Cloverdale, 
where the publication settled down under its present name. 


In this lilooniy, vine-clad vale is the famous Asti — the name smacks of 
the wine\' slopes of the southern Alps. This is the jjroperty of the Italian- 
Swiss Colony, whose people dress and harvest their splenditl vine^arrls as they 
did on the Mediterranean seaboard. The president is Chevelier l\ C. Rossi, 
a broad minded, cultured man, graduate of the university of Turin, and who 
has made technical and practical grape growing the study of his life. M. Charles 
Jadeau, French e.xpert, with a corps of experienced assistants — no other are em- 
ployed at the colony — under the direct supervision of Mr. Rossi, make the noted 
wines of Asti. It is a beautiful place though English speakers mar the melody 
of the Italian name, as they do that kindred tongue, the Spanish, by pronouncing 
the word with a nasal a and long i. .\nother citizen who has done heavy team 
work for Asti is Chevelier Andrea Sbarboro of San Francisco, secretary of the 
colony. Like Mr. Rossi, he was knighted by the King of Italy in recognition 
of his labors in behalf of fellow Italians in this country. Not only has Mr. 
Sliarboro labored assiduously for this county, but for this state, making ht-r 
grand possibilities known to worthy home seekers across the seas. 

Out of its 1,750 acres of dry wines comes a vintage of about 4.500,000 
gallons of dry wine, one sixth of the 27,000,000 gallons annual dry wine out- 
put of the state. As a storing place for its rich vintages, Asti has the largest 
tun in the world, a mammoth cellar drilled in solid rock, and out of that rock- 
crypt gushes the nectarous Tipo Chianti which has made .Vsti famous far an.l 
near. In this cave-reservoir lined with cement and its wall glazed like marble, 
with a mountain for its roof, five hundred thousand gallons of wine sleep and 
gather richness for the tables of the world, unless the earthquake should fissure its 
floor and drop that ruby flood to mingle with the waters of some deep, sunless 
sea. The subterranean lake is ten times larger than the great tun of Heidelberg, 
long the theme of verse and song along the viney Rhine. From Asti's cavern 
store of the Sonoman vintage 20,000.000 people could at once from goblet-brim 
pour out a libation to the ruddy god of vintners. Hebe, the girl cup-bearer 
of Olympus, could serve Jove through an con of space ore she dip the last red 
drop from this cave of wine — providing, with the gods, the time is not ton short 
between drinks. 

knight'.s valley .\nd w Asmxcmx townshivs. 

In 1853 Thomas Knight arrived in the beautiful uK.untain townshi]) and 
valley that bears his name, and purchased from the Spanish Berryessa family 
their 13,000-acre grant, this being about one-third of the 36,800 acres of the 
entire township. William McDonald seems to have been the first .American 
settler in the region, having preceded Knight about three years. Afterwards 
came Calvin Holmes, the most prominent of the vallex's pioneers. With his 
brother, Henderson P. Holmes, he first settled near Santa Rosa, thence to the 
.sjilendid estate of twenty-five hundred acres in the valley, a portion of the orig- 


inal Rancho de Malacoiiies. Knight's valley nestles among the oak-covered hills 
of the Mayacmas range, its rich plant-promoting soil and rare alpine scenery 
making it an ideal choice of home. And towering above is its great landmark, 
grand sentinel of the coast range — blue peak with the sacred and princely title — 
St. Helena. The principal industries of the township are grain and fruit grow- 
ing and sheep-raising. The CJreat Western Quicksilver mine is in this township 
and in Lake County. Near the fine property of the Holmes estate is the ranch 
and residence of George Hood. The summer resort known as Kellogg is situ- 
ated in the valley, seventeen miles from Healdsburg and seven from Calistoga, 
Napa county. It is the most picturesque place in Scenic Sonoma, the hotel 
being Berryessa's old abode with modern additions. Fossville is a station on the 
road between Kellogg and Calistoga and was named after Clark Foss, the well 
known stage-owner and driver of these mountain grades. The name of Foss 
is so associated with the famous ridge and ravine roads, and with the steaming 
geysers of the vicinity that he with his stage-outfit seem to be a creation of the 
infernal place. Even his remarks to his six "half-broke" horses — the blue sul- 
phuric profanity of the California stage-whip — appear to have been heated in 
the devilish caldrons of that boiling canyon. The Pluton river drops its fresh 
and pure waters down through this plutonic locality, and two forks of Sulphur 
creek — their streams quite un-sulphurous — splash cool and refreshing toward 
the distant Russian. What a choice and fitting collection of names is here, and 
how well the)- play the part. "Crater," "Witches' Caldron," "Proserpine's Crotto," 
"Devil's Machine Shop," "Devil's Canyon," "Devil's Canopy ;" a black sul- 
phur pool called "Devil's Ink;" "Devil's Ch'en," and close by, as it should be, 
the "Devil's Tea Kettle." In fact if Satanus should conclude in propria persona 
to make a summer-stay at the Geysers, he would find the place well furnished, 
and doubtless looking quite home-like. From some of these places issue jets 
of hot water and from others white clouds of steam that gush out of the clefts 
of the rocks with hissing sound. F'or ages these wonders have existed. Down 
in volcanic fires streams of water are heated to the boiling point and the high- 
expansion forces it up into the open. That the chemical works below are in 
activity is shown by the carbonates and salts of magnesia, iron, sulphur, alum, 
soda and other substances washed and boiled from the earth's crust. The ground 
is hot and vibratory under the rush of the uplifting streams. Scattered along the 
canyon are slumberous pools — "baths,'' tliey are called — Indian baths, acid baths, 
soda baths, and the atmosphere is thick enough with the fumes of sulphuretted 
hydrogen to tickle the nasal nerves of the most exacting student in chemistry. 


It is a steann. smelly, druggy place, that Canyon of the Cieyser>. It is a 
garden of metals where iron, copper, sulphur, borax, alum, ammonia grow 
spontaneousl}-, nourished b\ the hot volcanic fumes that seep through the 
soil. In the near vicinity of these malodorous boilers are springs of cold water 
which somehow have run the gauntlet of burning chemical to gush from the 
hills healthful and sweet as the waters Moses struck from the rocks of Rephi- 
dim. Reaching to this place ideal to the tourist and scientist are several roads 
over high ranges and through deep ravines; along the walls of touring peaks 
and the crests of ridges so narrovy that the stage-coach passengers may look 
down on either side over the pine-tree tops into the levels far below. One of 


the grades of this order is the "Hog's Back,"' not a title bristhng with euphony, 
but answering to the description to the letter — as if some mammoth swine 
crossing the valley had suddenly become petrified, or molded into a mountain. 
Up and down and around the sharp turns of this dizzy highway — this thin air- 
way between a cliff and a cloud Foss or Van Arnim used to rush their teams. 
With the lines taut so he could feel the heart of each horse beating up to his 
finger-tips, the charioteer of the aerial plains would pull out for an alpine run. 
Along the way there was to the passenger an ever-present possibility of being 
pitched from the grade into the groves of oak, madrona and manzanita in the 
gorges beneath. "I have all the road I can use." was the general reply of the 
driver to the anxious queries ; and he at least was satisfied if the outside wheels 
did seem to roll on air. 


Only by seeing can the visitor fully appreciate the rare scenic grandeur 
of this region. The famous geysers of the Yellowstone gush amid the sublimity 
of desolation, and Hecla of Islandic solitudes play within the dreary surround- 
ings of frigid latitudes. The geysers of Sonoma spring from their basic cal- 
drons under hills and valleys clad in the beauty of almost eternal verdure. The 
hot sulphurous streams, the steaming caverns in many instances are overgrown 
with trees and shrubs. On the quivering ground of the canyon grows the 
"copa de oro," the golden poppy of California. The phenomenon of the eternal 
intermittent ebb and flow of the seething waters have long been the visitors' 
chief subject of discussion. It is held that the everlasting heat is produced by 
the combination of certain chemicals or mineral substances — as the action of 
water and lime ; but a stronger and more general belief is that these boiling 
springs have a common origin with volcanoes active or dead. The great Ger- 
man chemist. Bunson, of Heidelberg, who has made a special study of geysers 
in all their spouting stages, says: "A crevasse or hole reaching down to sub- 
terranean heat is filled with water, and this becomes hot, exceedingly hot, at 
the lower end of the tube, this decreasing in layers toward the upper end where 
the pressure is less. Anything which disturbs one of these horizontal layers 
will lift it a little higher and relieve the pressure upon it. The water of this 
layer will then be above the boiling point and will burst into steam. The steam 
lifts the whole column, thus relieving pressure on all water below the dis- 
turbance. The steam and water escape from the crevasse, the tube refills, but 
until the new waters are heated for the recurring maneuver the geyser is dor- 
mant. The vent-pipes from the great boilers below will perform their inter- 
mittent functions relieving the old globe from its steam pressure as long as the 
fires flame in its center. The chemicals are thrown up in solution and left by 
the cooling or the evaporation of the water, where they fell. These geysers 
were discovered in April, 1847, by William B. Elliott, the pioneer of Mark 
West creek, near Santa Rosa. With one of his sons he was tracking a bear 
when the hunters observed a huge volume of smoke arising from the can3'on. 
Believing it came from an Indian rancheria, they turned aside to visit the place 
and found the boiling springs, the locality uninhabited except by the bear they 
were seeking. The animal was a full-grown grizzly, and the big fellow put 
up a good fight for his domain. Fight and domain he lost, also his life soon 
after the rifles of the invaders began their deadly work. The Elliotts learned 
that the springs for ages had been used by the Indians as a "health resort." 


Over one jet of steam a rude scaffold of tree-branches liad been constructed. 
and upon this platform the rheumatic, or other afflicted member of the tribe, 
was deposited to be treated as the Great Spirit above, or the underground pow- 
ers of evil, decreed. No mind may fix the day when these safety-valves of the 
globe began their functions, but for unrecorded centuries they have faithfully 
performed their office, relieving the awful pressure below. While the geysers 
live — while "Proserpine's Grotto" remains hot and steamy, while the lid of the 
"Devil's Tea Kettle" is occasionally lifted to let out some of the expanding 
vapor or a few million gallons of the Satanic brew, St. Helena will remain 
a-slumber and only the earthquake will remind the people of the Range that 
Vulcan is yet at his forge down under the hills. 


.\nother scenic freak of this wonderland is the near-by Petrified Forest. 
Petrifaction of vegetable matter Under certain chemical conditions is a simple 
affair whenever Nature conchules to do some "preserving," but this is the 
only instance known where she dried, or canned or put in cold-storage a whole 
grove of full-grown redwood trees. \\"hen she did it. and why she did it. and 
how she did it are three eternal queries hovering over this arboreal cemetery — 
where each one of the dead is its own gravestone. They are big fellows, too, 
not slender saplings easy to handle, change or destroy. No miniature terrestrial 
or atmospheric disturbance threw down those great trunks and embalmed them 
for after ages, and no chance force felled them to lie all in one direction. 
There was method in the geological madness, but — why and how and when? — 
the questions will bubble upward. Some of these huge logs have been exhumed 
from the dry ashy soil — the volcanic output of long ago. Several of the big 
sticks have been broken or cut into equal lengths, as for some prehistoric saw- 
mill — who was that woodman? Had the petrifaction struck him when it found 
his woodyard, that question might be answered. But the dead sequoias lie in 
their everlasting cerements, with heads to the south as they fell when the great 
boreal gale blew through their living boughs. They are the mummies of a 
past vegetable age, and the Russian flowing through its noble valleys is the 
Nile ; and the wondrous fertility of an EgA'pt shows in the newer vegetation 
along its fruitful shores. 

But the noted Petrified Forest near Geyserville does not complete the list 
of Sonoma County's scenic freaks. A short time ago three redwood trees were 
unearthed in the town of Occidental, perfect petrifactions, but much larger 
than the Gevserville fossils, and in fact larger than any petrified trees ever found. 
Their diameters are twenty-three feet, thirteen feet and twelve feet respectively, 
while the largest trunk in the Geyserville grove measures eleven feet. Like the 
other dead sequoia the Occidental trees lie north and south, showing that the 
same mighty force tending in the same direction acted in the same manner on 
these once-growing giant trees. The grain and other markings on the great 
shafts are clearly shown in the stone, and in one of the dead trunks the rotted 
heart was petrified — the natural decay was arrested by the mysterious chemical 
power that turned the wood to stone. The younger redwood trees have grown 
thickly over the dust and debris of the centuries that have passed since the older 
trees were felled and petrified, and this later grove has hidden the fossils till 
this latest day. Oh, the rare wonders of this wonderland ! 



The great earthquake of April 18, 1906. which rocked and wrecked the 
heights and levels of the California coast, wrought an architectural revolution 
in Santa Rosa. It took something like a half-minute to make the change, but 
out of the fallen buildings that crushed their occupants, out of the flames that 
consumed the ruins, arose the new city. San Francisco was a victim of the 
subsequent fire that swept that metropolis with a besom of destruction, and other 
places within the zone of disaster suffered when this portion of the continent 
heaved in the throes of terrestrial agony. Santa Rosa, midway in the belt of 
death lay under the ashes of herself when the pent forces had found release 
and the trembling globe had grown still. The scene of that morning's tragedy 
can never fade and its story can never grow old. Scientists burrowing in the 
tomed wisdom of centuries, or down in the earth "faults" and the cleavage of 
seismic forces, have sought to locate the center of disturbance, and the source 
and course of the waves of oscillation. However, the Santa Rosan who felt the 
universe around him rolling up like a scroll and the streets swing under him as 
the tide flowed and ebbed below, is convinced that the vortex of the jumble, 
the middle-point of the whirl of trouble was just where he stood. It was a 
calm April morning when the air hung soft and sweet between the solemn sky 
and the solid earth, — a California spring-dawn when nature is in the last rest- 
ful moments of night-shmiber and dreams are rounding to their finish. Little 
shudderings passed through the atmosphere and through the ground as the sen- 
sitive, subtle ether l^ecame responsive to premonitions of a disturbing element. 
Then followed the heavy shock, and the grinding crash as the planet crust lifted, 
buckled and broke — as the opening notes of that hellish dies irae burst on the 

Twent>-eight seconds is said to have been the duration of that awful act, 
and this was succeeded by a numbing silence that fell over and around the 
pitiful wrecks. The tumbled roadway and the shattered walls gave off a thick 
dust-cloud which for a moment veiled the ruin, but as this passed into the upper 
airspaces, the perfect work of the earthquake was shown. The business portion 
of the city — almost every building, not constructed of wood — lay a melancholy 
heap on the ground, and the few not completely destroyed, were more or less 
damaged. One structure, formerly built and occupied as a Hall of County 
Records, now the Savings Bank of Santa Rosa, stood fast within that storm- 
center while its neighbors fell against it. The second Hall, then occupied by 
the County Recorder, dropped like a card-house. There was a general falling 
of chimneys and cracking of plaster throughout the city and in the residence 
portion many old frame buildings were shattered. The deaths — and the cases 
of serious injury, occurred in the hotels and rooming-houses of the brick section, 
where the victims were crushed in their beds. That early hour — 5:13 — found 
the stores, offices and other public places empty, else the death roll would have 


gune high up in the him(heds. Tlie exterior of a new stone Masonic Temple 
had been completed and when the wrecking wave had passed an imposing pile 
of ruins lay on its dedicated corner-stone. The big brick Athenaeum Building — 
theater above, postoffice below — ^was scattered around the block. Tragedy in- 
deed would have been staged there had Death found another hour for his appear- 
ance. But he faced an empty house. The three floors of the new St. Rose 
Hotel flattened down into one like an accordion after its melody and life has 
departed. The fire did not reach the wreck and the sleepers who never awoke 
were removed for burial. The large Occidental hotel mingled its remains with 
those of the adjoining buildings. Ex-Councilman Michael McDonough. the 
landlord of the Grand Hotel, was shaken out of his apartments in the hotel 
on that eventful morning. His piano went with him, the two survivors landing 
on the sidewalk very much damaged — very much jangled and out of tune. After 
the dust had blown away Mike was revealed, patriotically and modestly draped 
with the national ensign, sitting on the wreck of the instrument — like the Roman, 
Marius, on the ruins of Carthage. The Grand did not arise phoenix-wise as 
did its charred neighbors. That piano when it came tumbling down to the base- 
ment, its breaking- harp-strings discordant in the agony of dissolution, twanged 
its own dirge. 


The great dome of the county courthouse rolled from its high estate shat- 
tering every floor and apartment of the building in its downward path. Themis, 
goddess of justice, dropped from her roof-pedestal and lay prone on the pave- 
ment, her sword and scale broken beyond repair. Her recall had been complete. 
The county jail was slightly damaged, and the prisoners in their steel cells were 
the only inhabitants in the city who were immune during that dangerous half- 
minute. When the Odd Fellows" brick hall fell it stopped that issue of the 
Press Democrat which was on the press in the basement, also the pressman 
who was operating it. He was found on the sidewalk, with one of the small 
boy-carriers, where the wrecked walls had crushed them. After the fire had 
gone through the plants of the Press Democrat and Evening Republican, turn- 
ing them into picturesque piles of scorched iron, the editors of these journals, 
E. L. Finley and A. B. Lemmon, pooled their respective issues — not their papers, 
nor their capital. These assets were in the junk and ashes of the "once w^ere." 
Sweet's Business College, a wooden building out of the swath of fire, escaped, 
and in its equipment is a small printing outfit. Professor James S. Sweet im- 
mediately placed this at the service of the printers and the stranded news men 
went to work. The morning journal force used the night for operation, and the 
evening paper the dav — each publication about the dimensions of an infantile 
pocket-handkerchief. Having a rich harvest of real, live news at hand, and a 
small square of space in which to print it, •'brevity," perforce, was the office- 
motto, consequently the daily issues were gems of the journalistic art. Shortly 
a small house was erected, press and type borrowed from members of the craft 
in neighboring towns, and the dual publication began to grow. The first to 
recover, re-stock and resume business from new permanent locations were 
these newspaper people. They now occupy large buildings on Fifth street, 
directly opposite each odier. from which their dailies are issued. The>- have 
furnished their quarters with expensive, modern machinery, and have the most 


complete printing plants in this portion of the State. These purchases came 
exceedingly "high" to the burned-out printers, but they had to have them— and 
they have them. 

Bv a dispensation of the powers that govern earthquakes or the construction 
of strong buildings, the walls of the fire engine house were not much damaged 
nor the horses within injured. The two fine steamers were dragged out over 
the piles of bricks before the flames reached and consumed the building, and 
there machines were soon working on the burning blocks. Sebastopol had lately 
purchased a steamer, and on a flatcdr this was rushed to Santa Rosa, where it 
received its first baptism of fire in the flame-swept streets of that stricken city. 
For days the two departments under the direction of Fire Chief Frank Muther 
worked among the wrecked buildings saving much damaged and undamaged 
property. A man caught under a fallen wall — finally rescued before the wreck- 
age was burned — said that as he lay cramped and bound, choking with the plaster- 
dust that filled his dark place, he "did not lose heart," for he heard the engines 
playing on the flames that were drawing near him, and he knew "the boys" 
would win. And when the cool, refreshing water began to trickle down through 
the heated mass that enclosed him, he knew they were winning. In the steady 
throb of the machine was the pulse of life beating, beating, and the rhythm of 
the stroke sang of hope that lives even in the presence of death. 


The local guard, Company E, and Company C, of Petaluma, Fifth Infantry 
Regiment, N. G. C, joined forces, and patrolling the streets, gave the desolate 
scene a warlike appearance. By order of Mayor John P. Overton, the saloons 
were closed and for several weeks the town went '"dry.'' It is said, in conse- 
quence of this, many workmen saved more money than ever before. A squad 
of sailors with their ofificers, one of whom was a surgeon, sent from Mare Island 
Navy Yard, did good work clearing away the ruins and recovering the bodies 
of the dead. All the stores being destroyed, the question of food early menaced 
even those who were not homeless. Measures were immediately taken to re- 
lieve the destitute, from the carloads of food and clothing sent to the stricken 
city. Out of the mighty flood of dollars that rolled into California from a gen- 
erous world, Santa Rosa received approximately $40,000, all of which were 
judiciously and freely distributed. Even medical treatment was provided for 
many persons injured. About ninety persons were killed in the falling buildings. 
The debris was raked off the rails of the electric road on Fourth street, and 
this "hooked" on to the track of the Northwestern Pacific, both systems being 
of same gauge, and trains of flatcars of the two lines were run among the 
ruins. Then everybody worked — even "father." Labor and its logical supply 
were inexhaustible. All hands, virtually, were out of a job, :md broke. It was 
more practical and more philosophical to shovel brickbats and ashes on to a 
platform car, than to stand around sadly contemplating the ruin of office and shop. 
The storekeeper with no store to keep kept his soft hands blistered dragging 
metal beams, plates and gaspipes out of piles of wreckage. Machinists with 
no machine in sight except the engine that was hauling the dirt-train, picked and 
shoveled to the manner born. Youthful attorneys with no cases before the 
court until the insurance companies began to "welch" on the fire losses, took 
a summer-school course in railroad construction and the m"ethod of filling in 


grade-cuts with train-loads of debris from burnt cities. Manual lalmr was the 
only recognized profession, and by this Santa Rosa was preparing to rise phoe- 
nix-like to another life. But in that day of gloom there was heard no complaint. 
There was no resj>onsive audience for a complaint. 


"We are all 'busted' together,'' cheerily called the erstwhile business man 
over the ashes of his "business," to his neighbor and brother in misfortune. 
The wizard. Fashion, will drape a malformation into lines of exquisite beauty. 
It was the fashion here to be "broke," but philosophy, not vanity, made it so. 
The man who comforted in the knowledge that he was just as hard-up as the 
other fellow, was a philosopher. And, the earth was still there — a little worse 
for the wear and tear of that April A. M. when the clocks struck the hour of 
disaster — and the builder commenced to build anew. Building began when the 
Creator laid the corner-stone of the Universe, set the foundations of the land 
and stayed the proud waves of the sea. From star-dust the stellar-systems build 
themselves, and with its dead-body the coral rears from the dark ocean-floor 
to the sunlit surface, where the small architect of a continent rests from his 
labors Then man takes up the work of his late fellow-insect, and builds on. 
No one can tell how long the coral was on the job, but man is staying with his 
lap of it, and his end is not yet. Foundations of cities so old that they do not 
seem to have had a youth, and so dead that they do not seem to have lived, 
exhumed, uncover successive foundations below. Pavement under pavement 
marking the building planes of each municipality, the architectural record goes 
down to the primal substructure, to the handiwork of the pioneer builder toil- 
ing in the purple dawn of time. It takes one's breath away to think how long 
ago that was. but evidently he was there piling up stones for a house to live 
in. True, Babel was not a success in the building line ; the Tower which was 
to be a step-ladder to the sky, grew into the clouds and the workmen on the 
upper story could not communicate with those at the base. Forty centuries 
later they could have used the telephone or wireless, and saved the world the 
labor of learning more than one language. 

Soon as the burnt district was cool enough to handle, the indefatigable 
merchant was digging among the ruins for property perchance not in ashes, 
stock for a new store. These stores were pitifully primitive. 'Twas harking 
back to earlier times. Old buildings long relegated to vacancy and back- 
streets, were rejuvenated and reoccupied, and again became part of the com- 
mercial world. Lumber from the yards, which were without the fire-zone, went 
into small frame houses — mere shacks — and into business. The indomitable 
desire to "put up a good front," and be cheerful about it. was abroad. The old 
spirit of "Let brotherly love continue," permeated every nook and corner of 
the jumbled-up town. The two or three dealers whose stocks-in-trade had not 
been lifted into the great smoke cloud, sold down to the last ounce of food 
commodity on their shelves, at the old prices and on any terms suiting the 
sufferer, and never an advantage was taken of the purchaser. There has been 
recorded no act of selfishness, no act of lawlessness, and not an act discrediting 
Santa Rosa during those trving days. Her people stood together. 



Then another Santa Rosa grew — sprang up in the night of the former city's 
Jesolation. The master builders — Industry and Energ>^ — wrought in the dark- 
ness and the morning saw the new rising far above the place of the old. Con- 
crete walls, that will crystalize into the density of granite, through which runs 
a warp of steel, have been molded into graceful form. Within these is woven 
a fabric of metal, reinforcing and binding the mural structures into solid mass. 
Steel columns, beams and girders tie the entire building to itself, and to its 
concrete foundations. Nothing ha.- gone into the construction of these houses 
that is not riveted down — down to the planet below them. Their builders built 
for the future — and the earthquake, and so, in the limestone, clay and iron, 
this old globe is made to provide against her own disastrous vagaries. Behind 
the of .these walls was another metal that came at the call of the 
master-builders, and it gathered, and amalgamated, and reassembled its kindred 
elements into one, and this combination created the New Santa Rosa. As a 
substitute for the three or four millions lost in that dreadful day, as many new 
millions of dollars have been poured into the empty sites. The supervisors 
of Sonoma county solved their problem of restoration, in the splendid new edi- 
fice that stands on the place of the old. Their first session was held under a 
tree in the plaza shortly after the ground was still enough to stand on, and no 
time was lost at that meeting. A rough board structure for immediate occu- 
pancy and a bond issue of $280,000 were ordered as a starter. The courthouse, 
restored, including its rich furnishings, will go over the half million dollar mark, 
but it is built for all time and the earthquake. From solid concrete foundation 
reinforced with metal, so firm that every square inch of that bed will support 
two tons of dead weight, to walls of same concrete riveted to their base and 
bound in bands of triple steel, this house will stand, and when it falls there will 
be none here to rebuild it. Even the artistic finish of the interior was placed 
there to stay. The marble stairways panelled with rare Mexican onyx, corri- 
dor and chamber lined with marble and scagliola, are not to be shaken from 
their settings. And the dome — crowning glory of that noble temple — lifts its 
mass of glass and bronze ninety feet above the pavement, and its rectangular 
body sixty-five feet long and forty-four feet wide, is so arranged that waves of 
sunshine — the pure gold of Sonoma's long summertime — will flow into her in- 
comparable capitol all day long. Under this, laid in the stone floor is the Banner 
of the Bear — red lone star in right dexter point, grizzly pedant at fesse, legend 
"Republic of California" at nombril. and red flannel band along the base. This 
in heraldry is the .State Flag, a knightly ensign with no bar sinister across its 
argent field. It waved over the plaza of Sonoma from June 14 to July 9, 1846 — 
the briefest life of any flag known, but during that period, and under its folds 
a Commonwealth was born. On the marble wall of the entrance to the great 
building are the names of the supervisors, the builders, — Chairman Herbert Aus- 
tin. Blair Hart, G. J. Armstrong, Lyman Green, J. A. McMinn, C. J. Patte- 
son, I. J. Button. Wm. King. Fred I., ^^'right. clerk of the Board, and T- W. 
Dolliver, architect. 

On the night of .Xjiril 17 the lately-elected ma)or and council were ushered 
into office, taking the usual official oath to labor for common good and for the 
advancement of the municipality. Like all inaugural occasions it was rather a 


period of relaxation alter the laJjur of their late campaign, and of self-congrat- 
ulation on their political and civic advancement. Ofificiai duties would begin 
on tJie tomorrow — onl)- seven hours away — let it bring its own cares.. It did. 
When the tomorrow came it landed with a jar that turned the new ofificials out 
of their beds to find their city on the crest of a tidal wave that arose and fell 
in its gigantic heave, rocking the old hills on their bases, and the dust-foam of 
its violence was mantling the sky. It turned them out to face ruin and death 
and the attendant ills of these twin-agents of desolation, for many weary months. 
And well they kept their oath of office. While San Francisco was yet sadly 
contemplating her piles of brick and stone, Santa Rosa was building anew. 
Carefully and skilfully has she been raised from the wreck of April 18, 1906, 
and Sonoma's county-seat stands todav — April 18, 191 1 — physically and civicly 
as secure as human ingenuity can make her. 



To pass from Sonoma, her wondrous fertility and her plant-life, to Luther 
Burbank is only a step, the mere advancing of a thought. Each humble veg- 
etable growth, each brilliant, queenly flower of this soil is of the kingdom of 
Santa Rosa's famous planter. It may be that the plant is growing as God bade 
it grow far back in the Third Day of Creation, but another day Burbank may 
stretch forth his hand, touch its life and bid it grow into another form, its 
petals glow in another tint. They call him "wizard" — which title he resents, 
calling himself only a student who has gone to school in a flower-garden. Luther 
Burbank will have no reference to magic, no association to wand-waving or the 
exorcism of genii applied to his work. As a common laborer in the field he has 
sought and found the secret of herb-life. There is nothing mystical in these 
fruit and flower achievements of which the world has heard, but after all, 
"Wizard" may not be an unfitting title for the man who has formed a new 
fruit for the tree and tinted the flower anew. "I only strive to intelligently 
follow natural laws and learn the secrets of the growing plant," says Mr. Bur- 
bank, and thus he has won for himself, and the world shares in his victory. 
Nothing that can be written here of this man may be offered as news. All 
lands know of him, and for years all civilized nations have hastened to do him 
honor. Naturally seedmen, florists, nurserymen, botanists and biologists were 
the first to see and appreciate the imjiortance of the work that Burbank was 
doing. It soon came to be no unusual thing for a noted botanist from Sweden 
or France to arrive one day to see Mr Burbank, followed next day by a repre- 
sentative of the Emperor of Japan, tnen by a commissioner from the Czar of 
Russia, and the next day by a company of distinguished German savants. The 
late Cecil Rhodes was thoroughly familiar with Mr. Burbank's work, and gave 
standing orders to the superintendent of his immense South African farms that 
he should procure each and every new creation that Mr. Burbank should offer, 
no matter what the cost. 

Unique as well as wonderful are the things this man frequently does among 
his plant-plots. It is an old (color) gag that a blackberry is green when 
it is red — red when it is green — green and red when it is black, but Burbank 
has made the blackberry white. It took years and sixty-live thousand hybrid 
vines to dim the jetty tintings of nearly fifty-five centuries, but one at last 
produced the white berry. The pineapple — exotic of the tropic jungle — he has 
crossed the zones into the northern quince, and now the new pineapple-quince 
gives promise of being the chief jelly-fruit of the orchard. One would imagine 
that the rose — the empress of flowers, Flora in all her royal grandeur — is in- 
capable of change or re-creation, but the young Burbank Rose rivals her older sis- 
ters l)orn when Eden burst into bloom. She will blossom when the plant is in tiny 
infancv, and if the days are not too cold will flower all the year around. She 


is the first out of winter-quarters, is rose-pink in color shading from the center, 
is three inches in diameter, and was hardly out of her nursery till she won a 
gold medal — St. Louis Fair, 1904. He has given our dahlia the only feature 
long required to complete her list of perfections — a perfume, and the verbena 
under his tutelage exhales the odor of the trailing arbutus : while the scentless 
calla lily gives ofif the rare fragrance of the Parma violet. In the mountains 
of Bulgaria about two-and-one-half acres of red roses will yield each season 
an average of 6,600 pounds of petals from which is extracted 2.2 pounds of rose 
attar. This sells in the English market for a price equal to $7 or $8 an ounce. 
The United States consumes about $8,000,000 worth of perfumes yearly, and 
when our florists are breeding and harvesting the native flowers for the volatile 
oils in which they hold their rare, sweet fragrance, we will have no further use 
for the odors of Araby the Blest. 


Luther Burbank was born in the year 1849 ^t Lancaster, Mass., and from 
earliest childhood evinced a passionate love for flowers and all forms of plant- 
life — the beginning of an occupation that was to make him world-known, li 
poverty be the nurse and incentive of genius, this boy was well equipped for 
after-fame, for all his earlier years his was the soul-wearing struggle to make 
both ends meet. Even after he had added the Burbank potato to the food-supply 
of the world, adding to the wealth of this nation an estimated increase of twenty 
millions of dollars (Burbank received $150 for the new plant), and had left 
Massachusetts, the home of culture and poverty, he found existence still a diffi- 
cult problem. Among the Marin county hills he landed, an argonaut of 1875, 
but there was no golden fleece awaiting him. As a laborer for his daily wage 
he sought among the dairies and small ranches for employment. Thirty-five 
years ago in California the fruit trees were not covering the land as now and 
this twenty-five-year old stranger, not physically strong, a nurseryman, found 
it hard to get a job. But industry and economy — a pair of winners in any game 
— brought him a patch of Sonoma county soil under a patch of Sonoma climate, 
and a new force entered the plant world, and a new name was seen in the realm 
of science. Not the name of a discoverer of a new luxury, as a new life-destroy- 
ing compound advertised to make war more speedy and deadly, not the name 
of one who has made it possible for the human voice to be heard across a con- 
tinent, nor the name of one who has made it possible to fly in the air or swim 
under the sea; but of the man who has learned how the fruits of the earth blos- 
som and ripen for humanity. And net only is that man repairing the deterior- 
ation of time, but he is leading the plant into greater and higher results. It is 
no wonder the savants journey far to see the one they call the "Master of Horti- 
culture" in his own kingdom, nor is it any wonder that national senates arise 
to their feet when his name is spoken. And yet, working among his flowers 
and committing no other offense than disturbing some honey-hunting bee that 
has its own ancient ideas and methods of pollenization, Burbank has stirred up 
a swarm of hybrid critics, — wasps to buzz viciously around the experimental 
grounds. Occasionally a United States government agricultural expert from 
behind his roller-top desk fires an "opinion" on the work of this quiet laborer 
toiling among his millions of plants in Santa Rosa ; and to vary the class of 
criticism, occasionall\- an American citizen publishes adverse views to those held 



by the eminent horticulturist, as instanced by the report several years ago of a 
number of Pasadena truck-gardeners, who probably could not see that Mr. 
Burbank was improving the market-value of carrots and cabbages. Let it be 
remembered that it is only in his own country that Luther Burbank's fame is 
less ; foreign government officials have never dishonored him. But it is the 
unanimous verdict of horticulturists and biologists all the world over that he 
has added more to the number of useful plants than any other man who has 
lived, and that his experiments will benefit the world in all years to come, 
more than those of any other student of plant life. He has already added many 
millions of dollars to the wealth of the country in the increased value of its fruit 
and its vegetable and floral products. This benefit is of course increasing as his 
plants are more widely known. It takes a long time to produce, mature, test, 
propagate and introduce the increase of a single plant until people near and far 
can share its benefits. So the harvest of the good that Luther Burbank has 
done may be said scarcely to have begun, but even now it is amazing. 


The work of plant hybridization is a mystery to many people. This brief 
statement of how it is accomplished may therefore be of interest: Mr. Burbank 
gathers a supply of anthers from the desired parent plant the day before the 
work of hybridization is to be done, and carefully dries them. When the anthers 
are dried he secures from them the fructifying pollen powder by shaking the 
anthers over a watch-crystal until it is covered. The blossoms of the seed par- 
ent that is to receive the pollen have previously been prepared by removing the 
anthers, leaving the pistils exposed but uninjured by the operation. Then the 
pollen is applied to these pistils, and the fructifying agency begins at once its 
journey to the ovule. 

The seeds resulting from this hybridized flower are of course gathered with 
great care, and the closest watch kept upon them after they are planted. The 
little seedling may give signs of its combined parentage, or may disclose the fact 
that it has drawn up something from the profound depths of the converging 
streams of remote ancestry. These cross-bred plants are again cross-bred, and 
the result noted carefully, and the same process repeated until the desired suc- 
cess is obtained. Sometimes thousands of specimens have to be destroyed, 
yielding no results. It is estimated that within the past fifteen years Mr. Bur- 
bank has conducted fully one million experiments. The result of these is about 
one hundred and fifty new creations which he has deemed worthy of preserva- 
tion- — each of them better in some way than anything nf its l<ind that had pre- 
viously existed. All the rest have been destroyed. 


It is not the purpose to give here a list of the new plant changes, the 
new fruits and flowers Luther Burbank has created and given to mankind. 
The list is known, not only to the students in the science of which he is recog- 
nized as its greatest living exponent, but to the world at large. He has crossed 
the small dewberry and raspberry and the result is a new berry three and four 
inches in circumference, growing in clusters of a round dozen, sugared to a 
high jam and jelly sweetness and will fruit in a high latitude. The small, 
hard-shell English walnut has been changed to a soft-shell, large as a hen- 


egg, and even the wood of the tree has been improved for fine cabinet work, 
as well as its growth shortened to ten years, fully half of the time required 
for other walnut trees. Prunes and plums and vegetables have been changed 
and recreated, like the flowers, and these hundreds of new-forms have been 
given to the public. Sometimes Mr. Burbank takes a little recreation — a little 
recreation in a re-creation, and does a — well, funny things. As every Californian 
knows, the yellow poppy, the flower of the state, whose coming in early summer 
covers the California hills and valleys in a mantle of gold, resents handling 
or domestication. Blonde Eschscholtzia, born of the western plains, with the 
western showers in her green leaves, and the western suns in her golden 
chalice, boldly flaunts her vivid color in the face of "culture." However, Bur- 
bank — the only human being she has any reason to respect or fear — one day 
caught her showing a faint trace of crimson on one of her yellow petals. "Let 
us see if we can vary the color of Miss Poppy's gown," soliloquized the Flower 
Wizard. "I think she would look well in red." Then, instantly he removed 
the subject from her companions — he didn't want any sisterly interference 
from other poppies — and he watched that transplanted flower with jealous 
care. Its seeds were planted, and here and there on the petals of the new 
flowers was the red stain slightly widened. Poppy was getting a new dress. 
The newer seeds were planted and the Wizard watched. Nothing intruded 
there — no trespassers allowed — keep ofT the grass. Even a bee, perchance 
with foreign pollen on his legs, was told that he was not wanted there. When 
the new flowers took their places in the "show" many thousands of the great 
exhibition were as golden as when Mother Nature first bade them grow, and 
they nodded their yellow* heads in saucy defiance to the Wizard who was trying 
to change the old, old fashion of flowers, especially of poppies, w-hich had ever 
been true to ancestral life. But they noted among the blonde poppies many 
whose dresses were more red than yellow, and that startled and angered them. 
Some of the floral sisterhood were growing frivolous and changeable. Pro- 
fessor Eschscholtz had not interfered with their color or habits, but had only 
given them a name ; and this Mr. Burbank was changing their very looks so that 
when they returned to their native hills their own family wouldn't know them. 
But the reddening process went on for eight years. Poppy fought hard for 
her old habits, old colors, old clothes, but she was only matter, and mind was 
bending her to its purpose. In every succeeding generation she appeared redder 
and redder. Poor Poppy. Whenever a flower showed yellow — the loyal yel- 
low, the Wizard instantly removed her, and only poppies with the hybrid tint 
were permitted to grow there. She was thrown in contact with other poppies — 
"Papavers" — one the Wizard called "Papaver Somniferum" (the opium poppy), 
and the odor from this white cousin made her sleepy. The Wizard was work- 
ing year by year with these other poppies, too, and changing them to a variety 
of forms and colors. In fact it seemed to Poppy that he could do anything he 
pleased with a flower ; could enlarge it as the Shasta Daisy : tint it at will as 
with a prism one resolves the solar white light into its seven primary colors. 
So Poppy shed her gold and became a bloom of deep lustrous red. Then the 
wrathv Californians protested against the act that lost the golden state her 
golden flower. \Miat next would this indefatigable man of magic do? Dim 
the goldt-n California sunshine and change the long golden summers to the 


leaden hue of an eastern season. — and ruin the stock-argument of the raih-oad 
transportation agent; or turn twenty dollar pieces into base-metal and wreck 
the financial-foundation of the commonwealth. But Mr. Burbank smiled and 
looked out on the hillsides where the yellow floral mantle \et waves like the 
mighty oriflamme of a marching host, and said. "Peace! I have left them 
there, just as Eschscholtz left them.'" And the enchanted Poppy, her cup 
emptied of its native gold and filled with the red blood of wizardry, is fated 
to be an e.xile, a pampered pet in the gardens of culture. Nevermore will she 
race a fioral-hoiden with the wild, yellow-sisterhood in mad flight over the 
California plains, when Flora calls her maidens into flower. 


Burbank's most astounding achievement and the one most fraught with 
importance, is his spineless cactus. It is the estimate of eminent scientific 
authorities that the waste places of the world — the great deserts of Sahara and 
Obi, and the lesser ones of Nevada, Southern California and Arizona — may be 
planted to this cactus, and made to yield sufficient food to sustain four times 
the present population of the world. This statement will have little meaning 
to the reader who has not seen a desert ; and the reader who knows what a 
desert is will have to think several minutes to grasp the immensity of the state- 
ment. The world's waste places, that now produce nothing, made to yield four 
times enough food for all the world's population! 

Burbank made this cactus by crossing the giant prickly pear of the Amer- 
ican desert with a small, spineless cactus sent to him from Central America. 
The little cactus bore a very small fruit of fine flavor: the large one bristled 
with spines long and sharp as needles. The cross has no thorns, but bears a 
delicious fruit larger than an apple. Not onl\ the fruit is edible, but the stems 
and leaves. One robust plant produces more than a quarter of a ton of food 
for either man or beast. The desert land of the globe is estimated to be 2,700,- 
000,000 acres, an area larger than the United States including the insular pos- 
sessions by 6,000 miles. The semi-arable lands of the globe are estimated at 
9,000,000,000 square miles additional. Practically, all of this, as well as the 
desert lands, save with little exception, may, with the spineless cactus, be 
reclaimed for food. The fertile acres of this planet — 16,000,000,000 of them — 
will of course produce more and with greater rapidity than the desert lands. 
The population of the globe is estimated at something like 1,500,000,000, and 
Air. Burbank holds that this "may be doubled and yet, in the immediate food 
nf tiie cactus plant itself and in the food animals which may be raised upon it, 
there would still be enough food for all. " 

In several countries there arc certain i<intls of cactus having few or no 
thorns, and these when considered edible are used for food. Even where there 
arc no thorns, the woody fibrous skeletons of the leaves make them more or less 
indigestible. These overcome, the development of the fruit and leaves for food 
for man and beast must be accomplished. Mr. liurhank has worked among 
these lines, and breeding in the good and out the bad, rather than seeking to 
create a wholly new plant. In one sense, the cactus he has produced is new 
because it possesses excellencies, devoid of obnoxious elements, found in no 
iither cactus. From the five genera of the jilani cnnmidn in this countr\- he 
went to work, seeding and crossing for years lo break up lor all time the habits 


of millions of years. It was discouraging. The "prickly pear" is not a modest 
little violet ready for floral-matrimony, nor a "primrose on the river-brim." 
It is a tough proposition wherever found, and Mr. Burbank's subjects for civili- 
zation not only refused to be improved and made nice, gentle, stickerless plants, 
but in many cases grew more thorny and more worthless than before. When 
Mr. Burbank thought he had a line, promising young cactus well on the road 
to a spineless career, and he planted its seeds for further culture, up would 
sprout a new plant that fairly bristled with seines and thorns — reverting to 
an original type resembhng a mad porcupine. But those showing change and 
improvement were selected and the fight went on. The systematic hybridiza- 
tion and selection began to win and after ten years' struggle a great cactus 
eight feet in height, its big fruit-bearing thalli or leaves without a thorn or 
spicule showing, was growing in the grounds — the heretofore invincible ]) 
of -the lifeless desert won by science to the uses of its conqueror, man. 


The fruit of the new cactus is about two and a quarter inches wide by 
three and a half inches long. Color is yellow, and it is delicious to the taste. 
Like any food first eaten, its flavor is diiTerent. To some it tastes like a peach, to 
others a melon, a pineapple, a blackberry. It may be eaten fresh, cooked or 
preserved. The leaves have an attractive flavor when cooked, and may be 
cooked in many wa}S, or may be preserved as melon or ginger rinds are so 
handled. The new cactus, when it is finished and ready for its life-work — 
the work it will do all down the coming countless ages — will not be raised to 
sell. It will be free for the billions of acres lying waste and useless on the 
surface of the globe. So this tireless man seeking subjects for his life-labor 
has gone down into the desert where nothing grows but the cactus, the pariah 
of the vegetable kingdom: the plant that covers its leaves with deadly barbs 
fearing that some starving creature will find a morsel of food thereon ; a tree 
preserving an eternal hostility to all living things except to the rattlesnake or 
scorpion within its shade — if it ever casts a shade in its hellish habitat. There 
he has attacked this stubborn, ureconcilable thing, — stripped the coat of spikes 
from its bod>', taught it to produce edible fruit for beast,- — in fact he has broken 
up the habits of billions of seasons and set it in the ways of usefulness. Any 
man with a few feet of earth in some village-home, or with a garden in the 
country, or with farms which have lost their fertility, or with large areas of 
desert or mountain lands, may become a sharer in the fruits of this act. For 
here, as in all he has ever done, the supreme purpose of his life looms up, 
colossal in its contrast with the mean selfishness of man. All his work is for 
humanity. If he can produce or improve a fruit or flower that will benefit 
or brighten the life of his fellow, he is satisfied. He only wants the world to be 
better for his having lived in it. Yet to many of his own countrymen Burbank 
is unknown,- — though this may not be to his injury. In a distant part of this 
state, the progressive real estate dealers proclaim that he lives in their neigh- 
borhood, and not a few accept the statement. In Europe, Asia, Africa, and in 
the Antipodes, whence they send scientists to learn of this man his wonderful 
methods, they know. In the far empires where shotted guns frown across the 
frontiers and where the genius of man is bent to the preparation of more direct 
means of destruction, they know. In the famine-blighted plains where human- 


it\- starves and dies till the only pruduct of their fields is a harvest ut the dead, 
thev know. In the new places newly mapped for immigration and civilization, 
they know of the laborer among his plants on the rim of the western hemi- 
sphere striving to assist the weary, old world to provide food for its fifteen 
hundred millions inhabitants. When the industrious explorers of the United 
States Government were scouring the desert places of the earth in search of a 
thornless cactus which they thought might be introduced into the arid regions 
of America, and finding at last in Algeria a jjrickly pear almost spineless, Bur- 
bank had been for years cultivating tens of thousands of cacti upon his grounds 
in Santa Rosa, L\ S. ; thousands of 'them at that very time practically thorn- 
less and spiculeless, and all moving forward under his direction to produce a 
plant that should have for all time only the diings desired. Hugo de Vries, 
the eminent Dutch botanist, who visited Burbank in 1904, said of him: 

■'The flowers and fruits of California are less wonderful than the flowers 
and fruits that Mr. Burbank has made. He is a great and unique genius. The 
desire to see what he has done was the chief motive of my coming to America. 
He has carried on the breeding and selection of plants to definite ends. Such 
a knowledge of Nature and such ability to handle plant-life would be possible 
only to one possessing genius of a high order." 


David Starr Jordan, president of Leland Stanford University, adds this, 
tribute to the laurels that have come to Santa Rosa's honored citizen: "In 
his field of the application of our knowledge of heredity, selection and crossing 
to the development of plants, he stands uniciue in the world. No one else, 
whatever his appliances, has done as much as Burbank, or disclosed as much 
of the laws governing these phenomena. He has worked for years alone, not 
understood and not appreciated, at a constant financial loss, and for this reason, — 
that his instincts and purposes are essentially those of a scientific man, not of a 
nurseryman, nor even of a horticulturist. To have tried fewer experiments 
and all of a kind hkely to prove economicall\ valuable, and finally to have 
exploited these as a nurseryman, would have brought him more money. In 
his own way, Luther Burbank belongs in the class of Faraday and the long 
array of self-taught great men who lived while the universities were spending 
their strength in fine points of grammar and hazy conceptions of philosophy. 
His work is already an inspiration to botanists as well as horticulturists, and 
his methods are yielding rich results in the hands of others. Scientific men 
belong to many classes ; some observe, some compare, some think, and some 
carry knowledge into action. There is need for all kinds and a place for all. 
With a broader opportunity, Burbank could have done a greater variety of 
things and touched life at more points ; but at the same time, he would have 
lost something of his simple intensity and fine delicacy to touch, — things which 
the schools do not always give and which too much contact with men some- 
times take away. 

"Great men are usually men of simple, direct sincerity of character. These 
marks are found in Burbank. As sweet, straightforward, and as unspoiled as 
a child, always interetsed in the Phenomena of Nature, and never seeking fame 
or money or anything else for himself. If his place is outside the temple of 
science, there are not manv who will be found fit to enter. 


"All that Luther J'iurl)ank has received, — ohservation of the keenest type, 
imstirpassed intuition, knowledge, understanding, scientific attainment, in a 
word, genius of the highest order for the interpretation of the work to which 
he has devoted his life, — he has accepted as a sacred trust, not to be dissipated 
but to be administered with unswerving fidelity to the common interests of 

Elbert Hubbard in his inimical way thus gives his impression of Luther 
Burbank at close range : 

"I saw Burbank in his garden there at Santa Rosa. A man with iron gra} 
hair, furrowed face of tan, blue eyes, that would be weary and sad were it not 
for the smiling mouth, whose corners do not turn down. A gentle gentleman, low 
voiced, quiet, kindly, with a willing heart of love. On Broadway no one would 
see him, and on Fifth avenue no one would turn and look. His form is slender, 
and smart folks, sudden and quick at conclusion, might glance at the slender 
form and say the man is sickly. But the discerning behold that he is the type 
that lives long, because he lives well. His is the strength of the silken cord that 
bound the god Thor when all the chains broke. He is always at work, always 
busy, always thinking, planning, doing, dissatisfied with the past, facing the 
East with eager hope. He is curious as a child, sensitive as a girl in love, 
strong as a man, persistent as gravitation and gifted like a god. 

"His hands are sinewy and strong — the hands of a sculptor. His clothes 
are easy and inexpensive. Children would go to him instinctively. Women 
would trust him. 

"Luther Burbank was born in Massachusetts, and those prime virtues of 
New England, industry and economy, are his in rare degree. 

"Henry Thoreau said : 'The character of Jesus was essentially feminine.' 
That is to say, the love that could embrace a world was motlier-love. carried 
one step further. The same could truthfully be said of Luther Burbank. 

"Much has been written in an exaggerated way of Burbank's achieve- 
ments, but the fact is his genius is of a kind in which we can all share, and 
is not difificult to comprehend. 

"Genius in his case is a great capacity for hard work. -Fused with this 
capacity is great love, great delicacy, great persistency. Among scientists 
there is almost as much bigotry and dogmatism as there is among theologians. 
There is canned science as well as canned religion. In truth, most so-called 
scientists are teachers of text-books — purveyors in canned goods. 

"The most beautiful words I heard him utter were these: T do not know.' 
He makes no effort to explain things he does not understand. He lives out his 
life in the light. 

" 'The land that produces beautiful flowers and luscious fruits will also 
produce noble men and women," said Aristotle. Also in producing beautiful 
flowers and luscious fruits, men and women become noble. 

"The finest product of the life-work of Luther Burbank is the man him- 


The great Shasta Daisy, white as the noble California mountain that gave 
it name, was born of home-memor\ . When Luther Burbank was a boy wooing 
with child-love the wild flowers of his native hills, there w-as one bloom in which 


he took a particular interest, possibly because every man's hand was against it. 
This was the little wild field daisy, to many a farmer an unmitigated evil, a pest 
to be fought at every possible point. When he had begun his seed-raising for 
market, years after, he frequently went to the hills for wild flower seeds, plant- 
ing them in his garden and noting with curious interest how the plants varied 
from the parent-plants. A certain chivalry, it may have been, a desire to re- 
claim the daisv from the company of the outcast weeds, caused him to include 
it in his experiments. There came a day in after years when he was to demon- 
strate again his tenderness for his flower-sweetheart, the little waif he loved 
through pity, and to become its champion in a still larger way. For he had 
laid out in his mind a scheme for the ennoblement of this wild-wood flower : — ■ 
he would lift it from its low-estate among the serfs and make it a queen. 

In England there grows the daisy beloved of the English poets, "Flora's 
page — with silver crest and golden eye," larger and coarser of stem than its 
American cousin; in Japan is another of the family, not so large as the other 
two, but with petals like the dazzling snow-peak of sacred Fusiyama. From 
three continents Burbank would select his new daisy — America for the strong 
constitution that would bring life to the hybrid ; Europe for a liberal circum- 
ference of blossom, and Asia for the virgin snowy whiteness that is now the 
marvel of the new creation. The choicest seeds were sent him from over the 
two seas, and from the wild daisies of New England he personally selected 
those of the third subject. He planted in his grounds at Santa Rosa and 
planned for his new flower as he always plans, with systematic care. It should 
have grace, beaut}- and strength; a slender but firm stem at least two feet in 
length, free from branches; a big, big blossom, and petals of the purest white. 
In the rich Sonoma soil and under a Sonoma sun the three exotic cousins soon 
flowered and he crossed them, joining them in a union that was to bloom above 
the grave of their old selves — a new resurrection. So completely was the pol- 
lenating ilone that after the merging was ended the strain of blood, so to call 
it, of "each plant now flowed in the veins of one. And yet this act of fertilization 
or new birth was but an early incident in the creation. The real struggle was 
ahead. The seeds from the first united-flower were six ur eight in number, 
and from their plants only the few approaching the ideal were selected. From 
the third crop about fifty seeds of the union-plants were chosen, and the fourth 
in the progression produced a selection of a hundred thousand seeds. These 
took their burial to come anew into life, to seed, to be selected, to be planted 
and go the round, season after season, year after year. 


People passing the Burbank grounds note the great beds of flowers, some 
old acquaintances, others strangers, all in vivid color, and wonder at the prodi- 
gality of bloom — the waste of work and plant. They do not know that among 
those thousands and thousands of blooms massed in one grand bouquet there 
may be only one flower bearing the seed long sought. One day Mr. Burbank 
said to his men engaged in planting twenty thousand seeds in a plot of ground — 
"if I knew which one of these was the one wanted, how much time and work 
that knowledge would save us.'' Neither do they know that over the thousands 
and thousands of blossoms almost daily during the "selecting" season there 
is a supervision, a scrutiny that marks the most minute detail of growing 


change in leaf or stalk ur petal. As he makes his way among the rare plants 
his genius has called into flower, he measures and records the individual growth, 
the variation of the young plant from the parent stock, and sets aside the can- 
didate chosen to carry ahead the creative work. Somebody has said that so 
strong is Mr. Burbank's perceptiveness, and his constant supervision over the 
grounds, that not a stranger-bee can come buzzing among those floral nurs- 
lings without its presence being known to the master. Even his workmen 
are trained in this labor where the utmost care is necessary and where an 
awkward move or step may ruin the result of ten years' work or destroy a 
tiny plant worth ten thousand dollars. Not only does he demand care, sobriety, 
nerve, but sympathy. The man who works for Burbank must labor with him 
— must follow him down into the life-crypt of the plant, and be near when the 
Master touches the key that bursts the new bloom or swells the new fruit in 
the kingdom of vegetation. The countless companies of visitors who seek Bur- 
bank, — many scientists like himself, equipped in mind and purpose to under- 
stand and appreciate and gather information concerning the sublime character 
and colossal maufiiitnde of his work, and others who come through childish curi- 
osity and whose only purpose is a nosegay or an autograph, do not always under- 
stand that Luther Burbank's minutes are worth more to humanity than the days 
of any other man on earth. Conventions have come demanding to be enter- 
tained by this rare-minded analyst and explorer in the unknown, and have 
gone away dissatisfied because they did not have freedom to tramp and pluck 
at will among plants that had used up a decade of Luther Burbank's life, and 
whose commercial value is the ransom of a king. 

Returning to the new daisy, the re-creating work went on for seven years, 
the salient characteristics of the three originals, blended, slowly producing the 
l^ower sought. In the process of development often strange things would hap- 
pen. Hybrids will sometimes show a tendency to double like the chrysan- 
themum, and with petals strangely convoluted. The new daisy occasionally 
developed unusually large flowers, almost two feet in circumference — too large. 
They had grown to their great size under peculiarly favorable conditions, and 
this unfitted them for use for all sorts of soil, climate and people. Such blooms, 
however beautiful, are rejected, and Mr. Burbank never permits himself to be 
deceived by a show of surpassing excellence, which under ordinary conditions 
would not again manifest itself. "If I deceive myself," said Mr. Burbank, "I 
deceive the public, too." Deception has no part in the soul of Luther Burbank. 
Finally he was satisfied, and the great Shasta Daisy was born to brighten the 
surface of the earth. It is a beautiful flower, a rare brilliant white, the center 
a pure yellow, with long, graceful stem, — and in every detail the flower Mr. 
Burbank planned years ago. The little, humble daisy of the Massachusetts 
hillside grown into the queenly Shasta Daisy of the golden west. 


This story is a page of the history of Luther Burbank and his mission. 
Volumes would be required for the full story of his life-work, much of which 
has never been toid. Hundreds of new creations in fruit and flower, tree and 
plant, have gone out from his grounds and are growing in distant places, pro- 
ducing for the men who have forgotten the creator. The writer of this brief 
account acknowledges his obligation to Mr. AA'. .S. Harwood. whose "New 


Creations in Plant Life" is an excellent and just tribute to Luther Burbank. 
But all who come to Burbank must honor that grand, simple character, molded 
by extreme poverty and toil, and hopes and fears, and striving after ideals that 
were almost too high, too rare for human reach. Grand, simple character — 
grand as nature and simple as the child whose purity of soul he can appreciate, 
as shown in the following from a recent public address : 

"I love sunshine, the blue sky, trees, flowers, mountains, green meadows, 
runnmg brooks, the ocean when its waves softly ripple along the beach, 
or when pounding the rocky cliffs with its thunder and roar, the birds of the 
field, waterfalls, the rainbow, the dawn, the noonday, the evening sunset — but 
children above them all. Trees, plants, flowers, they are always educators in 
the right direction, they always make us happier and better, and, if well grown, 
they speak of loving care and respond to it as far as is in their power; but in all 
this world there is nothing so appreciative as children, — those sensitive, quiver- 
ing creatures of sunshine, smiles, showers and tears." 

Whence in all the world of melody e'er came a sweeter strain to vibrate 
along the pure, deep reaches of the soul, — sensitive tones of sunshine, smiles, 
showers, tears. 

Recently at a banquet given by the California Board of Trade in his honor, 
Mr. Burbank likened child-culture to plant-culture, and from his remarks the 
following is taken : 

"I was brought up in a family like most of you and my eyes have always 
been wide open when something appeared which promised to be useful to my- 
self or others. Among other things flowers and children never escape my 
notice, but children respond to ten thousand subtle influences which leave no 
more impression on a plant than they would on a sphinx. You may say, 'well, 
what do you know about children?" Anything we love, we study, and I have 
observed that in searching for good teachers you do not choose parents of 
large families on account of their superior knowledge of children. You gen- 
erally select those who have no families of their own, do you not? Therefore, 
as one of the latter class, I claim the privilege of saying a word for the helpless 
little victims. * * * 

"We in America form a nation with the bloods of half the peoples of the 
world within our veins. We are more crossed than any other nation in the 
history of the world, and here we meet exactly the same results that are always 
seen in a much crossed race of plants ; all the worst as well as all the best 
qualities of each are brought out in their fullest intensities, and right here is 
where selective environment counts. All the necessary crossing has been done, 
and now comes the work of elimination, the work of refining, until we shall get 
an ultimate product that will be the finest human race which has ever been 
known. It is perhaps this country which will produce that race. Many years 
will pass before the finished work is attained, but it is sure to come. The 
characteristics of the many peoples that make up this nation will show in the 
composite with many of the evil characteristics removed and the finished product 
will be the race of the future. 

"In my work with plants and flovvers I introduce color here, shape there, 
size or perfume, according to the product desired. In such processes the teach- 
ings of nature are always followed. Its great forces only are employed. Al! 


that has been done for plants and Howers by crossing, nature has already accom- 
]3lished for the American people. Uy the crossing of bloods strength has in one 
instance been secured, in another intellectuality, in still another moral 
fforce. ■'' ''■ * 

"And now, what will hasten this development most of all? The proper 
rearing of children. Don't feed cliildren on maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic 
religion; give them nature. Let their souls drink in all that is pure and sweet. 
Rear them, if possible, amid pleasant surroundings. If they come into the 
world with souls groping in darkness, let them see and feel the light. Don't 
terrify them in early life with the fear of an after world. There never was a 
child that was made more noble and good by the fear of a hell. Let nature 
teach them the lessons of good and proper living combined with an abundance 
of well-balanced nourishment. Those children will grow to be the best men 
and women. Put the best in them by contact with the best outside. They will 
absorb it as a plant does the sunshine and the dew." 



By G. N. Whitaker. 

In writing the origin of Pouiona Grange and other farmers' organizations 
of Sonoma county, 1 do not claim any hterary or historical talent. I shall 
only give the facts and instances as ni}- memory serves me, with the dates and 
figures as far as they can be obtained. To do this I must go back to July 6, 
1872, at the court house in Santa Rosa, when the Sonoma County Farmers' 
Oub was organized with the late H. P. Holmes as president, G. N. Whitaker 
vice president, and the late A. W. Middleton secretary. 

At that time wheat was "King" in the productions of Sonoma county, 
and in the state, for that matter. Fanners' clubs were being organized in all the 
wheat producing counties of the state to fight Friedlander, the "wheat king," 
as he was called by the grain farmers of the state. He controlled the foreign 
shipping, had a monopoly in grain dealing and practically controlled the grain 
markets of the entire Pacific coast. Hence the organization of the grain grow- 
ers to procure better prices for their product and to buy grain bags at a lower 
rate. Sonoma county farmers were among the first to organize for their own 

The wheat crop of the county in 1884 was 2,160,000 bushels, and that year 
the wheat crop of the state was estimated at 60,000,000 bushels, the largest 
wheat crop ever produced in any state of the Union. After deducting for seed 
and home use it left 50,000,000 bushels for export. Sonoma county's estimate 
for export was 2,000,000 bushels. 

The farmers' club was foremost in advocating direct railroad connection 
from Sacramento to Santa Rosa for the purpose of having eastern connection 
for their fruit crops. At that time, 1872, it took three days to go from Santa 
Rosa to the Capitol city, now it takes three hours. The subject of a jute fac- 
tory was first introduced by the late W. H. Rector, a sturdy Scotchman who 
had been trained in the linen factories in Scotland. He followed the subject 
through all the farmers' organizations from the Farmers' Club to the Grange, 
and it was through his influence that the jute bag factory was established at 
San Ouentin. Mr. Rector was also the inventor of the Turbin water wheel ; the 
first one for use was at his Mark West flour mill, situated where Burke's Sani- 
tarium is now located. 

The Farmers' Club demonstrated by actual growth that sugar beets could 
be grown in the count\ at a profit. We quote from the report of the com- 
mittee: "To the president and members of Sonoma County Farmers' Club: 
Your committee, to whom was as.^igned the duty of testing sugar beets grown 
in this county, beg leave to report that we have tested four separate lots of beets 
grown on different varieties of soil from which, with very imperfect appli- 
ances, we have obtained from four to seven per cent sugar. The best obtained 


was from beets grown in Bennett Valley by G. N. Whitaker, but wc arc of the 
opinion that we would have obtained more satisfactory results from the others 
but for the fact that owing to some delay in getting the machinery in opera- 
tion, the beets were allowed to remain in the ground until they had taken a 
second growth after the rains set in. From the result of the experiments made 
we are satisfied that beets grown in the vicinity of Santa Rosa are as rich in 
saccharine and are as free from deleterious salts as those grown in any other 
locality. For the foregoing reasons and others too numerous for explanation 
in this report, your committee most earnestly recommend the enterprise to your 
favorable consideration. For a detailed account of the experiment we refer 
to the report of Mr. Veling, who made the test. The seed was procured from 
France, the best variety, by our secretary, E. W. Maslin. 

"S. T. Coulter, 
"R. A. Thompson, 
"Theodore Staley, 
"H. P. Holmes, 
■■John .-Vdams, 

Mr. X'ehng wrote his report, which is too long for publication here. On 
motion, the thanks of the club were tendered Mr. Veling for his interestmg 
report. A committee was appointed to confer with our citizens on the subject 
of the establishment of a beet sugar factory and straw-paper mill. The presi- 
dent named upon the committee S. T. Coulter, George Hood and George W. 

July 5, 1873, Judge T. Hart Hyatt, a farmer of Solano county, addressed 
the club upon the interests of agriculture. Again, at a subsequent meeting, the 
club was entertained by a paper read by Dr. A. S. Heath on ■■The composition 
of soils, plants and animals." The club was always very well attended and 
there were man}- quotations copied in the eastern agricultural journals from its 
meetings. There were many local questions of importance discussed and brought 
to the attention of the farmers and stock growers of the county. .\t a meeting 
W. H. Rector was invited to address the club on the subject of a jute grain- 
bag factory, to be located at San Quentin and operated by the prisoners of the 
state. The thanks of the club were tendered Mr. Rector on his very interesting 
address. I cannot leave tliis subject without giving the names of the charter 
members of the club, so far as my memory serves me, who pioneered the farmers' 
organizations in Sonoma county, viz. : H. P. Holmes, G. N. Wliitaker, A. W. 
Middleton, R. A. Thompson, John Underbill. Robert Forsyth, A. Hagan, F. J. 
Drennan, G. W. Wilkes, A. J. Mills, John Hendly, Sr., Dr. J. D. Stockton, 
R. Fulkerson, A\'. S. M. Wright, J. Harris, J. Hughes, A. Lacque, J. Farmer, 
G. W. Davis, H. Witzer, P. Maddox, R. Maddox, Robert Crane, A. J. Peter- 
son, James Fulton, George Hood, I. De Turk, T. J. Drennan, S. T. Coulter, 
and E. W. Maslin. Judge Ross and others addressed the club and predicted 
good results from the organization. We regret that we did not have 
the names of all those farmers that pioneered the organization in the county. 
The club ceased to do business, apparently for the want of interest, but went 
down with all honors as being the pioneer of all farmers' organizations in Im- 
perial Sonoma. 


Much credit is due them tor the notice they brought to the outside world 
of the wonderful climate, the varied products of the county, their advocation 
of the farmers" interests and rights, and for the firm stand they always took for 
the best interests of the county. 


On February 20, 1886, the Sonoma County Horticultural and Viticultural 
Association was organized. Those present at the organization of the Horticul- 
tural and Viticultural association of Sonoma county, which was called to order 
by W. C. Pridham, chairman pro-tem, were N. Carr, E. A. Rogers, J. C. Forbs, 
J. H. Hornbeck, L. H. Chinn, E. G. Light, G. T. Trowbridge, F. D. Munz, N. 
G. Finley, S. M. Martin, A. J. Mills, G. N. Whitaker, I. De Turk, Captain G. 
E. Grosse. Each member was urged to interest himself in the movement to 
enlarge their market, which was too small, and work together as a unit for the 
betterment of all. G. T. Trowbridge was appointed secretary pro-tem ; on mo- 
tion of E. A. Rogers and .seconded by G. N. Whitaker the meeting was made a 
permanent organization under the name of Sonoma County Horticultural and 
\'iticultural Association with its officers W. C. Pridham, president: John Mark- 
ley, vice president; G. T. Trowbridge, secretary. A committee of five was ap- 
pointed to draw up by-laws and a constitution. The meeting then adjourned 
until February 29th to meet again at the Grand hotel in Santa Rosa. 

This society continued to hold regular monthly meeings until the earthquake. 
April 18, 1906. Its aim was the betterment of the interests of the fruit growers of 
the county. There were many questions of much interest discussed and it was 
the means of inducing the growing of better fruits, how and when to combat 
the insect pests, to seek better markets and many other matters of interest to 
growers. During the life of this society it maintained an exhibit in the court 
house with much credit to the fruit growers and the county as a fruit-growing- 
section of the state. In 1887-88 the society collected an exhibit of the various 
fruits grown in the county and exhibited them in Sacramento during the annual 
meeting of the American Pomological Society of Boston, Mass. This exhibit 
was in charge of Martin Braughler. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat had this 
article: "Another Trophy!" "Sonoma, as usual, gets away with the honors." 
"It will be remembered that the American Pomological Society, whose head- 
quarters are in Boston, Mass., visited Santa Rosa two years ago after an annual 
meeting held in Sacramento. At the Sacramento meeting an exhibit was made 
by the Sonoma County Horticultural Society of the products of this county in 
competition with other counties of the state. Nothing was heard of this critical 
test until a few days ago when G. N. Whitaker, who was then president of the 
society, received a registered package without a letter of explanation. The ex- 
president opened the package and, to his surprise, found it was a bronze medal 
of the American Pomological Society, awarded to Sonoma county for the best 
display of nuts, seeds and fruit. It was a surprise to Mr. Whitaker as well 
as a great satisfaction to him and Sonoma now has another decoration to add to 
many other triumphs along similar lines. No man has done more to win these 
honors than G. N. Whitaker, iJie eminent horticnl'urist. tn whom this medal 
was forwarded." 

.■\t the time ut the disaster of .\pril 18, uM). the li. irticultural society was 
weak and its exhibit was destroyed. There never lias l)een another meeting- 


that I know of. and the organization has gone the \va_\- of the Farmers' Ckih, 
but the people of the county owe to this pioneer society a debt of gratitude for 
the work it did. 

In the year 1889 another farmers' organization sprung up called the 
Fanners' Alliance, and some twelve lodges were formed with one central lodge, 
but it being somewhat of a political nature, it never added anything to the re- 
sources of the county and after the first general political campaign in the county, 
after its organization, it died from the efifects of too much "hot air." Thus it 
will be seen that the farmers have never adopted any co-operative organization 
that has had the staying qualities of the Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. 


■May 27, 1873, the first Grange in Sonoma county was organized, by W. H. 
Baxter, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. G. N. Whitaker, who furnished the harvest 
feast in Bennett Valley with twenty-six charter members and with the late N. 
Carr master, G. N. Whitaker overseer, and the late Heber Plank secretary. It 
was christened Bennett \'alley Grange No. 16, Patrons of Husbandry. Santa 
Rosa Grange was organized May 28, 1873, '^vith the late G. W. Davis master and 
J. A. O'Brien secretary. Healdsburg Grange was organized May 29, 1873, with 
the late F. H. Merry master, and N. L. Holt secretary. Petaluma Grange or- 
ganized June 14, 1873 : L. W. Walker master and G. Heald secretary. Windsor 
Grange organized July 8, 1873, with A. B. Nally master and J. H. McClelland 
secretary. Bodega Grange organized July 9, 1873, John H. Hegler master, W. 
Smith secretary. Sebastopol Grange organized August 15. 1873, with J. M. 
Hudspeth master, Joseph Purrington secretary. Sonoma Grange organized 
August 26, 1873, with Leonard Goss master, Alfred \'. Lamont secretary. 
Cloverdale Grange organized September 2, 1873, Charles H. Cooley master. D. 
M. Wambold secretary. Geyserville Grange organized September 11, 1873. C. 
M. Bosworth master, R. R. Leigh secretary. Bloomfield Grange organized 
September 25, 1873, William H. White master, D. Bruner secretary. Two Rock 
Grange organized December 16, 1873, John R. Doss master, John H. Freeman 
secretarw The Grange being strictly a farmers" organization non-partisan, non- 
sectarian and having state and national calling, also all the elements in it to com- 
plete a perfect organization, it absorbed all the farmers' societies previously 
organized in the county. At the time of its organization the other farmers' 
societies were weak and the farmers being anxious to co-operate for mutual pro- 
tection was the reason for such rapid organization of the various Granges. From 
August 10, 1870. to May 25, 1875, there were two hundred and forty-eight sub- 
ordinate Granges and four county councils organized in California. 

Bennett Valley Grange built their hall in the fall of 1873 and it was dedi- 
cated to the use of the Patrons of Husbandry, December 4th. with appropriate 
.services by the late Professor E. S. Carr. The hall is built in a beautiful grove 
of trees and has become one of the fixed places for the people of the valley to 
meet for business and social enjoyment. Not only this Grange, but all the 
Granges of the county have contributed their share along these lines. 

Sonoma county had twelve subordinate Granges. At that time there was 
need of a central organization in the county but the State Grange had not pro- 
vided, in their organic laws, for a central body, hence the sulxirdinate Granges 
of Sonoma county sought to organize a County Coimcil. There was a call is- 


sued by tlic several Granges, and I regret that I have been unable to get an ac- 
count of that meeting. It was convened at Santa Rosa, J. N. Bailhache was 
elected chairman and S. T. Coulter secretary. When the convention adjourned 
it was to meet on the Monday or Tuesday after the close of the State Grange, 
or at the call of the chairman. This call was never issued. C^n May 14. 1874, 
the Granges of the county issued a call for a convention to form a County Council 
of the Patrons of Husbandry. At that convention a constitution was submitted 
to the several Granges for ratification and August 3, 1874, delegates from the 
subordinate Granges of the county met in Santa Rosa and organized a County 
Council, it being found that two thirds of the Granges had ratified the constitu- 
tion submitted May 14, 1874. These resolutions were passed at that convention 
by the subordinate Granges of the county : 

"Resolved that the action of the meeting heretofore held for the purpose 
of organizing a Sonoma County Council be annulled, and that we now proceed 
to organize a County Council under the constitution that has been ratified by 
the subordinate Granges in this county." 

After much discussion the resolution was returned to a selected committee 
and a recess declared for thirty minutes, during which time a lunch was served 
bv the ladies in attendance. After the recess the committee presented their report, 
viz. : "Whereas, in times past a convention was held to form a County Council 
in Sonoma county and a resolution was adopted organizing a County Council, 
Brother J. N. Bailhache was elected president, and Brother S. T. Coulter secre- 
tary of said Council. Said convention, or Council, was adjourned to meet in 
Santa Rosa on the Monday or Tuesday after the close of the State Grange, or 
at the call of its president ; and whereas, said convention, or Council, has not 
met since its first adjournment ; and whereas, a meeting was held in Santa Rosa 
on May 14th, last, pursuant to a call issued by members of the several Granges 
in Sonoma county, at which a constitution was submitted for their ratification 
and whereas, said constitution has been ratified by three fourths of the subor- 
dinate Granges in Sonoma county. Now, therefore, be it resolved that the 
action of the first named convention be, and the same is hereby, annulled." 

S. T. Coulter, 
W. W. Chapman, 
.\. B. Nally, 


On motion, the report of the committee was adopted. The minutes of the 
meeting of May 14th were then read, after which S. T. Coulter offered the fol- 
lowing resolution and moved its adoption, 


"Whereas, the election of officers by the convention of May 14th was pre- 
mature, unauthorized and void. Now, therefore, resolved that we proceed to 
the election of officers for this Council, under the constitution which has been 
adopted.'' Motion carried. The chair appointed A. B. Nally and G. N. Whit- 
aker tellers. A vote being taken, the following were elected : William M. P. 
Hill, of Sonoma Grange, master ; G. W. Davis, of Santa Rosa Grange, overseer : 
W. W. Chapman, of Petaluma Grange, lecturer; A. S. Edwards, of Sonoma 
Grange, steward; C. H. Cooley, of Cloverdale Grange, assistant steward; N. 
Carr, of Bennett Valley Grange, chaplain ; S. T. Coulter, of Santa Rosa Grange, 


secretary ; B. B. Berry, of Sebastopol Grange, treasurer ; W. W. White of Bloom- 
field Grange, gate keeper; Airs. E. R. Davis, of Santa Rosa Grange, Ceres; Mrs. 
H. S. Carr, of Bennett Valley Grange, Pomona; Mrs. R. N. Coulter, of Santa 
Rosa Grange, Flora ; Mrs. C. H. Cooley, of Cloverdale Grange, assistant lady 
steward. During the recess the ladies present served an excellent harvest feast. 
This completed the formation of the County Council with the exception of an 
announcement made in reference to some changes in the by-laws and fixing the 
time for holding meetings. There was a rising vote of thanks given the ladies 
for the fine repast served. This was the first Pomona feast held by the County 

The offices of the County Council were for the disseminating of informa- 
tion on crops and of statistical matter for the benefit of the members. The 
Council held five meetings from August 3, 1874, to May 9, 1875. In April, 
1875, delegates from the various subordinate Granges in the county attended a 
state convention for the purpose of establishing a grangers' bank. These dele- 
gates were Hill, Goss, Coulter, Whitaker, Carr, and Chapman, Davis, Cooley, 
and others. On their way home by boat, they held an informal meeting in ref- 
erence to disbanding the County Council and forming a county, or district. 
Grange; their object, as stated by Coulter, Whitaker and Cooley, was that the 
County Council had no calling further than the County Granges. By forming 
a County Grange it would have county, state and national standing. At a meet- ' 
ing on May 9th, of the County Council at Sonoma, Master W. Mc. P. Hill 
stated that a change in the constitution of the state and national Granges made it 
apparent that the County Council might reorganize into a District Grange. We 
submit the minutes of the meeting for a more detailed account. 

"Sonoma, May 9, 1875. Sonoma County Council met pursuant to adjourn- 
ment and was called to order by the chairman, William Mc. P. Hill. The minutes 
of the previous meeting were read and approved, the roll was called and a 
quorum was present. Worthy Master Hill stated, that by the amendment of 
the constitution and arrangements of the state executive committee, made it appar- 
ent that we might disband and take the necessary steps for the organization of a 
County, or District Grange. A motion to adjourn was offered and after some 
discu.'.sion, it was withdrawn by permission and the consideration of the pro- 
posed organization of a County Grange was debated upon at some length. A 
motion was offered by S. T. Coulter and seconded by G. N. Whitaker: moved: 
that it is the sense of this Council that it is in favor of the organization of a 
District Grange, in accordance with the provisions of the state constitution and 
that the five masters present be requested to prepare a petition and present it 
to the several subordinate Granges ; motion carried. It was moved and carried 
that boundaries be confined to Sonoma county for a County Grange. 

"Resolved, that the secretary of this Council be instructed to call the atten- 
tion of the se\'eral Granges of the county to the provisions of the amended con- 
stitution of the National Grange, and ask them to pass upon the advisability of 
a County Grange, and present their decision to the district deputy, George W. 
Davis, with authority to call a meeting for the purpose of instituting such a 
County Grange; resolution adopted. Members were called upon and spoke on 
the good of the order. It was moved and carried that this County Council now 
disband and turn over all books and papers to the County Grange, when organ- 



ized. The County Council then closed with singing and toasts for all, espec- 
iall,v for Sonoma Grange for their general entertainment. Congratulations were 
exchanged on all sides and a happy goodby, and Sonoma County Council ceased 
to do business. S. T. Coulter, secretary." 

This was one of the most enjoyable meetings that the Council ever held and 
many thanks are due the Sonoma Grange for their hospitality on that occasion. 
Such a harvest feast has never been excelled by the subordinate Granges in the 
county. It is well that such a change should take place in the historic town of 
old Sonoma. It was only following the critical times of earlier days. 

William Mc. P. Hill spoke that day and made one of the most masterful 
addresses of his life in advocacy of the Patrons of Husbandry. During his 
address he said, "I would rather be master of the State Grange than to be gov- 
ernor of the state of California." Such was the close of the County Council and 
the initiatory steps to organize the Sonoma County Pomona Grange, and history 
will point to Sonoma as being the place of one more historic event in the county. 
I submit the names of those who pioneered the organization of the County 
Council, viz. : N. Carr, G. N. Whitaker, of Bennett Valley Grange ; P. Warner. 
W. H. Rector, G. W. Davis and S. T. Coulter, of Santa Rosa Grange ; C. H. 
Cooley and D. M. Wambold, of Cloverdale Grange ; James Gregson, B. B. Berry, 
John Gallagher, James Gannon, of Sebastopol Grange ; C. H. Cheney and J. 
■Wilkinson, of Bodega Grange ; W. H. White, D. M. Parks and W. P. Hall, of 
Bloomfield Grange; A. Wilsey, John Doss and J. V. Wilson, of Two Rock 
Grange ; L. W. Walker, W. W. Chapman. A. Caldwell, J. L. Mock and George 
D. Green, of Petaluma Grange ; William Mc. P. Hill, L. Goss and A. S. Edwards, 
of Sonoma Grange ; A. B. Nally, E. H. Barnes and J. H. McClelland, of Windsor 
Grange. Healdsburg and Geyserville Granges were not represented. There 
were a number of the ladies present but I do not have the names of any except 
those who were elected to office. I regret not having all of the names of those 
present and who took part in the deliberations of that eventful day. The call 
was issued by the masters of the five Granges, represented as per resolution passed 
and after the district deputy received a reply from the several subordinate Granges 
he issued a call for a meeting of delegates in Santa Rosa September 21, 1875, 
for the purpose of completing the organization of a District, or County Grange. 
The minutes of that meeting are as follows: "Santa Rosa, September 21, 1875." 
"Pursuant to call, a meeting of masters, their wives, and delegates from the sub- 
ordinate Granges of the coimty met at Grange Hall, Santa Rosa, for the organ- 
izing of a County Pomona Grange. W. H. Baxter, state deputy and secretary 
of the State Grange called the meeting to order, and appointed the following 
committee on credentials: N. Carr, C. H. Cooley, W. W. Chapman. C. H. 
Cooley was requested to act as temporary secretary. The committee reported 
the following entitled to seats: Sonoma Grange, Hill, Goss, Harding, and the 
Mesdames Harding and Goss; Cloverdale Grange, C. H. Cooley; Healdsburg 
Grange, B. Capell, and Charles Alexander ; Bennett Valley Grange, Mr. and Mrs. 
N. Carr and G. N. Whitaker; Petaluma Grange, W. W. Chapman; Bloomfield 
Grange, La Coste, and W. H. White: Bodega Grange. Mr. and Mrs. Purrine. 
After reading instructions and regulations the convention elected the following 
officers for a Pomona Grange: master, L. Goss, of Sonoma; overseer, W. H. 
White, of Bloomfield; lecturer, W. W. Chapman, of Petaluma; steward, C. H. 


Cooler, of Cloverdale ; assistant steward. V>. 1!. Capell, uf Heaklsburg; chaplain. 
N. Carr, of Bennett Valley; treasurer, G. N. Whitaker ; secretary, William Mc. 
P. Hill; ceres, Mrs. L. Goss; pomona, Mrs. N. Carr; flora, Mrs. Harding; lady 
assistant steward, Mrs. C. H. Cooley, was elected but not present; gatekeeper. 
Purrine of Bodega Grange. Fifteen paid membership fees amounting to $63. 
By motion the secretary was instructed to draw a warrant on the treasurer for 
$25 in favor of W. H. Baxter, $10 for expenses as deputy and $15 to procure 
a charter for the Pomona Grange. The lecturer was instructed to submit a code 
of by-laws at the next meeting, also to prepare a circular to the several Granges 
of the county and invite their co-operation. A vote of thanks was given Santa 
Rosa and Bennett Valley Granges for the dinner served. The Grange was 
closed to meet at the call of the master. 

This completed the organization of Pononia Grange that was begun with 
so much hope for the future prosperity of the Patrons of Husbandry, This 
organization has never missed holding a quarterly meeting except in excep- 
tionally stormy weather or for some other good cause, and has made history for 
all time. William Mc. P. Hill never qualified as secretary : he had been nom- 
inated and was elected to the joint senatorship of his district and his time was 
occupied making his campaign. The treasurer, G. N. Whitaker. acted as secre- 
tary and treasurer during the year and at the next annual election he was re- 
elected secretary and served in that capacity nine successive \ears. At the last 
mentioned meeting the masters and their wives were required to pay only $3 
each and the delegates $5 each as a charter fee. At a subsequent meeting the 
law was changed to make the fee $3 for each member. 

Pomona Grange is a fifth degree Grange, with authority tn confer that de- 
gree upon its members. Its officers are to look after the educational features 
of the subordinate Granges, and also everything pertaining to the good of the 
order. It is made up of masters of subordinate granges, their wives, and such 
fourth degree members as delegates. Its quarterlv meetings are held in Santa 
Rosa, and it holds special meetings with the subordinate granges when invited 
to do so b}- them. Many important subjects are brought out for the welfare of 
the farmers of the county. Such subjects are discussed in their sessions and, 
if found advisable, are brought before the public through the newspapers or by 
a committee. The grange committee often come before the board of super- 
visors on subjects of importance and generally with good results. Thus their 
influence results in co-operation winch could not be secured in any other way. 
"How long will it take a farmer to become a granger?" This can be answered 
by first identifying himself with one of these organizations, and by so doing 
meeting the co-operation of others and in exchanging ideas reap a mutual bene- 
fit as well as surrounding himself and family with uplifting influences. 

Although the Grange is non-sectarian and non-political, yet the work of the 
ritual and teachings are of the highest moral character, such as cannot be found 
in anv other farmers' organization. The wisdom of the members of the subor- 
dinate, Pomona. State and National Granges being coml>ined it will readily be 
seen with what force any measure that is just can be presented to the county, 
state and national congress, wherein one individual or one grange could accom- 
plish but little even in a local manner. 



In 1878 a number of farmers and stockmen of Sonoma county organized 
an association for the purpose of improving their stock. On December 30th 
of that year the following persons signed articles of incorporation for the So- 
noma County Agricultural Park Association : Dr. W. Finlaw, J- P- Clark, James 
Adams, H. W. Byington, Baker & Ross, Joseph Wright, W. G. Atkinson, Mur- 
phy Bros., E. Latapie, V. Quackenbush, G. W. Savage, John Taylor, Ragdale 
Bros., and E. T. Niles. This association held several successful fairs and stock 
shows. In 1884 it increased its capital stock to $50,000, and changed its name to 
the Sonoma County Stockbreeders Association with its object the breeding of 
draft and driving horses, fine sheep, cattle and hogs. This association paid its 
own expenses without any outside assistance, except in premiums and stock 
entries. The fairs from 1882 to '85, inclusive, were very successful and would 
have done credit to any district fairs of the state. They built a race track in 
Santa Rosa which is still maintained for harness racing and training purposes 
and is said to be one of the finest in northern California. 

On April 18, 1882, Pomona Grange took up the subject of making a col- 
lective county exhibit. It was canvassed by individual members and at the 
quarterly meeting of April i8th, of that year, the subject was discussed at some 
length. G. N. Whitaker offered this resolution, which was seconded by I. De 
Turk, "Resolved : that a. committee of three be appointed by the master to 
collect samples of the products of Sonoma county and make a collective exhibit 
and display them at the Sonoma County Fair, Sonoma and Marin District Fair 
and at the State Fair." The resolution carried and a committee composed of 
John Adams, E. A. Rogers and G. N. Whitaker was appointed. This manner 
of exhibiting farm products originated from an account given by I. De Turk 
of a mineral state display he had seen in Denver, Colo. This committee was 
given full power to act and to appoint a sub-committee if necessary. Among 
their aids appointed were: I. De Turk, J. Hockins, W. Church and wife, N. 
Carr and wife, S. T. Coulter and wife, Mrs. G. N. Whitaker. and others. The 
committee at once took up their task and the first difficulty confronting them 
was the lack of means to prepare the samples for exhibition. ]\Iany of the 
farmers contributed liberally of their products and the first exhibit was made at 
the Santa Rosa Fair. This being a new method of displaying a county's re- 
sources there were no awards in the premiimi list and the committee had diffi- 
culty in getting any awards for their first exhibit: however, one gold medal, 
valued at five dollars, for best general display of farm products, was awarded 
them. At the Petaluma District Fair they received a ten dollar cash premium 
which did not begin to pay expenses, but notwithstanding these discourage- 
ments they kept adding to their display all the grains, grasses and other prod- 
ucts until it had assumed large proportions. In transferring this display to the 
State Fair the railroads and boats carried it free of charge. G. N. Whitaker 
was in charge of the display and for the first few da>s it was looked upon as 
something curious and a joke. On the afternoon of the second day a reporter 
of the Record Union looked over the exhibit and was asked by Mr. Whitaker 
"if he would give his exhibit a notice in the next issue"? He was told that 
there did not seem to be much to write about, and when it was explained that 
this was a new wav of exhibiting the resources of a county and that it con- 


tained more than had been displayed heretofore, and was an enterprise well 
worth the notice of the papers, and in a joking way told the reporter he would 
give him a "half dozen big, red apples if he would give his display a notice in 
his next issue." There appeared a short article in reference to the exhibit as 
follows: "In the southeast corner of the east room is a large exhibit of the re- 
sources of Sonoma county, made by Pomona Grange. It embraces a large 
number of all kinds of cereals, grass and grass seeds, hops, wine, wool, and 
dried fruits — the latter both sun and factory dried — a few samples of green 
fruit, also tan bark and charcoal. This is the only display of the kind in the 
building and is very creditable to the county and Grange. It is in charge of 
G. N. Whitaker, secretary of the Grange. This is a class of exhibits that ought 
to appear from every county in the state at each annual fair. We expect that 
the placards Mr. Whitaker had printed. 'Raised in Old Sonoma, Without Irri- 
gation," attracts no little comment." 

Early the next day the reporter returned, smiling, and was asked if he had 
come for his apples. He said he wanted to take a more careful look over the 
display. Mr. Whitaker then spent an hour going over the exhibit and explain- 
ing fully its merits and when the reporter left he was offered the apples, but 
refused all but one to show, as he said, to the boys at the printing office. The 
next issue of the Record Union had the following: ".A. successful exhibit — the 
Pomona Grange exhibit of the resources of Sonoma county — is "attracting much 
attention. The display of cereals, vegetables and seeds is made in regular sized 
bottles arranged in terraces, each sample is labeled showing the grower's name, 
the particular part of the county in which it is grown and the number of bushels 
of yield per acre. There are sixty-two samples of No. i. wheat, twenty-five 
samples of barley, twenty-four of corn in bottles, fifteen in the ear, twenty-six 
samples of oats, eight of wool, nine of grass seeds, four of charcoal, four of 
tanbark, one of English walnuts, one of oranges, one of chestnuts, two. of hops, 
nine of grasses, fourteen of grain in sheaf, two of woolen goods from the Peta- 
luma and Santa Rosa Woolen Mills, twelve samples of wine from Hood's Gey- 
ser Vineyard, twelve of wine from I. De Turk's vineyard of Santa Rosa, twelve 
samples of sun-dried fruits from Sunny Knoll, six varieties of factory dried 
fruit from G. N. Whitaker. The latter is in charge of this exhibit and is very 
attentive to visitors and apparently takes much pride in showing the resources 

of his countv." 

Pomona Grange is indebted to Messrs. John Markely. E. W. Maslin and 
the late T. L. Thompson for favors shown Mr. Whitaker during this critical 
trial of the display of the agricultural resources of the county. It was through 
their influence, to a great extent, that the Grange was awarded the gold medal, 
valued at $1:00, and it was also through the notice that the Record Union gave 
the display that brought Sonoma^s exhibit so prominently before the public. 
The Breeder and Sportsman had this mention of the exhibit while it was on dis- 
play at Santa Rosa, in 1883: "While at Santa Rosa we noticed and commented 
on the splendid collection of cereal samples of Sonoma county, gathered to- 
gether by Pomona Grange. The local press took a pardonable pride in the 
display and suggested that it be moved bodily to Petaluma and from there to the 
State Fair. This was done and at Sacramento Pomona Grange was voted a spe- 
cial gold medal worth $100 for the collection. We thought from the first that 
this displav was destined to be a missionarv messenger sent to tell the 


world tlie glorious advantages of Old Sonoma's soil and climate and so it 
proves, for like John Brown's soul, the show has gone marching on and today 
is in Chicago on exhibition." 


John Markely at that time was a member of the State Board of Equaliza- 
tion and E. W. Maslin was secretary, and the late T. L. Thompson was secre- 
tary of state under Governor Stoneman. These three gentlemen were former 
residents of Sonoma county. Mr. Wliitaker stopped at the same hotel with 
them and had a good opportunity to solicit their favor, as well as the governor's. 
The committee were determined that their enterprise should receive the favor 
from the State Agricultural Society that they thought it deserved. There was 
no premium for a collective exhibit from counties, hence the directors were at 
a loss to know what kind of a premium to award. At the close of the fair the 
display was given to the Central Pacific Railway, to be exhibited at the Illinois 
State Fair and to be placed in Chicago. The railway gave Mr. Whitaker a 
guarantee that they would exhibit it in the name of "The Resources of Sonoma 
County, California." and they carried out their agreement to the letter. Part 
of the exhibit was eventually sent to London, England, and was displayed there 
ill the company's office. The commissioner of the Illinois State Fair in his re- 
port, which was published in the Chicago Inter-Occan, October i, 1883, said. 
"The Golden State exhibit at the Illinois State Fair, closing on September 2y. 
1883." "California with her products has almost created a stampede for the 
southern end oi the huge building. California made an exhibition of some of 
her various and magnificent productions, including grapes, apples, pears, 
peaches, canned and preserved fruits, big squashes, potatoes and vegetables 
generally ; of this exhibit the superintendent of fruits and general farm prod- 
ucts department ijiade a most flattering report, which was published in full in 
the daily. Inter-Ocean on October ist. Among other things the committee said 
one of the greatest attractions of the present fair is the exhibition of California 
products in the fruit antl vegetable hall. The tables on which this exhibition 
was made have been thronged early and late every day from the beginning of 
the fair and all who have had the good luck to see the exhibition have been struck 
with wonder and astonishment at the extr.iordinary size of the vegetables and 
fruits and wonderful profusion of the grains. The exhibition was removed 
from the State Fair to the Inter-State Exhibition in the exposition building of 
Chicago on the Tuesday following the closing of the fair and from that day to 
this has been one of the most attractive exhibitions in the building. On Satur- 
day afternoon a very large addition of wheat, barley and oats from Sonoma 
county and from Butte county, California, was made to the said exhibition. 
The Sonoma exhibit was contributed by Pomona Grange in Sonoma county and 
the exhibition from Butte county came from the magnificent farm of General 
John Bidwell, generally known in California as "Rancho Chico." "In the display 
of cereals among the curious and exceedingly attractive features of the cereal 
addition are noticed some very fine samples of macaroni wheat from Butte 
county by General Bidwell, also some beautiful specimens of native grasses, 
among the various kinds are some specimens of the true California wild oats 
that are said to grow so high in the valleys and hills of Sonoma county that a 
man on horseback can tie the standing grain in knots in front of his saddle." 


General Bidwell's exhibit, spoken of above, was one of the most complete 
displays from one ranch that was ever made in any state in the Union. It was 
on exhibition at the California State Fair in 1883-84. There was one sheaf of 
Scheivelere barley in Sonoma's display by Mr. C. S. Gibson, of Petaluma, that 
showed a wonderful growth of five feet, with heads of six and seven inches. 
It grew south of Petaluma on sediment land. This sheaf was sent to London. 

From the showing that Pomona Grange, and the notice that was given of 
the exhibit throughout the state and in the east by the papers, the directors of 
the state fair became at once interested in count}' exhibits and offered special 
premiums to encourage them. The notice of this and other exhibits Pomona 
Grange made for five years proves the wisdom of Mr. Whitaker in securing the 
first two notices he solicited in the Sacramento Record Union. He was de- 
termined his display should not be ridiculed, as was being done the first two 
days of the State Fair, even if he had to pay for some write-up in the papers. 
He wrote the other two members of the committee how the display was being 
received and his determination to bring it to the front, and they heartily agreed 
with him and told him to go ahead, as he and the exhibit would come out 


At the State Fair, in 1883, but for the exhibit of General Bidwell and 
Pomona Grange the agricultural display of farm products would have had the 
smallest showing it had had for >ears. The committee in charge of Sonoma's 
exhibit declared that, leaving out his and General Bidwell's display, he could 
have wheeled all other grain exhibits all over his county in a wheelbarrow, but 
the display of Pomona Grange awakened an interest in other counties and from 
that time for four years, the entire north wing of the immense pavilion was 
filled to overflowing with agricultural and horticultural products of the state. 
Pomona Grange never received the credit from the directors of the State Fair 
that it should have been accorded, outside of the premiums they received. The 
only recognition was from the secretary when he forwarded the .gold medal 
won in 1883. which was as follows: 

Sacramento, Cau, Nov. 7, 1883. 
Mr. G. N. Wiiitakek. Secretary I'cmona Grange, of Sonoma County. 

Sir: On November 2nd I had the pleasure of forwarding to your address 
the gold medal especially awarded your enterprising county for the unequalled 
display of cereals and other products of your prosperous county. The notice 
■•Old Sonoma" received from this display in the east is worth more to Califor- 
nia than the labor of many able writers upon the subject of agriculture. Prac- 
tical exemplification is what the people want, seeing is believing, and I am 
l)leased that Sonoma Pomona Grange was the first to recognize this long-felt 
want. The proper wav to show your productions is to produce them for inspec- 
tion, people then can be their own judges. It is our desire next year to have a 
representation from each county. Wishing the medal comes safe to hand and 
hoping to see you in the lead next year, I remain Very truly, 

Edwin F. Smith. Sec. of the State Agricultural Society. 

In 1884 Pomona Grange had the most complete display they ever had, and 
after exhibiting at Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Sacramento, where they took the 
first prize at each fair, as well as numerous other premiums. At the close of 


the State Fair the exhibit was given over to the Southern Pacific Railway to be 
displayed at the New Orleans exposition. On the second day of the fair, in 
1884, the Record Union reporter stated he wanted to give the exhibit credit for 
all there was in it, viz. : "There is no exhibit in the pavilion at the present State 
Fair more striking and suggestive than made by Pomona Grange in behalf of 
Sonoma county. In a large space there is shown by samples all the products 
of that fertile and prosperous county, from corn to millet, from wool to wheat, 
from fruits to woods, from roots to raisins, from nut> to oranges. Each sample 
is labeled with the product, yield per acre, name of locality in which it is 
grown, name of the producer, etc. Let us suppose that the other fifty-one 
counties of the state had made each an exhibit by samples of their products, 
what a splendid exposition of the resources of California the State Fair would 
be. The example of Sonoma county should be followed next year by all the 
counties and it may be easily done. The matter is one full of suggestion and 
profit. Pomona Grange of Sonoma county is one of the few live Granges in 
this state, we have watched its progress since its organization with a good deal 
of interest and it has always been practical and wide awake to the interests of 
the farmers and fruit growers of the county. It is well managed by level-headed 
farmers and, I believe, today exercises more and better influences than any 
other organization of the kind in the state. Its exhibition at Santa Rosa, Peta- 
luma and Sacramento was a credit to it, the county and the state and the mana- 
gers deserve the thanks of the entire count}' for their splendid exhibit. Every 
resident of "Old Sonoma" is proud of her and well they may be. In the recent 
exhibition of the resources of the various counties at the State Fair she brought 
away the palm. Notwithstanding such rich and productive counties as .\la- 
meda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Sacramento competed with her and the 
diversified resources of Butte representing the grain fields and orchards of Gen- 
eral Bidwell and the splendid semi-tropical resources of the foot hills stretch- 
ing away from Oroville northwest, were endeavoring to gain the prize. It is 
a marked and honorable acknowledgment to that glorious empire." Thousands 
who thronged the new exposition building saw what "Iiva^erial Sonoma" could 
produce without irrigation. This exhibit was given to the Southern Pacific 
Railway to be taken to New Orleans with the agreement that they were to 
exhibit it as Sonoma county's products by Pomona Grange. The display was 
placed in the possession of Charles B. Terrill, the railroad's agent, who signed 
the agreement and Sonoma county received several premiums and diplomas. 
Mr. Terrill carried out the agreement in full and at the close of the New Or- 
leans exposition it was taken to the Louisville, Kentucky, exposition, where it 
was awarded a diploma, which follows: 
Pomona Grange of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, California. 

Gentlemen: The Southern Exposition, by resolution of its Board of Di- 
rectors, hereby conveys to you its thanks for your interesting exhibit made under 
the auspices of the Southern Pacific Company. 

The exhibition was a valuable addition to the attractiveness of the exposi- 
tion of 1885, and the board has ordered that this testimonial be made of >our 
display of productions of Sonoma county. 

By order of the Board of Directors. 

J. M. Wright, President. M. C. Tompkins, Secretary. 


Mr. Whitaker was awarded a diploma for the best display of farm prod- 
ucts from Bennett N'alley, in acknowledgment of meritorious display of produc- 
tions of Bennett \"alley, in a collective exhibit. 

Pomona's exhibit at New Orleans exposition was the center of attraction 
of all California's agricultural displays and the exhibit did more to advertise the 
resources of this county than any other method that had been used. In 1885 
the Grange made an exhibit at the State Fair, also at the Mechanic's Fair in 
San Francisco, and at the close of those fairs the exhibits were brought to 
Santa Rosa and a display made in a theatre building and maintained by the 
Grange. In 1886 it was arranged to display at the Santa Rosa, Petaluma, 
State and Mechanics' Fairs. In 1887-8 it was only displayed at the Santa Rosa, 
Petaluma and Mechanics' Fairs. At that time the Grange offered to set the 
exhibit up in Santa Rosa for a permanent display and keep it renewed if the 
city would furnish a suitable room, but the city was indifferent and the state 
board of trade offered to take the exhibit and place it in San Francisco with 
other county exhibits. Pomona Grange kept it renewed until it was destroyed 
by fire when the Grange and the county lost a riiost valuable display, which 
could not be replaced for less than $2,000. The report of the committee on 
exhibits, of their work in 1884, follows: "To the officers and members of So- 
noma County Pomona Grange : Your committee appointed at the January meet- 
ing report that we collected the various products of the county, prepared and 
labeled them in as neat and attractive manner as means would permit and ex- 
hibited them at the various fairs, for which we received the following pre- 
miums: At Sonoma County Fair, first premium on best general display of 
farm products ; at Sonoma and ]\Iarin District Fair, the first premium on best 
general display of grains and farm products, first premium on best and largest 
variety of wine grapes (fioni Cloverdale) ; and four other premiums on minor 
products and at the State Fair, first premium on most varied and complete ex- 
hibit of farm products ; first premium on largest and best display of apples and 
a premium for the best and most extensive display of grapes and woods and on 
crochet work made by Georgia E. Darwin, a six year old girl. The committee 
takes this opportunity to return thanks to the members of the Grange and to 
fruit-growers, farmers and different wine makers and to all others who were 
liberal in contributing articles and products for this enterprise. \\'e found it 
impossible to collect samples of the entire products of the county for lack of 
sufficient means and time to reach the remote sections of the county, it being 
impossible to get the aid of anyone by letter to take an active interest in collect- 
ing spmples of the different products of their sections that can only be collected 
in their proper season." 

"Respectfully submitted, 

"G. N. Whit.\kf.r, 
"ToiiN Adams. 
"E. A. Rogers. 


In 1885 the exhibit won numerous premiums. During these years Pomona 
Grange was awarded three gold medals, fourteen silver medals, besides a num- 
ber of diplomas and certificates, five of the latter were won in 1885. What the 
Grange has done for the farming interests of Sonoma county cannot be com- 


puled in dollars and cents. During the five \ears that Pomona Grange was 
exhibiting at the various fairs the committee worked without pay. they man- 
aged to get enough out of the premiums to pay expenses. What they got from 
the board of supervisors, $ioo, and $15 from each subordinate Grange, they 
paid back at the close of the fair of 1884. T. L. Thompson contributed $5 for 
the first exhibit of 1883 and some smaller amounts came from others. Messrs.^ 
Rogers and Whitaker borrowed $100 of the Santa Rosa Savings Bank, giving 
their joint note, and with this amount often jnirchased deserving articles they 
could not get otherwise. 


The Grange has become an acknowledged power in the land and that it 
will be for good, past results are a sufficient answer. The results of exhibits 
along the Ime of co-operation ought to prove to the farmers of the county what 
good results can be obtained along other lines if put to a practical test. The 
Grange is the only secret order that gives women equal standing with the 
men ; they are eligible to any of the offices and it has been proven that they do 
more to keep up the order than any other agency, for where the women do not 
take an active interest you find the Grange lagging. 

The women of the count} owe Carrie Hall a debt of gratitude, for it was 
through her influence with her uncle, O. H. Kelly, one of the founders of the 
order, that women were allowed full membership. While he was traveling in 
the south in the interests of the agricultural department, he was in correspon- 
dence with her about his plans of the order and when he returned to Washing- 
ton and made his report to the department he visited her in Boston and ex- 
plained his plans for the organization to her. She told him that unless he g'ave 
woinen full membership powers his order would never succeed and from that time 
there was never any other thought than to accord them equal standing with 
the men. In many of her letiers to her uncle suggestions were made that were 
of value, one in particular when he wrote her about fixing the membership fee 
at ten dollars for men and five dollars for women. She answered him not to 
get the fee too high, as dollars were not over plenty among farmers and ten 
dollars was not found on every bush ; she also said that five dollars was enough 
for men and half that for women, as they could get but half the wages paid 
men. From her suggestions the fees were placed at five dollars for men and 
three dollars for women. Miss Hall wrote out the degree of "Maid," sub- 
mitted it and it was adopted and at this time is in full force in every subor- 
dinate Grange in the United States and Canada. She was the first lady assistant 
steward elected to that office in the National Grange. 

Had it n;it been for the subordinate granges co-operating with the Pomona 
Grange and its members, Pomona never could have achieved the results, and 
the manner of exhibiting by the count} in a collective exhibit proves what can 
be accomplished by co-operation. Had it not been that Mr. Whitaker grouped 
the farm products from Bennett Valley together in a co-operative way. he 
could not have secured the diploma from the New Orleans Exposition in favor 
of Bennett Valley. There were many other worthy articles from California, 
but this valley's exhibit was a collective displa}- of many exhibits grouped as 
one, hence it won the prize. 


[n writing this brief resunit- of Sonoma county I do not claim- it to be free 
from errors, as a record of the very early incidents in the histor_\- of the county 
was never kept or has been lost. The early settlers kept but few records, they 
little thought how they were laying the foundation of Imperial Sonoma, as it has 
grown to be in the past sixty-four vears. They lived, surrounded by the most 
bountiful resources of any county on the Pacific coast, in peace and plenty. 

Sonoma county once comprised all the territory west of the Sacramento river 
and north of San Francisco bay to the Oregon line, hence the tarly name of 
"Northwest California" (how true it was we will not vouch for). .\t one time 
General Vallejo applied to the Mexican government for a grant covering that 
vast area, but he and Governor Alvarado were not on good terms or he might 
have been successful in having his grant allowed. There is no doubt but that 
Vallejo would have made a better Governor than Micheltorena or Alvarado, as 
he was much more liberal in his views of what was best for his country. He was 
progressive, quick to see danger or good, and often warned his government of 
the danger of losing California and the defenseless condition his settlement was 
in. and predicted what did happen June 14, 1846, when Sonotna town was in- 
vaded and no doubt if he had been in a position to have spoken his sentiments, 
would have welcomed the "Bear Flag Men." 

Vaillejo once had a meeting with several thousand of the Indians, but for 
what purpose that council was held has never been accounted for with the ex- 
ception of some remarks he himself made, at the laying of the corner stone of the 

Sonoma county courthouse Alay 7, 1884, viz: " but this is the first county 

to come to this laying of corner stones in California and I am glad to hear it. 
because this very month, fifty years ago, in 1835, I was not on this spot but in 
the neighborhood here with General Figueroa, governor of the state. Then 
we had six hundred troops, we met here the tribes of Cainemeros, Guilicos, 
Sotomelos, and all the tribes were collected here to meet the great general. Very 
well, and what did we meet? About 20,000 people, all naked, no hats, no shirts, 
no pants, no anything, well dressed, but all naked." The general spoke of the 
Bear Flag party as his friends that came to this county and in his own Sonoma 
home raised the Bear Flag. 

At the time of the raising of the Bear Flag those pioneers took their lives 
in their own hands. They were a band of Americans that knew no fear, but 
this the Mexican governor did not know when he ordered them out of the coun- 
try after having promised them homes and titles to land. They had been a 
peaceable people, had recognized the government, v.'hat little there was of it. 
but when ordered out of California without cause was not the way that a pioneer 
went. "Father" James Gregson was once asked if they did not feel a little 
shakey when this order was made; "No," he said, "but we looked well to our 
guns and ammunition." Such expressions tell more of the character of those 
Bear ?"lag men than can be written in many pages of history. 


The land produced heavy crops of any product planted; potato raising, 
which was confined mostly to the coast range valleys and hills became profitable, 
and there was always a ready market in supplying the mines. Grain was in de- 
mand and as soon as there was an opportunity to export, then it became an in- 
dustry followed extensively throughout the county and wheat, oats and barle\- 



were the staple exports. \'egetables of all kinds brought top-notch prices; beef 
steers sold at from $80 to $100 a head, cows $75 for dairy purposes ; hens, when 
sold at all, brought from $15 to $25 per dozen, and eggs from $1 to $1.50 per 
dozen. The soil produced wonderful crops, wheat often running as high as 
fifty to seventy-five bushels to the acre, barley and oats from fifty to eighty 
bushels. We knew of one eighty-acre field of oats that yielded 121 bushels to the 
acre and we could have picked out several acres of that same field that would have 
threshed 150 bushels. Grain farming was followed extensively until 1885, since 
then fruit raising, dairying and poultry-raising have been the leading industries. 

From 1865 to 1885 Sonoma county produced— wheat, 33,746,850 bushels; 
oats, 27,217,125 bushels; barley, 37,650,017 bushels; corn, 1,985,350 bushels; 
r}e, 138,225 bushels; buckwheat, 4,800 bushels. The latter is not grown as a 
commercial crop. Corn is grown principally on Russian river. Dry creek and 
Mark West creek. In an early day there was not much market for his crop 
and the Russian river farmers fed it to their hogs, then they had a hard time to 
create a market for their bacon, on account 01 there being so much eastern bacon 
shipped from the east to the mines, but b>- the time it arrived in the mining camps 
it was almost unfit for use and large quantities of California bacon was sold 
as the eastern product and was delivered fresh and sweet. The ranchers then 
devised a plan to dispose of their stock on hand, several were selected to visit 
the different markets and call for Russian river bacon. Santa Rosa, Petaluma 
and San Francisco were visited in turn and a call at all the stores was made for 
the article, but none could be found and they would say they "wanted that or 
none." They finally found one market in San Francisco where their query was 
met with a demand to know "where that bacon could be secured, if there was 
much of it, and where it was made;" the merchant was given the names of the 
very men who were his visitors but was not told that they were some of those 
that had the bacon for sale. It was not long after that until the product of 
the enterprising Russian river farmers could be purchased at almost every store 
in these cities. The wine makers of the county found much the same trouble 
in establishing a market as had the Russian river farmers with their bacon. After 
they had visited the various cities with the demand for Sonoma county wine, 
that or none, it was not long until the product of the Sonoma county vineyards 
could be found in nearly every wholesale and retail liquor establishment in all 
the cities visited. 

Dairying and stock raising has been carried on at a profit. The methods 
of the dairymen are much different now than they were in the early days. Then 
each dairyman made his own butter, but now they have their dairy equipped 
with a separator, the cream being extracted and taken to a creamery and the 
milk retained and fed to hogs. The results are much more profitable. Dairying, 
fruit raising and the poultry business are followed so extensively that the county 
does not produce its own food supply except hay. Instead of being an exporter 
of grain it imports large quantities of cereals and ground feed. 

While fruits are grown all over the county, likewise every other product, 
even to semi-tropical fruits, yet there are some sections where they will grow 
to perfection. The time will come when each section of the county will be 
devoted to growing the fruits best adapted to the local conditions as has been 
shown by the oranges about Cloverdale and the Gravenstein apple of the Analy 


district. Apple growing has been followed for many years, for home use and 
market. The Russians planted on orchard at Ft. Ross in 181 1, and apples were 
planted by General Vallejo very early at Old Sonoma. In the '60s one good 
apple tree was worth more than any acre of good grain land. Olives are grown 
but not to any commercial extent ; peaches, prunes and apples are now becoming 
some of the staple products of the county and the prune, like the apple, will 
thrive over a wider range than most fruits. 


The following tables are taken from the Sonoma Democrat; comparative 
temperatures. "We have frequently referred to the fact that there is a warm 
belt on the slopes of the hills which surround the valleys of Sonoma county. 
Within this belt frost seldom falls, and when the soil is suitable, the most sen- 
sitive tropical plants can be successfully cultivated. During the winter months 
the range of the thermometer at sunrise is at least ten degrees higher in the warm 
belt than it is in the valleys, while during the heat of the day it is several degrees 
lower. We give herewith a table of the range of the thermometer within this 
belt and at Santa Rosa, for every day during November and December, 1878. 
The observations were taken ihree times a day, in the hills, by G. N. Whitaker, 
whose fruit farm is situated on top of the divide separating Santa Rosa from 
Bennett valley, between six and seven hundred feet above the sea level ; in Santa 
Rosa the observations were taken by the late R. .•\. Thompson. The thermome- 
ters were of the same make and were previously compared. It will be observed 
from the table that the average mean temperature for the month of November at 
sunrise, is ten degrees higher in the warm belt than at Santa Rosa, while the mean 
temperature is higher by several degrees at noon in the valley than at Whitaker"s. 
At sunset the mean temperature of both places is nearly equal. On the mornings 
of the 28th and 29th of November, when it registered as low as 29 degrees and 
there was a heavy black frost, it marked but 39 and 40 degrees at Whitaker's and 
thei-e was just the color of frost in very low, moist places on the farm. These 
figures are worthy of the careful attention of those engaged in or those who pro- 
pose to engage in agricultural pursuits in any of its branches in this locality." 

Day of Santa Rosa — November. Whitaker's. 

month. Sunrise. Noon. Sunset. Remarlis. Sunrise. Noon. Sunset. Remarks. 


The observations for December are of peculiar interest and value for it was 
a phenomenon in the climatic history of the state as far as my experience runs. 
Old residents claim that it was as cold in the winter of '50-'si, but no one re- 
members and the records do not show any night when the mercury went below 
the mark set in 1878, of 18 degrees above zero in Santa Rosa. By a comparison 
of the tables it will be seen that on the 29th, it was 13 degrees higher at Whit- 
aker's at sunrise .than in Santa Rosa. During tlie warm nights the difference is 
not as great as during the coldest. It will be seen that the thermometer did 
not fall below the freezing point but twice during the month of December at 
Whitaker's. The table shows a remarkable difference and demonstrates to a 
mathematical certainty the existence of a warm belt on the hills. It is believed 
that the soil on the hills is as rich in many places and often richer than that of 
the plain, which gives an additional interest to this development of a warm belt 
of the hill lands because sensitive plants which will not stand the frosts of the 
valley would be certain of growth on the hills. 

Santa Rosa — December, 1878. Whitaker's. 

high wind 

Mean .321,4 55% .10 52 52 49 

From the memorandum kept by Air. Whitaker it shows that the temper- 
ature was taken three times a day from October i. 1878. to October i, 1879. 
During that year there were forty-one rainy days, March taking the lead with 
thirteen and October the least. There were seventy foggy days : October, 2 ; No- 
vember, 5; December, 3: February, 2; March, i ; July, 16, .\ugust 16; September, 
25. .A.s a general thing the fogs did not last but a few hours, coming in early in the 
evening or during the night and spreading over the land causing all vegetation 
to put on bright colors. It disappeared by ten o'clock with the exception of 
five days when it remained all day. Many days during the winter the valleys 
are enveloped in fog, while the sun is shining brightly upon the mountain homes. 
On the night of December 22, 1879, the wind blew almost a gale and at sunrise 
the thermometer registered 23 degrees, the lowest it was ever known to be in 
the hill section. The warmest day in '79 was August ist, when the mercury stood 
at 102 at noon : .August 2nd it was loi ; and on the third it was 99 degrees. 


The heaviest rainfall for a period of thirty-six years was in i8yo. when it 
registered 65.75 inches, and the lightest was in '63-'64, when only 12.06 inches 
fell, also in '67- "68 there was only 13.15 inches. The rainfall from iSSg to 1901 
was: 1889, 25.99: 1890, 65.75; 1891, 21.55; 1892, 28.83; 1893, 33.45; 1894, 
27.16; 1895, 45.81: 1896, 31.48; 1897, 31.41; 1898, 18.74; 1899, 23.04: 1900, 
28.83; 1901, 28.71. In Petaluma the record for ten years was as follows — 1876-7. 
13.15: 1877-8, 39.24; 1878-9, 20.83; 1879-80, 26.83; 1880-1, 24.55; 1881-2, 
17.04; 1882-3, 19.15; 1883-4, 24.55; 1884-5, 14-96; 1885-6, 28.89. I" tlie ten 
years the average rainfall for the southern part of the county was 23.14 inches. 
From the observations taken by Robert Hall in the Sonoma valley for three years, 
1886. 34.74; 1887, 20.75; 1888, 20. From these observations a good idea can 
be obtained of the average rainfall in the county. 1863-4 were dry years in the 
state and the stock throughout the southern part died from starvation ; in Sonoma 
county there were enormous crops. There is only one other record known of 
a dry year in the state and that was in 1828, at which time the Spaniards lost 
all their stock except some young animals that were driven to Tulare lake and 
there lived on the tules. 


The following tables will give the comparison of the assessed valuations of 
real and personal property as taken from the assessor's books in 1873 and 1910. 

Total assessments for 1910, $33,829,645, a gain over 1909 of $636,355, and 
gain of $17,653,085 over 1873. Incorporated cities: Santa Rosa, $4,942,730; 
Petaluma, $3,111,640; Healdsburg, $948,650; Sebastopol, $624,735: Sonoma, 
$463,615: Cloverdale, $361,485. Road Districts: Glen Ellen, $468,616; Agua 
Calieute, $656,570; San Luis, $1,099,185; Penn Grove, $1,348,805; Lakeville, 
$1,066,800; ATagnolia, $1,548,140; Marin, $859,815; Bloomfield, $980,195: Gold 
Ridge, $1,384,460; Forestville, $867,930: Russian River, $1,205,250; Fulton, 
$2,136,510; Bellevue, $2,136,510; Geyser, $865,565; Washington, $872,585; 
Knights Valley, $484,820: Mendocino, $2,098,250; Bodega, $1,216,665; Ocean. 
$685,765; Redwood, $1,216,665; Salt Point, $815,050. Number of acres sown 
to grains in 1910. wheat, 2,200 acres; oats, 4,060; barley, 1,200; corn, 780; hay, 
57,760; potatoes. 1. 120: alfalfa, 340. The list from the assessor's books ior 1873 
was as follows: Money on hand or deposit. $146,466; goods, wares and mer- 
chandise. $502,093 : ships, vessels and other water craft, $2,706 ; wagons, imple- 
ments, harness, machinery, robes, $415,303: live stock, all kinds, $1,394,824; 
household goods, fixtures, etc., $243,960; libraries, jewelry, musical instruments, 
firearms, $104,694; toll road, $5,000; telegraph lines, $2,000; wood, lumber, 
$58,408; bees, poultry, wool, butter, $34,250; hay, $1,598; wines, brandies, 
$130,688, making a total of $2,939,578. The total cash value of real estate in 
the four grades No. i — 185,129 acres, $368,618; No. 2 — 90,819, $664,033; No. 
3—168,869, $2,388,894; No. 4—601,862, $4,796,096; total recapitulation, real 
estate and improvements, $12,551,317. Personal property, $2,939,578; railroad 
tracks and rolling stock, $685,665, making a grand total of all property assessed, 
$16,176,560. for 1873. 


Statistics of the fruit producing sections secured from the books of the 
assessor for 1910: 


Grapes— Table i^o acres bear 

Wine 16,440 " 

Apple trees 229,120 bearing 

Apricots 22,540 " 

Cherry 45,720 " 

Fig 4,510 " 

Nectarines 740 " 

Olives 67,080 

Peaches 81,270 

Pears 82,270 

Plums 6,740 " 

Prunes— French 540,820 

Others 47,220 " 

Hops 2,760 

Quince 1,310 " 

Lemon 792 

Oranges 9,760 " 

Almonds 7,085 " 

— 460 

—85.860 trees " " 

—19.350 " " " 


— 550 " " " 

— 72 



This is a very creditable increase over former years, yet fruit culture may 
be said to be only in its infancy. 

In 1905-6 I take from my inspector's book the following stock imported into 
the county for propagation : 266,000 trees consisting of apples, cherries, plums, 
pears, and in addition 139,000 budded and grafted trees; apples, pears, peaches, 
plums, lemons, oranges, nectarines, prunes, apricots, nut bearing trees besides 
a vast number of ornamental trees, plants and shrubs. This does not include the 
stock raised by the nurserymen. 

In 1884 the county assessor classified the lands of the country into four 
grades, first and least valuable was the mountain land amounting to 300,000 
acres : second, timber and hillside pasture land, 200,000 acres ; third, rolling 
lands denuded of timber lying along or near the sea coast and used for dairy 
purposes estimated at 200,000 acres ; and fourth, the rich bottom lands of about 
150,000 acres. This estimate was given twenty-seven years ago, and I will not 
vouch for its accuracy at this time. It was the best classification that could be 
made at that date. No mention was made of the tule and overflowed lands of 
which there must be about 100,000 acres. 

Sonoma mountains occupy the central portion of the county and in them 
the old Indian chieftain left a record of his name that will never die, as Sonoma 
valley and mountain were named after him. The highest peak is Sonoma of 
about 2,306 feet elevation. The chain is about thirty miles long and eight to 
ten miles wide and ninety per cent of the land is tillable even though of a vol- 
canic fortnation. There is hardly a forty acre tract of land scattered through- 
out these mountains that is not supplied with a spring of fine water or upon 
which water cannot be developed from shallow wells. Soil thrown out of wells 
from a depth of 10 to 20 feet along this range, produces better than the surface 
soil. Gas has been found in many places and only awaits capital to develop it in 
paying quantities. It is of very fine quality and burns equal to that found in 
the eastern fields. The base of Sonoma peak is the ending of Bennett valley, 
the peak which looms high and lofty as if to say t® the valley "thus far shalt 
thou go and no farther, for I am lord of all southern Sonoma county and my 
height there is none to dispute." 

The Evening Bulletin in 1884 said and this will apply more forcibly today 
for Sonoma county than at that time : "Is there any probability that fruit is to 
be over-done in California?" The answer may be furnished in part bv such sta- 
tistics as those furnished a short time ago by the leading house in the dried-fruit 
trade in San Francisco. The product of dried fruits for 1883 is here shown; sun- 
dried raisins, 125,000 pounds; apples, 800,000; peaches, 500,000; pears, 75,000: 


apricots, 300,000; nectarines, 20,000; figs, 60,000; evaporated apples, 250,000; 
apricots, 90,000 ; sun dried French prunes, 250,000 ; grapes, 1 50,000 ; pitted plums, 
100,000; comb honey, 125,000; extracted, 835,000; almonds, 700,000. Suppose 
the products here noted had been ten times as large, would there have been any 
difficulty in finding a market? 

The firm that furnished these statistics also furnished an answer that will 
apply as well today as it did then. "Out of a population of over 80,000,000 
people east, it is quite safe to say that not to exceed 20,000,000 have ever yet 
tasted California dried fruits." 

So the question of over-doing the fruit industry in California is one that 
is not likely to arise for several generations if it ever does arise. This is as 
true for Sonoma county as it is for the state and we make the assertion without 
fear of contradiction that Sonoma county today produces more dried fruits than 
was reported for the whole state in 1883. French prunes alone in Sonoma county 
amounted to 15,560 tons in 1910, while in 1883 the whole state produced 250,- 
000 pounds. I have been unable to get the correct tonnage of the dried fruit ship- 
ments from the county on account of the unwillingness of some of the shippers 
to give this data. 


In reviewing the incidents of my connection with the Order of the Patrons 
of Husbandry I am too sensible of my defects not to think it impossible to have 
at times differed with my fellow Patrons of the order, but I shall always indulge 
in the hope that what errors I may have made will be considered errors of the 
mind and not of the heart, and after forty-one years of active service in the 
order with earnestness and zeal, the faults, whatever they may be, will be con- 
signed to the pages of oblivion as I must soon be, to the mansions of rest. 

G. N. Whitaker. 

Shortly after writing the foregoing pages of Sonoma county farm history, 
and before the publication of this work, Mr. Whitaker died at his beautiful 
home in Bennett Valley near Santa Rosa. He went to his bed and to sleep at 
the close of day, and never awoke. A long, a useful, a noble life ended during 
the still watches of a soft summer night. How true was his prediction, noted at 
the close of his article — "I must soon be consigned to the mansions of rest." 

Tom Gregory. 




In this work there has been Httle or no attempt to make a county finance 
"exhibit." but only to show the grand, unfailing sources of wealth in this ter- 
ritory. From Petaluma, with her treasure-producing factories placing their 
output on tidewater, passing along through the hop and poultry yards, prune 
and apple orchards, grape and berry vineyards, grain and hay fields up to the 
citrus groves of Cloverdale, the golden dollars are harvested every season — 
Without Irrigation. In all these flourishing centers are the banks, — those in- 
stitutions of trade, testamentary of the local commerce. Geyserville — Bank of 
Geyserville ; Cloverdale — Bank of Cloverdale ; Healdsburg — Farmers' and 
Mechanics' Bank of Healdsburg, The Sotoyome Bank of Healdsburg; Sebastopol 
— Analy Savings Bank of Sebastopol, First National Bank of Sebastopol ; Santa 
Rosa — Exchange Bank, First National Bank. Savings Bank of Santa Rosa, 
Union Trust-Savings Bank, Santa Rosa Bank ; Petaluma — Bank of Sonoma 
County, Swiss-American Bank of Petaluma, California Savings Bank, Peta- 
luma National Bank ; Valley Ford — Dairymens' Bank ; Guerneville — Bank of 
Guerneville; Sonoma — Sonoma Valley Bank. All crops this year (1911) are at 
hightide — grapes, apples, eggs, oranges, hops — hops recently jumped from ten to 
forty cents per lb., because of the scarcity in foreign countries. "Without Irri- 
gation," is one of the boom texts of Sonoma. There is not a water ditch in the 
county. When the first settlers looked around they found Mother Nature attend- 
ing to the irrigating, and she has been holding down the job ever since. And 
doing it well. With Burbank to invent new agricultural things, and Nature to 
make them grow, Sonoma harvests will come through just as sure as the sea- 
sons roll around. 


The property valuation as shown by the assessment rolls for this year, 
191 1, show the financial advancement of the county. The total assessment is 
$36,047,925, a gain of $2,226,000 over the year 1910. But deducting certain 
properties which are exempt from county taxation, the present real assessed 
valuation of Sonoma is $35,025,680, divided as follows : 

Real estate other than city and town lots $16,250,175; improvements of 
same, $5,066,000. City and town lots, $4,332,250; improvements on same, $4,- 
859>725- Value of improvements on real estate, assessed to persons other than 
owners of real estate, $154,945. Total value of real estate and improvements, 
$30,663,095. Personal property. $4,301,485; money, $36,700; solvent credits, 

Property in cities : Cloverdale — real estate, $108,235 : improvements, $188-, 
945; personal property, $48,380: total, $345,560. 

Healdsburg — real estate, $323,240; improvements. $461,245; personal prop- 
erty, $186,245; total, $970,730. 


Sonoma — real estate, $168,970; improvements, $232,585; personal prop- 
erty, $76,675; money, $1,200; solvent credits, $800; total, $480,220. 

Santa Rosa — real estate, $2,102,410: improvements, $2,136,365; personal 
property, $635,060; money, $5,800; solvent credits, $2,200; total, $4,881,835. 

Petaluma — real estate, $1,240,395; improvements, $1,355,365; personal 
propeity, $591,140; money, $6,200; solvent credits, $2,210; total, $3,195,310. 

Sebastopol — real estate, $194,415; improvements, $304,975; personal prop- 
erty, $116,195; money, $5,490; solvent credits, $2,400; total, $621,475. 

Total value of property in cities, $10,495,130. 

On the new assessment rolls of the coimty the acreage of table grape vines 
is given at 500, and the acreage of wine vines at about 17,000. 

Number of growing fruit trees: Apple 234,410 bearing, and 61,740 non- 
bearing; apricot 23,640, and 16,410; cherry 45,980, and 10,120; fig 4,670, and 
470; olive 68,110, and 24,160; peach 24, 830, and 58,730; pear 82,190, and 12,- 
710; plum 6,870, and 530; prune 598.230, and 97,150; lemon 805, and 45 : orange, 
9,790, and 720; almond 8,020, and 1,310; walnut 5,050, and 430. 

Acres sown for crop of 191 1 : Wheat 2,310; oats 3,070; barley 1,370: corn 
480; hay 54,310; hops 2,850: potatoes 1,070; standing alfalfa 345. 


According to the census of 191 1, the population of the Republic — without 
Alaska and insular possessions, the state, the county and its cities and towns, 
is as follows : 

United States 91,972,299; California 2,377,549; Sonoma county 48,394. 
Cities — Santa Rosa 7,817; Petaluma 5,880; Healdsburg 2,011; Sebastopol 1,265; 
Sonoma 957: Cloverdale 823. The populations accredited to Santa Rosa and 
Petaluma are the residents within the respective limits of those places which 
were established years ago. In each city there are probably 3,000 people living 
without the municipal lines. Towns — some of these places are mere post office 
stations or small hamlets with nominal population, the figures of which are 
not given: Agua Caliente 33: Annadel ; Asti no; Bay; Bellevue; Black Point; 
Bloomfield 359; Bodega 283; Burke 44: Camp Meeker 40: Cazadero no; Clover- 
dale 830; Cotati 45; Cozzens 233; Duncans Mills 185: Eldridge (State Hos- 
pital) 1,100; El Verano 75; Fort Ross 63; Freestone 122: Fulton 215; Glen 
Ellen 350; Geyserville 400; Guerneville 695; Hilton 21; Jenner; Kellogg 20; 
Kenwood 220; Lakeville 67: Lytton 26 (Salvation Army Industrial Home con- 
tains probably 200 additional) : Markham : Mark West 25; Monte Rio 20; Oc- 
cidental 640; Penn Grove 330; Pme Flat; Plantation no; Preston 70; Rio 
Nido; Sears Point; Sea View 55; Shellville 143; Skaggs 22; Stewarts Point 
120; Stony Point 60; Geysers 22: \'alley Ford 220; Wilfred: Windsor 532; 
Forestville, 300. 


Every acre of Sonoma county is covered by a school district, in the center 
of which is a school house and in which is a school. No Sonoma child can live 
far enough back or high enough up in the mountain sections to be out of touch 
with his or her district school, and no established country school ever closes its 
doors during the session-period. In the most populized centers, Cloverdale, 
Healdsburg, Santa Rosa. Sebastopol, Petaluma and Sonoma, are the High 
Schools, occupying -splendid buildings, ranking well up as educational iiistitu- 


tions. and according to the grade of work done, on the State University ac- 
credited Hst. The number of districts is 49 — a talismanic term in California. 

From the office of Miss Florence Barnes, County Superintendent of Schools, 
is given the following information : 

Elementary schools: 

Number of census children 1910-1911 10,659 

Average daily attendance 1909-10 5,980 

Number of teachers employed 252 

The sources of revenue for these expenditures are as follows: 

Amount received from State taxes $117,342.10 

Amount received from County taxes 93,656.40 

Amount received from District taxes 5,119.45 

The valuation of Elementary School property in Sonoma County is as follows: 

\'alue of lots, buildings, furniture, etc $497,395.00 

\'alue of school libraries 32,285.00 

Values of apparatus 15,060.00 

Total value of school property $544,740.00 

High Schools: 
Number of schools, 6. 

Average daily attendance 1909-1910 706 

Number of teachers employed 35 

Amount paid for teachers' salaries 1909-10 $42,663.00 

Amount paid for current expenses, supplies, etc 16,188.74 

Amount for buildings 20,533.37 

Amount paid for books 1909-10 1,259.22 

Total expenses for the year 1909-10 $80,644.33 

Sources of revenue for the support of high schools are as follows: 

State taxes $ 9,103.09 

Special taxes 50,758.69 

Value of High School property in Sonoma County: 

Lots, buildings and furniture $ 98,450.00 

Laboratories 6,025.00 

Libraries 4,510.00 

Total Value $108,985.00 


The official salaries of the California counties of the tenth class — of which 
is Sonoma — are as follows: Superior judges (two) $4,000 a year each; super- 
visors (five) $1,000 each and fifteen cents a mile going to and from residence 
to county seat, also same mileage traveling as road commissioners ; clerk $2,000, 
chief deputy $1,500, three deputies $1,200 each, also several additional deputies 
for registration purposes between June and November in general election years, 
$4 a day each; sheriff $2,000 and fees, undersherilT $1,500, four deputies $1,200 
each; recorder $2,000, deputy $1,200, four copyists $900 each; auditor $2,400, 
deputy $900; treasurer $2,000 and fees, deputy $900; tax collector $3,000 and 
fees; revenue and taxation deputy $1,200, with the fees additional clerks are 



employed when needed: assessor $4,200, chief deputy $1,500, revenue and tax- 
ation deputy $1,500, with the fees additional deputies are employed v^hen needed; 
district attorney $2,400, assistant $1,800, deputy assistant $1,200, stenographer 
$750; coroner fees and mileage; public administrator fees and mileage, school 

superintendent $2,000 and fees, deputy $1,200; surveyor $1,800, deputy $900. 
W'lien not emploxed in public service the surveyor may engage in private work. 

Tables Showing the State and County Officers from the year 

1911, inclusive. 

NAME OF OFFICE. 1S49. 1850. 1S51. 1852. 1853. 

State Senator M. O. Vallejo M. E. Cook M. E. Cook J. M. Hudspeth....!. M. Hudspeth. 

Assemblymen J. E. Brackett A. Steams J. M. Hudspeth. .. H. P. Ewing J. N. Burnett.. 

J. S. Bradford J. S. Bradford L. W. Boggs James \V. McKameyW. B. Hagane.. 

County Judge H. A. Green C. P. Wilkins P. R. Thompson. .Frank Shattuck. 

Sheriff I. Brockman I. Brockman I. Brockman I. Brockman. . . 

Clerk John Hendley John Hendley John Ilendlev X. McC. Menefee 

Treasurer A. C. McDonald. . A. C. McDonald. .. G. W. Mill-r . r. w Miller... 

District Attorney J. E. McNair T. p. McNair J. E. MrNnr Clark... 


.J. A. lin ,1. • 

• ]■'■ iTi Talbot. 


:\v"'T 1i''n';'r,i:: 

r 11 (J Heald 

.James Singley.. 

.Ale.\. Copeland.. 

State Senator. 

County Judge. 
Sheriff. . .. 



P. Heintzleman 
mes Stewart. . . . 

"y McNair!.'.' 


McC. Mcncfee. 
W. Miller.... 

.H. P. Heintzleman 

.H. G. Heald 

.J. S. Rathburn... 
.\Vm. Chur.'hman.. 
.A. C. BIcl.u,. ..,, 
.X. Mc. Mciif.. 

!l. 'g. -WkkrillKiin 

.A. W. Taliaferro. 
.Uriah Edwards... 
.Richard Harrison. 

.A. W. Taliaferro. 
.Uriah Edwards... 
.J. S. Ormsby.... 
.Wtn. Churchman. 

'.\\- I'l rrowel'l!!! 
..l,.lin Hendley... 

. Jasper O'Farrell 
.J. B. Lamar.... 
.J. S. Robertson. 
.Wm. Churchman 


Treasurer. . . . 



.W. H. Crowell. 
..John Hendley... 

Surveyor. . . . 

.J. B. Woods 

.Joel Miller 

.Nath. NiicUols... 

.W. G. hc-o 

.F. G. Hahraan... 
.J. S. Williams... 
.W. B. Hagans... 

.J. B. Woods.... 
.Joel Miller 


Coroner". . . .'. 
Supervisor. . . 

S, D. Towne 


Josiah Moran.... 

S. Cheeseman 

Robert Smith 

. W. G. Lee 

.B. B. Bonham... 
. W. B. Atterbury. 
.J. S. Williams... 
.D. McDonald.... 

. W. i:. Lee 

. K. A, Eisher 

. W. B. Atterbury. 
.J. S. Williams... 
. James Prewitt . . . 

.Nath. Nuckols.. 

.J. S. Williams. 
.Alex. Copeland. 

Smith J. Morin. 

.Josiah Morin J. Estis 

Jos. Knowlea. 


State Senator 

Assemblymen ....... 

.John H. Hill. 
. 0. W. Reed. . 
-J, C. Dow... 

County Judge. 



District Attorney 



Superintendent Schools, 

Wm. Churchman. .Wm. Churchman. 

J. J. Ellis T. J. Ellis 

Frank Shattuck. . . Frank Shattuck . . 

John Hendley John Hendley .... 

R. C. Flournoy. . . R. C. Flournov... 

J. B. Woods J. B. Woods 

T. H. Pyatt T. H. Pyatt 

Chas. C. Snider .. Chas. C. Snider. 
Frank Shattuck 
J. H. Holraan. 
Stephen Payran 

1862. 1863. 

. McNabb George Pearce. . 

Rider Jacob Smith 

. Beeson O. H. Hoag 

T. Dunne Murray Whallon. 

. F. G. Hahn 

ihurchman . . Wm. Churchi 

Bowles J. M. Bowles . . , 

Anderson . , W. L. Anderson . 

C. W. 

, F. G. 

Holman . , 
n Payran 

Josiah Morin H. M. Willson. , 

Wm.McPherson Hill Josiah Morin. . 

..Wm. H. Jones Wi 

. .H. B. Martin H. 

. .T. H. Pyatt T. 

..James M. Henry. . Ja: 

. .C. G. Ames C. 

. .W. S. Canan W. 

..L. C. Lewis L. 

. . Wm.McPherson Hill Josiah Morin 
..N. Fike N. Fike 

Wm.McPherson Hill Josiah Morin. 

.T. F. Baylis 

County Judge 




District .\ttomey. 


Superintendent Schools. 



Road Commissioner... 


.Geo. Pearce 

. Jacob Smith 

.0. H. Hoag 

. Murray Whallon , 
. C. W. Langdon . 

.J. P. Clark 

. AV. L. Anderson . 
. H. P. Hohnes. . . 

. Wm. Ross 

.N. Gray 

. T. H. Pyatt 

. W. R. Morris... 

C. G. Ames 

L. C. Reybum. .. 



. Geo. Pearce 

. A. C. Bledsoe 

. 0. H. Hoag 

. J. L. Downing. . . 
. C. W. Langdon . . 

. J. P. Clark 

. W. L. .\nderson . . 
. E. T. Farmer... 

.Wm. Ross 

.J. B. Woods 

.Murray Whallon. 

. G. W. Huie 

. C. G. .\mes 

. R. G. Baber 

. L. D. Cockrill... 

'. J.K. Smith. .... 

.A. B. Aull 

. Zadock Jackson . . 


Geo. Pearce 

S. Martin 

Wm. Caldwell.. 
J. B. Warfleld.. 
C. W. Langdon. 

Sam Potter 

W. L. Anderson. 
E. T. Farmer.. 
A. P. Overton.. 

J. B. Woods 

W. H. Bond 

A. J. Gordon. . . . 
C. G. .kmes.... 
h. D. Cockrill.. 

Wm. Mead 

Zadock Jackson . 

G. W. Frick 

J. K. Smith... 
John D. Grant. . 


Burnett. . . 

ly Henley. 

Munday. . 

J. B. AVooda. . 
W. H. Bond... 
A. J. Gordon. 
a. W. Jones. . . 
G. P Noonan. 
S. Larrisen.... 

R. Head 

J. D. Grant. .. 
J. H. Griggs. . . 
J. M. Palmer. 

.J. P. Clark 

. W. L. Anderson. 
. H. P. Holmes. . 

.Wm. Ross 

. N. Grey 

.T. H. Pyatt 

. Wm. R. Morris.. 
. C. G. Ames.... 
. L. C. Reybum. . 

F. Tuttle... 
C. Hinshaw. . 
B. Mundav. . 
. Wm. Caldwell. . 
. .\. P. Overton.. 
. E. Latapie 

W. R. Morris. . 

G. T. Pauli 

Barclay Hendley. 

J. B. Woods. . . 

, W. H. Bond 

, W. C. Gaines. . 
, G. W. Jones. . . 
, L. B. Hall.... 
, Chas. Humphries 

, R. Head 

, J. H. Griggs. . . 
. J. M. Palmer. . . 
. D. D. Phillips.. 



.W. S. M. Wright 

James Dixon 

.W. H. Northcutt. 

Tuttle. . . 
Samuels . 

Tuttle.. . 
, Cooly... 

Supeiintendent Schools .\le 

Coroner & Adm'r J. 

Super\-isor J- 

. Holman . 
Palmer. . . 

..D. D. Philips. 
..W. K. Rogers. 
. Jhos. Beacom . 

.Joseph Wright. 
J. T. Fortson. 

.T. N. Willis 

.Barclay Henley. 
.J. B. Woods. .. 

.0. H. Hoag 

.Geo. W. Sparks. 
.Alex. McMeans. 

.Kelly Tighe 

.W. K. Rogers. . 
.Thos. Beacom . . 
.J. D. Ilassctt.. 

.Gus Warner 

. H. WeaDieringto 

I. L. Dinwiddle.. 

, . .R. A. Thompson 

. . .Mathew Aiken 

. . .Wm. E. McConnell. 

. ..A. L. Cox 

...Ben. S. Wood 

. . .Geo. W. Sparks. . . 

. . .E. W. Davis 

. . .Kelly Tighe 

. . .J. M. Charles 

, ..R. W. Acker 

. . .John Field 

...II. Weatherington . 
lolm Tivnen 

, . t!. -\. Thompson. 
. .Mathew Aiken . . . 

. .\. B. Ware 

..A. L. Cox 

..Ben. S. Wood. .. 
. .Geo. W. Lewis. . 
. .Chas. S. Smyth. 

..Kelly Tighe 

...John Tivnen 

..A. Averell 

. .Robert Crane 

. .R. W. Acker... 
. .John Field 


Congressman . ... ... 

State Senator 


Superior .Judge. 

Superintendent Schools . . 
Coroner & .Administrator. 



Barclay Henley Barclay Henley . 

. G. A. Johnson G. A. Johnson. . 

.J.T.Campbell S. I. .\llen . . . 

S S Martin M. E. C. Mund 

.■john Field.: W. T. Hears... 

. Jackson Temple Jackson Temple 

.J. G. Pressley J. G. Pressley. 

.T. C. Bishop T. C. Bishop.. 

. R. A. Thompson J- F. Mulgrew. 

.Matt Aildn G. .\ Tupper. . . 

.Thos. J. Geary D. ( . Allen... 

. P. R. Davis F. R. m.nm.-.n. 

. A. C. McMeans J. 1* ■ Naughton 

. A. C. McMeans J- F- Naughtor 

. G. W. Lewis 

. C. S. Smyth 

.Kelly Tighe 

. E. E. Morse 

. Geo. F. Allen 

. T. L. Thompson. 
. E. C. Hinshaw. . . 
.J. W. Ragsdale. 

. Robert Howe 

. F. B. Miilgvcw. . . 
.Jackson Temple.. 

.J. G. Pressley 

. K. P. Colgan 

.J. F. Mulgrew... 

.G. A. Tupper 

.Geo. Pearce 

.P. R. Davis 

Moore . 

A. P. 
. A. P. 
. Wm. 

McG. Martin 
.John Tivnen.. 
. John O'Haia. . 
. Geo. F. Allen. 
. S. T. Coulter. . 
. J. D. Connolly 
. G. V. Davis. . . 



State Senator 


Superior Judge. 




District .\ttorney 


Recorder. . 



Superintendent Schools . 
Coroner & .\dminlstrator 

Congres,sman . 
State Senatoi 
Assemblyman , 

Clerk . 

.J. J. De Haven . 
. E. C. Hinshaw . . 
.J. W. Ragsdale. 
.Robert Howe... 
. F. B. Mulgrew.. 
.Jackson Temple. 
.Thos. Rutledge.. 
.J. G. Pressley.. 
. E. P. Colgan... 
.L. W. Juilliard. 

. P. N. Stolen 

. A. G. Burnett. . . 

. P. R. Davis 

. A. P. Moore. . . . 

. A. P. Moore 

.Wm. Longmore. 
. F. McG. Martin . 

. John Tivnen 

. M. R. Cadv 

, G. V 

'. Allen, 
Clark . . 
Smith . 
Davis . 


. . J. A. Barham 

. . J. C. Holloway . . . 

. . W. F. Price 

. . W. S. Staley 

. . S. K. Dougherty. . 
. . R. F. Crawford . . . 

. .Sam I. Allen 

. .S. B. Fulton 

. . E. F. Woodward. 

District Attorney Emmet _^SeawelL 

Surveyor ~ —• . - <- 



. L. E. 

Superintendent Schools. . 
Coroner & Administrator. 

Ricksecker . . 
Atchinson . . . 
Atchinson . . . 
Vanderhoof . 

. . T. G. Young. . 
. .H. W. Austin. 
..J. W. Hall... 
. . E. W. Hayden 
. . .Tacob Joost . . . 
. .E. S. Gray... 

J. Geary.. 
Ragsdale . . 
Rarnett. . . 


Dougherty . 

.J. F. Mulgrew. . 
.L. W. Juilliard. 

. P. N. Stofen 

. A. G. Burnett. .. 
. L. E. Ricksecker 

. G. P. Hall 

. G. P. Hall 

. Wm. Longmore. . 
. F. McG. Martin. 
. A. J. Blaney. . . 

.M. R. Cady 

. James Mead .... 

, . Benj. Clark 

. .F. A. Smith 

. .J. W. Sales 

.J. A. Barham . . . 
. J. C. Holloway . . 

, w. F. Price 

. John Keegan 

. S. K. Dougherty. 
.A. G. 

. Sam 

[. Allen 

. Fulton 

\ Woodward, 
let Seawell. . . 

, F. B. Glynn . . 
. David Walls. . 
. T. C. Putnam . 

. Thos. J. Geary. . 
.J. W. Ragsdale. . 

. S. K. Dougherty. 

.Sam I. Allen 

.W. F. Wines 

.P. N. Stofen 

. Kmmet Seawell . . . 

.P. R. Davis 

.0. P. Hall 

. G. P. Hall 

.Wm. Longmore 

. E. W. Davis 

. H. W. Ungewitter. 

. P. H. Thompson . . . 

. James Mead 

, . Jacob Joost 

.J. W. Hall 

..J. W. Sales 


. J. A. Barham 

. Jus. C. Sims 

. W. F. Cowan 

. II. M. LeBaron 

. S. K. Dougherty. . 

, . A. G. Burnett 

. . Frank P. Grace 

, . S. B. Fulton 

. . E. F. Woodward. . . 

. . n. O. Webber 

. . N. V. V. Smyth... 
. . Fred L. Wright. .. 
..Fred L. Wright... 
. . Frank E. Dowd . . . 

. . Minnie Coulter 

..J. G. Pierce 

. .H. W. Austin 

. . F. B. Glynn 

..David Walls 

. . T. C. Putnam... 
..J. A. McMinn 


1900. 1902. 1904. 

. Kiank Combs Theodori; Hell D. E. McKinlay. 

. Jas. C. Sims E. P. Woodward E. P. Woodward. 

. F. A. Cromwell !■'. A. Cromwell F. A. Cromwell. 

. W.. F. Cowan C. O. Danbar Hiram Tripp. . . 

. S. K. Dougherty S. K. Dougherty S. K. Dougherty. 

A. G. Burnett A. G. Burnett A. G. Burnett.. 

Sheriff F. P. Grace F. P. Grace F. P. Grace 

Clerk S. B. Fulton Fred L. Wright Ired L. Wright. 

. . . E. F. Woodward G. K. Murdock G. E. Murdoch.. , 

...O.O.Webber C. H. Pond c. U. Pond 

... N. V. V. Smyth N. V. V. Smyth N. V. V. Smyth . . 

■■ L. Wright Fred G. Nagle Fred G. Nagle. . . 

L. Wright C. A. Pool c. A. Pool 

, Frank E. Uowd Frank E. Dowd Frank E. Dowd . . . 

Superintendent Schools Minnie Coulter Minnie Coulter Minnie Coulter... 

Coroner & Administrator J. G. Pierce F. L. Blackburn F. L. Blackburn. . 

Supervisor 11. W. Austin H. W. Austin H. W. Austin. . . 

F. B. alynn Gallant Raines C. L. Patteson 

Gallant Karnes Blair Hart Blair Hart 

Blair Hart G. J. Armstrong G. J. .Armstrong. . 

J. A. McMinn J. A. McMinn I. J. Buttun 

NAME or oi'FlCE. 1906. 1911. 

Congressman D. E. McKinlay V\ illiam Kent 

State Senator W. f. Price L. W. Juilliard 

Assemblyman Stanley ColUster Herbert W. Slater 

H. VV. A. Weske J. W. Hamilton 

Superior Judge Emmet Seawell Emmet Seawell 

A. G. Burnett T. C. Denny 

(T. C. Denny) 

Sheriff J. K. Smith J. K. S[nitk 

Clerk Fred L. Wright W. W. Felt, Jr 

Treasurer G. E. Murdock G. E. Murdock 

District Attorney clarence F. Lea Clarence F. Lea 

Surveyor G. H. Winkler G. H. Winkler 

(.Thus. McNamaraJ 

Recorder !• red G. Nagle !■ red G. Nagle 

Auditor C. A. Pool i.. A. Pool 

!• rank E. Dowd Frank E. Dowd 

Superintendent Schools UeU . Montgomery Florence M. Barnes 

Coroner & Administrator F. L. Blackburn F. L. Blackburn 

Supervisor H. W. Austin H. W. Austin 

C. L. Patteson C. L. Patteson 

lilair Hart BUir Hart 

'* 1. J. Button Lyman Green 

" G. J. Armstrong William King 

" tLyman Green) 

Note. — Between 1908 and 1911 L.. W. JulUiard and W. B. Whitney were in the a 
Assembly. The advance of A. G. Burnett to the Appellate bench lelt a vacancy lor '1 
Denny, and the death of Surveyor G. H. Winltler brought about the appointment of Tho 
McNamara for the remainder of the official term; Lyman Green was nrst appointed tu 
unexpired terra of Supervisor G. J. Armstrong. 



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MARK L. McDonald. 

It seems eminently fitting that the names of the early settlers in now- 
progressive localities should be perpetuated in such manner that their labors in 
the days of trial and hardship may remain an inspiration and encouragement 
to those who are to come after them. It is sometimes claimed that Republics 
are ungrateful, but this claim is not true in individual communities, for in all 
points of the compass are reminders of hero citizens, in the names of streets, 
towns, rivers, valleys or institutions, this happy method being particularly pop- 
ular in the west, where heroism and toil have figured so largely in the make-up 
of the pioneers. Of the early settlers in the town of Santa Rosa few if any have 
accomplished as much toward its upbuilding and development into the thriving 
city that it now is as has Mark L. McDonald, whose name is perpetuated in the 
avenue of that name as a mark of honor. 

The son of James and Martha (Peters) McDonald, natives respectively of 
Virginia and Kentucky, Mark L. McDonald was born in Washington county, 
Ky., May 5, 1833. He was reared in this southern home until he was about 
sixteen }ears of age. in the meantime attending the schools of the locality and 
gathering as much information therefrom as was possible. It far from satis- 
fied his ambitious nature, however, and in 1849, after a short stay in Missouri, 
he went to Schenectady, N. Y., and continued his studies in Union College, from 
which he was subsequently graduated. This was the period of the interest sud- 
denly created in California as a result of the finding of gold, and it was not a 
matter of any wonder that this ambitious young man should feel that the invi- 
tation to come and partake of the benefits therefrom were meant for him as 
much as for the thousands who flocked to the eldorado. After his graduation 
from college he returned to Kentucky and made preparation to cross the plains. 
Arrangements were finally completed, and with his parents he set out on the 
long march that extended from ocean to ocean. The train was a large one, 
consisting of sixty wagons, but it did not prove large enough to forestall inter- 
ference from the Indians ; however, had their number been less their trials 
would undoubtedly have taken a still more formidable aspect. As captain of 
the company Mr. McDonald was obliged to go ahead and select suitable camping 
places, and he records experiencing considerable difficulty in crossing the Platte 
river on account of quicksands. 

Two brothers had preceded Mr. McDonald to the west and weie located 
in Sacramento, and arrangements had been made for the comforts of the famil\ 
when they arrived. In that city the family were ultimately reunited. About this 
time the mines of Virginia City were attracting considerable attention, on ac- 
count of recent finds of silver, which later developed into gold. One of the 
brothers. Capt. James M. McDonald, had had a preliminary survey made by 


Mr. Kingsbury for the building of a road into Virginia City, and as soon as 
Mark L. came he started him back to Virginia City to take entire charge of the 
building of it. He also did the engineer's work and had charge of the hiring 
of the men employed, and later, when they charged a toll, he had charge of the 
toll collections also. The work which this involved was enormous, including 
besides the responsibility of construction, looking after the men and keeping 
the books of the business. It proved an invaluable experience in the life of 
the young man, and he counts it as one of the most enjoyable as well, as it 
brought him in contact witli many men of note, among whom may be mentioned 
the late Mark Twain, and he later became a close friend of Senators Stewart 
and Jones of Nevada. He also met Senator Hearst while there, and they be- 
came life-long friends and business associates. The salary which Mr. McDon- 
ald received as constructing engineer was $80 per month, a small remuneration 
for such responsible work in the light of present-day conditions, but neverthe- 
less he managed to save $1,500 from his earnings, and with this he went to 
San Francisco and later purchased a seat on the stock exchange. In June, 
1864, he purchased the seat of H. Camp, on the San Francisco Stock and Ex- 
change Board, for $1,400, and put through some of the largest transactions of 
stock of that time. In the history of the San Francisco Stock and Exchange 
Board written by Joseph L. King, the following paragraph is found: "Mark 
L. McDonald was six feet four inches high, towering over all in the turmoil 
of the ring. A Kentuckian by birth, with sandy hair and a full beard and blue 
eyes, he was a handsome man and a power on the Board." During his resi- 
dence in the metropolis he bought and sold considerable land, and in this, as in 
whatever he undertook, he was very successful. It was while a resident of that 
city that he made the acquaintance of Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker, 
and until the death of both of these men their friendshi]^ was close and inti- 
mate. While in Virginia City Mr. McDonald had become acquainted with Mr. 
Hearst, and in living the crude camp life they became great friends. They 
bunked and ate together, and later were interested in tlie mines in the Black 
Hills. After going to San Francisco Mr. McDonald went into the home of Mr., and remained there until his own marriage several years later. In the 
meantime they had become associated in many enterprises and they remained 
intimately connected in business, Mr. Hearst making many trips to the mines, 
while Mr. McDonald looked after their interests in San Francisco. After Mr. 
Hearst's death Mr. McDonald and Mrs. Hearst continued the friendship estab- 
lished, and today Mr. McDonald regards her as the queen of all great and good 
women, not alone on account of her philanthropic work, but also as one of the 
few remaining close friends of his pioneer days. 

Mr. McDonald's identification with Sonoma county and Santa Rosa dates 
from the year 1879, ^t which time he came to this city, and in the northeastern 
section bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, then a waving wheat field. 
With prophetic vision he saw the possibilities for the future of the little town, 
and at once set about subdividing the land and laying out streets and avenues 
in what was known as McDonald's addition to Santa Rosa. Residents of the 
town less courageous than he were delighted with the future prospects of their 
home city, and as a mark of appreciation for their benefactor, voted that the 
best residence street in the new subdivision should bear his name. This was 


done, and today McDonald avenue is pointed out as one of the show places of 
Santa Rosa. All the trees that now adorn the subdivision were planted by him, 
as well as shrubs and plants. Expense was not spared in carrying out his plan_s 
for the adornment and beautification of the tract, one of his ideas along this 
line being the representation of each state in the Union by a tree brought from 
each state, and many foreign countries were also represented. He also built 
and established the first water works in the city (now known as the Santa Rosa 
Water Company), laying the pipe lines with the aid of an experienced engineer 
from the east. An abundance of pure water has since been supplied to the city. 
He also laid out the first street railway in Santa Rosa, and was instrumental 
in having the first steam railroad built (now owned by the Southern Pacific), 
being one of the directors of the company that planned and financed the enter- 
prise. One of his duties in furthering the enterprise was buying up the rights 
of way from the ranchers through the many miles of country traversed by the 
road, and as indicative of the esteem and honor in which he was held by his 
compatriots, Stanford and Croker, in the enterprise, to him was given the 
honor of driving the last spike in Santa Rosa, tluis completing the road. It 
would have been surprising if JNIr. McDonald had not been called upon to help 
in the administration of the young and growing city. Recognizing the value 
of his superior judgment and ability his fellow-citizens elected him a member 
of the city council, and for a number of years he served that body faithfully. 
As became a man so thoroughly in touch with the upbuilding of the town as 
he was it was natural that he should take a keen interest in educational affairs 
and kindred enterprises. This interest was shown in a marked degree through 
his 'abors in the establishment of the first free library in the town, of which he 
was president for a long period. In later years Mr. Carnegie gave a library to 
the city and the city"s free library was finally merged into this. 

In all of his labors and benefactions ^Ir. McDonald has had the support 
and encouragement of his wife, who before her marriage in 1866 was Miss 
Ralphine North, a native of Natchez, Miss. Seven children were born of this 
union, and of them we mention the following: Mark L., Jr., was the eldest of 
the number, and a sketch of his life will be found elsewhere in this volume; 
Stewart passed away in 1507; Mabel is the wife of William H. Hamilton, of 
San Francisco, where they make their home; Edith is the wife of Selah Cham- 
berlain, also of that city ; Florence became the wife of Maxwell McNutt, of the 
same city ; and two daughters died in childhood. Now in his seventy-eighth 
year Mr. McDonald can look back over a life well spent, in the conscientious- 
ness that he has intentionally wronged no man, but on the other hand has made 
it the thought uppermost in his mind to help, support and sustain his fellow 
men in every way possible. That he has done this long and faithfully, every 
citizen of Santa Rosa will attest. Mr. McDonald is affiliated with but one fra- 
ternal order, being a member of the Masonic order, in which he has attained 
the Knights Templar degree. 

In a country so replete with interesting historical characters as is the region 
west of the Rocky mountains, it is oft-times a most difficult matter for the 
historian to choose wiselv from the material offered: but it is not an everv-dav 


matter to gather data regarding the life and the character of one of the first 
settlers in California, who came thither when the country was wild, unsettled 
and uncultivated. During his sojourn in California Edwin Harrison Barnes 
has been one of the most interesting spectators of the transformation of Sonoma 
county from a wilderness to a region embracing thriving towns and splendidly 
productive farms. 

Air. Barnes came to ('alifornia in November, 1849; there are only two people 
in the vicinity of Healdsburg, in which town Mr. Barnes resides, that were 
here when he came : George Stor\-, who lives six miles below Healdsburg, and 
Mrs. George Porter, of Windsor. For many years the Barnes' family pursued 
their various occupations in North Carolina, where it is thought John Barnes, 
the father of Edwin Harrison, was born. John Barnes married Diana Y. Harri- 
son, a native of the vicinity of Cadiz. Ky., and a representative of a distinguished 
family of the Bourbon state ; they lived on a farm in Livingston county, not 
far from Smithland, where was born Edwin Harrison Barnes December 26, 
1827. A few years later the family removed to Scott County, Mo., and there 
the parents died. Mr. Barnes was brought up on the farm, receiving his educa- 
tion in the common schools of that day and at Ford's Seminary, Cape Girardeau. 
He became interested in California in talking with Isaac Williams, who had 
returned from the western state with tales of natural resources and gold which 
aroused the interest of the ambitious youth. Thus incited, he determined to 
make the journey and crossed the plains in 1849 with an ox-team train, the party 
with which he traveled experiencing no especial difficulties on the way. Choos- 
ing to accompany that section of the party traveling to California by the Law- 
son route, Mr. Barnes journeyed with them and after several experiences that 
.tested his courage, he arrived in Sonoma county and located about seven miles 
below Healdsburg. With a partner Mr. Barnes purchased two hundred and 
fifty acres of land from Captain Cooper, paying $5 an acre for the same. This 
property v/as not purchased direct, owing to the possibility of Captain Cooper's 
right being contested in the courts, and so it was agreed that Mr. Barnes should 
pay half cash and the balance when the title was perfected from the United 
States government. Mr. Barnes still owns half of this ranch, having sold the 
other half to T. Boon Miller for $22,000, the sale taking place five years ago. 
After engaging in various enterprises, Mr. Barnes decided to return east in 
January, 1854, and he proceeded thither by the way of Nicaragua and in the 
spring of 1855, having purchased a herd of cattle, he drove them overland and 
succeeded in getting them through in fairly good condition. Placing these 
animals on a ranch, he engaged in the cattle business uninterruptedly until tak- 
ing up his residence in Healdsburg in 1SS2. Before this, however, he had 
started a store on the ranch with Lindsay Carson, brother of the noted scout. 
Kit Carson, conducting this business from 1852 to 1855, when he sold the store. 
From 1854 to 1867 Mr. Barnes engaged in the general merchandise business 
at Windsor in partnership with R. A. Petray. He was one of the principal 
organizers of the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank at Healdsburg, being elected 
its president and occupying that position for twenty-five years and also was 
one of the largest share holders. His duties in this large responsibility were 
discharged to the entire satisfaction of all concerned and upon his recent retire- 
ment from active business he wa*; accomi'anied bv the unbounded goodwill ot 


tlie entire cominunit\. ]\lr. Barnes later organized the Sotoyome Bank, in 
which he is a very active member of the board of trustees. At present he is 
engaged in the culture of hops and at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition he 
exhibited hops raised on his ranch and secured the first prize and medal. 
Always a progressive man, he has aided in every public enterprise and has 
materially assisted in the advancement of the county. 

On September 20, 1853. Mr. Barnes married, in Sonoma county, Mary M. 
Thompson, who came across the plains with her parents from Johnson county, 
Mo., in 1853, she being a daughter of John D. and Eliza M. (Steele) Thomp- 
son, who spent the remainder of their days in Sonoma county. Mr. Barnes 
was made a Mason, Santa Rosa Lodge No. 57, F. & A. Al.. in 1855. Politically 
he is a Republican, but with the exception of the ofifice of justice of the peace 
he has never held a public position. He liked California from the start and 
has made a success of all his undertakings, rounding out a useful and well- 
spent career. 


There is no name more widely and favorably known throughout Sonoma 
comity than McNear, and in Petaluma, where John A. McNear has made his 
home for many years, his name stands for progress and development along every 
line that has made his home city the leader in trade and commerce in the North 
of Bay counties. Without doubt he has done more to develop the town in 
which he lives than any other individual, and now in the evening of his years 
he can look back upon a life well spent and even now is actively superintending 
his interests with a vigor unusual in one of his years. 

John A. McNear was born in Wiscasset, Lincoln county. Me., December 
2Tt,, 1832, the son and grandson of John McNear, both of whom were natives 
of the same place. The grandfather was captain of a vessel on which he was 
lost at sea : he married Elizabeth Erskine, a sister of Colonel Erskine, one of the 
first settlers of Pemaquid. Me. She became the mother of twelve children, 
all of whom lived to attain maturity, and she herself lived to reach the venerable 
age of ninety-six years. The great-grandfather, also John !McNear, lived to 
the ripe age of ninety-seven years, and he, too, followed the sea throughout his 
lifetime. He was twice captured by the French and Indians during that war. 
and each time was ransomed. His wife attained the remarkable age of one 
hundred and three years. The McNear family are of Scotch ancestry and for 
seven generations, including the subject of this sketch, have been residents of 
the L'nited States, and nearly all of the male members of the family have fol- 
lowed the sea, as master of ships, and a number of them have found a watery 
grave, never having been heard from after being reported lost. 

Mr. McNear's mother was in maidenhood Sarah Bailey, a native of Maine 
and the daughter of George Bailey, of English descent, who died at the age of 
ninety-seven years, and all of his four brothers lived to be over eighty years oi 
age. The mother passed away in Maine. Of the children born to her three 
grew to maturity, John A. being the eldest and the only one now living; George 
^^^ became one of the best known grain men in California and died in Oakland. 


ill December, 19T0, and ^[arv I-'liza Nabors died in Mississippi, November 
9. i860. 

John A. McNear was reared in Maine, among its rugged hills and coast 
country, and receiving his education in the common schools of that day and 
locality. As the principal business that occupied the men of that place was 
following the sea, it was but natural that the young and ambitious lad 
should want to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors, and accordingly he 
began to study navigation at an early age, and as it had been his ambition to 
become a captain and have a ship of his own to command, he entered upon 
the life with all the vigor of youth, making several voyages with his father. 
After he had attended the public schools he entered and graduated from the West 
Pittston Academy and was prepared to enter the profession of teaching, but did 
not do so. In 1852 he shipped before the mast on a new ship, the Cape Cod, 
under the command of Captain Hopkins. The vessel was bound from Boston 
to St. Johns, New Brunswick, thence to Liverpool and back to New York. On 
this voyage his salary was $14 per month and found, which consisted of salt 
beef and hard tack. During this voyage he lost no opportunity to study naviga- 
tion and became familiar with "altitudes of the sun" and "lunar observations at 
night." On his return home from this voyage he completed his education in 
the academy and received a certificate to teach in the spring of 1853. Although 
but a few months more than twenty years of age he accepted a position as mas- 
ter of the brig Tiberius. He made but one voyage with this vessel, as he sold 
it at Bangor, Me. His salary was on shares, and by taking unusual sea risks 
amounted to about $50 a month at this time, the old sea veterans saying "Not 
knowing anything, don't fear anything." So well did he negotiate the sale of 
this vessel that the owners gave him command of the Catherine, which he soon 
exchanged for the Jasper, and began freighting along the coast from Maine to 
Boston and New York. In the fall he went south as supercargo in the new ship 
Thalata, Captain Batchelder. from Bath to New Orleans. This voyage came 
nearly ending his sea-going experience, for the ship went ashore off the Missis- 
sippi river, and with the captain he and three men went to get a tug to pull them 
off. They were in an open boat all day and liable to be swamped at any time 
by the breakers rolling over them ; that night they got ashore and secured three- 
tugs to pull the ship off the mud. After their arrival at New Orleans the cap- 
tain gave young McNear $25 and refused to make a charge for the freight and 
machinery he was in charge of for a sawmill on the Pascagoula river. This 
machinery was brought to the millsite by a schooner and Mr. McNear assisted 
in putting up the mill. During the time of its building, after a hard day's work, 
he would raft logs at night down the Pascagoula river to the mill boom, a raft 
containing as many as fifteen hundred logs brought down during the night, and 
many times he would be on one end of a log and an alligator on the other. For 
the night's work he would receive $2. Later on he purchased a vessel for the 
mill owners and sailed her on the coast between Pascagoula. Miss., and New 
Orleans, La., receiving $100 per month as his share of the business during this 
time. The following year he purchased a one-third interest in the sawmilling 
business of Plummer, Williams & Co., of Pascagoula. and turned the vessel 
over to be run by his brother, George W. McNear. Here he had the experience 
of a center board vessel which was being towed down the canal at New Orleans 


by two mules passing over him from lx)\v lo stern — being a good swimmer saved 
him from being drowned. 

From this time John A. McNear superintended the work of the mill as well 
as marketed the lumber in New Orleans. He went through the yellow-fever 
and cholera epidemics of 1853-54. George B. Williams, his cousin, who was 
in Petaluma, Cal., sent him a map of Petaluma creek (the head of navigation 
at Petaluma) and told of the wonderful country of the coast. At that time, 
1856, there were but few scattering houses on the site that marks the flourishing 
city today. This information was interesting, and he made up his mind to see 
the country for himself, and if he did not find it satisfactory he could return 
and take up his duties where he had left them. His brother, George W., then 
nineteen years old, wanted to come also, but he was induced to stay with his 
work until the country had been prospected, and with the understanding that 
if John A. decided to remain and enter in business here, he was to send for his 
brother. This he did in i860, and took him into full partnership in the grain 
and real estate business. He considered himself fortunate that he got out of 
Mississippi before the war, for if he had remained there he would have un- 
doubtedly lost everything he had during that struggle. 

In the fall of 1856 an event happened that might be called providential, 
for having sold his interest in the sawmill and wishing to make a trip back to 
Maine before starting to California, he was offered at Mobile free passage on a 
vessel that was ready to sail for Boston, but after putting all of his household 
effects on board he decided to take a stage (one hundred and sixty miles) for 
Montgomery, Ala., and then by rail at an extra expense of ^yj, which meant 
a great deal at that time : a storm followed and that vessel and many others 
were never heard from again. Later in the same year, 1856, he took passage 
at New York on the steamer Illinois for Aspinwall, landing at Kingston and 
Jamaica, on the way crossing the Isthmus of Panama. On this side of the Isth- 
mus he took passage on the old Sonora, bound for San Francisco, where he 
arrived November 3, 1856. He came directly to Sonoma county, arriving in 
Petaluma November 6 of tliat year, and here he immediately interested himself 
with a cash capital of $3,000 as a dealer in real estate, loaning money and mer- 
chandising. There were but few houses in Petaluma and not many improve- 
ments. In 1857 he bought the Washington livery stable property and took in 
P. E. Weeks as a partner and manager, to whom he sold out in January, i860. 
Having come to Petaluma after hearing Mr. Williams tell of its advantages as 
the head of navigation, etc., he realized that there would be thousands just like 
this Williams to tell of the wonderful future of the state and particularly of 
this section : as a consequence he believed that it would become rapidly settled 
and thus insure the prosperity of the country, hence he was not backward in 
investing his money, and how well he prophesied is now seen from every view- 

In i860 j\Ir. ?*IcXear began in the grain and produce business, shipping to 
San Francisco, in which business his brother George W. was interested as a 
partner. Their first place of business was on Washington street, and in 1864 
they erected what was then the largest warehouse in the state. This was a brick 
building, and is now a part of the Golden Eagle mill. When Mr. McNear 
built this it was considered a risky undertaking by many, as the war was in 


progress and government money less than fifty cents in gold on the dollar, but 
he had confidence in the good people in the country and in the government's 
ability to put down the rebellion. About this time another act of Providence 
intervened to save his life. He was going to San Francisco on the train and as 
usual rode in the car next to the engine. Happening to look in the cab, he saw 
a strange engineer at the throttle ; he stepped ofif the train and had not proceeded 
twenty feet when the boiler exploded and killed the man that was with him, the 
engineer and many others. 

From 1862 to 1865 the company carried on an extensive business in dealing 
in hardware and machinery in connection with their other business interests. 
In the last-named year they disposed of that branch of their business and con- 
fined their energies to the grain and shipping business until August, 1874, when 
the firm was dissolved, George W. taking the San Francisco business and John 
A. remaining in Petaluma. He also engaged in exporting to a great extent, 
and when that part of the business had e.xpanded to considerable proportions 
it was turned over to George W. in San Francisco and he confined his attention 
to Petaluma and Sonoma county. George W. developed the grain business in 
California as did no other individual, and for years he was known as the "Wheat 
King" of California. 

One of the most valuable properties which Air. McNear has is McNear's 
Point (Point Pedro), on the Bay, a natural deep water terminus for all of 
the railroads of Sonoma county. The original property was purchased in 1868. 
to which he has since added until it now comprises about twenty-five hundred 
acres, with a valuable water front of over five miles. This is exceptionally fine 
grazing land, and here he maintains a large dairy. With his son, Erskine B., 
he has built a large brick manufacturing plant, as they have the most valuable 
clay in the state for the manufacture of brick. They make about 80,000 per 
day, employing seventy-five or eighty men. The brick is shipped by their own 
barges and tugs to San Francisco, where they have a distributing place on Sixth 
and Barry streets. On the same ranch Mr. McNear has opened the most valu- 
ble bluestone quarries on the Bay, one of which is being operated by the San 
Francisco Quarries Company. Mr. McNear gave permission to the govern- 
ment to cut through his land to shorten the route of Petaluma creek, although 
it left him short thousands of feet of water front, but he was desirous of doing 
anything that would tend to shorten the route, thus keeping down freight rates, 
making them one-third less than formerly. In order to accomplish daily trips 
to San Francisco by steamer from Petaluma he built a canal nearly a mile long 
with a basin 250x500 feet so that steamers could enter at any time. This he 
did from his private means, as well as keeping it open at an expense of thou- 
sands of dollars. It is his belief that some day this canal will be extended tc 
the Bay. He owns the land along the east side of Petaluma creek as far as 
below the railroad bridge and secured the mahogany mill for the city. 

Mr. McNear claims credit for making the first concrete in California, cut- 
ting the material into squares after laying the concrete in a plastic state on the 
floors in his warehouse as early as 1864. This process was twenty years later 
covered by the Shillinger patent. In building a reservoir at Point McNear he 
used reinforced concrete over forty years ago, and at the same time made con- 
crete floors and feed boxes in his dairy, the first of the kind on the Bav. He 


also was the originator of heating lar and asphaltum by running coils of pipe 
through the tank, through which circulated steam from the boiler (for dipping 
pipe when building the Petaluma water works), a process which was afterward 
patented. Mr. McNear also has credit of setting out the first eucalyptus grove 
in Sonoma county, in 1866, raising the trees from the seed in open ground and 
later transplanting the young plants from the seed beds. This process cheap- 
ened the plants to one cent apiece, whereas the price had formerly been twenty- 
five cents. Some years ago he constructed a concrete brick reinforced reservoir 
forty feet in diameter, with a capacity of one hundred and twenty-five thousand 
gallons. This was constructed of concrete and brick, reinforced with galvan- 
ized twisted ribbon wire, with a series of coils for each tier of brick. This has 
withstood the blasting from quarries, as well as the earthquake of 1906. 

During 1865 Mr. McNear built the handsome and commodious fast pas- 
senger and freight steamer Josie McNear expressly for the Petaluma trade, 
taking passengers at fifty cents to San Francisco, the effect of which was the 
immediate reduction of the fare from $2.50 to $1 between Petaluma and San 
Francisco by the IMinton line. Mr. McNear's plan has always been not to 
see how much he cotild get out of a customer, but to see how much he could do 
for him. This same advice he gave to his oldest son, George P., when he en- 
tered his business, and in following this policy he has gained the confidence of 
the people, and is one of the foremost business men of San Francisco and North- 
ern California. For many \ears Mr. McNear and this son were in partner- 
ship, carrying on and building up one of the largest mercantile enterprises of 
its kind in the state. Of late years the business has been carried on by the son 
alone, the business transacted amounting to alx)Ut $1,500,000 annually. The 
average pay roll for labor by Mr. McNear and three sons has l^een $10,000 ])er 
month for many years. 

In all matters that have been for the upbuilding of Petaluma Air. McNear 
has always been found ready and willing to assist to the best of his ability and it 
was through his influence that the silk factory, shoe factory, and man}- other 
manufacturing interests were secured to Petaluma, he giving the site for the 
buildings and thousands of dollars and months of time. He also gave the acre 
of land upon which the shoe factory and East Petaluma school are located, and 
with his son. George P., promoted the present electric railroad that has done so 
nuich to develop the entire country, and plans are now under way to extend the 
road to the bay (deep water) and San Francisco by ferry, also to Healdsburg. 
I\lr. McNear is one of the largest property owners in the cit}-, and at the same lime 
one of the most prosperous. He is never lacking in enterprise and had all others 
been as progressive as he, Petaluma would now be many times its present size. 
Almost every business enterprise in which he has engaged has prospered, and 
another of the worthy movements started by him was the building of the 
water works to supply the growing needs of the city, acting as president of the 
company during its construction. He was also the organizer of the Sonoma 
County Bank, the first incorporated bank in Sonoma county, and the strongest 
financial institution of the county ; and he is the only living member of the orig- 
inal twenty stock subscribers who were selected — each taking $5,cxx) — and he 
has been the designer and builder of many of the best blocks in the city. Perhaps 
the work best known and for which he is held in the highest esteem has been the 


development and beautifying of Cypress Hill Cemetery, iipdu which he has spent 
many thousands of dollars. This park is located on the outskirtb of Petaluma, 
on a rise of ground from which one can get a view of the entire surrounding 
country and it is improved upon a scale that makes it equal to any other public 
enterprise of its kind in the state, having miles and miles of beautiful drives lined 
with all the varieties of trees. 

In 1867 Mr. McNear erected his present residence (opposite "Walnut 
Plaza" which he secured for the city at great personal expense) upon a block 
of ground, which is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the city. 
The yard is enclosed with a stone fence, the stones being secured from the hills 
nearby and set on end with smaller rocks used as filler, giving a unique and sub- 
stantial appearance . with its seven hundred feet of frontage. Beautiful trees 
and shrubbery embellish the lawn, and make the house appear like a jewel in 
its setting. It is in the midst of these surroundings that Mr. McNear is seen and 
can be appreciated, as by the quick yet keen glance from his eyes and his kindly 
though unassuming manner, his modesty and strength of character and decision 
of mind are plainly expressed. 

On September 3. 1854, in Pascagoula, Miss., John A. McNear and Miss 
Clara D., daughter of George B. Williams, were united in marriage. She died 
in San Francisco January 17, 1866. On May 15, 1867, l^"? was married to Miss 
Hattic S. Miller, in the Church of the Advent, the service being conducted by 
Rev. George H. Jenks. Mrs. McNear is the daughter of Michael John Miller, 
who was born in Alsace, France. His father, John Miller, served twenty years 
in the French army under Napoleon and was in the march to Moscow and present 
at the burning of that city. He brought his family to New York state, locating 
in Monroe county, where his death occurred. Michael J. Miller brought his 
family to California in 1864, coming by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and 
locating in San Francisco, where he engaged in the commission business and 
later in the transportation and freight business. In 1870 he located in Petaluma, 
where he became prominent in business and social circles. His' wife, Julia Upton, 
was born in Rindge, N. H., the daughter of Nathan and Hannah (Colburn) 
I'pton, both natives of New Hampshire. The father died in Petaluma in 1900, 
and the mother in 1907. In their family besides Mrs. ^iIcNear there was a 
daughter, Mattie A., the wife of Capt. Nathaniel Gould, of Petahmia. Of Mr. 
McNear's second marriage two children were born, as follows: John A., Jr., 
who is a graduate of Cooper Medical College, but is aiding his father in his vast 
business undertakings instead of following his profession, and Erskine Baker, 
who is manager of the brick-manufacturing plant at McNear's Point. Of Mr. 
McNear's first marriage there is one son living, George P., who was educated at 
the Petaluma high school and the Oakland Military Academy and is the most ex- 
tensive grain and real-estate dealer in Sonoma county, president of the Sonoma 
County National Bank, and who with his father originated and built the Petaluma 
and Santa Rosa Railroad. The elder Mr. McNear was president of this road 
from its inception and during the time it was being constructed looked after the 
details of construction. After the road was completed he acted as president 
of the company without salary for four years, when by his suggestion the general 
mana.ger was made president, and he has since served as vice-president and di- 

0^ ^1^ 





rector of the road. Plans are now under way to continue the Hne to deep water 
at Point McNear, for connection with San Francisco. 

Of all the prominent pioneers of the state there is none more deserving 
of the esteem and good will of tlie people than John A. McNear, for wherever 
his name is known it means that he has stamped some indelible action in that 
locality that has almost made his name a household word. He is typically a 
Californian by adoption, always of the most loyal kind, honorable, upright, 
and a man who has forged his way to the front through the exercise of talents 
given him by nature, and while doing this there has never been a time that he 
has neglected the duties of a citizen. He is a large property owner in Petaluma 
and Sonoma county, nor are his interests confined to this one section, for he has 
confidence in the state and has made judicious investments in other places which 
ha^e returned him a good profit. It is to such men as John A. McNear that 
attention is directed and whose example is worthy of emulation. 


One of the old and prominent residents of the coast, well known through 
his accomplishments in financial and other activities throughout Sonoma county, 
was the late Isaac G. Wickersham, whose residence in Petaluma dated from 
his arrival in November, 1853, until his death, in June, 1899. The youngest 
of the large family of eleven children included in the parental family, he was 
born in Newberrytown, York county, Pa., August 26, 1820. The father died 
in 1825, when Isaac was only five years of age, but the mother did a noble part 
in endeavoring to supph' the loss of this parent to her children. Though handi- 
capped by delicate health and a nervous temperament, Isaac G. Wickersham 
struck out in the world on his own account at the age of fifteen years, and as 
testimony of the careful rearing of his mother, as well as to the possession of an 
inborn refinement and uprightness of character, it may be said that he met hard- 
ships and temptations with fortitude. For a number of years he experienced 
life in the eastern states and Canada, but the year 1840 found him in Indiana, 
where, in Newcastle, Henry county, he had taken up the study of law in the 
office of Judge Elliott. In the meantime the slavery question had created two 
strong factions, and it was to the anti-slavery cause that the young law student 
gave the weight of his influence, in 1840 acting as secretary of the Indiana State 
Anti-Slavery Society, and he took an active part in Harrison's presidential cam- 
paign. Upon the completion of his law studies, in the spring of 1843. he was 
admitted to the bar, but before settling down to practice he decided to come 
further west. 

Mr. Wickersham's next move brought him as far west as Keokuk, Iowa, 
where he established a law office and built up an excellent practice, which gave 
evidence of his thorough understanding of the intricacies of his profession and 
the confidence which his clients reposed in his ability. During the decade which 
he remained in Iowa he acciunulated considerable means, but failing health at 
the end of this time was the means of his making an extended tour through 
Mexico and California, in the hope of restoring his lost vitality. Froiu New 


Orleans he went to \'era Cruz, where he was joined by a company who bought 
horses, and from there they went to the City of Mexico, and ten days later 
to Acapulco. During all of this time, with the exception of the time he passed 
in the City of ^Mexico, he slept out of doors. By steamer from Acapulco he 
went to San Francisco, thence on to Sacramento, where he bought a horse and 
supplies and made an investigation of the mines. Crossing the Sierras he met 
emigrants coming to California, and it was there, at Carson's sink, that he saw 
and grasped a good opportunity, which was to buy cattle and cut hay. Novem- 
ber, 1853, found him in Petaluma, which was then a very small village, and 
consequently he did not find the market for his goods that he had anticipated. 
However, he was not discouraged and decided to hold his cattle and hay for a 
better market in the spring. In the meantime he showed his faith in the ulti- 
mate future of the settlement by erecting a house that was a credit to himself 
and the town. In the spring of 1854 he cut three hundred tons of hay on the 
fiat directly north of town, thereby putting to use the first mowing machine that 
had ever been brought to the Sonoma side of the bay. 

Tlie young town and its ambitious fathers were not long in recognizing 
Mr. \\'ickersham's ability to fill any position which he could be prevailed upon 
to accept, and in addition to taking care of his private practice he also acted 
as district attorney, a position to which his fellow-citizens had elected him in 
1855. He also acted as notary and did considerable business in lending money. 
As a development of the last-mentioned industry, in February. 1865, he estab- 
lished the private bank of I. G. Wickersham & Co. on the corner of Main and 
Washington streets, and so successful had the venture proven, that two years 
later, in 1867, he erected the first bank building in the town. Business advanced 
with the passing of years, and in r)ctoher, 1874, the name of the bank was 
changed to the First National Bank of I'etaluma, and at the same time the 
capital stock was raised to $200,000. Business under the new regime began 
January i, 1875. with Isaac G. Wickersham president; H. H. Atwater cashier; 
while the trustees were the president and cashier just mentioned, and Jesse C. 
Wickersham, P. B. Hewlitt and H. L. Davis. On September 11. 1884. the 
institution became a state bank under the name of The Wickersham Banking 

On May 21, 1857, Mr. Wickersham was united in marriage with Miss 
Lydia C. Pickett, a native of Fall River, Mass., and six children were born 
to them, two of the number dying in infancy and two, Frederick A. and Frank 
P.. after becoming prominent in business circles, passed away about the age of 
forty. ( )ne of the daughters, Mae L., became the wife of A. M. Bergevin, and 
the other daughter, Lizzie C, became the wife of Thomas Maclay, a well-known 
citizen of Petaluma, of whom a sketch will be found elsewhere. Throughout 
the years of hi* residence in Petaluma Mr. Wickersham took a leading part in 
whatever was done for the upbuilding of the town and county, and his death 
was counted a loss to the entire commonwealth. He was a member of the 
Episcopal Church, to the forwarding of w^hose good work he gave liberally of 
time and means. 





It is always interesting to chronicle the life of the pioneer, the man who 
was not afraid to enter the wilds of a new country, ready to endure whatever 
privation or hardship he might encounter and always persevere in whatever 
occupation he undertook until, by his indomitable energy, tact and ability, he 
rose as a peer among the men of his calling. Such a man was William Hill, agri- 
culturist, horticulturist and banker of Petaluma. 

A native of New York state, William Hill was born in the town of Scott, 
Cortland county, September 8, 1829. His parents, Alexander and Ann (Kenyon) 
Hill, were natives of Washington county, that state, and died when William was 
thirteen or fourteen years old, consequently he rem.embered very little about 
them. He attended the common schools of his neighborhood up to the age of 
twelve years, after which he had very little opportunity for schooling, but he 
had a good home and worked on his father's farm until he was fifteen years 
of age. He then left New York and went to Wisconsin, where he worked by 
the day and month during the summer, herding and driving cattle on the plains 
of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, after which he turned his atten- 
tion to the cooper's trade and worked at it most of the time up to 1853. Having 
saved his earnings in the meantime he was able to procure an outfit of horses, 
mules and other equipment and started across the plains for California. He 
left Racine, Wis., Alarch 2-,. and arrived at Hangtown (now Placerville ) on 
the loth of the following August and, like the majority of early pioneers, he 
had an uncontrollable desire to visit the mines. Accordingly he went to Mis- 
sion Flat and Coloma, where he prospected for awhile, until his money was 
about gone, when he hired out by the da\. After he had been there about 
three months and had earned enough money to come to Sonoma county, he 
took up a piece of government land which had two Spanish clainis against it, 
although the title was afterward proven to be all right. Here he put up a 
cabin and went to work chopping wood, which he sold to the San Francisco 
market. In the fall of the following year he was taken sick and was unable 
to do anything for over two months, at which time he came to Petaluma and 
went into the mercantile business, continuing this until i860. During this time 
he had bought a farm near Stony Point and after going out of business, moved 
on it and remained for five years, following agricultural pursuits, at the end 
of that time returning to Petaluma. 

In 1866 the Bank of Sonoma County was organized and ^Ir. Hill was 
elected its first president, which position he held for twenty years. It was 
started with a capital of $go,ooo, and during the vears that Mr. Hill was at the 
head of it, there was something like $375,000 paid in dividends to the stock- 
holders and $2io,oco of its earnings capitalized, which shows an able manage- 
ment of the affairs of the instittition. In August of 1886 he severed his connec- 
tion with the bank and on July i, 1887, the banking house of William Hill & Son 
was organized, which was later incorporated, with Mr. Hill as president and 
Alexander B. Hill as cashier. This position William Hill held until the day of 
his death. This bank was started with a capital stock of $100,000, and afterwards 
increased to $150,000. Mr. Hill's business career had generally been attended 
with marked success. He was one of the largest real-estate owners in the countv, 
at one time possessing about six thousand acres in .Sonoma and Marin counties. 


besides vast holdings in Old Alexico. That in Sonoma and Alarin counties was 
improved land, having a vineyard of two hundred acres situated near Forest- 
ville, and he was also largely engaged in fruit-growing, having over one hun- 
dred acres in orchard. He was a stock-holder and director in the Sonoma 
County Water Company, having been identified with the corporation since its 
organization. He was also identified with the railroad interests of the count), 
and was president of the subsidy started in building the Donohue Railroad, 
before the company sold its interests. He was instrumental in starting the 
woolen mills in this city, was president of the company that managed it at this 
time, and was more or less connected with the history and growth of Petaluma 
from its earliest existence, and always willing to assist and encourage any public 
enterprise that would result in good for the city and county. 

Mr. Hill was married in San Francisco, August 12, 1862, to Miss Josephine 
Pilkington, who was born in Troy, N. Y., the daughter of James and Margaret 
(Lonnon) Pilkington. The former was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England, 
the latter in the north of Ireland, of an old Scotch family, whose mother was 
a Wallace, traced back to the Jacobites. The father came to the United States 
when a young man, taking up his residence in New England and later moved 
to Providence, Bureau county. 111., where he owned a farm, but his time was 
principally taken up as a traveling salesman. His demise occurred in Port- 
land in 1864, shortly after coming west. The mother's death occurred at the 
home of Mrs. Hill. A brother, Dr. John B. Pilkington, was a prominent physi- 
cian in Portland at the time of his death. Another brother, Thomas J., is a 
successful horticulturist in Sonoma county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hill were the parents of four children : Alexander B., w ho 
after his father's death became the head of William Hill & Co., until its dis- 
incorporation, and is one of the able financiers of Petaluma ; Raymond P. : 
William K. ; and James V., who died after they had reached young manhood. 

Since her husband's death, Mrs. Flill has resided at the family home on 
Seventh street, where she delights to welcome her friends, who love her for 
her generosity and many acts of helpfulness and charity bestowed on those who 
have been less fortunate. She is carrying out the wishes of her husband in be- 
ing active in all movements that will better the conditions of the citizens and is 
conscientious in all things and all her acts of kindness are done in an unostenta- 
tious manner. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States, as well 
as in Old Mexico and in iQio and 191 1 a much-desired visit to England was ful- 
filled, which gave her the opportunity of visiting her father's old home in Clitheroe. 

Mr. Hill's death occurred . suddenly at his home on Seventh street at nine 
o'clock in the evening of July 30, 1902, having been attending to his business 
at the hank all day. The news of his death was received with the deepest 
regret. For years he was a familiar figure on the streets of the city and in 
business Mr. Hill possessed an abnormal capacity. His interests, though widely 
diversified, were handled with consummate skill and with due attention to all 
its smallest duties. Tn his business dealings with the public he was known as 
an honest, square-dealing man, and as president of the Hill Bank, Petaluma 
Power and Water Company and president of the Novato Land Company, 
esteem for him was unbounded. Fraternally he was much devoted to Masonry, 
being an active member, and rose to the Knight Templar degree. 



N'Ot unlike many others who have succeeded to a position of influence and 
popularity in Sonoma county Lewis Weeks proved his worth at the beq-inning 
of his career by enlisting for service in the Civil war as soon as age would 
permit. When the .smouldering animosity between the north and south came 
to a crisis in the declaration of hostilities it found him uneventfully passing his 
days on a farm in Lincoln county, Me., where he was born in 1845. When the 
call came for men to come to the front to aid in putting down hostilities he 
would have responded gladly had his age permitted, but as he was then only 
sixteen years old he did not attempt to join the ranks. However, he followed 
the events (jf the war on land and water with an interested eye, and on attain- 
ing his eighteenth year he needed no urging to enlist his services. Enlisting in 
the navy in 1863. he was detailed for duty on the steamer Lodona, of the south 
Atlantic blockading squadron, and was stationed for service on the coast of 
Georgia. A creditable service of two years was brought to a close by the dec- 
laration of peace, after which he returned to his native state and remained until 
after reaching his majority. 

The year 1867 found Mr. \\'ceks setting out for California by the Panama 
route, and his journey's end found him in Sdn Franci.sco a stranger among 
strangers, with only $5 in his pocket. His first winter in the west was passed 
in the mines of Calaveras county, where he had great expectations of gain- 
ing sudden wealth, but like many another, he was doomed to disappointment, 
and he returned from the mines a sadder and wiser man. Going back to San 
Francisco he applied himself to learning the carpenter's trade, a wise under- 
taking, in that it provided him with remunerative employment in that city for 
a number of years, or until 1881. In the meantime he had become interested in 
agricultural affairs and wished to try his luck in this line of endeavor. Com- 
ing to Sonoma county, he bought a ranch in Bennett's valley, near Santa Rosa, 
comprising one hundred and sixty acres, seventy of which he set out to grapes. 
Here too his success was indifferent, and after remaining on the ranch for 
five years he returned to San Francisco and entered the employ of the Pacific 
Pine Lumber Company, a position which he held until returning to Sonoma 
county in 1893. 

Although Mr. Weeks' first experience as a rancher had not met his ex- 
pectations entirely he was not discouraged and his second venture proved to 
him that he had not been over sanguine in his hopes. Near Sebastopol he 
purchased thirty acres of rough, virgin land, which he cleared of timber, and 
after putting it in condition for crops, planted an orchard of prunes and apples, 
and a vineyard of seven acres. In the selection of his grapes he chose a variety 
that would not be affected by an over abundance of rain, a variety known as 
the Petitsyrah grape, which has no parallel as a wine grape. From his com- 
paratively small vineyard of seven acres he gathered twelve tons during the 
season of 1909, for which he received the highest market price. His prune 
crop for the same season amounted to twenty-five tons of green fruit, while 
his apple crop amounted to two tons of fine apples boxed, and five tons of dried 
fruit. A variety of other fruits as well as berries are raised for home use. in 
addition to which a hennery of two hundred and seventy-five chickens is main- 
tained. It is Mr. Weeks' intention to increase his flock and carry on the chicken 


business on a larger scale, as the small business that he now has. has demon- 
strated its financial advantages. 

.A. marriage ceremony in 1880 united the destinies of Lewis Weeks and 
Ida M. Ramsdell, who is also a native of Maine, born in Augusta in 1853. One 
child has been born of this marriage, Robert L., who is his father's valued 
assistant in maintaining the varied interests of the home ranch. Fraternally 
Mr. Weeks is a Mason, and he is also a member of the Grand Ami)- of the 
Re)'ublic. belonging to Ellsworth Post, of Santa Rosa. 


The interesting and active career of this well-known citizen of Sebastopol 
began in his birthplace, Bradford, Me., where he was born in 1846, and was con- 
tinued in Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and Oregon before he finally came 
to Sonoma county, Gal., in 1890. Reared and primarily educated in his birth- 
place, he subsequently went to Bangor, Me., and became a carpenter's appren- 
tice, learning the trade in all of its details. At the age of twenty-one, with the 
confidence born of youth, he started out from the home of his parents deter- 
mined thenceforth to make his own way in the world, a determination which 
never weakened and which has its reward today in the knowledge that all he 
has is the result of his own unwearied exertion. 

From Maine Mr. Strout went first to Chicago. III., where he took an exam- 
ination for school teacher, and out of twenty-one applicants he was the only 
one to pass the examination. The school assigned him was in Elk Grove, Cook 
county, twenty-two miles from Chicago, where he completed one term as teacher, 
after which he went to Minneapolis, Minn., and there made the first practical 
use of the trade which he had learned, working at the carpenter's trade for the 
St. Paul & Pacific Railroad for about four years. From there he went to Fargo, 
N. Dak., where he took charge of a crew of men who were constructing a bridge 
over the Red River of the North, and when this was completed he became fore- 
man of the buildings on the Northern Pacific Railroad, under the direction of 
the chief engineer of the road, Thomas L. Rosser, and while st) employed, 
erected a three-story hotel which was the first building of any importance in 
Fargo. This was used as Mr. Rosser's headquarters while there. Subsequently 
the building was destroyed "Dy fire. Besides the work which the position of 
foreman of building involved, Mr. Strout also had charge of the carpenter con- 
struction on the road for some years, as well as doing general contracting work 
in Fargo. 

Being offered a good business chance in Oregon in the construction of 
grain elevators in Round \'alley and Pomeroy, he went to that locality from 
North Dakota and entered upon the work for which his varied experience 
had so well qualified him. The failing health of his wife, however, was the 
means of his giving up much of the work which he had expected to do, and 
upon his return to North Dakota, where his wife had remained during his 
ab.sence, he made plans to come to California. With his wife and family he 
came to the west the same year, 1890, and in 1892 located in Sebastopol. This 
was the year in which the town was incorporated and in the new life which 



this honor gave to the town he readily found work at his trade. After working 
at the carpenter's trade for three years he started the planing mill of which he 
is now the proprietor, his specialty being the manufacture of step-ladders, fruit- 
driers and fruit-trays. 

Mr. Strout's first marriage was with Miss Mary L. Trott, who was a native 
of Maine, and who died in California in 1890, soon after coming to the state. 
Five sons were born of this marriage, as follows : Elmer, a graduate of the 
University of Minnesota and a practicing physician and surgeon in Winthrop, 
Minn.; Ernest, a graduate of Stanford University, Palo Alto, Cal., and now 
general manager of a mine in Mexico; Archie, who is a graduate of the Univer- 
sity of California at Berkeley and is now associated with his father in the mill 
in Sebastopol; Gale, a graduate of Stanford University and a civil engineer 
by profession; and William, a resident of San Francisco. Mr. Strout's second 
marriage, in 1892, united him with ;\Iiss Millie L. Saunders, a native of Oregon, 
but a resident of California the greater part of her life. At her death in 1908 
she left five children, Irmo, Sylver, Hazel, Zeno and Mervin. In whatever 
community Mr. Strout has made his home he has entered heartily into its wel- 
fare and done his part in its upbuilding as any good citizen should do. While 
In North Dakota he served as city trustee of Lisbon and Fargo, was county 
commissioner of Cass county, and also served in the capacity of department 
superintendent of public instruction. His interest in his later home in Califor- 
nia has been no less ardent, and for four years he served as one of the trustees 
of Sebastopol. For many years Mr. Strout has enjoyed membership in the 
Masonic fraternit}', having joined the order in 1873. 


Over a quarter of a century has come and gone since the earthly career of 
Mr. Whitney came to a close, but so deeply embedded in the hearts of his friends 
and fellow-workers is the memory of his long and helpful life among them, that 
time nor circumstance has had no power to dim it. For all that he was able to 
accomplish in life he took no credit to himself, but gave it rather to his worthy 
forebears, members nf the famous old Whitney family of New England, whose 
accomplishments in the interests of humanity have made the name a household 
word all over the world. In direct line his ancestors were William, Samuel, 
Abner, John, Moses, Richard and John, the last-mentioned being the establisher 
of the name on American soil. From England he came to the United 
States in 1636 and settled with his wife and five sons at Watertown, Mass. 
From this immigrant was descended Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton 
gin; William Collins Whitney, secretary of the navy; besides many statesmen, 
inventors, educators and manufacturers who have been invaluable factors in the 
progress of the United States. 

A native of Maine, Albion P. Whitney was born in Bangor September 15, 
1825, on the family homestead, where he was early in life initiated into the 
duties of a farmer's son. When he was sixteen years old he went with his 
brother into the wild woods in the northern part of his native state, engaging 
in the lumber business there until 1855, and becoming an expert sawyer and 


millman. The western fever having attacked him, he came west as far as St. 
Anthony's Falls, Minn., and worked in the lumber camps for one season. Later 
he penetrated the dense woods in Meeker county, that state, and finding a good 
mill site, in partnership with two others established a mill on Crow river and 
engaged in the manufacture of lumber for two years. The undertaking proved 
very successful, but as immigration seemed to be attracting settlers further 
west, Mr. Whitney determined to give up his business and make a tour of inves- 
tigation in the west. Leaving his family in Minnesota, in 1858 he set out for 
Pike's Peak, Colo., but changed his course after meeting people on the way 
who were returning from the Peak. Instead, he took the trail leading to Cali- 
fornia, coming around Puget Sound with an ox-team. At the end of one year's 
work in a sawmill he sold the wagon in which he had made the journey across 
the plains for $55, sending $50 of this home to his family. Better prospects 
awaited him, and for the following three years he filled contracts for getting out 
mining timber in Placer county, Cal. In the fall of 1861 his family joined him, 
his wife m.aking the trip with four children by the Panama route, landing at 
San Francisco December 15. From there they came to Petaluma, where Mr. 
Whitney had located in i860. In the spring of each year he returned to fill his 

With means which he had accumulated, $1,600, in 1862 ]\Ir. Whitney pur- 
chased the interest of Mr. Cross in the grocery business of Cross & Lamereaux, 
to which he later added a grain business. A couple of years later he acquired 
the balance of the business, which grew apace and ultimately assumed large 
proportions due to the enterprise and far-sightedness of the proprietor, who 
carried on a large business in freighting grain and produce by water to the coast 
markets. This he continued up to the time of his death February 10, 1884. 
When one reflects that he came to California without resources except the 
endowment which nature gave him, the success which he attained was truly 
remarkable. For many years he was one of the leading men of the county, 
taking a keen interest in the well-being of the city and state, and in many public 
offices of trust and responsibility he rendered efficient service. He was chair- 
man of the board of city trustees for a number of terms, and in 1874 was hon- 
ored by being the first man elected to the state senate on the Republican ticket. 
For a number of years he was a member of the school board of Petaluma, and 
was also an important member of the District Agricultural Association. 

Mr. Whitney's marriage, February i, 1850, united him with Miss Susan 
D. Eastman, who was born in Jackson, N. H., March 28, 1832, but was brought 
up and educated in Maine, her parents removing to that state when she was six 
3'ears old. Otis Eastman lived to reach a very great age, making his home 
with his daughter in Petaluma for eleven years, but later became a resident of 
Humboldt county. Eight children were born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. 
Whitney, of whom the four youngest were born after the removal of the 
parents to California. Named in the order of their birth the children are as 
follows : Calvin E., who prior to his death at the age of forty years was engaged 
in the commission business in San Francisco: Cleora, the wife of Frederick 
Hewlett, a resident of Napa county; Nancy Jane, who became the wife of 
George P. Morrow, of Oakland ; Arthur L., who is engaged in the manufacture 
of salt in San Mateo, Cal. ; Leona Merrill, who died at the age of two years 

; /h\h. ^Ax^a/K 3)' /// fvU/hJM. 


and SIX months: Alarcella, the wife of C. B. Wheaton, of Alameda; Albion H., 
who is interested in the salt business with his brother Arthur; and Qara, the 
wife of Louis E. Spear, of Alameda. Mr. Whitney's name was one well known 
in Masonic circles, for he believed in and worked for the good of the order 
as did few others. He was a member of Petaluma Lodge, F. & A. M., which 
he served for a time as chaplain, besides filling the same office in the com- 
mander}'. As is well known, Mr. Whitney came to the west empty-handed so 
far as this world's goods were concerned, but by industry, energy, thrift and 
good management accumulated a vast wealth, leaving $160,000 to his family. 
A portrait of Mr. Whitney accompanies this biography, taken when he was a 
member of the state senate, at the age of forty-nine years. 


There is no name better known in Petaluma than Whitney, for in all phil- 
anthropic movements Mrs. Whitney has ever been found among the leaders. 
She was born in Jackson, N. H., March 28, 1832, the daughter of Otis Eastman, 
who was likewise a native of New Hampshire, having been born in Conway, 
April 15. 1806. His wife was Florella Merrill, a native of the same place and 
of English ancestry. Her father, Enoch Merrill, was born in Conway and 
represented a family that came from England and settled in Massachusetts 
in 1636, during the early histor}- of this country. There he married Sarah 
Merrill, who was born in New Hampshire and died in Alinnesota, at Kingston, 
aged seventy-three years. 

On the paternal side Mrs. Whitney comes from Welsh stock ; her grand- 
father, Abiather Eastman, born in Conway, N. H.. served in the war of 1812 
and died in service. His widow, Susan (Durgin) Eastman, was also a native 
of New Hampshire. At the death of her husband she was left with six children 
to rear and with no means at her command. This meant that as soon as each 
one was old enough he would have to shoulder the burden of life and assist in 
supporting the younger members of the family. Otis Eastman was bound out 
to a relative from the age of seven until he was fourteen, at which time he 
began as a farm hand, working about the neighborhood at from $8 to $10 
a month. He cleared a farm in Jackson and later went to Aroostook county. 
Me., where he improved another farm and about 1870 he located in Kingston, 
Meeker coimty, Minn. When he was eighty-five years of age he came to Cali- 
fornia and made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Whitney, in Petaluma. 
and he passed away on November 12, 1905, aged ninety-nine years. He was 
a Jacksonian Democrat until Fremont's time, and thereafter voted the Repub- 
lican ticket, and was a Methodist. 

To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Eastman eight children were born, seven of 
whom grew to maturity, viz. : Susan Durgin, of this review : Rufus Merrill, who 
served in the Civil war in the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and is now 
residing at Hammond, La. ; Enoch Merrill, a soldier in a Minnesota regiment 
and now a resident of Litchfield, Minn. ; Flora, who died at the age of twenty- 
three years ; George, who served in the Civil war, enlisting in a ]\Iaine regiment 
at the age of nineteen \cars and now a resident of Ft. Fairfield, Me. ; Eller 


who died at the age of fourteen \earr;: and Charles M.. residing at Fortuna, 
Humboldt county, Cal. 

Susan Durgin Whitney was reared in Aroostook count}, Me., from 1843, 
and her education was obtained in the subscription schools of that location anti 
period. She was married February 1, 1850, to Albion Paris Whitney, whose 
sketch appears on another page of this work and whose family is mentioned 
therein. Mrs. Whitney moved to Minnesota in 1856 and in the fall of 1861 
brought her four childreh via the Isthmus of Panama to California, arriving 
in San Francisco December 15th and since that date has m.ade her home in 
Petaluma. Since the death of Air. Whitney she has continued to look after the 
business interests that engrossed his time, having been made executrix of the 
estate and has carried out his wishes to the letter. She resides at the family 
home, No. 320 Sixth street. She has a substantial income and is able to con 
tribute liberally toward charitable movements and to promote enterprises for the 
upbuilding of Petaluma, in which her husband and herself have ever been 
deeply interested. A'Irs. Whitney has been active in all movements that would 
better the condition of the citizens and has been conscientious in all things. 
She believes in not letting her right hand know what her left hand does and 
all her acts of kindness are done in an unostentatious manner. She is a member 
of the Eastern Star Chapter and of the Episcopal Church. She likes to mingle 
with her many friends and to relieve suffering wherever she may find it. Such 
characters as Mrs. Whitney's are well worthy of emulation l^y the rising gen- 


The son and grandson of pioneer settlers in California, George A. Ross 
is adding lustre to a name already held in high repute, through his accomplish- 
ments as a horticulturist on the old paternal homestead near Forestville, So- 
noma county. This has been his life-time home, for he was born here January 
10. 1866, the son of Losson and Sidney (Meeks) Ross. (For a detailed ac- 
count of the family history the reader is referred to the sketch of Losson Ross, 
elsewhere in this volume.) The father had been attracted to the west on ac- 
count of the gold find in California, but after following mining for about two 
years and the maintenance of a general store for the same length of time in 
Placer county, he turned his attention to agriculture, with which he was more 
familiar, and followed this calling on property which, he purchased in Green 
valley, Sonoma county, throughout the remainder of his life. It was here that 
George A. Ross was born and reared, attending the primar\ schools of this com- 
munity in his boyhood, and later he attended Napa College, in the city of that 

Instead of returning to the homestead ranch after his college course was 
completed George A. Ross accepted a position as fireman on the California and 
Northwestern Railroad, filling this position until he was made locomotive engi- 
neer. His father being in need of his assistance in the care of the home prop- 
erty he gave up his position with the railroad and returned home, and from 
that time until the death of the father July 20, 1908, business was carried on 
under the name of L. Ross & Son. At the time this property was purchased it 



— ^^ ^ ^.j^juAi^^^--^^ 


was entirely covered with oak timber and brush, but this was all cleared and 
put under cultivation, an apple orchard and vineyard being set out, in addition 
to which general farming was carried on to some extent. Since the death of 
his father Mr. Ross has continuetl the policj- inaugurated by his father, and now 
has thirty-five acres of vineyard, from which he has an annual yield of one 
hundred and fifty tons of grapes, and fifteen acres are in full-bearing apple trees 
of the Gravenstein, Jonathan and Wagner varieties. The trees are eight years 
old, and during the season of 1909 produced over four thousand boxes of fine 
fruit, the apples selling for $1.40 per box F. O. B. One of the equipments of 
the ranch is the fine packing house, where the fruit is sorted, packed and labeled 
for shipment. 

The marriage of George A. Ross, which occurred in 189 1, united him with 
Miss Lena L. Bach, a native daughter of Sonoma county, born in Petaluma. 
Three sons have blessed their marriage, Mervyn F., Edwin and Leonard. Fra- 
ternally Mr. Ross is a member of but one order, belonging to the Odd Fellows 
lodge of ForP«tville. The business and other associations of Mr. Ross are of 
the highest order, and indicate a man of high ideals and strict integrity, and it 
is for this reason that he stands in such excellent repute among his fellow-citi- 
zens. Mr. Ross's mother is still living and makes her home with him on the old 
homestead to which she came with her husband in early pioneer davs. 


Varied experiences of adversity and of success have fallen to the lot of 
Melvin C. Meeker since first he came to California in 1861, when as a \oung 
man of twenty years he came as an escort to his sister, whose fiance was await- 
ing her coming. Pleased with the outlook before him he determined to remain 
and make it his permanent home, and a residence here covering half a century 
has proven to him bej'ond doubt that his decision was a wise one. EHiring this 
time he has made a name and place for him.self in business circles in Sonoma 
county as an extensive lumber manufacturer and dealer, was one of the 
founders of the town of Occidental, and is the proprietor of two fine hotels at 
Camp Meeker, the Rusticano and New England hotels. 

A native of New Jersey, born in Essex county in 1S41, Melvin C. Meeker 
was not burdened with advantages in his boyhood, but he was largely endowed 
with determination and perseverance and the lack of advantages did not prove 
so disastrous to him as it might to those less courageous and determined. Not 
only is he a practically self-educated man, but when a boy of only eleven years 
he started out to make his own way in the world and from that time onward 
has been independent of any help from others. At the age mentioned he began 
work in a grist-mil! in Milltown, N. J., as an errand boy, continuing there for 
one year, this being followed for a similar period by a position in a hat factory 
in Millburn. in the same state. Subsequently, in the same city, he secured a 
position in a paper-mill, during the three years he remained there becoming 
proficient in every department of the paper-making business, and it was with 
considerable pride that he finally became manager of the Fandango Paper Mills. 
Although he had made a success of whatever he had undertaken thus far, he 


had a natural inclination for mechanics and in order to enable him to follow 
more congenial lines of employment he began to fit himself for the carpenter's 
trade, entering as an apprentice in Alillburn when he was sixteen years old. 
Not only did he make rapid strides in the mechanical part of his work during 
his three years apprenticeship, but he also did commendable work as a designer 
and architect. Later he received instruction under a building contractor and 
architect in Elizabeth City, N. J., where he learned scroll-sawing, molding, orna- 
mental trimming work, in addition to artistic architecture and the trade of sash, 
iloor and blind maker. 

As has been stated, Mr. Meeker came to California in 1861 with his sister, 
whose future husband was located here. Going to Valleyford, Mr. Meeker 
contracted to work as a carpenter for six months in order to defray the ex- 
penses of his passage, for which he had borrowed $200. After the contract 
was completed and the debt cancelled he was fortunate in securing a position 
that would give him $60 a month and board, but two months later he gave 
it up to enter upon a business of his own in Tomales, Marin county. The 
undertaking proved more successful than he had anticipated, and it became 
necessary to hire journeymen carpenters to enable him to fill his contracts. 
Finally, in the winter of 1863-64, his brother, A. P. Meeker, became a half- 
owner in the business, and in December of the year last named he withdrew 
from the business entirely by selling his share to his father. 

With cash in hand to the amount of $3,400, Mr. Meeker returned east 
to secure machmery with which to start a sash, door, blind and planing mill 
in Petaluma, and after his purchases had been made he set out in May, 1865, 
in the ill-fated Golden Rule, which was a total wreck. However, a large part 
of his machiner\ had been shipped by way of Cape Horn, and this finally 
arrived at its destination in safety. Instead of being dismayed by the disaster 
with which he had met, Air. Meeker returned to Sonoma county, and after 
borrowing the necessary tools, began work at the carpenter's trade in order 
to earn money with which to defray the ship freight on his machinery, which 
arrived at San Francisco in the fall of 1865; the long delay was accounted for 
in that the ship was detained at Rio Janeiro for repairs. In order to enlarge 
his scope of knowledge he secured a position in a saw mill, where he learned 
the business of lumber manufacturing, and in February, 1866, purchased a 
timber claim on government lands. The following month he secured another 
tract, and after he had cut enough timber erected a saw-mill in Bodega town- 
ship, set up his machinery, and just twenty-six days after he had cut down the 
first tree to be used in its construction, the mill was in running order. All was 
clear sailing for a time, when a second misfortune came to him in the burst- 
ing of a new boiler. This was finally replaced, only to find that it was too 
light for the work required of it, and little by little, piece by piece, this too 
was replaced. The end of the season showed that five hundred thousand feet 
of lumber had been sawed, and also that the owner was in debt $3,000. During 
the winter the mill was overhauled and in the spring of 1867 was in good 
running condition, and readily made up for previous losses. Besides installing 
a new engine, Mr. Meeker built a half mile of railroad track to be used for 
logging. From this time on business prospered steadily, and Mr. Meeker sold 
a one-third interest in it to his brother. 


It was in the spring of 1869 that Mr. Meeker purchased the homestead 
upon which he now lives. Here another disaster overtook him in the burning 
of his fine residence, which had just been completed and furnished. Though 
the loss was estimated at $9,000, he was not apparently discouraged, and for 
three and a half years thereafter he and his family lived in the barn. As 
soon as he was able, in August, 1875, he built the fine two-story house which 
was thereafter the home of the family until 191 1, when they went into their 
new home, the "White House," overlooking Camp Meeker. 

The town of Occidental became a reality through the efforts of ;\Ir. 
Meeker and other interested citizens. He, with Rev. A. M. Wining and A. S. 
Purvine, in the capacity of committee for the Green Valley Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, established the present site of the Methodist Church at Occidental, 
the lot being the donation of Mr. Meeker. As the church building was erected 
on the proposed line of the North Pacific Coast Railroad, the Methodist Con- 
ference set off a portion of the surrounding country into a new circuit, Occi- 
dental being made head of the list of pastorates. A postoffice soon followed, 
a voting precinct established, and Occidental was thus added to the map of 

To attempt to tell of Mr. Meeker's accomplishments and make no mention 
of Camp Meeker would be an injustice. This well-known summer resort is 
one of the finest in northern California, and is laid out on a tract from which 
he has been cutting timber for the past thirty-nine years, and still there is 
enough left for several years work. Located north of Occidental, the camp 
contains three thousand acres of land. An attractive section of the camp has 
been laid out in lots, two thousand of which liave been sold and seven hun- 
dred cottages built by people in an around San Francisco, who spend their 
smnmers in these delightful surroundings. Several mineral springs of great 
curative value may here be found, including iron, soda and fresh water. It 
is a conservative estimate that from six to ten thousand people visit Camp 
Meeker annually. 

C^ne of the most attractive features of Camp Meeker is its beautiful 
forest growth. Among the trees are evergreen redwood, or Sequoias, which 
have withstood volcanoes, cyclones, earthquakes and the other tremendous forces 
that have heaved this planet in and out of shape in past centuries. Notwith- 
standing their wonderful tenacity and vitality they are among the most beauti- 
ful forest trees that grow. Many of them measure over forty feet in diameter 
and over four hundred feet high. At Camp Meeker, at the apex of Lookout 
mountain, may be seen four of these forest giants, forming a hollow square 
of about fourteen feet. They stand like sentinels overlooking and guarding 
Green valley, Santa Rosa valley, Knights valley, the Rincon, Napa and Rus- 
sian River valleys, with their orchards of apples, pears, prunes, peaches, cher- 
ries, olives, oranges, walnuts and berries of all kinds and innumerable vine- 
yards. On these four trees has been built a tower about fourteen feet square 
and nearly one hundred feet high, divided into seven stories. The limbs of 
the trees were cut off as each stors' was built until the top was reached, and 
here a battlement was built to protect people from falling off while gazing at 
the magnificent scenery. Here one may see St. Helena with its five domes, 
just as the volcano left it ages ago, Mount Diablo, L^ncle Sam mountain. 


Tamalpais, and the Geyser peak, another extinct volcano. Not only is Camp 
Meeker unexcelled as a forest resort, but is also noted for its pure water and 
equable climate; being free from cold winds and fogs. 

Mr. Meeker was one of the first to engage in the sale of lots in a sum- 
mer resort. This venture enabled people to become interested and build and 
make it a permanent home in which to spend the summer. Camp Meeker has 
grown to such proportions that the winters are now enjoyed by about seventy- 
five families, and three stores supply their wants. There are two churches and 
a school, all erected on lot? donated for the purpose by Mr. Meeker. He has 
also built a theatre, large dancing pavilion, bowling alley, besides stores and 
hotels, and a library, which is a valuable adjunct in the equipment of the camp 

Mr. Meeker's marriage, February 19, 1868, united him with Miss Flavia 
Sayre, who was born in Springfield, Essex county, N. J., in 1843, but later 
became a resident of Rochester, N. Y. Of the seven children born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Meeker, only four are now living, Melvin C, Jr., Robert F., Alexander 
H. and Effie M. ' 


One of tiie early pioneer families of California is that to which Air. Paxton 
belongs and which was established on the coast by that venerable and honored 
pioneer, John A. Paxton, during his long and active life very prominenth 
connected with the development of his adopted state. The Paxton family was 
one well and favorably known in the east, and John A. was one of the first 
in his neighborhood to give serious thought to coming to California and avail- 
ing himself of the larger opportunities of the coast, but when, in 1849, he set 
out on the voyage by way of Cape Horn, he was fully determined to make a 
success of life among the new conditions toward which his life was turned. 
His wife came overland to California during the same >ear. and in Marysville, 
Yuba county, their first home in the west was established. Subsequently the 
family removed to Sonoma county, and it was with this part of the state that 
the life and accomplishments of John A. Paxton reached their greatest height. 
In Healdsburg, where he first located, he established one of the first vineyards 
and wineries in the county, dating from the year 1879, and was probably more 
influential than any other one person in putting this industry on a firm footing 
in that locality. Some years later he came to Santa Rosa and made his home, 
and here as in previous places his interest in the activities of life were still un- 
abated. Probably the greatest achievement credited to him among the public 
benefits to the young town was the establishment of the gas works. 

It was while his parents, John A. and Hannah H. Paxton, were living in 
Marysville, Yuba county, that the birth of B. W. Paxton occurred in May, 1858. 
The education commenced in Marysville was continued in Healdsburg and Santa 
Rosa, and as a predilection for mining engineering became apparent in the later 
years of his student life his energies and studies were concentrated along this 
particular line. With the completion of his studies he accepted a position with 
the Manhattan Mining Company at Austin, Nev., and for some time everything 
seemed propitious for a successful career in his chosen line of work, but dis- 





appointment awaited him, for the faihire of his eyesight made it necessary for 
him to resign his position. Later he was employed in his father's bank in Reno 
for a time, and still later was connected with the commission firm of George 
W. Meade & Co. of San Francisco. Thus far he had not recovered his health 
as rapidly as he had hoped to, and while in San Francisco he ^determined to 
give up work entirely and devote his time to travel for this purpose. From 
San Francisco he went to Guadalajara, Mexico, thence to the Isthmus of Pan- 
ama, and finally to Europe, where a number of years were pleasantly and profit- 
ably passed. With renewed strength and vigor he returned to California in 
1890 and assumed the management of his father's winery anil vineyard in 
Healdsburg. continuing there until coming to Santa Rosa in 1899. Some time 
after locating here he became president of the Santa Rosa Bank, a position for 
which he was in every way well qualified, but ill-health once more interfered 
with his plans, and he was compelled to resign his position and engage in a 
work less confining. This he found in the care of his hop ranch interests on the 
Russian river near Windsor, where he has one hundred acres of rich land. 
Here he has thirty-six acres in hop-vines, and the same amount of land in vine- 
yard, in addition to which he owns forty-five hundred acres in Marin county, 
which is leased to tenants engaged in the dairy business. Although his ambi- 
tions would take him into the active commercial and business world, fate decrees 
otherwise, and in following the less exhausting and probably no less congenial 
outdoor life that is now his he is happy in the fact that he is able to adapt him- 
self to conditions and enjoy the many blessings of life that come to him. 

In 1900 Mr. Paxton erected one of the most beautiful residences in Santa 
Rosa, on Mendocino avenue, surrounded by grounds that are artistically laid 
out and in perfect keeping with the residence and its appointments. This home 
is presided over by Mr. Paxton's wife, formerly Miss Jane Marshall, a native 
daughter of California, to whom he was married in 1900. Two children have 
been born to this worthy couple, both sons, Marshall and Butz. Fraternally 
Mr. Paxton is a Mason of the Knight Templar degree, and he also belongs to 
the Elks. 

Occupying a place of importance among the most prominent, substantial 
people of Sonoma county is Capt. Henry Ernest Boyes, the founder of the 
famous Boyes Hot Springs, to whom belongs the credit of the marvelous 
changes that have come to pass in this locality since the installation of his resort 
and springs. He was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England, July 13, 1844, and 
comes of good old English stock which dates back to one Du Bois, who came 
over with William the Conqueror in 1066. He is also a direct descendant of 
John Boyes, who fought Oliver Cromwell under Charles I. He is the son of 
Faulkner Boyes, of Driffield, England, who was a large landed proprietor, the 
owner of Beverley, Drififield and Tadcaster, the two former being retained 
until his death, while the Tadcaster estate was sold to the late Lord Lons- 
borough for $250,000. Among his other possessions were beautiful homes in 
the Island of Maderia, London and Yorkshire. He was united in marriage to 
Margaret Mathilda Saner, born in Yorkshire, the daughter of Dr. John Saner, 


graduate and practising physician and surgeon, being physician to WilHam IV. 
He was a large landed proprietor in Yorkshire and was the head of the 
Yorkshire Society School. His mother's demise occurred in Hull, England, 
and of three sons, Captain Boyes is the only one surviving. 

Captain Boyes had the good fortune to receive a splendid education at 
Queen Mary's grammar school at Ripen, Yorkshire, receiving his advantages 
all in his own country. In 1858 he entered the Indian navy as midshipman 
and was stationed at Bombay, remaining in India about four years, then serving 
on a troop ship to diiTerent ports of the world, being in Sidney when the Duke 
of Edinburg was shot at ClontarfT, New South Wales. In 1872 he retired from 
the service and became manager of an Indigo plantation for Nickle Fleming 
& Co. in Jubalpore, India, and during the three years he was with the company, 
while on a tiger hunt, he had three sun-strokes. Returning to England he 
spent some time traveling all through Europe and to different parts of the 
world and while in Switzerland he met the lady who afterwards became his 
wife and who in maidenhood was Miss Antoinette Charlotte Edwards, born at 
Bangalore, Madras, India, the daughter of Col. George Rowland Edwards, of 
Ness Strange. They were united in marriage in 1883, the ceremony being 
performed at the home of her aunt, Lady Edwards, at Wooten Hall, Derby- 
shire. (Mrs. Boyes biographical sketch appears on the following page.) 

Having heard of the Sonoma valley from Capt. John Drummond and 
Mrs. Boyes being in poor health, they came to San Francisco in 1883 and began 
looking for a suitable place in this valley and they selected this section of the 
Sonoma valley as the most ideal for the beauty of its scenery and its genial 
climate. Making this their home, they soon became interested in stories told 
them by the late General Vallejo of the old hot mineral springs used by the 
Indians, and upon investigation discovered them, the captain digging into the 
earth and Mrs. Boyes hoisting the bucket and in this way they became satisfied 
that the "half had never been told." Accordingly they purchased seventy-five 
acres of land and began developing the springs. Sinking two deep wells each 
two hundred feet in depth (this was in 1888) they put in one tub to start with 
and then increased and built and re-built until now it is the finest hot mineral 
spring resort in California. They planned the placing of the buildings accord- 
ing to the physical features of the grounds and yet the whole, hotel, bath, 
cottages and camp grounds are very convenient. They set out the trees along 
the drives so as to have ample shade, leaving the large oak in the foreground. 
There is a bearing prune and quince orchard set out by Mrs. Boyes with her own 
hands, which has proven highly satisfactory. The old house that stood on the 
place when they purchased it and in which they resided for several years was 
built in 1849 by T. M. Leavenworth, the last alcalde of San Francisco. (A more 
extensive account of Boyes' Hot Mineral Springs is found in the general history 
of this work.) In 1902 Captain Boyes incorporated the Boyes' Hot Mineral 
Springs Co.. of which he was the president, continuing the active management 
until 1904, when he retired, turning the management over to others, retaining 
however fifteen acres of the highest point of the land, upon which he built El 
Mirador. The credit of being the father of the Springs and the prime mover 
in the development and making of this valley belongs to Captain and Mrs. 
Boyes and for years they gave their best energies and spent thousands of dol- 

j9z^cJ^^j.-^^^z^ ^ . '^ "^ 


lars in so doing. Their beautiful liome "El Mirador" overlooks the valley and 
t'le springs which stand on a wooded tract of fifteen acres. A driveway leads 
up to the house and winding paths ramble through every section of the grounds, 
while flowers, plants and shrubs that have, many of them, been brought from 
distant lands, give the whole a park like appearance. The dwelling is a typical 
English gentleman's home and an air of refinement, quiet luxury and hospitality 
pervades it. The rooms are large and light and the walls are adorned with 
many ancestral and family portraits, dating back to the time of Oliver Crom- 
well. The library contains a choice selection of books from the leading authors 
and there are also many ancient volumes, including bibles nearly three hundred 
years old. Curios gathered from all parts of the world are in cases, on the walls 
or otherwise bestowed about in the apartments, as well as relics of important 
events, and many things that display artistic talent and skillful construction. 
Two urns made of wild flowers, leaves, ferns and barks from this valley are 
the handiwork of ]\'Irs. Boyes as is also a case of flowers made of the plumage 
of South American birds. These were each awarded medals some years smce 
when exhibited in San Francisco. There is also a rare collection of mounted 
birds shot by Mrs. Boyes in India. Captain Boyes showed his enterprise when 
on coming to this country immediately declared his intention of becoming a citi- 
zen on November 5th. 18S3, and about five years later, December 3rd, 1888, re- 
ceived his final papers of citizenship from Judge John G. Pressley of Santa Rosa. 
Captain Boyes was made a Mason in Minerva Lodge No. 250, F. & A. M. 
in Hull, England, and has in his possession the only entered apprentice certifi- 
cate issued in England. He is also a member of the Minerva Chapter, R. A. M., 
in Hull. Captain Boyes is an English gentleman of the old school, cultured, re- 
fined, genial, having proved loyal and true to the land of his adoption and is 
well trained in the exercise of those fine intellectual qualities that are the Eng- 
lishman's heritage and pride. Through his affiliation with the Episcopal church 
many of his benevolences are given, although his liberality is such that it con- 
fines itself to no sect or lodge. 

Mrs. Antoinette Charlotte Bo\es. the wife of Capt. Henry Ernest Boyes, 
was born at Bangalore, Madras, India, the daughter of Col. George Row- 
land and Catherine (Armstrong) Edwards. Her father was the son of John 
Edwards, J. P. D. L., who married Charlotte Martin, daughter of the Rev. 
George Martin and granddaughter of the Third Duke of Athol, who was head 
of the Murray family, so she is a direct descendant of the last King of Wales 
(King Morfa and Prince Llewellyn). She has the old parchment and coat of 
arms tracing the family back before the time of WilHam the Conqueror. Col. 
George Rowland Edwards comes of the clans McGregor, Murray and Drum- 
mond, her mother, Catherine Armstrong, being the eldest daughter of Major 
General Armstrong, C. B., and the family comes from the clans Campbell and 
Armstrong Dalziel of which the Marquis of Tweedale was the head, who trace 
their family tree back to the Druids. Colonel Edwards was born at Ness Strange 
in 1810 and was a boy of sixteen years when he went to India and entered in 
the second Madras Light Cavalry, serving thirty-six years in India and rose to 


die rank of Colonel and was through the Indian mutiny, doing splendid work 
in that country. Among other things he was the founder of schools among 
the Thugs, one of the most murderous tribes in India. He was present at the 
coronation of Queen Victoria. He succeeded to the estate of Ness Strange in 
Shropshire, and in 1850 he was the originator of "Three acres and a cow," be- 
lieving that in small holdings there was more success and proved the truth of it 
by leasing to tenants in small plots, showing the success that could be obtained. 
He read a paper on the subject before the House of Commons that received very 
favorable comment. Colonel Edwards died in 1894, aged eighty-four years, his 
wife's decease occurring in 1908, at the age of eighty years. 

Mrs. Boyes, who is the eldest of twelve children, spent much of her life 
in India, where her education was under the training of a governess. Since 
the death of her parents and her four brothers she has succeeded to the Ness 
Strange estate of one thousand acres in Shropshire, where she is following her 
father's ideas in leasing it in small holdings, with much satisfaction to her 
tenants. She was first married at Ness Strange in 1870 to Captain John 
Macredie Mure, of the Thirty-fourth Regiment and served in the Afghan war 
of 1877 and 1878 on the staff of Samuel Browne, K. C. B., and died from the 
results of the campaign in February 1879. During tlie Afghan war Mrs. Boyes 
was in I'eshawer ten miles distant and after the death of Captain Mure returned 
to England spending her time traveling on the continent until her marriage to 
Captain Boyes, December 15, 1883, at the home of her aunt. Lady Edwards. 

While in India she spent some time hunting the native birds and having 
them mounted, having several hundred different specimens in her collection, 
undoubtedly one of the largest private collections of its kind in the United 
States. Since coming to Sonoma county she has been very active in aiding 
the captain in every way and planning the upbuilding and improving of Boyes' 
Hot Springs. Their efforts were united and they succeeded in making it the 
most attractive Hot mineral spring resort in California, after which tiiey in- 
corporated a compan) and turned the management over to others, retiring from 
active work in order to improve their home "El Mirador" (The Lx)okout), well 
named, as it overlooks the beautiful Sonoma valley. This home, designed by 
herself, is of English architecture. In the valley she has regained her health 
and while she will, of course, spend a great deal of time at her English estate, 
Ness Strange, she will never forget her loved home and surroundings. El Mir- 
ador, in the Sonoma valley. Captain and Mrs. Boyes, in their magnificent home, 
take keen delight in making their surroundings beautiful and have spared 
neither pains nor expense in making it one of the most attractive places in So- 
noma county. 

Mrs. Boyes is a woman of rare attainments and ability, highly cultured and 
refined, her extensive travel adding to the charm of her conversation, and al- 
though of noble birth is unassuming, having the love and esteem of people in 
all walks of life in whose friendship she shows no partiality. 

In Thomas F. Meagher we find a Native Son of the Golden West whose 
pride in his place of birth is paramount to almost any other honor that might 
be his, judging by his interest and activity in the circles of that well-known 


body. Born in Freestone, Sonoma county, X'jNcmber Ji, 18(11, he i^ a son 
of Michael P. and Alary (Hanlon) Meagher, natives of Waterford and Dublin, 
Ireland, respectively, the fomier of whom came to the west in the early '503 and 
was in San Francisco during the time when law and order were almost unknown 
quantities. As a member of the vigilant committee he did his part to bring 
about better conditions by subduing the lawless element that had come to the 
west at the time of the gold rush. The year 1859 found him in Sonoma county, 
one of the first to settle in the vicinity of Freestone, where he came with W. 
O'Farrell and managed a ranch for him. Subsequently he purchased a ranch 
and engaged in general farming and stock-raising throughout the remainder 
of his life. His first experience along this line had been gained while superin- 
tendent of an old-country estate, where all the work was done by Indians. He 
passed away in 1867, his wife surviving him until 1892. 

It was on the old family homestead near Freestone that Thomas F. Meagher 
was reared to mature years, and in that vicinity he ranched on his own account 
for some time. Giving this up finally, he went to San Francisco and for a time 
was in the employ of the street railroad company, later being employed as 
watchman in the Ignited States mint there. A later position was in the Mare 
Island navy yard at Vallejo, which he filled for some time, and upon giving it 
up in 190.1 he returned to Sonoma county, and in Sebastopol established the 
restaurant business of which he is still the proprietor. In addition to this 
business he also owns a ranch of twelve acres, all of which is set out ,to a choice 
grade of fruit, principally to Gravenstein apples, which are now coming into 

Mr. Meagher's ability as a public officer was recognized in April of igoS, 
when his fellow-citizens elected him a trustee of the town of Sebastopol, a posi- 
tion which he is still filling to the satisfaction 'of all concerned. Fraternally 
he is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks (being a member 
of the lodge at Santa Rosa), the Druids and the Redmen of Sebastopol, and 
socially be belongs to the Native Sons of the Golden West, in which he is 
serving as district deputy grand president of District No. 2. His interest and 
activity in the order date from the time his name was placed on the roll of 
membership, and in the meantime he has attended all the sessions of the grand 

Although the ranch which Mr. Hill now owns and manages came into his 
possession upon the death of the father in 1897, he lives by no means in a 
reflected light, for he inherits in large measure his sire's business ability and 
thrift, as anyone visiting the ranch of one hundred and eighty acres near Eld- 
ridge would readily acknowledge. Mr. Hill is a native son of the state, born 
in Sonoma valley March 15, 1856, the son of 'William McPherson Hill, who 
was born at Hatboro, Montgomery county, Pa., October 22, 1822. His paternal 
grandfather was Dr. John Howard Hill, a native of Morris county, N. J., whose 
father, Humphrey Hill, was of Quaker extraction. Dr. Hill was a graduate 
of Jefiferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and served as a surgeon in a Doyles- 
town company in the war of 1812. He practiced medicine in Pennsylvania until 



he came to California in 1854 and was elected to the state senate from his dis- 
trict in i860. His demise occurred in Philadelphia. 

The father of our subject was graduated from the University of Pennsyl- 
vania in 1840. He served under President Polk as first clerk in the naval office 
in the custom house in Philadelphia for two years, when he resigned to come to 
California. January 16, 1849, lie started on a sailing vessel via Cape Horn, ar- 
riving in San Francisco August 3, 1849. He was engaged in business there off 
and on and went through two fires. In 185 1 he had piirchased a ranch in So- 
noma valley and in 1854 he located on the place and engaged in general farming 
and horticulture and was one of the first to engage in fruit culture in this sec- 
tion. He purchased adjoining land until he acquired about eighteen hundred 
acres. In 1890 he sold seventeen hundred and sixty acres to the state for the 
state home for feeble-minded children, which has now grown to large propor- 
tions and built up with magnificent buildings and is a grand institution. Aside 
from being county supervisor in i860 he served one term in the state senate in 
1875. His wile was Annie Potter, born in New Jersey, the daughter of Robert 
B. Potter, a merchant in Philadelphia. The mother died in San Francisco, and 
the father died November 17, 1897. Not only was the' Sonoma county ranch 
tlie home of Mr. Hill's parents until their deaths, but his paternal grandfather 
also lived here and took an active part in' the upbuilding of the community, and 
at one time represented his district in the state senate. The father was no 
less public-spirited and enterprising, and his election as supervisor in i860 proved 
to his constituents that they had chosen the right man for the place. 

Robert P. Hill was educated in the district school near the home ranch in 
Sonoma county, and received later advantages in the schools of Oakland. With 
the close of his school days he returned to the farm and thereafter was asso- 
ciated with his father in its ijianagement until 1890, when it was sold, the 
father then retiring from business. In tlie year just mentioned Mr. Plill was 
appointed manager of the farm of the state home and at once assumed charge 
of the large farm, which occupied his time for five years. He was then appointed 
steward, and served efficiently in this position for two years. In February, 
1898, he began farming the place of lifty-six acres near Eldridge which he now 
occupies. Since then he has added to it until he now has one iiundred and eighty 
acres, which he devotes to general farming and horticulture. The ranch is 
beautifully located on an elevation which commands a magnificent view of the 
surrounding country, and its proximity to two railroads obviates the necessity of 
hauling produce long distances to market. The ranch is devoted entirely to the 
raising of grapes and fruit, tlie former being disposed of to the winery. 

Mr. Hill was married in 1897 to ]\Iiss Kate Donohue, a native of Mercer 
county. Pa., tliat also being the birthplace of her parents, Timothy J. and Rose 
A. (Conneely) Donohue. The father brought his family to California and lo- 
cated in San Rafael, where he was engaged in the lumber and planing mill 
business. He passed away there, but his widow still lives in that town. Mrs. 
Hill's education was obtained in San Rafael and she is a woman in every way 
fitted to be a companion and helpmeet to her husband. She is actively interested 
in social affairs in her community and in 1906-07 served as state president of 
the California federation of women's clubs. In his choice of politics Mr. Hill 
has followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him, being 


a stanch Democrat. Every measure of an upbuilding character receives the 
hearty support and co-operation of Mr. Hill, this being especially true of school 
matters. He is at present serving as trustee of the high school of Sonoma, and 
for the past six years has been clerk of the board. Fraternally and socially he 
is well and favorably known throughout this community, being an active member 
of Temple Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M. of Sonoma, is a charter member of the 
Glen Ellen Grange, a charter member of the Glen Ellen Parlor, N. S. G. W., 
and a member of the Woodmen of the World. It is to such citizens as Mr. and 
Mrs. Hill that the upbuilding of California is due. There is not a public measure 
started that is for the improvement of the county but receives their hearty sup- 
port, using their time and means to enhance the different public enterprises and 
all societies for social improvement. 


The roll-call of pioneer settlers in California shows that the ranks are. 
being gradually depleted, a fact which was brought forcibly to mind when it 
was announced that Losson Ross had passed away July 20, 1908. His death 
closed a career of distinct usefulness in the community in which he had lived 
for fifty-four years, no one being more highly esteemed or respected in the 
vicinity of Forestville than was he. 

The Ross family originated in the south, William Ross, the father, being a 
native of Tennessee, but when he was quite a young child he was taken by his 
parents to Indiana, and it was there that he was educated and grew to manhood 
years on his father's farm. Not only did he become proficient in agriculture, 
but he also equipped himself in three other lines, gun-making, blacksmithing 
and carriage-making, and in Harrison county, Ind., he established a wagon- 
shop that he maintained until the year 1849. He then removed to Iowa and 
continued work at his trade in Bonaparte for the following five years. In the 
meantime two of his sons, Losson and James L., had come to California, and 
in 1855 he joined them in Placerville, where he continued for two years, at the 
end of that time coming to Analy township, Sonoma county, and locating on a 
ranch of one hundred and sixty acres that his two sons mentioned had purchased 
and deeded to him. This was his home for about twenty years, or until his 
death in 1876, when seventy-two years old. His first vote was cast for a whig 
candidate, and he continued to cast his ballot for the candidates of this party 
until the formation of the Republican party, which he supported as enthusias- 
tically as he had its predecessor. Personally he was a man of high principles, 
and throughout his mature years he had been a member and active worker in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He had a hearty co-laborer and sympathizer in 
his wife, who before her marriage was Sarah Kay, a native of Virginia, and 
who died in Analy township at the age of eighty-four years. In her religious 
affiliation she was a member of the Adventist Church. A family of nine chil- 
dren was born to William Ross and his wife, eight 'becoming citizens of Cali- 
fornia, but of these only three are now living, as follows : James L., a rancher 
in Analy township ; Jesse, a rancher in San Benito county : and W. T., who 
owns a ranch in Sonoma county. 


Losson Ross was born July 22. 1828, in New Albany, near Corydon, Har- 
rison county, Ind., and as a boy he attended the district school near his birth- 
place. When not in school he found occupation in his father's wagon-shop, and 
under his father he learned the wagon and carriage-maker's trade. After spend- 
ing a year in Louisiana he removed with his parents to lionaparte, Iowa, remain- 
ing there until April 5, 1850, when with his brother, James L., he set out on the 
overland journey with ox-teams. The Carson river was reached after a tire- 
some journey of six months, during which experience he and his wife walked 
all of the way, with the single exception of one day, when he was ill. When the 
brothers readied their destination their financial outlook was not the brightest. 
the sum total of their wealth being $1, each one having fifty cents. Their hon- 
est appearance was undoubtedly the means of their obtaining credit with which 
to make the first payment on a claim to a man who was ill and wanted to sell 
out in order to return home. This he was enabled to do with the $15 which 
they paid him for the claim. Their efforts as miners were very satisfactory 
until the rainy season overtook them, after which they went to a camp at Dia- 
mond Springs. Some time later Losson Ross became superintendent of an en- 
terprise to convey water from the Consumne river to the dry diggings, and at 
the same time advancing some of his personal means to assist the enterprise. 
After a trial of two and a-half years the enterprise failed, and Mr. Ross lost 
not only his wages, but also the money he had invested in the scheme. Still 
having faith in the enterprise, however, when a new company was formed he 
entered its employ as agent and continued in this capacity until 1854. Subse- 
quently, removing to Coon Hollow, Eldorado county, he carried on a lucrative 
business as general merchant until 1857. 

It was in the year just mentioned that Mr. Ross disposed of his store, and 
with his brother, James L., came to Sonoma county and purchased six hundred 
acres in Analy township, each owning one-half of it. At first Losson Ross 
followed general farming and stock-raising, a line of endeavor in which he was 
especially successful, but in more recent years he made a specialty of raising 
fruit and hops, having fifty acres in prunes, pears, peaches and apples of the 
best varieties, while thirty-eight acres were in hops. On a fifty-acre tract ad- 
joining the homestead which he owned he also raised large crops, having thirty 
acres in hops and two acres in prunes. In the management and care of his 
ranch Mr. Ross applied the principle that what was worth doing at all was worth 
doing well, and nothing about the ranch would ever suggest that he at any time 
deviated from this. Labor-saving devices were installed as soon as their need 
became recognized, and among the buildings on the ranch he installed a large 
up-to-date drier. His stock included the best grade of McClellan and Morgan 
horses, and his large dairy was supplied from Holstein, Durham and Jersey 

In Harrison county, Ind., Losson Ross was first married to Miss Martha 
Inman. who died a victim of cholera the following }ear. In Eldorado county, 
September 4, 1853, he married Miss Sidney Meeks, born in Beaver county. 
Pa., May 15, 1833, the daughter of Robert and Sophronia (Baker) Meeks, who 
came to California in 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Ross became the parents of seven 
children. William D. leases fifty acres of the old homestead, where he lives 
with his wife, formerly Hattie Lee, of Forestville: Frank, farming near Santa 



Rosa, married Miss Annie M. Avers ; Kemp L. owns and manages a ranch in 
Analy township ; Irvine D., hving on the home place, chose as his wife Ida, 
the daughter of D. P. Gardner, of Santa Rosa; George A., who has charge of 
the home ranch, married Miss Lena L. Bach, and they with their three children, 
Mervyn F., Edwin and Leonard B., live on the old homestead; Benjamin F. 
IS a rancher in Sonoma county ; and Anna E., the wife of Elmer Davis, lives in 
Clarion county, Pa. Unlike his father in his political belief, Mr. Ross was a 
Democrat, and an active worker in its ranks, although he was in no sense an 
office-seeker. He was also well known in fraternal circles, being the last sur- 
vivor of the nine charter members of Lafayette Lodge No. 126, F. & A. M., 
the lodge having been organized in Sebastopol in 1857. I" the work of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, of whith Mr. Ross was a member, he was 
actively interested, and in the office of steward he served eificiently for many 

The middle west has contributed its quota of energetic, forceful men, whose 
wise management of the fertile lands of Sonoma county brought them com- 
fortable financial returns, as well as enrollment among a noble pioneer band. 
Among those who came to California from that section of country and lived 
to enjoy a merited prosperity was Stephen Curtis Morse, who passed away on 
his ranch near Sebastopol, October 19, 1907. 

As far back as we have any record of the Morse family its members were 
identified with Illinois, and it was while his parents were living in Cook county 
that Stephen C. was born, March 23, 1856. The father was a farmer, and 
from his earliest years Stephen C. was made familiar with the duties of farm 
life. He received a fair education in the schools near the home farm, and as 
soon as his school days were over the father and son became associated in the 
management of the farm, and the association then formed continued in all their 
undertakings thereafter until death separated them. Selling out their farm in- 
terests in Illinois in 1882, the family came to California the same year, the end 
of their journey bringing them to Sacramento. Their stay in that city was of 
short duration, for the fall of that year found them in Sonoma county and on 
a ranch which they purchased in the vicinity of Sebastopol father and son con- 
tinued their efforts together until the death of the latter. The ranch which 
they purchased consisted of one hundred and thirty-eight acres, well suited both 
in location and in quality of soil to the raising of apples and peaches, and it 
was to these fruits that they devoted the entire acreage. The property had for- 
merly been in vineyard and was known as the old Maguire ranch. 

As in their business relations, so in their church and social interests father 
and son were united, both being members of and deacons in the Baptist Church, 
and in promoting the various interests for which this organization stood, no 
one was more untiring in their efforts than they. They were also members 
of the Sebastopol grange, in which, as in every other cause to which they lent 
their name, they were vigorous and interested workers. 

In 1893 Stephen C. Morse was united in marriage with Miss Frances E. 
Weeks, who like her husband was a native of Illinois, born in Joliet. She is 


the daughter of Horace and Mary (Munson) Weeks, of Joliet, 111. The father 
was an attorney-at-la\v, was Master in Chancery and for seventeen years was 
Secretary of the Home and Loan Association of Joliet. Her maternal grand- 
father was Sylvester Mimson, a native of Connecticut, who located in Will 
county, 111., in 1834, while his wife, Sarah A. Lanfear, a native of New York 
state, came to Will county in 1832. Mrs. Weeks is residing in Sebastopol. 
After a happy married life of fourteen years their home was saddened by the 
death of Mr. Morse, in October of 1907, leaving a void in the home and taking 
an active and valued worker from the church and social organizations with 
which he had been associated for so many years. After his death his widow 
continued the management of the ranch successfully until the spring of 1910, 
when she sold the place, although she still makes her home in Sebastopol. She 
was a co-worker with her husband in all of his activities for the good of his 
fellowman, and since his death has continued her contributions of time and 
means for their furtherance. She is also a member of the Eastern Star and an 
active worker in the order. 


Among the men who gave the strength of their best years toward the 
development of the resources of Sonoma county, few are more kindly remem- 
bered than James Hume Knowles, who for a period 01 nearly fifty years gave 
the vigor of his manhood toward developing the latent resources of the Pacific 
slope. A native of England, he was born near Manchester in the year 1831, 
and in young manhood he came to the United States, landing in New York 
City. The news of the finding of gold in California found him apparently 
expecting and waiting for just such an opportunity as this seemed to offer, and he 
at once made ready to set sail for the land of opportunity. After his passage was 
paid for he had just twenty cents in his pocket, but this condition of his finances 
did not disturb his peace of mind, but rather served as a spur to his already 
hopeful and daring disposition. The voyage was made around Cape Horn on 
the clipper ship North America, in 1852, and in due season it reached its des- 
tination, San Francisco. He immediately sought work, and was fortunate in 
the search, remaining there variously occupied for some time. 

Whatever he could save from his small earnings Mr. Knowles laid by for 
future use, and when he finally came to Sonoma county in 1854 he had quite a 
nest-egg with which to make a start in the world. Settling in Petaluma, he en- 
tered enthusiastically into the activities of the growing town, in recognition of 
which his fellow-citizens made him marshal of the town, a position which he 
filled acceptably for about fourteen years. He might have filled the position 
indefinitely had he so desired, but in order to devote his time more closely to 
private interests he resigned the position at the end of the time mentioned, 
and going to Cazadero, purchased a ranch of eleven hundred and twenty-five 
acres, upon which he lived for the following nine years. It was then that he 
came to Bloomfield and purchased the ranch upon which lie was living at the 
time of his death, in 1895. Not every man in a community by any means is 
fitted to be a leader of his fellows, but Mr. Knowles possessed the requisite 
qualities in ample measure, and in a becoming and self-forgetful way he put 


these qualities to good account in every localit}' in which he made his home 
when called upon by his fellow-citizens. In private atifairs as well as in public 
matters he led the way and others followed, undertaking ranching on a large 
scale and planting crops as yet untried in this part of the state. Not only for 
his success as an agriculturist and his ability as a public officer did he gain 
esteem, but his personality was such that all who came in contact with him 
admired his strength and stability of character, and although it is sixteen years 
since he passed from the scenes of earth, he is still kindly remembered by the 
many who were associated with him in days gone by. 

In his wife, formerly Miss Clara Canfield, and to whom he was married 
in 1857, Mr. Knowles had a true companion and help-mate, one who shared his 
joys and sorrows. She was a daughter of W. D. Canfield, who was also a 
well-known and honored pioneer settler of Sonoma county. The only child 
born of this marriage was William Henry Knowles, of whom a sketch will be 
found below. Fraternally Mr. Knowles was a JMason and Odd Fellow, in both 
of which orders he was an active worker and a member hishl>- esteemed by 


In the veins of \Villiam Henry Knowles flows the blood of one of the state's 
sturdy pioneers of the year 1S52. This pioneer was his father, James Hume 
Knowles, who was born in England in 1831, and in 1852, when he was twenty- 
one years old, came to the New World practically penniless, and unaided and 
alone made his way to financial independence. His first experience in the state 
was in San Francisco, whither he finally came to Sonoma county, and here the 
remainder of his life was passed in agricultural activities. (A more detailed 
account of the life of this interesting pioneer may be fovmd on the preceding 

It was while his parents, James H. and Clara (Canfield) Knowles, were 
living on a ranch near Sebastopol, Sonoma county, that William H. Knowles 
was born October 19, 1857. His schooling was obtained in the public school of 
Petaluma, and at the age of nineteen he was ready to take up the serious duties 
of life. While attending school he had learned considerable about ranching 
through the performance of his share of the chores on the home ranch, and at 
the age mentioned it was with no little experience that he accepted a position 
with his grandfather, W. D. Canfield, as a ranch hand, on a dairy ranch of 
eighty cows. This association continued for two years, when Mr. Knowles 
left Bloomfield and went to Cazadero, where for the following fifteen years he 
was employed on the large ranch of eleven hundred and twenty-five acres owned 
by his father. This was maintained as a cattle and sheep ranch, and on its 
broad acres many hundreds of animals were raised and fattened for market. 

Since 1894 Mr. Knowles has occupied his present property- in Bloomfield 
section, where he owns a ranch of five hundred and thirty acres of fine land, 
well adapted for both agricultural and dairy purposes. A considerable portion 
of the land is used for dairy and stock purposes, and of the remainder thirty 
acres are in vines, which vield two tons to the acre, and the same amount of 


land is in orchard, in which all the best varieties of apples are grown especiallx. 
The maintenance of the ranch does not represent all of Mr. Knowles' activities, 
for in addition to this he is the owner and proprietor of the well-known Knowles 
Hotel in Sebastopol. 

The marriage of Mr. Knowles in 1876 united him with Miss Mattie Field, 
a native of New York, and five children were born to them, Mary, Nellie (de- 
ceased), Allie,William H., Jr., and James H., the latter named for his paternal 
grandfather. Mr. Knowles is identified with but one order, the Benevolent 
Protective Order of Elks of Santa Rosa. 


In keeping with Mr. Edgeworth's fine, well-proportioned physique is a men- 
tality that is able to plan and organize and an executive ability that enables him 
to put his projects into definite and tangible shape. This many-sided ability 
has probably been nowhere put to better use than in Sebastopol, where as the 
father of the town, as he is called, he has done a noble part by his protege. 
Scarcely an enterprise has been started that has not been the fruit of his brain 
or been assisted by his support and encouragement, and to him and his col- 
league, William Barnes, is due credit for the crowning achievement of the 
town's history in its incorporation in iqoo. 

England was the early home of Mr. Edgeworth, born in Essex, November 
24, 1863. He was well educated in the schools of his native country, and there 
too he had his first experience in the business world, being engaged in the 
vegetable business for a time. During young manhood he went to Ireland, 
where he joined the army, being the youngest non-commissioned officer in the 
service. Added to many other accomplishments he was a fine athlete, hav- 
ing few if any equals in this respect. Returning to England, he served four 
years in the Eleventh Hussars, after which he. retired to private life. 

Following close upon his army experience Mr. Edgeworth came to Amer- 
ica in 1886, and after a short stay in New Bedford, Mass., came in the fall 
of that year to California, going directly to the metropolis. Altogether he re- 
mained in San Francisco for five years, at the end of which time, in 1892, he 
came to Sonoma county and has since been a resident of Sebastopol. His first 
experience in this locality was as a rancher on nine acres of land, making a 
specialty of the raising of fruit: adjoining property was later added to his 
original acreage until his ranch included thirty acres, besides which he had 
two hundred acres in potatoes. The attractions of the mines induced him to 
dispose of his ranch interests and for a vear and a half thereafter he followed 
the life of a miner, meeting with poor success, however, and thereafter he re- 
turned to Sebastopol, satisfied that here lay his fortune, and from the time of 
his return he has continued to bend his energies with this thought in mind. 
Establishing himself in the real estate business, he purchased property and 
after subdividing it, improved it with residences, he being the first to handle 
propertv in this way in this section of the county. The wisdom of his p'an 
to thus boom the town had the desired result, and from that time forward 
Seba.stopol had a steady and substantial growth. In K^oo he and William 


Barnes were the chief promoters in having the town incorporated, all of which 
,vas the direct outcome of Mr. Edgeworth's plan to make the town an at- 
tractive and desirable place in which to settle. Realizing the need of a bank 
in the growing town he supplied the need in the organization of the Analy Sa\- 
ings bank, which proved its need by the hearty response with which it met 
on the part of depositors, and it is now one of the most substantial banks in 
the county. Another organization which is directly traceable to Air. Edge- 
worth's efiforts is the Santa Rosa and Petaluma railroad, for which he him- 
self bought up the right of way for the road, and otherwise managed the un- 
dertaking to its completion. It is not too sweeping an assertion to say that he 
has been the prime mover in the development of this entire section of Sonoma 

In 1885 Mr. Edgeworth was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth 
Sheehan, and twelve children have been born to them as follows : Margaret, 
William, Gertrude, Rose, Herbert, Lillian, Grace, Harriett, Jennie, \'ictoria, 
Delphine and George. 


One of the prominent men of Sonoma county and one of the most esteemed 
members of the bar is Edward S. Lippitt, senior member of the law firm of 
Lippitt & Lippitt, Petaluma. Pie is a native of Connecticut, born in Woodstock, 
Windham county, September 17, 1824, a son of Edward Lippitt, of English 
stock, although the family first originated in Germany. From there they emi- 
grated to England at an early period and thence came to America in the Colon- 
ial period, as the name is found in 1634 in Cranston, R. I., where John Lippitt 
wa? one of the committeemen in 1638. The family are of Revolutionary stock, 
as it is known that Moses Lippitt, grandfather of Edward S., was a soldier in 
that struggle for independence and after the war settled on a farm in Connecti- 
cut. He lived to reach the ripe age of ninety-five and was buried on the farm he 
had cleared. Moses had a brother who was an officer in the army, holding the 
rank of colonel. In the family were six sons and one daughter, all of whom lived 
to be over eighty-five. 

The father, Edward Lippitt. was a soldier in the war of 1812 as captain of 
the Black Horse Cavalry, which guarded the coast from British invasion. He 
settled in Thompson, Conn., in 1832 and made that his home the rest of his 
life. He married Miss Lois Spalding, native of Connecticut, and daughter of 
Ezekiel and Mary (Cady) Spalding and was related to the late president, Grover 
Cleveland. Edward Lippitt was a man of deep religious convictions and for 
many years was a preacher in the Methodist church. 

Edward S. Lippitt is one of the nine children born to his, parents and 
was reared in the primitive surrovmdings of the home. At the age of sixteen 
years he left school and began to learn the trade of joiner and finisher in 
Thompson, serving an apprenticeship of two years. In the meantime, in addi- 
tion to working at his trade, he studied Latin and perfected himself for enter- 
ing Yale College. Three months after he had entered he was offered a scholar- 
ship in Wesleyan L^niversity at Middletown, Conn., and accepting it, was gradu- 
ated from there in 1847 ^^'t'l the degree of A. B., and three years later received 


the degree of A. M. Three months prior to his graduation he was elected pres- 
ident of his class. He was selected as principal of the schools in Pembroke, 
N. H., and remained there three terms, after which he took up the study of law 
in Harvard Law School remaining one term. He went to Cincinnati and was 
given the chair of professor of mathematics and science at Wesleyan Female 
College and remained there four years. While in this position he completed his 
law course and was admitted to practice in 1854. He was a member of the 
firm of Probasco. Lippitt & ^^"ard in Cincinnati from that time until 1857, when 
the senior member of the firm died and y\v. \\"ard left the city. Mr. Lippitt 
then formed a partnership with the late president, Rutherford B. Hayes, and 
this was in force till the breaking out of the Civil war, when Hayes entered 
the army and Air. Lii>pitt came to California. Settling in San Jose in 1862 
Mr. Lippitt was professor of mathematics and science in the LTniversity of the 
Pacific for one year. Coming to Petaluma in the following year he had charge 
of the public schools of the town for five years, during which time he brought 
them to a well-established basis. In 1868 he began the practice of the law and 
has since been actively engaged and has been associated with many of the 
prominent cases in the county. In 1874, when the San Francisco and North 
Pacific Railway was being built, he was appointed chief counsel and remained 
in that capacity until 1890, when the road changed hands. That same year he 
with his son Frank K. opened an office in San Francisco, continuing it for five 
years, when thev gave it up to look after their increasing interests in Peta- 

At his advanced age Air. Lippitt is hale and hearty, and while practically 
retired from active life, still is lo be found at his office, and he takes an active 
interest in all that transpires in the city. He has accumulated one of the largest 
private law libraries in the state. He has been a Democrat and has taken an 
active part in every campaign from 1867 to 1900. On account of the free 
silver issue and being an admirer of McKinley, he stumped the state for him 
during his campaign. Mr. Lippitt is a Mason, joining the order in Ohio and 
becoming a member of Pleasant Hill Lodge No. 71 ; in 1870 he joined Petaluma 
Chapter, R. A. M.: in 1880 he obtained the petition for and assisted in the 
organization of Mount Olivet Commandery, K. T., of Petaluma, and in 1895 
was elected Grand Commander and represented the California Grand Com- 
mandery at the conclave in Boston and became a member of the Grand En- 
campment of the United States. He has never sought public office at any time, 
but is a believer in clean men for official positions. He was one of the orga- 
nizers of the free library and one of the trustees ever since, and has also been 
a director of the library. 

On July 2. 1 85 1, Mr. Lippitt was married to Miss .'^arah Lewis, a daughter 
of a prominent physician of Monroe, La., and they became the parents of nine 
children, four of whom died in childhood. Those who grew to maturity are as 
follows: Mary, the wife of J. Homer Fritch, of San Francisco and who died 
in August, 1910: Helen Marion, the wife of Judge Daugherty of Santa Rosa; 
Edward L., a well-known musician and a res'dent of Petaluma ; Frank K., 
junior member nf the firm of Lippitt & Lippitt : and Lois, who resides with her 



Many generations of the Juilliard famih- were born and reared in France, 
and the first of the name to leave the land of his forefathers and establish the 
name elsewhere was Peter Juilliard, who came to the United States in 1836. 
With him came his son, Charles F. Juilliard, who was then a lad of ten years, 
his birth having occurred in 1826. The family settled in Ohio, and near Can- 
ton carried on farming operations with success. The quiet content which they 
experienced for a number of years was broken in upon by the news which was 
spread broadcast over the country at the time of the finding of gold in Califor- 
nia. The kindly old father was content with his lot, but his more ambitious 
sons. Charles F. and Louis F.. were eager to participate in the excitement and 
to try their luck in the mines. 

The year 1849 found the brothers on their way to the gold-fields, the voyage 
to California being made by wav of the Isthmus, and they entered the Golden 
Gate in April, 1850. The voyage on the Pacific side northward from this 
metropolis was made on the brig Corbier and was ninety days in reaching the 
California coast. The first efforts of the brothers were in the mines of Trinity 
count}-, and such was their success that they were enabled to lay by consid- 
erable means. With the money thus accumulated Charles F. engaged in the 
merchandise business, and in 1858 he removed to Red Bluft', Tehama county, 
where he conducted a successful merchandise business for the following five 
years. In 1866 he went to Alameda county, and six years later to Santa Rosa, 
where he established himself in business in the firm of Stanley, Neblett & 
Juilliard, which was a name well known throughout this part of the state. An- 
otlier enterprise with which he was associated was the Sebastopol winery, 
which he founded in 1882. 

Mr. Juilliard's marriage in young manhood united him with Sarah A. 
Chilton, the daughter of Major Chilton, a native of Springfield, 111. Mrs. 
Juilliard passed away in Santa Rosa June 19, 1897, at the age of sixty-seven 
years. Three children blessed the marriage of this worthy couple : Louis W., 
of whom a sketch will be found elsewhere in this volume ; Isabelle, who became 
the wife of Mark L. McDonald. Jr., of Santa Rosa: and Frederick A., a mem- 
ber of the firm of A. D. Juilliard & Co., commission merchants of New York 
Citv, with large silk works in Paterson, N. J. 


A native of Italy, P. C. Rossi was born in the vicinity of Turin, about fifty- 
six years ago. His family for generations have been grape growers and wine 
maimers in that favored country of the vine. After leaving the grammar school 
he was sent to college, where, his principal study was chemistry. During his 
vacations, which in Italy invariably occur in the vintage season, the boy enjoyed 
himself in helping the wine makers, thus starting at the bottom of the industry 
and each year gaining more and more actual experience in the art of wine 
making, to which he had taken such liking. 

After graduating with honors from college in 1875, Mr. Rossi decided to 
go to California, and in San Francisco he opened the Rossi drug store. .-K few 


years after his arrival he married into the family of the well-known merchant, 
Justinian Caire, owner of the Santa Cruz Island, near Santa Barbara. His 
wedded life has been indeed happy, and he is the proud father of ten children. 

Shortly after the organization of the Italian-Swiss Colony, it was the 
good fortune of Andrea Sbarboro, the founder, and the officers of the cor- 
poration to invite Mr. Rossi to visit their new vineyards, which had been 
planted at Asti, in Sonoma county. Although the vines were young, his experi- 
enced eye saw the very advantageous position of the vineyards, situated as they 
were on rolling hills, with the soil and climate so well adapted to growing of 
grapes that would make as fine wine as that produced in Piedmont, his native 
province. He immediately joined the corporation, and the directors, seeing his 
remarkable knowledge both in the vineyard and in the cellar, soon elected him 
president and manager of the Colony, which office he still retains. 

Mr. Rossi, in addition to having the technical knowledge required by all 
true wine makers, has also the natural gift of a wonderful palate, which is of 
as much value to a wine tester as a tea tester. He has been known to sample 
wines made from five different kinds of grapes, and has detected by the flavor 
the quality of each kind of grape used in making that particular wine, thus 
having a wonderful facility for blending different wines. 

Mr. Rossi's skill in wine making was shown in 1892, when a sample of 
the Colony's wine was sent to the Exposition of Genoa, Italy, where it obtained 
a gold medal. The same year a gold medal was also awarded to the wine of 
the Colony at an Exposition in Dublin, Ireland, in 1893 at the World's Fair 
in Chicago, in 1894 at the Mid-Winter Fair in San Francisco, and in 1895 the 
same prize was awarded the wine at Bordeaux, France; also, in 1900, at the 
great Exposition in Paris; in 1904 at the Exposition in St. Louis, Mo., but 
the honors which Mr. Rossi prizes most are the gold medals, together with the 
Grand Prix, awarded the wines of the Italian-Swiss Colony at Asti and Torino, 
Italy, in 1898, and at the Exposition of Milan, Italy, in 1906-07, where a jury, 
at a banquet held after the closing of the exposition, selected California wines 
produced at the Asti Colony to enjoy at the table. 

The importance of the Colony has grown year liy year, and from the tract 
of fifteen hundred acres which were originally planted at Asti, Sonoma county, 
the Colony has now four vineyards and wineries in the northern part of the 
state, where are made the best dry wines of California, and also four vine- 
yards and wineries in the southern part of the state, where are produced the 
fine ports, sherries, muscats and other sweet wines, together with the choice 
California brandy. 

In 1909 Mr. Rossi was in France and visited the Champagne district. 
While in France he met a Frenchman. M. Charles Jadeau, who had been for 
thirty years making champagne for several of the principal houses of the 
Champagne district. Mr. Rossi asked this Frenchman if he would not like to 
come to California, where he assured him he had the wine that would produce 
the same kind of champagne as they made in France. M. Jadeau's curiosity 
was aroused and he agreed to accompany Mr. Rossi to California. On his 
arrival he tasted the different wines and declared that if the Colony would put 
up an appropriate building, under his supervision, and procure all the machinery 
in France required for the proper bottling, corking and racking of the cham- 



pagne, he would undertake to make as good cliainpagne at Asti as that made 
in France. Thereupon, a concrete building was erected, partly underground, 
so as to keep an even temperature, all the paraphernalia required for storing. 
aging and bottling the champagne were procured, and two hundred and fifty 
thousand bottles were filled and placed on the racks. Recently, when the wine 
had almost completed fermentation, three Ijottles were tested by connoisseurs 
and all were agreeably surprised and said: "At last we have found the means 
by which California is going to compete with France even in champagnes." 

Mr. Rossi is a man of full health and vigor — a man of such industry and 
activity that he hardly knows what it is to be tired. He is wrapped up in his 
art — the art of wincmaking — which is his life work. 


The name of Herbert W. Austin is one familiar to the citizens of Sonoma 
county, not alone through his long and able service as coimty supervisor, but also 
througii his accomplishments as a rancher, owning and maintaining one of the 
finest ranches in the township of Santa Rosa. Many generations of the Austin 
family had lived and died in Canada, and the first to venture from family tradi- 
tions and establish the name on California soil was James Austin, the father of 
our subject, who with his family came to the west in 1868. A detailed account 
of the life of James Austin will be found elsewhere in this volume. 

The third child in the family of James and Anna (Peasley) Austin was 
Herbert W. Austin, who was born August 2, 1854, in the province of Quebec, 
Canada, where he was well educated in the public schools, and after coming to 
California with his parents in 1868, completed his scholastic training in the 
Pacific Methodist College in Santa Rosa. With the close of his college days he 
returned to the family homestead and remained with his parents until establish- 
ing home ties of his own. His first independent efforts as a rancher were on a 
portion of the old homestead which he rented from his father, and here on a 
large scale he engaged in stock-raising, dairying and fruit-growing. Subse- 
quently he purchased a part of the interest of the other heirs in the home prop- 
erty, and now owns six hundred acres of excellent land, a part of which is under 
cultivation, while the remainder is used for pasturage and stock-raising. By 
unfailing industry he has brought the property up to a high point of excellence, 
and there are few if any more attractive or more desirable ranches in the county. 

Mr. Austin's marriage, September 22, 1880, united him with Miss Julia C. 
Maison, a native of San Francisco, where .she was also educated. Three children 
were born of this marriage, as follows : Louis C, who is in the employ of Miller, 
Sloss & Scott, of San Francisco, and who since 1910 has been assistant man- 
ager of their Los Angeles branch; Ethel V. and Mervyn M. Politically Mr. 
Austin is a stanch Republican, and it was on the ticket of this party that he was 
elected to the office of county supervisor from the third district in 1896. At the 
close of his first term he was re-elected to the position in 1900, and again in 
1904 and in 1908 he was made his own successor. For the past seven years he 
has served as chairman of the board of supervisors, and in the meantime the 


present fine court house has been built by the board. This building is conceded 
to be one of the finest structures for the purpose in the United States, and it is 
said that it is the best building for tlie money in the world. The complete cost 
of the building and furnishings was $520,000. Ever since the destruction of the 
old court house in the earthquake of 1906 Mr. Austin has worked indefatigably 
for the construction of a new building, and he therefore takes special pride in 
the accomplishments of the board in the present fine court house. As an indica- 
tion of Mr. Austin's popularity as man, citizen and office-holder, it may be said 
that he is the only man who was ever re-elected supervisor in the third super- 
visorial district in the history of Sonoma county. He has represented the third 
district for the past fifteen years and is now in his fourth term. Fraternally he 
holds membership with the Elks and the Red Men. Personally he is a man of 
many noble qualities, fairness and honesty being basic characteristics, and he is 
honored and respected by all who are privileged to know him. 


One of the oldest and most respected citizens of Sebastopol and a prominent 
member of the farming community, John Cunningham is widely known through- 
out Sonoma county as an upright, honest man of sterling worth. A typical 
representative of those courageous pioneers who settled in this county while 
the countr}- was yet in its original wildness. he has witnessed the wonderful 
changes that have taken place here during half a century, and in the grand 
transformation has been an important factor. One of the sturdy sons of the 
Emerald Isle, he was born in County Monaghan October 7, 1824, the son of 
parents who were none too well-to-do as far as material things were concerned. 
However, they were rich in the more substantial and enduring things that make 
for the best in life and trained their children to a right understanding of its 
duties and obligations. 

In his native land John Cunningliam jirepared for future usefulness in his 
youth by learning the trade of mason and brick-la\er and had followed this 
dual calling in the old country for a number of years before he decided to 
cross the Atlantic and identify himself with this newer and more progressive 
country. Responding to the call of the west, on May 3. i860, he set sail from 
his native land, making the voyage by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and 
after an uneventful but interesting experience of many days he finally reached 
his destination, California. Coming directly to Sonoma county, he settled in 
Bloonifield and for a number of years was identified with agricultural interests 
in that locality. The fall of the vcar 1864 witnessed his removal to Bodega, 
also in this county, and there for eighteen years he concentrated his eflforts 
and ambition on a ranch of one hundred and forty acres, devoted to general 
farming, dairying and cattle-raising. It was with a valuable experience of 
about twenty-two years as an agriculturist that he came to Sebastopol in the 
fall of 1882, at that time purchasing the ranch of two hundred and seventy- 
five acres which constitutes the old home place, upon which he now makes his 
home. At that time the land was in a very crude condition, in fact the entire 
country round about was vastly unlike what it is todav. dotterl with prosperous 


ranches which are the homes of contented and happy tillers of the soil. Dunng 
the early days of his residence here he set out an apple orchard of thirty-five 
acres, and today this is in a flourishing condition, due to painstaking and intel- 
ligent care on the part of the owner. The remainder of the land was devoted 
to general farming, and in addition to his own land, Mr. Cunningham at one 
time rented five hundred acres of land near by for dairy purposes, owning one 
hundred cows. For many years during the younger and more active period of 
his life he was looked upon in his community as an authority in cattle-raising, 
dairying and fruit-raising, and indeed is still so regarded, although much of 
the actual work connected with these industries has been shifted to younger 

In 1853. ^ number of years before he immigrated to this country. Mr. 
Cunningham formed domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Alary Gordon, 
and four children were born of this union, William James, Robert, John and 
David. (A sketch of the second son, Robert, will be found elsewhere in this 
volume.) The success which has come to Mr. Cunningham since taking up his 
residence in this country has resulted from his own efforts alone, and has not 
been accomplished without buffeting with experiences which are a part of 
every pioneer's life, but nevertheless he kept his courage and fought his way 
through conditions, to the end that he is now classed among the "substantial and 
dependable ranchers and citizens of this thriving county. 


In making the statement of any man that he is an authority on horticulture 
no slight praise has been bestowed upon him, and the fact that this statement 
applies to Allen R. Callaway was evidenced when he was appointed horticul- 
tural commissioner of Sonoma county by the board of supervisors. When the 
law went into effect changing the board of three horticultural commissioners 
to one commissioner he was honored by the choice, being selected from a list 
of eligibles recommended by the state board of horticultural examiners, after 
passing a satisfactory examination. He entered upon the duties of this position 
May 7. 1910, and on April 6, 191 1, further honors were conferred upon him in 
his appointment as state quarantine guardian of Sonoma county, state com- 
missioner of agriculture J. W. Jeiifrey being responsible for the appointment. 
That the right man has been placed in these responsible positions has been 
amply demonstrated, and basing future accomplishments upon what has already 
been done, it is safe to predict stable and steady progress along all lines of 
horticulture in Sonoma county. 

For much that he is and has been able to accomplish, Allen R. Gallaway 
gives credit to his noble pioneer father, Andrew J. Gallaway, who was among 
the California settlers of 1850, and whose life and accomplishments have ever 
been an inspiration and encouragement to his descendants. .At the time of his' 
birth. November 14. 181 7, the parents of Andrew J. Gallaway were living in 
Knox county, Tenn., and that continued to be their home until the son was six- 
teen years old, when removal was made to Morgan count}', Ind. Nine years 
later Andrew T. Gallaway went to Missouri, and with the exception of one 


}'ear passed in New Alexico, remained in Missouri until coming to the west. 
Unlike many who crossed the plains in 1850 he had comparatively little diffi- 
culty in reaching his destination and after an experience of three years as a 
miner in Eldorado comity he took up farming and stock-raising in Yolo county. 
Recognizing the fact that there was a scarcity of good cattle on the coast, he 
returned to Missouri in 1857 hy the Panama route, and two years later, after 
purchasing a large band of high grade stock, drove them across the plains. Sub- 
sequently the stock was placed on a farm three miles north of Geyserville, So- 
noma county, in 1864 purchasing the ranch which is now owned by his sons. 
This adjoined Dry Creek, and was especially well adapted to horticulture, a 
fact which the owner readily observed, and that same year set out grape vines. 
From time to time until the year 1886 additions were made to the original 
purchase, and when Mr. Callaway gave up the ranch to his sons he had about 
sixty acres in vineyard, which included both wine and table grapes. Among 
the former, Zinfandel, Burgundy, Sauvignon and Burger grapes were raised 
for the press in the lower portions of the ranch, while Tokay and Coleman 
grapes, table varieties, ripened on the more exposed hillsides. Besides his 
vineyard Mr. Callaway set out about sixteen acres in choice fruits, among which 
were peaches, plums and prunes. As he was a man of depth and penetration 
he was not satisfied with anything until he had given it special thought and 
study, and to this characteristic may be traced his splendid success as a horti- 
culturist. His exhibits at the Mechanics Institute Fair at San Francisco demon- 
strated beyond question his superior methods. While the greater part of his 
ranch was given over to fruit-raising, general farming was also carried on 
very successfully. On the ranch which he had brought to such an excellent 
state of cultivation he passed away June 6, 1902, after several years of rest 
from active duties. In all that he undertook he had a sympathetic co-worker 
in his wife, who was Deborah Price, and to whom he was married October 14, 


Of the five children who originally comprised the parental family (Allen 
R. ; Nancy E. ; Henry M., deceased; Andrew J. and Amanda A.) Allen R. 
was the eldest, his birth occurring in Gentry county. Mo., August 3, 1858. His 
parents appreciated the value of good educational opportunities for their chil- 
dren and bestowed upon them every advantage within their means. Allen R. 
Callaway made the best possible use of his opportunities, and during his later 
student years he taught school in order that he might further pursue his studies. 
After a preliminary education in the public schools of Healdsburg, he attended 
the Christian College at Santa Rosa and Pierce Christian College, at College 
City, Colusa county, from which latter institution he graduated in 1881. In- 
stead of leaving his alma mater after his graduation, he continued there for two 
years as a teacher of history, resigning at the end of this time to take charge 
of his father's ranch in company with his brother. For a number of years 
after this he still continued teaching during the winter months and gave his 
attention to the ranch in the summer. Subsequently he gave up teaching al- 
together and concentrated his attention upon the care of the ranch, continuing 
this uninterruptedly until his appointment as horticultural commissioner of So- 
noma county. He owns twenty-eight acres on Dry creek, four miles north- 
west of Healdsburg. which is well improved with French prunes, grapes, olives 


and other varieties of fruit. Until the year 1905 he gave his time and atten- 
tion to the care of his ranch, but in that year he leased the ranch and removed 
with his family to Healdsbnrg, where he now resides. 

Politically Mr. Callaway favors Republican principles, and at the Repub- 
lican convention at Santa Rosa in 1888 he was nominated July 25 as the can- 
didate for the general assembly from the twenty-third district, and in a strongly 
Democratic district was defeated by a small plurality only. In 1896 he was 
nominated to the assembly b}- both the Democratic and Populist factions. 

Mr. Callaway's marriage, August 20. 1884, united him with Laura AI. 
Abel, a native of Wisconsin, although she was reared and educated in Solano 
and Colusa counties, Cal. The eldest of the two children born of their mar- 
riage, Alfred Russell, graduated from the University of California in 1907 and 
is now engaged in the real estate business in Sacramento; his wife before her 
marriage was Lilla Ware, the daughter of A. ?>. Ware, an attorney of Santa 
Rosa. Crystal 1). Callaway is attending the State Normal school at San Jose. 
Fraternall}- Mr. Callaway is identified with the Red Men and the Grange. 
For many years he has given his moral and financial support to the Christian 
Church, of which he is a member and an elder, and for twenty-five years he 
has served as superintendent of the Sunday-school at Healdsburg. Personally 
and in his official capacity Mr. Callaway is highly esteemed, for he is a man 
of noble heart, broad mind and lofty principles of honor, mingled with a genial 
aft'abilitv and courtesv that wins and retains friends. 


No name in Santa Rosa is suggestive of a broader or more resourceful 
citizenship than that of Col. L. W. Juilliard, one of the prominent represen- 
tatives of the legal fraternity in Sonoma county. To begin with, he inherits 
from an enviable ancestry a sound constitution, a broad mind and a stout heart, 
all of wlych have contributed to the fashioning of his very successful career. 
On the paternal side he comes of French ancestry, his father, Charles F. Juil- 
liard, being a native of that country, and it was he and the latter's father who 
established the name in this country in 1836. From Ohio, where these immi- 
grants settled, the younger man came to California during the famous year of 
1849, ^"d thus the name became established on the Pacific coast, and later iden- 
tified with a number of mining undertakings in California. In young manhood 
C. F. Juilliard had formed domestic ties by his marriage with Sarah A. Chilton, 
the daughter of Major Qiilton, a native of Springfield, 111. 

The eldest surviving child born of the marriage of Charles F. and Sarah 
A. (Chilton) Juilliard was Louis W. Juilliard, his birth occurring in Red Bluflf, 
Tehama county, June 29, 1861. His education was completed in Santa Rosa, 
Sonoma county, whither the family came to make their home when he was eleven 
years of age. Here, in addition to attending the public schools, he also attended 
business college and the Pacific JVIethodist College. Nature had intended him 
for a public career, and opportunity to occupy a niche of this character came 
to him at the early age of twenty-three years, when he was made deputy county 
clerk, a position which he filled for five years. On the Democratic ticket, in 


1888, he was elected county clerk, and at the expiration of his first term was 
re-elected to the position in 1890. Coming before the public in these capacities, 
however, was not the height of his ambition and proved but stepping stones in 
the careei" which later was his. The study of the law and its practice was 
his highest ambition, and while the incumbent of the positions mentioned he 
employed his leisure time in reading law with the well-known lawyers, Henley, 
Whipple & Oates. The year 1895 witnessed his admission to the bar of the 
supreme court of the state, and shortly afterward he opened an office for 
the practice of law in Santa Rosa. His versatile ability and popularity have 
been the means of his election as a delegate to many state and county conven- 
tions, and for one term, in 1894 and 1895, he served on the city board of edu- 
cation. It was during his incumbency of this office that the Santa Rosa high 
school was built. The title of colonel came to him through his connection with 
the National Guard of California, with which he became associated in 1885. 
July 10 of that year he was instrumental in organizing Company E, of which 
he was elected first lieutenant, later captain, and then major, greater honors, 
however, coming to him by his election as lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth Regi- 
ment California Infantry. This regiment did meritorious service at the time 
of the fire and earthquake in San Francisco in the spring of 1906, a service 
which deserved and received the praise and commendation of Californians in 
all parts of the state. Since 1907 Colonel Juilliard has been on the retired list, 
but his heart and sympathy are still in the work in which he found so much 
pleasure. No sooner was he released from one obligation than another need 
was found for his ability, as was apparent when in igo8 he was elected a member 
of the California legislature from the Fourteenth assembly district on the 
Democratic ticket and in 1910 he was elected State Senator by a very flattering 
majority. Here as in every other position that he has been called upon to fill 
he is acquitting himself nobly and honorably. Fraternally he is identified with 
a number of orders, being a Knight Templar Mason, a member of Santa Rosa 
Lodge No. 57, F. & A. M., the Chapter, the Knights of Pythias and the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows. By right of his birth in the state he is eligible 
to membership in and is a member of the Native Sons, and during one term he 
served as Grand Treasurer of this body, and also as Grand Marshal for two 

None of the attractions of pulalic life, however, take the place in Colonel 
Juilliard's heart as does his quiet vineyard or ranch near Santa Rosa. Here he 
finds rest and relaxation and the rejuvenation necessary to carry on the work 
which his profession and public duties lay upon him. 

The name of Chauvet needs no introduction to the residents of Sonoma 
county, as it is firmly established in the minds of all through the lives and 
accomplishments of three generations, two of whom have passed away, but 
though dead, still live in the memory of those to whom they endeared them- 
selves and in their accomplishments as pioneer settlers in this then new and 
unsettled country. As the name would indicate Mr. Chauvet was of French 


origin, and he was born at St. Jean, province of Champagne, France, Juh 20, 
1822, a son of Francois Chauvet, the latter a millwright and owner of a mill 
near Chalons-sur-Alarne, France. Flis parents evidently had little sympathy 
with the pleasures of childhood, fur Air. Chauvet was forced to face the stern 
realities of life at an early age, and when still a young boy had a good knowl- 
edge of the milling- business. Courageous and unflinching, he accepted his lot 
with kindly grace, and when he had reached manhood was equipped with an 
invaluable experience at the miller's trade that was to stand him in good stead 
later on. 

On reaching manhood ]\Ir. Chauvet set sail for the United States at Havre, 
February i, 1850, on a sailing vessel bound for San Francisco b_\- way of Cape 
Horn. Hard work in his native land had given him little in return, and after 
boarding the vessel he took an inventory of his cash on hand, which proved to 
be no more nor less than thirteen copper sous. The vessel finally reached San 
Francisco September 17, 1850, and from there he proceeded at once to Cala- 
veras county, engaging in mining for a short time, but finally gave it up to 
engage in a business with prospects of a more dependable income. It was then 
that he opened the first bakery in Mokelumne Hill, and subsequently, in 1851, 
opened the first bakery in Jackson, Amador county. In the fall of the latter 
year he located at Sandy Bar on the Mokelumne river, where in partnership 
with Mr. Lebeaux he opened a general merchandise store and bakery combined. 
This business association did not continue very long, for in the fall of 1852 
Mr. Chauvet returned to Mokelumne Hill and resumed the bakery business 
alone. It was no uncommon occiu'rence during the early days for him to pay 
$120 for a barrel of flour, and for Iiis bread made from this he received $1 
a pound. 

j\lr. Chauvet was nothing if he was not courageous, and the year 1853 
found him sending to France to purchase the machinery for a two-running stone 
flour-mill, but on account of the great delay in its transportation, instead of 
setting it up in Mokelumne Hill as he had originally intended, he set it up in 
Oakland and ran it by wind-power. The venture did not prove a success to the 
owners, however, and the undertaking was abandoned. In 1855 ^Jtr. Chauvet 
returned to Sandy Bar and the following year came to Sonoma county, his 
father having joined him in the meantime, and here they bought five hundred 
acres of land and a mill site from General Vallejo, on the Sonoma and Santa 
Rosa road, six miles north of Sonoma. This venture proved a great success, 
and after running it as a saw-mill for eighteen months Mr. Chauvet then 
converted it into a flour-mill, which was the foremost flour-mill in the county, 
and which was kept in constant operation until 1881. It was here that the 
earth life of the venerable father came to a close, after which the son sold back 
three hundred acres of the land to General Vallejo, still retaining possession 
of two hundred acres. 

Mr. Chauvet had wiseh- conceived the idea of planting the ranch to grapes 
at the time he purchased it, and in 1875 he branched out further in the industry 
by manufacturing his product into wine, and in five years his output of wine 
had climbed to one hundred and twenty-five thousand gallons. It was at this 
time. 1880, that he associated himself with the firm of Walter, Schilling & Co., 
of San Francisco, an amicable as well as profitable arrangement that endured 


about five years. In 1881 he inaugurated one of the largest wine industries 
in Sonoma county by the erection of a $14,000 building in the Glen Ellen 
district for the manufacture of wine. The building, three stories in height, 
had a storage capacity of over two hundred thousand gallons of wine. In the 
year 1888 he manufactured one hundred and seventy-five thousand gallons 
alone. In addition to his winery he also operated a distillery, from which he 
had an annual output of from five to eight thousand gallons of brandy. His 
ranch was equipped with an excellent water supply, not only furnishing the 
■power for the machinery in his winery and distiller}-, but also furnishing water 
for household use to the town of Glen Ellen. 

Mr. Chauvet's marriage in 1864 united him with Miss Ellen Sullivan, who 
though born in Ireland has been a resident of the United States from early 
childhood. She died in 1876. Two children blessed their marriage, Henry J. 
and Robert A. Fraternally Mr. Chauvet was a member of Temple Lodge 
No. 14, F. & A. M., and he was also a member of the Society of California 
Pioneers California lost one of her noblest pioneers in his death May 22, 
1908, at which time he had attained the age of eighty-five years, ten months 
and two days. 

Mr. Chauvet came here without a cent, and in spite of the fact that others 
had failed in the milling business he made up his mind to forge ahead and make 
his milling enterprise a success. He put in a mill race and an overshot 
wheel. He had great difficulty in completing the flour mill, but after a while 
he made the venture a success. He also ran a flour mill at Giovanari, this 
county in the early davs. 


The Green Mountain state has contributed of her citizenship to the up- 
building of California in many representatives, but of the number none have 
entered more thoroughly into the spirit of the west than has Mr. Sanborn. 
Born in Albany, Vt., December 27, 1835, he was reared in that locality and con- 
tinued to make it his home until attaining manhood years. Although reared 
in a farming community his tastes did not lie in that direction, instead, having 
a taste for the work of the school room, and it is as teacher of the young that 
the greater part of his life has been passed. 

Mr. Sanborn followed his profession of teacher four years in his native 
state, when he was seized with the western fever and determined to come to 
California. He made the voyage by the water route, via the Isthmus, and 
arrived at his destination in the state in April, i860. Coming to Sonoma county, 
he began his career as a teacher in Petaluma, where he taught for three months, 
after which he taught in Oak Grove and had a larger number of pupils than 
..lere was at that time in the Santa Rosa schools. In 1862, on account of the 
ill-health of his father, Mr. Sanborn returned to Vermont via Nicaragua, and 
remained in the east two years. After the death of his father he again came 
to Sonoma county, in 1864, this voyage also being made by way of Nicaragua. 
Coming to Sebastopol he resumed his profession in _ the schools of this place. 
His experience in teaching extended over twenty-four years, all of the districts 
in which he taught being within a radius of a few miles of his first school. 


With a record to his credit as the must jjainstaking and tiinrough instructor 
in Sonoma county, in the fall of 1884 he gave up the life for which he was so 
eminently fitted and began the development of the ranch property upon which he 
resided until 1900, when he located in Sebastopol. He had eighty acres of fine 
land, well suited to the raising of peaches, and by being painstaking and care- 
ful he made a success of it. Besides his orchard he also maintained a small 
vineyard. For about sixteen \ears he devoted the same energy to the manage- 
ment of this ranch that he had to the duties of the school room in previous 
years, but in 1900 he gave up its care to younger hands, and has since lived 
retired. In 1904 he sold the ranch. As a young man Mr. Sanborn was a deep 
student of the problems of life, and early in his career decided that the cause 
of the majority of the failures of life was attributable to lack of thoroughness. 
Taking to heart the lesson which he learned thus early in life he has done with 
his might whatever task he pitt his hand to, and to the religious application of 
this principle he gives credit for all that he has accomplished, both in his career 
as a teacher, and in his later efforts as a horticulturist. By making a thorough 
study of the peach industry he developed a grade of this fruit which has never 
had an equal in this section of the state. This is what is known as the orange 
chng peach, which grows to an unusual size, and it was no uncommon thing for 
one peach to weigh one pound. One season his crop ran as high as fifty-one tons 
of orange cling peaches. 

In 1864 Mr. Sanborn was married to Miss Emily J. Dewey, a native of 
Vennont, and one child was born of that marriage, George D., a real-estate 
dealer in Sebastopol. Mr. Sanijorn is a valued member of the Santa Rosa 
Grange and of the Sonoma County Pomona College, in both of which organiza- 
tions his opinion on horticultural matters is regarded as authority. No one 
was more instrumental in the formation of the Sonoma County Farmers Mutual 
Fire Insurance Company than was Mr. Sanborn, and most of the time since its 
organization he has served in the capacity of vice-president. As early as 1859 
he joined the Masonic order, and for over half a century he has stood by the 
principles for which that body stands. He is now a member of Lafayette Lodge 
No. 126, F. & A. M., of Sebastopol, of which he was secretary for many years. 
Thiise who know Mr. Sanborn appreciate his worth, and by all he is greatly 
esteemed and loved. 


A successful and well-to-do horticulturist,, viticulturist and agriculturist of 
Sebastopol, Charles E. Hotle is prosperously engaged in his independent vo- 
cation on one of the most finely improved and most desirable homesteads in 
this part of Sonoma county. Enterprising, practical and progressive, he has 
shown excellent judgment in the prosecution of his calling, and is numbered 
among the valued citizens of his com)iumity. 

Like many another of the well-to-do and enterprising citizens who have 
contributed to the making of this Pacific commonwealth, Air. Hotle is a native 
of the middle-west, his birth occurring near Sigourney, Keokuk county, Iowa. 
Ma\' 12, 1865. He was the eldest of the four children comprising the parental 
familv. the names of the children in the order of their birth being as follows: 


Charles E., Effie C, William M., and Owen E. The parents were Zachariah 
Franklin and Julia Ann (Smitli) Hotle, the father born in Washington county. 
Pa., in 1838, and the mother born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1845. Their marriage 
occurred in Keokuk county, Iowa, October 2, 1862, and their early married life 
was passed on a farm near Sigourney, Iowa. To be accurate, the farm upon 
which the parents then settled continued to be the family homestead for ten 
years, for the year 1872 witnessed the removal of the parents, children and 
household, possessions to Sonoma county, Cal, and this has since been the home 
of the family. As in Iowa, the father took up agricultural pursuits after lo- 
cating here, and followed the calling for which he was so well adapted and in 
which he was so successful throughout the active years of his life. He now 
resides in Sebastopol, looking after his interests. 

Charles E. Hotle well remembers the circumstances attending the removal 
of the family from Iowa to California, for he was at the time a lad of seven 
years, an age well calculated to show an intense interest in anything out of 
the ordinary run of daily events. As he was then of school age he was entered 
as a pupil in the grammar school of Sebastopol, and the training which he here 
received during the years which followed eminently fitted him to pursue and 
make a success of the large business interests he now has under way. However, 
he has never ceased to be a student in the largest and best sense, keeping abreast 
of the times throughout the world by the reading of wholesome and instructive 
literature. With the close of his school days Mr. Hotle devoted his energies to 
agriculture on the home farm, and when he had attained mature years and was 
reatly to take up life on his own account, he chose farming as the most inde- 
pendent and at the same time the most remunerative occupation to which he 
might put his energies. Experience has proven the wisdom of his decision, and 
while he is not as actively engaged in the tilling of the soil as in former years, 
the foundation of his holdings today was made in this calling, and were he to 
live his life over he would still select the vocation which has been his life work. 
In 1892 he went into business on his own account, buying a tract of land which he 
put out to apples and berries, and he still owns a portion of this land, and now 
IS one of the largest apple growers in the county. He also owns considerable 
other real estate in Sebastopol and vicinity. In addition to his real-estate in- 
terests he also owns stock in a number of business enterprises in this city. For 
five years he was manager of the Hunt, Hatch & Co.'s packing house in Se- 
bastopol until they discontinued this branch, when he became one of the or- 
ganizers of the Sebastopol Apple Growers Union, of which he is the manager. 
He was also one of the prime movers in the organization of the Gravenstein 
Apple Show Association and a member of the board of directors from its in- 

Mr. Hotle's home in Sebastopol is presided over by his wife, who before 
her marriage was Miss Vina L. Litchfield, a native of Illinois. She is the 
daughter of Martin and Elizabeth (Pollock) Litchfield, of Illinois. The mother 
died in Cloverdale. and the father resides in Santa Cruz. The marriage of Mr. 
and Mrs. Hotle was celebrated in San Rafael, Cal., and they have two chil- 
dren, Mabel Lillian and Harold Leroy. Politically Mr. Hotle is a Republican, 
although he is not active in its ranks beyond the casting of his ballot. At the 
present time, however, he is city trustee, the only office he has ever consented to 


fill. Fraternally he is associated by membership with the Elks and Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, having passed through all of the offices of the latter 

It may be added that one of the prime factors in bringing Sonoma county 
so greatly to the fore in the apple industry these last three years (the results of 
which were shown at the Watsonville Apple Annual 1910, when the apple ex- 
hibit from Sebastopol took first prizes) is on account of the universal spraying 
of trees brought about by Mr. Hotle's vicious campaign against the pests, by per- 
sonally visiting the horticulturists and urging them to spray their trees in 1908- 
oq. The result is that the returns from the pack of 1910 conservatively show an 
increase of fift\- per cent m value. 


The third generation of this family represented in Sonoma county, Henry 
J. Chauvet is adding lustre to a name held in high repute through the pioneer 
efforts of his father and grandfather before him, and though he has benefited 
immeasurably as their successor in the ownership of one of the largest wine 
industries in the state, it has not crippled his ambition to forge ahead and 
emulate his worthy predecessors. 

A native son of the state, Henry J. Chauvet is also a native of Sonoma 
county, his birth occurring in ( )ctober, 1865, on the homestead ranch near 
Glen Ellen of which he is now the owner, and upon which he resides. (An 
interesting account of the life and efforts of his father, Joshua Chauvet. will 
be found on another page of this volume.) It was the privilege of Mr. Chauvet 
to enjoy advantages for an education which were unknown to his father, his 
primary education being received in the schools near his boyhood home, and 
to this training was added a course in Sackett's school. Oakland, after which 
he graduated from the Pacific Business College, San Francisco. At the age of 
seventeen his school days were over and he was ready to turn his thoughts and 
efforts to business training. He found ample opportunity for profitable occu- 
pation on the home ranch and in the mill, all of which was preparatory to his 
later position in the winery and distillery. He may literally say that he has 
grown up in the business, and that he was able to take charge of the business 
upon the death of his father and manage it so cleverly was due to his long 
and intimate association with it. As a grower of grapes and a dealer in Cali- 
fornia wine and brandy no one stands higher in Sonoma county than ^Ir. 
Chauvet, of Glen Ellen, whose name is a synonym for all that is purest and 
best in his hue. his grade of wine and brandy being unexcelled, and his prod-