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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Edgar Daniel Aldrich

There is probably no one in the section of country around Forestville, Sonoma county, better informed in all phases of the lumber industry than is Mr. Aldrich, who from boyhood has been interested more or less in some branch of the business, and for years has been engaged in this business in Forestville. A native of the south he was born in Kentucky in 1850, the son of Lyman H. Aldrich, and his wife, the former born in Ohio, and the latter in Michigan in 1817. The father is now deceased, the mother is still living, at the remarkable age of nine-three years. At the time of the birth of their son the parents were living in Kentucky, and from there, when he was six years old, the removed to Missouri, that state being their home until 1863, when they removed to Michigan. When he was seventeen years of age Edgar Aldrich was mustered in the regular army, becoming a member of Company K, at Covington, Ky., and was assigned to duty in the west, first going to old Fort Bridges, then to Wind River valley, Wyom., and from there to Fort Laramie. After receiving his discharge from the service at the latter place he returned to his home in Michigan and remained there for several years. The glimpse of the west during his military service had attracted him by its breadth and freedom and from that time forward he had a longing to take a part in the bounding possibilities which it offered. The year 1872 found him in Kansas, where he says it was necessary to shoot buffalo to clear the road for their ox-train. This was long prior to the advent of the railroad in the now thriving city of Wichita, the nearest railroad station being in Dodge county, to which point goods had to be hauled for shipment. Mr. Aldrich gained his first insight into the lumber business in the forests of Michigan, and in Wichita, Kan., he engaged in the lumber business until coming to California in 1885. Since that time he has been a resident of Sonoma county, and the greater part of this time has been interested in the lumber business in Forestville, a business in which he is now engaged on a large and successful scale.

Mr. Aldrich was married in Michigan in 1871, to Miss Olive Bigford, a native of Branch county, that state, and the only child of that marriage, a daughter, is now the wife of John H. Cole, and resides in Michigan. Mrs. Aldrich is now deceased. During his early years in California Mr. Aldrich combined ranching with his lumber interests, but as the latter increased in volume he relinquished other business and concentrated his attention on his lumber business, in which he is now engaged. Politically he is a Democrat.

History of Sonoma County, California
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
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011