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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William C. Andrews

More than three score and ten years formed the life span of the well-known resident of Sonoma county, where the most useful half of his life had been passed in agricultural pursuits. A native of Indiana, he was born near Aurora, Dearborn county, May 9, 1828, one of a family of six children born to his parents. A taste and adaptation for following the surveyor’s profession early in life led him to take up the study, and so proficient did he prove himself that when he was little more than a youth he was placed in the responsible position of surveyor of Franklin county, Ky. In case of controversy as to proper lines of division he was called upon as the court of last appeal, which is an unmistakable evidence of the light in which his ability and work were held.

It was three years after his marriage before Mr. Andrews determined to come to California, the year 1865 finding him crossing the plains with a party of one hundred wagons drawn by oxen. Six weary months were consumed in the journey, during which they were mercifully spared any encounter with or disturbance from the Indians, although the party immediately preceding them suffered greatly at the hands of this dreaded foe. The San Joaquin valley was finally reached, and there the family remained a year. From there they came to Sonoma county, settling first in Green valley, and later in Bloomfield section, where Mr. Andrews purchased a ranch of one hundred and ten acres. Here he energetically set about the cultivation of what has since been developed into one of the representative ranches of the county. From time to tie, however, he sold off portions, until today it comprises only thirty-eight acres. During the lifetime of the original owner it was conducted as a grain ranch, barley being raised almost exclusively, but some time after Mr. Andrews’ death, when the management devolved upon his sons, they planted an orchard, which is now in bearing condition and takes rank with the best orchards in the valley.

At his death, August 27, 1901, Mr. Andrews left a widow and three children, all sons, to mourn the loss of a devoted husband and kind, affectionate father. His marriage in Kansas in 1862 united him with Miss Elizabeth Palmer, the daughter of Jerry M. and Pency Camden Whitehead Palmer, who became residents of California 1864. The three sons who blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews are William., Sylvanus M. and Austin W., the two oldest sons remaining with their mother and maintaining the home ranch, while the youngest son, Austin, owns and cultivates a ranch near Lodi, San Joaquin county, Cal.


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