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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William H. Arnhart

What is most appreciated in any calling is proficiency and it is rarely without compensation when the possessor brings his energy and ability before the public. Such a man is William H. Arnhart, one of the progressive contractors and builders of Petaluma. He was born in Barry county, Mo., August 26, 1869, the son of Wesley and Carrie Morris, who brought their family to California in 1873, residing first at Woodland, and later in Nevada City, where they have followed ranching ever since. They were the parents of five children, the subject of this sketch being the fifth oldest. He received his education in the schools of Nevada City and later took a business course in the San Jose State Normal. Subsequently he was apprenticed at the brick-layer and plasterís trade in Visalia, Tulare county, after which he worked at his trade in Fresno, San Francisco, San Jose and Palo Alto, in the last-mentioned place working on the Stanford University buildings for three years. He then began contracting and building in the following cities: Visalia, Nevada City, Reno (Nevada), Susanville, Lakeview (Oregon), and Eureka. This gave him a wide experience in the building line and made him a thorough master of his trade and his respective contracts were completed satisfactorily. In 1905 he located in Petaluma, where he immediately engaged in contracting and building, in which he has achieved success. Among some of the buildings he has completed we find the following: Swiss-American Bank, Sweed Building, Realty Building, and Canepa bulding.

Mr. Arnhartís residence is located at No. 40 Sixth street, where he resides with his wife, who was Miss Lola Craig, the daughter of R. V. Craig, a pioneer mining man and general contractor of Reno, Nev. Mr. Arnhart is a member of the Odd Fellows, and Knights of Pythias, his membership being in Reno. He is interested in mining and holds some valuable claims in Nevada county. He loves the sport of hunting and each season finds him in the mountains adding to his trophies from year to year.

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