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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Aubrey Barham

The name of Barham needs no introduction to the people of Mendocino and Sonoma counties, for through father and son respectively the strong and admirable characteristics of the family are rooted in the upbuilding of these portions of the state. The father, H. W. Barham, was born in Illinois in 1835, and was little more than a boy when, in 1849, he came across the plains to California, mining holding forth a greater inducement than the plodding farm work in which he was engaged in his home locality. The long ox-team journey ended, he immediately made his way to the mines in the vicinity of Marysville, Yuba county, but with what success he met during the two years that he remained there the records do not state. However, it is known that at the end of this time he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and followed this congenial employment throughout the remainder of his life. Going to Ukiah, Mendocino county, he purchased a ranch and began its cultivation, being one of the pioneers in this industry, for as yet those who had come to the state for the purpose of making their fortunes in the mines were still struggling along in the belief that the next attempt would surely bring them the long-sought eldorado. As with all booms, the reaction had to come, a fate which Mr. Barham was wise in seeing, and forestalled disaster by turning his attention to a line of work with which he was familiar. The ranch which he then purchased is now the site of the State insane asylum an on this ranch he made his residence until 1854, when he sold out and came to Sonoma county and located on a ranch in the vicinity of Bodega upon which he remained two years. From there he removed to a ranch six miles from Santa Rosa, on the Petaluma road, which from the long period of his residence upon it has ever since been known as the Barham ranch. This consisted of one hundred and seventy-five acres of fine land, upon which he settled in 1868 as a pioneer of that locality and during his long term of residence upon it, brought it to a high state of cultivation that was a credit to the owner as well as to the county. His wife, who was a native of Missouri, was born in 1841 and passed away at the age of forty-seven years, having become the mother of four children, only two of whom are now living, Aubrey Barham of this review, and Byrd Barham, a resident of Santa Rosa.

It was on the family homestead near Ukiah, Mendocino county, that the birth of Aubrey Barham occurred September 24, 1862. The schools of the locality as well as those of Santa Rosa and Christian College of the same place supplied him with the necessary mental training, and his fatherís ranch furnished the equally necessary physical training, both contributing to make him the self-reliant, robust young man that he was when, at the age of eighteen, he set out independently to wrestle with the duties of life. He taught school for two years in the Hearne district and then decided to take of the study of law, entering the offices of Rutledge & McConnell at Santa Rosa, subsequently was also in the office of T. J. Geary for one year. He was admitted to practice by the Supreme court of the state in 1887. Instead of taking up the law he engaged in the real estate and brokerage business with his father that same year, having offices on Fourth street, in the National Bank building. His interest in the welfare of his home city was the means of his election to the city council, a position which he filled efficiently for nearly three years. Through Democratic influence, he was appointed a deputy in the office of the county assessor, a position which he filled for two terms. Since taking up his residence in Santa Rosa he has erected a beautiful home, in addition to which he also owns the Rosedale stock farm, located two miles from the city, upon which, with his family, he spends the summer months.

Mr. Barhamís marriage in 1887, united him with Miss Minnie Christenson, a native daughter of California, whose father, a native of New York, came to California during the early period of its history. His wife was a native of Hoboken, N. J. The eldest of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Barham was Deloss, born in 1888, but who died while an infant. Blanche D., born in 1890, received a good education in the public schools of Santa Rosa and also the Ursuline convent. Maud L., born in 1895, is a student in the schools of Santa Rosa. An able and versatile man, giving his whole attention to whatever enterprise he may have in hand, it is yet evident that in his choice of a calling in life Mr. Barham made no mistake, for in the various departments of business he is equally successful.

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