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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Rocco Bassi

Switzerland has contributed a goodly number of representatives to the citizenship of California, and here, as is true of any country to which they go, they have brought those substantial qualities of thrift and industry that are the foundations of an ideal citizenship. This truth has been borne out of the life of Rocco Bassi, who came to Sonoma county, California, empty-handed in 1900 and in the years that have intervened has become a large dairyman, is active and interested in the welfare of his community, and has the respect and goodwill of all who are acquainted with him.

Born in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland, June 24, 1881, Rocco Bassi is a son of Julio and Marina Bassi, the parents being natives and life-time residents of Switzerland. Five children were born to these parents in their little home on the mountain-side, four sons and one daughter, as follows: Charles, Celesto, Rocco, Julia and Ben. With his brothers and sisters Rocco Bassi shared whatever of privileges and duties fell to the lot of others in their station life, the father, like the majority of the citizens of the community in which they lived, being a farmer and dairyman. It was while working on the home farm in the daily round of duties that Rocco Bassi became convinced of the narrowness of his environment, a realization which was strengthened by the knowledge that many of his countrymen had come to the United States and were acquiring fortunes as a result of their labors. The outcome of his discontent with conditions in his own country was his immigration to the United States in 1900, at which time he was nineteen years of age. Coming direct to Sonoma county, California, he sought and obtained work as a farm hand, by so doing earning means for his support, learning much of language and customs of the new country in which he has chosen to make his home. The ranch which he finally leased and upon which he now makes his home, is on Rural Route No. 3 from Petaluma, and consists of three hundred and twenty acres of choice land, upon which he makes a specialty of dairying, having fifty head of cows, in addition to a number of calves. He also has in his pasture eight head of fine horses, besides which he is fattening twenty-five hogs for the market. Altogether he has a very satisfactory and remunerative enterprise under his name and control, which he realizes would not have been possible had he remained in his native country, and while he still retains his old affection for his native land, he also has a growing fondness for his new home in California, and is grateful to the kind Fate that led his steps hither.

In Napa, California, Mr. Bassi was married in 1907 to Miss Dell Nonali, who was born in San Luis Obispo county, California, in 1889. One child, Jennie has been born of their marriage. Both Mr. Bassi and his wife were reared in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church and they are communicants of the church of this faith in Petaluma. Politically he casts his vote for the candidates of the Republican party. He is fond of out-door sports of all kinds, particularly hunting and fishing, and as opportunity permits he indulges in these pastimes.

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