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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Battista Bolla

Into every part of the world the republic of Switzerland has sent her sons and daughters, and wherever they have gone they have taken with them the traits of thrift, economy and perseverance characteristic of their race. The colonies they have settled have benefited by their presence, and the ranches they lease or purchase soon show the influence of their industry and wise judgment. As citizens they neglect no duty, yet they show no aggressive self-assertiveness. It is only seldom that they drift into politics, for their tastes do not lie in that direction, they being pre-eminently a quiet, domestic, home-loving class, enjoying best the uneventful round of daily duties in the dairy or field.

The qualities noticeable in his countrymen are also found in the character of Battista Bolla, a native of Switzerland, who was born in the canton of Ticino in 1868, the second in order of birth of three children born to his parents, Anton and Mary (Maorelli) Bolla, both natives of Switzerland, born respectively in 1804 and 1834. The father was a man of prominence and ability in the town of Cevio, where he served faithfully as mayor for the long period of twenty years. By trade he was a contractor and builder, and throughout the town in which he lived many evidences of his skill were to be seen in the picturesque houses for which his land is noted in the world over. All of the children comprising the family are still single, and the only daughter, Tranquilla, is still a resident of her native land. Both of the sons are residents of the United States, the eldest, Anton making his home in Santa Rosa, Cal.

When he was a youth of fifteen years Battista Bolla assumed responsibilities by setting out alone for the United States, but he looks back upon the venture as a wise one, for here he has accomplished more than would have been possible in his native land. Within a few miles of Petaluma, on Rural Route No. 4, he is located on seven hundred acres of land which he leases from W. D. Ayers. Here the dairy business and the poultry industry vie with each other for supremacy, and as both are in a flourishing condition and constantly being enlarged by the owner, it would be difficult to say in which business his chief interest lies. The milk of one hundred cows supplies his dairy, in connection with which he maintains a cheese factory, in the maintenance of which he is putting to practice an industry which he learned in his native land, where dairying and cheese-making have reached the highest excellence. Every year witnesses the enlargement of his dairy plant, as it does also of his poultry yard, where at the present writing he has twelve hundred chickens of excellent breed. Seven head of horses of high grade are also being raised on the ranch, as well as young stock which will in time contribute to the enlargement of the dairy.

Continuing in the faith in which he was reared, Mr. Bolla is a Roman Catholic, being a communicant of the church of that faith at Petaluma. Politically he is a Republican. As has been stated, Mr. Bolla has never married, and in the care-free life which he leads upon his ranch he finds plenty to occupy his time in its maintenance. When opportunity permits he takes genuine pleasure in trying his skill as a marksman, for he considers there is no sport that can equal hunting.

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