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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Peter W. Bussman

Bringing to his interesting and constantly widening calling, skill and excellent business judgment, Peter W. Bussman has cause to congratulate himself upon his success as an agriculturist and horticulturist. The Bussman ranch, not far from Santa Rosa, on Rural Route No. 1, in the Llano district, and two hundred and twenty-two acres in extent, evidences the painstaking methods and thoroughness of its experienced owner, and in its appointments is most complete and modern. By far the larger portion of the land is in grapes, forty acres are in grain, twenty-five acres in corn, ten acres in orchard, and the remainder is in pasture and devoted to the raising of chickens. This shows the diversity of the work being carried on under the direct supervision of Mr. Bussman, any one of which would seem to be enough for one man to undertake, but so versatile are his abilities that he can undertake and carry to completion any number of projects with the same unvarying success.

The records of the Bussman family show that it originated in the Fatherland, and there, in Warendorf, Westphalia, the father of our subject, Anton Bussman, was born February 7, 1829. He was the son of Harmon Bussman, to whom he gave his services until he became of age, when he immigrated to the United States. From Baltimore, where the vessel landed, he went first to Cincinnati, Ohio, and two years later, in the spring of 1852, he set out for California, coming by the way of St. Louis, New Orleans, Texas and Mexico, then by way of Panama and San Diego, being detained in the latter place on account of the ship being out of commission. He was fortunate in securing a position with the government during the two months he was detained there, after which he went to San Francisco, and later to the mines of Placerville, Eldorado and Amador counties. His mining venture proved very satisfactory, for his share of the profits during the eight years he was so engaged more than met his expectations. With the means which he accumulated in this way he went to Clear Lake and engaged in farming and stock-raising for the eight years following, also being successful in this undertaking. A desire to visit the old homeland in 1866, and upon his return two years later he settled in Contra Costa county, Cal., near the town of Antioch. In the meantime, however, in October, 1868, in San Francisco, he had formed domestic ties by his marriage with Catherine Nintzel, who was also a native of Germany, born in Hanover in 1845. Mr. Bussman continued ranching very successfully for fourteen years in Contra Costa county, after which he disposed of his holdings there, and since 1882 has made his home on a fine ranch in Sonoma county. The parents have lived to see all of their five children grow to years of maturity and take their place in the world's activities in a manner worthy of their training. Named in order of their birth the children are as follows: Peter W., Herman, Anna, Fred and Frank,the two last being twins.

The eldest child in the parental family, Peter W. Bussman was born in Contra Costa county, June 20, 1869, and was therefore about twelve years of age when, with his parents, he came to Sonoma county. His education was acquired chiefly in Sonoma county, after which he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, first associated with this father, and subsequently in an enterprise of his own. He now has a fine ranch of two hundred and twenty-two acres of land in Llano district, where he makes a specialty of growing grapes; with the development of present plans for erecting a winery on his ranch he will have one of the finest vineyards and wine-making enterprises in Sonoma county. Besides his vineyard he has forty acres in grain, twenty-five acres in corn, ten acres in orchard besides which he raises stock and chickens, having about fifteen hundred of the latter. Some idea of his chicken industry may be gathered from the statement that during the season of 1909 he sold $3,000 worth of eggs and $1,500 worth of chickens, a large enterprise in itself, and yet only one of many that the capable owner handles with skill and ability.

Mr. Bussman's marriage, in 1891, was with Miss Eva D. Camp, a native of Iowa, and four children have been born to them. William Guy, born in 1893, has passed all the grades in the grammar and high schools in the vicinity of the home ranch, and after a course in the high school in Santa Rosa, he expects to turn his attention to business pursuits, presumable ranching. Ellsworth B., born in 1896, Hattie Idell, born in 1899, and Genevieve Lucile, born in 1901, are attending Todd district school. Mr. Bussman is an earnest advocate of furnishing good school facilities, and as clerk and trustee of Todd district he has accomplished much in raising the standard of education in this part of Sonoma county. Politically he is a Democrat, and fraternally he belongs to the Foresters of America and the Fraternal Aid of Santa Rosa.

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