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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Charles Jasper Chenoweth

Native sons of California have a reputation of loyalty to the land of their birth which probably cannot be found to be true of any other state in the Union in the same degree. This loyalty of continued residence in the state of his birth has been borne out in the life of Charles J. Chenoweth, in fact he has never made his home outside of Sonoma county, where his parents settled some yeas previous to his birth, July 4, 1853.

The Chenoweth family is of southern origin, and the earliest member of whom we have definite knowledge is the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Jacob Chenoweth, who was born in Maryland March 2, 1785. Later years found him in Kentucky, and there, in Butler county, his son, John H. was born December 25, 1817. During young manhood he came as far west as Illinois, making settlement in Pike county, and from there he came to the Pacific coast in 1849, when the news of the finding of gold in California was heralded over the country, the voyage being made by way of Cape Horn. The year following, 1850, he returned east, and two years later he again came west, this time bringing his family with him. Settlement was first made in Green valley, on what is now Taylor street, and later the family moved to a location that became known as Occidental. Here he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land, upon a part of which a daughter and her husband, Mr. And Mrs. C. P. Nolan, now make their home. Here the father passed away in the faith of the Methodist Church in September, 1898, when he was eighty years of age. His wife, Ermine English, in maidenhood, was also a native of Kentucky, her birth occurring in Hardin county November 4, 1821. Her father, Lemuel English, brought the family as far west as Illinois, and it was in that state that she became the wife of Mr. Chenoweth. She passed away September 1, 1892, having become the mother of seven children, as follows: William Lemuel, a resident of Curry county, Ore.; James M., of Sebastopol; John J. Hardin, of Occidental; Charles J., of this review; Sophronia Josephine, Mrs. C. P. Nolan, of Occidental; Albert W., who resides near the latter town; and Alvin S., who died when three years old.

Under the training of his father Charles J. Chenoweth received a valuable insight into the various departments of agriculture, the two working together harmoniously until the son reached years of maturity, and assumed agricultural responsibilities on a ranch of his own. Not far from the old family homestead in Sonoma county, on Rural Route No. 1 from Sebastopol, he has a ranch of sixty-three acres which is not only a credit to the owner, but to the county as well, for no one could take greater pride in upholding the standard of agricultural excellence that Sonoma county has attained than does Mr. Chenoweth, and his efforts have not been without notable accomplishments.

The marriage of Charles J. Chenoweth, in 1884, united him with Miss Julia Stewart, who was born in this state, and who passed away on the ranch near Sebastopol December 12, 1897. Besides her husband she left to mourn her loss a family of seven children, several of whom were then almost too young to realize the deep loss they had sustained. The eldest of the children, Hardin T., is settled in a home of his own, having married Miss Hattie Barnes. The next child in order of birth, Leslie A., is a graduate of Sweets College, and is now at home, as are also the other children, William Leroy, Leland Adolph, Josephine Eugenia, Myrtle Ethel and Verna Sonoma, the two last mentioned being students in the local school. Fraternally Mr. Chenoweth is well known in Sonoma county, especially in the Odd Fellows order, belonging to Salmon Creek Lodge No. 234, I. O. O. F., and for thirteen years he has served as secretary of his lodge.

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