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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Comstock

The identification of the Comstock family with this country ante-dates the Revolutionary period, for the records show that the grandfather of William Comstock enlisted in the Continental army under Washington and was a gallant defender of the colonies rights. Fairfield county, Conn., has witnessed the births and deaths of many generations of this family, and it was on a farm in that county that the grandfather was tilling the soil when called to the defense of his country. On this same farm his son, Watts Comstock, and his grand-son, William Comstock, were born, the birth of the latter occurring August 9, 1825.

William Comstock was reared on a farm and attended the district schools near his home. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him, he had settled down to farm life in the community in which he was reared, when the quiet routine of his daily life was disturbed by the news of the finding of gold in California. He was about twenty-three years old at the time, full of enthusiasm and hope that knows no such words as failure and disappointment. He was not long in making up his mind to embark on the venturesome voyage that was to bring him to this eldorado of the west, and the year 1849 he set sail for the Isthmus. The entire voyage lasted six months, but as soon as he reached California he lost no time in making his way to the north fork of the American river, where he had heard the prospects were exceptionally good. Subsequently he also followed mining on the Yuba river. Altogether he continued mining for about two years, finally giving it up, in 1851, to take up ranching in Contra Costa county. From there he came to Sonoma county in 1856, and in 1871 came to Santa Rosa and purchased a ranch of two hundred and forty acres near town. Here he rounded out his long and useful life, and besides the wife and son who still mourn his loss, he left many friends who loved him for his many fine traits of character.

The marriage of Mr. Comstock united him with Miss Clara Stone in 1860; she was a native of Michigan, but has been a resident of California since 1856, coming to the state at that time with her father and locating in Contra Costa county. Two children blessed the marriage of Mr. And Mrs. Comstock, Hubert and Florence, the latter of whom died at the age of sixteen years. During his early voting days Mr. Comstock was a Whig, but after the formation of the Republican party he was an advocate of its principles. Mr. Comstock was a patriotic and loyal citizen, intent upon the general good of the community, the city and state which he had made his by adoption.

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