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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


John H. Duerson

California was fortunate in having been settled by a remarkably enterprising, industrious and intelligent class of people. Prominent among the number that endured the hardships of pioneer life without a murmur and have now ceased from their earthly labors, was the late John H. Duerson, who passed away on his ranch in Sonoma county in 1896. Not the least meritorious of the legacies which he left behind him are the sons and daughters whom he trained to lives of usefulness, and the sons are now carrying on ranch enterprises of their own, having inherited in large measure their sire's business ability and thrift.

Of southern birth and parentage, John H. Duerson was born in Virginia in 1821, and considering the times in which he lived, as well as the new, unsettled country by which he was surrounded in his boyhood, it goes without saying that he grew up without experiencing any educational advantages worthy the name. He was early inured to hard labor on the home farm of his parents, and upon attaining mature years he undertook farming on his own account in the south, continuing there for a considerable period before he realized that his efforts might be made to give him better returns elsewhere. It was after a careful consideration of various localities that he finally decided to come to California and locate in 1858, and the same year found him in Sonoma county, located upon a ranch near Penn Grove. This was his home and the scene of his efforts from that time until his death, and in the meantime he had gained the love and respect of all those with whom he was brought in contact. Credit for all that he was able to accomplish he willingly shared with his noble wife, who before her marriage was Sarindia Sitton, and who was born in Missouri in 1836. Nine children blessed their marriage, six sons and three daughters, and all were given the best opportunities to fit them for their work in the world that it was in the power of their parents to bestow. Named in the order of their birth the sons were Joseph, George, William, John, Robert and Richard, while the daughters were Mary, Eliza and Lucy. William is married, but has no children, his wife having been Miss Jessie Horn before her marriage; Robert chose as his wife Miss Harriet Clary; and Richard married Hadie Horn. Mary became the wife of George Stocking, and Eliza is the wife of Thomas Elphick and the mother of five children, Roy, Lenn, Merrill, Blanche and Clytie.

The second son in the family, George Duerson, is the owner of a fine ranch in the vicinity of Penn Grove, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, upon which he conducts an unpretentious but nevertheless profitable dairy and poultry industry. Fifteen cows of good breed constitute his dairy, while in is poultry yard he has two hundred and seventy-five chickens and turkeys. In addition to caring for his ranch Mr. Duerson also follows his trade of carpenter. Politically he is a Republican and is variously identified with organizations which profit by his genial companionship and substantial help.

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