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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Henry Elphick, Jr.

One of the young fruit-growers and progressive ranchers in Sonoma county is Henry Elphick, Jr., whose ranch of twenty acres near Sebastopol shows the work of a master hand, for everything about the place denotes that the owner is careful of details, the trees of his orchard showing the best of care, as do also the residence and ranch buildings.

Mr. Elphick takes pride in the fact that he is a native son of the Golden State, and also that he is a sone of one of the state's worthy pioneers, Henry Elphick. The latter was a resident of Marin county, Cal., at the time of the birth of of his son in 1874, and soon after that event he came to Sonoma county and near Sebastopol, at Pleasant Hill, purchased and settled upon what proved under his care to be one of the most profitable ranches in Sonoma county. Henry Elphick, Jr., was a small child when his parents removed to Sonoma county, and here his life has since been passed in the main, in his boyhood days attending the schools of Sebastopol and later working on the homestead ranch with his father. His first independent business venture was in Santa Cruz, where he was interested in the fruit business for about six years, after which he was interested in buying and subdividing land and putting it on the market. This latter business was conducted near Sebastopol, and consisted of buying large tracts of land, which he subdivided, and after improving the property, sold at a good profit. A number of pieces of property were thus handled, but he finally gave up this business and devoted all of his time to ranching on the property on which he now lives, which he purchased in 1906. Here he has twenty-four acres of fruit land, mostly in apples, ten acres in bearing, and ten acres in young trees which he set out himself since taking up his residence here. From the trees in bearing he shipped during the season of 1909 fifteen hundred boxes which brought $2,300, besides ten tons of dried fruit. The ranch is equipped with an excellent drier, and thus he is enabled to dry fruit for other parties not provided with driers, thirty thousand tons being an average year's output from this source alone. Besides his apple orchard, which includes Gravensteins, Belleflowers, Spitzenbergs and Kings, he also has a number of cherry trees that are good producers. As it now stands Mr. Elphick's ranch is without doubt one of the most valuable ranches in Sonoma county, the improvements alone amounting to over $4,000, and when the ten acres of young trees come into bearing it will be and exceedingly valuable ranch property, one of which the young owner may well be proud.

In 1900 Mr. Elphick was united in marriage with Miss Birdie Briggs, a native of Santa Cruz. Politically Mr. Elphick is a Republican, and fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, holding membership in Santa Cruz Lodge. In addition to his valuable ranch property near Sebastopol, Mr. Elphick also owns property in Santa Cruz, Oakland and rich timber land in Sonoma county.

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