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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Robert A. Giggey

Success in life is often due to the hardships and struggles of youth, illustrating as it does the law of compensation. As an example of this worthy of comment is the life of Robert A. Giggey, born August 1, 1865, in Carlton county, Canada, just over the state life of Maine. His youth was spent in continuous change, his father leaving Main when he was but five years of age going first to Waterloo, Iowa, and after three years sojourn, to Yankton, S. Dak., and in 1880 back to Harrison county, Iowa, and four years later coming to Portland, where one month after his arrival his death occurred. Through all this country William Giggey and Nancy Jane Giggey, parents of Robert, farmed and toiled with but small returns and with a family of seven children, the wolf was not far from the door many times. While in Dakota, however, William Giggey hauled freight into the Black hills with ox team and was one of the first in the hills after gold was discovered. These trips were very hazardous on account of Indians, and Mr. Giggey had many narrow escapes.

On account of the many changes of locality during Robert Giggey’s school years, his opportunities along educational lines were meager and at the age of fourteen, on account of his father’s ill-health, he was compelled to take entire charge of the farm. In 1884, with the family, he made the trip overland to Portland, Ore., making the journey with three teams. They started from Iowa June 11, and reached Portland October 28. Upon his arrival in Portland Robert Giggey started in the teaming business, continuing this until the year 1897, when he moved to Santa Barbara and fir six years farmed with a reasonable share of success, but changing his occupation in life for the last time and awakening a latent business ability he engaged in his present business, under the firm name of Giggey & Clough, the largest street and grading contractors in the city. They have a large outfit for doing heavy work, using eleven two-horse teams, and among the streets they have paved are Baker, Hinman, Keokuk, Kent, Harris, Vallejo, Liberty and West.

While in Portland, Mr. Giggey was united in marriage to Miss Mary Smith, a native of Ohio, the daughter of John Smith, one of the pioneers of Hillsboro, Washington county, Ore., and to them were born two children: Dorotha and William. The latter’s death occurred July 5, 1908, when he was accidentally drowned at Lakeville.

Fraternally Mr. Giggey is associated with the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 350, Paso Robles, and politically he is in sympathy with the Republican party. At No. 610 Main street, Mr. Giggey resides with his family, still a young man with a goodly number of years, in all probability, before him in which to enjoy life, with the satisfaction that the comforts that he is able to provide for himself and family were due to a youth of diligence, sagacious thrift and perseverance. As a member of the Methodist church and his lodge, his charities are numerous and as a progressive, highly esteemed citizen he is well and favorable known.

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