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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Jerome B. Gossage

Nearly a quarter of a century has elapsed since the demise of Jerome B. Gossage, but nevertheless old settlers well remember the fine ranch one mile from Petaluma whereon he made his home for so many years and where death overtook him in November, 1887. A native of Ohio, he was born in the city of Columbus April 12, 1824, one of the sons born to his parents, Thomas and Nancy (Fisher) Gossage, of whom the former went to Ohio in early manhood and there passed the remainder of his life.

In 1850, when he was twenty-six years of age, Jerome B. Gossage came to California for the first time, making the trip in company with three brothers, Joseph, William and Zephania. Their first experience in the mines was at Hangtown, from there going to the Kelsey diggings, where they passed the winter of 1850-51. Not content with their winterís work, the following spring they went to Placerville, where they hoped to find better prospects, but the fact that their stay was short makes it appear otherwise. In May, 1852, Jerome and Joseph Gossage came to Sonoma county, following the lead of their brother Zephania, who had located here the year previously. Seven miles from Petaluma Jerome Gossage located on a ranch which he cultivated for about two years, when he returned east, and after remaining there about two years, again crossed the plains to California, this time coming with a party of twenty men and driving a band of cattle. For the time being he placed the cattle on his ranch near Petaluma, later driving them into the mountains, and as soon as they were in condition, selling them at a good profit. After disposing of his cattle he went to Virginia City, Nev., and for two years conducted a hotel with good results. With the proceeds of the undertaking he invested in real estate in Nevada, property which remained in the possession of his widow for many years. Upon his return to California Mr. Gossage purchased a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres one mile from Petaluma, which he improved and cultivated up to the time of his death, in November, 1887. After his death the property was subdivided into five and ten acre tracts and sold.

Before her marriage, which occurred in Iowa in 1859, Mrs. Gossage was Miss Rachel A. Henry, a native of Pennsylvania and the daughter of John and Rebecca (Miner) Henry, who immigrated to Illinois in 1844 and later made their home in Iowa until their deaths. The mother passed away at the age of seventy-two, and the father died in 1887, at the age of eighty-two. Mrs. Gossage is the sole survivor of a family of eight children born to her parents. She came to California with her husband on his second trip to the state. Six children were born of their marriage, and of them we make the following mention: Ada is the wife of E. R. Healey, of Berkeley; Nellie is the widow of F. W. Stratton, of Petaluma, who died August 1, 1910; Emma is the wife of Emil E. Drees, also of Petaluma; Dr. H. S. Gossage is a resident of the same city; Jerome B. died in Seattle, Wash., in January, 1910, at the age of thirty-eight years; Winfield Scott died at the age of twenty-six, in 1901, in Honolulu, where he had gone in the hope of recovering his health. Politically Mr. Gossage espoused the principles of the Republican party, and fraternally he belonged to the Masonic order. Since disposing of the homestead ranch Mrs. Gossage has made her home in Petaluma at No. 2 Liberty street, where her many friends are received with a hearty welcome.

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