Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Benjamin F. Hoar, Jr.

In the enumeration of enterprises contributing to the development of Sonoma county it would be difficult to mention any that has lacked the sympathetic support of the honored pioneer, Benjamin F. Hoar, a citizen for many years actively associated with ranching interests and commercial activities, in which he still bears a leading part notwithstanding the fact that his busy life has passed into its twilight. A man of versatile ability, he has found varied avenues for his energies. During the pioneer era of our history he found employment in the mines. Later he sought a livelihood by the development of a ranch and the tilling of the soul. By trade a carpenter, he has been employed in this occupation at different periods of his life and he has further labored as a plumber and as a surveyor. It is worthy of note that he has been a skilled workman in every occupation engaging his attention and his success, though modest, is none the less commendable and gratifying.

The early days of Benjamin F. Hoar were passed in Maine, in a region whose picturesque lakes and dense pine forests are a delight to the eye in summer, but stern and storm-bound in the winter months. Born at Rangeley, Franklin county, April 14, 1838, he remembers well the hardships incident to earning a livelihood from the sterile soil or from the woods as yet untouched by the axe. The rigorous climate and lack of opportunities impelled him to seek a home elsewhere and as early as 1869 he came via the Isthmus of Panama to California, landing at San Francisco in October after a voyage lasting three months. His first employment was as a miner in the mines at Dutch Flat and he remained there from the time of his arrival in the state until 1863 without any interval of leisure. Upon leaving the mines in 1863 he came to Sonoma county and invested his savings in the purchase of eighty acres from John Peters. Leasing the property, he went to the mines in Nevada county, Cal., and continued there until 1869, when he returned to Sonoma county as a permanent resident, and now lives in Healdsburg.

The marriage of Mr. Hoar was solemnized in 1863 at Dutch Flat, Grass Valley, and united him with Miss Eugenia E. Chichester, who was born at Pleasant Hill, Iowa, December 2, 1848, being one of four children forming the family of Elias H. Chichester, a native of Holland, born in the year 1830. Five sons and four daughters comprised the family of Mr. and Mrs. Hoar, namely: Edward, Benjamin F., Jr., Charles A., Henry H., John A., Addie E., Mary L., Inza E. and Eugenia E. Charles A. married Emma Hamlin and is the father of a son and daughter, Vernon and Frances. Henry H., a resident of Woodland, this state, married Gertrude Harman, and has a daughter, Zelma. Addie E., Mrs. James McDowell, of Healdsburg, has five children, Albert, Frank, Harry, Archie and Hazel. Mary L. married Joseph Stephens, a resident of the Sandwich Islands and a prominent worker in the church of the Seventh Day Adventists. They have three daughters, Anna, Mildred and Delphina Stephens. Eugenia is the wife of George Typher, of Healdsburg, and has one son, Buster Brown Typher.

Benjamin F. Hoar, Jr., was born in Grass Valley, Cal. September 21, 1868. When he was a child of one and a-half years his parents removed to Cotati, where he was reared, and was a pupil in the Copeland district school. After attaining mature years he farmed for three years on his fatherís place, after which he became an employe of the Cotati Rancho Company, and has been with this company almost continuously since, and at the present time he is assistant foreman. In 1910 he purchased three and eighty-five hundredths acres of land near Cotati, well equipped for the raising of chickens, and this he rents to a tenant.

Ever since Mr. Hoar acquired the right of franchise he has been a consistent supporter of Republican principles and has given allegiance to the men and measures representative of the party. Of a genial, sociable disposition, he has found identification with lodges a source of pleasure as well as an opportunity to aid in charitable work. The Knights of Pythias at Petaluma number him among their members, as does the Improved Order of Red Men in the same town. As vice-grand he has been officially connected with the Eagle Lodge, I. O. O. F., which has a membership of forty-eight and has accomplished much for the philanthropic and moral upbuilding of the community. He is an active worker with the Native Sons of the Golden West at Santa Rosa and is heartily in sympathy with the activities of this prominent organization. He is also identified with the order of Moose of Petaluma. In the early days this father brought down many a fine specimen of game, nor was he less successful when wielding the fishing line and thus it came about that he acquired a local reputation for skill in these popular sports.

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