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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


J. W. Horn

Petaluma is proud to claim Mr. Horn as one of her citizens, and on the other hand Mr. Horn is thankful that kind Fate led him to take up his residence here. Probably few of the citizens in the country round about have been favored with opportunity for travel as has Mr. Horn, but from each trip, whether from abroad or from distant points in our own country, he returns gladly, satisfied that here he finds the greatest incentives for the best that life can give.

A native of Ohio, he was born in Lorain county, June 17, 1865, the son of parents who were in a position to give him every opportunity for obtaining a good education. Unlike many thus fortunately situated, he made the best use of his opportunities, a characteristic which has been noticeable in whatever he has undertaken in his after life and is unquestionably the keynote of the successful career which he has enjoyed. After attending the public schools near his home and graduating from the high school he took a two-year course in Oberlin College. A desire to employ his talents in business led him to discontinue his studies at this time, and he then went to Des Moines, Iowa, and accepted a position as railroad engineer for a company having a road under construction, remaining in this capacity for two years. Then, in 1884, he continued west as far as Utah, during the two years he was there being engaged in the library business, establishing and supplying public libraries with books, besides which he bought and sold real estate to some extent.

From Utah Mr. Horn came to the far west in 1886 for the first time, going direct to San Francisco, but after a short stay he returned to Iowa. He was in the middle west at the time the World’s Fair was being held in Chicago in 1893, and he visited that metropolis during this time in the interests of the publishing house with which he was associated. Returning to Iowa once more, he continued in business there for about two years longer, when, in 1895, he came to California for the second time, this time with the idea of making it his permanent home. Coming direct to Sonoma county, he located in Petaluma on a small ranch of three acres which he stocked with a fine breed of poultry. Subsequently, however, he sold his ranch and stock and engaged in the real-estate and insurance business, and the office which he then established, in 1895, at No. 170 Main street, is still his headquarters, and here have been transacted many of the important real-estate sales and transfers in the town and surrounding country during the past fifteen years. Mr. Horn is a great traveler, and during the past seven years alone has made ten trips to the east.

The first marriage of Mr. Horn occurred in 1892 in San Francisco and united him with Miss Flora M. Platt, a native of New York, who at her death in 1908 left one son, Hubert J., and a daughter, Azalene, who died a year later. Mr. Horn’s second marriage was celebrated June 22, 1910 uniting him with Miss Louise M. White, a native of Detroit, Mich. Their wedding journey consisted of a three-months’ tour of Europe. Mr. Horn is counted one of the most enterprising and progressive business men of Petaluma, and for three years he filled the office of secretary of the Board of Trade.

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