Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Samuel Hutchinson

For forty years and more Mr. Hutchinson was associated with business and agricultural enterprises in California, nearly a quarter of a century of this time being passed in Santa Rosa, and when death suddenly terminated his useful career there was a general expression of regret concerning the loss of one so loyal to city, county and state, so devoted to their progress, and so interested in beneficial movements, as was this public-spirited citizen. Although he always cherished with affection the memory of his childhood home across the seas, he never regretted that destiny had led him to American, and especially was he interested in the growth of California, which he believed to be the garden-spot of the entire country, and on this subject he was a capable judge, for he had been an extensive traveler.

The birth of Samuel Hutchinson occurred in County Armagh, Ireland, in September, 1827, and his education was received primarily in the grammar schools of his native locality. During youth and early young manhood he was variously employed in the vicinity of his birth, but a growing dissatisfaction with the prospects, or rather lack of prospects, in his own country was the means of his immigration to America. From the metropolis in which he landed on these shores he made his way to the middle west soon afterward, going to Illinois and Wisconsin, in both of which stats he remained for a time before coming to the far west. However, having come this near to the Eldorado which was attracting so many thousands of men he was induced to complete the journey from ocean to ocean, and the year 1854 witnessed his removal to California with ox-teams. Instead of interesting himself in the mines, in which he had invested and lost a large amount of money, he engaged in the butcher business in the vicinity of the mines. The thought was well conceived and the business was maintained with profit for a time, proving a steppingstone to the stock and farming business in which he later engaged and which he followed extensively throughout the remainder of his life. Purchasing a section of land in Sutter county, in the vicinity of the mines where he had engaged in the stock business, he stocked the land with cattle and engaged in cattle raising and farming with splendid success for many years, or until coming to Santa Rosa in 1871. This fine ranch in Sutter county, purchased over half a century ago, is still in the possession of the family and the source of a goodly income. Eight miles from Santa Rosa Mr. Hutchinson purchased one of the largest tracts of land in the possession of one individual in this section of the country and entered upon farming and the raising of stock on an extensive scale. Of the thirty-six hundred and fifty acres which he purchased, fifty acres were devoted to the raising of hops, and the balance used for farming and stock and cattle raising. He also developed the Annadel quarry on this land. This quarry is one of the best in the state, producing large quantities of basalt blocks. During the lifetime of Mr. Hutchinson the farming and cattle-raising enterprise grew from year to year; and after his demise was ably carried on by his eldest son for many years. Recently, however, the latter has leased the property to tenants. In later years the dairy business has grown to large proportions, and recently the manufacture of American-Swiss cheese has been made a large industry, a model, up-to-date factory having been installed on the ranch. During the winter of 1862 Mr. Hutchinson lost all of his cattle in the flood of the Feather river. In his endeavor to save his cattle he seriously impaired his health, being paralyzed in his right side at that time, and thereafter he had no use of his right limbs.

After coming to California, in 1855, Mr. Hutchinson formed domestic ties by his marraige with Miss Elizabeth Johnson, one of his countrywomen, who was born in County Armagh and who came to America and crossed the plains to California in 1854, the same year in which he came to the west. All of the children born of this marriage are natives of Sutter county, and are named in the order of their birth as follows: Annie, the wife of D. O. F. Ottmer, of Eureka, Humboldt county; Thomas J.; Rachel; Mary; Samuel; and Charlotte, who became the wife of Robert Skinner, but is now deceased. Throughout his life Mr. Hutchinson was a member and communicant of the Episcopal Church and after coming to Santa Rosa identified himself with the church of this denomination in this city, his wife also being a member of this organization. Fraternally he was a Mason, being an active and interested member of the organization. He died in Santa Rosa June 1, 1894, and the funeral was conducted under the auspices of the lodge of which he was a member. If Mr. Hutchinson had a hobby it was for recreation in travel, and he indulged his taste in this direction quite frequently. On one occasion he went to Australia, twice returned for a visit to his native land, and made many trips to Illinois, his entire family accompanying him on one of the latter journeys.

The eldest son of the family, Thomas J. Hutchinson, was born in Sutter county June 23, 1861. As soon as he became old enough he was an invaluable assistant to his father in the care of the ranch in Sutter county, besides which for two years he maintained a stock-raising enterprise of his own in Arizona. After the death of the father he took charge of the ranch in Sonoma county, following the policy which the latter had mapped out, and in so doing has met with splendid success. He has recently rented the ranch to tenants and retired from active business care. Not unlike many other residents of Santa Rosa, Mr. Hutchinson suffered a loss in the visitation of the earthquake in the spring of 1906. He was a director and stockholder in the old Atheneum theatre on Fourth street that was then destroyed, this being one of the largest buildings in the town. He is proud of his citizenship in one of California’s thriving business towns, and also proud to be eligible to the Native Sons of the Golden West, in which he is a welcome member, as he is also of the Masonic order, with which his name is identified.

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