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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



An association with the Native Sons of the Golden West comes to Mr. Kavanaugh by reason of his nativity in California, where he was born at Michigan Bluff, Placer county, July 29, 1872, into the home of Edward and Ann Kavanaugh. The family descends from a long line of Celtic ancestry. His father, who was born and reared in County Kerry, Ireland, crossed the ocean to America during 1838 when very young in years and poor in purse, but rich in hope and courage for the future. After twelve years as a farm laborer in Illinois, he was induced to cross the plains to California through hearing remarkable reports concerning the discovery of gold. Joining a large expedition of Argonauts during the spring of 1850 he entered upon a journey of long duration and innumerable privations, but which finally reached a safe conclusion at Hang- town, Eldorado county.

The country was filled with miners, some joyful over discovered gold, some disappointed concerning hopes long deferred. The population was cosmopolitan. Hither had come people from every quarter of the civilized world. As a consequence of the sudden aggregation of newcomers there was little attempt at law and order. In his old age the elder Kavanaugh used frequently to narrate interesting incidents concerning the problems faced by those pioneer communities temporarily collected at mining camps. He himself did not remain long at Hangtown, but soon drifted to other mining camps and as early as 1851 became a permanent resident of Michigan Bluff, where his death in 1894 terminated an identification of forty-four years with the mining interests of the west.

At the age of sixteen years, after having concluded the studies of the public schools, Edward C. Kavanaugh became interested in mining and for a long period he was directly or indirectly connected with that industry, but in 1893 he turned his attention in large degree to other activities. For two years he was engaged as clerk in the Forest Hill hotel in Placer county. This place he purchased in 1895 and conducted the inn besides managing several mines. Upon selling the hotel in 1904 he removed to Sacramento and embarked in the wholesale liquor business with J. S. Casey under the firm name of Casey & Kavanaugh. During May of 1911 he bought out the interest of his partner and has since been sole proprietor of the place at No. 401 J street. In addition he operates mines in Placer and Tuolumne counties. Throughout all of his life he has been a devoted and generous member of the Roman Catholic Church, while since attaining his majority he has given his ballot in the interests of the Democratic party. During November of 1897, at Forest Hill, Cal., lie was united in marriage with Miss Anna Mc- Hale, and three sons have blessed their union, namely: Emmet and Edward, who are pupils in the Christian Brothers College; and Allen, who attends the Sacramento public schools. 

History of Sacramento 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: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011