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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


John Leslie

Devotion to duty, the creed of ancestors in past generations, has been the keynote of the agricultural prosperity achieved by John Leslie, the prosperous farmer and influential resident of Russian River township, and the owner of an improved farm lying in the vicinity of Windsor, Sonoma county. The most noticeable attributes in the character of Mr. Leslie are his inheritance from Scotch progenitors and these he has supplemented with the American quality of ceaseless energy. When he came to this county in 1877 he was without means nor had he influential friends to aid him in securing land and making a start in the new location, but he possessed thrift, frugality and determination. In addition he has received the assistance of a capable wife who is both a wise counselor and an economical housekeeper. It has thus been possible for him to accumulate a valuable farm and to ties to a place among the township’s prominent citizens.

The family record includes the names of John W. and Margaret (Sine) Leslie, the former born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1784, and by his marriage the father of four children, namely: John, whose name heads this article and who was born in Perthshire in 1849; William, a gunner in the English army; Margaret, Mrs. Duncan McCall, who has one child, a daughter; and Agnes, who is married and has six children, her home being in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The son first-named came to the United States in 1873 and settled in Sacramento, Cal., whence he removed to Sonoma county in 1877. In establishing a home of his own he married Agnes Clark, a native of Perthshire, Scotland, and a daughter of John and May (Young) Clark, being one of four children. Her only brother, William Clark, married Jessie Robertson and has two sons, John and James. A sister, Gussie, married Alexander Stewart and has four sons and two daughters. The remaining member of the family was a daughter, May Clark. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie was blessed with five children, viz.: William Thomas, Charles W., Margaret M. and Jeanette. The older daughter, Margaret M., Mrs. Robert Gibbons, has one child, Rosella E., who is the pet and pride of her grandparents.

The Leslie homestead comprises one-half section of land, a portion of which is in timber and a considerable amount in pasture, furnishing grass for the live-stock kept on the farm, including a drove of two hundred sheep. The annual income from the sheep is large, as is also the income from the forty acres of fruit and the vineyard of twenty acres. It is the aim of the owner to cultivate a variety of crops, so that a failure in one might not seriously impair the annual revenue. During the season of 1909 he sold $500 worth of fruit and had an income of $600 from his sheep, besides which he had various other sources of income from the land, so that it brought him excellent interest on its value. Besides taking charge of his home place he has acted as sheep inspector under appointment by the county board of supervisors and this responsible position he has filled with credit to himself. Reared in the Presbyterian faith in his old Scotch home, he has never swerved in his allegiance to the doctrines of the denomination, but ever has stood ready to contribute to its maintenance and promote its welfare to the extent of his ability. Since becoming a citizen of our country he has identified himself with the Republican party and has given stanch support to its principles.

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