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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Thomas Liggett

A native son of California, William Thomas Liggett was born at what is known as Murderers Bar, Placer county. October 7, 1855, the son of James and Nancy (Gott) Liggett, the former born in Indiana in 1830, and the latter born in Ohio in 1831. The only other child born in the parental family besides William T. was Urilla E., who became the wife of Reuben Bray, and the mother of one son, James. Both of the children born to James Liggett and his wife were natives of California, whither the parents had come in the early days of the gold excitement to Placer county. The father followed mining in the locality of Murderers Bar for a number of years, but removed from Placer to Sonoma county about 1858, and he is now a resident of Australia.

William T. Liggett has practically been a life-time resident of Sonoma county, having come hither from Placer county with his parents when he was a child of three years. Here, in the vicinity of Santa Rosa, he passed his boyhood, youth and young manhood, attending the schools of the city in his early years, and later becoming interested in agricultural pursuits. Ranching was his chief occupation for many years, but since giving up that calling he has filled teaming contracts that have been very remunerative. One of these contracts was hauling all of the material used in the construction of the new court house in Santa Rosa, which was completed in 1909, prior to which time he had been janitor of the old court house for six years. No less well known in Santa Rosa than he is his wife, who is the proprietor of a hotel at the corner of Third and A streets, where the wayfarer is assured of the best of accommodations for rest and refreshment.

Before her marriage Mrs. Liggett was Miss Zella Millsapp, who was born in Yolo county, Cal., October 15, 1859, the daughter of Graham Millsapp, who was born in St. Clair county, Mo., December 5, 1827. In the east he followed farming for a livelihood, but the gold excitement brought him to California in the year 1849, the trip being made across the plains with ox-teams. With him came his wife, who was formerly Miss Nancy Jane Clark, who was born in Missouri March 27, 1840. Five children were born of this marriage, Marian S., John W., Franklin C., Zella and Emma. The eldest, Marian S., became the wife of Hallie Brennan; Frank married Miss Ellen Moshner and has two children, Lena and Fern; Zella is Mrs. Liggett; and Emma became the wife of Charles Mellens. Six children have been born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Liggett, as follows: Thomas W., Maud L., Claudia J., Erma E., Emma E. and Ora May. Maud L., the eldest daughter, became the wife of Frank Burns, who was born at Occidental, Cal., October 7, 1870; five children have been born to these parents, John, Bessie, Bernice, May and Frazier. Erma E. became the wife of Joseph Cassani, who was born in New York city in 1870. Mr. Liggett is a stanch Democrat in his political belief, supporting the candidates of that party as often as the opportunity occurs. Mrs. Liggett is a member of the Christian Church of Santa Rosa.

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