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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Henry Lock

England contributed to the citizenship of California when William H. Lock came to this western country in young manhood to take up his permanent abode and identify himself with her best interests. Up to the present generation the Lock family had been residents of England continuously for many hundreds of years, passing their entire lives there, and William Henry Lock was the first to establish the name in the United States. Somersetshire, England, was the place of his birth, and October 19, 1860, the date of that event. His parents, George and Mary Ann Lock, were natives of that same section o England, and there their entire live were passed, the father passing away in 1905, at the age of seventy-seven years, and the death of the mother occurring in February, 1910, when in her eighty-third year.

The public schools of Somersetshire, England, directed the early educational training of Mr. Lock, and later he turned his attention to more practical affairs by working as a farm hand in the vicinity of his home. Interest in affairs of his native country did not prove deep or lasting enough at the time he was twenty years old to deter him from coming to the United States to cast his fortunes in with the new and growing states to the west, and the year 1880 found him landing on our shores at the port of New York. From there he went to Lacygne, Linn county, Kan., where he was interested in farming for a number of years, or until 1884, this year marking his advent in California. He came direct to Sonoma county, where for a time he worked on ranches in the employ of others, but finally, in 1888, was enabled to purchase property in Santa Rosa, and since 1902 has been the owner and occupant of his present ranch, within the limits of town, at No. 426 Hendley street. Here he has twenty acres of choice land, the residence being surrounded by a five acre orchard of prune trees, a vineyard of five acres, while in the rear of these, ten acres are in grain. Taken as a whole this is one of the finest and most productive ranches in the vicinity, one of which the owner is just proud.

For a wife Mr. Lock chose one of his countrywomen in Miss Julia Norris, who was born in Somersetshire October 9, 1861, their marriage occurring in Santa Rosa in August, 1889. Both of Mrs. Lock’s parents were natives of England, and there too they passed away, the father at the age of fifty, and the mother when sixty-five years of age. Three children were born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Lock, but the eldest, Alfred George, who was born in 1891, died the following year. The others are Arthur George, born April 8, 1893, and Ethel Mary, born October 3, 1895, both of whom are students in the schools of Santa Rosa. Politically Mr. Lock votes the Republican ticket at national elections, but in local matters he casts his ballot for the candidate best suited for the office, independent of the party. With his wife he is a member of the Episcopal Church of Santa Rosa, in the social and benevolent circles of which organization they are both active workers, as they are also in every project which has for its end the advancement of their fellowmen or the upbuilding of the community in which they live. Besides William H. Lock the parental family originally included four sons and two daughters, but of the number only two sons are living (one in Belleview, Cal., and the other still a resident of England) and one daughter, a resident of Australia. Other members of the family were also at one time residents of that island, Mr. Lock’s uncles, William and Frederick Marsh, being the first to import English hares into that country and thus became the founders of what at one time was a thriving industry there.

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