California Genealogy and History Archives
The land of William Tell has contributed many of the most substantial ranchers and business men of Sonoma county and among them we find Peter Maggetti, who was born in the village of Lacarno, Canton Ticino, Switzerland, in December, 1842, and was the son of Joseph and Maria Maggetti, who reared their family on the farm. Of the eight children born to them six are still living. The subject of this sketch had the advantages of the common schools of his native land and then followed the dairy business until 1866, when he married Mariana Fillippini, also a native of Ticino, and they immediately started for the United States, their destination being California. They came by way of London and Liverpool to New York and then by way of the Isthmus of Panama to San Francisco, landing there with but $5, the trip having cost $800.
Mr. Maggetti rented a dairy ranch in Chelino Valley from L. W. Walker for one year, then a ranch from Dr. Burdell on San Antonio creek for two years. Continuing the dairy business, in which he had been successful, in 1877 he purchased a ranch of fifteen hundred and twenty-seven acres from C. D. Allen near Marshall, Marin county, and later bought one hundred and sixty-three acres adjoining, making a place of sixteen hundred and ninety acres, fifteen miles from Petaluma. Here he has made valuable improvements, having two sets of buildings. His dairy is composed of two hundred cows, besides one hundred head of other stock. The ranch is watered by Salmon creek and numerous springs.
In 1882 Mr. Maggetti leased his ranch and moved to Santa Clara to educate his sons at Santa Clara College and his daughters at Notre Dame Academy and after the completion of their education he returned to his ranch, remaining there until 1896. In that year he turned the ranch and dairy over to the charge of his son Enio and he located in San Francisco, residing there until 1906, since which time he has resided in Petaluma, owning his home on the corner of Sixth and B streets.
Mr. and Mrs. Maggetti are the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters. The two sons, Enio and Sylvio, reside in Marin county, the former in charge of the home ranch, and the latter a merchant. Romilda, Mrs. Jelmorini, resides in Chelino valley; and the other daughter, Elvetia, died at the age of fifteen years. In 1893 Mr. Maggetti visited the World’s Fair in Chicago on his trip to Switzerland, traveling through his native land as well as Italy, France, Germany and England. Mr. Maggetti looks back over his career in California with much satisfaction, in that he saw an opportunity to make a success and grasped it, acquiring a competence from which he is now enjoying the retirement and rest he so well deserves.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011