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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Joseph Masciorini

Innumerable examples of what California has meant to those of foreign birth whose abilities and ambitions have not been met and satisfied in their own countries may be found in Sonoma county, and among the number metion belongs to Joseph Masciorini, who operates a large ranch nears Sears Point. As the name might suggest to the reader, he is a native of Switzerland, his birth occurring in the village of Laverterso, Canton Ticino, March 17, 1851. It was not until he had passed his majority that he determined to leave the land of his forefathers and come to the new worked, a decision to which he came after earnestly endeavoring to be content with the conditions by which he was surrounded in his own country. He started for New York City February 13, 1872, and from that city he came by rail to San Francisco, arriving the following month, March 17. His decision to come to this particular part of the country was not doubt in response to urgent requests on the part of others of his countrymen who had preceded him here and were making such splendid success above what was possible in their native land. Like them he has benefited by the change of location, and while he still is loyal to the land of his birth, it is safe to say that no citizen of Sonoma County is more devotedly attached to his adopted county, state and country than he is.

Not far from Sears Point, Sonoma county, Mr. Masciorini is cultivating a large tract of one thousand acres of land which he leases from the Mecham estate. Of this acreage, fifty acres are under cultivation, while the remainder of the land is used as pasturage for the two hundred and fifty cows that constitute his dairy, thirty head of young stock, fourteen head of horses and eight head of hogs. It would probably be difficult to find a native Swiss who was not adept as a dairyman, and in Mr. Masciorini we find one who is abundantly able to maintain the high reputation along this line for which his countrymen are noted the world over. Each cow in his herd nets him $50 annually, a result which is possible only on account of the special attention which Mr. Masciorini gives to this branch of his ranch industry. In 1907 he purchased two hundred and forty-seven acres of land four miles southeast of Petaluma, on the Lakeville road, and this he improved until it is one of the best equipped places in this section. A large residence and commodious barns have been constructed, and here he engages in the raising of grain and hay and also in the poultry business. The North-western Railroad runs along his place and has a station upon it which bears his name, and there is also a landing on Petaluma creek with a suitable wharf which is owned by Mr. Masciorini.

For a companion in life Mr. Masciorini chose one of his countrywomen in Miss Josephine Bonetti, who was born in Switzerland in 1854, and whose marriage to Mr. Masciorini occurred in San Francisco November 21, 1882. Seven children have been born of this marriage, one son and six daughters, as follows: Henry T., who is residing on the Sears Point ranch; Lydia, a stenographer; Lilly, who graduated as a nurse from St. Maryís Hospital, San Francisco; Amelia; Florence; Alma and Mary. All of the children have been reared to mature years, but as yet none of the number have established homes of their own. In the care and maintenance of the home ranch the father is assisted largely by his son Henry T., who was born on the ranch which is still his home in 1891. Politically Mr. Masciorini is a Republican, and with his family he is a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church, attending the church of that denomination at Petaluma. He is identified with but one fraternal order, being a member of the Druids lodge at Sonoma. Although the greater part of Mr. Mascioriniís time is taken up with the care of his ranch, he is not unmindful of the need of recreation, and his place at Sears Point was often the stopping place of large parties of hunters from the city.

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