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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Thomas Bloom McNamara

The present county surveyor of Sonoma county, T. B. McNamara, was born in Helena, Mont., February 6, 1882, the son of James Joseph and Margaret (Bloom) McNamara, the former born in Dungiven, Ireland, and his wife was a native of Curneyville, Pa. She passed away in California in 1889, after a long and useful life. James J. McNamara accompanied his uncles Michael and Nicholas to California when a boy and was reared and educated in Crescent City, Del Norte county. He was studying law there when the Civil war broke out, and being very loyal to his adopted country he enlisted in the First Oregon Volunteer Cavalry and served on the frontier against the Indians for a period of three years, during which time he was wounded in two different battles. After the war he went to Helena, Mont., where he engaged in the stock business, his ranch being located near that city. In 1886 he returned to California and bought a ranch in Green valley, Sonoma county, and for many years was engaged in horticulture. His is now city editor of the Produce News of Kansas City, where he resides.

The third eldest of a family of five children, three of whom are now living. Thomas B. McNamara was brought to California when a lad of four years and his education was received in the public schools of Sonoma county and in the high school of Santa Rosa. At the age of twenty years he entered the office of the county surveyor Mr. Smyth and served for five years, four of which he was assistant county surveyor. Upon the election of George Winkler to that office in 1906 he was retained as chief deputy, and in 1900, when Mr. Winkler was compelled to go to Old Mexico on account of ill health, Mr. McNamara made his campaign and as a result Mr. Winkler was returned to the office with the second largest majority on the ticket. This is doubtless the most unique campaign ever made in a fight for the county office as Mr. McNamara took the stump and spoke over the entire county. After the death of Mr. Winkler, July 23, 1911, the board of supervisors (on July 31), appointed Mr. McNamara county surveyor to fill the vacancy.

Mr. McNamara was married in San Francisco in 1903 to Miss Ida Mae Bither, a native daughter of San Joaquin county. They have two children, James Joseph and Thomas Bloom. In national politics Mr. McNamara is a Republican. Since he has been an employe of the office to which he has since succeeded he has attended to all the duties that have been intrusted to him with an earnestness of purpose and a strict attention to detail that has made of him an invaluable assistant and his unanimous appointment by the board of supervisors was a gratification to all who have had business or social dealings with him.

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