California Genealogy and History Archives
Nearly every nation in the world has contributed in some degree to the citizenship of California, but comparatively few Portuguese may be found I this varied contribution. One of these, however, is Joseph Mell, who was born in
Portugal in 1882. No personal recollections of his native land linger in his mind, for when he was only eight months old his parents removed to the Hawaiian Islands, in the north Pacific ocean. The voyage of many hundred miles on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was accomplished without disaster, and it was not without thankful hearts that the parents set foot on solid soil once more at the end of many days and weeks of tossing on the bosom of might waters.
Altogether the parents remained on the Hawaiian Islands for five years, after which they embarked on a vessel that brought them to California in 1887. From San Francisco, the landing place of the vessel on which they had made the voyage, they came direct to Sonoma county, and here they still make their home, on a ranch near Healdsburg. Five children blessed the marriage of this courageous and worthy couple, two daughters and three sons, all living, either making their homes with their parents, or in homes of their own in the vicinity of the parental homestead.
At the time the parents settled in Sonoma county, Joseph Mell was approaching school age, and the proximity of the home to Healdsburg enabled him to attend the schools of this city. During his boyhood and youth he was absorbing and understanding of general farming through helping his father with the chores on the home ranch, and it was quite natural that on starting out in life for himself that he should chose the calling with which he was most familiar. He is now engaged in farming and poultry-raising. Mr. Mell is a young man, with practically his whole life before him, and if the energy and perseverance which he has displayed in his ranching enterprise are continued throughout his career there can be no doubt as to the ultimate success which must of necessity be his.
In 1903 Mr. Mell assumed domestic responsibilities by his marriage with Miss Florence Eveline Kelley, a native daughter of California, and two children have been born to them, Clifford Elmer and Jessie Loretta. Politically Mr. Mell has not allied himself with any party, but nevertheless does his duty at the polls, voting as his conscience dictates, in an endeavor to put the best possible men in office. He has never held office and has never had any aspirations in that direction, but he has always done his part in a quiet, unostentatious way to uplift and better conditions in his community.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011