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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Mock

Among the pioneers of Sonoma county was the late William Mock, a man of scholarly attainments, highly gifted, cultured, refined and of esthetic tastes. Drawing was one of his particular accomplishments and his execution of plans, as well as portraits, has received the highest praise. His aim was {“perfection in all things” as near as he was capable of making it and while in the army he ranked the highest in workmanship. Throughout his useful, talented life anything that was worth doing at all, in his estimation was worth doing to the very best of his ability. Born March 24, 1811, he was one of seven brothers, four of whom came to Sonoma county, Cal., Charles, William, John L. and Wesley.

Mr. Mock received his primary education while living on the farm, and at the age of twenty-one years, he was appointed a cadet at the Military Academy at West Point, from which he was graduated in 1836. He then took part in the Seminole war in Florida, as second lieutenant, and was soon promoted to first lieutenant, serving in all five years, when he resigned and proceeded to Lafayette county, Mo. There he took up the pursuit of agriculture, and also held the office of county surveyor in the above country. In the year 1849, when the gold fever swept through the country, it found a willing victim in Mr. Mock. Resigning his position, he soon fell in line with the multitude that crossed the plains with ox-teams, and after many months of hardship, he arrived at Lassen’s pass, two hundred miles north of Sacramento, November 1, 1849. From there he went to the mines on Feather river, where he labored for three years with a goodly measure of success, investing his gains in one hundred and twenty-seven acres in Vallejo township, Sonoma county, about five miles from Petaluma. It was not long before Mr. Mock’s ability in surveying became known and he was made surveyor of Sonoma county, during the years 1856 and 1857 surveying and establishing the present county line between Sonoma and Marin. He also held the office of magistrate of Vallejo township, during which time he surveyed and laid out the city of Healdsburg and named it honor of Mr. Heald.

On May 25, 1858, Mr. Mock was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary B. Goodwin, born in Maine July 29, 1818. She was the widow of John T. Goodwin, a native of Massachusetts, who came to California in 1853, and died three years later, in February, 1856. Too much cannot be said of the substantial and public spirited traits of character to which Mr. Mock was heir, nor can too much credit be given him for the benefits derived through his usefulness as a citizen and an upbuilder of the state. He and his beloved wife passed away on the same day, April 2, 1898, thus ending long and useful lives. Mr. Mock’s adopted daughter, Mary Elizabeth Goodwin, who resided with him until his death, made his old age comfortable and serene. She is now the wife of Charles W. Lewis, of Petaluma.

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