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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


William Barlow Mordecai

One of the youngest and at the same time one of the most enterprising tillers of the soil in Sonoma county is William Barlow Mordecai, well known in the vicinity of Petaluma and Two Rock, where his entire life has been passed. He was born in Petaluma May 9, 1889, the only son born to his parents, Thomas and Eva (Barlow) Mordecai; besides him there was also a daughter, Frances, who is now the wife of Walter Foster, of Petaluma.

When William B. Mordecai was a child of four years his parents removed from town to the ranch which the father leased, lying between Petaluma and Two Rock, and here he was reared, and here also he gained his first knowledge of books in the district school. Subsequently he attended the public school at Petaluma, continuing his studies there until he was nineteen years of age. In the meantime the father had died and the care of the ranch fell upon the mother until the son was able to assume the responsibilities. At the age of nineteen years, when his schooling was completed, he returned to the home ranch and relieved his mother of the cares which she had born so patiently since the death of her husband, in March, 1904. Mrs. Mordecai now makes her home in Petaluma.

The ranch upon which Mr. Mordecai resides is the property of his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Louisa Barlow, a resident of Berkeley, Cal., and comprises two hundred and sixteen acres of fine land. Mr. Mordecai does not specialize on any one branch of agriculture, finding diversified farming a congenial as well as remunerative occupation. Of his varied interests the raising of chickens probably takes the lead, his flock comprising four thousand chickens. Thirty-eight cows contribute to his dairy, besides which he has eight horses and colts. Twenty acres of the land are under cultivation to potatoes, thirty acres are in hay, while ten acres are in apples, including several of the best varieties.

When less than twenty years of age Mr. Mordecai was married, August 5, 1908, to Miss Hannah Gould, a resident of Penn Grove. He is identified with only one organization, the Two Rock Grange, of which he is an enthusiastic member.

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