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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


James Mossi

Many are the sturdy sons of Switzerland who have come to this western commonwealth to take advantage of the chances for progress which their own country could not offer them. Among the Swiss-American citizens who contribute so largely to the population of Sonoma county is James Mossi, the proprietor of a ranch in the vicinity of Petaluma. Born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, January 6, 1870, he was the descendant of a long line of Swiss antecedents who had been contented to till the soil and tend their flocks in the land which had given them birth.

By the time James Mossi had attained years of discretion he dared to take chances for his future that his predecessors had not thought of taking, and the year 1887 found him taking passage for the United States. The vessel dropped anchor in the harbor of New York, and from that city he came by rail to California, first to Humboldt county, where he remained for four years, and from there to Sonoma county. In 1894 he returned to Switzerland to assist his father for a time, but his desire to return to California was so strong that in 1896 he again came to the Sunset land. He is now leasing one hundred and ninety-three acres on Rural Route No. 3 from Petaluma, his ranch being devoted largely to stock-raising, owning thirty cows, besides calves, young stock and tow horses. Chicken-raising is also a feature of his ranch enterprise but as yet is not carried on to any large extent. This as well as his other branches of agriculture, however, are being enlarged and extended as rapidly as his means will allow, and with the success he has had in a short time comparatively that he has been located upon the ranch a promising outlook awaits him.

For his wife Mr. Mossi chose one of his country-women in Miss Mary Tamagni, who was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, in 1875. Four children were born into this household, Peter, Milia, Mary (who died when four months old) and Lillie, the two last mentioned being twins. The parents were reared in the faith of the Roman Catholic church, and in this faith, too, they are rearing their children. Mr. Mossi favors Republican principles, but nevertheless he is independent in the casting of his ballot, giving more attention to the qualifications of the candidate for the office than for the party he represents. Mr. Mossi is not so absorbed with his duties upon the ranch that he has no time for recreation, and when opportunity allows he indulges in hunting.

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