California Genealogy and History Archives
A goodly number of Italians have been attracted to Sonoma county by reason of the opportunities it has offered to men of limited means but great energy and tireless perseverance. Here they have found conditions widely different from those existing in their own native land; here, with a broad outlook on country still undeveloped; there, with an overcrowded population earning a meager livelihood, with little hope for a change for the better. It is not strange that many ambitious young men have left Italy in search of the broader opportunities offered in the newer, less crowded countries.
A humble home in Italy sheltered the Piazza family, and it was into this simple home life that Angelo Piazza was born in 1866. The father supported his family by his efforts as a farmer, and it was on the home farm that Angelo became familiar with the rudiments of agricultural life and thus laid the foundation for the business which he was to follow in the years to come. In the meantime, however, he was otherwise preparing himself for the duties of life by attending the public schools of his native country, and when he arrived at the age when his services were required in the army, he conformed with the regulations and gave his services as a cavalryman for four years.
Among the immigrants who landed on our shores in the year 1891, was Angelo Piazza, then a young man of twenty-five years. The vessel on which he made the voyage landed at New Orleans, where he found himself without funds and a stranger in a strange land indeed. The first work that offered he accepted gratefully, and for a year he worked as a laborer in that vicinity,. With the means that he was enabled to save from his meager earnings he came to California to the end of this time, going direct to San Francisco, where he continued to9 work as a laborer for five years, and also as a ranch hand on ranches in the country round about. It was with all of this varied experience as an incentive that in 1903 he purchased and undertook the management of a ranch of his own in Sonoma county, at that time becoming the owner of the ranch on which he resides today, one mile from Fulton, on Rural Route No. 1. The entire acreage is in vineyard, Mr. Piazza finding the raising of grapes a congenial employment, one with which he was familiar in his native country. Not only is the work congenial, but it is remunerative as well, twelve tons of grapes being gathered from his vineyard during the season of 1909, and the prospects for the coming year are for twice that among. Seven years ago he paid $3,000 for his property, comprising ten acres, and in the meantime it has almost doubled in value, but even at this advance he could not be induced to part t=with his ranch
In 1896 Mr. Piazza was married to one of his countrywomen in Miss Gaettana Panto, who was born in 1969, their marriage being celebrated in San Francisco. Her father is deceased, but her mother is still living in Italy, as is also Mr. Piazza’s mother. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Piazza. Fraternally he is a member of but one order, the Foresters of America.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011