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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Charles Edwin Pickrell

The distinction of being a native son of California belongs to Mr. Pickrell, as well as the added honor of representing a pioneer family that has been identified with the agricultural development of the state ever since a period shortly subsequent to the discovery of gold. The memories of childhood are associated with Mendocino county, where he was born at Point Arena during the year 1868, and where the family sojourned for a period of considerable duration. Possessing a thoughtful temperament and a keen faculty of observation, he has noted with the deepest interest the slow but steady development of his section of the commonwealth, and has cherished a loyal affection for his native place. It is to the persistent efforts of such men as he that the region owes its advance in all that makes toward permanent prosperity. The welfare of Ocean township is particularly important to him, for it is his home neighborhood and the scene of his agricultural activities, but he does not limit his interest to the township, on the contrary maintaining a warm interest also in the development of Sonoma county and in the remarkable growth of the state from the standpoint of wealth and population.

Descended from southern lineage, Charles Edwin Pickrell is a son of James Henry Pickrell, a native of Franklin county, Ky., born in 1823, and who crossed the plains with the ox-teams to California in 1851, residing here until his death at the age of sixty-five year. By his marriage to Rebecca Garton, who was born in Indiana in 1827, he became the father of the following children: John; James, who married Melvina Vann and had seven children, Frank, Homer, Elwood, Jessie, Cordelia, Irene and Evelyn; William, who married Kate Kramer and has two children, John and Samuel; Charles Edwin, of Sonoma county; George, who married Nellie Skinner and has four children; Sarah, Mrs. George Beebe, mother of George, Charles, Edward, Louis, Frederick, Frank, Bert, Jesse, Christine, Margaret, Grace and Estella; Mary and Lucinda. Mary is the wife of Elijah Beebe and the mother of five children, Elijah, James, Thomas, Lavina and Olive.

During early manhood Charles E. Pickrell formed the acquaintance of Miss Jennie Burke, who was born in New Jersey in 1867 and who in 1892 became his wife. Their union is blessed with three children, Cleveland, Armour and Essie. Mrs. Pickrell was one of a large family, the others being as follows: Holmes, Abraham, John, Edward, Charles, Alexander, Josephine, Althea and Mary, whose parents were A. J. and Rachel Burke, the former born in New Jersey in the year 1836. The family records show that John Burke married Jennie Johnson and Edward married Cordelia Pickrell, by whom he has a son, Edward, Jr. Charles has a wife and two daughters, Gladys and Ella. Josephine, Mrs. Jacob Preston, of New Jersey, has one daughter, Mary Emma. Althea, Mrs. Charles Anderson, has three children, Albert, Armour and Josephine. Mary is the wife of James Cordrey and live in Los Angeles. Mrs. Pickrell received a common-school education and is a woman of culture and refinement, a devoted mother to her children and a wise counselor to her husband. They have a small farm near Guerneville and are prosperously engaged in the raising of alfalfa and prunes. Four horses are utilized in the cultivation of the soil, but other stock is seldom kept, the products of the meadow being sold and not fed on the land. Aside from his farm Mr. Pickrell is engaged in lumbering and teaming, being well posted and equipped for handling that industry, and is busily engaged in getting out lumber and wood on contract. While occupied in earning a livelihood for his family he does not neglect his duty as a citizen but has been loyally active in enterprises calculated to develop his native commonwealth. National problems have been studied carefully by him for many years, and as a result he has embraced the doctrines of the Socialists, believing in their creed may be found the germ of an ideal citizenship and a contented people.

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