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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Sebastian Riebli

Since his arrival in Sonoma county nearly forty years ago Mr. Riebli has witnessed the steady progress of the country in agricultural development and also along other lines of activity. Pleased with the land and satisfied with his success, he has no reason to regret leaving his native Switzerland for the new world, in the hope of bettering his condition. He was born in the canton of Obwallanden in 1837, was reared to a knowledge of agriculture as conducted in his native land, and had made an honest endeavor to be content with the conditions by which he was surrounded before deciding to begin life anew in the United States. He was thirty-four years old when, in 1871, he landed as an immigrant on our shores, and from the eastern port of landing he went direct to Ohio. In that state and Alabama, whither he later went, he passed about two years before completing the journey across the continent. It was therefore in 1874 that he set out from the south with California as his destination, and in the more than thirty-five years that he has resided here he has had no cause to regret that Fate directed him to this western section of country. In other sections which he had visited he investigated the agricultural possibilities, but it was not until reaching California that he found the combination of conditions that he sought. In Vallejo township, Sonoma county, in the vicinity of Penn Grove, he has a ranch of five hundred acres which he leases, and in the care and management of which he is realizing his expectations in regard to the agricultural possibilities of this section, which he believes to have no equal in any other part of the country. Here he is carrying on an industry with which he has been familiar from childhood, dairying, seventy cows contributing to its maintenance, besides which he has ten head of young stock which will soon add to the size of his dairy herd. In addition to the stock mentioned he has seven head of horses of good breed and ten hogs which he is fattening for the market. Altogether Mr. Riebli has a fine ranch property under his control, and the care with which he looks after details shows conclusively that he thoroughly understands the importance which small matters bear to the ultimate success of an enterprise, be that what it may.

Mr. Riebliís marriage united him with Miss Catherine Britschgi, who was born in Switzerland in 1847, and their marriage has resulted in the birth of eight children, five sons and three daughters, as follows: Theodore, Robert, Joseph, Arnold, Frederick, Catherine, Bertha and Anna. Roberta chose as his wife Frances Kiser and they have four children, Frederick, Robert, Frank and Matilda. Joseph married Lena Miller, but no children have been born to them. Catherine became the wife of Henry Farney, and they have four children, all daughters, Florence, Helen, Lula and Leola. Bertha is the wife of Thomas Lutz and the mother of two children, Herbert and Lillian. Anna is the wife of George Lehaw. Frederick and his wife, formerly May Miller, have one son, Carl. Politically Mr. Riebli is a Republican, and with his family attends the Roman Catholic Church at Penn Grove. The duties of the ranch leave him little or no time for pleasure so called, but as he finds real pleasure in his work he does not feel the need of making special excursions for relaxation, as is the case with many.

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