Contra Costa County











WILLIAM J. BUCHANAN. An enterprising merchant of Black Diamond, William J. Buchanan occupies a position of prominence among the representative citizens of this section, won by a public spirit which has given much to the material upbuilding of the best interests of the community. A native Californian, he was born in Black Diamond, Contra Costa county, September 11, 1867, a son of William Buchanan, an honored pioneer of the state.

William Buchanan was a native of Scotland, and from a thrifty Scotch ancestry inherited the sterling traits of character which brought him success both in a financial and social way. He was reared and educated in his native country, and in manhood decided to emigrate to the western world. He first settled in the United States in Delhi, Delaware county, N. Y., where he found employment in a hotel until 1860 or '61, when he came to California via the Isthmus of Panama. He located in Placer county and engaged in mining, in which he continued until 1864, when he came to Contra Costa county, and in Antioch worked at handling coal. Later he removed to Black Diamond and worked on the wharf for the Black Diamond Coal Company during the time in which P. B. Cornwall acted as president and manager. About two years later he bought a quarter section of land four miles southeast of Black Diamond where he entered into general farming operations, raising hay and grain. At the same time he began improvements in the way of a new house, barns, outbuildings and fences, which added immeasurably to the value of the property and brought it to rank with the best ranches of the section. He continued in this occupation until his death March 14, 1904, at the age of seventy-eight years. Worthy of mention is the fact that he began with nothing in life but his own energy and courage, and accumulated a competency and built up for himself an honored name wherever it is known. Fraternally he affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in his young manhood. His wife, formerly Catherine Campbell, also a native of Scotland, survives her husband and makes her home upon the ranch. She has two children, namely: Jennie and William J.

The boyhood days of William J. Buchanan were passed in Contra Costa county, where he received a common school education. In young manhood he attended Stockton Business College and acquired a commercial knowledge which has meant a great deal to him in his mercantile enterprises. After completing the course, he returned to the farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1896, when he bought out J. F. Raney, who was then conducting a general merchandise establishment in Black Diamond. Since that time Mr. Buchanan has enlarged the stock and equipment, everything carried being modern and up-to-date. His store being the best in the town he caters to a wide and constantly increasing custom, his personal characteristics winning him many friends and leading them to give him their confidence and esteem. He also acts as the agent for Wells Fargo Express Company and the telephone company.

The marriage of Mr. Buchanan united him with Nora Carroll, a native of Portland, Ore., and daughter of William Carroll, and to them were born the following children: William J., Jr., deceased; Warren; and Norine. Fraternally Mr. Buchanan is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to San Joaquin Lodge No. 151, of Antioch, and also affiliates with the Knights of Pythias of Black Diamond. In the interests of the community he serves as town trustee.





Transcribed by Marie Hassard 03 April 2016.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1069-1070. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016 Marie Hassard.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library