Contra Costa County












     Time has set his seal lightly upon William Caven, an honored pioneer of Contra Costa county, and although over seventy years old he retains the activity of both physical and mental faculties.  He is now practically retired from active duties, but takes a lively interest in all that is going on around him, the progressive movements in local affairs in which he has been a potent factor for many years still interesting him, although he has withdrawn from all the positions which he formerly held, among them being that of deputy state collector of internal revenue, and president of the Contra Costa County Agricultural Society.  He is held in the highest esteem by both young and old.

     A son of James and Margaret (McCutcheon) Caven, William Caven was born at Picton, Ontario, Canada, April 13, 1834, and was there reared to a useful maturity.  In young manhood he engaged in farming, which occupation continued to claim his attention up to 1868, in which year he came to California to take charge of a gang of Chinamen who were at work in the construction of the overland railway of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, working in Alameda county.  He filled this position satisfactorily for twelve months, when he decided to locate permanently in the west.  Coming to Contra Costa county he rented land of the Galindo estate for a period of nine years and followed farming, after which he bought one hundred and sixty-three acres of the Wesley Morgan ranch, near Concord.  This has since remained his home, and here he built a house and barn and outbuildings, surrounding his home with beautiful shade trees, flowers and tropical plants, among which are laid out artistic walks.  The whole place is an evidence of the artistic ability, energy and enterprise of the owner.  At one time he set out seven acres of Bartlett pears, but found, by good test, that hay and grain were far more profitable, so dug out the fruit and gave his attention to those two products, raising wheat, oats and wild oats and hay, and grain.  For seven years Mr. Caven served as deputy state collector of internal revenue, and ten years as president of the Contra Costa County Agricultural Society, of which he was one of the organizers.  Fraternally he is a member and past grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

       The home of Mr. Caven is kept by his brother Robert and his wife.  Robert Caven was born October 10, 1856, and in manhood he married Arvilla W. Greer, of Oregon.  Of this union were born two children:  Robert Allen, a commercial traveler, and Carlton C., an electrician.  In 1899 Robert Caven and his wife located upon Mr.  Caven's ranch and have since managed it, Robert Caven being also financially interested in it.





Transcribed 8-4-15  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 709-710. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library