Contra Costa County











     Paul De Martini was born September 15, 1844, in Genoa, Italy, the youngest of five children in the family of Andrew and Maria (Ararto) De Martini, both natives of Genoa, Italy.  The only survivor of this little family are the two brothers, Paul and John, the latter still a resident of his native place.  Both parents died in 1844, the father aged thirty-five and the mother aged thirty years.  Being but a few months old when his parents died, Paul De Martini never knew the care and love of either a fond father or mother, but was cared for by relatives and friends until he was eight years old, when he was obliged to shift for himself.  In 1860, at sixteen, he left Genoa for England and from that country took passage on a steamer bound for New York City.  Ten days after his arrival in that city found him on his way to California, coming by way of the Isthmus. 

     Landing in San Francisco in October, 1860, he went into Calaveras county, and entering the mines, he followed placer mining there in the diggings with varied success until 1865, and then returned to San Francisco.  In looking about for a location he was attracted by the outlook in Contra Costa county, and he engaged in the vegetable business in Concord until 1868.  He subsequently conducted a boarding house in connection with the Nortonville coal mines for a couple of years prior to purchasing land in the Mount Diablo valley.  It was in 1870 that he first came into this valley, purchasing the old Joe Clayton place, near Clayton, formerly the home of one of the pioneer settlers of the county.  His initial purchase was a vineyard of six acres, upon which he continued the grape culture already begun and in connection began the manufacture of wine.  Acquiring nearby land from time to time, this vineyard now contains seventy acres, and he owns another vineyard of eighty acres in the same valley.  Mr. De Martini also raises considerable stock, and at the present time he has one hundred and seventy head of beef cattle.  His marriage took place in San Francisco in January, 1868 and united him with Mrs. Mary Boitanna, a native of California.  She died in 1881, when twenty-seven years old, leaving five children, who are as follows: Walter, an attorney at law of San Francisco; Lela and Henry, both at home; Paul, Jr., a resident of Martinez; and Alvera, deceased.

     A strict adherent of the Democratic party, Mr. De Martini was elected by this party to the important office of county supervisor in 1897 for a four years' term, and in 1901 he was re-elected to the same office.  He has also served eight years as school trustee.  Fraternally he affiliates with but two fraternal orders, Pacheco Lodge No. 117, I.O.O.F. of Pacheco, and Society of Danta, of Martinez, having officiated as president of the later organization.





Transcribed 11-29-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1400-1401. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library