Contra Costa County











     One of Pinole's most prominent citizens, a capitalist and real estate owner, Bernando Fernandez is a self-made man in the best sense implied by the term.  When he came to California in 1853 he was without money and without friends, but since then he has built up for himself a position of competence and at the same time has won the regard and esteem of all who have known him.  While laying the foundation of his present fortune he has sought not only his own welfare, but that of the country in which he has made his home.

     Born in Portugal, November 15, 1828, Mr. Fernandez was a son of Manuel Fernandez.  He was reared in his native land, but at thirteen years of age he went to Brazil and remained in that country for some time, in 1850 coming to New York.  In 1853 he came to California, landing in San Francisco practically penniless.  He tried mining for the first four months, after which he sailed on the bay for a time.  Subsequently he became owner of a schooner and carried provisions from Pinole to San Francisco.  Later he sold this boat and bought another, continuing in that line of industry until 1856.  Disposing of this second boat, in partnership with H. Cruze he went into a mercantile business on a small scale in Pinole, continuing until 1861, when he bought out his partner's interest.  He continued in the mercantile line alone until 1894, increasing his stock gradually and widening the circle of patronage until he catered to a very remunerative trade.  At the beginning of their enterprise Mr. Fernandez and his partner built one small warehouse and sold grain and hay, and later he built three more warehouses and continued in the business very satisfactorily.  His store was located on a corner of the lot where his present residence stands, but was finally burned.  As his financial ability increased Mr. Fernandez invested in real estate, owning at the present time about ten thousand acres of land, besides considerable real estate in Pinole, San Francisco, Oakland and Martinez, in the latter place including the Martinez Hotel as a part of his possessions.  In 1894 he built his handsome residence in Pinole.

     The marriage of Mr. Hernandez united him with Carlota Cuadra, and they became the parents of six children, namely:  Mary; Annie, now Mrs. Sinclair; Amelia, the wife of W. K. Cale; Manuel, a physician; Thomas, a student; and Bernando, who died at the age of twenty-two years.  Fraternally Mr. Fernandez is a Mason and a member of the lodge of Martinez, and is a Royal Arch Mason.




Transcribed 9-4-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1300-1301. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library