Contra Costa County











††††††††††† BEVERLY R. HOLLIDAY. A pioneer of 1849 and one of the oldest citizens of the Alhambra valley, Contra Costa county, Beverly R. Holliday is rounding out the years of a well-spent life. He was born in Green county, Ky., December 22, 1823, a son of Hiram and Agnes (Lemon) Holliday, and his parents removing to Whitehall, Ill., in 1825, he was there reared and educated. At the age of fifteen years he began teaching school, continuing so occupied for nearly ten years, when, in 1849, he crossed the plains with ox-teams in company with others seeking the new Eldorado. Arriving at Johnsonís Fort, above Sacramento, about October 1, 1849, his first month in the state was spent on the American river, where he followed mining, after which he came to Sacramento and sold his team and stock. He then went to San Francisco and thence to the San Antonio redwoods in Contra Costa county, finally locating in Martinez in the spring of 1850, where he taught the first school in Contra Costa county in a little house now owned by William Gift. Before the close of the term the number of pupils increased from six to twenty-six, principally the children of Spanish parents. He taught two summer terms there, when, in December, 1850, he went into the mercantile business as a member of the firm of Hunsaker & Co., remaining so occupied until 1854, when he purchased the ranch now owned by Mr. Cluff. This property he proceeded to improve and cultivate, making his home in that location until 1876, when he sold out and took up a claim in Franklin canyon. This he sold the following year, when he spent a year in Martinez. In 1877 he purchased his present place of sixty-four acres, which he has since set out to fruit and vineyard.

††††††††††† In California, August 19, 1855, Mr. Holliday married Jane Ann Holliday, the widow of his brother, Adolphus M., and her death occurred in 1886, at the age of fifty-six years. She was the mother of six children: Mary Jane, born July 2, 1856, is the widow of George Gilpatrick; Charles Hiram, of Pinole, born May 31, 1858, married Emily Christian; William Beverly, born April 24, 1860, and now located on his fatherís ranch, married Nora L. Dukes, now deceased; Minerva L., born March 21, 1862, married William Christian, of Rodeo; Eliza E., born July 21, 1865, married F. T. Brockman, a rancher of Contra Costa county; and George E., of San Francisco, born December 12, 1868, married Annie McAvoy. A Whig in his political convictions in his young manhood, Mr. Holliday afterward endorsed the principles of the Republican party and held a number of local offices. In 1850 he was elected justice of the peace, the first to hold this office in Martinez, and was also elected associate justice, member of the court of sessions, deputy county treasurer for four years, and public administrator. He was a charter member of Alhambra Grange No. 230.





Transcribed by Marie Hassard 20 April 2016.

≠≠≠≠Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1089-1090. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2016 Marie Hassard.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library