Contra Costa County












ISRAEL HORTON.  Conspicuous among the business men of Livermore whose personal efforts have served materially to advance the interests of the town, is Israel Horton, a pioneer who became identified with the industrial life of this place in 1870 by the purchase, in company with George E. Kennedy, of the lumber yard owned by E. M. Derby & Co., the two men since conducting the same with gratifying success.  A native of Nova Scotia Mr. Horton was born September 27, 1836, a son of Dennis and a grandson of Israel Horton, the latter a sea captain who was lost at sea, while the former was an extensive ship owner, having as many as ten ships at one time.  The ancestors of these sturdy men were early settlers of Long Island, where Barabbas Horton built the first house.  Dennis Horton married Charlotte Everett, also a native of Nova Scotia, whose people were early settlers of Massachusetts, and his death occurred at the age of seventy-six years.


Mr. Horton remained at home with his parents until attaining his majority, in the meantime learning the carpenter’s trade.  In 1858 he came to California by way of the Isthmus, landing in San Francisco October 25, 1858, from the ship John F. Stevens, and immediately afterward going to the mines of Placer county.  He remained only a few months in that location, when in company with a young man about his own age, he purchased a team and drove to Los Angeles, the intention being to raise barley for the stage horses.  This project was abandoned upon their arrival in the city, and Mr. Horton engaged at once in the prosecution of his trade, remaining three years, during which time he assisted to build the first city hall, as well as many other important buildings.  In 1861 he returned north and in San Francisco worked in the machine shop, coming to Alameda county in the latter part of that year.  Until 1865 he was employed around Centerville and different parts of the county, including Sunolglen, going to Pleasanton in May of that year and erecting the first hotel there.  In the same year he came to Livermore and followed his trade until 1870, when he became a partner in the purchase of the lumber yard, which, besides making his personal success, has contributed no little to the success of the town.  The yard is eight hundred feet long and two hundred feet wide.


The marriage of Mr.  Horton united him with Miss Laura May, a native of Ohio, and the daughter of George May, born in the north of Ireland.  He came to the United States when young and located in Ohio, and in the year of the gold discovery emigrated still farther westward by crossing the plains to California, three years later, in 1852, bringing his family out.  In 1864, he purchased his first farm in Livermore.  To Mr. and Mrs. Horton were born three children:  Marion, Everett, and Elsie.  Fraternally Mr. Horton affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Druids.





Transcribed by Donna Toole.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 647-648. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2015  Donna Toole.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library