Contra Costa County









     The Ivory family, which has a representative in Brentwood, Contra Costa county, in the person of Marco B. Ivory, a retired capitalist of this section, dates its ancestry as far back as 1638, when the first emigrant left his native shores of England and came to America, where his descendants figured in colonial development.  In Erie county, Pa., members of the family finally located, and there, November 19, 1831, Marco B. Ivory was born, the son of Thomas and Clarissa (Durkee) Ivory.

     The youth of Mr. Ivory was spent in his birth-place, where he received his education and the moral training of childhood.  On attaining years of discretion he decided to go to the states of the middle west and accordingly located the northern part of Wisconsin, where he worked at the lumbering business for five years.  He then returned to his old home in Pennsylvania, after which he went to New York City and embarked for California, making the trip via the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco in 1858.  Shortly after his arrival in the state, he came to Contra Costa county and in Green Valley became associated with Urial Huntington in the management of a ranch of four hundred and eighty acres upon which they engaged in stock-raising.  It was upon this ranch that many of the best horses of the early day were raised.  For fourteen years he engaged in farming and stock-raising, during which time he became prominent in public affairs and was chosen by the Republican party as candidate for the office of county sheriff.  His election followed, and in 1872 he entered upon the duties of his office, holding the same for two terms.  While acting in his official capacity his home was in Martinez.  In 1877 he became manager and superintendent of the Los Meganos Rancho, more commonly known as the Marsh ranch of Brentwood, and served in that capacity for twenty-two and a half years, his fathful [sic] continuance in the work being an evidence of the ability which he brought to bear in the prosecution of his duties.  This vast ranch of thirteen thousand three hundred and sixteen acres was almost entirely given over to pasture land at the time Mr. Ivory assumed control, but through his excellent management and skill one-fourth of the land was put under cultivation, and to-day its reputation as a wheat-growing section is not exceeded by any other in this part of the country.  At the time of taking up this work Mr. Ivory located in Brentwood where he has since made his home, now owning considerable property in this location as well as a wheat ranch above Antioch and one in Merced county, Cal.  He is now practically retired from active duties, renting his various properties, but still takes a lively interest in all that is going on about him and seeks an activity which has become a habit with him through the practice of many years.    

     Mr. Ivory married Sarah Bunker, who was born in Massachusetts in 1833.  She came to California as a teacher, in which profession she achieved a success in her work that numbered her among the prominent instructors of this section.   She possessed great literary talent and ability which won her considerable distinction, as well as an amiability of disposition which made her many friends.  Mr. Ivory, as a Republican in politics, has served his party in various offices, among them being that of county tax collector and supervisor.  Fraternally he is identified with the Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  Among the talents which Mr. Ivory possesses is one which would have brought him success had he chosen to cultivate it.  A natural mechanic he has found pleasure in his spare time in making two beautiful bookcases, works of unusual excellence from the tools of one totally untrained in the arts of a cabinetmaker.   



Transcribed by Louise E. Shoemaker., March 23, 2015.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Page 456. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Louise E. Shoemaker.






Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library