Contra Costa County












GEORGE W. KNIGHT.  A self-made man in the best sense implied by the term, George W. Knight is justly entitled to unstinted praise for the success which he has achieved in the past thirty years.  In the fall of 1874 he came to this state with nothing but his own ability to presage the success which should one day be his, and through the intervening years has worked with a patience, energy and perseverance unsurpassed, and to-day is the prosperous owner of many acres of the finest wheat land, orchards of choice almonds and fruits, and a fine home, all of which bring him to rank with the representative agriculturists of Contra Costa county.  The town of Knightsen was established by Mr. Knight, was laid out upon a part of his ranch, and in its upbuilding he has proved on of the most important factors, giving of his time and means to induce the home seeker to locate there.  A postoffice was established in 1901, and May 15 of that year Mr. Knight was appointed postmaster, a position which he still maintains.


Born in Chelsea, Me., January 20, 1843, Mr. Knight is the son of John and Adeline (Tibbitts) Knight.  His parents removing to Whitefield, Me., his youth was spent in that town until he was twenty-three years old, when he became dependent upon his own resources, with the ambition and spirit of the old New England stock seeking to make his own way in the world.  He went first to Massachusetts where he followed the work of landscape gardening.  With the practice of economy and thrift he was able to save considerable money, and in 1874 came to California via the Isthmus of Panama.  He went to Santa Barbara and secured employment on the ranch of Colonel Hollister, with whom he remained four and a half years.  He early determined that he would one day be the possessor of a fine ranch and accordingly saved every dollar which could possibly be spared.  He decided to work in various parts of the state until he found the location most to be desired, and for some time thereafter was employed in San Francisco, Marin county, Livermore valley, Antioch, Contra Costa county, working on ranches and driving teams, and subsequently liking the eastern part of Contra Costa county he rented a ranch in connection with G. Dunbar and N. B. Hewitt.  This was devoted to the cultivation of potatoes and barley.  Later Mr. Knight sold his interest in the ranch to good advantage, when he went into the hay pressing business, working for different men, following this and various kinds of work until 1883.  Financially able then to begin to realize his ambition, he purchased one hundred and ten acres of choice land northeast of Brentwood, a part of the Barkley ranch, and began the work of improvement which to-day names his ranch among the most desirable in the county.  He devoted the land to the cultivation of grain and hay and met with a success which enabled him to continue his purchase of land.  Eight acres adjoining was next added to the ranch, then ten acres and seventy acres on Sherman Island, consisting of reclaimed land.  He built a comfortable house, necessary barns and outbuildings, set out three acres of fruit, two of vineyard, and fifteen acres of almonds.  He raised all of his own trees and has done considerable nursery work,  He propagated the “Klondike” almond, a paper shell and large sized kernel, and considered one of the finest almonds in the state, and is among the display of fruits and nuts at the World’s Fair at St. Louis, 1904.  He also erected a warehouse for the needs of his ranch.  Foreseeing the need of a shipping station and postoffice at that point on the Santa Fe Railroad, in 1901 he had surveyed seven and a half acres of land, built a store and postoffice, and May 15 was appointed to the office of postmaster.  The little town now boasts a station, hotel, store, school and a number of houses.


The marriage of Mr. Knight occurred March 2, 1885, and united him with Christina Christensen, who was born in Denmark, the daughter of John and Anna (Hansen) Christensen, and it was the combination of the two names which gave the name to the little town at this point.  They are the parents of three children, namely: Amy Marie, who married Harvey Rook, the station agent of Knightsen, and has one child, Margaret; Addie F.; and Essie.  Mr. Knight has held the position of school trustee and clerk for the past ten years.  As a public spirited citizen he has liberally subscribed to all measures that he believed would advance the moral and educational status of Contra Costa county and more especially the locality in which he lives.





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 551-552. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2015  Donna Toole.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library