Contra Costa County











            MILTON S. LABAREE. A prominent and successful rancher of Contra Costa county, Milton S. Labaree is located on a well-improved farm of one hundred and twenty acres in the vicinity of Danville, where he is engaged in the raising of hay, grain and stock. A native of California he was born on the old Labaree ranch between Danville and San Ramon January 16, 1858, a son of John Lyman Labaree, a pioneer physician of this locality. The latter was born in 1822, in Lafayette, Ind., a son of Joseph Labaree. At an early age the grandfather was left an orphan and from then until grown made his home with an uncle. He married Hulda Lyman, a native of Vermont. John L. Labaree received his professional training largely under his elder brother in Ladoga, Ind. In manhood he married Sarah Minerva Cox, who was also born in Indiana, and together they crossed the plains in 1850, settling in the San Ramon valley, Contra Costa county, which had then but few inhabitants and scarcely any improvements – no regularly laid out roads, nor fences, nor anything to make the place attractive for a home. Dr. Labaree began at once to improve his ranch which consisted of five hundred acres, a quarter section of this having been preempted by his wife. The first small house which served as their home was replaced in 1872 by a handsome residence which was built by Mrs. Labaree. In addition to his farming interests, which consisted of the raising of grain and stock, Dr. Labaree practiced medicine throughout the valley, traveling on horseback with saddlebags. His death occurred in this locality in 1871. His wife survived him until 1897, dying then at the age of sixty-three years. Their children were named as follows: Olivia, who married David Edwards; Hubbard, a miner, who married Minnie Hemme, by whom he has two children, Isabella and Marion; Milton S., the subject of this review; John, deceased, who married Alice Linekin, by whom he had three children, John Lyman, Anna and Eugene; William, a dentist by profession and a member of the California assembly in 1902, who married Amy Balch, by whom he had three children, Margaret, Olivia and Adel; Jennie; and Minerva, deceased, formerly the wife of Jack Campbell, by whom she had two children, Gladys and Isla. Dr. Labaree was a well-known Mason and a highly esteemed and respected citizen.

            Milton S. Labaree received his education at the military academy in Oakland, after which he returned to the country and engaged in ranching. In time he bought out one of the heirs of the Stevens estate, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres, upon which he is now engaged in the raising of hay, grain and stock. By his marriage with Annette Stevens he became allied with an old colonial family, whose ancestry can be traced to Joseph and Mary Stevens, who settled in Andover, Mass., where their son Benjamin was born in 1697. To Benjamin Stevens and his wife, Annis, was born a son Benjamin, in Methuen, Mass., and to this Benjamin and his wife, Rebekah, was born a son Benjamin, who married Mehitabel Harns. The latter Benjamin Stevens was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and soon after the close of hostilities purchased a farm in the town of Dracut, which has been in the family up to the present generation, and is owned by one Benjamin Stevens, who is a member of the Massachusetts legislature. Benjamin and Mehitabel Stevens had a son Benjamin, born in Dracut, Mass. His wife was Myra Kittredge and their son, Charles O., was the father of Mrs. Labaree. Charles O. Stevens, a native of Andover, Mass., was reared and educated in his native locality, and in young manhood married Laura Messer, also a native of Massachusetts. She died early in life, leaving two children: James W. and Orville, the latter dying in childhood. James W., who resides in Dayton, Wash., married Minnie Putnam, and they have five children, Frankie, Myrtle, Otis, Lewis and Bessie. Mr. Stevens’ second marriage united him with Laverta Pierce, who is also now deceased. She was the daughter of Alexis and Emeline (Butterfield) Pierce. Mr. Stevens crossed the plains in 1849, and his wife came later. After working in the mines for a short time he located in Sacramento and later went to San Francisco, where he was employed as a mechanic. In 1865 he purchased a tract of sixty acres, a part of the H. W. Carpentier estate, and later his wife purchased an additional sixty acres from James O. Boone, which comprises the Stevens estate known as the Sweet Brier Farm. The home is located on the banks of the old bed of the San Ramon creek, one mile from Danville, and surrounded by gigantic oaks whose spreading limbs afford a grateful shade as well as a bower of beauty. Here the death of Mr. Stevens occurred in 1871, at the age of forty-one years. His second wife died in 1872 at the age of thirty-two years. After her death her mother came to California and reared the children left orphans: Charles married Hattie Wright, by whom he had two children, May and Abigail; Annette became the wife of Mr. Labaree; Eugene died in childhood; Clara, deceased, was the wife of Charles Forge, by whom she had one son, Otis. The grandmother died here in 1886, at the age of sixty-nine years. Mr. Stevens was a man of much business enterprise and in addition to his farming interests made a trip east and laid in a supply of watches and jewelry, the sale of which netted good returns. He was a public-spirited man in every way, and fraternally affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. To Mr. and Mrs. Labaree were born the following children: Alma; Elsie and Edna, twins, the latter deceased; and Sarah. Fraternally Mr. Labaree is a member of the Woodmen of the World, in which organization he has also served officially.





Transcribed by Marie Hassard 02 April 2016.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1062-1063. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2016 Marie Hassard.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library