Contra Costa County











     Distinctively a self-made man, Joseph S. McCiel, of Danville, Contra Costa county, is to be given all credit for the success which he has achieved since coming to the state of California, from the Azores Islands, unable to speak a word of the English language and with only $5 in money.  Undaunted by the prospect, although only a lad of sixteen years at the time he accepted the first employment which came to hand, and set his energies to the double task of earning a livelihood and learning the language and customs of the people with whom he had come to make his home.  He has as well won the esteem and respect of all who have been associated with him, either in a business or social way. 

     Born in the Azores Islands, May 15, 1873, Mr. McCiel was a son of Manuel McCiel, who was likewise a native of that location.  When a young man Manuel McCiel went to sea and became a whaler, traveling in the Arctic ocean for three years in search of the black whale for the bone of commerce.  In 1849 he came to San Francisco and at that point left the ship and went to Sacramento, thence to Placer county, engaging in the latter location as a miner for about six years.  At the close of that period he was the richer by over $12,000.  Returning to his native shores he purchased a farm and established a dairy, and married and reared a family.  Joseph S. McCiel was reared to the age of sixteen years among the scenes of the land of his birth, receiving an education in the best schools afforded by the island.  He had early formed a desire to come to California, and accordingly, after obtaining the consent of his parents, crossed the water and located in the western world.  He found employment in Alameda county as a ranch hand with a remuneration of $8 per month.  He continued in that position for four months, after which he received better wages.  He followed this life for three years when he went to San Leandro, Alameda county, and there learned the barber's trade.  Locating, in 1894, in Danville he established a barber shop and has since conducted a lucrative business.  Being very proficient in his art and a man of sterling qualities, he has won many friends.

     The handsome cottage home of Mr. McCiel is presided over by his wife, formerly Rose Munyon, a native of California and the daughter of Frank Munyon.  They have one daughter, Blanche.  Fraternally Mr. McCiel is a member and past chief ranger of the Foresters of America; a member of U.P.E.C. Lodge, in which he has served officially; and the I.D.E.S. order.  Through the aid of newspapers Mr. McCiel has become a fluent speaker and reader, and as an intelligent and worthy citizen gives his influence toward the progress and upbuilding of the community.





Transcribed 9-26-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1333-1334. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library