Contra Costa County











     A member of the board of supervisors of Contra Costa county, Edward J. Randall is interested in all that pertains to the general welfare of the community, giving his best efforts toward its upbuilding and the development of resources.  He is located in Concord as a factor in the business activity of the place, conducting in partnership with his brother a general merchandise establishment, which they purchased in 1883 of H. Lilliman.  In addition to this interest, in 1886 they built a warehouse with a capacity of fifteen hundred tons of hay and eight hundred tons of grain and have since dealt extensively in the same, meeting with success which gives to them a place among the representative citizens of the town.  A native of the state, Mr. Randall was born on his father's ranch seven miles from Napa City, October 6, 1863.

     Edward Randall, the father, was born in Suffolk county, England, a son of Samuel Randall, and was reared and educated in his native land.  When a young man Edward Randall came to New York, and thence worked his way to the middle west, through the states of Indiana and Illinois.  During the period of the gold discovery in California, when he was a resident of the middle west, he became desirous of trying his fortunes in the west, and accordingly took passage on a Mississippi river steamer to New Orleans, thence coming to California via the Nicaragua route.  Upon his arrival in California he found himself possessed of but two or three dollars, so he at once sought employment in San Francisco, where he had landed.  A very short time of lucrative employment served to provide him with a small capital, with which he immediately sought an independent venture.  A man of energy and business sagacity, he accepted and made use of the opportunities afforded by the growing civilization of the west.  Subsequently he went to Solano county and engaged in farming on the Suscol tract in Suscol valley, making sufficient improvement to enable him to sell at a profit a little later on.  He then bought a tract of land in the Napa valley, that now occupied by the Standard Cement works, and put up a set of buildings and engaged in grain and stock raising, disposing of this eventually to locate on a blackberry ranch, which he improved in the same manner as he had his previous properties.  His profits on the sale of the ranches which he improved and cultivated constituted his increase of capital, and accordingly he once more disposed of his property, and about 1870 went to Stanislaus county and purchased a ranch upon the present location of Newman, being one of the first settlers in that locality.  He built a house and barn and made his home there until 1880, when he again sold out and bought what was known as the Adams ranch in Contra Costa county,  This property he chose with a view to making it his permanent home, satisfied as to the location and opportunities offered by the new ranch.  He remodeled and enlarged the house, making a handsome and comfortable residence, and put up new barns and outbuildings.  In addition to raising grain he devoted much time to high-grade stock, importing fine sheep and selling for breeding purposes Southdowns and Shropshires.  He also raised horses and cattle of fine quality.  In 1902 his death occurred in that location, at the age of seventy-one years.  He married in California Mary Tormey, a native of Ireland, whose brother and cousin were among the early settlers of the state.  She died in 1887 at the age of forty-nine years, leaving a family of five children, namely:  Edward J., Samuel, Frank, Mary, and Elizabeth, the latter now Mrs. Burton.  Two children died in youth.

     Edward J. Randall was reared to young manhood in the various localities in which his parents lived, receiving his education in the public schools and also attending St. Mary's College.  He then spent five years on the ranch in Stanislaus county, when, with his brother, Samuel, he purchased the general merchandise establishment in Concord already mentioned and entered into a commercial life.  The success which has accompanied his efforts has certainly justified his selection of a life work, for he combines with business ability an integrity and honesty of purpose and a pleasing personality which have won for him many friends.  He has also purchased an interest in the Anderson & Co. lumber plant at Martinez and now acts as president and manager of the same.  In 1898 he was elected supervisor of Contra Costa county and at each election following has again been the choice of the people for that office.

     Mr. Randall was united in marriage with Nora Anderson, a native of California and the daughter of Ludovic Anderson, of Pacheco.  She died at the age of thirty-seven years.  The children born to them are as follows:  Bernice, Edward J. Jr., Aerden, Justin and Margarite.  For a second wife Mr. Randall married the sister of his first wife, Margarite Anderson.  In his fraternal relations Mr. Randall is a charter member of the Woodmen of the World of Concord, and is first council commander.





Transcribed 11-16-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1393-1394. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library