Contra Costa County











     Frank Severio, vice president and general manager of the Metropolitan Match Company of Stege, was born in New York City March 18, 1854, and the following summer came to California with his parents, Frank and Mary Jane (Murphy) Severio, natives of Italy and Ireland respectively.  The father, Frank Severio, Sr., was five years old when he sailed from his sunny home land, his father being a vessel owner.  After reaching California in the fall of 1854, Frank Severio mined in Yreka for a time, afterward settling at Jamestown, Tuolumne county, where he operated a hotel and drew an income from his mining claims.  In the rude mining town of Jamestown he succeeded in spite of many disadvantages, for his hostelry was burned to the ground three or four times, but was always rebuilt and continued on a larger scale than before.  He took a great interest in the well being of the mining community, belonged to the Masonic fraternity, and was foremost in the political and general upbuilding of the region.  Both himself and wife died in Jamestown, leaving four children, of whom John is in Santa Cruz; Catherine is the wife of Dr. G. J. Van Vlack of San Francisco; and William F., the youngest in the family, is a business man of San Francisco.

     Frank Severio, Jr., earned his first money at mining, and after school hours would go out and pick up gold with an Indian quill.  With the money thus obtained he went to San Francisco on a visit, and while there determined to become a chemist, and began to study in the drug store of William E. Mayhew, of San Francisco.  The outlook at first was not encouraging, for the first six months netted him no returns, a fact which he bravely accepted, knowing that he was getting the best possible training.  In 1875 he became superintendent of the Metropolitan Match Company of San Francisco, later perfecting, at the desire of the company, the blasting fuse so much used in mining projects in the west.  Black sulphur matches and parlor matches were the specialties of the concern, netting the partners a large yearly income.  With true western determination Mr. Severio argued that what was profit to one should be to another, and January 1, 1904, he succeeded in buying out the company, and since then has conducted it independent of its former owners, incorporating and managing the new enterprise himself.  The plant was moved to Stege in 1897, and covers eight acres of ground, the greater part of the machinery having been invented and patented by Mr. Severio, who is a mechanical genius, and has given match manufacturing years of practical study.

     In addition to match manufacturing, Mr. Severio has interested himself in various western enterprises, has speculated in mines, real estate, lumber and other large resources, generally with gratifying results.  He is in all senses of the word a self-made man, having worked his way up from assets consisting of good health, industry and perseverance, maturing more than ordinary business discretion, and relying upon integrity and practical common sense.





Transcribed 9-21-16  Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 1330-1331. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2016  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library