Contra Costa County











            VOLNEY TAYLOR. Alike in Contra Costa county, where he owns and manages large landed interests, and in the city of Oakland, where he has made his home a number of years, Mr. Taylor wields an influence as a capable and resourceful man and intelligent citizen. The family of which he is a member and which has been identified with this portion of California for many years, originated in Great Britain and established itself in Canada during the early history of America. His father, Alexander T. Taylor, who is an honored pioneer of the west, was born in the township of Bolton, province of Quebec, Canada, September 15, 1821, and at the age of twenty started out in the world for himself, having no capital except rugged health and willing hands. From early boyhood he possessed an aspiration to attain an honorable success in order that his old age might be crowned with ample means and the respect of associates. In 1844 he rented a farm in Canada and the start thus secured rendered possible the subsequent purchase of a place, which he owned and cultivated for eleven years. On selling the property he returned to the place of his birth, where he remained until his removal to the Pacific coast.

            Accompanied by his family, November 6, 1866, Mr. Taylor took passage at New York for the Isthmus of Panama and from there proceeded up the Pacific ocean to San Francisco. His first location was near Vallejo, Solano county, where he cultivated a rented farm for two years. Coming to Contra Costa county in September, 1868, he bought three hundred and twenty acres in the Point of Timber district, and on this tract experimented with the raising of grain. As yet few improvements had been made in the country, the value of the land was an unknown quantity and the crops for which it was best suited little understood. From the first he was successful and large crops of grain made his land a valuable investment. In 1873 he turned over to his sons the management of his land, and now resides in a beautiful home at No. 1622 Ninth street, Oakland, where in the twilight of his existence he enjoys the comforts accumulated by earlier industry and judgment.

            The marriage of Alexander Taylor, solemnized June 17, 1845, united him with Miss Louisa Bruce, a native of Vermont, and their children are Valeria M., Avyette, Volney and Alexander V. The elder of these sons, who forms the subject of this article, was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, June 20, 1851, and came with his parents to California at fifteen years of age. In this state he attended school at Vallejo and in 1872 was graduated from the Pacific Business College in San Francisco. Upon leaving college he took up farm pursuits and later purchased from his father the old homestead in Point of Timber district, Contra Costa county. While the land is especially adapted to wheat and produces enormous crops of this grain, he is now sowing barley to a considerable degree, finding that it maintains the richness of the soil better than wheat. The land is not adapted to fruit, but raises large crops of alfalfa even without irrigation. In addition to the lands purchased from his father, Mr. Taylor bought two other tracts, one adjoining and the other near the old homestead, and has the same under cultivation to grain. Since about 1896 Mr. Taylor has made Oakland his home, but during the seasons of sowing and harvesting he may be found on his Contra Costa county lands, returning to Oakland in the interim between these busy times on the farm. He holds fraternal relations with the Blue lodge and Eastern Star of Masonry, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Good Templars, and is also warmly interested in movements for the growth and prosperity of his country district and home city. His wife, formerly Agnes E. Andrews, was born in Illinois and came to California with her parents in 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have an only son, Everett B., who married Miss Carrie F. Bohmen, of Sacramento, December 11, 1901. Everett B. Taylor also makes his home in Oakland, where he is engaged in the real estate business.





Transcribed by Marie Hassard 01 August 2014.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Page 268. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2014  Marie Hassard.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library