Placer County









            William Charles Conroy is the owner and manager of the Conroy Hotel at Auburn.  Few cities of its size afford as elegant hotel accommodations as does the house of which our subject is proprietor.  Perhaps no other business interest so clearly demonstrates the standing of a town or city as does the hotel.  The enterprise and industry of its commercial life is indicated here, for the traveling public who has to do with its commercial affairs demand certain qualities of entertainment.  Metropolitan in its appointments, perfect in its equipments and conveniences, and supplied with many luxuries that add to the comforts and its guests, the Conroy Hotel has found favor with the public and is accorded a very liberal patronage.

            The proprietor is a native son of California, his birth having occurred in the city of Sacramento on the 2nd of March, 1857.  His father, Michael Conroy was born in County Mayo, Ireland, and was married there to Miss Ella Murphy, a native of County Limerick.  Before leaving the Emerald Isle this worthy couple became the parents of a daughter who is now Mrs. William H. Harrison, of El Paso, Texas.  Crossing the Atlantic to the United States, the father served as a railroad fireman for three years in the east and then came to California, making the trip by way of the Isthmus and arriving in San Francisco in 1856.  He engaged in placer mining and also secured a ranch whereon he devoted his energies in the cultivation of the ground.  Subsequently he resided for a time in Rocklin, and then he removed to Pine Grove.  In 1866 he came to Auburn, where he spent his remaining days, his death occurring on the 6th of June, 1878.  His wife and three children born in California all survive him and are residents of Auburn.  Ella is now the wife of John Davis; Mary, the wife of William H. Harrison; and William C. is the only son in the family.

            In taking up the personal history of William C. Conroy, we present to our readers the life of one who is widely and favorably known in California.  He was nine years of age when his parents came to Auburn and in the public schools he pursued his education.  He entered upon an independent business career as a baggage master and freight agent in the employ of the railroad and was thus engaged for thirteen years.  In 1890 he was placed upon the Democratic ticket as a candidate for sheriff of the county, and the election returns showed he was triumphant in his race.  He was three times elected and filled that important position with marked ability for eight years.  He discharged his duties without fear or favor, performing his services in behalf of justice, and at all times winning the commendation of the law-abiding citizens.  He was very successful in capturing and bringing to justice many high-handed and dangerous criminals and was the means of ridding the county of an element that long threatened the safety of life and property.  While he was feared by men who have little regard for the law, he was, with the majority, a most popular and capable official.  He now has in his possession a large and interesting collection of weapons and tools taken from criminals whom he arrested, indicating something of the desperate character of the crimes committed.

            After his retirement from office Mr. Conroy purchased the hotel, remodeled, refitted and refurnished it in the most modern style, making it one of the best houses in the county, a credit to the owner and to the city in which it is located.  He does everything in his power for the comfort and convenience of his guests and has a large and remunerative patronage.  The building is eighty by one hundred feet in dimensions and contains forty-two sleeping rooms, a fine large office, a beautiful parlor and a commodious dining-room which is supplied with all the delicacies of the season, rendering this a first-class hotel.  In connection he also has mining interests and is widely recognized as one of Auburn’s enterprising businessmen.

            In 1880 Mr. Conroy was happily married to Miss Ella Peacock, of El Dorado County.  They now have three children:  Walter, Grover and William.  Mr. Conroy is a gentleman of social disposition and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has taken the Rebekah degree; the Red Men; the Ancient Order of Foresters and the Independent Order of Foresters.  He is also affiliated with the Native Sons of the Golden West.  Mr. Conroy has made good use of his opportunities.  He has prospered from year to year, but has conducted all business matters carefully and successfully and in all his acts displays an aptitude for successful management.  He has not permitted the accumulation of a handsome competence to affect in any way his actions toward those less successful than he, and he always has a cheerful word and pleasant smile for those with whom he comes in contact.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 315-316. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




Placer County Biographies

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