The great farmer, statesman, and politician, “John Boggs, of Colusa,” but few persons in California but know him. He was born in Missouri in 1829. Came to California in 1849 with a party of adventurous young men who have filled important stations in life. Mr. Boggs was attending college at Fayette, Missouri, at the age of twenty, when like thousands of our leading citizens he threw down his text-books and started for the newly discovered gold fields in California. He tried his hand at digging for gold but a short time, but with that business sagacity that has been a characteristic of his life, commenced to buy stock and land. He continued to add to his possessions until at one time he had over 40,000 acres of land, 40,000 sheep, besides a large stock of horses and cattle from the most noted strains of blood.
He has been engrossed with his large and extensive business, but being full of enterprise, public spirited, and a born leader among men, it did not require much effort to draw him into the political arena, in which he has proved himself an astute and successful politician. He was a Supervisor of Colusa county for nine years, and from 1871 to 1875 joint Senator for Colusa and Tehama counties. In the Democratic Convention that nominated Governor Stoneman he was Chairman, and is now the sitting Senator for Colusa county. He was appointed one of the Trustees of the Napa Insane Asylum by Governor Irwin and more recently a leading official at the State Prison at San Quentin.
We give the following extract from a contemporary:
In politics Mr. Boggs is a Democrat of the advanced school. With strong party predilections, he is not blind to its faults nor too prejudiced to admit them. With a manly charity for the opinions of others and a noble toleration of other’s views, he nevertheless lacks not the courage to form and express opinions of his own. As a public speaker he is persuasive and convincing. He has a hearty, open, confiding nature, and simply storms the very citadel of one’s affections and confidence, destroying the power of resistance, and all without apparent effort on his part.
Without a single particle of sanctimoniousness, he has the religion at heart of a Melancthon. (sic) While it would puzzle him to repeat the sermon on the mount, or the ten commandments, or possibly the Lord’s prayer, he would travel on foot over the Sierras in winter to serve a friend, and he daily does many of those things which we are commanded to do, and leaves undone many of those things which we are forbidden to do. While his somewhat secluded life prevents his frequent attendance at church, he finds daily opportunity to illustrate practically those great virtues which the church is formed to inculcate.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Boggs have the southern warmth of hospitality, with the results of northern experience engrafted upon it. Their home is one of the few ranch-homes in this State that one will travel a hundred miles out of his way to visit.
Mr. Boggs is, in all respects, a man of broad and comprehensive views, and his large experience and strong, practical common sense, will render him a valuable acquisition to the Board of Trustees of the manificent (sic) enterprise about to be inaugurated by Senator Stanford.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: “Illustrated Fraternal Directory Including Educational Institutions on the Pacific Coast”, Page 82, Publ. Bancroft Co., San Francisco. Cal. 1889.
© 2012 Cecelia M. Setty.