El Dorado County
WILLIAM W. TONG
William W. Tong, postmaster at Clarksville, is a member of one of the old pioneer families of El Dorado County—in fact, the town of Clarksville was founded by this family, of whom Mr. Tong is now the only representative here. He was born in Clarksville, on the 8th of April, 1876, a son of John H. and Ursula (Blakeley) Tong. The paternal grandparents brought their family across the plains in 1855 and became the first settlers of what later became Clarksville. They improved the road and established a toll gate, and also conducted what was known as the Railroad House. In the course of time Clarksville became a very busy settlement, boasting several hundred inhabitants, and became famous in California history through the fact that there were more hangings there in proportion to the size of the place than any other spot in California, thirteen men being strung up there. Clarksville’s glory is now largely gone, there being but two stores in the place and the population greatly decreased. John H. Tong was about four years of age when brought by his parents to this state and he received his education in the Clarksville schools, after which he took over the management of the old Railroad House, which he conducted until it was destroyed by fire. Thereafter he devoted his attention to mining until his death, in 1928. His wife passed away the same year. They were the parents of five children, a son and four daughters.
William W. Tong was educated in the public schools of Clarksville, after which he bought a hotel at Lake Tahoe, which he conducted for fourteen years. He was also in the building and contracting business and he undertakes all kinds of work, such as cutting Christmas trees and other legitimate employment. He is filling the office of postmaster in a very satisfactory manner and is regarded as one of Clarksville’s best citizens.
Mr. Tong was united in marriage to Miss Maude Russi, who was also born and reared near Clarksville, and they are the parents of two daughters, Mrs. Evelyn Norman and Olga, the latter being in school. Mr. Tong is well liked throughout the community because of his sterling qualities and friendly disposition.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.