The trials, vicissitudes and triumphs of life in a new country, and, especially California, are well shown in the history of William Vanderhurst, one of the leading merchants and a highly esteemed citizen of Salinas City. He was born in Marion country, Mississippi, in 1833, and received but a common school education as his father died while he was a child of six years. He commenced the battle of life at sixteen years of age as a clerk and continued with a small interval at school until the age of twenty years, when he emigrated to California via Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco February, 1853. He tried the mines for one year. Fully disgusted with his mining experience he now turned his attention to lumbering and farming, alternating as a laborer, contractor and farmer. In 1859 he opened a general mercantile store at Watsonville and did a very prosperous and lucrative business, which was swallowed up in mining speculation. In 1864 he commenced clerking for E. L. Goldstein & Co. of Watsonville and was admitted into partnership within one year and remained for a term of three years. In 1868 he entered into partnership with Chas. Ford and Lucius S. Sanborn and established the house of Ford, Vanderhurst & Co. at Salinas City, which has maintained its ascendency as the leading firm in general merchandise during all these years in Monterey county he being the resident manager and the active business man of this large house. He has served as Councilman, Trustee, for a time, acting Mayor of Salinas City, and in all enterprises connected with the development and advancement of this section he has always been at the front. In 1856 he married Miss Jane Hatch, a union that has been blessed with a family of ten children, seven of whom, four boys and three girls, are living. In January, 1862, he was initiated a member of Pajaro Lodge, 110, F. and A. M. Passed February, 1862, and raised March 1, 1862. He took the several degrees in Capitular Masonry in Temple Chapter, No. 41, during the months of January and February, 1882, and was Knighted in San Jose Commandery, No. 10, in October and November, 1882. He was a charter member of Salinas Lodge, No 204, F. and A. M., and elected the first Senior Warden, serving in the position two years. In 1871 he was elected Worshipful Master of the same lodge and served two years in succession and also during the year 1876. He was elected the first High Priest of R. A. Chapter, 59, and served in that capacity continuously for three years. He was a charter member and first Generalissimo of Watsonville Commandery, No. 22, and served as such two years. At the expiration of his term he was elected Commander and served in that capacity for a term of two years. He was elected Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Commandery of this State at its late conclave and Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, R. A. m., of California in April, 1889. Brother Vanderhurst has been a leader and continues in the front rank in all enterprises connected with his section and is now a member of the Board of Trade and director in the Salinas Bank. He is tall, has a commanding form, unassuming, and has a certain magnetism in his manner and address that impresses a stranger and seems to constitute him a leader. The cares and ordeals of a checkered and busy life have not lessened his vitality and the chances are favorable to many years of usefulness and higher honors, civic and fraternal.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: “Illustrated Fraternal Directory Including Educational Institutions on the Pacific Coast, Page 126, Publ. Bancroft Co., San Francisco. Cal. 1889.
© 2012 Cecelia M. Setty.