Peter Purcell, deceased, was the proprietor of the Fashion Livery Stable of Grass Valley, and carried on business here for many years. A native of the Emerald Isle, he was born in Kings County on the 2nd of July, 1833, and was a son of Peter and Mary (Colgan) Purcell, who also were natives of Ireland. His father was a merchant tailor by occupation, and died in 1884, while his mother passed away in 1880. The family is noted for longevity.
Peter Purcell, the fourth in order of birth in their family of five children, spent his boyhood days at his parental home, and in the schools of the neighborhood acquired his education. In his youth he also learned the trade of merchant tailoring, which he followed until coming to America. In the year 1861 he determined to seek his home beyond the Atlantic, and after reaching the new world took up his abode in Peru, Indiana, where he remained for two years, after which he came to California, locating in Sweetland, Nevada County. There he engaged in mining for a short time, and in 1872 came to Grass Valley. From 1872 onward he conducted a livery business, having well equipped barns on Main Street, adjacent to the Holbrook House, and where he had hansoms and carriages and other stylish turnouts which he furnished to the public at reasonable rates. He received a liberal share of the public patronage, and his business brought to him a comfortable competence.
In July, 1873, occurred the marriage of Mr. Purcell and Miss Margaret Moroney, a lady of Irish birth. They had eight children, namely: Thomas J., Mary, Peter F., Joseph, Margaret, Catherine, William and Theresa. They also lost three children.
Mr. Purcell was a Democrat in his political views and kept well informed on the issues of the day and did whatever he could to promote the success and welfare of his party. For seven years he was connected with the Grass Valley fire department, being a member of Hose Company No. 2. He was deeply interested in everything pertaining to the welfare of his adopted city and withheld his support from no measure which he believed would prove of general good. His hope of bettering his financial condition in America was realized, and he not only won here a good business, but also gained many warm friends. March 17, 1900, he was kicked by a horse, injuring him to such an extent that he passed away April 2, 1900. His loss to the community is a painful one, as he was a valuable citizen.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.