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Plumas County









      Vincent Ponci, one of Beckwith’s best known citizens, who has made the Beckwith Hotel one of the most popular inns in this section of the state, was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, October 1, 1880, and is a son of Louis and Kandida (Mari) Ponci.  His father was employed in a brickyard at Bidogno during the summer months and in the winters followed the trade of shoemaking.  He and his wife were the parents of nine children, as follows:  Claudina, the widow of the late Vic Dorra, who was a rancher near Vinton, Plumas county; Josie, the wife of Victor Mangoni, a restaurateur in Denver, Colorado; Louise, who is the widow of Henry Gaudini, and lived in Lugarno, Switzerland, until her death; Vincent Louis; Madeline, who became the wife of Frank Dominiconi, and both lived and died in Switzerland; Columbine, the wife of Louis Madalina, who owns several ranches five miles northeast of Beckwith; Samuel Carl, who was a miner, and died unmarried in Colorado; Caroline, the wife of Louis Gambetti, a dairy farmer five miles west of Redwood City, this state; and Joe L., who is in the United States Veteran Hospital at American Lake, Washington, having been injured while in the navy during the late war.    Vincent L. Ponci attended the public schools in his native town and learned the stonemason trade.  When twenty years old, he bade goodbye to his parents and started for the United States, embarking at Havre, France, April 13, 1901.  After a seven-day voyage, he landed at New York City, and at once crossed the continent by rail to Reno, Nevada, where he was met by his sister and came at once to the Sierra Valley, where he went to work on the ranch of his brother-in-law, Vic Dotta, near Vinton.  After working there by the month for one year, he found that he could earn better wages in the sawmills, and during the following three years was employed in succession at the old Feather River sawmill, the John Taten mill, the mill at Clairville and Don Ronialdi’s mill, and finally in the Feather River Lumber Company’s mill.  He then returned to Vic Dotta’s ranch, on which he was a milker during the following seven years.  In 1912 Mr. Ponci went to Chilcoot, Plumas County, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, and engaged in farming.  He also ran a saloon in Chilcoot for several years, but is now giving his attention to the management of the Beckwith Hotel, which he rents.  This hotel was erected by the late Peter Laffranchini about 1898 and is well furnished and equipped, so that it has become a popular stopping place with the traveling public.  Mr. Ponci owns forty acres of land adjoining the hotel, upon which he has lately built a comfortable and attractive home, in which he lives.  Mr. Ponci has on his place one of the finest flowing wells in the Sierra Valley.  In connection with the hotel is still standing the old stage barn, which was formerly operated with the hotel and in which were at times as many as ninety horses, most of which were used in freighting to Nevada.

      In 1914, at Quincy, California, Mr. Ponci was united in marriage to Miss Marie Morrell, and they had two children, Benson and Elmer, who are living with their mother at Orland, in Glenn County, this state.  On December 11, at Reno, Nevada Mr. Ponci married Mrs. Anna Chester, nee Smith, a daughter of John and Johanna Smith, of Muhlenberg, Germany.  Both parents are deceased, the mother dying at the birth of her daughter.  Mrs. Ponci came to the United Sates in 1900 and lived in New York City until 1924.  She later lived two years in Chicago and in 1926 became a resident of California.  Mr. Ponci is a member of the Loyal Order of Moose at Graeagle, California, and is also the treasurer of the Sierra Valley Swiss Club, one of the most active social and civic organizations of the Valley.  He has gained success because he has worked hard for it, and among his acquaintances is well liked because of his excellent personal qualities and his business ability.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 224-225. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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