San Diego County
CHESTER D. GUNN
The duties of coroner of San Diego county are capably discharged by Chester D. Gunn, a member of an old and honored family that has long figured prominently in the public life of the county.† His father, Chester Gunn, was the son of a physician and in 1848 came to California with his parents, who were early settlers of Sonora county.† In that county Chester Gunn was employed as a miner and later was amalgamator at one of the large mines of Nevada.† In 1870 he came to San Diego to join his brother, Douglas Gunn, who had located here earlier in that year, purchasing the San Diego Union, a daily.† On his arrival Chester Gunn was attracted by some quartz displayed in the window of a store, noting that the mineral was obtained in Julian, San Diego county, and resolved to look over the mines there instead of assisting his brother in the management of the newspaper.† Accordingly, he purchased a horse and after visiting the mines at Julian inaugurated a pony express mail service from that point to San Diego.† In connection with that business he followed mining at Julian, where he established a fine stamp mill, and later installed the machinery in the old Stonewall mine, of which he was chief amalgamator.† Taking up a homestead, he began raising cattle on the place, and gradually added to his holdings until he was the owner of a tract of two thousand acres.† In the development of San Diego county he bore a leading part and exemplified the highest type of the California pioneer.† Called to public office, he served as supervisor for two terms and was appointed by the governor of the state a member of the committee entrusted with the task of creating Riverside and Imperial counties from the territory that comprised San Diego county in those early days.† The death of Chester Gunn occurred in 1929 and a year later his widow, Elizabeth (Kelly) Gunn, passed away.† They had nine children, of whom eight survive.
†††† Born on his fatherís large ranch, Chester D. Gunn obtained his high school education at Julian and remained on the home place until he reached the age of twenty, when he came to San Diego.† Here he was associated with Charles Kelly in the livery business for a time and then took charge of the Point Loma dairy herd of The Theosophical Institute.† Meanwhile his father had removed to San Diego and placed him in charge of the ranch here, which he managed successfully for three years, or until it was purchased by Rex. B. Clark.† At the end of that time Mr. Gunn removed to Vista, San Diego county, having been appointed a member of the committee on irrigation, of which he was later a director.† In September, 1923, he took charge of the county farm and was particularly successful in the improvement of its dairy herd, which under his supervision became one of the best in the state.† He continued as manager of the county farm until elected county coroner, assuming his new duties January 5, 1931, and has met every requirement of this important office.† Through marriage he became a nephew of G. W. Marston, the well known pioneer and merchant, whose wife was the youngest sister of Chester Gunn.
††††† In 1916 Chester D. Gunn was married to Miss Clara Taitt, a native of Los Angeles county, and they are the parents of two daughters, Elizabeth and Florence, aged respectively fourteen and twelve years.† The family resides at 4109 Middlesex avenue, San Diego, and Mr. Gunnís office is at 555 Spreckles building.† A true westerner, he derives keen enjoyment from life in the open, and his hobby is the breeding of fine cattle, a subject on which he is thoroughly informed.† His fraternal associations are with the Masons, the Elks, the Odd Fellows and the Native Sons.† His activities have been of a nature that have brought him a wide acquaintance and all who know Mr. Gunn speak of him in terms of high regard.
Transcribed 6-14-12 Marilyn R. Pankey.
Source: California of the South Vol. II, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 469-471, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,† Indianapolis.† 1933.
© 2012 †Marilyn R. Pankey.