John Genasci, an extensive and prominent landowner, rancher and dairy farmer, whose ranch is located two miles northwest of Loyalton, Sierra County, is deserving of much credit for what he has accomplished, for he began life here as an ordinary farm hand and has achieved his present success by virtue of his persistent industry and the exercise of sound judgment in all of his affairs. His ranch, on which he has lived for twenty-eight years, consists of four hundred and forty acres, while another ranch in this vicinity, containing five hundred and fifty acres, is owned jointly by himself and his brother-in-law, Raffaele Dotta. He also owns two hundred and twenty-seven acres, devoted to the raising of hay and grain, lying four miles west of Loyalton; one hundred and sixty acres, devoted to grazing purposes; and other ranch of one hundred and seventy acres, and a forty-acre tract recently acquired from the government; and still another ranch of one hundred and twenty acres, making a total of eleven hundred and fifty-seven acres owned by him, besides his interest in the five hundred and fifty acre tract. He bought the home ranch in 1902, the next two hundred and forty acres in 1908 and the remainder by subsequent purchases at various times.
Mr. Genasci was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, on the 22nd of July, 1868, and is a son of Constantino and Giovanna Genasci, lifelong residents of Canton Ticino. The father was a carpenter and builder and attained the age of sixty years, while the mother lived to be seventy-four years of age. Their little farm, on which they kept a few cows, was located near the entrance to the famous St. Gotthard Tunnel, close by the village of Airolo. John Genasci attended the common schools of his home neighborhood and at an early age went to work on farms and assisted his father in his building operations. He served the required time in the Swiss Army and received a thorough training in military matters. For some time he hired out as a common worker on Swiss farms, and also learned dairying and the making of butter and cheese. In 1893 he immigrated to the United States, coming at once to the Sierra Valley. He soon secured work on a ranch near Beckwith owned by James L. Humphrey, on which he was employed before his marriage. Even for a few years after their marriage his wife continued to work for her brother, Raffaele Dotta. After buying the present home ranch, he made many substantial improvements on it, and now has a good farm house, dairy barns, stock sheds and three large concrete dams for irrigation purposes. He has worked hard, has wisely invested in more land from time to time, and is still buying land. He and his wife have worked in close cooperation for the sake of their children, all of whom have received good educations, and they have earned the genuine respect of their neighbors and others who know of their tireless efforts since coming to this state.
On June 28, 1898, in Reno, Nevada, Mr. Genasci was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Dotta, a daughter of Francisco and Deborah Dotta and a sister of Raffaele Dotta, who are referred to on other pages of this work. Her sister, Angelina Dotta, who is unmarried, is housekeeper for her brother Raffaele. Mrs. Genasci also was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, and came to the United States in 1893. Mr. and Mrs. Genasci are the parents of four children, namely: Silvia, who graduated from the University of Nevada in 1926 and from the University of California in 1927, taught in the high school at Jackson, Amador County, California, and on July 29, 1930, in Reno, Nevada, was married to Charles B. Wahlend, who is a graduate of the University of Nevada and is now employed in the Bell Telephone Company’s office at Oakland, where they reside; Julio, who graduated in 1928 from the University of Nevada, where he had majored in agriculture, is now the agricultural extension agent in Humboldt County, Nevada, and is at present preparing the exhibit for the fair at Winnemucca, Nevada; and Attilio is a junior in the University of Nevada.
Mr. Genasci received his naturalization papers at Downieville and has since given his political support to the Republican Party, showing a commendable interest in the affairs of his community. He and his wife were reared in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church and remain true to its teachings, giving liberally of their means to religious, benevolent and charitable purposes. They assisted in establishing the Catholic Church at Loyalton and contributed to the church building, prior to which time services had been held in the schoolhouse. The spirit of hospitality and good cheer is in evidence in their home and they and their children are popular throughout the community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 177-179. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.