Hon. Samuel B. Gordon. There are few pioneers of California more widely or favorably known than the subject of this sketch.
He was born in Pendleton, South Carolina, January 17, 1828, and while an infant moved with his parents, Thomas F. and Lovina (Powell) Gordon, to Georgia, locating near Clarksville. Later they moved to Walker county, same State. His father was a planter and slaveholder, and on the farm Samuel B. was reared. At the age of twenty-one years he left home and came to California, making there journey hither via Cape Horn, and arriving in San Francisco in 1850. While in Habersham county, Georgia, a mining district, his father had giving some attention to gold mining, and with him the son had gained some experience in that line. He accordingly, upon coming to California, proceeded to the mining districts with machinery, which he had brought with him. He found it of no practical use, however, in California mining, and never utilized it. He worked in the mines of Yuba with pick and shovel, owned claims, and pursued the business according to the customs of early mining days, remaining thus engaged only about one year. He then turned his attention to farming about five miles north of San Jose, where he remained two years, after which he removed to Redwood City, San Mateo county. At the latter place he did a lumbering business.
In 1857 Mr. Gordon was elected to the California State Legislature from San Mateo county, and served his constituents with marked ability and discretion, doing important committee work. He was the first Representative sent from the San Mateo district to the Legislature. He is a Democrat. He subsequently served as ex-officio Superintendent of Public Schools of his county, and still later as County Assessor.
He came to Monterey county in 1859 and located the Tularcitios and Little Tularcitos ranchos, one and a half leagues, and engaged in raising horses, mules, cattle and sheep. There he remained until 1888, acquiring ownership to about 5,000 acres of land, and doing an eminently successful business. In 1888 he disposed of his landed interests, came to Monterey and later to Pacific Grove. At the latter place he built a fine residence and is now living, retired from active business.
Mr. Gordon was married December 11, 1859, to Miss Nancy J. Whisman, daughter on John Whisman, deceased. Her father, a native of Virginia, emigrated to Missouri, and hence crossed the plains in 1847, locating in Santa Clara county. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon have had eight children, six of whom are now living.
Transcribed by Karen L. Pratt
Source: Henry D. Barrows & Luther A. Ingersoll, A Memorial & Biographical History of the Coast of Central California. Page 384-385. Chicago, Lewis Publishing Co., 1893.
© 2004 Karen L. Pratt.
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