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This gentleman, one of the practicing attorneys of Sonora, was born in Howard County, Maryland, March 25, 1825, receiving there his primary education. When about eighteen years of age, he attended school at Rockville, Maine, and all afterwards was prepared for college. He graduated from Harvard College, and received instruction from the celebrated jurists, Greenleaf, Kent, and Judge Story.  He studied law with Robert J. Brent, was admitted to the Bar, and commenced practice at Baltimore, Maryland. Coming to this State via the Isthmus of Panama, he arrived in October, 1850. He came to this county, settled at Shaw’s Flat, and mined for six months.  At the Flat he erected a sawmill, and conducted that business, in addition to practicing his profession, for nearly two years.  Then, settling at Sonora, he opened a law office, since which time he has been practicing his profession. He has held the office of District Attorney for several terms in Tuolumne County.  This volume contains numerous refer­ences to Mr. Dorsey’s career, which, throughout, has been of the greatest importance to the County.



“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 373-374.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Mr. Douglass, familiarly and widely known as “Jack,” was born in New York City, in August, 1830.  He came to California in July, 1849, arriving in Tuolumne in 1852.  Establishing himself in the saloon business in Columbia, he soon afterwards became Agent for M. J. Dooley, I the Manager of the stage lines.  His place of business was on the corner of Fulton and Main streets, and was known as the “Douglass” saloon.  Mr. Douglass had, the ill fortune to be burned out three times in the course of his residence in Columbia, namely, in 1854, 1857, and 1862.  In 1869 he removed to Stockton, where he is engaged in keeping the popular saloon of the Yosemite House.  During Mr. Doug­lass’ residence in Columbia he enjoyed the confidence of his fellow-citizens to a remarkable extent, having held suc­cessively the offices of Chief Engineer of the Fire Depart­ment, President of the Board of Trustees, and finally School Trustee, the two latter offices having been filled by him during two terms each.  It may be mentioned in this con­nection that he was a warm friend of the lamented Coffroth, his intimacy extending over a long period, during which they were close companions in every respect.


Mr. Douglass, in 1853, married Miss Ellen Dart, and has two children, boys, one aged 22 and one 19 years.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 406.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton






Mr. Duchow, who may be regarded as a typical journal­ist of the State, after many years passed in the active life incident to his craft, came to reside in Sonora in 1872.  The impelling cause of his residence in the county seat was the establishment of that deserving and ably directed sheet, the Tuolumne Independent, in 1872.  Previous to this his journalistic career had been varied.  Coming from Salem, Massachusetts, his birthplace, some thirty years ago, he settled at Columbia and engaged in newspaper work, type­setting and editing, his first venture being upon the Co­lumbia Gazette.  During the years in which the brothers Duchow (John C. and William A) conducted the Gazette and Southern Mines Advertiser, and afterwards the equally able and well conducted Tuolumne Courier, the flush times of Columbia were passed, and many incidents are narrated by Mr. Duchow which show his intimate knowledge and participation in the stirring affairs of that epoch.  Leaving Columbia in 1859, Mr. Duchow became foreman of the Daily Argus and Weekly Democrat, papers published in Stockton.  Later he lived for a while in San Francisco, working as printer, and then taking a contract to issue a paper for Aleck Montgomery in Napa.  In San Francisco he became one of the proprietors of the San Francisco Times, a newspaper which was run by an association of printers.  Frank M. Pixley, the present brilliant editor of the Argonaut, was editor of their sheet.  Later on Mr. Du­chow went to Santa Cruz, interesting himself in the Senti­nel, of that place.  Later still, the Pajaro Times, a paper published at Watsonville, engrossed his care.  This, the largest country sheet published in California, was run by the firm of McQuillan, Kearney and Duchow, and did a thriving business, succeeding even beyond the anticipations of the proprietors.


After five years spent in Alameda, Mr. Duchow returned to Tuolumne, engaging in the publication of the Indepen­dent with his brother, John Duchow, previously oftentimes mentioned as connected with the newspapers of Columbia, and respecting whom it may be said that no living journal­ist has ever maintained a more upright and consistent course, struggling always to the utmost of his powers to uphold the purity of his newspaper and to elevate the con­dition of his fellow citizens.


Mr. W. A. Duchow married in Monterey county Miss Mettie Whitlock, daughter of Dr. Whitlock, now of Inyo County.  The pair have five children—Earl M., Daisy, William A., Harvey G. and Raphael.



“A History of Tuolumne County, CA” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Appendix Pg. 12-13.






Was another attorney who settled here in early days.  En­tering first into partnership with J. M. Huntington, the firm enjoyed a large practice.  Removing to San Francisco Mr. Dwinelle rose steadily in his profession, taking a high stand as a reputable counsellor, arid finally became Judge of the Fifteenth District Court in that city.  He is still living, an ornament to the Bar and the community.


“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882.  Pg. 403.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton





© 2002 Nancy Pratt Melton

Tuolumne County Biographies