Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

 

 

 

Tuolumne County

Biographies


 

 

JOHN PEREIRA

 

 

††††††††††† The well known California pioneer of 1850 whose name is above is a son of a Portuguese father and mother and was born in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, in 1814, the second in order of birth of a family of eleven children, of whom only he and two sisters survive.His fatherís and motherís families have long been well known in Funchal.Mr. Pereira came to the United States in 1838 and afterward learned the shoemakerís trade.Eventually he went to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he worked at his trade until 1849, when he set out for California by way of Panama.Soon after his arrival at San Francisco he went to Sacramento and from there to Marysville, Yuba County.From Marysville he went to Fosterís Bar, on the Yuba River, and at first engaged in the work of turning the river from its course to facilitate mining in its bed, but was obliged to abandon this labor because working in cold water gave him rheumatism.He mined there successfully, however, for six weeks, in which time he and his comrades took out about eighteen hundred dollars each.But Indians had killed several white men there and threatened another attack, and the miners abandoned their claim and went back to San Francisco.Three months later, yellow fever broke out there and Mr. Pereira was seriously thinking of returning to his native land, when he was induced to buy a stock of goods and engage in trade in Jamestown.He sold his goods on credit, and, the season being very dry and mining poor, he was unable to make collections and was soon without merchandise or capital.He mined on Woodís Creek for a time, with poor success, and was taken sick and carried to Jamestown on an improvised stretcher.Upon his recovery, with Dr. Clark as a partner, he bought a team of horses and a wagon and engaged in teaming between Jamestown and Sonora.Later they established a livery stable and a stage line from Sonora to Columbia Hill and other lines to Stent and other points in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.In 1857 Mr. Pereira and Dr. Clark dissolved partnership, Mr. Pereira retaining the livery and all other property except the stage line, which in the division went to Dr. Clark.

††††††††††† The historic Fraser River excitement followed, with all its hopes and disappointments, and was instrumental in almost depopulating Jamestown for a time and ruining its business.Mr. Pereira remained and bought land and became one of the pioneer fruit and grape growers of Tuolumne County, owning three hundred and fifty-nine acres and prosecuting the vineyard and wine business vigorously and successfully, making wine some years to the amount of eighteen thousand gallons.He sent his fruit and wine by large wagon loads to all parts of the surrounding country and secured a large and valuable trade and was one of the foremost in building up Jamestown.He became interested in quartz and gravel mines and now owns valuable mining claims in addition to extensive real estate holdings.When the railroad was built to Jamestown he gave twenty-five acres to the company for passenger depot grounds and donated one hundred and forty acres for a town site, and for many years he has been active and prominent in constructing and improving the roads in all directions from Jamestown.He also built the Jamestown Hotel, now known as the Willow Hotel, at an expense of six thousand, five hundred dollars.While this enterprise was in progress many of his townsmen believed the hotel was not needed and would not be a success, but no sooner was it opened than it was found inadequate to accommodate its patrons, and it became one of the popular hotels of the town and was a paying investment for Mr. Pereira, who rented it for some time at one hundred dollars a month and eventually Mr. Pereira sold it for four thousand dollars.

††††††††††† Mr. Pereira is a Democrat, active in party work, but is not personally an office seeker.He is an Odd Fellow and a Mason, and, popular as he is in fraternal circles, he is no less popular in the business and social world.He was married at New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1846, to Miss Hannah Morgan, a native of Dublin, Ireland, who bore him eight children, of whom six are living, and died in 1871.His second wife was Elizabeth Brown, who died in 1897.His daughter Mary married S. Stoniga.John lives at Jamestown.Sarah married George Miller and lives in San Francisco.Frank lives on his fatherís ranch, and James and William live at Sonora.The home at Jamestown in which Mr. Pereira is passing his declining years is a pleasant one, and he is honored by his fellow citizens not only as a pioneer but as a man who has lived a just and upright life, and has been generous in his support of every measure tending to the public good.

 

 

Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: ďA Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern CaliforniaĒ, Pages 136-137. Chicago Standard GenealogicalPublishing Co. 1901.

© 2010Gerald Iaquinta.

 

 

 

Tuolumne County Biographies

California Statewide

Golden Nugget Library