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Tuolumne County








            Joseph Woolford, who is practically living a retired life in Plymouth, has through his well directed efforts won a competency that now enables him largely to put aside business cares.  He is a native of England, his birth having occurred in Ramsbury, Wiltshire, on the 7th of February, 1830.  For many generations the family resided in that country.  His father, William Woolford, married Miss Elizabeth Hobbs, a native of his own town, and they had fourteen children, but only three are living now.  He reached the very advanced age of eighty-four years, while his wife passed away at the age of seventy-two years.  They were members of the Church of England,--honest, industrious and upright people.

            Joseph Woolford was early trained to habits of industry and economy.  When only eight years of age he began to earn his living, and in consequence his educational privileges were very limited.  He served an apprenticeship to the blacksmith’s trade in the city of London, after which he worked on the Great Eastern steamship, and in 1857 went into southern waters, locating in Peru, where he assisted in the building of an iron mater or wharf which ran out into the sea past the surf.  Determining to make his home in California, he arrived in Plymouth in the spring of 1862, and was for two years engaged in placer mining in different places in the county, but making only six dollars a day, he was not satisfied with the wages.  Subsequently he spent eighteen years in the employ of the Haywood Mining Company, working at his trade and at all kinds of blacksmithing and iron-working required in the mill and mines.  He was the foreman of their shop, and being an expert workman he gave excellent satisfaction to his employers.  He also worked in the Empire and Pacific mines for the New London Folks for two years, and in 1872 he took up two hundred and eighty acres of land adjoining the town of Plymouth.  He now resides upon his farm.  He has improved the property and erected a good residence, but in a measure he has retired from active business, although he still has a shop and his high reputation as a first-class workman brings to him considerable trade.

            Mr. Woolford has always given his support to the Democratic Party, but has never been an aspirant for office, preferring to give his time and attention to his business affairs.  He adheres to the faith of the Episcopal church and has led an honorable and upright life, his word being as good as his bond.  His marked industry has been the source of his prosperity, and he belongs to that class of energetic and reliable men who have truly won the proud American title of self-made.

            Henry Woolford, a nephew of our subject, with his family, is living on the farm and working it, while Mr. Woolford makes his home with them.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 238-239. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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