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Madera Biographies: MORDECAI

Mordecai Cemetery

   GEORGE WASHINGTON MORDECAI.  The substantial and prosperous citizens of Madera, Madera County, Cal., have no more worthy representative than George W. Mordecai, an extensive land holder, a large sheep and stock raiser, and one of the most successful and best-known farmers of this part of the state.  A son of Agustus Mordecai, he was born April 19, 1844, in Virginia, near Richmond.  His grandfather, Jacob Mordecai, was a Virginian by birth and breeding but for many years was a resident of North Carolina.  He comes of Revolutionary stock, both of his great-grandfathers having served as soldiers in the Revolutionary army, and is of English descent, the emigrant ancestor of the Mordecai family having come London, England to America in the seventeenth century.

   Born in North Carolina, Augustus Mordecai removed in early life to Virginia, the home of his ancestors, and was there engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death.  He was a prominent planter, and a man of influence, serving for a number of years as presiding Justice of the board of magistrates of Henrico County, Va. He married Rosina Young, who was born in Virginia, which was also the birthplace of her father, William Young, and she is still residing on the home plantation, “Rosewood.”

   Reared on the home farm, George W. Mordecai received a practical education in the private schools of Richmond.  In 1862, in Richmond, he enlisted in the Confederate army, in which he served until the close of the war, taking part in many of the engagements of the conflict.  Subsequently going to North Carolina he had charge of his uncle’s plantation for three years.  Coming to California in 1868, Mr. Mordecai took up and purchased the land that is now included in his present ranch, which was then a part of Fresno County, but his now in Madera County.  Engaging in general farming, he has four thousand acres of land in his ranch and devotes the greater part of it to the raising of grain.  He likewise raises much stock, including cattle, sheep and horses, and by sturdy industry and judicious management has acquired a competency.  Mr. Mordecai has made several trips to the east, visiting his old home and acquaintances.  He has a very pleasant and attractive home, lying about four and one-half mile south of Madera.

   Mr. Mordecai married in Kern County, Miss Louise Dixon, a native of Mississippi and daughter of Judge R. L. Dixon.  They have four children living, namely:  George W., Jr. an attorney in Madera; Louise; Brooke, and Ethelfleda.  Politically Mr. Mordecai is a stanch Democrat, and is prominent in public affairs.  For two terms he served as a member of the state legislature, and was nominated as state senator, but was defeated.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 1282.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: September 15, 2000
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