Solano County

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A large institution like the Mare Island navy yard requires that its department heads shall be men of more than ordinary capability and faithfulness in the performance of duty, and the high character of the personnel of that great government institution has long been a matter of considerable pride. Among these men of ability, experience and character stands William A. Barstow, the master electrician of the navy yard. Mr. Barstow has spent practically his entire life in this locality. He was born in the city of San Francisco on the 25th of September, 1872, and is a son of Dr. William A. and Eunice (Rogers) Barstow, the former of whom, a physician and surgeon, came to San Francisco, from Wisconsin, in 1869, and continued in the practice of his profession until his death a few years later. His widow is still living. Mr. Barstow's maternal grandfather, Dr. William H. Rogers, was a member of the Vigilantes in the early days, and he continued to practice in California until 1886, when his death occurred.

William A. Barstow, the immediate subject of this sketch, attended the public and high schools of San Francisco and took up the study of applied electricity, completing his studies by postgraduate work in the University of Ohio. He became identified with several light and power companies, the last of which, in the east, was the Municipal Light & Power Company of Columbus, Ohio. He was next with the Edison Electric Company in San Francisco, and from 1901 to 1907 he served as government inspector. Then, after a short employment as electrical superintendent with the Union Iron Works, he was appointed master electrician at the Mare Island navy yard, where he still continues.

Mr. Barstow married Miss Nellie Neylan, who was born and reared in San Francisco, a daughter of Charles C. Neylan, a naval engineer officer of the Civil war and one of the early residents of San Francisco. To this union was born a daughter, Eunice Marie, who became the wife of Robert Donald, a mining engineer, and who died at the age of twenty-four years. Mr. Barstow is not bound by the ties of any political party, preferring to vote according to his best judgment. He is an earnest advocate of clean government administration, in the town as well as in the city, and gives his support to every measure for the betterment of the public welfare. He shows in his attitude and character the sturdy independence and conscientious courage of his forbears, who landed on the eastern shores in 1635, from England. It is a matter of record that a Barstow was the first white settler of Hanover, Massachusetts. William Barstow, who died in 1668, was a ship builder, and many of the earlier members of the family were mariners. William A. Barstow, grandfather of our subject, was the second governor of the state of Wisconsin. Mr. Barstow is a man of generous and kindly nature, who has formed a wide acquaintance since locating in this community, and he has a large circle of warm and loyal friends, who esteem him for his genuine worth.

History of Solano County, California By Marguerite Hunt and Napa County, California By Harry Lawrence Gunn. From Their Earliest Settlement To The Present Time. Chicago. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1926. 883 pages.

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This page was last updated 27 Oct 2007

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