Solano County

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On that notable roster of honored octogenarians of this region, surviving pioneers of this favored section of California, the name of Thomas F. McGill of Vallejo must ever occupy a place near the top, for this is a name that has been known here for sixty years, a period covering the whole of what may be regarded as the "modern" development of this region and of the growth of the splendid cities which have come to their present state of development during this time and of the equally splendid development of the horticultural and agricultural interests of this wonderful garden spot. Mr. McGill was here, an active, alert and energetic young man in 1865, the year in which the Civil war came to an end. He thus has been a witness to and a participant in that amazing development which has marked this region since that seemingly now far away time, and in much of that development he has been a very active personal factor. The historical section of this work reveals what has been accomplished here during that time. His life and observations constitute a personal epitome of that wonderful story and when in a reminiscent mood he has many interesting tales to tell of the time when things were in a pretty "raw" state here and of the time when a proper social and economic order of affairs was being worked out, situations being created leading to the gradual progress in affairs that in good time has wrought its perfect work in what the eyes of man now here behold. He knows just how all this was brought about and in the present pleasant "evening time" of his life takes joy in the many visible evidences that what has been accomplished is good.

Thomas F. McGill was born in the city of New York on June 15, 1842, and was twenty-three years of age when in 1865 he came to California, stimulated by the stories then getting back east of the possibilities awaiting young men here in this wonderful coast country. He came around by the way of the Isthmus, up the coast, landing at the port of San Francisco. In that same year he located at Napa but not long afterward settled at Vallejo, which ever since has been his place of residence. For some time after his arrival in Vallejo he worked there at the butcher trade and then he set up in business in the retail meat trade for himself, opening a shop on Santa Clara street, and was for years thus successfully engaged, moving from Santa Clara street to Georgia street and thence to Sacramento street, and building up a business which proved a very substantial foundation for his present considerable fortune. For some time in those earlier days of his mercantile experience here his brother, William McGill, was associated with him in the business and the two had their share in the labors of development work that faced the pioneer merchants of Vallejo. Mr. McGill continued active in that line until his retirement about twenty years ago and was thus for years one of the best known merchants in town. From the beginning of his activities here he had an unshakable confidence in the future of Vallejo and early began to take an interest in realty developments, making investments along this latter line that as the town progressed turned out very well indeed. As a builder he did his share in constructive development and he still owns the business block which he erected on Sacramento street as well as the buildings adjacent, to the corner of Virginia, besides much other valuable real estate in and about the city. He also formerly rented a live stock ranch and was for some years actively interested in the cattle business, this fitting in very well with the extensive killing plant he maintained in connection with his retail meat business. He was a member of the old volunteer fire department and now takes pleasure in his membership in the Exempt Firemen's Association.

In 1864, in New York state, Thomas F. McGill was united in marriage to Miss Marian Goodman who died in 1913. Mr. McGill has three sons, Thomas F. McGill, Jr., George Edward McGill and Norman W, McGill.

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 14 Oct 2007

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