Solano County

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Though a native of Ireland, Patrick D. Walsh, one of Napa county's honored pioneers and a substantial landowner, now living retired on his well kept place on the Napa road out of Vallejo, has been a resident of California for more than sixty years, and he has thus observed and aided in the amazing changes which have been brought about here during the period of his residence in this state. It was during the '60s of the past century that Mr. Walsh came into this region, and he can tell some exceedingly interesting stories concerning that period and conditions as he found them here. Starting in as a farm hand, he has ever devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, and for the past forty-five years he has been living on his present well improved place on the Napa road out of Vallejo, just over the line in Napa county.

Mr. Walsh was born in Ireland, May 1, 1845, and is a son of Michael and Mary (McDermott) Walsh, the latter of whom was a daughter of a substantial landowner in that country. Michael Walsh died when his son Patrick was but two years of age, and the latter grew up devoted to his widowed mother's interests. He received a good education, supplementing his local schooling by a course of two years of study in England. When he was eighteen years of age, in 1863, he came to the United States, his objective being California, with the expectation of joining a cousin in Napa county, who had come here some time prior to that date and whose letters back home had greatly interested his kinsfolk, for they told of the wonderful possibilities for development here and emphasized the opportunities that in this fine new land awaited energetic young immigrants from the old sod.

Upon his arrival here Patrick D. Walsh found his cousin established in the Napa settlement, and he had no difficulty in securing profitable employment in the ranching operations in that district. By carefully saving his earnings he presently found himself able to begin ranching on his own account, and in 1873 he bought a tract of land in the immediate vicinity of Yountville. There he established his home, meanwhile having married, and he continued operations there until 1880, when he moved to his present place in the American canon district on the Napa road, where he has since made his home and where he and his sons have developed an excellent piece of property. The Walsh ranch consists of one hundred and seventy-three acres and is improved in admirable fashion. For some years Mr. Walsh has been living practically retired from the active conduct of the place, the operations now being carried on under the direction of his youngest son, Thomas. Mr. Walsh is a democrat and has ever been attentive to local civic affairs, doing his part in promoting all movements for the advancement of the common welfare. For some time, years ago, he served as road master in his district, and he has ever been a stanch supporter of the good roads movement.

Mr. Walsh was united in marriage to Miss Ann Claffey, a native of Massachusetts, who died at the home place here in 1895. To them were born nine children, namely: Charles E., now engaged in the operations of the Mare Island navy yard and acting as secretary of the labor board there; Mrs. Mary Madigan; Joseph, who also is employed in the navy yard; John, who died in infancy; Elizabeth, who died at the age of thirteen years; Helen, the wife of James Anderson; Leo, one of the proprietors of the Cascade laundry at Vallejo; Thomas, who, as noted above, is now in charge of the operations of his father's ranch; and Margaret, who also continues to make her home with her venerable father. In addition to these children, Mr. Walsh likewise has fifteen grandchildren, in all of whom he takes much pride and delight, and through them the Walsh family of this line is destined to be a continuing one in this favored region.

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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