Elam and Margaret Brown

In 1846, Elam Brown, a widower with 4 children, joined a wagon train and came west. They stayed briefly at Sutter’s Fort, and then came through the Livermore Valley to […]

William and Miranda Hook

William Hook and his twin brother Elijah, were born on Valentine’s Day in 1805. When they were 14 years old their father died and their mother moved the family to […]

Wittenmyer Family

Lewis Cass Wittenmyer was born on June 15, 1828 in Salsbury, Indiana. He was a pioneer to Contra Costa County in 1849 and to Martinez in 1857. Lewis became County […]

The Hale Family

William and Henry Hale were businessmen who, with Dr. J. H Carothers and Harris Fassett, laid out the town of Pacheco in 1860. William Morell Hale was born in Ohio […]

Hon. Thomas A. Brown

Brown Vault – Thomas A. Brown, an engineer, was hired by Col. Smith to survey and plot the city of Martinez for a fee of $2,500. He did this with […]

Col. William M. Smith

Editor’s Note:  This post was written by Historian Charlene Perry, and was printed in the Martinez News Gazette June 1981. It was in 1849 that the heirs of Don Ygnacio Martinez, […]

Dr. and Mrs. J.H. Carothers

Dr. James Henderson Carothers was born September 5, 1823 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. His wife, Emily, was born Emily F. Prince on February 23, 1828 in Berkshire, Delaware County, Ohio. […]

Warren and Laura Brown

Warren Brown was the son of Elam Brown and the brother of Thomas A. Brown. He was born on June 19, 1826 in Morgan County, Illinois and came to California […]

Fish Family

The Fishes were reportedly the first millionaires in Contra Costa County, mainly due to wheat farming and successful partnerships. Lafayette was born in Batavia, Genesee County, New York, on October […]

William and Delilah Frazer

William Beverly Frazer was born on September 7, 1824 in Stokes, North Carolina. His wife, Delilah Cook Frazer was born on April 1, 1832 in Tennessee. William and Delilah were […]