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 Old Franklin, Missouri.
This is where the brothers entered the business world, keeping their eyes open for many opportunities. They did much trading between Missouri and Sonora, Mexico. Elijah died of yellow fever near St. Louis in 1835.
In the early 1850’s William, his wife Miranda and 10 children moved to Martinez. William bought a structure on Main Street in 1852 and turned it into a general store. He had it rebuilt in 1856 after it was destroyed by fire. In 1925 the building was again destroyed by fire and the present building was built in 1926.
Hook’s profits soared and he bought several lots on Main Street. He started the James Hotel on the 800 block of Main, which remained a hotel until the 1980s. Eventually, he owned nearly 3,000 acres in what is now Pleasant Hill. There a very large house was built to accommodate his large family.
The original content of this post was taken from the previous website and updated for republishing in 2021.