Colusa County









            Along the legitimate lines of business Mr. Peart has won creditable success and is today the leading merchant of Colusa.  He was born at Cook Cove, Guysboro County, Nova Scotia, on the 9th of November, 1848, and is a son of John William and Philo Ann (Cook) Peart.  On the paternal side his ancestry can be traced back to Godfrey Peart, who died on the 9th of November, 1868, at the age of seventy-nine years.  Godfrey Peart, the grandfather, married Mary Ann Lavinia Cribbin, whose death occurred May 10, 1869, when she had reached the age of seventy-seven years.  John W. Peart, the father of our subject, was born in Guysboro, Nova Scotia, on the 23rd of May, 1817, and died August 29, 1886, at the age of sixty-nine years.  He was a farmer and trader.  His wife was born at Guysboro, in 1812, and died in Colusa, California, June 16, 1895, at the age of eighty-three years.  She was a daughter of Elias C. and Anne (Horton) Cook, the former born December 16, 1788, the latter April 23, 1794.  The grandfather died August 28, 1870, at the age of eighty-two years, and his wife passed away December 11, 1894, when more than one hundred years of age.

            Elias Cook Peart attended the public schools during the winter season and throughout the remainer of the year assisted in the work of the home farm, taking a man’s place from the age of thirteen years.  In 1868 he emigrated to California, by way of the water route from New York and across the Isthmus of Panama.  He arrived in San Francisco the day before the great earthquake.  In November of the same year he secured employment in a small store at Knight’s Landing, where he remained until the spring of 1869, when he went to Grand Island, Colusa County, and since that time he has been a resident of the county which he regards as the most favorable spot in all the land.  In this opinion he certainly cannot be far wrong, for nature has made this a very desirable location with its rich farming country well watered by good streams.

            When Mr. Peart arrived in California he had a cash capital of only thirty dollars, nor did he depend upon influential friends to aid him.  He enjoyed good health, was enterprising and possessed of resolute will and he stood upon his own merits.  His first employer was Barney Roseberry, now of Woodland, California, and on leaving his service he entered the employ of H. H. Goodhue, formerly of Grand Island, but now deceased.  After clerking for two or three years, Mr. Peart established a mercantile store at Leesville and entered upon a prosperous career at that place, but a disastrous fire swept his business entirely away.  After paying all his debts in full he had only a linen duster besides the necessary clothing.  With determined spirit, however, he established a business in Colusa on borrowed capital, but found the expense attached to an incorporated town too great for one of his limited circumstances.  Accordingly he returned to Leesville where he erected a store building and dwelling, but in about two years he sold his business and real estate to Dr. J. H. Clark, for his health was failing him through overwork.

            Hoping to be benefited thereby, Mr. Peart went on a sea voyage to New York and thence along the coast to Nova Scotia.  He crossed the Bay of Fundy several times, but the experience was not a pleasant one and he says he has no wish to make the trip again.  After returning to California he assumed the management of a general mercantile store at Grimes, California, owned by the Grangers’ Corporation Company.  In about a year he purchased the enterprise and successfully conducted it in connection with branch stores in Arbuckle and Colusa.  He also at one time identified with the store in Maxwell, but has recently disposed of much of the mercantile business, although he is still conducting the leading establishment in his line in Colusa.  He has at the same time given some attention to farming and grain dealing.  The word discouragement seems to find no place in his business vocabulary, and by continued effort and by closely following the golden rule he has won a very handsome competence of which he well deserves.

            Mr. Peart was united in marriage December 11, 1872, to Miss Clara H. Graham, a daughter of Edwin R. and Asenath L. (Stanton) Graham.  Her grandparents were James and Sarah (Stickney) Graham.  The former was born and reared near Fort Patrick, Scotland, and died in Hamilton County, Ohio.  By occupation he was a schoolteacher.  His wife was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and died in Illinois.  Edwin R. Graham, their son, was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, on the 19th of June, 1827, and devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits throughout his business career and died on the 4th of November, 1896, in Colusa County, California.  His wife was born April 5, 1834, in Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio, and was a daughter of Joseph and Clarissa (Griffin) Stanton.  His father, John Stanton, was of Welsh lineage, as was his wife.  Joseph Stanton was born in Madison County, New York, July 16, 1772, and was a machinist by trade.  He served in the War of 1812, under the command of Captain Leroy Brown, of New York, and his death occurred in Illinois, at the age of sixty-four years.  His wife was born in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, September 10, 1829, and died in Colusa County, California, November 4, 1881.  Her parents were Samuel and Anne (Wheaton) Griffin, the former a native of England and the latter of Connecticut.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Peart have been born the following children:  Emma C., Cora G. and Eulah M.

            Mr. Peart gives his political support to the Democracy, but is not a bitter partisan, much preferring to deposit his ballot for a good Republican than a man of his own party who is not worthy of the public trust.  He has always declined to accept public office himself, except that he has served as postmaster.  He has established the post office at Leesville and filled the position there until he resigned.  He also established the post office at Grimes, Colusa County, and there filled the position until he handed in his resignation.  He is now, by appointment of the state, a director in agricultural district No. 44, which district he organized.  Socially he is connected with the Order of Friends, and his wife and children are members of the Christian Church.  Through a long period Mr. Peart has been identified with the development of Colusa County, and his name therefore is inseparably interwoven with its history.  The wonderful upbuilding of the golden state is due to such men; men of enterprise, sagacity, sound judgment and rare discrimination, whose methods are practical and whose plans are comprehensive and far-reaching.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 264-266. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.


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