ROBERT O. Baldwin was a California pioneer, lived in the state for over a half century and his life work constituted a permanent contribution to the agricultural development of Contra Costa County. 

He was born in the State of Ohio, March 30, 1828, was reared on a farm, acquired a common school education, and as a youth of twenty-two broke the ties of home and kindred, setting out March 18,1850 across the plains for the newly discovered gold fields of California. His journey was made by way of Salt Lake City and eventually brought him to the historic old settlement of Hangtown, California. For three years his efforts were directed in the gold mining fields, but the work that constituted his real success was agriculture and live stock. He first bought three hundred and twenty acres of land and eventually became the owner of an estate of more than a thousand acres in Contra Costa County near Danville. His energy and good management set an example of what could be accomplished by properly conducted agricultural and live stock enterprise in the beautiful San Ramon Valley. He was also active in community affairs serving many years as a school trustee in his home locality. 

Robert O. Baldwin married Miss Mary Cox, who was born in Indiana, January 7, 1838. They were married at Danville, California, March 25, 1858, and they lived more than a half a century in Contra Costa County, where both of them passed on. The death of Robert O. Baldwin occurred April 26,1908, and that of his wife on October 9, 1914. Just a month before the death of R.O. Baldwin there was celebrated at Danville as a public event the golden wedding anniversary of this venerable old couple. It was an occasion for people all over the county to meet and offer congratulations to the husband and wife who had shared life’s duties and joys together through such a long period. 

The children of these honored pioneers were: May Margaret, born May 1, 1859; Elmer H., born September 6, 1861; Perry A., now deceased, born August 14, 1869, and John F., born December 20, 1873. The daughter, May Margaret, now residing at 782, Delores Street in San Francisco, was graduated from the Napa Ladies’ Seminary, June 1, 1877. Her first husband was the late Dr. Walter E. Hook. On the 14th of October 1896, she married Mr. E. C. Gilbert. 

Robert Oliver Baldwin, Jr., son of the pioneer, gained an enviable reputation as a successful physician and surgeon in California and is practicing at the City of Oakland.

He was born in Danville, in Contra Costa County, April 20, 1865, and was liberally educated in preparation for his chosen vocation.  


Louise E. Shoemaker, Transcriber April 16, 2004 


Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" by Bailey Millard Vol. 3 page 155-156. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.

© 2004 Louise E. Shoemaker


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