Biography of Henry B. Marlin
Alameda County, CA Biographies





HENRY B. MARLIN
Henry B. Marlin, of San Lorenzo, who has been a resident of Alameda county for three quarters of a century, is one of its most highly esteemed citizens, for he has led an active and useful life, devoted mainly to agricultural pursuits, in which he realized a measure of success which has enabled him to practically retire from active business affairs. Mr. Marlin was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1850, and is a son of John and Eliza (Bowers) Marlin, also natives of Perry county, Pennsylvania. John Marlin became one of the pioneers of the Pacific coast, to which he came by way of the isthmus of Panama. He first located at Astoria, Washington, where, in partnership with three of his brothers, he engaged in the lumber business. In 1852 he came to Alameda county, California, and locate as a squatter on a piece of land in the San Lorenzo district. He farmed there f o: awhile, but was finally compelled to give it up, at which time he bought one hundred and thirty five acres near San Lorenzo, for which he paid Louis Steitz for thousand dollars. With the exception of about twenty five acres of timber lam . this was all an open field and was located about half way between San Lorenzo and Roberts' Landing. He cleared the twenty five acres and entered actively upo the cultivation and improvement of the tract, which he devoted to general farming and the raising of vegetables. In 1863 he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in San Lorenzo, for which he paid five hundred dollars down and assumed an indebtedness of eighteen thousand dollars. Thirty acres of the tract was in fruit, two acres being planted to cherries, for which he received as high as one dollar a pound. So successful was he in the management of his properties that m two years he had paid off his indebtedness and had twenty seven thousand dollars in bank. He then bought the John B. Ford ranch, in the Mt. Eden district, for which he paid twenty seven thousand five hundred dollars, and during the remainder of his life he devoted indefatigable energy to the operation of the three ranches. setting out more orchards and erecting substantial farm buildings, and met with such success in his business affairs that at the time of his death, which occurred November 2, 1878, at the age of fifty six years, his estate was valued at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Mr. Marlin was an active supporter of the republican party, but never aspired to public office. His brother, Brady W. Marlin, served as supervisor of Eden township for seventeen years. Fraternally Mr. Marlin belonged to the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at San Lorenzo and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Hayward. His ranches were devoted to raising grain, vegetables and fruit, and he ran large herds of cattle and horses, in the handling of which he showed excellent judgment.

To John and Eliza (Bowers) Marlin were born the following children. Mary E., who resides in San Lorenzo, is the widow of the late Henry Smyth, one of the pioneer business men of that locality, having been a blacksmith and a manufacturer of implements, carriages and wagons. Henry B. is second of the family. Margaret is the widow of T. Armstrong and resides at Hayward; Kate, now deceased, was the wife of John Tychsen, a vineyardist of Napa county, California. Josephine became the second wife of John Tychsen and resides in Napa county. Annie, who died at San Lorenzo, at the age of twenty seven years, married Charles Jaycox, to which union was born one child, Charles, who went down with the ill fated "Titanic" on April 15, 1912. She was later married to Wesley Mohr, and to them was born a son, Wesley. John P. is a rancher at San Lorenzo. The mother of these children died in 1863, at the age of about thirty six years, and subsequently Mr. Marlin married her sister, Sarah Bowers, who also is deceased.

Henry B. Marlin was reared on his father's ranch in San Lorenzo and secured a good public school education for that period. Under his father's supervision he became a good farmer and remained at home until he had attained his majority, when he went to Napa county, California, and worked on a ranch. Soon afterward he worked on a stock ranch in Nevada, where he was put in charge of five hundred head of cattle, for which work he received fifty dollars a month and board. He later cultivated a farm on shares for about one year and then went to work as a freight teamster for J. R. Pritchard, the pioneer freighter of Nevada. He drove sixteen horses on heavy freight wagons, hauling provisions and machinery to the mines at Eureka, Nevada, and bringing back bars of silver and lead from the smelters at Eureka, which were placed aboard the cars at Palisades, California, thence shipped to the wharfs, where they were loaded on vessels for England. On the death of his father, in 1878, Mr. Marlin inherited a portion of the estate and he and his brother, John P., bought out the interests of the other heirs in the home ranch of two hundred and ten acres, for which they paid five hundred dollars an acre, amounting to eighteen thousand dollars. This money was all paid before the death of their stepmother, who willed her share of the estate to Henry B. and John P. Marlin, who set out orchards and raised large quantities of fruits and vegetables. Henry B. Marlin in later years has devoted his land almost entirely to truck gardening, in which he met with very satisfactory success, and he now has the land leased, and is quietly enjoying a well earned leisure.

In 1877 Mr. Marlin was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Petersen, who was born in Denmark and is a daughter of the old pioneer, Captain Petersen, who was in command of one of Captain Roberts' vessels, shipping goods and passengers to and from Roberts Landing, which in early days was the port for San Lorenzo. Mr. and Mrs. Marlin have four children: May, the wife of Charles Case, of Piedmont, an employe of the Redwood Lumber Company, of San Francisco; Henry, storekeeper at the county hospital on Foothill boulevard, who married Miss Naomi Kennedy and has two children; Alice, who is the wife of Budd Haley, president of the Bank of Hayward, and has two children; and Stanley, district manager for the General Petroleum Company at Hayward, who married Miss Jesse McFadden and has one child. Mr. Marlin is a member of Eden Lodge, No. 113, A. F. & A. M., one of the oldest Masonic lodges in California, and during all of the years of his residence in this community he has been recognized as one of its most progressive and public spirited citizens, giving his support to all measures for public betterment, while his social relations have been such that he has commanded the friendship and good will of all who know him. In 1927 Mr. and Mrs. Marlin celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage and the event was the occasion for a gathering of their numerous friends and the receiving of many sincere congratulations and expressions of esteem.

From:
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928


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