Biography of Joseph Moranda
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





JOSEPH MORANDA. - The population of California is indeed very cosmopolitan in its nature, many nations being represented by its citizens and among them is Mr. Moranda, a native of Switzerland, having been born near Eocarno, Canton Ticino, March 19, 1864, where he received his education in the public schools of the vicinity and where he spent the earlier part of his life engaged in farming on the home place. At the age of nineteen he decided to come to America to try to better his condition, having heard good reports from his father and other returning countrymen: His father, Bartolomeo Moranda, had come to California about 1869 and was engaged in gardening near Stockton for fourteen years when he returned and resumed farming in Ticino. Hence, Joseph naturally early conceived a strong desire to see the land of gold and sunshine. On leaving Switzerland he came directly to Margin county, but he did not feel satisfied with conditions there. So in January, 1884, he moved to Humboldt county and began work on a dairy farm located on Bear river ridge and known as the Russ ranch. Remaining there only a short time, he was then employed by the Clark brothers on their dairy ranch at Grizzly Bluff. Later deciding to enter the business for himself, he leased a tract of land comprising one hundred and sixty acres on Eel river, known as the Dungan ranch. He purchased his stock and entered earnestly into the dairying business, which he followed for twenty years on the one ranch. He milked as high as one hundred head of cows, and his land being in the extremely fertile section caused by the overflow of Eel river, it was unusually fine for farming. In 1906 he gave up his lease and purchased the ranch which is now the home place in Arcata. In this ranch there arc one hundred and five acres, all highly improved and well adapted to farming and dairying. Here Mr. Moranda is at present engaged in general farming and dairying and owns a fine herd of forty cows. All the improvements and equipment on the ranch are of the finest and most modern, and he has attempted to make his ranch the best in the district. He has built a large residence on this place. In all political matters he has entered with a will, always following the ideas of the Republican party, and is a member of the F. O. E. Be was married in Eureka, October 6, 1892, to Henrietta Hammitt, a native daughter of Humboldt county, having been born at the foot of Table Bluff near what is now Loleta. Mr. and Mrs. Moranda have been blessed with three children, two of whom are now living: Joseph Edward, who died October 5, 1910; Hazel Lucille, and Charles Walter.

Mrs. Moranda's father was Elwood Hammitt, born in Ohio, 1832, and one of California's pioneers, crossing the plains in 1851, in search of the new El Dorado, his method of transportation being the then favorite ox team. He did not succeed in finding the gold he hoped for and hearing of the fields of Alaska he started ont on another hunt for treasure, taking passage on a sailing vessel with seventy five companions, for one of the small islands off the coast of Alaska. Returning to California he entered the mines of Yreka, but in 1854 he went to Oregon, remaining there for a few years. Next he heard of the opportunities of Humboldt county and in 1866 he came here, and engaged in farming until the time of his death, which occurred March 5, 1908. Her mother is Charlotte (Gordon) Hammitt, a native of Missouri, but crossed the plains when nine years of age, with her parents; and is at present living in Loleta. Mr. Moranda is an industrious, progressive farmer and has been very successful. However, he attributes his success, in no small degree, to the assistance of his wife, who has stood nobly by him, encouraging and aiding him in every way by her help and counsel. When he first came to the county he did not have money enough to start in business, so was employed for a few years by others, thus saving enough of his earnings to start for himself. His present financial standing is a silent tribute to his ability both as a business man and successful farmer.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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