Biography of Domingo Zanone
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





DOMINGO ZANONE. - When a young man Domingo Zanone, whose name became well known among the cattlemen of Humboldt county, Cal., came to the western hemisphere from his home in Italy, where he was born in Genoa on March 9, 1828, his father already having spent several years in America. On first coming to the United States, Domingo Zanone remained for a time in Pittsburg, Pa., where he was employed in an iron foundry, after which, in October of the year 1849, he set out for California from New York City, with no expectation of the roundabout journey which was before him. Although it was his intention to come by way of the Isthmus of Panama, his course of necessity followed a different line, the trip consuming a period of eighteen months. The vessel upon which he set sail was obliged to stop at Rio deb Janeiro, in South America, to repair a leak, and as the yellow fever was at that time prevalent in that city, their passage money was returned to the passengers, many of whom, among them being Mr. Zanone, secured passage on a steamer bound for Buenos Ayres, from which city they thereafter crossed the pampas plains and Andes Mountains to Valparaiso, in Chile, a journey which covered forty days, after which they embarked for San Francisco, arriving there on the first day of June, 1850.

After his arrival in California, Mr. Zanone for seven years followed mining on the Feather river, he and his brother Anthony working in partnership. They dammed the river to engage in hydraulic mining, but lost $17,000 in the enterprise, which bankrupted them. Remaining in the mining district after his first failure, Mr. Zanone by faithful endeavor accumulated considerable money, which, however, he also lost in unwise investments. He then put about $10,000 into a cattle ranch on Dry creek, in Butte county, Cal., which he stocked with cattle, and remained in that section of the country until the year 1865, when with his brother he came up to Humboldt county and established himself in the stock business in the Mattole valley. From the first the business was very promising, and Domingo Zanone was the first man to drive cattle south from this territory, taking the first drove of beef cattle that ever left the Mattole country down to Santa Rosa. Later he made shipments by boat to San Francisco and sold large consignments to that market, where his large operations and reliable transactions made him well and favorably known. His energy and wideawake methods kept his business constantly on the increase, and he continued to be associated with his brother until the middle seventies, their partnership at that time being dissolved. It was then that Domingo Zanone returned on a visit to Italy, where he married, coming again thereafter to the Mattole country in California to resume business, becoming well known all over the western part of Humboldt county as a cattle raiser, dealer and shipper, and retaining large interests in the stock business until the end of his days. At one time he was part owner of the old steamship Ferndale, which was employed in the shipment of cattle from Port Kenyon on Salt river to the San Francisco markets, and besides being the owner of hundreds of acres of property in Humboldt county, was also a director in the old Humboldt Bank and of the woolen mills; and the trusted associate and friend of many of the best known business men in that section of the state. The ranch which he purchased near Petrolia in Humboldt county and to which he from time to time made additions now comprises an area of fifty two hundred acres of grazing and tillable lands whereon are raised hay and vegetables for the feeding of stock, Mr. Zanone having been the Owner of a thousand head of cattle on the estate. Aside from his Petrolia property, he owned five other ranches, all of which, since his death, are leased to others by his wife and comprise two eighty acre ranches in the Eel river valley, two dairy ranches in the Elk river valley, and four hundred twenty acres at Colma, near Redwood City in San Mateo county. He was also the owner of a business block and residence at Eureka, Cal., where his family home is located, a most attractive residence with grounds covering three acres at the corner of Sixteenth and G streets, occupied by his widow and family.

The wife of Domingo Zanone, formerly Miss Magdalena Ghio, of Genoa, Italy, where their marriage was celebrated on September 18, 1874, is an excellent business woman, possessed of fine executive ability, and an earnest member of the Catholic Church, and since her marriage has never returned to her native land. Of her family of seven children, six are now living, their names being as follows: Magdalena ; Mercedes, now the wife of Frank Shanahan, a rancher of Eureka; Augusta and Eugenia, who make their home with their mother at Eureka; Domingo Anthony, represented elsewhere in this volume, and Ernest 3., both of whom are cattle raisers in Petrolia. At the time of his death, which occurred at his home in Eureka on December 16, 1901, Mr. Zanone was known as one of the wealthiest citizens of the county, an ardent Democrat in his political convictions, and a man who gave of his time and means to the advancement of the interests of his party, taking an active part in its councils, and for eleven years having acted as a member of the county central committee. In Humboldt county, where he for so many years made his home, Domingo Zanone will long be remembered as one who left a fine record for industry, sincerity and the respect and confidence which he inspired in all who knew him, and few who have come to our country from foreign shores have left a more enduring impress on the affairs of our western coast than has Domingo Zanone.

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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