Biography of William Gessner
Lake County, CA Biographies





GESSNER, WILLIAM. Was born in Bavaria, Germany, October 27, 1821. Here he received a collegiate education, and in September, 1839, set sail for America aboard the "Oceana," which was wrecked near Jamaica, where the crew was detained about one month. They then got relief by the Government, and finally arrived at New Orleans about the 23d of December, 1839. Mr. Gessner went at once to Illinois, where he taught the German language two winters, working in a brick yard in the summer. In the spring of 1842 he engaged as clerk in the hardware store of Charles Wolf & Co., in St. Louis. Here he remained until July, 1844, when he went to New Orleans, where he followed clerking until January, 1845, when he enlisted in the 2d Dragoons of the regular United States service, and was engaged in the war with Mexico, serving through the war. He was discharged January 20, 1850, at Sonoma, Sonoma County, California. Mr. Gessner was engaged for three months in the quartermaster's office at Benicia, after which he went to the mines, and after spending about three months came to Solano County and engaged in farming in Suisun Valley, where he remained until the spring of 1864, when he sold his farm and went via Panama to Pennsylvania, where he remained but a short time. He returned across the plains with horse and mule teams, and arrived in Suisun Valley in August. In October, 1864, he came to Lake County and settled on his present place, consisting of two hundred and forty acres, located at the head of Scotts Valley, where he is now engaged in farming. Mr. Gessner was elected Supervisor in September, 1879, which office he still holds.

From:
History of Napa and Lake Counties, California
Slocum, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1881


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