Biography of Warren Dutton
Marin County, CA Biographies





Warren Dutton. This well known and respected citizen of Marin county, whose portrait appears in this volume, is a native of Canada, he having been born one and a half miles from the New York State line, during the temporary residence of his parents in the District of St. Annard, Lower Canada, on October 10, 1823. His father and mother were both of English descent; the former is a native of New Hampshire and the latter of Vermont. The subject of our sketch, the eldest of eight children, emigrated from Washington county, New York, with his parents, to Ohio in the year 1836. Here he left his parental roof to try his fortune among strangers, without the assistance of money or friends, at the tender age of fourteen years. After looking around him for a little while, he settled in the employ of a Quaker merchant in Massillon, Stark county, Ohio, named R. H. Folzer, to whom, and his wife, he gave great satisfaction, and from whom he received much good counsel, the germs of which have ever remained with him through life. In 1842 Mr. Dutton went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked as a clerk until 1845, at which time he purchased a stock of goods of his employer, James Patrick, and with letters of credit to New York, replenished the old stock, all without any capital in money, and proceeded to Goshen, Elkhart county, Indiana. In 1849 a contagious fever, known as the California type, visited that then Western country, which fastened upon Mr. Dutton with unrelenting grasp, the consequence of which was that he forthwith disposed of his business to one Samuel T. Clymer. He at once set out for New York, and there, in company with forty one others, purchased the brig "Sarah McFarland," loaded her with merchandise, and sailed, January 31, 1849, for California, around Cape Horn, and arrived in San Francisco August 1st of the same year, after a pleasant voyage. After passing two years of very hard labor in the mines, Mr. Dutton went to Tomales to visit a friend named Thomas Garrett, who lived on the place now known as the Granlee farm, where he arrived August 20, 1852. At this time potatoes were worth from ten to fourteen cents per pound. With this before him and the adaptability of the soil for the production of these roots, Mr. Dutton determined to try his hand at ranching. He therefore purchased some Spanish oxen, and after a hard year's toil, living on the flesh of elk, deer and antelope (which roamed about in thousands) and flapjacks, which all bachelors knew well how to prepare, a fine crop of potatoes was produced. When the cash account for that year was balanced, a deficit of two thousand dollars was found, which account was, however, afterwards balanced by a charge of two thousand dollars to experience. In June, 1854, he started a store in connection with John Keys, and afterwards a post office, that he called Tomales, from which the town took its name. At the end of three years and a half he dissolved partnership with Keys. In 1861 started business on his own account, and sold out in 1874. Br. Dutton has been elected from the Third Congressignal District, composed of twenty one counties. Is a member of, the State Board of Equalization. While in his own county he has on several occasions held office, to the benefit of his own neighborhood. Mr. Dutton retains his residence upon his old homestead, and which he proposes to do for the term of his natural life.

From:
History of Marin County, California
Alley, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1880


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