Biography of John Keys
Marin County, CA Biographies





John Keys. Born in county Fermanagh, Ireland, in 1824. When but seventeen years old, or in 1841, he emigrated from Ireland, settling in St. Louis, Missouri, where he had an uncle residing, and under him was educated in the mercantile trade. In 1849, in company with a Mr. Agnew, he bought a quantity of dry goods, took them to San Francisco, where they were disposed of, and the subject of this memoir went to the mines. There he remained for a time and then returned to San Francisco and established a commission trade. This business he followed till the Spring of 1850, when he moved to Smith's ranch, Bodega township, Sonoma county. Here, in company with Alexander Noble, he put in a crop of potatoes, the first of the kind ever grown in that section. They were raised on the head land known as Bodega Point. After the crop was matured they had to get a vessel to take it to market. A small schooner of about fifteen tons burden was purchased by Mr. Keys. It was called the "Spray." From the circumstances it is presumable that Mr. Keys had, on his way up to Smith's ranch from San Francisco, discovered his future home at Tomales, for, in the Fall of the year, 1850, Smith informed him that parties were about to jump his claim. He therefore, in company with Alexander Noble, sailed from Bodega, entered the Tomales bay, and before the jumping party arrived, had a tent erected on the east bank of the creek which now bears his name. His shanty, built near the same place, was the first building ever erected in Tomales. Tamales owes much to the energy and perseverance of John Keys. Not only was he interested in the welfare of the settlers of the township, fighting with vigour for over fifteen years for their rights (and was successful) against a bogus land grant, but he at once engaged in business, and not only brought goods to this market and sold them, but took the produce of settlers to San Francisco. He disposed of his mercantile trade in 1871, but continued the shipping business till his death, which occurred in August 14, 1873. He married a daughter of James and Mary Miller, February 14, 1860.

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


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION
Marin County, CA
Biographies


Names A to L
Names M to Z

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012