Biography of James Tunstead
Marin County, CA Biographies





James Tunstead. The subject of this sketch is the son of Thomas and Deborah Tunstead, and was born in county Carlow, Ireland, January 18, 1842. In the Spring of 1849 he accompanied his parents to America, and with them settled in Newark, New Jersey, where he attended school. There he resided until the year 1856, when he shipped before the mast on board the ship "Robin Hood," Captain, M. Ginley, following a sailor's life until March 21, 1861, the date on which he left for California on board the clipper ship "Galatea," and arrived in San Francisco August 10th of that year. Mr. Tunstead early showed that determination of character which, in after life, has stood him in such good stead; he lost no time but at once commenced teaming in San Francisco, and the better to increase his stock of knowledge he was a regular attendant at the night schools. In that city he sojourned until 1862, the time of the gold excitement in Cariboo, whither he went and engaged in prospecting and mining, enduring many hardships until obliged to work his passage back to San Francisco in the steamer "Hermann," in the Fall of that year. Once more in San Francisco, Mr. Tunstead reverted to his old oceupation of teaming, being successively employed by Mr. Martin and Horace Davis, of the Golden Gate Flouring Mill, with whom he remained until coming to Margin county in October, 1866. At this period he served in the McMahon and National Guards of the State Militia. On his arrival in Margin, he rented a farm from James Black, on the Pacheco Rancho, and there pursued his farming operations until September, 1875, when he was nominated for the office of County Sheriff on the Independent ticket, and was elected by the handsome majority of two hundred votes. He was nominated for a second term in 1877, on this occasion on the Democratic ticket, and being again elected, held the office until March, 1880. He did not accept renomination. It is no fulsome flattery so say that few more able, keen sighted or efficient officers have ever been found on the roll of officials, while a more popular citizen does not exist than James Tunstead.

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


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