Biography of A. W. Sefton
Ukiah Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





A. W. Sefton. Was born at Norwalk, Ohio, on the 16th day of November, 1839. When six years of age he removed with his parents to Ashland county, where he remained until his twelfth year, at which time, having become seized with a desire to see something of the world, he suddenly left his home, without money or clothing other than that which he had on, and made his way to Michigan, where he remained for one year working in the woods. He then returned to Ohio, and apprenticed himself to the printing business, serving four and a half years in the office of the Ashland Union, and graduated with a fair knowledge of the "art preservative." The next four years were spent at working at the case in various cities along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, principally at Cincinnati and St. Louis. In the spring of 1860, with a partner, he established a paper at Montgomery City, Missouri, called the Pioneer Gazette, supporting John C. Breckinridge, for the Presidency. Although an ultra Democrat, he was opposed .to the secession movement, and shortly after the attack upon Fort Sumpter, was forced to quit his home. He then drifted to Chicago, where he soon after entered the army, enlisting in the eighth Illinois Cavalry Regiment. He served with his regiment in the Army of the Potomac until the battle of Antietam, in 1862, when he was disabled from further field duty, and was placed on detached service. In 1864, just before the close of the war, he was married to Miss Elenor P. Hall, at Brooklyn, New York, and shortly after quit the service, returning to his old business. From that time until 1871 he held the position of foreman in several large daily newspaper offices in the West and East, when he suddenly, in consequence of sickness in his family, determined to remove to California, which he did in the fall of that year. He located on this coast at Santa Barbara, taking charge of the Press as foreman. In July, 1872, he commenced the publication of the Santa Barbara Index, advocating the claims of Greeley. Being offered the position of business manager of the Press, the following year, he disposed of his interest in the Index, and took charge of the former, where he remained until the election of Irwin, in 1875, when he removed to Sacramento, taking charge of the job department of the State Printing Office, which position he held until the change in the State administration in January, 1880. In that month he made his first trip into Mendocino county, for the purpose of looking up a field in which to engage in the newspaper business. At that time, negotiations were opened for the purchase, in connection with Mr. H. A. Peabody, of one of the Democratic papers published in Ukiah, which culminated in securing the Democratic Weekly Dispatch, the new firm taking possession on the 10th of April, 1880. He is the father of eight children, all boys, five of whom are still alive.

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


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