Biography of William B. Bourn
Napa County, CA Biographies





WILLIAM BOWEN BOURN.
William Bowen Bourn, a citizen of a former generation in the Napa valley, whose death occurred in 1874, is still remembered as a man of exceptional business ability, great force of character and high ideals. Though he was a resident of Napa county for but a comparatively brief period, he left the impress of his individuality upon the community. Mr. Bourn was a native of Somerset, Massachusetts, where he was reared and educated. When about thirty five years of age he came to California and at once entered into business affairs, becoming connected with commercial, mining and shipping interests in San Francisco and in New Orleans. He became one of the prominent and influential capitalists of San Francisco and was identified with many commercial and business transactions and enterprises of magnitude. He was recognized as a man of more than ordinary acumen and sagacity, and his counsel was considered invaluable by his business associates. For many years he was active in the real estate and insurance field. In 1872, because of the condition of his wife's health, he bought the Governor Stanley ranch, on the White Sulphur Springs road, near St. Helena, and there erected a large and beautiful stone mansion, the material for which was quarried in Napa county. However, he did not long survive to enjoy his new home, his death occurring two years after his purchase of the place.

Mr. Bourn was married to Miss Sarah E. Chase, who was born and reared in Boston, Massachusetts, and who survived her husband for many years, passing away in 1921. After the death of her husband she carried on the operations of the ranch, on which she made many excellent improvements, including the planting of a good vineyard. To Mr. and Mrs. Bourn were born the following children : William, Mrs. James Tucker, Mrs. Homer Moody, deceased, Mrs. W. A. Hayne, Frank W., who died at the age of twelve years, and Ida. There are also three grandchildren : W. A. Hayne, Jr., Francis B. Hayne and Mrs. Arthur Rose Vincent, a daughter of William Bourn, who is the only son living and who is a capitalist in San Francisco. He was interested heavily in the wine industry of the Napa valley, and he erected the Graystone winery, the first large winery to be established in the valley, as well as the largest. This wine cellar was located one and a half miles north of St. Helena, and Mr. Bourn sold it to Charles Carpy, who sold it to the present owners, the California Wine Association.

From:
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
and Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1926


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