During the past thirteen years Owen Duffy has satisfactorily filled a most important position as business manager
of the Napa State Hospital, and has gained high prestige because of the able and judicious direction he has given
to the business affairs of that institution. He is a native of the state of Nevada, born on the 15th of November,
1884, and is a son of Philip and Catherine (Maxwell) Duffy. The father was born in Ireland, from which country
he emigrated in 1850, landing at New York city, where he remained for seven years. He then went to Missouri, where
he engaged in farming and at the end of seven years, he again turned his face westward, crossing the plains with
ox teams and arriving in Sacramento in 1865. The following spring he went to Lander county, Nevada, where he engaged
in raising cattle, sheep and horses until 1901, when he sold his extensive holdings in that state and bought the
John W. Grigsby ranch, on the Big Ranch road, on which he located and named it the Nevada Rancho. There he spent
the remainder of his days, his death occurring August 24, 1917. He is still survived by his wife.
Owen Duffy was educated in the public schools and took a course in a business college. As his father's assistant
on the home ranch he learned the lessons which have since been so valuable to him in his operation of the state
hospital farm. He remained under the parental roof until July 1, 1913, when he was appointed to his present position
and has since devoted himself indefatigably to the work of his department. He has developed and improved the hospital
farms and has so managed the property that they now return a considerable profit to the state, besides producing
all the vegetables, fruit, grain and other growing stuff that the hospital requires, as well as dairy products.
This means much to a great institution like this and Mr. Duffy has been strongly commended for the splendid results
which he has attained here.
In a history of Napa State Hospital it was said: "In the year 1913 Owen Duffy was appointed steward of Napa
State Hospital. Some time later the legislature changed the title of the office to business manager. This did not
materially change the duties of the office. It simply extended and broadened them and made for the greater efficiency
of the various departments placed in that official's keeping. An expert in the handling of livestock, experienced
in all kinds of farming, a splendid executive with the happy faculty of enlisting the enthusiasm of those under
him in their work, Mr. Duffy has made an ideal business manager. He has not only discharged with great acceptance
the duties of steward or business manager of Napa State Hospital, but he some years ago became superintendent of
Napa State Farm (formerly Fry ranch bought by the state in 1911), and has made that a money saver in the matter
of furnishing beef, mutton and pork to the Napa State Hospital, the Veterans Home at Yountville, the Sonoma State
Home and San Quentin Prison in competition with outside firms and at a profit for the state. Napa State Hospital
Farm consists of 1,912 acres, much of the land having been reclaimed the last few years. The orchard interests
have under Mr. Duffy's direction, been extended and within a short time Napa State Hospital will have enough fruit
of all varieties for its own population of twenty eight hundred and more people, and it will be able to supply
other institutions, with the best the market affords along those lines."
Mr. Duffy married Miss Nellie Strohl, who was born in Texas, but was reared in Napa county. They are the parents
of two children, Owen and Philip. Politically, Mr. Duffy is a stanch adherent of the republican party, and has
always taken a commendable interest in public affairs, particularly such questions as affect the welfare and prosperity
of his own community. Fraternally he is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is a third degree
member of the Knights of Columbus. He is a man of great energy and indomitable persistence, thoroughly understands
his work and has proven himself eminently the right man for the place he is filling. He is friendly and genial
and has won a host of warm friends throughout this locality.
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Napa County, CA
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