Biography of Harry L. Gunn
Napa County, CA Biographies





HARRY LAWRENCE GUNN.
Harry Lawrence Gunn, who has devoted his attention to horticultural pursuits since retiring from public office after almost a quarter century of service in that connection, has lived in California during the past fifty six years and has long been numbered among the leading and most highly esteemed citizens of Napa county. His birth occurred at Point Douglass, Minnesota, on the 5th of July, 1850, his parents being Smith R. and Martha Jane (Innis) Gunn, the former born near Terre Haute, Indiana, on March 10, 1829, and the latter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1826. Smith R. Gunn came of English ancestry in the paternal line and was of Scotch lineage on the maternal side. His brother held a position on the staff of General William S. Rosecrans during the period of the Civil war.

Harry Lawrence Gunn received his early education as a public school pupil of Minnesota and of Wisconsin and was a young man of nineteen years when he came to California, here continuing his studies in a preparatory institution. During the first four years of his residence in the Golden state, from 1869 until 1873, he lived in Santa Clara, whence he removed to San Jose, where he entered the College of the Pacific, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy in 1877. Three years later the same institution conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. Having received a first grade state certificate, Mr. Gunn was a public school instructor at West Point, California, from 1877 until 1878 and in the latter year removed to Napa. He organized the commercial department of Napa College and taught therein for sixteen years, also holding the position of financial secretary for twelve years. For a period of fifteen years he occupied the presidency of the Napa Business College which he organized in 1893.

It was in 1894 that Mr. Gunn accepted a position as chief deputy in the office of the county clerk of Napa county, thus serving for eight years. At the end of that time, in 1902, he was chosen county auditor and recorder, in which capacity he continued for sixteen years or until 1918, proving eminently qualified for the intricate and complex duties which devolved upon him. He was made vice president of the State Association of County Recorders for three two year terms. For the past seven years Mr. Gunn has been engaged in fruit raising with excellent success. His holdings include city real estate as well as country property.

On the 16th of June, 1880, in Watsonville, California, Mr. Gunn was married to Della L. Ercanbrack, a native of that place. Her parents, both of whom were born in New York city and are now deceased, were of German and English descent, respectively. Mrs. Gunn is a member of Mennetonkah Council, D. of P., the Improved Order of Red Men and Napa Grange of. the Patrons of Husbandry. By her marriage she has become the mother of five children, as follows: Roy C., who wedded Alice Smiley and resides in Whittier; Pearl, living in Napa; H. Laverne, who married Edna Hinrich and makes his home in Artois, California; Elbert E., also a resident of Artois, this state; and Harold S., who married Louise Gillies and lives in Bakersfield.

Politically Mr. Gunn is a staunch republican. His military record covers service as a member of the National Guard of California from 1894 until 1907. He held the commission of first lieutenant for over eight years and still has that rank, being one of two of all the members of Company H who have been honored with a place on the retired list. During his busy life he has found time to identify himself with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks; the Loyal Order of Moose, in which he served as dictator for one year and also held several minor offices; and Napa Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, of which he was master for three years and treasurer for six years besides holding other offices of a minor character. His religious faith is that of the Methodist church and his life has been an upright and honorable one in every relation.

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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