Biography of Felix Salmina
Napa County, CA Biographies





FELIX SALMINA
The life of Felix Salmina, well known vineyardist and wine maker of St. Helena, has been characterized by industry, honesty and steadfastness of purpose, and he has won a high place in popular esteem. His mature years have been closely interwoven with the material growth and development of the northern part of Napa county, and his career as a progressive man of affairs has been synonymous with all that is honorable and upright in citizenship.

Mr. Salmina was born in Switzerland on the 28th of January, 1861, and he was there reared and educated. In 1880, at the age of nineteen years, he immigrated to California, joining his uncle, J. Baptist Salmina, at St. Helena, with whom he became associated in the ownership and operation of the William Tell Hotel. They were successful in that enterprise and ran the place until 1893, when they engaged in the making of wine, in which they also prospered. The uncle died June 3, 1908, and Felix Salmina then continued the business in partnership with the uncle's widow, under the firm name of F. Salmina & Company. They own one hundred and sixty five acres of vineyard, and the ranch, which is called "Larkmead," is located about five miles north of St. Helena. Many fine improvements have from time to time been made on the place, including the construction, in 1906, of a stone wine cellar, one hundred by one hundred and twenty feet in size, while in 1908 they built a fermenting room, eighty by one hundred feet in size. At one time they shipped from six thousand to seven thousand barrels of wine annually, and their products were of a quality that commanded a ready sale.

Mr. Salmina has devoted himself indefatigably to the interests of the business and has been rewarded with a very gratifying measure of success. He is a member of the Napa County Farm Bureau and is deeply interested in everything pertaining to the prosperity and welfare of the people of his community along material, civic or moral lines. He is a quiet and unassuming man, but because of his industry, ability, success and fine character he has gained a high place in the esteem of all who have come in contact with him. In 1893 Mr. Salmina was married to Miss Theresa Borla, also a native of Switzerland, and they are the parents of three children: Felix W., Elmo J. and Mrs. Regina Arntzen.

J. Baptist Salmina was born December 8, 1835, in Canton Ticino, Switzerland, and he immigrated to the United States in 1858, making the journey by sailing vessel. He landed at San Francisco and came at once to the Napa valley, where he established a dairy farm. In 1878 he bought the William Tell Hotel in St. Helena, which he ran until 1893, when he entered into a partnership with Felix Salmina in the wine making business, in which he was engaged up to the time of his death, as noted above. He was a man of unusaul qualities of character, possessing excellent business judgment and a kindly disposition, and he made many friends throughout the community, where he was well and favorably known.

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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