Francis De Long

Novato Township, page 439

Francis De Long, whose portrait will be found in the body of this work, was born in the town of Cornwall, Addison County, Vermont, January 10, 1808, and is the son of Aaron and Sylvia Bingham De Long. He remained in his native town until he was seventeen years of age, at which time he went to the adjoining town of Shoreham for the purpose of learning the tanner's and shoemaker's trade. He returned to Cornwall at the end of two years, and remained there until he was twenty -one years old. He then went to another neighboring town, Bridport, and, in partnership with Ahira Scovel, began the business of tanning leather and working it up into stock. He remained here for six years. In the Fall of 1836 he started for Illinois, but his wife falling ill, they stopped at Lockport, New York, where he finally concluded to locate. He at once engaged in his business, and remained for fourteen years. May 1, 1850, he sailed for California, coming via the Isthmus, and arrived in San Francisco July loth of that year. He at once engaged in the grocery business in company with his brother, James De Long, and Wm. McNeil, under the firm name of De Long, McNeil & Co. In May, 1851, they were burned out; soon after the same parties, under the same firm name, engaged in the hardware business and continued until May, 1857. His brother James, however, returned home and died in 1853. In November, 1856, in company with Joseph B. Sweetser, he purchased the Novato ranch, where ho has ever since been located. This partnership continued to exist until January 1, 1879, when Mr. De Long, by the purchase of Mr. Sweetser's interest, became the sole owner of the tract. It now contains fifteen thousand acres. On this place there is the most extensive orchard in this State, and probably in the United States; a full description of which will be found in the body of this work. He is a genial gentleman, and although seventy -two years of age, is hale and hearty, and as full of business and energy as he was at thirty. He married Miss Eliza Gale, a native of Addison County, Vermont, January 28, 1830. She died in Bridport, Vermont, October 7, 1834, leaving one daughter, Mary Eliza, born June 21, 1831, who died in Lockport, New York, May 17, 1847. He was married a second time to Mrs. Esther Sampson, a native of Vermont, September 22, 1835. She died October 5, 1836, at Lockport, New York. He was married a third time to Miss Dorcas A. Coye, a native of Homer, Cortland County, New York, August 24, 1842. She died October 12, 1847, at Lock- port, New York. She left one child, Frank Coye, born October 10, 1843, who is presently engaged with his father in the management of the Novato ranch.

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