San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

George E Wentworth

Circa 1850
Florence Photographic Gallery
28 3rd St. SF

Among the earliest settlers in San Mateo County we find George E. Wentworth.  Born on 5 Nov 1830 in Laconia NH,  the second son of to John Tuttle Wentworth and Susannah C. Pitman. This influential New Hampshire family, included royal governors and statesmen from before revolutionary times, having arrived in the colonies about 1636. One relative was a signer of the Articles of Confederation and George's Great Grandfather was a selectman, and served in defense of West point during the war. His father had a farm in Belknap county. (1) 

GEW Circa 1860 
George travelled to California at the age of 19 to work as a cattle herder for Miller and LuxHe had settled in San Mateo County by 1856 when he is listed as juror.(2) He worked in the stock raising business on the Dennis Martin Ranch before moving on to butchering for JQA Tilton and then John Hancock in Redwood city.  He can be found in a variety of early land transactions in the county. (3) 

In the early 1860s he purchased interest in the Pioneer Livery stables which were located at the corner of Main and Phelps St. (Middlefield Rd). (4) 

On 24 Jul 1869 George  defeated J. Crowley and RG Sneath in a special election for the office of Supervisor to fill the unexpired term of SH Snyder.  On 1 Sep 1869 he was elected Supervisor from Woodside. (5)

The Illustrated History of San Mateo County
Moore and DePue - 1878
By 1875 he was concentrating on farming and running his tannery, Wentworth & Co., one of three in Redwood City.  According to The Illustrated History of San Mateo County (6) the tannery employed 35 men in 1878. (7)

The Wentworth farm was located about a mile from the current El Camino on the North side of the current Woodside Rd, the area now known as Woodside Plaza. 

Besides serving as a supervisor he was active in the Redwood City Fire dept.  In 1868 he donated the land for the first fire house. (8)  He also served as the first treasurer for the dept, remaining in that position for a number of years.

George died on 27 Jul 1888 in Redwood City. (9)  Among the tributes to his life we find the following which was published in the Times Gazette the next day: 

WHEREAS, Our esteemed comrade, George Wentworth, who had been for years connected with the interests of the Fire Company of this town, and also a charter member of this organization, has passed over the river of time, to join the silent company beyond, and WHEREAS, by his congeniality during life he had endeared himself to all who knew him, and particularly to the little band of Exempt Firemen. Be it

RESOLVED, That by his departure his wife has lost a pleasant and agreeable companion, his family a loving father, the community an active, upright citizen, and this association a congenial comrade.

RESOLVED, That the Exempt Firemen unite in extending to the bereaved wife and family their sympathies and condolences in this, their hour of gloom and despair, and in hoping that the clouds which now shadow them may be dispelled, and the bright sunshine again illuminate their journey through life.

RESOLVED, that these resolutions be engrossed in full on the mission of this association, and a copy be presented to the bereaved family.


J. CHRIST(Marshal), 
J. TURNER, Committee

Sarah Teague Wentworth
circa 1880

Frank Pitman Wentworth
circa 1872
On 23 Apr 1864 George married Sarah Ann Teague (1844-1924) the daughter of Andrew Teague and Permelia Morgan. (10) They had two sons.

Charles Oscar Wentworth
circa 1872

Charles Oscar Wentworth (1865 - 1909) 
 Frank Pitman Wentworth (1867 - 1960) 


George, Sarah and Charles are buried in Union Cemetery in Redwood City.  George's inscription reads: George E Wentworth aged 57 yrs 8 mons & 22 days Native of NH (11)



  1.  Joe Wentworth provided much of the material for this blog posting.
  2.  San Mateo County Court 1856-1871 Minutes p 9 
  3. SMC Land Records Index
    1. Wentworth George 2 Feb 1857 Mort1 262 mortgagor Redwood City  
    2. Wentworth George 10 Jun 1862 D3 303 thru 304 grantee Rancho de las Pulgas
    3. Wentworth George 18 Oct 1862 Mort2 81 thru 82 mortgagee San Gregorio Rancho
    4. Wentworth George 13 Dec 1862 D3 550 grantor Mezesville [RWC]
    5. Wentworth George 19 Jun 1863 D3 549 grantee Mezesville [RWC}
    6. Wentworth George 22 Dec 1863 D4 135 Grantee Redwood City
    7. Wentworth George 23 Jan 1863 Mort2 130 thru 131 mortgagee Mezesville - Redwood City
    8. Wentworth George 16-Aug-1864 D4 328 thru 329 Grantor Vicinity of Union Cemetery 
    9. Wentworth George 10-Apr-1877 P1 581 19-Apr-1877 patent from state of California
    10. Wentworth Geo. 13-Aug-1884 P2 202 20-Sep-1884 patent from state of California
  4.  Richard Schellen's Collection: George 1861 livery stables 1-5 pp 316,320,322-323,327-328
  5.  RSC: 1870 Supervisor 2-39.1 p.46
  6. Moore & DePue's Illustrated History of San Mateo County, California, G.T. Brown & Company, 1878
  7. RSC: 1878 tannery 1-9.1 pp.49,53-55,57-61,63-64,82-83, 86,89,92,112; 1874 Directory Listing 1-17.1 p3 1874; RWC Business 1-30 p168 1873; Assessment book 1-37.2 p63
  8. RSC: 1868 land to Fire Department 1-31.1 pp.18,9  Besides the listings here you will find many other listings in the index to The Richard Schellen's Collection of California Materials for George and his family members.  The Collection is available in the SMCGS Library and the RWC Main library history room.
  9. Find A Grave Maintained by Joe Wentworth - this site is well linked to burials for parents, siblings, children and grandchildren for both George and Sarah.  You can contact Joe by leaving a message on this page.  There are also additional obituaries for George.
  10. San Mateo Times Gazette Index - Teague, Sarah Ann 23 Sep 1864 m. 20-Sep George Wentworth 
  11. Photos by Cath Trindle

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