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Vallejo's Annie Lizzie Gill was a pioneer activist
As I start this series of columns, I have absolutely no idea on how many installments it will take to finish the story of a remarkable lady that lived in Vallejo, Annie Lizzie Gill who was born in 1863 on a farm outside the town of Oblong, Ill. Her story is a wonderful cavalcade of events and personal anecdotes before arriving in Vallejo in 1918, but since this is a local history column, I'll stick mostly to her life here in Solano County.
Annie Lizzie Gill: A pioneer in every sense
In my last column, we left off with Annie Lizzie Gill's husband, Newton, dying on Jan. 22, 1924, by a fall. Then her youngest son, Homer, left home to see the world by working on ships, leaving just her and No. 1 son, Howard, to carry on with the future.
Making a life in Vallejo wasn't easy for the Gills
When I started this story two weeks ago I made a whopper of a mistake when I said, "Annie wasn't very generous with dates in her book," but it appears she and her husband Howard left Florida by train in the winter of 1918. If I was a politician I guess I could say I "misspoke" but truth is always better.
Starting an orchard barely panned out for Gills
In my last column, the Home Acres Improvement Association failed to get the teacher promised by the Vallejo School Board even though they had obtained a building for a school.
Adam Willis was a 'pioneer of pioneers'
'Strength, perseverance and courage describe the life of one of Solano County's earliest African-American pioneers, Adam Willis. In the antebellum era - the period before the Civil War - success for African-Americans was extremely rare and limited. Adam Willis was one of these success stories and his story has its roots in Solano County.
California's pioneer women first recognized in 1900
This is the final installation in my series based on the recollections of pioneer women who arrived in California in the late 1840s. The San Francisco Chronicle gathered their histories and published them on Sept. 9, 1900, in commemoration of California's 50th anniversary.
Thompson and West - Pg. 33 - Pioneer Brewery - Vallejo, CA
The Sperry Pioneers
The Sperry Division of General Mills in South Vallejo is undoubtedly Vallejo's oldest non-governmental enterprise, and is one of the larger private employers in Solano County (others, Yuba Manufacturing, Nut Tree, Gibson Publications). Today's story is a fascinating tale beginning with the gold rush, but Vallejo enters the picture in 1869.
Disasters follow pioneer family
My last column talked about the experiences of Luzena Stanley Wilson and Mason Wilson in Sacramento during the winter of 1849-1850. The information is based on Luzena's memoirs and the research by Fern Henry in her new book "My Checkered Life: Luzena Stanley Wilson in Early California."
Fires and family life at the Water Works
Some of the most interesting local history comes from the people who lived it. Last year, during the Solano County Historical Society's Pioneer Days Celebration, I was very fortunate to meet Betty Davis who lives in Fairfield. While we were talking, she asked me if I would be interested in a family history that was written by her mother, Edith Lucille Venning.
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