Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies

Frank E. Hook

Submitted by Amy E. Armstrong

Frank E. Hook
A fair degree of success, represented by the acquisition of a ranch in Monterey county, has rewarded the exertions and wise judgment of Frank E. Hook, an influential rancher, owning and operating a tract in the vicinity of Gonzales. It was his good fortune to come to California in boyhood and to grow to manhood in the midst of the scenes not far distant from his present sphere of activity; hence he was enabled to study the soil, climate and environment before taking upon himself the responsibilities of an independent worker. Fortified by habits of industry, integrity and perseverance, he started out to make his own way in agricultural affairs, and since then he has won a position among the large ranchers of his district.

After his father came to the New World, Thomas Garside was brought face to face with the serious side of life, and when he found employment hard to obtain in England he determined to follow his father to the United States, making the voyage in 1843. Landing in New York, he immediately sought work there ans in Buffalo, but meeting with no success in either place he went to Canada and was abundantly rewarded, those with a knowledge of the carpenter's trade being in great demand. On receiving word from his father, then in Cincinnati, that there was plenty of employment to be had in that city, he set out with a companion in February 1844, to walk from Thurle, Canada, to Pittsburg, Pa., the snow at the time being over a foot deep. After a long and wearisome journey father and son were finally reunited and for a time they worked together in Cincinnati, finally, however, going to Iowa, where was the father's ambition to prepare a comfortable home for his family. Instead he succumbed to the exposure and hardships which he had endured, alone and among strangers except for the presence of his son Thomas.

Born in Wisconsin in 1865. Frank E. Hook was a boy of nine years when he accompanied his parents to California and settled in Santa Cruz county, where he received a common school education. At the age of nineteen years he started out to earn his own way and secured employment as a farm hand near Gonzales. In this way he continued to earn wages until 1887, when he began to farm for himself, renting a part of the Gonzales and Windsor ranches. For nine years he cultivated the soil of the Windsor ranch. With the proceeds of his labor he invested in land of his own. During 1902 he bought hundred and thirty acres where he now lives. Previous to this he had taken up one hundred and sixty acres of government land and had purchased three hundred and twenty acres from his mother. In addition he acquired one hundred and sixty acres by purchase from Lee James, and more recently he bought from Bert Faler a tract of ninety acres. Altogether his landed possessions aggregate eleven hundred and sixty acres, a considerable part of which is under cultivation to barley. Beans also are raised in large quantities. The pastures furnish grass for his cattle and horses. Berries of various kinds are raised on the ranch, and oranges, too, are to be found there, the small grove proving what may be accomplished with citrus fruits in this locality. While the climate is not so well adapted to oranges as other parts of the state, the flavor of the product is of unusual sweetness and delicacy.

The marriage of Mr. Hook united him with Miss Mary Allen of Gonzales, and by that union five children were born, namely: Myrtle, Frances, Frank, Thomas and Elizabeth. It has been the aim of the parents to give the children the best advantages their means render possible, and with that object in view they are training them carefully at home and giving them the opportunity to attend the neighboring schools. The family enjoys the esteem of acquaintances throughout Monterey county.