Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


In that numerous group of persons of Swiss birth or descent who have done much for the commercial and industrial development of this section of California, there are few better known nor in more responsible position than Dorillo Morelli, a well established merchant of the thriving village of Davenport, who for the past twenty years has been engaged in the general merchandise business there, thus being known to everyone in that section of the coast country in Santa Cruz county. He is of European birth, but has been a resident of California since the days of his boyhood and thus is thoroughly familiar with local conditions and with the general traditions of this region, a wideawake and enterprising merchant, ever alive to the growing needs of the fine trade area centering in Davenport. He was born on a farm in the canton of Ticino in the republic of Switzerland, April 15, 1872, and is a son of Peter and Candina Morelli, also natives of that country, substantial farming people, who spent all their lives in their native land.

Dorillo Morelli was reared in his homeland, receiving his education in the neighborhood schools, and remained there until he was fifteen years of age when, in 1887, he came to the United States and by prior arrangement joined kinsfolk who had settled in this part of California some time before. He became employed on a dairy ranch in San Diego county and was thus engaged until his marriage thirteen years later when, in 1900, he made his home in Monterey county. There he was connected with dairy interests for a year, at the end of which time he moved to Yellow Bank, Santa Cruz county, and was engaged in dairying there when in 1906 the big plant of the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company of San Francisco was established in Davenport, creating there a quite attractive trade center. Recognizing the opportunity thus created for the development of a profitable commercial enterprise in the new village, Mr. Morelli, in association with Louis Moretti, opened a general store in Davenport and this mercantile partnership has ever since been maintained. Beginning in a small way, this business has expanded with the increasing needs of the trade area it serves, until now the store is one of the well stocked and well established commercial concerns in the county, doing a fine business and serving well the needs of its customers, who are made up largely of the families of the seven hundred employees of the great cement mill.

It was in 1900 that Dorillo Morelli was married, his bride being Miss Florence Sparoline, also a native of the republic of Switzerland, who had come to California in 1900 and who is a daughter of Peter and Mary Sparoline. Mr. and Mrs. Morelli have four children: Candina, Edith, Tillman and Irene, the first named of whom, Miss Candina Morelli, is a valued aid to her father in the management of the store in Davenport. The Morellis are republicans and have ever taken an interested part in the general civic affairs of the village, with the interests of which they have been prominently identified almost from the time of its establishment as a considerable trade center there, up the coast from the city of Santa Cruz.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.