Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


To none of its adopted citizens does Watsonville owe a greater debt of gratitude than to the natives of Dalmatia, who have brought to the upbuilding of its commercial interests the physical and mental vigor characteristic of their race. Of this type is Peter N. Zar, who has depended upon his own resources from an early age, hewing his way through a forest of difficulties, and he is now numbered among the successful young business men of Watsonville. He was born in Austria. June 7, 1900, and was reared on a farm, on which were produced olives, grapes and other varieties of fruit, while a portion of the land was devoted to the growing of grain and vegetables.

In 1914, when a boy of fourteen, Mr. Zar severed home ties and sailed for America, making the voyage in the last steamer to cross the Atlantic before the ocean was closed to travel owing to the exigencies of the World war. He reached Watsonville on August 10, 1914, with a cash capital of eleven dollars, and his knowledge of the English language was limited to a few words. Realizing the value of a good education, he at once enrolled as a student in the public schools and is now thoroughly conversant with the language of his adopted country. After school hours and during vacation periods he worked for his uncles, who were large packers and shippers of fruit. He saved as much as possible from his earnings, and when he had accumulated the sum of four hundred dollars purchased an interest in the business, in which he was admitted to a partnership. In January, 1924, he withdrew from the packing industry and embarked in the grocery business, buying the interest of the senior member of the firm of Borsovic & Tovaraz. The business is located at No. 22 Peck street and is now operated under the style of Zar & Tovaraz. They carry a fine stock of groceries, and their enterprising methods and high standard of commercial ethics have resulted in the rapid growth of their trade.

Mr. Zar reserves all of his energy for the conduct of the business, which occupies the first place in his life, and the Austrian-American Society is the only organization with which he is connected. However, he never neglects the duties of citizenship and loyally supports every measure destined to prove of benefit to his community. Earnest of purpose, capable and energetic, he has accomplished much for one of his years and possesses many commendable traits of character, as his fellow citizens attest.

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.