Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Obituary

Daily Evening Bulletin
San Francisco, CA
October 28, 1858

Death of a Pioneer. Death has placed his cold hand on the head of another of the pioneers of the Pacific coast, and claimed as his victim one whose name is inseparably connected with the early history of California. Thomas O. Larkin, a wealthy and highly respected citizen of San Francisco, died at his residence on Stockton street, after a brief illness of intermittent fever, at half past nine o'clock last evening. To the family and immediate friends of the deceased, this will prove a sad bereavement.

Mr. Larkin was born in Charlestown, Mass., on the 17th September, 1802, and, consequently, had just entered the 57th year of his age. At the early age of nineteen, he, in company with an acquaintence, left the place of his nativity and sought to make his fortune at Wilmington, North Carolina. While in that State, he held several public offices with credit to himself. Having net with reverses in business, and being in bad health, he returned to Massachusetts in the year 1830. Having an uncle and a half-brother, who, as commanders of vessels sailing out of Boston, had visited and carried on an extensive business with the coast and islands of the Pacific, and being possessed with spirit of adventure, he determined to recruit his health and fortunes on that coast. Accordingly he sailed from Boston in September, 1831, in search of his half-brother, Mr. John B. R. Cooper, who had settled in California. and married in the Vallejo family. He arrived at Sandwich Islands in February, 1832, entered the harbor of San Francisco in April of the same year, and in the same month arrived at Monterey, where he discovered his half-brother.

On settling in Monterey, Mr. Larkin immediately began a commercial career, which was the foundation of his subsequent wealth and influence. He inaugurated an entire new trade on the California coast, in exporting timber, lumber, shingles, flour, potatoes, soap, etc. to the islands and cities of the Pacific. He soon began to exercise a commanding influence with the natives and authorities of California, and in the year 1844 was appointed U.S. Consul for California - the first and last American Consul ever appointed for this country. During the conquest and occupation of California by the American Forces, Mr. Larkin's influence and acquaintence with the country, its inhabitants and resources, was of immense use to the United States Government, and the conspicuous part performed by him was duly acknowledged by the Federal authorities.

Mr. Larkin was married, in the year 18??, on board of an American vessel on the coast of California. The children of this marriage are supposed to be the first born in this country whose father and mother were both natives of the United States.

The funeral of the deceased will take place from Trinity Church, on Saturday at 12 o'clock, and will be attended by the Pioneer Association and several of the military companies of the city. He was a man who took great pride and interest in whatever could add to the improvement of the State of his adoption. The last exhibition of his enthusiam of this kind that we witnessed was on the occasion of the arrival of the first Overland Mail by the Butterfield route, in the short space of 23 days and 23 hours. We remember that, Sunday, as it was, Mr. Larkin could not control his feelings, and immediately suggested and assisted in getting up the call for the great mass meeting which took place the following evening. In the decease of Mr. Larkin, Califoria has net with the loss of an enterprising citizen, whose services could at this time be ill spared.