John B. Hewitt was born in County Down, Ireland, May 3, 1852. His parents, Samuel W. P. and Elizabeth Ann (Russell) Hewitt, were both natives of the Emerald Isle. They were farmers and also kept a hotel and store. Mr. Hewitt’s father came to America in 1863. He had a plantation in Florida. From that place he returned to New York, and since that time no trace of him has ever been found. It is supposed that he met with his death in New York city.
The subject of this sketch is the fourth son in a family of eleven children, four of whom are now living. He received his education in his native land, and, at the age of sixteen, came alone to California to seek his fortune. He first worked at College City, Colusa County, and built the first house there in 1872. For a time he worked on farms, and afterward learned the blacksmith trade, at which he worked four years. He was also interested in the windmill manufactory. The mill was his own patent, “The Lone Star.” He sold from 175 to 200 per year. After four years he was burned out and lost heavily. He re-established the windmill business, and in 1882 added to it a foundry, conducting both three years. Then he came to Redding, and built a foundry and machine shop. In 1886 he opened his present business, collecting and abstract work. His system of abstracts is the Dufers system, which is self-correcting. He is part owner of the right, and does a large share of the business in the county.
Mr. Hewitt owns twenty acres of land
near the town, which he has improved and on which he resides. He has planted
a variety of fruit trees and vines, which are just coming into bearing.
In 1872 he married Miss. Susan J. Oliphant, a native of Iowa. They have
eight children, all but the last two born in Colusa County. Their names
are Lillie V., Willington G., Harriet D., William John, Robert Perry, Harman,
Frankie and Frederick. In politics Mr. Hewitt is an Independent.
Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California
The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891 Pages 630-631
Transcribed by: Bonnie Phelan