Bio- Sawyers


The subject of this review is the representative of a pioneer family of California, Francisco P. Soares, being the grandson of Antone Soares who came to California in 1849 around Cape horn in a sailing vessel.  He was born in Flores of the Azores Islands, Portugal, October 31, 1872, the son of John and Victoria Soares.  The paternal grandfather on arriving in California worked in the placer mines of Mono County; later he returned to his native land via Panama to Boston, thence across the ocean to Portugal.  When our subject’s father, John Soares, was sixteen years old he went to sea on a whaling vessel and after spending four years on the sea, he stopped at New Bedford, Mass., expecting to meet his father, but upon arriving there found that his father had already returned to Portugal; he then secured employment on a sailing vessel and gradually worked his way back to his home; while at home he was married, but soon left for America leaving his wife in Flores; for a time he was a sailor, plying between Philadelphia and new Orleans, but when the civil War broke out he remained in Boston.  After the close of the war he went to San Francisco and wrote for his wife and family to come to California, but she did not like the account of the Indian ravages and thought California was uncivilized, so remained in Flores with their four children, Mary, Francisco, Joseph, and Emily.  John Soares finally returned to his old home and lived there until he passed away in July, 1921; the mother is still living at the age of eighty-nine.

     Francisco was educated in the schools of Flores and when he reached the age of seventeen he came to America landing at Boston and coming by rail to San Francisco in 1889.  For eleven months he worked as a gardener, then went to the sheep camps in the san Joaquin Valley and was engaged in herding sheep for seven months at $25 per month; then he contracted to work for five years at $30 per month and at the end of the five years he had nothing, his employer having become bankrupt, Mr. Soares receiving but $50.00 for his five years’ work.  He then went to Reno, Nev., and was with P. L. Flannagan, a stockman trading camp, for over seven years.  At the end of this time he was married on February 4, 1903, to Miss Mary Gomez, also born in Flores, a daughter of Joseph and Mary [Peireira] Gomez.  Her parents were farmers.  Mr. Soares remained one year in his old home after his marriage and in February, 1904, he returned to Nevada and again worked for P. L. Flannagan.  But before his wife could join him she passed away in September, 1904, in Flores, and the bereaved husband continued his employment with his former employer and worked for him over five years.  He then went to work for Andrew Franzen, a sheep grower and later went into partnership with Mr. Franzen and Walter Sherlock.  They purchased 2,700 sheep and within three years’ time their flock had increased to 10,000.  In July, 1917, the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Soares sold his interest for $30,000; then removed to Oakland and on December 4, 1917, was married the second time to Miss Anna Peireira, a cousin of his first wife, her father and the first wife’s mother being twins.  She is the daughter of John T. and Mary [Vascousellas] Peireira.  After his marriage Mr. Soares bought fifteen acres on Pomeroy Avenue near Santa Clara, devoted to the raising of prunes, apricots, and cherries.  He has one of the finest orchards in the district.  Mr. And Mrs. Soares are the parents of two children, Victoria Marie and John Francis.  Mr. Soares is a member of the St. Antonnia lodge, and Mrs. Soares of the U.P.P.E.C. in Santa Clara and the S.P.R.S.I. of Hayward.  In politics they are adherents of the Republican party.

Transcribed  by Susan Schooler, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1392