CARL McKINLEY SWEENY


Carl McKinley Sweeny is accounted one of the most successful business men of Sacramento. During a brief residence in this city he has won splendid prosperity which is an indication of superior business capacity and enterprise, for on his arrival here he had but limited financial resources and to-day is the proprietor of the International Hotel. There is, however, no esoteric phase in his career, his advancement having been gained through a recognition and improvement of opportunity. He has ever realized the fact that the present and not the future is the moment for action, and he has labored consecutively and along safe yet progressive lines until he is numbered among the foremost representatives of business activity in California's capital.

Mr. Sweeny is a western man by birth, training and preference, and the energy and enterprise which have been the dominant factors in the upbuilding of this section of the country are numbered among his salient characteristics. His bieth occurred at Treasure City, Nevada, on the 22d of August, 1869. His father, James W. Sweeny, a native of Ohio, belonged to a family whose ancestral history in America dates back to colonial days. Representatives of the name were soldiers of the American army in the Revolutionary war. The father was a telegraph operator, learning the business in early life, and was also a newspaper writer. Coming to the west, James W. Sweeny attained prominence in journalistic and political circles. He was well known as a leading newspaper writer of Nevada and was correspondent for the San Francisco Bulletin from 1864 until 1868, inclusive. He was at one time a candidate for assemblyman from the Watsonville district of California and on another occasion ran against Senator Jones, of Nevada, for the position of state senator. He married Zaila McKinley, who was born in Ohio and was a representative of an old American family that furnished its representatives to the patriot army in the war for national independence. She was also a relative of President William McKinley. Her father was one of the pioneers who braved the dangers of a trip across the plains in the rush to the Golden state in 1848. He located in Monterey county and the ranch which he secured at that time is now known as the Salinas ranch. He was a very prominent citizen of pioneer times and exercised considerable influence in the early development and progress of the state. Mrs. Sweeny died in 1894 at Port Townsend, Washington, and a son and daughter of the family have also passed away.

Carl McKinley Sweeny acquired his early education in the public schools of Port Townsend, Washington, and also attended the high school there, being graduated with the class of 1890. He then entered upon his business careeer as a bookkeeper in the employ of C. C. Bartlett and Company, merchants of Port Townsend, occupying that position for eighteen months, after which he accepted a position as freight clerk for the Union Pacific company on a line of steamers running between Victoria and Tacoma. That connection was continued for about a year and a half, and at the end of that time Mr. Sweeny was appointed deputy postmaster of Port Townsend, serving during the administration of President Harrison. He resigned at the conclusion of three years, and was then given a deputyship in the office of the auditor of Jefferson county, Washington, serving for about a year and a half. Mr. Sweeny arrived in California in 1898 and after remaining in San Francisco for a few months came to Sacramento, where he has since engaged in the hotel business, becoming the owner of the International Hotel at the corner of Fourth and K streets. He is the owner of considerable property in Sacramento and also in other parts of the state. He has made a splendid business record here, for when he arrived in the city about six years ago he had little capital and no infuential friends to aid him and at that time he worked on the river steamers at manual labor. Since then he has steadily worked his way upward until his financial rating is now twenty thousand dollars.

Mr. Sweeny is, in his political views and adherence, a stanch Republican, and has been active in support of the party both in Washington and in California. His friends are continually seeking to make him a nominee for office, but he has always declined such honors, preferring to do his service for the public in the light of a private citizen. He has, however, been a delegate to various county and state conventions of his party and has considerable influence in its ranks, being regarded as a potent factor in the shaping of its affairs and planning its campaigns. He has, however, been honored with preferment in fraternal circles and has recently retired from the presidency of the local order of Eagles. He has been chosen to represent the Eagles at the next grand lodge to be held in Baltimore. He is also the treasurer of the Knights of the Royal Arch and is a prominent Red Man.

On the 25th of November, 1892, Mr. Sweeny was united in marriage in San Francisco to Miss Alice Tyler, a native of Chico, California, and a daughter of D. M. Tyler, a leading ranchman of that locality, and Marian (Washburn) Tyler. Mrs. Sweeny is a direct lineal descendant of President James Tyler. Mr. Sweeny has formed a wide acquaintance during his residence in Sacramento nd his business capacity has won the admiration of his fellow citizens, while his strong personal traits of character have gained him their friendly regard and consideration. He has won a place in the business world of Sacramento that is indeed enviable and further success undoubtedly awaits him.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine


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