George David Secord is filling the position of constable at Napa and in the discharge of his duties displays faithfulness, capability and marked devotion to the general good. He was born in Auburn, Placer county, California, on the 16th of August, 1856, and is a son of Luke Edward and Mary Ann (Julian) Secord, the former a native of Canada and the latter of Illinois. In the paternal line he is of French lineage and on the maternal side is of English descent. Mr. L. E. Secord on coming to California first settled on Mormon Island in Eldorado county, and his wife made the trip with an emigrant train, crossing the plains to Freeport, a town below Sacramento. Luke E. Secord devoted his attention to mining for three or four years, following that pursuit until about 1851 or 1852. He was after for eight years engaged in the hotel business at Auburn, Placer county; he engaged in mining in the Auburn ravine and also became foreman on the Donner Lake road. His next place of residence was at Dutch Flat in Placer county, where he lived in 1861-2. He afterward engaged in teaming from Sacramento, California, to Virginia City, Nevada, and subsequently was in the employ of Towl brothers Lumber Company until his removal to napa in 1878. After some time spent in this city he left here and opened a wholesale liquor business, which he was conducting when he was stricken with paralysis. His son and daughters then brought him home to Napa, where he died on the 5th of April, 1903. His widow is still living in Oakland, California, making her home with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Viola Bannister.
George D. Secord acquired his early education at Dutch Flat in Placer county, California, attending the public schools between the ages of eight and fifteen years. He then ran away from home, desiring to make his own living, and entering the employ of Towl Brothers, worked in their lumber mills for three years, receiving fifty dollars per month in addition to his board and lodging. Saving his earnings he purchased a four-horse team and a wagon and then engaged in hauling railroad wood for the company. That he displayed spendid business foresight and capable management for one so young is shown by the fact that when he was twenty years of age he had a capital of four thousand dollars in the bank. His father induced him to give him the money for investment, however, and it was all lost in mining speculation. At length, Mr. Secord sold his team and accepted a position as fireman on the railroad, following that calling for three years. On the expiration of that period he became a clerk in the hotel in the Putnam House at Auburn, California, and he spent three years in a similar position at the Palace Hotel at Napa, and one year at the Napa Hotel at this place. When the electrical works were first established in Napa he devoted one year to the task of wiring the city and was made foreman of the plant in 1890.
Almost continuously since that time Mr. Secord has been in public office. In the fall of 1890 he was nominated for the position of constable and being elected served for a term covering the years 1891-2. In the fall of 1892 he was renominated and re-elected, and in 1894 was again chosen for a two years' term. Then after an intermission of two years he was again elected in 1898, and his present term will cover the period from 1902 to 1906. He has important public service to perform in this connection, and he discharges his duties without fear or favor and his loyalty to the public welfare is certainly indicated in unmistakable manner by his long retention in office.
On the 6th of May, 1891, Mr. Secord was united in marriage to Miss Winnie Scott, a native of Scotland and a daughter of J. C. Scott, a pioneer stationer of San Francisco. They have three daughters, Vivian, Velma and Viola, all of whom are attending school in Napa. Mr. Secord is well known in fraternal and social circles and is a popular representative of various organizations. He belongs to the Fraternal Eagles, No. 161, of which he is a past president; to the United Order of Working Men; to Napa Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, of which he is a vice president; the Improved Order of Red Men; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; the Foresters of America; and the Circle of Pocahontas. He is also a member of the Eagle Cycle Club of Napa and belongs to the hook and ladder fire company of the town. All matters pertaining to the welfare of his city and its substantial upbuilding elicit his attention and oftentimes receive his hearty co-operation. His various business and official duties have brought him a wide acquaintance, and his personal traits of character have gained him the warm friendship of many with whom he has been associated.
Mr. Burris' remains were interred in the family vault at Cypress Lawn cemetery, San Mateo county.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume I
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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