John Thompson Gamble, who is well known in Napa and the surrounding country as a man of business activity and energy, is a native of Waterford, Ireland, his birth having occurred there on the 26th of May, 1845. His parents, George and Susan (Thompson) Gamble, were also natives of the Emerald Isle, where their ancestors had resided through many generations. George Gamble, however, determined to sever the business relations that bound him to that country and seek a home and fortune in America, believing that he might have better opportunities in the new world, where competition was less and advantages were greater. Accordingly he made preparation for coming to the new world, and with his family started for the United States in 1845, when his son John T. was only three months old. There were six children in the family, namely: Jane, Richard and Thomas, all of whom are now deceased; William, who is a resident of Solano county, California; Susan, has also passed away; and John Thompson, of this review. After the arrival of the family in America they made their way across the country to Beloit Wisconsin, and it was there that Essie, the youngest daughter of the family, was born.

John T. Gamble spent his early youth in Beloit, Wisconsin, and at the usual age entered the public schools, there pursuing his studies until he reached the age of fifteen. The following year, in December, he came to California and has since been a resident of this state. He worked for three months on the levees in the employ of Morse & Butterick, and on the expiration of that period went to Sacramento, where he secured employment in the feed store owned by W. H. Pierce, with whom he remained for four and a half. He then drove a team over the mountains from Sacramento to Austin City, Virginia City and Carson, Nevada, following teaming for four years at a time when that occupation was quite a profitable one in this section of the country. In this connection he was actively associated with the material improvement of the community. In 1865 he hauled the first load of bricks out of Sacramento to the old Arcade House, a distance of five or six miles, these bricks to be used in building a culvert. In 1867 he returned by steamer to the east, eventually reaching his old home at Beloit, Wisconsin, and short distance from the city he engaged in farming. Later he removed to Minnesota and afterward returned to Fond du Lac, Wisconson, where he remained until 1873. He then again came to California, settling at this time at Elmira, Solano county. In the community he became a recognized factor as a public official, being elected constable of Elmira in 1874. He served in that office for two years, and then in 1876 was elected roadmaster and was continued in that position for four consecutive years, proving a capable and reliable official. Removing to Dixon, Solano county, he was there engaged in the livery business for two years, after which he sold the establishment to his partner, John Lyons, who is now in Vacaville. Mr. Gamble then returned to Elmira and has since been a prosperous well-boring contractor, horseman and auctioneer. He does a good business in each line and is known for his energy and reliable qualities, which always insure at least a fair measure of success. He made Napa his home in 1891, being there engaged for a time in the livery business.

On the 6th of June, 1869, in Beloit, Wisconsin, Mr. Gamble was united in marriage to Miss Jennie McDowell, of Ohio, and they have two children: Clara, who is now the wife of F. S. Parker, a liveryman of Napa, and has two children, Stanley and Edna; and Irving J. Gamble, who is foreman of the stables connected with the state asylum for the insame at Napa. In his political affairs Mr. Gamble is an earnest and inflexible Democrat, believing strongly in the principles of the party and never faltering in his allegiance thereto. He keeps well informed upon political questions, being recognized as a stalwart champion of the Democracy. He came to California a young man without capital, save that of determination, resolute purpose and industry, and the success he has achieved may all be attributed to his possession of these qualities.

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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