Benicia in Solano County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Founders of Benicia
Erected 1936 by The Historic Landmarks Committee, Native Sons of the Golden West, September 13, 1936.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Government & Politics • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West series list.
Location. 38° 3.008′ N, 122° 9.54′ W. Marker is in Benicia, California, in Solano County. Marker is located Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 115 West G Street, Benicia CA 94510, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Robert Semple (here, next to this marker); Old State Capitol (here, next to this marker); Antonio M. De LaGuerra 1825 – ‘81 (here, next to this marker); Fischer-Hanlon House (a few steps from this marker); The Bohn Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Solano Hotel (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Peregrine Landing Ark & Stables (about 800 feet away); Saint Paul's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Benicia.
Regarding Founders of Benicia. Also see all Benicia "Nearby Markers" for additional information.
Also see . . .
1. General Mariano Vallejo. The Museum of the City of San Francisco webite entry (Submitted on February 22, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
2. Thomas Larken. Benicia Historical Museum website entry (Submitted on February 22, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
3. Robert Semple. Benicia Historical Museum website entry (Submitted on February 22, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
4. Francisca Benicia Vallejo. Benicia Historical Museum website entry (Submitted on February 22, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
5. Benicia Historical Museum. Website homepage (Submitted on June 18, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
1. Robert Semple
The City of Benicia was founded in 1847 by Robert Semple, the towering giant of a man (six feet eight to seven feet tall by various accounts) who was a leader of the Bear Flag Revolt and other important California enterprises after 1845. Born to a prominent, politically active Kentucky family, Semple was widely known for his strong opinions and for his boundless optimism, enthusiasm, and vigor. Trained as a printer, dentist, lawyer, M.D., and riverboat pilot, he possessed as amazing diverse background that was of great value in early-day California. Semple’s fascination with Benicia as the site for an important new city began in 1846 when he transported a prisoner of the Bear Flag Party, General Mariano Vallejo, from Sonoma to Sutter’s Fort. Semple was impressed by the site’s potential, and learned that Vallejo held title to the area under a Mexican land grant. Within a year Semple was part owner with Vallejo of five square miles surrounding the site of the prospective city. As of May 17, 1847, Thomas O. Larkin, one of California’s leading citizens and financiers, also became a partner in the venture. Soon the new city was being promoted. Advertisements appeared in California’s first regularly printed newspaper, The Californian, which Semple created, published, and for a time even printed. Semple established and personally operated a ferry service between Benicia and Martinez. He spent time encouraging merchants,
By 1850 the rapidly growing town (population 1,000) was incorporated and named the Solano County seat. The U.S. Army established Benicia Arsenal in March 1849, and in 1850 the Pacific Mail Steamship Company established its major west coast depot and repair shop at Benicia.
Source: Benicia Capitol State Historic Park Brochure
— Submitted February 22, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
2. From the Memoirs of General William T. Sherman
"That Benicia was the best natural site for a commercial city I am satisfied, and had half the money and half the labor been bestowed upon it that has been spent on San Francisco, we should this day have a city of palaces on the Carquinez Straits."
— Submitted February 23, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 18, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 22, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,914 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 22, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on February 23, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.