About this Book
Newhall came to California in search of gold in 1850. This biographical study tells how he established what would become San Francisco's leading auction house, began the first financially successful railroad in California, and with his five sons made real estate investments that developed into one of California's leading farming and ranching empires.
"This biographical study is also a cultural and economic history of California, covering…over a hundred years from oil boom to suburban development."—Books of the Southwest
"In this engagingly written, well-illustrated book, Andrew Rolle tells the story of the Newhall family from 1850 to 1989, making the narrative one of the present as well as the past. . . . He chronicles how each succeeding generation adapted to changing conditions and assured the survival of the Newhall Land and Farming Company."—Pacific Northwest Quarterly
"In tracing the life of Newhall, Rolle takes us through the pioneer years of California's economic development."—Journal of the West
"Andrew Rolle's biography of the California land baron Henry Mayo Newhall proves that sometimes nice guys do prosper. Newhall, who lived from 1825 to 1882, enjoyed an unusual and varied career. Amid the wild speculation of Gold Rush San Francisco he founded California's leading auction house and was known for his honesty and reliability. In a time when railroad developers rose through ruthlessness and deception, he managed to build a successful rail line without defrauding its investors or exploiting its patrons. And in a period of merciless squatting and ferocious land swindles, Henry Newhall created a sprawling landed empire without destroying the previous owners. And he conducted honest farming and ranching activities on his properties. These accomplishments were performed by a man who was restless, lucky, smart, and a decent family man. . . . This biography will undoubtedly and deservedly be considered the 'definitive' biography of Henry Mayo Newhall."—Pacific Historical Quarterly
"The author skillfully blends family, business and regional history into a tableau covering nearly two hundred years of California, and in the process, returns to the limelight a person who virtually has been forgotten."—Southern California Quarterly