Over the past month or so, Memory Lane’s subjects have been individuals featured in Tom Gregory’s “History of Solano and Napa Counties, California” book published in 1912. Today’s column will highlight the life of Patrick H. Maloney as well as his law enforcement and political appointee career.
Although born in Munster, Ireland on March 17, 1857, Maloney considered Napa County his home. The 11-year-old Maloney arrived here in 1868 with his parents and six siblings. According to Gregory, “and it was in Napa County that he was reared and educated in public schools.”
Upon the Maloneys’ arrival, they settled on their large Pope Valley ranch. Gregory wrote, “His early days were spent on the ranch and he soon became familiar with the duties incident thereto.”
In 1880, the 23-year-old Maloney left the agricultural life to begin his long career as a governmental employee. That year, Maloney “received an appointment to a position at San Quentin and during the following 10 years as an employee of the State’s prison he rose by degrees from one position to another and filled the following: horse-guard, gate-keeper, chief of the watch, turnkey and captain of the yard,” Gregory wrote.
In 1890, Maloney resigned from his San Quentin post to accept a job as a deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service. He performed the responsibilities of that position for about 15 years. During this time, in December 1890, the 33-year-old Maloney married Mary Bramwell, “a native of California,” according to Gregory. They had two daughters, May and Estelle.
But in 1895, his family saw Maloney only on occasion. That year he started a new job that required a lot of travel. He had accepted a position with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company as a special detective agent and head of the department’s western division. For the next eight years “he traveled extensively throughout the country and became familiar with the conditions in every locality visited.” Gregory also noted that Maloney performed the duties of that office without reproach.
With a young family waiting for him at home, in 1903, Maloney resigned from his Southern Pacific post in order to return to Napa full time. Maloney purchased a 64-acre Yountville area ranch. Gregory continued, “For four years he devoted his entire time to the cultivation and development of this place and made it the family home.”
On that ranch, three separate 10-acre tracts were planted with either French prunes, grape vines or alfalfa. The rest of the acreage was planted in hay and grain. Although a few of those acres were cultivated as the Maloney family’s private produce garden, fruit orchard and livestock areas for chickens and milk cows to provide their food.
Those homesteading years ended when Maloney accepted another appointment. Gregory wrote,“In 1907 (California) Governor Gillett appointed Mr. Maloney to the office of special agent of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and for the following four years he ably filled the position.”
That job ended when he accepted yet another governmental job that was closer to home. “In 1911 he was appointed undersheriff by E.A. Kelton, who had just been elected to the office of sheriff of Napa county.” Gregory added, “and in this position he fulfills his line of duty to the eminent satisfaction of his superior and the citizens in general.”
Gregory concluded the Maloney biographical sketch with a notation of character. “Both Mr. and Mrs. Maloney are well-known residents of Napa county and they are to be found identified with every progressive movement that has for its object the advancement of the general welfare of the county.”