Being the seat of Sonoma County, Santa Rosa was the place where where a city dweller's early McNab Shepherd experiences took place.
Ben Noonan was a local young man from a pioneer family in Santa Rosa. His family owned the slaughterhouse at today's corner of W. College and Dutton Ave. Noonan Meat Company had an entitlement from Santa Rosa to herd cattle down College Avenue from the Southern Pacific stockyard on North Street as well as pasture land and feedlots bordering the more populated areas of the City of Santa Rosa. In its heyday, Noonan Meat Company supplied meat to businesses from San Rafael to Fort Bragg. Patrick Noonan married a Talmadge, another pioneer family from Mendocino County.
Growing up in Sonoma County, these names are familiar to me in everyday life. I grew up and graduated high school with Henry’s great-grandson, Tom Noonan, and the family still lives in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. The North Coast area was not that populated, and large areas of land were owned by few not many. Be it sheep, sheep dog trials, or cattle, it is always the same family names in relation to the early days of the McNab in Northern California.
“PATRICK H. NOONAN, the proprietor of the stockyards and slaughtering house of Santa Rosa, was born in Cork, Ireland, January 14, 1845, the son of Patrick and Ellen (Sullivan) Noonan, both natives of the same place. His father being a farmer the younger Patrick was reared to this life, and though he has since de parted from it the training which he received in his childhood home has proved invaluable in his efforts on American soil. The children born to his parents, who are now living, are as fol lows: Margaret, now Mrs. McLaughlin, of Springfield, Mass.; Jeremiah, located in Nevada county, Cal., whither he immigrated in 1859, coming by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and at once engaged in mining; and Patrick H., of this Iſe V16W. When five years old, in 1850, Patrick H. Noonan came to America with his mother, brother and sister, and after a thirty days voyage, landed at Castle Garden, New York. For some time the entire family remained in the east, located in Massachusetts, where Patrick H. learned the paper-making trade, and during the five years thus engaged he was promoted to a foremanship. His brother, however, having been attracted to the west by the glowing pictures of the wealth contained among the rugged hills of that region, he felt constrained to venture into the same locality. April 15, 1865, therefore, he took passage on board a vessel bound for Central America, the trip being made memorable by the painful news of President Lincoln's assassination, which reached them between New York and their destination. Upon landing in San Francisco in the same year Mr. Noonan followed his brother to Nevada county, remaining there for only one year, at the close of that period bending his steps northward to Idaho, where he met with success in his combined interests of mining for three years and the butcher business for eleven. In 1870 he returned to Massachusetts, where he was united in marriage with Miss Julia McCauliff, a native of that state, and together they came to California the following April and from here journeyed to Boise City, Idaho, where Mr. Noonan continued his business until 1878, at that time disposing of the same and removing to Minnesota. The intense cold of this latter state was the means of driving them back to the west after six months, and in the spring of 1879, they settled in the City of Roses, the beautiful title of the little city of Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, Cal. In 1880 Mr. Noonan engaged again in the butcher business in this new location and has since built up a very lucrative and successful patronage. In 1886 he purchased the forty acres which he now owns adjacent to the city, two acres being occupied by his stockyard and slaughtering house, and eleven acres devoted to a feeding yard. He has also five hundred acres which he uses for pasture land, located in Santa Rosa township. Mr. Noonan handles from one hundred and eighty to two hundred head of cattle each month, furnishing the entire amount of meat consumed in the city of Santa Rosa, a part of which he disposes of as a retailer from his meat market located at 423 Fourth street, Santa Rosa. Mr. and Mrs. Noonan became the parents of eight children, seven of whom are now living. Henry D. was born October 19, 1873; William C., April 12, 1875; Patrick L., May 4, 1877; Benjamin S., February 12, 1880; Mary E., May 4, 1882; Francis A. died July 4, 1899; Margaret G. was born January 8, 1886; and Leo E., September 22, 1890. Mr. Noonan's sons ably assist him in the management of his ever-growing business. Fraternally he is a member of the Elks, and politically he casts his ballot with the Democratic party."