Levi M. Hawes – First caucasian born in Rocklin

Levi M. Hawes


Long before there was a town of Rocklin, two brothers, Levi and Elisha Hawes, had taken up land along Antelope ravine. At that time (c. 1850) there were only a few families in the entire Countryside, one of which was that of Mr.Tackitts, who sold his 160 acre tract (adjacent to that of the Hawes) to Levi Hawes and his wife, who in turn sold it to Elisha Hawes for $300.00.

The Hawes brothers were from New Bedford Massachusetts where , along with brother David, they operated an inn. Coming to California during the gold rush of 1849, they soon found that the rich agricultural lands available for the taking offered infinitely easier and, in the long run, more profitable sources of income, and so they left the mining country to take up land in the Rocklin area in the 1850’s.

Levi Hases Hawes was born in 1832. His wife, according to a cemetery marker, was the former Abbie Butterfield of Providence Rhode Island. To them was born a son , Levi Melcher Hawes (b. March 22, 1859), of whom it was said was the first white child born in what is now Rocklin. Son Levi later operated a tin shop in Rocklin. He died in 1934 and is buried in the family plot.

Elisha Hawes (b. 1830) later became associated with pioneer granite worker Charles A. Brigham in the formation of the Brigham and Hawes quarry which was later incorporated under the name Pacific Granite Company with headquarters with headquarters in San Francisco where Mr. Hawes subsequently removed.

In 1891, the Pacific Granite Company holding s were sold to John W. Farren who, in turn, sold out to Degan and Brady that same year.

Both Levi and Elisha Hawes are buried in the Rocklin Cemetery. A later day marker listing their dates of birth and death, and other information does not correspond with date provided in the special State Census of 1852 and should be considered highly suspect.

From: Rocklin: Past, Present, Future by Leonard M. Davis. Published by the Rocklin Friends of the Library, Rocklin Ca., 1981.