From  Lubec, Maine  to  Navy and Calvary during the Civil War   to   Moore's Flat, Nevada County   to  San Francisco

Descendants of William Hearne and Maria Harris

Descendant Outline

William Hearne around 1909 as a member of the G.A.R.


   William Harris Hearne was born in Lubec, Maine on August 18, 1841. (birth record)    

William Hearne's Lubec Family   

Hearne Family, 1850 Maine Census

At the age of 17 he went to Portland working as a ship's carpenter. He joined the Navy when he was 22, and was described on his enlistment papers as having blue eyes, dark hair, fair complexion, 5 feet 6 inches, no marks or scars noted. Sometime during the Civil War he acquired a (W.H.) tattoo on his right forearm. 


Military Information



To Moore's Flat, Nevada County, California

  After serving in the military, William went to San Francisco around 1865/1866 (The 1867 San Francisco Great Register had him leaving SF in 1867, when he moved to Moore's Flat, Nevada County). He worked there as a miner at the Boston Diggings but was injured on September 1, 1867 when he was struck:

"by a chunk of clay hitting him on the side and laid him up for 6 weeks or more"

                                  -Joseph Vizzard, co-worker and witness affidavit

He was unconscious, partly paralyzed and laid up for quite a while, an injury that would affect his health the rest of his life.


  Affidavit of William Hearne about the accident


Shortly after his accident he went back to San Francisco and married Mary Ann Mitchell on April 24, 1868 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church .

  Mary Ann Mitchell was born in March of 1839 in Leitrim County, Ireland. She immigrated to the United States in 1857 (we don't know where).

  After their marriage, and probably because he could no longer mine, he owned and ran a saloon called Hearne and Starr Billiard Saloon, in Moore's Flat:

"My grandfather, William, came to Calif. to work in the silver mines and then the gold mines in the Sierras. I saw a picture of him with a long white beard in a Union Civil War officer’s uniform with medals on. My dad used to call him general. My grandfather [William] was a redhead. Bo took after him, he was the only redhead." - Ed Hearne, 2003



 In November 1882 he ran for Nevada County Sheriff. He lost.


  The Hearne's moved to San Francisco about 1883 probably because William's Moore's Flat Saloon was burned down in February 1883. He was listed in the San Francisco Directory in


The Hearne's in San Francisco, California


1884 as living on Jessie Street.

1885 - 1032 Mission Street

1886 - 340 Third street

1887 - 340 Third street

1889 - 340 Third street

1890 - William H Jr. working as a bookeeper

1894 - 33 Russ St. -  William, Sr. working as guard

1895 - 33 Russ Street - William H Jr. Bookeeper, Frank as blacksmith

1896 - 33 Russ St.


In 1897, William Hearne purchased, through auction, 2124 Howard Street, a 14 room boarding house.

SF Chronicle Jan 22, 1897

By april, they were renting rooms out of their boarding house.


SF Chronicle April 18, 1897



1897 - 2124 Howard

1899 - 2124 Howard

1900 San Francisco Census  (William worked as a carpenter.)


  By 1900, William's condition was described in medical records as:

  "Age 58, 5 feet 6 inches, weight 145, form is slightly bent, gray beard, hair thin and nearly bald. Skin is dry, blotchy, wrinkled. Muscular development is poor, teeth poor, tongue coated, cold, clammy sweat on body. Digestive functions not well performed. Rheumatism in both shoulders, no line of motion, and in the lower joints. Movement in hip, knees and ankles are accompanied by pain, due to a marked case of myalgia. Chest is normal in appearance, measures 34 inches."

                                                      - pension medical report dated August 1, 1900

In 1902 he was described as:

  Looking older than 65. [he was 61 at the time]. He is bent and crippled (permanently from rheumatism). He cannot dress nor undress himself without assistance. Body vigor is reduced, palms soft; general appearance senile and debilitated.

  The aggregate, permanent disability which prevents him from earning any support by manual labor is due to rheumatism. Disease of the heart andgeneral senile debility not due to vicious habits.

                                                             - pension medical report dated Sept. 11, 1902


  Apparently, William spent most of his life after 1895 trying to convince the Department of the Interior that he was disabled and should receive more pension money to ease his ailments.

(Letter from William Hearne to this effect.)  


Mary Ann died of stomach cancer on November 28, 1904 and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery with her son, William Harris Hearne, Jr.

  William and his son, Francis, were living at 2124 Howard Street when the 1906 earthquake hit. Howard Street was struck pretty hard and William and Frank spent many months rebuilding their home, according to Bill Hearne.

  William was also actively involved in the Grand Army of the Republic ( an organization of ex-cival war soldiers). In 1909 he became vice commander in the Lincoln G.A.R. Post. He was also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and served as the San Francisco County Delegate  and then as President in 1890.

   William Hearne died on December 12, 1914 at the California Veterans Home in Yountville, Napa County, California. He is buried at the Yountville Veteran's Cemetary. He and his two sisters, Jane and Lucy died within a year of each other.


  William and Mary had three children, William Harris, Francis Patrick and an infant who died at birth. 

   William Harris, Jr. was born on July 10, 1873 in Moore's Flat. He eventually became a bookkeeper but, in 1898, became ill with Tuberculosis of the Spine (Potts Disease); he was 24 years old and could no longer work. He died at the age of 27 on Oct. 5, 1900.  He was buried on Oct. 5th at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, Ca. His mother was buried next to him four years later.

       " I wasn't even born when [my Uncle William] died of cancer. According to my sister he was buried in a sealed coffin because they were scared of cancer in those days. " - Bill Hearne, 2002

Francis Patrick Hearne was born in Moore's Flat on February 26, 1876