By Adam Madison

Triplicate staff writer

Nicholas McNamara, one of the first businessmen to set foot in Crescent City, arrived here on March 12, 1853.

McNamara was born on Feb. 10, 1829, in Dungarvin County, located in Waterford, Ireland. McNamara was naturalized on April 12, 1858, in San Francisco.

McNamara and his brother, Mark, built the American Hotel seven years after their arrival in Crescent City. The hotel was the second in Crescent City, with the first The Del Norte being built by Maj. Ward Bradford. McNamara also was half owner of the Point Saint George Dairy Ranch with a man named Mr. Emetsburg.

McNamara was the hotel proprietor until his death on May 15, 1893.

McNamara married Margaret Driscoll in San Francisco in about 1859. Driscoll was born March 21, 1840, in County Cork, Ireland.

According to a Crescent City census taken on July 19, 1870, McNamara was no slouch when it came to fathering children either. McNamara had 12 children with Driscoll. There were four boys, one of whom died young and nine girls. Two of the girls Rose and Margaret were twins. The document was provided by Terry McNamara, Nicholas McNamara's great-great grandson, courtesy of a family-tree research Website called

Throughout his years in Crescent City, Nicholas McNamara was able to obtain a couple of key titles in the emerging community.

From 1869 to 1877, McNamara was the Crescent City's road overseer, kind of like a transportation director in current cities. Between 1880 and 1892, he was the county supervisor for District 1. McNamara also was a school trustee at the time of his death.

McNamara was a pioneering spirit in bringing positive upward change in the development of the early Crescent City.

His wife died in Crescent City at 74, on Sept. 23, 1914, outliving her husband by 10 years.