The California Pioneer Society was organized in August, 1850. The photograph of their building appears on the cover of this book, W.D.M. Howard was their first president. Among their early presidents, and prominent in the days of Forty-niners, were Samuel Branan, Thomas Larkins, Wm. D. Farewell, and James Lick–who liberally endowed it.
It was organized for the purpose of perpetuating the memory of the events of those days and for the benefit and mutual protection of its members. No person was eligible for membership except he had arrived in California before the 1st of January, 1850, and the descendants of Forty-niners when arriving at the age of twenty-one are eligible. At the opening of the World’s Fair in San Francisco in January last, in the ceremonies in the marching of the procession through the streets of the city, they were received with the greatest enthusiasm and cheers, which was a marked manifestation of the veneration in which they are held by the people of California.