Austin Brown Mulvane

Austin Brown Mulvane was born in Newcomerstown, Ohio, on June 15, 1867. He was the son of David A. and Gertrude (Brown) Mulvane who were also born in Newcomerstown. David A Mulvane was a captain in the Civil War. During the mid 1870s, the family moved to Princeton, Illinois, where they lived for several years and where Austin continued his schooling and briefly attended Washburn College, competing his formal education at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.
A.B. Mulvane married Margaret Bertrand of St. Mary’s, Kansas, in about 1892. To them were born four daughters, Margaret, Mary, Vigiline and Helen, all of whom later graduated from the San Bernardino County Hospital School of Nursing, Mrs. Margaret Mulvane died in 1907 and on October 24, 1924, Mr. Mulvane and Swiss-born Gabrielle Tissot of Chino were married in Santa Barbara. Miss Tissot had served as a nurse in France during World War I and was superintendent of nurses at the San Bernardino County Hospital when they were married.
Following a short period as a “cowpuncher” on the TPK Ranch in Clayton, New Mexico, Mr. Mulvane moved with his young family to California in about 1900. In about 1904 he helped to organize the Consolidated Pacific Cement Plaster Company, owning a valuable gypsum deposit at Amboy, and named his uncle, John R. and father, David A., as officers in his company which manufactured stucco and other gypsum products. A.B. Mulvane maintained his residence in Amboy until he was elected to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors representing the First District, which was geographically larger than the other four districts combined. He took office on January 8, 1917, and was succeeded by C.S. Crain on December 6, 1920. Mr. Mulvane was a pioneer advocate of good roads and is credited with having initiated the first stretch of pavement ever laid on the Mojave Desert. By careful use of the road funds allocated to his district, he was able to lay a light oil macadam pavement over the rugged terrain from Amboy half the distance to Needles. This initial 40-mile paved stretch of the Old National Trails Highway received nationwide attention.
Mr. Mulvane spent the next twenty-odd years as a deputy sheriff, superior court bailiff, and finally as night jailer in San Bernardino, serving on the staff of sheriff Walter A. Shay. After several years of retirement, Mr. Mulvane died at his home on December 22, 1958, at the age of 91, He was survived by his wife, Gabrielle Tissot Mulvane; four daughters, Miss Virgiline Mulvane of the San Bernardino City Schools, Mrs. Helen Mulvane Reno, Miss Mary G. Mulvane of the county hospital nursing staff, and Mrs. Margaret Esrey, School of Nursing at Yreka, California; a sister. Mrs. Gertrude Torrey of Enterprise, Kansas; and four grandchildren. Mr. Mulvane was a life member of the Benevolent Protectors of the Elks # 816 of San Bernardino.

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