Although early California Pleasanton got its name through a clerical error in spelling, General Alfred Pleasonton's name, it was the gold rush that really contributed to the development of Pleasanton.
When news spread that gold bad been found in California, prospectors from far and wide rushed to the state to seek their fortunes. This influx of people created many other California towns in addition to Pleasanton. Many have survived and flourished like Pleasanton but many have not. During the year 1848, California gold fields alone, added over five million dollars to the world's known treasure. California was on the map.
That same year, Don Augustin Bernal began construction of an adobe home which still exists on Foothill Road. The home was restored by the late Walter Johnson, a San Francisco philanthropist, who resided in the old adobe for many years.
John Kottinger from Austria was the first non-latin to settle in this town and he became known as "The Father of Pleasanton”.
Kottinger, a school teacher and lawyer, like many others left his home to travel to California to find his fortune. But his mining venture was a disappointing one.
However, along the way he met up with Irishman, Joshua Neal, and each became acquainted with Don Augustin Bernal and his family. Each met and fell in love with one of Bernal’s marriageable daughters. With the marriages Kottinger and Neal both received considerable land and cattle from the Don. It was custom among the Spaniards that the bride not go empty handed to her new husband.
Thus, it was through marriages, such as these that the area of Pleasanton proper passed to the Kottingers and Neals and other "fortune" hunters of the day.
To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: January 31, 1984 Pathways.