History of Colma, California
From: The Story of San Mateo County, California
By: Roy W. Cloud
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company.
Chicago, Ill 1928


Colma, which bounds Daly City on the south, is one of the oldest communities of San Mateo County, and truck farmers made their headquarters here where the highway branches over to the coast side of the county. The oldest settler of the section for many years was Honorable R. S. Thornton who early saw the advantages to be derived from an urban settlement so close to the boundaries of a big municipality. Mr. Thornton owned and controlled considerable property in northern San Mateo County and numerous lawsuits were engaged in to make sure his title to his lands. Mr. Thornton lived to be over ninety years of age and on many occasions would tell of the stirring events of the early history of San Mateo County. A signal honor was done him in naming one of the schools of the Jefferson District the R. S. Thornton School. Of the early settlers of this section were the Caseys, and James T. Casey, who for years was a supervisor of San Mateo County representing the first township, was a son of the family. Others who lived in the neighborhood of Colma were the Bellis who maintained for years the pioneer grocery of the section; the Callan family, the sons of which have been prominent in civic and political affairs; Hon. Henry Ward Brown, who for years represented California in the lower house of the state legislature; the Pierce family of which Harry Pierce, a son, still resides in Colma; the Oaks; the Fabers; Angelo Stampanoni; the Collopys; the Milletts, and of this family Joe and Mike were prominent pugilists in their day; and the Lagomarsinos.

Colma was laid out upon the Castle and Clark tracts in the $75 lot homestead and the Abbey homestead which were early day subdivisions of San Mateo County. Situated in Colma is Holy Angels Catholic Church, which was for years the central parish for all of the northern end of San Mateo County, but as time went by the expansion of Daly City made necessary the erection of the big St. Maximus Church and parish house which is just at the top of the hill in Daly City. There are also a Presbyterian and a Methodist Church in Daly City, and fraternal organizations of practically every kind are to be found in these two growing sections of the northern end of San Mateo County.

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