Martinez Historical Society

Cemetery Tour of Martinez


rankinRankin Family

James Rankin was a Scottish immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1865. Coming from a coal mining area in Scotland, he came to Contra Costa and the mines at Nortonville in 1870. Later, he became a store owner. In 1884, he was elected Sheriff and in 1885 moved his family to Martinez. He served two terms as Sheriff. Rankin Park sits on a portion of the Rankin property. The olive orchard picnic area is a remnant of the 400 olive trees Rankin had planted. In 1893 he became president of the Bank of Martinez, a position he held until his death. Rankin family descendants continue to live in Martinez to this day.