William Blackburn (1814-1867) came overland to the Santa Cruz area from Missouri in 1846, becoming one of the most prominent Santa Cruz residents of that era. Blackburn was elected as the first American alcalde of Branciforte/Santa Cruz and, after the new state and county were established, the first county judge.
- History Pages: 8 - Bear Flag Revolt
- The Alcaldes of Branciforte-Santa Cruz (1802-1850), by Stanley D. Stevens
- John L. Chase, The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture (4th ed. 2023), Chapter Two, item (9), page 42-43.
- Santa Cruz County, Calif. Illustrations, with Historical Sketch (1879 book) has a drawing of the Blackburn place, on page f4 (in the 1997 edition), and a biography on page 13.
William's wife Harriet Mead Blackburn (1831-1920), who he met in Santa Cruz, outlived him by 53 years, and was a major Santa Cruz land owner/developer. She is one of the few women to have a biography in Harrison, other than N.D.G.W. members.
William's brother Jacob also came stayed in this county. Two other brothers, Daniel and James, became founders of the town of Paso Robles in 1857. Two Blackburn sisters married and remained in the gold fields area of the Sierra Nevada foothills.