Born in Ireland in 1831, Thomas Gihon traveled widely during his early years. The teenager is reported to have been the overseer of a sultan's harem in Turkey, defended Lola Montez against an infuriated mob in Bavaria, killed a Frenchman in a duel at Versailles, and peddled clocks in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
He arrived in California with the Gold Rush in 1849. Unsuccessful at mining, he then settled in San Francisco where he sold peanuts at Dr. Robinson's (father of artist Charles Dormon Robinson) theater and worked for the Pacific Mail Company for many years.
Tiring of the sea, he took up engraving as a profession. He was a successful engraver and lithographer until his death
Source: Edan Hughes, author of the book "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
San Diego Herald, 10-11-1856; G&W; CD; COS; CHS; SF Call, 8-19-1899 (obit).Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here