Albert D. Sayles, a prominent San Joaquin county farmer and well known as an old settler in his locality, came to this state in 1859, when a young man of nineteen years, and has ever since been identified with the agricultural activities of the state. A man of enterprise and general business ability, he has been the right short of man to make a fine success in this western state, and among his fellow citizens he is also held in high esteem for his personal worth and civic qualifications.

Born July 16, 1840, he belonged to an old and prominent family of the state of Rhode Island, the Sayles ancestors, originally English, having settled in that colony before the Revolution. His parents were Albert and Maria (Ross Sayles. Great-grandfather Uriah Ross emigrated from Scotland to Rhode Island and took part in the Revolutionary war as a soldier for his adopted country. There were three Sayles brothers who first crossed the ocean and settled in Rhode Island. Albert Sayles, the father, early in the fifties had come out to California, where he worked at carpentering and mining for about two years, and then returned to Rhode Island with the intention of later bringing his family out, but in this he was disappointed as death overtook him in 1855.

Mr. Sayles was reared and educated in his native state, and in 1859 he left his home there, going to New York city, whence he took a boat to the isthmus, which he crossed by rail, and from Panama took ship for San Francisco, making the entire journey from his native state to California in what was then the rapid time of twenty-four days. In alameda county he did farming for wages for several years, and in the latter part of 1862 moved to San Joaquin county and located on the ranch where he has resided ever since. His estate, comprising about two hundred and eighty acres, is one of the best improved and most productive in the neighborhood, and the general agricultural operations which he has carried on have been marked with a large degree of success. While busied with the attainment of material prosperity he has not neglected the welfare of his community, in whose affairs he has taken a public-spirited part. For many years he served as a member and clerk of the board of trustees of the Delphi school district.

December 7, 1862, Mr. Sayles was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Jane Comstock, who fulfilled all the duties of a loving and faithful wife for nearly forty-five years, and her death on February 20, 1897, was a near and immediate loss not only to the family circle but to the county of which she had been one of the old-time residents. She was born in Lewis county, New York, February 20, 1841, a daughter of Eri H. and Esther A. (Thornton) Comstock, her parents both native New Yorkers, but the ancestors on both sides had originally settled in Rhode Island.

Eri H. Comstock was another of the famous California forty-niners, and one of the most successful and enterprising of that host. After doing a little mining, he established and carried on a general store in Stockton, and he later became the owner of twenty-one hundred acres of land in San Joaquin county. He later went to Nevada, where he died in 1862. His wife had joined him in this state in 1852, but their two children, Seth H. and Sarah J., remained in the east to complete their education, and in 1859 they came out by way of the isthmus.

Mr. and Mrs. Sayles were the parents of a family of ten children: Esther M., deceased; Edward W., a resident of San Joaquin county; Harry A., in San Francisco; George H., in San Joaquin county; Emily J., at home with her father; Oscar A., in San Joaquin county; Frank H., in Alameda county; William H., in San Joaquin county; Lyle R., in San Joaquin county; Burt E., in San Joaquin county.

In politics Mr. Sayles is a Republican. He is a well known and popular citizen, and in many ways has performed a useful part in life and in the world's affairs.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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