Clinton Kerby, a venerable pioneer, came to California in 1850, and for the past fifteen years has been an honored resident and a worthy citizen near Elk Grove in Sacramento county. As a Californian of more than a half century's experience, he is one of the foremost of the survivors of the early times in his county, and his life accomplishments in all departments of his activity have been commensurate with and excellently befitting his length of years.

If Mr. Kerby may be vouchsafed two more birthdays he will be eighty years of age, and it can be said to his lasting credit that most of these years have been filled with useful activity and honorable purposes, for he began lige at an early age and has depended upon his own resources of mind and body for his advancement in the world. He was born in east Tennessee, in Greene county, June 8, 1826, being a son of Jesse and Nancy Kerby, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Virginia. It is said that his grandfather Kerby fought for American freedom as a soldier of the Revolution.

When nine years of age Mr. Kerby was taken by his parents to Jackson county, Missouri, where he was reared to manhood and honest citizenship. He remained in that county until 1850, in which year he set out across the plains for California, and after a long overland trip arrived in Amador county. he ran a hotel at Ione for a time, and then returned to Missouri, this time by the Panama route. He remained in the Mississippi valley until 1852, when he again crossed the plains for permanent location in the state of California. This time he came direct to Sacramento county, and his first period of residence in the county was at Hicksville and continued until 1857, in which year he went to Solano county. He purchased a ranch in that county and was engaged in the live-stock industry until 1883. After that for several years he made his home in Sacramento city, and in 1889 returned to ranching, purchasing his home estate near Elk Grove, where he has remained to the present time. At this place he owns two hundred and twenty-nine acres, and has valuable improvements and every part of his industry well organized and in prosperous condition. Also he is owner of a mammoth quartz mine in Amador county, and his various interests are a high testimonial to his past enterprise and business management.

April 15, 1873, Mr. Kerby married Miss Emily A. Johnston, who was born in Wayne county, Ohio, a daughter of Alexander and Artemisia (Wright) Johnston, her father being a native of Warren county, Ohio, and her mother of Vermont. Mrs. Kerby has lived in California since 1871, and before her marriage she taught school for a time in Sacramento county. Mr. and Mrs. Kerby have two sons: Dr. Clinton Kerby, Jr., is professionally connected with the Sacramento county hospital; and J. Howard kerby, who married Miss Annie Lewis, of Sacramento county, resides near Elk Grove. Mr. and Mrs. Kerby attend the Presbyterian church at Elk Grove, and are both held in highest esteem throughout their community. He is a Democrat in politics, but with independent leanings, so that he is willing to throw his influence for any movement that will benefit his county or state.

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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