There are few of the pioneers of 1850 left to tell the tale of the early development and progress of this section of California, but Elisha S. Driver is one whose memory can picture forth the experiences of that frontier epoch. He was born in Henry county, Ohio, April 18, 1829, a son of John and Abigail (Mills) Driver, who were natives of Indiana.

At the tender age of five years Mr. Driver was left an orphan by the death of his parents, and he thereafter found a home with hs uncle, John W. Sample, of Henry county, Iowa, familiarly known to all the old residents of that section of the state as Judge Sample. He received his education principally in the school of experience, and from an early age has had to depend upon his own resources for a livelihood. After reaching his twentieth year he left his uncle's home, and in 1850 started across the plains from Iowa with an ox team, six months being consumed ere the journey to California was completed. He made a location in Eldorado county, where he was engaged in mining for a time, and also on the American river, after which he turned his attention to the butchering business in Placer county. From there he came to Sacramento county, and in 1857 took up his abode on the farm which has ever since continued to be his home, this community numbering him among its oldest pioneers. He is the owner of twelve hundred acres of valuable land in the northern part of the county, where he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising, in both occupations having met with a well merited degree of success. For forty consecutive years he has served as a trustee of the Center school district, and was formerly clerk of the board. He has ever been a true friend of education, the cause finding in him a strong supporter, and in his political affiliations he is a Republican.

On the 22d of February, 1860, Mr. Driver was united in marriage to Elizabeth Forsyth, a native of Illinois and a daughter of the late Philip Forsyth, a well known old pioneer of Sacramento county. Mrs. Driver came with her parents to this state in 1853, attaining to years of maturity in Sacramento county, and here her death occurred in 1903. Of the children born to this worthy old pioneer couple the following survive: Philip, a well known attorney of Sacramento; Grant S., in Alaska; William S., a resident of Oak Park, California; Benjamin F., also an attorney of Sacramento; Verdenie, the wife of R. B. Clements, of Sacramento county; Abigail M., a successful school teacher of Sacramento; Lester A. and Charles A., who make their home in Sacramento county, and Clarence, of Placer county, this state. The life labors of Mr. Driver have been faithfully and ably performed, his family carefully and tenderly reared, and the success which is the reward of a life of well directed labor and perseverance is his, to be enjoyed and appreciated by him at his advanced age. He has never sought office or courted popularity, but his strong individuality has been felt throughout the community and he is widely known and respected for his many excellent qualities.

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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