Among the valuable and well cultivated farms that beautify the celebrated Sacramento county is that owned and operated by Finley McMillan, who ranks among the leading agriculturists in this portion of the community. He was born on the 3d of February, 1852, in Restigouche county, New Brunswick, of which county his grandfather, John McMillan, was a pioneer. The latter was a Scotchman by birth, as was also the father of Finley, James McMillan.

Finley McMillan received his education in the public schools of his native county and province, and is also a graduate of Bernard's Business College of San Francisco. In 1873 he left his New Brunswick home and came to Sacramento county, California, and for a time thereafter was engaged in agricultural pursuits near Antelope. In 1875 he went to San Luis Obispo county, where he learned the dairy business in all its various departments, and embarked in that industry, also for a short time having charge of a stock ranch in Solano county for the late Judge S. C. Hastings. In 1878 he formed a partnership with his brother, Robert J. McMillan, and engaged in farming in Sacramento county, near Antelope, their operations being carried on under the firm name of McMillan Brothers, and in 1880 this firm bought and settled on the ranch which Finley McMillan still owns. In 1885 the brothers extended their operations by renting about seven hundred acres of land on Rancho Del Paso, and they continued in the successful conduct of these extensive tracts until 1891, when Rober J. withdrew from the firm and went to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he is now extensively engaged in the wholesale grocery business as a member of the firm of W. J. McMillan & Company. After the brother's retirement from the partnership Finley McMillan continued in the cultivation of the ranch, which is a valuable tract of two hundred acres located near Fair Oaks, and is devoted to general farming pursuits and grape growing. He has been thoroughly acquainted with the work of the farm since his boyhood days, when he learned the lessons of thrift, industry and perseverance which have served him in good stead in his later life. His farm shows the evidences of the teaching received and the habits formed in earlier life; the fields are under a high state of cultivation and the implements and equipments with which he carries on his work are of modern construction and design. In connection therewith he is now cultivating four hundred acres of the Rancho Del Paso. For several years past Mr. McMillan has been experimenting with various kinds of wheat on his farm, and now, in co-operation with the United States Department of Agriculture at Washington, he is experimenting in the raising of wheat, rye, barley and oats.

In 1890 Mr. McMillan was united in marriage to Miss Louise Kelly, a native daughter of Sacramento county, and they have one son, Percy K., born in January, 1894. In his political affiliations Mr. McMillan is a Republican, although he is independent in his views, and on several occasions has served as a delegate to the Republican county conventions. For one term he was a justice of the peace of Center township, served as road overseer for what was then road district No. 3 for two terms, and was the first to introduce the grading of roads for drainage purposes, manufacturing his own tools for this purpose. He is now serving as trustee of the San Joan school district, the cause of education ever finding in him a warm and devoted friend. His has always been an honorable, upright life, and he enjoys the respect and confidence of his many friends in Sacramento county.

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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