GEORGE DRAPER WORSWICK


Among San Jose's business men none are more closely identified with the growth and best interests of the city than George Draper Worswick, who since 1889 has made his home here. For many years he has been known for his sterling qualities, his fearless loyalty to his own convictions, his sturdy opposition to misrule in municipal affairs and his championship of all measures for the general good. He is pre-eminently a business man, and it was only at the solicitation of his friends and because of his realization of the obligations involved in citizenship that Mr. Warswick accepted his present duties as chief executive of San Jose.

A native of Canada, he was born in Kingston on the 28th of June, 1861, and is a son of John and Emma (Rutter) Worswick. The father was a native of England and in his boyhood days accompanied his parents on their emigration to the new world, the family home being established in New York. At a later epoch in his history he was identified with the building of the Grand Trunk Railroad in Canada, and in 1861 came with his wife and children to California. Not long afterward, however, he went to Oregon, where he was engaged in railroad construction. In 1875 he returned from Grant county, Oregon, to southern California, to become superintendent of construction of the famous San Fernando tunnel on the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. In the family were six sons and five daughters, and of this number one son and one daughter are now deceased.

George Draper Worswick was only six months old when his parents removed from Canada to California. Much of his boyhood was spent in Oregon, and in the public schools at the Cascade he acquired his preliminary knowledge of the branches of English learning. After the removal of the family to the Dalles, where the father was in the government employ, Mr. Worswick continued his education there and later became a resident of Grant county, Oregon, where the father engaged in merchandising while the sons attended school. In 1881 the family removed to Idaho, and George D. completed his studies in the public schools of Portland, putting aside his text books at the age of twenty years. After completing his education he was apprenticed to the wheelright's trade, and although he was very successful in his efforts along that line he did not find the occupation congenial, and with the money saved from his labors in that direction he turned his attention to merchandising, conducting a general store at Ketchum, Idaho. He was also manager for the Rocky Mountain Bell Telephone Company. In 1889, however, he disposed of his business interests there and came to California, locating in San Jose. Here he accepted a position as manager for the California Green and Dried Fruit Company, acting in that capacity until 1900, when he resigned in order to become manager for the Pine Box Manufacturer Agency, which is his present business connection. He controls the affairs of the company in a most capable manner, his career being characterized by strict executive force, keen business discernment and unfaltering energy.

In 1887 Mr. Worswick was united in marriage to Miss Mary L. Holcomb, a native of California and a daughter of A. A. and Jane Holcomb, who were pioneer settlers of California, coming to this state from Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Worswick now have two children: George D., a youth of fourteen, who is a student in the public schools; and Mildred. In social circles in San Jose they occupy an enviable position, and their home is justly celebrated for its pleasing hospitality.

Mr. Worswick belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, to the National Union, the Woodmen of the World and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His political allegiance has ever been given to the Republican party, which he strongly supports on questions of state and national policy. In 1902 he was nominated on the non-partisan ticket and was elected mayor of San Jose by a majority of three hundred and seventeen. Up to this time he had not taken an active part in politics, but became identified with the good government movement, and at the urgent solicitation of his friends decided to accept the nomination and was chosen for the office. In his administration of the affairs of the city he is ever living up to the terms which he made, conducting the city's business along practical and progressive, yet economical, lines and putting forth every effort in his power to maintain law and order, to establish justice and to promote the material upbuilding of the municipality. He stands as a high type of the American citizen of the far west, being alert, enterprising and progressive. With quick recognition of opportunity he at the same time manifests a conservatism that is the result of mature deliberation and sound judgment, and the safety and welfare of the city may well be intrusted to such a man.

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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