George Thisby, deceased, who was at one time a prominent citizen and pioneer settler of Sacramento county, died here on the 24th of September, 1880. His family was associated with many early events in the county as well as with its later progress and improvement, and no history of this portion of the state would be complete without the record of his career.

A native of England, Mr. Thisby was born on the 15th of May, 1828, and after emigrating to the new world he engaged in boating on the Nississippi river for a short time. The year 1852, however, witnessed his arrival in California, the journey being made across the plains with an ox-team. He took up his abode in Sacramento county and at one time resided on Tyler Island, but subsequently removed to a ranch on the Sacramento river, where he made a permanent settlement. In the days of his erly residence here he was the owner of the schooner Franklin, on which he carried freight between Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco, this being one of the early freight vessels on the Sacramento river. Ultimately he took up his abode on the ranch where his widow now resides, about three miles below Walnut Grove, California, and concentrated his energies upon the work of developing and improving his property. He not only engaged in agricultural pursuits but also began raising fruit, and was among the pioneers in this department of activity in the Sacramento valley. His labors demonstrated the possibilities of the county in this particular. He worked earnestly and his ranch became a very valuable one, producing excellent crops and also a large amount of fine fruit which found ready sale on the market.

On the 8th of September, 1864, occurred the marriage of Mr. Thisby and Miss Rebecca Elliott, who was born in Inniskillen, Ireland, March 25, 1848, and was the daughter of Henry and Sarah Elliott. Her father was a native of Scotland, but her mother was born in the Emerald Isle. During her infancy Mrs. Thisby was brought to America by herparents, the family settling in New York city, where she was reared, but in the early '60s she came to California and in 1864 she was married. The journey to the Pacific coast had been made by way of the Panama route and the family proceeded at once to San Francisco, being just one month in completing the journey from the eastern to the western metropolis. To Mr. and Mrs. Thisby were born six children, five of whom are living, the eldest, Henry P., being now deceased. The others are Mary J., the wife of Joseph E. Green, of Sacramento county; George, who is residing with his mother on the home ranch; William J., a resident of San Francisco; Robert F., who is living on Tyler Island, in Sacramento county; and Leonard C., living on the Sacramento river below Walnut Grove.

Mr. Thisby was a Republican in his political views and was interested in all that pertained to the progress and upbuilding of his county. At the time of his death he was vice-president of the California Transportation Company, discharging the duties of this office in addition to the management of his agricultural and horticultural interests. He was a man of great energy and determination and in his business career prospered, being thus enabled to leave his family in comfortable circumstances. A man of domestic tastes, he was devoted to the welfare and happiness of his wife nd children and did everything in his power that would advance their interests. Friends and neighbors knew him as one who was always loyal to every trust reposed in him, and in his death Sacramento county lost one of its honored and valued pioneer settlers.

Mrs. Thisby now resides on the home ranch on the Sacramento river below Walnut Grove, where she owns two hundred and twenty acres of land on Andrus Island. Her son George Thisby resides with her on the ranch and manages the property. He spent five summers and four winters in Alaska in the gold-fields and is still interested in mining claims there, but in Sacramento county devotes his attention to agricultural pursuits and dairying. The Thisby family is numbered among the representative pioneer families of Sacramento valley and have a prominent place in the history of the 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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