Ira W. Ladd is a well known pioneer citizen and rancher of San Joaquin county. He came to California over fifty years ago, when a lad of about fifteen years, but sturdy and independent, and from the first showed his ability to paddle his own canoe. He has been a continous resident of San Joaquin county for nearly fifty years, and as he is acquainted with the history and settlers of the county from almost its earliest times to the present, likewise is he himself well known and held in high esteem for the worth and usefulness that he has always displayed in life's work, whether of a business, social or public nature.

Mr. Ladd came to California in 1852 with his brother, the late George S. Ladd, of San Joaquin county. He came via the Panama route, from Vermont, his native home and the abode of his ancestors for some generations back. His father, Seneca Ladd, had come from Vermont to California in 1850, but had returned to his old home state in the same year that his sons ventured out to seek their fortunes in the golden west. Seneca Ladd remained in Vermont till his death, in 1868. His wife was Parmelia Esterbrook, and they were both natives of the Green Mountain state.

The son Ira W. was born in Caledonia county, Vermont, February 26, 1837. He was deprived of his mother's tender care when he was nine years old, and all conditions worked together to push him out of the home nest at an early age, with the result that he became more self-reliant than most boys of his age and soon became able to take care of himself. He lived in his native state and received a fair amount of education until he was fifteen years old, and then he joined his brother on the ever memorable voyage to the Western coast, the land of promise. For several years after arriving in this state he was engaged in various lines of employment. In 1856 he came to Stockton, and for some years thereafter was engaged principally in freighting from that point to the southern mines. During the seventies he located on his present ranch, where with the exception of a few years spent in Stockton he has resided and centered his activity ever since. His home ranch comprises three hundred and sixty-eight acres of land under an excellent state of cultivation, and he also owns eight hundred acres in Solano county.

He Was married on March 7, 1858, to Miss Emily J. Southerland, of Stockton, a daughter of Jacob Southerland, deceased, who in his time was a well known pioneer of San Joaquin county. Mrs. Ladd accompanied her parents across the plains to California in 1852, coming by the old southern route. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ladd, three of whom are living: Lillie Isabel, at home; Adelaide A., who is deceased; Frederick G., in Fresno county; Emily J., the wife of Walter Vincent, in Stockton; and Gilbert L., deceased.

Mr. Ladd has served as a trustee of the neighboring Weber school district for many years, and takes an active interest in the educational affairs of his locality. He is a Republican in politics, but maintains an independent attitude in most questions of that nature. He affiliates with Stockton Lodge No. 11, I. O. O. F., at Stockton, and is well known through his section of the state. Mr. Ladd is a member of the San Joaquin Society of California Pioneers and Mrs. Ladd is one of the charter members of the auxiliary of the same society.

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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