California land in many portions of the state proves a productive field for the cultivation of fruit, and among the many men devoted to this line of business in Sacramento county is numbered James E. Straight, who is largely engaged in the growing of blackberries. He makes his home on Davies avenue in Sacramento county, a few miles from the city of Sacramento, and he settled upon this ranch in the fall of 1903.

A native of Marion county, West Virginia, he was born December 6, 1852, and is a son of Peter K. and Catherine (Cunningham) Straight, both of whom were natives of West Virginia. The mother died in 1868 and the father passed away in 1870. The son was practically thrown upon his own resources when twelve years of age. The success that he has achieved has been due largely to his own labors and careful management. He came to California in 1876, having in the meantime resided in Indiana, and during almost thirty years he has made his home in this state. For several years he was employed at agricultural pursuits in Colusa county and subsequently he came to Sacramento county, where he engaged in farming for himself. At a later date he went to Fresno county and remained there for a few years, after which he returned to Sacramento county, where he is now successfully conducting his ranch. This place comprises forty acres of land and is devoted to general farming and to the raising of blackberries, grapes and other fruit. He has an excellent vineyard, and in the various departments of his work he is meeting with good success because he sends excellent crops to the market and thereby commands high prices. For two years he served as trustee of the Sunset irrigation district in Fresno county, California.

On the 19th of February, 1893, Mr. Straight was united in marriage to Miss Jemima Misenheimer, a native of Illinois. They have no children of their own but have adopted a niece of Mrs. Straight--Miss Mattie Misenheimer, whom they have reared since she was five years of age. Mr. Straight was formerly a trustee of the Enterprise school district, while residing in that part of the county, and he was also a member of the board of trustees of the Elk Grove union high school. He is a staunch friend of the cause of education and does everything in his power to raise the standard of public instruction and promote the efficiency of the schools. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Elk Grove and also is connected with the Rebekah degree at Florin, of which his wife is also a representative. His political allegiance is given to the Democracy, and while he has never sought office or held position of public preferment, outside of his connection with the schools, he has always been interested in the welfare of his community and as a private citizen has labored to promote its substantial development. In his business affairs he is now meeting with the success which is the legitimate result of persistent labor and unfaltering diligence and is well known as a horticulturist of 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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