John Lawton, California pioneer, retired business man after a prosperous mercantile career of forty years, prominent in the civic and business life of Sacramento county since the fifties, is now spending the years beyond the threescore and ten mark at his beautiful home in Ashland, Sacramento county, not far from Folsom.

Mr. Lawton was born at Dover, Maine, December 9, 1827, so that he has spent over three quarters of a century on the journey of life. His parents, Seth and Lucy H. (Woods) Lawton, were likewise natives of Maine. Reared in his native state, he received what was considered in those days a good education, such that he was qualified to teach school, which he did for awhile. In 1851, embarking at New York, he came via the isthmus to San Francisco, and thereafter for nearly fifty years his career in this state was marked with constant industry and increasing prosperity. Some of the first years were spent in gold mining, first in Placer county and then, beginning with 1853, in Sacramento county. He made permanent settlement at his present homestead in 1859. he owns a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres in Sacramento county, one of one hundred and fifty in Placer county, while his wife has a place of four hundred acres in Sacramento and Placer counties. On locating at Ashland in 1859, Mr. Lawton went into the mercantile business, and for forty years, until his retirement in 1899, his establishment was conducted on an excellent business basis and supplied a wide range of country with goods. In addition he has been interested in agriculture and ranching for a number of years.

Always recognized as a public-spirited citizen, in politics a Republican voter with independent proclivities, Mr. Lawton served for a time as constable of what is now Granite and Mississippi townships in Sacramento county, and in various other ways, especially as a friend of public education, has interested himself in community progress and welfare. He affiliates with Granite Lodge No. 62, I. O. O. F., at Folsom, and with Folsom Encampment No. 24, of the same order.

Mr. Lawton married, in 1868, Miss Mary A. Kittredge, who is also a native daughter of the Pine Tree state, and who came to California in 1868 and has since lived 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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