John Nicholas, a representative of the high-class agricultural methods which have made Sacramento county one of the most prosperous of northern California, has pursued his active and honorable career in this state of a half century of time. His own life has been lengthened out to more than three quarters of a century, and for many years he has been blessed with prosperity and happiness in the affairs of life.

Mr. Nicholas has his valuable and pleasant home estate about six miles south of the city of Sacramento, and has resided on the same place ever since 1857, in which year he took up his residence in Sacramento county. He was born in Arendal, Norway, November 27, 1828, a son of Terg and Karen Nicholas, there being three other sons and one daughter in the family. His father died in 1851, and his mother several years previously.

He spent the first fourteen years of his life in his native country, where he attended school and otherwise prepared for the serious duties of life. He was confirmed in his parish church at the age of fourteen, and then, following in the path of many of his townsmen and friends, he took to the sea, becoming a cabin boy. During the next ten years he became a full-fledged seaman, and his seafaring life brought him in contact with much of the world. He visited nearly all the maritime countries of Europe, also Algeria, Africa, and many ports of North America. He came to America and permanently located in this country about 1850. His principal home was in Mobile, although during the next few years he was in many of the important cities of the country. In 1854 he left Mobile and went to New York city, and then embarked for California. A steamer took him to the isthmus, and thence he went up the coast to San Francisco, arriving in this city in October. For the following three years he was engaged in mining in Eldorado and Nevada counties. Since 1857 he has been at his present place and occupied in farming. He came here as one of the early settlers, when the country was all new, and he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land, which continues to make him an excellent and valuable farm. Both agriculture and stock-raising have occupied his labors, and he has usually carried on a dairy.

Mr. Nicholas first wife was Elizabeth Ourkirk, a native of Holland, whom he married in 1852, and who died in 1879, having been the mother of two childten, both now deceased. His present wife, whom he married February 24, 1883, was Miss Louisa Sorensen, who was born in Norway, November 19, 1851, and came to California in 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas have had four children, three of whom are living: Elmer, Edwin and Dora.

In politics Mr. Nicholas is a Democrat, and during the many years that he has spent in this part of the state has proved himself of excellent public spirit and one who lends his efforts to many undertakings for the general welfare.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

Return to Biographies Index, Volume II

Return to California AHGP home page

Return to Sacramento County AHGP home page