JAMES RUTTER


California is noted throughout the world for its splendid orchards and vineyards, and conducting important business enterprises along these lines are many men of activity and energy, who in this department of labor have gained desirable success. Of this class Mr. Rutter is a representative, and his home is on a ranch of two hundred acres near Florin, where he has resided continuously since 1877. He had at that time been a resident of the state for five years.

Mr. Rutter was born in Cornwall, England, August 15, 1827, his parents being James and Elizabeth (Barrett) Rutter, both natives of Cornwall, England. He spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the place of his nativity, residing there until 1849, when he crossed the Atlantic to the new world, hoping that he might improve his financial condition in a country which afforded greater opportunity and quicker advancement than in the old world. He resided in several places ere his emigration from Illinois to California in the year 1852. The journey was made after the primitive manner of the times, crossing over the stretches of hot sand and traveling through the mountain passes. It took four months to make the trip and they made their way to Sacramento county, where they resided for several years. Mr. Rutter engaged in business as a contractor and builder for several years and then turned his attention to agricultural interests. In 1857 he invested his capital in a ranch, becoming owner of the place upon which he now resides. He took up his abode here on the 1st of January, 1858, and has a valuable tract of land of about two hundred acres. Here he carries on general farming and is extensively engaged in the cultivation of grapes and strawberries, raising very fine varieities. He has sixty-five acres planted to these fruits, and almost every year has an excellent crop. He reaises mostly table grapes and is one of the pioneer vineyardists of California. The cultivation of strawberries, too, has been an important branch of his business and he is one of the pioneers in this department of horticulture in California. While in Sacramento in November, 1852, he assisted in extinguishing the big fire of that year, and he was also in the capital city in January, 1853, when Sacramento was under water from the big flood, Mr. Rutter and others having to go about in boats through the streets of the city. He was one of the early pioneers there and assisted materially in the improvement of Sacramento, where he is very widely and favorably known.

On the 20th of October, 1851, Mr. Rutter was united in marriage to Miss Thomsine penberthy, a native of Cornwall, England, born July 21, 1828, and was married in Galena, Illinois. Of the three children that graced this marriage only one is living: Agnes E., the wife of L. M. Landsborough, of Florin, California. They have five children: Thomas R., who is a graduate from the State University; Amy L., Leonard B., and Lloyd, who are students in the Sacramento high school, and Georgie B., all residing their their parents in Florin.

Mr. Rutter was formerly associated with Sacramento Grange No. 12, P. of H., and Mrs. Rutter belonged to the same organization. He has served as a trustee of the school district in which he resides and favors all progressive measures for the benefit of public education. He and his wife are among the representative well known pioneers of Sacramento county, and he is a self-made man viewed from a business standpoint. He was at one time connected with the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. His interest, however, is concentrated in his ranch and excellent success has atteneded his efforts along the special lines to which he devotes his energies. In 1872 he received the society's diploma for the best exhibition of grapes made at the American Institute at New York city, and in 1873 he received a silver medal from the American Pomological Society for the best collection of grapes raised west of the Rocky mountains. In 1874 he was awarded a silver medal by the Nebraska State Agricultural Association for the best exhibit of grapes at the exposition held at Omaha, Nebraska, and in 1879 he received a gold medal from the California State Horticultural Society for the best display of grapes and other fruits in six departments in which he exhibited.

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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