John Whicher, deputy superintendent of state printing at Sacramento, was born July 4, 1855, in Urbana, Ohio, his parents being Isaac and Rachel Jordan (Holman) Whicher. In the paternal line he is of English lineage, the first American ancestors settling in New England during the early part of the seventeenth century. Isaac Whicher was a native of Vermont and during the greater part of his life was a railroad contractor. However, he received military training at Buffalo, New York, and at the time of the Civil war became an officer of the Fourth Iowa Infantry. Following the cessation of hostilities he made his way to the mines of Colorado and served as a member of the legislature during the territorial government of that state. There his death occurred in 1882. Two of his sons were also soldiers of the Union army. The mother was a native of Indiana and was of Irish descent, her ancestors coming from the northern part of the Emerald Isle to the new world. The family was established in Kentucky and later generations removed to Indiana.

John Whicher, now the only surviving member of his father's family, was taken by his parents from Ohio to Iowa in 1857, a location being made in the city of Des Moines, where he attended the public schools. When the Civil war was inaugurated his father and two of his brothers joined the army and the family then became scattered. John Whicher, being left with his mother, started out to earn his own living at a very early age. When a youth of fifteen he was apprenticed to learn the printer's trade, and followed that pursuit in Iowa until 1879, when he removed to Colorado, engaging in the printing business in Leadville and in Denver. In 1887 he came to California, and establishing his home in San Luis obispo there continued to follow his chosen pursuit until 1894, when he was elected county clerk for a term of four years and discharged his duties so acceptably that on the expiration of that period he was re-elected in 1898. he served in that capacity until the first of January, 1903, when he was appointed deputy superintendent of state printing. He had in the meantime, from 1899 until 1903, been manager and represented the creditors' interests in the defunct County Bank of San Luis Obispo, but resigned that position in March, 1903, in order to enter upon the duties of his new appointment. He is well qualified by broad and practical experience for the work which he assumed in this connections, and as deputy superintendent of state printing his service has been very acceptable to the general public and those familiar with the work of the office.

In 1882 occurred the marriage of Mr. Whicher and Miss Isabelle C. Hoffman, a daughter of Thomas Hoffman, who was a pioneer farmer of Iowa, locating in the state in 1852, when the work of improvement and progress had scarcely been begun, especially along agricultural and commercial lines. The wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Whicher was celebrated in Des Moines, Iowa, and has been blessed with three children, but all died in infancy. Mr. Whicher belongs to the Masonic fraternity and to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a stanch advocate of Republican principles, has taken an active part in state politics, and in 1892 and again in 1894 was a member of the state central committee. His interest in everything pertaining to the welfare and progress of the state is deep and sincere, and in as far as he has found it possible has co-operated in public measures for the general good.

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

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

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