Louis Payen, now a large ranch-owner in eastern Sacramento county, with postoffice at Latrobe in Eldorado county, but for a great many years known to a large share of the public in Sacramento, San Francisco and throughout the state as a leading restaurateur and chef, was born near Paris, France, December 18, 1834, being a son of Hypolite and Mary L. (Chevrier) Payen, worthy members of the French bourgeois.

Being reared in the land of his nativity and receiving a fair education in the schools of his home village, in 1853, being then a young man of nineteen, he took passage at Havre on a sailing vessel bound for California and after a voyage around the Horn lasting one hundred and ten days arrived safely in San Francisco. Gold mining occupied his energies for a time, and subsequently he was a chef in the leading hotels of San Francisco and Sacramento. In 1876 he went into the restaurant business in Sacramento, conducting his establishment in the formerly well know Hotel de France. In 1882 he opened the excellent Restaurant de France on K street between Fourth and Fifth, at which location he carried on a large and flourishing business until he sold out in 1889. On retiring from business in the latter year he and his wife and son Edmond went abroad to visit the great world's fair held in Paris that year, and they spent seveal months in the city of gaiety and at his old home. Mr. payen continued to make his home in Sacramento until November, 1900, at which date he moved out to the find ranch of one thousand, one hundred and twenty acres in the eastern part of Sacramento county where his home is still located. His ranch affords both a pleasant and comfortable and a profitable place in which he can spend his declining years. He devotes his attention principally to the live-stock industry.

In February, 1873, Mr. Payen was united in marriage with Miss Justine Bilger, who was born March 15, 1850, in Alsace, now a province in the German empire. She had come to America just a year before she was married to Mr. Payen. Two sons have been born of their union. Louis A., the older, who received his education in Santa Clara College, lives at Rocklin, this state, where he is in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Edmond, the younger son, is engaged in the cattle business on his father's ranch. The two sons are members of the Naative Sons of the Golden West. Independent in politics, Mr. Payen votes for the man he thinks best qualified for office. He affiliates with the Odd Fellows and Masonic orders at Sacramento and with Sacramento Lodge of the A. O. U. W.

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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