Minott S. Ditson, a resident of Florin, Sacramento county, has been closely identified with the life and activities of this section of California since 1867, before which year, during his early manhood spent in the east, he had spent several years in the service of his country during the Civil war. A man of necessarily large and varied experience, of proved integrity and uprightness in his business and social relations, of distinctive worth of character, he has earned by a life of well directed labor the right to pass his descending years in the peace and quiet of a beautiful little home in the village of Florin, where he can enjoy his grapes and his flowers and the society of his friends. He has resided in Florin only since 1903, and previous thereto was engaged in the vineyard industry just west of the town. At his home in town he still grows a considerable quantity of Tokay grapes.
Born at Lowell, Massachusetts, April 8, 1838, a son of Reuben H. and Abigail W. (Webster) Ditson, natives of the same state, his maternal grandfather Webster having been a Revolutionary soldier, before he was nine years old Mr. Ditson had lost both his parents and, thus without parental guidance or support, he has been most of his life dependent on his own resources. He lived with an uncle at the old town of Dracutt, Massachusetts, until he was thirteen years old, at which time, going to Lowell, he obtained employment which launched him upon life's seas under his own direction. He accordingly deserves to be named among those who have educated and trained themselves for life's responsibilities and have achieved their success through their own efforts. At the age of seventeen he went west as far as Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he followed lumbering about two years, and then returned to his native city. He was living in Lowell when, in August, 1861, he enlisted in Company K, Second Massachusetts Infantry, for what proved to be a long and eventful career as a soldier. Being attached to the Twelfth Army Corps much of the time and under the command of General Banks and other leaders, he participated in the battle at Winchester, Virginia, in the retreat under Geneal Banks from Winchester to Williamsport; at Cedar Mountain; at Chancellorsville, where he was wounded in the left leg, resulting in his confinement in hospital for two months; fought in the great crucial battle of Gettysburg, and on the third day, July 3, 1863, was wounded in the left arm, which kept him a patient in the military hospital at Little Work, Pennsylvania, until January 7, 1864, at which time he was honorably discharged from the service with an excellent record as a soldier. Returning to Lowell he was employed in mechanical pursuits for aseveral years, and in 1867 made the journey, via the isthmus, to California. He landed at San Francisco on the very day on which the last spike was driven in the railroad which connected the far west with the Mississippi valley. His first permanent location was at Sacramento, where he was employed in mechanical work several years. He returned to Lowell in 1872, but the east could not keep him a permanent resident, and in 1877 he located on the ranch west of Florin in Sacramento county where he was engaged in grape-growing until his removal into the village as above noted.
Mr. Ditson married Miss Marcella Lenfest, a native of Maine. Having cast his first vote for Lincoln, Mr. Ditson has always remained firm in his adherence to Republican doctrines, and as a public-spirited citizen, a friend of education and promoter of general progress he has long enjoyed the thorough confidence of his fellow citizens.
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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