Richard A. Bilby has long been a prominent farmer of Sacramento county, and his ranch of three hundred and twenty acres near Franklin is one of the model estates of his locality. He is a progressive and enterprising agriculturist, successful in his methods of operating his land, and is esteemed as a public-spirited citizen.

Mr. Bilby was a boy of five years when he came from the east to this state. The journey was made by the isthmus route, and his father settled on the estate where Richard still resides. Mr. Bilby was born in Buffalo, New York, October 17, 1852, a son of John and Jane (Anderson) Bilby. His father, an Englishman by birth, was reared and was married in his native land, and on coming to America settled at Buffalo, New York, where he lived a few years. With his wife and son Richard, he came out to California in 1857, and after years of fruitful labor and well directed energy he brought hs land out of its wild and primitive condition into one of the best ordered farms of the neighborhood. He was an intelligent and substantial citizen in all the relations of life, and his death in December, 1888, meant the loss of one of Sacramento county's ablest men. He was a Republican in politics.

Being reared on his present farm and trained to agricultural pursuits from youth up, Mr. Bilby has devoted himself, since his school days were over, to the life work of farming, with the best of success. Like his father, he is a Republican in politics.

September 19, 1877, Mr. Bilby married Miss Julia Woodard, a native daughter of Sacramento county. They have two children, Louise E., wife of Harry hack, of Sacramento county, and Maud A., wife of Arch Gilliam, of Sacramento. Mrs. Bilby's parents are Abraham and Elizabeth (Sampson) Woodard, pioneer Californians, who now are passing their declining years on the Cosumne river near Elk Grove. Her father came to California and settled in Sacramento county in 1850, and her mother arrived some time later, so that they have been residents in the state for over half a century.

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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