More than a century ago George Washington said that "Agriculture is the most useful as well as the most honorable occupation to which man can devote his energies," and the truth of this saying stands to-day as it did then. Farming is the basis of commercial activity and is the one great department of labor without which the human race could not maintain an existence. Mr. Jesse is known in San Joaquin county as an enterprising agriculturist, making his home near Banta, and since 1877 he has resided continuously in this locality. He is a native of Clay county, Missouri, born on the 18th of February, 1861, and is a son of Samuel and Lucinda (Pence) Jesse, both of whom were natives of Missouri. the father is deceased, but the mother now resides in Tracy, California, and since the death of her first husband has become the wife of Dr. D. Luce, a distinguished physician of that place.

Richard H. Jesse was reared in the county of his nativity, where he remained until 1877, when, hoping to benefit by better business conditions in the far west, he came to California with his brother-in-law, B. F. Prather, and his wife. He has remained in San Joaquin county during the greater part of the time since he reached the Pacific coast. From his youth to the present his life has been largely devoted to agricultural pursuits, although when a young man he spent about two years as a fireman on what was formerly the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, running from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Winslow, a distance of over two hundred miles. He was also for a short time proprietor of a hotel in Banta, California, but his time and attention have been largely given to agricultural pursuits, and he is now the owner of a good farm near Banta, which contains one hundred and sixty acres. It is well improved and highly cultivated and the property is the visible evidence of his life of thrift and industry.

In 1884 occurred the marriage of Mr. Jesse and Miss Elizabeth Lamb, a native of California and a daughter of W. G. Lamb, late of San Joaquin county, who was for many years foreman of the McLaughlin Stock Ranch near Banta, and was one of the early settlers of San Joaquin county, coming in 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse have one daughter, Estelle. Politically he is a Democrat and is interested in all that pertains to the improvement of his district and the elevation of the state. His life has been so honorable and straight-forward that he commands the confidence and good will of his neighbors and many friends.

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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