Robert T. Pritchard, one of the venerable citizens of Florin, where he owns a ranch of ten acres devoted to the raising of strawberries and grapes, was born in Wales, December 14, 1842, and is a son of Richard and Jane (Morris) Pritchard, who were likewise natives of that country. The father died September 26, 1846, and the mother's death occurred April 1, 1847, so that their son Robert T. was left an orphan when a small boy. He went to live with an uncle and aunt, with whom he made his home until thirteen years of age, when he started out in life on his own account. For many years he lived in Wales, being employed in the coal and iron mines, but believing he might have better business opportunities elsewhere he bade adieu to friends and native land in 1876 and sailed for Australia, where he was employed for a time in mining gold according to the quartz methods. While enroute for America he stopped at the Sandwich Islands, where he remained for about a year, being there employed as a stationary engineer in a sugar mill. In 1880 he continued the voyage to California and made his way to Sacramento county, living in Florin continuously since 1880. The house in which he resides was erected in 1881 and has, therefore, been him home for twenty-four consecutive years. For fifteen years of this time he was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company in their shops at Sacramento, working in the blacksmithing department, and on severing his connection with that corporation he turned his attention to fruit culture and is to-day engaged in the raising of strawberries and grapes on his ranch of ten acres, producing excellent varieties of both fruits, his strawberries annually yielding him large returned.

On the 6th of December, 1864, Mr. Pritchard was married to Miss Sarah Jenkins, a native of Wales, born January 1, 1844. Only one of their children is now living: Charles D., who resides in Sacramento, and is a member of the city fire department there. The wife and mother died April 5, 1883, and Mr. Pritchard has since married Martha E. Swearingen, who was born in Barber county, West Virginia, and is a daughter of John O. and Mary J. (Hayes) Swearingen. The father was a native of Nebraska and the mother of Idaho, and when eights years of age Mrs. Pritchard removed with her parents to Fort Scott, Kansas, where they resided for several years, and later Mrs. Pritchard became a resident of Quincy, Illinois, where she remained for a long period. She came to California early in the '90s and has since been a resident of Sacramento county. Here she was married on the 15th of December, 1894, to Robert T. Pritchard. They have a wide and favorable acquaintance in Sacramento county, especially in Elk Grove and vicinity. Mr. Pritchard has led a busy and useful life and the success he has attained is attributable entirely to his own labors and well directed management of his business affairs. His life record shows what can be accomplished by one who has ambition and energy, for, depending upon his own resources from early boyhood days, he has steadily worked his way upward.

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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