SOLOMON RUNYON


Solomon Runyon is one to whom Sacramento county is greatly indebted for the active and beneficial work which he accomplished in her behalf, and his name is yet honored by those who knew him and were associated with him while he was still a factor in the development and progress of this part of the state. His marked business discernment and indefatigable enterprise were among his salient characteristics, nor was his path to prosperity strewn with the wrecks of other men's fortunes, for his dealings were honorable and straightforward and his labor often proved of direct benefit to the community, while at the same time they advanced his individual success.

Mr. Runyon was born in Will county, Illinois, November 26, 1832, and was a son of Armstead Runyon. He remained a resident of the Mississippi valley until 1849, when he accompanied his father and two brothers to California, the family settling at the head of Steamboat slough on the Sacramento river, about a mile and a half below Courtland, California, on what has since been known as the Runyon ranch. The father afterward removed to Santa Rosa, California, where his death occurred.

Solomon Runyon, following his arrival in California, give his time and energies to agricultural pursuits and also to fruit-raising, and about 1858 settled on the ranch where his widow still resides, about three miles below Courtland on the Sacramento river, this being known as the Live Oak Farm. It contains one hundred and sixty acres of land and is largely devoted to the raising of fruit of many varieties. The estate also comprises four hundred and forty-four acres on Andrews Island, one hundred and seventy acres on Sutter Island, nine hundred acres on Brannan Island, and since his death, one thousand one hundred acres in Sacramento county, property in San Francisco and in Solano county. Mr. Runyon so managed his affairs, was so practical and progressive in his methods that his labors were attended with excellent success, the ranch becoming a very productive and therefore valuable property. He did not confine his attention, however, to the management of his ranch alone, but extended his efforts to various fields of activity. He was one of the founders of the state board of horticulture and was one of its members and during his lifetime one of its directors. He with two others, Captain Nelson Anderson and Captain Andrew nelson, both of San Francisco, organized what is known as the California Transportation Company, and they were among the pioneers in the business of transporting fruit along the Sacramento river to San Francisco. He was also one of the organizers of the Farmers & Mechanics Savings Bank at Sacramento, and was likewise a stockholder in the California State Bank at Sacramento, California. He was one of the promoters and was connected with the construction of the first electric street railway line in Sacramento, and was one of the six partners who purchased the Doyle ranch, sold lots and laid out the beautiful suburb of Sacramento known as Oak Park. Thus his efforts extended into many fields of activity and were resultant factors in advancing the general improvement and prosperity of the city and county. He was quick to recognize possibilities and to utilize and master opportunities, and the many enterprises with which he became connected proved excellent investments. He was also prominent in the reclamation of the Sacramento river lands and at the time of his death was president of reclamation district No. 556, known as Andrus island.

Mr. Runyon was married, July 26, 1864, to Miss Adaline Bloom, a native of Grundy county, Missouri, and a daughter of William H. and Delilah (Dye) Bloom, both natives of Ohio. They crossed the plains to California when their daughter was only two years old, it taking six months to make the trip, and the family home was established at Diamond Spring, Eldorado county, California, where they remained until 1852. They afterward lived at various places and finally made a permanent settlement near the Sacramento river in the vicinity of Franklin, California, where William H. Bloom, father of Mrs. Runyon, died in the early '80s. Mr. Bloom was a prominent resident of Sacramento county and at one time served as justice of the peace for a number of years, being familiarly known as Squire Bloom, and was also deputy county sheriff. Mr. and Mrs. Runyon had but one daugher, Ora R., the widow of the late Homer Buckman, of Sacramento, where she now resides.

In his political views Mr. Runyon was a Republican and was always well informed on the questions and issues of the day and on all topics of general interest. He was a public-spirited citizen, interested in all that pertained to the progress of town and county, and was the champion of many measures for the general good. Prominent in Masonry, he was a past master of Franklin Lodge No. 144, F. & A. M. He took the Scottish Rite degrees in Sacramento, belonged to Sacramento Commandery, No. 2, K. T., and was also identified with Islam Temple of the Mystic Shrine, at San Francisco. His wife is very prominent in the ladies' auxiliary of the Masonic fraternity and is past grand treasurer of the Eastern Star of California. She also belongs to the Saturday Club, of California. mr. Runyon was also a member of the Sacramento Society of California Pioneers. He was a man of most generous and hospitable nature and commanded the esteem and confidence of all who knew him. He was very popular with many friends and was recognized as a good financier and business man, being well known in Sacramento county. His name is inscribed high on the roll of honored pioneers and his life work certainly forms an important chapter of the history of Sacramento county, especially along the line of its material development.

Since her husband's death Mrs. Runyon has displayed excellent business ability in the management of her business affairs, and she is now president of reclamation district No. 556, serving for the third term. She was one of the founders of the Isleton Creamery and is also serving for the third term as its president. She possesses keen insight into business affairs and in matters of judgment is seldom, if ever, at fault. Her social qualities also render her popular and have made her many friends throughout Sacramento county.

Source: History of the New California - Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine


Return to Biographies Index, Volume II

Return to California AHGP home page

Return to Sacramento County AHGP home page