Thomas Lewis, who devotes his energies to general agricultural pursuits and to the growing of grapes and strawberries, his ranch being east of Florin, was born in Sacramento county, on the 4th of October, 1863, and is a typical western man, possession the enrgy, determination, and enterprise which have been the dominant factors in the upbuilding of the Pacific coast country. His parents were John and Ann (Jones) Lewis, both of whom were natives of Wales. The father came to California early in the '50s, crossing the plains with the usual emigrant train, the wagons being drawn by oxen or by mule teams. The trip was a long and difficult one, but at length was accomplished in safety, and Mr. John Lewis turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, becoming the owner of a ranch near Elk Grove. He also engaged in freighting for a time and was an active business man in pioneers days in his section of the state. His death occurred in 1863, soon after the birth of his son Thomas. His widow now resides in Sacramento county and has passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey. Of the children born to them three are yet living: Mary J., the wife of Robert Maxfield, a resident of Sacramento county; Esther, the wife of William H. Wasson, of this county; and Thomas.

In taking up the personal history of Thomas Lewis we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in this part of the state. He remained with his mother until he attained his majority and was educated in the Enterprise school. All through his life he has carried on agricultural pursuits and he is to-day the owner of an excellent ranch near Florin. It comprises eighty acres, which has been in his possession for a number of years, although he did not take up his abode upon this place until 1901. Here he reaises the crops that are usually produced upon the farms of this country, and he also makes a specialty of growing strawberries and grapes, producing fine varieties of these fruits, for he has made a close study of their needs and habits and knows just how to produce fruit that will bring a high market price.

On the 14th of October, 1889, Mr. Lewis was married to Miss Mellie Maxfield, a native of Eldorado county, California, born Augusut 14, 1864. She was the daughter of George W. and Melvina (Banks) Maxfield, who were natives of Kentucky, and in 1857 came to California, residing for a short time in Sacramento county, after which they removed to Eldorado county, where they cast in their lot among the early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Maxfield were the parents of twelve children, five of whom are yet living: Robert B., a resident of Sacramento county; Gersham B., of Galt, California; John W., of this county; Charles F., of the same county; and Annie O., the wife of Daniel Roden. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have a wide acquaintance in the locality where they reside and enjoy the warm friendship of many with whom they have become acquainted. He is a Democrat in politics, but the honors and emoluments of public office have had no attraction for him, as he prefers to devote his attention to business affairs, wherein he is meeting the well merited success.

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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