Thomas M. Taverner, now deceased, was an early settler of Sacramento county and in his life were evidences of the sterling traits of character which command respect and confidence in every land and clime. Because of the fact that he was a pioneer settler, a loyal and helpful citizen, a reliable business man and a trustworthy friend, he is indeed worthy of representation in this volume devoted to the representative men, past and present, of California.

Mr. Taverner was born in Devonshire, England, on the 15th of April, 1833, and his parents were also natives of that country. Prior to his emigration to California he spent a short time in Ontario, Canada, but after a brief residence in that province he made his way to the Pacific coast, arriving in this state in 1853, when a young man of about twenty years of age. He had made the journey by way of Cape Horn and ultimately landed at San Francisco. During the greater part of his residence in California, however, he made his home in Sacramento county, and was one of its well known and honored pioneers. The history of early development and progress here was familiar to him, and he bore an important part in reclaiming the wild land for the uses of civilization. It was during the period of the Civil war that he settled upon the ranch which is now occupied by his widow and family, and there he remained until his demise, his labors and energies causing a great transformation in the appearance of the place. He was a very successful agriculturist and left at his death nearly three thousand acres of land. In addition to general farming he was at one time extensively engaged in the raising of sheep and had about three thousand head of sheep upon his place. he was one of the pioneers in this industry in the far west, and he found it a profitable source of income, securing an excellent financial return from his sales. In business affairs he was energetic and thoroughly reliable, and, moreover, he possessed a persevering spirit that enabled him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertook.

On the 6th of September, 1874, Mr. Taverner was united in marriage to Miss Esther A. Hirst, who was born in Cancashire, England, on the 15th of April, 1843, her parents being Robert and Hannah (Harker) Hirst, who were also natives of that country. Mrs. Taverner came to America in 1856, making her way at once to California, and has since been a resident of the Golden state. For a short time prior to her emigration to the new world she had been a resident of Australia, going to that country from England. To Mr. and Mrs. Taverner were born four children: John T., who is now a resident of Reno, Nevada; George M., who is living in Sacramento county, California; Mary E., also of Sacramento county; and Effie M., the wife of Clarence L. Bader, of Sacramento.

In his political affiliation Mr. Taverner was a stalwart Republican, interested in the success and growth of his party, yet never an aspirant for public office as he preferred to concentrate his energies and attention to his business affairs. He served, however, as a trustee of the Lee school district. He was prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity at Elk Grove, and he attained to the Knight Templar degree in Masonry, belonging to the commandery at Sacramento. A self0made man in the truest sense of the word, he gained prosperity through strong and honorable purpose, and yet he found time to take a public-spirited interest in anything that tended to improve his district and elevate society. In his death Sacramento county lost one of its valued citizens and honored pioneers. He was a kind and devoted husband and father, an obliging and considerate neighbor and a popular and well known citizen.

His son, George M. Taverner, is now the manager of the Taverner estate, on which he resides with his mother. He too gives his political allegiance to the Republican party, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity of Elk Grove. In the control of the estate he displays excellent business capacity and ability, and under his management the ranch continues to be a profitable investment.

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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