William A. Kesner, the founder and owner of the town of Ryde, where he has successfully conducted several business interests, is now devoting his time and attention to the management and operation of a ranch on Grand Island. He is a native of Clinton county, Illinois, born October 30, 1850, his parents being Jacob and Pernecia (Myatt) Kesner, who, it is believed, were natives of Tennessee, but for many years they resided in Clinton and Bond counties, Illinois.

William A. Kesner was reared to manhood and acquired his education in the county of his nativity, and before leaving Illinois he was married, the wedding being celebrated December 17, 1871, Miss Mary Clark, a native of Clinton county, Illinois, becoming his wife. There was one child born of this marriage, Wilfred C. Kesner, who is residing in Reno, Nevada, is married and has one son, Roy C.

In 1875 William A. Kesner first came to California and for several years thereafter spent the greater part of his time in Sacramento county, after which he went to Park county, Colorado, where he resided for several years, returning to this state in 1886. He has since remained in Sacramento county and is a prominent and well known citizen of his native state. Having been reared on a farm so that he early became familiar with agricultural pursuits, he has devoted much of his life to such work, although other business interests have also claimed his attention. He was the founder and is the owner of the town of Ryde, which he laid out in 1892, and from that time until the summer of 1903 he was engaged in the hotel business there. In 1892 he was also appointed postmaster, having been instrumental in securing the establishment of the office, of which he remained in charge until June, 1903. He was also engaged in general merchandising there. He is now the owner of one hundred and fifty acres of land on Grand Island and his ranch is a well improved property, which he conducts in accord with modern methods of farming.

Mr. Kesner is a Republican in his political allegiance and manifests in the questions and issues of the day the interest which every true American citizen should feel. Fraternally he is a member of Isleton Lodge, I. O. O. F., also Sacramento Lodge No. 328, B. P. O. E., and is favorably known in these organizations. He has contributed in large measure to the upbuilding and improvement of the part of the county in which he makes his home, and he belongs to that class of representative American men who, while promoting their individual progress and success, also contribute substantially to the general prosperity.

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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