William Curtis, farmer and dairyman of Sacramento county, residing near Oak Park, is also a pioneer of this section and has made it his home and place of business for over half a century. Little was known except in a superficial way of this part of the state, especially as to its possibilities in agriculture, in the year 1852, which is the date of his arrival. All the processes by which Sacramento county has become one of the richest and most prosperous of the state have been witnessed by Mr. Curtis, and he is representative and typical of the very highest interests of his community.

Mr. Curtis has spent all his adult manhood in the state of California, and his own years have kept pace with the most important history of the state. He was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, some seventy-three years ago, on August 11, 1831, being a son of John T. and Mary (Bailey) curtis, who were both natives of England and came to this country in 1830. William was an infant when his folks moved to Newton, Massachusetts, and in that city he grew up and received his education as a pupil of the Oak Hill school. Practical experience in after life has also enriched his mind, and he is well informed and abreast of the times, being blessed with a very retentive memory and a liberal understanding of the world in general.

In 1852 he set out for California. His route was by way of New York city, where he embarked on the steamship Prometheus on February 5, 1852, and landing at Greytown, crossed to the Pacific side and took passage in the North American bound for San Francisco. But this vessel was wrecked about a hundred miles south of Acapulco, and from the latter port he came on the sailing vessel Guadaloupe to San Francisco, where he arrived on May 10, 1852. After a short mining experience on the North fork of the American river he came, in the same year, to Sacramento county, where he has since devoted himself so successfully and energetically to agriculture and kindred industries. His home farm near Oak Park has been in his possession ever since coming to the county, and consists of one hundred and eighty-two acres of fine land. He also owns four hundred acres near Sheldon, on the Cosumne river, and leases eight hundred acres on the Freeport road six miles south of Sacramento. Mr. Curtis is the pioneer dairyman of the county, having been engaged in this industry ever since coming here. This establishment is now located on his place near Sheldon, where he conducts a model dairy of one hundred cows, mostly Holsteins. On his home farm he has a vineyard of thirty acres, and all his enterprises are flourishing and profitable.

Mr. Curtis is a Republican in politics, and has taken much interest in county affairs. For two terms, or eight years, he served as a county supervisor, and during the last two years was chairman of the board. He is a member of the Sacramento Grange No. 12, P. of H., and he and his family attend the Oak Park Baptist church. Mr. Curtis was married on the 1st of January, 1861, to Miss Susie W. Potter, of Ione Valley, Amador county, this state. During their happy married life of more than forty years five children have been born to them, but three have been taken away by death, Roland, Frederick P. and Alice. The two living daughters are Carrie M., who is the wife of George H. cutler, of Sacramento county, and Edna, now a student in the University of California at Berkeley.

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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