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 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The list of honored pioneers of California contains the name of the Amaya family, whose identification with the west has covered a long period of development. When the Indians still roamed un- molested through the wide expanses of forests and over the broad unsettled prairies, they proved a constant source of menace to the settlers and at times their depredations brought fatal consequences. One such occurrence happened when Joe Reyes Amaya, Sr., finding that his stock had been stolen by the savages, hastened alone in pursuit of the cattle thieves. At the Big Basin he overtook them and endeavored to regain his stolen property, but single-handed he was unable to cope with the Indians and was killed by them. In his family was a son who bore his own name and who for years followed the trade of a butcher, but eventually, when out hunting with his son, Daniel D., he was wounded by the accidental discharge of the gun. Blood poisoning followed and in three weeks he died. From early life he had been fond of bunting game and was an expert marksman, usually returning from his bunting expeditions with abundant evidences of his skill. Throughout much of his life be made his home at Santa Cruz, this state, where his wife was born and reared. They became the parents of eight children, but only two of these are now living, Daniel D. and Arthur, the former born June 26, 1870, at Santa Cruz, and identified throughout life with the interests of California.

It was not the privilege of Mr. Amaya to receive a thorough education, as be began to be self-supporting at an early age and for some time helped his father in the meat market, also working in a restaurant for a time. His first trip to Sacramento was made in 1890, but be did not then become a permanent resident. Other places claimed his attention, and be gratified a desire to see more of the state, traveling through different localities and meantime earning a livelihood at his trade. In 1897 he returned to Sacramento and this city has since been his home. For two years he acted as manager of the Kleinsorge store and then formed a partnership with William Atkinson in the meat business, opening a market on Second and M streets. Eventually he erected a modern business block, in which he opened a market August 14, 1909, and since then he has continued at the same location, meanwhile leasing the grocery department. As a business man be possesses exceptional capabilities. Through energy and sagacious judgment he is making steady progress and now ranks among the prosperous citizens of Sacramento.

The marriage of Mr. Amaya took place January 29, 1899, and united him with Miss Adelaide M. Porter, who was born at Live Oaks, Sutter county, this state, and is a woman of education and culture, and a devoted member of the Christian Science church. The only child of their union is a son, Arthur Elwood, born January 4, 1900, and now a student in the city schools. Mrs. Amaya is a daughter of J. C. and Melissa (Stevenson) Porter, natives respectively of Kirtland, Lake county, Ohio, and Missouri. At an early age Mr. Porter migrated as far west as Missouri and during his sojourn in that state he married Miss Stevenson. Later be established a born in California, where be engaged in raising stock and grain. Of later years he owned and operated a hotel. His death occurred in May of 1907, and since then Mrs. Porter has made her home with Mrs. Amaya, who was one of four children forming the parental family, three now living. Fraternally Mr. Amaya has been identified with the Elks and Eagles for some years and he also belongs to several organizations for business development, notably the Butchers' Association. In politics be is an active, zealous Republican, but never a candidate for office. Besides the ownership of his residence and business property in Sacramento he owns one-half interest in a valuable fruit farm of ten acres located near Fair Oaks. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011