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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



In Poinsett county, Ark., at Crowley Ridge, John F. Bedwell was born March 14, 1868. His father, Samuel K., a man of good abilities and a millwright by trade, built the first flour mill at Memphis, Tenn., and other pioneer mills of different kinds in that vicinity. In 1871 the family moved to Fulton county. Ark., where the mechanic turned farmer and lived until April, 1908, when he died. His wife, formerly Eveline Lampkins of Tennessee, bore him six children, of whom our subject was the youngest.

When John F. Bedwell was eleven years of age he left home to paddle his own canoe, going to Newport, Ark., where he worked on a farm two years. Then, at the age of thirteen, in 1881, he came to the Pacific coast and located in Los Angeles, where he found employment in a nursery at which he busied himself until he was sixteen. After that he was a fireman in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and as such worked on trains between Los Angeles and Bakersfield and Los Angeles and Barstow two years and between Los Angeles and Colton one year. Then he resigned his position to go into the real estate business, and he and his partner put on sale one of the first tracts exploited at Pasadena. For eight years he operated successfully, buying and selling land in large and small parcels, for himself and others; then he disposed of his interests in Los Angeles and vicinity and went to Arizona. He carried on business in various parts of that state until 1900, when he went to San Francisco and was for four years a salesman in a music store. After that he was similarly employed in Sacra- mento two years. January 1, 1907, he opened a real estate office in Sacramento, and in 1909 John F. Fleisher became his partner in the handling of large holdings in Sacramento, Placer and Sutter counties. Their offices are at No. 704 J street, Sacramento, and at Pleasant Grove, Sutter county, and in their undertakings they are meeting with merited and unusual success.

The present Mrs. Bedwell was in maidenhood Lucy Jones, a native of Sacramento. By a former marriage Mr. Bedwell has three children, as follows: Edna, Mrs. Melliken, of Fresno; William Wilbur, employed on the transport Sheridan, plying between San Francisco and Japan, and Irvin F., who is serving in the United States navy. 

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