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Sacramento County



An identification with the horticultural interests of Sacramento county beginning during the spring of 1901 and continuing up to the present time has given Mr. Bishop a very favorable impression concerning the possibilities of this section and particularly concerning the opportunities afforded by the district of Fair Oaks. There are few places in the settlement more favorably located and none more productive than the one which he owns and operates. This is clue not particularly to superiority of soil, although that is rich and fertile, but especially to the care and cultivation exercised by the owner, who follows scientific methods in the supervision of the land, the care of the trees and the developing of the fruit. A desire to possess on the ranch a residence worthy of the land and indicative of its value caused him to erect a two-story house with all the modern improvements, and this building, recently completed and tastefully furnished, now ranks among the finest in the neighborhood.

The entire life of Mr. Bishop prior to his removal to California was spent in Kane county, Ill., where he was born December 15, 1858, where he grew to manhood on a farm and where he received such advantages as country schools afforded. After he had attained maturity he chose agriculture for his occupation and became interested in the cultivation of land not far from the old homestead. For a consider- able period he engaged in the raising of grain and stock and also made a specialty of the dairy business. Meanwhile he had established domestic ties, selecting for his wife Miss Annie Forrdrescher, who was born in Elgin, Ill., of German parentage, and who possesses the sterling qualities of mind and heart that contributed not a little to their success. They became the parents of five children, namely: Henry, Frank, Fred, Charlotte and Dorothy. All are at home excepting Frank, who is married and rents a place not far from the ranch of his parents.

A desire to escape the rigorous winters characteristic of Northern Illinois led Mr. Bishop to dispose of his farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Kane county and forthwith he brought his family to California. The presence of his brother, Percy, at Fair Oaks led him to investigate conditions at this settlement, and he was so favorably impressed that he acquired property during the spring of 1901. This first purchase, which continues to be his home and- the scene of his extensive horticultural enterprises, comprises forty-one acres under cultivation to peaches, almonds, oranges and olives. Much of the acreage is now in thrifty bearing condition and the young trees will soon reach an age where they will add materially to the annual in- come from the place. The crops are marketed through the Fair Oaks Fruit Company, in which Mr. Bishop is a stockholder and which he has assisted in making one of the most important business enterprises of the district.

Far reaching activities and beneficent influences have characterized the life of Mr. Bishop, whose loyal devotion to his adopted community and commonwealth forms one of his leading attributes. Although never losing an affectionate regard for the home of his birth and the scenes of his early labors, he is a true Californian in spirit, and by developing his own place he has aided in the upbuilding of the district, which he has seen undergo a great change in appearance through the efforts of energetic land-owners. The prospects of the successful cultivation of fruit ranches convince him of the permanence of the prosperity of the region and this, supplementing a genial climate, proves to him that he made no mistake in the choice of his location. All movements for the general welfare receive his co-operation and support and the same may be said of his citizenship in Illinois, where he served with efficiency as a road commissioner in Kane county, besides being president of the school board of his district and afterward for nine years the clerk of the district schools. 

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