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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The district of Fair Oaks has in Dr. Bramhall an honored member of the medical profession and a successful practitioner of the science, who since coming to this locality as a permanent resident in 1902 has identified himself closely with all the activities of the community, has contributed to the development of the fruit industry and has promoted enterprises for the material, educational and professional advancement of Sacramento county. His residence, with its beautiful setting of lawn and trees and its attractive location on a slight eminence, is regarded as one of the most substantial and convenient in the entire district. Thoroughly modern in all of its appointments, it is utilized not only for a home but also for an office. Surrounding the neat two-story residence are two and one-half acres almost wholly studded with native oaks.

Dr. Bramhall was born in Abingdon, Va., March 18, 1878, and removed with his parents to Chicago when he was six years of age. His fine mental endowments came to him as an inheritance from his father. Col. Frank J. Bramhall, a man of unusual ability, born, reared and educated in New York City, a graduate of one of the law schools of the metropolis and for years an attorney of that great city. An appointment as collector of internal revenue for a district in Virginia caused him to remove to that state and there he remained for some time discharging the duties connected with the office. Later he filled a like position in Tennessee. When he resigned therefrom he removed to Chicago, where he was engaged in business. Ultimately he removed to California and was among the first to select a tract at Fair Oaks, where he cleared the land and planted fruit trees. The last years of his eventful life were quietly passed at his home in Oakland, this state.

During the residence of the family in Chicago Robert N. Bramhall received a classical education and also completed a course in electrical engineering, following that occupation for only a short time. Always he had been attracted by the science of materia medica, and he abandoned engineering to take up the study of therapeutics, which he prosecuted in the medical department of North- western University. On the completion of the regular course in 1902 the degree of M. D. was conferred upon him by the faculty. Immediately afterward he came to California and joined his father at Fair Oaks, where he has since devoted his attention to the practice of his profession and has built up an extensive patronage extending over the entire settlement and for miles around.

The family of Dr. Bramhall comprises his wife and daughter, Elinor Eugenia. His marriage was solemnized in Chicago July 15, 1902, and united him with Miss Emma E. Smith, who was born in Iowa, but grew to womanhood in Chicago and received a classical education in the city of Boston. Descended from an old family of New England, she comes of distinguished lineage, her grandfather. Rev. Samuel Francis Smith, D. D., having been the author of the national hymn, America. From childhood she has been an adherent of the Baptist denomination and a contributor to its benevolent and missionary movements. The family have a high social standing at Fair Oaks and enjoy to the highest degree the confidence of acquaintances. The Doctor's life is indeed a busy existence. As a relaxation from his professional duties he finds pleasure in looking after his orange and olive grove, which covers fifteen acres in Fair Oaks Colony. These manifold duties do not prevent him from discharging with fidelity every duty as a citizen and every responsibility as a neighbor, and he is always found to be a firm supporter of every principle of justice in civic and social affairs. 

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