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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



In all fields of labor the men who lead are those who have been fitted by experience for their peculiar offices and it is a refuted theory that chance plays a part in the progress of those who would attain influence and prosperity among their fellows.

One of the most able leaders in industrial circles of Sacramento county is E. L. Da Roza, who for the past four years has served as manager of the Elk Grove Winery, which forms a portion of his father's estate. A native of the Island of St. George, Portugal, Jose L. Da Roza left his home country for America at the age of seventeen years, arriving in New Bedford, Mass. Proceeding to Sacramento, Cal., in 1881 he became an employe in the service of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, but after five years decided to enter a more lucrative as well as a more agreeable occupation and to that end investigated a business opportunity in Elk Grove, with the result that he became associated with John Nevis, who operated a winery in that section. For nine years he served his employer faithfully, paying strict attention *to his duties, at the same time learning every detail of the business. In 1895, having concluded to remain permanently in the field wherein he had become an expert, he purchased the interest of Mr. Nevis, undertaking the control of the plant with immediate success, and until his death, in December, 1909, actively conducted his affairs with the assistance of his son. His wife, Amelia (Vierra) Da Roza, a woman of courageous nature and rare devotion, was a native of Portugal. She became the mother of seven children, as follows: Mabel, Ida, Edward, John, Joseph, Frank and Clarence. The family suffered a deep loss in the death of the wife and mother in 1894.

The third oldest of the children in the parental family, Edward L. Da Roza, was born in Elk Grove, Cal., October 27, 1891. After a preliminary course in the schools of his home section he became a student in the schools of San Francisco, two years later, however, returning to Elk Grove and completing his studies in the high school of this place, from which he graduated in 1908. He then accepted a position as bookkeeper in his father's office, and by patient application and intense interest in all matters pertaining to the success of the enterprise became an important factor in the business, and after his father's death he was made manager, fulfilling his duties with ability and tactful leadership. Fortunate indeed was the circumstance which led the young man to become associated with the business, for a year later the responsibility of his father's interests devolved upon him. Rising to the occasion with quiet confidence in his own powers and a sincere desire to control affairs to the best of his ability, however, his faithfulness to his work continued worthy of the highest commendation. In his service are eighteen men, all of whom bear hearty good will toward their employer, and inasmuch as the capacity of the plant is a million gallons annually, it may be readily understood that its management requires the utmost care and good judgment. The winery is complete with a full line of machinery, including two steam engines and boilers, two large stills, a crusher with a capacity of thirty- five tons per hour, and is admirably located on an eleven hundred foot spur from the Southern Pacific Railroad. In connection with the winery there is a ranch of one hundred and eighty acres, one hundred acres being in vineyard. In addition to the grapes supplied from their own vineyard they buy about five thousand tons of grapes to supply the demand. It is interesting to note that the elder Mr. Da Roza doubled the business after he bought it, and since his death the business has been doubled again. A branch house is maintained on Beach street, New York City, and a large trade is supplied to the Hawaiian Islands.

Mr. Da Roza is a member of Elk Grove Parlor No. 41, N. S. G. W., Sacramento Chapter No. 42, R. A. M., and is also affiliated with Elk Grove Court No. 103, Foresters of America. Progressive and public spirited, he maintains a deep interest in civic affairs and is widely known as a man of generous principles and unswerving honor. 

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