Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Several successive generations of the Derby family lived and labored in the east. The first of the name to seek a permanent home on the Pacific coast was Daniel B. Derby, a native of New York state and for a number of years engaged in business in Pennsylvania. Accompanied by his wife, Ella (Hammon) Derby, and their three children he left Pennsylvania for California early in the '80s and settled at Oakland. With characteristic energy he devoted himself to the nursery business with such ardor, zeal and intelligence that he became widely known for the quality of the stock in his fields. From the main office at Oakland he shipped young stock to every part of the state, as well as to Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Skill and integrity enabled him to build up an enviable reputation as a nurseryman. The secret of his success was the scrupulous exactness with which he superintended every detail. Later however he turned to other pursuits, removed to Vacaville, Solano county, and bought land which he developed into fine fruit orchards. To some extent he has drifted back to his former work. Many of his early patrons still depend upon him to furnish them with young trees for their orchards and ranches. Notwithstanding his long and active business career he is still busily occupied with the care of his orchard business and shows no trace of weariness of body or mind.

During the residence of the family at Greenville, Pa., Charles M. Derby was born September 8, 1878, moving to California with his parents in the early '80s. The memories of early childhood clustered around Oakland and Vacaville, Solano county, where in turn he graduated from grammar, high school and business college, in addition to completing a course in engineering. Upon starting out upon a career, he chose to identify himself with the gold dredging industry, which was then in its infancy and accepted employment in that occupation at Oroville, Butte county, Cal. He soon acquired practical knowledge of that business and later served a number of years as superintendent and manager of various companies operating in Butte, Yuba, Calaveras, and Sacramento counties. In January, 1909, he became a stockholder in Natomas Consolidated of California, a $25,000,000 corporation engaged principally in gold dredging and land development, and since that time has been manager of the company's business at Natoma, Sacramento county, where he has active charge of its extensive gold dredg-ing operations, employing a total of several hundred men. The officials of the company recognize in him a careful business man and efficient executive.

In 1910 Mr. Derby assisted in the organization of the Bank of Folsom, at Folsom, Sacramento county, becoming a director of the bank at the time of its opening for business in November of that year and continuing to the present in that capacity.

On November 18, 1903, Charles M. Derby and Miss Ethel V. Elder of Marysville, Yuba county, were united in marriage at Sacramento. Two years later a son was born to them in Calaveras county, and after living to be nearly three and one half years old was suddenly taken away in a most unfortunate accident on November 15, 1908, while the family were residing at Natoma. A daughter was born to them on August 7, 1910, and at this time is the only child of the household.

While giving his time and attention almost exclusively to the duties of his position, Mr. Derby has found time to identify himself with other local enterprises and is prosperous and public spirited. He is a member of the Scottish Rite Masons of Sacramento, rising to membership in Islam Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at San Francisco, and is actively identified with the philanthropies of Masonry as his principal lodge affiliation. 

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