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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



An official connection with the California Fruit Distributors af- fords notable evidence of the prominence to which Mr. Fairbank has attained in the horticultural activities of the state. Further testimony concerning the same appears in his forceful association with the Producers' Fruit Company of Sacramento. The organization of this prosperous concern came as the result of his initiative. Success came through his laborious application and care in every detail. From the year 1892, when his energetic efforts made effective the opening of the business, up to the present time, when the company ships an average of seventeen hundred cars of fruit per annum, the history of the business has been one of steady growth and prosperous development. In the early years of the company's existence he held the office of vice-president, but in 1908 he was elected president, and this office he still holds, while in addition he has served from the first as manager of the concern and has handled with skill the constantly increasing business.

 Although he came to the west from Texas and prior to his residence in the Lone Star state had been engaged in business in South Dakota, Mr. Fairbank claims Illinois as his native commonwealth. His birth occurred April 19, 1860, his parents having been John B. and Ruth B. Fairbank, being descended from Jonathan Fayerbanke, of Dedham, Mass., whose father came from England to Massachusetts about 1631. Primarily educated in the grammar schools of Jacksonville, Ill., he later took the regular course in the high school and was graduated in 1876, after which he continued his studies in Illinois College for three years. Upon starting out to earn his own way in the world he went to Sioux Falls, S. Dak., and engaged in the wood and coal business until 1883. During the two following years he carried on a lumber business at San Antonio, Tex., but in 1885 he disposed of the enterprise, closed out his interests there and removed to California. In San Francisco he served as secretary of the California Fruit Union until 1888, in which year he re- signed and removed to Sacramento, the center of his subsequent business activities. In this city he acted as manager of the National Fruit Association, a concern composed of twenty-seven eastern firms, organized under their above title through his personal efforts. The position with them he resigned in 1892 in order to devote his time to the organization of the Producers' Fruit Company. The establishment of a home of his own dates from the residence of Mr. Fairbank in South Dakota, where at Sioux Falls, September 6, 1882, he was united with Miss Lillian E. Buck, a popular and cultured young lady of that city. One daughter blessed their marriage, Gladys, now the wife of W. H. Dement and a resident of Berkeley. The religious sympathies of the family are with the Congregational Church and they have contributed with constant generosity to the missionary movements* of the denomination. In his political views Mr. Fairbank always has supported the Republican party, but at no time has he sought official honors or aspired to the activities incident to public life. Of recognized culture and breadth of mind, he has been a welcomed guest in the most select circles of the community. The Sutter Club has received his support as an active member and his social relations are enlarged through membership in the Union League of San Francisco. The Masonic Order has received his sympathetic support in the varied philanthropies that mark its existence, he being a member of the Knights Templar and Shrine, while in addition he has maintained fraternal associations with the Woodmen.

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