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Biographies
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Sacramento County

 

FRANCIS WILLIAM FRATT

Throughout a period covering almost sixty years the life of Francis William Fratt rendered useful and significant service to the material development of California, his helpful activities ceasing only with his final departure from the scenes familiar to maturity. It was his high privilege to witness the remarkable advancement made by the west from the era of gold discovery until the twentieth century had brought its matchless progress into the world. Coincident with that advancement was his own rise to influence and local distinction. Many were the changes that entered into his personal history from the far-distant days when as a boy in his native city of Albany, N. Y., he met at school a lad named Leland Stanford, whose name later became inseparably interwoven with the development of the western country. Later, while crossing the plains with horses and oxen in a large expedition, he formed the acquaintance of Charles W. Coil, for many years one of the most distinguished citizens of Woodland. Shortly after his arrival in the Sacramento valley he began to be interested in the cattle industry. For years he engaged in the business upon a very large scale, making Sacramento his headquarters. Large enterprises brought large returns. The fruits of his labors were evidenced by increasing possessions. For years he paid taxes upon broad tracts of farming land. During the early days he owned the Tomes grant in Tehama county, but during 1879 he sold it to Mr. Blossom and invested the returns in other property, mainly city real estate. In the latter part of his life, after he had relinquished his extensive stock interests, he devoted considerable attention to the care and improvement of his real estate in Sacramento, where he erected the Fratt building at No. 200 K street, the Union hotel and the Orleans hotel. In 1908 he erected a magnificent residence at No. 1511 P street. Amid the beautiful surroundings of Park View Place, with all the luxuries of life, ministered to by a devoted wife and blessed by the admiration and respect of hosts of friends, he passed the twilight of a useful existence and thence September 16, 1909, he entered into the rest of eternity.

The political views of Mr. Fratt brought him into hearty accord with Democratic principles. Fraternally he held membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In his marriage, which was solemnized at Sacramento October 31, 1879, he was especially fortunate, for his wife was a young lady not only of fine family and excellent education, but also of gentle character and attractive personal endowments. Born in Plattsburg, Clinton county, N. Y., she was a daughter of Harvey Bromley, sheriff of that county. After having completed the studies of the Plattsburg academy. Miss Cornelia E. Bromley came to California in 1868. The recent building of the railroad enabled her to travel a considerable portion of the distance by train. The balance of the journey was made by stage. From young girlhood she has been a sincere member of the Congregational Church. Philanthropic by nature, solicitous to aid the un- fortunate, she was particularly helpful as a member of the board of trustees of the orphan asylum (later known as the orphanage), her service in that organization covering a period of twenty-seven years. Aiding Mrs. Clayton, Mrs. Huntoon and Mrs. Mandeville, she established the Sacramento Children's Home and served from its organization as a member of the board. She was the first to solicit subscriptions for the erection of a suitable building on the corner of Ninth and X streets. At this writing she acts as vice-president of the home. For twenty-two successive years she entertained the children from the Home on the 4th of July for an all-day pleasure excursion, besides giving them entertainments and treats on other holidays. In addition to her other philanthropies she has given distinct civic service through her judicious labors as a member of the Sacramento board of park commissioners. 


Source:
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