California Genealogy and History Archives
distinction of being a pioneer does not belong to Mr. Godard, yet when
it is stated that he has been identified with the development and
business history of Sacramento for more than thirty years it will be
realized at once that he is no recent acquisition to the city's ranks
nor unfamiliar with the commercial development of the past. The family
of which he is a member claims old southern ancestry and became
established in Missouri during the period of frontier environment. His
own early recollections belong to that state, for he was born in Clinton
county in January of 1862 and is a son of H. L. and Frances Godard. As
soon as old enough he was sent to school and there studied the common
branches until he had completed the course stipulated for the grammar
grade, after which he entered the high school. At the age of fourteen
years he left school and thereafter he earned his own way in the world.
In the midst of many hardships and privations he developed self-reliance
and became accustomed to depend upon his own native resources through
the most trying discouragements.
trade which attracted the early attention of Mr. Godard as offering a
means of livelihood was the occupation of a blacksmith, and he served an
apprenticeship that began when lie was fourteen. As soon as he had
served his time he began to work as a journeyman and soon acquired a
local reputation for skill as a horse-shoer. How- ever, he was still a
mere lad not yet out of his teens when he left Missouri and sought the
opportunities of California, settling at Sacramento, where for one year
he was employed by Wheeler & Nixon in their horse-shoeing shop. Then
he opened up a shop of his own and this he continued to manage until
1900, when he sold to other parties. Meanwhile he has proved himself to
be skilled in all departments of blacksmithing and especially proficient
in the shoeing of horses.
The business with which Mr. Godard became identified in October of 1903 aud which has engaged his attention from that time to the present, forms one of the well-known amusement ventures for which the city has gained a wide reputation. As proprietor and owner of three theaters, known as the Liberty, Majestic and Acme Theaters, he has developed the use of moving pictures for entertainment, amusement and education. Some of the films exhibited in his theaters are exceptionally fine and have attracted admiring comment from critics, while all have been selected with experienced judgment and artistic appreciation. In politics Mr. Godard votes with the Republican party. Fraternally he holds membership with the Elks, Eagles, Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. For a long period after his location in Sacramento he remained a bachelor, but eventually he established domestic ties, his marriage December 5, 1906, uniting him with Miss May Burges, of Sacramento. They are the parents of one daughter, Margaret.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011