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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Should the query be propounded as to the identity of the most influential citizens of Fair Oaks, the name of William W. Hinsey would appear among those of other promoters of the local prosperity. Indeed, it would be difficult to overestimate the importance of his labors in the organization and management of the Fair Oaks Fruit Company. To his capable oversight may be attributed the high financial standing of the concern among the banks of Sacramento valley and the satisfactory continuance of a large business among the local horticulturists. As secretary, treasurer and manager he has been at the head of the growth, improvements and progress of the establishment, which now owns and occupies seven buildings, including an office, a warehouse, olive oil mill and packing houses. The present value of the holdings of the company in real-estate and improvements aggregates almost $100,000. Successful prosecution of the business is indicated by the fact that the company has paid out to stockholders one hundred and two per cent of the value of the stock since the plant was first started, and for the building up of such a profitable industry universal credit is given to the efficient manager.

During the early history of the now thriving city of Ottumwa, Iowa, no physician was more highly honored and none more successful in the practice of the profession than Dr. J. C. Hinsey, who made his home in that town and there reared his family, among them being William W., born in Ottumwa November 18, 1862. After he had completed the studies of the common schools he took a commercial course in the Ottumwa Business College and then commenced the earning of a livelihood through the work of shipping clerk in the wholesale house of Ottumwa Starch Co. and then for three years with W. A. Jordan & Son. Recognition of his worth came in his promotion to the position of cashier. For several years he continued with the firm, but in 1888 he resigned to come to California. On the occasion of this first trip to the west he settled at Elsinore, Riverside county, and secured an important position with the real estate exchange.

Upon returning to the old home and resuming business associations, Mr. Hinsey organized the Ottumwa Fruit Commission Company and continued to operate the concern until his second removal to the west, which occurred during the year 1898. During the spring of 1899 he became assistant manager for George D. Kellogg, a fruit shipper of Newcastle, in Placer county, and for the ensuing four years he continued in that village. From there he came to Sacramento county and settled at Fair Oaks, where later he was one of the promoters and organizers of the Fair Oaks Fruit Company, one of the most successful concerns of its kind in the entire valley. Immediately after his arrival in the town he bought a lot and erected a comfortable modern residence, which he since has made his home. In addition to other business identifications with the town he is a stockholder in the Fair Oaks Bank, the organization of which he helped promote through his intelligent and zealous endeavors.

Upon coming to California for the first time Mr. Hinsey was accompanied by his young bride. He had married at Ottumwa September 29, 1888, Miss Carrie E. Logan, a cultured and popular woman of that city and the recipient of excellent advantages in its schools. Seven sons were born of their union, but the first born, Harold, died at the age of five years. The others are Charles M., George L., Walter B., Donald M., Philip H. and Ralph R. In politics Mr. Hinsey has been a Republican, though locally supporting the candidates whom he regards as best qualified to serve the people regardless of politics. With his wife he holds membership in the Fair Oaks Methodist Episcopal Church, which for many years he served as treasurer, besides being a member of the board of trustees. While living in Ottumwa he was made a master Mason. Perhaps no subject of general importance interests him more than that of education. Favoring good schools, he has aided in securing them through a service of years as a member of the school board and his influence has accomplished much toward the advance locally of the standard of instruction and discipline, both of which points are emphasized in the management of the Fair Oaks schools. 

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