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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



By far one of the most important and extensive industries in Northern California today is fruit culture, and, in this field, replete with financial opportunities, ought to be found men of broad training and keen business judgment. In truth, to such gigantic proportions has grown the enterprise, launched scarcely forty years ago in a country rich with possibilities for its success, that were the exact number of workers in that connection to become known, astonishment would reign supreme in the minds of those who know little of the extent of this carefully organized, perfectly controlled source of production.

In his vital association with the fruit industry during the past twelve years, the manager of the California Fruit Exchange of Sacramento, John L. Nagle, has attained thorough familiarity with every phase of his work and in his direct conservative methods and ability to master every problem that arises, is recognized as a man perfectly adapted for his position.

Mr. Nagle was born September 5, 1877, in Boston, Mass., where he received a preliminary education in the public schools. At the age of sixteen he entered Mount St. Mary's College at Emmitsburg, Md., at which place he remained for three years, and in 1896 entered Georgetown University at Washington, D. C, from which institution he graduated in 1899, and later entered the employ of Haskell-Adams & Co., importers, of Boston, Mass. After serving these ]ieople two years as salesman he was selected to handle the account of Nelson-Morris & Co., beef packers, of Chicago, in San Francisco. His associations with the latter firm took him into the fruit districts of Northern California. Becoming impressed with the opportunities offered in the growing of fruit he determined to engage in the business, and for this purpose he located in Newcastle, Placer county, in 1901. Two years later he was joined by his brother from Boston, and together they purchased large tracts of land and planted the same to deciduous fruits.

In 1904 Mr. Nagle was appointed manager of the Newcastle Fruit Growers' Association, a branch of the California Fruit Exchange, which position he held until 1910, when he was made manager of the California Fruit Exchange, the largest independent deciduous fruit marketing organization on the Pacific coast.

The California Fruit Exchange has grown in the past twelve years from a shipment of two hundred cars to two thousand cars, and now embraces associations from the Imperial Valley to Shasta county, handling the products of over one thousand fruit growers and distributing the same through all the principal markets of the United States and Canada. On account of its affiliation with the California Fruit Growers' Exchange of Los Angeles, the largest citrus organization in the world, it is enabled to employ a force of salaried agents, numbering over one hundred, located in all of the large markets of this country.

Mr. Nagle has increased his holdings in Placer county, and is now one of the largest fruit growers in the northern part of the state. On account of his close relationship with the Exchange, most of his time is taken up in Sacramento, though he looks after his personal properties once a week.

For years Mr. Nagle took an active part in athletic sports and for two years held the one-mile record for the southern states. He was also enthusiastic in foot-ball and baseball, but, owing to pressure of business, has found it impossible to devote any time to that field of pleasure. Widely known as a man of exemplary principles and progressive spirit, he enjoys the high regard of his friends and associates and in all public movements of worth may be counted upon to lend material assistance. 

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