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JOHN LESKER PATTERSON

Within three miles of Folsom lies the well improved fruit farm which has been the home of Mr. Patterson for a considerable period and which through his well-directed efforts has acquired a reputation for productiveness and profitable operation. In coming to Orangevale, for such is the name of the district, he first made a visit of inspection from his Nebraska home and later removed to the property he still owns. Continued identification with the locality increases his faith in the soil and his devotion to the higher development of the community. While he has inspected many other parts of the state and at one time remained for two years in San Joaquin county, he believes Sacra- mento county to be the peer of all and the center of a vast horticultural section whose possibilities as yet are only partly appreciated.

Of Pennsylvanian birth and parentage, John L. Patterson was born at Uniontown, Fayette county, February 14, 1859, and at the age of eleven years, in 1870, he accompanied his parents to Iowa, settling upon raw land in Madison county. While helping his father he was also given fair schooling, and not only completed the grammar grade, but also attended a high school and later took a course of study in the Baptist college at Pella. For a time he engaged in teaching school. During young manhood, in 1884, he removed to Nebraska and settled at Kearney, Buffalo county, where he bought and still owns residence property. While still in Iowa he had learned the trade of a stationary engineer and knowledge of the occupation enabled him to operate an engine with success for five years. He also taught in the Kearney Industrial school for six years.

During the period of his residence at Kearney Mr. Patterson met and married Miss Adelaide Stout, who was born and reared in New York state; her death occurred in 190.3 and her body was interred in Folsom cemetery. Surviving her are the two daughters born of the union, Irma and Ona, who are attending the local schools. The family came to California during 1897 and settled at Orangevale, where Mr. Patterson had bought property on a previous trip to the west. The place had been planted to fruit trees, but there were no other improvements. His first task was the building of a substantial house. Later other improvements were made and adjacent property was purchased, until now he owns sixty acres, all in fruit. Six and one-half acres are in oranges, seven acres in prunes and the balance in pears, almonds, olives and grapes. From 1898 until 1900 he acted as superintendent of a ranch of two thousand acres and meanwhile made his home on the property, which is situated in San Joaquin county, but in 1900 he resigned the position in order to take up the personal supervision of his Orangevale ranch. In addition to improving this property he has bought and sold real estate and has promoted many enterprises for the benefit of the locality. A movement which received his early and constant support was that looking toward the starting of a bank, and it was characteristic of him that he should be among the first to subscribe to the capital stock. Since then he has continued a stockholder in the Bank of Folsom and now serves as a member of the board of directors. He is president of the Orangevale Water Company, which is installing a new system of piping to supply water for irrigation and domestic use in the colony.

The present wife of Mr. Patterson, whom he married in 1905, was Mrs. Nora (Raper) Gibbons, who was born in Placer county and reared in Colusa county. She was educated in Pierce Christian college at College City, graduating in 1887 with the degree of B. S. Her parents were Robert and Frances (Allen) Raper, who crossed the plains in 1864 and settled in Colusa county. The father is now living in Orangevale, but the mother died in 1909. After her graduation Miss Raper became the wife of 0. J. Gibbons, and of that marriage three children were born, as follows: Aris, of Oakland; Robert L., a graduate of the State Agricultural school at Davis and now horticultural inspector of Sacramento county, and Ruth, who is attending high school in Sacramento. Politically, Mr. Patterson believes in Republican principles, and is progressive in his tendencies. Ever since young manhood he has been interested in educational progress and no one in his district maintains a closer affiliation with such work than does Mr. Patterson, who believes that the public schools are the most important factors in our national development. He and his wife are active members of the Orangevale Grange, of which he is past master and Mrs. Patterson treasurer, and these progressive organizations they have not only promoted, but they have also organized them whenever possible. While living in Nebraska Mr. Patterson became associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Kearney of which he is past grand, and he is also past chief patriarch of the encampment, as well as a member of the Uniform rank of the order, in Nebraska. Mrs. Patterson is president of the Orangevale W. C. T. U.


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