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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Any mention of the progressive, far-visioned men who have assisted in the development of Orangevale could not fail to include the name of John A. Pierce, who has been a resident of the district since 1897 and meanwhile has brought under splendid improvement two fruit ranches, one of which he now owns and occupies, the other having been sold some years since. In coming to the Sacramento valley he not only found an opportunity for financial advancement, but also was enabled to escape the rigorous climate of his native land. It is therefore a source of constant satisfaction to him that in early life he left Canada for the States and later was induced to seek a home near the sunset sea. His success is a tribute to his own native abilities unaided by influence or means or even education, for he was a member of a family in humble circumstances and it was impossible for him to secure the advantages of a high school education. However, habits of close reading have enabled him to acquire a fund of information not always possessed by college graduates.

In the capital city of Prince Edward county, Ontario, tlie town of Pictou, Mr. Pierce was born September 13, 1867, and at an early age he came to the United States in the hope of improving his circumstances. For some time he held a position at Joliet, Ill., and while working there he was married, January 15, 1894, to Miss Maude Irwin, who was born in Canada and passed the years of early life in the same neighborhood where lived her future husband. The young couple were not satisfied with the prospects afforded by a continuance of day wages in Illinois and they resolved to seek a location in California. During 1897 they came to Sacramento county and shortly afterward purchased ten acres at Orangevale. The land contained a few unimportant improvements, but its later condition resulted almost wholly from his incessant labors. After he had improved the tract he bought ten acres adjoining and planted the new purchase in fruit trees, making altogether ' a splendid property which he ultimately sold at a neat advance.

After he had disposed of his first ranch Mr. Pierce bought ten acres where he now resides. Here he planted oranges, prunes and grapes, selecting first-class varieties of each. The vines and trees are now in thrifty bearing condition and return to their owner a gratifying interest on his investment. In addition to the liome place he owns twenty acres of adjacent land, all of which is under cultivation to fruit trees. During 1907 he erected one of the most substantial residences in Orangevale, this being a commodious two-story house containing all of the modern improvements and furnished with a simple elegance reflecting the refined tastes of the family. On the ranch there is also a packing house with modern equipment, and Mr. Pierce also has erected other outbuildings, all of which are neat and well-kept, making of the place one of the best improved in the entire district. Besides this property he owns three residence lots in the city of Sacramento.

In the family of Mr. Pierce there are five children, Arthur C, Irwin J., Charles L., Kenneth and Marguerite. The family holds membership with the Folsom Presbyterian church and contribute generously to its maintenance. Political affairs do not interest Mr. Pierce, who, however, keeps posted upon all national problems. During campaigns he supports those whom he regards as the best men, regardless of their party views. Personally he has no desire for official honors, and the only time he ever consented to serve in a public position was some years since, when his deep interest in educational affairs led him to consent to serve as a member of the school board. In that office he labored for the upbuilding of the local schools. In fraternal connections he holds membership with the subordinate lodge of Odd Fellows at Folsom, also is a Master Mason and a member of Folsom Lodge No. 64, F. & A. M., while with his wife he participates in the activities of the Eastern Star chapter in that place. 

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