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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Having distinguished himself during his entire career by his shrewd business management and inflexible honor, it is fitting that Mr. Silva should stand as he does today among the avowed financial leaders of both Sacramento, Yolo and Sutter counties, the center of his interests being in Sacramento. Not only has he achieved material success, but, through temptations innumerable, has resisted every form of dishonor, giving to his children a name which they will ever be proud to bear. A naturalized citizen of the United States, Mr. Silva has been identified with the development of California since 1878, when he crossed the Pacific with his brother, Frank F. He was born December 14, 1867, in Fiole, Azores Islands, Portugal, of which country his parents, John and Annie (Posash) Silva, also were natives.

Mr. Silva spent his early youth in a home of culture and received a training which combined both love and firmness and which left upon his childish character a lasting impression. Although but eleven years of age when he left his studies to accompany his brother to the new land, he had acquired, by concentration and natural aptitude, knowledge greatly exceeding in extent that absorbed by his American brothers of a similar age, and was, therefore, fairly well equipped to engage in the battle of life. Upon reaching Boston, after a voyage of three weeks, the brothers proceeded at once to Sacramento, Cal., which they had chosen as their destination, since reports combined to cast particular favor upon that locality. Settling in Vernon, Sutter county, Charles Silva served two years on a ranch, and in 1880, having saved most of his earnings, was enabled to establish a cheese manufacturing plant, but two years later disposed of his interest and rented a farm in Yolo county, where he set up and operated a cheese plant for one year and then purchased his own cows. Shortly thereafter he engaged in the traffic of wood, carrying on both enterprises until 1900, when he changed his residence to Sacramento. Here he conducted a coal and wood business of no inconsiderable importance, also employing, for the sale of provisions, two boats whose route included the towns of the Sacramento river between the capital and Butte City.

Thoroughly interested in the progress of the community in which he had cast his fortunes, and possessing a rare sense of diplomacy and foresight, he rose in commercial circles with a sureness which was somewhat baffling to many of his competitors, who, despite their efforts, found it impossible to outstrip this cool and self-possessed young business man, whose affairs appeared to conduct themselves as if by magic. Not in the least selfish or domineering, however, Mr. Silva continued to increase his interest in municipal matters, and by his quiet and timely assistance soon became known as a man whose success failed to blind him to the needs of the public.

In 1911, associated with a Mr. Brown, Mr. Silva established the Silva-Brown Company, wholesale and retail dealers in coal, wood and feed. He also owns seven thousand acres of land in Sutter county devoted to the growing of alfalfa and grain and also to stock-raising, and he conducts four meat markets in Sacramento, one located on Ninth and N streets, one on Sixteenth and M, one on Fourth and M, and one on Seventh and J streets. He is today the largest individual cattle dealer in the state of California. Aside from his large shipments from various sections of the state, he shipped in from old Mexico three thousand head in 1911, and this year the shipment will be much larger. Mr. Silva has served as manager and director of the Sacramento River Farms Company since its organization, his executive ability and unquenchable energy particularly fitting him for the position, in which he has been of incalculable value. Under this company the partners are operating ten thousand and four hundred acres of grain.

Mr. Silva has always been a great lover of the horse, and for many years has been breeding standard bred animals, to such an extent that he has one of the finest lot of standard bred studs and dams in the state. He raised and owns Teddy Bear, which has a record of 2:05 at the State Fair of California, held at Sacramento in 1911. The record up to that time had stood for six years at 2:061/2, which Teddy Bear broke, as stated above. Mr. Silva also owns Queen S., the mother of Teddy Bear, and also Black Bear, the two- year-old son of Teddy Bear, that is developing into just as fast a pacer. It is a source of recreation and pleasure and a pride to him to have been able to accomplish such wonderful results and to improve the standard-bred horse in California. He is a member of the California Driving club of San Francisco and the Sacramento Driving club.

In Sacramento, on August 15, 1899, Mr. Silva was united in marriage with Miss Terese Kennedy, who was born in Oakland, the daughter of Daniel and Mary (Hurley) Kennedy, natives of Ireland and New Orleans, La., respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Silva became the parents of eight children, as follows: Claire M., Charles C, Ralph C, Fred C, Alice C, Merrill C, Raymond C. and Bertram C. In their comfortable home circle are found the confidence and companionship which assures the success of the parents in the rearing of their children. A Republican in progressive principles, Mr. Silva takes a deep interest in political matters, although he has never aspired to public office.


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