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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Successful identification with the medical profession individualizes the personal history of Dr. Silva and gives the prestige of progressive prominence to his citizenship in Sacramento, where he is recognized as a physician of talent and as a gentleman possessing the highest culture and attainments. Not alone may it be said concerning him that almost the whole of his professional career has been passed in the capital city, but it may be added further that much of his life in childhood and youth was passed here, this place having been the environment of early memories. The culture of institutions at other points was added to his mental equipment, for he was afforded exceptional educational advantages in the Santa Clara valley and in San Francisco. The period of infancy and indeed up to the age of fourteen years was passed by him under the care of his parents in the kingdom of Portugal, where he completed the local high school course. Indeed, practically all of the later scenes painted on memory's walls are associated with Northern California, and his devotion to this region presents another example of that high type of loyalty characteristic of those who proudly claim themselves to be lifelong residents of the commonwealth beside the sunset sea.

Born June 19, 1868, in Pico, Azores Islands, where his parents, Manuel L. and Rosa Silva, had temporarily established a home. Dr. Silva descends from a long line of Portuguese ancestors. The family was founded in the new world by his father, a man of great enterprise and indomitable courage, who, originally attracted to California during the '50s by reason of the discovery of gold, remained to embark in farm pursuits in Yolo county, where ranching was yet in a primitive condition of development and the possibilities of agriculture entirely unknown. The locality presented a remarkable contrast to that of his early years, which had been spent on the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal, in his native town of Pico. With characteristic adaptability of temperament he entered into harmonious relations with the people around his new home, studied the soil until he had acquired a thorough knowledge of its needs in cultivation and prospered to a degree fully merited by toil and enterprise. From 1868 until 1882 he engaged in business in Portugal, where he purchased ocean ships adapted to the carrying of general merchandise and with such cargoes he traveled to the Azores Islands, disposing of the goods and then returning to the mainland for new purchases. When he returned to California in 1882 he retained his interest in the Portuguese vessels, but gave personal attention to the development of a ranch near Freeport, Sacramento county, remaining on the California farm until 1886, when he returned to Portugal for the purpose of giving undivided attention to the management of his ships and merchandise. Since then he has been active and successful in the same business.

The return of the family to Portugal made no change in the educational program outlined for the son, who continued a student in local schools and the Christian Brothers college until 1885 and then spent a year in St. Mary's college, Oakland, after which he became a student in the Santa Clara college near San Jose, where his classical education was finished, graduating with the degree of A. B. Later he took up the study of medicine in the California Medical college at San Francisco, from which institution he was graduated in 1897 with the degree of M. D. and an excellent standing. While apparently well qualified for professional work, he felt his limitations to such an extent that he took a post-graduate course in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in San Francisco. His degree came from that institution in 1901, and since then, with the exception of three years in San Jose, he has engaged in practice at Sacramento, where he ranks among the most distinguished and efficient physicians of the city.

The marriage of Dr. Silva and Miss Mary Vieira was solemnized in Santa Clara, this state, in October of 1892, and has been blessed with three children. Manuel, the eldest, now a bright youth of fifteen years, is a student in the Sacramento high school. The younger children, Joe and Agnes, are pupils in the Sisters convent on Third and streets. The family are earnest supporters of the work maintained by the Roman Catholic church and Dr. Silva has been a leader locally among the Knights of Columbus. In addition he has associated himself with the Druids, Eagles and Fraternal Brother- hood. Stanch in allegiance to the Republican party, his devotion, although intense, is less conspicuous than his sturdy loyalty to the nation and his deep affection for the commonwealth. 

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