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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



About the middle of the nineteenth century John Studarus left his native place in St. Gall, Switzerland, and crossed the ocean to the United States, settling in West Virginia, where he married Mary Reich. On their farm in Hancock county, that state, a son, John, Jr., was born April 12, 1852. No part of the world at that time so deeply engrossed the attention of men as did California, and the Swiss family soon determined to cross the continent to the unknown regions of the west. The necessities of such a long journey were loaded in a wagon, and with an ox-team for motive power the "prairie schooner" slowly bore the family across the vast expanse of unsettled country until finally the destination was reached in safety. The trip had consumed more than six months of the year 1853, and they located in Eldorado county, continuing there until 1855. Settlement was then made near Perkins, Sacramento county, the father eventually acquiring title to vast tracts of raw land near Mills Station. He proved a successful farmer and horticulturist, and his ranch became valuable with the passing of the years. Believing the soil and climate favored horticultural efforts, he experimented with the raising of fruit and was one of the pioneers in that industry in the whole valley. Both parents died on the old home place. Nine children were born of their marriage, and all but one are living in California. The eldest of the children, Mrs. J. Broder, of Folsom, crossed the plains to this state.

John Studarus was next to the oldest of the parental family, and the old homestead in Sacramento county has been familiar to him from his earliest childhood years. Upon it he learned needed lessons in agriculture and from it he was sent during the winter months to the country school of the district, where he received a fair education. After he reached the age of twenty-two he began working on ranches, and during two years saved $900 from his wages. At the expiration of that time he turned his attention to the shipping of cobblestones to Sacramento and found that business quite profitable. Later he bought two hundred and fifty acres near Mills, and for four years he devoted himself to the improvement of the place. Coming from there into the village of Mills, he bought five acres of ground and established a mercantile business, besides which he built and conducted a hotel. For years he has served as postmaster of Mills, and always has sup- ported Republican principles.

The erection of a large business house in 1911 has given Mr. Studarus excellent advantages for the management of his mercantile establishment, and, by a division into different rooms, he has an abundance of space for the care of the mail and the other duties devolving upon a postmaster. On the completion of the new store and before it had been stocked witli merchandise, the owner gave a ball and banquet, to which he invited the people of the entire country. A free entertainment was given, and the guests came from miles in every direction. Many of the guests were young people whose only desire was the enjoyment of the banquet, but there were also present not a few of the older people, some of whom had been acquainted with Mr. Studarus since his boyhood years and had enjoyed his friendship through all the intervening era. Fraternally he has been connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1885. His marriage took place at Mills December 25, 1879, and united him with Miss Sine Lauridson, who was born and reared in Denmark. They became the parents of four sons, but one of these, John, Jr., died when only two years of age. Howard passed away in 1909, at the age of nineteen years, when he had just completed the high school course in Sacramento. Lawrence, a young man of excellent education, is now employed in Seattle. Henry,, a graduate of Heald's Business college, San Francisco, who is married and lives at Mills, assists his father in the management of the business. 

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