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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The president of the Bank of Elk Grove, who also enjoys the distinction of having been one of the original promoters and founders of this prosperous institution, claims identification with the Native Sons of the Golden West by reason of his lifelong association with Sacramento county, where his birth occurred January 23, 1877, in the home of Thomas Moore and Esther Ann Taverner. The Anglo- Saxon lineage of the family is indicated by the genealogical records, which furnish authentic proof concerning the identification of many successive generations with England. The shire of Devon was the native place of Thomas Taverner and April 5, 1833, the date of his birth. English schools afforded him fair educational opportunities and prepared him for the task of self-support. While his kindred were content to remain amid scenes familiar to their entire lives, his own aspirations turned toward America and in 1850 he crossed the ocean to the new world, locating first in St. Thomas, Ontario. Only a few years had passed since the discovery of gold in California and the tide of emigration still flowed toward the Pacific coast in great volume. Induced to join the pioneers of the west, he came via the Horn to San Francisco in 1852 and thence to Sacramento county, where he settled at Elk Grove.

The sturdy, persevering nature of the young Englishman was displayed in his determination to acquire land. Although he came without moneyed capital, his was the no less powerful capital represented by a determined ambition and willing hands. The wages of his work as a rancher were frugally saved. Little by little he accumulated a small sum of money. This was invested in raw land. From that small beginning he rose to a position among the largest laud-owners in Sacramento county, where at the time of his death, January 10, 1893, he held the title to twenty-eight hundred acres. The unusual success won by his persistent efforts proved his fine qualities of mind and his energy of character. Throughout all of his life he adhered to the doctrines of the Church of England, in which faith he had been reared in the home land. Politically he voted the Republican ticket after he became a citizen of the United States. Deeply interested in Masonry, he held membership with Elk Grove Lodge, Sacramento Chapter and Council, also the Sacramento Commandery, K. T., and for years he was a leading worker among the Masons of Sacramento county and a generous contributor to the philanthropies of the order.

The marriage of Thomas Taverner took place in Sacramento in 1873 and united him with Miss Esther Ann Hirst, a native of Lancashire, England, by whom he became the father of four children. The two daughters are Mrs. C. V. Upton, of Elk Grove, and Mrs. C. L. Bader, of Sacramento. One son, John T., is now in Nevada, while the other son, George M., has spent his entire life in and near Elk Grove, having in early life engaged with his father in the raising of sheep, which he followed alone after the death of that parent. Eventually he disposed of his flocks and October 24, 1910, effected the organization of the Bank of Elk Grove with a capital stock of $25,000, a considerable portion of which is held by himself. As a financier he is keen and capable, progressive yet duly cautious, and the institution of which he is the head has proved a distinct help to the commercial development of the town. Ever since attaining his majority he has voted with the Republican party. For some years he has been prominent in Elk Grove Parlor of Native Sons, in which now he officiates as past president. Like his father, he is an admirer of Masonic principles and a contributor to the philanthropies of the order, in which he ranks high among the members of Elk Grove Lodge, No. 173, F. & A. M., of which he is past master, Sacramento Chapter No. 3, R. A. M., Sacramento Council No. 1, Sacramento Commandery No. 2, K. T., Isaac Davis Lodge of Perfection No. 4, A. & A. S. R., and is also a member of Islam Temple, N. M. S., of San Francisco. 

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