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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



It took Richard Timm, the present proprietor of the California Planing Mill, situated at the corner of Second and Q streets, Sacramento, years to finish his wanderings and settle down to business. But he did it and he is none the worse for wear. He was born in Altona, Holstein, Germany, January 3, 1864, one of the sons of the household of William and Matilda Timm, prominent citizens of that sturdy old German state. Children are schooled in Germany and schooled hard, and the boy Richard had his work in the public schools and afterwards in the gymnasium laid out for him till he was eighteen years old. Then be took a medical course at the University at Kiel and he was ready for the New World and its adventures. Naturally he went as far west as he could on the American conti- nent, and in the California mines around Placer county he dug and shoveled and washed for almost two years. His next appearance was in Los Angeles, where he filled an engagement as bookkeeper for Helman, Haas & Co., wholesale grocers. Here he remained for three years, and another year, spent in Mexico as a correspondent in an office, made four years spent in the south before he returned to the upper portion of the state.

Once more in Placer county, near Lincoln, Mr. Timm was a rancher, industriously plowing and growing, when the Klondike discoveries in the north claimed his attention, and Mr. Timm figuratively left his plowshare in the mold and stampeded for Alaska. Over the steep, icy Chilcoot he climbed and for a year he dug and froze for the dull yellow nuggets. In May, 1898, he was back in California. Volunteering for the Spanish war, he served in the regular army, being assigned to Battery A of the Third U. S. Artillery. In 1899 he was mustered out, there being no prospect of any further skirmishes with Spain, and the discharged soldier returned to Lincoln, Placer county. For two years he was again on the old ranch, hard at work but ambitious to enter larger interests. In 1901 he worked at the planing mill of Braunton & Robertson in Sacramento, remaining at this place for seven years; in fact, he stuck to it till he became the owner of the establishment. Then he changed its title to the California Planing Mill. His travels are over, and with the same industry and care for the details of business that marked his work as an employe of the mill, he is working as a proprietor and manager, and meeting success. An event which while he labored so steadily in the mill during his apprenticeship was his marriage, which auspicious event took place June 8, 1905, in Oakland, and the other party to the compact was Miss Caroline Pulcifer. They have one daughter, Ernestine, aged five years, who makes glad their capital city home.

Mr. Timm takes great interest in public affairs around him and makes his influence felt for the right. He is a Republican of the Insurgent type, believing first in the people and the politicians afterwards, if necessary to believe in them at all. He is a member of the Humane Society, of the Home Products League, the Retail Merchants Association, and is also a Spanish-American War Veteran. 

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