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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Legion is the name of the men who, coming to Sacramento in early life, have achieved here a gratifying degree of material success without the prestige of an influential family name and without the aid of capital in their first personal enterprises. It is proof of the opportunities afforded by the capital city that these men, with few exceptions, have risen out of obscurity into civic prominence and individual prosperity, contributing in their personal achievements to the advancement of the community selected as their permanent place of residence. Not the least noteworthy among these progressive, prosperous business men may be mentioned Willard Warner, who by an apparent chance became identified with the business to which he has given whole-hearted and effective attention. When he came to Sacramento and sought a means of livelihood, the fact that he had a previous experience in a laundry establishment made it possible for him to secure work as driver of a laundry wagon, and from that beginning he rose through successive steps until finally he was chosen secretary and manager of the Cascade laundry, one of the well-known industrial plants of the city and an organization that has built up an immense business through careful attention to the needs and desires of customers.

Born in Fulton, N. Y., January 4, 1865, Willard Warner was taken to Iowa at an early age by his parents, Joseph W. and Harriette Warner, who settled at Clear Lake near the shores of one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the northern part of the state. On the shores of the lake there had been started a small hamlet, which since has developed into a popular summer resort. The little school of this village gave him his early educational opportunities and afterward he carried on his studies at Luverne, Rock county, in the southwestern part of Minnesota. At the age of fifteen years he removed to Washington and for two years attended the Seattle high school, later securing employment in a laundry of the same city. During the year of 1885 he came to Sacramento and secured work as a wagon-driver with the American laundry.

A gratifying offer from the Union Laundry Company caused Mr. Warner to leave the other firm in 1899, after which he acted as manager of the Union until 1903, when a consolidation was effected of a number of plants under the title of the Cascade Laundry Company. Of this he since has acted as secretary and manager. Employment is furnished to one hundred persons and a general laundry business is conducted, customers being largely people of Sacramento, although there is a growing patronage from other towns. In addition to the management of this important business, with its increasing responsibilities and constant need of intelligent oversight and tact, Mr. Warner holds the office of treasurer in the California Expert Cleaners' Company, which was organized largely through his personal efforts and as a result of his realization of the growing need for such an industry. The Sacramento Laundry Club also has the benefit of his active co- operation and wide knowledge of the business. With the manifold cares connected with his special work, he has not been able to participate in politics aside from easting a Republican ballot at all national elections. One of his favorite forms of recreation has brought him into prominence among the members of the Sacramento Bowling Club, whose most expert players confess to his superior skill. For some years he has been identified with the Loyal Order of Moose. His marriage took place in Seattle, Wash., May 19, 1890, and united him with Miss Flora Rich, by whom he has three children, namely: Eugene, who is employed as bookkeeper at the Cascade Laundry; Philo, who is a student in St. Francis convent; and Adeline, who is attending the Sacramento public schools. 

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