California Genealogy and History Archives
Maine to California is the width of a continent, but these states are
two points in the life of O. F. Washburn, of Sacramento. He was born in
Kennebec county. Me., November 25, 1849, on the farm on which his
father, Abisha Washburn, was born and reared. He is related to the
well-known Washburn family which furnished governors for Maine,
Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Illinois.
a young man Mr. Washburn went to Portland, Me., and engaged in the
wholesale grocery business. In May, 1876, he was married to an old
schoolmate. Miss Ray Williams. Their wedding trip to the Centennial Fair
at Philadelphia was really the first lap of their immigration westward,
for after doing the wonders of the great . one-hundred-year exposition
they left for California, coming by the way of the Isthmus of Panama,
and located in Los Angeles, where they remained for several years. Then,
after two years spent in connection with the wholesale grocery business
in San Francisco, he opened the American Cash Store in Stockton, which
was success- fully conducted under the firm name of Parmalee &
Washburn. After selling out his interest in the business to Mr. Parmalee
Mr. Washburn came to Sacramento in 1885 and established the American
Cash Store at No. 915 K street. After two years the business was moved
to a larger store in the Clunie building, on the corner of Eighth and K
streets, where it soon developed into the first store in its line in the
city. In 1901 Ex-Governor Fancher became associated and the corporation
was formed of which Mr. Washburn is president and Mr. Fancher secretary
and treasurer. The quarters again becoming too small, in 1909 Mr.
Washburn and Mr. Fancher built a three-story brick building with an
eighty-foot frontage for the company. The various departments include
grocery, market, delicatessen, bakery and hardware, and the sixty-seven
people and seventeen delivery wagons are not one too many for the daily
work of this big establishment.
Mr. and Mrs. Washburn became the parents of two children, one of whom, Virginia, died at the age of seventeen; the other daughter, Alice, was married August 17, 1904, to George B. Lorenz, who is identified with the People's Savings Bank, and they have two children, Robert Washburn, born June 22, 1905, and Edith Virginia, born October 25, 1911. Mrs. Washburn has also done her share of the firm's work and contributed considerably to the success it is today. She was the confidential bookkeeper for ten years and her practical oversight of the affairs of the establishment has been invaluable. She is prominent in the club life of her home place. Mr. Washburn can trace his family line back to the Pilgrim Fathers and the Mayflower.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011