Thomas Silva, a respected pioneer citizen of Amador County, is a native of Portugal, born on the 15th of June, 1837. He acquired his early education in the land of his nativity and in 1851 came to California, arriving in San Francisco in the month of May. His boat had just arrived in the harbor when the great fire swept over the city, bringing destruction to the greater part of the town. Leaving the Pacific port Mr. Silva made his way to Mormon Island, where he engaged in placer mining. He also mined at Ford’s Bar, on the American River, but did not meet with the success he had anticipated. He had no trouble with the Indians in those early days, and such was his quiet and peaceful nature that he avoided difficulty with all men, even at a time when trouble was very prevalent. After two years spent in mining he engaged in the butchering business in Drytown, and during the first year was associated with a partner, but since that time has always conducted business alone. In the pioneer epoch he supplied meat to people over a great radius of territory, and his honorable dealing and enterprising spirt brought to him creditable success. In 183, however, he sold his market in Drytown and came to Plymouth, where he built a shop and for a number of years conducted the only meat market here. At a recent date, on account of his advanced years, he turned his business over to his son-in-law, Lorenzo Burke.
In 1863 Mr. Silva was united in marriage to Mrs. Dolores Parris, who by her first marriage hone one child, Paseta Dolores, now the wife of Vincent Monserro. Mr. and Mrs. Silva also had a daughter, Antonio M., now the wife of Lorenzo Burke. Mrs. Silva died in 1895, and Mr. Silva now makes his home in his declining years with his daughter. He has been a life-long republican, unswerving in his allegiance to the principles of the party. He was made a Master Mason in Drytown Lodge, No. 174, F. & A. M., and is one of the oldest representatives of the craft in this locality. He is recognized as one of the most valued members of the organization, has filled all of its offices and is now past master. He has acquired a thorough knowledge of the tenets of the society, and in his life he exemplifies the noble principles of the fraternity. A good Mason is always a good citizen, for the order inculcates among men all that is just, true, upright and honorable. Throughout his business career his industry and capable management were marked and brought to him a creditable competence, which now enables him to enjoy the rest which should every crown the later years of man.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.