El Dorado County
Francis Nicholls, a prominent old-time citizen of California residing at Coloma, and now having charge of the Marshall Monument and grounds at that place, is of English birth and descent, the date of his birth being November 5, 1838.
Mr. Nicholls’ parents, Francis and Margaret (Hoskins) Nicholls, left their native land in 1848 and with their family immigrated to America, selecting a location in Wisconsin, where their new home was established. Here all went well until 1850, when the father and two of the children, daughters, died of cholera. Subsequently the widowed mother became the wife of Roger Cox, and by him she had a daughter, who is now a widow, Mrs. Annie Markham, and who presides over the home of the subject of this sketch.
The younger Francis Nicholls passed the first ten years of his life in England, the next seven in Wisconsin, and in 1855, at the age of seventeen, landed in Coloma, California; having made the journey via the Nicaragua route, in company with an acquaintance, his step-father having preceded him. It was on the 3rd of July that young Nicholls landed in Coloma. From that time up to 1890 he devoted his time chiefly to mining. Then he turned his attention to fruit raising, in which he has since been engaged. Peaches and prunes are his chief products, and his farm comprises one hundred and seventy acres. In addition to this property, he owns the comfortable home he occupies in Coloma.
Mr. Nicholls has been a life-long Republican, his first presidential vote having been cast for the great Lincoln. At different times he has been chosen to fill local office and has filled the same with credit to himself and those who have thus honored him. For eight consecutive years he served as a deputy assessor. He was elected and served as a county supervisor, and recently he was appointed by Governor Gage as guard of the Marshall Monument and grounds, the duties of which position he is now performing.
Mr. Nicholls was made a member of the Masonic Order in 1876, and during all the years that have intervened since that date has taken an enthusiastic interest in the work of that ancient and honored order. He served his lodge fifteen terms as worshipful master and has been the inspector of the district since 1883, with the exception of one year. There is perhaps not another Mason in the county of El Dorado who takes a deep interest in Masonry than does Francis Nicholls.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.