A. H. MONROE
Imbued with the courageous and progressive spirit of the true pioneer, A. H. Monroe has contributed to the development of various sections of the west through his mining and agricultural operations and also in other connections and is now the owner of a valuable ranch near Orland, where he is successfully engaged in the nursery business. He was born in Champaign, Illinois, January 17, 1867, a son of Henry Allen and Elmira (Huff) Monroe, and comes of a family noted for longevity. His great-grandfather attained the one hundred and fifth milestone on life’s journey and at that remarkable age drove a team from Pennsylvania to Ohio. He was a farmer. The grandfather of A. H. Monroe followed the trade of a stone mason in Ross county, Ohio, while Henry A. Monroe, the father, was a dealer in agricultural implements.
In the acquirement of an education A. H. Monroe attended the common schools of Kingman, Kansas, and in 1885, when a young man of eighteen, removed to the vicinity of Stanton county, that state, where he engaged in farming and stock raising for a time. Traveling westward to Colorado, he secured work as a carpenter in Denver and next turned his attention to raising poultry. He became a policeman during Governor Waite’s administration, which was of short duration, and in 1894 he came to California. For a brief time he resided in the vicinity of Sacramento, and then went to the state of Washington, taking up land at Clallam. A year later he made his way to Oregon, locating in Curry county, where he spent a similar period, during which he operated hydraulic mining machinery. On leaving there he proceeded to San Francisco and thence to Isleton, in the Sacramento Valley, where he worked for citrus fruit growers for a time, after which he followed quartz mining in Grass Valley, California. In 1898 he went to Alaska via the Cook’s Inlet route and installed the first hydraulic mining equipment in the Yukon territory, being fairly successful, as he sold his holdings on Hoosier creek for twenty thousand dollars. The largest nugget which he found contained two hundred and four dollars in gold.
With his return to California in 1907, Mr. Monroe opened a drug store at Fairfield, near San Francisco, but soon afterward entered the nursery business, which has since claimed his attention. He carries a complete stock of everything adaptable to his part of California, handling many varieties of trees, shrubs and plants, and has a greenhouse for the plants and flowers which need extra care. He has planted sixteen thousand orange trees, which are for sale, and operates on a large scale. Deep thought and study are devoted to his work, which is based upon scientific knowledge and a comprehensive grasp of horticultural pursuits. He owns twenty acres under the Orland government project and is largely responsible for its inception and success. It was Mr. Monroe who started the movement for rural free delivery in this locality and he was also of great assistance in getting nursery stock in such condition that it could be shipped with inspection, as there are no pests to destroy the trees and plants in this district. He has greatly furthered its importance as a center of the orange-growing industry, a subject on which he is exceptionally well informed, and in the management of his large and rapidly increasing business he manifests keen sagacity and broad vision.
In 1906, Mr. Monroe was married to Miss Mabel Babb, of Columbus, Kansas, and three children were born to them: Phyllis, who was graduated from the Willows high school and who is married and resides in San Jose, California; Muriel, who is attending the San Jose high school; and Harold, at home. To Mr. Monroe and his second wife, Mrs. Gladys Monroe, of New Hampshire, whom he married in 1922, has been born two sons, James and Preston A., known as “Pep”.
In religious faith Mrs. Monroe is a Christian Scientist. Mr. Monroe is one of the “Sourdoughs” of Alaska and his Masonic affiliations are with the blue lodge at Orland, the chapter and commandery at Chico and Ahmees Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Oakland. For recreation he turns to hunting and is an expert marksman. He gives his political allegiance to the Republic Party, votes dry and believes in the Monroe Doctrine. In 1913 he served on the grand jury and he has a high conception of the duties and obligations of citizenship. Mr. Monroe is always found in the vanguard of movements for the general good and his work has been of incalculable benefit to the agriculturists and fruit growers of this section of the Sacramento Valley.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J. W. Major, History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 Pages 389-390. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.
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