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Glenn County








            Among the native sons of San Francisco still identified with the interests of California is numbered John F. Sersanous, whose birth occurred the 1st of January, 1856, in the year which the great “pathfinder,” John C. Fremont, was a candidate for the presidency of the United States on the ticket of the new Republican Party.  His father, Michel Sersanous, was born in Paris, France, and was a merchant and hotel proprietor.  In 1854 he became a resident of California, locating in the state when it was the scene of many mining ventures and new-formed enterprises.  He died in Yuba County, and his wife, the mother of our subject, has also passed away.  She was a native of Ireland and by her marriage became the mother of five children.

            John F. Sersanous was reared and educated in Yuba County, California, and in 1870 went to Colusa and began learning telegraphy, with P. L. Washburn, as a preparation for life’s work.  While thus engaged he sold newspapers in order to meet his expenses.  In 1871 he went to Princeton and took charge of the telegraph office at that place.  In 1873 he took charge of the Wells-Fargo express office and also engaged as a clerk in the general merchandising store of Smith & Mendelson.  After the death of both partners Mr. Sersanous was appointed one of the administrators, with Hon. John Boggs, closing the estate in a satisfactory manner to all concerned.  In 1880 he removed to Willow.  He became the bookkeeper in his father-in-law’s hardware store in Willow, Glenn County.  Mr. Freeman died October 4, 1896, since which time Mr. Sersanous has been the administrator and manager of the business.  His excellent business and executive ability enabled him capably to control the enterprise, and under his guidance the business steadily increased, bringing to its owners a handsome financial return.

            On the 15th of August, 1880, Mr. Sersanous was united in marriage to Miss Emma F. Freeman, a daughter of George W. Freeman, who for many years was one of the most prominent businessmen and wealthiest citizens of Glenn County.  The children of Mr. and Mrs. Sersanous now living are Claude I., Freeman and Marie.  They have also lost three children.

            His fellow townsmen, recognizing his ability and talents as a financier and his trustworthiness in all life’s relations, have frequently called Mr. Sersanous to public office.  He was elected county treasurer in 1895, and was again chosen for the position in 1898.  He discharged his duties with marked promptness and fidelity.  He cast his first presidential vote for S. J. Tilden and has since affiliated with the Democracy on national issues.  He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Native Sons, all of Willow.  He is also a member of Chico Lodge, No. 423, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Pythias.  His has been an honorable career over which there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil, and he justly commands the confidence and regard of his fellow men.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 251-252. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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