The general passenger agent of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad is George Fletcher, who for thirty-six years has been numbered among the leading businessmen of Grass Valley, and is closely identified with the history of the city as a representative of two of its important business interests. He is a man of keen discrimination and sound judgment, and his executive ability and excellent management have brought to the corporations with which he is connected a large degree of success. The safe and conservative policy which he inaugurated commends itself to the judgment of all and has been an important element in the successful conduct of the business of the road.
Mr. Fletcher was born in London, England, on the 14th of July, 1837, and is a son of Francis and Charlotte (Towse) Fletcher, both of whom were of English birth, their ancestors for many generations having resided in that land. The father was for many years an officer in the custom-house, and died in 1856. George Fletcher is the youngest in the family of eight children, and after completing his education he entered upon his business career as a salesman in a mercantile establishment, where he was employed for three years. He then came to the United States in 1855, being at that time a young man of eighteen. He located in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he continued for eight years, being connected with business interests in New York during that period. In August, 1863, he took passage on the sailing vessel, Mohegan, which made the voyage around Cape Horn to San Francisco.
After a short time spent in the metropolis of the Pacific coast he made his way to the mining district of Aurora, in the state of Nevada, where he continued until the fall of 1864, when he located permanently in Grass Valley. For two years he was actively engaged in mining here, and in 1866 opened a mercantile store which he conducted until 1875, during which time he became associated with railroad work as secretary and treasurer. In this day of marked commercial activity and wonderful business enterprises there is no more important factor in business life than the railroads, which almost annihilate time and space by furnishing rapid transit for passengers and quick transportation for freight. In addition to the offices mentioned, Mr. Fletcher is the general passenger agent for the railroad company, and the volume of business detail under his immediate charge demands superior executive ability in its care. His resources are not limited to one line alone, for he has made extensive and judicious investments in mining properties, which are yielding good returns and which will prove even more profitable as they are developed.
On the 22nd of August, 1866, Mr. Fletcher was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Farrell, a native of New Jersey, whose father was a California pioneer of 1856. Two years later he was joined by his family in this state, and Mrs. Fletcher has since made her home on the Pacific coast. By her marriage she has become the mother of four children, namely: Elizabeth, now the wife of Charles G. Lindsey, of Nevada County; George H., an employee in the custom house at San Francisco; Agnes and Louis K., who are still at their parental home. Politically Mr. Fletcher is an active Democrat, identified with the gold wing of the party. Socially he is connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and in the former he has filled various offices. Although a native of the old world he so readily adapted himself to the manners and customs of life in this country that he is today a high type of the American businessman, his energy and enterprise having enabled him to rise to a position of eminence in business circles. In all that he has undertaken through his long career he has met with success, owing to his careful direction and perseverance and his keen discernment. He commands the respect of his fellow men by reason of his upright life, and Nevada County numbers him among its valued citizens.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.