CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS SANDERS
Prominent among the energetic, far-seeing and successful businessmen of northern California was the subject of this sketch. His life history most happily illustrated what may be attained by faithful and continued effort in carrying out an honest purpose. Integrity, activity and energy were the crowning points of his success, and his connection with various business enterprises and industries was a decided advantage to this section of California, promoting its material welfare in no uncertain manner. At all times he was honorable and straightforward and gained a reputation for integrity in the affairs of life that was indeed enviable and worthy of emulation.
Mr. Sanders was born in Trigg County, Kentucky, on the 10th of October, 1834, and his parents, Jeremiah and Ann Maria (Ramey) Sanders, were also natives of that state and descendants of old southern families there. In the state of his nativity the subject of this review acquired his education and when twenty years of age he became one of California’s pioneers, a young man of courageous spirit, full of enterprise and determination, and was well qualified to meet the hardships inseparable from the development and improvement of a new section of country. It was in the year 1854 that he crossed the plains. He was accompanied by a cousin and together they brought a drove of cattle. For a short time they remained in the Sierra Valley and then went to Coon Creek, where they herded their cattle and later sought pasturage in many sections of the state, including the site of the present town of Lincoln. Mr. Sanders first engaged in mining in the Auburn Ravine and in his search for gold he was rewarded by a fair supply of the precious metal. He was also for a time engaged in the hotel business and was agent for a ditch company.
In 1861 when gold was discovered in Idaho, he went to that territory, making his way to the Warren diggings, he and his companion each carrying a sack of flour and other equipments on their backs. Mr. Sanders continued his mining operations in Idaho for three years, but returned to Placer County each winter. He was a man of great endurance and energy and his long sustained effort enabled him to acquire a large amount of gold. In this way he got his start in life. Later he engaged in business at Lincoln and was one of the most active promoters of the town, his efforts contributing in a large measure to its growth. When the pottery was established in the town, in 1875, he entered into contract to furnish teams and haul the clay to the factory; and such were the pleasant business relations between him and the company that he continued to do the hauling up to the time of his death, and his teams have since been engaged in that work. In all his business relations he was a man of the highest integrity and honor.
In 1864 Mr. Sanders was united in marriage to Miss Mary Burdge, a native of Linn County, Missouri, and a daughter of Stephen Douglas Burdge, one of the honored California pioneers of 1850. Mrs. Sanders came to this state with her mother in 1852 and has therefore witnessed the wonderful development of California from a mining camp into a commonwealth possessing all the industries, enterprises and indications of civilization known to the older east. Three children came to bless their union: Lottie, who was born in Lincoln, is now the wife of Henry P. Sartain, who is conducting the Burdge, the leading hostelry of the town of Lincoln; Frank L., who is the managing editor of the Placer Herald at Auburn, and married Miss Mattie Newton; and the third child died in infancy.
Mr. Sanders always gave his political support to the Democracy and for several years he served the city of his choice as a member of her board of trustees, and in that way he earnestly labored for her upbuilding and progress along substantial lines, and was ever ready to do all in his power to promote the welfare of the town. His efforts were of a practical nature and resulted to the immediate benefit of Lincoln and also proved of worth in later years. He was one of the leaders in procuring the water supply and water system which furnishes the town with an abundant supply of pure water, not only for use in the homes and in the business houses but also as a protection against fire. Mr. Sanders also served for one term as license collector.
In 1859 he received the sublime degree of Master Mason in Gold Hill Lodge, No. 32, F. & A. M., and at once became a valued and active worker. He was honored by election to many of the offices in the lodge, which he filled in a manner highly creditable to himself and satisfactory to the brethren of the fraternity. For three years he was the capable and efficient master. He was also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and in his life exemplified the helpful spirit of those fraternities. His death occurred on the 12th of February, 1898, occasioned by rheumatism of the heart. The end came suddenly and was a sad bereavement to his family and the whole city. He was serving as trustee of Lincoln at the time of his demise, and the board of which he was a member passed the following resolution as a tribute to his memory: “Resolved, that it is but a just tribute to the memory of the departed that in regretting his removal from our midst we mourn for one who was in every way worthy of our respect and regard; an active member of the board whose utmost endeavors were for the welfare and best interests of this town; a friend and companion who was near to us all; a citizen whose upright life was a standard of emulation to his fellows.” In manner Mr. Sanders was very pleasant, courteous and frank. He was ever ready to assist the needy with open hand or to relieve any form of suffering or distress. He was a man of the highest integrity of character and his word was as good as any bond that was ever solemnized by signature or seal.
Mrs. Sanders and her children are well known in Placer County. She is a lady of marked refinement and she and her daughter are members of the Order of the Eastern Star, of which she is past matron. She is now conducting the Burdge Hotel, which was built by her father. In this she is assisted by her son-in-law, Mr. Sartain. The hotel is a large, well-kept house, the leading one of the town, and Mrs. Sanders and Mr. Sartain do all in their power to promote the comfort of their guests and provide their house with every convenience found in first-class establishments. They have made many warm friends among the traveling public and in Lincoln, where they are widely known, and their circle of friends is limited only by their circle of acquaintances.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.
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