LEVI PAINTER was born in Lawrence County, Indiana, January 14, 1833, his parents being Aaron and Rebecca (Hickson) Painter, natives of Tennessee, and there married. They first moved into Indiana, and after several years' residence moved to Missouri, where the father became owner of 160 acres. Both parents were brought to this coast in 1873 by their son. The father died in 1876, aged seventy-four, and the mother survived him five years, dying at the home of her daughter in Indiana, in 1881, aged seventy . Grandmother Painter was eighty when she died. Levi Painter came to California in 1853, leaving St. Joseph, Missouri, April 18, and arriving at Placerville, August 23, a member of the small party of twenty men, two women and two children. Of the outfit he owned two horses. He mined during the winter of 1853-'54, and came down to Sacramento River April 14, 1854, going to work for $50 a month and board on the ranch he now owns. Five months later he went across the river and chopped wood for four months, making $75 a month. In 1855 he returned to ranch work on Sutter Island, and in December of that year he settled on his ranch of 123 acres, bought a few months before, and what has since become known from his name as Paintersville, about twenty-two miles below Sacramento, on the river. For ten years he raised but little of anything except vegetables, but since 1865 he has given attention to fruit-growing, gradually increasing in that direction until he now has about thirty acres in orchard and ten in vineyard. He has not, however, entirely relinquished the raising the vegetables, and has varied his interest in other directions. About 1877 he built a large two-story building which was first used as a boarding-house for employes of the salmon-canning establishment then in operation at that point, and afterwards as a dance hall for some years. This he has recently removed and raised on a brick foundation, at the lower end of the village, near his warehouse, refitting it for his own residence. In 1879 he divided three and three-quarter acres into building lots, on which the hamlet of Paintersville has since arisen. About 1880 he began to breed horses and mules, and is still actively engaged in that line. In earlier years he gave some attention to cattle and hogs, but in the flood of 1862 he lost some 200 head of these, of which about eighty were ready for the market, and he has never since taken any interest in hogs. Cattle-raising he has also discontinued, keeping only one cow for family use. Levi Painter was married in 1860, near Roseville, in this county, to Miss Mary McDermott. She died in June, 1867, leaving three children: Louisa, born May 2, 1861, now Mrs. Victor Falkenberg, of San Francisco; Mary Jane, born August 2, 1862, died of pneumonia, aged seventeen; William, born August 29, 1865, is employed on the steamer Modoc, in the engineer' s department. Mr. Painter was again married on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1887, in Sacramento, to Maggie Van Auken, born in Parma, Monroe County, New York, March 18, 1833, daughter of Louis and Jane (Westfall) Van Auken, both now deceased, the mother in 1870, aged eighty-one, and the father in 1880, aged ninety-three, living together in married life sixty-five years, lacking two weeks. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, and the mother of New York. Of their children six sons and one daughter, besides Mrs. Painter, are still living: Anthony G., James M., Elmer and Edwin B., all four farmers in Shiawassee County, Michigan; Edmund B., twin brother of Edwin B., is living at Salmon City, Idaho; and Andrew Jackson, now in the employ of his brother-in-law, Mr. Painter. Jane, the only living sister of Mrs. Painter, is the wife of George W. Gale, a farmer residing near Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan.
An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California. By Hon. Win. J Davis. Lewis Publishing Company 1890. Page 279-280.
Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton.