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Stanislaus County








            When the era of California’s rapid progress and development dawned upon her the majority of the citizens of the rapidly growing commonwealth gave their attention to mining, and the hillsides and river beds yielded of their rich metals, promoting individual wealth and the general prosperity of the land.  In later years, when it was found that all could not profitably follow mining, some of the Californians began to attempt other industrial work, and it was found that California offered boundless advantages to the agriculturist and the horticulturist.  For many years identified with mining interests in the state, Mr. Smith is now known as one of the fruit growers, and from his orchards fine fruit is shipped to the various markets of the country.  He is a man of resolute will, of strong determination and of indefatigable energy, and thus he has worked his way upward to a place among the substantial citizens of the community in which he is located.  He came to California in 1854 and is now living near Knight’s Ferry.

            A native of the Green Mountain state, Manfred Orlando Smith was born in the town of Waterford on the 3rd of February, 1836.  His grandfather, David Smith, was a native of Rhode Island, and at an early date emigrated to Vermont, where Samuel Smith, Jr., the father of our subject, was born in Waterford in 1806.  Having arrived at years of maturity he married Miss Wealthy Foote, also a native of Vermont, born in Middlebury.  In 1814 he came to California, by way of the Isthmus route, making his way across the narrow neck of land on the back of a mule.  On reaching the California coast he proceeded to Knight’s Ferry, and aided in building the first grist-mill in the town.  For some years he engaged in mining.  His wife had died in the east leaving five children, but only two are now living, namely:  Manfred O., of this review; and Mrs. Ellen Britt, a widow who is now the proprietor of the Duncan Hotel at Santa Cruz.

            Mr. Smith of this review came with his father to California and with him was engaged in mining at Goat Hill, also on the flat beside Knight’s Ferry.  The company turned the river and mined the entire flat.  For a number of years Mr. Smith engaged in searching for the precious metal, meeting with fair success, and then purchased a ranch, a mile and a half west of Knight’s Ferry.  He planted a portion of this in fruit and sold it in 1863.  It is now a fine fruit ranch owned by David Emart.  He then purchased the land in Knight’s Ferry, becoming the owner of nine acres, the entire amount being utilized for fruit raising purposes.  He grows the finest varieties of fruit of every description; his principal crops, however, being oranges, peaches and prunes.  His place is very attractive, everything being conducted in an orderly manner, while in matters of horticulture Mr. Smith is extremely well versed and his opinions are largely received as authority by the people of the community.  On the place is a commodious and comfortable residence, and his orchard and his grounds show that he is a man of excellent taste and of marked enterprise.  Any shipment of fruit which bears his name as the shipper is regarded as reliable, being exactly as it is represented.

            He votes with the Republican Party, but has neither time nor inclination for public office.  His business claims his entire attention, and having been well-directed it has brought to him a good return.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 638-639. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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