CHARLES M. FISHBACK
One of the best remembered of the old pioneer ranchers of the Sacramento Valley was the late Charles M. Fishback, who attained gratifying success as the result of his well directed and persistent labors, while at the same time he contributed in definite degree to the development and prosperity of his section of the valley. He was born in Barren County, Kentucky on the 17th of May, 1848, and was a son of John Morgan and Elizabeth (Button) Fishback, also natives of the Blue Grass state. In 1855, at the age of seven years, he accompanied his parents on their removal to Pike County, Missouri, and there he attended the public schools, and later engaged in farming. In the spring of 1872 he came to California, locating first in Sacramento. He experienced considerable difficulty in reaching that city, as heavy rains had flooded the country and a washout across the tule swamps necessitated the removal of the passengers from the train to a flat car, which was pulled a short distance by horses. They were then conveyed by a boat for a short distance, where they were placed on a hand-car, which was fitted with a sail as a propelling power. Thus they proceeded as far as the river, which they crossed by boat to Davisville. The tules were under water for miles at that time and practically that entire section of the valley was impassable. Going to Woodland, Mr. Fishback secured employment on the J. M. Dutton ranch. Sometime later he rented one hundred and sixty acres of land in Hungry Hollow, which he later bought. To this he later added by purchase forty acres of land in the Willow Oak Park district, which he planted to vines and alfalfa, and during the ensuing years he developed a very successful dairy farm, which he conducted for many years. He was progressive in his ideas and methods and well earned the success which came to him.
In 1874, in Yolo County, Mr. Fishback was united in marriage to Miss Colisia Dutton, who was born in Pike County, Illinois. She crossed the plains in a covered wagon with her father, James M. Dutton, who became a well known farmer in Yolo County. Mr. and Mrs. Fishback were the parents of nine children, as follows: Cora E., who became the wife of J. D. Musgrove; Bruce; Evelyn; Mrs. M. Frasier; Mrs. George Hall; Mrs. D. E. Green; Mrs. Eunice Blann; Harold; and Mrs. Gladys Agnew. Bruce Fishback was born in the Esparto district of Yolo County on July 5, 1877, and attended the Center, Haight and Clover schools. When fifteen years of age he started to work on the home ranch, plowing with a four-horse team, and ran the header wagon. Later he was admitted to a partnership with his father in the operation of the home ranch. He is now the owner of a well improved ranch of forty acres in the Willow Oak Park district, where he conducts a dairy business, and devotes a large part of his land to alfalfa. He also has a half interest with his brother Harold in another ranch of twenty acres. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Daughters of Rebekah. On June 14, 1919, he was married to Miss May Cole, of Redding, Shasta County, California. Eunice and Gladys Fishback are twins. Gladys attended the Clover and Willow Oak schools, graduated from the Woodland high school, and later graduated from the State Normal School at San Jose. While a student in the latter institution she was captain of the girls’ basketball team and was otherwise active in the athletic affairs of the school. She lived in Indiana for ten years and is now principal of the Willow Oak school. She is a member of Woodland Lodge, No. 249, Daughters of Rebekah. She is married and is the mother of three children, Charles, Evelyn and Stewart. The Fishback family has been prominent and influential in matters affecting the community welfare and its members have followed the worthy example of their father in exemplifying in their lives the highest type of progressive and honorable citizenship.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 402-404. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.