Adversity borne with cheerfulness, and hardships endured with courage, developed in Edward Butlerís character traits of self-reliance and patient perseverance that made him one of the most honored residents of Yuba City and won for him the esteem of associates and a comfortable independence in the evening of life.  Few pleasures fell to his lot as a boy, for both parents died when he was only six months old.  He was born in County Orange, Ireland, during the year 1820.  There both of his parents passed away; and he and his only brother were brought to the United States by an uncle and reared in New York State. Edward Butler later went to Ohio and found work on a farm for a number of years and there married.  In 1852 he became a citizen of the United States, and the same year joined a party of emigrants and crossed the plains to California, where he engaged in mining for three years with considerable success.  He then returned to his home in Ohio, where he spent one year, and then with his wife and children he returned to California.

            Mr. Butler married Miss Charlotta Baker, a native of Ohio, and they were the parents of five children, four daughters and one son.  The three children who were born in Ohio and who accompanied their parents to California were Helen D., the widow of James Littlejohn; Emily Jane, who was first married to George F. Starr, and, some time after his death, was married to A. D. Cutts, who is also deceased; and Mary Alice, Mrs. S. E. Wilcoxon.  Two children were born in California:  Charles Franklin and Mrs. Ethel Grimm.  The long journey to California was made via Panama to San Francisco, and from there by river steamer to Marysville.  Mr. Butler located on a ranch ten miles southwest of Yuba City, where he bought 320 acres and engaged as a grain and stock farmer with a marked degree of success.  In his later years he sold off his land and moved to Yuba City, where he owned a small orchard, and later owned and conducted the Windsor House.  He passed away in 1893, survived by his widow, a remarkable pioneer woman, who is remembered for her fine traits of character.  She handled her husbandís business until past her eightieth year, and passed away on August 18, 1913, at the age of eighty-five years.

History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924

p.  551-552


            A prominent rancher and citizen of Sutter County is Samuel E. Best, who resides on his home ranch six miles southwest of Yuba City.  He was about three years old when he accompanied his parents across the plains to California; and he ahs since made his home in the vicinity of Yuba City.  He was born in Lee County, Iowa, April 25, 1860, the third of ten children of Henry and Luvina (McPherson) Best, both natives of Ohio.  Henry Best came to California in 1862 with all of his earthly possessions, consisting of three horses and a wagon; in the fall of the same year he arrived in Yuba City and was obliged to sell one of his horses to secure sufficient means to defray expenses until he could secure employment.  Times grew better for him each year, however, and in 1864 he rented seventy acres on the bottom-lands near Yuba City, where he raised a crop that netted him $1200.  With this money he purchased 160 acres of raw land.  Eventually he acquired about 2000 acres of land in one locality.  To each of his ten children he gave 160 acres; and they are all now living in Sutter County on these ranches.  Mr. Best was a Republican in politics.  Fraternally, he was identified with Enterprise Lodge No. 70, F. & A.M., Yuba City; and for thirty-seven years was affiliated with Yuba City Lodge No. 185, I.O.O.F.  He was one of the first stockholders of the Farmers Union Bank, and in 1900 was made a director of the institution.  Mrs. Best passed away in Sacramento, April 26, 1920, and Mr. Best spent his declining years with his daughter, Mrs. Stoker, passing away April 26, 1921, at the age of eighty-six years.

            Samuel E. Best received a good elementary education in the Grant district school; and then he attended two terms at Pierce Christian College, at College City.  He became interested in agriculture at an early age; for his father and uncles raised grain extensively and conducted threshing outfits run by steam power.  An uncle of our subject, D. L. Best, is the inventor of the Best tractor and other farming implements; he later invented a seed-cleaning device, which is now used on most of the large grain ranches.  The first Best harvesters and the first of the other farming implements were built on the Henry Best ranch.  Samuel E. Best and his brothers finally purchased the farm machinery owned by their father, and thereafter continued to conduct a large grain and stock business and also did contract threshing and harvesting for over sixteen years.  Mr. Best and his brother, C. G. Best, sold their interests in the threshing outfit and with the proceeds purchased 100 acres in the Barry district.  Mr. Best became interested in horticulture in 1908.  His home place consists of fifty-three acres, devoted to raising cling peaches.

            The marriage of Mr. Best united him with Miss Frances Keck, a native of Sutter County, daughter of Robert and Alice S. Keck, orchardists and pioneers of this section.  Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Best:  Gladys, now Mrs. L. H. Harris; Tracy S., who married Miss Florence Montna and has two sons, Orland and Calvin; Enoma, Mrs. Weser; and Lucille, attending Yuba City Union High School.  For one term Mr. Best was trustee of the Grant school district.  Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World at Yuba City.

History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924

p.  552


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