El Dorado County









      A conspicuous figure in the business life of Placerville is Robert F. Roddan, manager of the Placerville Fruit Growers’ Association, which, under his judicious supervision, has become one of the leading organizations in its line in this part of the state.  Mr. Roddan was born in Atoka, Texas, on the 26th of March, 1890, and is a son of David F. and Eleanor Belle (Justice) Roddan.  The father was a farmer, a sawmill owner, and also engaged in the insurance business.  He was a native of Ohio, from which state, at the age of eleven years, he accompanied his parents across the plains to California.  They settled on the Yuba River, near Wheatland, but the family subsequently went to Texas.  After ten years they returned to California and settled on the Yuba River, where the father carried on mining operations until 1898, after which he spent a year in Berkeley, and the last twelve years of his life were passed in Loomis, Placer county, where his death occurred in 1912.  He is survived by his widow, who still resides on the home ranch near Loomis.  The maternal grandfather, C. E. Justice, brought the first Odd Fellows charter around the Horn in the early days of California’s history.

      Robert F. Roddan was educated in the public schools and in a business college in Sacramento.  He was first regularly employed by the Perfection Bread Company, later was employed at station work by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and for a time engaged in the operation of fruit ranches.  He became the assistant manager of the Penryn Fruit Growers’ Association, was promoted to manager, and about seven years ago became the manager of the Placerville Fruit Growers’ Association.  During this period the plant has been enlarged and remodeled and the cooperative system of buying introduced.  He also established a store for the benefit of the members of the organization, permitting them to buy at wholesale prices.  This is the largest green fruit packing plant in the state of California and during the busy season employs three hundred people.  They also have a machine shop, in which all kinds of automobile and machinery repairs are made for the growers.  They make cement pipe for irrigating purposes and handle everything required in orchard work by the growers.

            Mr. Roddan was united in marriage to Miss Verna L. Laird, who was born and reared at Loomis and who was a school friend of her future husband.  To them there have been born five children:  Lisle Laird, Dorris L., Ella Frances, Jean Eyre and David Carroll.  Politically, Mr. Roddan is an active Republican and served one year as member of the board of city trustees.  He is a member of El Dorado Lodge, F. & A. M.; Sacramento Consistory, A. A. S. R.; Ben Ali Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; the Lions Club of Placerville; and the Placerville Golf Club.  He is also inspector of the Twenty-fourth Masonic district, a position of distinctive honor.  He has a splendid business record, marked by steady and substantial progress, and all who have been associated with him hold him in high regard both for his ability and his sterling qualities.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3, Pages 194-195. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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