Placer County









            James Barrows Hayford is a prominent citizen of Placer County and one of her supervisors.  He resides on his fruit farm at Sunny Side.  He is a native of Oxford County, Maine, born November 3, 1840, and is descended from English ancestors, tracing back the lineage to the year 1190, the family originally belonging to nobility.  William Hayford, the progenitor of the family in the United States, immigrated from England with his two brothers at a very early date in the history of the colony of Massachusetts.  Many of the descendants still reside in the old Bay state, Maine and New York.  Gustave Hayford, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Maine.  He married Miss Lelfa Barrows, a native of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and a direct descendant of Miles Standish.  Gustave Hayford was a merchant and manufacturer of farm implements and later in life a farmer.  He came to California in 1856 and after some time spent in this state returned to the east, but again came to California in 1879 and resided in Colfax until the time of his death, which occurred in the ninety-third year of his age.  His wife died in 1878 aged seventy-five years.

            The son, James Barrows Hayford, was educated in the public schools in Canton and came to California in 1859.  At the opening of the Civil War, in answer to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers, he resigned his position paying six dollars per day, and enlisted at San Francisco March 18, 1863.  Three of his brothers were already in the army.  He was first in a California battalion, which was sent east and mustered into Company M, Second Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry.  He was under General Augur in the defense of Washington and later served under General Sheridan.  Being sent to Washington to return some horses, in company with some of his regiment, he was captured and was in Libby prison for three months, after which he was sent to Belle Isle.  When he was finally exchanged he was a mere skeleton, only weighing ninety-five pounds.  He was in ill health for two years following and has never fully regained his health.

            Upon his discharge from the army, Mr. Hayford took up his residence in Boston and remained there until 1869.  That year he removed to California and became engaged in shipping and commission business, freighting goods to Grass Valley and other points.  He continued in that business until 1876, when the narrow gauge railroad was built to Nevada City.  Accompanied by his family he went to the Centennial at Philadelphia in 1876, and spent a season in visiting his relatives and old friends.  Returning he engaged in the drug business in Sacramento for several years and also dealt in general merchandise.  On account of his wife’s failing health, he retired from business and removed to Colfax to secure a higher altitude.  The change in climate, however, did not benefit Mrs. Hayford and she died after a residence of seven months at that place.

            Mr. Hayford was married, in 1872, to Miss Mary J. Innis, of Easton, Pennsylvania.  Two daughters were born to them, Lula M. and Effa M., both of whom are at home with their father.  Mr. Hayford has one hundred and sixty acres of land on which are three thousand five hundred fruit trees, comprising a large variety of choice fruits, most of which are apples and pears.  He is one of the pioneer fruit growers in this part of the state.

            In politics Mr. Hayford has always been a stalwart Republican.  He was under sheriff of Placer County for four years under Sheriff Butler, and in 1896 he was chosen supervisor of the county, which office he is now creditably filling.  He has always been deeply interested in all that pertains to the welfare of Placer County.  Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order, having been made a Master Mason in Colfax in 1872.  He has been an active member of the blue lodge and has been high priest of the chapter three terms.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 763-764. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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