LEWIS LARSON.—Prominent among the leaders in the prune and apricot growing industry in Santa Clara County is Lewis Larson, the thoroughly progressive, if wisely conservative rancher of Sunnyvale, where he owns ten acres within the town site. He was born near Victoria, Knox County, Ill., on August 29, 1870, the son of Halvor Larson, who was born in Sweden, married there, in 1867, and in that year came to America, accompanied by his good wife. They settled in Knox County, Ill., where Mr. Larson followed farming for ten years. Then he and his family removed to Stromsburg, Polk County, Nebr., and there Lewis grew to be sixteen years of age. His father bought eighty acres of railway land; but selling out in 1887, he came to California and pitched his tent for a while at San Pedro. He soon moved to Selma, Fresno County, but at the end of one and a half years, he shifted again to the vicinity of Paso de Robles, in San Luis Obispo County. Later, they moved to San Miguel and farmed there. Four children honored Mr. and Mrs. Larson: Lewis is the eldest; Ida, now the wife of August Landen, resides on Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale; Amanda lives at home and presides over Mr. Larson's household; Jennie died at Selma when she was nine years old. Both parents died at Sunnyvale.

            Lewis Larson attended school at Stromburg, Nebr., and when he struck out for himself, he rented a grain ranch at San Miguel, which he operated for seven years. The long droughts were so severe, however, that the seed grain did not sprout, and he had three crop failures in seven years. In the meanwhile his father had come over to this same place, and he bought the ten acres during the winter of 1897-98, when he started planting prunes, peaches and apricots, with which he has been very successful. Mr. Larson is a member of the Prune and Apricot Association, and he did very active and effective work as the chairman of the drive which resulted in getting many signers in Sunnyvale, Burley and Jefferson districts. He has served repeatedly on the board of trustees and on the jury. In 1915 he was elected to the board of trustees of Sunnyvale, and he was chairman of the board just before John Hendy became chairman, and he was reelected a trustee.
Transcribed by Joseph Kral from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922.
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