The position held in Merced County by John Ericson has been reached by his own unaided efforts; and the varied interests with which he has been identified indicate his adaptability to conditions and his resourcefulness. He was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 14, 1856, and at the age of fifteen began clerking in a store; when he was seventeen he went to Hudviksvall, Sweden, and for eight years was in the service of two employers. In 1881 Mr. Ericson bade good bye to his native land and embarked on the S. S. Wyoming, at Gottenburg, for America and he arrived at Castle Garden, N. Y. on July 6. Proceeding to Chicago he secured a position in a grocery store, working for his board the first two weeks; for the next four weeks he received five dollars per week in addition to board. His first week's pay was given to him in a $5 gold coin, which he had made into a watch charm. He continued as a clerk until 1890, then secured a position of time keeper in the shops of the Chicago and North Western Railway in Chicago, remaining with that company until 1912. Owing to his being a good penman, and quick with figures, Mr. Ericson was advanced from one position to another adding more responsibility each time, until the last ten years with the company he was general time keeper and cashier and had general charge of the company's pay roll, there being about 5000 employees to be settled with each month.
When Mr. Ericson came to California in 1912, he settled in Merced County and purchased twenty acres from the Crocker-Huffman Land & Water Co., Lot 85 in Merced Colony No. 2, Winton district, which he improved and set to Malaga grapes and fruit, now having one of the finest Malaga vineyards and orchards in the district. He has won more than ordinary distinction as a horticulturist and is a frequent exhibitor at the Merced County Fair and other local exhibitions and usually brings home the blue ribbon, now having quite a collection. He is a member of the California Fruit Exchange, the California Prune and Apricot Association, and the Almond Growers Exchange. He is also a member of the Winton Center of the Merced County Farm Bureau. Mr. Ericson knew nothing about fruit growing but he has developed a fine fruit ranch; he knew nothing about carpentering but with his own hands he built his house and other ranch buildings.
On June 24, 1886, John Ericson and Miss Josephine Davis were united in marriage. She was born in Clinton, Iowa, on May 19, 1867, the daughter of David and Sarah H. (Sluman) Davis. Mr. and Mrs. Ericson have one daughter, Florence Dorothy, who married Edward Sandman and lives at Fresno ; and they have two children, George and Jeanette. Mrs. Ericson is a member of the Woman's Improvement Club of Winton. Mr. Ericson is a Republican in national politics. Fraternally he is a member of Austin Lodge No. 850, A. F. & A. M.; Cicero Chapter No. 180, R. A. M., both in Chicago; Siloam Cornmandery No. 54, K. T. of Oak Park, Ill.; and Medina Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S. in Chicago. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ericson have attained to a high place in the esteem of the community where they live and they take an active interest in all movements for the betterment of the conditions of the county in general.
History of Merced County California With a
Biographical Review OF The Leading Men and Woman of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development from Early Days to the Present
Author: John Outcalt (1925)
John Ericson, page 764
Contributed by: Carol Lackey