William A. Curtis

A picture of Wm. A. Curtis

Born 11 August 1831 at Watertown, Massachusetts, son of John Thomas Curtois and went west to California in 1852. Settled in Sacramento (a picture of his ranch) and became a farmer and local notable. Subject of at least three published biographies during his lifetime: in 1880, 1890 and 1905. Died 27 January 1907, and buried in the Old City Cemetery, Sacramento (his obituary).

Gave his name to 'Curtis Park', an area of Sacramento built on what was his ranch. Click here for a website all about the history of this, and the source of the photo on the right.

Married, on 1 January 1862, Susan Willis Potter. She was born 17 July 1842(?3) at Hubbardstown, Worcester County, Massachusetts, the daughter of Abitha Fales Potter and Caroline Willis, and died 11 December 1905. She too is buried in the Old City Cemetery, Sacramento.

Issue two sons and three daughters:

  1. William Rowland Curtis, born in California 4 July 1863, and died (of hydropericardium) 23 August 1880. Buried in the Old City Cemetery, Sacramento.

  2. Carrie M. Curtis, born Sacramento 13 September 1865, and died there 6 March 1957 (click here for her obituary). Buried in the Old City Cemetery, Sacramento

    Married at Sacramento, 26 December 1892, George H. Cutter, a fruit grower, who died 2 September 1925. Click here for his 1905 biography.

  3. Frederick P. Curtis, born 30 November 1870 and died ('convulsions') 28 February 1875. Buried in the Old City Cemetery, Sacramento..

  4. Alice Louisa Curtis, born in California 20 February 1876. Died in Sacramento 21 August 1902 and seemingly buried in San Francisco, and reinterred in the Old City Cemetery, Sacramento, 15 June 1903.

  5. San Francisco Call, 20 August 1902 - "ATTEMPTS TO END LIFE OF PROMISE - Talented Young Woman in Sacramento at Death's Door. - Special Dispatch to The Call - SACRAMENTO, Aug. 19. Miss Alice Curtis, 25 years of age, the handsome and talented daughter of ex-Supervisor William Curtis, shot herself in the left breast at a late hour this afternoon and is in a precarious condition. The Curtis family occupies a beautiful country home about a mile beyond the city limits. Mr. Curtis owns broad acres and he has been able to provide for his family all the comforts money can procure. Miss Curtis, still conscious, admits that she inflicted the wound, but gives no explanation for it, and the only theory that has been assigned is that she committed the act while in a flt of melancholia due to slight illness. By all of her neighbors Miss Curtis is held in the highest regard and they are praying that she may be saved from death. But little is known concerning the details of the sad occurrence, the family being almost as completely mystified as are outsiders. Miss Curtis was about her duties as usual this morning and seemed in ordinary health. She visited the home of a relative and there procured a revolver. Returning to her home, she placed the pistol against her heart, as she supposed, and fired. The bullet penetrated the lung, but did not touch the heart. Medical and surgical aid was promptly summoned and the patient made as comfortable as possible. She admitted the act, but gave no other reason than that she wanted to die. Miss Curtis is a graduate of the Sacramento High School and a young woman of refinement, devoted to literary and musical studies. It is not known that she had any love affair, and as her relations with the rest of the family were of the happiest to-day's tragedy is all the more inexplicable"
    San Francisco Call, 21 August 1902 - "LOVE AFFAIR MAY BE BACK OF THE TRAGEDY - SACRAMENTO, Aug. 20. Miss Alice Curtis, the handsome young daughter of ex-Supervisor William Curtis, who shot herself yesterday afternoon, the bullet piercing her left lung, remains in a critical condition. It is still impossible to foretell the outcome. She is conscious, and it is said she has given no explanation of her attempt to take her life. It appears to be the belief of many acquaintances of the young woman that a love episode had entered into her life and that she grew despondent when her father, to whom she is greatly devoted and whose business affairs she manages, opposed the proposed match. It is said that Miss Curtis formed the acquaintance of a young man living at Oak Grove and that a warm attachment followed. This her father did not favor owing to the fact that the young man gave no promise of ability to support a wife."
    San Francisco Call, 21 August 1902 - "Takes Her Secret to the Grave - SACRAMENTO, Aug. 21. Miss Alice Curtis passed away at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Curtis early this morning as the result of a self inflicted bullet wound. The young woman died without revealing the cause of her act."
  6. Edna Curtis, born 21 August 1884, and died at Alameda County, California, 15 September 1956.

    Married William John Cooper of Berkeley, California, who was born in Sacramento, November 24, 1882, and who was California superintendent of public instruction, 1927 - 29. He suffered a stroke whilst driving, and died nine days later, in a hospital at Kearney, Buffalo County, Nebraska, 19 September 1935. Buried at the Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California [Information found here].

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