Biography of Thomas Blackstone Rector of Atwater

A successful rancher and business man of Merced County is Thomas Blackstone Rector, a native son of the State, born in Merced County near Hopeton, on February 10, 1863, the second son and child of Elbridge Gerry and Amanda (McFarlane) Rector, pioneers of California, the former now deceased but the latter is a resident of Berkeley and at the age of ninety-four is in possession of all her faculties and enjoys life to its full.

After finishing his school work, Thomas B. Rector was employed on his father’s ranch until he accepted a position as clerk at Snelling with Simon-Jacobs Company, where he remained for five years. He next was interested in extensive grain-farming on the bottom lands during 1887-1888, meeting with fair results. He then entered the employ of John Ruddle and moved to the Rotterdam Colony and ranched there in 1892. At Hornitos, Mariposa County, he was next engaged as a rancher, then moved back to Merced County and bought forty acres of land at Atwater, which he fully improved. He now owns ten acres near Atwater, two and one-half acres lying in the town limits. He has since made this section his home and is now living retired from farming activities.

The marriage of Thomas B. Rector united him with Miss Mary Ellen Little, born at Hopeton, a daughter of the late William Little, a pioneer in California of 1852, when he had crossed the plains. He followed stock-raising and ranching all his life. Mr. and Mrs. Rector have had five children, viz: William Gerry, of Oakland, is married to Miss Genevieve Hart and they have one daughter, Marian; Archibald Thomas, of Atwater; Mary Lee, a graduate of the University of California, Class of 1924, married Paul Thornton and now lives in Petaluma; Stanley and an infant are both deceased. Mr. Rector is a Democrat and he has served as a trustee of the Snelling district. The family are members of the Methodist Church.

Source: Outcalt, John. A history of Merced County, California : with a biographical review of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present; Los Angeles, Calif. : Historic Record Company, 1925.

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