Died: Oct. 6, 1881
Known for: Jerome C. Davis was a rancher and landholder for whom the city of Davis, originally called "Davisville," is named.
Background: An Ohio native, Davis arrived in California in 1845 as part of Capt. John C. Fremont's topographical survey expedition. In the early 1850s, Davis started the first dairy in Yolo County with Col. Joseph B. Chiles. With the help of Davis' father, Isaac, the farm prospered until the mid-1860s. Davis deeded the ranch to his father in 1866. A year later, Isaac Davis sold part of his ranch to the California Pacific Railroad. In 1868, the railroad filed a plot for the new town of Davisville. In 1917, the community incorporated. The "ville" was dropped from its name about the same time.
A highlight: In 1905, legislation was approved for the establishment of a state agricultural school. A year later, purchase of 778 acres of the original Jerome C. Davis ranch formed the basis for the University Farm School. It grew into a branch of Berkeley's College of Agriculture in 1922, then into a separate campus - the University of California at Davis - in 1959.
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.