GENERAL DIRECTORY OF FRESNO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, FOR 1881. CONTAINING A DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTY, ITS TOPOGRAPHY, RESOURCES, HISTORY, &c. SKETCHES OF ITS TOWNS, SETTLEMENTS, INDUSTRIES AND BUSINESS HOUSES. STATISTICAL TALES, RECORD OF RAIN FALL, LISTS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS; TOGETHER WITH A COMPLETE LIST OF NAMES OF THE ADULT POPULATION. COMPILED AND PUBLISHED BY THE FRESNO REPUBLICAN. FRESNO, CAL. Fresno, Cal. Compiled and Published by The Fresno Republican, n.d. . 17.8x12 cm, pp. [1-16: ads] [16-18] 19-181 [182-185] [note: first two leaves are used as front paste-down and front free endpaper; true endpapers at rear], original printed light green boards with cloth shelf back. First edition. The first book printed in Fresno County and the first directory devoted solely to it, preceded by inclusion in the Langley Pacific Coast directories for 1867, 1871-1873 and 1876-1878. This rare California county directory is notable for its extensive description of the county, "Fresno County, Area Topography, General Characteristics, Etc.", pages -34, extensive descriptions of Fresno and other county communities by D. W. Lewis, pages 67-120, and "The Resources of Fresno County, " pages 144-159. "Scattered, as the small population of our county is, over territory nearly a hundred miles North and South by two hundred miles East and West" this directory "does not assume to contain the names of all our people -- with our scattered and rapidly changing population that it would be impossible, nor does it attempt to give more than an outline of the resources, developed and undeveloped, of the country" (preface, page 17). Agriculturally important since the 1860s, M. T. Kearney created the raisin industry here, a diarist visiting Fresno in 1881 say it was "not much of a town, a handful of houses in a desert of sand." The U.S. Census of 1880 credited the town with a population of 800 and the whole county with less than 9500 inhabitants. Norris Catalogue 1185. Rocq (1970) 1846. Quebedeaux 12. Binding lightly rubbed at edges, a nearly fine copy. Provenance: Ron Lerch Collection. (#168924).
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