Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


A general contractor whose successful operations have for long reflected a valuable experience and an enviable dependability that could not have failed to assure prosperity, is Sidney Ruthven of Monterey. He was born in London, England, June 24, 1877, a son of Christopher Charles and Jemima Ruthven, and grandson of a famous Bow Street runner, who, as a detective, arrested many noted criminals. Mr. Ruthven lived to be eighty-three years of age.

Sidney Ruthven attended the schools of England and then assisted his father in taking care of the family property. At the age of twenty-two, however, he left home and crossed the Atlantic. For two years he lived in Portland, after which he made his way to San Francisco. He had a brother who was in poor health, then living in Los Gatos, and of whose whereabouts he learned through a cousin, and he went there to take care of the unfortunate one. While he had learned the stonemason's trade he had never worked as a carpenter but he built a log cabin at Capitola and worked on the railroad-undertaking to do anything possible in order to help his brother. Later he removed to San Francisco and took up the stonemason's trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years. He next accepted a position with the Granite Rock Company, of Watsonville, and was sent to superintend the construction of several large buildings, notably the Susanville high school, the Spreckels Sugar Plant, at Spreckels, and the Wells Fargo stables at San Francisco. Later still he was for two years foreman with the Berger Manufacturing Company.

In 1911 Mr. Ruthven saw an excellent opportunity to embark in business for himself at Monterey and since then he has done much street paving. He had contracts for Main street in Carmel, and Ocean avenue and Franklin street, in Monterey. He also constructed the Larkins Street cement bridge in Monterey, and the sum-total of his successful work has made him naturally a man of importance in the business circles of his community. He deals in building materials, sand and gravel, and has been very successful in the construction of up-to-date sewers.

Mr. Ruthven married Miss Terezie Sperl, a native of Bohemia. Mr. Ruthven belongs to the Monterey Chamber of Commerce and is a republican in his political views. A member of the Masonic order he has passed through the chairs to Master, as he has also been through the Knight of Pythias chairs, and he is one of the popular Elks.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.