Merced Express, April 4, 1903



Heart Failure Is The Cause

of Death of Well-Known

Merced Resident

Jefferson Fruit, for nearly half a century a widely-known resident of Merced county, died suddenly at his home at 1028 Twenty-second street at an early hour Wednesday morning, heart failure being the cause of death. Although Mr. Fruit had for several months been afflicted with a heart ailment, his condition was thought to be improving and he was not confined to his home, and the news of his death, therefore, came as a severe shock to his numerous friends.

Mr. Fruit was a native of Humbolt county and was aged 68 years. Shortly after coming to Merced from Riverside about forty-five years ago he was appointed a deputy sheriff by the late Sheriff John F. McSwain. After retiring from the Sheriff’s office he engaged in the livery business and the raising of fine horses until 1892, when he was elected County Recorder. After the expiration of his term in this office he again engaged in his former business until 1900, when he was appointed Justice of the Peace of the Merced township to fill the unexpired term of the late George L. Crocker, who had resigned. Retiring from the latter office in 1902, in engaged in farming a few miles north of Merced, residing there until about a year ago, when he retired and came to this city to make his home.

Surviving relatives are his widow, formerly Miss India Ingalsbe, a member of a pioneer Merced county family and two daughters, Mrs. Fausta Webber of Merced and Mrs. Zarah Farrens of Stockton.

Mr. Fruit was a man of decided opinions who was noted for his independence in both thought and action, and he was respected and esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

He was a member of the Merced Lodge of Masons.

Funeral services were held in the Welch &Griffin chapel this (Friday) morning at 10:30 o’clock, the Rev. H. G. Thompson, pastor of the Adventist Church of this city, officiating. Interment was in Asphodel cemetery. The pall-bearers were C. B. Hurrell, John A. Roduner, J. J. Garibaldi, Smith Acker, G. C. Jones and Hilas Craig.

contributed by: Thomas Hilk