William B. Sawyer, M. D., occupies a prominent position in the medical circles of Riverside, and has for many years been well known in the business and social circles of the city. Dr. Sawyer is a native of New England, born in Hampshire County, Massachusetts in 1854. His father, Edmund H. Sawyer, was a descendant of an old colonial family whose first advent in the New world was in the days of the Puritans; he was a manufacturer and prominent citizen of Hampshire County, a member of the Assembly and Senate of his State, at the head of banking institutions, and a trustee of Williston Seminary, Amherst College and other public institutions. His mother, Sarah J. Hinckley, was a direct descendant of Elder William Brewster, the minister of the “Mayflower,” from whom the Doctor is named. The father gave his son all the facilities afforded in obtaining a thorough education from Williston Seminary at East Hampton, and at Amherst College. He graduated at that institution in 1875, after which he entered upon his medical studies at Harvard University, and graduated in the medical department in 1879. He spent about a year in the practice of his profession in his native place, and then moved westward, locating in Kansas City, Missouri. He built up a successful practice, but failing health compelled him to try a milder climate.
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In 1882 he decided to seek a home on the Pacific coast, and in December of that year located at Los Angeles. As his partially restored health permitted, he engaged in the practice of his profession and from the first took a leading position in the medical circles of that city. In 1883 he was elected vice-president of the Los Angeles Medical Society. His continued ill health prevented the prosecution of this calling there, and he decided to try some other pace and occupation. In February 1884, he came to Riverside, and shortly afterward purchased the dairy of P. Gallagher, which he established on leased lands on the Jurupa Ranch. For nearly two years the Doctor engaged in the dairy business and agricultural pursuits. In April 1886, he again entered a professional life and established his office in Riverside, and since that time has devoted himself to the practice of medicine and surgery.
Dr. Sawyer is a writer of no mean order, and has found time to bring his literary talents to the aid of Riverside’s interest. In 1887 he established the Southern California Monthly. His abilities as an editor were well displayed in that journal, but the enterprise was not well sup-ported, and after a few months’ publication was suspended. He was also a stockholder and a director of the Tribune Publishing Company, and was for some time editor-in-chief of the Daily Tribune. In 1887 Dr. Sawyer was a member of the board of health, and health officer of the city. In political matters he has always been a supporter of the Republican party, a worker in its ranks and identified with its best elements. Although not an early pioneer of Riverside, the Doctor has been identified with the city and colony during the years of its greatest growth and prosperity. He is a progressive and public-spirited citizen and has heartily sup-ported the various public enterprises that have placed his chosen city high in the ranks of the cities of Southern California.
In 1888 the subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Miss Emma J. Nichols, a native of Massachusetts. They have five children: Edmund H., Henry A., William B., Emma M. and Adele A.