FC: Our Family History | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
2: Great Grandparents | Grandparents | Parents
3: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.
5: Great Grandparents | Grandparents | Parents
6: My grandmother, Lucinda Jane Moore, was born in Missouri on a farm near Joplin, she was the third daughter in a family of 9 other girls and one boy. Robert, who was next to the youngest, was undoubtedly spoiled. I knew three of the girls, my great aunts; Amanda, Kate, and Nell and I remember the names of 3 more; Aunt Mattie, Aunt Alicia and Aunt Lizzie, who froze to death just out side of her own gate during a blizzard in Colorado. Grandmother’s mother grew up on a plantation in Kentucky, her folks owned slaves as they gave her two slaves as a wedding present.
7: As soon as they reached Missouri, Mr. Moore, my great grandfather freed them as he did not believe in the institution; never the less they remained with the family until they died at a ripe old age. Grandmother said slave owners had a great responsibility toward their slaves. During the Civil War grandfather Moore remained neutral, feeding and caring for both Northern and Southern soldiers. He contracted small pox from the soldiers as did the entire family. He was the only death, as far as I know none were left scarred which was very unusual, due to proper diet, and not scratching according to grandma. Toward the end of the war Lucinda (Lou) met a young Union soldier named Sylvester Christopher English (Vete). Theirs must have been a stormy courtship as Lucinda always considered herself a Southerner and Vete as she called him was definitely a Union man. I remember my grandmother as having a very dry humor, she was plain spoken and sarcastic while grandfather would be called a male chauvinist today. Grandfather English was born in “York State” Western New York in 1842. He had a brother, George who also came to Shasta County and a sister Helen that I know of her; she was a teacher in New York. George was a teacher at Happy Valley in 1880’s. Grandfather ran away from home to go to the Great Lakes at the age of 14. He joined a Wisconsin regiment. After four years of war he had a very bad stomach but no serious wounds. I think Lou and Vete remained in Missouri several years where two children, Helen and Charles were born then they moved to a homestead in Kansas where my mother, Alice and Robert were born. Horse stealing was a hanging offense in Kansas so Vete accompanied a vigilantly group where a 19 year old was hanged. This was too much for him. Of course the extreme cold, drought etc discouraged making Kansas a permanent home. They came to California when the other three were born. They first settled in the San Janquin Valley where they were flooded out so they moved to Gridley where they lived until mother was 14, the year of 1987. Ernest English, 8 years younger than mother, was born in Gridley.
8: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers
12: Mother | Grand Mother | Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother
13: Father | Grand Mother | Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother
16: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.
18: Mother | Grandfather | Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandfather | Great Grandfather
19: Father | Grandfather | Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandmother | Great Grandfather | Great Grandfather
21: Great Grandparents | Parents | Grandparents
23: Our Ancestors
24: Parents | Grandparents | Great Grandparents
28: Grandma’s sister Nell Porter also lived in Gridley, they had three daughters, Mollie, Doddie (Dorothy) and Jessie, mother and Mollie were the same age and remained very close throughout their lives while Doddie and Helen were lifelong pals. Jess Porter had harvesters and dealt in hay and grain. He was a pioneer of that area; he and my father-in-law were neighbors as children. My grandfather’s brother, George, had gone to Northern California and settled in Happy Valley. He’s wife died and he became dissatisfied wanting to move on, he talked to grandfather, who wanted land of his own, so they moved to the Flatwoods, the region west of Montgomery Creek about 5 miles. They went up there and bought land and build shelters before coming back to move their families. Uncle George and his daughter Ellen, mother’s age, only had a short two day trip, so they were moved in long before Mother’s family moved there. Grandfather sold their home in Gridley, bought a big wagon, loaded all of their possessions that they could on it and started out much as the pioneers first came west except the family rode in a spring wagon or walked to stretch. Mother told about how much fun they had on the trip. I don’t suppose Grandmother enjoyed it so much. The cows, I think two cows and calves were brought along so they had fresh milk as well as few eggs, so the meals were not too bad. Mother said the trip took nearly three weeks since they camped three days near where the Oregon Trail crosses old 44, while grandfather went to Old Shasta, the Country Seat, to get their title straightened out. It was late spring when they reached their new home, a primitive, backwoods real pioneer community. They all loved it except my Aunt Helen, who was 18 and felt that she was buried alive and grandmother who found no church, only an occasional traveling preacher who was more than likely a self ordained semi-illiterate a self proclaimed preacher who dressed in robes and wore sandals to travel around the country with the work of God. He was still around Anderson when I was a child.
29: The first years in the Flatwoods everybody pitched in to get a garden in, also an orchard, more fields cleaned and a house built. They build a two story log house with a big kitchen dining and living room, a bedroom and a parlor downstairs, and two big bedrooms up stairs: one for girls, one for boys. This house was standing when I visited my grandparents in their new two story white house built after mother married. I loved to play in the log house and wished they still lived there. Mother described the countryside in winter when the young folks skied down the hillsides with no underbrush so they had a clear view any where you looked. Mother went to school until she had learned all she could from the teacher, who was only a few year older than she was. She studied algebra, geometry, philosophy, history, English and literature that I took in college, at 18. Mother went to Anderson to study for the teacher's exam; after six weeks she was so sick from malaria and dysentery that she went home before completing her exams. I think the spelling test really had her so bugged that she chickened out, she felt that she was a poor speller, perhaps by very standards were placed on spelling for the list of requirements, but by my standards she was an excellent speller. I know because I am a poor speller. The most popular pastime was spelling bees, dances and parties with games like spin the platter, and kissing games. Mother fouled herself as far as dances when she visited Mollie in Gridley when she was 16 or 17 and joined the Christian Church. It was an impressionistic time of life where she took a vow never to dance. This didn’t keep her from going because she didn’t think that dancing was evil, she never broke her vow not dance. Later we girls would tease her about how she condemned dancing such an evil activity, yet it was okay for her to watch dancing, she only smiled and agreed. Mother met her first Indians in the Flatwoods where there were many Indian families. They hired Indian women to wash and do much of the hard work for very little pay. The Pit River Indians made beautiful baskets; mother had baskets for everything, fruit, nuts, sewing and just pretty ones.
30: Helen English was a great deal like her mother, a bright, quick witted girl who had tendency to scare the local boys. That was until she met Ed Hall with a wit to match her own. Not only was Ed a charming man, but he worked with her father in some kind of building trade. So marrying Ed would take her back to civilization, she thought, but it didn’t work that way. Ed worked away from home most of the year and Helen stayed on the old home (Hall) place caring for her father-in-law who retired. Ed’s mother, called Grandma Hall, left to live with her daughter, Minnie, after she married Mr. Vaughn; Aunt Helen remained on the place until 1933 when we move there while I taught my first school at Pineland. There were six children in the family. Kathleen who married John Larkin was born in1893. Sally, who married Earl Baldwin, was born in 1896, and Irene was born 1898. She married Bert Rutherford. Their only son, Robert was born at the turn of the century. He was married to Ruth, there were several years before Helen came along in 1906. Helen married Bill Plummer. She was always my idea of the typical flapper, flirtatious pretty and romantic. She contracted T B and spent several years in bed rest and finally had a lung collapsed after nearly dying. She lived to have two lovely children, young Bill is playing big league baseball. One morning in October of 1897, grandmother awoke with a premonition that something had happened to Bobby. She knew that he was dead, and in a short time word come that he and several other members of the fishing party had drown when their boat overturned in the Pit River. Mother was deeply grieved at the loss of her dear brother, as they had always been very close pals. To give a bit of background and local color I’ll try to name a few of the old families that inhabited the community while mother was growing up. The Briners were a very picturesque family from all accounts. Mr. Briner claimed that had had stomach trouble from a lizard that crawled down his throat while he was asleep outside. The Cantrell’s still have decedents in the county, there were Huskie’s, Kirks, Vaughn’s, Hall’s, Thorpe’s and a very colorful widow who moved to the area she was in her mid twenties. They became close friends so mother was indignant when people whispered that Mrs. Kirk drank, which accounted for her many sick spells. Mother eventually discovered for herself that she was wrong. Mrs. Kirk remarried and was still in the community, on the school board when I taught there, and she had a granddaughter living with her at that time.
31: Mother told about coming home one evening at dusk when she looked up the hill as she crossed Roaring Creek, she saw what she thought was their old dog. She called him and her answer was a long tail thrashing the log. Then she knew it was no dog but a mountain lion, she remembered to walk calmly on her way, though her heart was hammering. Mother was the Burgess Creek Postmistress for several years before marriage. The office was in the house she enjoyed the work and followed it after many years later. Mother was considered an “Old Maid” since she remained unmarried until the handsome Matt Wengler, who swept her off her feet at the age of 28. Matt and his partner, John Buick, had a logging operation in the area. He had come to America from Luxemburg in the late 1880’s. He came over to join his sister, but he never saw her because their ships passed each other as she become so homesick that she returned to Luxemburg. Since Dad had accompanied his father some in his timber cruising around Europe, he headed for the West to work in the woods. Luxemburg is a tiny country with little opportunity for young man, so Matt went to Germany, only a few miles away, to find work. While working in a mill of some sort, some of the other workers sang a dirty little ditty about the Duchess of Luxemburg, so Matt retaliated with an equally dirty song about the Kaiser. The next morning one of his friend met him with the information that a gendarme (police) was waiting for him. That would have meant army duty or prison, so Matt slipped away. He got out of Germany to Paris, where he worked on the Eiffel tower to get money for passage to America. Dad was the only boy with three sister’s Katharine, Anna, and Mary. They were Catholics and Matt’s mother wanted him to become a priest, but he had disillusions with the sanctity of the priesthood at an early age. He was a little hellion from this own accounts, always ready with a joke and a booming laugh. He always had an uncanny ability with figures. I never gave dad a problem that he didn’t have the answer without paper before I did with paper and pencil. If dad had a fault it was expecting other men or boys to be as dependable and trustworthy as he was, which was a big order.
32: Grandma’s sister Nell Porter also lived in Gridley, they had three daughters, Mollie, Doddie (Dorothy) and Jessie, mother and Mollie were the same age and remained very close throughout their lives while Doddie and Helen were lifelong pals. Jess Porter had harvesters and dealt in hay and grain. He was a pioneer of that area; he and my father-in-law were neighbors as children. My grandfather’s brother, George, had gone to Northern California and settled in Happy Valley. He’s wife died and he became dissatisfied wanting to move on, he talked to grandfather, who wanted land of his own, so they moved to the Flatwoods, the region west of Montgomery Creek about 5 miles. They went up there and bought land and build shelters before coming back to move their families. Uncle George and his daughter Ellen, mother’s age, only had a short two day trip, so they were moved in long before Mother’s family moved there. Grandfather sold their home in Gridley, bought a big wagon, loaded all of their possessions that they could on it and started out much as the pioneers first came west except the family rode in a spring wagon or walked to stretch. Mother told about how much fun they had on the trip. I don’t suppose Grandmother enjoyed it so much. The cows, I think two cows and calves were brought along so they had fresh milk as well as few eggs, so the meals were not too bad. Mother said the trip took nearly three weeks since they camped three days near where the Oregon Trail crosses old 44, while grandfather went to Old Shasta, the Country Seat, to get their title straightened out. It was late spring when they reached their new home, a primitive, backwoods real pioneer community. They all loved it except my Aunt Helen, who was 18 and felt that she was buried alive and grandmother who found no church, only an occasional traveling preacher who was more than likely a self ordained semi-illiterate a self proclaimed preacher who dressed in robes and wore sandals to travel around the country with the work of God. He was still around Anderson when I was a child.
33: Matt and Alice were married October 31, 1901 in Marysville in the Catholic Church. They had two weeks honeymoon in San Francisco. In later years Alice recalled the Cliff House fondly, and treasured the long strand of pearls Matt had given her as a wedding gift. On their honeymoon, mother bought furniture and china for her new home, which was a cottage on the land that the mill was on. Dad was one of three owners of the mill which had expanded to a logging operation. Mr. Bass of Montgomery Creek became a third partner. The mill camp was quite a little settlement with 100 men employed. There was a store, boarding house and a number of houses for families. Mr. Mazzini was employed in the mill in some capacity, perhaps in the store. My brother, Ernest, was born in September 1902 and became quite a camp pet according to stories I heard. The mill prospered and expanded; my father was the only owner who lived on the site, so many of his employee’s thougth of him as the boss. I know this was the case when I met old employees after I grew up. The business required may trips to town, Redding, which was about 50 miles. This took about three days for the round trip even with a fast team. So, when mother accompanied dad they stayed longer, up to three weeks in rooms reserved at the Temple Hotel, operated by close friends, the Clindsmidts. They usually broke the trip by staying overnight at the Lem's stopping place in Bella Vista; it was on the way home from town in April of 1906, when they felt the shock of the big San Francisco earthquake. During the early years of marriage, they enjoyed the luxuries of a good income. Many of the mill workers were Achemawi Indians from the Rancherias in the area.
34: In 1908 the partners took a fourth partner, Mr. Benton, who had operated in Shingletown area. They were expanding to build a holding bay or whatever it was, called Turtle Bay off the Sacramento River, in Redding. Anyway, they gave a quick claim deed. Dad was in San Francisco getting backing to cover payment when the note came due; dad returned with the money to find notices of new ownership. Dad got out with nothing but a timber claim that he had written in mother’s name when they were first married. I was born at my grandparent’s home on June 28 of 1908. Grandma Hall was the midwife. As a baby, I was named Katie Lu. My mother thought Katrina, Matt’s mother’s name, too old-fashioned. She decided she would let me choose any variation of those names I like when I reached the age of judgment. A modern miss, I became Kathryn Lucille. After leaving the mill, we moved about for several years. First, Dad took over the management (or bought I’m not sure which) of a hotel in Gridley. The only part of the hotel that prospered was saloon that was leased to someone else. A young widow lived in the hotel, and Mom thought her a lovely person. She was so incensed when she discovered the woman belonged to an ancient profession, she persuaded Dad to sell the hotel, no fit environment for the children. We left Gridley sometime in the Fall of 1909. Dad then started in the construction business and cleaned for roads, etc. He built roads up the Sacramento canyon. We lived in several different places in Redding where Helen was born March 23, 1910. In 1911 we moved to La Moine where Dad was clearing for a railroad spur. In January of 1912 we moved to the ranch in Inwood which the family retained until 1965 when it was sold to the first Forest Farms subdivides.
35: Ernie, my brother, started school at the old Pine Street School, but he was easily bored. He skipped school to fish and roast potatoes at Turtle Bay so; consistently he was in the third grade three years. This may or may not have affected my parents in to making the decision to buy a ranch. I always felt that Dad’s heart was in the challenging life of bidding on jobs and walking his off to make them pay. When we bought the 360 acres from the Boots’ granddaughter, Mrs. Martin, it had a big two-story, six bedroom house, the “little house” across the road, a huge barn with hand-hewn beams and wooden pegs, a storehouse (literally --- Mr. Martin use it as a tiny general store) with a mini-blacksmith shop behind it, as well as the usual chicken house, pigpens, and outhouse, the remain of the old winery stood b the spring at the end of the eastern meadow. One cold rainy day in the middle of January 1912 we reached our destination only to find that the Martin’s were still in residence. So, we moved into a “little house” across the road. The big house had been built by Mr. Albery and Mr. Adams in the 1890’s. The Adams were related to the Alberys. The kitchen of the house had one or two little window, opening onto the porch, as it was the Black Hole of Calcutta. The ceiling of both living and dining room were 12 feet and the parlor had no heat. We used the parlor as a guest room after finally getting in to the house. Imagine, five bedrooms, six with the parlor and only one clothes closet; however, there was also a closet in the upstairs hall. Ernie finally caught up in school so he was with boys of his age after he got away from town where he found so many diversions. He, Helen and I, attended Inwood School at the top of Wengler Hill, except for one venture at Bear Creek School. One fall there were not enough students at Inwood, and Matt blazed a trial through the woods to Bear Creek. Mother again became the postmistress of the Inwood Post office, which was located in the front hall. W
36: ork on the farm was truly day light to dark as Dad raised several acres of corn for pig feed, potatoes and fruit, both apples and cherries for sale. There were hogs for sale, also. Mother churned butter for market at first but in the early years they started shipping cream to creameries in San Francisco, the mail carriers transported it to the railroad. Miss Gertrude Von Glohn was the teacher when we came. She boarded at the Moore place, a half mile from our place. She later married Clinton Moore. In 1914 Miss McCandlass, a little old maid teacher came to our school. I was the only girl the first year, with five or six boys. The boys made my life miserable, and I was a lonely little girl. The eruption of Mt. Lassen in 1915 was awesome. Nobody knew for sure that the lava would come our way. I remember swinging on the garden gate and watching ashes float through the air. In 1916 the first Federal Farm Loan Act was passed to give farmers low interest rates, the directors and appraisers were Jeff Ogburn, Matt Wengler, Marshall Moore and I think one more. I remember Mr. Moore and Ogburn because my first trip to town was with Dad and then in Mr. Ogburn’s old Ford with the side curtains up for rain. They were going to Federal Loan Board meeting and I had a tooth ache, so I had my first tooth (big one) pulled. I remember sitting all day in the lobby of the Temple hotel. Mrs. Clindsmidt tried to entertain me, but I was a scared rabbit. What do you do when nature calls? Thank goodness the alley was empty when I solved this mystery for myself. Dad bought me my first store bought dress that day, and I was heartbroken when mother called it shoddy. Our school was always very small with the Moore’s usually supplying several boarders. In 1916, Mrs. Lorraine McHenry with her two daughters, Eleanor and Margaret, boarded there when she taught the school for two years; it was common practice for teacher to teach a summer school then come to the winter school in
37: November. That is what Mrs. McHenry did. Therefore, our school was late starting. So, I went to the Bear Creek School for three days that Fall they were hectic days. The first day I was stung by hornets for which there is only one cure, mud administered by Ernie. The third morning the woods were quiet, except for a blue jay screeching. We had the feeling the jays were warning us of danger. That evening they heard something following them. Ernie urges me to walk faster, and when I could no longer keep up with him, he hoisted me onto his back and trotted home as fast as he could. Dad found mountain lion tracks along a boggy stretch on the trail, we quit Bear Creek School. Fortunately another family with children moved in the Inwood School District, and we did not miss the school year.
44: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.