Archive for the ‘Mattolians’ Category

I have changed a couple of things in this post since i first put it up, so if you are concerned about the details of Goff family genealogy, or of the ranch down Chambers Rd., please re-read. –L.W.C. 3-13-2011

Mid-1930s. Patricia and Leslyn Swall, their father Leslie Cyril Swall, and what looks like a Mattole breakfast. Photo courtesy Jen Hayes, Leslyn's granddaughter.

Checking out the threshing at the Mackey place, down Chambers Rd. Photo from Mary Rackliff Etter collection.

William Reynolds, his brother-in-law, Arthur O'Leary, and William (and Grace O'Leary) Reynolds' daughter Zelma, c. 1920. This photo and the next courtesy of Marian Barney and Diane Massoni.

Helen Reynolds, another daughter of William and Grace, on the farm down Chambers Rd. Boy on far right may be Wm. T. Reynolds, Helen and Zelma's brother.

The following four pictures were taken at the old Cook place, northwest of Petrolia on the road out of town.

From the "Farming in the Twenties" page of Mary Rackliff Etter's scrapbook.

This set of pictures seems to have been taken out on the old Cook home place on the road northwest to the ocean and town, more recently known as Villeggiatura.

Henry O'Leary taking a roller home to Domingo Zanone's.

Sorry about the damage, but it seemed worth posting for the detail in this threshing equipment. Click etc. to zoom in.

There are plenty of connections between the people in these photos, as there were plenty between pretty much everyone in the Valley at that time.

Jen Hayes, a young woman who came here a few years ago to work for the Mattole Restoration Council, is granddaughter of Leslyn Swall Lyons, the younger child in the first picture, and great-granddaughter of Leslie Cyril Swall, the good-looking father, and Alice Luella Crippen. Alice’s parents were Chloe Deborah Goff and John Eldon Crippen. Chloe’s parents were Stephen Taylor (known as Taylor) and Clara Patterson Goff. And his parents were pioneers Stephen J. and Mary Deborah Hinton Goff, from North Carolina and Ohio, respectively. Mary was a Valley midwife who kept good records of the scores of births she attended here; the Ferndale Enterprise published her list of 155 babies on March 5, 1970.

Jen shared with us her great-grandmother’s birth certificate. It mentions the people whose affidavits allowed the issuing of this document. Maude M. Langdon, cousin, appears here; Jen’s grandmother Leslyn called her “Aunt Maude,” and remembered her as living in the big old white house that used to sit on the present Community Center location. However, to be technically correct, Maude Goff Langdon was a first cousin of Chloe Goff Crippen (being the daughter of Charles F. Goff, Taylor’s brother); cousin once removed of Alice Luella Crippen Swall; and twice removed of Leslyn Swall Lyons. Older enough to be an aunt!

The other person certifying Alice’s birth is Grace Reynolds. She is identified on the certificate as “Friend at time of birth.” Grace is the sister of “Hen,” or Henry O’Leary, seen riding in the seemingly airborne seat driving a piece of equipment home, above; and is the mother of Zelma Reynolds, seen in the third photo, and of Helen and William T. Reynolds, in the fourth picture. As an O’Leary, she was also sister of Daisy (Mrs. George) Cook, who was mother to Jim Cook of Bear River and to Francie Cook of Rio Dell, father of our mailman, Tom! (Out of a dozen children born to Patrick and Margaret O’Leary, nine survived to adulthood: John; Grace– the mother of Zelma, and thereby grandmother of Diane Massoni, who visited the MVHS with her cousin once removed and left us these photos, among several more; Art; Daisy; Frank– father of Marian Barney, the lovely lady who first contacted me and arranged the visit; Hen; Blanche; Lena; and Harold.)

The photo of the Mackeys threshing is tied in in two ways. Patrick O’Leary’s sister, Honorah or Hannah, married John A. Mackey. Their place down Chambers Road, around where Upper Mill Creek passes under the road, may have been the same as the Reynolds place, where that other harvesting work is going on in the third and fourth pictures. The Reynolds Barn is where Dave and Becky Grant are currently living. (Or perhaps not; it is also known as the Daugherty Barn, possibly built by Isaac N. Daugherty; but there is a connection to the Reynolds that i hope to iron out!) All i know is that the Mackey place was also down Chambers Road (the eucalyptus lot where Jerry Johnson used to get firewood was always known as “the Mackey Lot”), and that on pre-1900 maps (um, let me get those when i am over at the office!) the Mackeys are shown as property owners right there in the same area as where the Grants are now. Perhaps the Reynolds leased or rented from the Mackeys.

Okay, one more connection. The house on the site of the Mattole Valley Community Center, which Leslyn Lyons remembers as Maude Goff and Charles Gilbert “Gib” Langdon’s home, had been moved up from its original Chambers Road location (see “Imposing house moved in 1880s“). It was either the same house as, or right next to, the William Reynolds’ family home, identified in a 1914 photo. The picture was not clear enough to see if it was that building or the one next to it, later the Rackliff, then Mary Etter, place.


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The eldest man in the picture from my last post on here (Jan. 29, 2011) is George Hindley. His direct descendant, Laurence Hindley of Fortuna, donated to the MVHS a typed and xeroxed copy of this solid year of daily entries.

Bob Stansberry, who is most knowledgeable about Southern Humboldt and upriver history, made the notes to these journal entries. I have italicized his statements and questions. Anything you see in brackets is my own comment. Please keep in mind that these words were transcribed to typewriter from Geo. Hindley’s own hand, and that the transcriber did not necessarily know the locals or the spellings of their names and the places. I am adding only enough punctuation and spelling correction to make for ease and clarity; otherwise I will try to keep the original style.

So here you go, 131 years ago (to the week), above the Mattole Valley…

George Hindley kept this diary while living on the original home place approximately one mile northwest of Windy Nip [between Honeydew and Panther Gap].

THURSDAY, JAN. 1, 1880—Came home from Bull Creek danc [?] throo the Rain with Gilespie and Wife. It fogged and rained all Day. Found Wm Cathey and the children all well.
Gillespie was Allen Gillespie’s grandfather; his wife was Eliza (Hunter), daughter of John Hunter, Sr., whose ranch was downstream one and a half miles from Honeydew.

JAN. 2—Rained in the morning. Cloudy all day. Gilespie and wife went home with two pack mules. Gave Wm Cathey an order to Rudolph for $4 dolars. Started to write a letter to Wm Sloss.
Did Gillespie live at his in-laws? Where did Wm Cathey live? Rudolph had the store in Petrolia?
[It almost seems the Wm. Cathey family lived on the Hindley property, he is mentioned so often as being right there. John Rudolph did have the Petrolia Store until 1881. His brother Morgan was an early postmaster at Upper Mattole.]

JAN. 3—Cloudy all day. Stayed at home all day, poterd round and finished letter to Wm Sloss. Rained a little after noon. No body came or went today.

JAN. 4—Sun shown in the fore part of the day. Cloudy the rest and raining at night. Fixed the woodshed and cleaned it out. Wm Cathey came from Petrolia.

JAN. 5—Rained all day. Put ax handle in and grained calf skin. Stay at home all day. CC Fitzgerld was hear and we settled our accounts for which I took his Note.
[Cyrus Calvin Fitzgerald, 1846-1894, who later shot Hindley in the face.]

JAN. 6—Rained all day and blew hard, wind from south east. Stayed in the house all day and cut out rawhide and Braded on Reins for a riding bridal. Wind blowing very hard.

JAN. 7—Blowed down all the fences and rained hard all day and snowed in the evening. Earth quake last night about eleven oclock. Staid in the house and Braded Bridle rains.

JAN. 8—Cloudy all day with hale, rain and snow. Stayed in the house all day and tinkerd at Bridal rains till eavning and then got in wood for fire in the morning.

JAN. 9—Raind hard all day and blew a hericane. Stayed in the house and traded my watch boots and vest to Wm Cathey for his yellow mare. Went out in the eavning and kild a spike Buck.

JAN. 10—Sun shined at times with snowing thro the day at times. Stayed at home and cleand out woodshed. Wm Singley and Wm Weeks was heare to dinner. Cathey went for flour.

JAN. 11—A clear day with the exception of a few flying clouds. Went out to bring in a deer and kild three more. Brought them home and drest them. I [or T?] Amens was heare and we seen the Eclips of the sun.
Tom Amen lived at what later became the Mann Ranch in the Panther Gap area. Tom had at least one brother; this could be a brother or still another of that large family (see Bull Creek cemetery).

JAN. 12—Cloudy and rainy. Our darling Berty got scalded at qtr. Past ten and died half past nine pm. Parkhurst, Hurlbutt and Cathey, Gillespie and wife, Florence and Minnie Hunter and Millsap were heare. Wm Cathey went for relief.
Florence (age 19) was a cousin and Minnie (age 15) was a sister to Mrs. Gillespie. Millsap was probably William Millsap.

JAN. 13—Cloudy with a light rain or mist. Our friends were heare with our little pet. Mr. and Mrs. Singley, T Cathey, Bill (?) and Mrs. Millsap and two sons of Singley. The men dug a grave. The above friends in addition to yesterday.
William Millsap lived in the Panther Gap area at one time. He was the father of Henry Millsap and the great-grandfather of John Hower and Ross Millsap of Pepperwood. He was buried at Bull Creek.

JAN. 14—Clear all day. Buried our little Bertie. All the friends of the two preceding days were hear, also Netty (?) and Carry Parkhurst. To the buriul at twelve oclock. Alsow Hurlbutt’s two sons were heare. Willie Cathey got back.
Bertie was buried on a ridge northwest of Windy Nip. A place known as “The Graves.”

JAN. 15—Clear all day. Wm Singley stayed heare last night and left This morning. Fayet brought some flour up from Hurlbutts. I fixed up the corall gates and the Graves railings and etc.
Hurlbutt’s field is just west of Honeydew by the county road (Etter Ranch). Where was Hurlbutt’s house? Did he have a flour mill?

JAN. 16—Clear all day. Went to Petrolia and paid off Russ and stayed at AA Godwin’s. Seen Lemdale and Frost. Bought a bill of Goods from Macy [Mackey?] and a bill from Rudolph, got some pick irons from Leary.
Was Leary the blacksmith in Petrolia—Patrick O’Leary?
[Probably. Absalom Godwin had a place on the northwest corner of the Petrolia Square, later spot of the K of P hall and Johnson’s store. Not the old Petrolia Hotel, on the southwest corner. Ab Ridge in Honeydew is named for Ab Godwin. Russ was paid off; hmmm, Albert Russ was running the Petrolia Hotel in 1882 for sure, and perhaps he was already doing so in 1880.]

JAN. 17—Clear all day. Came up home from Petrolia with Gillespie. Minnie Huntyer came up with us from their place to stay on a visit. I lent Gillespie one dollar and fifty cts. Wm Weeks past heare today.

JAN. 18—Clear all day. Gillespie went down to Hurlbutts and got 500 lbs. of flour up. Fronia Hunter came up with Fayet(?) to stay on a visit. I doctord sheep all day and fixed up the Barn.
Fronia or Frona Hunter was another sister of Eliza Gillespie’s. Also known as Sophronia.
[Fayet is likely Fayette, or Lafayette, Titus of Petrolia.]

JAN. 19—Clear all day. Gillispie packed up thirteen sacks of flour from Hurlbutt. Minnie Hunter went home. Wm Cathey brought up my horse I traded for. I doctored sheep all day. Miss Hunter is here.

JAN. 20—Clear all day with a few flying clouds, some indication of a storm in the atsmerfear. Gillespie felt sick and laid over. Docterd sheep all day. Phronia, Cathey, and Gillespie & I corralled all the sheep.

JAN. 21—Clear all day with considerable wind and turned hazy with signs of a storm. I ran throo my sheep and counted 575 head and finished doctoring. Wm Millsap is with us.

JAN. 22—Cloudy with cold wind blowing from the north west and misting in the eavning. Liddy Hunter came up with Gillespie. Mrs. Johnson and Miss Hanlon came over on a visit. Worked at home.
Liddy or Lidia Hunter (age 17) was yet another sister, also spelled as Lydia.

JAN. 23—Clear all day with indications of a storm. Started to Rhonervill. Mrs. Johnston went to Fitzgerlds place with me. Fits came and we staid at Howards all knight.

JAN. 24—Cloudy all day with rain at night. We left Howards and went to Rhonerville by 4 oclock. Went to the lodge at night, bought $3 worth of Fagumbaum and stayed at Hotell.
[Mr. Feigenbaum was a prominent Jewish merchant of the Rohnerville area. For more info on the subject of the few but noteworthy Jews in early Humboldt history, see Nan Abrams’ article in the blog http://jewsofthegoldrush.blogspot.com/ ]

JAN. 25—Stormy with snow. Gave Mr. Rob Shearer 20 days to close a bargain at Rhonerville. I start home today with CC Fitsjarld and we stay at Oscar Hindley’s all night.

JAN. 26—Stormy all day with snow and frost. We crossed Eel river and ate dinner at Painters and we came on home. Ate supper at Fits and I came on home in the night.
Fits or C.C. Fitzgerald lived in the Rainbow Ridge area near the overland trail between the Eel and Mattole valleys.

JAN. 27—Snowing all day with wind and frost. Stayed in the house all day with Gillespie and Cathey and Leiddie Hunter who are with us at night. The wind is blowing and freesing hard.

JAN. 28—Clear all day with a thaw of snow which was four inches deep. Hauled wood all day. W Cathey helping me. Liddie Hunter went home. Gillespie going with her. Freesing.

JAN. 29—Clear all day and clouding up in the eavning. Hauled up wood in the forenoon and hauled posts for garden fence. Phronia Hunter came up with the mail and horse load of salt.

JAN. 30—Clear all day. Frose hard last night. Hauled fence posts and wood most all day. Cathey setting them around garden. Toards eavning I fined [fixed?] up the fence or started it so.

JAN. 31—Clear all day and very warm. Worked on garden fence most all day. Gillespie and wife came up alsow Minnie Hunter came with them. I alsow fixed the front door.

SUNDAY, FEB. 1, 1880—Clear all day and very pleasant. Worked on porch and fixed up fence around garden. Gillespie and wife Minnie Hunter with them. Went to Bull creek. A. Cathey came up on a visit.
Where did A. Cathey live? Andrew Cathey lived where Hindley Ranch is now [at bottom of hill, in Honeydew].

FEB. 2—Clear all day and very pleasant. Worked on fence till noon. Millsap came over and went to plowing. I Howard and Mrs. Fitsgerld came over and Howard and me came over to Merifields.
Where did the Merifields live? [In the 1880 census, Daniel Merrifield and family are listed amongst these neighbors: George Hindley and family; William Millsap and family; then come Daniel Merrifield with two children and boarder Thomas Cathey; next Siras Fitzgerald and wife plus adopted child and boarders; next the Paschal Hunter family.]

FEB. 3—Clear all day and pleasant. Howard and I left Merifields, came over to home and ate dinner then started and came over to Howard’s. There we found Lawson and young Toliday. Sold steer to Howard for fifteen dollars.

FEB. 4—Clear all day and very pleasant. Still at Howard. We went out Hunting but did not Kill anything. Charlet Young is at Howard’s, and young Tolladay.

FEB. 5—Clear all day and very pleasant warm and sunny. Went out with Howard on a hunt after varments but could not find anything. Came home after dinner my horse fell over and hirt me.

* * * * * * * * * *

[….stay tuned for more in a few weeks… will try to keep up with Hindley’s seasons.]

Postscript: Here is the map section from the Stanley N. Forbes 1886 map, mentioned by olmanriver in the Comments, below.

There it is in 2S, 1E-- the Hindley house! Thanks to Richard "Rob" Roberts for making this, and other, maps available to the MVHS.

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Hindley family, late 1890s

The Hindley family of Honeydew. From Mary Rackliff Etter's collection, where there are many more like it.

Here is another randomly-found letter that tries to explain the members of a family picture. A few years ago, I wrote to Wendy Lestina of the Ferndale Museum about this photograph of the Hindleys, which was on a page with several other sittings of the same large group, taken in roughly the same period. I had asked Laurence Hindley (of Fortuna; the guy who collects and fixes up all the old farm and tractor equipment, including steam engines) and he couldn’t tell for sure who everyone was, so i don’t feel so bad. Maybe putting out the pictures online like this might find some answers.

Dear Wendy,
I only know that George and Margaret Jane Holman Hindley were married on December 25, 1866, in Weaverville, CA, and by 1874 were in the Upper Mattole (now Honeydew) area. They had 13 children, 4 of whom died in childhood. The remaining 9 were:
1. George Lawton H., b. 1867, married Mary J. Hogan
2. Annie Maud, b. 1872, married Walter E. Hackett
3. Ernest Richard, b. 1876, have no marriage info; died 1936
4. (Margaretta) Cora, b. 1881, married Walter C. Reishus
5. Verna Verena (?), b. 1883, married George C. Lindley
6. Hazel Enid, b. 1886, married Martin Waddington
7. Rebecca Elizabeth, b. 1888, married Joseph Keating, then Gordon Nichols
8. Joseph N. D., born 1893, married Blanche Cecil Haywood (their children were Vera Jean [Myers], Harlan, Cecil Joseph [C.J.], and George Hindley)
9. Henry C., born 1895, married Mary Ann Holbrook

My guess is that the picture shows Offspring 1 through 7 at the top of the picture–2 young men and 5 girls–and that the bottom group is the two youngest boys, Joseph and Henry, with 5 of their nieces and nephews–children of the older siblings.

If the picture were taken about 1897, when the eldest son was 30 and the eldest girl was 27, this would make sense. The two youngest of the George and Margaret children would have been ages 4 and 6 then.
Laurence and Lisa Hindley couldn’t figure it out, though they were sure that it is George and Margaret Jane flanking the children. So (maybe) our guess is as good as anyone’s.

P.S. George Hindley was a well-known public servant. He was county supervisor and had much to do with getting the Fernbridge built. One of his misadventures was being shot in the face by a neighbor with whom he had seemed to get along, and with whom he worked and traded; the man is mentioned often in his diary. Cyrus C. Fitzgerald, or was it Fitzpatrick? Anyway, the man turned out to be quite a rogue, and i believe died in a jail, in ill health, in his 40s. Speaking of the diary… Laurence Hindley gave the MVHS a copy of a solid year of George Hindley’s journal from the 1880s. There is only a paragraph, sometimes a couple of lines, for each day; but it is very revealing. I will see about posting bits of it on here. Might be kind of fun to do several entries for the appropriate month, i.e., “125 years ago this month.”

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In 1999, Kenneth G. Nelson, born February 20, 1921, and raised in the Honeydew area, presented his seven grandchildren a book of his memoirs. The cover photo of Thoughts of a Boy Growing Up shows young Ken with his brother Roy, Mildred Lindley, Jack Smith, and Leland Hadley, laughing in the sunshine of a long-ago school day outside the Upper Mattole School. It’s a great photo, truly eliciting the “era of ‘boyfoot boy with cheeks of tan’,” as Ken describes that time, in the volume’s dedication.

The cover photo from "Thoughts of a Boy Growing Up," both editions

I loved the book, which has not been widely available, though i wished it contained more pictures. I can’t quite recall where i picked up my first copy, a hardback book. The first 69 pages concern Ken’s days in the Mattole, which ended when the family, due to Depression-generated financial difficulties, was forced to move to Lodi in 1930. Ken’s mother, Sue Black Nelson, had been raised there and Ken’s maternal grandparents gladly welcomed the family into their home until they got themselves set up, eventually as dairy farmers.

Ken Nelson’s paternal grandparents were Steven D. and Grace Nelson, who in the 1920s built the camp long known as Nelson’s, then as the Mattole Resort, and most recently as the Mattole Country Cabins. The scenic retreat is between Upper Mattole and Honeydew. Maud Nelson Hunter was Ken’s father Roy’s sister; she and her husband Ray Hunter took control of the Resort when Steve and Grace passed away. Maud and Ray’s daughter was Virginia Hunter Mast (also a Curzon and Tuxon in there, though i am not sure of the order), who finally sold the place out of the family, i think in the 1980s. Another daughter of Maud and Ray (and thus Kenneth G. Nelson’s first cousin) was Velma Hunter Childs Titus, who is as regular as she can be at MVHS events, and always quick with a fact, a story, or a picture whenever i’ve asked. These cousins are a pair of dynamos– you would never be able to guess their ages by their energy and sharpness of mind. I spoke with Ken on the telephone tonight, and he was, as they say, sharp as a tack, with his 90th birthday in a month. He gave me permission to reprint whatever i wished from his book.

The book! That’s the good part. He recently republished his memoirs with a great selection of photographs. Just a couple of days ago i received a signed copy in the mail, via Velma Titus. What a wonderful surprise! The book itself was already delightful reading; Ken’s is a very honest and humble voice, and he’s an enjoyable, smooth writer. But the photographs– well again, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here are a few of the photographs from the book, along with Ken’s own captions. Please excuse the funny textures… something seems to happen when my pixels interact with the book’s pixels.

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Here is part of a letter I wrote a few years ago to a woman researching the old Dudley home at Union Mattole (presently the Fun Farm, just south of the Concrete Arch bridge near Squaw Creek). The house is one of the oldest in the Mattole Valley, and Kathy Dillon was writing an article about it for the Times-Standard. Maybe I will be able to scan the article when I am at the office, and put up its picture of the Dudley place here. But for now, just this letter and the beautiful photograph of Ida and Wesley Ernest (found in the stucco house at Upper Mattole, where they lived much of their married life) which prompted my posting it:

Ida and (Wesley) Ernest Roscoe, c. late 1930s. Unknown girl and cat. Photo courtesy Dave Sholes, who lived in the stucco house (behind Ida) for some years. Ida "built character" by caring for her tuberculosis-ridden mother, and assuming her staggering household duties, by the age of eleven.

Milton Rice Dudley and his wife Amanda lived in the house now owned by Mary and Larry Bacchetti. The Dudley brothers, James Newton Dudley, Milton Rice Dudley, Thomas, and William, came to California from Iowa (where they’d come from Illinois). They made it to Marysville in 1864 or 1865, and to Humboldt County by 1871. Milton Rice Dudley was married to Amanda Miner, whose sister, Lucinda, was married to his brother James Dudley. (The women’s brother, Henry Allen, was the grandfather of Allen, Buck, Ruth, Doris [Lindley] and Edith [Matthews] Miner, and their sister was Elizabeth Miner [Mrs. Lewis J.] Cummings.)
I don’t have as much on Milton (born December, 1841 in Illinois, and listed by occupation as a miller) as on his wife, Amanda. She was born in Wisconsin, November 16,1843, must have married at about the age of 19 (early 1863), and died at Mattole in 1905 of tuberculosis. She and Milton had 10 children, 4 who died at birth or in infancy. Here are the surviving six:

1. Ida Sophina Dudley, 1863 (Iowa) -1956, married Wesley Ernest Roscoe; this pair were the forebears of many of the Roscoes around the Valley in the 20th century and today.
2. William Allen, 1867-1913; never married.
3. Lena Elmina, born 1873, married a George L. Hill and had 2 children. (Not George R. Hill, who married Bertha Roscoe.)
4. Nettie, born 1875, married Ellis Hill and had 1 child.
5. Grace, born 1880, married Walter Lines, had 1 child.
6. Blanche, born 1882, married Robert Williams, had 2 children.

On an 1874 survey of the Mattole county road, Dudley’s stable is marked on the south side of the road near Bacchettis’, and a little further on to the east, Dudley’s mill is shown as a box on the south also, which would be on the banks on Squaw Creek. The house itself is not shown–it must have been just about to be built. However, T. Dudley (one of Milton’s brothers) is shown about a mile downstream.

According to Ken Roscoe in his book Heydays in Humboldt, “My maternal grandfather [Ken’s mother was Ida Sophina Dudley], Milton Rice Dudley, and his family had come to the Mattole Valley from Iowa in 1871 or 1872 to join his older brother, Jim Dudley, who had arrived in 1868 with the first and largest group of Marysville settlers. Jim had offered his younger brother a job as manager of his milling operation at the mouth of Upper Mill Creek southeast of Petrolia.
“Evidently my Great Uncle Jim was a bit of a bounder, and some said he spent a lot of time in Ferndale drinking and gambling away the profits Milton made on the lumber and flour the mills produced. Granddad didn’t like that too much, so he quit and moved up the river to Union Mattole where he built his own mills on Squaw Creek.
“My mother was the oldest of five sisters and a brother (four other children died at birth or in infancy). Her mother, Amanda Miner Dudley, had contracted tuberculosis, and Mom, being the oldest, did more and more of the housework and other chores as time went on…
“By the time Mom was eleven and in the seventh grade in 1874, her mother had become fully bedridden, and Mom had to quit school and assume full responsibility for the daytime care of her mother and the raising of her younger brother and sister. She prepared all the meals, including noontime dinners for the mill crew, and did all the washing and mending of clothes, even making the soap to wash the clothes and the dishes.
“Meanwhile, her mother Amanda continued having children. Nettie was born in 1875…” (Continues with list as above.)… “Amanda lived until 1905.”
“Grandfather Dudley’s sawmill and gristmill were near the mouth of Squaw Creek at Union Mattole [the old name for the area between and around Indian Creek and Squaw Creek, sometimes called New Jerusalem]. The sawmill was located on the south side of the creek and the gristmill on the north side. The mills were powered by water delivered from a lake behind a dam across the creek. The dam was about 25 feet high and backed water up Squaw Creek more than a mile. Until recently there was visible evidence of the location more than three quarters of a century after cessation of operation about 1911 or 1912.”

There is a page or two more on the construction and operation of the mills in Heydays in Humboldt. A little bit on Milton’s character: “Milton Dudley was of New England Yankee stock, and the family was originally from England. As some of these men did, Granddad had a genius for mechanics, as evidenced by the design of the dam and the mills, and could make about anything needed, including parts for my broken toys when I was a kid… Among his other skills, he was an excellent bee keeper, and I do not remember a bee ever stinging him…
“Grandfather Dudley was a man of strong convictions but did welcome a worthy challenge, particularly one that would give him an opportunity to quote the Bible to give force to his arguments. However, he also had a short fuse and would take immediate and forceful action if any man questioned his honesty…
“Granddad would sometimes mill other farmers’ oats, wheat, rye, or other grains for a share of the flour. He milled some grain for a neighbor, Fred Weinsdorfer, who then accused him of stealing some of the flour. Dudley responded by knocking Weinsdorfer down. Weinsdorfer filed a charge against him for assault and battery. On the day of the trial before the Justice of the Peace, Weinsdorfer did not apear, so the Justice dismissed the case.
“When questioned later as to the cause of his failure to appear, Weinsdorfer said, “My wife Clarissa, she not let me go. She say, ‘Fred, you not go. That red-faced Deadly, he will hit you again.’ ”
(Just threw that one in for a little bit of color from the period… Ken’s making fun of Fred Weinsdorfer’s Bavarian accent there.)

William W. Roscoe, a brother-in-law of Ida Sophina Dudley Roscoe, writes in his 1940 History of the Mattole Valley, “For a year or two [James N.] Dudley operated the sawmill [on east Mill Creek] in partnership with his younger brother, Milton R. Dudley. The latter soon decided to establish a saw and grist mill business of his own, free from partnership, so he settled on a timber claim on Squaw Creek, seven miles east of Petrolia [this would have been about 1873 or ’74]. Here for about twenty-five years he very successfully operated a saw and grist mill business… Milton R. Dudley’s mill furnished the lumber for the building in Upper Mattole.
“Milton R. Dudley continued in the grist mill and sawmill business on Squaw Creek until about the year 1900. When the decline in wheat-raising in the valley compelled him to abandon the mill, he set up in the spring bee and honey business and followed this vocation until 1908 when he sold his property to Calvin Stewart, a Mendocino County [and Mattole Valley] tan bark operator. Milton R. Dudley then spent the remainder of his days in Eureka, where he died in the summer of 1922.”

James Dudley, the brother from whom Milton split when he established his own mills, was the one who drowned in the Mattole River while trying to secure a log boom (story recounted in Now… and Then, no. 32).

Ida, Ken’s mother, had a long, industrious life, and was much beloved. Both Ken Roscoe’s Heydays in Humboldt and his nephew Stanley (Neb) Roscoe’s Heydays in Mattole tell stories revealing her wit, wisdom, and warmth.

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Lately i have been reading many pioneer-era accounts of first glimpses of the Mattole Valley. The Now… and Then newsletter i am working on will feature an article printing many of those descriptions of the people, flora, and fauna from the 1850s, before the oil boom really put us on the map.

Here is a shorter story, from a bit later on. The document is courtesy of Dorothy Klemp Price of Eureka, and is told by Linwood Clark, Sr., a first cousin of her great-great grandfather, William “Grampy” Clark, the father of T.K. Clark. William Clark and Linwood Clark were the sons of Charles Clark and James Clark, respectively. Charles and James had another brother, Thomas; together, the three made up the extensive Clark presence in early Petrolia.

James Clark, Linwood’s father, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1820. He had emigrated to America in the early 1830s, and had made his way to the gold mines by 1850. During the ’50s he and his brothers were herding cattle between Petrolia, Oregon, and the San Francisco Bay area, with many gold-mining-associated adventures along the way; Linwood’s written accounts vary widely in their dates and story lines. However, what is clear is that by 1867, James had married a woman named Lucinda, or Cinda, Tyler, in Bangor, Maine; brought her back to Humboldt via Panama; and fathered a son– our Linwood Clark, Sr. As Cinda was homesick for the civilized life back East, James returned her to Maine, packing little Linwood on a mule as they crossed the Isthmus of Panama. Cinda died soon thereafter, leaving Linwood to be raised by his grandmother Tyler, as his father James had returned to California (via the first ticket sold in Boston for a through pass to the West Coast by railroad).

Meantime, in Humboldt County, the three Clark brothers decided to split up their land partnership. Linwood writes: “In the division Father took the ranch at Ferndale and 16 acres at Bucksport, just south of Eureka, and a lot he had bought in Oakland, and his third of the livestock and money on hand, which was quite a considerable amount. He also had a home in Eureka, where he intended to live with my mother and me, but on her death he had rented part of it to the U.S. land office. His money loaned out on notes at good interest, but land office burned down, destroying the notes, and he could not collect a lot of the money, thus losing a lot…

“For a while the three brothers contracted to carry the mail from Eureka to Petrolia, but this was a losing business, and James gave this up. The roads were bad and no bridges and too often, in winter, [he] had to swim the Eel River on horse-back with the mail tied to the saddle! He would go up to about where Fortuna is now and hit land on the other side five miles lower… this likely had to be repeated at Bear River and again at Mattole to get home.

“When I was ten, my father (James Clark) sent for me [in Maine] after he married again. This was in the winter of 1877-78. [He] met me at the mole [a stone or cement breakwater or pier] in Oakland, with my step-mother, and after a few days [we] went to Humboldt on a little steamer not much bigger than a good-sized ocean tug. We were fifty-four hours making the trip to Eureka, later being reported as lost. We went to Ferndale, then in a mud wagon, and that took about six hours, crossing the Eel River on a flat boat strung to a cable, which was an experience! In those days the roads were all hub deep in mud and it took half a day to go to Ferndale from our place, so we only got mail once a week.

“I was given a horse; he was a little old, but safe, and about 24 years old, I think. His name was Harry, and he was the horse that had packed Will, Mary, and Sarah from Oregon! However, I learned to ride. Will Clark traded him to an Indian for an Indian pony; a gray roan with big white pinto spots on him.

“My first year I did not have much work to do but by my second year (winter), I had learned to drive a team and I began to push a plow handle and follow the harrow after Father as he seeded by hand. In those days seeders were unknown in Humboldt and Father was the only man who could sow with both hands, making a double swath and lots of people used to try to hire him because he could sow so evenly with never a missed space. At that time he was nearly sixty years old, but very active. He could ride anything that had four legs and was also good with a four- or six-horse team.”

(Notes: The story of the three children of Charles and Martha Clark travelling to the Mattole Valley from Cottage Grove, Oregon, packed in boxes on each side of the saddle, can be found in T.K. Clark’s Regional History of Petrolia and the Mattole Valley.

Although Linwood does not mention his father James having gotten any Mattole property in the 1870s partnership dissolution, they are apparently living in the Valley in 1876. The 1870 census shows us a James Clark, 49 years old, living with the James and Mary Goff family along with a Whipple, a Robert Elvish, and a Culter or perhaps Coultas– a family name by his sister Sarah’s marriage. The household was all involved in stock raising.)

There is more in these papers from Dorothy Price about Linwood’s hunting skills and his dogs, but that will have to wait for another time.

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Major Boy

(Another photo from the MRE Collection, of Major Boy Clark and an unidentified woman)
Major Boy was adopted by the Charles Clark family around 1862. He was said to have been found as an infant, abandoned by his people, rolling around in the bear clover; Charles and Martha raised him alongside Mary Jane (Clark, the first white child born in the Mattole), and dressed him in her cast-off clothes. Other children in the family were William or Bill “Grampy” Clark, the father of TK, Knowles, or “Boss”; and Sarah, who died young, after marrying Charles A. Johnston and bearing two children.

The “abandoned by his people” story seems a little cruel when you consider that his people had been killed. Major Boy, however, grew up to be a well-known and well-liked Petrolian, and had a home across from the south side of the square. I believe he lived until the 1940s.
(Please note that i have been posting these photos from my computer at home, and most of my historical notes and books are at the office. I can fill in some gaps in these stories sometime when i am over there at the Grange.)

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