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Full text of "Fairfield's pioneer history of Lassen County, California; containing everything that can be learned about it from the beginning of the world to the year of Our Lord 1870 ... Also much of the pioneer history of the state of Nevada ... the biographies of Governor Isaac N. Roop and Peter Lassen ... and many stories of Indian warfare never before published"

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TO 1870 

Thompson's studio, susanville, California 

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9 ' i THE following pages have been written for neither gam nor 
J[ glory, but to preserve the names and deeds of the men and 
women who sowed the seeds of civilization in the mountain val- 
leys of Lassen County, California, Though it is not on record 
that the women went on the war path, except in figurative way; 
yet they bore their part of the toil, hardships, and dangers in- 
cident to the settlement of a country cut off from the outside 
world during the winter months, and infested by savages and 

The writer, them a boy about eleven years of age, crossed the 
plains in 1865, and came to Honey Lake Valley to live; and the 
most of his life since then has been spent here. As boy and man 
he was acquainted with the majority of the pioneers of the county, 
and many months of his life have been spent in listening to their 
tales of early days. 

In 1909, when this work was commenced, excepting the out- 
line given in the "History of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Coun- 
ties," there was no history of Lassen county ; and there was no 
likelihood that any would ever be written. Very few of the early 
settlers of the county were alive, and if their stories were saved 
and anything like a complete history written, it had to be done 
at once. For these reasons the writer undertook the work. 

An attempt has been made to tell the truth in plain language, 
and no pains have been spared to obtain the truth. A great deal, 
perhaps the most, of what is given in the folloiving pages in the 
way of Indian troubles, historical reminiscences, etc., was learned 
from the men who took an active part in the events narrated, or 
from the men and women who lived in the country at that time. 
As a matter of course, after a lapse of fifty years, or more, their 
stories are more or less conflicting in the minor details; but in 
nearly every case it has been possible to find some account of what 
they told in the publications of those days, and in that and in 
other ways their stories have been verified. In what is given as 
original, unless otherwise stated, the date and the principal facts 
can be depended upon. 

In 1882 Fariss and Smith published a work entitled "History 
of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties, California." Mr. Ed- 
mund R. Dodge, now a prominent lawyer of Eeno, Nevada, col- 



lected a great deal of the history of Lassen county contained in 
that work. To his work the writer is greatly indebted, for much 
of the information he collected at that time could now be found 
in no other place. Mr. Dodge obtained information from men 
who were dead when the writer commenced this work, and had 
access to at least one book which has been lost or destroyed since 
he used it. Isaac N. Boop, Recorder of "Nat aqua," kept two 
books; one of which contained the land filings of the settlers, and 
the other a record of their political work, public meetings, arbi- 
trations, etc. The latter book can not be found, and what Mr. 
Bodge took from it is quoted in these pages. The book of filings 
was given by Mrs. A. T. Arnold, daughter of I. N. Boop, to 
Lassen county, and is now among its records. Peter Lassen, 
"Nataqua's" Surveyor, kept a record of the surveys made by him, 
but no one knows what became of his book. Boop's little book, 
a few entries made in the records of Plumas county, and some 
documents in the office of the Secretary of State at Carson City, 
Nevada, relating to the part the citizens of Honey Lake took in 
the organization of Nevada Territory, are all the records of this 
section made before it became a county by itself. 

The history of the settlement of Western Utah, the organiza- 
tion of the territory of Nevada, and the political work of the 
Honey Lake settlers has been taken from the "History of Plumas, 
Lassen, and Sierra Counties," Thompson and West's "History of 
Nevada," and the newspapers published in Nevada and northern 
California at that time. 

Through the kindness of Mrs. B. H. Leavitt, the writer has 
had the opportunity of using the diary kept by her first husband, 
A. L. Tunison; and from it has been obtained many facts, dates, 
and accounts of expeditions against the Indians. The writer also 
vishes to acknowledge the kind assistance of Miss Eudora Gar- 
outte, the lady who had charge of the California department of 
the State Library at Sacramento while he was collecting informa- 
tion there; H. B. Van Horn of the California Adjutant General's 
office; Miss Jeanne E. Wier, Secretary of the Nevada State His- 
I orient Society; J. C. La Plant and V. L. Bonner of the V. S. 
Forest Beserve Service and Charles F. Hart, all of whom made 
maps of the country along the Lassen Trail; Mrs. A. T. Arnold, 
who contributed old letters, documents, and newspapers; and 
George N. McDoio, President of the Lassen County Abstract Com- 



pany, who made the map that is found in this book, furnished 
the use of the maps in his office, and in other ways helped in this 

The writer is sincerely grateful to those who have helped him, 
and intends to give every person credit for the information given. 
With one or two exceptions, every one has told all he could; but 
some have had the will and the knowledge that enabled them to 
give so much help that they deserve especial mention. To Fred 
Hines and William Dow the writer is indebted more than to any 
one else for information regarding the first eight or ten years' 
settlement of the county. Hines came here in 1856 and Dow in 
1857. Both were determined men, in the prime of life, and both 
took a prominent part in almost every important event that 
occwn'ed during those years. Both were reliable men of excep- 
tionally good memories, and both did all they could to help in 
this work. If it had not been for their knowledge and their will- 
ingness to help, much of the most important matter in' this book 
could not have been written. Wm. H. Clark, who settled here in 
1857, also gave considerable information about the early settle- 
ment of the county. Mrs. Smith J. Hill came to the valley with 
her parents, who settled on the site of Janesville in 1857, and her 
husband came there the next year. They told the story of the 
first setlement of that place and many events that took place in 
the valley during the next six or eight years. 

Joseph C. Wemple, Henry E. Lomas, Thomas N. Long, Wm. 
Milton Cain, Archibald L. Harper, Alvaro Evans, Mrs. A. T. 
Arnold, William H. Hall, John F. Hulsman, V. J. Borrette, J. 
Bristo Rice, Eber G. Bangham, Mrs. E. G. Bangham, Dr. H. S. 
Borrette, Wright P. Hall, Samuel R. Hall, A. W. Worm (now 
Wern), Charles Laivson, George W. Harrison, I. N. Jones, Mrs. 
Philenda Spencer, Hiram H. Dakin, Hiram N. Skadan, Daniel 
W. Bryant, Thomas H. Epley, J. Oscar Hemler, Mrs. Louisa Fry, 
William S. Brashear, Thomas Brown, W. W. Asbury, and A. G. 
Moon have told much of the settlment of the valley and the local 
events here narrated. 

Besides those already named Alec. T. Arnold, John J. Mcllroy, 
Orlando Streshly, William J. Seagraves, La Fayette Marks, Alvin 
E. De Forest, Isaac Coulthurst and Wife, Mrs. Frances Corneli- 
son, Mrs. W. M. Cain, Mrs. Dora Moe, Mrs. Mary A. Bass, John 
T. Long, Charles Barham, Jacob W. Broadwell, William R. 



Bailey, Harry F. McMurphy, William Brockman, James Doyle, 
Charles E. Hurlbut, Thomas J. Lomas, Boss Lewers, Thomas J. 
Mulroncy, Leroy N. Arnold, John Baxter, Jeremiah Bond and 
Wife, Mrs. Eva Partridge, David B. Bankhead, John Todd, John 
H. Cornell, Willis Brockman, Mrs. G. W. Harrison, Mrs. A. C. 
Neale, John S. Borrette, G. E. Deforest and Wife, Freeman 
Lanigar, William D. Minckler, Harry Peyton, P. B. James, Mrs. 
Ella Forkner, and Mrs. Sarah A. McClelland have given more 
or less information and assistance. 

Alvaro Evans told the most of the history of Long valley, 
but J. C. Wemple, J. B. Bice, H. H. Dakin, William Beilly, 
Edwin Ferris, H. N. Skadan, and Mrs. Cordelia A. Wright also 
helped. The history of Milford was given by J. C. Wemple, 
aided by J. B. Bice. The earliest settlement of Janesville was 
told by Smith J. Hill and his Wife, and its later history was 
given by them and W. M. Cain, H. E. Lomas, H. N. Skadan, 
H. H. Dakin, and T. H. Epley. The settlement and history of 
Susanville and the tipper part of the valley was told by Fred 
Hines, William Dow, Mrs A. T. Arnold, T. N. Long, A. L. Har- 
per, J. F. Hulsman, E. G. Bangham, and Wife, Dr. H. S. and 
V. J. Borrette, Charles Lawson, W. P., S. B., and W. H. Hall, 
G. W. Harrison, and Isaac N. Jones. The history of the "Tide 
Confederacy" ivas given by H. E. Lomas, John H. Summers, 
John D. Putnam, W. M. Cain, W. S. Brashear, and Charles T. 
Emerson. The history of Mountain Meadows was told by W. J. 
Seagravcs, T. N. Long, and T. J. Wright. The settlement of 
Dixie valley was given by Mrs. James P. Eldridge, W. J. Sea- 
graves, G. W. Harrison, and T. J. Wright. The history of the 
early settlement of Horse Lake valley, Secret valley, and Made- 
line Plains was told by John B. McKissick, Albert L. Shinn, 
T. N. Long, and Charles Cramer. The history of Willow Creek 
valley was given by Bernhard Neuhaus, Mrs. Jennie Harrison, 
W. H. Hall, and William Dow. What is told of the settlement 
of Surprise valley was related by John Price, W. H. McCormick, 
and W. J. Seagraves. The story of Hay den Hill was told by 
L. H. Hopkins and Mrs. Mary E. Harris. The history of Big 
valley ivas given by Mrs. Mary E. Harris, Bichard A. Bicketts, 
Joseph Wilson, and N. Bieber. 

In finding the Lassen Trail the writer has been aided by A. 
Delano's "Life on the Plains and among the Diggings/' William 



Dow, Louis S. Smith, James S. Church, Abel and L. W. Bunnell, 
Charles F. Hart, Chester and L. W. Boggs, George N. McDow, 
Waldron B. Philliber, Homer C. Jack, James M. Streshly, V. L. 
Bonner, J. C. La Plant, T. N. Long, William E. Vinyard, Harry 
Fitch, Lewis M. Folsom, Walter J. Dakin, N. E. Sutton, Wil- 
liam Fish, and J. W. Zumwalt. The last named came over the 
"Trail" in 1849. 

No pains have been spared in finding where this road orig- 
inally ran. Its course has been learned from men who were well 
acquainted with different parts of it, and the writer believes that 
the route followed by Lassen in 1848 is given more exactly in this 
work than in any other place. 

In tracing the course of the Noble Road help has been given 
by the "History of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties," by 
an article written by John H. Dreibelbis in "Hutchings Califor- 
nia Magazine," and by Fred Hines, W. W. Asbury, J. C. La 
Plant, W. M. Cain, and G. W. Harrison. 

In other places in this book will be found the names of people 
and publications, not given here, that have been of assistance in 
this work. 

The names of those who settled in the county that year have 
been given in each chapter. These lists are incomplete and per- 
haps there are mistakes in them, for at this late date it could not 
be otherwise, but it is a very good record of the permanent set- 
tlers of the county during those years. The length of residence 
applies to those whose names are given and to the wives of the 
married men. In a few cases one or the other of a married 
couple died in the county and the other one did not. Sometimes 
a person who is said to have lived in the county all his life 
moved away for a few years and then returned. There is not 
room in a book like this to tell about everything of that kind. 

Asa Merrill Fairfield. 

Susanville, California, 
April 20, 1916. 



ASA MERRILL FAIRFIELD was born in Douglas, Wor- 
cester county, Massachusetts, July 30, 1854. His parents, 
Enos Walling and Sarah Luvan (Parker) Fairfield, were both 
born in the same town. The Fairfields are of Huguenot descent, 
the French name being "Beauchamp." Five generations back 
of A. M. Fairfield, Jonathan Fairfield settled in the viilage of 
Pascoag, town of Burrillville, northern Rhode Island. It is 
supposed that he came to Rhode Island from Fairfield, Con- 
necticut. A. M. Fairfield's grandmother, Phebe (Churchill) 
Fairfield, was a descendant of Roger Williams, her mother's 
maiden name being Williams. Her father, Joseph Churchill, 
served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, 
probably in the Rhode Island Line. 

Sarah L. (Parker) Fairfield's parents were Captain Abel 
and Sarah W. (Darling) Parker, both of whom died in this 
county. She was the third generation from James and Eunice 
(Emerson) Parker. He was an Englishman who settled in 
Douglas, Mass. The children of their son Prince and his wife 
Olive were Joseph, Prince, Abel, Lovel, Zary, and Polly. 

A. M. Fairfield's parents were married in 1852, and a year 
or two later his father, who was a machinist by trade, concluded 
to leave the shop and go West. In the fall of 1855 the family 
moved onto a farm near Rockford, Illinois. January 28, 1857, 
a daughter, who was named Phebe Ellen, was born to them. In 
the spring of 1857 the family moved to the little town of Jeffer- 
son in Bremer county, Iowa, twelve miles north of Waterloo. 
They lived there four years and then moved to Waterloo and 
lived there four years. Here the father's health failed, and in 
1865 they crossed the plains with a team to Honey Lake valley. 
The mother's family, the Parkers, who also came to Rockford 
and then to Jefferson, had emigrated to this valley in 1862. The 
Fairfields lived with them two miles northwest of Milford during 
the winter of 1865-66, and the children attended the first public 
school taught in that district. In the summer of 1869 they re- 
turned to Iowa, going by the newly constructed railroad, and 
settled in Waverly, Bremer county. The daughter died at this 
place in August, 1871. The son went to school in Waverly about 



a year and a half and in the spring of 1871 began teaching. 
He taught three short terms of school in Iowa. 

In the fall of 1873 the family came back to Honey Lake valley 
and in the spring of 1875 settled on a place about three fourths 
of a mile southeast of Janesville. The mother died there in 1893 
and the father died at Janesville in 1904. 

A. M. Fairfield began teaching at Janesville in the spring of 
1875 and followed that profession the most of the time until the 
summer of 1899. This teaching was done in Honey Lake valley 
and in five districts — Janesville, Soldier Bridge, Richmond, 
Johnstonville, and Lake. During the past six years he has been 
engaged in collecting the material for this history and in writing 
it. He has lived in this county, excepting four years, ever since 
the fall of 1865 and most of that time has virtually known every- 
body in this valley besides many others living in the county. 
He was acquainted with the majority of the pioneers, and what 
he learned from them and his knowledge of the people and the 
conditions here in early days has been of much use in determining 
the truth of many things written in the following pages. 

A. M. Fairfield. 

f xvi ] 





CHAPTER I. 1848 TO 1856 3 

The Lassen Trail, The Beckwourth Pass Road, Description of 
Honey Lake Valley, The Indians, Early History of Honey Lake 
Valley, Noble's Route, Fredonyer's Pass, First Settlement, Dr. 
McClay Killed by an Indian. 

CHAPTER II. 1856 30 

Settlement, The Drowning of Isadore Meyerwitz and His Wife, 
Roop House Register, Honey Lake Politics, Western Utah — Early 
Settlement and Politics, State of the Desert, Utah Territory Or- 
ganized, Settlement, Squatter Government, First County Organi- 
zation, Carson County Created. 

CHAPTER III. 1857 55 

Settlement, Roop House Register, Western Utah Politics, Second 
Attempt at Territorial Organization, Honey Lake Politics, Ter- 
ritorial Meeting in Honey Lake Valley, Indian Troubles, The 
Potato War, The Pursuit of the Indians Who Stole Vary 's Cattle, 
Elliott and Ferry's Shooting Scrape, Barber Springs, Fight Over 
the Noble Road, Conditions in Honey Lake at the Close of 1857. 

CHAPTER IV. 1858 97 

Settlement, Western Utah Politics, Judge Crane to His Constitu- 
ents, Result of the Movement of 1857, Honey Lake Politics, Laws 
of Honey Lake Valley, Indian Troubles, Treaty with the Smoke 
Creek Pi Utahs Indians, Expedition to Cold Springs in Pursuit of 
Indians, Captain Weatherlow's Fight with the Indians, Crawford 
Killed by an Indian, The Trip to Goose Lake Valley in Pursuit 
of the Indians, Another Indian Hunt, Chapman's Escape from 
the Mormons, Ferry's Horse Taken by Sheriff J. D. Byers, The 
Murder of Henry Gordier, The Arrest of Edwards, Lucky Bill, 
and Others and Their Trial, and the Execution of Edwards and 
Lucky Bill, The Black Rock Mining Excitement, The Fraser River 
Mining Excitement, Pursuit of Horse Thieves, The First Flag in 
the Valley, W. P. Hall's First Visit to Honey Lake Valley, Con- 
ditions at the Close of 1858. 

CHAPTER V. 1859 149 

Settlement, Western Utah Politics, Movement of 1859, The Meet- 
ing of the Legislature of Nevada, Informal Meeting of the Legis- 
lature, Governor Roop's Proclamation, Indian Troubles, Life of 
Peter Lassen, Death of Lassen, Lassen 's Masonic Charter, Trouble 
with the Pit River Indians, Colonel Lander's Road Expedition, 
Fast Mail through Honey Lake Valley and Noble's Pass, Death 
of John Mote, The Killing of Van Hickey, A Common Occurrence 
in Early Days, Row at a Dance at Richmond, Honey Lake Val- 
ley's Reputation in 1859, The Winter of 1859-60, Conditions at 
the Close of 1859. 

[ xvii ] 


CHAPTEE VI. 1860 188 

Settlement, Pioneers Who Are Still Living, Politics in the Provi- 
sional Territory of Nevada, Honey Lake Politics, Indian Troubles, 
The Murder of Dexter E. Demming, Cady and Blodgett Killed by 
the Indians, The Pah-ute War, The Battle of Pyramid Lake, Gen- 
erally Called ' ' The Ormsby Massacre, ' ' The War in Honey Lake 
and Long Valleys, The Battle of the Truckee, Movements of the 
Never Sweats, The Murder of Horace Adams, Lander and Weath- 
erlow's Expedition Against the Pah-utes, Utt 's Escape from the 
Indians, Colonel Lander 's Talk with Young Winnemucca, A Meet- 
ing of the Citizens of Honey Lake Valley, Young Winnemucca 's 
Talk with the Never Sweats, The Soldier's Bridge, The Shooting 
of "Big" John Chapman, A Bear Story, Conditions at the Close 
of 1860. 

CHAPTER VII. 1861 239 

Settlement, Nevada Territory Politics, Honey Lake Politics, In- 
dian Troubles, The Murder of James Lawson, White's Horses 
Stolen, Conditions at the Close of 1861. 

CHAPTEE VIII. 1862 257 

Settlement, Nevada Politics, Honey Lake Politics, Indian Troubles, 
The Pursuit of the Indians Who Stole the Cattle of William B. 
Long and Others, Two Indians Killed at the Lathrop and Brad- 
ley Eanch, Fight with the Indians at the Lathrop Eanch, Hall's 
Trip to the Humboldt, The Burning of the Mud Flat Station, 
Horses and Cattle Stolen by the Indians from Susanville, The 
Murder of James Bailey and William Cook, Two Indians Shot 
Near Bankhead's, Four Men Attacked by the Indians Near the 
Shaffer Eanch, An Attack by the Indians on Mud Flat, The Pur- 
suit of the Indians, A Complaint from Susanville about the 
Indians, Soldiers Promised to Honey Lake, Fredonyer's Talk 
Against Time, Lassen's Monument, The First U. S. Mail Eoutes 
in the County, Eough Elliott's Fight with Douglas, Cornelison 
and Eafael Shot, William Fox Shot by Dr. E. F. Moody, Seaman 
Killed by Hyde, Conditions in 1862. 

CHAPTEE IX. 1S63 305 

Settlement, Nevada Territory and Honey Lake Politics, The Sage 
Brush, or Boundary Line, War, Indian Troubles, One of Old Win- 
nemucca 's Escapes from Susanville, The Winter of 1863-64, The 
First Death at Milford and at Janesville, An Attempt to Eecruit 
for the Confederate Army, The Knights of the Golden Circle, The 
Union League, A Cutting Affray at Janesville. 

CHAPTEE X. 1864 338 

Settlement, Lassen County Politics, The Organization of Lassen 
County, Proceedings of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors — 
First Meeting, The First Grand Jury, The First County Court, A 
Set of Land Pirates in Armor of Brass, Indian Troubles, How 
the Tule Confederacy Got Its Name, The Killing of Wales and 
Boody, The Honey Lake Eangers, The Prices of Merchandise in 
Susanville in 1864, The Never Sweats. 

[ xviii ] 


CHAPTER XL 1865 364 

Settlement, Lassen County Politics, Indian Troubles, The Murder 
of Lucius Arcularius, The Massacre at Granite Creek Station, 
The Murder of Bellew, The Death of Black Rock Tom, Black 
Rock Tom 's Pale Horse, The Death of Pearson, Walker Killed by 
Brunty, Spencer's Trouble with the Gamblers, The Road from 
Chico to the Humboldt and Idaho Mines, The Overland and Idaho 
Routes, Hanging of Charles Barnhart, Biddle Killed by Williams, 
High Water. 

CHAPTER XII. 1866 389 

Settlement, Lassen County Politics, Indian Troubles, Fight with 
the Indians in Guano Valley, Streshly, Mulroney, and Hough's 
Mules Stolen by the Indians, Cattle Stolen from Honey Lakers 
at Soldier Meadows, Nevada, Indians Killed at Papoose Valley, 
"Old Tom" Killed, Edward Mulroney Wounded by the Indians, 
Drake and Tussler's Fight with the Indians, A Row with the 
Soldiers in Susanville, ' ' Buckskin Mose, ' ' Robert Wisbern Killed, 
How Robber's Creek Got Its Name. 

CHAPTER XIII. 1867 407 

Settlement, Lassen County Politics, Indian Troubles, Gaddy Shot 
at by an Indian, Old Winnemucca Pays Susanville Another Visit, 
The Murder of Charles League, Indians Killed in Dry Valley, 
Summers and Hurlbut 's Horses Stolen, The Murder of Mrs. 
Thompson, The Marks-Myers "Shooting Scrape," The History 
of the Black Rock Mines. 

CHAPTER XIV. 1868 441 

Settlement, The Settlement of Big Valley, Indian Troubles in 
Big Valley, Lassen County Politics, Indian Troubles, John L. 
Crow's Horses Stolen by the Indians. The Massacre of the Pear- 
son Family and S. C. Cooper, The Pursuit of the Indians who 
Killed the Pearson Family and Samuel Cooper — The Susanville 
Party, The Pursuit of the Indians who Killed the Pearson Family 
and Samuel Cooper — The Long Valley Party, An Indian Scare in 
Long Valley, The Exterminators, Indians Hanged for the "Pear- 
son Massacre, ' ' Honey Lake Very High. 

CHAPTER XV. 1869 466 

Settlement, The Settlement of Dixie Valley and Vicinity, Hayden 
Hill and Its Mines, The Early History of Bieber, The Susanville 
Water System, Lassen County Politics, Indian Troubles, The Mur- 
der of Partridge and Coburn, Three Indians Killed for the Mur- 
der of Partridge and Coburn, Another Indian Hanged in Susan- 
ville, The Death of Governor I. N. Roop and a Short Account of 
His Early Life. 


Old Winnemucca 's Death, The Death of Young Winnemucca, Las- 
sen County Pioneer Society, The Diversions of Early Days, The 
Death Roll of the Pioneers, A. W. Wern's Tribute to the Pioneers 
of Lassen County, California, Conclusion. 



THE AUTHOR Frontispiece 

PETER LASSEN Facing Page 166 

SUSANVHiLE IN 1864 Facing Page 338 

ISAAC N. ROOP Facing Page 480 





The following brief description is given for the benefit of any 
one who is not acquainted with this section. 

A glance at the map will show Lassen county's location in 
California, and that it is bounded on the east by Nevada. It 
will also show that it lies east of the Sierra Nevada mountains 
and is a part of the Great Basin, that elevated, semi-arid country 
lying between the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains on the 
west and the Rocky mountains on the east. Big valley, Ash 
valley, and Mountain Meadows are drained by tributaries of the 
Sacramento river, but their characteristics are the same as the 
rest of the county. 

Its surface is very rugged, probably two-thirds of it consisting 
of hills and mountains, the highest peaks of the latter rising to 
an altitude of from 6500 to 8400 feet. Its western part is 
covered with heavy timber; and the east line of this heavily 
timbered belt, beginning at the southern end of the county, runs 
up the w r estern side of Long valley, along the southern and 
western sides of Honey Lake valley, and then to the southern end 
of Eagle Lake. From there it extends in a northwesterly direc- 
tion to Dixie valley, thence to the south side of Big valley, and 
around the southern and western sides of it to the Modoc county 
line. There are a few small bodies of good timber east of this; 
but, as a rule, where there is any timber, it is juniper or scrubby 

Excepting Pit river and its tributaries and a few mountain 
creeks that help to form the headwaters of Feather river, the 
streams of the county, all of which are small, flow into lakes, 
or sinks, which have no outlets. 

The valleys of the county are Honey Lake, Madeline Plains, 
Big valley, Long valley, Willow Creek, Ash valley, Secret, Horse 
Lake, Dixie, Mountain Meadows, Red Rock, Grasshopper, and 
Dry valleys. The altitude of these valleys ranges from about 
4000 feet to 5300 or 5400 feet. Their climate is temperate with a 
touch of the semi-tropical, for there is a wet season and a dry 
one. The moisture and temperature depend, however, on the 
elevation and the proximity to the Sierra Nevada mountains ; 
but the heat, cold, and the amount of rain and snow are very 
variable, sometimes the dry season being very wet and the wet 



one very dry. Occasionally there is a year when there are slight 
snow falls through March and a part of April, and once in a great 
while snow falls to a considerable depth late in the spring, but 
it does not stay very long. As a rule, the crops are raised by 
irrigation, and the grains, fruits, and vegetables of the temperate 
zone are produced. A great deal of hay is raised, and stock 
raising is one of the principal industries of the county. Though 
politically in California, Lassen county, in every other respect, 
is a part of Nevada. 

[ xxii 



THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

There is nothing to show when the first white man, or 
men, set foot within the limits of this county. In the fall of 
1848 a small train of immigrants under the leadership of Peter 
Lassen went the entire length of the western part of it. It is 
reasonable to believe, though, that wandering bands of hunters 
and trappers had passed through here before that time. 

The Lassen Trail 
The writer believes that the following description of the orig- 
inal Lassen Trail is the most correct one in existence. 

The "Hesperian Magazine" of August, 1859, Bancroft's His- 
tory, and "Fifty Years of Masonry in California" say that 
Lassen went east across the plains with Commodore Stockton in 
1847, and the following spring started from Missouri with a train 
of twelve wagons. These immigrants were to settle on his grant 
at the mouth of Deer Creek, in the southeastern part of what is 
now Tehama county, California. (For a full account of the 
life of Lassen, see the year 1859 in this book.) 

At that time the emigrant road ran up the Platte and Sweet- 
water rivers, through the South Pass, and on to Fort Hall, which 
was near the Snake river and almost due north of Salt Lake City. 
The road to California ran southwest from Fort Hall to the 
headwaters of the Humboldt river, and then followed down that 
stream to its sink. Lassen came this road until he reached the 
Big Bend of the Humboldt river, and there he turned into the 
Applegate road which went into southern Oregon. 

Bancroft says that in June, 1846, "Levi Scott, Jesse Apple- 
gate, Lindsey Applegate, John Scott, Moses Harris, Henry 
Bogus, John Owens, John Jones, Robert Smith, Samuel Goodhue, 
Bennett Osborne, William Sportsman, William Parker, Benj. 
Burch, and David Goff" started from Polk county, Oregon, to 
find a route from there through the Cascade mountains, and 
out to the regular emigrant road to California. They succeeded 
in finding a road out to the Humboldt river, and went on to 
Fort Hall to meet the coming immigration. Bancroft says that 
there they got ninety or a hundred wagons to go with them 
instead of taking the northern route, and these they conducted 
into Oregon by the new road. F. and S. (hereafter the "History 



of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties" will be referred to 
in this way) say there were forty-two wagons and one hundred 
and fifty people. At the Big Bend of the Humboldt river, near 
what was afterwards called Lassen 's Meadows, they left the river 
and went west to Antelope springs, and then to Rabbit Hole 
springs. After going a little farther west, they went northwest 
across the desert to the Big Hot spring west of Black Rock 
mountain, which is at the southern extremity of the Black Rock 
range. They kept along the western side of this range up to 
Mud Meadows, and then turned west into High Rock canyon. 
They went up through this canyon, and on to a point about two 
and a half miles south of the Massacre Lakes; and turning to 
the southwest, went across to the 49 canyon, and down that into 
Surprise valley. Crossing the valley between the two upper 
lakes, they kept up the west side to the Fandango Pass, for many 
years called Lassen's Pass, and there went over into Goose Lake 
valley. They kept down the east side of Goose lake until they 
reached a narrow place in it, south of west of the Sugar Loaf. 
All the way down the lake they had kept close to the edge of it ; 
and here, near the northwest corner of Section II, Township 45 
north, Range 13 east, they crossed the lake, going a little west 
of north. It is said that the old road can still be seen where it 
goes into the water on each side of the lake. The Oregon road 
then turned to the northwest and went around the north end of 
Clear and Tule lakes. 

Lassen followed the Applegate road until he reached the 
lower end of Goose lake, and here the Lassen Trail really begins. 
One old road turned off on the west side of the lake and ran 
almost south, crossing the Devil's Garden, and striking Pit river 
near the mouth of Rattlesnake creek. A. Delano, who went over 
the road in 1849, and in 1857 published a book entitled "Life 
on the Plains and Among the Diggings," says he never crossed 
the bed of the lake, but went right on down the river. "Without 
doubt, both roads were used. The writer has never been able 
to learn how far north of the Applegate road the water was at 
that time. Lassen kept down on the north side of the river and 
crossed it near the mouth of the canyon below what is now called 
Canby. He then went over into Stone Coal valley and down that 
to the river, and again followed down the river, being obliged 
to crass it frequently and sometimes to go along the sides of the 


THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

hills above it. About ten miles above where Lookout now stands 
he crossed the river for the last time, going over to the east side 
of it, and then went down through Big valley, then called Eound 
valley, keeping close to the river and passing through the present 
site of Bieber. As early as 18-19 a road ran from the upper end 
of the valley north to the Applegate road. They left the valley 
at the Thompson place, where George Thompson and his family 
settled in the spring of 1872, and climbed the hill to the plateau 
above the river. They then went on almost south, keeping about 
a mile from the river until it turned west, over to Clark's valley 
and then on the same course to the west end of Little Dixie valley. 

From all that can be learned, it seems that the original trail 
went from Little Dixie about eight miles south of west to Beaver 
creek. There it turned and ran a little east of south to the west 
end of Poison lake, and then to Pine creek at the place where 
the road from Susanville to Dixie valley and that part of the 
country now crosses it. A little later on another road was made, 
which ran from the west end of Little Dixie to its southeast cor- 
ner, just touched Big Dixie, and ran about three miles farther 
to the southeast. Then it turned southwest, passed along the 
west side of Shroder lake, and kept on that course until it met 
the other road at the southwest corner of Poison lake. 

From Pine creek Lassen went a few miles southeast, turned 
south, passed Feather lake, crossed Susan river just west of 
Norvall Flat, passed west of Duck lake, and crossed Clear creek 
about a hundred yards above where the road crossed it in 1910, 
or before Westwood was built. He then went on to the Big 
spring in the north arm of Big Meadows, and kept on south 
until he got north of where the original Prattville stood. Then 
turning to the southwest, he crossed the river about a mile above 
that place, and kept on that course about seven miles farther, 
until he struck the north fork of Butt creek. He followed up 
Butt creek northwest to its head in Soldier Meadows, through 
these meadows (this is the Deer creek pass) to Lost creek, and 
down that to Deer creek. Delano says the trail followed down 
this stream eight miles to the last crossing, and two miles below 
that left the creek. After going about fourteen miles, they 
reached the top of the ridge between Deer creek and Mill creek ; 
and they followed down the summit of this ridge for twenty 
miles. He also says "Eight miles from the foot-hills was the 



house of Col. Davis, where the Lawson Trail first struck Deer 
creek. About a mile below this was Lawson 's on the opposite 
side of the creek. At Lawson 's were two or three small adobe 
buildings, one of which was by courtesy called a store, having 
a little flour, whiskey, and groceries for sale. Flour was $50 a 
hundred, beef 35 cents, pork 75 cents, sugar 50 cents, and cheese 
$1.50 per pound." (Lassen's buildings were on the south side 
of Deer creek and perhaps a mile and a half from the mouth of it. 
In early days Lassen's name was pronounced "Lawson" and 
sometimes spelled that way. The early settlers pronounced the 
name of the county ' ' Lawson. ' ' Men who were well acquainted 
with Lassen say that he pronounced his name "Lassen," the 
Danes of today say it is "Lassen," so it seems that the pro- 
nunciation of this county's name, like its weather, must be 
guessed at. — F.) 

The Lassen Trail was a "holy terror," so to speak. See on 
the map the distance from the Black Rock mountain to Clear 
creek by the road through Honey Lake valley, and see where 
Lassen took his train to get there. It took Delano two days over 
a month to go from the Humboldt river to Lassen's ranch. After 
the experience of the 1849 immigrants it was called the "Death 
Eoute" and "Lassen's Horn Route," probably because it was 
about as much of a cutoff as going around Cape Horn would 
have been. A great immigration went over this road in 1849 ; 
some of them going this way because they were afraid of the 
forty miles of sandy desert between the Humboldt sink and Rag- 
town on the Carson river. From Lassen's Meadows to Rabbit 
Hole springs is something like thirty miles, and Antelope springs 
are about half way between them. At this time none of these 
springs had been opened up, and afforded very little water, and 
there was no feed worth speaking of at either place. It was 
nearly thirty miles across the desert to the Big Hot spring west 
of the Black Rock mountain, and five miles beyond that they 
found the first good grass since leaving the Humboldt river. 
They had jumped from the frying pan into the fire, and their 
troubles had only begun. At the hot springs in this vicinity a 
great many wagons were abandoned, and traces of them can still 
be seen here, and in the High Rock canyon, too. In fact, wagons, 
etc., were left all along the road. Their teams gave out or died, 
or were stolen by the Indians; and they had to leave their 


THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

wagons, and go on the best they could. Some cut their wagons in 
two, and made carts out of parts of them; and on these they 
hauled their families and what little else they could. 

Going from the Hot springs up to Mud Meadows they had a 
long stretch of sandy desert, and Delano says they let their 
wagons down into the High Rock canyon with ropes. From 
Surprise valley up through Fandango, or Lassen's, pass, the 
mountain looks a person in the face, and one would hardly want 
to go over the old road with a pack train. Probably it was rough 
traveling from Hot Spring valley to Big valley, although not 
so bad as in many other places. They say it makes a person's 
hair stand up to see where they came down into Horse creek at 
Little Dixie valley, and the marks on the trees show that they 
let their wagons down with ropes there, too. Because it was a 
very dry time, they went across Big Meadows without any 
trouble; the swamps being almost, or entirely, dry that year. 
Delano says they cut hay in Big Meadows and carried it along 
to feed their teams on the fifty miles of mountain desert to be 
traveled over after leaving there, and that twenty miles of the 
road between the last crossing of Deer creek and the Sacramento 
valley was on the top of a ridge. Sometimes the top of this 
ridge was fifty rods wide, and in other places it was just wide 
enough for the road; and sometimes it was hundreds of feet 
almost straight down from the top of the ridge. To make matters 
worse, this ridge was crossed occasionally by ravines which made 
hard, rocky, sideling hills to go down and up. William Fish, 
who knows that country well, says there are two places called 
"The Narrows," where at each place, for perhaps two hundred 
feet, it was hard work to drive along with a wagon without 
tipping over. He says there was water at different places near 
the summit ; but probably the immigrants did not find it, and 
went a long ways down into the canyon after it. After leaving 
the ridge the ground sloped gradually into the valley. Live oaks 
grew along here, and the immigrants cut a good many of them 
down for their stock to browse on. 

It looks as though Lassen didn't know where he was going. 
They used to say that when he got to Goose lake, he saw Mt. 
Shasta one day and Lassen's Butte the next. He didn't know 
the difference, and traveled one day toward one of them and the 
next day toward the other. It is also told that out in the Pine 



creek country he got lost, and the men in his train threatened to 
hang him. He told them that if they would let him go to the 
top of the mountain near by, he could find the way. They let 
him go, and from the mountain he was able to get on the right 
course again. The writer will not vouch for the truthfulness of 
either story, but he has heard both of them told a good many 
times. F. and S. say that Lassen led his train along safely until 
it reached Mt. Meadows, or Big Meadows; and there their pro- 
visions and animals both gave out, and they had to stop. This 
was about the first of November. The news of the discovery 
of gold did not reach Oregon until the last of August. Immedi- 
ately twenty wagons set out for California, and there being no 
other road, they followed the Applegate road out to Goose lake, 
and there took the trail Lassen's train had made a few weeks 
before. When they overtook Lassen, they helped him finish 
his journey. 

The following quotations tell the history of those who went 
over the Lassen Trail after 1848. F. and S. say: "The experi- 
ence of Lassen's party in 1848 was repeated the next year, when 
a large emigration came over that route, and became snowed in 
and out of provisions on the headwaters of Feather river. "When 
word of their precarious situation reached the valley, the people 
of San Francisco, Stockton, and Sacramento, who remembered 
the sad fate of the Donner party, made a great effort in their 
behalf. Their condition was reported to Gen. Percifer F. Smith, 
who, with the consent of Gen. Bennett Riley, the military gov- 
ernor, placed one hundred thousand dollars in the hands of 
Major Rucker, U. S. Quartermaster, to- purchase animals and 
supplies for their relief. The military authorities were the more 
moved to this act of humanity because Gen. Wilson, U. S. 
Indian Agent, was among the sufferers. John H. Peoples, who 
was afterwards drowned in one of the Trinidad expeditions, was 
selected to lead the relief party. About the first of October Mr. 
Peoples started with twenty-four pack-animals, three wagons, 
and fifty-six beef-cattle, having twenty-five men in his party. 
He found the emigrants in the snow on Pit river, out of food, 
and suffering with the scurvy. On the first of December he 
brought in fifty families to Lassen's ranch, including Gen. Wil- 
son's, the last thirty miles being traversed through a blinding 


THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

snow-storm. The majority of the emigrants settled in the head 
of Sacramento valley, or went to the Trinity mines in the early 

A. Delano has this to say : ' ' Those who left Missouri late in 
the season (1849) and could not arrive until November experi- 
enced incredible hardships. The previous trains had eaten up 
all the grass and thousands of cattle perished. Worn out with 
fatigue and weak for want of nourishment they arrived late in 
the season in the mountainous region of the Sierras. The snow 
and rain commenced much earlier than usual and fell to an 
unprecedented depth, and it seemed utterly impossible for them 
to get through. Many suffered from scurvy and fevers from 
using salt and impure provisions. Keports of these sufferings 
reached the settlements, and the government and individuals 
contributed largely, and sent out a detachment to afford all the 
relief they could, and bring the suffering emigrants in. The last 
of the emigrants on the Lassen route had reached the Feather 
river when the government train reached them with mules. Some 
had been without food for two or three days, and with others 
a heavy body of snow lay on the ground. Three men made a 
desperate effort to get through. For some days they had been 
on an allowance of but one meal a day, but baking up all the 
bread they had left, which was only a supply for two days, they 
started for Lawson's, a distance of seventy miles. The snow 
was between two and three feet deep yet they waded through 
it for a few miles, and came to a wagon containing two women 
and two or three children who had eaten nothing for three days. 
They gave all they had in the way of food to them and went on. 
They succeeded in reaching Lawson's. Many knocked their 
animals in the head and lived on the meat until the government 
train arrived. Strong men fell down exhausted, and women 
waded through the deep snow carrying their helpless children. 
The only food they had was their animals, and men became so 
famished that they cut meat from horses and mules which had 
perished from hunger and thirst by the road-side. When the 
government train arrived the women and children were placed 
on the mules, exposed to a furious snow-storm in which many of 
the animals perished; but the emigrants finally succeeded in 
getting through, when the government furnished them with 
boats to carry them to Sacramento as the roads along the valley 
had become impassable." 



Bayard Taylor in "Eldorado or Adventures in the Path of 
Empire, ' ' says : ' ' Public meetings were held in San Francisco 
by the citizens to contribute means of relief. Major Eucker took 
the expedition over the Lassen road himself. He found a large 
body of emigrants scattered along Pit river, many without pro- 
visions and others without animals, the Indians having stolen 
them. There were so many who needed his assistance that he 
had to come back to the ranches on Deer creek for more supplies, 
and leaving Mr. Peoples to hurry them up. They were very 
apathetic about trying to move rapidly. At the first part of 
the journey they threw away supplies that they needed ; and now 
they hung onto useless goods and refused to lighten the loads 
of their teams. While they were crossing the mountains to 
Deer creek a violent storm came on, and Mr. Peoples made them 
leave their wagons and hurry forward with the remaining ani- 
mals. They finally got into Sacramento valley with the loss of 
many wagons and animals. Major Eucker went at once to Deer 
creek and saw that they were favorably established for the 
winter. They built log houses; and the government gave them 
flour from its stores and bought cattle from the neighboring 
ranches, and this furnished them with food for the winter. ' ' 

Delano also says: "But a small portion of the emigration 
of 1850 came by the Lawson, or northern, route. The character 
of this route was now generally understood, and but few 
attempted it, fortunately. Those who did, almost without excep- 
tion, suffered severely. The Indians on Pit river were very 
hostile. In one night they stole twenty-seven mules from one 
train, which so completely broke it up that the emigrants were 
compelled to leave their wagons and pack what they could on 
the few mules they had left, leaving their wagons and goods to 
be plundered by the Indians." 

After 1850 little or no emigration went over the Lassen Trail. 
A great deal of the road, though, has been used ever since ; but 
of course it has been worked and improved. In many places, 
through deep canyons and mountain passes, the remaining traces 
show the difficulties encountered by those who first used it. 
Eelics of the emigrant days, such as chains and irons where 
abandoned wagons were burned, and goods buried because they 
could be carried no farther, are even now occasionally found. 


THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

The Beckwourth Pass Road 
In the spring of 1851 James P. Beckwourth, the old "moun- 
tain man, ' ' or trapper, discovered the pass which bears his name, 
although it is misspelled; and that fall conducted an emigrant 
train of seventeen wagons from the Truckee river through it to 
American valley, and then on to Marysville. This road entered 
the limits of Lassen county about a mile and a half from its 
southeastern corner, ran north down Long valley creek to the 
pass, and then went through it into Sierra valley. This road 
was much used during the emigration to California, and has 
been used ever since. 

Description op Honey Lake Valley 

Honey Lake valley, the Land of the Never Sweats, was the 
part of the county first settled ; and was for almost twenty years 
the only part of it that was settled to any great extent. Its size 
and location can be seen from the map. The mountains on its 
southern and western sides are heavily timbered; but those on 
the north and east are without timber, excepting a few scattering 
junipers. The lake is shallow, the water muddy, and more or 
less alkaline. The peninsula extending into the lake is locally 
known as "The Island," or, as lately called by some, "Honey 
Island." The elevation of Honey lake is 3949 feet. 

The early settlers found the valley in some respects different 
from what it is now; and what is said about this valley applies, 
in almost every way, to the rest of the county. Excepting some 
natural meadow land along the streams, the country was covered 
with sagebrush. Those who came through here in early days 
remembered that more than anything else. On a great deal of 
land where little or no grass can now be seen, rye grass grew as 
high as a man's head, and bunch grass grew everywhere. There 
was literally "thousands of feed." Uncle Johnny Baxter said 
that December, 1857, about a foot of snow came. He had a little 
bunch of cattle running around his place, which was about three- 
quarters of a mile down the edge of the timber from Janesville, 
or Bankhead's; and when they came near the house he threw 
some hay out to them. They sniffed at it a little and went away 
without eating it. There was plenty of dry grass above the snow, 
and they liked it better than they did the hay. For many years 
stock did well all winter without feed, and it was a matter of 



astonishment how fat the range cattle got in the summer time. 
In the fall of 1856 Fred Hines traded for some poor emigrant | 
oxen out on the Humboldt river. He drove them to this valley 
and left them on the range through the winter. He said that 
the next spring they were the fattest cattle he ever saw. 

The ground had not been tramped down, and was light and 
loose, and there were no trails or roads to carry the water off. 
During the rainy season the water went into the ground and 
made it very soft. All over the valley it would "mire a saddle 
blanket. ' ' One spring in the early 60 's, John F. Hulsman hauled 
a load of wood to Richmond with a couple of yoke of oxen. On 
the way home the wheel cattle walked faster than the leaders, 
and would turn out and try to pass them. Every time one of 
them got a little out of the road he mired down, and Hulsman 
had to pull him out with the leaders. This happened so many 
times that it took him nearly all the afternoon to get home, a 
distance of only a few miles. On account of the looseness of the 
soil, it was easily worked. In 1862 S. R. Hall put in thirty-five 
acres of grain on the south side of the river seven or eight miles 
below Susanville. He never plowed the ground, just harrowed 
in the seed, and he got thirty-five bushels of oats, and twenty-five 
bushels of wheat, to the acre. 

Either because not so much water flowed in them, or because 
the channels were not broken, the beds of the streams were not 
washed out as they are now. Where the road from Susanville 
to Janesville crosses the Baxter creek, a sixteen mule team and 
three wagons could have been driven across the stream without 
any trouble. At the old James D. Byers ranch on Baxter creek : 
northeast of Janesville, where there is now a hole in the ground, | 
they used to cut one hundred and fifty tons of hay yearly. In | 
1856 the falls in Susan river were about fifteen feet high, and 
were where the Toadtown ( Johnston ville) grist mill now stands, 
or perhaps a little lower down. In two years they washed back 
to a little above where the Lake Leavitt reservoir dam is now. 
In many other places deep channels have been cut where at one 
time the water ran almost on the top of the ground. 

Deer, antelope, sage hens, water-fowl, and rabbits were very 
plentiful ; and there were bears, mountain lions, and a few moun- 
tain sheep in the mountains. In the winter of 1859, and perhaps 
considerably later than that, a person in "Rooptown" could see 


THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

bands of deer and antelope feeding on the hills to the north. 
Twenty years after that there were large bands of antelope in 
the country around Secret and Pete's valleys, and deer could 
be found almost anywhere in the hills and mountains. 

The Indians 

When Lassen county was first settled by the whites, the 
southern part of it and along the south side of Honey lake was 
claimed by the Wassaw, or Wasso (Washoe), Indians. The 
Pah Utahs, or Pah Utes (Piutes), claimed the rest of the valley 
and the most of the eastern part of the county. The Pit Rivers 
lived along that stream, and probabl} r the Hat creek and the 
Dixie valley Indians were branches of the same tribe. The Pah 
Utahs and Pit Rivers made raids nearly all over the county, and 
occasionally a band of Modocs or Bannocks came down as far 
as the southern part of it. In the spring of 1857, "Old Tom" 
and "Old Charley," Indian valley Indians, and their families 
lived in the upper part of Honey Lake valley, and may have been 
there three or four years before that. 

The Washoe Indians ranged along the base of the Sierras, 
west of the Pah Utahs, from Walker lake to Honey lake. The 
two tribes were bitter enemies ; and there never was a treaty of 
peace between them until 1908, or about that time. In 1859 
Major Dodge, the Indian Agent, reported that they numbered 
about 900, and that they owned not one pony, horse, or mule. 
The Pah Utahs, who spoke the same language as the Bannocks, 
ranged over nearly all of what is now the state of Nevada, north- 
eastern California, and some of southeastern Oregon and south- 
western Idaho. Major Dodge reported in 1859 that there were 
between 6000 and 7000 of them. They lived principally along 
the rivers and around the lakes of the country belonging to them. 
When first known to the whites, "Old" Winnemucca, or Po-i-to 
(in a treaty made in 1858 it is spelled Winnemorha and Winne- 
morhas, and another authority has it Wonamucca) was their 
head chief, and under him were many sub-chiefs. His head- 
quarters were at Pyramid lake. Out in the Smoke creek country 
there was a band of renegade Pah Utahs under a chief the whites 
called "Smoke Creek Sam." This band was on friendly terms 
with the main tribe of the Pah Utahs, but they were never very 
much under the control of Old Winnemucca. 



The Washoes never gave the settlers much trouble after the 
"Potato War." The Pit Rivers were always very hostile, and 
committed many depredations until the most of them were killed 
or taken away. Except in 1860, the Pyramid lake Pah Utahs 
never had much trouble with any of the whites. A few years 
later on, Smoke Creek Sam's band, and that of Black Rock Tom, 
who ranged a little farther to the east, committed many depre- 
dations on the settlers of that section, and also on the travelers 
along the road from the Humboldt river to Honey Lake. 

Until the latter part of 1857, the settlers here had very little 
trouble with the Indians. Perhaps they stole a little whenever 
they had a chance, but at that time there was not much here to 
steal. The settlers had few animals, and did not raise much on 
the land. Among these Indians it seemed to be the custom to 
share with each other; and when one had food, the others helped 
him eat it. At first they seemed to think this was the custom 
among the whites, too, and some of them may have taken vege- 
tables, etc., through ignorance. During the winter of 1854-5, 
when I. N. and Ephriam Roop stayed in the valley, an Indian 
stole a table-cloth that E. Roop had made out of flour sacks; and 
had washed and hung out on the line to dry. When he was 
caught with the goods, I. N. Roop yanked him around and booted 
him a little to show him he had done wrong ; and then Old Winne- 
mucca told him to leave and not come back there any more. 

Old Winnemucca was a friendly sort of a fellow, and in 1856 
the settlers made a treaty with him. Capt. William Weatherlow 
says the terms of the treaty were "that if any Indian committed 
any depredation or stole anything from the whites, the settlers 
should come to Winnemucca and make complaint to him and not 
take their revenge indiscriminately upon the Indians. And the 
whites agreed that if a white man should steal horses or cattle I 
from the Indians or molest the squaws, that Winnemucca should I 
come and make his complaint and they would redress his wrongs 
and punish the offender. The settlers also passed a resolution) 
that no white man should molest or live with a squaw in the 
valley, under penalty of being summarily dealt with and driven! 
from the settlement. The treaty was faithfully observed on both ' 
sides, in not a single instance was there a misunderstanding , j 
between the whites and the Indians. ' ' Of course this referred to 
Winnemucca and his Indians. 


THE YEAKS 1848 TO 1856 

This is speaking in general terms. The white men and the 
Indians could not live in the same neighborhood very long with- 
out finding some excuse for killing one another, even though 
there was no actual warfare going on between them. The Indian 
killed the white man because the latter had something he wanted, 
or he wanted to keep him out of the country. Sometimes he 
killed him out of revenge for the killing of an Indian, or for 
some other wrong done by the whites. The white man killed the 
Indian because he had stolen something or killed a white; and 
sometimes the Indian was killed for the fun of it, or because the 
white man wanted to say that he had killed an "Injun." It is 
said that Joseph L. Meek, the "mountain man" and trapper, and 
his partner, when out one morning looking after their traps, 
killed some inoffensive Indians. When they got back to camp 
and told about it, some one asked if the Indians had molested 
their traps or stolen anything. Meek said ' ' No, but they looked 
as if they were going to." Many frontiersmen looked upon an 
Indian as a wild animal and treated him like one. The only good 
Indian was a dead one. The Indians were blamed because they 
killed any white man out of revenge, whether he had wronged 
them or not. This was the way the Indians were raised, and 
they knew no better. White men were raised under the teachings 
of Christianity, and they have been doing the same thing ever 
since the settlement of America began. When a man has had his 
family or friends killed, or his stock driven off by the Indians ; he 
can not be blamed if he follows them, and takes ample revenge. 
But killing human beings in cold blood, without any excuse for 
it, is another thing. One thing that kept up hostilities between 
the two races was the fact that there always were white men 
who, out of revenge, killed an Indian every chance they had, 
whether there was war going on or not. Among the pioneers of 
this county there were several men of that kind ; and, no doubt, 
they honestly thought they were justified in doing it. A man 
who once lived in this valley told that in early days he met an 
Indian who had a good rifle. After some talk he bought the gun 
and paid the Indian for it. He went on a short distance, and 
then returned and followed the Indian and shot him. He took 
from his dead body the money he had paid for the gun, and went 
his way rejoicing ; thinking, no doubt, that it was a good joke on 
the Indian, and that he had done some clever financial work. 



In the following pages it will be seen that in many cases, before 
a massacre by the Indians took place, one or more Indians had 
been killed for the fun of it; and the savages wreaked their 
vengeance as soon as possible, perhaps on innocent people. It 
was inevitable that the two races would fight, and that the Indians 
would be killed off or driven away; but in numberless cases a 
little more justice on the part of the whites would have saved a 
great deal of trouble and bloodshed. 

The Early History of Honey Lake Valley 

Honey lake and Honey Lake valley were named from the 
honey-dew found on the grass and some of the trees and bushes, 
but it is not certain who gave them the name. After much 
research in the pioneer literature relating to northern California 
the writer is satisfied that June, 1852, is the first time the name 
ever appeared in print, and that Mr. Noble, or some member of 
the party with him at the time, named them in the spring of 1852, 
or possibly in the spring of 1851. (See "Noble's Route.") 

It is also uncertain what white men discovered the valley, or 
when that event took place. The following is a synopsis of what 
is told by F. and S. : James P. Beckwourth claimed to have 
visited the valley in 1845 with a party of hunters and trappers. 
His biography says he was in California in 1852, but tells 
nothing of the following incident. Beckwourth settled near his 
pass early in 1852, and soon afterwards a party of miners from 
Jamison creek, in pursuit of some Indians, stopped at his place. 
He told them that, judging from the course taken by the savages, 
they were headed for a large valley which he had visited in 1845. 
He then gave them a description of the valley, and said that it 
could not be more than seventy-five or a hundred miles from 
there. At their request he went with them. They rode hard 
until sundown, and during the night as fast as they could and 
follow the trail. About daylight the next morning they reached 
the top of the mountain southeast of where Milford now stands. 
They could see the Indians they were after just going out of the 
timber toward the lake; but there were a good many more in 
sight, so the white men went no farther. They didn't get any 
Indians, but they proved Beckwourth 's statement that he had 
seen Honey lake before that time. (Judging from the time it 
took them to reach the lake they saw, and from what old timers 


THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

said about Beckvvourth 's truth and veracity, it is doubtful 
whether they proved it or not. — F.) 

F. and S. make several more surmises as to who were the first 
white men who entered this county, but tell nothing for certain. 

It is said that in 1850 a man named Stoddard led a party 
from Nevada City in search of the lost "Gold Lake." They 
followed up Feather river until they got into the country south 
of Honey lake. They had met with a great many hardships on 
the trip, and had found no "Gold Lake"; so they held a consul- 
tation, and decided to hang Stoddard at once. Finally they 
concluded to let him hunt for the lake one more day, and that 
was to be his last chance. It would seem, though, that Stoddard 
did not want to take any more chances, for that night he left 
them and went to the mines of the lower country. From this 
incident Last Chance valley is said to have been named. If this 
story is true, there is a possibility that some of this party may 
have gone up to the summit of the mountain and looked down 
into this valley. All of the foregoing, however, is only surmise, 
and the writer can find nothing to prove that any white man ever 
set foot in this valley before 1851. 

Noble's Route 

F. and S. say, no authority given,: "Early in the spring of 
1851, a prospecting party of eighty men, headed by a man named 
Noble, and now known as Noble's party, after crossing Indian 
valley, passed through the mountains to Honey Lake valley. The 
company soon returned and disbanded, but Noble, who was 
impressed with the value of the pass through the mountains 
which they had found, went to Shasta, then the chief town in the 
extreme northern portion of the state, and made known his 
discovery to the enterprising business men of that place. The 
pass was then called and has since been known as 'Noble's pass.' 
Realizing the fact that the opening of an emigrant route through 
the upper mountains with its terminus at Shasta would be of 
vast benefit to that town commercially, the business men of that 
place raised a subscription, and hired Noble and a small party 
of men to go out to the Humboldt, and divert as much of the 
stream of emigration as possible through the new pass, and to the 
town of Shasta. ' ' 

In Hutchings' California Magazine for June, 1857, an un- 



named contributor says that Big Meadows, then called "Lassen's 
Big Meadows," was the west end of Noble's pass; and that the 
old settlers of Indian valley claimed that to Peter Lassen is due 
the honor of having discovered the Noble's pass route, having 
known it long before Noble saw it. He was Noble's guide all 
through this route, Mr. Noble being entirely unacquainted with 
it. The writer also said that Lassen solemnly told the same thing 
to him in 1854. 

A part of the foregoing, at least, is certainly a mistake. The 
Noble route never went through Big Meadows and down Deer 
creek ; and if Lassen knew that route, he must have found it after 
he made the Lassen Trail. It doesn 't seem reasonable to suppose 
that if he knew of the Noble's pass route, he would take a party 
of emigrants up to Oregon and back, just to get from the Black 
Rock peak to Mt. Meadows. If he did, he should have been 
punished for it. 

"The Shasta Courier," late in June, 1852, says that Mr. 
Noble had promised for the consideration of Two Thousand 
Dollars, to show the route for a wagon road across the Sierra 
Nevada mountains that would be superior in every respect to the 
routes previously traveled. A party of citizens offered to accom- 
pany Mr. Noble in making a thorough search for the route, and 
they left Shasta, May 3, 1852. W. W. Asbury says that John 
Fallensly, John Dreibelbis, Jack Hammans, — Swain, and Chas. 
Kyle were among those who went with him. They got back June 
24, 1852, and reported that Mr. Noble had fulfilled his promises 
to the letter, and in some respects more than fulfilled them. They 
called it three hundred miles to the Humboldt, and thought the 
distance could be traveled in eight days with a pack train. The 
greatest distance between watering places between the Humboldt 
and Honey lake was only twenty-five miles, and there was plenty 
of grass on the road. They said that Honey Lake valley was very 
rich and fertile, and well situated for cultivation. Several mem- 
bers of the company took up claims at this place, and intended to 
return in a few days and improve them. The party remained on 
the Humboldt river eight days. While resting at that place, a 
party of twenty-two men passed on their way from Yreka to St. 
Louis. With these men Mr. Noble left his party, and started for 
his borne in Ohio. 

The following description of the Noble Route is taken from an 


THE YEAES 1S48 TO 1856 

article published in Hutehings' California Magazine for June, 
1857, which was written by John A. Dreibelbis, who went over 
the road in 1852, and several times in 1853. Asbury and Hines 
describe it about the same as he does. This route followed the 
Applegate-Lassen Trail about thirty miles, nearly west, to the 
Rabbit Hole springs; and then between twenty-five and thirty 
miles northwest to the Hot springs west of the Black Rock peak. 
Here the Noble's Pass Route begins. Leaving the old road, it 
turned southwest and went nearly twenty-five miles to the old 
Granite Creek Station. From there it came on to Deep Hole 
springs, Buffalo springs, Smoke creek, Rush creek, Mud springs, 
and then to the Susan river, striking it, or some of its sloughs, 
about three miles from the lake. It kept up on the north side of 
the river, and crossed Piute creek just a little north of where 
Main Street now crosses it. It went on over the hill, up past the 
Big spring, crossed Bridge creek; and keeping on northwest, 
struck the Lassen Trail and followed it a few miles until it crossed 
Pine creek. It kept on the same course until it got to Poison 
lake ; and then turning to the west, went south of the lake and on 
to Black Butte creek, now called Butte creek. (In early days the 
Cinder Cone was called Black Butte.) It then turned south and 
followed up that creek, turned southwest, going just north of the 
Black Butte, and thence west four miles to Pine Meadows. (Per- 
haps this was Badger Flat.) From there it went northwest four 
miles to Hat creek, west two miles to Lost creek ; and then south- 
west fourteen miles to John Hill's ranch on Deer Flat on the 
north fork of Battle creek, going through Noble's Pass on the 
way. Sometimes the country between Pine creek and Butte 
creek was called Noble's Pass. It then kept southwest eight 
miles to McCumber's mill, probably on, or near, what is now 
called Macomber's Flat; and on three miles to Shingletown. It 
then went four miles to what he calls Charley 's Ranch, probably 
going northwest past the place where Ogburn's mill was after- 
wards built. Then it ran north of west six miles to Payne & 
Smith's, and then southwest seven miles to Dr. Baker's on Bear 
creek. From there it was four miles to Old Fort Reading, and 
that was only three miles from the Sacramento river. They called 
it three hundred and eight miles from the Humboldt river to Fort 

The Honey Lakers called this road from here west the "Old 



Hat Creek" road; and it was used by them until Fort Crook was 
established in Fall River valley in 1857, and then part of it was 
abandoned. They followed the old road from the Sacramento 
river up to Lost creek, and then followed the Fort Crook road 
down that stream to Hat creek, and down Hat creek eight or nine 
miles to the Hat creek hill. Then they turned east and struck 
the old road near Butte creek, south of west of Poison lake. 

When the emigration of 1852 reached Lassen's Meadows on 
the Humboldt, Noble 's party tried to get them to go over the new 
route ; but they had hard work to persuade any of them to leave 
the regular road. The experience of those who followed Lassen 's 
' ' cut-off ' ' had become well known, and in almost every train that 
came along there were men who had previously crossed the plains. 
F. and S. say that some of the returning Californians threatened 
to do them great bodily injury, so to speak, if they did not quit 
trying to get people to travel their road. William Dow says 
he was in one of the trains that came along about this time. Part 
of his crowd wanted to turn off here ; but the rest were unwilling, 
and they went on down the Humboldt river. Finally the Shasta 
men succeeded in getting a small train to go over their road, and 
they reached the Sacramento valley without any mishaps or 
suffering. William W. Asbury, now a resident of Tehama county, 
was among those who went over the Noble road this year. He 
says that at the Humboldt river they were given a written 
description of the road; and though it was dim, they had no 
trouble in following it. The next year or two the road was 
improved a little, and before long the greater part of the emigra- 
tion into northern California was going over it. Later on some 
statistics will be given to show the amount of this travel. 

Fredonyer's Pass 

Of this pass, now mis-called "Fredonia" pass, the "Altq, 
Calif ornian" of May 26, 1855, says: "From the most reliable 
data, it appears that Dr. Fredonyer came through the pass in the 
month of July, 1850, and was the first person who gave a written 
description of it, and the first and only person who made a map 
thereof prior to 1852." 

W. J. Seagraves says that when he went through Fredonyer's 
pass in 1860, the following inscription was painted on a tree on 
the summit of the hill: "Fredonyer's pass. Discovered in 

[20 1 

THE YEARS 1S48 TO 1856 

1852." It looked as though it had not been there long; and 
probably this was the case, for Fredonyer had just located in 
Mt. Meadows. A. L. Harper also remembers the date as being 
1852. Fredonyer must have known the date of his own discovery. 

First Settlement 

Evidently the men in Noble's party who took up claims in 
Honey Lake valley in 1852, forgot to ''return in a few days and 
improve them," for no settlement was made in the valley that 

In June, 1853, Isaac N. Eoop, acting postmaster at Shasta, 
lost his hotel and store by fire, leaving him penniless. Discour- 
aged by his loss, he concluded to try his luck elsewhere ; and came 
alone on horseback to this valley, probably with the idea of 
finding a place where he could carry on a trade with the 

He located a piece of land at the upper end of the valley, and 
put up a notice on it, of which the following is a copy. This 
notice and the others given are taken from Roop's record of the 
filings made by the settlers. 

' ' Notice 

"I Isaac Roop do take up and claim the following described 
tract of land. Beginning at a pine tree on the south side of Susan 
river at the foot of the bluffs, thence running north some four 
hundred rods more or less to a pine stake set at the foot of the 
bluifs on the north side of Susan river, thence west to the 
timber thence south along said timber to the top of the bluffs on 
the north of Susan river thence up said river on the top of said 
bluffs two miles thence across Susan river to the top of the bluffs 
on the south side of Susan river thence down on the edge of said 
bluffs to the edge of the timber thence to continue in a south- 
easterly course to the place of beginning. (This being in the 
head of the valley) 

"Sept A. D. 1853. Isaac Roop. 

"July A. D. 1854 Built a house on the above claim. Left for 
Shasta Nov. A. D. 1855. 

"A true copy of the original this first day of May A. D. 1856 

Isaac Roop Recorder" 

F. and S. say: "It will be observed that in the notice he 
applies the name Susan river to the stream that comes down from 



the Sierra and flows easterly to Honey lake. It is claimed by 
some that this name was then given the stream, by him in honor 
of his only daughter, Susan, who was then living in the east. 
By others it is maintained that an emigrant girl named Susan 
De Witt, who died on the road, and was buried a short distance 
east of the Buffalo salt works, in Nevada, has her memory per- 
petuated in the name of this stream. Still others say that a 
young lady bearing the name of Susan passed through with one 
of the trains in 1852, and that her name was bestowed upon the 
stream. These contradictory opinions are held by the early 
settlers, all of whom would seem to have been so situated as to 
know the facts in the case; and as it is impossible to decide 
between them, we let the matter stand as it is. One thing is 
certain : Koop, in his notice, left the first record of this name for 
the beautiful mountain stream, and it is not improbable that he 
bestowed this title upon it to better define the boundaries of his 
location. It is, however, also improbable that emigration would 
pass this river for two seasons without a name of some kind being 
applied to the stream." 

Probably all of the foregoing stories were told and perhaps a 
few more could have been found at that time without much 
trouble. But the next thing to be considered is the value of these 
stories. Very few, perhaps none, of the pioneers of this county 
went through Honey Lake valley before Roop came in here. 
Those with whom the writer talked after this work was com- 
menced, were satisfied that the river was named in honor of Susan 
Roop, now Mrs. A. T. Arnold, of Susanville ; and the fact that 
Roop named his town after her makes it still more probable that 
he also named the stream. Very few emigrants went over the 
Noble road in 1852; and the second year the Lassen trail was 
traveled, very few of the natural features along it had been 
named. It is not strange, however, that the naming of Susan 
river, or anything else, should have been disputed. In the course 
of this work, the writer has found more than one man who would, 
to show his own knowledge, dispute what could easily be proved 
beyond a doubt; and probably would dispute with his mother 
about the date of his birth. 

Roop went back to Shasta county and stayed there during 
the winter of 1853-4. He stayed here until late in November, 
because he wanted to see Old Winnemucca before he went below. 


THE YEAES 1848 TO 1856 

After seeing the chief, he cached everything of value that he 
didn't want to take with him, and started over the mountains 
by the Noble road. Before he got across the Sierras, a big storm 
came on. Fortunately for him, he came to an old trapper's cabin 
in which there were a few old cooking utensils and a little 
barley; and here he stayed for nine days, until the storm was 

Dr. McClay Killed by an Indian 

Dr. McClay was the first white man killed in Honey Lake 
valley by the Indians ; and the following account of it was given 
by Fred Hines. 

The last of September, or the first of October, 1853, Dr. 
McClay 's train was camped on the flat, just below where Roop 
afterwards built his cabin. The next morning, when they were 
hitching up to resume their journey, they discovered that some 
of their cattle were missing. Just as they made the discovery, an 
Indian they had brought from the head of the Humboldt river 
started to run toward the foothills to the north. Some of them 
followed him on horseback, and shot him as soon as they caught 
up with him. McClay, his son, and some of the men of the train, 
followed the trail of the cattle back along the road until they 
came to a swamp about ten miles down the river. There the 
trail went into the tules, for at that time it was a tule swamp all 
along there. They followed the trail into the tules, and rode 
around in them looking for the cattle. They had not hunted very 
long before an Indian rose up and shot Dr. McClay in the breast 
with an arrow. They returned and got a carriage, and took him 
back to camp. His wife pulled out the arrow, and he died that 
night. His body was taken to Shasta and buried there. 

Dr. Minor, with whom Mr. Hines crossed the plains, camped 
near the tule swamp the night before ; and during the night one 
of his horses was shot by the Indians, it was supposed. 

The following quotations are from F. and S., and from Roop's 
record of filings. ' ' In May, 1854, Roop and John Hill went from 
Shasta to the valley, to see if the snow was sufficiently melted to 
admit of the passage of a wagon loaded with supplies. On the 
way they overtook a prospecting party of about a dozen men, one 
of whom was Hyram K. Wilcox, who had left Shasta a few days 
before. They all came on to the valley together, arriving on the 
sixth of June, the prospectors soon becoming dissatisfied, and 



returning across the mountains. Eoop and Hill also went back to 
Shasta, and Roop soon returned with a load of merchandise and 
supplies, accompanied by his brother Ephriam Roop, William 
McNall (McNaull), Captain William Weatherlow, and others." 
William Armstrong was one of the crowd. 

"During the summer, this party built a rough, one-story log 
house, about 20 by 30 feet in size, which still stands in an orchard 
in the eastern suburbs of Susanville, and is owned by A. T. 
Arnold, Mr. Roop's son-in-law. This building was covered with 
a shake roof. Since it was used for a fort in the Sage-Brush 
War, it has been called Fort Defiance. In this building was 
placed the stock of goods that had been brought over from Shasta, 
and a brisk and profitable trade was carried on with the emi- 
grants." As it was hard work to haul freight into the moun- 
tains at that time, their stock must have been a small one. 
Probably it consisted of a few staple articles, and some tobacco 
and whiskey ; for in those days, if a trader did not have the last 
named goods, his patrons would be badly disappointed. 

The log house they put up stands on the east side of Weather- 
low St., about 140 feet back from the street, and 380 feet north 
of Main street. It is twenty-seven feet long, and eighteen feet, 
nine inches wide, outside measurement; and was intended to 
be eight feet high at the corners. 

That year, Roop claimed a water right on Pah Ute (Piute) 
creek, then called Smith creek, and posted up the following 
notice : 

' ' Notice 

"I the undersigned claim the privilege to take all the water 
out of Smith Creek at the junction of the two forks where this 
stake stands I shall build a dam some six feet high and carry 
the water along the south hill to the emigrant road. 

"August A. D. 1854. Isaac Roop. 

"Recorded the first day of May A. D. 1856. 

Isaac Roop Recorder ' ' 

"From this creek they dug the Roop ditch, about one-half 
a mile long, by which they conveyed water in close proximity to 
the log house. When working upon this improvement, it was 
always necessary to leave a guard at the house ; for, though the 
Indians were not openly hostile, their predatory habits compelled 



the early settlers to be constantly on their guard to protect their 
property. When winter set in, Koop and the larger number of 
his companions returned to Shasta, while a few stopped in the 
valley until spring, though there was no necassity for their 
doing so." 

Roop put his dam in the creek about one hundred and sixty 
yards above where Roop street strikes it. It is not known how 
much of the ditch was dug that year, but they raised a few vege- 
tables. This ditch was the beginning of a water system that 
supplied Susanville with water until the early 70 's. Mrs. Arnold 
says that I. X. Roop and his brother stayed in the valley during 
the winter of 1854-5, but the former went below early in the 
spring. Captain Weatherlow stayed, too. 

"During the year 1854, Lieutenant E. G. Beckwith, in charge 
of an exploring party, passed through the valley. The war 
department had sent out, the previous year, several exploring 
expeditions to examine the various routes across the continent, 
for the purpose of ascertaining which was the most feasible 
for a trans-continental railroad. One of these detachments, 
under the charge of Lieutenant Beckwith, crossed Honey Lake 
valley, and went through Noble's pass to Fort Reading. They 
then went up the Sacramento and Pit rivers, and passed down 
the old Lassen trail, and again to Fort Reading. The observa- 
tions and conclusions of Lieutenant Beckwith are embodied in 
his report, which was submitted to congress by the secretary of 
war, and is to be found in the 'Pacific Railroad Reports, Volume 
2.'" As early as 1851, Lieut. R. S. "Williamson made a survey for 
a railroad through the country just north of Honey lake. 

"In the early part of the year 1855, Peter Lassen was living 
with Isadore Meyerwitz (or Meyerowitz), a Jew, on a ranch in 
Indian valley, located by them in 1850. In June, 1855, he 
started over the mountains on a prospecting trip, accompanied 
by Kenebeck, Parker, and another man, themselves mounted on 
horses, and their outfit packed on the backs of mules. They came 
into the valley three miles west of Janesville, where they pitched 
their camp just back of the ranch now owned by Richard Bass." 
(This is the upper end of Elysian valley.) Some of the earliest 
settlers say that they came over Diamond Mountain, and camped 
under the tree where Lassen was afterwards buried. "The next 
day Parker and the one whose name is unknown started out to 



make some kind of a trade with the Indians, going around the 
lake to the north in search of them, and encamped in the vicinity 
of the hot springs. At the same time Lassen and Kenebeck 
traveled towards the north-west, along the base of the Sierra, 
and after going about six miles, camped at a pile of bowlders, 
which are in front of, and but a short distance from, the first 
cabin he built in the valley. They prospected for a few days, 
and were so gratified at the result, that Lassen returned at once 
across the mountains to procure men and supplies to work the 
place systematically. ' ' 

' ' In the latter part of June, Lassen came again to the valley, 
accompanied by Joseph Lynch, William Gallagher, and Samuel 
Knight. They brought with them a complete mining outfit and 
a supply of provisions. The first thing necessary was to bring 
water to the claim, and this they did by digging a ditch two miles 
in length, from the little stream now known as Lassen creek. 
(Wrong. Lassen's ditch was taken out of what was afterwards 
called Hill's creek.) This ditch has always been called the 
Lassen ditch. After they had worked a couple of weeks a cause 
of difference arose between Knight and Lassen, and the former 
took what property there was belonging to him and left the 
valley. About ten days after the ditch was completed the water 
supply failed, but during that time the claim had paid them good 
wages. They therefore decided to go to Indian valley and make 
preparations to return here and spend the winter. 

"In October, 1855, Lassen came back to Honey Lake valley, 
accompanied by Isadore Meyerwitz, Joseph Lynch, — Greenwood,- 
and a Spaniard named Lazier. They brought a good supply of 
provisions, blacksmith and mining tools, a plow, and such other 
implements as they thought would be necessary or useful. They 
also brought a number of cows, oxen, and horses. Lassen then 
located a tract of land one mile square, embracing the place 
where they had encamped while engaged in mining, and now 
including the ranches of John Hulsman, Joseph Lynch, and 
David Titherington. This he did not survey until the following 
spring, and never had it placed on record. In a short time the 
Spaniard and Greenwood went back to Indian valley, leaving 
Lassen and Meyerwitz alone in the valley. Soon after, John 
Duchene came over from Quincy, where he had gotten into some 
difficulty, and hired himself to Lassen. Newton Hamilton and 


THE YEARS" 1848 TO 1856 

Marion Lawrence, called generally Commanche George, came 
over the mountains, packing a good supply of provisions. It was 
their intention to locate land ; but they did not do so that season. 
They made their camp with the others, and began prospecting. 

"Fearing that the snow would fall to such a depth as to 
prevent his stock from sustaining themselves by browsing, Lassen 
cut about twenty tons of hay from the bunch grass that grew in 
such abundance, and stacked it near his camp. The next thing 
required was a shelter for himself and men during the winter. 
They then erected a long, low, log house, which has never been 
without a pioneer tenant to this day, Joseph Lynch having lived 
there constantly. The cabin, or house, is nearly fifty feet long, 
sixteen wide, six logs high, and covered with a shake roof. At 
either end is a room sixteen feet by twenty. One of these Lassen 
used for a general storeroom, and the other for an apartment to 
live in, and which he floored with lumber cut with a whip-saw. 
At one end of this room was built a rock fireplace, with sufficient 
capacity to admit cordwood. The openings to the outside world 
were a door and a three-foot-square window, over which barley 
sacks were nailed to keep out the cold. The small room in the 
center was used by Peter as a sleeping apartment, and where it 
is said he always kept a bed for a traveler or a friend. In this 
rude hut the pioneers of Lassen county, Peter Lassen, Isadore 
Meyerwitz, Joseph Lynch, Newton Hamilton, Marion Lawrence, 
and John Duchene spent the winter of 1855-56 ; and though this 
humble dwelling has furnished a pioneer with shelter for a 
quarter of a century, it gives evidences of remaining a monument 
to the memory of its builders long after the last one shall have 
passed away." 

Joseph Lynch lived there until his death in December, 1885, 
three years after the foregoing was written. This cabin was on 
the south side of Lassen creek, about one third of a mile west of 
where the mountain road from Susanville to Janesville crosses 
that stream. It was about four miles south and a mile east of 
Susanville. The cabin built the fall of 1855 was ten by twelve 
feet, or perhaps a little larger, and about seven feet high at the 
corners. It had a fireplace, and a door so low that one had to 
stoop to enter it, and no window. It was built of unhewn logs of 
unequal size, and looked as though it had been hastily con- 
structed. In after years additions were made to it. For a while 



Lassen did a little blacksmithing under a big tree right in front 
of it. This cabin was burned by Peter Vogt about the year 1896, 
because the logs had decayed and it had fallen down. 

It is hard to understand why P. and S. call Lassen and his 
five companions the pioneers of Lassen county. Just before that, 
they say that some of the Roop crowd stayed in the valley during 
the winter of 1854-5. Roop claimed land in the county two years 
before Lassen did, and put up a cabin the year before Lassen 
built his. "Why wasn 't Roop the pioneer of the county ? Ephriam 
Roop, McNaull, and Weatherlow stayed in the Roop cabin all 
through the winter of 1855-6. I. N. Roop was there the latter 
part of the winter. 

"During the year a man named Moses Mason came into the 
valley and located a piece of land adjoining Roop's on the north- 
west corner, but did not remain upon it or make any improve- 
ments. The next year his notice was recorded, and read as 
follows : 

' ' Notice 

"I Moses Mason do take up and claim this valley on Smith 
Creek of some four hundred acres more or less. November 
A. D. 1855. M. Mason. 

A true copy of the original. May first, 1856. Isaac Roop, 

The above claim joins Roop on the North-west corner." 

' ' During the winter, Lassen and his companions busied them- 
selves in sawing out lumber with a whip-saw for sluices, and 
splitting rails for fencing. About five thousand rails were gotten 
out, and in the spring were used to fence a portion of his land. 
The weather was so mild and pleasant that the stock passed 
through the winter with but little need of the hay he had 

"It is stated in the Sketches published in the ' Mountain Re- 
view,' that in December, 1855, William Hill Naileigh (better 

known as Captain Hill), McMurtre, Captain Gilpin, and 

two others were piloted into the valley from Gold Canyon, Ne- 
vada, by old Winnemucca, the Pah Ute chief, and that they 
prospected on Gold Run and discovered what was known as 
the Hill diggings." In a lawsuit about the Lassen ditch in 1875, 
Cap. Hill testified that he came into the valley in 1855, and 
in 1856 discovered the Hill diggings on Hill's creek. 

T 28 1 

THE YEARS 1848 TO 1856 

It is probable that the information gathered by Mr. Dodge 
for F. and S., together with that obtained by the writer, is all 
that will ever be known of the history of this county previous to 
1856. So far as is known, every man who settled here before that 
time is dead. Isadore was drowned in the lake in 1856, and his 
body was never recovered. Lassen and Lynch lie under the 
big tree beneath which the former camped the first night he 
was in the valley, and Commanche George is buried in the sage- 
brush about a mile north of them. I. N. Roop, Naileigh, Weath- 
erlow, and Wilcox lie in the Susanville cemetery. Ephriam Roop 
died on the Isthmus of Panama while on his way to the East. 
The fate of the others is unknown to the writer. In all prob- 
ability they, like thousands of other pioneers, died in some county 
hospital or while prospecting in the mountains, and lie in un- 
marked and unknown graves. 



1856 j 

The news had gone abroad that gold had been found in pay- 
ing quantities in Honey Lake valley, and men, and perhaps 
a few women, began to come over the mountains early in the 
year. The most of them came from the mines on the headwaters 
of Feather river. Leroy Arnold said that in those days if a 
man owned a mine where the gold was ankle deep, he would soon 
hear of a place where it was knee deep and would leave his mine 
and go there. Some took up land, but the most of them went 
to mining. They worked on Gold Run, Hill's creek, Lassen's 
creek, and the gulches in that vicinity. Considerable mining was 
done there until 1861. Lynch says there were more men engaged 
in mining in 1856 than in any of the following years, and that 
possibly there might have been a hundred men working at it that 
year. More or less mining was done in that neighborhood for 
more than forty years after Lassen discovered the mines. 

A large majority of the earliest settlers of this county came 
from the mines of California, generally from those on Feather 
river. They had come to the coast several years before that, and 
by the time they got here they were used to the hardships of 
frontier life. They could ride and shoot, and were resolute, 
energetic, and self-reliant. Some one has said that the pioneers 
of California were the best body of men that ever settled in any 
country. "The weak in mind never started to come here, and 
the weak in body died on the road." Besides fighting nature, 
they had to fight Indians and outlaws; and only men of good 
nerve would stay in the country. The majority of the pioneer 
women were also strong in mind and body. 

The early settlers of Honey Lake valley needed both courage 
and the ability to endure hardships, for they were in a very 
dangerous locality. They were exposed on all sides to attack 
by the Indians and no help was near at hand. Between them 
and the settlement in Indian valley was a range of mountains 
generally hard to cross during the winter, and the settlements 
in the Carson country were more than a hundred miles away. 
Fortunately, the most hostile Indian tribes were either distant 
or not very strong, and the Pi-Utahs, as they were then called, 
were comparatively friendly. 


THE YEAR 1856 

Settlement. 1856 

At the beginning of this year Roop and Lassen each had a 
cabin, and perhaps one or the other of them had done a little 
fencing. The former had a short irrigating ditch and the latter 
a mining ditch. These were all the improvements there were 
in the county. 

Early in the spring Commanche George (Marion Lawrence) 
located the land along the stream that flows out of Elysian valley, 
from the lower end of that valley to the Bald mountain to the 
north. Lynch claimed a tract along what is now called Parker 
creek, a couple of miles southeast of where Janesville now stands. 
Isadore located at the corner of the lake about three miles south- 
east of him. F. and S. say that Newton Hamilton took a section 
of land which he afterwards sold to Hasey, McMurtre, and 
Elliott. If that is so, the land must have been on Gold Run 
creek, and its northern boundary about two miles south of Roop. 
These four locations were never placed on record. 

The greater part of the information in this book in regard to 
the claims of the settlers, was taken from Roop 's book where those 
claims were recorded; but what is shown there frequently had 
to be helped by what the writer learned from Dow and Hines, 
and by what the writer himself had learned since 1865. Many 
of the notices of location in Roop's book read like this: "Notice. 
I commence at this stake and run east one mile, thence south one 
mile, thence west one mile, thence north to the place of beginning. 
Claimed by Daniel Reed. This II day of March, 1857." Being 
copies of the original notices, they are frequently lacking in 
punctuation and many words are mis-spelled. The descriptions 
are vague ; and when distances from any known places are given, 
they are guessed at. This year many men recorded claims on 
land they never saw, and left the valley a few days afterwards. 
Some stayed a short time, but made no improvements on the 
land they claimed. Many put no relinquishment of their claims 
in the record book, and the claims were put on the same land, 
one after the other. The writer has been able to tell where nearly 
all the claims were located; and if the reader will notice their 
direction and distance from known claims and landmarks, he, 
too, can tell their location nearly enough for all practical pur- 
poses. Unless otherwise stated, the claimant took a section of 



March 14, 1856, Ebenezer Smith of Meadow valley, Plumas 
county, California, (known as "Red Head," or "Bricktop, " 
Smith) located on the south side of the lake about half way 
between the present sites of Janesville and Milford. 

In April, Florence Smith, wife of E. Smith, claimed about 
660 acres on the south side of the river southeast of Roop. (N. 
B. Roop's southeast corner was on the south side of the Susan 
river, perhaps a quarter of a mile from it, and at the east edge 
of the bluffs opposite the mouth of Pah Ute creek. His east 
line ran north from that.) A. G. Hasey located just north of 
where the Richmond schoolhouse now stands, his southwest cor- 
ner at the edge of the timber; John Strode on the south side 
of the river about a mile and a half east of Roop's east line, and 
a mile north of Hasey 's north line; W. T. C. (Rough) Elliott 
just north of Hasey, and M. T. Shores north of Elliott. 

In May, Paul Hulsey, or Hulsa, located west of Lassen ; Wm. 
Hill (Cap. Hill) in the little valley between Lassen and the 
west fork of Baxter creek; J. F. Hill, location uncertain; John 
Hollingsworth, north of the river and east of Roop; R. J. (Bob) 
Scott, where Milford now stands and north of it; Dow, Estep, 
and Aganett, two sections one mile west of Scott; W. M. Lyttle 
& Co., south of Hasey; Mathew Adams, location uncertain; 
George Lathrop, on the lake, three miles west of Scott; George 
(Joe) Epp'stein, joining E. Smith on the east; and Stephen Raney 
on the lake east of Eppstein. 

In June, Henry Denney and Henry Keelty claimed one sec- 
tion in Elysian valley south of Commanche George; William 
Weatherlow, on the north side of the river north of Strode, and 
about a mile and a half east of Roop ; John Griffin, on the south 
side of the river south of "Weatherlow; Stephen O'Laughlin, the 
little valley on the west fork of Baxter creek, over the ridge 
east of Cap. Hill; Ephriam Roop, on the south bank of Susan 
river, having its northeast corner at the west base of "Curloo 
Butte"; (Curlew Butte is the little rocky hill on the south side 

of the river about three miles below Susan ville) and 

Henery in the forks of Susan river and Willow creek. 

In July, T. P. Kingsbury and D. A. Breed located two sec- 
tions between Commanche George and 'Laughlin ; John Adams, 
east of McMurtre and south of Carter (McMurtre's claim lay 
east, or northeast of Hasey) ; R. W. Dezoe, west of E. Smith; 


THE YEAR 1856 

Joshua Abbott, one half section having D. P. Carter on the east 
and E. C. Gillett on the west, and crossing Susan river and taking 
in "Curloo Butte"; Samuel Burnie, or Brunie, in Antelope 
valley, "some three miles northeast of Hoop's House and at the 
foot of the mountain"; G. W. Byerly, on the north side of the 
river and east of Weatherlow; W. B. Galphin, north of Mc- 
Murtre; H. C. Nichols, east of Joseph Eppstein, "being the 
ground formerly taken up by Stephen Raney"; and L. E. Cush- 
ings, south of Nichols. Ebenezer Smith claimed "this boiling 
spring situated on the northeast side of Honey lake for the pur- 
pose of building a bath house, and also a building spot sixty feet 
front facing the lake by one hundred feet back." 

In August, Florence Smith, by E. Smith, Agent, claimed a 
section east of I. N. Roop, having the river for its north line; 
the next day J. B. Mankins claimed almost the same piece of 
land; and the day following that, John C. Mankins claimed a 
section almost south of Roop, the eastern part of which took in 
a part of the two previous claims; Dave Hescock, Francis Lani- 
gar, and Charles Nixon, three sections east of E. Roop and 
Byerly; James and "William Shelton, two sections east of the 
foregoing claim; T. C. Smith, north of J. B. Mankins and east 
of Roop ; Thos. N. Kingsbury claimed the section north of Elliott 
previously located by M. T. Shores; William Morehead claimed 
the land taken up by Strode, and forfeited by him, relinquishing 
it himself the following November; and C. T. Miller and Bro., 
the two sections previously claimed by Kingsbury and Breed 
and relinquished by them. 

In September, Capt. Weatherlow claimed the land taken up 
by Moses Mason in 1855; Thos. P. Kingsbury transferred to A. 
G. Hasey the land claimed by him in August; L. M. Robertson 
took the land previously claimed by Weatherlow on the north 
bank of Susan river, but soon relinquished it; William N. Craw- 
ford re-located the land taken by Griffin in June, but relinquished 
it before long. 

No settlement was made in Long valley until this year. During 
the fall, our old acquaintance, Ebenezer Smith, who seems to 
have been "on the job" when there was land to be taken up. 
located a tract of land in the southwest corner of the north end 
of the valley. It was about six miles south of what is now called 
the "Willow Ranch," or eleven and one third miles south of 



where the road crosses the summit between Honey Lake valley 
and Long valley. Geo. W. Humphrey, afterwards a prominent 
stockman of Sierra valley, came in with him, but did not remain 
there very long. 

In October, Ladue Vary made a location at Deep Springs 
(Deep Hole), on the emigrant road between the Humboldt river 
and Honey Lake; J. W. San Banch, an old Northwestern Fur 
Company's trapper called ''Buckskin," in Antelope valley; and 
J. H. Patty relocated the claim southwest of "Curloo Butte" 
taken by E. Roop in June, and forfeited by him. 

This fall Nicholas Clark and his son William H. came into 
the valley from Plumas county, but stayed only a short time. 

In November, M. W. Haviland relocated the Weatherlow- 
Robertson tract on the north side of the river one and a half 
miles east of I. N. Roop ; A. D. Morton, on the north side of the 
river east of Haviland; D. P. Dexter, northwest of R. J. Scott; 
W. N. Crawford, north of Dexter, but relinquished it in two days ; 
Logan E. Whitaker, northeast of Scott; Win, Morehead, west 
of Dexter, and one half claim on the lake west of Dexter; W. N. 
Crawford and L. M. Robertson one section west of Morehead; 
Thomas Mitchell relocated J. Wy croft's claim. This was the 
land where Janesville stands and that to the north of it. Anton 
Storff located north of Mitchell; R. J. Lennox relocated the 
most of the tract claimed first by Strode and then by Morehead ; 
W. W. L. Lennox "jumped" I. N. Roop's claim. 

In December, John W. Davis re-located the Hulsey claim; 
Joseph Libler located east of O'Laughlin, and A. U. Sylvester, 
east of Morton. The claims of Haviland, Morton, and Sylvester 
extended on the north side of the river from a mile and a half 
east of Roop, down below where the Johnstonville bridge crosses 
the river. Manley Thompson located a section east of Lynch, 
and built a cabin on it that winter. The middle of his south line 
was near where Buntingville is now. Before Weatherlow took 
the place left by Mason, E. Roop claimed it; but he was afraid 
of the Indians and left it in a short time. 

Late in the spring of 1856, L. N. (Newt) Breed came into 
Indian valley and bought a small stock of goods from E. D. 
Hosselkus and I. J. Harvey, and hired them packed into this 
valley. He put up a tent on the flat across the creek from 


THE YEAR 1856 

Lassen's cabin, and sold goods that summer. In the fall he had 
a trading-post for emigrants at the crossing of Willow creek. 

In 1853, when he was seventeen years old, Fred Hines crossed 
the plains with Dr. Minor. He passed through this valley over 
the Noble road; and went on to Shasta, and mined there until 
July, 1856. Then he, Ladue Vary, and A. U. Sylvester came to 
this valley; Vary to prospect, and the others to trade with the 
emigrants. They went out to Lassen's Meadows on the Hum- 
boldt, and stayed there until the last of September, or the first 
of October. During that time, Hines and Vary came back to 
Deep Hole springs with a pack train. "When they went back, 
Hines concluded to go straight across from Granite creek to 
Eabbit Hole, and save a good many miles of travel. They did 
this, and about midway between the two places found some hot 
springs. Shortly after they got back to the Humboldt, an emi- 
grant train came along. They were going over the Noble road, 
and Hines told them how to keep his trail and find the hot 
springs. They followed his directions, and made a new road 
which was traveled after this instead of the old one. 

The Drowning of Isadore Meyerwitz and His Wife 

The following was told by F. and S., A. G. (Joe) Eppstein, 
and W. H. Clark. 

In the month of July, 1856, Isadore and his Indian wife 
were drowned in Honey lake. He and Sailor Jack built a sail- 
boat out of a wagon box or some old boards, something more 
like a bos than a boat. It was a crazy affair, and their neighbors 
warned them against risking their lives in it. Evidently no 
attention was paid to their advice, for soon after it was finished, 
Isadore and his wife, George Lathrop, R. J. Scott, Reed, and 
Sailor Jack took a sail in it, starting out from near Isadore 's 
ranch. When they had reached quite a distance from the shore, 
a sudden gust of wind upset the boat and threw them all into 
the water. They all managed to get back to the boat, and some 
of them clung to it, the others getting up on the bottom of it. 
The Indian woman kept slipping from the boat, and every time 
she did this Isadore would put her back. Finally he got tired 
out, and she drowned. Soon after this, he gave up and let go 
of the boat. Lathrop left the boat and started for the shore. 
He swam until he was completely tired out, and gave up the 

11 1254i> [ 35 ' 


fight for his life. When he stopped swimming, he went down 
a little ways and then struck bottom. He then stood up and 
found that the water was only waist deep. The lake was very 
low at that time, and probably he had swum half a mile where 
he might have waded. The others stuck to the boat, and finally 
it drifted ashore near the mouth of the Big Slough. A few days 
afterwards Eppstein and two others rode entirely around the 
lake looking for the bodies of Isadore and his wife, but they 
were never found. 

Of course different stories are told about this. Thos. B. Doyle 
says he has the following from good authority: There were 
seven persons in the boat — their names were given — and the 
boat was made out of the trunk of a tree. (Others tell this, too.) 
They started out on the lake near the Ebenezer Smith place. 
Perhaps "William Goose was one of the men with Eppstein, and 
it took them a day and a night to ride around the lake. 

F. and S. say: "The first entry of any nature whatsoever 
made upon the civil records of the territory of Nataqua was in 
the matter of the estate of Isadore Meyerwitz, who had been 
drowned in Honey lake." The following quotations are from 
F. and S., and are from Roop's record of public meetings, etc.: 

"Estate of Isadore Meyerowitz ] 

vs. \ 

Geo. Lathrop, Admr. J 

"At a meeting held this 15th day of July, A. D. 1856, Geo. 
Lathrop was duly elected administrator for the Estate of Isadore 
Meyerowitz, Dec, and Win. Reed, R. J. Scott, and John W. 
Cushing were elected Appraisers. 

"Isaac Roop, Recorder." 

The next entry is as follows : 

"July 27, A. D. 1856. 

"Isaac Roop was this day sworn in by due process as Re- 

"Peter Lassen was this day sworn as Surveyor by Recorder. 

"Geo. Lathrop was this day sworn as administrator by the 

"Roop, Recorder." 

"In the appraiser's inventory of the deceased man's estate, 
his ranch, a section of unimproved land, was put in at $400 ; one 

[36 1 

THE YEAR 1856 

boat (probably the one from which he was drowned), $12.50; 
one set of double harness, $8.00; two spurs, $4.00; one purse 
with cash, $1.50; and numerous other articles, such as farm 
and house utensils, clothing, etc., amounting in ail to $625.75. 
The inventory was filed July 30, 1856." 

Lathrop's notice was written out on a little piece of paper, 
and tacked up on Roop's cabin by the side of the door. 

"The first civil cause that came within the jurisdiction of 
the high tribunal, to be organized in accordance with sections 
9 and 11, was the following: (For these sections see Honey Lake 
Politics, 1856.) 

"Florency Smith Be it remembered that on the 7th day of 
vs August, 1856, Florency Smith filed her 

J. B. Mankins Complaint of Forcible Entry and Detainer 

against J. B. Mankins before me, I. Roop, 
Recorder, in the words and figures as follows: 'That J. B. 
Mankins, on or about the 5th day of August, A. D. 1856, did 
willfully and knowingly take possession of a certain tract of 
land belonging to her, Florency Smith. The said land is fully 
described and boundaries denned in Record Book A page 3. 
And thereupon, on the same day and date, a call was made to 
the citizens to meet at the Roop House on the 10th day of 
August, 1856, and try said cause. 

"I. Roop, Recorder.' " 
"August 10, A. D. 1856. 

"The citizens appeared in pursuance of the above call, and 
on being organized into a board of arbitrators, neither of the 
parties appearing, it was resolved to proceed with the cause; 
and the proofs and allegations concerning said cause, together 
with the Record, being fully heard and examined by said Board 
(about this time the defendant J. B. Mankins appeared), and 
upon a consultation by said Board, the Verdict was as follows: 

"That the said Florency Smith recover and have restitution 
of the premises ; and further, that the said Florency Smith shall 
cause said premises to be surveyed within fifteen days from the 
date hereof, and that the Recorder make out a quit Deed to her 
for said premises, and signed by all present; and further, that 
if the said Florency Smith shall fail and neglect to have said 
premises surveyed within the time specified, then in that case 



she forfeits all her right, title, and interest in and unto the same. 
Reed, Seott, Breed, Morehead, Hasey, "Weatherlow, Gushing, 
Kingsbury, Ely, Grout, Devol, and Hank. 

"Three o'clock P. M. this tenth day of August, A. D. 1356. 

"Isaac Roop, Recorder." 

"On the 29th day of August, 1856, Isaac N. Roop, who had 
been acting in the capacity of recorder, appointed I. Ely and 
J. H. Patty his deputies, with full power to act in his stead, 
himself placing their appointment on record; and soon after 
went to Shasta to remain until the following spring. J. H. Patty 
had placed but six claims on record when he was summarily 
ousted from his position by the following proceedings which 
appear on the record : 

"Honey Lake Valley Nov 16/56 

"As it became necessary to hold an Election in this valley 
for the purpose of electing a Recorder pro tern to fill the vacancy 
of Mr I Roop until his return to the Valley or until tim vacates 
his office the Citizens therefore proceeds to Elect a Recorder 
pro tern 

"Wherein Wm Hill Presids President 

"W W L Lennox Secty. 

' ' On Motion Mr Goodwin, Hasey & Davis was put in nomina- 
tion to fill the office. 

"they then proceeded to take the Ballot when Mr Hasey was 
declared unanimously Elected to fill that office. 

"there being no important business be four the meeting a 
motion of Mr Morton it was adgourned sine die. 

W¥L Lennox Secty." 

"The reason these proceedings were held does not fully appear ; 
but it may be judged that a change was desired by some for 
personal reasons. This thought is suggested by the fact that on 
the twenty-ninth of the same month W. W. L. Lennox copied 
verbatim the notice Roop had posted up and placed on record 
of the first location in the valley, and caused it to be recorded 
by the new official. He thus relocated, or "jumped," Roop's 
claim, including that portion which had been designated as a 
town site in section six of the laws adopted by the first assembly 
of the territory of Nataqua. It might have been done for other 
and better reasons. ' ' "When Roop came back in the spring, Len- 


THE YEAR 1856 

nox told him he thought that he had left the valley for good; 
and that he (Lennox) might as well have the claim as any one 
else. He gave the claim back to Roop without making any trouble 
about it, and probably this was one of the best things he ever 
did in his life for the good of his health. 

"November 23, 1856, the following power of attorney was 
placed on record by A. G. Hasey : ' Notice — Know all men by 
these Presents that I the undersigned have been and is hear by 
appointed to act as Agent or Substitute to represent the Claim 
of Mrs. L. M. Ellis. J Belcher.'" 

About the first of October Hines, Sylvester, and Vary, and 
some others, came back from Humboldt with the cattle they had 
obtained by trading with the emigrants. They camped on the 
river two or three miles below Roop 's ; and stayed long enough 
to build some corrals and brand the cattle, which they turned out 
and left here. Sylvester and A. D. Morton, who had come in 
with them from the Humboldt, each took a claim as before 
related. Hines went to Shasta and wintered there, and Morton 
went to Quincy. Sylvester stayed in the valley with Morehead, 
who had a cabin a couple of miles up the lake from where Milford 
now stands. Weatherlow stayed that winter down on the lake 
with E. Smith, or had a cabin near his place. Some time during 
the winter a big wind-storm came on; and that night a large 
pine tree blew down across the corner of his cabin, pinning him 
down to his bed. If it had not fallen across the chimney, he 
would have been instantly killed. Smith was not at home, so 
his wife started out for help, and struck out for a cabin near 
the edge of the timber at the western corner of the lake. The 
wind was against her, and it almost blew her into the lake ; but 
she finally reached the cabin, and some men went down and 
sawed off the tree and got Weatherlow out. This accident laid 
him up for some time. 

Early in the year Hasey, Elliott, Shores, and others claimed 
two miles square on Gold Run, the southwest corner of the tract 
being about 600 yards south of west of where the Richmond 
schoolhouse now stands. During the summer the land was traded 
around, and finally L. C. McMurtre bought in; and then the 
whole tract belonged to him, Hasey, and Elliott. Just before 
Christmas they put up a log cabin near the spring at Richmond. 

During the year 1856, all the good land from the mouth of 



Willow creek to the head of the valley, from Milford around the 
foot of the mountain to Gold Run, and down that stream had 
been taken up, some of it three or four times. Claims on over 
36000 acres of land had been recorded, and a good many claims 
were never put on record. 

According to the Register kept at the Roop House that year, 
after August 19th 278 men, 69 women, 89 children, 323 horses, 
22 mules, 4515 cattle, 3700 sheep, and 88 wagons passed through 
the valley going west. Probably a good many went through 
before that time. None of them stopped here, they were going 
to the mines. The most of them went on to the Sacramento 
valley, and then turned and came back into the mountains. 

At the end of the year, Lassen, Roop, and Weatherlow each 
had a cabin ; the last named being across the street from Roop, 
and not far from Main street. E. Smith had one near some 
springs at the edge of the bluff about a mile and a half south of 
Roop, and one at his place on the lake. R. J. Scott had one at 
Milford, Morehead one a couple of miles further up the lake, 
and there was one close to the edge of the timber at the west end 
of the lake. There was the cabin at Richmond, the miners may 
have had some "shacks" in the hills, and of course there may 
have been one or two that the writer failed to hear about, though 
Hines knew what was in the valley late that fall. All the settlers 
whose names are given in 1856 came in here that year, unless 
they were mentioned before that time. 

The Roop House Register 

For several years the Roop House (Roop's cabin) was the 
only station on the emigrant road in the valley. Even when there 
were settlers down along the river, it was the most important 
place on the road; and the emigrants made it a stopping place 
for a time. For some years a register was kept here, and in it 
almost everything that took place was jotted down. It was a 
sort of diary, and it seems as though any one wrote whatever he 
pleased in it. In after years the book fell into the hands of those 
who used it for a scrap-book, and newspaper clippings were 
pasted over the most of it. A small part of the book, the record 
for the latter part of 1856 and the first part of 1857, had nothing 
pasted in it, and the most of what was written there is given here. 
I! tella something of the life led by the few men around the 



station, and of the efforts made to induce some of the passing 
emigrants to settle here. It is quoted just as written. The date 
of the first extract could not be seen, but probably it was August 
17, 1856. 

"Kellog Orton & Heep started out Hill says he has got ten 
thousand potatoes Clay says money there is liquor money coming ! 
Cap getting Diner Lassen highly interested with Old Stephe 
Morehead & Roop in close conversation about Town lots Hill 
Gon to Sleep 

Losson Gon don to Meet the Emegrant Devol Went Down to 
meet the Girles and got throod and came Back and sent Breed 

Roops House Monday 18 1856 
Charley started to go Down Without any Legins and Could not 
make the Rifle 

Augus 1856 Monday the 18 1856 

Dane Last Night Roop Went out and asked the Girles in the 
house and there Was thirteen Girles 

Tuesday 19 
Woods & Longs Train 20 men 3 women 1 child 15 horses & 
mules 420 cattle 5 wagons 

Mitchum & Co Train 18 Men 1 Woman 2 Jacks 26 Horses & 
Mules 270 cattle 3 Wagons 

A T Smith Train Au 19th 56 Big Meadows 

130 Cattle 8 horses & mules 16 men 5 Women 7 children 5 Wagons 
Geo W Beers from Grand Rapids Kent Co Michigan formerly 
of New York City 

Aug 19 1856 Thos. J Bowling, Fort Royal Va 
I Was Frying Meat and A Sage Rooster Darned Hot 
They Benches was crowded with Girls Roop was Fixing Some 
plan to stop them in this Valley Tes and Cap Charley 
Devol and the Balance of the Boys could not say one Word to 
them nohow (Sugar no go) 

Roop House Thursday 21 
Barnes Train 1 Waggon 20 Cattle 6 horses 1 Woman 3 children 
4 men 

Elliott Train 10 Men 280 Cattle 12 Horses & Mules 1 Jack 
1 Jenny 1 Waggon 

Friday 22nd R. H. Stuart 
Some for the Gall that Dresses Neat and Some For the Gall that 
Kisses Sweet 

I Tomkins 



August 1856 
Lassen & Hill Returned from Working on Emegrant Road 
Breeds pack Train Came in 

Weatherlow. Grout. Sailing & Devol leaves for the Humboldt 
River or in that vacinity 
Girls very scarce non coming of any amount 

I should like to mary if I could find 

Some hansome young Ladie Just suited to my mind 

1 should like to mary I know I could fancy 
Say, Susan. Betty. Katey. Louisa or Nancy 

It is not good for a man to be a lone Vereley. Vereley. I say 
unto you take unto yourself a wife that your days may be long 
in the land that the Lord thy God gave unto you for how can 
a man live to a good old age if he obey not this commandment. 
August 21st 1856 

J. W. Johnson passed here to-day en rout for ' ' Sweet Amer- 
ica" via the "big meadows" "Deer Creek" and Lassen's peak. 
Family all 0. K. 

John Smith, Thomas Brown et al are just behind with large kid- 
neys and extensive ab-do- mens 

Regester August 1856 
M Carter & Abbott arived 
Black smith Tools Damned high Old Iron. Wagon tire. &c. Scarce 

Arkansas Fools With Black smith Tools 

Crossed the Plains Without any Brains 

Stoped here for a day Then went their way 
Aug 25 Mr Long from Arkansas left here this morning for the 
"big Meadows" with his wife and two daughters. Why in 
' ' Gods Name ' ' cant some of the women stop here ? Johnson 
Patty Turned Black smith shoeing all day (Abbott & Carter 

Roop House Thursday 28th 

Major A. T. Smith leaves here this day for the Meadows on 
the other side of the Mountain. Would advise my friend Bryant. 
Winfield to remain at this Point for a few days and recruit his 
Stock and enquire for me—Mr Roop can tell you if you have 
any Horse Shoe Nails let. Mr Roop have enough to Shoe his 
damn Old Horse Smith 

The Fool Killers Have Left Honey Lake Valley This Day 


THE YEAR 1856 

August, 1856 
very late when I got up to mad to rise early. Patty Leaves 
early for the Camp 

Roop House Augs 29 1856 
Messr Jenkins & Dobbins arrive from Shasta Roop, Jenkins & 
Dobbins leaves for Shasta 

Roop House Sunday Aug 31st 

Another Sabbath has passed on the swift pinions of Time, 
and we are one week nearer eternity. A few years more and 
we shall have passed smoothly down the stream of Life and paid 
the debt of nature. How different then Avill this far famed 
Elysian valley appear ! What great and stupendous changes will 
have taken place ! "Where now stands Lassen 's log Cabin, a 
modern pig sty will have been erected and round that sage 
covered Ranch will be a rail-worm fence, composed chiefly of 
piles of brush Who among this generation will be able to 
recognize this valley? Echo answers "nary bugger" Brown 

September 2 1856 4 foot men this for Big Medders 
Sept 5 Roop House Honey Lake Valley 

Cap Sailing Devol Grout left Smoke Creek on Tuesday got 
out nine miles from mud Creek took Johnsons Cutt off Trav- 
eled 75 miles on it took to the blufs 4 miles to Willow Creek 
Cap left to take another look at the buggy 

Sept 6 Ely, John, Charley & sailing all left for Red Bluffs, 
by way of the Big Medders 

Sept 4 1856 a Dace Givn by the sitions of Honey Lek Valley 
at Roops Hous. 9 Ladys in attendence all enjoyed themselves 

9 Prepperation for a danc. and a sad Disapointment. no 
lady could be find. after a hard search som wer found but 
ingaged so they could not com Men all Got the Slipper 
Roop House Sept 15th 1856 

Messrs Rogers & Scimpshir left here this morning for some 
better country where Girls are more in demand — very sorry to 
see them leave but am somewhat comforted by the assurance that 
I have done all I could for them. Where is Roop? Poor Ike, 
he is losing deal. 

Sept 15 5 men from over the Mountain Prospecting for 
Ranshes. Patty is sick with the year ake 



18 Kingsbury left— Flat 
19 Brown's Train 1 ]\lan 1 Woman 27 Children 4 Steers 
1 Cow 

Roops House Sept 22 

Sept 22 The great and unterified Vigalence Committee once 
more in Session ! ! Business of all kinds is suspended and the 
greatest excitement prevails, causing the whole earth to shake 
from center to circumference ! The highest Hill is to be visited 
and wo ! wo ! to the unfortunate sinner who falls into the hands 
of this never- to-be- forgotten and much feared Committee. 
Being men who have had much experience in such matters having 
immigrated mostly from that great receptacle of all horse-thieves 
and cut-throats Carson Valley, they will not fail to inflict sum- 
mary punishment on all offenders Johnson 

Roops House Sept 27 1856 Buc skin Leavs for American 

Roops House Sept 30, 1856. 

In bygone days and ere this land of golden dreams was known 

Ere men from every clime and strand had sought it for their 

A stranger came and in these wilds did make himself a ranch 

This valley claimed for many miles and likewise all the branch; 

One day the stranger sought the brook and sunk a hole I'm 

From which some particles he took which proved to be pure 

Then came a rush and every man from all adjoining stations 

Did seek this place with pick and pan provided with their 

Then Carson valley grew quite sick and certainly did vomit 
And forth she sent in time quite quick some fellows who 
were "on it." 

To be Continued J. W. Brown. 

Roop House Octo 9th 
C. C. Walden Tehama Sylvester Shasta Fred Hines 
Shasta Ladue Vary Trinity F. Batchellor alias Piccayune A. 
D. Morton 2 Wagons 1 Indian 3 dogs 50 head Cattle 15 1 
horses 1 mule Nary woman 

[ 44 ] j 


Roop's Ranch Oct 14, 1856. 

Honey Lake Valley about "gone in", Whiskey just "gin 
Eaut" Walden leaves tomorrow for Tehama in Company with 
Vary, Pick & H only i/2 Gal of Gin to carry them over the 
mountain "Halo" Chamuc Buckskin going over the mountain 
for "Whiskey 

Roop's Ranch Oct 24th 1856 

The last train from Pike County has just Arrived. 

A. D. Morton Left the Humboldt Sept 28 Arrived in the 
valley Oct 10 1 man 1 Hors 2 Catle women Children" 

The "Roop House Register" says that Wood & Long's train 
reached there Aug. 19th. This train came from Arkansas under 
the leadership of General Allen Wood, a veteran of the Mexican 
War. He and Wm. B. Long, his son-in-law, had been partners 
for several years, but Long came to California first. W. B. Long, 
Thos. N. Long, and John Clemmens went from Humbug valley 
to meet the train on the Humboldt river. A few days before this 
train reached Roop's, a couple of men went from there out to- 
ward Big Meadows, and cut out the brush at the places where 
creeks were crossed. When the train left Roop's, Cap. Hill and 
Lassen went with them on horseback as far as Clear creek. This 
was the first emigrant train, or any heavy wagons, to go from 
Honey lake to Humbug valley; but there was a trail, and light 
wagons had gone over it. There was a road from Humbug to 
Oroville. A. L. Harper crossed the plains with this train. T. N. 
Long says that when the train got to Roop's, there were two 
or three board shanties there, besides the cabin; and twelve or 
fifteen men around the place. 

Two men not previously mentioned, Asa Adams and Henry 
Talbert, came into the valley this year. 

Of those who came into the valley before 1857 I. N. Roop, 
Weatherlow, Wilcox, Meyerwitz, Lynch, Lassen, Lawrence, Nai- 
leigh, Eppstein, Nixon, Lanigar, Sylvester, and Hines virtually 
lived here the rest of their lives and died here. L. N. Breed 
lived here about thirty years, and sold goods most of the time. 
Hines held the offices of Supervisor and Sheriff, and for several 
years before his death was President of the Bank of Lassen 

Vary, Thompson, Asa Adams, Storff, Hasey, McMurtry, El- 
liott, Lathrop, Crawford, Haviland, and Tutt lived here from 
eight to eighteen years. 



Honey Lake Politics. 1856 

It has been told that early in 1856 settlers came into the 
valley and began to take up land. It was not long before they 
saw there must be some rules, or laws, made in regard to taking 
land, so they might get along without trouble. They also saw 
the necessity of establishing some sort of government. 

As to location, they did not know just ' ' where they were at. ' ' 
The valley was so near the line between Utah and California 
that it seemed a hard matter to decide which one they were in. 
Probably they knew that the 120th degree of west longitude was 
the eastern boundary of California in this locality, and that the 
line crossed lake Tahoe near its center; but they took no pains 
to find out whether they were east or west of that line. A very 
small part of the trouble and expense this question caused them 
and Plumas county in the years that followed, would have made 
a rough survey of the line from lake Tahoe to this valley, and 
settled it for all time to come. But neither they nor the Plumas 
county authorities seem to have thought about this. Probably 
the Never Sweats didn't think, or care, much about it. They 
guessed they were too far east to be in California, and they 
didn't want to be in that state anyway. They were east of the 
Sierra Nevada mountains, and for several months in the year 
were practically shut off from intercourse with the people of 
California; and they believed they had nothing in common with 
them. So they decided to create a new territory east of the 
mountains, and have a government of their own; and have it 
where it was handy to get at. 

On the 26th of April, 1856, a little bunch of men met at the 
Roop House, organized a new territory, and drew up some laws 
for its government. F. & S. have the following, taken from 
Roop 's record : 

"A New Territory Formed at Honey Lake Valley. — Laws 
and Regulations for Its Government 
Adopted April 26, A. D. 1856 
"Pursuant to previous notice, the citizens of Honey Lake 
valley met April 26, A. D. 1856, in mass convention, at the Roop 
House, for the purpose of forming such laws, rules, and regula- 
tions as are deemed necessary and advisable in view of the set- 
tlement of said valley. 


THE YEAR 1856 

' ' The meeting being organized by the election of Peter Lassen 
to the chair, and Isaac Roop secretary, the following laws were 
unanimously adopted by the citizens: 

"Sec. 1. — Inasmach as Honey Lake valley is not within the 
limits of California, the same is hereby declared a new territory, 
and the boundaries thereof shall be as follows, viz. : Beginning at 
a point where the 38^2 degree of North Latitude crosses the East 
line of California; thence East to the 117 degree West Longitude ; 
thence North to the 42 degree North Latitude; thence running 
"West to the 120 degree West Longitude (N. E. corner of Cali- 
fornia) ; thence south to the beginning; the said territory to be 
named Nat aqua (i. e., woman). 

"Sec. 2. — Each actual male settler twenty-one years of age 
shall have the right to take up a claim of six hundred and forty 

' ' Sec. 3. — Any person taking up a claim shall put up a notice 
describing the boundaries of said claim as near as possible, and 
also cause the description to be placed on record. 

"Sec. 4. — All claims shall be surveyed within ninety days 
from the date of the putting up of the notice and recording, and 
said survey, together with the recording, shall be done in the 
presence of the claimant. 

"Sec. 5. — All claims so taken up and surveyed shall be 
improved or occupied by the claimant or his substitute. 

"Sec. 6. — All that tract of land lying between Roop's house 
and the timber on the West, and between the top of the bluffs on 
the North side of the Susan River and three hundred yards west 
of the Emigrant road, Roop shall cause to be laid out in a town 
plat, and each settler shall be entitled to one lot in said plat, 
provided he causes a building to be placed thereon by the first 
day of May, A. D. 1857. All portions of said plat not claimed and 
improved according to the provisions of this section shall belong 
to said Roop. 

"Sec. 7. — Any claimant shall have the privilege to settle on 
or improve a town lot or his claim, and that either shall be held 
as an improvement of his claim of six hundred and forty acres. 

"Sec. 8. — No person shall divert water from its original 
channel to the injury of any prior occupant. 

"Sec. 9. — All difficulties and disputes shall be settled by an 
arbitration composed of the citizens of the valley, and all decisions 
6f this board shall be final. 



' ' Sec. 10. — No person shall sell, trade, or in any other manner 
dispose of any spirituous liquors to the Indians; and any person 
or persons misusing, maltreating, robbing, or stealing from the 
Indians shall be considered an offender, and upon any person 
making a complaint in writing to the Eecorder that such offense 
has been committed, the Recorder shall forthwith summons the 
citizens together, and they shall form a board of arbitrators, and 
after hearing all the evidence, they shall determine and assess 
such punishment as they may deem proper. 

"Sec. 11. — The Eecorder shall be chairman in all such boards, 
and shall keep a docket of all proceedings had in said boards, said 
minutes to be recorded in a book. In the absence of the Recorder, 
a majority of said board shall elect a chairman, and majority 
shall decide all business of said board. 

"Sec. 12. — That there shall be a Surveyor and Recorder 
elected to hold their office until their successors are elected and 

"Sec. 13. — That there shall be declared a public road, as 
follows: beginning at the boiling springs on the North side of 
Honey lake, thence to run in a Westerly course on the North 
Bank of Susan River to the Roop House; said road to be one 
hundred feet wide, and named Emigrant Road. 

"Sec. 14. — That there be declared a public road as follows: 
beginning at the Roop House, and to run to the Big Meadows on I 
the north fork of Feather river ; said road to be one hundred feet 
wide, and named Lassen Road. 

"Sec. 15. — That there be declared a public road as follows: 
beginning at the Roop House, and to run a westerly course to the 
East line of California; said road to be one hundred feet wide, 
and named Shasta Road. 

"Sec. 16. — That there be declared a public road as follows: 
beginning at a point on the Emigrant road three-quarters of a 
mile East of Roop's East line, and thence to run south to the 
south-east corner of Smith 's ranch ; thence southerly to the south- 
west corner of Hasey's ranch; said road to be eighty feet wide, 
and named Gold Run road. 

"Sec. 17. — That there be declared a public road as follows: 
beginning at the south-west corner of Hasey's ranch, and thence 
to run easterly to the south side of Honey Lake; thence to the 


THE YEAR 1856 

Truckee Meadows; said road to be eighty feet wide, and named 
Honey Lake road. 

"Sec. 18. — That there be declared a public highway as fol- 
lows: beginning at the south-east corner of Meyerowitz's ranch, 
on Honey Lake road, and thence to run North to the Emigrant 
Road ; said road to be eighty feet wide, and named Central road. 
' 'Sec. 19. — That Isaac Roop was elected and qualified a 
Recorder, and Peter Lassen was elected and qualified a Surveyor, 
and each shall act in his respective office from this date. 

"Sec. 20. — 'That to a strict adherence to and fulfillment of 
the above laws and regulations, we, the undersigned, permanent 
settlers of Honey Lake valley, pledge ourselves and our honor, 
each to the other, to stand to and abide by the same, and defend 
them inviolate. 

"In testimony whereof we, the undersigned, hereunto set our 
hands and names this twenty-sixth day of April, A. D. 1856. 
Peter Lassen. Win. Hill. 

Isadore Meyerowitz. L. C. McMurtre. 

G. W. Lathrop. E. W. Shaw. 

Isaac Roop. W. T. C. Elliott, 

Joseph Lynch. M. T. Shores. 

R. J. Scott. M. Mason. 

E. Dow. David Hescock. 

Paul Hulsa. A. G. Hasey. 

W. S. Davis. E. Smith. 

John A. Strode. Marion Lawrence. 

' ' I hereby certify that the above is a true copy of the original. 

"Isaac Roop, Be'd. 
1 ' The following was omitted by me : 

' ' On motion of Peter Lassen, it was resolved that, in order to 
fully promulgate these laws, the Secretary be directed to furnish 
the editor of the Shasta Republican with a copy of them for 
publication, with a request that other papers throughout the state 
copy. The convention then adjourned sine die. 

"Isaac Roop, Sec. Peter Lassen, Pres." 

"With this meager code of laws, and but the two officers to 
administer them, the new territory of Nataqua was launched 
upon the political sea." 

The new territory was a little over seven times as large as 
Lassen county. It was about 220 miles long and 150 miles wide. 



Beginning at the northeastern corner of California, it extended 
to about twenty-five miles south of lake Tahoe. The south line 
crossed the lower end of Walker lake, and the southeast corner 
was a little west of where Belmont, Nevada, now stands. The 
line on the east side ran near the present sites of Austin and 
Battle Mountain, Nevada, and the northeast corner was near the 
southwest corner of Idaho. 

These twenty men finished a large job in a short time, but 
they made a wild shot at their location. They didn't even live 
in the territory they had created. It was nearly thirty-five miles 
from their place of meeting to the western line of Nataqua, and 
the settlers furthest down the lake were almost twenty miles west 
of it. 

Besides that, they took in the people of Carson, Eagle, and 
Washoe valleys, and the other settlers in that vicinity, who at 
that time must have numbered at least six hundred. It is not on 
record that these settlers were ever notified of the fact that they 
had been taken into the new political division. The Never Sweats 
should have known, though, about the settlers along the Carson 
river, for some of them had come from there. Apparently they 
paid no attention to any of these things, but went about their 
business ; no doubt thinking everything was fixed up all right. 

Western Utah — Early Settlement and Politics 
In 1857 the Never Sweats joined the people of what is now 
western Nevada in trying to get the United States government 
to organize a new territory, and take them from under the 
Mormon rule. As the political affairs of the settlers of Honey 
Lake valley were for several years closely connected with those of 
the settlers farther south, the following brief history of western 
Utah, afterwards Nevada, is given in order that what took place 
in Honey Lake valley may be better understood. 

"State of the Desert" 
On the 18th of March, 1849, the Mormons assembled in con- 
vention in Salt Lake, and organized a territorial government over 
what they designated as the ' ' State of the Desert. ' ' The boun- 
daries named for this new territory included what is now Utah, 
Nevada, Arizona, a portion of Colorado, a slice from Oregon, and 
that portion of Wyoming lying south of the Wind River moun- 
tains. It also included of what is now California San Diego and 


THE YEAR 1856 

Los Angeles counties, as far up the coast as Santa Monica. From 
there the line ran directly north to the ridge of the Sierra Nevada, 

, and took in half of Kern county, a part of Tulare, all of Inyo 
and Mono, a part of Alpine, all of Lassen, and part of Shasta 
and Siskiyou. 

Utah Territory Organized 
On the 9th day of September, 1850, the day on which Cali- 

, fornia was admitted as a state, Congress, by act, established the 
territory of Utah with the following boundaries: Bounded on 
the west by the state of California, on the north by the territory 
of Oregon, on the east by the summit of the Rocky mountains, 
and on the south by the 37th parallel of north latitude. In the 
Report of the "Nevada Historical Society" for 1907-8, R. L. 
Fulton says : ' ' When California was made a state, the enabling 
act defined the eastern boundary as beginning at the point where 
the 35th parallel of latitude intersected the Colorado river and 
running thence northwest to the 120th meridian, thence north 
along the summits of the Sierra Nevadas to the Oregon line. 
But a California man, John F. Kidder, was sent to survey the 
state line, and when he reached the point where the line running 
northwest reached the 120th meridian he found it in the middle 
of lake Tahoe, and instead of following the summits of the Sierras 
he followed the 120th meridian." 

Early Settlement of Western Utah 
In 1850 a party of Mormons from Salt Lake City started for 
California. They got to the Carson valley so early that they 
could not get over the mountains, and while staying there 
prospected and found gold. The news soon got over to Cali- 
fornia, and some miners came from there that year and went to 
work. Mormon Station was founded by Salt Lake Mormons. 
June, 1850. That fall the Mormons traded with the emigrants. 
Flour was $1.50 a pound, and beef 75c a pound. That fall they 
abandoned the place, and the Indians burned all the buildings. 

In Sam Davis 's History of Nevada, Prof. Robert Lewers of the 
Nevada State University says: "In March, 1850, De Mont organ- 
ized a party in Salt Lake City to go to California, and upon 
reaching the Carson valley some of the party determined to locate 
there. Among them was H. S. Beatie, who built what was prob- 
ably the first house in Nevada. This was on the present site of 



Genoa, then called Mormon Station. Beatie and his partner went j 
to California and bought supplies which they sold to the emi- 
grants. The Salt Lake traders returned to their home that 
winter. Beatie sold his house to Moore, and he transferred it to 
John Reese, a member of the mercantile firm of J. and E. Reese 
of Salt Lake City." 

The next spring (1851) John Reese left Salt Lake with ten 
wagons loaded with flour, butter, eggs, etc., intending to estab- 
lish a trading post somewhere east of the Sierras. He stopped 
first at Ragtown, a station on the Carson river down toward the 
lake, but shortly afterwards went to the place where the Mormon 
station was the year before and located there. The name of 
Mormon Station was kept until 1855, and then the ground was 
surveyed and the name changed to Genoa. 
Squatter Government 

The citizens of western Utah held a meeting at Mormon Sta- 
tion November 12, 1851. Two more meetings were held that 
year, and another one May 22, 1852. At each one of these meet- 
ings something was done toward framing some sort of a local 
government. They were under the government of the Mormon 
authorities, but they knew nothing about them and paid no 
attention to them. At these meetings they made rules for taking 
up land, elected some county officers, and petitioned to congress 
for a separate territorial government. 

First County Organization 

On the third of March, 1852, the legislature of Utah divided 
what is now the state of Nevada into seven counties. Juab county 
contained all of Storey county and the most of Washoe county. 
The same legislature elected judges for these counties, and 
George Bradley was made judge of Juab county. At that time 
none of these counties was organized, and for the next three years 
the settlers governed themselves. 

On March 21st, 1853, the citizens held their fifth meeting, 
and made some more rules about the taking of land, and changed 
the fees of some of the county officers. 

Carson County Created 

On the 17th of January, 1854, the territorial legislature of 
Utah passed an act creating the county of Carson, and authorized 
the governor to appoint a probate judge for it. In a couple of 

[52] - 

THE YEAR 1856 

days the legislature divided Utah into three Judicial Districts. 
The governor appointed Orson Hyde as probate judge, and he 
got to the Carson valley in June, 1855. A lot of Mormons came 
with him. He called an election that year, and the various county 
offices were filled. Richard D. Sides was elected treasurer. 

In the report of the " Nevada Historical Society" for 1907-8, 
Miss Beulah Hershiser, A. B. says: ""When Utah was divided 
into court districts Provo was the meeting place of the district 
that included all western Utah, and of course the Carson valley 
settlers would have to go clear there to attend court, and so they 
petitioned to the California Legislature to extend the jurisdiction 
of the state over the Carson valley. The California senate passed 
a memorial to congress in March, 1853, urging that Carson valley 
should be under the control of California ; because the desert was 
the natural boundary, and Utah was too remote. It further 
suggested that the eastern boundary of California be a line drawn 
from the intersection of the 42nd parallel and the 120th meridian 
to the intersection of the 35th parallel and the Colorado river. 
This memorial was adopted by the California senate, but not by 
the assembly. This caused the Mormons to organize Carson 
county in 1854, and a colony of Mormons was sent to put it into 
effect. Before Judge Hyde, whose task it was to organize the 
county, could proceed, he had to clear up the indefiniteness of the 
boundary question. In connection with an act to build a wagon 
road to the eastern boundary of the state in 1855, the California 
Surveyor General appointed Mr. Goddard to survey such portion 
of the state line as should fall in Carson valley. For this work 
Judge Hyde of Utah furnished supplies. As soon as Mr. God- 
dard felt convinced that Carson valley was in Utah, Judge Hyde, 
who had accompanied the party from Sacramento, hastened on 
to Mormon Station to hold court." 

The Mormons had been coming into the Carson valley every 
year; and in 1856, when the county officers were elected, all 
excepting one were Mormons. A good many "Gentiles" had 
settled in that section, too ; and as usual, there was a feeling of 
bitterness between them and the Mormons. 

The reader will notice that near the beginning of the next 
chapter it says that Francis Lanigar and his Wife spent the 
winter of 1856-57 with Peter Lassen. Since that was written it 
has been learned that they had four children with them — Jane, 



John W., and Freeman. Jane married Frank Murphey and now 
lives in Surprise valley, Modoc county, California. John W. 
lived in this section, or not far away, until his death in 1909. 
Freeman has also been a resident of this section and has lived in 
Honey Lake valley for a good many years. The name and fate 
of the other child are unknown to the writer. 




Lodgings were extremely scarce in the land of the Never 
j Sweats during the winter of 1856-7, and not many of those 
who came here in 1856 stayed all winter. The following per- 
sons spent all, or nearly all, the winter here. R. J. Scott and 
Wm. Morehead stayed on their claims, and A. U. Sylvester spent 
part of the winter with the latter. E. Smith and his Wife and 
Capt. Weatherlow stayed at Smith 's place on the west side of the 
lake. Francis Lanigar and his Wife, Eppstein, Antone Storff, 
and Lynch stayed with Lassen. Hasey, McMurtry, and Elliott 
stayed on their claim. Dr. W. W. L. Lennox, Lathrop, Cap. Hill, 
and probably Gilpin and O'Laughlin stayed somewhere in the 
valley. E. Roop and McNaull stayed at Roop's, and I. N. Roop 
was there the latter part of the winter. 

Early in the spring men began to come into the valley from 
the other side of the mountains. Wiley Cornelison came here in 
March. He says there were thirteen men and two women in the 
valley at that time. Probably some of those who wintered here 
had gone to the lower country for a short time. The permanent 
settlement of the valley began this spring. Men came in then to 
take up land and stay here, and some of them brought their 
families with them. A good many of those who settled in the 
valley this year stayed here all the rest of their lives. 

The list of those who took up land in 1857 is a long one, but 
it is given because it will be of interest to those who know the 
country. It will be noticed that some men took up a good many 
claims of what was shortly afterwards valuable land, and soon 
abandoned them, or sold out for a song. 

In January A. D. Morton and M. W. Haviland came back, 
and some time during the month put up a cabin on the latter 's 
claim. It was on the north side of the river about a mile and a 
half east of Roop's east line, just about where the Jensen house 
now stands. This was the first cabin put up in the Toadtown 
(Johnstonville) country. The latter part of this month, or the 
first of February, Morton built a cabin on his claim. Probably 
he was helped by Haviland, Sylvester, Johnson Tutt, and C. C. 
Walden. This cabin was on the north side of the river, a little 



northeast of Curlew Butte. January 2nd Stephen O'Laughlin 
sold his claim to Dr. Lennox, ' ' hecause I owe him money. ' ' Janu- 
ary 26th S. C. Perrin, John Teskey, and Asa Adams relocated all 
the land between the claims of Lathrop and Smith, previously 
claimed by Reed and Cushings. Probably this was along the lake 
east of Eppstein. The last of the month Nicholas Clark bought 
E. Smith's claim on the lake for $400, and sold the east half of 
it to the "Know-nothing Boys" (Thos. Eaton and Ben. Ward). 
Mr. Clark's Wife walked over here from Elizabeth Town some 
time during the summer. They and their son, William H., spent 
the rest of their lives on this ranch, and it is still owned by their 

In February Gabriel Murphy located north of Manley Thomp- 
son on land that was afterwards partly covered by the Baxter 
and Bartlett ranch on Baxter creek; David P. Dexter relocated 
the land northeast of Scott that Whitaker had taken the year 
before; James Belcher relocated the claim southeast of Roop, 
"formily held by Florancy Smith"; Wm. Hill (Cap. Hill) gave 
notice that he constituted himself "substitute for Mrs. L. M. 
Ellis in place of James Belcher," and he also relinquished his 
claim east of Lassen ; D. M. Munchie claimed a section west of 
Haviland; — Butts claimed Haviland's land, but relinquished it 
in about a week; N. Greenwood took a claim south of Morton; 
James Belcher relinquished his appointment as agent for Mrs. 
Ellis ; J. W. Tremer took a claim, the northwest corner of which 
was "a certain tree about two mile below the mound on Susan 
river"; J. H. Ferry, W. T. Eadwards, and Daniel Terry took 
three claims along the lake, location uncertain ; James F. Ray and 
John Meyer relocated the claim just relinquished by Hill ; R. F. 
Mastin, Wm. Powell, and Mrs. L. Cooper took three claims in 
Elysian valley, Mastin 's on the west, probably joining the land 
claimed by Denney and Keelty the year before, Powell east of 
him, and Mrs. Cooper east of Powell (Charles Cooper was with 
his Mother) ; John Griffin took a section just north of Belcher's 
last claim ; Joseph Libler claimed the ' ' water of the creek known 
as Camanchas Creek for farming and mining purposes" (east 
branch of Baxter creek) ; A. Fredonyer took a claim north of 
"Geo. Lathrops formerly Isadore Mayerowtz claim, situated in 
Honey Lake valley and state of California or Utah Territory as 
the case may be," but relinquished it in a few days "because he 


THE YEAR 1857 

had since learned the same to be claimed and occupied by an 
actual settler. " In a few days he took another claim along Susan 
river east of I. N. Roop. 

Some time during this month A. T., Leroy, and Cutler Arnold, 
and the latter 's son Henry, and Malconi and Albert Scott came 
into the valley, but did not stay very long. The fall before, 
while on a prospecting trip, L. Arnold and M. Scott came into 
the valley for a few days. 

In March Richard Thompson located a section south of Mor- 
ton, the center of his south line being about twenty-five rods 
south of the mouth of Lassen creek; Antone Storff claimed the 
water from Rosees creek, probably the creek three fourths of a 
mile northwest of Janesville ; Wiley Cornelison claimed a half 
section northwest of Haviland; Daniel Reed made a location, 
place uncertain, and relinquished it in nine days; Cornelison 
located west of Haviland, but relinquished it in less than a 
month; Robert Hamilton, N. Clark's stepson, claimed a tract 
south of the land sold by Smith to Clark. "William Dow, who 
had come from Michigan to California in 1852, and Henry Hatch 
came into the valley the last of March. Dow says that the Roop 
and Weatherlow cabins were then the only buildings where 
Susanville now stands. They stayed here a few days and 
claimed some land, and then went back to La Porte; but in the 
course of a month they returned here to stay. 

In April Dow and Hatch claimed two sections on the north 
side of Susan river seven miles below Roop; Malcom S. Scott 
took half a section north of the land last claimed by Belcher and 
transferred by him to Cutler Arnold, but in eleven days Scott 
relinquished his claim ; Leroy N. Arnold located west of McMur- 
try & Co. and south of the Belcher- Arnold tract; Belcher took 
another claim a little northeast of Hasey & Co., but relinquished 
it the following July ; James Hood and Isaac Coulthurst took a 
tract on Susan river eight miles east of Roop 's ; J. T. Saum 
claimed Antelope valley northeast of Roop ; Daniel Reed located 
what was "formily knone as the Morhed claim" afterwards 
claimed by R. J. Lennox. This land, so Reed said, had been 
forfeited according to the laws of the valley, but after an arbi- 
tration he relinquished his claim; William C. Kingsbury and 
Richard F. Cahill claimed a tract east of Lanigar and Nixon and 
south of Hasey & Co. ; Albert A. Smith took a half section join- 



ing Lassen on the north and west of Lassen creek ; W. H. Watson 
located down the river east of Sylvester, and in May he gave up 
half of his claim to Hugh S. Porter; Thomas J. Harvey took a 
claim in the ' ' forks of Susan river and Willow creek, ' ' but relin- 
quished it in July; E. P. Townsend made a location west of 
this; Geo. W. Williams relocated the land northwest of R. J. 
Scott which had been claimed by Dexter the previous November ; 
James R. Damrye claimed 320 acres joining R. J. Scott on the 
southwest; W. W. L. Lennox and Mary C, his Wife, sold the 
claim he bought of O 'Laughlin to Lassen for $50 ; Morehead took 
a half section southeast of his place northwest of where Malford 
now stands ; John Tusky, or Tesky, claimed 160 acres northwest 
of Antones, probably Anthony Barla east of Murphy (see May) ; 
John Baxter located all the unclaimed tillable land on the creek 
west of Gabriel Murphy. The western part of this, which he 
sold to Matchelor, was afterwards the James D. Byers place; 
Samuel Brown took up 120 acres north of Scott, a part of the 
land that had been claimed by Damrye a few days before that ; 
F. M. Jackson made a location in the neighborhood of Scott, but 
didn't record it until June; T. J. Harvey also made a claim this 
month that he didn't put on record until July; Henry Lish 
claimed a section "at the foot of the lake. ' ' Some time this 
spring, or perhaps the fall before, Wm. Hill Naileigh (Cap. Hill), 
located a section joining R. J. Scott, and a little to the northeast 
of him. This was afterwards the L. P. Whiting ranch, now the 
property of the Wemple Brothers. 

F. & S. say that April 28th, 1857, the legislature of Cali- 
fornia passed an Act "To provide for the construction of a 
wagon road from Oroville, Butte county, to and intersecting at 
the most practicable point the line of the proposed National 
Wagon Road that has its terminus at or near Honey lake, Plumas 
county," and three commissioners were named to construct the 
road. The Act also provided for the issuing of $20,000 bonds 
each by the counties of Butte and Plumas, provided such measure 
received the indorsement of the people at the fall election. The 
surveys made by the government led people to believe that when 
a transcontinental railroad was built, it would go to Fort Read- 
ing ; and it was thought that if a good wagon road was built from 
Oroville to Honey Lake, it would be the means of turning the 
railroad in that direction, and making a shorter line to San Fran- 



cisco. But the measure was defeated in both counties, and the 
project was abandoned. If this road had been built, perhaps the 
Central Pacific railroad would have been put through Honey- 
Lake valley. 

In May Pelio Trutters claimed a tract joining Coulthurst on 
the southwest; Johnson P. Ford took a section east of Hasey & 
Co., and afterwards sold it to Asa B. Judkins and Dan. R. Cate ; 
Albert Scott located west and southwest of Dow and Hatch; 
Harry Jarder, probably Gordier, located east of Hood and Coult- 
hurst ; Daniel Reed made a claim on Susan river about four miles 
east of the mouth of "Willow creek, and Eli B. Prater took the 
section east of him; Chas. E. Alvord claimed a half section 
northwest of A. A. Smith ; Anthony Barla located east of Gabriel 
Murphy, and James W. Duesler southwest of Cornelison ; Dan. R. 
Cate took a section which had for its northwest corner a certain 
tree about two miles below the mound on Susan river; "Wm. 
Alford, John and Eadcene and James Beart claimed four sections 
northeast of Murphy and Barla; Rusel Alford located a tract 
east of Reed, and J. H. Ferry, W. T. Eadwards, and A. B. Norris 
three sections along the south side of the lake, place uncertain; 
"W. D. Fitts took 180 acres joining Morehead on the east ; Kings- 
bury and Cahill claimed a half section east, or northeast, of A. A. 
Smith; L. M. Robertson and Wm. N. Crawford took the little 
valley southeast of Lassen, the tract first claimed by Hill ; Hugh 
S. Porter recorded the east half of the land claimed by "VV. M. 
Watson, and sold by him to Porter; (This was the first notice 
recorded by Roop since Hasey was elected Deputy Recorder.) 
A. Fredonyer located east of Roop, taking in both sides of the 
river and a water privilege ; Edward Rice took a quarter section 
west of the Lennox Brothers, and the same day they sold out to 
him, but it was not recorded until the third of July; H. Sehlke 
claimed a strip of land along Lassen creek between Thompson 
and Lassen ; C. Arnold claimed the privilege of taking water out 
of Susan river for the purpose of irrigating his ranch; Charles 
C. Walden claimed an irregular tract between Hasey, Lennox, 
and Thompson; E. Smith & Co. located east of Reed, "some five 
miles east of Willow creek and near the point where the emigrant 
road comes in the valley"; J. B. Hixson took a section on th^ 
south side of the river about three fourths of a mile west of where 
the emigrant road enters the valley ; C. Arnold claimed 160 acres 



south of Florence Smith's first claim, but relinquished it in 
July; T. P. Kingsbury located on Smoke creek. 

George Lathrop and L. N. Breed sold to Reuben F. Mastin, 
for $150, the place in the upper end of Elysian valley that had 
been taken by Denney and Keeltey the previous year. In one 
way and another Breed had managed to get possession of this 
claim ; and Lathrop, who had bought or relocated Isadore 's ranch, 
sold it to Breed, or traded it to him for part of the Elysian valley 

Malcom Bankhead came into the valley and bought the land 
where Janesville now stands and that to the north of it from 
Thomas Mitchell. This summer he put up a building of hewn 
logs 20 by 30 feet, or something like that, and two stories high. 
This building was used by him, and others, as a hotel until 1872. 
Then Dennis Tanner tore it down, and put up a new building 
on the site of the old one. In the fall Bankhead went over to the 
mining town of St. Louis, and brought back his wife and four 
children. His Father, his brother William, two of his nephews, 
and Ralph Niesham also came with him. 

About this time Robert J. Scott, who had built a shanty and 
raised a few vegetables, sold out to Lassen ; and he built a cabin 
near what is now the upper part of the town of Milford. 

Some time this spring Peter Lassen, the Nataqua Surveyor, 
ran a base line from near the site of the Johnstonville gristmill 
to the bluffs near Susanville. It ran just north of Curlew Butte. 

Mention has been made of the fact that Roop began to record 
land claims again this month. After this he acted as Recorder 
the most of the time as long as any squatter filings were made in 
the valley. 

In June F. M. Jackson recorded his claim, which lay south- 
east of Goodwin and not far from Cap. Hill; Charles E. Tomp- 
kins, James Hunter, and Thomas Llewelen took the land along 
Baxter creek between the claims of Libler and Storff; Squire 
Lewis Stark and James P. Sharp bought Commanche George's 
claim on the east branch of Baxter creek, and relocated it ; Thos. 
Calloway took the northeast quarter of a section of land claimed 
by Dr. Fredonyer; — Johnson claimed half a section north of 
Haviland; Emory Scott located west of Daniel Reed; C. Arnold 
bought from Roop the privilege of taking water through his 
ranch; Dow and Hatch sold, probably to W. J. Tutt, the claim 


THE YEAR 1857 

they took in April, for a cow and a calf; Edwin R. Scott took a 
section joining the claim of Dow and Hatch, located in April ; 
William Powell sold an undivided one half of a tract of 1200 acres 
in the eastern part of Elysian valley to H. A. and D. I. Willmans 
and A. D. McDonald. 

This spring John H. and A. Clark Neale came into the valley 
with cattle; and they and Dow and Hatch bought out Richard 
Thompson, the Neales taking the south half of the claim. 

Early in the month Cutler Arnold, with the help of his neigh- 
bors, put up a log building, perhaps 25 by 30 feet and a story 
and a half high, on the northeast corner of Main and Union 
streets. This was the first hotel in "Rooptown," and for two or 
three years it was the only one. It is said that Arnold also kept 
a stock of general merchandise for sale in it. It was used as a 
hotel for some time, and after that was used for various purposes. 
For several years before it was destroyed, it was occupied by the 
Chinese, and was known as the "old China house." It was 
burned in the fire of September 23, 1882. This fire burned all the 
buildings on the south side of Main street between Lassen and 
Union streets. The log house was the only building burned on 
the north side of the street. F. & S. have the following, which 
will bear repeating : "For two years this was the only place where 
meals were served to the public, for which the moderate price of 
seventy-five cents each was charged. The proprietor also pro- 
vided a few beds in the loft, to reach which required a little 
climbing. This portion of the establishment was not patronized 
as extensively as the table, for few men traveled in those days 
and in such localities without their blankets, and all they required 
in bad weather was the floor of some saloon or store to spread 
them on ; while on fair nights, the ground for a couch, and the 
stars for a roof, were all they felt the necessity of. Thus pre- 
pared, the weary traveler composed himself to sleep, soothed by 
the soft voice of the coyote, and the sweet lullaby of the night- 
owl, while various insects indulged in explorations about his 
person, and creaked forth their comments to their companions. 
With such surroundings no one could 'court the balmy' without 
success." Lodgers in Susanville hotels can still have the coyote 

In July R. J. and W. W. L. Lennox recorded the sale of their 
claim south of Haviland to Edward Rice ; Jessey Gipson recorded a 



notice to the effect that he had "jumped" the Crothers claim which 
joined Coulthurst on the west ; U. J. Tutt relocated the second sec- 
tion claimed by Dow and Hatch in April, but he relinquished it in 
January, 1859 ; Cap. Hill took the land northeast of Hasey & Co. 
that Belcher claimed in April and relinquished when Hill claimed 
it ; the little valley between Lassen and the west branch of Baxter 
creek was again claimed — this time by James Greshly; Thos. J. 
Calloway and Robert Farish located two sections in Long valley, 
probably at the lower end of it, but held them only nine days ; in a 
few days Calloway took a half section in the same valley and a 
man named Smith located near him, but perhaps no one ever lived 
on these Long valley claims at that time; Antelope valley was 
taken by Samuel V. Conner and Jarvis Taylor ; J. P. Ray recorded 
notice of a claim made by him in June — it was on 200 acres of 
land between C. Arnold and Hasey & Co. ; Tutt and Walden again 
located the east section claimed by Dow and Hatch in April ; Wm. 
Wickhan took a half section northeast of "W. H. Watson ; Thomas 
Johnson claimed 300 acres between Arnold and Hasey & Co., 
perhaps the land taken by Ray in June ; Arnold relinquished the 
land he took in May, and claimed the land taken by Florence 
Smith in April, 1856, and afterwards by Belcher ; M. S. Scott re- 
linquished the claim he took in April, and located another one 
which included the land just abandoned by Arnold; Edwin R. 
Scott relocated the west section claimed by Dow and Hatch in 
April, but relinquished it in September ; William Bankhead & Co. 
claimed the vacant land along the Baxter creek between Storff and 
Baxter & Co. ; Thomas J. Harvey recorded the claim he took in 
April, this being between Libler and the land taken first by Com- 
manche George. A part of his notice was as follows : "I put up 
my notice in April and planted my garding and would of had 
it recorded but had heard it often said that Mr Hasey was not a 
valied recorder"; Calloway took a quarter section which had the 
Upper Hot spring in the center of it ; Emory Scott relinquished 
the land he claimed in June ; W. H. Watson relocated the land 
east of Sylvester that he had taken the previous April ; William 
Eaton, F. W. Butler and W. M. Brown claimed the east half of 
Morton 's section and the west half of Sylvester 's, stating in their 
notice that the land had been purchased from Morton and Syl- 
vester by H. G. O. Drake, A. G. Baker, H. Burlingham, and Z. N. 
Spalding, but they relinquished it in three days ; Thomas Johnson 


THE YEAR 1857 

and Robert Ferriss relocated the east half of the section claimed 
by Sylvester in December, 1856, claiming that according to the 
laws of the valley, it had been forfeited for several months pre- 
vious to this ; Milton Craig claimed 40 acres in the corner between 
Haviland and Cornelison; Burlingham, Drake, Spalding, and 
Baker recorded notice of claim on the section they had bought of 
Morton and Sylvester ; Craig claimed 40 acres close to the bluffs, 
and about a mile south of Roop; Dow & Hatch and the Neale 
Brothers recorded a claim of 900 acres of land, the most of it 
being what they bought from Richard Thompson; Daniel Reed 
filed in Quincy on 160 acres of land in this valley, location uncer- 
tain ; Thomas Watson bought from Hasey, McMurtry and Elliott 
the southeast section of land claimed by them, and lived on it the 
rest of his life. On the eleventh of this month Roop, McNaull & 
Co. raised the frame of the first sawmill in the valley. It was 
built just below where the Susan river canyon first becomes nar- 
row and deep, going up the stream. It was a water power mill, 
and at first had an up-and-down saw, 

In August Sylvester located a half section east of Dow & Hatch 
and the Neales; the little valley between Lassen and the west 
branch of Baxter creek was claimed by Amos Conkey and James 
"Williams, his brother-in-law, this being the fourth time it had been 
taken up since Cap. Hill located it in May, 1856. Shortly after 
this Sylvanus and Betsey Conkey, the Father and Mother of 
Amos, came from Sierra county onto the place w T ith their family. 
Williams lived there more than twenty years, Amos almost thirty 
years, and his Mother still longer. L. M. Ellis claimed a mill 
privilege "at the foot of the mountain on the stream running 
through Scott's and Hill's ranches"; Gabriel Murphy filed at 
Quincy on 160 acres of land in this valley, location uncertain. 
Dr. Zetus N. Spalding and Wife came into the valley about the 
first of the month. They lived here the rest of their lives, and 
the most of the time he was one of the prominent men of the 
county. William C. Kingsbury brought in his Wife and two 
boys, Frank and Fred. They came on horseback, each one carry- 
ing a child. He soon went into partnership with Lassen. 

In September Emory Scott relocated the section originally 
taken by Dow and Hatch, and which had been relinquished by 
Edwin R. Scott in July; Reuben F. Mastin recorded a claim of 
300 acres in the west end of Elysian valley, and also a water priv- 



ilege. This was the land he bought of Breed and Lathrop in 
May; Thomas Bear relocated that part of Fredonyer's claim 
which lay between the bluffs and the river. He put up a cabin 
on the south side of the road and a little east of Pah Ute creek. 
Mary Jane Duvall crossed the plains, and reached this valley 
August 13th. September 23d she was married to Isaac Coul- 
thurst. This was the first couple married in the valley. They 
have lived here ever since. September 28th Emma Lanigar, 
daughter of Francis Lanigar, was born on Gold Run southwest 
of Richmond. This was the first white child born in the valley. 
She married a man named Andy Frazieur and now lives in Ore- 

In October W. H. Watson relinquished 40 acres of his claim, 
and took 40 acres northeast of Morton ; Dr. John A. Slater relin- 
quished 40 acres of his claim about three fourths of a mile north- 
west of Bankhead's house, and took another 40 acres in place of 
it; Dow, Hatch & Co. claimed all the waters of a stream four 
miles below Lassen's; R. L. Bryant relocated the section south- 
west of Dow and Hatch's old claim that Albert Scott had taken 
in May ; Robert Steen claimed half of the Antelope valley ranch 
because it had been forfeited, he said; Edward Rice and John 
Neiswender relocated the northeast section of the four square 
miles once claimed by Hasey, McMurtry, and Elliott. 

In November Anton Storff located north of Conkey's ranch; 
McNaull claimed a strip of land a mile wide and two miles long, 
having the river for its center, and extending up the river from 
Roop, McNaull & Co's. "Mill Damn." He also claimed the 
waters of the river and its tributaries ; James Shores, or Shares, 
took a half section east of Wickhan, who was east of W. H. Wat- 
son; William Powell sold D. I. Wilmans the other undivided 
one half of the tract he sold to the Wilmans Bros, and McDonald 
in June ; R. F. Mastin sold Richard D. and Stephen Bass his claim 
in the upper end of Elysian valley. R. D. Bass lived here the 
rest of his life. 

In December F. M. Rinard bought a half section north of Roop 
and Fredonyer from Weikel, and recorded his claim; Dr. Slater 
located 620 acres west of Bankhead and Asa Adams, and extend- 
ing from the timber north across the valley to the Bald hills north 
of Baxter creek. Dr. Slater crossed the plains this year, and 
came into the valley with his Wife and a child or two. He was 

I 64 1 

THE YEAR 1857 

a prominent man until his death. Robert Rushing claimed 80 
acres joining Slater on the southwest, and 80 acres along the 
creek above Slater ; A. B. Riffle took a claim east of James Shores ; 
Neale Bros, claimed 800 acres on the south side of the river east 
of the location made by them and Dow and Hatch in July; Par- 
chiel (Zack) Taylor took a claim lying on both sides of the river 
between Willow creek and the ranch of W. H. Watson. It is 
probable that some time during this year William F. Raker and 
William Goose settled about three miles northwest of where Mil- 
ford now stands. It is claimed that they did, and Ross Lewers 
says that in 1858 the place looked as though they had been there 
some time. This year "Whitehead" Ross bought E. Smith's 
claim in Long valley. A man named Kearns and his partner, 
friends of Ross, also came in there, took some land, and built a 
cabin about a mile and three quarters east of him. Ross was a 
somewhat noted character. He came from Tennessee, and dur- 
ing the Civil War he went back there and enlisted in the Southern 
army and was wounded. After the war he came to Austin, Ne- 
vada, and died there. Orlando Streshly, for many years a prom- 
inent man in this county, came into the valley and bought out 
A. G. Hasey at Richmond. His land lay west of that bought by 
Thomas Watson. The latter part of June Cutler Arnold went 
over into the mountains, and brought his family, which consisted 
of his Wife, two sons, Henry and Rolla, and four smaller chil- 
dren, to Honey Lake valley. They all came on horseback, and the 
trail was so bad that A. T. Arnold had to come along to help 
them over it. James P. Sharp bought a part of the Commanche 
George ranch, and became a partner of Squire Stark. With 
Stark's boy, John, he came to the valley to live on the place, and 
Richard and Stephen Bass spent the winter with them. De- 
cember 23d, 1857, there was recorded in Plumas county a deed 
from Lewis Stark and Wife to Elizabeth A. Sharp, and the fol- 
lowing is the description of the land given in it: "A certain 
Ranch, piece or parcel of land, situated in Honey Lake valley, 
county of Plumas and state of California, known as the Co- 
manche George Ranch, and bounded as follows, to wit : On the 
South by the Ranch of D. I. Wilmans & Co., on the Northwest by 
a Ranch owned by Dutch Joe, on the east by the Ranch owned 
by Dr. Slater. On the Northeast by a line commencing at a 
stake near a creek known as the Irishmans creek and running in 



a Southeast direction one mile to a lone pine tree on the South 
bank of Irishmans creek supposed to contain 640 acres of land." 
Isn 't that a plain description ? This fall Fullbright & Crawford, 
who had just crossed the plains, came into the valley with 600 
head of long-horned Texas cattle, and located a tract of land about 
a mile and a quarter southeast of the present site of Milford. 
Charles and Abijah Adams brought in another large band of 
cattle from the States, and claimed a large tract of land about 
seventeen miles down the river from Roop 's, in what is now called 
"The Tules. " This place is now known as the "Byers Ranch." 
John Baxter located a piece of land about three quarters of a mile 
southeast of Bankhead 's house, and built a cabin near a spring at 
the foot of the hill. Harry Gordier took a claim on Baxter creek 
south of the east end of the Bald mountain — the ranch after- 
wards owned by Thomas Mulroney. Joseph Todd took up the 
place east of Sylvester. The winter of 1857-8 Ladue Vary planted 
some peach stones, or set out some small trees, in the northeast- 
ern part of Rooptown. This was the first time anything of this 
kind had been done in the valley. 

Peter Lassen had a blacksmith forge in front of his cabin, but 
he worked only for himself. Roop put up a blacksmith shop at 
the sawmill, and did custom work. J. H. Ferry was his black- 
smith. In December, 1857, Hines and Tutt went out to Rabbit 
Hole springs, thirty miles west of the Humboldt river, with two 
ox teams, four yoke of cattle to the team. They each got a full 
load of iron from the wagons that the emigrants had burned 
there because their stock had given out. They hauled it to the 
valley and sold it to Roop — $1500 worth, and paid $30 a thou- 
sand for the lumber they took for it. 

This summer Dow and Hatch put up the first board house ever 
built in the valley. It was built of lumber which they whip- 
sawed, and was sixteen by twenty-four feet, and ten feet high 
at the corners. That fall they put on twelve feet more in length. 
It stood just east of the Curlew Butte. That winter Dow and 
Hatch, Dr. Spalding and Wife, her brother, Thomas Brown, 
her sister, Fanny Brown, afterwards Mrs. A. C. Neale, and 
"Whiskey" Smith lived in it. This building was used for a 
dwelling house until 1898, and burned down in the fall of 1911. 
In June Dow and Hatch brought the first stove into the valley. 
They brought it from La Porte on the back of a mule. 


THE YEAR 1857 

This fall Jonathan Scott brought in a pack train load of gen- 
eral merchandise and put it into the Roop cabin. This was the 
first regular store in the valley. 

This year James Jones crossed the plains with his family and 
settled in Honey Lake valley. He had three children, one of 
whom afterwards married Stephen White. These children are 
all dead. For some time after his arrival Mr. Jones lived at the 
Manley Thompson place, and another daughter was born here on 
November 10th, 1857. She was named Sarah Margaret, and 
was the second child born in the county. In 1875 she married 
George H. St. Clair, who died in 1902. Mrs. St. Clair now lives 
in Alameda, California. In 1860 a son, James H., was born in 
the valley, and he is still living. 

Names of people not previously mentioned who settled in the 
valley in 1857. N. B. An asterisk before a person's name indi- 
cates that he may have settled here the previous year. 

Thomas McMurtry, *David Lowry, James Conkey, "Big" 
John Chapman, Alec. Chapman, James Jones and Family, Field- 
ing Long, Joseph A. Knettles, Frank Johnson, — Mullen, — 
Snow, M. C. Lake, John R. Morrow, Win. V. Kingsbury, John E. 
Fuller, John Weikel, Salmon Belden, David Blanchard, Dolphin 
Inman, Anthony Gray, Mrs. Johnson P. Ford, Mrs. Fullbright, 
R. Hewitt and Wife, and George Purcell. 

Of those who settled here in 1857 Cornelison, Hatch, Sharp, R. 
Thompson, Zack Taylor, R. D. Bass, Craig, Raker, Jones, Syl- 
venus and James Conkey, and Mrs. W. C. Kingsbury lived here 
the rest of their lives and died here. 

Leroy Arnold, W. C. Kingsbury, Streshly, A. A. Smith, Bax- 
ter, Lowry, Amos Conkey and his Mother, and Dow lived nearly 
all the rest of their lives in the county. 

The Wilmans Bros., Neale Bros., Cutler Arnold, Edward Rice, 
Squire Stark, S. Bass, Robert Hamilton, J. P. Ford, the Jones 
Family, and Thomas Brown lived in the county from ten to 
twenty years. Gray lived here six or seven years. 

Dow lived in the county over fifty years, and was a well known 
and prominent man. He is now a resident of Pacific Grove, 
California. Cornelison had a store at first, then a blacksmith 
shop, and for more than thirty years he ran a sawmill. Kings- 
bury was county Assessor. Streshly was Assessor and Sheriff. 
Smith was Surveyor, District Attorney, and County Judge. 

r 67 1 


Squire Stark was Justice of the Peace in Plumas county and this 
county for many years. 

Roop House Register. 
' ' List of Arrivals 1857 

H. B. Ray Rabbit Creek 1st 1857 

Henry Arnold Do Do April 3d 1857 

stiles Train 650 cattle 306 horses and mules 119 men 1 
woman 1 child 17 hands 3 wagons No of fools 201 

To Roop 
You may perchance when time and age 
Have furrowed deep your wrinkled brow 
Turned back and thought upon this page 
Of some harsh thoughts or big bow bow 
It may be too these dim lines 
(Unworthy for a thought they be) 
Will quicken still as life declines 
Some friendly pulse to tell of me 
Then let this simple record pass 
For Oh I would not be forgot 
By good old ' ' chums ' ' who glass to glass 
Hath with me pledged this lovely spot 

May 28, 1867. (Name looked like "Sebrach" 
May 29. 57 Honey Lake is now the center of attraction 
Men are pouring in daily and the prospects are nattering that in 
a few years it will be some 

May 30 Hill and Hasey came to the Roop House Hill got 
slitly nebriated and Hasey is him self again Ho. Is. he say 
Roop House June 5 1857 
June 3d Orevill Deligation In with the first Coach ever in 
the Valley W. A. Gamble Alex Brown S McDermutt H B 
Hunt Thos Calloway Charles J Brown Report the Road from 
Orevill to Honey Lake Valley Excellent 

4th The Commissioners from Marysville Arive by Way of 
American Valley Indian Valley — Came down over a low pass 
Snow 10 feet Deep 

7 Orovill Coach leaves at 10 o clock P. M. all O. K. A. 
Salute fired. Legets Train for the states 20 Men 240 Horses 
Roop House June 5 1857 
Camped opposite the house 18 men Two Women Three Chil- 
dren bound for the States with 38 Horses one Wagon Two of 

I 68 1 

THE YEAR 1857 

the hombres Satisfied Geo Taylor & Wm Eaton that they were 
To heavy on the Whiskey Game 

June 9th 1857 the Neighbors Gathered Togather & raised 
Cut Arnolds House got Drunk & retired Messrs Gilpen & 
Weatherlow excepted 

June 10th 1857 Messrs Gilpen & Wethc-rlow returned after 
a long and tedious Jouny of Five day by leaving their goods & 
Wares on the road to be devoured by the Gigantic Coyota after 
their arrival they make arrangements to start over the Moun- 
tains, Mr Wm Eaton to go & help fetch goods & Wares in 
June the 12th 1857 

Taylor went hunting returned and reported to have shot an 
antelope but could not get it. Roop started with a fishing pole to 
assist in getting the crippled game it is believed that the fish 
and antelope will suffer 

June 13th 1857 

Taylor Hill and H. B. Ray went to Smok Creek after Iron and 
when there they got they found they wer to lat the Iron was 
all gon But they made a rais some where of a tire and Chains 
For the States 16th 

Thomas. S. Bradford Alpheus Hunter C. C. Boundy Geo 
H. Brown for Pike For. God's. Country By — 

Bought a Knife and Gun for knife. — for the Gun $10 for 
the staits or some other sea Port or rather 

June 25 1857 

Cut Arnold and family arrived to-day all well 
June 21st 1857 

Arrived in Town Seven men from St Louis on a prospecting 

Sir Roop with his Troup Came down from the Mill Camp, to 
clean out the Town left Satisfied that it was a heavy Job Fish 
do not bite yet 

Roops, House Three men from Humbug Valy they intend to 
come back Shortly to settle there names dont know there 
names I think the men are Humbug if they come back a Gain 
to Honey Lake vally 

Roop House June 18 1857 
Camped above the house eleven men 19 Horses from Yreka 
& Oregon bound for the White Settlements 



June 20th 1857 

It has been as cold as hell for the last fortnight no frost 
July 1st— 2— 3 & 4th 

Rained every day some days more 

Roop House Honey Lake Valley July 11 '57 

Roop raised Mill today, Bob Sick" 

There was one more entry that had nothing pasted over it. It 
was dated July 20th, but it was so indistinct that it could not be 
read. The remainder of the book was a record of the trains that 
passed the Roop House in 1857. The record of the second train 
was "Second Train Crawford & fullBrite 600 head of cattle & 
4 Wagons 15 Men 4 Women 4 Children" 

According to the Roop House Register there came through the 
valley from August 2, 1857 to October 4, 1857 ninety-nine trains, 
or parties, with 306 wagons and carriages, 665 horses and mules, 
and 16937 head of cattle. There were 835 men, 254 women, and 
390 children. Two or three large bands of cattle and a few of 
the emigrants stopped in the valley. The rest of them went on 
over the mountains. They were looking for gold. 

Western Utah Politics. 1857 

In 1856 an armed mob of Mormons had driven the United 
States District Judge from the bench in eastern Utah, and he left 
the territory. The relations between the Mormons and the United 
States government became hostile. Where the Mormons had the 
power (which was not the case in Carson county) murders were 
frequent, and a reign of terror was begun. What was virtually 
a rebellion caused President Buchanan to send General A. Sidney 
Johnston with a small army to Salt Lake in 1857 to re-establish 
the authority of the government. Brigham Young ordered all 
the Mormons living outside of eastern Utah to return at once, 
and help defend the "City of Saints" against what he called an 
armed mob. 

On the 14th day of January, 1857, the legislature of Utah 
enacted the following law: "Said county (Carson) is allowed to 
retain its present organization so far as county recorder, sur- 
veyor, precincts and precinct officers are concerned, and may con- 
tinue to elect these officers in accordance with existing arrange- 
ments and laws until further directed by Great Salt Lake County 
court, or legislative enactment. Section 5 — The record books, 


THE YEAR 1857 

papers and blanks, and seals, both of probate and county courts, 
shall be delivered over to the order of the probate court of Great 
Salt Lake county. ' ' 

April 13th the county court, with Chester Loveland for judge, 
adjourned until the first Monday in the following June ; but it was 
September 3, 1860 before there was another session of this branch 
of the Judiciary. 

On the 16th of July the California Mormon train, consisting of 
seventeen w T agons and sixty-five people, left Eagle valley for Salt 
Lake City. On September 26th 123 w r agons and 450 people left 
Carson valley for the same place. A few of them were from Cali- 
fornia and Oregon. This left Truckee and Carson valleys almost 
without inhabitants for a while. The land and buildings left by 
the Mormons were sold for a trifle. People from California 
bought up this real estate, and the valleys soon filled up with 
Gentiles and apostate Mormons. 

Second Attempt at Territorial Organization 

On August 3d, 1857, at a meeting in Genoa of the citizens of 
Carson and adjoining valleys, a call was issued for a grand mass 
meeting of the people living along the eastern base of the Sierras. 
It was to be held at Genoa August 8, 1857. The object of this 
meeting w r as to petition congress to organize a new territory out of 
portions of Utah, California, and New Mexico, and to provide 
ways and means to lay this subject before the President and con- 
gress of the United States. Judge Loveland, the Morman elder, 
and Judge Crane w r ere invited to be present and address the 

On the appointed day the meeting was called to order by Ma- 
jor Wm. M. Ormsby, and Col. John Reese was elected president. 
By this time the Never Sw y eats had joined hands with the rest of 
the people living east of the Sierras, and their representatives 
were here. Isaac Poop was one of the four vice-presidents of the 

After organization a committee w r as appointed to present busi- 
ness before the meeting. They retired to do their work, and in 
their absence Judge James M. Crane addressed the meeting. 
Judge Loveland was not there. 

The committee then brought in some resolutions and a Memo- 
rial to the President and congress of the United States, and these 
were adopted. 



The Resolutions were to the effect that the people inhabiting 
the territory commonly known as the Great American Basin, lying 
east of the Sierra Nevadas, west of the Goose creek range, south 
of the Oregon line, and north of the Colorado river and its tribu- 
taries were convinced that the increasing population of this region 
were in danger from hostile tribes of Indians, and from the ab- 
sence of any law for the protection of life and property, and that 
some kind of a government should be established in the shortest 
time possible. 

That a memorial should be drawn up setting forth the reasons 
for this movement, and the same submitted to the consideration of 
the President and both houses of congress, and that the meeting 
select a delegate to represent to the President and congress the 
views and wants of the people of this section. 

That James M. Crane, on account of his long residence in and 
knowledge of this country, as well as his "candor, fidelity, and 
ability," be appointed to represent the people of this section in 

It was also resolved to appoint twenty-eight men to carry out 
the work laid out at this meeting, and five of those appointed were 
from Honey Lake valley. They were Major Isaac Roop, Peter 
Lassen, Mr. Arnold, Wm. Hill, and Mr. McMurtry. (Probably 
it was Cutler Arnold, Wm. Hill Naileigh, and L. C. McMurtry.) 

In conclusion the members of congress from California and the 
territorial delegates from Oregon, Washington, Utah and New 
Mexico were asked to use their personal and official influence to 
obtain the passage of a bill organizing the territory asked for; 
and the newspapers of the Pacific coast, and several in the eastern 
and the southern parts of the United States were "invited and 
requested to publish these proceedings and memorial, and other- 
wise extend to us the benefit of their powerful influence and sup- 

The Memorial was a very long document, and contained a good 
many misrepresentations ; but it showed the condition of affairs in 
western Utah at that time, and also showed the ideas of the people 
living there in regard to their country. The following synopsis 
gives a good idea of. what it contained. 

It began as follows : ' ' The citizens inhabiting the valleys within 
the Great Basin of the American continent, to be hereafter de- 
scribed, beg leave respectfully to present for the earnest consid- 


THE YEAE 1857 

eration of the President of the United States, and the members of 
both houses of congress this their petition ; praying for the organi- 
zation of a new territory of the United States. "We do not pro- 
pose to come with any flourish of trumpets or mere words in this 
memorial, but we propose simply to submit a few plain statements 
as the inducements and reasons which actuate us in making this 
appeal to those who have the power to remedy the existing diffi- 
culties and embarrassments under which we now labor and suf- 

It then stated that the majority of the people of this section 
had been there six or seven years, and during that time had been 
without protection of any kind from Indians and outlaws ; and 
there was no reason to suppose it would be any better until some 
government was organized that could make laws and enforce 
them. They were law abiding citizens and did not wish to see 
''anarchy, violence, bloodshed and crime of every hue and grade 
waving their horrid scepter over this portion of our common 
country. ' ' 

"In the winter time the snows that fall upon the summit and 
spurs of the Sierra Nevadas frequently interrupt all intercourse 
and communications between the Great Basin and the state of 
California and the territories of Oregon and Washington for near- 
ly four months every year. During the same time all intercourse 
and communication between us and the civil authorities of Utah 
are likewise closed. "Within this space of time, and indeed from 
our anomalous condition during all seasons of the year, no debts 
can be collected by law; no offenders can be arrested, and no 
crime can be punished except by the code of Judge Lynch, and 
no obedience to government can be enforced, and for this reason 
there is and can be no protection to either life or property except 
that which may be derived from the peaceably disposed, the good 
sense and patriotism of the people, or from the fearful, unsatisfac- 
tory and terrible defence and protection which the revolver, the 
Bowie knife, and other deadly weapons may afford us. ' ' 

Even during the favorable season of the year, on account of 
their location, they could get no benefit from the governments of 
the neighboring states and territories. The most of them be- 
longed to the government of Utah, but no intercourse could be 
held with the authorities of that territory, because it was nearly 
800 miles to Salt Lake City ; and to get there it was necessary to 



cross two deserts. Besides that in Western Utah no one paid any 
attention to the territorial laws. The Mormons, in their social 
affairs, conformed to the habits of life among the Gentiles; but 
their dealings with each other were regulated by the rules of the 
Mormon church. 

These were only a part of their grievances. Nearly one half of 
the county in which the most of the petitioners resided had only 
two justices of the peace and one constable. No one respected 
their authority, and very few knew or cared where they lived. 
The territorial legislature of Utah once made a county called 
' ' Carson ' ' out of nearly the whole of this region, but for some rea- 
son unknown to the petitioners they abolished the county and 
established in place of it an election precinct in which nobody 
voted, or cared to vote. 

There were 7000 or 8000 people living within the limits of the 
proposed new territory and their numbers were rapidly increas- 
ing. There were no less than two hundred valleys, running into 
one another, of the most fertile grazing and agricultural land. In 
the mountains were found "gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, coal 
and other minerals, metals and precious stones," and they be- 
lieved that proper exploration would show that they had one of 
the richest and most productive regions on the globe. For these 
reasons they expected to have a rush of population such as settled 
up California and Texas so rapidly, and unless congress at its next 
session organized the territory asked for, when the rush did come, 
there would be no laws to govern the settlers and the land would 
be full of "unrestrained violence and bloodshed." 

' ' There are some portions of the Great Basin of this continent 
claimed by the state of California in which reside a considerable 
number of people who, in the winter time, can have no connection 
with it. This is the case with those who reside in Honey Lake 
valley. That valley lies east of the Sierra Nevadas, and within 
the Great Basin, and from this cause the people living in it have 
no intercourse with other parts of the state during the rainy sea- 
son for nearly four months every year. They, therefore, natu- 
rally belong to the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas, and on this 
account they desire to join us in this movement. If they are 
forced to remain with California they can not know anything 
about the affairs of their state during the whole time its legisla- 
ture may be in session. It is, therefore, folly, and worse than 


THE YEAR 1857 

folly, to attach the people of this valley to a state about which 
they know nothing, and care nothing, for one third of the year, 
and that third the most important part of it to them. They there- 
fore cordially unite with us in this prayer and memorial to con- 
gress, asking not only that they may be attached to the proposed 
new territory, but that they may add their united voices in sup- 
port of the great necessities for the organization of the aforesaid 
territory." Those living in southern California east of the Sierra 
Nevadas and those of New Mexico (New Mexico then included 
Arizona) living near the Colorado river and its tributaries were 
also shut off from their respective capitals during the winter 

It was then submitted that in addition to the facts here pre- 
sented, all the routes across the continent between the Atlantic and 
Pacific states would be well guarded when this new territory was 
organized. The Indian population of the proposed new territory 
was not far from 75000 or 100000, and the most of them could be 
very easily controlled, if there was anything like an organized gov- 
ernment in their country. For these and many other powerful 
reasons that would readily suggest themselves, they prayed for 
the organization of a new territory. 

The petitioners suggested that the boundaries of the new terri- 
tory, which, by the way, was to be called "Sierra Nevada/' be as 
follows : Beginning at the northeastern corner of California, the 
line was to run east about two thirds of the way across the present 
state of Nevada, and then southeast to a point about forty miles 
north of where Phoenix, Arizona, now stands. From there it was 
to run south to Old Mexico, and west along the northern boun- 
dary of that country to the southeastern corner of California. 
Then it was to follow the eastern boundary of that state to the 
place of beginning. 

This boundary would take in a range of valleys connected 
together, and in the winter time the people who inhabited them 
were almost entirely shut off from communication with California, 
New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, and Washington ; but in all seasons 
they could enjoy free intercourse with one another. All the 
proposed wagon, military, stage, and railroad routes crossing 
the continent between the Atlantic and Pacific states and terri- 
tories enter and pass through these valleys ; and the most trouble- 
some Indian tribes roam through or live in them. For these and 



similar urgent reasons and considerations they asked that the 
said territory be organized by Congress within the shortest pos- 
sible time. 

W. W. Nicols, R. D. Sides, Orrin Gray, J. K. Trumbo, and 
Col. William Rodgers were appointed to procure signatures to 
the memorial. 

The meeting adjourned "with the full determination of all 
to work in good earnest to accomplish the success of the under- 
taking. Great harmony and enthusiasm prevailed on the occa- 

No ' ' nourish of trumpets ' ' about that. They certainly claimed 
everything in sight and "then some." The semi-arid country 
between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky mountains can hardly 
be called "the most fertile grazing and agricultural land;" and 
although the minerals and metals they told about were there, 
probably they knew nothing about any of them excepting the 
gold. They were not one fourth as many whites and Indians 
as they claimed living in the proposed new territory, and eight 
hundred miles to Salt Lake City was rather stretching the road. 

T. & W. (Thompson and West's History of Nevada) have the 
following: "Western Utah at the close of 1857 had perhaps 
two hundred or three hundred people. There was not much to 
attract settlers. The placer mines were poor, and as the emigra- 
tion grew less trading with the emigrants was not very profitable. 
The principal occupation was stock raising from the Truckee to 
the head of Carson river. There was only one Mormon in the 
country, and there was no organized government of any kind. 
The only law was that dealt out to ' Lucky Bill. ' ' ' 

Judge Crane went to Washington to "boost" the cause of 
the new territory, and in the history of the next year the results 
will be given. 

Honey Lake Politics. 1857 

When the Honey Lakers found they had taken in a lot of 
settlers to the south of them who paid no attention to their gov- 
ernment, they dropped Nataqua and, as previously told, joined 
the people of western Utah in their endeavor to have the United 
States organize a new territory. Besides this they had some 
politics to attend to at home. 

In 1857 the valley was settled up quite rapidly and the land 
was taken up and improved. Before long there was settlement 

r 76 1 

THE YEAE 1857 

enough in the valley to make the property worth noticing, and 
August 4, 1857, the board of supervisors of Plumas county 
organized it into a separate township, calling it Honey Lake town- 
ship. This, and other official acts, and the taxing of the people 
of the valley brought on trouble that lasted for the next six 
years. Everybody thought the valley was close to the line, but 
no one took the trouble to do a little surveying and be sure about 
it. A part of the Honey Lake settlers said they were in Cali- 
fornia, and the Plumas county officials said so, too. That was 
all. The people of the valley, however, were not all of the same 
mind during the years of trouble with Plumas. Some of them 
believed they were in California, and were willing to acknowledge 
its jurisdiction. Others paid their taxes rather than have any 
trouble. Another class owned property both here and in Plumas. 
They had to pay their taxes, for if they didn't, their property 
there would be taken to pay them. But forty or fifty men, most 
of them men who came into the valley first, endured hardships, 
fought Indians, and in other ways bore the brunt of the battle, 
would have nothing to do with Plumas county. They said it did 
nothing for this valley, made no roads, built no schoolhouses — just 
came in and collected taxes. They didn't want to be in California, 
and didn 't believe they were ; and as long as the matter was in 
doubt they were going to pay no taxes, and were willing to fight 
it out — and they did. It seems as though a majority of the 
settlers here wanted to be in the new territory to be organized 
east of the mountains, but they were not willing to fight about it. 
The most of the settlers here filed their land claims with Koop, 
but some of them went to Quincy and filed their claims, deeds, 
etc., there, too. 

F. & S. say: "The action of the board of supervisors, in the 
creation of Honey Lake township and the appointment of jus- 
tices and constables (none of whom qualified), called out the 
following proceedings from the citizens of this valley: (Quoted 
by them from Poop's record.) 

"In pursuance of a notice, the citizens of Honey Lake valley 
met at M. Thompson's ranch on the twenty-ninth of August, 
A. D. 1857, and were called to order by appointing M. Thompson 
chairman, and L. N. Breed secretary. 

' ' The following Preamble and resolutions were offered by Mr. 
Williams, and unanimously adopted : 



' ' Preamble 

"Whereas, we, the citizens of Honey Lake Valley, entertain- 
ing very reasonable doubts of our being within the limits of the 
state of California, and believing that until the eastern boundary 
of the state of California is determined by the proper authori- 
ties that no county or counties have a right to extend their 
jurisdiction over us, therefore be it Resolved by the citizens of 
Honey Lake Valley in Mass Meeting assembled that we consider 
the action of the Board of Supervisors of Plumas county an 
unwarrantable assumption of power. 

"Firstly, in appointing Justices of the Peace without our 
knowledge or consent. 

' ' Secondly, in dividing the Valley into precincts, and appoint- 
ing officers for the same. 

"Thirdly, in ordering an assessment of the property of the 
Valley. Therefore be it further resolved that we will resist any 
action of the authorities of Plumas, and individually and col- 
lectively pledge ourselves by all we hold sacred to assist and aid 
each other in resisting any infringement of our rights. 

"Resolved, That the officers appointed by the board of Super- 
visors to conduct the election in this place be requested to keep 
the Polls closed upon the day of election. 

"Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed as a com- 
mittee of safety, whose business it shall be to correspond with 
the authorities of Plumas county, to end meetings when neces- 
sary, and to take such action as they may think necessary, sub- 
ject always to the approval of the citizens of this Valley. 

' ' Resolved, That we cordially unite with the citizens of Carson 
Valley in their endeavors to have a new Territory struck off, 
whose limits shall be the Oregon line on the North, the Goose 
Creek range of Mountains on the East, the Colorado River on 
the South, and the dividing ridge of the Sierra Nevadas on 
the west. 

"Z. N. Spalding offered the following preamble, which was 
adopted and signed by all present: 

"We, the undersigned individuals of Honey Lake Valley, 
feeling a just indignation at the course pursued by certain 
individuals, calling themselves citizens of this Valley, relative 
to a certain petition signed by them, and forwarded to Plumas 
county, praying them to consider this Valley under the juris- 


THE YEAR 1857 

diction of said county, and for the authorities to appoint certain 
officers, such as Justice and constable. 

"Now, be it known — First, that the petition above mentioned 
was drawn up and signed by persons most of whom were, and 
are now, non-residents of this Valley, and had no interest identi- 
fied with the welfare of this community. That very few of the 
resident citizens of the Valley knew anything about the petition 
until it was announced that Plumas county had appointed officers 
for us, nolens vol ens. 

"Secondly, We are, and do consider this Valley, not in the 
state of California, and shall continue to do so until our bound- 
aries are defined and established by the legally constituted author- 
ities of the United States, and we will not recognize the authority 
of Plumas county or California to make ourselves or appoint 
our officers. 

"Thirdly, Were we under the jurisdiction of Plumas county, 
we would not suffer the office-making power to force upon us 
men odious to the citizens generally, and destitute of the requisite 
qualifications to fill any office. 

' ' Fourthly, We disclaim the whole proceedings from beginning 
to end and shall not regard any mandate issuing from under the 
officers appointed by Plumas county to preside over us. 

"In token whereof, we severally pledge ourselves. 

Mi. Thompson, Thomas Eaton, 

L. N. Breed, J. D. Sharp, 

Joseph Lynch, A. G. Eppstein, 

H. Dony, Peter Lassen, 

Wm. Hill, Ralph Niesham, 

G. A. Williams, R. J. Scott, 

Wm. Weatherlow, A. U. Sylvester, 

C. Arnold, H. A. Wilmans, 

D. C. Jackson, R. Hewitt, 
Thomas Mitchell, L. M. Robertson, 
I. E. Wick, Wm. N. Crawford, 
Ireton Warp, A. F. Chapman, 
G. Lathrop, Wm. Dow, 
Henry Denny, W. C. Kingsbury, 
M. W. Haviland, Stephen O'Laughlin, 
Anthony Barlow, W. Powell." 



William Dow says he did not attend this meeting. 

"On motion, the following persons were appointed on the 
committee to correspond with the authorities of Plumas county : 
"Wm. Hill, Mr. Williams, M. L. Robertson, Z. N. Spalding. 

"Moved, that the committee authorized to correspond with 
the Plumas county authorities be vested with the power to draw 
up a petition to Congress for the purpose of having a new terri- 
tory organized. Carried. 

"Mr. Jackson moved that the corresponding committee be 
invested with power to draft such laws out of the code of laws 
now governing the two districts, as may suit the people of said 
districts in common, but so to form them as not to permit an 
encroachment upon claims taken under former laws, and said 
laws submitted to the people for adoption or rejection on such 
day as the committee may designate. Carried. 

"Moved, that the citizens of this valley attend the place of 
voting on the day of election, and prevent the polls being opened. 

"Moved, that a committee of three be appointed to wait on 
Dr. Fredonyer (one of the justices appointed by the supervisors 
of Plumas county), and politely inform him that the citizens 
of this valley can dispense with his services. Carried. Com- 
mittee, Mark Haviland, R. J. Scott, Z. N. Spalding. 

' ' Moved that the proceedings of this meeting be published in 
the North California (Oroville paper). Carried. 

"Moved, that the meeting adjourn. Carried. 

"M. Thompson, Chairman, 
"h. N. Breed, Secretary." 

Evidently these people and some of the other citizens of the 
valley took the foregoing proceedings in earnest, as the follow- 
ing, taken from the "Marysville Express" of about a month 
later, will show; though, in all probability, the story grew on 
the road to Marysville. ' ■ The citizens of Honey Lake valley are, 
for the most part, as violently opposed as ever to the exercise 
of any jurisdiction over them by the authorities of Plumas 
county. There is, however, some little inconsistency in their 
conduct, for when the tax collector of Plumas county came 
among them, they told him they were not in California but in 
Utah, and when Orson Hyde from Salt Lake visited them, they 
said they lived in California. A portion of the people tried to 


THE YEAR 1857 

hold an election there on the day of the last general election, 
but the rest got double-barreled shotguns, revolvers, and butcher 
knives and stampeded the whole ballot box establishment, 'horse, 
foot, and dragoons.' " 

Territorial Meeting in Honey Lake Valley 

The following account was taken from the "Shasta Courier" 
of October 17, 1857: "A mass meeting of the people of Honey 
Lake valley was held in the town of Mataga (probably they got 
that name from Nataqua, and got it badly mixed) on Saturday, 
3d of October, 1857. The meeting was called to order by Isaac 
Roop. Peter Lassen was chosen president, C. Arnold, Geo. Pur- 
cell, and John A. Slater vice-presidents, and L. C. McMurtry 
and E. Wick, Secretarys. 

"The object of the meeting having been stated, Messrs. I. 
Roop, W. Cornelison, J. Taylor, Wm. Weatherlow, and Mark 
Haviland were appointed a committee to report business. In 
the absence of the committee J. M. Crane addressed the meeting 
for an hour, and reviewed the policy of the government from 
1798 to the present time." 

The committee submitted a preamble and some resolutions 
which were adopted by the meeting. The preamble stated that 
it was well known that the people inhabiting the Great Basin 
between the Goose creek mountains and the Sierra Nevada, the 
Utah line on the north, and the Colorado river on the south had 
no protection from the Indians, or any protection for life and 
property. That the people of Carson valley, at a meeting held 
in Genoa, had petitioned Congress to establish a territory within 
the limits of those boundaries. 

"Resolved, That we endorse what the people have done at 
Genoa, and we pledge the faith of the people of Honey Lake 
valley to co-operate with them in this undertaking. That we 
endorse and approve of the election of James M. Crane as the 
delegate to Washington for the proposed new territory. That 
if any attempt is made by the authorities of California to bring 
the people of Honey Lake valley into subjugation before the line 
can and shall be made, that we resist all such attempts with all 
the power we can command. That the California authorities do 
not try to protect us and defend our lives and property, but 
try to extend their jurisdiction over us for the purpose of extort- 



ing revenue from our people. That Isaac Roop be and is hereby 
appointed to co-operate with "Wm. M. Ormsby of Carson valley 
and Martin Smith of Lake valley, and bring before the legisla- 
ture of California a proposition to transfer all of her real or 
supposed claims to lands lying east of the Sierras to the new 
territory. That the thanks of the people of this territory are 
due and are hereby tendered to Judge Crane for the many per- 
sonal sacrifices he has made for us, and for his untiring efforts 
to secure for us a territorial government." 

Indian Troubles. 1857 

It has been told that in 1856 a treaty was made between the 
whites of Honey Lake valley and the Pahute Indians, and that 
for several years it was strictly observed on both sides. Mrs. 
A. T. Arnold has a long statement made by Capt. Weatherlow 
in regard to the Indians and the Indian wars of early days, and 
in it he says : ' ' The Pahute tribe of Indians occupied the valley 
at that time in common with the whites. They were on the most 
friendly relations, visiting the houses of the whites and trading 
furs and game for such articles of clothing, etc., as they desired. 
They were unlike any other tribe I had met in the country 
inasmuch as they were never known to beg for food or clothing, 
nor did they at every opportunity pilfer and carry off articles 
from the whites. 

' ' From the first settlement of the valley the Pit river Indians 
which inhabited the country north of Honey lake made frequent 
incursions upon the settlement, driving off stock and committing 
other outrages. Finding that we could have no safety or security 
for life or property without the Pit river tribe was driven off, 
I raised a company of sixty men in the year 1857, and went out 
against the Pit river Indians on several occasions when they 
had made descents upon the valley and driven off stock. Winne- 
mucca volunteered to go out with his warriors and aid us in 
fighting the Pit river tribe. The offer was accepted, and he and 
his warriors placed themselves under my command and rendered 
most efficient service. He obeyed orders strictly, and fought as 
well as any white man. He was also of great service in giving 
me information in regard to the Pit river tribe, their places 
of resort, etc." 

On the 9th of October, 1857, the Pit river Indians stole five 

[82 1 

THE YEAR 1857 

head of cattle from John Weikel, who lived a little to the north- 
east of Rooptown. Five men immediately started in pursuit, 
overtook them, and found that the cattle had been killed; but 
some twenty Indians appeared and showed fight, and the pur- 
suers were compelled to return. Capt. Weatherlow with thirty- 
two men, accompanied by Winnemucca and some of his warriors, 
started after the Indians again. They found them, and destroyed 
two rancherias and captured two squaws. Sixty or seventy 
Indians were put to flight and scattered in every direction. They 
were closely followed as far as the head of Pit river; but they 
succeeded in eluding their pursuers, and none of them were 
killed. The provisions of the pursuing party gave out, and 
they had to return to the valley. "When they reached home they 
found that the Honey Lakers had got into trouble with the 
Washos, who may have been aided by some of the other tribes. 

The Potato War 

The following account was compiled from what was told Mr. 
Dodge by Wm. H. Clark and A. G. (Joe) Eppstein, from the 
"Alta Calif ornian, " "The Sacramento Union," "The Marys- 
ville Inquirer," and other newspapers published at the time, 
and from what has been told the writer by Mr. Clark and others. 

William Morehead, who owned a ranch about two and one- 
half miles northwest of where Milford is now, had a patch of 
potatoes at the foot of the mountain about half a mile back of 
his house. The Washoes had been stealing vegetables and small 
articles from the whites; and one day early in October when 
Morehead had gone up to Roop 's place, they dug his potatoes and 
carried them away. When he returned and saw what had been 
done, he told his neighbors about it; and Joe Eppstein, Cap. 
Hill, Henry Denny, F. M. Jackson, and the two Robertson 
brothers went to the Indian camp about four miles down the 
mountain, Mbrehead, who was lame, remaining behind. They 
got into a fight with the Indians, killed three of them and 
wounded another one; but were chased back to Hill's cabin by 
the Indians. They fortified themselves there, and the Indians 
went back to their camp. Goodwin's fort was not far away, and 
about twenty settlers gathered there. Shortly after this they 
made a dash on the Indian camp and captured some potatoes, 
but killed no Indians. Eppstein, who had gone to Indian valley, 



returned with ten men, and some provisions which they greatly 
needed ; and they decided to attack the Indians on the morning 
of the 17th of October. 

There were thirty-five or forty men, and they made T. J. 
(Old Tom) Harvey their captain. Among them were Cap. Hill, 
Eppstein, Joseph A. Knettles, Denny, the two Robertsons, Jack- 
son, Billy Clark, Lathrop, Tom. Watson, Storff, Charley Cooper, 
L. N. Breed, J. P. Sharp, A. C. Neale, Ben. Foreman, Van Hickey, 
Frank Johnson, and probably Fullbright and Crawford. The 
names of the others could not be ascertained. 

The Fullbright and Crawford cabin stood about half a mile 
below where the road runs now, and near the creek that is a little 
over a mile southeast of Milford; and they started from there 
early in the morning so as to reach the Indian camps and attack 
them just about daylight. These camps, two or three in number, 
were along the foot of the mountain several miles to the south- 
east. Lathrop, Eppstein, and Clark concluded to go to the 
farthest camp, because they thought they would find considerable 
plunder and not many Indians to fight. They hurried along 
ahead of the others, and got on the steep sidehill about three 
hundred yards above the camp while it was still dark. There 
they waited, and just at daylight they heard two or three guns 
fired by the men who were attacking the other camps. Then 
from the camp below them, where they expected to find plenty 
of buckskins but no bucks, seventeen of the latter came forth, 
all armed with rifles, and started for the upper camps. Their 
course was toward the three white men, who just then had a 
sudden longing to see their friends. They started up the hill 
on the run, and the Indians soon saw them and gave chase. 
Clark and Eppstein outran Lathrop, and he said "Hold on, boys, 
we must keep together," and the others waited for him to come 
up. A couple of the Indians had got pretty close to them, and 
Lathrop said "Let's fix these two." They dropped behind a 
granite boulder, and resting their guns on it, fired and brought 
the Indians down. Just then a bullet fired by one of the other 
Indians struck the rock in front of them, and filled their faces 
full of rotten granite. Clark says it stung, and he wiped his 
face with both hands ; and when he saw they were covered with 
blood, he was badly scared. They then ran on up the hill fol- 
lowed by the Indians. When they reached the top of it, they 



could see the other men pursuing a band of Indians. They had 
driven them from the upper camps, and were coming down along 
the foot of the mountain. The Indians were now getting very 
close to the three white men, and Clark, who was ahead, was 
waving his hat and yelling to the other party to hurry. The 
latter thought they were Indians and were going to fire on them, 
but just then they saw their pursuers come over the hill. The 
whites fired and killed two or three of them, and the rest turned 
off and joined the other Indians. Right there was where the 
battle commenced. It was in the sagebrush near the foot of a 
steep bluff, something like five and one half miles below Milford. 
The Indians were driven up the bluff for a short distance, and 
there they got into a pile of rocks and made a stand. When 
they opened fire from the rocks, every white man jumped behind 
the nearest tree. The timber was scattering at that place, and 
there was neither time nor opportunity to pick out a tree to fit 
the size of the man. Newt. Breed, then a slim young fellow, 
happened to get behind a big tree; but Harvey, who was large 
and fat, was so unfortunate as to get a small one. After trying 
in vain to shrink himself up to fit the size of his tree, Harvey 
asked Breed to trade with him; but neither at that time nor 
any other was Breed known to trade a big tree for a little one, 
and Harvey had to dodge around his tree the best he could. 
After the fight had gone on for a while, "Weatherlow, who had 
just returned from the Pit river expedition, joined them with 
a few men and some of Winnemucca's braves. As they were 
coming up one of the Indians was shot by mistake. The fight 
went on for some time. There were a good many Indians, their 
number was estimated at one hundred and fifty, and they made 
it very unpleasant for the whites. Finding that they could not 
dislodge the Indians, they started back along the edge of the 
timber. Eppstein, who had been shot in the thigh, they carried 
with them in a blanket. The Indians followed along in the timber 
above them, and kept up the fight. Both parties sheltered them- 
selves behind the trees the best they could, firing at each other 
whenever they thought it would do any good. 

After a four hours ' fight the whites got back to their starting 
place, the Indians having stopped their pursuit a while before 
they got there. The loss of the Indians was estimated at from 
seven to eleven killed and fourteen wounded. Eppstein was the 



only white man hurt, and his was a flesh wound and not danger- 
ous. One thing that accounts for the small loss of the whites 
is the fact that during all of the fight the Indians were above 
them, and probably shot too high. 

Winnemucca demanded blood money for the killing of his 
man, and it took both presents and bluffing to quiet him down. 
It would not do to have the Pahutes hostile at this time. 

Fifteen or twenty of the settlers intrenched themselves at 
the Fullbright and Crawford place. The Indians remained in 
the neighborhood, and the whites prepared still more for defense. 
It was reported that they attacked the whites on the 18th. That 
day Morehead and McMurtry came in from Carson valley, and 
it took watchfulness and fast traveling to get through without 
being caught by the Indians. "While the fight was said to be 
going on, Messrs. J. Williams of Honey Lake valley and M. 
Milleson of Indian valley started for the lower country with the 
following petition to the governor of California: 

"Honey Lake Valley, Plumas County, 
State of California, Oct. 19, 1857.' 

' ' To his Excellency, J. Neely Johnson and the citizens of the 
state of California : We, the citizens of Honey Lake valley, 
would call your attention to the state of affairs now existing in 
our midst. We are now enduring all the horrors of an Indian 
war. The Washoe tribe of Indians whose rendezvous is at the 
lower end of Honey Lake valley have commenced hostilities upon 
us. Upon Saturday the 17th of October, inst. after an obstinate 
fight of four hours we were compelled to retreat owing to a dis- 
proportion of numbers. Since that time we have been engaged 
in recruiting our forces, removing our families, stock, etc. On 
the evening of the 18th inst. our forces were attacked at their 
fort and the battle is now raging. We have eveiy reason to 
believe that the Pi-Utah tribe of Indians here-to-fore friendly, 
have joined the Washos and intend exterminating the entire white 
population east of the Sierra Nevada range. The Washos around 
us number four or five hundred warriors. The Pi-Utahs a still 
greater number. We are too small in numbers to contend against 
such great odds. There is in the valley now three to five thousand 
head of cattle, besides houses, grain, hay, etc. to a large amount 
in value. We therefore call upon the citizens of the state of 


THE YEAR 1857 

California in the name of common humanity to aid us in repelling 
the foe now in our midst, and enabling us to maintain our posi- 
tion as a frontier settlement. We desire one hundred stand of 
arms from the state of California for our protection. J. Williams 
of Honey Lake valley, and M. Milleson of Indian valley, are 
hereby appointed to present our appeal to the Governor and the 
citizens of the state of California, and any attention shown to 
them will be gratefully remembered by us. 

"Signed Isaac Koop. 
M. C. Lake. 
John Weikel 
and 43 others." 

The two messengers reached Sacramento on the 23d or 24th 
inst. and found the Governor absent, and they could not deliver 
the petition. However they saw General Kibbe, the Quarter- 
master General, and he let them have "some 50 stand of arms." 
General Clark of the U. S. Army, who was also appealed to for 
assistance, said his forces were too far north to give the aid 
asked for. 

"The Sacramento Union" of October 27th, in commenting 
on the petition of the Honey Lakers for arms to fight the Indians 
with, said they did not see how the governor of California could 
help them as he had the right only to grant aid to the citizens of 
the state. They told about the meeting of the citizens of Honey 
Lake valley August 29, 1857, and said they prevented the election 
as they agreed to at this meeting. They told that the justices 
and constables appointed for the valley by the board of super- 
visors of Plumas county had been told that their services were 
not required, and that the Plumas county assessor had to leave 
the valley without making an assessment. They referred to the 
meeting held October 19, 1857, where the Honey Lakers said they 
would withstand any efforts made by Plumas county to control 
them before a line had been run to show where they were located. 
The "Union" thought the governor should not help them unless 
they were willing to abide by the laws of the state and the 
jurisdiction of the officers of Plumas county. 

On the 27th Mr. Williams had an interview with the Gov- 
ernor about the matter embraced in the petition from the citizens 
of Honey Lake valley and Indian valley. He admitted the course 
taken by the citizens of Honey Lake valley, but said they were 



willing to come under the jurisdiction of California, if it were 
found they were within its boundaries. Mr. Williams had been 
in San Francisco and laid the case before Col. Henly, who 
sent out a quantity of blankets and other Indian goods, with 
the view of enabling Mr. Lassen, as agent, to settle all difficulties 
without further bloodshed. Some months before this, application 
had been made for arms for the volunteer company organized 
in Plumas county. These arms— sixty stand — were forwarded 
at once by General Kibbe. It was understood that Mr. Williams 
was satisfied with this arrangement. The goods were to go up 
in charge of Mr. Milleson. 

We will now see what took place in the land of the Never 
Sweats during the absence of their messengers. They had a 
genuine Indian scare on hand, and, as is usual at such a time, 
the stories grew as they traveled. It was reported that the last, 
of September thirty well armed men had left Quincy to protect 
emigrants along the road east of Honey Lake. They were to go 
to Gravelly Ford on the Humboldt and punish the Shoshones. 
They killed and scalped a Pah Ute east of Honey Lake, and an- 
other one at the Humboldt; and the Pah Utes were going to 
take revenge upon the settlers of Honey Lake valley. Besides 
the Washos there were fifteen or twenty thousand Pah Utes; 
and these two tribes had induced the Indian valley Indians to 
join them in making a descent upon Honey Lake valley, and had 
threatened Indian valley. A few families left the valley. Mrs. 
A. C. Neale says that she went away with Dr. Slater and his 
family, but they soon came back. The attack on the settlers at 
the Fullbright and Crawford place was a false report. The 
Washos withdrew from the valley, and when the Plumas Rangers 
arrived to help the settlers, they found no Indians to fight. Prob- 
ably Mr. Lassen made some sort of a treaty with the Washos, for 
they never made any more trouble in this part of the country. 

It was a narrow escape for the settlers east of the mountains. 
If the Pah Utes had commenced hostilities, too, the Indians could 
easily have wiped out all the settlements in western Utah. 

The settlers in Carson valley also had some trouble with the 
Washos at this time, for Col. Wm. Rodgers was sent to San 
Francisco for arms and ammunition to defend the settlers against 
them. Along the last of October Capt. Jim, the chief of the 
Washos, came into Carson valley to negotiate for peace with 

THE YEAE 1857 

the settlers. He stipulated that justice should be enforced against 
the white men who violated the rights of the Indians, and agreed 
to give up to the whites any man of his tribe who committed 
depredations upon their property. There was no person author- 
ized by the inhabitants to enter into a treaty with the Indians; 
but Mr. Mott, an old gentleman who was held in great esteem by 
the neighbors, accepted the terms of the chief, and agreed to 
furnish his tribe with flour, etc., and in consequence good order 

The Pursuit of the Indians Who Stole Vary's Cattle 

The following story was told by Fred Hines. In early days 
the country between this valley and the Humboldt, and later on 
up to southern Idaho, was much frequented by the Never Sweats ; 
and what they did in that section will be told in the following 

It will be remembered that when Hines came in from the 
Humboldt in the fall of 1856, he left some cattle here on the 
range to winter. When he came back the next spring they were 
very fat; and he drove them to Quincy and traded them for 
goods, and hired L. F. Hough to pack them to this valley. He 
then fitted up some teams and hauled his goods out on the Hum- 
boldt about a hundred miles above Lassen's Meadows, and again 
traded with the emigrants. Morton and Sylvester went with him, 
but Vary stayed at Deep Hole springs and kept a trading post 
there. Tutt and Walden had a trading post on the Humboldt 
in 1856, and in 1857 they went out there again. 

About the last of October Sylvester, Tutt, Hines, Chas. Lewis, 
Walden, J. B. Gilpin, and several men who were helping drive 
their cattle, were coming back to Honey Lake valley. When they 
reached Deep Hole Vary told them that if they would stay there 
a day and give him time to gather up his cattle, he would go 
along with them. He had nineteen head of large emigrant oxen 
that he had traded for ; and they were running near a spring on 
the west side of the Granite creek range, about five miles from 
Deep Hole. The next day in the afternoon, Vary went after his 
cattle, but he could not find them and came right back to camp. 
The matter was talked over, and Hines and Sylvester told him 
they would go back with him that afternoon and see if they could 
not find them before dark. Fearing they would be out all night, 



they put some crackers into their pockets. They took no weapons 
but their six-shooters. 

Soon after reaching the spring they found the tracks of the 
cattle and followed them until dark. Then they stopped on a 
sagebrush flat and hid themselves in the tallest brush they could 
find, ate some crackers, wrapped their saddle blankets around 
them, and wore away the long, cold night the best they could. 
The next morning they followed the trail, which was going in a 
northerly direction. Some time before noon some Indian tracks 
came into the trail of the cattle, and this was the first Indian 
sign they had seen. The cunning savages had, in the first place, 
scared the cattle into going the direction they wanted them to 
take without going near them, and then followed, keeping at 
quite a distance on each side of them until they thought they 
were safe from pursuit. That day Hines shot a sagehen and a 
couple of rabbits, and they ate part of them. They followed the 
trail until dark, and then camped as they did the night before. 
The next day they followed the trail all day toward the north, 
and ate what was left of the game killed on the previous day. 
On the third day Hines, who was in the lead doing the trailing, 
thought he saw an Indian coming down a ridge from the east, 
his course being such that it would cross theirs at right angles. 
He was not sure, though, that it was an Indian so he stopped 
and waited for the others to come up. He pointed out to them 
the object he had seen, and after watching it a while they came 
to the conclusion that it surely was one. Hines told the others 
that from the way the Indian was acting either he had not seen 
them, or if he had, was paying no attention to them. He thought 
the best plan was for the other two men to ride along on the trail 
of the cattle, and he would ride up the mountain on the side of 
the ridge back of the Indian until he judged he was opposite to 
him, and then ride over to him. This was done, and Hines made 
a good guess and came in sight of the Indian when within a 
hundred yards of him. He had a load of beef on his back — 
seventy-five or a hundred pounds — and this he threw down as 
quickly as he could and tried to get his bow and arrows ready 
to shoot. But Hines was too quick for him. He put spurs to his 
horse, drew his pistol, and got there before the Indian was 
ready ; and making him throw down his weapons, held him there 
until Vary and Sylvester came up. It was an Indian who had 


THE YEAR 1857 

been around the station at Deep Hole during the summer, and 
he had on a pair of old overalls that Vary had given him. They 
talked with him the best they could, and he made them under- 
stand that he would lead them to the cattle. Hines wanted to 
make him carry all the beef, but Vary thought it was too big a 
load and he carried only a part of it. The Indian left the trail 
of the cattle and they soon struck a smooth Indian trail. As 
they were traveling along this the Indian, who was a little ahead, 
broke into a run. Hines yelled to him to stop, but he only looked 
back over his shoulder and ran faster. Hines soon caught up 
with him and thought at first that he would shoot him, but be- 
cause he might help Vary recover his cattle Hines spared his life. 
A little before sunset they came to a small creek. They had been 
without water since morning, and both they and their horses 
were very thirsty. They fixed the horses' bridles so they could 
drink, and then lay down by the stream to quench their own 
thirst, the Indian among them. The latter got through drinking 
before the others did, and jumping across the creek, he started 
up the hill on the other side. Hines called to him to stop and 
he did so. Vary said "Never mind him. I want to go up the 
hill myself," and Hines paid no more attention to them. Vary 
left his horse at the creek with his pistol hanging on the horn 
of the saddle, and walked with the Indian to the top of the little 
hill. When they got there the Indian pointed to a hole in the 
knee of his overalls and asked Vary for a needle and thread to 
mend it. The white man took out his pocket-book and sat down 
on a rock, and while he was doing this the other started off on the 
run. While this was going on, Hines had crossed the creek and 
was some little distance from his horse. His attention was called 
by hearing Vary say "There he goes." This startled Hines and 
he never thought of going back after his horse, but thought he 
would run up the hill and take a shot at the Indian. Vary had 
immediately started in pursuit, but before he had run very far 
the rowel of his spur caught on a rock and threw him down. 
Just as Hines got to the top of the hill Vary arose with a big 
rock in his hand and threw it at the fleeing red man. If it had 
struck him fair, it would have broken his back ; but it fell a little 
short and just missed his heel. At first Hines could not shoot 
because Vary was in the way, and when he did get a chance his 
nerves were so shaky on account of the running he had done 



and the Indian was so far off that he missed him. After shooting 
three or four times without doing any execution he stopped, and 
the Indian disappeared from view in the brush and ravines. He 
had left his load of beef at the creek. The men went back to 
the creek and got their horses and rode to the top of the ridge. 
It was now almost dark, and they at once noticed a fire in the 
direction the Indian had gone. Beyond this fire and a little to 
the left was another fire, beyond that there was one, and to the 
right there were two or three more. Off to their right and a 
little beyond them was a large flat on which grew some very 
tall sagebrush. It was light enough to see that it was an open 
country away from the hills, and they concluded to camp for the 
night on that flat. Hines told the other two that if they would 
take his horse, he would go afoot to the first fire and see what 
was there. He walked as far as he dared and then went on his 
hands and knees until he was close enough to see that no one 
was there. He then went back to the others, and after going 
quite a ways out into the flat they found a place where the sage- 
brush grew very tall and not very close together. They spread 
a blanket over some of these brush and under it they built a 
little fire out of some dry brush which they broke into small 
pieces. Then one of them went off a little distance to find out 
if their fire could be seen. They spent the night there, dozing 
a little once in a while. The next morning the question arose as 
to whether or not they should go any further. The Indians knew 
where they were, and forty or fifty of them might make an attack 
at any time. At last they left it to Vary because it was his cattle 
that the Indians had stolen, and they were nearly all the property 
he had. After some talk he said they would follow the cattle 
part of the day, anyway, before giving it up. They took the 
direction the Indian had gone, and soon found the trail of the 
cattle which was still going north. They followed the trail until 
two hours before sunset without seeing any cattle or Indians, and 
then Vary said they had gone far enough and would turn back. 
They turned around and rode until after dark, and again secreted 
themselves in the sagebrush for the night. It took three days 
for them to get back to Deep Hole, using for food the beef they 
took from the Indian. 

When their friends saw them they threw up their hats and 
shouted for joy. Several days before this the men left in camp 


THE YEAE 1857 

had made up their minds that the three men had been killed by 
the Indians. Lewis took possession of Hines and Sylvester's 
property, and sent a man to Honey Lake to get men to come out 
there and hunt for them. The next day after their return they 
sent another man to stop the help from coming. During that 
day they discussed the utility of a plan to have the men come 
on and have an Indian hunt as they had plenty of provisions. 
The next day they sent another man out to tell them to come on, 
but he met the other two coming back and they all returned to 
camp. The man sent out by Lewis reported that the Potato War 
was going on, and that he could get no men to come with him. 
The whole party then came on to Honey Lake valley. 

This story shows the desperate chances that men took with 
the Indians in those days. Their safe return was due to good 
luck more than anything else. Half a dozen Indians could have 
ambushed them in the brush or rocks, and filled them full of 
arrows at short range without much danger to themselves. 

Elliott and Ferry's Shooting Scrape 

In the early part of the winter of 1857-8 while J. H. Ferry, 
always called Blackhawk here, was working in the blacksmith 
shop at Roop, McNaull & Go's, sawmill, Rough Elliott was haul- 
ing lumber from there. One day the two men had a dispute about 
something, and a few days afterwards Elliott went into the shop 
and being younger and stronger than Ferry, who was a gray- 
haired man, backed him over the anvil and beat him up consider- 
ably. Not long after this a dog that Ferry knew belonged to 
Elliott came into the shop. As soon as he saw the dog Ferry 
said "I know whose dog that is", and went into a little room 
where he slept, got his pistol, and stepped outside. Elliott was 
close by, and as soon as he saw Ferry come out with his pistol 
he jumped behind a big stump near by. They went to shooting 
at each other, Ferry being in the open and the other man dodging 
around the stump. Ferry kept going toward Elliott, shooting at 
him whenever he saw enough of him to shoot at, and finally 
emptied his pistol. He then said "I'll get him now", and 
started back to the shop to get his rifle, Elliott shooting at him as 
he walked away. Before he came out with his gun the boys came 
down from the mill and stopped the fight, probably saving 
Elliott's life. 



Barber Springs 
In the fall of 1857 a man named Barber who lived in Carson 
valley and who had been mining on Gold Run started for home. 
One night he camped at the springs just over the divide between 
Honey Lake and Long valley. At that time the trail ran over 
the hill through a low pass to the west of where the road runs 
now. The next morning a gun was fired from a pile of rocks close 
by, and Barber was shot through the arm. The Indian caught 
up a gun and fired at some one he saw in the rocks, but with 
what effect was never known. Barber came back to the ranch of 
N. Clark and stayed there until he was able to resume his journey. 
For a long time after that the springs where he was shot were 
called Barber Springs. 

Fight Over the Noble Road 
During the year 1857 the Noble Road was the favorite route 
with emigrants going into northern California, especially with 
those who knew something about the different routes. John Kirk 
was superintendent of the western end of the Wagon road, and 
the Never Sweats, not having trouble enough with the Indians 
and the Plumas county authorities, entered into a wordy war 
with him about this road. At that time Honey Lake valley was 
the western terminus of the road because the railroad survey 
made by Lieut. Beckwith passed that point, and because it was 
thought by Col. Noble the best for entering California. The 
Honey Lakers were afraid that Kirk's report would cause con- 
gress to change the terminus to Carson valley ; and they claimed 
that he said and did all sorts of unfair things to make it appear 
that the Honey Lake road was not a good one, and that he was a 
great friend of the Carson route. "The Butte Record" says 
that a great number of emigrants raise their voices in indignation 
about the way that John Kirk tried to force them to take the 
Carson route. "The Sacramento Union" quotes the foregoing 
and then expresses the opinion that the complaints did not come 
from the emigrants, but from the friends of the Honey Lake route 
and from the traders on that route. The trouble appears to have 
begun and ended in words. 

Conditions in Honey Lake at the Close of 1857 
The permanent settlement of the valley began this year and 
it was not deserted when winter came on. Men brought in their 


THE YEAR 1857 

families and the best land in the valley was taken up and settled 
on, but it was held in large tracts and the houses were far apart. 
The names of the women who came into the valley this year, as 
far as could be ascertained, have already been given. Possibly 
there may have been a few more of them. There was only one 
house built of boards in the valley. The others were log cabins 
covered with shakes and having a fireplace, sometimes partly 
made of logs covered with mud. There was at least one stove in 
the valley, and there may have been one or two more. Cooking 
was done at the fireplace, and this was sometimes helped out by a 
"Dutch oven." The furniture was generally home-made; and 
before the sawmill was built it was made out of whipsawed lum- 
ber, or planks split out with an ax. Merchandise, tools, imple- 
ments, etc. were scarce and prices high. Everything of that kind 
was brought in with pack trains over the Diamond Mountain 
trail. Ned Mulroney and Robert Wisbern had a packtrain that 
brought goods into the valley. Orlando Streshly also had one 
and so did L. F. Hough. 

Some vegetables were raised, and ruta-baga turnips grew so 
well that for several years after this they were called "Honey 
Lake currency." Perhaps a little wheat and other grains were 
raised, but until 1860 all of it had to be thrashed with a flail. 
The nearest gristmill was at Taylorville where Jobe Taylor had 
built one in 1856. Once in a while when a person was out of 
flour wheat was ground in a coffee-mill. Of course flour was 
high. Charles Lawson says that he paid a trader who was located 
on the north side of the valley this fall $2.50 for flour enough to 
make one meal of biscuits for four persons. A fortunate thing 
was that game was abundant, and for the first few years people 
lived on it more than they ever have since that time. Another 
lucky thing was that the first two or three winters were easy 
ones. There was very little chance to make money, and those 
who had any brought it with them from the mines of California. 
Nothing was raised that could be sold excepting a few cattle. 
and they were cheap and there was not much market for them. 
The placer mines near Lassen's place paid quite well for a few 
years, but they were never very extensive. While there was a 
large emigration, in the fall quite a number of Never Sweats 
strung out along the emigrant road between the valley and the 
Humboldt river and up that stream for a hundred miles, or more, 



and traded with the emigrants. They took with them flour and 
other provisions, ammunition, whiskey, and tobacco; and these 
goods they sold to the emigrants, or traded them for their foot- 
sore and tired-out animals. When these were rested they traded 
them for other wornout animals, of course getting a good trade ; 
and at the end of the season brought these animals into the valley. 
It can easily be imagined that these traders did not go out for 
their health, and between necessity and the traders the poor 
emigrants were ground between the upper and nether millstones. 

There were no light vehicles and the most of the traveling 
was done on horseback. Almost every one kept travelers over 
night, because there were no hotels excepting at some place like 
Rooptown. People generally carried their own blankets, and if 
much of a journey was to be taken, provisions were carried, too. 
There was no regular mail brought in. Whenever any one went 
to Quincy he brought back with him what mail there was for the 

There was very little law excepting what the settlers made for 
themselves, and less Gospel than there was law. Everybody went 
armed with a six-shooter, and some men carried two of them and a 
big knife. If a man had to go very far from home, he carried a 
rifle. A man was supposed to defend his life and property and 
"shooting scrapes" were quite frequent. The frontier is always 
the resort of criminals and desperate characters, and on account 
of the doubt as to where its territory was located and the absence 
of any officers of the law, Honey Lake had its share of them. 
The newspapers published at that time say that some of the worst 
horse-thieves on the coast rendezvoused in this valley. They stole 
horses from the settlers and from the emigrants passing through 
here, and the Indians were blamed for a good deal of it. But 
white men were caught at it once in a while and they were 
quickly treated to a dose of frontier justice ; for in the new settle- 
ments of the West, horse-stealing and counterfeiting have always 
been considered the worst of crimes. 

In conclusion, though the settlers were kind and helpful to 
each other and to newcomers, there was very little social life. 
The only amusement was a dance once in a while when a few 
women could be found at attend. A great deal of whiskey was 
drank and gambling was carried on almost every where. 




In January G. Craft claimed all the vacant land on Susan 
river lying between the Walden and Coulthurst ranches near 
Willow creek; W. H. Watson sold an undivided one half of his 
ranch to J. H. Scott; Scott claimed forty acres which Watson 
had relinquished from the southeast corner of his ranch the pre- 
vious October and a tract lying north of Watson and Wickhan ; 
Hasey and McNaull located two sections at the head of Willow 
creek and the "mill seat that is up and down said creek far 
enough to raise the water 18 feet;" Frank Rinard claimed the 
land located by Cornelison and forfeited by him ; Thomas Dawsen 
took a claim on the north bank of Susan river about three fourths 
of a mile west of the Adams claim. 

In February W. H. Watson recorded a claim to a section of 
land, taken four days after Hasey and McNaull made their claim, 
on the head of Willow creek and a millsite on the creek; John 
Ferry claimed McMunchie's half of the section located by him 
and Williams west of Haviland; Hasey claimed all of Antelope 
valley; Storff located a tract on both sides of the river between 
Coulthurst and Walden & Co. ; E. F. Cahill took a claim about 
three fourths of a mile square southwest of Streshly's ranch. 
There was recorded in Quincy a deed from A. D. McDonald to 
T. G. Harmon for all of the former's interest in the 1200 acres in 
Elysian valley east of the Bass ranch. This tract was owned by 
McDonald and the Wilmans Brothers. The consideration was 

In March Daniel Dawsen claimed a tract of one hundred acres 
lying between Thomas Watson, the Neale Brothers, Rice & Neis- 
wender, and the Bald hills, but relinquished it eleven days after- 
wards ; Nathaniel Headrick and Jasper Allison relocated the land 
that Libler had taken up in December, 1856, and which they 
claimed he had forfeited ; Dolphin Inman made a location on the 
south side of the river joining Haviland on the north and Rice & 
Neiswender on the south; Antionie (Anthony) Gray relocated 
the southwestern part of the tract taken by Libler in December, 
1856, probably bought it from him; Milton Craig claimed forty 
acres east of Cornelison and north of Haviland; J. Williams 



claimed half of the land taken by McMunchie in February, 1857, 
he having bought the other half of it ; John H. Ferry took a half 
section between Williams and Haviland, and his notice stated that 
it was the piece of land taken by McMunchie and by him for- 
feited. It looks as though it was the land claimed by Williams 
five days before that. Dawsen took a claim about four miles 
southeast of the Neale Brothers and just north of the Bald hill ; 
Albert H. Smith claimed eighty acres about one mile south of the 
Neale Brothers. 

This spring John Byrd came into the valley from Colusa 
county, California, and settled eight miles below the present site 
of Milford. He brought with him 700 or 800 head of stock horses 
and stock cattle. These increased rapidly and until he left here in 
1866 he was the largest stock owner in this section of the country. 

In April B. F. Grayham and F. Yager located a claim on the 
south side of the river joining the Neale Brothers on the east; 
Ladue Vary relocated the land north of Roop and Fredonyer 
which he had sold to Rinard and which the latter had relin- 
quished. Ella Grace, daughter of Dr. Z. N. Spalding and Wife, 
was born on the 18th of this month, the third child born in the 
valley. She died April 5th, 1860. Some time this spring Richard 
D. Bass, D. I. Wilmans, and Orlando Streshly brought their 
families into the valley. 

In June C. C. Walden took a claim west of Tutt, probably a 
part of the land taken by Dow and Hatch in April, 1857. Dow 
and Hatch bought a half section of land on the lake west of the 
Clark ranch from Eaton and Ward. They gave a rifle, an 
aparejo, and a mule for it. There was a cabin on the place and it 
was fenced on two sides, and in the fall they got 5000 pounds of 
wheat and some beans, corn, and potatoes from it. Soon after 
Dow sold it to S. J. Hill for $1500 worth of half-breed Sam. 
Neale mares. Dow and Hatch built the first bridge across the 
river at Toadtown where the bridge is now. Thomas Brown says 
that he, the Neales, Hines, Spalding, Sylvester, John C. Davis, 
and some others helped to build it. It was a primitive affair and 
went out when the first high water came. Thomas J. Mulroney 
came in and bought the Rough Elliott ranch northwest of Streshly 
for his brother Ned. Robert Wisbern, Ned's partner, stayed on 
the place the following winter. Isaac Coulthurst built a house 
on his place this summer. 


THE YEAR 1858 

In July Rinard took a claim northeast of Tom Watson which 
extended east to the Neale ranch; Dr. Spalding and John E. 
Fuller claimed 480 acres on the north side of the river east of 
Hines and Sylvester. Their southwest corner was a little north- 
east of Curlew Butte, and their land was half a mile wide and 
extended down the river a mile and a half. 

On the 12th an arbitration meeting was held at the Manley 
Thompson ranch. Joseph Lynch and Anthony Barla were 
partners in the place taken up by the former in 1856 and they 
could not agree. Dr. Slater and S. C. Perrin were chosen arbi- 
trators and they divided the land and water equally between the 
two men. 

In August Samuel R. Hall, then little more than a boy, came 
into the valley, and in September he and Jack Demming went into 
"Willow Creek valley and located a couple of claims at the upper 
end of it. Demming 's place was where what is now called 
Summers creek comes out of the hills and Hall's was not far 
away. They were the first settlers in that valley. They did not 
spend the winter there, but the next spring Demming went back 
and commenced to improve his place. 

In September Wm. R. Campbell took a claim between the 
Conkey and Neale ranches; Edward (Ned) Mulroney claimed 160 
acres, or more, near Gold Run northwest of J. P. Ford and 
between him and Arnold. 

The Neale Brothers had cattle running on the south side of 
the river this summer, and fearing the land would be fenced up so 
the cattle could not get water at the river, they had their hired 
man, Wm. H. (Hank) Crane, plow a ditch from the river above 
the falls, then not far from where the Johnstonville gristmill is 
now, southeast across the flat to the bluff. This was the beginning 
of the Buggytown Ditch, but it is possible that this was done a 
year later. 

Smith J. Hill came into the valley and bought the Baxter 
place about three fourths of a mile southeast of Bankhead 's for a 
mule. Hill says that about this time he bought out Matchelor for 
James D. Byers. This ranch was on Baxter creek about two 
miles northeast of Bankhead 's. Byers did not come here to live 
until several years after this and James Anderson had charge of 
the place and the stock. 

r 99 1 


This summer Dr. Slater taught a private school at his own 
house. His pupils were Susan and Hugh Bankhead, Maria Stone, 
and his own children, Eva and Daniel. F. & S. say: "In 1858 
Malcom Scott opened a private school in a small building that 
stood on the south side of Cottage street, about midway between 
Gay and Lassen streets. ' ' 

Late this summer Matchelor, Henderson, and another man, 
who had all been living on the place Hill bought for Byers, got 
out some logs and put up a cabin on the west part of Manley 
Thompson's ranch. Thompson reported the case to the citizens 
of the valley, and thirty or forty men met at his place to hold an 
arbitration. At first the "jumpers" said they would stay there 
anyhow and could not be driven off; but they soon saw that it 
was of no use to try to fight the whole crowd, and they said that 
if Thompson would pay them for the logs, they would leave. 
Probably he did this, for that was the end of the trouble. 

In October Wm. H. Crane, Wm. D. Snyder, C. W. Thompson, 
Robert Cochran, and Cyrus Smith located two sections east of 
Coulthurst and also claimed the water privilege of Susan river 
and Willow creek. 

On October 17th, 1858, there was born to Isaac and Mary 
Jane Coulthurst a son, William R., the fourth child born in the 
valley. He died October 10th, 1876. 

This fall Lassen and Albert A. Smith went to Lassen's old 
ranch on Deer creek after some millstones. It appears that they 
allowed him to take anything of that kind any time he wanted it, 
so he loaded up the millstones and started for home. At the 
same time Dr. Spalding and Fred Hines went to Red Bluff to get 
some drugs, the first used by Dr. Spalding in his practice here, 
and coming back they struck in with Lassen and Smith. Lassen's 
wagon was heavily loaded and Hines had to help him up the Hat 
Creek hill. He was up near the leaders driving and Lassen was 
behind the wagon carrying a big rock to chock the wheel when the 
team stopped. All at once a chain broke near the wagon which 
immediately started back down the hill. Lassen was old and 
clumsy and would have been run over and killed; but in his 
haste to get out of the way he accidentally dropped the stone 
where the wheel struck it, and the wagon stopped. It was a close 
call for Uncle Peter that time. 

Lassen rigged up a rude mill near the creek, about half way 


THE TEAR 1858 

between where the road runs through Milford and the foothill, 
or perhaps a little nearer the hill. He ran it with a sort of horse- 
power ; and crushed grain, but made no flour. This was the first 
attempt to build a gristmill in the county. This fall, some say 
1857, Lassen and Kingsbury put up a house of hewn logs on the 
top of the hill west of where the Hulsman residence is now, and 
it was used as a ranch house for several years. 

This year a man named Wasson settled in Long valley at 
what is sometimes called the Upper Hot springs, or the Hot 
Springs ranch. This place was six miles almost due south of the 
"Whitehead" Ross ranch. 

This month Elizabeth A. Sharp sold to Squire Stark for $500 
the ranch she bought from him the previous year. This fall Ross 
Lewers came in and bought the Fullbright and Crawford ranch, 
and soon after took in Rough Elliott as a partner. J. P. Ford 
sold out to Judkins and Gate. 

In November M. and E. R. Scott "laid claim in and unto the 
whole of Antilope valley so called situated north or in the 
northern part of Honey Lake valley about three miles northeast 
from Susanville." After the record of the notice Roop stated 
that he told M. Scott that some other parties had claimed the 
same land and filed their notice for record three days before, but 
Scott said he wanted his notice filed and he would take the 
chances. This is the first time that Roop's place has been 
called ' ' Susanville ' ' in any newspaper, record, or document that 
the writer has ever seen. For a while before this it was gener- 
ally called ' ' Rooptown, ' ' and for a couple of years afterwards it 
was sometimes called "Susanville" and sometimes "Rooptown." 

Lynch sold his place two miles below Bankhead's to George 
W. Fry and Dewitt C. Chandler. This fall David Rice was on 
the Morehead ranch and John Bradley and Wife lived about five 
miles further up the lake. They may have come into the valley 
the previous year. Christopher Meyers bought in with Manley 
Thompson. Some time this fall Mrs. Amanda Gray, the Wife of 
Anthony Gray, came to the valley with her family. Her husband 
came here the previous fall. The family consisted of T. W., Mary, 
and Benjamin Hughes and Louisa, Minnie, and Robert Gray. 

Some time during the year James Fuller, perhaps his brothers, 
John E. and C. W. (Bill), were in with him, put up a board 
shanty about three and one fourth miles below Roop 's and began 



to sell goods. It was on the north, side of the road near the river, 
and not far from where Dr. Spalding had built his house which 
is still standing. Daniel Murray was his clerk, and before long 
he and Edward Powers bought Fuller out. This same year either 
these two, or Fuller, put up a blacksmith shop across the road 
from the store and Henry Hastings was the first blacksmith. 

The following people settled in Honey Lake valley in 1858. 
The names of some of them have already been given. 

A. B. Jenison and family, *Mrs. Richard Thompson and 
family, Thomas J. Mulroney, John S. Ward and family, John 
and Edward Bass, Lewis Stark and family, G. W. Howard, J. H. 
Breed, Thurston (Ken tuck) Thomas, * Christopher Meyers, * Will- 
iam Meyers, James D. Byers, *Edward Powers, *Daniel Mur- 
ray, Jacob Holley, *Ben B. Painter, *John Thayer. Per- 
haps William (Limekiln) Smith and several brothers named 
Wheeler settled here this year. Though Byers did not come to 
this county to live until several years later, he was, in a way, a 
settler here. He held county office and was a member of the 
legislature and was always a prominent man. 

The following lived in the valley all the rest of their lives : 
Mrs. R. D. Bass, John S. Ward and his son Frank G. (Bob), 
T. J. Mulroney, John Bradley and Wife, John Thayer, G. W. 
Fry, D. C. Chandler, John C. Davis, Thurston Thomas, J. D. 
Byers, Robert Wisbern, Mrs. R. Thompson, and A. B. Jenison 
and Wife. 

Ward was a lawyer and was a prominent man as long as he 

Painter, Rice, Crane, the Fuller Bros., John and Edward 
Bass, Hill, Stark, Lewers, Murray, John Byrd, Breed, Hall, 
C. and W. Meyers, Mrs. Streshly, Mrs. Anthony Gray and 
family, and Mrs. John S. Ward and her children Trowbridge 
II . and Jennie lived in the county from six or seven to twenty- 
five years or more. 

W. H. Crane was a member of the legislature. 
Western Utah Politics. 1858 

T. and W. (Thompson and West's History of Nevada) say: 

The following letter from Judge Crane shows that the creation 

of the territory of Sierra Nevada was considered at Washington 

[ 102 1 

THE YEAR 1858 

about the same as an accomplished fact at one time, but the act 
was finally defeated. 

"Judge Crane to His Constituents. 

"Washington, February 18, 1358. 

"Fellow-Citizens : — It affords me much satisfaction to furnish 
you in advance information of great interest. The committee on 
territories has unanimously agreed to report a bill forthwith to 
establish a territorial government out of western Utah, under the 
name of Sierra Nevada. It will be bounded on the east by the 
Goose Creek mountains, on the west by the Sierra Nevada, or the 
east line of California, on the north by the Oregon line, and on 
the south by the Colorado river. 

"The bill will be pressed through both houses of Congress, 
by all parties, as having an immediate connection with the present 
military movements against the Mormons. It has been agreed 
upon that it shall form a part of the measure designed to com- 
press the limits of the Mormons in the Great Basin, and to defeat 
their efforts to corrupt and confederate with the Indian tribes 
who now reside in or roam through western Utah. For this and 
many other reasons, no time will be lost to organize a territory 
over western Utah, that there may be concentrated there a large 
Gentile population, as a check both upon the Indians and the 

1 ' To the Hon. Wm. Smith, the able member of Congress from 
the Orange congressional district in Va. (well known in Cali- 
fornia) you and I owe an everlasting debt of gratitude for bring- 
ing about this auspicious result. 

"In connection with this subject permit me to say (if I am 
not writing to you unadvisedly) that you all sow and plant heavy 
crops of grain and vegetables this spring, for they will bring 
ready sale at good cash prices to supply the army and the Indians 
on their reservations. 

"As soon as I shall get my seat I think I can secure mail 
routes between Carson valley, via Gold Canyon, Ragtown, Sink 
of the Humboldt, to the Great Salt Lake, and from Honey Lake 
to the Humboldt, where the two lines form a junction. As to 
the establishment of other necessary mail routes in the territory 
I have no fears. In connection with this subject also, I have 
great hopes of having a bill passed to bridge the deep snow 
region of the Sierra Nevada, over the Honey lake and Plaeerville 



routes, so as to keep open communication between our territory 
and California all the year round. The deep snow region on 
the Placerville route is, I think, about eight miles in extent, and 
on the Honey Lake route, via Shasta, about the same. Neither 
will cost over $50000 or $60000. 

"In conclusion, I hope the legislature of California will be 
as liberal and as generous to you as Virginia was to Kentucky 
in her days of infancy and trial, and as Georgia was to Alabama 
in her days of infancy ; and like them, withdraw her jurisdiction 
over valleys lying east of the Sierra Nevada, that they may all 
come under our territorial government. 

"Ever your faithful friend, 

"James M. Crane." 

' ' The foregoing will give the reader a fair idea of the state of 
mind that the settlers of western Utah were in, and the induce- 
ments that urged them to a separation. It further presents the 
pecuniary outlook that floated before the mental vision of the 
ranchers whose products from the soil was to feed 115000 Indians 
on the reservations, and the soldiers that were to keep them and 
the Mormons in check. Western Utah was a miner 's and farmer 's 
Paradise, where the roads to wealth were to be paved by the 
United States treasury, with coin, over fields of precious stones, 
and the richest gold and silver mines on the continent. These 
exaggerations had their effect, and the public was being slowly 
prepared for an excitement such as followed the eventual discov- 
ery of the Comstock Lode. ' ' 

Another Attempt to Reorganize Carson County 
"In 1858 another attempt was made to reorganize Carson 
county and it proved only partially successful. Governor Cum- 
mings commissioned John S. Child, probate judge, and he called 
an election for county officers. The election was Mormon or 
Anti-Mormon, but as there were no Mormons excepting one, it 
was really those who favored the hanging of 'Lucky Bill' 
against those who did not. Four of the six precincts were 
thrown out for illegal voting. All the Mormon ticket was elected 
excepting Sides and Abernathy. The people paid but little 
attention to the results of this election. Those who received the 
highest number of votes were declared elected, but their positions 
became mere sinecures." 


the year 1s58 

Result of the Movement of 1857 
"The movement set on foot in 1857 failed and Congress did 
not create the new territory asked for by the settlers of western 
Utah. But there was a hostile feeling between the Mormons and 
the citizens of the United States, and the people of western Utah 
proposed to use this feeling to help them in getting Congress to 
organize a new territory that should not include Salt Lake City. ' ' 

Honey Lake Politics — 1858 

During the year 1858 political conditions remained about the 
same as they were the previous year. The only political action 
taken is shown by the following which F. and S. quote from 
Roop's record. They say: 

"To provide for their own government until such time as 
congress should incorporate them in a new territory, the people 
of the valley again met, in February, 1858, and adopted the 
following laws: 
"Laws of Honey Lake Valley. Adopted February 13, 1858. 

"Sec. 1. — Each "White Male twenty-one years of age shall 
have the right to take up and locate vacant land to the amount of 
640 acres. Provided, that within 30 days from the taking up and 
locating he shall have it surveyed, and a mound three feet high 
thrown up at every corner, and a stake set in each mound 6 ft. 
long, and the claimant's name placed on Record, and to occupy 
and improve to the amount of one dollar per acre claimed within 
twelve months from the date of locating, said one dollar per acre 
to be placed on the land claimed as follows : I2V2 cts. per acre 
within 30 days from the locating; I2V2 cts. per acre within the 
next 30 days; 25 cts. per acre within the next 60 days; 25 cts. 
per acre within the next 4 months; 25 cts. per acre within the 
next 4 months. Said improvement to consist in plowing, fencing, 
building, and the planting of fruit trees. 

"Sec. 2. — An actual residence within the district where the 
land lays shall be held an occupation of the land claimed. A 
substitute can represent. No one person can represent more than 
one claim. 

"Sec. 3. — Claims may be held in fractions, where such frac- 
tions have been made by prior surveys of claims, provided that 
the number shall not exceed 4, and the whole not more than 640 
acres, and each and every fraction shall be improved agreeable 
to section one. 



"Sec. 4. — All sales and transfers of land shall be acknow- 
ledged to by the Recorder, and to be placed on record. 

"Sec. 5. — No person or persons shall divert water from its 
original channel to the injury of any prior occupant. 

"Sec. 6. — Owners of hogs shall be held to pay all damages 
their hogs may do between the first day of April and the first 
day of November. 

"Sec. 7. — All difficulties, disputes, and suits at law, of any 
nature, shall be had before a Board of Arbitrators, and a majority 
of said Board shall render a decision ; and when a decision shall 
not be satisfactory to both or either party, the one so grieved 
may take an appeal within ten days thereafter, and have it tried 
before a Board in an adjoining district ; and if the former decision 
shall have been sustained by a majority of the second Board, 
then such a decision shall be final ; but if the decision shall have 
been reversed by a majority of the second Board, then the case 
shall be left to seven citizens, three to be chosen by each party, 
the seventh to be called by the six, and a decision the majority 
shall make shall be final. 

' ' Sec. 8. — There shall be an election held on the first Saturday 
in May in each district, for the purpose of electing one Recorder 
and three Arbitrators in each district. 

"Sec. 9. — The fees of the Arbitrators shall not exceed five 
dollars each a day, to be paid by the party losing the suit. ' ' 

Indian Troubles — 1858 

In 1857 General Crook built Fort Crook in the upper end 
of Fall River valley. This was a piece of good fortune for the 
people of Honey Lake valley. The Pit river Indians had always 
bothered them a great deal, and as soldiers were stationed at the 
fort after this it helped to keep the Indians in check. Besides 
that the soldiers often had a fight with them, and in these fights, 
if General Crook was in command, a good many Indians were put 
in a condition not to make any more trouble. In the course of 
ten or a dozen years the tribe became so small that they did not 
have the power to make very much trouble. 

Treaty with the Smoke Creek Pi Utahs Indians 

The following is an exact copy of the treaty which is owned 
by the family of the late John F. Hulsman. 


THE YEAE 1858 

"Honey Lake Valley, January 5th, 1858. 
"Treaty formed this fifth day of January One thousand eight 
hundred and fifty eight (1858) between the chief of the smoke 
creek band of Pi Utahs Indians named Winnemorhas and P. 
Lassen Isaac Roop J Williams Sub Agents of J T Henley Super- 
intendant of Indians affairs for California. 

"P Lassen Isaac Roop and J Williams agree to give to 
Winnemorhas the chief of the smoke band of Indians the clothing 
blankets &c furnished by J T Henley upon the terms and condi- 
tions prescribed by him to us. 

"Winnemorhas the chief of the Pi Utahs Indians at smoke 
creek agrees in consideration of the Blankets clothing &c received 
by him to remain at Peace with the whole people of Honey Lake 
Valley and vicinity and also to refrain from stealing stock or 
other pilfering from the whites of the aforesaid vicinity and to 
return all stock stolen from them if possible for him to do so and 
further agrees all supplies from and intercourse with the whites 
shall cease if he fails to perform his part of the contract 
"J Williams 
P Lassen 
I Roop 
Sub Agents Winnemorha 

Chief of the smoke Creek 
Band of the Pi Utahs Ind 
Winnemorhas. His x mark 
"Abstract of articals delivered as presents to the Pi Utahs 
Indians of Honey Valley on Dec 11th 1857 and Jan 5th 1858 — 

Over halls ... 90 Pr Hickory stripe 250 yds 

Blankets ...40 " Cotton Kerchief 90 

Military coats . . 2 Blue Prints 50 yds 

Brown drill ... 25 yds Linen thread 2 Bals 

Buttons ... 8 gross Thimbals 90 

Combs ... 2 doz Military Jackets 82 

Needles ... 500 

"We the undersigned disinterested persons here-by certify 
that we ware present and witnessed the delivery of the above 
articals to the Pi Utahs Indians 

W C Kingsbury John Winnemorha Interpreter 

A A Smith His x mark 



"Abstract of articals delivered as presents to the Pah Utahs 
Indians of Honey Lake Valley on July 16th 1858 
Over halls 54 Pr Hicory stripe 127V 2 yds 

Blankets 10 . . Cotton Kerchief 30 

Brown drill 7 yds Blue Prints 60% yds 

Buttons 3 gross Bdls Lin thred 1 . . Bdls 

Combs 2 doz Thimbels 54 

Needles 5.00 Milit Jackets 18 

Cotton thread 4 doz 

"Witness A L McDonald 
A A Smith 
W C Kingsbury" 

Expedition to Cold Springs in Pursuit of Indians 
Related by William Dow and Fred Hines 

About the middle of March six or eight head of cattle were 
stolen by the Indians from Charles Adams who had a ranch on 
the river about three miles from the lake. In the fall of 1857 
when Hines was out on the Humboldt river trading with the 
emigrants, Adams came along with a band of cattle which he 
had driven from the states, and he was looking for a good place 
to winter them. Hines told him to come to Honey Lake, and he 
and his brother Abijah came in here with the cattle and took up 
a ranch. He remembered Hines and visited him every time he 
came to the upper end of the valley. When his cattle were 
stolen he at once came up to see Hines, and they talked the 
matter over. There were quite a lot of men around the Hines 
and Sylvester ranch, and they all told Adams they would do 
what they could for him. They said they would kill a beef, 
and then get some men together and go down and join with him 
in the pursuit of the Indians. Hines told him that he had better 
go home by way of the Bankhead place and see if he could not 
get some more men to go along. 

The men in the upper end of the valley got ready, and in a. 
day or two William Dow, Fred Hines, John Neale, Henry 
Arnold, Wiley Cornelison, Capt. Weatherlow, U. J. Tutt, and 
perhaps a few others went down and camped between Willow 
creek and Susan river at their junction, arriving there near the 
middle of the afternoon. Just at dusk they heard a shot fired 
and saw a fire on the south side of the river opposite the mouth 


THE YEAR 1858 

of Willow creek. Thinking it might be some men from the 
south side of the valley who were signaling to them, Hines and 
Arnold went in that direction as far as the water would permit 
and fired their pistols several times. They got no reply, and 
after waiting a while went back to camp. The next morning 
Adams called to them from the other side of Willow creek and 
said he could get no more men to go along. He had not seen the 
fire, and they all came to the conclusion that it had been built 
by some one who was out hunting cattle and had got cold. They 
thought no more about it until subsequent events brought it to 
to their minds; but the reader will please remember it, "for 
thereby hangs a tale." 

They took the trail of the Indians, there were only five or six 
of them, and followed it until night and camped at the southwest 
corner of Secret valley. That night they went to the top of the 
highest mountain that was near them to look for Indian camp 
fires, and this they did every night during the trip. The next 
night they camped at the upper end of Snow Storm creek, and 
the night following that at Cold Springs to the north of Madeline 
Plains. The next day they spent in hunting around on a big 
mountain in the range that comes down from the west side of 
Surprise valley. The Indians had gone across a point of the 
mountain where the ground was frozen, and there the white 
men lost their trail. 

The following morning they took the back track and reached 
home in due time without meeting with any adventures. They 
brought back neither cattle nor scalps, and this was the luck 
of many parties of Never Sweats who went in pursuit of Indian 

Captain Weatherlow's Fight with the Indians 

During the spring of 1858 the Indians stole a good many 
cattle and horses from the Honey Lakers. The Washos, though 
perhaps not openly hostile, did considerable of this ; or, at least, 
it was laid at their door. 

I. N. Hoop in a letter to the "Shasta Republican," dated 
April 22nd says : ' ' The Indians are continually committing 
thefts in the valley. Within the last six weeks they have driven 
twenty-six head of cattle out of the valley besides the four that 
they killed here together with six horses and two mules. They 



have been followed by the citizens to no purpose save once when 
a company commanded by Capt. Wm. Weatherlow some two 
weeks since started in pursuit of the Washos. ' ' 

The Indians had stolen some horses from Fullbright and 
Crawford and a party started in pursuit. Seven or eight men, 
one of them being Crawford, were from the lower end of the 
valley, and Capt. Weatherlow, Cap Hill, "Jonce" Tutt, and 
perhaps another man went from the upper end. In all of these 
expeditions after the Indians, if Weatherlow went along, he was 
looked upon as the leader. In fact, in most cases, he was the 
one who raised a crowd of men and followed the Indians after 
they had committed some depredation. 

The party followed the Indian trail down the valley and 
camped on the north side of the divide between Honey Lake and 
Long valleys. Along about two or three o 'clock the next morning 
part of them went south over the ridge to look for Indian camp 
fires. They thought they saw some five or six miles away and all 
of them excepting Weatherlow went back to move their camp over 
to the south side of the ridge. About daylight two Indians, one 
armed with a gun and the other with a bow and arrows, came to 
him, and being able to talk a little English, they asked him what I 
he was doing there. He told them that he was hunting antelope. 
He then started off and they followed him. He tried to keep ! 
either one of them from getting behind him, but the one with the 
bow and arrows finally succeeded in doing it and Weatherlow 
turned and shot him with his revolver. The other Indian was too 
close to use his gun, so he dropped it and sprang upon Weather- 
low before the latter could shoot him ; and they had a rough and j 
tumble fight that lasted for half an hour, the two rolling over and I 
over on the ground, first one on top and then the other. Weath- I 
erlow was a small man and the Indian kept him under the most 
of the time, but whenever he was on top he threw sand and gravel 
into the Indian's mouth and eyes and yelled as loud as he could, 
hoping that some of his party would hear him and come to his 
relief. The Indian had a knife slung on a string between his 
shoulders, as the Indians then carried their knives, and this he 
tried to get and Weatherlow tried to keep him from doing it. 
The white man got one of the Indian's fingers between his teeth 
and hung to it and caught hold of the Indian's other hand, and 
so kept him from drawing his knife. But the red man finally 


THE YEAR 1858 

wore his opponent out, and when his finger was chewed off he 
got that hand free and soon had the white man at his mercy. In 
a minute or two more Weatherlow would have been killed, but 
just then Tutt appeared upon the scene. He ran up and caught 
the Indian by the hair, and with one stroke of his Bowie knife 
almost cut off his head. Tutt had started out from camp ahead 
of the others, and hearing Weatherlow 's shouts, he threw down 
his pack and ran to him as fast as he could, getting there just in 

Weatherlow was badly bruised in the fight, but he received no 
other injuries and in a few days was ready to go after Indians 

Charles H. Crawford Killed by an Indian 
Related by William H. Clark 

A short time after the expedition to Cold Springs the Indians, 
Diggers, or Diggers and Washos together, stole a yoke of oxen 
from Manley Thompson and drove them over the mountain to the 
southwest and killed them. Nine men, Wm. N. Crawford, Epp- 

stein, Denny, Elliott, Billy Clark, M. Thompson, Chapman, 

C. H. Crawford, Fullbright's partner, and Weatherlow, went in 
pursuit of the thieves. C. H. Crawford rode a mule, he being too 
fleshy to walk, and the others were on foot. 

They started in the morning and went over the mountain to 
what is now called Clark's creek, and went down this to the 
place where it flows into Last Chance creek. There they came 
upon a party of four Indians, two bucks and two squaws, camped 
by a big fire and they took the bucks prisoners. They were armed 
with guns and bows and arrows and their captors allowed them 
to keep their weapons. There was nothing to show that these 
Indians had anything to do with stealing the oxen. While the 
white men stood there talking a party of nine men on horseback 
under the leadership of Frank Johnson rode up and said they had 
come to help them hunt for the Indians. Johnson wanted to put 
up the captives at a distance of one hundred and fifty yards and 
shoot at them, but C. Crawford would not allow it to be done. He 
said that their party had taken the prisoners and that they would 
take them down into the valley and try to find out from them 
what Indians stole the cattle. Johnson said that if they could 
not kill the Indians there was no use of going any further. So 
they all started back up the north side of Clark's creek, the pris- 



oners in the midst of the men on foot, and the mounted men about 
a hundred yards ahead. Before they had gone very far one of 
the Indians threw down his gun and ran down the creek and 
Chapman followed him. After running a short distance the In- 
dian jumped off a high bank into the willows, and though Chap- 
man fired at him several times with his six-shooter, he succeeded 
in getting away. They then went on up the creek with the other 
Indian and in a few minutes he, too, threw down his gun and 
started up the side of the mountain, Crawford following him on 
his mule. The men on foot followed him, too, shooting as they 
ran, but they all missed him. When Crawford got within eight 
or ten feet of the Indian the latter turned and shot him, the arrow 
striking him on the right side and ranging downward into the 
small of his back, going almost through his body. They surround- 
ed the Indian and kept shooting at him, but in their excitement 
they took no aim and no one hit him. Johnson got close to him, 
and if the others had not prevented it the Indian would have 
killed him with a knife. Finally Wm. Crawford shot him 
through the leg and got him down, and then they managed to 
kill him. 

They cut some poles and with these and some saddle blankets 
they made a litter, and the nine men carried Crawford over the 
mountain to the valley He was such a heavy man that it was a 
hard job, and their shoulders were worn raw by the poles. The 
wounded man asked Clark to pull the arrow out and he, not 
thinking what the result would be, did so and the head of the 
arrow was left deep in the wound. Dr. Slater said that if the 
arrow had been pushed on through his body it would have all 
come out, and besides that it would have let out the blood and he 
might have recovered. As it was he lived only three days. His 
tombstone says that he was killed on the 21st day of May. He 
was buried in the graveyard that is perhaps a third of a mile 
south of the road, and four miles southeast of Janesville. This 
is the oldest graveyard in the county. In addition to the fore- 
going, Thomas B. Doyle says Wm. Crawford told him that the 
Indians had no ammunition for their guns ; that he shot the In- 
dian through both knees at a distance of four hundred yards, 
and then they all shot him and riddled him with bullets ; and that 
they came into the valley with Crawford about two miles north- 
west of Milford. 

r 112 1 

THE YEAR 1858 

The Trip to Goose Lake Valley in Pursuit of the Indians 
Related by Dow and Hines 

On Sunday, April 18th, 1858, the Pit river Indians stole two 
horses and two mules from Hines and Tutt and three horses and 
a mule from Jonathan Scott. The animals were running on the 
flat to the north of Haviland's ranch and their loss was not dis- 
covered until the next day. 

Just as soon as they found out that the stock was gone Dow, 
Tutt, and an Indian who had come from southern California with 
J. Scott started out to get the course the Indians had taken with 
the stolen animals. Dow and Tutt were considered to be among 
the very best Indian fighters of the valley and they did consider- 
able scouting. They followed the trail up past the Big Spring 
at the head of what is now known as the Antelope grade; and 
then wrote what they had learned on a piece of juniper bark and 
sent the Indian back with it to notify the crowd to get ready. 
Dow and Tutt followed the trail on over into Willow Creek val- 
ley, but came back home that night. The next day the men who 
were going in pursuit of the Indians met at the ranches of Dow & 
Hatch and Hines & Sylvester, which were just across the road 
from each other. The party consisted of Capt. Weatherlow, Tutt, 
Dow, Hines, C. C. Walden, Henry Arnold, Thad. Norton, Alec. 
Chapman, Storff, Amos Conkey, Frank Johnson, Rough Elliott, 
Charles Adams, Lathrop, and J. B. Gilpin. 

They started out the same day, taking with them three weeks' 
provisions, but they did not get very far. They got a late start, 
and not knowing the country very well, struck Willow creek about 
the middle of the Big Swamp. It was frozen over, but would not 
bear them up, so they followed down the stream about four miles 
until they found a narrow place, and there they crossed the creek. 
They went back up the creek until they found the trail of the 
Indians, and it then being late, they camped for the night in a 
neck on the north side and a little west of the center of the valley. 
The next morning they got an early start and followed the trail 
along the west side of Fredonyer Butte. Along here somewhere 
the Indians had killed one of the mules. About ten o'clock in the 
forenoon they came in sight of Grasshopper lake. They saw a 
big flock of brants fly up, and the man in the lead, who was doing 
the trailing, thought he saw a dark object on the lake and mo- 



tioned for the others to stop. They had a spyglass, and with the 
aid of that they could see some Indians who appeared to be setting 
nets for ducks in the lake. They thought these might be the 
Indians they were after, so a man or two went up on a ledge of 
rocks to watch them through the spyglass and the rest of the party 
went down into a canyon and camped. Just before sunset the 
Indians left the lake and went west across the valley to what 
appeared to be a mound south of the middle of the lake, and half 
or three quarters of a mile from it. The whites sat around their 
camp fire until some time after midnight, and leaving Conkey to 
watch the camp, they set out to find the Indians. The lake lay 
between them and the mound, but from the actions of the Indians 
they thought it must be shallow and they took a straight course. 
When they reached it they found it was deeper than they ex- 
pected, and some of the men went around instead of going 
through the water. Those who waded got ahead of the others 
and had to wait for them to come up. When they got to the 
mound they found there were three of them, and the two southern 
ones looked very much alike. This bothered them ; but after talk- 
ing the matter over they concluded to divide and part of them go 
around the south side of the south mound and the rest go up on 
the east side, and if they found no Indians they would try the 
next mound. It was the right one and both parties reached the 
Indians about the same time. They were camped on the east 
side of a steep ledge and those who went around came out right 
above them — not more than eight feet away. It was then just 
after daylight, and one of the Indians raised up and poked the 
fire with a little stick. The whites immediately fired and killed 
all of them, three bucks and a squaw. Only one man fired the sec- 
ond time. One of the Indians sprang up convulsively when he was 
shot, and some one who had a double-barreled shotgun shot him 
as he raised up. They were Pit river, or Dixie valley, Indians, 
but not the ones they were following. The white men thought, 
however, that they deserved their fate, for there were marrow- 
bones and fresh rawhides in their camp. The party then went 
back to their camp, and after breakfast took the trail and followed 
it along the east side of the lake, through Dry valley, then over a 
little sand ridge onto the west end of Madeline Plains, kept on 
north, and that night camped by a spring at the northwest corner 
of the Plains. The next day they went down through a pass to 

[ 114 ] 


the south fork of Pit river, and camped that night on a creek that 
runs into it near where Alturas now stands. That night Dow 
and Elliott put on some moccasins they had taken from the In- 
dians killed in Grasshopper valley, and went up on the side of a 
mountain twelve or fifteen miles away to look for Indian camp 
fires. They went up the mountain until they could see all over 
that part of the country, but saw no fires. The next morning the 
trail led them up Pit river, and during the day they came to a 
place that looked as though the Indians they were following and 
the rest of their band had wintered there. The Indians who had 
been left in camp joined the ones with the stolen animals, and 
they all went on together. In this place Dow and Hines do not 
agree, but the matter is not important. Dow says they camped 
that night near the south end of Goose Lake valley at the place 
where the Indians had camped the night before. Hines says the 
trail had not been very fresh, and the next morning after they 
camped here some of the men became discouraged and wanted to 
turn back. Rough Elliott and Alec. Chapman almost had a fight 
over it. Finally it was agreed that they would follow the trail 
until noon, and if it was no fresher they would turn back Early 
that forenoon they struck the Sheep Rock road which left the 
Lassen Trail at the lower end of the valley and went west to the 
Yreka country. In this road they found the fresh tracks of shod 
horses and this puzzled them. They knew it was too early for 
emigrants, and they thought that either the Indians had stolen 
some horses in Shasta county and brought them there, or that an- 
other party of white men had come from the west hunting Indians. 
They followed the Lassen Trail to the north, the new tracks and 
the tracks of the Indians they were following both being in the 
road. They were excited on account of finding the new tracks 
and also because they saw a signal fire, the first one they had seen 
on the trip, in the hills to the northeast, and they rode fast until 
they came to a steep hill that ran west to the lake. Here the 
tracks separated, the new ones going around the hill toward the 
lake and the Indian tracks straight up it. Here the Honey 
Lakers divided their crowd, nine men following the new tracks 
and the other six going up the hill. The foregoing is the way 
Dow tells it. Hines thinks they saw the signal fire before they 
reached the Sheep Rock road and that the six men started in that 
direction as soon as they saw it. The nine men went on around 



the hill, which Dow and Hines think must be the- Sugar Loaf, 
and before long came to some people camped on the north side of 
it near the road. They were the party with the shod horses, and 
were twelve Mormons, seven men, three women, two of them 
young ladies, and two children, from Eugene City, Oregon ; and 
they were going to Salt Lake City in obedience to a call from 
Brigham Young. The names of six of the men were B. Young, 
David M. Stewart, or Steward, Dr. Silas G. Higgins, Lorenzo L. 
Harmon, J. L. Adams, and Henry H. Winslow. The night before 
the Never Sweats got there, the night of the 24th, while they were 
changing their guard fifty or sixty Indians surprised them and 
stampeded all their horses, twenty-three in number. The next 
morning several Indians came to their camp and laid down their 
bows and arrows and wanted the Mormons to lay down their guns 
and be friendly. They said that some bad Indians had stolen 
their horses and after some talk they agreed to bring them back if 
the white men would give them a tent and some clothing. They 
wanted one of the white men to go with them, and Dr. Higgins 
volunteered to do this and had not yet got back. He told after- 
wards that he went with them to their main camp, probably in 
what is now known as Fandango valley, and there they found 
seventy-five Indians, as near as he could judge. These Indians 
said that some of the horses had been run off by other Indians, 
and they could return only part of them. Shortly after this they 
started back to the Mormon camp with twelve horses, ten or a 
dozen Indians going along and riding the horses. The rest of 
them went along, too, but they took another route. 

We will now see what was done by the smaller party of Honey 
Lakers. The trail which they followed over the hill led almost 
directly to the Mormon camp, and when they got about a quarter 
of a mile from it they came to a place where a high ledge of rocks 
ran parallel to the trail. There was a ravine between them and 
the ledge, and they saw a couple of Indians sneaking along it. 
Walden called out to take them prisoners, but Dow said they 
would take no prisoners, for a man had been killed by an Indian 
prisoner just before they left home. He and two or three others 
fired at the Indians, and thirty or forty more of them immedi- 
ately jumped up from behind the ledge and gave a war whoop. 
When the Honey Lakers at the Mormon camp heard the yelling 
and shouting they struck out in that direction as fast as their 


THE YEAR 1858 

horses could run and soon came upon Higgins and the Indians 
coming back with the horses. When these Indians heard the 
noise they suspected treachery, and setting up a yell, they jumped 
from the horses and shot them and the white man full of arrows. 
Higgins was shot through the hip with a bullet, two arrows were 
shot into his arm and three into his back, but the latter did not 
go through into the cavity. In an account published in a news- 
paper of the day it was said that he was shot ten times. Eight 
of the horses were wounded so bad that they died, or had to be 
killed. The Indians then ran away and the whites followed them 
as fast as they could. The six men were chasing their bunch of 
Indians, too; but it was hard work getting over the ledge, the 
ground was soft so they could not run their horses very fast, and 
they got behind the others. All hands were now in sight of each 
other. The two bands of Indians were running toward the north 
in almost parallel lines, but gradually drawing together, and the 
whites in close pursuit. Dow shot a big Indian who had got be- 
hind, Tutt shot another one, and probably several more were 
killed while the chase was going on. The Indians soon came to- 
gether and shortly afterwards suddenly dropped into a canyon. 
The larger party of white men were still a little ahead, and seeing 
the leading Indians running up the hill on the other side, they 
rode right up to the edge of the canyon and found a sheer drop of 
twenty feet or more. They hastily pulled up and just then the 
air became full of arrows. Hines's horse was shot in the neck and 
in the shoulder before he could get off and get behind it. An 
arrow struck Lathrop on the breast, but he had a powder flask in 
his shirt pocket and that saved his life. An arrow struck 
Adams's stirrup. Dow says eight horses were wounded, all of 
them slightly, excepting one of them that was shot in the throat. 
Probably the arrows were poisoned, because the wounds swelled 
a great deal, though none of the horses died. Hines thinks only 
two horses besides his were shot here and that the wounded horses 
belonging to the Mormons came to them and stood around while 
the fight was going on, and some of them died there. At the edge 
of the canyon there was a big rock pile, and the Indians hid them- 
selves behind and under it. The steep part of this rock pile was 
about one hundred and fifty yards long. It was in the shape of 
an elbow with the point to the west, and at each end of it one 
could go down into the canyon very easily. The white men 



stayed at the top of the canyon and fired at the Indians around 
the ends of the ledge, or wherever they could see them. The 
fight commenced a little after noon and lasted about four hours. 
The whites did not expose themselves very much and only one man 
was injured. Elliott got too far around the rock, and an arrow | 
with a stone point struck him on the side of the head, making a 
painful but not dangerous wound. After all of the Indians had 
either been shot or had run away so that no more living ones 
could be seen the whites thought some of going up to their main 
camp. They talked the matter over and finally came to the con- 
clusion that they might find more Indians there than they could 
handle. Besides that they didn't know what had happened to 
the Mormons during their absence, and thought they ought to go 
and see. But before they went away they wanted to see what 
was in the canyon, and Hines and Johnson started to climb down 
into it. Just then Weatherlow, who was down where he could 
see under the rocks, called to them to stop, for there was an In- 
dian down below waiting for them. Several men got their rifles 
ready, and then a couple more held Lathrop by the hand and he 
leaned out over the rocks and fired his revolver as Weatherlow 
directed him. "When he fired the Indian jumped out into sight 
and the men with the rifles shot and killed him instantly. The 
two men then went down into the canyon and found that the 
Indian had only one arrow and that had no point, but he had it 
fixed to his bow and stood ready to shoot the first man that came 
down. He was a brave man, for he came to his death trying to 
fight with a poor weapon instead of running away. The two 
white men gathered up what bows and arrows they could find, 
the arrows all having stone points. Evidently the Indians had 
only one gun, for that was all the whites heard during the fight. 
They found seventeen dead Indians and these they scalped and 
brought the scalps home with them. Hines said so many parties 
had gone from Honey Lake after Indians and never brought any- 
thing back, they thought they would take something home to 
show that they had killed some this time. They never knew how 
many Indians were killed and wounded. There must have been 
fifty or sixty of them in the canyon, and probably there were 
more killed than they scalped and a good many wounded. On 
the way to the Mormon camp Dow told Hines about the Indian he 
shot before they reached the canyon, and said he wanted to see 


THE YEAE 1858 

what had become of him. They looked around and finally found 
him sitting with his back against a juniper tree apparently dead. 
Hines was going to him to take his scalp when Dow told him to 
hold on, for the Indian might not be dead and would hurt him. 
He stopped and Dow took a shot at the Indian, but he never 
moved. Then they went to him and found that he had been dead 
for some time. 

They found the Mormons at their camp. They had pulled the 
arrows out of Higgins and they thought he would die before 
morning. They made a stretcher out of a blanket and some poles 
to carry him on, and then they all went to an open place near a 
creek a little south of the lake and camped there. They were 
afraid the Indians would attack them in the night, and in an open 
place there was less chance of their being surprised. No Indians 
came around that night, and as Higgins was better the next 
morning, they concluded to stay there that day. Elliott wanted 
his wound attended to, so he and another man started for home 
that morning. 

During the fight their spyglass was lost and that day Tutt, 
Arnold, Norton, Dow, and Adams went back to look for it. They 
did not find it, but they found two horses, one belonging to the 
Mormons and one that had been stolen from Honey Lake valley. 
Of the eight animals stolen this was the only one they recovered. 
They saw no Indians that day. There must have been a good 
many of them in that locality at that time, and it seems strange 
that they did not kill every one of the little band of whites. Per- 
haps they had got all the fighting they wanted, and were willing 
to let them depart in peace without having any more trouble with 

The next morning they started for the land of the Never 
Sweats, taking the Mormons with them. They carried Higgins in 
a litter made of a blanket sewed between two long poles. A horse 
was put between the poles at each end and a couple of men led 
the horses. Hines footed it all the way home, his horse being so 
badly wounded that he could carry only the saddle and Hines 's 
blankets. Higgins stood the trip all right, and after Dr. Spal- 
ding had treated him a while he went below and had the bullet 
taken from his hip. Some of the Mormon party went to the 
lower country and stayed there, but the most of them went back 
to Oregon and settled near Jacksonville, where Dow afterwards 



heard of them. Though the Honey Lakers brought back only one 
of the stolen animals, they made a good many of what they 
then considered to be the only good Indians, and so were well sat- 
isfied with their trip. 

Another Indian Hunt 
Some time this fall the Indians stole two or three head of cattle 
from a man who lived with Capt. Weatherlow, name unknown. 
The owner of the cattle, Weatherlow, Hatch, John Mote and two 
Indian valley Indians went in pursuit of them. They had no 
fight with the Indians and brought back no cattle, but they cap- 
tured a couple of squaws. 

Chapman's Escape From the Mormons 
The "Alta Calif ornian, " dated May 29, 1858, quotes the fol- 
lowing from the ' ' Red Bluffs Beacon " : " Before Mr. Adams and 
party left the valley (Honey Lake) Mr. Chapman and six others 
arrived there from Salt Lake City. Our informant learned from 
this party that they went to Salt Lake City last fall for the pur- 
pose of purchasing stock, and that on their arrival at the city 
were taken and thrown into prison, where they remained all win- 
ter, and until the late excitement prior to the evacuation of the 
Mormons, when they escaped, and were pursued some thirty 
miles, when they fell in with a party of forty-two teamsters from 
Col. Johnston's command." 

Without doubt this was the man who was called "Big" John 
Chapman in this valley, and who was cousin to Judge John S. 
Chapman and his brother and two sisters who came to the valley 
in 1859. 

The following was told by Fred F. Kingsbury: In 1882 
Kingsbury lived in Chico. One day as he was walking down the 
street he came to a saloon in front of which sat a man who ap- 
peared to have been drinking and who was surrounded by a 
crowd. As Kingsbury came up he heard him say "Does any 
one here know John Chapman?" No one made any reply, and 
he waited until the crowd had all gone away and then asked the 
man what John Chapman he meant. The fellow replied that he 
meant the one who lived in Honey Lake valley and asked Kings- 
bury if he knew him. Fred told him that he saw Chapman just 
after he was shot by Smith, and when he inquired what the other 
knew about him the man said that he was the one who saved him 


THE YEAR 1858 

from the Destroying Angels at Salt Lake City. He said that at 
the time he was herding horses not far from the city. One even- 
ing just after dark a man came to the corral where the horses 
were kept at night. He was without weapons and alone in a 
strange country, and had to throw himself on the mercy of the 
man who was telling the story. He told him that his name was 
Chapman and where his home was, and said that he and some 
others had been put into jail by the Mormons, but did not say for 
what reason. He and another man were condemned to die, and 
that evening some of the Destroying Angels took them out of the 
city in a wagon to kill them, as they supposed. The prisoners, 
who were not tied in any way, sat together and not much atten- 
tion was paid to them. They talked the matter over in whispers 
and came to the conclusion that as long as they had to die any- 
way they might as well take a chance. When it got a little dark 
they made a break for liberty. The other man jumped out of the 
front end of the wagon, but his clothes caught on a single-tree 
hook and he was overpowered and put back into the wagon. 
While this was going on Chapman jumped out of the hind end of 
the wagon and ran a little ways out into the brush and lay down. 
They hunted for him quite a while, and once or twice came very 
close to him, but finally they gave up the search and went away. 
When he could no longer hear them he struck out regardless of 
the direction he took, and kept going until he came to the corral. 
After listening to his story the narrator told him that some sol- 
diers had passed there that day on their way to California, and 
that he might overtake them. He saddled a horse, helped Chap- 
man to mount him and said "Good luck to you." He rode all 
night and the next day overtook the soldiers. The next morn- 
ing the Mormons came to the corral and asked the herder if he 
had seen anything of a man during the night. He told them that 
he had not. They missed the horse and saddle and thought that 
Chapman had stolen them and started for California, and they 
immediately went in pursuit of him. The Mormons found him 
with the soldiers, but they would not give him up and he reached 
home in safety. 

From what the writer has learned in connection with this he 
believes that the foregoing story is almost right, although the nar- 
rator told it partly from hearsay and twenty-five years after it 



happened, and Kingsbury told it more than twenty-five years 
after he heard it. 

Thomas N. Long says that a man named Horace Buckley went 
to Salt Lake City with the Chapman crowd. He never came back 
with them and some thought that Chapman, who was a little 
afraid of him because he was so wild and reckless, had killed him 
while they were gone. Perhaps Buckley was the man who was 
with Chapman when the latter made his escape from the Mor- 
mons. If he was, that would account for his failure to return. 
Ferry's Horse Taken by Sheriff J. D. Byers 

Notwithstanding the position taken by the Honey Lakers the 
Plumas county officials exercised a sort of jurisdiction over the 

Early in the spring of 1858 a resident of Honey Lake named 
John H. Ferry, known as ' ' Blackhawk, " was sued in Plumas 
county and the plaintiff was given judgment against him. All 
the property Ferry had was a saddle horse, also called "Black- 
hawk, ' ' which was then running in a pasture owned by Kice and 
Neiswender. James D. Byers, the second sheriff of Plumas coun- 
ty, came here after the horse. He stayed over night with Rice 
and Neiswender and the next morning started for Quincy riding 
Ferry's horse and leading his own. Believing that the Plumas 
county officers had no business here, Ferry, Sylvester, and another 
man followed Byers with the intention of taking the horse away 
from him. The other two men were ahead of Ferry and they 
caught up with Byers about the time he reached Gold Run. Rid- 
ing up to him Sylvester caught him by the leg and threw him off 
the horse. Byers wasn't the man to stand much of anything like 
that, and probably there would have been a man or two killed in 
short order, for the Never Sweats were also ready and willing to 
shoot. Just then Ferry rode up, and after seeing how matters 
stood, said he didn 't want to see a man killed on account of a horse 
and told the others to let Byers take the animal and go. Thus 
ended what might have been a serious affair. 

The Murder of Henry Gordier 

In the spring and early summer of 1858 a series of events took 
place in western Utah which caused great excitement throughout 
that region. The first of these was the murder of Henry Gordier, 
a Frenchman, in Honey Lake valley, and the events that followed 
were the result of this. 


THE YEAK 1858 

The following story was nearly all told by William Dow, but 
information was also received from Fred Hines, S. J. Hill and 
Wife, W. H. Clark, 0. Streshly, William and David B. Bankhead, 
Isaac Coulthurst and Wife, and John Baxter. All of these ex- 
cepting Hill were in the valley at the time, and the most of them 
took more or less part in what was going on. The details of this 
and the following story are much more complete than any ever 
published before this time. 

In the fall of 1857 a man whose name is said to have been 

William Combs Edwards killed Snelling, the postmaster at 

Snelling in Merced county, California. After the murder he fled 
across the mountains to western Utah and there called himself 
William Combs, but the early settlers of Honey Lake and the 
Carson country always call him Bill Edwards. Snelling was a 
Mason and the Masonic Lodge and the people of Snelling offered 
a reward of $1500 for the arrest of Edwards and notified the Ma- 
sons on this coast to look out for him. 

Edwards came to Genoa in what is now the western part of 
Nevada, and there made the acquaintance of William B. Thor- 
rington, better known as ' ' Lucky Bill. ' ' The latter was a man of 
considerable property, but he was a gambler and an unprincipled 
man who was known to be willing to protect and shelter any crim- 
inal. It is said that Edwards told Lucky Bill about the killing of 
Snelling, but claimed that he did it in self-defense. 

After staying a while at Genoa Edwards came to Honey Lake 
valley and lived with John Mullen and Asa Snow, who had a 
cabin on Lassen creek almost exactly where Breed had his trad- 
ing post in the summer of 1856. J. B. Gilpin had a cabin in the 
edge of the woods to the north and Rough Elliott lived northwest 
of Streshly. (Elliott was not called by that name on account of 
manner. He came to the valley from the mining camp of Rough 
and Ready, and at first was called "Rough and Ready." He 
could be very polite and ' ' smooth " if he saw fit to do it. ) It is 
said that Snow's name was an assumed one and that he had killed 
a man before he came to the valley, but the writer will not vouch 
for the truth of this. It may have been a case of ' • Give a dog a 
bad name and hang him." Mullen had a few cattle and was said 
to be handy at picking up other people's calves. Edwards spent 
the winter working in his placer mine, which was not far from 
the Mullen and Snow cabin. 

[ 123 ] 


In the fall of 1857, when the Mormons of Carson valley and 
that vicinity were selling their property in order to return to Salt 
Lake City, Coulthurst and Gordier, who had been partners in 
the mines of California, concluded to buy some of the Mormon 
cattle. Coulthurst went down there and bought a band of fine 
Durhams, the best lot of cattle that had ever been brought into 
the valley, and Gordier, who was a man of considerable means, 
took the most of them. At this time he lived on the Baxter creek 
south of the point of the Bald mountain. 

In the spring of 1858 Lucky Bill talked of going to Salt Lake 
to buy some cattle, but instead of going there he came to Honey 
Lake valley. A man named Sol. Perrin, who had known Thor- 
ington at Placerville, lived at the upper end of the lake four or 
five miles east of the Bankhead place, and when Thorrington was 
going past his house he hailed him and the two men had a con- 
versation. In the course of it Lucky Bill inquired about Gor- 
diers's cattle and said he had come to see if he could buy them. 
After talking with Perrin he went his way, but instead of going to 
see the Frenchman he went up the valley and stayed all night with 
Mullen and Edwards and then started for home. Perrin stopped 
him again and asked him if he had bought the cattle. He replied 
that he had not and that he had left the matter in the hands of 
some friends. 

Not long after this Mullen and Edwards began to talk around 
among the neighbors about buying Gordier 's cattle and finally 
talked to him about it. Later on they reported that they had 
bargained with him for everything he had. Not far from the 
middle of March they went to him and told him that he had a sick 
cow over on the south side of the river opposite the mouth of 
Willow creek, and that they would go along and show him where 
she was if he wanted them to do so. The three men went over 
there. Hines says that on the way home from Carson valley Ed- 
wards told him they struck the river a little too high up and 
turned and went down it. They were riding side by side and j 
Mullen dropped back a little and shot the Frenchman through the 
head with his pistol. They took off his clothes and put them into 
an old Indian campoodie close by and set it on fire. This was 
the shot and the fire told about in the story of the expedition to 
Cold Springs after the Indians who stole the cattle from Adams. 
They put a rock on his body, bent his knees up against it, and 


THE YEAR 1858 

then tied a rope around him to keep it in place. Then they took 
the body to the river and sunk it in a deep hole. That night they 
started for Genoa. 

As soon as they were gone Snow, whom they had hired to 
work for them, took possession of the Frenchman's cabin and 
; gave out that Mullen and Edwards had bought everything he had 
and that the three men had gone to Genoa to get the money from 
Lucky Bill to pay him off. The neighbors thought it rather queer 
that Gordier should leave so suddenly, but did not give the matter 
a great deal of thought at the time. Mullen and Edwards went to 
Genoa and stayed a few days and then came home by the way of 
Quincy. They said that at Genoa Gordier had met an old ship- 
mate and as soon as he got his money both of them staited for 
France. Mullen and Snow immediately moved into Gordier 's 
cabin and took possession of all his property. Some of the cows 
had been loaned or rented to Malcom Bankhead and others, and 
these people they told to keep on milking the cows until they 
called for them. Gordier had a younger brother, some say there 
were two of them, on the other side of the mountain, and while 
the party was gone to Goose lake he wrote to some one in the val- 
ley and inquired about his brother. When he heard that he had 
sold out and gone to France he wrote back and said there must 
be something wrong about it, for his brother would not leave the 
country without coming to see him. That and some other things 
that happened made people think that there was something not 
just right about the Frenchman's selling out. The Goose lake 
party got home not far from the first of May, and as this was the 
only diversion to be had in the country, the boys thought they must 
have a dance to celebrate the event. There were the three Mor- 
mon women and they managed to get three or four more and had 
their dance, probably at Arnold's hotel in Rooptown. At this 
dance the Gordier matter was talked over more or less, for by 
this time people were very suspicious that the Frenchman had met 
with foul play. Cornelison told the writer that the next morning 
after the dance a few of them were talking about it and one man 
said "Boys, do you remember the shot we heard the night we 
camped at the mouth of Willow creek?" Being answered in the 
affirmative he said "That was the shot that killed Harry Gor- 
dier." The evening before the dance Sylvester said to Hines, 
"Bill Edwards will be there to-night and in the morning you tell 



him to come around this way on his road home, for I want to see 
him." Hines did so and Edwards, who was living at the cabin 
on Lassen creek, came down through Toadtown on his way home. 
Sylvester took him to one side and told him that people thought 
there was something mysterious in regard to their buying the 
Frenchman out, and if he and Mullen were going to live in the 
country, they had better show their neighbors that everything was 
all right. Edwards said they would do so and went on his way. 
He must have gone down and told Mullen at once, for the same 
day they went to Bankhead and told him they were going to leave 
the country for a while. They also told him to keep on milking 
the cows, and if any more of their cows came around with young 
calves to take them up and milk them, too. They rode away and 
Mullen was never seen again by any one in this valley. It looks 
as though that when they left here their idea was to go somewhere 
below and have Snow drive the cattle to them, for they left with 
him written orders, said to be from Gordier, on the men who had 
any of the cattle in their possession to turn them over to him. 
When Mullen left here he rode a horse that belonged to him. This 
horse was called "Bald Hornet" and was a bald-faced chestnut 
sorrel that weighed about a thousand pounds. He was a quarter- 
horse, and as he had run in the races at Quincy in 1857 and made 
a good showing, he was quite a noted horse throughout the moun- 
tains from Quincy to Sacramento. Evidently Mullen was afraid 
to ride a horse that was so well known, for after leaving here he 
traded him to Edwards. Probably when they got into the moun- 
tains and talked the matter over they came to the conclusion that 
their lives were in danger and they separated, Edwards going to 
Genoa and Mullen no one knows where. There was a rumor that 
he went to the Fraser river mining excitement and was killed 
there, but it was only a rumor and nothing more was ever heard 
about it. 

"When it became known that the two men had left the valley 
the suspicion that Gordier had met with foul play became 
stronger than ever. In a day or two John Neale, Dow, Tutt, 
"Mormon Joe" Owens, John Mote, a half-breed Cherokee, and a 
few others, seven or eight in all, went down on the south side of 
Susan river a little below the mouth of Willow creek to see if 
that fire and gunshot had anything to do with the disappearance 
of the Frenchman. They found that an old campoodie had been 


THE YEAE 1858 

burned where they saw the fire and they found some metal but- 
tons in the ashes. They also found some dried blood on the ground 
near the ashes. All around there the ground had been tram- 
pled by the feet of men and animals and the tracks of both led to 
a deep hole in the river. The ground there was trampled a great 
deal, too, as though work of some kind had been going on. Mote, 
and perhaps some of the others, dived into the hole to see if they 
could find anything, but the water was very cold and they could 
not stay down long enough to hunt around very much. Finally 
they gave it up and went home. But there was considerable 
excitement in the valley and they kept working at the case. Dr. 
Slater analyzed some of the dried blood and said it was the blood 
of a human being. 

A few days after the party from the upper end of the valley 
had been there William Bankhead and a crowd of white men and 
Indians went over to the river. They hunted around and dived 
into the river where the others did, but did not find anything. A 
day or two afterwards, Bankhead, Frank Johnson, and a few 
other men went there again and took with them the materials 
with which to make a small raft, and a long pole to the end of 
which they had fastened the hook from a logchain. They put the 
raft together, and as it would float only one man, Bankhead got 
onto it with the pole and they pushed it out a little distance from 
the shore. He scraped the bottom of the river a few times with 
the end of the pole and then the hook caught on something which 
he thought was the root of a willow. He pulled hard and brought 
it to the surface — it was Gordier's body coming up feet foremost 
— and when he saw what it was he almost fell off the raft. It had 
been in the water about six weeks and was a gruesome object. 
They tied a rope to it and allowed it to sink into the river and 
stay there until they could make preparations to take it away. 
As soon as possible an inquest was held, William and Malcom 
Bankhead and Frank Johnson being some of the members of the 
jury, and the verdict rendered was that Gordier came to his 
death at the hands of Mullen and Edwards and that they believed 
that Snow and Lucky Bill were their accomplices. The murdered 
man was buried in the graveyard about four miles southeast of 
Bankhead 's. (Mrs. Isaac Coulthrust says that she dreamed where 
the Frenchman 's body was and told the men to look there for it. ) 
The finding of the Frenchman's body put the fat into the 



fire, so to speak, and almost every one took a hand in investigating 
the matter. Elliott and Gilpin had been very friendly with 
Mullen and the two men with him and Elliott knew that Edwards 
had killed Snelling, although he claimed he was justifiable in 
doing it. Elliott also knew that Thorrington had visited these 
men early that spring. A meeting was held in the upper end of 
the valley and Elliott was sent for. He was told that things 
looked a little suspicious for him and that he must help bring the 
guilty parties to justice. F. and S. say: "Elliott was one of a 
committee appointed to work up the case, the others being Junius 
Brutus Gilpin, John Neale, Frank Johnson, and Charles Adams." 
They had an idea that the men they wanted had gone to Genoa, 
and as soon as he could get ready, probably before the middle of 
May, Elliott went down there to find out. 

After Mullen and Edwards went away Snow continued to 
live in Gordier's cabin and busied himself in picking up the 
cattle. It wasn't very long before he happened to be at Bank- 
head's when some of the committee were there and they took him 
out to one side and began to question him. He immediately 
became very angry and tried to draw his pistol, but they pre- 
vented him from doing it. He denied knowing anything about 
the murder of Gordier and was very impudent and abusive, 
cursing them and calling them every vile name he could think of. 
They took him along with them and from this time he was held 
in custody, just where it is impossible to tell, as long as he lived. 
The last place he was kept was at the cabin of L. N. and J. H. 
Breed. This cabin was on the place taken up by Isadore about 
four miles southeast of Bankhead 's. It was near a spring on the 
east side of the road running north and not far from where that 
road left the one that ran southeast down the lake. There are 
many stories told about the hanging of Snow and after the lapse 
of so many years it is hard to tell which one of them is true. 
Some say he was given a trial and sentenced to be hanged in a 
short time. That night they heard that the Plumas county 
officers were coming to take him away so they raised a small 
crowd and hanged him as quickly as they could. Others say 
there was nothing private about it. They say he was given a fair 
trial before a judge and a jury of ten men and the witnesses were 
sworn. Another story is that they commenced to try him and a 
mob broke up the trial and took him away and hanged him. 


THE YEAR 1858 

After getting all the information possible the writer believes that 
the truth is something like the following : John Neale and a 
crowd from the upper end of the valley went down to the Breed 
cabin. Probably they were joined by others as they went along 
and also by men living in that vicinity. There may have been a 
sort of trial or investigation that lasted into the night. Snow 
insisted that he was innocent and was very abusive and defiant, 
and finally dared them to hang him. About two thirds of a mile 
south of east of the cabin and a quarter of a mile from the lake 
there were two pine trees. The larger tree, the one farthest from 
the lake, had a large limb growing at almost a right angle with the 
trunk and twelve or fifteen feet from the ground, and to this tree 
the crowd went taking Snow with them. They intended to show 
him what hanging was like and probably thought they could scare 
him into making a confession. They pulled him up and let him 
hang a while and then let him down and questioned him. He 
said he knew nothing to tell and cursed and defied them. They 
pulled him up again, let him down and questioned him, and the 
result was the same. He was pulled up the third time and this 
time they let him hang too long — when they let him down he 
was dead. He was defiant to the last and died, so William Bank- 
head says, cursing them and telling them to bring on their 
strings. It is said that they dug a hole under the tree and buried 
him in it without even wrapping him up in a blanket, and his 
grave was never marked in any way. In spite of all that was 
said by any one else, the settlers who lived here at that time 
always believed that Snow knew all about the murder of Gordier. 
In an article taken from the ' ' Marysville News ' ' the ' ' Alta Cali- 
fornian" says that Mr. "Whiting of Whiting's Express told that 
this took place Monday, June 7th, 1858, and probably this is 
right or nearly so. 

The Arrest of Edwards, Lucky Bill, and Others and their 
Trial, and the Execution op Edwards and Lucky Bill 
The greater part of the following was told by William Dow 
and Fred Hines, but Wm. H. Clark, R. W. Young of Crescent 
Mills, Plumas county, D. R. and Theodore Hawkins of Genoa, 
Nevada, Joseph Frey of Reno, Nevada, who says he has been a 
resident of that state since 1854, Emanuel Penrod, who was one 
of the pioneers of the Comstock Lode, and Orlando Streshly each 
gave more or less information. 



After leaving Honey Lake valley Edwards went directly to 
Genoa. He did not show himself in public and as soon as possible 
had a talk with Lucky Bill. Prom this time until his arrest he 
tried to keep out of sight and Thorrington kept him supplied with 
provisions. It is said that Edwards wanted his horse sold so 
that he could go to South America. 

T. and W. say that William B. Thorrington, "Lucky Bill," 
was a native of Chenango county, New York, and that in 1848 
he went from there to Michigan with his parents. In 1850 he 
crossed the plains to California and in 1853 became a resident of 
Carson valley in western Utah. "His education was a moderate 
one, due to the fact that his excessive animal spirits would not 
permit close application to study when attending school in his 
boyhood. In frame he was large, weighing two hundred pounds, 
and with broad ample shoulders, stood six feet and one inch in 
height; his head covered with glossy curly hair colored like the 
raven's wing, was massive, with a high classic forehead, and 
large gray mirthful eyes, looking out from beneath projecting 
eyebrows, that indicated strong perceptive faculties. The country 
had no handsomer or merrier citizen than Lucky Bill, a name 
given to him because of the fortunate result that seemed to attend 
his every action. He had become comfortably wealthy. It has 
been noted that the Keeses turned over a large amount of property 
to him in January, 1855, including their Eagle Valley ranch." 
This was for $23000 previously loaned to them. "He became 
the successor to Israel Mott in the owner-ship of the Carson 
Canyon tollroad and the possessor of valuable ranch property in 
the valley. In character he was both generous and brave, and his 
sympathies were readily aroused in favor of the unfortunate ; or, 
which in frontier parlance would be termed 'the under dog in 
the fight', regardless of the causes that had placed the dog in 
that position. In addition to his farming and toll road pursuits, 
he was a gambler, and a very successful one, his specialty being 
the 'thimble rig game.' " (This was virtually the same thing 
as the walnut shell game.) T. and W. (Thompson and "West's 
history of Nevada) then tell of two or three instances where he 
took the part of unfortunate emigrants who were being mis- 
treated, punished their persecutors, and then relieved their wants 
and sent them on their way rejoicing. The writer remembers of 
reading a story written by a woman who said that when she and 

r 130 1 

THE YEAR 1858 

her husband reached Genoa on their journey across the plains, 
they were imposed upon by some hard characters. Lucky Bill 
happened to notice it and he drove away their tormentors and 
helped them to continue on their journey. She ended her story 
by calling the vengeance of Heaven down upon the heads of those 
who hanged him. D. R. Hawkins says: "To me, as a boy, Lucky 
Bill appeared a noble character ; grand in physique, gentlemanly 
in deportment, neat in dress, kind in disposition and to his family, 
generous and charitable, and the best story-teller I ever heard. 
I have sat up all night listening to his humorous anecdotes and 
quaint talks and never felt a blush at any crudity in his language 
although they were related to a bar-room audience." T. and W. 
also say : ' ' Numerous instances of generosity like this are remem- 
bered by the early settlers of Nevada of this strange frontiers- 
man, many of whose impulses were such as ennoble men. His 
associations in life, however, had been with individuals that had 
led him to look upon murder or theft as a smaller crime than 
would be the betrayal of a person who claimed his protection, 
though that man might be fleeing from justice after having com- 
mitted either or both of these offences. This peculiarity of Lucky 
Bill being known to all, both good and bad citizens, transformed 
him into an obstruction, sometimes to the execution of justice 
upon criminals, and this characteristic proved his ruin." 

To tell it plainly, he was a "sure thing" gambler and a man 
who would shelter and protect any one who asked him to do so, 
no matter how foul a crime that person was guilty of. Thor- 
rington moved from the state of New York to Marshall, Calhoun 
county, Michigan. A man named Mott Wells, who knew him in 
New York, said he left there on account of a forgery he com- 
mitted. Dow and some of the other Honey Lakers knew him, or 
knew of him, in Michigan. He was known there as a gambler 
and an associate of bad characters. In the spring of 1852 he 
went from this coast back to Michigan, and when he returned 
he induced three young girls to come with him. They got as far 
as Peoria, Illinois, and there were overtaken by the parents and 
the friends of the girls. Two of the girls went back to their 
homes, but one named Martha Lamb came on out here with him. 

The writer has seen several published accounts of the murder 
of Gordier and the events that followed it; but none of them 
told the facts in the case, and none of them told much about 

r i3i i 


what took place in Honey Lake valley. The facts in the preceding 
paragraph were told by Dow and other men of undoubted 

When Rough Elliott arrived at Genoa he went to Lucky Bill 
and told him that he and Edwards were great friends and that 
he wanted to see him. When they met Elliott seemed greatly 
pleased to see him and told some plausible story to account for his 
being there. He associated with the two men as much as possible 
and soon became very friendly with Lucky Bill and his crowd. 
A few days after Elliott had gone Gilpin took a fine mare that 
belonged to Charles Adams and went down to Genoa, too, and 
after he had become a little acquainted he told Lucky Bill that 
he had stolen the animal. He stayed there and he and Elliott 
together worked up the case. They went to Major Ormsby, a 
resident of Genoa and a prominent Mason, and told him about 
Edwards and what they were doing there, and he promised them 
the help of the Masons when they got ready to act. When they 
became acquainted Lucky Bill made a confidant of Elliott and 
told him a good many things about himself, and claimed to have 
considerable knowledge of what the criminals of this coast were 
doing. Elliott wrote all this and also what Edwards told him 
and saved it for future use. The news that Gordier had been 
murdered and that the Honey Lakers believed Edwards had gone 
to Genoa soon reached the Carson valley, and the people of that 
section were, many of them, on the lookout for him. J. A. Thomp- 
son, the expressman, who wrote to the "Sacramento Union" from 
Genoa on June 14th, says: "The notorious Bill Edwards who 
murdered Snelling has been seen around here the last four days, 
and has been pursued by a number of persons. Yesterday they 
found him on the trail above Daggett's and captured his horse. 
They shot six or eight times at Edwards, he returning their fire 
twice. He fled to the mountains and got away. His horse 
proved to be the celebrated race horse 'Bald Hornet.' " 

When Elliott had learned what he wanted to know, he made 
his plans and sent word to the Honey Lakers to raise a crowd 
and come down there. In twenty-four hours after the message 
was received the following men were ready to start : Fred Hines, 
U. J. Tutt, Mat. Craft, William Dow, Henry Arnold, D. M. 
Munehie, Thad Norton, Richard Thompson, Antone Storff, Tom. 
McMurtry, John C. Davis, John H. Neale, "Mormon Joe" 


THE YEAE 1858 

Owens, John Mote, — Henderson, "William N. Crawford, William 
H. Clark, A. G. (Joe) Eppstein, Frank Johnson, William Meyers, 
R. J. Scott, Cap. Hill, R. W. Young, — Hughes, Alec. Chapman, 
George Lathrop, Thomas J. Harvey, Thomas Watson, John 
Baxter, Mark W. Haviland, Capt. William Weatherlow, and — 
McVeagh. There is a possibility that instead of Hill another 
man went, but it is impossible to tell who it was. Probably the 
two members of the committee were the leaders, but there may 
have been others who took part in the leadership. Young and 
Hughes were from Indian valley. Young says he happened to be 
in the valley on business and was at Streshly 's place the morning 
that some of the crowd gathered there to make a start. Some of 
them were acquainted with him and they wanted him to go along. 
He tried to beg off by saying that his horse would not stand the 
trip, but Streshly said he would furnish him with a splendid 
riding mule and a gun. Young then agreed to go, and Streshly 
brought out an old pack mule and a gun about two feet long and 
of a very curious make. 

Those in the upper end of the valley started in the morning 
and as they went along the others fell in with them. The gather- 
ing place was at Cap. Hill's ranch a little northeast of where 
Milford now stands. The date of starting is uncertain. If they 
went through in two nights, as Dow thinks, the start was made 
on the 12th of June. If it took them three nights to make the 
trip, as Hines thinks, they started on the 11th. Dow says they 
started late in the afternoon and at dusk were at the creek in 
Long valley about nineteen miles on their way. They rested 
their horses a while and that night went on to Peavine springs. 
Hines thinks they left Hill's ranch about dark. There was noth- 
ing but a trail until they got to the Beckwourth Pass emigrant 
road ; and as it was a dark night they had to ride slowly, follow- 
ing one another single file along the trail, or picking their way 
through the brush. At daylight they reached a place on the 
Long Valley creek a little above where the Constantia station is 
now. They stayed there that day, keeping out of sight in the 
willows the best they could. To the west and not far away was 
the cabin of "Whitehead" Ross, the first building they had seen 
on the trip. He was not at home at the time, probably being 
away on one of his frequent visits to the mines or the towns of 
Sacramento valley. Something has already been told about this 



mysterious person. He was a gambler, and some say he was a 
desperado and a road agent, or highwayman. Others say he was 
a good citizen until his brother was killed by the Mexicans, and 
then he went to gambling and took indiscriminate revenge upon 
Mexicans and native Californians whenever he had a chance. 
He always had plenty of money, but no one knew how he got it. 
It is said that he was once arrested and brought before a police 
judge on a charge of vagrancy to see if they could not force him 
to tell how he made his money. The judge asked him how he 
made his living. "Whitehead" reached into his pocket and 
pulled out a handful of twenty-dollar gold pieces and said • ' That 
is how I make my living." The vagrancy charge was dismissed. 
This has been told about Boss while the Honey Lakers were 
waiting for the darkness to come on. Weatherlow and MeVeagh 
both got sick at this place and went back home. 

At dark the thirty remaining Never Sweats started out again 
and traveled all night as before. Nothing occured to relieve the 
monotony of the journey excepting an accident that happened to 
Storff. Not long after they left camp he struck a match to light 
his pipe, and when it flared up his horse shied and threw him 
heavily to the ground. He was a fat man and was "considerable 
shuck up" by the fall; and when they picked him up he looked 
at his broken pipe, rubbed the injured part of his anatomy, and 
groaned out, "Oh, mein Gott, mein pipe, mein pelly!" They 
reached Peavine springs the next morning and stayed there the 
most of the day. Dow says that while they were there a brother 
of Theodore "Winters came along on his way to Washoe valley. 
They didn 't want any one go ahead of them and let people know 
they were coming, so they stopped him and took him along with 
them. Hines says that while they were camped there a man 
came along on foot. He was some kind of a foreigner and knew 
very little English. They thought he might be a spy, so they 
held him there until they were ready to go on. Hines also says 
that in the afternoon another man came to them on foot. He 
said he was Theodore Winters of Carson valley and that Elliott 
had sent him out to meet the party from Honey Lake. He was 
to find out when they would reach Genoa, and then return and 
tell Elliott so he could have everything ready when they arrived. 
They didn't know anything about Winters and at first thought 
they would keep him with them ; but after they had talked it over 


THE YEAR 1858 

and looked at the matter in every light, they concluded they 
would have to send a messenger to Elliott, anyway, and they 
might just as well let this man go back. He said he had left his 
horse somewhere on the road to give him a chance to rest, and 
when they let him go he immediately took the road to Carson 
valley. It turned out that he was just what he represented him- 
self to be and went right back and reported to Elliott. 

It was a long ride from there to Genoa, so they took an early 
start. They had to go to the emigrant crossing — the Stone & 
Gates crossing, now Glendale — to get across the Truckee river. 
It was out of their way, but there was no nearer crossing. Near 
what was afterwards the foot of the grade going to Virginia 
City some one had built a stone corral, the second work of man 
they had seen since leaving home, and there they stopped and 
let their horses rest. In Washoe valley they were joined by a 
few men, probably Masons who knew of their coming. They 
reached Genoa on Monday, the 14th day of June, just at day- 
light, or a little before. Some of the citizens were up and 
there were a few lights burning. Major Ormsby told them after- 
wards that he and his "Wife sat up all night. At that time 
Genoa was a little place of one street on which there was a hotel, 
a store, a blacksmith shop, a couple of saloons, a feed stable, and 
some dwelling houses. Elliott met them just before they got 
into town and told them to tie their horses behind a long barn 
near by. Here they were joined by some more Masons. Elliott 
then divided up the party and told them what men he wanted 
and where to go after them. Hines thinks that the Honey Lake 
men made the arrests. The larger party surrounded Lucky Bill 's 
house and called him out. Dow says that as soon as he came out 
and saw Elliott in the crowd he said "My life is not worth a bit." 
He and his son Jerome gave themselves up without making any 
trouble. The son was a boy about seventeen years old. E. W. 
Young says Mrs. Thorrington plead hard for the boy, but didn't 
say anything about her husband. Hines and three others went 
to a saloon after two men. They went into a hallway in the 
saloon, opened the doors of the rooms where the two men slept, 
and told them to get up and come to the doors. They did so 
and then Hines brought their clothes to them and they dressed 
themselves before going into the street. These two men, Orrin 
Gray and John McBride, were gamblers. After the arrests were 



made a young fellow started to leave town on horseback, but the 
Honey Lakers stopped him and held him as long as they stayed 
there. They then stationed men all around the little town to 
keep any one from going out to warn the other men they were 
after. By this time the people of the village had begun to get up, 
and when they saw what had happened some of them waved their 
handkerchiefs from the windows. The prisoners were put into a 
large room in the second story of the Singleton Hotel and kept 
under guard while their captors had breakfast. The town was 
now pretty well waked up and excited. Many of the citizens 
told the Honey Lakers that now was the first time they could 
breathe freely for a long time, that the lawless element had them 
terrorized, and that they didn't dare say anything for fear they 
might be talking to some of the gang. (D. H. Holdridge, who was 
seventeen years old at that time and lived in Genoa, says that 
his father, Louis Holdridge, had sold a ranch west of the Sierras. 
About this time he went over there to get some money that was 
due him. Lucky Bill's gang heard about it and planned to kill 
him for his money while he was coming home through the moun- 
tains. Major Ormsby learned about their plan and wrote to Mr. 
Holdridge telling him to wait a while before coming home. He 
did so and on that account did not reach Genoa until after the 
gang was broken up.) 

D. R. Hawkins says that at the time he was a boy twelve 
years old. He woke up in the morning and found the town full 
of armed men. He and his Father went to the hotel and with 
the permission of the guards went up stairs and found Lucky 
Bill bound and reclining on the floor in the far corner of the 
room. His Father said "Well, Bill, what is all this about?", 
and the reply was "Mr. Hawkins, these men have come here 
to hang me and I guess they are going to do it." Mr. Hawkins 
also says : ' ' Presently I passed down and onto the sidewalk and 
saw two men earnestly discussing the situation, and I stopped 
to listen that I might learn what was going on. One stood 
with his back against the house and his right hand resting on 
the muzzle of his rifle while his right foot was held up and 
placed against the wall. After standing thus for a while on one 
foot he dropped the other and in doing so the bowknot of his 
legging string caught on the hammer of the gun and set it off. 
Only a small hole was made in the palm, but the whole back of 


THE YEAR 1858 

his hand was blown away. Dr. Daggett, who always seemed 
present where needed, soon set about dressing the poor fellow's 
wound. At a later date I saw Dr. Daggett on the same spot 
save the life of Cisco whose wrist was nearly severed by Jerome 
Thorrington with a Bowie knife." The man who shot himself 
was Tom McMurtry, a cousin to Mrs. Amos Conkey, and the 
accident crippled his hand. A short time after breakfast Elliott 
took part of the men and went up the river to the ranch of Lute 
Olds and arrested him and Ike Gandy and Calvin Austin. Gandy 
showed fight, but Elliott stepped up to him with his pistol and 
he gave up. They took the men to town and that afternoon the 
Never Sweats and their prisoners, accompanied by a few of the 
Carson country settlers, went down the river to the Clear Creek 
ranch then owned by R. D. Sides, L. B. Abernathy, and J. M. 
Baldwin. They went there because there was a hotel where they 
could board, and there was a large barn where they could keep 
their horses, their prisoners, and themselves. Besides this it 
was ten miles away from Genoa and Lucky Bill's friends, and 
they expected trouble with them. It was also in an open country 
where they could not be surprised. 

As soon as they reached the Clear Creek ranch they began 
to make arrangements to capture Edwards. They told Jerome 
Thorrington that if he would help them get Edwards, they would 
let him go free and do the best they could for his father. It has 
been told that they promised to let Lucky Bill go, too, but the 
Honey Lake men say they made no such promise. It is said that 
Jerome didn 't want to betray Edwards ; but his father told him 
that Edwards's testimony would clear him (Lucky Bill), and 
finally the boy agreed to do what they wanted him to. They told 
him to take a basket of provisions and go to the place where 
Edwards was camped and tell him that a party of men had come 
from Honey Lake after him ; and that his father wanted him to 
come that night to Thorrington 's ranch on the river and they 
would leave the country at once and stay until the trouble blew 
over. Just before dark the boy started for the hills to find 
Edwards. About the same time twelve men started for Lucky 
Bill's river ranch which was six or seven miles above Genoa. 
Elliott, Dow, Gilpin,' Henderson, Theodore "Winters, Marion 
Little, who was Sides 's brother-in-law, and perhaps Tom. Watson 
were in the party. Between the Clear Creek ranch and the one 



where they were going there was a big bend in the river, but they 
went straight across the country and saved both time and travel. 
As soon as they reached their destination they stationed Hender- 
son out by the river and Dow in a log corral on the other side of 
the house. The house had two rooms, the front one being used 
as a living room and the back one as a bedroom. Martha Lamb 
was living here with her baby. Elliott and Winters stood on 
each side of the door with clubs in their hands. Afterwards, 
while on their way home, Edwards told Hines that he started for 
the ranch without any suspicion, but the nearer he got to it the 
more he thought that everything was not all right. Just before 
he reached the house he put his revolver into the front of his 
shirt where it would be handy, cocked both barrels of his shotgun, 
and carried it so it would be ready for instant use. He and the 
boy got to the ranch about midnight. Jerome knocked at the 
door and the man stationed in the back room asked who was 
there. Edwards answered that it was a friend, and the man came 
to the door and opened it and stepped to one side. The boy 
came in and was followed by Edwards, who was immediately 
knocked down; and the same blow, or one from the other club, 
broke both barrels of the shotgun from the stock. He was seized 
at once, his arms and legs were tied, and the wound on his head 
was bound up. Dow says the first words Edwards spoke were 
"I deserve it." After daylight Elliott and Gilpin, who were 
guarding him, were sitting on a bench counting the money taken 
from him — quite a large sum. "While they were doing this the 
prisoner drew up his legs so he could reach the rope with which 
they were bound and managed to untie it. He then jumped off 
the bed where he had been lying, rushed out through the other 
room, and ran for a slough not far from the house. The other 
men were standing in front of the outside door and when he ran 
past them they set up a yell and some of them fired at him, but 
didn't hit him. Elliott ran after him, and being a good foot- 
racer, gained on him rapidly. When Edwards reached the slough 
he jumped into it and Elliott, who was then close to him, jumped 
in on top of him. Both men were pulled out of the water and in 
a short time they started with their prisoner for Genoa where they 
had a blacksmith iron him. Joseph Frey says that the black- 
smith's name was G. W. Hepperley, and that the irons, one of 
them made from the handle of an old frying-pan, were riveted on 


THE YEAE 1858 

and a chain put between them. After this was done they went 
on to the Clear Creek ranch. 

The news of what had been done must have spread over the 
country very rapidly and, of course, all sorts of stories were told. 
One was that Edwards intended to assassinate Major Ormsby as 
he was going to Placerville, but the coming of the Honey Lakers 
prevented it. The whole country must have at once separated 
into two factions — those who favored Lucky Bill and those who 
did not. Probably the most of those who had once been Mormons 
and their friends were on his side. J. A. Thompson in a letter 
to the ' ' Sacramento Union ' ' says : ' ' One hundred and fifty citi- 
zens met to-day to try the men arrested. There is no excitement 
here, and all seem disposed to give the men a fair and impartial 
trial." The "Bee" says: "The people of Honey Lake and 
Carson valley say that the $1500 offered by the people of Snell- 
ing's ranch is no object — they will not deliver him up to stand 
the chances of a trial in California and that he shall not leave 
their hands alive. The inhabitants of the valleys breathe freer 
at present than they have done for two years, knowing that there 
was an organized band of robbers and murderers amongst them 
and that as they now have got the leaders in their hands it will 
be the means of breaking up the organization." 

The trial of the arrested men commenced on Tuesday, the 
15th of June, and was held in the barn at the Clear Creek ranch. 
In the published accounts of what was done here at this time 
they call the men who held this trial a vigilance committee, but 
it was nothing of the kind. It might be called a People's, or 
Citizen's, Court. It was a gathering of men in a country where 
there was no law excepting what they made themselves, and they 
were trying to do justice and punish criminals. 

They went about it in an orderly way. John L. Cary of 
Placerville was appointed judge and John H. Neale of Honey 
Lake and Dr. B. L. King of Eagle valley were associate judges. 
Elliott was appointed sheriff and Gilpin was his deputy. A 
jury was regularly impaneled, and the witnesses were all put 
under oath. P. and S. say: "The judges, jurors, and spectators 
sat in the court-room, armed with guns and revolvers." The 
other prisoners were tried before the cases of Edwards and 
Lucky Bill were brought up. Candy was found innocent of any 
crime and was discharged. With him it was the case of "Old 



Dog Tray" — he was caught in bad company. Different stories 
are told about the punishment of the others. T. and W. say that 
two of them were fined $1000 each and ordered to leave the 
country, and the balance were discharged. Joseph Frey says 
these two were Olds and Austin and the latter had nothing with 
which to pay his fine. The Placerville correspondent of the ' ' Alta 
Calif ornian" says "Olds was found guilty of harboring horse 
thieves for which he was fined $875 and banished from the coun- 
try not to return under the penalty of being shot. Another man 
was fined $220 and banished with the same penalty attached." 
E. Penrod says that Olds was fined $800 and Austin $200, and 
that Olds was held for both fines. The Honey Lakers are quite 
positive that the men arrested in Genoa were fined $250 apiece, 
that a part of all the fines was paid, and that the money was 
taken to pay the bills of the crowd at the Clear Creek ranch. 

Tuesday night the report came that "Billy" Kogers was 
coming with a hundred men to rescue Lucky Bill. Preparations 
were at once made to give him and his men a warm reception, 
but they failed to come. Not many of Lucky Bill's friends put 
in an appearance at the trial. 

Thorrington's trial began on Thursday. In his case there 
were eighteen jurors, six of them from Honey Lake, and they, 
too, were regularly empaneled. The accused man was allowed 
to have Major Reese to defend him. William Dow, Joseph Frey, 
Emanuel Penrod, — Williamson, the two Hale Brothers, and — 
Taylor were among the jurors. The names of the others could 
not be ascertained. Elliott and Edwards were the principal 
witnesses. In addition to the other testimony given by him, 
Elliott read the memorandum he had made of what Edwards and 
Thorrington told him. Thompson and West's History of Nevada 
has the following : ' ' The evidence under oath was taken down by 
C. N. Noteware, late secretary of state for Nevada ; and the writer 
of this has read it all. Not a thing appears there implicating 
Lucky Bill in anything except the attempt to secure the mur- 
derer's escape. The absence of any knowledge on the part of 
the accused of the guilt of Edwards is a noticeable feature in 
that testimony; that party, after having acknowledged his own 
guilt, swore positively that he had assured Lucky Bill that he was 
innocent, and no one else testified to the contrary, yet the jury, 
believing that he did know, decided that he was guilty as acces- 


THE YEAR 1858 

sory to the murder after the fact, and condemned him to be 
hanged." It says nothing about Elliott's testimony or about 
Lucky Bill's visit to Honey Lake Valley. Dow says Edwards 
testified that while Lucky Bill was in Honey Lake valley he helped 
plan the murder of the Frenchman. It was proved that Thor- 
rington made a visit to this valley, had that conversation with 
Perrin, and stayed while here with Mullen, Edwards, and Snow. 
He also fed Edwards after he came to Genoa and tried to help 
him get out of the country. 

The jury was instructed that twelve of them could bring in 
a verdict. They rendered their decision at eight or nine o'clock 
Saturday morning, June the 19th, and Thorrington was sen- 
tenced to be hanged that afternoon. The Placerville corre- 
spondent of the "Sacramento Union" says the verdict against 
Lucky Bill was that he was guilty of planning the murder of the 
Frenchman and harboring murderers, thieves, and desperadoes. 
Edwards was sentenced to be taken back to Honey Lake and 

Thorrington 's Wife and Martha Lamb were brought to see 
him before he died, and the woman showed more grief than the 
wife did. Young says that just before Lucky Bill was taken 
away to be executed Elliott went up to Jerome, who was standing 
near by, and offered him his hand saying " I '11 bid you good-by. ' ' 
The boy threw his hand back and said he would never shake 
hands with any man who helped murder his father. "While the 
trial was going on a gallows had been erected about a mile from 
the Clear Creek ranch, and here the condemned man was hanged 
not far from three o'clock in the afternoon. The wagon was 
driven between the two poles and Thorrington stood up in the 
hind end of it. John C. Davis, who had been a sailor, tied the 
knot in the rope. Lawrence Frey, who was the driver, was to 
start the team and drop Lucky Bill out of the wagon, but it is 
said that he did not want his neck broken and so he swung him- 
self out of it. The Placerville correspondent of the "Alta Cali- 
fornian" wrote "He made no confession but took things coolly, 
putting the rope around his own neck. His last words were, 'If 
they want to hang me, I am no hog. ' ' ' His body was taken to 
Genoa and probably was buried there. 

It has been published that on account of his execution Lucky 
Bill's wife went insane, was confined for many years in the 



asylum at Stockton and died there, and that Jerome became a 
gambler and a drunkard. Perhaps these things occurred, but 
they were not entirely the result of his death. Dow says that 
after Lucky Bill was sentenced he was guarding him. He heard 
him tell Jerome to let whiskey and gambling alone, and added 
''That is what has brought me to this." He also told the boy 
to take good care of his mother, and intimated that she would 
not be crazy when he was gone — virtually saying that his con- 
duct had already made her crazy. (Mr. Holdridge says that Mrs. 
Thorrington had quite bad crazy spells for some time before her 
husband was hanged.) 

Sunday morning the Honey Lakers started for home taking 
Edwards on the "Bald Hornet" along with them. He was not 
tied, and all the way home he rode along and talked just the 
same as the others. T. and W. say that Theodore Winters, Walter 
Cosser, and Samuel Swager were appointed a committee to go 
to Honey Lake and see that Edwards was hanged, but the Honey 
Lakers say they never came along with them. The first night 
they stayed at the Peavine springs and the next at the lower end 
of Long valley. The third day in the afternoon they reached 
the Breed ranch about four miles southeast of Bankhead's, and 
there they stopped. At first they thought they would hang Ed- 
wards right away that day. Some of the men in the company 
had been away from their homes all that spring and part of 
the summer hunting Indians and outlaws, and they were in a 
hurry to get through with it. Edwards begged for time to write 
some letters home to his folks in the States, but at first they were 
not willing to grant him this privilege. Hines and some others, 
who thought they were not treating him right, left the crowd 
and went on home. It was finally agreed to let him live another 
day and allow him to write his letters. He also left some rings 
to be sent to his relatives, but it is said that they were worn out 
by the men to whom they were intrusted. 

On the afternoon of the 23d he was hanged on a butcher's 
gallows that stood near the cabin. He seemed to think that he 
had forfeited his life and that it was right to hang him. As he 
stood with the rope around his neck he made a speech, and among 
other things said that Snow was innocent — that he was only a 
hired man and knew nothing about the murder, and that they 
never trusted him with any of their secrets. (In spite of this, 


THE YEAR 1858 

though, the Honey Lakers always believed that Snow knew all 
about it.) They had his grave already dug near by, but he said 
j he would like to be buried in the upper part of the valley where 
jhe once had some friends. Orlando Streshly stepped up and 
I told him he would see that he was buried where he wanted to be. 
Edwards told him he would like to be buried half way between 
Streshly 's place and his own mine. Streshly complied with his 
wish, and as near as can now be told, his grave is about three- 
fourths of a mile south of where the Richmond schoolhouse now 
stands, on the west side of the road and not far from it. 

Elliott received the "Bald Hornet" and the money found on 
Edwards for what he did. It was always said that he went to 
Merced county and got some of the reward offered there for the 
arrest of Edwards. In his old age the "Bald Hornet" fell into 
the hands of Cap. Hill who kept him until he died. 

As a result of the punishment of these men, quite a number 
of hard characters suddenly left this valley and others paid 
considerable more attention to their conduct than they had 
previously done. No doubt but that it had the same effect in 
the Carson country. It also made the feeling between the two 
factions there much more bitter than before, and that feeling 
still exists in the minds of some of the men who lived there at 
that time. 

The Salt Lake Mormons who were acquainted in the Carson 
valley were greatly angered because of the hanging of Lucky 
Bill. In the fall of 1858 Mr. Dow went back to the States and 
came back across the plains the following summer. He reached 
Salt Lake City in July, and while staying there for a few days 
he went down to Coon's ranch on the Jordan river. Coon told 
him what had happened to Lucky Bill and said that he got his 
information from Major Reese. He then asked Dow where he 
was from, and when told that he was from Honey Lake valley 
Coon said he must have known something about it at the time. 
Dow told him that he heard about it. The other man looked at 
him very sharply and asked him if he was sure that he was not 
one of the crowd that did the hanging. Dow said again that he 
heard about it, but was very busy just then. Dow was satisfied 
that if the Mormons had known that he was one of the Honey 
Lake party, they would have killed him before he got away from 
there. The same year Hines had a trading post on the Humboldt 



river. One day a crowd of Mormons came along and stopped at 
his place a while. They cursed and abused the Honey Lakers 
for the part they took in the hanging of Lucky Bill, but Hines 
said it was too big a crowd for him and he kept still. 

T. and W. say that an unsuccessful attempt was made to 
collect the fines assessed by the court at the Clear Creek ranch. 
Concerning this Joseph Frey says: '.'A month or two after the 
trial Theodore Winters and some others gathered up the Olds 

cattle and put them into the corral of Mott seven miles 

above Genoa. They expected a crowd would be raised to take 
the cattle away, and so Winters came to me and told me to go to 
Washoe valley at once and get all the men I could to come up 
there, at the same time telling me what men to get that could 
be depended upon. I had just been down to Washoe valley and 
back, but I took the same horse I had ridden and started out. 
They used my horse to gather up the horses of the men I went 
after, and I got fifteen or twenty men and came back with them. 
It was estimated that my horse was ridden one hundred and 
twenty -tight miles in thirty-six hours. There were thirty or forty 
men lying in Mott's barn waiting for a crowd to come and take 
the cattle, but they never came. A cattle man named Douglas 
furnished the money to pay the fine and probably took the Olds 
cattle for security. The next year, during the Virginia City 
excitement, Olds came back into the country and was not 
molested. When a United States court was established in Ne- 
vada he tried to get back the money paid for his fine, but was 
told by John Musser, the best lawyer in the territory, that in the 
absence of law a People's court was the highest court known." 

Gordier brought considerable money, nuggets, etc., to this 
valley from the mines of California, and it was always supposed 
that some of it was buried near his cabin. But it is not known 
that any one found any of it until November, 1877, and then 
Miss Mary L. Dunn, afterwards Mrs. S. L. Frazier, picked up 
a nugget near where the Frenchman's cabin stood. She sold it 
to A. G. Moon for $240, and he took it to the States where it 
was made into jewelry. The next day Miss Dunn, George Boyd, 
Thomas M. Barham, and perhaps T. J. Mulroney found several 
smaller nuggets which were all worth something like $25. If 
any more nuggets have been found there since then, the finder 
did not take the public into his confidence. 


THE YEAR 1858 

The Black Rock Mining Excitement 

A little after the first of July, 1858, James Allen Hardin 
and a party of men arrived in Honey Lake valley from Peta- 
luma, California. They were going to the Black Rock range of 
mountains, which was mentioned in the description of the Lassen 
Trail, in search of a ledge of carbonate of lead and silver that 
Hardin had discovered while crossing the plains in 1849. The 
party went on to Black Rock, and although they didn't find the 
ledge, they started a mining excitement that raged with more or 
less fury for the next ten or twelve years. From this time on 
frequent mention will be made of Black Rock, but the whole 
story of this excitement will be told in the chapter for the 
year 1867. 

The Feaseb River Mining Excitement 

In 1858 gold was discovered on the Fraser river in British 
Columbia. The news spread rapidly, and when it reached Honey 
Lake some of the Never Sweats felt their blood warm up with 
the old time fever. In July, 1858, William H. Clark, Thomas 
Eaton, Ben. Ward, Jonathan Scott, R. J. Scott, Mat. and John 
Craft, C. C. Walden, L. N. Breed, "Zack" Taylor, William More- 
head, John H. Ferry, and James Fuller started for the new 
mines. In the course of more or less time Clark, Breed, Walden, 
Taylor, Eaton, Ward, and Fuller came back to the valley, none 
of them having accumulated very great riches. R. J. Scott was 
killed on the road by Mat. Craft. It has been impossible to find 
out what became of the others. 

Pursuit of Horse Thieves 

William H. Clark relates the following: Some time during 
the year 1858 six horses were stolen from the settlers around the 
Clark ranch. Two of them belonged to George Lathrop and he 
and Peter Lassen raised a party in the upper end of the valley 
and went in pursuit of the thieves. They followed them over 
the mountain to the west, and some time in the night found them 
in a flat on what is now known as Clark 's creek, and below where 
Clark once had a dairy. Lassen told the men they would wait 
until it was light enough to see the sights of their guns and then 
they would take in the whole bunch of thieves. So they sur- 
rounded their camp and waited, and when it was light enough to 
see to shoot they fired on the sleeping men. They never hit a 



man and the thieves jumped out of bed and ran for their lives. 
In those days of single-barreled, muzzle-loading rifles there was 
no chance for another shot with their guns, and if they fired their 
pistols it didn't do any good, and the men got safely away. The 
Honey Lakers found all of their horses and saddles and returned 
home with them. 

Shortly after this two men came into Indian valley with 
nothing on but their under-clothes, and said they had been sur- 
prised in the night by the Indians and had to get away as fast 
as they could, leaving everything behind them. Perhaps they 
did think it was Indians, for there is nothing on record to show 
that they stopped long enough to look things over very carefully. 

The First Flag In the Valley 
Mrs. Isaac Coulthurst says that in 1858 a man named Charles 
Kingman, who was Richard Thompson's son-in-law, got the 
women who lived in the neighborhood of the Streshly place to 
make a flag — the first one in the valley — and she put the first 
stitches into it. The other women who worked on it were Mrs. 
J. P. Ford, Mrs. W. C. Kingsbury, and Mrs. Streshly. (Accord- 
ing to later information Kingman was not here until 1859. — F.) 
W. P. Hall's First Visit to Honey Lake Valley 
In October, 1858, S. R. Hall was taken sick at the ranch of 
Dow and Hatch and he wrote to his brother, "Wright P. Hall, to 
come to him. Mr. Hall left Howland Flat on the 15th of De- 
cember. "When he reached the Presby place in Light's canyon 
it began to snow and kept it up for several days. Expressman 
"Williams, who was carrying the mail and small articles from 
Quiney to Honey Lake, was there, too, and he and Hall stayed 
there until the storm was over and then started out on snow- 
shoes. "When they got a little this side of the summit it snowed 
so hard that they could go no further. They stayed there two 
days under the shelter of a big rock and had nothing to eat but 
one can of sardines. The second night it cleared up, but the 
next morning the valley was covered with fog and they had to 
guess at their course. They struck out, however, down the side 
of the mountain and about one o'clock in the afternoon reached 
the Lanigar ranch on Gold Run. He gave the travelers some 
bread and milk and Hall said it was the best meal he ever ate 
in his life. They then went on to the Dow and Hatch ranch and 
found the sick man better. 


THE YEAE 1858 

Conditions at the Close op 1858 
Conditions did not differ greatly from what they were at 
the close of the preceding year. More settlers had come into the 
valley, but they were still few in number and they w T ere pestered 
by horse thieves and Indians who stole their stock and annoyed 
them in other ways. The land was taken up a little more closely 
and was considered more valuable, there were more improve- 
ments, and people were in somewmat better shape to live, but their 
manner of living was still rather primitive. They raised more 
grain than they did the year before, but it all had to be thrashed 
with a flail, and there w T as no gristmill nearer than Taylorville. 
Thos. J. Mulroney said that some time during the summer he 
brought a sack of flour from there to the valley on his back. In 
the fall William Bankhead and Ralph Neisham, so S. J. Hill 
says, took a small load of wheat to Genoa and had it ground. 
Grinding w r heat in a coffee-mill w T as still practiced in case of a 

Some freight was hauled into the valley with teams this year, 
but almost everything was still brought in with pack trains. S. 
R. Hall says that during the winter of 1858-9 ' ' Kentuck ' ' Thomas 
had a pack train of twenty-five Indians that brought groceries 
into the valley from Taylorville. They did good work, but it 
was necessary to watch them all the time, for if an Indian's load 
consisted of anything that was edible, he w T ould eat it if he had 
a chance. One boy sixteen years old could pack a load that 
weighed a hundred pounds. 

A good many families were now living in the valley and they 
began to think about the education of their children. F. and S. 
say that "in 1858 Malcom Scott opened a private school in a 
small building that stood on the south side of Cottage street, 
about midway between Gay and Lassen streets." It is probable 
that during the summer they got their mail as they did the 
previous year. In November, 1858, the "Plumas Argus" said 
the people of Honey Lake valley and vicinity were very anxious 
to have a mail route from Salt Lake City to Marysville via Honey 
Lake valley and Quincy. The trip could be made in eight days 
and all that w r as needed to make a good road was a little w^ork 
between Honey Lake valley and Quincy. There is nothing to 
show that the route was established. Frank Davis brought some 
mail into the valley this year, but perhaps made no regular trips. 



Jonathan (Bully) Williams was bringing in the mail from 
Quincy in December and may have carried it all winter. This 
fall Hines and Tutt commenced to bring mail into the valley 
from the Clear Creek post-office in Shasta county. This post- 
office was below where Redding is now, and Judge Bell was the 
postmaster. He let them take a United States mail sack and 
they got the Honey Lake people to have their mail come that way. 
Tutt brought it to Butte creek, probably near the Cinder Cone, 
and from there Hines brought it into the valley, sometimes going 
as far down as Bankhead's. Of course this and what "Williams 
did were private enterprises. They charged from 25 cents to 
75 cents, depending upon the season of the year, for bringing 
a letter or a paper and people were glad to get their mail at 
any price. 

The "Plumas Argus" said in November, 1858, "The entire 
Plumas assessment for 1858 was $1072926, of which sum $76777 
is assessed on property lying in Honey Lake valley. This valley 
has a population of two hundred and fifty. ' ' 




In January W. P. and S. R. Hall located a section of land 
seven miles below Susanville, the one first claimed by Dow 
| and Hatch, April 3, 1857. Their witness was J. W. Pool. In a short 
time Tutt and Wallen recorded their relinquishment of the land. 
I A few days after making this location W. P. Hall left the valley 
and did not return for almost a year and a half. This piece of 
land was in what was known for a long time as the Fuller ranch, 
i One or more of the Fuller Brothers located it early this spring 
;and sold it to George Fox Kelley in 1866. Some of the Fullers 
I were still selling goods in Toadtown this month, and it is said 
that both they and Ed. Powers sold goods their this summer, but 
not the next year. 

Neale and Brother took an irregular tract lying east of their 
last claim and on the south side of the river. This must have 
given them a claim to the land on the south side of the river 
for three or four miles. Malcom S. Scott claimed, "for hay, 
grass, and other purposes," 160 acres in a little valley located 
one fourth of a mile north of a point in the Shasta road three 
and one fourth miles west of Susanville. He also claimed the 
waters that flow through the valley to Pyute creek. His witness 
was Cyrus Smith. Wm, H. Crane and his partners relinquished 
the claim they made the previous October in favor of Armstrong ; 
Mary Jane Coulthurst relocated the south half of the section 
taken by Henry Gordier in May, 1857 ; John Tucker and J. H. 
Anderson took a tract beginning at Coulthurst 's southeast corner, 
it being half a mile wide from east to west and four miles long ; 
Isaac Coulthurst relinquished the north half of his ranch. 

In February Milton Craig claimed 320 acres west of C. Ar- 
nold's claim (now Cotts). Probably this was a little over a mile 
south of Susanville. Coulthurst relocated the north part of his 
ranch and relinquished his wife's claim to the Gordier land in 
favor of Smith J. Hill who had bought out the heirs of Gordier. 
James M. Armstrong took a claim bounded on the east by Cor- 
nelison, on the south by John "Williams, and on the north by 
the foothills. 

In March W. C. Kingsbury sold to Peter Lassen all his interest 



in the old Lassen ranch south of Susanville, and in payment 
received a deed to the west half of the ranch taken by R. J. Scott, 
May 10, 1856. His witness was Sarah E. Kingsbury and the deed 
was recorded the 21st of March by H. Crane. 

In April Thurston Thomas claimed a tract south of the old 
Lassen ranch; James Williams filed on the Waters of a stream 
that ran through the ranch of Mr. Thomas and emptied into 
Lassen's field on the south side. Recorded by F. Yager; Daniel 
Dawson took a claim north of the Conkey ranch and his witness 
was L. Vary. 

Early this spring Frank Drake, perhaps in partnership with 
his brother-in-law, Orlando Streshly , started a store at the latter 's 
ranch three and a half miles south of Susanville. Their building, 
put up that spring, was two logs in length and a story and a half 
high and stood on the north side of the road. They used part of 
the lower story for the store and the rest of it for a hotel, and 
the upper story was used to sleep in. It was also used for a 
dance hall when they wanted to dance, and that was very often 
in those days. About this time Streshly named the place Rich- 
mond in honor of Richmond, Va. 

In May Dr. P. Chamberlain came to the valley with his family 
and located a place on the lake five miles southeast of Bankhead 's. 
He practiced medicine in this valley for many years. His son, 
M. P. Chamberlain, followed the same profession here later on. 

In June George Lathrop and Thos. J. Harvey located two sec- 
tions of land running east and west on the lower end of Susan 
river, but they may have been on the land before this. They 
built their cabin on the slough farthest to the north and at the 
place where the emigrant road from the Humboldt river first 
came near it. At first known as the Lathrop place, and after- 
wards as the Shaffer place, it was for ten or twelve years a 
noted station on this road. Since then it has been owned by 
French and Litch, Kelley and Winchel, and now, 1915, it is 
known as the Mapes place. Joseph Kitts and Wm. D. Snyder 
of Honey Lake valley, Territory of Utah, claimed 1200 acres in 
Smoke Creek valley; I. Roop claimed all the water of Susan 
river from the Devil's Corral down to his mill for the purpose 
of rafting sawlogs; Thomas H. Bryant, W. W. Johnson, John 
Bryant, D. A. Sackett, G. Tilford, A. Brown, T. H. Sitton, J. A. 
Harden (probably it was Hardin), E. L. N. King, and 


THE YEAR 1859 

Quigley located two tracts of land "lying in Long Valley, Ne- 
vada Territory." the first tract being a mile above the crossing 
of "Buckley's Creek" and the other the one that Lassen sur- 
veyed the previous July for Hiram S. Sewell, John Benon, Eathen 
Wright, and Aron Wright, exact location uncertain. As J. A. 
Hardin was one of the locators they may all have come from the 
vicinity of Petaluma. 

The first day of June there was born to Richard D. and Mary 
E. Bass a son, John Edward. On the 13th of June Smith J. Hill 
and Susan Bankhead were married by Squire Stark at the home 
of the bride. This was the second wedding in the valley. Some 
time this summer Edward (Ned) Mulroney brought his Wife and 
his little son, John P., onto his ranch near Richmond. Some time 
this year a son, Matthew, was born to Anthony and Amanda Gray. 

In July Sylvester R. Ford claimed a section east of Weather- 
low and north of Vary. This land was just north of Susanville. 
From this time on until November Weatherlow was deputy re- 
corder. J. H. Lewis recorded a claim made by him for the Honey 
Lake Silver Mining Company to nine square miles of land at the 
lower end of Mud Meadows. This was west of the north end of 
the Black Rock range of mountains. 

The sale of Lassen 's real estate took place in July and Thomas 
H. Fairchilds, who was the partner of Fred A. Washburn in a 
mine at Rich Bar, came to the valley to buy some of it. He 
bought, as he supposed, the Lassen ranch south of Susanville, 
but after the sale he was told that he had bought the place where 
Milford now stands. Lassen had built a cabin about a quarter 
of a mile up the creek from where the main street of the town 
is now and near a spring, and Fairchilds and Washburn, who had 
also come to the valley, took possession of their ranch and moved 
into the cabin. David Titherington bought the ranch south of 
Susanville for a little over $600 and soon afterwards John S. 
Ward came in as his partner. 

In August Joshua H. Lewis and John Frisby located two 
sections extending two miles eastward from the Lathrop and 
Harvey ranch ; John Tucker relinquished all his claims to other 
lands in the valley and took 160 acres south of Titherington and 
another quarter section between him and Richmond and east of 
the road; T. Powers and W. W. Carpenter. claimed a tract eighty 
rods wide and four miles long in the ' ' lower end of Honey Lake 



valley." Their northwest corner was forty rods "due north of 
the Big Boiling spring." Charles Nixon and Francis Lanigar 
claimed a strip eighty rods wide and two miles long extending 
up Gold Run from their ranch. They also claimed "said Gold 
Run for Manufacturing and irrigating purposes." Henry Ar- 
nold claimed one half mile wide and two miles long extending 
up Granite creek from the desert; Frank Tilford recorded his 
claim to Spring Canyon near Mud Meadows, said claim having 
been made the previous January ; Xenophon V. C. Rollins made 
a location west of Lathrop and Harvey; E. L. N. King took a 
section west of Rollins ; Julian Ort located a claim a little south- 
west of King; and George Steel a section west of him. Frank 
Thomas and U. P. Furguson claimed one half mile wide on each 
side of Susan river and extending two miles up from the upper 
end of the Adams ditch. This ditch was taken out of the river 
about a mile and a half below where the Big slough leaves it, ran 
north of that slough for some distance, and then crossed to the 
south side of it and ran straight to the lake. This ditch marked 
the southern boundary of the tract of land claimed by the Adams 
Brothers. J. W. Doyle located on the north side of the river 
below Thomas and Furguson. 

In September Dr. T. W. Shearer took a claim in Willow 
Creek valley beginning " at a point on Willow Creek where said 
creek comes up to the mountain opposite the long point of timber 
where there is now a foundation for a house." His claim was to 
run down on both sides of the creek far enough to take in a sec- 
tion of land. Morgan W. Shearer claimed a mile and a half of 
Willow Creek valley beginning at the lower end and extending 
up the creek, and John W. Shearer, George W. Shearer, L. D. 
Sanborn, and Wm. W. Hill located all the land lying between 
the two foregoing claims. It looks as though the Shearer family 
had "corralled" a goodly share of that valley. J. C. King and 
J. M. Shearer located Round valley lying south of Willow creek. 

Charles T. (Tule) Emerson located a claim north of Susan 
river and east of Lewis and Frisby. Mr. Emerson says that he 
and Colburn Brown, his partner, bought out a man named Bagby 
before this location was made. Colburn Brown took a claim 
north of the river and west of Lathrop and Harvey. For a good 
many years this place was known as the "Tule" Emerson ranch. 
Mr. Emerson says that late that fall he and Brown and J. W. 


THE YEAE 1859 

Doyle built a log cabin a little below where the Soldier Bridge 
was afterwards built and a little shack further to the east. He 
also says that previous to this there were only two cabins in that 
neighborhood — one of them belonging to the Adams Brothers and 
the other to Lathrop and Harvey. Possibly there was one on the 
John M. Kelley place. About this time John M. Kelley came in 
with a large band of cattle and made a location on the north side 
of the Big slough next to the lake. Stephen White came in with 
him. This land was claimed by the Adams Brothers, but it is not 
known whether he bought the land from them or "jumped" it. 
He built a cabin this fall. At this time George Purcell had a 
claim north of Kelley. Charles E. Sanders claimed an undivided 
one half of the tract located by Powers and Carpenter the prev- 
ious August and said that the latter told him to take possession 
of his half of the claim. F. Thomas and J. W. Sanbanch took 
two claims on the north side of the river west of Lathrop and 
Harvey and extending two miles up the river. This covered the 
location made by Brown. Col. Hardin, J. J. Grinter, F. Alber- 
ding, C. I. Robinson, E. G. Bangham, E. Lynn, M. Campton, 
G. Tilford, M. S. Thompson, David Chapman, I. G. Kitts, J. 
Kitts, A. Painter, Wm. Utt, and James M. Keller claimed a 
piece of land 4200 feet square on a silver lead. In all proba- 
bility this was in the Black Rock country. 

It has been told that Demming went back into "Willow Creek 
valley this spring and improved his place. This fall Otis N. 
Johnson and Edwin P. Todd went into the valley with some cattle 
belonging to Edward Rice and built a cabin in the upper end 
of it just where the creek comes out of the timber. Before winter 
set in they left there and went over to Rice 's springs. 

The following is an account of the settlement of Long valley 
during the year 1859 : In July Ambrose, Noah, and Jonathan 
A. Robinson and a brother-in-law, James Morgan, settled at what 
has always been known as the "Warm Springs" ranch. Morgan 
stayed there that winter and then went to Virginia City. These 
men claimed all the land from the Warm Springs to the Hot 
Springs ranch. C. ML West, who came in with the Robinsons, 
settled about three fourths of a mile from where the Plumas 
Junction is now. Alvaro, Allen, and J. Newton Evans and Robert 
E. Ross, who crossed the plains this year with eight hundred 
head of cattle, came into Long valley and bought out "White- 



head" Ross and Kearns and his partner. Alvaro Evans says 
he paid Kearns $75 for his cabin and claim. Eoss's brother, 
Albert E., crossed the plains with them and stayed in the valley. 
Jacob McKissick also crossed the plains this year with a large 
band of horses and cattle. He bought out a man called ''Oregon 
Jake" who had hauled a little lumber onto a place just north of 
the Evans ranch. John C. Wright and John White took up the 
Willow Ranch and that fall or the following winter built a cabin 
there. They also claimed the land at a spring near the foot of the 
mountain back of their cabin. This fall George Greeno took a 
claim in what might be called the extreme northwest corner of 
the valley, but did not settle there until the next year. James 
Freeman and his family and John Lowe, Jr. came into Long 
valley this fall. In 1862 the latter moved to Honey Lake valley. 
Marshall Bronson and family lived at the Hot Springs ranch 
during the winter of 1859-60. 

This year Eber G. Bangham crossed the plains to Honey Lake 
valley. In a short time he went back to Granite springs and 
traded with the emigrants for a while. Probably Robert Johns- 
ton was his partner in this. Late in the year they bought William 
Dow 's ranch in Toadtown. 

This summer Ross Lewers bought a small steam sawmill in 
Indian valley, brought it here, and put it up on the west branch 
of what is now known as the Parker creek about a mile and a half 
above the road. This was the second sawmill in the valley. 
"Uncle Tim" Darcey was his first engineer, but in a short time 
Thomas H. Epley took that position and Mat. Lusk and A. M. 
Vaughan worked in the mill. Part of the frame of that mill is 
in the barn on the F. L. Parker place one and three fourths miles 
below Janesville. The mill was run until the next spring and 
then it was moved to Washoe valley and put up about two miles 
and three quarters due south of Franktown. Lewers says this 
was the first steam engine in what was afterwards the state of 
Nevada, and Epley, who went with him, says he blew the first 
steam whistle. Lewers sold the most of his lumber to people from 
Virginia City and got $50 a thousand for common lumber and 
$75 for clear. He sold some clear dry siding in Gold Hill for 
$250 a thousand. In the fall of 1860 Lewers went to Ireland 
and Epley rented the whole outfit for a thousand dollars a month. 
That was the day of cheerful prices. 


THE YEAR 1859 

Rooptown grew a little this year. A. W. Worm put up a 
building near the northwest corner of Gay and Main streets and 
opened a store. A. B. Jenison built the first frame house in 
town. It was on the south side of Main street near Weatherlow. 
F. and S. say: "It was 16 by 30 feet in size, sided up with 
planed shakes, and was ornamented with a rustic cornice, making 
it a fine residence for those pioneer days. In 1859 the first reg- 
ular saloon was opened on the north side of Main street, midway 
between Gay and Union, by B. B. Painter and George Mitchell, 
and was known as the Black Rock. ' ' Dr. James W. H. Stettinius, 
who came into the valley that fall with Col. Lander, taught school 
in a frame building on the south side of Main street near Gay. 
The same history says : "In 1859, Clark Rugg & Harper opened 
a blacksmith shop on the south side of Main street, in a log house 
near where Smith's hotel now stands." This was between Gay 
and Union streets. 

In October Stephen P. and Wiltshire Sanders claimed a tract 
half a mile wide and four miles long above the Emigrant ford 
on Willow creek; A. C. Hill took a claim east of Susanville be- 
tween Bear and Cornelison; T. H. Fairchilds located a section 
south of the Lassen land bought by him and Washburn; J. W. 
Hodgkins took a claim above the ranches of Ml C. Lake and 
William Fuller, these two ranches being in the little valley 
claimed by O'Laughlin in 1856; E. L. N. King located a claim 
in Willow Creek at the mouth of Round valley ; this year Miller 
and Hoffer owned the James Doyle ranch northwest of Milford. 

Some time this fall Julius Drake and John Neiswender 
started a saloon and a bowling alley at Richmond; Streshly 
opened a blacksmith shop with Tim. Darcey as blacksmith for 
a while; and Charles Saunders opened a wagon shop. These 
were all on the south side of the road and started about the same 

In November William Andrews relocated the claim taken by 
M. S. Scott the 22nd of the previous January; Salmon Belden 
relocated the claims of Ford and Smith which he had purchased ; 
M. Doty and James Archy claimed Pyute valley and all the 
little valleys running into it. Perhaps this was what is now 
called Piute Meadows seven miles northwest of Susanville. 

The 18th of this month A. C. Neale and Fanny Brown were 
married, the third couple to be married in the valley. 



In December P. Taylor & Co. claimed three sections running 
north and south, the Big hot spring being just a little south of 
their north line; Governor I. N. Roop appointed Dr. J. W. H. 
Stettinius his "legally authorized Deputy Recorder in and for 
Honey Lake valley"; E. G. Bangham and George Johnston 
claimed a half section of land on Susan river — location uncertain ; 
A. J. Demming, Z. N. Spalding, and C. P. Sheffield & Co. located 
the whole of "Little Antilope Valley"; John H. Banker took a 
half section on Gold Run above Lanigar and Nixon ; E. L. Varney 
claimed ten acres east of Gov. Roop's sawmill; James Hunter 
claimed all the vacant land on Piute creek lying between the 
ranches of Roop and Weatherlow, but immediately relinquished 
his claim as he found there was no vacant land between them. 
The same day he claimed a section lying on both sides of the 
river above Governor Roop's claim. This month A. A. Holcomb 
kept the Susanville hotel in the Cutler Arnold log house. 

During the summer and fall of 1859 and the following winter 
a change was made in the Roop, McNaull & Co. sawmill, and the 
usual number of stories are told about it. Some say a new mill 
was built near the old one, others say the old mill was repaired. 
In the spring of 1859 a party from Petaluma, probably led by 
J. A. Hardin, passed through the valley on their way to Black 
Rock to prospect. One of the party, Col. Lewis, soon came back 
to the valley and in company with "Dad" Wyatt, the man who 
escaped when Lassen was killed, bought the old sawmill and 
repaired it, or built a new one. It is also said that Wyatt was 
only a laborer in the mill. One story is that Roop owned an 
interest in the mill and another one is that he owned it all and 
Lewis was only working for him. Whatever the truth may be 
in regard to the ownership, somebody put a sawmill into shape 
to run and put in a circular saw. Almost everything about the 
mill was made of wood. The motive power was a twenty foot 
water wheel with a twelve foot breast. The pulleys were made 
of wood with iron axles. The parts of the machinery that could 
not be made of wood were brought over the mountains that fall 
and winter. In December while they were bringing in the saw, 
the first circular saw in the valley, a deep snow came on and 
they had to leave it in the mountains. Marcus E. Gilbert, an 
' ' emigrant ' ' who had crossed the plains that summer, went after 
it. After being told where and how to find it, he took a handsled 


THE YEAR 1859 

and started out on snowshoes although he had never traveled on 
them before. He was gone a long time, nearly two weeks, but 
he finally returned with the saw. Everything being taken into 
consideration, it was thought at the time to be quite a wonderful 
feat. The mill was ready to run late in the winter or early the 
next spring. 

Part of this year, or perhaps all of it, L. N. Breed sold goods 
and whiskey in a little shack that stood on the east side of 
Piute creek and on the south side of the road. One day in the 
fall a crowd of emigrants from Missouri came into his place and 
a big fellow asked him what he charged for a horn of whiskey, 
the term meaning a drink. Breed named his price, probably 
twenty-five cents, and the man immediately drew a great ox horn 
from beneath his coat and said he would take one. The cheapest 
way to get out of it was to treat the crowd and this Breed did 
when the laugh had subsided. 

During the latter part of the year Dr. Slater and F. S. (Sprig) 
Chapman built a large log house about three quarters of a mile 
northwest of Bankhead's. It stood on the south side of the road 
that goes along the foot of the mountain to Richmond and a 
short distance from where this road leaves the main road going 
to Susanville. It was perhaps twenty by forty feet and one and 
a half or two stories high, and was made of logs hewed square 
and dovetailed at the corners — quite a fine building for those 
days. It is said that the building was fitted up for a Masonic 
Hall and that the Masons met there once, but did not organize. 
A dance was given in this building between Christmas and New 
Year, 1859, and was called a Masonic dance, that is, given by the 
Masons or in honor of them. 

It was reported that 1200 wagons and 4000 persons passed 
through the Honey Lake gateway during the summer and fall 
of 1859. Honey Lake valley received a very large emigration 
this year, perhaps the largest in its history. 

Of those who came into the county in 1859 the following 
lived here all the rest of their lives and every one of them died 

Eber G. Bangham, Dr. H. S. Borrette and his daughter 
Louise, George Greeno, Marshall Bronson and Wife, Robert 
Johnson and Wife, Samuel H. Painter and Wife, David Tither- 
ington, Jeremiah Tyler, Ephraim V. Spencer, John White (of 



Susanville), James Lawson, Loyal Woodstock, Horace Adams, 
•Timothy Darcey, Frank S. Strong, Thomas H. Fairchilds, Fred 
A. Washburn, William Leith, Otis N. Johnson and Wife, John 
Lowe, Jr., *Edward W. Bartlett, * Frank Thomas, *Nathan 
Phillips, *Thurston Thomas, Jacob McKissick, Alec. T. Arnold, 
Mrs. Evaline Allen (Mrs. Fred Hines), and Luther D. Spencer. 

Of the following part of them lived in the county almost a 
lifetime and some of them are still living here : 

Abraham L. Tunison, A. W. Worm (now Wern), William . 
Milton Cain and Wife, Benjamin F. Sheldon, Alvaro, Allen, and I 
J. Newton Evans, Eobert E. and Albert E. Ross, F. A. Sloss, 
Stephen White, Joseph C. Wemple, J. Bristo and George Rice, 
George R. Lybarger, Charles Lawson, Mrs. Belle (Painter) Bond, 
Mrs. James Lawson, Mrs. Lucretia Chapman, Judge John S. 
Chapman, Lutie Chapman (Mrs. A. A. Smith), Mollie Chapman 
(Mrs. F. A. Sloss), and Benjamin E. Shumway and Family. 
(The children were Emerson B. and Mary Etta.) 

The following lived in the county from two or three to twelve 
or fifteen years. Probably the last twelve or fourteen lived here 
the shortest length of time excepting T. H. Epley and W. H. 

Valentine J. Borrette and Family, Fred A. Borrette, Dr. P. 
Chamberlain and Family, F. S. Chapman, *William Corse, 
Charles T. Emerson, Judson Dakin, Cyrus Lawson, *Edward 
Mulroney and Family, *Hiram Utt, John C. Wright, John White, 
A. M. Vaughan, George W. Perry (called Buckskin Mose), C. M. 
West, E. R. Nichols, George Johnston, Samuel Marriott, Frank 
Drake, A. C. Hill and Family, John C. Dakin, Hugh and Andrew 
J. Rutledge, Ambrose, Noah, and Jonathan A. Robinson, A. A. 
Holcomb, Jacob S., Edwin C, and S. W. Hardesty, James 
Huntington, Jesse S. Hollingsworth, L. D. Sanborn, J. H. 
Anderson, John Tucker, John and James Barton, William Ham- 
ilton, Joseph Kitts, Marcus E. Gilbert, Peter Cahill, W. F. 
Warren, Colburn Brown, John ML Kelley, M. J. L. and Edwin 
P. Todd, Matthew Lusk, Fred Morrison, Byron B. Gray, John 
Dow, Henry Kingman, C. A. Kingman, Freeman Kingman, Rob- 
ert M. Cain, Thomas H. Epley and Wife, and William H. Dakin. 
Western Utah Politics. 1859 

The Never Sweats did no independent politics this year. 
They dodged the Plumas county assessor and tax collector and 


THE YEAR 1859 

helped the people of Western Utah in another attempt to get a 
new territory formed. 

The Gold Hill placer diggings were discovered in January, 
1859, and the Comstock Lode the following June. One or two 
days before the discovery of the latter, the miners of Gold Hill 
met, June 11, 1859, and adopted some rules and regulations for 
the government of that district. These rules were recognized but 
a short time, for there was such a rush to the mines that every- 
thing but mining excitement was forgotten and everything else 
swept away. 

Movement op 1859 

As we have seen, the movement by the people of "Western 
Utah in 1857 to have congress create a new territory was a 
failure ; but there was a hostile feeling between the Mormons and 
the citizens of the United States, and the people of Western Utah 
determined to use this feeling to help them gain their end. 

Some of the men who were watching for a chance to grind 
their political axes, so to speak, took the first opportunity to set 
the matter going again. T. and W. say they "gave direction to 
the popular feeling by calling a mass meeting for the 6th of 
June, that year, at Carson City, to take such action as would 
be best calculated to open the territorial question again. That 
meeting apportioned Carson county into voting precincts, called 
an election for July 14th to choose a delegate to visit Washington, 
and provided for a convention to convene at Genoa on the 18th 
of July to count the votes for the delegates and give the success- 
ful candidate his credentials, and take such other, not well 
defined, action as the emergency demanded. They also called a 
nominating convention of regularly appointed delegates from the 
various precincts to meet at Carson City on the 20th of June, 
whose duty was to place in the field candidates to be elected, at 
the same time with the congressional representative, as delegates 
to the Genoa convention." 

This mass meeting was held six or seven days before the 
Comstock Lode was discovered, and this goes to show that the 
movement was by the settlers of the country instead of a transient 
population ; for the influx of such a class after the discovery of 
silver swept away this half formed government. 

The convention met at Genoa July 18th, 1859, and was called 
to order by A. G. Hammack. Col. J. J. Musser was chosen 



temporary chairman and John F. Long secretary. The com- 
mittee on credentials was Peter Nye of Walker's river, C. N. 
Noteware of Carson, John Neale of Honey Lake, Thomas Ander- 
son of Humboldt, and Warren Wasson of Long valley. Neale 
was chairman of the committee. Among those whom the com- 
mittee reported as entitled to seats in the convention the following 
were from the Honey Lake district: W. T. C. Elliott, one vote, 
J. Bowdone, one vote, A. F. Chapman, two votes, J. Williams, 
one vote, John Robinson, two votes, A. M. Vaughan, three votes, 
W. S. Bryant, one vote, J. 0. Robertson, one vote, William 
Naileigh (Cap. Hill), one vote, I. Roop, one vote, J. H. Neale, 
one vote, and A. A. Smith, one vote. John S. Ward and Lewis 
Stark sent proxies. Honey Lake district had sixteen votes out 
of a total vote in the convention of sixty. There were six districts 
and no other district had more than twelve votes. Some of the 
permanent officers of the convention were J. J. Musser, president, 
and F. M. Proctor, Peter Nye, Isaac Roop, and J. L. Cary, vice- 

The convention adopted a "Declaration of Cause for Separa- 
tion. ' ' It was ' ' in some respects an exaggerated statement of the 
condition of affairs at that time, and causes leading the people to 
ask for a separate government. ' ' It was a sort of declaration of 
independence by the citizens of Western Utah. They framed and 
adopted a constitution to be submitted to a vote of the people on 
the 7th of the following September, and an election was ordered 
at the same time to fill the offices created by it. They counted 
the votes for the delegates to Washington and found that Maj. 
F. Dodge had 378 votes and that Crane had 439. F. and S. say 
that 84 votes were cast in the Honey Lake district. James M. 
Crane was declared elected. 

They fixed the boundaries of the proposed territory of Nevada 
as "commencing at a point on the Sierra Nevada mountains 
where the 42nd degree of north latitude touches the summit of 
said mountains; thence southerly with said summit to the 35th 
degree of north latitude; thence east on said parallel to the 
Colorado river; thence up said river to its junction with the 
Rio Virgin; thence up said Rio Virgin to its junction with the 
Muddy river ; thence due north to the Oregon line ; thence west 
to the place of beginning. " This put Honey Lake valley into the 
proposed territory. 


THE YEAR 1859 

They adopted a Memorial which amounted to about the same 
thing as the one sent to congress by the meeting held here in 
1857, only it was a great deal shorter. It was signed by A. L. 
Dorsey, Chairman. 

They also divided the proposed territory into districts and 
those in the neighborhood of Honey Lake were described as 
follows : ' ' District No. one shall begin at a point on the summit 
of the Sierra Nevada mountains where the 42nd degree of north 
latitude crosses the summit, thence southerly with said summit 
to the head water of Elysian creek, thence down that creek to the 
big bend in said creek, thence in a straight line to the mouth of 
Willow creek, thence north to the Oregon line, thence along said 
line to the place of beginning. District No. two shall begin at 
the mouth of Willow creek, thence along the eastern shore of 
Honey lake to the north end of Pyramid lake, thence northeast 
to Rabbit Hole springs, thence north to the Oregon line, thence 
along said line to the east corner of District No. one, thence south 
to the place of beginning. District No. three shall commence at 
the head of Elysian creek, thence following the summit to a point 
opposite the dividing ridge between Honey Lake and Long valley, 
thence down said ridge to Long Valley river, thence on a direct 
line to the north shore of Pyramid lake, thence along the south 
line of Districts No. one and two to the place of beginning. ' ' 

It will be observed that this convention made all the necessary 
arrangements for the organization of a Provisional Territorial 

The election was held on the seventh of September, but the 
returns were not preserved and it is impossible to tell how many 
votes were cast. The following persons ran for office: For 
governor, Isaac Hoop and John A. Slater, both of Honey Lake 
valley. For secretary of state, A. S. Dorsey, auditor, John D. 
Winters, treasurer, B. L. King. T. and W. say: "The above, 
with the exception of Dr. Slater, were probably elected ; but none 
of them were ever called upon to serve excepting Governor Roop. 
From a newspaper clipping, found in the Governor's scrap book, 
it appears that the majority for the constitution was about 400 
votes. The following election certificate tells its own tale : 
'I, J. J. Musser, president of the constitutional convention held 
in Genoa, in July, A. D., 1859, and chairman of the board of 
canvassers appointed by that convention to canvass the votes 



cast at the election for officers under the constitution of Nevada 
territory, held throughout said territory, on the 7th day of 
September, A. D., 1859, do hereby certify, that said board of 
canvassers failed to meet at the appointed time and place to 
discharge the duties assigned to them. I further certify that the 
votes cast at the said election were received by me, and that I 
have examined and cast up the vote of said election returns that 
came to me unsealed, from which I do hereby certify that a large 
majority of the votes cast on that occasion were in favor of the 
constitution, and also that Isaac Roop was elected governor of 
the said territory by a large majority.' " 

"Immediately after the foregoing election, John S. Child 
held a session of court at Genoa on the 12th of September, with 
P. H. Lovel as his clerk. This was the first legal court held in 
Carson county after April 13, 1857, when Charles Loveland 
presided, just before the Mormons let for Salt Lake." 

Judge Crane, the congressional delegate, died suddenly at 
Gold Hill from heart disease, on the 27th of September. Another 
election was called for November 12, 1859, to fill the vacancy, 
and at that time J. J. Musser was elected and soon afterwards 
started for Washington. 

x\fter he had gone Isaac Roop subscribed to the following 
oath of office : 
' ' Territory of Nevada, — ss. 

"I do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of 
the United States, and the constitution of the territory of Nevada, 
and that I will to the best of my ability perform all the duties 
of governor of said territory during my continuance in office. 

"Isaac Roop." 

"Subscribed and sworn to before me this thirteenth day of 
December, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine. 

"F. M. Preston, 
"TJ. 8. Commissioner, Second Judicial District, U. T." 

The Meeting of the Legislature of Nevada 
The date set for this meeting was December 15th, 1859. 
Governor Roop made the journey from Susanville to the Carson 
valley on horseback. It was very cold weather and when he 
reached Huffaker's he was almost frozen to death. He rode up 
beside the house, but could not get off his horse. Before long the 
folks in the house saw him and came out and carried him inside. 


THE YEAR 1859 

When they found out his condition they put him into a cold 
room, put his hands and feet into cold water, and made him drink 
cold water until he was thawed out. He felt no ill effects from 
his experience and this treatment probably saved his life. 

On Thursday, December 15th, he went from Carson City to 
Genoa to meet the members elected to the Council and the House 
of Delegates of Nevada Territory. There was not a quorum of 
the members of either house present. They knew the conditions 
and were in favor of waiting to see what action congress would 
take in regard to organizing the territory of Nevada. By staying 
at home they saved themselves a cold, disagreeable journey. 
Informal Meeting of the Legislature 

Those who were present, however, decided to hold an informal 
meeting. A report of this meeting was printed in the ''Terri- 
torial Enterprise" published at Carson City December 24, 1859. 

They convened at the house of James Blake of Genoa, Thurs- 
day, December 15, 1859. 0. H. Pierson was elected temporary 
chairman and H. F. Thompson, secretary. 3M. S. Thompson of 
Black Rock, G. W. Hepperley, and B. Sears of Genoa were 
appointed to select permanent officers. This committee reported 
for Speaker of the House, 0. H. Pierson of Carson City, for 
Clerk, H. F. Thompson of Genoa, and for Sergeant-at-Arms, 
John A. McDougal of Genoa, and on motion they were duly 

"On motion of M. S. Thompson, a committee of three were 
appointed to wait upon Governor Roop, and notify him that the 
House were waiting for his message. 

Soon the Governor made his appearance; and after a few 
brief remarks, presented his message to the Speaker, which was 
read by the Clerk." 

"Proclamation To the people of Western Utah included within 
the boundaries of the proposed territory of Nevada. 

"Having been duly elected by you as Executive of the pro- 
visional territorial government of Nevada territory, and deeming 
it my duty to address you upon the subject of our separation 
from the curse of Mormon legislation, I present to you my reasons 
why an organization of the provisional government, would, at the 
present time, be impolitic. 

' ' At the time we were compelled to assemble, in our sovereign 
capacity, to endeavor to rid ourselves of the Theocratic rule of 



Mormonism, we had no protection for life, limb, or property. We 
had in vain petitioned congress for relief against the unjust and 
illegal attempts of Mormons to force upon us laws and customs 
obnoxious to every American. "We had no Courts, no county 
organizations,- save those controlled by the sworn satellites of 
the Salt Lake Oligarchy. Our political rights were entirely at 
the will of a certain clique composed of those who were opposed 
to the first principle of our constitution, 'freedom of the ballot- 
box.' Under these circumstances, we endeavored to relieve our- 
selves from these impositions, and believing that a provisional 
territorial government would best assure us protection to life, 
limb, and property, we held our election and made all necessary 
arrangements for the formation of a temporary Government, 
until congress should give us justice and protection. 

"Since our election, we have been deprived, by a dispensation 
of Providence, of our esteemed Delegate to Congress, James M. 
Crane, whose whole energies were devoted to the best interests 
of our people, and who carried with him to the grave the kindest 
wishes of us all, and who should have inscribed on his tomb-stone, 
'An honest man, the noblest work of God.' 

"Within the past few months, an attempt has been made by 
Judge Cradlebaugh, to establish a United States District court 
in this district. Coming among us as he did, with the prestige 
of his noble stand against Salt Lake Legislation, we at once 
yielded to him and his Court all the respect ever accorded in any 
community. But notwithstanding all his endeavors, backed by 
all the good wishes of the people, the so-called laws of Utah 
territory have proved to him an insurmountable barrier. 

"We have now en route to Washington, as Delegate to con- 
gress, to represent us and our wishes, John J. Miusser, unani- 
mously elected by the people to fill the vacancy occasioned by 
the decease of the lamented Crane, in whom we all place the 
most implicit confidence. 

"The recent discoveries of Gold, Silver, Copper, and Lead 
Mines, have caused an influx of population totally unexpected at 
the time of our late Convention. The new immigration is com- 
posed of the bone and sinew of California, all men who are 
disposed to pay all due obedience to Laws which extend to them 
reasonable protection. 


THE YEAK 1859 

"Under the circumstances, but few members of the Council 
and House of Delegates have assembled in accordance with the 
call for their election. 

"Now, therefore, I, Isaac Roop, Governor of the provisional 
territorial government of Nevada territory, believing it to be 
the wish of the People still to rely upon the sense of Justice of 
congress, and that it will this session relieve us from the numer- 
ous evils to which we have been subjected, do proclaim the 
session of the Legislature adjourned until the first Monday of 
July, 1860, and call upon all good citizens to support, with all 
their energies, the Laws and Government of the United States. 

"Done at Genoa, December 15th, A. D. one thousand eight 
hundred and fifty-nine. 

"Isaac Roop, Governor." 

After the reading of the Governor's message and its accept- 
ance by the Legislature, they adjourned until the following day. 
At their next session they appointed a committee composed of 
J. Williams, J. K. Trumbo, W. W. Smith, and Governor Roop 
to draft a memorial to congress to facilitate the formation of the 
new territory of Nevada. They also adopted several resolutions. 
The first one stated their faith in the ability, integrity, and 
determination of Musser, and their belief that under the cir- 
cumstances it would be best to adjourn and trust to the justice 
of congress. The second one indorsed the memorial sent to the 
Federal government, and again asked congress to grant their 
petition. The third indorsed the Governor's message. They 
then tendered a vote of thanks to the officers of the Legislature 
and to Mr. Blake for the use of his room, and adjourned until 
the first Monday in July, 1860. 

Mr. Musser failed to get congress to take immediate action 
in the formation of the new territory of Nevada, and he came 
back to Carson county. 

Indian Troubles. 1859 

During the year 1859 the Never Sweats had no war with the 
Indians. Stock was stolen from the ranges — considerable from 
the lower end of the valley — but only once was enough taken at 
a time to cause any action on the part of the settlers. John Byrd, 
also called "Old Jack," "Uncle Jack," and "Captain" Byrd, 
lost more stock than any one else. His ranch was the farthest 



one down the valley, he had more stock than any one else, and 
it ranged to the north and east of his ranch where it was exposed 
to the raids of the Indians. 

Byrd says that this summer the Indians made a raid into 
the valley and drove off a large number of his cattle. He imme- 
diately got together all the volunteers he could and went in 
pursuit. The trail was easy to follow because there were so 
many cattle and because the pursuers kept passing weak ones 
that had given out and been left behind. The white men rode 
as fast as they could and on the second day came in sight of the 
Indians. For several miles before this the savages had been 
shooting the cattle and this they kept up until the whites were 
almost within gunshot. They then abandoned the remaining 
cattle and got away without any loss to themselves. 

Byrd says that he lost one hundred and twenty American 
cattle this time and that the Pi-Utahs were the guilty ones, but 
the latter must have been only surmise. He also says that he 
raised forty or fifty volunteers, and that among their number 
were William Maskelyne, William Hamilton, Thomas Fairchilds, 
Judson Dakin, and Jacob McKissick. If this is true, his stock 
must have been stolen in the fall, for Dakin and McKissick 
crossed the plains this year. 

But one thing was done by the Indians this year that caused 
an excitement throughout northern California and Western Utah. 
This was the murder of Peter Lassen and a man named Clapper 
which took place early in the spring on the western side of the 
Black Rock range of mountains. 

Life of Peter Lassen 

The following concerning the life of Lassen was taken from 
"The History of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties," "The 
Life of Rear Admiral John Drake Sloat" by Major Edwin A. 
Sherman, "The Hesperian Magazine" for August, 1859, "Hutch- 
ings' Magazine" for February, 1859, "Fifty Years of Masonry 
in California," the writings of General John C. Fremont, the 
newspapers and periodicals of that time and since, and from what 
has been told by the pioneers of Honey Lake valley. 

Peter Lassen was born in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, 
August 7, 1800. At the usual age he was set to learn the black- 
smith trade and finished his apprenticeship when he was twenty- 
seven years old. 


THE YEAR 1859 

In his twenty-ninth year he came to Boston, Massachusetts ; 
and after a residence of several months in Eastern cities, during 
which time he supported himself by working at his trade, he 
moved to Katesville, Chariton county, Missouri. Here he lived 
for nine years, carrying on both the farming and the black- 
smithing business. In 1838 he formed a military company and 
had them ready for duty. 

In the spring of 1839, one year after Captain John A. Sutter 
left Missouri for California overland by the way of Oregon, 
Lassen left Katesville in company with twelve others, two of 
whom were the wives of missionaries, to cross the plains to 
Oregon. The party fell in with a train belonging to the American 
Fur Company which increased their number to twenty-seven, and 
they all traveled along together. They left the two women at 
Fort Hall which was north of Salt Lake near the Snake river. 
In the following September or October they reached The Dalles 
and from there went down the river to Fort Vancouver, then a 
port of the Hudson Bay Company. From there they traveled 
up the Willamette river to Camponit, now Oregon City. Lassen 
now found his company reduced to seven men. They could not 
settle there to suit themselves and the next spring they decided 
to start for California. As their force was too small to cross the 
mountains into California they concluded to go by water. They 
were fortunate enough to find a vessel ready to sail — the 
Lospanna — which had arrived from England in May with mis- 
sionaries, or, as another account says, w r ith supplies for the 
missionaries in that district. This vessel intended to touch at 
California on her return and they embarked on her. They were 
twice in danger of being wrecked, but finally reached Fort Ross 
in safety. Here they obtained a pilot and set sail for Bodega, 
another Russian post. At this place the Mexican commander 
sent soldiers to prevent their landing, but these were ordered 
away by the Russian governor. They then wrote to the American 
consul at Monterey, telling him that they were American citizens 
and desired to land in the country, but had been refused pass- 
ports and had been opposed by the government. They had no 
money and could proceed no further by ship, and they asked him 
for protection and advice. They said they had concluded to land 
under the protection of the Russians, and if they did not hear 
from him in fifteen days, they intended to start out and protect 



themselves with their guns. After staying at Bodega fifteen 
days they were enabled to reach Yerba Buena, now San Francisco, 
though another account says that before going to Yerba Buena 
they went to Sutter's Fort, now Sacramento, and stayed there 
a few days. 

Lassen went to San Jose and spent the winter there working 
at his trade. In the spring of 1841 he bought some land near 
Santa Cruz and built a saw mill which was the first one ever 
built and successfully operated in that county. Previous to this 
a sawmill had been commenced at Fort Ross, but was washed 
away before it was finished and never rebuilt. After cutting 
forty or fifty thousand feet of lumber he sold his ranch and mill 
to Captain Graham for one hundred mules, intending to return 
with them to the United States, but being unable to raise a 
company the idea was abandoned. In the fall of 1842 he drove 
the mules up to near Sutter's Fort and ranched them while he 
worked at his trade for Sutter and took his pay in stock. In the 
summer of 1843 while working for Sutter, he, John Bidwell, and 
James Burheim pursued a party of emigrants on their way to 
Oregon, and overtaking them at Red Bluff took from them some 
stolen animals. The upper end of the Sacramento valley was 
then unsettled and Lassen was greatly pleased with the country. 

After their return Bidwell made a map of it and named the 
streams, and from this Lassen selected a tract of land and 
applied to Governor Micheltorena for a grant of it. He obtained 
his grant, which was called Bosque jo and was on Deer creek in 
what is now Tehama county, and in December, 1843, started to 
go there with one white man for a companion. On account of 
high water he had to camp at the Buttes until February, 1844. 
Other accounts put each of the last two dates a year later. The 
testimony is about equally divided. Two months afterwards the 
white man with him became tired of the solitary life there and 
left him. Lassen lived there along for seven months surrounded 
by many hundreds of Indians in perfect safety and without 
seeing a white man. He had between two hundred and three 
hundred head of stock and during his entire residence there not 
one was ever disturbed by the Indians. All the labor of building 
his house and cultivating his land was done by the Indians. This 
was the first settlement north of Cordua, now Marysville. In 
1844 Lassen applied for another grant of land in Tehama county, 



but failed to get it. Hittell's History says "Merritt, Lassen, 
and W. C. Moon quarried and manufactured a lot of grindstones 
on Stony creek in the summer of 1845. "When they were finished, 
they carried them twenty miles on mules to the Sacramento river 
and loaded them into a canoe and drifted with them down the 
river, selling them whenever they could." 

On the south side of Deer creek Lassen laid out a town which 
he called "Benton City" and erected several buildings, part or 
all of them being built of adobe. He had a blacksmith shop, a 
| gristmill, and a store. In the fall of 1849, so A. Delano says, he 
had a little flour and whiskey and a few groceries for sale there. 
For several years Benton City, or Lassen's Ranch, as it was 
usually called, was the most important point in northern Cali- 
fornia. In the spring of 1846 Fremont stayed there for three 
weeks with fifty of his men. In April, eight days after he had 
left there to go to Oregon, Lieutenant Gillespie of the United 
States Navy arrived with dispatches for him. Lassen, Samuel 
Neal, M. Sigler, and perhaps another man (Fremont says that 
Gillespie had five men with him when he started from Lassen's), 
after killing meat enough for the party, started with Gillespie 
to overtake Fremont. May 8th Neal and Sigler, who had been 
sent on ahead, rode into Fremont's camp on the west side of 
Klamath lake and told him that an officer was on his trail with 
dispatches from the government, and if he did not receive help 
at once, would be killed by the Indians. Fremont immediately 
started back with two messengers and a small party of his 
Indians and trappers and rode sixty miles that day. Just at 
sundown Gillespie reached their camp. That night the Indians 
attacked them and killed three of Fremont's Indians. If Gil- 
lespie had not found Fremont that night, the Indians, without 
doubt, would have killed him and his party, Fremont would have 
gone on to Oregon, and the history of the United States might 
have been changed. The Mexican War came on soon after this 
and Lassen took an active part in it. 

In 1847 he crossed the plains to Missouri with Commodore 
Stockton for the purpose of getting some emigrants to settle at 
his place, and also, if possible, to get the charter for a Masonic 
lodge to be established at Benton City. It has been told that he 



came back the next year over the Lassen Trail with the emigrants, 
and the history of his charter and lodge will be given a little 
later on. 

'The Red Bluff Beacon" says: "In the spring of 1850, 
Peter Lassen having disposed of one half of his ranch to Palmer, 
took several teams of oxen and went to Sacramento City to pur- 
chase some provisions and while there conceived the idea of 
selling his cattle and buying a steamboat, the most unfortunate 
speculation of his life. Mr. Palmer sold his interest in the 
concern to General Wilson, and while Peter with his purchase 
(the little steamer Washington) was cordelling up the river with 
his Indians, other parties were taking away and selling his cattle. 
The steamboat project proved a failure — his cattle were all gone 
— the parties to whom he sold half his ranch and stock had paid 
him nothing, and he had incurred a debt that nothing short of 
selling his ranch would pay. He accordingly sold to Henry Gerke 
of San Francisco his remaining interest in the place together 
with his claim against Wilson which enabled him to pay all his 
debts and remove with a few cattle to Indian valley in Plumas 
county and afterwards to Honey Lake. Here he still resides 
making an occasional visit to Red Bluff for provisions and to his 
old ranch where he is allowed to help himself to whatever pleases 
his fancy." 

It is said that Lassen and Isadore Meyerwitz, a Russian or 
Polish Jew, were the first men who went into Indian valley with 
the idea of settling there. They were there for a short time 
during the summer of 1850 and selected a place to locate. In 
1851 Lassen and a man named Burton built a log cabin up to the 
roof, covered it with brush, and opened a trading post which did 
quite a business with the emigrants that summer. They also 
raised a few vegetables, said to be the first ever raised in the 
valley. They went out of the valley for the winter, but the next 
spring Lassen came back with Isadore and George Edward 
St. Felix, or George Edward M. Felix, and took possession of 
their old place which was afterwards known as the Hickerson 
ranch about three miles north of Greenville. This year they 
raised a large quantity of vegetables which they sold at fifteen 
cents a pound for all kinds. What Lassen did after leaving 
Indian valley has already been told in these pages. 


THE YEAR 1859 

Death of Lassen 

The following letter was published in "The Mountain Mes- 
senger" of Downieville, Sierra county, California: 

"Honey Lake Valley, April 30, 1859. 

"This valley was thrown into great excitement by the arrival 
on Tuesday morning (it should be Thursday morning) of Mr. 
Wyatt, one of the Black Rock silver hunters, who narrowly 
escaped massacre by the Indians. 

' ' The circumstances are as follows : There has been a party 
of men stopping in this valley all winter, to be ready as soon as 
spring opened to prospect Black Rock Canyon for a supposed 
silver mine. This canyon and watering place is about one hun- 
dred and twenty-four miles distant from this valley, towards the 
Humboldt, on the wagon road. Messrs. Jameson (Probably this 
was Jenison.), Weatherlow, Lathrop, and Kitts started on Sun- 
day, the 17th inst. ; Peter Lassen, Messrs. Wyatt and Clapper, 
following two days later, and were to rendezvous at Black Rock 
springs, at which place the prospecting was to commence. Lassen, 
Wyatt, and Clapper arrived at the appointed place on Sunday, 
the 24th inst., and not finding the advance party, concluded to 
await their coming. 

"On Monday Mr. Clapper rode on to Mud lake, eight miles 
distant, to look for the other party; but not finding them, 
returned, and during the day found signs of two white men in 
the vicinity of their camping-ground, and believing them to be 
those of Captain Weatherlow and Mr. Jameson, one being a large 
and the other a small track. They also saw the tracks of shod 
horses, which the Indians have not. They then arrived at the 
conclusion that the advance party were over the mountain at 
another camping place, and concluded to go there the next morn- 
ing and see them, having encamped at the mouth of the canyon, 
within one hundred yards of some projecting rocks. In the even- 
ing they saw an Indian, on horseback, making a circuit of their 
camp, then disappearing. After a while he made his appear- 
ance in another direction and dismounted. With much difficulty 
he was induced to come into camp. He could not speak English, 
but Lassen said he spoke Piutah. While he was in camp they 
heard the report of a gun, when the Indian immediately said 
'Piutah,' and gave the whites to understand there were six of 



' ' The Indian then left them, and they retired to rest, suppos- 
ing themselves safe anywhere in the Piute country. Just at day- 
light they were fired upon from the rocks near by, killing Mr. 
Clapper in his bed. Lassen and Wyatt sprang upon their feet 
and commenced gathering up their things ; and not knowing that 
Clapper was killed, seeing he did not rise, supposed him asleep. 
Wyatt put his hand on his face to wake him, but found it cov- 
ered with blood. Turning him over, he saw that he was shot 
through the head. Lassen said, 'I will watch for the Indians 
while you (Wyatt) gather up the things.' While doing so the 
Indians fired on them again, and Lassen fell, to rise no more. 
He spoke but once. ' They have killed me, ' then fell on his face 
and gasped but once. Thus fell the 'old pioneer' whose whole 
history and life almost is connected with the exciting and wild 
scenes of the west ; and when this and other generations shall have 
passed away the traveler will look on the snow-clad buttes, and 
hear of the fertile meadows that bear his name, and remember 
with reverence the venerable voyageur. 

' ' When Wyatt saw Lassen fall he dropped everything but his 
rifle, caught his horse and fled with precipitancy. He arrived 
here on Thursday morning, without having taken food or rest. 
A party of twenty men started this morning to recover the 
horses and property, if possible, and ascertain the whereabouts 
of the other party, Great fears are entertained for their safety. 
Another party will follow immediately, with a wagon to bring in 
Lassen's and Clapper's remains. The advance party will pro- 
ceed, if possible, to trail the Indians to their lurking place and 
chastise them. Z. N. Spalding/' 

The following is an extract from what was published in the 
"San Francisco Chronicle" fifteen or twenty years ago: 

"The authority for the following narrative of the killing of 
Peter Lassen is Ephraim V. Spencer, who has lived in Lassen 
county for thirty-five years. The story was told to him over and 
over again by a man named Lemericus Wyatt, who was in Mr. 
Spencer's employ for two years, in fact until he died. Though 
Wyatt was an illiterate man, his story was well worthy of cre- 
dence. He had the reputation of being both truthful and hon- 
est. The reasons for his knowledge of the incidents connected 
with the killing of Peter Lassen the story itself fully reveals. 


THE YEAR 1859 

''Early in the spring of 1859 'Uncle Pete,' with Lemericus 
Wyatt and a man who went by the name of Clapper and whose 
Christian name Wyatt never knew, set out on a prospecting trip 
for silver. They went to what is known as Black rock, in the 
northwestern part of Nevada and about 140 miles northeast of 
Susanville. They had three horses, two pack mules and a full 
prospecting outfit, including rifles. At the Black Rock range 
they camped one evening beside a small stream ever since known 
as Clapper creek. The camp was in a nook of the canyon, over- 
looked by high bluffs on three sides. There was a little feed 
for the horses, and the place was a very pleasant, if in those times 
dangerous location for a camp. 

"While the men were getting supper an Indian came to the 
camp carrying a good muzzle-loading rifle. He had neither pow- 
der, caps nor bullets, and by dumb show made his wants known. 
Wyatt and Clapper strenuously objected to furnishing the red- 
skin with the ammunition, but Lassen, who, as usual, was friendly 
with the Indian, said that no harm could come of it ; that all the 
Indians knew 'Uncle Pete' and would never hurt him, especially 
this Indian, as he was a Pah Ute. Much to the regret of Las- 
sen's companions, the pioneer gave the Indian a good supply of 
all he asked, and the visitor immediately made off. 

"They picketed their animals for the night a short distance 
away and then made a common bed for themselves on the ground, 
Clapper lying in the middle. Just as day was breaking Wyatt 
was awakened by the report of a rifle. He sprang to his feet and 
called to his companions. He jerked the blankets off Clapper 
and caught him by the shoulder. In so doing he turned the man 
over. Blood spurted from Clapper's temple, showing that he had 
been shot clean through the head. Wyatt started to run, calling 
upon Lasesn to do so too. 'Uncle Pete,' however, remained 
standing by the bed shading his eyes with his hand and holding 
his rifle easily with the other, trying to discover where the shot 
came from. While he was still peering into the rocks a second 
shot rang out and Lassen fell. Wyatt ran back to Lassen and 
partly raised him from the ground, but life was ebbing fast and 
nothing could be done. Wyatt looked about for a place of 
safety, knowing that he was a target for the same murderer. He 
made for the horses, but before he reached the place where they 
were picketed he saw that they had pulled their picket-ropes and 



stampeded. lie hurried after them, running for his life toward 
the mouth of the canyon and the desert beyond. A sharp re- 
minder of the need of haste, in the shape of a bullet, passed 
through the leg of the fugitive's trousers, but did not draw blood. 

' ' Wyatt was then sixty years old, weighed about two hundred 
pounds, and was both clumsy and slow on his feet. "When he 
reached the entrance to the canyon his courage fell. Stretching 
from the base of the mountain away over the white alkali plain 
was a cloud of dust which hid from sight his only hope of safety 
— the runaway horses. 

"As he peered hopelessly after the retreating cloud he saw 
something which made his heart leap into his mouth. Out of 
the dust the form of his own fine black pacing horse suddenly ap- 
peared. The animal had faced about, apparently struck by some 
sudden impulse. For a second or two it seemed to take its bear- 
ings, and then on a mad gallop retraced its steps until it reached 
the advancing Wyatt, and invited the old man as plainly as signs 
could indicate to mount. 

1 ' Wyatt rode the whole one hundred and forty miles to Susan - 
ville bareback at breakneck speed, without a mouthful to eat and 
with nothing but a picket rope to guide his faithful animal." 

It must have been a terrible trip. The condition of a man of 
his age and weight after riding a barebacked horse that distance 
may be imagined. To the physical suffering add hunger and 
thirst and the fear of pursuit by the Indians or of meeting an- 
other band of them, and an idea can be obtained of the horrors 
of that journey. The fact that Wyatt 's saddle horse allowed him- 
self to be caught is one of the strangest things of the whole affair. 
Wyatt said the horse was always shy and hard to catch, and was 
the last one of the horses he had any idea of getting hold of. It 
seemed to him almost like a miracle. 

Weatherlow and his party got to Black Rock two days in ad- 
vance of Lassen and the other two men and camped on the hill 
seven miles from Mud lake. Lassen and Clapper were killed only 
a mile from their camp. Weatherlow 's party prospected until 
their provisions were nearly gone and then started for home, 
thinking Lassen had taken another route and could not find them. 
On the second day they met the Honey Lakers who were coming 
out to see what had become of them, and were told of the murder 
of Lassen and Clapper. The relief party got back to Honey Lake i 


THE YEAR 1859 

on May the eleventh. Ross Lewers and John H. Neale were the 
only members of the party whose names could be ascertained. 
The bodies of the murdered men were in an advanced state of 
decomposition and were buried where they were found. Every- 
thing went to show the truth of Wyatt 's statement. The Indians 
who committed the murder were not pursued as they had eleven 
days the start. 

Captain Weatherlow says: "The killing of Lassen and his 
companion caused great excitement in the settlement, and much 
feeling against the Indians. Several of the settlers attributed 
the murder to the Pah-utes, but from my own knowledge of the 
friendly relations between the chief Winnemucca and Peter 
Lassen and the high esteem in which Lassen was held by the In- 
dians and from the fact that there was no apparent change in 
the conduct of the Pah-utes who continued to visit our houses 
and exchange civilities and friendship, I did not believe that the 
Pah-utes had committed the murder nor that they were at all 
cognizant of the fact. I attributed it entirely to the Pitt river 
tribe which the whites had fought and defeated and who fre- 
quented the Black Rock country in small hunting bands. There 
had been no difficulty of any kind between the Honey Lake peo- 
ple and the Pah-utes that would have provoked them to so wan- 
ton an act of revenge, especially upon Peter Lassen, who had ever 
been their firm friend. But the Pit river Indians against whom 
we had fought would certainly have exulted in surprising and cut- 
ting off any small party of whites, and to them alone did I at- 
tribute the murder of Lassen." 

"The Grizzly Bear" of May, 1912, says that about a month 
later P. H. Lovell sent the following letter to the Placerville 
I ' Semi-Weekly Observer ' ' : 

"Genoa, May 20, 1859. 

"Editor of Observer: Our Indian agent, Major F. Dodge, 
has just returned from Honey and Pyramid Lakes, whither he 
has been to inquire into the late Indian depredations to the north 
of Honey lake. The major is not satisfied that the Indians alone 
are implicated in the matter, from the fact that two sacks of flour, 
some dried beef, blankets, and part of a keg of whiskey, were 
found in the camp of the murdered party — a thing unprecedented 
in Indian depredations. Peter Lassen and Edward Clapper were 
killed on the spot. Lemarkus Wyatt, one of the survivors of the 



party, with whom the major had an interview, had returned to 
Honey Lake. The four others reported killed have also returned 
to the lake safe, together with the party of twenty who, it was 
reported, went out to bury the dead. The major held a council 
with the venerable Piute chief Winnemucca, with about three 
thousand of his nation, at Pyramid Lake." 

"The Grizzly Bear" also says: "Later, Winnemucca went to 
Genoa and reported to Major Dodge that he could learn nothing 
further from the Indians regarding the affair. This leaves one 
to infer that it was Dodge's opinion that Lassen and Clapper 
were killed by the other men." 

Weatherlow says: "Major Dodge, the Indian agent of the 
Pah-ute tribe, had never visited the valley to my knowledge, but 
shortly after the killing of Lassen's party he came to Honey Lake, 
remained but one day, and returned to Carson City without hav- 
ing had an interview with the chief Winnemucca or made any 
earnest inquiry into the causes or the perpetrators of the murder. 
Shortly after the departure of Major Dodge there appeared a 
statement in one of the newspapers (I think the "Sacramento 
Union") with authority from Major Dodge to the effect that he 
(Dodge) did not believe that the Indians had killed Lassen at all, 
but that he was murdered by white men. This was a charge of 
the most unwarrantable nature against the four white men who 
were the only ones within hundreds of miles of the place where 
the massacre took place, and I as their leader and commander 
called Major Dodge to an account personally for the charge. He 
retracted his charge and promised to do so publicly through the 
press. Whether he did so or not I can not say, as I have not 
heard of Major Dodge visiting our valley since. The suspicion 
which rested upon the minds of some of the settlers that the 
Pah-utes had murdered Lassen apparently died away, and the 
same friendly relations existed as before. ' ' 

The report that Lassen had been killed, and by white men, 
spread rapidly over the country. At first a good many believed 
it, but in a short time very few put any faith in the story. The 
writer, however, has met one or two men who believe it to this 
day and they think they have good reasons for doing so. He has 
heard these reasons given, but to him they do not warrant any 
such belief. Bancroft's History says that in the Sacramento val- 
ley there was much hard feeling toward him (Lassen) on the 


THE YEAR 1859 

part of those who suffered while going over the Lassen Trail. Ex- 
cepting this, there is nothing to show that he had any enemies 
among the whites. "The Red Bluff Beacon" told that he was 
allowed to go to his old ranch and help himself to whatever 
pleased his fancy and Fred Hines told the same thing. During a 
residence of almost fifty years in this county the writer has never 
heard an old settler say anything against Lassen, or say that he 
had trouble with any one. That Weatherlow or his party had 
anything to do with the murder is not even to be thought of. 
There seems to be absolutely no reason for the belief that Lassen 
was killed by white men. 

It has often been said that the Indians would not kill Lassen. 
It is true that he was good friends with many of them. Hines 
says that in 1856 he and Vary were camped at Deep Hole springs. 
Some time in the night Lassen came in, turned his horses loose 
and went to bed. The next morning they could not be found in 
the neighborhood of the camp. Lassen did not worry much about 
it and along in the afternoon some Indians brought them in. 
Hines knew that on several other occasions the Indians brought 
Lassen 's horses to him when they had wandered away. But Las- 
sen had enemies among the Indians as well as friends. In 1851 
the Pit Eivers killed a party of Indian valley Indians and car- 
ried off some of their squaws. Lassen raised a party of thirteen 
whites and all the able-bodied Indians in the valley and went in 
pursuit. Early in the morning of the third day Lassen saw In- 
dians stealing along among the trees and in a short time he killed 
three of them. He and his party completely defeated the Pit 
Rivers and they never gave the Indians of Indian valley any more 
trouble. The foregoing is told in "Hutchings' California Maga- 
zine ' ' for June, 1857. Doubtless the Pit Rivers remembered this 
and would have been only too glad to kill him. Besides that, 
there were many renegate Indians in the Black Rock country who 
would have killed him and his party, or any other white men, for 
a ragged shirt, or for the fun of it. 

"The Hesperian Magazine" for August, 1859, says: "The 
news of his death was received with sorrow throughout the state 
and many of the Masonic lodges published tributes of respect to 
his memory." 

At a meeting of the F. and A. M. of Honey Lake valley held 



at Susanville May 22nd, 1859, the following were among the reso- 
lutions adopted: 

' ' Resolved, That in the death of Peter Lassen the community 
has suffered the loss of an enterprising citizen, a warm-hearted 
friend, a true and faithful brother, and one of the most ardent 
members of the Masonic Fraternity in the State of California. 

"Resolved, That we sincerely sympathize with the brethren 
of Western Star Lodge, No. 2, at Shasta, California, of which he 
was a member. ' ' 

In November, 1859, Johnson Tutt and perhaps Antone Storff 
and Joe Kitts went to Black Rock and brought Lassen 's body to 
the valley. On the 27th he was buried with Masonic honors un- 
der the great tree where he camped the first night he stayed in 
the valley. It is said he often wished that this might be his final 
resting place. In 1862 a monument was erected over his grave 
and during that year an account of it will be given. 

Clapper's body was left where it was buried that spring at 
Black Rock and much dissatisfaction was expressed throughout 
the valley because it was not brought in, too. 

John S. Ward, John H. Neale, and Albert A. Smith were the 
administrators of Lassen's estate. It has been told how his 
ranches were disposed of. 

A few articles once owned by Lassen are still in existence. 
Fred F. Kingsbury of Sacramento has a pipe which Lassen 
brought from Denmark and which was an heirloom. William C. 
Kingsbury, Fred's Father, who was Lassen's partner, was using 
it when the latter went on his last prospecting trip. L. M. Fol- 
som of Susanville has a clock that is said to have been owned by 
Lassen. Orman Folsom bought this clock from some one a good 
many years ago and afterwards gave it to his son M. 0. Folsom, 
who, in the course of time, gave it to his son, L. M. Folsom. 

Lassen's Masonic Charter 

Taken from "Fifty Years of Masonry in California" 
"Other Masons had arrived from time to time and in 1847 
Lassen went back to Missouri with the avowed object of bringing 
back to California with him a train of emigrants and the charter 
of a Masonic lodge, if possible. 

"In Missouri he met Brothers Saschel Woods, L. E. Stewart 


THE YEAR 1859 

and others, and an application being made to the grand lodge of 
Missouri for a charter to them it was duly signed, and issued 
May 10, 1848, as Western Star Lodge, No. 98, duly granted by the 
grand master and other officers with the seal of the grand lodge 
of Missouri attached, and granted to Brother Saschel Woods as 
Worshipful Master, L. E. Stewart as Senior Warden, and Peter 
Lassen as Junior Warden, to be located at Benton City, Upper 
California. ' ' 

"Having attained his objects, Brother Lassen returned with 
an emigrant train of twelve wagons by the way of Fort Hall, and 
at the head of Pit river was overtaken by a party of Oregonians 
on their way to the gold fields, and with their aid reached Las- 
sen's ranch in safety. Lassen's company had not heard of the 
discovery of gold in California until meeting this party from 
Oregon, and he was also ignorant of the fact that a Masonic lodge 
had been instituted at Oregon City, Oregon, on September 11, 
1848, also by a charter from the grand lodge of Missouri, or that 
Brother Joseph Hull, the master, and several other Brethren of 
that lodge were in the Oregon party; and neither party knew 
until long afterward that any of the others were Masons, or that 
Peter Lassen had in his possession a charter for a lodge which he 
had brought through with him in his train. 

"Brother Woods accordingly opened said lodge in Benton 
City on October 30, 1849, and proceeded to work. 

' ' When it came to the numbering of the charters by the grand 
lodge of California at the first Annual Communication in May, 
1850, Western Star Lodge, No. 98, was deprived of its seniority. 
Its charter was in California before the charter of California 
Lodge left Washington to come by the Isthmus of Panama. The 
committee on credentials of the convention which formed the 
grand lodge of California had been misinformed as to the date of 
the opening of California Lodge and awarded that lodge No. 1. 

"The gold mining industry changed the condition of the 
population at Benton City, and it (Western Star Lodge, No. 2) 
was moved to Shasta City in 1851, and in November of that year 
sent in its first returns from that place. In 1853 the hall and 
records and all the property of this lodge were burned, but they 
fortunately succeeded in saving the original charter brought from 
Missouri by Peter Lassen." 



Trouble With the Pit River Indians 

In the Dixie valley country there are traces of two battles 
with the Indians, but the date at which they took place can not 
be learned. One of them, at least, occurred after Fort Crook 
was built, and perhaps both of them took place in 1859, or within 
a year or two of that time. 

Charles F. Hart has this to say about them : ' ' Opposite Muck 
valley, at the bottom of Pit River Canyon, are old wagons broken 
to pieces. Old settlers say the Indians attacked some immigrants 
at Spring Gulch, captured their wagons, and rolled them down 
the gulch and over the cliff to the bottom of the canyon. What 
became of the immigrants, I never heard. 

' ' About one-fourth of a mile below the Horse Creek Crossing 
are more ruins — old tires and decayed pieces of various parts of 
wagons — where Indians drove off the immigrants, captured their 
goods, rolled off the wagons over the cliff ; and were dividing up 
and enjoying the spoils when the immigrants returned with re- 
inforcements of soldiers from Fort Crook and killed or captured 
nearly all of them. Old Indians have it yet that Horse Creek 
ran red with their blood into Pit River that time. Fort Crook 
was in Fall River valley about thirty miles away, near what is 
Glenburn now." 

September 3, 1859, the Pit River Rangers attacked the Indians 
on Beaver creek and killed about seventy. 

Late in the year Gen. Kibbe captured 533 bucks, squaws and 
pappooses and their chief, ' ' Shavehead, " of the Pit River tribe. 
They were taken to the Indian reservation in Mendocino county. 
It is said that a great many of these Indians, if not all of them, 
made their way back home across the mountains. 

Thomas Brown says that in the fall of 1859 Company A of 
the 1st Regiment, United States Dragoons, almost a full com- 
pany, under the command of Lieutenant Carr, was stationed at 
Fort Crook. Some time during the fall they came to this valley 
and camped in the forks of Susan river and Willow creek. They 
stayed during the time of the emigration and then went back to 
Fort Crook. 

Colonel Lander's Road Expedition 
In the fall of 1859 Col. Fred W. Lander, Supt. of the U. S. 
Wagon Road Expedition, came into the valley from the Hum- 


THE YEAR 1859 

boldt river with quite a large body of men — some say one hun- 
dred. He was sent out by the United States government to im- 
prove the emigrant road. He opened up the springs and built 
reservoirs, changed the road in places, dug out the rocks, cut 
down the banks of the creeks, etc. He went below for the win- 
ter, but came back in the spring and took part in the Indian war 
of 1860. 

Fast Mail Through Honey Lake Valley and Noble's Pass 

In the summer of 1858 the first overland stage line was estab- 
lished and part of their route was down the Humboldt river. At 
that time there was considerable talk and argument about the ad- 
vantages of the different roads to California. There was also 
some talk of building a railroad across the plains and some sur- 
veying had been done. That fall and winter Hines and Tutt 
were carrying the mail between this valley and Clear Creek, near 
old Fort Redding. In January, 1859, the overland stage was to 
bring the President's message to California as quickly as possi- 
ble, and the Never Sweats took this opportunity to show people 
that they had the shortest route across the mountains. Tutt put 
on relays of horsemen from Clear Creek up to the snow and Hines 
did the same from the Humboldt river to Susanville. During 
the previous summer Dave Blanchard and Wiley Cornelison had 
a trading post on the Humboldt river about twenty miles above 
Lassen's Meadows, and Cornelison stayed there the following 
winter. He was to take a copy of the President's message off 
the stage at his place and the Honey Lakers were to get it to 
Clear Creek as soon as they could. Mark Haviland on his race 
horse, Honey Lake Chief, was the last man on this end of the 
Humboldt line. Hines was to take it from Susanville to Butte 
creek and turn it over to Tutt. 

When the message reached Susanville Hines started out with 
it and when he got to Hog Flat the snow was up to his chin. He 
found some limbs sticking up above the snow, and thinking there 
might be a log below, he broke off some of the dryest of them 
and started a fire on the snow and kept it going until it reached 
the log. He then burned the log until the snow was melted away 
from it. When night came he put the saddle blanket onto his 
horse and gave him a feed of the grain he had brought along. He 
then put the madder of his saddle back of him against the snow- 



bank, sat down on his saddle with his feet to the fire, and spent 
the night the best he could. The next morning he concluded to 
leave his horse and try to make the rest of the way on foot, as 
he knew by experience that sometimes the snow was not so deep 
from Pine creek west. He tied everything he did not need to the 
saddle, turned his horse loose, and started him for home. He then 
went on toward Pine creek, but the snow was very soft, and by the 
time he had traveled a couple of miles he made up his mind that 
he would give out before he could go much further. Being afraid 
that he would perish if he persisted in his attempt to reach the 
place where he was to meet Tutt, he made his way back to where 
he had spent the night and found that his horse had gone only 
forty or fifty yards and stopped. He tied the message to the limb 
of a tree and went back to Susanville. 

I. N. Eoop raised a crowd of fifteen or twenty men and they 
broke their way through the snow across the mountains. Some 
of the crowd came back at once and some stayed all winter. Roop 
got back the next spring and Amos Conkey stayed until the next 
fall. Hines never heard anything more about the message, and 
it is very probable that the Never Sweats never crowed any abdut 
the fast time they made across the mountains with it. 

Death of John Mote 
Early in the spring of 1859 the remains of John Mote, a half- 
breed Cherokee who went with several expeditions from this val- 
ley, were found on the side of the mountain between Susanville 
and "Willow Creek. One of the Shaffer Brothers found his gun, 
coat, and bones. It was an easy matter to tell whose coat it was, 
for it was a very large one and had bear's claws for buttons. How 
he came to his death was never known. 

The Killing op Van Hickey 
Some time during the spring of this year a man named Van 
Hickey was killed by Thomas J. Harvey. The two men were 
partners in some cattle, and a dispute having arisen in regard to 
their business, Harvey shot the other man. Accounts of the af- 
fair differ, some claiming that there were no witnesses. Van 
Hickey seems to have been a disreputable sort of a fellow, who 
had made some trouble for the settlers, and there being very 
little law in the country, not much attention was paid to the 


THE YEAE 1859 

Smith J. Hill, who seems to have the best remembrance of the 
matter, says that Harvey, Van Hiekey, and George Lathrop were 
riding between the Big slough and the point of the Bald moun- 
tain, Lathrop being between the other two. Harvey and Van 
Hiekey got to quarreling and the former dropped behind Lathrop, 
rode up beside Van Hiekey, and shot him. The wounded man 
died shortly afterwards. Word was sent over to Dr. Slater to 
call a meeting of the citizens. He did so, but only five men were 
in attendance. Lathrop was not present and the men who testi- 
fied gave hearsay evidence. Harvey pleaded self-defense and 
was allowed to go unmolested. Hill says he was the only man 
who voted for conviction. 

A Common Occurrence in Early Days 

In the fall of 1859 J. H. (Jut) Breed and Frank Strong had 
a trading post at Smoke Creek. When Alvaro and Newt. Evans 
and R. E. Ross came along with their cattle they camped at this 

After getting the cattle out to feed Alvaro went down to the 
station to get some supplies and inquire about the road ahead of 
them. He talked a while and had a few drinks, for in those days 
every trader sold whiskey, and then Breed asked him if any one 
in his crowd could play poker. Evans, who was an old Califor- 
nian, though Breed didn't know it, told him that he thought he 
could play a pretty good game himself. They sat down on what- 
ever came handy, with a box between them, and began to play, 
and before long Evans had all of the other man's money. Breed, 
however, was not satisfied and asked Evans to lend him a few dol- 
lars so he could keep on playing and he would pay it back when 
the game was done. Evans accommodated him and the game 
went on in about the same way as before, and Breed soon "went 
broke" again and quit. Evans loafed around a while waiting 
for Breed to pay the money he had borrowed, but there was 
"nothing doing." Finally he asked Breed for it and the latter 
replied that he was not going to pay anything to a man who 
cheated, and at the same time applied a vile name to him. Evans 
started for him and the other turned around and reached for his 
pistol, which was hanging on the wall. Evans grabbed up a gun 
from among a pile of them near by and covered him with it. Just 
then Strong, who was not far away, came running toward them, 



shouting, "Don't shoot, don't shoot! I'll pay it!" Evans got 
his money and went back to camp. The next time the two men 
met nothing was said about this affair and they were on good 
terms as long as they both lived in the country. Strong after- 
wards told Hines that Evans happened to get hold of his 
(Strong's) rifle — a good one — and he also said he believed that 
he saved Breed's life. 

Row at a Dance at Richmond 

Among the men who came into the valley with Colonel Lander 
there were many "tough citizens." Three or four of them had a 
row at the Powers store in Toadtown and stabbed a Honey Laker 
named Adams several times, though none of his wounds were 
serious, and kicked another man in the face. The same day the 
Lander men who had taken part in this row were badly whipped 
by some other Honey Lakers, and this evened up the score to some 

A dance was given at Richmond on the night of the 14th of 
October and about fifteen of the Lander crowd went there to have 
some fun and break it up. They found what they were looking 
for. As luck would have it, there happened to be present at the 
dance a bunch of Never Sweats who were always willing to help 
anybody look for trouble — Ed., Steve., and John Bass, Sam. Stin- 
son, Ned Mulroney, who didn't strike a man with impunity but 
with his fist; Alec. Chapman, "Big" John Chapman, Bill Corse 
and perhaps some others, and Jake Brown, Jesse Woodward, and 
Jim Conant from over the hill — all mighty men with the fist and 
all of them ready to fight at any time. 

Thomas Mulroney says that during one of the dances a Lander 
man kept bumping into John Bass, and when the dance was fin- 
ished Bass took him by the nose and threw him down stairs. The 
fun then commenced and they began to fight all over the house 
and on the outside, too. One of the strangers drew a pistol in the 
hall, which greatly frightened the women. Some one grabbed 
him and shook him until he dropped it and then threw him down 
stairs. Another outsider was knocked down stairs. When he 
got up some one else knocked him out onto the porch, and another 
blow sent him from there to the ground. The Never Sweats ' ' lit 
on that bunch like a hawk on a June bug" and hammered them 
until they were satisfied and willing to go home. 


THE YEAR 1859 

The next day the bully of the Lander crowd, a big Dutchman, 
went over to Richmond to get revenge. "Big" John Chapman 
was there and it didn 't take long for the two men to get to fight- 
ing. Orlando Streshly says he never saw a man so promptly and 
thoroughly whipped as the Dutchman was. "Whenever he went 
down he struck the ground so hard that he fairly bounced off it, 
and after he had been knocked down six or eight times he begged 
the crowd to take Chapman off before he killed him. It is not on 
record that the Lander aggregation made any more trouble in the 
valley after this. 

Honey Lake Valley's Reputation in 1859 

You and I, kind reader, know that very few people excepting 
good ones lived in the land of the Never Sweats at that time. But 
the best of people are sometimes slandered, and evil tongues must 
have been spreading false reports about those good folks. 

Isaac N. Jones, long a supervisor of this county, crossed the 
plains this year. When he reached Lassen's Meadows the train 
in which he was traveling consisted of ten or twelve wagons and 
perhaps fifty people. They were going to Yreka and the nearest 
route to that place lay through Honey Lake valley. People who 
claimed to know the country said that if they went through there 
they were likely to be robbed or killed, or at least have their horses 
stolen. One man in the train, who had been in California before, 
said he didn 't believe the Honey Lakers were any worse than the 
Indians and he took the road leading to this valley. The rest of 
the train went on to Ragtown and up the Carson river. When 
they reached Honey Lake Smith 's station the name was enough — 
they kept away from him. They went on to Placerville and 
Marysville and up the Sacramento river to Fort Redding. Then 
they turned back to the northeast and went over the 
Fall River valley and from there north to Yreka. A glance at the 
map will show how much they went out of their way. When 
they reached their destination they found that the man who went 
through Honey Lake valley had been there three weeks. 

In 1862 Jones came to live in the wilds of Honey Lake among 
those barbarians, and either because they were good people, or 
because he was like them himself he has lived here ever since. 
The Winter of 1859-60 

From the time when the settlement of the valley began until 
this winter the seasons must have been dry. This is evident from 



the fact that in the fall of 1859 the lake was entirley dry. They 
went with teams from the mouth of the river across the lake in 
every direction. 

This winter was always remembered by those who were living 
here at the time. The snow was not extremely deep, but it came 
on early and stayed until late in the spring and the cold was 
steady and severe. Eber G. Bangham says that the first snow fell 
on the 21st of November. It was twelve or fourteen inches deep 
and kept about that depth until February, when another storm 
added a little to it. On the 5th of April, 1860, another storm left 
two feet of snow on the ground. It began to go off the next day 
and the new snow ran off rapidly, but there were snowdrifts be- 
low Rooptown long after that. About the first of December a 
heavy cold fog came on, and it was always told by the old settlers 
that they didn 't see the sun for six weeks. It was just in the val- 
ley. Uncle Tim Darcey told the writer that he spent the winter 
at the Lewers sawmill and that it was sunshine there all the time 
during the six weeks. The valley below looked like a sea of clouds. 

The fog made so much frost on the grass that the cattle could 
not eat it, and at that time the range was so good that very little 
hay was put up. There were a good many "emigrant" cattle 
that were not used to rustling for themselves in the valley that 
winter and the most of them starved to death. 

Conditions at the Close op 1859 

In some respects conditions were better than at the close of the 
previous year. The large emigration that came into the valley 
this year increased the population considerably, but the country 
M-as still very sparsely settled. Some improvements were made 
all the time on the roads and the ranches and probably the build- 
ings put up were of a little better quality. But a large majority 
of the people were poor and had to get along with the least they 
could. The first settlers in a country are generally poor people 
who come in there to better their condition. 

Store goods were more plentiful, though perhaps not much 
cheaper. More grain and vegetables were raised, but the grain 
was still thrashed with a flail. Not much hay was put up because 
there were no mowers and there was such good feed on the range 
that stock did not require much feed during an ordinary winter. 
Prices were high enough, but there was no market excepting home 


THE YEAR 1859 

consumption and what they could sell to emigrants. Potatoes 
and ruta-bagas were five cents a pound and butter seventy-five 
cents. Oxen were worth from $175 to $250 a yoke and extra good 
ones were worth $300 a yoke. Dairy cows were worth from $35 
to $75 a head. Probably a band of cattle sold for $12 or $14 a 
head. But the market for stock was no better than it was for 
farm produce. 

Pack trains still ran into the valley, but more freighting was 
done with teams than during the preceding year. J. P. Sharp, 
Richard Owens, and Edward Bass hauled freight with ox teams 
from Marysville for Drake and Streshly and received seven cents 
a pound freight. Fast traveling was done on horseback, but this 
year Smith J. Hill brought the first buggy and sulky into the val- 
ley. Hines said he used to take the girls out riding on the run- 
ning-gears of an ox wagon, but after Hill got his buggy he would 
come along and take them away from him, much to his disgust. 

The mail was brought in more regularly than before. Hines 
and Tutt brought it in from Shasta county during the winter of 
1858-9 and the following spring. Williams brought it in from 
Quincy the same winter and the summer of 1859 and the follow- 
ing winter. H. L. Spargur brought the mail and express from 
Oroville and Quincy, coming in on showshoes during the winter 
months. His prices were the same as those charged by others, 
fifty cents for a letter or a paper, or perhaps more if the weather 
was bad. Grant Tilford was the expressman from Carson City 
to Susanville in December, 1859. There was no postoffice at Su- 
sanville and Governor Roop took charge of the mail that was left 
there and distributed it. 

It has been told that Dr. James W. H. Stettinius taught school 
in Susanville during the winter of 1859-60 and it is probable that 
there was some kind of a school at Bankhead's, but it is impossible 
to tell where or by whom it was taught. 

Dancing was the chief amusement and the winter of 1859-60 
A. A. Smith and F. A. Sloss taught a dancing school, Smith play- 
ing the violin and Sloss teaching the dancing. In the Bank- 
head neighborhood they held their school in the building that Dr. 
Slater and Chapman had put up that fall. 




In January R. F. Cahill claimed a tract of land formerly held 
by Mullen and Snow. The western part of it was on Gold 
Run north of Lanigar and Nixon 's place and it lay southwest and 
south of Richmond. William Braton, Antone Storff, Joseph 
Lynch, W. C. Kingsbury, John Borrette, Isaac Roop, M. S. 
Thompson, A. B. Jenison, E. Rice, 0. Streshly, I. Coulthurst, A. 
A. Smith and L. Vary claimed 3900 feet on a "mineral lead" 
which had been discovered by the first three of the above named 
men about half a mile south of Richmond. This discovery made 
quite an excitement and nearly all the men in the valley went 
there. They held a meeting and appointed A. A. Smith recorder 
and he charged something like $5 for recording a claim. The 
excitement died out in a short time, probably because it was found 
that the rock was of no value. A tract a mile wide and extending 
two miles up "Lake's creek" was taken by J. L. Jelm and W. 
Jansen. This was on the creek above the valley located by 
O'Laughlin in June, 1856. Lake's creek was the west branch of 
Baxter creek and before this was called ' ' Irishman 's creek. ' ' Wil- 
liam Andrews, William and Charles West, M. L. Thompson, Theo- 
dore A. Lynn and S. B. Lusk located a tract a mile wide and six 
miles long beginning at the lower end of Bridge Creek valley and 
running west up the valley. Neale and Brother recorded a change 
in the boundaries of their land. From this notice it appears that 
they claimed the land on the south side of the river from the west 
side of the Richard Thompson location in March, 1857, to the 
Fuller place seven miles below Susanville. • A. J. Demming aban- 
doned his place in Willow Creek valley soon after his brother was 
killed by the Indians and this left the valley without any set- 

In February Isaac Roop, M. S. Thompson, A. D. McDonald, 
A. B. Jenison, E. L. Varney and B. Shumway claimed all the 
water in Susan river commencing at the upper end of James 
Hunter's claim and extending a mile up the river. They intend- 
ed to build a dam and improve the river as soon as the spring 
high water had gone down. E. Brannon, Fred Morrison and E. 
R. Nichols claimed all of Round valley and all the water in the 


THE YEAR 1860 

stream running through it as far as Willow Creek valley. No 
one remembers that they ever lived on their claim. 

In March Francis and Harriet Lanigar and Charles Nixon 
claimed ninety-six acres west and southwest of their ranch on 
Gold Run. J. E. Shearer located a half section north of Harvey, 
Lathrop & Company's claim. 

In April Strong, Breed & Co. claimed two sections in Smoke 
Creek valley. E. Brannon relocated the section on the south fork 
of Pahutah creek that was taken by M. S. Scott in January, 1859, 
and "jumped" by Major Andrews the following November. 

This spring another step was taken in the digging of the 
Buggytown ditch, and it might be called the commencement of 
what really was that ditch. The following account was given 
by William H. and W. P. Hall. 

When this valley was settled the water from Lassen creek 
emptied into a slough that ran along close to the foot of the hill 
on the south side of the river bottom. Some of the water from 
Gold Run found its way into the same slough. As early at least 
as 1860 the Neale Brothers started a ditch out of the slough 
north of where the Johnstonville schoolhouse now stands, and 
carried it around the hill into a slough just north of the house 
on the old Isaac Stewart (Charles Ripley) place. This house 
was a short mile below the Johnstonville bridge. Water from 
this ditch was used on the Stewart place by Asa Adams during 
the summer of 1860. That fall or the next spring W. P. Hall 
and John E. Bachelder bought what is now the Leavitt place two 
miles below Johnstonville from the Neales, and they and the 
Neales enlarged the ditch in 1861. The original ditch would 
irrigate only fifteen or twenty acres. S. R. and W. H. Hall, 
John C. Davis, and James Doyle worked on this ditch. Hall and 
Bachelder took water for their use out of the slough into which 
it emptied. In the middle of the summer the slough where the 
ditch commenced dried up and they tried to get water from the 
river into it. They repaired the small ditch said to have been 
made by W. H. Crane when he worked for the Neales in 1858 
or 1859, but could get no water through it for it ran up hill. 
Then they dug a ditch out of the swamp higher up, but the water 
soon failed. The next year they went still higher up and got 
water out of another swamp. 

George R. Lybarger and Dewitt C. Chandler opened a store 



on the road about half a mile east of Bankhead's. At that time 
the road ran along the edge of the timber straight to the Thomp- 
son ranch, now owned by Ira E. Bailey. They sold goods there 
about a year. Smith J. Hill built the second house in what is 
now Janesville. It was on the south side of the road a little west 
of the creek, was fourteen by twenty-four feet and a story and 
a half high, and was built of square hewed logs. It was used 
as a dwelling house until 1900 and was pulled down two years 
afterwards. The Neale Brothers and John C. Davis opened a 
store near the house on the Neale ranch. It was about one fourth 
of a mile east of Lassen creek and half a mile from the river. 
Probably goods were sold there until the spring of 1862. 

This spring Marshall Bronson claimed a place near the sum- 
mit between Long and Sierra valleys and lived there for many 
years. William Hood and James Goble settled at the Hot Springs 
ranch. It is not known whether they bought it from Wasson 
or whether he abandoned it. In the spring of 1859 Wasson 
sowed five or six acres of wheat there. It was so dry that it 
didn 't come up until the following spring and then it grew and 
made a crop. This was the first grain raised in Long valley. 
William Ross located the Constantia ranch this spring. 

In May Jerry Tyler claimed a section south of W. C. Kings- 
bury and southwest of Fairchilds and Washburn. Soon after 
this he bought out Kingsbury. This month Wright P. Hall 
went to Marysville and bought two saddle horses and ten dozen 
milk pans and packed them into the valley, he and his Wife 
arriving at the Neale ranch June first. Hall and Bachelder made 
butter that summer and sold it here and in Virginia City. 

When Dr. H. S. Borrette crossed the plains in 1859 he brought 
with him a Boyer's patent grist mill. It weighed about two 
hundred pounds and was a hollow corrugated steel cone with 
another corrugated cone inside of it. It was made on the prin- 
ciple of a coffee mill and was made to grind finer by tightening 
it up. He ran it by water power at the sawmill above Susanville 
during the summer of 1860 and it made good flour and corn meal 
and chopped feed. Finally some one let a bolt run through it 
and that spoiled it. This was more like a gristmill than anything 
that had been in the valley before that time. 

This summer W. C. Kingsbury and William Corse, and per- 
haps some others, built a sawmill on Gold Run just where the 



creek bottom widens out into a valley. Fairchilds and Washburn 
commenced a sawmill a little below the place where Lassen had 
his gristmill. It was completed in March, 1861, and was de- 
stroyed by fire May 5th, 18S3. Colonel Lewis ran the sawmill 
above Susanville this summer. 

Some time during the summer the crickets made their first 
invasion of the valley since its settlement. They came from the 
hills north of the valley, crossed the river about four miles below 
Susanville, and then went on toward the south. They didn't do 
much damage, for there wasn't much in the way of crops for 
them to destroy. 

William J. Seagraves, who had just crossed the plains, says 
that in the fall of 1860 Dr. Atlas Fredonyer had a tent and a 
sort of trading post in Mt. Meadows just below the "Narrows," 
two and a half miles from the upper end of the valley. About 
this time he located a tract of land a half or three quarters of 
a mile up the valley from his camp and above the "Narrows." 
Although men had come in with stock before this, Fredonyer was 
the first settler in this valley and the first man to spend the 
winter there. Probably he stayed there the winter of 1860-61. 

In Long valley Wright and White sold the Willow Ranch to 
George Robinson and moved into a cabin which they built near 
a spring at the foot of the mountain back of that place. Daniel 
McKissick settled on the southern part of the Jacob McKissick 
ranch. This place was afterwards known as the R. E. Ross ranch. 
George Greeno built a cabin on the side of the hill near the road 
leading into Honey Lake valley. At that time the road ran 
through the pass to the west of the point over which it now 
passes. Dr. House lived with Greeno the following winter. 

In October Daniel Sclmeeberger claimed a section of land 
"lying on Bank Head's Creek beginning about one mile south- 
westerly from Bank Head's House." I. Roop appointed E. R. 
Nichols his deputy recorder. E. M. Cheney took a claim of 58 
acres east of the old Roop sawmill and on the south side of the 
river. Jacob Boody came into the valley with his Wife and step- 
daughter, Dora Epley, and bought the Dr. P. Chamberlain ranch 
on the lake about five miles southeast of Bankhead's. 

Besides the improvements already given and those made on 
the ranches there was considerable done in Susanville and Rich- 
mond. F. and S. say: "The next year (1860) Charles Nixon 



built a one story frame house, 20 by 30 feet in size, in which a 
stock of goods was placed. This was the first building erected 
solely for mercantile purposes, and still stands (1881) just to 
the east of Cutler Arnold's log hotel. During the summer of 
1860 Dr. Z. J. Brown came into the valley with a small stock 
of drugs, and displayed his healing wares to the suffering public 
beneath a canvas tent. In the fall he had so prospered that he 
erected a frame building where Smith's Hotel now stands. It 
was octagonal in shape, and from this peculiarity the proprietor 
was endowed with the title of Dr. Eight Square." This building 
stood on the south side of Main street about a third of the length 
of the block from Gay street east. A stable built of lumber was 
put up for the Cutler Arnold hotel. It stood near the middle 
of the lot north of the hotel, and was the first public feed stable 
in Susanville. 

Michael C. Brannan put up a rather low two-story frame 
hotel, called the "Brannan House," near the northeast corner 
of Main and Lassen streets. This was the first frame hotel in 
town. Brannan ran the hotel a while and then rented it to 
David Patterson and Horace McCauley. In its time this building 
was used for many purposes. For some years the United States 
Land Office was in the upper story and the Masons and Odd 
Fellows used it for a hall. The lower floor was used as a store 
and a post-office. V. J. Borrette says that this year Governor 
Roop owned a log cabin near the southeast corner of Main and 
Gay streets and there was a frame building on the southeast 
corner of Main and Union streets. It should have been told 
above that the "Brannan House" was pulled down in the fall 
of 1879 or the spring of 1880 and that in 1880 the Odd Fellows 
erected a two-story frame building on that corner. 

At Richmond Frank Drake put up a two-story frame hotel, 
probably 30 by 60 feet and 18 or 20 foot posts, the largest build- 
ing that had been erected in the valley up to this time. It was 
on the north side of the road about a hundred yards east of the 
log building used as a store and a hotel. The new hotel was com- 
pleted in September and they had a dance to celebrate the occa- 
sion. There was a big crowd present, for in those days, and for 
a good many years afterwards, most of the people in the valley 
went to a dance whenever they had half a chance. Ed. A. 
Townsend played the violin and after supper Dr. H. S. Borrette 


THE YEAR 1860 

played the cornet for the first time in this part of the world, 
though not for the last time for twenty years or more. Tickets 
for the dance and supper were $5, the price for a regular dance 
for twenty years after that. D. I. Wilmans ran this hotel for 
the first year or two. In a short time the glory of Richmond 
departed and a few years afterwards the hotel was turned into 
a hay barn and used for that purpose until it was blown down 
by a great wind on the 24th of March, 1908. 

This was the first year of Richmond 's greatest prosperity and 
it was the live business place of the valley. There were a good 
many men working in the mines south of it, it was the end of 
the Diamond Mountain trail, and there was considerable travel 
to and from Indian valley, Quincy, Oroville, and Marysville. 
The greater part of the merchandise brought into the valley was 
packed over this trail, and much of it was unloaded at Richmond 
and then hauled with wagons out onto the Humboldt road and 
traded to emigrants. Frank Drake had a large stock of goods, 
there was a blacksmith shop run by Tim. Darcey, and a wagon 
shop run by Saunders. F. A. Sloss had a saloon and a bowling 
alley and there were several dwelling houses. There was a crowd 
loafing around the most of the time and generally there were 
enough "tough" ones amongst it to keep things lively. 

In November Perry M. (Whack) Craig, son of Milton Craig, 
fell out of a boat and was drowned in the mill pond above Susan- 
ville. Governor Roop had given the land for a cemetery and this 
boy was the first one to be buried in it. 

T. and W. give some figures from a census taken in what is 
now Nevada in 1860, and they show something of conditions in 
all the country along the eastern slope of the Sierras. There 
were sixty-six saloons, no preacher, four school teachers, six 
printers, nineteen doctors, and no lawyer practicing his profes- 
sion. In Long valley there were three public houses, ten miners, 
and sixteen ranchers. It was claimed that over 1900 persons 
were taken in Honey Lake valley and along the border by the 
California marshal that should have been taken in Nevada. Or- 
lando Streshly estimated that there were 600 or 700 people in 
Honey Lake valley in I860. 

"The Grizzly Bear" says: "During the year a record kept 
of the emigrants passing Honey Lake gateway into the Sacra- 
mento valley, showed 450 wagons containing 277 families. There 



were with them 135 young women of marriageable age, 376 
children, and a total of 1951 people. They had 1200 horses, 
4200 cattle, and 7000 sheep." 

Of those who came to the county in 1860 the following lived 
here all the rest of their lives or are still living here : 

James Doyle and Wife, John F. Hulsman, Wright P. Hall 
and Wife, Albert S. Wright and Wife, Thomas Montgomery. 
L. P. Whiting, John H. Summers, Frank Summers, Kobert Gow- 
anlock, Jacob Boody and Wife and Dora Epley (Mrs. Hiram 
M. Moe), Philip Boody, Eli Newton, C. C. Goodrich, Daniel 
McKissick and Family, John B. McKissick, Hiram L. Partridge, 
♦John Cornelison, Charles M. White, Alexander Painter, and 
William Ross. 

The following lived in the county from ten to twenty-five or 
thirty years: John E. Bachelder, E. M. Cheney (Cheney valley 
was named after him), Davis C. Hall, and William Hood. 

The following lived in the county only a few years: C. P. 
Sheffield and Family, John W. Epley, T. C. Purdom and Wife, 
Andrew Ramsey, W. J. Ramsey, James E. Ellison, *H. P. Bates, 
*Edward A. Townsend, Dr. Z. J. Brown, *E. Brannan, *E. L. 
Varney, James Goble, and *Michael C. Brannan. 

Pioneers Who Are Still Living 

The "Lassen County Pioneer Society" called any one a pio- 
neer who settled in the county or was born here before July 1, 
1860. The following list gives the names of those who are living 
at this date, May, 1915. Probably there are many others still 
alive, but they are not known to the writer. 

Asa Adams, w T ho settled here in December, 1856, was alive not 
very long ago and was in San Bernardino County, California. 
See end of Chap. 2. 

The following were here in 1857 : William Dow, Isaac Coul- 
thurst and Wife, Mrs. Smith J. Hill (Susan Bankhead), Hugh, 
David B., John W., Agnes J., and Margaret Bankhead, Thomas 
Brown, Mrs. Fanny (Brown) Neale, George Arnold, Mrs. Emma 
(Arnold) Pritchard, Mrs. Emma (Lanigar) Frazieur, Fred F. 
Kingsbury, John W. Stark, Mrs. Eva (Slater) Partridge and 
her Mother, the widow of Dr. John A. Slater, Mrs. S. M. (Jones) 
St. Clair, and Mrs. Helen (Conkey) Williams. 

The following were here in 1858 : Smith J. Hill, William H. 


THE YEAR 1860 

Jenison, Mrs. Ellen (Jenison) Spargur, Stephen S. Bass, John 
P. Mulroney, Ross Lewers, Mrs. Amanda Gray, T. W. Hughes, 
Mrs. Minnie (Gray) Muller, Robert Gray, Mrs. C. H. Archibald 
(Mrs. John S. Ward), Mrs. Jennie (Ward) Chapman, and Mrs. 
Minnie (Streshly) Long. 

The following were here in 1859 : Joseph C. Wemple, William 
Milton Cain and Wife, Mrs. James Lawson (Mrs. Morris), J. 
Bristo Rice, George Rice, Wade H. Lawson, George R. Lybarger, 
Mrs. Mollie (Chapman) Sloss, Charles T. Emerson, Charles Law- 
son, Cyrus Lawson, John S. Borrette, Harry Borrette, Fred A. 
Borrette, Mrs. Belle (Painter) Bond, John Edward Bass, Mrs. 
Arthur Ruggles (Ida F. Spalding), A. W. Worm (now Wern), 
Matthew Gray, and Emerson B. Shumway. 

The following were here in 1860, but part of them came in 
after the first of July: Mrs. Mary J. (Stickney) Hall, Wife of 
Wright P. Hall, James Doyle, Wife, and son, Thomas B., George 
M. Cain (born in September), Charles Hill, Mrs. Dora (Epley) 
Moe, Mrs. Cordelia A. Wright, Mrs. Martha M. (McKissick) 
Tipton, Mrs. David C. Hyer (Helena Streshly, born in January), 
James H. Jones, born in April, Dora May Epley (Mrs. B. B. 
Price), daughter of Thomas H. and Mary Epley, born in Susan- 
ville, April 10, 1860, and said by her parents to be the first white 
child born in that place, and Mrs. Mary Epley. Edward Mul- 
roney, the son of Ned Mulroney, was here before 1861. It may 
be that William Meyers (1858) and Mrs. T. C. Purdom, now 
Mrs. M. J. McLear (1860), are still alive. 
Politics in the Provisional Territory op Nevada. 1860 

Very little was done in politics this year. In regard to the 
organization of a new territory, they just waited for the action 
of congress. Governor Roop still continued to serve, but his 
acts were principally in connection with the Indian troubles. 
The first of February he appointed M. S. Thompson as his aid- 
de-camp. He was to rank as Colonel of Cavalry. 

Judge Child urged the people of Carson county to hold an 
election, and this they did in August, filling the vacant county 
offices and electing members of the legislature. In September 
Judge Child held a session of the county court, the first in three 
years. T. and W. say: "The Court considered the matter of 
the county indebtedness, and ' ordered that all county scrip issued 
to this date be declared void and repudiated. ' ' ' 



People were too busy with the Indians and with mining to 
pay much attention to politics. There was a great rush to the 
mines of Virginia City, Gold Hill, and that vicinity. R. L. 
Fulton in a Report to the Nevada Historical Society says : ' ' The 
mines of the Comstock Lode were discovered in June, 1859, and 
the next spring Nevada had 7000 people. Within twelve months 
twenty quartz mills were built, and as many sawmills were 
cutting lumber in the hills. All the machinery was hauled from 
California and the freight over the mountains cost from five cents 
to ten cents a pound." 

Honey Lake Politics. 1860 

In Honey Lake valley political conditions were nearly the 
same as those existing in the country to the south of them. Dur- 
ing the greater part of the year there was more talk about Indians 
than about politics. Plumas county maintained a sort of 
authority over them, levying taxes which some of the Never 
Sweats paid and some did not. It is said that one fall, perhaps 
this one, Rough Elliott refused to pay his taxes and the Plumas 
authorities went to his ranch with the intention of taking some 
of his stock. Elliott was not at home when they got there, but 
his Wife, a sister to R. D. Sides, went out with a shotgun and 
stood them off and they went away without taking anything. 
There was no danger of her getting hurt, for at that time women 
were very scarce and more valuable than horses, cattle, or taxes. 

There must have been an election held in the valley this fall 
by order of the Plumas county authorities, for V. J. Borrette 
was elected Justice of the Peace for Honey Lake township, 
Plumas county, at an election held in Plumas county on Tues- 
day, the sixth day of November, 1860. John D. Goodwin, clerk 
of the county court, issued his certificate of election and he 
qualified before Lewis Stark who was then a Justice of the Peace 
living in this valley. 

Indian Troubles. 1860 
During this year there was an abundance of trouble with the 
Indians for the settlers on the eastern slope of the Sierras. In 
telling of the relations existing between the settlers of Honey 
Lake valley and the Pahute Indians after the murder of Lassen 
Weatherlow says: "The same friendly relations existed as be- 
fore. The treaty was respected on both sides. The Indians were 


THE YEAK 1860 

kindly treated and no white man attempted to molest their 
squaws or wrong them in any way. This friendly state of affairs 
continued until the discovery of rich silver leads in the Washoe 
country brought a host of miners, prospectors, and adventurers 
of every kind to Carson and Virginia City who were brought in 
contact more or less with the Pah-ute tribe, and who knowing 
nothing of the treaty the Honey Lake people had made with 
Winnemucca, or cared nothing to observe it, frequently treated 
the Indians with injustice and cruelty, utterly disregarding the 
common rights even of an inferior race. The Pah-utes fre- 
quently complained to us of their wrongs and evidently expected 
that the terms of our treaty should extend to the whites who 
were nocking into the southern portion of the territory. Of 
course the people of Honey Lake could offer them no redress nor 
interfere in their behalf. "Winnemucca and his people notwith- 
standing the misunderstandings they were frequently having 
with the people of Virginia City and the prospecting parties 
through the mountains still remained in apparent friendship 
toward the settlers in our valley, but the same earnest feeling of 
confidence in the justice of the whites did not exist. The red 
man according to his nature and teaching held any and every 
white man in a measure responsible for the wrongs he had re- 
ceived at the hands of any unprincipled white man. Still no 
threats had been made toward the settlers of Honey Lake, nor 
had any overt act of hostility been done toward us by the Pah- 
utes until the month of January, 1860." 

The Murder op Dexter E. Demming 
Told by William Dow and Fred Hines 

The first outrage committed by the Indians was the murder 
of Demming at the extreme upper end of Willow Creek valley 
about eighteen miles by the road from Susanville. In the fall 
of 1858 S. R. Hall and A. J. Demming went into Willow Creek 
valley and each located a ranch at the upper end of it. They 
did not stay there the following winter, but the next spring 
Demming went back and built a cabin on his place. That year 
his brother Dexter crossed the plains and went on below, but 
after staying there a short time he came back and lived with Jack 
until he was killed on Friday, January 13th, 1860. 

Dow says that Jack Demming came to Susanville on the 12th 



on snowshoes after some supplies with which to make fence rails 
and stayed over night, going home the next day. Hines says he 
came to Toadtown on the 13th with a couple of axes he wanted 
to sharpen. It took him some time to grind them on the small 
grindstone that Hines had and he got a late start for home. He 
said he wanted something to read and Hines let him have "Lor- 
enzo Dow's Sermons" and "Dr. Kane's Arctic Explorations." 
He got home just as darkness was coming on, and when he reached 
the top of the hill on which his cabin stood he saw by the snow- 
shoe tracks and the blood on the snow that something was wrong. 
Looking into the cabin he saw that everything in it was gone 
excepting the homemade furniture, and further search showed 
him that the horses were gone, too. He then thought that his 
brother might have been wounded and gave a yell, but he received 
no reply. He put what he had brought with him down beside the 
cabin door, got onto his snowshoes and started back to this 
valley, giving a couple of yells as he went down the hill in front 
of the cabin. 

It took him three or four hours to get back to Toadtown and 
he arrived there just before people went to bed. At that time 
E. G. Bangham and Henry Hatch lived in the board house built 
by Dow and Hatch in 1857. Hines and Sylvester and probably 
Tutt lived almost directly across the road from them. Dr. 
Spalding lived on his place just below them and William and 
John Dow and A. L. Tunison lived in a little cabin near him. 
Daniel Murray was keeping store there and Henry Hastings ran 
a blacksmith shop. 

The next morning ten men, William and John Dow, Tunison, 

Priest, Demming, Luther Spencer, Tutt, Frank Strong, 

Bangham, and Dr. Spalding, started for the scene of the murder. 
They had no snowshoes and the snow being so deep in places 
that they had to break a trail, they made slow progress and it 
was late, nearly sundown, when they reached the Demming cabin. 
When Jack left home his brother was doing some washing. He 
had just made a pair of snowshpes and he said he was going 
down to the valley to practice on them as soon as he had finished 
his work. Evidently he had done this, and while he was gone 
the Indians came and took the two guns that were in the house. 
They went into the cabin, or behind it, and waited for him to 
come back, and when he was about twenty feet from the door 


THE YEAR 1860 

they shot him with a load of buckshot. When it hit him he 
gave a convulsive spring and struck twelve or fifteen feet away 
from the snowshoes. The Indians dragged his body into the 
cabin and stripped it and threw it into a little cellar under the 
building. They then took everything that would be of any use 
to them, bedding, clothing, etc., and the two horses and went 
away. What Jack left beside the cabin door was gone, too, and 
this showed that the Indians were close enough to hear him yell 
and came back, but he was out of their reach when they got 
there. It was a close call for him, for if he had reached home 
a little sooner, they would have got him, too. 

The first thing to do was to dispose of the dead man's body. 
All they could find to work with was a small piece of iron and a 
board. They managed to loosen up the ground in the cellar with 
the iron and then scoop it out with the board and in this way 
dug a shallow grave. They wrapped the body up in a blanket 
that one of the party happened to bring along and putting it 
into the grave, covered it up as best they could. Demming said 
it was all right for he intended to move his brother in the spring. 
William Dow wanted to go in pursuit of the Indians at once. 
He said they had taken so much plunder that they could not 
have gone very far, and if the white men would start right out 
after them, they could overtake them that night and then wait 
until daylight and take them in. But the rest of the party 
thought it was not advisable to do this. The weather was very 
cold, the snow was deep, and they were not prepared for such 
a trip. Besides this Demming was in no shape, physically or 
mentally, to go along, and it would not do to divide the party 
and leave some of them with him. So they started back right 
away and reached home about five o'clock Sunday morning. 

Some of the early settlers say that a while before this murder 
was committed Jack Demming was at an Indian dance a few 
miles below Susanville. Among those present was a Pit river 
Indian who wore a high-crowned Mexican hat. Demming made 
a good deal of fun of the hat and finally jammed it down over 
the Indian's eyes and the crowd all laughed at his struggles to 
get the hat off. The Indian was very angry, but there were so 
many white men present that he did not dare to do anything 
then. Perhaps it was not known for certain, but the whites 
supposed that this Indian had something to do with the murder. 



Ben Neuhaus and others say that the Indians thought it was 
Jack Demming they were killing and were sorry that they killed 
his brother. It is also said that Jack Demming killed a good 
many Indians when there was no excuse for his doing it. 

Of course the people of Honey Lake valley were greatly 
excited and angered by this murder, and believing that it was 
committed by the Pah-utes, demanded that Captain Weatherlow 
take his Honey Lake Rangers, which he says was a company of 
sixty men still in organization, and march against them at once. 

The following petition was sent to Governor Roop : 

"Susanville, Nevada Ter., Jan. 15, 1860. 

"Dear Sir — We, the undersigned, would most respectfully 
urge the necessity of your Excellency's calling out the military 
forces under your command to follow and chastise the Indians 
upon our borders. We make this request to your Excellency from 
the fact that we have received information that we fully rely 
upon, to the effect that Mr. Demming has been murdered, and 
his house robbed, on or about the 13th instant, by Indians, 
within the borders of Nevada Territory. Your petitioners, as 
in duty bound, will ever pray, etc. 

A. D. McDonald, William Brayton, E. Aubrey, E. A. Rower, 
W. M. C. Cain, William Dow, N. Purdy, F. Drake, Chas. King- 
man, Wm. Hamilton, D. Chandler, G. W. Fry, E. Brannan, Wm. 
Hill, J. E. Shearer, Geo. W. Shearer, Jas. Belcher, E. R. Nichols, 
Cyrus Smith, I. N. Boswick, S. S. Smith, W. C. Taylor, J. M. 
Painter, C. Brown, Fred Morrison, G. W. Mitchell, John D. 
Robinson, S. H. Painter, Milton Craig, A. A. Holcomb, Wm. 
Hobby, A. D. Beecher, Dr. Jas. W. Stettinias, Dr. H. S. Borrette, 
B. E. Shumway, L. Vary, Joshua H. Lewis, Wm. Arullary, 
Thomas Bare, Z. C. Dow, Thos. Sheffield, E. G. Bangham, Henry 
Hatch, F. H. Moshier, U. J. Tutt, G. W. Lathrop, O. Streshly, 
J. Borrette, Dan Murray, J. H. Hollingsworth, E. L. Varney, 
Jas. A. A. Ohen (or Cohen), A. L. Tunison, Jas. Huntington, 
M. S. Thompson, Clark Doty, Alex. McLoud, Wm. D. Snyder, 
S. D. Patten, A. W. Worm, John Altman, A. B. Jenison, L. D. 
Sanborn, J. S. Haggett, W. Taylor, C. A. Fitch, F. Long, Mark 
W. Haviland, John Morrow, H. Kingman, J. E. Ellison, M. C. 
Thaderson (or Shaderson), J. W. Shearer, J. L. O'Donnell, 
J. W. Doyle, H. E. Arnold, L. J. Spencer, B. B. Gray, B. B. 


THE YEAR 1860 

Painter, P. W. Shearer, James McFadden, J. H. Anderson, 
A. Ramsey, J. E. Parker, John Taylor, T. Campbell, F. A. Sloss, 
S. Conkey, C. Hall, Antonio Storff, C. T. Emerson." 

Captain Weatherlow says : " I told them that the Pah-utes 
had always been friendly and as there existed a treaty between 
Winnemueca and ourselves which thus far had not been broken 
it was better to go and see Winnemueca and ascertain the truth 
of the matter. I believed it might have been the Pit river 
Indians whose country lay to the north of Honey Lake and who 
frequently made hunting excursions as far south as Willow creek. 
A meeting of the citizens was then held and its was agreed 
that I should send a Lieutenant of my company (Tutt) with 
fifteen men to trace the murderers and ascertain if it was the 
Pah-ute or Pit river Indians. I did so. The party was out four 
days, tracked the Indians through snow, recovered the horses, 
and came back and reported that it was the Pah-utes who were 
known as the Smoke Creek band which had drawn away in a 
measure from Winnemueca 's control and recognized a chief 
known as Smoke Creek Sam as their leader." 

This is the story of that trip after the Indians as Dow, Tutt, 
and Strong told it. Just as soon as they could get ready, in a 
day or two, Tutt, William Dow, Priest, Demming, Strong, Lute 
Spencer, and another man started out after the Indians. They 
found that the night before they killed Demming the Indians 
camped at the old Rice cabin about a mile north of the place 
where the murder was committed. (This must have been the 
cabin built by Johnson and Todd in the fall of 1859.) The 
night after the murder they camped at the head of a canyon 
only a few miles northeast of there, and if the white men had 
followed them as Dow wished, probably they would have killed 
all of them. The Never Sweats were on foot and it was slow 
work travelling through the snow. The first night they stayed 
at the Rice cabin and the second one on the side of the mountain 
southeast of Horse lake. The next day they found the Indians 
camped at Snow Storm creek. Long before the whites reached 
their campoodie the Indians saw them and got into a big rock 
pile near by. There they had a good natural fort and they had 
the two Demming guns, or perhaps more, and some ammunition, 
and the white men were out on the flat without any shelter. 
When they got within shooting distance the Indians stood up 



on the rocks and made insulting gestures and dared them to 
come on, and when a man came close enough they took a shot 
at him. The Honey Lakers stayed there several hours working 
every plan they could think of to get at them, and Spencer 
showed a great deal of bravery and took some desperate chances 
trying to kill an Indian. Finally they came to the conclusion 
that the Indians had the best of it and there was no use of 
staying any longer. One of the men said that he and Spencer 
crawled toward the rock pile and got pretty close to it. Before 
long he happened to look back and saw that the others were 
going away. He called to Spencer and told him about it and 
then jumped to his feet and ran faster than he ever did before 
in his life. When he got out of range he stopped and looked 
back. Spencer was so angry because the rest of them quit that 
he deliberately got on his feet, threw his gun over his shoulder, 
and strolled away with his nose in the air as carelessly as though 
there was not an Indian within a hundred miles of him. 

They went back to the Indian camp and got the things they 
had taken from Demming. Among them were the books, the 
axes, Demming 's fiddle, and the two horses. They had food 
enough for only one day more, it looked as though a big storm 
was coming on, and so they started for home as soon as they 
could get ready. A little after dark they reached the plateau 
east of Pete's valley, and as it was very cold and the wind was 
blowing fiercely, they found a big juniper tree and camped in 
its shelter that night. The next day they came into the valley. 

The reader must remember that this, and probably all the 
winter expeditions in pursuit of Indians, was made by men on 
foot. Frequently the weather was bitterly cold and sometimes 
the snow was deep. They had to get along with few blankets 
and food of the simplest kind and they were in luck if they had 
enough of that. Of course they had no tents and their only 
shelter from the winter storms was what they could get from 
brush and rocks and from the trees, if they were fortunate 
enough to be where there were any. They wore leather boots 
without any overshoes and frostbitten feet must have been a 
common thing. Subduing the wilderness may sound romantic 
on paper, but in reality there was very little romance about it, 
especially that part of it which related to the chasing of Indians 
in the winter. 



Lieutenant Tutt made his report on the 24th of January. 
Captain Weatherlow says: "Another meeting of the citizens 
was held and they again demanded that I should take my 
company and march out against the Pah-utahs. I told them 
that at that time there were 3000 head of stock at Pyramid 
lake protected by only a few herders, there were settlers located 
in small valleys remote from each other and distant from the 
settlement at Honey lake, and that small parties of prospectors 
were scattered through the mountains in every direction all of 
whom would be hopelessly exposed and murdered if I made an 
attack upon the Indians at that time. It was then agreed that 
I should go and have an interview with Winnemucca, inform 
him of the murder and demand redress." 

On the 28th Governor Roop appointed Captain William 
"Weatherlow and Thomas J. Harvey commissioners to visit Winne- 
mucca. They performed their duty and on their return made 
the following report which, with the correspondence also given, 
is taken from T. and W's. History of Nevada. 

"Susanville, February 11, A. D. 1860. 

"Your Excellency: We, the undersigned, your commission- 
ers, appointed Jan. 28, A. D. 1860, to proceed to the camp of the 
Pah-ute tribe of Indians, respectfully report that we proceeded 
across the country from this place in the direction of Pyramid 
lake ; that on the third day of our travel we were met by a band 
of about (30) thirty Pah-Ute Indians, well mounted, who, with 
a war-whoop surrounded us and prevented us from proceeding 
to the main camp. We were detained over night by the same 
party of Indians, under a strict guard, the said Indians utterly 
refusing to give us any information as to the whereabouts of 
their chiefs. On the following morning we were released from 
imprisonment and ordered to return to Honey Lake valley. 
We travelled two or three miles in the direction of Honey Lake 
valley, and there being a dense fog, we came to the determination 
to travel across the country to the crossing of the Truckee river, 
and follow down said river to Pyramid lake. Arriving at 
Pyramid lake we found an encampment of the Pah-Utes, but 
from the contradictory reports of the said Indians, we were 
unable to ascertain where either of the chiefs could be found. 
We then travelled down the lake about ten miles, and found 
another encampment, which proved to be the camp of Winne- 



mucca, the war chief of the Pah-Utes. We represented to the 
chief that we were sent to them, by the whites, to ask of the chief 
the delivery of the murderer or the murderers of Mr. D. E. 
Demming, in accordance with a treaty made and entered into 
between the Pah-Utes and the citizens of Honey Lake valley, at 
the same time inviting the chief to return with us and settle our 
difficulties amicably. 

The chief acknowledged that according to the said treaty, 
we were warranted in making the demand, but after making 
many excuses, he refused to interpose his authority in preventing 
depredations upon the whites on the part of his followers. We 
then asked him to appoint some future time to visit us. He said 
that he would not come at all, and that the citizens of Honey 
Lake valley must pay him $16000 for Honey Lake valley. We 
have ascertained that he is at this time levying blackmail by 
demanding from one to two beeves a week from the herders of 
stock, there being two or three thousand head of stock in his 
immediate vicinity, herded by so few that they dare not refuse 
his demand. We find also that the owners of said stock can not 
drive them to the settlements from the great depth of snow 
between Pyramid lake and Honey lake, Washoe and Carson 
valleys. We believe that the Pah-Utes are determined to rob 
and murder as many of our citizens as they can, more especially 
our citizens upon the borders. Finding it impossible to bring 
the Indians to any terms of peace, notwithstanding the advan- 
tages offered them, we determined to return as speedily as possible 
and make this our report to your Excellency. 

William Weatherlow, 

Probably it was on this trip that the lives of these two men 
were saved by a young Indian called Pike who had been raised 
by Harvey. As the story is told they had been captured by the 
Indians and Pike talked them into letting Harvey go. Harvey 
told Pike that Weatherlow was a good man and asked him if he 
didn't remember that whenever they two visited him he, Pike, 
was given a bed and food and treated as well as any one. Harvey 
refused to go away and leave Weatherlow. The Indians held 
another council and finally gave the two men their property and 
told them to go. 



In his statement Captain Weatherlow says: "Who had in- 
structed the chief to demand that particular sum ($16000) or 
indeed any sum of money from the settlers of Honey Lake, I 
can not imagine, but certain it is that up to that time Winne- 
mucca was always willing that the whites should occupy the 
valley and gave them land freely, his one desire in return seemed 
to be to have a house and learn to till the soil and live like a 
white man. 

"On our return to Honey Lake I stopped at the camps of 
the herders at Pyramid lake and informed them of the approach- 
ing danger and advised them to remove their stock as soon as 
possible. They said the snow was so deep they could not go away 
and they might as well remain and take the chances of losing 
their cattle by the Indians as to attempt to drive them through 
the snow. But they begged me that the Honey Lake people 
should make no demonstration against the Indians until they 
could remove. I promised to protect them all I could." 

The next day after the commissioners made their report 
Governor Roop asked assistance from the General commanding 
the Pacific department and thoroughly explained affairs in this 
part of the country. His letter to General Clark was as follows : 
"General Clark, U. S. A., 
Commander of the Pacific Department. 

"Sir: We are about to be plunged into a bloody and pro- 
tracted war with the Pah-Ute Indians. Within the last nine 
months there have been seven of our citizens murdered by the 
Indians. Up to the last murder we were unable to fasten these 
depredations on any particular tribe, but always believed it was 
the Pah-Utes, yet did not wish to blame them until we were sure 
of the facts. On the 13th day of last month Mr. Dexter E. 
Demming was most brutally murdered at his own house, plun- 
dered of everything and his horses driven off. As soon as I was 
informed of the fact I at once sent out fifteen men after the 
murderers (there being snow on the ground they could be easily 
traced) with orders to follow on their tracks until they would 
find what tribe they belonged to, and if they were proved to be 
Pah-Utes not to give them battle, but to return and report, as 
we had some two years ago made a treaty with the Pah-Utes, 
one of the stipulations being that if any of their tribe committed 
any murders or depredations on any of the whites we were first 



to go to the chiefs and that they would deliver up the murderers 
or make redress, and that we were to do the same thing on our 
part with them. On the third day out they came onto the 
Indians and found them to be Pah-Utes, to which I call your 
attention to the paper marked A. Immediately on receiving 
this report, and agreeable to the said treaty, I sent Capt. William 
"Weatherlow and Thomas J. Harvey as commissioners, to proceed 
to the Pah-Utes headquarters and there inform the chief of this 
murder and demand redress. Here allow me to call your atten- 
tion to the paper marked B. It is now a pretty well established 
fact that the Pah-Utes killed these eight men, one of them being 
Mr. Peter Lassen. How soon others must follow is not known 
for war is now inevitable. We have but few good arms and but 
little ammunition. 

"Therefore, I would most respectfully call upon you for a 
company of dragoons to come to our aid at once, as it may save 
a ruinous war to show them that we have other help besides our 
own citizens, they knowing our weakness. And if it is not in 
your power at present to dispatch a company of men here, I do 
most respectfully demand of you arms and ammunition, with a 
fieldpiece to drive them out of their forts. A four or six pounder 
is indispensable in fighting the Pah-Utes. We have no Indian 
Agent to call on, so it is to you that we look for assistance. 

"I remain your humble servant, 

"Isaac Roop, 
"Governor of Nevada Territory. 

"Susanville, February 12, 1860. 

"P. S. Sir: — If you should forward to us arms, ammunition, 
etc., I hereby appoint Col. J. H. Lewis to receive and receipt 
for and bring them here at once. ' ' I. Roop. ' ' 

No attention was paid to this appeal — at least no troops were 
sent and no arms and ammunition were furnished. 

Cady and Blodgett Killed by the Indians 

Told by Dwelley and LeGrow 

During the winter of 1859-60 Asa S. LeGrow, Melzer B. 

Dwelley, Hank Tufts, — Cady, Joseph Blodgett, and others — 

quite a large party — had a camp in the lower end of Long 

Valley. Dwelley, perhaps LeGrow, and some of the rest of the 



party belonged in Sierra valley, but that winter they were 
ranging their cattle near Avhere they were camped because there 
was less snow there than at home. 

The Indians had been troublesome that winter and in the 
spring the Sierra valley men drove their stock home as soon as 
they could get feed there. After several drives had been made, 
they got back to camp early one afternoon and Cady and Blodgett 
went out to drive up the horses. They belonged to Dr. Weber, 
who had cattle running in Dry valley just east of there, and 
Blodgett had them on shares. A little dog went with them and 
in a couple of hours he came back to camp. The men there 
thought that something must be wrong and as soon as they 
could, about dark, they started out on the trail of their two 
friends. They soon found the trails of other horses running into 
the trail they were following, and believing these had been made 
by the Indians, they went back to camp. Upon further search 
later on it was found that they had both been killed by the 

The Pah-ute War. 1860 

Taken from Thompson and West's ''History of Nevada," 
Captain Weatherlow's Statement, the Newspapers of the day, 
and from what was told by the early settlers of Honey Lake 
and Long Valleys. 

The winter of 1859-60 was the hardest one the whites had 
seen in the Great Basin. "The Territorial Enterprise," pub- 
lished in Carson City, in December, 1859, when telling of the 
arrival of Governor Isaac Roop from Honey Lake said: "The 
Indians in Truckee Meadows are freezing and starving to death 
by scores. In one cabin the Governor found three children dead 
or dying. The whites are doing all they can to alleviate the 
miseries of the poor Washoes. They have sent out and built 
fires for them, and offered them part of their provisions. But 
in many instances the starving Indians refused to eat, fearing 
that the food is poisoned. They attribute the severity of the 
winter to the whites. The Truckee river is frozen hard enough 
to bear up loaded teams." We have seen how near Governor 
Roop came to freezing to death on that trip. 

The unkind treatment which the Indians received at the 
hands of many of the newcomers in Nevada awakened their anger 



against the whites, and when the hard winter came on numbers 
were led to believe that the Great Spirit was angry because there 
were so many white men in their country and in consequence 
the storms and cold weather were freezing and starving them. 

In the latter part of April and the first of May, 1860, nearly 
all the Pah-ute Indians gathered at Pyramid lake to hold a 
council. They wanted to decide what to do in view of the fact 
that the whites were taking their land and killing off all their 
game. There were a good many chiefs there with their forces, 
among them the chiefs from Smoke creek, the Black Rock coun- 
try, and Humboldt Meadows. Old Winnemucca, whose Indian 
name was Po-i-to, was the head captain over all, the medicine 
chief of the tribe. He didn't have much to say one way or the 
other, but was known to be in favor of war. He was a shrewd 
politician and as long as things were going his way he was will- 
ing to keep still and make it appear that somebody else was 
responsible for what was done. There was, however, one chief 
among them who knew enough to foresee the result of a war 
with the whites. This was Numaga, whom the whites called 
' ' Young Winnemucca, ' ' the war chief. He was not, as the whites 
always supposed, the war chief of the Pah-utes. There was 
but one general chief, and that was Poito, at Pyramid lake. 
Young Winnemucca was the chosen leader of that branch of the 
tribe living on the reservation and did not claim any other 
authority. He and Old Winnemucca were in no way related 
and were never friendly. 

Numaga was an Indian statesman of intellect, eloquence, and 
courage combined. He had lived in California and could speak 
the English language, and understood the superiority of the 
white race over the Indian. His power outside of his own band 
was only that of a superior mind working to better the condition 
of his race. "They knew he was capable, they believed him to 
be sincere, and it resulted in giving him influence more potent 
throughout the tribe than Poito 's commands, consequently the 
whites came to look upon him as the war chief, and he would 
have attained that position had he outlived Old Winnemucca, 
alias Poito." 

Before the council Numaga went to all the Indians and 
talked to them and tried his best to keep them from beginning 
a war that would result in their destruction. They listened to 


THE YEAE 1860 

him respectfully, but their silence told hiin that they were 
opposed to him. He then went away by himself and lay face 
down on the ground without food or drink for three days. Some 
of the Indians told him that he had better go and live among 
the whites ; others threatened to kill him and he told them to do 
so for he did not care to live. 

When the council met the chiefs all got up and told their 
wrongs and demanded war. After they had all spoken Numaga 
walked in looking like a ghost and poured forth such a torrent 
of eloquence as these warriors had never before listened to. He 
told them that no doubt they had great wrongs, but the white 
men were as many as the stars above their heads and like sands 
in the beds of the rivers. If they whipped the white men of 
Nevada, those from California would come to help them and 
they would cover the land like a blanket. He told them they 
would be driven from their homes into the barren rocks of the 
north where their ponies would die, and where the old men and 
women would starve and they would have to listen to their 
children crying for food. 

As Numaga was making this last appeal to them to keep from 
going to war with the whites, an Indian dashed up to the council 
ground on a "foam flecked" pony and he stopped in his talk. 
"The newcomer walked into the circle; and pointing to the 
southeast, said: 'Moguannoga (He was chief at the Humboldt 
Meadows and the whites called him Captain Soo.) last night 
with nine braves burned "Williams' station on the Carson river 
and killed four whites.' " Numaga then looked sadly in the 
direction the warrior had pointed and told them there was no 
longer any use for council, they must prepare for war, for the 
soldiers would now come there to fight them. 

On the seventh of May while the council among the Indians 
was going on and the great influence of Numaga was beginning 
to make an impression upon the Indians in favor of peace, Cap- 
tain Soo's party left secretly, reached Williams' station about 
sundown, killed the men and burned the station. This station 
was on the Carson river and on the overland road about ten 
miles northeast of where Fort Churchill was afterwards built. 
Captain Soo was smart enough to know what the result of this 
act would be. It was like burning the bridges behind them. 

Captain Weatherlow has this to say in regard to the begin- 



ning of the war: "While these events (outrages committed by 
the Pah-ute Indians on the settlers in the neighborhood of Honey 
Lake) were taking place we neither saw nor heard of the Indian 
Agent, Major Dodge. From my knowledge of Winnemucca's 
character, his sense of right and justice, and his faithful observ- 
ance of the treaty with the Honey Lake people for years, it is 
my firm belief as well as the openly expressed opinion of the 
citizens of Honey Lake that if the great chief Winnemucca had 
been visited in the early commencement of the misunderstanding 
between his people and the whites, or even after hostilities had 
actually commenced he had been visited by Major Dodge, or 
some other authorized agent of the general government who 
came with full power to treat and perform the promises of the 
government, the whole war with its subsequent massacres and 
scenes of blood could have been easily averted. But unfortunate- 
ly for the whites as well as for the Pah-utes no such mediator came 
and the war with all its horrors raged on." 

When the report of what had been done at Williams' station 
reached Dayton, Silver City, and Virginia City it created great 
excitement and the news was soon carried to the outlying towns. 
There were prospectors scattered all through the mountains and 
men took their lives in their hands to warn them and the outside 
ranchers of their danger. The one thought was to punish the 
Indians and companies were organized in Genoa, and in Carson, 
Silver, and Virginia Cities. They left the latter place on the 
ninth of May and on the tenth reached the scene of the murder 
and buried three of the victims. They then took a vote to see 
whether they should go back or go ahead into the Indian country. 

This force consisted of four companies numbering one hun- 
dred and five men, or something like that. Each company had 
its own officers, but there was no one selected to command the 
whole force although Major Ormsby and others urged them to 
do this. They went into the fight without any leader although 
Major Ormsby is usually regarded as having been the commander 
of the entire party. It was a body of poorly armed, undisciplined 
men. Probably the general opinion among them was that the 
Indians would not fight, and some of them would have stayed 
at home if they had thought there was going to be any fighting 
done. Others thought that all there was to do was to capture 
some squaws and ponies and run the Indians out of the country 

[210 1 

THE YEAR 1860 

without any danger to themselves. But the most of them were 
brave men and boys, some of them heroes when the occasion came, 
and with a little discipline and under good leadership would 
have made a brave fight. 

The Battle of Pyramid Lake, Generally Called 
' ' The Ormsby Massacre ' ' 

This battle, fought on the 12th of May about two miles south 
of Pyramid lake, was no battle at all — it was a massacre. 

The whites saw a party of Indians about their own number 
and thirty of them charged up a little hill onto a plateau. "When 
they got up there the Indians had disappeared, but just out of 
gunshot, just as before, there w T as a thin circle of mounted 
Indians. For a short time it was doubtful whether the Indians 
had got them there by design or not ; but that uncertainty 
vanished when in front and on both flanks Indians arose from 
behind every bush, gave a yell, and poured in a volley of arrows 
and bullets. The other members of the command did not come 
to the aid of those on the plateau and after staying there about 
ten minutes, during which time they only looked after their 
animals, some of which bucked the revolvers out of the holsters 
and made others drop their guns, they all retreated toward 
their already fleeing companions. They at first retreated towards 
the timber in the bottom to the west. This was already the 
hiding place of Chiquito Winnemucca, a chief from the Black 
Rock country. A number of Indians now reinforced those in 
the timber, Numaga among the rest, and as the Indians pressed 
forward he got between them and the whites, waved them back, 
and tried to obtain a parley with the white men. Chiquito 
Winnemucca refused to obey the order and ran past him fol- 
lowed by the other Indians. Quite a number of times the whites 
tried to make a stand but with little success. Many of them 
fought bravely, but in the end it turned out a panic and when 
they reached the upland it was every one for himself. The 
Indians chased them as far as where "Wadsworth now stands 
killing them all along the way. When this place was reached 
it got so dark that the whites were able to hide so the Indians 
could not find them. Major Ormsby and forty-five other white 
men were killed. The Indians claimed to have had three war- 
riors wounded and two horses killed. 



•On the morning of May 15th the white men on foot got into 
Buckland's station and those on horseback reached Dayton, 
Virginia, and the towns further back and created a great panic 
wherever they went. The news was telegraphed to San Fran- 
cisco and soon the whole coast knew about it. The people of the 
surrounding country gathered at Virginia City, Dayton, Silver 
City, and other towns and fortified themselves the best they 
could. "Warren Wasson went from Genoa to Carson to find why 
they could get no dispatch over the telegraph line. He thought 
that the Indians had cut it. When he got to Carson he found 
that the telegraph operator there had paid no attention to the 
calls from Genoa, and thus far no Indian had been seen in 
Carson or Eagle valleys. T. and W. say: "He also found that 
a party was being organized, under Theodore Winters, to carry 
a dispatch from General Wright of California to a company of 
cavalry supposed to be at Honey Lake valley, ordering that 
company to march at once for Carson. Wasson volunteered to 
carry the message alone; and mounting a fleet, powerful horse, 
rode in fourteen hours through the enemy's country a distance 
of one hundred and ten miles to Honey Lake, without a change 
of horse, and without seeing an Indian. He delivered his orders 
and the company marched south." A. L. Tunison says that a 
detachment of twenty-six soldiers came into the valley on the 
16th of May and it is probable that those were the ones that went 
to Carson. 

The War in Honey Lake and Long Valleys 

Alvaro Evans says that he was in Virginia City when the 
news of the Ormsby Massacre reached that place. As soon as 
he heard it, the next day after it happened, he bought a horse 
and started for his home in the lower end of Long valley. He 
left town about sundown and when between the Truckee river 
and Peavine springs he caught up with Cutler Arnold, who 
was going home to Susanville, and they went along together. 
They reached the Evans ranch about three o'clock in the morn- 
ing and found all the residents of that part of the valley col- 
lected there excepting the Robinsons. They had also gathered 
in all the cattle and had them on the flat east of the house. The 
next morning R. E. Ross went up to the Warm Springs ranch 
and notified the Robinsons that they were all going to Sierra 


THE YEAR 1860 

valley. He found Mrs. Ambrose Robinson, the only woman in 
that part of the valley, busily engaged in churning and she said 
that she could not go until she had finished that work. That 
same day they all went to Sierra valley and took their cattle 
with them. The Ross and Evans party took up some land four 
or five miles from the Summit, built a cabin on it, and stayed 
there all summer, returning to Long valley in the fall. The 
Warm Springs ranch house was burned by the Indians that 
spring, but the other three houses in that part of the valley, the 
Evans house, the McKissick house, and the one on the Willow 
Ranch, were not molested that year. 

When the news reached Honey Lake it caused great excite- 
ment and dismay. As is usual in such cases the further it 
traveled the larger it grew. It was reported that there were 
1500 warriors in the battle with the Ormsby party and men who 
claimed to know said there were at least 1000 Pah-ute warriors 
around Pyramid lake ready to fight. It was reported that 
twenty head of cattle had been stolen, by the Indians it was sup- 
posed, from Antelope valley near Susanville and the settlers 
thought it probable that the hills were full of savages who were 
likely to make a descent upon them at any time. 

There were eighty men prospecting out near Black Rock and 
in Susanville the first thought was to warn them of their danger. 
The business men offered $150 a day to any man who would go, 
but no one wanted the job. When it was found that no one 
could be hired to go Ephraim V. Spencer, whose brother Luther 
was among the prospectors, made up his mind to go himself. 
He had no saddle horse and when he tried to buy one he found 
none to sell. Some of the owners of saddle horses wanted them 
to leave the country with and others would not sell to him 
because they didn 't want him to attempt the trip. They all told 
him that no man could elude the Indians and get through to 
Black Rock alive. Finally some man told him there was a saddle 
horse picketed out on the flat below town. Spencer was head 
sawyer in the sawmill above town and that night he shut the mill 
down. (This story was told by Mrs! L. P. Spencer, the widow 
of E. V. Spencer.) 

About midnight he took his saddle on his back, went down 
on the flat and saddled up the horse, and striking out down 
the valley reached the Lathrop and Harvey place about daylight. 



His horse had not given out, but he was tired and Spencer saw 
he was not the horse for such a journey. About a quarter of a 
mile from the house there was a saddle horse picketed out and 
he went down there and swapped horses. He then went to the 
house, called Lathrop up and told him what he was going to do, 
and asked him for a cup of coffee and something to eat and some 
food to take along with him. While Lathrop was getting him 
some breakfast Spencer stood in the door holding the horse by 
the rope. Pretty soon a man who had been awakened by the 
noise came out of another room. He looked at the horse at the 
door, rubbed his eyes and looked again, and then looked at the 
horse picketed in the field. The horse Spencer was holding was 
a bay and the one he left in the field was a buckskin so it was 
very easy to see that the horses had been changed. He then 
asked Spencer what he was doing with his horse and told him to 
put him back where he found him. The other man replied that 
he intended to ride that horse and that if any one interfered 
with him he would have serious trouble. The man almost cried 
and said he wanted the horse to ride out of danger from the 
Indians, but Spencer only answered him by saying that the other 
one would carry him to Susan ville. After eating his breakfast 
and getting a few provisions Spencer started out and to save 
time he cut across corners whenever he could. At that time 
A. W. Worm and Thomas Bear were keeping the trading post 
at Deep Hole springs and the latter had gone to Susanville for 
supplies. "Bige" Adams came along and found Worm alone 
and told him the news of the trouble with the Indians. Spencer 
must have struck Bear somewhere on the road for they came to 
Deep Hole together that night. Worm says that about twenty 
of the Black Eock prospectors also came in that night. At day- 
light Spencer resumed his journey and succeeded in finding a 
camp of five men, his brother being one of them. He had not 
seen an Indian during the entire trip. He had been riding for 
thirty-six hours without any sleep so he went to bed and those in 
camp saddled up their horses and started out to find the other 
men. Whenever they found a camp these men joined in the 
search and soon they were all together and ready to leave. The 
Indians had not molested them, but an old man named Smith 
coming into camp one night with a pack mule had been mistaken 
for an Indian and killed. 



On their return they kept out on the desert and saw no Indians 
excepting once when they saw a large band of them near the 
edge of the desert. Once, though, when they stopped to water 
their horses they found Indian tracks made so recently that 
they were not yet filled with water. Some of the prospectors 
belonged in this valley and some in the Carson country and when 
they got almost to Honey Lake they scattered, four or five of 
them coming in with Spencer. 

Many of the emigrants who had settled in the valley the year 
before immediately picked up and left in haste for the other side 
of the mountains. A great deal of stock was driven away for 
safety. The people in the upper end of the valley went to 
Susanville and used Cutler Arnold 's log hotel for a fort, keeping 
the women and children in at night. They had some idea of 
hauling logs and building a fort but it was not done. Many of 
them stayed there and stood guard at night for a long time. 

The settlers in the central part of the valley and the lower 
end of it gathered at Bankhead's. They cut down small pine 
trees and made a stockade sixty-three by ninety feet and twelve 
or fourteen feet high around the log house about three fourths 
of a mile northwest of Bankhead's that Dr. Slater and F. S. 
Chapman had built the previous December. This was "Fort 
Janesville." The stockade was loopholed for rifles and at the 
southwest corner, and perhaps at another one though it doesn't 
show now, there was a small enclosure set out from the corner 
that enabled the men in the fort to send in a flank fire on any 
party that came close to the stockade. Dr. P. Chamberlain, D. I. 
Wilmans, James Jones, John Bradley, R. D. Bass, Smith J. Hill, 
W. M. Cain, Malcom Bankhead, and probably many others, with 
their families, took refuge in the fort. Some stayed a night or 
two and went over to Quincy, or further, and others went back 
to their ranches. Some stayed there all summer. Of the families 
that left the valley some stayed away until the danger was over 
and others never came back. 

Four or five years after this Indian war Fort Janesville fell 
into disuse. People helped themselves to the doors and windows 
of the building or anything else they wanted. Along in 1866-67 
the Indians took the house away, part of it at a time, and used it 
to build some campoodies about half a mile to the southwest. 
Perhaps the whites carried some of the logs away and soon the 



building was all gone. The writer went to school near there in 
1867 and he doesn 't remember any building inside the stockade 
at that time. The stockade stood for a good many years and fell 
down a log at a time. 

During this panic Governor Roop again made application to 
General Clark for troops to be stationed in the valley to protect 
the settlers, or at least for arms and ammunition to enable the 
few settlers who remained to protect themselves and their prop- 
erty. Weatherlow's company was reorganized and ordered to 
hold themselves in readiness to take to the field at a moment's 
warning. About this time Lieutenant Chapman came in from 
Fort Crook with a detachment of U. S. dragoons. He stayed in 
the valley three days and then received orders to return to Fort 
Crook, and this he did without having accomplished anything 
here. This left the valley as unprotected as before. Some of the 
settlers wanted to raise a company and join Colonel Jack Hays 
at Carson and help fight the Pah-utes. Others wanted all the 
men to stay at home and protect the few women and children 
who remained and also the property. John Byrd raised a com- 
pany of twenty men in the lower end of the valley and J. C. 
Wemple remembers the following names of those who were among 
them: John Byrd, Captain, Dr. P. Chamberlain, Wm. H. Clark, 
Wm. N. Crawford, George Greeno, T. H. Fairchilds, Charles 
Kingman, Fred. Kingman, Henry Arnold, — Anderson, A. G. 
Eppstein, and J. C. Wemple. 

On the 29th of May Weatherlow 's company went down to the 
Jack Byrd ranch eight miles below where Milford now stands. 
Byrd and his company were there and Weatherlow proposed to 
him that they join forces and wait for the Indians at a canyon 
north of Pyramid lake where, when beaten by Hays, they would 
pass in their retreat. He believed that in this way they might 
receive a blow that would direct them away from the unpro- 
tected settlements. Byrd agreed with him, but the younger 
members of his company objected to this arrangement so he 
went on the next day. Weatherlow stayed there a couple of days 
and jerked some beef and on the first of June set out for Pyramid 
lake with his command of thirty-five well armed men, he says, 
but Tunison, who was with him, says there were only twenty-six 
men when they left the Byrd place. 

We will now return to the country around Carson and Vir- 


THE YEAR 1860 

ginia Cities. As a result of the Ormsby Massacre hundreds of 
people left the territory of Nevada and went to California. Many 
of those who remained were so badly frightened that they would 
have been of no use in helping to fight the Indians. 

In California the news produced intense excitement and every 
one was willing to go to the assistance of the people of Nevada. 
Within thirty-six hours after the news reached Downieville 165 
men were raised, armed, and equipped. In five days they marched 
over the mountains to Virginia City. Organized companies came 
from Nevada City, San Juan, Sacramento, and Placerville. The 
Governor of California sent the men of Nevada for their own 
use 500 Minnie muskets with plenty of ammunition. All the 
towns of Nevada furnished their share of men and the citizens 
contributed to provision the forces. 

These forces were organized into eight companies of infantry 
and six of cavalry. Colonel John C. Hays was the Colonel com- 
manding and the whole force consisted of 544 men. They left 
Virginia City on the 24th of May and on the 31st had reached the 
place where Wadsworth now stands. There they were joined by 
207 United States troops under Captain Stewart. By mutual 
consent, Colonel Jack Hays assumed command of both divisions. 

The Battle op the Truckee 

On the morning of the 2nd of June eighty men were sent 
down the river on a scouting expedition. "When they got down 
where the land sloped abruptly to the valley part of them stayed 
on the upland and the others went on dow T n into the valley. In 
a short time those on the hill signaled that the enemy were in 
sight. Three hundred Indians were coming and they chased the 
whites back to the main body. The Indians kept firing at the 
whites with a rifle of long range, probably the one taken from a 
man named Elliott who was killed in the Ormsby fight. One 
man was wounded by these shots. When the fight began the 
Indians had the advantage in the ground. They were on the hill 
in a place cut up by gullies and the whites were out on the open 
ground. About two thirds of the whites were in the fight and 
the rest were held in reserve. The Indians fought for five hours, 
but at last were driven from the field. There was a large force 
of Indians — no one knows how many — and it was the most stub- 
born fight ever made by the Indians on this coast. The whites 



lost three men killed and one wounded. The Pah-utes never 
acknowledged the loss of but four killed and seven wounded. 
No white man in the fight ever saw more than three dead Indians ; 
but Joseph F. Triplett of Elko, who was in the fight, claims that 
several of the leading Indians told him soon after the war that 
forty-six Indians were killed. 

On the fourth of June the command marched on towards 
Pyramid lake burying the bodies of the Ormsby men wherever 
they found them. The Indian village was deserted and not an 
Indian could be found in the country, but the trail led north 
and on the fifth the pursuit was resumed. They passed along 
on the east side of the chain of mountains between Pyramid and 
Mud (Winnemucca) lakes. While going along this range five 
men were sent up the side of the mountain as scouts. When they 
got near the top one of the men was killed by the Indians. The 
cavalry went there as fast as they could, but when they reached 
the place the Indians had taken his horse, arms, and clothes and 
fled. This was the last hostile act of the campaign. 

On the sixth they started to return. On the seventh the 
volunteer forces under Hays were disbanded; but the troops 
under Captain Stewart remained at Pyramid lake where earth- 
works were thrown up that received the name of Fort Haven, 
in honor of General Haven of California who had volunteered 
as a private in Colonel Hays' command. T. and W. say "After 
the battle the Pah-utes remained in considerable force in the 
vicinity of Pyramid lake, maintaining a hostile attitude, and 
committing depredations, but the punishment given and the 
force displayed admonished them to keep the peace." They 
also say that Major Frederick Dodge, the Indian Agent, aided 
by Mr. Wasson, who had been engaged by Captain Stewart as a 
scout, tried to pacify the Indians, entice them to their reserva- 
tions, and supply them with provisions, blankets, etc. 

Movements of the Never Sweats 

J. C. Wemple says it was reported here that the Indians lost 
about forty men in the last fight. The Byrd company reached 
Pyramid lake two days after the battle took place. They stayed 
there a day and a half and then started for home. Nothing of 
particular interest took place during the entire trip which lasted 
something like two weeks. 

r 218 1 


T. and W. say: "There was a force of possibly thirty men 
under Captain Weatherlow from Honey Lake valley, in the 
mountains west of and toward the north end of Pyramid lake ; 
and the following letter of confident power and prowess tells all 
concerning him and his command : 

"June 4th, 1860. 
' ' Dear Gov. : With my small party I am scouting around Pyra- 
mid lake. The last two days have been on the north side of it, 
and am now on the west side and within two miles of the lake. 
I have not seen an Indian, although I am in view of the ground 
on which Major Ormsby fought the Indians. "Would to God 
I had fifty men, I would clean out all the Indians from this 
region. Thus far I have been waiting for the troops from Carson 
to attack them, and then cut off retreating parties, but the 
movements of the troops are so desultory that I fear the Indians 
will scatter off before anything is done. If there is any more 
men in the valley who will come, and can get a fit-out, send them 
along for my party is too small to venture much ; yet all are 
anxious for a brush with the red-skins. You need feel no alarm 
of being attacked in the valley; there is no Indians to make it, 
at least on the north. 

Respectfully yours, etc., 

Capt. Weatherlow. 
Gov. Isaac Roop." 

"It would seem that the Captain got out of the w r ay just in 
time, from the north end of the lake, to escape an opportunity of 
having the brush his men seemed so desirous of; and if his 
courage w r as equal to his assertion, it is fortunate that he did not 
have fifty men." Weatherlow 's courage was equal to almost 
anj'thing, and if he and his thirty men had been lying in wait in 
that canyon when the Indians went through it, he might have 
fired on them small as his force was. 

The first day after leaving the Byrd ranch Weatherlow 's 
company went to High Rock Springs. It rained all that day. 
The next day they went on to Pyramid lake and occupied the 
canyon. Weatherlow says "So much was I impressed with the 
necessity of striking the Indians in their retreat north that I 
sent a message to Col. Hays asking him to reenforce me. This he 
never received, or at least the reenforcement never came. In the 
meantime the battle at Pyramid lake did not take place on the 



day fixed for it, and after laying in ambush, short of provisions 
and without a fire for fear of showing our position to the Indians 
for over three days during a severe sleet storm, I supposed the 
fight would not come off and left the position. On the day after 
leaving it the Indians passed through the canyon. They had a 
fair retreat of over forty miles in open country and escaped 
comparatively unharmed. They boast to this day that they have 
killed more whites than they have lost men. From the escape of 
the Indians without receiving a severe blow the chance of the 
speedy close of the war was for the time lost." Weatherlow 
scouted on the north and east sides of the lake and then went 
home, arriving there on the tenth, without seeing an Indian on 
the trip. "On the news of the volunteers having returned to 
California reaching our valley a second panic occurred. Nor 
was this unreasonable for the Indians who had escaped north 
held the country around the valley. A small party of prospectors 
who had been driven in by the hostiles had seen them in force 
some 400 strong at Wall Springs on the emigrant road. 

"The troops removed from Honey Lake had left us entirely 
defenseless. At this critical juncture Col. F. W. Lander, Supt. 
of the U. S. overland wagon road, arrived in our valley with his 
company of some fifty men well armed and equipped. Their 
presence was a welcome relief to our unprotected settlement, 
for the Indians had grown so emboldened by success that they 
entered the valley within a few miles of the chief settlement and 
in broad day killed Mr. Adams, one of our most respected and 
worthy citizens. Governor Roop with a number of the principal 
settlers waited upon Col. Lander and besought him to aid them 
in protecting the valley against the Indians." 

Among other Indian depredations was the following : In the 
fall of 1859 Isadore Goumaz, a brother of Philip J. Goumaz, 
who was foreman for the Lee Brothers, with a man to help him, 
took a band of cattle belonging to the Lees, 200 or 300 head, 
to the lower Hot Springs in this valley. He kept the cattle there 
that winter, herding them back to keep them from straying where 
the Indians would be likely to steal them, and in the spring 
moved them to Mt. Meadows. He left his camp just as it was — 
didn't take away anything. Probably he was gone four days, 
and when he returned he found that the Indians had paid the 


THE YEAE 1860 

place a visit during his absence and entirely destroyed his camp. 
They burned what they could not carry off, the wagon being 
burned along with the other things. 

The Murder of Horace Adams 
Told by Wm. Milton Cain and A. L. Tunison. 
In 1859 Charles Adams brought another band of cattle from 
the States and his brother Horace came to the valley with him. 
He was killed by the Indians June 17th, 1860. There was very 
little land fenced on the Adams ranch and they kept up a saddle 
animal, picketing it out in the daytime and keeping it in the 
corral during the night. This morning Horace got up first and 
went at once to get the mare and picket her out. Just as he 
reached the middle of the corral one of the two Indians who lay 
concealed behind it fired at him from a distance of fifteen feet 
killing him instantly. "Bijah" Adams, who was the only man 
on the ranch besides Horace, had just got up and when he heard 
the shot he sprang to the door in time to see his brother go down. 
He ran outside at once and fired his pistol two or three times 
and then ran back into the house, grabbed his gun, ran out and 
jumped onto the mare, and started after the Indians. One of 
the Indians fired at him as he came out, but missed him. He 
crowded the Indians so hard that one of them dropped his gun 
and Adams got it, but the place was covered with sloughs and it 
was difficult to get around very fast with a horse and the Indians 
got into the tules and he could not find them. Adams then went 
back to the house and set some posts on fire to attract attention. 
Some one on the south side of the valley saw the smoke and 
went over there. 

Col. Lander with a pack train and about fifty men, thirty of 
whom were armed with Sharp 's rifles and dragoon pistols, arrived 
at Susanville about the first of June and camped at the Neale 
ranch four miles below there. When the settlers called on 
him and asked his aid in protecting the valley from the Indians, 
he said he would take part of his force and go out to reconnoiter 
the Indian position if the settlers would raise a company to join 
him. Lander said he was an Indian Agent and was authorized 
to make treaties with them. He said he should only seek an 
interview with Winnemucca, but if he found it impossible to do 
that or the Indians kept on fighting the settlers or interfered 
with his road work, he would fight them. 



The murder of Mr. Adams was reported to him on the 18th 
and in less than half an hour he started with twenty men in 
pursuit of the Indians. They rode all night and found the route j 
the Indians had taken and probably where they were going. 
They then returned to camp after a ride of fifty miles. 

The foregoing account of Col. Lander's movements and the 
following account of the expedition taken by a part of his 
command and Captain Weatherlow 's Honey Lake Rangers was 
taken from a letter published in the ' ' Daily Alta Calif ornian ' ' of 
July 17, 1860. It was signed by "Knight" who was a member 
of the expedition. 

Lander and Weatherlow 's Expedition Against the Pah-utes 

On the evening of the 19th of June, a few hours after Lander 
got back from his scouting trip, Weatherlow with thirty Rangers 
and Lander with thirty-five of his men, all mounted, started out 
into the country to the northeast of this valley. They made 
forced marches for two nights in succession, halting for a few 
hours in the heat of the day. When they got out near Madeline 
Plains (so called in the report of Lieut. Beckwith's survey) they 
found some moccasin tracks and Weatherlow 's scouts saw two 
mounted Indians reconnoitering the camp. The next morning 
Captain Weatherlow with one company started out for another 
scout leaving Lieut. Tutt in command of the Rangers. By sun- 
rise the whole command had packed up and started. Col. Lander 
and one man went up the hill to the left where he could overlook 
a canyon and there saw an Indian in ambush watching their 
movements. He at once ordered the train up the hill to cut off 
the canyon and approach it from a commanding position. Lieut. 
Tutt opposed this style of approach and said that Capt. Weath- 
erlow had left orders for the command to go through the canyon. 
Lander said that if a large party of Indians was met, the whole 
command would be cut off, but as it was a joint command he 
would follow the orders Capt. Weatherlow had given. He 
claimed the privilege of leading the train and calling up Mr. 
Snyder, the commissary of the train, went on with him. When 
they entered the rocky walls of the canyon Lander said 
"Remember, gentlemen, I do not bear the responsibility." 

Fifteen of the best men were sent to the rear behind the 
pack train. After they had gone nearly a mile Capt. Weatherlow 


THE YEAR 1860 

and his company who, as Lander supposed, turned back to meet 
them and would have taken the trail over the rocky side hill in 
preference to the canyon, Tutt having misunderstood his orders. 
It was too late to remedy this and they went on. "When they 
were nearly through the narrow canyon and were just ready to 
come out on the open ground, the Indians fired on the head of 
the column where Lander and "Weatherlow were riding, mortally 
wounding Alexander Painter, a brother of Samuel H. and B. B. 
Painter. The bullet entered the body below the heart and lodged 
beneath the skin near the spine. He made no outcry, but rode 
off a short distance to the right near his brother Benj. B. and 
after dismounting said to him, "I am shot — don't wait for me; 
leave me my rifle and shot pouch and go on." 

The Indians, how many there were of them they could not 
tell, kept up a continued fire and the bullets flew thick and fast, 
but they did no harm. Lander sent some men with a flag to a 
hill on the right and had the pack train sent out of the line of 
the fire and told the men to hold the hill at all hazards. He 
then took ten men and started out to drive the Indians away. 
They ran like scared dogs as the mounted men approached, 
going over the rocky hill sides where neither horse nor foot 
could follow them. The train then went out to the edge of a 
white plain from which the Indians had evidently retreated on 
the approach of the white men, perhaps taking their women and 
children with them. The force stayed there that night and 
were not molested by the Indians. 

Lander moved the camp to a long, rocky hill that ran out 
from the mountain and then prepared a decoy for the Indians. 
They had built defenses of stone along this and he thought they 
would come down there and try some long shots at the whites. 
About ten o'clock a large number of Indians came down this 
hill and hid themselves among the rocks. Lander waited for 
them to hide themselves, ten horses were saddled and led around 
to the opposite side of the hill, and fifteen men led by Lander 
went along the base of the rocks. The plan was to encourage 
the Indians with the footmen and let the cavalry cut them off 
from the mountain. A skirmish was kept up with a scattering 
fire and several Indians were seen to fall. Before the cavalry 
got up the hill the Indians saw them and fled precipitately. 
Col. Lander now mounted his horse and with a flag rode out 



toward the foot of the mountain, leaving his rifle in plain view 
leaning against a cedar tree. Seeing no chance for a fight and 
no chance to get in their rear, he thought he might obtain one 
object of the journey and have a talk with the chief. The 
Indians, instead of coming forward to talk, kept creeping behind 
trees toward him rifle in hand. They refused to parley so the 
white men advanced toward them again and they fled back 
along the side of the inaccessible mountain. Just at dark an 
Indian appeared out of the pass leading to Honey Lake — by good 
fortune two of their best and freshest horses stood saddled — and 
seven or eight men were made ready to support. The Indian 
was supposed to be one of the murderers from Honey Lake val- 
ley. At a given signal two of the most skillful riders started in 
full chase after the Indian and in open view of the enemy on the 
hill. As soon as the Indian saw the men in pursuit he threw off 
his soldier cloak and made for the hills, but he was too late. 
The race was a hard one — his comrades on the hill saw his 
danger, but dared not come to his help. They counted thirty-one 
Indians come out of the mouth of the canyon, but they dared 
come no further. Just then the Indian turned and fired at 
the foremost of his pursuers who saw his object and threw 
himself over to the other side of his horse and the ball passed 
harmlessly over the horse's back. The rider then raised and 
fired, bringing the Indian to his knees with a ball from his 
pistol. As he rode up the Indian clutched at the rope hanging 
from the horse's neck and the rider again drew his pistol and 
fired, the ball entering the neck of the Indian, who held his 
grip and with his last gasp gave the warwhoop which was 
answered by his comrades on the hill who did not dare to come 
to his relief. A rope was then tied to his leg and he was 
dragged into camp. The dead savage was recognized by the 
Rangers as "Big Jim," a noted warrior of the Smoke Creek 
band, one of the murderers of Mr. Adams, and the leader of 
the parties who had made their incursions into the valley. That 
night they buried Mr. Painter under a cedar tree at the foot 
of the hill. 

That day the Indians were seen to carry off several of their 
dead, but the whites didn't know how many of them they 
killed. The Pah-ute who was killed at sunset was buried in an 
open grave and covered with cedar boughs. They did not 


THE YEAR 1860 

scalp or mutilate him. During the night the Indians went 
away and in the morning they could see no signs of them. The 
whites went on in the direction of Granite springs along the 
emigrant road. On reaching it they found that the fortified 
point at Wall springs had been abandoned by the Indians whom 
they met in a much stronger position in the mountains. Nothing 
of interest took place on their road home and they reached camp 
on the 30th of June. 

There are other accounts of this expedition — Weatherlow 's, 
E. V. Spencer's, and one published in the "Territorial Enter- 
prise," but in most respects they do not differ greatly from the 
one already given. The "Enterprise" says that Governor Roop 
and W. L. Jernegan of the "Enterprise" were members of 
Weatherlow 's company and that Lander gave the American flag 
carried on this expedition to the family of Alexander Painter. 
Col. Lander also "publicly complimented Capt. Weatherlow and 
his company for their conduct while under fire." It also says 
that on several occasions Col. Lander laid aside his weapons and 
went toward the Indians and tried to talk with them, but they 
always retreated and said they wanted "heap fight." Weath- 
erlow says they fought the Indians for five hours and when 
Lander tried to talk with them they shot at him. Spencer says 
that three or four hundred mounted Indians charged them three 
times, but did not come within reach of their rifles. When 
Lander tried to talk with the Indians Winnemucca climbed up 
on a big rock where they could all see that he was dressed in 
white man's clothes and said "If you want to fight, you come 
up here. You no want to fight, you go home." 

A little explanation will make Knight's story plainer. Mr. 
Spencer says they went into the country near the head of Smoke 
Creek Canyon. He also says that the canyon where Painter 
was killed ran in a northerly direction, was broad, and had 
higher, steeper walls on the left-hand side than on the right. 
Judging from what is told about that country by W. D. Minckler, 
the expedition must have gone from the head of Smoke Creek 
Canyon over to the creek that drains Painter Flat and followed 
up the canyon through which it flows. The fight took place just 
where the canyon comes out into the flat. Painter was buried 
on the flat which bears his name about a mile and a half north 



of east from where he fell and "Big Jim" was buried near him. 
Mr. Spencer was a member of the expedition. 

The last of June Capt. Lance Nightingale came in with 
twenty-five men. He stayed here about a week and then went 
out towards the Humboldt on an Indian hunt. The third of 
July First Lieut. Hamilton came from the San Francisco Pre- 
sidio with fifty men of Company I, Third Artillery. These 
soldiers stayed in the valley for the protection of the settlers. 

On the Fourth of July Col. Lander and his men started out 
to work on the emigrant road between Honey Lake and the 
Humboldt river. Before leaving he told the people of Susanville 
to send, if possible, some friendly Indians to the Pah-utes and 
try to get "Winnemucca to come in and make a treaty with him. 
The Wagon Road party built some reservoirs at Rabbit Hole 
springs and at Antelope springs, and also did some work at Hot, 
Buffalo, and Mud springs. These improvements were of much 
benefit to the emigrants who passed over the road in after years. 

The Pah-utes stole a large band of cattle from Captain John 
Byrd this summer. He again raised a party of settlers, among 
whom were Asa S. LeGrow, M. B. Dwelley, William H. Dakin, 
William Hamilton, Thomas Fairchilds, and Fred Washburn, and 
prepared to follow the thieves. He also sent a messenger to 
Ft. Churchill, asking immediate attention and assistance. (This 
Fort was about twenty-five miles south of east of Virginia 
City.— F.) 

It was twenty-four hours after the stock had been taken 
before the party was ready to start, but they had no trouble in 
following the trail. It led to the north through a level country 
and the pursuers made good time. The second day, after they 
had ridden sixty or seventy miles, they got near enough to the 
Indians to see them running away from the cattle. Very fre- 
quently during the day they had passed cattle that had been 
killed and once in a while an animal had its heart or tongue cut 
out. They also saw Indians watching them from the high places, 
and probably these signaled to the ones who were ahead with 
the cattle. On the approach of the white men the Indians, as 
usual, killed all the stock they could and then took to the hills 
and watched their enemies from a safe distance. 

No Indians were killed. Byrd says he lost one hundred and 


THE YEAR 1860 

fifty-four head of good cattle as the result of this raid, and other 
people whose stock ran on the same range also suffered loss. 

Utt's Escape from the Inddians 

Knight's letter from Rabbit Hole springs, dated July 31, 
1860, gives the following account of the escape of Hiram Utt 
from the Indians about the 20th of July: "One of the Honey 
Lake party out prospecting near Black Rock, Mr. Utt, a few 
days before our arrival had a narrow escape from massacre by 
a party of Indians. He had become separated from his comrades 
and was about four miles from camp. A rain storm had come up 
and he took shelter with his mule beneath a ledge of rocks at 
the mouth of a small canyon; while there he was suddenly sur- 
prised by four mounted Piutes, three armed with bow and arrows 
and one with a rifle. He leveled his rifle at the later but the gun 
would not go off ; he then sprang upon his mule, and dashing the 
rowels deeply into its sides started at full run for the camp. The 
savages with a yell pursued him and headed him off. The one 
with the rifle dismounted, and in order to make sure work of it, 
lay down in a little gully, and resting his gun on the bank, was 
proceeding to take deadly aim at Mr. Utt. The latter also sprang 
off his mule, recapped his rifle, and trusting to luck, fired while 
the Indian was still taking aim. The bullet struck the Indian 
directly in the forehead and killed him instantly. It was cer- 
tainly a lucky shot for Mr. Utt, who again mounted his mule and 
rode towards camp. Two of the Indians followed and tried to 
cut him off, but he kept them at a respectful distance with his 
revolver and thus reached his comrades in safety. We afterwards 
saw the body of the dead Indian at the spot where the encounter 
took place." 

Colonel Lander's Talk with Young Winnemucca 

The story of this "talk" was told in Knight's letter written 
from Neale's ranch in Honey Lake valley, August 26, 1860. 

The Lander party had finished its work on the road from 
Honey Lake to the Humboldt river. On the evening of the fifth 
of August word came that four Pah-utes had come to a trading 
post about two miles up the river, and knowing that Col. Lander 
wanted to interview them and have a talk with Winemucca, Mr. 
George Butler and two others started out and succeeded in 



capturing them and bringing them into camp. Their arms were 
taken away, but they were treated kindly and finding that they 
were not to be hurt they were willing to remain in camp until 
Lander, who was at Rabbit Hole springs, had been notified that 
they were there and came to have a talk with them. They said 
that Old Winnemucca was up in the mountains among the 
Oregon Indians, that Young Winnemucca was in the Snow moun- 
tains near the Truckee river, and that their people were scat- 
tered in small bands through the mountains. They promised to 
bring one of the little captains, who was in the neighborhood, 
Chief Naanah, to have a talk with Lander. After a delay of 
two days he came into camp and had an interview with the 
Colonel. It was a private talk, but the result was that two 
Indians started out on borrowed horses, furnished them by the 
Colonel, with the agreement that they would visit their great 
chief Winnemucca and tell him that Lander wished to talk with 
him and get him if possible to return with them. They agreed 
to return in "six sleeps" and meet the train at a certain place 
(Granite creek) on the route home. Many of the party predicted 
that neither the Indians nor the horses would ever be heard of 
again, but the Colonel from his knowledge of the Indian char- 
acter had confidence that they were sincere in their promises. 
It proved that he was correct, for on the evening of the 21st at 
the very place and time agreed on, the Indians came into camp 
with the borrowed horses accompanied by Winnemucca and some 
six or eight of the leading men of the tribe. After cordial 
greetings on both sides and partaking heartily of dinner, prep- 
arations were made for a talk. 

Young Winnemucca was then about thirty years old, six feet 
tall, with a Roman nose and broad chin and a mouth showing 
strong will and decision of character. He and Lander lighted 
their pipes and smoked some time in silence and then Lander 
asked him through the interpreter to talk plain and straight and 
tell all that he wanted the great father at Washington to hear. 
Winnemucca started in slowly and spoke in a deep guttural 
tone, but he soon warmed up and his whole form seemed to 
expand with his pent up emotions. He said he was glad to meet 
the big captain and take him by the hand and have a good talk. 
He desired peace— not for himself for Winnemucca could die 
for his people, but for the squaws and papooses who were tired 



of hiding away in the rocks ; they were poor and hungry and he 
was sorry for them. The white men were coming into the country 
and taking up the finest valleys, driving the red men from their 
fishing grounds and giving them nothing in return. The white 
man dug money from the ground and covered it with one hand 
while he held out his other hand empty to the Indian. The white 
man had plenty, but the Indians were poor, and when they asked 
for flour and meat the white man drove them away. The Indians 
were whipped and kicked and ill treated by the bad white men 
and they came to him with the stories of their wrongs. He was 
their leader, their war chief, and they looked to him to redress 
them. He was compelled to fight the white men while they were 
yet few in number. Presently they would be so strong that he 
could not fight them. He had been a good friend to the whites 
for many years. The other tribes, Shoshones, Pannacks, and 
Pit River Indians had stolen horses and cattle and killed white 
men yet presents had been made these bad Indians. The 
Pah-utes had been good yet received nothing. By and by the 
white men came to Washoe and they were bad men. They took 
the horses and squaws of the Indians and one of the chief's sons 
was killed. The Indians were very mad and they made fight, 
but now they were willing for peace. 

Col. Lander told him that the big father at Washington was 
very mad when he heard that the Pah-utes were killing his 
people, and he would send his soldiers to fight them for ten 
snows or until they were all gone if they killed any more white 
men ; but if they were good and would steal no more cattle from 
the settlers or the emigrants and kill no more whites, perhaps 
the big father would pay them for their lands in Honey Lake 
valley and Carson. They might fish at Pyramid lake and hunt 
in the mountains and the white men would not disturb them. 

Winnemucca listened with great attention to the words of 
the Colonel and said it was good, but there had been much talk 
by the whites and no good had come of it. He would try the 
whites again. He would send his runners out into the mountains 
and tell his people not to kill the whites. His people were scat- 
tered far and wide and it might take two or three moons to tell 
them all, but he would send them word and they would all be 
good for one year, maybe two years, and wait and see w T hat the 
big father would do — whether the white man lied or not. He 



said he had visited the cities of California, all the large ones, and 
saw that the white man lived well. He had plenty and his squaw 
and papoose sat down in his wigwam and were not afraid. He 
also desired to have a big house and teach his people to till the 
earth and raise wheat and corn and squashes. The white men 
promised to teach them, but they lied. He most positively 
denied that his people had any hand in the killing of Peter 
Lassen last fall or the murder of Mr. Demming at Willow Creek 
during the winter. He said that Lassen was a good man and 
his friend. The murder was done by bad Indians under a chief 
named Mia-a-cow, living near Goose Lake, who was a great 
rascal. Col. Lander told them that Major Dodge would come 
and talk with them also and tell them what the big father 
would do. 

The Indians stayed there that night and in the morning 
after they had been given a few presents they got on their 
horses and departed. Winnemucca was the last to go, and as 
he went away he extended his hand to each one of them and said 
' ' Good bye — Goodbye " in a musical voice. Every look, act, and 
gesture marked him as the leading spirit of his tribe and a 
mighty chieftain. 

When they got back to Honey Lake Col. Lander received 
information that two Pah-utes who had come into the valley on 
the strength of his talk with Winnemucca had been arrested by 
the soldiers under the command of Lieut. Hamilton and were 
detained in custody. The Colonel, fearing that the arrest of the 
Indians would defeat the consummation of a treaty, rode up to 
Lieut. Hamilton's quarters. The Lieutenant was absent at the 
time, but the officer in command, ascertaining the circumstances 
of the case, at once liberated the Indians who came down to 
Lander's camp where they remained all night and were kindly 
treated. Rumors came into his camp, however, that some of 
the citizens of the valley had sworn vengeance against the 
Indians and were determined to shoot them on sight, hence the 
Colonel was compelled to keep an armed guard for their pro- 
tection and at early dawn dispatch them to rejoin their tribe. 
He then wrote a letter to Major Dodge, the Indian Agent to the 
Pah-ute tribe, and sent it by a special messenger to Carson City. 
Lander told him that he had an interview with Young Winne- 
mucca and had agreed to do all he could to have the government 

[ 230 ] 


pay the Indians for their lands. This arrangement made with 
Winnemucca was agreed to by all the Indians. It enabled the 
emigrants to get through unharmed. It would also allow Dodge 
to go into any part of the Indian territory and see Old Winne- 
mucca, the medicine man, who was now with the Pit Rivers, but 
was expected to arrive at the Big Meadows on the Humboldt 
river in a couple of weeks. He told Dodge that it was left with 
him to have an interview with the Indians and set things to 
rights. There was no danger in going among them if they 
expected him. The rest of Lander's letter told about the other 
things that he and Winnemucca had agreed upon and also told 
about the Indians captured by the soldiers in Honey Lake 
valley. This letter was left open so the expressman could show 
it to the people of Long valley, and it was hoped that it would 
prevent them from provoking the Indians to further fighting. 

A Meeting of the Citizens op Honey Lake Valley 

The following facts in regard to this meeting were taken 
from a letter written from Marysville by Knight, September 
10, 1860. 

Before Col. Lander's party left Honey Lake valley! for 
Marysville where it was disbanded, a meeting of the citizens was 
held at the hotel in Richmond for the purpose of an expression 
of opinion with reference to a cessation of hostilities with the 
Indians and the propriety of an armistice as agreed upon with 
the Pah-utes. The meeting was largely attended by the principal 
farmers and citizens of the valley. 

Mr. John H. Neale was appointed chairman and Mr. A. D. 
McDonald secretary. The chairman read a letter from Col. 
Lander acknowledging a polite invitation to be present at the 
meeting, but declined the same inasmuch as the object of the 
meeting, as he was informed, being for the discussion of the 
propriety or impropriety of his acts in regard to the armistice, 
etc., his presence might tend to prevent a full and free expression 
of their sentiments which it was desirable should be given, etc. 
The meeting was then addressed by Mr. J. H. Lewis who said 
that having heard that two Indians who entered the valley, 
possibly upon the strength of the armistice, had been threatened 
with violence by some of the settlers who swore they would kill 
them outright, he had signed the call for the meeting in order 



to ascertain the real sentiments of his fellow settlers, whether 
they were ready to jeopardize the whole overland emigration 
and nullify by individual acts of vengeance on the Indians all 
that Col. Lander had accomplished by his interview with them. 

Messrs. J. S. Ward, Frank Drake, John Byrd, Dr. Spalding, 
Col. Lewis, and J. H. Neale, who had been appointed a com- 
mittee on resolutions, then brought in their report which was 
read and adopted. 

The Preamble stated that because of the fact that it had been 
the misfortune of the people of the Nevada Territory to be 
harassed by the depredations of the Pah-utes and other tribes of 
Indians on the frontier for the last three years (supposed to 
have been incited by the Mormons of Salt Lake), and for the 
last six months to labor under the events of a disastrous Indian 
war, they Resolved That they were especially grateful to the 
United States government for placing a small military com- 
pany in the valley, and protested against the removal of that 
company until a lasting peace had been declared; That the 
presence of that company was necessary, to keep both the 
Indians and the citizens in order during the armistice con- 
cluded with the war chief Winnemucca by Col. F. "W. Lander, 
Supt. of the U. S. wagon road expedition, and undoubtedly to 
be ratified by Maj. Dodge, Indian Agent to this tribe; That 
they thought the energy of Col. Lander in protecting the 
settlers during the war, carrying on the work he was sent to 
do, and obtaining an interview with Winnemucca and making 
an armistice with him merited their admiration and respect; 
That they heartily agreed to the armistice and pledged them- 
selves to maintain it under the terms agreed upon by Win- 
nemucca and Col. Lander and that all the persons present 
constituted themselves a committee to restrain any one from 
doing anything to re-open the war until the action of the 
general government could be had in the premises; That Messrs. 
Drake, Thompson, and Conkey be appointed a committee to 
receive the accounts of those persons who by reason of loss or 
expense in the service of the community felt justified in apply- 
ing to the general government for redress or pay; That a 
certified copy of these Eesolutions be forwarded to the "Ter- 
ritorial Enterprise," "Plumas Argus," and "Standard" with 
the request that the same be published and the citizens in the 


THE YEAR 1860 

southern part of the Territory be requested to hold meetings 
to indorse or oppose the action of this meeting. 

Great unanimity prevailed, though it was a hard matter for 
some of those present to forget their own wrongs or forego 
their thirst for revenge. But they all agreed that Col. Lander 
had done well in making this arrangement with Winnemucca. 
It would have agreed more with the feelings of the citizens, 
and probably with those of the Colonel, if the war could have 
been carried on until the tribe was exterminated or they had 
come in to apply for peace. But as the government did not seem 
to be willing to carry on the war, Col. Lander thought it best 
for the protection of the citizens to make some provision for 
their safety. The armistice would enable the settlers to perfect 
their farming operations for the season and stop hostilities until 
the government could take some action in the matter. 

Young Winnemucca 's Talk with the Never Sweats 

Two or three weeks after Young Winnemucca's visit to 
Lander he came into Susanville with twenty-four warriors. He 
found Governor Roop and told him that he had made a treaty 
with Lander and that he wanted to have a talk with the people 
of this valley and have it understood that they were to be good 
friends from that time on. To make the occasion as formal as 
possible the Governor got twenty-four of the principal citizens 
and they all went into a large room in the second story of the 
Brannan hotel. After the men of the two races had seated 
themselves on opposite sides of the room Winnemucca, who could 
speak English, again said that he had made peace with the 
white government and he wanted the white people to under- 
stand that he was friendly and he wanted to smoke the pipe 
of peace. They got a pipe and passed it around, each one 
taking a whiff, and after that they all shook hands. E. V. 
Spencer told that Winnemucca said "Now Injun no more steal 
cattle, Injun no more kill white man, Injun no more fight. Injun 
good Injun now." Roop said "White man no more kill Injun, 
no more fight from this on. We are good friends." Winne- 
mucca said that ' ' Smoke Creek Sam ' ' had twenty or thirty men 
who killed and plundered the whites and that he had sent! some 
men to kill ' ' Old Smoke, " as he called him. If he did send men 

[ 233 ] 


on that errand, they never found "Old Smoke" and he and his 
band did a great deal of mischief after that. 

After this meeting in Susanville word was sent all over this 
part of the country that a treaty had been made with the 
Pah-utes. People returned to their ranches and turned their 
stock out on the ranges. The Pah-utes came into the valley as 
before and for a number of years both the Winnemuccas came 
into the valley occasionally to visit the old settlers. 

This is the only war the whites ever had with the Pah-utes 
as a tribe, and probably this could have been averted had the 
proper measures been taken in time. Perhaps some depredations 
were committed by the Pah-utes after this in spite of the efforts 
of their head chiefs to keep them from molesting the property 
of the white men, for, as Winnemucca once said, "Some bad 
Injun. Maybe some time some bad white man." A good many 
outrages, which it was afterwards found had been committed by 
the Indians of other tribes, were laid to the Pah-utes, and as a 
result of these reports one, or both, of the Winnemuccas nearly 
lost their lives while visiting Susanville. But this war showed 
them the strength of the whites and they never forgot it. A 
few years after this when some of the renegade bands of this 
tribe were making trouble for the whites, a good many of the 
Pah-utes joined the soldiers in hunting them down. They were 
afraid that if the whites got angry they would exterminate the 
whole tribe, and they looked upon the Indians who were making 
the trouble as their enemies, too. 

The Soldier's Bridge 

This bridge, which gave the name to that section of the 
country and to the school district in that neighborhood, was for 
many years a useful and noted landmark. It was built across 
the Susan river about one fourth of a mile below what is now 
known as the Tanner lane east of Standish. Some of the early 
settlers think it may have been built in 1859, but Thomas Brown, 
whose remembrance of the facts connected with its building is 
very clear, is positive that it was built in 1860 and part of his 
story is corroborated by the newspapers of the day. Many of 
the old settlers who are in a position td know about it think his 
account is right, and besides that, during the summer of 1859 
the water was very low. The sloughs in that section were all 


THE YEAR 1860 

dry and there was so little water in the river that it was not 
necessary to have a bridge then. 

Mr. Brown says that in the summer of 1860 (Tunison says 
the Fourth of July) First Lieutenant Hamilton came into the 
valley from the San Francisco Presidio with fifty men and 
camped on the river just above where the bridge was afterwards 
built. He established a military post there and this bridge was 
built in order to help him get his supplies and material across 
the river. It was a simply constructed affair — just some timbers 
laid across the river on which was a floor of puncheon. George 
Lathrop hauled the material of which it was built from the 
south side of the valley. 

In the fall Hamilton went back to the Presidio with thirty 
men. The remaining men were left in command of Second 
Lieutenant E. R. Warner and they stayed here through the 
following winter at least. 

A year or two after the bridge was built the soldiers put up 
a building 18 by 30 feet, or something like that, and a stone 
corral on the north side of the river near the bridge. This was 
for the accommodation of the soldiers whenever they passed 
through the valley or stayed there for a short time. 

At the February, 1867, meeting of the board of supervisors 
J. N. Pine was given the privilege of moving the bridge about a 
quarter of a mile up the river. It is not known whether it was 
moved that year or not, but some time after that it was moved to 
the site of the present bridge across the river in the Tanner lane. 

The Shooting of "Big" John Chapman 

Early in the spring of 1860 an unfortunate affair took place 
which perhaps might have been prevented if a few men had 
interfered at the right time and persuaded the principals in the 
matter to talk things over a little. This was the shooting of 
Chapman by Albert A. Smith. Chapman was from Arkansas, 
was a large, powerful man, a fist fighter, quarrelsome, always 
looking for trouble and often finding it, and was considered to 
be a desperate man. Smith was from the state of New York, 
was rather short in stature, and was a quiet man. Both of these 
men aspired to the hand of the same lady and Smith was the 
favored suitor. It was just before the war broke out, political 
feeling was running high, and the two men were on opposite 



sides regarding the great question of the day. It is also said 
that there were people who were interested in getting Chapman 
into trouble, hoping some one would kill him, and they carried 
tales back and forth between the men. Finally Chapman threat- 
ened to shoot Smith on sight and this word was at once carried 
to the latter. On Wednesday, the 7th of March, Chapman, who 
was living at the Squire Stark place, went up to Richmond where 
Smith lived. He first went to the store and stayed there a 
short time and then went across the street to the saloon run by 
F. A. Sloss. Smith was there and was watching the other man's 
movements. At this time it is impossible to tell just where 
Smith stood when Chapman came through the door, but it is 
certain that he fired at least one shot before his enemy saw him 
and that crippled Chapman so he never fired a shot. The 
wounded man walked out of the saloon and part way across the 
street and then went down on his knees. Some one helped him 
to get up and go to the store, and there they took him up stairs 
and put him to bed and called Dr. Stettinius, who was a fine 
surgeon, to attend to his case. He was shot four times, through 
the breast, in the jaw, in the wrist, and in the back. 

On the 10th the citizens met at Richmond and gave Smith a 
trial. A judge, some say it was Dr. Slater, others say Squire 
Stark, was chosen and a jury impaneled. It was proved that 
Chapman had threatened to kill Smith on sight and the latter 
was exonerated. Reliable men say that after the shooting Chap- 
man told them that he came to Richmond with the intention of 
killing Smith and that he didn't blame Smith for shooting him. 

At first it was thought that Chapman would get well, but 
he died on Friday, the 16th, at nine o'clock in the morning. 
He was buried on the north side of the hill, near the top, about 
one fourth of a mile south of east of Richmond. Smith married 
the lady about whom the trouble occurred and lived in the valley 
for more than thirty years after that. He held several county 
offices and was post-master at Susanville. It is said that Chap- 
man had a brother living in Plumas county who swore that he 
would kill Smith if he ever met him. But the men never hap- 
pened to meet and in the course of time Chapman dropped the 

A great many conflicting stories have been told in regard to 
the foregoing. What is here related is given on the authority of 


THE YEAR 1860 

what was told by F. A. Sloss who was present when the shooting 
took place, Orlando Streshly who helped to take care of the 
wounded man, and what was found in the diary of A. L. Tunison 
who was present at Smith's trial and who wrote the principal 
facts in the case on his return home. 

A Bear Story 

V. J. Borrette says that during the winter of 1860-61 a grizzly 
bear paid several nocturnal visits to the people of Susanville 
and that vicinity. One night he was prowling around a house 
that stood about one eighth of a mile south of where the bridge 
now crosses the river. Not very long after dark a boy who was 
sleeping there heard a noise outside of the house and went to a 
window and threw it up. Just then the bear reared up on his 
hind legs in front of the window and the boy found his face 
close to that of the bear. He was scared half to death, and 
shutting down the window, he ran up stairs and locked himself 
into a room and stayed there all night. The next morning when 
he went up to the mill and told his adventure he was still pretty 
shaky from fright. 

Ladue Vary had a claim north of town and his cabin stood 
on Weatherlow street a short distance north of Piute creek. A 
man named Sam. King was living there and one night shortly 
after the boy got his scare he heard something walking around 
the cabin — a wild beast he supposed. He loaded an old musket 
with buckshot, opened the door a little ways, and fired at some 
animal he could dimly see. He then hastily closed the door 
without waiting to see the result of his shot. The next morning 
he found not far away a dead grizzly that weighed eight 
hundred pounds. 

Conditions at the Close of 1860 

The natural growth and improvement of the country had 
gone on during the year and in one or two respects conditions 
had changed a little. Farm produce brought good prices, but 
there was still no outside market for it excepting that Virginia 
City and the mining camps in that vicinity began to take a 
little butter, hay, etc. Kough Elliott sold quite a lot of grain 
at twelve and a half cents a pound and hay was sold as high as 
twenty dollars a ton. One man paid a five dollar doctor bill 



with ten pounds of flour and half a dozen ruta-bagas. Some 
grain was still thrashed with a flail, but there were two or three 
small thrashing machines in the valley this fall. "Uncle 
Johnny" Baxter had one and John F. Hulsman says that Henry 
Arnold thrashed around Richmond with a six horsepower 
machine. It had a sort of tub power and would thrash three 
or four hundred bushels of grain a day. 

Because of the improvement of the roads more freight was 
brought in with teams. Freight was cheaper and more stores 
were opened in the valley. The greater part of the merchandise 
was brought from Marysville. Mail was still brought in by 
private conveyance and H. L. Spargur brought it from Oroville 
and Quincy part of the time this year. The mail that came 
across the plains on the overland stage was taken off at Carson 
City and brought here, but probably this mail was not very 
regular during the Indian troubles of this year. 

Wages were low in comparison with other things. A man 
got two dollars a day in haying and harvesting and forty dollars 
a month working on a ranch. Teamster's wages were $75 a 
month and upwards according to the size of the team driven. 
Social conditions remained about the same as during the 
previous years. 

[ 238 ] 



It has been told that the "Lassen County Pioneers Society" 
fixed the end of the pioneer days at the first of July, 1860. 
This may have been the end so far as people were concerned, 
but there was a great deal of pioneer work of various kinds done 
in the county for many years after that. 

There were very few land claims filed this year with Governor 
Roop, Recorder for the valley. The most of the land which was 
then considered to be of any value had been taken up. 

In March Alex Gilman, or Gilmore, claimed an irregular 
tract south of the upper end of the Adams ditch on Susan river. 
This year the Susan ville sawmill was run by E. V. and L. D. 
Spencer who bought it from I. N. Roop. 

F. and S. have this to say about Lassen Lodge No. 149, 
F. & A. M.: "March 21, 1861, the grand master of California 
issued a dispensation to John S. Ward, David Titherington, 
Absalom M. Vaughan, Richard D. Bass, D. I. Wilmans, Stephen 
D. Bass, and A. D. McDonald, to organize a lodge of Masons at 
Richmond, Honey Lake valley. At that time, owing to a mining 
excitement, the town of Richmond had sprung up suddenly into 
the most important and populous settlement in the county, com- 
pletely overshadowing and distancing Susanville. The first 
meeting under the dispensation was held April 18, 1861." 

In April G. Stacy claimed a piece of land bounded on the 
east by the land of Luther Spencer, on the west by that of 
M. S. Scott, on the south by "Woodstock & Brannon, and running 
north to the bluffs. This land was one half or three fourths of 
a mile east of Susanville. This year L. P. Whiting started a 
small nursery on the Conkey ranch seven miles south of Susan- 
ville on the mountain road. This was the first nursery in the 

J. C. Wemple and Judson Dakin built a board cabin at 
Milford. (The place was named this year by Mr. Wemple.) 
It was a little north of the creek and a couple of hundred yards 
above the road. As soon as the cabin was finished they began 
to get out the timbers for a gristmill which was completed the 
last of October or the first of November. It was on the creek 



just opposite to their cabin and was run by a large overshot 
water wheel. E. V. Spencer had bought the millstones that 
Lassen brought up from the Deer Creek ranch and they bought 
them from him. They put them into the new mill and they 
were used there as long as it was run. This was the first regular 
gristmill in the valley. In 1865 Dakin sold out to James M. 
Steinberger who carried on the business with Mr. Wemple until 
the fall of 1878 and they then sold out to Hiram H. Dakin. He 
ran the mill until the fall of 1882 and then he moved to Janes- 
ville where he, J. D. Byers, and Hiram E. McClelland had built 
another gristmill. The Milford mill was not used any more and 
in the course of time it tumbled down. 

In June V. J. Borrette and B. B. Gray located a section of 
land beginning at the mouth of "Willow creek, extending half a 
mile up the river, and having a length of two miles to the 
north. They also claimed the waters of Willow creek to be used 
to irrigate their land. This year and the next Wiley Cornelison 
had a store and a blacksmith shop at the Thompson ranch three 
miles southeast of Bankhead's. David Blanchard was his partner 
the first year. Timothy Darcey was the blacksmith. 

This month when the grain was six or eight inches high a 
big lot of grasshoppers hatched out in Antelope valley northeast 
of Susanville. From there they went across the valley, passing 
through Dr. Spalding's ranch, and doing more or less damage 
to the crops where they went. 

In July A. Ramsey located 400 acres east of Coulthurst's 
lower claim. He also claimed a section lying to the north of his 
claim and that of Coulthurst for his son, W. J. Ramsey. Besides 
this he gave notice that he had taken possession of the waters of 
Willow creek 480 rods above the ford where the emigrant road 
crosses it. T. J. Harvey sold his part of the Lathrop and 
Harvey ranch in the northern part of the valley to a man 
named Bradley. This year C. C. and William G. Goodrich 
settled in Mt. Meadows about half a mile below the "Narrows," 
or about two miles and a half below the upper end of the valley. 
A man named Duffey, or Guffey, built a cabin about a mile and 
a half southeast of them and another one named Manuel settled 
a couple of miles south of them. A family, two men, a woman, 
and two or three children, lived up the canyon above Duffey. 


THE YEAE 1861 

Dr. Robert F. Moody came into Susanville this year and soon 
went in with Dr. Brown. He afterwards bought out Dr. Brown 
and sold drugs in Susanville for almost forty years. Fred 
Hines and L. N. Breed kept the Smoke Creek station this 

summer and fall. George W. Perry and Parker had a 

blacksmith shop where Rugg and Harper had one the year 
before. (See 1859.) 

In September several men went into Willow Creek valley to 
locate, so Tunison's diary says, but he tells no more and the 
writer could find no one who knew anything about them. 

B. B. Painter and Chandler claimed half a section south 

of Lathrop and Bradley. 

The tenth of this month Eber G. Bangham and Louise 
Borrette, daughter of Dr. H. S. Borrette, were married. This 
was the fourth wedding in the valley. 

F. and S. have this to say: "In 1861 he (Dr. Brown) bought 
a piece of land from Governor Roop, embracing that on which 
Fort Defiance stands, and transplanted quite an extensive 
orchard of apple and peach trees, claimed to be the first in the 
valley, though Mr. L. Vary is credited with having planted a 
number of peach stones some time before this." In 1863 the 
trees set out by Dr. Brown bore four peaches — the first ever 
raised in the valley. Miss Susan Roop and Mrs. Fuller, the 
Mother of the Fuller Brothers, ate all of them — the county's 
entire crop of peaches. "The next school (in Susanville) was 
taught in 1861-62 by Miss Fannie Long, in a building on the 
north side of Main street, where the Black Rock saloon was 

It should have been told before this that Albert Smedley 
Wright, who crossed the plains in 1860 and lived a short time in 
this valley, early this spring took up a small piece of land in 
Long valley near where the county line is now, built a cabin 
on it, and put in a garden. The grasshoppers ate up his garden 
and that fall he bought in with C. M. (Doc.) West who had 
moved a couple of miles to the north of where he first settled. 
Osmer Marsh and Robert Ingram came into Long valley this 

During the fall U. L. Shaffer, perhaps in company with his 
brother, P. J. Shaffer, bought a large quantity of wheat in Indian 
valley and had it ground at Taylor's mill. He built a warehouse 

[ 241 ] 


at Richmond and packed the flour over there with his own pack 
train, though in this he may have been assisted by other trains. 
There was a great deal of this flour — some say 300,000 pounds. 
That winter and the next summer it was hauled to Virginia 
City with teams. It may be that Shaffer brought a lot of flour 
into the valley during the fall of 1860. 

This year was the last of Richmond's palmy days. Several 
more buildings had been put up there — among them, Shaffer's 
warehouse and a few dwelling houses. The Masonic lodge met 
there for more than a year. It is said that a man named Cragin 
taught school there this summer. But this year and the next 
the placer mines on Hill and Lassen creeks gave out and the 
mining excitement in the country around Virginia City and that 
on the Humboldt river, which broke out in 1861, took the miners 
away. The travel from the lower country to the Humboldt mines 
went through Susanville and that place grew and Richmond 
went down. Some goods were sold at Richmond during the first 
part of 1862, but the stock was not renewed. The hotel was run 
for a few years after this and they had a school there, but no 
other business was done. 

July 27th Henry E. Lomas and John Nichols reached Rich- 
mond, having just crossed the plains. Soon after this they 
sold a span of horses to Smith J. Hill and took his note which 
was to be paid the first of November. Hill wanted them both to 
come to Bankhead's and he wanted Lomas to open a blacksmith 
shop there and Nichols to open a harness shop. Instead of 
doing this they went on to San Francisco, but when Hill's note 
was due Lomas came back to the valley and hired out to him 
for a year. He then went to Virginia City and bought the tools 
and stock for a blacksmith shop. When he got back they built a 
shop right across the creek from Hill's house. Lomas and 
Malcom Bankhead went to work in it and that winter they 
bought Hill out. Late this year Dave Blanchard built a small 
store across the road from the blacksmith shop and near the 
creek and began the sale of merchandise. This building, after- 
wards used a stable, stood until it was pulled down when the 
new Masonic Hall was built in 1911. 

Preston R. James says that he came to Janesville this fall. 
A man named Cragin was teaching a private school in the Fort. 
There were about twenty-five children in attendance, and the 



tuition was $5 a month for each pupil. He turned the school 
over to James who taught it the remainder of that year and 
for some time during the next year. Mr. James taught school 
in the valley more or less until the middle 70 's. 

Henry E. Lomas says that late this fall the settlement at 
Bankhead's was named Janesville in honor of Mrs. Jane Bank- 
head, the wife of Malcom Bankhead. Mr. Lomas 's memory is 
very clear in regard to this matter and many other old settlers 
agree with him, but there is another story about it that will be 
told later on. 

Late in the fall C. T. Emerson and Colburn Brown built a 
house at the point of the mountain about a mile and a half 
northwest of the Lathrop and Bradley ranch. This was long 
known as the "Tule" Emerson place. 

In December M. C. Lake traded his place in the little valley 
on the west branch of Baxter creek to C. W. (Bill) Fuller for 
a little hotel on the south side of the Truckee river, a toll bridge, 
and the land where Reno now stands. Fuller took up this land 
in 1859, put up some small buildings, and built a ferry-boat for 
the river. He afterwards built the bridge which was a low one 
and had to be fastened down when high water came. 

During the winter of 1861-62 Thomas N. Long kept saloon 
in a little building on the north side of Main street between 
Union and Weatherlow streets. The next spring he moved into 
the Cutler Arnold log hotel. 

The winter of 1861-62 was the wettest one in the history of 
California and Honey Lake valley got its share of the water. 
The water at Toadtown was higher than it ever was before or 
since. The country along the Susan river was flooded and it is 
said that there was water from the point of the Bald mountain 
across to the foothills on the north side of the valley. 

The following named persons who came into the county in 
1861 virtually lived here the rest of their lives, or are still living 
here : William H. Hall, Robert F. Moody, Arthur K. Long, E. H. 
Fairchilds, John C. Partridge, Philip Wales and Family, Edward 
T. Slackford, John D. Arnold, William B. Long and Family, 
Thomas N. Long, John T. Long, George R. Wales, Archibald 
L. Harper, Libbie Hankins, and Mrs. Frances E. (Barnes) 

Preston R. James, Mrs. Hulda (James-Hankins) Holmes, 



and George Hankins lived in the county from eighteen to twenty- 
five years. 

The following lived in the county from two or three to 
twelve or fifteen years: Amos H. Barnes and Family, Henry E. 
Lomas, Abraham G. Moon, John Nichols, Daniel W. Bryant and 
Family, Mrs. Emma (Bryant) Vance, John Burkett and Wife, 
John Bradley, Jacob M. Epley and Family, "William Dicken, 
Dr. J. W. M. Howe, R. York Rundel and Family, George W. 
Wilson and Family, Sherrill Wilson, Harrison Sain, William 
Maskelyne, S. P. Tunnel and Family, Jesse Williams, *William 
Rantz, *Vesper Coburn, William Fox, *L. F. Prebble, Warren 
Lockman, M. P. Preddy, Richard M. Menifee, William R. Hill, 
George James, Amzi A. Holmes, and Mrs. John H. Neale (Sallie 
Hollinghead) and Family. 

Nevada Territory Politics. 1861 

Although J. J. Musser failed to influence Congress to organize 
the new territory at once, his visit to Washington was not with- 
out results. T. and W. say: "His influence, though, left its 
impression, and served to give form and direction to a growing 
sentiment in Congress inimical to leaving other citizens of the 
United States under the unfriendly jurisdiction that had already, 
by the Mountain Meadow Massacre, been demonstrated to exist 
in Utah under Mormon control. The subsequent development 
of the Comstock mines causing a large increase of population 
(R. L. Fulton says there were 17000 people in the mines of 
Nevada in 1861) but served to increase that feeling at Wash- 
ington, and the breaking out of the southern rebellion culminated 
it in the congressional act of March 2, 1861, creating the ter- 
ritory of Nevada. ' ' Its boundaries were established as follows : 
"Beginning at the point of intersection of the 42nd degree of 
north latitude with the 39th degree of longitude west from 
Washington (116 degrees from Greenwich) ; thence running 
south on the line of said 39th degree of west longitude until it 
intersects the northern boundary line of the territory of New 
Mexico (now Arizona) ; thence due west to the dividing ridge 
separating the waters of Carson valley from those that flow 
into the Pacific; thence on said dividing ridge northwardly to 
the 41st degree of north latitude; thence due north to the 
southern boundary line of the state of Oregon ; thence due east 


THE YEAR 1861 

to the place of beginning." This law, however, provided that 
if any of the territory covered by this description belonged to 
California, it should still be held by that state unless it con- 
sented to give it up to Nevada. Honey Lake valley lay to the 
east of the "dividing ridge" and so it was taken in as a part of 
the new territory while it really was a part of California. 

In February, 1861, the county court of Carson county 
"declared that Honey Lake valley was within the limits of 
Carson county, and appropriated $250 to assist any one in legal 
resistance to the collection of taxes within that valley by the 
officers of Plumas county, California." 

On the 22nd of March, 1861, James W. Nye of Madison 
county, New York, was commissioned governor of Nevada ter- 
ritory, and on July 8th he reached Carson City. July 11th he 
issued a proclamation declaring the government of the territory 
established. July 24, 1861, another proclamation announced the 
districts for voting purposes. T. and W. say: "One of the 
errors fallen into when the territory of Nevada was organized 
was that Honey Lake valley, owing to the uncertainty of the 
location of the eastern boundary of California, was within the 
limits of the territory. It had always taken a prominent part 
in the affairs of western Utah, was the home of Hon. Isaac Roop, 
governor under the preliminary territorial organization of 
1859-60, and when Governor Nye called an election for members 
of the first legislature, it was made the ninth council district, and 
apportioned one councilman and one representative." It was 
called the Pyramid district and included "all the territory north 
of Truckee valley, from a point where the Truckee river enters 
the mountains below Gates and Gage's crossing (Glendale) and 
west of Pyramid lake." It had a population of 1073. 

The governor called an election to be held August 31, 1861. 
At this election the Union vote was 4300 and the Democratic 
vote 985. John Cradlebaugh was elected delegate to congress, 
receiving 1806 votes. Four others ran against him for this 
office. In the ninth district Isaac N. Eoop was elected to the 
territorial council and John C. Wright was elected territorial 
representative. In this district a man named Olney received a 
majority of the votes for delegate to congress. F. and S. say 
that Roop received 62 votes out of 68, Wright received 52 votes 



out of 58, and that Wright was a resident of Long valley, an 
unnaturalized Englishman, and left this section a few years later. 
The legislature was summoned to meet at Carson City 
October 1, 1861. As the western boundary line of Nevada was 
still in doubt, October 25th Governor Nye advised the appoint- 
ment by the legislature of Nevada of a commission to confer 
with California and obtain, if possible, a running of the Sierra 
Nevada mountain line of division between the two sections. By 
a joint resolution of the two bodies, passed November 9, 1861, 
such a commission was to be named in a joint convention of both 
houses, but they failed to make the appointment. T. and W. 
say : "In the meantime, Deputy U. S. Surveyor, John P. Kidder, 
surveyed the lines as designated by congress, from Lake Tahoe 
northerly to Honey Lake, for which he was paid $550." F. and 
S. say: "They (the Nevada authorities) had even gone so far 
as to have John F. Kidder and Butler Ives survey the line both 
north and south from Lake Tahoe, an action which was not 
recognized by the California authorities. There was a dispute 
in regard to the situation of the town of Aurora, also, it being 
at one and the same time the county seat of Esmeralda county, 
Nevada, and Mono county, California. The Kidder survey 
placed Aurora in Nevada Territory." 

By an act approved November 25, 1861, the territory was 
divided into nine counties. Honey Lake valley was in Lake 
county and its boundaries were as follows: "Beginning at the 
northwest corner of "Washoe county and running easterly along 
the northern boundary of said county to the mouth of Truckee 
river; thence due east to the summit of the first range of moun- 
tains east of said river; thence in a northerly direction along 
said range and the main granite range of mountains to the 
Oregon line; thence west along said line to the summit of 
the Sierra; thence south along said summit to the place of be- 
ginning." By the act of November 29, 1861, the location of the 
county seat was to be decided by the voters of the county at the 
next election. By the same act, Hon. Gordon N. Mott of the 
Supreme court was assigned to the First Judicial district which 
was composed of Lake, Washoe, and Storey counties. 

At a joint session of the legislature held November 27, 1861, 
for the purpose of selecting commissioners to organize the 
various counties, and supervise the election to be held for county 


THE YEAE 1861 

officers January 14, 1862, William Weatherlow, William H. 
Naileigh, and Daniel Murray were chosen for Lake county. These 
gentlemen did not provide for the election as intended, and the 
county was not organized until a year later. 

Honey Lake Politics. 1861 
It has been told that Honey Lake valley was taken into 
Nevada territory in a provisional way and that an election for 
members of the legislature of that territory was held in the 
valley. Plumas county also held elections here this year, and 
George E. Hale, Cutler Arnold, and Dr. Z. N. Spalding were 
elected justices of the peace. Dr. Spalding did not qualify, but 
the other two men qualified as officers of Plumas county. Officers 
of the law had their troubles in those days, too. A. L. Tunison 's 
diary has the following brief entry: "February 16, 1861. 
Helped Court take some potatoes of Jones. Women was armed 
with pistols, knives, shovels, and clubs which we had to take 
away from them. Three women." Plumas county collected 
taxes from those who would pay and occasionally sent officers 
into the valley after criminals. 

Indian Troubles. 1861 
There was no Indian war this year. During the first part of 
the year the Pahutes came into the valley as usual and both the 
Winnemuccas visited their old friends. Probably they tried to 
keep their followers from molesting the property of the settlers, 
for they wanted to live in peace with them. But the Indians 
were like white men — some of them could not stand temptation, 
and the cattle running on the ranges certainly were a temptation 
to the hungry Indians. There were a few of the Pit River 
Indians left and they never missed a chance to gather in a white 
man's property; and many of Smoke Creek's band were not 
averse to increasing their wealth at the expense of their white 
neighbors, even in time of peace. Henry E. Lomas says that in 
the fall of 1861 he was camped out in the Granite creek country. 
One day he was out a ways from camp when he saw a big Indian 
coming toward him. He was a little frightened, but stood his 
ground while the Indian slowly came up to him, and from some- 
where in his clothes brought forth a piece of greasy paper nearly 
worn out where it was folded. This paper he handed to Lomas, 
who read it. It stated that this was Smoke Creek Sam, one of 



the meanest and most treacherous and dangerous Indians in that 
part of the country, and that it was better to give him a little 
of something than to have trouble with him. The paper was 
returned to the Indian who folded it carefully and returned it 
to his clothes. Lomas then took him to camp and gave him 
something to eat and perhaps gave him a little present. The 
noble chief went away smiling, and this goes to prove "That 
one may smile, and smile, and be a villain." 

In the spring the Pahutes ran off quite a lot of cattle at 
different times, or at least it was laid at their door. V. J. 
Borrette says that in the early part of the year he and 
Luther Spencer bought Antelope valley northeast of Susanville 
from B. B. Painter and Ladue Vary. One day while they were 
building their house they came into Susanville leaving their 
provisions, two yoke of oxen, and a lot of traps of different 
kinds at the camp. While they were gone some Indians came 
down from the hills and took the largest and gentlest yoke of 
cattle, packed all the food and whatever else they could find 
that they wanted on their backs, and then went their way 
rejoicing. To do the packing they used all the ropes and straps 
they could find, and took the lines and straps off some harness 
that had been left there. They just cleaned out the camp. When 
they found out what the Indians had done they tried to raise a 
crowd to follow them, but no one seemed to take any interest in 
it and nothing was done. 

Some of the early settlers say that this summer the citizens 
of the valley held a meeting and after talking matters over 
concluded to establish a sort of "dead line" between themselves 
and the Pahutes. They made the summit of the mountains east 
and northeast of the valley their "dead line" and notified the 
Indians that they would kill any of them who came nearer than 
that. Other early settlers say that nothing of the kind was 
done. There is no way of deciding Which is the truth, and 
probably all of them told the truth the way they knew it. 

The following was related by W. M. Cain and H. E. Lomas. 
Not far from the middle of December Dewitt Chandler and his 
hired man were killing a beef at the Chandler and Fry ranch a 
couple of miles southeast of Janesville. There were some Pahute 
Indians camped on the rock pile in the field below Janesville, 
and one called Jim, his father, and two or three other bucks and 



some squaws went over and stood around while the work was 
going on. When it was nearly done the young man who was 
helping went into the house for something, and while he was 
gone Jim began to help himself to the liver and some of the other 
offal. Chandler wanted this for his hogs and he told Jim to let 
it alone. The Indian at once faced him and patted himself on 
the chest as if to defy him and at the same time made some 
insulting remarks. Chandler caught up a stick of hard wood 
and struck the Indian on the back of the head and knocked him 
down. He afterwards said that he had no idea of killing him, 
but he struck harder than he intended to. The other Indians 
began to string their bows, but when Chandler called to the 
man in the house and told him to bring out his pistol they left 
as fast as they could. The squaws soon dragged Jim away, and 
if he was not dead then he died in a short time, for his skull 
was broken. The Indians took his body to the rock pile where 
they were camped and buried it. They killed his dog and burned 
it on his grave along with some of his other property, and then 
they burned the whole camp and moved away. 

This affair caused considerable excitement in the valley for 
many of the settlers thought the Indians would take revenge on 
them. There was some talk of holding an inquest — some say 
that Squire Stark did hold one at Janesville. They also talked 
of arresting Chandler and giving him a trial, hoping this would 
appease the wrath of the Indians. But nothing was done and 
the excitement gradually died away. There were several reasons 
for this. Chandler did not intend to kill the Indian and it was 
thought that he was justified in protecting his own property. 
Jim had always been impudent and offensive and he had a horse 
which he said he got by shooting a white man at the Ormsby 
Massacre. During the Indian troubles of the previous year 
many horses and saddles and other property had been taken 
from the whites by the Indians and when peace was made they 
were not given up. It was very aggravating to the settlers to 
see an Indian riding a horse or a saddle that he might have 
killed a white man to get, and besides that the most of the Never 
Sweats thought that the only good Indian was a dead one. 

Notwithstanding these troubles there was no Indian outbreak 
this year although what occurred in 1861 may have had its 
effect upon the troubles of the following year. This summer 



and fall there was a large travel on the road between Honey 
Lake and the Humboldt mines, but no one was molested by the 
Indians. When Tunison came in from the Humboldt in Novem- 
ber he camped near Breed's station on Smoke creek and Smoke 
Creek Sam took supper with him. There were a good many 
Pahutes loafing around the station, but they were peaceful and 
this state of affairs continued until the next spring. 

The Murder of James Lawson 

Mr. Lawson and his family crossed the plains from Missouri 
in 1859 and settled in Honey Lake valley. In the spring of 1861 
he went to stay for a short time at the Jerry Tyler place about 
three fourths of a mile west of Milford. On the 17th of March 
he got up at two o 'clock in the morning, this being the first time 
he had arisen so early. (Some say that he got up because the 
dogs were making a great deal of disturbance and that he went 
to the door at once.) After building a fire he opened the door 
and stepped out, but before his foot touched the ground he fell 
dead with seventeen buckshot and one rifle bullet in his body. 
As Mr. Tyler was in the habit of getting up very early in the | 
morning, the suspicion at once arose that he was the one whom 
the assassins intended to kill. 

The news of the murder was sent all over the valley as soon 
as possible and early that day a large crowd gathered at the 
Tyler ranch. The tracks of three men were found going toward 
the lake and these were followed. One of the tracks was made 
by a boot of peculiar shape and another was made by a gum 
boot. Near the lake they found a place where a horse had been 
tied — some say there were three of them. The pursuing party 
followed the tracks down along the shore of the lake and after 
going a few miles they turned and went straight toward the 
mountain. The tracks ended at a cabin that stood just above 
the road about six miles below Milford on what was afterwards 
known as the Shannon and Bell place. In the cabin three men 
were found asleep — W. F. Warren, called "Curley", Peter 
Cahill, and Markus E. Gilbert. The men who had followed the 
tracks woke them up and then began to hunt around the cabin. 
They found the men 's boots under the cabin, among them a boot 
of peculiar make and a pair of gum boots, and these fitted the 
tracks that had come from the Tyler place. It is said that some 



of the men had at once recognized the track of the boot worn by 
"Curley" and that the shoes on one of the horses owned by 
these three men fitted the track of the horse they had with them. 
Gilbert and Cahill had crossed the plains in the employ of 
Tyler and during the journey he had considerable trouble with 
them. They had lived the previous year at the place where they 
were found. 

The three men were taken up to the Tyler ranch and when 
they were told who had been killed Warren threw up his hands 
and said "My God. Have we killed that old man!" When 
Tyler approached Cahill he grabbed a big Bowie knife that the 
former was carrying and tried to stab him. The men were 
separated and a guard was put over each one of them. Warren 
was guarded by Frank Strong and is said to have made a con- 
fession to him. Rough Elliott, who at that time was looked upon 
by many as a sort of leader, wanted to hang the men at once, 
but the majority of the settlers present were not willing to do 
this and they were sent to Carson City. According to the best 
information now at hand they were given two trials at that 
place. At the first one they were found guilty and sentenced to 
be hanged. They got another trial and their lawyer, E. V. 
Spencer, entered the plea that the Nevada court had no juris- 
diction in the case — that Honey Lake valley was in California. 
This plea was allowed and the prisoners were taken to Quincy, 
Plumas county, California. The records of that county show 
that Warren made some kind of a confession while at Carson 

Through the kindness of Judge J. 0. Moncur of the superior 
court of Plumas county the writer is able to give the following 
account of the proceedings against them in that county. 

The defendants were indicted by a grand jury of which 
Lewis Stark was foreman on October 10, 1861, for the murder 
of James Lawson on March 17, 1861, at the house of Jerry Tyler 
in Honey Lake valley. The witnesses examined before the grand 
jury were W. T. C. Elliott, Jerry Tyler, and William H. Clark. 

The defendants demanded separate trials and W. F. Warren 
was tried first. His trial commenced October 21, 1861, was 
completed about two days later, and was held before Robert H. 
Taylor, District Judge. Patrick O. Hundley, district attorney 
of Plumas county, and Judge Peter Van Clief conducted the 



prosecution, and Tom. Cox and John R. Buckbee conducted the 
defense. The witnesses examined for the prosecution were 
W. T. C. (Rough) Elliott, Jerry Tyler, F. A. Washburn, Samuel 
Wood, William Clark, Judson Dakin, and John Dakin; and for 
the defendant E. V. Spencer, W. T. C. Elliott, J. C. Wright, 
Thomas Fairchilds, William Clark, and William Hill Naileigh. 
The jury failed to agree. 

Warren was tried again October 25, 1861, before the same 
judge. The same counsel appeared as in the first trial. The 
witnesses for the prosecution were W. T. C. Elliott, Jerry Tyler, 
F. A. Washburn, John Rolfe, John Dakin, Thomas Fairchilds, 
Samuel Woods, Stephen White, James Docum, Wiley Cornelison, 
John Neale, John Byrd, and John Bass. The defendant's wit- 
nesses were E. V. Spencer, J. C. Wright, Jesse Williams, William 
H. Clark, R. C. Chambers, Thomas Fairchilds, Smith J. Hill, 
and Coleman Brown. The trial was completed October 29, 1861, 
and the jury failed to agree. 

Warren's third trial commenced about July 22, 1862, was 
held before L. E. Pratt, District Judge, and the same attorneys 
appeared to prosecute and defend. There is nothing to show 
who the jury or the witnesses were. The trial was concluded on 
the 25th and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. On the 
same day the other two defendants were discharged on motion 
of P. 0. Hundley, the district attorney. 

William H. Clark says that during the trial at Quincy 
Warren said he made his confession the day after the murder 
when he was frightened because he thought he was going to be 
hanged. He said that he told what he did because he thought 
it would save his life and claimed that it was not the truth. 
Mr. Clark also said that the testimony of the witnesses for the 
prosecution was contradictory and that public sentiment seemed 
to be in favor of the defendants. The friends of the accused 
men always insisted that they were innocent and some of them 
said the ones who committed the murder intended to kill Mr. 
Lawson. After the trial Gilbert, Warren, and Cahill came back 
to this valley. The first two did not stay very long, but Cahill 
lived here several years. Gilbert was a resident of Sonoma 
county, California, for many years and died at Santa Rosa 
in 1910. 


THE YEAE 1861 

White's Horses Stolen 

The following was told by Fred Hines. About the middle of 
April, 1861, Charles M. White, who lived where Haviland built 
the first house in Toadtown in January, 1857, had a span of fine 
horses stolen from his stable by Clark Rugg and John Morrow. 
It has been told that Rugg and Harper opened a blacksmith shop 
in Susanville in 1859 and Rugg had been there ever since. He 
seems to have been a natural thief. Morrow had crossed the 
plains to Indian valley in 1856, but came to this valley to live the 
next year. He was an industrious man, but was rather slack in 
his morals. He was paying some attention to a grass widow who 
lived in Susanville and that took him there quite frequently. 
During these visits he became acquainted with Rugg and before 
long they were great friends. Rugg was not satisfied in Susan- 
ville and wanted to go to Salt Lake City and also wanted to take 
White's horses along with him. Morrow was a man who would 
do anything for a friend so he went along to help him. 

The night of the 16th of April they took the horses out of 
White's stable and started on the emigrant road for the Hum- 
boldt river. They went together as far at least as the Lassen 
Meadows on the Humboldt, and there Morrow turned off and 
went to Humboldt City ten or twelve miles to the southeast. 
Rugg went on with the horses up the Humboldt nearly to 
Gravelly Ford, but becoming frightened about the Indians he 
turned back. A few days after the horses were stolen L. N. 
Breed started from the valley to go to Humboldt City. When 
out near Smoke creek he noticed that the tracks of two horses 
came into the road and he saw them in the road all the way to 
the Humboldt river. He also Morrow in Humboldt City. In a 
day or two Breed set out for Honey Lake and not long after 
reaching here he heard that White's horses had been stolen. He 
hunted up White and told him about the tracks he had seen in 
the road and about seeing Morrow. It was late at night, but 
White at once rode down to see Hines because Morrow used to 
make his headquarters there. Hines told him that Morrow had 
been there that afternoon and said he was going over to Neale's 
store and then up to Tom. Watson's about half a mile east of 
Richmond. Hines had partly undressed to go to bed, but he 
put on his clothes, went out and saddled his horse, and the two 
men went down to the next place and got William Dow. 



The three men went first to the Neale store and there they 
were told that Morrow had been there that afternoon and bought 
some tobacco and had then gone on up the road. They went on 
up to Watson's, but he had not been there. The before-men- 
tioned grass widow had moved down to the Thompson ranch 
three miles southeast of Janesville, and for that and one or two 
other reasons they concluded that the man they were looking for 
had gone down there and they followed him. William Ellison, 
called "Blue Bill," lived near the Chandler and Fry place and 
from him they learned that Morrow had left his horse with him 
and gone away. They reached Thompson's just about daylight 
and woke him up and asked him if Morrow had been there. He 
said he had not. Just then some of them saw a man on foot out 
in the field to the north of them and he was making a circle as if 
trying to reach "Blue Bill's" cabin. They headed him off and 
found he was the man they wanted. He was very much excited 
and drew his pistol, but Hines told him to put it up and not to 
try anything of that kind. They disarmed him and took him up 
to "Blue Bill's" and put him on his horse. Then they took him 
to the Hines and Sylvester ranch and put him in a room up-stairs. 
On the 11th of May, or about that time, he was given a pre- 
liminary examination at Richmond before Squire V. J. Borrette 
and bound over to the higher court. His bail was fixed at $5000, 
but he could not raise this and was sent to jail, probably at 

A man was sent out to Lassen's Meadows, and Rugg was 
arrested as soon as he got back there and brought to Honey Lake 
with one of the stolen horses. The other horse had broken down 
somewhere on the road. Both men were tried at Quincy and 
found guilty. Hines was subpoenaed as a witness, but he did not 
recognize the authority of Plumas county and would not go. 
Rugg was sent to San Quentin for five years and Morrow for 
four years. About a year before Morrow's term had expired 
some of the prisoners made a break for liberty while the lieuten- 
ant governor was inspecting the state prison. They put the 
lieutenant governor in the lead and at first the guards did not 
dare to fire on them. When they did shoot Morrow got a bad 
wound across the abdomen from a rifle bullet, but he managed to 
get up to Indian valley and there was captured by John Young 
and sent back to prison. Probably he would never have been 


THE YEAR 1861 

captured if he had not been wounded, and Mr. Hines thinks he 
got further away from the prison than any of the others who 

After being released from prison he came back to Honey 
Lake and stayed about a year and worked for Hines part of the 
time. One day when he was hauling lumber he met Breed on 
horseback and the latter said "How do you do, John." Morrow 
never said a word, but wound the lines around the brake, 
climbed off the wagon, and started for Breed. He didn't wait 
for Morrow to reach him, but put spurs to his horse and rode 
away in considerable haste. He was afraid of Morrow and told 
Hines that he should not have employed him and kept him here 
in the valley. 

One day Morrow had a fight in Susanville with Old Man 
Varney who wore a wig, although his antagonist did not know it. 
"When he hit Varney the man went one way and his wig the 
other. Morrow looked first at him and then at the wig and said 
"God. Didn't I scalp him quick!" Mr. Hines afterwards heard 
that Morrow and some others stole some horses near Carson City 
and were captured while making their way east with them. For 
this they were sent to the Nevada state prison at Carson City. 
It was reported that Rugg went to Mexico after getting out of 
San Quentin. 

Conditions at the Close of 1861 

"While some of the conditions remained the same as during 
the previous year, the gradual improvement for the better went 
on and each year life became more comfortable for the settlers. 

The mining towns on the Comstock lode were rapidly filling 
up and they made a better market for the Never Sweats. Prices 
were high, but as yet they were in no condition to profit much 
by it. There were no mowers in the valley and there were not 
men enough to cut much hay by hand. There was not land 
enough cleared up to raise a great deal of grain, but now that 
a better market had come this work went on rapidly. This year 
flour had to be brought into the valley again for the gristmill 
was not finished until late in the fall. It was usually very high 
in price, but once this fall Shaffer sold it at Richmond for $7 a 
hundred and that was extremely cheap for flour in those days. 
V. J. Borrette bought some seed wheat from Sylvenus Conkey 

[ 255 ] 


this spring and paid ten cents a pound for it. Freight to Vir- 
ginia City was five cents a pound and a little more than that to 
Marysville. Langdon and Whiting brought the mail and express 
into the valley from Oroville and Quincy during the winter of 

Probably there was considerable feeling in the valley in 
regard to the civil war, but it had not become so bitter as it 
was later on. 

[ 256 ] 



The days of squatter filings were almost done in the land of 
the Never Sweats. Only five filings were made with Roop 
this year and these were the last ones ever made. 

In January C. Arnold, Henry Arnold, Leroy Arnold, A. 
Curtis, and M. S. Scott located a half section just to the north of 
the upper Hot spring and three and one half sections south and 
southwest of it. This land was bounded on the south by the lake 

and the Susan river. "William Long, Arthur Long, and 

Gould claimed an irregular tract which contained something 
like three sections of land and lay south of the hot springs about 
five miles southeast of the preceding claim. 

In February U. J. Tutt located a section having the High 
Rock spring in the northwest corner of it. This claim was about 
twelve miles east of the forgeoing location. Antone Storff, Fred 
Borrette, and Alexander and Ezra Moe claimed the creek "com- 
mencing from Antonio Storff 's house, and water ditch running 
1200 feet up the creek on Ruff Elliott water creek for Quartz 
mills and mining purposes." This must have been about a mile 
south of Richmond. 

During the preceding winter Charles and "Bige" Adams 
had put up a water power sawmill above the little valley on the 
west branch of Baxter creek. This spring W. M. Cain hauled 
the castings for it from the foundry at Gold Hill, Nevada. They 
must have commenced sawing very early in the spring for lum- 
ber was taken from there to the Humboldt mines in April. Wil- 
liam V. Kingsbury, known as "Smoke Creek Sam," and H. P. 
Bates built a water power sawmill on Lassen creek about a mile 
and a half above where it is crossed by the mountain road from 
Susanville to Janesville. It was known as the Bates mill, but the 
settlers called it "Bates's Rawhide Mill" because the belts were 
made of rawhide with the hair on. 

This spring Jarvis Taylor and another man started a butcher 
shop in Susanville on the north side of Main street between 
Lassen and Gay. This was the first butcher shop in Susanville. 
The Neales divided up their ranch and Williaw Dow bought 
John H. Neale's part of it. 



Iii July Malcom Banldiead went over to the Lathrop and 
Bradley ranch and put up a blacksmith shop. In the fall he 
and Henry E. Lomas divided up their business, the latter taking 
the last shop built. Lomas ran this shop until 1865 and then 
turned it over to his brother Thomas J. and went to White Horse 
valley in southeastern Oregon. 

In August G. W. Lathrop and Wife sold half of the Lathrop 
and Bradley ranch to U. L. and P. J. Shaffer and on the 8th of 
the following month sold the other half of the same ranch to 
the same men. The Shaffers opened a store there and kept a 
station for travelers, as Lathrop had done, until they sold out in 
1868. Old settlers still call it the Shaffer place. While they 
lived on this ranch there was a great deal of travel to and from 
the Black Rock, Idaho, and Humboldt mines, and from its loca- 
tion it was quite a noted station. 

At Milford H. C. Wilkins and Everett, who had a 

store at the Summit in Sierra valley, built a store across the 
creek from the gristmill and nearly opposite to it. Mr. Everett 
stayed in Milford and ran the store there. 

At Janesville during the winter of 1861-62 H. E. Lomas had 
built a stable on the south of Main street perhaps 300 yards 
west of the creek. It had never been used and this spring he 
sold it to L. N. Breed who made a dwelling house out of it. On 
the 17th of May there was born to Susan Hill, the Wife of 
Smith J. Hill, a daughter who was named Jane Agnes. This 
summer Preston R. James and his brother-in-law, A. A. Holmes, 
put up a two story frame building east of the creek and on the 
south side of Main street. It stood perhaps 150 feet from the 
street and about the same distance from the creek. In the fall 
they opened a hotel in this building and ran it two or three 
years. P. R. James taught school in the old Fort this fall. 
Some time this year Malcom Bankhead and Family moved to 
Oakland, California, and the most of them have lived there or 
in that vicinity ever since. 

Susan ville. Early in the spring John Burkett erected a build- 
ing that he used for a saloon and a restaurant on the south side 
of Main street the fourth lot west from Gay street. He called 
the saloon the "Humboldt Exchange." George Heaps and 
Joseph Hale ran a faro game in it this year and perhaps part 
of the next. In March John H. Neale commenced a building on 


THE YEAR 1862 

the north side of Main street the third lot east from Gay. When 
it was completed he put into it the most of the goods that were 
in the store on the Neale ranch. Some time during the year 
I. J. Harvey and E. D. Hosselkus went into business with him. 
It was called Neale & Harvey's store, and they had the largest 
stock of merchandise that had ever been in Susanville. They 
sold goods here for several years. This building was burned in 
the fire of November, 1881, and F. and S.. say that it was A. 
Otto's blacksmith shop when it was burned. This spring a man 
named Cogswell built a livery and feed stable on the southwest 
corner of Main and Gay streets. In July T. N. Long and Al. 
Leroy commenced a building on the southwest corner of Main 
and Union streets. It was a story and a half frame building, 
25 by 45 feet, and in it they opened a saloon perhaps as early as 
December. It was called "The Magnolia" and was the most 
pretentious building ever put up for a saloon in the town. After 
being used a few years for a saloon a stock of merchandise was 
put into it, but it was always called The Magnolia Building. It 
was burned September 23, 1882, in a fire that burned everything 
facing the south side of Main street between Lassen and Union 
streets and the old Cutler Arnold log hotel on the corner diagonal 
from The Magnolia. This summer Governor Roop sold three 
lots on the north side of Main street just east of the Brannan 
House to Harry Thompson who built a house on the northwest 
corner of them. He could not pay for the lots and Roop took 
them back and moved into the house. He set out some trees and 
put a couple of fish ponds into the front yard. This was the 
Roop residence for several years and used to attract considerable 
attention. In after years it was moved away and now, 1915, 
stands on the west side of Lassen street next to the house on the 
southwest corner of North and Lassen streets. Some years before 
this Governor Roop had some timbers hewed to make the frame 
for a gristmill. They were then hauled to the river and piled up 
on the north side of it near where the bridge south of town is 
now. The gristmill was not built and some time this year Roop 
used these timbers in building a stable at the rear end of the lot 
on the southeast corner of Lassen and Nevada streets. This he 
leased to William M. Wentworth who ran it as a livery and feed 
stable. This year M. Bienstock and Samuel Peyser had a store 
and a tailor shop in a building that stood on the south side of 



Main street between Gay and Union streets and near the east 
end of the block. They also used the building as a dwelling 
house. This fall V. J. Burris started a butcher shop on the south 
side of Main street between Lassen and Gay and near the middle 
of the block. William J. Young opened a photograph gallery 
on the north side of Main street and perhaps one third of a block 
east of Eoop street. This was the first photograph gallery in 
the county. In October Governor Roop sold some land at the 
northeast corner of Cottage and Lassen streets to the trustees 
of the M. E. Church for one dollar. There is nothing to show 
that they ever erected a building on it. Probably the first flag- 
pole in Susanville was put up this year. It was a small one and 
was set up in the middle of Main street near Gay. 

In continuation of what was told in 1861 about Lassen Lodge, 
No. 149, F. & A. M. the History of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra 
counties says: "A charter was granted in May, 1862, and the 
lodge was instituted in due form, June 24, 1862. In October a 
dispensation was obtained for that purpose, and the place of 
meeting was changed to Susanville. This was done because 
Richmond had 'gone up like a rocket, and come down like a 
stick,' and Susanville had been left to glory over the decay of 
her rival." It is said that Governor Roop was a Royal Arch 
Mason and that he installed the first officers of this lodge. 

When the Idaho mining excitement broke out in 1862 the 
people of this section saw that it would be a good thing to have 
the travel to these and the Humboldt mines come this way. The 
citizens of Chico wanted to be on the road, too, and they joined 
hands with them in the work of getting a short route between 
that place and Susanville. Part of what is called the ' ' Humboldt 
Road" from Chico to this valley must have been built this year. 
The following tells how they tried to show the advantages of 
the new route. The "Sacramento Union" of October 30, 1862, 
tells that a correspondent writing from Big Meadows about two 
weeks before that says that James Berry started from Chico with 
the mail at 11:30 P. M., and got to Big Meadows (65 miles) at 
five o'clock the next morning. At seven o'clock A. M. A. H. 
Barber started on horseback from Big Meadows and reached 
Susanville (45 miles) by noon. 

October 18th James L. Eastwood located an irregular tract 
of land on the north side of Susan river. It extended from the 


THE YEAR 1862 

river to the foothills and was about two miles and a half below 
where the Johnstonville bridge is now. This was the last filing 
in Hoop's Record Book. 

This year Thomas J. and Edward Mulroney and "William 
Leith bought the ranch that Gordier located on the Baxter creek. 
T. J. Mulroney spent the rest of his life on that place and Mr. 
Leith stayed in that neighborhood as long as he lived. Miss 
Philenda Montgomery taught a private school at the S. Conkey 
ranch during the winter of 1862-63. The lake was very high 
this year and kept rising every year excepting 1864 until 1868. 

Mt. Meadows. William B. Long bought out Fredonyer this 
spring, but did not take his family there until later on. A man 
named Mc Williams settled to the southeast of the Goodrich 
ranch and P. J. Quinn and his Brother claimed the land along 
the creek between the Devil's Corral and Fredonyer 's pass. 
Willow Creek valley. ' ' Sandy ' ' Young, and perhaps Hy. Good, 
came into the valley this year with about a thousand of General 
John Bidwell's cattle. They built a cabin on the south side of 
the valley just below where Round valley opens into it and kept 
the cattle there until 1864. Long valley. William E. (Paul) 
Jones came into the valley and located on the creek above the 
Hood place. Thomas Smith took up a place just south of the 
Willow Ranch and that fall or the spring of 1863 he sold it to 
James McDermott. C. M. West and Albert S. Wright built a 
hotel at the junction of the Sierra valley and Honey Lake wagon 
roads. This was called the "Junction House" and for at least 
twenty-five years it was a well known station for the accommoda- 
tion of travelers. Edwin Dalton came into the valley this year. 

In the fall of 1861 J. H. Breed bought his brother's share of 
the Smoke Creek Station and probably got the part that belonged 
to Hines a little later on. He stayed there the following winter 
and in the spring sold out to I. J. Harvey who had been em- 
ployed to buy the property for a United States Army Post. 
During the winter of 1862-63 William V. Kingsbury established 
a trading post at Smoke Creek and afterwards kept a station, or 
hotel, in connection with it. He stayed there until late in the 
60 's. The following is his advertisement, which was something 
out of the common, as it appeared in "The Sage Brush" of 
January 12, 1867 : 




"The Celebrated Smoke Creek Station, situated on the 
Humboldt, Idaho, East Bannock, Reese River, Salt Lake, Sur- 
prise Valley, New York, London, Paris, Japan and China road, 
in fact from which point you can go anywhere if you want to, is 
still running, commanded by that well known individual, 


"Owing to the immense travel to the above localities, we 
have made arrangements to accommodate it all, in a superior 
and gentlemanly like manner. We are endeavoring to induce the 
directors of the Pacific Railroad to locate the terminus of the 
road at Smoke Creek, it being we think, the most central point 
for it. San Francisco may 'buck' a little against it, but geo- 
graphical position will tell. 

"It is unfortunate for San Francisco to be located so far 
away from Smoke Creek but we cant help it now. — Speaking of 
'square meals/ torch light processions, baled hay and 'sich' 
like, there is where we understand ourselves. We can converse 
upon those subjects, in connection with that commercial article 
called cash, with the most perfect aplomb and nonchalance. 

"We most respectfully invite those going anywhere to call 
on us. Kingsbury & Co." 

There was a large emigration to the valley this year. It was 
the largest one that ever came in excepting that of 1859. 

The following came into the county this year and lived here 
all the rest of their lives or are living here yet. This does not 
mean the children. John P. Garrett, Samuel Hoffman and Wife, 
Hiram N. Skadan, Mrs. J. C. Wemple, Abel Parker and Family, 
Francis L. Parker, John Fitch, Israel Jones, John D. Kelley and 
Family, Hiram Winchel, Isaac Hallett and Wife, Isaiah Hallett, 
Thomas Montgomery and Family, Philenda Montgomery, Isaac 
N. Jones, John F. Todd, La Fayette Marks, Frank M. Hostetter 
and Family, Isaac M. Stewart, John N. Barry and Family, 
Patrick Bagin, Otis N. Johnson and Wife, James L. McDermott, 
Charles A. Batterson, Amzi Brown, William M. Wentworth, 
Kinsey Talbott and Family, John Pickard and Wife. 

The following lived here from twenty to forty years. Edwin 
Dalton, Hiram H. Dakin, J. M. Parker and Family, Emma 


THE YEAR 1862 

Parker (Mrs. H. H. Dakin), Josephine Parker (Mrs. B. F. 
Sheldon), Leonard Hicks, Samuel Peyser and Family, John Q. 
Newington, and Thomas W. Pickard and Family. 

The following lived here from two or three to ten or fifteen 

Judson Dakin, Sr., Smith Parker, James K. Belk and Wife, 
Thomas Holden, A. A. Dakin, Cyrus Fletcher and Family, 
Chandler R. Fletcher, Charles W. Dake and Family, William 
Harris and Family, John Harris, *Samuel S. Stinson and Fam- 
ily, James L. Eastwood, M. Bienstock, Czar Giddings, H. F. 
Thompson, J. L. Wedekind and Family, C. Frank Wedekind 
and Wife, George Wedekind, U. L. Shaffer, P. J. Shaffer, Cyrus 
Mulkey and Family, Carl Osborn, Asher D. Spalding, Levi 
McCoy and Wife, Elisha Pickard, John Campbell and Family, 
Griffith G. Miller and Family, Jacob C. Miller, Julius Drake, 
William E. (Paul) Jones and Family, Thomas Housen, F. V. 
Burris and Family, H. L. Spargur, I. J. Harvey and Family, 
Capt. William N. De Haven and Wife, Frank Peed, Thomas 
Smith, H. F. Tarrant, William J. Young, E. J. Carpeaux, A. H. 
Brown, A. R. Leroy, Joseph Belknap, *William Taylor, James 
Thompson, Henry E. Adams, Henry Bolan (or Boland), John 
H. Cowan, Jacob Hill, James Arnold, James Hutchings, John 
Thoroughman, Thomas Towell, John McDaniel, Thomas J. Bran- 
nan, John S. Shook, Cyrus Smith, *S. W. Hammond, P. J. Quinn, 
Miles Harper, Matilda Christie (Mrs. Amos Roach), John R. 
Lockwood, Mrs. Geo. W. Perry and Son, Mrs. Mary Johnston 
and Robert Johnston's three children. 

Nevada Politics. 1862 

January 14, 1862, elections for county officers were held in 
all the counties of Nevada excepting Lake county, the county 
governments were organized, and the political machinery of the 
territory went to work. The officers elected at this time were to 
hold office only until the following September. The reason why 
Lake county did not hold an election was given in 1861. 

In 1861 the Nevada legislature failed to appoint a commission 
to confer with California in regard to the running of the Sierra 
Nevada mountain line between the sections. Later on this com- 
mission must have been appointed, for the ' ' Sacramento Union ' ' 
of March 19, 1862, says that a Memorial from Governor Nye of 



Nevada, dated March 11, 1862, was presented to the legislature 
of California on the 18th. It was as follows: 

' ' To the honorable the legislature of the state of California : 
We your memorialists, duly elected by the governor and the 
legislative assembly of the territory of Nevada for the purpose of 
representing to your honorable body the reasons why the bound- 
ary line between California and the territory of Nevada should 
be made to conform to the suggestions in the act of Congress 
organizing the same, would respectfully show that the organic 
act aforesaid in describing the limits of the territory whose inter- 
ests we seek to represent, declares that the southern boundary 
thereof should be the 37th degree of north latitude, extending 
thereon from the 39th degree of longitude west from Washington 
to the dividing ridge separating the waters that flow into the 
Carson valley from those flowing into the Pacific. Thence on the 
said dividing ridge northerly to the 41st degree of north latitude, 
thence due north to the southern boundary line of the state of 
Oregon : provided, that so much of the territory within the 
present limits of the state of California shall not be included 
within this territory until that state shall assent to the same by 
an act irrevocable without the consent of the United States." 
The Memorial went on to say that the country east of the Sierras 
was mountainous and incapable of supporting a very large pop- 
ulation, that their interests were with the people of Nevada and 
they would always carry on their business with them, that it was 
300 miles to the capital of California and nearly 100 to that of 
Nevada, that Plumas county had never succeeded in enforcing 
their laws there to any great extent, and that their population 
would be a great help to the people of Nevada. They gave many 
more reasons for changing the line so it would follow the ridge 
dividing the waters of the Pacific from those of Nevada, and 
then respectfully asked that the legislature of California pass 
such an act. The document was signed by James W. Nye, Isaac 
Roop, and R. M. Ford. 

The "Union" of March 22nd says that on the evening of the 
21st a meeting was held in the assembly chamber of the capital 
to listen to the Nevada territorial commissioners on the subject 
of the western boundary line of Nevada. Mr. R. M. Ford read 
the Memorial. Ex-Governor Isaac Roop then spoke setting forth 
the advantages Nevada would derive if the strip of land east of 


THE YEAE 1862 

the Sierras were ceded to her. He told nearly the same things 
that were said in the Memorial, excepting that Plumas and 
Shasta counties claimed each a portion of Honey Lake valley, 
fifteen miles of the western half of the said valley, the only spot 
where revenue could be collected. The citizens all wished that 
this strip of land should belong to Nevada, their trade and social 
relations were all with Nevada, they had refused to pay taxes 
although law-abiding citizens, and they were isolated and reaped 
none of the advantages of those who did pay taxes. He unrolled 
before the audience a petition from the citizens of Esmeralda 
praying for the cession. Governor James W. Nye was received 
with great applause. Among other things he said that three 
murderers had escaped conviction in Honey Lake valley on the 
plea that the territory of Nevada had no jurisdiction over their 
cases. A survey at an expense of $1000 was had when it was 
found that their crimes had not been committed in that territory. 
More than $50000 had already been expended in trying to find 
the meridian fixed upon by the constitutional convention of 

F. and S. say: "In July, 1862, Associate Justice Gordon N. 
Mott came to Susanville to hold a term of the district court for 
the First Judicial District of Nevada Territory. The counties 
of Storey, Washoe, and Lake (changed that year to Eoop) were 
all in one district, and Judge Mott, one of the three supreme 
judges, was assigned to this district." 

September 3, 1862, a general election was held in Nevada 
Territory at which county officers, members of the state legis- 
lature, and a delegate to Congress were elected. Twenty-six 
territorial representatives and five members of the Council were 
elected. Gordon N. Mott was elected delegate to Congress. They 
held an election in Lake county this time and elected all the 
officers to be voted for. C. Adams (probably Charles Adams) 
was elected territorial representative. 

When the Nevada legislature met at Carson City in the fall 
of 1862 Representative Adams did not take his seat, but Lake 
county was represented in the Council by Governor Roop who 
held over from the year before. He was the last member from 
this region to sit in the Nevada legislature. 

For more than a year Nevada had tried, without success, to 
have California relinquish her claim to the territory east of the 



Sierras. They had even hired John F. Kidder to survey the 
boundary line both north and south from Lake Tahoe. (See 
Nevada Territory Politics, 1861.) 

This session of the Nevada legislature ' ' passed a joint resolu- 
tion asking the California legislature to cede to Nevada such 
territory as had been included in the original boundary descrip- 
tion by act of Congress. ' ' T. and W. say : ' ' Beyond the election 
of officers the county (Lake) still remained unorganized until 
after the legislature assembled. Honey Lake valley in which the 
wealth and population of the county existed, was claimed by 
Plumas county, California, as being within its limits, and this 
had retarded the organization of Lake county. "When the legis- 
lature met it was determined to fully organize the county, and 
maintain the jurisdiction of Nevada over the disputed section. 
Accordingly, the legislature changed the name from Lake to 
Roop, by act of December 2, 1862. The Governor, on the 14th 
and 15th of the same month, appointed and issued commissions 
to all the county officers that had been elected in September, also 
a commission to John S. Ward to act as Probate Judge. By act 
of December 19, 1862, the legislature ordered a special term of 
the First District Court to be held in Roop county on the third 
Monday in January, 1863." 

Honey Lake Politics. 1862 

The Lake county people failed to hold their election in Janu- 
ary and nothing of importance took place until July when Judge 
Mott held court in Susanville. In regard to this F. and S. have 
the following : ' ' There had never been any legal practice in this 
section, nor were there living here any regularly authorized attor- 
neys, nor any one who made any pretense to the profession of the 
law, except a young man named Israel Jones, who had read law 
for a brief period before coming here in 1862, but had never been 
admitted to practice in any court. The men who had acted the 
role of attorneys in the valley were Isaac N. Roop, John S. Ward, 
E. V. Spencer, Z. J. Brown, and A. D. McDonald, who had con- 
ducted causes before the various justice courts and boards of 
arbitration, at the request of their friends. The only law books 
in the valley were two volumes of Wood 's California Digest, and 
the nearest lawyers were in Quincy, too far away to do much 


THE YEAR 1862 

"Judge Mott opened his court in the old Magnolia building, 
on the south side of Main street. The first business was the 
examination of a class of applicants to become members of the 
bar, which consisted of Messrs. Roop, Ward, Spencer, and Jones. 
The examination was brief, being confined more to plain, practical 
business propositions, such as any intelligent business man could 
answer, than to abstruse and technical points of law. The most 
difficult interrogation was to define the term corporation. Just 
before the court convened, an attorney from Carson City called 
Mr. Roop aside and instructed him on the proper answer to this 
question, telling him, 'A corporation is a creature of the law, 
having certain powers and duties of a natural person.' When 
the governor was called upon to answer the question, he said, 'A 
corporation is a band of fellows without any soul, of whom the 
law is a creature, who have some powers and take a great many 
more, and entirely ignore the statutory duties imposed upon 
them.' The whole class was admitted." The same history says 
that while Roop was serving as district attorney of Lassen county 
"the grand jury presented an indictment against a man who had 
stolen a horse. Roop drew up the document in a few minutes, 
and presented it to the foreman, who read it and remarked : ' Gov- 
ernor, I'm afraid this is rather brief. That complaint would not 
hold in any court.' 'Why not?' asked Roop; 'I've got whereas 
in three times. ' ' ' There is one mistake in the foregoing, though 
not an important one. T. N. Long says they did not commence 
to build the Magnolia until July, 1862, so Judge Mott must have 
held court in some other building or at a later date. 

At the election of September 3, 1862, the following officers 
were elected for Lake county: Sheriff, William H. Naileigh (Cap. 
Hill) ; Clerk, V. J. Borrette ; Recorder, Dr. Z. N. Spalding; Treas- 
urer, Frank Drake; Assessor, E. A. Townsend; Collector, Henry 
E. Arnold; Surveyor, E. R. Nichols; School Superintendent, 
A. A. Holmes; Commissioners, Franklin Strong, Smith J. Hill, 
and Joseph C. Wemple. 

Plumas county held an election in Honey Lake valley at the 
same time. Henry E. Lomas says that at Janesville the election 
was held in Blanchard's store, the election for the Plumas county 
officers being held in one corner of the room and the election for 
the Lake county officers in another corner. Lomas and A. G. 
Moon say the Never Sweats voted for both sets of officers. In 



some ways those same Never Sweats were a most accommodating 
bunch. B. F. Sheldon and William J. Young were elected jus- 
tices of the peace for Honey Lake township, Plumas county, and 
qualified at Quincy. 

The usual trouble about paying taxes to Plumas county went 
on again this fall. The only notice that county took of this section 
was to send in the assessor and tax collector, and hold an election 
once in awhile. S. J. Hill says that about half the people of the 
valley paid taxes to Plumas county and the rest did not. Hill 
paid quite a large amount of taxes for a couple of years and 
Rough Elliott boasted to him that he paid no taxes at all. When 
Sheriff Pierce came to Hill this fall for his taxes the latter told 
him that he ought to collect taxes from other people, too, and if 
he could get out of paying them by saying he lived in Nevada, he 
was going to do it. He then refused to pay any tax and the 
Sheriff went away without making any trouble. James D. Byers, 
who was Pierce's deputy, told the writer that one fall, probably 
this one, Pierce and himself went with a posse to collect Elliott 's 
taxes or take away some of his stock. Elliott had gathered a 
crowd of men from the lower end of the valley and was waiting 
for them at his place below Milford. When the Plumas officers 
asked for his taxes he refused to pay them or to give up any of his 
stock. Byers said that Pierce and Elliott did the talking and it 
was neither gentle nor refined. Pierce was a hard man and on 
some occasions Elliott showed plenty of nerve, and in those days 
such men were very careless about their language. While the 
talk was going on the other men sat on their horses as quietly as 
they could, for the first movement that looked like an attempt 
to reach for a weapon would have started a fight that might have 
resulted in the death of several men. Each party was expect- 
ing the other to shoot and neither side wanted to be very far 
behind when the trouble began. Some of the "old timers" say 
that just when the quarrel was the hottest Mrs. Elliott came out 
of the house and asked them all in to dinner. Finally they 
accepted her invitation and while they were eating their anger 
cooled and some sort of a compromise was effected. But they 
didn't get much out of Elliott and he came out ahead once more. 

Only once was any property taken from this valley by the 
authorities of Plumas county on account of the refusal to pay 
taxes. W. W. Kellogg, since 1873 an attorney of Quincy, who 

[ 268 1 

THE YEAR 1862 

was a deputy sheriff under Pierce, says that this fall he and Pierce 
came to Susanville and stayed over night. The next morning they 
went to the ranch of Robert Johnston and Henry Hatch four 
miles below town. Kellogg went into the corral and yoked up 
an off ox and called to another one to come under the yoke. One 
near by came to him and was yoked up. No opposition w r as made 
to their taking the cattle and they drove them away. They took 
them to Taylorville and sold them after notice of the sale had 
been given. L. C. Stiles bought them and in after years used to 
joke Kellogg about getting a mis-mated yoke of cattle, for they 
were not mates. Fred Hines says that when they got up to his 
place Pierce stayed in the road with the oxen and Kellogg came 
to the house. He asked Hines to pay his taxes and was told by 
him that he paid no taxes to Plumas county. The deputy sheriff 
said "I can take your cattle if you don't pay." The other man 
said ' ' All right. There the cattle are in plain sight and you can 
take them if you want to." Kellogg then told him that he had 
better pay up and save trouble and was again told by Hines that 
he paid no taxes to Plumas county. He then went back to Pierce 
and after talking a few minutes they went on their way without 
taking any of the cattle that belonged to Hines. 

Byers told the writer that once while collecting taxes in this 
valley he went to Bankhead's and found twenty men gathered 
there. They told him that if he tried to collect any more taxes 
they would hang him. He had a six-shooter and a couple of der- 
ringers and while they were talking he climbed up on the fence 
and listened. "When they got through he told them that there 
were enough of them to hang him, but he would take as many of 
them as he could along with him and they might start in as soon 
as they pleased. They were pretty well acquainted with him and 
didn't start in. During a visit to the valley, probably in 1857, 
he was told that a couple of men had threatened to kill him the 
first time they saw him. These men were living in a log house 
that still stands by the Parker creek about two miles below Janes- 
ville. He went to their place, walked into the house without 
knocking, and saw the two men sitting on a bench in front of the 
fireplace. He walked up behind them, pushed them apart, and 
sat down between them, managing to take the larger man 's pistol 
out of its holster as he sat down. After some quarreling the 
man reached back for his pistol and found that it was gone. 



Byers told him that he had it, and the man asked him if he was 
a thief and was answered in the affirmative. They talked for 
some time and the two men made a good many threats, but fin- 
ally they quieted down and when Byers left them they didn't 
want to kill anybody and never molested him in the future. 

Byers was sheriff of Plumas county from 1856 to 1858. For 
a while E. H. Pierce was his deputy, and when Pierce was elected 
sheriff of the county Byers was his deputy for a year or two. 
While he was an officer of Plumas county Byers came into this 
valley quite often and was well known to the Never Sweats. In 
1858 he bought a ranch on Baxter creek two miles east of Bank- 
head's and commenced to raise cattle and horses, and this busi- 
ness he followed until his death in 1902. He was a tall, raw- 
boned man whose nerve was undisputed. He once came over here 
with a warrant for a man in Long valley. When he got to the 
Byrd ranch eight miles below Milford his horse gave out. Byrd 
had no riding horse at hand excepting a full-blooded Spanish 
stallion called "Joaquin" — a horse that would buck hard every 
time he was ridden as long as he lived. At that time it was cus- 
tomary for a man to go to one who had a big lot of horses and bor- 
row a wild one to ride for a short time. The breaking of the 
horse was considered pay for his use. Whenever a stranger who 
seemed to think that he could ride came along and asked Byrd 
to lend him a horse, he told him to take Joaquin. Of course the 
horse began to buck as soon as the man struck his back, and then 
"Old Jack" Byrd would yell "Stick to him, sir. Stick to him, 

sir. By Almighty, stick to him. If you do, you are the 

first man that ever did ! " As a rule, about that time the rider 
jumped a piece of ground in that vicinity. Byers was in a hurry, 
so they saddled up Joaquin and he climbed onto him. The horse 
bucked a ways up the hill south of the cabin and then Byrd man- 
aged to get ahead of him and turn him. He then bucked back 
down to the cabin and just as Byers had taken his feet out of the 
stirrups, thinking the horse was going against the building, he 
stopped and was all right. Byers resumed his journey and for a 
few miles all went well. He then noticed that the horse kept 
throwing his nose down between his fore legs. He leaned over 
carefully and saw that the cinch was very loose. If he had shown 
any signs of uneasiness, the animal would have bucked him off at 
once ; so he got his rope in readiness, slowly pulled his feet out of 

T 270 1 

THE YEAR 1862 

the stirrups, and threw himself from the horse's back, getting 
as far away from him as he could. He then cinched up his saddle 
and went on. He found his man in the house and nobody else 
was there but a woman. When he arrested the man he showed 
fight and the two had a rough and tumble battle around the room. 
Finally Byers got him down and told the woman to bring him a 
club or something of the kind. She brought him the rolling-pin 
and he hammered the fellow over the head with it until he 
gave up. 

At another time he came into the valley in pursuit of a man 
and caught up with him about six miles and a half below Susan- 
ville on the Janesville road. He was on horseback and the man he 
was after was on foot. When he rode up beside the man and told 
him he was his prisoner the other reached back and drew his 
pistol. Byers had no time to get his gun so he pulled his foot 
out of the stirrup and kicked the man in the stomach. This 
doubled him up and he dropped his pistol and surrendered as 
soon as he could get his breath. 

Generally speaking, there was no personal enmity between the 
officers of Plumas county and the people of this section. Mr. 
Kellogg says they always treated him well and in after years he 
had a friendly feeling for all of them. He and Byers were dep- 
uties for Pierce during the "Sage Brush War" and the people 
of Lassen county elected Byers for their first sheriff. 
Indian Troubles. 1862 

During this year the Indians made up for the peacefulness 
of the preceding year. From early in the spring until late in the 
year they were busy on the northern and eastern borders of the 
valley and along the emigrant road to the Humboldt river. Of 
course they committed depredations elsewhere, but at the places 
mentioned the people of Honey Lake valley suffered the most, 
and our story is about them. These depredations were commit- 
ted by the Pit river Indians, the renegade Piutes under Smoke 
Creek Sam, and other bands of Indians that lived along the emi- 
grant road and to the north of it. Possibly some of the mischief 
was done by the Pyramid lake Piutes, for their chiefs could not 
always keep them in sight and the sub-chiefs were not always 
"good Injuns." 

Some time during the first part of March Thomas Bear, who 
was keeping a trading post and a station at Deep Hole springs 



about sixty miles east of Honey Lake valley, came to Susanville 

after supplies, leaving his hired man, Dave , alone at the 

station. While he was in the valley a storm came on and delayed 
his return. A party came in from the Humboldt and told him 
that there was no one at his place when they came along. He and 
a man named John Williams at once started out on horseback 
and got to the station a little after noon on the second day. Bear 
began to get some dinner and the other man went to looking 
around the premises. Some say that nothing had been taken from 
the station but the guns and ammunition, others say that it had 
been plundered of a lot of flour, blankets, etc. It would be a 
queer thing if the Indians didn 't take everything they could find 
that was of value to them, for they generally did that and burned 
the buildings, too. There was nothing about the house to show 
that the missing man had been harmed. After some hunting 
Williams found a little distance from the house a piece of matting 
that Dave used to spread down before the fire to lie upon, and 
this had blood stains on it. He soon found some moccasin tracks 
and these he followed until he got near one of the springs. When 
he got near enough to see into the spring he saw a human hand 
rising and falling in the water. The Indians had split his head 
open with an ax and then carried him to the spring and crowded 
him under the sod that fringed the edge of it. Some say he was 
scalped, too. After burying him Bear, or Bare (it is spelled both 
ways), Williams, and another man started for Honey Lake. 
When they got within five or six miles of Smoke creek they saw 
eight Indians coming down the hill toward them carrying a 
white rag on a stick. The white men stopped a few minutes to 
consult together and the Indians stopped, too. When the whites 
came on the Indians advanced to meet them and kept in a bunch 
in the road as if to prevent them from going on their way. Bear, 
who was a fearless man, took the lead, poked the Indian leader in 
the stomach with his gun, and thrust the others aside with it. 
Four of the Indians stood on each side of the road and the whites 
passed between them without being molested. After they had 
gone a little ways they looked back and saw the Indians bring 
their guns to their faces as if they were going to shoot at them. 
Bear immediately raised his gun and they lowered their weapons, 
and this was repeated several times before they got out of range. 
Then the Indians started out across the hills as if they were try- 



ing to reach the Smoke Creek canyon first and ambush the white 
men there. The latter rode as fast as they could and evidently 
out-stripped the Indians, for they got through the canyon in 
safety and reached the valley without further adventure. About 
this time some stock was stolen from the Granite creek station and 
some from Deep Hole. 

V. J. Borrette had six horses running near the mouth of Wil- 
low creek and about the middle of March he concluded to hunt 
them up. He and a friend, Byron B. Gray, borrowed some rid- 
ing horses and saddles and started out after them. They thought 
they knew right where the horses were and that it would not 
take very long to find them, so they took neither food nor firearms. 
They hunted around all day, but didn't find them, and just at 
sundown they got up on the bluff above Willow creek where it 
comes out into this valley. Borrette told Gray that they were a 
long ways from home, that probably the horses were further up 
the creek where they would find them in the morning, so they 
would camp there that night. They made a bed out of their sad- 
dle blankets, picketed their horses just out of reach of it, and lay 
down and went to sleep. They were very tired and slept the next 
morning until the sun shone in Borrette 's face and woke him up. 
He saw that the horses were gone and spoke to Gray who half 
woke up and said he could see them down on the creek. The 
other man told him to wake up and look again. They both got up, 
and after a little investigation, found from the tracks that five 
Indians had come up the canyon from the creek, cut the picket 
ropes close to the pins, and led the horses down the canyon. They 
followed the trail until it struck the rocks and there they lost it. 
Just then Borrette happened to think that neither one of them 
had a gun or a knife and it would do them no good if they over- 
took the Indians. 

Henry Arnold was running some horses and cattle in that part 
of the country and had a camp between Willow creek and the 
Soldier bridge, so they took their out-fits on their backs and went 
down there for help. When they arrived at Arnold's camp he 
told them that he had no firearms excepting an old shotgun and 
that had been broken the day before. After trying in vain to get 
some one to help them they packed their saddles to Susanville 
and paid $75 apiece for the borrowed horses. Borrette after- 
wards found his horses where they had hunted for them. 



A few days after this Jack Byrd had several head of cattle 
run off by the Indians. He found some of them that they had 
killed. They had taken only the hearts and tongues and left the 
rest of the animal. 

The Pursuit of the Indians Who Stole the Cattle of Wil- 
liam B. Long and Others 

From the narratives of William Dow, A. L. Harper, William 
H. Hall, and A. G. Moon, the testimony of William B. Long, and 
the diary of A. L. Tunison. 

Late in the fall of 1861 James Briden started from the Hon- 
cut with a large band of cattle for the Humboldt. On account of 
the weather he could get no further than Honey Lake valley 
with them, so that winter he ranged them in the country from 
Willow creek to the lower Hot Springs. The cattle of William B. 
Long and A. K. Wood, son of General Wood, the Neale Brothers, 

the Adams Brothers, J. D. Byers, Samuel Marriott, and 

Blood ranged this winter in the same locality. During the first 
part of the winter the Long and Wood stock was looked after by 
Arthur K. Long, brother of William B., and a man named 
Thomas Williams, but some time in January A. L. Harper went 
there to help them. They had twenty-five head of mares running 
near the mouth of Willow creek and very early in the spring the 
herders missed them and sent word to Long. He went from 
Susanville down there and after some hunting found their trails 
going out of the valley, and the moccasin tracks among those of 
the horses showed that they had been driven off by the Indians. 
He never found the mares nor heard anything more about them. 
Some time after this Harper missed some steers and sent word 
to Long about it. In the course of two or three weeks Long sent 
a message to the herders and told them to gather up the steers 
and said he would be down there as soon as he could. In the I 
meantime the herders found the carcass of a steer that had been 
shot to death with arrows and some others with arrows in their 
flesh. These they caught and pulled the arrows out of them. 

About the middle of March William B. Long, Briden, Henry 
Sidorus, Harper, and probably some others whose cattle ranged 
there, began to gather them up and put them into the long can- 
yon that runs into the hills a little northwest of the Lathrop and 
Bradley place. In a week they had a large band of cattle there, 


THE YEAR 1862 

estimates running from 200 to 1000 head. These cattle belonged 
to everybody who had any running around there and they in- 
tended to take them to Mt. Meadows for safety. On the morning 
of the 25th of March Long went over on foot to see the cattle and 
found them all gone excepting seven of Briden's Spanish steers. 
He followed their tracks for a while, but finding it was of no use 
to go on in that way, he went back and got his horse. He then 
took the trail and went ten or twelve miles toward Secret Valley. 
He found several cattle mired down but not injured and thought 
he saw the tracks of five or six Indians. He then came back and 
sent men to Janesville to raise a crowd to pursue the Indians and 
went himself to Susanville. Governor Roop called a meeting of 
the people who lived in that end of the valley and quite a number 
of the men agreed to go with Long. 

By the morning of the 27th something like fifty men from all 
parts of the valley had gathered at the T. C. (Tule) Emerson 
ranch about a mile and a half northwest of Lathrop and Brad- 
ley's. They elected Dave Blanchard captain and Henry Arnold 
and Johnson Tutt lieutenants. Some of those who went on this 
expedition were William B. Long, Arthur K. Wood, George Tay- 
lor, William Dow, Samuel Shultz, William H. Hall, Lyman Mer- 

win, Dave Hare, A. G. Moon, Byron B. Gray, Keefer, A. L. 

Harper, Miles Harper, York Rundel, Luther Spencer, John Part- 
ridge, A. L. Tunison, Stephen White, Warren Lockman, John 
Bradley, George W. Perry (Buckskin Mose), a Spaniard named 
Steve Rafael, a young man who worked for Dr. Slater, name 
unknown, and some say one or two Chinamen. They had horses 
enough to pack their provisions and blankets and a few of the 
men, perhaps a fourth of them, were mounted. 

As soon as they could get ready they started out across the 
hills to the northeast. It had been an extremely wet winter and 
the ground was very soft. Where it was the driest the horses 
sank into the mud up to their fetlocks and where they crossed 
the creeks, for there was water in every canyon, they went in up 
to their bodies. Sometimes the pack horses mired down and 
their packs had to be taken off before they could get out of the 
mud. Where the men could not step on the rocks they went into 
the mud ankle deep. They saw the tracks of only eight Indians 
and evidently these were too few to handle so many cattle, for 
every little ways some of them left the band and they could not 



get them back. They crossed the creek that flows from Mud 
Springs three or four miles east of Secret valley and there they 
found about sixty head of cattle dead in the mud, and some live 
ones which they pulled out. The leaders of the band had sunk 
into the mud and the others had gone over them and mashed 
them down so deep that they had smothered. That night they 
camped northwest of Mud Springs, having traveled about twenty 
miles. It snowed some that night. The next day they went to 
the northeast across a mountainous country and at night struck 
Smoke creek seven or eight miles above the station. Every little 
while during the day they had found a few cattle mired down. 
These and all the cattle that mired down or gave out from this 
time on were mutilated or killed by the Indians. They knocked 
them on the head, pushed an arrow into their bodies, cut open 
their sides, hamstrung them, or ruined them in some other way. 
Sometimes they took the heart and tongue of an animal or per- 
haps a little of the meat and tallow. It snowed on them all that 
day and they reached camp, which was where they struck Smoke 
creek, cold, wet, and hungry, after a march of about twenty 
miles. Here they found a young steer which they killed and ate. 
It snowed on them nearly all that night. Harper says they 
camped that night within a mile and a half of some of the Indians 
they were after. The next day they concluded that they could 
get along better without the horses to bother them, so they sent 
the pack train and the men on horseback by way of the road to 
Deep Hole, probably thinking that the trail they were following 
would lead them close to that place. They also wanted to get 
some more provisions if they could. That same morning Perry, 
Partridge, and a Chinaman took the road back to Honey Lake 
because their boots had got stiff and hurt their feet so they could 
not travel fast enough to keep up with the others. Their force was 
now reduced to thirty-three men, and each one of these took a 
pair of blankets and enough food for three or four meals and once 
more started out on the trail of the cattle which kept to the 
northeast toward Buffalo Meadows. Late in the forenoon Steve 
"White saw an Indian on a ridge about three quarters of a mile 
ahead and he fell back and told the others. They thought they 
had come up with the whole band of Indians and there might be 
a good many of them, so they stopped and held a consultation. 
Some of the party wanted to wait until night and then attack 


THE YEAR 1862 

them and the others wanted to go ahead and overtake them as 
soon as possible. Finally the majority decided to go on. They 
went to the foot of the ridge on which White had seen the Indian, 
sneaked part way up it, and crawled the rest of the way. Long, 
Harper, Taylor, Keefer, and some of the older men went up a 
little canyon and the others crawled up on each side of it. The 
four men named got to the top of the ridge first and though they 
found no Indians there they found about forty head of cattle. 
The Indians were driving them in two bands and this was the 
hind one. Long and Harper went on through the cattle looking 
for Indians and left the other two men a little behind. When 
they got through the band and looked over the edge of the ridge 
they saw three Indians about a hundred yards away. They 
sneaked up to within seventy-five yards of them and saw one 
Indian standing up and the other two cutting meat from the body 
of an animal. Harper drew a bead on one of them, but he didn't 
shoot at once, and never could tell why he didn't do it. In the 
meantime the other men had come up and just then Long 
motioned for them to come on. Taylor, who had his dog Bob 
with him, was the first one of them to get where he could see over 
the ridge. When he saw the Indians he yelled "There they are. 

See the sons of . Sic 'em, Bob!" The Indians dropped to 

the ground as quick as a flash and rolled down the steep side hill 
into the canyon out of sight, and when next seen they were run- 
ning up the side of a hill three or four hundred yards away. A 
good many shots were fired at them, but the snow was blowing 
and they were so far away that none of them were hit. All of the 
men then threw down their loads and started on the run after 
them. When they had gone a couple of miles they concluded to 
send a party back to bring up the loads so they would not have 
so far to come back to camp. Eight or ten men returned and got 
the blankets, etc., and left two men to guard the cattle that the 
Indians had left on the ridge. The others went on after the three 
Indians who followed the trail of those ahead. At the lower end 
of Buffalo Meadows, or near there, they came to a place where 
evidently the Indians in the lead intended to camp for the night 
and wait for the others to come up, but for some reason they had 
taken alarm and gone on. Until they reached this place the 
Indians had killed only the cattle that could go no further, but 
after this they killed all of them that they could. Some of the cat- 



tie left behind by them were found standing up, but they were so 
badly mutilated that they had to be killed. The trail went north- 
west from Buffalo Meadows. Since losing sight of the three 
Indians with the hindmost cattle not an Indian had been seen, 
but about half an hour before sundown when they had chased 
them ten or twelve miles they saw them a mile and a half away 
on the other side of a big canyon. They had seventeen head of 
the strongest cattle and they were running them as fast as they 
could. Some say there were only five Indians with the cattle, 
others tell all the way from that number up to fifteen. Harper 
says they saw the tracks of only nine Indians at any time. 

It was getting late and there was no hope of catching up with 
the Indians that night and they didn't know how far back they 
would have to go to find the men who were bringing up the loads 
that were left behind. Besides this they had very little food left 
and they concluded to give up the pursuit. It was long after dark 
when they reached camp. The men sent back had brought the 
outfit up to where the Indians intended to camp and they stayed 
there that night. They traveled about as far as usual that day. 
It snowed all day and during the night nearly a foot of snow fell. 
They built sagebrush fires and heated up the ground, and then 
spread down brush and made their beds on it. Between the warm 
ground and the snow on their beds they were so warm that they 
all took colds the next day. That night they stood guard for the 
first time since leaving home. Dow, who slept with Hall, stood 
guard the first part of the night, and when he came to bed he 
crawled in just as he was and with his boots covered with snow. 
Hall wasn 't used to hunting Indians and he had undressed when 
he went to bed. The snow felt pretty cold to him and he com- 
plained to Dow about coming to bed with ten pounds of snow on 
his boots. When Dow found that the other man had taken off his 
clothes he asked him what he would do without any clothes or 
boots on if the Indians attacked them suddenly in the night and 
he had to get out of bed and run or fight. Probably that ended the 
conversation. The next morning Long, Dow, and Tunison (the 
latter says there were ten of them) went across to Deep Hole to 
turn back the pack train. The others went back to Smoke creek, 
picking up the cattle as they went along, and camped about two 


THE YEAR 1862 

miles above the station, being too tired to go any further. It 
snowed nearly all that day and night. The next day they moved 
down to the station and waited for the pack train to join them. 

The Spaniard and the man who worked for Dr. Slater had a 
fight that day. There had been some trouble between them before 
that and some little thing brought on a row. The Spaniard had 
no scabbard for his knife and he had made one by cutting slits, 
one above the other, in a piece of rawhide. During the fight he 
tried to draw his knife, but the rawhide had dried and shrunk 
down on it and he could not get it out and probably that saved 
the other man 's life. 

That night the pack train and the mounted men came in and 
also a party of thirty or forty men under the command of Jack 
Byrd. They intended to follow the trail, but after talking with 
the men who went back the third day they concluded to follow 
the road. The next day, April 1st, they all went to the valley 
excepting a few men who stayed to drive in the cattle. Byrd and 
his party went on toward home. Some of the Honey Lakers 
stayed that night at the Lathrop and Bradley ranch, some at 
Emerson 's, and some went on home. It was no trouble for men 
like Dow and Tunison to go on to Toadtown after having walked 
in from Smoke creek that day. 

The Indians had decidedly the best of this affair. Probably 
the whites would have killed the three Indians they found on the 
ridge if Taylor had not yelled when he saw them. After having 
crawled up that ridge they must have been greatly disappointed 
at the way matters turned out, and without any doubt he was 
chaffed and ''cussed" unmercifully by the other men. For a 
long time after that "Sic 'em, Bob" was a common expression 
in Honey Lake. As it was, all that the white men had to show 
for their trouble and suffering was forty-four or forty-five head 
of cattle which they recovered, and four or five of them died on 
the road home. Long claimed that he was out 220 head — lost in 
this raid by the Indians and before this — and others who had 
cattle running in this vicinity lost a good many, too. After they 
got back from this trip Long's herders found that the Indians 
had camped for a week at the head of the canyon above the Lath- 
rop and Bradley ranch waiting for the cattle to be gathered up. 



Two Indians Killed at the Lathrop and Bradley Ranch 

From the narratives of A. L. Harper and William W. Asbury 
and A. L. Tunison's Diary. 

The Honey Lakers got back to the Lathrop ranch, for that is 
what it was called, on Tuesday, April 1st. During the afternoon 
of the Sunday before this two Indians were seen coming toward 
the house on that ranch. In the house at that time, as nearly as 
can be ascertained, were Lathrop and his Wife, Samuel Marriott, 
a lame man named Hobbs, and a Chinaman. They thought that 
the Indians were spies and they planned to get them into the 
house and question them and then tie them and take them out 
and kill them. The Indians came into the house and put down 
their guns when told to do so, but when questioned would only 
say that there were twelve more of them at the Hot springs. 
Before long the white men started in to tie them. In the scuffle 
that followed Hobbs was left alone with the larger Indian while 
the rest of them were wrestling with the other one. The Indian 
tried to draw his knife and Hobbs called for help. Lathrop ran 
to his aid, caught up an old Minnie rifle that belonged to the 
Indian, and told Hobbs to let go so he could shoot him. But Hobbs 
was like the man who had the tiger by the tail, he couldn 't let go. 
The Indian was big and strong and he kept his adversary between 
himself and Lathrop. Once while this was going on Mrs. Lathrop, 
who had been put into the back room to keep her out of danger, 
looked through the door and told her husband not to shoot Hobbs. 
Finally the white man succeeded in pushing the Indian away 
from him and Lathrop shot him, the bullet going through his 
body and the side of the house, too. Lathrop then helped tie the 
other Indian and when this was done he looked around for the 
one that had been shot. He had gone out of the house and walked 
a couple of hundred yards north toward the emigrant road and 
sat down under a sagebrush. Lathrop went out there and when 
he got close to the Indian the latter 's eyes turned green with rage 
and he cursed the white man and called him vile names. Lath- 
rop put his pistol to the Indian's head and killed him. He then 
returned to the house and they took the other Indian outside. 
The Chinaman wanted to kill him because he knew that the 
Indians had killed three Chinamen "a long time ago." Marriott 
shot him with a shotgun, but did not kill him dead and they let 


THE YEAE 1862 

the Chinaman finish him. They took him out to the other Indian 
and buried both of them there. They then put the carcass of a 
steer on the grave, put some brush on it, and burned it. The next 
day some of them went to Susanville and took the ponies of the 
two Indians with them as they did not want to keep them on the 

In the pouch of the Indian shot by Lathrop they found some 
short pieces cut from endgate rods. The Indians managed to get 
hold of a few guns, but it was hard for them to get any ammuni- 
tion and these pieces of iron were to be used for bullets. 

Fight with the Indians at the Lathrop Ranch 

This story is a continuation of the previous one. It is said 
that a day or two after these Indians were killed two Piutes came 
to Lathrop 's ranch and told him they had seen them killed and 
buried and that in a few days they were going to kill him and 
burn his house and kill all the whites in the valley. "Whether 
this is true or not, Lathrop got frightened and sent to Susan- 
ville for help and Frank Drake, Fielding Long, and Robert 
Johnston went down there. B. E. Shumway was living there at 
the time. The afternoon of the 2nd of April the men who were 
bringing in the cattle recovered from the Indians reached the 
valley. Part of them stayed that night at the Lathrop ranch and 
the others went up to the Emerson place. James C. La Tour, 

William James, John Hyder, "Texas," Slidell, Osborn, 

and George (Dutch) Harris, Shasta county teamsters coming in 
from the Humboldt, stayed at Lathrop 's that night. Lathrop, 
Bradley, and Tom Harvey were there and perhaps a man or two 
more. It is impossible to be exact about their number or their 

Drake got up at daylight the next morning, and happening to 
look toward the northeast, saw a party of mounted men, Indians 
as he supposed, outlined against the sky as they came over the hill. 
He awoke the boys and told them that the Indians were coming 
and then got on his horse and rode up to the Emerson ranch and 
told them about it. The men there went to Lathrop 's as fast as 
they could, but being on foot didn't get there until the trouble 
was over. 

The men awakened by Drake arose and dressed, prepared their 
guns, and got out of sight. Just about this time the Indians, 



twelve in number, who had ridden very rapidly, reached the 
flat in front of the house and rode around as if looking for some- 
thing. Finally they stopped at the place where the Indians were 
buried and then two of them rode toward the house. One of 
them was "Pike," the young Indian Harvey had almost raised 
and who had saved the lives of Harvey and Weatherlow in 1860. 
Harvey told this to the other men and said he hated to see the 
boy shot and would go out and try to save his life. No one made 
any objection and he went out to meet the two Indians. Lathrop 
had met them as they came near the house and one of them asked 
him what had become of the Indians who came there a few days 
before that. He was told that they had gone away. The Indian 
said ' ' You heap lie. Me stay out on the hill. See um come here, 
no see um go away. ' ' Lathrop made no reply to this, but asked 
them to get off their horses and eat some of the food he had 
brought out and to ask the other Indians to come there and eat, 
too. They motioned for the others to come up and then dis- 
mounted. The rest of the band rode up, got off their horses, put 
down their weapons, and began to eat. So far things had gone 
well for the Never Sweats and it looked as though they were 
going to get some Indians this time. While this was going on 
Harvey had got out there and told Pike to go with him to the 
house and get some coffee. "When they got close to the door the 
white men came around the corner of the house and fired on the 
Indians. Pike started to run and Shumway shot him in the back 
with a handful of five-shooter bullets; but he kept on running 
until he got to the corral, and he stayed there until the Indians 
came to him with the horses. As soon as the whites fired they 
rushed toward the Indians who all ran away, the most of them 
taking their guns, but only one getting his horse. They ran out as 
far as the grave of the Indians, the white men following and 
shooting at them with their pistols. The Indian with the horse, 
though the whites were shooting at him all the time, circled 
around behind them and drove the ponies out to the other Indians 
and they mounted and rode away. One of them was slow in get- 
ting on his horse, and Long, Johnston, Harris, and Slidell ran 
toward him. He raised his gun and fired at them. Those in front 
had swung out to one side and Harris caught the bullet. Slidell 
was the only one who had brought his gun along and he snapped 
it at the Indian, but it failed to go off. It was a rifle with the 


THE YEAR 1862 

hammer on the under side, the cap had dropped off, and he had 
no more with him. The Indian kept trying to mount his horse by 
getting on a sagebrush, but every time he tried it the bush mashed 
down. Slidell kept following him up and snapping his gun at 
him until he left his pony and ran away. The whole thing was 
over in almost no time. The Indians went out to the corral and 
got Pike and rode off to the east where they gathered up some 
horses that were running there. Drake rode out toward them and 
they invited him to come on if he wanted to. 

Thus ended what looked like a good chance for the Honey 
Lakers to get revenge upon the Indians. It seems to have been 
a very badly managed affair. Harris was mortally wounded and 
died on the sixth of April. The Indians left four guns and one 
pony. From their actions it was supposed that seven Indians 
were wounded and that they died later on, but it was also reported 
that Pike got well and no one ever knew for certain that any of 
the others died. 

John F. Hulsman says that early this spring Winnemucca and 
eight or ten warriors came to the Ward and Titherington ranch 
(the Lassen ranch south of Susanville). Hulsman gave them 
something to eat and let the chief sleep in his bed. Winnemucca 
said they could kill no game with their bows and arrows and they 
must have something to eat. He said that if the white men would 
give him some ammunition, he would see that it was put to a good 
use. The Indians would kill game with it and would not have to 
kill the white men's cattle. Ward and Titherington hitched up 
and went to town and with the help of Roop and some others got 
a lot of blankets and ammunition which they brought out and 
gave to the Indians. They at once packed this on their ponies 
and went away, the chief saying that they would do no mischief 
and would not bother anybody. 

On the 5th of April a man out hunting stock was chased by 
three Indians. He was within a hundred yards of them when he 
first saw them, but he had a good horse and soon was out of their 

This spring a few soldiers were stationed at Smoke creek, 
probably under the command of Lieutenant Wells. They stayed 
there until the following spring and then a much larger force was 
sent to that place. 



Hall's Trip to the Humboldt 

April 8th "William H. Hall and fifty-four others left Lath- 
rop 's ranch for the Humboldt mines, there being a great mining 
excitement in that section. On the third day out they fell in with 
Thomas Bare, who traveled along with them, and the next day 
they reached the station at Deep Hole. Here a sad spectacle met 
their view. The Indians had returned and dug up the body of 

Dave , whom they had killed about a month previous to that 

time, and pieces of it were scattered around. This sight drove 
Bare almost crazy and he swore that henceforth he would kill 
every Indian he could, no matter where he was. 

It rained the following night and they could not cross the 
desert on account of the sticky mud, so Hall and James Bailey, 
the Father of William R. Bailey of Janesville, this county, went 
out hunting for mountain sheep. They could not find any and at 
eleven o'clock they started for the station. As they were going 
along about half a mile from camp Bailey said "You go over the 
hill and I will go around it, and we may strike something here. ' ' 
When Hall reached the summit of the hill he saw a pile of rocks 
seventy-five yards ahead of him and there was an Indian's head 
sticking up above it. The Indian stood up and they both took aim 
and fired at the same time. The bullet from the Indian's gun 
struck the ground about three feet behind Hall, but the latter 's 
gun failed to go off. He saw another Indian holding a couple of 
horses on the side hill below him and he turned and ran down the 
hill toward the station. He says that he was not afraid himself, 
but he wanted to get help so they would not kill Mr. Bailey. He 
must have been in earnest about "getting there," for it is said 
that he stepped twelve or fifteen feet at a time while he was going 
down the hill. When he reached camp a dozen men got on their 
horses and went around the hill to Mr. Bailey and then chased 
the Indians. But they had too much of a start and the white men 
never got anywhere near them. 

When they resumed their journey Bare, who was also going 
to the Humboldt, went along with the crowd. He was a little 
ahead of the rest of the party when they got to Antelope Springs, 
and captured an Indian whom he found trying to get into the 
house there. He told the others that he was going to take his cap- 
tive to the Humboldt river, but instead of going along the road 
he took him up a trail behind a ledge of rocks. He was punching 

[ 284 ] 

THE YEAR 1862 

him with his cocked gun to make him go and the Indian turned 
around and caught hold of the muzzle of it and tried to take it 
away from him. In the scuffle he got the muzzle of the gun 
against his body and Bare pulled the trigger and killed him 
dead. When the party reached the Humboldt river everybody, 
Indians and all, seemed to know about the affair, and Hall says 
the Indians in that section kept up a war for three years on 
account of it. 

The Burning op the Mud Flat Station 
Told by A. L. Harper 

Along in December, 1861, Samuel Marriott started for the 
Humboldt with four or five ox teams loaded with freight. On 
the evening of their arrival at Rush creek they unyoked their 
cattle and drove them down on the flat below to feed. When they 
got back to the wagons they found some Indians plundering 
them, but they ran away as soon as they saw the teamsters com- 
ing. The next morning it was raining and snowing by spells 
and this weather continued for three or four days. When the 
storm was over the cattle were scattered and all of them could 
not be found, but Marriott used what he had, and by taking part 
of a load at a time, managed to get his freight back to the Mud 
Springs Station and store it in one of the buildings there. 

Hobbs, Robert Ross, and two men coming in from the Hum- 
boldt stayed there that winter. About the middle of March 
Hobbs came out to Honey Lake valley. Early one morning a 
few days after he had gone Ross heard the dog bark and a shot 
fired. An Indian had crawled up behind a bunch of willows 
until he was only fifty or sixty yards from the house. The 
dog discovered him, and not liking Indians, made an attack on 
him and the Indian had to shoot him in self defense. The bullet 
struck the dog back of the head and went the whole length of 
his body just under the skin. Ross thought that the Indians 
might be around and he jumped out of bed, grabbed his gun, 
and went out without putting on his clothes, for he wanted to 
get there before the Indian had time to reload his gun. The 
dog was still fighting the Indian and Ross got a shot at him. 
He ran a little ways and then dropped his bow and arrows and 
a rabbit skin cloak. He succeeded in going a short distance 
further and there was met by two other Indians who helped him 



mount his horse. He hung to his gun and carried it away with 
him. The blood on the ground showed that he had been 
severely wounded. 

In some way the Honey Lakers heard about the shooting of 
the Indian, and thinking there might be trouble about it, they 
hitched up five ox teams and went out there after Marriott's 
freight. When they got there they loaded it as rapidly as 
possible and left the place — the men who had been staying there 
going along with them. A night or two afterwards the buildings 
at the station were all burned. H. L. Spargur was coming in 
from the Humboldt and intended to stay there that night, but 
he saw the buildings burning and struck across the hills leaving 
the station to one side. This must have occurred during the 
first week in April. 

Horses and Cattle Stolen by the Indians from Susanville 
Told by John T. Long 

One night in the latter part of May eight or ten Indians, as 
near as could be told from their tracks, came into Susanville. 
They went into Mr. Jenison's chicken house and walked along 
the street past the few houses then in the place. When they 
went away they took a work steer belonging to Milton Craig 
out of a corral near the Roop cabin. This was one of an extra 
fine yoke of cattle. They also took six horses owned by William 
B. Long from the little flat just north of the cabin. They stayed 
on the Antelope hill the next day and the people in town could 
see them walking around a fire. From the signs left there they 
built a fire and had a feast and jerked what was left of the 
steer's flesh. Nobody went out after them, it being the only 
case on record where the Never Sweats stood anything of that 
kind from the Indians without giving them a fight if there was 
any chance to do so. 

That same spring a man named William R. Hill lived with 
his family in the little valley on Piute creek about half a mile 
northwest of Susanville. One evening as they were milking their 
cows near the house a band of Indians came into the corral. 
They didn't try to hurt any one, but drove the cattle out of the 
corral and went off to the northeast with them toward the 
Antelope hill. One of the Hill boys ran down the canyon to 
Susanville and gave the alarm and several men took their guns 

[ 286] 

THE YEAR 1862 

and set out toward the hills. They succeeded in heading the 
Indians off and fired on them when they came along. They 
never returned the fire, but left the cows and departed in great 
haste. It is hard to understand why they were so inoffensive. 
"While the men were gone the rest of the people living in town, 
not knowing what would happen next, gathered at Arnold's 

On the fifth of June eighty soldiers (cavalry) came into the 
valley, but they stayed only a few days. 

The last of June or the first of July a party of men were 
coming along the emigrant road from the Humboldt river to 
Honey Lake valley. Dr. H. S. Borrette was with them. Near 
Deep Hole an Indian joined the crowd and rode along with 
them. Among the men there was one whose brother had been 
killed by the Indians and he had sworn vengeance on them. 
This man worked around until he got on the right hand side of 
the Indian so his gun, which he carried on the saddle in front 
of him, would be pointed toward the red man. He rode in this 
way beside the Indian until he managed to get him out on the 
left hand side of the crowd where there was no danger of hitting 
any one else. Then he aimed his gun the best he could while 
it was in that position, fired and killed the Indian. It is very 
probable that some other white man had to suffer to pay for this. 

The Murder of James Bailey and William Cook 

It has been told that Mr. Bailey went out to the Humboldt 
mines in April. He settled up his business in Star City and in 
company with his partner, William Cook, started with five yoke 
of cattle and a wagon for their homes in Shasta county. On the 
night of the eighth of July they reached Antelope Springs 
fifteen miles west of Lassen's Meadows on the Humboldt river. 
Appearances indicated that they got there late at night, and 
after turning their cattle loose, they made their bed a short 
distance from the wagon and went to sleep. Early the next 
morning Cook took a little keg and a dipper and went to a 
spring not far away. It looked as though Bailey was rolling up 
the bed when some one slipped up behind him and struck him 
on the head with his own ax. This did not kill him and he fought 
his way to the wagon and tried to get his gun, but he failed to 
do it and was killed a short distance from the wagon. There 



were some bushes on the point of a hill between the wagon and 
the spring and the tracks showed that ten or twelve Indians had 
been concealed there. When Cook heard the noise of the fighting 
at the wagon he started to help Bailey, but the Indians who 
were in the bushes rushed out to meet him and killed him. It is 
not known whether any Indians were killed or not. Cook had a 
pistol and probably he gave a good account of himself before he 
died. Both men were stripped of their clothes and mutilated 
and left where they fell. The Indians took their weapons and 
the cattle and everything the wagon contained excepting some 
ground coffee which they scattered around the ground. They 
carried away quite a sum of money which the men had with 
them. They left the yokes and chains and did not burn the 
wagon. That night John C. Dow and John Prichard, who were 
coming from the Humboldt mines, reached the scene of the 
murder. They rolled the bodies of the men in some blankets and 
buried them where they found them and they still lie there. 

When the news reached the Humboldt mines ten men, Captain 
Weatherlow, William Jackson, and John Pool being among the 
number, started out on the trail of the Indians and followed 
them to the northwest into the Queen's river country. They 
found a camp of nine Indians and succeeded in surrounding it 
and killing eight of them. The ninth one, who was a big fellow, 
got into the rocks, and thinking himself safe, climbed out onto 
a point and began to yell and make insulting gestures. Jackson 
borrowed Weatherlow 's gun, a Sharp's rifle, and taking careful 
aim, shot the Indian through the body killing him instantly. 
One of the Indians had on a pair of Mr. Bailey's trousers and 
in one of the pockets was a promissory note for $50, but it was 
so badly worn out that the name of the maker could not be 
read. A. L. Harper says that the Indian killed by Jackson had 
the gun that Peter Lassen was carrying when he was murdered. 
It was taken to Susanville and the people there recognized it 
because it had a black walnut stock the whole length of the 
barrel. It was given to Governor Koop and Mrs. Arnold says 
that Harper's account is correct. 

The following story was also told by Mr. Harper. The last 
of July seven or eight Indians came into Star City with some 
fine nuggets. The people of the place were much excited about 
it and two or three parties tried to hire the Indians to tell 

r 288 1 

THE YEAR 1862 

where they found them. Finally, after they had tried all sorts 
of plans, such as shutting them up, feasting them, etc., the 
Indians agreed to show them the place, but they wanted a good 
many blankets for doing it. But they kept coming down with 
their price and at last four of them said they would go with a 
party of twelve or fifteen white men and show them where they 
found the gold. For their pay they were to receive a few ponies 
and some provisions and their board while they were on the 
trip. They went up the east side of the Humboldt river, but 
after they had traveled a few days two of the Indians left in 
the night and before long another one did the same thing. 
Harper doesn't know whether the other one got away or they 
killed him. The party then started back toward Star City. 
"When they got down to Gravelly Ford they ran across a band 
of Indians who were fishing camped by the river and they killed 
a lot of them, perhaps ten or twelve, and scalped them. They 
brought the scalps into Star City with them and some of the 
crowd wore them on their belts around town. There were a good 
many tame Indians who frequented the place, and probably 
some wild ones, too, and they all knew where the scalps came 
from. The sequel to this will be told later on. 

Early in September a man coming to this valley from Eed 
Bluff with a load of fruit had three arrows shot into him by 
the Indians. About the same time an emigrant train camped in 
the valley and they reported that they had buried fourteen men, 
women, and children on the Humboldt. They supposed that 
the Indians had killed them. A week afterwards a man was 
killed at Fredonyer's house in Mt. Meadows, twenty arrows 
being shot into him. 

Two Indians Shot Near Bankhead's 

September 26th two Washoe Indians came into Lomas and 
Bankhead's blacksmith shop in what is now Janesville. James 
Doyle of Milford says they had a couple of old guns and they 
wanted Bankhead to fix them. They were of no account and 
he threw them down on the ground and said he could not fix 

the old things. The Indians didn't understand English 

very well and they went around the place saying " old 

things" until the women got frightened. H. E. Lomas tells the 
rest of the story. He says the Indians were very impudent 



while they were in the shop, and because there had been a great 
deal of trouble with the Indians that year, it made him a little 
nervous. Their actions frightened the few women who lived in 
the place. A man named Tunnel was in the shop at the time 
and he felt himself insulted by what they said and did. When 
they started off up the road Tunnel and another man went 
around and got in ahead of them and lay behind a log by the 
side of the road at the top of the hill about half a mile west of 
Fort Janesville. When the Indians came along they fired on 
them killing one and wounding the other. The wounded one, 
wiho was lame, ran straight up toward the mountain and escaped. 
He went down the valley where some one dressed his wounds and 
he got well. The men who did the shooting put the body of the 
dead Indian on a log and burned it. 

This affair was not very creditable to the whites, but there 
was some excuse for it from the fact that they had been driven 
almost to desperation by the Indians that year. Besides the 
stealing and murdering done by them, for Which they escaped 
punishment the most of the time, they would come into the 
valley with property taken from the whites and sometimes 
boasted of it. The young bucks delighted in being as mean and 
impudent as they could and seemed to think that the whites 
dare not resent it. There is a limit to what men can stand, and 
between fear of invasion by the Indians and anger at what they 
had already done, the Honey Lakers had reached that limit. 

Four Men Attacked by the Indians Near the Shaffer Ranch 
Told by H. E. Lomas and the "Quincy Union." 
On the 28th or 29th of October Mr. Lomas was putting a 
roof on his cabin at the Shaffer Ranch (Lathrop and Bradley 
had sold out to the Shaffer Brothers) when a man came to the 
station from the emigrant road. He was very much excited and 
said that four of them had been attacked by the Indians not 
far out on the road to the northeast. There were two teams, one 
an ox team and the other a mule team, and they were going from 
the Humboldt to Red Bluff. The ox team was somewhat behind 
the other one, and when they were about two miles from Shaffer's 
fifteen Indians rose up from among the sagebrush some thirty 
yards away and fired on the teamster and a passenger that he 
had. While the latter was trying to get his gun out from under 


THE YEAR 1862 

some blankets he was slightly wounded in the wrist by an Indian 
more brave than the others, who had come close to the wagon. 
He got the gun, however, and handed it to the driver who fired 
at the Indians. One of them fell, but soon got up and ran off. 
Several shots were fired by the passenger, who had a revolver, 
but upon the nearer approach of the Indians they were com- 
pelled to leave their wagons and go to Shaffer's. They came in 
one at a time, and as each one arrived he was received like one 
risen from the dead by those of the party already there. They 
raised a small crowd and went back to the scene of the fight and 
found the coast clear of Indians. They recovered the wagons 
and the teams, but the ox wagon had been plundered of the 
driver's trunk which contained $250. 

An Attack by the Indians on Mud Flat 

From the narratives of A. L. Harper, William R. Bailey, 
William W. Asbury, William Pool, H. E. Lomas, A. L. Tunison's 
diary, and from what was written from SusanviUle to the 
"Quincy Union." 

The last of October a party started from the Humboldt mines 
to go to Honey Lake valley. There were eleven of them, John 
Green, George H. Dobyns, Joseph Block, "Bobby" Jordan, John 
Spencer, John McCoy, Theodore C. Purdom, G. Loomis Kellogg, 
and perhaps Dr. Baker. The names of the other two can not 
be ascertained. Purdom and Kellogg belonged in Honey Lake 
and the rest of the party, so far as is known, were from Shasta 
county, and all of them were on the way to their homes. Some 
of them had been in business in the Humboldt mining towns and 
the others were prospectors and teamsters. Dobyns had a four- 
horse team, Purdon and Kellogg, who were partners, had 
another one, and there was some kind of lighter rig drawn by 
two horses or two mules. Stories regarding the details of the 
affair are conflicting, but the writer has been able to get the 
truth in regard to the principal facts. 

The Indians were troublesome, but large parties felt secure 
from attack by them. The night of the last day of October the 
i party stayed at Smoke creek. One of them showed three Indian 
scalps, said to be some of those taken from the Indians killed at 
Gravelly Ford the last of July, and said he wanted more of 
them. He had a Sharp 's rifle and two revolvers and he thought 



he could whip all the Indians they could bring to him, and he 
wanted some brought. When the fight began his horse ran 
away with him and so the red men escaped with their lives. 
The next morning all the men excepting Green rolled their 
guns up in their blankets because they thought they were out] 
of danger of an attack by the Indians. Green said he was 
going to stick to his gun until he got home and was ridiculed, 
for his timidity. When they came down off the bluffs onto the 
east end of Mud Flat, about nine miles from Shaffer's, a band 
of Indians, estimated at from fifteen to fifty, rose up from 
behind some sagebrush that had piled up a short distance from 
the road and poured a volley into them. Purdom was shot just 
under the shoulder blade. It was a serious wound and he fell, 
from the wagon. The horses then swung around and tipped 
the wagon over. Green, Spencer, McCoy, and another man 
were on horseback and a little distance ahead of the wagons, but ; 
the three first named immediately turned and rode back to 
them. (Lomas says that Spencer was in one of the wagons.) 
In the fight that followed Kellogg was shot through the heart 
and instantly killed. McCoy was shot through the hip and 
Spencer was struck between the shoulders, almost on the neck, 
but either the bullet had not much force or he had on a good 
many clothes, and it only raised a big lump. It is said that 
Block ran toward the Indians, some say making Masonic signs, 
others that he offered them money to spare his life, but they 
killed him before he got very far. It was not much of a fight on 
the part of the whites, and the man they had laughed at that 
morning for his cowardice did the most of the fighting. He 
fired at the Indians several times and killed one of them at 
least. (Another story is that not an Indian was killed.) He 
got between them and the white men, a correspondent of the 
"Sacramento Union" writing from Susanville says he got off 
his horse and threw rocks at them, and kept them back until 
his companions, part of them, . got into the light rig and drove 
off. Harper says they were going to leave Purdom there on the 
ground, but Green made them come back and get him. McCoy's 
wound made it very difficult for him to ride and Green held him 
on his horse until they reached a place of safety. Lomas says 
he came to the station across his horse face down. George R. 
Dobyns says that his Father cut his horses loose from the wagon 


THE YEAK 1862 

and got Jordan on one of them, then mounting a race mare, he 
took his blacksnake whip and drove the other horses toward 
Shaffer's as fast as he could. Another story is that Jordan 
hung onto the hind end of the light wagon for three or four 
miles before they would stop and let him get in. The Indians 
pursued them for some distance, but they reached the station in 
safety. The two dead men were left behind where they fell. 

The next day five or six men took Shaffer's wagon and 
brought in the bodies of Kellogg and Block. The former was 
not mutilated a great deal, but Block was scalped and badly cut 
up. Purdom and Kellogg 's team had been taken away and the 
two wagons plundered. It was known that Block had $500 in 
money on his person and the Indians got that. They took from 
Dobyns' wagon an express box containing some jewelry and 
considerable money, and from the other wagon a sack in which 
was all the money Purdom and Kellogg had received for their 
Humboldt mines. Mrs. M. J. McLear, who was Purdom 's wife, 
says it was a goodly sum. Lomas and another man made some 
boxes and buried Kellogg and Block out in the sagebrush north- 
west of the Shaffer station. It was north of the road to Susan- 
ville and west of the Humboldt road, perhaps twenty or thirty 
rods from each one of them. They were never moved from 
there. Purdom recovered to some extent, but two years later he 
died in San Francisco from the effects of his wound. McCoy 
was crippled for life. 

The Pursuit of the Indians 

This murder caused great anger in Honey Lake valley. On 
the third and fourth of November meetings were held in Susan- 
ville for the purpose of raising a company to pursue the Indians. 
The following account is from the diary of A. L. Tunison who 
went with the expedition. 

There were twenty-six well mounted men under the com- 
mand of Captain John Byrd and nineteen soldiers under Major 
McMillan and they started from the Shaffer ranch on the 12th. 
Excepting Byrd, William Dow, and Tunison the names of none 
of the men were given. They went to Smoke creek, Painter 
Flat, the east end of Madeline Plains, and then northwest and 
camped in one of the north arms of the Plains. The next day 
they went north and camped on a branch of Pit river. That 



afternoon they went out on a scout and again at night, and the 
last time they saw one camp fire and one blind or signal fire. 
"November 17th. Twelve of us went to Tula valley on branch 
of Pit river ten or twelve miles on foot to form on one side of 
a supposed camp of Indians, and twenty-one mounted men went 
on horseback to come up on the other side of the supposed camp, 
but before getting there saw a trail of Indians and followed 
them. Came up with them and killed seven Indians, and squaws 
and papooses." They then returned to Tula valley, went from 
there northeast across two branches of the Pit river, and then 
east towards Surprise valley. They went into that valley and 
down it to within three or four miles of Wall lake. ' ' November 
22. Traveled thirty or thirty-five miles in a southeast direction 
without water. Left one pack mule which tired out. Camped 
on Deep Hole creek. Went on to Deep Hole, several soldiers 
got pretty tight here. Indians stole six head of cattle from 
here four days ago." November 26th they arrived at Shaffer's 
and Tunison went home the next day. A short time previous 
to this the Indians robbed a camp at the Big spring fifteen miles 
west of Susanville. 

It was thought by some that the attack on the whites at Mud 
Flat was made by Smoke Creek Sam's band. Others claimed 
that the Indians who made it had followed the party from the 
Humboldt river and were taking revenge for the killing of the 
Indians at Gravelly Ford. 

A Complaint prom Susanville about the Indians 
From the "Sacramento Union" of November 20, 1862 
Their Susanville correspondent says in part : ' ' The only aid 
we have received from any one is when the government sends a 
few soldiers in the summer during emigration when we do not 
need them, excepting when Lieutenant Warner with twenty men 
stayed here one winter. A fort was established at Ft. Churchill 
but that was too far away to do Honey Lake any good. There 
is a barrier of snow to the west several months in the year, and 
not knowing whether we are in California or Nevada, the Indians 
steal our stock and murder our people. We are abandoned by 
California except when her officers collect taxes which they do 
not fail to demand. Last winter and spring we were constantly 
harassed by the Indians. At last Captain Price with part of a 


THE YEAE 1862 

company was sent here, but he stayed only a few days and 
then he returned to Ft. Churchill and reported everything quiet 
in the valley. At the time Captain Price was in the valley the 
Indians were stealing all along the Humboldt road and it was 
not safe for a company of less than ten or twelve armed men to 
travel that road. Is it possible that Governor Stanford and 
Governor Nye and General "Wright are so ignorant of Indian 
character as to think they would find bands of Indians prowling 
around the valley when we were ready to receive them ? On the 
first day of November eleven men were attacked by fifty or 
seventy-five Indians when within eight miles of the valley and 
two men killed and three wounded. The Indians got several of 
their animals, some provisions, and several hundred dollars in 
money and escaped. Last week Captain Byrd was chased by 
five Indians while he was looking after some horses. All these 
depredations are looked upon with apathy by those whose duty 
it is to protect us. Soldiers are stationed on the road from 
Carson to the Humboldt, and people can travel along the road 
with safety. Thousands of people from northern California 
travel through here on their way to the Humboldt mines, and 
risk their lives and property in doing so. If the governor of 
Nevada could see anything outside of Storey and Washoe coun- 
ties, things might be different. This condition of things should 
be remedied at once." 

Soldiers Promised to Honey Lake 

The "Sacramento Union" of November 22, 1862, says the 
following letter was received by Governor Nye of Nevada Ter- 
ritory from General Wright : 

"Headquarters of the Pacific, 
Sacramento, Nov. 13, 1862. 

' ' Governor : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your Excellency's communication of the 9th inst. Rest assured 
that I shall afford all the protection in my power to the settlers. 
I have received a petition from the settlers of Honey Lake 
valley asking for the presence of United States troops and I 
have given orders for a detachment of cavalry to take post at or 
near Susanville, and in the spring I will make arrangements for 
a permanent post in that section of the country. 



"With great respect, I have the honor to be your Excellency's 
obedient servant, G. Wright, 

Brigadier General, U. S. A., Commanding. 
"To his Excellency J. W. Nye, 

Governor of Nevada Territory, Carson City." 
The last of November the Indians stole ten head of stock 
from Deep Hole springs. This closes the long list of their depre- 
dations for this year. 

Fredonyer's Talk Against Time 

Dr. Atlas Fredonyer's name has been given several times 
among those who filed squatter claims on land in this valley. 
Mention has also been made of the pass between this valley and 
Mt. Meadows which he claimed to have discovered. He was the 
first actual settler in Mt. Meadows, the high mountain between 
Eagle lake and Horse lake was named after him, and on some of 
the old maps a road that circled around in California and 
Nevada sixty or eighty miles north of here was called 
"Fredonyer's Route." 

F. and S. have the following : "Atlas Fredonyer was indicted 
May 7, 1862, for an incestuous and criminal assault upon the 
person of his own daughter. His case came on trial May 12, 
before the court of sessions, Judge E. T. Hogan presiding. 
Patrick O. Hundley, being then district attorney, prosecuted 
the case; while the prisoner volunteered to conduct his own 
defense. The evidence was conclusive and damning. Mr. 
Hundley made a strong argument, which carried conviction to 
the mind of every juror. Fredonyer then opened his case, and 
by subterfuge and windy argument, endeavored to prolong the 
trial and gain time. All this while a young man from Honey 
Lake valley, who was confined in Fredonyer's cell for horse 
stealing, was making a laborious effort for liberty. Fredonyer 
held the court for four days, while the young man sank a shaft 
and tunnel under the floor of the jail. "Just as he got the avenue 
of escape completed, and while Fredonyer was still talking 
against time in the courtroom, three other prisoners, confined 
in different cells, told the sheriff that a fresh, earthy smell came 
from Fredonyer's apartment. An examination proved the cor- 
rectness of their impressions, and the plot was frustrated just 
in the nick of time, for the birds would have flown that night. 


THE YEAR 1862 

When the matter was related in the courtroom Fredonyer closed 
his argument very suddenly, and for his pains received a sen- 
tence of six years in the state prison. Subsequently, James 
Duesler, always interceding for the good, bad, or indifferent, 
started a petition, and had Fredonyer pardoned; but he never 
returned to Plumas county. ' ' Many of the best men among the 
settlers of this valley believed that Fredonyer was innocent and 
that it was a "put up job" on him. 

Lassen's Monument 

On June 24th, St. John's Day, the Masons had a celebration 
at Richmond and erected a monument over the grave of Peter 
Lassen. This monument is still standing, but it shows the effects 
of the elements. It stands ten feet north of the great tree and 
is quite an elaborate piece of work. It is constructed from 
native volcanic ash rock, is two feet and seven inches square at 
the base, and ten and one half feet high. On both the north and 
the south sides of it is the following inscription : "In Memory 
of Peter Lassen, the Pioneer, who was killed by the Indians 
April 26, 1859. Aged 66 years." Under the inscription is a 
gun crossed by an arrow and a powder horn hangs from a gun. 
Besides this a number of Masonic symbols are carved on the 

That night there was a ' ' Grand Ball ' at the Richmond Hotel. 

The First United States Mail Routes in the County 

In January, 1862, the U. S. government advertised for pro- 
posals for carrying mail on all the routes in California from 
July 1, 1862, to June 30, 1866. Among them were two newly 
established routes into this county. One of them was from 
Oroville, by Cherokee Flat, Butte Mills, and Longville, to 
Susanville in Utah Territory, 106 miles and back, once a week. 
The other route was from Red Bluff, by Lost Camp and Pine 
Grove, to Susanville, 135 miles and back, once in two weeks. 
Dean and Harbison of Plumas county were given the contract 
on the first route at $2500 a year. They must have sub-let this 
contract to the Davis Brothers, for Edward and Frank Davis 
ran a two-horse stage and carried the mail between Oroville and 
Susanville during that summer and fall. When the roads got 
bad A. L. Harper carried it on horseback until the snow stopped 



that. During the winter it was carried on snowshoes, George 
Baker bringing it to Humbug valley (Longville) and Harper 
from there to Susanville. The first post office in the county was 
established at Susanville. Governor Roop was appointed post- 
master and he held the office until his death in 1869. His office 
was always in a little building on the north side of Main street 
about the middle of the street between Lassen and Gay. 

Previous to July the mail and express were brought from 
Oroville to the valley this year by a man named Fargo. 

Rough Elliott's Fight with Douglas 
Told by Joseph C. Wemple 

In the summer of 1862 Rough Elliott brought to his ranch 
below Milford the first reaper ever seen in that part of the 
country. It was a combined mower and reaper. Mr. Wemple 
and John C. Dakin rented the Fairchilds and Washburn ranch 
that year and Elliott let his hired man, Hobbs, come over with 
the reaper and cut some of their grain. Wemple and Elliott 
did not agree in their measurement of the land cut over, the 
latter making it seven acres more than the other man did, and 
he wanted to bet $100 that he was right. Wemple had only $90, 
but he went over to the store and bet that with him, putting the 
money into the hands of the storekeeper, Mr. Everett. Each 
one was to select a man to decide the matter. Wemple selected 
a man of some education named Douglas, who worked for Fair- 
childs, and Elliott took Hobbs. They agreed that Wemple was 
right and the stakes were given to him. 

Elliott felt injured over the matter and tried to work some 
plan to get even on the money he had lost. A few days after 
this he and Hobbs, who was a footracer, were in Milford and 
they proposed to run a race to see who should buy the drinks 
for the crowd. They ran and Hobbs won. Elliott then wanted 
to make a match with him for $250 on a side, the race to be 
run in two weeks, and Hobbs agreed to run. He and Douglas 
had come to the country together so Hobbs asked him to put up 
the money for him (Hobbs). Douglas thought that the other 
man was honest so he put up a note that he held against Fair- 
childs. Elliott and Hobbs pretended to have a row and the 
latter came to Wemple and asked him to board him while he 
was training for the race. This was done as a blind to avoid 


THE YEAR 1862 

suspicion. Elliott did not train at all and that did not look 
just right. Just before the race Wemple bet him $10 that he 
would be beaten because Hobbs was a good runner and was 
training well. On the day of the race Elliott had plenty of 
money and tried to get Wemple to bet more, but the latter told 
him that he had ten dollars of his money and would get no 
more. When the race was run Hobbs kept a sideways watch on 
Elliott and dropped back so as to let him come in ahead. The 
fraud was so apparent that Douglas immediately said "Mr. 
Elliott, you can not draw that money down. My friend Hobbs 
has gone back on me. He has thrown the race." He then went 
to the stakeholder and told him to give back to Elliott his own 
money, but not to let him have the note. Several times after 
that Elliott abused him shamefully, calling him a coward, etc. 
The next time he began to abuse him Douglas said he would not 
stand it any longer, and if he was not armed they would go 
outside and settle it. Elliott said he was not armed and that he 
did not need any weapons for his kind, and they went out in 
front of the store to fight. Douglas struck the other man and 
knocked him back six or eight feet, but he threw his hands 
behind him and did not go entirely down. He jumped up and 
drew a knife from the back of his neck and struck Douglas on 
the left side of the neck just missing the jugular vein and cutting 
a gash four inches long. Several men caught hold of Elliott 
and kept him from killing the other man. A. M. Vaughan, who 
was one of Elliott's best friends, was there and it looked for a 
while as if there would be a general row, but they soon quieted 
down. Wemple walked up to Elliott, put his hand in his face 
and called him a dirty coward, and he never resented it. 

They carried the injured man down to Wemple 's house and 
tried to stop the bleeding of his wound, but with such poor 
success that it looked for a time as though he would bleed to 
death. Finally Wemple stopped the bleeding by putting some 
damp cotton covered with pulverized gunpowder into the cut. 
While they were doing this Elliott took to the woods and did 
not come back for a week, or at least until it was sure that 
Douglas would not die. As there were no courts here then, 
nothing more was said about it and Elliott escaped punishment. 
Ever since the Carson valley affair he had been looked upon by 
many as a sort of leader. He was thought to be a desperate 



man and was feared by some, and in one way and another had 
quite a following. After Douglas got well he worked a while 
longer for Fairchilds and then went over to Dogtown (Magalia) 
and hung out his shingle as a doctor. 


October 9th, or a little before that, the people in that part 
of the valley gathered at Fort Janesville for a social dance. 
Some time during the night Wiley Cornelison got into a row 
with a Spaniard named Steve Rafael and struck him. The 
Spaniard drew his pistol and shot Cornelison in the side, the 
bullet passing around and lodging in the muscles of the small 
of the back. Rafael was then shot in the arm by A. M. Vaughan 
and ran outside followed by a crowd, but they failed to catch 
him and he mounted his horse and rode away. He stayed in the 
valley for some time after this and was not arrested because 
many thought that he acted in self-defense. It was reported 
here that he went out into the Humboldt country and some 
time afterwards was shot for stealing stock. Dr. Slater probed 
Mr. Cornelison 's wound and found the bullet, but he did not 
dare to remove it and Cornelison carried it the rest of his life. 

The writer has been told several stories about the foregoing ; 
but they were so conflicting in regard to the cause, exact location, 
and result of the difficulty, that he has confined himself to the 
known facts in the case 

William Fox Shot by Dr. R. F. Moody 
This affray took place in Susanville on the 15th of June. 
Fox, who was a quarrelsome man, had threatened the doctor's 
life and this time drew a pistol on him. Moody, however, got in 
the first shot and gave his antagonist a flesh wound that disabled 
him. Probably the doctor could have killed him just as easily, 
but he wanted to save himself without killing the other man. It 
is said that this cured Fox of being a bad man and he gave 
Moody no more trouble. Doubtless he thought he had good 
reasons for pursuing such a course. 

Seaman Killed by Hyde 
On the 21st of December Charles W. Seaman was shot in 
Susanville by George Hyde. John T. Long, who was then a 
small boy, says he stood on the southwest corner of Main and 


THE YEAR 1862 

Gay streets and saw Hyde come out of a saloon just west of 
him, probably the one called the "Humboldt Exchange." Sea- 
man was standing on the other side of the street almost exactly 
opposite talking to some men. Hyde walked across to the group, 
drew his pistol, and shot him once in the breast. He died a few 
days afterwards from the effects of the wound. The shooting 
was caused by Seaman's attentions to Hyde's wife. 

The next day Hyde was brought before William J. Young, a 
justice of the peace living in Susanville. Squire Young's docket 
shows that he was held to answer for the crime of "assault with 
a deadly weapon with the intent to commit murder" and was 
admitted to bail in the sum of $3000. But there is nothing to 
show that he was ever brought to trial and those who lived here 
at the time say that he was never punished in any way. 

Conditions in 1862 

This year the really good times for the Never Sweats began. 
Until they had a market for what they could raise it had been 
"purty pore pickin' " in this section, as has been related. For 
quite a number of years after the valley was settled it was said 
to be an easy matter to tell a Never Sweat wherever one saw 
him, for his rig was largely patched out with rawhide, bale rope, 
and wire. It is also said that whenever one of them drove into 
a feed corral in Virginia City, Marysville, or any other town 
where they were known, the owner of it began to pick up his 
curry combs and brushes, feed boxes, and such little things, for 
fear that when the poor Never Sweat went away he might make 
a mistake and put them into his wagon. Ruta-baga turnips 
were said to be Honey Lake currency. Orlando Streshly used 
to tell a story something like this : One day he was plowing in 
a small field and it began to rain. The traces of his harness 
were made of rawhide or buckskin and the rain softened them 
so they began to stretch. In a short time when he started his 
team on one side of the field the traces stretched so much that 
the plow stood still while the team went across to the fence on 
the other side. He took off the harness and hung them over the 
fence stakes and left them there still attached to the plow. When 
he went there the next day he found that the traces had dried 
and shrunk, and being unable to get away from the fence stakes, 
had pulled the plow up to them making a furrow clear across 



the field. As a rule, it is hard times for poor people who settle 
on the frontier in any country, and in some ways it was worse 
than usual for those who settled in the remote mountain valleys. 
Mr. Lomas says that when Surprise valley had been settled only 
a year or two a man from there stopped at Shaffer's. He was 
ragged and patched beyond anything that Lomas had ever seen 
before and the men present laughed in spite of all they could 
do, although they were sorry for the poor fellow. When he 
noticed it he said ' ' Boys, I know what you are laughing at ; but 
if you laugh at these clothes, I wonder what you would do if 
you saw me with my working clothes on. " It is needless to tell 
that this remark made every man in the room a friend to him. 

But now a time of greater comfort and prosperity had come 
to the people of this section. There was a gristmill and several 
sawmills in the valley and a U. S. mail at last. Although it 
came in but once a week in the summer time and was rather 
uncertain in the winter, it was an improvement on former days. 
Some of them had to go twenty-five miles to get to the post 
office, but that was not very far then. According to the various 
documents recorded at the time Susanville was in California, 
Nevada Territory, Utah Territory, or no territory at all; but at 
Virginia City, Carson City, or Marysville, they knew where 
Honey Lake valley was and a letter addressed to that place 
reached its destination. 

Although some grain was still cradled, Rough Elliott, Nich- 
olas Clark and Son, Mauley Thompson, A. T. Arnold, C. T. 
Emerson, J. S. Hollingsworth, and perhaps some others, brought 
in combined mowers and reapers this year. Edward Mulroney 
brought in a thrashing machine of the latest make and Nicholas 
Clark and Son and Robert Hamilton brought in another one. 
Improved machinery meant less hard work and a greater pro- 
duction of hay and grain. The land was new and fertile and 
much of it was easily made ready for cultivation. Good grain 
was sometimes raised on unbroken land. 

In Virginia City and the adjoining towns and in Unionville 
and the mining towns of the Humboldt where there had been 
a rush of people during 1861-62, there was a demand for every- 
thing one could haul there — even jack rabbits — and the prices 
would satisfy almost anybody. The best years for this section 
were 1861 and the three subsequent years, but prices were high 


THE YEAR 1862 

until the Central Pacific R. R. reached Reno in 1868. This 
spring Shaffer sold flour at Richmond for $16.50 a hundred and 
what he hauled to Virginia Ctiy brought $28 a hundred when 
it first arrived there, but in a few days it fell to the trifling 
price of $22. In June flour sold in the valley for $14 a hundred. 
In Virginia City that spring barley was 15c a pound, hay $200 
a ton, and potatoes 12y 2 e a pound. W. M. Cain, T. N. Long, 
York Rundel, and others who teamed it, got five cents a pound 
freight from here to Virginia City this year. In 1863 ranchers 
from the Carson valley came here for seed wheat and paid lie 
a pound for it. Abel Parker, the grandfather of the writer, got 
9c a pound for barley at Milford. S. R. Hall sold potatoes at 
the Humboldt for 12y 2 c a pound. He bought some clear, un- 
planed lumber on Gold Run for $30 or $35 a thousand, hauled 
it out there, and sold it for $250 a thousand. The previous year 
William Dow delivered some common lumber at Unionville for 
$200 a thousand. Freight to Virginia City was S 1 ^ a pound. 
Charles Lawson says that in 1864 he bought all the crop of 
barley raised by the Washburns at 8c a pound loose, and they 
wouldn 't even help him sack it. He sold it in Virginia City for 
13c a pound. In 1865 grain got down to four cents a pound 
in the valley and freight was a little lower. During these years 
cattle and good work horses greatly increased in value, but for 
a long time a good broken plug saddle horse could be bought for 
$35 or $40. The nearer the railroad got to Nevada the lower 
prices of farm produce were on the Comstock, and when it got 
to Reno the people of this section had to compete with those of 
Sacramento valley, and prices went to the bottom compared 
with what they had been in the early 60 's. 

Excepting in a few respects social conditions remained the 
same in the county for more than thirty years after its settlement. 
Ministers of the Gospel came into the country and in the course 
of time a few churches were built. Of course schools increased 
in number as the population increased. In the latter 60 's the 
most of the men discarded their pistols and Bowie knives and 
there was less drinking and gambling. Dancing remained the 
principal amusement and in the early days they made a stren- 
uous business of it, so to speak. Mrs. E. V. Spencer told of a 
dance she attended in the early 60 's where they danced all night 
and after breakfast the next morning pulled down the curtains 



and danced all the forenoon. In the afternoon they moved to 
another ranch and danced all night again. Some time in the 
80 's there was a dance somewhere in the valley every night 
during the holidays, and four or five couples who lived near 
Milford went to every one of them. Those pioneers were a tough 
lot, physically at least. If any one would throw up his hat and 
yell ' ' We are going to have a dance, ' ' a good crowd would gather 
on very short notice. For a long time women were scarce and 
in order to make a dance a success all of them had to attend it. 
The married ones brought their children and sometimes the 
beds in the house where the dance was held were full of sleeping 
little ones. There were no wallflowers and the women used to 
go away and hide so they could get a little rest. A dance in 
those days was in many ways a different affair from what one 
is now. 

The large emigration which came here in 1862 greatly 
increased the population of the county, and the high prices 
obtained for what they had to sell brought on an era of prosperity 
that caused the country to improve rapidly. 




There were no squatter filings made here this year nor 
hereafter. The old order had passed away. About the 
middle of September E. Dyer, a government surveyor, came into 
the valley and began to survey the land. The first land surveyed 
was that where Janesville stands and to the north and east of it. 
He next surveyed the Township north of that, and then the one 
in which Susanville is situated. All the settled part of the 
valley was surveyed this year. 

After the land was surveyed it became necessary to file on it 
at a U. S. Land Office, and the government gave the preference 
to the men who were living on the land. A man was allowed a 
certain time, probably six months, in which to file on any 
quarter section that he already claimed, and if he did not file 
within that time some one else could take it. Then the trouble 
commenced. The most of the ranchers claimed more than a 
quarter section and, very naturally, they hated to give it up. 
Some of them hired men to file on land for them and in this 
way obtained a title to all the land they claimed. Others tried 
to hold by force that part of the land not allowed them by law, 
and when some one filed on it, "jumped it," as it was called, 
they took weapon in hand and drove off the intruder if they 
could. Sometimes this worked, but not always. Public senti- 
ment was against the "jumper" in most cases, for the majority 
of the people were in the same boat, and very often, as of old, 
the neighbors turned out and helped drive off the man who was 
"jumping" land. Quite a number of shooting scrapes occurred 
over these affairs and several men were wounded. Another 
source of trouble was the fact that the fences were not on the 
surveyed lines and some of the ranchers wanted to put them on 
those lines to the detriment of their neighbors. This condition 
of affairs lasted for several years before people seemed to under- 
stand that a man owned only the land that he held by a good 

Susanville. George Heaps and Joseph Hale bought the 
"Humboldt Exchange" saloon from John Burkett and changed 
the name to "Pioneer" saloon. These two men ran this saloon 



for many years and it was a favorite place of resort. From that 
day until this there has always been a saloon of that name there, 
and though several buildings have been burned another one has 
always been built in its place. F. and S. say: "In 1863 a 
schoolhouse was built on the site of the present building (south- 
west corner of Cottage and Weatherlow streets. ) It was a frame 
structure, one story in height, and 20 by 30 feet in size. This 
building was used until 1872, when the school becoming too 
large to be accommodated in it, the old house was moved away 
and a fine, two-story frame school building was erected. A 
fireproof store building, the first in town, was built of stone, by 
Andrew Miller and Rufus Kingsley, over the front door of 
which they placed a stone tablet bearing the inscription ' 1863. ' ' ' 
This building was on the south side of Main street about the 
middle of the block between Lassen and Gay, and was con- 
structed by J. W. Hosselkus and Joseph Roop, brother of 
I. N. Roop. The schoolhouse referred to was begun in the fall 
of 1862 and finished during the following winter. In 1900 the 
second building was moved away and a large two-story brick 
building erected on the site of it. During the summer the first 
bridge was built across the river south of town. Some time 
before this a large log hewed flat on the top had been put across 
the river for a footbridge. Once a man led his horse across it, 
and at another time it was crossed by a wild horse that ran 
away with the man who was riding it. Joseph Strauss had a 
brewery on the south side of Main street, just east of Piute 
creek, which may have been put up the previous year. This fall 
H. K. Cornell, who had bought the place, rented the brewery 
to Charles Bader. This fall W. J. Young sold his picture 

gallery to Townsend. Besides the places already told 

about there was a barber shop near the southwest corner of 
Main and Gay streets, Cutler Arnold had a store a little west 
of that, and Nathan Phillips had another one still further to the 
west. Meyer Asher and Meyer Greehn opened a store this year, 
and P. D. Hurlbut and Lewis Knudson ran a shoe shop during 
the winter of 1863-64. In the spring or early summer H. C. 
Stockton brought a sawmill from near Horsetown in Shasta 
county and set it up on Susan river a mile and a half above the 
Devil's Corral bridge. It was a water mill and was run until 
almost the end of the century. 


THE YEAR 1863 

Mrs. Matilda Montgomery, the Wife of Thomas Montgomery, 
taught a private school this summer and E. P. Grubbs taught 
the public school the following fall and winter. In June Mrs. 
A. T. Arnold and Dr. Spalding organized the first Sunday school 
in the schoolhouse. The town raised the money to buy an organ 
and some books. At that time an Englishman named Carberry 
was preaching here, the first preacher in the valley, but he was 
not a regularly ordained minister. Late in 1864 he left here to 
go to Surprise valley and was never heard from after that. His 
fate is unknown. 

Janesville. Smith J. Hill put up a frame building on the 
north side of the road between Blanchard's store and Bank- 
head's house, and his brother, Jacob Hill, used it for a saloon 
and a shoe shop. In the spring of 1867 this building was moved 
about three quarters of a mile to the northwest, just beyond the 
Sloss creek and on the south side of the road to Susanville. It 
was used for a schoolhouse more than twenty years before it was 
burned down. Thomas H. Epley says that U. L. and P. J. 
Shaffer built a steam sawmill on the creek just above Janesville 
during the winter of 1862-63. In January, 1867, this mill was 
sold to D. R. and L. F. Cate and in September Mr. Epley and 
Oscar Hood bought them out. They ran the mill with B. H. 
Leavitt for a head sawyer until the spring of 1869 and then it 
burned down. Wiley Cornelison built a blacksmith shop across 
the road from Bankhead's house and ran it for a year or two. 
This building was used for a blacksmith shop by him, James M. 
Wiggin, A. Otto, E. W. Vance and H. H. Wienckie, and others, 
for more than twenty years. Amos H. Barnes and Family moved 
into the Bankhead house. He built an addition to it and opened 
a hotel which he kept until he moved to Reno in the early 70 's. 
Soon after he left the house was pulled down and a two-story 
frame hotel was built where it stood. Bascom D. (or Henry 
Bascom) McColm taught school in the Fort this fall and A. M. 
Vaughan finished out his term. 

Smith J. Hill and his Wife say that in May, when their 
daughter Jane Agnes was a year old, Hill and L. N. Breed 
named the place where she was born ''Janesville" in her honor. 
They and some others are positive that this is right. H. E. 
Lomas and many other early settlers are equally positive that 
his story is right. All of them are reliable people and the reader 



is left to judge for himself which " Jane" the place was named 

This fall Libbie Hankins, a girl fourteen or fifteen years old, 
the daughter of Mrs. A. A. Holmes, died in Janesville. Her 
death was the first one in the place and her funeral the first 
one ever held there. The funeral sermon was preached by a 
woman named Harding who was a Spiritualist. 

Toadtown. Daniel W. Bryant tells the following: In 1863 
P. W. Cunningham and Fred S. Johnson agreed to move a 
gristmill belonging to Dr. John Briceland from Cow creek near 
Millville in Shasta county to Toadtown (Johnstonville). Cun- 
ningham and Johnson wanted a gristmill and they started out 
to look after one. Briceland 's mill had been undermined by 
the stream and was about to fall into it, and he wanted to find a 
place to which he could move. He agreed with the two Honey 
Lakers that they should move the machinery of the mill to this 
valley and have a one half interest in it. They moved the most 
of it over that year and put up a building where the Toadtown 
gristmill now stands — that part of the mill that extends north 
and south. In March, 1864, Mr. Bryant went from the Baxter 
ranch three miles northeast of Janesville to superintend the 
putting in of the machinery. Johnson P. Ford, with the help 
of Cunningham and William Sanders, put in a breast wheel. 
It took until the spring of 1865 to get the mill ready to run. 
It was a mill of the kind in common use at that time, and had 
only one set of millstones. Mr. Bryant ran the mill about three 
years. Probably in the early 70 's it was sold to Samuel R. Hall 
and in a few years he sold out to William H. Hall and Henry 
Snyder. These two ran the mill until 1907 and then Hall sold 
to Snyder. 

Milford. Fairchilds and Washburn divided up their prop- 
erty, the former taking the sawmill and the latter the real 
estate. Washburn at once went into partnership with his 
brother, Freeman C, and this year they built the first black- 
smith shop in Milford. It was on the south side of the road 
a little east of the creek and Charles Batterson was the first 

This year and perhaps the next J. N. Pine and H. W. Wal- 
bridge kept a sort of store near the Soldier bridge. John D. 
Kelley and Hiram Winchel claimed a tract of land near the lake. 


THE YEAR 1863 

It was the northern part of the location made by John M. Kelley 
in 1859. H. E. Lomas s&ys that there was at Shaffer's this year 
the station and its buildings, his cabin and blacksmith shop, and 
a house that belonged to D. I. Wilmans and John Bass. Some one 
laid out a town there and its future looked promising. They 
came to him and wanted fcim to choose a name for the place. 
He told them that it was usually spoken of as "Lathrop's," so 
why not call it "Lathrop." Instead of calling it that they called 
it "Lathrop City" and he thinks the name was too much for it, 
for the place died a natural death. In December Daniel C. 
Wheeler and two Germans whose names he has forgotten located 
a section of land where Amedee now stands and to the south of it. 
During the winter of 1861-62 the high water had carried a good 
many fence rails down the river into the lake and these had 
drifted over to the east side of it. The next spring they hired 
a man to haul these rails and with them they fenced their land 
on three sides, the lake making a fence for the other side. After 
the fence was completed Wheeler traded his part of the property 
for some other land that the three of them owned together. In 
1868 he came back to this county with sheep and in a few years 
bought a ranch three miles south of Susanville. Ever since that 
time he has been a prominent sheep owner of this county and 
western Nevada. The Germans improved the land on the lake 
and then sold out to Pearson and Sutherland. 

Toadtown. Under this head it should have been told that in 
the fall of 1863 a small schoolhouse was built on the site of the 
present one and that the first school in Toadtown was taught 
there by Daniel Murray during the winter of 1863-64. 

Long Valley. David Cameron bought in with Hood on the 
Hot Spring ranch. Frank Williams located a tract something 
like a mile and three quarters northeast of the above ranch and 
three and a half miles south of the Warm Springs ranch. Osmer 
Marsh bought the Warm Springs ranch, but the Robinsons kept 
the land they claimed to the south of it, including what was 
afterwards known as the James Miller place. Some claim that 
Williams and Marsh went into the valley the previous year. 
John W. Doyle and Henry Berryman came into the valley and 
the former took up a ranch to the north of the Jacob McKissick 
place. Albert E. Ross bought the place where the Kearns cabin 
was, about one and three fourths miles east of the Evans ranch. 



Willow Creek. During the summer a party crossed the plains 
under the leadership of a man named hie. He had several sons- 
in-law, and they and the old man laid out a town in the upper 
end of the valley. It was on the south side of the creek about a 
hundred yards below where it comes out of the timber and was 
called "Leesburg." They built four or five cabins and lived 
there nearly a year, but no boom struck the place and they 
departed for a warmer climate. Li the fall P. D. Hurlbut and 
Lewis Knudson claimed some land on the north side of the valley 
and three miles from the lower end of it, but probably they made 
no improvements this year. 

The only change in Mt. Meadows was that the Quinns sold 
out to a man named Seaman who lived there with his wife for a 
year or two. 

Tunison says that several parties went into Surprise valley 
this year to settle. If they reached there, it is doubtful if they 
stayed the following winter or made any improvements. 

The following settled in the county in 1863, and the length 
of residence applies to those whose names are given and their 

The following lived here all the rest of their lives or are living 
here at present. Clinton De Forest and Family, Alvin E. De 
Forest, Thomas J. French, "William S. Brashear, John Decious 
and Family, Adam D. Elledge and Family, Francis M. Elledge, 
David Johnston and Family, James Haley and Wife, H. N. 
Haley and Family, Antone Bantley, P. D. Hurlbut and Family, 
John W. Hosselkus, Mrs. Sarah Laird (afterwards Mrs. C. T. 
Emerson and Mrs. J. W. Hosselkus) and Family, Mrs. Mary 
Harris and Family, George H. Dobyns and Family, James R. 
Cain, Henry Berryman, James Trussell, Samuel Trotter, Mrs. 
Samantha Fletcher (Mrs. Jeremiah Tyler) and Family, Isaac 
S. Wright, Samuel Johnson, Lewis Knudson, C. W. Wooton and 
Family, Henry C. Stockton and Family, John W. Doyle, William 
Greehn, Jeremiah Baldwin and Family, Mrs. Frances Shaw 
(Mrs. J. P. Garrett) and Family, and Rufus Kingsley and Wife. 

The following lived in the county from twenty years to almost 
a lifetime. H. K. Cornell and Family, James L. Haley, Mrs. 
Amos Conkey, David Cameron and Family, James M. Stein- 
berger and Family, Lorenzo H. De Forest, Joseph W. Decious, 
William I. Decious, and James Ridgeway and Family. 

[310 1 

THE YEAE 1863 

The following lived in the county from two or three to fifteen 
years. Andrew Miller, Matthew McCulley, John McCulley, *Lee 
Button, Franklin Dewitt and Family, James Christie and Family, 
Andrew J. Downing, George W. Downing, Alfred Hill, *John 
Malise and Wife, Thomas Harris, James M. Wiggin, Chappel M. 
Kelley, Robert Briggs, S. K. Shannon, John D. Putnam and 
Family, John Lambert, Henry Tussler, Elijah Tussler, Daniel C. 
Wheeler, J. D. Peer and Family, *Frank Williams, John Mc- 
Naughten, Samuel McNaughten, J. M. McNaughten, *Bascom D. 
McColm, Richard Withy, H. W. Walbridge and Wife, J. N. Pine, 
W. H. Van Alstyne, Mark Stewart, W. W. Clemmons, Mrs. Jane 
Bryant (Mrs. M. C. Lake) and Family, George W. Long, J. I. 
Steward and Family, *Henry H. Wright, Amos Roach, *Robert 
McBeth, Nathaniel Winn, *Lawrence Fritz and Wife, *William 
Waterland and Family, *J. B. Ball (Ball's Canyon was named 
after him), Mathias Glazier, *E. Fitzgerald, Henry H. Reppert, 
Daniel Reppert, John Reppert, Hiram Teft and Family, Samuel 
Latten and Family, Samuel Read and Wife, S. J. Eldridge, 
Sarah E. De Forest (Mrs. Cyrus Lawson), Andrew J. Hunt, and 
Austin Byrd. 

Nevada Territory and Honey Lake Politics. 1863 

Judge Mott came to Susanville and on January 20th admin- 
istered the oath of office to the county officers elected the pre- 
vious September. He also held a term of the district court, but 
there were no cases to be tried and court was adjourned until 
the next regular term. 

The Sage Brush, or Boundary Line, War 

The following was written from the narratives of William 
Dow, Fred Hines, V. J. Borrette, Dr. H. S. Borrette, William W. 
Kellogg, Allen Mead, John W. Stark, John S. Shook, Mrs. A. T. 
Arnold, A. L. Tunison's diary, Thompson and West's History of 
Nevada, and the History of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties. 
The names of some others who furnished information are given 
further on. 

Roop county was promptly organized by the newly appointed 
officers, and it was not long before trouble commenced with the 
authorities of Plumas county. Hon. John S. Ward, probate 
judge of Roop county, issued an injunction restraining William 



J. Young from acting in his official capacity. Young, who lived 
in Susanville, had been elected a justice of the peace for Plumas 
county the year before. He paid no attention to the injunction 
and Ward fined him $100 for contempt of court. Then Hon. 
E. T. Hogan, county judge of Plumas county, issued an order 
restraining John S. Ward and William Hill Naileigh (Cap. 
Hill), sheriff of Roop county, from exercising jurisdiction in any 
way in Honey Lake valley. They refused to obey this order 
and Judge Hogan issued warrants for their arrest. This was on 
Wednesday, the fourth of February, and the next day Sheriff 
E. H. Pierce and his deputy, J. D. Byers, started for Susanville 
to serve them. On Friday an injunction issued from Judge 
Ward's court was served on him by William K. Parkinson, a 
deputy sheriff of Roop county. This injunction restrained Pierce 
from exercising jurisdiction over any portion of Roop county. It 
must have been while the two Plumas county officers were here 
this time that Byers snatched a warrant from the hands of a 
Roop county officer just as he was about to serve it. He was 
arrested upon the charge of having obstructed an officer in the 
discharge of his duty and was defended by Israel Jones, a young 
lawyer who had taken the Plumas county side of the controversy. 
He secured the release of Byers by bringing the warrant into 
court and showing that the Roop county judge had, in his haste, 
neglected to sign it. Pierce paid no attention to Ward's injunc- 
tion, and on Saturday he arrested Cap. Hill and sent Byers to 
Ward's residence to arrest him and bring him to the Lanigar 
ranch about four miles south of Susanville, and this Byers did. 
There they had to wait a short time for a horse for Ward to ride, 
and Pierce, Cap. Hill, and two witnesses started ahead, leaving 
orders for Byers to come on with Ward as soon as the horse came. 
While this was going on the Never Sweats had not been idle. 
Governor Roop with six men followed the Plumas county officers, 
but before they had gone very far they met John Dow on horse- 
back with an ax on his shoulder and he went with them. It is 
impossible to tell who all the men with Roop were. G. R. Lybar- 
ger says he knows positively that Robert and George Johnston 
were with him and John Dow certainly was. There is a proba- 
bility that the other four were among the following: C. C. Wal- 
den, Dave Blanchard, Luther Spencer, Joe Hale, Henry Arnold, 
and Alec Brown. Before they got to the Lanigar ranch Roop 


THE YEAR 1863 

halted his men and went on ahead. Byers and Ward were still 
.there, but were just ready to leave, and when the latter attempted 
to mount his horse Hoop stopped him. Roop and Byers then had 
a row and their talk had almost reached the shooting point when 
(so Freeman Lanigar says) Francis Lanigar, who was standing 
near, said "Gentlemen, remember that you are both Masons." 
They then cooled down and Byers and his prisoner started up 
the trail toward Indian valley. Roop went back and got his men, 
started in pursuit, and overtook them at the foot of the moun- 
tain. They surrounded them and Byers, seeing it was useless to 
resist, made some jesting remark about being unable to fight 
men armed with axes and gave himself up. Roop started back 
with his prisoner and when they got to the Lanigar ranch Byers 
sent a man after Pierce with a note telling him what had hap- 
pened. The Honey Lake people say that Byers was taken to 
Susanville at once. Byers told the writer that he went to Rich- 
mond and stayed there until the next day, holding Ward as his 
prisoner all the time, but finally released him on parole. Hines 
says he was at Richmond the next day (Sunday) after Byers 
was captured and both men were there then. Perhaps the others 
forgot about that part of it. There was no place in Susanville 
where Byers could be kept in confinement, probably they didn't 
want to do it anyway, so they put him in charge of Miss Susan 
Roop who had come to Honey Lake from the East the first part 
of January. He was to board at Roop 's and report to the young 
lady once in a while. He was allowed to go around town where 
he pleased, so he visited with his friends and acquaintances and 
waited for the next move in the game. 

When Pierce got Byers 's note he released Cap. Hill on parole, 
and forcing his way through the deep snow on the mountain, 
went to Quincy as soon as he could. Without any loss of time 
he raised a posse of, Stark says, 93 men in American valley and 
fifteen or twenty more joined them in Indian valley. Two or 
three days after the first posse started twenty men more fol- 
lowed them with a small cannon. Mr. Stark, the son of Squire 
Lewis Stark, who with a Mexican helper and eight or ten mules 
packed their outfit, says they went from Taylorville to the Presby 
place, seven miles from the upper end of the North Arm of 
Indian valley, the first day. Allen Mead of Taylorville, who was 
one of the posse, says some of them stayed at the Presby place 



and the rest stayed at the James Ford ranch in the upper end of 
the North Arm. William W. Kellogg, who was with the party 
as one of Pierce 's deputies, says that the crowd met at the James 
Ford ranch instead of Taylorville. N. B. Forgay of Greenville 
says that there were only 45 men who left Taylorville, that there 
was no second posse, and that they started from Taylorville at 
two P. M. and reached Honey Lake the next morning at six 
o 'clock. Mr. Forgay also came over with the Plumas men. This 
shows how men who are trying to tell the truth differ in their 
stories fifty years after an event has taken place. They must have 
had a hard time getting over the mountain. Stark says they 
stayed a day or two at the Presby ranch breaking a road through 
the snow so they could get over the mountain in one day, and they 
almost ate Presby out of house and home. They got to the Lan- 
igar ranch on Friday, the 13th, and camped there for the night. 
Pierce with three or four men immediately went to Susanville 
and arrested Ward and Cap. Hill again, but released them with 
the understanding that they should give themselves up whenever 
he wanted them. He then returned to camp. 

The news that Ward and Hill had been arrested again spread 
rapidly and about nine o'clock that night some men from Toad- 
town went to Susanville and there were joined by others until 
there was a party of thirteen men. A. L. Tunison, Byron B. 
Gray, Luther Spencer, Captain Weatherlow, V. J. Borrette, Dr. 
H. S. Borrette, and Charles White were among them, and it is 
probable that Henry Arnold, Thomas Bare, either John or Wil- 
liam Dow, Dr. Z. N. Spalding, and Frank Strong were there, too. 
These men took Ward and Hill into the cabin on the east side of 
Weatherlow street that Roop had built in 1854 and stood guard 
over them that night. 

The next morning about ten o'clock, or a little later, Pierce 
and his men reached town. They crossed the river at the ford a 
couple of hundred yards above where the bridge is now and came 
along Weatherlow street until they reached Main street. They 
found a line drawn across Weatherlow street on the north side of 
Main and four or five Never Sweats standing near it. It is said 
that Bare was one of them and that he told Pierce if they came 
any nearer they would be fired on from the fort, i. e., the Roop 
cabin. Stark thinks it was Cornelison who did the talking. Pierce 
and his men then went up Main street and camped at Went- 



worth's feed stable near the southeast corner of Lassen and 
Nevada streets. Nothing was done that day but to parley a little. 
Ward and Hill said they could not give themselves up because 
their friends would not let them, and the men in the fort posi- 
tively refused to let Pierce have them. There was no trouble of 
any kind that day and no doubt the Plumas men went where they 
pleased. They went to the ponds in the yard of the Eoop resi- 
dence on Main street to water their horses. One of them, "Wil- 
liam Bradford, asked Miss Roop how many men there were in the 
fort and she told him that there were a hundred. He said they 
could not stay there long and she replied that he need not fool 
himself for they had plenty of provisions. After the fight was 
over and he knew how many men there were in the fort at first, 
they talked about it again. He reminded her of what she had 
told him, and she asked him if he thought she was "emigrant" 
enough to tell him all she knew about it. (In early days a person 
was an "emigrant" until he had been in California a year, and 
was supposed to be "green" in mind and body. It was even 
claimed that he could not do so much work as a Calif ornian.) 

Susanville had grown to be quite a little town. It extended 
from Weatherlow to Lassen one way, and from Nevada to Mill 
the other. On Main street there were a few buildings on two 
blocks still further west and four dwelling houses on the south 
side of Mill street between Weatherlow and Gay. There were 
two hotels and a restaurant, two saloons, five stores, one of them 
a drug store, or rather a store where patent medicines were sold, 
a gallery where pictures were taken, a barber shop, one or two 
shoe shops, two livery and feed stables, and thirteen or fourteen 
houses and cabins, and from its location it seemed as though in 
time it would be the principal town in this part of the country. 

The Sage Brush War was a queer one. Honey Lake valley 
at this time had quite a population and only forty or fifty men, 
or something like that, were fighting Plumas county. Many of 
them were old time Never Sweats, men who came into the valley 
during the first days of its settlement. For reasons heretofore 
given they had been fighting Plumas county ever since and were 
going to keep it up until the end. Only half a dozen of those 
who took part in the fight had come into the valley after 1860. 
This applies to those who went into the fort. A good many peo- 
ple in the valley were in sympathy with the Plumas county 



authorities, and others would have nothing to do with the trouble. 
The ''war" was a good deal like two men fighting in the street, 
and while some few people looked on and took sides in the matter, 
travel along the street and business went on as usual. It has been 
told that the people of this valley had little or no personal feel- 
ing against the officers of Plumas county. In a letter to the 
writer Mr. Kellogg says "I will add that during all of the time 
of the trouble with Roop county, etc., Mr. Pierce and myself 
were personally treated most gentlemanly by the people there. 
We were very friendly. Nothing was said or done to mar any 
friendship." It was the same in the case of the other officers. 
The posse was largely composed of men who had relatives, friends, 
or acquaintances here. They came with the belief that there 
would be no fighting and that the people here were just "run- 
ning a bluff." "When they got here and found that the Honey 
Lakers were in earnest and that they would have to shoot at 
people whom they liked, they were sorry that they were here. 
Perhaps they were also sorry because those people were going to 
take a shot at them. 

That night the Honey Lakers sent out for assistance. A. W. 
Worm says he rode all night looking for recruits. On the morn- 
ing of the 15th there were something like thirty men at the fort, 
and not many more than that at any time during the day. Ross 
Lewers says there were only thirty-two. These were the hundred 
men that Pierce told about in his report. Some of them were in 
the fort, some at the south end of it behind some logs they had 
piled up there, and some in a log house about sixteen feet south 
of the fort. This log house had been built a few feet high and 
then left. The fort was 16 by 24 feet on the inside and eight 
feet high at the corners, and would not hold a hundred men if 
they were cut up and packed into it. As nearly as can be told 
at this time the men at the fort the day of the fight were Rough 
Elliott, Captain Weatherlow, Cap. Hill, William Dow, Fred 
Hines, John Dow, A. L. Tunison, John S. Ward, Frank Strong, 
Henry Arnold, V. J. Borrette, Dr. H. S. Borrette, E. G. Bang- 
ham, Dr. Z. N. Spalding, W. K. Parkinson, Robert Johnston, 
A. B. Jenison, B. B. Gray, John S. Shook, Charles White, Luther 
Spencer, Thomas Bare, S. J. Hill, J. W. San Banch (Buckskin), 
E. L. Varney, Al. Leroy, Alec. Brown, Amzi Brown, Joseph Bel- 
knap, Wiley Cornelison, Dr. P. Chamberlain, Samuel Marriott, 


THE YEAR 1863 

Dave Blanchard, and Ross Lewers. Governor Roop was at the 
fort part of the time during the day. The rest of the time he 
was trying to effect a compromise and stop the fighting. No one 
but Mr. Forgay seems to be able to remember the names of many 
of the Plumas men. He gives the following list: D. Chapman, 

H. Carrol, Amos Reeves, Jack Cunningham, Levi "Wilcox, 

Miller, Horace Bradford, Jack Kensey, Ob. Fields, Jackson, 

Jasper Palmer, Al. Boyd, N. B. Forgay, Robert Varner, Ben. 
Payne, R. Grabel, John Pope, "Ken tuck" Harris, Oscar Peck, 
Ely Campbell, Edward Davis, Jacob Jordan, John Pettinger, 

John Ratliffe, Alex Moore, Samuel Grass, Thomas True, 

Winchen, and Leroy Jennings. 

Captain William N. De Haven was one of them and the names 
of some of the others are given in the narrative. 

The Honey Lakers elected Rough Elliott captain, and he acted 
in that capacity during the fight, though he consulted with the 
other men. They took up the floor of the fort, set some posts a 
little ways from the walls, and nailed the planks to them. They 
then filled the space between with earth, and this protected them 
from bullets as long as they kept behind it. 

Between nine and ten o'clock Sunday morning, the 15th, 
Pierce with part of his men came down and took possession of a 
frame barn that stood just north of the Cutler Arnold log hotel. 
This barn was about the middle of the lot at the southeast corner 
of Union and Nevada streets, and was between 150 and 160 yards 
southwest of the fort. As the inch boards with which the barn 
was covered were a poor protection against bullets, they pro- 
ceeded to fortify themselves by pulling up the floor of the barn 
and nailing it against the side next to the fort. There were some 
long hewed timbers about a foot square not far from the barn 
and they concluded to use them in their fortification. There was 
a little snow on the ground and Kellogg with seven men, he says, 
went out with a rope and tied it to one of them, intending to 
snake it on the snow to the barn. Some say they got one stick 
and had gone back for another one when Elliott stood up on the 
logs at the south end of the fort and told them if they tried to 
take that timber to the barn they would be fired on. They paid 
no attention to what he said and started with it. Several men at 
the fort shot at them and William Bradford fell with a bullet in 
his thigh. They went on with the timber and Kellogg went back 



after Bradford. Some say that they took two sticks of timber to 
the barn and piled them up in front of it, and others say they 
never got the second stick to the barn. When the Honey Lakers 
fired the Plumas men returned the fire and the battle was on. 
The shooting continued for four hours or more, but the most of 
it was at random. As a rule, the Never Sweats fired at the barn 
and the other side fired at the fort. Both sides were well pro- 
tected, if they kept behind their fortifications, and the men in 
the barn were so careful to do this that none of them were hurt 
during the fight. There was one man, however, on the Plumas 
side who did not shoot at random. A man whose name was Arch. 
Little, Stark says, lay behind something at the northeast corner 
of the barn and shot to kill. Hines and Strong were behind the 
logs at the south side of the fort and whenever this man saw 
the spaces between the logs darken he fired at that place. He 
did such good shooting that he drove those two men away from 
there and they went to the north side of the fort. While they 
were there he, or some one else, fired a bullet that either grazed 
Strong's shoulder, or tore off a piece of a log that struck him on 
the shoulder making it black and blue. There was a window in 
the side of the fort next to the enemy and a door opposite to it. 
Whenever the door was opened the men in the barn could see 
through, and they shot at the window when it looked as though 
there was somethng between it and the door. Dr. Borrette's 
coat was hanging near the door and several bullets went through 
it. Charles White was sitting in the fort and a bullet came 
through the window or between the logs and went through his 
leg just above the knee. It was only a flesh wound, but he went 
on crutches for a while. V. J. Borrette was standing up looking 
at the barn through a crack when a bullet knocked some of the 
chinking out from between the logs and hit him in the stomach. 
He "doubled up like a jackknife" and it was some time before 
he could get his breath. While Hines and Strong were at the 
north end of the fort they saw Byers going toward the rear end 
of Neale and Harvey's store. Hines told the other man to take 
a shot at him, but he refused to do it. Hines told him they had 
brought men in from Plumas to shoot them and he could not see 
why it was not right for the Honey Lakers to shoot at any of 
them, and he was going to shoot at him anyway. It was a long 
shot for a gun of those days, for the store was on Main street 


THE YEAR 1863 

almost at the upper end of the block above the barn, but the 
bullet tore up the ground just behind Byers who got into the 
store without any loss of time. A year or two after this when 
Byers was sheriff of the county, he was passing along the road 
where Hines was building a fence. As he passed he sighted 
along the fence and said ' ' Fred, that is a straight fence. A man 
who can build a fence like that ought to be able to shoot pretty 
straight. " Hines laughed and told him that at one time he thought 
he was a pretty good shot. Probably some one had told Byers 
where that shot came from. The men at the fort saw John H. 
Neale, who was a friend to the Plumas county authorities, going 
from his house south of the Arnold hotel toward the store. Some 
one said "Let's scare him a little and make him hurry up." A 
few of them fired at the ground close to his feet and he took con- 
siderable interest in getting out of the way, much to their amuse- 
ment and very little to his own. At that time some of the towns- 
people used to come for water to a spring on the north side of 
Main street and south of the fort. While the shooting was going 
on the men in the fort would dodge out to the unfinished cabin 
and then along under the hill to the spring, and find out from 
the people who had come for water what was going on in town. 
Ward was just going out there when Hines stopped him and 
told him about the man who was doing the good shooting on the 
other side. He also told him to be very careful to stoop low 
when he went from the fort to the cabin. Ward heeded the 
warning as he was going out and got under the hill in safety, but 
coming back he didn't keep down and a bullet struck him. It 
went under the collar bone and made quite a bad wound. Brad- 
ford had been taken to the Brannan hotel and Miss Roop, who 
was somewhat experienced as a nurse, was taking care of him. 
Ward was taken to Roop's residence and she took care of him, 
too. A. W. Worm started for Janesville after Dr. Slater and was 
captured by Kellogg, but when he told his errand he was allowed 
to go his way. 

During all the time the fighting was going on Roop had been 
going back and forth between the fort and the town. He talked 
with the Plumas county officers and tried to make peace. Pierce 
was angry and was very rough, but Byers rather stood up for 
the Honey Lakers and told him that they thought they were 
fighting for their rights and deserved some consideration. Fin- 



ally it was agreed to suspend hostilities for a while, and Drake, 
Lewers, and Streshly carried out a white flag and stopped the 
fighting for three or four hours. During the truce Tom. Bare, 
who was a lame man, went limping past the barn. Some one in 
it asked him if he wouldn 't like to buy a sound leg. He replied 
that he would, and if any of them had one when the fight was over 
he would buy it from him. 

"While the battle was in progress things were going on in the 
town and throughout the valley just about the same as usual. 
Probably the Plumas men who were not in the barn went where 
they pleased, and no one has ever told that there was a single 
row between them and the men of the valley during the day. The 
place was full of men who had come into town to ' ' see the fun. ' ' 
T. N. Long says he did business all day at the Magnolia while 
his partners were in the fort. H. E. Lomas walked up from 
Janesville and reached there in the afternoon during the pause 
in the hostilities. He went to the hotel for his dinner and men 
from both parties were there eating together with no show of 
ill feeling between them. Some of the citizens who didn't like 
to see trouble were trying to get the leaders of the two parties 
to compromise, and finally they and Roop succeeded in doing it. 

When the truce had expired no agreement had been reached 
and it was extended until the next morning. The Honey Lake 
men now went to work in earnest. If Pierce and his posse wanted 
to do any more fighting, they were going to see that they had all 
they wanted of it. It always seemed to the writer that, so far, 
they had only "put up a bluff" and stood off Pierce's men. 
Hines went down through Toadtown and set all the women to 
baking bread. Bangham went to Janesville after powder and 
men. There was a dance going on at that place and he had hard 
work to get men to leave it, but about midnight he left there with 
what powder he could get at the store and fifteen or sixteen men. 
During the night reinforcements for the Honey Lakers came in 
from all parts of the valley. S. J. Hill says he sent a wagon up 
from Janesville with several armed men and four extra shot- 
guns. The Honey Lakers went across the street north of the 
barn and dug some rifle-pits. They also took possession of the 
log hotel to the south of the barn. In the upper story of it there 
was some flour and this they piled up on the north side of the 
room as a protection against bullets. They made some holes 


THE YEAR 1863 

through the same side of the room, and if the fighting was 
resumed the next day, they intended to heat some iron ramrods 
and shoot them into the hay that was overhead in the barn. When 
the fire drove the men out of it they would be at the mercy of 
those in the hotel, the rifle-pits, and the fort. Probably that 
caused Pierce to come to terms, for he saw that a good many of 
his men might be killed if he commenced to fight again. 

The following from "Thompson and "West's History of Ne- 
vada and the "History of Plumas, Lassen and Sierra Counties" 
tells how the trouble was settled. The reports sent to the gov- 
ernors of California and Nevada repeat some things already told, 
but they could not be left out and tell the whole story. "The 
record of the meeting of both parties at which the compromise 
was effected was forwarded, with the statement of the committee, 
and was as follows : " A state of war existing between the author- 
ities of Plumas county, California, and the authorities and citi- 
zens of Roop county, Nevada Territory, a committee of citizens 
of Honey Lake valley, and the leaders of the belligerent parties, 
convened at Susanville for the purpose of making some arrange- 
ments for the establishment of peace, and to stop the further 
shedding of blood. Prank Drake was appointed president, and 
H. U. Jennings, secretary. Mr. Pierce, sheriff of Plumas county, 
made the following proposition, to wit: Both parties to suspend 
hostilities and disband their forces, he taking his men home with 
him, and report the case to the governor of California, request- 
ing him to confer with the governor of Nevada Territory, that 
the question of jurisdiction may be settled peaceably; pending 
such settlement, neither party to claim jurisdiction; also that 
the citizens of the valley shall draw up a full statement of the 
case, and forward the same to the governors of California and 
Nevada Territory, requesting them to settle the difficulties peace- 
ably and as soon as possible. 

"Mr. Elliott thought the proposition a fair and honorable 
one, and that it would lead to a speedy settlement of our present 
difficulties. He was therefore in favor of Mr. Pierce's propo- 

"Mr. Pierce (sheriff) moved the appointment of a committee 
of four citizens (two of each party), to make the statement to 
each of the governors. Carried. 



''Mr. Elliott moved that we adopt Mr. Pierce's proposition 
for a settlement of our difficulties. Carried, unanimously. 

"The chairman appointed upon the committee of correspon- 
dence, Messrs. Roop, Murray, Jones and Young. On motion 
meeting adjourned. 

"Frank Drake, Chairman. 
"H. U. Jennings, Secretary. 

"The above proceedings is an agreement of settlement be- 
tween the contending parties of Roop and Plumas counties. 

"E. H. Pierce, 
"Wm. Hill Naileigh." 

Sheriff Pierce's statement recited a few preliminary pro- 
ceedings and continued as follows : "On the fourth day of Feb- 
ruary, in my official capacity as sheriff of Plumas county, I 
received warrants for the arrest of the said John S. Ward, county 
judge, and William Hill Naileigh, sheriff, of the so-called Roop 
county, Nevada Territory, issued by the Honorable E. T. Hogan, 
county judge of Plumas county. On Thursday, February fifth, 
I proceeded to Susanville, Honey Lake valley, for the purpose of 
serving the said warrants, and on Friday, the sixth instant, an 
injunction was served on me, purporting to issue from the court 
of the First Judicial District in and for Nevada Territory, 
signed by John S. Ward, probate judge of Roop county, and 

served by Parkinson (William K.), a deputy sheriff of said 

county, restraining me and all other Plumas county officers from 
exercising jurisdiction in or over any portion of the so-called 
Roop county. This injunction I refused to obey. On Saturday, 
the seventh instant, I arrested William Hill Naileigh, and sent 
my deputy, Mr. Byers, to the residence of Mr. Ward to arrest 
him, and to meet me at Lanegar 's rancho, which he did. Having 
to wait a short time for a horse for Ward to ride, myself, Naileigh, 
and two witnesses started ahead, leaving orders for Byers and 
Ward to follow as soon as the horses arrived. As Ward was 
about to mount his horse, Isaac Roop interfered, and said that 
Ward could not go, and took hold of Ward to prevent his leaving, 
which caused a tussel between Roop and Byers, ending in Roop 
desisting for a time and allowing Byers to proceed. Roop then 
went back to a point half a mile down the road, where he had 
seven men on horses, posted and armed with shot-guns. With 
this addition he again followed Byers, overtaking and surround- 


THE YEAR 1863 

ing him, drawing their guns, again demanding the surrender of 
Ward. Byers, seeing resistance was useless, concluded to return 
to the rancho, still retaining possession of his prisoner. From 
this point he instantly sent a messenger after me with a note, 
informing me of all that had occurred since I left. 

"The great depth of snow on the mountains made it impos- 
sible for me to proceed, and as I had turned, satisfied that I could 
not cross the summit, I was met by the messenger. On reading the 
note, I told Naileigh he was at liberty to go where he pleased on 
his giving me his word that he would be forthcoming at any 
time I demanded his presence. This he agreed to. I then re- 
turned to the ranch where Byers had taken his prisoner, and 
discovered that I would have to cross the mountains, at all 
hazards, for assistance. This I done, and summoned a posse of 
ninety men, in American and Indian valleys ; returning, reached 
Honey Lake valley on Friday, the thirteenth of February. On 
reaching Susanville, I found the mob fortified in a log house that 
had been built and used as a fort against the attacks of the 
Indians (this was the old log cabin built by Roop in 1854, and 
since this event has been called Fort Defiance), numbering from 
seventy-five to one hundred men, all armed and prepared for a 
desperate resistance, having by their own admission six hundred 
shots in the fort. They sent out a white flag, and laid off their 
lines. All of this day was spent in endeavoring to adjust mat- 
ters amicably. 

"On Sunday, the fifteenth, with a force of forty men, I took 
possession of a barn within a distance of perhaps two hundred 
yards of the fort. They then gave me notice that if I did not 
vacate the barn at once they would fire on it. I then proceeded 
to fortify the barn, and put it in as perfect state of defense as 
the nature of the circumstances would permit, by using the floor 
and sleepers for breastworks. 

"Deputy Sheriff Kellogg (William W.) went out with a 
detachment of five men, taking with them a rope to draw in a 
large stick of hewed timber, which laid about one hundred feet 
from the barn. After making the rope fast, they were told from 
the fort that if they moved the stick they would be fired on. Tak- 
ing no notice of this order, they commenced moving the timber, 
when ten shots were fired from the fort, one of which took effect 
in the thigh of William Bradford, shattering the bone at a dis- 



tance of five inches below the hip joint. Bradford fell ; the rest 
went on with the stick to the barn. Kellogg returned at once 
to the assistance of Bradford, and, while bringing him in, was 
fired on five times. At this, my men instantly returned the fire 
from the barn, which was kept up by both parties for about four 
hours. Deputy Sheriff Byers, while passing through the town, 
was fired on five times. 

At two o'clock P. M., a deputation of the citizens from the 
town, with a white flag, came to the barn and requested permis- 
sion to pass to the fort, to see if they could not get a cessation of 
hostilities until five o'clock, with the hope of settling matters 
without further bloodshed. This armistice was agreed to by both 
parties. Failing to agree when the hour expired, the time was 
extended until nine o 'clock the next morning. During this time 
the mob were continually receiving reinforcements from all 
parts of the valley. I received word about this time that I would 
be reinforced by one hundred men in about ten days. At twelve 
o'clock, midnight, I was waited upon by a committee of citizens 
of the town, with a petition signed by sixty-five of the residents 
of Susanville, imploring me to suspend operations, as the mob 
threatened to burn the town in the event of my not yielding to 
their dictations. I agreed to stop all further proceedings on 
these conditions: That they, the mob, should immediately dis- 
band, and all parties cease to exercise jurisdiction until the mat- 
ter could be properly laid before the governors of California and 
Nevada Territory. This was mutually agreed to. My reasons 
for making and agreeing to this proposition, were simply these : 
That I thought the fight too great a one for the county of Plumas 
to carry on, and had I gained my point, perhaps at the expense 
of forty or fifty lives, the question of jurisdiction would have 
still remained unsettled. Their loss already, as reported to me, 
was one man killed and four wounded, one of which latter was 
Judge Ward. 

' ' The above is a narration of facts precisely as they occurred. 
All of which is respectfully submitted. 

"Sacramento City, March 2, 1863. 

"E. H. Pierce, 
"Sheriff of Plumas County." 

Mr. Kellogg says he wrote the foregoing statement. It will 
be noticed that he says there were ninety men in the posse. That 


THE YEAR 1863 

is the number given by Tunison and other men who were there 
and probably is not far from right. 

The committee appointed for that purpose by the people of 
Honey Lake presented their statement of the case to Governor 
Stanford and Governor Clemens of Nevada Territory. It told 
the principal events that occurred and differed from Mr. Pierce 'a 
statement in only a few immaterial points. It called the men in 
the fort the ' ' Nevada forces ' ' and the ' ' Nevada party ' ' instead of 
calling them a "mob" as he had done. It said that the warrants 
for the arrest of "Ward and Naileigh were issued upon the com- 
plaint of William N. De Haven; that Naileigh, sheriff of Roop 
county, issued a proclamation calling on all able-bodied citizens 
to arm, and hold themselves in readiness to aid in the execution 
of the laws, and put down insurrection, etc. ; that Pierce came 
into town at the head of a hundred men armed with deadly 
weapons ; that the Nevada forces warned the Plumas county men 
three or four times before they fired on them ; and that only five 
or six shots were fired by the Nevada party at that time. 

In conclusion it said : ' ' Without wishing to blame or excuse 
either party, the committee would state that in all probability 
each party thought itself justified by law in all its actions. The 
eastern boundary of the state is not definitely known ; some are 
of the opinion that it is east of us, and others that it is west. For 
the sake of our schools it is necessary that we should know where 
to apply for our school money. When we are assailed by Indians, 
as we frequently are, it is necessary that we should know where 
to apply for assistance. For very many important reasons, it is 
absolutely necessary that the question should be settled, and that 
as soon as possible. ' ' It was signed by ' ' Israel Jones, Dan Mur- 
ray, Isaac Roop, Wm. J. Young, Committee." 

A cannon was brought from Plumas county to Susanville 
and a good many stories are told about it. It was packed into 
the valley by Charles F. Stark and also by John R. Perkins. It 
was left in the snow on the mountain and it was brought to 
Susanville. Pierce took it home on his return, it was taken home 
the next year, and it was left in Susanville. It was burst in Tay- 
lorville the next Fourth of July, that event took place several 
years later, and it was burst in Susanville on the Fourth of 
July, 1864. Almost as many stories are told about the man who 
did the good shooting for Plumas county. Stark thinks his name 



was Arch. Little and that he lay behind some hides hanging on a 
fence that ran out from the barn. Forgay says that his name 
was Jack Kensey and that he shot from inside the barn. Mead 
doesn't remember his name, but says that he lay behind the two 
sticks of timber that had been dragged up to the barn. It is just 
a question of memory. 

The following is the truth about the cannon as near as can 
be learned. "When Pierce found that the Never Sweats were in- 
trenched he sent Ben Payne across the mountains after reinforce- 
ments and a small cannon that belonged in Taylorville. He 
raised fifteen or twenty men and returned with them and the 
cannon. Stark says his brother, Charles F., packed it over on a 
mule. Pierce sent some men with a wagon to meet them at the 
foot of the mountain above the Lanigar place, and the cannon 
was put into the wagon and hauled to town. When it arrived 
there the trouble was over and there was no use for it. The 
Plumas men all insist that it was taken back to Taylorville and 
burst there, but they do not agree as to the time. 

The Honey Lake people say that it was left in Wentworth's 
corral in Susanville. T. N. Long, Lafayette Marks, and others, 
say that on the Fourth of July, 1864, Jarvis Taylor, Jeff. Davis, 
and A. D. Elledge took it over on Gay street just north of Main. 
They put in a large charge of powder, tamped wet sand on top 
of it, and then touched it off and blew it to "smithreens." The 
Steward House was then being built on the northwest corner of 
Main and Gay streets. A piece of the cannon hit one of the 
porch timbers projecting out in front and almost cut it in two. 
Another piece came down through the roof of the schoolhouse 
which stood near where the brick school house does now — the 
southwest corner of Cottage and Weatherlow streets. One piece 
struck west of the schoolhouse and another went clear across the 
river. Mrs. A. T. Arnold has one piece of it and the family of 
Mr. Elledge has another one. Which story is right? Quien 
sdbef The Honey Lakers have the relics. 

F. and S. say: "William J. Bradford, the man so badly 
wounded, was given the warrant for $1000 which Lassen county 
issued to Plumas under the provisions of the Act organizing the 
county. This action was taken by the supervisors of Plumas 
county in pursuance of the Act of the legislature of March 
31, 1866." 



Orion Clemens, the territorial secretary, was acting governor 
of Nevada at this time, and also on January 14, 1864, when he 
made his report to the Nevada legislature in regard to the 
Boundary Line War. In this report he said that hostilities 
ceased when the agreement was made to refer the subject to 
the governors of California and Nevada for settlement ; but the 
excitement was still great and was beginning to extend beyond 
the immediate locality of the disturbance, and it was possible 
that serious consequences might ensue. He therefore telegraphed 
to his Excellency, Leland Stanford, governor of California, in 
relation to the affair, and sent Hon. J. K. Lovejoy to Susanville 
to investigate the facts, and who submitted a written report 
upon his return. Shortly after this, a special messenger, William 
K. Parkinson, Esq., arrived, bearing the statement from William 
Hill Naileigh, sheriff of Roop county. Mr. Naileigh stated the 
facts, asked the advice of Mr. Clemens, and promised to obey 
his direction in the matter, a promise which he faithfully kept. 
Judge Robert Robinson, of Sacramento, was appointed by Gov- 
ernor Stanford to confer with Mr. Clemens and agree upon a 
basis of settlement. Judge Robinson went to Carson City, and 
after finding out that the California authorities would not 
consent to the summit boundary, they drew up an instrument 
relating to the running of the line between California and 
Nevada Territory, and the judge went back to Sacramento to 
report. The foregoing is from T. and W. 

F. and S. say: "The basis of settlement agreed upon was: 
That California and Nevada should each appoint a represent- 
ative to run the boundary line. That until the line was estab- 
lished, Plumas county should have jurisdiction as far west as 
the eastern end of Honey lake, at which point the 120th degree 
of longitude was located upon De Groote's map. That provi- 
sion be made by both legislatures to transfer judgments, and 
sustain all acquired rights whenever it was found that the survey 
removed any person or property from the jurisdiction of one 
government to that of the other. That until the eighth of April, 
1863, Governor Clemens would exercise no authority over the 
disputed territory east of the line surveyed by John F. Kidder, 
placing Aurora within the limits of Nevada Territory, but after 
that date he would proceed to organize Esmeralda county, and 
exercise jurisdiction over the disputed territory east of that 



line. This declaration of Governor Clemens was made for the 
reason that Commissioner Robinson would not consent to recog- 
nize the Kidder line as a compromise line until the completed 
survey was made. 

"The commissioner's report, and all the documents relating 
to the controversy, were submitted to the legislature by Governor 
Stanford, with a special message urging immediate action. This 
resulted in the Act of April 27, 1863, directing the surveyor- 
general to survey the eastern boundary line of the state, com- 
mencing at the intersection of the 120th degree of west longitude 
and the 39th degree of north longitude; and appropriating 
$25,000 to defray the expenses of the survey. John F. Kidder 
was appointed by the surveyor-general to undertake the work, 
and Governor Clemens appointed Butler Ives (May 16, 1863) to 
accompany him, on the part of Nevada Territory." 

That summer and fall these two ran the line from Lake 
Bigler (Tahoe) north to the Oregon line. The line they surveyed 
passed to the east of Honey lake and settled the fact that the 
disputed territory in Roop county was in California. A. T. 
Arnold says that when the surveying party got to the Fort Sage 
mountain (State Line Peak) they were frightened by the Indians 
and sent a young man to Susanville to get more men to go with 
them. Mr. Arnold, Henry Arnold, Joseph Hale, Al. Leroy, 
James Phillips, and James Huntington went with them to the 
Oregon line. A long strip of land about thirty miles wide on 
the eastern side of Roop county was left in Nevada. For a long 
time it appeared on the map as Roop county, but being com- 
paratively unsettled it was put under the jurisdiction of Washoe 
county. Finally it was merged into that county and Roop 
county went out of existence. 

The line between California and Nevada was also run from 
Lake Bigler to within one degree of the southern end of Nevada 
and there the work was stopped on account of cold weather. 
This passed several miles to the west of Aurora, leaving that 
town and a rich mining district in Nevada. The rest of the 
line was surveyed in 1865. In 1876 Von Schmidt surveyed the 
eastern boundary of California and his survey moved that part 
of the line north of Lake Tahoe a few miles to the east, giving 
the border counties of California a little more territory. 


THE YEAR 1863 

The long fight was done and the Never Sweats had lost. In 
spite of all they had done against it they were in California and 
there was no longer any hope that they were not. But there 
was still a chance to keep out of Plumas county and, as we 
shall see, they went about the accomplishment of this as soon 
as possible. 

Before the matter was settled conclusively the people of this 
section, as citizens of Eoop county, Nevada, held an election 
September 2, 1863, to choose men to represent them in the 
Nevada legislature. William V. Kingsbury was elected to the 
council, John C. Partridge to the house of representatives, and 
Hiram L. Partridge to the constitutional convention. T. and W. 
say: "When the legislature met on the 12th of January, 1864, 
the boundary question had been settled, and as Honey Lake 
valley, the residence of these gentlemen and the section they 
represented, had ceased to be considered a portion of the ter- 
ritory of Nevada, they were not permitted to take their seats 
in that body." 

Plumas county must have collected taxes in Honey Lake 
valley this fall about the same as usual. Hiram H. Dakin tells 
the following in regard to it. In the fall of 1863 he was working 
for Rough Elliott. One day along the first of November Pierce 
and Byers came to the ranch and stayed about an hour. They 
talked with Elliott for some time and while the conversation was 
going on Dakin sat on the corral fence. There were some horses 
and cattle in the corral and Pierce told him to open the gate 
and let them out. He replied that he was working for the 
other fellow and didn't let them out unless Elliott told him to. 
Elliott then told him that he could sit on the fence or go away, 
just as he pleased, but not to open that gate. He then turned 
to the Plumas county officers, and after referring to their canine 
parentage, told them if they wanted serious trouble to just turn 
that stock out. The two officers went out to one side and talked 
a while, and then got on their horses and rode away without 
saying anything more to Elliott. 

As soon as the Never Sweats found they were surely in 
California they went to work to have themselves set off into a 
new county. It was an easy matter to see that the people of 
this section ought to have a county of their own because, at 
that time, for several months during an ordinary winter it was 



almost impossible to get across the mountains to Quincy except- 
ing on snowshoes. It was a question whether or not there would 
be taxable property enough in the new county to support a 
county government, but the people themselves were willing to 
try it. The people of Plumas county didn't want to lose any 
of their territory, but they didn't want to do an injustice to 
the Honey Lakers, many of whom had lived in Plumas county, 
so they made little objection to the formation of the new county. 

Indian Troubles. 1863 

Comparatively little trouble was made by the Indians this 
year. Probably more or less stock was stolen from the ranges 
by the hungry red men, but no travelers along the Humboldt 
road were attacked by them, no one was killed in Honey Lake 
valley, and only one man, so far as is known, was killed in this 

Miss Susan Roop arrived at Carson City from the East 
December 26, 1862. Governor Roop was there as a member of the 
legislature from this section, but as the session was to last only 
a few days longer, he and his daughter went to Virginia City 
the next day. They had not been there long before they met 
Old Winnemucca on the street and he was so glad to see Roop 
that he threw his arms around him and hugged him vigorously. 
Roop said to him, "I have told you that I had two boys and a 
little girl. This is the girl. ' ' The chief said ' ' I thought you got 
um mahala. " Roop told him that he must go home to Honey 
Lake in a few days and did not want to be bothered by the 
Indians. The chief said that if he would wait five days he 
would not see any Indians. Roop then said that he did not 
want the man who took him home to be molested when he came 
back, and the reply was that the Indians would not trouble him 
either. They left Carson City on the fourth of January and 
reached Susanville without seeing any Indians. Amos Conkey 
went back with the man who brought them here and they had 
the same good fortune. A few days afterwards the Indians 
killed a man in Red Rock valley. A party went in pursuit, but 
failed to find any of them. 

One night about the middle of January the Indians stole 
two horses from Isaac Coulthurst's corral and shot one of his 
hogs with arrows. They also tried to catch C. T. Emerson's 


THE YEAR 1863 

mules, but they broke out of the corral and got away from them. 
On the night of February eighth they had better luck and suc- 
ceeded in stealing one of them. The last of February two men 
who were in Willow Creek valley saw a couple of Indians and 
shot at them, wounding one, as they supposed. The Indians 
left their ponies and took to the rocks. A short time after this 
the Indians stole four head of cattle from Deep Hole. 

This spring a permanent military post was established at 
Smoke Creek, thus making good the promise of General Wright 
the fall before, and during the summer buildings were put up 
for the officers and the soldiers. Troops were kept at this post 
for several years afterwards, and when under the command of 
Captain Smith (shortly after going there he was promoted to 
Major) did some good Indian fighting. Some time during the 
year Captain Hassett camped with twenty-five or thirty soldiers 
at the foot of the bluff above Susanville, and stayed there all 
winter and perhaps longer. There was about the same number 
of soldiers at the Soldier bridge this fall. For several years 
after this whenever there was an excitement about the Indians a 
few soldiers came into the valley and camped at one or the other 
of these places for a short time. 

One op Old Winnemucca 's Escapes prom Susanville 

Some time during this year, as near as can be told, Winne- 
mucca paid a visit to his old friends in Susanville. The Indian 
troubles of the previous year had left in the minds of the people 
of Honey Lake a feeling of ill will toward them greater than 
usual. He had not been in town very long before it began to look 
as though it was dangerous for him to stay there, and his friends 
thought it best to get him away as soon as possible. William H. 
Hall says he came to Susanville that day and soon met Cap. 
Hill with whom he was great friends. Cap. said he wanted him 
to help get a Masonic friend out of trouble. He knew he was 
a Mason because he had given him the Masonic sign of distress. 
He then said it was Winnemucca and that the citizens of the 
town, some of them, wanted to hang him. He wanted to keep 
the chief from being hurt, but wanted as few people as possible 
to know that he had anything to do with it. Cap. Hill surely 
must have thought that Winnemucca was a Mason, for he, like 
other men in the valley at that time, had lost relatives in an 

r 331 1 


Indian massacre and, also like them, killed a redskin whenever 
there was any excuse for doing it, and sometimes just because 
there was a good chance to do it. Hall said he was willing to 
help the chief get away and they made up a plan for doing it. 
Hall, John Robinson, and three other young fellows rode out to 
the north side of town and Hill brought the Indian out there 
with as little fuss as possible. He started off down the old 
emigrant road on the north side of the river, the young men 
following him. In a short time he began to run his horse and 
they struck out after him yelling and firing their pistols. They 
did this in order to keep between him and any one else who 
might pursue him, and also to make people in town think they 
were trying to kill or capture him. They kept up the chase for 
a couple of miles, and then seeing that no one else was coming, 
fired a final volley and scattered. None of them said anything 
about it and the matter was dropped. 

Telling that an Indian knew Masonic signs may sound rather 
fishy, but this is not the only time it has been told. Governor 
Roop said that Old Winnemucca gave him Masonic signs the 
first time he saw him. George "W. Harrison of Susanville tells 
the following: His father, Judge W. R. Harrison, and family 
crossed the plains in 1858. They had reached Box Elder creek 
above Fort Kearney, and that afternoon the Judge, as was his 
custom, went on a little in advance of the train to select a camp- 
ing place for the night. Not far ahead was an Indian camp and 
as he drew near it an Indian came out to meet him. Not know- 
ing what might happen, several men of the train hurried on and 
caught up with him just as the two met. The Indian imme- 
diately threw his arms around the white man and some of the 
latter 's friends, thinking that he was going to be hurt, drew 
their pistols. As soon as he could the Judge told them to put 
up their weapons, for he understood it and it was all right. 
The Indian was a Sioux chief called "Black Bear" who with 
his braves was on the warpath against the Pawnees. Judge 
Harrison said the chief gave a Masonic sign as soon as they met, 
and when he returned it the Indian threw his arms around him. 
The whites camped close by and that night Black Bear and his 
warriors came over and smoked the pipe of peace. The next 
morning he presented the Judge with a war club which was made 
by putting a stone into the end of a split stick and wrapping it 


THE YEAE 1863 

with rawhide, and the Judge in return made him a present of 
his sheath knife. The chief's wife brought a lot of jerked meat 
to .Mrs. Harrison and was given some sugar and coffee. The 
chief told the whites that they need not fear trouble with the 
Indians as long as they were in his country and that his runners 
would go along and keep them in sight until they came to the 
territory of the next chief. The war club is now in the pos- 
session of one of Judge Harrison's daughters who lives in Iowa. 

In the early 60 's a Susan ville man named Frank Peed made 
a business trip to Fall River valley. He had not been there long 
before a Pit River Indian told him he had better get out of that 
section as soon as he could for the Hat Creek Indians were 
watching for a chance to kill him. Before the Indian told him 
this he made Peed understand that he knew something of 
Masonry. It is also told that when he got part way home he 
suddenly came upon a band of Indians. He was afraid to go up 
to them, and when they saw him he made a Masonic sign. They 
then motioned for him to come on, and when he hesitated they 
unstrung their bows. He went to them, and after talking a while 
they told him they were on a fishing trip and that he could 
proceed on his journey without any danger from them. Per- 
haps he thought they might change their minds, for when he 
got out of their sight he caused his beast to strike a lively gait 
and to keep it up until he reached Susanville. 

"Fifty Years of Masonry in California" tells the following 
concerning the man who was master of the lodge opened under 
the charter brought to California by Peter Lassen. It says that 
Brother Woods with a small party of men were captured by 
the Indians on the road back to St. Louis from Santa Fe. While 
the Indians were making ready to burn them Woods got his 
arms loose and gave a Masonic sign. The chief immediately 
sprang to him and cut him loose and eventually they were all 
set free. This was just before he met Lassen. 

Lafayette D. McDow crossed the plains in the early 50 's and 
while on his journey he fell in with some Indians who evidently 
knew something of Masonry. It is said that the head men of the 
Hudson Bay Company taught the rudiments of Masonry to the 
chiefs of all the tribes with which they came in contact. 



The Winter of 1863-64 

This winter was the driest one ever known in this valley. 
T. N. Long says that the road from here to Oroville was open all 
winter to people on horseback, and nearly all winter for teams. 
Mrs. A. D. Elledge says there was only one storm in Susanville 
this winter and that was a small one. It snowed a little, but 
left no snow on the ground. It rained in the spring and people 
put in their grain, but although it rained during the summer, 
there was little or no crop on dry land that had no water for 
irrigation. Mr. Long says that twenty-six people died in or 
near Susanville that winter of a sort of mountain fever. They 
were nearly all adults. Amzi Brown was among those who died. 
George Kelley was the only one who was seriously ill and 
recovered. The second story of the stable at the southeast corner 
of Lassen and Nevada streets was used as a hospital. Until this 
time there had been only three people buried in the cemetery at 
Susanville, and none of them had died a natural death. They 
were Perry M. Craig, Charles W. Seaman, and a man who fell 
on a pitchfork while working on a ranch near Susanville. 
The First Death at Milford and at Janesville 

From the time that Isadore and his wife lost their lives in 
the lake in 1856 no one else was drowned there until 1863. On 
the eighth of July Elbern G. Kelley, a boy eight years old, the 
son of John D. Kelley, and another boy who was older (J. Bristo 
Rice) went swimming at the sandbar in the lake east of Milford. 
The Kelley boy got into deep water, and being unable to swim, 
he began to drown. The other boy ran for help, but he had a 
long ways to go and assistance came too late. This is the first 
death that took place near Milford. 

On the 24th of July Dr. John A. Slater died of congestive 
chills at his home about a mile northwest of Janesville. His 
death was the first one in the neighborhood of that place. 

An Attempt to Recruit for the Confederate Army 

In July a man named Elkins, perhaps John, came to the 
valley from Shasta City. After staying around at different 
places for a few days he went to Susanville. Shortly after his 
arrival at that place he went into the postoffice and found the 
postmaster and Cap. Hill there. He entered into a conversation 

[ 334 ] 

THE YEAR 1863 

with Roop, and after some talk, showed him a list of the names 
of southern men who lived in Shasta county and told him they 
were southern sympathizers. Roop knew several of these men, 
and in the light of what took place afterwards, it is probable 
that some of them had told Elkins that he was also a southern 
man and in favor of the South. Elkins asked for the names of 
the men in the valley who were friendly to the southern side, 
and finally asked the other two men if they would "take salt." 
They were used to having a man ask them to take a drink, but 
never before had they been asked to take salt and they didn't 
know what it meant. But the question had aroused their curi- 
osity, and having a desire to know what his business was, they 
told him they would. He said if they would come to his room 
that night and bring some of their friends, he would fix things 
up with them. He got very drunk that afternoon, and when 
Roop, Hill, Ward, and another man or two went to his room in 
the second story of the Brannan House, he was unable to talk 
to them and they went away no wiser than when they came. 
About two o 'clock Miss Roop heard , some one groaning, but 
probably she thought it was somebody who was drunk, and paid 
no particular attention to it. The next morning Elkins was 
found dead in the street with a broken neck. It was supposed 
that his whiskey gave out in the night and that he intended to 
go down stairs after more. He made a mistake and went onto 
the front porch and walked off that into the street. The papers 
found on him showed that he was a recruiting officer and that 
he had come into the valley to raise a company for the Southern 
Confederacy. He was buried in the cemetery at Susanville and 
Roop wrote to his friends in Shasta county, but they never 
moved his body. There was a great deal of excitement about the 
war and the Union men were sorry that he died before more 
was learned about his plans. 

The Knights of the Golden Circle 

Charles Barham says that in the summer of 1863 he and 
another man came from the Sacramento valley to Honey Lake 
to initiate men into the order of the "Knights of the Golden 
Circle." This was an order composed of southern sympathizers 
who lived in the northern states. They had lodges throughout 
the North and their object was to aid the cause of the Southern 

[ 335 ] 


Confederacy. At a meeting held in the log house in Fort Janes- 
ville he initiated twenty-two men, and not long afterwards he 
initiated five more in Last Chance back of Milford. The man 
who came to the valley with him went on out into the Humboldt 
country to carry on the work there. In this part of the country 
the order must have "died a bornin','' for there is nothing to 
show that they ever did anything here. 

The Union League 

This fall or the next spring one or more lodges of this order 
were organized in the valley. This was an order composed of 
Union men, and its object was to aid the government in putting 
down the rebellion and also to counteract the influence of the 
"Knights of the Golden Circle." Probably no more came of it 
here than from the other organization just mentioned, but it 
shows how the people of the land were divided against each other. 

A Cutting Affray at Janesville 

Told by David B. Bankhead 

One day this fall Davie Lowrie came to Janesville and got 
drunk, something that was a common occurrence with him. He 
was a large, dull-witted Scotchman, one of the pioneers of Cali- 
fornia, and was thought to be a harmless sort of an old fellow. 
While he was in this condition he sat down on the steps of the 
Holmes Hotel and Mrs. Holmes, who wished to get rid of him, 
motioned to three boys near by to try to get him away. These 
boys were David Bankhead and John Phillips, each about fifteen 
years old, and Malcom Bankhead aged ten. They threw some 
little clods of dirt at him and in a few minutes he got up and 
started across the street towards Blanchard's store. In the 
middle of the street he met Ed. Phillips, John's brother, who was 
a halfway vaquero and not very bright. He either spoke to 
Ed. or struck at him, and the latter threw him down and ran 
away laughing. John said "Look at my fool brother run away 
from that man," and then picked up a bar of iron and told 
Lowrie that if he said anything to him he would hit him on the 
head. Lowrie got up and went into the store and shortly after- 
wards the three boys went over there, too. As they stood in the 
door David Bankhead noticed that Lowrie, who was standing 
near the right-hand counter with his arms folded, had a knife 

[ 336] 

THE YEAR 1863 

in bis hand. John went into the other side of the store for a 
match to light his pipe. Lowrie came past the other two boys, 
and as he did so David pushed his little brother back saying 
''He has got a knife." Lowrie walked up to John, and without 
saying anything, cut him across the upper part of the chest 
making a wound two and a half inches long. The boy struck at 
him two or three times before he found out that he was hurt. 
He then said that he was killed and called for his brother to 
take him home. It was a bad wound and the blood gushed out 
every time he breathed, but with the assistance of two men he 
walked to Bankhead's and there his wound was dressed. He 
seemed to get over the effects of it, but seven years afterwards 
he died in Surprise valley, and it was thought that his death 
was brought on by this injury. Lowrie afterwards told the 
narrator that for doing this he was arrested and taken to Quincy 
and locked up for five or six months. He lived in the valley 
more than twenty years after this, but never hurt anybody else. 
Twelve or fifteen years after this "Uncle Tim" Darcey slashed 
him with a knife cutting off the lower part of his ear and 
making an ugly gash almost the whole length of his jaw. Darcey 
gave him but little more warning than he had given the boy. 




Susanville. During the spring and summer J. I. Steward 
built a two-story frame hotel on the northwest corner of 
Main and Gay streets. It was called the ' ' Steward House ' ' and 
was much the largest hotel that had ever been built in town. 
Mr. Steward ran it for two or three years, and it was used as a 
hotel until it was burned in the big fire of July 18, 1893, while 
owned by D. Knoch. The stable on the lot at the southeast corner 
of Lassen and Nevada streets was given by Governor Koop to 
the Masons, and early in the summer they moved it across the 
street to the northwest corner of Main and Lassen streets. The 
following fall and winter it was repaired a little and early the 
next year the Honey Lake Rangers used the lower story for an 
armory and the Masons occupied the upper story. In the fall 
of 1865 work was begun on it and continued until the next sum- 
mer. The building was re-covered and the upper story was 
fitted up in good shape. The ground floor was used for various 
purposes, but the second story was always used as a Masonic 
Hall until the fire of 1893, and perhaps a little longer. After 
that fire it was moved and put on the north side of Main street 
about midway between Lassen and Gay. It was burned in the 
fire of March 19, 1895. In the fall Jacob W. Smith began the 
erection of a brewery on the south side of Main street, the third 
lot east of Gay. This building was burned in the fire of March 
17, 1865, before it was finished. He then put up another build- 
ing in the same place and in it followed the business of brewing 
until 1872. H. K. Cornell and William S. Hamilton built the 
first warehouse in the place on the north side of the road just 
east of Piute creek. In it they stored flour which they hauled 
from Millville and sold here. Some time during the year D. 
Goldstein and William Greehn opened a store, Griffin and Wil- 
liams opened another one, and Philip H. Meyers and W. W. 
Clemmons started a blacksmith and wagon shop. In March Wil- 
liam Brockman and Jorgen Jensen opened a blacksmith and 
wagon shop on the southwest corner of Main and Lassen streets 
and continued in the business for almost two years. Shortly 
after this each one bought a ranch about two miles below Susan- 


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THE YEAR 1864 

ville. Jensen spent the rest of his life there and Brockman still 
lives on his ranch. In the latter 60 's Meyers bought a place a 
mile south of town on which he lived about fifteen years. The 
Susanville public school was taught this fall by W. H. Van 

The public school at Richmond was taught this fall by Miss 

D. K. (Kitty) Funk. School was held in the building put up 
by Shaffer for a warehouse. 

Toadtown. The first school in the Susan River District was 
taught this fall by Mrs. Caroline A. Johnston, the wife of David 
Johnston. A few months later on the school was taught by 

E. W. Pratt. 

Janesville. In the spring, possibly the previous winter, 
L. N. Breed bought Dave Blanchard's store and stock of goods. 
During the following summer he built a one-story building right 
across the street from it, and here he kept a store for the sale of 
general merchandise until 1873. He then put up a two-story 
building on the same site. He sold goods in the lower story of 
this and the second story was used for a lodge room by the 
Masons and the Odd Fellows until 1911 when each of these 
orders built a two-story hall in the town. Breed was the mer- 
chant of Janesville for seventeen or eighteen years. It is impos- 
sible to tell positively who taught school this fall. Some think 
it was taught in the Fort by A. M. Vaughan. 

In February Thomas H. Epley and Family returned to the 
valley and bought the place on the lake originally taken up by 
Isadore. The Lake District built a schoolhouse on the south side 
of the road and on the eastern slope of a little hill about four 
and a half miles southeast of Janesville. William A. Hatcher 
taught the public school there in the fall. 

Milford. W. (Bogue) Adams built a saloon on the west side 
of the road running up to the gristmill and just below the rock 
pile. In the fall E. T. (Bert) Fairchilds put up a two-story 
frame hotel just above and adjoining the saloon. These were 
the first establishments of the kind in the place. Fred A. Wash- 
burn filed on 160 acres of land covering the Milford townsite, 
and all the titles to the lots in that place come from him. This 
summer the crickets went across the upper part of the valley 



Long Valley. Andrew W. Dinwiddie and Family went onto 
the place taken by Frank Williams the previous year, probably 
bought it. Ambrose and Noah Eobinson were killed when the 
steamboat Washoe blew up on the Sacramento river. This year, 
or shortly afterwards, Andrew J. Wilkerson came into the valley 
and rented the Willow Eanch, and Anton Rager located a place 
above that ranch. Robert M. Dooley took up a ranch about two 
miles south of the Willow Ranch. J. P. McKissick came into 
Long valley this fall and Edwin Ferris went to the Summit 
close to the Lassen county line. 

Willow Creek. This spring Hurlbut and Knudson returned 
to their ranch and commenced to improve it. Knudson lived 
there the rest of his life. A. L. Tunison had been going back 
and forth between Honey Lake and Willow Creek since I860, 
but had settled on no land in the latter place. This spring he 
and William H. Hall made a location just below Hurlbut and 
Knudson. In the fall Hall sold his part of the claim to Tunison 
who lived there for many years. David Hursher and Brother 
brought in cattle from Yolo county in charge of Henry Didlot 
and kept them there until the next year. Mr. Barnes of Yolo 
county brought in quite a large band of horses in charge of 
Frank Stetson. Barnes and Hursher built a joint cabin on the 
south side of the valley on the lower end of the Tunison ranch. 
That fall Barnes moved his horses back to the Sacramento valley. 
During the summer and fall a good many people went into the 
valley, and the following winter there was quite a settlement in 
and around Leesburg. Eli W. Harris, Mrs. Jennie Harrison's 
stepfather, and Family and his partner, James Scott, crossed 
the plains this year and spent the winter at Leesburg. Griffith 
G. Miller and Wife, Jacob C. Miller, his brother, a man named 
Jordan and Family and his partner, Henry Wright, also lived 
there. Thomas W. Pickard and Wife, and perhaps Henry 
Davis, were on the old Demming place, and James Haley and 
Wife, and part of the time their sons, Nelson and James, were 
on a place joining Pickard on the east. Robert Gowanlock and 
Richard Quilty lived somewhere on the creek in the timber above 
Leesburg, and James Mariot Parker had a ranch on the south 
side of the creek about two miles below there. Thomas Pearson 
lived in a little valley that lies south of the lower end of Willow 
Creek valley. 


THE YEAR 1864 

Mt. Meadows. John H. Seagraves, who had bought an interest 
in the Long ranch, lived there this year. 

Surprise Valley. There was a large emigration into the 
valley this year and a great deal of stock was taken there. 
Because of the lack of rain during the previous winter stock 
was dying off in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, and 
the owners of it would allow any one to take as many cattle as 
he pleased and give him half of what he could save. A great 
deal of the stock driven into the valley this year was taken in 
that way. Thomas Price of Butte City, California, says that late 
in the fall Thomas Bare built a cabin in the lower end of the 
valley on what was then called Wood creek. This was the first 
building erected in the part of Surprise valley that is in Lassen 
county. W. H. McCormick of Eagleville, California, says that 
a little later, perhaps the next year, two men who had come into 

the valley this year, John Bordwell and Hill, settled in 

that part of the valley. Their claims went into the Bare ranch 
which was afterwards bought by the Gerlach Land and Stock 
Company. The first soldiers stationed in Surprise valley went 
in there this summer. 

Frank Murphey and Marion Lawrence (Comanche George) 
claimed the Buffalo Salt Marsh in northwestern Nevada this 

Those whose names are given in the following lists settled in 
the county in 1864. The length of residence does not apply to 
the children. 

The following lived here all the rest of their lives or are 
living here yet. Thomas M. Barham, Mrs. Cynthia Broadwell, 
Jacob W. Broadwell, Lucy Broadwell (Mrs. G. R. Lybarger), 
Abner McMurphy and Wife, Harper H. McMurphy and Family, 
John R. Dunn and Family, J. Oscar Hemler, William S. Ham- 
ilton and Wife, Benjamin H. Leavitt, John R. Perkins, Charles 
Barham and Family, Judge W. R, Harrison and Family, S. N. 
Harrison, W. R. Harrison, L. C. Stiles and Wife, William M. 
McClelland and Family, Jorgen Jensen, William Brockman, 
Elliot Winchester, Nicholas Lute, Bernhard Neuhaus, Henry 
Didlot, Mrs. William Leith, William Leith, Jr., Alzina Leith 
(Mrs. E. T. Slackford and Mrs. P. Lynch), John H. Glasscock 
and Wife, Vincent B. Glasscock, Jerry M. Leaky, J. P. McKis- 
sick and Family, * Charles League and Family, Jefferson Hart 



and Family, L. M. Crill, Mrs. Nathan Phillips (Mrs. Frances 
Sanders), Jacob W. Smith and Family, Charles Cramer, Golette 
Dubois and Family, Robert M. Dooley and Family, Charles B. 
Clark, Andrew "W. Dinwiddie and Family, and Harry F. 

The following lived in the county fifteen or twenty years or 
more. Silas McMurphy and Family, Elliot Winchester, Jr., 
Frank David, Thomas J. Glasscock, John W. Glasscock, Joseph 
D. Smith, Hiram B. Parks, Josiah Sherer, William Reilly, Isaac 
Broadwell, Philip H. Meyers and Family, Thomas Meyers, 
Charles Meyers, Cyrus Meyers, E. P. Soule and Family, Henry 
Tyrrell, Tro E. Ward, and Kitty Funk (Mrs. A. W. Worm). 

The following lived in the county from two or three to twelve 
or fifteen years. Marcus Barham, Grove Tyrrell, Robert St. 
John, D. Goldstein, William Hatcher, *James G. Hutton, Elias 
Hart and Family, Harper Hart, Alice Hart, John Sailing, 
Daniel Samis and Family, Thomas J. Lomas, George W. Funk, 
Michael McGuire, L. L. Glasscock, E. D. Bowman, M. W. Pratt, 
Finney Rutherford and Wife, A. A. Kneisley and Family, John 
Purcell and Family, Judge A. T. Bruce, Frank Dinwiddie, James 
Lyon and Wife, George Lyon, Joseph Lyon, *Cephas Tuttle, 
*B. J. Robinson and Family, *S. Friedman, Jane Funk (Mrs. 
J. E. Coalman), Fanny Funk (Mrs. Luther D. Spencer), A. J. 
Wilkerson, Mrs. Judson (Christie) Dakin, and Thomas H. Epley 
and Family. 

Lassen County Politics. 1864 

When the California legislature of 1863-64 met, James D. 
Byers, who after the Sage Brush War had lived on his ranch 
about two miles northeast of Janesville, was sent to Sacramento 
to help get a bill passed by the legislature creating a new county 
east of the mountains. After thoroughly discussing the matter 
a bill was passed, April 1, 1864, organizing a county out of the 
eastern part of Plumas and Shasta counties. It was named 
Lassen county in honor of Peter Lassen. Mr. Byers told the 
writer that the men in charge of the bill offered to name it Byers 
county, but he told them to give it the name it now bears. There 
is every reason to believe that before he left Honey Lake there 
was an understanding among some of the leading men, Byers 
among the number, that it should be called Roop county, the 


THE YEAR 1864 

name it had borne while it was considered to be a part of Nevada 
Territory. Although Roop and Byers were on friendly terms, 
probably the latter held a grudge against Roop for his capture 
while taking Ward to Quincy and took this opportunity to get 
even. According to the census of 1860 the territory covered by 
the new county had a population of 476 white people and in 
1864 must have contained a thousand. 

The organic Act, in brief, is as follows: Section 1. There 
shall be formed, out of the eastern portion of Plumas and the 
eastern portion of Shasta Counties, a new county, to be called 
Lassen County. 

Section 2. The boundary of Lassen County shall be as 
follows : Commencing on the boundary line dividing Sierra and 
Plumas Counties, at a point on the summit of the ridge which 
crosses said boundary line, and which divides Long Valley from 
Sierra Valley ; thence following the summit of said ridge (north- 
westerly), which separates the waters of Feather River from 
those which flow into the Great Basin and Honey Lake Valley, 
to a point due south from the Town of Susanville; thence due 
south to the summit of the ridge separating the waters which 
flow into the East Branch of the North Fork of Feather River, 
running through Indian Valley, from those which flow into the 
North Fork of Feather River, running through Mountain Mead- 
ows; thence following the summit of said ridge to a point due 
south from a point where the old and present traveled road from 
the Big Meadows, via Hamilton's Ranch, first crosses the said 
North Fork of Feather River; thence due north to the southern 
boundary line of Shasta County; thence west along said bound- 
ary line to a point due south of the Black Butte Mountain; 
thence due north to the southern boundary line of Siskiyou 
County; thence east along said boundary line to the eastern 
boundary of the State ; thence south along said State line to the 
south-east corner of Plumas County; thence west along the 
boundary line of Sierra and Plumas Counties to the place of 

The governor of the state was to appoint a county judge for 
Lassen county, whose term of office was to continue until January 
1, 1866, and until his successor was elected and qualified. There 
was to be an election for county officers and for the location of 
the county seat on the first Monday of May, 1864. At this 



election the qualified voters of the county were to choose one 
district attorney, one county clerk, who was to be ex-officio the 
auditor, recorder, and superintendent of public instruction, one 
sheriff, one county surveyor, one county treasurer, one county 
assessor, one coroner, who was to be ex-officio public adminis- 
trator, three supervisors, and two justices of the peace and two 
constables for each township in the county. 

Frank Drake, H. C. Stockton, and L. N. Breed were appointed 
Commissioners to designate additional precincts to those already 
established in the county, and they were to have the powers of a 
board of supervisors. They were to divide the county into 
supervisor districts, and were to canvass the election returns and 
issue certificates of election to those receiving the highest number 
of votes at this election. They were also to declare the place 
receiving the highest number of votes the county seat of the 
county. The Commissioners were to meet at Kingsley and 
Miller's store in Susanville, Honey Lake township, on the second 
Monday in April, 1864, and after being duly sworn by some 
officer qualified to administer oaths, they were to perform the 
duties imposed upon them by this Act. They were to choose 
one of their number as chairman and another as clerk, who was 
to keep a record of their proceedings and deposit that record in 
the office of the county clerk as soon as the clerk should have 
entered upon the discharge of his duties. They were to prepare 
for the election by designating the places of voting, appointing 
judges and inspectors, and giving the necessary notices. The 
returns of the election were to be sent to Kingsley and Miller's 
store on or before the Monday following the election, and the 
Commissioners were to be there to receive them. After can- 
vassing the votes they were to issue certificates of election signed 
by the chairman and secretary, and each person elected was to 
qualify and give his bond within ten days after receiving the 
certificate of his election. 

Section 11. All other county officers elected under the pro- 
visions of this Act, except Supervisors, whose terms of office are 
hereafter provided for, shall hold office for two years from the 
first day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, and until 
their and each of their successors are elected and qualified ; 


THE YEAR 1864 

provided, that Justices of the Peace and Constables shall hold 
office for two years from the first day of January, eighteen hun- 
dred and sixty-four. 

Section 12. The County Judge shall reside and keep his 
office in the township where the county seat is located, and shall 
receive a salary of eight hundred dollars per annum, which shall 
be paid quarterly, as other county charges. He shall hold the 
Courts required by law to be held by County Judges, the same 
commencing on the first Monday in March, June, September, and 
December; provided, however, the County Judge may call and 
hold special terms of Probate Court whenever public necessity 
may require. 

The District Attorney shall receive a salary of four hundred 
dollars per annum, to be paid quarterly, and such other fees as 
are allowed by general law. All other county and township 
officers not specified in this Act shall receive as compensation the 
fees allowed by law in Plumas County in this State. 

The regular meetings of the Board of Supervisors were to be 
held at the county seat the first Mondays in March, June, Sep- 
tember, and December of each year. The President of the Board 
might call special meetings if no more than two of them were 
held in any one year. The Supervisor elected from District 
Number One was to be President of the Board and was to hold 
office one year from the first day of March, eighteen hundred and 
sixty-four. The one elected from District Number Two was to 
hold office two years from that date, and the one from District 
Number Three was to hold office three years from that date ; and 
after that each Supervisor was to hold office three years, and the 
one holding the oldest commission was to be President of the 
Board. Their compensation was to be twenty cents a mile both 
ways and three dollars a day while in attendance upon the 
regular meetings of the Board. 

Section 15. Lassen County shall be a portion of the Second 
Judicial District, and the District Judge shall hold one term of 
Court in said county, commencing the second Monday in October, 
eighteen hundred and sixty-four, and every year thereafter two 
terms, commencing on the first Monday in June and the second 
Monday in October. 

Section 16. For Assembly representative purposes, Lassen 
County shall be attached to the County of Plumas ; for Senatorial 



representatives purposes, to the Twenty-Fourth Senatorial Dis- 
trict, and for Congressional representative purposes, to the Third 
Congressional District. 

The Commissioners were to appoint three qualified electors 
of Lassen County, one from each of the Supervisor Districts, who 
were freeholders in their respective districts, to select two sites 
which they should deem the most suitable for the county seat, 
and after making the selection they were to report to the 
Commissioners the sites they had selected. 

All assessments for the current legal year were to be made 
by the Assessor of Lassen County, and all taxes were to be col- 
lected by the Sheriff, who was to be the ex-officio Tax Collector. 
The Board of Supervisors were authorized to levy and collect 
an annual tax for State and County purposes not to exceed the 
sum of two dollars and fifty cents on each one hundred dollars 
of taxable property in the county. 

The County Recorder of Plumas County was required, upon 
the application of the Recorder of Lassen County, to cause to be 
made and delivered to him suitable books of record, containing 
certified copies of the records of all deeds, patents, mortgages, 
claims, powers of attorney, mechanics' liens, and other instru- 
ments recorded in the Recorder's office of Plumas County, and 
affecting property situated in Lassen County; and the books 
containing the certified copies were to have the same force and 
effect as the original records in Plumas County. Lassen County 
was to pay for the books and the copying of the records. 

All actions of any kind pending in any of the Courts of 
Plumas County at the time of the organization of Lassen County 
in which the defendants were residents of Lassen County, or the 
property involved was situated in Lassen County, were to be 
removed for trial to the proper Courts of Lassen County, except- 
ing those that had been commenced for the collection of taxes 
and licenses. 

Lassen County was required to provide for the payment of 
its proportion of the indebtedness of Plumas County at that 
time. The Treasurer of Lassen County was required to draw 
from the Treasury of his county and pay to the Treasury of 
Plumas County the sum of one thousand dollars on the first day 
of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-six ; and also the further 
sum of one thousand five hundred dollars on the first day of 


THE YEAR 1864 

January, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven ; and on the payment 
of these sums the Treasurer of Plumas County was to give a 
receipt in full for the payment of the indebtedness specified in 
this section of the Act. 

Lassen County was required, within eighteen months after 
its organization, to cause that part of its western boundary line 
which ran due north to be surveyed, and to give to the Super- 
visors of Plumas and Shasta Counties timely notice of when such 
survey was to be made; and all expenses of the survey were to 
be paid by Lassen County. 

Section 24. All Acts and parts of Acts in this State are 
hereby repealed, so far as they conflict with the provisions of 
this Act. 

Section 25. This Act shall take effect and be in force from 
and after its passage. 

The Organization of Lassen County 
Taken from the records of the County 

In pursuance of an Act of the legislature of the state of 
California entitled "An Act to create the County of Lassen, to 
define its boundaries, and to provide for its organization" 
approved April 1st, A. D., 1864, the Commissioners appointed to 
organize said county met according to the requirements of said 
Act at Miller and Kingsley's store in the village of Susanville in 
Honey Lake Township on Monday, the 11th day of April, A. D., 
1864. John S. Ward, acting Justice of the Peace in and for said 
Township, administered the oath of office. The Commissioners 
then organized by electing Frank Drake chairman and L. N. 
Breed clerk. On motion of L. N. Breed they adjourned to the 
Masonic Hall for the transaction of business. 

Board met at Masonic Hall and proceeded to divide Lassen 
County into three supervisor districts, as follows : District 
No. 1. — "All that portion of territory belonging to Lassen county 
situated and lying w^est of a line commencing at the summit of 
the mountains on the line between Plumas and Lassen counties, 
south of a large pine tree that stands near the monument of 
Peter Lassen, and running north to said tree; thence to the 
western boundary of Hines' ranch; thence to the lower end of 
Willow Creek valley; thence due north to the Siskiyou county 
line." District No. 2. — "All that portion of territory belonging 



to Lassen county situated and lying east of the boundary line of 
District No. 1, and between that line and another line com- 
mencing at the summit of the mountain on the line between 
Plumas and Lassen counties, south of the eastern boundary of 
Clark & Hamilton's ranch, and running north to the eastern 
boundary of said ranch; thence in a north-easterly direction to 
the Hot springs, situated about four miles east of Shaffer's 
ranch; thence east to the boundary line between California and 
Nevada Territory." District No. 3. — "All that portion of ter- 
ritory belonging to Lassen County situated and lying south and 
east of the eastern and southern boundary line of District No. 2." 

The Commissioners then created the following townships : 
Susanville Township. — "All that portion of territory embraced 
and situated in District No. 1." Janesville Township. — "All 
that portion of territory embraced and situated in District No. 
2." Honey Lake Township. — "All that portion of territory 
embraced and situated in District No. 3, and north of the ridge 
dividing Honey Lake valley and Long valley, where the present 
traveled road crosses said ridge. " Long Valley Township. — "All 
that portion of territory embraced and situated in District No. 3, 
and south of the boundary line of Honey Lake township." 

They then established the following precincts and selected 
the place in each one at which the election should be held : 

Susan River 
Devil 's Corral, 
Fort Crook, 
Long Valley, 

Place of Voting 
Junction House. 
Byrd 's Ranch. 
Lathrop City. 
Stockton's Mill. 

Mud Springs, 
Mt. Meadows, 
Willow Creek, 

Place of Voting 
Mud Springs. 
Goodrich 's. 
Lee 's Burg. 

Ross & Evans. 
The following Inspectors and Judges were appointed: 

Long Valley, 
Susan River, 
Mud Springs, 
Mt. Meadows, 
Devil 's Corral, 
Willow Creek, 
Fort Crook, 


Paul Jones, 
W. S. Ross, 


Joseph Wemple, 
Lewis Stark, 
U. L. Shaffer, 
E. G. Bangham, 


P. Chamberlain, 


A. Seaman, 


M. Bronson and Wright. 

A. Evans and J. McKissick. 

L. P. Whiting and Thomas Fairchilds. 
A. H. Barnes and N. Clark. 
J. N. Pine and Dr. McCollom. 
A. C. Neale and Z. N. Spalding. 

Tunnel and T. Robinson. 

Frank Peed and W. C. Kingsbury. 

George Long and 

H. H. Reppert and P. J. Quinn. 
James Haley and 

THE YEAR 1864 

The Commissioners then appointed Rufus Kingsley from 
District No. 1, James D. Byers from District No. 2, and A. 
Evans from District No. 3 as a committee to select two sites for 
the county seat of Lassen county to be voted for at the election 
to be held on the second day of May, 1864. The Board adjourned 
until Saturday, the 16th day of April, A. D., 1864. 

Board met at the Masonic Hall pursuant to adjournment and 
the committee appointed to select two sites for the county seat 
of Lassen county presented their report, which was received by 
the Board, declaring Susanville and Janesville as the sites 
selected for that purpose. The Board then ordered that the 
proper election notices be posted, and adjourned to meet at Miller 
and Kingsley 's store on Monday, the ninth day of May, A. D., 

Board of Commissioners met pursuant to adjournment — 
present Drake and Breed. They proceeded to open the election 
returns and canvass the votes of the different precincts. They 
counted the votes from Junction, Long Valley, Milford, Janes- 
ville, Susan River, Mud Springs, Toadtown, Susanville, Willow 
Creek, Mt. Meadows, and Devil's Corral. No returns were 
received from Summit precinct. The Board disagreed as to 
counting the votes from Fort Crook, Surprise Valley, and Willow 
(Creek) precincts. Breed wanted to throw out the vote of these 
precincts without opening the returns, but Drake objected, and 
the Board adjourned until the 12th day of May. When they 
met at that date all the members of the Board were present. 
They called in E. R. Nichols and A. A. Smith as witnesses to 
inform them as to the location of the Fort Crook and Surprise 
Valley precincts, and after some voting the returns from the 
disputed precincts were rejected. The Board then proceeded to 
estimate the vote of the county. Susanville having received 
the highest number of votes for county seat was declared the 
county seat of Lassen county. They also declared the following 
gentlemen duly elected the first officers of Lassen county: 

E. V. Spencer, District Attorney; A. A. Smith, County Clerk 
and ex-officio Auditor, Recorder, and Superintendent of Public 
Instruction; James D. Byers, Sheriff; E. R. Nichols, County 
Surveyor; E. D. Bowman, County Treasurer; A. H. Brown, 
County Assessor; Z. J. Brown, Coroner and ex-officio Public 



Administrator; H. C. Stockton, Supervisor, District No. 1; E. G. 
Bangham, Supervisor, District No. 2; A. Evans, Supervisor, 
District No. 3. 

The following were declared elected Justices of the Peace : 

Long Valley township, William Ross and C. M. West ; Honey 
Lake township, B. F. Sheldon ; Janesville township, S. W. Ham- 
mond and J. P. Ford; Susanville township, William J. Young 
and George L. Wedekind. 

The following were declared elected Constables: 

Long Valley township, F. H. Mosier and J. Robinson ; Honey 
Lake township, Charles Batterson ; Janesville township, William 
Hamilton and George Johnston; Susanville township, W. H. 
Crane and F. Wedekind. 

The Board then ordered that a certificate of election be issued 
to each person elected at the election held on the second day of 
May, 1864; that the Chairman of the Board keep the election 
returns in his possession until the County Clerk enters upon the 
duties of his office ; that the Chairman of the Board make out a 
statement of the election returns, and file the same with the 
County Clerk when he enters upon the duties of his office; that 
the Chairman of the Board make an abstract of the election 
returns, a statement of the persons elected, certify to its cor- 
rectness, and transmit the same to the Secretary of the State 
of California as soon as practicable. The Commissioners having 
finished their business it was ordered that they adjourn sine die. 

L. N. Breed, Clerk. Frank Drake, Chairman. 

In May Governor Low appointed I. J. Harvey of Susanville 
as County Judge. His term of office was to last until after the 
judicial election to be held the following year. 
Proceedings of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors — 

First Meeting — June, A. D., 1864 

The Board met according to law Monday, the sixth day of 
June. E. G. Bangham was the only member of the Board pres- 
ent. Stockton came on the ninth and the Board adjourned until 
the next day. Evans arrived on the 14th. On the tenth the 
Board levied a tax of $1.25 an each $100 of taxable property in 
the county for county purposes, and $1.25 on each $100 for state 



purposes. (The Assessment Roll for 1864 showed the value of 
improvements on land to be $239558, and the value of personal 
property to be $439301. The tax on this would be $16971.47.) 

All the roads of the county traveled by the public at that 
time were declared public highways. The county was laid off 
into seven Road Districts, and the following road overseers 
appointed : District No. 1 — Loyal Woodstock ; District No. 2. — 
Henry Hatch; District No. 3. — A. Kniesley; District No. 4. — 

F. A. Sloss ; District No. 5. Ross ; District No. 6. 

Lee ; District No. 7. — J. N. Pine. 

The following School Districts were laid off: Susanville Dis- 
trict, Susanville and down the river for a couple of miles ; Rich- 
mond District, the country south of the Susanville District; 
Susan River District, down the river from the Susanville District 
to the lake and country to the north ; Janesville District, that cor- 
ner of the valley and down to within a couple of miles of the 
lake ; Lake District, from the Janesville District down along the 
lake to Long valley ; Long Valley District, all of Long Valley. In 
August the Lake and Long Valley Districts were consolidated. 

On the eleventh the Board ordered notices to be posted stat- 
ing that until the 18th proposals would be received by the Board 
for selling to the county a suitable site in the town of Susanville 
for the location of the county buildings. On June 18th Isaac 
Roop's gift of a block of land in Susanville for a public square 
was accepted. At the meeting of July second the Board ordered 
notices posted stating that until August eighth proposals would 
be received for the building of a county jail. On August eighth 
the following proposals were received and opened: (1) Ed. 
Carpeau proposed to build said jail for the sum of $7000 — to be 
built of stone. (2) R. L. Ingram offered to build it of stone for 
$7826. (3) Westley (J. W.) Hosselkus offered to build it of 
brick for $6850, or of stone for $8000. (4) Thompson and Gid- 
dings offered to build it of stone for $3950. The last bid was 
accepted on the condition that Thompson and Giddings give the 
county a $5000 bond for the faithful fulfillment of the contract. 

The First Grand Jury 

The first Lassen county grand jury served during the Septem- 
ber term of the County Court. Its members were A. Kneisley, 
William R. Hill, Charles Adams, S. S. Stinson, Samuel Latton, 



D. Chandler, Thomas Epley, Frank Drake, E. M. Cheeney, Smith 
J. Hill, S. P. Tunnel, Paul Jones, C. M. Kelley, William Craw- 
ford, M. Craig, P. A. Sloss, E. Bronson, N. Pine, and John C. 
Wright. Jerry Tyler was excused from jury service. Frank 
Drake was foreman. 

The First County Court 

The first County Court of Lassen county was opened by 
Judge I. J. Harvey on Monday, June sixth, but it is probable 
that there were no jury trials before the County Court until 
the September term, for not until then is there any record of 
paying trial jurors for this court. The trial jurors for this 
term (September) were Loyal Woodstock, Robert Johnston, 
George Wilson, John Borrette, J. P. Jones , H. Sain, George 
Johnston, John H. Cowan, Charles E. Alvord, Frank Strong, 
Z. J. Brown, L. Spencer, Fred Hines, William Course, Warren 
Lockman, F. Long, Frank Drake, Charles White, S. J. Eldred, 
Tro E. Ward, and A. G. Moon. See * after the opening of the 
District Court. 

September 17th William Hill Naileigh was appointed Cor- 
oner to fill the vacancy caused by the failure of Z. J. Brown to 
qualify. The salary of the Superintendent of Schools was 
ordered to be $200 per year. 

F. and S. say that the first term of the District Court was 
opened at Susanville, October 10, 1864, by Hon. Warren T. Sex- 
ton of Butte county. Present were the Judge; A. A. Smith, 
County Clerk; James D. Byers, Sheriff; and E. V. Spencer, Dis- 
trict Attorney. The first case entered on the record was that of 
John G. Newington vs. C. M. Kelley et al. 

*Besides those given under the head of "The First County 
Court" the following were also summoned as trial jurors and 
answered to their names : Lew. Leith, John R. Lockwood, Charles 
M. Drum, Samuel Weatherlow, M. W. Pratt, and Jesse Williams. 

At the December meeting of the Board of Supervisors the 
name of the Toadtown precinct was changed to Johnstonville. 
It was also ordered by the Board that any one could pay one 
half of his county tax in county warrants, or one fourth of his 
state and county taxes in the same way. 

When Lassen county was organized it was supposed that there 
were about a thousand people in it. The amount of taxable 


THE YEAE 1864 

property was small, and even with a high rate of taxation, not 
enough revenue could be raised to pay the expenses of running 
the county and erecting the necessary public buildings. War- 
rants were given for the payment of the county debts, but there 
was no money in the treasury to pay them, and before long they 
were of little value. Jurymen, witnesses, etc., paid gold coin 
for their expenses in Susanville and in return for their services 
received county warrants. Enos W. Fairfield, the Father of the 
writer, served about a week on the grand jury in the spring of 
1867. He traded the warrant he received for a pair of halters 
and thought he made a good trade. In seven years the county 
debt amounted to $31,000. 

The following from the "Humboldt Register" of July 30, 
1864, tells how the Lassen county officers helped out the county 
revenue and what their neighbors thought about it. 

"A Set of Land Pirates in Armor of Brass" 

"Honey Lakers, for the purpose of more effectually preying 
upon the rest of the world, last winter got up a county organi- 
zation. They had no legitimate resources for the revenue neces- 
sary to conduct a county government and they knew it. But 
they have tax collectors and other officers, and these lie in wait 
for teams passing to and from Humboldt, and come upon the 
teamsters for taxes upon their property. Teams owned here and 
upon which taxes are regularly paid here, are obliged to submit 
to this outrage and measures should be taken to stop it. Civil- 
ized men fare better passing among the Indians." 

Probably they told the truth about taxing teamsters in Sus- 
anville. For several years after this a teamster was compelled 
to pay taxes on his team in Virginia City, Reno, Oroville, Chico, 
perhaps any town in Nevada or California, unless he had a re- 
ceipt to show that he had paid the taxes on it somewhere else that 
year. It is said that Chinese miners paid taxes to almost every 
man who came along. Every white man was to them a tax col- 
lector of some kind, and when traveling they were supposed to 
pay taxes at every county seat they went through, and some- 
times between those places. Men who lived here at the time say 
that Sheriff Byers's deputies used to hold up the emigrants 
who passed through Susanville and make them pay taxes on their 



teams. Roop said that poor men who were coming into the 
country ought to be helped instead of being robbed, and put a 
stop to it. 

There was a presidential election this fall and political feeling 
ran high. Tunison's diary tells that October 20th there was a 
Union meeting in Susanville. The Home Guards (Honey Lake 
Rangers) paraded and Maj. John Bidwell, Republican candidate 
for congress, spoke at night. There was another Union meeting 
at that place the night of the 22nd. October 26th the Democrats 
had a meeting and a barbecue in the timber just back of Janes- 
ville. The way Tunison has it in his diary shows the feeling at 
that time. "October 26. The copperheads had a barbecue at 
Janesville yesterday. To-day they marched up to Susanville. 
I saw them promenade the street of Susanville." The last day 
of October the Union men of the neighborhood raised a flagpole 
at the Toadtown gristmill. It was 106 feet high and was dressed 
eight square to within 15 feet of the top — dressed with a plane. 
November second there was a Union meeting at Janesville. Judge 
W. R. Harrison was the speaker of the day and he was followed 
by John R. Buckbee. Three hundred and twenty-two men and 
women were in attendance — a very large crowd for the time and 
place. There was a dance that night at the Thompson ranch 
and nearly one hundred couples were present. 

Indian Troubles. 1864 . 
The people of Lassen county seem to have had a peaceful time 
with the Indians during this year. Probably they stole a few 
cattle from the ranges, but did no other damage. 

How the "Tule Confederacy" Got Its Name 
In 1859 John M. Kelley located a section of land on the north 
side of the Big Slough near the lake. When the land was sur- 
veyed he could not hold it all — could hold only 160 acres and had 
to live on that. William S. Brashear, Chappel M. Kelley, and 
Robert Briggs crossed the plains in 1863, and Kelley wrote to 
them to stop in this valley and file on the land he claimed. They 
came here and each one filed on a quarter section of the land, but 
they had to skirmish a little with some other men who wanted it. 
The next year John Sailing crossed the plains and claimed some 
land near them, and Joshua E. Briggs, who had also crossed the 
plains that year, stopped with him to rest his team. All of the 


THE YEAR 1864 

above named men excepting John M. Kelley had been in the 
Confederate Army. In the fall of 1864 E. R. Nichols, the county 
surveyor, was doing some work for them, and when told this fact 
he said it was a regular Southern Confederacy. This led to some 
joking in regard to it and finally Nichols suggested that it was a 
' ' Tule Confederacy ' ' and the name has been applied to that part 
of the valley ever since. 

The Killing of Wales and Boody 
In June an unfortunate affair occurred which resulted in the 
death of Philip Wales and Jacob Boody, two men who were 
neighbors and who lived about half way between Janesville and 

A short time before the tragedy occurred Boody took a wagon 
to Wales, who was a carpenter and wagon maker, to have it 
repaired. When the work was done he went after his wagon, but 
Wales refused to let him have it until he paid for the work, and 
it was left there. On the sixth of June Boody went to Milford 
and came home late, reaching the Wales ranch after dark. It is 
told that that about this time Wales heard a noise at the barn, 
and thinking that some one was meddling with his horses, took 
a pistol and went out there to see about it. There are a good 
many surmises as to what took place after he reached the barn, 
but nothing is definitely known about it. When the neighbors 
first got there, perhaps two hours afterwards, Wales was in the 
house on the bed. He was dead and there was a bullet hole in 
his breast. Boody was dead, too, and was lying in the road with 
a bullet hole in the upper part of his leg and a charge of shot in 
his back and side. 

The next day the people of that vicinity gathered at the 
Wales ranch, and Dr. P. Chamberlain held an informal inquest. 
The bodies were examined and those who were supposed to know 
anything about the matter were questioned, but no further infor- 
mation was gained. No arrests were made and the county author- 
ities took no more notice of the affair. To this day there is 
nothing to prove how or by whom the two men were killed. 

The Honey Lake Rangers 
In the spring of 1864 the Union men of Honey Lake valley 
concluded to organize a company of Home Guards. There were 
several reasons for taking this action. About the time the Civil 



"War began the Southerners had tried to get possession of the 
United States forts, vessels, etc., at San Francisco, hoping by 
means of these to overawe the Union men of California and hold 
the state for the South. What was done in this valley by south- 
ern sympathizers in 1863 has already been told. The issue of the 
war was still in doubt, southern sympathizers were active, and 
there were many rumors flying about. One of them was to the 
effect that at any time the attempt to capture the state might be 
renewed. Of course this was only a rumor, but the Union men of 
the valley thought it would be well to be prepared for trouble 
if it came. Besides this, in case the Indians should again become 
hostile such an organization would be useful in fighting them. 

Through the kindness of H. B. Van Horn the following was 
obtained from the office of the Adjutant-General of the state 
of California. 

The citizens of Lassen county petitioned County Judge I. J. 
Harvey to apoint some one to open a book and enter thereon 
the names of volunteers for the organization of a volunteer com- 
pany in Lassen county. On July 4, 1864, the Judge appointed 
Frank Drake, a resident of the county, to open such a book. 
This he did and posted notices in four conspicuous places in the 
county. In a short time notice was given to the volunteers that 
a meeting would be held at the schoolhouse in Susanville on 
Wednesday, the 20th of July, 1864, at two o'clock P. M., for the 
purpose of electing officers and organizing said company. They 
met pursuant to the notice, and the meeting was called to order 
and presided over by Frank Drake, A. T. Bruce being Secretary 
pro tern. Fifty-six names were on the muster roll and forty men 
were present and answered to their names. They decided by 
vote to organize a cavalry company under the name of "The 
Honey Lake Rangers. " They then proceeded to elect their 
officers, and after this was done a committee was appointed to 
draft a constitution and by-laws for the government of the com- 
pany. The members of this committee were W. N. De Haven, 
John S. Ward, and William J. Young. 

This organization was mustered into the service of the state 
of California September 28, 1864. It was a cavalry company 
and was called Company A, Fifth Brigade, National Guard of 
California, Brigadier General John Bidwell, Commanding. It 
was also called "The Honey Lake Rangers." It was equipped 


THE YEAR 1864 

with .54 caliber rifles, Star pistols, and artillery sabres and scab- 
bards. Uniforms were also furnished and saddles and bridles, 
but the men had to furnish their own horses. 

Following is given the first muster roll of the company. The 
officers were the ones elected at the meeting of July 20, 1864. 


Frank Drake, 
Naileigh, William Hill, 
Sanders, Wilshire, 
Burke, Thomas C, Junior 
De Haven, "William N., 
Clemmons, William W., 
Nichols, E. Kichard, 
Giddings, Czar, 
Brannan, Emanuel, 
Gray, Byron B., 
Perry, George W., 
Arnold, Leroy, 
Bruce, A. Taggart, 
Borrette, Henry S., 
Clark, Charles, 

Arnold, Henry E., 
Arnold, Matthew, 
Arnold, Alex. T., 
Alvord, Charles E., 
Borrette, Valentine J., 
Byers, James D., 
Bowman, Ed. D., 
Barnes, Trueman B., 
Bangham, E. G., 
Brown, Alex. H., 
Course, William, 
Crane, William H., 
Chamberlain, Marcus, 
Chamberlain, Philander, 
Cowan, John H., 
Conkey, James, 

Captain, Commanding, 

First Lieutenant, 

Second Lieutenant, 

Second Lieutenant, 

First Sergeant (Orderly), 

Second Sergeant, 

Third Sergeant, 

Fourth Sergeant, 

Fifth Sergeant, 

First Corporal, 

Second Corporal, 

Third Corporal, 

Fourth Corporal, 




Campbell, Samuel, 
Dow, William, 
Davis, John C, 
De Haven, Henry A., 
Funk, George W., 
Ford, Johnson P., 
Gilbert, Mark, 
Hulsman, John F., 
Hill, William A., 
Huntington, James, 
Hines, Fred, 
Harrison, Socrates, 
Harrison, William R., 
Judkins, Asa B., 
Jones, Newton, 
Kingsley, Rufus, 



Kneisley, A. A., 
Lockwood, John R., 
Lockman, Warren A., 
Lyons, George, 
Long, William B., 
Labarte, Edward B., 
Lybarger, George, 
Lyons, Joseph, 
Moon, Abram G., 
Maguire, Michael J., 
Neale, Adam C, 
Peed, Frank, 
Parks, Hiram B., 
Phillips, Nathan, 
Priddy, Maurice, 
Roop, Isaac N., 
Rundel, York, 

Sparger, Henry L., 
Spencer, Luther, 
Spalding, Z. N., 
Spencer, Ephraim V., 
Smith, Albert A., 
Sodtrough, F., 
Straus, Gotleb, 
Strong, Frank, 
Stockton, H. Clay, 
Thompson, Henry F., 
Tunison, Abram, 
Ward, John S., 
Wilson, Sherald, 
Wilson, George, 
White, Charles, 
Wentworth, William. 

The following is from a muster roll dated September 25, 
1865. There were eighty names on it, the same number as on 
the previous roll. Some of the privates dropped out and new 
ones took their places. The names of the officers and those of 
the new privates are given. 


Frank Drake, 
Naileigh, William Hill, 
Smith, A. A., 
Bangham, E. G., 
De Haven, William N., 
Clemmons, W, W., 
Crane, W. H., 
Rundel, R. Y., 
Brockman, William, 
Gray, Byron B., 
Perry, George W., 
Judkins, Asa B., 
Roop, I. N., 
Borrette, H. S., 
Strong, Frank, 

Captain, Commanding, 

First Lieutenant, 

Senior Second Lieutenant, 

Junior Second Lieutenant, 

First Sergeant (Orderly), 

Second Sergeant, 

Third Sergeant, 

Fourth Sergeant, 

Fifth Sergeant, 

First Corporal, 

Second Corporal, 

Third Corporal, 

Fourth Corporal, 




THE YEAR 1864 

Campbell, Sylvester, Partridge, John C, 

Brown, Thomas, Pursell, George M., 

Johnston, George, Pratt, Miller W., 

Johnston, Robert, Ward, Tro. H., 

Kingsbury, William C, Woodstock, Loyal, 

Leroy, Albert R., Wright, Henry. 

This Company was re-organized under the Act of 1866 and 
again mustered into the service of the State on August 1, 1866. 
The muster roll of the Company as re-organized shows the 
officers to be exactly the same as on the roll of September 25, 
1865. Comparison with the original muster roll of the Com- 
pany shows the following changes: 

Names Dropped prom the Original Roll 

Arnold, Leroy, Long, William B:, 

Bruce, A. Taggart, Labarte, Edward B., 

Burke, Thomas C, Priddy, Maurice, 

Brannan, Emanuel, Peed, Frank, 

Clark, Charles, Sodtrough. F., 

Chamberlain, Marcus, Straus, Gotleb, 

Cowan, John H., Wilson, Sherald, 

Hill, William A., Wilson, George, 

Kneisley, A. A., White, Charles, 
Lockman, Warren A., 

New Names on the Roll 

Brown, Thomas, Kingsbury, W. C, 

Cunningham. P. W., Leroy, A. R., 

Davis, Nathan, Miller, John G., 

Elledge, Adam D., Miller, William T., 

Hutton, James, Partridge, John C, 

Hamilton, William S., Pursell, George M., 

Hammond, S. W., Pratt, M. W., 

Hart, Jackson H., Smith, Cyrus, 

Harrison, George, Ward, Trobridge, 

Johnston, George, Woodstock, Loyal, 

Johnston, Robert, Wright, Henry. 

Several muster rolls were sent in, and the changes in officers 
and men will be given. 



On the next roll there were thirty-one names. Naileigh 
was Lieutenant, Commanding, E. R. Nichols was Fourth Ser- 
geant, and John C. Davis was Farrier. New names since 
re-organization were Benjamin F. "Wilson, J. W. M. Howe, 
E. W. Vance, Stephen J. Eldred, Leroy Arnold, and C. F. 

On the roll of September 1, 1866, there were seventy-eight 
names. Frank Drake was Captain, Commanding. New names 
were as follows: 

Brashear, William S., Long, William B., 

Broadwell, Isaac, Peed, Frank, 

Chapman, John F., Pine, John N., 

Hall, Samuel R., Steward, Joseph I., 

Hughes, S. B., Vary, Ladue, 

Hauff, Earnest, Wildner, John, 

Johnson, Samuel, Wright, Albert, 

James, Preston R., Wright, A. S., 

Kingsbury, William V., Worm, A. W. 

On the roll of October 12, 1866, there were forty-two names. 
Naileigh was Lieutenant, Commanding, E. R. Nichols was 
Third Sergeant, and W. H. Crane was Fourth Sergeant. New 
names were A. T. Bruce, Albert Conkey, William H. Hall, Joseph 
Todd, and William H. Van Alstine. 

The following notice appeared in ' ' The Sage Brush ' ' of Janu- 
ary 12, 1867 : 

"Honey Lake Rangers, 
"Take Especial Notice. 

"You are hereby commanded to return your arms to the 
Company Armory on or before the last Saturday of the month. 

"A demand for a part has been made by the State, and 
every member of the Company failing to comply with this call 
will be chargeable with such arms as he has withheld. 

"Wm. Hill Naileigh, Lieut. Com. 
"Honey Lake Rangers. 
"W. N. De Haven, Orderly." 

[360 1 

THE YEAE 1864 

The muster roll of September 9, 1867, shows sixty-one names. 

Albert A. Smith, Captain, Commanding, 

Naileigh, William Hill, First Lieutenant, 

Bangham, E. G., Senior Second Lieutenant, 

Crane, W. H., Junior Second Lieutenant, 

Gray, Byron B., First Sergeant (Orderly), 

Nichols, Elton R., Second Sergeant, 

Brockman, William, Third Sergeant, 

Partridge, John C, Fourth Sergeant, 

Dow, William, Fifth Sergeant, 

Perry, George W., First Corporal, 

Vance, E. Walter, Second Corporal, 

Arnold, Leroy, Third Corporal, 

Conkey, James, Fourth Corporal. 

New names were John Borrette, G. H. Dobyns, Frank L. 
David, Thomas H. Holden, Charles League, Warren Montgomery, 
Charles B. Moore, Benjamin B. Painter, Jerry Tyler, and M. G. 

The last muster roll was dated June 30, 1868. At roll call 
there were only nine men present. They were A. A. Smith, Cap- 
tain ; William Hill Naileigh, First Lieutenant ; William H. Crane, 
Junior Second Lieutenant; Alpheus T. Bruce, George Funk, 
Albert R. LeRoy, Isaac N. Roop, Z. N. Spalding, and John S. 
Ward. On this roll was written "Charles League killed by the 
Indians November 3, 1867. Rufus Kingsley, Died December 26, 

In October, 1867, Jeremiah Bond hauled a part of the Com- 
pany's equipment to Oroville and turned it over to George B. 
Perkins. In the beginning eighty officers and men were fully 
equipped. On the last muster roll was the following report of 
the equipment : "29 sabers, 5 rifles, 20 cartridge boxes, 18 belt 
plates, 23 cartridge box belts, 24 waist belts, 22 waist belt plates, 
4 gun slings, 12 cap boxes, 12 saddles, and 6 bridles." The 
writer was unable to learn what became of them. 

The Honey Lake Rangers were mustered out of service June 
30, 1868, and this ends the history of Lassen County's part of 
the National Guard of the State of California. As an organiza- 
tion this Company never saw any active service, although A. A. 
Smith was in command of a party that went in pursuit of some 



Indians in the spring of 1868 and some of the Rangers were with 
him. They drilled once in a while, and paraded a few times at 
Union meetings and at Fourth of July celebrations. Though 
they did no fighting, perhaps the fact that there was a body of 
men here armed and ready served a good purpose. 

The Prices of Merchandise in Susanville in 1864 

The following prices were taken from the books of a firm 
that did business in Susanville this year. Of course the prices 
of these things were higher previous to this, especially before the 
60 's. It will be noticed that tobacco and whiskey cost about the 
same as at the present time. In comparison to the wages paid 
the cost of living was much higher then than it is now. 

2 lbs. Butter $ 1.50 

350 Cigars 29.25 

2 lbs. Tobacco 1.00 

41/2 Gals. Whiskey... 13.50 

2 Cans Oysters 2.00 

2 lbs. Crackers .50 

8 yds. Calico 3.20 

1 Pr. Buckskin Gloves 2.50 

1 Paper Needles .50 

50 lbs. Flour 4.50 

5 gals. Coal Oil 11.87i/ 2 

1 Box Candles 10.00 

4 lbs. Putty 1.00 

13 yds. Sheeting 6.50 

2 Deep Dishes 2.00 

2 Sauce Dishes 1.00 

2 Plates 75 

6 Tin Plates 1.25 

2 lbs. Coffee 1.00 

2 Gross Screws 2.00 

6 Sticks Braid 2.25 

1 Doz. Eggs 75 

1 Can Peaches 1.25 

1 Spool Linen Thread .25 

1 Pr. Socks 1.00 

1 lb. Raisins .50 

1 Linen Handerchief. 
1 Lamp Chimney .... 

3 lbs. Nails 

1 Neck Handkerchief 

5 lb. Sack Salt 

1 lb. Tea 

1 Door Lock 

6 doz. Agate Buttons. 
1 Comforter 

4 lbs. Prunes 

1 Can Lard 

10 lbs. Dried Apples . . 

1 lb. Tobacco 

1 Paper Pins 

1 Pt. Turpentine .... 

1 Overshirt 

1 Box Blacking 

1 Vest 

1 White Shirt. 

1 lb. Pepper 

1 Bottle Whiskey. 

5 lbs. Sugar 

14 lbs. Potatoes . . . 
1 Gal. Coal Oil... 

1 Broom 

1 Pencil 




























THE YEAE 1864 

1 lb. Saleratus $ 0.37 

1 Gal. Syrup 2.50 

i/ 2 Gal. Vinegar 75 

1 Ax Helve 75 

2 Spools Thread 25 

ZYo lbs. Peaches $ 1.00 

2 lbs. Starch 1.00 

271/2 lbs. Bacon 9.62 

1 lb. Ginger 50 

In the fall of 1865 the writer saw the clerk in the store at 
Milford refuse to sell a little boy a common slate pencil for ten 
cents. He wanted twenty-five cents for it. Probably the 
' ' freight ' ' was the cause of this high price. 
The Never Sweats 

"The Humboldt Register" of April 30, 1864, says "That is 
the trite sobriquet given here to the people of Honey Lake val- 
ley. It is so easy to get a living there, that people acquire 
indolent habits, we suppose. "Well, that will do to introduce 
our anecdote, anyhow. A man advertised for three able-bodied 
men. People who advertise get everything they want and in a 
few days three men — stout fellows — came in company and 
applied for the place. 'Ready to commence to-morrow,' he 
asked. 'Yes,' said the spokesman of the trio. 'O, I forgot! 
Where have you come from?' 'From Honey Lake,' they replied. 

'Honey Lake be d d' said he as he walked off, 'What do you 

suppose I want ? I want men to work. Honey Lake, ' and he would 
not hear another word. ' ' 




Susanville. Susanville 's first big fire took place this year 
on the 17th of March. It started in Wentworth and "Wil- 
son's livery stable on the southeast corner of Main and Gay 
streets and burned that, and then going east burned the following 
buildings in the order in which they are given : Friedman 's 
saloon, Jacob Smith's dwelling-house and brewery, Dr. R. P. 
Moody's eight square drug store, Samuel Peyser and M. Bien- 
stock's building, which was used as a dwelling-house, a store, 
and a tailor shop, and H. F. Tarrant 's store. Everything on the 
south side of Main street between Gay and Union streets was 
burned excepting the Magnolia building. At that time the citi- 
zens of the place had nothing to fight the fire with and could do 
very little toward stopping it. The loss was about $20000, with- 
out any insurance. 

The first of July, or not far from that time, the first number 
of "The Sage Brush" was published in Susanville. This was 
the first paper published in the county. It was a four-page, six- 
column paper, published every Saturday morning by A. C. Long- 
more — subscription price $5 a year. Longmore's office was on 
the north side of Cottage street a little west of Lassen. F. and S. 
say that Longmore sold out to A. T. Bruce whose name appeared 
as editor on August 10, 1867. September 5, 1868, John C. Par- 
tridge bought the paper and changed the name to "Lassen Sage 
Brush." Some time after this he sold a half interest in the 
business to Daniel C. Slater, his brother-in-law. January 1, 
1873, they changed the name to "The Lassen Advocate." E. A. 
"Weed, who then owned the paper, changed the name to "Lassen 
Advocate" in October, 1878. 

David Knoch opened a store on the north side of Main street 
between Lassen and Gay and a little west of the center of the 
block. In a year or two he moved across the street and for many 
years was one of the leading merchants of the town. E. D. Bow- 
man and John R. Lockwood commenced the business of selling 
goods on the south side of Main street between Lassen and Gay 
near the center of the block. They followed this business only a 
few years. Some time this year A. C. Neale opened a drug store 


THE YEAR 1865 

a little to the west of the Steward House. It was the best estab- 
lishment of the kind that had ever been in the place. Neale 
could not put up prescriptions and this work was done by Dr. 
Spalding. J. W. White, a Methodist preacher, came to the val- 
ley this year. He was the first ordained minister to preach here. 

This year the Richmond School District built a schoolhouse. 
Mrs. Orlando Streshly, assisted by Mrs. Frank Drake, raised 
enough by subscription to put up the building, some giving money 
and others materials. This building is still used as a school- 
house in that district. 

Milford. L. P. "Whiting, who had moved to Milford in 1862, 
this year started another nursery a short distance northeast of 
town and followed the business of raising trees and fruit nearly 
all the rest of his life. The Milford School District built a school- 
house on the south side of the road in the western part of town. 
Miss Philenda Montgomery (Mrs. E. V. Spencer) taught the 
school there that fall and the writer was one of her pupils. 

The Soldier Bridge School District extended east from a line 
drawn north and south across the mouth of Willow creek. A 
schoolhouse was built about two miles in a southerly direction 
from Shaffer's station, and in the fall a school was taught there 
by Miss Lurana Walker (Mrs. James P. Sharp), who had crossed 
the plains this year. A private school had been taught in the 
neighborhood before this. 

In February Patrick Bagin sold the Mud Springs station to 
Charles B. Clark. In a year or two Clark ran the Steward 
House, too, for a while. 

Long Valley. A. S. Wright sold out to C. M. West and came 
to Honey Lake valley to live. Anton Rager sold to Joseph Rager. 

Willow Creek. In the spring Thomas Summers and Wife 
came into the valley and lived at or near the Hurlbut and Kund- 
son place. Richard Quilty took a place on the south side of the 
creek between Parker and Leesburg. Gowanlock located about 
three miles northeast of Leesburg and built a cabin on the side 
of the hill north of the valley. Harris and Scott claimed some 
land and built a cabin between him and Leesburg. John Camp- 
bell and family came into the valley this year. John Wright came 
in with a band of horses and settled in the little valley left vacant 
by the death of Pearson. People called him "Coyote Jack," and 
since his time the valley where he lived has been called "Jack's 



valley. ' ' In October Bernhard Neuhaus located at Leesburg and 
lived there almost all the rest of his life. 

Very few people crossed the plains to this section in 1865 or 
any other year after that. 

Those whose names are given in the following lists settled in 
the county in 1865. The length of residence does not apply to 
the children. The following lived here all the rest of their lives 
or are living here yet : Collins Gaddy, Enos W. Fairfield and 
Family, Asa M. Fairfield, Justus R. Bailey and Family, Philip J. 
Goumez, David Knoch and Family, George W. Harrison, James 
Dunn, and Charles P. McClelland. 

The following lived here almost a life time : Lurana Walker 
(Mrs. J. P. Sharp). 

The following lived here from two or three to ten or twelve 
years: Lafayette Wiggin and Family, E. "Walter Vance, John 
Samis, Howard Putnam, *W. J. Matney and Family, T. R. 
Tierce, William Gamble, and James Watts and Family. 

Lassen County Politics. 1865 

At the March meeting of the Board of Supervisors two new 
School Districts were set off — Milford and Soldier Bridge. The 
Board ordered the County Surveyor to survey the west line of 
the county from a point on the mountain due south of Susanville 
to the northwest corner of the county, and thence east to state 
line. This work was done during the following summer and fall. 

The second grand jury called in Lassen county met March 
sixth and adjourned on the tenth. They found eleven bills. 
Seven men were indicted for gambling and one for hurrahing 
for Jeff. Davis. When the cases came to trial before the County 
Judge every bill was broken and thrown out of court because the 
District Attorney had not made the papers out right. At the 
June meeting of the Board William J. Young, J. P., handed in 
his resignation and William R. Harrison was appointed in his 
place. The Board ordered that after that date all state and 
county taxes must be paid in gold and silver coin. Probably the 
county was getting too much of its own money in payment of 

On the Fourth of July there was a grand celebration at 
Susanville. Prayer was offered by the Rev. Patterson and an 
oration was delivered by Captain William N. De Haven. The 


THE YEAB 1865 

Honey Lake Rangers paraded and the ladies of the county pre- 
sented them with a splendid silk flag. 

An election for county officers was held on September sixth 
and 489 votes were cast. Frank Drake was elected Sheriff ; A. A. 
Smith, County Clerk and ex-officio Auditor, Recorder, and Su- 
perintendent of Public Instruction; E. D. Bowman, County 
Treasurer; I. N. Roop, District Attorney; Elton R. Nichols, 
County Surveyor; James Hutchings, Coroner and ex-officio Pub- 
lic Administrator ; William C. Kingsbury, Assessor ; and Thomas 
H. Epley, Supervisor of District No. 2. 

At the September meeting of the Board Dr. J. W. M. Howe 
was appointed County Physician, the first one appointed in the 
county. At the special Judicial election held October 18th J. D. 
Goodwin was elected Joint Assemblyman for Lassen and Plumas. 
William R. Harrison was elected County Judge. The following 
Justices of the Peace were elected: Susanville, C. E. Alvord and 
C. C. Goodrich; Janesville, H. E. Lomas and James Hutchings; 
Long Valley, J. McKissick and M. Bronson; Milford, J. C. 

At the December meeting of the Board the County Auditor 
was ordered to draw a warrant for $1000 on the General Fund 
in accordance with the organic Act. E. S. Dennison was allowed 
to build a toll bridge across what was known as ''Grease creek" 
in the southern part of Surprise valley. C. Giddings was allowed 
$209 for finishing the jail and for wood furnished the county. 
It is impossible to tell exactly when the jail was completed, but 
probably it was some time in November. It cost about $4800. 

Indian Troubles. 1865 

There was a great deal of trouble with the Indians this year 
throughout northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and 
probably in those part of Oregon and Idaho adjoining these sec- 
tions; but only those events which took place in the country 
where the Never Sweats lived and traveled will be related. 

The latter part of January it was reported that the Indians 
had robbed a camp and killed some stock in Secret valley, and 
about a month later they drove off some more stock from the 
same locality. This was the third time in about a month that 
they had taken stock from there and Smoke Creek. They also 



drove off some of Jack Byrd's stock. George Thayer, the express- 
man, was killed north of Smoke Creek while on his way from 
Honey Lake to Surprise valley. 

The Murder op Lucius Arcularius 

During the winter of 1864-65 the Granite Creek station on 
the emigrant road between Shaffer's and the Humboldt river 
was owned by Andrew Litch, who afterwards lived many years 
in Honey Lake valley, and Lucius Arcularius. The latter, known 
to both white and red men as "Lucius," was a man who was 
liked by everybody. The only fault ever found with him was 
that he was too kind to the Indians. He hired them to work for 
him and loaned them guns and ammunition with which to hunt 
rabbits; and Mr. Lomas says "All this was quite at variance 
with Honey Lake gospel." Not far from the first of March 
Arcularius started from the station on horseback and alone to 
go to Susanville. Lafayette Marks says that two or three days 
after he started some one going toward the Humboldt stopped 
at the station and the men he had left there inquired if they had 
met him on the road. The traveler replied that he had seen 
nothing of him. Some of them then went to the Smoke Creek 
station and were told there that he had not passed that place. 
Lomas says that W. V. Kingsbury, who kept the Smoke Creek 
station, came to Shaffer's and made inquiries about Arcularius. 
Harper says that some one went to Susanville and told the story 
of the missing man and that Joe Hale and Nick Curran, and 
perhaps others went out to look for him. However this may have 
been, a party started to follow his tracks after he left Deep Hole 
springs. They had no trouble in following them to Wall springs, 
but from there they were hard to trace. Finally, after hunting 
for several hours, they found his body with two bullet holes in 
it about three hundred yards from Wall springs. It would seem 
from appearances that two Indians lay in ambush and shot him. 
His horse turned sharply to one side and ran about a hundred 
yards and then he fell off. The Indians stripped him of his 
clothes and threw him into a bunch of grease brush. They took 
away everything he had, and as his horse was not found, prob- 
ably they got that, too. The party went to the Granite Creek 
station and fixed up a box and came back and buried him. 

[ 368 ] 

THE YEAR 1865 

The Massacre at Granite Creek Station 
Soon after the middle of March Litch left the station in 
charge of A. J. Curry, Cyrus Creele, and Al. Simmons. A 
week or ten days after he was gone an Indian who used to come 
there quite often came into the house and said in a tantalizing 
sort of way, "Where Lucius? Where he gone? When he come 
back?" A fellow called "Puck" Waldron, who happened to be 
there, grabbed up a gun, and putting it into the Indian's face, 
told him to look into it. He then pulled the trigger and killed 
the Indian dead. Probably there was another Indian or two 
outside who saw them take the body out and bury it, and these 
must have gone away after more Indians and come back as soon 
as they could. The following from "The Humboldt Kegister" 
(Published at Unionville, Nevada) of April 15, 1865, tells the 

' ' The Butchery at Granite Creek Station 
"On the 7th, a small party, composed of W. R. Usher, Fox 
of Jesse, M. S. Bonnifield, Col. L. A. Buckner, and John Wood- 
ward left Unionville for a reconnoissance of a portion of the 
Honey Lake road. They overtook and joined another party, 
thirteen men from settlements along the river, out on the same 
mission. On the ninth the party reached Granite Creek station, 
eighty-five miles from here, owned by Andrew Litch and Lucius 
Arcularius. Arcularius had been killed by the Indians at Wall 
spring a month ago, and Litch was here for authority to act 
as administrator. The house, furnished with five guns and a 
good supply of ammunition, was left in charge of A. J. Curry, 
Cyrus Creele, and Al. Simmons. On the first of April a large 
column of smoke was seen rising from the vicinity, and the 
supposition is the station was that day attacked by the Indians. 
The walls of the house occupied by the men were built from 
thick pieces of sod. They had made ten loopholes for their 
rifles on the side attacked. The attack was made from a stone 
corral about thirty paces off, in front of the house. (To the east 
and lower than the house.) The whole front of the corral is 
bespattered with lead of the bullets fired from the house. By 
appearances the fight is supposed to have lasted about half a 
day. Curry was killed by a shot through a loophole — a body in 
the house having been recognized by persons acquainted with 
him. The legs from below the knees were missing. 



"The Indians must have exhausted their ammunition, for 
they fired long missiles before leaving, made from the screw ends 
of wagon bolts, cut about an inch long and partially smoothed. 
Two of these were found — one in a bellows near the house, and 
the other planted two inches deep in wood. Near the lodging 
place of the latter was a blood stain, and it is supposed the mis- 
sile had killed a dog belonging on the place — a savage animal, 
intolerant of Indians. His skin was tanned, but left on the 

"The Indians gained possession of a storehouse adjoining the 
dwelling by tearing out a wall. (The station house was on a 
little flat above the desert and faced toward the east. It was 
built of sod and had a shake roof. Ten or twelve feet back, or 
west, of it was a stone building, perhaps ten feet long and six 
feet wide, which was used for a storeroom. The Indians dug 
through the back wall of this building.) This enabled them to 
reach and fire the roof (of the larger building), and then it is 
supposed that Creele and Simmons resorted to flight, taking that 
desperate chance in preference to burning. (They took their 
guns, but didn't carry them very far.) Creele struck out across 
the flat towards Hot Springs. The flat is all alkali, very wet, 
and the tracks are left plain. Three Indians, two on horseback 
and one on a mule, pursued him and captured him ; brought him 
back to the house, and all the conditions attest that he was 
burned to death. A portion of the skull, a jaw-bone, and some 
small pieces of bone were found; the other portions of the body 
having been reduced to ashes. At the point where the arms 
would be, were large rocks piled up, everything indicated that 
he had been thus weighted down ; and then a large pile of sawed 
lumber was built up over this — stubs of the sawed lumber near 
these marks were found — and the poor fellow thus burned up. 

"Simmons took the road to Deep Hole station. He ran about 
thirty or forty rods, and there the mark of a pool of blood de- 
notes that he fared not quite so badly — having been shot down. 
The body was dragged off a short distance and much mutilated. 
The remains of all the men, such as were found, were buried by 
this party on the ninth." 

In the foregoing narrative the explanations made in the paren- 
theses were given by Lafayette Marks who says that he was at 


THE YEAR 1865 

the scene of the massacre not long after it took place, and whose 
account of it agrees closely with the above. He says the men at 
the station seem to have expected trouble and prepared for it. 
They had plenty of arms, ammunition and provisions, and had 
a barrel full of water in the house. The marks of bullets on the 
corral, which he and Charles Lawson think was about sixty yards 
away, showed that they wasted their ammunition and that the 
most of it was gone when the end came. Marks and others think 
the siege must have lasted two or three days. Alvaro Evans says 
that when the Indians got into the storeroom they picked up an 
old mattress that was lying outside, set fire to it, and put it 
against the roof of the house. 

The "Register" continues: "The party then went to Deep 
Hole station to see how its occupants had fared. This place was 
occupied by three brothers named Partridge and a Chinaman. 
(If there were three men by the name of Partridge there, two 
of them may have been brothers.) They were entirely ignorant 
of the fate of the Granite Creek station, though only ten miles 
off ; and had not apprehended danger. They had seen the smoke 
on the first, but thought it nothing serious. 

' ' The party from here spent a day — the tenth inst. — helping 
the Partridge Boys to cache goods they could not bring away, 
and on the eleventh started with them, bringing their live stock 
for this side of the county. At Granite creek they stopped and 
made further observations. The place with all its property, had 
been worth not less than $400. (Probably $4000 was meant.) 
All was burned. A large wagon was destroyed, the spokes being 
sawed out of the wheels. A large lot of good lumber was piled 
up on the haystacks and fired. The stove was broken up, and 
the bottoms of the pots broken in. Nothing escaped but a keg 
of syrup which had been overlooked. A reaper, haypress, and 
other tools were demolished. 

"Everything showed that the boys had made a gallant and 
protracted fight. They would have held the house, it is believed, 
if it had not been fired. Curry's body having been recognized, 
and the skeleton of Simmons being easily recognized by pecul- 
iarly marked teeth, the ashes, the piled rocks, the stubs of the 
burned lumber denoted that it had been Creele's fate to breathe 

[ 371 1 


his last in flames and smoke. Charles Kyle and family with their 
stock, and all other settlers thereabouts left their homes and came 
this way. 

"There is a sorrow ripening for the redskins, and as it is 
known that all tribes furnish fiends for these marauding parties, 
conviction is gaining ground that it is not good for the country 
to encourage the breeding of Indians. Men who have lost friends 
by the hands of these miscreants promise an early and a fearful 

The last of May, 1865, Captain Byrd started for Idaho with 
1100 head of cattle and 165 horses. Besides himself and his son, 
Austin Byrd, there were twenty men to handle this stock. In 
the party were Thomas Harris, Thomas Votaw, William J. Sea- 
graves, William H. Dakin, John S. Howard, Alex. Hostetter. 

Wheeler, Belt, L. Gillespie, "Nigger" George, an 

Indian named Humphrey, and a Frenchman. Andrew J. Hunt 
joined them at Cow Creek. 

They went across the countiy until they struck the emigrant 
road to the Humboldt river and then followed that. In two or 
three days Votaw and Harris went back to attend to the Byrd 
stock left in Honey Lake. In the Black Rock country there was 
a long drive across the desert without any water and the stock 
got very thirsty. When they were near enough to the Rabbit 
Hole springs so that the horses could smell the water they out- 
traveled the cattle. Byrd told Austin to let the horses go and 
keep up with them, and to stay at Rabbit Hole until the rest of 
the stock came up. The horses reached the springs some time 
during the night, but the water was so far down in the holes 
that they could not get any of it and Austin let them feed along 
toward the foothills. About daylight he heard an "Indian yell" 
and then another one, and the horses all stampeded up the can- 
yon with the Indians after them. Young Byrd stampeded on 
the back track down the canyon for fear they would be after 
him, and kept it up for five or six miles until he met the rest 
of the party. Jack Byrd took Dakin and several other men and 
followed the trail of the horses until he was satisfied that they 
had been driven off by the Indians. He did not go any further 
because he thought it was best to stay and take care of the 
cattle. He claims that the band stolen here consisted of one 
hundred and twenty-seven well-broken saddle horses. 


THE YEAE 1865 

They resumed their journey and on the third of July reached 
Cow Creek, Owyhee county, Idaho, without further mishap. 
This was a mile and a quarter below Camp Lyons, a military post 
then occupied by a part of five companies of the First Regiment 
Oregon Volunteers. As the feed was good there and they thought 
they were close enough to the Post to be safe from attack by the 
Indians, they concluded to stay for a while and Dakin, Hunt, 
Howard, Hostetter, and Wheeler were hired to take care of the 
stock. The night of the 15th of August the Winnetts, a band of 
the Snake river Indians, stole twenty-three head of their saddle 
horses. Austin Byrd went to Camp Lyons for help and was 
told by the officer in command that he could not aid him at that 
time. His men were so badly scattered that he could hardly take 
care of the Post and the Indians had stolen some of his horses. 
Byrd, Howard, and Dakin then followed the trail of the horses 
toward the Malheur mountains as far as they dared to go. It 
was not very safe for a few white men to be out that way just 
then. Shortly after this a few soldiers got out and rode around 
a little, but they found no horses and killed no Indians. While 
the three men were following the horses the Indians drove off 
some of their cattle. The soldiers saw it done, but were afraid 
to interfere. Byrd and his men followed them as far as they 
dared to go and then came back and made preparations to take 
the cattle to a safer place. While they were getting ready the 
Indians killed a good many of their cattle. A band of them 
would get on a bluff and occasionally a few would dash down 
among the cattle, kill several, and then run back. About the 
first of September they got fourteen men together and took the 
stock across the Snake river and four miles up the Boise. When 
they rounded them up they found they were out about one hund- 
red head. The next year Captain Byrd drove all his stock out 
of Honey Lake and left this section for all time to come. 

In 1891, while living in Walla Walla, Washington, Byrd filed 
a petition in the Court of Claims of the United States asking for 
$41,950 to pay for stock taken from him by the Indians in 1859, 
1860, and 1865. He died the next year after he filed this claim, 
and in the course of time Austin Byrd fell heir to it. Harry 
Peyton of Washington, D. C, was his lawyer. The claim was 
cut down to about one half of what it was at first, but he never 
recovered any damages from the United States. The foregoing 



was told from testimony given by the two Byrds, William H. 
Dakin, and others, who were witnesses for the Plaintiff. 

William J. Seagraves was a witness for the United States 
Government and in many respect his testimony differed mate- 
rially from that of the other witnesses. He testified that the 
loss of Byrd's stock was caused by carelessness and incompet- 
ency in handling it. He also testified that at Rabbit Hole he 
was put in foreman of the drive and held that position until 
they reached Idaho. Austin Byrd made another affidavit after 
this in which he denied almost everything that Seagraves said. 

On the 14th of March Captain Wells with a company of 
cavalry surprised at daylight a camp of Pah Utes on the banks 
of Mud lake within the Pah Ute reservation, and killed every 
Indian found in camp. Major McDermit reported to Governor 
Blasdel that thirty-two Indians were killed. 

On the night of the 30th of May two men, George Shortridge 

and Bissell, were killed in the lower end of Surprise 

valley. Olin Ward says they lived at Lake City in that valley 
and had been to Susanville for flour. That night they camped 
near Thomas Bare's cabin and the Indians killed them. Some 
man coming down the valley found them the next day. A man 
who had camped at Duck lake came along the next morning 
and never saw them. He went on up the valley a ways and 
met some men who had heard of the killing and were going 
down there, and turned and went back with them. For a long 
time people suspected that he did the killing. The "Grizzly 
Bear" says that the two men "were ambushed and killed, Short- 
ridge being scalped. The Indians stole six horses and all the 
supplies that they could find, and made their escape. It was 
afterwards claimed the murder and robbery were committed by 
white men disguised as Indians." 

On the seventh of August Col. Charles McDermit was killed 
while returning to Camp McDermit, then known as Quinn's 
River station, from a scout on Quinn's river. He was shot by 
an Indian lying in ambush and lived only four hours after 
being wounded. (In early days Quinn's river was called 
"Queen's river" and probably that is what is was originally 
named. — F. ) 

September 12th Captain Payne and Lieutenant Littlefield 
with eighteen men of Company E, First Nevada Cavalry, had 


THE YEAE 1865 

a fight with the Indians at Willow creek in Queen's River valley. 
About twenty miles northwest of Buffalo Springs they reached 
the top of the mountain overlooking Queen's River valley, and 
from there saw Indian camp fires. They separated, each officer 
taking half of the force, and about daylight each party got to 
within a mile of the Indian camp and charged it. The Indians 
ran, but kept up the fight, and one soldier was wounded. Thirty- 
five Indians were killed right there, and they thought that fifty 
must have been killed in all. The soldiers captured a lot of 
guns, ammunition, bows, arrows, provisions, and some things 
that the Indians had taken from the whites they had murdered. 

The Murder of Belle w 

On the fourth of November three or four ox teams that were 
hauling goods from California to the Humboldt over the Honey 
Lake road, were approaching Cedar springs, thirteen miles from 
Rabbit Hole springs. One of the teams had gone some distance 
in advance of the others and was captured by the Indians. The 
driver, a man named Bellew, was killed and mutilated and the 
wagons plundered and set on fire. The Indians went off toward 
Black Rock. 

''Black Rock Tom" and his band went on the warpath about 
the middle of March, and were joined by the Indians living in 
the mountains to the north and northeast and by renegade Sho- 
shones and Bannocks, and they kept up hostilities in Paradise 
valley and on the northern frontier. In May Charles Adams, a 
Honey Laker, started a colony in Paradise valley. In a fight 
there with the Indians the following July M. W. Haviland, a 
member of the colony and another of our Honey Lake acquaint- 
ances, was wounded. The peaceably disposed Pah Utes were 
afraid that the warlike attitude of this band would bring the 
anger of the whites upon the whole tribe and cause their destruc- 
tion. Because of this, Captain Soo, the chief of the Humboldt 
river Pah Utes, determined to aid the soldiers in killing off the 
hostile Indians, regardless of tribal relations. 

The news of Bellew 's murder was taken to Dun Glen and 
Lieutenant Penwell was ordered out with twenty-six men in 
pursuit of the Indians. Captain Soo, who had been the leader 
in the Williams massacre in 1860, acted as their guide. When 
he examined the signs about the scene of the murder he came to 



the conclusion that Black Rock Tom was the guilty party, and 
the command moved north in pursuit. On the ninth of Novem- 
ber they overtook the Indians, and found them intrenched upon 
a mountain west of Pah Ute Meadows. After an unsuccessful 
attempt to dislodge them, they fell back about seven miles into 
the valley and camped for the night. The next morning they 
started for Dun Glen without having killed any Indians or lost 
any men themselves. 

On the 13th of November Lieutenant E. A. Hosmer of Com- 
pany B, Second California Cavalry, with sixty soldiers, four 
citizens, and Captain Soo with fourteen of his warriors started 
from Dun Glen to make another effort to punish the bold outlaw. 
On reaching the sink of Queen's river a hundred miles north- 
west of Dun Glen, the wagons were left in charge of fourteen 
men and the rest continued the march. At daylight on the 
morning of the 17th, after having passed through the swampy 
sink of Queen's river during the night, Captain Soo declared, 
as the summit of some low hills was reached, that he could see 
the smoke of the enemy 's camp fires some nine miles away to the 
northeast. He also insisted that the smoke came from the camp 
fires of Black Rock Tom. The march was continued, and when 
they got to within five miles of the point where he said he could 
see the smoke, it could be seen by all. The Indians did not see 
them until they were about two miles from them, when Lieu- 
tenant Hosmer said "Come on, boys, we can't go around. The 
best man will get there first." The command then struck out, 
every man for himself, for a two mile charge. Captain Soo, 
who was riding on an old McClellan saddle given him by the 
soldiers, finding that some of the whites were likely to pass him, 
reached down and cut the girth of his saddle with a knife and 
threw out the saddle from under him. He kept on barebacked, 
and was the first to charge in among the enemy who were doing 
their best to escape. A skirmish battle that extended over sev- 
eral miles of country followed. Along the last of it Captain Soo 
used an old cavalry saber with good effect. Only one prisoner 
was taken, and that was a squaw whom a citizen was trying to 
kill, but was prevented by a soldier. Only six Indians and five 
squaws escaped, among whom was Black Rock Tom. David 
O'Connell was killed and Sergeant Lansdon and another man 
were wounded. The bodies of fifty-five Pah Utes were found, but 


THE YEAR 1865 

this does not account for all the Indians killed. Many of them 
must have remained hidden on the battle ground which extended 
over an area of possibly three square miles and which contained 
many gullies and quantities of sage brush. 

After the battle was over a corporal was called by a comrade 
as he was coming down the side of the mountain. He went to 
him and found him trying to stop the blood that was flowing 
from the wounds of an Indian mother. Beside her lay an infant 
that had been struck by an accidental shot and near by was 
another child about two years old. The private wanted the 
corporal to help him carry the squaw down to the camp, for he 
thought it was too bad to let her die and the children starve. 
The corporal said he was in a hurry and told him to call a citizen 
near by to help him. Soon after reaching the foot of the hill 
he heard several pistol shots in the direction of where he had 
left the two men and the squaw, and looking up that way saw 
the soldier coming down alone. When he came up the corporal 
said "Where is that squaw?" "That was a fine specimen you 

called to help me," was the reply. "The bush-whacker 

shot the whole lot of them, babies and all, before I knew what 
he was up to." 

A part of Company B from Dun Glen and Company I from 
Camp McDermit, both of California regiments, met at Kane 
springs in December for a scout under Captain Conrad. Black 
Rock Tom had gathered in the scattered families of his fol- 
lowers, and joined by those of other bands that were committing 
depredations, had rendezvoused at another place on Queen's 
river. The snow was lying on the ground at the time, and one 
night while out the command was forced to lead their horses in 
a circle to keep from freezing. They were allowed to build no 
fires to keep the Indians from knowing that they were there. 
Finally the Indians were discovered on, or near, Fish creek and 
surrounded before daylight. One squaw, a boy, and an old man 
were captured, and the balance, about forty in all, were killed. 
None of the white men were killed. This ended organized hos- 
tilities on the part of any band of the Pah Ute tribe, but some 
of the more desperate went in with the Shoshone and Bannock 
renegades and kept up the fight the following year, some of them 
going into Paradise valley. 

[ 377 ] 


The Death of Black Rock Tom 

Black Eock Tom, who was absent when his band was de- 
stroyed, went down to the sink of the Humboldt and gave himself 
up to Captain Soo. "The Humboldt Register" of December 
30th has the following: 

"Black Rock Tom all Right'' 

"Several messengers have come lately from Captain Soo to 
citizens here, asking them to come down to the Big meadows 
and be put in possession of the notorious cut-throat known as 
'Black Rock Tom.' Those who have been accustomed to attend 
to such business were busy, and Tom remained on the meadows 
doubtless each day feeling more secure. "When Captain Street 
came that way Tuesday, Soo notified him of the opportunity to 
capture this leading marauder. Street took him in charge." 
Some citizens then went to Tom and told him that the people 
were going to take him away from the soldiers and hang him, 
and that he had better make his escape if he wished to live. 
Street put him in charge of a squad of soldiers and gave them 
particular orders not to allow him to escape. Probably the 
soldiers knew what the citizens had told Tom and they gave him 
a chance to get away. He took the opportunity and the soldiers 
shot and killed him. 

The following is also from the "Register" of December 30th. 

"Black Rock Tom's Pale Horse 

All hunters of Indians who came to an engagement any- 
where between this and Owyhee, and almost all parties attacked 
on that road during the past season, remarked a white horse of 
extraordinary qualities, the rider of which seemed to take great 
pride in his efforts 'to witch the world with noble horsemanship.' 
The white horse was ever spoken of as a wonder of strength and 
fleetness. The rider — a stalwart Indian — delighted to dally just 
out of musket range from the white men, caricoling most pro- 
vokingly, and darting off occasionally with the fleetness of the 
wind. The rider was Black Rock Tom. He has quit this vale 
of tears, but the horse has not been taken. Tom did not bring 
the pale horse on his last trip, and the much-coveted animal is 
still in Indian hands." 


THE TEAR 1865 

A part of the foregoing was told to show how northwestern 
Nevada was freed from the marauding Indian bands that 
infested it. Many of these Indians were desperadoes and rene- 
gades from the neighboring tribes and would have preyed upon 
the travelers and outside settlers of that section as long as they 
were allowed to live. They were like wild beasts and were 
treated like them — followed to their hiding places and exter- 
minated. This had to be done sooner or later, and it saved life 
and property to do it as quickly as possible. 

The Death of Pearson 

Between Christmas and New Year, 1864, a man named 
Thomas Pearson left his home near the lower end of Willow 
Creek valley and came over to Honey Lake. He started for 
home on New Year's Day when the sun was about two hours 
above the mountain. It rained that afternoon and night, and 
it is supposed that when darkness came on he got lost and 
wandered around until he was tired out and lay down where 
his body was found. According to Tunison's diary he was 
found ten or twelve days afterwards about half a mile from his 
own cabin. He had a six-shooter with him and all of the loads 
but one had been fired, probably with the hope of attracting 
some one's attention. It is said that he was buried near his 
cabin, but if that is true, he was afterwards moved to the 
cemetery at Susanville. 

Walker Killed by Brunty 

Early in the year William Walker came into this valley and 
went to work for James Doyle on his ranch about a mile north- 
west of Milford. Mrs. Walker was working at Janesville in 
the family of John Brunty whose wife was sick. After Walker 
had worked a few days Mrs. Doyle became ill, and he told her 
husband that he would go and get his wife to come there and 
work until Mrs. Doyle was well. On the ninth of March Doyle 
let him have his revolver and an ox team and he went to Janes- 
ville. Mrs. Walker refused to go away from Brunty 's, and of 
course her husband was very angry on account of it. Some 
time during the day he and Brunty met in a saloon that stood 
on the south side of the street perhaps a hundred yards east of 
the Barnes Hotel. Walker seems to have been quarrelsome, and 

[379 1 


the two men soon got into a row about something, probably about 
Walker's wife. Brunty struck at "Walker and the latter drew 
his pistol. The bar tender, Billy Hamilton, then stepped be- 
tween them, but Walker put the pistol over his shoulder into 
Brunty 's face. Before he could shoot Brunty caught the pistol 
around the cylinder with his left hand, and the hammer came 
down upon that instead of the cap. Brunty then drew his own 
pistol and reached around Hamilton and shot the other man 
through the body. The wounded man lived only a few hours. 

Brunty was arrested and brought before Squire James Hutch- 
ings. M. W. Pratt says that Brunty hired him to plead his case. 
While he was talking to the Court he held the defendant's pistol 
in his hand, and cocked it without thinking what he was doing. 
In trying to show what was done during the fight, he threw 
down the pistol and pulled the trigger and the bullet went just 
a little above the Squire's head. He was a Republican and 
Pratt was a Democrat, and some of the Republicans accused the 
latter of trying to thin out the opposite political party. Brunty 
was exonerated on the grounds of self-defense, but it was a 
needless killing. There were men enough present to stop the 
fight before Walker could do any more shooting, and Brunty 
was in no danger. He lived in the valley a while after this, and 
in company with a man named Barrington ran a saloon in 

Spencer's Trouble with the Gamblers 

When Lassen county was organized there was a hard crowd 
in Susanville and had been for some time. In fact there were a 
good many "tough citizens" throughout the county, and the 
reasons for this have been given in the previous pages. There 
were a lot of gamblers in Susanville, and it was thought that 
some of them did a little work on the outside in the way of 
holding up stages and travelers. Occasionally some of them 
would leave town and shortly afterwards reports of stage rob- 
beries would come in. After a while the gamblers would come 
back with plenty of money and say they had been to Carson or 
Chico or some other town, and had "made a winning." There 
were several faro games running in town, and as this was 
against the law, the first district attorney elected in the county, 
E. V. Spencer, thought it was his duty to stop them. At that 


THE YEAR 1865 

time there was a great deal of gambling done in the country 
and few people thought it anything out of the way. Probably 
an older lawyer would have said nothing about it; but Spencer 
was young and inexperienced, and he thought there was nothing 
else to do but to stop the games. When the grand jury met on 
March 6th, 1865, he called their attention to these cases and 
seven men were indicted for gambling by them. Six of them 
were George P. Heaps, Joseph Hale, Charles H. Drum, William 
Van Kirk, Joseph Baker, and John Anderson. The name of 
the other one could not be learned. The grand jury made its 
report on the tenth and bench warrants were at once served on 
the indicted men, but they were allowed to go free until their 
trials came off. That night Baker and Anderson left for parts 

Spencer's office was on the ground floor of the Steward 
House on the west side of the building, and one night some 
time previous to this he happened to be standing in front of his 
office leaning against one of the posts that held up the porch. 
The light from the house shone on him, and before long there 
was a flash and the report of a pistol across the street in front 
of the Pioneer saloon, kept by Heaps and Hale, and a bullet 
buried itself in the post near his head. He stepped into his 
office, put on his pistol, and went over to the saloon; but he 
found no one who seemed to know anything about it. One 
evening not long afterwards he went into the dining room of 
the Steward House to get his supper. He had his pistol on him 
when he started, but he thought it looked out of place, so he 
went back to his office and left it there. He found no one in 
the dining room but some gamblers who were all sitting at the 
same table. He sat down at another table facing them and in a 
few minutes a large coffee cup thrown by Joe Baker struck him 
a glancing blow on the forehead, cutting a gash that left a per- 
manent scar. He did not see where the cup came from, but he 
rose up and looked into the muzzles of six pistols in the hands 
of the men at the other table. They did not shoot, however, 
and he walked out to his office and got his pistol. He then 
returned to the dining room, but no one was there. Probably 
the affair was arranged with the idea that Spencer would get 
up with his pistol in his hand, and they would shoot him and 
claim that it was done in self-defense. The fact that he had 



his pistol drawn would make it look as if they told the truth. 
His getting up without any pistol spoiled their plan. 

Before their trials came on the gamblers sent word to 
Spencer by some of his friends that if he went on with the 
prosecution he would be shot down in the court room. Frank 
Drake was one of the men by whom word was sent, and he and 
others advised Spencer to let the matter drop. The District 
Attorney, however, could not see it in that way and insisted on 
going on with it. Heaps afterwards told him that for ten days 
before the trial the best saddle horse in the county, owned by 
him and Hale, stood in the barn with the saddle on ready to 
carry away the man who shot Spencer. 

The cases were to be tried before Judge I. J. Harvey, and 
when court opened Luther Spencer, A. G. Moon, Frank Drake, 
and a lot more of Spencer's friends came into the court room 
well armed, and ready to shoot if necessary. Spencer himself 
came in and sat down at the end of a table where he could see 
both the Judge and the spectators. He then placed two revol- 
vers on the table in front of him and told the Judge he under- 
stood that he was to be shot down in the court room if he prose- 
cuted the gamblers; but he proposed to do it, and if there was 
any shooting done, he intended to take a full hand. The Judge 
nodded his assent, and did not rebuke him or tell him to take 
away his weapons. When the cases were tried, owing to the 
fact that Spencer was inexperienced in making out legal papers 
and that three or four able lawyers were opposing him, the 
indictments were set aside. Heaps, Drum, Baker, Van Kirk, 
J. I. Steward, Anderson, and Hale were discharged, but their 
cases were to be submitted to the next grand jury. Steward had 
been indicted for a misdemeanor. Of course these proceedings 
amounted to nothing in the cases of Baker and Anderson. The 
grand jury of the following June indicted Hale, Drum, Heaps, 
Steward, and Van Kirk. "When their cases came to trial they 
all pleaded that the jury which indicted them was not a legal 
one because one of its members, Antone Storff, was not a citizen 
of the United States. This was found to be true, and the 
indictments were again set aside. The cases of Hale, Drum, 
Heaps, and Steward were to be submitted to the next grand 
jury. Another grand jury was at once summoned, but it failed 
to indict any of them and the matter was allowed to drop. The 


THE YEAR 1865 

most of the above was taken from what was told by Mrs. Philenda 
Spencer and from the county records. 

There is another story told in regard to this. Abraham G. 
Moon, who for twelve or fifteen years was a well-known citizen 
of this valley, writes as follows : ' ' At that time I was rooming 
with E. V. Spencer in the rear of his office in the Steward 
House, and I probably was as intimate with and knew as much 
about Spencer's affairs as any one. I do not know of any shot 
having been fired at him. The story of the cup-throwing is as 
you have it. I had it from Eph. himself. He said when Baker 
threw the cup he ran. "When he (Spencer) got to his feet 
Baker was going through the door and Van Kirk was standing 
on the opposite side of the table with his hand in his vest pocket. 
Eph. came directly to our room, buckled on his six-shooter, 
removed the pistol from its holster, and stuck it in the belt in 
front in plain sight. He said that was no concealed weapon. 
When on the street he wore it in that way until the legal farce 
was over. 

"Of course there was talk, threats, on both sides. I don't 
know of any direct communication from the gamblers to Eph. 
I was in the Courtroom when the cases were called — was sum- 
moned as a juror — was not wanted — did not see any guns on the 
table — did not hear any shoot talk. I know there was one gun 
in the room and have good reason to believe there were a good 
many more. 

"The gamblers employed J. R. Buckbee of Quincy. The 
indictment was quashed. Another grand jury found bills — 
they followed suit. Another jury followed. By a small majority 
they chucked the whole thing into the scrap. I don't think there 
were fifty voters in the county that believed there could have 
been a conviction if there had been a trial." Other early 
settlers tell the story almost the same as Mr. Moon does. 

The Road from Chico to the Humboldt and Idaho Mines 

Mention has been made in the foregoing pages of the fact 
that in 1857 an attempt was made to construct a wagon road 
from Oroville to Honey Lake and that the first stagecoach that 
ever came into the valley brought in some men who were inter- 
ested in that project. It has also been told that in 1862, on 
account of the travel from Sacramento valley to the Humboldt 



and Idaho mines, a road was built part of the way from Chico 
to Susanville and was called the Humboldt road. The following 
from the "History of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties" 
tells when and how this road was completed. 

"The Overland and Idaho Routes 

"The manner in which a large stream of emigration was 
turned in the pioneer days from the Carson and Truckee routes 
to pass through this county and Noble's pass has already been 
detailed in the early history, as also has the exploration of a 
route for an overland railroad by Lieutenant E. G. Beckwith, 
in 1854. A few years later the war department decided to lay 
out a military wagon road across the continent, following from 
the Humboldt river the line laid out by Lieutenant Beckwith 
and terminating in Honey Lake valley. It was while engaged in 
laying out this road, in the summer of 1860, that Colonel F. W. 
Lander arrived at the valley, and was enabled to render such 
valuable assistance in terminating the war with the Pah-Utes. 
The particulars of an attempt made in 1857 to construct a road 
from Oroville to Honey Lake, to connect with the military road, 
will be found on page 58. 

"When the Idaho excitement broke out, in 1862, the people 
of this section realized the advantages of establishing a route for 
the transportation of passengers and goods to the new mines by 
the way of Noble's pass, and began to take steps to secure such 
a route. (The reader will remember that Noble's pass was on 
the road from Honey Lake to Shasta City, and far north of the 
road from Chico to Susanville. — F.) By the Act of April 14, 
1863, the legislature granted a franchise to John Bidwell, J. C. 
Mandeville, R. M. Cochran, and John Guill, to construct a toll 
road from Chico to Honey Lake, on the eastern boundary of the 
state. They incorporated the following year as the Chico and 
Humboldt Wagon Road Company, and completed their road to 
Susanville. Early in the spring of 1865, parties went from 
Susanville to Ruby City and return, going by way of Shaeffer's, 
Mud Springs, Deep Hole, Granite Creek, Soldier Meadows, 
Summit lake, Mint springs, Gridley springs, Pueblo, Trout creek, 
Willow creek, White Horse Creek, Crooked river, Castle creek, 
Owyhee river, Jordan creek valley, and Wagontown to Ruby 
City, a distance, as measured by a rodometer, of 332 miles. The 


THE YEAE 1865 

same spring Pierce & Francis, backed by General Bidwell, started 
a weekly saddle-train from Chico to Idaho, by this route, to 
carry passengers and mail. ("The Grizzly Bear" of April, 
1915, says: "The first saddle train from Chico to Idaho, via 
Susanville, left Chico on April 3d (1865) in command of 
Captain Pierce, an old pioneer of the mountains of the Pacific 
Coast. Passengers riding on the hurricane deck of a mule paid 
a fare of $66. This included the use of a roll of blankets to 
sleep under and the carrying of a supply of provisions. There 
were forty passengers in the first saddle train.") Later in the 
year Major John Mullen became manager of the enterprise. 
Several stages were constructed, the route was stocked, and on 
July 11, 1865, the first stage from Chico to Ruby City passed 
through Susanville. I. N. Roop was advisory agent of the line, 
and "W. N. De Haven local agent. This trip occupied sixteen 
days, because of the newness of the road and the hostility of the 
Indians. This latter difficulty was so exaggerated by the news- 
papers that the new route met with but little favor from the 
traveling public. 

"On the seventh of July, 1865, a convention of 300 teamsters 
was held in Sacramento, at which a committee was appointed to 
investigate the Susanville trail. The committee reported it the 
best route yet found, and the consequence was that many loads 
of freight passed over the road that fall. In September a meet- 
ing was held in Susanville, subscriptions were taken, and the 
money so obtained was expended in improving the road. The 
government stationed a few troops along the road, but not enough 
to be of much use in case the Indians were determined to make 
trouble. On this account, and because the road was not well 
prepared for winter travel, the stage line was discontinued in 
the fall. This, and the natural suspension of freighting during 
the winter, greatly discouraged the citizens of Honey Lake 

"Major Mullen went to Washington that winter, and with 
the assistance of General Bidwell, who then represented his 
district in Congress, and the delegate from Idaho, secured a 
tri-weekly mail route from Chico to Boise City, which was let 
for $45,000 per year. The same influence secured the passage 
through the House of a bill appropriating $50,000 for a military 
road from Susanville to Ruby City; but the bill was referred 



back again to the committee, and died a natural death. The 
discovery of the Black Rock mines about this time (their first 
discovery was in 1849 — F.), and the great rush to that region, 
also increased the importance of the Susanville route. In May, 
1866, the Sage Brush said : 

" 'The immigration to Idaho and Montana has commenced. 
Every day trains of men, mules, horses, and sometimes jack- 
asses, pass through our town on a weary pilgrimage to the distant 
mining camps.' In another article is the following: 'We must 
pause in our account of the discovery of the Black Rock mines, 
in order to give some account of the town of Susanville — a town 
which, by reason of these discoveries, and its situation on the 
great thoroughfare leading from California to Black Rock, Idaho, 
Montana, and Humboldt, bids fair to become, next to San Fran- 
cisco, the most important town on the Pacific Coast. ' 

"In May, also, the California and Idaho Stage and Fast 
Freight Company was incorporated, with a capital stock of 
$200,000. John Mullen was president. About midnight, July 
1, 1866, the first stage left Chico, and arrived in Ruby City in 
three days and five hours, a distance of 427 miles. Susanville 
soon acquired considerable importance as a staging center. 
Eight stages per week arrived there from Chico, Red Bluff, 
Oroville, Virginia City, and other points. The reports of the 
fabulous richness of the Black Rock and Owyhee mines drew a 
constant stream of travel through this section, and it was nec- 
essary to increase the facilities of the stage line. This was done, 
a daily stage was put on, and James D. Byers was appointed 
general superintendent of the line. They ran daily till winter 
set in, and then the deep snows so interferred that only about 
two trips a week could be made. 

"When the contract expired the next year, the Central Pacific 
had completed its track east of the Sierra nearly to the big bend 
of the Humboldt, reducing the distance to be staged by one-half. 
For this reason, the government refused to renew the mail 
contract, freight and travel were diverted to the new route, 
and Susanville was compelled to relinquish its dream of rivaling 
San Francisco in wealth and importance." 

The History from which the foregoing is quoted also has the 
following : 


THE YEAB 1865 

"Hanging of Charles Barnhart 

"A case of summary justice occurred June 25, 1865, at Mud 
flat, beyond Granite creek, in a party headed by Captain Pierce, 
of the firm of Pierce & Francis, proprietors of the Idaho stage 
line. This party had started out with a number of wagons and 
pack animals to work upon the road. On the morning in ques- 
tion Captain Pierce sent William Rogan to Charles Barnhart 
for a rope to be used in packing. Barnhart refused to give him 
the desired article, and when he laid his hand upon the rope to 
take it, drew his revolver and killed Rogan on the spot. There 
were present thirty citizens and ten soldiers, and they at once 
formed a court, tried the murderer, and sentenced him to death. 
During the hour of life granted him, Barnhart behaved in a 
most reckless manner, exhibiting that bravado that men of his 
class are pleased to call courage. A gallows was improvised 
from wagon tongues, the prisoner was placed in position with a 
rope around his neck, and was then asked to prefer a dying 
request. He said he wanted them all to get in front of him, so 
that he could take a good look at them before he left. His 
request was complied with, and he left immediately afterwards." 
It is said that the murderer and his victim were both buried in 
the same grave. 

Biddle Killed by Williams 

About the first of April a fight which resulted in the death 
of one of the men took place in Susanville. John Williams and 
George Biddle had a quarrel in the Pioneer saloon and soon 
came to blows. Biddle was partially intoxicated and it is very 
likely that Williams had been drinking, too. Williams was 
young, stout, and active and the other man was past middle age 
and not very strong. The fight was over almost as soon as it 
commenced, for the other men in the saloon stopped it as quickly 
as possible, but the younger man had struck or kicked his oppo- 
nent in a vital spot. He had no intention of doing him serious 
harm, and when he saw that Biddle was badly hurt he was very 
much frightened. Williams lived with his parents two or three 
miles west of town and he went home as fast as he could. It is 
said that he never came back to town and left the country at 
once. There is nothing on the records to show that the author- 



ities took any notice of the case and probably that is the reason 
why they did not. Biddle died a few days after the fight. 

High Water 

Tunison says that November 22nd the flats around Toadtown 
were all covered with water. He helped to drive some horses 
out to high ground. They were standing in the water and there 
was water for four hundred yards on either side of them. On 
the night of the 21st the water wheel of the gristmill floated out 
of its place, the bridge just below the mill was carried away, and 
a great deal of fencing went down the river. The same night 
David Johnston, Daniel W. Bryant, J. P. Ford, and George W. 
Perry, who lived along the river, had to move their families out. 




This year the government established the first United States 
mail route between Susanville and Virginia City. Gran- 
ville Woods had the contract which began in July. He ran a 
stage line and carried the mail until that fall or the next spring, 
and then Charles Cramer bought the line and ran it until July, 
1870. In 1869 he had a partner named Kline. About this time 
a post office was established at Janesville with L. N. Breed as 
post master, one at Milford with Charles Batterson as post 
master, and another at the Evans ranch in the north end of 
Long valley. Alvaro Evans was post master at the latter place 
for a couple of years, and then the office was moved to the ranch 
of John W. Doyle who was the post master for a great many 
years. For perhaps a year or two previous to this a man named 
Keating had carried the mail and express between Susanville 
and Virginia City, and the stores at Janesville and Milford took 
off the mail for their neighborhoods and distributed it for the 
accommodation of the public. 

Mrs. A. T. Arnold says that as early as the spring of 1866 
J. D. Carr ran a stage line from Susanville to Surprise valley. 
The first year or two his trips were very irregular on account of 
the Indian troubles, and he went only when he could get some 
one to go with him. As time went on and the road got safer 
they became regular, and in February, 1869, he advertised to 
make a trip from Susanville to Ft. Bidwell and back every week. 
Carr may have run this line until 1871. 

At the March meeting of the Board of Supervisors the 
Janesville School District was divided, the line between the two 
districts running north and south through the center of the 
section west of that in which Janesville is situated. The school- 
house in the Janesville District was half a mile below town and 
fifty yards north of the road. Francis L. Parker taught school 
there that summer. The schoolhouse in the other district, the 
Stark District, was near the edge of the timber about half a 
mile west of where the two branches of the Baxter creek unite. 
"Puss" Stark taught their school that year. 



Willow Creek. Henry Davis bought out James Haley, and 
in the fall or the following spring Pickard abandoned his place. 

Mt. Meadows. George W. Long bought Seaman's claim — 
the land along the creek between the Devil's Corral and Fre- 
donyer's Pass. S. B. Hughes and his Wife lived on the Long 
place in Mt. Meadows this year and probably for the next two 

Those whose names are given in the following lists settled in 
the county in 1866. The length of residence does not apply to 
the children. The following lived here all the rest of their lives 
or are still living here : Jeremiah Bond, George N. Bennett and 
Family, George Fox Kelley and Family, Clarence Kelley, Frank 
A. Kelley, Charles Moore and Family. 

The following lived here from fifteen to twenty years or more : 
Andrew Litch, George W. Glasscock and Family, William Wil- 
liams, Leroy Perkins, George Payne, Charles W. Moore. 

The following lived here from a year or two to twelve or 
fourteen years: Jonathan Lovell and Family, George B. Hill, 
Frank Murphey, Judge William T. Ward, *Simeon Crane and : 
Family, C. H. Sleyton. 

Lassen County Politics 

In April the Board of Supervisors ordered that the report of 
T. H. Epley and S. J. Hill as road viewers be accepted, and 
the road as recommended be declared a public highway. To wit : 
Beginning at the village of Janesville and running parallel with 
the main street in a northwesterly direction about five hundred 
yards, thence in a northerly direction to the east side of the 
Sheffield (Pullen) ranch, thence running in a northeasterly 
direction about five hundred yards, thence running in a north- 
westerly direction to the summit of the Bald Hills and con- 
necting with the Toad Town road. It was also ordered that a 
public road be opened from a point near the Lassen Flouring 
Mills on Susan river to a point at or near the northwest corner 
of Joe Todd's (Davis) ranch, in as direct a line as possible and 
keep the same on good ground. In June Preston James was 
appointed Constable of Janesville to fill out an unexpired term. 
The resignation of B. F. Sheldon as Justice of the Peace of 
Honey Lake Township was accepted. In December the Board 


THE YEAR 1866 

appointed Dr. Z. N. Spalding County Physician. The first 
named road is still traveled as then laid out. 

Indian Troubles. 1866 

This year was another busy one for both Indians and whites 
in northeastern California, northwestern Nevada, and the ad- 
joining portions of Oregon and Idaho. In a year or two the 
citizens and soldiers together had killed off the most of the 
Indians who, from the beginning of their settlement, had com- 
mitted depredations in the valleys of northeastern California 
and along the roads from Honey Lake valley to the Humboldt 
and Idaho mines. 

January 12, 1866, Captain G. D. Conrad of Company B, 
Second California Volunteer Cavalry, with thirty-five soldiers, 
nine citizens, and twelve Piutes had a fight with the Indians 
near where Fish creek runs into Queen's river. The first night 
out they were joined by twenty-five men from Company I, same 
regiment, under Lieutenant Duncan. Dr. Snow, a citizen doctor, 
went with him. The night of the eleventh they had to run in a 
circle on the desert to keep from freezing. The Indians got into 
a place covered with rye grass and tules and full of gullies. 
They used poisoned arrows and fought bravely for two hours 
and a half. Their leader was Captain John, a chief of the 
Warner lake Shoshones, who killed Colonel McDermit and a 
soldier named Rafferty the previous year. Captain Rapley shot 
him through the head. Thirty-five Indians were killed and two 
squaws were killed by mistake. Seven soldiers were wounded. 
One Indian was wounded in the back. It was said that every 
Indian died rather than surrender. The Indians' camp and 
their supplies were destroyed. 

Fight with the Indians in Guano Valley 

During the winter of 1865-66 the Indians had been making 
raids into Paradise valley and bothering the settlers in the 
country to the west of it. Major S. P. Smith, stationed at Smoke 
Creek, an officer who generally found Indians when he hunted 
for them, organized an expedition to follow a band that had just 
wounded a settler and driven some stock from Surprise valley. 
The Humboldt Register" of March 17th says that on the 
second of February Major Smith left Smoke creek with Lieu- 



tenant Robinson and thirty-six men of Companj^ D, Second 
Cavalry, California Volunteers. At Ft. Bidwell they were 
joined by thirty-two men of the same company and regiment 
and nine men of Company F of the same regiment. The next 
day they were joined by Major Mellen and Captain Starr with 
ten men of Company F of the same regiment. Nineteen citizens 
of Surprise valley went with the soldiers. On the fifteenth of 
February they found the Indians in Guano valley in the extreme 
northern part of Washoe county, Nevada. The Indians were 
at the mouth of Rock Canyon on the east side of the valley. The 
soldiers got onto a table-land where they could have a fair fight, 
and when within a mile of the Indians Major Smith divided his 
command giving Captain Starr with twenty men the left, Major 
Mellen and Lieutenant Robinson with twenty-one soldiers and 
nineteen citizens the center, and sent six citizens to the extreme 
right to hold the mouth of the canyon. He also left a guard in 
camp with the pack animals. (Something wrong in that count 
of the citizens., Bancroft's History says there were fifty-one 
soldiers and thirty citizens in the expedition. — F.) At half past 
nine the order to charge was given; and the boys broke through 
the Indian ranks, scattering and shooting down everything that 
wore paint. The Indians fought sullenly and asked for no 
quarter, but at length they took shelter under a bluff of rocks. 
The men then dismounted and marched up to the rocks under 
fire and brought down every Indian that would show himself. 
They fought seven hours, but could not kill the whole band 
because a good many of them were in the rocks where they 
could shoot without being seen. It was thought that there were 
two hundred or two hundred and fifty Indians in the fight. 
There were eighty warriors and thirty-five squaws killed. The 
squaws were dressed the same as the bucks and were fighting, 
and they had to kill them to tell whether they were men or not. 
The whites recovered sixty horses, one a valuable animals belong- 
ing to a lady in Surprise valley. They captured and turned 
loose nine squaws and ten children, and destroyed three tons of 
dried beef. The whites lost one private killed and Major Smith 
and six privates wounded. 

This fight was a little out of the range of the people of 
Lassen county unless some of the Indian depredations were com- 
mitted in the lower end of Surprise valley. It is given here 


THE YEAR 1866 

because it is said to be the last fight ever made by some of our 
old Indian acquaintances. W. H. McCormick and C. T. Sharp, 
both among the very first settlers in Surprise valley, say that 
the Indians engaged in the battle were Smoke Creek Sam and 
his band and that he was killed. Probably they had been joined 
by other Indians. McCormick says that out in that country the 
chief was known as "Smoke Creek Jim." He also said that he 
was piloted over the battle ground by a trooper who was in 
Major Smith's command. The soldier said that during the 
fight, after both his legs were broken, Sam would pull himself 
up with his gun and yell to encourage his men. He died soon 
after the fight, having been wounded fourteen times. In 1912 
Sharp told "William T. Cressler, to whom I am indebted for the 
information, that he was among the settlers who went with 
Major Smith, and that he was the only one of them who was 
alive at that time. He said that Joseph Marks, Samuel Matney, 
C. C. Rachford, himself, and four or five other settlers were in 
the Guano valley fight, and that Matney, known as "Tuledad," 
scalped Smoke Creek Sam. Probably this Indian and his band 
did more devilment in a small way than any other band in this 
section, and their destruction saved the lives and property of a 
good many white men. 

Along the last of March the Indians drove some stock out of 
"Willow Creek valley. 

Streshly, Mulroney, and Hough's Mules Stolen 
by the Indians 

The following narrative was taken from the testimony of 
Streshly, Hough, and others. In the spring of 1866 Orlando 
Streshly, a Honey Laker, went to Idaho with three six-mule 
teams loaded with freight. Two of the teams had reached Silver 
City and the other one was at Osborn 's ranch twenty miles west 
of there, and about a mile and a half from Camp Lyons where 
there were two companies of soldiers. The team camped at the 
Osborn ranch not far from the first of April. The next morning 
half the mules were gone — stolen by the Indians. The three 
left were in the yard close to the house ; the ones taken had gone 
down on a flat about a hundred and fifty yards away. Streshly 
followed the tracks of the mules as soon as he discovered their 



loss, and they led him to Camp Lyons; but there he lost them, 
for the herd at the Fort had been turned out before he got there 
and they had trampled out the tracks he was following. He 
went back to the Osborn ranch and got Asa Adams, also from 
Honey Lake, and they both went back to Camp Lyons. They 
could not follow the tracks any further so they went back to 
camp. The next day Adams went down to Inskip's ranch, six- 
teen miles below there, where the pack train of Edward Mul- 
roney, another Honey Laker, had camped the previous night. 
When Mulroney 's packer got up that morning he found that his 
mules were all gone, but he immediately started in pursuit and 
got part of them and also one of Streshly's. This animal was 
slow and she had been whipped unmercifully by the Indians to 
make her keep up, but failing to do this they left her. The 
packer said he saw the tracks of the other Streshly mules. They 
were large animals and had on heavy work shoes, and their 
tracks could easily be told from those of the pack mules. He 
thought the Indians rode Streshly's mules when they stole 
Mulroney 's, for their tracks were behind those of the others 
when they were driven off. 

Three weeks after this Levi F. Hough of Indian valley lost 
twenty-eight pack mules, a bell mare, and two saddle horses on 
Jordan creek six miles from Silver City. They followed the 
animals sixteen miles southwest, and there they turned and 
crossed a lava bed about five miles wide where it was impossible 
to track them on the rocks. They went to the other side of the 
lava and there found the tracks again. Streshly and Hough and 
three or four of their hired men and six soldiers from Camp 
Lyons followed them to the lower crossing of the Owyhee river, 
between twenty-five and thirty miles west of Camp Lyons, and 
there they could see the tracks of the two shod mules going into 
the water behind the pack mules. It was of no use to go any 
further, so they returned to camp. 

Not long after this Mr. Streshly was in Boise City, and there 
he learned from a stable keeper that some Bannock Indians had 
brought in two mules that answered the description of the ones 
he had lost, and sold them to a party that was going to Montana j 
to prospect. This was in the country of the Bannocks, so it was I 
supposed that they stole the animals lost by the Honey Lakers ] 
and Hough. These Indians were at peace with the whites, and! 


THE YEAR 1866 

at that time the government was feeding a great many of them 
in that section. The stealing appears to have been done by 
small parties of Indians, perhaps without the knowledge of 
their chiefs. They took the stock of travelers and teamsters, but 
did not molest the large bands of horses and cattle running in 
that part of the country which belonged to people living there. 

Cattle Stolen from Honey Lakers at Soldier Meadows, 


From the testimony of Robert Johnston, Samuel Swearingen, 
Henry Talbert, E. V. Spencer, and A. L. Tunison's diary. 

The second of May, 1866, a train of twelve ox teams reached 
Soldier Meadows, west of the Black Rock range and about 180 
miles from Susanville, and camped near the station at the lower 
end of the Meadows. Six of the teams belonged to Robert John- 
ston and the others belonged to Jesse Williams, Henry Wright, 
James Walters, and A. L. Tunison. They stayed there the next 
day and let their cattle rest. When they got up the morning of 
the fourth they found that seventy-three or seventy-five oxen out 
of one hundred and fourteen had disappeared. They had been 
feeding on the flat close by without any guard. There were 
twelve or fifteen men in camp, and Johnston, Samuel E. Swear- 
ingen, Lee Button, Henry Reppart, " General" Weiler, a man 
called "Curley" and another one called "Alex" at once fol- 
lowed the tracks of the cattle which led them in a northwesterly 
direction. After going a short distance, two or three miles, they 
saw a band of Indians on the rocky side of a large mountain. 
Some of them were on foot, others on horseback, and Johnston 
estimated their number at twenty-five or thirty. They got within 
a quarter of a mile of the nearest Indians who abused them and 
told them to come on. The white men were on foot and not 
very well armed, so they did not accept the "invite," but went 
back to camp. Along the trail they found seven or eight head 
of cattle shot to death with arrows. At that time there was a 
military post at Summit Lake, twelve miles north of where they 
were camped, and a few soldiers were stationed there under the 
command of Captain Mehers. Johnston immediately sent a man 
to him and requested that some soldiers be sent in pursuit of 
1 the Indians. 



E. V. Spencer, a young lawyer named Martin, Henry Talbert, 
Henry Parish, James Elliott, and Edward Labott, who had 
been prospecting west of there in the High Rock canyon, were 
camped on the east side of Mud Meadows about two miles below 
the Johnston camp. Johnston went to them, told what had hap- 
pened, and asked them to go after the cattle. The six prospectors 
got ready as soon as they could and started on horseback after 
the Indians. Swearingen and perhaps another man went with 
them but the former said he went only part way. Probably 
there were no horses with the ox teams, or more men would have 
gone with them. The trail led to the northwest, and after leaving 
the valley it went up the side of a steep mountain. From there 
on it followed a sort of rocky table-land very much cut up by 
deep canyons, and over which it was impossible to travel very 
fast, even if there had been no trailing to do. "Where the ground 
was soft the trail was easy to follow, but the Indians often drove 
the cattle over rocky ground where they left little or no trail, 
and it took time to hunt it up on the other side of the, rocks. 
Besides this, the cattle were driven through places where it 
would seem impossible for them to go. They judged from the 
pony and moccasin tracks that there were about a dozen Indians, 
and they appeared to be getting away as fast as they could. The 
first day out the pursuers found an ox that had been killed with 
arrows and a little piece had been cut out of the brisket. They 
made about twenty-five miles that day, and camped because 
they could not follow the trail during the night. The next day 
they followed the trail, still going toward the northwest, over 
almost the same kind of a country as that of the previous day. 
They began to wonder why the soldiers did not overtake them, 
and debated the question whether it was safe for them to go 
any further. They knew that Captain Mehers had only a few 
men and there was nothing certain that he would send any of 
them. The night of the second day they were about fifty miles 
from camp, probably near the head of High Rock canyon, and 
might run into a large band of Indians at any time. They had 
taken only two day's provisions with them, so they concluded to 
give up the pursuit. The next day they went back to camp, and 
on arriving there found that Captain Mehers had only seven or 
eight men and refused to let any of them go away from the post. 

The foregoing testimony was given in 1896 when Robert 


THE YEAE 1866 

Johnston was claiming pay from the government for the loss of 
his cattle. According to Spencer and Tunison the officer at 
Summit Lake would send no soldiers after the Indians who stole 
the cattle, and the other witnesses seem to have said nothing 
about it. In 1905, while testifying in behalf of Mr. Johnston, 
William Brockman said that he came to Soldier Meadows several 
days after the cattle were stolen. He and some others followed 
the tracks of the cattle for ten or twelve miles and then returned 
because they had no hope of overtaking the Indians. He also 
said that he saw a small squad of soldiers, perhaps ten or twelve, 
coming back from the pursuit of the Indians. Perhaps they 
were from some other army post. 

As soon as the news reached Honey Lake Henry Hatch, John- 
ston 's partner, William Dow, and A. L. Tunison went out there 
and found the train camped at Summit Lake. They had hauled 
their wagons there with the remaining cattle. Tunison says 
that Johnston lost thirty-five head of oxen, Williams fourteen, 
Wright twelve, Walters six, and that he lost eight. 

Part of the freight M r as taken on to Idaho, and the rest of it 
left at Summit Lake where it wasted or was destroyed. Mr. 
Johnston said that the officer there would not let him leave it 
near the post on the land owned by the government for fear that 
they would be responsible for it. These men put in their claims 
against the United States government for damages done by the 
Indians, but up to this time few, or none of them, have received 
any pay. 

Indians Killed at Papoose Valley 

Told by William Dow 

Late in June Joe Hale was hunting horses in Cheney valley. 
While engaged in this he passed the camp of "Old Tom," an 
Indian valley Indian, and one of the first of this tribe who came 
into Honey Lake with their families. At this camp Hale noticed 
some Indians who looked as though they didn't belong in this 
locality, and when he returned to Susanville he told what he had 
seen. The same day W T illiam Dow, Robert Johnston and Wife, 
Holla Arnold, and A. U. Sylvester came into town from Pine 
creek where they had been fishing. On their way home Mr. 
Dow, who was on horseback, left the road and went along south 

[ 397 ] 


of it to do some hunting. He saw a band of about a dozen 
Indians and tried to get up to them, but as he rode toward them 
they kept edging off. He called to them and they answered 
that they were Indian valley Indians, but he could see they were 
Piutes. When he got into town and told about seeing these 
Indians, Hale said "Those are the same Indians that I saw at 
Old Tom's camp," and expressed the opinion that they had 
traded with him for a lot of ammunition. People were satisfied 
that they were wild Indians and that they might be going out to 
the Summit lake country where the ammunition would be used 
to kill white men. Several men said that if Dow would go along 
and guide them, they would see that these Indians made no fur- 
ther trouble. The next morning when he got to town there were 
only four men ready to go with him — Joe Hale, Byron B. Gray, 
Charlie Drum, and E. V. Spencer. They went out and struck 
the trail just a little this side of Bridge creek, and camped that 
night at what is now known as Martin springs. It looked as 
though the Indians had camped there, too. Somewhere they had 
divided into two or more bands, and the next day the white men 
followed one of them to where they crossed Pine creek at what 
is now known as Champ's headquarters. By a direct route this 
would be thirty-five or forty miles from Susanville. They then 
came back and went down Pine creek to Eagle lake and camped 
there that night. The next morning Dow and Gray had some 
sore-footed horses and could not keep up with the rest of the 
party. When those in the lead got to Papoose valley at the 
southern end of Eagle lake, they saw some squaws camped there 
and went down and spoke to them. They could speak good Eng- 
lish and said that they were Indian valley Indians and that the 
men were out hunting. The white men then turned back and met 
Dow and Gray and told them that these were some of the Indians 
they were hunting for. They also said that nothing could be 
done at present, for the men were all away from camp, and they 
had better wait until night and then take them in. They camped 
at a little spring just southeast of Papoose valley and the fol- 
lowing morning, a little after daylight, they went over to the 
Indian camp and killed four bucks. One other buck was shot, 
but he got on his horse and escaped. Another buck and some 
squaws got away without injury. The white men returned to 
Susanville that day. 


THE YEAR 1866 

"Old Tom" Killed 
Told by "William Dow and Fred Hines 

Something was told about this Indian in the preceding article. 
He was here in 1857 when Mr. Dow came into the valley, and for 
some time after that he and the other Indian spoken of were the 
only Indian valley Indians who lived here. He had long been 
suspected of selling ammunition to the wild Indians living in 
northwestern Nevada. For some time previous to his death 
whenever he went to a house in the nighborhood of his camp and 
found no men there, he would demand ammunition from the 
women in a threatening manner. He generally wanted powder 
and caps, and he picked up all the tea lead he could find. Another 
thing that looked suspicious was the fact that he had the skins 
of animals which he could not get in this part of the country. 
Added to all this, just about this time a large band of Indian 
valley Indians came into Susanville and told that Old Tom was 
selling ammunition to the wild Indians. 

After killing the Indians in Papoose valley the whites went 
into Susanville and told what they had done. That same day 
Old Tom's case was discussed and six or seven men went out to 
his camp, which was then on Gold Run near the old Lanigar 
place, then owned by John R. Perkins. Perkins went along with 
them, and after going a short distance south from his house they 
scattered out and went through the timber. Finally Perkins ran 
across him. Evidently he had heard something of what was 
going on, for when he saw Perkins he started off as fast as he 
could. Perkins followed and caught up with him, and told him 
they wanted him to come in and make some explanation about 
selling the ammunition. He refused to come and started away, 
but was headed off. The same thing was done two or three times, 
and at last Tom threatened to yell to some other Indians who 
were camped near by if he was stopped again. He started off 
once more and then Perkins shot him several times with his pis- 
tol. He ran a short distance and fell down dead. 

Edward (Ned) Mulroney Wounded by the Indians 

Some time this spring Mulroney and Wisbern's pack train 
started for Silver City, Idaho, in charge of Robert Wisbern. Wis- 
bern was killed at Camp McDermit in northern Nevada on the 



28th of June, and soon after the news reached Honey Lake Mul- 
roney started from Susanville on the Chico and Idaho stage to 
look after the pack train. Somewhere between the 15th and 20th 
of July he reached White Horse valley in southeastern Oregon, 
about 225 miles from Shaffer's station in Honey Lake valley. 
Henry E. Lomas was living there at the time, he, Frank Drake, 
Henry Tussler, and Wood Hough having gone there from Honey 
Lake the year before. Lomas tells the following : He and some 
of the others had just got back from a trip to Camp Alvord, 
about thirty miles away, where they had been for some poles to 
use for ridgepoles in a sod house they were building. When they 
reached home they found the stage was there from Chico and 
Susanville, and Ned Mulroney was a passenger. The arrival and 
departure of the stage was quite an event in their little colony, 
especially when one of their acquaintances was on board. About 
sundown the stage started for Silver City. It was a six-horse 
coach driven by a man named Kelley, and Mulroney was the only 
passenger. The Indians were very bad and Captain Smith 
detailed two soldiers, both Irishmen, to go with them. When the 
stage got ready to start they both climbed inside. Kelley said 
"Look here. Who is going to ride outside with me?" Mulroney 
said "Let them ride inside. I will ride with you." He after- 
wards said that at the time he thought from appearances that 
the soldiers would not amount to much in case of trouble with 
the Indians. 

In two hours they returned to the station. When they had 
gone about eight miles they were attacked by the Indians, and 
there were so many of them that Kelley made up his mind he had 
better turn around and go back to White Horse. He did so, and 
Charles Lawson says the team made so short a turn that one hind 
wheel of the stage never left the track. The Indians gave chase, 
shooting at them as they ran, and Mulroney and the driver 
returned their fire, but the soldiers did nothing. The other men 
told them to shoot, and if they could not do that, to yell and let 
the Indians know there were more men than they could see. Of 
course the driver ran his team as hard as he could and probably 
outran the Indian ponies, but one Indian who was mounted on a 
white horse had no trouble in keeping up with the stage. (Per- 
haps it was the horse once owned by Black Rock Tom.) He rode 
up beside it and shot Mulroney in the left leg, the bullet passing 


THE YEAK 1866 

under the kneepan. After a time, either the Indians gave up the 
chase or the stage team ran away from them, and then the sol- 
diers wanted the driver to stop and let them out and whip the 
savages. Kelley cursed them and made them keep still. When 
they got back to the station these heroes, in a very dramatic man- 
ner, thanked Kelley and Mulroney for saving their lives. Mul- 
roney's wound kept him at White Horse for a while and left him 
with a stiff leg the rest of his life. Tunison says that Captain 
Walker with some soldiers followed the Indians who attacked 
the stage. He overtook them, but their force was so large that 
he had to retreat. 

Drake and Tussler 's Fight with the Indians 

The names of the Honey Lake colonists in White Horse val- 
ley have already been told. They went there in 1865 and took 
teams, tools, provisions, clothing, and all sorts of supplies with 
them; but the next year just before harvest time they saw it 
would be necessary for them to have mowers and reapers and 
some other tools. 

Frank Drake and Henry Tussler went back to Honey Lake 
and rigged up two four-horse teams, loaded them with the neces- 
sary machinery, and started for White Horse. A few days before 
the 20th of July, probably the 18th, as they were going up the 
hill toward the summit about eight miles south of Camp McGarry 
at Summit Lake, they heard a shot fired and each one accused 
the other of doing it accidentally. They soon found out, however, 
that they were attacked by the Indians, and they both began to 
shoot. Tussler asked Drake what they should do and he replied 
that they had better get off on the upper side of the grade and 
fight from the shelter of the wagons. They both got down, and 
while doing this Tussler discovered that he had been struck by a 
bullet which had broken his leg. When Drake heard this he told 
Tussler to get back onto his wagon if he could, lie as low as pos- 
sible, drive his team, and shoot whenever he had an opportunity 
to do so. He said he would do the same and in that way they 
might keep off the Indians until they could get to the summit, 
which was only a short distance ahead of them, and from there 
they could be seen by the soldiers at the post. They both got 
onto their wagons and drove slowly up the steep grade, firing a 
shot whenever they thought it would do any good. Before long 



Drake lost his off lead line and his team climbed the side of the 
grade to the left. When the fore wheel struck the bank the 
coupling-pole broke, and they pulled the front wheels from under 
the wagon bed and the end of it dropped to the ground. Drake's 
team was in the lead and at that place the other team could not 
pass him, so there they were. Drake had a Henry rifle, a gun 
almost like a Winchester rifle, and plenty of cartridges. He fas- 
tened his team with the lines the best he could, took his rifle and 
all of his ammunition, and went back to the other team. He 
told Tussler he wanted him to get on his horse and go to the post 
and tell the soldiers. Tussler was willing to do this if the other 
man would go, too ; but Drake told him he was going to stay there, 
and that the Indians should not have their loads as long as he 
was alive. Finally Tussler consented to go, and Drake got his 
saddle horse out of the team and helped him to mount it. Then 
he fired at the Indians who were trying to head him off until he 
got out of sight over the summit. While doing this he was shot 
three times, through one thigh from front to back, through the 
other from side to side, and through the side between the hip 
bone and the rib, all flesh wounds. Both his boots were full of 
blood when he got Tussler started, but he said nothing about 
it. After the other man got out of sight Drake tied up both 
teams as securely as he could, and then got under the hind end 
of the wagon and watched for Indians. He counted eight of 
them. Pretty soon he saw one of them going around as if trying 
to get behind a bush about fifty yards down the canyon. He 
watched the bush and when he thought it was about time for the 
Indian to get there, took careful aim at the top of it. Soon the 
Indian's head appeared above it and he pulled the trigger, but 
the cartridge failed to explode. Just then a bullet went through 
his hat and grazed his head. He threw in another cartridge and 
fired, this time hitting the Indian square in the forehead. Shortly 
afterwards he saw another Indian running across in front of him. 
It looked as though he was out of range, but Drake concluded to 
take a shot at him anyway. He fired and the Indian went down, 
throwing his gun as he fell. After two or three attempts he got 
up, picked up his gun, and ran away. This one was found dead 
a mile or more from the place where he was shot. Then another 
one came in sight, and from long range shot Drake's riding 


THE YEAE 1866 

Tussler rode as fast as a man in his condition could, and suc- 
ceeded in reaching the house of a citizen who lived near the post. 
The man saw that something was wrong and went out to him, 
and Tussler told his story and then fainted. The man, after car- 
rying him into the house, went to the post and told the officer in 
command what had happened. The latter immediately went to 
Drake's assistance with a troop of cavalry, (Lomas says that in 
less than five minutes after the officer received the word they 
were on their way.) leaving orders for an ambulance to follow. 
By the time the soldiers reached the wagons Drake had driven 
the Indians away, and there was not one in sight. He was still 
under the wagon, but was covered with blood and dust and lay 
so quiet that the first man to reach him called to the others, 
''Frank is gone." Drake turned and said "No, boys, I am all 
right." They gave him some brandy and he told them what had 
happened after Tussler left him. When they got ready to take 
him to the post they asked him if there was anything he wanted 
done, and he replied that he would like to have them bring up 

that dead Indian so he could look at the son of a . They took 

him to the post, gave him the quarters of one of the officers, and 
showed him every attention. After he had rested the command- 
ing officer told him they had brought the wagons in and would 
have the broken one repaired, and that he had sent a detachment 
of soldiers to White Horse to tell his friends about the fight. He 
then inquired if there was anything else they could do for him. 
After protesting a while about their taking so much trouble for 
him, Drake said there was just one more thing he would like to 
have done, and that was to have the wounded horse brought to 
the post. The officer said the horse would die before morning. 
Drake told him that the horse was just as good as so much beef 
to the Indians, and as long as they hadn't got anything yet, he 
would like to keep them from getting even that. The horse 
was brought in and died the next morning. 

When the news reached White Horse Captain Walker detailed 
two soldiers to go with Lomas and some of the other men, and 
they went to Summit lake to see the wounded men and brought 
the wagons back with them. 

The surgeon at the post did the best he could for Drake and 
Tussler. The former's wounds got well in a very short time, 
but Tussler did not get off so easily. In ten days they opened 



up his wound and found that the bone had not knit, and that 
the flies had got into it. He was taken to Susanville in a freight 
wagon, a painful trip for a man in his condition, where he could 
have better care. There his leg was broken over twice and he 
almost lost his life. At last he got well, but he had one short leg 
and was crippled for life. The foregoing was related by Henry 
E. Lomas who knows the facts in the case better than any one 
else. Probably he is the only one of the White Horse colony who 
is still alive. 

A Row with the Soldiers in Susanville 

In the fall of 1866 (or the fall of the previous year) an inci- 
dent occurred in Susanville which shows the readiness of the 
early settlers of Honey Lake in case of trouble. At that time 
soldiers were stationed at several places between this valley and 
the Humboldt and Idaho mines to protect travelers on those 
roads. Once in a while a company of them passed through 
Susanville on their way to or from one of these military posts. 
If the weather was very stormy, they were generally allowed to 
occupy the lower room of the Masonic Building. One company, 
however, misused the room so badly that Cap. Hill, who was the 
janitor, swore that no more soldiers should stay in it. The next 
company that came along was refused admittance, and it appears 
to have awakened the wrath of some of them. That night it was 
dark and stormy and S. N. (Soc.) Harrison, who had just left 
the Steward House and was going up the north side of Main 
street, passed two soldiers. As they went by him he heard 
enough of their conversation to learn that they were hunting for 
Cap. Hill. He knew that Hill was at the Steward House, so he 
hurried past the soldiers and went there and told him and his 
friends who was looking for him. The barroom was full of men, 
E. G. Bangham and Dr. H. S. Borrette being among the number. 
Shortly afterwards the soldiers came in and went up to the bar 
where Hill was standing. (The bar was in the northeast corner 
of the room and there was a billiard table just west of it.) They 
didn 't know Hill, and when they came up to him he grabbed one 
of them by the throat, backed him up against the bar, and shoved 
a Derringer into his face, at the same time saying with an oath, 
"You are looking for me, are you?" The soldier drew his pistol 
and put the muzzle of it against Hill's body, but George W. 



Perry caught his hand and prevented him from shooting. While 
this was going on the other soldier jumped upon the billiard table 
and pulled his revolver. The cape of his overcoat being in the 
way, he threw it back with the hand that held the pistol. As his 
hand went up above his head, Albert Smith, who was sitting with 
his feet on the billiard table reading a newspaper and who had 
hardly noticed the row, drew his pistol, and pointing it at the 
soldier, told him to keep his hand up. He obeyed this order and 
both soldiers were at once disarmed. There was a Lieutenant 
of the company in the room and he tried to interfere, but Hill 
told him to keep his hands off, and that he was not running 
things there if he was an officer. The Lieutenant then said he 
would take care of the soldiers if he was allowed to do so. He 
sent for some more of his men, put the two who had made the 
trouble under arrest, and kept them in the guardhouse all night. 

"Buckskin Mose" 

The George W. Perry spoken of was called "Buckskin Mose." 
He was a blacksmith and at one time had a shop in Toadtown 
south of the bridge near the gristmill. Either he or his Wife 
afterwards wrote a book called "Buckskin Mose." He picked 
up all the stories about the Indian fights that had taken place 
in this section, and the book related these with more or less 
romance thrown in. Henry Arnold, B. B. Painter, and "Mose" 
himself were the principal heroes in the book, and according to 
it they must have killed the most of the Indians slain in "these 
parts" for almost twenty years. The queer part of it is that if 
the book had told the truth, it would have been of historic value ; 
but the way it is written one must know what the truth really is 
in order to find any of it there. 


In the spring of 1866 Wisbern, Edward Mulroney's partner, 
was on his way to Silver City, Idaho, with their pack train, and 
for an assistant had a man named A. Gr. Bradley. On the 28th 
of June, while at Camp McDermit, they got into a quarrel and 
both drew their pistols, but were separated. The quarrel was 
soon afterwards renewed and Wisbern, who is said to have been 
an overbearing sort of a man, struck and kicked the other man. 
This greatly exasperated Bradley and he drew his knife and 



drove it through "Wisbern's heart. Those who saw the difficulty 
say that Bradley acted on the defensive and seemed to want to 
avoid trouble. He immediately ran to the post and gave him- 
self up to the commanding officer. Wisbern was buried near the 
post the next day. The above was taken from "The Humboldt 
Register. " It also said that the military authorities took Bradley 
to Unionville, but did not say what was done with him. 
How Robber's Ceeek Got Its Name 
Told by James Doyle 
In September, 1866, though possibly it might have been the 
year before, James Doyle, who lived a short distance northwest 
of Milford, started with eight yoke of oxen and two wagons to 
go to Oroville for his winter's supplies. About two hundred 
yards west of what is now called Robber's creek, as he was going 
along beside his team with his whip across his back and an arm 
around each end of it, his lead cattle shied away from some 
bushes near the road. Just then two men armed with shotguns 
stepped out from behind the bushes, pointed their weapons at 
him, and told him to throw up his hands. At first he thought 
they were Indians and he started back to the wagon to get an 
ax; but when they spoke to him again he saw they were white 
men, so he stopped and held up his hands. Mr. Doyle says they 
robbed him of $400, and he told them they were welcome to it 
and would be welcome to more if he had it. Probably, like the 
Irishman who ducked his head when a cannon ball just grazed 
it, he thought that nothing was lost by politeness. They then 
asked him if he had anything else, and he told them that was 
all excepting some tobacco and some nice biscuits his Wife had 
made for him to eat on the road. They took both the tobacco 
and the biscuits and went into the woods. Just as they got 
out of sight the stage from Oroville to Susanville came along. 
Doyle told them what had happened and the driver whipped up 
his team and got out of that "neck of the woods" as rapidly as 
possible. The next morning the same men held up the Chico 
and Idaho stage and robbed the passengers. There were seven 
passengers on the stage, "Sandy" Young, General Bidwell's 
foreman, being one of them. They robbed him of $700 and a 
gold watch. Mr. Doyle also says that the robbers were pursued 
by a posse that killed one of them and captured the other who 
was sent to the state prison for life. 




Susanville. It is probable that some time this year Dr. Z. N. 
Spalding bought out A. C. Neale and kept the first real 
drug store in town — one where prescriptions were filled at any 

Janesville. In the spring a building that stood on the north 
side of the street about halfway between the hotel and the creek 
was moved three fourths of a mile up the road. It was put on the 
south side of the road a little southeast of the Fort. Miss Eva 
Slater, afterwards Mrs. John C. Partridge, taught the first 
school in it. This building was used as a schoolhouse until it 
was burned down about twenty years afterwards. 

Milford. Mrs. Mary Harris died in April or May. She was 
the first grown person to die there and be buried in the Milford 
cemetery. Egbert, the two-year-old son of T. H. Fairchilds, had 
died there previous to this. 

Long Valley. William E. (Paul) Jones bought the Junction 
House and moved there. This year, or perhaps the year before, 

Charles Cramer and Kline located a ranch in the extreme 

northeastern corner of Long valley. Thaxter True and Family 
came into the valley and settled below the Antelope ranch just 
inside the Lassen county line. Alphonso A. (Pete) Evans came 
into the valley. 

Willow Creek. Summers bought out Davis and got his place 
and the Pickard place, too. This year a wagon road was built 
over the Antelope hill. Previous to this the wagon road went up 
Kice's canyon. 

Secret Valley. John B. McKissick says that "Uncle Jake" 
McKissick took cattle into the valley this fall, but put up no 
buildings until 1870. He then put a few improvements on a 
place in the northwestern part of the valley. 

Those whose names are given in the following lists settled in 
the county in 1867. The length of residence does not apply to 
the children. The following lived here all the rest of their lives 
or are still living here: J. C. Blake and Family, Mrs. David 
Titherington, Henry Houchins, William Dunn and Family, S. S. 
Williams and Family, J. B. Sanders and Family, Thomas B. San- 



ders, Jonathan Smith and Family, Anthony Otto and Family, 
Robert Hayden and Wife, and Robert Hayden, Jr. 

The following lived here fifteen or twenty years or more: 
Morgan Williams and Wife, Isaac Adams and Family, Thaxter 
True and Family, George Boyd, William Waltz, Albert Otto, and 
E. R. Cary and Family. 

The following lived here from two or three to twelve or fif- 
teen years: J. Baker Titherington, Miss Marietta Smith (Mrs. 
William Dakin), *J. D. Abel, *Oscar Hood, Lucius Post and 
Family, W. Carson Wright and Family, Alphonso A. (Pete) 
Evans, and * Joseph (Big Joe) Smith. 

Lassen County Politics 

In January the Board of Supervisors advertised in the ' ' Sage 
Brush" that sealed proposals for the construction of a Court 
House would be received by them until the fourth of February. 
The following proposals were received: A. A. Smith offered to 
build it for $12950, F. S. Johnstone for $12900, and William 
Williams for $9850. The last named bid was accepted, and the 
building was completed some time during the following October. 
It has been in use ever since. Previous to this time the Super- 
visors hired rooms in different parts of the town for the use of 
the county officers and for a court room. In the fall of 1864 the 
Magnolia building was used for a court room, and it was also 
used a while for the same purpose in 1865. At its February 
meeting the Board allowed J. N. Pine the privilege of moving 
the Soldier bridge up the river about a quarter of a mile. This 
is where the line between Sections 15 and 16, Township 29 North, 
Range 14 East, crosses Susan river, and is its present location in 
what is now called Tanner's lane. In February Frank Drake 
resigned his position as Sheriff, and the Supervisors immediately 
appointed Cap. Hill (W. H. Naileigh) Sheriff to fill the vacancy. 
In March $1500 was paid to Plumas county, this being the last 
payment of Lassen's share of the indebtedness of Plumas. April 
second Marshal Bronson was elected Supervisor of the Third 

In June the Board accepted a road which had been laid out 
from the Thomas H. Epley ranch on the Janesville and Milford 
road, three and one half miles from the former place, to the 
Shaffer ranch. It ran northeast and north until it intercepted 


THE YEAK 1867 

the road from Janesville to Shaffer's, then ran northeast until 
within two and one half miles of the Shaffer ranch, and then 
north the rest of the way. At the same meeting of the Board 
James Ford was allowed $1000 to aid in building the Honey Lake 
and Indian valley Wagon Road via Light's Canyon and Gold 
Run. This road was accepted on the seventh of September. 

An election for state and county officers was held on Septem- 
ber the fourth — 285 votes cast. The following is the result of 
the election : Joint Member of the Assembly, John R. Buckbee ; 
Sheriff, Thomas N. Long; County Clerk, A. A. Smith; County 
Treasurer, John R. Lockwood; District Attorney, I. N. Roop; 
County Surveyor, E. R. Nichols; Coroner, Z. N. Spalding; 
County Assessor, Smith J. Hill. Constables. Susanville, 0. 
Cogswell and Ladue Vary; Janesville, J. H. Breed and Hiram 
Winchell ; Long Valley, J. N. Woods. Supervisor, District No. 1, 
E. D. Bowman. 

The following is the result of the Special Judicial election 
held October 16th : County Judge, A. T. Bruce. Justices of the 
Peace. Susanville, J. Smith and J. Drake; Janesville, Abner 
McMurphy and Sylvanus Conkey. September seventh E. R. 
Nichols resigned his office as County Surveyor. 

Indian Troubles. 1867 

In a small way the Indians kept up their depredations this 
year. They stole a few head of stock occasionally from travelers 
and from the ranchers and off the ranges. They prowled around 
the stations on the'Humboldt and Idaho roads, once in a while 
attacking, and sometimes killing a lone traveler or teamster. 

Gaddy Shot at by an Indian 

About the middle of February Collins Gaddy was coming in 
from the Black Rock mines with a two-horse team. When near 
Stovepipe Springs he came to a little stream of water where 
there Was a high ledge of rocks close to the road. He was walking 
beside the wagon on the side next to the ledge, and when he 
reached the creek he sprang over it. Just as he did this an 
Indian who was hidden in the rocks fired at him. That spring 
saved his life, for the bullet went behind him and went through 
the bed of the wagon, killing a puppy that he was taking home. 
Gaddy said that when he heard the shot he looked in that direc- 



tion and the Indian was so close he could have shot his eye out 
with a pistol. But he had no weapon, so he ran around the hind 
end of the wagon and when he got to the other side threw him- 
self over into it and lay down. He then yelled to the horses, and 
not having any load, they soon carried him out of danger. It 
seems queer that a man should be so foolhardy as to start out on 
a journey through a country infested with hostile Indians with- 
out taking some kind of a weapon. The fool-killer was likely to 
get him if the Indians didn 't. 

About this time the Indians drove off cattle from Mud 
Meadows and Deep Hole springs. A band of them was seen 
prowling around Mud flat, and one of a scouting party of sol- 
diers was shot while on guard not far from Summit lake. 

Old Winnemucca Pays Susanville Another Visit 

Told by the "Sage Brush," John J. Mcllroy, A. L. Harper, 
Mrs. A. T. Arnold, A. E. De Forest, I. N. Jones, C. E. Hurlbut, 
and T. J. Lomas. 

The following is from the "Sage Brush" of August 17, 1867, 
and gives an account of Winnemucca 's visit to Honey Lake. 
"This noted chief of the Piute tribe of Indians, having their 
headquarters on the Indian reservation at Pyramid lake, made 
Susanville a visit on Tuesday last. He came with letters pur- 
porting to have been written by the Indian Agent at their reser- 
vation and others of Washoe and vicinity. He brought with him 
some fifteen warriors whom he stationed about two miles from 
the town to await the result of a conference with the citizens of 
Susanville, wishing to gain permission to proceed into the 
adjacent hills of the surrounding country for the ostensible pur- 
pose of hunting. A letter written by Mr. Alvaro Evans of Long 
valley to Governor Roop urged the granting of the passport. 
The citizens of Honey Lake valley have suffered much from the 
ravages of the Piutes, and having declared eternal war against 
them, became considerably excited at their presence, and set 
about making immediate preparations for 'taking them in.' In 
less than half an hour some eight of the citizens of the valley 
were in their saddles, armed with Henry carbines, and with 
swift pace crowding down upon the band. The Indians took 
the alarm at the first sound of the tocsin, and succeeded in gain- 
ing the foothills before the war party could reach them. They 



passed into the timber on the mountains to the north of town, 
and were thereby enabled to elude their pursuers. Winnemucca, 
being personally known to several of our citizens as an 'honor- 
able' Indian, was removed to the jail for safe keeping. 

' ' The Agent at Pyramid lake and all others whom it may con- 
cern, should be cautious about the sending in of their pet Indians 
into this locality. Enough has been said to satisfy outsiders what 
course the people here are liable to pursue. No Piute can under 
any circumstances be allowed to remain among us. What the 
object of the Indians was we are left to surmise. They have no 
love for Honey Lakers, and may be the advance guard of a large 
marauding party, seeking lodgement upon the Ft. Crook and Red 
Bluff routes of travel. ' ' 

The foregoing quotation tells briefly a part of what occurred 
during this visit. In the past years the Indians had caused them 
so much trouble that the Honey Lakers had sworn vengeance. 
Probably the most of these depredations had been committed by 
the Pit Rivers and the renegade Piutes living north of the reser- 
vation, but the Honey Lakers were in no mood to discriminate 
and it was not safe for any Piute to come into the settled part 
of the valley. Old Winnemucca wanted to visit his old-time 
friends and he also wanted to hunt around Eagle lake. He was 
smart enough to know the danger, so he got all the papers he 
could, thinking they would serve to protect him. Probably he 
talked to his acquaintances along the road and told them what he 
wanted to do, for it is said that Robert Johnston followed him 
to Susanville to see if he could prevent him from going any fur- 
ther north. William Dow and Tunison were coming from Oregon 
with cattle and Johnston was afraid that the Indians would 
attack them. When he got close to Susanville Winnemucca sent 
his warriors to the edge of the hills a mile or more northeast of 
town, no doubt telling them to be on the lookout for trouble. Tak- 
ing one Indian with him he went on into the town, and having 
found his old friend Governor Roop, he dismounted and entered 
into a conversation with him. When the people of Susanville 
heard that Winnemucca was there a good many of them became 
much excited and a crowd gathered around Roop and the Indians. 
A few of them got their horses and guns and things began to look 
rather dangerous for the redskins. Joe Hale and Hank Wright 
seemed to be the leaders of the crowd and they wanted to take 



the Indians and hang them. Koop told them that he had smoked 1 
the pipe of peace with Winnemucca, that he had many times been 
at the mercy of the chief and the latter had always taken care of 
him, and that they would have to kill him before they hanged \ 
the Indians. Captain Weatherlow, Cap. Hill, John Ward, Cut- 
ler Arnold, and some other prominent men who were old timers, j 
joined Eoop and they kept the crowd back. Just about this time ! 
the Indian who was with Winnemucca and who was still mounted \ 
on his horse, got frightened and started off down the road toward j 
Toadtown with Wright and some others in pursuit. The Indian 
was mounted on a small, beautiful horse that looked like a thor- 
oughbred, and he knew how to ride him. When they got across 
Piute creek Wright, who was in the lead, raised his gun to shoot, j 
As he did this his horse stumbled and gave him a hard fall. De 
Forest thinks that Wright went no further, but Mcllroy says he 
went on to the Dobyns place. The white men went on, some one 
being considerably in the lead. George Funk had stopped his 
team in front of the Dobyns place, about a mile below where the 
road crosses Piute creek. The Indian went past before he had 
time to do more than notice him; and when the white man who 
was following him came along Funk, thinking that it was another 
Indian, almost shot him before he discovered his mistake. Mc- 
llroy says that a small party of soldiers followed close in pur- 
suit of the white men, and that Funk stopped them at a bridge 
near the Dobyns place. He cursed and abused them and said he 
would shoot the first man who crossed it. They all believed him 
and stayed where they were. I. N. Jones, who then lived about a 
mile and a half below Susanville, saw the Indians going toward 
town and expected they would have trouble. A while after they 
passed he hunted up his rifle, and when he heard a horse cross 
the bridge close by on a run he hastily put a cap on his gun and 
ran outside. The Indian was passing the house, running his 
horse easily and keeping just out of gunshot of the man who was 
nearest to him. Jones snapped his gun at him three times, but 
had been loaded a long time and failed to go off. The two went 
on down the road and more men soon followed. When the man 
close to the Indian got down to the Johnston place near the 
gristmill his horse gave out. A horse with a saddle on stood near 
the gate and he took it and went on. At the gristmill the Indian 
took the left hand road and after going a short distance went 


THE YEAR 1867 

into the willows. Thomas J. Lomas came along at that time on 
his way from the Shaffer ranch to town. He saw a man with a 
gun looking through the willows and soon met another man rid- 
ing furiously. They hunted the Indian out of the willows and he 
rode off toward the northeast, keeping just far enough ahead of 
his pursuers to make them think they were going to overtake him. 
"When he reached the hills he let his horse go and left them as 
though they had been on foot. 

A party went after the Indians who stopped northeast of 
town; but they must have taken the alarm when they saw the 
chase going on down the road, for they struck out into the hills 
to the north and were soon out of danger. 

The officer in command of the soldiers talked about shooting 
people who molested the Indians, and this was told to Hale and 
the others as soon as they got back to town. Of course this made 
them feel very hostile toward him and he soon had a row with 
Hale. Some say that Hale met him on the street and insulted 
him shamefully, others that the row took place in the saloon and 
that Hale raised a chair to strike him, but was prevented from 
doing it. The officer went away, but the soldiers and the citizens 
kept on quarreling. The latter asked what was going to be done 
with Winnemucca and were told that they intended to hold him 
as a hostage. Hale said ''Well, why don't he come out and say 
so ? " The officer then came out of the Steward House and lined 
his men up across the street near the Pioneer saloon, and the citi- 
zens, with their rifles in hand, lined up not far away. The officer 
began talking to Hale as if he was a dog, but Joe told him to stop 
that and talk like a gentleman or he would shoot him. This 
brought the officer to his senses and his explanation was made 
without any more trouble. The Honey Lakers were thoroughly 
aroused, and had the soldiers taken any hostile steps, probably 
they would have all been killed. T. J. Lomas heard the conver- 
sation between Hale and the officer. 

Winnemucca was taken into Roop's house for safe keeping. 
Later on, Mrs. A. T. Arnold says, all the men went away and left 
her with a pistol to guard him. While they were gone Hale came 
to the door. She told the chief to go into the bedroom and then 
told Hale to come in at his peril. 

The soldiers stayed in town a few days and then took Winne- 
mucca to Ft. Bidwell, staying one night at the Hurlbut and 



Knudson ranch in Willow Creek valley. It nowhere appears 
that Winnemucca ever visited Susanville again. Perhaps he 
thought he was too popular — his presence attracted the attention 
of too many people. 

The Murder of Charles League 

Told by "The Eastern Slope," Alvaro Evans, Mrs. J. A. 
Forkner, and Mrs. Sarah McClelland. 

In the latter part of October Charles League, a resident of 
Honey Lake valley, hauled a load of freight to Summit lake in 
northwestern Nevada for Griffin and Williams. He arrived at 
his destination in safety, and after unloading his freight, started 
for home. On the evening of the second of November he reached 
the Flowing Springs station where Charles P. McClelland and 
Louis M. Crill were taking care of stage stock for the Chico and 
Idaho line. Robert Elliott stayed there that night, too. During 
the night the dogs barked and made a great deal of fuss as 
though there were Indians around, and the next morning they 
tried to keep League from starting out. Their talk had no effect 
on him and he hitched up his team and took the road to Honey 

After he had gone McClelland went to looking around the 
house and found some arrows that had been shot at the dogs. 
Shortly before this some signal fires had been seen on the moun- 
tain, and all this made them sure that a party of Indians was 
lurking around. It is said that soon after League started Elliott 
saw a smoke in the direction he had gone and called the atten- 
tion of the other men to it. They became alarmed for League's 
safety and McClelland and Crill took their rifles, mounted their 
horses, and followed him. After going about a mile and a half 
they saw five Indians going up the side of the mountain leading 
League 's four horses with their harness on. They followed them 
for some distance, and finding they could not be overtaken, shot 
at them, but were too far away to do any execution. They then 
turned their attention to League and found him lying in the road 
near his wagon. Evidently the Indians had shot him from 
ambush, stripped him of his clothes, and hastily departed. Per- 
haps the smoke was caused by an unsuccessful attempt to set the 
wagon on fire. McClelland then went across the desert to Hardin 
City where Alvaro Evans was building a quartz mill, and told 


THE YEAR 1867 

him what had happened. Evans at once sent a messenger to 
Camp McGary and then sent a spring wagon after League 's body. 
He made a rough coffin and the remains were taken to Honey 

The commanding officer at Camp McGary came with twenty- 
five soldiers, half a dozen men from the camp at Hardin City 
joined them, and they took the trail. They followed it south 
along the summit of the mountain for a part of two days until 
they were north of Wall springs. A snow storm then came on 
and they gave up the pursuit. The newspapers accused the 
Pyramid lake Piutes of committing this murder, but Evans says 
that the Pit Rivers were the guilty ones. 

Indians Killed in Dry Valley 

A week or two after League was killed Alvaro Evans left 
Hardin City and went to his home in the north end of Long val- 
ley. "While on his way there he crossed the trail of some Indians 
near Wall springs, and they were going south toward the Pyra- 
mid Lake reservation. When he got home he sent word to Old 
Winnemucca, with whom he was well acquainted, to come and 
see him right away. When he came Evans told him about the 
murder of League and about the trail toward Pyramid lake, and 
told him to let him know as soon as he learned anything about 
the Indians who made that trail. He also told him that if he 
didn't do something about it, the Honey Lakers would rise and 
clean out the Piute reservation. (Old Winnemucca had good 
cause to hunt up that band of Pit Rivers. Besides the killing of 
League, the occasional depredations of small bands of Pit Rivers 
in the Long valley country were laid to the Piutes. — F.) 

The morning of the last day of November, shortly after 
Alvaro Evans had left home, Winnemucca came to the ranch 
with twelve warriors and said that the Indians who killed League 
were camped in Dry valley about six miles east of the Evans 
ranch, and that if the Evans Boys would arm his men, he would 
go up there and kill them. They gave the Piutes some guns and 
pistols, and Allen Evans, J. N. (Newt.) Evans, Ans. Marsh, Eli- 
jah Miller, and five or six other men living in that part of the 
valley, went along to see the fun. They all started from the 
ranch about two o 'clock the next morning and in an hour reached 
what is called "The Sierra camp." The chief said "Wait till 



daylight. Then we kill them. ' ' About daylight he and his braves 
went up to the camp of the Pit Rivers. "When they got close to 
it an old Indian came out and saw them and ran back and awoke 
the others. They came running out and fired at the Piutes, kill- 
ing one of them, and this had the effect of sending them back to 
the white men for protection. The latter immediately charged 
the Pit Rivers, of whom there were ten bucks and five or six 
squaws and children. They took to the junipers, but the whites 
followed them and killed nine of the bucks and captured the 
squaws and children. The other Indian got away. During the 
fight the horse ridden by Allen Evans was shot through the 
withers a couple of inches below the top, and the whites re- 
ceived no other