Humboldt County, California

Obituaries & Vital Records




  Humboldt County, California

Obituaries 1854 - 1899

Compiled by: Marilyn Keach Milota

Humboldt County Genealogical Society
Eureka, California

August 1997

[Explanation below was copied from the beginning of the Book]

The Index for the above book can be found here:

These obituaries and death notices were compiled mostly from the newspapers listed below which were printed in Humboldt County.  These newspapers are available in the reference department on microfilm located in the Humboldt County Library, Eureka, California.

If only the month item appeared is noted, try looking some time after the date of death.  Items concerning a person's death may also appear in other newspapers than those noted.

The abbreviation for the newspaper or newspapers in which the item appeared is as follows along with the earliest available date of the newspaper on microfilm.

  • AU = Arcata Union, Published at Arcata, 1886

  • DS = Daily Humboldt Standard, Published at Eureka, April 1876

  • DT = Daily Humboldt Times, Published at Eureka, January 1874

  • ET = Eureka Telephone, Published at Eureka, December 1881

  • FE = Ferndale Enterprise, Published at Ferndale, May 1878

  • WT = Weekly Humboldt Times, Published at Eureka, September 1854

  • This is a great resource, Alpha letters A > L have been scanned and added to this Site. The LDS are aggressively scanning all of thier books, eventually the Humboldt Obituary Series will be online.

The files can be found in the following directories and are named according to Alpha Letter and Page Number [ie: File-A-002 = Page 2]

Files: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K & L


Obituary Lookups

 Humboldt Beacon: 2006 > Current 

Eureka Times-Standard: 2001 > Current

Obituary Lookups only for the dates listed above: Genealogy Bank does not have the earlier Newspapers, but if your folks lived in other States, there might be an obit or death notice located elsewhere.

Send Query to Martha

Include Date of Death, if it is not, the query will be deleted

As of 26 March 2014, The Social Security Death Master File will not be available until 2017.


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Notes from the Files of J D Saunders
Article taken from the front page of the Saturday, September 5, 1908 edition of the Arcata Union published in Arcata, Humboldt County, CA, USA:
Crushed By Engine Tender -- Thad McCutcheon Meets Tragic Death -- On Monday, Aug. 31st, shortly before noon, the news was telephoned to Arcata that Thad McCutcheon, a well known young man of this town had been hurt near Vances Camp 13, by being crushed beneath the tender of the engine, and as soon as possible Dr. McKinnon and Miss I. Connick, his nurse, were speeding towards Essex in an auto to meet a special train which was to bear them to the scene of the sad happening.  Upon their arrival the terribly injured man was made as comfortable as possible, and was brought to Arcata by train, and taken to the Trinity Hospital.  An examination of his terrible injuries showed that he was fatally hurt, and he gradually sank until shortly after six o'clock, when he passed peacefully away.  He was conscious up to within a few minutes of the end, and showed remarkable fortitude and cheerfulness in the midst of his keen suffering.  It appears that McCutcheon, who was working as a brakeman on the train, was riding on the front of the tender, and was standing on the "running board," a narrow shelf extending across the front of the tender.  While the engine was running at a good speed, then tender jumped the track, and before the unfortunate young man had a chance to jump, he was thrown off the tender and dragged under it.  He retained his hold upon the running board and an iron rod attached to the tender, and in his position was dragged for several yards over the ties before the engine could be stopped.  As there was only a few inches of space between the tender and the ties, his lower limbs were fairly ground to a pulp, and his hips were also crushed.  He was also internally injured, and death was caused by shock and internal hemorrhage.  So tightly was he pinned beneath the tender, that the ties had to be cut away under him, and several experienced men working with jack screws, had a hard task to raise the heavy tender sufficiently high to remove the mangled body.   Thad McCutcheon was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. McCutcheon, former residents of Arcata, and was born in Portland [sic] 31 years ago.  He has lived in Arcata most of his lifetime, and worked most of the time at the butcher business, driving wagon for J. C. Bull Co., and working in the shop.  He was probably as well known and liked as any young man in northern Humboldt, and the expressions of regret at his untimely and terrible death have been many and sincere.  Thad was a universal favorite, and his happy disposition and genial manner, made him a favorite with all, both old and young.  He had only been on the train a few weeks, having given up his position with the J. C. Bull Co. quite recently.   The funeral will be held from the residence of Mrs. J. G. Chapman on 10th street between I and J, Sunday, September 6th at 2 p.m., Reverend C. P. Hessel to officiate.  Telegrams have been received from his mother, Mr. [sic] J. W. McCutcheon and sister, Miss Eva McCutcheon, of Bellingham, announcing that they would arrive on the Elder today.  The body has been lying at the J. G. Dolson Undertaking Parlors since Monday evening, and many sorrowing friends have called to have a last look at the dead face.
Notes: HIs full name was Thaddius Herbert McCutchan.  The first name was sometimes spelled differently, and the spelling of the last name was changed by his father James William McCutchan.  His mother Rosha Verda Hall, and his siblings were Edward Orville McCutchan, Eva May McCutchan, and Barclay Clifford McCutchan.  His grandparents were William "Big Bill" and Amanda (Henderson) McCutchen of the Donner Party.
 Obituary from the August 4, 1906 edition of the Blue Lake Advocate, Blue Lake, Humboldt County, CA, USA:
Passed To The Great Beyond - Temple Greenwood Joins the Silent Majority
Last Monday evening, Temple H. Greenwood, the esteemed son of Constable J. C. Greenwood and wife, passed to the great beyond as an ultimate result of that dread disease consumption.  The young man returned to his home some six months ago from the State of Washington, where he followed his profession of shingle sawyer and packer.  There he contracted what is termed cedar asthma, affecting his throat and lungs.  He came here to get some relief, but his case grew gradually worse despite all the best medical treatment possible, and death came as a relief to his suffering.  Deceased was born in Arcata on September 19, 1876, and came to Blue Lake with his parents when only three or four years old, which place he always claimed as his home.  Temple was an intelligent and honest young man and possessed many warm friends who sympathize with his heart-broken parents in their sad affliction.   The funeral took place from the Presbyterian church Wednesday afternoon and was largely attended, interment being in the Blue Lake cemetery.
Note: His full name was Temple Harrison Greenwood.

Source: Eureka Humboldt Standard Newspaper, February 11, 1966, page 11

Joseph C. Cummings

 Joseph C. Cummings, 76, a Humboldt County auditor-controller for 28 years, died Wednesday at Eureka General Hospital where he had been under treatment following a stroke. A native Humboldter, Cummings left county service Jan. 7, 1963.  Born in Bayside Feb. 2, 1890, Cummings was educated at the old Bald Mountain School and the old Eureka Business College.  He worked as a bookkeeper with the Northern Redwood Lumber Co. in Korbel, now owned by Simpson Timber Co., before being hired as a deputy county auditor in 1936. Cummings was elected auditor in 1954 and was re-elected for a second four-year term. During his second term the title of controller was added to that of auditor.

 County Clerk Fred J. Moore eulogized Cummings as a "sincere, dedicated public official" who was "highly respected by all who knew him."  "He had been quite progressive in his office as the county expanded from a population of under 40,000 in 1940 to a population of over 105,000 in 1962," Moore said.  Long active in civic and fraternal organizations, Cummings was a member of the Arcata Lodge, F&AM, #106, was Knight Commander of the court of Honor, Scottish Rite Consistory, was secretary of the Redwood Scottish Club of Northwestern California for 27 years, was a member of the Aahmens Shrine Temple of Oakland, and the Redwood Shrine Club of Eureka, and the Eureka Kiwanis Club.  

Cummings is survived by his widow, Mrs. Eleanor M. Cummings of Eureka; a daughter, Mrs. Eugene (Roseann) Wright of Eureka; a son, Jay Cleve Cummings of Sacramento; a brother, John Cummings of San Francisco; five grandchildren and two nephews. Funeral services will be held at the Pierce Mortuary Chapel at 707 H. Street in Eureka at 3 p.m. Saturday, under the auspices of Arcata Lodge F.&A.M. No. 106, with private interment to follow at Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka. The Rev. James Brown of Eureka will conduct services.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []

Source: Eureka Humboldt Standard Newspaper, February 11, 1966, page 14

Deaths and Funerals

Cummings, Joseph Charles—February 10, 1966, 2612 I Street, Eureka. Husband of Eleanor M. Cummings of Eureka. Father of Mrs. Eugene (Roseann) Wright of Elk River Road, J. Cleve Cummings of Sacramento, Grandfather of Linda, Mickey, and Charles Wright of Eureka, Joan and Jackie Cummings of Sacramento. Brother of John Cummings of San Francisco. He is survived by two nephews. A Native of Bayside, Age 77. Services will be held at Pierce Mortuary Chapel Saturday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. under the auspices of Arcata Lodge F. and A. M. No. 106, with the Rev. James M. Brown officiating. Pallbearers Samuel Beer, LaMone Call, James Morton, Jr., Wayne C. Graham, Robert O. Bishop, Clifford C. Coppin. Private Interment at Ocean View Cemetery.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []

Notes from the Files of J D Saunders
Obituary taken from the Saturday, November 7, 1908 edition of the Blue Lake
Advocate, Blue Lake, Humboldt County, CA, USA:
James Greenwood Kills Himself - Tired of Living He Ended His Life with a Pistol - Was a California Pioneer of 1848 - Was Constable of This Township for Many Years - Funeral To-Day
Being tired of living and brooding considerably over family and financial matters, James C. Greenwood, who for a number of years has acted as Constable of Mad River Township, ended his life with a 38-colt revolver last Thursday afternoon at about 4 o'clock.  He was alone in his room, sitting on his bed, when he fired the fatal shot into his body.  The shot was heard by Mrs. C. Boydstun, who resides across the street from Mr. Greenwood's place, and gave the alarm.  Justice of the Peace J. E. Merriam, Dr. C. N. Mooney and a number of others rushed to the scene of the tragedy and found Greenwood sitting on his bed with a pistol in his hand.  He then told them that he had made a bad job of it.  Dr. Mooney then undressed the man and found the bullet sticking out through the flesh in the back, the bullet having entered one-half inch below the heart travelling through the body and perforating the base of his left lung.  He was made as comfortable as possible and knew every one until a short time before he died, about twelve o'clock Thursday night.    John G. Dolson, the undertaker of Arcata, was notified and came after the body, which he removed to his undertaking parlors.   James C. Greenwood was a native of Missouri, aged 66 years, and he leaves only one daughter to mourn his loss.  Deceased was one of the earliest pioneers of California, having come here in 1848 with his father and brothers.  They then resided in Lake county and afterward in Mendocino county at a place named Greenwood, which town was named after his father.  He then moved to Humboldt, residing first at Arcata and afterward to Blue Lake, which place he has made his home ever since.  He had been in different lines of business here some years ago, but having met with adversities he had to quit.  Of late years he acted as constable of Mad River Township, which office he held at the time of his death.  Deceased possessed many good traits of character and his life was a rather historic one.   The funeral will take place this (Saturday) afternoon a 2 o'clock from Justice of the Peace J. E. Merriam's office in town, where the remains can be seen.  The services will be conducted at the grave in Blue Lake Cemetery.
Note: His father was the famous mountain man and guide Caleb Greenwood.  He and his wife had five children, four of which had died before James.  The town of Greenwood in El Dorado County was named for James' eldest brother John Greenwood. The town of Greenwood (now Elk) in Mendocino County was named for James and three of his brothers that settled there, not for their father.


  Obituary from the October 11, 1902 edition of the Blue Lake Advocate, Blue Lake, Humboldt County, CA, USA:
Death of Karl Greenwood - Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Greenwood returned to Blue Lake Thursday morning, bringing with them the remains of their beloved son, Karl, who died last Saturday morning at the home of his grandparents, Dr. W. Y. Fickle and wife, near Templeton, San Luis Obispo Co.  The young man was born and reared in Blue Lake and was an exemplary young man in every respect, being industrious, honest, kind and obliging, and his untimely death will be greatly regretted by his numerous friends.  Deceased was 23 years, 3 months and 27 days old, and had been ill for a few months past with the dread disease consumption, from which ravages he fell a victim.   The funeral took place yesterday from the Blue Lake Presbyterian church, Rev. J. S. Todd officiating, and was largely attended.
Note: His full name was James Karl Greenwood.

Source: The Times-Standard, Sunday, June 27, 1971, page 25

CUMMINGS, ELEANOR MARIAN. June 25, 1971. Resident of 5870 Elk River Rd. Widow of Joseph Cummings, who was auditor of Humboldt County for many years. Mother of J. Cleve Cummings of Sacramento and Mrs. Eugene (Rose Ann) [sic] Wright of Eureka. Grandmother of Jackie Cummings and Joanie Cummings of Sacramento, Mrs. Derek (Linda) Skaife of Davis, Mrs. Jack (Mickey) Harris of Eureka and Charles Wright of Eureka. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. A native of Blue Lake, she had lived in Humboldt county all her life. Aged 81 years. She was a member of Camellia Chapter OES and the Women’s Benefit Assn. Services have been arranged for Tuesday, June 29 at 3 p.m. at the Chapel of Pierce Mortuary, the Rev. James M. Brown officiating. Pallbearers will be Jerry Hunter, Robert Christiansen, George Jicha, Vencel Jicha, Dino Mori and John Nelson. Interment will follow at Ocean View Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Heart Fund.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []



Source: The Humboldt Times, Sunday, August 6, 1893

Source location: Humboldt County Library, Eureka California


ANDRAIN—In Arcata, August 4, 1893, John Andrain, a native of Sweden, aged 39 years, 11 months and 1 day.

Funeral under the auspices of Anniversary Lodge, IOOF, from Presbyterian Church, Arcata, at 11 a m Monday.


Source: The Humboldt Times, Wednesday, August 9, 1893

Source location: Humboldt County Library, Eureka California

Funeral of John Andrain

The funeral of John A. Andrain, for many years a resident of Arcata, employed by A Brizard as a clerk in his store, took place in Arcata Monday afternoon. The services were held in the Presbyterian church by the Rev. J. S. Todd, assisted by a choir, and were largely attended. The Knights of Pythias and the Odd Fellows attended in a body, adorned with the regalia of their order, the obsequies of their fellow crafsman [sic], and the presence of a large number of friends attested the esteem in which the deceased was generally held. The casket was almost covered by the numerous floral offerings sent as a tribute of friendship and respect by those who knew him best in life. Rev. J.S. Todd paid a glowing tribute to the worth of the deceased, reviewing his life history from his early hours in Sweden to the years spent in active labor in Arcata. The pall bearers consisted of two delegates from each of the fraternal orders of which the deceased was a member; from the Odd Fellow, Chas Harpst and George Marken; from the Knights of Pythias, Joseph Johnson and G. Alden; from the Ancient Order of Workmen, S. Meyers and Peter Anderson.


The body was laid to rest in the plot of the Knights of Pythias in Arcata Cemetery. A wife and child survive the deceased and have the sympathy of the entire community in their great affliction. The store of A Brizzard was closed during the day as a mark of respect and affection for his former employee, who had been associated with him for nine years.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []



Source: Daily Humboldt Standard, September 16, 1910


Death of Former Humboldt Lady

Mrs. H. Henry received a telegram last Saturday afternoon from Burlingame, San Mateo County, announcing the death there that day of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Ella Andrain, a former Humboldt lady. Mrs. Andrain was the wife of Johnny Andrain, deceased, who preceded her some 17 years ago. The family at that time were [sic] residents of Arcata and after the death of her husband, the mother, with her young daughter, moved to San Mateo to make their home with the parents of Mrs. Andrain, and with them they have since resided. The news of her death came as a great surprise to her many friends here.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []


Source: Arcata Union, January 13, 1927


Jacob E. Myers passed away at his home in Blue Lake Sun­day morning following a long illness. Deceased was born in Iowa, on July 28, 1852 and when a small boy, his parents moved to Trinity county, California, where they resided for a few years, when they moved to Garberville. About forty-one years ago, Mr. Myers was mar­ried to Miss Nellie Davis, who survives. Leaving Garberville they moved to Blue Lake about twenty-eight years ago. Besides the widow two daughters are 1eft. Mrs. William Fell of Eu­reka and Mrs. J. C. Cummings of, Korbel, the other daughter passing away a few years ago. The funeral was held at the Presbyterian church in Blue Lake Tuesday afternoon, at 2 o'clock, Rev. S. C. Gilman' conducting the services. Interment in Blue Lake cemetery where the services were concluded under the auspices of Blue Lake Camp 704, W. O. W. of which the deceased had long been a member.

 Source: Unknown Humboldt County, California newspaper, January 14, 1927


BLUE LAKE, Jan. 13.—The funeral of Jacob Emmer Meyers who died at his home here Sunday morning at ten o’clock, was held Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock from the Blue Lake Presbyterian Church with Reverend Samuel C. Gilman conducting the religious service.

 Mrs. R. A. Crosby and Mrs. S. C. Gilman assisted with the service by singing appropriate hymns. The pall bearers were Albian Kempf, Walter Gehrig, Alfred Wilson, Ed. L. Lewis, John Lindstrand and J. A. McPherson. Blue Lake Camp Woodmen of the World, read their ritualistic service at the grave. Many beautiful floral offerings were sent by friends. Interment was made in the Blue Lake cemetery.

 Among those from Eureka who attended the funeral of Jacob E. Meyers in Blue Lake Tuesday afternoon were Mrs. William Berry, Mrs. Robert D. Stock, R. P. Nellist, J. A. Moore and David G. Stewart, Mrs. Eugene Chambrlain [sic] and Mrs. Davidson of Arcata wre [sic] also in attendance.

 Source: Susie baker Foundation Papers, Volume 77 p235; handwritten entry dated January 15, 1927, original source not given


Jacob E. Myers came to Trinity County in 1856.

For 28 years a resident of Blue Lake, dead at his home in this place on Sunday morning, January 9. He was born in Dubuque, Iowa July 23, 1852 and was 74 years 5 months and 17 days old. His mother died when he was but four years of age. He came to California with father via Panama. He grew up in the home of a sister living in Trinity County.

He belonged to a group of men, now fast passing away, who were identified with the interesting period in California history. In his young manhood General Sherman placed him in charge of a pack train in Washington Territory during the Indian War and after this he had a pack train of his own out of Garberville in Humboldt County, where he also at one time was justice of the Peace. For a time he owned a ranch there, which he disposed of and moved to Blue Lake with his family. He identified himself actively with the affairs of the community. He served the Board of Trustees of the City and became secretary of Blue Lake Camp 704, Woodmen of the World.

He was married to Millie E. Davis at Eureka, December 1, 1884. Three daughters were born—Saddie, Mary, and Eleanor, two of whom with his wife survive him. Mrs.. W. O. Fell of Eureka & Mrs. J. C. Cummings of Korbel. Also four grandchildren—Mrs. Frank L. Chase of Eureka, Emmer and Mabel McCullough of Blue Lake, Cleve Cummings of Korbel and a great grandchild Richard Chase in Eureka.

Mr. Myers had two brothers and five sisters and was the last to survive in the family. The funeral services held in the Blue lake Presbyterian Church on Tuesday afternoon. Floral tributes were profuse.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []


Source: Death Comes For Bertha Cummings, Humboldt Standard newspaper, Wednesday, February 24, 1937

Death Comes For Bertha Cummings

ARCATA. Feb/ 24/-Mrs. Bertha A. Cummings, wife of the late Joseph P. Cummings, died yesterday afternoon at a hospital in Eureka. She was born October 24, 1859 in Sweden and came to the United States and Arcata when 21 years old. For many years the Cummings family lived on Bald Mountain.

 Surviving Mrs. Cummings are the following: three sons, Joseph and Cleveland Cummings of Eureka, John Cummings of San Francisco; a brother, Charles Andrain of Indianola; four grandchildren and seven nieces and nephews.

Funeral services have been set for 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon at the Blue Lake church with Rev. Samuel C. Gilman officiating. Interment will be in the Blue Lake cemetery under the auspices of the J. A. Todd mortuary.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []



Source: Notes from our Northern Neighbors Across the Bay, Daily Standard (Eureka, California newspaper), 19 Nov 1898

Source location: Humboldt County Library, Eureka, CA

Last Sunday night John, the 12-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cummings, of Bald Mountain, passed away after a very short illness. He died of brain fever. His remains were brought here Tuesday and interred in the Blue Lake cemetery. Quite a number of the neighbors of the bereaved family attended the funeral.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []


Source: Humboldt Standard, Eureka, California, Tuesday, January 8, 1952

Retired Woods Worker Dead

Cleveland Cummings, 60, of Bald Mountain, retired woodsman, died at his home Monday. He was born in Eureka. Survivors include two sons, Donald Cummings of the U. S. Navy and Clyde Cummings of the U. S. Army; brothers, Joe Cummings of Eureka and John Cummings of San Francisco. He was a veteran of World War I. Services are pending at Paul’s chapel in Arcata.

 Source: Humboldt Standard, Eureka, California, Wednesday, January 9, 1952

Source location: Humboldt County Library, Eureka, CA

Cummings Rites Set Thursday

Services for Cleveland Cummings will be held Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Paul’s funeral chapel in Arcata. The Rev. J. Eldon Anderson will officiate and interment will be in Blue Lake cemetery. Pallbearers will be Frank Miller, William Blankenship, Gene Wright and Wilbur DeCarlo.

 Cummings died at his home at Bald Mountain Monday.

Submitted by Linda Skaife 3/2012 []


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