Lassen County Biographies (A-C)

The following biographies were transcribed from Illustrated History of Plumas, Lassen & Sierra Counties, with California from 1513 to 1850 (Fariss and Smith, San Francisco, 1882). The page number of that book on which a person can be found is noted beside his/her name. In cases where, instead of first names, only initials were provided in the book, first and middle names have been provided here (whenever possible) using census records of Lassen County, vital records of Lassen County, and/or other Lassen County historical documents as source material. Known misspellings and typographical errors in the book have been corrected on this page. Corrections to names and errors are { shown in brackets }. Some Plumas County and some Sierra County biographies may be included here.

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A. T. Arnold { Alexander Thrall Arnold } (p. 400)
This gentleman is a native of Delaware County, Ohio, where he was born June 12, 1833. In 1854, he came to California via Panama. He remained a year at Martinez, then went to Marysville, and thence to La Porte, where he engaged in mining, packing, teaming, and butchering until the fall of 1858, when he came to Susanville to live. He was engaged in teaming, and in the boot and shoe business, until 1870, since when he has been engaged in farming and fruit culture. He is a Master Mason, and a member of the A. O. U. W. In politics, he is a republican. December 27, 1864, he married Miss Susan E. Roop { Susan Engle Roop }, daughter of Hon. I. N. Roop { Isaac Newton Roop }, the lady in whose honor the town of Susanville was named. They have been blessed with seven children, five of whom are still spared to them: Susie M., born June 21, 1866; I. N. R., August 22, 1868; A. T., October 12, 1873; Thomas C., December 25, 1874; Dora M., May 13, 1876; Victor, May 24, 1879; Mark E., October 17, 1881. They were all born in Susanville. A. T. died March 1, 1874, and Thomas C., April 17, 1875.

E. G. Bangham { Eber Gaston Bangham } (p. 401)
He was born in Niagara county, New York, January 16, 1834. Three years later the family moved to Calhoun county, Michigan, and settled on a farm. In the spring of 1851 he helped to drive the first band of sheep overland to this state. They belonged to J. P. Long, and of the 1,600, but 800 reached their destination. He stayed in Sonoma county until June, 1852, and then returned east by water. After farming in Michigan until 1859, he crossed the plains again, and settled in Honey Lake valley. He purchased an interest in the Hatch, Dow, & Johnson ranch, and sold it in 1868, when he returned to Michigan. He again came to this county in 1869, and purchased 160 acres of William Dow, five miles east of Susanville, where he still resides. Mr. Bangham is a member of the Susanville commandery. In politics, he is a republican. He has served one term as supervisor, and two as coroner. September 10, 1861, he married Miss Louise Borrette, born in Philadelphia, October 10, 1846. Their family consists of five children: Nettie A., born January 4, 1863; Frank H., July 21, 1867; Addie O., October 4, 1872; Sandusky, July 17, 1875; Ross, September 11, 1879; all in Honey lake valley.

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Thomas Marion Barham (p. 401)
February 8, 1840, Mr. Barham was born in Green county, Missouri. When Thomas was nine years of age his father died. In 1857, the mother removed to California with the family. Thomas lived the first winter in Yuba county, and there bought and worked a farm for six years. In 1864 he moved to this county, settling on the place now owned by P. J. Spoon. Two years later he bought a portion of the Hoffman ranch, and stopped there two years. He then sold out, and bought his present farm of 160 acres, about six miles east of Janesville, to which he added 80 acres more. He is a member of Honey Lake Lodge No. 223, I. O. O. F. Politically, Mr. Barnham is a democrat. May 9, 1878, he married Miss C. O. Lay { Columbia Ophelia Lay }, born in Green county, Missouri, in August, 1850. Of their children, William D., was born March 8, 1879, in Lassen county, California; and Franklin, March 8, 1881, in Green county, Missouri.

Richard D. Bass (p. 505)
He was born in Green county, Kentucky, May 30, 1821. When two years of age his parents removed to Missouri, where he made his home until 1853, when he came to California, overland, with ox-teams, arriving in American valley, Plumas county, August 5 of that year. Mr. Bass remained in the county about three years, mining first on Nelson creek, and afterwards in various portions of the county. In November, 1857, he came to Honey Lake valley, but soon after returned to Plumas: and in May, 1858, removed his family from there to this county, settling in Elysian valley, on the ranch he has ever since owned and occupied of 400 acres, ten miles south-east of Susanville. Is a member of Janesville Lodge, F. & A. M.  In politics, he is democratic. He was married May 13, 1851, to Miss Mary A. Crylon, who was born in England, May 13, 1832. Their children are Julia, born December 29, 1853; Stephen S., born January 9, 1857; John N., born June 1, 1859; William B., born November 28, 1862; Richard Lee, August 2, 1865; Mary, August 25, 1870; Charles R., September 1, 1872; Roland, born March 23, 1875.
 

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John Baxter (p. 401)
A native of Dundee, Scotland, Mr. Baxter was born December 25, 1812. At the age of eighteen he went to sea, which he followed seven years. He navigated the Mississippi two years, and farmed for a time in Texas. He served all through the Mexican war. In April, 1849, he started from San Antonio, Texas, for California, arriving on the Tuolumne in September. He mined on that stream until 1852, and then on the north fork of Feather river, in Plumas county. In the summer of 1852 he went out trading with the emigrants, with Jim Beckwourth, and then ranched in Yuba county until 1857. He then came to Honey Lake valley, and located the ranch on which J. D. Byers now resides. On this he built a log cabin and lived a year, when he traded the property for a mule. Since then he has farmed some, and prospected all over the coast, always making this county his home. He is one of the genuine pioneers of Lassen county. 

J. C. Blake { James C. Blake } (p. 401)
He was born in Virginia, February 14, 1832. In the spring of 1850 he started for California, arriving in Placerville in August. He spent four years in mining, in Trinity, Shasta, and Siskiyou counties. In 1855 he commenced merchandising in Trinity, was burned out the same year, and resumed mining in Shasta county. Three years later he again began merchandising in Shasta county. In 1861 he sold out, and took a stock of goods to Humboldt, Nevada, in 1862, and returned to Shasta. In 1863 he embarked in general teaming, and continued until 1867, when he came to Lassen county and located a farm near the town of Susanville, where he has since resided. In March, 1871, he was appointed justice of the peace, and has since served in that capacity, by election and appointment, his present term expiring in 1883. In politics, he is a democrat. He is a member of Lassen Lodge No. 149, F. & A. M. November 26, 1862, he married Rhoda Armstrong of Shasta county. Their children are William Lee, born April 17, 1864; Addie, March 29, 1872; Maud, September 12, 1876; J. C., Jr., July 29, 1879.

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Jerry Bond (pp. 401-402)
He was born May 27, 1842, in Monroe (now Noble) county, Ohio. He worked on his father’s farm and attended school until he was seventeen years of age, and then went to Brown county, Indiana, and farmed until 1861. He then returned to his old home, and during 1862 was with the government supply train to Tennessee and Mississippi. In the spring of 1863 he went to Boise City, Idaho, and engaged in mining, and teaming until the fall of 1866, having spent the winter of 1864 at the Dalles, and of 1865 at Salem. He then came to Susanville and lived until the fall of 1869, when he located 160 acres of land four miles east of Janesville, where he has since resided. Mr. Bond is a member of Janesville Lodge, F. & A. M., and Honey Lake Lodge, I. O. O. F. He is a democrat in politics. October 24, 1869, he married Miss Mary I. Painter, born in Andrew county, Missouri, August 14, 1852. They have five children: Samuel H., born September 21, 1870; James W., May 1, 1872; Charles S., August 28, 1874; Amy J., February 8, 1878; Wirt D., June 20, 1881.

James Branham (p. 402)
He was born in Callaway county, Missouri, April 2, 1835.  In 1846 his parents emigrated to California, reaching San Jose in December.  James remained there until 1863, when he went to Sonora, Mexico, and engaged in mining six years.  From 1869 to 1873 he was merchandising and farming.  He then came to Susanville, and has lived here ever since.  He mined one year, and then followed surveying until 1879, when he was elected district attorney for three years, on the democratic ticket.  In 1875 he was elected county surveyor, and 1877 a justice of the peace.  In 1881 he opened a jewelry store in Susanville.  He is a member of Lassen Commandery No. 13, K. T.

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Levi Newton Breed (p. 402)
Mr. Breed was born in Manlius, Onondaga county, New York, December 6, 1832. When he was four years old the family removed to Hannibal, in the same state, where he worked on his father’s farm, and attended school until the spring of 1850. He then went to Schuyler county, Illinois, and farmed and went to school two years. In 1853 he came across the plains, and reached Plumas county with four bits in his pocket. He went to San Francisco, where his brother, who was then in the drug business, purchased for him a newspaper route of the Times and Transcript, for $700. Within two months the paper suspended, and the investment was lost. He then mined for a year in Plumas county, then sold goods a year, and in the spring of 1856 opened a trading-post in Honey Lake valley. He continued merchandising until 1859, when he went overland to Frazer river. In the fall of 1860, he returned to Honey Lake valley, and settled on the Epley ranch. A year later he removed to Indian valley, and kept a livery stable for a year. He then came again to this valley, and bought a merchandising business in Janesville, where he has since been in business. He also owns 500 acres of farm land and 500 acres of timber near the town. Mr. Breed was one of the commissioners to organize Lassen county. He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Janesville. In politics, he is a republican. September 21, 1861, he was married to Miss Samantha Blood, born in New York, August 10, 1843. She died August 19, 1867, leaving one son, Frederick Arthur, born July 7, 1862. He was again married May 28, 1870, to Miss Annie J. Blunt, born in Summerset county, Maine, September 20, 1852. They have one daughter, Lillian, born June 24, 1871.

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P. B. Bronson { Perry Birdett Bronson } (p. 506)
He is a son of Marshall and Malita Bronson { Malita (Norton) Bronson }, and was born in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, December 16, 1839. In 1857 he came with his parents via Panama, to California, settling at Rich bar, Plumas county, in May of that year. Here he followed his trade as carpenter until the fall of 1859, when he removed to Long Valley, Lassen county, settling on the Hood place. The next spring he located and settled on a ranch in Beckwourth pass, Plumas county. In 1863 he became justice of the peace, on the republican ticket, of Quartz township in that county, which position he occupied until Lassen county was formed, in 1864, which made him a resident of the latter county. He filled that office in Long valley township, Lassen county, up to 1876. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and of Lake Lodge No. 135, A. O. U. W. In politics, he is a republican. He was married November 18, 1880, to Miss Georgie Glascock { Georgeann Glascock } of Milford, who was born in Missouri, October 11, 1860.

Hon. A. T. Bruce { Alpheus Taggart Bruce } (p. 375)
This gentleman came to Lassen county in 1866, and engaged in the editing of a paper at Susanville. In 1867 he was elected to the county bench to succeed Judge Harrison, and occupied the position two years. He was a young man of considerable ability and of good education.

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James D. Byers (pp. 402-403)
The first sheriff of Lassen county was born near Meadville, Pennsylvania, February 6, 1825. Five years later his father died. His attendance at school amounted to about two years. At the age of thirteen he entered the store of John McFann, Hartstown, Pennsylvania, and remained until 1842, when he accompanied his mother to Licking county, Ohio. He entered the store of John Taylor at Newark, continuing there at intervals for eight years. In the spring of 1848 he was elected constable, at he same time acting as deputy sheriff.  In 1858 he started for California with his elder brother, J. H., reaching Sacramento in July. He opened a store in Rough and Ready, Nevada county. In the spring of 1851 he commenced mining on Hopkins creek, Plumas county, and soon after became one of the 76 locators of the Washington quartz-claim on Eureka mountain. In 1854 he opened the first butcher-shop in Jamison. In the fall of 1855 he was elected on the know-nothing ticket to the office of sheriff of Plumas county. In 1856 he was re-elected on the republican ticket. In the fall of 1858 he came to Honey Lake valley, and bought from Dr. Slater a possessory claim to a section of land on Baxter creek, which he ever since considered his home. He then engaged in the stock business. In 1862 he was appointed a special deputy by Sheriff Pierce of Plumas county, and participated in the events of the Sage-Brush War. He took an active part in Sacramento in having a bill passed to create Lassen county, suggesting the name of the old pioneer himself; and in May, 1864, was elected sheriff of the new county. In 1869 he was the republican nominee for assemblyman, but was defeated by John Lambert. In 1873 he was elected to the same office on the same ticket. In 1868 he was elected supervisor, and served three years. He is now engaged in raising stock and hay, and owns, besides his home farm, 3,000 acres in the Tule Confederacy, and 160 acres of timber near Janesville. Mr. Byers is an unmarried man, thoroughly energetic and enterprising, and of the true pioneer character.

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Dr. M. P. Chamberlin { Dr. Marcus "Mark" P. Chamberlin } (p. 403)
This gentleman was born in Jackson county, Iowa, April 27, 1849. He crossed the plains with his parents in 1852, locating in Oregon. In 1856 the family went from Portland, Oregon, to Plumas county, California on horseback. In 1859 he became a resident of Honey Lake valley. Dr. Chamberlin graduated medicine from the Homeopathic College of Missouri, at St. Louis, in the spring of 1875. While in St. Louis, he married Miss Lizzie Bresnan, January 15, 1873.

Dr. P. Chamberlin { Dr. Philander Chamberlin } (p. 403)
He was born on the fourteenth of January, 1824, in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania. He moved with his parents to Rock Island county, Illinois, in 1833. In 1834 they crossed the Mississippi river into what was then the territory of Wisconsin, and which has since become Scott county, Iowa. Dr. Chamberlin was married in Davenport, Iowa, January 12, 1848, to Miss Mary A. Hill. During the summer he moved back to Jackson county, Iowa. He crossed the plains with his wife and son in 1852, locating in Washington county, Oregon. He moved to Plumas county, California, in the spring of 1855, and became a resident of Honey Lake valley in May, 1859, where he has since resided with his family.

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R. Chamberlin { Reuben Chamberlin } (p. 403)
He was born in Vermont, September 4, 1839. He arrived in San Francisco in February, 1856, from across the Isthmus. For five years he mined in Plumas, Placer, and Siskiyou counties, and for the next eighteen engaged in teaming from Sacramento and Washoe to Virginia City, and in the lumber regions about Washoe and Truckee. In 1878 he bought his ranch of 160 acres, fifteen miles south of Milford in Long valley, which is now known as Chamberlin Station. Politically, he is a republican. October 14, 1874, he married Miss Fannie Robinson { Frances Ann Robinson }, born in Manchester, England, March 10, 1857. Their children are George R., born May 29, 1875; Josephine, December 13, 1876; Fred H., September 29, 1877; Dora B., June 9, 1881.

Hon. John S. Chapman (p. 375)
Judge Chapman came from Arkansas to Honey Lake valley in 1859. In 1866 he was appointed deputy county clerk, in which position he continued three years, devoting his leisure hours to the study of the law. In 1869 he was chosen county judge on the democratic ticket, and the following year was admitted to the bar of the district court. In 1872, the judicial salary being too small to warrant him retaining his position, he resigned and began the regular practice of his profession at the bar. He was a diligent student, and soon became quite profound in legal lore. Desiring to widen his field of practice, he removed to Los Angeles in 1879, where his ability has won him success in his practice before the higher courts.

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Nicholas Clark (p. 506)
He is the son of William and Rachel (Ward) Clark, and was born in Petersham, Massachusetts, August 10, 1816. Mr. Clark first came to California in 1846, but went back the next year. In 1853 he returned to this state and located on his present ranch in Lassen county. He was one of the party who in 1847 went to the relief of the Donner party. Mr. Clark is one of the pioneers of Lassen county, and by his perseverance, industry, and integrity, has not only gained the respect of his neighbors, but a goodly allowance of this world’s good. A view of his beautiful residence may be seen on another page.

Amos Conkey (p. 501)
Mr. Conkey is the son of Sylvanus and Elizabeth Conkey, and was born in Alleghany county, New York, June 4, 1831. While young, his parents removed to Ashtabula county, Ohio, where they remained two years, and again to Jacksonville, Pennsylvania, where they resided until 1843, when they went to Green county, Wisconsin, and remained ten years. In the spring of 1853 he, with his parents, came overland to California, arriving in Sierra county in October of that year. His parents engaged in the hotel business, and Amos went to mining. In June, 1857, he, with his father, came to Lassen county, and made the original location of 320 acres of land, eight miles south-east of Susanville, on which Amos has since lived. His father remained here until his death, in April, 1879. Since living in Lassen county Mr. Conkey has been principally engaged in farming.  He was married February 19, 1863, to Miss Eliza J. Bryant of Green county, Wisconsin, who was born in Monroe county, Illinois, June 9, 1836. To them have been born eight children; May, born May 9, 1864; Ira M., and Ida M., September 15, 1865; Ellen Blanch and Alice Maud, September 15, 1869; Jesse B., July 29, 1873. Earl Arthur, January 22, 1878; and Clarice Sybil, March 19, 1881—of which the following are deceased: Ida M., died May 7, 1869; May, December 8, 1879; Earl Arthur, December 22, 1879; and Jesse, December 26, 1879.

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Hon. William H. Crane (pp. 403-404)
Senator Crane was born at Mount Morris, Livingston county, New York, June 22, 1838. His father, James Crane, was a farmer, and William worked on the farm and attended the district school until he was fifteen, when he entered the Genesee Wesleyan Institute, and continued about two years. In 1855 he went to Cass county, Michigan, where he engaged in carpentering and teaching until the spring of 1858, when he started west. On reaching the Missouri river he felt a prompting to take a hand in the Mormon war, and headed for Utah, arriving after the difficulty had been adjusted. He then pushed on to California, and arrived in Susanville, October 10, 1858. He worked at carpentering until 1866, then went into Bowman & Lockwood’s store as accountant, continuing there and in other establishments. In 1871 he went into the U. S. land office, just then established, and from that time has transacted most of the business of that office. In June, 1880, he was appointed register. In 1871 he was elected county treasurer, and held the office three terms. In 1877 he was elected to represent Butte, Plumas, and Lassen counties in the senate, on the republican ticket. Mr. Crane is a man in whom his constituents and friends repose the utmost confidence. He is a member of the Masonic lodge chapter, and commandery, and of the A. O. U. W., at Susanville. August 18, 1868, he married Miss Marcelin Wedekind, of Chico, born in Iowa, May 9, 1849. Their children are: Paul, born July 29, 1869; Myrtle, February 18, 1873; Ollie, April 22, 1875. 

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