Adolphus Bystle, later known as Adolph, was born June 18, 1869 in Old Shasta. His father, Daniel Potter Bystle, had lost his first wife in childbirth and his mother, Amelia Heffelfinger Bystle brought her two children, William and Louise, to Shasta after the death of her first husband. Adolph was the third child of this marriage.

Adolph learned carpentry and cabinet making from his father who had a furniture store in Shasta. His father, also, taught him to love hunting and fishing. When the County Seat moved to Redding, so did the Bystle family.

Lottie Elma Bidwell was born April 21, 1872 in Millville. She was the first of eleven children born to William James and Mary Ann Harrington Bidwell. The family moved to Burney where William and his brother Christopher bought a store. In 1888, the two families moved to Rising River and later to a ranch on Hat Creek where some of the family still reside. There was a strong work ethic and all the girls prepared to become teachers.

It's possible Lottie Elma had some tutoring before she took the tests for her teaching credential in Redding, but teachers usually had nine years in the local one or two room school plus their own level of curiosity to prepare them for the classroom. It's not known how they met, but Adolph rode his bicycle from Redding to Centerville School (Placer Road and Texas Springs Road) to do his courting.

Adolph and Lottie Elma were married December 13, 1893, at the Bidwell home in Cassel. Adolph built their home, which still stands at 1218 West Street. Behind his house, he built a large workshop where he carried on his business of building wagons.

He soon became convinced that trucks and automobiles were the future of transportation. He secured an early Ford Motorcar franchise with a shop on Market Street. Sometime later he had a dispute with Ford Motor Co. over their demand that he sell his share of last year's models before he could receive the new models; he was through with Ford.

Adolph returned to his shop to do automotive maintenance work. This work was necessary because many of the early automobiles did not have local dealers or the company went out of business and parts had to be custom made. His shop was successful enough to afford continued support of automobiles with his investments, such as the Dobel Steam Car. Adolph, also, staked miners and he lost money investing in rice land near Willows.

Adolph and Lottie had one son, William Adolph who never outgrew his nickname, "Babe". In the 1920s, Adolph helped Babe build a house for his wife and two children, Bill and Barbara and in the 1930s, Lottie and Adolph helped Babe provide family love and support through the children's teenage years. This was not new for Lottie Elma; the oldest child always helps the younger ones and Lottie Elma had a helping hand.

As Babe took over in the shop, Adolph spent his time with the Masonic Lodge or yarning on the front porch. Adolph died June 20, 1939, two days after his seventieth birthday. Lotttie Elma died May 26, 1943 and was laid to rest beside Adolph in the Redding Cemetery.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

Biography Index