Valentine Doll was
a native of Stupferich, Germany, who was born to Ferdinand and Barbara
Maria Deger Doll Sr.,. Valentine was one of five children born to them.
Two of them, the eldest Ferdinand Jr., and Valentine Doll had dreams of
coming to America.
Both knew how
hideous this trip to America and traveling in America could be. But they
were willing to take a chance in order to live out their childhood dreams.
Their motives for coming in 1849 were to get out of military training in
Germany and get a chance at gold mining. They came to America on a sailing
ship, as everyone did in those days, and were the first of the Doll family
When the siblings
first arrived in America they headed to Pikes Peak, Colorado, seeking their
fortune. When prospects began to look less than promising, they moved on
to California, presumably by wagon. In California, they bought a mine.
They worked the mine and built up a mountain of discarded dirt and rock
near the entrance. Then they sold the mine for either $50 or $150. Word
has it that the new owners soon found the mine to be one of the richest
gold mines in the area, a real Mother Lode. The mountain of dirt which
the Doll brothers had piled near the entrance was rich in ore. The siblings
were looking for yellow gold and had been discarding the white gold in
the vein they were following.
the mine in California, these two brothers went their own ways but stayed
in contact and came back together in Shasta County. Valentine Doll was
first living in the Clear Creek territory of Western Shasta in 1859. The
1860 census shows both brothers listed living in the ramshackle mining
community known as Horsetown, along what is now called Clear Creek Road.
The sibling moved
farther up Clear Creek to the Eagle Creek settlement, which became Ono
in 1883. The Doll siblings had enough money to buy property. Valentine
was attracted to the Ono area by the rolling hills and grassy fields. The
siblings bought the old Pryor ranch at Eagle Creek.
was admitted to citizenship about 1865 in Shasta County. About the time
the brothers settled in, Ferdinand Doll Jr., was well aware that women
were in short supply in Shasta County, and headed back to Stupferich, Germany
to find a bride about 1871. He never returned as his bride talked him into
married on August 27, 1878 to Harriett Emma Schmidt whose surname was americanized
to Smith. She was the daughter of Shasta County pioneers Gottlieb (George)
Kaylor and Elizabeth Lamberson Schmidt. Her family came from Pennsylvania
and arrived in Shasta County by covered wagon before 1860.
was a miner who turned to farming. He was a charter member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, Welcome Lodge #209, who held its first meeting at
Piety Hill, October 1, 1872. Doll was also affiliated with the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South. He was a faithful and devoted officer of the church.
In 1885, Doll
with a man named John Larkin, went into business together. They bought
the butcher shop previously owned by pioneers Dunn & Dack, located
on Maine Street in the town of Shasta. They called it Doll & Larkin
Butcher. Eventually he returned to farming on his Ono ranch on Huling Creek.
was a highly respected citizen of Western Shasta. On Wednesday, March 28,
1906, he died. His funeral was largely attended by many friends and
family. Valentine and Harriett Smith Doll had six children who was educated
at the Ono Schoolhouse. Valentine's wife Harriett died in December of 1918
and is buried next to her husband in the Ono Cemetery.
Valentine Doll still has descendants living here in Shasta County today.
Contributed by Jeremy M. Tuggle
Resource "Rooted In Shasta County" by Jeremy M. Tuggle
published by Preserving Memories in 2003, 2nd Edition 2004.