Roderick McArthur was born February 5, 1885, at the Old Home Ranch in Fall River Valley. His grandfather, John McArthur Sr. brought the family from Scotland to Canada, to Wisconsin and then around the Horn to California. Planning to settle in Oregon, they stopped near Fall River when John Jr.'s wife Catherine became ill. John Jr. formed a family company farming, real estate, development, merchandizing and banking (loaning money on mortgages). Over the years, they bought, traded and foreclosed until at one time they controlled 125 square miles. Roderick was the eleventh child of John Jr. and Catherine Buchanan McArthur.

They had founded the town of McArthur and brother Archibald was managing the company by the time Roderick became active; Arch gave Roderick various jobs but the most demanding, and potentially the most profitable, was draining the Swamp, several hundred acres to which the State would grant title if it were turned into usable farm land.

Roderick wanted to do something else and finally decided to go into business in San Francisco. About a year later Archibald had a fatal accident, but before he died Roderick promised he would look after Arch's wife and daughters, and take over as head of the family company, especially because he knew how to finish the SWAMP project. Nine years later, after Catherine died, the company was dissolved and properties divided.

Anna Vera Albaugh, the second child of William and Wilhelmina Albaugh, pioneers in the Fall River Valley, was born September 21, 1899. She attended local schools and graduated from Heald's Business College in San Jose. On her twenty-second birthday, she married Roderick McArthur and the couple had three children:

John R.
Kenneth A.

Roderick and Anna went to Hawaii on their honeymoon and then to San Francisco where Roderick went into business. Soon he was spending time in Fall River Valley, helping himself and his neighbors on their suits against Pacific Gas and Electric Company which had illegally diverted various streams to their Pitt River Power Stations; he and Anna moved into the big house in McArthur and remained there the rest of his life. It took 18 years but he and the other ranchers received $400,000 from P. G. and E.

Roderick and Anna were active in all community activities, donating money, land (for the hospital and high school) and support for projects ranging from school track meets and church bazaars to the InterMountain Fair which he and a few others organized. He was a Republican appointed by Democratic Governor Olson on the Forestry Board when he had a fatal heart attack August 6, 1944.

Anna continued their tradition of service to the community until 1966 when she went to live in the Bay Area until her death December 19, 1983. Both are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - Feb. 1998

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