Elizabeth "Bessie" McCormick, daughter of John and Nancy Six McCormick, was born in Brown County Illinois, November 22, 1845. In 1849, her father, a tanner, decided to move the family, his wife, two daughters and three sons to California. He brought a supply of boots and shoes and upon arrival in Auburn he built a store. On his second trip to Sacramento for supplies he disappeared and it was assumed that he had drowned since winter creeks were swollen and he didn't swim.

Nancy sold the store and bought a hotel which she sold in 1851 and moved to Coon Creek. The younger children went to school and son William helped on the farm. On December 12, 1852, Nancy married Hiram Green; they had two children.

James Allen Webb left Fairfa, County, Virginia in 1851 with an older brother who died enroute to California; then he was helped by a doctor who was a member of the wagon train. James became a farmer near Coon Creek.

Bessie and James were married May 16, 1862. They had six children:

Sarah - who married Martin J. Peterson
James - who died unmarried at twenty-one
Isabelle - who died at two years of age
Hettie Elizabeth - who married William Alanson Taylor
George Washington - who married Nan Shoup
Laura Belle - who married John F. Shoup

They farmed at Coon Creek for nine years, moved to Paskenta in 1871 and a year later to Bee Creek in the Bald Hills of Shasta County. In 1873, they homesteaded nearby on Roaring River. Six years later, in 1879, James died. Bessie had to support her family and payoff a mortgage, so she raised turkeys which the kids herded on horseback; then they killed, plucked and dressed the turkeys and took them to Cottonwood to ship to market.

Thomas Larkin was born to Irish immigrant parents in New York in 1828. In 1870, he was in Horsetown (mining?), later he had a pack train in Trinity County and wintered his stock in the Ono area.

Bessie and Thomas were married January 20, 1881; they had two children:

Isabelle Avis - who married Fred Long
Emmeline Elizabeth - who died about sixteen years of age

They made their home at what was called the "Old Tom Larkin Place" in the Bald Hills about five miles from Ono. The two-story house was replaced by a smaller house but the lost family records were irreplaceable.

Thomas Larkin died in 1893, but there is no record of his burial. Bessie bought a house on Platina road near Ono; sometimes she ranched with her son, George Washington Webb; for a while her mother lived with her. She attended the 1915 World's Fair in San Francisco. At age seventy-seven, she moved into Redding near her daughters--but still in her own house. November 13, 1931, Bessie died while resting. She asked to be buried at Igo Cemetery so she wouldn't have to choose which husband to be near.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - November 1994

Biography Index