Charles Keir McElwee, a native son of the Golden West, and a prominent business man of the city of Redding, Shasta County, was born October 21, 1856, in the first brick building erected in the city of San Francisco, on Commercial street, below Montgomery. His father, John V. McElwee, was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, born in 1821, and his grandfather, Charles McElwee, came from Scotland before the Revolution, and was a participant in that war. The father married Mary Scott, a native of Nova Scotia, whose ancestors settled in Boston before the Revolution, but remained loyal to the King, and escaped to Nova Scotia, where they resided for many years. Mr. and Mrs. McElwee were the parents of five children, all of whom are living. Their father came to California in 1850, tried mining at first, and then settled on a fine ranch below Sacramento on the river. A flood came soon afterward and drove them out, and they went to San Francisco, where he engaged in the furniture business, which had been his occupation in the East. This trade he carried on successfully until his death, which occurred in 1882. He was a good citizen and a thorough business man; his wife still survives him.

Charles McElwee, the subject of this sketch, was educated at the Lincoln School in San Francisco, and learned the upholstering trade. He started out for himself in that business in 1874, in San Francisco, and after a year removed to Seattle, but concluding not to locate there he returned to San Francisco, where he remained until 1888. He then learned that there was a good opening for business at Redding, and he accordingly engaged in business in this city, in partnership with Herbert Moody. They have a fine store, 50 x 80 feet, and a shop 25 x 40 feet, which is the first and only store in the city, and they enjoy a nice trade, their customers coming to them from 250 milesí distance. Mr. McElwee has purchased his partnersí interest, and is now the sole proprietor. He is also interested in town property in Redding.

He was married to Miss Jennie Gould, a native of Boston, and daughter of Governor Gould, and is of Scotch ancestry. Mr. McElwee is a Native Son of the Golden West; and Odd Fellow; and a member of the Order of Red Men. His political views are Republican, with strong American tendencies. He is a man of good business ability.

Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891

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