Frederick Valentine Meyer
Caroline Louise Notten
1829 - 1916
1841 - 1908
Frederick Valentine Meyer was born on April 17, 1829 in Bremen Germany, An important place since medieval times, Bremen was a free city on Weser River and one of the buisest ports in Europe. The German revolution of 1848 was one of the factors which produced a steady stream of German emigrants to America.
Twenty-two year old Frederick, along with his brother Herman, came by sailing ship around Cape Horn to San Francisco. In spite of sail trouble off the coast of Ireland, the six month long voyage brought the two young men safely to their promised land.
The father of Frederick Valentine and Herman Meyer was John Meyer. Their mothers name is unknown. Herman Meyer worked his way east and eventually settled in Franciscoville, Michigan. Meanwhile, his brother, Frederick left San Francisco and went up the Sacramento Valley, arriving in Shasta County in 1851.
The pioneer worked in mining camps around the county and must have done well enough to have been able to invest in a fair amount of property in the Millville area of the county, some of it along Cow Creek in Eastern Shasta County.
The first record of land purchased by Frederick Valentine Meyer is found in the Shasta County Deed Book C (Page 404) on January 30, 1854, showing the tranfer of one-third part of the Anthony Dutter ranch, situated in a valley northwest of Cow Creek in the Millville area. About a one mile distance from the same creek, it was bounded on the west side by Joseph Worhley, and contained about 104 acres, a house, one-third of the stock, two yokes, oxen, several hogs, wagon and a plow, all for the sum of $700. This indenture listed Frederick's residence as Shasta City.
Meyer bought more property in those flush times. After becoming more established in Shasta County, Frederick at age thirty-one, took time off to travel to Franciscoville, Michigan, to visit his brother Herman. It was Herman Meyer who introduced his brother to nineteen-year old Caroline Louise Notten, who he married there on May 2, 1860.
Caroline was the daughter of John and Dorthea Notten. The newlyweds returned to Shasta County in 1860, to them fourteen children were born. The Meyer ranch and home along Cow Creek in the Millville area, no longer in existence, was a typical two-story pioneer farmhouse with three bedrooms for the girls and a spare bedroom upstairs. The boys slept in a seperate building over the wine cellar. The living room contained an organ, which Caroline bought from a peddler.
Outside the kitchen of the farmhouse was a well, one hundred feet deep. Water was drawn up by hand in a bucket at first, but later they used a pump. In the yard were an orange tree and fig tree; an orchard near the springs contained apricot, plum, apple and pear trees. Two large vineyards were on the property. From the grapes Frederick made wine, some of which he sold.
During the early years, Native American Indians, members of the Achomawi tribe, who mostly lived along the Pitt River, lived in their semi-subterranean houses not far from the Meyer ranch. Here they made their flour from the manzanita berries. Caroline was not afraid of these Indians because she was able to communicate with them by signs, even though they spoke different languages. When the old chief came by, usually on his way to town, or even to the annual 4th of July celebration, he would accept her offer of lunch and hot coffee.
On August 20, 1866, the beginning of a series of tragic events began to unfold just south of Millville, on a ranch owned by the Dersch family, along Bear Creek. Mrs. Dersch and family were attacked by Indians and they murdered her. Then Mrs. Jones was murdered by Indians near Copper City, just north of Jones Valley. After this Caroline would take the children and camp overnight on the hill behind the house when Frederick had to make a two-day business trip to Shasta. They were fearful that unfriendly Indians would discover a woman alone and burn the house.
By 1870 the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, it was a major engineering accomplishment, because of this the Meyer family were able to visit their family in Michigan in 1870, heading down to Sacramento to take the ride. While there one of the fourteen Meyer children were born, who was named Frederick Valentine Meyer Jr.
It was there on the Meyer ranch that Frederick and Caroline Meyer were about to live out the rest of their lives, watching their children grow and marry. Some of their children married into other pioneer families of Shasta County.
Caroline Louise Notten Meyer died on August 27, 1908 in Millville. It was that same year, Frederick Valentine Meyer Sr., started losing his eye sight. By the end of 1908, Frederick was blind in both eyes and was poor in health. Still, he survived another eight years, up until December 31, 1916, when he died.
Both Frederick and Caroline Meyer are buried in the Millville Masonic Cemetery. The Meyer Ranch is a member of the State of California's 100 Year Club, for being in buisness 100 years. Part of the original Meyer Ranch is still in existence today. The descendants of Frederick and Caroline Meyer Sr., still live in present day Shasta County.

Their Children:
Anna (Fred McBroom) b. 1861
Mary Frederick (Frank R. Love) b. 1862
John (Lived 4 Months) b. 1864
Elizabeth (Edward Howell) b. 1866
William Henry b. 1868
Frederick Jr. b. 1870
Herman (Grace Gertrude Gray) b. 1872
Caroline (George Boyle) b. 1875
Adah Julia (William Yank) b. 1877
Charles Edward b. 1879
Olive (J. W. Chatham) b. 1881
Albert b. 1883
Walter b. 1886
Harry b. 1890

Contributed by Jeremy M. Tuggle
Resource "Rooted In Shasta County" by Jeremy M. Tuggle published by Preserving Memories in 2003, 2nd Edition 2004.
A History of Shasta County by Shasta County Book Commission
Shasta Historical Society

Biography Index