The Mullen Family came from Ireland to Wisconsin, and to California in 1852. The youngest, the twins, Thomas and James were two and one-half years old when John and Margaret Mullen brought their eight children to Shasta County. John and the older boys thought of themselves as miners, but Margaret started buying land in what was originally the Reading Grant. The size of the Ranch varied with the family fortunes and the sons drifted into other occupations and back to farming, but the original homestead, on Olney Creek, remained in the family until 1940.
Thomas and James were involved in various projects with their brothers but Thomas moved his family to Lassen County for four years, before bringing his family, to live with his mother on the family ranch. This allowed James time to establish his feed store in Redding.
James married Margery Emmaline Smith, who was born November 15, 1850, in Illinois. She was the daughter of Joseph Smith who had brought his family to Shasta County. They first lived at Shasta, then stayed with his mother for a while and finally, moved to Redding where James opened a feed store and livery stable.
Source: Shasta Historical Society