John Mullen and Margaret Connors Mullen were natives of Ireland, who were married with three children when they emigrated to the United States in 1836, well before the mass emigration of the "potato famine."
John and Margaret settled in Michigan Territory, which later became Wisconsin. Maybe "settled" is wrong; they bought and sold several pieces of land, had acquired land worth $1288 and five children before they took the Oregon Trail in 1852.
When they arrived in California, John and Margaret bought several parcels of land in the Reading Land Grant near Olney and Clear Creeks, and the family retained a ranch in that area until 1945. Over the years, the various family members bought and sold several pieces of property in that area but kept a basic home ranch in the area. Records indicate Margaret's name was on every piece of property she and John owned though she could read and write little more than her name.
In 1862, John contracted pneumonia after clearing snow off the roof during a blizzard. He died February 12, 1862 and was buried on the ranch. Anna lived on at the ranch.
After John's death Margaret couldn't make the second payment on one parcel of land so the matter was in the courts for years. Family members bought and sold property in Shasta, Tehama and Trinity Counties over the years. When the twins voter registration changed from Texas Springs to Clear Creek, it might indicate population movement as the mines closed down and miners drifted away or it might mean the boys had moved from one piece of property to another.
Son, Tom lived with Margaret even after he was married and cared for her until her death. She had her granddaughters, Olive and Margaret Heivener with her on the 1880 Census. The family returned home to care for her or seeking haven, sometimes both; she was described in family letters as difficult to live with for the last years of her life. She died December 16, 1889. Shortly before her death Margaret signed permission to move John's body, so they are buried together in Old St. Joseph's Cemetery in Redding.
John and Margaret's children:
1 - Lawrence "Larry" b. 1830 came to America at age five and to Shasta County at age twenty two. He farmed, mined, ran a saloon in Tehama County, and with his brother Joe, ran a livery stable in Anderson. In 1876 he married a widow, Mary Elizabeth Davis Garnham who had one son and two daughters; Larry and Mary had a daughter, Lota. In 1882, this family moved to Los Angeles. He returned to the Mullen Ranch after separation from his wife and the death of his daughter. Larry worked as stage driver and watchman before his death at age 64.
2 - Patrick b. 1832 Came to California with the family, then returned to the midwest to be a carpenter for the railroads in Chicago. He married a girl named Elizabeth; they raised four children before her death of pneumonia in 1902. He visited California twice; the last time was in 1911 to show off his new young wife. He died April 16, 1915.
3 - John b. 1835 Came with his parents and lived with Lawrence in Millville. He married Martha Jan Ballard March 24, 1861. They had three children, homesteaded in Tehama County and farmed in Shasta County, just north of Cottonwood Creek before moving to Humboldt County in 1889. He died six years later and was buried in Tehama County.
4 - Mary Ann Mullen, the first American born child, was born in 1837
in Farmington, Michigan Territory; at age sixteen, she came west with the
family. February 5, 1855, she eloped with John Gribbs Heivener, a teamster
who was born in Pennsylvania. Since the family disapproved, this caused
an estrangement. Relations with her family were restored before Mary Ann's
early death; some of the children were with their grandmother or their
uncles for a time when they were young. Some of their descendants still
reside in Shasta County. Mary Ann died February 21, 1876 and John died
in November, 1880. Mary Ann and John had eight children:
|Charles died February, 1, 1880 age twenty-four|
|Julia b. May 1857 m. Isaac Parks, son of a Kit Carson scout|
|John Jr. b February, 1858 m. Georgia Armstrong Lived in Tehama Co.|
|Thomas b. June 1862 lived with John|
|Mary Ann b. 1863 She died as a very young child and Mary Ann lost her namesake.|
|Olive b. June, 1865 m. Joseph Gardiner|
|Margaret "Maggie" b. 1867 Lived with Grandmother Mullen in 1881|
|Catherine b. 1872 Lived with her Uncle John in Tehama County; he submitted a claim against her father's estate for child care.|
5- Joseph b. February 2, 1845 in Grant County, Wisconsin, was either
the fifth or seventh child (Family stories say two children died in infancy
and that one was a twin to one of the children who survived). After his
father's death he became head of the household and he did well
financially; he bought business property in Redding and recovered part of the ranch. At age 33 he married brother Larry's step-daughter and moved to Southern California. He died in Pomona at the age of 88.
6 - Margaret "Maggie" Mullen b. July, 1847 in Grant County, Wisconsin
was five years old when the family came to Shasta County. She attended
Canyon House School and went to San Jose to attend San Jose State Normal
School, as they termed teacher-training schools in California. In 1872,
she married Henry Smith, a native of Australia. They had three children:
|Joseph D. miner and saloon owner b. 1874 m. Kate Monahan d. 1816|
|Henry L. b. 1876, died in a mine cave-in 1901|
|Margaret E. "Nellie" Smith b. 1878 m. Walter Parsons d. 1915|
Sometime after Nellie's birth, Maggie divorced Henry and moved to Grass
Valley. About 1880 she married a miner named Frederick Marsh who had immigrated
from Prussia; they had six children:
|Cora Agnes, seamstress b. 1881 m. Willard Joseph Clark|
|Augusta, teacher b. 1884 m. DeForest Hobson|
|Frederick b. 1886|
|Teresa Ida, teacher b. 1888 m. George Joseph Earl|
|Anna Frances b. December 7, 1890 m Leland Stanford Murray|
|Charles b. 1992 who died in infancy.|
Maggie struggled to raise the other children after her second husband left or was sent away by her sons. She cared about her family and saved letters which tell us much about joys and sorrows of earlier times. She lived with her daughter, Nellie the last six years before her death in 1916.
7 - James was probably the first born of twins b. December 23, 1849
in Smelzer's Grove, Grant County, Wisconsin. He arrived in Shasta County
at the age of three. He attended Canyon House School, but spent more of
his time helping on the family ranch. On -January 1, 1879, he wed Margery
Emeline Smith who was born November 15, 1850, the daughter of Joseph Smith.
The couple had four children:
|Roy Monroe b. June 11, 1879 m. Marie Brouillard Tracey, worked with father in Feed business d. October 14, 1955|
|Jasper b. November 1881, died at age two months of croup|
|Josephine, teacher b. March, 1883 d. June 18, 1950.|
|Chester b. 1886 carpenter, photographer, musician m. Bertha Williams d. May 16, 1958|
James was in a partnership with Thomas and Joseph on a farm abutting
their mothers's, but Joseph went to Pomona. Then James and Thomas divided
the assets: Thomas took the ranch and James took the cattle, as shown by
a bill of sale, dated 1886. This is the same year that his voter
registration shows him as a liveryman instead of farmer as previously. Emeline had lived in California for seventy-two years and at her residence for thirty-four years when she died January 1, 1927 and James had lived in California for seventy-eight years at his death on February 4, 1930.
8 - Thomas, as the second twin b. December 23, 1849 in Smelzer's Grove,
Grant County, Wisconsin was the baby of the family. As was often the case,
he was the one selected to care for his mother and he stayed with or near
her except for a year or two when he moved his family to Big Valley in
Lassen County. He married Anna Burke, daughter of Patrick and Margaret
Burke of Ottawa County Michigan on May 7, 1884. There were family stories
that Thomas wrote to a priest in Michigan saying he wanted to marry a good
Catholic girl. It is more likely that Anna came to California because her
sisters, Mrs. Ben Oliver and Mrs. James McNeill, were already living here.
The young couple honeymooned in San Francisco and returned to live with
Tom's mother on the ranch. They had seven children:
|Margaret Ellena b. March 8, 1885 Became Sister Mary Paul of the Sisters of Mercy d. 1957|
|Honorah Josephine b. October 10, 1886 d. January 27, 1889|
|Thomas Burke b. June 8, 1888 m. Enid Moore d. December 1947|
|Anna Marie b. May 21, 1890 d. March 3, 1925 of diabetes|
|Hillary Raymond b. January 14, 1892 d. September 12, 1897|
|John Francis b. January 6, 1894 d. March 14, 1895|
|Gertrude Frances b. November 8, 1897 m. Edward Frederick Sauer d. July 8, 1927 of peritonitis|
From the start Thomas B. was his father's spoiled favorite, but it's understandable, since he was the first and only boy to survive. At one time, Anna was so angry when Thomas bought the boy a new car that she went to Michigan to visit her family and threatened to remain. She did return.
They had hired help on the ranch, especially during harvests, but the work was hard. Thomas died on the ranch in 1919 and was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Anna and daughter, Anna Marie moved to Chico; after Anna Marie's death she moved to her house in Redding where her children and grandchildren visited her until 1945 when she sold the ranch and rented her house. She went to live in Our Lady's Home where her daughter Margaret Ellena, Sister Mary Paul, was living. In the three years that she was there, she made new friends and was visited by old friends and relatives. She died September 12, 1948 and was buried in the family plot in St. Joseph's Cemetery.
Source: Shasta Historical Society May 1995