1850 --1928
1861 --1949

HIRAM LEONARD NILES was born in Iowa to Stephen and Nancy Niles on November 14, 1850. At the time of his birth he had an older brother Anamias and sister Lucinda. There were several younger siblings. When Hiram was about nine years old the family moved to Idaho. They came from Iowa to California by wagon and traveled up through Big Valley in Lassen County to Boisie, Idaho, where his father had a homestead. In 1870 Hiram was living with his mother and younger siblings in Sonoma County. Stephen and Anamias were living in Tulare County at this time. The family may have come to California when their younger brother Lee was shot and killed in a saloon, because he was a "Blue Bellied Yankee."

ISABELL FINE NILES was born in Tulare County to Smith H. and Laurahannah Querles Fine on July 17, 1861. She had ten brothers and sisters. The Querles and Fine families had moved to Tulare County after the Civil War. The four oldest Fine children were born in Arkansas the rest were born in California. Isabell was called Bell by her family and friends.

Hiram and Bell probably met after his brother Anamias married Bell's sister Nancy in 1870. Hiram and Bell applied for their marriage license on October 31 and were married November 3, 1879. They moved to Shasta County in 1882. They had five children.

Lena Elvira b. Jun. 6, 1882 d. Nov. 1935 m. Ulysses Wertz
Lora Leonard b. Aug. 17, 1884 d. May 1969
Laurahannah b. Aug. 21, 1888 d. May 1943 m. Joe Seeley
Ida Pearl b. Jun. 28, 1891 d. Jun. 1968 m. Alvin Welendoroff
Oscar Stephen b. Feb. 4, 1894 d. Mar. 1969
Hiram and Bell never owned the land they worked and lived on, they always leased or rented from the landowner. They raised a few cows, pigs and chickens. Hiram raised draft horses and broke them to pull freight wagons. He was a teamster, and drove freight wagons to Old Shasta, Yreka and Fall River Mills. The Diestlehorst family had a contract with the county to maintain the roads; Hiram worked on the roads using his own team. Hiram cut wood and delivered it to Redding. They lived in many different areas of Shasta County, Millville, Pacheco, Gas Point, Texas Springs, Cottonwood, Fall River Mills and Happy Valley. Bell raised a garden, cooked and cared for her family; She liked to make lace, she crocheted, tatted and knitted.

Their son Oscar lived with them and took over the horses when Hiram was too old to work with them. They were living in Happy Valley when Hiram died at age of 76, in 1928. After his death Bell continued to live with Oscar. She often visited her grandson Hiram Wertz and his family. She still liked to do the needle work and enjoyed passing these skills on to the younger girls in the family. She was living in Central Valley (Now Shasta Lake City) when she died at the age of 87, April 1949. They are both buried in the Redding Cemetery.

Hiram and J Bell have one grandson, Wayne Wertz, and several great-grandchildren living in Shasta County. They have several great-grandchildren living in Siskiyou County.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - Feb. 2000

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