Perry Earl Opdyke was born in Cayton Valley on June 25, 1890. His mother,
Olive Cordelia, was the daughter of Charles W. and Emmaretta Wilcox, early
Hat Creek settlers. His father was Andrew Jackson Opdyke, who came to California
shortly after the Civil War with his first wife
Mahala (Julia Tyrell) Opdyke and their seven children: Lodema, Annie, Bertha, Lurl, David, William, and Foster. In 1887, after Mahala's death Andrew married Olive Wilcox. The children of this marrage were Paul, Percy, Perry, Alva, Ackie, Alta, and Olive.
The Opdyke home was in Cayton Valley, where Olive was the postmistress and Andrew supplemented the farm income by keeping a public stable for wagons and teams of travelers on their way to Eastern Oregon.
On August 14, 1916 Perry married Alma Josephine Toreson of Modoc County. Mrs. Opdyke and their three children: Gordon, Lois (now Mrs. Robert Thompson), and Mary (Schofield) still live on the ranch that Perry's family moved to when he was thirteen years old.
Perry's influence was felt at the local, county and state level. Locally, he served for twenty-seven years as school trustee on the Wilcox and Lincoln elementary schools and on the Fall River Union High School board. He was appointed deputy sheriff by the father of our lte Judge Albert Ross and served in that capacity from 1918 until John Balma became Sheriff.
Mr. Opdyke was first appointed to the State Fair Board by Governor Earl Warren, in 1949, and served also under Governors Knight and Brown until 1965. In this capacity, he was instrumental in starting the Junior Livestock program. Perry's education at Oregon State College was useful in his cattle raising as well as his Fair Board duties. He was once the California representative to a demonstration by the Swift Packing Co. in Chicago.
Perry remained active in public and private life until his death On February 1, 1968
Source: Shasta Historical Society