WILLIAM A. PRYOR is a native
of the Golden West and an enterprising business man of Shasta. He
was born Vallicita, Calaveras County, California, June 16, 1853. His father, Joseph Pryor, was one of the well known and highly respected
pioneers of California. He was born in Cornwall, England, June 16,
1826, of English parents. In 1846 he emigrated to Australia and engaged
in mining. He married Miss Priscilla Thomas in 1849. She and
her ancestors were English people. Soon after their marriage they
came to California, where Mr. Pryor was successfully engaged in mining
for some time in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. In 1854 they came
to Shasta County and purchased a ranch, located twelve miles west of Shasta,
known as the Dr. Hulen ranch. This they farmed for nine or ten years. In 1863 they came to Shasta and lived here for several years, until 1878,
when they removed to Red Bluff.
They were residing there in 1879 when Mr. Pryor's death occurred. His bereaved family, and the Masonic fraternity, of which he had been a worthy member, gathered around his last resting place and repeated their beautiful and impressive burial service. He was a kind and affectionate husband, an indulgent father and a most worthy citizen, and he died in the full strength of matured manhood, in his fifty-fourth year, lamented by all who knew him.William A. Pryor, the subject of this sketch was the second son of a family of four children. His education was obtained in the public schools of Shasta. When fifteen years of age he went to learn the drug business and remained in one store eight years. Then for a time he was prescription clerk in a drug store in Sacramento. After this he was clerk and book-keeper for J.E. Church, of Red Bluff. In 1884 he purchased his present drug business in Shasta, where he has a nice, well kept stock and enjoys the trade of the town. In 1885 he was appointed Postmaster of Shasta and served until 1889, when he resigned.
In 1885 he was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Litsch, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Litsch, also well known early settlers of this county. Mr. Litsch was a native of Germany, born at Renchen, Grand Dutchy of Baden, in 1823; came to the United States in 1849, and across the plans to California in 1851. Upon his arrival in this State he engaged in mining in Placerville, El Dorado County. In 1852 he worked at his trade, that of baker, in Sacramento, and in the same year went to Colusa, where he was employed as a baker until the middle of 1853. After the fire at that place he purchased a team and was engaged in teaming for a time, when he located in Shasta, where he purchased a bakery of Messrs. Potts & Muff. In 1854, he built the two-story brick store in which Mr. Pryor's drug store is now located. In 1870 he engaged in the brewing business and carried it on successfully until the 28th day of May, 1884, when his death occurred.
Mr. and Mrs. Pryor have one daughter, Alice Maud, born in Shasta. Mr. Pryor is manager of the Shasta telegraph office. He is a charter member of Shasta Parlor, No. 35, Native Sons of the Golden West. He is also a member of Castle Lodge, No. 62, K. of P, Red Bluff.
Mr. Pryor's mother, an amiable lady, resides with her son in Shasta.
Source: Memorial and Biographical History of Northern
California, Lewis Publishing Co., 1891
Transcribed by: Betty Wilson August 2004