Dr. BENJAMIN SHURTLEFF
Arrived at Shasta in 1849. Goldmined on Middle Creek for a short time. Elected in 1850 as the
2nd and last Alcalde to hold office in Shasta County, a position of almost
unlimited power under the Mexican form of government. Resigned as
Alcalde later the same year when the 1st county elections were held; was
elected as the 1st County Treasurer. Practiced medicine at Shasta
and treated Indians for free. Established City Drug at Shasta in
1850 with partner A. C. Brown; in 1851 with partner Dr. Jesse R. Robinson. Also conducted a mercantile business and a brick business for a short time.
Built his 2-story house in 1851
high on the hill overlooking downtown Shasta (his house burned in 1967). Portions of the house material were shipped around the Horn from Maine. Here he established a 5-acre orchard with 400 assorted fruit trees and
many grapevines. Married Ann Griffith in 1853. Established
the 1st public school in northern California at Shasta with Isaac Roop
and Royal T. Sprague in 1853. Served as county physician for 10 years. Elected State Senator in 1862-64. Moved to Napa in 1874.
SOURCE: The Dictionary of Early Shasta County History
- by Dottie Smith - copyright 1999