Emily Armsdale Tanner
Emily was born Feb. 28, 1861, in Crescent City, CA. area fathered by a Gold Rush miner by the name of Armsdale and a full blood Karuk Indian who was named in the white tongue as Elizabeth, native of the Clear Creek area, west of Happy Camp.

About 1874, Emily and her mother were walking the Waldo trail from Crescent City area to Elizabeth’s native village when for unknown reasons; they stopped at the cabin of Ezra Sherman Tanner near Classic Hill Mine north of Happy Camp. During that visit, Elizabeth sold her thirteen-year-old daughter to the miner for his wife (as was the native tribal custom), the purchase price, unknown.

About this time, Ezra moved his wife closer to Happy Camp and built a small cabin closer to neighbors. Feb.2, 1875, a baby daughter was born to Emily and Ezra Tanner. They named her Amanda. Not long after that Emily was widowed when Ezra became ill and died while Amanda was still a baby. He was buried in the Happy Camp cemetery.

About 1877 John F. Ince (who was Tanner’s close friend) and Emily started living together and conceived their first child, a daughter, Jane was born. In the following years eleven more children were born to the couple: Thomas, Harvey, William, Emmett, Ida, Bertha, Edna, Dorothy, George, Elizabeth, and Ella. In the census of 1880, John Ince listed Emily as his wife with her age being 21. The children listed were Amanda, 5; Jane, 3; and Thomas 1 year old.

On April 6, 1889 John, a native of Arkansas, and Emily Tanner obtained a marriage license in Siskiyou Co. and were officially married by law in front of S.S. Colby, Justice of the Peace in Happy Camp on the 20th day of April 1889. Witnesses were T.J. Foley and Wm. D. Evans.

On April 7, 1894, John F. Ince took out homestead papers on the 100 acres of land near the mouth of East Fork of Indian Creek that Tanner and Emily had moved to when Amanda was born, and where the Ince children were all born. The Ince cemetery is located on the hillside above the ranch where a number of family graves are located, including “Jack” Ince and his four daughters, Ella, Dorothy, Elizabeth, and Jane; and those of two close friends, George Long, and John Spinks.

Emily became a widow again when Ince died---

Emily married for the third time Nov. 11, 1907 to William James Miller, a native of Texas, born 4/28/1856. He died in Shasta Co. 2/7/1952.

On October 14, 1941, Emily died of pneumonia at the home of her daughter, Bertha Grafton, near Castella, Shasta Co. and was laid to rest in a forested cemetery near the Grafton and Miller plots in the historic town of Delta north of Redding on Oct. 21, 1941. She was 80 years of age.

The moss-covered headstone marks the grave of Emily in the historic Delta cemetery north of Redding, CA. heavily forested and shaded by dogwood and redbud. Many pioneer families of mining and early railroad days are buried here, not far from busy Interstate 5.

Written and contributed by Hazel Gendron

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