Ezekiel Thatcher, one of eight brothers who early in their manhood decided to fan out across the continent, chose the west and Shasta County in particular. He was the second son of Mark and Hanna Thatcher, born in Virginia, October 6, 1825, on the Thatcher land purchased from Lord Fairfax before the Revolutionary War. He left the home farm to seek his fortune in 1850, driving ox-teams across the great plains to the Pacific Ocean. He located for a brief time at Hangtown, went out to San Francisco, and traveled by whaling ship to Trinidad, Humboldt County.

He and his partner walked from the ocean to Shasta and to the Salmon River in 1851 to try their luck at mining. But Ezekiel had no heart for the search of the buttery, golden metal. The Quaker philosophy was too deeply imbedded and letters from home too critical. He engaged in the coal and wood business in the town of Shasta and helped hew and whipsaw the lumber that was used in building the wooden town. He hauled the first load of lumber from Shingletown to the Doc Baker place on Bear Creek in 1851 and was continually involved in the lumber business although it was for his sons to manufacture and become widely known in the industry. In 1852 he hauled lava rock to build Fort Reading on Cow Creek, for the U. S. Cavalry. February 1, 1853, he took up land on Bear Creek near Parkville, farmed and raised stock, all the time acquiring more and more land in Eastern Shasta County. He was a respected pioneer of ability and upright moral principles; he treated his white and Indian neighbors with kindness. Parkville Cemetary was given to the community by E. T. Thatcher and was part of the original homestead.

The Nero Harrington family of Ohio began their four month trek to California in May, 1857. The last great danger for that wagon train was Noble's Pass; Ezekiel Thatcher and a few comrades were on hand to guide them safely through. At that encounter Zeke told Nero of the fertile land
and plentiful water on the banks of Bear Creek; the Harringtons took up a homestead next to Thatchers. The pretty Harrington daughters had not escaped Ezekiel's attention. Next February, 1858, Catherine, the eldest girl, and Ezekiel Thatcher were united in marriage at Doc Bakers up the creek and of their union eleven children were born:
George W. 1858-1922
Alexander 1860-1941
William H. H. 1862-1894
Mark C. 1865-1927
Samantha 1867-1895
Thomas 1869-1874
Rebecca 1871-1953
Lenora 1874-1876
May 1877-1968
Arthur 1880-1950
John Wesley 1882-1936

Arthur and John were born at the Shingletown "Pine Grove" ranch and timberlands the Thatchers purchased April, 1879, and where Ezekiel and Catherine lived the rest of their lives.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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