Eva Ruth Wheelock, born February 14, 1897, was the fourth generation of her family to live in Shasta County. Her great grandparents were married in New York in 1818. They had eleven children, six of whom lived to become farmers, miners,and blacksmiths. The family came west and settled in the Igo-Ono area of the county before Eva's father, Charles, was born.

Eva's maternal grandparents, John and Bridgett Boyce came from Ireland and lived in Tehama, Trinity, and western Shasta County; at one time they owned a large part of the block between Yuba and Placer Streets, just south of the courthouse. Their son John Boyce drove the stage that the Ruggles Brothers held up; their daughter Mary (Minnie) married Charlie Wheelock on December 25, 1884. Their home was on the south east corner of Yuba and West Streets from which Minnie followed the mob to be sure they hanged the Ruggles Brothers for killing Buck Montgomery and crippling her brother.

Eva spent much of her life in the rugged areas of the north state. Some of it was visiting her famous uncle who recovered sufficiently to become sheriff of Trinity County; part of it was moving with her father to mining and carpentery jobs and part of it was camping out with family and friends.

Eva attended Redding schools, graduated from Shasta County High School in 1915 and received her teaching credential from Chico State Normal School in 1917. As most beginning teachers did, she started in one-room rural schools; one of these early years was Mountain School at Round Mountain. She taught at Oak Knoll School in Cottonwood from the early 1920s until the mid thirties when she moved to Magnolia School in Redding. During her early years, she supplemented her income by selling Dodge cars; part of her sales technique was teaching prospective buyers to drive.

She married Wayne Hoover in Lodi, December 23, 1926 and they had one child, Nancy born in 1932; the marriage ended in divorce and she made her home with her widowed mother and daughter, Nancy in the family home in Redding.

It was three blocks from the school to Eva's home and most of Redding was a short walk distant, but Eva spent her early summers with her Uncle John Boyce in Trinity County and Nancy remembers setting up a camp in Lassen Park each spring which they maintained through the whole summer.

In 1955, she married Emmett Farnham and after her retirement they traveled, loved their summer home at Lake Tahoe and enjoyed visits with her grandchildren, Susan, Patrick, and Kathleen Phelan, until her death in 1971 at the age of seventy-four.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

Biography Index