1861 -1951
Eugene Wilsey's parents, William S. Wilsey and family and his Uncle, Wesley Wilsey, moved to California from Indiana in 1853. They traveled by ox team and brought to California a large herd of cattle. The family settled near Vallejo and then moved to Colusa County. Eugene was born in 1859, the sixth of eight children. As the boys grew up, they worked on farms and some drove the stage from Colusa to Red Bluff. William Wilsey died in 1885 and was buried on the farm he owned west of Round Mountain.

On May 1, 1881, Eugene married Eliza Jane Potter in Red Bluff. Eliza's family came to California in 1869 from Forrest Hill, Missouri, on the first emigrant railroad train. The trip took two weeks with the train stopping once a day to let the families out of their cars to cook.

Eugene and Eliza moved to Round Mountain where Eugene worked at Enrights Mill horse logging. While living at Round Mountain their two small children died of scarlet fever during the winter of 1886. They had eight more children, six of whom grew to maturity.

In the fall of 1895 Eugene moved his family to a new home on Cow Creek. They homesteaded 160 acres and this became the Wilsey home for over 50 years. Eugene was a teamster and drove teams from Redding to Trinity Center. As this left his family alone much of the time, Eugene later got a job on the Terry Lumber Company flume. The flume carried lumber from the mill above Round Mountain to Bella Vista and ran along the brim of the hill just above the Wilsey's farm. The pay was $2.00 a day for 10 hours. Sometimes when extra crews were hired for repair work, Eliza boarded the men and the whole family pitched in to help as huge meals were prepared.

The Wilseys were kept busy raising cattle, hogs, chickens, and turkeys as well as large gardens and family vineyards and orchards. Like all farm families of that time, everyone helped as they worked to put away a plentiful food supply.

Eugene Wilsey died in January, 1921, and Eliza 30 years later, August 22, 1951. Their graves are in the Redding Cemetery.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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