William Yank, born January 13, 1861, was the son of Joseph and Margaret Rupert Yank. Joseph and his brother, Louis, were born in Prussia and emigrated to Naperville, Illinois and thence to Shasta County. The Yank property was near Bella Vista and extended from Silverthorne to Highway 299, Dry Creek and Yank Creek. Louis was murdered in 1863.

Ada Julia Meyer was the ninth of fourteen children born to Frederick and Caroline Louise Notten Meyer. Ada was born February 14, 1877, at the family home in Bella Vista. The German work ethic and frugality were strong in the home; the children all did chores on the ranch which had vineyards, fig, pear, plum and apple trees.

William's 1888 marriage to Sarah Belle Craven ended with her death in May of 1889. Though the family ranches were close; their birthdays indicate William and Ada did not meet in school; it was probably at local social events. One story is told of their double dating on a picnic to Round Mountain and riding back down on the water in the flume--an early version of water slides.

William and Ada were married on May 6, 1894 and had eight children:

Errol b. Apr. 7, 1895 d. Dec. 21, 1986 m. Emma Mewes
Irene b. Aug. 9, 1896 d. Dec. 30, 1980 m. E.W. Beauregard
Leslie b. Jan 17, 1898 d. 1949 m. Ione Wing
Albert b. Feb. 5, 1900 d. Feb. 1987 m. "Monte" Shogren
Ralph b. Sept. 13, 1901 d. Aug. 31, 1980 m. Hazel Norris
Herman b. Nov 5, 1903 d. Aug 14, 1924
Velma b. Mar 18, 1906 d. Nov. 14, 1982 m. Louis Wolfe
Edward b. July 24, 1908 d. Sept. 16, 1926

Errol, Albert and Ralph started working for Pacific Gas & Electric Company; Errol left, but the others advanced to local management in P. G. & E.

After their mother's death in 1897, William bought his siblings' interest in the ranch. At different times, William listed himself as a laborer, a rancher and a butcher. In those days many people considered their ranch as merely their home, not a profession, even if it provided most of the
necessities and some financial gain.

Ada sufffered with bronchial problems the last years of her life, and died of pneumonia January 22, 1919, a victim of "Spanish Flu".

It was probably age and failing strength that caused William to move to Redding, but he sold the ranch in 1931 for $5,500 (a lot of money during the Great Depression) and bought a small house in Redding where he spent his final years. William lived fifteen years after Ada's death, and died in his home, November 12, 1934.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - Nov. 1997

Biography Index