Plumas County History

History Index



California Genealogy and History Archives


Plumas County History


History of Plumas County

Illustrated History of PLUMAS, LASSEN & SIERRA Counties
with CALIFORNIA from 1513 to 1850
Farriss & Smith, 1882, San Francisco






HISTORY of CALIFORNIA from 1513 to 1850


History of California from 1513 to 1850.

Chapter 1: Discovery of and Failure to Occupy California by Spain.

Chapter 2: Occupation of Lower California by the Jesuits.

Chapter 3: Conquest of Upper California by the Franciscans.

Chapter 4: Downfall of the Missions.

Chapter 5: Spanish Military Occupation.

Chapter 6: Fourteen of the Twenty-four Years that California was a Mexican Territory.

Chapter 7: The Last Ten Years that California was a Mexican Territory.

Chapter 8: The Bear-Flag War, and What Led To It.

Chapter 9: The War Commenced by the Bear-Flag Party ends in the Conquest of California by the United States.

Chapter 10: The Flores Insurrection.

Chapter 11: California After the Conquest, Until Admitted to the Union, as a State, 1850.


The Great Fur Companies, and Their Trapping Expeditions to California. By Harry L. Wells

Settlement of the Sacramento Valley. By Harry L. Wells

The Discovery of Gold in California. By Harry L. Wells


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: (note: includes the following, PH)



Lassen Peak

Beckwith's Exploring Party



Snow and Rain


Perils of the Snow



Meteorological (note: topic added, file was too large, PH)

EARLY HISTORY OF PLUMAS COUNTY (note: includes the following, PH)

Trappers and Explorers

Lassen Route

Gold Lake Excitement

First Diggings in the County

Formation of Butte County

Development of Plumas

Exodus of 1852

Sufferings in the Snow

Sage-brush War (see Lassen County)

ORGANIZATION of PLUMAS COUNTY (note: includes the following, PH)

Reasons for a New County

Organic Act

Meeting of Commissioners

Townships Created by Butte County

First Election

Sharpe vs. Kingsbury

Buckbee and Porter Play Seven-up

Harbison's Election

OFFICIAL HISTORY Of PLUMAS COUNTY (note: includes the following, PH)

First Townships

First Board of Supervisors

New Townships

Creation of Lassen County

Annexation of La Porte

Boundaries of Plumas

Present Townships

Supervisor Districts


District Court

County Court

Probate Court

Court of Sessions (note: includes First Grand Jury, PH)

Officers of Court of Sessions

Superior Court

Justices of the Peace

The Bench and Bar, With Names and Biographies of Judges and Attorneys

The Biographies:
Barnett, Robert 
Buckbee, John 
Cheney, William 
Church, William 
Cox, Thomas 
Gear, Hiram 
Goodwin, John 
Hogan, Edmund 
Hundley, Patrick 
Jones, Israel 
Kellogg, William 
Lewis, Joseph 
Lott, Charles 
McCorkle, Joseph 
Moore, A.P 
Searles Niles 
Sexton, Warren 
Variel, R. H. F.
Ward, William 


Senators and Assemblymen

The Biographies:
Buckbee, John [see Bench and Bar] 
Byers, James D. [see County Officers] 
Cheney, William [see Bench and Bar] 
Crane, William 
Goodwin, John [see Bench and Bar] 
Hundley, P.O. [see Bench and Bar] 
Irwin, Richard 
Kelley, Ripley 
Kellogg, William [see Bench and Bar] 
Kinney, Asa 
McGee, John 
Peck, Elisha 
Shannon, Thomas 
Sherwin, James 
Whitlock, James 
Winston, Joseph 
Wood, Allen 

Officers of Plumas County 1854-1881

The Biographies: 
Boring, Isaac 
Buckbee, John R. [see Bench and Bar] 
Byers, James 
Byers, William 
Cate, Daniel 
Chambers, Robert 
Chapman, John 
Clark, Stephen 
De Haven, W. N. 
Dean, Wilson 
Gentry, J. C. 
Goodwin, John D. [see Bench and Bar] 
Haggard, Thomas 
Hallsted, Peter 
Harbison, John 
Hendel, Charles 
Ingersoll, William 
Kellogg, William W. [see Bench and Bar] 
Miner, T. J. [see article on Finances] 
Peel, John 
Pierce, Elisha 
Price, William 
Russell, H. P. 
Sharpe, George 
Whiting, Fenton 
Yeates, James 
Yeates-Clark Contest 


Biographies of County Clerks 
Yeates-Clark Contest 
Biographies of Sheriffs 
Biographies of Treasurers 
List of County Officers 
Senators and Assemblymen 
Presidential and Gubernatorial Vote 

PLUMAS COUNTY FINANCES (note: includes the following, PH)

Old Butte County Debt

Foreign Miners' Licenses

Sharpe's Defalcation

Miners' Shortage

Chapman's Defalcation

County Debt

Licenses in 1854

Assessment and Taxes


The Rich Bar Painting

Early Justice in Plumas

Miners' Meeting at Rich Bar (note: included with Early Justice in Plumas, PH)

The Peregrinating Justice (note: included with Early Justice in Plumas, PH)

The Slate Creek Tragedy

The Gilson-Wilson Tragedy

The Leggett-Morrison Duel

Lynching of the Negro Joshua

Pioneer Probating

Indian Troubles in Indian Valley

Hanging of George Rose (note: included with indian Troubles, PH)

Nelson Creek Vigilantes

The Jacinto Arro Case

A Model Inquest

Three Fugitive Murderers

O'Brien's Brief Bonanza

Execution of Elder and Jenkins

Got the Wrong Witness

Barton's Bail Bond

Tragic Death of Ransom Griswold

Hanging of Amada Cardinez

Fredonyer's Talk Against Time

Lynching of Ross and Williams

The Francis Trial

Killed For a Bear

The Centennial in Quincy

A Plucky Chinaman

Murder of A. Z. Page

Phillips Killed by Kelley

The Crawford-Ross Tragedy

Murder of John R. McVay

Fire in Green Mountain Mine

Anderson's Administration

List of Felony Convictions

Patients in the Insane Asylum

Veterans of the Mexican War



Express Lines

Dog Express (note: included in Express Lines, PH)

Stage Lines

Snow-Shoes on Horses (note: included in Stage Lines, PH)

Quincy and Spanish Ranch Road

Pioneer Wagon Road

Plumas Turnpike Company

Chico and Humboldt Road

Oroville and Beckwourth Pass Road (note: included Oroville & Virginia City R.R., PH)

Quincy and Indian Valley Road (note: included in Plumas Turnpike, PH)

La Porte and Quincy Road

The $10,000 Folly 

Red Clover Wagon Road

Oroville and Honey Lake Road

Oroville and Virginia City R. R. Co.

Sierra Iron and Quincy R. R. Co.

Telegraph Lines

Telephone Line (note: included in Telegraph Lines, PH)


Discovery of Quartz (note: included above, PH)

Plumas Eureka Mine (note: included above, PH)

Jamsion City


Mohawk Valley


Rich Bar (note: included in Mineral Twp, PH)

Pap McShane's Hat (note: included in Mineral Twp, PH)

First White Lady and Child (note: included in Mineral Twp, PH)

Old Man McCullough (note: included in Mineral Twp, PH)

Robert M. Blakemore (note: included in Mineral Twp, PH)

Spanish Ranch

Meadow Valley (note: included in Spanish Ranch, PH)

Buck's Ranch

Spanish Peak

Monte Christo Mine (note: included in Spanish Peak, PH)


Discovery of Beckwourth Pass (note: included in Sierra Valley, PH)

Discovery and Settlement of Sierra Valley  (note: included in Sierra Valley, PH)





Antelope District (note: included in Craycroft, PH)




Description (note: included in Plumas Twp, PH)

Settlement of American Valley (note: included in Plumas Twp, PH)

Elizabethtown, or Betstburg


Court-house and Jail (note: included in Quincy, PH)

Quincy Schools (note: included in Quincy, PH)

Town Hall Association (note: included in Quincy, PH)

Quincy Hose Company (note: included in Quincy, PH)

Quincy Church (note: included in Quincy, PH)

Young Men's Reading Club (note: included in Quincy, PH)

Quincy Lodges (note: inclued in Quincy, PH)

Plumas Rangers (note: inclueded in Quincy, PH)  

GOODWIN TOWNSHIP (note: includes the following, PH)

First Discoveries

Rich Bar

Mining Camps on Middle Fork

Nelson Creek and Nelson Point

Butte Bar

Little Grass Valley

Onion Valley

Saw Pit Flat

La Porte

Sierra County Blues

SENECA TOWNSHIP  (note: includes the following, PH)

Humbug Valley

Big Meadows and Prattville


Early Settlement (note: included in Indian Valley, PH)

Taylorville (note: included in Indian Valley, PH)


Crescent Hills

Round Valley

Red Clover Valley

JOURNALISM  (note: includes the following, PH)

Newspapers and Their Editors

SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION  (note: includes the following, PH)

Early Schools

Pioneer District


By Rev. L. Ewing

INDUSTRIES OF THE COUNTY  (note: includes the following, PH)



Flour Mills



HISTORY of LASSEN COUNTY......Index on pages 325-328.

HISTORY of SIERRA COUNTY......Index on pages 413-416.


Illustrations:  (includes Lassen and Sierra Counties, all in one book)



Busch & Co. store 432 Meylert, G. W., residence and store 376
Barnes, B. W., residence 220 Meylert, G. W., portrait 376
Buck's Ranch 264 McLear, George S., hotel 200
Brown, J. W., store 488 McLear, portrait 200
Buxton, G. Q., hotel 464 Milford School-house 400
Bunnell, L. W., hotel 344 Monte Christo Mine 208
Beaton, A., residence 308 Marshall, James W., portrait 120
Breed, L. N., portrait 340 M. E. Church, Susanville 324
Branham, James, portrait 394 McFadden, T., residence 392
Burnett, Hon. Peter H., portrait 88 Mooney, I. T., residence 456
Bidwell, General John, portrait 108 Miller, James, residence 472
Bourret, O., hotel 216 Martin, R., portrait 300
Byers, Hon. James D., portrait 332 Miller, Mrs. W. H., hotel 360
Chapman, J. M., store 216 M. E. Church, Quincy 128
Chapman, A. P., residence 444 Masonic Hall, Downieville 412
Church, A. D., residence 312 Meek, Stephen Hall, portrait 96
Cate, D. R., portrait 168 Masonic Building, Quincy 128
Congregational Church, Susanville 324 Merrill, Captain C. A., portrait 396
Court-house, Quincy 128 Main Street, Quincy 216
Court-house, Susanville 324 Nelson Point Bridge 224
Court-house, Downieville 412 Odd Fellows Hall, Downieville 412
Clark, N., residence 356 Odd Fellows Building, Quincy 216
Dakin, H. H., mills 400 Pratt, Dr. Willard, hotel 336
Dakin, H. H., residence 400 Plumas House, Quincy 152
Dick Temple (note: a horse) 400 Plumas National 172
Discovery of Pacific Ocean 9 Pioneer School 128
Doyle, S. A., hotel 400 Public School, Susanville 324
Eggleston, B. T., residence 452 Public School, Quincy 128
Eschbacher, F. A., hotel 448 Rich Bar 132
Evans, A. B., residence 372 Rowland, F. M., residence 424
Ede, Walter, residence 232 Reading, Major P. B., portrait 72
Eisner Brothers, store 216 Scott, J. A., hotel 440
Flournoy, R. S., residence 288 Spaulding, H., residence 468
Forgay, N. B., residence 280 Shoo Fly Bridge 224
Finlayson, D. R., residence 248 Spanish Ranch 192
Fort Defiance 324 Stover, R., residence 352
Gansner, F., mill and residence 240 Sierra County Hospital 412
Goodwin, Hon. J. D., portrait 144 Strang, Jared, residence 484
Goodwin, Hon. J. D., residence 144 State Capitol 1
Hopkins Creek Mine 320 Sutter, General J. A., portrait 64
Harden, M., residence 492 Sutter's Fort in 1847 80
Hosselkus, E. D., residence 272 Sutter's Fort in 1880 104
Hartwell, Mrs. J. H., mill and residence 240 Sutter's Mill in 1851 112
Hartwell, John F., portrait 276 Seltier, C. F., residence 232
Humphrey, G. W., residence 476 Thomas & Reed Mines 316
Hendel, Charles W., portrait 260 True, T., residence 400
Hendel, Charles W., residence 260 Taylor, Jobe T., portrait 408
Hall, W. P., residence 368 Thompson, R., portrait 176
Hughes, B. B., store 216 Town Hall, Quincy 128
Hall & Howard 216 Washburn, L. B., residence 400
Hall & Snyder, residence 388 Ward, Alonzo, residence 490
Jump, Dr. A., residence 480 Wyatt, J. R., office 216
Johnson, William, residence 296 Whiting, Fenton B., residence 136
Jones, William E., portrait 304 Whiting, Fenton B., portrait 136
Kennedy, H. H., residence 420 Welden, A. J., residence 284
Kellogg, Hon. W. W., portrait 184 Wemple, J. C., residence 400
Kellogg, H. W., portrait 180 Ward, Hon. John S., portrait 328
Luther, W. T., residence 460 Wright. N. K., portrait 256
Lassen, Peter, portrait 56 Wagner, William, portrait 264
Map 8 Whitlock, James H., portrait 160
Mohawk Bridge 224 Weber, Captain Charles M., portrait 16


Here are a few images I added that are not included in the illustrations index:

Missions and Towns in 1831, chart

Bancroft Library, plate inside book

Title page

Index to Biographies of Plumas County
(see biographies)

Page  Page 
Abbott, Joshua C.  294 King, Mrs. R.  244
Adams, J. C.  271 Kinney, Hon. Asa  196
Bacher, Antone.  307 Kirby, Alexander  262
Banet, Walter M.  267 Knoll, Matthias  306
Barnett, Robert I.  182 Knuthsen, Jacob  272
Battelle, T. S.  270 Largent, John C.  306
Baugh, B. B.  310 Larison James H.  284
Beaton, Alexander.  263 Lassen, Peter  332
Beckwourth, James P.  256 Laufman, Cyrus  299
Bidwell, Henry C.  392 Lemmon, B. F.  273
Black, Thomas.  265 Lemmon, William C.  272
Blakemore, Robert M.  250 Lewis, Hiram  269
Blood, J. M.  301 Lewis, Judge J. E. N.  181
Blough, W.  309 Lott, Judge Charles F.  176
Bonner, Thomas D.  208 Lovejoy, John K.  313
Boring, Isaac C.  188       See: Journalism in Plumas County 
Brabban, Dixon  292 Lowry, John  309
Bringham, Marion C.  262 Maddux, Theophilus  272
Brown, A. M.  274 Mahoney, D. J.  256
Brown, J. C.  268       See: Spanish Creek and Monte Cristo Mine 
Buckbee, Hon. John R.  182 Manson, William  284
Bunnell, L. Wellington  322 Martin, Richard  262
Buxton, G. Q.  273 McBeth, John  305
Byers, James D. (also see Lassen County)  185 McCorkle, Judge J. W.  175
Byers, William T.  185 McCullough, George B.  249
Carter, Dr. J. S.  307 McGee, Hon. John B.  195
Cate, La Fayette, M.D.  284 McGill, Robert L.  305
Cate, Daniel R.  188 McLear, George S.  243
Chambers, Robert Craig  186 McShane, Joshua B.  248
Chapman, Albert P.  265 Meyerwitz, Isadore.  295, 333 
Chapman, John C.  190       See: Indian Valley and Description of Lassen County 
Cheney, Judge W. A.  180 Meylert, Gurdon W.  506
Church, Isaac S.  274 Miller, James  271
Church, William S.  183 Miller, William H.  323
Clark, Stephen J.  187 Miner, T. J.  202
Clinch, John  286       See: Plumas County Finances 
Clough, Judge G. G.  321 Moore, Judge A. P.  179
Compton, John D.  307 Myers, J. D.  274
Connolly, Patrick  269 Nevill, John  246
Cooksey, James  310 Newman, David D.  268
Corcoran, T.  309 Nicholson, James  270
Cox, Thomas  180 Orton, Thomas  248
Crane, Hon. W. H. (also see Lassen County)  196       See: Mineral Township 
Cunningham, Noble C.  302 Parsons, E. I.  256
Davis, Aaron  270       See: Spanish Creek and Monte Cristo Mine 
Davis, Charles H.  273 Patch, Isaac C.  305
De Haven, Capt. W. N.  184 Patterson, David B.  268
Dean, Wilson S.  189 Peck, Hon. Elkha T.  195
Dolley, E. P.  274 Peel, John J. L.  190
Ede, Walter  264 Peter, W. T.  310
Edman, J. A.  254 Phipps, John A. T.  245
Edwards, James E.  323 Pierce, Elisha H.  186
Elwell, William  245 Pratt, Dr. Willard  294
Emmons, Theodore F.  300 Pratt, W. M.  246
Evans, J. F.  306 Price, William S.  189
Fagg, J. D.  269 Prowattain, E.  308
Finlayson, Donald R.  285 Rains, W. Smith  269
Firmstone, H. T.  306 Rawden, William B.  274
Fletcher, A. W.  308 Rockwell, Col. Calvin W.  284
Flournoy, Robert S.  301 Rodgers, Charles G.  303
Ford, James  300 Rodoni, F.  246
Forgay, Nathaniel B.  300 Rowland, Francis M.  264
Forman, William  311 Ruppert, Charles  286
Fralich, Matthias  304 Russell, Gen. H. P.  186
Freeman, Joel E.  271 Searls, Judge Niles  176
Fritsch, John B.  304 Seltier, Claude F.  264
Fritsch, Martin  307 Sexton, Judge W. T.  176
Gallagher, E. J.  275 Shannon, Hon. T. B.  196
Gansner, Florin  285 Sharpe, George W.  185
Gear, Hiram L.  182 Sheer, Roy R.  273
Gentry, J. C.  189 Sherwin, Hon. J. L. C.  197
Goodwin, Judge John D.  177 Simons, Charles O.  311
Graham, Will D. R.  311 Smith, Capt. O. H.  256
Gray, Rothens A.  323       See: Spanish Creek and Monte Cristo Mine 
Grazer, Henry  245 Smith, J. H.  309
Haggard, Thomas L.  190 Sperry, W. A.  265
Haines,G. P.  271 Stamfli, N.  310
Haley, Mrs. Julia  254 Stark, Lewis  286
Hallsted, Alanson A.  253 Stover, R.  322
Hallsted, Peter L.  188 Strang, Jared  263
Hamlen, E. H.  275 Taylor, E. W.  301
Harbison, John  183 Taylor, J. Charles  311
Hardgrave, John  302 Taylor, Jobe T.  299
Hardin, M.  270 Taylor, Judge R. H.  168
Hartwell, John F.  283 See: District Court 
Hedrick, Duskin  310 Thomas, Charles C.  293
Hendel, Charles W.  190 Thompson, Richard (Indian Valley)  305
Herring, George H.  309 Thompson, Richard (Spanish Ranch)  251
Hersey, Thomas F.  284 Treleaven, Thomas  308
Hill, Charles M., M.D.  245 Van Clief, Judge Peter  168
Hill, John W.  244     See: District Court 
Hogan, Judge E. T.  179 Variel, R. H. F.  183
Hosselkus, Edwin D.  302 Wagner, William  254
Houghton, George E.  315 Ward, Judge John S.  374
      See: Schools and Education and Kern County Bios  Ward, Judge William T.  178
Howk, Corel  266 Ward, William E.  312
Hughes, B. B.  286       See: Journalism in Plumas County 
Hughes, Marshall  272 Webber, Dr. D. G.  267
Hughes, Thomas  252 Welden, A. J.  283
Humphrey, George W.  266 West, T. F.  269
Hundley, Judge P. O.  181 Weston, Isaac  268
Ingersoll, William S.  189 Whiting, Fenton B.  184
Irwin, Hon. Richard.  195 Whitlock, Maj. James H.  197
Jacks, Richard  253 Willoughby Bros.  245
Johnson, William F.  285 Wing, Emory  308
Jones, Judge Israel (also see Lassen County)  179 Winston, Hon. Joseph  197
Jones, William E. (Paul)  263 Wood, Gen. Allen  197
Keddie Arthur W.  322 Woodward, George  246
Kelley, Hon. Ripley C.  196 Wright, Norman K.  252
Kellogg, Henry W.  251 Yeates, James Hughes  187
Kellogg, Hon. William W.  183 Young, John C.  306
Keyes, David B.  266 Young, R. W.  304

A Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California - Chicago, Lewis Publ. Co., 1891