YUBA COUNTY  Biographies





            A musical director who has conferred distinction upon the town in which he is active, as well as upon his associates and himself, is Jack Wilson McRae, the proficient and enterprising leader of the popular Marysville Municipal Band.  He is a native son, born at Yuba City, Sutter County, on June 16, 1889, in the family of A. A. and Anna (McCoy) McRae.  A. A. McRae first came to Sacramento and Pleasant Grove, and followed music as a profession.  He also served as county assessor for Sutter County for sixteen years. He gave instruction in band music at Yuba City, Knights Landing and Marysville.  His death occurred in 1917, when he met with a fatal accident.  Mrs. McRae is still living, the center of a circle of devoted friends.  A brother of our subject, A. R. McRae, was graduated with honors from the Boston Conservatory of Music.

            Jack Wilson McRae went first to the grammar school at Yuba City, and then attended the Marysville High School.  After completing his studies, he worked in stores in various cities in the State; but for some years past he has resided in Marysville.  In 1915, he had his first experience in conducting, and a year later he went to Quincy, Cal., and there taught a band for half a year.  At that time he belonged to the National Guards, and he was called to the Mexican border for service with the bands.  On March 26, 1917, he enlisted in the United States Army.  After his enlistment he was in five different camps; and while in the service he formed eight bands.  Returning from the World War, Mr. McRae went to Bisbee, Ariz., to conduct what was declared the best band in Arizona; and then for a while he was in the theaters in San Francisco.  In October, 1922, he took charge of the Marysville Band.  He has always been successful as a band leader, being popular both with the public and with his colleagues.  In addition to undoubted natural talent, Mr. McRae has evinced high ideals in his work, endeavoring to create and encourage, on the part of the public, a taste for the best there is in music.

            In 1917, Mr. McRae was married, at Oroville, to Miss Hazel S. Brown, a native daughter of Marysville, and whose father, Joseph Brown, came to California in 1849.  Mr. McRae is an Elk and a Mason; and both he and his wife belong to the Eastern Star.  He is also a member of the Phi Delta Kappa fraternity.


History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924

p. 1165-1166





            A woman of foresight, especially fortunate in the happy environment of her home, over which she presides graciously and capably, is Mrs. Lillie E. Welch.  She was born on the old Jones ranch ten miles from Wheatland, a daughter of David Nevens and Mary Elizabeth (Young) Jones, whose sketch is given elsewhere in this volume.  Lillie E. Welch was educated at the Lone Tree school.   She was united in marriage at Marysville, March 14, 1882, to James Welch, who was born at O’Banion Corners, Sutter County, April 28, 1861, the son of Radford Ellis and Serena Jane (Bast) Welch, natives of Missouri and Kentucky, respectively.  In 1853, when Mr. Welch was a young man, he crossed the plains with his father, who mined; then they settled in Sutter County where they farmed.  Mrs. R. E. Welch came to California later.  Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Welch are the parents of seven children:  James (deceased), Joseph (of Tehama County), Thomas, Benjamin, Gale, Mary (Mrs. Wright of Waldo), and Lucy.

            After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. James Welch resided on the Scott stock farm for two years.  They then moved to a part of the Jones ranch, called the Round Tent ranch, on account of a large round tent which was used to house laborers.  In 1914, Mrs. Welch built a fine home on this ranch in which she has resided ever since.  At the death of her father, David Nevens Jones, Mrs. Welch received 360 acres of land, which she still owns.  Mr. Welch had purchased eighty acres adjoining this tract, so the Welch home place now consists of 440 acres.  Mrs. Welch is also the owner of 153 acres in Plumas County, for which she has a permit from the government to run 220 head of cattle at one time, and she has an interest in her father’s estate.  Mr. and Mrs. James Welch were the parents of nine children:  Irene, Mrs. Daniel F. Kuster of Washington; James Chester, at home; Ira Lorenzo, of Wheatland; Ruth Estacy, Mrs. Almon Whiteside of Wheatland; Gladys May, Mrs. Butler of Grass Valley; David Nevens, Jr.; Clarence Ray; Willard Ralph; and Iva Ellen, Mrs. J.W. Sutfin of Marysville.  Mrs. Welch has nineteen grandchildren.

            James Chester Welch entered the service of the United States on July 26, 1918, was sent to Camp Lewis and placed in the 162nd Medical Corp, as a first-class private, but his company was not assigned to any division.  He was trained there until December 13, 1918, and was then sent to the Presidio in San Francisco.  On June 3, 1919, he received his discharge.  David Nevens, Jr., enlisted on October 7, 1917, and was sent to Camp Lewis and placed in the 166th Depot Brigade as a private; later he was transferred to Company H, 160th Infantry of the 40th Division, and went to France with the 26th Division.  They sailed from New York on June 27, 1918, and landed at Glasgow, then went to Southampton, England, and then to La Havre, France.  On July 22, 1918, the regiment went to the front and served throughout the war as combat troops.  On October 31, he received a shrapnel wound in his instep, and he was sent to Evacuation Hospital No. 7, and then to Mon Pont Hospital and finally to the Base Hospital at Bordeaux.  He spent four months in the hospital, and when he was discharged his foot still bothered him.  He returned to New York, February 22, 1919, and was discharged March 21, 1919.  Clarence Ray was rejected from service at Camp Lewis on account of a broken arm.  Ira Lorenzo was also rejected, and Willard Ralph was ready to go when the armistice was signed.

            Mrs. Welch endorses the platform of the Republican party.  Intellectually gifted, tactful, modest and winning in personality, she is at all times and interesting conversationalist and a champion of any cause she once espouses.  Mr. Welch had served as a trustee of the McDonald (now Waldo) school district and he was a member of Wheatland Parlor No. 40, N.S.G.W.  He died January 23, 1923, mourned by a large circle of friends.


History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924

p. 1166-1167



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