Conspicuous among the most honored and esteemed residents of Marysville is Judge Eugene P. McDaniel, a man of unquestioned legal ability, who has risen to a position of eminence in his profession, a profession, which, mayhap, requires greater physical and intellectual endowments than any other, for, said Sir Henry Finch, “The sparks of all the sciences are raked up in the ashes of the law.”  A son of Dr. Richard Harrison McDaniel, he was born May 1, 1862, in Marysville, in the family home, which stood within a block of the present courthouse.  His paternal grandfather, Henry McDaniel, was born of thrifty Scotch ancestors, in South Carolina, where he became owner of a large plantation.

            Born and bred in South Carolina, Richard H. McDaniel was a brilliant student in his youthful days, and before attaining his majority was graduated, with the degree of M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania.  Coming by the way of the Isthmus to California with the gold hunters of 1849, he was engaged in mining pursuits for two or three years.  Resuming his professional career in 1852, the doctor settled in Marysville, where he was actively employed in the practice of medicine until his death, in 1880, at the age of sixty-eight years.  For a long time he served as county physician, and was prominently identified with two medical associations, being a member of the State Medical Society, and ex-president of the Northern California Medical Society.  He was a Democrat in politics.  While living in South Carolina, he united with the Masons, and afterwards helped to organize California Lodge, No. 1, F.& A.M.  He married Elizabeth Charlotte Herbert, who was born in South Carolina in 1817, came to Marysville to join her husband in 1852, and died in San Francisco in 1894, at the age of seventy-seven years.  She was a most estimable woman, and was a member of the Episcopal Church.  Her mother, whose name before marriage was Charlotte Elizabeth Hampton, was a niece of Wade Hampton and a cousin of Hilary A. Herbert, ex-secretary of the navy.  Of the nine children born of the union of Dr. and Mrs. McDaniel, four boys and five girls, one boy and three girls still survive, Eugene P. being the youngest.  Three of the sons became attorneys of note, namely:  Richard Henry, who died in Marysville at the age of thirty years; Edward Herbert, who died in 1892, aged fifty years; and Eugene P., of this review.

            After completing the high school course in Marysville, Eugene P. McDaniel was graduated from the Knoxdale Institute.  For a number of years following this, he was engaged in teaching public schools in several counties of the State and in Marysville, a part of the time being principal of a primary school, and part of the time serving as assistant principal of the high school.  Having spent his leisure moments in studying law, Mr. McDaniel was admitted to the California bar in 1892, and to practice in the superior and supreme courts.  The Democratic nominee for district attorney in the fall of that year, he was elected by a majority of 617 votes, defeating Richard Belcher.  In 1894, endorsed by the Republicans, he was elected for a term of four years over W. G. Murphy, the independent candidate.  In 1898 he was again reelected to this office, over W. S. Johnson, receiving a majority of 350 votes, and served until January, 1903.  In the fall of 1902, running against Col. E. A. Forbes, he was elected superior judge by a majority of 161 votes, for a term of six years.  Taking the oath of office in January, 1903, he has since rendered most acceptable service.  While serving as district attorney, Judge McDaniel prosecuted many criminals, and secured a larger percentage of convictions than was secured in any other county in the State.  The most celebrated case with which he was associated was the prosecution of Brady, the train robber, who shot Sheriff Bogard and was sent up for life.  The judge is a lover of fine horses, and formerly kept a few thoroughbreds in his stables.

            In Marysville, Judge McDaniel married Miss M. A. Peacock, who was born in this State, a daughter of G. W. Peacock, for many years a prominent grain merchant in Marysville, and a flour manufacturer, being a member of the Buckeye Mill Company.  Mr. Peacock died in 1892.  Judge and Mrs. McDaniel are the parents of three children, namely:  George E. and Eugene W., both builders and contractors of Marysville, and Adele, now Mrs. C. R. Webb, of Oakland, Cal.

            One of the leading Democrats of Yuba County, Judge McDaniel is ex-chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, and from 1896 until 1900 he was president of the Bryan Free Silver Club.  For a number of terms he was a member of the county board of education, and in that capacity did much to advance the standard of the public schools.  In his present official position the Judge has served continuously since January, 1903, and his rulings and decisions have been acknowledged wise, just and impartial.  He is a member of the State Bar Association, the Masonic Order, the Elks, and the Native Sons of the Golden West, and an honorary member of the local Rotary Club.

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

p 419-420


            The record of Daniel B. Ruth stands in proof of the fact that the old-fashioned virtues of industry, energy and honesty are still the key to prosperity.  Concentrating his resources upon the achievement of a definite purpose, he has left the ranks of the man and gained a position among the foremost stock-raisers and agriculturists of Dobbins.  He has many friends in this district, in which he has spent his entire life, having been born on the old Ruth homestead, situated three miles above Dobbins, on the Camptonville road, August 15, 1867, the youngest in a family of three children whose parents were Michael and Margaret (Breslin) Ruth.  A native of Ireland, the father was born in Tipperary in 1826 and there spent his early life.  Like many of his fellow countrymen, he emigrated to the New World, first locating in the State of Vermont.  In the early fifties he came to California via the Isthmus route and sought his fortune in the quartz and placer mines, settling near French Corral, in Nevada County.  He was married to Miss Breslin at Marysville in 1862, and soon afterward came to the Yuba foothills, where he purchased a ranch.  He prospered in his farming operations, adding to his holdings from time to time, and at the time of his death, in 1888, was the owner of 1600 acres of valuable ranch land near Dobbins.  He was a loyal citizen of his adopted country, and exercised his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democratic party.  He took an active part in political and public affairs, serving as a member of the Yuba County Democratic Central Committee, and for many years able filled the office of road overseer.  He was one of the foremost men of his community, and stood high in the regard of all who knew him.  For many years after his demise, the mother continued to reside in Yuba County; she passed away at the home of her daughter in Sacramento, in 1908.  Their family numbered two sons and a daughter.  The elder son, John F., was born in 1864, and as a young man removed to Nevada County, settling near Sweetland, where his death occurred in 1908.  He married Miss Mary Nugent, who survives him, as do their three children.  Mary Ann was born in 1865; she married N. Coupe, who resides at East Nicolaus.  She passed away in July, 1907, leaving a family of three children.

            Reared on the home farm, Daniel B. Ruth attended the Dobbins school from 1873 until 1883.  He was one of forty pupils who were under the able instruction of Mrs. Mary Slingsby, one of the pioneer educators of Yuba County.  After his father’s death he assumed charge of the old homestead, being at that time a young man of twenty-one; and he continued to manage the estate until 1913.  He then purchased the interests of the other heirs, and is now sole owner of the place, which is an ideal range; and there is also much valuable timber on the ranch.

            Mr. Ruth is the owner of 1100 acres of land, in addition to which he leases an adjoining tract of 3000 acres.  His operations are conducted on a very extensive scale.  He has many head of live stock, and his principal crop is hay.  He raises a fine grade of stock and bases his success upon progressive methods, modern equipment and unabating industry.  He is one of the leaders of agricultural activity in Yuba County, and has set a standard which others may profitably follow.  He is also proprietor of the Dobbins Ranch Hotel; and his business interests are of an important character, for he is constantly expanding the scope of his activities as opportunity offers, being a man of marked enterprise and initiative.  He is a valued member of the Bangor and California Cattlemen’s Associations, and has attended many of their conventions; but he has never held office in these organizations, although frequently urged to do so.

            Mr. Ruth was married in Columbia, Nevada County, to Miss Alice Calanan, a native of that place and a daughter of Michael and Mary Ann (Baker) Calanan, California pioneers who crossed the plains in the early days, and who are both now deceased.  Mr. and Mrs. Ruth have a family of seven children, all of whom were born and reared in Dobbins. Clarence M., the eldest, is a veteran of the World War, and is associated in business with his father. The others are:  David E., who for the past seven years has been stock superintendent and foreman on the Friesleben Ranch at Oroville; Lorraine, who was graduated from the San Jose Teachers’ College and now acts as principal of the Fairmead School, in Madera County; Lloyd E., who since January, 1923, has been buyer for the Valley Meat Company of Marysville; Lawrence, who is attending the Gridley high school, being a member of the class of 1924; and Evelyn and George, also public-school students.

            Mr. Ruth is a Native Son of the Golden West, belonging to the Campbell Parlor.  He is six feet, six inches in height and possesses the fine physique characteristic of the men of the West whose lives are spent in the open.  His deep interest in the welfare of his district has prompted him to take an active part in public affairs, and for over twenty years he has been deputy sheriff of Yuba County, discharging his duties fearlessly and efficiently.  For two decades he was constable of Foster Bar Township, retiring from office in 1923; and for an equal period he was a school director of Dobbins.  He combines in his character all of the qualities of a useful and desirable citizen, and his influence has been a potent force in community upbuilding.  He is one of the outstanding personalities of Yuba County.

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

p 427-428


Copyright ©2003, 2004, 2005  Kathy Sedler   ALL RIGHTS RESERVED  These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons.  Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must obtain the written consent of the contributor. The contributor has given permission to the Yuba Roots website to store the file permanently for free access, but retain the rights to their work.