by Thompson & West, 1879, with illustrations

Chapter I - Introductory by Wm. H. Chamberlain, Ph. B., and Harry L. Wells

   YUBA is one of the few historic counties of the State.  During the exciting times of the mining fever, the reputation of its wonderful riches and resources spread far and wide, and it received its full share of the immense immigration which poured in during that memorable era.  Its metropolis, Marysville, occupied a prominent position among the cities of the coast, both in population and extent of mercantile interests.  Immediately preceding the discovery of gold on the Yuba river, the site of that city was occupied and owned by one man, with his employes<sic> and attendants; but as the news of the finding of new gold fields spread, settlers flocked in, stores and hotels were established, and the once quiet rancho sprang into a bustling and busy city.  The change was almost instantaneous; after the first leap, however, the progress was slower, but not less marked.  In later years events have occurred which retarded and for a time stopped the development of the city, but now the prospects are fair for Marysville to resume her former high position among the cities of the State.

   From an uncultivated tract of plain and mountains, occupied by the lowly Digger Indian and traversed occasionally by the nomadic trapper, this region has grown into a county, whose valleys are covered with waving grain, and whose mountains are giving up their precious treasures - a change due to the hand and brain of the civilized white man. 

   In the succeeding pages, the historian has but faintly portrayed the many changes and incidents occurring during the past half century.  The writing of the history of this county has been a difficult task.  Few publications have been issued concerning this region; in many places the records are vague and incomplete; and, finally, most of the pioneer residents have either gone to their graves or moved to other parts beyond the reach of the interviewer. Even those who remain, in many instances, were so occupied in the eager search for the glittering sand, that important events transpired without attracting their attention.  There are those, however, who through their superior talents and attainments did heed and have treasured in their memories the facts and incidents, which in this later day become so beneficial to their fellow men.  It is to these gentlemen that the historian has been compelled to resort; with a pertinacity which might almost seem presumption, he has sought them out, and as the words dropped from their lips, jotted them down, to take their places in the more connected story now presented to the reader. We feel that these gentlemen have not only favored us, but have placed the community in their debt, for it is undoubtedly the desire of every one to have a correct and complete record of the county, if any at all.

   The plan of the work has been to give a connected history of the county from its first occupation by the trappers down to the present time.  In order to more fully understand the causes which led to the settlement and subsequent development of the State, a chapter has been introduced giving briefly the history of California from the earliest supposed discovery.  As far as practicable, the subject matter has been segregated into special topics, thus rendering the work more convenient for reference.  While not attaining the result desired, it has been the aim to make it as complete and authentic as the limited sources of information would allow.  Errors have undoubtedly crept in, and while it is not our desire to bore the reader with foolish apologies, we would ask for a due consideration of the many difficulties with which we have been compelled to contend.

   It would be impossible to record a list of the names of all of the gentlemen from whom we have received courtesies or derived information, but the author cannot let the opportunity pass without acknowledging the special kindness of the following: -

Hon. Stephen J. Field, Justice U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.; General John Bidwell, Chico; Hon. George C. Gorham, late Secretary United States Senate; J. Alex. Forbes, Oakland; Hon. John H. Jewett, Hon. Peter Decker, Wm. G. Murphy, Colonel Edwards Woodruff, Hon. C.M. Patterson, Judge L.T. Crane, Judge Phil. W. Keyser, Judge S. M. Bliss, Judge H.S. Hoblitzell, Messrs. E.J. Lockwood and C.D.Dawson (Proprietors of the Marysville Appeal), E.C.  Ross, L.H. Babb, Hon. W.H. Parks, H.B. Williamson, Dr. S.J.S. Rogers, Dr. Charles E. Stone, John Seaward, Marysville; J.C. West, Strawberry Valley; Claude Chana, J.L.McDonald, Charles Justis, F.F. Carnduff (Editor Recorder), Wheatland;  Jonas Spect, Colusa; Judge O.P. Stidger, North San Juan; Hon. I.E. Brown, Brownsville; Hon. Zach. Montgomery, Rev. S.V. Blakeslee, Oakland; Hon. L.B. Clark, Oregon House; Rev. W.W. Brier, Centerville; Thos. Mooney, John Rose, Smartsville; Capt. J.P. Brown, Camptonville; the officers of Yuba county and the city of Marysville, and their deputies, to whom we are indebted for their generous assistance, and who, by their uniform courtesies, have firmly established their right to represent such a constituency as is to be found in Yuba county.

   The success of the work is largely due to the efforts and support of its patrons and subscribers.  The interest they have taken in its preparation has proved an additional incentive to the publishers in their labor of issuing the complete and elaborate volume now placed before the reader.


In the compilation of data, the historian has resorted to the following books and periodicals for information: - - "Marysville Herald" newspaper, 1850 to 1858.  "Marysville Daily News," newspaper, 1858.  "Daily National Democrat," newspaper, 1858 to 1861.  "The California Express," newspaper, 1851 to 1863.  "Marysville Daily Appeal," newspaper, 1860 to present time.  "Weekly Sutter Banner," newspaper, 1868 to present time.  "Annals of San Francisco," by Frank Soule, J.H. Gihon and James Nisbet, 1855.  "Native Races of the Pacific States," by H.H. Bancroft, 1875; 5 vols.  "History of California," by Franklin Tuthill, 1866.  "History of the Public School System of California," by John Swett, 1876.  "The Natural Wealth of California," by Titus Fey Cronise, 1868.  "The Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44," by Brevet Captain J.C. Fremont, 1846.  "Resources of the Pacific Slope," by J. Ross Browne, 1869.  "A History of the City of San Francisco, and Incidentally of the State of California," by John S. Hittell, 1878.  "Report of the Debates in the Convention of California, on the Formation of the State Constitution," by J. Ross Browne, 1850.  "California," by J. Alexander Forbes, 1839.  "Historical and Descriptive Sketch Book of Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties," by C.A. Menefee, 1873.  "The History of San Jose and Surroundings," by Frederic Hall, 1871.  "The Resources of California," by John S. Hittell, 1874.  "History of California," by Capron, 1854.  "El Dorado; or, Adventures in the Path of Empire," by Bayard Taylor, 1850; 2 vols.  "Marysville Directory for 1853," by Hale & Emory.  "Marysville Directory for 185506," by Samuel Colville.  "Marysville Directory for 1858-9," by Mix Smith & G. Amy.  "Marysville Directory for 1861-2," by W.C. Brown.  "The Marysville, Yuba City and Colusa Directory for 1870-71," by John G. Kelley.  "Sacramento City Directory for 1853."  "Rivers of the West."  "Messages and Documents," 1850.  "Scenes in El Dorado in the Years 1849-50," by Samuel C. Upham, 1878.  "History of the Donner Party," by C.F. McGlashan, 1879.  "Three Years in California," by Rev. Walter Colton, U.S.N., 1850.  "Marysville Appeal Directory for 1878-9," by Messrs. Lockwood & Dawson.  "Sacramento Record-Union," newspaper.  "Overland Monthly," periodical.  "Scenes in the Rocky Mountains," by a New Englander, 1846.  "San Francisco Bulletin," newspaper.  "Sacramento Union," newspaper.  "Placer Times," newspaper, 1849.


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