1856 - 1858 - letters - 1867/69 - 1870-72 - 1873-75 - 1876-1878 - 1879 - 1880 - [1881 through 1899 diary missing] - 1900-04 - 1905-07 - 1908-09

[The transcription below is from papers belonging to James Lague, Historian, kindly shared by Rosemarie Mossinger, Challenge, CA.]


Jan. 9 - This morning somewhat cloudy. Mabel Kumle went on the stage from Challenge enroute to her home at Willow Glen to spend her vacation with her mother. Klos went to Woodleaf to butcher a beef for C. L. Falck.
Feb. 26 - Another beautiful morning. Frost in evidence. Gravel hauling for the road goes on. Brown and Tom Williams got the Albert bees today.
Mar. 29 - Mercury stands at 44. Mrs. Flanagan and her daughter and other relatives will have a good day to bury Mr. Flanagan at the Brownsville cemetery, by the Order of Foresters of America, to which he belong.
Apr. 5 - Mercury at 26 - The funeral of the old lady McShane quite largely attended. Service at the house of her son J. F. McS. by Rev. Father Hines.
Apr. 12 - This morning I leave Forbestown in time to reach home and get ready for the wedding of Fay Harvey and Dwight Scott. Rev. Darling's sermon was short but fine. Mr. and Mrs. Twogood were honored with a place next to bridesmaid and the happy couple at the Wedding Dinner.
May 30 - North wind. The Decoration Day exercises were quite good, and Miss Mable Kumle is entitled to much credit for the program and the training of her scholars of her Challenge School. Mrs. Horton is now ready for business in the Hotel.
July 6 - This morning is quiet after so much noise. W. J. Schultz writes of the death of Geo. W. Sharrer, an old and intimate friend of the Twogood family. I regret not being strong enough to attend his funeral. Telephone from Forbestown says A. E. Anderson passed away at 5 p.m.
July 7 - This morn there is a nice little breeze. Yet Mercury reaches 80 by 10 a.m. In a letter from Chico it was said that baby Louis Edwards has a first tooth - he being nine months old.
Aug. 15 - Rev. Darling and wife, who stayed with us last night, leave for home at Honcut about 7:30 a.m. We hear of the tragic ending of the life of A. J. Holmes by shooting himself. The Coroner, who has been officiating at the funeral of Mrs. Dolan will take the body below for cremation, which is known to have been his choice while living.
Sept. 11 - About 1 p.m. the funeral procession arrived at the Brownsville cemetery, and the mortal remains of James Feeney were consigned to the grave, Rev. Father Carey officiating. Ermatinger family move from the White House.
Sept. 17 - R. E. Bevan called on me, on his return from Strawberry Valley, where he took the remains of John Tolin, to be consigned to the grave in the section of the country where he spent the greater part of his life. This is well as he had a honor of being burried in a paupers grave. His friends raised the necessary funds to have his remains brought up from the hospital.
Sept. 22 - We saw the Star of Bethlehem again this morning. It is very bright - at times appears like a blazing ball of fire. It rises about 2 or 3 a.m. and travels quite far south in its westward course.
Sept. 27 - A forest fire reported out on the ridge below Empire Hill. The day is very quiet. No man seems to be boozed up to make a noise.
Oct. 12 - Fine morning again. Dr. Van Male puts me to bed in our dining room, so it will save my wife from going up and down stairs. Dr. gives me pill remedies.
Oct. 28 - Mercury at 44 this morn. P.M. I ride to White House thence to Lockwood place, with Ben Brown, and I walk home.
Nov. 3 - This is the great day on which the Chief Executive of this great American Nation is to be chosen by its loyal citizens. That Judge Taft will be the man, is my firm belief, as I don't believe the people are crazy. 66 votes cast here with Taft 32 and McKinley 33.
Nov. 5 - This morning is lovely again, and election news is lovely too, as we hear Taft won by a big majority of Electoral votes, and a sweeping popular vote.
Nov. 8 - This morn is chilly. Wee, Ruf Bean's son-in-law passed down in his automobile. The roads are fine now and it must be a pleasure to be out in an auto.
Nov. 11 - Frost everywhere on the sidewalks. D. C. Cuddeback took lunch with us, after which he drove to the new sawmill. On his return, he said Leal was making some fine lumber.
Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day. Mercury at 32 and lots of white frost. I can give thanks to my Maker for being fairly well, and for eyesight which enables me to write these lines without aid of spectacles. One month from tomorrow I will be 80 years of age, if I live. P.M. many vehicles pass enroute to the Challenge Ball. (Coupes Ball) 98 tickets sold.
Dec. 1 - This morning Mrs. L. A. Horton took possession of the Hotel and furnished breakfast for all the boarders, about 4 regular.
Dec. 8 - Mrs. Mary A. Varney started for Sacramento, where she will find a good home with her nephew, Wm. Oakes. Emma McIntosh came down to visit her sister, Kate Brown and family.
Dec. 12 - Mercury at 30 at 6:30 a.m. Clarence Dale came up from Oroville with Oliver Hedge, yesterday, and Clarence has divided the blankets with his wife of a few months, and he wants Mrs. H. A. Conwell to take his baby. Wonders will never cease. No they will come oftener as the population continues to increase.
Dec. 27 - This morn is bright and fine on my 80th birthday. If only all my children could be with me, but they have not forgotten me, cards and presents. Ed sent a $10.00 bill.


Written without the aid of spectacles, age 80.

Jan. 7 - This morning at 6:15 Mercury stood at 48 degrees.  About 8:30 rain falls again and continues through the day, and increases this evening with considerable wind.  Our dining room roof leaking and in consequence we have dishes under the places.

Jan. 8 - After an all night downpour, the rain comes in torrents, water everywhere, with mercury at 50 degrees at 7 a.m.  P.M.  The wind howls and rain falls increasingly.  R. L. Adams comes down with team enroute to Honcut.  He brought us some eggs.  Being driven out of our sleeping quarters by the leaks, we put two lounges in the storeroom and lodge thereon.

Jan. 10 - This morn. mercury stands at 24 - frost everywhere, coldest of the season.  Mrs. Darby is very weak.  Her doctor (Daingerfield) has not been to see her for several days.  They called in Dr. Lord "Oh Lord", I hope the poor woman will recover and that she can come to her daughters home.

Jan. 15 - This morning still raining in torrents with mercury at 58.  Dry Creek is booming.  P.M. we hear that Al Kumle's foot bridge washed away.  The burial of Etta Beever took place about 12:30.  No services.  The storm still continues.  No mail today from below Bangor.  Stage failed to get into Marysville last night.

Jan. 28 - This morning the sun rises clear, for which everyone should feel thankful after 4 weeks continuous storm.  Mercury stands at 42 at 7 a.m.

Feb. 6 - This morn. snow on the ground again.  Mercury at 40.  Storm steady all day.  Mr. Avery, Supt. of the A. B. Mine, shot and killed himself about 11:30 a.m.   Eve., storm is raging right along.

Feb. 9 - Cloudy.  We hear that R. M. Smith an old stage driver dropped dead this morn. at Woodleaf.  He was driving along near Woodleaf when he dropped his cigar, the lines, and fell over against Frida Schultz.  Mr. Schultz drove the team on to the post office.

Feb. 28 - Contrary to my liking, I am going to be busy at Uncle Sam's business - counting stamps and making out money orders.  The weather is lovely.  Eve., is clear.

Mar. 7 - This morning is more pleasant, sunshine very welcome.  I am feeling better but like the Missourian, "powerful weak".  My good wife tries to have me eat, but I've no craving for food.  Weather doubtful.

Mar. 14 - This morn I find I left my store house door open all night.  Nothing is missing that I notice.  Good people in Brownsville.  Klos starts after Mrs. Darby at George Mixes, Bullards Bar.  Eve., the clouds seem to pass away and the stars twinkle again.

April 16 - This morning is clear and pleasant again.  I commence assessing.  I get Marcus Weiss, first man.  I also assess during the day, Conwell, his daughter Maud, Merrian, Leal and Wetmore.  Baby Louis fell off the side porch near the water tank.  Dr. Van Male called in to see my wife, and will send down medicine.

April 29 - Mercury stands at 37, frost on the walk.  Stage very late.  Eve. we listen to a good sermon by Rev. C. H. Darling.  He remembered my dear sick wife in language that seemingly would melt a heart of stone.

May 1 - This morn is fine - everybody goes to the picnic at Rackerby, or Upham.  Eve., is moony and warm.  A fine time for both Challenge and Upham balls, the former a masq.

May 3 - This morning is clear.  About 9 a.m. I hear with sadness, of the death of my friend and fellow traveler and Brother Odd Fellow, R. M. Johnson.  Later I learn that he still survives, but his wife died at 5 p.m. yesterday.  P.M. is warm, mercury gets up to 84 on front porch.

May 4 - This morn is warm and dry.  About 12 noon Martin and Lizzie with Lawrence arrive from Chico.  Soon after which the hearse passed through to the church with all that was mortal of Mrs. R. M. Johnson.  Rev. Cale of Bangor preached the funeral sermon.

May 6 - This morn, Wetmore and myself went down to see our Brother Odd Fellow, R. M. Johnson who is very low, and not expected to last long.  We find him very low, hardly able to talk.  We dine at Congers and start home about 1:30 p.m.  We get home about 6:15 and Mr. Norris would not take pay for the rig at any price.

May 10 - This morn is cold.  I start for Rackerby, and am assessing the property of the country again.  I find it very pleasant driving through the country over the hills, after the sun has reached a sufficient height to warm the atmosphere. Eve., home again.

May 11 - This morn I drive again and find it chilly till sun gets up.  I drive to Forbestown where I dine.  I have an introduction to Ex-Mayor Smith, and a Mr. Forbes whose father came to Forbestown in early days and the town was named for him.

May 13 - This morn I drive down to Rackerby - Santa Rosa Mine.  I call on Cassy Ruff and she signs her sister Ida's statement.  Eve., is cold after sunset.  R. M. Johnson died last night about 5 p.m.

May 14 - This morning is cool.  I remain at home on account of the burial of our Brother, R. M. Johnson of Brownsville Lodge No. 283 I.O.O.F.  At 2:30 p.m. Ceremony commenced in our Lodge Room.  I took the part of Chaplan, and I had very hard work to control my feelings - so sad a case of deceased's lovely daughter, Daisy, Mrs. Conger.

May 20 - This morn is slightly hazy.  P.M.  I take a drive to Rackerby and assess Robert J. Sheehan's place and collect his poll tax.  My little grandson, Lawrence Gaylord Tufford rides the round with me.

May 22 - This morn is cold, tho no frost.  P.M. I ride to Cranes on stage, and go on foot to J. P. Mayfields.  I return home via Alex Packard's.  I take their property statement and listen to music from their phone.  Clara P. accompanies me to the White House (Munerita).

May 30 - This is a fine morning, and well it is, for many people gather to listen to addresses by Hon. E. T. Manwell, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Schafer.  The Rackerby brass Band played some fine pieces.  The march to the cemetery was quite imposing.

June 2 - This morn is slightly cooler.  P.M. mercury gets up to 88.  We hear that one of the Feeney girls and Edna Kelly got lost while on a fishing excursion on Sly Creek.

June 4 - This morn I execute pension vouchers for B. H. Brown, Myer C. Hawley and Hugh F. Wilder.  We hear the good news that lost girls are safe and unharmed.  They came to a cabin.

June 5 - This morn is real cool - 48.  I make a fire in the heating stove, so my wife can be comfortable.  P.M. mercury touches 87 - so sudden from 48.  Eve., we have Lodge.  Five members show up.  Clark, Rackerby, Wetmore, Conwell and myself.  Bell rope broke so Packard could not be called.

June 20 - This morn is fine.  Light attendance at Sunday school.  Owing to the amount of water in the Apple Tree Mine, only two men and one horse were at work today.  Sena Anna McShane died at 2:40 a.m. today.

June 26 - This morn mercury stands at 58 at 5:45 a.m.  I ride to Rackerby via Marcus Weiss's place and Davis Mine.  I pass by the Johnson (Abby) Mine.  It is a rough trail to the Weiss place.

June 27 - This morn is cool.  A boy came into the family of H. Klos today.  (Cecil Klos)

June 28 - This is the 39th anniversary of the wedding of G. S. W. and S. M. Twogood and the 68th anniversary of Mrs. Twogood's birth.  We have a good dinner and the day in a quiet way.  Eve., cool again.

July 3 - Great time at Woodleaf today and ball in the evening.  Dance at Bullard's Bar tonight.  We are comparatively quiet in our town.  Now and then livened up by the sound of fire-crackers and the passing of teams.

Aug. 23 - Mercury stands at 44, coldest in a long time.  A petition for postmaster as my successor in the person of Mrs. G. R. Gordon is in circulation this morning.  No one refuses to sign for Mrs. Gordon.  My resignation was mailed in today.

Sept. 6 - This morn mercury at 54.  We hear of the sudden death of our friend and neighbor, Judge L. T. Crane.  His death was not unexpected, as he is 90 years old.  Undertaker Bevan and family came up to Cranes in a auto - had a tire burst and had a time making repairs here in town.

Sept. 8 - Mercury stands at 48 at 6 a.m.  Masons Corinthian joins of Forbestown Lodge and we perform the last sad rites in the burial of our Brother Judge Crane.  The Marysville Masons were invited to lunch at the White House (Munevita) a very nice thing on Mrs. Campbell's part.

Sept. 12 - This morn mercury stands at 58.  Forest fire produces lots of smoke.  The fire has burned all over the hills from Prince Alberts place towards Indiana Ranch.

Sept. 16 - The mercury stands at 52 at 6:45 a.m.  Smoke has settled down about Brownsville.  About 8 p.m. we get the shocking news of poor Will Birmingham's death.

Sept. 30 - This morn is clear and mercury registers 38.  This afternoon we listen to a sermon by Rev. Cole of Bangor, at the funeral of widow of the late Sylvester Kinnear, after which the remains of the lady was consigned to the grave in Brownsville cemetery.

Oct. 16 - This morn mercury at 44 .  Toward noon warms up enough to be pleasant.  We are busy getting ready to vacate.  Martin works steady helping pack and box things.

Oct. 18 - This morn. mercury stands at 39, clear.  It turns out to be Gordon's third son whose leg was broken yesterday by falling from a horse.  Clifford Kumle called to see his Uncle Albert Kumle today.  First time Geo. Kumle was in Brownsville today.

Oct. 24 - This morn mercury stands at 40. P.M. we call on our neighbor at the "White House" (Munevita). We are royally entertained - have a fine dinner (supper) chicken nicely cooked and well seasoned.  After supper we have a pleasant walk home by the light of the moon.

Nov. 2 - This morn is clear and mercury is at 42.  The Gordon family move in and Mrs. Gordon gets her first supper in her new quarters.  Wife and I are invited to Laura's (Kloss) to sleep.  She is a dear friend and neighbor.

Nov. 4 - This morn the mercury stands at 43.  I instruct Mrs. Gordon in mail matters.  Our boxes are marked for shipment to Chico.  P.M., wife and I start for Orolewa on final visit.  We stop for the night at Adam's.

Nov. 7 - Birmingham's, Strawberry Valley - This morn. frost on roofs of buildings in old Strawberry Valley, the place which was once my home for several years.  We bid our old long time friend Chas. T. Prindle good bye.

Nov. 15 - Hotel, Brownsville - This morn. we are going up to Sharon Valley to visit Mrs. Crane, Mrs. Hawley and Mrs. Hankins.  After lunch and a visit of a few hours we start for Brownsville, which we will leave soon, for good.  Eve., at the Hotel again, where we spend the evening with Mr. and Mrs. Jewett of Marysville.

Nov. 16 - This morn. Mr. B. H. Brown our real friend takes us to Forbestown where we get lunch, bid Mrs. Garton & Hattie goodbye and take the stage for Oroville.

Nov. 25 - Thanksgiving Day - Chico - This morn is clear and sharp.  We have a partial family reunion at the George and Pearl Edwards home, and partake of a dinner of the "National Bird" (or which should be) with the usual fixens.  The turkey was done to perfection, cooked by my wife.

End of diaries.

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler.