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HON. HARRY LANE ENGLEBRIGHT

 

 

      Hon. Harry Lane Englebright, a distinguished native son of Nevada City, where he still makes his home, has been a member of the sixty-ninth, seventieth, seventy-first and seventy-second congresses as representative from the second congressional district of California, which comprises the counties of Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity, Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa and Alpine.  He was born January 2, 1884, the eldest son of Hon. William F. and Kittie F. (Holland) Englebright, who were natives of Massachusetts and California, respectively.  Concerning the father a contemporary biographer said:  “An encomium upon the life and services of Hon. William F. Englebright is not needed in a volume presenting the representative citizens of Nevada City and County of the past, for his name is honored as that of one of the strong, earnest, forceful men who made the accomplishment of his efforts the bulwark of western statehood.”  He was born at New Bedford, Massachusetts, November 23, 1855, and was only three years old when brought to California by his parents, Henry and Mary Ann (Betz) Englebright.  He received his education in the public schools of Vallejo.  When he was old enough to become a wage earner, he was apprenticed to a house-joiner at the Mare Island Navy Yard; then he entered the civil engineering office at Mare Island, and after completing his studies in engineering, went to Nevada City, where he followed the profession of mining engineer.  So marked was his ability, he became an authority on mining and irrigation problems in this part of the state.  On account of his thorough knowledge of mining conditions, he was elected a member of the executive committee of the California State Mines Association.  Mr. Englebright continued active as a mining engineer from 1878 until his death, which occurred thirty-seven years later.  He served as superintendent of the Nevada division of the South Yuba Water Company from 1890 until 1905 and was vice president of the Oustomah Gold Mining Company.  On the 6th of November, 1906, he was elected to fill the unexpired term of James N. Gillett, resigned, in the fifty-ninth congress; then he was elected congressman to the sixtieth and reelected to the sixty-first congresses.  He was one of the authors of and introduced the Bureau of Mines bill.  He was a member of various important committees, among them being the naval committee and the committee on mines and mining.

      In 1882 Hon. William F. Englebright was united in marriage to Miss Kittie F. Holland and they became the parents of three sons:  Harry L., of this review; William H.; and Alfred Eugene.  The husband and father passed away February 10, 1915, and the mother is also deceased.  Hon. William F. Englebright had fraternal affiliations with Lodge No. 518 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in Nevada City, with the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and was also a Knight Templar Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine.  He was always active in politics as a supporter of the Republican Party, was a member of both the county and state central committees and served as a member of the Nevada County board of education for many years.

      Harry L. Englebright, who names introduces this article, has been actively connected with various mining enterprises in California during the past quarter century.  He grew to young manhood in Nevada City and here received his preliminary education in the grammar and high schools, while in 1904 he entered the University of California for the study of mining engineering.  From 1911 to 1914 he was United States mineral inspector for the interior department of California and was also mineral expert on the state conservation commission for this commonwealth.  For several years he devoted his attention to mining activities in the eastern and southern states.  On returning to the state of his nativity he became consulting engineer with the Excelsior Water & Mining Company in Nevada County, California, and the state of Nevada, while later he associated himself in a similar capacity with the Quaker Hill Gold Mines Company and the Murchie Mines Company.

      On the 14th of December, 1912, Mr. Englebright married Miss Marie Grace Jackson, a native of Nevada City, California, and they are the parents of a son, Harry Jackson.  Mr. Englebright has long figured prominently in public affairs and for several years acted as secretary of the Republican county central committee.  He was elected to the sixty-ninth congress at a special election held August 31, 1926, and reelected November 2, 1926, without opposition, to the seventieth congress of the second California district.  He was again elected to the seventy-first congress and won victory at the primaries on August 26, 1930, so that he is assured of a set in the seventy-second congress.  Only one other congressman from the second California district, Hon. John E. Raker, has been chosen member of congress since the death of his father, Hon. William F. Englebright.  Congressman Harry L. Englebright is a staunch supporter of the Boulder Canyon dam project and has also promoted considerable constructive legislation looking toward the education of the Indians.  He is the author and introducer of the Englebright fire bill, which proposes to protect the National Forests from their greatest destructive menace—forest fires, appropriating one hundred million dollars for building roads and trails and fire-fighting equipment to be spent at the rate of four million, five hundred thousand dollars per year, extending over a period of twenty years.  In a speech delivered before the Washington House of Representatives on the 3rd of July, 1930, he demonstrated his thorough knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the subject of fire prevention in the National Forests.  He is particularly interested in good roads and in the maintenance of the Yosemite and Lassen National Parks.  He is a member of the American Mining Congress and fraternally is identified with Lodge No. 518 of the Benevolent and Protect Order of Elks in Nevada City and with Wyoming Tribe No. 49 of the Improved Order of Red Men, of which he is past sachem.  From 1924 to 1926 he was great sachem of the Improved Order of Red Men for the state of California.  In religious faith he is an Episcopalian, and his life has ever been guided by high ideals.  He has won an enviable reputation as a statesman of wide knowledge and experience and a man of unusual ability and of unblemished integrity.

 

 

 

Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 134-136. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.

 

 

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