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Plumas County









      No biographical record of the Sacramento Valley would be satisfactory without specific mention of Senator William W. Kellogg, of Quincy, who is undoubtedly one of Plumas County’s most distinguished and most beloved citizens, owing to his sterling qualities, his outstanding ability, his long and able service in various public capacities and his professional success.  Senator Kellogg was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, on the 13th of March, 1837, and is a son of Langdon and Wealthy Ann (Boise) Kellogg.  In both paternal and maternal lines he is descended from old American families, long established in New England.  The Kellogg family is of English origin and the annals of the old city of Farmington, record that Lieutenant Joseph Kellogg acted as a trainer of the militia as early as 1651, but, save the fact that he came from England, nothing is known of his history.  Succeeding generations of the family have been represented in various walks of life, some of its members attaining wide distinction.  Langdon Kellogg, father of Senator Kellogg, conducted important commercial enterprises and owned mills devoted to manufacturing powder.  The Boyse family settled in Massachusetts in 1636, and Patrick Boyse served in the first Massachusetts legislature, while later members of the family took part in the American war for independence.

      William Winne Kellogg was named for Captain William Winne, a personal friend of the Kellogg’s who kept a hotel at Albany, New York, and was well known and influential in that state.  Reared among the favorable surroundings of his native county and an academy, and arrived at man’s estate with a splendid physique and an alter mind.  In 1858, at the age of twenty-one years, he came to California by way of the isthmus of Panama, and in 1858 located in Plumas County.  His early years in this state were devoted to mining, in which he met with but indifferent success.  With the reported discovery of gold on the Frazier River, in British Columbia, he joined the rush for that el dorado, but upon his arrival at The Dalles, Oregon, he learned that the reported gold discovery was a hoax, and he thereupon returned to Plumas County.  On coming to this county he had at first located at Rich Bar, where he mined for a few years.  He was elected constable of Rich Bar township, later became justice of the peace and in 1861 was elected county assessor and moved to Quincy, which has been his home continuously since.  In 1863 he was elected county clerk and auditor, and on retiring from that office became the editor and publisher of the Quincy Union, which he conducted for about three years.  In the meantime he took up the study of law and in 1873 was admitted to the bar of California.  He practiced law for fifty years and a record of the outstanding incidents of that half century of practice would fill a volume and prove exceedingly interesting reading.  Naturally a ready and forceful speaker, he rose to his greatest heights as a defense lawyer in criminal cases, and as such he stood in the front rank of the great criminal lawyers of this state.  He has been able to move an audience to tears or laughter at his will and not only in his addresses to juries, but also on civic and political occasions has risen to heights of oratory never excelled and seldom equaled.

      In 1880 Mr. Kellogg was elected to the state legislature and ably represented his constituency.  When the sentiment in the lower counties of the Sacramento Valley became strong against hydraulic mining on the account of the debris washed into the streams, he ably defended the rights of the hydraulic miners and was able through several sessions of the legislature to defeat the debris legislation.  In 1882 he was elected to the state senate and served four years in that body with ability and faithfulness.  Senator Kellogg continued in the practice of law until about 1923, when he retired and is now leisurely enjoying the golden sunset years of his life, secure in the respect and esteem of his fellowmen.

      On September 15, 1878, in Quincy, Senator Kellogg was united in marriage to Miss Sarah L. Cates, the accomplished daughter of the late Oliver F. and Mary G. (Strange) Cates, of San Francisco.  She was brought to California by her parents when ten years of age, was graduated from Mansfeldt’s School of Music, in San Francisco, and for several years was a teacher of the piano.  To Senator and Mrs. Kellogg was born a son, Boise Bell, in 1888 and died in 1903, at the age of fifteen years.  By a former marriage Senator Kellogg had two children, Clarence W. and Charlotte.  Clarence W., who is now retired, after having practiced medicine very successfully in Bakersfield, this state, lives at Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County, California.  He graduated from the Cleveland (Ohio) Medical College and the Cooper Medical College of San Francisco, and pursued a four-year course at the University of Berlin.  He married Miss Katherine Day, of San Francisco, and had a daughter, Kate Craig Kellogg, who became the wife of Major Johnson, of the World war.  After their marriage they went to live in Alaska.  They are now both deceased and their child, William Winne, Jr., has been legally adopted by his grandfather, Dr. Kellogg.  Charlotte Kellogg became the wife of Ben Martin, of Santa Cruz, California, and died, leaving two children, William Clarence and DeLoss Kellogg.  Dr. Clarence Kellogg was reared by his step-mother, who gave to him the same loving care and attention that he would have received had he been her own child.  A faithful wife, a loving mother and grandmother and a loyal friend, she holds a warm place in the hearts and affections of all who know her.

            Senator Kellogg has always supported the Republican Party with the same energy, sincerity and ability with which he has addressed all undertakings.  He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, a fact of which he is deservedly proud.  During his active years he was a great organizer of business enterprises and has been at the head of several of Plumas county’s leading concerns.  He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he is a past noble grand and a past district deputy, and has been elected several times a representative to the grand lodge.  He is also the oldest member of the Nevada City lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.  He is a firm believer in a supreme being and in spiritual existence after death.  His ability and reputation as an orator created a constant demand for his services as the principal speaker on numerous public occasions, and he has never in any way disappointed his hearers.  He has undoubtedly delivered more patriotic historical and dedicatory addresses than any other person now living in California, and his Fourth of July and Memorial Day addresses have been particularly eloquent.  Many of his speeches have been printed, and his speech dedicating the I. O. O. F. hall at Quincy, the one dedicating the Memorial hall in Quincy and that dedicating the Rich Bar monument are regarded as oratorical gems of particular brilliance.  His Memorial hall address was published in full in the “Grizzly Bear,” the official organ of the Native Sons of the Golden West and the Native Daughters of the Golden West.  Senator Kellogg has written a number of extremely interesting and valuable articles on historical events of the early days in this locality and these have appeared in the local newspapers to the great pleasure of the reading public.  Despite his ninety-four years, he is remarkably well preserved physically, being able to read without glasses and hearing well.  He is strong and active, takes a keen interest in everything about him and is an extremely interesting conversationalist.  He has honored the state by his life and labors and Plumas County is proud to own him as her own.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 144-149. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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