Search billions of records on




Plumas County








            One of Plumas county’s leading businessmen is M. J. Ragley, the secretary and manager of the Quincy Lumber Company, which is the most important industry in this city.  This concern is also the owner of the Quincy Railroad Company, whose line extends from this city to Quincy Junction, on the main line of the Western Pacific Railroad.  The Quincy Lumber Company was organized under the laws of the state of California and is owned mostly by Louisiana stockholders, with the following officers:  W. P. Weber, Lake Charles, Louisiana, president; J. C. Saner, Dallas, Texas, vice president; George M. King, Lake Charles, Louisiana, treasurer; and M. J. Ragley, Quincy, California, secretary and manager.  The Quincy Lumber Company bought out the Murphy Lumber Company at Quincy in 1925, and has enlarged and remodeled the plant, modernizing it in every respect, so that it is now an up-to-date sawmill and planing mill, with a capacity of eighty thousand feet of lumber a day.  The planing mill produces ordinary dressed stock for building purposes.  The Quincy Lumber Company owns eleven thousand acres of timber in the vicinity of Quincy, and the railroad which it owns, five and one-half miles in length, was constructed for the purpose of bringing logs to the mill and taking away the mill products.  Seventy-five per cent of the stock in the railroad is owned by the Quincy Lumber Company, which thus controls its operations.  In addition to its freight service, the railroad runs two passenger trains each way daily, making connection at Quincy Junction with the regular trains of the Western Pacific Railroad.  In addition to the mill at Quincy, the Quincy Lumber Company owns the sawmill at Sloat, California, which also has a capacity of eighty thousand feet of lumber a day. Steam is the motive power of the mill at Quincy, while electrical power is used at Sloat.  The timber cut and utilized by the company here is mostly sugar pine, California white pine, yellow pine, Douglas fir, white fir and incense cedar, the latter being used for the making of lead pencils.  M. J. Ragley is the manager of the two mills and is regarded as a man of splendid executive ability and capacity for getting things done.

            M. J. Ragley was born on a farm near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on the 11th of February, 1877, and is a son of W. G. and Margaret (Byrne) Ragley.  His parents, with their family, moved to eastern Texas in 1878, and there the father engaged in the lumber business.  In his sawmill, his son, M. J. received his practical experience in the lumber manufacturing business and eventually was admitted to a partnership in the business.  When thirty-one years of age he went to Louisiana, where he built the Ragley sawmill, the town which sprang up at that place being given the name of Ragley, in his honor.  The mill was operated successfully until 1929, when the supply of available timber was exhausted, at which time the Ragley mill was sold and Mr. Ragley reinvested his funds in the Quincy Lumber Company.  He made his first trip to California in 1925 and has practically from that time been actively identified with the lumber business here.

            On October 12, 1904, in Jefferson, Texas, Mr. Ragley was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Wise, a native of Texas and a daughter of D. C. Wise, who was a cotton factor in that state.  By a previous marriage Mr. Ragley is the father of a son, J. W., an oil well driller at Dallas, Texas, who is married and has a daughter.

            M. J. Ragley is a Republican in his political views.  Though largely self-educated, he has been a close and studious reader and a keen observer of men and events, so that he is a well informed man, and his business record indicates the possession of sound and discriminating judgment in practical affairs.  Since coming to Quincy he has won a high place in the esteem of the people of this community and is regarded as one of its best citizens, for, though a busy man, he has in no way neglected the duties of citizenship and has taken an active and effective interest in the public welfare and the advancement of Quincy and Plumas County.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 320-321. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



Plumas County Biographies

California Statewide

Golden Nugget Library