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Plumas County









      Mrs. Sarah Thomas, one of Portola’s most highly respected residents, has lived here for many years and is widely acquainted throughout this section of the county.  She was born in Coles Valley, near Roseburg, Douglas County, Oregon, and is a daughter of Henry and Martha Ann (Churchill) Stucker, who were farming folk in that community and both died when their daughter was a small girl.  The Stucker family was of German origin and its members were mostly of large build and great strength, living to the age of ninety years or more.  The Churchill’s were of English descent, and likewise were a hardy race.  After her mother’s death, Sarah Stucker went to live with her Grandmother Churchill, and after the death of the latter lived with an uncle, Charles Churchill, in Douglas County.  She received but meager educational advantages, mostly confined to subscription schools in her home county.  In April, 1875, in Douglas County, Oregon, Sarah Stucker became the wife of Sylvanus Augustus Thomas, who was familiarly known among his friends as “Gus” Thomas.  He was born near Berryville, Arkansas, and came across the plains to California.  Soon after his marriage, in 1875, he came to Plumas County and, in partnership with his cousin, Ike Stanlea, acquired an interest in the King ranch.  However, he did not like that business and soon disposed of his interests.  Removing to Beckwith, he entered the employ of James S. Humphrey, on the latter’s extensive ranch in the Sierra valley.  In 1915 Mr. Thomas was burned to death in the destruction of his home by fire, which was caused by the explosion of an oil stove.  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas became the parents of four children, namely:  Sylvester Clarence, who is employed in the car repair department of the Western Pacific at Portola; Everett, who works for the Humphrey Cattle Company on its Milford ranch; one who died in infancy and one who died in young manhood.  Sylvester married Miss Sylvia Grondona, and they have a daughter, Lovina.  The latter is the wife of William Tout, who is a fireman on the Western Pacific Railroad, which she is a stenographer for the Portola branch of the Plumas County Bank.  In 1918 Mrs. Thomas moved to Portola, where she still resides.  Through her good business judgment, industry and economy, she has become very comfortably situated in life, being the owner of three residence properties in Portola, one of which she occupies, while the others are rented.  She also still owns some business lots in Beckwith.

      Mrs. Thomas gives her political support to the Republican Party, and as a charter member of the Beckwith Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, of which she was worthy matron in 1909, and to which order she has belonged for more than thirty years.  She also belongs to the Pacific Club at Portola.  She enjoys excellent health, takes great pleasure in the company of her host of friends through this section of the county, and is held in affectionate regard by those who have the pleasure of her acquaintance.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 213-214. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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