GEORGE C. BYNON
††††††††††† Among those whose activities in the Sacramento Valley go back to the early stage days is George C. Bynon, probably one of the best known and most popular citizens of Sierra County, of which he is the present efficient sheriff.† He was born on August 15, 1881, at Birchville, twelve miles west of Nevada City, Nevada County, and is a son of Joseph and Rachel (Jones) Bynon, natives of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.† Both were of Welsh descent, their respective families having been established in this country about 1837.† The father was a teamster and miner, though back in Pennsylvania he followed the vocation of farming.† During the Civil War he left his plow standing in the furrow, saddled a horse and went to the front, where, at the age of eighteen years, he enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment.† Inside of three weeks his company had captured a Confederate company and the rebel colors, Mr. Bynon climbing to the top of the staff and pulling down the flag.† Prior to the war he served as a messenger in a local militia company.† Following the cessation of hostilities between the north and the south, Mr. Bynon operated a large cattle ranch in Wyoming and eventually took up his abode at San Juan Ridge, Nevada County, California, where he spent the evening of his life in honorable retirement, passing away at the age of eighty years.† His wife died when seventy-two years of age.† To them were born nine children, as follows:† Joe, who died unmarried at the age of about seventy years, and who was a typical western stockman, buying and selling horses and cattle in eastern California, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming; Hannah, who is supervisor of the fine arts in the public schools of Fresno County, this state; Maggie, deceased, whose husband, the late Seth Allen, was in business in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906; Rachel, who is the widow of the late J. Bryson and who is the proprietor of an apartment house in San Francisco; Ben, of Golconda, Nevada, who raises and buys cavalry horses for the United States Government and owns three thousand of these splendid animals; Laura, the wife of Jack Harris, who is superintendent for the Crocker-Hoffman Company, at Snelling, Merced County, California; two children who died in infancy; and George C., of this review.
††††††††††† George C. Bynon was practically reared in the saddle, for he remained on his fatherís stock ranch until twenty-one years of age.† He attended the public schools to the eighth grade and is practically self-educated.† About the time he attained his majority he went to work for the Grissel Stage Company, as the driver of the stage from Nevada City to Washington, Nevada County.† The Grissel Company at that time owned three stage routes, namely, from Nevada City to Washington, from Nevada City to Bloomfield, Nevada County, and from Nevada City to Downieville, Sierra County.† Mr. Bynon also drove stages for the McKenzie Stage Company, from Downieville to Blarisden, Plumas County, which line was then owned by Jack and Alex McKenzie, father and son.† Mr. Bynon drove stages for these two companies for nineteen years, after which he became a teamster for Bill Shaughnessy, of Downieville, hauling heavy freight for a number of years.† During that engagement he used as many as twelve or fourteen animals, mostly horses.† He has been a resident of Downieville since 1897 and in 1918 purchased his present home.† In 1926 he was elected sheriff of Sierra County, and the capable and fearless manner in which he discharged the duties of the office led to his being nominated for a second term in 1930.
††††††††††† On February 18, 1913, in Downieville, Mr. Bynon was united in marriage to Miss Viola Harris, of Downieville, a daughter of Jim Harris, who was a well known miner at Goodyears Bar.† Mr. Bynon is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Nevada City, and is a very popular citizen of the community.† He has led an active and useful life, enjoys a wide acquaintance among the best people of the county, and is uniformly respected.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 356-357. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.