††††† The oldest mercantile establishment in eastern Sierra County is the general store conducted by Fred Dolley at Sierraville, which has been owned and managed by members of his family for the past seventy years, during which period it has been recognized as one of the leading business concerns of the county.† The store was established about 1860 by Mr. Dolleyís uncle, O. B. Dolley, who conducted it up to the time of his death, about 1880, when it was taken over by his brother, Lynus Dolley, who was at the head of the business for forty years, or until his death, about 1920, and by his will the business was left to Fred, Edward and Cora Dolley, his children.† Fred bought the interests of his brother and sister and has since been sole owner.† He had managed the business for about five years prior to his fatherís death.
††††† Fred Dolley was born in Sierraville, December 14, 1882, a son of Lynus and Amelia (Blinnman) Dolley.† His grandfather was a native of Pennsylvania, whence he came overland with ox team and covered wagon to California, leaving his wife and children in Pennsylvania.† Lynus was born after his father had come west.† The mother and three children joined the father at Pike City, Sierra county, California, a mining town, about 1855.† Later Lynus Dolley was engaged in the produce business, which he carried on until taking over his brotherís store in Sierraville, and for forty years he was the leading merchant at that place.† Amelia Blinnman Dolley was born in England, and was brought to Pike City, Sierra County, while a babe in her motherís arms.† To Mr. and Mrs. Lynus Dolley were born eight children.† Lizzie, the wife of Frank Fray, a butcher at Reno, Nevada; Cora, who is the widow of David White, of Sierraville, and has three children, Edward, George and Dolley; Walter, who is engaged in ranching in Sacramento County; Edward, a cement contractor at Auburn, this state; Fred; Edith, the wife of Bert Williams, a merchant at Auburn; Ruth, who died in infancy; and Evelyn the wife of Jack Champion, the head mechanic of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company at Auburn.
††††† Fred Dolley attended the public schools at Sierraville, but on completing the grammar grades went to work.† His father owned a number of ranches and was an extensive dealer in live stock, and Fred assisted him, helping to drive cattle from Sierraville to the various towns between here and Sacramento.† They would sometimes leave Sierraville with three hundred head of cattle which his father had raised on his ranch here and some of which he had bought in the Sierra and Indian valleys and as far north as Lakeview, Oregon.† Fred Dolley frequently accompanied his father on his cattle buying and selling trips and thus gained valuable business experience.† He also clerked for his father in the store at Sierraville and assisted in the management of his fatherís stage business between Truckee and Sierraville and between Sierraville and Johnsville. †Leaving home he went to Dawson, Alaska, where he remained about sixteen months, during which he drove a team for the N. A. T. Grocery Company, clerking in the store and delivering goods to the nearby mining camps.† He saved his money and on his return went to Reno, Nevada, where he entered into a partnership with Charles Prime, in the retail grocery business.† In 1920 he sold his interest in order to return to Sierraville and take over the Dolley store, since which time he has given close attention to the business.
††††† In 1906, at Reno, Nevada, Mr. Dolley was united in marriage to Miss Jean Curtiss, of that place, a daughter of the late M. J. Curtiss, formerly a well known architect of Reno.† Mr. and Mrs. Dolley are the parents of three children: Norval, who is driving a truck for his father between Sierraville and Truckee; Jack, who drives the stage from Truckee to Weber Lake, this state; and Margery, in high school at Sierraville.† The sons are high school graduates.††††††† Politically Mr. Dolley is a staunch Republican, while his fraternal relations are with Evergreen Lodge, No. 140, I. O. O. F., at Sierraville.† By close attention to his various business interests, he has prospered and is now regarded as one of Sierravilleís most substantial men.† His main stage office and garage are at Truckee.† He owns and operates an up-to-date service station at Sierraville, dealing in Standard, Red Crown, Zerolin, Mobile A and other Standard products, and has built up a large and steadily growing business.† He is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Reno and has other investments of various kinds.† He is an energetic and progressive business man, accommodating and courteous in his relations with his patrons, and to a marked degree commands their confidence and good will.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 219-221. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.