CLARENCE A. McELROY
Clarence A. McElroy, who for many years has been connected with the lumber business in the Sacramento Valley, is now serving as timber boss for the Clover Valley Lumber Company of Loyalton, and as such has proven one of the corporation’s valuable men. He is well connected among the prominent old families of the Sierra Valley, being a grandson of the late Owen McElroy, a pioneer miner at Hangtown and later a prominent rancher and stockman at Sattley, and also a grandson of the late Isaac S. and Harriet (Sattley) Church, the former the first permanent settler at Sattley, while the latter gave her maiden name to the town. Clarence A. McElroy was born at Sattley, Sierra county, on the 13th of September, 1891, and is a son of Charles McElroy, who was born at Forest Hill, California, February 29, 1864, and died in 1912, at the age of forty-eight years. The grandfather, Owen McElroy, was born in Scotland, and went to Hangtown (now Placerville), California, in 1849. He was a pioneer placer gold miner at that place, but afterward went up to Michigan Bluff and Forest Hill, this state, where he mined in partnership with Leland Stanford. In Scotland he married Mary Sullivan, and the journey to California was their honeymoon trip. Charles McElroy married Miss Lydia Church, a daughter of Isaac S. Church and a granddaughter of Ezra Bliss Church, who was born in Vermont. Their son Isaac S. Church was the pioneer rancher at Church’s Corners, where he took up land as soon as the survey was completed. Later he went back to Vermont and brought his parents out. His mother’s family name was Sattley and when the post office was established at Church’s Corners they named it Sattley, as she was at that time the oldest woman resident of that locality. Mrs. Lydia (Church) McElroy is now residing in Sacramento, at the age of fifty-seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Owen McElroy had six children, of whom two are living: Nellie, the wife of George Carson, owner of the historic Dominguez Spanish grant lying between Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, adjacent to the Santa Fe oil field; and Elizabeth, the wife of A. P. Laffranchini. John O. McElroy, now deceased, was a prominent lawyer in San Francisco, where he served as district attorney and city attorney, and was prominently connected with the famous Abe Reuff trial. Mary McElroy, who was the oldest of the family, married a Mr. Freeman and is deceased; Margaret, who died in 1928, was the wife of Dr. Rhodes, of Chicago, and was employed by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad as a traveling auditor; Kate is the deceased wife of the late George Booles and resided in Honolulu, Hawaii.
To Charles and Lydia (Church) McElroy were born four children, namely: Clarence A.; Vesta E.; the wife of Grover Mitchell, of Sacramento, her mother also making her home with her; Mildred Fern, who was born in 1901 and died November 17, 1930, the wife of John Roy, of Sacramento; and George Owen, who was born in February, 1909, and drives a caterpillar tractor in the logging camp of the Clover Valley Lumber Company.
Clarence A. McElroy attended the Alpine public school, near Sattley, and Heald’s Business College. In young manhood he engaged in ranching and contracting, the latter being a side issue, consisting of logging for the Roberts Lumber Company at Loyalton. He next engaged in the transporting of heavy mining machinery to the Walker mine in 1914, helping to move the first machinery installed in that mine and he also hauled the mining machinery to the Engle mine in 1913. He did contract logging for the old Roberts Lumber Company and Western Lumber Company in the Antelope Valley, and was so engaged in 1917, when the United States entered the World War. He was called in the first draft, was in training at American Lake, Camp Lewis, Washington, and went overseas with the Ninety-first Division. He was assigned to dispatch duty from the division headquarters, in which capacity he served at St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Ypres and Lys. He was wounded by shrapnel during an engagement, and also had an attack of influenza, being confined to a hospital for ten days, but came through the dread disease in good shape. He had the honor of opening the door for King Albert of Belgium upon the occasion of His Majesty’s visit to the front, right after the Armistice. Mr. McElroy was promoted to first sergeant, and returned to the United States, May 5, 1919, after an absence of one year in France, receiving his honorable discharge at the Presidio, San Francisco. On arriving home Mr. McElroy at once resumed his contract logging for the Verdi Lumber Company, of Reno, Nevada. Later he was for three years connected in a like capacity with the Davies-Johnson Lumber Company, at Calpine, California, and in 1924 came to Loyalton and contracted with the Clover Valley Lumber Company for three years. At the end of that period he went to work for the company as its timber boss at the Clover Valley logging camp, twenty-seven miles from the company’s mills at Loyalton, being situated in the Plumas national forest, in Plumas county. There the corporation has a franchise which insures a perpetual cut for the life of the company. The cut is mainly of yellow pine, which is sawed and marketed commercially as California white pine. Mr. McElroy has one hundred men under him during the fall months, while during the busy season he supervises the work of two hundred and fifty men.
On February 4, 1919, at Carson City, Nevada, Mr. McElroy was united in marriage to Miss Annie West, a daughter of George and May (Payne) West. She was born near Vinton, California, and attended high school at Loyalton. Mr. and Mrs. McElroy, who reside in Loyalton, have two children, Lorraine and Fern. Mr. McElroy is an active member of the Masonic order, holding membership in Sierra Valley Lodge, No. 184, at Sierraville; Granite Chapter, No. 94, R. A. M. at Loyalton; Sacramento Commandery, No. 2, K. T.; and Ben Ali Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at Sacramento. Mrs. McElroy is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. McElroy also belongs to Reno Post, American Legion. He is now devoting his attention closely to the lumber business and is a member of the Northwest Lumbermen’s Association. His supervision extends over fifty miles of the Clover Valley Lumber Company’s logging railroad, which his logging crews build and maintain. Aside from a period from about November 30th to April 1st, Mr. McElroy is busy at the logging camp. He possesses a strong personality and good executive ability and handles the logging operations in a manner that has proven highly satisfactory to the company, while at the same time he commands the respect of the men under him.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 234-236. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.