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Siskiyou County









      Harry H. Ellison is one of the best known residents of Edgewood, where he was engaged in farming and stock-raising for many years, but is now living retired.  He represents one of the old established families of this locality and is favorably known throughout the district.  Born in the state of Washington on the 1st of September, 1883, he is a son of George and Emma E. (Arbaugh) Ellison.  His great-great-great-grandfather, Adam Ellison came from England in the year 1751 and settled in Virginia.  He had four sons:  Joseph, Lewis, Thomas and James.  Joseph Ellison, the great-great-grandfather of Harry H. Ellison, moved to Green County, Kentucky, about 1786.  He had two sons, Amos and Cornelius.  The former was married in Kentucky in 1815 and had four sons:  Thomas, James, Joseph and William.  Of these, Thomas Ellison, the grandfather of Harry H. Ellison, was born in 1818 and spent his youth in his native state—Kentucky.  In 1839 he married Mary McCubbins and shortly afterward they moved to Miller County, Missouri.  Thomas and Mary (McCubbins) Ellison were the parents of nine children, six sons and three daughters, namely:  William, Henry, Delaney, John, Lewis, George, Lydia, Mary and Martha.  Thomas Ellison resided in Missouri until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, when he moved with his family to Franklin County, Kansas.  There he lived on a farm on Appanoose Creek until 1874, when he came to California in company with his two youngest sons, Lewis and George.  He spent a year in Napa County, then went to Tillamook, Oregon, and in 1876 took up his abode in Siskiyou County, California, where he remained for four years.  On the expiration of that period, in 1880, he moved to Kittitas County, Washington, where his beloved wife died in 1887.  He then went to Kansas to visit his eldest daughter, Lydia, remained a short time, and returned to Milton, Washington, where he passed away a few days later.  His youngest son, George Ellison, the father of Harry H. Ellison, was born in Missouri, January 6, 1861, and was a youth of thirteen years when in 1874 the family came to California.  In 1882 he married Emma E. Arbaugh, of Siskiyou County, California, moving immediately to Kittitas County, Washington, after which he engaged in the sawmill business at Thorp for three years.  In 1885 he brought his family back to the Shasta valley and throughout the remainder of his life devoted his attention to the cultivation of a ranch near Edgewood, Siskiyou County.  To him and his wife were born five children, as follows:  Harry H.; George C., who died October 13, 1892; Artie L., who is a brickmason and married Miss Mildred Starr, of Weed; one who died in infancy; and Maude C., the wife of Lee Starr, an automobile mechanic at Shastina.

      In the maternal line Harry H. Ellison is descended from Francis Arbaugh, who was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in an early day.  He lived for a while in Maryland, but later moved to Virginia, where his son John was born in 1774.  The last named married Miss May Davidson, a daughter of David Davidson, of eastern Tennessee, and they became the parents of thirteen children, namely:  William Gordon, George Washington, Mary, Conrad, Jacob, John, Andrew, Albert, Marcellus, Elizabeth, Eliza, Sarah and Linda.  George W. Arbaugh was born at Decatur, Alabama, August 9, 1822, and spent his boyhood days on his father’s farm.  He attended the subscription schools of his home neighborhood, and in 1831 he went with his parents to Arkansas, the family settling on a farm in Johnson County, whereon he remained until 1846, when he enlisted in the Mexican War.  However, he was sent to Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee Nation, where he remained about a year and was then honorably discharged.  After his return home he made a trip to Iowa, visiting Keokuk and returning by way of Memphis and Little Rock.  He then taught school for three months.  In April, 1850, he started for California, going through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to Los Angeles, where he arrived August 9, 1850.  He fought against the Yuma Indians for four months under General J. C. Moorehead and returned to Los Angeles in command of forty-six men.  He was discharged in December and soon afterward went north to Fine Gold Gulch, where he mined for a month, then continued his journey to Shasta, and a month later to Yreka and Scott Bar.  He soon returned to Shasta and mined and owned an interest in the Upper ferry, three miles above Shasta.  In March, 1852, he went to Weaverville, where he mined for ten months, when he returned to Shasta and resumed mining there.  On January 24, 1853, he started for Arkansas, by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New Orleans.  With his wife and one child, he again started across the plains, but turned off the trail at Fort Hall and went to Oregon, arriving at Eugene City, October 24, 1853.  Leaving his family there, he went to Shasta and mined until the next year.  In May he went to Oregon and brought his family to the Shasta Valley, where he arrived June 18, 1855, and two years later he settled on the farm which became his permanent home.

      On February 3, 1848, George W. Arbaugh married Miss Rebecca Graves, who was born in Alabama, December 25, 1828, a daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Graves.  To this marriage were born nine children.  Leona, born in Arkansas, married A. J. Caldwell, who died in 1894, and later became the wife of John Winsell, who died in 1906.  Ruth, born in Oregon, married Lewis Ellison, of Thorp, Washington, who died on Christmas Day of 1929.  Mary, who died October 9, 1887, was the wife of L. H. Corey, a justice of the peace at Etna, California.  George is a retired farmer living in Santa Cruz, this state.  Emma, born October 15, 1860, became the wife of George Ellison.  Benjamin Graves died of diphtheria at the age of six years.  Isabelle married Walter E. Rucker and after his death became the wife of Richard Cavanaugh, of Edgewood, this state.  Rebecca died in infancy.  William lives on the Frank Mills ranch.  The mother of the above named children died in 1876.

      Harry H. Ellison was reared at home and received his education in the public schools.  He devoted his attention to the home farm, raising hay and grain and feeding live stock until he leased the place, and he and his mother are now living together in the Edgewood district, in which locality they have resided for forty years.  In fact, the mother is still in sight of her old home of three hundred and twenty acres and of the old cemetery where the members of her family were laid to rest.  Harry H. Ellison followed the sawmill business for twenty-one years, becoming head sawyer, and was regarded as an expert in that line.  He is the leader of an orchestra consisting of several instruments including violin, piano and guitar.  This orchestra is in demand and provides popular music as well as the melodies for old-time dances, which many people find more interesting than those of the present day.  He is widely known as one of this community’s substantial men and because of his cordial and unassuming manner, has a host of loyal friends.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 32-36. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

 © 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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