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Siskiyou County







            Since the year 1925, one of the principal grocery stores of Weed, California, has been operated by Earl G. Smith and his wife. This business is conducted along strictly high-class lines, and only the first grade of merchandise is carried in stock.

            Earl G. Smith is a native of Ashland, Oregon, his birth having occurred March 16, 1887, and he is a son of Francis Warrington and Alice Margaret (Givan) Smith. the father was born in Chautauqua county, New York, September 4, 1851, and crossed the western plains as a child with his father and mother in 1855. They first settled at Shingletown, near Redding, California, where the grandfather of Earl G. took up land, which he later sold at a profit, as he likewise did with another tract near Red Bluff. The family then moved to Ashland, Oregon, where the grandfather spent the remainder of his life in trading horses and in the cattle and sheep business. During the '70s, he drove a stage from Ashland, Oregon, to Kalmath Falls, and during the Modoc Indian war he freighted military supplies from Jacksonville to Fort Klamath. He was a democrat, but took no active part in politics and belonged to no lodge. He was a sincere Christian man, esteemed by everyone who knew him. He died at seventy-eight years of age, and both he and his wife are buried at Yreka, California.

            Francis W. Smith, father of Earl G., lived in Jackson county, Oregon, until 1894, when on account of hard times he came to Hornbrook, California, where he worked and operated the ranch of Dave Horn for five years. He then entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad, in which connection he continued until he was seventy years old, when he was pensioned. He then lived with his children at different places until his death, which occurred June 19, 1930, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Eugene Dowling, in Yreka. His wife died at Yreka, in August, 1925. They were the parents of six children. Gertrude, the first in order of birth, married Eugene Dowling, a lifelong resident of Yreka, who was county auditor for over twenty years, and is still in the employ of the county at the courthouse. Mrs. Dowling was born at Fort Bidwell, in Modoc county, California. Her husband is well known and is perhaps the leading authority on land matters in Siskiyou county, his knowledge having been acquired during his long continued work with the county records. Second in order of birth is Martha, born in Jackson county, Oregon, and now the wife of A. N. Losse, of San Jose, one of the wealthy orchardists of the Santa Clara valley. Mr. and Mrs. Losse have just completed a nine months’ trip around the world. S. J., the third child, born in Jackson county, Oregon, is a locomotive engineer on the Southern Pacific, and resides at Dunsmuir, California. Fourth in the family is Earl G., of this review. Fifth is Delos M., who was born in Jackson county, Oregon, and now lives at Westwood. He is paymaster for the Red River Lumber Company and he married Bessie Whiting. Mildred, was born in Hornbrook, California, and married Spencer W. Lowden, one of the state highway engineers located at Redding, California.

            Earl G. Smith attended the grade and high schools, but before finishing his studies secured a position with the Southern Pacific Railroad, acting as timekeeper and extra gang foreman for about three years. When twenty-one years of age he went to work at Hornbrook in a general merchandise store, where he remained for nine years. From his salary of sixty dollars a month, he saved three thousand dollars. He then worked in various other stores, and in 1925 came to Weed, where he established his present successful grocery store. He and his wife have developed an excellent business, and are very popular with their customers. Mr. Smith is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Susanville; the Knights of Pythias at Westwood; and the Modern Woodmen of America at Ashland. Both he and his wife attend the Community Church, and belong to the Mission Society.

            Earl G. Smith was married to Leta Penman, a daughter of John and Della (Hoagland) Penman. The father was born in St. Louis, Missouri, May 4, 1853, and the mother in Keokuk, Iowa. John Penman was a blacksmith nearly all of his life, and came to California as a child with his parents in February, 1854. His father was a merchant and farmer, and settled in Mohawk, Plumas county, later dying at Johnsville, Plumas county, in 1902. John Penman is still living with his children, of whom there were ten, namely: Ruby, born August 11, 1886, and now deceased, was the wife of William Gibson, owner of a service station near Marysville; Robert John, born at Willow Creek, October 9, 1887, is a farmer at Lincoln, California; Lulu, born June 16, 1889, died in infancy at Susanville; Leta, born June 13, 1890, at Susanville, Lassen county, California, is the wife of Earl G. Smith; Hilda, born in September, 1892, at Susanville, married Roy Parker, a longshoreman at Oakland, California, and formerly a painter and paper-hanger; LeRoy, born October 20, 1894, at Johnsville, Plumas county, married Harriett Carlson, and is now a cabinetmaker at Placerville, California; Ray, born August 29, 1897, at Johnsville, has been a patient at the United States Government Hospital since the World war, having been incapacitated by influenza; Guy, born at Susanville, October 14, 1899, died in infancy; Lloyd, born in Mohawk, is now an automobile mechanic at Alameda, California; and Audrey, born January 29, 1910, at Loyalton, Sierra county, California, married John Reneman, who works for the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. The mother of the above children lives with one of her daughters.

            Leta Penman Smith’s maternal grandmother was Louisa Shearer, who was born February 26, 1846. Her maternal grandfather was Henry Hoagland, who was born July 1, 1842, and her great-grandfather was Solomon Shearer, born June 6, 1803.



Transcribed by Marie Hassard 02 June 2010.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2, Pages 140-143. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010 Marie Hassard..



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