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Tehama County







William F. Luning, who long served as county surveyor, an office now managed by his son, has contributed much to the upbuilding and improvement of Red Bluff, where he was born July 3, 1857, a son of Joseph C. and Catherine Luning, who were natives of Germany. About 1854 the father came to California from Cincinnati, Ohio, and settled at Red Bluff, which was then the head of navigation on the Sacramento river. Here he turned his attention to the hotel business on Main street and conducted the hostelry to the time of his death, which occurred in 1869, when he was fifty-seven years of age. For a considerable period he was survived by the mother, who reached the age of seventy years.


William F. Luning acquired a public school education in Red Bluff and then turned his attention to surveying. He was a young man of nineteen years when in 1876 he began to carry the chain for Trowbridge B. Ward. Later he was a clerk of the supreme court of California and about the same time he assisted in developing a portion of the eastern section of Tehama county. In 1878 he became a rodman in the engineering department of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, acting in that capacity for three years. His next position was that of deputy county surveyor under H. B. Shackleford, with whom he continued for two years, and later he was made the democratic nominee for county surveyor, to which office he was elected without opposition, November 2, 1886. At the close of the term he was reelected by a large majority and served from January, 1887, until 1891, when he retired. He then did independent work as a surveyor for several years and in 1894 was again nominated for the office of county surveyor and once more won the victory at the polls. The year 1898 saw him again elected and installed in the office and in 1902 he was chosen without opposition. He has laid out many subdivisions to Red Bluff and also laid out the town of Corning, California. For twelve years he was city engineer of Red Bluff and as such planned, surveyed and superintended the construction of the sewer system of the city, which is one of the best in California. He is widely recognized as a man of high attainment in his profession and his ability has carried him into important relations in this field.


Mr. Luning was united in marriage to Miss Frances Baxter, a native of Missouri, who came to California in pioneer times, and they have a family of three children: C. A., Joseph and Francis. Mr. Luning gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and has always been keenly interested in educational matters, often aiding the schools in an official capacity. He belongs to the Woodmen of the World and enjoys the esteem not only of his fraternal bretheren but of all who know him, for he is recognized as a man of marked personal worth as well as professional capability.




Transcribed by Craig Hahn.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W. Major History of the Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 pgs. 23-24. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

2005 Craig Hahn.




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