Colusa County Historical Timeline

Compiled, organized and donated by John L. Morton, Colusa County Historical Researcher

  • 1846 - First white settler arrives in Colusa County, William Bryant.
  • 1847 - First white woman arrives in Colusa County, Mrs. Maria Louisa (Gordon) Bryant, daughter of Joseph Gordon of Russian River, Sonoma County, California.
    First house built in Colusa County by John S. Williams on the banks of the Sacramento River, near the present site of Princeton.
  • 1849 - First mining laws enacted in Colusa County.
  • 1851 - First Proclamation for election of County officers.
    First election of county officers:
    • Sheriff: John F. Willis
    • Judge: J. S. Holland
    • Justice of the Peace: William B. Ide
    • Clerk: E. D. Wheatley
    • Treasurer: William B. Ide
    • Assessor: W. G. Cherd
    • District Attorney: A. J. Weaver
    • Surveyor: J. G. Huls
    • Coroner: Uriah P. Monroe
    First county-audited balance sheet by Judge William B. Ide.
  • 1852 - First Grand Jury assembled at Monroeville, county seat.
    First lawsuit filed at Monroeville, county seat.
    First county assessment of real and personal property.
    First daily stagecoach line established, between Colusa and Shasta.
    First hanging, Nathaniel Bowman at Monroeville, county seaty.
  • 1853 - First marriage in Colusa County: A. C. St. John and Miss Julia Grigsby.
    First Ferry established across the Sacramento River at Princeton by Dr. Andrew Lull.
  • 1855 - First Superintendent of Schools, Robert Paine.
  • 1856 - First recording of the sale of public land at a public sale.
    First brick house built by John Dunlap and Jon Suydam on the corner of Main and Market Streets in Colusa.
  • 1859 - Colusa Lodge #142, Free and Accepted Masons organized.
    Methodist Church founded at Colusa by Brother James Kelsey.
  • 1860 - Construction begins on Colusa County courthouse at Colusa (new county seat) during the administration of the country's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. This is the second operating courthouse within the State of California.
  • 1861 - Colusa County courthouse construction completed and courthouse dedicated.
    U.S. Post Office established at Colusa. J. Hop Woods was the first Postmaster.
    Colusa's first public school is built and opened, located on the corner of Fourth and Jay Streets.
  • 1862 - First Colusa County newspaper founded and published by Charles R. Street, called the Weekly Colusa Sun.
  • 1866 - First money order issued by the Colusa Post Office.
  • 1867 - Reclamation District #67 organized.
  • 1868 - First Board of Trustees for the City of Colusa organized.
    First Mayor, Stewart Harris, of the City of Colusa appointed.
    First Town Marshall of the City of Colusa appointed, Henry Culp.
  • 1870 - Colusa County Bank organized.
    Reclamation District #108 organized.
  • 1871 - First Shad planted in the Sacramento River.
    Reclamation District #124 organized.
    Maxwell's first grammar school and high school were constructed.
  • 1873 - Colusa City Fire Department organized with Johnson Grover as first Fire Chief.
    Colusa Theatre dedicated, near corner of Fifth and Market Streets.
  • 1874 - First Map of Colusa County drawn by J. B. DeJarnatt, Colusa County Surveyor. The original map is stored at the Hall of Records in Colusa.
  • 1875 - First fire truck purchased for City of Colusa.
  • 1876 - First train enters Arbuckle, just two months after depot established there.
    U.S. Post Office esablished at Arbuckle with Tacitus R. Arbuckle as Postmaster.
  • 1877 - U.S. Post Office established at Maxwell.
    Colusa Guard organized with Colonel R. A. Gray in command. The Colusa Guard was mustered out in 1910.
  • 1878 - First telephone introduced in Colusa County.
    Town Marshall John T. Arnold killed in the line of duty in W. B. DeJarnatt's store on the corner of Fifth and Market Streets.
  • 1880 - Colusa Board of Trade organized.
  • 1881 - Hong Di hanged illegally by vigilantes on the turntable of the Colusa & Lake Railroad on Eighth Street in Colusa.
  • 1883 - First Catholic Mass held in Colusa County by Father Walrath at the Brick Catholic Shrine.
    Charles DeWitt was the 4th and last legal hanging in Colusa County. He was hanged between the courthouse and the jail on Market Street.
  • 1887 - First parlor of Native Daughters of the Golden West organized.
  • 1892 - Masonic Temple dedicated, corner of Fifth and Jay Streets in Colusa.
  • 1906 - Colusa County Chamber of Commerce organized.
  • 1908 - First moving picture shown at the Criterion Theatre.
  • 1909 - Colusa's first auto race and parade held in downtown Colusa.
    First water carnival held in Colusa.
  • 1910 - East Park Reservoir was constructed. The reservoir was the first Federal Reclamation Project build in California and is one of the oldest in the United States.
  • 1912 - Second parlor of Native Daughters of the Golden West organized.
  • 1914 - Hall of Records built and dedicated behind Colusa County courthouse.
  • 1919 - Colusa American Legion, Post #59, organized with Arch B. Davison as first post commander.
    Town Marshall Jasper N. Scroggins killed in the line of duty in a barn located on the corner of Bridge and East Webster Streets.
  • 1921 - Jack Dunfield, last Town Marshall, ends his term.
  • 1922 - Jeremy Totman appointed first City of Colusa Chief of Police.
  • 1930 - First Maxwell rodeo held.
  • 1932 - Colusa Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #2441, organized with George S. Jameson as the first post commander.
  • 1943 - First Stonyford rodeo held.


Historical County Populations:

  • 1850: 115
  • 1900: 7,364
  • 1950: 11, 651
  • 2000: 18,804


Colusa County Politics

Colusa is a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

  • California Congressional District: 2nd
  • State Assembly District: 2nd
  • State Senate District: 4th