Colusa County Biographies - M

Biographies and photos source:

  1. Colusa County: Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with a Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc., Justus H. Rogers

  2. Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents, Orland, California, 1891.

A digitized version of the book can be found on Google Books.

Please note: many of the names in this index were abbreviated with initials. The full names of those individuals has been added {in braces} when possible.

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Manor, A. B. (p. 444)
Alexander Bonaparte Manor is a native of Lucas County, Ohio, born December 24, 1824. His parents were French Canadians. He was brought up on a farm and worked thereon till his twenty-fourth year. He then set out for California with an ox-team, crossing the plans via Salt Lake and Truckee, reaching Grass Valley in the summer of 1849. After tempting fortune in the mines unsuccessfully for two years, he turned his young energies to teaming, at which he was employed for four years. In 1855 he moved to San Francisco, where he resided until 1869, being engaged in conducting a feed store on his own account. Mr. Manor next moved to Yolo County, near Cacheville, where he farmed for eleven years. In 1872, disposing of his place here, he removed with his family to his present place of abode, on Freshwater, though he had located three thousand one hundred acres of land there two years before coming to reside thereon. He has since added to his landed possessions so that he now owns four thousand one hundred and sixty-four acres.

In 1869 Mr. Manor was married to Mrs. Martha Rice, of Yolo County, daughter of Matthew Smith, of Spencersburg, Pike County, Missouri, by whom he has had three children, four other children of the household being his step-children.
Marr, J. T. (p. 389)
James T. Marr was born in Fayette County, Missouri, March 9, 1830. Before coming to California he resided in Johnson County, Missouri, from which point he set out for the Golden State May 10, 1850, arriving at Placerville on September 4 following. He mined here a few months and afterwards in Trinity County nearly one year.

Mr. Marr came to Colusa County October 15, 1851, and engaged in stock-raising and farming. He was the first farmer north of Sacramento City, west of the Sacramento River. At that time he was obliged to use plows made of old boiler iron, the iron for each plow costing $6o, while he made the woodwork for the plows. He first located on the river three miles below the town of Colusa, but finding himself on the “grant,” he moved, in 1862, to his present place, where he secured a large tract of government land and purchased a part of the “grant” and has now a large farm, most of which is cultivated in wheat. He has made a great deal of money in raising hogs. His home is one of comfort and its surroundings most inviting.

He was married, June 27, 1860, to Miss Melissa Williams, a native of McDonough County, Missouri, who is the mother of eight children.
McDaniel, E. (p. 367)
{Elijah McDaniel} This hardy pioneer and successful farmer was born in Roane County, Tennessee, July 4, 1820. In 1834 he moved, with his family, to Illinois. He remained there, working on his father's farm, for eight years, when he married Miss Sarah Ann Goree and settled in Wayne County, Illinois. He removed in 1848 to Schuyler County, where he rented land until 1852, when he was seized with a longing to come to California. On March 25, 1853, he, with his family, consisting at this time of his wife and five children, put all their effects in an ox wagon and set out for the Golden State. The party met with many adventures and endured some privations on their toilsome march across the wilderness. One incident is worth preserving. One night, while in the Goose Creek Mountains, they came across a fine dog, which, having become foot-sore, had been abandoned by a preceding train. Mr. McDaniel bound up his foot, placed him in the wagon and permitted him to ride till he had fully recovered. He afterward proved an invaluable help, as he was better than a man on guard. Arriving at Lassen Meadows, they came to the Pine Trading Post and found themselves without provisions and money. The trader at this post took a fancy to the dog and bought him for seventeen dollars, so that the poor dog they had befriended was the means of supplying them with provisions for continuing their journey. In this circumstance Mr. McDaniel thought he saw the hand of Providence.
McIntosh, L. H. (p. 389)
{Lewis H. McIntosh} L. H. McIntosh resides in the extreme northeast part of the county, five miles from St. John. He was born in Bath County, Kentucky, in the year 1837, and was there engaged in farming till 1852, when he came to Colusa County and worked for his brother seven years. He afterwards leased land from him for several years, and from this small beginning has grown to be one of the most substantial farmers in the county. In 1872 he married Miss Julia E. Smith, a native of Lisle Township, near Chicago, Illinois, by whom he has an interesting family. His farm consists of three thousand acres of land, two-thirds of which are usually sown to wheat. His residence is large and built with a view to comfort. From this place a most enjoyable view of Mount Shasta can be had, though distant one hundred and fifty miles.
McMichael, Henry S. (p. 448)
This gentleman's home is “Oak Park,” in Antelope Valley, about fourteen miles from Williams. He was born in Walton County, Georgia, in 1830. He moved with his father to Benton County, Alabama, when a mere infant. At the age of seventeen he began learning the cabinet-making trade, at Jacksonville, in the same county, and in a couple of years afterwards purchased an interest in the business of his employer.

He set out March 10, 1850, to cross the plains to the Golden State with an ox-wagon, and arrived in Downieville, California, on the following July 29. He mined in that vicinity a few months, and located a ranch on Yuba River, in Sutter County, putting in five acres of potatoes. He set out again for the mines and never saw his ranch afterwards. He mined with excellent success in Nevada City, Red Dog, French Corral, Cherokee and Badger Hill, being the first to locate a claim in the latter camp. Mr. McMichael came to Colusa County in 1868, and purchased his present home place, in Antelope Valley, where he owns one thousand seven hundred and sixty acres of superior land. Besides growing grain and raising stock, he is deeply interested in the success of horticulture and grape production. Adjoining his large and comfortable residence is an extensive orchard and vineyard, the finest in the valley, which produces a most toothsome variety of pears, plums, apricots, applies and peaches. Mr. McMichael is justly proud of this, and predicts magnificent results from fruit culture in this section. He is as ardent a promoter of orchard and vineyard industries as he is a firm Democrat, to which party's State convention, held at San Jose in 1882, he was a delegate.

Mr. McMichael was united in marriage, in North San Juan, in 1862, to Miss Amanda Winne, who was a native of New York State, by whom he has two children living, Lelia and Mabel.
McVay, T. C. (p. 440)
Thomas C. McVay is a native of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. His father dying in 1838, placed the responsibility of providing for his mother and seven children upon young Thomas. In 1849 he was residing in Dallas County, Missouri when he set out for California across the plains by way of Sublett's Cut-off. The journey occupied five months. He engaged in mining on his arrival in this State, meeting with moderate success in the camps around Nevada City and Grass Valley, until the year 1853, when he returned to Missouri. There he purchased six hundred head of cattle and drove them across the plains disposing of them in Colusa County. In 1856 he went East on a similar errand, and bought and sold another band of cattle in Colusa County. These journeys were attended with great difficulties on account of Indian depredations.

In 1863 Mr. McVay was married to Mrs. A. M. Nelson, by whom he has four children. Mr. McVay's farm is located on the east side of the river nearly opposite Princeton and embraces some three hundred acres.
Merrill, C. H. (p. 442)
{Charles Henry Merrill} Mr. Merrill has resided in Colusa County twenty years. He is a native of Illinois, and has followed the business of harness making, in connection with his brother. Their harness business is second to none in the county in the amount of stock carried and in the extent of the trade conducted. The building in which this business is carried on belongs to the firm, and is one of the many fine business edifices of Willows. Mr. Merrill is a zealous advocate of irrigation, and foresees wonderful advancement in the material progress of this section of the county.
Miller, W. Frank (p. 453)
{William Franklin Miller} This gentleman was born in Kentucky, in 1848. He came across the plains with his parents when but a year old, and has resided in Colusa County ever since. In 1873 he entered the general merchandise business on his own account, at Butte, and has continued in the same occupation ever since. He is also the postmaster and express agent of that place. Mr. Miller is married, and is the father of six children.
Millsaps, G. W. (p. 403)
George W. Millsaps, who resides on his farm on the stage road between Willows and Newville, was born in Main County, Kentucky, June 15, 1822. At a tender age he was carried by his family to Howard County, Missouri, and shortly afterward to the frontier portion of Randolph (now known as Macon County), Missouri. Mr. Millsaps remembers some of the dangers of that locality and early period. He recalls that in July, 1832, the year of the celebrated Black Hawk War, he being then ten years of age, how his father, learning morning that the Indians were approaching, ordered the whole family to hurry up and hide in the corn-field till he had ascertained the danger.

He was married, June 14, 1844, to Miss Elizabeth Dunn, a native of Cumberland County, Kentucky, who bore him eleven children. Mr. Millsaps started overland for California, April 18, 1854, arriving in Placer County the following August. He settled where Roseville now stands, but only remained there one year, moving to Sacramento and residing there three years. He came to his present home in July, 1858. Here, on a splendid ranch of two thousand six hundred and forty acres of rolling land, he raises wheat, barley, and rye, and keeps a large herd of cattle, horses, and mules, besides hogs and sheep.
Montgomery, A. (p. 411)
Alexander Montgomery is a native of County Down, Ireland, born March 2, 1825. His father had been a wealthy farmer, but about the time of the birth of young Montgomery, he lost all his property, and at an early age Alexander was obliged to earn his own living. He was apprenticed to a tailor for four years, at the end of which time he followed his trade in Ireland and England until September 21, 1846, when he set out to seek his fortune in the United States. He was not in the Eastern States long before he decided to go to the gold fields of California; hence he took passage on a ship, via the Straits of Magellan for San Francisco, and on September 6, 1849, the Vessel entered the Golden Gate, with a Masonic banner flying at the mast, which was designed and made by Mr. Montgomery. This was the first banner of that order brought to San Francisco.

Upon his arrival, he at once set off for the mines at Bidwell's Bar, and followed mining for a year and a half on Feather and American Rivers. At the end of that time his capital amounted to $1,500, and, deciding to abandon the uncertain life of mining, he engaged in mercantile business, also running a tailor shop at Benicia and later at Shasta. He loaned his earnings, taking real-estate security generally. Owing to the ever-shifting conditions of those times, he was often' obliged to take the security in satisfaction of the principal, and in that way became interested in lands in Colusa County in 1855. In 1856-57 he made a visit to the scenes of his birth, in Ireland. In 1861 he moved to this county, settling on Grand Island, where he farmed. Later he lived in Colusa. In 1866 he made a visit abroad, visiting all the capitals of Europe, excepting Portugal, the principal places of interest in Europe, Palestine and Egypt, and upon his return visited all the States of the Union, excepting Maine and Texas. He has since visited the Yellowstone National Park and Alaska.

He has acquired great wealth by the increase in land values, and is classed as one of the millionaires of the Pacific Coast. At the meeting of the Scotch-Irish Congress, May 29, 189o, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, he was elected Vice-President, and was later elected President of the State society of the same organization. On July 7, 1890, he was honored with the presidency of the Society of Pioneers of 1849. While Mr. Montgomery is a careful business man, he is generous to all objects which meet his approval, and has donated large sums of money to various worthy institutions. He has an especially warm corner in his heart for the old pioneer, and is extremely sympathetic and generous to the Association of California Pioneers. He is happy in his domestic life, living in his spacious and handsome residence in San Francisco. He was married to Miss Lizzie A. Green, and is the father of two pretty daughters, Annie, aged nine, and Hazel, aged six years.
Photo of Alexander Montgomery

Alexander Montgomery

Moore, Dr. E. B. (p. 421)
{Elijah Byron Moore} Dr. E. B. Moore is a native of Anderson, South Carolina, and was born there in 1828. He studied medicine, and attended lectures at the Transylvania University, at Lexington, Kentucky. After receiving his diploma, he practiced his profession for several years at Guntersville, Alabama, and Chalk Bluffs, Arkansas. He crossed the plains in 1857, had his first Indian fight, and several fierce ones besides, near Fort Ridley, and, following the old Carson route, reached Placerville. Here he followed mining successfully till the spring of 1858. After this he engaged in stock-raising till 1864, when he went to Washoe, Nevada, to superintend an extensive timber ranch for the Gould & Curry Mining Company. He returned to California after an absence of sixteen months, and, coming to Colusa County, he purchased a farm, of one hundred and sixty acres, located three miles northeast of the town of Colusa. It was well stocked with cattle, and was known as the ranch of the Rainsport estate. Dr. Moore lived here nearly two years, when he purchased nine hundred acres of land in Grapevine and Antelope Valleys, and went into the business of sheep-raising. He afterwards went to Grand Island and engaged in grain-raising on an extensive scale. He still owns five hundred acres on Grand Island and three hundred and twenty acres on the Blanchard ranch, near Williams. He is the owner of the justly celebrated Cooks Springs, and resides there the greater part of the year. Dr. Moore was twice married, his first wife, formerly Mrs. Judge Dunlap, being now deceased. He was united in marriage to Mrs. Jane Harver, of Grand Island, his present wife, in 1877. Dr. Moore is a man of tireless energy, and socially one of the most companionable of gentlemen.
Moulton, L. F. (p. 362)
The generation of the early days of Colusa County, which, by its perseverance, vigor and tireless energy has done so much to advance this county to the front among California's banner counties of development, is rapidly passing away. From among those who still survive there are few more noteworthy or who have filled a larger space in public esteem than Levi Foss Moulton. His life has been peculiarly typical of the early home-builders of this State, and that, too, in its period of industrial and social transition, when self-reliance developed so remarkably that originality of plan and resource which is now so distinctly carved in the great monument of our Statehood. Mr. Moulton was born in Leeds, Kennebeck County, Maine, February.6, 1829. His father having been a tiller of the soil, the son was brought up in the same laborious and honorable vocation. At fifteen years of age, the subject of this sketch went to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he found employment in his uncle's store for a twelve-month. Determined to acquire a trade, he now entered a carriage shop as apprentice, and before the time had expired for which he was indentured, he purchased his time from his employer and began business for himself in the same line. With a trade acquired and in business for himself before yet reaching his majority; with his ambition now full-fledged and on wing, Mr. Moulton did not confine himself to mere money-making alone. The education he had received on the farm was scant enough, and feeling this, he set himself to remedy it under that best of tutors--self-help. For this purpose, while engaged in his uncle's store or in the carriage shop, though a mere boy, he found time to conduct a course of reading, studying diligently before the day's work began and utilizing with miserly economy every spare moment he could snatch at the noon hour or at night. The result is that to this course of self-imposed mental discipline he owes his present proficiency in the principles of hygiene, ancient and modern history, and political economy, besides being thoroughly versed in agricultural and horticultural matters and completely equipped as a civil engineer.

His studious turn of mind led him away from the pardonable frivolities of youth. He encouraged the young associates around him to seek knowledge likewise, and his efforts in this direction resulted in the organization of a debating club in New Bedford. The formation of a small library followed. It grew apace and was then presented to the city, thus forming the nucleus of what is now one of the largest free libraries in the East. Surely the chore-boy of the country store and the carriage maker's apprentice builded better than he knew.

It was in the winter of 1851 that young Moulton, now in his twenty-second year, sought a broader and newer field for his enterprise, and for this purpose, in company with nine companions, of whom he had been chosen leader, he set out for California via Nicaragua. He arrived in San Francisco on March 22 following, and at once set out for the mines, going to Nevada City, where, among others, he worked in the mines with Colonel Dibble and Senator George Hearst. His capital on arriving in this new El Dorado was $1,500, and this was almost entirely expended in “prospects,” which proving to be far from remunerative, he concluded that as a gold-hunter, Fortune “had not marked him for her own,” and so, with a willingness to be occupied with anything honorable, he turned himself undismayed to other employments, the chief of which was carpentering, at which he worked for several months on the Yuba River.

In the winter of 1852-53, Mr. Moulton determined to devote himself to some more permanent vocation, and for this purpose he came to Colusa County, and, having purchased land near his present abode, nine miles north of Colusa, he settled down to farming. The wisdom of this resolution he has certainly had no reason to regret, since his industry and intelligence therein have so combined to prosper him that, making new purchases of land as fast as his means would permit him, he is now the owner of eighteen thousand acres, unequaled for productiveness.

On this vast estate, an American principality in itself, Mr. Moulton has erected a stately home of peculiar architecture, an illustration of which will be found elsewhere. The Moulton homestead is a model one, in its fields of grain, in its extensive vineyards and orchards, where, side by side, in many instances, deciduous fruits grow and ripen in wondrous abundance with semi-tropical productions.

But the care and supervision of so large a ranch have not absorbed all of its proprietor's time. He has found or made leisure to render him one of the most active men in the State on matters of public policy. His counsel has been heeded from the rostrum and through the press. A man of a well-stored, practical mind, using vigorous English in reflecting it, keenly observant and intrepid in his independence of party dictation, he could not well be silent on great local or economic questions. In politics Colonel Moulton (as he is termed by his friends) can be classed as an independent Republican, though his connection with the early Republican party is now historic, since he, in connection with Hon. John Kasson, a former Congressman from Iowa and Minister to Austria, first organized the Free Soil party, which was to all intents and purposes the Republican organization in its formative period, though under another name.

On October 11, 1882, the Republican joint convention of Colusa and Tehama Counties placed Colonel Moulton on its ticket for State Senator. This honor was unsought by him, he being away at the time attending a meeting of the farmers at Stockton and of the anti-monopolists at San Francisco, endeavoring to make these parties understand the overshadowing importance of preserving their homes and lands from destruction by hydraulic mining debris. No time being left him to stump his district, he issued a circular letter to the voters thereof, which fairly bristled with Mr. Moulton's individuality. He showed how he had previously served his county in an unofficial capacity; how in 1862 Colusa County was deeply in debt and her script selling for thirty-five cents on the dollar, when he, with others, matured a funding bill and worked it through the Legislature against great opposition, the result being that the county was soon out of debt, her rate of taxation as low as any other county, while her scrip has been at par ever since. Colonel Moulton closes this letter to the voters in the following straight­from-the-shoulder remarks, which are characteristic of the man: “The Legislature is the place where this fight against hydraulic mining devastation has to be made. I will be in that fight whether elected to the Senate or not, but if the voters of the district shall honor me with a seat in the Senate, I shall not be far behind the foremost in the contest. I shall work hard for the future prosperity and glory of the State, for, old-line Republican as I am, and accepting as I do the party nomination, I place the prosperity of my district far above party considerations and shall not work in leading-strings when its interests are in question.” Colonel Moulton was defeated, though running ahead of his ticket by a very flattering vote.

Mr. Moulton has never been his party's servile henchman. He has kicked over the party traces when his conscience suggested that course. He went off with the so-called Dolly Varden party, whose brief but earnest career gave evidences of a promising vitality in the election of Newton Booth as Governor of the State. The activity with which he has thrown himself into public affairs is quite remarkable. In the anti-debris controversy no man in the State was more pronounced or more indefatigable in his hostility to the encroachment of slickens. He spent freely of his time and money and was at all times the unselfish champion of the agricultural interests, and he will be borne in happy memory in time to come for his services therein, even as his efforts are now deeply appreciated by his contemporaries. As an instance of the earnestness with which he takes hold of matters in hand, he, at his own expense, sent thousands of illustrated documents and printed data through the mails, setting forth the manner in which the agricultural interests of Northern California were menaced by hydraulic mining, even going so far at one time as to furnish a large folio paper replete with engravings and fervent in argument and presentation of facts as a supplement to sixty-seven journals in the State.

At the Legislature he has been well recognized, and he was always sure to be present at some period of its proceedings as an irrepressible worker for county and State. To his credit be it said he had no logs of his own to roll, no private ax to grind and no selfish motive to advance in using his private means and time, which could be spent in elegant leisure at his home, in thus counseling with the representatives of the people. He opposed with an iron will and with some vehemence the passage of the Parks brush dam bill for nearly six weeks with next to no backing from the county, and, bad as the bill was considered by many, it was first shorn of its worst features by Colonel Moulton, and out of his stubborn resistance thereto came a thorough arousing of the people of the State. The final outcome of his opposition was a decision by the lower courts and afterwards by the Supreme Court, strictly in accordance with the views of the Colonel.

During all this period of pronounced activity, Mr. Moulton was developing the resources of his immense ranch, superintending all its operations, introducing new varieties of fruit trees, vines and shrubs, building bridges, laying out roads, re­claiming overflowed lands or protecting them from overflow. Assuredly, few individuals in the serene evening of their days can stir the pulses of memory with so many solacing recollections of a busy life, the events of which are nearly all inseparable from the gratification which their success and affirmed wisdom must necessarily impart.

As a patriotic American and warm champion of the Monroe doctrine, as well as an implacable foe of railroad monopoly, Mr. Moulton was most assiduous in presenting the merits of the Eads ship railway. He looked upon it as a great international necessity, particularly for the people of this coast, concluding that it would operate as a political regulator of transcontinental rail rates, thereby making it impossible for them to be in a position of dictatorial control. For this purpose he wrote and caused to be introduced into the State Senate a concurrent resolution urging Congress to assist the Eads ship railroad project. So persistent was he in his support of the measure that he labored for three years to bring to this coast Captain Eads, the greatest engineer of his time, who, at the same time, examined the water-ways of California. Nor did he stop here; at his own expense he sent illustrated documents and data to thousands of people throughout the State explanatory of the ship railway scheme. His purpose was to educate the people hereon, and so deeply were they becoming interested that, in response to an invitation of the Geographical Society of the Pacific, Colonel Moulton, March 12, 1886, delivered a lengthy address on the Eads ship railway plan before that organization, which met with a hearty resolution of endorsement from the society.

Mr. Moulton at his hospitable home, when aloof from the excitement engendered by the earnestness of discussion on local or economic questions, is peculiarly happy in his domestic relations. He married in 1861, and three children are the pride of his household. They are: Oralee, a daughter, aged eighteen, now attending Mills Seminary; Levi Everett, sixteen years of age, and Herbert, aged four years. Photo of Levi Moulton's Residence
Photo of Interior of Levi Moulton's Residence
Photo of Levi Moulton

Levi Foss Moulton

Mudd, George (p. 416)
George Mudd was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1845. His father was Robert Mudd, a lead miner. George Mudd remained in Yorkshire and followed mining until 7864, when he emigrated to Canada, West. Near the town of Kingston he engaged in farming and remained in that place until 1865. He then went to the copper mines near Lake Superior, to which place his brothers James and William had preceded him. Not being satisfied with this place, he set out, in company with a party of miners, including his brothers, to East Tennessee, where they expected to find the iron mines in operation, but on reaching their destination, in the vicinity of Chattanooga, the war having just closed, they found the mines of that district temporarily abandoned.

They continued on to West Chattanooga, where the Mount Yetna mine was in operation. The entire party found employment there. George remained in that district until 1866. He then went to Johnson County, Missouri, where his brother James preceded him, where they opened and operated a coal mine on their own account, and met with fair success. In 1867 he sold out his interest in the mining business to his brother James, and he, in company with his brother William, turned his face toward the Pacific Coast. Arriving at Nebraska City, on July 12, 7867, they found an ox-train fitting out for California, and they joined the party. Arriving in the Sacramento Valley in 1867, he wintered in Cache Creek; Yolo County, and in the spring of 1868 he came on through Colusa County, and continued on east to the White Pine mining region, by way of Honey Lake and Truckee. He remained there until September, 1869, and in October, 187o, returned to Colusa County, settling on the ranch where he now lives, four and one-half miles east of Germantown, where he cultivates five thousand acres of good grain-land.

Mr. Mudd is one of the pioneer farmers on what is called the “Colusa Plains.” He is a wide-awake and practical business man, thoroughly alive to all the advanced ideas of farming, and was the first man in the great Sacramento Valley to apply steam to the plow, harrow and harvester, which he is now successfully operating. He is a leading Republican of the county, takes a deep interest in public affairs and is a pleasant, enterprising citizen.

On the 23d of March, 1875, he was married to Miss Mattie A. L. Mitchell, a native of Downieville, Sierra County, a refined and estimable lady. Mr. Mudd and wife have four children, two boys and two girls.
Photo of George Mudd

George Mudd

Munson, Fredrick (p. 456)
Among the sturdy farmers of Colusa County who have made fortunes in the growing of wheat is Fredrick Munson, a native of Germany, born in 1847. He came to the United States in 1865, landing at New York. Shortly after, he shipped as a sailor on a vessel bound for San Francisco via Cape Horn. In 1869 he settled on Grand Island and engaged in farming. In 1889, having laid by a competency, he rented his farm, of four hundred and eighty acres, and moved to Colusa. After he had become permanently located and was making more than a good living he sent to Germany for his sweetheart, who came to this country, where they were married, in 1873.
Murdoch, R. B. (p. 428)
Robert B. Murdoch was born at Florence, Alabama, October 30, 1862. In youth the public school and Florence Normal College afforded him educational facilities. In 1880 he came to California and engaged as a clerk in San Francisco, and some months afterward he came to Colusa County. He paid a visit to his old home in Alabama, in 1881 and on his return took employment at Willows in the merchandise house of J. A. Patton & Co., as book-keeper. Next he accepted a deputy clerkship in the county clerk's office. Resigning this place, he was engaged for four years as book-keeper of the large Glenn estate. When the Bank of Orland was incorporated, in March 1887, Mr. Murdoch was appointed its first cashier, which position he still occupies.

Mr. Murdoch was married July 10, 1889, to Miss America Hall, daughter of A. L. Hall, residing near Orland, his first wife, nee Miss Maggie Davis, having died, leaving him a son aged five years.

Mr. Murdoch has a pleasant and comfortable home at Orland, and has begun the cultivation of a prune orchard of thirty acres near that town, which he irrigates with water from Stony Creek. He is a stockholder in the Bank of Orland, and intimately associated with every interest and movement for the advancement of his community.
Photo of Robert Murdoch

Robert B. Murdoch

Murdoch, William C. (p. 444)
Among the many energetic, skilled business men of the county, few have more sensibly left the impress of their means and wise counsels thereon than the subject of this biography. William C. Murdoch is a native of Tuscumbia, Alabama, having been born there in 1852. He was educated at Poughkeepsie, New York, and came to California in 1874. His first occupation in Colusa County was as book-keeper for J. S. Wall & Co., of Princeton. In the summer of 1877 he removed to Willows and opened a banking and commission office there under the firm name of William C. Murdoch & Co. He continued in this till September, 1880, when his business was merged into that of the Bank of Willows. In the new organization he was made cashier, serving in that capacity nearly nine years, when he resigned and disposed of his interest therein to the present stockholders. Since then he has made his home in San Francisco, being chiefly engaged in the insurance business. In connection with others he built the Sanhedrien Lumber Mill located forty miles west of Willows in the Coast Range Mountains. The paid-up capital of the Sanhedrien Mill and Lumber Company is $250,000.00. This mill has a capacity for cutting fifty thousand feet of lumber per day. The company will construct fourteen miles of flume, to the mouth of the Grindstone, thereby to connect with the West Side and Mendocino Railroad. Of this company Mr. Murdoch is treasurer and principal stockholder. In 1877, when matters looked decidedly “blue” for the aspiring but indomitable town of Willows, Mr. Murdoch purchased eight lots south of the bank in that town and erected two-story buildings thereon, thus aiding in giving the place a new impetus. East Willows was laid out by Mr. Murdoch. In 1884, he procured the incorporation of the warehouses at Willows into what is now the Willows Warehouse Association. The residence built by Mr. Murdoch at Willows is unsurpassed in the county for beauty of architectural design and tastefulness of finish. It is now the property of S. C. Longmier.

Mr. Murdoch was married January, 2, 1881, to Miss Nannie Wilson, of Sutter County, a niece of the late Dr. Glenn. One child is the fruit of their union. He was a charter member of the first Masonic lodge instituted at Willows and one of the incorporators of the Willows Agricultural Association. Ill health, the result of sedentary occupations, caused Mr. Murdoch to leave this scene of so much business, push and thrifty diligence, very much to the regret of the community.
Murcock, S. R. (p. 397)
Samuel Robinson Murdock was born in Knox County, Ohio, November 22, 1832, where he resided for five years, his father dying in the interim. On his mother removing to Marion County, young Murdock lived with her till he had reached his eleventh year, when he was sent to live with his uncle on a farm. After spending three years here, attending the public schools during the winter, he returned to Marion County and was apprenticed to the trade of a printer. Having acquired a fair knowledge of the “art preservative,” he, completing his apprenticeship, worked for a year at the case in Columbus, of the same State. The year 1853 was an almost unprecedented one for emigration to California from the Eastern States. Young Murdock catching the infection of travel and fortune-seeking, he started for this State in February of that year, accompanied by his mother. Arriving at Council Bluffs, the latter's mind rapidly underwent a change of purpose. Missing the company they intended going with, she abandoned her trip to California and returned to her former home, while young Murdock continued the journey, driving cattle across the plains. On September 5 following, he arrived at Park's Bar, Yuba County, and, finding ready work in the mines, he continued there during the winter. In the spring he went to Forest City and engaged in selling goods at that place for one year and a half. In the summer of 1856, his mother, concluding to rejoin him, met him at Marysville, and, accompanied by her, he engaged in farming on the Sacramento River on the opposite side of Eddy's Landing. Bent on a more active and business-like pursuit, Mr. Murdock, after-four years of a farmer's life, came to Colusa County, near Sulphur Springs, raised cattle and drove them into the mining camps and towns of Nevada. He at one time took up his residence in that State, remaining there from 1864 till 1867, following various pursuits, such as mining, farming and teaming. He longed, however, for a home in Colusa County, whose soil and climate and possibilities he had seen nowhere approached, and hence he returned and purchased the old Lane place, in Ante­lope Valley, where he conducted a hotel for some time. He arrived here just as the oil excitement was subsiding, and the copper discoveries were beginning to attract swarms of prospect­ors. In 1869 Mr. Murdock was engaged as a store clerk in Colusa, at the same time paying much attention to a sheep ranch he had purchased on Stony Creek. In 1871, seeing an opportunity for a bargain, he disposed of his sheep ranch and started with his sheep for Nevada, where he sold them. Since this time Mr. Murdock has resided continuously in Colusa County, with the exception of a pleasure-trip back to his old Buckeye home, made in 1888. He resides at the county seat and is largely engaged in the stock-purchasing business. In 1870 he took the census of Colusa County, doing all the work of enumeration by himself, and for this purpose visiting personally every house in the county. He has likewise served as city trustee of Colusa two terms.

Mr. Murdock was married, in 1872, to Miss Carrie Sedgwick, of Ohio, and is the father of two children, one of whom is dead, the surviving one, Bessie, being thirteen years of age.
Photo of Samuel Murdock

Samuel Robinson Murdock