Colusa County Biographies - W

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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Walsh, Richard J., by W. S. Green (p. 377)
My information of Richard Walsh before he came to Colusa County is meager. He was born in County Kildare, Ireland, May Jo, 1820. He came to the United Sates in 1842, and visited first at New Orleans, and from thence to St. Louis. On the breaking out of the gold fever in 1849, he started across the plains among the first. When he got to Green River, he saw a splendid opportunity for the establishment of a ferry. He ran this ferry until most of the emigrants of that year had passed and then brought up the rear for California. I knew Richard Walsh first as a Shasta merchant and a shipper of goods by teams through Colusa, and he was among the first to load a boat, the Benicia, in 1851 for Colusa. While engaged in teaming, he found it convenient to establish a “ranch” on the route, on which to keep his stock in winter, and rest up such as might be tired out, and he built a house on the river just above St. John. This was as early, I think, as the spring of 1851. Very shortly after this he bought cattle, and commenced to raise stock for the market. He was also among the first in the valley to grow barley and wheat for a business. Soon he concentrated all his interests at this point, and went to Kentucky and brought out some fine short-horn cattle, being the pioneer in that business in the State. As a consequence, he took the premium on cattle at all the earlier State fairs. He did as much as any other man to build up the State fair. The land around him was purchased as it was offered for sale, until at his death he was the owner of some twenty thousand acres of the best land in the State. This was left to his wife during her lifetime, and then to his sister, Mrs. Chambers, of St. Louis County, Missouri, and her two sons, Joseph L. and Charles D. They own it yet. As a merchant, as a farmer, and in every relation in life, Richard Walsh built up a reputation for honesty, and all the high moral virtues second to no man who has stepped on the soil of California. At the time of his death, his word would have been taken for any amount of money he would name by any resident of the Sacramento Valley. In physique he was the model man. Being physically and mentally strong, his energy knew no bounds. He never took hold of any business with an idea of the probability of failure. In his likes and dislikes he was positive. He was half-way nothing, and as a consequence he believed in and practiced the teachings of the church to which he belonged, with his whole heart. He died April 30, 1866.
Photo of Richard Walsh

Richard J. Walsh

Weston, Jubal (p. 386)
This gentleman was born November 13, 1824, at East Adams, Connecticut. He comes of a family of manufacturers and inventors. His father built the first cotton mill at Taunton, Massachusetts, ever erected in the United States. His uncle, Herman Weston, invented the first machine for making pins, rolls for pressing shoe leather and devised about a dozen other useful inventions. Young Weston passed the early years of his life at Hopkinton, Massachusetts, but on leaving home he first found employment in a shoe-maker's shop. Then he was engaged in a clock factory, drifting soon into the jewelry business. He was very proficient as a workman in all these branches. He was determined to visit California, then a land where fortunes could be so quickly acquired by the industrious and saving. For this purpose he left New Orleans on January 16, 1849, and, coming by way of the Isthmus, he was seized with an attack of cholera, which almost proved fatal; in fact, bets were made by his fellow-passengers that they would never see him again, as he could not survive the journey. But Mr. Weston pushed on, with great nerve and pluck, and arrived in San Francisco April 30 following.

Here he took hold of the first employment presented, which was driving a mule team, in the winter of 1849-50. In the fall of the latter year he purchased the schooner Julius Springle and with it sailed for the Sandwich Islands. Here he laid in a cargo of oranges, and, returning with them to San Francisco, disposed of them at prices so gratifying to the seller in those days. After making another trip to the Sandwich Islands, he disposed of cargo and vessel and bought the bark Harmony, loaded with whalebone and oil. This he took to New London, Connecticut, arriving there in the spring of 1852. Remaining in the East for one year, he again set out for California. Most of his leisure time he now passed in San Francisco, and was married here, February 5, 1854, to Miss Sarah Frances Richardson, who had come from New England to be united in matrimony. The bride was the daughter of Captain Wm. B. Richardson, of the U.S. Navy. Three months afterward, with his young wife, he arrived in Monroeville, Colusa County. Monroeville at that period consisted of a hotel and the inseparable bar-room attachment.

Pleased with the prospects in his new abode, he concluded to make this locality his home. At first Mr. Weston conducted the hotel of Charles Horner. In 1868 he purchased a strip of land one-quarter of a mile wide running east and west on the south of the Walsh rancho, or Capay grant, containing seven hundred and ten acres. This land, which at that period was considered almost worthless, but which has since grown so highly in agricultural esteem, was purchased by Mr. Weston merely as a drive-way for stock crossing from the plains to the river. Mr. Weston has lived on this land for a long time and sows it to wheat, and it is most productive and valuable now.

Mr. Weston is the father of five boys and three girls, four of whom are living; their names are: Mrs. Althea Cook, now living in New York City; Joshua Frank, civil engineer at Coos Bay, Oregon; Essie M. Weston and Hugh E. Weston, both of whom reside in Boston with their aunt. Mr. Weston lost his wife in the spring of 1876. Arthur Weston, deceased, was a civil engineer of much promise, but who, unfortunately for the fond hopes of his family, was drowned, September 25, 1887, in the Sacramento River, near his father's home.

Mr. Weston goes East frequently to visit his two children and relatives residing there. He is an esteemed member of the Pioneers, and a Republican in politics. He is a gentleman of means and both generous and hospitable.
Photo of Jubal Weston

Jubal Weston

Weyand, JuliusJ (p. 426)
Julius Weyand was born in the dukedom of Nassau, now a province in the German Empire, on the twenty-seventh day of May, 1826. His parents were John Philipp and Ernestine Weyand. His father was a merchant in the town of Braubach on the Rhine. He attended public school until ten years old, then entered a private school, and, in 1840, in connection with his studies of language and a commercial course, entered a mercantile house at Limburg, Nassau. From 1844 to 1848 he was book-keeper at Dillenburg and Limburg, being at this time a member and officer of the Turn Verein (an organization for physical and mental training of the young men). Nine days after dissolution of the historic parliament, on the fifteenth day of September, Julius Weyand boarded the American vessel Seth Sprague at Antwerp and arrived at New Orleans on November 23, 1848, and immediately continued on to Alton, Illinois, meeting his brother Theodore. In 1849 he went to Warsaw, Illinois, keeping a grocery store two years, and in 1851, upon the call of his mother, went by way of New York to the London first World's Fair, then by Holland, to his mother in Germany. After settling up some of her business, he again returned to the United States by way of France, arriving at Warsaw, Illinois, on April 27, 1852, in company of a younger brother, Gustave, now of Arbuckle. Arriving in Illinois, another call from an older brother, Theodore Weyand, residing in Yolo County, California, who was sick at the time, caused Julius and Gustave to move again, and they came by way of the Nicaragua route, and on the steamer S. S. Lewis, to California, arriving at Sacramento on November 4, the night of the great fire. The next day they met their brother Theodore in Yolo County, Julius Weyand settled on a farm adjoining his brother Theodore, five miles north of Cacheville.

In 1856 he removed to a farm in Colusa County, near the present Berlin Station. The crops of 1857 failed entirely, when he went to Downieville, mining at Gold Bluff with moderate success, returning to his farm in the fall, and again in 1858 failed in raising a crop. Then the Fraser River gold discoveries attracted him, and with pack-mules he visited these mines. He was interested in the copper mines of this county, and took a leading part in attempting to develop these properties. He next experimented with Angora goats, to use the brushy and rough mountain-sides of the Coast Range for pasture, and he has succeeded beyond his expectations, producing an excellent quality of fine, long and strong mohair. He takes a leading interest in politics, is a Republican, and has at various times been before the people as a candidate for county office on his party ticket. He has held the office of Justice of the Peace for twelve years and has been a notary public since 1867.

He married Mrs. Mina d'Artenay, widow of A. d'Artenay deceased, nee Kraus, on September 22, 1867, and moved to Stony Creek. Mr. Weyard and wife have ten children in the family, Eugene, Lizzie, Thomas, Adolph, and John d'Artenay, and Marie, Ernest, Julius, Minnie; and Willie Weyand. The farm upon which he resided until recently, of about two thousand acres, located in township 17 north, range 6 west, between the forks of Big and Little Stony, is now transferred to Thomas and John d'Artenay. The farm at Berlin he sold several years ago. He lived with his family in Colusa.
Whiting, C. B. (p. 463)
Charles Boyer Whiting was born in Portage City, Wisconsin, February 22, 1852, and is the only son of Captain Samuel Whiting, a man of recognized literary ability and political distinction. When young Whiting was six months old, his parents moved to Winona, Minnesota, and in 1861 his father was appointed United States Consul to Nassau, Bahama Islands, when the family moved to that place. Aside from limited advantages of attending the public school, young Whiting received instruction from his parents. At the age of sixteen years he entered the office of the Cleveland, Ohio, Leader, and served a four-years apprenticeship at the printer's trade. In May, 1874, he received an appointment in the United States Signal Service, which position he held ten years, being stationed at Washington, District of Columbia; Logansport, Indiana; Burlington, Iowa; and San Francisco. Upon his retirement from government service, he entered the office of the Colusa Sun as foreman, which position he still holds. February 20, 1878, he was married to Miss Minnie L. Rice, at Logansport, Indiana, and three boys and one girl are the result of their union.
Wickes, C. R. (p. 428)
{Cyrus R. Wickes} This gentleman is a native of Albany, New York, and has followed the railroad business for a quarter of a century, in various capacities of trust and responsibility. He is now the railroad agent at Willows. He first came to the coast in 1857, and resided at Reno, Nevada, for some time before coming to Willows, in 1881, and has been station agent ever since that time, first at Maxwell and afterwards at Willows. Mr. Wickes, as a citizen, is closely identified with the progress of his town. He is a strong advocate of county division, and thinks that with an increased area of horticultural cultivation, the new county would be one of the richest in the State.
Williams, James (p. 460)
This gentleman, who resides on a comfortable farm three miles southeast of Elk Creek, was born in England in 1824. After coming to America, he resided for a number of years in Indiana. In 1854 he arrived in California, where he went to work in the mines at Rough and Ready, Nevada County. In 1857 he located at old Bridgeport, in Colusa County, and moved to his present place of abode in 1871, where he farms one hundred and sixty acres of productive land. Mr. Williams is also one of the many who predicts that fruit will yet supplant grain in a large measure, and is satisfied that the land in his vicinity is unequaled in this county for this new industry. Mr. Williams was married in 1871, and four children are the fruits of the union.
Wilson, John L. (p. 402)
John Lindley Wilson was born in Milan, Sullivan County, Missouri, May 25, 1853. Most of his boyhood days were spent in the town of his birth, and at an early age he entered the State Normal School at Kirksville, Missouri, where he received .the education that so well fitted him as an instructor and trainer of the young. He held the position of principal of the public schools both at Plato and Linneus, in his native State. He came to Colusa County in 1877, and was a most successful instructor in its public schools, teaching at Jacinto, Germantown, Orland and Willows. In 1884 he was elected Superintendent of Public Schools in the county, and succeeded himself to a second term in 1885, which would have expired in the January following his death. During his incumbency of this office he placed the schools of this county on a higher plane than those of any other county. By the noble qualities of his nature he endeared himself to the whole people.

During all the years of hard school work, backed by an untiring energy, he devoted himself to the study of law, and in December, 1888, entered into a law partnership at Colusa with M. De Hurst. He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the State on May 14, 1889. On May 25, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Louisa Pool, by whom he had one child.

Mr. Wilson's death occurred on March 16, 1890, and was caused by consumption. The teachers of the county came to his funeral to pay their last tribute of respect and esteem to one so worthy, zealous and devoted to the cause of education, while the members of the bar gathered at the interment of one of their profession who gave such exceptional promise of reflecting honor upon it. A few days after the funeral, the Bar Association convened, at which the highest eulogies were passed upon his character. The State Association of Teachers did likewise. Few men in the county have been so sincerely and so universally mourned as John L. Wilson.
Photo of John Wilson

John Lindley Wilson