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Biographies ~ Atkins, Quintus Narcissus (1831-1899)
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In the year of 1812 N. A. Atkins, a native of Massachusetts, and his wife, nee Lydia Waters, a native of Connecticut, both of Welsh extraction, emigrated to the Western Reserve in Ohio, then a wilderness. Here they purchased a farm and helped to clear up the country, and here they reared their family of eight children, only two of whom now survive. On the 20th of August 1831, their son Quintus Narcissus was born.

He received his education in Ohio, at Albion Academy, Pennsylvania, and at Poland Institute, Ohio.

At the age of twenty Mr. Atkins left school to join the ranks of the people who were coming from Ohio to the new El Dorado of the West, he arrived in California August 20, 1852. He first mined in Gold Run and then in Grass Valley. In June 1853, he came to Shasta, after it had been burned to the ground. With a company he went to Horsetown. They conceived the idea of turning the river from its bed by building a dam. Mr. Atkins worked there, and contracted the ague, from which he did not fully recover for eight years. The enterprise of turning the stream proved unsuccessful. He continued to mine and at times with fair success, but, like many other miners, did not save his money.

In 1858 he was united in marriage to Miss Martha A. Hughs, a native of Wisconsin. Her father, Andrew Hughs, a native of Missouri, came to California in 1853. Mr. and Mrs. Atkins reared a family of fourteen children, eleven sons and three daughters, all of whom are living. The second son and one daughter were born in Star City, Humboldt County, and all the rest were born in Shasta County. Their names are as follows: Benjamin W., Frank M., Emma J., William J., Jesse, Warren G., Octava and Flora (twins), Irwin, Dewitt C., Clarence, Quintus Narcissus and Cleveland and Harrison (twins).

Mr. Atkins worked at the carpenter’s trade until 1862, when he went to Star City to the mines, remaining until 1864 – 65. At that time he went to Silver Lake, Idaho, going in wagons and being three months on the road, the delay being caused by high waters and bad sloughs. He worked there a year on the quartz mills. The first winter he paid $20 per sack for flour. In 1866 Mr. Atkins returned to Shasta County. He owns 320 acres of land on Clover Creek, where he resides with this family. He also has a mill and a home in the mountains on the Tamarack road, where his family spends the summers. Mr. Atkins claims to be a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, but is not of Democratic stock. Three times he has been elected County Surveyor. He has also held the office of Deputy Assessor, has been twice elected to the office and is the present incumbent. He is one of the old, reliable stand-bys of the county, and is deeply interested in its growth and prosperity. Mr. Atkins is a Master Mason.

Source: Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California,
Lewis Publishing Co., 1891 Page 747
Transcribed by Pat Houser


Atkins, Quintus Narcissus (1831 --1899)

Quintus Narcissus Atkins was born in western Ohio August 20, 1831 to Narcissus A. and Lydia Waters Atkins, natives of Massachusetts and Connecticut. He was educated at Albion Academy in Pennsylvania and Poland Institute in Ohio. At twenty he left school to join the Gold Rush. He mined first at Gold Run and then in Grass Valley.

Quintus came to Reading Springs (Shasta) in June, 1853, just after one of the numerous fires of its early days, so he moved on to Horsetown. There he worked with a group of men who planned to divert Clear Creek by building a dam. This project proved unsuccessful and he contracted ague (malaria) which bothered him for eight years. Though the dam project failed, he had some success mining, but like most early miners he didn't save his money.

Martha Adeline Hughes was born in Wisconsin February 1842 to Andrew and Mary Morill Hughes. In 1853, Andrew brought his family from Missouri to Shasta County.

Martha and Quintus were married in 1858 and moved to Clover Creek. They had fourteen children:

  1. Benjamin - b. June 1860 d. April 1939
  2. Frank - b. Dec 1863 d. June 1927
      m. Catherine Farley
  3. Emma - b. Nov 10, 1864 d. Nov 8, 1937
      m. Charles Peter Hufford
  4. William - b. 1865 d. Nov 24, 1899
      m. Lulu Eddington
  5. Jesse - b. Apr 8, 1868 d. Jan 21, 1951
  6. Warren - b. Mar 16, 1869 d. Feb 12. 1957
  7. Flora - b. Aug 16, 1873 d. Feb 21, 1954
      m. William Hunt
  8. Octavia - b. Aug 16, 1873 d. Feb 13, 1899
      m. William Hunt
  9. Irwin - b. Dec 16, 1875 d. July 18, 1914
      m. Lizzie Phillips
  10. Clarence - b. 1877 d. May 1961
      m. Olie Medford
  11. Clinton - b. Apr 20, 1878 d. Jan 30, 1961
      m. Ruby Viola Covey 1, m. Hilda McCullough 2
  12. Quentin - b. Jan 1882 d. July 1938
  13. Cleveland - b. Dec 9. 1884 d. Apr 1929
      m Myrtle Covey
  14. Hendricks - b. Dec 9, 1884 d. Dec 20, 1966

All the children, but Frank and Emma, were born in Shasta County. Those two were born in Humboldt County when Quintus went out to the mines; then he went to Montana. Most of the rest of his life he was a farmer/carpenter in Shasta County. They owned 320 acres on Clover

Creek where they had a mill and raised grain for the mill and the usual crops for home consumption. They also had a home in the mountains on Tamarack Road which was where they had summer range for their cattle.

They participated in the school and community activities; Quintus became a Master Mason. He was elected to three terms as County Surveyer and served several terms as Deputy County Assessor, an appointed job. Quintus died at his home in Whitmore, June 11, 1899.

Martha, who was well known throughout the County as a midwife, lived in their home in Whitmore until her death in March of 1925. Both are buried in the Masonic Cemetery at Millville.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - Aug 2000

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