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Biographies ~ Darrah, Simon Hillery (1832--1901
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Simon H. Darrah was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on May 1, 1832. At age 16, Simon ran away from home and crossed the plains by ox team, paying his way by carrying water, wood and care of the oxen. He landed in the Sacramento Valley some where in the fall of 1849. He tried to mine and got homesick. He and several others went back East by boat.

He didn't want to stay home so started West again. He stopped at Omaha, Nebraska and went to work in a meat plant and learned the butcher trade. He then got the gold fever and decided to go back to California. He piloted an ox team and got paid this time, $30.00 and board. This was big pay at that time. He landed at Fort Reading and worked there awhile and then went to Millville.

Indian trouble was bad at that time and he went out on the hunts. He went to the Old Dry Mill below Shingletown in the summer of 1861 and there he met Arzilla Shipton who he married Nov. 16, 1861. She had been cooking there since 13 years of age and was age 16 when they married.

The first two children were born there. Susan Virginia, named after her mother and home state was born March 16, 1863 and George Andrew born Dec. 6, 1866. He was quite young when they moved to Battle Creek. The area in which Simon settled was later named for him, Darrah Springs. There the Indians robbed them and burned all they had. Then they moved to South Cow Creek. Ellen was born there on Jan. 20, 1867 and died April 30, 1867 and was buried at the old Millville Cemetery.

Then they moved to Old Adams Ferry. Ben was born there Aug. 24, 1868 and also Anna on Feb. 22, 1871. A baby boy died at birth. Susan and George started to school at Parkville in 1873. They moved to Sidney Charles Mill on Bear Creek, where Newton was born June 3, 1874. William was born April 7, 1876, John on Dec. 12, 1880, Frank, July 14, 1884, and Sadie, April 16, 1886 on the Darrah Homestead.

While he was there, Simon drove ox team and did blacksmith work. He ran the saw and rafted lumber down the Sacramento River. Simon died November 29, 1907 and was buried in the Parkville Cemetery.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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