Frank Frederick Brown was the youngest son of John and Nancy Williams Brown. He was born January 1, 1858 in Crescent City as the family made their was from Illinois to Shasta County. When he was thirteen, the family moved to Cottonwood on the south side of the creek, then to a ranch near Ball's Ferry before moving to Crystal Lake in Burney Valley. Frank attended Healds Business College in San Francisco and returned to work in Bainbridge's General Merchandise Store in Burney.

Eliza Ellen (called Ellen) Bainbridge was born November 12, 1871 in Colusa. In 1877, her parents, Sophronia and Eugene Bainbridge purchased the Rising River Ranch where they lived for seventeen years. During that time Eugene acquired the store where Frank and Ellen met; they were married November 11, 1888. The couple had five children:
Sophronia Nan "Phronie" b. Nov. 12, 1890 d. Dec. 23, 1961 m. 1st Henry Martin
m. 2nd Augustus Gronwoldt
Eugene Alan b. July 20, 1892 d. Apr. 12, 1979 m. Dorothy Bethel
Lilas b. Aug. 13, 1898 d. Aug. 1898
Bryl b. July 18, 1900 d. Sep. 3, 1900
Meryl Agnes b. Mar. 31, 1904 d. May 31, 1997 m. Cleveland Riddle
Was elected to four terms as
Shasta County Treasurer

Their first home was the Rim Rock Ranch. Then they moved to the Lowe homestead which had a very nice three bedroom home, a waterwheel in Hat Creek which poured water into a flume to serve both the house and garden (To ensure his control of the water supply, Frank bought the Sikes ranch in 1909.) a large haybarn, a smaller barn for horses and cows as well as a shed for tools and the buggy, and it had a three-holer large, medium and small.

Frank and Ellen's youngest child, Meryl was born in this house. Ellen phoned the doctor in Fall River and, also, sent a hired-hand for a midwife. Meryl arrived before Dr. Pratt. A more serious medical problem was an epidemic of diphtheria on Hat Creek; Frank became ill and to protect the children, they had to live in a tent in the front yard.

Every trip over Hatchet Mountain was an adventure, especially during Winter or Spring--snow and ice, followed by floods--but after Frank was elected to the County Board of Supervisors, he made the trip at least once a month and sometimes took his family. This was not expensive because Ellen's parents had moved to Redding and welcomed their visits.

About 1912, Frank developed a kidney problem, later diagnosed as cancer. Meryl describes the hectic years, attending schools at Hat Creek, Burney, Redding, Oakland and San Francisco, at least three a year as Frank sought medical treatment. She never had to repeat a grade. (At that time, the State issued textbooks, so the curriculum was basically the same everywhere in California.)

Before his death, September 28, 1916, Frank made an agreement with Alan who was in highschool that he would will him half the ranch if he would come home and help his mother manage it. Ellen worked for in-laws in their store in Fall River for twelve years and another twelve in Weaverville before moving to Redding to be near Meryl. She died in Redding, March 21, 1951.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - May 1997

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