Leah B. Story, born February 3, 1831 in Missouri married Alfred J. Coots who had also been born in Missouri May 22, 1823. They lived in Holt County which abuts both Kansas and Nebraska. Alfred may have been active in the Kansas-Nebraska problems before and after the Civil War. For whatever reason, guerillas raided their home and fatally shot Alfred in grant of his family.
After that Leah decided to bring their three children to California. Ethyl refused; she was engaged to be married and remained in Missouri.
So Leah and her two younger children crossed the plains in a boxcar which they shared with one or two other families. The children probably hopped off the train to run alongside as it labored up the Rockies.
Albert Monroe b. 1860 m. Josephine Williamson in Shasta County, had two children; Albert and Juanita. Later the family moved to Watsonville.
Laura Etta b. February 14, 1862 d. July 18, 1946 m. William Nelson Webb
Leah and the two younger children arrived in Shasta County in 1874 and in 1875 she married George A Fitzwater. They lived in Fall River Mills until they were divorced. Leah was noted for having a strong constitution; she hiked the Castle Crags Trail in her late 70s or 80s.
At the time of her death February 20, 1919, Leah was living with Laura in Redding. She was buried in the Redding Cemetery.
Source: Shasta Historical Society - Nov 1999