Stonewall Jackson Denham was born in Miami Station, Missouri on March 24, 1908 to Stonewall Jackson and Wilamena Wilson Denham, his friends and family called him Stoney. Stoney's parents married young and raised a large family, several of the children died at a very young age. He had six sisters and three brothers who lived to be adults: Roxie, Charlotte, Gladys, Bessie, Mildred, Evelyn, Russell, Whit, and Roy. The family lived on a farm near Dupree, South Dakota, in a two story house. One night the house caught on fire and Stoney jumped out of second story window and landed in the rose bushes below. His brother Harold (age 12) was the only member of the family who died in the fire. Stoney's mother died at the age of 38, she is buried in the Dupree Cemetery.

Stoney came to Shasta County in 1933; his sister Gladys was living in Redding. Stoney met Nelda Hunt Macaulay; she was a friend of Gladys. Stoney and Nelda were married August 19, 1934 and lived in the EI Nito apartments on Market Street. They had one son. Randy Jay

Stoney worked for the Buick-Pontiac agency. In 1936 he opened an auto repair shop on California Street. In 1941 he joined the army, and was one of five men selected to head the automotive division of the Western Defense Command in San Francisco. He was stationed in San Francisco for awhile and then sent to Fort Lewis, Washington. Nelda and Elaine were able to join Stoney in Washington. They lived off the army base and Stoney was able to come home every night. Nelda worked as a nurse in the army hospital.

In 1944 Stoney was discharged from the army and they returned to Redding. In 1947 Stoney and Nelda started the S. J. Denham Automobile service on Pine and Tehama Streets. They had the DeSoto-Plymouth dealership. In July 1949 they opened the S. J. Denham's Chrysler-Plymouth dealership on North Market Street. (The business is still operated today by their son, Randy Jay Denham.) An open house was held by the Denhams to celebrate the grand opening of their new
business. It was attended by their many friends, employees and family members. The following day a Denham Family Reunion was held at Stoney and Nelda's home on Sonoma Street.

Stoney belonged to Northern California Motor Car Dealers Association, National Auto Dealers Association, Redding Elks Lodge 1073, Redding Host Lions Club, and was one of the thirty charter members of the Riverview Golf and Country Club. Stoney was a very social person and was an active member in all of these organizations.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - Feb. 2002

Biography Index