James Franklin "Frank" Gregory's parents came by covered wagon from Indiana around 1850, and settled in the Stillwater area. He was the child of LeRoy Gregory and Malinda Caroline Williams. He was born January 8, 1863 on the Houston ranch in the Stillwater area.

Frank's wife, Martha Ellen Nelson Greenwood, was born July 18, 1856 in San Jose, in
Santa Clara County. Her parents had come by covered wagon in 1851 and settled in San Jose.
In 1872, she married John Allen Greenwood in Mountain View. They lived there a short while,
then moved to Central Valley on the Old Oregon Trail Road among what she always said were the "Manzanita, chapparel and Indians". Living with them at that time was her Grandfather, Joshua Jones, and his son William Henry Jones.

After a few months they moved to Ingot, and then to Copper City, which at that time was a booming town. By now, they had three small children: William Allen, George Newton, and Edna May. While living there, Martha's grandfather died and was buried in a small cemetery at Copper City, which now is under Shasta Lake. The family then moved back to Ingot and while there John Greenwood died and left Martha with the three small children.

In 1885, she married James Franklin Gregory in Old Shasta, then the county seat. They
were married by Judge C. C. Bush.

The Gregorys lived on the Day ranch in the Stillwater area until 1897, when they moved to the Smithson Stage Station on the Sacramento River and the railroad. They bought 640 acres from Sara Gordon, who had bought from Jim Smithson, an early pioneer. By now, they had six children of their own: Stella Washington, Evea Agnes, Jessie Vera, Frank LeRoy, Day Howard, and Alice Bernice.

All of the Gregory children went to the Smithson School, now known as Canyon Union School. Mr. Gregory obtained a post office for the community in 1900, and the town was then called "Gregory". The name was changed later to Baird Spur, then Rainbow, and then to Antlers.

When the Gregorys first moved to the Smithson stage station, they lived in the old stage house. In 1901, they built a fourteen-room home on the banks of the Sacramento River. It was across from the old stage barn which they later tore down. From that time on, their home was well known as a stopping-place for people traveling to or from Oregon, and for cattlemen, sheepmen, and fishermen. The river was known for its rainbow trout and touritsts came from all over the country to fish. At the Gregorys, they could get a fine meal for 25 cents or all they could eat and a bed for 50 cents. Doctors, attorneys and movie actors including Roy Rogers, Rex Beach and Renny Renfro, (who owned "Daisy" the dog who was in the Dagwood Bumstead movies) and many other notables came to stay at the station. The old home is now under the waters of Shasta Lake, along with many other old landmarks.

Frank Gregory had a cattle ranch, and he also had teams and wagons to transport visitors from Antlers Railroad Station to the McCloud River. Gregory Creek on the upper Sacramento arm of Shasta Lake ran near the old Gregory home.

Martha Gregory had the first telephone swithchboard between Redding and Dunsmuir. In 1946, six years before her death, the Telephone Company presented Martha with a certificate of appreciation for her many years of service.

Martha took care of elderly people in need and was a mid-wife many times, having brought 83 babies into the world.

Frank Gregory died November 29, 1936 and is buried in the Redding Cemetery. His wife, Martha, lived to be 95 and joined her husband on February 23, 1952.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

Biography Index