William Edward Hathaway was born May 16, 1894 in Millville, California to John and Vera Volumnia Hunt Hathaway. His family and friends called him Ed. He was the youngest child in the family. Ed had six sisters and two brothers. After the death of his father all of the children had to help do the work on the ranch. Ed attended the Wilkinson School on Oak Run road. The children had to walk two miles to school.

Elsie May Hunt was born March 2, 1895 to William and Octavia Atkins Hunt, on their
Clover Creek ranch. Elsie was Octavia's only daughter. Octavia died in February 1899. Elsie's father remarried in 1906; he married Flora Atkins, Octavia's twin sister. The family then moved to the ranch in Oak Run, where Elsie grew up. The Hunt children attended Wilkinson School.

Ed served in World War I; he was stationed at Camp Lewis Washington for his basic training. Elsie went to visit Ed while he was at Camp Lewis. They were married December 29, 1917 in Tacoma, Washington They had two children.

William Edwardb. Dec. 14, 1918d. June 23, 1998m. Faye Cain
Harryette Jean
Ed was sent to France, shortly after he and Elsie were married Ed was in three major battles, he earned Battle Stars and the Defensive Sector, for St. Mihel, Meuse, and Argonne. Ed also received the Purple Heart. He was badly wounded at Argonne and spent many months recovering. After the Armistice was signed and his recovery, Ed came home to his family and friends. Ed always gave credit to a Lt. Vincent for saving his life. When his company retreated Ed was left on the battlefield with just a canteen of water. Lt. Vincent returned to the battlefield and helped carry Ed out in his trench coat. Ed also gave credit to a nurse who fed him canned tomatoes while he was in the hospital.

When Ed came home from the army he returned to the ranch near Oak Run and worked with his brothers Ray and Dick. In the spring they moved the cattle to the mountains and back to the ranch in the fall. The family moved with the cattle. They lived in an old log cabin and Elsie cooked on a little wood stove. They quite often had beans, seasoned with bacon or ham. Elsie made applesauce from apples that they picked from the trees. They usually took a milk cow, so they had milk and butter. When they didn't have a cow they used canned milk. Applesauce with crackers and canned milk was a treat. Ed worked on the ranch until his death November 18, 1966.

Elsie grew up on the neighboring ranch. Elsie was going to college in Stockton and planned to become a teacher. Elsie quit school when World War I started and she and Ed were married. When Ed came home, becoming a ranchers wife was a natural way of life. She was a good mother, an excellent cook and made great dill pickles. Elsie would give her nieces and nephews pickles to eat on their way home from school. After an extended illness Elsie passed away November 18, 1958.

Ed and Elsie are both buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Millville.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - August, 2001

Biography Index