William Hawes was born in New York May 8, 1836 to Martha Hoffman, a native of Pennsylvania and Michael Haas, a young farmer and blacksmith who emmigrated from Germany. With his brother he learned farming and blacksmithing from their father. When he was twenty-two, he came to California (His brother, Michael may have come around the Horn with him because both names appear, with the German spelling" Haas" on early land deals.)

William landed in San Francisco but he was soon cutting logs and mining at Horsetown. Eighteen months of mining at Oregon Gulch earned him $900. He worked six months in the hotel at American Ranch before he felt competent to rent it and run it by himself for a year.

Rebecca Foster, born in November 12, 1839, was the oldest daughter of Ellen W. Cline and David Campbell Foster, both native Americans. As the family slowly moved west, she was born November 22, 1839 in Indiana and her sister was born in and named Missouri. They left Missouri with Dan Hunt's second wagon train and after David died at Fort Laramie, the family came to Hunt's Oak Run ranch; the boys worked on the ranch while Ellen and the girls cooked and did housework.

Soon Rebecca was teaching Sacramento River School near Anderson and her landlady saw that she was properly escorted to all the social events--birthday parties, weddings and dances. She met William Hawes at these affairs and the couple were married April 26, 1862. The same year, William bought 120 acres of rich farmland at old Fort Reading on Cow Creek. He bought adjoining land until they owned 1400 acres.

He and Rebecca had six children:
John Lincoln b. March 25, 1863 d. Nov. 18, 1950 m. Helen Toten
Alice Ellen b. Oct. 17, 1865 d. Apr. 22, 1943 m. John Beatie
Mary Anis b. June 30, 1867 d. Aug. 25, 1873
W. Henry b. Feb. 10, 1870 d. Oct.18, 1927 m. Etta Mull
Granville b. April 14, 1871 d. Jan. 30, 1942 m. Emma Parrott
Daniel R. b. April 25, 1875 d. April 17, 1958 m. Ada Bilderbach
m. Eva Robinson

Within a month of Daniel's birth, Rebecca died of peritonitis.

April 26, 1876, William married Henrietta Young (Jung), a native of Germany. She was born May 14, 1834, but nothing is known of her journey from Germany to Shasta County. For his bride, William built a new bouse in tbe Cow Creek Valley which still stands today. Tbough the main products of the ranch were bay. grain and livestock, he surrounded the house with fruit trees of every description and even raisin grapes.

This couple had one son Jacob. They raised all six children to be good workers and good citizens. They often had young people working at the ranch and adopted Rena Thompson who was born in 1890.

Henrietta died May 13, 1909.

Three years later. William moved to Oakland and married a widow, Elizabeth Millsap Newton Hall who was his daughter-in-law's grandmother. He died in Oakland May 20, 1922. He was buried in Millville Masonic Cemetary beside his first wife Rebecca Foster and their daughter Mary Anis.

William served twenty-five years on the local school board, was an active Republican, a member of the Grangers and The Independent Order of the Oddfellows, Millville Lodge #240.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

Biography Index