John Glanville Kite was born near Sacramento, California July 8, 1873 to Milton and Florence Glanville Kite. His parents both came here with their families; he from Georgia and she was born in Illinois. John and his brothers grew up helping herd cattle, milk cows and grow crops. His father acquired 600 acres south of Redding and gave each of his sons 120 acres.

Dora Mattie Meineken was born in Mt. Eden California, April 3, 1887 to Christopher and Dora Kremling Meinekin. Her parents came from Germany as contract labor for Spreckles. They came around the Cape of Good Hope to Hawaii. They and three hundred other German families cleared land, planted sugar cane and then were put back on boats and brought to California. They had contracted to work five years to pay for their passage. When the five years were up Meinekins homesteaded near Whitmore. They and their neighbors built the German Ditch which is still in use. Hops for the small breweries in Redding were their main cash crop. This was another hard working farm family which taught the Protestant Work Ethic.

Dora and John probably met when John drove cattle to summer pasture but they courted while she worked as housekeeper for the Holts who had a brickyard near the Kite's home. They were married December 12, 1906 and spent their married life on the Kite ranch. They had two sons:

Milton b. Jan. 5, 1912 d. Mar. 21, 1996 m. Jean Pinnegar
John b. April 8, 1915 d. Feb. 17, 2004 m. Janice Nielsen who died Nov. 12, 1966
m. Wilma Jane Clark

His brothers sold their acreage and moved away but John kept his land and he and Dora ran a dairy. At first they lived in a tent and got up at 2:00 in the morning to milk their forty cows and get the milk to Redding by 6:00 A.M. Dora put siding on the barn while John delivered milk.

John was one of the earliest promoters, of the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District; success of the German Ditch may explain his enthusiasm. He had been one of the Directors for about ten years and was watching when the water first surged down the canal. It picked up 3x4 scraps cut to even up the ends of bridge flooring. Foresight enough to build bridges across the canal route but not to realize the debris would clog a weir! Trying to pry the chunks from the weir, John fell into the canal and water pressure trapped him. He drowned July 24, 1917. Years later his son John served 31 years on the Board.

Left with two small boys, Dora sold the dairy and opened a boarding house; Dora had one of the first Frigidaires in Redding; the salesman boarded with them. Some years later when the buyers failed to make their payments, she foreclosed and moved the boys back to the dairy.

Dora raised her boys and cared for her parents in their final years while doing an excellent job managing the farm and keeping the family solvent. The clerk of the A.C.I.D. board told John that his mother was the only one who always paid the assessments for the canal all through the depression. And a banker who had loaned them money said he thought Dora could have run General Motors.

Dora died in Redding July 23, 1961; she and John are both buried in the Redding Cemetery.

Source: Shasta Historical Society Feb-1998

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