John Adam Snell, born in 1864. was one of three sons born to John A. Snell and Harriet Heninger Snell. He taught school in his early years, when passing an examination would earn a teaching credential.

Louisa Elnora "Nora" Crews, the fourth child and second daughter born to Robert and Mary Elizabeth Emmons Crews, was born October 25, 1870 in Kansas where the family stopped four years en route to California. The family settled at Bunker Hill near Burney.

On March 31, 1889, John and Nora were married about the time that he gave up teaching and became a rancher; he bought his mother's Cayton Valley cattle ranch from her.

Five children were born to this marriage:
Leila, a teacher m. Phillip Ward m. Floyd Jacobus
Harold Adam, a storekeeper b. July 4,1892 m. Nellie Stewart
John Buryl, a dentist b. December 29, 1895 m. Edith Dorothy Hersey
Gerald, a dentist b. July 14,1898 m. Harriet Greenwood
Muriel, a teacher b. February 4, 1905 m. James Cameron

When Liela was through grammar school, she went to live with her Aunt Lete and Uncle John Brauer to continue her schooling. Grandma Harriet lived with the Snells, helping to run the ranch and care for the children until the older boys were ready for high school; then a cabin was built in McArthur where Grandma Harriet did the cooking and cleaning while the boys went to school.

Because of the heat and malaria-carrying mosquitos in Cayton Valley, John and Nora moved their brood to Galt where they raised alfalfa and grapes. Nora enjoyed raising flowers as a hobby and was known for the many beautiful patch work quilts she made for her family and friends.

After the children were grown and in their own homes. John and Nora were the first of the family to settle on Santa Cruz as a retirement site. They were joined by several brothers and sisters and remained there contentedly enjoying the remainder of their lives together.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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