John Porter Webb was the oldest of William Nelson and Laura Coots Webb's children who survived to maturity. He was born May 15, 1888 at his Grandmother Leah Coots Fitzwater's home in Fall River Mills. His early life was spent at his Webb grandparents' Millville ranch until his father became manager of the McCormick-Saeltzer ranch in Redding. His brothers moved to the Bay Area, but John was a machinist apprentice in San Francisco. He was one of the survivors of the 1906 earthquake.

Ruth Ann Klineschmidt was born September 3, 1889 in Mendocino County. Her mother was the daughter of German immigrants and her father had come from Germany to work in the woods of Northern California. The day after a major earthquake he moved his work and his family to Shasta County.

John and Ruth met in Redding, but on July 8, 1912, while John was working as a machinist in Klamath Falls, she went up to Siskiyou County to be married. The couple lived there awhile until John was hired as a machinist at Redding Iron Works; Ruth returned to her job as a bookkeeper for Menzel's Meat Market and they soon had enough saved.

In 1915, John bought out one of the owners and a few years later assumed full ownership of the Redding Iron Works. This was the first foundry in town and owned the patent and manufactured "Big Wheels" which were high-wheeled slip tongue logging carts. John and Ruth's only son, John Jr. born July 17, 1918, owns the Prototype.

The couple were divorced and John married Margaret Sullivan South.

Ruth died August 15, 1970 and was buried with her parents in Redding Cemetery.

In 1954, John sold the Iron Works to Colby Smith, an automobile dealer, and he died May 5, 1977. He is buried near his parents in the Redding Cemetery.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - Nov 1999

Biography Index