Location: Downey California

Biography of James Boyd

James Boyd, a pioneer of Riverside, came to the colony in 1872, all his worldly goods consisting of a farm team of four horses, four cows, a lot of chickens and a few household effects, and eight dollars in cash; but he had a reserve capital of health, energy, intelligence, and a determination to succeed. He secured a squatter’s claim to seventy-three acres of Iand about two miles north of Riverside, and later an adjoining tract of eighty acres, upon which he camped with his family, his only shelter being a shanty 10 x 10, devoid of protection from the scorching sun and sand storms. Their modest cook stove was in the open air, and all the cooking was done in the morning to avoid the heat of the midday sun. Their mid day repast was served cold, but the necessary heating of tea, coffee and even edibles, was accomplished by setting the receptacles containing them upon the fireless stove in the open air; it was rare, indeed, that the fierce rays of the sun had not generated heat, that the storage qualities of that old stove rendered sufficient to bring water nearly to the boiling point. Mr. Boyd planted the seed of the eucalyptus, surrounding his home with those trees. Their growth seems marvelous; careful measurement taken in 1889 showed one of these trees, seventeen years old from...

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Merritt, Clarence D. “Don” – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon Clarence “Don” D. Merritt, 81, a longtime Baker City resident, died Feb. 4, 2004 at St. Elizabeth Health Services. A memorial service will be held in his honor at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel with Pastor John Goodyear of the Baker Valley Church of Christ officiating. A celebration of life at Settler’s Park Assisted Living Center will follow the memorial service at 2 p.m., with a snack tray potluck reception. Clarence was born June 25, 1922, in Baker City to David and Grace (Srack) Merritt. He attended school in Baker and after graduating joined the United States Army. While in the service, he began learning the trade of tool and die making. Upon his discharge from the military, Clarence moved to Downey, California, and went to work for Lockheed, where he continued his trade of tool and die making. On Oct. 27, 1951, he married Matilda Barry. They remained in California until 1972. The couple later moved to Baker City where they worked managing motels. He enjoyed going camping with his family to Selmack Lake in California. They enjoyed going on tourist travels to Tucson, Ariz., and Cucamonga, Calif. He loved to travel and visit new places and they especially enjoyed Disneyland. He loved the family life. Don had a heart of gold and loved everyone. He did not...

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Biography of Henry Sterling Pankey

Henry Sterling Pankey a farmer of the Los Bolsa tract in Orange County, was born in Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1852, and reared principally in Tennessee. His parents, Henry and Zilpah (Daniels) Pankey, were natives of South Carolina The father died when his son Henry was only a year old, and the mother married Marion Clark four years later. Being ill-treated by his stepfather, Henry left him to live with William Burns, of Texas. Six months’ schooling was all that Mr. Pankey ever received. During the war he suffered many privations and undertook many disagreeable risks. He had to go twelve miles to mill, sitting upon his sack of corn to keep the soldiers from taking it. In March, 1869, he started across the plains for California with an ox team and a drove of cattle, and had to do a great part of the traveling at night. He carried water in pint bottles. From Fort Yuma onward he had but 50 cents in money upon which to travel. At Azusa he worked six months in payment for a horse, and subsequently worked for a man named Marion Taylor. At this point it may be interesting to relate what was probably the most remarkable incident in Mr. Pankey’s life. He drove an ox team across the plains for his stepfather, who had so abused him. The last time he...

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