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LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – August 17, 1857

A section of the wagon road exploration map from 1857 showing the Nobles Trail through the Honey Lake Valley.

From Kirk’s Wagon Road Expedition
August 17, 1857

The northern part of Honey Lake Valley is a fine piece of country, and is fast being settled; there is already quite a number of families here. The Valley runs north 45 degrees west, and on the western and southern side has plenty of fine timber. The lake is from fifteen to twenty miles long and about ten wide. The water at the most southern end is rather brackish, but at the most northern end it is good, from the fact that Susan river, (named after Mrs. Susan Noble,) and a large number of fine springs empty into this part of the lake.

The PahutahIndians live in this Valley, and are generally a fine looking and intelligent set of Indians, and unlike the Diggers, are industrious and not afraid to work.

The entire appearance of the country east of the Sierra Mountains is somewhat broken, but the mountains are detached and valleys intervening so that there is a little or no difficulty in passing from one point to another in any direction.

The Valley is generally good, and capable of being cultivated, and, in the course of time, will be settled. It is true that the valleys are generally small, but they are numerous and will produce almost anything that will grow in California, and it is of vital importance to the central portion of the State that the great thoroughfare should go into the State by the Johnson route, which is the most central.

Now is the golden moment, and if the people of Sacramento and Placerville, and the counties surrounding, but do their duty now, they can take the trade and travel that way for all time to come. Let them look to it well.

Mr. Kirk, myself and five or six more, will start out tomorrow to explore the country around Pyramid Lake, and consequently will not probably, leave this camp for at least a week. Men and animals all well and got along finely so far, not having had a serious accident of any kind as yet. Our party now numbers sixty-seven, all told, and all in fine spirits.

I must endeavor to write you again before we leave this place. Respectfully yours, &c., Frank Denver.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – August 16, 1857

Susanville from Inspiration Point around 1880

Honey Lake Matters
August 16, 1857

The fact that a collision has taken place between the Settlers in Honey Lake Valley and the Washo Indians, is fully established. A committee from the Settlers appeared a day or two since, with a petition quite numerously signed, asking for aid from the Executive of California. But we do not see how the Executive can act in the premises, if Honey Lake, as claimed by some of these same petitioners, not long since, is without the limits of California. California can only interfere to protect her own citizens; those citizens may volunteer to assist their fellow men in distress.

An attempt was made by the authorities of Plumas County, in August last, to organize a township in Honey Lake. The Board of Supervisors did organize a township; appointed two Justices and two Constables, and appointed an election precinct. Upon learning what had been done, a majority of the Honey Lake Settlers convened and passed a series of resolutions, which were copied into this paper from the North Californian.

After appointing a committee to correspond with the authorities of Plumas, the meeting adopted the following resolve: On motion it was Resolved, That the citizens of the Valley attend the place of voting on the day of election and prevent the polls being opened. The last resolution was literally carried out, as we understood that an attempt was made to open the polls, which was defeated by those who attended the previous meeting. Judges of Election were elected, a magistrate was present to swear them in, but those who declared that Honey Lake Valley was not in California, prevented the polls from being opened by force of numbers. We believe the Assessor went over to make a list of property in the Valley, but the anti-Californians there soon made the Valley so uncomfortable for him that be deemed it prudent to leave without making any assessments. The Justices and Constables were also notified that their services were not required in that Valley.

Not the least curious part of the proceeding is the fact that Mr. Williams, who is the bearer of the petition to the Governor, appears, from the proceedings, to have been the man who offered the series of resolutions before the meeting held in Honey Lake Valley in August last, from which we have quoted.

Under these circumstances, the Governor ought not to furnish aid, unless the petitioners acknowledge themselves citizens of California, and willing to abide the laws of the State, and the jurisdiction of the officers of Plumas county.

If Honey Lake is in Plumas county, and that is where all the maps we have consulted place it, the application for aid should, have come from the authorities of that county. The petition states that the women and children had been removed to Indian Valley, which lies west of the summit of the Sierra Nevada, and which, the Honey Lake Settlers admit is within the limits of Plumas county. The Indians will not follow them into that Valley. But they seem very much disposed to drive the independent settlers, (who have appropriated a section of land each,) out of the Valley of Honey Lake.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – August 15, 1907

Judge Accused of Drunkenness Fines Town Marshal $500 and Sends Him to Jail
August 15th, 1907

The Town Marshal in custody of the Sheriff for contempt of court, and the County Judge under arrest for assault and battery, on a charge preferred by a prominent citizen, and also smarting under the odium of a charge of over-indulgence in liquor, is a condition prevailing in Susanville.

The trouble broke loose with a street altercation between Judge F. A. Kelly of the superior court and Humboldt Ward, a minor, who clerks in a store owned by the sheriff. City Marshal Arthur E. Long separated the combatants by seizing hold of the person of the judge and throwing him to the sidewalk in the scuffle. This was more than the dignity of the judge would stand for, and he Issued an order for the arrest of the city official.

Following is Judge Kelly’s complaint and decree in the case:

“That said Arthur E. Long did on the 11th day of August 1907, at and in the city of Susanville, state and county of California, willfully, maliciously and contemptuously seize F. A. Kelley, the judge of said court, and jerk and throw said judge down upon the plank sidewalk in front of the Emerson hotel in a vicious, violent, inhuman and cruel manner, dragged him violently upon said plank sidewalk, lacerating his right ear, bruising the left side of his head and spraining his left wrist.

“And then and immediately thereafter, in a loud and angry tone of voice, when said judge remonstrated, did threaten to confine him in the county jail and contemptuously said to said judge that he was not now in court and could redress his wrongs as he see fit.

“That each, every and all of said acts was made, said and done In an intentionally contemptuous manner and way and was intended to and did bring said court and judge into public disrespect, ridicule and contempt, and thereby tend to prevent and interfere with the future trial of causes In said court.

“Wherefore, it is ordered, adjudged and decreed that said Arthur E. Long is guilty of contempt of said court and judge and that judgment of the law and sentence of the court is that he be confined in the county jail for the period of five days and that he also be fined the sum of $5OO, and that in default of the payment of said fine he be imprisoned in said county Jail for a period of 250 days in the proportion of one day’s imprisonment for every two dollars of said fine.’’

The marshal has appealed to the district court In Sacramento for a writ of habeas corpus, and in addition to denying any exhibition of contempt for the Lassen court, states his side of the case quite fully, and adds: … “That he believed, and still believes, that a drunken judge, on a Sunday afternoon, on the public streets of an incorporated town, should be dealt with by the marshal of said town in exactly the same manner as any other drunk and disorderly person.”

Ward went before a justice of the peace and swore to a warrant charging Judge Kelly with assault and battery, for striking him, and the judge was accordingly placed under arrest.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – August 14, 1910

Susanville’s passenger train in 1915 ~photo courtesy UNR Digital Collection

Western Pacific Agent Gives Assurance to Merchants in Lassen
August 14, 1910

J.K. Junkins, traveling freight agent for the Western Pacific Railway company, has been in Susanville for several days past interviewing the business men here. The bulk of the freight for this place will undoubtedly come by way of the Western Pacific from now on, as it is a great advantage to the local merchants to have it come over that route.

Mr. Junkins states that regular passenger service over his company’s line, which will be started on August 22, will accord two daily trains each way. This will afford the residents of this section better transportation facilities to the bay cities than heretofore.

The nearest station on the line is Doyle, which is forty-five miles from here. Automobile service has already been established between here and Doyle, and the fare to that place is $5.

Mr. Junkins says the fare on the railroad to San Francisco from the Doyle station will be $9.20. This will make the fare from here to San Francisco $14.20 – the lowest it has ever been.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – August 13, 1856

Roop’s Fort in the late 1860’s from the archives of the Nevada Historical Society.

Honey Lake Valley News
August 13, 1856

Mr. Isaac Roop, formerly of this place, who has just returned from Honey Lake Valley, furnishes us with the following interesting items:

There are now about forty-five settlers in the Valley, and they are rapidly building houses and improving their ranches. Several families are already located there. There has been no sickness in the Valley this summer.

The crops in the Valley came in well, and good grass is abundant.

The whole amount of emigration which has passed the Roop House, up to August 24th, is as follows: Trains, about 25; men, 346; women, 71; children, 86; wagons, 98; horses and mules, 224; cattle, 4,382 head.

Emigrants are well pleased with the route. As near us can be ascertained, the loss of stock from the Humboldt, in, will fall short of fifty head. They report a large emigration back on the road.

Grass on the route from the Humboldt in, is found in abundance. One large train passed through Honey Lake Valley, who reported that at the Big Bend they took the Carson route, and proceeded as far as the Sink of the Humboldt, and were compelled to retrace their steps on account of the scarcity of grass on that route.

Four cargo trains intend wintering in the Valley this winter, and some who have crossed the Sierra Nevada will return to settle there.

Good diggings have been struck by Mr. Verry at the Antelope Springs, between the Humboldt and Honey Lake Valley. Miners at the Honey Lake diggings are not doing much, for want of water.

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