Biography of James F. Blackburn
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





JAMES FELIX BLACKBURN. - Through two decades of active and honorable business pursuits Mr. Blackburn was identified with the development of Humboldt county. Although that identification dates back to an earlier period in local history, his name is still remembered as that of a man of sterling character and commercial enterprise. Of Canadian birth and parentage, he was born in Newport, Hants county, Nova Scotia, June 4, 1839, and received such meager educational advantages as the locality and period made possible. It may be said that his accomplishments in the world of affairs were due wholly to his own determined will and untiring perseverance, for he had no one to aid him in securing a start, but even in boyhood earned his own board and clothing. While he never attained great wealth he was successful in attaining that which is far more to be desired, the esteem of associates and the warm regard of intimate personal friends. Of progressive temperament, he aided many movements for the early advancement of Humboldt county, where he established a home early in the '60s and where he continued to reside until the lamentable accident occurred that caused his death.

For a brief period after coming to California in 1861 Mr. Blackburn engaged in mining around Grass Valley and Gibsonville, but it was yet early in the '60s when he settled in Humboldt county. During a visit at his old home in Nova Scotia in 1876 he was united in marriage with Miss Mary T. Burke, who was born and reared in Newport, Hants county, that peninsula, and who, since the death of her husband, has continued to reside at the old home on the water front at Bucksport in Eureka. This land had been purchased by Mr. Blackburn during the early period of his identification with the farming interests of the county and he had not only engaged in farming, but also in the poultry business, besides taking contracts for general teaming and for grading the country roads. While engaged as contractor for the railroad, in constructing the Table Bluff tunnel in August, 1883, he was accidentally killed by the caving of the tunnel. His sudden death was a source of sorrow to his family, as well as to his friends throughout the county, and was recognized as a distinct loss to the local citizenship.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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