FRANK L. CAIN. - As assistant postmaster of Alderpoint, and the first bonafide resident of the now thriving
little town, Frank L. Cain has taken a prominent part in the affairs of the community since its beginning, and
is today one of its most influential residents. His name is indelibly associated with the fame and fortunes of
the North-Western Pacific Railroad, whose advent into this region is responsible for the birth of the new town,
through the fact that the "golden spike" which marked the completion of the line was driven at "Cain's
Rock," a landmark which was named for him on account of its being located at a point in Eel river where Mr.
Cain homesteaded in 1898. The opening of the North-Western Pacific Railroad, which formally occurred on October
23, 1914, marked an era of great importance in this part of California, and Alderpoint, which had been a prosperous
little town during the period of construction, has since grown into a place of commercial importance, and promises
to be one of the prominent county towns.
Mr. Cain is a descendant of an old pioneer family of great prominence in California, he being a nephew of ex Governor
Burnett, the first American governor of California, through his maternal ancestry. His mother was Elizabeth Burnett,
familiarly known by her family and intimate friends as "Betty Burnett," and was an own sister of Peter
H. Burnett, the aforementioned governor, and an aunt of Judge Albert Burnett, of the appellate court at Sacramento.
His father, Robert Cain, a native of Kentucky, was a man of means, but lost much property during the Civil war.
He had moved to Platte City, Mo., many years before, and died there in 1869, at the age of seventy six years. After
his death his wife came to California in 1875 with her children, with the exception of Emmett, who remained in
Missouri. The family located at Cloverdale, and later removed to Williams, Colusa county, where she died in 1883,
at the age of sixty five years. Mr. and Mrs. Cain, Sr., were the parents of four children, all sons, and all well
known residents of California at this time, with the exception of Robert Emmett, the second born, who resides in
Oklahoma, where he is engaged in farming. Of the other sons, the eldest, Burnett, resides in Los Angeles, where
he is a prominent contractor and builder; Frank L. is the subject of this sketch; and Henry M. is a contractor
and builder in Los Angeles. The mother was married to Dr. Ware May before her marriage to Mr. Cain, and by the
first union was the mother of six children.
Frank L. Cain is a native of Platte City, Mo., born January 12, 1854, and there grew to maturity, receiving his
education in the local public and high schools. After coming to California with his mother in 1875 he worked on
various ranches in Sonoma county, being employed by the month, and later engaged in the sheep business in Sherwood
valley, Mendocino county, where he owned a thousand head of sheep in partnership with his brother in law, Oliver
Todd. Later he disposed of his interests there and went to Los Angeles, where he lived for four years, from 1882
to 1886. He then returned northward, locating at Cloverdale, and engaged in the cattle business on the Crigler
ranch, a property of two thousand acres, raising both cattle and hogs, and meeting with success. After a time he
disposed of his interests there to good advantage and went to Fort Bragg, Mendocino county, where he purchased
and improved a place, which he later sold, and then came to Humboldt county, where he has since resided. In 1898
he homesteaded a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres on Eel river, this being the property located at Cain's Rock,
of golden spike fame, and at that time Blocksburg was the neares*t postoffice. In 1910 Mr. Cain sold this ranch.
He came to Alderpoint in 1907 and bought two lots, building a residence and a small barn, in which he kept four
stage horses for the Helmke Stage Company. At this time the surveys for the North-Western Pacific Railroad were
being run, and from this small beginning the town of Alderpoint has grown to its present promising proportions,
with a growing population and prosperous business district which supplies the tributary country. When the postoffice
was instituted in 1909 Mr. Cain was made assistant postmaster, and has occupied this position continuously since
that time. He is a Democrat in politics and takes an active part in the affairs of his party, being especially
interested in all questions of local importance, in which he takes a leading part. He has served in various capacities,
being a member of several election boards, and also having served as judge of elections. He is a man of high moral
integrity and is honored and respected wherever he is known.
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915
Humboldt County, CA
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