BIAR CURLESS. - Prominent among the early pioneers of Humboldt county, and a man who for more than forty years
resided on his ranch near the present town of Blocksburg, and was especially well known and highly esteemed in
that part of the county, was the late Biar Curless, whose death September 3, 1911, came as a great shock to his
many friends. He came to Humboldt county in September, 1869, and homesteaded the place at Blocksburg which was
thereafter his home. He earned the unique distinction of having crossed the plains three times in as many years,
but finding no place where he desired so much to reside as in California. During his entire lifetime Mr. Curless
took great pride in his farm and surroundings and also was equally interested in the affairs of the community,
making the concerns of the public weal his personal interest.
Mr. Curless was a native of Indiana, born January 20, 1834. On reaching man's estate he removed to Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, where in 1855 he was married to Miss Lovina D. Shaw. Four years later, in 1859, he and his family started
across the plains to California, driving cattle and other stock before them. The trip was made via the Salt Lake
route, and after reaching the coast region the party turned down the valley to Los Angeles. So far they had not
found what they felt they wanted, and so, in January, 1861, they again started across the plains, this time by
way of the southern route, with Texas as their objective point. Hearing on their way of the fall of Fort Sumter
and the breaking out of the Civil war, they abandoned their project, and turning northward, eventually reached
Omaha, Neb. A week later they again turned westward, making their third trip across the great plains, and on their
arrival in California they settled in Placerville, where they continued to reside for nine years. They then came
into Humboldt county, taking up a homestead on September 26, 1869, near what is now Blocksburg, and on which Mr.
Curless resided at the time of his death, forty two years later.
Mr. and Mrs. Curless became the parents of seven children. They are: Mrs. Flora Perry and Talburt Curless, of Blocksburg;
Albert Curless, of Fruitland; Paul Curless, of Mendocino county; George G. Curless, of Blocksburg; Mrs. Rose Langlin,
of Fortuna; and Henry Curless, of San Bernardino county.
The widow, Mrs. Lovina Curless, made her home with her son, George Curless, who then resided in Eureka, after the
death of her husband; and it was there that she passed away, February 4, 1912. She was born in New York, October
10, 1836, and was past seventy six years of age at the time of her death. She was married to Biar Curless, September
11, 1855 and from that time until the time of his death she shared the fortunes of her energetic husband, crossing
the plains with him three times, in 1839, 1860 and 1861, and being in every sense a true helpmeet in the days of
the pioneer life. She was a woman of ability and worth and is remembered by many warm friends.
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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