Biography of Frank Deuel
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





FRANK DEUEL. - That the romance of early California was not confined to either the days of Spanish and Mexican dominion, or to the life of the gold seekers, is amply shown in the experiences of such early pioneer families as that of Frank Deuel and his forebears. Mr. Deuel himself was born in Forest Hill, Placer county, December 6, 1855. From there his parents came to Humboldt county in 1859 and located at Trinidad. Later they located on the peninsula above what is now Samoa, but the Indians became troublesome and they moved into Eureka. Here the lad attended school for several years, until the family removed to Arcata, where he finished his education in the public schools. Conditions were of course exceedingly primitive, and by the time he was eighteen years of age he had gone as far as the local schools could take him, and he then went to work on the ranch with his father.

Mr. Deuel's first independent business venture of magnitude occurred in 1877, when in partnership with John Seely he purchased one hundred twenty acres of land in Arcata bottom. The following year they divided the ranch, each taking sixty acres. Here Mr. Deuel engaged in farming and dairying for a number of years, greatly improving the place in the meantime. In 1906 he retired from active business, leased the home place, and moved into Eureka to live. Life in the city, however, did not satisfy the man who had all his life lived in the great open places next to nature and loved them, and after a few years he returned to make his home on his farm, where he is residing at present.

During his lifetime Mr. Deuel has seen Humboldt county transformed from a wilderness into a land of beautiful farms and handsome homes, with all the attendant struggle and heartache, triumph, failure and success that ever attend periods of transformation. He has himself been a more than ordinarily successful farmer, and his sterling qualities of heart and mind have won for him a wide circle of sincere friends. In politics he is a Republican and has served his party in various capacities, several times being a delegate to conventions. He has always taken an active interest in all matters of local public welfare, and for twenty five years has served as school trustee in his home district. He is also keenly interested in fraternal organizations and is a prominent member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Native Sons.

The marriage of Mr. Deuel to Caroline Goble occurred April 14, 1883, near Bayside, Humboldt county. Mrs. Duel is a native of Springfield, Ill., born February 9, 1856, the daughter of Abraham and Mary (Griffith) Goble, natives of Kentucky and Indiana respectively. The marriage of the parents occurred in Illinois, where Mr. Goble carried on farming until he came to California. Mrs. Deuel crossed the plains with her parents in 1862 with horse teams, settlement being made in Humboldt county. Later the parents crossed the plains twice, on both occasions Mr. Goble acting as captain of the train, and each time returning to make his home in Humboldt county. On both of these trips their daughter accompanied them. Mr. and Mrs. Deuel are the parents of three sons, as follows: Frank, Jr., a machinist residing in Arcata; John Seely, making his home with his parents; and Guy Richard, employed with the North Western Pacific Railroad and residing in Eureka.

While the setting for the life story of Mr. Deuel is full of romance, it is but the closing chapter to the story which his father, Edmund Perry Deuel, commenced many years before. The father was born in Tompkins county, N. Y., October 30, 1823, and at an early age moved with his parents to Jackson county, Mich., where his father engaged in farming. Later the family moved to a farm in Saginaw county. Edmund lived at home, helping with the farm work until he was quite a lad, when he went to work as a woodsman, at which occupation he continued until he came to California. The first start was made with a six horse team across the plains; but in attempting to overtake an outfit ahead, Mr. Deuel drove his horses so hard that they became exhausted and sick and he was forced to sell his outfit and return to New York. The next timed he started it was by water via the Panama route, and during the winter of 1851-52 he reached San Francisco, then the land of promise. Failing to find the desired conditions in San Francisco, he went on to Sacramento, where he contracted for teaming and freighting from that city to Forest Hill. This was a profitable line of work and he followed it until he came to Humboldt county in 1859. The trip up the coast to Trinidad was made on the steamer Columbia. At Trinidad he again engaged in teaming and freighting, using an ox team for much of his work in the woods. Soon afterwards he engaged in the wood business on Humboldt bay. In 1869 he purchased the old Cochran place of one hundred sixty acres, all unimproved land located in Arcata bottom. It required several years of hard work to clear the land of brush and timber before he was able to engage in farming. In 1877 he sold the home place and moved to Washington territory, locating on a farm in Whatcom county. Edmund Deuel lived only a year after going to the new home, dying in October, 1878. His wife, the mother of Frank Deuel, was Marguerite Sherman. She was born at Saratoga Springs, N. Y., April 29, 1825, and their marriage took place when the bride was but seventeen, in Jackson county, Mich., December 23, 1842. Three children were born to them. Mrs. Edmund Deuel spent her last days with her children and died near Arcata when seventy eight years of age.

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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