ALBERT MAURICE DINSMORE, D. D. S. - The president of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, who is also proprietor
of the Dinsmore jewelry store at this place as well as a dental practitioner of experience, is a member of a pioneer
family of Humboldt county, where he was born at Rio Dell, February 23, 1879, and where he received public school
advantages. An early desire to enter the dental profession led him to matriculate in the dental department of the
University of California, where he took the regular course of lectures, graduating with a high standing in 1904.
Meanwhile, in order to assist in defraying the expenses of the university course, he had taught school for ten
months in his native county. On returning home from the university he opened a dental office at Ferndale, where
later he became a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce and in 1909 bought out the jewelry business of R. H.
Edwards, now conducted under his own name. With his wife, who was Cavy E. Miner, a native of Petrolia, Humboldt
county, he has a high social standing in the community. His fraternities are numerous and include the Knights of
Pythias, Native Sons of the Golden West; Ferndale Lodge No. 193, F. & A. M. in which he is past master; Ferndale
Chapter No. 78, R. A. M., in which he is past high priest; Eureka Commandery No. 35, K. T., and Islam Temple, A.
A. O. N. M. S., of San Francisco.
The founder of the Dinsmore family in Humboldt county, the late John Owen Dinsmore, the grandfather of Dr. Dinsmore,
was born in 1816 on the banks of the Kennebec river in Maine and died at his western home June 21, 1891. In early
life he engaged in logging and lumbering, but the failure of his health caused him to go from Maine to Texas in
1846 and for a few years he taught in the south. Improved by the change of climate, he returned to Maine and remained
there until the discovery of gold in California caused him to come to the west. At the end of the first year he
went back as far as Illinois and bought a farm in Knox county, where an uncle lived. Soon he moved to Henry county,
same state, where he met and married Margaret J. Davis, a native of Indiana, born April 1, 1832, but from infancy
a resident of Illinois.
The second trip of John Owen Dinsmore to California was made in 1859 in company with his brother, Bradbury, Mrs.
Dinsmore and the three children remaining on the Illinois farm. Coming direct to Humboldt county and locating at
Iaqua, he engaged in the cattle industry, but the depredations of the Indians forced him to move his cattle nearer
the coast on the Mattole river. In the fall of 1860 he sold the stock and returned overland to Illinois. During
May, 1861, accompanied by his family, he came west, landing in Humboldt county on the 4th of September. During
some of his overland trips he acquired a tract of land in Kansas and that property he still owned at his death.
After two years as a renter in Humboldt county he purchased one hundred sixty acres on the Eel river. It necessitated
long years of the most arduous toil for him to reclaim and improve the land, but it is now as valuable as any farm
in the county. In politics he was prominent in local Republican affairs and served for two terms as supervisor.
Of his eight children Thomas died in infancy and William, a very influential rancher, died at the age of forty
eight. Wallace became an attorney at Marysville. Harriet, Mrs. M. P. Hansen, settled on a ranch near Alton. Clara
married George Cooper, and Mrs. Dinsmore, after the death of her husband, made her home on the Cooper ranch. George
died at seventeen years and Sophia in infancy. Harold became manager of the old homestead for his mother, and inherited
forty acres of the tract as his individual property.
William Dinsmore, son of John O. and father of Dr. Albert M., was born in Henry county, Ill., August 29, 1855,
came to California when about seven years of age, lived on the home farm until his marriage at the age of twenty
one and then settled at Rio Dell, Humboldt county. Six years later he bought one hundred thirty acres and moved
to the new property, thirty acres of which he planted in apple trees. The orchard has been considered one of the
best in the county and its value was largely due to the care of the original orchardist in selecting the best varieties
of trees. For some years William Dinsmore served as school director. His fraternities were Eel River Lodge No.
147, F. & A. M., of Rohnerville; Ferndale Chapter No. 78, R. A. M.; Hydesville Lodge No. 250, I. O. O. F.,
and Hydesville Encampment. At his death, June 7, 1903, he was survived by his wife and five children, Albert M.,
Fred A., George E., Elsie and Mabel L. Mrs. William Dinsmore was Annie, daughter of Joseph and Bertha (Thompson)
Rolley, natives respectively of England and Pennsylvania. In 1844 her father settled in New York City and found
employment in the butcher's trade. Going as far west as Grundy county, III., he bought raw land and engaged in
farming. The year 1874 found him in California, where he bought one hundred sixty acres near Fortuna, Humboldt
county. Dairying became one of his specialties. A man of splendid physique, six feet and two inches in height,
and weighing one hundred and eighty pounds, he continued active up to the very hour of his death, which occurred
(the result of hemorrhage of the brain) in February of 1896. In politics he voted the Republican ticket. He was
not long survived by his wife, whose death occurred in March, 1897, when she was sixty years of age. Ten children
had been born of their union, namely: Edward, who died at twenty one years; Annie, mother of Dr. Albert M. Dinsmore
and widow of William Dinsmore; Frank; William Walter; Minnie J., wife of Frank Legg, Mary E., Mrs. John E. Hosier;
Albert; Gertrude, now Mrs. Frank L. Parker; George T., attorney of Eureka and in 1902 elected a member of the state
legislature; and Charles. All established homes at Fortuna, with the exception of the three last named, who settled
at Eureka. George T. Rolley attained wide prominence through his election in 1903 as supreme representative of
the supreme court of the Foresters of America.
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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