Biography of Jacob M. Kees
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





JACOB M. KEES. - In 1850 there came west across the plains Andrew Kees, a carpenter and builder and a native of Pennsylvania, with his wife, Zerelda (Fry) Kees, whom he had married in St. Louis, Mo., and their five children, of whom the youngest was Jacob Kees, who had been born in St. Louis, December 2, 1848, and was to become one of the early settlers in Humboldt county, Cal.

The family of Mr. Andrew Kees settled in Albany, Ore., in the Willamette valley, in the autumn of 1850. In 1860 they removed to Walla Walla, Wash., and there the son Jacob attended the public schools and later Whitman Seminary. The mother died in Oregon at the age of forty; the father married a second time, having two children by his second wife. He his now deceased, his death having occurred in Oregon.

The father was a stockman, keeping about five hundred head of cattle, and the son Jacob started out for himself in the cattle business, doing fairly well, though he suffered severely in the panic of 1870, when he was obliged to sell his cattle at ten dollars per head, receiving the money in greenbacks which were at that time worth only sixty cents on the dollar. He then took up a homestead of one hundred sixty acres in Umatilla county, Ore., and a preemption of one hundred sixty acres adjoining and devoted his time to farming, which he continued for a number of years. While living in Oregon he ran a threshing machine of twelve horse power for fourteen years; and it was in Oregon, as a grain farmer, that he made most of his money.

Sixteen years ago Jacob Kees sold one and one half sections of land in Oregon and removed to Humboldt county, Cal., mainly, on account of his health. He came to Blocksburg, Cal., driving a team of horses, with his family and effects, overland by wagon. Here in Humboldt county he was burned out seven years ago, everything he owned being swept away by fire, he having no insurance. At present he owns a general purpose ranch of one hundred twenty five acres well located on Larabee creek, a half mile north of Blocksburg, in Humboldt county, which he has improved and named Maple Dale Farm. Here he has dwelt for a number of years, being an enthusiastic booster of the county, where he is a member of the Blocksburg Farm Center and for four years held the office of Justice of the Peace. Mr. Kees has demonstrated the fact that both tobacco and hops of the first quality can be successfully raised in Humboldt county.

Mr. Kees' wife was Miss Mary Frances Galloway, born in Omega, Nevada county, Cal., the daughter of James Galloway of Ohio, who came to California during the mining excitement of 1852, and Harriet (Schooling) Galloway of Missouri, who, after the death of her father, Joseph Schooling, in Missouri, came overland to Grass Valley, Cal., with her mother, whose maiden name was Margaret Wilson. Mrs. Kees was raised in Oregon and lived in Yamhill county when she married Mr. Kees, and they have had three children, two living and one deceased: Lelah D., who married Dr. Stephen Fleming of San Francisco and has two children, Marion and Lelah Rose; and Olive, who married George W. Cox, a rancher of Blocksburg, and has one child, Laura May.

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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