Biography of William Lord
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





WILLIAM LORD. - Few pioneers surpass Mr. Lord in length of association with the history of Humboldt county, for with the exception of his first eighteen years (1840-58) all of his life has been passed within its limits. During all of this long period, up to 1910, he has been more or less connected with mining enterprises and at various times has owned sixteen different mines on the Klamath river, so that he is as well informed as any man in regard to mines in this section of the state. A member of an old family of New England and himself a native of Carroll county, N. H., born February 8, 1840, he was seven years old when the family moved across the state line into Maine, settling at Milo, where he received a public school education and remained until eighteen years of age. So keen was his interest in the west, brought into conspicuous public notice through the discovery of gold, that he determined to seek a livelihood on the Pacific coast and, coming here in 1858 via the isthmus, he settled on the Klamath river in Humboldt county. For a long period he was one of the leading men at Orleans, where he bought six different mining claims, besides conducting a general store and running a pack train from the bar to Arcata. About 1886 he removed to Arcata and here he has since made his home, now largely retired from business enterprises and enjoying in his advancing years the comforts made possible by former frugality and thrift. At the time of the Indian troubles he was in the midst of the region made perilous for white men, but his own warm friendship for the red men and his long continued kindness to them seemed to exempt him from any danger whatever at their hands.

In the establishing of domestic ties Mr. Lord chose as a helpmate Miss Eleanor H. Locke, a native of Maine, a woman of fine mind and keen insight into both national issues and domestic problems, and a very active worker in the cause of temperance. Their children, seven in number, are as follows: Oscar William, of Eureka; Lewis M., bookkeeper for Richard Sweasey, of Eureka; Wilbur, of El Centro, Cal.; Mrs. Bessie Lytle, of Arcata; Benjamin Edward, winekeeper for the Humboldt Stevedore Company, Eureka; Frank D., who was accidentally killed by an electric shock at Knight's Landing, in July, 1907; and Edward L., of Los Angeles. The eldest son, Oscar William, was born December 4, 1870, at Orleans, Klamath (now Humboldt) county and had a primary education in Arcata, supplementing the same with a course in the Eureka Business College in 1887-88. As a wage earner he had his first experience as bookkeeper with Baker, Nye & Co., of Arcata. Coming to Eureka in 1891, he entered the employ of the Ricks (now the Eureka) Water Company and has continued with the same concern and its successors ever since. Starting as bookkeeper, he afterwards also became collector and in these capacities became thoroughly familiar with the entire system. On the organization of the Eureka Water Company he was elected secretary in January, 1903, and on the death of W. G. Corbaley in October, 1913, he succeeded him as superintendent. When the system was taken over by the city of Eureka September 1, 1914, he was appointed superintendent of Public Works by the City Council and as such continues superintending the city water works. It is generally conceded that the council could not have made a wiser choice, for his experience with the Eureka water system for nearly a quarter of a century has made him more familiar with the water supply, distribution and the citizens' needs than any other man. The position is one entailing great responsibility, but he has proved equal to every emergency and his management of the water interests has been satisfactory to all interested parties. In fraternal relations he is a member of the Eureka Lodge No. 652, B. P. O. E. Three children, Clarence W., Miriam and Ruth, have been born of his union with Miss Lottie Riddell, a native of San Francisco and a daughter of William S. Riddell, for sonic years a resident of that city. During 1877 the family came to Humboldt county, where Mr. Riddell had a position with Franklin Ellery for a time, but for ten years afterward he remained in the employ of the John Vance Lumber Company. Removing to Los Angeles in 1893 he has since made his home in that city. Mr. and Mrs. Lord are members of the First Congregational Church of Eureka. For many years he was a member of the board of trustees and since 1906 has been superintendent of the Sunday school. In 1909 he built a comfortable residence at No. 1312 H street, where the family dispense genuine hospitality to their many friends and acquaintances.

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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