Biography of Hon. John W. McClellan
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





HON. JOHN W. McCLELLAN. - Not alone through the interesting fact that he is the son of Hugh McClellan, until his decease one of the most prominent and influential men of the county, but also by reason of his own intimate identification with public affairs and his own successful incumbency of the office of state legislator, which he filled for two consecutive terms, is Mr. John W. McClellan. one of the distinguished men of the county and state. His political career practically dates from 1906, at which time he became the Republican nominee for assemblyman, being elected in 1906 and 1908, and serving during the sessions of 1907 to 1909, including the extra sessions. So thoroughly worthy has been his political life, and so ably has he discharged his numerous responsibilities on behalf of the people, that he has made friends even among the opposite party, who readily accord him the homage due a conscientious and painstaking servant. He was chosen by his colleagues as chairman of the live stock, dairy and dairy products committee, and otherwise rendered his constituents valuable service on the other committees of the assembly; among them, the ways and means committee.

To Hugh W. McClellan belonged the distinction of being one of the earliest residents of Van Dusen township, as well as one of its most extensive landowners. Innumerable landmarks in the community bespeak the far sightedness and enterprise of this honored pioneer, who recognized in the advantages of soil, climate and situation, splendid opportunities for the fulfilling of large ambitions and for the leading of peaceful, contented and successful lives. At the time of his decease, December 31, 1911, he was the owner of a vast estate, numbering twelve thousand acres, which he devoted to the raising of sheep.

The record of the McClellan family in America is traced back to the seventeenth century when its first representative crossed the untried waters of the Atlantic, settling in Maine. A descendant of this immigrant later went to Massachusetts, where Hugh McClellan was born near Deerfield. Gold having been discovered in California, which was to prove the talisman to draw thousands of emigrants to this state, the father decided to try his fortunes in the west, and came, in 1852, via the Isthmus, settling first at Crescent City, Del Norte county. Few people had as yet been attracted to the boundless west and few also realized its matchless possibilities of production as did young McClellan, who was engaged for a time after coming here in operating a pack train to and from the mines of Del Norte county, to southern Oregon mines and points in Idaho. Abandoning the mines in 1867, he came to Humboldt county and in Van Dusen township took up a claim, erecting thereon a cabin which is still standing. Ten years later this rude structure gave way to a more commodious and comfortable home, built of logs, which is now one of the landmarks of this locality. Possessing traits that enabled him to surmount all obstacles, he added to his landed possessions from time to time until at his death he was the owner of a large estate, which he devoted to stock raising. When this property came into the possession of J. W., however, he, in 1914, disposed of the sheep which he found to be no longer profitable on account of the devastation of his flock by the coyotes, and engaged in raising Hereford and Durham cattle for the market. He was married in Ferndale, in 1905, being united with Miss Lucy, the daughter of Dr. William H. Michel. She is a native daughter of Mendocino county. They occupy a handsome residence on the home place, which indeed has no superior in this beautiful locality. Mr. McClellan is a member of Eureka Lodge No. 652, B. P. O. E., and of Humboldt Parlor, N. S. G. W.

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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