Biography of John McCready
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





JOHN McCREADY. - The history of the early development of Humboldt county forms in many respects a record of the lives of its pioneers. Bravely they surmounted obstacles, cheerfully they faced difficulties, and efficiently they solved the problems incident to existence on the frontier. Nor has John McCready been less efficient or patient than his companions in the tasks of development, as the story of his life amply proves. For generations the family lived and labored in New Brunswick, and it was in St. Andrews, Charlotte county, that province, that John McCready was born September 20, 1834. Until he was fifteen years old he received the benefit of a district school education, and to the foundation thus laid he added continually by observation and the reading of uplifting and instructive literature. After leaving school he applied for employment in the lumber camps in the vicinity of his home and thereafter during the winter seasons he engaged in driving logs down the rivers to the mill, while during the summers he assisted in the care and management of the home farm. He followed this dual line of employment until he left the east in 1859, when he hoped to better his condition by coming to California. Leaving New York City on a steamer to Aspinwall, he crossed the Isthmus of Panama, then took a steamer for San Francisco, arriving in August, 1859. From there he came by boat to Eureka, thence to Freshwater, where he took up a government timber claim and engaged in logging for himself, later entering into partnership with George Atchison in floating the logs out to the bay by the Freshwater,' bringing the logs to the river by eight and ten yoke of oxen. In 1861 they moved their camp down to Ryan slough and continued logging. In the spring of 1862 the partner decamped, leaving all the debts and obligations to be met by Mr. McCready, which he afterwards liquidated. Soon after this he took Mr. Morrison in as a partner in the logging enterprise. After he had logged his own claim Mr. McCready purchased timber claims above him on the same river, getting out millions of feet a year for a period of eighteen years. In the meantime he bought out Mr. Morrison's interest and continued the logging business alone. During all these years he was in the active management of the business, both in the woods and on the drives, no detail escaping his notice and supervision. The greater portion of the logs which he handled were delivered to the William Carson mill in Eureka. During this time Mr. McCready usually had about thirty ox teams broken and ready for use, and it is a fact that he sold some of his ox teams for the highest prices paid.

After logging for eighteen years Mr. McCready sold the timber on his land as stumpage and then devoted his attention to dairy farming, in which he achieved success. It was about 1866 that he purchased his present place comprising one hundred sixty acres of unimproved land, which was thickly covered with underbrush and heavy timber. He quickly cleared a portion of the ranch, setting out a part of the land to apple trees, but a few years later a heavy freshet washed out all but two of his trees. He then began clearing the remainder of the ranch, mainly the bottom land, and here he first engaged in dairying and also the making and selling of butter, the demand always exceeding the supply on hand. He at present owns one hundred sixty acres of highly cultivated land, but has retired from all active work, leasing the place to his sons, although he still makes his home here. He has been one of the most successful farmers and dairymen in the district and was also equally successful in his logging activities.

Mr. McCready's marriage united him with Julia Davis, a native of Wisconsin, and of their union there are two children, Adolph and Randolph, who are both living on the home place with their father, Mrs. McCready having passed away in February, 1913. Randolph is married to Mathilda Sutherland of Indianola and they have two children, Pearl and Edna. The name of John McCready is a synonym for an open hearted hospitality that has known no change since he took up his residence in Humboldt county, and many a wayfarer has been refreshed and cheered and made to view life more optimistically after an hour's converse with this sturdy old pioneer.

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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