Biography of Marshall Patrick
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





MARSHALL PATRICK. - Crossing the plains with his parents and five brothers and sisters in 1852, when he was but a babe of three years, locating first in Sacramento, where the family home was devastated by the great fire of 1852, and later journeying by wearisome stages and by devious ways, through rugged country where there were no wagon roads, and even the pack trails were rough and dangerous, Marshall Patrick came to the Eel river valley in 1853, where his father had taken up a claim of one hundred sixty acres of land, and on which he established his family. Here the children of this dauntless pioneer couple were reared near where Marshall Patrick resides today, amid the scenes of his childhood. He has witnessed the transformation of the wilderness into a land of beautiful homes and flourishing towns and villages. He has seen the perilous mountain trails give way to wide roads and winding boulevards as smooth as a floor. He has watched the slow transformation of the modes of travel from the ox team and packhorse days down through the varying changes of wagons, light carriages, railroads and now the swift automobile. He himself trudged many weary miles through the wild woods to the little log school house, while the children of this generation are gathered in stately structures of wood and stone. Mr. Patrick has seen varying changes in his own fortunes as well, but he has never yet regretted the turn of the wheel of fortune which brought him to California, and today the welfare of his adopted state is as dear to him as ever.

His father, Nehemiah Patrick, was born in Wyoming county, Pa., June 1, 1813. He attended the schools of that locality for a short time and then took up the blacksmith's trade. His wife, and the mother of his children, was Jane Daily, also a native of Wyoming county, Pa., born June 6, 1817. They were married in Pennsylvania in 1835, and for several years following Mr. Patrick engaged in farming there. In 1843 he removed to Illinois, locating in Whiteside county in the northern part of the state near Rock river and eighteen miles from the Mississippi river. Here he engaged in farming and blacksmithing with appreciable success. There were few settlers in that locality and the means of travel were very cumbersome, there being no bridges, all rivers being crossed, by ferry boats. The lure of the far west was penetrating all the land and the reports of opportunities in California and Oregon were so flattering that Mr. Patrick determined to remove his family and settle on the Pacific coast. Accordingly in 1852 the perilous trip was accomplished, the party leaving their Illinois home on May 4, and reaching Sacramento October 15.

Having seen his family comfortably established in Sacramento, the father set out to look after the location of Spanish grants, and it was while he was away that the great fire of 1852 swept over Sacramento, leaving them homeless. Mrs. Patrick and her brood were far from helpless, however, and managed to save everything but the stove. Their possessions were then piled in the wagon and hauled to a place of safety, where the family encamped for two weeks. Later they left Sacramento and traveled overland to Humboldt county. There were no wagon roads and everything had to be packed over the trails on horseback, this being the only means of transportation for man or goods. The trip was made by way of Weaverville and across the mountains to the head of Mad river on down to Arcata, and from there to Eel river valley by way of Table Bluff, up the Slough to Salt river, finally arriving at Centerville, these last stages being made by water, and the last stretch to the ranch again by pack horses. The father had taken up a preemption claim of one hundred sixty acres, part timber and part prairie land and started farming, besides running a blacksmith shop. Later, in 1858, he built a saw mill on Price creek and engaged in lumbering, but with indifferent success, and sold his interests in a short time. The farm, however, proved to be a good one, and the family prospered.

Mr. Patrick was the first man to set out an orchard in his locality and one of the first in the entire valley. He planted an extensive orchard to apples and cherries and again was very successful in their culture. He acquired much property, owning several hundred acres in the Eel river valley and much range land around Mattole, this being well stocked with cattle and horses. The Patricks were among the first to establish a home in this section of the county and are remembered as real pioneers of an early day. The children were Giles, Zipporah, Bingham, Marshall, Mary and Josephine, all of whom are well known in Humboldt county. Mrs. Patrick was a devoted mother and a truly wonderful woman of the pioneer type, strong, resourceful and kindly. She died in 1884.

Marshall Patrick was born in Whiteside county, Ill., March 1, 1849. His early life, so far as his own recollections were concerned, was centered about the farm in Eel river valley. He attended the Grizzly Bluff schools until he was eighteen, and lived at home working with his father on the farm for a number of yearns. After the death of his father he bought a part of the home place and engaged in dairying and farming. Later he sold this property and purchased a ranch of eighty acres all improved. He also took up land in the Mattole section and engaged in cattle raising on the range, but with only partial success, and here also he met with severe loss by range fire which swept away practically all of his property in this location. He then returned to Grizzly Bluff and went to work on a ranch, where he received an injury from which he recovered only a short time ago. At present he has retired from active business and makes his home in Waddington. Mr. Patrick is well known and highly esteemed by his associates. He is a member of the Masons and the Knights of Pythias, and is a Republican in politics, being for many years closely associated with the affairs of his party.

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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