Biography of Silas Coombs
Big River Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





Silas Coombs. This gentleman, whose portrait appears in the body of this work, was born in Lincoln, Maine, June 17, 1817, and was the son of Richard and Elizabeth Fossett Coombs. At the age of twenty two he began business operations on his own account, embarking in a lumber speculation, in connection with which he conducted farming operations. He remained here till April, 1856, on the 3d of which month he sailed from New York city for California, coming via Panama. He arrived at the latter place just in time to suffer all the ill effects from the riot which occurred in that year between the natives and the emigrants, losing all his earthly possessions, save the very clothes on his back. On his arrival in San Francisco, like a true Maine-ite, he proceeded at once to the lumbering regions, making his first stopping point at the Albion Mill, in Mendocino county. He worked here for six months, and then concluded to try his luck at mining, and with that object in view he went to Tuolumne county, engaging in that business for a period of eight months. He then very wisely concluded that mining would not pay as well in the long run as working in the woods, so he returned to Albion and took the logging contract for that mill which he continued for sixteen months. He then worked a year in the mill and woods on wages, at the end of which time, in connection with Mr. Ruel Stickney, he took the contract for furnishing the mill with logs, at which business he continued for the next seven years. In 1864, Messrs. Coombs & Stickney erected the mill at Little River; continuing in the lumber business till 1874. Mr. Stickney sold out to C. H. Perkins; they built another mill one mile below town. They now have two mills at Little River. Mr. Coombs also has an interest in a mill at Salmon Creek, and is quite largely engaged in navigation, owning quite a number of fine vessels. He has a very nice residence, with conservatories, verandahs and all the modern improvements of an Eastern home, and is one of the wealthy men of the coast. He is one of of the first mill men along the coast, and a man of sterling worth in the county where he resides. April 7, 1864, he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret J. Boyd, a native of Bristol county, Maine, born October 26, 1837. Their children are: Susie, born April 12, 1866; Annie, born May 13, 1868; Silas, born March 28, 1870; and William, born November 21, 1872.

From:
History of Mendocino County, California
Alley, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1880


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