Biography of William K. Forse
Ukiah Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





William K. Forse. Born in Upper Canada, June 24, 1830, and was reared a farmer. At the age of twenty one he started in company with a young man by the name of William H. Miller, for California. They took the steamer at New York and on their arrival at Panama found that their pockets were running low, so spent about one month on the Isthmus working for Vanderbilt. They then proceeded to San Francisco, where they arrived February 25, 1852. In March they went to Sacramento; Mr. Miller was taken sick, and the subject of this sketch, after looking to the wants of his companion, engaged as captain of a flat boat plying up and down the Sacramento river, freighting wood and hay, which he followed for one month. We next find him in the mines, where he remained but a short time. Returning to Sacramento, he worked in Smith's Gardens about one month. While here he helped to set out the first peach trees that were planted in the Sacramento valley. He next, in company with his partner, W. H. Miller, took a contract to gather and press one hundred tons of hay, a little below Sacramento. They had just commenced the job when Mr. Forse was taken sick with typhoid fever, which unfitted him for labor for about one and one half months. He had no shelter from the sun save the shade of the stack, and they would move him around as the sun would move, so as to keep him in the shade. The doctor charged him $100 a visit, and when he regained his health he found that his whole purse of about $800 was exhausted. When Mr. Forse and his companion left home they expected to be accompanied by Fred. O. Townsend and his brother Elmer A., but they got separated in Boston, and did not see one another until after Mr. Forse had recovered from his sickness, when he went up on the Cosumnes river, where the Townsend brothers were mining. Here he got a job of working in a mill, which he followed about one month, being engaged in fixing up the mill. He then went down to the forks of the river and commenced teaming to Sacramento, which he followed about one year. He then went to Greenwood valley, El Dorado county, where he worked at carpentering until fall During this time his former partner, Miller, had gone to the lower country and returned with a drove of cattle, in which Mr. Forse was interested. They disposed of the cattle and then the subject of this sketch returned to the forks of the Cosumnes river, where he followed butchering for about four months. In the spring of 1854 he commenced driving a stage on the Marysville road, which he followed until fall, and then, in company with A. A. Wood, bought the Fountain Livery Stable, at Sacramento. Leaving his partner to attend to the business, he returned via Panama to Canada, to visit his parents, and also married, May 5, 1855, Miss Alice Sayles, a native of Canada; and in September, 1856, returned via Panama bringing his wife with him. He settled in Sacramento, where he resided until the fall of 1857, when he sold out and engaged in the sheep business, in Yolo county, one year; and then sold out and bought a ranch in Sacramento county, where he followed ranching and teaming about three years. He then sold out and bought a hotel at Sheldon, which he kept about six months, then sold that, and after spending the summer in San Joaquin county he, in the fall of 1864, came to Mendocino county, and in the following spring commenced work for John Morris, in a butcher shop. After one year he rented the shop and conducted the business one year. He then bought an interest in the Cloverdale and Humboldt stage line, of S. W. Haskett, and after about three years bought the remaining interest, since which time he has conducted the business alone. Their children are: Frederick O., Kathleen E., Thomas B., and Nellie M. They have lost one, William T.

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


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