Biography of Charles Luce
Ukiah Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





Charles Luce. Son of Joseph Luce, was born in the town of Industry. Franklin county, Maine, September 12, 1832, and resided in the same place till October 1, 1855, when he started for California. His father was a mechanic and farmer, and Charles was reared to the occupation of farming, which he followed as his principal employment until he left his native State, though the last three years were diversified by teaching school in the winter and farming in summer. His educational privileges were very limited, having only from six to ten weeks of public school a year. But an accident, the dislocation of a limb, at the age of seventeen, caused him to turn his attention to books. He studied grammar, geography, philosophy, and history, on his bed, and laid the foundation of a fair education, which he attained at the Maine Wesleyan Seminary after his health was restored. But, in the excitement of the California fever, he left farm, books and school, and sought the golden shores of California, where he landed safely on the 3d day of November, 1855. He came by the way of Nicaragua, and was on the ship that was shot into by the natives in the time of Walker's war, and saw and suffered much of the horrors of a filibustering war. But safe in California, he gent directly to the mines in the vicinity of Grass Valley, Nevada county. Being unsuccessful in the mines, he turned his attention to mechanics, of which he had received a good idea from his father. At first he labored at house and mill carpentering, till the fall of 1856, when his boss, that noted inventor, Zenas Wheeler, put him to running a stationary engine. Being apt at all mechanical work, in two years he was employed as head engineer on Gold Mountain, in Nevada county, where he remained until August, 1861; when he left the mines and went to farming in the eastern part of Sutter county, near Bear river, which he followed up to October, 1877, when he came to Mendocino county. In the spring of 1865 he returned to his native State and spent the summer, returning in October of the same year, with his father and mother, and other friends, one of whom was Miss Helen Cutts, whom he married on the 7th day of April, 1866 His father died November 26, 1869, and his mother is with him to this day, well and stout, at the age of seventy seven and a half years. Professing religion in early youth, he never engaged in those wicked habits of early life in California; and in the fall of 1862, he received license to preach the gospel as a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and has ever been ready to speak in that noble cause. He was ordained Deacon in the fall of 1874, at Stockton, by Bishop George F. Pierce. Arriving in Mendocino county late in the fall, he rented a farm near Ukiah, and in the following June he purchased the same, and has since then been improving, clearing the brush and logs away, and fitting it up for a future home. In September, 1879, he was elected to the office of Supervisor of the county, and at the first meeting of the board, was chosen chairman. His family consists of wife and four children His wife was Helen M. Cutts, of Franklin county, Maine. Their children are: Katie, aged twelve years; Jane N., aged ten years; James Marvin, aged eight years; and Sarah Ocena, aged one year and a half.

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


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