GEOGRAPHY. - Ukiah township is bounded on the north by Calpella township, on the east by Lake county,
on the south by Sanel township, and on the west by Anderson township. Its only stream of any importance is the
Russian river which flows through it from north to south.
TOPOGRAPHY. - The topographical position of this township is very similar to that of Sanel, already described
in these pages, the Russian river dividing it into three sections, the eastern and western of which are mountainous,
while the center is composed of a large valley.
SOIL. - The soil of the valley is a very rich loam, and is very productive. On the benches, or second bottoms
the soil is not so fertile, and there is in it more or less adobe, still it is well adapted to fruits, vines, and
cereals. Farther back from the river we come upon the hard gravelly soil of the hills and mountains, which is better
adapted for grass than anything else, although the quality of the grain grown upon it is always good, but the quantity
is oftener short than otherwise.
PRODUCTS. - The chief products of the valley are the cereals and hops, although fruits and vegetables thrive
very well indeed. This is especially so of small fruits, as no finer strawberries, gooseberries, or blackberries
can be produced in the State. Grapes do well, but are too far from market. Apples, peaches, cherries, and in fact
all the fruits are grown to advantage, while vegetables are in their glory in the rich loam of the valley. And
honorable mention must be made of the beautiful flowers which grow in such rank profusion wherever any care is
taken of them at all. In no place in California can there be found more beautiful flower gardens than in the city
of Ukiah, and nothing goes more to give a stranger visiting the place a high estimation of it as a place suitable
for residence purposes than the lovely display of flowers to be seen as he passes along its streets.
CLIMATE. - The climate of the Ukiah valley cannot be surpassed. That states the fact concisely and truthfully.
The winters are never severe, and the summers are not at all overpowering with heat. It is true that there are
some days there the mercury ascends to the one hundred mark, or even steps a degree or so higher, but the air is
light and the heat is not felt to be at all oppressive. But when the sun has sunk behind the western hills, and
the shadows of evening begin to creep over the valley, then is when it is bliss supreme to be there. Kind reader
let us take a stroll, now that the busy day has ended, and, leaving the bustling city and all our cares behind,
we will pass along the flower bordered streets and ascend the hills to the westward of the town to a sufficient
height to command a complete view of the entire landscape of the valley. We find a mossy seat and there in the
last hours of the dying day, with our eyes drink in all the glorious beauty of the panoramic scene spread out before
us. What a rare view it is ! How would the heart of the artist leap for joy could he but put upon the canvas what
lies before our enraptured gaze! But it can never be done. His effort can never be but the dead shadow of the living
reality. The air is deliciously balmy, and we bear our heads to better enjoy the evening zephyrs which play upon
the leaves of the overhanging boughs with the dainty touch of a maiden placing her first kiss of love upon the
forehead of her betrothed. We breathe full inspirations of the fragrant air, feeling erewhile new life surging
along our sluggish veins, and our tired spirits, wearied with the toil and moil of the day, begin to be buoyant
and free, and we fain would remain here forever and ask for no sweeter elysium.
Immediately below us lies the city with its beautiful cottages nestled amid the emerald framework of pines and
oaks, and as we look thoughts of happy homes and evening's enjoyments come across our minds. In imagination we
see the cheery table spread with the evening's repast, while at the gate stands the young mother with her first
born in her arms, lisping the sweet accents of its baby prattle, both awaiting the coming of him they hold dearer
than all else on earth. Farther on the spires of churches greet our eyes, pointing silently to Him who is the author
of all our blessings, and in this quiet, happy hour we are brought to feel and appreciate those gifts far more
than during the hurry and rush of the busy day. Beyond them the majestic dome of the Seat of Justice stands out
in bold relief, showing to the world that here, as elsewhere in our glorious Union, law is the protector of the
innocent, and the rewarder, in kind, of evil doers. In close proximity stands the busy mart of trade, where all
day the machinery of life has been whirring and clashing. But it is quiet now, and only an occasional throb from
its great heart reaches our ears, wafted out upon the evening air. Beyond the city, spreading out in a vista of
broad expanse lies the sweet and beautiful valley, dotted here and there with a white farm house, from whose windows
there seem to emanate streams of fire - reflections of the sinking sun. Broad fields of grain are waving in their
golden luxuriance, even now ready for the reaper's sickle, and orchards are burdened with their weight of fruitage.
Here, truly, is an Acadian picture. And beyond it all, closing up the vista with its huge bulk, rises the mountain
chain, its peaks standing like sentinels on some Titanic fortress, guarding the destinies of the race of pigmies
who are swarming at their feet. The golden mists of midday are fast dissolving into roseate purple, and. clothing
the mountain tops with a halo of beauty that enraptures the beholder, taking him in imagination to the enchanted
lands of his dreamings, but all too beautiful to ever become a reality. We sit and watch, filled with a joy unspeakable,
and ere we are aware the lengthening shadows of the western range has crept entirely athwart the valley and are
'fast ascending the eastern mountains, leaving only the peaks bathed in the bright and mellow flood of rays from
the sinking sun. A moment more and even they have passed into the shadow, and the purple tinge is changed to blue,
giving to the mountains on which it rests a cold and steeled appearance. Now, the stillness of death pervades all
nature and the subdued noises from the city and valley below come floating up to us in a sweet and mingled confusion,
producing a sense of pleasure almost beyond comparison. Night has come on apace, and now the balmy air is stirred
into a gentle breeze that fans the fevered valley into newness of life, while in the dome of the vaulted skies
above the full round orb of night is leading her glittering host toward the western horizon, bathing the world
in a flood of mellow light, and mantling the valley below us with a splendor of beauty. We descend into the city
and find all motion and bustle. Everybody is promenading the avenues and enjoying life to the full brim.
One of California's sweetest singers, Maria E. Sutherland, has describe I the scene so beautifully in the following
lines that we cannot refrain from quoting them here:-
* * * * *
"The west, erewhile with roses all aglow-
Showered lightly on the sun's low sinking head,
Is paling from it's rosiness to snow;
The brooding hills their purple shadows spread;
And to their cosy nests the wild birds wing.
"And twilight, like a filmy veil soft thrown,
By thoughtful mother o'er a sleeping child,
In gossamer shadows gently wafting down,
Wraps the white vine so quietsome and mild,
And for a space sweet peace doth hold her own.
* * * * *
"All bustle quiets as the moon climbs high,
Threading the glittering maze of shy, sweet stars;
The golden fadeless flowers of the sky-
And stripes the placid earth with silver bars,
And on the ville a silver veil doth throw.
"The air is heavy with the breath of flowers,
And spicy scent of pinewoods from the hill.
No sound disturbs the midnight's sacred hour.
Save a lone night bird's mournful trill, a trill
Trembling through the stillness, sweat and low."
TIMBER. - There is quite a considerable of timber in Ukiah township, extending through almost all the varieties
indigenous to Mendocino county. There is quite a body of redwood in the northwestern portion of it, while fir,
oak and pine are to be found in a goodly amount. Some considerable lumber has been produced in this township.
EARLY SETTLEMENT. - To John Parker belongs the honor of being the first white man to reside in the limits of Ukiah
township. In 1851 James Black, one of the earliest settlers in Sonoma and Marin counties, drove a band of cattle
up the Russian River valley and took possession of the tract of land adjoining the Sanel grant on the north for
grazing purposes. He hired John Parker as a vaquero, to take charge of the stock. It will be remembered that the
Indians at that time were as wild and savage as it was possible for them to be, and John Parker's situation as
custodian of that stock was anything but enviable. A large corral was built by driving long poles into the ground,
in which the cattle were driven at night to prevent the Indians from stampeding them, and a sort of a block house
was constructed for the protection of Parker either day or night. As he had arms and ammunition, and as the Indians
knew full well what that meant, it was presumed that they would not molest him if ho did not trouble them. But
in this, we are told by Mr. John Knight, he was mistaken, for they made an attack upon him in his block house and
came very near killing him. They wounded him so severely that he was unable to get away from the house, and but
for the timely arrival of John Knight he would have perished there alone. This house was located south of the present
site of Ukiah, on the banks of what is called Wilson creek, and the valley was known among the early white settlers
as Parker valley for a number of years.
As far as is now known, the next man to build a house in the valley was Samuel Lowry, who had a log cabin near
where Main and Perkins streets now intersect in the city of Ukiah. This was in 1856. Pierce Asbill spent a part
of that summer in the valley, but it is not likely that he had a house there. Lowry sold his claim to A. T. Perkins
the next spring, 1857, and the latter gentleman moved his family into the valley, thus being the pioneer family
of the township. During this last named year George B. Mathers came into the valley and began business north of
Ukiah. Berry Wright, Thomas F. Beattie, John Burton, William Acton, Lewis M. Ruddick and William J. Cleveland came
in also during this year. During 1858 M. W. Howard and J. G. Busch are known to have settled in the valley. In
1859 J. F. Todd and I. C. Reed came in and settled. Among the early settlers in the valley whose date of coining
is not now known may be mentioned Harrison Standley, Messrs. Kaska, Mears & Co., Oscar Schlessinger, I. Isaac,
Moses Briggs, Hon. J. B. Lamar, Dr. E. M. Pierson, G. Canning Smith, J. P. Smith, Captain Smith, the Gibson family,
Hon. E. R. Budd, ex-Lieutenant Governor William Holden, Hon. R McGarvey, S. W. Haskett, D. Gobbi, William Neeley
Johnson, Hon. William Henry, Lew. M. Warden, the Hagan family, C. S. Williams, W. E. Willis, John Outis, J. H.
Briggs, M. V. Cleveland, W. J. Cleveland, William Bramlette, William McClintock, C. J. Son, J. R. Moore, J. H.
Siddons, B. B. Fox, "Rough" Stevens, J. W. Morris, Matthew Burns, Murdock Hooper, Benjamin Hereford,
William Robinson, William H. White, Thomas Parton, John Turner, Samuel Ackerman, J. B. Estes, Alfred Higgins, Sr.,
W. Jamison and Matthew Hale. Of course, there were many others whose names have been lost, for it was estimated
that there were about one hundred people living in Ukiah alone in 1859, when it was made the county seat.
UKIAH. - The following summarized historical sketch was compiled by Hon. Thomas L. Carothers, under the
supervision of that venerable pioneer, A. T. Perkins, hence it is eminently correct in all its statements. It was
given to the public through the columns of the Press, and we reproduce it here because of its authority: "The
first white settler where now stands Ukiah City was Samuel Lowry, who built a log cabin where the old blacksmith
shop of A. T. Perkins used to stand, on the northeast corner of Main and Perkins streets, in the year 1856, and
who at that time filed a declaratory statement to preempt one hundred and sixty acres of land covering the present
town site, it not being then known that it was a part of a grant. In April, 1857, A. T. Perkins and family moved
here from Marysville and purchased the possessary right of Mr. Lowry, and thus he became the second settler.
The first merchants were John Burton (afterwards the first County Assessor), and A. T. Perkins, who sold goods
in 1857-8, where the residence of Mr. Perkins afterwards stood. In the spring of 1858, they built a store on Main
street, in the rear of where the Ukiah City Hotel now stands. William Acton erected a building, and sold goods
in the fall of 1857, near where the present residence of J. A. Jamison is. In 1859, Ukiah was chosen to be the
county seat. Up to this time, Ukiah had a population of one hundred, and from that time it has gradually grown,
until at the present time (1877), it has a population of one thousand eight hundred. A brick Courthouse was built
at a cost of about $9,000 in 1859, on the spot where the present one now stands. In the spring of 1872, the new
one was built at a cost of $40,000. In the fall of 1859, the first newspaper published in the county, the Herald,
was established by the late Hon. E. R. Budd. The office was in a building on the site of ex-Assessor Cunningham's
house, on the corner south of Perkins' house.
The first church erected in the town, was by the Methodist Episcopal North in 1860. The first hotel was erected
in 1859, on the corner, in the rear of the Ukiah City Hotel. It was built by Harrison Standley, well known to all
old residents, who was also the first postmaster. The first drug store was opened by Hon. G. B. Mathers in 1861,
on the corner where the Grand Hotel now stands. Abel Lodge, F. and A. M., No. 146, was organized in the second
story of the Methodist Episcopal Church building, in 1860. Its first Master was Dr. Price, who was also the first
Sheriff of Mendocino county. Up to 1865, the business of the town was confined to Main street, but from that time
it was gradually moved to State street, and around the Courthouse, until now, Main street is used for nothing only
residences. The oldest building in the town is what is now used as the dining room and kitchen of the Perkins'
residence. The lumber of which it is built, as was all building material of that day, was split in the woods, and
carried to town on the backs of Indians. The first business house on State street, was opened by J. H. Siddons,
who soon after sold out to ex-Sheriff Moore, and was on the corner, where now is the drug store of W. H. Hoffman.
The first school house was erected by A. T. Perkins and John R. Short, and was south of Perkins, and west of State
street, and in off the street. It was built in 1858, and donated to the public by the builders. Fred. S. Dashiel
was the first teacher. In 1872, the town was incorporated by the Board of Supervisors. The first town officers
were: J. R. Moore, E. W. King, M. D., T. L. Carothers, Samuel Orr, and R. N. Willing, Trustees; Thomas Chalfant,
Marshal, and I. Isaacs, Treasurer. A special charter was passed, at the instance of Senator McGarvey, by the Legislature
of 1875-6, and under its provisions an election was held for town officers in May, 1876, resulting in the election
of Hon. G. B. Mathers, W. H. Forse, T. L. Carothers, Samuel Orr, and J. S. Reed, Trustees; A. O. Carpenter, Marshal,
and James Fowzer, Treasurer.
The name Ukiah is corrupted from the Indian word Yo-kia, which they applied to the valley and which signified deep
valley. When the Mexican Government gave a grant to Cayetano Jaurez of land covering that valley, naturally enough
it was given the name by which it was known among the Indians, but even that was corrupted into Yokaya. The next
transformation which the word took was into Ukia, as it will he found spelled on some legal papers and records
as late as 1859. It is not known how it came by its present orthography, but it certainly is very euphonious and
spells the word as it should be pronounced, which is more than can be said of many of the towns in California.
When the town sprang up nothing was more natural than to don it with the name of the valley in which it was located.
There is, however, another version of the derivation of the name, which, while not at all probable as the true
one, is incorporated here as among the oddities that came to the surface in the old pioneer days. The story was
published in the Marysville Express in 1864, and at the time Capt. A. C. Bledsoe of Sonoma county, who was Sheriff
in 1855-6, was supposed to have been the author of it. It runs as follows: "Being Sheriff of Sonoma county
before Mendocino was cut off from that county, he was up in the northern portion summonsing a jury who had not
been biased. by reason of reading the papers. He came across a solitary cabin, hard by a big spring, from which
he took a drink it being a very hot day. The place looking like there were not many public papers taken in that
'neck of the woods,' he accosted a tall, gaunt, middle aged woman, engaged in hanging out a big washing, and learning
her husband's name, requested to see him, in order to serve the process. The man's name being Hezekiah, his better
half set up a most unearthly yell, beating a thousand `screech' owls, and a full band of coyotes combined: You'Kiah!
You 'KIAH !! YOU 'KIAH !!!' when her counterpart, in bifurcated butternut toggery came rushing in with a stride
that measured his length at every step. The name has since been spoiled to Ukiah."
The city of Ukiah is located on the western side of the Russian River valley and at the base of the mountain range
that skirts that valley on the west. Its location is indeed beautiful and pleasant, and her people have taken advantage
of the natural loveliness of the place and done much to add to the appearance of their city. A writer some years
ago in the local press bursts out into the following apostrophe, and if the town of that day deserved the eulogy,
how much more does the city of today? "Ukiah, thou city of beautiful groves, umbrageous bowers, where, in
delicious shade, lovers may plight their vows, the student pour over a volume of mysterious lore, the divine may
commune with nature and offer adoration to Nature's God; where the invalid may find new life in heaven's pure sweet
air; where the ear is charmed by the mellow notes of joyous birds; where the eye is entranced with Flora's variegated
The stranger approaching the town from the south, passes along up the valley through lovely stretches of fertile
fields bestudded with wide spreading oaks, under whose grateful shade the flocks and herds are taking shelter from
the rays of the midday's sun. He is told that the city is just. at hand, but he looks in vain for any evidences
of the fact. The perspective of the road is closed up by a dense foliage, while the forest seems to embrace the
entire landscape. The air is fresh and pure, and not a taint is borne on it from the near city. Everything has
an air of rusticity about it, and as far as discernible, one may as well consider himself a thousand miles away
from any city as one. Gradually, however, a change begins to come over the scene. Farm houses have changed into
suburban cottages, and the evidences of city life are beginning to manifest themselves. A moment more, and the
stage sweeps up to the hotel door with a grand flourish, and you emerge from the dusty coop to find yourself in
the heart of a beautiful and thriving city, with its busy mart extending far in every direction. But the city is
not all to be seen from any one stand point, and one must needs pass along all its streets to comprehend its full
beauty. It is nestled among a grand growth of native oak, fir and pine trees, which so completely hid it from view
as we approached it from the south, or, in fact, hides it as it is approached from any direction.
We will follow the history of Ukiah up from year to year, noting the important events which we have been able to
glean from the press of the city and from other sources, beginning with-
1859. - Previous to this we know of nothing of interest that is not recorded in the sketch quoted above.
In May of this year an election was held for the purpose of deciding upon some place as the future seat of government
for the newly organized county of Mendocino. By the Act establishing Mendocino county, Beverly Mundy, of Sonoma
county, Jesse Whiltton, of Napa county, and Upton M. Gordon, of Marin county, were appointed Commissioners to go
to Mendocino county and select the two sites most eligible for the county seat, and the two places decided upon
by them were Ukiah and Calpella. At that time there was but little, if any, difference in the size of the two villages,
and everything else seemed to be about equal. The result of the ballot, however, revealed the fact that Ukiah was
the favorite, and hence it was declared to be the future seat of county government. This event was the turning
point in the scale of her prosperity, and from that time thenceforward it has prospered.
During this year the first Courthouse was erected on the site of the present building, at a cost of about $9,000.
It was built of brick, and was a small affair, being hardly large enough to accommodate the officers of the county,
before any records had begun to accumulate, and in a few years they found themselves crowded out of their offices
by the archives. The first rooms used by the county officers were located in the upper story of a building then
known as the "Music Hall," situated on the parcel of ground now owned by John S. Reed, and lying between
his residence and the new city hall he has just completed.
1860. - We will now enumerate all the places of business in Ukiah in this year, and give their locale as
nearly as possible. Beginning at the southwest corner of Main and Perkins streets, there stood, the residence of
A. T. Perkins, a portion of which is still standing, forming a part of the present Perkins' property. Across the
street, to the north, Messrs Meyers, Neuman & Co. had a store, the old building standing there yet. Next to
the north was a tin shop kept by Benton, who was afterwards killed near Cloverdale by a band of stage robbers.
On the southwest corner of Standley and Main streets there was a hotel, which was built by Harrison Standley in
the latter part of 1859. Across Standley street, to the north from 'the hotel, was a building the lower story of
which was used for a saloon kept by David Smith, and the upper for a lodging house, under the management of a man
who was known as "Brigham" Young. Across Main street, to the east from this last named building, was
a store kept by Oscar Schlessinger; and south of his store and partly in front of Standley street, was the building
known as the "Music Hall," in which the first court was held. Just south of that was a livery stable
owned by Moses C. Briggs, and south of that, on or near the northeast corner of Main and Perkins streets, was the
blacksmith shop owned by A. T. Perkins, and on the southeast corner of the last named streets there was a feed
stable for the accommodation of freighting teams. The location of the printing office, school house and Courthouse,
has already been designated. There were at this time probably twenty five dwelling houses in the place, but it
is not possible to locate them now.
The house mentioned above as standing on the northwest corner of Standley and Main streets, and being used jointly
for a saloon and lodging house, has many a legend hanging about it, and could its walls have tongue what a record
it could disclose! It is pointed out today by the quiet law abiding citizen, who with a shrug of the shoulders,
will simply state that in its day it was a "hard hole." You will be told that in the days of its glory
it was no uncommon thing for men to ride their horses up to the bar and quaff their liquor while seated in the
saddle, and should it chance to be in the evening nothing would be more probable than that the bold equestrian
would whip out a revolver and "snuff" every candle in sight. It is said that there are enough lead bullets
in the siding of the building to sink it. You will be told by the pioneer of that day how "Brigham" Young
used to furnish lodgings for forty men with only twenty five pair of blankets, by stealing them from fifteen sleepers
as they were needed for the newcomers, hence his regular lodgers always retired last, as they knew his dodge. They
will tell you of a host of diabolical plans concocted beneath its roof, the most hellish of which, that was ever
carried to consummation, being the raping of the wife of a respectable colored man. And so we might go on, but
this is enough to give the reader an idea of what one phase of society was in that early day. But since then things
have changed altogether and law and order prevail in Ukiah as much as in any city in the State. Of the more than
half hundred homicides committed within the limits of Mendocino county, only one has been within its limits.
Late in the fall of 1860, Hon. E. R. Budd established the pioneer newsaper both of Ukiah and Mendocino county.
He had formerly published the Democrat, at Santa Rosa, but disposed of it in September, and owing to the condition
of the roads and the almost impossibility of moving heavy freight over them, was not able to issue his first number
till November 11th of that year. He called his new paper the Herald, and it prospered for many long years.
1861-2. - Things seem to have pursued the even tenor of their ways during these two years, with nothing
of note transpiring in the town. November 11, 1861, the Board of Supervisors passed an order to the effect that
the court room might be used for religious or other purposes at the discretion of the Sheriff
In 1862, the first church was built in Ukiah by the Methodist Episcopal denomination, through the exertions of
Rev. W. S. Bryant.
There was an earthquake during this time which cracked the walls of the Courthouse, but did no serious damage to
it or to any other buildings in town.
1863. - The first event of importance which we come to in this year, as we pass over the files of the Herald
is noted as follows in that journal, under the caption "Honor to the Dead," in its issue of February
20th: "A meeting of the citizens of Ukiah will be held February 28th to adopt measures for fencing and otherwise
improving the grave yard in this place. It is to be hoped that a large attendance will be had. There is no one
matter that goes so far to the credit of a community as a decent respect for the dead, manifested in a neat and
tidy burying ground, while the reverse - a slovenly kept and unsightly cemetery, shows such a want of respect to
departed friends as to do discredit to any community, in the eyes of the world. Let us, then, devote a little of
our time and money to this most necessary obligation."
During this year there was some excitement about a railroad from Ukiah to tide water at some point on the Bay of
San Francisco, but that is a dream yet to be realized, although it is possible that the long hoped for locomotive
may some day in the near future send forth its shrill shriek from the very heart of the city.
In May Captain J. P. Simpson recruited a company of volunteers at Ukiah, who were mustered into service as Company
E, Second California Volunteers.
Communication with the outside world was slow in those days. The stage left Petaluma in the morning and reached
Cloverdale that night, where it remained till the next morning, reaching Ukiah at noon of the second day. Thus
it required two whole days to travel from San Francisco to Ukiah. There is just a difference of thirty nine hours
between the time then required to accomplish the trip and that taken now. The passenger leaves the city now at
7 A. M. and at 4 P. M. of the same day is landed in Ukiah.
The first number of the Constitutional Democrat was issued July 2, 1863, under the proprietorship of A. T. Perkins
& Co. with Hon. William Holden as editor. The paper was Democratic in politics, and was really started by a
joint stock company. The Herald was Republican in its politics, and of course a county with a Democratic majority
in it, must needs have an organ for the dominant party.
During the fall of this year a lodge of Good Templars was established, but nothing is known of its history except
as noted below.
1864. - The Good Templars lodge surrendered its charter in April, after an existence of only six months.
During the month of August of this year immense fires prevailed in the forests adjacent to Ukiah. Their fury and
grandeur had not been seen before, nor has it since.
During this year an effort was made to divide the county, making Calpella the seat of government for the northern
half of it.
In November an Auxiliary Society of the Sanitary Commission was organized at Ukiah.
1865. - On Monday evening, January 2d, about 9 o'clock, there were two distinct and sharp shocks of earthquake,
and also on Sunday, February 12th, there was a slight shock.
To give the reader an idea of how much property has appreciated in Ukiah in the last fifteen years we will record
the fact that in January, 1865, a part of the block lying south of the Courthouse was sold at public auction by
the Sheriff, and the prices ranged from $30 to $150 per lot.
In February of this year, it was decided by the School Trustees of Ukiah district to have a new school house, which
was to be built contiguous to the old one. We are not aware that the latter clause of this order was carried out,
for the building now stands on an out of the way and unfrequented street in the southwestern portion of town. It
is in a very dilapidated condition, and looks as though it had served the period of its usefulness long ago. The
first school house, built by Messrs. Perkins & Short in 1858 is still standing on its original location.
In June of this year company E, Second California Volunteers, were mustered out of service, and returned to Ukiah
In July 1865, the management of the Herald changed hands, Edward D. Pepper assuming control, than whom no man who
ever resided in Ukiah seems to be better remembered. The political status of the paper remained Republican.
A number of brick kilns were burned during the season, and the brick were found to be of excellent quality.
In November the Methodist Episcopal people erected a parsonage, sixteen by twenty four feet, on the lot adjoining
February 19, 1865, the first issue of the Mendocino County Democrat appeared on the streets of Ukiah., Mat. Lynch,
editor and proprietor.
1866. - In February of this year the Board of Supervisors rescinded the order noted above relating to
religious services in the Courthouse, restricting the use of the court room to political conventions and courts.
On Sunday, June 15th, at 7 P. M., there was an earthquake shock felt here, but it was slight and did no damage.
September 28th, there was a movement put on foot to supply the city with water. The report says: "The intention
is to build a dam across the creek a short distance west of G. W. Gibson's residence, and take the water thence
to the plaza, a distance of four hundred feet."
Catholic service was held in the Courthouse by Rev. Father Bernardino Sheehan, of Mendocino City. We are unable
to state whether or not this is the first service held in the town by the Catholic clergy, but should not think
October 26th a large number of town lots were disposed of at public auction, owing to their belonging to the grant
and the parties who claimed them either would not or could not purchase them a second time from the grant owners.
At the head of the editorial column of the Democrat, under date of November 9, 1866, we find the following, which
shows that the earlier residents of the place had a very keen relish for theatricals, and appreciated a good troupe
when such came to their town:-
UKIAH CITY, November 6, 1866.
Mrs. Augusta Sherwood Wilton and Mrs. Lovina H. Beatty-
LADIES: As a testimonial of the high esteem in which you are held by us as representatives of the historic art,
and as an acknowledgment of the pleasure and gratification you have afforded us in the dramatic entertainments
in which you have won the admiration and plaudits of our village, we ask you to accept a joint complimentary 'benefit
in this place, at such time as you may designate. Signed: J. B. Southard, J. B. Lamar, E. R. Budd, Mat. Lynch,
H. P. Williams, J. R. Moore, T. C. Philbrick, J. McFetrish, T. W. Cuningham, Ben. Chambers, T. B. Bond, Ben. Stamps,
and thirty nine others. The benefit was accepted, and the play rendered was "Colleen Bawn."
1867. - January 22d a new paper was set afloat upon the sea of adversity, at least so it proved in this
case, for it only issued three numbers. Messrs. Stiggins & Stilts were at the helm of the craft, on whose pennant
floated the name Town Talk. There is not generally room enough in a small town for a paper of a character such
as its name would indicate it to be. The citizens themselves can do about all that is necessary in the way of "town
talk," without the assistance of a newspaper.
Under date of April 20, 1867, the following report was published, showing how much money had been raised for what
was known as the "Southern Relief Fund": Ukiah, $295; Potter Valley, $31.50; Redwood Valley, $15.00;
November 11th, the flour mill which had been located at Calpella was moved to Ukiah, and after various and sundry
remodelings, remains to the present time as the Ukiah City Mills. ____ Wickelhausen was the owner of the mill when
it was moved.
At the State Democratic convention in this year, Hon. William Holden was placed in nomination for the Gubernatorial
position, with Hon. H. H. Haight at the head of the ticket. When the news reached Ukiah his friends were very enthusiastic
over it, and one hundred guns were fired in honor of the event, and when he returned home he was given a rousing
welcome. He was elected to the position, his own county giving him a handsome majority.
1870. - We will now pass on to this year, as we find no records of any events worthy of note in the meantime.
February 28th, the Board of Supervisors passed the following order: "It is hereby ordered, that T. B. Bond,
R. McGarvey, and W. E. Willis are hereby appointed locaters to locate the streets and roads in the town of Ukiah
City, according to the recorded plat or map of said town now on file in the Recorder's office of Mendocino county:
that they notify the owners of the land and obtain the right of way if possible and make due report thereof to
this Board at the next regular term in May, 1870."
1871. - Instead of reporting at the time designated in the above order, the locaters of the streets in Ukiah
did not file their report until February 20, 1871, or one year later, lacking only eight days. Subjoined are the
exceptions to their report, as recorded in the minutes of the Board of Supervisors. We were unable to find the
original, hence are unable to give it. "Oak street shall be sixty feet wide; Pine and Bush streets shall be
fifty feet wide; also all parallel streets west of Bush shall be fifty feet wide. Oak street shall be described
as follows: It shall run parallel with School street, and its east line shall be two hundred feet west of School
street; Pine street shall run parallel with Oak street, and its east line shall be two hundred and twenty feet
west of the west line of Oak street; and Bush street shall run parallel with Pine street, and its east line shall
be two hundred and thirty feet west of the west line of Pine street; Clay street shall be thirty feet wide from
Main to State street, and shall be extended from State to School street, and from School street westerly it shall
be forty feet wide. Main street, from where it intersects Smith street on the north, thence running north, shall
be sixty feet wide; and shall, from said point north, be as it is at present used and traveled."
1872. - This was a year of great importance to Ukiah as the three principal events occurred in it which
go to make up a country city, to use an adapted expression, viz.: the erection of a fine Courthouse, the introduction
of gas, and incorporation. A larger building for county purposes had become a sorely pressing necessity, and the
people of the entire county seemed willing to bear their share of the burden of taxation in order to have the requisite
building. In the early part of the year bids and plans were solicited for the building and before the fall rains
set in the county officers were nicely housed in their new quarters. In the interim between the tearing down of
the old and the completion of the new Courthouse, the officers had their quarters up stairs in the upper story
of the brick building on the northeast corner of State and Perkins streets. A full description in detail of the
new building will be found in the body of this work in the chapter on Political History. Suffice it to say here
that it is a very substantial and handsome structure, and is an adornment to the city and a credit to the enterprising
citizens of Mendocino county, who are proverbial for doing well whatever they undertake, no half way marks being
indicated on the register of their energy and enterprise.
February 21st State street was extended as far south as Budd's lane, a small byway leading eastward just south
of that gentleman's residence.
February 23d permission was granted to the Maxim Gas Company to erect their works in the town of Ukiah A more extended
notice will be found further on.
April 24th, it was ordered by the Board of Supervisors that the old Courthouse be sold to the highest bidder on
the 5th day of May, which was done.
August 20, 1872, the following petition was presented to the Board of Supervisors:-
"To the Honorable, the Board of Supervisors of Mendocino County, State of California-
"We, the undersigned, as a majority of the qualified electors of the town of Ukiah City, in said county, and
who have resided in said town for the last thirty days, would respectfully represent that the plat hereto attached
sets correctly forth the meets and bounds of said town; that the population of said town exceeds two hundred in
number, and we pray to be incorporated under and by virtue of an Act of the Legislature of the State of California,
entitled 'An Act to provide for the Incorporation of Laws, approved April 19, 1856, and the Acts amendatory thereto.
The center of the city is the Courthouse, from the center of which shall be drawn. a line due north one half mile;
due south one half mile; due east one half mile, and due west one half mile; making the town one mile square, with
the Courthouse in the center. Signed, R. H. Warren, R. H. Loomis, G. W. Sloper and ninety nine others."
The town was bounded and described as follows: "Commencing at the southeast corner of Cleveland's land, thence
north along Cleveland's, Perkins', Todd's, and Gibson's lines to Orr creek; thence up Orr creek to Todd's east
line; thence south along Todd's east line to Gibson's creek; thence up Gibson's creek to Gibson's line; thence
south, following H street, as laid out and produced. to a point from which a direct line easterly and at right
angles would strike the north line of the land south of Budd's; thence along the north line of said land to the
point of beginning."
Following is a transcript of the minutes of the Board of Supervisors in relation to the matter: "Upon reading
and filing the petition of the citizens of the town of Ukiah City, praying for an order of this Board incorporating
the town of Ukiah City, it is hereby ordered that the petition be granted, and that the meets and bounds of the
town be one mile square, with the Courthouse of Mendocino county as the central point, from which a line drawn
due north, south, east and west, shall describe the square. And it is further ordered, that on Saturday, the 31st
day of August, A. D. 1872, an election shall be held at the Courthouse in the town for the election of five Trustees,
a Marshal, Treasurer and Assessor; and that Thomas L. Carothers as Inspector, N. Ellis and T. L. Barnes as Judges
of Election, are hereby appointed officers to conduct said election."
In accordance with the above order an election was held for town officers which resulted as follows: Trustees,
R. N. Willing, J It Moore, E. W King, M. D. and Samuel Orr; Treasurer, I. Isaac. The first meeting of the Board
of Trustees was held September 2, 1872, and R. N. Willing was appointed temporary Chairman, and T L Carothers temporary
Clerk. At this meeting a special election was ordered to be held September 7, 1872, to fill the vacancy found to
exist in the Board of Trustees, and in the office of Marshal, and T. L. Carothers was elected to fill the former
and Thomas Chalfant the latter vacancy; R. N. Willing was then chosen permanent Chairman, and Thomas L. Carothers
permanent Clerk of the Board.
In January of this year an Act of the Legislature was passed authorizing the School Board of Ukiah district to
purchase the building known as the "Ukiah Institute" and the land on which it was located for school
1873. - March 31st William Ford was appointed City Treasurer, vice I. Isaac deceased.
The annual municipal election was held May 5th, and resulted as follows: Trustees, R. N. Willing, Samuel Orr, James
R. Moore, James Fowzer, and G. B. Mathers; Marshal, J. B. Caneza; Assessor, J. L. Wilson, and Treasurer, William
Ford. The Trustees elected ailed to qualify and the old Board held over, and continued the administration of the
municipality. R. N. Willing was elected Chairman again, and M. Marstellar was appointed Clerk, vice T. L. Carothers
1874. - The regular annual city election occurred May 4th, but the officers elect failed to qualify, and
the old Board refused to act farther in the matter, so the whole Incorporation bubble bursted, and Ukiah descended
from her exalted perch as a city, to the place of a common country village, sic transit gloria!
At the election held June 10th of this year for the purpose of voting on the issue of "Local Option,"
the vote stood for license, one hundred and seven; against license, one hundred and eighty seven, majority for
against license eighty, which certainly shows that the public sentiment is on the side of temperance in the town.
If the ladies of the place could vote, how these figures on the side of temperance and sobriety would have swollen!
During, this year the people of Ukiah were called upon to pay a special school tax of 55 cents on the $100, to
meet the first payment for the newly purchased school building.
1876. - The event of prime importance which occurred during this year was the re-incorporation of the city
by an Act of Legislature, by which the mantle of municipality was again placed upon the shoulders of the fair Ukiah.
This instrument was drafted and introduced by Hon. R. McGarvey, who at that time represented Mendocino so ably
in the State Senate, and its provisions were so replete with all that would redound to the welfare of the city
that great credit is due to its originator. The date of the city election was changed from May to February, and
the result of the first election was as follows: Trustees, T. L. Carothers, J. S. Reed, W. H. Forse, G. B. Mathers,
and Sam Orr; Assessor and Marshal, A. O. Carpenter; and Pound master, H. J. Ward. The first meeting of the Board
of Trustees under the new regime, was held April 24, 1876, and T. L. Carothers was chosen Chairman, and A. W. Thompson,
Clerk. Besides adopting several of the ordinances which had been promulgated under the old order of things, they
fixed the rate of taxation for the year at one fourth of one per cent on the $100.
It will be remembered that in the order of the Board of Supervisors for the erection of a new Courthouse provision
was made for fencing it also, but from some cause or other it was never done at the expense of the county. After
Ukiah had assumed the dignity of a city again and they had the power to do so, the Board of Trustees determined
to be rid of the forlorn looking sight of a Courthouse, which had the dimensions and beauty of architecture of
the one in Ukiah, standing out of doors in the open street all alone as it were. Therefore an order of the Board
of Trustees was passed establishing the size of the Courthouse plaza at one hundred and seventy four by two hundred
feet, and providing for the erection of a handsome fence about it with turnstiles at the four corners of the plaza
and in front of the main entrance, to pay for which they set aside the sum of $640. After the town had gone to
the expense of constructing the fence the Board of Supervisors assumed control of it at once, and ordered that
sundry changes be made in it, all of which served to kindle the anger of the townspeople to quite an extent.
At some time away back in the history of Ukiah there was organized what was known as a " Library Society,"
and a number of entertainments were given for the benefit of the funds, as well as sundry private subscriptions,
until the amount in the hands of Mrs. S. Wheeler, the Treasurer, amounted to $160. The "Library Society"
project was eventually abandoned, and the money lay in the bank awaiting a proper time to arrive when it could
be expended for the best interest of the town, as it was money that belonged to the people of the place as a body.
After the court yard was fenced it was deemed that a very proper and fit thing to do with this money, was to expend
it in ornamenting and improving the grounds, which was accordingly done, and the wisdom of the course is evidenced
by the beautiful flowers that bloom within it limits, and is uttered by the rustle of the foliage toyed with by
the light zephyrs of a midsummer's twilight hour.
1877. - The annual election for this year, resulted as follows: Trustees, T. L. Carothers, J. S. Reed, W.
H. Forse, G. B. Mathers, and Samuel Orr; Treasurer, James Fowzer; Recorder, J. T. Rodgers; Marshal, J. A. Jamison;
C. C. Hamilton was chosen Clerk of the Board of Trustees.
April 18th, the Ukiah City Water Company was given the privilege of laying its mains and service pipes along the
streets of the city.
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, held May 2d, of this year, a memorial was presented, signed by the citizens
of the place, asking that some sort of fire protection be provided for the town. No definite action was taken at
that time, but a meeting of the citizens was held at the Courthouse, in pursuance to a call, to consider the advisability
of purchasing a fire apparatus. At this meeting, strong grounds were taken in favor of providing the city with
an engine of some kind, and also hooks and ladders.
The rate of taxation for this year was placed at one fourth of one per cent on the $100, being the same as the
July 6, 1877, the first issue of the Ukiah City Press appeared upon the streets. It was a six column quarto, bright
and newsy, 'and under the editorial management of E. J. Handley.
Q. Obermeyer was appointed Pound master by the Board of Trustees, October 1st.
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, October 1st, it was ordered that the sum of $700 be invested in a "Babcock"
hook and ladder truck, and Thomas L. Carothers was appointed a committee of one to proceed to San Francisco and
purchase the same.
November 2d, the fire aparatus was turned over to the charge of the Eagle Fire Company, with the understanding
that the Board of Trustees was to have a general supervision of it.
Dr. T. L. Barnes was appointed to the position of Recorder, vice J. T. Rodgers.
December 26th, it was ordered that gas lamp posts be established at certain street corners, and provision was made
for lighting the jets on such nights as they were needed.
1878. - The annual municipal election for this year, resulted as follows: Trustees, T. L. Carothers, J.
S. Reed, G. B. Mathers, W. H. Forse and Samuel Orr; Treasurer, James Fowzer; Recorder, J. M. Newsom, Marshal, J.
A. Jamison; C. C. Hamilton was again chosen Clerk of the Board, and the Marshal was constituted ex-officio Street
On the 2d of May, the Board decided that the city had no further use for street lights, and dispensed with the
May 9th, there were three slight shocks of earthquake felt in Ukiah. May 13th, H. H. Mitchell was elected to fill
the vacancy in the office of Recorder, caused by the resignation of J. M. Newsom.
[Forward to Part 2 of Ukiah History]