12. John Allen BIRCH (57)(58) (35)(59) (60) (photo) was born on 18 Feb 1838 in OH.(61) [Osborn genealogy has birth date of 8 Feb 1838.] He died on 17 Jan 1928 in Chico, Butte Co., CA. [The Birch family bible states that he "died Jan. 18, 1928, aged 89 years, 11 months."] He was buried in Orland, Glenn Co., CA. "... lived with an uncle after his father's death and was taught by a Presbyterian minister. Later he was apprenticed to a wagon maker. Married Eliza Ann Ross at age 18 in Cambridge, Ohio, then (shortly thereafter) moved to Flora, Ill., where 5 of their 8 children were born. In 1871 he, with his brother Benton, decided to homestead in California. They, and their families, traveled to California via Central Pacific & Union Railroad, a real emigrant's train. Each family supplied their own food, and there was a cook stove in the corner of each car where meals could be prepared. The story is told that the family got off the train in Nevada to get a meal -- but the train started to pull out before they finished. They all ran, with John in the lead, coat tails flapping, and managed to catch the train!
They were met in Marysville by the Hendersons, with team and wagon, and taken to their 160 acre homestead near Germantown (now Artois); later they took up a pre-emption on 80 acres more. Their home was one of the stopping places for the itinerant Methodist preachers (Circuit Riders) of those days.
    ... (In November 1880) the Birch family moved to Orland. While there they helped establish the Orland Methodist Church (this church later joined with two other denominations and formed the Federated Church of Orland). Later they moved to Chico, where the Chico Normal School was established, so their younger children could take advantage of this educational opportunity. John worked for a time under General Bidwell as a blacksmith & caring for a tree nursery & gardens." (Birch Genealogy, p. 2) Their home in Chico was on Eighth and Walnut Streets and stood there for many years after it was sold by the Birch family. A photograph of John Allen and Eliza standing in front of this house is in the possession of family members and has appeared publications dealing with the history of the City of Chico (e.g. "Chico, A Western Heritage).
    "In the year 1860 ... (John Allen) went with a group of men to Pikes Peak, Colorado to mine for gold. Not finding much gold, they returned to Illinois in the fall of the year." (Mehl/Birch, p. 16)
    "John was shorter than the other Birch boys, but except for varicosed veins in his legs, was strong and wiry physically. He outlived all of the others." (Mehl/Birch, p. 34)
    The following is a quote from the paper, "A History of the Federated Church of Orland, California," compiled by Marie Forbes, 1982, p. 1: "THE METHODIST CHURCH OF ORLAND. Methodists came to this area 111 years ago. In 1871, the families of two brothers, John Allen and Theodore B. Birch, came from Illinois by railroad emigrant train to the end of the line at Marysville. They settled on homesteads in the vicinity of present day Glenn County Roads P and 30. They started a Sunday School in the home of John Allen Birch with him as Superintendent. Three Methodist Lay Preachers were among the homesteaders in that part of the Valley. One or another held church services in the Birch home. Within three years, the Central Plains Methodist Church was officially organized there. They built a two-story structure for the pastor's home downstairs and church services upstairs. There were 21 charter members." He continued active membership in the Methodist Church after his move to Chico in 1890.
    According to the LDS soundex records, John A. was listed in the 1880 US census as the head of the household in Orland Twp, Colusa/Glenn Co., Orland, CA. He was listed as age 42 with his wife, his six children, and an "L. Ingraham," age 29, birthplace of "Penn" and relationship of "Bo." which is assumed to mean boarder. It is also assumed that this L. Ingraham was Leveret who was soon to wed John and Eliza's daughter Hattie. He was married to Eliza Ann ROSS on 20 Sep 1857 in Senecaville or Cambridge, OH. (62)(63) (64) [Birch Genealogy has marriage location as Cambridge, OH; Osborn and Morgan/Ross/Birch Genealogies have marriage location as Senecaville, OH; John Allen's obituary states that he married Eliza "near Cambridge;" Birch family bible states that they were married "at Senecaville by Joseph H. White."]

13. Eliza Ann ROSS(65) (15)(66) (photo) was born on 6 Apr 1838 in Mononglia Co., WV. ["near Morgantown;" Birch family bible confirms this date.] She died on 13 Feb 1929 in Corning, Tehama Co., CA. [This death date is recorded in the Birch family bible and adds that she died "aged 90 yrs and 10 months.] She was buried in Orland, Glenn Co., CA. Moved from OH to Flora, Ill, shortly after marriage. "In 1871 Eliza Ann (Ross) Birch and her sister Harriet Marie (Ross) Birch (sisters married brothers) with their respective families, moved to California over the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads. They settled in Colusa County, California, but in the part which afterward became Glenn County. They took up homesteads, about 5 and 7 miles respectively, south by east of where the town of Orland now stands. Eliza Ann and John Allen Birch, later, moved (in 1890) to Chico, California where they lived the remainder of their lives."
    "I (Claire) remember her as grandpa's mother. The first family reunion I went to was in their back yard in Chico. She was a very stern woman. I never saw her smile. She was the one who took care of Mom (Doris) when her mother was gone to have an operation. When she bent down on the floor to get something under the sink, Mom jumped on her back and hit her on the head with a frying pan. Grandpa had just come in and saw her do it. He then gave her the only spanking she ever had. She (Mom) said she got her cat, went up into the hayloft of the barn and cried thinking no one loved her any more." (Claire)
    According to LDS soundex records, she is listed with her family in the 1880 census (Orland, CA) with the first name of "Elizabeth," age 40, and birthplace of "Virginia."
    Her obituary from the Orland Unit, Friday, February 15, 1929, states: "Mrs. E. A. Birch died at the home of her son, L. R. Birch, in Corning, on Wednesday morning, after an illness of only a few weeks. She had reached the ripe old age of 90 years and 10 months. Mrs. Birch, whose maiden name was Eliza Anna Ross, was born in West Virginia. When but a girl she moved with her parents to Ohio, and there in her young womanhood she met and was wooed by Mr. Birch. With him she moved to Illinois, where they lived, several of their children being born in that state, till the year 1871, when they came to California. Their home for many years was on a ranch southeast of Orland. The Birch home was the center of social and religious activity for a large community. It was in their home that the first Methodist church in this part of the country was organized, and where services were held during the period before the church was able to erect a building for the purpose. Mr. and Mrs. Birch were the mainstay of the religious life of the neighborhood, and later, moving into Orland in 1886, they were among the pioneers of the Orland Methodist church. In 1892 Mr. and Mrs. Birch moved to Chico, where they lived till separated a little more than a year ago by the death of the husband. Mrs. Birch retained her faculties in the face of approaching age, taking the same keen interest in church and family and political matters at ninety that she did at twenty. She remembered the days of President Pierce, and the historic visit of commodore Perry to Japan, and her last vote was cast last November for Herbert Hoover. Her church activity was limited during the last few years only by her physical frailty. Six children are left to mourn her loss: Mrs. J. L. Ingraham of Chico, Mrs. Minnie McKaig of Corning, L. R. Birch of Corning, J. W. Birch of Orland, F. C. Birch of Marshfield, Oregon, and Mrs. Myrtle Gould of Blythe, California. There are also nineteen (someone crossed this number out and inserted "16") grandchildren and thirty one (someone crossed this number out and inserted "29") great-grandchildren. The funeral was held from the Orland Methodist church yesterday afternoon, the services being conducted by Rev. N. A. Christensen, pastor of the Chico Methodist church, of which body Mrs. Birch had been a member for the past thirty years. The remains were interred beside those of her husband in the Odd Fellows cemetery." Children were:

child i. Alice May BIRCH was born on 27 Jun 1858 in IL. [Birch family bible confirms this date.] She died on 2 Nov 1858 in IL. [In the Birch family bible it is recorded that she died Nov. 2nd, 1858 at the age of 4 months, 5 days.] She was buried in Flora, Clay Co., IL.
child ii. James Marion BIRCH was born on 29 May 1860 in IL. [Birch family bible confirms this date.] He died on 12 Aug 1880 in CA.(67) ["Marion, the 21-year-old son, borrowed money from L.J.Ingraham, to buy wagon & teams. In August 1880, he was caught between wagon and a tree when his 4-horse team turned too sharply, and was killed. He was hauling wood from near the Sacramento River." The date of his death is recorded in the Birch family bible.]
child iii. Hattie Eliza BIRCH(68) (15)(69) (photo) was born on 17 Sep 1864 in Flora, Clay Co., IL. [Birch family bible confirms this date.] She died on 11 Sep 1933 in Chico, Butte Co., CA. "Hattie wanted an education, but the children rode to school in a two wheeled cart. One day the shaft broke, the cart tipped, and Hattie fell, striking her head. This ended her formal education, and she was married at age 16." (Birch)
    "Aunt Hattie Birch married an Ingraham and began the 'Birch Ingraham' relationship." (Claire)
    Hattie's husband, Leveret J. Ingraham, (b.19 Sep 1850, Butler Co., PA) "came to California in 1872 and took up a homestead near Red Bluff - but worked mostly for ranchers in Tehama and Glenn Counties. He had a reputation for digging wells, and also breaking horses. After his marriage in 1880, he took over his father-in-law's homestead near Germantown and 6 of their 10 children were born during this period. However, in the panic of 1893 he lost the ranch and moved to Orland. Old pictures show him harvesting grain with a 20 horse team. There was a move to manage the Rice ranch in Dixon, where Ernest was born, then back to Orland where he was ranch manager on the Scearch ranch, then later he managed the Mecum orchard. In 1907 purchaced 10 acres from the Bidwell Estate in Chico, where he planted fruit trees, and farmed there until his death (1929)." (Birch)
child iv. Minnie Florence BIRCH(70) (15)(71) (72) (photo) was born on 30 Apr 1866 in Flora, Clay Co., IL. [Birch family bible confirms this date.] She died on 6 May 1953 in Sacramento, Sacramento Co., CA. "Minnie took courses at Chico Normal, but did not graduate as her lameness made getting to classes over all those stairways almost impossible; she taught school for several years. (Her husband) Addison moved to Marysville from Illinois in 1871, studied law and medicine until his eyesight failed, then homesteaded, with his parrents, near Stonyford, in the foothills west of Willows, CA., where the family lived until his poor health made a move to Orland mandatory." (Birch) She married Wilbur Addison McKaig 28 Nov 1894 at Willows, CA. They had 4 children, but one died in infancy. She lived for a time in her later years in Corning.
    "Aunt Minnie was a happy outgoing person. She was crippled but that didn't stop her. I have her and her husband (McKaig) in the Stonyford Census. Her son Wesley McKaig married Alberta ? who was a neighbor of us in Corning. They (Wesley and Alberta) moved to Oregon and he became very successful in shipping potatoes all over. Aunt Minnie did a lot of hand work, embroidery and made quilts to the day she died." (Claire)
child6 v. John Wesley BIRCH.
child vi. Lea Roy BIRCH(73) (15)(74) (photo) was born on 19 Jul 1874 in Orland, Glenn Co., CA. [Actually in this time period, this area was part of Colusa Co., Glenn Co. being formed later; Birch family bible confirms this date.] He died on 23 Mar 1964 in Orland, Glenn Co., CA. "Lea Roy graduated from Chico Normal School with the first midterm graduation, about 1890; there were 5 graduates -- among them also was Jim Birch, a cousin. Lea Roy taught school for a number of years, then managed grocery stores, raised chickens and bees, delivered mail. His diploma and other (college) records are available at Chico State College (Library)."
    "Uncle Roy" married Alice Ludy Ross (b. 30 Jun 1882; d. 11 Oct 1971) and adopted a son, LeaRoy Fulmer Birch (b. 2 May 1910, San Francisco, CA). "Uncle Roy" and "Aunt Alice" lived for a number of years north of Corning, CA.
    "Uncle Roy and Grandpa were very close.... Uncle Roy's wife, Aunt Alice, hated her mother-in-law. Eliza Birch thought she wasn't good enough for Uncle Roy because she was not educated. Uncle Roy was the most kind, loving man you could meet.... In addition to being an excellent teacher he was a talented painter." (Claire)
child vii. Franklin "Frank" Chester BIRCH(75) (76) (photo) was born on 10 Feb 1879 in Orland, Glenn Co., CA. [Actually Orland in 1879 was in what was then Colusa Co., Glenn Co. being formed from part of Colusa Co. in 1891 or 92; the date of his birth is recorded in the Birch family bible.] He died on 24 May 1948 in Coos Bay, OR. [The date and place of death was recorded in the Birch family bible.] "Frank attended Chico Normal School, then took up Optometry and maintained an office in Coos Bay, Oregon, for many years, using the slogan: 'See Birch - See Better.'" Frank married (1) Caroline Merryman (d 1922-23) on 28 May 1907; (2) Charlotta Agness on 30 Dec 1924.

child viii. Helen Myrtle BIRCH(77) (15)(78) (photo) was born on 27 Apr 1880 in Orland, Glenn Co., CA. [Actually in this time period, this area was part of Colusa Co., Glenn Co. being formed later; her date of birth is recorded in the Birch family bible.] She died on 23 Oct 1944 in Tucson, AZ. "Myrtle was a graduate of Chico Normal School, and taught school for many years, both in California and in Arizona. In their later years, her parents depended on her for much of their financial support. It is said that her romance started when she fell from a canoe, and George saved her! George was a rancher in Oregon and later in Arizona." Myrtle married George Levi Gould, 17 Nov 1907 at Chico, CA; they had one daughter, Eunice Eliza (b. 20 Sep 1908, Coquille, OR).
    "Aunt Myrtle I remember slightly as she visited Aunt Alice and Uncle Roy when they lived in Corning. It is documented that a 'Myrtle Birch' was a visitor of Mrs. Bidwell at the Bidwell Mansion, Chico." (Claire)

Home Return to Table of Contents