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Was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on March 17, 1835.  At the age of seven his parents took him to Livingston County, Michigan, thence moving to Ingham County, in the same State, where young Birney received his primary education in the common schools, finishing his scholastic learning at the Union School at Jackson, Michigan.  In 1857, the subject of our memoir came to this State via the Isthmus of Panama, and at once settled at Sawmill Flat, in this county.  Here he engaged in mining, which occupa­tion he followed until 1863, at which time he was elected District Assessor, his district embracing the second town­ship of this county.  He was his own successor in 1865.  In 1867, he was elected District Collector, and continued to hold that office for two years.  In 1869, he was elected County Assessor, and continued in the office until De­cember, 1875, when he resigned to take his seat in the Lower House of the Legislature.  He was re-elected to the same office in 1881, and is the present incumbent.  Mr. Birney has been engaged in quartz mining for many years, still following that occupation.  He married Catherine Boyle, a native of Jefferson County, New York.

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 382-383.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton