California Genealogy and History Archives
discovery of gold was the immediate cause of the identification of the
Doan family with California, the year 1853 having witnessed the arrival
in the west of Riley R. Doan, a native of Lyman, Ohio, and a mechanic by
trade. While still very young he had gained considerable experience as a
millwright and after he settled at Shingle Springs, Cal., he followed
that occupation, but after removing to other parts of the state he
followed various other means of livelihood, as opportunity was offered.
From 1864 until 1868 he engaged in mining at and near Austin, Nev. Upon
his return to California in 1868 he became interested in mining at
Colfax, Placer county, but two years later he transferred his
headquarters to Eldorado county and secured employment in the Baltic
mill. During the period of his connection with that mill he invented and
patented a steam wagon and upon liis removal to Sacramento in 1874 he
began to manufacture these wagons, in which line of business he remained
actively engaged until 1885. From that year until 1898 he engaged in
mining with J. H. Roberts at Harrison Gulch, Shasta county, this state,
but his ventures brought him little material success and in the year
last-named he decided to relinquish his mining interests for the more
sure but less fascinating occupation of ranching. Removing to Elmira.
Solano county, he bought a tract of land, developed a farm and gave his
attention to the management of the property until his death, which
occurred in August of 1903, fifty years after his arrival in the state.
During that long period it had been his privilege to witness a
remarkable change in the aspect of the country. No longer was a
cosmopolitan throng of miners the principal sight to be seen upon the
streets of the little frontier towns. Instead, there was a cultured
class of citizens whose prosperity gave evidence of the advantages
afforded by residence in the western cities. The country had many
thrifty villages and well-improved farms, in striking contrast to its
appearance at the time of his arrival in the pioneer era of western
the children of Riley R. and Sarah C. Doan there was a son, Warren E.,
born at Portland, Ore., March 8. 1862, and educated in the public
schools of Sacramento. Leaving school in 1878 he began to earn his own
livelihood, but meanwhile he had become interested in the study of
stenography, in which by constant practice he acquired expert skill. His
first experience in court reporting occurred in 1881, when he was
appointed to report on a case in the superior court of Eldorado county.
The success of the transcript brought him the praise of attorneys and in
a measure determined his life work. Returning to Sacramento be secured a
position as deputy official reporter of the superior court under Mr.
Davis. In the spring of 1883 he resigned from court service to accept a
position as amanuensis with the Huntington-Hopkins Hardware Company and
in that responsible post be gave general satisfaction. However, in 1885
he accepted an opportunity to engage with Mr. Davis in general court
reporting, after which he carried on a stenographic office until 1889.
From that year until January of 1897 he served by appointment as
official court reporter of Placer county. When he resigned and returned
to Sacramento, it was for the purpose of accepting an appointment as
official reporter of the superior court of Sacramento county, in which
trustworthy post he has given universal satisfaction, having indeed won
a reputation as one of the most expert reporters in the entire state.
The most intricate and complicated cases he has been able to report
satisfactorily, and he has exhibited in his typewritten reports an
absolute accuracy, quick comprehension and keen intelligence that,
combined with his unusual speed as a stenographer, gives him an enviable
reputation among the jurists and attorneys of the district. Fraternally
he is a member of the Elks, Knights of Pythias and Independent Order of
Odd Fellows. In Yolo county, this state, October 17, 1883, occurred his
marriage to Miss Kittie E. Young. They are the parents of an only child,
Norman E., a young man of ability, who since having completed his
education at the Leland Stanford University has filled the position of
county law librarian at Sacramento, and he is now a student at law.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011