California Genealogy and History Archives
The pine forests of Maine through which merrily flow the clear streams of the north on their course to the ocean were familiar to the early experiences of James S. Huntress, who claimed Maine as his native commonwealth and the year 1835 as his natal date. The family, although belonging to the honored aristocracy of New England, possessed little means and it was not possible for him to enjoy the educational advantages which his ambitious soul desired. At a very early age he was apprenticed to the trade of a mason and thence forward he depended upon his own efforts for a livelihood. When nine- teen years of age he started out for himself and it was then that he made the long journey to California, which continued to be his home from that time until his death more than forty years later. During the long period of his identification with the west he devoted much attention to mining interests and made his home in Nevada county, where he died at Grass Valley June 22, 1907, mourned by the large circle of acquaintances whose friendship he had won through kindly disposition, unwavering integrity and large business ability. His high reputation in the community where he had lived so long furnished abundant proof that he had lived worthily and exhibited in his character the principles of truth and honor. As he was true and honorable in intercourse with others, so likewise he was loyal and true to his country, ever seeking to give his influence to movements for the general welfare and especially eager to aid enterprises for the benefit of his county and commonwealth. A staunch believer in Republican principles, he took a prominent part in the workings of that party in Nevada county and was counted a local leader; at the same time narrow partisanship found no place in his life, but he gave to others the same freedom of political opinion which he demanded for himself. The marriage of James S. Huntress took place in 1868 and united him with Miss Mary S. Huitt, who was born in Arkansas but in infancy was brought across the plains by ox teams to California by members of her family and ever since has resided in the state. Subsequent to the demise of her husband she removed to Sacramento and now owns a comfortable home at No. 1421 Twenty-fifth street, where she dispenses a cheerful hospitality to friends of the capital city, as well as to the other friends from Nevada county during their occasional visits to town. In addition to the loss of her husband she suffered another bereavement in the death of her only son, William C, but she is fortunate in having four daughters, all women of education and culture, and their congenial companionship fills the afternoon of her life with tranquil enjo>anent. The second daughter, Emma M., who is married to Charles Single and makes her home at Grass Valley, is the only member of the family not residing in Sacramento. The eldest daughter, Mrs. Alice Webster, has lived in the capital city ever since her marriage, and the same statement may be made concerning the two youngest daughters, namely: Mabel, Mrs. Arthur Eapp; and Martha, Mrs. Lewis Clausen.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011