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California Genealogy and History Archives

Mendocino County Civil War Veterans
Submitted Sep 2010 by Ronald Cannon, MA



George Washington Duncan, 23 March 1838 MO-17 December 1919 (Confederate)
Corp’l, Co. B, 10 MO Inf. CSA
Valley View Cemetery, Covelo

GEORGE W. DUNCAN. – A man who in spite of misfortune and physical debility has surmounted obstacles and gained a competency is George W. Duncan, who was born in Boone county, Mo., March 23, 1838, the son of Nathaniel and Amelia (Garland) Duncan, farmers in Missouri. His mother dying when he was six years of age and his father when he was fifteen, George Duncan was obliged to earn his own livelihood at a tender age. His education was limited to six months of school, but being a student he became well informed in after years by reading and observation and regularly attending Sunday school. After his father’s death he was apprenticed as a blacksmith for four years, and continued at the trade until the Civil war, when he joined his fortunes with the Confederacy, serving under Gen. Stirling (Pop) Price and later under General Shelby, as farrier for the brigade. After the war he continued at his trade until 1867, when he was stricken blind from paralysis of the optic nerve on account of the intense heat from the forge. He had a stake but it gradually melted away. In 1875 he came to Trinity county, Cal., where he had a brother who was in the cattle business; in the meantime he had regained just enough of his sight to do something at the stock business. In 1879 he located in Round valley, Mendocino county, moving onto a rented farm and beginning at the bottom, as he had nothing at the time, but each year he made a success until he purchased three hundred and twenty acres, for which he paid $3400. As in other transactions, on account of his eye sight he was taken advantage of and he 
lost the place. He then purchased five acres in Covelo and began gardening and has made another success. Some years later he built a hotel and ran it in connection with raising vegetables. Afterward he sold some of the land but retains one and a half acres with the business property. Twelve years ago he started in merchandising with the aid of his wife and they are now the oldest merchants in Covelo.

Mr. Duncan’s able helpmate through his life was Elizabeth A. Jacobs, whom he married in Boone county, Mo., January 3, 1860, and they had six children, as follows: Thomas J., who died when one year old; Florence C., Mrs. Azbill, of Buck Mountain; Fannie O., who died when eight years old; Mrs. Georgie Grist, deceased; James N., who died leaving six children; and Laura E., Mrs. Russell, of Covelo. Mr. Duncan is a strong temerance man and is an ardent worker for the cause. He is an earnest member of the Baptist church, in which he is a deacon. In political principles he espouses the cause of Democracy. (Aurelius O. Carpenter and Percy H. Millberry, History of Mendocino and Lake Counties, California... [Los Angeles, Cal.: Historic Record Co., 1914], 735-736.)

Covelo Pioneer Dead – Geo. W. Duncan, a pioneer resident of Round Valley, died at his home in Covelo, December 16th, after a lingering illness. Mr. Duncan was in the neighborhood of 80 years and had lived in Round Valley since 1875. He was a native of Missouri.
Mr. Duncan conducted a hotel at Covelo for some years and afterwards enagaged in the general merchandise business. Some years ago he had to sell out on account of approaching blindness. He was a leading member of the Covelo Baptist church and for years had been an earnest temerance worker.He leaves a wife and two grown daughters to mourn his loss. The funeral services were held Thursday. Willits News, 26 December 1919.

1860 U.S. census, Boone County, Missouri, population schedule, Missouri township, Rocheport post office, p. 873, dwelling 212, family 232, George W. Duncan; NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 608.

1870 U.S. census, Boone County, Missouri, population schedule, Missouri township, Columbia post office, p. 130 (stamped), dwelling 105, family 140, G W Duncan; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 760.

1900 U.S. census, Mendocino County, California, population schedule, Round Valley township, ED 74, p. 122-A (stamped), 
sheet 6, dwelling 74, family 74, George W. Duncan; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 93.