Finding aid of the Anna R. Gillis Memoirs C057977
Finding aid prepared by Nick Scales
Society of California Pioneers4/23/2012
300 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107-1272
Title: Gillis, Anna R. Memoirs
Identifier/Call Number: C057977
Contributing Institution: Society of California Pioneers
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 folder 2 letters (4 pages each)
Date (inclusive): 1860-1870
Abstract: 2 handwritten reminisences from Anna R. Gillis, written in 1934 about Scotts Valley, Ft. Jones and Siskiyou County in the 1860s. Very short on detail
creator: Gillis, Anna R
2 handwritten reminisences from (Mrs.)Anna R. Gillis, written in 1934 about Scotts Valley, Ft Jones and Siskiyou County in the 1860s. Somewhat difficult to read, even though in ink, because of the writer's shaky handwriting (she was over 80 years old when this was written). There are many details about her life and the country in both letters.
One is a 4 page handwritten letter (with the first page missing) which is titled "Reminiscences of Ft. Jones and Scotts Valley in the early 60's". She mentions that U.S. Grant served at Ft. Jones as a Lieutenant. Talks of mining in the area and at McAdams Creek, Indian Crest, and Oso Fino. When they first arrived it was a very isolated life but after going to college in the East, they were eager to return. Talks about the great flood of 1861/62
The other is a handwritten original letter addressed to Miss Vansicklen (an employee of the Society of California Pioneers in the 1930s) evidently in response to an inquiry from the Society that refers to John Daggett, a Lieutenant Governor of California, who is noted to be "a close friend of hers and her husband.". The letter talks about amusements as a child in the area; cards, dancing and Hurdy Gurdies (German women who danced for money). In 1859 a road was built to connect Ft. Jones to Redding over the Scott and Trinity Mountains. She taught at one of the first schools in Ft. Jones.
Some research finds an Anna R. Gillis who was born in Ohio c. 1834, and later lived in Siskiyou County, California. Since Ft. Jones is in the Scott Valley area of Siskiyou County, this could be the same Anna R. Gillis.
Collection Open for Research
There are no restrictions on use
Anna R. Gillis Papers, The Society of California Pioneers
Some research finds an Anna R. Gillis who was born in Ohio c. 1834, and later lived in Siskiyou County, California. The memoir discusses her teaching in Ft. Jones, which is in the Scott Valley area of Siskiyou County, this could be the same Anna R. Gillis. She wrote these memoirs in 1934 or 1936, when she was over 80 years old - according to a note in the file - although this puts her birth at c.1854. She signs the memoirs, and they are noted as a gift of, Mrs, Anna R. Gillis, 1936 - and she references her and her husband being friends with John Daggett, a Lieut. Gov. of California. She notes in one memoir that after going back east to college, it was a pleasure to return to California - which she had thought lonely at first. There are a few dates noted in both memoirs, and it might be possible to put a tentative timeline on her life together from these dates. She does not mention her husband's first name, so it was not possible to trace her through him. No further information could be readily found.
The Society of California Pioneers, 101 Montgomery St., Suite 150, Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94129.
Gift of Anna R. Gillis, 1936.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Siskiyou County (Calif.)--History