Bair Curless

Bair Curless
b. 22 January 1834, Clinton County, Indiana, to Wright and Sarah (Soper) Curless
d. 3 September 1911, Blocksburg, Humboldt County, California

m. 11 September 1855, Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa
Lovina Shaw
b. 10 October 1836, Penbrook, Bennessee County, New York
d. 4 February 1912, Eureka, Humboldt County, California

Children with Lovina Shaw:

  • Henry Blair
  • Lovina Flora
  • Albert
  • Tolbert Ashton
  • Paul
  • Rosa Desiree
  • George Gilbert

The Curless family came to Indiana in 1833 or 1834. They lived in Frankfort, Clinton County, until leaving about 1850. They were one of a group of previously Quaker families to move from New Jersey, about 1807- 10, to Clermont County, Ohio. Biar brought his family to California in 1859, stayed about a year, then headed for Texas in 1861, then went back to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and returned to California.

Biar and two brothers ran a hydraulic mine in Placerville for about seven years, then he migrated west into a very remote part of Humboldt County in 1869. He settled between two Indian camps and his daughter Rosa claimed to be the first white baby born in that section of the county. The family lived in peace with the local Indians and taught some to read and some basic Christian instruction. Once a road was built, Biar operated a “stopping-place” or hotel out of his house. Biar Curless was known alternately as the “toughest” or “meanest” man in Humboldt County. His grandson, Guy Curless, was the State of California “Predator” (trapper of animals) for five decades and is a legend in California fish and game history. Biar moved to Furtune in 1911 and died quietly in a rocking chair on the front porch, having lead an extremely vigorous life.

Submitted by:
Lance Beeson
Richmond CA
E-mail: lbeeson@contracosta.cc.ca.us

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