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William Henry Hawes
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Birth: May 8, 1836
Ontario, Canada
Death: May 20, 1922
Alameda County
California, USA

William Henry Hawes, ne William Henry Haas, was born on May 8, 1836 in Waterloo Township, Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada. He was the oldest of two sons born to Michael Haas (1810-1878) and Magdalena "Martha" Hoffman (1813-1840). His younger brother, Michael was born on July 4, 1838.

Michael Haas Sr., a blacksmith and farmer, emigrated from Germany, probably from one of the Rhineland provinces, around 1832 at the age of 21 and first arrived in Baltimore, Maryland. He made his way to Ontario, Canada where he married Magdalena Hoffman on August 30, 1835. She may have been born in Pennsylvania around 1813 and, according to family lore, was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent.

Magdalena died on September 2, 1840 leaving Michael to care for their two young sons. However he remarried within a few months. Michael was about 30 at the time and his new bride, Judith, was 17. Together they had ten children, all born in Canada between 1841 and 1864.

Two biographical sketches written about William Hawes briefly describe his early years. Presumably they were based on information that William himself provided. The first was published in Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California (The Lewis Publishing Company, 1891, p. 806). The second was published in History of the State of California Biographical Record of the Sacramento Valley, CA, written by Professor J.M. Guinn A.M. (Clapman Publishing, Chicago, 1906, p. 1407).

Both biographies state that William was born and raised in New York state, though he clearly was not. Throughout his adult life, William himself consistently reported that he was born in New York. Though his place of birth in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada was only about 120 miles from Niagra, New York, his Declaration of Intention for Citizenship, dated March 2, 1903, confirms that he was indeed born in Canada. According to this document, William H. Hawes, "a native of Canada embarked at Montreal and arrived at New York in 1851." Even after filing this document, at the age of 66, William continued to report his place of birth as New York. It is even listed on his death certificate and inscribed on his headstone.

The following account from William's 1906 biographical sketch describes the early years of his life. Note that he would have actually been twenty-two (not twenty-four) when he first set sail from New York to California in 1858:

William Hawes' earliest recollections carry him back to his birthplace in New York state, where he attended public school and assisted his father in his blacksmith shop and upon the farm. When twenty-four years old he felt competent to start in life on his own account. Wisely discerning that the west held larger opportunities for a youth of ambition and energy than the more conservative east he made arrangements to come to the Pacific coast. On the sailing vessel Clipper he embarked from New York City September 6, 1858, and after a voyage of six months via Cape Horn reached San Francisco, Cal., March 6, 1859. For one year he employed in a lumber camp at Cottonwood, and later was interested in mines at Oregon Gulch. It was in 1862 that he first became identified with Anderson, Shasta county. For a time he was in the employ of Mr. Anderson, who owned a hotel here, but finally Mr. Hawes rented the hotel from his employer and ran it alone for one year.

William married Rebecca Elizabeth Foster in Shasta County on April 26, 1862. William legally changed his surname from the German Haas to the more Americanized Hawes at Rebecca's insistence.

In 1863 William purchased 120 acres of rich farming land near the confluence of North Cow Creek and the Sacramento River about 5 miles east of the small town of Anderson for $700. There he established the Hawes Ranch, originally known as Fort Reading Ranch because the old Fort Reading stood on the northern boundary of his property. William built his first house on this property on the east side of Stillwater Creek atop the bluff overlooking the Sacramento River.

Together William and Rebecca had six children, all born on the Hawes Ranch:

John Lincoln Hawes (March 25, 1963 November 18, 1950)
Alice Ellen Hawes (October 17, 1865 April 22, 1943)
Mary Anis Hawes (June 30, 1867 - August 20, 1873)
Henry William Hawes (February 10, 1870 October 18, 1927)
Granville Newton Hawes (April 14, 1871 January 30, 1942)
Daniel Robert Hawes (April 25, 1875 April 15, 1958)

Tragedy struck the family twice within a short period of time. Daughter Mary Anis died on August 20, 1873 (cause unknown). Then on May 23, 1875, just one month after youngest son Daniel's birth, Rebecca died of pneumonia. She was buried in the Millville Masonic Cemetery next to daughter Mary.

William found himself a widower with five young children to care for, ranging in age from one month to twelve years, in addition to all the work of the ranch. Fortuitously for William he soon met Henrietta Young (ne Henriette Jng) whom he married on April 26, 1876 in Red Bluff in neighboring Tehama County.

After their marriage William soon set to work building a new house for his bride near the corner of Deschutes and Dersch roads and surrounded it with fruit of nearly every description. This house still stands today. Henrietta gave birth to the couple's only child together, Jacob "Jake" Charles Hawes, on September 18, 1876 and together they raised Jacob and his five half-siblings. Sometime during the 1890's William and Henrietta adopted Rena Thompson, who was born in 1890.

In addition to his success as a family man, William also attained a high level of success as a land owner, farmer and rancher. Throughout the years he continued to add to his land holdings, which eventually grew to about 1400 acres. William was one of Shasta County's most successful ranchers. Besides his large crop of dryland wheat, he raised various other grains, hay, grapes and stock and even built a blacksmith shop on the ranch.

William was well respected in the community and, as a lifelong Republican, was active in politics. In 1880 he was elected a delegate to the Republican State Convention in Sacramento. For twenty-five years he served as a trustee of his school district though he had limited formal education himself. He belonged both to the Anderson Grange and the Independent Order of Oddfellows, Millville Lodge #240.

William's second wife Henrietta died on the Hawes Ranch on May 9, 1909, just one day shy of her 75th birthday. She was buried in the Anderson Pioneer Cemetery. After thirty-three years of marriage to Henrietta, William found himself a widower once again. Then, in 1912, at the age of 76, William Hawes married for a third time to widow Elizabeth Millsaps Newton Hall of Redding, grandmother of his son Jake's wife. The couple moved to Oakland and purchased a house there.

Upon moving to Oakland William left the Hawes Ranch in youngest son Jake's care, which he ran with the help of his four sons. On August 29, 1921 William deeded the ranch to Jake, but Jacob did not record the deed until just after his father's death. Jake later purchased additional acreage until the Hawes Ranch eventually comprised about 2800 acres.

William Henry Hawes died of heart disease in Oakland on May 20, 1922 at the age of 86 years and 12 days. His body was returned to Shasta County and he was buried in the Millville Cemetery next to his first wife, Rebecca. His third wife, Elizabeth, died within a few years of William.
Family links: 
  Michael Haas (1810 - 1878)
  Henrietta Jng Hawes (1834 - 1909)
  Rebecca Elizabeth Foster Hawes (1839 - 1875)*
  Elizabeth Millsaps Newton Hawes (1844 - 1925)*
  John Lincoln Hawes (1863 - 1950)*
  Alice Ellen Hawes Beatie (1865 - 1943)*
  Mary Anis Hawes (1867 - 1873)*
  Henry William Hawes (1870 - 1927)*
  Granville Newton Hawes (1871 - 1942)*
  Daniel Robert Hawes (1875 - 1958)*
  Jacob Charles Hawes (1876 - 1936)*
  William Henry Hawes (1836 - 1922)
  Michael Hawes (1838 - 1911)*
*Calculated relationship
MAY 8, 1836
MAY 20, 1922

Millville Masonic Cemetery
Shasta County
California, USA
Plot: Hawes Family Plot
Maintained by: Kidwell-Money
Originally Created by: Christine Klukkert
Record added: Dec 10, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62764298
William Henry Hawes
Added by: Christine Klukkert
William Henry Hawes
Added by: Christine Klukkert
William Henry Hawes
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Lynda Stitzel
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