Moving West and a new life in California

Samuel Henry Larrabee

Sam was Born September 28, 1874 in Peabody, Massachusetts, Samuel was the third of four children to Hersey D. Larrabee, Jr. and Harriet E. (Tucker) Larrabee. Sam was a farmer and married Mary Alice in the late 1800ís. He worked on a local farm and sold vegetables off a horse drawn cart, until in 1902, Sam & Mary Alice sold everything to pursue his dream of living in California. They arrived in Corning, California on Memorial Day, 1903, having traveled by train with their four children, Irvin, Hazel, Muriel, and Warren, seeking a new life. Sam started a well drilling business and began working towards owning his own farm. After having three more children, Earl, Henry, and Ellen, they bought their first ranch in Clarks Valley west of Willows in 1918. They raised turkeys, sheep and barley. In 1925, he moved his family to the north end of the ranch to a house in Fruto and cattle were added to the operation. In 1931, Sam moved his family to a farm (formerly known as the Conolly Ranch) east of Willows where he first began to grow rice. In 1934, Sam and Mary Alice moved to Willows because there was a water shortage on the Fruto ranch. Mary Alice died in 1938 at the age of 62. The ranch was sold shortly thereafter. Sam had planned on retiring, but after experimenting with home gardening, he bought some rice land south of Willows and went back to growing rice with the help of his four boys. Sam passed away on December 7, 1952 at the age of 77.

Earl Weldon Larrabee
Earl was born on November 3, 1910, in a rural farm house near Corning, California, in southern Tehama County. Earl was the fifth child of Samuel and Mary Alice Larrabee. Earl spent his younger years growing up in Tehama and Glenn Counties, enjoying the life of a child of a father who pursued the worthy enterprise of agriculture. Hunting was a family preoccupation and Earl enjoyed his surroundings. With his surroundings abundant in wildlife, he learned to shoot and shoot well. This was the beginning of the great depression and if you didnít shoot straight, your family may not eat. He worked for his father, Samuel, herding sheep, milking cows, raising turkeys, plowing fields. Earl married Mildred R. Barton in 1934.


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Butte City, CA 95920

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