Born: May 10, 1851 in St. Louis, MO Died: February 18, 1899 in San Jose, CA
Father: Samuel W. Harris
Mother: Anne A. Braly
Spouse: William M. Guthrie, born Covington, KY, 1830. Marriage: July 31, 1873 in Weaverville by Judge Lovejoy
9 Children (all born in Trinity County, CA):
Capitola E. aka "Cap" b. 1871-72
Flora Susan aka "Flo" b. 2/4/1875
William aka "Willie" b. 11/21/1875
Ada b. 3/2/1878
Carrie aka "Cad" b. 2/19/1880
Ruth b. 3/10/1882
James Albert aka "Jim, "John"" b. 11/27/1883
Leroy aka "Roy", "Bub" b. 12/3/1885
Violet aka "Toots", "Tootsie" b. 5/2/1888
Susanna Harris was born in Allenton (near St. Louis), MO. Her mother Anne Braly Harris is buried at Allentown. Susanna father,
Samuel W. Harris was an early pioneer landowner to the St. Louis area. He owned a mill, was a carpenter, owned an Inn/Tavern
and ran a Post Office. This was the first post office west of St. Louis and he distributed the mail by rider to Jefferson County by
Hillsboro and Herculaneum. Susanna's mother was the second (and much younger) wife of Samuel Harris and Susanna was
the last child. She was named after her father's younger sister. Susanna was born the same year her father died, so she would
not have known him.
Susanna must have met her future husband William M. Guthrie when he returned to the St. Louis area to settle his father''s
estate in 1870. William's father, James Allen Guthrie, was one of the first early settlers of the St. Louis area and is mentioned in
several histories of the Lawrence County Missouri area. William Guthrie had joined the Gold Rush to California in 1850 and had
been living there since that time. It is unclear if Susanna returned to California with William or traveled separately, but she had
her first child Capitola in Weaverville in 1871 or 72 before they married. She was believed to have been conceived in Missouri
when William was back settling his father's estate. Likely Capitola was born during the winter and her parents could not make
the 20 mile trek in the snow to get married by the nearest JOP. So it is thought that they waited until she was weaned and the
weather was good to make the journey to get married in Weaverville on July 31, 1873 by Judge Lovejoy. By the time Susanna
met William, he was well established at Canon Creek, Trinity County, owning a mine and a sawmill on Canon Creek. In 1872,
he was elected a Supervisor of the 3rd District in Trinity County and served until his death in 1888.
William and Susanna had nine children. Their 1st son, William, died at age two in a tragic drowning accident. His home was the
sawmill on Canon Creek and he apparently escaped the attention of his family and fell into the creek, where he drowned.
William (Jr.) was buried in the MasonicCemetery in Weaverville, a 20 mile trek by wagon. Taking him so far away for burial would
have been an unusual thing for a pioneer family. William M. Guthrie was a Trinity County Supervisor and a Mason of the
Weaverville Lodge. As the owner of a sawmill, he was considered a prosperous man for the area at the time, He must have
been devastated by the loss of his then only son and he erected a magnificent and expensive stone for young William. The large
carved and engraved marble headstone would have cost about $45.00 plus freight from Chico to Weaverville in 1870 when a
miner's wage was $3.00 a day.
William M. Guthrie died in Weaverville on July 20, 1888, after a brief illness of spinal meningitis. William passed away when
Violet was 2 months old. Susanna was left a widow with 8 surviving children to support, including the infant Violet. Running the
sawmill and mine was not possible for a woman with 8 small children, so she was forced to sell the mill and the mine for very
little money. It is believed that William is buried next to his son William in the Weaverville Masonic Cemetery but there is no
separate headstone. It is quite likely that Susanna couldn't afford to erect one. The family remained in Weaverville until
sometime after 1895. Documented by the Trinity Congregational Church Baptism Record Book #1 for July 1, 1895: Baptized by
Rev. L.L. Wirt: Susan Guthrie, Flora Guthrie, Ada Guthrie, Carrie Guthrie and Ruth Guthrie. So despite the fact that William died in
1888, they were still in Weaverville in July 1895. But shortly thereafter she relocated the family to San Francisco where she
hoped to find more opportunity. Susanna died in San Jose, California, in 1899.
William M. Guthrie, Flora Susan (sitting), Capitola (standing), wife Susanna circa 1877
|After William's death (about 1893) L-R:
James Albert, Violet, Susanna, Leroy M.
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