10 Aug 1813 - 28 Sep 1881

Father: David BEAVER
Mother: Anne STRICKLER

Family 1 : Lurana Elizabeth COCKRILL

  1. +James William BEAVER
  2. +Rebecca Ann BEAVER
  3. +Amanda Jane BEAVER
  4. +Nancy Emina BEAVER
  5. +John Henry BEAVER
  6. +Francis Marion BEAVER
  7. +Emma Frances BEAVER
  8. +Oscar Anderson BEAVER

                   _Conrad BEAVER ______|
                  |                     |__________________
 _David BEAVER ___|
|                 |                      __________________
|                 |_Mary Jane KNEISSLY _|
|                                       |__________________
|--Henry BEAVER 
|                                        _Jacob STRICKLER _+
|                  _John STRICKLER _____|
|                 |                     |_Nancy KAUFFMAN __+
                  |                      _Henry BRUMBACK, Jr. __
                  |_Barbara BRUMBACK ___|
                                        |_Mary GRAFF____________


Copy from Jeanne Miller and Ross Williams Copied from Ross Williams

Henry Beaver
Both photos appear to have been taken at the same time (c. 1870's)


Though not related to the Cockrill line except by marriage, Henry Beaver is a key figure in the story of the Santa Rosa Cockrills. Relegated to survive by farming like most individuals of his time, he was by temperament, a man with many skills. Though as fate would have it, he also had an inordinate amount of bad luck in maintaining financial security outside of farming. As his direct descendant, Ross Williams has pointed out to me, "Henry was a farmer who hated farming!" Always looking for another way to make a living and support his large extended family, he moved around most of his life, rarely staying anywhere more than half a dozen years. Often supporting and coming to the aid of his in-laws, locating the various places where this intrinsically intriguing individual lived throughout the state of California, has been a significant key in locating several other Cockrill family members after they left Santa Rosa.

Some of the family information used here was originally derived from a Beaver Family Bible which appears to have belonged to his son, Francis Marion Beaver. The Santa Rosa historian, Jeanne Miller, had been fascinated by Henry's life for years and had constructed a Beaver family genealogy from a number of family informants, including Henry's granddaughter, Genevieve (Beaver) Apperson. Many of these informants held the undocumented belief that Henry's father was a Jacob Beaver. There are also several documents in Jeanne's papers where his name is listed as Henry S. Beaver or Henry Stephens Beaver. In some of the documentation believed to have been derived from Genevieve, it lists her brother as Henry Stevens Beaver, and this may have been applied to his father. Whatever is the case, we have been unable to locate a middle name for the elder Beaver in this form in any other public document. Some more recent Beaver Family researchers have also taken issue that this was indeed ever his name.

In much of the genealogy presented here, the Beaver family names, their spellings used here, and their connections to one another, has been derived from the research of Ross Williams. Linking Henry to David is not without its documentation problems and mysteries (see material under David Beaver and Jacob Beaver) since his name only appears on an early family deed, and not in any of the published histories about his father or on any of the documents found concerning the disposition of his father's estate (he was 12 when his father died, and his twin sister, Nancy, is mentioned in these documents). Whatever may be the answer to this ommision, it is Ross Williams' belief that Henry had left Beaver Run in Licking County, Ohio by 1839 and was either on the road or living in Missouri by that time. Though it is implied in some histories that he met the Cockrill's in Kentucky, it is doubtful that he ever traveled there. The Cockrill family had moved to Kentucky to Pleasant Gap, Missouri by 1838 according to the Mary Peck letter, though it is not clear if Henry first met the family there, along the road, or through a family associate (such as the Weddle family, as Ross has suggested).

Whatever the case, Henry is listed in the 1850 Census for Bates Co., MO, living in District No. 6, dwelling #255, as Henry Beaver, age 36, a farmer & blacksmith born in Ohio. Enumerated with Luruna (a. 29, bp. KY), James (a. 9, bp. MO), Rebecca (a. 7, bp. MO), Amanda (a. 5, bp. MO), Nancy (a. 3, bp MO), and John (a. 1, bp. MO). John Blackburn's family is listed living in dwelling #258.


Slide from Jeanne Miller


During the 1849 Gold Rush, Henry came out West with his brother-in-laws, James Cockrill, and William Hagans. Henry could be listed living by himself in the 1852 California Census for Siskiyou County. The Henry Beaver of that record, is listed as being 39 years old, born in Missouri as well as coming from Missouri.

Our Henry returned to Pleasant Gap at least once. It was believed that he was a member of James Cockrill's 1851 wagon train but had to return to Pleasant Gap after having problems with the flock of sheep they had intended to bring to California. However, in Ellender Claypool's recounting of the trip, she states that her father's "partner" who returned with the sheep was killed the next year by Indians. However, Henry was a participant and probably an organizer of the 1853 Hagans-Cockrill immigration to Santa Rosa. There is mention that at one point Henry had to go back 200 miles to get a doctor for Lurana.

When Henry arrived in Santa Rosa, he took up residence on the land which James Cockrill had settled upon earlier (and to which he had probably had made some prior arrangement to share before James suddenly died). Henry bought this land from James' widow and then proceeded to build a house from bricks which he made from the surrounding clay and stone. It was the first brick residence in the city and later became known as the Beaver House.


From Resources of Santa Rosa Valley and the Town of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, by R. A. Thompson (Santa Rosa, 1884), pp. 60-61, it is mentioned that a "H. Beaver" started a blacksmith shop and had dwellings in Franklin Town by 1853 (See material for S. T. Coulter).

From Santa Rosa: A 19th Century Town, p. 20:

Henry Beaver arrived from Bates County, Missouri, in the Cockrill-Hagans wagon train which brought many new settlers to the valley. He opened a blacksmith shop and doubled and tripled as the village well-digger and brick maker.



Considering his many occupations, Ross Williams has pointed out to me, "Henry Beaver was a farmer who oviously didn't like farming!"

From the The Sonoma County Democrat, (Vol. 2 #5), 18 November 1858:


CHANGES. -- We learn that Davis & Bros. have sold out their stock of groceries, provisions, &c., on Main street, and have retired from business.

Henry Beaver, who is well known to the citizens of this place takes his place.



From Sonoma County Deed Index:

Grantee -- Henry Beaver:
Grantor Instrument/Date Book Page Note
Case, J. M. & Wife Deed Nov 2 1854 K 159 ..in the sum of six hundred dollars lawful money... Shall within six months after a Patient issued form the United States Government to Julio Carrillo the original claimant... the North West quarter or 40 acres of a piece of land formerly purchased of Julio Carrillo by James A. Cockrill, Mary M. Case his wife, containing one hundred and sixty acres of land and no more & bounded and described as follows: commencing at a white oat about half mile from the Santa Rosa Creek on the North Western line of the land of Oliver Boulio thence Northward along said Boulio's said line on half mile -- thence westerly one half mile thence Southwardly one half mile -- thence easterly one half mile to the place of beginning.
Myers, D. D. & Wife Deed Dec 6 1854 K 163 Same details and price as above except that it is for the South West quarter of James A. Cockrill's former holding
Williamson, Jas & Wife Deed Dec 16 1859 9 559  
Carrillo, Julio Deed Jun 5 1855 N 273 ...in consideration of the sum of nineteen hundred and twenty dollars... To contain one hundred and sixty acres of land and no more...The complete 160 acre parcel that had belonged to James A. Cockrill
Grantee -- Henry Beaver, J. Barris, et al:
Grantor Instrument/Date Book Page  
Scott, Erastus Deed Oct 7 1859 9 339  
Grantor -- Henry Beaver & Wife:
Grantee Instrument/Date Book Page  
Wilson, H. Deed Jul 22 1859 9 71  
Wilson, Henderson Deed Oct 31 1860 11 112  
Hannath, Chase J. Deed Nov 17 1860 11 139  
Hannath, C. J. Deed Mar 8 1861 11 522  
Grantor -- Henry Beaver & Wife, et al by Ellis, J. J. Shff. (sheriff sale):
Grantee Instrument/Date Book Page Note
Hannath, C. J. Deed Feb 20 1862 12 606 There is a Decree of Foreclosure of Mortgage & Order of Sale from April 18, 1861, with a Jonathan Peel as Plaintiff, and against Henry Beaver, Susanna Beaver, W. Wilson, Jeremiah Ridgway, William Taafe, John O. Landers, Adam T. Green, and Charles S. Wood.
C. J. Hannath, was a San Francisco based real-estate speculator, who had also owned the property upon which Obediah Hoag's house was built upon.


This last deed appears to be the result of a Sheriff's Sale from the year before. It is indicated that this parcel is separate though adjacent to the 160 acres upon which Henry Beaver built his farm. Since other investors are named it is perhaps land that had been part of the old town of Franklin. It is also curious that Henry's wife is lists as Susan, since there appears to have been a Susan Beaver, whose relationship to Henry, if any, is unknown at this time.

From the The Sonoma County Democrat, (Vol. IV #27), 18 April 1861, p. 4:


By virtue of a Decree of Foreclosure of Mortgage and Order of Sale, issued out of and under the seal of the District Court of the 7th Judicial District in and for the County of Sonoma and State of California, in an action of Jonathan Peel, plaintiff, and against Henry Beaver, and Susan<sic> Beaver, his wife, H. Wilson, Jeremiah Ridgway, William Taffe, John O. Landers, Adam T. Green, and Charles Wood, defendants, duly attested on the 23th day of March, A. D. 1861, and to me directed, I am commanded to sell, all and singular, the following described property, or so much thereof as may be sufficient to satisfy the amount due the plaintiff for principal, interest and cost, and expenses of sale, and which may be sold without material injury to the parties interested to with: Commencing at the south east corner of a tract of land heretofore sold by one Jullio Carrillo, to Henry Beaver, by deed dated June 5, 1855, and recorded in Book N of Deeds Sonoma county Records, on page 273, to which reference is made as a part of this description; thence running westerly along the southern boundary line of said tract conveyed to Henry Beaver by the said Julio Carrillo, thirty (30) chs; thence at right angles northerly sixteen and sixty-seven hundred and <?> chs; thence at right angles easterly thirty (30) chs; thence southerly to the place of beginning, containing about fifty acres..

NOTICE is hereby given, that, on Saturday the 20th day of April, A. D. 1861, at the hour of 12 o'clock, M.<sic>, in front of the Court House Door, in the Town of Santa Rosa, and county of Sonoma, I will in pursuance of said decree and order of sale, as made and provided, sell all the above described property to the highest bidder for cash.
Santa Rosa, March 26, 1861.

J. J. ELLIS, Sheriff

of Sonoma County



In the Federal Land Patent Deed Index for Sonoma County, a Henry Beaver is listed as recording Patent #3016 for land at Township 8 North Range, Number 10 West, Section 32 on 5 Oct 1871. This is however, with little doubt, another Henry Beaver. There is a Henry Beaver who shows up in the 1870 Census for Sonoma County as being 45 year old farmer born in Virginia, married to a 40 year old Mary J., from Indiana with 5 children, and appearing to have come to California some time between 1860-1865. This would therefore indicate that there is no family relationship between the two.


From Bonds of Guardianship - Sonoma County 1851-1907 (Sonoma County Genealogical Society, n. d.), p. 58:

  MINOR: Freeland, Albert Clark PRINCIPAL: Freeland, Nancy M. SURETY: Rupell, A. W.; Beaver, Henry; Carrillo, Julio; Treadway, R. M.; Treadway, G. Date of agreement: 8 June 1858 Probate court# 177  


From Bonds of Guardianship, p. 74:

  MINOR: Holloway, Henrietta PRINCIPAL: Holloway, Lyscomb C. SURETY: Beaver, Henry; Myers, Dudley. Date of agreement: 22 Nov 1858 Probate court# 129.  


It is unclear at this time, who these individuals were or the story behind this.




Henry Beaver was a member and messenger of the Santa Rosa Church of Old School Baptists. This was one of the churches founded in about 1859 by Elder Thomas H. Owen in California. Henry's father was a founder of the Licking Primitive Baptist Church in Ohio. Henry's father-in-law, Anderson Cockrill, was also a messenger of the Santa Rosa church.


It is Jeanne Miller's belief, that Henry had lost his Santa Rosa property during the William Buster embezzlement scandal. With his brick making, well-digging, and blacksmith shop, Henry was involved in building a number of the buildings in Franklin and Santa Rosa. It is probable that he could have borrowed money from Buster to expand his construction business. Buster had loaned money to several Santa Rosa residents using money entrusted to him as County Treasurer. With the calling in of loans after Buster was found out, Henry appears to have defaulted on his debts.

According to Jeanne Miller, his property was sold in a sheriff sale. Besides the 18 April 1861 sheriff's sale listed above, a Beaver, H. et al appears in the index to Judgments in Sonoma County Courts, as being in debt to a Webster, H. H. and the judgment was recorded in Book P, Page 92 in 1861 (two other large groups of debtors are listed as having judgments against them by Webster, H & Co. at the same time as Henry's). Though I have yet to find this particular record or if there is a particular deed transfer or sheriff sale associated to it. I have found an announcement of a sheriff's sale of two lots in "downtown" Santa Rosa and co-owned by James and Mary Case, from whom Henry had bought the property of his deceased partner, James A. Cockrill. Also listed as co-owners of the two downtown lots is William A. Buster, the soon-to-be convicted embezzler, and James E. Crane, assumed to be the husband of Lucy Margaret Beaver, who is also related to Henry in some way.


Sonoma Democrat, 31 Dec 1857
  Ad from The Sonoma Democrat (Vol. 1 #11), 31 December 1857.  

Sonoma Democrat, 2 Feb 1858
  Ad from The Sonoma Democrat (Vol. 1 #16), 4 Febuary 1858.  


What ever the situation which had come about, it is indicated from the ad above, that Henry wanted to "change his occupation" and sale his farm at least by December of 1857. The street upon which Henry built his brick house and the property which James A. Cockrill had first settled in 1852, has since become known as Beaver Street, indelibly connecting Henry's name to Santa Rosa from that time on.

Jeanne Miller was the last owner of Henry Beaver's House in Santa Rosa. It was knocked off its foundation by an earthquake in 1969 (as it was in 1857). Subsequently, it was razed rather then repaired, in keeping with the urban planning philosophy of the times, and one of the oldest and most unique buildings in Santa Rosa became replaced with some rather uninspired and insipid apartments.


The 160 acres which Henry had bought from James Cockrill's widow, were also the subject of two bitter lawsuits in 1866, filed on behalf of his wife's niece, Ellender Claypool by her husband, after Henry had moved away from the area. The suits are complex and tedious to read and it appears they were never resolved in the courts. One wonders what the story was which led up to such a rancorous situation.

There was a James Beaver mentioned as living in San Jose during the time of the Claypool lawsuit in 1866, though it is unknown if this might be Henry's son, James William Beaver.

Henry had moved his family down to Santa Clara County around 1859 before his business dealing in Sonoma County were completed. His in-laws, Anderson and Rebecca Cockrill, appear to have also moved with him to live with his family. Anderson Cockrill is listed as having died in the San Jose, 27 October 1861 according to family records. It appears that Henry owned no property in Santa Clara County, but there are records showing that at least two of his daughter's married there (in 1861 and 1865) as well as a son (1867). It is quite possible that there might be more official records about Henry's family in the Santa Clara County which have not been found yet. As of present however, I have not been able to find any other Santa Clara County record, local history or newspaper article from the 1860's which would indicate that Henry Beaver and his family had ever lived in the county. It is likely however, that Henry's family lived on the southern edge of Santa Clara County near Gilroy.

Jeanne Miller and Ross Williams (following family stories) believe that Henry Beaver worked for Henry Miller, as a handy-man or a foreman. Miller was engaged in the wholesale butchering business in Gilroy and had been in partnership since 1863 with Charles Lux. Together the pair eventually owned the largest cattle raising operation in the world which took up 750,000 acres, eleven counties, and the states of California, Nevada, and Oregon by the time Lux passed away in 1887. Henry Beaver is thought to have worked for Miller and Lux by reason that he ended up living in places where they had their vast cattle-ranching operation. Starting from about 1863, Henry Miller and his family lived about 3 miles away from the town of Gilroy in Santa Clara County, on the "Bloomfield Farm" (named by a previous owner). Miller died in 1916 and is buried on the farm along with members of his family. His vast holdings in property and water rights had a lasting effect on California politics for years after his death.


The Beaver family moved to the Salinas area around 1866 and homesteaded some land there (Federal Land Patent #1585).

I have not been able to find an 1860 Census record for Henry Beaver. However, the 1870 Census record for Monterey Co, lists Henry Beaver living in dwelling #241 in Alizal (Alisal) Township (Post Office Salinas), as a farmer born in Ohio, whose estate is worth $3600 and personal wealth is $2260. He is enumerated with Lureania, age 50, b. KY, and "keeping house;" John H., age 21, b. MO. "at home;" F. M., age 18, b. MO; Emma F., age 15, b. CA, and Oscar F., age 13, b. CA.

In the same census, Robert and Margretta McGlashan family (whose son Andrew later married Henry's daughter Emma Frances) is listed in dwelling #240, Thomas and Martha Guthridge (connection to John Guthridge?) in dwelling #238; Henry's son James (J. W.) and his family (along with James' grandmother, Rebecca) is listed in dwelling #242; and E. R. and E. W. Fancuf (Edward R. Faneuf who had married Henry's daughter, Nancy Emina -- the age of E. W. matches the birth date of Nancy Emina Beaver).

Lurana's two nephews, R. B. Cockrill and C. M. Cockrill, are also listed in the same township, in dwellings #307 and #308 respectively.

Henry was believed to have taken care of the Cockrill family members who members who had fallen on hard times. Henry looked after his aged in-laws as well as the children of his wife's brother, Harrison, who had died in 1857. The Beaver household in Salinas was said to have also provided a haven for single Cockrill women according to some fragmentary Cockrill Family stories. Indeed, several Cockrill family members did end up in that area and some of their descendants still live there today. Whether the two families moved from Sonoma County at the same time or that Henry Harrison's sons followed Henry to the county is not known at this time. It is said that Henry Beaver's mother-in-law, Rebecca (Venable) Cockrill, died in his home in Salinas in 1872. She is listed in the 1870 Census as living in the Alisal Township with James Beaver's family, Henry's son, who was living next door to Henry and the rest of his family. It has been said in these old stories related to me by Dr. John Baker, that at least two other single "Cockrill women," Mary Mark Case (divorced 1887) and Ruhana Grant (separated 1884) may have stayed with the Beavers after separating from their husbands, however, Henry Beaver and his family, had moved away before the 1880's. Henry's daughter, Nancy and her family, appear to have stayed behind in Monterey county while the rest of her siblings moved on with Henry. The existence of the family record "Information Concerning the Family of Mrs. Jesse Bardin as told to Winifred Readmiller by Nancy Mattocks" indicates contact between the Alizal Beavers and the Arroyo Seco Cockrills to have continued to exist long after the majority of the Beaver family had left the county.

Henry moved the family near Fresno for a short time and then moved to Lemoore in Kings County were they established a farm. Henry is believed to have built another house there with the aid of his son, James. Most, of Henry's and Lurana's children moved and lived nearby their parents, and this was the final residence for both Henry and Lurana.


Copied from Ross Williams

Copied from Ross Williams

This house was replaced by another (a photograph of it is available on Geraldine McGlashan's page).


There is a Beaver family plot in the Lemoore Cemetery where Henry, Lurana, and several of their children lay buried. Henry's death is listed as September 28, 1881 in the family Bible, yet his stone lists the date as September 23, 1881.


Photo from Ross Williams   Photo from Ross Williams


There were other Beavers associated with the Cockrill family and members of the 1853 Cockrill-Hagans whose connection to Henry is not exactly known at this time. These include David, Mary Elizabeth, and Lucy Margaret Beaver who are believed by Jeanne Miller and her collaborator at the time, Janice Patterson, to be Henry's nieces and nephews. Their father being Jacob Beaver, who lived in the same area as Henry did in Bates County in 1850. Since Jacob does not appear on the assumed list of Henry's sibling, it is unclear at this time how Henry and Jacob are related. Also, if Jacob was indeed a brother or some other close relative of Henry's, that this Jacob (and his wife) passed away sometime between 1850 and 1853, and Henry took his children to California.

There was also a Thomas and Susan Beaver mentioned in connection with this family who were on the 1853 Cockrill-Hagans Wagon Train, but we do not have a clear idea what the connection to Henry is at this time. Susan is assumed to be the same Susanna Beaver listed in the "Decree of Foreclosure of Mortgage & Order of Sale" mentioned above. Susan was Thomas Beaver's widow and she married a William Ray, who was known as an indian fighter and had fought indians in Humboldt County, California. He was also a veteran of the Mexican War and the Black Hawk War (like the Hagans brothers). According to an 1881 local history he was an assistant agent on the Noyo River Indian Reservation.



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This page created on 02/05/01 16:08. Updated 07/17/05 12:36.