A line of men standing outside at a lumber mill, with trees and buildings in background

Big River Mill Crew, 1910. Cropped from a framed panoramic photograph of the Mendocino Lumber Company employees at Big River. The cookhouse is the building on the far right. Left to Right: Russell Anderson, John Larson, unidentified, unidentified, Ted Hanson, Frank Pacheco, Joe Brown, Charlie Escola, Louie Larsen, Joe Caroll, Frank Corria, Joe King Sr., Tony Fraga, John Silveria, Arthur Mathews Silva, Sam Bever, Frank Gonsalves, Bob Bever, Manuel Andre, Hercules Silva, “Big Boss” Charlie Knight. Standing behind Charlie Escola: Del Cole.

May 3, 1920 – Mill Superintendent Charles Knight was buried in Evergreen Cemetery. He had unexpectedly died three days earlier from an internal hemorrhage.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1860, Charles came to California with his parents when he was 15 years old. According to the Beacon, he “soon located at Schooner Gulch on the south coast of this county, where he began work in a lumber mill. From there he went to Gualala where he remained for nineteen years, gradually working himself up until he took over the position of mill foreman. Leaving Gualala, he was employed for a period at Del Mar, and later at Greenwood, from which place he came to Mendocino to take charge of the mill.” At the time of his death, Charles had been the Mendocino Mill Superintendent for over 10 years.

“He was a thorough mill man of advanced ideas and was instrumental in making the local plant one of the most modern on this coast. He was considerate of those employed under him and held the respect and regard of the men to a marked degree.”

When the sad news of his death arrived, the mill and lumber yards were shut down for the day in his memory. “The men felt in no mood to continue their labors when one whom they had been so long associated with and whom they so thoroughly liked and so highly regarded was no more.”

Charles was survived by his wife Katherine; daughter Gladys Harris of Bakersfield; sons, Chester of San Pedro and Laurence, a student at the University of California; and a brother Hillis of Berkeley.

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