Guy Chaffee Earl, Son-in-Law of J. B. Ford

Charles A. Perkins, left, and Guy Earl, holding rifle, with Chester Ford’s dog, Sport, standing in front of a giant fallen redwood, c. 1900. (Alice Earl Wilder, Alice Earl Wilder Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

On this day in Mendocino history…

June 26, 1935 – Former State Senator Guy C. Earl died at his home in Berkeley of a heart ailment at the age of 74. He was born in Red Bluff in 1861 to Josiah and Adelia (Chaffee) Earl, who were general store merchants. The family’s home and business were destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1872, and the Earls moved to Oakland where their son studied to become a attorney. He also met his future wife there.

On November 15, 1888, Guy Chaffee Earl married Ella Jane Ford, daughter of Jerome B. Ford, a pioneer of Mendocino. Earl worked with Charles A. Perkins in logging on the Southfork of Big River. He also served as a director of the Mendocino Lumber Company and was twice elected to the California State Senate. In addition to a thriving law practice, he founded the Great Western Power Company. He was a regent of the University of California for 32 years, retiring just 5 months before his death.

He was survived by his widow Ella and their four children: Alice, Martha, Elinor, and Guy Jr.

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