March 20, 1943 – Mrs. Mabel E. Tomlinson died at her daughter’s home in Monterey at the age of 65. Although she had left Mendocino in 1901, the Beacon noted that “old-time friends here” would remember her maiden name, Mabel Rainey, and be sorry to read of her death.

Mabel was the granddaughter of pioneer residents John and Anna Mann, who lived on a 100-acre ranch east of Mendocino. Mabel spent her childhood in Mendocino, attending the elementary school here, and entering the high school when it was first organized in 1893. For the summer and fall terms, Professor R. Y. Glidden was the only teacher, and high school classes were held at the early-day schoolhouse located near the northeast corner of Lansing and Ukiah Streets. When the spring term began, classes moved into the newly constructed Mendocino High School building, which was torn down in 1948. The high school curriculum at that time was a three-year course.

Studio portrait of teachers standing behind seven graduating high school seniors

The first Mendocino High School Graduating Class of 1896. Standing (L-R) Teachers: Mr. Townsend, Mr. Glidden, Miss Jared. Middle Row: Ernest Shibley, Dave McMurphy, Charles Hargrave, LeForest Phillips, John Byrnes. First Row: Mabel Rainey, Mabel Thompson.

Seven students graduated from the high school in 1896, and Mabel was one of two young ladies in that first class. “The motto of the class of ’96: Venimus, vidimus, vicimus, (we came, we saw, we conquered).” The following year, Mabel received her teaching certificate and began teaching in the local schools.

In 1901, Mabel left Mendocino on the Ukiah stagecoach, destined for Los Angeles. Following John Mann’s death on his ranch in 1903, Anna Mann moved to Stanislaus County to be near her granddaughter. Mabel was married and raising her family in Turlock. Anna died there in 1921, and Mabel continued to live in the area until moving to her daughter’s Monterey home during her final illness.