The info posted hear was taken from a book on the history of Colusa Co
and provided by a cousin, Helen Hutsell
and included a bio of John Kyle Weast.
and transcribed by me.
I posted it to this site so others may be able to build on the
the information in their family tree.
COLUSA AND GLENN COUNTIES
John KYLE WEAST
To have lived in one community for more than half a century
is a record equaled by few men in Colusa County; and to have
attained the age of ninety years, and still be in touch with
all the up-to-date movements of one's community, is the lot of but
fewof the sons of men. This is the record of John Kyle Weast,
who was born in Lycoming County, Pa., April 15, 1827. He has
been an eyewitness to all of the wonderful development of
the county since 1866, seeing it develop from a vast cattle
range to , waving grain fields, to be still later brought under more
intensive cultivation. 'The large ranches of the early days have been
split up into smaller tracts; and fruit and dairy interests now
pervade the country, bringing in large revenues to the ranchmen.
Latest of all is the development of rice lands from the sheep
pastures that for years were thought to be worthless. All of this,
and more, has been witnessed by Mr. Weast, now one of the
retired citizens of Colusa County.
Mr. Weast is a descendant of an old pioneer family in America.
His grandfather, Abraham Weast, was born in Tioga County,
N. Y., and married a Miss Mudge, a lady of German
extraction, whose family were represented among the very earliest German
settlers of New 'York ,State. She was a daughter of a
soldier who served in the French and Indian Wars, and in the
Revolutionary struggle, from the Battle of Bunker Hill to the close
of the war. Abraham Weast died in a block house in Pennsylvania.
He had a son Joshua, a native of Tioga County, and by
trade a cabinet-maker, who migrated to Indiana as early as
1834 and settled in Laporte County when that region was in its
primeval condition. He cleared land and improved a farm, on
which he lived for many years; but eventually he came to
California, where be spent his last days. he died at the home of his ,
son, John K. Weast, in Colusa County, when in his
eighty-first year. His wife, Isabella Kyle, was born in Pennsylvania, a
daughter of John Kyle, a farmer. She died in Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Weast
became the parents of four children, of whom John K. was the oldest,
and the only one to settle on the Pacific Coast.
When John K. Weast was a lad of seven years of age, his
parents went to Indiana, and his earliest recollections are
associated with the development there of a raw tract of
land. When he was eighteen, he began working for the farmers
in his section of the county, receiving ten dollars a month
for his services. In 1846 he left Indiana, and went to
Illinois to assist in moving some of his relatives to
McHenry County, passing through the present site of Chicago
when that city was an insignificant town, without visible
indications' of its future greatness. Subsequently he
resumed work in Indiana as a farm hand.
On February 4, 1850, Mr. Weast went to New York, intending
to take ship for California. It was not until March 16 that
he was able to get passage on the boat Georgia for Chagres.
>From there he went up the Chagres River a short distance,
and then walked the remaining distance. twenty-two miles,
across the Isthmus of Panama. It was six weeks and two days
before he could get passage on a steamer there, and
meanwhile expenses were very high. Finally he became a
passenger on the Columbus, which cast anchor in San
Francisco on June 4. Soon after landing he went to the mines
in Eldorado County, and while working there a season he was
a member of the election board during the exciting time of
voting for statehood. His next 1ocation was Kelsey's
Diggings, after which he was at Weaver's Creek, and later on
the Feather River; and still later he went to Downieville.
In December 1851, he went to the Suisun Valley. Abandoning
the precarious occupation of mining, he here took up
agricultural pursuits, making a specialty of raising grain.
Two years later he went to the Sacramento River and took up
what he supposed was government land. He made v valuable
improvements on the property and tilled the soil assiduously
for the following nine years, only to discover that the
property was part of a land grant, and that he must lose it.
The experience was discouraging; but soon afterwards, in
1866, he settled on a ranch lying seven miles north of
Colusa, where for many years he tilled the soil, meeting
with a fair degree of success. He became the owner of some
three hundred twenty-three acres in his home place, and of a
tract of one hundred fifty-two acres located not far
distant. This entire property he devoted to the raising of
cattle, hogs, grain and alfalfa. He cleared the land from
the thick growth of timber that grew along the river, and
during the winter of 1867-1868 superintended the cutting of
two thousand cords of wood, which he sold to the steamboats
that were running on the river at that time. When the stumps
were removed and burned, he found himself the possessor of
as fine a tract of land as could be found anywhere in the
state. Besides this land he bought a ranch of one hundred
sixty acres in Modoc County, located in the Little Hot
In September, 1913, Mr. Weast sold his ranch on the
Sacramento River and spent a few months in Modoc County; but
he returned to a place near Colusa to spend the winter. In
the spring of 1914 he bought the ranch upon which he now
resides, which consists of seven hundred twenty acres in the
Antelope Valley. He moved onto it; and with the aid of his
son, Byron, who is managing the place, he here is raising
cattle, sheep, hogs and grain.
The marriage of Mr. Weast was celebrated in Colusa County on
August 93, 1866, when he was united with )Margaret Day, a
native of Illinois, a daughter of Nathaniel and Rhoby
(Green) Day, natives of Maine and New York, respectively. In
1855 the Day family crossed the plains from Illinois to
California and settled, first, in Colusa County, but later
moved to Modoc County, where both Mr. and Mrs. Day died, the
former at the age of ninety-three years. In the family of
Mr. and Mrs. Weast there were eight children: , Walter H.,
now in Shasta County; Henry, who died at the age of two and
a half years; Rhoby, who married Charles Coleman, and died,
leaving four children; Rachel, Mrs. Lampier of Colusa. the
mother of seven children; Arthur, a farmer near Glenn, who
has nine children; Mary J., who died, aged six years; Flora,
Mrs. Yates, who has four children and who, with her husband,
is on the home ranch; and Byron, manager of the home place.
Mr. and Mrs. Weast have twenty-seven grandchildren and three
great-grandchildren. Mrs. Weast is a good manager, and has
been a most able assistant to her husband. They are liberal
supporters of all progressive movements, are hospitable and
open-hearted, and are enjoying life to the full among the
many friends they have made during their long years of
residence in Colusa County.
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