WILLIAM HENRY CAIN
Among the competent business men of Colusa county is William Henry Cain, a man of sound judgment, an able financier, and an authority on the value of securities. A son of the late John B. Cain, he was born October 11, 1856, near Platte City, Mo., coming from honored ancestry, the Cain family being closely related to the Burnett family of Missouri. His grandfather, Robert Cain, a Virginian by birth and breeding, served in the war of 1812. He subsequently moved from the Old Dominion to Kentucky, from there going in 1820 to Missouri, where he was one of the original settlers of the Platte Purchase.
Born in Kentucky in 1816, John B. Cain was but four years of age when his parents removed to Platte county, Mo., where he was reared. Becoming a farmer from choice, he also embarked in other enterprises, for several years buying supplies for the government, and furnishing Fort Leavenworth with provisions, ammunition and other necessaries. His farm was but eleven miles from the fort, on the east, and this he entered while it was yet a wilderness. Having cleared land from the brush, he erected the first cabin in Leavenworth, and subsequently bought land in large tracts and divided that into lots, which he sold at an advance, making considerable money as a dealer in real estate. He ran the first ferry at Fort Leavenworth, and during the Civil war had an official permit to keep arms in his house. Coming to Colusa county in 1875, he settled in College City, and until his death, in 1880, at the age of sixty-five years, was engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was active in the Democratic ranks, and for a number of terms served as justice of the peace, while in Missouri. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and belonged to the Baptist Church. He married Martha Bevins, who was born in North Carolina, but was brought up in Clay county, Mo., where her father was a pioneer settler. She died in Pine City, Wash., in 1904, at the venerable age of eighty-one years. She bore her husband fourteen children, ten of whom grew to years of maturity, and six are now living, William Henry, the subject of this sketch, being the youngest son and the only one now a resident of California.
Until eighteen years of age William Henry Cain, resided in his native county, acquiring his preliminary education in the common schools, and completing his studies in the high school at St. Joseph. Coming to College City in 1875, he attended Pierce Christian College two years, and then embarked in agricultural pursuits with his brothers, operating two thousand acres of land on the Pratt grant, near Chico, for four years, at the same time having control of the Wohlfrom ranch, south of College City. Leaving his brothers then, Mr. Cain assumed the entire charge of the Wohlfrom ranch of seven hundred and twenty acres, lying three miles south of College City, and has since retained its management. During the twenty-seven years that have since elapsed he has made improvements of great value, having now one of the finest grain and stock farms in the county. He makes a specialty of raising wheat and barley, in his operations running two eight-mule teams. A man of unerring judgment in financial matters, Mr. Cain was one of the organizers of the Bank of Arbuckle in 1901, being a member of the finance committee, and since its organization has been one of its directors.
On Grand Island, June 15, 1882, Mr. Cain married Katie Alexander, who was born in Missouri, and came to California with her father, the late Robert Alexander, in 1874. Three children blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cain, namely: Leverrier, the eldest child, who died March 15, 1903, aged eighteen years; Una and Zuma. Politically Mr. Cain is a straightforward Democrat, and for two years served as deputy assessor under W. A. Durham. Fraternally he was made a Mason in Meridian Lodge No. 182, F. & A. M., and is now a member of Arbuckle Lodge; he also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows: to the Ancient Order of United Workmen; and both he and Mrs. Cain belong to the Order of the Eastern Star.
Source: "History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sacramento Valley, Cal.," J. M. Guinn, Page 551. The Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1906.
© 2017 Joyce Rugeroni.