Colusa County









      For forty-three years J. D. McNary has been rendering a high type of service to the people of Colusa County as a funeral director and is numbered among the leading business men and influential citizens of his community.  He was born in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, on the 6th of January, 1850, and spent the first twenty-seven years of his life on a farm, receiving his education in the district schools of his home neighborhood.  In 1877 he came to California on one of the earliest trains of the Union Pacific Railroad, six days being required to make the trip.  After a short stay in San Francisco, he arrived in Colusa and soon secured a position as clerk in the Colusa House, the predecessor of the present Riverside Hotel.  Later he engaged in the grain business in connection with Balfour & Guthrie Company.  He was afterward for a short time in the grocery business and in 1887 turned his attention to the furniture and undertaking business.  Subsequently he retired from the furniture business and has since devoted his entire attention to funeral directing.  In this he is an expert and has a well equipped establishment in Colusa, being prepared to give the best possible service to the community.  Thoughtful and considerate, he has gained and retains the appreciative esteem of those who have employed him and he has always commanded his full share of the local business in his line.

      Mr. McNary was united in marriage to Miss Retta Deter, who was born in Yolo County, California, and was reared in Colusa, a member of one of the pioneer families of this section of the valley.  To them have been born five children, all of whom have received good educations, namely:  W. C., who is coroner of Yolo County; Miriam; Verda Rhea, who is a teacher in the public schools of Oakland; Mrs. R. J. Marthy, of Pittsburg, Contra Costa County, California; and J. Deter, who is associated with his father in the undertaking business, under the firm name of J. D. McNary & Son.  The last named was educated in the public schools of Colusa and the University of California, and is now serving his third term as coroner and public administrator of Colusa County.  He conducts a music and radio store in Colusa and is an able and successful business man.  He belongs to the Free and Accepted Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Native Sons of the Golden West, and the Rotary Club.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is superintendent of the Sunday-school.  He married Miss Lillian Capp, who was born in San Francisco, and is an accomplished pianist.  They are the parents of four children, David Capp, Robert Moore, Donald and Nancy.

      J. D. McNary has been active in local public affairs for many years, and served as county coroner and public administrator from 1898 until January, 1923, when he was succeeded by his son John Deter McNary.  He has been a member of the Masonic order for fifty-seven years, having been a Mason in Kentucky in 1873.  In 1881 he demitted to Colusa Lodge, No. 240, of which he is a past master.  He has been a member of the board of stewards of the Methodist Episcopal Church for a half century and for many years was also superintendent of the Sunday-school.  A man of earnest purpose and high ideals, he has so ordered his life that he has enjoyed the genuine esteem of his fellowmen, who have recognized in him one of the community’s most useful and worthy citizens.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 Pages 443-444. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



Golden Nugget Library's Colusa County Biographies

California Statewide

Golden Nugget Library