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Footprints: Daniel Finch's continuing saga

Joseph McVay, one of Hutson's sons had gone on ahead of the party and met up with the wagon train in Nevada with a wagon load of food. Hutson led the wagon train all the way to . They came down over Low Divide. The wagons had to be dismantled and packed over the coastal range. It was an arduous trip, but a new beginning.

Finch marries Gray

Daniel Finch grew up with his brothers and sister and half-brothers and sisters in Smith River and at Chetco.

As a young man Daniel Finch operated the railroad to the Hobbs, Wall and Company logging camp.

Then Daniel worked in general stores in the Smith River Valley and at Chetco. He became a partner in a general store at Smith River with Joseph McVay. Later he was in a partnership with Henry Symonds.

In 1880 Daniel went to San Francisco to study accounting, law, and surveying. Daniel returned to Del Norte County in early 1887. Daniel Wesley Finch married Bell Inda Gray on April 13, 1877 at Smith River. Bell was the daughter of Loftus and Mary Gray.

Daniel and Bell homesteaded an the South Fork of the Winchuck River. A few years later they move to Smith River. Daniel taught school in various districts in Del Norte County. He taught the longest at the Bradford School in Smith River.

Daniel and Bell had six children, three sons and three daughters. Their youngest son Volney was born August 24, 1892.

Finch an active citizen

Daniel was also very active in community life and politics. He was Justice of the Peace in Smith River from 1890 to 1892. In 1893 he was Deputy County Clerk as well as the editor of the Crescent City News. He was very prosperous and well liked by all.

Daniel Finch was very enterprising and diverse in his financial operations. He owned a schooner which operated between the mouth of the Smith River and San Francisco. He also owned the Valley Hotel and Livery Stable in Smith River.

Then Daniel sold all of his holdings and moved his family to Seattle, Washington. He wanted his children to continue their education at a level which he felt they could not do in Del Norte County.

After the move Daniel operated a store and meat market in Seattle for a year or so and then returned to his first love, education. He spent 15 years in positions of principal and superintendent in both Seattle and the Tacoma, Washington suburbs. After his children were grown he returned to Del Norte County.

When Daniel Finch returned to Del Norte County he taught school at Klamath until he retired in 1927.

Reach David Gray, a Del Norte Historical Society volunteer, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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