Saturday, April 10, 2021


Governor Brown Connects Family Heritage to Williams Roots

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“We spoke with Mother Nature, and she has decided to cooperate,” said Williams Mayor Pat Ash as he introduced Governor Jerry Brown during his last campaign rally held on Saturday, November 1, 2014.

Hundreds gathered for a rare event – the day the Governor came to town.

The clouds departed from the dreary wet morning to a beautiful afternoon as Governor Brown took the stage to give his final remarks and campaign push for the 2014 General Election.

“I am so honored to be able to do my last political rally where my family got started,” said Brown.

Governor Brown is a decedent of Ida Schuckman, daughter to August Schuckman – a major contributor in the development of the Williams township.

A German immigrant, August Schuckman traveled to California in the sweltering heat in during the month of June of 1852. California, a young state and had the promise of riches – a gold rush was taking the state by storm.

For many, Schuckman may have been one of hundreds of thousands who sought the ‘California Dream’ during the gold rush – an insignificant fellow had he not taken part in the development of his newfound homestead, and sired an impressive line of Californians.

Sometime in 1871, Schuckman settled west of the town then called Central. From his original homestead, known as the twenty mile house, Schuckman was given the opportunity to trade his land for another claim.

On that claim was the renowned, Mountain House.

The Mountain House was a popular stage stop on the way to the popular hot springs in the western hills.

Already setup to accept visitors, the opportunity was a dream come true for Schuckman, who’ve always wanted to be an innkeeper. In 1878, Schuckman completed the deal and took residence.

August Schuckman fathered three sons: Gus, Charles, and Frank; and three daughters: Minnie, Emma, and Ida.

Ida were to marry Edmund Joseph Brown and have four children. Their son, Edmund Gerald Brown Sr. would later serve as the 32nd Governor of California from 1959 to 1967.

Edmund Brown Sr. fathered two daughters: Cynthia, Barbara; and a son Edmund Jr.

Today, Edmund “Jerry” Brown Jr. is the current Governor of California. Brown has served two terms as governor, assuming office in 2011 and serving from 1975-1983.

As Ida Schuckman moved on with her life, her brother Frank Schuckman ran the Mountain House with their father.

In 1906, the original mountain house was torn down and replaced.
Frank later went on to construct telephone lines from the town of Williams (formerly Central) to the Mountain House and through Leesville, Bear Valley, Sulphur Creek and Cook Springs. Soon after he formed a telephone company that was later sold to the Colusa County Telephone Company.

During incorporation, the Williams Township was selling bonds to purchase the water rights from C.K. Sweet; with a lack of interest, Frank Schuckman purchased many of the bonds allowing for the city to become incorporated.

Additionally, Frank Schuckman furnished bond money for the construction of the Williams City Hall building that still stands today. It is rumored that Schuckman helped many proprietors and loaned money to many individuals when no one else would. Although very generous, the Schuckman’s were very frugal.

As for the Mountain House, the homestead succumbed to fire in the 1980’s
Returning Home

In 2013, Jerry Brown announced that he would be building a home at the site of the Mountain House.

“We will begin building a house up there,” said Governor Jerry Brown, “A nice quite place where relatives can have Thanksgiving dinner.”

During his research, Governor Jerry Brown has made connections with descendants of the Schuckman Family including Bobbie Jo Seaver, Joyce Godon, Janet Staple, Janita Smith, June O’Sullivan and Pat Schaad.

Although Governor Jerry Brown seeks re-election in the November General Election, he expects to make frequent visits to Colusa County.

“It’s important that we know where we come from f we want to figure out where we’re going,” said Governor Jerry Brown.■

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