Lorenzo Irish


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Lorenzo Irish and Eveline Anville [Knight] Irish

- Testimony by Great-Granddaughter, Hollis Gilliam Dreier

Lorenzo Irish was a Civil War Veteran of the Grand Army Republic Company, a 9th M.E. Infantry—Regiment of Maine Volunteers—Commanded by Colonel Granger.

Lorenzo and three brothers enrolled as privates in the Union Army on October 5, 1864, at Augusta, Maine.  Lorenzo’s twin brother, Alonzo, was one of the three.  Alonzo died at the age of 22 years, April 27, 1865, while he was still in the service.  He was buried at National Cemetary, David Island, New York.  Lorenzo was honorably discharged from the Army, July 5, 1865, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Three years later, he married Eveline Anville Knight on October 17th, 1868, at Peru, Oxford county, Maine, by Asa F. Hutchinson, Minister.  They moved to Gencoe, McLoad county, Minnesota for nine years where their first two children were born (Nina and Carroll).  In 1877, they moved to Georgetown, El Dorado county, California. Lorenzo’s brother, Charles, was living there.  Lorenzo bought 155 acres and became a farmer in El Dorado county, where they lived for eleven years.  Their third child, Clarence, was born on March 8, 1883.

In 1889, they moved to Tehama county, California.  Eveline’s brother, Daniel, was living in Tehama county at that time.  Lorenzo acquired a homestead of 240 acres west of Red Bluff on Oat Creek in the Red Bank District.  It was a dry farm, with milk cows and other animals.  He planted hay and grain for his animals.  Eveline would make butter from the milk and sell it to her steady customers in town.

The refrigerator was a frame with barley sacks covering it.  A pan with a small hole was placed on top and filled with water.  That would keep the sack wet and the breeze made it cool.  This was how they kept their eggs and milk cool.  There wasn’t any electricity in the county in those days.  Traveling was by horse and buggy or wagon.

Their youngest son, Clarence, was kicked in the stomach by a horse when he was 12 years old.  It was on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1895, and he passed away the next day from internal hemorrhage.

Lorenzo’s health started to fail and he was unable to do his work.  He put in for his pension, May 14, 1901.  He moved to town about 1908-1910.  They bought a lot in Red Bluff at 1364 Walbridge Street.  Lorenzo had a house, barn, and pump house built.  The barn was on the northwest corner and the pump house and well on the northeast corner of the lot.  The city water was not pumped that distance at the time.  Lorenzo died March 20, 1918.  His death certificate stated that he suffered from deafness, disease of rectum, numbness of right leg and side, general senility, catarrh rheumatism and infection of the heart.  He was 55 years old.

The house is still there (1996), but had been remodeled.  The barn and pump house were torn down when their grandson Jim Gilliam bought the place.  By 1929, the city had water piped out to this area.  Jim Gilliam built a garage, storeroom, and a woodshed in its place.  The garage, storeroom, and woodshed burned down after 1951.

Eveline continued to live at 1364 Walbridge Street until 1928, when she sold the place to her grandson, James C. Gilliam.  Eveline lost her eyesight.  Her son, Carroll Irish, took her out to the ranch to live with his family.  She passed away the summer of 1930.  Eveline had been a school teacher.  She was also a good seamstress, making their clothes, quilting, and crochet and knitting.

Eveline A. [Knight] Irish was 5’ 3 ˝” tall and light complexion.  She was one of three children along with her two brothers (Audrey Mellen and Daniel Knight).  Her parents were Nathaniel Knight and Columbia America [Swett] Knight.  Her brother Daniel moved back to Hector, Minnesota, then to Webster, South Dakota where is second wife passed away leaving two sons.  He remarried the third time and had one more son. Daniel was a successful sheep rancher.

Lorenzo Irish was 5’ 6” tall, light complexion and blue eyes with dark hair.  He was one of eight children, two sisters and five brothers.  Their parents were Freeman Irish and Alemeda [Rowe] Irish.  Lorenzo, Eveline, and Clarence are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetary, Red Bluff, Tehama county, California.

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Last modified: 02/21/09