Titus Hale — Still More Adventures of a Teen-Age Forty-Niner

The flood about used up my capital and my lease of the lot only ran till June 1st so I concluded to abandon pies, cakes and nuts and on March 4th 1850 started for Georgetown; I was at Coloma and saw the Mill where gold was discovered.

We settled at Oregon Canõn. I was thought too young to work with the men, so I hunted up a claim for myself. I made $600 out of my claim, which my Father sent home to my Mother. That was the first money sent home by any of our party.

After digging out our claims at Oregon Canõn we went to Spanish Bar -say in May- we had indifferent success here, later we went to Shirt-tail Canõn, and that trip was a failure.

Autobiography and Reminiscence of Titus Hale, Society of California Pioneers

Titus and his father tried mining in a variety of places. You never could tell where you might strike it rich. They went back to Sacramento, but not for long. They went to Rough and Ready, then Deer Creek, and when they had put together $1500 they left for Missouri. They traveled the Panama route to New Orleans and then up the Mississippi River to St. Louis.

I was not pleased with St. Louis wages, they were too low. The first work I had was a clerk in a wholesale grocery at $10 per month. As I boarded with my employer I had to dress fairly well so I could save but little although my salary was increased to $16 per month after a short time. It required three years for me to save money enough to come back to California.

$10 a month or even $16 must have seemed paltry to a young man who remembered the California goldfields, where a lucky man might find that in a day. Even selling nuts in Sacramento he had made a profit of $10 in one day. So Titus Hale came back to California and made his life here, farming and ranching. He married and raised a family of seven children, and served as president of the Society of California Pioneers.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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