The collection contains deeds, legal materials, bills, receipts and account books pertaining to and created by the Morehead
Ranch, company and family while in operation and residing within Butte County and Chico. Other materials include notebooks,
diaries and biographical information related to the family. The material dates inclusively from 1859 to 1971, with the bulk
of the material coming between 1859 and 1940.
James Joseph Morehead, born in West Virginia (1828), came to Butte County (California) in 1852. After working as a superintendent
of the Parrott Ranch, he bought land within the original Farwell Grant in 1870, and he also owned land in Tehama County and
Colusa County. Ardenia A. Morehead (née Boydstun), the wife of James, was born in Little Rock (Arkansas) and came to California
in the 1850’s. Their son, James Franklin Morehead, was born on the Parrott Grant February 13, 1870. He attended the Hopkin’s
Academy in Oakland, graduating in 1889. He then attended Heald’s Business College in San Francisco, graduating in 1891. In
1914, James Franklin helped organized and was the first president of the People’s Savings and Commercial Bank. He also built
the Broadway Theater and Park Garage in Chico.