El Dorado County









      L. E. Brownell, of Orland, one of the leading and prosperous sheep men and ranchers of northern California, is part owner of the noted Brownell sheep and stock ranch of fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty acres in Glenn County, where seven thousand sheep are now being run, as well as cattle and hogs.  Mr. Brownell is a native son, and is following faithfully the traditions and honoring the reputation of his father, who established the ranch, which his two sons now operate so successfully.

      L. E. Brownell was born at Placerville, then known as Hangtown, California, August 30, 1862, a son of Irving Woodbridge and Lois Rosetta (Smith) Brownell.  The father was born in Massachusetts, and came overland to California in the historic year of 1849, while his wife came in 1861.  He crossed the plains three times, in 1849, 1852, and 1854.  He engaged in mining for a brief period, then in partnership with others went into Yolo county, purchased land, and embarked in the stock business, which he followed successfully throughout his life, raising both cattle and sheep.  His first location was in Colusa county, but when county boundaries were rearranged a part of Colusa became Glenn county, and in the new division his home was located.  Irving W. Brownell died November 22, 1900, at which time he was the owner of twelve thousand acres of land, located on Stony Creek in Glenn county, which tract, is now operated by his two sons, L. E. and Roscoe Hamilton Brownell.  Mrs. Brownell died March 3, 1930, at the venerable age of eight-nine years.  Four children were born to Irving W. and Lois Rosetta Brownell, L. E.; Harry, who was born in December, 1863, and is now deceased; Irving LeRoy, born in 1867, now residing in Glenn County; and Roscoe Hamilton, born in 1872, now engaged in sheep raising with his brother.

      L. E. Brownell was married in 1902 to Helen Elizabeth Thomas, a native of Wisconsin, and a daughter of Thomas and Jeanette (McFarlane) Thomas.  Her family was of Scotch descent, but her immediate ancestors came to America from England and to California about 1900.  Mrs. Brownell’s father was a retired Methodist minister, and is now residing with his children at Berkeley, California.  Mrs. and Mrs. Brownell are the parents of two sons, Louis Edwin, living on his father’s ranch, and Irving Woodbridge, who died in October, 1919.

      Mr. Brownell has had long experience in sheep raising, experiencing both prosperity and adversity.  He has sold wool as low as six cents per pound, and as high as fifty cents per pound.  His methods have always been considered unimpeachable, and he is regarded as a most competent authority on the science of raising sheep.  He has built a beautiful and modern residence of twelve rooms at Orland, where he makes his home while assisting in the conduct of his extensive ranch.  Mr. Brownell has never aspired to public office, but has always manifested a helpful interest in public affairs which he deems of merit, and for eleven years he served as a trustee of the Orland high school.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3, Pages 250-251. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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