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Brother of Joe Meek Also Becomes A Mountain Man

Stephen Hall Meek, the brother of Joe Meek, Oregon’s most famous mountain man, came West in 1831 as a trapper.  Traveling to California with the Walker brothers, Joel and Joseph, Meek began working for the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1835.

Meek entered Scott Valley, Calif., in 1836 with trapper Tom McKay.  Meek noted in his autobiography that he also trapped on the American, Yuba, Feather, Pit, McLeod and Shasta rivers.

He wrote, “In the spring of 1843, I piloted a few of those who had become dissatisfied with Oregon to California over the Old Hudson Bay trail, meeting Captain Joe Walker and others in (the) Rogue River Valley, with two thousand head of cattle (and three hundred horses), coming from California.”

Walker told Meek that after the wranglers left Sutter’s Fort, a band of Indians killed several horses.  Walker boasted, according to Meek’s account, “…we returned the favor by killing a good many Indians.”

Meek eventually returned to Scott Valley where, he wrote, “The house of Josiah Doll, in Scott Valley, (is) my headquarters, and from there (I) range through the mountains with my son George, or as guide to hunting parties.”

Source: Dillon, Richard. Siskiyou Trail: The Hudson's Bay Company Route to California. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill, 1975. 355-62. Print; Meek, Stephen H. "The Autobiography of Stephen Hall Meek." From "A Sketch of the Life of the First Pioneer" in The Golden Era, April, 1885. Web. 14 Jan. 2015. .

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.