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As It Was: Alex Rosborough Writes History of Siskiyou County

Siskiyou County historian Alex J. Rosborough was born on Aug. 30, 1865, in Yreka, Calif., one of six children of District Court Judge A. M. Rosborough and his wife, Helen Raynes.

Rosborough attended the Saint Joseph convent school in Yreka and graduated in 1887 from the University of California.  He served as the first curator of the Siskiyou County Museum in 1948, and became a semi-professional baseball player, miner and mining engineer, coin expert, tax collector, writer, and historian.

He not only wrote a history of Siskiyou County, but also published personal reflections and other books on Northern California history.  He moved to the East Bay area in 1879, where he wrote for the Oakland Tribune.  He remained near San Francisco for 60 years before retiring in Yreka.  A brother, Joseph Rosborough, was Oakland’s postmaster from 1915-1924. 

Yreka declared Alex Rosborough “Man of the Year” in 1955 for his contributions to preserving local and regional history.  He was a member of the State Historical Society and the Siskiyou County Historical Society.

Rosborough died in 1960 at age 95.

Sources: “Alex J. Rosborough obituary.” Newspapers.com, ancestry.com, 9 Dec. 1960, www.newspapers.com/clip/24500989/alex_j_rosborough_obituary/. Accessed 6 Oct. 2019; Broderick, Freda, and Helen Sherman. “Alex J. Rosborough. Siskiyou Pioneer, The, vol. 3, no. 4, 1961, p. 103.

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.