Information on a merchant

George Mellen Trask(on left), groom, unknown - c1890.


The story of the Trask family starts with Prentiss M. Trask. The blood of English and German ancestry flows in his veins. The Trasks first establishing homes in New Hampshire and later in the Pine Tree state. Jonathan Trask, the father of Prentiss, was born in New Hampshire and was married in Maine to Miss Martha Jewell. They were farming people and highly respected citizens, and they became the parents of fourteen children, of whom thirteen reached maturity. "This gentleman (Prentiss), one of Tuolumne's old settlers, was born in Franklin County, Maine, on May 9, 1829. At the common schools in Franklin County he was educated, and was raised in agricultural pursuits. He came to California via the Isthmus of Panama, and arrived in San Francisco on the 11th of July, 1852. He came direct to this county, first settling at Columbia, where he mined for about eight years. In 1860 he settled on his farm, (securing one hundred and sixty acres of land) located one mile north from Columbia. He has planted a vineyard of about twelve acres, which is now in bearing. Some of his grapes are sold in the market, and others are manufactured into wine. He has also planted about three acres of fruit trees, which are now in bearing. Fruit and hay are the principal products of the ranch. Mr. Trask married Susan M. Pierce, on September 19, 1854. She is a native of Penobscot County, Maine. They have three living children, George M., Florence M.(the wife of Adolphus C. Davis, the leading merchant of Columbia) and Clara J.(wife of Edward Doyle) One deceased, Charles A." - A History of Tuolumne County, California - 1882.

1852 November - Census for Tuolumne Co. shows P.M. Trask age 23, a miner from Maine.

1859 George M. Trask was born in Columbia(Township 2), Tuolumne Co., California.

1860 July 18 - Census for Township 2(Columbia post office), Tuolumne Co. shows J.R. Trask as a 24 year old miner.

1867 - County Register for Tuolumne shows Prentice Mellen Trask as registered since December 22, 1866 from Gold Springs. He registers for the next few decades: 1879,1882,1884,1886,etc.

1870 July 12 - The census for Township 2(Columbia post office), Tuolumne Co. shows P.M. Trask age 41, farmer worth $4000. Wife is S.M. at 36 keeping house. Their children are: G.M. Trask male age 10, F.M. Trask female age 9, C.J. Trask female age 5. A border is J.R. Trask male teamster age 34.

1880 June 15 - Census of Township 2, Tuolumne Co. shows Prentiss Trask age 50 as a farmer, married to Susan M. age 37 and children: Clara age 15, George M. teamster age 20 and John Ruggles Trask age 44, brother to Prentiss.

1883 May 3 - married Margaret Stockel, born c1863. (Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 17, Number 64, 7 May 1883)

1888 George Mellen Trask buys from Michael Kelly the Stage Stable on the southeast corner of Fulton & Broadway Streets.

The Trask Livery Stable on the left and Wells Fargo on the right 1890

1892 September 15 - County Register for Tuolumne shows Prentice M. Trask as 63, 5'6", fair compected, blue eyes, gray hair, living in Columbia.

1896 July 9 - County Register for Tuolumne shows Prentice M. Trask as 63, 5'6", fair compected, blue eyes, gray hair, living in Columbia.

1897 January 1 - Susan M. (Pierce) Trask who was born in Penobscot County, Maine, c1832, died.(C.H. Burden Undertaker Records 1890-1953 shows Susie M. Trask)

1898 George Mellen Trask operates the Broadway Stable. The Columbia & Sonora Stage Line operates from this Livery.

Inside the Livery of the Broadway Stable - c1890s

History notes on the back of above image indicate: "George Sidney Dawley is 3rd from right. He was father to Georgie Lois Dawley(Smith) and grandfather to John Dawley Smith (Jack Smith). The man in the suit at far left is probably George M. Trask, whose father Prentiss M. Trask bought stable from Mike Kelly in 1888. G.S. Dawley married Mary Ann (Mame) Kelly in 1902. Mame Kelly was M. Kelly's daughter" - Jack Smith.

George Mellen Trask & George Sidney Dawley

1900 June 7 - Census shows George M. Trask born in California 1859, married Margaret in 1883. He is listed as a Liveryman.

1904 August 29 - John Ruggles Trask (born in Franklin County, Maine, in 1835) brother to Prentiss M. Trask, died and was buried in plot #125 of the GAR section (C.H. Burden Undertaker Records 1890-1953)
Listed as John Russel Trask - Co. E, 2nd California Cavalry Regt. (Cal. Vol.) (C.H. Burden Undertaker Records 1890-1953) Notes: Some notes state: he was from Co. C, 1st Regt.Infantry (Cal. Vol.) which doesn't match tombstone. Also See Daley for notes on Co.E. John Trask came in 1853 direct to Tuolumne County, Gold Springs, where his brother P.M. Trask had been since July, 1852. P. M. Trask marries Susan M. Pierce in Maine September 19th, 1854. In 1860 P. M. Trask settled on his farm, located one mile north from Columbia. John joined the Tuolumne Rangers September 12th, 1861. He was 5'-5" tall with brown eyes and black hair. He was an express rider until he was mustered out, October 6th, 1864. John died in his brother's home.

1920 February - Census shows Prentice M Trask as grandfather age 90 living with George E. Trask age 35 and his wife Melisa C. age 33. Their son is Mellen C. Trask age 13.

1920 February - George M. Trask is listed as a stagedriver delivering the U.S. Mail on the census of Township 2, Tuolumne Co. Born in Maine c1860. Married to Margaret age 56 born in California of German parents (Stockel).

1930 April 14 - George M. Trask is listed as a Mail carrier on the census of Township 2, Tuolumne Co. Wife Margaret age 66.

Front door of the Stable being used as a filling station for Mobile Gasoline - c1930

1930 May 30 - George Mellen Trask died and was buried in the IOOF cemetery. Location not known. (C.H. Burden Undertaker Records 1890-1953 shows George Mellen Trask)

Unless noted some information came from:
Census Reports, Voting Registers, A History of Tuolumne Co.1882,
A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California - 1901

This page is created for the benefit of the public by

Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.

Email contact:
fdpoyde3 (at) Yahoo (dot) com
created for the visitors to the Columbia State Historic park.
© Columbia State Historic Park & Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.