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A Meeting to Recount Area’s Solemn History
In 1860, at the age of twenty-two, Eliza Swena (later Wookey)
came to California with her parents Lemuel and Eliza and their
family. Within a year of their arrival, Eliza got a job as the teacher in a small school in the Stoneman District near Oroville. She boarded
with the Noble family, whose two girls attended the school.
In 1854, when Arenia Thankful Lewis was only six months old,
her parents brought her and her two brothers across the plains in a
covered wagon destined for Little Dry Creek, near Oroville. When
Arenia was nine years old she and her brothers were Eliza’s students.
One day, as Arenia and her brothers were walking home from school, they were captured by an outlaw band of Indians. Both her brothers were killed, but Arenia managed to escape the next day. Her parents were so thankful that she was spared that, for the rest of her life, she was addressed by her given middle name, Thankful.
Eliza and Thankful were reunited for this portrait in about 1900, as a solemn memory of the horrendous incident that brought them together over 30 years earlier.
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