Silas Deras Ingram was born in Oswegatchie, New York, on March 31, 1821. In May 1861, at age 40, Silas and his wife Sarah Ann Rolston joined a wagon train bound for California. On July 18th while crossing Utah, the train was attacked by Indians and a number of its members were killed. The Indians captured all the mules and left the survivors and their wagons stranded. Silas made his way on foot to Salt Lake City where he purchased some mules to continue the trip to California. Upon reaching California the Ingrams settled in what is now known as Pleasant Grove in Sutter County. Silas was the first resident there and eventually became known as its Town Founder. In 1866 Silas moved to San Francisco where he became a dealer in livestock. While in San Francisco, Silas began purchasing Federal timber land that was available on Austin Creek in Sonoma County. In 1869 Silas moved his family to Sebastapol and began building a hunting resort on one of his Austin Creek properties. This resort would eventually become his town of Ingrams.
Silas and Sarah had 3 children:
Frederick Silas., Charles W. and George B. Silas was the postmaster of his resort town
Ingrams from 1881 until it became Cazadero in 1888. After selling his town holdings to George Montgomery in 1888, Silas and Sarah went to Haywards, Calif. where Silas began to sell real estate. Charles, Fred and George remained in Cazadero to work and care for Silas's ranch on Austin Creek (now the Lions Head Ranch). When time permitted Silas made trips back to his Cazadero ranch on the train. In August 1895 Silas & Sarah moved back to their Austin Creek ranch from Haywards. In 1890 Fred began his Ingrams' Chateau resort on Austin Creek north of town. Whatever became of his other two boys? On March 23, 1890 Cornelia Trosper (Silas's neighbor) recorded in her diary "Heard bad news about Charlie Ingram." I had often wondered what the bad news was that she heard. She
didn't make any more entries concerning Charlie. Well, in the newspaper Sonoma County
Tribune Healdsburg, CA. May 22, 1890 issue there was this byline:
"Charles W. Ingram, confessed robber of the mails at Cazadero, was
sentenced to 18 months imprisonment." Based on the news
article it seems that Cornelia probably heard that he was arrested. After Silas's death in June 1900, Sarah stayed on at the ranch until she sold it and moved to Oakland in November 1906.
Fred Ingram had a son named Park Ingram (born 18 November 1890) who spent his early manhood in Cazadero.
Park died in Willows, Calif. in April 1967. Fred died in 1947 and is buried in Guerneville's "Redwood Cemetary" with his father Silas.