The history of Colusa County is rich in tradition, dating back to the first settler in 1846.  Colusa resident John Morton has compiled a list of some of the "firsts" that happened in Colusa County History.  These dates were compiled from the Colusa County Archives, located in the Colusa County Courthouse.

1846- First Settler in Colusa, William Bryant

1847- First house built in Colusa by John S. Williams on the banks of the Sacramento River near the present site of Princeton.  First Inhabitants in Colusa County.

1849- First Mining Laws in Colusa County

1851- First Proclamation for First Elections of County Officers.
First Election of County Officers.
First County Audited Balance Sheet by Judge William B. Ide.
First white woman in Colusa, Mrs. Davis.
First County Sheriff - John F. Willis
First County Judge - J.S. Holland
First Justice of the Peace - William B. Ide
First County Clerk - E.D. Wheatley
First County Treasurer - William B. Ide
First County Assessor - W.G. Cherd
First District  Attorney - A.J. Weaver
First County Surveyor - J.G. Huls
First County Coroner - Uriah P. Monroe

1852- First Grand Jury met in Monroeville, County Seat, Colusa County.
First Lawsuit filed in Monroeville, County Seat, Colusa County
First Assessment of Real & Personal Property.
First daily stagecoach line between Colusa & Shasta.

1853- First Marriage in Colusa County; A.C. St. John & Miss Julia Grigsby.
First Ferry established across the Sacramento River at Princeton by Dr. Andrew Lull.

1855- First Superintendent of schools - Robert Paine

1856- First sale of Public Land in the County at a Public Sale.
First brick house built by John Dunlap and Jon Suydam on the corner of Main & Market Sts.
Nathaniel Bowman was the first person to be hanged in Monroeville, First County Seat, Colusa County.

1859- Colusa Lodge #142, Free & Accepted Masons was Organized.
Methodist Church founded by Brother James Kelsey.

1860- Colusa County Courthouse built during the 16th President's Administration - Abraham Lincoln.  Note- This is the 2nd working Courthouse in the State of California.

1861- Post Office was established in Colusa. J. Hop Woods was First Postmaster.
Colusa's First Public School is built and located on the corner of 4th & Jay Sts.

1862- Colusa Sun Newspaper founded by Charles R. Street.  It was called the "Weekly Colusa Sun."

1866- First Money Order issued from the Colusa Post Office.

1867- Reclamation District #67 Organized.

1868- First Board of Trustees for the City of Colusa organized.
Stewart Harris - First Mayor
Henry Culp - First Town Marshall

1870- Colusa County Bank Organized
Reclamation District #108 organized.

1871- First Shad put into the Sacramento River.
Reclamation District #124 organized.
Maxwell's first Grammar & High School were built.

1873- Colusa City Fire Department organized by Johnson Grover as First Fire Chief.
Colusa Theatre dedicated on the corner of 5th & 6th of Oak Sts.

1874- First Map of Colusa County drawn by J. B. DeJarnatt, Colusa County Surveyor.  Note- Original map is in the County Archives.

1875- First Fire Truck for Colusa City Fire Department arrived.

1876- First Train to Arbuckle.
Post Office was esablished in Arbuckle with Tacitus R. Arbuckle as Postmaster.

1877- Post Office was established in Maxwell.
Colusa Cuard was organized with Colonel R.A. Gray in command.
The Guard mustered out in 1910.

1878- First telephone introduced into Colusa County.
Town Marshall John T. Arnold was "killed in the line of duty" in W. B. DeJarnatt's store on the corner of 5th & Market Sts.

1880- Colusa Board of Trade organized.

1881- Chinaman Hong Di was hanged by vigilantes on the turntable of the Colusa & Lake Railroad on 8th St.

1883- First Catholic Mass was held in Colusa County by Father Walrath at the Brick Catholic Shrine.
Charles DeWitt was the 4th & last legal hanging in Colusa County.  He was hung between the Courthouse & the old Jail on Market St.

1887- First Parlor of Native Daughters of the Golden West organized.

1892- Masonic Temple on the Corner of 5th and Jay Streets was dedicated.

1906- Colusa County Chamber of Commerce organized.

1908- First moving picture shown at the Criterion Theatre.

1909- Colusa's first auto race and parade, held in downtown Market St.
First water carnival held in Colusa.

1910- East Park Reservoir was built.  The Reservoir was the first Federal Reclamation Project build California and is one of the oldest in the United States.

1912- 2nd Parlor of Native Daughters of the Golden West organized.

1914- Hall of Records built & dedicated behind Colusa Courthouse.

1919- Colusa American Legion, Post #59 organized with Arch B. Davison as the First Post Commander.
Town Marshall Jasper N. Scroggins was "killed in the line of duty" in a barn located on the corner of Bridge & East Webster Sts.

1921- Jack Dunfield was the last town Marshall.

1922- Jeremy Totman- First Colusa Police Chief.

1930- First Maxwell Rodeo

1932- Colusa Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #2441 organized with George S. Jameson as the First Post Commander.

1943- First Stonyford Rodeo

Note: Colusa County split with Glenn County in 1891 and Williams Become a city in 1920.

How our Cities & Towns were named in Colusa County


Colusa or Colusi was named after the Colusi or Coru Indian Tribe

Williams is named after W.H. Williams in 1873.


Grimes - Founded by Cleaton Grimes in 1855.

Princeton - Named by Dr. Andrew Lull after the college he attended.

Arbuckle - Named after Tacitus R. Arbuckle.

Maxwell - Started with the name "Occident," it was changed to Maxwell after George Maxwell donated land for a railroad in 1878.