Eldest son of L.D. and Elvira Criswell Lafferty.
One of the earliest settlers of Humboldt County and of the Mattole Valley, is still remembered by the old timers of Mattole community. He resided in Upper Mattole and on Elk Ridge from the earliest white men’s settlement until about 1890, when he purchased a home on Francis Creek near Ferndale where he passed the rest of his life. He was born in Arkansas in 1828 or 1829. When a mere boy, he enlisted in the United States Army and fought through the Mexican War. Shortly after his discharge from the Army he joined the pilgrimage to California. After some improfitable work in the mines, he came to Humboldt County and became one of the pioneer residents of the Mattole Valley.
On April 20, 1863 he enlisted in the Mountaineer Battalion and fought through the Indian War. After being discharged from the service, he married an Indian girl and lived with her until she died. After her death he married another Indian Girl. She also died a few years later. Lafferty was thus left alone in the world to rear a family of several children. All these children, with the exception of one son, Albert H., fell victims to tuberculosis. One of Lafferty’s daughters, Mrs Frances Steeve, a prominent, active, consistent member of the Salvation Army in Ferndale, was well-known throughout Humboldt County for her beautiful Christian character. Lafferty’s youngest son, Albert H., was killed in a sand slide on the wild Cat Road near Ferndale in the spring of 1929.
After the close of the Indian Wars in 1865, Albert G. Lafferty made his home in Upper Mattole for about ten years. He acquired title to a claim of 160 acres of land eleven miles southeast of Petrolia on the south banks of the Mattole River. This land, in 1874, was sold to Isaac Cook. He then moved his family to Elk Ridge and remained there until 1890. He then moved again and located on a farm near Ferndale. Here he remained until his death in 1921.
He was a man of strong religious convictions and was very desirous of having his children receive proper religious training. He grieved beyond measures over the death of his children. He was greatly pleased that his daughter Frances was such an ardent religious worker. He was radically opposed to the business and strong supporter of law enforcement. His zeal in this respect won him many enemies, but he courageously faced the outcome.
In his old age he was granted a comfortable pension from the federal government for his military service. He was also granted an allowance from the United States Government for damage done his property during the Indian depredations between 1858 and 1865. During the last thirty years of his life, supported by his pension, he lived in comfort at his residence on Francis Creek near Ferndale. He was said to be the last survivor of the Mexican War in Humboldt County, and one of the last in the United States. He passed away peacefully at his home near Ferndale in 1921, being ninety three years old.
In 1855 he sold supplies to the Government in California which must have consisted of buffalo and wild game that was furnished the troops. For this he was compensated by the Government.
Source: Letter from John McCaleb Lafferty