"My grandfather Alfred Brittain and grandmother Eliza Sturman, were married about 1851. Both the Brittains and the Sturmans were early settlers in Iowa. In 1852 grandfather drove an ox-team across the plains to California, for an outfit. The journey took about six months. He made the trip successfully and returned by way of the canal to his home and wife. My father, Newton Brittain, was born in Iowa, March 27, 1854. His mother died when he was two years of age, and he was raised by his two grandmothers. Grandfather Brittain died and is buried in Iowa. Newton Brittain's great-grandfather fought in the war of 1812.
The Levi Sargent family moved from Illinois to Iowa when Mary Jane was a girl. On March 15, 1874, she and my father, Newton Brittain, were married. To them were born, Lydia Jane, July 31, 1875; Darwin, Feb. 26, 1899; Fred, Dec. 23, 1878; Charles James, May 23, 1881.
My father's family started West in July 1882, coming by train to San Francisco. There we took a boat, the "Geo. W. Elder" to Seattle, where fathter obtained work. In the Spring of 1883, we moved to Olympia by boat. There we made the acquaintance of the Sudderths and the Clydes. Father also met a Mr. Joe Kelley who persuaded him to come to Humptulips where there was land to be homesteaded.
By taking a team or stage, one could make the trip either by the Black River or the Hicklin (Hickland) Road to Montesano. There, he stopped overnight, then continued down the Chehalis River to Aberdeen, and up the Hoquiam to where the East branch forks (at what is now the Kirkaldie place). From there he took a trail across to the Humptulips.
After locating a claim on the river, Newton Brittain built a "shack" at the mouth of a creek where a spring furnished clear, cool water. The creek was afterward named for him. There he batched in 1887. In May, 1888, he moved the family in.
We could then go up the Hoquiam River by boat as far as New Longdon, where Mr. James Sunderth, who had settled at Axford, in 1885, met us with his team, taking us as far as his homesead where we stayed the night. The next day we made the remainder of the trip to Humptulips. Crossed the river in a canoe, walked the two mile prairie and continued on up river for about two miles, packing our food and supplies on our backs. Then we crossed back to the east side of the Humptulips where my father's claim was located."