Doris M. Birch/Wheeler/Carter - Her Early Years

Born 24 Mar 1901, Orland, Glenn Co., CA;  Doris was the first of 2 children born to John Wesley BIRCH and May Evelyn CUSHMAN/BIRCH, both prominent citizens of Orland, CA, and from area pioneer families.   Doris grew up in Orland, graduating from Orland Grammar School 8 Jun 1916 and Orland Joint Union High School 4 Jun 1920. The caption underneath her photograph in the High School Yearbook ("Copa de Oro," p. 6) reads, "Though Doris Birch is quiet, As the robin in winter time, We're glad to count her as, One of the twenty-nine," indicating that she was a shy teenager. Doris often recounts her early childhood years with the remarks about how she always resented the fact that her mother worked and she (Doris) was raised by hired girls. Her happiest times were with her father. He was the one that took her on walks and they picked wildflowers together. He is said to have scolded the hired girls if Doris was crying, saying "A happy child is a good child."  Her mother was 34 when Doris was born. She was an only child for 9 years before her brother Tennant was born. (For more about Doris & her family click here - for the poem read at her funeral, click here - for her obituary in the local paper, click here.) 

An early baby picture of Doris

Baby Doris with a label from her parents' Orland drug store.

Baby Doris plays druggist for photos that will appear in a trade publication.

Another photo of baby Doris playing druggist.

This is how her picture appeared in the The Spatula: An Illustrated Magazine for Pharmacists, 1902.

Young Doris attends a pharmacy convention - this appearing in the June 1908 issue of The Pacific Pharmacist.

With one of her dolls.

She poses in a pretty white dress.

And the same dress ... same time??

A younger Doris here.

4 shots of Doris with her Teddy bear.

With her doll in its carriage.

No doll here - this is her new baby brother Tennant.

Doris with her brother Tennant again.

Here she takes her brother for a ride.

Again with brother Tennant.

Here with her dog.

Unsure of her age here...?

Her 1st grade class, Orland - she is front row, 3rd from left.

Her 5th grade class - she is in the second row, far left.

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Doris riding on her horse Paddy.

Her 7th grade class - she is in the middle row, 4th from left in dark dress.

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