Gustavus Adolphus Buffum built his home circa 1870.

Gustavus Adolphus Buffum was born in Waldo County, Maine on December 26, 1826 to parents Samuel and Mary Neil Buffum. He grew up in the town of Orono, Maine. His father, Samuel, worked as a lumberman and Gustavus would follow a similar path.  In 1851, at the age of 24, he went to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama for the Gold Rush. He went to mine near Auburn, California. His knowledge of lumbering proved useful in the creation of log rafts that were used for transportation to Sacramento. For this job he was paid $9 per day. After two years of mining, he established a trading post at Indian Valley. He remained in California until 1858 when he moved back to Maine.

G.A. Buffum


He married Mary B. Washburn on March 29, 1858. They began moving west after their marriage. They first settled in Monroe , Wisconsin where Gustavus worked for Mary’s brother Cadwallader Colden Washburn in the lumber business. Cadwallader Washburn would go on to be the eleventh governor of Wisconsin. While living there, they had their first son, Frank Washburn Buffum. He was born on July 1, 1859. In 1860, Gustavus opened his own lumber yard at Clinton, IA. He and his wife had four other children during their time in Clinton. Their daughter, Ada Mary, was born on February 5, 1862. Their second son, Charles Gustavus, was born on April 19, 1865. Their twin sons, Benjamin and Cadwallader, were born in the Spring of 1867. Mary died shortly after the birth of the twins and they died in infancy.

After Mary’s death, Gustavus married Roxana Kent. In 1873, he moved his family to Louisiana to work for La Crosse Lumber Company. In 1888, Gustavus and his sons, Frank and Charles, bought the La Crosse Lumber Company. He ran the company until his death on November 27, 1899. 1

ga buffum
1873 ad in the Louisiana Journal
1.  Buffum, Debby. 2007. “A Buffum Family History.”
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