Congratulations to our 2017 Belle Riley and her attendants

Our Belle is Riley Rae Coelho from the Adelaida. Riley’s maternal great-great-grandfather Otto Wyss immigrated to the United States from Zurich, Switzerland in 1873; settling in Adelaida in 1876; working as an engineer, machinist and map maker at the Klau Mine quicksilver mines. He homesteaded in 1878. His daughter Pauline Johanna Wyss, Riley’s great-great-grandmother, was born in 1892 in Adelaida, and served on the first county fair board from 1942 to 1960.

riley rae coelho,Paso Robles 2017 Pioneer Day Belle

Riley’s paternal great-great-grandfather, James Wesley Dodd, came by wagon train from Kentucky to California; settling in Pleyto-Hesperia. His son Ed married Polly Johanna Wyss in 1912, settling in the Adelaida on the Wyss-Dodd ranch where Riley’s grandparents Skip and Nancy still live.
Riley’s grandparents are Stanley and Leslie Coelho, Darlene and Johnny Lawrence, and Raymond (Skip) and Nancy White Dodd. Her parents are Chris and Gelene Dodd Coelho. Riley is a senior at Paso High, and plans to attend Moorpark College to study Exotic Animal Training and Management.


Julia Aurignac represents the San Ardo and Bradley areas. Julia’s ancestors came to California from France in the 1860’s, purchasing land in San Ardo in 1875. The family increased their holdings from San Ardo to Bradley. Julia’s dad, Paul Jr. enriches the traditions of the Aurignac Ranch and its operation by advancing technology. Julia carries on the family tradition by working and living on the ranch with plans to live in the “Old Adobe” on the property for over a hundred years. Her grandparents are the late Albert Aurignac, John and Leslie Tavernetti Cederquist, Sandy Bishof Cummings and Bob and Joanne Miller Cummings. Julia is a senior at Templeton High with plans to attend a university and play college sport.
Mollie Batrum represents Hog Canyon as a sixth generation Von Dollen. Mollie’s great, great grandfather Max Von Dollen settled in the Keyes Canyon area in 1886. His parents Johann Von Dollen and Caroline Martensen immigrated to the United States from Germany to California when he was 6 years old. In 1906, he began farming 800 acres in Hog Canyon. Mollie’s great grandmother, Amelia married Harry McKee in 1945. Her son Robert farmed in the Bradley area with his Uncle Wilbert Atkins. Her grandparents are Robert and Jennifer Gustafson McKee and Harry and Nancy Thomas Batrum. Mollie’s parents are Tim and Shelley McKee Batrum. Mollie is a senior at Paso High with plans to go to college and pursue a career as a physical therapist.
Mattie Lindsey represents the Geneseo area. Mattie’s great-great-grandfather Louis Lauridsen came to the Estrella area in 1898. He married Maren Jensen who was from his hometown in Denmark. Their son Ingward farmed with him and married Anna Paulsen in 1931. Their son Kenneth, Mattie’s grandfather was born in the Geneseo area, attended Union School, Paso Robles High and helped his father, Ingward, with the family farming operation. Mattie’s grandmother Carrol’s heritage began with the Cavanaugh family in the 1880’s near Santa Margarita; then on the Estrella Plains. Carrol still lives on the Lauridsen Ranch. Mattie’s parents are Michael and Jenny Lauridsen Lindsey. Mattie is a senior at Templeton High, and plans to attend college majoring in biology and chemistry, joining the Peace Corps before attending medical school.
Alexandrea “Alex” Minnis represents the Willow Creek area where her great grandmother Hilda Claassen Franklin was born and raised by her parents Abraham and Agnetha Schroeder Claassen. Her grandparents are Jacob and Gerhard Schroeder Classen; originally settling on the Godfrey Ranch in 1896; later moving to Willow Creek. The Schroeder and Claassen families helped establish the San Marcus Mennonite Church, located around Chimney Rock Ranch in 1897. Alex’s grandfather Harold Franklin is a retired teacher. Harold’s father was a circuit rider preacher with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Alex’s parents are Kenneth Minnis and Sharon Franklin Minnis. Alex is attending Paso Robles Independent High School, and plans to attend Cuesta College to study early childhood development.

riley rae coelho,Paso Robles 2017 Pioneer Day Belle

Riley Rae Coelho, the Paso Robles 2017 Pioneer Day Belle, is pictured with her attendants. Left to right: Coelho,Alexandrea Minnis, Payton Tucker, Mattie Lindsey, Katie Smith, Jadyn Steaffens, Julia Aurignac, Victoria Smeltzer, and Mollie Batrum.

Victoria Smeltzer represents the Estrella area as the seventh generation of the Edgar and Root pioneer family on her paternal side. In 1883, her great-great-great-great-grandparents, John and Hannah Edgar purchased a farm in Estrella. Victoria’s great-great-great-grandmother Florence married George Root in 1889 and purchased railroad land to farm and ranch. Her grandparents are Glen and Sandra Taft Smeltzer. Her great-grandmother, Carol Root Smeltzer was the Pioneer Queen in 2010. Victoria’s grandfather Glen was a teacher at Paso Robles High School for 38 years. Victoria’s parents are Kevin and Lisa Guerin Smeltzer.
Victoria is attending Paso Robles High with plans to attend Cuesta College, then travel to Germany to study brewing, before returning to Paso to start a micro-brewery.
Jadyn Steaffens’ roots run deep from the Indian Valley area. Her ancestor George Davis was married to Elecia Sumner by John Sutter at Sutter’s Fort in 1843. Davis served with Captain John Fremont in the Bear Flag Rebellion and the Mexican-American War. Jadyn’s great-great-grandfather Claude Azbell was born in San Miguel in 1882. In 1929, he was named the first Paso Robles Police Chief. Great-great-grandfather Oscar Steaffens helped build Camp Roberts during WWII. Great-grandfather John Steaffens Sr. was the beloved Fire Chief of the Paso Robles Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years. Her grandparents are David and Diane Steaffens and Rudy and Flor Valdez, her parents are James and Cynthia Valdez Steaffens. Jadyn is a senior at Paso Robles High, and plans to attend a university to study math and science.
Payton Tucker represents the Shandon/Cholame area. Payton’s pioneer families go back six generations on the Tucker side, and seven generations on the Davies side; both coming from England in the mid-1880s. The Tucker family settled in the Creston area with great great grandfather Fred; then moved to Shandon to drill wells and run the general store. Fred drilled one of the municipal wells in Paso Robles. The Davies side settled in Cholame to farm and raise cattle. Payton’s grandpa Gary grew up with his grandparents, Kenneth and Lilah Word Davies, went to school in Shandon and worked on the Davies Ranch. Payton’s grandparents are Gary and Kathy Tucker, Nita and Jim La Loggia and Michael and Linda Atkins Hamers. Her parents are Kenneth and Tisha Hamers Tucker. Payton is a senior at Templeton High planning to attend college and pursue a career in the medical field.
Katie Smith has a large family tree with relatives spread over Bryson/Hesperia, Bradley, Indian Valley, the Estrella Plains, Shandon, Dry Creek and Union District. Katie and her family still live on the Smith Ranch — the old Lynch Ranch, keeping the tradition of farming and cattle ranching. The earliest ancestors, John “Ham” Parks Hamilton Smith and Dora Thomas Ray Smith, homesteaded in 1874 in the Bald Mountain area. Her grandparents Archie and Edith McCornack tended the Lynch Ranch established in 1859. The family still uses the JTL brand today. Katie’s great great grandmother is Byby Root. Grandparents are Harold Robertson and Linda Smith; Mary Wolf Scantlin and the late Russell Root. Katie is a senior at Templeton High School; planning to attend Cuesta and Cal Poly, hoping to compete in College Rodeo.