Doll, as Andrew Osborne makes clear, was a man who provoked strong reactions, both pro and con, among those with whom he dealt in the hectic times of Red Bluff's birth. These times were marked by more than the normal confusion over land titles that plagued the early years of statehood and this stemmed from the state's lamentable habit of selling the lands granted it by the Federal government to private citizens before said lands had been surveyed, plotted and opened for entry in the manner prescribed by law. As a result, Red Bluff became and long remained notable among California's communities in the fact that title to its streets was vested in the Superior Court of the County!
Doll rose to eminence in these times, becoming arguably the town's most important figure in its initial development. His operations brought him wealth, both tangible and on paper, political influence beyond the county's boundaries, enduring enemies, and a happy marriage. His career can be summed up in the olden folk say, “UP like a skyrocket; DOWN like a stick”! To which, as Osborne portrays the man, Doll might well have replied, “I had one Hell of a ride while it lasted”!
J. Granville Doll and the Formative Years of Red Bluff by Andrew Osborne
This study of Doll's rise and fall is marked by the Andrew Osborne's sure sense of the times, the customs, and the mores of which he writes. It is another in his contributions over many years to the history of the land and its peoples where his life's work has been accomplished.
In his 35 years as teacher and counselor at Red Bluff Union High School, he played Pied Piper to students who followed him down the fascinating trail of local history, benefiting themselves in the process and making enduring contributions to their community's and their county's collective memory.
Finally, Osborne resolved the city's long-standing problem that was the result of the land title confusion mentioned earlier. It took him 12 years and three terms as Mayor to get title to the city's streets vested in the City of Red Bluff and not in the Superior Court of Tehama County. J. Granville Doll would have approved of the ways and wiles it took to accomplish this result.