Weed, Thurlow, 1797-1882, American journalist and political leader, b. Cairo, N.Y. After working on various newspapers in W New York, Weed joined the Rochester Telegraph and was influential as a supporter of John Quincy Adams. For a short time he published the Anti-Masonic Enquirer and as a leader of the Anti-Masonic party opposed Martin Van Buren. He wielded much political influence as editor of the Albany Evening Journal after 1830 and was a staunch opponent of the Albany Regency. Becoming a Whig, Weed in 1840 helped secure the election of William H. Harrison as President. In 1844 he helped bring about the presidential nomination of Henry Clay, and in 1848 he backed Zachary Taylor. Though paying lip service to various reforms, notably the abolition of slavery, Weed was more at home with the problems of patronage and lobbying and came to be regarded as the silent boss of the Whig party. After the Whig party disintegrated over the slavery issue, Weed joined (1855) the new Republican party and worked in close cooperation with William H. Seward. Seward was his close personal friend as well as political ally, and Weed carefully shepherded Seward's career as state legislator, governor of New York, and U.S. senator. He failed, however, to secure for Seward the Republican presidential nomination in 1860. Both Weed and Seward nevertheless came to be President Lincoln's staunch supporters. During the Civil War, Weed went on a special diplomatic mission to France and England. His political power in the Republican party was destroyed by his support of the Reconstruction policies of Andrew Johnson in 1866, and he was never again able to exert great political influence. His travels were turned to account in his Letters From Europe and the West Indies (1866).

See The Life of Thurlow Weed (2 vol., 1883-84, including his autobiography and a memoir by his grandson); biography by G. G. Van Deusen (1947, repr. 1969).

weed, common term for any wild plant, particularly an undesired plant, growing in cultivated ground, where it competes with crop plants for soil nutrients and water. In their natural habitat, wildflowers and herbs not only provide beauty but function in many useful ways, e.g., as a source of food for insects and animals and to enrich the earth, loosen hard-packed soils, and help prevent erosion. However, when they invade cultivated areas they often interfere with the desired crop by appropriating space, sunlight, moisture, and soil nutrients. Weeds may also harbor and spread insect and fungus pests. Dried weeds along roadsides are often the starting point for brush and forest fires. Their habits of growth and of propagation must be considered in attempting to eradicate them. Control methods include continual soil cultivation, blanketing the soil with some material (e.g., mulch) to thwart weed growth, and the use of various herbicides (see spraying). Plants which are cultivated in one region may become weeds when introduced in another, e.g., the oxeye daisy, imported to the United States from Europe; the Russian thistle, called tumbleweed in America; and burdock, which in Japan is grown as a vegetable. Crabgrass and ragweed are weeds well known to gardeners and to hay-fever sufferers.

See T. J. Muzik, Weed Biology and Control (1970); R. E. Wilkinson and H. E. Jaques, How to Know the Weeds (2d ed. 1973).

Weed is a city located in Siskiyou County, California. As of the 2000 Census, the town had a total population of 2,978. Weed is about 10 miles (16 km) west-north-west of Mount Shasta, a prominent northern California landmark. It was named for pioneer mill owner Abner Weed, who discovered that the area's strong winds were helpful in drying lumber. By the 1940's, Weed boasted the world's largest sawmill.


Weed is located at 41°25'27" North, 122°23'4" West (41.424298, -122.384417). It is located off Interstate 5, just 49 miles south of the California-Oregon border. The next large town to the north on I-5 is Yreka; to the south is City of Mt. Shasta. U.S. 97 heads off to the northeast and Klamath Falls, Oregon.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.6 km²), of which, 4.8 square miles (12.6 km²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.

Commerce and tourism

Although historically reliant on logging, with the decline of logging in the area, Weed's economy has become more diversified, relying more on tourism and on the economic benefits of the College of the Siskiyous located in Weed. Visitors use Weed as a base to engage in trout fishing in the nearby Klamath, Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, or come to see and climb Mount Shasta, Castle Crags or the Trinity Alps. Visitors also engage in nearby skiing (both alpine and cross-country) and biking, or hike to the waterfalls, streams and lakes in the area, including nearby Mossbrae Falls, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake and Shasta Lake. The College of the Siskiyous, located in Weed, provides a steady source of employment for faculty and staff, and is a source of visitors.

Aside from the abundant recreaction opportunities of nearby lakes and waterfalls, other tourist attractions near Weed include: Living Memorial Sculpture Garden, Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum, Pluto Caves, Stewart Mineral Springs, Lake Shastina Golf Resort and the Weed Skatepark. Lava Beds National Monument, and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge are also attractions in the larger area.

The largest employers in Weed are: College of the Siskiyous (100-249 employees) Roseburg Forest Products (100-249 employees) Crystal Geyser CG Roxanne (25-99 employees) Weed Union Elementary School District (25-99 employees)

As a small community with few retail outlets, taxable sales within the city are somewhat limited, totaling $53 Million in 2006.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,978 people, 1,184 households, and 747 families residing in the city. The population density was 613.4 people per square mile (237.1/km²). There were 1,293 housing units at an average density of 266.3/sq mi (102.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.27% White, 9.27% Black or African American, 1.95% Native American, 4.57% Asian, 0.47% Pacific Islander, 5.51% from other races, and 4.97% from two or more races. 12.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Crime: The number of violent crimes recorded by the FBI in 2003 was 25. The number of murders and homicides was 0. The violent crime rate was 8.5 per 1,000 people.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 14.4% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $23,333, and the median income for a family is $32,197. Males have a median income of $29,052 versus $21,894 for females. The per capita income for the city is $12,434. 23.9% of the population and 17.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 30.9% of those under the age of 18 and 4.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Nearby parks & recreation: Lake Shastina, Pacific Crest Trail, Castle Crags State Park

Historic sites and museums: Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum

Colleges and universities: College of the Siskiyous

Traffic: The average commute time for Weed workers is 12 minutes, compared with 26 minutes nationwide.

Housing: Median rent in Weed, at the time of the 2000 Census, was $348. Monthly homeowner costs, for people with mortgages, were $676.

Education: 7% of Weed residents age 25 and older have a bachelor's or advanced college degree.

Major ancestry groups reported by Weed residents include:

· Italian - 13% · Mexican - 11% · German - 11% · Black or African American - 9% · Irish - 9% · English - 8% · American Indian tribes, specified - 4% · Laotian - 4% · European - 3% · Portuguese - 2% · Scots-Irish - 2% · French (except Basque) - 2% · Polish - 2% · Norwegian - 2% · Dutch - 2% · Scottish - 1% · All other tribes - 1% · Cherokee - 1% · Other Hispanic or Latino - 1% · Swedish - 1% · Subsaharan African - 1% · Austrian - 1% · African - 1% · French Canadian - 1% · Welsh - 1% · Japanese - 1% · Choctaw - 1% · Filipino - 1% · Indonesian - 1%


In the state legislature Weed is located in the 4th Senate District, represented by Republican Sam Aanestad, and in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Republican Doug LaMalfa. Federally, Weed is located in California's 2nd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +13 and is represented by Republican Wally Herger.

The Republican representation has more to do with the demographics and political affliations of the districts in which Weed falls, as opposed to the the political views of the community itself. At the local level, Siskiyou County Supervisoral District 3, in which Weed is the core community, voter registration is 39.6% Democrat, 39.1% Republican, 16.2% Decline to State, with remainder split amongst other political parties such as Green, and Libretarian as of 2006..

Other notes

  • The town of Weed gets its name from the founder of the local lumber mill, one Abner Weed. In 1897 Abner Weed bought the Siskiyou Lumber and Mercantile Mill and 280 acres of land in what is now the City of Weed, for the sum of $400.
  • The area's landscape is dominated by an immense towering volcano, Mount Shasta, which usually has snow near its peak all year round.
  • Mount Shasta is the second highest peak in the Cascade Range and the fifth highest in California.
  • Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water is bottled in Weed at 4 different spring sources below Mount Shasta.
  • Weed is also home to the Mt. Shasta Brewery, which produces several varieties of microbrewed beer.
  • Weed is the home of producer Sylvia Massy's RadioStar Studios.
  • Weed is referenced extensively in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
  • The city's name has been used as the source of humor because the name can be a slang term for cannabis. Ryan Stiles of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, responded to a question about "U.S. cities that would never have a song written about them" by saying "What's the matter with Weed?".
  • At some stores in the area, you can find souvenirs that state that "I'm high on Weed..., California".
  • Weed is where From First to Last recorded the album Heroine.
  • Aaron Thomas, NFL player, attended school in Weed. Graduating from Weed High School, where he played football, prior to attending Oregon State University.
  • Charles Byrd, once Police Chief of Weed, became the first African American to be elected Sherrif in the State of California, in 1986; holding his office of Siskiyou County Sherrif for four terms.


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