Timothy Heald Bisbee was born in Sumner, Maine to Solomon and Hannah Heald Bisbee. As a young man he went to the gold fields of California where he worked for several years along side his Uncles Amasa and Charles Byron Heald at the Lone Star Mine. In 1869 he went to Oregon and married there in 1873. He went into partnership with his father-in-law, Albert Wright, and it was during this time he began keeping a diary.
Timothy's diary gives us a pretty complete picture of a rancher's life in those days. Like most men in the West, he was a hard worker, never complaining or giving in to hardship. He raised a family of four children and maintained contact with parents back East (Maine) and with friends he made in the gold fields. As he points out at the end of the diary, "Sawyer, lumber yard tender, Bookkeeper all together (1878) keeps one pretty busy."