John Bucher was one of the early pioneers of Surprise Valley, having crossed America from Iowa to Virginia City in 1863, then settling in Lake City in 1964. In 1866, Bucher and Wimer built and operated a grist mill in Lake City. The mill was run by an overshot water wheel. They furnished flour to settlers, as well as a military post in Fort Bidwell. John Bucher and George Wimer lived and worked together on a ranch now known as the Parman ranch north of Lake City. They eventually sold the ranch and disbanded their enterprise. John Bucher built a sawmill on Solider Creek, later relocating to Ford Bidwell, erecting another sawmill financed by share-holders. He built a home at the mouth of Bidwell Canyon. While he was the sheriff, Bucher lived in Alturas with his wife, three sons and five daughters. John Bucher held office in Modoc County almost uninterruptedly: first as a supervisor, and then as a sheriff for one term. He was called upon again, to serve as supervisor, which he did until poor health prevented him from continuing. He died at the age of 73.