Pioneer Jared Sheldon

Jared Dixon Sheldon, a Vermont native and carpenter by trade, possibly arrived in California in 1839–the same year as John Sutter. Sheldon spent time in California’s capital at Monterey, where he built the customhouse, but by 1841 he was working at Sutter’s Fort as a carpenter. Two years later his friend and fellow Sutter employee William Daylor told him of the beautiful Cosumnes River Valley south of today’s Sacramento that Daylor had discovered while looking for a herd of strayed horses. As payment for his work on the customhouse, Sheldon received title to the Rancho Omochumnes land grant in January 1844, a spread that extended 17 miles from beyond today’s Rancho Murieta community on the Jackson Road to Highway 99. Sheldon divided the grant with his friend and partner William Daylor, keeping the central section from today’s Sloughhouse—once a regular stagecoach stop—to Sheldon, formerly a little wagon-making town. In 1846 Jared Sheldon erected the second grist mill in the Sacramento Valley (John Sutter’s was the first) at Sloughhouse. Jared and Daylor married sisters the following year. Jared’s wife was Catherine Rhoads, and the couple had three children. When news of the 1848 gold discovery swept through local settlements, Sheldon and Daylor reportedly found $17,000 in gold near today’s Placerville. Daylor died of cholera in 1850; Jared Sheldon was murdered in 1851 by angry gold miners upstream of a dam he was constructing on his property. A community, a school, and a road within the boundaries of Elk Grove, California, are named for Jared Sheldon. Today’s Grant Line Road marks one border of the original Rancho Omochumnes land grant.


4 thoughts on “Pioneer Jared Sheldon”

  1. Hi! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic job!

  2. Thanks for the brief overview! In 2015, I attended the Sheldon Family Reunion held in Sacramento. Our group met descendants of Jared Sheldon, visited Elk Grove house, and met at the cemetery where he is at rest. It is a rich history.

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