One of the first cooks at John Sutter’s wilderness outpost was a thirty year old English sailor named William Daylor, said to have deserted his ship in California five years before Sutter hired him in 1840. There he met and became fast friends with Jared Sheldon, a carpenter in Sutter’s employ. Jared Sheldon officially received Rancho Omochumnes, an 18,662 acre land grant, in 1844. The grant extended 17 miles from today’s Rancho Murietta community on the Jackson Road to Highway 99 near Elk Grove. Sheldon divided the grant with his partner, retaining the central section, while William Daylor took the upper and lower pieces. Daylor was the first to move there, to fulfill requirements that the grant be occupied. He became successful as a farmer-businessman and even more successful as a gold miner in 1848, but contracted cholera from an immigrant on a routine visit to Sutter’s Fort and died in October 1850. A high school in Elk Grove is named for him.