Willliam and Sarah (Rhoads) Grimshaw

Participants in the 1848-50 California Gold Rush

William Robinson Grimshaw was born in New York City in 1826 to John and Emma (Robinson) Grimshaw. John Grimshaw was most likely the brother of Caleb and Sarah (Thompson) Grimshaw (see companion webpage) and the twin brother of William Grimshaw. William Robinson Grimshaw is therefore a descendant of the prominent Edward and Dorothy (Raner) Grimshaw line in Yorkshire (see companion webpage).

William Grimshaw had a very interesting and adventurous life, including participation in the events of the 1848-50 gold rush at Sutter’s Fort in California. While there he met and married Sarah (Rhoads) Daylor in 1851, and they had 12 children, eight of whom survived into adulthood. Much of what is known of William’s life is contained in an autobiography entitled Grimshaw’s Narrative (Kantor, 19641), which is presented in detail in a companion webpage. William and Sarah are buried with several of their children in the Sloughhouse cemetery southeast of Sacramento.


Webpage Credit

Photographs of William Robinson and Sarah (Rhoads) Grimshaw

Introduction to Grimshaw’s Narrative

William Grimshaw’s Family Origins

William and Sarah Grimshaw’s Descendants

Family Photos from Historic Cosumnes

Additional Family Information from Historic Cosumnes

Sacramento County Biographies Entries for Grimshaws

Slough House Cemetery: Final Resting Place for Many Members of the Grimshaw Family

William Grimshaw’s Transcription of Donner Party Rescue Account by Daniel Rhoads


Webpage Credit

Thanks go to JoAnne Grimshaw for obtaining the photocopies that were used to prepare the images of manuscripts that appear on this webpage. JoAnne made the copies at the Bancroft Library on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley in January 2003. Thanks also to Fran Newbold for granting access to the Sloughhouse cemetery in December 2007.

Photographs of William Robinson and Sarah (Rhoads) Grimshaw

A photo of William was included in Grimshaw’s Narrative and is shown below. A photo of Mary (Rhoads) Daylor before she was married to William is provided.

Photo of William Robinson Grimshaw (from frontispiece of Grimshaw’s Narrative1).

Photo of Sarah Rhoads before her marriage to William Robinson Grimshaw (from Historic Cosumnew, by Ricketts2).

Introduction to Grimshaw’s Narrative

As noted above, the main source of information on William Robinson Grimshaw’s life is a biography which was published by Kantor1 as Grimshaw’s Narrative. The primary emphasis is on the California Gold Rush days in which William participated, but it also includes his experiences on sailing ships and his journey to the gold fields. As noted, Grimshaw’s Narrative is described in detail in a companion webpage. An image ofthe attractive title page of Kantor’s book is shown below.

Title Page from Kantor’s Grimshaw’s Narrative.

William Grimshaw’s Family Origins

William provided a brief description of his origins in Grimshaw’s Narrative; an excerpt from the book is shown below.

My name is William Robinson Grimshaw. I was born November 14th, 1826 in a two-story brick house, then a country seat, on the corner of 14th St., & 3rd Avenue in the City of New York. The house is still standing & is immediately opposite the N.Y. Academy of Music.”

My father’s name was John Grimshaw. He was a younger son of a man belonging to a class called in England “gentlemen farmers,” and was born in 1800 near Leids (sic) in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He came to N.Y. at an early age and became clerk for Jeremiah Thompson of that city. Shortly after coming of age he went into business for himself & engaged in cotton speculations so successfully that he soon acquired what was for those days a fortune. He built the house above named and married in the year 1825. Of course having made a fortune so easily he could not discontinue his speculations & (equally of course) before the year 1830 he became bankrupt & had to surrender all his property to his creditors.

My mother’s maiden name was Emma Robinson. She is the daughter of Wm. T. Robinson of the mercantile firm of Franklin, Robinson & Co. well known to New Yorkers of the latter part of the last century & was born Sept. 9th, 1803. One of her sisters married Jonas Minturn of N.Y.; another, John B. Toulmin of Mobile (Ala); another became the wife of Wm. Hunter, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island & minister to Brazil in President Jackson’s administration. My mother is now living in N.Y. City.

The fact that William’s father, John Grimshaw, came to New York to become a clerk for Jeremiah Thompson gives clear evidence on his family origins. As noted on a companion webpage on Caleb Grimshaw, the Grimshaws and Thompsons were Quakers from Leeds who were closely connected in the transatlantic shipping business in Liverpool and New York. Caleb Grimshaw was married to Sarah Thompson, who was probably a sister of Jeremiah Thompson for whom William’s father, John, was a clerk in New York.

A descendant chart for the Quaker Grimshaws in Yorkshire, with Edward and Dorothy Grimshaw (see companion webpage) as progenitors is shown below. Four of the five unknown children, as well as the seventh unidentified child, have been identified on FamilySearch.com. John Grimshaw, believed to be William Robinson Grimshaw’s father is shown in italics. The children of John and Emma (Robinson) Grimshaw are also shown.


Edward Grimshaw (About 1559 – 22 Jun 1635) & Dorotye Raner

|–Abraham Grimshaw (1603 – 1670) & Sarah ( – 21 Sep 1695)

|–|–JeremyJeremiah Grimshaw* (21 Jul 1653 – 12 Aug 1721) & Mary Stockton ( – 6 Jan 1692/1693)

|–|–|–Joshua Grimshaw (12 Apr 1687 – 8 Jan 1764) & Jane Oddy (1686 – 1771)

|–|–|–Caleb Grimshaw (20 May 1688 – 1751) & Esther Hudson

|–|–|–|–William Grimshaw (24 Nov 1713 – 6 Oct 1714)

|–|–|–|–Mercy Grimshaw (28 Sep 1715 – )

|–|–|–|–Caleb Grimshaw (3 Aug 1718 – 3 Jun 1794) & Ruth

|–|–|–|–|–Betty Grimshaw (4 Sep 1754 – )

|–|–|–|–|–John Grimshaw (29 Mar 1756 – )

|–|–|–|–|–Jeremiah Grimshaw (6 Nov 1759 – )

|–|–|–|–|–Leonard Grimshaw (1767 – 1819) & Elizabeth Hall. Married 4 Jun 1795.

|–|–|–|–|–|–Five unknown children

|–|–|–|–|–|–Elizabeth Grimshaw (14 Apr 1796 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–Mary Grimshaw (18 Nov 1797, Millhouse or Pickering, York – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–William Grimshaw (4 Sep 1800, Bossall, York – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–John Grimshaw (4 Sep 1800, Bossall, York – ?) & Emma Robinson. Married 19 Nov 1825, Trinity Church Parish, New York City.

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–William Robinson Grimshaw (4 Nov 1826 – 14 Sep 1881) & Sarah Pierce (Rhoads) Daylor (28 Jan 1830 – 10 Jan 1898)


Married 22 Apr 1851
, California.

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Emma Robinson Grimshaw (ca 1828, Nova Scotia – 9 Mar 1888, Brooklyn, NY) & Benjamin S Haviland (1822, Chappaqua, NY – 19 Jan 1880, Brooklyn, NY). Married 11 Jun 1852, New York, NY


|–|–|–|–|–|–Caleb Grimshaw (19 or 22 Aug 1801, Bossall, York – 1 Feb 1847) & Sarah Thompson (? – 2 Feb 1833). Married 10 Mar 1824, Knaresborough, Yorkshire.

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Elizabeth Grimshaw (14 Mar or May 1825 – ) & Henry Wilson (24 Aug 1822 – ?). Married 16 May 1849.

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–George Grimshaw (12 Aug 1827 – 26 Mar 1863) & Isabella

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Edward Grimshaw (22 May 1828 – 25 Oct 1828 or 26 Oct 1826?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Charles Thompson Grimshaw (1 May 1830 – ?) & Hannah Walker. Married 7 Nov 1855.

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Ann Grimshaw (26 Oct 1831 –  6 Apr 1834)

|–|–|–|–|–|–Caleb Grimshaw (19 Aug 1801 – 1 Feb 1847) & Hannah Ellis (15 Oct 1803 – 18/19 Feb 1887). Married 4 Feb 1841.

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Sarah Hanna Grimshaw (7 Dec 1842 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–Seventh unknown child

|–|–|–|–|–|–George Grimshaw (23 Nov 1805, Bossall, York – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–Jonathan Grimshaw (1770 – 20 Jun 1798) & Hannah Burley

It is postulated here that William’s father is the John Grimshaw who was born on September 4, 1800 (a twin to William Grimshaw) and who came to New York to work for Jeremiah Thompson. He is one of the previous “Five unknown children” of Leonard and Elizabeth (Hall) Grimshaw. It therefore seems that John named his son William after his twin brother.

Leonard Grimshaw and Elizabeth Hall, William Grimshaw’s grandparents, were married at Bossall, York on July 4, 1795, as indicated on FamilySearch.org:

“England, Marriages, 1538-1973 ,” Leonard Grimshaw, 1795
groom’s name: Leonard Grimshaw
bride’s name: Eliz. Hall
marriage date: 04 Jul 1795
marriage place: Bossall,York,England
indexing project (batch) number: M10572-2
system origin: England-ODM
source film number: 918414
Source Citation: “England, Marriages, 1538-1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N2KV-6NG : accessed 13 May 2012), Leonard Grimshaw, 1795.

William and Sarah Grimshaw’s Descendants

William Robinson Grimshaw and Sarah (Rhoads) Daylor were married in April 1851, about six months after Sarah’s first husband, Jared Daylor, died of cholera. William and Sarah’s descendant chart, showing their 12 children and several of their grandchildren, is shown below.

Descendant Chart for William and Sarah (Rhoads) Daylor Grimshaw. Compiled from several sources, including Kantor1, Ricketts2, Ricketts3 and family history websites.

John Grimshaw (1800 – ) & Emma Robinson

|—–William Robinson Grimshaw (4 Nov 1826 – 14 Sep 1881) & Sarah Pierce (Rhoads) Daylor (28 Jan 1830 – 10 Jan 1898) Married 22 Apr 1851.

|—–|—–William R. Grimshaw (31 Mar 1852 – ) & Alice Bean

|—–|—–|—–Robert Grimshaw (died 18 years old)

|—–|—–|—–Sadie Grimshaw & Dr. F.H. Metcalf

|—–|—–|—–Agnes Grimshaw & LeRoy Miller

|—–|—–|—–|—–Robert LeRoy Miller (died in infancy)

|—–|—–Emma Grimshaw (26 Nov 1853 – ) & W.D. Lawton

|—–|—–Thomas Minturn Grimshaw (15 Aug 1856 – ) & ? Byron

|—–|—–George Grimshaw (8 Oct 1858 – ) & Anna Maria Gaffney

|—–|—–|—–Rhoads Grimshaw

|—–|—–John Henry Grimshaw (18 Jul 1860 – 1861)

|—–|—–John Francis Grimshaw (1 Jun 1862 – About 1908) & Edythe C. Tibbitts (1870 – 25 Jan 1951)


|—–|—–|—–Roland F. Grimshaw (7 May 1892 – 29 Dec 1947) & May (or Mary) Gertrude Jackson (22 Sep 1898 – 10 Mar 1986)

|—–|—–|—–|—–Roland Melvin Grimshaw (21 Mar 1919 – 18 Dec 1972) & Frances Maribel Ruman (4 Dec 1921 – )

|—–|—–|—–|—–Raymond Francis Grimshaw (7 Oct 1920 – 16 Nov 1972)

|—–|—–|—–|—–Edith Gertrude Grimshaw (1 Apr 1922 – 4 Feb 1997) & Joseph Michael Eaton (8 Dec 1919 – 21 Dec 1974)

|—–|—–|—–Bessie Blanche Grimshaw (6 Nov 1896 – 30 Oct 1973) & Vernon Douglas Bagley (22 Feb 1899 – )

|—–|—–|—–|—–Doris Adeline Grimshaw (1 Jan 1919 – 6 Feb 1976) & ? Gebhardt?

|—–|—–|—–|—–Doris Adeline Grimshaw (1 Jan 1919 – 6 Feb 1976) & John Leslie Waters?

|—–|—–Selim Woodworth Grimshaw (3 Jun 1864 – 26 Jun 1865)

|—–|—–Frederick Morse Grimshaw (9 May 1866 – 24 Jun 1850) & Jessie Cornelia (Polly?) Sheldon. Married 4 Jan 1911

|—–|—–Walter Scott Grimshaw (15 Jan 1868 – 8 Nov 1944) Never married.

|—–|—–Sarah Pierce Grimshaw (17 Jan 1868 – 7 Dec 1871)

|—–|—–Charles Edward Grimshaw (9 Mar 1870 – 9 Mar 1870)

|—–|—–Catherine Foster Grimshaw (9 Mar 1870 – 4 Jul 1870)

Sarah Rhoads was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Rhoades, who lived in Illinois and converted to Mormonism in 1834 and 1835. Sarah was a 5th generation descendant of Heinrich Roesch, who was born in Germany in 1712 and immigrated to Pennsylvania. The descendants of Heinrich Roesch are described on the following website:


After the murder of Joseph Smith, during the troubled period of Mormon history before their emigration westward to what is now Salt Lake City, Thomas Rhoades obtained permission from Brigham Young to migrate to California. The family arrived in the Sacramento area in 1846, the first Mormon family to migrate overland to California. The family’s history is documented by Rickettsas follows:


When Thomas Foster Rhoades and Elizabeth Forster were married in 1813, little did they realize they were to become connecting links between historical events, which touched America from coast to coast.

Thomas was born at Boone’s Fort in Kentucky and grew up in all the excitement that surrounded that early period of America when adventure was an every‑day occurrence.Elizabeth was fromPennsylvania. He was 21 years old and Elizabethwas 16 — their life together began inMuhlenberg, Kentucky, where they lived until 1820. At that time he moved his family into Edgar County, Illinois, and with a half brother, Jacob, Thomas constructed two crude log cabins to shelter their families, but life was not easy. Settlers were isolated from each other and trading posts were far away. However, wildlife abounded as a welcome source of food.

Thomas’ father, Daniel, and his grandfather, Henry, were surveyors and he followed in their footsteps. Thomas was appointed with two other men by the State ofIllinois to survey and lay out roads forShelby andCole Counties. He continued in this capacity for ten years.

The family lived inEdgarCounty for 24 years. By 1844, after thirty one years of marriage the couple had nineteen children, including one set of triplets and four sets of twins. During this period inEdgarCounty, an event occurred which changed the course of their lives: the conversion of the family to Mormonism in 1834 and 1835 by an early missionary, Caleb Baldwin.

By 1844 mobs, riots, and persecution against the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints (Mormon) reached a breaking point’ when the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, and his brother, Hyrum, were murdered in the Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844. Brigham Young, the newly‑chosen leader, was a close friend of Thomas. One day when Thomas and his family were attending church in a nearby community, violent mobs burned their home and the homes of their friends, ruining the crops and contaminating their drinking water. While the Rhoades had not suffered death, a close friend was killed and it was a shocking experience for Thomas to witness the killing. He started thinking seriously about migrating to the West‑ Brigham Young had already begun planning a large migration.

Since Edgar County was near Nauvoo, Thomas and his family sadly watched the abandonment of the city during 1844 and 1845. Finally Thomas determined to leave and rode throughout the county telling his Mormon friends of his plans and recommending that they do likewise. Brigham Young had gathered the church members along the Mississippi River and it was here that Thomas, his family, and others from Edgar County joined them. They were welcomed by Young who placed Thomas over the newly‑arrived group as captain.

But conditions on the Mississippi were very bad ‑‑ food was scarce, shelters were non-existent, sickness was prevalent. Thomas looked around and felt great despair at the suffering he saw. He talked to Brigham Young about the pitiful condition of the Saints and asked about moving on where shelters could be built and crops could be planted. The Mormon leader explained much had to be done before such a large migration could take place. Thomas then asked to take his small group and go ahead. 1

A general council was called by Brigham Young onThursday, April 21, 1846, for the purpose of discussing the western migration. One matter discussed was the request of Thomas Rhoades to serve as an exploration party to California. The Council granted Thomas permission to set out as soon as he could make arrangements to do so.

It didn’t take the family very many days to be on their way since they had already left all unnecessary belongings behind inEdgar County!


Thomas and his little band consisted of the following:

John Pierce Rhoads and wife, Matilda Fanning, and six children: 1 wagon

Daniel Rhoads and wife, Amanda Esrey: 1 wagon, 3 yoke of oxen, 3 horses, 1 cow

Turner Elder and wife, Polly Rhoads, and one son: 1 wagon

Joseph and Isaac House: I wagon

John Patterson and wife, Christine Forster, and baby: 1 wagon

(Christine was a sister to Elizabeth, Thomas’ wife, and an aunt to Amanda Esrey, Daniel’s wife.)

Fannon boys: 1 wagon

Esrey boys: 1 wagon (Amanda’s brothers)

Whitman: 1 wagon

Rhoads and wife, Elizabeth Forster, and 11 children and two grandchildren (Son
Forster remained in Illinois, but sent two of his children west with Thomas
and Elizabeth. Three of Thomas’ children had their own families and wagons —
John, Daniel, and Polly above– which, when added to the 11 in Thomas’ wagons,
make the 14 children who came to California) Thomas had: 3 wagons, 8 yoke of oxen, 18
cattle, 3 horses.

After several weeks of travel, they arrived at the Missouri River where they stopped temporarily to make repairs and final preparations for the long journey. Other small groups were gathered there, waiting to band together for the western trek. It was here Thomas was approached by George Donner and James Reed, who asked to join his outfit and travel to California. By the time the Rhoades left the Missouri, there were some 200-300 persons in the train — some bound for Oregon, some for California. It took 10 days to cross Nebraska to the Platte River, where they encountered their first Indians. After Fort Laramie., the Indians became a little more menacing. On the whole, however, the journey was relatively uneventful except for the usual hardships of pioneer travel. At Fort Bridger on July 20th, the Rhoades, party continued on under the leadership of Caleb Greenwood, following the middle route northwest, passing through Salt Lake Valley and then proceeding southwest, while the Donner-Reed Party took the Hastings Cut-off.

The Rhoades entered the Sacramento Valley on October 5, 1846, making them the first Mormon family to migrate overland to California. They were not the first Mormons in California since Samuel Brannan had landed with the Ship Brooklyn and 238 Mormons in Yerba Buena in July, 1846, only a few months before.


Thomas and his family located at Dry Creek and he and all of the older boys went to work for Captain John Sutter, except Daniel, who worked for John Sinclair, leaving only 10-year old Caleb at home with his mother and sisters. One of the first matters of business for Thomas was to dispatch a letter to Brigham Young with the first rider east to describe their trip and in California.

That first winter in California was a cold, wet one with heavy snows in the nearby Sierra NevadaMountains. Then came news of the stranded Donner Party. Finally, after much preparation fourteen men left Johnson’s Ranch on February 4, 1847. Each man carried a blanket, shovel, and 50 pounds of meet. John Sutter and John Sinclair provided the supplies and horses. By the 13th of February the number of rescuers had dropped to seven and these men were the ones to reach the stranded emigrants after great hardships: Aquilla Glover, Riley S. Moultry, Joseph Sels, Reasin “Dan” Tucker, Ned Coffeemeyer, and the two Rhoads’ brothers — John and Daniel. Of these seven not one was an experienced mountaineer.

Just at sundown February 18th, the seven men worked their way across the frozen lake and found the trees which W. H. Eddy, one of the Donner Party who had managed to go for help, had described. Seeing no living movements, the men called out and a shaken woman’s voice inquired weakly: “Are you men from California, or do you come from heaven?

By Sunday, February 21st, they had gathered 24 from the stranded group to return with them: 3 men, four women, and 17 children. Three children were 3 years old, one five, one eight, and the rest were 9 years and older. John Rhoads was to carry Naomi Pike. Finally on February 22nd, they left for Sutter’s Fort. Unbelievable hardships were encountered, but they finally arrived at the Fort on March 4th with 18 refugees. With 26 of the Donner Party safely across the mountains (18 -plus 8 others who had come out by themselves) 28 were dead, 31 still starved in the mountains. Other rescue parties were formed and John Rhoads went in again with the 4th rescue group.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth had been unwell for sometime and in the fall of 1847 she became very ill. Thomas and their sons, except Caleb, were away working so it was Caleb who took his mother in a wagon to Sutter’s launch, which was leaving for San Francisco where it was felt she might obtain medical assistance. The ship’s crew placed Mrs. Rhoades on a bin of wheat in the hold to make her as comfortable as possible. As the launch sailed along near Benicia,  Elizabeth died and the captain buried her on shore in an unmarked grave. Thomas returned home two weeks later and, grief stricken, tried to find her grave but never was able to do so.

Thomas Rhoades wrote another letter to Brigham Young in July, 1847, telling more about California, but the Mormons were at that time arriving inSaltLake Valley. While they were traveling west, the United States government had asked for 500 men to go to California

to help in the War withMexico. These 500 Plus volunteers were known as the Mormon Battalion and they left Council Bluffs, Iowa, in July, 1646, for their long march to California, arriving in San Diego in January, 1847. The year-long enlistment was up in July, 1847, and a large group of discharged Battalion members stopped at Sutter’s Fort in August for supplies before continuing east to meet the body of the church although they did not know at that time just where it was. While most continued on after a few days, some of the Battalion men remained at Sutter’s to “work a season” for needed supplies before going on. Sutter, of course, was delighted to hire experienced workmen to help with the growth of his empire. Thus it was that seven discharged Battalion men were working with James Marshall when Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Sawmill in

Coloma. The Mormons were acquainted with Thomas Rhoades as he is mentioned in at least one of their diaries. When news of the gold discovery became known, Thomas and his sons also mined for gold, both at Coloma and other places. Thomas’ sons in law, William Daylor and Jared Sheldon and their friend Perry McCoon as well as Thomas, John, and Daniel Rhoads were very successful in gold mining. Although James Marshall claims to have discovered gold at Dry Diggings (later Hangtown, now Placerville) it is an established fact that those just named above mined extensively at Dry Diggings and Rhoades Diggings near Folsom.


8. Sarah Pierce Rhoads married William Daylor, a native of England, who arrived in California in 1835. He worked for Sutter in 1840. During 1641 he was searching for some of Sutter’s cattle, rode up over a hill and saw a green valley dotted with oaks along the Cosumnes River. He thus discovered the land his family and the Sheldon family, Rhoads, and others were to occupy. Jared Sheldon, William Daylor and Perry McCoon were very successful in the gold fields. From the dry diggings near Placerville they took out $17,000 in one week. In 1850
he rode to Sutter’s Fort and, upon arriving there, noticed a man‑writing in pain nearby on a pile of hay. He tried to assist the man, contracted the cholera from him and died a few days later on his ranch at Cosumnes. His widow buried him on a rolling, shaded hill between her home and her sister Catherine’s home. Thus Daylor was not only the first to find the valley, but he was the first to be buried there. Sarah then married William Robinson Grimshaw and their children were:

William R. (md Alice Bean)

Emma (md W. D. Lawton )

Thomas Minturn (md ? Byron)

George (md Anna Maria Gaffney) — Rhoads Grimshaw is son.

John Henry (died in infancy)

John Francis (died when 3 years old)

Selim Woodworth (died at 1 year)

Frederick Morse (md Polly Sheldon, 2nd cousin)

Twins Walter Scott (never married)

Sarah Pierce (died when 3 years old)

Twins Charles Edward (lived only a few hours)

Catherine Foster (lived only 4 months)

Daylor and his 16 year old bride began their married life in the small adobe ranch which he had built on the Cosumnes several years before. A short distance away his partner, Jared Sheldon, built a crossroads store which served the miners and the settlers in the valley. Sarah and her sister, Catherine, probably spent many days together performing household duties and helping their husbands in the mines and the store.

Grimshaw, Sarah’s second husband., was a native of New York. In 1848 Grimshaw became the bookkeeper for Samuel Brannan’s stores for the sum of $400.00 per month. In 1849 he became a partner with Daylor and managed his ranch and store. After his marriage to Sarah Daylor, he became a law clerk with Winans and Hyer in Sacramento., being admitted to the bar in 1868.He was a justice of the peace for 14 years and served the district court for 6 years. He made several trips to the Orient and a business trip 18 into Mexico with Samuel Brannan where he contracted a tropical fever.

Family Photos from Historic Cosumnes2

Ricketts’2 Historic Cosumnes includes the photo of William below that also appears in Grimshaw’s Narrative.

William Robinson Grimshaw as depicted in Ricketts2. Same photo of William as above.

Rickets book also includes photos of William and Sarah Grimshaw in their later years (shown below).

William and Sarah Grimshaw in their later years.

Photos of three of their children and a few of the grandchildren (below) are also included. Where numbers are indicated, they refer to gravesite numbers where the individuals are buried, as described further down on this webpage.

Children of William and Sarah Grimshaw, shown from oldest to youngest. Jessie (Sheldon) Grimshaw was the spouse of Frederick Morse Grimshaw.

Grandchildren of William and Sarah Grimshaw. Sadie (Grimshaw) Metcalf was the daughter of William R and Alice (Bean) Grimshaw. Roland was the son of John Francis and Edythe (Tibbitts) Grimshaw.

Additional Family Information from Historic Cosumnes2

William and Sarah Grimshaw met, married and lived most of their lives in the Cosumnes valley at a very interesting time in California history. Their lives and the events surrounding them are well documented in Grimshaw’s Narrative, on a companion webpage. Additional history is provided in Historic Cosumnes2, by Norma Ricketts. The following relevant excerpts are from this publication. Again, where numbers are indicated, they refer to gravesite numbers where the individuals are buried, as described further down on this webpage.

This is the story of a small cemetery – 1.52 acres in nestled quietly on top of a rolling hill, green each spring, soon parched brown by the summer sun. There’s more to the story than unmarked mounds and names and dates on stones. Entwined here are the lives of pioneer settlers, their neighbors, hired hands, Indians, blacks, a Chinese or two, and an occasional traveler who didn’t reach his destination. California history was being written pages at a time, and nobody knew then just how it all would end. What started out as a final resting place for husbands and children grew to include about three hundred graves.

This is the story of how it began – the people and the happenings – all were associated in some way at the beginning.


When the captain of the ship told William Daylor to walk the plank and jump, lie helped set the stage for what turned out to be a very colorful chapter in California’s early history.

William had begun sailing as a young lad, signing on a ship inLondon England, where he was born. He had been sailing the high seas for more than a decade when he had a disagreement with his captain while the ship was in MontereyBay. The captain said if William made it ashore he would be free; if not, “tough luck.”

English ships sailed up and down the Pacific Coast between 1835 and 1840, worrying the Mexicans and Russian‑, who occupied the coast. It was from one of these ships Daylor fled, to be dragged exhausted from the cold ocean by Jared Dixon Sheldon. Jared took William to his quarters at the Monterey Presidio, where he was working at the time, and gave him clothing and,, food. From the first the two men were friends.

It was 1840. The Monterey Customs House had been built in 1814, added onto in 1822, and now Sheldon was enlarging it., again for the Mexican government, to accommodate the port.” Daylor stayed inMonterey for a short time before continuing on to Sutter’s Fort where he was employed by John Sutter as a cook.

Jared Sheldon was fromVermont. His father had served in the War of 1812. Jared moved toQuincy, Illinois, in 1832. In 1834 he taught school inBerne, Indiana, and married Mary Edwards inIowa. His young wife died six months later. In 1837 he farmed nearQuincy,Illinois, and in 1838 purchased land in Indiana. In the spring of IS38 he went toSt. Louis, Missouri and was engaged as a guard for an expedition to Santa Fe, from which he transferred to a hunting and prospecting party bound forCalifornia. He became sick and was left behind by this company but later made his way toCalifornia with a passport dated March 9, 1840, granted atQuitobac, Sonora. He was a school’ teacher, carpenter and millwright.

As payment for his labors on the Customs House and other buildings in the Monterey Presidio, he decided to take a land grant. First he had to find the land, join the Catholic Church, assume a Spanish Christian name (Jared chose Joaquin) and become a Mexican citizen, After finding the land, a residence and improvements had to be made within a year.

But Jared had no land, so he finished the Customs House and decided to go to Sutter’s Fort to seek employment. There Sutter hired him as a carpenter and William and Jared renewed their acquaintance.

Sutter’s cattle and horses roamed freely, and during the late summer of 1841 a band of horses strayed further than usual. William Daylor, who was sent to find the animals, rode south east, following their tracks for nearly twenty miles, Suddenly he found himself looking over a valley with willows in(] giant oaks growing along a winding river. In the distance lie saw the smoke from an Indian camp curling high in the air. The horses were there, tethered near the fire on the south bank of the river (about three hundred yards east of the now ­abandoned wire bridge at the end of

Meiss Road). After Daylor viewed the scene, he returned to the Fort for Jared, who spoke several Indian dialects. 

The next clay the men traveled back to negotiate the return of the horses. After exploring the area, they made friends with the Indians and returned with the horses for Captain Sutter. Both were excited about the green valley on the Cosumnes.

This then was the beginning. Daylor had found Ole land and Sheldon had the land grant. It was a natural partnership. They joined together and, from then until their deaths the names of Daylor and Sheldon were linked.

Jared soon finished the work for Sutter, then hastened toMonterey to file for his grant. He sought help from W. E. P. Hartnell, then secretary of state and government interpreter forCalifornia under the Mexican government. Hartnell ‑igreed to intervene and Sheldon took steps to secure a grant in 1841 William Tecumseh Sherman, a young surveyor inMonterey, accompanied Sheldon back to the Cosumnes and surveyed the grant for the Mexican government.Sherman was later well- known for his Civil War activities as a Union general in the famous march through Georgia.

The arrangements between Sheldon and Daylor were simple. Daylor would secure the land by building a residence and corrals, while Sheldon would stock the ranch. For his assistance, Sheldon aagreed to give Daylor a portion of the grant. The plan was taking form. Daylor cleared some land, built a small adobe home, and lived mostly on venison that first winter. In the spring, with some Indians and Edward Robinson, he built a corral and enclosed a field of one hundred acres with a ditch. With seed obtained from Sutter, he sowed the first wheat in the valley.

Jared, meanwhile, went to Marsh’s Landing (nowAntioch) and purchased three hundred head of cattle from Dr. John Marsh. After hiring drovers to take the cattle to the  CosumnesValley, he began a two‑year period of working for Marsh as a carpenter to  pay for the cattle. He also arranged for an additional one hundred fifty head of cattle belonging to Hartnell to be taken to the Hartnell grant directly across the river from the Sheldon grant. Daylor was to erect corrals on Hartnell’s land and care for the cattle for one‑half the increase for six years.

In addition to working for Dr. Marsh, Sheldon also worked for Jose Amador, Hartnell and the Mexican government. He built flour mills on the Russian River near  Bodega Bay and at Mission San Juan near San Jose, having previously built one in Los Angeles.

On January 8, 1844, Governor Micheltorena officially signed the grant and Sheldon received title to Omochumney Rancho, consisting of five leagues of land – 22,130 acres. The grant, from one to three miles wide, extended seventeen miles along the north bank of the Cosumnes River, and originally was known as the: Sheldon Grant. After the division with Daylor the name of’ each owner was used ‑ Sheldon’s Ranch, Daylor’s Ranch.

Sheldon wrote from Monterey in August 1845. He had ordered the stones for their mill from Mexico, and he had a few more jobs to finish, before returning to stay. He also wrote he would be in Sacramento when the millstones arrived by ship The stones were hauled from the quarry in Mexico to the ocean by ox team When Sheldon had finished in Monterey and returned home, he was pleased with the progress made by Daylor and the Indians on the Cosumnes.

Sheldon and Daylor grew to love the valley they settled. The tule elk roamed freely, antelope grazed between their rancho and the Fort, and thousands of ducks and geese nested in the nearby swamp lands. They leveled some land and planted corn, wheat and vegetables.

Daylor lived in his adobe house, and Jared Sheldon built small wood house (located where the Slough House transformer now are) in late 1845. This house, the first on the slough, gave the area its name: slough house. Sheldon lived here until he built the mill in 1847.

Early in their association Daylor and Sheldon agreed to live and let live so far as the Indians in the area were concerned. Across the Sacramento were the Maidu and along the Cosumnes lived the Miwok. These Indians lived in villages or rancherias the Spanish called them, and there was a rancheria not too far from Daylor’s adobe.

Adequate food supply was characteristic of these Indians. Acorns were the staple, with herbs and grass seeds being next importance, followed by fish, rabbits and other small game.

The two men got along well with the Indians of the Cosumnes. No doubt Captain Sutter had played a role in the attitude of the Miwoks toward Sheldon and Daylor. Sutter found the Indians troublesome at first. He wrote if it had not been for the cannons lie had purchased from Fort Ross and his, large bulldog, the Indians would have killed him on several different occasions. Sutter continued:

In the spring of 1840, the Indians began to be troublesome all around me, Killing and Wounding Cattle stealing horses, and threatening to attack us en Mass, I obliged to make campaigns against them and punish them severely, a little later about 2 a 300 was approaching and got united on Cosumne River, but I was not waiting for them, left a small Garrison at home, canons & other Arms loaded, and left with 6 brave men & 2 Baquero’s in the night, and took them by surprise at Daylight, the fighting was a little hard. but after having lost about 30 men, they was willing to make a treaty with me and after this leson they behaved very well, and became my best friends and Soldiers.

Sutter used the Indians in many ways: as guards at the fort, as hunters and trappers, in cutting, binding and cradling wheat, plowing, weaving, tending gardens and even in his cavalry. Sutter frequently took the Fort’s doctor and visited ailing Indians, giving what assistance they could. He maintained a strong hand in his relationship with the Indians on the Cosumnes, as shown by the following entries in his New Helvetia Diary:

March 5,1848 – Took a ride with Mr. Zins to the Cosumney Rancheria to get people to work.

March 12, 1848- Dances in the Cosunmey Rancheria.

March 13, 1848 – A good Many Indians at work, but all very tired on account their dances, at 9 OClock in the evening left with Messrs Kyburz & Wittmer to the Cosumney Rancheria, and for not having obeyed my Orders burnt their Temascal (sweat house).

April 24, 1848 ‑Last night a dance in the Cosumney Rancheria, all the boys etc. came late in the Morning ‑ a good Many was a sleep instead at work and got punished for having done so.

The Miwoks and Daylor and Sheldon left no record of having any problems with each other. The Indians continued living among the white settlers at Cosumne, following their native customs, such as cremation of their dead, and grinding acorns hear Sheldon’s mill on the mortars on the ledges. Changes that came about consisted mainly of additions to their sparse diets and contracting the white man’s diseases, which were devastating to the Indians. Later they also became expert at bartering at the trading posts. They worked with great energy to acquire heretofore unheard‑of luxuries supplied by Daylor’s Store. During the Gold Rush, Indians were sent to the mines by the Cosumnes ranchers.

At first there was no weighing or measuring, either of goods or gold. So much flour or beef was given for as much gold as could be grasped in the hand, As scales were introduced, sugar, raisins, beads or silver dollars were put in one scale and balanced  with gold in the other.

The Cosumnes settlers and the Indians lived and worked together, helping one another, each in their own way.


It was just twenty miles cross‑country between Cosumne and Dry Creek where the Rhoads family lived. The two partners, Daylor and Sheldon, even went courting together. One day when William and Jared called on the Rhoads girls, Sarah and Catherine, their dogs followed along beside the horses. The Rhoads dogs and the visiting dogs greeted each other with such ferocity that in the ensuing scuffle a churn full of cream was knocked over. This cream spilled over the board floor, causing the dogs to slip and f all as the girls chased them out with brooms.

Daylor was thirty‑seven year old when he fell in love with seventeen‑year‑old Sarah. They were married March 4, 1847, by Alcalde John Sinclair in his office at the confluence of the American and Feather River (nowDiscovery Park). The homesteading adobe house be came a honeymoon cottage for Daylor and his bride.

Jared wasnt far behind. He proposed to Catherine, just fifteen years old, and they were married by Sinclair in his office ten days later, March 14, 1847. They moved into the newly finished house by the mill, two miles downstream from Daylor.

It was a happy, busy year for the two couples. They cleared and leveled more land in order to plant additional acreage to wheat, corn and vegetables. Much ‑work was required to tend their increasing cattle herds on the unfenced land. The land near the river, known as bottomland, was good for agriculture. The land further away from the river was used principally for grazing cattle and sheep. Later on, fruit orchards were planted, with alfalfa in between to revitalize the soil.


The Argonauts, en route to the southern mines, began pushing through to Jackson, Mokelumne Hill, Angels Camp, Murphy’s,Sonora and Chinese Camp.

Daylor built a store about thirty yards from his adobe home. The store had a high, false front facing the fork in the road, mid its front porch afforded a view of the passing throng. He and Sarah, helped by the Indians and hired hands,”” operated the store. Trade in Daylor’s Store at first was primarily with Indians. These Indians made excursions to the mines in bawl‑, returning in several weeks with gold. Inevitably, their first purchase was beef. An animal was driven tip to the village, killed and handed over to the purchasers, who consumed every particle of the animal except hide, horns, and bones. They would eat to repletion, then lie down to sleep. Next they would visit the store, accompanied by the squaws, and purchase serapes (Mexican blankets) dry goods, beads, sugar, raisins and sweet meats.

Dry goods purchased from Sam Brannan’s store in Sacramento were resold from Daylor’s Store.” With the gold rush, however, this scene changed. Daylor’s Store became an important stopping place for miners on their way to the southern mines. No longer could he and his wife tend the store, so in November 1849, they lured twenty‑three‑year‑old William Robinson Grimshaw away from his employer, Sam Brannan. Young Grimshaw had been serving as Brannan’s bookkeeper for four hundred dollars a month. He was from New York, well educated for the period, and a willing worker. They made him a partner in Daylor’s Store, and the name Grimshaw began its entanglement with the Daylors, Sheldons and Rhoadses, which lasted the length of his life.

A: contemporary wrote: “Sam Brannan’s store was located on the corner of  J Street and the levee. William R. Grimshaw (now of Daylor’s Ranch on the Cosumnes) was his ‘largo factotum’ and who is there living of the boys in the fall of ’49 who cannot see him in their mind’s eye as he rode back and forth from Sutter’s Fort on his magnificent white charger, a young and splendid‑looking man dressed in a navy f rock?


It took almost six weeks for Sacramento to learn Congress had admitted California to the Union on September 9, 1850. The riverboat New World arrived in Sacramento
at on October 19 with the news. But the New World brought
something other than good news; it brought cholera to Sacramento. Cholera made its first appearance inSacramento, October 20, 1850, when a passenger from the ship was found
collapsing on the levee. Although attempts were made to keep it quiet, it
didn’t take the cholera long to spread.

By November 4 a Sacramento correspondent to the Alta newspaper in San Francisco wrote: “This city presents an aspect truly terrible. Three of the large gambling resorts have been closed. The streets are deserted, and frequented only by the hearse. Nearly all business is at a standstill. There seems to be a deep sense of expectancy, mingled with fear, pervading all classes. There is an expression of anxiety in every eye, and all sense of pecuniary loss is merged in a greater apprehension of personal danger. The daily mortality is about sixty. Many deaths are concealed. Many are not reported. Deaths during the past week, so far as known, 188.

William Daylor was one of those fatalities. On a routine business trip to Sutter’s Fort, he dismounted upon arrival and began to secure his horse. A man lay moaning on a bale of hay nearby. Daylor assisted him and tried to make him comfortable through the night. When morning came William finished his business at the Fort and returned home. By the end of the eighteen‑mile trip, he was feverish, and in just four days, on October 31, 1850, he died. Though the cholera epidemic lasted in its malignant form only twenty days, hundreds succumbed in the city. Many, like Daylor, were overtaken in outlying places, while still others died during desperate flights to escape the dreaded disease.

On his deathbed, William Daylor made his will in the presence of witnesses John B. Connack, Perry McCoon and Thomas F. Coburn. He appointed his partner, Jared D. Sheldon, his only administrator, wishing him “to arrange and settle all of my affairs, truly and honestly. My wife, Sarah P. Daylor, is to have provision made for her first, and William B. Rhoads, George M. Rhoads, also Henry Rhoads, are to be provided for by Mr. Sheldon out of my property as I may direct or as he may think just. My two Indian boys, Quatapa and Robert, are to be taken care of by Mr. Sheldon, according to his judgment.

The family gathered around. They buried Daylor on top of the rolling slope between Sarah and Catherine’s home. Sheldon served as administrator from November 19, 1850, until May 1, 1851, upon which date Sheldon resigned said appointment and James Ben Ali Haggin was appointed.

The Rhoads brothers, William B., George W., and Henry C., “released all claims to any hold on the Daylor estate in consideration of $2,000 to us in hand” paid by J. B. Haggin, administrator. W. W. Wade purchased the property from the Rhoads brothers, thus becoming one of the early Cosumnes settlers. The Daylor estate in 1855 was valued at $106,000, with. total taxes of $270.30.


Six months after the death of Daylor, William Robinson Grimshaw and Sarah Rhoads Daylor were married – April 22, 1851. The couple continued living at the Daylor Ranch, which later was called Grimshaw’s place, Theirs was a happy marriage, and they had twelve children, eight of whom are buried on the little hill.

In April 1851, Daniel and Amanda decided to move to Gilroy, so they loaded their wagon with household goods, hiding eight thousand dollars in gold dust in the bed of the wagon. He purchased one thousand acres from the Ortegas, part of a Mexican land grant. The single Rhoads brothers, William, Henry George, and Foster, went too. The entire group later moved to Lemoore after several years of drouth in Gilroy.


One mob execution occurred in Slough House. A Dutchman, I Frederick Bohle, lived about a mile up the river from Daylor’s Ranch and operated a small cattle ranch. Two traveling cattle buyers, desirous of purchasing cattle from Bohle, found his cabin door torn from its hinges. The walls, furniture and bed were covered with blood. About fifty yards away his dog was guarding the corpse. Indications pointed to a brutal murder and a desperate struggle for life. The men gave the alarm at Daylors. W.R. Grimshaw and Oliver Sanders secured the body.

A stranger had been seen on the premises the day before. A. few days previously the same stranger had fired a pistol at Mr. Lord, a settler who lived on the Cosumnes, in in attempted robbery. If robbery were the motive at Bohle’s place, it was an unsuccessful attempt, for his five thousand dollars in gold dust was found some time later in a straw‑filled wagon bed.”‘ Samuel Caldwell was deputized to look for the stranger. He found him‑ William Lomax‑in the Our House Saloon on J Street between 6th and 7th Streets, Sacramento. Lomax, protesting i “g‑ his innocence, was returned to Daylor’s. There were bloodstains on his clothes and “other indications” he was the guilty party.

Settlers from Michigan Bar, Cook’s Bar, Live Oak and Well’s Diggings assembled at Daylors, intent on lynching Lomax , but Grimshaw insisted he be given a trial. A popular court was organized in front of Daylor’s Store and the trial began. There were three sessions. During the first two Lomax remained steadfast in claiming he had spent the night with Van Trees at his house on the American River. He asked time be granted to bring Van Trees to verify his alibi. The court adjourned until the following day. The people of Cook’s Bar and Michigan Bar took the accused, fearing he might escape. A night watch was set up and the prisoner was returned in time for the resumption of the trial.

Van Trees arrived and stated Lomax had been at his place earlier, but had stolen a mule upon leaving. After the third and final session, Lomax was found guilty. The settlers put Lomax in a wagon and drove underneath the banging tree, located two hundred yards from the front porch of the Daylor Store. They threw the rope over a limb and made a noose around his neck. When asked if be had any last words, Lomax replied he would give five thousand dollars for a pair of Colt revolvers and a chance to face his enemies. No one took up his offer, and the wagon was driven out from under him.

When the execution was over, a messenger was sent to Sacramento to inform Sheriff D. N. Hunt a murderer had executed. There were repercussions and county authorities sent Coroner Smith to investigate. The result of an inquest held in Sacramento was that Lomax was hanged by a mob, with the recommendation that Lord, Caldwell, Grimshaw and other participants be arrested.

Then came the fireworks. Mass indignation prompted a meeting in Live Oak on the night of May 20, 1855, “to express public feeling regarding W. R. Grimshaw, Samuel Caldwell and Mr. Lord. F. Bishop was the chairman of the meeting, from which was fashioned one of the most unusual documents in state history. Its authors were O. D. Freeman, J. B. Dayton, and Dr. Woodford. It was printed as a paid advertisement in Sacramento papers and its contents, in part, were as follows:

Resolved, That the people create laws for the maintenance of justice and suppression of crime and that whenever any unforeseen or extraordinary circumstance shall turn the current of those laws into the channels of injustice, or the vortex of the crime, the right to arrest such subverted action is inherent in the sovereign people.

Resolved, That enlightened and just communities, when summoned by peculiar circumstances, and in times of great peril, may inflict summary punishment upon great criminals without abrogating the law; that on the contrary they act, if not in concert, as one of two friendly powers against a common enemy – crime.

Resolved, That although the people who executed the murderer Lomax did not act in strict conformity with statute of law, yet as in the case of the execution of the horse thieves and murderers, Driscoes, in Illinois in 1840, Judge Ford said on acquitting the prisoners, that all civil law is powerless against an organized band of desperados and that there was but one court that could reach them; so in the case of Lomax and his confederates, the people alone can break up their band and mete out even justice in spite of their perjury.

Resolved, That Coroner Smith by his officious interference in the matter of the execution of the murderer Lomax, has shown himself an abject slave to the letter of the law, at the sacrifice of its spirit and the great end for which it was instituted.

Resolved, That the theory of the supremacy and infallibility of the law is a doctrine of tyrants and is incompatible with the spirit and genius of an enlightened people, who are the source of all power.

Resolved, That the thanks of the community be tendered to William R. Grimshawe Samuel Caldwell and Mr. Lord for the generous sacrifice of their private interests and welfare.

Resolved, That the proceedings of the meeting be published in the State Tribune and the Sacramento Union.

The resolutions were signed by four hundred residents of the area. The men were not arrested and the incident was closed, serving only to let the world know the settlers in the Cosumnes Valley meant business.


(This material was obtained through personal interviews between 1971 and 1977.)

Sometimes funerals were held in the homes and sometimes the services were held at the graveside in the cemetery. I remember the funeral of little Eva Pierson. We sang “Nearer My God to Thee.” This was one of the songs sung frequently in the cemetery. Sometimes the families had a portable organ brought in. There was a flood when she died and her father measured the water and then got a high, spring wagon to take her body to the cemetery.

-Marion Grimshaw Renier

Fredrick Grimshaw herded sheep as a young man and raised and sold pigeons. Using a horse and a spring wagon, he delivered pigeons to Folsom, Mills Station and to the Michigan Bar areas where live pigeons shoots were held. By the time he was twenty-one, he had saved enough money to set out fifty acres of land in French prunes, which, as far as can be determined, was the first French prune orchard in northern California.

During the summer months lie took a threshing machine and hay bailing crew, and beginning in the Cosumnes and American River areas and going from ranch to ranch, ended up in Walnut Grove and Courtland.

He raised about thirty head of Percheron, crossed with Belgian draft horses, to haul dried prunes and
large bales of dried hops to rail point. He had special sized wagons built and it was a common sight to see Grimshaw driving a six‑horse team a large wagon and another wagon attached as a trailer.

-Jessie Grimshaw

When Frederick Morse Grimshaw died, a very prominent jurist wrote: “Fred Grimshaw was a very unusual man. Warm, even tender in his friendships, he was outspoken in his opinions and a sturdy foe of wrong or injustice everywhere. No man was too big for him to challenge if he were wrong, nor too little for him to defend.”

-Judge Peter Shields, now deceased

When Fred M. Grimshaw was three years, old, there was a diphtheria epidemic. He became ill with the disease and may have died except for a doctor friend from San Francisco who was visiting Dr. Gibbs of Cosumne at the time. The friend had heard of inserting a pipe into throats of diphtheria victim‑, and he and Dr. Gibbs performed this operation on young Fred. This was probably the first tracheotomy in the valley and no doubt it saved his life, since two other Grimshaw babies had already died.

-Jessie Grimshaw Saner

The Chinese worked in the fruitorchards. They took careof the peaches for William Chauncey Sheldon and the plums for Fredrick Morse Grimshawe They had long poles with hooks on the end, called shaker poles. The hook was put over a limb to shake prunes off.

Just as the young men worked constantly on the levees, so the young women prepared peaches and other fruit for drying. They received seven cents for cutting and stoning a fifty-pound box of freestone peaches and ten cents per box for cling peaches. This included cutting, pitting and laying the furit on drying trays. This was a regular summertime job every year.

-Jesse Grimshaw Saner


7. Sarah Rhoads Daylor Grimshaw died in 1898. She had gone to Lemoore to visit her twin, William Baldwin Rhoads, who was ill. Both of them died within a week after her arrival. Catherine Dalton, who had accompanied her to Lemoore, brought the body home on the train.

9. Catherine Rhoads Sheldon Mahone Dalton delivered every non­Indian baby for twenty-five years in the Cosumnes Valley, and all her grandchildren for another twenty years.”‘ She was a natural nurse. She died in 1905. Buried in cemetery.


(Alphabetical Listing)

GRIMSHAW, Catherine Foster (149A) B­Mar. 9, 1870. D‑July 4, 1870. Twin to 149B. Dau. of 148A, B.

GRIMSHAW Charles Edward (149B) B-Mar. 9, 1870. Died same day. Twin to 149A, Son of 148A, B.

GRIMSHAW Fredrick Morse (151) B-May 9, 1866. D-June 24, 1950. Son of 148A, B. Husband of 150. Served as a director and appraiser of California‑Western States Life Insurance Company, a director of the Prune and Apricot Growers Association, member of board of trustees for Wilson School District. Member, Native Sons of the Golden West. Farm Bureau, and Elks Lodge, No. 6, in Sacramento.

GRIMSHAW Jessie Cornelia Sheldon (150) B-Oct. 14, 1879. D-Aug, 30, 1968. Wife of 151. Dau. of 26, 27. She attended and was graduated from the Rhoads School. Md‑151 on Jan. 4, 1911. She was a very outgoing person who liked to help people and be with them. Her family and friends relied upon her in case of an emergency. She was a skilled seamstress.

GRIMSHAW, John Francis (154) B-June 1, 1862. D-Abt. 1908. Son of 148A, B. Father of 152, 157. First husband of 153. Orchardist. Had small ranch.

GRIMSHAW John Henry (149C) B-July 18, 1860. D-1861. Son of 148A, B.

GRIMSHAW, Robert (155) D-18 yrs. old. Son of Alice Bean and Wm. R. Grimshaw. Bro. of 156, 163.

GRIMSHAW, Roland F. (157) B-May 2I, 1892. D-Dec. 29, 1947. Md. Mary Gertrude Jackson. Son of 154, 153. Bro. of 152. Pvt., Co. B., 305 Infantry, World War I.

GRIMSHAW Sarah Pierce (149E) B-Jan. 15, 1868. D‑Dec. 7, 1871. Dau. of 148A, B.

GRIMSHAW, Sarah Rhoads Daylor (148B) B-Jan. 28, 1830. D-Jan. 11, 1898. Md to (1) William Daylor (111) and (2) William R. Grimshaw (148A). Mother of 149 A, B, C, D, E, G, 147.

GRIMSHAW, Selim Woodworth (149D) B‑June :3, 1864, D-June 25, 1865. Son of 148A, B.

GRIMSHAW, Walter Scott (147) B-Jan. 15, 1868. D-Nov. 8, 1944. Bachelor. Son of 148A, B. Attended Wilson School where here his father was his teacher for several years. Had ranch where he raised French prunes and hops. Avid reader. Loved music and wrote poetry. Resided his entire life in tile original Grimshaw family home at Cosumne. He loved flowers and had camellias, roses and gladioli. Walter was an inveterate hunter and fisherman, loving the outdoors.

GRIMSHAW, William Robinson (148A) B‑Nov. 14, 1826. D-Sept. 11, 1881. Native of New York City. Arrived in Monterey in 1848. Bookkeeper for Sam Brannan at Sutter’s Fort for $400 mo. Became partner with William Daylor in 1849 and later married Daylor’s widow, Sarah Rhoads Daylor. Father of 119 A, B, C, D, E, F, 147. By private study and experience as a law clerk in a Sacramento firm, he was admitted to the bar in 1868. In 1876 he traveled to the Orient, but the improvement in his health, sought by the sea voyage, was not forthcoming. He taught several years at the Wilson School.

Sacramento County Biographies Entries for Grimshaws

Grimshaw biographies in the history of Sacramento County are shown below.

Sacramento County Biographies

Davis, Hon. Win. J., An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California. Page 616. Lewis Publishing Company. 1890.

Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.

© 2007 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor.


WILLIAM ROBINSON GRIMSHAW, deceased, was born in the city of New York, his parents being John and Emma (Robinson) Grimshaw. The father was English, and of a family interested in manufacturing in Manchester. The mother was American for at least five generations, being of the Robinson family of Rhode Island. The father dealt in cotton or cotton goods and traveled much. William R., was taken to England when two years old, remaining three years, and again at the age of six, when he remained five years at school. Losing his father early in life, he was much indebted to Thomas Minturn, an uncle by marriage, for his support and education. On his return from England he was sent to Mobile, Alabama, where he lived four years in some school or college. Again returning to New York, he is known to have spent some time in Burlington, Vermont, and at some point in the interior of the State of New York, and again in New York city —in all six years, for the most part, as is supposed, spent in completing his education. He is also known to have been a drug clerk for a time before he came of age. At the age of twenty-one he “shipped before the mast” on the Isaac Walton, owned wholly or in part by his uncle Minturn, and bound for California. Arriving at Monterey, he shipped on the Anita, a naval tender, which he left in October, 1848, to accept the position of bookkeeper for S. Brannan & Co., at Sutters Fort, at a salary of $400 a month. In November 1849, he went into partnership with William Daylor, and kept a store on his ranch on the Cosumnes River. Mr. Daylor died of cholera in 1850, leaving no issue. In April, 1851, Mr. Grimshaw was married to Mrs. Sarah P. (Rhoads) Daylor, the widow of his late partner, to whom she had been married four years before, at the age of seventeen. After some years they lived in Sacramento for a time, where Mr. Grimshaw was a law clerk with Winans & Hyer in 1857. By private study and from such experience of legal business as he had gathered in a law office and his superior general education he was deemed qualified to become a lawyer, and was admitted to the bar in 1868. He, however, quit the practice of law in the spring of 1869, not finding it as congenial as he had anticipated. He was a justice of the peace for fourteen years, and a teacher of the district school for six years, toward the close of his life. In 1876 he made a voyage to China for his health, but with no marked improvement. He died September 14, 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Grimshaw were the parents of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, of whom seven, with their mother, are now living: William R., born March 31, 1852; Emma G., November 26, 1853, now Mrs. William D. Lawton, of Sacramento; Thomas Minturn, August 15, 1856; George R., October 8, 1858; John Francis, June 1, 1862; Frederick M., May 9, 1866; and Walter S., January 15, 1868. The mother was born in 1830 in Edgar County, Illinois, being a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Foster) Rhoads. She has been a resident of the Cosumnes, with but little interruption, since the arrival in California of her parents, with their fourteen living children and two or three grandchildren, in 1846.


Page 265.

GRIMSHAW, WM. R., was born in 1826, in a house opposite the present Academy of Music, New York City. He has made two trips and return to England; first in 1829, returning 1831; second, 1832, returned 1837. In 1837 he went to Mobile, Alabama, where he remained till 1841; thence to New York, to Charleston, S. C., to “Interior,” to New York City again, to Burlington, Vt., and, for the third time, to New York City. In 1847-48 he went before the mast, on the ship “Isaac Walton,” bound for California. Arrived in Monterey Bay, he shipped on the “Anita,” a naval tender. He left the “Anita” in October, 1848, to keep books for S. Brannan & Co. at Sutter’s Fort, at a salary of $400 per month. In November, 1849, he formed partnership with Wm. Daylor, and kept a store at Daylor’s Ranch, on Cosumnes River, where he has since resided. Mr. Grimshaw married Mrs. Sarah P. Daylor. They have seven children, viz. : Wm. R., Jr., Thos. Winturn, Emma (wife of W. D. Lawton, of San Francisco), George, Jno. Francis, Frederick, Walter. The sons all reside on the old Daylor Ranch.

GRIMSHAW, MRS. S. P., lives eighteen miles from Sacramento, and three-quarters of a mile from Cosumnes, her Post Office; was born in Edgar County, Illinois, in 1830; in 1837 she removed to Missouri, and lived there until 1846; she came to California in that year and to this county. She was married March 4, 1847, to William Daylor, a native of London, England. Mr. Daylor took up, in company with Mr. Sheldon, the tract of land known as the Sheldon Grant; it consisted of five leagues. Her husband died in October, 1850; she was married again in 1851 to W. R. Grimshaw. She was in Sacramento City during the flood of 1852. Mrs. Grimshaw owns one hundred and ten acres, worth, with improvements, about $15,000.


WILLIAM R. GRIMSHAW, oldest child of William R. Grimshaw, Sr., was born in Sacramento, March 31, 1852. He was educated in the district school, also to some extent at home by his father, and in no small measure by self-education in later years. At the age of fifteen he began to help on the family ranch, and has ever since been engaged in farming. He now owns a very comfortable home and a small farm of forty acres, to which he gives his undivided attention. He was married in July, 1877, to Miss Alice Bean, a native of Missouri, but who was reared in this State, and is a daughter of Russell T. Bean. They are the parents of four living children: Emma, born February 7, 1880; William R., December 5, 1881; Sarah, April 17, 1884; Agnes, July 11, 1887. They lost their first born in infancy.

WALTER SCOTT GRIMSHAW.–A very enterprising, progressive and successful horticulturist, who is a native son proud of his association with the Golden State, is Walter Scott Grimshaw, who was born on the old Grimshaw place at Mocosumnes, now Cosumne, Sacramento County, January 15, 1868, a son of William Robinson Grimshaw, who was born in New York city, a son of John and Emma (Robinson) Grimshaw. The father was born in England of a family who were manufactures in Manchester. The mother was of old American family, being of the Robinsons of Rhode Island. John Grimshaw dealt in cotton and cotton goods and traveled a great deal. William R. spent most of his time in England from the age of two until eleven years of age. He was bereaved of his father in early life and was reared in the home of his Uncle, Thomas Minturn.

On his return from England, William R. Grimshaw was sent to Mobile, Ala., where he spent four years at College. Again returning to New York, he spent some time there and in Burlington, Vt., completing his education, and then spent a short time in a drug store. At the age of twenty-one he “shipped before the mast” on the “Isaac Walton,” owned by his Uncle Minturn and bound for California. Arriving in Monterey he shipped on the “Anita”, a naval tender, which he left in October, 1848, to accept a position as bookkeeper for Sam Brannon & Company at Sutters Fort at a salary of $400.00 a month. In November, 1849, he went into partnership with William Daylor and kept a store on his ranch on the Cosunmes. Mr. Daylor died of cholera in 1850, leaving no issue.

In April, 1851, Mr. Grimshaw was married to Mrs. Sarah P (Rhoads) Daylor, the widow of his late partner. Some years later they moved to Sacramento, where for a time Mr. Grimshaw was a law clerk with Winans & Hyer in 1857. By private study and through experience gained in the legal business he prepared himself for practice as a lawyer, and was admitted to the bar in 1868. However, he quit the practice of law in the spring of 1869, not finding it as congenial as he had anticipated. He was justice of the peace for fourteen years, and also taught the Wilson district school toward the close of his life. In 1876 he made a voyage to China for his health, but without marked improvement. He died September 14, 1881, and his widow survived him until January 11, 1889. She was an early pioneer of Sacramento County, having come hither with her father across the plains in an ox-team train in 1846. Mr. and Mrs. Grimshaw were the parents of twelve children, seven of who grew up: William R., deceased; Emma G., Mrs. Lawton, who died in Sacramento; Thomas M. and George R., both of Sacramento; John F., Deceased; Frederick M., an horticulturist at Cosumnes; and Walter Scott, the subject of this interesting review.

Walter Scott Grimshaw spent his boyhood on the home ranch, receiving a good education in the local public schools, which was supplemented with a course at Howes Business College in Sacramento, after which he engaged in horticulture on the home ranch. He was among the first to set out orchards of prunes on the Cosumnes River and also engaged in raising hops. He has made a study of growing fruit and by research finds the river sediment land the finest in the state for the growing of prunes. The quality is most excellent and the fruit is much larger than grown in other portions of California. The yield here is three tons to the acre, as compared with one ton to the acre in Santa Clara County, for the trees grow very large and healthy in this deep, rich sediment soil. He has just completed a dehydrating plant with a capacity of about seventy-five tons a day. Mr. Grimshaw owns the old Grimshaw home place of fifty-five acres all in prunes and hops. He also owns a half interest in the Mahone ranch of 800 acres, 160 acres of which he has set out to prune orchard now eight years old, one of the finest orchards in California. The balance of the ranch he devotes to stock-raising. In the operation of his ranch he uses tractors, trucks and teams, giving it his personal attention and looking after every detail, and as a result he is meeting with excellent success. Being a firm believer in cooperation as the successful way of marketing the farmers produce, he is a member of the California Prune and Apricot Association. Politically, he is a Republican. He takes well-deserved pride in his well-kept orchards as well as his beautiful gardens of flowers and vegetable, and lawn, his place being one of the show places in the county. Fond of hunting and fishing, he spends much time hunting in the high Sierras and at his hunting club in Butte County, enjoying the diversion of his week-end trips to the latter place to the fullest. Mr. Grimshaw is liberal and progressive, aiding in the development and upbuilding of his favored section of the land of gold and sunshine. Well-read and posted, he is a pleasing conversationalist and one is indeed fortunate to enjoy his dispensing of the true old-time California hospitality.

Slough House Cemetery: Final Resting Place for Many Members of the Grimshaw Family

William, Sarah, and many of their descendants are buried at the Slough House cemetery. A portion of the cemetery map included in Historic Cosumnesis shown below, with the locations of the Grimshaw family graves indicated. Photos of some of the headstones are provided on the website shown below and are also included below.


Map of part of the Slough House cemetery. The Grimshaw graves are indicated by numbers 147 to 157. A key to the gravesites is shown below the image.

147     Walter Scott Grimshaw
149C  John Henry Grimshaw
149E  Sarah Pierce Grimshaw

148A   William Robinson Grimshaw
155    Robert Grimshaw
153   Edythe (Tibbits) Grimshaw Gebhart

148B   Sarah (Rhoads) Grimshaw
150    Jessie (Sheldon) Grimshaw
154   John Francis Grimshaw

149A   Catherine Foster Grimshaw
151    Frederick Morse Grimshaw
155   Sadie (Grimshaw) Metcalf

149B   Charles Edward Grimshaw
149D  Selim Woodworth Grimshaw
157   Roland Grimshaw

Images of some of the gravestones from the Grimshaw plot in Slough House cemetery. From the website www.findagrave.com.

The website author observed the Grimshaw grave plot on 28 December 2007 and took the photos included below. Catherine, Charles, John, and two unknown graves are marked, but without names. The cemetery book has Robert in the wrong grave. And it has one too few graves indicated where Catherine, Charles, John, and the two unknown graves are located. John Francis in the book is indicated as “Frank” on the marker.

Additional photos from 28 December 2007 visit to cemetery are as follows.

View of Grimshaw plot entrance, with Fran Newbold (cemetery caretaker) and JoAnne Grimshaw, wife of website author (right). William and Sarah Grimshaw’s grave is just over the right “ball” of the entrance, at the edge of the plot. This view is from the opposite end of the plot from the view in the above photo.

Entrance to Sloughhouse Cemetery. The Grimshaw plot is over the hill on the left side of the photo.

Sloughhouse Inn. Closed since March 2006 according to sign on door.

Marker near Sloughhouse Inn…

Sheldon Grist Mill Marker, located near Sloughhouse Inn…

William Grimshaw’s Transcription of Donner Party Rescue Account by Daniel Rhoads

William Grimshaw was apparently one of the better educated residents of Cosumnes. In addition to writing Grimshaw’s Narrative, he transcribed the recollections of Daniel Rhoads, who participated in the rescue of the Donner party, which became trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains during their migration westward in 1846. Show below is the image of the cover page from the account as well as the first paragraph of the text, which appears in William Grimshaw’s handwriting.

Cover page and first paragraph of the text of the manuscript written by William Grimshaw based on information provided by Daniel Rhoads. The images are from the Bancroft Library on the University of California at Berkeley campus. Thanks again go to JoAnne Grimshaw for obtaining the photocopies from which these images were made.

William Robinson Grimshaw’s Sibling, Emma Robinson (Grimshaw) Haviland

Although he doesn’t mention her in his writings, William apparently had a younger sister, Emma (named for her mother) Robinson Grimshaw, who married Benjamin Haviland in New York City in 1852 (about a year after William was married). Emma and Benjamin named two of their five children the same as William and Sarah Grimshaw’s children.

John Grimshaw (1800 – ) & Emma Robinson

|—–William Robinson Grimshaw (4 Nov 1826 – 14 Sep 1881) & Sarah Pierce (Rhoads) Daylor (28 Jan 1830 – 10 Jan 1898) Married 22 Apr 1851, Cosumnes, CA..

|—–|—–William R. Grimshaw (31 Mar 1852 – ) & Alice Bean

|—–|—–Emma Grimshaw (26 Nov 1853 – ) & W.D. Lawton

|—–|—–Thomas Minturn Grimshaw (15 Aug 1856 – ) & ? Byron

|—–|—–George Grimshaw (8 Oct 1858 – ) & Anna Maria Gaffney

|—–|—–John Henry Grimshaw (18 Jul 1860 – 1861)

|—–|—–John Francis Grimshaw (1 Jun 1862 – About 1908) & Edythe C. Tibbitts (1870 – 25 Jan 1951)

|—–|—–Selim Woodworth Grimshaw (3 Jun 1864 – 26 Jun 1865)

|—–|—–Frederick Morse Grimshaw (9 May 1866 – 24 Jun 1850) & Jessie Cornelia (Polly?) Sheldon. Married 4 Jan 1911

|—–|—–Walter Scott Grimshaw (15 Jan 1868 – 8 Nov 1944) Never married.

|—–|—–Sarah Pierce Grimshaw (17 Jan 1868 – 7 Dec 1871)

|—–|—–Charles Edward Grimshaw (9 Mar 1870 – 9 Mar 1870)

|—–|—–Catherine Foster Grimshaw (9 Mar 1870 – 4 Jul 1870)

|—–Emma Robinson Grimshaw (ca 1828, Nova Scotia – 9 Mar 1888, Brooklyn, NY) & Benjamin S Haviland (1822, Chappaqua, NY – 19 Jan 1880, Brooklyn, NY). Married 11 Jun 1852, New York, NY

|—–|—–William Robinson Haviland (1853 – ?)

|—–|—–Gertrude Haviland (1856 – ?) & Andrew Billings Paddock (second marriage)

|—–|—–|—–Andrew Billings Paddock II

|—–|—–|—–Franklin R Paddock?

|—–|—–Franklin R Haviland (1858 – 1897)

|—–|—–Cornelia Willets Haviland (1 Mar 1860 – 6 Jan 1888) & Andrew Billings Paddock (first marriage)

|—–|—–|—–Gertrude Haviland Paddock (ca 1883 – ?)

|—–|—–|—–Edward Hopkins Paddock (1884 – ?)

|—–|—–Frederick Benjamin Haviland (1867 – ?)

Emma is recorded in the 1850 U.S. Census living with the Haviland family in New York City, about 2 years before she married Benjamin Haviland, who was recorded in the same household in the census.


1Kantor, J.R.K., 1964, Grimshaws Narrative, Being the Story of Life and Events in California during Flush Times, Particularly the Years 1848-50, Including a Biographical Sketch, Written for the Bancroft Library in 1872 by William Robinson Grimshaw: Sacramento, CA, Sacramento Book Collectors Club, 59 p.

2Ricketts, Norma, 1978, Historic Cosumnes and the Slough House Pioneer Cemetery: Salt Lake City, UT, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 71 p.

3Ricketts, Norma, 1972, Thomas and Elizabeth Rhoades, Pioneers of 1846: Sacramento, CA, Privately Published, 19 p.

Webpage History

Webpage posted August 2000, Revised November 2000, February 2002, January 2003. Updated January 2008 with addition of photos of Sloughhouse Cemetery and surrounding sites. Updated January 2009 with addition of entries in Sacramento County Biographies. Banner replaced April 2011. Updated May 2012 with addition of ancestry of William Grimshaw, including identification of a likely candidate for his father, John, as the brother of Caleb Grimshaw and the twin brother of William Grimshaw.