Biography of Sheldon Littlefield

Sheldon Littlefield Supervisor from the third district of Orange County, was born in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in 1834, and was brought up on a farm. At the age of seventeen years he went to Charlestown same State, and clerked in a grocery for a year. He then took what money he had saved and went to Appleton Academy so long as his money lasted. Then he taught school at Brookline, New Hampshire, and next returned to Massachusetts and for a time was engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, and then obtained a position for three years in a Charlestown provision store; and by this time he had saved money enough to bring himself to California, a journey he had been contemplating for the last six years.
Taking a steamer at New York city, May 21, 1855, he traveled on the Northern Light to the Isthmus, and from there to San Francisco on the Uncle Sam, arriving June 12. Then he went by steamer up the river to Marysville, arriving there the next day, and before that night he had hired himself out to work on a ranch in the harvest field.
After he had paid his hotel bill he had but fifty cents left. The price paid for his labor was $3 a day and board. After the harvest was over he took charge of stock for two months, and then went to the mines, where he continued some nine years. He kept books, clerked in a store, cooked and took care of the mules. After this he bought a mining claim and worked until 1864; then he was engaged in the mercantile business three or four years. In 1863-’64 he made two trips to Arizona, prospecting and mining. Returning then to San Francisco, he took the stage for Los Angeles and went thence to El Dorado Canon, where he prospected and mined with but little success. He then went again to San Francisco and to the placer digging in Arizona, where he and his comrade cut down the only cottonwood tree there, sawed it into boards with a hand-saw and made a rocker for separating the gold from the sand.
After about three months Mr. Littlefield came to Los Angeles and went on to the Santa Catalina island, where he was interested in the mines. He then went to San Francisco again and tried in vain to get a position in a store. He then bought a retail fruit store, in partnership with another man, but this connection was of short duration, and he next opened up a commission house, under the firm name of Littlefield, Webb & Co., and in this business he continued until 1887. Meanwhile the house became known far and wide as a fair and square business firm. Their first shipment received was from the late O. W. Childs, of Los Angeles.
In 1887 Mr. Littlefield came to Anaheim and bought a fruit ranch and a residence. Previous to this, how-ever, he had purchased a fine ranch of 175 acres three miles west of Anaheim. He was one of the company who built the mill and Anaheim Hotel. In 1888 he was elected a Supervisor of Los Angeles County, and he is the present Supervisor from the third district of Orange County. He affiliates with the Republican party. In 1888 he was elected also a trustee of Anaheim for four years by a large vote.
As a business man he has succeeded by his own efforts. In society relations he is both a Free Mason and an Odd Fellow.
He was married in 1871 at San Francisco, to Miss Nancy Southwood, a native of the Golden State. Their children are: Sheldon A., Francis T., Eva, Ellen, Joyce and Maud.


Surnames:
Littlefield,

Topics:
Biography,

Locations:
Orange County CA,

Collection:
The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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