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Madera Biographies: DAULTON

Henry Clay Daulton

Keith Daulton

Clay Daulton
High School Graduation - 1909

Ranor Daulton
Late 1930s

   HENRY CLAY DAULTON.  Especial interest attaches to the lives of men who, during the adventurous days following the discovery of gold in California, braved the dangers of deserts and mountains and in the midst of perils known and unknown made their difficult way toward the Pacific coast.  Such a man was Henry Clay Daulton, the son of a soldier in the war of 1812, and the grandson of a Revolutionary soldier, from whom he inherited a steadfast courage and fearlessness of character.  The eighth among ten children, he was born at Marysville, Ky., April 7, 1827, and in a childhood accompanied the family to the vicinity of Hannibal, Mo., where he grew to manhood.  By the death of his parents when he was fourteen he was thrown upon his own resources for a livelihood at an age when most boys are unhampered by cares and responsibilities.  Working in the employ of farmers he continued in the home neighborhood until after news had reached him concerning gold in the far west.  Immediately he resolved to seek his fortune in the mines.  April 7, 1850, with a brother, he started across the plains with ox-teams, arriving August 11, in what is now Placerville.  For two years he prospected in northern mines, but deciding after a time he could reap larger profits from a stock business he returned east via Panama to purchase sheep and cattle for a stock ranch.  While en route for home the ship, Republican, was wrecked in a storm and taken into port of Acapulco for repairs, thus delaying him for weeks.  After a tedious delay he arrived at home and at once set about purchasing sheep and cattle.  In 1853 he started across the plains with his stock, being accompanied by Thomas Hildreth, who later founded the town of Hildreth.  The party arrived in Los Angeles early in November 1853, and for a few years he remained in the San Gabriel valley, but later settled on a farm twelve miles northeast of Madera, where he purchased a large tract of government land.

   At the San Gabriel mission, Los Angeles County, in 1854, was solemnized the marriage Of Henry C. Daulton and Mary Jane Hildreth, a daughter of Jesse, and sister of Thomas Hildreth, and who had accompanied the party across the plains.  She is still residing at the old homestead in Madera County.  Of her ten children five are living namely:  Mrs. Ida Saxe, of Madera; John F., of Madera; Jonathan who is engaged in the sheep business in Madera County; Mrs. L. Mann of Oakland; and James Williams, living at Imperial, San Diego County.  In 1854 Mr. Daulton was elected justice of the peace of Los Angeles and held the position until his removal from the County.  In 1857 he settled on what is known as the Santa Rita Ranch in Fresno County, and later purchased the present homestead, which he call Shepherd’s Home.  In 1860 he was elected to the office of supervisor of Fresno County, and held the position until 1875, when he declined re-election.  However, three years later he was persuaded to accept the position again and served for one more term.  At one time the American Party nominated him for the senate and he made an excellent race, although the party was numerically weak.  When the subject of organizing Madera County was brought up he became a champion of the movement, and acted as chairman of the commissioners appointed to conduct the election which decided the proposed county division.  At that election, May 29, 1893, he was elected a supervisor, and when the county was organized he was made chairman of the board, which position he was filling at the time of his death. Fraternally he was connected with the Lodge and Encampment of Odd Fellows and the Blue Lodge and Chapter of Masonry.

    There are few men whose influence has been felt throughout Madera County in a greater degree that that of Henry C. Daulton, and hi sudden and accidental death was widely mourned.  October 28, 1893 when he was driving home from town, his horse ran away, and he was thrown from the cart, his foot catching in the shaft in such a manner that he was dragged a considerable distance.  When found he was dead.  His untimely death cast a gloom over the community which he had so long honored by his citizenship and whose growth had been so continuously fostered by his enterprise and progressive spirit.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 120.

  JOHN F. DAULTON.  In what is now the County of Madera, but was then a portion of Fresno County.  J. F. Daulton was born January 24, 1862 being a son of the late Henry Clay Daulton, one of the most influential stockmen in this part of the state.  The family possession ample means, he was given every advantage for obtaining an excellent education, and for a time studied in the Stockton Business College.  From his father he inherited a fondness for stock and at an early age he selected stock-raising for his life work.  At the age of twenty-two he started out for himself as a sheep-raiser in Madera County and from a small beginning accumulated a large flock in later years.

   Upon the death of is father in 1893 J. F. Daulton took charge of the estate and has since maintained a close supervision of the ranch and the stock.  To promote the interests of the family, in 1898 he incorporated the Daulton Ranch Company, of which he is president and manager.  In the ranch there are seventeen thousand acres, all under fence and supplied with water by means of flowing springs.  Of the entire tract four thousand acres are under cultivation, mostly in grain, while the remainder of the land is utilized as pasture for the stock.  In sheep he makes a specialty of the Merino breed and at this writing has about eight thousand head on the ranch. In 1889 he moved from the ranch into Madera, where he has since made his home, but his residence in town has never interfered in any respect with the close supervision he maintains of the ranch and stock.

   The Marriage of Mr. Daulton in San Jose united him with Addie M. Raynor, who was born in Connecticut and came to California with her father W. M. Raynor, who was the owner of twelve thousand acres in Merced, Mariposa and Madera Counties.  The family of Mr. and Mrs. Daulton comprises four children namely:  Hazel, Raynor, McErland, Henry Clay and Erma.  Mrs. Daulton is a member of the Presbyterian Church and the family is attendants upon its services.  From the time of his attaining his majority Mr. Daulton has voted and worked with the Republicans.  Formerly he was a member of the Republican County Central Committee. As the nominee of his party, in 1898 he was elected Supervisor of the third district of Madera County for a term of four years, and during this time the Courthouse was planned and completed.  His fraternal relations include membership in the Masonic Lodge No. 280, F. & A.M., of Madera; Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, in which he is past grand of the local lodge; Ancient Order of United Workmen at Madera, and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks at Fresno.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 598.


Henry Clay Daulton, pioneer of Fresno and Madera counties, was the founder of a family that is written large in the history of this region. The first Daulton lived in the area of Fresno and of Madera counties from 1857 to his death in 1893. During that time he was a member of the Fresno county board of supervisors for fifteen years, was chairman of the commission appointed by the governor to organize Madera County and was elected a member of the first board of supervisors of Madera.

H. C. Daulton was born in 1829 in Kentucky, descendent of a family whose men fought in the wars of the Revolution and of 1812. His parents removed while he was an infant to the region of Missouri made famous by Mark Twain. When he was just 21, he crossed the plains by ox team, 1850, and mined in Eldorado County. Observing the need of better cattle in California, he returned East by way of Panama in 1852, and then drove cattle to California. He located first in the San Gabriel valley, in the southern part of the state, and there married Mary Jane Hildreth, daughter of Jesse Hildreth. In 1851, they came to Fresno County.

In the years that ensued, Mr. Daulton accumulated an area of 18,000 acres on the Fresno River above what is now the City of Madera, the noted Daulton ranch. In spite of many changes, 12,000 acres of this still remain in the hands of members of the family.

Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Daulton had ten children. Of these, John Francis Daulton was particularly active in maintaining the family traditions. He was a member of the board of supervisors, and he managed the Daulton acreage. He married Adelaide Raynor. They had four children: H. Clay Daulton, the younger, Raynor Daulton, Mrs. Hugh Downey and Mrs. Raymond Hatch. John Francis Daulton died in San Francisco in 1930.

R. M. Daulton and H. Clay Daulton now raise choice Hereford cattle on the old Daulton ranch. Two thousand acres of it is in cultivation in grain.

From the History of Fresno and Madera Counties, 1933, Joseph Barcroft, editor for Madera County.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Obituary: Merced Sun Star, Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008

Madera County patriarch dies at 93

Emphrey Hildreth "Bud" Daulton, 93, the oldest descendant of one of Madera County's founding families, was a rancher who also saw duty as a law enforcement officer, and a security guard for Vice President Richard M. Nixon during Nixon's 1956 re-election campaign with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Mr. Daulton died Saturday of natural causes.

He was born in his parents' home on a ranch near Raymond early in the history of Madera County. His great-grandfather, Henry Clay Daulton I, had served as the first chairman of the Madera County Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Daulton grew up on the family ranch, 13 miles outside Madera, and graduated from Lincoln Grammar School. His daughter, JoAnn Scarbrough, said he never talked about getting to school in the city, but she supposed it was on horseback or by horse-drawn wagon. He drove a truck to classes after leaving Lincoln, and graduated in 1932 from Madera High School, where he was elected student body president.

He worked summers as a sheepherder, an odd summer job for a lifelong cattleman, in the open spaces near Coalinga and later for the Standard Oil Co. in Taft.

Mr. Daulton enrolled at Fresno State College from 1932 to 1934, where he belonged to the Alpha Fraternity.


Last update: September 19, 2008
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