The ranks of the brave pioneers who came to California in 1849 are rapidly becoming thinned. No class of people are more worthy of having their names enrolled on the pages of history than these daring Forty-niners. The subject of this sketch is one of the deserving citizens who braved the dangers of the plains and mountains, of disease and hunger, and savage bands, and made a home for himself and became one of the founders of the great State of California.

Mr. Shuffleton was born in England, of respectable parents, May 27, 1830. His parents emigrated from England to America the year he was born, 1830, and settled in Hoosick Falls, Renssalaer County, New York; moved from there to Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa Territory, in the fall of 1839. The Indians were not removed from this portion of the Territory until the following spring, 1840. Mr. Shuffleton’s mother was killed by lightning at this place in 1842, and his father died in 1846, leaving four children, three boys and one girl, who are all now living in California. In the winter of 1848-’49 Mr. Shuffleton went in with five others and bought eight yoke of oxen, two wagons and a general outfit for California; left Fairfield April 1, 1849, crossed the Missouri River at Council Bluffs May 1 and arrived in the Sacramento Valley, at the place now called Vina, October 8.

In a short time he took out $1,000 in clear gold dust at that place. He then went into a river-damming speculation with others, and dropped his pile as quickly as he had found it. After that he purchased a mule and made the journey over the trail to the town of Shasta, then the Redding Upper Springs, which contained a few log cabins in which the business was done. That was in 1850. He engaged in mining for some three years, using the old-fashioned rocker process, averaging ten dollars per day. He found fifty-one dollars in a single pan of dirt. Another and a large find was a $65 lump, which he picked up in Clear Creek, five miles above Shasta.

In 1853 Mr. Shuffleton made a trip East, and after being absent about nine months returned with a drove of cattle. In 1855, he was married, in Shasta, to Miss Ann V. Apperson, a native of Virginia. With the stock he brought from the East, he conducted a dairy business, receiving seventy-five cents per gallon of milk, making about $500 per month. To accommodate his increasing herds, he removed to the southwest of Shasta, in 1859, purchased a claim of 160 acres of land and took 300 head of cattle there. All the lands in that vicinity were than free pastures and he had full scope for his stock. On that property he has since resided and continued the cattle business, not always with success, for in 1862, the hardest winter known here, he lost 200 cattle. He is now also raising hogs, sheep and horses. In speaking of the productions of his soil, he says he has twelve acres of alfalfa which he irrigates and cuts four crops per year, getting from it sixty tons of hay. Without irrigation he raises large crops of corn.

Mr. Shuffleton organized the first school district in his part of the county, and by subscription raised the money with which to build the school-house. In 1860, he was elected Justice of the Peace and has held the office continuously for twenty-five years. For ten years he has been a Notary Public. In 1888, he was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors of the county, in which capacity he is now acting. Since the Rebellion he has cast his vote with the Republican party. The last time he voted with the Democrats was for Stephen A. Douglas. Mr. Shuffleton is a blue lodge and chapter Mason. He is also a member of the American Legion of Honor.

By his first marriage he had three children, born to him in Shasta County, namely: Isabella, Mary and Edward T. In 1861, the relentless hand of death took this loving wife and kind and affectionate mother from them. Six years later, Mr. Shuffleton married Mrs. Mary Tipton. By her former marriage, she had two sons. By her present husband she has one son, to whom they have given his father’s name, Hugh H.

Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891 Pages 647-648
Transcribed by: Christine Helmick - August 2004

Biography Index