Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ordinary Folk History: Warren Sheldon

warrewn sheldon

Warren Sheldon's 1954 Armijo High senior yearbook picture, left, and today

By
From page A2 | April 11, 2014 |

Note: “Ordinary Folk History,” written snapshots of local residents, appears periodically.

Retired school administrator and lifelong Fairfield resident Warren Sheldon, 77, has deep roots in Solano County.

“The first Sheldon here was Jasper, my great-great-grandfather, who was born in New York and moved to Ohio. He came to California in 1849 looking for gold,” Sheldon said. “It took him about 20 minutes to see that the gold was in houses. He went into a partnership with a guy from Sacramento and they had all their house-building materials ready to go when the flood of 1850 took it all downstream. So he went to Los Angeles, bought horses, brought them up here and sold them for a profit.”

Sheldon has a letter Jasper’s wife Emily wrote to a friend back in Ohio, marveling at how beautiful the Suisun Valley was with all the grain. Jasper decided to plant a fruit orchard.

“Everyone thought he was nuts . . . until it took off like wildfire,” Sheldon said.

Warren Sheldon’s grandfather, Winfred Sheldon, worked on the Southern Pacific railroad until he was appointed postmaster of Fairfield by President William Howard Taft in 1911.

“He stayed with it until 1916 and then went back to working for Southern Pacific,” Sheldon said. “His brother Roy was a locomotive engineer for Southern Pacific and Roy’s wife was the gal a local school was named after, E. Ruth Sheldon.”

Winfred’s son Ward Sheldon was Warren Sheldon’s father and was a member of the Armijo School board. He was on the board in 1952 when the new gym was built across the street from where the old Armijo High School used to be, the courthouse on Union Avenue.

“He said it didn’t make sense for students to have to cross the street to go back and forth to the gym. In those days, Oakland to Sacramento traffic went right through town there,” Sheldon said. “So using eminent domain, they condemned property on Washington Street to build the new school there. That was a trick, too, because that’s where the doctors and lawyers lived and they weren’t too happy about having their places condemned. It all worked out well in the long run because they all moved out to Green Valley.”

As a child, Sheldon fell in love with bike riding after riding down the then-completed, but not yet opened, Interstate 80 trying to earn a Scouting merit badge in cycling.

“I went everywhere with that bike. When I was 9 years old, I rode it to Benicia,” Sheldon said. “I had never heard of a Reserve Fleet, so when I saw it, my eyes bugged out of my head. I caught hell for it, too, because it got dark before I got home.”

Warren Sheldon had two unique distinctions when playing in the Armijo High band – he played with them for seven years and he was the school’s first drum major.

“I started playing in the Armijo band when I was in the sixth grade at Fairfield Elementary,” Sheldon said. “What they had always done was have a girl’s drill team that marched behind the band, but the director got the idea that we ought to have a drum major. I wasn’t the best at it, but the idea took.”

The Sheldon name was well-known in Solano County. Sheldon Oil was started by Warren’s great-uncle. Locally, there was even a “Sheldon Sandwich,” though not on any restaurant menu.

“Where the Oil Connection is now located on Texas Street was where my uncle Roy lived and that was outside the city limits. There were three houses there, two still standing, and it was officially known as the East Texas Street Subdivision,” Sheldon said. “Roy Sheldon lived in the one next to the ditch, Eugene Dearborn lived in the middle and Bert Sheldon lived in the other. They used to call it the ‘Sheldon Sandwich.’ ”

Sheldon’s wife Carolyn also came from a well-known local bloodline, the Williams family (as in Williams Road).

“She was from the upper end of the valley and I was from the lower end,” Sheldon said. “People used to joke that when we got married it was the biggest merger in the history of the valley.”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Susan BrowerApril 11, 2014 - 8:41 am

    Way to go big guy....great story...I miss hearing your stories....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • mescApril 11, 2014 - 5:31 pm

    Change the word Ordinary to Local Treasure and I like the article 100%. Warren Sheldon is a good example of someone who made and continues to make a positive impact on our community.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Vacaville school board candidates sound off during forum

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Memorial flight honors beloved Gordon Valley man

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Recology goes pink to trash cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Curtola park-and-ride bill goes to governor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
City reaches milestone for train station project

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 16 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans advises Highway 12 delays likely

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Library’s teen board to meet next week

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
South Solano Dems schedule candidates meet, greet

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Man convicted of failing to register as sex offender

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
DUI checkpoint nets arrests in Vacaville

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
 
 
Geiger sworn in as Fairfield planning commissioner

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

Faith in Action puts out call for volunteers

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6

 
Love, a legend, come to theaters

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

.

US / World

How can authorities restore order in Ferguson?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 28 Comments | Gallery

 
Holder brings his civil rights push to Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

Strong DOJ response to Ferguson seeks truth, calm

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
As protests rage, Obama struggles to find his role

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Ferguson pledges outreach efforts after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Prison company pays $8 million in back wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Some evacuees of Yosemite-area fire can go home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Officials say Lake Tahoe imperiled by wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Committee approves higher pension calculations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Veteran rock climber killed in fall in Yosemite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

US officials: Video shows American’s beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Texas Gov. Perry booked on abuse of power charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 6 Comments

NY took quick precautions after in-custody death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
AP Exclusive: US changing no-fly list rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Tens of thousands march on Pakistan’s parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Serve and protect? Certainly not

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 23 Comments

 
Question of the week: Does school start too soon?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Government trying to steal rights

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 24 Comments

No getting away from corruption in state government

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Editorial cartoons for Aug. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Our daughter says she hates her mother and refuses to talk to us

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
10 Things: 10 fresh ways to dress corn on the cob

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Think beyond the slice with refreshing watermelon

By J.M. Hirsch | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson set for DC Comics film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Wife to bury Kasem in Norway, cites heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

.

Sports

Rancho Solano women’s team vying for spot in nationals

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers sign defensive lineman Dorsey to extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers’ Dawson eager to get back out kicking after misses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ohio State: Injured QB Miller done for the season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Past US Open champs Djokovic, Federer seeded 1-2 in U.S. Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joe Gibbs Racing hires Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis knows hoops, too

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Veteran NBA ref Bavetta retires after 39 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders still waiting for Hayden to get healthy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

As Durant steps back, US team is moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Kluwe, Vikings reach settlement to avert lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Islanders announce sale of minority stake of club

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Competition heats up for Tesla’s gigafactory

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
McDonald’s to sell packaged coffee nationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Consumer prices edge up 0.1 percent in July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks rise as US home construction rebounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

US home construction jumps 15.7 percent in July

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

June Canaris-Heath

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A4

 
Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Horace James Sam

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph ‘Joey’ Kenneth Meyers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Defrances Jean Freeman-Jefferson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Eddie Lee Staten

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5