Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Sheldon Family Papers, 1854-1899

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Sheldon family papers
Creator: Sheldon, Lucius M. and Sheldon, Harriet
Inclusive dates: 1854-1899
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
The Sheldon family papers contain correspondence, financial documents, and legal documents related to Lucius M. Sheldon, a wealthy landowner, and his son Gardner. The bulk of the documents pertain to Sheldon's land holdings in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Texas, and the correspondence primarily consists of Gardner's letters to his mother, Harriet Sheldon, about his experiences working for the Corralitos Mining Company in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1995. M-3116.7.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Sheldon Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Legal and Financial Documents

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Lucius M. Sheldon was a farmer and merchant who owned land in several states. He had three children with his wife Harriet: Lucius M. Sheldon, Jr., Gardner Hutchinson Sheldon (b. 1860), and Henry K. Sheldon, Jr., named after their uncle. The family lived in Seneca, New York, and St. Paul, Minnesota, before settling permanently in Brooklyn. Gardner graduated from the Columbia College School of Mines in 1879 and spent his first few months out of school at a place called Navajo Springs, Arizona, before joining the Corralitos Mining Company in Chihuahua, Mexico. There, he worked as a mining engineer and superintendent at the company's mines until his death on April 8, 1889.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Sheldon family papers contain correspondence, financial documents, and legal documents related to Lucius M. Sheldon, a wealthy landowner, and his family.

The Correspondence series begins with a few items related to Lucius M. Sheldon, including an early letter pertaining to a contested land patent (December 15, 1862) and several letters from Minnesota attorney R. B. Galusha regarding land in Sherburne County, Minnesota. The bulk of the series is comprised of Gardner Sheldon's letters to his parents about his life as a mining engineer and superintendent for the Corralitos Company in Chihuahua, Mexico. In frequent letters to his mother, he described his life in the Southwest and in Mexico, and he occasionally shared his opinions on subjects such as the local population and their spending habits (July 21, 1881). His final letter (May 10, 1887) is followed by a letter of condolence signed by several company employees following Sheldon's death (April 9, 1889). The collection has a business card for Beckett & McDowell, mining engineers and machinists from New York.

Legal and Financial Documents comprise the bulk of the collection. These primarily pertain to Lucius Sheldon's land holdings in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Texas. The series holds indentures, tax receipts, and land contracts, as well as Sheldon's last will and testament, naming as beneficiaries his wife, son, and grandson (February 2, 1898).

Subject Terms

    • Chihuahua (Mexico : State)
    • Corralitos Company.
    • Mines and mineral resources--Mexico.
    • Mining engineers.
    • Real property--Illinois.
    • Real property--Iowa.
    • Real property--Minnesota.
    • Real property--Texas.
    • Southwestern States--Description and travel.
    • Wills--New York (State)
    • Sheldon, Gardner Hutchinson, 1860-1889.
    Genre Terms:
    • Identures.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Receipts (financial records)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-4
     December 15, 1862-March 10, 1890, and  undated
    Legal and Financial Documents [series]
    Box   1 Folders   5-9
     April 3, 1854-July 20, 1899, and  undated