Guide to the Joseph Aland Shepherd Papers MS 67

Finding aid prepared by Samantha Mills
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
April 4, 2017

Title: Joseph Aland Shepherd Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MS 67
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1872-1919
Abstract: This collection contains a diary, expense ledger, and letterpress book of Joseph Aland Shepherd, a printer and Alonzo E. Horton’s business manager operating in San Diego, CA in the 1870s.
creator: Shepherd, Joseph Aland

Biographical / Historical Notes

Joseph Aland Shepherd was born in England on June 19, 1827. He came to the United States when he was fifteen. At an early age Shepherd learned the skills necessary to become a printer. For six years he worked in Auburn, New York at the office of The Cayuga Chief. In 1848, the newspaper moved westward and Shepherd followed to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. He spent 22 years at Fort Atkinson working in the printing offices of The Wisconsin Chief. In 1861, he married Miss Fidelia Kinney. In 1870, having suffered from health problems, Shepherd left Fort Atkinson and settled his family in San Diego. While in San Diego, he immediately became associated with Alonzo E Horton and became his business manager. Shepherd held this position until his death on March 24, 1877 at 51 years old.

Scope and Content

This collection contains a diary, expense ledger, and letterpress book of Joseph Aland Shepherd, a printer and Alonzo E. Horton’s business manager operating in San Diego, CA in the 1870s. The diary and letters provide an overview of life in San Diego during this time period, Shepherd’s work as a businessman and printer, and his work under Alonzo E. Horton. The diary is summarized in the container list, and select entries of interest are printed in the file.


This collection is arranged by material type.

Preferred Citation

Joseph Aland Shepherd Papers, MS 67, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Andrew Wolfson in 2008 and Samantha Mills in 2017.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bowers Family
Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872
Horton, Alonzo E., 1813-1909
Morse, Ephraim W.
Orizaba (Steamship).
San Diego and Gila Railroad Co..
San Diego Daily Bulletin.
Scott, Thomas Alexander, 1823-1881
Shepherd, Joseph Aland
Railroad construction and maintenance
Railroads -- California -- San Diego
Real property
San Diego (Calif.)

Box-folder 1:1

Diary, 1872-1873

Scope and Content

This daily diary covers the entirety of 1872 with only a few missed entries. It also contains cash account notes for 1872-1873. People and subjects mentioned in the diary include: E.W. Morse, the Bowers Family, A.E. Horton and Mrs. Horton, Horace Greeley, Horton House and its guests, gardening, local weather and concerns about drought, real estate work and a deflating market, social activities and celebrations, arrival of steamers (especially the Orizaba), attending Church services by various preachers, involvement with the San Diego Daily Bulletin and later seeing it sold to Gould, city elections, Tom Scott and attempts to bring in railroad, increase in real estate business after railroad declared, railroad construction and dealings with San Diego & Gila Railroad, reports of work on ranch in Jamul, news of local murders and trials, and Shepherd’s own general health and dental problems. A typed list of interesting entries is located in file with diary.
Box-folder 1:2

Expense Ledger, 1874-1919

Box-folder 1:3

Letterpress Book, 1875-1877


A typed index of correspondents is located in the inside cover of this letterpress book.
Box-folder 1:4

Loose Correspondence, 1877 September 24 and undated


A portion of a letter written to sister and friends, and an open letter to the City Trustees.