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Inventory of the Jefferson Wilcoxson Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Creator: Wilcoxson, Jefferson (1809-1898)
    Title: Jefferson Wilcoxson Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1869-1897
    Extent: 0.8 linear feet
    Abstract: Jefferson Wilcoxson (1809-1898) was a California pioneer who became involved in merchandising, farming, banking, and land investments in Northern California. The majority of the collection consists of incoming correspondence to Wilcoxson from 1869-1897. Correspondents include George W. Applegate, George W. Austin, the Bank of Woodland, and the Yolo County Treasurer. These letters often discuss farming, life in Applegate, California, financial dealings, and other subjects.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: D-416
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English.


    Jefferson Wilcoxson was born on February 24, 1809 in Mercer County, Kentucky to Isaac and Priscilla Wilcoxson. In 1819, he emigrated with his family to Missouri.
    In 1849, he moved to Weaverville, California with his brother, Jackson. They remained there until the Spring of 1850, when they moved to Sacramento. Together they set up a wholesale merchant business, Wilcoxson & Co., on J Street in Sacramento. Wilcoxson & Co. enjoyed a large trade up to 1852, then closed. After the brothers dissolved their partnership, Jefferson became a member of the firm of Burton & McCarty.
    A few years later, Jefferson engaged in the livestock business and became partners in a land owning company with James Farris. They purchased a tract of one thousand seven hundred and eighty acres of land, part of the Hardy grant, located four miles west of Woodland.
    For more than twenty years, Wilcoxson resided on a farm located on the Sacramento River, two miles below Washington (now part of West Sacramento).
    He was at various times involved extensively in merchandising, farming, warehousing, banking, land investment, and the livestock business in Colusa, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo Counties. Through his business dealings he acquired property which was estimated to be worth several million dollars in the 1890s.
    He died on April 8, 1898.
    "Another Pioneer." Woodland Daily Democrat. April 8, 1898.
    History of Placer County, California, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Oakland: Thompson & West, 1882.
    An illustrated history of Sacramento County, California: containing a history of Sacramento County from the earliest period of its occupancy to the present time, together with glimpses of its prospective future ... portraits of some of its most eminent men, and biographical mention of many of its pioneers and also prominent citizens of today. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1890.
    The Western shore gazetteer and commercial directory for the state of California ... Yolo County: one volume being devoted to each county of the state, giving a brief history of each county. Woodland, [Calif.]: C.P. Sprague & H.W. Atwell, 1870.

    Scope and Content

    The majority of the collection consists of 198 letters written to Wilcoxson between 1869 and 1897. Correspondents consisted of area ranchers and businessmen, family members, and Yolo County officials. They included George W. Applegate, George W. Austin, the Bank of Woodland, and the Yolo County Treasurer, among others.
    George W. Applegate was a resident of Applegate, California which was named after the large land holdings of his family. He planted a nursery there and cultivated hay and grain. He also organized a vineyard and installed cider mills, wine presses, tanks, and store houses. He grew many types of fruit including: apples, pears, plums, peaches, quinces, figs, and oranges. His letters discuss financial arrangements with Wilcoxson, local news, the production of wine and brandy, construction of a "wine house," and renewal of insurance policies.
    George W. Austin, a nephew of Wilcoxson, also resided in Applegate, California. George's mother, Mary Elizabeth Wilcoxson Austin, was the daughter of Jefferson's brother Joseph. Austin's letters discusses management of Wilcoxson's ranch in Applegate, including land, cattle, crops, a winery, and the ranch workers. Also detailed in the letters are weather conditions, reports of area fires, and discussions about the development of a county road.
    Wilcoxson served as one of the first directors of the Bank of Woodland, which opened in February 1869. Letters from the Bank illustrate Wilcoxson's involvement in money lending, detail credits to his account, indicate offers from the Bank for the purchase and sale of its stock, and announce the date and time of several of the Board of Directors meetings.
    Letters from the Yolo County Treasurer detail the purchase and sale of warrants for the Yolo County General Fund, Contingent Fund, Hospital Fund, and Road Fund. Several letters contain information about the collection of county taxes.
    Four letters written by Wilcoxson are included in the collection, as are six letters that are to or between individuals other than Wilcoxson.
    The collections also contains several financial documents including one account statement and three receipts.
    The collection is arranged into two series: 1. Correspondence and 2. Financial Documents.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Wilcoxson, Jefferson, 1809-1898
    Applegate, George W., 1828-1902
    Austin, George W.
    Bank of Woodland (Woodland, Calif.)
    Yolo County (Calif.). Treasurer
    Banks and banking--California--Yolo County--History
    Yolo County (Calif.)--History
    Placer County (Calif.)--History
    Applegate (Calif.)--History


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired in 2003.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jefferson Wilcoxson Papers, D-416, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.