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Mary Cronin-Nichols, County Coordinator 1996-2003
Colleen Norby, County Coordinator 2003-2017
San Joaquin [san wah-keen] is a county with a total land and water area of 1,426 square miles within the central valley of California, developed around the San Joaquin River. It is considered to be one of the best agricultural regions in the United States. San Joaquin County farmers produce such crops as cotton, wheat, nuts, grapes and vegetables, among many other things.
The first white man to enter the San Joaquin Valley, so far as known, was Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga, who left Mission San Jose in 1806 for the purpose of exploring the interior lands for suitable locations for missions. While Moraga never arrived at what later became San Joaquin County, he did give the name San Joaquin (for Saint Joachim) to the San Joaquin River. The county takes its name from the river around which it was developed.
Between 1843 and 1846, during the era when California was a province of independent Mexico, five Mexican land grants were made in what became San Joaquin County: Campo de los Franceses, Pescadero (Grimes), Pescadero (Pico), Sanjon de los Moquelumnes and Thompson. It was developed for ranching and agriculture. It attracted more miners and settlers at the time of the California Gold Rush.
Captain Charles M. Weber (1814-1881) was a German-born businessman who arrived at Mission San Jose in 1842. There, he formed a short-lived partnership with William Gulnac, a former New York resident. Through Gulnac, Weber obtained one half of a 48,747-acre grant of land known in general terms as the Camp of the Frenchmen [French Camp] in 1844. In 1845, Gulnac sold Weber his half of the land grant land grant in what would become San Joaquin County, on which he raised cattle, mined gold, and founded the city of Weberville as a river port and business center. During its early years, Stockton was known by several names, including "Weberville," "Tuleburg [too-lee-burg]," "Fat City" and "Mudville. Weber eventually decided on "Stockton" in honor of Commodore Robert F. Stockton. Stockton was the first community in California to have a name that was neither Spanish nor Native American in origin. Weber built the first permanent residence in San Joaquin County at what is now known a Weber Point in Stockton. Stockton is has been the seat of San Joaquin County since the city was incorporated in 1850.
The first family to arrive in the area that would become San Joaquin County was the David Kelsey family. David Kelsey, his wife, Susan (Cazort), and daughters, Josephine, Frances, and America, crossed the plains in 1843 with the Applegate family, who traveled on to Oregon. Kelsey built a tule house at French Camp. David died there of smallpox in 1845. Susan also was stricken with the disease and was blinded by it, but she survived. Josephine married Grove Crook, then Dr. Christopher Grattan. Frances married Joseph Buzzell and, while living at Tuleburg [Stockton], gave birth to a girl in 1848 - the first white child born in that town. America married George Wyman.
San Joaquin was one of the original 27 counties when California became a state in 1850. Most of its territory has been part of the county since 1850. Some of its northern territory was part of Sacramento County from 1850 to 1878, when it was added to San Joaquin County. Some territory in the south, which at one time was part of San Joaquin County, was given to Stanislaus County.
This site was updated last on 19-Apr-2018 19:45
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