[ Sheldon Stoddard was born near Toronto, Canada, February 8, 1830. After his trip of 1849 he went to the mines of northern California and then returned to Salt Lake City. There he married Jane, a daughter of Captain Jefferson Hunt, in March, 1851. The next month they started for California with the Mormon colonists that founded San Bernardino, the town which thereafter was his home. For many years he was engaged in carrying mail and freighting between San Bernardino and Salt Lake City. He crossed the desert twenty-four times with mail. In 1865 he took a freight outfit from San Bernardino to Montana, some 1300 miles, six months being required for the trip. The next year he freighted to Pioche, Nevada. In 1903 he was President of the Pioneer Society of San Bernardino.
In L. A. Ingersoll Century Annals of San Bernardino County ( Los Angeles, 1904), 653, is a sketch of Mr. Stoddard which tells briefly of his trip in the Flake-Rich company of 1849, and which we reprint here.]
Sheldon Stoddard started for California in 1848, coming via Council Bluffs and the North Platte to Salt Lake. Here a party of about thirty men, under the guidance of Captain Flake, started for the placer diggings in 1849. Among the members of this party were Chas. C. Rich, George Q. Cannon, William Lay, and Sheldon Stoddard.107 They rode pack animals and followed a trail as far as Mountain Meadows, expecting to take a northern route via Walker' Lake [Pass] to the placer diggings. They traveled westward from Mt. Meadows for eighteen days without guides, compass, or maps. They found no water, and were saved from perishing by light showers when they caught water in their rubber blankets and drank it with a teaspoon. At last they turned eastward [southeastward] and struck the head of the Muddy River,____________________