Brevet Brig. General Lionel Sheldon (USA), Territorial Governor

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Brevet Brig. General Lionel Sheldon (USA), Territorial Governor's Geni Profile

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Lionel Allen Sheldon

Birthdate: (88)
Death: January 17, 1917 (88)
Immediate Family:

Son of Allen Sheldon and Anna Maria Frances Sheldon

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Immediate Family

About Brevet Brig. General Lionel Sheldon (USA), Territorial Governor

Lionel Allen Sheldon (August 30, 1828 - January 17, 1917) was a U.S. Representative from Louisiana. He was Governor of New Mexico Territory from 1881 to 1885.

Early life

Born in Worcester, New York, Sheldon moved with his parents to Lagrange, Ohio. He attended the district school and Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio from 1848 to 1850 and was graduated from the Fowler's State and National Law School, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1853. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Elyria, Ohio. He was probate judge of Lorain County, Ohio, in 1856 and 1857. He served as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1856, 1880, and 1896. He was commissioned brigadier general of the militia by Governor Chase.

He served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Forty-second Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, November 27, 1861, and promoted to the rank of colonel March 14, 1862. He settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, and practiced law from 1864 to 1879.

Political career

Sheldon was elected as a Republican to the Forty-first, Forty-second, and Forty-third Congresses (March 4, 1869-March 3, 1875). He served as chairman of the Committee on Militia (Forty-second Congress). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1874 to the Forty-fourth Congress. He returned to Ohio in 1879.

Sheldon was Governor of New Mexico Territory from 1881 to 1885. He was one of the receivers of the Texas and Pacific Railway from 1885 to 1887.

He moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1888 and engaged in the practice of law. He moved to Pasadena, California, and died in that city on January 17, 1917. His remains were cremated and laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum in Altadena.


Civil War officer, lawyer, and politican. When the Civil War broke out, Ohio Governor Dennison offered him a commission and asked him to raise troops; he raised five companies in six days. He was mustered in as Lt. Colonel of the 42nd Ohio Infantry, the regiment that Col. James A. Garfield, later to become President, was commanding. A year later, he was promoted to Colonel and took command of the regiment.

During the war, he fought in the battles of Middle Creek, the capture of Cumberland Gap, Chickaway Bayou, Arkansas Post. Under General Grant he participated in the attack on Port Gibson, Mississippi, and saw action during the assault on Thompson’s Hill. Wounded in the hand by a musket ball, Sheldon stayed at his post, leading two gallant charges on the enemy position. During the engagements at Raymond, Jackson, and Black River Bridge, Sheldon followed his regiment in an ambulance but recuperated in time to participate in the siege of Vicksburg. He was breveted a Brigadier General of volunteers on March 13, 1865.

In the years following the war, he represented Louisiana in the 41st and 43rd Congresses (1869 to 1875) and was appointed by President Garfield to serve as Governor of the Territory of New Mexico from 1881-1885. Sheldon and his wife, the former Mary Greene Miles of Elyria, Ohio, lived in Pasadena for 30 years. (bio by: Shiver)

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Brevet Brig. General Lionel Sheldon (USA), Territorial Governor's Timeline

August 30, 1828
January 17, 1917
Age 88