Buel Ruthven Sackett

FatherRev John Buel Sackett (1812-1870)
MotherAmanda Bardeen
Marriage1862, CaliforniaGSusan E Williams1
Marriage1870-1879, CaliforniaGFrances E. Williams1
Marriage1879, Fairfield, Solano County, CaliforniaGFlorence Achella Howe1
Buel Ruthven Sackett, son of Rev John Buel Sackett and Amanda Bardeen, was born in Fabius, Onondaga County, New York StateG, on 4 January 1834.1 He died in Alameda, Alameda County, CaliforniaG, on 30 March 1912.1 He married first in CaliforniaG in February 1862, Susan E Williams.1 He married second in CaliforniaG between 1870 and 1879, Frances E. Williams, sister of his first wife.1 He married third in Fairfield, Solano County, CaliforniaG, on 30 September 1879, Florence Achella Howe, daughter of Hiram T Howe and Rhoda A Pitts.1
     In 1880 Buel was living at Vacaville, Solano County, CaliforniaG, and was recorded in the census as Buel R Sackett, a farmer, head of household, married, aged 47 and born in New York. Living with him were his third wife Achella, aged 20, and his children (by his first wife Susan), Harry (17), Herbert (15), Fanny (13), and Louis (11). Also in the household were a Swedish farmhand and eleven Chinese farmhands.2
Biography: History of Yolo County, California.1
from History of Yolo County, California

Studying the genealogy of the Sackett family, to which belong the well-known ranchers of California, Buel Ruthven Sackett, now deceased, and his son, Harry E. Sackett, it is found that one of the name, supposedly a native of England, served as a regimental surgeon in the Revolution. His son, Rev. John B. Sackett, was born near Syracuse, N. Y., January 8, 1812, and in 1837 became a pioneer of Ohio, where he first taught school, and later became a Baptist minister in Ashtabula and Knox counties. As a student of the Bible he attained a widespread reputation, and in an accurate knowledge of the Scriptures had few equals. In recognition of his profound Biblical knowledge he was appointed corresponding secretary of the Ohio Baptist convention, and in the discharge of his duties he traveled throughout the entire state. His sudden death, December 24, 1870, closed a career of more than ordinary usefulness and honor. For some years he was survived by his wife, Amanda (Bardeen) Sackett, who was born in New York January 16, 1813, and traced her lineage to Scottish ancestry.

One of the expeditions that entered California during the early '50s contained among its members a weary and penniless lad who, aroused by tales concerning the discovery of gold, had run away from home in the hope of becoming a gold-seeker in the west. When, after countless discouragements, after a long period of hunger and privation he finally reached his destination, it was only to meet hundreds of discouraged men returning from the mines with the report that the wonderful tales concerning the abundance of gold were wholly untrue. The vision of gold that had allured the eastern youth disappeared before the bald statements of other disillusioned Argonauts, and he turned to a job of splitting rails as a means of providing food and raiment. Four years later he returned to his Ohio home and took up the apprenticeship from which he had run away. No one would have predicted that the twilight of his life would find him one of the prosperous ranchers of California. Destiny seemed to hold him now to the east, but, under all, the magic of Californian attractions was working, and in eighteen months after his return to the east he gave up his position, bade farewell to friends, and for the last time came to the west to earn a livelihood. How well he succeeded in his modest aspirations the record of his holdings and the influence of his name abundantly testify.

Fabius, a village in the vicinity of Syracuse, N. Y., was the birthplace of Buel Ruthven Sackett, and here he was born January 4, 1834. At three years of age he was taken by his parents to Ohio, and from that time until he was eighteen remained in Ashtabula and Knox counties. Meanwhile he had been apprenticed to a jeweler in Mount Vernon, and as he sat at work he heard little discussed but the discovery of gold in California. Small wonder that his imagination became inflamed and his ambition aroused. The principal impediment was the fact that his apprenticeship had not expired. Finally he determined not to allow that to hinder him in his plans, and so, with a friend, he executed the coup d'etat, running away in the night with a total capital of $8, but with a fund of hope that at the time seemed inexhaustible.

From the first the discouragements were many. Every outgoing train of emigrants leaving Lexington, Mo., was implored to give work to the lad, whose anxiety grew greater as his fund became less. A loaf of bread warded off starvation, while a barn furnished shelter at night. Thus a week dragged its slow length along, and then a kind-hearted man listened to his appeal, hiring him to aid in driving a herd of stock across the plains. As Mr. Sackett had no knowledge of harnessing horses or driving cattle, he was less helpful than a country boy would have been but with his eagerness and determination he soon learned to be of use to his employer. The journey was tedious and not without danger, but finally California was reached in safety, and he continued on to Sonoma county with the man who had brought him west. From there he walked to Napa county and began to split rails, receiving $6 per hundred, and shortly afterward built a house of logs hewn by himself. Near the cabin he planted apricot, peach and fig trees, which though planted in 1852 are to some extent still bearing fruit.

Selling his claim and returning to the east, Mr. Sackett took up work in the shop from which he had run away, and as stated above remained there about eighteen months, when he returned to California via the Panama route. He rented land in the northern part of Solano county near Winters, where he remained for two years, and then with Milton Wolfskill bought two hundred and ten acres near Winters, and shortly afterward forty acres of the tract were planted to grapes. On selling out four years later Mr. Sackett received only enough to pay his debts, and he accordingly crossed the line into Yolo county, where he bought one hundred and ninety acres, situated about three miles west of Winters, and here, for four years, engaged in raising vegetables. On selling this property for $2,000 he bought one hundred and fifty acres for the same amount, but this place he sold for $11,000 four years later. His next purchase comprised three hundred and eighty acres in Solano and Yolo counties, and this splendid ranch he and his brother, John, owned and managed jointly with large profit. The William Brinck ranch, for which he paid $18,000, he sold four years afterward for $29,000. In partnership with his brother John he bought nine hundred acres, the most of which is along Putah creek in Yolo county, although a portion of the tract is in Solano county. The large acreage is divided into five farms and each bears a full equipment of improvements. The home farm lies three and a half miles west of Winters in Yolo county, and has about two hundred and fifty acres in orchard and vineyard. In 1906 Mr. Sackett located in Alameda, where he made his home the remainder of his life, his death occurring March 30, 1912. Mr. Sackett's death was sincerely mourned by a great number of friends and associates, who had ever found him a conscientious and thoughtful friend, and also by a number who had been the recipient of his kindly charities. He was a high type of the self-made, self-reliant man who has come to the west to build it up and make it the exceptional country it is today, and it is largely due to him and his followers that his line of business has reached it present flourishing condition.

In February, 1862, Buel R. Sackett was married to Susan Williams, who was born in Missouri and came across the plains with her father shortly before her marriage. Four children were born to this union, as follows: Harry E., who is an eminent horticulturist of this vicinity; Fannie, who is the wife of R. N. Dinsmore and the mother of Buel Dinsmore; Louis A., who married Clara Graham, and has two children, Buel R. and Dorothy; and Herbert F., deceased. After the death of his first wife Mr. Sackett married Frances Williams, who soon after passed away. On September 30, 1879, at Fairfield, he married Florence A. Howe, a native of Auburn, Fayette county, Iowa, daughter of Hiram T. and Rhoda A. (Pitts) Howe, early settlers of Iowa. Mr. Howe was a soldier in an Iowa regiment in the Civil war, and died during service. Mrs. Sackett was brought to California in 1875 with her mother and stepfather, H. B. Austin. She was the mother of five children, viz: Amanda J., who married Frederick Ayers, of Alameda, Cal.; Buel, deceased; Chester H., who is managing the home place; Ruthven W., who is Mrs. Roy Wyatt, of Winters; and Florence M. All these children have been given a thorough educational training and been brought up to be a credit to the name they bear.

Source: Website California USGenWeb citing History of Yolo County, California by Tom Gregory. Published by the Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1913. (http://www.pa-roots.com). (Researched by Ted Smith).

Children of Buel Ruthven Sackett and Susan E Williams

  • Harry E. Sackett b. 13 Jan 1864, d. 14 Oct 1942
  • Herbert F. Sackett b. c 1865, d. before 1913
  • Fannie Sackett b. c 1867
  • Louis Arthur Sackett+ b. 2 Oct 1869, d. 18 Nov 1963

Children of Buel Ruthven Sackett and Florence Achella Howe

  • Buel Sackett d. before 1913
  • Amanda J. Sackett b. Nov 1880
  • Chester H. Sackett b. 15 Nov 1881, d. 12 Jul 1971
  • Ruthven W. Sackett b. Sep 1889
  • Florence M. Sackett b. May 1891

 Notes & Citations

  1. Website California USGenWeb citing History of Yolo County, California by Tom Gregory. Published by the Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1913.
  2. 1880 United States Federal Census, FHL 1254083 NA T9-0083/475D (TEK)
    Vacaville, Solano, California
    Buel R. SACKETT, head, married, 47, b. NY, farmer, father b. NY, mother b. NY
    Achella SACKETT, wife, 20, b. IA, keeping house, father b. MI, mother b. NY
    Harry SACKETT, son, single, 17, b. CA, works on farm, father b. NY, mother b. MO
    Herbert SACKETT, son, 15, b. CA, works on farm, father b. NY, mother b. MO
    Fanny SACKETT, dau, 13, b. CA, at home, father b. NY, mother b. MO
    Louis SACKETT, son, 11, b. CA, works on farm, father b. NY, mother b. MO
    [+ a Swedish farmhand, John SODERSTORM, aged 32, & 11 male Chinese farmhands: Ah Yee, Ah Slam, Ah Fon, Ah Hop, Ah Sing, Ah Lung, Ah Quong, Ah Gum, Ah Hui, Ah Fong, & Ah Goon].
Sackett line8th great-grandson of Thomas Sackett the elder of St Peter in Thanet
ChartsLine 3a (American)
Sackett Family Association descendants
Eva Adams, Claire Tschirky and Warren Adams.
Last Edited16 Mar 2019
Sackett Database1284 Buel Ruthven Sackett

Place names

Place names are linked to the Place Index, with lists of people having events at each place (down to county level).

Google Maps

The superscripted 'G' after place names is a link to the Google Map for that place.


Icons and are links to Text and Image exhibits.

Sackett lines

English line of Thomas Sackett the elder & other English lines
American line of Thomas Sackett the elder through Simon Sackett the colonist
Line of John Sackett of New Haven