Sharon family history : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I am researching our family history and would like more information on the Sharon family. I know there is a history with Senator William Sharon and the founding of The Palace Hotel. My grandfather's name is Hurford Sharon and my father's is John Hurford Sharon. Please send me any information and/or further links for my research. Thank you for your time

-- Barclay Sharon Cadieux (, May 21, 2001


William Sharon, the Senator, was closely allied with William Ralston, who owned Belmont, financed and built the Palace Hotel, and started the Bank of California. Sharon and Ralston were the most powerful men in San Francisco during the 1860s, and profitted greatly from the Comstock Lode, and mining and land speculation. They also had the unfortunate habiot of using the Bank of California's money (i.e., money invested in the bank by businesses and individuals) as their own investment capital. When Sharon dumped his Comstock Lode stocks around 1870, it caused a "run" on the Bank which left it with a $5 million debt and an angry mob trying to pull the building apart (this was long before the FDIC). Ralston, as President, was reprimanded and committed suicide. Sharon was left in charge of the bank and Ralston's debts, which he paid back for pennies on the dollar. He also avoided paying Ralston's widow, giving her $50,000 for her husbands multi-million dollar estate. In addition, he was now owner of the Palace Hotel, the largest and most expensive hotel in SF. However, Sharon didn't have much time to celebrate his business acumen, as he was sued by Ms. Althea Hill, who claimed that, as Sharon's longtime mistress, she had delivered a baby to Sharon, and was entitled to money. Sharon died during the lengthy trial, which ultimately decided in his favor (the judge in the case had a room reserved for him at the Palace whenever he was in SF, and had other business deals with Sharon, it might be added). Sharon's son-in law and attorney in the trial was Thomas Newlands, later Senator of Nevada, and was involved in plenty of land schemes of his own, including the founding of Burlingame and Hillsborough. (See Brechin's "Imperial San Francisco" for more on that.)

-- cdcummings (, December 12, 2001.

This is a query, not an answer as I am trying to discover information about part of my San Francisco family. Senator Sharon hosted a party at the Palace Hotel for U. S. Grant. Do you know of any way of retrieving a guest list for that party? My cousin has a dance card from the party with names of family members, Araminta Robinson (Crockett) was one of these, along with Robert Crockett and a Grimwood. Any information would be received with gratitude. My mother used to tell me that one of our relatives once owned the land where the Palace was built....this could be Crockett, Dennis or even Robinson.

-- Lou Moody (, November 03, 2002.

a must read



Sarah eventually marries her attorney, the most hot headed lawyer in Calif history - he killed Sen. David Broderick in a duel - then Supreme Court Justice Fields bodyguard kills Sarahs husband, David Terry - and Sarah lives to age of 107, in an insane asylum.

See if you can find Herb Caen - 9/19/94 on SFGATE

-- tom wright (, March 28, 2003.

i am sharon Andall looking for the my family all over the world.

-- sharon Andall (, April 14, 2003.

I am a relative of Mr. Sharon's sister, and I have an article that was printed in the San Francisco Chronicle on September 10, 1950 describing the wedding of Flora Sharon (Mr. Sharon's daughter) and Sir Thomas Hesketh which took place in Belmont on December 23, 1880. If you would like a copy of it please contact me at my e-mail address.

-- janey navone (, September 18, 2003.

If you are still looking into the family history, you will ind this web page interesting.

Also, there is a California Supreme Court case called Sharon v. Sharon.

-- Travis Jack (, November 06, 2003.

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