Wallace George Sheldon Sr (1899-1984)
Father George Lincoln Sheldon (1864-1952)
Mother Lore Louise Bissaillon (1874-1961)
Vital Dates
Born 7 Nov 1899 in Oakland, Alameda, California
Died 9 Sep 1984 in Modesto, Stanislaus, California
Spouse (1) Elsie May Ross (1901-1968)
Married c1920 in Oakland, Alameda, California
Children with Elsie May Ross
1 Wallace George "Zip" Sheldon Jr (1921-2004) m. living
2 Donald Ross Sheldon (1924-2014) m. Norma Jeanette Hepner
3 living
4 Diane Vivian Sheldon (1930-1968) m. Capt. Frank Dowdell Guertin
Spouse (2) Clarenda "Claire" Hester (1910-1988)
Married 29 Mar 1938 in Oakland, Alameda, California

Wallace George Sheldon Sr., nicknamed "Wally" was born November 7, 1899 in Oakland, Alameda, California to George Lincoln Sheldon and Lore Louise Bissaillon Marr. He was raised in Oakland where his family grew up near the Ross family, the kids of these two families went to school together. In 1918 Wallace decided that he had to join the forces in Europe during the war. For reasons currently unknown, he went into San Francisco and posed as a Canadian citizen in order to join the British Expeditionary Forces. The record is dated May 16, 1918 and he states that he came to San Francisco via Montreal and Chicago. In reality, he just came across the bay via a ferry (the bridge from Oakland wasn't built yet at the time). He was enlisted as a Sapper in the Inland Water Transport - Royal Engineers. We don't know exactly how long he served, but family stories say that he fought in France and went "over the top" several times before being hit with nerve gas. He was sent to England to recuperate. On March 31, 1919 he boarded the RMS Mauritania in Liverpool to head back to America. The Mauritania is famously the sister ship to the Lusitania, sunk by a German submarine in 1915. The Mauritania was commandeered by the British government as a troop transport during the last years of the war and was not released to civilian service until September of 1919. The Mauritania arrived in New York on April 8th, 1919. All of the passengers listed on the manifest were soldiers. Most were British subjects, their fairs paid by England. But Wallace, although he had signed up as a Canadian for the British Expeditionary Forces, was now listed as a US citizen and had to pay his own way. It would seem that his secret was somehow revealed. But they couldn't have been too harsh on him as he was awarded to medals by the British government, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The whereabouts of these medals today are sadly unknown.

In May of 1919 he began work in his first known job as a Joiner Helper on the Steamers in the Oakland shipyard and he was quickly promoted to a Deckhand on the "Steamer Melrose", although there are no further records of him immediately after this, suggesting that he left. It's likely that he received this work through his future father-in-law, Charles Hamilton Ross, who also had a long history at the Oakland shipyards. In 1920 he married Elsie May Ross, daughter of Charles and Josephine Johanna Anderson. They had four children together. Their marriage was not a bad one, both Wallace and Elsie were greatly loved by their children, but for some reason it was not an entirely happy marriage either. They were separated, off and on, by 1930 and they divorced in 1938. Wallace re-married to Claire Hester (recently divorced from a Mr. Pelletier) on March 29, 1938. His son would later note that the he saw the divorce notice and engagement notice on the same page of the Oakland Tribune.

By all accounts, his second marriage to Claire was exceedingly happy. After their honeymoon in Hawaii they enjoyed travelling across the southwest, camping, and the beach. They moved to San Diego and Wallace started a painting and interior decorating company. They were very close with Claire's sister Lee and her daughter Janice Fuller. Wallace died in September of 1984 in Oakland, Alameda, California.


California Voter Registration

  1. 1930: Sheldon, Wallace G, 2378 Tiffin Road, insp marine service. Rep (Oakland, Alameda Co)
  2. 1932: Sheldon, Wallace G, 3835 Fruitvale ave, clerk. Rep (Oakland, Alameda Co)
  3. 1936: Sheldon, Wallace George, 7044 Outlook ave, special invests. Rep (Oakland, Alameda Co)
  4. 1938: Sheldon, Wallace George, 7044 Outlook ave, special invests. Rep (Oakland, Alameda Co)
  5. 1940: Sheldon, Wallace G Sr, 1641 11th ave, operator. Rep (Oakland, Alameda Co)
  6. 1942: Sheldon, Wallace G Sr, 1641 11th ave, operator. Rep (Oakland, Alameda Co)
  7. 1944: Sheldon, Wallace, 156 Ghormley ave, shipfitter. Dem (Oakland, Alameda Co)

Census Records

  1. 1900 Census: Oakland, California - June 6, 1900
  2. 1910 Census: Oakland, California - May 3, 1910
  3. 1920 Census: not found
  4. 1930 Census: not found, wife Elsie is listed with her parents
  5. 1940 Census: not found

City Directories

  1. Oakland, 1921: Sheldon, Wallace G driller r 1690 11th
  2. Oakland, 1933: Sheldon, Wallace G. (Elsie) h 3835 Fruitvale av
  3. Oakland, 1934: Sheldon, Wallace G. (Elsie) h 3969 Fruitvale av
  4. Oakland, 1940: Sheldon, Wallace G. (Claire) r1641 11th av

Newspaper Articles

  1. Oakland Tribune: November 18, 1906 - his uncles 25th wedding anniversary
  2. Oakland Tribune: February 4, 1908 - his grandparents 52nd wedding anniversary

Vital Records

  1. California Death Index
  2. California, Marriage Records for Select Counties, 1850-1941

Work Records

  1. Pay Roll: Oakland Shipyards, Floating Equipment Division, Dep 1, Sheet 8, Audit No 161-A, under direction of Charles S. Heath, Superintendent of Steamers, May 16-31, 1919. Wallace G. Sheldon, #282, Joiner Helper, 40 hours at a .45 cent per hour rate. $18 less $1 deduction for physical examination and .50 for hospital department. $16.50 due.
  2. Pay Roll: same as above, June 1-15, 1919. Wallace G. Sheldon, #282, Joiner Helper, 96 hours at .45 cent per hour rate. $43.20 with .50 hospital department deduction. $42.70 due.
  3. Pay Roll: same as above, June 16-30, 1919. Wallace G. Sheldon, #282, Joiner Helper, 56 hours at .45 cent per hour rate. $25.30 with no deductions. $25.20 due.
  4. Pay Roll: same as above, July 1-15, 1919. Wallace G. Sheldon, #282, Joiner Helper, 72 hours at .45 cent per hour rate. $32.40 with .50 cent hospital department deduction. $31.90 due.
  5. Pay Roll: Floating Division of Oakland Shipyards, Ferry Steamers under direction of Charles H. Heath, Superintendent of Steamers. Aboard the Steamer Melrose, July 1-15, 1919. Wallace G. Sheldon, #282, Deckhand, 13 hours at 49 1/4 cents per hours & 3 days (10 hr per day) at 40 cents per hour. $17.95 with no deductions. $17.95 due.