The contents include letters to family, which include Samuel’s brother and sister-in-law updating them with his whereabouts.
Samuel’s sister-in-law also replies with local news and gossip in a letter addressed both to her sister (Martha) and Samuel.
There are a few letters’ from Samuel’s brother updating him with his health condition. Samuel also receives a letter about
a medicine he can make and sell. Also included is a brief family synopsis of Samuel that George Heald put together.
Samuel Heald was the son of George and Elizabeth Tatlow Heald, who were farmers first in Delaware, then Ohio, and moved to
Snei Creek in Jackson County, Missouri in 1844. He was the oldest of 8 children. With news of the gold discovery in California,
Samuel and two of his brothers, Thomas and Harmon, made the overland journey arriving in Sacramento city in September of 1849.
Samuel moved to Sonoma County where he worked as a millwright and built a house near his mill on Mill Creek. He returned to
Missouri to retrieve the rest of his family in 1851, and they lived with him in the vicinity of the mill until the summer
of 1852. Harmon had already established himself near the current Healdsburg Plaza, and three other brothers, Thomas, Jacob,
and George, settled on preempted land or land "purchased" from squatters in the vicinity. Samuel ran the mill alone for three
years until 1854, when he returned to Missouri to find a bride. Although married previously when he lived in Missouri, his
wife had died there in childbirth. He now returned to marry one of her sisters, Martha Cobb. After a long honeymoon spent
traveling across the United States they returned to California. Samuel went on to build an early flourmill in Napa, then moved
to San Jose. When he also contracted tuberculosis he returned to Cloverdale to live with his sister Sarah Shaw. He died there
in August of 1874 at the age of 56. He and Martha had two children, both of whom lived to adulthood. They in turn had no children.
Samuel Heald’s brother, Harmon built a cabin and eventually a store on what is now the west side of Healdsburg Avenue adjacent
to and running north of the Plaza, and the town of Healdsburg is named for him.