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.