Machado's papers reflect his interests in natural history, horsebreeding, and the
Mormon/Carson Emigrant Trail. They consist of approximately ten linear feet of notes,
maps, slides, photocopies of primary sources, pamphlets, flyers, and other materials.
Jess Machado was born in Stockton, California in about 1908. After being orphaned as a
young boy Machado was raised in the Salvation Army Orphanage at Lytton, Sonoma County.
During his late teens he left the orphanage to live with his maternal grandparents, the
Sousas, in Stockton. His grandfather worked in law enforcement and during the 1940s was
elected Sheriff of San Joaquin County. From 1928 through 1931 Machado attended Stockton
High School. Upon graduating from high school he enrolled in a teacher training course at
Modesto Junior College. Following the completion of his coursework at Modesto J.C.
Machado taught elementary school science until 1942. He was also employed for a time at
the City of Stockton's Silver Lake Camp in El Dorado County. The stimulus of this
environment engendered Machado's lifelong interest in the Carson Pass Area and the
history of the Emigrant Trail which passes close by Silver Lake. In 1942 Machado enlisted
in the U.S. Army and spent the duration of World War II in the South Pacific. After the
War, Machado resumed teaching but also studied landscape gardening and weather
forecasting. He continued to collect information on the Carson Pass portion of the
Emigrant Trail and began to study trail diaries in an effort to establish the definitive
route of the Trail through the Pass and beyond. During the 1950s he married Marian Uhart
and settled in the San Fernando Valley where he worked as a landscape gardener for the
City of Los Angeles. At this time he began breeding Arabian horses. Upon Jess' retirement
the Machados acquired a vineyard in the Turlock area. Following his wife's premature
death, Machado devoted most of his time to the study of the Emigrant Trail. At the time
of his death in 1992, he was widely regarded as an expert on the Carson Pass leg of the
Collection is open for research.