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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Rare indeed is it to find two generations of native Californians actively identified with business affairs and contributing useful service to the world of progress. Such is the record of the Sellon family, three successive generations of whom have contributed to the development of the state since the discovery of gold and one (representing the third generation) now holds a prominent position among the men of affairs in Sacramento. This influential citizen was born in the city of San Francisco February 9, 1881, received a grammar school education in Sacramento and attended the Chicago high school, from which he was graduated in 1900. His father, L. J. Sellon, was born in Marysville, Cal., in September of 1850, and is a son of Judge Sellon, a Forty-niner and a pioneer of honored memory. Upon starting out to make his own way in the world, L. J. Sellon became a rail- way mail clerk and later rose to the superintendency of the mail route between Sacramento and Ogden, Utah, meanwhile making his home in the former city. During 1891 he resigned from the road in order to enter the employ of the Postal Telegraph Company at Sacramento, where he acted as operator. The company in 1894 trans- ferred him to Chicago as chief of the night wire. Notwithstanding his life of strenuous exertion and constant labor, he is still active, forceful and successful, and has not been obliged to relinquish the responsibilities so capably discharged for many years.

It was the privilege of George C. Sellon to enjoy excellent educational advantages and at the same time to observe carefully the architecture popular in the three cities familiar to his youth. From boy hood he displayed an interest in the building business and thought- fully studied all designs novel in style as well as substantial in effect. As he observed and noted these with care, he began to draw designs of his own and after he entered an architect’s office in Chicago he gave his attention wholly to developing his natural tastes for such work. From 1904 to 1906 he engaged in business for himself in Chicago and his experience in that city has proved of the greatest service to his subsequent efforts.

A brief period of work at San Francisco was followed by the return of Mr. Sellon to Sacramento in May of 1907, at which time he accepted an appointment as state architect from Governor Gillett. During the three years of his service in the employ of the commonwealth he designed many important structures, including the State Normal at San Jose, the State Hospital at Agnew, the state penitentiary at San Quentin, the California building at the Alaska-Yukon exposition and the Administration building at the Sonoma State Home. Since his retirement from the state employ he has engaged in business for himself and has designed many buildings of note, among them being the Sacramento hotel, the American cash store, the Sacramento News Publishing building, the Hagelstein building, the structures to be seen on the state fair grounds and the Inverness building. To one so deeply interested in his chosen calling politics makes little appeal, and we find that Mr. Sellon refuses to take any part in public affairs aside from voting the Republican ticket. Elective offices do not fascinate him and the career of a statesman possesses for him no charm, although later years, with their professional successes and business prosperity, may lead him into avenues of public service for which now he has no desire. The Sutter club and blue lodge, as well as the Scottish Rite Masons number him among their members, and professionally he is a member of the San Francisco Chapter, American Institute of Architects. While living in Chicago he formed the acquaintance of Miss Margaret Hughes and they were united in marriage June 29, 1904, afterward residing in that city until their removal to the west. They are the parents of a son and daughter, Walter C. and Virginia. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011