Captain John Jordan

John Jordan was the ninth of ten children born to Francis and Mary Ann Jordan. John was born on February 5, 1807 in Illinois. He married Eliza Jane Sadorus on March 24, 1832. In 1833 John and Eliza Jane left to go to Texas, which at that time was a part of Mexico. Texas gained independence in 1836 and later, in 1848, when Van Zandt County was created, John was elected County Commissioner.

In 1845,  John and Alney T. McGee acquired title to land containing salt. Here, they made salt by boiling down the brine from the marsh in iron kettles. Jordan Saline was the site of salt production that continues even today by Morton Salt Company. Jordan Saline was eventually renamed Grand Saline.

John and Eliza Jane arrived in Texas in 1833 and left in 1850. During that time, Texas had existed under three national and two state constitutions. John had been involved in the war with Mexico and was a Texas Ranger.

On March 12, 1850, the Jordans left for California on a wagon train of which John was elected Captain. The train comprised 60 families making 200 pioneers. They took the southern route and arrived in San Diego on August 20, 1850.

John and Eliza Jane eventually had twelve children. The first was born in Illinois, the next eight in Texas, and the remaining three in California. Elias Francis was only fifteen days old when they started the trip. Levi Henderson died on the wagon train at the age of thirteen and was buried near the Gila River.

After staying in San Diego for several months, they moved to San Juan Bautista and there erected a hotel and store, but by 1857 they moved to the Jordan homestead near Exeter in Tulare County. Here John raised hogs and took up mining.
                    These are pictures of the Homeplace in Exeter.

By agreement with the County Board of Supervisors, John and two of his sons began to build a trail across the Sierra Mountains from Yokohl Valley to the Owens Valley. In an attempt to cross the raging Kern River in spring of 1862, Captain John drowned. There are no known photos of John Jordan