John Sweeney – Mayor, Postmaster, Wells Fargo Agent

John George Sweeney


One of the many newcomers to busy Rocklin after 1870 was John George Sweeney, who quickly found work as a barkeeper in one of the many local saloons then doing business. Later (1871), he acquired title to the depot building in which he operated the popular Depot Saloon. When the depot building burned in 1891, the railroad immediately commenced construction of a new, more commodious structure but frowned upon the idea of a saloon sharing its premeses as before.

Undismayed by this turn of fortune, Mr. Sweeney, who had recently been appointed Postmaster, erected a small frame building near the new passenger depot on the railroad side of Railroad Avenue and opened an insurance business. Later (1893), he added an addition to this building for use as the local Wells Fargo Express office with himself as agent. He also engaged in the real estate business and served as a notary public from this structure which also housed the Rocklin Post Office.

In 1893, when Rocklin incorporated, John Sweeney was elected to the first Board of Trustees, as the City Council was then called, and was chosen as President of the Board which, in effect, gave him the distiction of being Rocklin’s first Mayor.

John Sweeney, one of Rocklin’s earliest and most enterprising residents, died in April of 1910 at the home of his daughter and sole survivor, Mrs. Gifford of Stockton. He was Sixty-nine at the time of his death. He is buried in the Rocklin Cemetary.

From: Rocklin: Past, Present, Future by Leonard M. Davis. Published by the Rocklin Friends of the Library, Rocklin Ca., 1981.