Who was George Yount?
Captain George Yount, born in Burke County, North Carolina in 1794 and a member of the famed Kentucky Riflemen during the War of 1812, came to Mexican-owned Alta California in 1831. He lived and worked with General Mariano Vallejo and his younger brother Captain Salvador Vallejo near Sonoma. In March 1836 he was awarded one of Mexico’s earliest land grants in northern California: Rancho Caymus (2 square leagues or 11,814 acres) stretching across central Napa Valley from Yountville to just south of St. Helena. That same year he built a rustic blockhouse and grist mill near the Napa River in the southwest corner of his rancho (California Historic Landmark #514, approximately one mile north of Yountville) and thus became the first American settler in what later became Napa County.
After the American takeover of California in 1846, Yount sold and donated some of his property as the earliest section of what later became Yountville. Following his death in 1865 he was laid to rest in an Indian burial ground which was eventually sold to the Yountville Cemetery Association. On May 14, 1867 the United States Postal Service officially renamed the town Yountville in his honor.