Gridley is a city in Butte County, California, United States. The population was 6,584 at the 2010 census, up from 5,382 at the 2000 census.
The town of Gridley was named after its founder and earliest landowner, George W. Gridley. He was born in the state of New York and later moved with his parents to Galena, Illinois. In 1850 he attempted to drive sheep and cattle across the plains to California. He lost the animals, but arrived safely himself and settled in this area.
As early as 1852, he was prospering in the stock business, and with ten thousand dollars profit, he returned to Illinois. Again he started back to California with a large herd of sheep. This time, six hundred survived. That was enough to give George Gridley his start in the sheep raising business. He prospered in this venture, and his home ranch consisted of some 960 acres (3.9 km2) located West of Gridley. He married Helen Orcutt in Illinois, and she joined him in California in 1855. The Gridleys had ten children. Mr. Gridley died at the home ranch in 1881, Mrs. Gridley twenty years later. Descendants of the Gridley family are still living in the area today.