Skip to main content

Full text of "Historical and biographical record of southern California; containing a history of southern California from its earliest settlement to the opening year of the twentieth century"

See other formats

pnnT WAYNE- a ai ^.J:^' r-» •••• ^ 




3 1833 01148 2814 


U/^-^<> I 

O. W- Lowe. 







J. M. GUINN, A.M. 

Secniary of the Historical Society of Sou t hern California. Member of the Ai, 
Historical Association of U'ashi?igton, D. C. 





Copyright, 1902 




SDL'TIIliRX C.\L]I'"( )RNIA is neither a geographical nor a political subdivision of the 
state of L'alifornia. Generally speaking, it refers to the seven southern counties, viz.: 
San Diego. Orange, Ri\'erside, San Rernardino, Los Angeles, \"entura and Santa Barbara; yet 
there is no good reason why it might not take in two or three more counties. In the so-called 
I'ico Law of 1851), "granting the consent of the legislature to the formation of a dififerent govern- 
ment for the southern counties of the state," San Luis Obispo and all the territory now com- 
prising Kern were included within the boundaries of the proposed new state of Southern Cali- 
fornia. , 

The plan of the historical part of this work includes — first a general history of what is usually 
designated as Southern California, beginning with its discovery and continuing through the Span- 
ish and ]\Iexican eras into the American period to the subdivision of the state into counties ; 
— second a history of each county of Southern California from the date of its organization to 
the present time. 

The author has endeavored to give a clear, concise and accurate account of the most impor- 
tant events in the history of the section covered. The reader will find in it, no laudations of 
climate, no advertisements of the resources and productions of certain sections, no pufifs of 
individuals or of private enterprises. However interesting these might be to the individuals 
and the localities praised, they are not history and therefore have been left out. 

In compiling the history of the Spanish and Mexican eras I have taken Bancroft's History 
of California as the most reliable authority. 

I have obtained much original historical material from the Proceedings of the Ayuntamiento 
or Municipal Council of Los Angeles (1828 to 1846). The jurisdiction of that Ayuntamiento 
exlende<l over the area now included in four of the seven counties of Southern California. Con- 
sequently the history of Los Angeles in the Mexican era is virtually the history of all the section 
under the jurisdiction of its ayuntamiento. This accounts for the prominence of Los Angeles in 
the earlier portions of this volume. 

The names of the persons interviewed and the lists of books, periodicals, newspapers and 
manuscripts consulted in the preparation of this work w'oukl be altogether too long for 
insertion here. To the authors from whom I have quoted, credit has been given either in the body 
of the work or in foot notes. To the jiersons who have given mc verbal or written inforination 
I return my sincere thanks. 


Los Angeles, October 12, 1901. wov^O^ 





Spanish Discoveries on the Pacific Coast of North America 33 

Spanish Enterprise and Adventure — Scurvy, the Scourge of the Seas — Hernan Cortes — • 
Fortuno Ximenez discovers Baja California — Origin of the name California — Discovery of 
the Rio Colorado — Ulloa's Voyage — Coronado's Return dispels the Myths of Quivera and 
the Seven Cities of Cibola — Mendoza sends Cabrillo on a Voyage of Discovery to the North- 
west Coast. 


The Discovery of Nueva or Alta California 35 

Cabrillo's Voyage — Discovery of the Bay of San Diego — Islands of San Salvador and Vitoria, 
now Santa Catalina and San Clemente — Bay of San Pedro — Santa Barbara Islands — Death 
of Cabrillo — Return of his Ships— Drake's Voyage through the Straits of Magellan- 
Plunders Spanish Settlements on the South Pacific Coast — Search for the Straits of Anian — 
Refits his Ship in a California Harbor — Takes possession of the Country for the English 
Sovereign — Names it New Albion — Return to England — Sebastian Viscaino's Voyage — 
Changes the names of the bays and islands discovered by Cabrillo — First Boom Literature — 
Failure of Viscaino's Colonization Scheme. His death — Las Californias still believed to be 
;.n island — Father Kino's Explorations in 1700 dispels this fallacy. 


Mission Coloniz.^tion 

Spain's System of Colonizing— Fear of English and Russian Aggression— Four Expeditions 
sent to Nueva California— Settlement at San Diego— Portola's Expedition sets out for 
Monterey — Discoveries — General Plan of the Missionary Establishments, Location and 
Government — Industrial Training of the Neophytes — San Gabriel under Zalvidea — What 
was accomplished there. 


Indians of Southern Cm. iforni.\ 

Inferiority of the California Indian— Indian Towns— Vang-na— Indians of the Los Angeltb 
Valley— Hugo Reid's Description of their Government— Religion— Marriage— Burials— Feuds 
—Song Fights— Utensils— Mythology— Myths— Indians of the Santa Barbara Channel— 
Chupu the Channel god— A Revelation. 


Fkaxciscan Missions in Southern California 46 

Location of the Missions — Condition of the Buildings now — Founding of San Diego de 

Aleala — Destruction of the Mission Buildings by Indians — Murder of Father Jaunie — Mis- 
sion Statistics — San Gabriel Arcangel — Disreputable Soldiers — Mission Moved to a new- 
Site — Statistics — San Juan Capistrano — Failure of the first attempt — Mission re-established— • 
Karlhquake of 1812 — Destruction of the Church and Loss of Life — Mission Secularized. 
San Buenaventura — Channel Missions Damaged by Earthquake — Mission Garden — Santa 
Barbara — Delay in Founding — Damages by Earthquake — Mission rebuilt — Statistics — La 
Purisima — New Plan of Mission Management — Church Destroyed by Earthquake — Revolt 
of the Indians— Statistics— San Fernando — Large death rate— Treaty of Cahuenga— San Luis 
Rey — Flourishing Mission — Father Peyri — The Asistencia of Pala — Santa Inez — Effects of 
the Earthquake — Indian Revolt — Chiefs Shot. 

J* ^ Jt 


The Presidios of Sax Diego and Santa Barbara 52 

The Presidio in Colonization — The founding of the Presidio of San Diego — Monotony of 
Soldier Life— The Fur Traders— The Lelia Byrd— The Hide Droghers— San Diego in 1829— 
Don Juan Bandini's Mansion — The Old Presidio in 1836 — Dana's visit in 1859 — The Channel 
Missions and Presidio of Santa Barbara — Founding of Santa Barbara — Quarrel between the 
Padres and the Comandante — Vancouver's Description of the Presidio in 1793 — Completion 
of the Presidio — A Boston Boy — Don Jose de La Guerra y Noriega — Change of Flags — 
Santa Barbara in 1829 — As Dana saw it in 1836 — Famhani describes it in 1840 — Population 
and Appearance of the Pueblo when Fremont's Battalion took possession of it in 1846. 

..« ^ ^ 


Pueblo plan of Colonization — Governor de Neve selects Pueblo sites — Regulations and Sup- 
plies for the Colonists — Recruiting Pobladores in Sonora and Sinaloa — Arrival of the Colon 
ists at San Gabriel — Founding of the Pueblo de Los Angeles — Names of the eleven heads o'' 
Families — Derivation of the name of the Town and River — The Indian Town of Yang-na. 


Los Angeles in the Spanish Era 60 

The Old Plaza— Area of a Pueblo— Subdivision of Pueblo Lands — Location of the Old 
Plaza — Deportation of three worthless Colonists — Final Distribution of Lands to the Colon- 
ists in 1786— Government of the Pueblo— Census of 1790— Population in 1810— The "pirate 
Buchar" — End of Spain's domination in California. 


Transition Period — From Monarchy to Republic 64 

Governor Sola a Royalist — Californians Loyal to Spain during the Revolution — Beginnings of 
a Government by the People — Population and Resources of the Pueblo of Los Angeles — 
Arrival of Foreigners- Life in California in 1829— Slow Growth and Little Progress. 



Mission Secularization and the Passing of the Neophyte. 

Sentiment not History — Spain's purpose in Founding tlie Missions — Mission Land Mo- 
nopoly — Decrees of Secularization humane — Regulations Governing Secularization — Slaughter 
of Cattle— Reckless Destruction— Ruin of the Missions— Fall of the Neophyte— The Pueblito 
— Indian Slaves — The Monday Auction — What became of the Mission Estates — Mortality 
among Neophj'tes under Mission rule — Extinction of the Indian inevitable. 

A Decade of Revolutions 70 

The Storm Centre of Revolutions — Expulsion of Governor Victoria — Death of Avila and 
Pacheco — Pio Pico, Governor — Rival Governors, Echcandia and Zamorano — California Split 
in two — Governor Figueroa appointed — The Hijar Colony — A Cobbler and a Cigar Maker 
head a Revolution — Hijar and Padres arrested and shipped to Mexico — Death of Governor 
Figueroa — Los Angeles made the Capital of Alta California — Castro becomes "gefe politico" 
— Chico, Governor — Deposed and sent back to Mexico. 


El Estado Lir.RE v Soberano de Alta California 74 

(The Free and Sovereign State of Alta California^ 
Causes that led to Revolution — No Offices for the "Hijos del Pais" (native sons) — Revolt 
against Governor Gutierrez — Declaration of Independence — Alvarado, Governor of the Free 
State — Monterey Plan — Los Angeles opposes it — War between the North and the South — 
Battle of San Buenaventura — Los Angeles Subjugated — Peace in the Free State — Carlos 
Carrillo appointed Governor by the Supreme Government — Los Angeles the Capital of the 
South — Carrillo inaugurated with imposing ceremonies — War again — Capture of Los Angeles 
— Flight of Carrillo to San Diego — Battle of Las Flores — Surrender of Carrillo — Alvarado 
recognized as Governor by the Supreme Government — End of the Free State. 


Closing Years of Mexican Rule 79 

The Government in the hands of the Native Sons — Arrival of Trappers from the United 
States — The Graham Affair — Arrival of Governor Micheltorena and his Cholo Army — Cap- 
ture of Monterey by Commodore Jone.^ — Micheltorena and Jones meet at Los Angeles — Ex- 
travagant demands of the Governor — An Army of Chicken Thieves — Revolt against Michel- 
torena and his Cholos — Sutter and Graham join forces with Micheltorena — The Picos unite 
with Castro and Alvarado — Americans favor Pico — Battle of Cahuenga — Defeat and Abdica- 
tion of Micheltorena — Deportation of the Governor and his Army — Pio Pico, Governor — 
Looking Backward. 



MuxrciPAL Government — Muy Ilustre Ayuntamiento 84 

But Little Crime in California under Spanish and Mexican Rule — Pueblo Government — The 
Most Illustrious Ayuntamiento — That of Los Angeles the best Illustration of a Mexican 
Municipal Council — Officers of the Ayuntamiento — Taking the Oath of Office — When Office 
Sought the Man — The Public Alarm — Blue Laws of Old Los Angeles — Hygienic rules — The 
Pueblito — Municipal revenues — Salaries — Elections — Judges of the Plains. 

'I'liii Ho.MEs AND Home Life of Californians in the Adobe Age 89 

The Indian Brick-maker — An Architecture without Freaks or Fads — The Adobe Age not 
Aesthetic — Leonardo Cota's Plea for Urban Beauty — Reconstruction and Rehabilitation — 
Style of Dress in 1829 — No Chimneys for Santa Claus — Filial Respect — Economical Goveni- 
ment — Dog Days — No Fire Department and no Police. 

.\couisiTioN OF California by the United States — Capture of Los Angeles 

Territorial Expansion — Fremont and Castro — The Bear Flag Revolt — Commodore Sloat 
takes possession of California — Castro's Retreat Southward — Review of Affairs at Los 
Angeles — The Old Feud between the Uppers and the Lowers — Pico's Humane Proclama- 
tion — Stockton at San Pedro and Fremont at San Diego — Their United Forces enter Los 
Angeles — Historical Myths. 


jE of Los Angeles 98 

Stockton and Fremont Leave Los Angeles — Captain Gillespie in Command of the Southern 
Department — Revolt of the Californians — Gillespie's Men Besieged on Fort Hill — Juan 
Flaco's Ride — Battle of Chino — Americans Evacuate the City — Retreat to San Pedro — Can- 
non thrown into the Bay. 

Battle of Do.minguez Ranch — Flores, Governor 

Authentic account of the Battle by Lieutenant Duvall— Arrival of the Savannah at San Pedro, 
Capt. William Mervine, Commanding — Landing of the Troop.s — Gillespie's Men join Mer- 
vine— March to Dominguez Ranch— Battle— Retreat of Mervine's Force— Names of the 
Killed and Wounded— Dead Buried on Deadman's Island— Names of the Officers in Com- 
mand — The Old Woman's Gun — Flores made Governor and Comandante-General — Jealousy 
of the Hijos del Pais— Arrest of Flores— He is Released and Rico Imprisoned. 



The Second Conquest of Califorxea 104 

Stockton Arrives at San Pedro — Carrillo's Ruse — A Remarkable Battle — Fremont Recruits a 
Battalion — Californians Capture Santa Barbara and San Diego — Recapture of San Diego — 
Building of a Fort — The Flag Episode — Arrival of General Kearny at Warner's Pass — Battle 
of San Pasqual — Commodore Stockton Sends a Force to Relieve General Kearny — Prepara- 
tions for an Attack upon Los Angeles — The March — Battle of Paso de Bartolo, or San 
Gabriel River — Battle of La Mesa — Small Losses. 


Occupation of Los Angeles — Building of Fort Moore 109 

Burial of the Dead — Surrender of Los Angeles — The Americans Occupy the City — Unwel- 
come Visitors — A Famous Scold — How Stockton Obtained Headquarters — Building of Fort 
Moore — Two Forts — Fears of an Invasion — The Mormon Battalion — Colonel Stevenson takes 
Command — A Flagstaff for the Fort — The First Fourth of July — Historical Fictions — Fre- 

mont's Headquarters. 


Tre.\ty of Cahueng.\ — Transition 114 

Fremont's Battalion Arrives at San Fernando — Negotiations — Treaty Signed — Fremont's 
Battalion enters Los Angeles — Colonel Fremont appointed Governor — Quarrel between 
Stockton and Kearny — Colonel Mason succeeds General Kearny — Colonel Stevenson in Com- 
mand of the Southern Department — Ayuntamiento Elected — Civil and Military Authorities 
Clash— Stephen C. Foster, Alcalde— The Guard House blown up— Treaty of Guadalupe 
Hidalgo — Pio Pico Returns to California — The Second Ayuntamiento. 




San Diego County. 

Organization of the County — Boundaries — Population in 1850 — Indian War of 1851 — Early 
History of the County and City Identical — The Old Pueblo — First Survey of the Pueblo Lands 
— Area of the Pueblo in 1850 — Origin of New Town — Puenta de Los Muertos — The First 
Buildings in New San Diego — The First Wharf — Its Tragic Fate — The Pioneer Newspaper — 
Disasters that Befell the Plant — John Phoenix, Editor — A Political Somersault — The 
Famous Mill between Ames and Phoenix — The San Diego Herald Dies — Early Steamers — 
The First Overland Mail Route— Old Town and New Town in Statu Quo— Dry Years and 
Ihe Civil War. 


S.-VN Diego County (Continued). 


Arrival of Alonzo E. Horton — He Buys a Town Site — The Rush to San Diego — Rapid 
Growth of New Town — The Horton House — The Texas Pacific Railroad — The Railroad 
Act Passed, Great Rejoicing — Boom of 1871 — Some Boom Poetry — Branch Railroads — Fail- 
ure of the Railroad — Bursting of the Boom — Gloom — A New Trans-Continental Railroad 
Sclienie — Its Success — The Boom of 1S87 — Inflation of Values — New Towns — Collapse of 
the Real Estate Bubble — The Boom a Blessing — Development of the Back Country — Sub- 
stantial Improvements Made — A Year of Disasters — Recuperation — Riverside County takes 
a Slice — Annals of the Closing Years of the Century — Public Schools — The Free Public 
Library — The Chamber of Commerce. 


Old Town — National City — Coronado Beach — Occanside — Escondido — Fall Brook — Pala — 
Julian — Banner. 

Lo.s ANGEI.E.S County 131 


Extent of the Original County — Boundaries — Organization of San Bernardino County — -V 
Slice taken off Los Angeles to Make Kern— Orange County Created— No More County 
Division— Organization of the Los Angeles County Government— First election— Officers 
Elected— Court of Sessions— A County Interpreter- County Prisoners Hired to the City 


Council — First Public Building, a Jail — Jueces del Campo — Patriots of the Pocket — Some 
Cliarges — The First Fee Bill — The Office of Supervisor Created — First Board. 


Early Land Grants — Litigation over Grants — Township Boundaries — Immigrants and Over- 
land Routes — Sonorese Migration — A Job Lot of Immigrants — A Tricky Alcalde — The 
Mexican Route — The Gila Route — The Santa Fe Trail — The Salt Lake Route — Immi- 
gration by Southern Routes — Commerce and Conveyances — The Mustang Saddle Train — 
The Carreta Freight Train — First Stages — The First Steamer at San Pedro — High Fare 
and Freight Charges — Bucking Sailors — Imports and E.xports — High Price of Grapes — ■ 
First State Census — Small Area under Cultivation — Slow Growth of the County in the 50's. 

Los Ange[.es County (Continued) 137 


A Gold Rush and Gold Placers — Hard Times — The Great Flood of 1861-62 — After the 
Deluge — Drought — The Famine Years of 1863-64 — Death of Cattle — Financial Depression 
— The Civil War — Decadence of the Cattle Industry — The Stearns Ranches — From Cattle 
Raising to Grain Production. 


Railroads — Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad — The Southern Pacific — Bond Election^ 
The Great Tunnel — Completion of the Road between Los Angeles and San Francisco — First 
train — Los Angeles and Independence Road — Fate of the Santa Monica Wharf — Colonies — 
San Pasqual Plantation Scheme — The Indiana Colony — It becomes Pasadena — Rapid Growth 
— Pomona — First Auction Sale of Land and Lots — Santa Monica — "The Zenith City by the 
Sunset Sea" — Disasters. 


Depression Continues — First Trans-Continental Railroad — Immigration — A New Railroad 
Coming — Beginning of the Boom — Town-Making — Homberg's Twin Cities — Unprincipled 
Boomers — Magnitude of the Boom — Great Booms of Former Times — Collapse. 


From Boom to Gloom — Increase in Population — Reaction — Bank Panic of 1893 — Spanish 
War — The Harbor War — Three Dry Years — Prosperity — Population of Cities and Towns 
in 1900. 

J^ J* ..t 


The City of Los Angeles 144 

shaping the city 
A City Without Form— Urban Expansion— The First Boom— No Written Titles— Land 
Commissioner's Report— "Monstrous Irregularity of the Streets"— Area of the Pueblo, "Two 
Leagues to each Wind from the Plaza Church"— An Amazed Commission— Wide Streets 
Offend the Sense of the Beautiful— Squaring the Plaza— Ord's Survey— Area of the City, 
Sixteen Square Leagues— Street Names in Ord's Plan— Charity Street— Adjusting Street 
Lines and Property Lines. 


Incorporated by the Legislature of 1849-50— Reduced Area— Twice Made a City and not 
Much of a City Then- The First Election Under American Law— City Officers— Patriotic 


Councilmen— The Indian Question— Auction Sale of Prisoners— A Cily Ordinance that 
Favored Poor Lo— Tlie Whipping Post— The Indian Question Settled. 


Postal Service in the Spanish Era — In the Mexican Era— First American Mail Service — A 
Tub Post Office — Irregular Mails — The Butterfield Stage Route — Los .A.nge!c5 Postmasters. 


The First School— Mexican Schools and School Masters— First American School— The First 
School Ordinance— The Pioneer School House of the City— Prejudice against the Public 
Schools — The First High School in Southern California — City School Superintendents — 
The Normal School. 


The City oi- Los Angeles (Continued) 152 

crimes and vigilance committees 
Turbulence, but few Capital Crimes under Spanish and Mexican Rule — The Defenders of 
Public Safety — The First Executions by a Vigilance Committee-»-GoId and Crime — People's 
Tribunals — Executions by Vigilance Committees in Los Angeles — The Murder of Sheriff 
Barton and Four of His Posse — Extermination of the Flores Gang — The Vasquez Gang — The 
Chinese Massacre — The Last Vigilance Conmiittee. 


La Estrella de Los Angeles (The Star of Los Angeles) — The Southern Californian — El 
Clamor Publico — The Southern Vineyard — The Los .A.ngelcs Daily News. 


.\dobe gives Place to Wood and Brick in Building— First Building Boom— Population in 
i860— Camel Caravans— The Telegraph— Salt Lake Trade— Union Demonstration— The 
Great Flood — A Year of Disasters — Union and Secession — The War Ends and Peace Reigns 
—The First Protestant Church— The Great Flood of 1868 Makes a New River— New 
Growth— The First Railroad— City Lighted with Gas— First Bank— Population of the City. 
1870— The Railroad Bond Question— Bank Panic— Hard Times— Population in 1880— Re- 
action— A Rate War— Good Times— The Boom Comes— The Cable Railway— Electric Rail- 
ways — Oil Discovery — Oil Boom — City's Expansion by .Annexation — Population in iqoo. 

S.'VNTA Barbar.v County ' 5^ 


First use of the Name in Connection with the Mainland— Santa Barbara, Virgin and Martyr. 


Boundaries— Transition from Mexican to American Forms of Government- Election of 
County Officers— County Seal— Sheriff Killed— First County Assessment— Mixing City and 
County Offices— Ruling Families— Townships— Board of Supervisors— The County Solidly 
Democratic in Politics — The First Court House. 


Bands of Outlaws— Jack Powers— Ned McGowan— His escape from the Vigilantes— .\ Grand 
Jury Report. 



The Feudal Lords of the Land — Stock Ranges Equal to Gold Mines — Overstocked Ranges — 
Starvation of Cattle — The Shepherd Kings — Kings no More — The Famine Years end their 
Rule — Fatalism — Subdivision of the Great Ranches — Transition Period — Prosperity — The 
Southern Pacific Railroad — The Boom — Railroad Gap Closed — Lompoc — Guadalupe — Bettcra 
via — Santa Maria — Santa Ynez — Goleta — El Montecito — Summerland — Carpinteria Valley — 
The Channel Islands. 


First School — Long Vacations — Schools under Me.xican Rule — Schools after the Conquest 
— Little Progress at First — Rapid Advance — High Schools 

The City of Santa Barbara 165 


Incorporation — First Meeting of the Common Council — City Officials — Lost Records — 
Haley's Survey — Wrackenrueder's Map — The Second Council — The Indian Question — An 
Ethnic Question — Economical City Government — "A Wide Open Town" — A California 
Treat — A Spasm of Virtue — Careless Councils — Pueblo Lands — Street Names — Caiion Perdido 
Street — The Lost Cannon Found — Squatter Troubles — The Arroyo Burro Affair — The 
Pioneer Newspaper of Santa Barbara — The Gazette a Live Paper — The Gazette Starved to 
Death — A Poco Tiempo Town — Tip or Dip. 


Feudalism — Dry Years and Hard Times — .^wakening — Coast Stage Line — Gas Introduced 
— Rise in Real Estate — First Bank — Natural History Society — The Public Library — A 
Decade of Transition — Population in 1870; in 1880 — Population in 1890 gain of 70 per cent.— 
Railroad Building and Projecting — Arrival of the First Passenger Train — A Boom — Sub- 
stantial Improvements — Street Paving — Southern Pacific Coast Line Completed — St. An- 
thony's College — A Tragedy — The New High School. 

Ventura County 171 


Al.'sentceisnis — The Old Mission — Battle of San Buenaventura — No American Settlers at 
the Time of the Conquest — A Township of Santa Barbara — First Attempt to Form a New 
County^State Division — First Survey of a Town Site — Flood of 1861 — Famine Years of 
1863 and 1864 — Flood of 1868 — Immigration Drifting Southward — The Coast Stage Line 
— San Buenaventura in 1870 — Those Americans arc Coming — A Night Ride over the Moun- 
tains — The First Wharf — The Ventura Signal — The Pioneer Newspaper. 


Reasons for County Division — No Offices for the Venturians — Election Frauds — The Pop- 
ulation of the Proposed New County Mostly American — Failure of the Second Attempt 
to Create a New County — The Third Succeeds — Boundaries of Ventura County — The First « 

F.lortion and the County Oflicers RIcclcd— The First Court House— Business Activity. 



\'i;ntuk.\ County (continued) 176 

annals of ventura town and county 
School Bonds and New School House — The First Murder in the New County — Library 
Association — Another Newspaper — Fire Company — Wreck of the Kalorama — Murder of T. 
Wallace More — A Year of Disasters — Wealth and Products of the County in 1879 — 
Flood of 1884 — Railroad and the Boom Arrive — Brilliant Outlook — Census of 1890 — Pioneer 
Society— Annals of the Past Decade. 


Huenenie — Nordhoff — Santa Paula — O.xnard — El Rio — Montalvo — Saticoy — Fillmore — Bards- 
dale — Canuilos Rancho — The Oil Industry — Theodosia B. Shepherd Plant and Seed Com- 
pany — Islands of Ventura — Anacapa — San Nicolas — The Lone Woman of San Nicolas. 

Or.\nge County 184 

county division 
Act Creating the County Passed — Twenty Years of County Division — Anaheim County — 
Major Max Strobel's Scheme and Its Failure — Strobel, a Soldier of Fortune and a Victim 
of Misfortune — The First Orange County — A County Division Candidate — Wiseman, the 
"Broadaxe" — Santa Ana County — Orange County Again — Success. 


First Officers — Boundaries and Area — Spanish Ranches — The Rancho Santiago de Santa 
Ana — Squatter War — Judge Field's Decision — Schools — High Schools — Court House 
— Population of the County — History of the Celery Industry — Cienegas or Peat 
Lands — Regarded by the Early Settlers as Waste Lands — Their Drainage and Cultiva- 
tion — Wild Celery and Wild Hogs — First Experiment in Celery Culture — Persecu- 
tion of the Chinese Laborers — Extent of the Business — The Oil Industry — First Experi- 
ments in Well Boring — Rise in Real Estate. 

Orange County (continued) 189 

CITIES AND TOWNS— Anaheim— The Vineyard Colony— Selection of a Site- Ollicers 
of the Los .-\ngeles Vineyard Company — Colony Named Anaheim— Improvements Made 
— Living Fences — Division of the Land Among the Stockholders — Cost of Land and 
Improvements — .\naheiiTi Becomes a City — School House — Newspapers — From Vineyards 
to Orange Groves and Walnut Orchards — Churches — Fraternal Societies — City of Santa 
.Ana — William II. Spurgeon's Purchase — The First House — The First School — Change of 
the Stage Route — Post-oflice Established — Railroad Reaches the Town — Pioneer News- 
paper — Pioneer Church Organizations — Fraternal Societies — Banks — The Press — Dennis 
Kearney's Waterloo — Orange Originally Richland — Post-olVice Established — First Church 
— Tustin — Fullerton — Youngest Town of the County — Important Shipping Point — West- 
minster Colony — Garden Grove — Los .Mamitos — P.ucna Park — Newport Beach — Capistrano. 



Riverside County 196 

first settlements 
The Youngest County of Southern CaHfornia — Formed from San Bernardino and San 
Diego — First Settlement in San Bernardino County — The Rancho San Bernardino — 
Grsnted to the Lugos and Scpulveda — The Jurupa Rancho — Agua Mansa — The Mormon 
Trail — Mormon Colony in San Bernardino — The Mormon Leaders Buy the Rancho San 
Bernardino — Subdivision of the Rancho — Flourishing Settlement — Recall of the Mormons 
to Salt Lake — Sale of the Rancho to Gentiles — A "Stake" of Zion No More — The Colony 
iM-a of the Early '70s. 


I-"irst .Attempt to Form Riverside County — Second .\ttenipt Succeeds — .\ren and Boundaries 
— Diversity of Contour, Climate and Productions — Era of Agricultural E.xperiments — The 
Silk Culture Fad — A Sericulture Colony Contemplated — A Colony Site Purchased on the 
Jurupa Rancho — Subsidence of the Silk Culture Craze. 


The Silk Colony Lands Sold to the Southern California Colony Association — Names of 
the Members of the Colony Association — The Town of Jurupa — Riverside — First Arrivals 
on the Colony Site — Irrigation — Experiments — The Washington Navel Orange — The Arling- 
ton Tract — Magnolia Avenue — Riverside in 1875 — First Railroad Meeting — First Citrus 
Fair — Other First Events. 

.-ERSiDE County (continued) 201 


The Riverside Water Company — The Gage Canal — The Jurupa Canal — The Riverside High- 
land Water Company — Population and Wealth. 


The Pioneer Newspaper, The Riverside Weekly News — The Ri\erside Press — The Press 
and Horticulturist — The Daily Press — The Daily Enterprise. 


Corona— Tcmecula — Ahtrrietta — Elsinore — Perris^Winchcster — Lake View — Henict — San 
Jacinto City — Strawberry Valley — Beaumont — Banning — Conchilla \'alley. 


.\ New High School — Purchase of a Court House Site — .\ New Jail — Carnegie's Library 
Donation — The Sherman Institute. 


A Page. Page. Pagp. 

Abbott. Calvin W 1263 Baxter. William 734 Brooks, Stephen G 800 

Abbott, Frank E 1198 Baxter, William A 734 Broiighton, G. A., M. D 357 

Abbott, G. E., M. D 954 Bayha, C.F 919 Broughton, Hon. H. A 662 

Adams, George B 810 Beach, Eliza J., M. D 800 Broughton, W. W 1147 

Adams, Frederick K 1275 Beach, Fitz E 739 Browne, Capt. A. W 414 

Adams, Hon. John 719 Bean, John H 1046 Bruce, William N 436 

Adams, John L 1039 Beck, Edwin A 370 Brundage. Hiram 436 

Adams, R. D., M. D 1248 Beckett, W. W., M. D 1276 Bruner. F. M., M. D 1198 

Adams, William L 1207 Beckwith, Charles 1261 Bryant, E. T 439 

Akers, W. H 554 Beckwith, Francis 738 Bryant, William 1142 

Akey,' James V 564 Beckwith, Francis J 275 Bryson, Hon. John, Sr 1274 

Alexander, George 559 Begg, James 812 Buckingham, Joseph A loio 

Alexander, William 560 Belcher, Avery 1245 Buckmaster, Thomas H 526 

Allen, A. A 558 Bell, Hon. A. J 665 Biiell, A. W 331 

Allen, Harry C 648 Bell, Robert 517 Buell, H. J 523 

Allen, Hon. M. T 1097 Bell, Robert L 938 Buell, Percy 523 

Allen, Russell C 954 Bell, Thomas 491 Buffington, A. C 447 

Allen, William 806 Benedict, William G 804 Bulla, Hon. R. N 1206 

AUgeyer Charles 1180 Benson, George W 1230 Bullard. F. D.. M. D 1015 

Althouse, J. A 1040 Bent, Abbott J 1259 Bullis, Philip H 1291 

Ames, Henry M 565 Bentzoni, Col. Charles 836 Bullis, William H 839 

Amestoy, A. J 1263 Berry, Truman 1265 Burch, Nelson C 740 

Anderson, Matthew H 595 Bettner. Robert Lee 1184 Burke. David L 1064 

Andrews, Rev. J. B 564 Beveridge, Hon. J. L 1165 Burke, Hon. E. M 393 

Androus, Hon. S. N 548 Beyrle, Robert 1052 Burke, Miguel F 393 

Ardis, Julius H 1246 Bingham. H. A loii Burns, Robert W 1200 

Arenz, Richard 1040 Bishop. F. D.. M. D 1143 Burton, Capt. H. G., M. D 571 

Armstrong, A. T 1032 Either, B. Frank D 570 Butcher. W. P 1054 

Armstrong, A. W 835 Bixby, A. S 740 Butler, John T 87s 

Arnold, Matt H 569 Bixby, Jotham 1009 Butler, Mrs. Mary 875 

Arnold, Seth C 835 Blackburn, Capt. D. S 289 r 

Asbridge, Thomas A 1041 Blackstock. Judge N 373 

Ashley. Mrs. Mary A 451 Blatz. Herman 732 Cadwell. O. N 614 

Afchison, J. A 1042 Bleecker. J. J.. M. D 1244 Caldwell, Hon. A. A loio 

Atchison, James R 647 Bliss. John D 1232 Callahan. Neal 620 

Atkinson. J. W 1208 Blochman. L. E 428 Camarillo, Adolfo 444 

Aufdemkamp. Henry 1042 Blood. James A 929 Camarillo, Juan E 840 

T, Blosser, Garrett L 1208 Campbell. J. A 1060 

Blumberg. Wheeler C 1208 Carder. G. H., M. D 1142 

Bacon, A. J., M. D 9^5 Bly, Leonades 1231 Carpenter, Frank J 1187 

Bagnard. Gustavus 667 BIythe. B. M 1136 Carpenter, John T 1187 

Bailey, Isaac 738 Bolin. P. J 1265 Carpenter. Stephen F 1065 

Bailey. Jonathan 532 Boman. Gustav A 1266 Carrion. Julian 918 

Bainbridge. J. C, M. D 409 Bonebrake. Major G. H 532 Carter, .\rthur F 426 

Baird, J. G.. M. D 1036 Bones. Thomas 613 Carter, Nathaniel C 1258 

Bakewell, Thomas 1191 Bonestel, CD 701 Casal. F. M. M. D 1229 

Balch, E. T., M. D 395 Bonestel. W. A 428 Cawston, Edwin 722 

Balcom, B. G 1190 Bonhani. Perrv P 806 Chaffee, .\rthur L 842 

Ball, C. D., M. D 925 Bosshard. Jacob 887 Chaffee. J. D.. M. D ii59 

Ballard, Hon. J. W 1184 Bothwell. James 1048 Chaffin. John P 744 

Ballon, George H 956 Bouton, Gen. Edward 949 Chambers. Hon. J. C 959 

Balslev. B. L 653 Bowker. Harrison M 427 Chambers. John T 1059 

Bandini. Juan B 358 Boyd. David C Ii97 Chapman. A. B 327 

Banning. Gen. Phineas 1265 Bradford. .Mbert S 757 Chapman. Charles C TO33 

Banta-Jones, Mrs. Mary G 721 Bradlcv. Knowlton R 1048 Chapman. Frank M 535 

Barber, Hon. P.J 361 Brady. Capt. J. T 1225 Charlebois. Paul 414 

Bard, Cephas L.. M. D 243 Brag'don. John R 809 Child, E 1066 

Bard, Hon. Thomas R 213 Brainerd. H. G.. U. D 1276 Chippendale. W 884 

Barker, Frederic 1 374 Bralev. Edgar R II37 Churchill. John W ' 59.? 

Barker. James 834 Brandes. H. E 1112 Clapp. James D 613 

Barnes. W. P 830 Breiner. John 1052 Clapp. William B 1228 

Barretto, Maxwell K 614 Brcnnan. John 798 Clapp, William T 828 

Barrows, Frank P 416 Brewster, J. C 792 Clark, Frank B 1243 

Barrows, James A 104S Brian. David 1053 Clark. George E 938 

Bartle. J. H 228 Brigden. Albert 804 Clark, Isaac M 620 

Bartlctt. William S 882 Bristol. Rev. Sherlock 415 Clark, J. Ross 1012 

Bauer, Otmar 1046 Brodrick, William J 595 Clarke, Charles S 444 


Page. Page. Pagt. 

Clarke, J. F 744 Davies, E. W 1075 Evans, William H 1256 

Clarke, Robert M 1143 Davis, Hon. Alonzo E 1273 Ewing, Felix W 341 

Cleland, Thomas E 1257 Davis, Frank E nil p 

Clifford, A. M 960 Davis, R. W 1093 

Cobb Asa 881 Davis, S. F., M. D 667 Fagan, Michael 1105 

Coffin, Hon. W. H 674 Dawson. John B 841 Farr, Mrs. E. B 93S 

Coffman H. L., M. D 619 Day. Hon. William S 335 Farnngton, George W 961 

Coleman, S. J 884 Dean, John J 328 Faulkner, George W 509 

Collins, Hon. J. S 410 Deane. John L 1076 Fern, Henry 1018 

Collins, W. S 547 De Fluff, Thomas J 668 Fernald, Charles 283 

Conaway, Joshua A 497 De La Guerra Family 220 Fessenden, William H 1165 

Congdon A. Maria, M. D 799 De Longpre. Paul 222 Fetterman, I. L 1091 

Conger, Rev. E. L., D. D.... 1058 del Valle, U. F 413 Filkins, C. W 1189 

Conklin, Lombard 57^ Den, Alfonso L 221 Finger, H. J 1088 

Conncll, John F 1242 Den, Augustus H 471 Finley. T. R 1129 

Conrey, Hon. N. P 881 Denison, Charles B 1292 Fischer, Frederick J 847 

Cook, Prof. A. J 955 Densmore. Emmet. M. D 1216 Fisler, Rufus 1255 

Cook, George 1112 Densmore, Helen B 1217 Fithian, Major Joel A 249 

Cook James 1069 De Riidio. Capt. C. C 457 Fithian, R. Barrett 249 

Cook! J. R 1256 Des Granges, Otto 1183 Fithian, J. R 249 

Cook, J. W 887 Devine, Robert 577 Fitzgerald. G. P 1161 

Cook, O. P 448 Dickey. Ambrose 1200 Fleet, W. H 1106 

Cook, R. D 713 Dieterich, Jacob 596 Fleming, Edward J 931 

Cooke, Hon. C. F 745 Dilworth, W. D., M. D 725 Fleming, Peter 791 

Cool, Mrs. Sarah M 54S Dobbings, J. H 842 Forester, G. W.. M. D 962 

Cool, Rev. P. Y 545 Dobie, W. G.. D. M 471 Forrester, E. A 1218 

Coons, Benjamin F 1138 Dodge, Col. R. V 462 Foshay, Prof. J. A 1272 

Cooper, Ellwood 219 Dodworth. A. R 720 Foster, Edmund B 1179 

Cooper, Harvey 912 Dolge. Alfred 869 Foy, Samuel C 1063 

Cooper, Joseph W 466 Dolgc. Ernst 870 Francis, John F 1277 

Corbett, J. F 1209 Donnell. T. C, M. D 948 Frankland, John G 848 

Cordero, E. S 1243 Dotv, R 749 Franklin. Mrs. Peddie 715 

Corev, Franklin A 453 Dovev. James H 997 Frary, Frank P 344 

Coronel. Don A. F 1029 Dow, R. D 906 Fraser, Allan 310 

Coronel, Mrs. M. W. de 1030 Drake, Capt. A. C 623 Fraser, J. C. M. D 1283 

Corson, J. B 1098 Dreer. I\Irs. JNIarv 1210 Fraser, William G 1197 

Cowan, W. K 1071 Dreher, Peter J 1077 Frazier. Charles H 878 

Cowles, N. E 923 Drews, L. W 1156 Freeman, Daniel 1279 

Cox, A. M 453 Driffill. Col. T. A 1267 Freeman, Capt. W. W 743 

Cox. Hon. J. S 728 Driskill, Jesse 1141 Fremont. John C 530 

Craig, R. J 863 Dudley, Benjamin W 572 French. Charles E 1036 

Grain, William L 959 Dudley. Thomas H 462 Frost, George 1016 

Crane, Emmett C 1108 Duffy, James 472 Fry, A 854 

Crane, George G 961 Dunlap, A. H 894 Fry, William C 815 

Crane, James H 576 Dunlap, John N 1191 Fo^e, Mrs. Mary S 794 

Crane, Jeft'erson L 1 108 Dunn. James T 280 Fuqua, Rev. Isham 853 

Crank, F. DeWitt, M. D 666 Dunn. Robert 473 Furlong, R. :M •, 1241 

Cravens, Thomas A 576 Dunshee. Rollin 750 q 

Crawford, Daniel P 1012 Dutton George F 746 

Crawford, J. H., :M. D iy-, Gabbert, Thomas G 461 

Cregier, A. V 302 E Gabriel. Joseph 1255 

Cross, A. P 373 Gaily, Mary M 727 

Cross, Hon. John 454 Eason. J. B 715 Gammon, Arthur 1 1226 

Crowell, Caleb T 354 Eason. R 733 Garcelon, Frank. M. D 858 

Crowell, Weymouth 487 Edgar, W. F.. M. D 547 Garcelon, George W 589 

Crowell, William C 839 Edmunds, Cassius 1292 Gardiner, F. 1 852 

Crowther, William 1182 Edwards. S. J 716 Garland, A. A 1117 

Cummings, John B 794 Edwards, William B 716 Garretson. Joseph M 477 

Cummings, John F 477 Fichholz, Philip 1268 Gates, Lucius D 714 

Cummings. M. S 1070 Eldridge. S. Tuston 858 Gavin. Alexander 1218 

Cunnane, J. B 389 Elliot, Walter 727 Gaylord. John D 828 

Cunnane, T. E., M. D 390 Elliott. T Vincent 728 Gaylord, Robert H 1250 

Cunnane, W. B.. M. D 389 Elliott. Robert P S48 Gibbon. Hon. T. E 1276 

Currier, Hon. A. T 1012 Elliott. Thomas H 578 Gibbs. James R 726 

Curtis, Charles 425 Ellis, Capt. G. F 107S Gibler, Daniel 526 

Cushman, E. B 1138 Ellis, H. B.. :M. D 1274 Gibson, Hon. James A 1004 

Cutting, T. R 745 Fllis, William D 536 Gibson. Frank A 1225 

n Elton. Charles 1051 Gidiicy, CM 714 

Emerv. Frederick B 941 Gilbert. Charles S 854 

Daggett. Charles D 1072 Emerv. Mrs. Sarah B 94i Glassell. Andrew 1288 

Daily, Charles J ii3S Engclhardt. John P 1274 Glassell, Andrew. Sr 237 

Dakin, Henry M 1009 Fngstrum, F. 1047 Glassell, Hugh 704 

Dandy, Charles P .369 Eppinger. J. A 1228 Glassell, William T 751 

Daniels, Capt. M. J 853 Erickson. John 1072 Glauber, Rev. Ludger 710 

Darby, John H 97i Esterlv. Llovd H 1203 Glowner. G. G 1288 

Davenport, D. L 540 Fvans. Miss Fliz.ibcth P 75i Gochenauer & Fiset, M. D 1113 

Davidson, Stephen M O71 Evans. John M 1268 Goetz, Henry X 859 


Page. Page. Page. 

Golish, T. A 1045 Hazzard, Augustus C 323 Johnson, Hon. C. F. A. -iic 

Goiter, Edward 846 Heartwell, James F 578 Johnson, J. W ' 1286 

Goodale, O. E 677 Heath, Col. Russel 1005 Jones, Mrs. A. W " 1084 

Goode, George W 704 Hebbard, Arthur H 968 Jones, B. E 906 

Goodridge, Ira C 1227 Heim, Ferdinand A 979 Jones, Gen. Johnstone 1281 

Gower, George T 1233 Hein, J 465 Jones, Mrs. M. G. B '. 721 

Granger. Charles H 1114 Heiss, William A 683 Jones, Otho M 1148 

Grant, .A.lexander 1201 Hellman, Herman W 1188 Jones, Hon. Robert F 1^56 

Grant, William R 708 Helmcr, Mrs. H. G 697 Judkins, George W. ....'..'.'.. 2^0 

Graves. Frank 297 Henderson, Edward, M. D.... 317 Judson, Homer W 540 

Gray, William M 907 Henderson, William 311 Julian, William B ". 942 

Greeley, John P loio Hennion, Frank R 680 Juvinall, D. E 768 

Green, Elisha K 703 Herring. G. W 1163 -^^ 

Green, Mary J., M. D 1278 Hess, William J 1120 '^ 

Green, Hon. P. M 226 Hetebrink, Henry 1183 Kahles, Frank 529 

Greenwell. A. C 709 Hewitt, John J 781 Kahn, Lazard 259 

Greenwell, Hon. C. B 1088 Hill, George W 846 Kanouse, Theodore D 1220 

Greenwell, Capt. W. E 473 Hill, James A 240 Kelscy, Theodore A 6q? 

Gregg, Robert J., M. D 966 Hill, John G 737 Kiler, J. P :'.::::; 488 

Gregory, Albert 752 Hill, Samuel 833 Kimball, Warren C •142 

Griffith, Alfred P 1273 Hinman, Elliott 883 Kimmell, W. E 859 

Griffith, Rev. E. P 540 Hirsch, George F 944 King, C. E 1107 

Griffith, Griffith J 1277 Hlavin, Louis 1251 King, Charles L., M. D 691 

Grimes, Charles 617 Hoar, C. E 696 Kinney, Hon. Abbot 1273 

Grinnell, Fordyce, M. D 697 Hockett, L. D., M. D 893 Kitchen, George 1202 

Guinn, James M 279 Hoeppner, Herman 756 Klamroth, Hon. H. H 707 

Guthridge, C. F 710 Hoffman, Abel P 1211 Klasgj'e, J. W 1082 

Gwaltney, Sylvester, M. D.... 1224 Hoffman, J. H 1233 Klassen, Michael 324 

Gwaltney, J. S., M. D 1224 Hohl, Lawrence 317 Koepke, Henry 1287 

TT Holcomb. Rev. F. R 1199 Koopman, William H 260 

"■ Holland, L. T., M. D 383 . 

Haase, Hermann 303 Hollenbeck, Edward H 764 

Hache, L 443 Hollenbeck, Francis A 354 Lacy, Theo 1183 

Hadacheck, J. C 1201 Hollenbeck, John E 1280 La Grange, Gen. O. H 253 

Hadley, Washington 1223 HoIHster, Edgar A 480 Lallich, Peter 982 

Hagadorn, J. Lee, M. D 394 Hollister, Col. W. W 402 Lancaster, E. F 823 

Hahn. Benjamin W 1222 Holmes, J. H 972 Lane, John 531 

Hall, Duane F 966 Holmes, Thomas 757 Langenberger, August 1071 

Hall, Julius F 302 Hooker, Henry C 1234 Lataillade, C. E 525 

Halladay, Daniel 565 Horton, Alonzo E 335 Lawton, John Percy 379 

Halsted, S. Hazard 672 Horton, James M 680 Layne. W. H 526 

Hamilton, Horace G 298 Hosmer, N. H 834 Lee, Bradner W 553 

Hamilton, William 686 Hostetter, Moses 582 Legrand, Louis J 641 

Hammond, Mrs. N. E., M. D. 947 Houghton. S. 548 Lehmann. Leon 1106 

Hammons. John W 691 Howard, Joseph 1200 Lewis, Clayton 324 

Hancock, D. R., M. D 925 Howard. Perry A 318 Lewis, Henry 295 

Hanlcy, James 1215 Howes, Felix C 557 Lewis, James C 524 

Hannon, J. Vincent 950 Howland, Capt. C. H 1124 Lewis, W. H., M. D 400 

Hannum, Luther C 953 Hughes, George W 684 Linck, F. X 1251 

Hansen, C. M 303 Hughes. James B 968 Lindenfeld, Frank 257 

Hansen, Col. L. P 239 Hugus. John W 479 Lindenfeld, Nicholas, M. D... 551 

Hansen, W. G 1118 Hunter, John j\r 679 Lindholm, E. E 975 

Hardacre, Mrs. Emma C 581 Hutton, A. W 1278 Lindley, Walter, M. D 1272 

Hardy, Capt. Isaac B 692 Hyer, Mrs. Elizabeth 1222 Linquest, A. L 514 

Harnett, Ernest T 967 -, Linville, J. T 920 

Harris, David 1155 -^ Lisk, Byron 725 

Harris, Capt. Emil 1090 Imler, David H 599 Lloyd, Thomas 258 

Harris, Rev. John H 752 Ingersoll. C. K 756 Longacre, J. E 883 

Harris. Will A 1276 Ingvaldsen, Thorvald 683 Longawa, John 524 

Hart, Reuben 690 Irwin, John 689 Loughery, W. B 1164 

Hartman, Fridolin 1144 Isbell, James F 323 Love, J. H., M. D 1102 

Hartman, Simon 686 Ivins, Hon. C. H 349 Lowe, Thaddeus S. C 1271 

Hartwell. Calvin 1082 j Loynes, Richard 972 

Harwood, Thomas io6g ■' Lucas, W. T., M. D 457 

Hasse, Col. H. E.. M. D 384 Jackson. William 758 Luce, Hon. M. A 483 

Hassinger, J. H 1156 Jacobi. Louis 318 Lukens, Hon. T. P 678 

Hasson, D. W., M. D 1199 Janes, J. Ely, M. D 1293 Lutz, William F 1190 

Haugherty, Charles S 315 Jaques, Charles M 768 Lvon, Robert B 1144 

Ilaupt, Paul 312 Jardine. John E 1162 ,, 

Hawe, Rev. Patrick 399 Jeffries, Rev. .'\. C 1284 ^^ 

Hayden, B. T 321 Jeffries, James J 1253 Mc.-Meer, Owen 864 

Hayes, John 304 Jenness. A. L 246 Mc.\rthur. John 1237 

Hayes, Rev. M. C 289 Jennings. George F 1285 McCay, Charles B 1151 

Hayes. Orrin H 1083 Jensen, Ernest 322 .AlcCoy, A. D. S., M. D 976 

Hayne, Col. W. A 911 Jensen. Henry C 1202 McCutchcon. Joseph E 8to 

Hazard, Willet B 824 John, J. S 975 McDivitt. Frank P 1097 

Hazeltine, Herbert S 1190 Johnson, Capt. A. H 803 McDonald, Duncan 419 



!!:S^:;»S„^ ":::::;:: ;:S SSr^u:'.;;:::;::;:;:: ^1 IXJ^cJ?;;?^;::;::::;:;;:; ,S 

McFadden. Archie 
:McF':idden. J 

McFadden, Robert do- -• -■■ •■■■■• 

McFadden. William M 685 Noycs, Hon. J. b. . 

637 North. JudRc J. W 1192 

Notthoff. H 1267 

1 163 


McKce, James R 5o6 Nn 

McKevett. Charles H 5I3 

McLaiii; George P 40S 

McNeil, Archibald 84S ^, ^„„„^-„. ^ 

McPherson, Robert •■•-•••• «oo Oldendorf. J. M 
Mackinlay. Robert. M. D.... 222 - - ■> 

Macomber. A. K 291 

Maddock. J. A 976 

Magee. Mrs. Jean K. . 8/7 

Malcolm. Mrs. Emma L 123/ 



I "scph 584 Radebaugh, J. M.. M. D 216 

C Rademacher, Frank 601 

Raibley, M. W 1286 

O'Donnell. John 9I3 Ramsanr. William P 887 

J M lOio Ramsev. William M 1094 

oirveT t" 918 Randall. W. T.. A. M 233 

Oliver! William J 872 Rankin. Hon. J. H 420 

Olnev. I-".. W 1153 Rapp. John B 773 

Ord.Robcrt B 253 Rasey. C. W S88 

Orella, .\ntonio J 1164 Reber. Capt. S. F 271 

Orena. Don Caspar 452 Rebman, John 913 

Orr Hon. Orestes 215 Reed, John Henry II95 

Orton. Robert S84 Reeve. Mrs. Jennie A 1287 

Osborn. William M 1239 Reilly. Edward F ^^ 590 

O'Sullivan, John 761 Reynolds, BelleL., M. D 606 

Ozmun, Aaron M 1205 Reynold 

Mallgren. John N 
Manning. C. D... 

March. D. W »" 

Marchant, Samuel A »04 

Markham, Hon. H. H...^...- 1289 

Marsh, M. Ella W.. M. D.... 260 

Martin, Capt. D. W i059 

Martin, W. W n" f 

Mason, Charles C ^ ^ ,,■ t , 

Mathis T A °°° Paddison. John ... 

Mattison.F. C. E.. M. D 61I Page. B. M.. M. D 

Maulhardt. Albert F 503 Paine. Frederick H 937 

Alav Tohn A 923 Painter. Milton D 1272 

,^L' •' T?" i 86=; P.lmer Noah II93 


Dr. P. R.... 
Rice. Hon. Thomas A. 

Richards, Jarrett T 

Richards. W. D. F 

Richardson, C. M 




Mendenhall, J. F 

Mermilliod, J. A 865 Palomares, Porfi: 

Merwin, Rev. A. M 

Meserve, A. F 

Metcalf. W. B 

Miller, C. F., M. D 

Miller, Isaac 

Miller, J. C. F 

Richardson. Henry C 513 

Rives. James C 348 

o£ „ , ,, , , ,„, Rizor, E. A 344 

865 Palmer, Noali. ...^ ii93 Roberts. John II54 


.. 994 

.. 1 199 

Peveril 379 Palomares. Frank J. 1238 Roberts. L. S. 

520 Palomares, Jose D 

Park. James M ^017 

9»i Parks. Heber C "86 

492 Parks. I. W 81S 

905 Parks. William S 893 

559 Parsons. John D. 1182 ^^^ r j 

".G-- S^2 Roeder, Louii 

^„ Roberts, Capt. W. C... 
^1° Roberts, William L.... 

Robertson. R. F 

Robinson. Richard O... 

Robinson. W. D 

Roblee, W. W., M. D. 

554 Palerson. Johr 

Miller' Joseph M 1017 Patterson, Charles E ^^^ 

Slills. 'Alexander F 234 Patterson, Wilson C io,35 Rommel. William 


Rogers. William M. 


Peabody. Henry A. 
421 Pearson, Charles H.. 
986 Pearson, George M.. 
196 Peck, George H., Jr. 

925 Peck. George H., Sr 90T 




1 194 


Mills, Col. John H 

Mitchell, Henry M 

Mitchell, Newel H 

Montgomery, Harrison L 

Moore. B. A 

Moore' Capt. William 347 Peck. W. H 

More. John F 225 Peed. John T 

Morgan, J. E 81 1 Pemberton. L. B . 

Morgan, William 75? Penney. W illiam A. 

Morrill, Frank E 553 Perce. I.. A.. M. D 

Morrison. J. W 806 Perrin. Leonard .. . 

Morse Bradford "91 Pcrrv. Belmont . . . 

Morse, Oscar 552 Perry. William H. . 

Morton, Albert 8»i Pgtit. Justin "^? 

Mosbaugh. George J 1 188 Pettibone. William H "93 S 

Mott, Stephen H 1006 Pettis. Beniamin F 625 ,, 

Mott Hon. T. D 1272 PMns. Hiram 872 Safifell Z^ C "60 

Mull, Frederick 1250 Phillips. A. T i253 Sale, F. M . . . . . .^ 23.3 

Miluer, H. R 624 Phillips, T.ouis 1239 Sahsburv, Mitchell H 673 

S 907 Pico, Don Pio "87 Salter, J. . . . . OgQ 

^ Pierce. Anthonv R 769 Sams, Eaton T, 987 

N Pierce, Prof. E. T 435 Sanborn, Arthur N 021 

Remi 1203 Pierce, W. H 600 Sanderson, J. L 

Myers, W. 

Rose, Leonard J. Jr.. . 

Rose, Martin W 

Rothrock, A. B 

Rowland, John 

Roval, A. B., M. D.... 

Ro'ver, T. J 

Rugglcs, H. C 85t 

Rundell, Eli 291 

Rush, Abner 6i8 

Rust, J. C 272 

Rutherford, George, Sr 1075 

Rutherford. Stephen 257 

Rvan, Henrv N 529 


Z. W.. M. D. 

M. D. 

323 Pinney. R. H 403 Saunders, 

871 Pitzer. S. C "67 Save, Tuan 

749 Plant. Marcus S 816 .^awtclle. \\ . E. 

965 Piatt, George E QOi Sawver W B 

1252 Pollard. Tliomas 760 Saxby. J. Bert, U. U. b. 

635 Pope, Hon. J. D 1206 .Schee Brothers 

982 Pone. W. F 920 Schcerer. Conrad 

1254 Scheerer, lohn 

Neighbours, Allen W 

Neisser, Edward 

Nelson, H, A 

Nelson, John 

Newby. Henry •• 

Newcomb. A. T.. M. D 

Newton. W. ^"tanton .'.'. 668 Porter. Xndrew 1254 Scheerer, 1 ohn , 1273 

Ney M ss Marie A 793 Porter. Don C I2S4 Schiappa Pie ra, Cav. L. ..... . 367 

Nichols. B. S 931 Pouer. Milo M TO06 Schilling. W lUiam . 

Nicolaus, Henry 7^2 Power. George C 12.2 Schmidt. Theodore E. 

Nidever, John M .583 Pow, rs TTon P, W ,3.38 Schro. 

Niemann, Ferdinand 3io Prell. John G. 

Niemeyer, A 866 Protcr, J.iscph 

Adelmo "68 

Schrocder, Hugo "69 

S60 Schwartz, John F 1255 


Page. Page. p^^g^ 

Scott, Henry A 889 Stantun, E. J 1172 Turner, L. C 824 

Scott, John 770 Starkweather, G. A 1260 Tvler, Eckford D " 77^ 

Scott, William H. H 966 State Normal School 431 " ,, ''" 

Seabert, Frank A 1126 Steade, J. U., M. D 390 U 

Seaman, W. W 1034 Stearns, George L 797 University of Southern Cali- 

Sebastian, J. L 1213 Stebbins, Charles L 924 fornia 2^' 

Sebelius, C 924 Steckel, George 1231 Ussher, Paul E 0,2 

Selph. Edgar E 290 Stengel, Louis J 1173 Utterback, Mrs. M J "' 876 

Sepulveda, A. W 1207 Stepan, M 1174 

Sessions, C. H 383 Stephens, Roy B 285 V 

Severance, Mrs. CM 309 Stephenson, G. F 1023 Vail. Hugh D 226 

Severance, T. C 309 Stevens, G. A 1282 Vail, W. B '.'.'.'.'.'.'.'. 1024 

Se.xton, Joseph 263 Stevens, Frank D 1153 Van Dompselaar, S. W 1176 

Shafer, Smith J 818 Stevens, James H 905 Vejar, Abraham H. . 092 

Shaffer, E. E 276 Stevens, Lewis W 1246 Venable, P. S 029 

Shaw, Capt. George N 1219 Stevens, Wesley L 1152 Vernon, Charles J c->(, 

Shaw. James B., M. D 631 Stevenson, Henry H 899 Vesper, A. E ['/.['. 827 

Shaw, James E 480 Steward, Leland B 1196 Virden, Benjamin S. . . ' 649 

Shaw, S. L 631 Stewart, John M 785 Vivian, Robert P 1178 

Sheldon, Gen. L. A 244 Stewart, Nathaniel 400 Von Der Lohe D H P 120-? 

Shelton, Rice B 767 Stewart, Walter 638 Von Der Lohe, J. H. C. .'.'!".! '. 9S5 

Shepherd, William E 1130 Stickney, Mrs. Jeannie E 775 Vredenburgh, Levi 936 

Sherman, Charles E 498 Stimson, Thomas D 231 

Sherriff, W. J 626 Stine, Jesse S 1160 W 

Sherwood, Frederick W 1275 Stockton, T. C, M. D 296 Wagner, Edward M. . 644 

Shibley, William 822 Storke, Hon. C. A 500 Waite, George W " ' 1204 

Shiels, John 322 Story, Thomas 1125 Waite, L. C 1189 

Shipley, G. W 1259 Stoutenburgh, J. B 286 Wakeham, Hubert H ii8i 

Shorb, J. De Barth 1197 Strahan, D. W 1015 Waldie, Alexander 483 

Simmons, A. B., M. D 888 Stratton, Samuel 1135 Walker, Hon. C. J " 1214 

Simms, J. A iigo Streeter, Hon. H. M 709 Walker, Frank 602 

Simpson, Thomas F 895 Streets, J. J 643 Walker, S. M 1119 

Skidraore, S. S 1024 Strohm, Capt. Thomas 1057 Wallischeck, Rev. Peter 514 

Skillen, Charles M 731 Stromee, Gustaf 607 Ward, James F !i004 

Slanker. Frank 912 Strong, Robert 1132 Warring, Benjamin F 641 

Sloan. James E 1022 Stuntz, Rev. J. H 629 Warrmg, Hugh 638 

Slosson. C. E 821 Sudden, Robert C 1081 Waterman, W. i\L . . 1089 

Smith, C. B 1160 Sudden, W. H 1083 Waters. George H 536 

Smith, Charles W 779 Suess, John 917 Waters, Hon. R. J. 1294 

Smith, Hon. Fred M 1295 Sullivan, David 776 Waters, Capt. William G. . 649 

Smith, George A 1170 Sullivan, P. T 1175 Waters, W. Lacy 650 

Smith, Ira 494 Sumner, Rev. C. B 1261 Way, E. Henry, M. D 1180 

Smith, Joseph 890 Swensen, A 1093 Weales, Thomas 650 

Smith. Rufus D., Jr 1023 q, Weber, ]\Ioritz 1269 

Smith, Rufus D., Sr 1022 Weber, William P 1089 

Smith, Samuel L 632 Taggart, J. W 301 Webster, L.F 611 

Smith, Sanford S 979 Talbott, Hon. W. L 1092 Weldon, Rev. S. R 653 

Smith, Solon 632 Tallant, E. C 504 Weldon. W. A., M. D 328 

Smith, Judge Welcome 1031 Taylor, G. B 539 Wells, Hon. G. W 1275 

Smith, Willis H 774 Taylor, Mrs. Nannie A. D. .. . 539 Wentworth, Col. M. C. . . . 1280 

Smith, W. R 636 Taylor, Peter, Sr 1175 Werner, Marie B., M. D 877 

Snodgrass, Larkin 1205 Teague, Crawfprd P 531 Weston, B. S 1214 

Snow, Hiram K., Jr 998 Teague, Robert M 1199 Westover, Prof. O. S 519 

Snow, Hiram K., Sr 1195 Tenhaeff, William 722 Wetzel, Martin . 1177 

Snyder, F. A 1092 Thayer, George R 883 Weyse. Hon. H. G 406 

Snyder. George D 988 Thomas, Benjamin F 1123 Weyse, Julius G 406 

Snyder, Hon. M. P 608 Thomas, Milton 425 Wheelan, Miss Naomi 654 

Snyder. William P 1171 Thompson, W. A 617 Whipp, Benjamin F 1000 

Soto. Juan S 914 Thornburgh, Madison 642 Whitaker. James A I198 

Southmayd, N. S 1032 Thornton, William E 1269 White, Albert S 1185 

Spader, Louis 636 Thrall, Timothy L 938 White. Caleb E 552 

Spaulding, Frank L 1039 Thurman. Reason M 908 White, Miss Edith 1248 

Spaulding, Q. L 1172 Tibbals, Barnabas 876 White, James H 1118 

Spence, J. P 1282 Tietzen. Paul 401 White, John A 857 

Spencer, B. F 587 Titus. Luther H 781 White, Hon. S. M 214 

Spencer, Thomas, M. D 1185 Todd, M. De L 1117 White, Theodore F 1213 

Sprague, B. 1244 Todd, Robert A 647 White, Ulvsses E 936 

Spring, Wilham F 563 Toland, M. R.. M. D 930 Whiting Perry 999 

Sproul, Atwood 896 Toland, Thomas 505 Whitted. Dr. Charles 1181 

Sproul, Gilbert H 29S Toms, Silas 822 Wickenden. W. F 575 

Sproul, William 830 Towle, Charles H 875 Wilev, William H 1034 

Spurgeon, Granville 805 Townsend. Stephen 1131 Wilkinson, Qark G 786 

Spurgeon, William H 661 Trask, Hon. D. K 552 Wilkinson, John B 1000 

St. Anthony's College 517 Traster. William H 1094 Willett, Hon. C. J 1087 

Staats, William R 998 Trotter, J. P 809 Williams, Albert C 1264 

Stambach, H. L., M. D 637 Truax, R. C 1124 Williams, Hon. B. T 655 

Stanley, C. N 1026 Turner, Elbert B 1091 Williams, George M 659 



lliams, Mrs. Julia F 

Williams. John H 


lliams, J. McCoy 


lliams, O. D 


Uoughby. James R 



John A 



A. C.J 


Allen J 



Jerome C 






R. H 

Page. Page. Page. 

510 Wing, William A 1178 Woodbury, George B 788 

396 Wiswell, Royal 659 Woods, Alvin M 

439 Witherspoon, Isaac A 733 Woodward, S. K 

1249 Wolfskin. William 1273 Woodworth, J. H 

269 Wood. Harry 660 Woolley, L, J 

1188 Wood, Henry P 343 Workman, William H 1021 

387 Wood, John W 876 Works, Hon. J. D 1206 

895 Wood, Joshua 787 Worthley, F. A 882 

1151 Wood, J. W., M. D 1003 ^ 

656 Wood. Thomas D 661 ^ 

786 Wood. Rev. W. 1270 York, Hon. W. M 1271 

1 179 




, yUA/l^i^^^ 



THE unparalleled success of our aniiy and 
navy in our recent war with Spain has 
bred in us a contempt for -the Spanish 
soldier and sailor; and, in. our overm'astering- 
Anglo-Saxon conceit, we are inclined to con- 
sider our race the conservator of enterprise, ad- 
venture and martial valor; while on the other 
hand we regard the Spanish Celt a prototype 
of indolence, and as lacking in energy and cour- 

And yet there was a time when these race con- 
ditions were seemingly reversed. There was a 
time when Spain, to-day moribund, dying of 
political conservatism, ignorance and bigotry, 

.was the most energetic, the most enterprising 
and the most adventurous nation of Europe. 

A hundred years before our Pilgrim Fathers 
landed on Plymouth Rock. Spain had flourish- 
ing colonies in America. Eighty-five years be- 
fore the first cabin was built in Jamestown, 
Cortes had conquered and made tributary to the 
Spanish crown the empire of Mexico — a country 
marc populous and many times larger than 
Spain herself. Ninety years before the Dutch 

. had planted the germ of a settlement on Man- 
hattan Island — the site of the future metropolis 
of the new world — Pizarro, the swineherd of 
Truxillo, with a handful of adventurers, had con- 
(|nered Peru, the richest, most populous and 
most civilized empire of America. 

In less than fifty years after the discovery of 
.\mcrica by Columbus, Balboa had discovered 
the Pacific Ocean; Magellan, sailing through 
the straits that still bear his name and crossing 
the wide Pacific, had discovered the Islands of 
tlie Setting Sun (now the Philippines) and his 
ship had circunmavigated the globe; Alvar Nu- 
nez (better known as Cabeza de \^aca), with 
tiiree coiupanions, the only survivors of three 
hundred men Narvaez landed in Florida, after 
years of wandering among the Indians, had 
crossed the continent overland from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific: Coronado had penetrated the in- 
terior of the North American continent to the 
plains of Kansas ; Alarcon had reached the head 
of the Gulf of California and sailed up the Rio 
Colorado; and Cabrillo, the discoverer of .\lt.i 
California, had explored the Pacific ('(last ni 

America to the 44th parallel of North Latitude. 

\\'hile the English were cautiously feeling 
their tvay along the North Atlantic Coast of. 
America and taking possession of a few bays and 
harbors, the Spaniards had possessed themselves 
of- nearly all of the South American continent 
and more than one-third of the North American. 
When we consider the imperfect arms with 
which the Spaniards made their conquests, and 
the lumbering and unseaworthy craft in which 
they explored unknown and uncharted seas, we 
are surprised at their success and astonished at 
their enterprise and daring. 

The ships of Cabrillo were but little better 
than floating tubs, square rigged, high decked, 
broad bottomed — they sailed almost equally well 
with broadside as, with keel to the wave. Even 
the boasted galleons of Spain were but little bet- 
ter than caricatures of maritime architecture — 
huge, clumsy, round-stemmed vessels, with sides 
from the water's edge upward sloping inward, 
and built up at stem and stern like castles — 
they rocked and rolled their way across the 
ocean. Nor were storms and shipwreck on un- 
known seas the mariner's greatest dread nor -his 
deadliest enemies. That fearful scourge of the 
high seas, the dreaded escorbuto, or scurvy, al- 
ways made its appearance on long voyages and 
sometimes exterminated the entire ship's crew. 
Sebastian Viscaino, in 1602, with three ships and 
two hundred men, sailed out of Acapulco to ex- 
plore the Coast of California. At the end of a 
voyage of eleven months the San Tomas re- 
turned with nine men alive. Of the crew of the 
Tres Reys (Three Kings) only five returned ; and 
his flag' ship, the San Diego, lost more than 
half her men. 

A hundred and sixty-seven years later Galvez 
fitted out an expedition for the colonization of 
California. He despatched the San .Antonio and 
the San Carlos as a complement of the land ex- 
peditions under Portola and Scrra. The San 
.\ntonio, after a prosperous voyage of fifty- 
seven davs from Cape San Lucas, anchored in 
San Diego harbor. The San Carlos, after a 
tedious voyage of one hundred and ten days 
froiu La Paz. drifted into San Diego Bay, her 
crew prostrated with scurvy, not enough able- 



bodied men to man a boat to reach the shore. 
When the plague had run its course, of the crew 
of the San Carlos one sailor and a cook were all _ 
that were alive. The San Jose, despatched sev- " 
eral months later from San Jose del Cabo with 
mission supplies and a double crew to supply 
the loss of men on the other vessels, was never 
heard of after the day of her sailing. Her fate 
was doubtless that of many a gallant ship before 
her time. Her crew, prostrated by the scurvy, 
none able to man the ship, not one able to wait 
upon another, dying, dying, day by day until all 
are dead — then the vessel, a floating charnel 
house, tossed by the winds and. buffeted by the 
waves, sinks at last into the ocean's depths and 
her ghastly tale of horrors forever remains un- 

It is to the energy and adventurous spirit of 
Hernan Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, that 
we owe the discovery of California at so early a 
period in the age of discoveries. Scarcely had 
he completed the conquest of Mexico before he 
began preparations for new conquests. The vast 
unknown regions to the north and northwest 
of Mexico proper held within them possibilities 
of illimitable wealth and spoils. To the explora- 
tion and conquest of these he bent his energies. 

In 1522, but three years after his landing in 
Alexico, he had established a shipyard at Zaca- 
tula, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and began 
building an exploring fleet. But from the very 
beginning of his enterprise "unmerciful disaster 
followed him fast and followed him faster." His 
warehouse at Zacatula, filled with ship-building 
material, carried at great expense overland from 
\'era Cruz, was burned. Shipwreck and mutiny 
at sea ; disasters and defeat of his forces on land ; 
treachery of his subordinates and jealousy of 
royal officials thwarted his plans and wasted his 
substance. After expending nearly a million 
dollars in explorations and attempts at coloniza- 
tion, disappointed, impoverished, fretted and 
worried by the ingratitude of a monarch for 
whom he had sacrificed so much, he died in 1547, 
at a little village near Seville, in Spain. 

It was through a mutiny on one of Cortes' 
ships that the peninsula of California was dis- 
covered. In 1533, Cortes had fitted out two new 
ships for exploration and discoveries. On one 
of these, commanded by Becerra de Mendoza, a 
mutiny broke out headed by Fortune Ximenez, 
the chief pilot. Mendoza was killed and his 
friends forced to go ashore on the coast of 
Jalisco, where they were abandoned. Ximenez 
and his mutinous crew sailed directly away from 
the coast and after being at sea for a number of 
days discovered what they supposed to be an 
island. They landed at a place now known as 
La Paz, in Lower California. Here Ximenez 

and twenty of his companions were reported to 
have been killed by the Indians. The remainder 
of the crew navigated the ship back to Jalisco, 
where they reported the discovery. In 1535 
Cortes landed at the same port where Ximenez 
had been killed. Here he attempted to plant a 
colony, but the colony scheme was a failure and 
the colonists returned to Mexico. 

The last voyage of exploration made under 
the auspices of Cortes was that of Francisco de 
U;ioa in 1539-40. He sailed up the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia to its head, skirting the coast of the main 
land, then turning he sailed down the eastern 
shore of the peninsula, doubled Cape San 
Lucas and sailed up the Pacific Coast of Lower 
California to Cedros Island, where, on account 
of head winds, and his provisions being nearly " 
exhausted, he was forced to return. His voyage 
proved that what hitherto had been considered 
an island was a peninsula. The name California 
had been applied to the peninsula when it was 
supposed to be an island, some time betiveen 
1535 ^nd 1539. The name was undoubtedly 
taken from an old Spanish romance, "The 
Sergas de Esplandian," written by Ordonez de 
Montalvo, and published in Seville about 15 10. 
This novel was quite popular in the times of 
Cortes and ran through several editions. This 
romance describes an island "on the right hand 
of the Indies, very near the Terrestrial Paradise, 
which was peopled with black women without 
any men among them, because they were accus- 
tomed to live after the fashion of Amazons." 
The supposition that the Indies lay at no great 
distance to the left of the supposed island no 
doubt suggested the fitness of the name, but 
who first applied it is uncertain. 

.So far the explorations of the North Pacific 
had not extended to what in later years was 
known as Alta California. It is true .-Marcon, 
the discoverer of the Colorado River in 1540, 
may possibly have set foot on Californian soil, 
and Melchoir Diaz later in the same year may 
have done so when he led an expedition to the 
mouth of the Colorado, or Buena Guia, as it was 
then called, but there were no interior boundary 
lines, and the whole country around the Colo- 
rado was called Pimeria. .\Iarcon had returned 
from his voyage up the Gulf of California with- 
out accomplishing any of the objects for which 
he had been sent by \'iceroy Mendoza. Coro- 
nado was still absent in search of Ouivera and 
the fabulous seven cities of Cibola. Mendoza 
was anxious to prosecute the search for Quivera 
still further. Pedro de Alvarado had arrived at 
Navidad from Guatemala with a fleet of 12 ships 
and a license from the crown for the discovery 
and conciuest of islands in the South Seas. Men- 
doza. I)v sharp practice, IkuI obtained a iialf in- 



terest in the projected discoveries. It was pro- 
posed before beginning the voyage to the South 
Seas to employ Alvarado's fleet and men in 
exploring the Gulf of California and the country 
to the north of it, but before the expedition was 
ready to sail an insurrection broke out among 
the natives of Nueva Galacia and Jalisco. Al- 
varado was sent with a large part of his force to 
suppress it. In an attack upon a fortified strong- 
hold he was killed by the insurgents. In the 
meantime Coronado's return dispelled the myths 
of Ouivera and the seven cities of Cibola ; dis- 
approved Padre Niza's stories of their fabulous 
wealth and dissipated Mendoza's hopes of find- 

ing a second Mexico or Peru in the desolate 
regions of Pimeria. The death of Alvarado had 
left the fleet at Navidad without a commander, 
and Mendoza having obtained full possession of 
the fleet it became necessary for him to find 
something for it to do. Five of the ships were 
despatched under command of Ruy Lopez de 
Yillalobos to the Islas de Poniente or the Islands 
of the Setting Sun (on this voyage Villalobos 
changed the name of these islands to the Philip- 
pines) to establish trade with the islanders, and 
two of the ships under Cabrillo were sent to ex- 
plore the northwest coast of the mainland of 
North America. ^ 



ally reputed to be a Portuguese by birth, 
but of this there is no positive evidence) 
sailed from Navidad, June 27, 1542, with two 
ships, the San Salvador and Vitoria. On the 
20th of August he reached Cabo del Engaiio, 
the Cape of Deceit, the highest pomt reached by 
Ulloa. From there he sailed on unknown seas. 
On the 28th of September he discovered "a land 
locked and very good harbor," which he named 
San Miguel, now supposed to be San Diego. 
Leaving there October 3, he sailed along the 
coast eighteen leagues to the islands some seven 
leagues from the mainland. These he named 
after his ships, San Salvador and Vitoria, now 
Santa Catahna and San Clemente. On the 8th 
of October he crossed the channel between the 
islands and the mainland and sailed into a port 
which he named Bahia de Los Fumos, the Bay 
of Smokes. The bay and the headlands were 
shrouded in a dense cloud of smoke, hence the 

The Bahia de Los Fumos, or Fuegos, is now 
known as the Bay of San Pedro. Sixty-seven 
years before Hendrick Hudson entered the Bay 
of New York, Cabrillo had dropped anchor in 
the Bay of San Pedro, the future port of Los 
Angeles. After sailing six leagues farther, on 
October 9, Cabrillo anchored in a large ensenada 
or bight, Vi'hich is supposed to be what is now 
the Bay of Santa Monica. It is uncertain whether 
he landed at either place. The next day he sailed 
eight leagues to an Indian town, which he named 
the Pueblo de Las Canoas (the town of canoes), 
this was probably located near the present site 
of San Buenaventura. Continuing his voyage 
up the coast he passed through the Santa Bar- 
bara Channel, discovering the Islands of Santa 

Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. He discov 
ered and entered Monterey Bay and reached the 
latitude of San Francisco Bay, when he was 
forced by severe storms to return to the island 
now known as San Miguel, in the Santa Barbara 
Channel. There he died, January 3, 1543, from 
the effects of a fall, and was buried on the island. 

The discoverer of California sleeps in an un- 
known grave in the land he discovered. No 
monument commemorates his virtues or his 
deeds. His fellow voyagers named the island 
where he was buried Juan Rodriguez after their 
brave commander, but subsequent navigators 
robbed him of even this slight honor. Barto- 
lome Ferrelo, his chief pilot, continued the ex- 
ploration of the coast and on March i, 1543. 
discovered Cape Blanco, in tlie southern part of 
what is now Oregon. His provisions being 
nearly exhausted he was compelled to turn back. 
He ran down the coast, his ships having become 
separated in a storm at San Clemente Island, 
they came together again at Cerros Island and 
both safely reached Navidad, April 18, 1543, 
after an absence of nearly a year. Cabrillo's 
voyage was the last one undertaken as a private 
enterprise by the Viceroys of New Spain. The 
law giving licenses to subjects to make explora- 
tions and discoveries was changed. Subsequent 
explorations were made under the auspices of 
the kings of Spain. 

For nearly seventy years the Spaniards had 
held undisputed sway on the Pacific Coast of 
America. Their isolation had protected the 
cities and towns of the coast from the plunder- 
ing raids of the buccaneers and other sea rovers. 
Immunity from danger had permitted the build- 
ing up of a flourishing trade along the coast and 
weaUh had flowed into the Spanish cofTers. But 


llu'ir dream of security was to be rudely broken. 

Francis Drake, the bravest and most daring of 
the sea kings of the i6th century, had early won 
wealth and fame by his successful raids in the 
Spanish West Indies. When he proposed to fit 
out an expedition against the Spanish settle- 
ments on the Pacific, although England and 
Spain was at peace with each other, he found 
plenty of wealthy patrons to aid him, even Queen 
Elizabeth herself taking a share in his venture. 
He sailed from Plymouth, England, December 
13, 1577, with five small vessels. When he 
reached the Pacific Ocean by way of the Straits 
of Magellan he had but one "the Golden Hind" 
a ship of one hundred tons. All the others 
had turned back or been left behind. Sailing up 
the Coast of South America he spread terror 
among the Spanish settlements, robbing towns 
and capturing ships, until, in the quaint language 
of a chronicler of the expedition, he "had loaded 
his vessel with a fabulous amount of fine wares 
from Asia, precious stones, church ornaments, 
gold plate and so mooch silver as did ballas the 
Goulden Hinde." With treasure amounting to 
"eight hundred, sixty sixe thousand pezos (dol- 
lars) of silver * * * a hundred thousand 
pezos of gold * * * and other things of great 
worth he thought it not good to returne by the 
(Magellan) streights * * * least the Span- 
iards should there waite, and attend for him in 
great numbers and strength whose hands, he 
being left but one ship, he could not possibly 

By the first week in March, 1579, he had 
reached the entrance to the Bay of Panama. 
Surfeited with spoils and loaded with plunder it 
became necessary for him to find as speedy a 
passage homeward as possible. To return by 
the way he had come was to invite certain de- 
struction. So he resolved to seek for the fabled 
Straits of Anian, which were believed to con- 
nect the Atlantic and Pacific. Striking boldly 
out on the trackless ocean he sailed more than a 
thousand leagues northward. Encountering 
contrary winds and cold weather, he gave up his 
search for the straits and turning he ran down 
the coast to latitude 38°, where "hee found a har- 
borow for his ship." He anchored in it Jnne 17, 
1579. lliis harbor is now known as Drake's 
Ray and is situated about half a degree north of 
.San Francisco under Point Reyes. 

Fletcher, the chronicler of Drake's voyage, in 
his narrative "The \\orld Encompassed," says: 
"The 3d day following, viz. the 21st, our ship 
having received a leake at sea was brought to 
anchor neercr th.c shoare that her goods being 
landed she might be repaired ; but for that we 
were to prevent any danger that might chance 
against our safety our Gcnerall first of rill landed 

his men with all necessary provision to build 
tents and make a fort for the defense of ourselves 
and goods ; and that we might under the shelter 
of it with more safety (whatever should befall) 
end our businesse." 

The ship was drawn upon the beach, careened 
on its side, caulked and refitted. While the crew 
were repairing the ship the natives visited them 
in great numbers. From some of their actions 
Drake inferred that the natives regarded himself 
and his men as gods ; to disabuse their minds of 
such a false impression he had his chaplain, 
Francis Fletcher, perform divine service accord- 
ing to the English Episcopal ritual. After the 
service they sang psalms. The Indians en- 
joyed the singing, but their opinion of Fletcher's 
sermon is not known. From certain ceremonial 
performances of the Indians, Drake imagined 
that they w-ere offering him the sovereignty of 
their country; he accepted the gift and took 
formal possession of it in the name of Queen 
Elizabeth. He named it New Albion "for two 
causes; the one in respect of the white bankes 
and clifTes which ly towardes the sea ; and the 
other because it might have some aflfinitie with 
our own countrey in name which sometimes was 
so called." * 

After the necessary repairs to the ship were 
made, "our Generall, with his company, made a 
journey up into the land." "The inland we found 
to be farre different from the shoare, a goodly 
country and fruitful soyle, stored with many 
blessings fit for the use of man ; infinite was the 
company of very large and fat deere which 
there we saw by thousands as we supposed in a 
heard." * They saw also great numbers of 
small burrowing animals which they called 
conies, but which were probably ground squir- 
rels, although the narrator describes the animal's 
tail as "Hke the tayle of a rat eceeding long." Be- 
fore departing, Drake caused to be set up a mon- 
ument to show- that he had taken possession of 
the country. His monument was a post sunk in 
the ground to which was nailed a brass plate en- 
graven with the name of the English Queen, the 
day and year of his arrival and that the king 
and people of the country had voluntarily be- 
come vassals of the English crown. .\ new six- 
pence was also nailed to the post to show her 
highness' picture and arms. ( )n the 23rd of 
July, 1579, Drake sailed away, much to the 
regret of the Indians, who "took a sorrowful 
farewell of us but being loathe to leave us they 
presently runne to the top of the hils to keepe 
us in sight as long as they cou'd, making fires 
before and behind and on each side of them 
burning therein sacrifices at our departure."* 

* World Encompassed. 



J [c crusscd the Pacific Ocean and by way 
of the Cape of Good Hope reached England, 
September 26, 1580, after an absence of nearly 
three years, having encompassed the world. He 
believed himself to be the first discoverer of 
the country he called New Albion. "The Span- 
iards," says Drake's chaplain, Fletcher, in his 
World Encompassed, "never had any dealings 
or so much as set a foote in this country, the 
utmost of their discoveries reaching only to 
many degrees southward of this place." The 
English had not yet begun planting colonies in 
the new world, so no further attention was paid 
to Drake's discovery of New Albion, and Cali- 
fornia remained a Spanish possession. 

Sixty years have passed since Cabrillo's visit 
to California, and in all these years Spain has 
made no efifort to colonize it. Only the In- 
dian canoe has cleft the waters of its southern 
lia)-s and harbors. Far out to the westward be- 
yond the islands the yearly galleon from Ma- 
nila, freighted with the treasures of "Ormus and 
of Ind," sailed down the coast of California to 
Acapulco. These ships kept well out from the 
southern coast to escape those wolves of the 
high seas — the buccaneers ; for, lurking near the 
coast of Las Californias, these ocean robbers 
watched for the white sails of the galleon, and 
woe to the proud ship if they sighted her. She 
was chased down by the robber pack and plun- 
dered of her treasures. Sixty years have passed 
but the Indians of the Coast still keep alive the 
tradition of bearded men floating in from the 
sea on the backs of monster white winged birds, 
and they still watch for the return of their 
strange visitors. Sixty years pass and again the 
Indian watchers by the sea discern mysterious 
white winged objects floating in upon the waters 
of the bays and harbors of California. These are 
the ships of Sebastian Viscaino's fleet. 

Whether the faulty reckoning of Cabrillo left 
\'iscaino in doubt of the points named by the 
first discoverer or whether it was that he might 
receive the credit of their discovery — ^Viscaino 
changed the names given by Cabrillo to the 
islands, bays and headlands along the coast : 
San Miguel of Cabrillo became San Diego, so 
named for Viscaino's flag ship ; San Salvador 
and La Vitoria became Santa Catalina and San 
Clemente ; and Cabrillo's Bahia de Los Fumos 
appears on Viscaino's map as the Ensenada de 
San Andre.s — the bight or cove of St. An- 
drew ; but in a description of the voyage com- 
])ilod by the cosmographer, Cabrera Bueno, it 
is named San Pedro. It is not named for the 
apostle St. Peter, as is generally supposed, but 
for St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, whose day 
in the Catholic calendar is November 26, the 
(lav nf the month that Viscaino anchored in the 

bay. St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, lived in 
the third century after Christ. He was be- 
headed by order of the African proconsul 
Galerius Maxinuis, during the persecution of 
the Christians under the Roman Emperor 
Valerian. The day of his death was November 
26, A. D. 258. 

Viscaino found clouds of smoke hanging over 
the headlands and bays of the coast just as 
Cabrillo had sixty years before, and for cen- 
turies preceding, no doubt, the same phenom- 
enon might have been seen in the autumn days 
of each year. The smoky condition of the at- 
mosphere was caused by the Indians burning 
the dry grass of the plains. The California 
Indian of the coast was not like Nimrod of old, 
a mighty hunter. He seldom attacked any 
fiercer animal than the festive jack rabbit. Nor 
were his futile weapons always sure to bring 
down the fleeted-footed conejo. So, to supply 
his larder, he was compelled to resort to 
strategy. When the summer heat had dried the 
long grass of the plains and rendered it exceed- 
ingly inflammable the hunters of the Indian 
villages set out on hunting expeditions. Mark- 
ing out a circle on the plains where the dried 
vegetation was the thickest they fired the grass 
at several points in the circle. The fire eating 
inward drove the rabbits and other small game 
back and forth across the narrowing area until, 
blinded with heat and scorched by the flames, 
they perished. When the flames had subsided 
the Indian secured the spoils of the chase, 
slaughtered and ready cooked. The scorched 
and blackened carcasses of the rabbits might not 
be a tempting tidbit to an epicure, but the In- 
dian was not an epicure. 

Viscaino sailed up the coast, following very 
nearly the same route as Cabrillo. Passing 
through the Santa Barbara Channel, he found 
many populous Indian ranchcrias on the main- 
land and the islands. The inhabitants were ex- 
pert seal hunters and fishermen, and were pos- 
sessed of a number of large, finely constructed 
canoes. From one of the villages on the coast 
near Point Reyes the chief visited him on his 
ship and among other inducements to remain in 
the country he offered to give to each Spaniard 
ten wives. Viscaino declined the chief's prof- 
fered hospitality and the wives. A'iscaino's ex- 
plorations did not extend further north than 
those of Cabrillo and Drake. The principal ob- 
ject of his explorations was to find a harbor of 
refuge for the Manila galleons. These vessels 
on their outward voyage to the Philippine 
Islands kept within the tropics, but on their 
return, they sailed up the Asiatic coast to the 
latitude of Japan, where, taking advantage of 
the westerly winds and the Japan current, they 




crossed over to about Cape Mendocino and then 
ran down the coast of California and Mexico 
to Acapulco. Viscaino, in the port he named 
Monterey after Conde de Monterey, the then 
Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico), claimed to 
have discovered the desired harbor. 

In a letter to the King of Spain written by 
Viscaino from the city of Mexico, May 23, 
1603, he gives a glowing description of Cali- 
fornia. As it is the earliest known specimen of 
California boom literature I transcribe a por- 
tion of it : "Among the ports of greater con- 
sideration which I discovered was one in thirty- 
seven degrees of latitude which I called Mon- 
terey. As I wrote to Your Majesty from that 
port on the 28th of December (1602) it is all 
that can be desired for commodiousness and as 
a station for ships making the voyage to the 
Philippines, sailing whence they make a land- 
fall on this coast. This port is sheltered from all 
winds, while on the immediate coast there are 
pines, from which masts of any desired size can 
be obtained, as well as live oaks and white oaks, 
rosemary, the vine, the rose of Alexandria, a 
great variety of game, such as rabbits, hares, 
partridges and other sorts and species found 
in Spain and in greater abundance than in the 
Sierra Morena (Mts. of Spain) and flying birds, 
of kinds differing from those to be found there. 
This land has a genial climate, its waters are 
good, and it is very fertile, judging from the 
varied and luxuriant growth of trees and 
plants; for I saw some of the fruits, particularly 
chestnuts and acorns, which are larger than 
those of Spain. And it is thickly settled with 
people, whom I found to be of gentle disposi- 
tion, peaceable and docile, and who can be 
brought readily within the fold of the holy gos- 
pel and into subjection to the Crown of Your 
Majesty. Their food consists of seeds, which 
they have in abundance and variety, and of the 
flesh of game, such as deer, which are larger 
than cows, and bear, and of neat cattle and 
bisons and many other animals. The Indians 
are of good stature and fair complexion, the 
women being somewhat less in size than the 
men and of pleasing countenance. The cloth- 
ing of the people of the coast lands consists 
of the skins of the sea wolves (otter), abound- 
ing there, which they tan and dress better than is 
done in Castile ; they possess also in great quan- 
tity, flax like that of Castile, hemp and cotton, 
from which they make fishing lines and nets for 
rabbits and hares. They have vessels of pine- 
wood very well made, in which they go to sea 
with fourteen paddle men of a side with great 
dexterity, even in very stormy weather. I was 
informed by them and by many others I met 
with in great numbers along more than eight 

hundred leagues of a thickly settled coast that 
inland there are great communities, which they 
invited me to visit with them. They manifested 
great friendship for us, and a desire for inter- 
course; were well affected towards the image 
of Our Lady which I showed to them, and very 
attentive to the sacrifice of the mass. They 
worship different idols, for an account of which 
I refer to said report of your viceroy, and they 
arc well acquainted with silver and gold and 
said that these were found in the Interior." 

When Sebastian Viscaino took his pen in 
hand to describe a country he allowed his imag- 
ination full play. He was a veritable Munchau- 
sen for exaggeration. Many of the plants and 
animals he describes were not found in Califor- 
nia at the time of his visit. The natives were 
not clothed in well tanned sea otter skins, but 
in their own sun tanned skins, with an occa- 
sional smear of paint to give variety to the 
dress nature had provided them. The hint 
about the existence of gold in California is very 
ingeniously thrown in to excite the cupidity of 
the king. The object of \'iscaino's boom lit- 
erature of three hundred years ago was similar 
to that sent in modern times. He was agitating 
a scheme for the colonization of the country he 
was describing. He visited Spain to obtain per- 
mission and means from the king to plant col- 
onies in California. After many delays Philip 
HI. ordered the Viceroy of New Spain in 1606 
to immediately fit out an expedition to be com- 
manded by Viscaino for the occupation and 
settlement of the port of Monterey. Before the 
expedition could be gotten ready Viscaino died 
and the colonization scheme died with him. Had 
it not been for his untimely death the settle- 
ment of California would have antedated that of 
Jamestown, Va. 

Although Ulloa and Alarcon had reached the 
head of the Gulf of California and the latter, in 
1540, had discovered the Colorado river; and 
despite the fact that Domingo del Castillo, a 
Spanish pilot, had made a correct map showing 
Lower California to be a peninsula, so strong 
was the belief in the existence of the Straits of 
Anian that one hundred and sixty years after 
the discoveries of these explorers, "Las Cali- 
fornias" were still believed to be islands; and 
were sometimes called Islas Carolinas or Char- 
les' Islands (named for Charles II.. of Spain). 
To the German Jesuit Missionary, Father Kuhn, 
better known by his Spanish appellation. Father 
Kino, belongs the credit of finally dissipating the 
fallacy, that California was an island or several 
islands. Between 1694 and 1701 he made five 
explorations to the country around the head of 
the Gulf of California and the junction of the 
Gila and Colorado. In 1701 he crossed the Colo- 


rado to the California side and learned from the 
natives that the ocean was only ten days' jour- 
ney to the westward, but unable to take his pack 
animals across the river, he was compelled to 

give up a journey to the sea coast. He had 
planned a chain of missions to extend up the 
peninsula into Alta or Nueva California, but 
died before he could carry out his scheme. 



THE aggrandizement of Spain's empire, 
whether by conquest or colonization, 
was alike the work of state and church. 
The sword and the cross were equally the em- 
blems of the conquistador (conqueror) and the 
poblador (colonist). The king sent his soldiers 
to conquer and hold, the church its well-trained 
servants to proselyte and colonize. Spain's pol- 
icy of exclusion, which prohibited foreigners 
from settling in Spanish-American countries, 
retarded the growth and development of her 
colonial possessions. Under a decree of Philip 
II. it was death to any foreigner who should 
enter the Gulf of Mexico or any of the lands 
bordering thereon. It was — as the Kings of 
Spain found to their cost — one thing to utter a 
decree, but quite another to enforce it. Under 
such a policy the only means left to Spain to hold 
her vast colonial possessions was to proselyte 
the natives of the countries conquered and to 
transform them into citizens. This had proved 
effective with the semi-civilized natives of Mex- 
ico and Peru, but with the degraded Indians of 
California it was a failure. 

After the abandonment of Viscaino's coloniza- 
tion scheme of 1606, a hundred and sixty-two 
years passed before the Spanish crown made 
another attempt to utilize its vast possessions in 
Upper California. Every year of this long in- 
terval, the Manila ships had sailed down the 
coast, but none of them, so far as we know, with 
one exception (the San Augustin which was 
wrecked in Sir Francis Drake's Bay), had ever 
entered its bays or its harbors. Spain was no 
longer a first-class power on land or sea. Those 
brave old sea kings — Drake, Hawkins and Fro- 
bisher — had destroyed her invincible Armada 
and burned her ships in her very harbors, the 
English and Dutch privateers had preyed upon 
her commerce on the high seas, and the bucca- 
neers had robbed her treasure ships and devastat- 
ed her settlements on the islands and the Span- 
ish main, while the freebooters of many na- 
tions had time and again captured her Manila 
galleons and ravished her colonies on the Pacific 
Coast. The profligacy and duplicity of her kings, 
the avarice and intrigues of her nobles, the atroc- 

ities and inhuman barbarities of her holy inqui- 
sition had sapped the vitality of the nation and 
subverted the character of her people. Although 
Spain had lost prestige and her power was stead- 
ily declining she still held to her colonial pos- 
sessions. But these were in danger. England, 
her old-time enemy, was aggressive and grasp- 
ing; and Russia, a nation almost unknown 
when Spain was in her prime, was threatening 
her possessions on the northwest coast of the 
Pacific. The scheme to provide ports of refuge 
for the Manila ships on their return voyages, 
which had been held in abeyance for a hundred 
and sixty years, was again revived, and to it was 
added the project of colonizing California to 
resist Russian aggression. 

The sparsely inhabited colonial dominions of 
Spain can furnish but few immigrants. Califor- 
nia, to be held, must be colonized. So again 
church and state act in concert for the physical 
and spiritual conquest of the country. The 
sword will convert where the cross fails. The 
natives who prove tractable are to be instructed 
in the faith and kept under control of the clergy 
until they are trained for citizenship ; those who 
resist, the soldiers convert with the sword and 
the bullet. 

The missions established by the Jesuits on the 
peninsula of Lower California between 1697 and 
1766 had, by royal decree, been given to the 
Franciscans and the Jesuits expelled frdin all 
Spanish countries. To the Franciscans was en- 
trusted the conversion of the gentiles of the 
north. In 1768 the visitador-gcneral of New- 
Spain, Jose de Galvez, began the preparation of 
an expedition to colonize Upper or New Califor- 
nia. The state, in this colonization scheme, was 
represented liy Governor Caspar de Portola, and 
the church by Father Junipero Serra. Two ex- 
peditions were to be sent by land and two by sea. 
On the 9th of January, 1769, the San Carlos was 
despatched from La Paz, and the San Antonio 
from San Lucas on the 15th of February. The 
first vessel reached the port of San Diego in no 
days, and the second in 57 days. Such were the 
uncertainties of ocean travel before the age of 
steam. On the 14th of May, the first land ex- 



]>c<litic)n rcaclK'd San l)icL,'t' and fonml tlic San 
Antonio and San Carlos anchored there. On 
the 1st of July the last land expedition, with 
which came Governor Portola and Father Juni- 
pero Serra, arrived. On the i6th of July the 
mission of San Diego was founded, and thus, 
two hundred and twenty-seven years after its dis- 
covery, the first effort at tlie colonization of 
California was made. 

The ravages of the scurvy had destroyed the 
crew of one of the vessels and crippled that of 
the other, so it was impossible to proceed by 
sea to Monterey, the chief objective point of the 
expedition. A land force, composed of seventy- 
five officers and soldiers and two friars, was or- 
ganized under Governor Caspar de Portola and 
on the 14th of July set out for Monterey Bay. 
On the 2d of August, 1769, the explorers dis- 
covered a river which they named the Porciun- 
cula (now the Los Angeles). That night they 
encamped within the present limits of the city 
of Los Angeles. Their camp was named Neus- 
tra Senora de Los Angeles. They proceeded 
northward, following the coast, but failed to find 
Monterey Bay; Viscaino's exaggerated descrip- 
tion deceived them. They failed to recognize in 
the open ensenada his land-locked harbor. Pass- 
ing on they discovered the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco. On their return, in January, they came 
down the San Fernando Valley, crossed the Ar- 
royo Seco, near the present site of Garvaiiza, 
passed over into the San Gabriel Valley and fol- 
lowed down a river they called the San ^liguel, 
and crossing it at the Paso de Bartolo and 
thence by their former trail, they returned to 
San Diego. In 1770, Governor Portola, with 
another expedition, again set out from San Di- 
ego by his former route to search for the Bay of 
Monterey. There, on the 3d of June, 1770, 
Father Junipero Serra, who had come by sea 
from San Diego, founded the mission of San 
Carlos Borromco de Monterey, the second mis- 
sion founded in California, and Portola took 
possession of the country in the name of the 
king of Spain. The founding of new missions 
progres.scd steadily. .\t the close of the century 
eighteen had been founded, and a chain of these 
missionary establishments extended from San 
Diego to the Bay of San Francisco. The neo- 
phyte population of these, in 1800, numbered 
fourteen thousand souls. 

The buildings of the different missions of Cali- 
fornia were constructed after the same general 
plan ; the principal variation being in the archi- 
tecture of the church. Col. J. J. Warner, a 
pioneer of 1831, who saw tlic missions in their 
prime, thus describes the missionary establish- 
ments : "As soon after the founding of a mis- 
sion as its circninstauccs would permit, a large 

pilr of i)uildings in the form of a (luadrangle. 
composed in part of burnt brick but chiefly of 
sun-dried ones, was erected around a spacious 
court. A large and capacious church which usu- 
ally occupied one of the outei" corners of the 
(|uadrangle, was a necessary and conspicuous 
part of the pile. In these massive buildings 
covered with red tile, were the habitation of the 
friars, rooms for guests, and for the major- 
domos and their families, hospital wards, store 
houses and granaries, rooms for the carding, 
spinning and weaving of woolen fabrics, shops 
for blacksmiths, joiners and carpenters, sad- 
dlers, shoemakers, soap boilers, and cellars for 
storing the products (wine and brandy) of the 
vineyards. Near the habitation of the friars and 
in front of the large building, another building 
of similar materials was placed and used as quar- 
ters for a small number — about a corporal's 
guard of soldiers, tmder command of a non- 
commissioned ofificer, to hold the Indian neo- 
phytes in check, as well as to protect the mission 
from the attacks of the hostile Indians. The 
soldiers at each mission also acted as couriers, 
carrying from mission to mission the corre- 
spondence of the government officers and the 
friars. These small detachments of soldiers 
which were stationed at each mission were fur- 
nished by one or the other of the military posts 
at San Diego or Santa Barbara both of which 
were military garrisons." 

The location of a mission was decided by the 
number of Indians in the immediate neighbor- 
hood who could be brought into the fold. As 
the Indian rancherias were located near a stream 
and in the most fertile part of the valley, the 
missionary establishments with but very few ex- 
ceptions occupied the best agricultural lands of 
California. It was not so much the padres as 
the Indians who decided the location. These 
establishments were separated far enough so 
tliat their jurisdiction did not conflict. Their 
distance apart varied from twenty to sixty miles. 
Each mission was directed by two friars. One of 
these superintended the mission buildings and 
conducted the religious instruction of the Indi- 
ans. The other supervised the business affairs 
of the mission, but it frequently happened that 
where one of the padres was a man of great 
force of character, like Zalvidea at San Gabriel 
and Peyri at San Luis Rey, he ruled supreme 
in all capacities, and there was no division of 

It is useless to discuss what the missions 
miglit have accomplished for the Indian had not 
the "blight of secularization" struck them. From 
their own statistics it becomes evident that at 
the large death rate which prevailed in them 
and their rapid decline in population during the 



lifu-L'ii to t\vciit\ -Nears previmis to seculariza- 
tion, the neophytes would in two or three dec- 
ades at most have become practically extinct 
and the missions tenantless. 

What under most favorable conditions and the 
ablest management they did accomplish for the 
Indian was perhaps best shown at San Gabriel 
under the rule of Zalvidea. 

LTnder him San Gabriel became the most per- 
fect type of the missionary establishments of 
Aha California and the best illustration of what 
the mission system under the most favorable 
circumstances could and did accomplish for the 

Padre Zalvidea came to the mission in 1806 
and was removed to Capistrano in 1826. He 
was a clerical Napoleon — a man born to rule in 
any sphere of life into which he might be 
thrown. Hugo Reid says, "He possessed a pow- 
erful mind, which was as ambitious as it was 
powerful, and as cruel as it was ambitious. He 
remodeled the general system of government at 
the mission, putting everything in order and 
placing every person in his proper station. 
Everything under him was organized and that 
organization kept up with the lash." 

"The neophytes were taught' trades; there 
were soap makers, tanners, shoemakers, car- 
penters, blacksmiths, bakers, fishermen, brick 
and tile makers, cart makers, weavers, deer 
hunters, saddle makers, shepherds and vaqueros. 
Large soap works were erected, tannery yards 
established, tallow works, cooper, blacksmith, 
carpenter and other shops, all in operation. 
Large spinning rooms, where might be seen 50 
or 60 women turning their spindles merrily ; and 
there were looms for weaving wool, cotton and 

llax. Storehouses filled with grain, and ware- 
houses of manufactured products testified to the 
industry of the Indians." 

The Mission San Gabriel became the largest 
manufacturing center in California. Zalvidea in 
a short time mastered the language of the natives 
and preached to them every Sunday in their own 
tongue. He looked closely after their morals 
and instilled industry into them with the lash. 
Reid says, "He seemed to consider whipping as 
meat and drink to them, for they had it night 
and morning." The mission furnished besides 
its own workmen laborers for the rancheros and 
the pueblo of Los Angeles. The old Church of 
Our Lady of the Angeles was built by neophyte 
laborers and mechanics from the mission, hired 
out at the compensation of one real (i2i cents) 
a day. 

It would seem, from the industrial training 
the natives had received through the three gen- 
erations that came on the stage of action in mis- 
sion life between 1770 and 1835, that they might 
have become self-dependent and self support- 
ing; that they might have become capable of 
self-government and fitted for citizenship under 
Spain, which was the purpose for which the mis- 
sions were established ; and yet we find them, 
at San Gabriel in little more than a decade from 
the time wdien Zalvidea had raised this mission 
to such industrial eminence, helpless and incap- 
able — the serf and the slave of the white man, 
or savage renegades in the mountains. 

The causes that brought about the seculariza- 
tion of the missions, the defects in the mission 
system, and the decline and fall of the neophyte 
will be discussed in a subsequent chapter. 



TO THEORIZE upon the origin of the 
California Indians would be as unprofita- 
ble as to attempt the solution of the 
ethnological problem of why, living in a country 
with a genial climate, a productive soil and all 
the requisites necessary to develop a superior 
race, the aborigines of California should have 
been among the most degraded specimens of 
the North American Indians. 

In 1542, when Cabrillo sailed along the coast 
of California, he found villages of half-naked 
savages subsisting by fishing and on the natural 
products of the soil. Two hundred and twenty- 
seven years later, when Portola led his expedi- 

tion from San Diego to Monterey, he found the 
natives existing under the same conditions. Two 
centuries had wrought no change in them for 
the better; nor is it probable that ten centuries 
would have made any material improvement in 
their condition. They seemed incapable of 

The Indians of the interior valleys and those 
of the coast belonged to the same general family. 
There were no great tribal divisions like those 
that existed among the Indians cast of the 
Rocky Mountains. Each ranrlu-ria was to a 
certain extent independent of all others, al- 
though at times they were known to combine 


for war or plunder. Although not warlike, they 
sometimes resisted the whites in brittle with 
bravery and intelligence. 

Each village had its own territory in which to 
lumt and fish and its own section in which to 
gather nuts, seeds and herbs. While their mode 
of living was somewhat nomadic, they seem to 
have had a fixed location for their ranchcrias. 
Some of these ranchcrias, or towns, were quite 
large. Hugo Reid places the number of their 
towns within the limits of what was Los Angeles 
County in 185 1 at forty. "Their huts," he says 
"were made of sticks covered in around with 
flag mats worked or plaited, and each village 
generally contained from 500 to 1,500 huts. 
Suanga (near what is now the site of Wilming- 
ton) was the largest and most populous village, 
being of great extent." If these huts were all 
occupied by families Reid's estimate of the size 
of the Indian towns is evidently too large. Por- 
tola's expedition found no very populous towns 
when it passed through this section in 1769. 

The Indian village of Yang-na was located 
within the present limits of Los Angeles City. 
It was a large town, as Indian towns go. Its 
location was between what is now Aliso and 
First Street, in the neighborhood of Alameda 
Street. Father Crespi, one of the two Francis- 
can friars who accompanied Portola's expedi- 
tion, in his diary thus describes the first meeting 
of the white men and the Indian inhabitants of 
Yang-na: "Immediately at our arrival about 
eight Indians came to visit us from a large 
ranchcria situated pleasantly among the woods 
lOn the river's bank. The gentiles made us pres- 
Jents of trays heaped with pinales, chia* and other 
'lerbs. The captain carried a string of shell 
jeads and they threw us three handfuls. Some 
of the old men smoked from well-made clay 
bowls, blowing three times, smoke in our faces. 
We gave them some tobacco and a few beads 
and they retired well satisfied." 

On the evening of August 2, the expedition 
had encamped on the east side of the river near 
the point where the Downey Avenue bridge now 
crosses it. 

I'ather Crespi continues, "Thursday (August 
3, 1769), at half p:ist six, we set out and forded 
the Porciuncula River, where it leaves the moun- 
tains to enter the jilain." (This would be about 
where the Buena \ isla Street bridge now spans 
the river.) "After crossing the river we found 

* Chia, which Father Crespi frequently mentions in 
Ills diary, is a small, gray, oblong seed, procured from 
a plant having a number 01 seed vessels on a straight 
slalk, one above another, liko wild sage. This, roasted 
and ground into meal, was eaten with cold water, being 
of a glutinous consistency and very cooling. It was a 
favorite article of food with the Indians. 

ourselves in a vineyard among wild grape vines 
and nuinerous rose bushes in full bloom. The 
ground is of a rich, black, clayish soil, and will 
produce whatever kind of grain one may desire 
to cultivate. We kept on our road to the west, 
passing over like excellent pastures. After one- 
half league's march we approached the rancherij. 
of this locality. Its Indians came out to meet us 
lioivling like zvolvcs. We also greeted them, and 
they wanted to make us a gift of seeds, but not 
having at hand wherein to carry it we did not 
accept their present. The Gentiles, seeing our 
refusal, threw a few handfuls on the ground and 
scattered the rest to the wnnds." 

The aborigines of Los Angeles seem to have 
been a hospitable race. From their throwing 
away their gifts when the Spaniards refused 
them it would seem that it was a violation of the 
rules of Indian etiquette to take back a present. 
Throughout their march Portola's explorers 
were treated hospitably by the savages. The 
Indians lived to regret their kindness to the 

After the founding of San Gabriel the In- 
dian dwellers of Yang-na were gathered into the 
mission fold, and no doubt many a time they 
howled louder under the lash of the Mission 
major-domos than they did w'hen w^ith their 
tribal yell they welcomed the Spaniards to their 
ranchcria in the woods by the river called 

Hugo Reid, in the series of letters referred to 
in a previous chapter of this volume, has left us 
an account of the mode of life, the religion, the 
manners, customs, myths and traditions of the 
aborigines who once inhabited what at the time 
he wrote (1851) was Los Angeles county. Los 
.\ngeles then included, besides its present area, 
all of the territory now in Orange and San Ber- 
nardino and part of that in Kern and Riverside 
counties. Reid was married to an Indian woinan 
and had exceptional facilities for studying them. 
I regard his account as the best of any published. 
The Indians of San Diego differed but little 
from those of Los Angeles. From these letters 
I briefly collate some of the leading character- 
istics of the Indians of Southern California. 


"Before the Indians belonging to the greater 
part of this county were known to the whites 
they comprised, as it were, one great family 
under distinct chiefs ; they spoke nearly the 
same language, with the exception of a few 
words, and were more to be distinguished by a 
local intonation of the voice than anything else. 
Being related by blood and tnarnage, war was 
never carried on between them. When war was 
consequently waged against neighboring tribes 


of no affinity it was a common cause. * * * 
"The government of the people was invested 
in the hands of their chiefs, each captain com- 
manding his own lodge. The command was 
hereditary in a family. If the right line of de- 
scent ran out they elected one of the same kin 
nearest in blood. Laws in general were made 
as required, with some few standing ones. Rob- 
bery was never known among them. Murder 
was of rare occurrence and punished with death. 
Incest was likewise punished with death, being 
held in such abhorrence that marriages between 
kinsfolk were not allowed. The manner of put- 
ting to death was by shooting the delinquent 
with arrows. If a quarrel ensued between two 
parties the chief of the lodge took cognizance 
in the case and decided according to the testi- 
mony produced. But if a quarrel occurred be- 
tween parties of distinct lodges each chief heard 
the witnesses produced by his own people, and 
then, associated with the chief of the opposite 
side, they passed sentence. In case they could 
not agree an impartial chief was called in, who 
hoard the statements made by both and he alone 
decided. There was no appeal from his decision. 
Whipping was never resorted to as a punish- 
ment. All fines and sentences consisted in de- 
livering shell money, food and skins." 


"They believed in one God, the Maker and 
Creator of all things, whose name was and is 
held so sacred among them as hardly ever to be 
used, and when used only in a low voice. That 
name is Qua-o-ar. When they have to use the 
name of the Supreme Being on an ordinary oc- 
casion they substitute in its stead the word Y-yo- 
lia-ring-!iaiu, or 'the Giver of Life.' They have 
only one word to designate life and soul." 

"The world was at one time in ^a state of 
chaos, until God gave it its present* formation, 
fi.xing it on the shoulders of seven giants, made 
expressly for this end. They have their names, 
and when they move themselves an earthquake 
is tlic consequence. Animals were then formed, 
and lastly man and woman were formed, sep- 
arately from earth, and ordered to live togetlier. 
The man's name w as Tobohar and the woman's 
Pobavit. Go<l ascended to Heaven immediately 
afterwards, where he receives the souls of all 
who die. They had no bad spirits connected 
with their creed, and never heard of a 'devil' or a 
'heir until tlie coming of the Spaniards. They 
l)clieved in no resurrection whatever. Having 
notliing to care about their souls it made them 
stoical in regard to death." 


"Cliicfs had one, two or tlu'ce wives, a> thrir 
inclination dictated, the subjects only one. Wlicn 

a person wished to marry and had selected a 
suitable partner, he advertised the same to all his 
relatives, even to the nineteenth cousin. On a 
day appointed the male portion of the lodge 
brought in a collection of money beads. All the 
relations having come in with their share, they 
(the males) proceeded in a body to the residence 
of the bride, to whom timely notice had been 
given. All of the bride's female relations had 
been assembled and the money was equally 
divided among them, the bride receiving noth- 
ing, as it was a sort of purchase. After a few 
days the bride's female relations returned the 
compliment by taking to the bridegroom's dwell- 
ing baskets of meal made of chia, which was dis- 
tributed among the male relatives. These pre- 
liminaries over, a day was fixed for the cere- 
mony, which consisted in decking out the bride 
in innumerable strings of beads, paint, feathers 
and skins. On being ready she was taken up in 
the arms of one of her strongest male relatives, 
who carried her dancing, toward her lover's hab- 
itation. All of her family, friends and neighbors 
accompanied, dancing around, throwing food 
and edible seeds at her feet every step, which 
were collected in a scramble as best they could 
by the spectators. The relations of the man met 
them half way, and, taking the bride, carried her 
themselves, joining in the ceremonious walking 
dance. On arriving at the bridegroom's (who 
was sitting within his hut) she was inducted into 
her new residence by being placed alongside of 
her husband, while baskets of seeds were liber- 
ally emptied on their heads to denote blessing 
and plenty. This was likewise scrambled for 
by the spectators, who, on gathering. up all of 
the bride's seed cake, departed leaving them to 
enjoy their honeymoon according to usage. A 
grand dance was given on the occasion, the war- 
riors doing the dancing; the young women do- 
ing the singing. The wife never visited her rela- 
tions from tliat day forth, although they were at 
liberty to visit her." 

"When a person died all the kin collected to 
mourn his or her loss. Each one had his own 
peculiar mode of crying or howling, as easily 
distinguished the one from the other as one song- 
is from another. After lamentnig awhile a 
mourning dirge was sung in a low, whining tone, 
accompanied by a shrill whistle produced by 
blowing into the tube of a deer's leg bone. Danc- 
ing can hardly be said to have formed a part of 
the rites, as it was merely a monotonous action 
of the foot on the ground. This was continued 
ahernately until the liody showed signs of decay, 
when it was wrapjied up in the covering used in 
life. The hands were crossed upon tlie breast 

■J 4 


ami the 1)lk1\ lictl from head to foot. A grave 
having been dug in tlieir burial ground, the body 
was deposited with seeds, etc., according to the 
means of the family. If the deceased were the 
head of a family or a favorite son, the hut in 
which he lived was burned up. as likewise all his 
personal effects." 


"Animosity between persons or families was 
of long duration, particularly between those of 
different tribes. These feuds descended from 
father to son, until it was impossible to tell for 
how many generations. They were, however, 
harmless in themselves, being merely a war of 
songs, composed and sung against the conflict- 
ing party, and they were all of the most obscene 
and indecent language imaginable. There are 
two families at this day (185 1) whose feud com- 
menced before Spaniards were even dreamed of, 
and Ihey still continue yearly singmg and danc- 
ing against each other. The one resides at the 
?*Iission of San Gabriel and the other at San 
Juan Capistrano: they both lived at San Bernar- 
dino when the quarrel commenced. During the 
singing they continue stamping on the ground 
to express the pleasure they would derive from 
tramping on the graves of their foes. Eight 
days was the duration of the song fight." 


"From the bark of nettles was manufactured 
thread for nets, fishing lines, etc. Needles, fish- 
hooks, awls and many other articles were made 
of either bone or shell ; for cutting up meat a 
knife of cone was invariably used. Mortars and 
pestles were made of granite. Sharp stones and 
perseverance were the only things used in their 
manufacture, and so skillfully did they combine 
the two that their work was always remarkably 
miiform. Their pots to cook in were made of 
soapstone of about an inch in thickness, and 
procured from the Indians of Santa Catalina. 
Their baskets, made out of a certain species of 
rush, were used only for dry purposes, although 
they were waterproof. The vessels in use for 
liquids were roughly made of rushes and plas- 
tered outside and in with bitumen or pitch, called 
by them 'sanot.' " 

"The Indians of the Los Angeles valley had 
an elaborate mythology. The Cahuilla tribes 
have a tradition of their creation, .\ccording to 
this tradition the primeval .'\dam and Eve were 
created by the Supreme L'cing in the waters of 
a nortliern sea. They came up out of the water 
ni)(Mi the land, which tliev found to be soft aii<l 

miry. They traveled southward in search of land 
suitable for their sustenance and residence, 
which they found at last upon the mountain 
ridges of Southern California." 

Of their myths and traditions, Hugo Rcid 
says : "They were of incredible length and con- 
tained more metamorphoses than Ovid could 
have engendered in his brain had he lived a thou- 
sand years." 

Some of these Indian m_\ ths, when divested of 
their crudities and the ideas clothed in fitting 
language, are as beautiful and as poetical as 
tJiose of Greece or Scandinavia. 

In the myth given below there is, in the moral, 
a marked similarity to the Grecian fable of Or- 
pheus and Eurydice. The central thought in 
each is the impossibility of the dead returning to 
earth. To more clearly illustrate the parallelism 
of ideas, I give a brief outline of the Grecian 
myth : 

Eurydice, stung by an adder, dies, and her 
spirit is borne to the Plutonian realms. Orpheus, 
her husband, seeking her, enters the dread abode 
of the god of the lower world. He strikes his 
wonderful lyre, and the sweet music charms the 
denizens of hades. They forget their sorrows 
and cease from their endless tasks. Pluto, 
charmed, allows Eurydice to depart with her 
lover on one condition, Orpheus is not to look 
upon her until they reach the upper world. He 
disobeys and she is snatched from him. Discon- 
solate, he wanders over the earth till death 
unites him to his loved one. 

Ages ago. so runs the Indian myth, a power- 
ful people dwelt on the banks of the Arroyo 
Seco, and hunted over the hills and plains of 
what are now our modern Pasadena and the 
\'alley of San Fernando. They conunitted a 
grievous crime against the Great Spirit. A pes- 
tilence destroyed them, all save a boy and a girl, 
who were saved by a foster mother possessed 
of supernatural powers. They grew to manhood 
and womanhood, and became husband and wife. 
Their devotion to each other angered the foster 
mother, who fancied herself neglected. She 
plotted to destroy the wife. The young woman, 
divining her fate, told her husband that should 
he at any time feel a tear drop on his shoulder, 
he might know that she was dead. While he was 
away hunting the dread signal came. He has- 
tened back to destroy the hag who had brought 
death to his wife, but the sorceress escaped. Dis- 
consolate, he threw himself on the grave of his 
wife. For three days he neither ate nor drank. 
On the third day a whirlwind arose from the 
grave and moved toward the south. Perceiving 
in it the form of his wife, he hastened on until 
he overtook it. Then a voice came out the 
cloud saving: "U'liillur 1 g<i lliou canst not 


come. Thou art of eartli, but I am dead to tlic 
world. Return, my husband, return !" He plead 
piteously to be taken with her. Slie consenting, 
he was wrapt in the cloud with her and borne 
;icross the illimitable sea that separates the abode 
of the living from that of the dead. When they 
reached the realms of ghosts a spirit voice said : 
"Sister, thou comest to us with an order of earth ; 
what dost thou bring?" Then she confessed that 
she had brought her living husband. "Take him 
away !" said a voice, stern and commanding. She 
])lead that he might remain, and recounted his 
many virtues. To test his virtues, the spirits 
gave him four labors. First, to bring a feather 
from the top of a pole so high that its summit 
was invisible. Next, to split a hair of great 
length and exceeding fineness; third, to make 
on the ground a map of the Constellation of the 
Lesser Bear, and locate the North Star, and last, 
to slay the celestial deer that had the form of 
black beetles and were exceedingly swift. With 
the aid of his wife he accomplished all the tasks. 
But no mortal was allowed to dwell in the abodes 
of death. "Take thou thy wife and return with 
her to the earth," said the spirit. "Yet remem- 
ber, thou shalt not speak to her ; thou shalt not 
touch her until three suns have passed. A pen- 
alty awaits thy disobedience." He promised. 
They pass from the spirit land and travel to the 
confines of matter. By day she is invisible, but 
by the flickering light of his campfire he sees 
the dim outline of her form. Three days pass. 
As the sun sinks behind the western hills he 
builds his campfire. She appears before him 
in all the beauty of life. He stretches forth his 
arms to embrace her. She is snatched from his 
grasp. Although invisible to him, yet the upper 
rim of the great orb of day hung above the west- 
ern verge. He had broken his promise. Like 
Orpheus, disconsolate, he wandered over the 
earth, until, relenting, the spirits sent their ser- 
vant Death, to bring him to Tecupar (heaven). 

The following bears a resemblance to the 
Norse myth of Gyoll, the River of Death and its 
glittering bridge, over which the spirits of the 
dead pass to Hel or the land of the spirits. The 
Indian, however, had no idea of any kind of a 
bridge except a foot log across a stream. The 
myth in a crude form was narrated to me many 
years ago by an old pioneer. 

According to this myth when an Indian died 
his spirit form was conducted by an unseen 
guide over a mountain trail unknown and in- 
accessible to mortals to a rapidly flowing river 
that separated the abode of the living from that 
of the dead. As the trail descended to the river 
it branched to the right and the left. The right 
hand path led to a foot bridge made of the nuis- 
sive trunk of a rough-barked pine which 

spanned the Indian Styx ; the left led to a slen- 
der, fresh-pealed birch pole that hung high 
above the roaring torrent. At the parting of 
the trail an inexorable fate forced the bad to 
the left, while the spirit form of the good passed 
on to the right and over the rough-barked pine 
to the happy hunting grounds, the Indian 
heaven. The bad, reaching the river's brink and 
gazing longingly upon the delights beyond, es- 
sayed to cross the slippery pole — a slip, a slide, 
a clutch at empty space, and the ghostly spirit 
form was hurled into the mad torrent below, 
and was borne by the rushing waters into a vast 
Lethean lake, where it sank beneath the waves 
and was blotted from existence forever. 

The Indians of the Santa Barbara Channel, 
according to the reports of the early explorers 
of that region, were somewhat superior in ap- 
pearance and intelligence to those of the country 
further south. The mainland bordering on the 
channel and the Channel Islands seem to have 
been more densely populated than any other 
portion of California. These natives had a dif- 
ferent religious belief, or at least a different god 
from those further south. The god of the Chan- 
nel Indians was named Chupu. He was the 
deification of good and Nunaxus the personifi- 
cation of evil. Chupu created Nunaxus, who 
rebelled against his creator and tried to over- 
throw him, but Chupu was all-powerful, and to 
punish this Indian Satan, he created man who, 
devouring the animal and vegetable products 
of the earth, checked the physical growth of 
Nunaxus, who had hoped by liberal feeding to 
become like unto a mountain. Foiled in his 
ambition, Nunaxus ever afterwards sought to in- 
jure mankind. 

To secure the protection of Chupu, offerings 
were made to him and dances were instituted in 
his honor. Flutes and other instruments were 
played to attract his attention. \\'hcn Nunaxus 
brought calamit)' upon the Indians in the shajK" 
of dry years which caused a dearth of animal 
and vegetable products or sent sickness to af- 
flict them, their old men interceded with Chupu 
to protect them ; and to exorcise their Satan 
they shot arrows and threw stones in the direc- 
tion in which he was supposed to be. While 
Chupu was the god of good he could punish 
an apostate or a renegade with calamity and 
death. In 1801. a pulmonary epidemic destroyed 
great numbers of the Indians in the Channel 
Missions. Chupu revealed to a neophyte in a 
dream that the plague was sent upon the In- 
dians for their apostasy, and all who had been 
baptized would die unless they renounced 
Christianity. The story of the revelation 
spread among tlie nenphytcs nf thr different 
missions and the\' hastened Id propiliate Chiiini 



with offerings and to divest themselves of their 
Christianity. The plague abated and the In- 
dians returned to their allegiance. When the 
padres learned what had been going on they 

were greatly disturbed for they knew the old 
superstition was still prevalent and had Chupu 
decreed their deaths the natives would have 
executed his will. 



OF THE twenty-one Franciscan Missions 
founded in California from 1769 to 1823, 
nine were in the territory now desig- 
nated as Southern California. Two of these, 
San Diego and San Luis Rey, were located in 
what is now San Diego County; one, San Juan 
Capistrano, in Orange ; two, San Gabriel and 
San Fernando, in Los Angeles; one, San Buena- 
ventura, in Ventura ; and three, Santa Barbara, 
La Purisima and Santa Inez, are in Santa Bar- 
bara County. The aststcncia, or auxiliary, of 
San Antonia de Pala is in San Diego County. 
The mission buildings of San Diego, San Juan 
Capistrano, San Fernando, La Purisima and 
Santa Inez are in ruins. The church buildings 
of San Luis Rey, San Gabriel, San Buenaven- 
tura and Santa Barbara are in a fairly good 
state of preservation and services are still held 
in them. 


The four expeditions fitted out by Jose de 
Galvez under the instructions from the Viceroy 
of New Spain for the physical and spiritual con- 
quest of Nueva California w'ere all united at 
San Diego July ist, 1769. The leaders, Gov- 
ernor Caspar de Portola and President Junipero 
Serra, lost no time in beginning their work. 
On the 14th of July, Governor Portola set out 
on his exploration of a land route to the Bay 
of Monterey and two days later Father Junipero 
Serra founded the first mission in California for 
the conversion of the Indians. 

The Mission of San Diego de Alcalii was 
founded July 16, 1769, by the president of the 
Lower California Missions, Father Junipero 
Serra. The original site was at a place called 
by the Indians "Cosoy," near the presidio, now 
Old Town. 

Temporary buildings were erected here, but 
the location proved unsuitable and in August, 
1774, the mission was removed about two 
leagues up the San Diego River to a place called 
by the natives "Nipauay." Here a dwelling 
for the padres, a storehouse, a smithy and a 
wooden church 18x57 feet were erected. 

The mission buildings at Cosoy were given 
np to tlie ])residio except two moms, one for 

the visiting priests and the other for a tem- 
porary store room for mission supplies coming 
by sea. The missionaries had been fairly suc- 
cessful in the conversions of the natives and 
some progress had been made in teaching them 
to labor. On the night of November 4, 1775, 
without any previous warning, the gentiles or 
unconverted Indians in great numbers attacked 
the mission. One of the friars. Fray Funster, 
escaped to the soldiers' quarters ; the other, 
Father Jaume, was killed by the savages. The 
blacksmith also was killed ; the carpenter suc- 
ceeded in reaching the soldiers. The Indians 
set fire to the buildings, which were nearly all 
of wood. The soldiers, the priest and carpenter 
were driven into a small adobe building that 
had been used as a kitchen. Two of the sol- 
diers were wounded. The corporal, one soldier 
and the carpenter were all that were left to hold 
at bay a thousand howling fiends. The cor- 
poral, who was a sharpshooter, did deadly exe- 
cution on the savages. Father Funster saved 
the defenders from being blown to pieces by 
the explosion of a fifty-pound sack of gunpow- 
der. He spread his cloak over the sack and sat 
on it, thus preventing the power from ignit- 
ing by the sparks from the burning buildings. 
The fight lasted till daylight, when the hostiles 
fled. The Christian Indians who professed to 
have been coerced by the savages then appeared 
and made many protestations of sorrow at what 
had happened. The military commander was 
not satisfied that they were innocent, but the 
padres believed them. New buildings were 
erected at the same place, the soldiers of the 
presidio for a time assisting the Indians in their 

For )ears the mission was fairly prosperous. 
In 1800 the cattle numbered 6,960 and the agri- 
cultural products amounted to 2.600 bushels. 
From 1769 to 1834 there were 6,638 persons 
baptized and 4,428 buried. The largest number 
of cattle possessed by the mission at one time 
was 9,245 head in 1822. The total number of 
domestic animals belonging to the mission that 
year was 30,325. The old building standing on 
the mission site at the head of the vnllcv is the 
tliinl chiuvli erected there, 'I'lic first, built of 



\\ood and roofed with tiles, was erected in 1774; 
tlic second, built of adobe, was completed in 
1780 and the walls of this were badly cracked 
b}- an earthquake in 1803; the third was begun 
in 1808 and dedicated November 12, 1813. The 
mission was secularized in 1834. 


San Gabriel Arcangel was the second mission 
founded in Southern California and the fourth 
in the territory. Father Junipero Serra had 
gone north in 1770 and founded the mission of 
San Carlos Borromeo on Monterey Bay and 
the following year he established the mission of 
San Antonio de Padua on the Salinas River 
about twenty leagues south of Monterey. 

On the 6th of August, 1771, a cavalcade of 
soldiers and muleteers escorting Padres Somera 
and Cambon set out from San Diego over the 
trail made by Portola's expedition in 1769 
(when it went north in search of Monterey Bay) 
to found a new mission on the River Jesus de 
Los Temblores or to give it its fu'.l name — El 
Rio del Dulcisimo Nombre de Jesus de Los 
TembloreS' — The River of the Sweetest Name 
of Jesus of the Earthquakes. Not finding a 
suitable location on this river (now the Santa 
Ana) they pushed on to the Rio San Miguel, 
also known as the Rio de Los Temblores. 

Here they selected a site where wood and 
water were abundant. A stockade of poles was 
built, enclosing a square within which a church 
was erected, covered with boughs. 

September 8, 1771, the mission was formally 
founded and dedicated to the Archangel Gabriel. 
The Indians who at the coming of the Span- 
iards were docile and friendly, a few days after 
the founding of the mission suddenly attacked 
two soldiers who were guarding the horses. 
One of these soldiers had outraged the wife of 
the chief who led the attack. The soldier who 
committed the crime killed the chieftain with a 
musket ball and the other Indians fled. The 
soldiers then cut off the chief's head and 
fastened it to a pole at the presidio gate. From 
all accounts the soldiers at this mission were 
more brutal and barbarous than the Indians and 
more in need of missionaries to convert them 
than were the savages. The progress of the 
mission was slow. At the end of the second year 
only 73 children and adults had been baptized. 
Father Serra attributed the lack of conversions 
to the bad conduct of the soldiers. 

The first buildings at the Mission Vieja w^ere 
all of wood. The church was 45x18 feet, built 
of logs and covered with tule thatch. The 
church and the other wooden buildings used by 
the padres stood within a Square inclosed by 
pointed stakes. In 1776, five years after its 

founding, the mission was moved from its first 
location to a new site about a league distant 
from the old. The old site was subject to 
overflow by the river. The adobe ruins pointed 
out to tourists as the foundations of the old 
mission are the debris of a building erected for 
a ranch house between fifty and sixty years ago. 
The buildings at the Mission Vieja were all of 
wood and no trace of them remains. A chapel 
was first built at the new site. It was replaced 
by a church built of adobes 108 feet long by 
21 feet wide. The present stone church begun 
about 1794, and completed about 1806, is the 
fourth church erected. 

The mission attained the acme of its impor- 
tance in 1817, when there were 1701 neophytes 
in the mission fold. 

The largest grain crop raised at any mission 
was that harvested at San Gabriel in 1821, 
which amounted to 29,400 bushels. The num- 
ber of cattle belonging to the mission in 183c 
was 25,725. During the whole period of the 
mission's existence, i. e. from 1771 to 1834, ac- 
cording to statistics compiled by Bancroft from 
mission records, the total number of baptisms 
was 7,854 : of which 4,355 were Indian adults 
and 2,459 were Indian children and the re- 
mainder gente de razon, or people of reason. 
The deaths were 5,656, of which 2,916 were In- 
dian adults and 2.363 Indian children. If all 
the Indian children born were baptized it would 
seem (if the statistics are correct) that but very 
few ever grew up to manhood and womanhood. 
In 1834, the year of its secularization, its neo- 
phyte population was 1,320. 

The missionaries of San Gabriel established a 
station at old San Bernardino about 1820. It 
was not an asistencia like Pala but merely an 
agricultural station or ranch headquarters. The 
buildings were destroyed by the Indians in 1834. 


The first attempt to found the Mission of San 
Juan Capistrano was made October 30, 1775. 
A cross was erected and a mass said in a 
hut constructed for the purpose. The revolt of 
the Indians at San Diego on the night of Nov- 
ember 5th, and the massacre of Father Jaume 
and others, news of which reached San Juan on 
the 7th, called away the soldiers. The bells 
which had been hung on the branch of a tree 
were taken down and buried and the soldiers 
and padres hastened to San Diego. November 
I, 1776, President Serra and Fathers Mugartc- 
gui and Amurro with an escort of soldiers re- 
established the mission. The bells were dug up 
and hung upon a tree. Their ringing assembled 
.n number of the natives. Ancnramada of boughs 
was constructed and Father Serra said mass. 



The first location of the mission was several 
miles northeast of the present site, and at the 
foot of the mountain. The former location is 
still known as La Mission Vieja. Whether the 
change of location was made at the time of the 
re-establishment or later is not known. The 
erection of a stone church was begun in Febru- 
ary, 1797, and completed in 1806. A master 
builder had been brought from JMexico, and 
under his superintendence the neophytes did the 
mechanical labor. It was the largest and hand- 
somest church in California and was the pride 
of mission architecture. The year 1812 was 
known in California as cl ano dc los temblorcs — 
the year of earthquakes. For months the seis- 
mic disturbance was almost continuous. On 
Sunday, December 8, 181 2, a severe shock 
threw down the lofty church tower, which 
crashed through the vaulted roof on the congre- 
gation below. The padre \vho was celebrating 
mass escaped through the sacristy. Of the fifty 
persons present only five or six escaped. The 
church was never rebuilt. "There is not much 
doubt," says Bancroft, "that the disaster was 
due rather to faulty construction than to the 
violence of the temblor. The edifice was of the 
usual cruciform shape, about 90x180 feet on 
the ground, with very thick walls and arched 
dome-like roof all constructed of stones im- 
bedded in mortar or cement. The stones were 
not hewn but of irregular size and shape, a 
kind of structure evidently requiring great skill 
to ensure solidity." The mission reached its 
maximum in 1819; from that on till the date of 
its secularization there was a rapid decline in 
the numbers of its live stock and of its neo- 

This was one of the missions in which Gov- 
ernor Figueroa tried his experiment of forming 
Indian pueblos of the neophytes. For a time 
the experiment was a partial success, but event- 
ually it went the way of all the other missions. 
Its lands were granted to private individuals and 
the neophytes scattered. Its picturesque ruins 
are a great attraction to tourists. 


The founding of San Buenaventura had been 
long delayed. It was to have been among the 
first missions founded by Father Serra ; it 
proved to be his last. On the 26th of March, 
1782, Governor de Neve accompanied by Father 
Serra (who had come down afoot from San 
Carlos) and Father Cambon with a convoy of 
soldiers and a number of neophytes set out from 
San Gabriel to found the mission. At the first 
camping place. Governor de Neve was recalled 
to San Gabriel by a message from Col. Pedro 

Fages informing him of the. orders of the coun- 
cil of war to proceed against the Yumas, who 
had the previous year destroyed the two mis- 
sions on the Colorado river and massacred the 

On the 29th the remainder of the company 
reached a place on the coast named by Portola 
in 1769, Asuncion dc Nuestra Senora, which 
had for some time been selected for a mission 
site. Near it was a large Indian raiichcria. 

On the 31st of March, which was Easter Sun- 
day, the mission was formally founded with the 
usual ceremonies and dedicated to San Buena- 
ventura, Giovanni di Fidanza of Tuscany, born 
in 1221. It is said that St. Francis of Assissi 
(founder of the Franciscan Order), meeting him 
one day and foreseeing his future greatness, ex- 
claimed, "O buona ventura!" and the name 
Buenaventura in Spanish clung to him.* He 
was also called the "Seraphic Doctor" from his 
knowledge of theology. 

The progress of the mission was slow at first. 
Only two adults were baptized in 1782. The 
first building built of wood was destroyed by 
fire. The church still standing, built of brick 
and adobe, was completed and dedicated Sep- 
tember 9, 1809. The earthquake of December 
8. 1812. damaged the church to such an extent 
that the tower and part of the facade had to be 
rebuilt. "The whole mission site appeared to 
settle and the fear of being engulfed by the sea 
drove all away to San Joaquin y Santa Ana 
where they remained until April, 1813."! 

The mission reached its greatest prosperity 
in 1816, when it had a neophyte population of 
1,330, and owned 23.400 cattle. Vancouver, the 
English explorer, who visited the mission in 
November, 1793, says, "The garden of Buena- 
ventura far exceeded anything I had before met 
in these regions, both in respect of the quantity, 
quality and variety of its excellent productions, 
not only indigenous to the country, but apper- 
taining to the temperate as well as torrid zone : 
not one species having yet been sown or planted 
that had not flourished. These have principally 
consisted of apples, pears, plums, figs, oranges, 
grapes, peaches and pomegranates, together with 
the plantain, banana, cocoanut, sugar cane, indigo 
and a great variety of the necessary and useful 
kitchen herbs, plants and roots. All these were 
flourishing io the greatest health and perfection, 
though separated from the seaside only by two 
or three fields of corn that were cultivated within 
a few yards of the surf." The mission was secu- 
larized in 1837. The cliurch, greatly modern- 
ized, is still used for holding services. 

♦Bancroft, Vol. I, 376. 
tFranciscans in Californi: 




Governor Felipe de Neve in his report of 
June, 1777, urged the establishing of three mis- 
sions and a central presidio on the Santa Bar- 
bara Channel. His report was approved by 
General Croix, and Rivera was sent to recruit 
settlers in Sinaloa and Sonora for the Channel 
establishments, and also for the pueblos of San 
Jose and Los Angeles. The pueblos were 
founded, but the founding of the missions and 
presidio from one cause or another had been 
delayed. After the founding of the mission of 
San Buenaventura, March 31, 1782, about the 
middle of the April following Governor de 
Neve, who had come up from San Gabriel, 
Father Serra, who was still at San Buenaven- 
tura, and a force of sixty soldiers with their 
officers, proceeded up the coast to found the 
presidio. After marching about nine leagues 
the Governor called a halt in a beautiful valley 
near the coast. Having found a suitable loca- 
tion where wood and water could easily be pro- 
cured, the presidio of Santa Barbara was found- 
ed. Father Serra had hoped that the mission 
would be founded at the same time. Disap- 
pointed in this, he left for Monterey, where he 
expected to meet six new missionaries, who 
were reported coming by ship. In this, too, he 
was disappointed ; the missionaries did not come 
at that time. 

The death of Serra in 1784 still further de- 
layed the founding, and it was not till the latter 
part of 1786 that everything was in readiness 
for the establishing of the new mission. On the 
22d of November, Father Lasuen, who had 
succeeded Father Serra as president of the Cal- 
ifornia missions, arrived in Santa Barbara, ac- 
companied by two missionaries recently arrived 
from Mexico. After a careful survey of differ- 
ent locations he selected a site about a mile 
distant from the presidio. The place was called 
by the Indians Tay-nay-an ("rocky hill"). It was 
selected by the padres on account of the abun- 
dance of stone for building and also for the plen- 
tiful supply of water for irrigation. 

On the 15th of December, 1786, Father La- 
suen, in a hut of boughs, celebrated the first 
mass; but December 4th, the day that the fiesta 
of Santa Barbara is commemorated, is consid- 
ered the date of its founding. Part of the serv- 
ices were held on that day. A chapel built of 
adobes and roofed with thatch was erected in 
1787. Several other buildings of adobe were 
erected the same year. In 1788 tile took the 
place of thatch. In 1789 a second church much 
larger than the first was built. .\ third church 
of adobe was commenced in 1793 and finished 
in 1794. A brick portico was added in 179^ and 
the walls plastered. 

The great earthquake of December, 1812, 
demolished the Mission Church and destroyed 
nearly all the buildings. The years 1813 and 
1814 were spent in removing the debris of the 
ruined buildings and in preparing for the erec- 
tion of new ones. The erection of the present 
Mission Church was begun in 1815. It was com- 
pleted and dedicated September 10, 1820. 

Father Gaballeria, in his History of Santa Bar- 
bara, gives the dimensions of the church as fol- 
lows : "Length (including walls), 60 varas ; 
width, 14 varas; height, 10 varas (a vara is 34^ 
inches)." The walls are of stone and rest on a 
foundation of rock and cement. They are six 
feet thick and are further strengthened by but- 
tresses. Notwithstanding the building has with- 
stood the storms of four score years, it is still in 
an excellent state of preservation. Its exterior 
has not been disfigured by attempts at modern- 

The highest neophyte population was reached 
at Santa Barbara in 1803, when it numbered 
1,792. The largest number of cattle was 5,200, 
in 1809. In 1834, the year of secularization, the 
neophytes numbered 556, which was a decrease 
of 155 from the number in 1830. At such a rate 
of decrease it would not, even if mission rule 
had continued, have taken more than a dozen 
years to depopulate the mission. 


Two missions, San Buenaventura and Santa 
Barbara, had been founded on the Santa 
Barbara Channel in accordance with Neve's re- 
port of 1777, in which he recommended the 
founding of three missions and a presidio in 
that district. It was the intention of General 
La Croix to conduct these on a dififerent plan 
from that prevailing in the older missions. The 
natives were not to be gathered into a mission- 
ary establishment but were to remain in their 
ranchcrias which were to be converted into 
mission pueblos. The Indians were to receive 
instruction in religion, industrial arts and self- 
government while comparatively free from re- 
straint. The plan which no doubt originated 
with Governor de Neve was a good one the- 
oretically and possibly might have been prac- 
tically. The missionaries were bitterly opposed 
to it! Unfortunately it was tried first in the 
Colorado River Missions among the fierce and 
treacherous Yumas. The massacre of the 
padres and soldiers of these missions was at- 
tributed to this innovation. 

In establishing the Channel Mission the mis- 
sionaries opposed the inauguration of this plan 
and bv their persistence succeeded in setting it 
aside; and the old system was adopted. La 
Purisima Concepcion or the Immaculate Con- 


ception of the Blessed Virgin. The third of the 
Channel Missions was founded, December 8, 
1787, by Father Lasuen at a place called by the 
natives Algsacupi. Its location is about twelve 
miles from the ocean on the Santa Inez River. 
Three years after its founding 300 converts had 
been baptized but not all of them lived at the 
mission. The first church was a temporary struc- 
ture. The second church, built of adobe and 
roofed with tile, was completed in 1802. Decem- 
ber 21, 1812, an earthquake demolished the 
church and also about one hundred adobe 
houses of the neophytes. A site across the 
river and about four miles distant from the 
former one, was selected for new buildings. A 
temporary building for a church was erected 
then. A new church, built of adobes and roofed 
with tile, was completed and dedicated in 1818. 

The Indians revolted in 1824 and damaged 
the building. They took possession of it and a 
battle lasting four hours was fought between 
130 soldiers and 400 Indians. -The neophytes 
cut loop holes in the church and used two old 
rusty cannon and a few guns they possessed ; 
but, unused to firearms, they were routed with 
the loss of several killed. During the revolt 
which lasted several months, four white men 
and fifteen or twenty Indians were killed. The 
hostiles, most of whom fled to the Tulares, were 
finally subdued. The leaders were punished 
with imprisonment and the others returned to 
their missions. 

This mission's population was largest in 1804, 
when it numbered 1,520; in 1834, there were 
but 407 neophytes connected with it. It was 
secularized in Feburary, 1835. During mission 
rule from 1787 to 1834 the total number of 
Indian children baptized was 1,492; died 902, 
which was a lower death rate than at most of 
the southern missions. 


In the closing years of the century, explora- 
tions were made for new mission sites in Cali- 
fornia. These were to be located between mis- 
sions already founded. Among those selected 
at that time was the site of the Mission San 
Fernando on the Encino rancho, tlien occupied 
by Francisco Reyes. Reyes surrendered what- 
ever right he had to the land and the padres 
occupied his house for a dwelling while new 
buildings were in the course of erection. 

September 8, 1797, with the usual ceremonies, 
the mission was founded by President Lasuen 
assisted by Father Dumetz. According to in- 
structions from Mexico it was dedicated to San 
Fernando Rey de Espana (Fernando III. King 
of Spain, 1217-1251). At the end of the year 
1797, fifty-five converts lia'l been gathered into 

the mission fold and at the end of the century 
352 had been baptized. 

The adobe church, begun before the close of 
the century, was completed and dedicated in 
December, 1806. It had a tiled roof. It was 
but slightly injured by the great earthquakes of 
December, 1812, which were so destructive to 
the mission buildings at San Juan Capistrano, 
Santa Barbara, La Purisima and Santa Inez. 
This mission reached its greatest prosperity in 
1819, when its neophyte population numbered 
1,080. The largest number of cattle owned l)y 
it at one time was 12,800 in 1819. 

Its decline was not so rapid as that of some 
of the other missions, but the death rate es- 
pecially among the children was fully as high. 
Of the 1,367 Indian children baptized at it dur- 
ing the existence of mission rule 965 or over 
seventy per cent died in childhood. It was not 
strange that the fearful death rate both of chil- 
dren and adults at the missions sometimes 
frightened the neophytes into running away. 

San Fernando figured frequently in the Cali- 
fornia revolutions. It was a sort of a frontier 
post to both parties in the civil war of 1837 
and 1838. Negotiations between Fremont and 
General Andres Pico which resulted in the 
treaty of Cahuenga were begun at the mission. 
June 17, 1846, Governor Pio Pico sold the ex- 
mission to Enlogio de Celis for $14,000. The 
money, or at least a part of it, was used by Pico 
in fitting out an army to suppress Castro who 
was supposed to be fomenting a revolution to 
overthrow Pico. The seizure of California by 
Commodore Sloat, July 7, 1846, put an end to 
Castro's revolution and to Pico's governorship 
as well. 

Father Bias, the last of the Franciscan mis- 
sionaries of California, remained at the mission 
until May, 1847. He died at San Gabriel in 1850. 


Several explorations had been made for a mis- 
sion site between San Diego and San Juan 
Capistrano. There was quite a large Indian 
population that had not been brought into the 
folds of either mission. In October, 1797, a new 
exploration of this territory was ordered and a 
site was finally selected although the agri- 
cultural advantages were regarded as not satis- 

Governor Barica, February 28, 1798, issued 
orders to the comandante at San Diego to 
furnish a detail of soldiers to aid in erecting the 
necessary buildings. June 13, 1798, President 
Lasuen, the successor of President Serra, as- 
sisted by Fathers Peyri and Santiago, with the 
usual services, founded the new mission. It 
was named San Luis Rey de I'rnncin (St. Louis 



King of France). Its location was near a river 
on which was bestowed the name of the mis- 
sion. The mission flourished from its very be- 
ginning. Its controlHng power was Padre 
Antonio Peyri. He remained in charge of it 
from its founding almost to its downfall, in all 
thirty-three years. He was a man of great ex- 
ecutive abilities and under his administration it 
became one of the largest and most prosperous 
missions in California. It reached its maximum 
in 1826, when its neophyte population numbered 
2,86g the largest number at one time connected 
with any mission in the territory. 

The Asisfencia or Auxiliary Mission of San 
Antonio was established at Pala, seven leagues 
easterly from the parent mission. A chapel was 
erected here and regular services held. One of 
the padres connected with San Luis Rey was 
in charge of this station. Father Peyri left 
California in 1831, with the exiled Governor 
Victoria. He went to Mexico and from there 
to Spain and lastly to Rome where he died. The 
mission was converted into an Indian pueblo in 
1834, but the pueblo was not a success. Most 
of the neophytes drifted to Los Angeles and 
San Gabriel. During the Mexican Conquest 
American troops were stationed at it. It has 
recently been partially repaired and is now used 
for a Franciscan school under charge of Father 
J. .J. O'Keefe. 


Santa Inez was the last mission founded in 
Southern California. It was established Septem- 
ber 17, 1804. Its location is about forty miles 
northwesterly from Santa Barbara on the 
erly side of the Santa Inez mountains and eight- 
een miles southeasterly from La Purisima. 
Father Tapis, president of the mission from 
1803 to 1812, preached the sermon and was as- 
sisted in the ceremonies by Fathers Cipres, 
Calzada and Gutierrez. Carrillo, the comman- 
dante at the presidio, was present, as were also a 
number of neophytes from Santa Barbara and 
La Purisima. Some of these were transferred 
to the new mission. 

The earthquake of December, 1812, shook 
down a portion of the church and destroyed a 
number of the neophytes' houses. In 1815, the 

erection of a new church was begun. It was 
built of adobes lined with brick and was com- 
pleted and dedicated July 4, 1817. 

The Indian revolt of 1824, described in the 
sketch of La Purisima, broke out first at this 
mission. The neophytes took possession of the 
church. Tlie mission guard defended them- 
selves and the padre. A portion of the mission 
buildings were burned. At the approach of 
troops from Santa Barbara the Indians fled to 

Stephen C. Foster, in one of his ' reminis- 
cences, gives the following version of the fight, 
which was told him by an old Californian : 
"The Indians were destitute of firearms, but 
their overv^'helming numbers and showers of 
arrows they directed against the portholes had 
quite demoralized the garrison, when the priest 
appeared and took command (he had been a 
soldier before he became a priest). It must 
have been a singular scene. The burly friar, 
with shaven crown and sandaled feet, clad in 
the gray gown, girt with the cord of St. Francis, 
wielding carnal weapons ; now encouraging the 
little garrison ; now shouting defiance to the 
swarming assailants." 

"Ho father," cried a young Indian acolyte, 
"is that the way to say mass?" "Yes, I am say- 
ing mass, my son. Here (holding up his cart- 
ridge box) is the chalice ; here (holding up his 
carbine) is the crucifix, and here goes my 
benediction to you," as he leveled his carbine 
and laid the scoffer low. "A large force was 
finally collected from the different towns, the 
Indian converts were followed into the Tulare 
valley and captured ; the ring-leaders were shot 
and the others brought back to their missions." 
The revolting Indians of Santa Inez and La 
Purisima had been joined by hindas or deserters 
from some of the other missions. The real 
cause of the revolt is unknown. 

Santa Inez attained its maximum population, 
770, 1816. In 1834 its population was 334. 
During its mission period, from 1804 to 1834, 
757 Indian children were baptized and 519 died, 
leaving only 238 or about thirty per cent to grow 
up. This mission was not completely secularized 
until 1836. 





THE Roman presidium and the Spanish 
presidio were similar in form and pur- 
pose. The prsesidium was a fort or 
fortified square centrally located, where a gar- 
rison was stationed to protect the "colonists and 
keep in subjection the aborigines. From it 
settlements radiated and around it usually in 
course of time a city was built. The presidio 
in Spanish colonization subserved the same pur- 
pose and became the nucleus of a town or city. 

In the mission colonization of California there 
were four presidios founded, viz. : San Diego, 
Monterey, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. 
These furnished the mission guards for their in- 
dividual districts and after the founding of the 
pueblos of San Jose and Los Angeles supplied a 
small pueblo guard. The first presidio founded 
in California as well as the first mission was 
located at San Diego. 

Rivera y Moncada, who was commander of the 
first land expedition for the colonization of Cali- 
fornia, arrived at San Diego on the 14th of May. 
The two vessels of the expedition, the San 
Carlos and San Antonio, with their scurvy- 
afHicted crews, had already arrived and had 
established a hospital on shore. 

Bancroft says : "The old camp or pest house 
on the bay shore is probably within the limits 
of what is now the city of San Diego, locally 
known as New Town; but the day after his 
arrival Rivera, so say the chroniclers, aUhough 
according to the instructions of Galvez, Pages 
was chief in command, selects a new site some 
miles north, at what is now Old, or North San 
Diego, at the foot of a hill on which are still to 
be seen the remains of the old presidio. Here 
camp is pitched and fortified, a corral for the 
animals and a few rude huts are built, and hither 
on the 17th are transported the sick and their 
tents. The immediate purpose is that the camp 
may be near the river which at this point flows 
into the north end of the bay." 

The Indians of San Diego were a thievish 
and murderous lot of savages. Before the little 
settlement was three months old, they made an 
attack upon it in which they killed a Spanish 
youth and wounded Padre \'iscaino, the black- 
smith, a soldier and a Lower California Indian. 

It became necessary to surround the mission 
with a stockade to protect it from their depreda- 
tions. In 1782 the presidial force besides the 
commissioned officers "consisted of five cor- 
porals and forty-six soldiers. Six men were 
constantly on duty at each of the three missions 
of the district, San Diego, San Juan Capistrano 
and San Gabriel ; while four served at the pueblo 
of Los Angeles, thus leaving a sergeant, two 
corporals and about twenty-five men to garrison 
the fort, care for the horses and a small herd of 
cattle, and to carry the mails, which latter duty 
was the hardest connected with the presidio 
serv'ice in time of peace. There were a car- 
penter and blacksmith constantly employed, 
besides a few ser\^ants, mostly natives. The 
population of the district in 1790, not including 
Indians, was 220."* 

It was a monotonous existence the soldiers 
and their families led at the presidio. Most 
if not all resided inside the presidial square, 
which now had an adobe wall around it instead 
of palisades. Once a month the soldier couriers 
brought up from Loreta a budget of mail made 
up of official bandos and a few letters that con- 
tained all the items of news that came from 
their home land, Mexico. The mission was two 
leagues up the river and there most of the 
Indians were congregated. The padres had lit- 
tle use for the soldiers except when the natives 
rebelled, but in the closing years of the century 
the fierce Dieguhos had become subjugated to 
mission rules. Once a year the mission ship 
landed the year's supplies at the embarcadero 
down the bay and this was about the only ripple 
of excitement that broke the weary monotony 
of their lives. 

In the first years of the nineteenth century, 
the Yankee fur trading vessels discovered the 
port of San Diego and occasionally broke the 
monotony of the soldiers' lives, "^^nfcy came 
to trade for sea otter skins, the most valued 
peltry of the coast. There was a heavy export 
duty on these, and to avoid this the captains 
resorted to any expedient that promised success. 
The people were not averse to illicit trading if 

•■Bancroft, Vol. 



they could get a better price for their furs. 

In March, 1803. the Lelia Byrd, a Yankee 
fur-trading vessel, put into San Diego bay, 
ostensibly to secure supplies but really to trade 
for otter skins. The commander of the presidio 
had about a thousand skins, part of which he 
had secured by confiscation from Captain John 
Brown of the ship Alexander. Shaler, cap- 
tain of the Byrd, tried to buy the skins from 
the comandante but was unsuccessful. Then he 
attempted to trade with the soldiers who had 
a few. He was detected at this, and one boat- 
load of his men sent out at night to secure the 
skins was made prisoners. He sent an armed 
force ashore and rescued his men and, getting 
them aboard, hoisted sail and put to sea with 
the guards that had been put aboard to hold the 
ship. As he passed the fort at w-hat is now 
Ballast Point the Spaniards fired a broadside at 
the vessel. The captain returned the fire and 
then placed the Spanish sergeant and his guard 
in an exposed situation where their friends 
would be pretty sure to hit them when they 
fired. The sergeant frantically besought his 
compatriots of the fort to cease firing, which 
they did. The guards w-ere put ashore further 
along, greatly to their relief. 

During the long years of the Mexican Revo- 
lution the old presidio fell into decay and the 
old guns in the fort at Point Guijarros grew 
rusty from disuse. This fort or battery had 
been built in 1797 to defend the entrance to the 

Only once during the long contest for Mex- 
ican independence did war's wrinkled front 
affright the soldiers of the fort, and that was 
in 1818, when Bouchard, the privateer, from the 
black hull of his piratical craft looked into the 
bay to see whether there was anything to 
plunder, but, seeing nothing, passed by without 
entering. Comandante Ruiz was prepared for 
him and awaited his attempt to enter with red 
hot cannon balls to burn his ships. Little did 
the soldiers of the old presidio know of the inter- 
necine struggle in Mexico that was transform- 
ing them from subjects of a monarchy to free 
citizens of a republic. They knew that there 
was trouble, but what it was about they were 
ignorant, nor did their officers and the padres 
who were loyalist attempt to enlighten them. 

But there came a day when the flag of Spain, 
that for fifty years had floated from the presidio 
flagstaff, was lowered, never again to rise, and 
in its stead was unfurled the tri-color of the 
Mexican empire. A few months pass and that 
goes down before the banner of the Republic. 
His transfer of allegiance from monarchy to 
republicanism brings no change for the better 
in the soldier's condition. He is poorly paid, 

poorly fed, and the old presidio with its cracked 
adobe walls that have sheltered him so long is 
fast crumbling to ruins. 

Alexico, more liberal than Spain, lifted from 
commerce some of the restrictions that had 
oppressed it and trade began to seek California 
ports. First came the hide droghers with their 
department-store cargoes. 

San Diego was well located to secure that 
trade. Robinson in "Life in California" tells us 
what the town looked like in 1829, when hides 
and tallow were the only exports — and when it 
was the capital of the two Californias : "After 
dinner we called upon the General Don Jose 
Maria de Echeandia, a tall gaunt personage, who 
received us wdth true Spanish dignity and polite- 
ness. His house was located in the center of 
a large square of buildings occupied by his 
officers, and so elevated as to overlook them all 
and command a view of the sea. On the right 
hand was a small Gothic chapel with its ceme- 
tery and immediately in front, close to the prin- 
cipal entrance, was a guardroom where the 
soldiers were amusing themselves ; some seated 
on the ground playing cards, and smoking, while 
others were dancing to the music of the guitar; 
the whole was surrounded by a high wall orig- 
inally intended as a defence against the Indians. 
At the gate stood a sentinel, with slouched hat 
and blanket thrown over one shoulder, his old 
Spanish musket resting on the other ; his panta- 
loons were buttoned and ornamented at the 
knee, below which his legs were protected by 
leggins of dressed deer skin, secured with 
spangled garters. 

"On the lawn beneath the hill on which the 
presidio is built stood about thirty houses of 
rude appearance, mostly occupied by retired vet- 
erans, not so well constructed in respect either 
to beauty or stability as the houses at Monterey, 
with the exception of that belonging to our 
Administrator, Don Juan Bandini, whose man- 
sion, then in an unfinished state, bade fair, when 
completed, to surpass any other in the country." 

A few months later, Robinson on his return 
to San Diego attended a house warming at Don 
Juan Bandini's. "Senor Don Juan Bandini had 
his house hcndccida or blessed during our stay 
here, and Gale and myself were invited to attend. 
The ceremony took place at noon, when the 
chaplain proceeded through the different apart- 
ments, sprinkling holy water on the walls and 
uttering verses in Latin. This concluded, w-e 
sat down to an excellent dinner consisting of all 
the luxuries the place afforded provided in Don 
Juan's best style." After dinner came a dance 
"and in the evening a fandango. Such was San 
Diego in 1829. 

Seven years pass and then another employe 



nf the "hide droghers" — R. H. Dana — draws this 
picture of the old presidio and the town as he 
saw them in 1836: "The first place we went to 
was the old ruinous presidio, which stands on 
a rising ground near the village which it over- 
looks. It is built in the form of an open square, 
like all the other presidios, and was in a most 
ruinous state, with the exception of one side, 
in which the commandant lived with his family. 
There were only two guns, one of which was 
spiked and the other had no carriage. Twelve 
half clothed and half starved looking fellows 
composed the garrison ; and they, it was said, 
had not a musket apiece. The small settlement 
lay directly below the fort composed of about 
forty dark brown looking huts or houses and 
three or four larger ones whitewashed, which 
belonged to the "gente de razon." 

One more picture and the last : The old 
presidio is in ruins. The ragged soldiers are 
gone. The cannon spiked and unspiked have 
disappeared. The hide droghers are only a 
memory. Another nation controls the destinies 
of California, but through the changing years 
San Diego remains unchanged. "Twenty-four 
years after" (1859) Dana revisited the town and 
thus describes it : "The little town of San Diego 
has undergone no change whatever that I can 
see. It certainly has not grown. It is still like 
Santa Barbara, a Mexican town. The four prin- 
cipal houses of the gente de razon — of the Ban- 
dinis, Estudillos, Argiiellos, and Picos — are the 
chief houses now; but all the gentlemen — and 
their families, too, I believe — are gone. The 
big, vulgar shop keeper and trader Fitch is long 
since dead ; Tom Wrightington, who kept the 
rival pulperia, fell from his horse when drunk 
and was found nearly eaten up by coyotes ; and 
I can scarce find a person whom I remember." 


Cabrillo, in 1542, found a large Indian popu- 
lation inhabiting the main land of the Santa 
Barbara Channel. Two hundred and twenty- 
seven years later, when Portola made his ex- 
ploration, apparently there had been no decrease 
in the number of inhabitants. No portion of the 
coast ofifered a better field for missionary labor 
and Father Serra was anxious to enter it. In 
accordance with Governor Felipe de Neve's 
report of 1777, it had been decided to found 
three missions and a presidio on the channel. 
Various causes had delayed the founding and it 
was not until April 17, 1782, that Governor do 
Xevc arrived at the point where he had decided 
to locate the presidio of Santa Barbara. Tiic 
troops that were to man the fort reached San 
Gabriel in the fall of 1781. It was thouglit best 
for them In remain there tmtil the rainy season 

was over. March 26, 1782, the Governor and 
Father Serra, accompanied by the largest body 
of troops that had ever before been collected in 
California, set out to found the mission of San 
Buenaventura and the presidio. The Gover- 
nor, as has been stated in a former chapter, was 
recalled to San Gabriel. The mission was 
founded and the Governor having rejoined the 
cavalcade a few weeks later proceeded to find a 
location for the presidio. 

"On reaching a point nine leagues from San 
Buenaventura, the Governor called a halt and 
in company with Father Serra at once proceeded 
to select a site for the presidio. The choice 
resulted in the adoption of the square now 
formed by city blocks 139, 140, 155 and 156, and 
bounded in common by the following streets: 
Figueroa, Cafion Perdido, Garden and Anacapa. 
A large community of Indians were residing 
there, but orders were given to leave them un- 
disturbed. The soldiers were at once directed 
to hew timbers and gather brush to erect tem- 
porary barracks, which when completed were 
also used as a chapel. A large wooden cross 
was made that it might be planted in the center 
of the square and possession of the country was 
taken in the name of the cross — the emblem of 

"April 21, 1782, the soldiers formed a square 
and with edifying solemnity raised the cross and 
secured it in the earth. Father Serra blessed 
and consecrated the district and preached a ser- 
mon. The royal standard of Spain was un- 

An inclosure, sixty varas square, was made of 
palisades. The Indians were friendly and 
through their Chief Yanoalit, who controlled 
thirteen rancherias, details of them were secured 
to assist the soldiers in the work of building. The 
natives were paid in food and clothing for their 

Irrigation works were constructed consisting 
of a large reservoir made of stone and cement, 
with a zanja for conducting water to the 
presidio. The soldiers, who had families, culti- 
vated small gardens, which aided in their sup- 
port. Lieutenant Ortega was in command of 
the presidio for two years after its founding. He 
was succeeded by Lieutenant Felipe de Goy- 
coechea. After the founding of the mission, in 
1786, a bitter feud broke out between the padres 
and the comandante of the presidio. Goy- 
coechea claimed the right to employ the Indians 
in the building of the presidio, as he had done 
l)efore the coming of the friars. This they 
denied. After an acrimonious controversy the 
dispute was finally compromised by dividing the 

*Father Gabelleria's Hi 

>f Santa Barbara. 


Indians into two bands — a mission band and a 
presidio band. 

Gradually the palisades were replaced by an 
adobe wall twelve feet high. It had a stone 
foundation and was strongly built. The plaza or 
inclosed square was 330 feet on each side. On 
two sides of this inclosure were ranged the 
family houses of the soldiers, averaging in size 
15x25 feet. On one side stood the officers' 
quarters and the church. On the remaining side 
were the main entrance four varas wide, the store 
rooms, soldiers' quarters and guard room ; and 
adjoining these outside the walls were the cor- 
rals for cattle and horses. A force of from fifty 
to sixty soldiers was kept at the post. There 
were bastions at two of the corners for cannon. 

The presidio was completed about 1790, with 
the exception of the chapel, which was not fin- 
ished until 1797. Many of the soldiers when 
they had served out their time desired to remain 
in the country. These were given permission 
to build houses outside the walls of the presidio 
and in course of time a village grew up around 

At the close of the century the population of 
the gente de razon of the district numbered 370. 
The presidio when completed was the best in 
California. Vancouver, the English navigator, 
who visited it in November, 1793, says of it: 
"Tiie buildings appeared to be regular and well 
constructed, the walls clean and white and the 
roofs of the houses were covered with a bright 
red tile. The presidio excels all the others in 
neatness, cleanliness and other smaller though 
essential comforts ; it is placed on an elevated 
part of the plain and is raised some feet from the 
ground by a basement story which adds much 
to its pleasantness." 

During the Spanish regime the settlement at 
the presidio grew in the leisurely way that all 
Spanish towns grew in Californa. There was 
but little immigration from Mexico and about 
the only source of increase was from invalid sol- 
diers and the children of the soldiers growing 
up to manhood and womanhood. 

Foreigners were not allowed to remain in the 
country. In 1795, an English merchant ship, 
the "Phoenix," touched at Santa Barbara for 
supplies and left a Boston boy who wanted to 
remain, "become a Christian" and grow up with 
the country. This Boston boy's name was 
Joseph O'Cain and he is described as "an. En- 
glishman, a native of Ireland, whose parents now 
reside in Boston." Whether O'Cain "became a 
Christian" the records do not state, but he did 
not become a citizen of California. A few 
months after his arrival they shipped him to San 

The presidio furnished guards for the mis- 

sions in its district, namely : San Gabriel, San 
Fernando, San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, 
La Purisima and Santa Inez ; and also the pueblo 
guard of Los Angeles. Lieutenant Jose de la 
Guerra y Noriega took command of it in 181 5. 
In 1818 he was promoted to be captain and for 
twenty-four years was the comandante of the 
district. During his administration, April, 1822, 
the oath of allegiance to the imperial regency, 
Augustin I., emperor of Mexico, was taken by 
the officers, soldiers and citizens and the rule of 
Spain was at an end. Next year they swore 
allegiance to the Republic. Father Gabelleria in 
his history says : "On receiving intelligence that 
the cause of independence had triumphed, they 
immediately took up the cry recognizing the 
then Mexican government, and although they 
were Spanish soldiers shouted with one accord, 
'Abajo Esparia' (down with Spain)." 

It was at this time that direct trade was 
opened up between Boston and California and 
the "hide droghers" that afterward became such 
a prominent feature in California commerce 
came to the coast. To William A. Gale, who in 
the early years of the century had been a fur 
trader on the coast, belongs the credit of inaugu- 
rating this trade. With him, in 1829, in the ship 
"Brookline," came Alfred Robinson, whose 
"Life in California" gives us the best descrip- 
tion of manners, usages and customs in Califor- 
nia during the early years of the last century. 
Robinson, who visited Santa Barbara in 1829, 
thus describes it : 

"Seen from the ship the 'presidio' or town, 
its charming vicinity, and neat little mission in 
the background, all situated on an inclined plane, 
rising gradually from the sea to a range of ver- 
dant hills, three miles from the beach, have a 
striking and beautiful effect. Distance, however, 
in this case, 'lends enchantment to the view' 
which a nearer approach somewhat dispels ; for 
we found the houses of the town, of which there 
were some two hundred, in not very good con- 
dition. They are built in the Spanish mode, 
with adobe walls, and roofs of tile, and are scat- 
tered about outside of the military department : 
showing a total disregard of order on the part 
of the authorities. On the left of the town in 
an elevated position stands the Castillo or fort- 
ress. * * * The most stately house in the 
place at this time was that of the diputado to 
Mexico, Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega." 

Dana, in "Two Years Before the Mast," de- 
scribes the town as it was in 1836: "The town 
is composed of one-story houses, built of sun- 
baked clay, or adobe, .some of them white- 
washed, with red tiles on the roofs. I should 
judge that there were about a hundred of them ; 
and in the midst of them stands the Presidio, 



or fort, built of the same material, and apparently 
but little stronger. The town is finely situated 
with a bay in front and an amphitheater of hills 
behind. The only thing which diminishes its 
beauty is, that the hills have no large trees upon 
them, they having been all burnt by a great fire 
which swept them off about a dozen years ago, 
and they had not yet grown again. The fire 
was described to me by an inhabitant as having 
been a very terrible and magnificent sight. The 
air of the whole valley was so heated that the 
people were obliged to leave the town and take 
up their quarters for several days on the beach." 

Farnham, who visited the town in 1840, gives 
this description of it in his "Early Days of Cali- 
fornia :" "The houses are chiefly built in the 
Spanish mode — adobe walls and roofs of tile. 
These tiles are made of clay fashioned into half 
cylinders, and burned like brick. In using them, 
the first layer is placed hollow side up ; the sec- 
ond inversely, so as to lock over the first. Their 
ends overlap each other as common shingles do. 
This roofing serves very well in dry weather. 
But when the southeasters of the winter season 
come on, it affords a poor shelter. Very few of 
the houses have glass windows. Open spaces in 
the walls protected with bars of wood and plank 
shutters, serve instead. A. B. Thompson, a 
wealthy and hospitable American merchant, has 
erected a residence in the center of the town, 
which bears very striking testimony to his being 
a civilized man." 

Fremont's battalion took possession of Santa 
Barbara, December 27, 1846. Next day the 
United States flag was raised on the flag stafT 
in the plaza, from which had floated the banner 

of Spain, the imperial standard of the empire 
and the cactus-perched eagle flag of the Republic 
of Mexico. 

Lieut. Bryant, of Fremont's battalion, de- 
scribes the town as it appeared at the time of 
the American conquest : "The town of Santa 
Barbara is beautifully situated for the pictur- 
esque, about one mile from the shore of a road- 
stead, which affords anchorage for vessels of 
any size, and a landing for boats in calm weather. 
The population of the town, I should judge from 
the number of houses to be about 1,200 souls. 
Most of the houses are constructed of adobes, 
in the usual architectural style of Mexican build- 
ings. Some of them, however, are more Ameri- 
canized, and have some pretentions to tasteful 
architecture, and comfortable and convenient in- 
terior arrangement. 

For intelligence, refinement and civilization 
the population, it is said, will compare advan- 
tageously with any in California. Some old and 
influential Spanish families are residents of this 
place ; but their casas, with the exception of that 
of Sehor Don Jose Noriega, the largest house 
in the place, are now closed and deserted. It is 
a peculiarity of the Mexicans that they allow no 
shade or ornamental trees to grow near their 
houses. In none of the streets of the towns or 
missions through which I have passed has there 
been a solitary tree standing. I noticed very 
few horticultural attempts in Santa Barbara." 

In 1834, the diputacion granted the pueblo a 
regular ayuntamiento, but what the municipal 
council did, no one knows. The records have 
been lost. The legislature of 1849-50 incorpor- 
ated the City of Santa Barbara, April 9, 1850. 



THE history of the founding of our Ameri- 
can cities shows that the location of a city, 
as well as its plan, is as often the result of 
accident as of design. Neither chance nor acci- 
dent entered into the selection of the site, the 
plan or the name of Los Angeles. All these had 
been determined upon years before a colonist 
had been enlisted to make the settlement. The 
.Spanish colonist, unlike the American back- 
woodsman, was not free to locate on the public 
<lomain wherever his caprice or his convenience 

The Spanish poblador (founder or colonist) 
went where he was sent by his government. He 
built his pueblo after a plan designated by royal 

reglamento. His planting and his sowing, the 
size of his fields and the shape of his house lot 
were fixed by royal decree. He was a dependent 
of the crown. The land he cultivated was not 
his own, except to use. If he failed to till it, it 
was taken from him and he was deported from 
the colony. He could not buy the land he lived on 
nor could he even exercise that privilege so dear 
to the ./Knglo-Californian — the right to mortgage 
it. Once located by royal order he could not 
change his location without permission nor could 
he visit his native land without a passport. He 
could not change his political opinions — that is 
if he had any to change. He could not change 
his religion and survive the operation. Envi- 



roned and circumscribed by limitations and re- 
strictions on all sides, it is not strange that the 
Spanish colonists were non-progressive. 

The pueblo plan of colonization so common 
in Spanish-American countries did not originate 
with the Spanish-American colonists. It was 
older even than Spain itself. In early Euro- 
pean colonization, the pueblo plan, the common 
square in the center of the town, the house lots 
grouped round it, the arable fields and the com- 
mon pasture lands beyond, appears in the Aryan 
village, in the ancient German mark and in the 
old Roman prsesidium. The Puritans adopted 
this form in their first settlements in New Eng- 
land. Around the public square or common 
where stood the meeting house and the town 
house, they laid off their home lots and beyond 
these were their cultivated fields and their com- 
mon pasture lands. This form of colonization 
was a combination of communal interests and 
individual ownership. Primarily, no doubt, it 
was adopted for protection against the hostile 
aborigines of the country, and secondly for social 
advantage. It reversed the order of our own 
western colonization. The town came first, it 
was the initial point from which the settlement 
radiated ; while with our western pioneers the 
town was an afterthought — a center point for the 
convenience of trade. 

When it had been decided to send colonists to 
colonize California the settlements naturally took 
the pueblo form. The difificulty of obtaining 
regular supplies for the presidios from Mexico, 
added to the great expense of shipping such a 
long distance, was the principal cause that influ- 
enced the government to establish pueblos de 
gente de razon. The presidios received their 
shipments of grain for breadstuff from San Bias 
by sailing vessels. The arrival of these was un- 
certain. Once when the vessels were unusually 
long in coming, the padres and the soldiers at the 
presidios and missions were reduced to living on 
milk, bear meat and what provisions they could 
obtain from the Indians. When Felipe de Neve 
was made governor of Alta or Nueva California 
in 1776, he was instructed by the viceroy to make 
observations on the agricultural possibilities of 
the country and the feasibility of founding pueb- 
los where grain could be produced to supply 
the military establishments. 

On his journey from San Diego to San Fran- 
cisco in 1777, he carefully examined the country ; 
and as a result of his observations recommended 
the founding of two pueblos : one on the Rio de 
Porciuncula in the south, and the other on the 
Rio de Guadalupe in the north. On the 29th 
day of November, 1777, the Pueblo of San Jose 
de Guadalupe was founded. The colonists were 
nine of the presidio soldiers from San Francisco 

and Monterey, who had some knowledge of 
farming, and five of Anza's pobladores, who had 
come with his expedition the previous year to 
found the presidio of San Francisco. From the 
fact that the founders, in part, of the first pueblo 
in California were soldiers has originated the fic- 
tion that the founders of the second pueblo, Los 
Angeles, were soldiers also ; although this fiction 
has been contradicted repeatedly, it reappears in 
nearly every newspaper write-up of the early his- 
tory of Los Angeles. 

From various causes the founding of the sec- 
ond pueblo had been delayed. In the latter part 
of 1779, active preparations were begun for car- 
rying out the plan of founding a presidio and 
three missions on the Santa Barbara Channel 
and a pueblo on the Rio Porciuncula to be 
named "Reyna de Los Angeles." The Coman- 
dante-General of the Four Interior Provinces of 
the West (which embraced the Cahfornias, So- 
nora. New Mexico and Viscaya), Don Teodoro 
de Croix or "El Cavallero de Croix," "The 
Knight of the Cross," as he usually styled him- 
self, gave instructions to Don Fernando de Ri- 
vera y Moncada to recruit soldiers and settlers 
for the proposed presidio and pueblo in Nueva 
California. He, Rivera, crossed the Gulf and 
began recruiting in Sonora and Sinaloa. His 
instructions were to secure twenty-four settlers, 
who were heads of families. They must be ro- 
bust and well behaved, so that they might set a 
good example to the natives. Their families 
must accompany them and unmarried female rel- 
atives must be encouraged to go, with the view 
of marrying them to bachelor soldiers. 

According to the Regulations drafted by Gov. 
Felipe deNeve June 1,1779, fo'' the Government 
of the Province of California and approved by 
the King, in a royal order of the 24th of Octo- 
ber, 1781, settlers in California from the older 
provinces were each to be granted a liouse lot 
and a tract of land for cultivation. Each pobla- 
dor in addition was to receive $116.50 a year for 
the first two years, "the rations to be understood 
as comprehended in this amount, and in lieu of 
rations for the next three years they will receive 
sixty dollars yearly." 

Section 3 of Title 14 of the Reglamento pro- 
vided that "To each poblador and to the com- 
munity of the Pueblo there shall be given under 
condition of repayment in horses and mules fit 
to be given and received, and in the payment of 
the other large and small cattle at the just prices, 
which are to be fixed by tariff, and of the tools 
and implements at cost, as it is ordained, two 
mares, two cows and one calf, two sheep and two 
goats, all breeding animals, and one yoke of 
oxen or steers, one plow point, one hoe, one 
spade, one axe, one sickle, one wood knife, one 


musket and one leather shield, Iwo horses and 
one cargo mule. To the community there shall 
likewise be given the males corresponding to 
the total number of cattle of different kinds dis- 
tributed amongst all the inhabitants, one forge 
and anvil, six crowbars, six iron spades or shov- 
els and the necessary tools for carpenter and cast 
work." For the government's assistance to the 
pobladors in starting their colony the settlers 
were required to sell to the presidios the surplus 
products of their lands and herds at fair prices, 
which were to be fixed by the government. 

The terms offered to the settler were certainly 
liberal, and by our own hardy pioneers, who in 
the closing years of the last century were making 
their way over the Alleghany mountains into 
Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, they would have 
been considered munificent ; but to the indolent 
and energyless mixed breeds of Sonora and 
.'-iinaloa they were no inducement. After spend- 
ing nearly nine months in recruiting, Rivera was 
able to obtain only fourteen pobladores, but little 
over half the number required, and two of these 
deserted before reaching California. The soldiers 
that Rivera had recruited for California, forty- 
two in number, with their families, were ordered 
to proceed overland from Alamos, in Sonora, by 
way of Tucson and the Colorado River to San 
Gabriel Mission. These were commanded by 
Rivera in person. 

Leaving Alamos in April, 1781, thev arrived 
in the latter part of June at the junction of the 
Gila and Colorado rivers. After a short delay 
to rest the main company was sent on to San 
Gabriel Mission. Rivera, with ten or twelve 
soldiers, remained to recruit his live stock before 
crossing the desert. Two missions had been 
established on the California side of the Colo- 
rado the previous year. Before the arrival of 
Rivera the Indians had been behaving badly. 
Rivera's large herd of cattle and horses de- 
stroyed the mesquite trees and intruded upon 
the Indians' melon patches. This, with their 
previous quarrel with the padres, provoked the 
savages to an uprising. They, on July 17, at- 
tacked the two missions, massacred the padres 
and the Spanish settlers attached to the missions 
and killed Rivera and his soldiers — forty-six 
persons in all. The Indians burned the mis- 
sion buildings. These w^ere never rebuilt nor 
was there any other attempt made to convert 
the Vumas. The hostility of the Yumas prac- 
tically closed the Colorado route to California 
for many years. 

The pobladores who had been recruited for 
the founding of the new pueblo, with their fam- 
ilies and a military escort, all under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant Jose Zuiiiga, crossed the 
gulf from Guaymas to Loreto, in Lower Califor- 

nia, and by the i6th of May were ready for their 
long journey northward. In the meantime two 
of the recruits had deserted and one was left 
behind at Loreto. On the i8th of August the 
eleven who had remained faithful to their con- 
tract, with their families, arrived at San Gabriel. 
( )n account of smallpox among some of the 
children the company was placed in quaran- 
tine about a league from the mission. 

On the 26th of August, 1781, from San Ga- 
briel, Governor de Neve issued his instructions 
for the founding of Los Angeles, which gave 
some additional rules in regard to the distribu- 
tion of lots not found in the royal reglamento 
previously mentioned. 

On the 4th of September. 1781, the colonists, 
with a military escort headed by Governor Felipe 
de Neve, took up their line of march from the 
INIission San Gabriel to the site selected for their 
pueblo on the Rio de Porciuncula. There, with 
religious ceremonies, the Pueblo de Nuestra 
Sefiora La Reina de Los Angeles was formally 
founded. A mass was said by a priest from the 
Mission San Gabriel, assisted by the choristers 
and musicians of that mission. There were 
salvos of musketry and a procession with a 
cross, candlesticks, etc. At the head of the pro- 
cession the soldiers bore the standard of Spain 
and the women followed bearing a banner with 
the image of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels. 
This procession made a circuit of the plaza, the 
priest blessing it and the building lots. At the 
close of the services Governor de Neve made an 
address full of good advice to the colonists. 
Then the Governor, his military escort and the 
priests returned to San Gabriel and the colo- 
nists were left to work out their destiny. 

Few of the great cities of the land have had 
such humble founders as Los Angeles. Of the 
eleven pobladores who built their huts of poles 
and tule thatch around the plaza vieja one hun- 
dred and twenty years ago, not one could read 
or WTite. Not one could boast of an unmixed 
ancestry. They were mongrels in race — Cauca- 
sian, Indian and Negro mixed. Poor in purse, 
poor in blood, poor in all the sterner qualities of 
character that our own hardy pioneers of the 
west possessed, they left no impress on the city 
they founded ; and the conquering race that pos- 
sesses the land they colonized has forgotten 
them. No street or landmark in the city bears 
the name of any one of them. No monument 
or tablet marks the spot where they planted the 
germ of their settlement. No Forefathers' day 
preserves the memory of their services and sac- 
rifices. Their names, race and the number of 
persons in each family have been preserved in 
the archives of California. They are as follows : 

I. Jose de Lara, a Spaniard (or reputed to 



be one, although it is doubtful whether he was of 
pure blood) ; had an Indian wife and three chil- 

2. Jose Antonio Navarro, a Mestizo, forty- 
two years old; wife a mulattress ; three children. 

3. Basilio Rosas, an Indian, sixty-eight years 
old ; had a mulatto wife and two children. 

5. Antonio Felix \'illavicencio, a Spaniard, 
thirty rears old; had an Indian wife and one 

6. Jose \'anegas, an Indian, twenty-eight 
years old; had an Indian wife and one child. 

7. Alejandro Rosas, an Indian, nineteen 
years old and had an Indian wife. (In the rec- 
ords, "wife Co_\-ote-Indian.")* 

8. Pablo Rodriguez, an Indian, twenty-five 
years old ; had an Indian wife and one child. 

9. Manuel Camero, a mulatto, thirty years 
old ; had a mulatto wife. 

10. Luis Ouintero, a negro, fifty-five years 
old, and had a mulatto wife and five children. 

11. Jose Morena, a mulatto, twenty-two 
years old, and had a mulatto wife. 

Antonio Miranda, the twelfth person de- 
scribed in the padron (list) as a Chino, fifty 
years old, and having one child, was left at 
Loreto when the expedition marched northward. 
It would have been impossible for him to have 
rejoined the colonists before the founding. Pre- 
sumably his child remained with him, conse- 
quently there were but forty-four instead of 
"forty-six persons in all." Col. J. J. Warner, in 
his "Historical Sketch of Los Angeles," orig- 
inated the fiction that one of the founders (Mi- 
randa, the Chino) was born in China. Chino, 
while it does mean a Chinaman, is also applied 
in Spanish-American countries to persons or 
animals having curly hair. Miranda was prob- 
bably of mixed Spanish and Negro blood, and 
curly haired. There is no record to show that 
.Miranda ever came to Alta California. 

Another fiction that frequently appears in 
newspaper "write-ups" of Los Angeles is the 
statement that the founders were "discharged 
soldiers from the Mission San Gabriel." None 
of them had ever seen San Gabriel before they 
arrived there with Zuniga's expedition on the 
18th of August, 1781, nor is there a probability 
that any one of them ever was a soldier. When 
Jose de Galvcz was fitting out the expedition 
for occupying San Diego and Monterey, he is- 
sued a proclamation naming St. Joseph as the 
patron saint of his California colonization 
scheme. Bearing this fact in mind, no doubt. 
Governor de Neve, when he founded San Jose, 
named St. Joseph its patron .saint. Having 

*Tlio lerni coyote was appl 
tivfs of Lower California. 

named one of the two pueblos for San Jose it 
naturally followed that the other should be 
named for Santa Maria, the Queen of the An- 
gels, wife of San Jose. 

On the 1st of August, 1769, Portola's expedi- 
tion, on its journey northward in search of Mon- 
terey Bay, had halted in the San Gabriel Valley 
near where the IMission \ieja was afterwards 
located, to reconnoiter the country and "above 
all," as Father Crespi observes, "for the purpose 
of celebrating the jubilee of Our Lady of the 
Angels of Porciuncula." Next day, August 2, 
after traveling about three leagues (nine miles). 
Father Crespi, in his diary, says: "We came to 
a rather wide Canada having a great many Cot- 
tonwood and alder trees. Through it ran a beau- 
tiful river toward the north-northeast and curv- 
ing around the point of a cliff it takes a direc- 
tion to the south. Toward the north-northeast 
we saw another river bed which must have been 
a great overflow, but we found it dry. This arm 
unites with the river and its great floods during 
the rainy season are clearly demonstrated by 
the many uprooted trees scattered along the 
banks." (This dry river is the Arroyo Seco.) 
"We stopped not very far from the river, to 
which we gave the name of Porciuncula." Por- 
ciuncula is the name of a hamlet in Italy near 
which was located the little church of Our Lady 
of the Angels, in which St. Francis of Assisi 
was praying when the jubilee was granted him. 
Leather Crespi, speaking of the plain through 
which the river flows says : "This is the best 
locality of all those we have yet seen for a mis- 
sion, besides having all the resources required 
for a large town." Padre Crespi was evidently 
somewhat of a prophet. 

The fact that this locality had for a number of 
years borne the name of "Our Lady of the An- 
gels of Porciuncula" may have influenced Gov- 
ernor de Neve to locate his pueblo here. The 
full name of the town. El Pueblo de Nuestra 
Senora La Reina de Los Angeles, was seldom 
used. It was too long for everyday use. In the 
earlier years of the town's history it seems to 
have had a variety of names. It appears in the 
records as Fl Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de Los 
Angeles, as El Pueblo de La Reina de Los An- 
geles and as El Pueblo de Santa Maria de Los 
Angeles. Sometimes it was abbreviated to 
Santa Maria, but it w-as most commonly spoken 
of as El Pueblo — the town. At what time the 
name of Rio Porciuncula was changed to Rio 
Los Angeles is uncertain. The change no doubt 
was gradual. 

The site selected for the pueblo of Los An- 
geles was picturesque and romantic. From 
where Alameda street now is to the eastern 
bank of the river the land was covered with a 



dense growth of willows, cottonwoods and al- 
ders ; while here and there, rising above the 
swampy copse, towered a giant aliso (sycamore). 
A\'ild grape vines festooned the branches of the 
trees and wild roses bloomed in profusion. Be- 
hind the narrow shelf of mesa land where the 
pueblo was located rose the brown hills, and in 
the distance towered the lofty Sierra Madre 

Forages the Indians had roamed up and down 
the valley, hut the Indian is so ardent a lover of 
nature that he never defaces her face by attempt- 
ing to make improvements — particularly if it re- 
quires exertion to make the changes. For cen- 
turies within the limits that Neve had marked 
out for his pueblo had stood the Indian village 
of Yang-na or rather a succession of villages of 
that name. When the accretions of filth en- 
croached upon the red man's dwelling and the 
increase of certain kinds of live stock, of name 

offensive to ears polite, had become so great and 
their appetites so keen that even the phlegmatic 
Digger could no longer endure their aggressive 
attacks, then the poor Indian resorted to a he- 
roic method of house-cleaning. ( )n an appointed 
day the portable property was removed from the 
wickeups, the village was set on fire and myriads 
on myriads of piojos and piilgas were cremated 
in the conflagration. Alter purification by fire 
poor Lo built a new village on the old site — a 
new town with the same old name, Yang-na. 
Probably all of the Indians of Yang-na had been 
gathered into the mission fold at San Gabriel 
iDefore Neve's pobladores built their huts on the 
banks of the Rio Porciuncula, still there seems 
to have been fears of an attack by hostile In- 
dians, for the colonists built a guard house and 
barracks and a guard of soldiers was stationed 
at the pueblo for many years after the found- 



IN THE previous chapter we had a description 
of the founding of the pueblo and the dedi- 
cation of the house lots and the plaza. The 
plaza is an essential feature in the plan of 
Spanish-America towns. It is usually the geo- 
graphical center of the pueblo lands. The old 
plaza of El Pueblo de Nuestra Seiiora La Reina 
de Los Angeles, as designated by Gov. Felipe de 
Neve, in his "Instruccion para La I-'undaccion 
de Los Angeles," was a parallelogram one hun- 
dred varas in length by seventy-five in breadth. 
It was laid out w-ith its corners facing the cardi- 
nal points of the compass, and with three streets 
running perpendicularly to each of its four sides, 
so that no street would be swept by the winds. 
The Governor evidently supposed that the winds 
would always blow from the orthodox four cor- 
ners of the earth ; therefore, he cut out his town 
on the bias, so as to outwit old Boreas. 

The usual area of a pueblo in California was 
four square leagues, or about 17,770 acres (a 
Spanish square league contains 4,4444-9 acres). 
The pueblo lands were divided into solares, or 
house lots, suertes* — planting fields, dehesas, 
outside pasture lands ; ejidos, or commons, lands 
nearest the town where the mustangs were teth- 
ered and the goats roamed at pleasure (from the 
ejidos, solares or house lots may be granted to 

*Sucrto — cliancc or 
icrtes because assigned 

new comers) ; propios^ — public lands that may 
be rented or leased, and the proceeds used to 
defray municipal expenses ; realanges, or royal 
lands, also used for raising revenue, and from 
these lands grants were made to new settlers. 
In addition there was also certain communal 
property know?n as Bienes Concejiles, which 
term has been defined as "that which, in respect 
of ownership, belongs to the public or council of 
a city, village or town, and in respect of its use 
belongs to every one of its inhabitants, such as 
fountains, woods, the pastures, waters of rivers 
for irrigation, etc." 

After the pobladores had built their rude huts 
they turned their attention to the preparation of 
their fields for cultivation. A toma, or dam, and 
an irrigating ditch were constructed. This 
ditch passed along the east side and close to 
those lots on the southeastern corner of the 
square. It not only supplied the settlers with 
water for irrigating their fields, but also for 
drinking and household purposes. It was the 
first water system of Los Angeles. According 
to Neve's "Instructions," the suertes, or plant- 
ing fields, were to be located at least 200 varas 
from the house lots that surrounded the square. 
This instruction, if complied with, located the 
western line of these fields about where Ala- 
meda street now is. 

The following description nf the colonists' 
idanting fields is taken from the first Los .\n- 



geles directory, published in 1872 by A. J- King 
and A. Waite : 

"Thirty fields for cultivation were also laid 
out. Twenty-six of these fields contained each 
40,000 square varas (equal to about eight acres). 
They were, with the exception of four (which 
were 300 by 100 varas) 200 varas square, and 
separated by lanes three varas wide. The fields 
were located between the irrigating ditch and the 
river, and mostly above a line running direct and 
nearly east from the town site to the river. (The 
fields covered ihe present site of Chinatown and 
that of the lumber yards, and possibly extended 
up to the San Fernando, or river station depot.) 
The distance from the irrigating ditch to the 
river across these fields was upwards of 1,200 
varas. At that time the river ran along where 
now (1872) stand the houses of Julian Chavez 
and Elijah Moulton. It was evident that when 
the town was laid out the bluff bank, which in 
modern times extended from Aliso street up by 
the Stearns (now Capitol) mill to the toma, did 
not e.xist, but was made when the river ran near 
the town." 

The streets of the pueblo were each ten varas 
(about twenty-eight feet) wide. The boundaries 
of the Plaza Vieja, or old plaza, as nearly as it 
is possible to locate them now, are as follows: 
"The southeast corner of Tapper Main and Mar- 
chessault streets for the southern or southeast- 
ern corner of the square ; the east line of Upper 
Main street from the above-named corner, 100 
varas, in a northerly direction for the east line 
of the square ; the eastern line of new High 
street for the western line of the square ; and the 
northern line of Marchessault street for the 
southern line of the square."* LTpon three sides 
of this parallelogram were the house lots, each 
40x20 varas, except the two corner lots, which, 
fronting in part on two sides of the square, were 

The eastern half of the southwestern side was 
left vacant ; the western half of this side was de- 
signed for the public buildings — a guard-house, 
a town-house and a public granary. 

While the house lots, the tilling-fields and a 
certain part of the live stock belonged in sever- 
alty to each head of a family, and to the care and 
cultivation of which he was supposed to devote 
his time and attention, there were also certain 
comnuuiity interests of which each was re- 
quired to perform his part, such as building the 
guard-house, the public granaries and the irri- 
gating works, standing guard and herding the 
village flocks. It was discovered before long that 
there were shirks among the colonists — men who 
would not do their part of the conumuiity labor. 

•J. J. WanuT's Hi.slorical sketch of Los .■\ngelcs Co. 

Early in 1782, Jose de Lara, one of the two Span- 
iards, Antonio Mesa and Luis Quintero, the two 
negroes, were deported from the colony and 
their property taken from them by order of the 
Governor, they being "useless to the pueblo and 
to themselves." As their families went with them, 
by their deportation the population of the pueblo 
was reduced to twenty-eight persons. The re- 
maining colonists went to work. T'efore the 
close of 1784 they had replaced most of their 
tule-thatchcd and mud-daubed huts of poles with 
adobe houses. They had built the public build- 
ings required and had begun the erection of a 
chapel. All of these were built of adobe and 
covered with thatch. 

In 1785 Jose Francisco Sinova, a laborer, who 
for a number of years had lived in California, 
applied for admission into the pueblo and was ad- 
mitted on the same terms as the original pobla- 

In 1786 Alferez (Lieut.) Jose Argiiello, who 
had been detailed for that purpose by Governor 
Fages, the successor of de Neve, put the nine 
settlers who had been faithful to their trust in 
legal possession of their house, lots and sowing 
fields. Corporal A^icente Felix and Private Roque 
de Cota acted as legal witnesses. Each colonist 
in the presence of the others received a grant of 
a house, lot and three sowing fields, and he was 
given a branding-iron to distinguish his live 
stock from that of his neighbors. 

It is probable that there had from the begin- 
ning been some understanding of what was the 
individual property of each one. Each of the 
nine settlers signed his grant or agreement with 
a cross ; not one of them could write. Lieut. 
Argiiello spent but little time over surveys, and 
probably set up no landmarks to define bound- 
aries. The propios were said to extend southerly 
2,200 varas from the toma or dam (which was 
located near the point where the Fiuena Vista 
street bridge now crosses the river) to the limit 
of the distributed lands. The realenges, or royal 
lands, were located on the eastern side of the 

The e.xterior boundaries of the pueblo were 
not fi.xcd then, nor were they ever defined while 
the town was under the domination of Spain. .\s 
we shall find later on, this occasioned controver- 
sies between the missionaries of San Gabriel and 
the settlers of Los Angeles. 

The local government of the pueblo was a 
combination of the military and the civil forms. 
The civil authority was vested in an alcalde and 
two regidores (councilman) ; the military in a 
corporal of the guard. There was another office, 
that of coniisionado, which was quasi-military. 
The principal duty of this officer was to appor- 
tion the pueblo lands to new settlers. 



The corporal of the pueblo guard seems to 
have been the ranking officer in the town gov- 
ernment, and, in addition to his military com- 
mand, had supervision over the acts of the rcgi- 
dores and the alcalde. 

The civil authorities were at first appointed 
bv the governor; later on they were elected by 
the people. The territory of California was di- 
vided into military districts, corresponding in 
number to the presidios. Each military district 
was under the command of a military officer 
(captain or lieutenant), who reported to the gov- 
ernor, who was also an army officer, usually a 
lieutenant-colonel or colonel. 

At the time of the founding of Los Angeles 
there were three presidios, viz. : San Diego, 
^Monterey and San Francisco. Los Angeles was 
at first attached to San Diego. After the found- 
ing of Santa Barbara presidio it was placed in 
that military district. 

The corporal of the pueblo guard reported to 
the commander of his district, and the com- 
mander to the comandante-general or governor. 
Mcente Felix, who assisted Lieut. Argiiello in 
the distribution of the pueblo lands to the set- 
tlers in 1/86, was the first corporal of the pueblo 
guard, which was furnished from the presidio 
of San Diego, and consisted of four or five sol- 
diers of the regular army. All the male in- 
habitants of the pueblo over eighteen years were 
subject to military service, both at home in keep- 
ing order, and in the field in case of foreign in- 
vasion or an Indian outbreak. The.'^c civilian 
soldiers reported to the corporal of the guard for 
duty. Each was required to provide himself with 
a horse, a musket and a cuera or shield of bull 

For fifty years after the founding of the pueblo 
a guard was kept on duty at the cuartel or guard- 
house that stood just above the church of Our 
Lady of the Angels, on what is now the north- 
west corner of Upper Main and Marchessault 
streets; and nightly armed sentinels patroled the 

Los Angeles, like all pioneer settlements of 
America, had her Indian question to settle. 
There are no records of Indian massacres, but 
Indian scares occurred occasionally. In 1785 we 
find from the provincial records that 35 pounds 
of powder and 800 bullets were sent to Los An- 
geles as a reserve supply of ammunition for the 
settlers in case of an attack. There was not 
much danger from the valley Indians, who had 
been tamed by mission training and subjugated 
by the lash, but the mountain Indians were pred- 
atory and ho.stile. At one time the Mojaves 
made an incursion into the valley with the design 
of sacking the mission and attacking Los .An- 
geles. They penetrated within two leagues of 

the mission, where they killed a neophyte, but, 
hearing that there was a company of soldiers at 
Los Angeles prepared to attack them, they fled 
back to the mountains. 

Between 1786 and 1790 the number of families 
increased from 9 to 30. An estado, or census of 
the pueblo, taken August 17, 1790, gives its 
total population 141, divided as follows: Males, 
75; females, 66; unmarried, 91; married, 44; 
widowed, 6; under 7 years, 47; 7 to 16 years, 
33; 16 to 29 years, 12; 29 to 40 years, 27; 40 to 
90 years, 13; over 90 years, 9; Europeans, i; 
Spanish (this probably means Spanish-Ameri- 
cans), 72; Indians, 7; Mulattoes, 22; Mestizos, 
39. The large percentage of the population over 
90 years of age is rather remarkable. The mixed 
races still constituted a large proportion of the 
pueblo population. The increase of inhabitants 
came largely from discharged soldiers of the 

It was the policy of the government to encour- 
age marriages between the bachelor soldiers 
and neophyte women, and thus increase the pop- 
ulation of the territory without the expense of 
importing colonists from Mexico. Spain evi- 
dently looked more to the quantity of her colo- 
nists than to the quality. 

Of the social hfe of the pueblo we know but 
little. The inhabitants were not noted for good 
behavior ; they were turbulent and quarrelsome. 
The mixture of races was not conducive of har- 
monv and good citizenship. 

Corporal Felix seems to have been moderately 
successful in controlling the discordant elements. 
The settlers complained of his severity, but the 
governor sustained him, and he retained his posi- 
tion to the close of the century. If padre Sala- 
zar's opinions of the colonists of California were 
correct, they were a hard lot ; but the padres 
were opposed to all efforts at the colonization of 
California by gente de razon, and the priest's 
picture of pueblo life may be overdrawn. He 
asserted that "the inhabitants of the pueblos 
were idlers and paid more attention to gambling 
and playing the guitar than to tilling their lands 
and educating their children. The pagans did 
most of the work, took a large part of the crop, 
and were so well supplied thereby that they did 
not care to be converted and live at tlTe mis- 
sions. The friars attended to the spiritual needs 
of the settlers free of charge, and their tithes did 
California no good. Young men grew up with- 
out restraint and wandered among the ranchcrias, 
setting the Indians a bad example and indulging 
in excesses that were sure sooner or later to 
result in disaster." 

Xotwithstanding Salazar's doleful picture of 
the ])uel)los. that of Los Angeles had made fair 
l)rogress. In 1790 the earlier settlers had all re- 



placed their huts of poles with adobe houses. 
There were twenty-nine dwellings, a town hall, 
barrack, cuartel and granaries built of adobe, and 
around these was a wall of the same material. 
Whether the wall was built as a defense against 
hostile Indians or to prevent incursions of their 
herds into the village does not appear. In 1790 
their crop of grain amounted to 4,500 bushels, 
and their cattle had increased to 3,000 head. 
During the decade between 1790 and 1800 the 
population increased from 141 to 315. The in- 
crease came chiefly from the growing up of chil- 
dren and from the discharged soldiers of the pre- 
sidios. Horses and cattle increased from 3,000 
to 12,500 head, and the production of grain 
reached 7,800 bushels in 1796. In 1800 they 
offered to enter into an agreement to supply 
3,400 bushels of wheat per year, at $1.66 per 
bushel, for the San Bias market. Taxes were low 
and were payable in grain. Each settler was re- 
quired to give annually two fanegas of maize 
or wheat for a public fund to be expended for 
the good of the community. 

The decade between 1800 and 1810 was as de- 
void of noteworthy events as the preceding one. 
Life in the pueblo was a monotonous round of 
commonplace occurrences. The inhabitants had 
but little communication with the world be- 
yond their own narrow limits. There was a mail 
between Mexico and California but once a 
month. As not more than half a dozen of the 
inhabitants could read or write, the pueblo mail 
added little weight to the budget of the soldiers' 
correras (mail carriers). 

The settlers tilled their little fields, herded 
their cattle and sheep, and quarreled among 
themselves. During the decade drunkenness and 
other excesses were reported as alarmingly on 
the increase, and, despite the efforts of the co- 
misionado, the pobladores could not be con- 
trolled. The jail and the stocks were usually 
\w\\ filled. \'icente Felix was no longer com- 
missioner. Javier Alvarado, a sergeant of the 
army, was comisionado in 1809, and probably 
had filled the office the preceding years of 
the decade. Population increased slowly during 
the decade. In 1810 there were 365 persons 
in the pueblo; fifty had been recruited from the 
town for niilitar)- service in the presidios. This 
would make a total of 415, or an increase of 
100 in ten years. 

The decade between 1810 and 1820 was 
marked by a greater increase in population than 
the preceding one. In 1820 the population of 
the pueblo, including the few ranches surround- 
ing it which were under its jurisdiction, was 650. 
The rule of Spain in Mexico was drawing to an 
end. The revolutionary war begun by Hidalgo 
at the pueblo of Dolores in 1810 was carried on 

with varying success throughout this decade. 
About all that was known of it in California was 
that some disturbance in New Spain prevented 
supplies being sent to the missions and the pre- 
sidios. The officers and soldiers received no 
pay. There was no money at the presidios to 
buy the products of the pueblos, and there were 
hard times all along the line. The common 
people knew little or nothing of what was going 
on in Mexico, and probably cared less. They 
had no aspirations for independence and were 
unfit for any better government than they had. 
The friars were strong adherents of the Spanish 
crown and bitterly opposed to a republican 
form of government. If the revolution suc- 
ceeded it would be the downfall of their power 
in California. 

The most exciting event of the decade was the 
appearance on the coast of California, in Novem- 
ber, 1818, of the "pirate Buchar," as he was com- 
monly called by the Californians. Bouchard 
was a Frenchman, in the service of the revolu- 
tionists of Buenos Ayres, and carried letters of 
marque, which authorized him to prey on Span- 
ish commerce. Bouchard, with two ships, carry- 
ing 66 guns and 350 men, attacked Monterey, 
and after an obstinate resistance by the Cali- 
fornians, it was captured and burned. He next 
pillaged Ortega's ranch and burned the build- 
ings ; then, sailing down the coast, he scared the 
Santa Barbarans, looked into San Pedro Bay. 
but finding nothing there to tempt him, he kept 
on to San Juan Capistrano. Here he landed and 
robbed the mission of a few articles and drank 
the padres' wine ; then he sailed away and dis- 
appeared from the coast. Los Angeles sent a 
company of soldiers to Santa Barbara to fight 
the insurgents. The Santa Barbara and Los An- 
geles troops reached San Juan the day after Bou- 
chard pillaged the mission. Los Angeles lost 
nothing by the insurgents, but on the contrary 
gained two citizens — Joseph Chapman, of Massa- 
chusetts, and an American negro, named Fisher. 
Joseph Chapman was the first English-speaking 
resident of Los Angeles. He and Fisher were 
captured at Monterey, and not at Ortega's ran- 
cho, as stated by Stephen C. Foster. Chapman 
married and located at the Alission San Gabriel, 
where he became Padre Sanchez' man of all 
work, and built the first mill in Southern Cali- 

The first year of the third decade of the cen- 
tury witnessed the downfall of Spanish domina- 
tion in Mexico. The patriot priest Hidalgo had. 
on the 15th of September, i8io, struck the first 
blow for' independence. For eleven years a frat- 
ricidal war was waged — cruel, bloody and dev- 
astating. Hidalgo, Allende. Mina, Morelos, 
Aldama, Rayon, and other patriot leaders sacri- 



ficed their lives for the liberty of their countr}-. 
Under Iturbide, in September, 1821, the inde- 
pendence of Mexico was finally achieved. It was 
not until September, 1822, that the flag of Spain 

was supplanted by that of Mexico in California, 
although the oath of allegiance to the imperial 
government of Mexico was taken in April by 
Sola and others. 



ernor of Alta California when the transi- 
tion came from the rule of Spain to that of 
Mexico. He had received his appointment from 
Viceroy Calleja in 1814. Calleja, the butcher of 
Guanajuato, was the crudest and the most 
bloodthirsty of the vice-regal governors of New 
Spain during the Mexican revolution. Sola was 
thoroughly in sympathy with the loyalists and 
bitterly opposed to the revolutionary party of 
Mexico. To his influence and that of the friars 
was due the adherence of California to the cause 
of Spain. Throughout the eleven years of inter- 
necine war that deluged the soil of Mexico with 
blood, the sympathies of the Californians were 
not with those who were struggling for freedom. 

Of the political upheavals that shook Spain in 
the first decades of the century only the faintest 
rumblings reached far-distant California. Not- 
withstanding the many changes of rulers that 
political revolutions and Napoleonic wars gave 
the mother country, the people of California re- 
mained loyal to the Spanish crown, although at 
times they must have been in doubt who wore 
the crown. The success of the revolutionary 
movement in ^Mexico was no doubt bitterly dis- 
appointing to Sola, but he gracefully submitted 
to the inevitable. 

For half a century the Spanish flag had floated 
in California. It was lowered and in its place 
was hoisted the imperial standard of the jNIexican 
Empire. A few months pass and the fiag of the 
empire is supplanted by the tricolor of the Re- 
public of Mexico. Thus the Californians, in little 
more than one year, have passed under three 
different forms of government — that of a king- 
dom, an empire and a republic, and Sola, from a 
loyal Spanish governor, has been transformed 
into a RIcxican republican. 

The transition from one form of government 
to another was not marked by any radical 
changes. Under the empire a beginning was 
made towards a representative government. Cal- 
ifornia was given a "diputacion provincial" or 
provincial legislature, composed of a president 
and six vocales or members. This territorial 
legislature met at Monterey November Q, 1822. 
Los .'\ngeles, was rcjircscnted in it by Jose 

Paloniares and Jose Antonio Carrillo. The 
diputacion authorized the organization of 
ayuntamientos or town councils for the pueblos 
of Los Angeles and San Jose, and the election 
of regidores or councilmen to office by the votes 
of the people. 

LTnder the empire, California also was entitled 
to send a diputado or delegate ^o the imperial 
cortes, to be selected by the people. Upon the 
overthrow of his "Most Serene Majesty, 
Augustin I. by Divine Providence and by the 
Congress of the Nation, First Constitutional 
Emperor of Mexico," and the downfall of his 
short-lived empire, the republic of IMexico was 
established and went into effect November 19, 
1823, by the adoption of a constitution similar 
to that of the LTnited States. The federation was 
composed of nineteen states and four territories. 
Alta California was one of the territories. The 
territories were each allowed a diputado in the 
JMexican congress. The governors of the terri- 
tories were appointed by the president of the 
republic. The a}untaniiento of Los Angeles, 
which had been foriiied in November, 1822, un- 
der the empire, was continued under the rcpul)- 
lic, with the addition of a secretary and a sindico 
(treasurer). The quasi-military office of comis- 
ionado, which had existed almost from the 
founding of the pueblo, was abolished, but the 
old soldiers, who composed a considerable por- 
tion of the town's population, did not take kindly 
to this innovation. The niilitai\v coiiiandante 
of the district, with the approval oi Governor 
Argiiello, who had succeeded Sola, appointed 
Sergeant Guillermo Cota to control the unruly 
element of the pueblo, his authority bciiig similar 
to that formerly e.Kercised by the comisionados. 
Then there was a clash between the civil and mil- 
itary authorities. The alcalde and the ayunta- 
niiento refused to recognize Cota's authority. 
Tliey had progressed so rapidly in republican 
ideas that they denied the right of any military 
officer to exercise his power over the free citi- 
zens of Angeles. The town had a bad reputa- 
tion in the territory. There was an unruly ele- 
ment in it. The people generally had a poor 
opinion of their riilers, both civil and military, 
and tlic imiKt reciprocated in kind. The town hail 



a large crop of aspiring politicians, and it was 
noted for its production of wine and brandy. 
The result of mixing these two was disorder, 
dissensions and brawls. Rotation in office seems 
to have been the rule. No one could hold the 
office of alcalde two years in succession, nor 
could he vote for himself. In 1826, Jose Antonio 
Carrillo was elected alcalde, but nine citizens 
jirotestcd that his election was illegal because 
as an elector he had voted for himself and that 
he could not hold the office twice within two 
years. A new election was ordered. At another 
election A"icente Sanchez reported to Governor 
Echeandia that the election was void because 
the candidates were "vagabonds, drunkards and 

The population of the pueblo in 1822, when it 
passed from under the domination of Spain, was 
770. It was exclusively an agricultural com- 
munity. The only manufacturing was the con- 
verting of grapes into wine and brandy. The 
tax on wine and brandy retailed in 1829, was 
$339; and the fines collected were $158. These, 
the liquor tax and the fines, constituted the prin- 
cipal sources of municipal revenue. 

The cattle owned by the citizens of the pueblo 
in 1821 amounted to 10,000 head. There was a 
great increase in live stock during the decade be- 
tween 1820 and 1830. The increased demand 
for liidcs and tallow stimulated the raising of 
cattle. In 1830, the cattle of the pueblo had in- 
creased to 42,000 head, horses and mules num- 
liered 3,000 head and sheep 2,400. A few for- 
eigners had settled in Los Angeles. The first 
luiglish-speaking person to locate here was Jose 
Chapman, captured at INIonterey when the town 
was attacked and burned by Bouchard, as pre- 
viously mentioned. He arrived at Los Angeles 
in 1 81 8. Chapman was the only foreign-born 
resident of the pueblo under Spanish rule. Mex- 
ico, although jealous of foreigners, was not so 
proscriptive in her policy toward them as Spain. 
.\s oijportunity for trade opened up foreigners 
began to locate in the town. Between 1822 and 
1830 came Santiago McKinley, John Temple, 
George Rice. J. D. Leandry, Jesse Ferguson, 
Richard Laughlin, Nathaniel Pryor, Abel 
Stearns, Louis Bouchette and Juan Domingo. 
These adopted the customs of the country, mar- 
ried and became permanent residents of the 
town. Of these !\IcKinley, Temple, Stearns and 
Rice were engaged in trade and kept stores. 
Their principal business was the purchase of 
liides for exchange with the hide droghers. The 
hide droghers were vessels fitted out in Boston 
and freighted with assorted cargoes to exchange 
for hides and tallow. The embarcadero of San 
Pedro became the principal entrepot of this 
trade. It was the port of Los Angeles and of 

the three missions, San Gabriel, San Fernando 
and San Juan Capistrano. 

Alfred Robinson in his "Life in California" 
thus describes the methods of doing business at 
San Pedro in 1829: "After the arrival of olu" 
trading vessel our friends came in the morning 
flocking on board from all quarters ; and soon a 
busy scene commenced, afloat and ashore. Boats 
were passing to the beach, and men, women and 
children partaking in the general excitement. 
On shore all was confusion, cattle and carts 
laden with hides and tallow, gente de razon and 
Indians busily employed in the delivery of their 
produce and receiving in return its value in 
goods. Groups of individuals seated around 
little bonfires upon the ground, and horsemen 
racing over the plains in every direction." "Thus 
the day passed, some arriving, some departing — 
till long after sunset, the low white road, leading 
across the plains to the town, appeared a living 
panorama." Next to a revolution there was no 
other event that so stirred up the social ele- 
ments of the old pueblo as the arrival of a hide 
drogher at San Pedro. "On the arrival of a new 
vessel from the United States," says Robinson, 
"every man, woman, boy and girl took a pro- 
portionate share of interest as to the qualities 
of her cargo. If the first inquired for rice, sugar 
or tobacco, the latter asked for prints, silks and 
satins; and if the boy wanted a Wilson's jack- 
knife the girl hoped that there might be some 
satin ribbons for her. Thus the whole popula- 
tion hailed with eagerness an arrival. Even the 
Indian in his unsophisticated style asked for 
Panas Colorodos and Abalaris — red handker- 
chiefs and beads." 

Robinson describes the pueblo as he saw it in 
1829: "The town of Los Angeles consisted at 
this time of about twenty or thirty houses scat- 
tered about withdut any regularity or any 
particular attraction, excepting the numbers of 
vineyards located along the lowlands on the 
borders of the Los Angeles River. There were 
but two foreigners in the town at that time, na- 
tives of New England, namely : George Rice 
and John Temple, who were engaged in mer- 
chandising in a small way, under the firm name 
of Rice & Temple." The following description, 
taken from Robinson's "Life in California." 
while written of Monterey, applies equally well 
to Los Angeles and vicinity : "Scarce two 
houses in tlie town had fireplaces; then (1829) 
the method of heating ihe houses was by plac- 
ing coals in a roof tile, which was placed in the 
center of the room." "This method we found 
common throughout the country. There were no 
windows; and in place of the ordinary wooden 
door a dried bullock hide was substituted, which 
was the case as a general thing in nearly all the 



ranches on the coast, as there was no fear of in- 
trusion excepting from bears that now and then 
prowled about and were easily frightened away 
when they ventured too near. The bullock hide 
was used almost universally in lieu of the old- 
fashioned bed ticking, being nailed to the bed- 
stead frame, and served every purpose for which 
it was intended and was very comfortable to 
sleep upon." At the close of the third decade of 
the century we find but little change in the man- 
ners and customs of the colonists from those of 
the pobladores who nearly fifty years before 
built their primitive habitations around the plaza 
vieja. In the half century the town had slowly 
increased in population, but there had been no 
material improvement in the manner of living 
and but little advancement in intelligence. The 
population of the pueblo was largely made up of 
descendants of the founders who had grown to 
manhood and womanhood in the place of their 
birth. Isolated from contact with the world's 

activities they were content to follow the anti- 
quated customs and to adopt the non-progres- 
sive ideas of their fathers. They had passed from 
under the domination of a monarchy and be- 
come the citizens of a republic, but the transi- 
tion was due to no effort of theirs nor was it of 
their own choosing. With the assistance of the 
missions they had erected a new church, but 
neither by the help of the missions nor by their 
own exertions had they iDiiilt a schoolhouse. In 
the first half century of the pueblo's existence, 
if tlie records are correct, there were but three 
terms of school. Generations grew to manhood 
during the vacations. "A little learning is a 
dangerous thing." The learning obtained at 
the pueblo school in the brief term that it was 
open never reached the danger pomt. The lim- 
ited foreign immigration that had come to the 
country after it had passed from the rule of 
Spain had as yet made no change in its cus- 



IT IS not my purpose in this volume to de- 
vote much space to the subject of the Sec- 
ularization of the Missions. Any extended 
discussion of that theme would be out of place 
in a local history. 

Much has been written in recent years on the 
subject of the Franciscan Missions of Alta Cali- 
fornia, but the writers have added nothing to 
our knowledge of these establishments beyond 
what can be obtained from the works of Ban- 
croft, Hittell, Forbes and Robinson. Some of 
the later writers, carried awa-y by sentiment, are 
very misleading in their statements. Such ex- 
pressions as "the Robber Hand of Seculariza- 
tion" and "the brutal and thievish dis-establish- 
ment of the missions" emanate from writers who 
look at the question from its sentimental side 
only, and who know little or nothing of the 
causes which brought about the secularization of 
the mission. 

It is an historical fact known to all acquainted 
with California history that these establishments 
were not intended by the Crown of Spain to be- 
come permanent institutions. The purpose for 
which the Spanish government fostered and pro- 
tected them was to christianize the Indians and 
make of them self-supporting citizens. Very 
early in its history Governor Borica, Fages and 
other intelligent Spanish ofificers in California 
discovered the weakness of the mission system. 
Governor Borica, writing in T/O^i, sairl : ".Ac- 

cording to the laws the natives are to be free 
from tutelage at the end of ten years, the Mis- 
sions then becoiiiing doctrinairs, but those of 
New California at the rate they are advancing 
will not reach the goal in ten centuries; the rea- 
son, God knows, and men, too, know something 
about it." Spain, early in the present century, 
had formulated a plan for their secularization, 
but the war of Mexican Independence prevented 
the enforcement of it. 

With the downfall of Spanish domination in 
Mexico came the beginning of the end of mis- 
sionary rule in California. The majority of the 
mission padres were Spanish born. In the war 
of Mexican independence their sympathies were 
with their mother country, Spain. .After Mexico 
attained her independence, some of them refused 
to acknowledge allegiance to the Republic. The 
Mexican authorities feared and distrusted them. 
In this, in part, they found a pretext for the dis- 
establishment of the missions and the confisca- 
tion of the mission estates. There was another 
cause or reason for secularization more potent 
than the loyalty of the padres to Spain. Few 
forms of land monopoly have ever exceeded tlint 
in vogue under the mission system of California. 
From San Diego to San Francisco bay the 
twenty missions established under Spanish rule 
monopolized the greater part of the fertile land 
between the Coast Range and the sea. There 
was lull liltlo left for oilier settlers. A seltler 


could not obtain a grant of land if the padres of 
the nearest mission objected. 

The twenty-four ranchos owned by the Mis- 
sion San Gabriel contained about a million and 
a half acres and extended from the sea to the 
San Bernardino mountains. The greatest neo- 
phyte population of San Gabriel was in 1817, 
when it reached 1701. Its yearly average for the 
first three decades of the present century did not 
exceed 1,500. It took a thousand acres of fertile 
land under the mission system to support an 
Indian, even the smallest papoose of the mission 
flock. It is not strange that the people clamored 
for a subdivision of the mission estates; and sec- 
ularization became a public necessity. The most 
enthusiastic admirer of the missions to-day, had 
he lived in California seventy years ago, would 
no doubt have been among the loudest in his 
wail against the mission system. The Regla- 
mento governing the secularization of the mis- 
sions published by Governor Echeandia in 1830, 
but not enforced, and that formulated by the 
diputacion under Governor Figueroa in 1834, 
approved by the Mexican congress and finally 
enforced in 1834-35-36, were humane measures. 
The regulations provided for the colonizations 
of the neophytes into pueblos or villages. A 
portion of the personal property and a part of 
the lands held by the missions \vere to be dis- 
tributed among the Indians as follows : "Article 
5 — To each head of a family and all who are 
more than twenty years old, although without 
families, will be given from the lands of the mis- 
sion, whether temporal (lands dependent on the 
seasons) or watered, a lot of ground not to con- 
tain more than four hundred varas (yards) in 
length, and as many in breadth, nor less than 
one hundred. Sufficient land for watering the 
cattle will be given in common. The outlets or 
roads .shall be marked out by each village, and 
at the proper time the corporation lands shall 
I)e designated." This colonization of the neo- 
phytes into pueblos would have thrown large 
bodies of the land held by the missions open to 
settlement by white settlers. The personal 
property of missionary establishments was to 
have been divided among their neophyte re- 
tainers thus : "Rule 6. Among the said indi- 
viduals will be distributed, ratably and justly, 
according to the discretion of the political chief, 
the half of the movable property, taking as a 
basis the last inventory which the missionaries 
have presented of all descriptions of cattle. 
Rule 7. One-half or less of the implements and 
seeds indispensable for agriculture shall be al- 
lotted to them." 

The political government of the Indian 
pueblos was to be organized in accordance with 
existing laws of the territory governing other 

towns. The neophyte could not sell, mortgage 
or dispose of the land granted him ; nor could 
he sell his cattle. The regulations provided that 
"Religious missionaries shall be relieved from 
the administration of temporalities and shall 
only exercise the duties of their ministry so far 
as they relate to spiritual matters." The nun- 
neries or the houses where the Indian girls were 
kept under charge of a duena until they were 
of marriageable age were to be abolished and 
the children restored to their parents. Rule 
seven provided that "What is called the 'priest- 
hood' shall immediately cease, female children 
whom they have in charge being handed over to 
their fathers explaining to them the care they 
should take of them, and pointing out their 
obligations as parents. The same shall be done 
with the male children." 

Commissioners were to be appointed to take 
charge of the mission property and superintend 
its subdivision among the neophytes. The con- 
version of ten of the missionary establishments 
into pueblos was to begin in August, 1835. That 
of the others was to follow as soon as possible. 
San Gabriel, San Fernando and San Juan Capis- 
trano were among the ten that were to be sec- 
ularized first. For years secularization had 
threatened the missions, but hitherto something- 
had occurred at the critical time to avert it. The 
missionaries had used their influence against it, 
had urged that the neophytes were unfitted for 
self-support, had argued that the emancipation 
of the natives from mission rule would result in 
disaster to them. Through all the agitation of 
the question in previous years the padres had 
labored on in the preservation and upbuilding 
of their establishments; but the issuing of 
the secularization decree by the Mexican Con- 
gress, August 17, 1833, the organization of the 
Hijar Colony in Mexico and the instructions of 
acting President Frarias to Hijar to occupy all 
the property of the missions and subdivide it 
among the colonists on their arrival in Cali- 
fornia, convinced the missionaries that the blow 
could no longer be averted. The revocation of 
Hijar's appointment as governor and the con- 
troversy which followed between him and Gov- 
ernor Figueroa and the diputacion for a time 
delayed the enforcement of the decree. 

In the meantime, with the energy born of 
despair, eager at any cost to outwit those who 
sought to profit by their ruin, the mission 
fathers hastened to destroy that which through 
more than half a century thousands of human 
beings had spent their lives to accumulate. 

"Hitherto, cattle had been killed only as their 
meat was needed for use, or, at intervals per- 
haps, for the hides and tallow alone, when an 
overplus of stock rendered such action neces- 



sary. Now they were slaughtered in herds by 
contract on equal shares, with any who would 
undertake the task. It is claimed by some 
writers that not less than 100,000 head of cattle 
were thus slain from the herds of San Gabriel 
Mission alone. The same work of destruction 
was in progress at every other mission through- 
out the territory and this vast country, from end 
to end, was become a mighty shambles, 
drenched in blood and reeking with the odor of 
decaying carcasses. There was no market for 
the meat and this was considered worthless. 
The creature was lassoed, thrown, its throat cut, 
and while yet writhing in death agony its hide 
was stripped and pegged upon the ground to 
dry. There were no vessels to contain the tallow 
and this was run into great pits dug for that 
purpose, to be spaded out anon, and shipped 
with the hides to market — all was haste." 

"Whites and natives alike revelled in gore, 
and vied with each other in destruction. So 
many cattle were there to kill, it seemed as 
though this profitable and pleasant work must 
last forever. The white settlers were especially 
pleased with the turn affairs had taken, and 
many of them did not scruple unceremoniously 
to appropriate herds of young cattle wherewith 
to stock their ranches."* So great was the 
stench from the rotting carcasses of the cattle on 
the plains that a pestilence was threatened. The 
ayuntamiento of Los Angeles, November 15, 
1833, passed an ordinance compelling all persons 
slaughtering cattle for the hides and tallow to 
cremate the carcasses. 

Hugo Reid in the "Letters" (previously re- 
ferred to in this volume) says of this period at 
San Gabriel: "These facts (the decree of sec- 
ularization and the distribution of the mission 
property) being known to Padre Tomas 
(Estenaga), he, in all probability by order of his 
superior, commenced a work of destruction. 
The back buildings were unroofed and the tim- 
ber converted into fire wood. Cattle were killed 
on the halves by people who took a lion's share. 
Utensils were disposed of, and goods and other 
articles distributed in profusion among the 
neophytes. The vineyards were ordered to be 
, cut down, which, however, the Indians refused 
to do." After the mission was placed in charge 
of an administrator, Padre Tomas remained as 
minister of the church at a stipend of $1,500 per 
annum, derived from the Pious Fund. 

Hugo Reid says of him, "As a wrong impres- 
sion of his character may be produced from the 
preceding remarks, in justice to his memory be 
it stated that he was a truly good man, a sin- 

*History of Los Angeles County, by J. Albert 

cere Christian and a despiser of hypocrisy. He 
had a kind, unsophisticated heart, so that he be- 
lived every word told him. There has never 
been a purer priest in California. Reduced in 
circumstances, annoyed on many occasions by 
the petulancy of administrators, he fulfilled his 
duties according to his conscience, with benev- 
olence and good humor. The nuns, who when 
the secular movement came into operation, had 
been set free, were again gathered together un- 
der his supervision and maintained at his ex- 
pense, as were also a number of old men and 

The experiment of colonizing the Indians in 
pueblos was a failure and they were gathered 
back into the mission, or as many of them as 
could be got back, and placed in charge of ad- 
ministrators. "The Indians," says Reid, "were 
made happy at this time in being permitted to 
enjoy once more the luxury of a tule dwelling, 
from which the greater part had been debarred 
for so long; they could now breathe freely 
again." (The close adobe buildings in which 
they had been housed in mission days were no 
doubt one of the causes of the great mortality 
among them.) 

"Administrator followed administrator until 
the mission could support no more, when the 
system was broken up." * * * "The In- 
dians during this period were continually run- 
ning of?. Scantily clothed and still more scantily 
supplied with food, it was not to be wondered 
at. Nearly all the Gabrielinos went north, while 
those of San Diego, San Luis and San Juan 
overrun this country, filling the Angeles and 
surrounding ranchos with more servants than 
were required. Labor, in consequence, was very 
cheap. The different missions, however, had 
alcaldes continually on the move hunting them 
up and carrying them back, but to no purpose ; 
it was labor in vain." 

"Even under the dominion of the church in 
mission days," Reid says, "the neophytes were 
addicted both to drinking and gaming, with an 
inclination to steal ;" but after their emancipa- 
tion they went from bad to worse. Those at- 
tached to the ranchos and those located in the 
town were virtually slaves. They had bosses or 
owners and when they ran away were captured 
and returned to their master. The sindico's ac- 
count book for 1840 contains this item "For 
delivery of two Indians to their boss, $12.00." 

At Los Angeles the Indian village on the river 
between what is now Aliso and First streets was 
a sink hole of crime. It was known as the "pueb- 
lilo'' or little town. Time and again the neigh- 
boring citizens petitioned for its removal. In 
1846 it was demolished and the Indians removed 
to the "Spring of the Abilas" across the river. 


but their removal did not improve their morals. 

In 1847, when the American soldiers vi^ere sta- 
tioned at Los Angeles, the new pueblito became so 
vile that Col. Stevenson ordered the city author- 
ities either to keep the dissolute characters out 
of it or destroy it. The authorities decided to 
allot land to the families on the outskirts of the 
city, keeping them dispersed as much as possi- 
ble. Those employing Indian servants were 
required to keep them on their premises ; but 
even these precautions did not prevent the In- 
dians from drunkenness and debauchery. 
Vicente Guerrero, the sindico, discussing the 
Indian question before the ayuntamiento said : 
"The Indians are so utterly depraved that no 
matter wTiere they may settle down their con- 
duct would be the same, since they look upon 
death even with indifference, provided they can 
indulge in their pleasures and vices." 

After the downfall of the missions some of 
the more daring of the neophytes escaped to the 
mountains. Joining the wild tribes there, they 
became leaders in frequent predatory excursions 
on the horses and cattle of the settlers in the 
valleys. They were hunted and shot down like 
wild beasts. 

After the discovery of gold and American 
immigration began to pour into California the 
neophyte sunk to lower depths. The vineyards 
of Los Angeles became immensely profitable, 
grapes retailing at twenty-five cents a pound in 
San Francisco. The Indians constituted the 
labor element of Los Angeles, and many of 
them were skillful vineyardists. Unprincipled 
employers paid them ofif in aguardiente, a iiery 
liquid distilled from grapes. Even when paid in 
money there were unscrupulous wretches ready 
to sell tliem strong drink ; the consequences 
were that on Saturday night after they received 
their pay they assembled at their ranclierias and 
all, young and old, men and women, spent the 
night in drunkenness, gambling and debauchery. 
( )n Sunday afternoon the marshal with his In- 
dian alcaldes, who had been kept sober by being 
locked up in jail, proceeded to gather the drunk- 
en wretches into a big corral in the rear of the 
Downey block. On Monday morning they were 
put up at auction and sold for a week to the 

vineyardists at prices ranging from one to three 
dollars, one third of which was paid to the slave 
at the end of the week, usually in aguardiente. 
Then another Saturday night of debauchery, 
followed by the Monday auction and in two or 
three years at most the Indian was dead. In 
less than a quarter of a century after the Ameri- 
can occupation, dissipation and epidemics of 
smallpox had settled the Indian question in Los 
Angeles — settled it by the extinction of the 

What became of the vast mission estates? As 
the cattle were killed oft' the dift'erent ranchos of 
the mission domains, settlers petitioned the ay- 
untamiento for grants. If upon investigation it 
was found that the land asked for was vacant the 
petition was referred to the Governor for his ap- 
proval. In this way the vast mission domains 
passed into private hands. The country im- 
proved more in wealth and population between 
1836 and 1846 than in the previous fifty years. 
Secularization was destruction to the missions 
and death to the Indian, but it was beneficial to 
the country at large. The passing of the neo- 
phyte had begun long before the decrees of 
secularization were enforced. Nearly all the 
missions passed their zenith in population during 
the second decade of the century. Even had 
the missionary establishments not been secular- 
ized they would eventually have been depopu- 
lated. At no time during mission rule were the 
number of births equal to the number of deaths. 
When recruits could no longer be obtained 
from the Gentiles or wild Indians the decline 
became more rapid. The mission annals show 
that from 1769 to 1834, when secularization was 
enforced — an interval of 65 years — 79,000 con- 
verts were baptized and 62,000 deaths recorded. 
The death rate among the neopiiytes was about 
twice that of the negro in this country and four 
times that of the white race. The extinction 
of the neophyte or mission Indian was due to 
the enforcement of that inexorable law or decree 
of nature, the Survival of the Fittest. Where a 
stronger race comes in contact with a weaker 
there can be but one ending to the contest — 
the extermination of the weaker. 




THE decade between 1830 and 1840 was the 
era of California revolutions. Los An- 
geles was the storm center of the political 
disturbances that agitated the territory. Most 
of them originated there, and those that had 
their origin in some other quarter veered to the 
town before their fury was spent. The town 
produced prolific crops of statesmen in the '30s, 
and it must be said that it still maintains its repu- 
tation in that line. The Angelehos of that day 
seemed to consider that the safety of the terri- 
tory and the liberty of its inhabitants rested on 
them. The patriots of the south were hostile to 
the office-holders of the north and yearned to 
tear the state in two, as they do to-day, in order 
that there might be more offices to fill. 

From the downfall of Spanish domination in 
California in 1822 to the close of that decade 
there had been but few disturbances. The only 
political outbreak of any consequence had been 
Solis' and Herrera's attempt to revolutionize the 
territory in the interest of Spain. Argiiello, who 
had succeeded Sola as governor, and Echeandia, 
who filled the office from 1825 to the close of the 
decade, were men of liberal ideas. They had to 
contend against the Spanish-born missionaries, 
who were bitterly opposed to republican ideas. 
Serria, the president of the missions, and a num- 
ber of the priests under him, refused to swear 
allegiance to the Republic. Serria was suspended 
from office and one or two of the friars deported 
from the country. Their disloyalty brought 
about the beginning of the movement for secu- 
larization of the missions, as narrated in the 
previous chapter. Echeandia, in 1829, had elab- 
orated a plan for their secularization, but was 
superseded by Victoria before he could put it in 

Manuel Victoria was appointed governor in 
March, 1830, but did not reach California until 
the last month of the year. Victoria very soon 
became unpopular. He undertook to overturn 
the civil authority and substitute military rule. 
He reconunended the abolition of the ayunta- 
mientos and refused to call together the terri- 
torial diputacion. He exiled Don Abel Stearns 
and Jose Antonio Carrillo ; and at different 
times, on trumped-up charges, had half a hundred 
of the leading citizens of Los Angeles incarcer- 
ated in the pueblo jail, .\lcaldc Mccnte San- 

chez was the petty despot of the pueblo who car- 
ried out the tyrannical decrees of his master, 
Victoria. Among others who were imprisoned 
in the cuartel was Jose Maria Avila. Avila was 
proud, haughty and overbearing. He had in- 
curred the hatred of both Victoria and Sanchez. 
Sanchez, under orders from Victoria, placed 
Avila in prison, and to humiliate him put him 
in irons. Avila brooded over the indignities in- 
flicted upon him and vowed to be revenged. 

A'ictoria's persecutions became so unbearable 
that Pio Pico, Juan Bandini and Jose Antonio 
Carrillo raised the standard of revolt at San 
Diego and issued a pronunciamiento, in which 
they set forth the reasons why they felt them- 
selves obliged to rise against the tyrant, Victoria. 
Pablo de Portilla, comandante of the presidio 
of San Diego, and his officers, with a force of 
fifty soldiers, joined the revolutionists and 
niarclied to Los Angeles. Sanchez' prisoners 
were released and he was chained up in the 
pueblo jail. Here Portilla's force was recruited 
to two hundred men. Avila and a number of 
the other released prisoners joined the revolu- 
tionists, and all marched forth to meet Victoria, 
who was moving southward with an armed force 
to suppress the insurrection. The two forces 
met on the plains of Cahuenga. west of the 
pueblo, at a place laiown as the Lomitas de la 
Canada de Brcita. The sight of his persecutor 
so infuriated Avila that alone he rushed upon 
him to run him through with his lance. Captain 
Pacheco, of \'ictoria's staff, parried the lance 
thrust. Avila shot him dead with one of his pis- 
tols and again attacked the governor and suc- 
ceeded in wounding him, when he himself re- 
ceived a pistol ball that unhorsed him. After 
a desperate struggle (in which he seized Victoria 
by the foot and dragged him from his horse) he 
was shot by one of \'ictoria's soldiers. Portilla's 
army fell back in a panic to Los Angeles and 
\'ictoria's men carried the wounded governor 
to the Mission San Gabriel, where his wounds 
were dressed by Joseph Chapman, who to his 
many other accomplishments added that of ama- 
teur surgeon. Some citizens who had taken no 
part in the fight brought the bodies of Avila and 
Pacheco to the town. "They were taken to the 
same house, the same hands rendered them the 
last sad rites, and they were laid side by side. 


Side by side knelt their widows and mingled 
their tears, while sympathizing countrymen 
chanted the solemn prayers of the church for 
the repose of the souls of these untimely dead. 
Side by side beneath the orange and the olive in 
the little churchyard upon the plaza sleep the 
slayer and the .slain."* 

Next day, Victoria, supposing himself mor- 
tally wounded, abdicated and turned over the 
governorship of the territory to Echeandia. He 
resigned the office December 9, 1831, having 
been governor a little over ten months. When 
Victoria was able to travel he was sent to San 
Diego, from where he was deported to Mexico, 
San Diego borrowing $125 from the ayunta- 
miento of Los Angeles to pay the expense of 
shipping him out of the country. Several years 
afterwards the money had not been repaid, and 
the town council began proceedings to recoyer 
it, but there is no record in the archives to show 
that it was ever paid. And thus it was that Cali- 
fornia got rid of a bad governor and Los An- 
geles incurred a bad debt. 

January 10, 1832, the territorial legislature 
met at Los Angeles to choose a "gefe politico," 
or governor, for the territory. Echeandia was 
invited to preside, but replied from San Juan 
Capistrano that he was busy getting Victoria out 
of the country. The diputacion, after waiting" 
some time and receiving no satisfaction from 
Echeandia whether he wanted the office or not, 
declared Pio Pico, by virtue of his office of senior 
vocal, "gefe politico." 

No sooner had Pico been sworn into office 
than Echeandia discovered that he wanted the 
office and wanted it badly. He came to Los 
Angeles from San Diego. He protested against 
the action of the diputacion and intrigued against 
Pico. Another revolution was threatened. Los 
Angeles favored Echeandia, although all the 
other towns in the territory had accepted Pico. 
(Pico at that time was a resident of San Diego.) 
A mass-meeting was called on February 12, 
1832, at Los Angeles to discuss the question 
whether it should be Pico or Echeandia. I give 
the report of the meeting in the quaint language 
of the pueblo archives : 

"The town, acting in accord with the Most 
Illustrious Ayuntamiento, answered in a loud 
voice, saying they would not admit Citizen Pio 
Pico as 'gefe politico,' but desired that Lieut. 
Col. Citizen Jose Maria Echeandia be retained in 
office until the supreme government appoint. 
Then the president of the meeting, seeing the 
determination of the people, asked the motive 
or reason of refusing Citizen Pio Pico, who was 
of unblemished character. To this the people 

♦Stephen C. Foster. 

responded that while it was true that Citizen Pio 
Pico was to some extent qualified, yet they pre- 
ferred Lieut.-Col. Citizen Jose Ma. Echeandia. 
The president of the meeting then asked the peo- 
ple whether they had been bribed, or was it 
merely insubordination that they opposed the 
resolution of- the Most Eccellent Diputacion? 
Whereupon the people answered that they had 
not been bribed nor were they insubordinate, but 
that they opposed the proposed 'gefe politico' 
because he had not been named by the supreme 

At a public meeting, February 19, the matter 
was again brought up. Again the people cried 
out, "they would not recognize or obey any 
other gefe politico than Echeandia." The Most 
Illustrious Ayuntamiento opposed Pio Pico for 
two reasons : "First, because his name appeared 
first on the plan to oust Gefe Politico Citizen 
Manuel Victoria," and "Second, because he, 
Pico, had not sufficient capacity to fulfil the 
duties of the office." Then Jose Perez and Jose 
Antonio Carrillo withdrew from the meeting, 
saying they would not recognize Echeandia as 
"gefe politico." Pico, after holding tlie office 
for twenty days, resigned for the sake of peace. 
And this was the length of Pico's first term as 

Echeandia, by obstinacy and intrigue, had ob- 
tained the coveted office of "gefe politico," but 
he did not long enjoy it in peace. News came 
from Monterey that Captain Augustin V. Za- 
morano had declared himself governor and was 
gathering a force to invade the south and en- 
force his authority. Echeandia began at once 
marshaling his forces to oppose him. Ybarra. 
Zamorano's military chief, with a force of one 
hundred men, by a forced march reached Paso 
de Bartolo, on the San Gabriel River, where fif- 
teen years later Stockton fought the ^fcxican 
troops under Flores. Here Ybarra found Cap- 
tain Borroso posted with a piece of artillery and 
fourteen men. He did not dare to attack him. 
Echeandia and Borroso gathered a force of a 
thousand neophytes at Paso de Bartolo, where 
they drilled them in military evolutions. Ybar- 
ra's troops had fallen back to Santa Barbara, 
where he was joined by Zamorano with rein- 
forcements. Ybarra's force was largely made up 
of ex-convicts and other undesirable characters, 
who took what they needed, asking no questions 
of the owners. The Angclenos, fearing those 
marauders, gave their adhesion to Zamorano's 
l)lan and recognized him as military chief of the 
territory. Captain Borroso, Echeandia's faithful 
adherent, disgusted with the fickleness of the 
Angeleiios, at the head of a thousand mounted 
Indians, threatened to invade the recalcitrant 
pueblo, but at the intercession of the frightened 



inhabitants this modern Coriolanus turned aside 
and regaled his neophyte retainers un the fat 
bullocks of the Mission San Gabriel, much to 
the disgust of the mission padres. The neophyte 
warriors were disbanded and sent to their re- 
spective missions. 

A peace was patched up between Zamorano 
and Echeandia. Alta California was divided 
into two territories. Eclieandia was given juris- 
diction over all south of San Gabriel and Zamo- 
rano all north of San Fernando. This division 
apparently left a neutral district, or "no man's 
land," between. \\'hether Los Angeles was in 
this neutral territory the records do not show. 
If it was, it is probable that neither of the gov- 
ernors wanted the job of governing the recal- 
citrant pueblo. 

In January, 1833, Governor Figueroa arrived 
in California. Echeandia and Zamorano each 
surrendered his half of the divided territory to 
the newly appointed governor, and California 
was united and at peace. Figueroa proved to be 
the right man for the times. He conciliated the 
factions and brought order out of chaos. The 
two most important events in Figueroa's term of 
office were the arrival of the Hijar Colony in 
California and the secularization of the missions. 
These events were most potent factors in the 
evolution of the territory. 

In 1833, the first California colonization 
scheme was inaugurated in Mexico. At the 
head of this was Jose Maria Hijar, a Mexican 
gentleman of wealth and influence. He was as- 
sisted in its promulgation by Jose M. Padres, 
an adventurer, who had been banished from 
California by Governor \^ictoria. Padres, like 
some of our modern real estate boomers, pic- 
tured the country as an earthly paradise — an im- 
proved and enlarged Garden of Eden. Among 
other inducements held out to the colonists, it 
is said, was the promise of a division among 
them of the mission property and a distribution 
of the neophytes for servants. 

Headquarters were established at the city of 
Mexico and two hundred and fifty colonists en- 
listed. Each family received a bonus of $10, 
and all were to receive free transportation to 
California and rations while on the journey. 
Each head of a family was promised a farm from 
the public domain, live stock and farming imple- 
ments ; these advances to be paid for on the in- 
stallment plan. The original plan was to found 
a colony somewhere north of San Francisco bay, 
but this was not carried out. Two vessels were 
dispatched with the colonists — the Morelos and 
the Natalia. The latter was compelled to put 
into San Diego on account of sickness on board. 
She reached that port, September i, 1834. A 
part of the colonists on board her were sent to 

San Pedro and from there they were taken to 
Los Angeles and San Gabriel. The Morelos 
reached Monterey, September 25. Hijar had 
been appointed governor of California by Presi- 
dent Farias, but after the sailing of the expedi- 
tion Santa Anna, who had succeeded Farias, 
dispatched a courier overland with a counter- 
manding order. By one of the famous rides of 
history, Amador, the courier, made the journey 
from the city of Mexico to Monterey in forty 
days and delivered his message to Governor Fi- 
gueroa. When Hijar arrived he found to his 
dismay that he was only a private citizen of the 
territory instead of its governor. The coloniza- 
tion scheme was abandoned and the immigrants 
distributed themselves throughout the territory. 
Generally they were a good class of citizens, and 
many of them became prominent in California 
affairs. Of those who located in Southern Cali- 
fornia may be named Ignacio Coronel and his 
son, Antonio F. Coronel, Augustin Olvera, the 
first county judge of Los Angeles ; Victor Pru- 
don, Jose M. Covarrubias, Charles Baric, Jesus 
Noe and Juan N. Ayala. 

That storm center of political disturbances, 
Los Angeles, produced but one small revolution 
during Figueroa's term as governor. A party of 
fifty or sixty Sonorans, some of whom were 
Hijar colonists who were living either in the 
town or its immediate neighborhood, assembled 
at Los Nietos on the night of March 7, 1835. 
They formulated a pronunciamiento against Don 
Jose Figueroa, in which they first vigorously 
arraigned him for sins of omission and commis- 
sion and then laid down their plan for the gov- 
ernment of the territory. Armed with this for- 
midable document and a few muskets and lances, 
these patriots, headed by Juan Gallado, a cob- 
bler, and Felipe Castillo, a cigar-maker, in the 
gray light of the morning rode into the pueblo, 
took possession of the town hall and the big 
icannon and the ammunition that had been 
stored there w'hen the Indians of San Luis Rey 
had threatened hostilities. The slumbering in- 
habitants were aroused from their dreams of 
peace by the drum beat of war. The terrified 
citizens rallied to the juzgado, the ayuntamiento 
met, the cobbler statesmen, Gallado, presented 
his plan ; it was discussed and rejected. The 
revolutionists, after holding possession of the 
pueblo throughout the day, tired, hungry and 
disappointed in not receiving their pay for sav- 
ing the country, surrendered to the legal author- 
ities the real leaders of the revolution and dis- 
banded. The leaders proved to be Torres, a 
clerk, and Apalatcgui, a doctor, both supposed 
to be emissaries of Hijar. They were impris- 
oned at San Gabriel. When news of the revolt 
reached Figueroa he had Hijar and Padres ar- 



rested for coniplicity in the outbreak. Hijar, 
with lialf a dozen of his adherents, was shipped 
back to Mexico. And thus the man who the year 
before had landed in California with a commis- 
sion as governor and authority to take posses- 
sion of all the property belonging to the mis- 
sions, returned to his native land an exile. His 
grand colonization scheme and his "Compania 
Cosmopolitana" that was to revolutionize Cali- 
fornia commerce were both disastrous failures. 

Governor Jose Figueroa died at Monterey 
September 29, 1835. He is generally regarded 
as the best of the Mexican governors sent to 
California. He was of Aztec extraction and was 
proud of his Indian blood. Governor Figueroa 
during his last sickness turned over the political 
command of the territory to Jose Castro, senior 
vocal, who then became "gefe politico." Los 
Angeles refused to recognize his authority. By 
a decree of the Mexican congress (of which the 
following is a copy) it had just been declared a 
city and the capital of Alta California : 

"His excellency, the president ad interim of 
the United States of Mexico, Miguel Barragan. 
The president ad interim of the United States 
of Mexico, to the inhabitants of the republic. 
Let it be known : That the general congress has 
decreed the following: That the town of Los 
Angeles, Upper California, is erected to a city 
and shall be for the future the capital of that 

Basilo Arrillag.\, 

President House of Deputies. 

Antonio Pacheco Leal, 

President of the Senate. 
Demetrio Del Castillo, 

Secretary House of Deputies. 
Manuel Mirand.\, 

Secretary of the Senate. 

I therefore order it to be printed and circu- 
lated and duly complied with. 

Palace of the federal government in Mexico, 
May 2T^, 1835. Miguel Barkaga.v." 

The ayuntamiento claimed that as Los 
Angeles was the capital the governor should re- 
move his office and archives to that city. Mon- 
terey opposed the removal, and considerable bit- 
terness was engendered. This was the beginning 
of the "capital war," which disturbed the peace 
of the territory for ten years, and increased in 
bitterness as it increased in age. 

Castro held the office of gefe politico four 
months and then passed it on to Colonel Gutier- 
rez, military chief of the territory, who held it 
about the same length of time. The supreme 
government, December 16, 1835, appointed 
Mariano Chico governor. Thus the territory 
had four governors within nine months. They 
changed so rapidly that there was not time to 
foment a revolution. 

Chico reached California in April, 1836, and 
began his administration by a series of petty 
tyrannies. Just before his arrival in California 
a vigilance committee at Los Angeles shot to 
death Gervacio Alispaz and his paramour, Maria 
del Rosario Villa, for the murder of the woman's 
husband, Domingo Feliz. Chico had the leaders 
arrested and came down to Los Angeles with 
the avowed purpose of executing Prudon, Ar- 
zaga and Aranjo, the president, secretary and 
military commander, respectively, of the Defend- 
ers of Public Security, as the vigilantes called 
themselves. He summoned Don Abel Stearns 
to Monterey and threatened to have him shot 
for some unknown or imaginary offense. He 
fulminated a fierce pronunciamiento against for- 
eigners, and, in an address before the diputacion, 
proved to his own satisfaction that the country 
was going to the "demnition bow-wows." Ex- 
asperated beyond endurance, the people of Mon- 
terey rose en masse against him, and so terrified 
him that he took passage on board a brig that 
was lying in the harbor and sailed for Mexico. 



(The Free and Sovereign State of Alta California.) 

THE effort to free California from the domi- 
nation of Mexico and make her an inde- 
pendent government is an ahnost un- 
known chapter of her history. Los Angeles 
and San Diego played a very important part in 
California's war for Independence, but unfor- 
tunately their efforts were wrongly directed and 
they received neither honor nor profit out of the 
part they played. The story of the part they 
played in the revolution is told in the Los An- 
geles Archives. From these I derive much of 
the matter given in this chapter. 

The origin of the movement to make Cali- 
fornia independent and the causes that led to an 
outbreak against the governing power were 
very similar to those which led to our separation 
from our own mother country of England, 
namely, bad governors. Between 1830 and 1836 
the territory had had six Mexican-born govern- 
ors. The best of these, Figueroa, died in office. 
Of the others the Californians deposed and de- 
ported two ; and a third was made so uncomfort- 
able that he exiled himself. Many of the acts of 
these governors were as despotic as those of the 
royal governors of the colonies before our Revo- 
lution. California was a fertile field for Mexican 
adventurers of broken fortunes. Mexican offi- 
cers commanded the provincial troops ; Mexi- 
can officials looked after the revenues and em- 
l)ezzled them, and Mexican governors ruled the 
territory. There was no outlet for the ambitious 
native-born sons of California. There was no 
chance for the hijos del pais (Sons of the Coun- 
try) to obtain office, and one of the most treas- 
ured prerogatives of the free-born citizen of any 
republic is the privilege of holding office. 

We closed the previous chapter of the revolu- 
tionary decade with the departure of Governor 
Marino Chico, who was deposed and virtually 
exiled by the people of Monterey. On his de- 
parture Colonel Gutierrez for the second time 
i)ccame governor. He very soon made himself 
unpopular by attempting to enforce the Central- 
ist decrees of the Mexican Congress and by 
other arbitrary measures. He quarreled with 
Juan Bautista .Mvarado, the ablest of the native 
Californians. .Mvarado and Jose Castro raised 

the standard of revolt. They gathered together 
a small army of rancheros and an auxiliary force 
of twenty-five American hunters and trappers 
under Graham, a backwoodsman from Tennes- 
see. By a strategic movement they captured the 
Castillo or fort which commanded the presidio 
where Gutierrez and the Alexican army officials 
were stationed. The patriots demanded the sur- 
render of the presidio and the arms. The gov- 
ernor refused. The revolutionists had been able 
to find but a single cannon ball in the castillo, 
but this was sufficient to do the business. A 
well-directed shot tore through the roof of the 
governor's house, covering him and his staff 
with the debris of broken tiles; this, and the de- 
sertion of most of his soldiers to the patriots, 
brought him to terms. On the 5th of November, 
1836, he surrendered the presidio and his au- 
thority as governor. He and about seventy of 
his adherents were sent aboard a vessel lying in 
the harbor and shipped out of the country. 

With the Mexican governor and his officers 
out of the country the next move of Castro and 
Alvarado was to call a meeting of the diputacion 
or territorial congress. A plan for the inde- 
pendence of California was adopted. This, 
which was known afterwards as the Monterey 
plan, consisted of six sections, the most impor- 
tant of which are as follows : "First, Alta Cali- 
fornia hereby declares itself independent from 
Mexico until the Federal System of 1824 is re- 
stored. Second, The same California is hereby 
declared a Free and Sovereign State ; establish- 
ing a congress to enact the special laws of the 
country and the other necessary supreme pow- 
ers. Third, The Roman Apostolic Catholic 
Religion shall prevail, no other creed shall be 
allowed, but the government shall not molest 
anyone on account of his private opinions." The 
diputacion issued a Declaration of Independence 
that arraigned the Alother Country, Mexico, 
and her officials very much in the style that our 
own Declaration gives it to King George HI. 
and England. 

Castro issued a pronunciamiento ending with 
\'iva La Federacion ! \'iva La Libertad ! \'iva el 
F.slado Libre y Sobcrano de .Mta California! 


Tims amid vi\as and proclamations, with the 
heating of drums and the booming of cannon, 
I'd Estado Libre de Alta California (The Free 
State of Alta California) was launched on the 
political sea. But it was rough sailing for the 
little craft. Her ship of state struck a rock and 
fur a time shipwreck was threatened. 

For years there had been a growing jealousy 
lietwecn Northern and Southern California. Los 
Angeles, as has been stated in the previous chap- 
ter, had by a decree of the Alexican Congress 
been made the capital of the territory. Monterey 
had persistently refused to give up the governor 
and the archives. In the movement to make 
Alia California a free and independent state, the 
.\ngelenos recognized an attempt on the part of 
the people of the North to deprive them of the 
capital. Although as bitterly opposed to Mexi- 
can governors, and as active in fomenting revo- 
lutions against them as the people of Monterey 
the Angeleiios chose to profess loyalty to the 
Mother Country. They opposed the plan of 
government adopted by the Congress at Monte- 
rey and promulgated a plan of their own, in 
wliich they declared California was not free ; that 
the "Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion shall 
])revail in this jurisdiction, and any person pub- 
licly professing any other shall be prosecuted by 
law as heretofore." A mass meeting was called 
to take measures "to prevent the spreading of 
the Monterey Revolution, so that the progress of 
the Nation may not be paralyzed," and to ap- 
point a i)erson to take military command of the 

San Diego and San Luis Rev took the part of 
Los Angeles in the quarrel, Sonoiua and San 
Jose joined Monterey, while Santa Barbara, al- 
ways conservative, was undecided, but finally is- 
sued a plan of her own. Alvarado and Castro 
determined to suppress the revolutionary An- 
gelenos. They collected a force of one hundred 
men made up of natives and Graham's con- 
tingent (jf twenty-five American riflemen. With 
this arm_\- they prepared to move against the 
recalcitrant snrcnos (southerners). 

The ayuntamiento of Los Angeles began 
preparations to resist the invaders .Vn army of 
270 men was enrolled, a part of which was made 
up of neo])hytes. To secure the sinews of war 
Jose Sepulveda, second alcalde, was sent to the 
Mission San I'ernando to secure what money 
there was in the hands of the mayor domo. He 
returned with two packages which when counted 
were found to contain $2,000. 

Scouts patrolled the Santa Barbara road as far 
at San Buenaventura to give warning of the ap- 
proach of tlie enemy, and pickets guarded the 
Pass of Cahuenga and the Rodeo de 1-as Agnas 
to prevent northern spies fri^m entering ;iiiil 

southern traitors from getting out vi the pueblo. 
The southern army was stationed at San 
F'ernando under the command of Alferez 
(Lieut.) Rocha. Alvarado and Castro pushing 
rapidly down the coast reached Santa Barbara, 
where they were kindly received and their force 
recruited to 120 men with two pieces of artil- 
lery. Jose Sepulveda at San Fernando sent to 
Los Angeles for the cannon at the town house 
and $200 of the mission money to pay his men. 

On the 1 6th of January, 1837, Alvarado from 
San Buenaventura dispatched a communication 
to the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles and the 
citizens, telling them wdiat military resources he 
had, which he would use against them if it be- 
came necessary, but he was willing to confer 
upon a plan of settletnent. Sepulveda and A. 
AI. Osio were appointed commissioners and sent 
to confer with the governor, armed with several 
propositions, the substance of wdiich was that 
California shall not be free and the Catholic 
rehgion must prevail with the privilege to pros- 
ecute any other religion "according to law as 
heretofore." The commissioners inet Alvarado 
on "neutral ground," between San Fernando 
and San Buenaventura. A long discussion fol- 
lowed without either coining to the point. Al- 
varado, by a coup d'etat, brought it to an end. 
In the language of the commissioners' report to 
the ayuntamiento : "While we were a certain 
distance from our own forces with only four 
unarmed men and were on the point of coming 
to an agreement with Juan B. Alvarado we saw 
the Monterey division advancing upon us and we 
were forced to deliver up the instructions of 
this Illustrious Body through fear of being at- 
tacked." They delivered up not only the in- 
structions but the Alission San Fernando. The 
southern army was compelled to surrender it 
and fall back on the j)ueblo, Rocha swearing- 
worse than "our army in Flanders" because he 
was not allowed to tight. The southern .soldiers 
had a wholesome dread of Graham's riflemen. 
These fellows, armed with long Kentucky rifles, 
shot to kill, and a battle once begun somebody 
would have died for his country and it would not 
have been Alvarado's riflemen. 

The day after the surrender of the mission, 
January 21, 1837, the ayuntamiento held a ses- 
sion and the members were as obdurate and 
belligerent as ever. They resolved that it was 
onlv in the interests of humanity that the mis- 
sion had b.ecn surrendered and their army forced 
to retire. "This ayuntamiento, considering the 
commissioners were forced to comply, annuls 
all action of the commissioners and does not rec- 
ognize this territory as a free and sovereign state 
11c ir Juan B. .Mvarado as its governor, and de- 
cl.ires itself in favor of the Supreme Govern- 


iiicnt oi Mexico." A few days later Alvarado 
entered the city without opposition, the Angele- 
nian soldiers retiring to San Gabriel and from 
there scattering to their homes. 

On the 26th of January, an extraordinary ses- 
sion of the most illustrious ayuntamiento was 
held. Alvarado was present and made a lengthy 
speech, in which he said, "the native sons were 
subjected to ridicule by the Mexican mandarins 
sent here, and, knowing our rights, we ought to 
shake ofT the ominous yoke of bondage." Then 
he produced and read the six articles of the 
Monterey plan ; the Council also produced a plan 
and a treaty of amity was effected. Alvarado 
was recognized as governor pro tem. and peace 
reigned. The belligerent surefios vied with each 
other in expressing their admiration for the new 
order of things. Pio Pico wished to express the 
pleasure it gave him to see a "hijo del pais" in 
ofifice, and Antonio Osio, the most belligerent 
of the sureiios. declared "that sooner than again 
submit to a Mexican dictator as governor, he 
would flee to the forest and be devoured by wild 
beasts." The ayuntamiento was asked to pro- 
vide a building for the government, "this being 
the capital of the State." The hatchet api)arent- 
ly was buried. Peace reigned in El Estado 

At the meeting of the town council on the 
30th of January, Alvarado made another speech, 
init it was neither conciliatory nor complimen- 
tary. He arraigned the "traitors wdio were work- 
ing against the peace of the country" and urged 
the members to take measures "to liberate the 
city from the hidden hands that will tangle them 
in their own ruin." The pay of his troo]is who 
were ordered here for the welfare of California 
is due "and it is an honorable and preferred debt, 
therefore the ayuntamiento will deliver to the 
government the San Fernando money," said he. 
With a wry face, very nuich such as a bt)y wears 
when he is told that he has been spanked for his 
own good, the alcalde turned over the balance of 
the mission money to Juan Bautista, and the 
governor took his departure for Monterey, 
leaving, however. Col. Jose Castro with part of 
his army stationed at Mission San Gabriel, os- 
tensibly "to support the city's authority," but in 
reality to keep a close watch on the citv authori- 

Los Angeles was subjugated, peace reigned 
and El Estado Libre de Alta California took her 
place among the nations of the earth. But 
peace's reign was brief. At the meeting of the 
ayuntamiento May 27, 1838, Juan Bandini and 
Santiago E. Argiiello of San Diego, appeared 
with a ])rommcianiicnlo and a plan — San Diego's 
l)!an of government. Montorev, Santa I'.arhrira 
and Los Angeles had each fnnnnl.ited a plan of 

government for the territory and now it was San 
Diego's turn. Augustin V. Zamorano, who was 
exiled with Governor Gutierrez, had crossed 
the frontier and was made comandante-general 
and territorial political chief ad interim by the 
San Diego revolutionists. The plan restored 
California to obedience to the supreme govern- 
ment ; all acts of the diputacion and the Monte- 
rey plan were annulled and the northern rebels 
were to be arraigned and tried for their part in 
the revolution ; and so on through twenty ar- 

On the plea of an Indian outbreak near San 
Diego, in which the red men, it was said, "were 
to make an end of the white race," the big can- 
non and a number of men were secured at Los 
Angeles to assist in suppressing the Indians, but 
in reality to reinforce the army of the San Diego 
revolutionists. With a force of 125 men under 
Zamorano and Portilla, "the army of the Su- 
preme Government" moved against Castro at 
Los Angeles. Castro retreated to Santa Barbara 
and Portilla's army took position at San Fer- 

The civil and military officials of Los Angeles 
took the oath to support the Me.xican constitu- 
tion of 1836 and, in their opinion, this absolved 
them from all allegiance to Juan 1 >autista and his 
Monterey plan. Alvarado hurried reinforce- 
ments to Castro at Santa Barbara, and Portilla 
called loudly for "men, arms and horses," to 
march against the northern rebels. But neither 
military chieftain advanced, and the summer 
wore away without a battle. There were rumors 
that Mexico was preparing to send an army of 
1,000 men to subjugate the rebellious Califor- 
nians. In October came the news that Jose An- 
tonio Carrillo, the ^lachiavelli of California poli- 
tics, had persuaded President Bustamente to ap- 
l)oint Carlos Carrillo, ]ose's brother, governor 
of .\lta California. 

Then consternation seized the arribanas (ui)- 
pers) of the north, and the abajanos (lowers) of 
the south went wild with joy. It was not that 
they loved Carlos Carrillo, for he was a Santa 
Barbara man and had opposed them in the late 
unpleasantness, but they saw in his appointment 
an opportunity to get revenge on Juan Bautista 
for the way he had humiliated them. They sent 
congratulatory messages to Carrillo and invited 
him to make Los Angeles the seat of his govern- 
ment. Carrillo was flattered by their attentions 
and consented. The 6th of December, 1837, was 
set for his inauguration, and great preparations 
were made for the event. The big cannon was 
brought over from San Gabriel to fire salutes 
and the citv was ordered illuminated on the 
nights of tile 6th, 7th and 8th of December. 
Cards of invitation were issued and the people 



from the city and country were invited to at- 
tend the inauguration ceremonies, "dressed as 
decent as possible," so read the invitations. 

The widow Josefa Alvarado's house, the finest 
in the city, was secured for the governor's pal- 
acio (palace). The largest hall in the city was 
secured for the services and decorated as well as 
it was possible. The city treasury, being in its 
usual state of collapse, a subscription for defray- 
ing the expenses was opened and horses, hides 
and tallow, the current coin of the pueblo, were 
lil)crally contributed. 

(■•n the appointed da\-, "The Most Illustrious 
.Vyuntaniiento and the citizens of the neighbor- 
hood (so the old archives read) met his Excel- 
lency, the Governor, Don Carlos Carrillo, who 
made his appearance with a magnificent accom- 
paniment." The secretary, Narciso Botello, 
"read in a loud, clear and intelligib'.e voice, the 
oath, and the governor repeated it after him." 
At the moment the oath was completed, the 
artillery thundered forth a salute and the bells 
rang out a merry peal. The governor made a 
speech, when all adjourned to the church, where 
a mass was said and a solemn Te Deum sung ; 
after which all repaired to the house of His Ex- 
cellency, where the southern patriots drank his 
health in bumpers of wine and shouted them- 
selves hoarse in vivas to the new government. 
An inauguration ball was held — the "beauty and 
the chivalry of the south were gathered there." 
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave 
men. And it was : 

"On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined; 
Xo sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure 

To chase the glowing hours with flying feet." 

Outside the lallow dips flared and flickered from 
the porticos of the houses, bonfires blazed in the 
streets and cannon boomed salvos from the old 
plaza. Los Angeles was the capital at last and 
iiad a governor all to herself, for Santa T.arbara 
refused to recognize Carrillo, although he be- 
longed within its jurisdiction. 

The Angelcnos determine<l to subjugate the 
r.arbarenos. .\n army of 200 men, under Cas- 
tenada, was sent to capture the city. After a few 
futile demonstrations, Casteiiada's forces fell 
back to San Buenaventura. 

Then Alvarado determined to subjugate the 
.\ngelefios. He and Castro, gathering together 
an army of 200 men, by forced marches they 
reached San Buenaventura, and by a strategic 
movement captured all of Castenada's horses 
and drove his army into the Mission Church. 
For two days the battle raged and. "cainmn Ic 
the right of thcni," and "canmni in front nf ihrni 

volleyed an<l thundered." ( 'ne man was killed 
on tile northern side and the blood of several 
nuistangs watered the soil of their native land — 
died for their country. The southerners slipped 
out of the church at night and fled up the valley 
on foot. Castro's caballeros captured about 70 
prisoners. Pio Pico, with reinforcements from 
San Diego, met the demoralized remnants of 
Casteiiada's army at the Santa Clara river, and 
together all fell back to Los Angeles. Then 
there was wailing in the old pueblo, where sc 
lately there had been rejoicing. Gov. Carlos Car- 
rillo gathered together what men he could get 
to go with him and retreated to San Diego. Al- 
varado's army took possession of tlie southern 
capital and some of the leading conspirators 
were sent as prisoners to Vallejo's bastile at Son- 

Carrillo, at San Diego, received a small rein- 
forcement from Mexico, under a Captain Tobar. 
Tobar was made general and given command of 
the southern army. Carrillo, having recovered 
from his fright, sent an order to the northern 
rebels to surrender within fifteen days under pen- 
alty of being shot as traitors if they refused. In 
the meantime Los Angeles was held by the 
enemy. The second alcalde (the first, Louis 
Aranas, was a prisoner) called a meeting to de- 
vise some means "to have his excellency, Don 
Carlos Carrillo, return to this capital, as his pres- 
ence is very much desired by the citizens to pro- 
tect their lives and property." A committee was 
appointed to find Don Carlos. 

Instead of surrendering, Castro and .\lvara- 
do, with a force of 200 men, advanced against 
Carrillo. The two armies met at Campo de Las 
Flores. General Tobar had fortified a cattle 
corral with raw-hides, carretas and Cottonwood 
poles. A few shots from Alvarado's artillery 
scattered Tobar's rawhide fortifications. Carrillo 
surrendered. Tobar and a few of the leaders 
escaped to Mexico. Alvarado ordered the mis- 
guided Angclefiian soldiers to go home and 
behave themselves. He brought the captive gov- 
ernor back with him and left him with his (Car- 
rillo's) wife at Santa Barbara, who became surety 
for the deposed ruler. Not content with his un- 
fortunate attempts to rule, he again claimed the 
governorship on the plea that he had been ap- 
pointed by the supreme government. But the 
Angelenos had had enough of him. Disgusted 
witli his incompetency, Juan Gallardo, at the 
session of ]\[ay 14, 1838. presented a petition 
praying that this ayuntamiento do not recognize 
Carlos Carrillo as governor, and setting forth 
the reasons why we, the petitioners, "should de- 
clare ourselves subject to the northern govcr-" and why they opposed Carrillo. 

■'I'irst. In having compromised the i>enplo 



from San Buenavciilura south into a declaration 
of war, the incalculable calamities of which will 
never be forgotten, not even by the most ignor- 

"Second. Not satisfied with the unfortunate 
event at San Buenaventura, he repeated the 
same at Canipo de Las Flores, which, only 
through a divine dispensation, California is not 
to-day in mourning." Seventy citizens signed 
the petition, but the city attorney, who had done 
time in Yallejo"s bastile. decided the petition ille- 
gal because it was written on common paper 
when paper with the proper seal could be ob- 

Next day Gallardo returned with his petition 
on legal paper. The ayuntamiento decided to 
sound the "public alarm" and call the people to- 
gether to give them "public speech." The pub- 
lic alarm was sounded. The people assembled 
at the city hall ; speeches were made on both 
sides; and when the vote was taken 22 were in 
favor of the northern governor, 5 in favor of 
whatever the ayuntamiento decides, and Serbulo 
A'areles alone voted for Don Carlos Carrillo. So 
the council decided to recognize Don Juan Bau- 
tista Alvarado as governor and leave the su- 
preme government to settle the contest be- 
tween him and Carrillo. 

Notwithstanding this apparent buiying of the 
hatchet, there were rumors of plots and intrigues 
in Los Angeles and San Diego against Alvara- 
do. At length, aggravated beyond endurance, 
the governor sent word to the surefios that if 
they did not behave themselves he would shoot 
ten of the leading men of the south. As he had 
about that number locked up in the Castillo at 
Sonoma, his was no idle threat. 

One by one Alvarado's prisoners of state were 
released from \'allejo's bastile at Sonoma and 
returned to Los Angeles, sadder if not wiser 
men. At the session of the ayuntamiento Octo- 
ber 20, 1838, the president announced that Sen- 
ior Regidor Jose Palomares had returned from 
Sonoma, where he had been compelled to go by 
reason of "political differences." and that he 
should be allowed his seat in the council. The 
request was granted unanimously 

.•\t the next meeting Narciso Botello, its for- 
mer secretary, after five and a half months' im- 
prisomncnt at Sonoma, put in an appearance and 

claimed his office and his pay. Although others 
had filled the office in the interim the illustrious 
ayuntamiento, "ignoring for what offense he was 
incarcerated, could not suspend his salary." But 
his salary was suspended. The treasury was 
empty. The last horse and the last hide had 
been paid out to defray the expenses of the in- 
auguration festivities of Carlos, the Pretender. 
and the civil war that followed. Indeed, there 
was a treasury deficit of whole caballadas of 
horses and bales of hides. Narciso's back pay 
was a preferred claim that outlasted El Estado 

The surenos of Los Angeles and San Diego, 
finding that in Alvarado they had a man of cour- 
age and determination to deal with, ceased from 
troubling him and submitted to the inevitable. 

At the meeting of the ayuntamiento, October 
5, 1839, a notification was received stating that 
the supreme government of Mexico had ap- 
pointed Juan Bautista Alvarado "Governor of 
the Department." There was no grumbling or 
dissent. On the contrary the records say, "This 
Illustrious Body acknowledges receipt of the 
communication and congratulates His Excel- 
lency. It will announce the same to the citizens 
to-morrow (Sunday), will raise the national col- 
ors, salute the same with the required number 
of volleys, and will invite the people to illumi- 
nate their houses for a better display in rejoicing 
at such a happy appointment." ^^lth his ap- 
pointment by the supreme government the 
"Free and sovereign state of ."Mta California" be- 
came a dream of the past — a dead nation. In- 
deed, months before Alvarado had abandoned 
his idea of foundingan independentstateand had 
taken the oath of allegiance to the constitution 
of 1836. The loyal surenos received no thanks 
from the supreme government for all their pro- 
fessions of loyalty, whilst the rebellious arribanas 
of the north obtained all the rewards — the gov- 
ernor, the capital and the offices. The sui)reme 
government gave the deposed governor. Carlos 
Carrillo, a grant of the island of Santa Rosa, in 
the Santa Barbara Channel, but whether it was 
given him as a salve to his wounded dignity or 
as an Elba or St. Helena, where, in the event of 
his stirring up another revolution, he might be 
banished a la Napoleon, the records do not in- 
form us. 




THE decade of revolutions closed with 
Alvarado firmly established as Governor 
of the Department of the Californias. 
(By the constitution of 1836 Upper and Lower 
California had been united into a department.) 
The hijos del pais had triumphed. A native son 
was governor of the department ; another native 
son was comandante of its military forces. The 
membership of the departmental junta, which 
had taken the place of the diputacion, was 
largely made up of sons of the soil, and natives 
filled the minor offices. In their zeal to rid 
themselves of Mexican office-holders they had 
invoked the assistance of another element that 
was ultimately to be their undoing. 

During the revolutionary era just passed the 
foreign population had largely increased. Not 
only had the foreigners come by sea, but they 
had come by land. Capt. Jedediah S. Smith, a 
New England-born trapper and hunter, was the 
first man to enter California by the overland 
route. He came in 1826 by the way of Great 
Salt Lake and the Rio Virgin, then across the 
desert through the Cajon Pass to San Gabriel 
and Los Angeles. On his return he crossed the 
Sierra Nevadas, and, following up the Hum- 
l)oldt river, returned to Great Salt Lake. He 
was the first white man to cross the Sierra Ne- 
vadas. A number of trappers and hunters came 
in the early '30s from New Mexico by way of 
the old Mexican trail. This immigration was 
largely American, and was made up of a bold, 
adventurous class of men, some of them not 
the most desirable immigrants. Of this latter 
class were some of Graham's followers. 

By invoking Graham's aid to place him in 
power, Alvarado had fastened upon his shoul- 
ders an Old Man of the Sea. It was easy enough 
to enlist the services of Graham's riflemen, but 
altogether another matter to get rid of them. 
Now that he was firmly established in power, 
.Mvarado would, no doubt, have Ijeen glad to be 
rid entirely of his recent allies, but Graham and 
his adherents were not backward in giving him 
to understand that he owed his position to them, 
and they were inclined to put themselves on an 
equality with him. This did not comport with 
his ideas of the dignity of his office. To be 
hailed by some rough Inickskin-clad trapper 

with "Ho 1 Bautista ; come here, I want to speak 
with you," was an afifront to his pride that the 
governor of the two Californias could not quiet- 
ly pass over, and besides, like all of his country- 
men, he disliked foreigners. 

There were rumors of another revolution, and 
it was not difficult to persuade Alvarado that the 
foreigners were plotting to revolutionize Cali- 
fornia. Mexico had recently lost Texas, and 
the same class of "malditos extranjeros" (wicked 
strangers) were invading California, and would 
ultimately possess themselves of the country. 
-Accordingly, secret orders were sent through- 
out the department to arrest and imprison all 
foreigners. Over one hundred men of dififer- 
ent nationalities were arrested, principally 
American and English. Of these forty-seven 
were shipped to San Bias, and from there 
marched overland to Tepic, where they were 
imprisoned for several months. Through the 
efforts of the British consul, Barron, they were 
released. Castro, who had accompanied the 
prisoners to Mexico to prefer charges against 
them, was placed under arrest and afterwards 
tried by court-martial, but was acquitted. He 
had been acting under orders from his superiors. 
After an absence of over a year twenty of the 
exiles landed at Monterey on their return from 
Mexico. Robinson, who saw them land, says: 
"They returned neatly dressed, armed with rifles 
and swords, and looking in nnich better condi- 
tion than when they were sent away, or prob- 
ably than they had ever looked in their lives 
before." The Mexican government had been 
compelled to pay them damages for their arrest 
and imprisonment and to return them to Cali- 
fornia. Graham, the reputed leader of the for- 
eigners, was the owner of a distillery near Santa 
Cruz, and had gathered a number of hard char- 
acters around him. It would have been no loss 
had he never returned. 

The only other event of importance during 
.Mvarado's term as governor was the capture of 
Monterey by Conunodore Ap Catesby Jones, 
of the United States navy. This event happened 
after .Mvarado's successor, Micheltorena, had 
landed in California, but before the government 
had been formally turned over to him. 

Tin- following extract from the diary of a 


pioneer and former resident of Los Angeles 
who was an eye-witness of the affair, gives a 
good description of the capture : 

"Monterey, Oct. 19, 1842. — At 2 p. ni. the 
United States man-of-war 'United States,' Com- 
modore Ap Catesby Jones, came to anchor close 
alongside and inshore of all the ships in port. 
About 3 p. m. Captain Armstrong came ashore, 
accompanied by an interpreter, and went direct 
to the governor's house, where he had a private 
conversation with him, which proved to be a 
demand for the surrender of the entire coast of 
California, Upper and Lower, to the United 
States government. \Mien he was about to go 
on board he gave three or four copies of a proc- 
lamation to the inhabitants of the two Califor- 
nias, assuring them of the protection of their 
lives, persons and property. In his notice to the 
governor (Alvarado) he gave him only until the 
following morning at 9 a. m. to decide. If he 
received no answer, then he would fire upon the 

"I remained on shore that night and went 
down to the governor's, with Mr. Larkin and 
Mr. Eagle. The governor had had some idea of 
nmning away and leaving Monterey to its fate, 
but was told by Mr. Spence that he should not 
go, and finally he resolved to await the result. 
At 12 at night some persons were sent on board 
the "United States" who had been appointed 
by the governor to meet the commodore and 
arrange the terms of the surrender. Next morn- 
ing at half-past ten o'clock about 100 sailors and 
50 marines disembarked. The sailors marched 
up from the shore and took possession of the 
fort. The American colors were hoisted. The 
"United States" fired a salute of thirteen guns ; it 
was returned by the fort, which fired twenty- 
six guns. The marines in the mean time had 
marched up to the government house. The of- 
ficers and soldiers of the California government 
were discharged and their guns and other arms 
taken possession of and carried to the fort. The 
stars and stripes now wave over us. Long may 
they wave here in California I" 

"Oct. 2 1 St, 4 p. m. — Flags were again 
changed, the vessels were released, and all was 
quiet again. The commodore had received later 
news by some Mexican newspapers." 

Commodore Jones had been stationed at Cal- 
lao with a squadron of four vessels. An English 
fleet was also there, and a French fleet was 
cruising in the Pacific. Both these were sup- 
posed to have designs on California. Jones 
learned that the English admiral had received 
orders to sail next day. Surmising that his des- 
tination might be California, he slipped out of 
the harbor the night before and crowded all sail 
to reach C;i]ifnniin before the English admiral. 

The loss of Texas, and the constant influx of 
immigrants and adventurers from the United 
States into California, had embittered the Mex- 
ican government more and more against for- 
eigners. Manuel Micheltorena, who had served 
under Santa Anna in the Texan war, was ap- 
pointed, January 19, 1842, comandante-general 
inspector and gobernador propietario of the 

Santa Anna was president of the Mexican 
Republic. His experience with Americans in 
Texas during the Texan war of independence, 
in 1836-37, had determined him to use every ef- 
fort to prevent California from sharing the falc 
of Texas. 

Micheltorena, the newly-appointed governor, 
vvas instructed to take with him sufficient force 
to check the ingress of Americans. He recruit- 
ed a force of 350 men, principally convicts en- 
listed from the prisons of Mexico. His army of 
thieves and ragamuffins landed at San Diego in 
August, 1842. 

Robinson, who was at San Diego when one 
of the vessels conveying Micheltorena's cholos 
(convicts) landed, thus describes them: "Five 
days afterward the brig Chato arrived with 
ninety soldiers and their families. I saw them 
land, and to me they presented a state of 
wretchedness and misery unequaled. Not one 
individual among them possessed a jacket or 
pantaloons, but, naked, and like the savage In- 
dians, they concealed their nudity with dirty, 
miserable blankets. The females were not much 
better ofif, for the scantiness of their mean ap- 
parel was too apparent for modest observers. 
They appeared like convicts, and, indeed, the 
greater portion of them had been charged with 
crime, either of murder or theft." 

Micheltorena drilled his Falstaffiian army at 
San Diego for several weeks and then began hi.s 
march northward. Los Angeles made great 
preparations to receive the new governor. Seven 
years had passed since she had been decreed the 
capital of the territory, and in all these years 
she had been denied her rights by Monterey. A 
favorable impression on the new governor 
might induce him to make the ciudad his capital. 
The national fiesta of September 16 was post- 
poned until the arrival of the governor. The 
best house in the town was secured for him and 
his stafT. A grand ball was projected and the 
city illuminated the night of his arrival. A 
camp was established down by the river and the 
cholos, who in the mean time had been given 
white linen uniforms, were put through the drill 
and the manual of arms. They were incorrigible 
thieves, and stole for the very pleasure of steal- 
ing. They robbed the hen roosts, the orchards, 
the vincvards and the vcRvtable g.nrdons of the 



citizens. To the Angeleiios the glory of their 
city as the capital of the territory faded in the 
presence of their empty chicken coops and 
plundered orchards. They longed to speed the 
departure of their now unwelcome guests. After 
a stay of a month in the city, Micheltorena and 
his army took up their line of march north- 
ward. He had reached a point about twenty 
miles north of San Fernando, when, on the 
night of the 24th of October, a messenger 
aroused him from his slumbers with the news 
that the capital had been captured by the Ameri- 
cans. Alicheltorena seized the occasion to make 
])olitical capital for himself with the home gov- 
ernment. He spent the remainder of the night 
in fulminating proclamations against the in- 
vaders fiercer than the thunderbolts of Jove, 
copies of which were dispatched post haste to 
Mexico. He even wished himself a thunderbolt 
"that he might fly over intervening space and 
annihilate tlie invaders." Then, with his own 
courage and doubtless that of his brave cholos 
aroused to the highest pitch, instead of rushing 
on the invaders he and his army fled back to 
San Fernando, where, afraid to advance or re- 
treat, he halted until news reached him tiiat 
Commodore Jones had restored Monterey to the 
Californians. Then his valor reached the boil- 
ing point. He boldly marched to Los Angeles, 
established his headquarters in the city and 
awaited the coming of Commodore Jones and 
his ofihcers from Monterey. 

On the 19th of January, 1843, Commodore 
Jones and his stafif came to Los Angeles to meet 
the governor. At the famous conference in the 
Falacio de Don Abel, ]\Iicheltorena presented 
his Articles of Convention. Among other ridic- 
ulous demands were the following: ".\rticle 
\ I. Mr. Thomas Ap C. Jones will deliver 1,500 
complete infantry uniforms to replace those of 
nearly one-half of the Mexican force, which have 
been ruined in the violent march and the con- 
tinued rains while they were on their way to 
recover the port thus invaded." "Article VII. 
Jones to pay $15,000 into the national treasury 
for expenses incurred from the general alarm; 
also a complete set of musical instruments in 
lilace of those ruined on this occasion."* Judg- 
ing from Robinson's description of the dress of 
Alichcltorena's cholos it is doubtful whether 
there was an entire uniform among them. 

"The commodore's first impulse," writes a 
member of his staff, "was to return the papers 
without connnent and to refuse further commu- 
nication with a man who could have the efifront- 
ory to trump up such charges as those for which 
indenmification was claimed." The commodore 

if r.-ilifomia Vnl. IV. 

on reflection put aside his personal feelings, and 
met the governor at the grand ball in Sanchez 
Hall held in honor of the occasion. The ball was 
a brilliant afifair, "the dancing ceased only with 
the rising of the sun next morning." The com- 
modore returned the articles without his signa- 
ture. The governor did not again refer to his 
demands. Next morning, January 21, 1843, 
Jones and his officers took their departure from 
the city "amidst the beating of drums, the firing 
of cannon and the ringing of bells, saluted by 
the general and his wife from the door of their 
quarters." On the 31st of December Michel- 
torena had taken the oath of office in Sanchez 
Hall, which stood on the east side of the plaza. 
Salutes were fired, the bells were rung and the 
city was illuminated for three evenings. For the 
second time a governor had been inaugurated 
in Los Angeles. 

Micheltorena and his cholo army remained in 
Los Angeles about eight months. The Angel- 
eiios had all the capital they cared for. They 
were perfectly willing to have the governor and 
his army take up their residence in Monterey. 
The cholos had devoured the country like an 
army of chapules (locusts) and were willing to 
move on. Monterey would no doubt ' have 
gladly transferred what right she had to the 
capital if at the same time she could have trans- 
ferred to her old rival, Los Angeles, Michel- 
torena's cholos. Their pilfering was largely en- 
forced by their necessities. They received little 
or no pay, and they often had to steal or starve. 
The leading native Californians still entertained 
their old dislike to "^Mexican dictators" and the 
retinue of 300 chicken thieves tha: accompanied 
the last dictator intensified their hatred. 

Micheltorena, while not a model governor, 
had many good qualities and was generally liked 
by the better class of foreign residents. He 
made an earnest effort to establish a system of 
public education in the territory. Schools were 
established in all the principal towns, and terri- 
torial aid from the public funds to the amount of 
$500 each was given them. The school at Los 
Angeles had over one hundred pupils in attend- 
ance. His worst fault was a disposition to med- 
dle in local affairs. He was unreliable and not 
careful to keep his agreements. He might have 
succeeded in giving California a stable govern- 
ment had it not been for the antipathy to his 
cholo soldiers and the old feud between the 
"hijos del pais" and the Mexican dictators. 

These two proved his undoing. The native 
sons under .\lvarado and Castro rose in rebel- 
lion. In November, 1844. a revolution was in- 
augurated at Santa Clara. The governor 
marched with an army of 150 men against the 
rebel forces numbering about 200. They met 


at a place called the Laguna de Alvires. A 
treaty was signed in which Micheltorena agreed 
to ship his cholos back to Mexico. 

This treaty the governor deliberately broke. 
He then intrigued with Capt. John A. Sutter of 
New Helvetia and Isaac Graham to obtain as- 
sistance to crush the rebels. January 9, 1845, 
Micheltorena and Sutter formed a junction of 
their forces at Salinas — their united commands 
numbering about 500 men. They marched 
against the rebels to crush them. But the rebels 
did not wait to be crushed. Alvarado and Castro, 
with about 90 men, started for Los Angeles, 
and those left behind scattered to their homes. 
Alvarado and his men reached Los Angeles on 
the night of January 20, 1845. The garrison 
stationed at the curate's house was surprised 
and captured. One man was killed and several 
wounded. Lieut. Medina, of Micheltorena's 
army, was the commander of the pueblo troops. 
Alvarado's army encamped on the plaza and he 
and Castro set to work to revolutionize the old 
pueblo. The leading Angeleiios had no great 
love for Juan Bautista, and did not readily fall 
into his schemes. They had not forgotten their 
enforced detention in A'allejo's Bastile during 
the Civil war. An extraordinary session of the 
ayuntamiento was called January 21. Alvarado 
and Castro were present and made eloquent ap- 
peals. The records say : "The Ayuntamiento 
listened, and after a short interval of silence and 
meditation decided to notify the senior member 
of the Departmental Assembly of Don Alvarado 
and Castro's wishes." 

They were more successful with the Pico 
Brothers. Pio Pico was senior vocal, and in 
case Micheltorena was deposed, he, by virtue 
of his office, would become governor. Through 
the influence of the Picos the revolution gained 
ground. The most potent influence in spread- 
ing the revolt was the fear of Micheltorena's 
cholos. Should the town be captured by them 
jt certainly would be looted. The departmental 
assembly was called together. A peace com- 
mission was sent to meet Micheltorena, who was 
leisurely marching southward, and intercede 
with him to give up his proposed invasion of 
the south. He refused. Then the assembly pro- 
nounced him a traitor, deposed him by vote and 
appointed Pio Pico governor. Recruiting went 
on rapidly. Hundreds of saddle horses were 
contributed, "old rusty guns were repaired, 
hacked swords sharpened, rude lances manu- 
factured" and cartridges made for the old iron 
cannon, that now stand guard at the courthouse. 
Some fifty foreigners of the south joined Alva- 
rado's army ; not that they had much interest in 
the revolution, but to protect their property 
against the lapacicms invaders — the cholos, and 

Sutter's Indians,* who were as much dreaded as 
the cholos. On the 19th of February, Michel- 
torena reached the Encinos, and the Angelenian 
army marched out through Cahuenga Pass to 
meet him. On the 20th the two armies met on 
the southern edge of the San Fernando valley, 
about 15 miles from Los Angeles. Each army 
numbered about 400 men. Micheltorena had 
tliree pieces of artillery, and Castro two. They 
opened on each other at long range and seem 
to have fought the battle throughout at very 
long range. A mustang or a mule — authorities 
differ — was killed. 

Wilson, Workman and AIcKinlcy, of Castro's 
army, decided to induce the Americans on the 
other side, many of whom were their personal 
friends, to abandon Micheltorena. Passing up 
a ravine they succeeded in attracting the atten- 
tion of some of them by means of a white flag. 
Gantt, Hensley and Bidwell joined them in the 
ravine. The situation was discussed and the 
Americans of Micheltorena's army agreed to de- 
sert him if Pico would protect them in their 
land grants. Wilson, in his account of the bat- 
tle,! says : "I knew, and so did Pico, that these 
land questions were the point with those young 
.\mericans. Before I started on my journey or 
embassy, Pico was sent for; on his arrival 
among us I, in a few words, explained to him 
what the party had advanced." "Gentlemen," 
said he, "are any of you citizens of Mexico?" 
They answered "No." "Then your title deeds 
given you by Micheltorena are not worth the 
paper they are written on, and he knew it well 
when he gave them to you ; but if you will aban- 
don his cause I will give you my word of honor 
as a gentleman and Don Benito Wilson and Don 
Juan \\'orkman to carry out what I promise — 
that I will protect each one of you in the land 
that you now hold, and when you become citi- 
zens of Mexico I will issue you the proper 
titles." They said that was all they asked, and 
promised not to fire a gun against us. They 
also asked not to be required to fight on our 
side, which was agreed to. 

"Micheltorena discovered (how I do not 
know) that his Americans had ai)aiuloned him. 
About an hour afterwards he raised his camp 
and flanked us by going further into the valley 
towards San Fernando, then marching as 
though he intended to come around the bend of 
the river to the city. The Californians and we 
foreigners at once broke up our camp and came 

*Sutter had under his command a company of In- 
dians. He had drilled these in the use of firearms. 
The employing of these savages by Micheltorena was 
hitterlv resented by the Californians'. 

tl'iil). Historical .Society of Southern California. 
\'m1. X 


hack through the Cahuenga Pass, marched 
through the gap into the Feliz ranch, on the Los 
Angeles river, till we came into close proximity 
to Micheltorena's camp. It was now night, as 
it was dark when we broke up our camp. Here 
we waited for daylight, and some of our men 
commenced maneuvering for a fight with the 
enemy. A few cannon shots were fired, when a 
white flag was discovered flying from Michel- 
torena's front. The whole matter then went into 
the hands of negotiators appointed by both par- 
ties and the terms of surrender were agreed 
upon, one of which was that Micheltorena and 
his obnoxious officers and men were to march 
hack up the river to the Cahuenga Pass, then 
down to the plain to the west of Los Angeles, 
the most direct line to San Pedro, and embark 
at that point on a vessel then anchored there to 
carry them back to Mexico." Sutter was taken 
])risoner, and his Indians, after being corralled 
loT a time, were sent back to the Sacramento. 

The roar of the battle of Cahuenga or "The 
Alamo," as it is sometimes called, could be dis- 
tinctly heard in Los Angeles, and the people 
remaining in the city- were greatly alarmed. 
William Heath Davis, in his "Sixty Years in 
California," thus describes the alarm in the 
town: "Directly to the north of the town was a 
high hill" (now known as Mt. Lookout). "As 
soon as firing was heard all the people remain- 
ing in the town — men, women and children — 
ran to the top of this hill. As the wind was 
blowing from the north the firing was distinctly 
heard, five leagues away, on the battlefield, 
throughout the day. All business places in town 
were closed. The scene on the hill was a re- 
markable one — women and children, with 
crosses in their hands, kneeling and praying to 
the saints for the safety of their fathers, brothers, 
sons, husbands, lovers, cousins — that they might 
not be killed in the battle ; indifferent to their 
persona! appearance, tears streammg from their 
eyes, and their hair blown about by the wind, 
which had increased to quite a breeze. Don 
Abel Stearns, myself and others tried to calm 
and pacify them, assuring them that there was 
probably no danger ; somewhat against our con- 
victions, it is true, judging from what we heard 
of the firing and from our knowledge of Michel- 
torena's disciplined force, his battery, and the 
riflemen he had with him. During the day the 
scene on the hill continued. The night that fol- 
lowed was a gloomy one, caused by the lamenta- 
tions of the women and children." 

Davis, who was supercargo on the "Don 
Quixote," the vessel on which Micheltorena and 
his soldiers were shipped to Mexico, claims that 
the general "had ordered his command not to 
injure the Californians in the force opposed to 

him, but to fire over their heads, as he had no 
desire to kill them." 

Another Mexican-born governor had been de- 
posed and deported — gone to join his fellows — 
\'ictoria, Chico and Gutierrez. In accordance 
with the treaty of Cahuenga and by virtue of his 
rank as senior member of the Departmental 
Assembly, Pio Pico became governor. The hijos 
del pais were once more in the ascendency. Jose 
Castro was made comandante-general. Alva- 
rado was given charge of the custom house at 
Monterey, and Jose Antonio Carrillo was ap- 
pointed commander of the military district of the 
south. Los Angeles was made the capital, 
although the archives and the treasury remained 
in Monterey. The revolution apparently had 
been a success. In the proceedings of the Los 
Angeles ayuntamiento, March i, 1845, appears 
this record : "The agreements entered into at 
Cahuenga between General Emanuel Michel- 
torena and Lieut. -Col. Jose Castro were then 
read and as they contain a happy termination 
of affairs in favor of the government this Illus- 
trious Body listened with satisfaction and so 
answered the communication." 

The people joined with the ayuntamiento in 
expressing their "satisfaction" that a "happy 
termination" had been reached of the political 
disturbances that had distracted the country. 
But the end was not yet. Pico did his best to 
conciliate the conflicting elements, but the old 
sectional jealousies that had divided the people 
of the territory would crop out. Jose Antonio 
Carrillo, the Machiaveli of the south, hated 
Castro and Alvarado, and was jealous of Pico's 
good fortune. He was the superior of any of 
them in ability, but made himself unpopular by 
his intrigues and his sarcastic speech. When 
Castro and Alvarado came south to raise the 
standard of revolt they tried to win him over. 
He did assist them. He was willing enough to 
plot against Micheltorena, but after the over- 
throw of the Mexican he was equally ready to 
plot against Pico and Castro. In the summer 
of 1845 he was implicated in a plot to depose 
Pico, who, by the way, was his brother-in-law. 
Pico placed him and two of his fellow conspir- 
ators, Serbulo and Hilario \'arela, under arrest. 
Carrillo and Hilario \"arela were shipped to 
Mazatlarrto be tried for their misdeeds. Serbulo 
Varela made his escape from prison. The two 
exiles returned early in 1846 unpunished and 
ready for new plots.. 

Pico was appointed "Gobernador Propie- 
tario," or Constitutional Governor of California, 
September 3, 1845, ^Y President Herrera. The 
Supreme Government of Mexico never seemed 
to take offense or harbor resentment against the 
Californians for deposing and sending home a 


governor. As the officials of the Supreme 
Government usually obtained office by revolu- 
tion, they no doubt had a fellow feeling for the 
revolting Californians. When Micheltorena re- 
turned to Mexico he was coldly received and a 
commissioner was sent to Pico with dispatches 
virtually approving all that had been done. 

Castro, too, gave Pico a great deal of uneasi- 
ness. He ignored the governor and managed 
the military affairs of the territory to suit him- 
self. His headquarters were at Monterey and 
doubtless he had the sympathy if not the en- 
couragement of the people of the north in his 
course. But the cause of the greatest uneasi- 
ness was the increasing immigration from the 
United States. A stream of immigrants from 
the western states, increasing each year, poured 
down the Sierra Nevadas and spread over the 
rich valleys of California. The Californians rec- 
ognized that through the advent of these "for- 
eign adventurers," as they were called, the 
"manifest destiny" of California was to be ab- 
sorbed by the United States. Alvarado had ap- 

pealed to Alexico for men and arms and had 
been answered by the arrival of Micheltorena 
and his cholos. Pico appealed and for a time 
the Californians were cheered by the prospect 
r)f aid. In the summer of 1845 ^ force of 600 
veteran soldiers, under conmiand of Colonel 
Iniestra, reached Acapulco, where ships were ly- 
ing to take them to California, hut a revolution 
broke out in Mexico and the troops destined for 
the defense of California were used to overthrow 
President Herrera and to seat Paredes. Cali- 
fornia was left to work out her own destiny un- 
aided or drift with the tide — and she drifted. 

In the early months of 1846 there was a rapid 
succession of important events in her history, 
each in passing bearing her near and nearer to 
a manifest destiny — the downfall of Mexican 
domination in California. These will be pre- 
sented fully in the chapter on the Acquisition of 
California by the United States. But before 
taking up these w-e will turn aside to review life 
in California in the olden time under Spanish 
and Mexican rule. 



HOW were the municipalities or town cor- 
porations in California governed under 
Spanish and Mexican rule? Very few, 
1 presume, of its present inhabitants have ex- 
amined into the local governmental systems 
prevailing before it became a possession of the 
United States ; and yet this is an important ques- 
tion. The original titles to many a broad acre 
of our fertile valleys and to many a league of 
the pueblo lands of some of our cities date away 
back to the time when Spanish kmgs or ]\Iexi- 
can presidents swayed the destinies of Cali- 

There is a vague impression in the minds of 
many, derived, perhaps, from Dana's "Two 
Years Before the Mast" and kindred works or 
from tales and reminiscences of pioneers who 
came here after the discovery of gold, that Cali- 
fornia had very little government in the olden 
days; that it was largely given over to anarchy 
and revolution ; that life was unsafe in it and 
murder a common occurrence. Such impres- 
sions arc as false as they are unjust. There 
were but comparatively few capital crimes com- 
mitted in California under Spanish domination 
or under Mexican rule. 

The era of crime in California began with the 
discovery of gold. There were no Joaquin Mur- 

retas or Tiburcio Vasquezes before the "days of 
gold," the days of "49." It is true, there were 
a number of revolutions during the Alexican 
regime, and California had a surplus of gover- 
nors at times, but these revolutions were for the 
most part bloodless afifairs. In the half a dozen 
or more political uprisings occurring in the fif- 
teen years preceding the American conquest and 
resulting in four so-called battles, there were in 
all but three men killed and five or six wounded. 

While there were political disturbances in the 
territory and several governors were deposed by 
force and shipped back to Mexico whence they 
came, the numicipal governments were well ad- 
ministered. I doubt whether the municipalities 
of Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara 
have ever been governed better or more eco- 
nomically under American rule than they were 
during tiie years that their Most Illustrious 
Ayuntamientos controlled the civil afTairs of 
these towns. 

There were three ayuntamientos or municipal 
councils in Southern California at the time of the 
.\merican conquest- — those of Los Angeles, San 
Diego and Santa Barbara. The latter two were 
of recent origin. The records of the Los An- 
geles ayuntamiento from 1828 down to the 
American occupation of California have been 


preserved. They furnish us the best illustration 
that we have of the workings of a municipal 
government under Mexican rule. Therefore in 
giving a sketch of local government in Cali- 
fornia under Spain and Mexico I shall draw my 
information largely from them. 

Los Angeles had an ayuntamiento, under 
Spanish rule, organized in the first years of her 
existence, but it had very little power. The 
ayuntamiento at first consisted of an alcalde 
(mayor) and two regidores (councilmen). Over 
them was a quasi-military officer, called a com- 
isionado, a sort of petty dictator or military des- 
pot, who, when occasion required, or his inclina- 
tion moved him, embodied within himself all 
three departments of the government — judiciary, 
legislative and executive. After Mexico became 
a republic the office of comisionado was 
abolished. The membership of the Most 
Illustrious Ayuntamiento of Los Angeles 
was gradually increased, until, at the height 
of its power in the '30s, it consisted 
of a first alcalde, a second alcalde, six 
regidores (councilmen), a secretary and a sin- 
dico, or syndic, as the pueblo archives have it. 
The sindico seems to have been a general utility 
man. He acted as city attorney, tax and license 
collector and treasurer. The alcalde was presi- 
dent of the council, and acted as judge of the 
first instance and as mayor. The second alcalde 
took the place of the first when that offi- 
cer was ill or absent ; or, as sometimes happened, 
when he was a political prisoner in durance vile. 
The regidores were numbered from one to six 
and took rank according to number. The secre- 
tary was an important officer; he kept the rec- 
ords and was the only paid member except the 
sindico, who received a commission on his col- 

.\t the beginning of the year 1840 the ayunta- 
mientos in California were abolished by a decree 
of the Mexican congress, none of the towns hav- 
ing the population required by the decree. In 
January, 1844, the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles 
was re-established. During the abolition of the 
municipal councils the towns were governed by 
prefects and justices of the peace, and the special 
laws, or ordinances, were enacted by the depart- 
mental assembly. Much valuable local history 
was lost by the discontinuance of the ayunta- 
mientos from 1840 to 1844. The records of the 
ayuntamientos are rich in historical material. 

The jurisdiction of the ayuntamiento of Los 
Angeles, after the secularization of the missions, 
extended from the southern limits of San Juan 
Capistrano to and including San Fernando on 
the north and eastward to the San Bernardino 
mountains, extending over an area now com- 
prised in' four counties and covering a territory 

as large as the state of Massachusetts. Its au- 
thority was as extensive as its jurisdicliun. It 
granted town lots and reconmiended to the gov- 
ernor grants of lands from the public domain. 
In addition to passing ordinances for the gov- 
ernment of the pueblo, its members sometimes 
acted as executive officers to enforce them. It 
contained within itself the powers of a board of 
health, a board of education, a police commis- 
sion and a street department. During the Civil 
war between Northern and Southern California 
in 1837-38, it raised and equipped an army and 
assumed the right to govern the southern half of 
the territory. The members served without pay, 
but if a member was absent from a meeting 
without a good excuse he was fined $3. The 
sessions were conducted with great dignity and 
decorum. The members were required to attend 
their public functions "attired in black apparel 
so as to add solemnity to the meetings." 

The ayuntamiento was spoken of as "Most 
Illustrious," in the same sense that we speak of 
the Honorable City Council, but it was a much 
more dignified body than a city council. Tak- 
ing the oath of office was a solemn and impres- 
sive affair. The junior regidor and the secretary 
introduced the member to be sworn. "When," 
the rules say, "he shall kneel before a crucifix 
placed on a table or dais, with his right hand on 
the Holy Bible, then all the members of the 
ayuntamiento shall rise and remain standing 
with bowed heads while the secretary reads the 
form of oath prescribed by law, and on the mem- 
ber saying, T swear to do,' etc., the president 
will answer, 'If thou so doest God will reward 
thee ; if thou dost not, may He call thee to ac- 
count.' " 

As there was no pay in the office, and its 
duties were numerous and onerous, tliere was 
not a large crop of aspirants for councilmen in 
those days, and the office usually sought the 
man. It might be added, that when it caught 
the right man it was loath to let go of him. 

The tribulations that befell Francisco Pantoja 
well illustrate the difficulty of resigning in the 
days when office sought the man ; not the man 
the office. Pantoja was elected fourth regidor 
of the ayuntamiento of 1837. In those days wild 
horses were very numerous; when the pasture 
in the foothills was exhausted they came down 
into the valleys and ate up the feed needed for 
the cattle. On this account, and because most 
of these wild horses were worthless, the ranch- 
eros slaughtered them. A large and strong cor- 
ral was built, with wings extending out on the 
right and left from the main entrance. When 
the corral was completed a day was set for a 
wild horse drive. The bands were rounded up 
and driven into the corral. The pick of the ca- 


balladas were lassoed and taken out to be broken 
to the saddle and the refuse of the bands killed. 
The \'ejars had obtained permission from the 
ayuntamiento to build a corral between the Cer- 
ritos and the Salinas for the purpose of corral- 
ing wild horses for slaughter; and Tomas Tala- 
mantes made a similar request to build a corral 
on the Sierra San Pedro. Permission was grant- 
ed, the corrals were built, and a time was ap- 
pointed for a wild horse rodeo. 

Pantoja, being something of a sport, peti- 
tioned his fellow regidores for a twenty days' 
leave of absence to join in the wild horse chase. 
After considerable debate leave was granted him. 
A wild horse chase was wild sport and danger- 
ous, too. Somebody was sure to get hurt, and 
Pantoja. in this one, was one of the unfortunates. 
When his twenty days' leave of absence was up 
Pantoja did not return to his duties of regidor, 
but, instead, sent his resignation on the plea of 
illness. The president of the ayuntamiento re- 
fused to accept his resignation and appointed a 
committee to hold an investigation on his phys- 
ical condition. There were no physicians in Los 
Angeles then, so the committee took along San- 
tiago McKinley, a canny Scotch merchant, who 
was reputed to have some knowledge of surgery. 
The committee and the improvised surgeon held 
an ante-mortem inquest on what remained of 
Pantoja. The committee reported to the council 
that he was a physical wreck ; that he could not 
mount a horse, nor ride one when mounted. A 
native Californian who had reached such a state 
of physical dilapidation that he could not mount 
a horse might well be excused from official 
duties. But there was danger of establishing a 
precedent. The ayuntamiento heard the report, 
pondered over it, and then sent it and the resig- 
nation to the governor. He took them under 
advisement, and, after a long delay, accepted 
the resignation. In the meantime Pantoja's term 
had expired by limitation and he had recovered 
from his fall. 

Notwithstanding the great dignity and for- 
mality of the old-time regidores, they were not 
like some of our modern councilmen — above 
seeking advice of their constituents ; nor did 
they assume superior airs as some of our par- 
venu statesmen do. There was, in their legisla- 
tive system, an upper house, or court of last ap- 
peal, and that was the people themselves. When 
there was a deadlock in their council, or when 
some question of great importance to the com- 
munity came before them and they were divided 
as to what was best to do, or when some crafty 
politician was attempting to sway their decision 
so as to obtain personal gain at the expense of 
the community, then the alarma publico, or the 
''pu!)lic alarm," was sounded by the beating of 

the long roll on the drum, and the citizens were 
summoned to the hall of sessions, and anyone 
hearing the alarm and not heeding it was fined 
$3. When the citizens were convened the presi- 
dent of the ayuntamiento, speaking in a loud 
voice, stated the question and the people were 
given "public speech." Everyone had an op- 
portunity to make a speech. Rivers of eloquence 
flowed, and, when all who wished to speak had 
had their say, the question was decided by a 
show of hands. The majority ruled, and all went 
home happy to think the country was safe and 
they had helped save it. 

Some of the ordinances for the government of 
Los Angeles, passed by the old regidores, were 
quaint and amusing, and illustrate the primitive 
modes of life and thought sixty and seventy 
years ago. 

The regidores were particularly severe on the 
idle and improvident. The "Wearv Willies" of 
that day were compelled to tramp very much as 
they are to-day. Ordinance No. 4, adopted Jan- 
uary 28, 1838, reads : "Every person not having 
any apparent occupation in this city, or its juris- 
diction, is hereby ordered to look for work 
within three days, counting from the day this 
ordinance is published ; if not complied with he 
will be fined $2 for the first offense, $4 for the 
second offense, and will be given compulsory 
work for the third." 

If the tramp only kept looking for work, but 
was careful not to find it, it seems, from the 
reading of the ordinance, there could be no of- 
fense, and consequently no fines nor compulsory 
work for the "Weary ^X'illie." 

The ayuntamiento of 1844 passed this ordi- 
nance : "Article 2. All persons without occu- 
pation or known manner of living, shall be 
deemed to come luider the law of vagabonds, 
and shall be punished as the law dictates." 

The ayuntamiento ordered a census of the 
vagabonds. The census report showed 22 vaga- 
bonds- — eight genuine vags and fourteen ordi- 
nary ones. It is to be regretted that regidores 
did not define the difference between a genuine 
and an ordinary vagabond. 

The regidores regulated the social conditions 
of the people, ■'.\rticle 19. A license of $2 shall 
be paid for all dances except marriage dances, 
for which permission shall be obtained from the 
judges of the city." 

Here is a trades union regulation more than a 
half century old : 

"Article 7. .\11 grocery, clothing and liquor 
houses are prohibited from employing any class 
of servants foreign to the business without pre- 
vious verbal or written stipulations from their 
former employers. .Xnyone acting contrary to 


the above shall forfeit all right to claim I'c-im- 

Occasionally the regidores had lists of impe- 
cunious debtors and dead beats made out and 
published, and the merchants were warned not 
to give these fellows credit. 

Sometimes the ayimtamicnto promulgated le- 
gal restrictions against the pastime and pleasures 
of the people that seem to be almost as austere 
as were the old blue laws of Connecticut. 

Ordinance 5 (passed January 20, 1838): "All 
individuals serenading promiscuously around 
the streets of the city at night without first hav- 
ing obtained permission from the alcalde, will be 
fined $1.50 for the first ofTense, $3 for the sec- 
ond, and for the third punished according to 

Ordinance 6 (same date) : "Every individual 
giving a dance at his house, or at any other house, 
without first having obtained permission from 
the alcalde, will be fined $5 for the first ofifense, 
and for the second and third punished according 
to law." 

What the penalty of "punished according to 
law" was the ordinances do not define. It is safe 
to say that any serenader who had suffered for a 
first and second offense without law, was not 
anxious to experience a punishment "according 
to law" for the third. 

The old pueblo had its periodical smallpox 
scares. Then the regidores had to act as a board 
of health and enforce their hygienic regulations ; 
there were no physicians in the town then. In 
1844 the disease became epidemic and the ayun- 
tamiento issued a proclamation to the people and 
formulated a long list of hygienic rules to be 
observed. The object of the proclamation 
seemed to be to paint the horrors of the plague 
in such vivid colors that the people would be 
frightened into observing the council's rules. 
The proclamation and the rules were ordered 
read by guards at the door of each house and 
before the Indian huts. I give a portion of the 
proclamation and a few of the rules : 

"That destructive power of the Almighty, 
which occasionally punishes man for his numer- 
ous faults, destroys not only kingdoms, cities 
and towns, leaving many persons in orphanage 
and devoid of protection, but goes forth with an 
exterminating hand and preys upon science, art 
and agriculture — this terrible plague threatens 
this unfortunate department of the grand Mexi- 
can nation, and seems more fearful by reason of 
the small population, which cannot fill one-twen- 
tieth part of its territory. What would become 
of her if this eminently philanthropic ayunta- 
miento had not provided a remedy partly to 
cotmteract these ills? It would bereave the town 

of the amis dedicated to agriculture [the only 
industry of the country), which would cease to 
be useful, and, in consequence, misery would 
prevail among the rest. The present ayunla- 
miento is deserving of praise, as it is the first to 
take steps beneficial to the community and the 

Among the hygienic rules were orders to the 
people to refrain from "eating peppers and 
spices which stimulate the blood ;" "to wash all 
salted meats before using;" "all residents in good 
health to bathe and cleanse themselves once in 
eight days ;" "to burn sulphur on a hot iron in 
their houses for fumigation." "Saloon-keepers 
shall not allow gatherings of inebriates in their 
saloons, and all travelers on inland roads must 
halt at the distance of four leagues from the 
towns and wash their clothes." 

The alcaldes' powers were as unlimited as 
those of the ayuntamiento. They judged all 
kinds of cases and settled all manner of disputes. 
There were no lawyers to worry the judges and 
no juries to subvert justice and common sense 
by anomalous verdicts. Sometimes the alcalde 
was judge, jury and executioner, all in one. In 
the proceedings of the ayuntamiento of Los An- 
geles, March 6, 1837, Jose Sepulveda, second al- 
calde, informed the members "That the prison- 
ers, Juliano and Timoteo, had confessed to the 
murder of Ygnacio Ortega, which was deliber- 
ated and premeditated." "He had decided to 
sentence them to capital punishment and also to 
execute them- to-morrow, it being a holiday when 
the neighborhood assembles in town. He asked 
the members of the Illustrious Ayuntamiento 
to express their opinion in the matter, which 
they did, and all were of the same opinion. Senor 
Sepulveda said he had already solicited the ser- 
vices of the Rev. Father at San Gabriel, so that 
he may come to-day and administer spiritual 
consolation to the prisoners." 

At the meeting of the ayuntamiento two weeks 
later, March 20,"i837, the record reads : "Second 
alcalde, Jose Sepulveda, thanked the members 
for acquiescing in his decision to shoot the pris- 
oners, Juliano and Timoteo, but after sending 
his decision to the governor, he was ordered to 
send the prisoners to the general government 
to ])e tried according to law by a council of war, 
and he had complied with the order." The bluff 
old alcalde could see no necessity for trying pris- 
oners who had confessed to a deliberate murder: 
therefore he proposed to execute them without 
a trial. 

The prisoners, I infer, were Indians. While 
the Indians of the pueblo were virtually slaves to 
the ranchcros and vineyardists. they were al- 
lowed certain rights and privileges by the ayun- 
tamiento, and white men were compelled to re- 


spect thciii. The Indians had been granted a 
portion of the pueblo lands near the river for a 
rancheria. They presented a petition at one time 
to the ayuntamiento, stating that the foreigner, 
Juan Domingo (John Sunday), had fenced in 
part of their land. The members of the council 
examined into the case. They found that John 
Sunday was guilty as charged, so they fined 
Juan $12 and compelled him to set back his 
fence to the line. The Indians were a source of 
trouble to the regidores, and there was always 
a number of them under sentence for petty mis- 
demeanors. They formed the chain gang of the 
pueblo. Each regidor had to take his weekly 
turn as captain of the chain gang and superin- 
tend the work of the prisoners. 

The Indian village, down by the river be- 
tween what are now First street and Aliso, was 
the plague spot of the body politic. Petition 
after petition came to the council for the removal 
of the Indians. Finally, in 1846, the ayunta- 
miento ordered their removal across the river to 
the Aguage de Los Avilas (the Spring of the 
Avilas) and the site of their former village was 
sold to their old-time enemy and persecutor, 
John Sunday, the foreigner, for $200, which was 
to be expended for the benefit of the Indians. 
Gov. Pio Pico borrowed the $200 from the coun- 
cil to pay the expenses of raising troops to sup- 
press Castro, who, from his headquarters at 
Monterey, was supposed to be fomenting an- 
other revolution, with the design of making him- 
self governor. If Castro had such designs the 
Americans frustrated them by promptly taking 
possession of the country. Pico and his army 
returned to Los Angeles, but the Indians' money 
never came back any more. 

The last recorded meeting of the ayuntamiento 
of Los Angeles under Mexican rule was held 
July 4, 1846, and the last recorded act was to 
give Juan Domingo a title to the pueblito — the 
lands on which the Indian village stood. Could 
the irony of fate have a sharper sting? The 
Mexican, on the birthday of American liberty, 
robbed the Indian of the last acre of his ancestral 
lands, and the American robbed the Mexican 
that robbed the Indian. 

The ayuntamiento was revived in 1847, after 
the conquest, but it was not the "Most Illustri- 
ous" of former days. The heel of the conqueror 
was on the neck of the native, and it is not 
strange that the old-time motto, Dios y Libertad 
(God and liberty), was sometimes abbreviated 
in the later records to "God and etc." The sec- 
retary was sure of Dios, but uncertain about 

The revenues of Los Angeles were small dur- 
ing the Mexican era. There was no tax on land, 
nnfl the municipal funds were derived principally 

from ta.xes on wine and brandy, from fines anil 
from licenses of saloons and business houses. 
The pueblo lands were sold at the rate of 25 cents 
per front vara, or about eight cents per front 
foot, for house lots. The city treasury was usu- 
ally in a state of financial collapse. Various ex- 
pedients for inflating were agitated, but the peo- 
ple were opposed to taxation and the plans never 

In 1837, the financial stringency was so press- 
ing that the alcalde reported to the ayuntamiento 
that he was compelled to take country produce 
for fines. He had already received eight colts, 
si.x fanegas (about nine bushels) of com and 
35 hides. The syndic immediately laid claim 
to the colts on his back salary. The alcalde put 
in a preferred claim of his own for money ad- 
vanced to pay the salary of the secretary, and 
besides, he said, he had "boarded the colts." 
After considerable discussion the alcalde was 
ordered to turn over the colts to the city treas- 
urer to be appraised and paid out on claims 
against the city. In the meantime it was found 
that two of the colts had run away and the re- 
maining six had demonetized the corn by eating- 
it up — a contraction of the currency that ex- 
ceeded in heinousness the "crime of '/S" 

The municipal revenue between 1835 and 1845 
never exceeded $1,000 in any one year, and some 
years it fell as low as $500 a year. There were 
but few salaried oflices, and the pay of the officials 
was small. The secretary of the ayuntamiento 
received from $30 to $40 a month: the school- 
master was paid $15 a month while school kept, 
but as the vacations greatly exceeded in length 
the school terms, his compensation was not 
munificent. The alcaldes, regidores and jueces 
del campos (judges of the plains) took their pay 
in honors, and honors, it might be said, were not 
always easy. The church expenses were paid 
out of the municipal funds, and these usually ex- 
ceeded the amount paid out for schools. The 
people were more spiritually inclined than intel- 

The form of electing city officers was similar 
to our plan of electing a president and vice- 
president. A primary election was held to choose 
electors ; these electors met and elected the city 
officials. No elector could vote for himself. As 
but few of the voters could read or write, the 
voting at the primary election was by viva voce, 
and at the secondary election by ballot. The 
district was divided into blocks or precincts, and 
a conmiissioner or judge of election appointed 
for each block. The polls were usually held 
under the portico or porch of some centrally 
located house. Judge of the election was not a 
coveted office, and those eligible to the office 
(persons who could read and write) often tried 



ti_i be excused from serving; but, as in Pantoja's 
case, the office usually refused to let go of the 

Don Manuel Requena was appointed judge of 
a certain district. He sent in his resignation on 
the plea of sickness. The aj'untamiento was 
about to accept it when some one reported that 
Don Manuel was engaged in pruning his vine- 
yard, whereupon a committee of investigation 
was appointed, with Juan Temple, merchant, as 
medical expert. The committee and the inpro- 
vised doctor examined Don Manuel, and re- 
ported that his indisposition did not prevent him 
from pruning, but would incapacitate him from 
serving as judge of the election. The mental 
strain of a primary was more debilitating than 
the physical strain of pruning. The right of elec- 
tive franchise was not very highly prized by the 
common people. In December, 1844, the pri- 
mary election went by default because no one 

The office of jueces del campos, or judges of 
the plains, outlived the Mexican era and was 

continued for a dozen years at least after llie 
American conquest, and was abolished, or rather 
fell into decadence, when cattle-raising ceased 
to be the prevailing industry. The duties of the 
judges were to hold rodeos (cattle gatherings) 
and recojedas (horse gatherings) throughout 
the district ; to settle all disputes and see that 
justice was done between owners of stock. 

From 1839 to 1846 the office of prefect exist- 
ed. There were two in the territory, one for 
northern California and one for the southern 
district. The prefect was a sort of sub or assist- 
ant governor. He was appointed by the gov- 
ernor with the approbation of the departmental 
assembly. All petitions for land and all appeals 
from the decisions of the alcaldes were passed 
upon by him before they were submitted to the 
governor for final decisions. He had no author- 
ity to make a final decision, but his opinions had 
weight with the governor in determining the 
disposal of a question. The residence of the pre- 
fect for the southern district was Los Angeles. 



CITIES in their growth and development 
pass through distinctive ages in the kind 
of material of which they are built. Most 
of the cities of the United States began their 
existence in the wooden age, and have pro- 
gressed successively through the brick and stone 
age, the iron age and are now entering upon 
the steel age. The cities of the extreme south- 
west — those of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and 
Southern California — like ancient Babylon and 
imperial Rome — began their existence in the 
clay or adobe age. It took California three- 
quarters of a century to emerge from the adobe 
age. At the time of its final conquest by the 
United States troops (January 10, 1847) there 
was not within its limits (if I am rightly in- 
formed) a building built of any other material 
than adobe, or sun dried brick. 

In the adobe age every man was his own arch- 
itect and master builder. He had no choice of 
material, or, rather, with his ease-loving disposi- 
tion, he chose that which was most easily ob- 
tained, and that was the tough black clay out of 
which the sun dried bricks called "adobes" were 

The Indian was the brick-maker and he toiled 
for his task-masters like the Hebrew of old for 
the Egyptian, making bricks without straw — 

and without pay. There were no labor strikes in 
the building trades then. The Indian was the 
builder as well as the brick-maker and he did 
not know how to strike for higher wages, for the 
very good reason that he received no wages. 
He took his pittance in food and aguardiente, 
the latter of which often brought him to enforced 
service in the chain gang. The adobe bricks 
were molded into form and set up to dry. 
Through the long summer days they baked in 
the hot sun, first on one side, then on the other ; 
and when dried through they were laid in the 
wall with mud mortar. Then the walls had to 
dry, and dry perhaps through another summer 
before the house was habitable. 

^^'hen a new house was needed — and a house 
was not built in the adobe age until there was 
urgent need for it — the builder selected a site 
and applied to the ayuntamiento, if a resident 
of a town, for a grant of a piece of the pueblo 
lands. If no one had a prior claim to the lot he 
asked for, he was granted it. If he did not build 
a house on it within a given time — usually a 
year from the time the grant was made — any 
citizen could denounce or file on the property 
and with permission of the ayuntamiento take 
possession of it ; but the council was lenient and 
almost anv excuse secured an extension. 



In the ailobc age every man owned his own 
house. No houses were built for rent nor for 
sale on speculation. The real estate agent was 
unknown. There were no hotels nor lodging 
houses. When travelers or strangers paid a visit 
to one of the old pueblos they were entertained 
at private houses, or if no one opened his doors 
to them they camped out or moved on to the 
nearest mission, where they were sure of a 
night's lodging. 

The architecture of the adobe age had no 
freaks or fads in it. Like the laws of the 
Medes and Persians it altered not. There was, 
with but very few exceptions, but one style of 
house — the square walled, flat roofed, one story 
structure — looking, as a writer of early time's 
says : "Like so many brick kilns ready for the 
burning." Although there were picturesque 
homes in California under the Mexican regime, 
and the quaint mission buildings of the Spanish 
era were massive and imposing, yet the average 
town house of the native Californian, with its 
clay-colored adobe walls, its flat asphaltum-cov- 
ered roof, its ground floor, its rawhide door and 
its wooden or iron barred windows, was as de- 
void of beauty without as it was of comfort and 
convenience within. 

The adobe age was not an aesthetic age. The 
old pueblos were homely almost to ugliness. 
The clay-colored houses that marked the lines 
of the crooked and irregular streets were, with- 
out, gloomy and uninviting. There was no glass 
in the windows. There were no lawns in front, 
no sidewalks, and no shade trees. The streets 
were ungraded and unsprinkled and when the 
dashing caballeros used them for race courses, 
dense clouds of yellow dust enveloped the 

There were no slaughter houses, and each 
family had its own matanza in close proximity 
to the kitchen, and in time the ghastly skulls of 
the slaughtered bovines formed veritable gol- 
gothas in back yards. The crows acted as scav- 
engers and, w-hen not employed in the street 
(lejiartment removing garbage, sat on the roofs 
of the houses and cawed dismally. They in- 
creased and multiplied until the "Plague of the 
Crows" compelled the ayuntamiento of Los .An- 
geles to ofifer a bounty for their destruction. 

Rut even amid these homely surroundings 
there were aesthetic souls that dreamed dreams 
of beauty and saw visions of better and brighter 
things for at least one of the old pueblos. 
The famous speech of Regidor Leonardo Cota, 
delivered before the ayuntamiento of Los An- 
geles nearly sixty years ago, has been preserved 
to us in the old pueblo archives. It stamps the 
author as a man in advance of the age in which 
he lived. It has in it the hopefulness of boom 

literature, although somewhat saddened by the 
gloom of uncongenial surroundings. "The 
time has arrived," said he, "when the city of 
Los Angeles begins to figure in the political 
world, as it now finds itself the capital of the de- 
partment. Now, to complete the necessary work 
that, although it is but a small town, it should 
proceed to show its beauty, its splendor and its 
magnificence in such a manner that when the 
traveler visits us he may say, T have seen the 
City of the Angels ; I have seen the work of its 
street commission, and all these demonstrate 
that it is a Mexican paradise.' It is not so under 
the present conditions, for the majority of its 
buildings present a gloomy, a melancholy aspect, 
a dark and forbidding aspect that resembles the 
catacombs of Ancient Rome more than the habi- 
tations of a free people. I present these propo- 
sitions : 

"First, that the government be requested to 
enact measures so that within four months all 
house fronts shall be plastered and whitewashed. 

"Second, that all owners be requested to re- 
pair the same or open the door for the denun- 
ciator. If you adopt and enforce these meas- 
ures, I shall feel that I have done something for 
my city and my country." 

Don Leonardo's eloquent appeal moved the 
departmental assembly to enact a law requiring 
the plastering and whitew-ashing of the house 
fronts under a penalty of fines, ranging from $5 
to $25, if the work was not done within a given 
time. For awhile there was a plastering of 
cracked walls, a whitening of house fronts and a 
brightening of interiors. The sindico's account 
book, in the old archives, contains a charge of 
twelve reals for a fanega (one and one-half bush- 
els) of lime, "to whitewash the court."* 

Don Leonardo's dream of transforming the 
"City of the Angels" into a Mexican paradise 
was never realized. The fines were never col- 
lected. The cracks in the walls widened and 
were not filled. The whitewash faded from the 
house fronts and was not renewed. The old 
pueblo again took on the gloom of the cata- 

The manners and customs of the people in the 
adobe age were in keeping with its architecture. 
There were no freaks and fads in their social life. 
The fashions in dress and living did not change 
suddenly. The few wealthy people in the town 
and country dressed well, even extravagantly, 
while the many poor ]ieople dressed sparingly — 
if indeed some were dressed at all. Robinson de- 
scribes the dress of Tomas Yorba, a wealthy 
ranchero of the upper Santa Ana, as he saw him 
in 1829: "I'pon his head he wore a black silk 

*Tlio o 


handkerchief, tlie four corners of which liung 
ilown his neck behind. An embroidered shirt; 
a cravat of white jaconet tastefully tied ; a blue 
damask vest ; short clothes of crimson velvet ; 
a bright green cloth jacket, with large silver 
buttons, and shoes of embroidered deerskin 
composed his dress. I was afterwards informed 
by Don Alanuel (Dominguez) that on some oc- 
casions, such as some particular feast day or fes- 
tival, his entire display often exceeded in value 
a thousand dollars." 

The same authority (Robinson) says of the 
women's dress at that time (1829) : "The dress 
worn by the middle class of females is a chemise, 
with short embroidered sleeves, richly trimmed 
with lace ; a muslin petticoat, flounced with scar- 
let and secured at the waist by a silk band of the 
same color ; shoes of velvet or blue satin ; a cot- 
ton reboso or scarf; pearl necklace and earrings, 
with hair falling in broad plaits down the back." 

Of the dress of the men in 1829, Robinson 
says : 'A^ery few of the men have adopted our 
mode of dress, the greater part adhering to the 
ancient costume of the past century. Short 
clotlies and a jacket trimmed with scarlet ; a silk 
sash about the waist ; botas of ornamented deer- 
skin and embroidered shoes ; the hair long, 
braided and fastened behind with ribbons ; a 
black silk handkerchief around the head, sur- 
mounted by an oval and broad brimmed hat is 
the dress usually worn by the men of Califor- 

After the coming of the Hijar colony, in 1834, 
there was a change in the fashions. The colo- 
nists brought with them the latest fashions from 
the city of Mexico. The men generally adopt- 
ed calzoneras instead of the knee breeches or 
short clothes of the last century. "The calzo- 
neras were pantaloons with the exterior seam 
open throughout its length. On the upper edge 
was a striji of cloth, red, blue or black, in which 
w ere the button-holes. On the other edge were 
eyelet holes for the buttons. In some cases the 
calzonera was sewn from the hip to the middle 
of the thigh : in others, buttoned. From the mid- 
dle of the thigh downward the log was covered 
liy the bota or leggings, used by every one, 
whatever his dress." The short jacket, with sil- 
ver or bronze buttons, and the silken sash that 
served as a connecting link between the calzo- 
neras and the jacket, and also supplied the place 
of what the Californians did not wear — suspen- 
ders, this constituted a picturesque costume, 
that continued in vogue until the conquest, and 
with many of the natives for several years after it. 
After 1834 the fashionable women of California 
"exchanged their narrow skirts for more 
(lowing garments and abandoned the braided 
hair for the coil, and the large combs till then 

in use, for smaller combs.''* For outer wraps 
the serapa for men and the rcboza for women 
were universally worn. The texture of these 
marked the social standing of the wearer. It 
ranged from cheap cotton and coarse serge to 
the costliest silk and the finest of French broad- 

The legendary of the hearthstone and the fire- 
side, which fills so large a place in tiie home life 
of the Anglo Saxon, had no part in the domestic 
system of the Californian, he had no hearthstone 
and no fireside ; nor could that pleasing fiction of 
Santa Claus' descent through the chinmey on 
Christmas eve, that so delights the young chil- 
dren of to-day, have had any meaning to the 
youthful Californian of the old pueblo days. 
There were no chimneys in the old pueblos. The 
only means of warming the houses by artificial 
heat was a pan of coals set on the floor. The 
people lived out of doors in the open air and 
invigorating sunshine. The houses were places 
to sleep in or shelters from the rain. The kitch- 
ens were detached from the living rooms. The 
better class of dwellings usually had out of doors 
or in an open shed, a beehive shaped earthen 
oven, in wdiich the family baking was done. The 
poorer class of the pueblanos cooked over a 
campfire, with a flat stone (on which the tortillas 
were baked) and a few pieces of pottery. The 
culinary outfit was not extensive, even in the best 
appointed kitchens. 

Before the mission mill was built near San 
Gabriel, the first mill constructed in Southern 
California, the hand mill and the metete, or 
grinding stone, were the only means of grinding 
wdieat or corn. To obtain a supply of flour or 
meal for a family by such a process was slow 
and laborious, so the family very often dispensed 
with bread in the bill of fare. Bread was not 
the stafif of life in the old pueblo days. F.ccf 
was the staple article of diet. 

As lumber was scarce and hard to |)r(icure 
most of the houses had earthen floors. The fur- 
nitm-c was meager, a few benches, a rawhide 
bottomed chair to sit on, a rough table, a chest 
or two to keep the family finery in, a few cheaj) 
prints of saints on the walls formed the decora- 
tions and furnishings of the living rooms of the 
connnon people. The bed w-as the pride and 
ambition of the housewife and, even in humble 
dwellings, sometimes a snowy counterpane and 
lace trimmed pillows decorated a couch, whose 
base w-as a bullock's hide stretched on a rough 
frame of wood. A shrine dedicated to the patron 
saint of the household was a very essential part 
of a well-ordered home. 

I'"ilial obedience and respect fur ]inrental an- 



tlmrity wxrc early impresseil upon the minds of 
the children. A child was never too old or too 
large to he exempt from punishment. Stephen 
C. Foster used to relate an amusing case of par- 
ental disciplining he once saw : An old lady of 
60, a grandmother, was belaboring with a barrel 
stave, her son, a man of 30 years of age. The 
boy had done something that his mother did not 
approve of. She sent for him to come over to 
the maternal home, to receive his punishment. 
He came. She took him out to the metaphorical 
wood shed, which in this case was the portico of 
her house, where she stood him up and pro- 
ceeded to administer corporal punishment. With 
the resounding thwacks of the barrel-stave she 
would exclaim, 'Til teach you to behave your- 
self! I'll mend your manners, sir! Now, you 
will be good, won't you ?" The big man took his 
punishment without a thought of resenting or 
rebelling; in fact, he rather seemed to enjoy it. 
It was, no doubt, a feeling and forcible reminder 
of his boyhood days. 

In the earlier days of California, before revo- 
lutionary ideas had perverted the usages of the 
people, great respect was shown to those in au- 
thority and the authorities were strict in requir- 
ing deference from their constituents. In the 
Los Angeles archives of 1828 are the records of 
an impeachment trial of Don Antonio M. Lugo, 
held to depose him from the office of Judge of 
the Plains. The principal duty of such a judge 
was to decide cases of disputed ownership of 
stray cattle and horses. Lugo seems to have 
had a very exalted idea of the dignity of his 
office. Among the complaints was one from 
young Pedro Sanchez, who testified that Lugo 
had tried to ride his horse over him in the street, 
because he, Sanchez, would not take off his hat 
to the judge and, remain standin;; uncovered 
while Lugo rode past. 

Lender Mexican domination there was no 
tax levied on land and improvements. The 
numici])al funds of the pueblos were obtained 
from the revenue on wine antl brandy ; from 
the licenses of saloons and other business 
houses, from the tariff on imports, from per- 
mits to give balls or dances, from the fines 
of transgressors and from the tax on bull 
rings an<l cock pits. Then men's pleasures and 
vices paid the cost of governing. Although in 
the early '40s the city of Los Angeles had a pop- 
ulation of 2,000 the revenues did not exceed 
$r,ooo a year; yet with this small amount the 
municipal authorities ran a city government and 
kept out of debt. It did not cost nnich then to 
run a city government. There was no army 
of high salaried officials then, with a horde of 
political heelers, quartered on the nnmicipality 
and fed from tlic public crib at the expense of 

the taxpayer. Politicians may have been no 
more honest then than now, but where there 
was nothing to steal there was no stealing. The 
old alcaldes and regidores were wise enough not 
to put temptation in the way of the politicians, 
and thus they kept them reasonably honest, or 
at least tliey kept them from plundering the tax- 
payers, by the simple expedient of having no 
taxpayers. The only salaried officers in the days 
when the Most Illustrious Ayuntamiento was 
the ruling power in the city, were the secretary 
of that body, the sindico or revenue collector and 
the schoolmaster (that is when there was one). 
The highest monthly salary paid the secretary, 
who was also ex-officio clerk of the alcalde's 
court, was $40; the sindico received a commis- 
sion on collections and the schoolmaster was 
paid $15 per month. If like Oliver Twist he 
cried for more he was dismissed for evident un- 
fitness for his duties; his unfitness appearing in 
his inability to live on his meager salary. 

The functions of the various departments of 
the city government were most economically 
performed. Street cleaning and the lighting of 
the city were provided for on a sort of automatic 
principle. There was an ordinance that required 
each owner of a house, every Saturday, to sweep 
and clean in front of his premises to the middle 
of the street. His neighbor on the opposite 
side met him half way and the street was swept 
without expense to the city. There was another 
ordinance that required each owner of a house 
of more than two rooms on a principal street to 
hang a lighted lantern in front of his door from 
twilight to eight o'clock in winter and to nine 
in summer. So the city was at no expense for 
lighting. There were fines for neglect of these 
duties. The crows had a contract for removing 
the garbage. No garbage wagon with its aroma 
of decay scented the atmosphere of the brown 
adobe fronts in the days of long ago. There 
were no fines imposed upon the crows for m- 
glect of duty. Evidently they were efficient cil\ 
officials. Similar ordinances for lighting and 
street sweeping were in force at Santa Barbara 
and San Diego. At Santa Barbara they were 
continued for at least a decade after the Amer- 
ican occupation. 

It is said "that every dog has his day." There 
was one day each week that the dogs of Los 
Angeles did not have on which to roam about ; 
and that was Monday. Every Monday was dog 
catcher's day, and was set apart by ordinance 
for tlrt killing of tramp dogs. Woe betide the 
unfortunate canine which on that day escaped 
from his kennel, or broke loose from his tether. 
A swift flying lasso encircled his neck and the 
breath wa> quickly choked out of his body. 
Mondav was n '"dies irae," an evil dav lo the 


youthful Angeleno with a dog, and the dog 
catcher was abhorred and despised then as now 
by every boy wlio possessed a canine pet. 

There was no fire department in tlie old pueb- 
los. The adobe houses with their clay walls, 
earthen floors and rawhide doors were as nearly 
fireproof as any human habitation could be 
made. I doubt whether any muchacho of the 
old regime ever saw a house on fire. The boys 
of that day never experienced the thrilling pleas- 
ure of running to a fire. What boys sometimes 
miss by being born too soon ! There were no 
paid police departments. Every able-bodied 
young man was subject to military duty. A vol- 
unteer guard or patrol was kept on duty at the 
cuartel, or guard house. These guards policed 

the pueblos, but they were not paid. jLach young 
man had to take his turn at guard duty. 

Niewed from our standpoint of higli civiliza- 
tion, life in the old pueblo days was a monoton- 
ous round of wearying sameness — uneventful 
and uninteresting. The people of that day, how- 
ever, managed to extract a great deal of pleasure 
from it. Undoubtedly they missed — by living so 
long ago — many things that we in this highly 
enlightened age have come to regard as necessi- 
ties of our existence; but they also missed the 
harrowing cares, the vexations and the excessive 
taxation, both mental and numlcipal, that pre- 
maturely furrow our brows and whiten our 



THE acquisition of California by the United 
States was the result of one of those 
spasms of territorial expansion that seem 
at certain periods to - take hold of the body 
politic. It had been for several years a fore- 
gone conclusion in the minds of the leading poli- 
ticians of the then dominant party that the 
inanifest destiny of California was to become 
United States territory. The United States must 
have a l^acific boundary, and those restless no- 
mads, the pioneers of the west, must have new 
country to colonize. England or France might 
at any time seize the country ; and, as Mexico 
must eventually lose California, it were better 
that the United States should possess it than 
some European power. All that was wanting 
for the United States to seize and appropriate 
it was a sufficient provocation by the Mexican 
government. The ])rovocation came, but not 
from Mexico. 

Capt. John C. h'remont, an engineer and ex- 
plorer in the services of tlie United States, ap- 
l)eared at Monterey in January, 1846, and applied 
to Gen. Castro, the military comandante, for 
permission to buy supjilies for his party of sixty- 
two men who were encamped in the San Joaquin 
Valley, in what is now Kern County. Permis- 
sion was given him. There seems to have been 
a tacit agreement between Castro and Fremont 
that the exploring party should not enter the 
settlements, but early in March the whole force 
was encamped in the Salinas valley. Castro re- 
garded the marching of a body of armed men 
through the country as an act of hostility, and 
ordered them out of the couutrv. Instead of 

leaving, Fremont intrenched himself on an emi- 
nence known as Gabilian Peak (about thirty 
miles from Monterey), raised the stars and 
stripes over his barricade and defied Castro. 
Castro maneuvered his troops on the plain be- 
low, but did not attack Fremont. After two 
days" waiting Fremont abandoned his position 
and began his march northward. On May 9, 
when near the Oregon line, he was overtaken by 
Lieut. Gillespie, of the United States navy, with 
a dispatch from the president. Gillespie had left 
the United States in November, 1845, a"d, dis- 
guised, had crossed IMexico from \'era Cruz to 
Mazatlan, and from there had reached Monterey. 
The exact nature of the dispatches to Fremont 
is not known, but presumably they related to 
the impending war between Mexico and the 
United States, and the necessity for a prompt 
seizure of the country to prevent it from falling 
into the hands of Juigland. Fremont returned 
to the Sacramento, where he encamped. 

On the 14th of June, 1846, a body of American 
settlers from tlie Napa and Sacramento valleys, 
thirty-three in number, of which Ide, Semple, 
Grigsby and Merritt seem to have been the lead- 
ers, after a night's march, took possession of the 
old Castillo or fort at Sonoma, with its rusty 
muskets and unused cannon, and made Gen. M. 
G. \'allejo, Lieut.-Col. Prudon, Capt. Salvador 
Vallejo and Jacob P. Leese, a brother-in-law of 
the \'allejos, prisoners. There seems to have 
been no privates at the castillo — all officers. 
Exactly what was the object of the American 
settlers in taking Gen. \'allejo prisoner is not 
evident. Gen. \allejo was one nf the few emi- 



ncnt Califoniians wlio favored the annexation 
of California to the L'nited States. He is said 
to have made a speech favoring such a move- 
ment in the junta at Monterey a few months 
before. Castro regarded him with suspicion. 
The prisoners were sent under an armed escort 
to Fremont's camp, ^\'illiam B. Ide was elected 
captain of the revolutionists who remained at 
Sonoma, to "hold the fort." He issued a pro- 
nunciamento full of bombast, bad English and 
worse orthography. He declared California a 
free and independent state, under the name of 
the California Republic. A nation must have a 
flag of its own, so one was improvised. It was 
made of a piece of cotton cloth, or manta, a yard 
wide and five feet long. Strips of red flannel torn 
from an old petticoat that had crossed the plains 
were stitched on the manta for stripes. \Vith a 
blacking brush, or, as another authority says, 
the end of a chewed stick for a brush, and red- 
berry juice for paint. W'ilham L. Todd painted 
the figure of a grizzly bear rampant on the field 
of the flag. The natives called Todd's bear "co- 
chino" — a pig; it resemb'.ed that animal more 
than a bear. A five-pointed star in the left upper 
corner, painted with the same coloring matter, 
and the words, "California Republic." printed 
on it in ink, completed the famous bear-flag. 

The California Republic was ushered into ex- 
istence June 14, 1846, attained the acme of its 
power July 4, when Ide and his fellow-patriots 
burnt a quantity of powder in salutes, and fired 
off oratorical pyrotechnics in honor of the new 
republic. It utterly collapsed on the 9th of July, 
after an existence of twenty-five days, when 
news reached Sonoma that Commodore Sloat 
had raised the stars and stripes at Monterey and 
taken possession of California in the name of the 
United States. 

Commodore Sloat, who had anchored in Mon- 
terey Bay July 2, 1846, was for a time imdecided 
whether to take possession of the country. He 
!iad no official information that war had 1)een de- 
clared between the United States and Mexico ; 
but, acting on the supposition that Capt. Fre- 
mont had received definite instructions, on the 
/th of July he raised the flag and took possession 
of the custom-house and government buildings 
at Monterey. Capt. Montgomery, on the 9th, 
raised it at San Francisco, and on the same day 
the Bear flag gave place to the stars and stripes 
at Sonoma. 

Gen. Castro was holding Santa Clara and San 
Jose when he received Commodore Sloat's proc- 
lamation informing him that the conuuodore 
had taken possession of Monterey. Castro, after 
reading the proclamation, which was written in 
Spanish, formed his men in line, and. addressing 
them, said : "Monterey is taken bv the .\meri- 

cans. What can I do with a handful of men 
against the United States? I am going to Mex- 
ico. All of you who wish to follow me, 'About 
face !' All that wish to remain can go to their 
homes"* A very small part of hi.; force followed 

Commodore Sloat was superseded by Commo- 
dore Stockton, who set about organizing an ex- 
pedition to subjugate the southern part of the 
territory which still remained loyal to ^lexico. 
Fremont's exploring party, recruited to a bat- 
talion of 160 men, had marched to ^Monterey, and 
from there was sent by vessel to San Diego to 
procure horses and prepare to act as cavalrv. 
* * * * ' 

Let us now return to Los Angeles, and learn 
how afYairs had progressed at the capital. 

Pio Pico had entered upon the duties of the 
governorship with a desire to bring peace and 
liarmony to the distracted country. He appointed 
Juan r)andini, one of the ablest statesmen of the 
south, his secretary, .\fter Bandini resigned he 
chose J. M. Covarrubias, and later Jose M. Mo- 
reno filled the office. 

The principal offices of the territory had been 
divided equally between the politician.? of the 
north and the south, ^^'h!le Los Angeles be- 
came the capital, and the departmental assembly 
met there, the military headquarters, the ar- 
chives and the treasury remained at Monterey. 
But notwithstanding this division of the spoils 
of office, the old feud between the arribanos and 
the abajenos would uot down, and soon the old- 
time quarrel was on with all its bitterness. Cas- 
tro, as military comandante, ignored the gov- 
ernor, and Alvarado was regarded by the sureiios 
as an emissary of Castro's. The departmental 
assembly met at Los Angeles in IXIarch, 1846. 
I'ico presided, and in his opening message set 
forth the unfortimate condition of affairs in the 
department. Education was neglected ; justice 
was not administered : the missions were so bur- 
dened by debt that but few of them could be 
rented ; the army was disorganized and the treas- 
ury empty. 

Not even the danger of war with the .\nicri- 
cans could make the warring factions forget 
their fratricidal strife. Castro's proclamation 
against Fremont was construed by the surenos 
into a scheme to inveigle the governor to the 
north so that the comandante-general could de- 
pose him and seize the office lor himself. Cas- 
tro's preparations to resist by force the encroach- 
ments of the .Americans were believed, bv Pico 
and the Angelenians. to be the fitting out of an 
army to attack Los .Angeles and overthrow the 

Trail's irislory of Jose. 



On the ibth of June, Pico left Los .Angeles for 
Monterey with a mihtary force of a hundred 
men. The object of the expedition was to op- 
pose, and, if possible, to depose Castro. He left 
the capital under the care of the ayuntamiento. 
On the 20th of June, Alcalde Gallardo reported to 
the ayuntamiento that he had positive informa- 
tion "that Don Castro had left Monterey and 
would arrive here in tijree days with a military 
force for the purpose of capturing the city." 
(Castro had left Monterey with a force of 70 
men, but he had gone north to San Jose.) The 
sub-prefect, Don Abel Stearns, was authorized 
to enlist troops to preserve order. On the 23d 
of June, three companies were organized — an ar- 
tillery company under ]\Iiguel Pryor, a company 
of riflemen under Benito Wilson, and a cavalry 
company under Gorge Palomares. Pico called 
for re-inforcements, but just as he was preparing 
to march against Monterey the news reached 
him of the capture of Sonoma by the Americans, 
and next day, June 24, the news reached Los An- 
geles just as the cou.ncil had decided on a plan of 
defense against Castro, who was 500 miles away. 
Pico, on the impulse of the moment, issued a 
proclamation, in which he arraigned the United 
States for perfidy and treachery, and the gang 
of "North American adventurers," who had cap- 
tured Sonoma "with the blackest treason the 
spirit of evil can invent." His arraignment of the 
"North American Nation" was so severe that 
some of his American friends in Los Angeles 
took umbrage at his pronunciamento. He after- 
wards tried to recall it, but it was too late ; it had 
been published. 

Castro, finding the "foreign adventurers" too 
numerous and too aggressive in the northern 
part of the territory, determined, with what men 
lie could induce to go with him, to retreat to the 
south ; but before so doing he sent a mediator 
to Pico to negotiate a treaty of peace and amity 
between the factions. On the 12th of July the two 
armies met at Santa Margarita, near San Luis 
Obispo. Castro brought the news that Commo- 
dore Sloat had hoisted the United States flag 
at Monterey and taken possession of the country 
for his government. The meeting of the gov- 
ernor and the comandante-general was not very 
cordial, but in the presence of the impending 
danger to the territory they concealed their mu- 
tual dislike and decided to do their best to defend 
the country they both loved. 

Sorrowfully they began their retreat to the 
capital; but even threatened disaster to their 
common country could not wholly unite the 
north and the south. The respective armies — 
Castro's numbering about 150 men and Pico's 
^20 — kept about a day's march apart. Thev 
ronchod T.ns Angeles, ;ind prc]iarntions were be- 

gun to resist the invasion of the Americans. 
Pico issued ?. proclamation ordering all able- 
bodied men between 15 and 60 years of age, na- 
tive and naturalized, to take up arms to defend 
the country ; any able-bodied Mexican refusing 
was to be treated as a traitor. There was no 
enthusiasm for the cause. The old factional 
jealousy and distrust was as potent as ever. The 
militia of the south would obey none but their 
own officers ; Castro's troops, who considered 
themselves regulars, ridiculed the raw recruits of 
the surenos, while the naturalized foreigners of 
American extraction secretly sympathized with 
their own people. 

Pico, to counteract the malign influence of his 
Santa Barbara proclamation and enlist the sym- 
pathy and more ready adhesion of the foreign 
element of Los Angeles, issued the following 
circular: (This circular or proclamation has 
never before, found its way into print. I find no 
allusion to it in Bancroft's or Hittell's Histories. 
A copy, probably the only one in existence, was 
donated some years since to the Historical So- 
ciety of Soutliorn California. I am indebted to 
Prof. Carlos Bransby for a most excellent trans- 

Gobierno del Dep. 
de Californias. 

"Circular. — As owing to the unfortunate 
condition of things that now prevail in this de- 
partment in consequence of the war into which 
the United States has provoked the Mexican 
Nation, some ill feeling might spring up between 
the citizens of the two countries out of which 
unfortunate occurrences might gi'ow, and as this 
government desires to remove every cause of 
friction, it has seen fit, in tlic use of its power, to 
issue the present circular. 

"The Government of the department of Cali- 
fornia declares in the most solenni manner that 
all the citizens of the United States that have 
come lawfully into its territory, relying upon the 
honest administration of the laws and the ob- 
servance of the prevailing treaties, shall not be 
molested in the least, and their lives and prop- 
erty shall remain in perfect safety under the pro- 
tection of the Mexican laws and authorities le- 
gally constituted. 

"Therefore, in the name of the Supreme Gov- 
ernment of the Nation, and by virtue of the au- 
thority vested upon me, I enjoin upon all the 
inhabitants of California to observe towards the 
citizens of the United States that have lawfully 
conic among us, the kindest and most cordial 


conduct, and to abstain from all acts of violence 
against their persons or property ; provided they 
remain neutral, as heretofore, and take no part 
in the invasion effected by the armies of their 

"The authorities of the various municipalities 
and corporations will be held strictly responsible 
for the faithful fulfillment of this order, and shall, 
as soon as possible, take the necessary measures 
to bring it to the knowledge of the people. God 
and Libert v. Angeles, July 27, 1846. 

"Pio Pico. 
"Jose Matias Mareno, 

"Secrelary pro teiii." 

When we consider the conditions existing in 
California at the time this circular was issued, its 
sentiments reflect great credit on Pico for his hu- 
manity and forbearance. A little over a month 
before, a mob of Americans, many of them in the 
country contrary to its laws, had without cause 
or provocation seized Gen. \^allejo and several 
other prominent Californians in their homes and 
incarcerated them in prison at Sutter's Fort. 
Nor was this outrage mitigated when the stars 
and stripes were raised. The perpetrators of the 
outrage were not punished. These native Cali- 
fornians were kept in prison nearly two months 
without any charge against them. Besides, Gov- 
ernor Pico and the leading Californians very well 
knew that the Americans whose lives and prop- 
erty tliis proclamation was designed to protect 
would not remain neutral when their country- 
men invaded the territory. Pio Pico deserved 
better treatment from the Americans than he re- 
ceived. He was robbed of his landed posses- 
sions by unscrupulous land sharks, and his char- 
acter defamed by irresponsible historical scrib- 

Pico made strenuous efiforts to raise men and 
means to resist tlie threatened invasion. He had 
mortgaged the government house to de Cells for 
$2,000, the mortgage to be paid "as soon as or- 
der shall be established in the department." This 
loan was really negotiated to fit out the ex- 
pedition against Castro, but a part of it was 
expended after his return to Los Angeles in pro- 
curing supplies while preparing to meet the 
American army. The government had but little 
credit. The moneyed men of the pueblo were 
averse to putting money into what was almost 
sure to prove a lost cause. The bickerings and 
jealousies between the factions neutralized to a 
considerable degree the efforts of Pico and Cas- 
tro to mobilize the army. 

Castro established his camp on the mesa 
across the river, near where Mrs. Hollenbeck's 
residence now is. Here he and .\ndres Pico un- 
dertook to drill the somewhat incongruous col- 

lection of hombres in military maneuvering. 
Their entire force at no time exceeded 300 men. 
These were poorly armed and lacking in dis- 

* * * * 

We left Stockton at Monterey preparing an 
expedition against Castro at Los Angeles. C^n 
taking command of the Pacific squadron July 29, 
he issued a proclamatiorik It was as bombastic 
as the pronunciamento of a Mexican governor. 
Bancroft says : "The paper was made up of false- 
hood, of irrelevant issues and bombastic ranting 
in about equal parts, the tone being offensive and 
impolitic even in those inconsiderable portions 
which were true and legitimate." His only ob- 
ject in taking possession of the country was "to 
save from destruction the lives and property of 
the foreign residents and citizens of the territory 
who had invoked his protection." In view of 
Pico's humane circular and the imiform kind 
treatment that the Californians accorded the 
American residents, there was very little need of 
Stockton's interference on that score. 

Commodore Sloat did not approve of Stock- 
ton's proclamation or his policy. 

On the 6th of August Stockton reached San 
Pedro and landed 360 sailors and marines. These 
were drilled in military movements on land and 
prepared for the march to Los Angeles. 

Castro sent two commissioners — Pablo de La 
Guerra and Jose M. Flores — to Stockton, asking 
for a conference and a cessation of hostilities 
while negotiations were pending. They asked 
that the United States forces remain at San 
Pedro while the terms of the treaty were under 
discussion. These requests Commodore Stock- 
ton peremptorily refused and the commissioners 
returned to Los Angeles without stating the 
terms on which they proposed to treat. 

In several so-called histories, I find a very dra- 
matic account of this intervievv. "On the arrival 
of the commissioners they were marched up to 
the mouth of an immense mortar shrouded in 
skins save its huge aperture. Their terror and 
discomfiture were plainly discernible. Stockton 
received them with a stern and forbidding coun- 
tenance, harshly demanding their mission, which 
they disclosed in great confusion. They bore a 
letter from Castro proposing a truce, each party 
to hold its own possessions until a general pacifi- 
cation could be had. This proposal Stockton 
rejected with contempt, and dismissed the com- 
missioners with the assurance that only an imme- 
diate disbandment of his forces and an uncon- 
ditional surrender would shield Castro from the 
vengeance of an incensed foe. The messengers 
remounted their horses in dismay and fled back 
to Castro." The mortar story, it is needless to 
s.'iv. is a nure fabrication, vet it nuis through a 



number of so-called histories of California. Cas- 
tro, on the gth of August, held a council of war 
with his ofificers at the Campo en La Mesa. He 
announced his intention of leaving the country 
for the purpose of reporting to the supreme gov- 
ernment, and of returning at some future day to 
punish the usurpers. He wrote to Pico : "I can 
count on only loo men, badly armed, worse sup- 
plied and discontented by reason of the miseries 
they suffer ; so that I have reason to fear that not 
even these few men will fight when the necessity 
arises." And this is the force that some imag- 
inative historians estimate at 800 to 1,000 men. 

Pico and Castro left Los Angeles on the night 
of August 10 for Mexico ; Castro going by the 
Colorado river route to Sonora, and Pico, after 
being concealed for a time by his brother-in-law, 
Juan Froster, at the Santa Margarita and nar- 
rowly escaping capture by Fremont's men, final- 
ly reached Lower California and later on crossed 
the gulf to Sonora. 

Stockton began his march on Los Angeles, 
August II. He took with him a battery of four 
guns. The guns were mounted on carretas, and 
each gun drawn by four oxen. He had with him 
a good brass band. 

Major Fremont, who had been sent to San 
Diego with his battalion of 160 men, had, after 
considerable skirmishing among the ranchos, 
secured enough horses to move, and on the 8th 
of August had begun his march to join Stockton. 
He took with him 120 men, leaving about 40 to 
garrison San Diego. 

Stockton consumed three days on the march. 
Fremont's troops joined him just south of the 
city, and at 4 P. M. of the 13th the combined 
force, numbering nearly 500 men, entered the 
town without opposition, "our entry," says Ma- 
jor Fremont, "having more the effect of a parade 
of home guards than of an enemy taking posses- 
sion of a conquered town." Stockton reported 
finding at Castro's abandoned camp ten pieces 
of artillery, four of them spiked. Fremont says 
he (Castro) "had buried part of his guns." Cas- 
tro's troops that he had brought down with him 
took their departure for their northern homes 
soon after their general left, breaking up into 
small squads as they advanced. The southern 
troops that Pico had recruited dispersed to their 
homes before the arrival of the Americans. 
Squads of Fremont's battalion were sent out to 
, scour the country and bring in any of the Cali- 
fornian officers or leading men whom they could 

find. These, when found, were paroled. The 
.'American troops encamped on the flat near 
where the Southern Pacific Railroad now 
crosses the river. 

Another of those historical myths like the 
mortar story named above, which is palmed off 
on credulous readers as genuine history, runs as 
follows : "Stockton, while en route from San 
Pedro to Los Angeles, was informed by a cou- 
rier from Castro 'that if he marched upon the 
town he would find it the grave of himself and 
men.' 'Then,' answered the commodore, 'tell 
the general to have the bells ready to toll at 
eight o'clock, as I shall be there by that time.' " 
.As Castro left Los Angeles the day before Stock- 
ton began his march from San Pedro, and when 
the commodore entered the city the Alexican 
general was probably 200 miles away, the bell 
tolling myth goes to join its kindred myths in 
the category of history, as it should not be writ- 

On the 17th of August, Stockton issued a sec- 
ond proclamation, in which he signs himself 
commander-in-chief and governor of the terri- 
tory of California. It was milder in tone and 
more dignified than his first. He informed the 
people that their country now belonged to the 
United States. For the present it would be gov- 
erned by martial law. They were invited to elect 
their local officers if those now in office refused 
to serve. 

Four days after the capture of Los Angeles 
the '■^^''arren," Capt. Hull commander, anchored 
at San Pedro. She brought official notice of the 
declaration of war between the United States and 
Mexico. Then for the first time Stockton 
learned that there had been an official declara- 
tion of war between the two countries. LTnited 
States officers had waged war and taken posses- 
sion of California upon the strength of a rumor 
that hostilities existed between the countries. 

The conquest, if conquest it can be called, was 
accomplished without the loss of a life, if we ex- 
cept the two Americans, Fowler and Cowie, of 
the Bear Flag party, who were brutally mur- 
dered by a band of Californians under Padillo, 
and the equally brutal shooting of Reryessa and 
the two de Haro boys by the Americans at San 
Rafael. These three men were shot as spies, but 
there was no proof that they were such, and they 
were not tried. These murders occurred before 
Commodore Sloat raised the stars and stripes at 




WITH California in his possession and the 
official information that war had been 
declared by the United States against 
Mexico. Stockton set about organizing a govern- 
ment for the conquered territory. Fremont was 
to be appointed military governor. Detachments 
from his battalion were to be detailed to garri- 
son towns, while Stockton, with what recruits he 
could gather in California and his sailors and ma- 
rines, was to undertake a naval expedition 
against the west coast of Mexico, land his forces 
at Mazatlan or Acapulco and march overland 
to "shake hands with General Taylor at the gates 
of Mexico." Regarding the conquest of Cali- 
fornia as complete, Commodore Stockton ap- 
pointed Capt. Gillespie military commandant of 
the southern department, with headquarters at 
Los Angeles, and assigned him a garrison of 
fifty men. He left Los Angeles for the north, 
September 2. Fremont, with the remainder of 
his battalion, took up his line of march for Mon- 
terey a few days later. Gillespie's orders were to 
place the city under martial law, but to remove 
the more burdensome restrictions to quiet and 
well-disposed citizens at his discretion, and a 
conciliatory policy in accordance with instruc- 
tions of the secretary of the navy was to be 
adopted and the people were to be encouraged 
to "neutrality, self-government and friendship." 
Nearly all historians who have written upon 
this subject lay the blame for the subsequent 
uprising of the Califomians and their revolt 
against the rule of the military commandant, 
Gillespie, to his petty tyrannies. Col. J. J. War- 
ner, in his Historical Sketch of Los Angeles 
County, says : "Gillespie attempted by a coercive 
system to effect a moral and social change in the 
habits, diversions and pastimes of the people and 
to reduce them to his standard of propriety." 
Warner was not an impartial judge. He had a 
grievance against Gillespie which embittered 
him against the captain. Gillespie may have 
been lacking in tact, and his schooling in the 
navy under the tyrannical regime of the quarter- 
deck of fifty years ago was not the best train- 
ing to fit him for governing a people unused to 
strict government, but it is hardly probable that 
in two weeks' lime he could enforce any "coerc- 
ive system" looking toward an entire change in 
the moral and social h.ubits of the iicojjle. Los 

Angeles, as we have learned in a previous chap- 
ter, was a hotbed of revolutions. It had a 
turbulent and restless element among its inhabit- 
ants that was never happier than when foment- 
ing strife and conspiring to overthrow those in 
power. Of this class Colton, writing in 1846, 
says: "They drift about like Arabs. If the tide 
of fortune turns against them they disband and 
scatter to the four winds. They never become 
martyrs to any cause. They are too numerous 
to be brought to punishment by any of their 
governors and thus escape justice." There was a 
conservative class in the territory made up prin- 
cipally of the large landed proprietors, both na- 
tive and foreign-born, but these exerted small in- 
fluence in controlling the turbulent. ^Vhile Los 
Angeles had a monopoly of this turbulent and 
revolutionary element other settlements in the 
territory furnished their full quota of that class 
of political knights errant, whose chief pastime 
was revolution, and whose capital consisted of a 
gaily caparisoned steed, a riata, a lance, a dag- 
ger and possibly a pair of horse pistols. These 
were the fellows whose "habits, diversions and 
pastimes" Gillespie undertook to reduce "to his 
standard of propriety." 

That Commodore Stockton should have left 
Gillespie so small a garrison to hold the city and 
surrounding country in subjection shows that 
cither he was ignorant of the character of the 
people, or that he placed too great reliance in 
the completeness of their subjection. With 
Castro's men in the city or dispersed among the 
neighboring ranchos, many of them still retain- 
ing their arms and all of them ready t(i rally at a 
moment's notice to the call of their leaders; with 
no reinforcements nearer than five hundred miles 
to come to the aid of Gillespie in case of an up- 
rising, it was foolhardiness in Stockton to en- 
trust the holding of the most important ]ilaco 
in California to a mere handful of men, half dis- 
ciplined and poorly equipped, without fortifica- 
tions for defense or supplies to hold out in case 
of a siege. 

Scarcely had Stockton and Fremont, with their 
men. left the city before trouble began. The 
turbulent element of the city fomented strife and 
seized every occasion to annoy and harass the 
militar\- cnmmandanl and his men. While his 


abis uulhing more than the enforcement of mar- 
tial law, may have been somewhat provocative, 
the real cause was more deep-seated. The Cali- 
fornians, without provocation on their part and 
without really knowing the cause why, found 
their country invaded, their property taken from 
them and their government in the hands of an 
alien race, foreign to them in customs and re- 
ligion. They would have been a tame and spirit- 
less people, indeed, had they neglected the op- 
portunity that Stockton's blundering gave them 
to regain their liberties. They did not waste 
much time. Within two weeks from the time 
Stockton sailed from San Pedro hostilities had 
begun and the city was in a state of siege. 

Gillespie, writing in the Sacramento States- 
man in 1858, thus describes the first attack : "On 
the 22d of September, at three o'clock in the 
morning, a party of sixty-five Californians and 
Sonorenos made an attack upon my small com- 
mand cjuartered in the government house. We 
were not wholly surprised, and with twenty-one 
rifles we beat them back without loss to our- 
selves,, killing and wounding three of their num- 
ber. When daylight came Lieut. Hensley, with 
a few men, took several prisoners and drove the 
Californians from the town. This party was 
merely the nucleus of a revolution commenced 
and known to Colonel Fremont before he left 
Los Angeles. In twenty-four hours 600 well- 
mounted horsemen, and armed with escopetas 
(shotguns), lances and one fine brass piece 
of light artillery, surrounded Los Angeles and 
summoned me to surrender. There were three old 
honeycombed iron guns (spiked) in the corral of 
my quarters, which we at once cleared and 
mounted upon the axles of carts." 

Serbulo Varela, a young man of some ability, 
but of a turbulent and reckless character, had 
been the leader at first, but as the uprising as- 
sumed the character of a revolution, Castro's old 
officers came to the front. Capt. Jose iMaria 
Flores was chosen as comandante-general ; Jose 
Antonio Carrillo, major-general ; and Andres 
Pico, comandante de escuadron. The main camp 
of the insurgents was located on the mesa, east 
of the river, at a place called Paredon Blanco 
(White Bluf¥), near the present residence of Mrs. 

On the 24th of September, from the camp at 
White Blulif, was issued the famous Pronuncia- 
miento de Barelas y otros Californios contra Los 
Americanos (The Proclamation of Barelas and 
other Californians against the Americans). It 
was signed by Serbulo Varela (spelled Barelas), 
Leonardo Cota and over three hundred others. 
-Mthough this proclamation is generally credited 
to Flores, there is no evidence to show that he 
had anything to do with framing it. He promul- 

gated it over his signature October i . It is prob- 
able that it was written by Varela and Cota. It 
has been the custom of American writers to 
sneer at this production as florid and bombastic. 
In fiery invective and fierce denunciation it is the 
equal of Patrick Henry's famous "Give me lib- 
erty or give me death !" Its recital of wrongs is 
brief, but to the point : "And shall we be capable 
of permitting ourselves to be subjugated and to 
accept in silence the heavy chains of slavery? 
Shall we lose the soil inherited from our fathers, 
which cost them so much blood? Shall we leave 
our families victims of the most barbarous servi- 
tude ? Shall we wait to see our wives outraged, 
our innocent children beaten by American whips, 
our property sacked, our temples profaned — to 
drag out a life full of shame and disgrace? No! 
a thousand times no ! Compatriots, death rather 
than that ! Who of you does not feel his heart 
beat and his blood boil on contemplating our sit- 
uation ? Who will be the Mexican that will not 
be indignant and rise in arms to destroy our 
oppressors? We believe there will be not one 
so vile and cowardly !" 

Gillespie had left the government house (lo- 
cated on what is now the site of the St. Charles 
Hotel) and taken a position on Fort Hill, where 
he had erected a temporary barricade of sacks 
filled with earth and had mounted his cannon 
there. The Americans had been summoned to 
surrender, but had refused. They were besieged 
by the Californians. There was but little firing 
between the combatants — an occasional sortie 
and a volley of rifle balls by the Americans when 
the Californians approached too near. The Cali- 
fornians were well mounted, but poorly armed, 
their weapons being principally muskets, shot- 
guns, pistols, lances and riatas ; while the Amer- 
icans were armed with long range rifles, of which 
the Californians had a wholesome dread. The 
fear of these arms and his cannon doubtless 
saved Gillespie and his men from capture. 

On the 24th Gillespie dispatched a messenger 
to find Stockton at Monterey, or at San Fran- 
cisco if he had left Monterey, and apprise him of 
the perilous situation of the Americans at Los 
Angeles. Gillespie's dispatch bearer, John 
Brown, better known by his Californian nick- 
name, Juan Flaco or Lean John, made one of 
the most wonderful rides in history. Gillespie 
furnished Juan Flaco with a package of cigar- 
ettes, tlie paper of each bearing the inscription, 
"Believe the bearer;" these were stamped with 
Gillespie's seal. Brown started from Los An- 
geles at 8 P. M., September 24, and claimed to 
iiave reached Yerba Buena at 8 P. M. of the 
28th, a ride of 630 miles in four days. This is 
incorrect. Colton, who was alcalde of Monterey 
at that time, notes Brown's arrival at that place 



on the evening of the 29th. Colton, in his 
"Three Years in California," says that Brown 
rode the whole distance (Los Angeles to Mon- 
terey) of 460 miles in fifty-two hours, during 
which time he had not slept. His intelligence 
was for Commodore Stockton, and, in the nature 
of the case, was not committed to paper, except a 
few words rolled in a cigar fastened in his hair. 
But the Commodore had sailed for San Fran- 
cisco, and it was necessary he should go 140 
miles further. He was quite exhausted and was 
allowed to sleep three hours. Before day he was 
up and away on his journey. Gillespie, in a letter 
puhlished in the Los Angeles Star, May 28, 1858, 
describing Juan Flaco's ride, says : "Before sun- 
rise of the 29th he was lying in the bushes at 
San Francisco, in front of the Congress frigate, 
waiting for the early market boat to come on 
shore, and he delivered my dispatches to Com- 
modore Stockton before 7 o'clock." 

In trying to steal through the picket line of the 
Mexicans at Los Angeles he was discovered and 
pursued by a squad of them. A hot race ensued. 
Finding the enemy gaining on him he forced his 
horse to leap a wide ravine. A shot from one of 
his pursuers mortally wounded his horse, which 
after running a short distance fell dead. Flaco, 
carrying his spurs and riata, made his way on 
foot in the darkness to Los Virgines, a distance 
of twenty-seven miles. Here he secured another 
mount and again set off on his perilous journey. 
The trail over which Flaco held his way was not 
like "the road from Winchester town, a good, 
broad highway leading down," but instead a 
camino de heradura — a bridle path — now wind- 
ing up through rocky canons, skirting along the 
edge of precipitous cliffs, then zigzagging down 
chaparral-covered mountains ; now over the 
sands of the sea beach and again across long 
stretches of brown mesa, winding through nar- 
row valleys and out onto the rolling hills — a 
trail as nature made it unchanged by the hand of 
man. Such was the highway over which Flaco's 
steeds "stretched away with utmost speed." Har- 
assed and pursued by the enemy, facing death 
night and day, with scarcely a stop or a stay to 
eat or sleep, juan Flaco rode 600 miles. 

"Of all the rides since the birth of time, 
Told in story or sung in rhyme. 
The fleetest ride that ever was sped," 
was Juan Flaco's ride from Los Angeles to San 
Francisco. Longfellow has immortalized the 
"Ride of Paul Revere," Robert Browning tells 
in stirring verse of the riders who brought the 
good news froiu Ghent to Aix, and Buchanan 
Read thrills us with the heroic measures of Sher- 
idan's Ride. No poet has sung of Juan Flaco's 
wonderful ride, fleeter, longer and more perilous 

than any of these. Flaco rode 600 miles through 
the enemy's country, to bring aid to a besieged 
garrison, while Revere and Jorris and Sheridan 
were in the country of friends or protected by an 
army from enemies. 

Gillespie's situation was growing more and 
more desperate each day. B. D. Wilson, who 
with a company of riflemen had been on an ex- 
pedition against the Indians, had been ordered 
by Gillespie to join him. They reached the Chino 
ranch, where a fight took place between them 
and the Californians. Wilson's men being out 
of ammunition were compelled to surrender. In 
the charge upon the adobe, where Wilson and 
his men had taken refuge, Carlos Ballestaros had 
been killed and several Californians w'ounded. 
This and Gillespie's stubborn resistance had em- 
bittered the Californians against him and his 
men. The Chino prisoners had been saved from 
massacre after their surrender by the firmness 
and bravery of Varela. If Gillespie continued to 
hold the town his obstinacy might bring down 
the vengeance of the Californians not only upon 
him and his men, but upon many of the Amer- 
ican residents of the south, who had favored 
their countrymen. 

Finally Flores issued his ultimatum to the 
xA.mericans — surrender within twenty-four hours 
or take the consequence of an onslaught by the 
Californians, which might result in the massacre 
of the entire garrison. In the meantime he kept 
his cavalry deployed on the hills, completely in- 
vesting the Americans. Despairing of assistance 
from Stockton, on the advice of Wilson, who had 
been permitted by Flores to intercede with Gil- 
lespie, articles of capitulation were drawn up and 
signed by Gillespie and the leaders of the Cali- 
fornians. On the 30th of September the Ameri- 
cans marched out of the city with all the honors 
of war — drums beating, colors flying and two 
pieces of artillery mounted on carts drawn by 
oxen. They arrived at San Pedro without mo- 
lestation, and four or five days later embarked on 
the merchant ship Yandalia, which remained at 
anchor in the bay. Gillespie in his march was ac- 
companied by a few of the .A.merican residents 
and probably a dozen of the Chino prisoners, 
who had been exchanged for the same number of 
Californians, whom he had held under arrest 
most likely as hostages. 

Gillespie took two cannon with him when he 
evacuated the city and left two spiked and 
broken on Fort Hill. There seems to have been 
a proviso in the articles of capitulation requiring 
him to deliver the guns to Flores on reaching the 
embarcadero. If there was such a stipulation 
Gillespie violated it. He spiked the guns, broke 
off the trunnions and rolled one of them into the 




OF THE notable events occurring during 
the conquest of California there are few 
others of which there are so contradictory 
accounts as of that known as the battle of Do- 
minguez ranch. Capt. William Mervine, who 
commanded the American forces in the fight, 
made no official report, or if he did it was not 
published. Historians, in their accounts of the 
battle, have collected their data from hearsay and 
not from written reports of officers engaged in it. 
In regard to the number engaged and the num- 
ber killed and wounded, even Bancroft, usually 
the most reliable of California historians, has no 
accurate report. The number engaged on the 
American side varies with different authors from 
250 to 400 ; and the number killed from four to 
fifteen. It has been my good fortune, through 
the kindness of Dr. J. E. Cowles of this city, to 
obtain a log book of the U. S. frigate Savan- 
nah, kept by his uncle, Robert C. Duvall, who 
was an officer on that vessel. Midshipman and 
Acting Lieut. Duvall had command of a company 
of Colt's Riflemen in the battle. After his return 
to the ship he wrote a full, clear and accurate 
report of the march, battle and retreat. I tran- 
scribe the greater portion of his account. It is 
imdoubtedly the best report of that affair in ex- 
istence. It will be recollected, as stated in a pre- 
vious chapter, that Lieut. Gillespie had been left 
l)y Commodore Stockton with a force of fifty 
men to garrison Los Angeles. An insurrection, 
headed by Flores and Valera, broke out. After 
a siege of five or six days Gillespie and his men 
evacuated the city and retreated to San Pedro. 
Lieut. Gillespie, during the siege, sent a messen- 
ger to Stockton at San Francisco asking for rein- 
forcements. Juan Flaco, the courier, reached 
San Francisco after a ride of 600 miles iri five 
days. Commodore Stockton received the dis- 
patches, or rather the message, of Gillespie's 
courier on the 30th of September. Early on the 
morning of October i the "Savannah," Capt. 
William Mervine, was ordered to get under way 
for San Pedro with a force to relieve Capt. Gil- 

"At 9:30 A. M.," says Lieut. Duvall, "we com- 
menced working out of the harbor of San Fran- 
cisco on the ebb tide. The ship anchored at 
Saucelito, where, on account of a dense fog, it 
remained until the 4th, when it put to sea. On 

the 7th the ship entered the harbor of San Pe- 
dro. At 6:30 P. M., as we were standing in for 
anchorage, we made out the American merchant 
ship Vandalia, having on her decks a body of 
men. On passing she saluted with two guns, 
which was repeated with three cheers, which we 
returned. * * * Brevet Capt. Archibald 
Gillespie came on board and reported that he 
had evacuated the Pueblo de Los Angeles on ac- 
count of the overpowering force of the enemy 
and had retired with his men on board the "Van- 
dalia" after having spiked his guns, one of which 
he threw into the water. He also reported that 
the whole of California below the pueblo had 
risen in arms against our authorities, headed by 
Flores, a Mexican captain on furlough in this 
country, who had but a few days ago given his 
parole of honor not to take up arms against the 
United States. We made preparations to land a 
force to march to the pueblo at daylight. 

"October 8 (1846), at 6 A. M., all the boats left 
the ship for the purpose of landing the forces, 
numbering in all 299 men, including the volun- 
teers, under command of Capt. Gillespie. At 
6 :30 all were landed without opposition, the ene- 
my in small detachments retreating toward the 
pueblo. From their movements we apprehended 
that their whole force was near. Capt. Mervine 
sent on board ship for a reinforcement of eighty 
men, under command of Lieut. R. B. Hitchcock. 
At 8 A. M. the several companies, all under com- 
mand of Capt. William Mervine, took up the line 
of march for the purpose of retaking the pueblo. 
The enemy retreated as our forces advanced. 
(On landing, William A. Smith, first cabin boy, 
was killed by the accidental discharge of a Colt's 
pistol.) The reinforcements under the command 
of Lieut. R. B. Hitchcock returned on board 
ship. For the first four miles our march was 
through hills and ravines, which the enemy 
might have taken advantage of, but preferred to 
occupy as spectators only, itntil our approach. 
A few shots from our flankers (who were the 
volunteer riflemen) would start them off; they 
returning the compliment before going. The 
remainder of our march was performed over a 
continuous plain overgrown with wild mustard, 
rising in places to six or eight feet in height. 
The ground was excessively dry, the clouds of 
dust were suffocating and there was not a breath 


<if wind in motion. There wa.s no water on our 
line of inarch for ten or twelve miles and we 
suffered greatly from thirst. 

"At 2 :30 P. M. we reached our camping 
ground. The enemy appeared in considerable 
numbers. Their numbers continued to increase 
until towards sundown, when they formed on a 
hill near us, gradually inclining towards our 
camp. They wxre admirably formed for a cav- 
alry charge. We drew up our forces' to meet 
them, but finding they were disposed to remain 
stationary, the marines, under command of 
Capt. Marston, the Colt's riflemen, under com- 
mand of Lieut. I. B. Carter and myself, and the 
volunteers, under command of Capt. A. Gillespie, 
were ordered to charge on them, which we did. 
They stood their ground until our shots com- 
menced 'telling' on them, when they took to flight 
in every direction. They continued to annoy us 
by firing into our camp through the night. About 
2 A. M. they brought a piece of artillery and 
fired into our camp, the shot striking the ground 
near us.) The marines, riflemen and volunteers 
were sent in pursuit of the gun, but could see or 
hear nothing of it. 

"We left our camp the next morning at 6 
o'clock. Our plan of march was in column by 
platoon. We had not proceeded far before the 
enemy appeared before us drawn up on each side 
of the road, mounted on fine horses, each man 
armed with a lance and carbine. They also had 
a field piece (a four-pounder), to which were 
hitched eight or ten horses, placed on the road 
ahead of us. 

"Capt. Mervine, thinking it was the enemy's 
intention to throw us into confusion by using 
their gun on us loaded with round shot and cop- 
per grape shot and then charge us with their 
cavalry, ordered us to form a square — which was 
the order of march throughout the battle. When 
within about four hundred yards of them the 
enemy opened on us with their artillery. We 
made frequent charges, driving them before us, 
and at one time causing them to leave some of 
their cannon balls and cartridges ; but owing to 
the rapidity with which they could carry off the 
gun, using their lassos on every part, enabled 
them to choose their own distance, entirely out 
of all range of our muskets. Their horsemen 
kept out of danger, apparently content to let the 
gun do the fighting. They kept up a constant 
fire with their carbines, but these did no harm. 
The enemy numbered between 175 and 200 

"Finding it impossible to capture the gun, the 
retreat was sounded. The captain consulted 
with his officers on the best steps to be taken. It 
was decided unanimously to return on board 
ship. To continue the march would sacrifice a 

number of lives to no purpose, for, admitting we 
could have reached the pueblo, all communica- 
tions would be cut off with the ship, and we 
would further be constantly annoyed by their ar- 
tillery without the least chance of capturing it. 
It was reported that the enemy were between 
five and six hundred strong at the city and it 
was thought he had more artillery. On retreat- 
ing they got the gun planted on a hill ahead of 

"The captain made us an address, saying to 
the troops that it was his intention to march 
straight ahead in the same orderly manner in 
which we had advanced, and that sooner than he 
would surrender to such an enemy, he would sac- 
rifice himself and every other man m his com- 
mand. The enemy fired into us four times on 
the retreat, the fourth shot falling short, the 
report of the gun indicating a small quantity of 
powder, after which they remained stationary 
and manifested no further disposition to molest 
us. ^^'e proceeded quietly on our march to the 
landing, where we found a body of men under 
command of Lieut. Hitchcock with two nine- 
pounder cannon got from the Vandalia to render 
us assistance in case we should need it. 

"We presented truly a pitiable condition, many 
being barely able to drag one foot after the 
other from excessive fatigue, having gone 
through the exertions and excitement m battle 
and afterwards performing a march of eighteen 
or twenty miles without rest. 

"This is the first battle I have ever been en- 
gaged in, and, having taken particular notice of 
those around me, I can assert that no men could 
have acted more bravely. Even when their ship- 
mates were falling by their sides, I saw but one 
impulse and that was 10 push forward, and when 
the retreat was ordered I noticed a general re- 
luctance to turn their backs to the enemy. 

"The following is a list of the killed and 
wounded : 

"Michael Hoey (ordinary seaman), killed; 
David Johnson (o. s.), kihed ; Wm. H. Berry 
(o. s.), mortally wounded ; Charles Sommers 
(musician), mortally wounded ; John Tyre (sea- 
man), severely wounded; John Anderson (sea- 
man), severely wounded ; recovery doubtful. 
The following-named w-ere slightly wounded : 
\\'illiani Conland (marine) ; Hiram Rockvill 
(mar.); H. Linland (mar.); James Smith (mar.). 

"On the following morning we buried the 
bodies of William A. Smith, Charles Sommers, 
David Johnson and Michael Hoey on an island in 
the harbor. 

".'\t II A. M. the captain called a council of 
conmiissioned officers regarding the proper 
course to adopt in the present crisis, which de- 
cided that no force should be landed, and that 



tlic ship remain here until further orders from 
Ihe commodore, who is daily expected." 

Entry in the log for Sunday, nth: "William 
H. Berry (ordinary seaman) departed this life 
from the effect of wounds received in battle. Sent 
his body for interment to Dead Man's Island, so 
named by us. Mustered the command at quar- 
ters, after which performed divine service." 

From this account it will be seen that the num- 
ber killed and died of wounds received in battle 
was four ; number wounded, six ; and one acci- 
dentally killed before the battle. On October 22 
Henry Lewis died and was buried on the island. 
Lewis' name does not appear in the list of the 
wounded. It is presumable that he died of dis- 
ease. Six of the crew of the Savannah were 
buried on Dead Man's Island, four of whom were 
killed in battle. Lieut. Duvall gives the follow- 
ing list of the officers in the "Expedition on the 
march to retake Pueblo de Los Angeles" : 

Capt. William Mervine, commanding. 

Capt. Ward Marston, commanding marines. 

Brevet Capt. A. H. Gillespie, commanding volun- 

Lieut. Henry W. Queen, adjutant. 

Lieut. B. F. Pinckney, commanding first company. 

Lieut. W. RinckindofF, commanding second com- 

Lieut. I. B. Carter, Colt's riflemen. 

Midshipman R. D. Minor, acting lieutenant second 

Midshipman S. P. Griflin, acting lieutenant first 

Midshipman P. G. Walmough, acting lieutenant sec- 
ond company. 

Midshipman R. C. Duvall, acting lieutenant Colt's 

Capt. Clark and Capt. Goodsall, commanding pike- 
Lieut. Hensley, first lieutenant volunteers. 

Lieut. Russeau, second lieutenant volunteers. 

The piece of artillery that did such deadly 
execution on the Americans was the famous Old 
Woman's gun. It was a bronze four-pounder, 
or pedrero (swivel-gun) that for a number of 
years has stood on the plaza in front of the 
church, and was used for firing salutes on feast 
days and other occasions. 

When on the approach of Stockton's and Fre- 
mont's forces Castro abandoned his artillery and 
fled, an old lady, Dofia Clara Cota de Reyes, 
declared that the gringos should not have the 
church's gun ; so, with the assistance of her 
daughters, she buried it in a cane patch near her 
residence, which stood on the east side of Ala- 
meda street, near First. 

When the Californians revolted against Gilles- 
pie's rule the gun was unearthed and used 
against him. The Historical Society of Southern 
California has in its possession a brass grape- 
shot, one of a charge that was fired into the face 

lit I'ort Hill at Gillespie's men when Ihcy were 
posted on the hill. This old gun was in the e.K- 
hibit of trophies at the New Orleans Exposition 
in 1885. The label on it read: "Trophy 53, No. 
63, Class 7. Used by Mexico against the United 
States at the battle of Dominguez' I^anch, Oc- 
tober 9, 1846; at San Gabriel and the Mesa, Jan- 
uary 8 and 9, 1847; used by the United States 
forces against Mexico at Mazatlan, November 
II, 1847; Urios (crew all killed or wounded), 
Palos Prietos, December 13, 1847, ^nd Lower 
California, at San Jose, February 15, 1848." It 
should be obtained from the government and 
brought back to Los Angeles. Before the battle 
the old gun had been mounted on forward axle 
of a Jersey wagon, which a man by the name of 
Hunt had brought across the plains the year 
before. It was lashed to the axle by means 
of rawhide thongs, and was drawn by riatas, as 
described by Lieut. Duvall. The range was ob- 
tained by raising or lowering the pole of the 
wagon. Ignacio Aguilar acted as gunner, and 
having neither lanyard or pent-stock to fire it, he 
touched off the gun with the lighted end of a 
cigarette. Never before or since, perhaps, was 
a battle won with such crude artillery. Jose An- 
tonio Carrillo was in coinmand of the Califor- 
nians. During the skirmishing of the first day 
he had between 80 and 90 men. During the night 
of the 8th Flores joined him with a force of 60 
men. Next morning Flores returned to Los 
Angeles, taking with him 20 men. Carrillo's 
force in the battle numbered about 120 men. 

Had Mervine known that the Californians had 
fired their last shot — their pow-der being ex- 
hausted — he could have pushed on and captured 
the pueblo. 

The expulsion of Gillespie's garrison from Los 
Angeles and the defeat of Mervine's force raised 
the spirits of the Californians, and there was 
great rejoicing at the pueblo. Detachments of 
Flores' army were kept at Sepulvedo's Rancho, 
the Palos Verdes, and at Temple's Rancho of 
the Cerritos, to watch the Savannah and report 
^ny attempt at landing. The leaders of the re- 
volt were not so sanguine of success as the rank 
and file. They were without means to 
procure arms and supplies. There was a scar- 
city of ammunition, too. An inferior article of 
gunpowder was manufactured in limited quanti- 
ties at San Gabriel. The only uniformity in 
weapons was in lances. These were rough, 
home-made affairs, the blade beaten out of a 
rasp or file, and the shaft a willow pole about 
eight feet long. These weapons were formida- 
ble in a charge against infantry, but easily par- 
ried by a swordsman in a cavalry charge. 

After the defeat of Mervine, Flores set about 
reorganizing the territorial government. He 



callcil togx-lluT llic departmental assembly. It 
r.Kt ill the capital (Los Angeles) October 26tli. 
The members present — Figueroa, Botello, Guer- 
ra and Olvera — were all from the south. The 
assembly decided to fill the place of governor, 
vacated by Pico, and that of coniandante-gen- 
eral, left vacant by the flight of Castro. 

Jose Maria Flores, who was now recognized 
as the leader of the revolt against American 
rule, was chosen to fill both ofifices, and the two 
offices, as had formerly been the custom, were 
united in one person. He chose Narciso 
Botello for his secretary. Flores, who was Mexi- 
can born, was an intelligent and patriotic offi- 
cer. He used every means in his power to 
prepare his forces for the coming conflict with 
the Americans, but with little success. The old 
jealousy of the hijos del pais against the Mex- 
ican would crop out, and it neutralized his ef- 
forts. There were bickerings and complaints 
in the ranks and among the officers. The na- 
tives claimed that a Californian ought to be 
chief in command. 

The feeling of jealousy against Flores at 
length culminated in open revolt. Flores had 
decided to send the prisoners taken at the Chino 
fight to Mexico. His object was twofold — first, 
to enhance his own glory with the Mexican gov- 
ernment, and, secondly, by showing what the 
Californians had already accomplished to ob- 
tain aid in the coming conflict. As most of these 

men wore married to California wives, and by 
marriage related to many of the leading Cali- 
fornia families of the south, there was at once 
a family uproar and fierce denunciations of 
Flores. But as the Chino prisoners were for- 
eigners, and had been taken while fighting 
against the Mexican government, it was neces- 
sary to disguise the hostility to Flores under 
some other pretext. He was charged with the 
design of running away to Sonora with the pub- 
lic funds. On the night of December 3, Fran- 
cisco Rico, at the head of a party of Californians, 
took possession of the cuartel, or guard-house, 
and arrested Flores. A special session of the as- 
sembly was called to investigate the charges. 

Flores expressed his willingness to give up 
his purpose of sending the Chino prisoners to 
Mexico, and the assembly found no foundation 
to the charge of his design of running away 
with the public funds, nor did they find any 
funds to run away with. Flores was liberated, 
and Rico imprisoned in turn. 

Flores was really the last Mexican governor 
of California. Like Pico, he was elected by the 
territorial legislature, but he was not confirmed 
by the Mexican congress. Generals Scott and 
Taylor were keeping President Santa Anna and 
his congress on the move so rapidly they had 
no time to spare for California affairs. 

Flores was governor from October 26, 1846, 
to January 8, 1847. 



STOCKTON with his flag ship, the Con- 
gress, arrived at San Pedro on the 23d 
of October, 1846. The Savannah was still 
lying at anchor in the harbor. The commo- 
dore had now at San Pedro a force of about 
800 men ; but notwithstanding the contemptuous 
opinion he held of the Californian soldiers, he 
did not march against the pueblo. Stock- 
ton in his report says : "Elated by this 
transient success (Mervine's defeat), which 
the enemy with his usual want of veracity mag- 
nified into a great victory, they collected in large 
bodies on all the adjacent hills and would not 
l^ermit a hoof except their own horses to be 
within fifty miles of San Pedro." But ''in the 
face of their boasting insolence" Stockton landed 
and again hoisted "the glorious stars in the 
presence of their horse-covered hills." "The 
enemy had driven off every animal, man and 
beast, from that section of the country; and 
it was not possible by any means in our power 

to carry provisions for our march to the city." 
Tl.e city was only 30 miles away and American 
soldiers have been known to carry rations in 
their haversacks for a march of 100 miles. The 
"transient success" of the insolent enemy had 
evidently made an impression on Stockton. He 
estimated the Californian force in the vicinity 
of the landing at 800 men, which was just about 
700 too high. He determined to approach Los 
Angeles by way of San Diego, and on the last 
day of October he sailed for that port. B. D. 
Wilson, Stephen C. Foster and others attribute 
Stockton's abandonment of an attack on Los 
Angeles from San Pedro to a trick played on 
him by Jose Antonio Carrillo. Carrillo'was in 
connnand of a detachment stationed at the Cer- 
ritos and the Palos X'erdes. Carrillo was anx- 
ious to obtain an interview with Stockton and 
if possible secure a cessation of hostilities until 
the war then progressing in Mexico should be 
decided, thus settling the fate of California. 



B. D. Wilson, one of the Chino prisoners, was 
sent with a Mexican sergeant to raise a white 
flag as the boats of the Congress approached the 
landing and present Carrillo's proposition for a 
truce. Carrillo, with the intention of giving 
Stockton an exaggerated idea of the number of 
his troops and thus obtaining more favorable 
terms in the proposed treaty, collected droves of 
wild horses from the plains ; these his caballeros 
kept in motion passing and repassing through 
a gap in the hills, which was in plain view from 
Stockton's vessel. Owing to the dust raised by 
the cavalcade it was impossible to discover that 
most of the horses were riderless. The troops 
were signaled to return to the vessel, and the 
commodore shortly afterwards sailed to San 
Diego. Carrillo always regretted that he made 
too much dcinonstration. 

As an illustration of the literary trash that has 
been palmed of¥ for California history, I give an 
extract from Frost's Pictorial History of Cali- 
fornia, a book written the year after the close 
of the Mexican war, by Prof. John Frost, a noted 
compiler of histories, who writes LL. D after 
his name. It relates to Stockton's exploits at 
San Pedro: "At the Rancho Sepulvida (The 
Palos A^erdes) a large force of Californians were 
posted. Commodore Stockton sent one hundred 
men forward to receive the fire of the enemy 
and then fall back on the main body without re- 
turning it. The main body of Stockton's army 
was formed in a triangle with the guns hid by 
the men. By the retreat of the advance party 
the enemy were decoyed close to tlie main force, 
when the wings (of the triangle) were extended 
and a deadly fire from the artillery opened upon 
the astonished Californians. More than one 
hundred were killed, the same number W'Ounded 
and one hundred prisoners taken." The mathe- 
matical accuracy of Stockton's artillerists was 
truly astonishing. They killed a man for every 
one wounded and took a prisoner for every man 
they killed. As Flores' army never amounted 
to more than three hundred, if we are to believe 
Frost, Stockton had all the enemy "present or 
accounted for." This silly fabrication of Frost's 
runs through a number of so-called histories of 
California. Stockton was a brave man and a 
very energetic commander, but he would boast 
of his achievements, and his reports were unre- 

Fremont, who had sailed for the south in the 
Sterling with i6o men to co-operate with Stock- 
ton against Los Angeles, learned from the Van- 
dalia on its voyage northward of Mervine's de- 
feat and also that no horses could be obtained in 
the south. He returned to Monterey and pro- 
ceeded to recruit a force to move against Los 
Angeles by land from Monterey. His recruits 

were principally obtained from the recently ar- 
rived immigrants. Each man was furnished 
with a horse and was to receive $25 a month. 
A force of about 450 was obtained. Fremont, 
now raised to the rank of a lieutenant colonel, 
left Monterey, November 17, and rendezvoused at 
San Juan Bautista, where he remained to the 
29th of the month organizing his battalion. On 
the 29th of November he began his march south- 
ward to co-operate with Stockton against Flores. 

After the expulsion of Gillespie and his men 
from Los Angeles, detachments from Flores' 
army were sent to Santa Barbara and San Diego 
to recapture these places. At Santa Barbara 
Fremont had left nine men of his battalion under 
Lieut. Theodore Talbot to garrison the town. 
A demand was made on the garrison to surren- 
der by Col. Garfias of Flores' army. Two hours 
were given the Americans to decide. Instead 
of surrendering they fell back into the hills, 
where they remained three or four days, hop- 
ing that reinforcements might be sent them from 
Monterey. Their only subsistence was the flesh 
of an old gray mare of Daniel Hill's that they 
captured, brought into camp and killed. They 
secured one of Micheltorena's soldiers who had 
remained in the country and was living in a 
cafion among the hills for a guide. He fur- 
nished them a horse to carry their blankets and 
conducted them through the mountains to the 
San Joaquin valley. Here the guide left them 
with the Indians, he returning to Santa Bar- 
bara. The Indians fed them on chia (wild flax- 
seed), mush and acorn bread. They traveled 
down the San Joaquin valley. On their journey 
they lived on the flesh of wild horses, 17 of 
which they killed. After many hardships they 
reached Monterey on the 8th of November, 
where they joined Fremont's battalion. Elijah 
Moulton of East Los Angeles is the only sur- 
vivor of that heroic band. He has been a resi- 
dent of Los Angeles for fifty-five years. I am 
indebted to him for the above account. 

Captain Merritt, of Fremont's battalion, had 
been left at San Diego with 40 men to hold the 
town when the battalion marched north to co- 
operate with Stockton against Los Angeles. 
Immediately after Gille.^pie's retreat, Francisco 
Rico was sent with 50 men to capture the place. 
He was joined by recruits at San Diego. Mer- 
ritt, being in no condition to stand a siege, took 
refuge on board the .American whale ship Ston- 
ington, which was lying at anchor. After re- 
maining on board the Stonington ten days, tak- 
ing advantage of the laxity of discipline among 
the Californians, he stole a march on them, re- 
capturing the town and one piece of their artil- 
lery. He sent Don Miguel de Pedrorena, who 
was one of his allies, in a whale boat with four 



sailors to San IV-dro to obtain supplies and as- 
sistance. Pcdrorena arrived at San Pedro on 
the 13th of October with Merritt's dispatches. 
Captain Mervine chartered the whale ship Mag- 
nolia, which was lying in the San Pedro harbor, 
and dispatched Lieut. Minor and Alidshipnien 
Duvall and Morgan with 35 sailors and 15 of 
Gillespie's volunteers to reinforce Merritt. They 
reached San Diego on the i6th. The combined 
forces of Minor and Merritt, numbering about 
90 men, put in the greater part of the next two 
weeks in dragging cannon from the old fort and 
mounting them at their barracks, which were lo- 
cated on the hill at the edge of the plain on the 
west side of the town, convenient to water. They 
succeeded in mounting six brass 9-pounders and 
building two bastions of adobes, taken from an 
old house. There was constant skirmishing be- 
tween the hostile parties, but few fatalities. The 
Americans claimed to have killed three of the 
enemy, and one American was ambushed and 

The Californians kept well out of range, but 
prevented the Americans from obtaining sup- 
plies. Their provisions were nearly exhausted, 
and when reduced to almost the last extreme 
they made a successful foraging expedition and 
procured a supply of mutton. Midshipman Du- 
vall thus describes tlie adventure : "We had 
with us an Indian (chief of a numerous tribe) 
who, from his knowledge of the country, we 
thought could avoid the enemy : and getting 
news of a number of sheep about thirty-five miles 
to the south on the coast, we determined to send 
him with his companion to drive them onto an 
island which at low tide connected with the main- 
land. In a few days a signal was made on the 
island, and the boats of the whale ship Stoning- 
ton, stationed ofif the island, were sent to it. 
Our good old Indian had managed, through 
his cunning and by keeping concealed in ra- 
vines, to drive onto the island about 600 sheep, 
but his companion had been caught and killed 
by the enemy. I shall never forget his fam- 
ished appearance, but pride in his Indian 
triumph could be seen playing in his dark eyes. 

■'For thirty or forty days we were constantly 
expecting, from the movements of the enemy, 
an attack, soldiers and oflficers sleeping on their 
arms and ready for action. About the ist of 
November Commodore Stockton arrived, and, 
after landing Capt. Gillespie with his company 
and about 43 marines, he suddenly disappeared, 
leaving Lieut. Minor governor of the place and 
Cai^t. Gillespie commandant."* 

h'oraging cimtinucd, the whale ship Stoning- 
toii, which had been impressed into the govcrn- 

^Log Book of Acting Lieutenant Duvall. 

nieul service, being used tn take jiarlics down 
the coast, who made raids inland and brought 
back with them cattle and horses. 

It was probably on one of these excursions that 
the flag-making episode occurred, of which there 
are more versions than Homer had birthplaces. 
The correct version of the story is as follows : 
A party had been sent under command of Lieut. 
Hensley to Juan Bandini's rancho in Lower 
California to bring up bands of cattle and horses. 
Bandini was an adherent of the American cause. 
He and his family returned with the cavalcade 
to San Diego. At their last camping place before 
reaching the town Hensley, in a conversation 
with Bandini, regretted they had no flag with 
them to display on their entry into the town. 
Senora Bandini volunteered to make one, which 
she did from red, white and blue dresses of her 
children. This flag, fastened to a staff, was car- 
ried at the head of the cavalcade when it made 
its triumphal entry into San Diego. The Mex- 
ican government confiscated Bandini's ranches 
in Lower California on account of his friend- 
ship to the Americans during the war. 

Skirmishing continued almost daily. Jose 
Antonio Carrillo was now in command of the 
Californians, their force numbering about 100 
men. Commodore Stockton returned and de- 
cided to fortify. Midshipman Duvall, in the 
Log Book referred to in the previous chapter, 
thus describes the fort : "The commodore now 
commenced to fortify the hill which overlooked 
the town by building a fort constructed by pla- 
cing 300 gallon casks full of sand close together. 
The inclosure was twenty by thirty yards. A 
bank of earth and small gravel was thrown 
up in front as high as the top of the casks 
and a ditch dug around on the outside. Inside 
a ball-proof vault or ketch was built out of plank 
and lined on the inside with adobes, on top of 
which a swivel was mounted. The entrance was 
guarded by a strong gate, with a drawbridge in 
front across the ditch or moat. The whole forti- 
fication was completed and the guns mounted on 
it in about three weeks. Our men working on 
the fort were on short allowance of beef and 
wheat, and for a time without bread, tea. sugar 
or cofTee, many of them being destitute of shoes, 
but there were few complaints. 

"About the first of December, information 
having been received that Gen. Kearnv was at 
Warner's Pass, about 80 miles distant, with 100 
dragoons on his march to San Diego, Commo- 
dore Stockton immediately sent an escort of 50 
men under conmiand of Cajit. Gilles])ie, accom- 
panied by Past Midshipmen Beale and Duncan, 
liaving with them one piece of artillery. They 
reached Gen. Kearny without molestation. On 
the march the combined force was surprised by 



about 93 Californians at San Pasqual, under 
command of Andres Pico, who had been sent to 
that part of the country to drive ofif all the cattle 
and horses to prevent us from getting them. In 
the battle that ensued Gen. Kearny lost in killed 
Captains Johnston and Moore and Lieutenant 
Hammond and 15 dragoons. Seventeen dra- 
goons were severely wounded. The enemy cap- ■ 
tured one piece of artillery. Gen. Kearny and 
Captains Gillespie and Gibson were severely 
wounded; also one of the engineer officers. 
Some of the dragoons have since died." 

* -'f ":|: :;: ^ * * 

"After the engagement, Gen. Kearny took po- 
sition on a hill covcrotl with large rocks. It was 
well suited for defense. Lieut. Godey, of Gilles- 
pie's volunteers, the night after the battle, es- 
caped through the enemy's line of sentries and 
came in with a letter from Capt. Turner to the 
commodore. Whilst among the rocks, Past 
Midshipman Beale and Kit Carson managed, 
under cover of night, to pass out through the 
enemy's ranks, and after three days' and nights' 
hard marching through the mountains without 
water, succeeded in getting safely into San 
Diego, completely famished. Soon after arriv- 
ing, Lieut. Beale fainted away, and for some 
days entirely lost his reason." 

On the night of Beale's arrival, December 9, 
about 9 P. M., detachments of 200 sailors and 
marines from the Congress and Portsmouth, 
imder the immediate command of Capt. Zeilin, 
assisted b>' Lieutenants Gray, Hunter, Renshaw, 
Parrish, Thompson and Tilghman, and Mid- 
shipmen Duvall and Morgan, each man carry- 
ing a blanket, three pounds of jerked beef and 
the same of hardtack, l)egan their march to re- 
lieve Gen. Kearny. They marched all night and 
camped on a chaparral-covered mountain dur- 
ing the day. At 4 A. M. of the second night's" 
march they reached Kearny's camp, surprising 
liini. Godey, who had been sent ahead to inform 
Kearny that assistance was coming, had been 
captured by the enemy. Gen. Kearny had burnt 
and destroyed all his baggage and camp cqui- 
])age, saddles, bridles, clothing, etc., preparatory 
to forcing his way through the enemy's line. 
Burdened with his wounded, it is doubtful 
whether he could have escaped. Midshipman 
Duvall says : "It would not be a hazard of opin- 
ion to say he would have been overpowered and 
compelled to surrender." The enemy disappeared 
on the arrival of reinforcements. The relief ex- 
pedition, with Kearny's men, reached San Diego 
after two days' march. 

A brief explanation of why Kearny was at 
San Pasqual may be necessary. In June, 1846, 
Gen. Stephen \V. Kearny, commander of llic 
army of the west, as his conmiand was desig- 

nated, IcJt I'urt Leavenworth with a force of 
regulars to take possession of New Mexico. 
The conquest of that territory was accomplished 
without a battle. Under orders from the war 
department Kearny began his march to Califor- 
nia with a part of his force to co-operate with 
the naval forces there. October 6, near Socorro. 
N. M., he met Kit Carson with an escort of 15 
men, en route from Los Angeles to Washington, 
bearing dispatches from Stockton, giving the 
report of the conquest of California. Kearny 
required Carson to turn back and act as his 
guide. Carson was very unwilling to do so, as 
he was within a few days' journey of his home 
and family, from whom he had been separated 
for nearly two years. He hail been guide for 
Fremont on his exploring expedition. He, how- 
ever, obeyed Kearny's orders. 

' General Kearny sent back about 300 of his 
men, taking with him 120. After a toilsome 
march by way of the Pima villages, Tucson, the 
Gila and across the Colorado desert, they 
reached the Indian village of San Pasqual, (about 
40 miles from San Diego), where the battle was 
fought. It was the bloodiest battle of the con- 
quest ; Kearny's men, at daybreak, riding on 
broken-down mules and half-broken horses, in 
an irregular and disorderly line, charged the 
Californians. While the American line was 
stretched out over the plain Capt. Andres Pico, 
who was in command, wheeled his column and 
charged the Americans. A fierce hand-to-hand 
fight ensued, the Californians using their lances 
and lariats, the .Vmericans clubbed guns and 
sabers. Of Kearny's command 18 men were 
killed and 19 wounded; three of the wounded 
died. Only one, Capt. Abraham R. Johnston 
(a relative of the author's), was killed by a gun- 
shot ; all the others were lanced. The mules to 
one of the liowitzers became unmanageable antl 
ran into the enemy's lines. The driver was 
killed and the gun captured. One Californian 
was captured and several slightly wounded ; 
none was killed. Less than half of Kearny's 
160 men took part in the battle. Ilis loss in 
killed and wounded was fifty per cent of those 
engaged. Dr. John S. Griffin, for many years a 
leading physician of Los Angeles, was the sur- 
geon of the command. 

The foraging expeditions in Lower California 
having been quite successful in bringing in cat- 
tle, horses and nniles, Connnodore Stockton 
hastened his preparation for marching against 
Los Angeles. Tlie enemy obtained information 
of the projected movement and left for the 

"The Cyane having arrived." .says Duvall, 
"our force was increased to about 600 men, 
most of whom, miderstanding the drill, per- 



formed the evolutions like regular soldiers. 
Hverything being ready for our departure, the 
commodore left Capt. Alontgomery and ofificers 
in command of tlie town, and on the 29th of 
December took up his line of march for An- 
geles. Gen. Kearny was second in command 
and having the immediate arrangement of the 
forces, reserving for himself the prerogative 
which his rank necessarily imposed upon him. 
Owing to the weak state of our oxen we had 
not crossed the dry bed of the river San Diego 
before they began breaking down, and the carts, 
which were 30 or 40 in number, had to be 
dragged by the men. The general urged on 
the commodore that it was useless to commence 
such a march as was before us with our present 
means of transportation, but the commodore 
insisted on performing at least one day's march 
even if we should have to return the next. We 
succeeded in reaching the valley of the Soledad 
that night by dragging our carts. Next day 
the commodore proposed to go six miles far- 
ther, which we accomplished, and then contin- 
ued six miles farther. Having obtained some 
fresh oxen, by assisting the carts up hill, we 
made ten to twelve miles a day. At San Luis 
Key we secured men, carts and oxen, and after 
that our day's marches ranged from 15 to 22 
miles a day. 

"The third day out from San Luis Rey a white 
flag was seen ahead, the bearer of which had a 
communication from Flores, signing himself 
'Conmiander-in-Chief and Governor of Califor- 
nia,' asking for a conference for the purpose of 
coming to terms, which would be alike "honora- 
ble to both countries.' The commodore refused 
to answer him in writing, saying to the bearer 
of the truce that his answer was, 'he knew no 
such person as Governor Flores, that he himself 
w^as the only governor in California: that he 
knew a rebel by that name, a man who had given 
his parole of honor not to take up arms against 
the government of the Cnited States, who, if 
the people of California now in arms against 
the forces of the United States would deliver 
up, he (Stockton) would treat with them on con- 
dition that they surrender their arms and retire 
peaceably to their homes and he would grant 
them, as citizens of the United States, protection 
from further molestation.' This the embassy 
refused to entertain, saying 'they would prefer 
to die with Flores than to surrender on such 

"On the 8th of January, 1847, they met us on 
the banks of the river San Gabriel with between 
five and six lumdred men mounted on good 
horses and armed with lances and carbines, liav- 
ing ;ilsn four pieces of artillery planted nu llie 

heights about 350 yards distant from the river. 
Owing to circumstances which have occurred 
since the surrender of the enemy, I prefer not 
mentioning the particulars of this day's battle 
and also that of the day following, or of refer- 
ring to individuals concerned in the successful 
management of our forces." (^The circumstance 
"to which Lieut. Duvall refers was undoubtedly 
the quarrel between Stockton and Kearny after 
the capture of Los Angeles.) "It is sufificient to 
say that on the 8th of January we succeeded in 
crossing the river and driving the enemy from 
the heights. Having resisted all tlieir charges, 
dismounted one of their pieces and put them 
to flight in every direction, we encamped on the 
ground they had occupied during the fight. 

"The next day the Californians met us on the 
Plains of the Mesa. For a time the fighting was 
carried on by both sides with artillery, but that 
proving too hot for them they concentrated their 
whole force in a line ahead of us, and at a given 
signal divided from the center and came down 
on us like a tornado, charging us on all sides at 
the same time ; but they were effectually defeated 
and fled in every direction in the utmost confu- 
sion. Many of their horses were left dead on the 
field. Their loss in the two battles, as given by 
Andres Pico, second in command, was 83 killed 
and wounded ; our loss, three killed (one acci- 
dentally) and 15 or 20 wounded, none danger- 
ously. The enemy abandoned two pieces of artil- 
lery in an Indian village near by." 

i have given at considerable length Midship- 
man Duvall's account of Stockton's march from 
San Diego and of the two battles fought, not be- 
cause it is the fullest account of those events, but 
because it is original historical matter — never 
having appeared in print before — and also be- 
cause it is the observations of a participant writ- 
ten at the time the events occurred. In it the 
losses of the enemy are greatly exaggerated, but 
that was a fault of his superior officers as well. 
Commodore Stockton, in his official reports of 
the two battles, gives the enemy's loss in killed 
and wounded "between seventy and eighty." 
And Gen. Kearny, in his report of the battle of 
San Pasqual, claimed it as a victory, and states 
that the enemy left six dead on the field. The 
actual loss of the Californians in the two battles 
(San Gabriel River and La Mesa) was three 
killed and ten or twelve wounded.* 

While the events recorded in this chapter were 
transpiring at San Diego and its vicinity, what 
w^as the state of affairs in the capital, Los An- 
geles? After the exultation and rejoicing over 
the expulsion of Gillespie's garrison, Mervine's 

*Tlic killed were Igiiacio SepuIvefl.T, Fr.incisco 
Riiliin, .mid Kl Gii.iymefKi, .n Vaiitii Indian. 



defeat and the victury over Kearny at San Pas- 
qual there came a reaction. Dissensions con- 
tinued between the leaders. There was lack of 
arms and laxit\- of discipline. The army was but 
little better than a mob. Obedience to orders 
of a superior was foreign to the nature of a Cali- 
fornian. His wild, free life in the saddle made 
him impatient of all restraint. Then the impossi- 
bility of successful resistance against the .\meri- 
cans became more and more apparent as the final 
conflict approached. Fremont's army was 
moving down on the doomed city from the north 
and Stockton's was coming up from the south. 
Either one of these, in numbers, exceeded the 
force that Flores could bring into action ; com- 
bined they would crush him out of existence. 
The Californian troops were greatly discouraged, 
and it was with great difficulty that the officers 
kept their men together. There was another and 
more potent element of disintegration. Many of 
the wealthier natives and all the foreigners, re- 
garding the contest as hopeless, secretly favored 
the American cause, and it was only through fear 
of loss of property that they furnished Flores 
and his officers any supplies for the army. 

During the latter part of December and the 
first days of January Flores' army was stationed 
at San Fernando Mission, on the lookout for 
Fremont's battalion ; but the more rapid advance 
of Stockton's army compelled a change of base. 
On the 6th and 7th of January, Flores moved his 
army back secretly through the Cahuenga Pass, 
and, passing to the southward of the city, took 
position where La Jaboneria (the soap factory) 
road crosses the San Gabriel river. Here his 

men were stationed in the thick willows to give 
Stockton a surprise. Stockton received informa- 
tion of the trap set for him, and after leaving 
the Los Coyotes swung off to the right until he 
struck the Upper Santa .'\na road. The Califor- 
nians had barely time to efifect a change of base 
and get their cannon planted when the Ameri- 
cans arrived at the crossing. 

Stockton called the engagement there the bat- 
tle of the San Gabriel river; the Califomians 
call it the battle of Paso de Bartolo, which is the 
better name. The place where the battle was 
fought is on the bluff just south of the Upper 
Santa Ana road, near where the Southern Cali- 
fornia Railroad crosses the Old San Gabriel 
river. (The ford or crossing was formerly known 
as Pico's Crossing.) There was, at the time of 
the battle, but one San Gabriel river. The new 
river channel was made in the great flood of 
1868. What Stockton, Emory, Duvall and other 
-American officers call the battle of the "Plains of 
the Mesa" the Californians call the battle of La 
Mesa, which is most decidedly a better name 
than the "Plains of the Plain." It was fought 
at a ravine. The Cafiada de Los Alisos, near the 
southeastern corner of the city's boundary. In 
these battles the Californians had four pieces of 
artillery, two iron nine-pounders, the Old Wo- 
man's gun and the howitzer captured from 
Kearny. Their powder was very poor. It was 
made at San Gabriel. It was owing to this that 
they did so little execution in the fight. That 
the Californians escaped with so little punish- 
ment was probably due to the wretched marks- 
manship of Stockton's sailors and marines. 



ftFTER the battle of La Mesa, the Ameri- 
cans, keeping to the south, crossed the 
river at about the point where the south 
boundary line of the city crosses it, and en- 
camped on the right bank. Here, under a willow 
tree, those killed in battle were buried. Lieut. 
Emory, in his "Notes of a Military Reconnois- 
sance," says : "The town, known to contain great 
(juantities of wine and aguardiente, was four 
miles distant (four miles from the battlefield). 
From previous experience of the difficulty of 
controlling men when entering towns, it was de- 
termined to cross the river San Fernando (Los 
Angeles'), halt there for the night and enter the 
town in the nmrning. with the whole day before 



came down from the hills, and 400 horsenu'n 
with four pieces of artillery drew off towards the 
town, in order and regularity, whilst about sixty 
made a movement down the river on our rear 
and left flank. This led us to suppose they were 
not yet wdiipped, as we thought, and that we 
should have a night attack. 

"January 10. — Just as we had raised our camp, 
a flag of truce borne by Mr. Celis, a Castilian, 
Mr. Workman, an Englishman, and Alvarado, 
the owner of the rancho at the Alisos, was 
brought into camp. They proposed, on behalf 
of the Californians, to surrender their dear City 
of the Angels, provided we would respect prop- 
erty and persons. This was agreed to, I)Ut not 
altogether trusting to the honesty of Gen. 
I'liires. who had once broken his parole, we 



inii\i.Ml iiilu tlic tuwii ill the same uriler w c 
should have done if expceling an attack. 

"It was a wise precaution, for the streets were 
full of desperate and drunken fellows, who bran- 
dished their arms and saluted us with every 
term of reproach. The crest, overlooking the 
town, in rifle range, was covered with horsemen 
engaged in the same hospitable manner. 

"Our men marched steadily on, until crossing 
the ravine leading into the public square (plaza), 
when a fight took place amongst the Californians 
on the hill ; one became disarmed, and to avoid 
death rolled down the hill towards us, his adver- 
sary pursuing and lancing him in the most cold- 
blooded manner. The man tumbling down the 
hill was supposed to be one of our vaqueros, and 
the cry of 'rescue him !' was raised. The crew of 
the Cyane, nearest the scene, at once and with- 
out any orders, halted and gave the man that 
was lancing him a volley ; strange to say, he did 
not fall. The general gave the jack tars a curs- 
ing, not so much for the firing without orders, 
as for their bad marksmanship." 

Shortly after the above episode, the Califor- 
nians did open fire from the hill on the vaqueros 
in charge of the cattle. (These vaqueros were 
Californians in the employ of the Americans and 
were regarded by their countrymen as traitors.) 
.\ company of riflemen was ordered to clear the 
hill. A single volley effected this — killing two 
of the enemy. This was the last bloodshed in 
the war ; and the second conquest of California 
was completed as the first hacl been by the cap- 
ture of Los Angeles. Two hundred men, with 
two pieces of artillery, were stationed on the 

The Angelenos did not exactly welcome the 
invaders with "bloody hands to inhospitable 
graves," but they did their best to let them 
know they were not wanted. The better class of 
the native inhabitants closed their houses and 
took refuge with foreign residents or went to the 
ranchos of their friends in the country. The fel- 
lows of the baser sort, who were in possession of 
the city, exhausted their vocabularies of abuse on 
the invading gringos. 

There was one paisano who excelled all his 
countrymen in this species of warfare. It is a 
pity his name has not been preserved in history 
with that of other famous scolds and kickers. 
He rode by the side of the advancing column 
up Main street, firing volleys of invectives and 
denunciation at the hated gringos. At certain 
points of his tirade he worked himself up to such 
a pitch of indignation that language failed him; 
then he would solemnly go through the motions 
of "make ready, take aim!" with an old shotgun 
he carried, but when it came to the order, "fire !" 
discrelinn got the bcdcr of his valc.r; he lowered 

his gun and began again, tiring iii\ective at the 
gringo soldiers; his mouth would go off if his 
gun would not. 

Commodore Stockton's hcad(|uartcrs were in 
the Abila House, the second house on Olvera 
street, north of the plaza. The building is still 
standing, but has undergone many changes in 
fifty years. A rather amusing account was re- 
cently given me by an old pioneer of the manner 
in which Commodore Stockton got possession of 
the house. The widow Abila and her daughters, 
at the approach of the American army, had aban- 
doned their home and taken refuge with Don 
Luis Vignes of the Aliso. Mgnes was a French- 
man and friendly to both sides. The widow left 
a young Californian in charge of her house 
(which was finely furnished), with strict orders 
to keep it closed. Stockton had with him a fine 
brass band — something new in California. When 
the troops halted on the plaza, the band began 
to play. The boyish guardian of the Abila casa 
could not resist the temptation to open the door 
and look out. The enchanting music drew him 
to the plaza. Stockton and his staff, hunting 
for a place suitable for headquarters, passing by, 
found the door invitingly open, entered, and, 
finding the house deserted, took possession. The 
recreant guardian returned to find himself dis- 
possessed and the house in possession of the ene- 
my. "And the band played on." 


It is a fact not generally known that there 
were two forts planned and partially built on 
Fort Hill during the war for the conquest of Cal- 
ifornia. The first was planned by Lieut. William 
H. Emory, topographical engineer of Gen. Kear- 
ny's staff, and work begun on it by Commodore 
Stockton's sailors and marines. The second was 
planned by Lieut. J. W. Davidson, of the First 
United States Dragoons, and built by the Mor- 
mon Battalion. The first was not completed and 
not named. The second was named Fort ]\Ioore. 
Their location seems to have been identical. The 
first was designed to hold lOO men. The second 
was much larger. Flores' army was supposed 
to be in the neighborhood of the city ready to 
make a dash into it, so Stockton decided to 

"On January ii," Lieut. Emory writes, "I 
was ordered to select a site and place a fort 
capable of containing a hundred men. With 
this in view a rapid reconnoissance of the town 
was made and the plan of a fort sketched, so 
placed as to enable a small garrison to command 
the town and the principal avenues to it. The 
plan was approved." 

"lanuarv U. — T laid off the work ami before 
night bn^kc the first grouii.l. The pcpulalion of 




the town and its dependencies is about 3,000 ; 
that of the town itself about 1,500. * * =1^ 
Here all the revolutions have had their origin, 
and it is the point upon which any Mexican 
force from Sonora would be directed. It was 
therefore desirable to establish a fort which, in 
case of trouble, should enable a small garrison 
to hold out till aid might come from San Diego, 
San Francisco or ^Monterey, places which are des- 
tined to become centers of American settle- 

"January 13. — It rained steadily all day and 
nothing was done on the work. At night I 
worked on the details of the fort." 

"January 15. — The details to work on the fort 
were by companies. I sent to Capt. Tilghman, 
who commanded on the hill, to detach one of the 
companies under his command to commence the 
work. He furnished, on the i6th, a company 
of artillery (seamen from the Congress) for the 
day's work, which they performed bravely, and 
gave me great hopes of success." 

(Jn the 14th of Januar)', Fremont, with his bat- 
talion of 450 men, arrived from Cahuenga. There 
were then about 1,100 troops in the city, and the 
old ciudad put on military airs. On the i8th 
Kearny, having quarreled with Stockton about 
who should be governor of the conquered terri- 
tory, left for San Diego, taking with him Lieut. 
Emory and the other members of his staff, and 
the dragoons. Emory was sent east by way of 
Panama with dispatches. Stockton appointed 
Col. Fremont governor, and Col. Russell, of the 
battalion, secretary of state of the newly acquired 
territory ; and then took his departure to San 
Diego, where his ship, the Congress, was ly- 
ing. The sailors and marines, on the 20th, took 
up their line of march for San Pedro to rejoin 
their ships, and work on the fort was abandoned. 

Lieut. Emory says : "Subsequent to my leav- 
ing the Ciudad de Los Angeles, the entire plan of 
the fort was changed, and I am not the pro- 
jector of the work finally adopted for defense 
of that town." So far as I know, no plan of the 
first fort exists. One company of Fremont's bat- 
talion was left in charge of the city; the command 
of the battalion was turned over to Capt. Owens, 
and the other companies marched to San Ga- 
Ijriel. Fremont, as governor, established his 
headquarters in the Bell block, corner of Aliso 
and Los Angeles streets, that being the finest 
Iniilding in the city. The quarrel for superiority 
between Stockton, Kearny, Mason and Fremont 
continued and waxed hotter. Kearny had re- 
moved to Monterey. Col. Cooke, with his Mor- 
mon battalion, having crossed the plains by the 
southern route, had arrived and been stationed 
at San Luis Rey. He was an adherent of Kear- 
ny's. On the i7tli of March Cooke's Mormon 

battalion arrived in Los Angeles. Capt. Owens, 
in command of Fremont's battalion, had moved 
all the artillery — ten pieces — to the Mission San 

Col. Cooke was placed in command of the 
southern district, Fremont's battalion was mus- 
tered out of service and the artillery brought 
back to Los Angeles. 

On the 20th of April rumors reached Los An- 
geles that the Mexican general, Bustamente, was 
advancing on California with a force of 1,500 
men. "Positive information," writes Col. Cooke. 
"has been received that the Mexican government 
has appropriated $600,000 towards fitting out 
this force." It was also reported that cannon 
and military stores had been landed at San \'i- 
cente, in Lower California, on the coast below 
San Diego. Rumors of an approaching army 
came thick and fast. War's wrinkled front once 
more affrighted the Angelenos, or rather, the 
gringo portion. The natives were supposed to 
be in league w^ith Bustamente and to be pre- 
paring for an insurrection. Precautions were 
taken against a surprise. A troop of cavalry 
was sent to \\'arner's ranch to patrol the Sonora 
road as far as the desert. The construction of a 
fort on the hill fully commanding the town, 
which had previously been determined upon, was 
begun and a companv of infantr_v posted on the 

On the 23d of April, three months after work 
had ceased on Emory's fort, the construction of 
the second fort was begun and pushed vigor- 
ously. Rumors continued to come of the ap- 
proach of the enemy. On May 3, Col. Cooke 
writes : "A report was received through the most 
available sources of information that Gen. Busta- 
mente had crossed the gulf near the head in 
boats of the pearl fishers, and at last information 
was at a rancho on the western road 70 leagues 
below San Diego." Col. Stevenson's regiment of 
New York volunteers had arrived in California, 
and two companies of the volunteers had been 
sent to Los Angeles. The report that Col. 
Cooke had received large reinforcements and 
that the place was being fortified, was snppose<l 
to have frightened Bustamente into abandoning 
the recapture of Los Angeles. Bustamente's in- 
vading army was largely the creation of some- 
body's fertile imagination. The scare, however, 
had the effect of hurrying up work on the fort. 

On the 13th of May Col. Cooke resigned and 
Col. J. B. Stevenson succeeded him in command 
of the southern military district. Work on the 
fort still continued. .\s the fort approached com- 
pletion, Col. Stevenson was exercised about a 
suitable flagstaff — there was no tall timber in the 
vicinity of Los .Angeles. The colonel wanted 
a flagstaff that would be an honor to his field 



works and that would float the old flag where it 
could be seen of "all men," and women, too. 
Nothing less than a pole 150 feet high would 

A native Californian, named Juan Ramirez, 
was found, who claimed to have seen some trees 
in the San Bernardino Mountains that were 
nuicho alto — very tall — just what was needed 
for a flagstafi^. A contract was made with him 
to bring in the timber. The mountain Indians 
were hostile, or rather, ihc-y were horse thieves. 
The rancheros killed them on sight, like so many 
rattlesnakes. An escort of ten soldiers from the 
Mormon battalion, under command of a lieuten- 
ant, was sent along with Juan to protect him 
and his workmen. Ramirez, with a small army 
of Indian laborers and a number of Mexican 
carts, set out for the headwaters of Mill Creek 
in the San Bernardino ^fountains. Time passed ; 
the colonel was becoming uneasy over the long 
absence of the flagstaff hunters. He had not yet 
become accustomed to the easy-going,* poco 
tiempo ways of the native Californians. One 
afternoon a cloud of dust was seen out on the 
mission road. From out the cloud came the 
most unearthly shriekings, groanings and wail- 
ings. At first it was surmised that it might be 
the fag end of Bustamente's army of invasion 
that had gotten away from its base of supplies, 
or possibly the return of a Mexican revolution 
that had been lost on the plains years ago. As 
the cloud crossed the river into the Aliso road, 
Juan Ramirez' cavalcade and its Mormon es- 
cort emerged from it. They had two tree 
trunks, one about 90 feet and the other 75 or 80 
feet long, mounted on the axles of about a dozen 
old carretas, each trunk hauled by twenty yoke 
of oxen, and an Indian driver to each ox (Indi- 
ans were plentiful in those days). Each wooden 
wheel of the carts was sending forth its agoniz- 
ing shrieks for axle grease in a different key 
from its fellows. Each Indian driver was ex- 
hausting his vocabulary of invective on his espe- 
cial ox, and punctuating his profanity by vicious 
punches with the goad in the poor ox's ribs. The 
Indian was a cruel driver. The Mormons of the 
escort were singing one of their interminable 
songs of Zion — a pean of deliverance from the 
hands of the Philistines. They had had a fight 
with the Indians, killed three of the hostiles 
and had the ears of their victims strung upon a 

Never before or since, in the history of the 
flag, did such a (|ueer concourse combine to pro- 
cure a staff to float Old Glory. 

The carpenters among the volunteers spliced 
the two pieces of timber together and soon 
fashioned a beautiful flagstaff a hundred and 
fifty feet in length. The pole was raised near 

what is now the southeast comer of North Broad- 
way and Fort Moore Place. By the first of Julv 
work had so far progressed on the fort that Col. 
-Stevenson decided to dedicate and name it on 
the 4th. He issued an official order for the 
celebration of the anniversary of the birthday of 
.\merican Independence at this port, as he called 
Los Angeles. The following is a synopsis of the 
order : "At sunrise a Federal salute will be 
fired from the field work on the hill, which com- 
mands this town, and for the first time from 
this point the American standard will be dis- 
played. At 10 o'clock every soldier at this post 
will be under arms. The detachment of the 
7th Regiment, N. Y. \'oIunteers, and ist Regi- 
ment, U. S. Dragoons (dismounted), will be 
marched to the field work on the hill, when, to- 
gether with the Mormon battalion, the whole 
will be formed at 1 1 o'clock A. M. into a hollow 
square, when the Declaration of Independence 
will be read. At the close of this ceremony the 
field work will be dedicated and appropriately 
named: and at 12 o'clock a national salute will 
be fired. The field work at this post having 
been planned and the work conducted entirely 
by Lieut. Davidson of the First Dragoons, he is 
requested to hoist upon it for the first time, on 
the morning of the 4th, the American Standard. 
It is the custom of our country to confer on its 
fortifications the name of some distinguished 
individual who has rendered important services 
to his country either in the councils of the na- 
tion or on the battlefield. The commandant has 
therefore determined, unless the department of 
war shall otherwise direct, to confer upon the 
field work erected at the port of Los Angeles 
the name of one who was regarded by all who 
had the pleasure of his acquaintance as a perfect 
specimen of an American officer, and whose 
character for every virtue and accomplishment 
that adorns a gentleman was only equalled by 
the reputation he had acquired in the field for 
his gallantry as an officer and soldier, and his 
life was sacrificed in the conquest of this terri- 
tory at the battle of San Pasqual. The com- 
mander directs that from and after the 4th in- 
stant it shall bear the name of Moore." 

Benjamin D. Moore, after whom the fort was 
named, 'was captain of Co. A, First \J. S. Dra- 
goons. He was killed by a lance thrust in the 
disastrous charge at San Pasqual. Capt. Stuart 
Taylor at this celebration read the Declaration 
of Independence in English, and Stephen C. 
Foster read it in Spanish. The native Cali- 
fornians seated on their horses in rear of the 
soldiers listened to Don Estevan as he rolled 
out in sonorous Spanish the Declaration's ar- 
raignment of King (ieorge IIT. and smiled. 
Tli'oy had prol);d)Iy never heard of King George 


or the Declaration of Independence either, but 
they knew a pronunciamiento when they heard 
it, and after a pronunciamiento in their govern- 
mental system came a revolution — therefore 
they smiled at the prospect of a gringo revolu- 
tion. The old fort was located along the east- 
erly line of what is now North Broadway at its 
intersection with Fort Moore Place. It began 
near the northerly line of Dr. \\'ills' lot and ex- 
tended southerly to the fourth lot south of Fort 
?iIoore Place, a length of over 400 feet. It was 
a breastwork with bastions and embrasures for 
cannon. The principal embrasure covered the 
church and plaza. It was built more for the 
suppression of a revolt than to resist an invasion. 
It was a strong position ; two hundred men, 
about its capacity, could have defended it against 
one thousand if the attack came from the front, 
but it could easily have been outflanked. 

In the rear of the fort a deep ravine ran 
diagonally from the cemetery to Spring street 
just south of Temple. The road to the ceme- 
tery led up this ravine and many an old Cali- 
fornian made his last journey in this world up 
cemetery ravine. It was known as the Canada 
de Los Muertos (the canon of the dead). The 
-l-th of July, 1847, was a crackerless 4th. The 
American boy with his fireworks was not in evi- 
dence, and the native muchacho knew as little 
about firecrackers as hf did about the 4th of 
July. The day's festivities ended with a fan- 
dango. The fandango was a universal leveler. 
Mormon and Mexican, native Californians and 
spruce shoulder-strapped Regulars met and 
mingled in the dance. The day ended without 
a casualty and at its close even the most recalci- 
trant paisano was constrained to shout Viva Los 
Estados Unidos ! (Long live the LTnited States.) 

One of the historical fictions that appears in 
most of the "write ups" of this old fort is the 
statement that it was built by Fremont. There 
is absolutelv no foundation for such a statement. 

Emory's fort was begun before Fremont's bat- 
talion reached Los Angeles, and work ceased 
on it when Stockton's sailors and marines left 
the city. Davidson's fort was begun while the 
battalion was at San Gabriel, a short time before 
it was mustered out. Fremont left for Monterey 
shortly after the Alornion battalion began work 
on the redoubt; and when it was completed, or 
rather when work stopped on it, he had left 
California and was somewhere in the neigh- 
borhood of the Rocky mountains. Neither is 
there any foundation for the story that the forti- 
fication was begun by ^^licheltorena when Com- 
modore Jones captured Monterey, October hj. 
1842. It was not known in early times as l"re- 
mont's redoubt. 

Another silly fiction that occasionally makes 
its appearance in newspapers and literary jour- 
nals is the story that an old adobe building 
on ]Main near Fourteenth street was Fremont's 
h.eadquarters when he was "military com- 
mander" of the territory. As I write there lies 
before me a copy of an illustrated eastern journal 
of extensive circulation, in which appears a cut 
of this ex-saloon and ]5resent Chinese wash 
house labeled "Fremont's Headquarters." Not 
long since a literary journal of our own city, in 
an editorial, urged upon the Historical Society 
and the Landmarks Club the necessity of pre- 
serving this valuable historical relic of Fremont's 
occupancy of Los Angeles in the war. The idiocy 
of a commanding officer establishing his head- 
quarters on a naked plain two miles away from 
the fort where his troops were stationed and 
within what would then have been the enemy's 
lines seems never to have occurred to the au- 
thors and promulgators of these fictions. This 
old adobe house was built six or eight years after 
the conquest of California. In 1856 it was used 
for a saloon ; Fremont was then a candidate 
for the presidency. The proprietor named it 
Fremont's Headquarters. 




JT S STATED in a [ormcr chapter, Frc- 
T^ niont's battalion began its march down 
± \_ the coast on the 29th of November, 1846. 
The winter rains set in v>ith great severity. The 
volunteers were scantily provided with clothing 
and the horses were in poor condition. Many 
of the horses died of starvation and hard usage. 
The battalion encountered no opposition from 
the enemy on its march and did no fighting. 

On the nth of January, a few miles above 
San Fernando, Col. Fremont received a message 
from Gen. Kearny informing him of the defeat 
of the enemy and the capture of Los Angeles. 
That night the battalion encamped in the mission 
buildings at San Fernando. From the mission 
that evening Jesus Pico, a cousin of Gen. An- 
dres Pico, set out to find the Californian army 
and open negotiations' with its leaders. Jesus 
Pico, better known as Tortoi, had been arrested 
at his home near San Luis Obispo, tried by 
court-martial and sentenced to be shot for break- 
ing his parole. Fremont, moved by the plead- 
ings of Pico's wife and children, pardoned him. 
He became a warm admirer and devoted friend 
of Fremont. 

He found the advance guard of the Califor- 
nians encamped at Verdugos. He was detained 
here, and the leading ofificers of the army were 
summoned to a council. Pico informed them of 
Fremont's arrival and the number of his men. 
With the combined forces of Fremont and Stock- 
Ion against them their cause was hopeless. He 
urged them to surrender to Fremont, as they 
could obtain better terms from him than from 

Gen. Flores, who held a commission in the 
Mexican army, and who had been appointed by 
the territorial assembly governor and coman- 
dante-gcneral by virtue of his rank, appointed 
/\ndres Pico general and gave him command 
of the army. The same night he took his de- 
parture for Mexico, by way of .San Gorgonio 
Pass, accompanied by Col. Garfias, Diego Se- 
pulveda. Manuel Castro, Segura. and about 
thirty privates. Gen. •Pico, on assuming com- 
mand, appointed Francisco Rico and Francisco 
de La Gucrra to go with Jesus Pico to confer 
with Cul. I'Vemonl. Fremont appointed as com- 
missioners to negotiate a treaty: Major P. P>. 
j-tcading. Major \\'illi:nn If. Kussdl .nnd Capt. 

Louis McLane. On the return of Guerra and 
Rico to the Californian camp. Gen. Andres Picn 
appointed as commissioners : Jose Antonio Car- 
rillo, commander of the cavalry squadron, and 
Augustin Olvera, diputado of the assembly, and 
moved his army near the river at Cahuenga. 
On the 13th Fremont moved his camp to the 
Cahuenga. The commissioners met in the de- 
serted ranch-house, and the treaty was drawn 
up and signed. 

The principal conditions of the treaty or capit- 
ulation of "Cahuenga," as it was termed, were 
that the Californians, on delivering up their ar- 
tillery and public arms, and promising not again 
to take up arms during the war, and conforming 
to the laws and regulations of the United States, 
shall be allowed peaceably to return to their 
homes. They were to be allowed the same 
rights and privileges as are allowed to citizens 
of the Ignited States, and were not to be com- 
pelled to take an oath of allegiance until a treaty 
of peace was signed between the United States 
and Mexico, and w-ere given the privilege of 
leaving the country if they wished to. An adtli- 
tional section was added to the treaty on the 
16th at Los Angeles releasing the officers from 
their paroles. Two cannon were surrendered, 
the howitzer captured from Gen. Kearny at San 
Pasqual, and the woman's gun that won the bat- 
tle of Dominguez. On the 14th, Fremont's bat- 
talion marched through the Cahuenga Pass to 
Los Angeles in a pouring rainstorm, and entered 
it four days after its surrender to Stockton. The 
conquest of California was completed. Stock- 
ton approved the treaty, although it was not alto- 
gether satisfactory to him. On the i6th he ap- 
pointed Col. Fremont governor of the terri- 
tory, and William H. Russell, of the battalion, 
secretary of state. 

This precipitated a quarrel between Stockton 
and Kearny, which had been brewing for some 
time. Gen. Kearny claimed that under his in- 
structions from the government he should bo 
recognized as governor. .\s he had directly un- 
der his command but the one company of dra- 
goons that he brought across the plain with him 
he was unable to enforce his authority. He left 
on the i8tli for San Die,go, taking with him his 
officers and dragoons. ( )n the 20th Conmio- 
(liivc ."^tdckton, with his sailors and marines. 



maiclitd to San Pedro, where they all embarked 
on a man-of-war for San Diego to rejoin their 
ships. Stockton was shortly afterwards super- 
seded in the command of the Pacific squadron 
by Commodore Shubrick. 

Fremont was left in command at Los Angeles. 
He established his headquarters in the upper 
(second) floor of the Bell block, corner of Los 
Angeles and Aliso streets, the best building in 
the city then. One company of the battalion was 
retained in the city ; the others, under command 
of Capt. Owens, were quartered at the Mission 
San Gabriel. From San Diego, Gen. Kearny 
sailed to San Francisco, and from there he went 
to Monterey. Under additional instructions from 
the general government brought to the coast by 
Col. Mason, he established his governorship at 
Monterey. With a governor in the north and 
one in the south antagonistic to each other, 
California had fallen back to its normal condition 
under Mexican rule. Col. Cooke, commander 
of the Mormon battalion, writing about this 
time, says : "Gen. Kearny is supreme somewhere 
up the coast ; Gen. Fremont is supreme at Pu- 
eblo de Los Angeles ; Commodore Stockton is 
commander-in-chief at San Diego ; Commodore 
Shubrick the same at Monterey ; and I at San 
Luis Key ; and we are all supremely poor, the 
government having no money and no credit, and 
we hold the territory because Mexico is poorest 
of all !" 

Col. R. B. Mason was appointed inspector of 
the troops, and made an official visit to Los An- 
geles. In some disagreement he used insulting 
language to Col. Fremont. Fremont promptly 
challenged him to fight a duel. The challenge 
was accepted, and double-barreled shotguns 
were chosen as the weapons and the Rancho 
Rosa del Castillo chosen as the place of meeting. 
Mason was summoned north, and the duel was 
postponed until his return. Kearny, hearing of 
it, put a stop to it. 

Col. P. St. George Cooke, commander of the 
Mormon battalion, but an officer of the regular 
army, was made commander of the military dis- 
trict of the south, with headquarters at Los An- 
geles. Fremont's battalion was mustered out of 
the service and Fremont himself ordered to re- 
l)ort to Gen. Kearny at Monterey and turn over 
the papers and accounts of his governorship. He 
(lid so, and passed out of office. He was nomin- 
ally governor of the territory about two months. 
His jurisdiction did not really extend beyond 
Los Angeles. He accompanied Gen. Kearny 
cast, leaving Los Angeles May 12, and Mon- 
terey May 31. At Fort Leavenworth Gen. 
Kearny placed him under arrest and preferred 
charges against him for disobedience of orders. 
He was tried by court-martial at Washington 

and was ably defended by his father-in-law, Col. 
Benton, and his brother-in-law, William Carey 
Jones. The court found him guilty and fixed the 
penalty — dismissal from the service. President 
Polk remitted the penalty, and ordered Col. P're- 
mont to resume his sword and report for duty. 
He resigned his commission in the army. 

Col. Richard B. JMason succeeded General 
Kearny as commander-in-chief of the troops 
and military governor of California. Col. Philip 
St. George Cooke resigned command of the mil- 
itary district of the south in May and went east 
with Gen. Kearny. Col. J. D. Stevenson, of 
the New York Volunteers, succeeded Cooke. 
His regiment, the First New York, had been 
recruited in eastern New York in the summer of 
1846 for the double purpose of conquest and 
colonization. It came to the coast well pro- 
vided with provisions and implements of hus- 
bandry. It reached California via Cape Horn. 
The first transport, the Perkins, reached Yerba 
Buena, March 6, 1847; t'^^ second, the Drew, 
Alarch 19; and the third, the Loo Choo, March 
26. Hostilities had ceased in California before 
their arrival. Two companies, A and B, under 
command of Lieut. -Col. Burton, were sent to 
Lower California, where they saw hard service 
and took part in several engagements. The 
other companies of the regiment were sent to 
different towns in Upper California to do gar- 
rison duty. Companies E and G were stationed 
at Los Angeles, Company F at Santa Barbara 
and Company I at San Diego. 

Col. Stevenson had under his command a 
force of about 600 men, consisting of four com- 
panies of the Mormon battalion, two companies of 
United States Dragoons and the two companies 
of his own regiment. The Mormon battalion was 
mustered out in July, 1847; t'^^ ^ew York vol- 
unteers remained in service until August, 1848. 
Most of these volunteers remained in California 
and several became residents of Southern Cali- 

Another military organization that reached 
California after the conquest was Company F, 
Third United States Artillery. It landed at Mon- 
terey, January 28, 1847, under command of 
Capt. C. Q. Thompkins. With it came Lieuts. 
E. O. C. Ord, William T. Sherman and H. W. 
Halleck, all of whom were prominent afterward 
in California and attained national reputation 
during the Civil war. Lieut. Ord made what 
is known as Ord's survey of Los Angeles. After 
the treaty of peace was made, in 1848, four com- 
panies of U. S. Dragoons, under command of 
Major L. P. Graham, marched from Chihuahua, 
by way of Tucson, to California. Major Gra- 
ham was the last military commander of the 



Under Col. Stevenson's administration the 
reconstruction, or rather it might be more ap- 
propriately called the transformation, period re- 
ally began. The orders from the general gov- 
ernment were to conciliate the people and to 
make no radical changes in the form of govern- 
ment. The Mexican laws were continued in 
force. In February an ayuntamiento was elected 
at Los Angeles. The members were : First al- 
calde, Jose Salazar; second alcalde, Enrique 
Avila; regidores, Miguel N. Pryor, Julian Cha- 
vez, Rafael Gallardo and Jose A. Yorba; sindico, 
Jose Vicinte Guerrero ; secretary, Ignacio Cor- 

This council proceeded to grant house lots 
and perform its various municipal functions as 
formerly. Occasionally there was friction be- 
tween the military and civil powers, and there 
were rumors of insurrections and invasions. 
There were, no doubt, some who hoped that the 
])rophecy of the doggerel verses that were de- 
risively sung by the women occasionally might 
Clime true : 

"Poco tiempo 
Viene Castro 
Con mucho gente 
Vamos Americanos." 

But Castro came not with his many gentle- 
men, nor did the Americans show any disposi- 
tion to vamos ; so with that easy good nature 
so characteristic of the Californians they made 
the best of the situation. "A thousand things," 
says Judge Hays, "combined to smooth the as- 
perities of war. Fremont had been courteous 
and gay ; Mason was just and firm. The natu- 
ral good temper of the population favored a 
speedy and perfect conciliation. The American 
officers at once found themselves happy in every 
circle. In suppers, balls, visiting in town and 
country, the hours glided away with pleasant 

There were, however, a few individuals who 
were not happy unless they could stir up dis- 
sensions and cause trouble. One of the chief 
of these was Serbulo Varela — agitator and revo- 
lutionist. Yarela, for some ofifense not specified 
in the records, had been committed to prison 
by the second alcalde, or judge of the second 
instance. Col. Stevenson turned him out of 
jail and Varela gave the judge a tongue lashing 
in refuse Castilian. The judge's ofificial dignity 
was hurt. He sent a communication to the ayun- 
tamiento saying : "Owing to personal abuse 
which I received at the hands of a private indi- 
vidual and from the present military commander, 
I tender my resignation." 

The council sent a communication to Col. 

.Stevenson, asking why he had turned N'arcla out 
of jail and why he had insulted the judge. 

The colonel curtly replied that the military 
would not act as jailers over persons guilty of 
trifling offenses while the city had plenty of per- 
sons to do guard duty at the jail. As to abuse 
of the judge, he was not aware that any abuse 
had been given, and would take no further notice 
of him unless he stated the nature of the insult 
ofifered him. 

The council decided to notify the governor of 
the outrage perpetrated by the military com- 
mander, and the second alcalde said, since he 
could get no satisfaction for insults to his author- 
ity from the military despot he would resign; 
but the council would not accept his resignation, 
so he refused to act, and the city had to worry 
along with one judge. 

When the time came around for the election of 
a new ayuntamiento there was more trouble. 
Stephen C. Foster, the colonel's interpreter, 
submitted a paper to the council stating that 
the government had authorized him to get up a 
register of voters. And the ayuntamiento voted 
to return the paper just as it was received. Then 
the colonel made a demand of the council to 
assist Esteban Foster in compiling a register 
of voters. Regidor Chavez took the floor and 
said such a register should not be gotten up 
under the auspices of the military, but since the 
government had so disposed, thereby outraging 
this honorable body, no attention should be paid 
to said communication. But the council de- 
cided that the matter did not amount to much, 
so they granted the request, much to the disgust 
of Chavez. The election was held and a new 
council elected. At the last meeting of the old 
council, December 29, 1847, ^ol. Stevenson ad- 
dressed a note to it, requesting that Stephen C. 
Foster be recognized as first alcalde and judge 
of the first instance. The council decided to 
turn the whole business over to its successor, 
to deal with as it sees fit. 

Col. Stevenson's request was made in accord- 
ance with the wish of Governor Jklason, that a 
part of the civil offices be filled by Americans. 
The new ayuntamiento resented this interfer- 

How the matter terminated is best told in 
Stephen C. Foster's own words: "Col. Steven- 
son was determined to have our inauguration 
done in style. So on the day appointed (Jan- 
tiary i, 1848) he, together with myself and col- 
league, escorted by a guard of soldiers, pro- 
ceeded from the colonel's quarters (which were 
in the house now occupied as a stable by Fer- 
guson & Rose) to the alcalde's office, which was 
where the City of Paris store now stands on 
Main street. There we found the retiring ayun- 



taniiento and the new one awaiting our arrival. 
The oath of office was to be administered by 
the retiring first alcalde. We knelt to take the 
oath, when we found they had changed their 
minds, and the alcalde told us that if two of their 
number were to be kicked out they would all 
go. So they all marched out and left us in pos- 
session. Here was a dilemma ; but Col. Steven- 
son was equal to the emergency. He said he 
could give us a swear as well as the alcalde. So 
we stood up and he administered to us an oath 
to support the constitution of the United States 
and administer justice in accordance with Mex- 
ican law. I then knew as much about Mexican 
law as I did about Chinese, and my colleague 
knew as much as I did. Guerrero gathered up 
the books that pertained to his office and took 
them to his house, where he established his 
office, and I took the archives and records across 
the street to a house I had rented, where Perry 
& Riley's building now stands, and there I was 
duly installed for the next seventeen months, 
the first American alcalde and carpet-bagger in 
Los Angeles." 

"The late Abel Stearns was afterwards ap- 
pointed syndic. We had instructions from Gov- 
ernor Mason to make no grants of land, but to 
attend only to criminal and civil business and 
current municipal aiifairs. Criminal offenders 
had formerly been punished by being confined 
in irons in the calaboose, which then stood on 
the north side of the plaza, but I induced the 
Colonel to lend me balls and chains and I had 
a chain gang organized for labor on the public 
works, under charge of a gigantic old Mexican 
soldier, armed with a carbine and cutlass, w'ho 
soon had his gang under good discipline 
and who boasted that he could get twice as much 
work out of his men as could be got out of the 
soldiers in the chain gang of the garrison." 

The rumors of plots and impending insurrec- 
tions was the indirect cause of a serious catas- 
trophe. On the afternoon of December 7, 1847, 
an old lady called upon Col. Stevenson and in- 
formed him that a large body of Californians 
had secretly organized and fixed upon that night 
for a general uprising, to capture the city and 
massacre the garrison. The information was 
supposed to be reliable. Precautions were taken 
against a surprise. The guard was doubled and 
a strong reserve stationed at the guardhouse, 
which stood on the hillside about where Pieau- 
dry's stone wall on the new High street is now. 
A piece of artillery was kept at the guardhouse. 
About midnight one of the outpost pickets saw, 
or thought he saw, a horseman approaching him. 
He challenged, but receiving no reply, fired. 
The guard at the cuartel formed to repel an 
attack. Investigation proved the picket's horse- 

man to be a cow. The guard was ordered to 
break ranks. One of the cannoneers had lighted 
a port fire (a sort of fuse formerly used for firing 
cannon). He was ordered to e.xtinguish it and 
return it to the arm chest. lie attempted to ex- 
tinguish it by stamping on it, and supposing he 
had stamped the fire out, threw it into the chest 
filled with ammunition. The fire rekindled and 
a terrific explosion followed that shook the city 
like an earthquake. The guardhouse was blown 
to pieces and the roof timbers thrown into Main 

The wildest confusion reigned. The long roll 
sounded and the troops flew to arms. Four men 
were killed by the explosion and ten or twelve 
wounded, several quite seriously. The guard- 
house was rebuilt and was used by the city for a 
jail up to 1853. 

This catastrophe was the occasion of the first 
civil marriage ever celebrated in Los Angeles. 
The w-idow of Sergeant Travers, one of the sol- 
diers killed by the explosion, after three months 
of widowhood, desired to enter the state of 
double blessedness. She and the bridegroom, 
both being Protestants, could not be married in 
the Catholic Church, and there was no minister 
of any other denomination in the country. In 
their dilemma, they applied to Alcalde Foster 
to have a civil ceremony performed. The al- 
calde was doubtful whether his powers admitted 
of marrying people. There was no precedent 
for so doing in Mexican law, but he took the 
chances. A formidable legal document, still on 
file in the recorder's office, was drawn up and 
the parties signed it in the presence of witnesses, 
and took a solemn oath to love, cherish, pro- 
tect, defend and support on the part of the hus- 
band, and the wife, of her own choice, agreed 
to obey, love, serve and respect the man of her 
choice in accordance w-ith the laws of the State 
of New York. Then the alcalde declared James 
C. Burton and Emma C. Travers man and wife, 
and they lived happily ever afterwards. The 
groom was a soldier in the service of the United 
States and a citizen of the state of New York. 

The treaty of peace between the United States 
and Mexico was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo, a 
hamlet a few miles from the city of Mexico, 
February 2, 1848; ratifications were exchanged 
at Queretaro, May 30 following, and a proclama- 
tion that peace had been established between the 
two countries was published July 4, 1848. Under 
this treaty the United States assumed the pay- 
ment of the claims of American citizens against 
Mexico, and paid in addition $15,000,000 for 
Te.xas, New Mexico and Alta California — an 
area of nearly half a million square miles. Out 
of what was the Mexican territory of Alta Cali- 
fornia there has been carved all of California, 



all of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, and pai't of 
Colorado and Wyoming. The area acquired by 
this territorial expansion equaled that of the 
thirteen colonies at the time of the Revolution- 
ary War. 

I'io Pico arrived at San Gabriel, July 17, 1848, 
on his return from Sonora. From San Fernando 
he addressed letters to Col. Stevenson and Gov- 
ernor Mason, stating that as Mexican Governor 
of California he had come back to the country, 
with the object of carrying out the armistice 
which then existed between the United States 
and Mexico. He further stated that he had no 
desire to impede the establishment of peace be- 
tween the two countries ; and that he wished to 
see the Mexicans and Americans treat each 
other in a spirit of fraternity. Mason did not 
like Pico's assumption of the title of Mexican 
Governor of California, although it is not prob- 
able that Pico intended to assert any claim to 
his former position. Mason sent a special cour- 
ier to Los Angeles with orders to Col. Stevenson 
to arrest the ex-governor, who was then at his 
Santa Margarita ranch, and send him to Mon- 
terey, but the news of the ratification of the 
treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo reached Los An- 
geles before the arrest was made and Pico was 
spared this humiliation. 

In December, 1848, after peace was restored, 
.Alcalde Foster, under instructions from Gov- 
ernor Mason, called an election for choosing an 
ayuntamiento to take the place of the one that 
failed to qualify. The voters paid no attention 
to the call and Governor Mason instructed the 
officers to hold over until the people chose to 
elect their successors. In May a second call was 
made under Mexican law. By this time the 

voters had gotten over their indignation at being 
made American citizens, nolens volens. They 
elected an ayuntamiento which continued in 
power to the close of the year. Its first session 
was held May 21, 1849. First alcalde, Jose del 
Carmen Lugo ; second alcalde, Juan Sepulveda : 
regidores, Jose Lopez, Francisco Ocampo, 
Thomas Sanchez ; syndic, Juan Temple ; secre- 
tary, Jesus Guerado. All of these had been citi- 
zens of Mexico, Juan Temple having been nat- 
uralized twenty years before. The Governor's 
wish to have Americans fill part of the city 
offices was evidently disregarded by the voters. 
Stephen C. Foster was appointed prefect Oc- 
tober 29, 1849, by Governor Bennett Riley, the 
successor of Governor Mason. 

In December, 1849, the last ayuntamiento of 
Los Angeles was elected. The members were : 
First alcalde, Abel Stearns ; second alcalde, Yg- 
nacio del \'alle; regidores, David Alexander, 
Benito D. Wilson, Jose L. Sepulveda, Manuel 
Garfias ; syndic, Francisco Figueroa : secretary, 
Jesus Guirada. The legislature of 1849-50 
passed an act incorporating Los Angeles (April 
4, 1850) as a city. In the act of incorporation 
its area is given as four square miles. During 
its probationary state, from January, 1847, '-'nt'l 
its incorporation as a city by the legislature, it 
sometimes appears in the official records as a 
pueblo (town) and sometimes as a ciudad (city). 
For a considerable time after the conquest offi- 
cial communications bore the motto of Mexico, 
Dios y Libertad (God and Liberty). The first 
city council was organized July 3, 1850, just four 
years, lacking one day, after the closing session 
of the ayuntamiento under Mexican rule had 
been held. 






IN THE act dividing the state into counties, 
approved February i8, 1850, San Diego is 
the first county described ; and in number- 
ing the senatorial and judicial districts of that 
time, San Diego was number one. The county 
included the whole southern end of the state, and 
was then bounded on the north by Los Angeles 
county ; on the east by the Colorado river ; on 
the south by Lower California; on the west by 
the Pacific Ocean and part of Los Angeles 
county. Its area was 14,969 square miles. Its 
population was 798, of which 650 were residents 
of the town of San Diego. 

The first county election was held April i, 
1850. The officers elected were as follows : Wil- 
liam C. Ferrell, district attorney ; John Hays, 
county judge; Richard Rust, county clerk; T. 
W. Sutherland, county attorney ; Henry Clay- 
ton, county surveyor; Agostin Harazthy, sher- 
ifif; Henry C. Matsell, recorder; Jose Antonio 
Estudillo, county assessor; John Brown, coro- 
ner, and Juan Bandini, treasurer. Bandini did 
not qualify, and Philip Crosthwaite was ap- 
pointed by the court of sessions to fill the va- 
cancy. The first term of the district court was 
held in San Diego, May 6, 1850; O. S. With- 
erby, judge, and Richard Rust, clerk. 


The year 185 1 was marked by an Indian war, 
or rather an Indian scare, for it could scarcely 
be called a war. The Cohuilla Indians, at that 
time quite numerous, inhabited the valleys of 
the San Bernardino mountains, from San Gor- 
gonio south to the l^lexican line. For some time 
they had been stealing horses and cattle and an- 
noying the settlers. Their chief was Antonio 
Garra. He was an egotistical fellow. He con- 
ceived the idea of a general uprising of the red 
men and the extermination of the whites. He was 
even vain enough to boast that he would capture 

the fort at Yuma and with the cannon taken 
there attack Los Angeles and San Diego. The 
first outbreak was at Warner's ranch, about 60 
miles easterly from San Diego. 

J. J. Warner, a Connecticut Yankee, came to 
California in 1831, as a trapper. He became a 
naturalized citizen and obtained a grant from 
the Mexican government of about 26,600 acres. 
This he had stocked with cattle and horses and 
was living" there at the time of the American 
conquest. The Agua Caliente, or Hot Springs, 
in the neighborhood of Warner's rancho, was 
a favorite camping place of the Indians. War- 
ner, besides his cattle and horses, kept a stock 
of goods amounting to about $6,000. This was 
partly to supply his vaqueros and other retainers 
and partly to trade with the Indians. This dis- 
play of wealth tempted the cupidity of the In- 
dians and they plotted to massacre him and his 
people to obtain plunder. He received warning 
of their designs and sent his family under an 
escort to San Diego. The morning after the 
departure of his family he was awakened by the 
yells of the Indians. Several horses, saddled 
and bridled, were tied near the house, ready for 
any emergency. 

On hearing the cries of the Indians, Warner, 
seizing his arms, rushed to the rear door to se- 
cure the horses. They were all gone e.xcept 
one, and an Indian was trying to unfasten it. 
Warner shot the horse thief dead ; and two of 
his companions who tried to get the horse were 
sent to the happy hunting ground to join their 
friend. Taking advantage of the temporary 
panic into which the Indians had been thrown 
by the shooting of three of their number, War- 
ner seized a crippled nuilatto boy, servant of 
an army officer who had sent him to the hot 
springs to be treated for rheumatism, and, pla- 
cing him in front, mounted his horse and rode 
away amid a shower of arrows from two hun- 
dred Indians. He made his escape unharmed, 
but the Indians killed one of his servants. 



l\carliiiiL; lln' camp whcix- his vatnuTDS iiiadi-' 
thuir iK'adquartcrs, he rallicil a small Unxi.- uf 
these and returned to the rancho, where he 
found the Indians reveling in his stock of goods. 
'I'hey stood on the defensive when attacked and 
the cowboys, finding themselves so greatly out- 
numbered, retreated. Warner was compelled 
to follow suit, as he was not equal to a whole 
tribe of Indians. He went to San Diego, where 
Major Heintzelman was stationed with a force 
of regulars, to procure assistance. 

The alarm of an Indian uprising spread all 
over the southern district. A company of vol- 
unteers was raised at San Diego, of which Cave 
J. Couts was made captain. It was called the 
Fitzgerald \'olunteers. Major Fitzgerald had 
command of all the militia at San Diego. A com- 
pany of 35 men was raised at Los Angeles for 
field service and another, of which B. D. Wilson 
was captain, for home guards to protect the city 
in case Antonio Garra should undertake to 
carry out his threats. The officers of the field 
company were: George B. Fitzgerald, captain; 
John Jones, first lieutenant, and Roy Bean, sec- 
ond lieutenant. The volunteers were under the 
command of Gen. J. H. Bean. The regulars 
and ■^e San Diego volunteers drove the Indians 
into trie mountains and killed about 40 of them. 
The Los Angeles volunteers, reinforced by 
five men from the Mormon camp at San Ber- 
nardino and 20 from Temecula, did considerable 
scouting, but did not kill any hostiles. 

Antonio Garra, chief of the Cohuillas, was 
captured by the strategy (or perhaps it would 
be more in accordance with the facts, by the 
treachery) of Cabazon, chief of the White Water 
Indians. He was sentenced to be shot. Stand- 
ing on the edge of his open grave, he met his 
death with stoical firmness. An American, Bill 
-Marshall, and a Californian named Juan \'er- 
dugo were found to have been implicated in the 
raid on Warner's ranch. They were tried by a 
court-martial and sentenced to be hanged. \'er- 
dugo confessed his guilt, but Marshall died pro- 
testing, to the last, his innocence. In the year 
1852 four Indians implicated in the uprising were 
captured and shot. This settled the Indian ques- 
tion in San Diego for some time. 

Col. Warner and his family returned to his 
ranch after the Indian troubles were over. He 
lived there until 1857. when he moved to Los 
.\ngeles. He died in 1893, at the age of 87 



In 1850 and for a number of years after there 
was no settlement in San Diego outside of the 
citv that could be called a town. At each of the 

l.-irgc raiicliiis tlK-ri_- was a small settlement made 
u\) ni tin- servants and vai|Ueros and their fami- 
lies. Some of tliese were designated as pre- 
cincts when a general election was called, and at 
a few some one acted as a justice of the peace. 

The history of the county and of the city are 
identical for nearly two decades. The back 
coiuitry so often spoken of was undeveloped and 
the very few events that happened at points 
back from the bay are unimportant. The early 
history of Old San Diego, or Old Town, as 
it is usually called, has been given in the chap- 
ter on the Founding of the Presidios. 

The pueblo of San Diego was organized Jan- 
uary I, 1835. It is not, as some writers have 
claimed, the oldest municipality in California. 
The pueblos of San Jose and Los Angeles ante- 
date it many years. Los Angeles having passed 
beyond the pueblo stage was made a ciudad 
(city) the same year (1835) that the pueblo of 
San Diego was organized. The first ayunta- 
miento or town council, elected December, 1834, 
was composed of an alcalde, two regidores and 
a sindico procurador. 

The first survey of the pueblo lands was made 
by Henry D. Fitch in 1845. The Mexican gov- 
ernment granted the pueblo eleven leagues or 
47,234 acres. This grant to the pueblo was 
confirmed by the United States Land Commis- 
sion in 1853. San Diego was more fortunate 
than Los Angeles, whose claim of sixteen square 
leagues was cut down to four, or Santa Bar- 
bara, which claimed eight, but had to be content 
with four. San Diego in area, fifty years ago, 
was the largest town in the United States. Its 
boundary lines inclosed about 75 square miles : 
its population, however, was less than ten to the 
square mile. 


March 18, 1850, the ayuntamiento of San 
Diego sold to \Villiani Heath Davis, Jose A. 
Aguirre, Andrew B. Gray, Thomas D. Johns 
and Miguel Pedrorena, 160 acres of land a few 
miles south of Old Town, near the army bar- 
racks, for the purpose of creating a "new port." 
William Heath Davis, one of the oldest living 
]Moneers of California, and author of "Sixty 
Years in California," in an interview published 
in the San Diego Sun some fourteen years ago, 
gives the following account of the origin of 
New Town : 

"Of the new town of San Diego, now the city 
of San Diego, I can say that I was its founder. 
In 1850, the .\nierican and Mexican commis- 
sions appointed to establish the boundary line 
were at Old Town. Andrew B. Gray, the chief 
engineer and surveyor for the United States, 
wdio was with the commission, introduced him- 



srlf lu ni.' unc day at Old Town, in I'cbnuu} , 
1S50, he explained to mo the advantages of the 
locality, known as 'I'uenta de los Muertos' 
( Point of the Dead), from the circumstances that 
in the year 1787 a Spanish squadron anchored 
within a stone's throw of the present site of the 
city of San Diego. During the stay of the fleet, 
surveying the bay of San Diego for the first 
time, several sailors and marines died and were 
interred on a sand spit, adjacent to where my 
wharf stood, and was named as above. The 
piles of my struc^ire are still imbedded in the 
sands as if there had been premeditation to mark 
ihem as the tomb-marks of those deceased early 
explorers of the Pacific ocean and of the inlet 
of San Diego during the days of Spain's great- 
ness. I have seen Puenta de los Muertos on 
Pantoja's chart of his explorations of the waters 
of the Pacific. 

"Messrs. Jose Antonio Aquirre, Miguel de 
Pedrorena, Andrew 15. Gray, T. D. Johns and 
myself were the projectors of what is now known 
as the city of San Diego. All my co-proprietors 
have since died, and I remain alone of the party 
and am a witness of the marvelous events and 
changes that have since transpired in this vicin- 
ity during more than a generation. 

"The first building in new San Diego was put 
up by myself as a private residence. The build- 
ing still stands, being known as the San Diego 
hotel. I also put up a number of other houses ; 
the cottage built by .Andrew B. Gray is still 
standing and is called "The Hermitage.' George 
F. Hooper also built a cottage, which is still 
standing near my house, in New San Diego. 
Under the conditions of our deed we were to 
build a substantial wharf and warehouse. The 
other proprietors of the town deeded to me their 
interest in block 20, where the wharf was to be 
built. The wharf was completed in six months 
after getting our title, in March, 1850, at a cost 
of $60,000. The piles of the old wharf are still 
to be seen on the old wharf site in block 20. 
At that time I predicted that San Diego would 
become a great commercial seaport, from its 
fine geographical position and from the fact 
that it was the only good harbor south of San 
Francisco. Plad it not been for our Civil war, 
railroads would have reached here years before 
.Stanford's road was built, for our wharf was 
ready for business." 

The fate of this wharf of high anticijiations 
and brilliant prospects was prosaic and com- 
monplace. In 1862, some six hundred Union 
troops en route to Arizona were quartered at 
the army barrack near the wharf. The great 
Hood of that year cut ofT for a time all comnui- 
nication with the back country and detained the 
troops there most of the winter. The supply 

Ml I'lrewodd ran mil and llir weallier was cold — 
Ml the "gallant si.x hundred,' led by the quarter- 
master, charged the wharf and warehouse, and 
when they were through charging all that was 
left of that wharf was a few teredo-eaten piles. 
The soldiers burned the wharf and warehouse 
for fuel. Davis filed a claim against the gov- 
ernment for $60,000 damages on account of the 
destruction of his wharf and warehouse by the 
soldiers. But the government did not "honor 
the charge he made." After many delays Ids 
claim was finally pared down to $6,000 and al- 
lowed for that amount. 


The pioneer newspaper of San Diego was the 
Herald. The first number was issued May 2y, 
1 85 1, only twelve days later than the first issue 
of the Los Angeles Star, the pioneer newspaper 
of Southern California. The San Diego Herald 
was published by J. Judson Ames, a recent 
arrival from Boston. His printing plant met 
with a number of vicissitudes before it was 
finally set up in Old Town. Ames, failing to 
secure printing material in San Francisco, took 
passage to New Orleans, where he bought an 
office outfit. On his return the boat in which 
his stock was stored upset in the Chagres river. 
He fished out the greater part of his material, 
but at Panama was attacked by the Chagres 
fever and delayed some time. He finally reached 
San Francisco just before the great fire of May, 
1851. In that conflagration a part of his plant 
was consumed. With the remnant that had 
escaped fire and flood he reached San Diego and 
established his paper. He must have been a 
man of indomitable courage to have persevered 
through all discouragements. 

The outlook was not encouraging for the 
building up of a great newspaper. The town 
was small and non-progressive; a large portion 
of its inhabitants were native Californians whose 
early education had been neglected. There did 
not seem to be a pressing need for a newspaper, 
yet with all its uncongenial surroundings the 
paper attained a widespread fame ; not, how- 
ever, through its founder, but through a substi- 
tute to whom for a time Ames entrusted the 
editorial tripod, scissors and paste pot of the 

Lieut. George H. Derby, of the LTnited States 
Topographical Corps, had been sent down by 
the government in August, 1852, to superin- 
tend the turning of the channel of the San Diego 
river into False bay, to prevent it from carrying 
sand into the bay of San Diego. Derby was a 
wit as well as an engineer, and a famous cari- 

The Herald was intensely Democratic, and 


wns supixniiny with all its slrciigth John i;i_^;- 
Icr fur governor; the ^^'llig" L-an<liuatc in Un- 
contest was William Waldo. Ames had a call 
to San Francisco to see the Democratic leaders, 
and no doubt hoped to be seen b)^ them with 
much needed coin for his influence. Lieut. 
Derby, better known by his noin dc plume, John 
Phoenix, was entrusted with the editorial man- 
agement of the paper during Ames' absence. 
He could not let slip so good an opportunity 
for a practical joke. Derby was a Whig, or at 
least became one for the time being. He 
changed the politics of the paper and turned the 
shafts of ridicule against Bigler and the Demo- 
cratic party. Bigler was dubbed Wigler and 
Waldo, Baldo. Ames was confronted in San 
Francisco by his party managers with the evi- 
dence of his paper's recreancy, and his hopes 
of subsidy vanished. 

He returned to San Diego. Derby thus de- 
scribes the meeting: "The Thomas Neunt 
(steamer Thomas Hunt) had arrived and a 
rumor had reached our ears that 'Boston' was 
on board. Public anxiety had been excited to 
the highest pitch to witness the result of the 
meeting between us. It had been stated publicly 
that 'Boston' would whip us the moment he ar- 
rived, but though we thought a conflict probable, 
we had never been very sanguine as to its ter- 
minating in that manner. Coolly we gazed 
from the window of the ofifice upon the New 
Town road ; we descried a cloud of dust in the 
distance; high above it waved a whip lash, and 
we said, 'Boston' cometh, 'and his driving is 
like that of Jehu, the son of Nimshi, for he 
driveth furiously.' Calmly we seated ourselves 
in the arm chair and continued our labors upon 
our IMagnificent Pictorial. Anon a step, a heavy 
step, was heard upon the stairs, and Boston 
stood before us. * * * We rose and with 
an unfaltering voice said, 'Well, Judge, how do 
you do?' He made no reply, but commenced 
taking off his coat. We removed ours, also our 
cravat. * * * The sixth and last round is 
described by the pressmen and compositors as 
having been fearfully scientific. We held Bos- 
ton down over the press by our nose (which we 
had inserted between his teeth for that pur- 
pose), and while our hair was employed in hold- 
ing one of his hands we held the other in our 
left and with the 'sheep's foot' brandished above 
our head shouted to him, 'Say Waldo !' 'Never !' 
he gasped. 

" ■( )h ! my Bigler!' he would have muttered. 
I'.ut that he dried up ere the word was ut- 

"At this moment we discovered that we had 

lierii lalioring luider a 'misimderstanding,' and 
througli the amicable intervention of the press- 
man, who thrust a roller between our faces 
(which gave the whole affair a very different 
complexion), the matter was finally settled on 
the most friendly terms, and without prejudice to 
the honor of either party." He closes his de- 
scription with the statement that "the public 
can believe precisely as much as they please : 
if they disbelieve the whole of it, we shall not 
be at all offended." 

Lieut. Derby's caricatures very nearly got 
Jiim into serious trouble. When Jefferson Davis 
was secretary of war (1853 to 1857) he was 
continually intermeddling in the small affairs of 
army life and was very generally disliked by 
army officers, with the exception of a few per- 
sonal favorites. He tried to direct everything 
from "a review down to the purchase of shoe 
blacking." He changed the patterns of uni- 
forms, arms and equipments several times. It 
was after one of these changes that Lieut. 
Derby, then stationed at Fort Yuma, sent Davis 
a suggestion for a new uniform, illustrated by a 
series of drawings. The principal improve- 
ment in the new uniform was a stout iron hook, 
which was to be sewed to the rear of the trousers 
of each private soldier. The illustrations showed 
the uses to which this hook could be put. In 
one a soldier was shown on the march carry- 
ing a camp kettle, tin cup and other effects sus- 
pended from this hook ; in another, a row of 
men were hung by their hooks on a fence fast 
asleep ; they were thus prevented from taking 
cold by sleeping' on the damp ground. In a third 
a company was shown advancing in line of bat- 
tle, each man having a rope attached to his 
hook, the other end of which was held by an 
officer in the rear, who could restrain him if he 
advanced too rapidly, or haul him back if he 
was wounded. When Secretary Davis received 
tliese he was in a towering rage and he an- 
nounced that day at a cabinet meeting that he in- 
tended to have Lieut. Derby tried before a court- 
martial "organized to convict," and sunmiarily 
dismissed. But the other secretaries, who en- 
joyed the joke, convinced him that if the affair 
became public he would be laughed at. Davis, 
who was utterly devoid of the sense of humor, 
reluctantly abandoned his court-martial scheme. 

Derby published a book under the title of 
Phoenixiana. It contained a munber of his San 
Diego articles and his famous military uniform 
drawings. It had an immense sale for a time, 
but has long been out of print. He died a few 
years later of softening of the lirain. 

The Herald, after Phoenix's departure, ceased 
to be a magnificent ]iictorial. It suspended pub- 
lication in i8s8 and never resumed. 




During the decade between 1850 and i860 
the town made but little growth. There was 
considerable travel between it and the other 
ports of the coast. In 1851 and for six or seven 
years later, "the fast-sailing United States mail 
steamer 'Ohio,' Captain Haley, will run as 
a regular packet, making her trip once 
in every two weeks between San Fran- 
cisco and San Diego, touching at the in- 
termediate points of Santa Cruz, Monterey, 
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and San Pe- 
dro," so says an advertisement in the Los 
Angeles Star of May 31, 1851. In 1853 and 
1854 the "Southerner," of the Southern Accom- 
modation Line, was making regular semi- 
monthly trips between San Francisco and San 
Diego, stopping at intermediate points. The 
steamer "Sea Bird," of Goodwin & Co.'s line, 
was making trips three times a month, leaving 
San Francisco the 4th, 14th and 24th of each 
month. The "Thomas Hunt" also was running 
between San Francisco and San Diego. Once 
a month the Panama steamer put into the port 
with the eastern mail. In 1851 a semi-monthly 
mail by land was established between Los An- 
geles and San Diego. 

But the event that promised the greatest out- 
come for San Diego during the decade was the 
establishment of an overland mail route between 
San Antonio de Bexar, Tex., and San Diego. 
The route was by the way of El Paso, Messillo, 
Tucson and Colorado City (now Yuma) — 1,500 
miles. The service was semi-monthly. The 
contract was let to James E. Burch, the postal 
department reserving "the right to curtail or 
discontinue the service should any route subse- 
((uently put under contract cover the whole or 
any portion of the route." 

The San Diego Herald, August 12, 1857, thus 
notes the departure of the first train : "Tlie 
pioneer mail train from San Diego to San An- 
tonio, Tex., under the contract entered into by 
the government with Mr. Jas. Burch, left here 
on the yth inst. (August 9, 1857) at an 
early hour in the morning, and is now push- 
ing its way for the east at a rapid rate. 
The mail was, of course, carried on pack ani- 
mals, as will be the case until the wagons 
which are being pushed across will have been 
put on the line. The first train from this side 
left in charge of Mr. R. W. Laine, who was 
accompanied by some of the most active and 
reliable young men in the county, the party 
taking relay mules with them for use on the des- 
ert. The intention is to push on at the rate of 
fifty or sixty miles a day to Tucson, where, en- 
tering the Apache country proper, a large party 

will be organized to afiford proper protectiun 
as far as El Paso del Norte or further if neces- 
sary. The first mail from the other side has 
not yet arrived, although somewhat overdue, 
and conjecture is rife as to the cause of the 
delay. Until the arrival of the next express 
from Fort Yuma we will probably receive no 
tidings from the country through which the mail 
has to pass, but for our own part we see no 
reason for alarm in the case. The train leaving 
here took a large number of letters for Fort 
Yuma, Tucson, Calabasas, El Paso, etc., in addi- 
tion to the regular eastern mail." The eastern 
arrived in a few days later and the San Diegans 
went wild with joy and built in imagination a 
city of vast proportions on the bay. 

The service continued to improve and the 
fifth trip from the eastward terminus "was made 
in the extraordinary short time of twenty-six 
days and twelve hours," and the San Diego 
Herald on its arrival, October 6, rushed out 
an extra "announcing the very gratifying fact 
of the complete triumph of the southern route, 
notwithstanding the croaking of many of the 
opponents of the Administration in this state." 
"The first mail," so said the extra, "from San 
Diego had arrived at San Antonio in good style 
and created naturally a great excitement, the 
Texans taking fully as much interest in the es- 
tablishment of the line as the Californians." 

But the triumph of the "Southern route" was 
of short duration. September, 1858, the stages 
of the Butterfield line began making their semi- 
weekly trips. This line came down the coast to 
Gilroy, then througli the Pacheco Pass, up the 
San Joaquin valley and by way of Fort Tejon 
to Los Angeles ; then eastward by Temecula 
and Warner's ranch to Yuma, then across Ari- 
zona and New Mexico to El Paso, where it 
turned north to St. Louis and Memphis, its east- 
ern termini. San Diego and San Antonio were 
sidetracked and the Southern route discon- 


After this temporary spirt of enterprise, San 
Diego lapsed into its old poco tiempo ways. 
Old Town remained in statu quo and New 
Town did not expand. There had been rumors 
of a railroad in 1854 and in 1857, but the mut- 
tering of the coming storm between the north 
and the south had frightened capital and the 
hope of a railroad had been given up. During 
the Civil war, there were some troops always 
at the barracks, sometimes one company, some- 
times two or three. The soldiers stationed there 
did not add much to the revenue oi the town. 
The pay of a private was $13 a month in green- 
backs, which, converted into coin at the rate 



of lliirty t(i fort}- cciUs silver for a dollar cur- 
rency, (lid not give the defenders of the coun- 
try lavish amounts of spending money. A con- 
siderable amount of the supplies for the troops 
were landed at San Diego and sent to Fort 
Yuma by wagon trains. This gave employment 
to a number of men and teams and added to the 
business of the town. 

The drought years of 1863 and 1864 were not 
so disastrous to San Diego as to some of the 
other cow counties. The ranges were not so 
heavily overstocked and there was more back' 
country not covered by Spanish grants where 
cattle could be driven wheii the feed was ex- 
hausted on tlie other ranges. 




UP TO 1867 San Diego town and county 
had retained the Mexican customs and 
conditions of early times more nearly un- 
changed than any other town or county in the 
state. Their awakening from a Rip Van Winkle 
sleep, not of twenty years, but of twenty lus- 
trums, was the work of one man. April 6, 
1867, Alonzo E. Ilorton landed in San Diego. 
He had come dow^n from San Francisco to build 
a city. The outlook was not encouraging. Old 
Town was appropriately named; anything new 
in it would be out of place. It had the appear- 
ance of having been finished years before and 
then forgotten. New Town consisted of the 
government barracks, officers' quarters, the 
piles of the Davis wharf and a few houses that 
had escaped the "wreck of matter" the soldiers 
had made. Horton was not discouraged. The 
bay was there. The climate was there and there 
he determined to build a city. 

Horton induced the town trustees to offer 
a tract of land lying east of New Town on the 
shore of the l)ay for sale. .\t the public sale 
in May, 1867, he bid off a tract of nearly 900 
acres of the pueblo lands at twenty-six cents 
an acre, and had it surveyed and platted as Hor- 
ton's Addition to San Diego. The tract is now 
the center of the city of San Diego. He put 
his tract on sale. It went slowly, very slowly 
at first. His returns for the year 1867 were 
but $3,000. He gave away land to any one 
who would agree to make substantial improve- 
ments. He deeded lots to churches, for hotels 
and other improvements. He built a wharf, and 
in 1869 began the erection of the Horton House, 
the largest hotel at that time in Southern Cali- 

The seed that he had sown now began to 
bear fruit. The ruiuor that there was a citv 
building on the bay of San Diego had gone 
abroad, and ])eoplc came to buy lots. .Vnother 
nuuor, too, had been si)read, and that was that 

the long-talked-of thirty-second parallel railroad 
was a certainty. Tom Scott hail taken hold of 
it and Tom Scott was a power in railroad cir- 
cles. In 1868, immigration had begun to drift 
southward and find lodgment in the coast coun- 
ties. In the fall of 1869, the drift was to San 
Diego, and it resembled an old-time "gold 
rush." The author has a vivid recollection of 
a voyage down the coast in the old Senator 
in the fall of '69. Every berth had been sold a 
week before the vessel sailed, and then the 
agents of the company sold standing room. 
The steamer's cooks and waiters commenced 
feeding the passengers about six o'clock in the 
morning and kept it up with slight interruptions 
till nine at night. The dining saloon was small 
and the crowd on board necessitated the setting 
of the tables many times. When all had been 
fed the tables were cleared, the passengers 
without berths bunked on the tables, under the 
tables, or wherever they could spread their 
blankets. All or nearly all were bound to San 
Diego to buy lots. The railroad was coming : 
San Diego was destined to rival San Francisco, 
and the lot buyers wanted to grow up with 
the city. Many of the speculators wore old t'ali- 
fornians wdio had not struck it rich, but were 
sure they were on the right road now. One oM 
'49er, in the spring of 1850, had owned a lot on 
Montgomery street, San Francisco, and had 
sold it for $400; now it w'as worth $100,000: 
he would secure a lot in San Diego and hold 
on to it and grow in wealth as the town grew in 
size. And so the talk ran all day and far into 
the night, of bay and climate, of house lots and 
business blocks, of transcontinental railroads 
and Oriental steamships, which were sure to 
build up a mighty metropolis in the Southland. 
.Vugust 4, 1868, Joseph Nash erected the first 
store in New Town. Its entire population then 
nuiubered twenty-three souls. In the spring of 
: S70 the city had upwards of 800 buildings, with 
a pojiulation of 3,000. .\mong its substantial 
impriivements were two magnificent wharves. 


costing in the aggregate $80,000; a flouring 
mill with a capacity of 300 barrels a day ; sev- 
eral warehouses, half a dozen hotels, two brew- 
■eries, a boot and shoe factory, a bank and two 

The Horton House was coniplcted and 
opened October 20, 1870. It cost nearly $150,- 
000 and was then "the most elaborate, attractive 
and spacious hotel outside of San Francisco." 
The editor of tiie Bulletin, in a two-column 
write-up of its attractions, classifies it with the 
great hotels of the world ; his enumeration of 
tlie great hostelries of 30 years ago is interest- 
ing. Some of them have fallen from their high 
estate. He says : "What the Grand Hotel is 
to Paris ; Langham's to London ; the Astor, 
Fifth Avenue and St. Nicholas to New York ; 
the Continental to Philadelphia ; the Tremont 
and Parker's to Boston ; Barnum's to Balti- 
more ; St. Charles to New Orleans ; the Gait to 
Louisville : the Southern to St. Louis ; the Sher- 
man and Tremont to Chicago ; the Grand, Lick, 
Occidental and Cosmopolitan to San Francisco, 
and the Pico House to Los Angeles, the Horton 
House is to San Diego." S. W. Churchill was 
its first manager. 

The act authorizing the construction of the 
Thirty-Second Parallel, the Southern Trans- 
Continental, the Southern Pacific, the Texas Pa- 
cific Railroad (for it was called by all these 
names) failed to pass at the session of congress 
in 1869-70: but at the next session it passed by 
a two-thirds vote on the 3d of March, 1871. 
Then there was great rejoicing in the city by 
the bay. The Bulletin says : "As we go to press 
our city is in a blaze of glory. Fifth street looms 
up like an immense conflagration. Bon-fires, 
fireworks, anvil firing and rejoicing are the order 
of the night." x\nd they had cause to rejoice. 
For years they had been yearning for a railroad 
with that "hope deferred that maketh the heart 
sick" : and now their longings were soon to be 
satisfied by the "Greatest Railroad of the Age," 
as the JVashiu_^ton Chronicle pronounced it. 
That paper said : "Xo act of the Forty-first 
Congress will be longer remembered to its 
credit than that authorizing the construction of 
a great trans-continental iron highway from the 
eastern boundary of Texas, near Marshall, via 
El Paso, to the town of San Diego, on the bay 
of that name in the state of California." How 
transitory is fame ! Both the railroad and the 
Forty-first Congress have long since been for- 
gotten ! 

The act of congress authorizing tlie build- 
ing of the railroad settled the (juestion in the 
minds of the San Diegans. To doubt its build- 
ing was treason to San Diego. The future of 
the citv was assured; and a brilliant future it 

was — San Diego, the seaport of the Occident 
and the entrepot of the Orient. Branch roads 
were projected into the back country. San 
Bernardino was clamoring for railroad connec- 
tion with the metropolis of the south, and Tom 
Scott was making overtures to Los Angeles for 
a coast railroad from that city to San Diego. 
The trade of the Orient would eventually pass 
through San Diego to the east. There were 
rumors of an Oriental steamship company in the 
formative stage. The Panama steamers began 
stopping at the port, and the Bulletin said: "\\'e 
hail this event as only second to that in which 
is recorded the passage of the Southern Pacific 
Railroad bill." The prices of real estate went 
up ; indeed, under the circumstances it would 
have been impossible to keep them down. The 
Bulletin of ^larch 25 says : "The real-estate 
transactions of the past week are larger than 
ever before in the history of San Diego and must 
appear rather nauseating to those newspapers 
which have been sneering at San Diego for the 
past year. By the way, we know a gentleman 
of San Jose who purchased a block on Fifth 
street two years ago for $600 and was damned 
by a paper of his town for so doing. He has 
been offered $8,000 for the same since the bill 

Horton sold $83,000 worth of lots in two 
months after the passage of the bill and a num- 
ber of real-estate agents were doing their best to 
supply the demand. The boomer.^ like Sila-; 
Wegg dropped into poetry and a song first sung 
at a concert in Horton"s Hall became the popu- 
lar ditty of San Diego. I give a few sample 
stanzas : 

"Away to the west, where the sun goes down. 

Where the oranges grow by the cargo, 
They've started a town, and are doing it up 

( )n the bay of San Diego. 

"The railroad, they say, is coming that way, 
.\nd then they'll be neighbors to Chicago ; 

So the)- built a big hotel, and built it mightv 
In the town of San Diego." 

* * 5|: :» 

Moral : 
"Let's take an early train and haste with miglu 
and main. 
By lightning express if you say — go, 
\\'here every man's a fortune in a lot that costs 
him naught, 
hi Ihe town of San Diego." 

.\pril 14. 1871. the postmaster-genera! or- 
dered a change of the name of the postofTice at 


South San Diego to San Diego. So New Town, 
South San Diego and Horton's Addition became 
simply San Diego. 

December 27, 1871, an election was held to 
vote upon the issue of bonds to the amount of 
$100,000 to be proffered to any railroad com- 
pany that would build a railroad connecting San 
Bernardino with San Diego. The bond issue 
was carried with an overwhelming majoiity. 
San Bernardino also held an election and voted 
a bond issue equal to five per cent of its taxable 
propertv for the same purpose. 

The Bay Shore & Coast Road to Los Angeles 
met with disaster. At the election held in Los 
Angeles county to vote on the issue of railroad 
bonds, the Texas Pacific Coast Line and the 
Southern Pacific to Yuma were competitors. 
The Southern Pacific won, securing bonds and 
other subsidy to the amount of $610,000. 

Li 1872, "Father" Horton, as he was famil- 
iarly called, erected a large building for the 
Texas Pacific Railroad offices, but the employes 
of that corporation never occupied it. It was 
afterward used as a city hall. Grading was 
begun on the roadbed of the Texas Pacific in 
the latter part of 1872, but was not pushed with 
a great deal of vigor. About twelve miles of 
roadbed in all were graded. 

In 1873 came a financial crash. "Black Fri- 
day in Wall street" was followed by one of the 
worst panics that ever struck the country. For- 
tunes crumbled, banks failed, capital hid, railroad 
building stopped. Enterprises that had prom- 
ised large returns were dropped immediately. 
Work on the Texas Pacific ceased and was 
never resumed. 

San Diego during its bourn had grown to be 
a city of 5,000 inhabitants. When work ceased 
on the railroad the population began to dwindle 
away. Building in the city ceased. There was 
nothing to do to earn a living. People could 
not live on climate, however invigorating, so 
they left. Father Horton, during flush times, 
liad sold a number of lots to working men on 
the installment plan. They came to him and 
offered to give up the lots and let him retain 
the money i>aid if he would cancel their con- 
tracts. With a generosity unknown in real- 
estate deals he refunded all the money they had 
paid and released them of their obligations. In 
1875 the population hail dwindled down to about 
1.500, and these were living largely on faith, 
hope and climate. 

The Kimball brothers, owners of the Ranclio 
de la Nacion, had, during the flush times of the 
early '70s, laid off a town on the bay about four 
miles distant from San Diego, and named it 
National Cily. It had shared in tiie ups and 
downs of the larger citv. 


In 1880 the Kimballs began agitating the 
project of inducing the Atchison, Topeka& Santa 
Fe Railroad, that had built out into New Mexi- 
co, to continue its road to San Diego and 
National City. They met with but little encour- 
agement at home. T'or thirty years the people 
of San Diego had been talking Pacific railroad 
and their town was no nearer being the terminus 
of a trans-continental road in '80 than it was in 
'50. But the Kimballs persisted. One of the 
Kimball brothers went east at his own expense 
and presented his scheme to capitalists and rail- 
road men. He met with little success at first, 
but the offer of 17,000 acres of land on the bay 
for workshops and terminal grounds induced the 
directors of the road to investigate the propo- 
sition. Other parties owning land contiguous 
offered additional grants. The railroad company 
accepted the subsidy and work was begun on 
the road ; and in August, 1882, the California 
Southern, as the road was then called, was com- 
pleted to Colton, on the Southern Pacific ; and 
in 1884 to San Bernardino. There it stopped. 
The great flood of 1884 destroyed the track in 
the Temecula canon and once more San Diego 
was without railroad connection. In 1885 the 
road through the canon had Ijeen rebuilt and 
trains were running over it. During the same 
year the work of extending the California South- 
ern to Barstow, a station on the Atlantic & Pa- 
cific, was begun, and early in 1887 was com- 
pleted. This road and the connecting roads — 
the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Atlantic 
& Pacific — formed a trans-continental system of 
which San Diego and National City were the 
western termini. 

\\'ith the rebuilding of the California South- 
ern through the cafion in 1885, and the begin- 
ning of work on its extension, the cloud of de- 
spondency that had darkened the hopes of the 
.San Diegans began to lift a little : as work pro- 
gressed and a trans-continental line became 
more of a certainty, capitalists and speculators 
came to the town to look around. The old- 
timers who had loaded up with lots in the boom 
of 1871-72 and had held on through all the inter- 
vening years, simply because they could not 
let go without losing all, began quietly to unload 
on the newcomers. The old resident had faith 
— faith unbounded — in the future of the citw 
but out of charity to the lot-less he was willing 
to divide a good thing; and when the transfer 
was made he chuckled over his smartness. But 
when the buyer turned over his purchase at 
an advance ' of twenty-five or fifty per 

and at tlie next transfer, when the price ad- 



vanccd a liumlrcd per cent, the sigh increased 
to a groan. 

As the reverberations of the boom grew 
louder the faithful old inhabitant turned specula- 
tor himself and loaded up perhaps with a single 
lot of the block he had formerly sold, at a price 
a hundred per cent higher than he had received 
for the entire tract. In the spring and summer 
of 1887, speculation ran riot in the streets of 
San Diego. Prices of real estate went up until 
it seemed as if they could go no higher ; then 
some adventurous investor would break the rec- 
ord and the holders along the line would mark 
up the price of their holdings. Business lots, 
that a few years before were a drug on the mar- 
ket at $25 a front foot, found buyers at $2,500 
a foot. A small-sized store room rented all the 
way from $300 to $500 a month for business, and 
if cut up into stalls for real estate brokers, 
brought in a thousand a month. Small and 
poorly furnished sleeping rooms rented all the 
way from $25 to $50 a month, prices varying 
with the landlord's cupidity and the tenant's 
necessity. The prices of labor kept pace with 
speculation. Carpenters received $5 to $6 a 
day, bricklayers $6 to $8. Barbers asked twenty- 
five cents for a shave and printers earned $50 to 
$60 a week. 

The fame of San Diego's boom spread abroad. 
The trains came in loaded with speculators, 
boomers, gamblers and bona fide home-seekers. 
In the wild gold rush of the early '50s it was 
a common saying among old Californians "that 
renegade ministers made the most adroit gam- 
blers." So in the boom of '87 the confiding 
home-seeker often proved to be the most un- 
scrupulous operator. At one time during the 
height of the boom it was estimated that the 
city had a population of 50,000 people. It was 
a cosmopolitan conglomeration. .Mmost every 
civilized nation on earth was represented ; and 
every social condition, high and low, good and 
bad, was there, too. 

The excitement was not confined to San 
Diego city. It s]iread over the county. New 
towns were founded. The founder in selecting 
a location was governed more by the revenue 
that might accrue from his speculation than by 
the resources that would build up his inchoate 
metropolis. It might be platted on an inaccessi- 
ble mesa, where view was the principal resource, 
or it might be a hyphenated cily-by-the-sea, 
where the investor might while away his time 
listening to what the wild waves were saying 
and subsist on climate. 

It is said that two town sites extended out 
over the bay like Mark Twain's tunnel that was 
• bored through the hill and a hundred and fifty 
feet into the air. When the fever of speculation 

was at its height it mattered little where the town 
was located. A tastefully lithographed map 
with a health-giving sanatorium in one corner, 
a tourist hotel in the other, palms lining the 
streets, and orange trees in the distance — add to 
these picturesque attractions a glib-tongued 
agent, untranuiieled by conscience and unac- 
quainted with truth, and the town was success- 
fully founded. Purchasers did not buy to hold, 
but with hope of making a quick turn at an 
advance, while the excitement was on. \'ery 
few had confidence in the permanency of high 
prices, but every one expected to unload before 
the crash came. 

The tourist crop of the winter of 1887-88 was 
expected to be very large, but it did not mature. 
As the eventful year of 1887 drew to a close 
and new victims ceased to appear, he who 
had loaded up for the tourist began to look 
around quietly for a chance to unload on his fel- 
lows. Then he discovered to his dismay that' 
all the others were at the same game. Then 
the crash came. The speculator who held the 
last contract could not pay ; the one before him 
could not meet his obligations miless the man 
to whom he had sold paid up ; and so it went 
all along the line like a row of bricks set on end. 
The end one toppling over the one next to it 
starts the movement down the line, and all go 
down. Before the ides of March had passed 
every speculator was vainly trying to save some- 
thing from the wreck. Those who had invested 
recklessly in boom towns and dry lands lost all ; 
those who had some good unincumbered prop- 
erty in a town or city with a future managed 
to save a little out of the crash, but "capitalist" 
no longer followed their names in the directory. 

No better criterion probably can be given for 
measuring the great inflation of property values 
during the boom tlian the countv assessment 
rolls for 1887 and 188S. The valuation of all 
pioperty macle by the county assessor at the be- 
ginning of the boom early in 1887 ^^'3'' $22,862,- 
250. The assessed value fixed early in 1888 be- 
fore the collapse had begun was $41,522,608, an 
increase of almost one hundred per cent in 
twelve months. In iSqo the assessment had 
contracted to $26,871,551. 

But with all its wild extravagance, its reckless- 
ness, its gambling, its waste and its ruined "mil- 
lionaires of a day," the boom to San Diego was 
a blessing in disguise. It projected enterprises 
of merit as well as those of demerit. It helped 
to make a reality of that "back country" that for 
years had been a myth, and it brought about 
the building of a substantial city of what had 
before been a crude and inchoate burgh. Strange 
to say, too, the great enterprises projected dur- 
ing tiic boom were all carried on to completion. 



notuithstanding the liard times that followed. 
Depression did not stop progression. 

The San Dici^o Sun, two years after the boom, 
summing up what had been done since, says : 
"Since 1887, the Cuyamaca Railway has been 
built and motor lines extended at a cash outlay 
of $350,000; the Spreckel's Company has put 
$250,000 into a wharf and coal bunkers ; all our 
business streets have been paved; a $100,000 
court-house built and paid for; three line school- 
houses, and all our big hotels except two con- 
structed. Five miles of cable road have been 
built and put in operation ; a fine public library 
has been established ; a new opera-house will 
soon be completed. The adjacent mining regions 
have yielded at least $1,000,000 in gold. The 
great irrigating works of the Sweetwater dam 
and San Diego flume, involving an expense of 
$2,500,000, have been constructed, and water 
supplied at the lowest western prices. Not less 
tlian fifteen elegant business blocks have been 
built, and several fine churches. Over a hun- 
dred new residences have been built on Flor- 
ence Heights alone. To sum it all up, $10,000,- 
000 have been invested in San Diego and its en- 
virons since 1887, and the back country has ob- 
tained and planted 600,000 fruit trees ; which, 
with those already out, promise to fill, seven 
years hence, 10,000 freight cars with merchant- 
able products." 

The Federal census of 1890 gave the popula- 
tion of county as 34,987; and that of the city 
16,159. It was charged that the census of the 
city was very incorrectly taken and that the 
real population was over 20,000. 

During the years 1889 and 1890 the city and 
county were recovering from the depression 
caused by the collapse of the boom, but 1891 
was a year of disasters. February 22, a great 
flood entirely destroyed the railroad track 
through the Temecula canon. The road through 
the canon has never been rebuilt. During the 
same storm the Tia Juana River, that is usually 
a dry sand wash, became a tremendous torrent, 
spreading out until it was as wide as the Colo- 
rado in a spring rise. The town on the Amer- 
ican side was entirely washed away, and of that 
on the Mexican only the houses on upper Mesa 
were left. The Ota'y Watch Works, started in 
18S7, and at one time employing over one hun- 
dred operatives, suspended and the employes 
were compelled to leave. 

In October the California National Bank, 
with more than a million dollars in deposits, 
failed. The Savings Bank connected with it 
went down, too, in the crash. Neither ever re- 
sumed business. Their afTairs were placed in the 
hands of a receiver. .-\ few small dividends were 
paid the depositors, but the bulk of the deposits 

were lost by bad management, wild speculation 
and the doubtful business methods of J. W. Col- 
lins and his partner, D. D. Dare. Collins was 
arrested, and shortly afterwards committed sui- 
cide. Dare, who was in Europe at the time of 
the failure, never returned to San Diego. 

February 7, 1892, the Pacific Mail steamers 
began stopping again at San Diego for passen- 
gers and freight. The wharf of the United 
States government station at La Playa was com- 
pleted April 25, 1892. The cable road was ex- 
tended to the Mission ClifT in July, 1892. 

By an act of the Legislature, approved March 
1 1, 1893, 6,418 square miles were taken from the 
northern part of San Diego to form the new 
county of Riverside. The new county appropri- 
ated $3,849,1 14 of the old county's assessed valu- 
ation. The area of San Diego is now 8,551 
square miles. She parted with the towns of 
Temecula, Elsinore, Murietta, San Jacinto and 
^^'inchester. The county division scheme was 
opposed by San Diego and San Bernardino, 
but was carried in spite of their protests. 

In 1896 the San Diego Brewery, costing 
$150,000, was erectetl entirely by San Diego 

In 1898, a decade after the collapse of the 
boom, the city had five miles of paved streets, 
forty-three miles of graded streets and forty-five 
miles of sewers: It had twenty-four churches 
and fourteen schools. 

January 21. 1899, the steamship, Belgian King, 
the first of the California and Oriental Steam- 
ship Company's vessels, arrived in port. 

August 22, 1899, the steamer, Thyra, the 
largest vessel that ever entered the port, draw- 
ing twenty-seven feet of water, passed safely 
over the bar and entered the harbor. 

^lay I, 1899, the State Normal School on the 
North Mesa was dedicated. 

July 28, 1899, Andrew Carnegie donated San 
Diego $50,000 for a free public library building. 

The first public school opened in San Diego 
was taught by Manuel dc \"argas, a retired ser- 
geant of infantry. He was the pioneer school- 
master of California, having taught a school at 
San Jose in 1794. the first school opened in the 
territory. He taught in San Diego from July. 
1795, to December, 1798, at a yearly salary of 
$250. Don Jose .\ntonio Carrillo is said to have 
taught a school at the presidio in 1812-13. An- 
tonio Afenendez was teaching in the old town 
in 1828-29. Eighteen cliildren were j-eported 
in attendance. In 1844 Crtivernor Micheltorena 
issued a decree, establishing primary schools 
at San Diego, Los Angeles. Santa Barbara and 
several other towns. Tliis seems to have been 


the last school taught at San Diego under Mex- 
ican rule. 

After the American form of government was 
estabHshed, a school was opened in Old Town 
about 1853. The early school records have dis- 
appeared, if, indeed, any were kept. 

In 1867, fifteen years after a public-school 
system had been established in California by 
law, San Diego county was all included in one 
school district and had but one teacher and one 
school house within its limits. It was then 
probably the largest school district in the United 
States. In 1866 the number of white children 
between five and fifteen years of age, according 
to the school census of that year, was 335. The 
census of 1867 gave an increase of only three, 
which would seem to indicate a short crop that 

The number who attended public school in 
1867 was thirty-two; those attending private 
schools twenty-two — a total attendance of fifty- 
four, or about si.xteen per cent of the children of 
school age. This was but little, if any, improve- 
ment on the school attendance of Mexican days. 
In 1877 the census children had increased to 
1,693; tbe number attending public schools 919, 
and private scjiools 112. .The number of districts 
had increased to thirty-four and the number of 
teachers to thirty-five. In 1887 the total num- 
ber of census children was 5,299; enrolled in the 
piililic schools, 3,952. The number of districts 
was eighty-two and the number of teachers, 115. 


'l"he public library was founded in 1882. The 
first president of the library board was Bryant 
Howard ; secretary, E. W. Hendrick ; treasurer, 
G. H. Hitchcock ; trustees, G. W. MarstonandR, 
M. Powers. The Commercial Bank donated the 
free use of a room for six months. Donations 
uf l)ooks were made by a number of persons and 
a city tax levied for the support of the library. 

In the early part of 1899 Mrs. Lydia M. Hor- 
ton, who was at that time a member of the free 
library board, wrote to the millionaire philan- 
thropist, Andrew Carnegie, asking a donation to 
erect a library building. On the 28th of July, 
1899, she received a letter from Mr. Carnegie, 
stating that "If the city were to pledge itself 
to maintain a free public library from the taxes, 
say to the extent of the amount you name of be- 
tween $5,000 to $6,000 a year and provide a site, 
[ shall be glad to give you $50,000 to erect a 
suitable library building." The proposition was 
accepted at once. .V site was secured on E street, 
between Eighth and Ninth streets, at a cost 
of $17,000; of which $8,000 was raised by sub- 
scription and the balance paid by the city. The 
site covers half a block. The building now in 

course of erection will cost about $60,000. The 
library contains about 18,000 volumes. Mary E. 
\\'alker is the present librarian. 


The San Diego Chamber of Commerce was 
organized January 20, 1870, and is the oldest 
institution of that kind in Southern California. 
The organizers were A. E. Horton, E. W. 
Morse, David Felsenheld, Aaron Pauly, G. W. 
B. McDonald, J. W. Gale, D. Choate and Jo- 
seph Nash. Its first president was Aaron Pauly ; 
and first secretary, David Felsenheld. It has 
been for more than thirty years active in foster- 
ing and promoting every public enterprise look- 
ing to the welfare of San Diego city and county. 



Old Town, now the first ward of the city, is 
the San Diego of history and romance. It is 
three miles northwest of the city proper. The 
surf line of the Santa Fe Railroad system passes 
through the lower portion of it. From 1850 to 
1868 it was the county seat. Prior to 1850 it 
was all that there was of the city or town of San 
Diego. Here the first germ of civilization in 
California was planted. The first mission was 
established here ; and here the first Indian con- 
vert was baptized. 

Dana and Robinson made it famous in their 
books on life in the California of olden times ; 
and Helen Hunt Jackson has invested it with an 
air of romance by making it the scenes of the 
marriage of her hero and heroine in her story of 
Ramona. The house in which Ramona was 
married to .Mcssandro is still pointed out to the 

The San Diego Sun of January 12, 1892, thus 
rudely tears away the veil of sentiment that Mrs. 
Jackson threw around her famous characters 
and shows them up as they were in real life : 
"The real Alessandro was a horse thief who 
\\as shot for his crimes by a San Jacinto man, 
wlio is still living. Ramona is a squaw of well- 
understood character, who lives upon her noto- 
riety and her ofifenses.'' 

NArr0N.\L CITY. 

The Kimball Brothers in 1869 bought the 
Rancho de la Nacion, containing 27,000 acres. 
They subdivided a portion of it into farm lots, 
built a wharf and laid oft a town on the bay 
four miles south of San Diego, which they 
named National City. They were quite success- 
ful in selling lots, and for a time there was a 
spirited and somewhat acrimonious rivalry be- 
tween New Town and National Citv. The fail- 



ure of the Texas Pacific Railroad disastrously 
affected it, as well as its rival. The California 
Southern Railroad, in consideration of a gift of 
17,000 acres of land made by the Kimballs, lo- 
cated its Pacific terminus at National City. 
Again the town was on the high tide of pros- 
perity. The removal of the railroad shops be- 
gun in 1892. The dry seasons of 1898-99 and 
1900 have had a depressing effect upon it, but its 
inhabitants have not lost faith in its future. 


Coronado Beach, or Coronado as it is usually 
called, is a peninsula that divides San Diego 
Harbor from the ocean. Up to 1886 it was 
covered with a dense growth of chaparral. E. S. 
Babcock originated the scheme of building a 
town and an immense tourist hotel on it. The 
Coronado Beach Company was organized and 
work begun. The was clearetl off, streets 
graded, sewers laid and town lots thrown on the 
market in time to be caught by the boom. The 
lots advanced rapidly in value and Babcock's 
scheme proved to have "millions in it." The erec- 
tion of the Hotel del Coronado was begun early 
in 1887, and completed in December of that 
year. The building covers seven acres of ground 
and can accommodate seven hundred guests. 
It is one of the largest caravansaries in the 
world. The dreary and desolate looking pen- 
insula of fifteen years ago is now covered with 
elegant residences, green lawns and flower gar- 
dens. It is reached from San Diego by a steam 
ferry that connects with an electric railroad that 
runs to the ocean front of the hotel, a mile 
distant from the ferry. 


Oceanside on the surf line of the Santa Fe 
Railroad system is forty-one miles by rail north 
of San Diego. It was founded in 1884 and 
during the boom grew japidly. The Fallbrook 
branch railroad, once the main line of the Cali- 
fornia Southern, leaves the Surf Line at Ocean- 
siile. The railroad to Escondido forms a junc- 
tion here with the Surf Line between San Diego 
and Los .\ngeles. 

The town is four miles from the Old Mission 
of San Luis Rey and has the rich San Luis Rey 
valley for its back country. It has several gen- 
eral merchandise stores which have a good local 


Escondido, Hidden \'alley or Rincon ilel Di- 
ablo, The Devil's Corner, was formerlv known 

as \\'olfskiirs rancho and comprises about 13,- 
000 acres of the San Marcos grant. In 1885 
it was purchased by a syndicate of San Diego 
and Los Angeles capitalists, who subdivided it 
into small farms and laid off a town. The lands 
had a rapid sale. A large hotel, a bank building 
and a number of business blocks w^ere built be- 
tween 1886 and 1890. The farm lands have 
been planted to citrus fruits and raisin grapes. 


Fallbrook, on the western slope of the Coast 
Range mountains, is twelve miles in a direct 
line from the coast and sixty-one from San 
Diego by the railroad. Since the great Hoot! 
of 1892, which destroyed the railroad in the 
Temecula Canon, Fallbrook has been the ter- 
minus of the eastern end of the road which is 
now known as the Fallbrook branch. The older 
settlement is back a mile or two from the rail- 
road. The town has grown up since the build- 
ing of the railroad. It has two large hotels 
and several business houses. 

P-\L.\ (Shovel), once an asisteiicia or auxiliary 
of San Luis Rey Mission, is located in the 
upper San Luis Rey valley about seventeen 
miles from the coast and fifty miles north of 
San Diego. It is largely an Indian settlement. 
These descendants of the Mission Indians keep 
up many of the old customs and observances. 
The Mission Capilla or Chapel still stands in a 
fair state of preservation. Services are held in 
it once a month. There is here some of the 
finest vine and fruit land in the county. 

JuLi.\N, fifty-five miles northeast from San 
Diego bay, in the mountain regions, is 4,500 
feet above the sea level. It owes its origin to 
a mining rush. In February, 1870, gold was 
discovered near the ranch of M. S. Julian. The 
news of the discovery caused a rush and a town 
was built and named after the proprietor. .\ 
number of rich claims were located and for 
several years a considerable quantity of gold 
was taken out. The Cuyamaca grant owners 
laid claim to the mines. After a legal contest, 
lasting five years, the miners won. Much of the 
country around Julian is adapted to stock rais- 
ing. There are some fine orchards of apples, 
])ears, plums and peaches in the Julian district. 

B.\NNKU is a mining" .settlement four miles 
cast of Julian, but 1,500 feet lower. It is on the 
desert side of the divide in the San Felijie 
Canon, the waters of which sink into the desert. 
The town has several quartz mills, a store, post 
'office and school house. 






THE original county of Los Angeles was 
an empire in itself. It extended from 
the Pacific ocean on the west to the 
Colorado river on the east, and from San 
Diego county on the south to Mariposa on 
the north. Its area was about 32,000 square 
miles, or a little more than one-fifth of the 
area of the entire state. Excepting Maine, 
it was equal in size to the total area of the 
other five New England states. 

The boundaries, as given in the act of 
February 18, 1850, dividing the state into 
counties, were very indefinite, but as a vast ex- 
tent of Los Angeles county was a terra in- 
cognito, inhabited by wandering savages, no 
conflict arose in regard to jurisdiction, except 
with these Indians and that was settled by bul- 
lets and not by boundary lines. 

An act of the second legislature re])caled 
the former act, and more clearly defined the 
boundaries of the county. It is as follows : 

"Section 3. — County of Los Angeles. — Be- 
ginning on the coast of the Pacific, at a point 
parallel with the northern boundary of the 
rancho called Malaga ; thence in a direction 
so as to include said rancho, to the northwest 
corner of the rancho, known as Triunifo, run- 
ning on the northerly line of the same to the corner ; thence to the summit of the 
ridge of hills called Santa Susanna ; thence in 
a direct line to the rancho Casteyne (Castaic) 
and Lejon (El Tejon), and along their northern 
line to the northeastern corners, and thence in 
a northeast line to the eastern boundary of the 
state, and along said boundary line to the junc- 
tion of the northern boundary of San Diego 
county with the Colorado ; thence in a north- 
westerly direction parallel with the coast to a 
point tliree miles from land, and opposite to the 
southern boundary of the rancho called Mal- 
aga, and thence east to the place of beginning; 
including the island of Santa Catalina and San 
Clement. The seat of justice shall be at Los 

In 1851, a colony of Mormons from Salt Lake 
located where now the city of San Bernardino 
stands, on a tract of land bought from the Lugos. 

They were reinforced by other immigrants from 
Salt Lake and by some non-Mormon families. 
The settlement grew quite rapidly. These 
settlers petitioned the legislature of 1853 to 
create a new county out of the eastern portion 
of Los Angeles county. By an act entitled, 
"An Act for dividing the county of Los An- 
geles and making a new county therefrom to 
be called San Bernardino county," approved 
April 26, 1853, it was provided: 

"Section 3. — The county of Los Angeles is 
hereby divided as follows : Beginning at a 
point where a due south line drawn from the 
highest peak of the Sierra de Santiago inter- 
sects the northern boundary of San Diego 
county ; thence running along the summit of 
said Sierra to the Santa Ana river, between the 
ranch of Sierra and the residence of Bernardo 
Yorba ; thence across the Santa Ana river along 
the summit of the range of hills that lie bc" 
tween the Coyotes and Chino (leaving the 
ranchos of Ontiveras and Ybarra to the west of 
this line), to the southeast corner of the ranch 
of San Jose; thence along the eastern boun- 
daries of said ranch and of San Antonio, and 
the western and northern boundaries of Cucai- 
monga ranch to the ravine of Cucaimonga ; 
thence up said ravine to its source in the Coast 
Range ; thence due north to the northern boun- 
dary of Los Angeles county; thence north- 
east to the State Line; thence along the State 
Line to the northern boundary line of San Diego 
county, thence westerly along the northern boun- 
dary of San Diego to the place of beginning. 

"Section 4. — The eastern jiortion of Los An- 
geles county so cut off, shall be called San 
Bernardino county and the seat of justice thereof 
shall be at such a place as a majority of voters 
shall determine at the first county election, here- 
inafter provided to be held in said county and 
shall remain at the place .so designated until 
changed by the people, as provided by law." 

The formation of the new county cut ofT about 
24,000 square miles from Los Angeles, but still 
leaving her 8,000 square miles. She held on to 
this territory for thirteen years, then she had to 
give up another slice of her territory, but as this 
was mostly mountains and deserts there was 
no opposition to the segregation. 



In 1866 the county of Kern was formed out 
of portions of Tulare and Los Angeles counties. 
The area of Los Angeles after the creation of 
Kern county was about 5,000 square miles. 

In 1869 began the struggle to cut ofif a por- 
tion from the southeastern part to form a new 
county. This movement the people of Los An- 
geles resisted. The contest over county division 
lasted for twenty years. It ended in 1889 with 
the formation of Orange county. The story of 
this long drawn out contest is told m full in the 
history of Orange county. 

After the formation of Orange county Los 
Angeles had an area of 3,880 square miles. In 
1891 an efifort was made to cut a slice ofif the 
eastern side to form with territory taken from 
San Bernardino the county of Pomona. For- 
tunately the scheme failed. 


The transition from the Mexican form of gov- 
ernment in California to that of the United 
States was very gradual. Los Angeles the last 
Mexican stronghold surrendered January 10, 
1847. It was not until June 24, 1850, that the 
American municipal form of government by 
county officers superseded the ayuntamientos, 
alcaldes, prefects and sindicos of Spain and 
Mexico. The legislature had passed a county 
government act, February 18, 1850, and had pro- 
vided for an election of county officers to be 
held the first Monday of April. The election 
was held, April i, 377 votes were cast in the 
county and the following named officers elected : 
county judge, Augustin Olvera ; county attor- 
ney, Benjamin Hays ; county clerk, B. D. Wil- 
son ; sheriff, G. Thompson Burrill ; treasurer, 
Manuel Garfias ; assessor, Antonio F. Coronel ; 
recorder, Ignacio del \'alle ; surveyor, J. R. 
Conway; coroner, Charles B. Cullcn. 


The court of sessions which consisted of the 
county judge and two justices of the peace con- 
stituted the legislative body of the county gov- 
ernments of the state up to 1853, when the civil 
business of the counties was turned over to 
a board of supervisors, created by an act of the 
legislature. The court of sessions had jurisdic- 
tion over the criminal business, the impaneling 
of juries and filling vacancies in oflfice up to 
1865, when it was legislated out of office. 

The court of sessions was the motive ]io\\er 
that set the county machinery in operation. The 
first meeting of tlie court in Los ,\ngeles was 
held June 24, 1850. Hon. Augustin Olvera was 
the presiding judge; the associate justices were 
Jonathan R. Scott and Luis Roubidoau. .An- 
tonio F. Coronel, as'^cssor-elect. and Charles R. 

Cullen, coroner-elect, were cited before tru. 
court to qualify and file their official bonds. 
Coronel appeared ne.xt day and qualified, but 
Cullen declined to serve. 

At the meeting of the court, June 26, jailer 
Samuel Whiting was allowed $7 per day salary, 
out of which he was to employ a competent 
assistant. He was allowed "for feeding the pris- 
oners, fifty cents each ; that each prisoner shall 
have per day an amount of bread to the value of 
twelve and one-half cents or an equivalent in 
rice or beans ; balance of the allowance in good 

A. P. Hodges, M. D., was appointed coroner 
(during his term as coroner he also served as 
the first mayor of the city). The county judge 
could not speak English and at least one asso- 
ciate judge spoke no Spanish, so G. Thompson 
Burrill was appointed county interpreter for the 
court at a salary of $50 per month. He was also 

At the session of July 11, 1850, it was or- 
dered that the town council be permitted to 
work the county prisoners by paying the daily 
expense of each one's keeping — fifty cents. A 
master stroke of economy. Some one has sneer- 
ingly said that the first public buildings the 
Americans built in California after it came into 
their possession, were jails. This was true of 
Los Angeles and in fact of all the counties of 
southern California. 

July II, 1850, commissioners were appointeil 
by the city and county to select a site for a jail. 
Lots Nos. I, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 in square No. 34 
(north of the Plaza church) were selected for a 
jail site. The city council was asked to donate 
said lots to the county and the city was re- 
quested to loan the county $2,000, to be used 
in building said jail, the city council to have 
permission to use said jail until the loan is re- 
funded. The city fathers did not take kindly 
to these requests of the judges ; so the county 
had to worry along two years longer before a 
jail was built and then it was not built on the 
site selected by the joint commission. 


There was one Hispano-American institution 
that long survived the fall of Mexican domina- 
tion in California; and that was the office of 
Jueces del Campo, Judges of the Plains. A judge 
of the plains was a very im])ortant functionary. 
Tt was his duty to be present at the annual 
Rodeos (round ups of cattle), and Rccojcdas 
(gathering up of horses). His seat of justice was 
in the saddle, his court room the mesa, and from 
his decision there was no appeal. All dis])utes 
nl)nut ownership of stock came before him. The 
ciidc iif ills court was unwritten, or nio^tlv so, 



which was fortunate for many of the judges 
could not read. This hap-hazard way of ad- 
ministering justice did not suit American ideas, 
so, at a meeting of the court of sessions, July 
23, 1850, the county attorney was ordered "to 
collect the various Bandos and Reglamentos 
heretofore made in this district respecting the 
Jueces del Canipo and give his opinion upon the 
same at the next term of this court." At the 
session of the court, August 22, the county at- 
torney reported a number of regulations, some 
written, others established by custom. The court 
added several new regulations to those already 
existing, the most important of which (to the 
Jueces) was a salary of one hundred dollars a 
year to each judge, payable out of the county 
treasury. Under Mexican rule the plains judge 
took his pay in honor. As there were a round 
dozen of these officials in the county in 1850, 
their aggregate pay e.xcceded the entire expense 
of the municipal government of the district dur- 
ing the last year of the Mexican rule. After 
jails the next innovation the Americans intro- 
duced was taxes. 

Even at this early day, before California had 
become a state, there were "Patriotas de Bolsa" 
(patriots of the pocket), men who knew how to 
make a good thing of their patriotic services. 
In the summer of 1850, an expedition under 
Gen. Joseph C. Morehead had been sent against 
the mountain Indians, who had been stealing 
horses from the Los Angeles rancheros. In a 
skirmish with the Indian horse thieves, a militia- 
man named William Carr was wounded. Gen. 
Morehead sent him back to Los Angeles to 
have him taken care of. At the session of the 
court, September i8th, the medico wdio doctored 
the wounded soldier presented a bill of $503 ; 
the patriotic American who boarded him de- 
manded $120, and the man who lodged him 
charged $45 for house rent. The native Cali- 
fornian who waited on him was satisfied with 
$30, but then he was not a patriot ! The bills were 
approved, but as the county treasury was as 
empty as the ranchero's corrals after an Indian 
raid, the accounts were referred to the incom- 
ing legislature for settlement. It is gratifying 
to know that this valuable soldier "lived to fight 
another day," but it is to be hoped that for mo- 
tives of economy he kept out of reach of In- 
dian arrows. 


The first fee and salary bill of California was 
based upon prices ruling in the mining counties 
where a sherifif's fees amounted to more than 
the salary of the president of the United States. 
The liberal fees allowed for official services 
soon bankrupted the treasuries of the cow coun- 

ties, and in 1851 they were petitioning the leg- 
islature for a reduction of fees. It cost $100 to 
hold an inquest on a dead Indian and as vio- 
lent deaths were of almost daily or nightly oc- 
currence, the coroner's office was quite lucrative. 
Some of the verdicts of the coroner's juries 
showed remarkable familiarity with the decrees 
of the Almighty. On a native Californian 
named Gamico, found dead in the street, the 
verdict was "Death by the visitation of God." 
Of a dead Indian, found near the zanja, the Los 
Angeles Star says: "Justice Dryden and a jury 
sat on the body. The verdict was 'Death from 
intoxication or by the visitation of God.' Bacilio 
was a Christian Indian and was confessed by 
the reverend padre yesterday afternoon." The 
jurors were paid $10 each for sitting on a body. 
Coroner Hodges made the champion record on 
inquests. October 20, 1851, he held eleven in- 
quests in one day. These were held on Irving's 
band of horse thieves and robbers who were 
killed by the Cahuilla Indians in the San Ber- 
nardino mountains. 

The criminal element had been steadily in- 
creasing in Los Angeles. In 185 1, a military 
company was organized to aid the sherifif in 
keeping order. November 24, 1851, the court 
of session ordered that the sheriff cause fifty 
good lances to be made for the use of the vol- 
unteer company. The pioneer blacksmith, John 
Goller, made the lances and was paid $87.50 
for the job. Goller also made a branding iron 
for the county. The county brand consisted of 
the letters "LA" three inches long. In January, 

1852, the house occupied by Benjamin Hays, 
under lease from Felipe Garcia, was sublet by 
him to the county for a court house for the 
balance of his term, expiring November 16, 

1853. The sum of $650 was appropriated by 
order of the court of sessions to pay the rent 
for the agreed term. The first building used for 
a court house was the old government house 
that Pio Pico bought from Isaac \\'illiams for 
the capitol. Pico had resided in it during his 
term as governor. After the conquest two com- 
panies of United States Dragoons were quar- 
tered in it. A contract was let, July 8, 1851, to 
build a jail and John G. Nichols appointed at $6 
a day to superintend the job, but some mis- 
understanding with the city arising, the build- 
ing was not erected, and September 13, 1851, the 
court ordered the sheriff to sell the adobes now 
on hand for use of jail at the highest market 
price and turn the money over to the clerk of tlie 

The first county jail was the adobe building 
on the hill back of the Downey (then Temple) 
block used by the troops for a guard house. 
There were no cells in it. Staples were driven 



into a heavy pine log that reached across the 
building and short chains attached to the sta- 
ples were fastened to the handcuffs of the pris- 
oners. Solitary confinement was cflit of the 
question then. Indian culprits were chained to 
logs outside of the jail so that they could more 
fully enjoy the glorious climate of California. 
In 1853, the city and county built a jail on the 
present site of the Phillips block, northwest 
corner of Spring and Franklin streets. It was 
the first public building erected in the county. 

The legislature of 1852 created the office of 
county supervisor. The first election for super- 
visors of the county was held June 14, 1852, 
and the following named persons elected : Jef- 
ferson Hunt, Julian Chavis, Francisco P. Tem- 
ple, Manuel Requena and Samuel Arbuckle. 
The board held its first meeting on the first 
Monday of July, 1852. Arbuckle was elected 
chairman. The supervisors transacted the civil 
business of the county. 

The machinery of the county's government 
was now in full working order. We will turn 
our attention to other phases of its development. 

HISTORY, 18S0-1860. 

In what comprised the original county of Los 
Angeles there were during the Spanish and 
Mexican regimes sixty grants of land made. 
These varied in size from a grant of 44.36 acres 
to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano to the 
Rancho Ex-Mission of San Fernando, granted 
to Eulogio de Cells, containing 121,619.24 acres. 

At the time of the conquest about all the land 
fit for pasturage had been sequestered from the 
public domain in the form of grants. The oldest 
grants made within what is now the county of 
Los Angeles are the Nietos and the San Rafael. 
According to Col. J. J. Warner's historical 
sketch, "The Nietos tract, embracing all the 
land between the Santa Ana and San Gabriel 
and from the sea to and including some of the 
hill land on its northeastern frontier, was granted 
by Governor Pedro Pages to Manuel Nielo in 

"The San Rafael tract, lying on the left bank 
of the Los Angeles river and extending to the 
Arroyo Seco, was granted by Governor Pedro 
Pages, October 20, 1784, and the grant was re- 
affirmed by Governor Borica, January 12, 1798, 
to Jose Maria Verdugo." If, as Col. Warner 
claims, the "Nietos tract" embraced all the land 
between the Santa Ana and the San Gabriel 
rivers, from the sea to the hills, Nietos' heirs did 
nut hold it. Subscnuenllv there were a number 

of grants made in that territory. The Mission 
San Gabriel, previous to 1830, had possession 
of several subdivisions of this tract such as Las 
Bolsas, Alamitos, Los Coyotes, Puente and 
others. After the secularization of the missions 
all the lands held by the padres, except small 
tracts in the innnediate neighborhood of the 
mission buildings, were granted to private 

Shortly after the admission of California to 
the Union the long-drawn-out legal contests 
over the confirmation of the Spanish and Mex- 
ican grants began. These contests, in some 
cases, were waged for years before the United 
States Claims Commission, the various courts 
and the land commissioner at Washington, be- 
fore they were settled. Litigation often ruined 
both the contesting parties, and when the case 
was finally decided the litigants, like in "Jarn- 
dyce vs. Jarndyce," had nothing left but bundles 
of legal documents. Even when a claimant did 
win and the decisions of courts and conmiis- 
sions gave him undisputed possession of his 
broad acres, it often happened that a cancerous 
mortgage, the result of litigation, was eating 
away his patrimony. The land grants in Los An- 
geles have all been confirmed and it is to be 
hoped that they will remain so. No greater 
blight can fall on a community than an attack 
upon the validity of its title to its lands. 

In early times the county officials followe<l 
the Mexican plan of designating districts and 
legal subdivision by ranchos. August 7, 1851. 
the court of sessions "ordered that the county 
of Los Angeles be divided into six townships 
named as follows; and to comprehend the 
ranchos and places as follows to each appropri- 
ated." The first of these was the township of 
Los Angeles. There are few now living who 
could trace from the description given in the 
records the boundaries of Los Angeles township 
fifty years ago. Here is the description : 

TowNsiiir OF Los Angelas. — "The city of 
Los Angeles and the following ranchos, 
to-wit: Los Corralitos, Feliz, Verdugos, Ca- 
hucnga, Tujunga, San Fernando, ex-Mission. 
San Francisco, Piro, Camulos, Canada de los 
.\lamos. La Liebre, El Tejon, Triumfo, Las 
X'ergenes, Escorpion, Los Cuervos, San Anto- 
nio de la Mesa, Los Alamitos, Vicente Lugo, 
Arroyo, Seco, Encino, Maligo, Santa Monico, 
San Vicentes, Buenos Ayres, I^ Bayona, Rincon 
de los Buey, Rodeo de Las Aguas, I^ Cicnega, 
La Centinela, Sausal Redondo, Palos Venles, 
San Pedro, Los Dominguez, Rancho Nuevo. 
Paredon Blanco, Los Serrit<is, La Jaboneria, 
Rosa de Castilla." 

"The residence of the authorities shall be in 
Lds Angeles citv." 




Cattle raising continued to be the dominant 
industry. To make it successful under the con- 
ditions then existing it was necessary to hold 
the land in large tracts. The demand for beef 
caused by the rush of immigration to the state 
raised the price of cattle until a well-stocked 
rancho was more profitable than a gold mine. 
The overland travel by the various southern 
routes, all of which converged in Los Angeles, 
gave a home market for a considerable amount 
of the home products. 

The Sonorese migration began in 1848 as 
soon as the news of the discovery of gold in 
California reached Mexico. While these gold- 
seekers were called Sonorese or Sonorians, they 
came from the different states of Northern Mex- 
ico, but in greater numbers from Sonora. The 
trail from Mexico by way of Aristo, Tucson, 
the Pima villages, across the desert and through 
the San Gorgonio Pass had been traveled for 
three-quarters of a century. Another branch 
of this trail crossed the desert from Yuma to 
Warner's ranch ; and then by way of Temecula, 
Jurupa and the Chino, reached Los Angeles. 
Along these trails from 1848 to 1852 came the 
Sonorese migration. These pilgrims to the 
shrine of Manuuon were a hard lot. They were 
poor and ignorant and not noted for good mor- 
als. From Los Angeles northward, they invaria- 
bly traveled by the coast route, and in squads 
of from 50 to 100. Some of them brought their 
women and children with them. With their few 
possessions packed on donkeys and mules they 
tramped their weary way from Mexico to the 
mines. They were not welcomed to the land 
of gold. The Americans disliked them and the 
native Californians treated them with contempt. 
The men wore cotton shirts, white pantaloons, 
sandals and sombreros. Their apparel, like the 
laws of the Medes and Persians, "changed not," 
nor did they change it as long as a shred of it 
held together. The native Californians nick- 
named them "calzonares blancos" (white 
breeches), and imposed upon them when an 
opportunity offered. The story is told of a 
native Californian alcalde or justice of the peace 
who had his office near the old mission church 
of San Luis Obispo. When a band of these 
Sonorian pilgrims came along the highway 
which led past the old mission, they invariably 
stopped at the churcli to make the sign of the 
cross and to implore the protection of the saints. 
Tills gave the alcalde his opportunity. Station- 
ing his ali^mn-ilcs or constables on tlie road to 
bar their progress, he proceeded to collect fifty 
cents toll of each pilgrim. If word was jiassed 
back to the squads behind and they attempted 

to avoid the toll-gatherer by a detour to the 
right or left, the alcalde sent out his mounted 
constables and rounded up the poor Sonorians 
like so many cattle at a rodeo, then he and his 
alguacilcs committed highway robbery on a 
small scale. Retributive justice overtook this 
unjust judge. The vigilantes hanged' him, not, 
however, for tithing the Sonorese, but for horse 

The Sonorian migration began to decline after 
1850, and entirely ceased a year or two later. 
The foreign miner's tax and their persecution 
by the Americans convinced the Sonorians that 
there was no place like home. So they went 
home and stayed there. 

A route by which a number of immigrants 
from Texas and some of the other Gulf states 
came in 1849 led through the northern states 
of Mexico until it intercepted the Sonora trail 
and then by that to Los Angeles. 

The old Santa Fe trail to Islew Mexico; then 
across Arizona, following the Gila to the Colo- 
rado river, was another southern route by which 
a great deal of overland travel reached Southern 
California. In 1854, from actual count, it was 
ascertained that 9,075 persons came by that 
route. About one-fourth of the 61,000 overland 
inuuigrants who came to the slate that year 
reached it by the southern routes. But the route 
by which the majority of the argonauts of '49 
and the early '50s reached Southern California 
led south from Salt Lake City until it inter- 
cepted the great Spanish trail from Los Angeles 
to Santa Fe at the southern end of Utah Lake. 
Inuuigrants by this route, crossing the Colorado 
desert, reached the San Bernardino valley 
through the Cajon Pass. Capt. Jedediah S. 
Smith, in 1826, was the first white man to reach 
Los Angeles by this trail. There was consid- 
erable trade and travel between Santa Fe and 
Los Angeles over the old Spanish trail before 
the conquest of California. The early innnigra- 
tion from New Mexico came by this route. By 
it came J. J. Warner, William \\'olfskill, the 
Rowland-Workman party, numbering forty-four 
persons ; B. D. Wilson, D. W. Alexander, John 
Reed, Dr. John Marsh and many other pioneers. 

For several years before the conquest, on ac- 
count of the hostility of the Indians, this trail 
had been little used, and to the great army of 
the Argonauts who crossed the plains in 1841) 
it was unknown. The belated immigrants of 
that year who reached Salt Lake too late to 
cross the Sierra Nevadas had the alternative pre- 
sented them of wintering with the Saints or of 
finding a southern route into California and 
thus evading the fate that befell the Donner 
])arty in the snows of the Sierras. These de- 
layed Argonauts found a Mormon captain, Jef- 



ferson Hunt, late cai^tain of Company A of the 
Mormon Battalion, who had recently arrived in 
Salt Lake by this southern route. He was en- 
gaged as a guide. A train of about 500 wagons 
started in November, 1849, for Southern Cali- 
fornia. After several weeks' travel, a number 
of the immigrants having become dissatisfied 
with Hunt's leadership, and hearing that there 
was a shorter route to the settlements than the 
train was pursuing, seceded from the main body 
and struck out westward across the desert. After 
traveling for several days together, they dis- 
agreed. Some returned to the main body; the 
others broke up into small parties and took dif- 
ferent directions. One of these parties, num- 
bering eleven persons, penetrated Death valley 
and all perished. Another, after incredible hard- 
ships and having lost several of their number on 
the desert, reached Los Angeles by the Soledad 
Pass. Another company, after weeks of wan- 
dering and suffering, reached the Tulare valley, 
where they were relieved by the Indians. The 
main body, with but little inconvenience, ar- 
rived in San Bernardino valley the last of Jan- 
uary, 1850. 

After the establishment of the Mormon colony 
at San Bernardino, in June, 1851, the Salt Lake 
route became a well-traveled road, over which, 
up to the completion of the Union Pacific Rail- 
road in 1869, a large amount of freight and travel 
passed between the City of the Saints and the 
City of the Angels. By this route came a num- 
ber of the pioneer American families of Los An- 
geles. Among others may be named the Macys, 
Andersons, \\ orkmans, Ulyards, Hazards, Mon- 


San Pedro was, in 1850, as it had been for 
more than half a century before, the entrepot 
through which the commerce of the Los An- 
geles district passed. It was, next to San I^an- 
cisco, the principal seaport of the coast. In 
the early '50s all the trade and travel up and 
down the coast came and went by sea. No stage 
lines had been established in the lower coast 
counties. In 1848, and for several years after, 
the only means of getting to the city from the 
])ort and vice versa was on horseback. A cabal- 
iada (band) of horses were kept in pasture on 
the Palos Verdes. When a ship w-as sighted in 
the offing, the vaqueros rounded up the nnis- 
tangs, lassoed them and had them saddled, 
ready for the jiassengers when they came ashore. 
As the horses were half-broken broncos, and 
the passengers mostly newcomers from the 
states, unused to the tricks of bucking mus- 
tangs, the tri]) usually ended in the passenger 
arriving in the city on foot, the bronco having 

landed his rider at some point most convenient 
to him (the bronco,) not the passenger. 

In 1849 Temple and Alexander had a general 
merchandise store at San Pedro, and did about 
all the forwarding business of the port. Goods 
were freighted to Los Angeles in carts drawn 
by two yoke of oxen yoked by the horns. The 
carts were similar to the Alexican carretas, ex- 
cept that they had spoked and tired wheels in- 
stead of solid ones. A regular freight train was 
composed of ten carts and forty oxen. Freight 
charges were $20 a ton. In 1852, stages were 
put on the route by Banning & Alexander. 
Tomlinson put on an opposition line, and in 
1853 ^- ''^- Townsend was running an acconmio- 
dation line between the city and the port and 
advertising in the Star, "Good coaches and teams 
as the county will afford." The stage fare was 
at first $10, then $7.50, dropped to $5, and 
as opposition increased went down to $1, and 
as the rivalry grew keener passengers were car- 
ried free. 

The first steamer that ever entered the bay of 
San Pedro was the "Gold Hunter," which an- 
chored in the port in 1849. She was a side- 
wheel vessel which made the voyage from San 
Francisco to Mazatlan, touching at way ports. 

The "Gold Hunter" was followed by the 
steamers "Ohio," "Southerner," "Sea Bird" and 
"Goliath" in 1850 and 1851. In 1853 the "Sea 
Bird" was making three trips a month between 
San Francisco and San Diego, touching at Mon- 
terey, Santa Barbara and San Pedro. The price 
of a first-cabin passage from San Pedro to San 
Francisco in the early '50s was $55. The bill 
of fare consisted of salt beef, hard bread, pota- 
toes and coffee without milk or sugar. Freight 
charges were $25 a ton. It cost $10 to transport 
a barrel of flour from San Francisco to Los 
Angeles. The trip occupied four days. The 
way ports w-ere Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo 
and Monterey. There were no w'harves or ligiit- 
crs on the route ; passengers and freight were 
landed in the steamer's boats. If the sea was 
very rough, the passengers were carried to San 
Francisco and brought back on the return trip. 
Sometimes when the tide was low they had to 
l)e carried from the boat to the shore on the 
sailors' backs. The sailor, like the bronco, some- 
times bucked, and the passenger waded ashore. 
Both man and beast were somewhat uncertain 
"in the days of gold — the days of '49." 

The imports by sea greatly exceeded the ex- 
]iorts. Cattle and horses, the i)rinc!]ial |)roiiiK-ts 
of the county, transported themselves to market. 
The vineyards along the river ])rincipally within 
the city limits were immensely profitable in the 
early '50s. There was hut little fiesh fruit in 
the coiuitry. Grapes, in San Francisco, retailed 



all the way from twenty-five to fifty cents a 
pound. The vineyards were cultivated by In- 
dian labor. About all that it cost the vineyardist 
for 'labor was the amount of aguardiente that it 
took to give the Indian his regular Saturday 
night drunk. So the grape crop was about all 


The first state census of California was taken 
in 1852. According to this census the county 
had a total population of 7,831, divided as fol- 

Males 2,496 

Females i ,597 

Total 4,093 

Domesticated Indians — 

Males 2,278 

Females i ,41 5 

The cattle numbered 113,475; horses, 12,173; 
wheat produced 34,230 bushels; barley, 12,120 
bushels; corn, 6,934 bushels. Number of acres 
under cultivation, 5,587 ; grape vines, 450,000, 
of which 400,000 were within the city. This was 
before any portion of tlie county had been segre- 
gated. Its limits extended from San Juan Capis- 
trano on the south to the Tulares on the north, 
and from the sea to the Colorado river ; of its 
32,000 square miles, less than nine square miles 
were cultivated, and yet it had been settled for 
three-quarters of a century. 

During the '50s the county grew slowly. Land 
was held in large tracts and cattle raising con- 
tinued to be the principal industry. At the El 
Monte several families from the southwestern 
states had formed a small settlement and were 
raising grain, principally corn. The Mormons, 
at San Bernardino, were raising corn, wheat, 
barley and vegetables, and selling them at a good 
price. One season they received as high as $5 
a bushel for their wheat. 




THE famous Kern river gold rush of 1855 
brought an influx of population. Some 
of that population was very undesirable. 
The gold rush made business lively for a time, 
but when the reaction came it left a number of 
wrecks financially stranded. This mining ex- 
citement had one good effect : it called the at- 
tention of the Angeleiios to the mineral resources 
of their own county and indirectly brought 
about their development. 

Francisco Lopez discovered gold in the San 
Feliciano canon of the San Fernando moun- 
tains, March 9, 1841. Gold was discovered in 
several other canons of this district and these 
placers were worked in a desultory sort of a 
way up to 1848. When the news of Marshall's 
discovery at Coloma reached Los Angeles, all 
the experienced miners left for the northern 
mines, and the gold placers of Los Angeles were 
abandoned. The Kern river gold rush brought 
a number of experienced miners to the county, 
and the San Fernando mines were again opened 
and a considerable amount of gold dust taken 
from them. It is reported that Francisco Gar- 
cia, working the mines with a .gang of Indians, 
took out $65,000 in 1855. Gold was discovered 
on the headwaters of the San Gabriel river in 
1855. In 1856 the Santa Anita placers, fifteen 

miles from Los Angeles city, were discovered 
and mined; the miners making from $5 to $10 
a day. In 1858 the Santa Anita Mining Com- 
pany was organized with a capital of $50,000, 
hydraulic works constructed, and the gulches 
mined. The mines paid well. During 1858 and 
1859 the cation of the San Gabriel was pros- 
pected for forty miles, and some rich placers 
located. Two hydraulic companies took out 
$1,000 a week each. Two Mexicans with a com- 
mon wooden howl or batca panned out $90 in 
two days. In July, 1859, 300 men were at work 
in the canon, and all reported doing well. The 
next year, i860, was a prosperous season for the 
miners. Altogether since their discovery, over 
sixty years ago, it is estimated that the gold 
placers of Los Angeles have yielded not less than 

Notwithstanding the county was producing 
gold, grain and cattle, in the later '50s times were 
hard, money scarce and rates of interest exorbi- 
tant. "Eight, ten and even fifteen per cent a 
month," says the Soiitlicrn Ci\lifornian. "is freely 
paid for money, and the supply even at these 
rates is too meager to meet the demand." This 
state of affairs was caused largely by the reaction 
from the flush times of the early '50s. The na- 
tive Californians, the principal land-holders, 
were bad financiers. When times were good 
and money plentiful, they spent lavishly. When 



dry years came or the price of cattle fell from 
over-production, they did not retrench expenses, 
but mortgaged their lands to procure spending 
money. \\'ith such usurious rates of interest pre- 
vailing, it was only a question of the leniency 
of their creditors when they would be compelled 
to part witii their ancestral acres. 

THE SECOND DECADE, 1860-1870. 

The years 1859, i860, 1861-62 were seasons of 
abundant rainfall. Indeed, the fluvial downpour 
of 1861-62 was altogether too abundant. Never 
before, within the memory of the oldest inhab- 
itant, had there been such floods. The season's 
rainfall footed up nearly fifty inches. The val- 
ley of the Sacramento became a vast inland sea 
and the city of Sacramento was inundated and 
almost ruined. Relief boats on their errands of 
mercy, leaving the. channels of the rivers, sailed 
over submerged ranchos, past floating houses 
and wrecks of barns, through vast flotsams made 
up of farm products, farming implements and the 
carcasses of horses, cattle and sheep, all drift- 
ing out to sea. The losses in the Sacramento 
and San Joaquin valleys footed up into the mil- 
lions. In Los Angeles county, on account of 
the smaller area of the valleys and the shortness 
of the rivers, there was but little loss of property. 
The rivers spread over the lowlands, but the 
stock found safety from the flood on the hills. 
The Santa Ana river for a time rivaled the 
Father of Waters in magnitude. In the town of 
Anaheim, four miles from the river, the water 
ran four feet deep and spread in an unbroken 
sheet to the Coyote hills, three miles beyond. 
The Arroyo Seco, swollen to a mighty river, 
brought down from the mountains and caiions 
great rafts of driftwood, which were scattered 
over the plains Ijelow the city, and furnished fuel 
to the poor people for several years. It l)eoan 
raining DccendxT 24, 1861, and continued fur 
thirty days with Init two slight interruptions. 


As a result of three successive years of abun- 
dant rainfall and consequent luxuriant pastur- 
age, the ranchcros allowed their stock ranges 
to become overstocked. • \\'hen the famine years 
of 1863 and 1864 came, the dry feed on the 
ranges was soon exhausted, and cattle were 
slowly dying of s'tarvation. Herds of gaunt, 
skeleton-like forms moved slowly over the plains 
in search of food. Here and there, singly or in 
small groups, poor brutes, too weak to move on, 
stood motionless with drooping heads, dying. 
It was a pitiful sight. The loss of cattle during 
the famine years was fearful. The plains were 

strewn with their carcasses. In marshy places 
and around the cienegas where there was a ves- 
tige of green the ground was covered with their 
skeletons ; and the traveler for years afterwards 
was often startled by coming suddenly upon 
a veritable Golgotha — a place of skulls — the long 
horns standing out in a defiant attitude, as if 
defending the fleshless bones. It was estimated 
that 50,000 head of cattle died on the Stearns' 
ranchos alone. In i860 the county assessment 
was $3,064,701; in 1864, $1,622,370. 

Don Abel Stearns, one of the greatest of the 
cattle barons of Southern California, was re- 
duced almost to the verge of bankruptcy. In 
1864 all of his landed possessions, consisting of 
seven ranchos, aggregating over one hundred 
thousand acres, and all of his city lots and lands 
were advertised for sale on account of the de- 
linquent taxes of 1863, the total amount of which 
was a little over $2,000. The lot on the south- 
cast corner of Spring and Second streets, now 
worth a quarter of a million, was sold in 1863 
for $37. Two thousand acres in East Los An- 
geles were sold in 1864 by the city council for 
fifty cents per acre. The purchaser took it under 
protest because the council would not sell him 
less. Never before had the people of the county 
been in such financial straits. To add to the 
miseries of hard times, the people were divided 
into two hostile factions — Union and Secession. 
The Civil war was in progress. The Confeder- 
ate sympathizers were largely in the majority 
in the county. While there were no active hos- 
tilities between the factions, there was a great 
deal of ill feeling. The Confederate sympa- 
thizers were loud in their denunciations of the 
government and the flag under which they were 
living and had lived all their lives. However, 
beyond a few arrests, these would-be Confeder- 
ates were not banned. 

Los Angeles furnished but one representative 
to the Union army — that is, one who was an 
actual resident of the city at the breaking out 
of the war — and he was Charles M. Jenkins, of 
the California Hundred. One company of the 
Native California Battalion was raised in Los 
Angeles and one in Santa Barbara. This bat- 
talion did service against the Indians in Arizona. 
Camp Latham was established at Ballona in 
1861, and the Fourth California Infantry was 
stationed there for a time. Camp Dunn was es- 
tablished at Wilmington in 1862. .\I1 [he sup- 
plies for the soldiers in .Arizona, Now Mcxim 
and LUah passed through Wilmington. .\ small 
force was kept at Camp Dunn during the war. 
.■\t one time a squad of soldiers was stationed at 
Los Angeles to keep the secessionists in check. 

The gYeat drought of 1863 and 1864 sealed the 
dnnm of cattle raising as the distinctive industry 




of Los Angeles. The plentiful rainfalls of 1865- 
66 gave abundant feed, but the ranchos were 
thinly stocked and their owners were in no con- 
dition financially to add to their depleted herds. 
It was evident that the dynasty of the cattle 
kings was ended. Hereafter there must be new 
industries, new methods, new men, if the coun- 
try would thrive. 


In 1868, what was known as the Stearns' 
ranchos, an immense body of land, containing 
about 150,000 acres, and lying between the San 
Gabriel and Santa Ana rivers, was sold to a 
syndicate of San Francisco capitalists. This 
tract contained the original ranchos of Los Coy- 
otes, La Habra, San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana, 
Las Bolsas y Paredes, La Bolsa Chica, and part 
of the Alamitos. It was divided into sections 
and subdivisions of sections in 1868, and 
put on sale in tracts of forty ncres and upward. 
Immigration began to drift southward in 1868 
and 1869 and a number of settlers purchased 
farms in the Stearns' ranchos and in others that 
had been divided or partially divided, and began 
raising grain. The soil was rich and the yield 
was enormous. As yet but little attention had 
been paid to fruit culture. The decade closed 
with the agricultural transformation of the 
county fairly begun. 

THE THIRD DECADE— 1870-1880. 


The third decade of American supremacy in 
Southern California was an era of railroad build- 
ing and colony founding. The first railroad line 
constructed in the county extended from Los 
.Vngeles city to Wilmington. It was completed 
October 26, 1869. The legislature, in 1868, 
l)assed bills authorizing the board of supervisors 
of the county to subscribe $150,000 to the capital 
stock of a railroad between Los Angeles and 
Wilmington, and the mayor and common coun- 
cil to subscribe $75,000 to the same object. An 
election was held and the bonds carried. Ground 
was broken at Wilmington, March 19, 1868, and 
the road pushed to completion. Freights and 
fare were high. It cost $6 to get a ton of freight 
from anchorage to Los Angeles. It cost a pas- 
senger a dollar and a half from the steamer on 
one of I'.anning's tugs to Wilmington and a dol- 
lar more on the railroad to reach the city. Yet 
nobody complainetl and the people clamored for 
more railroads. The Southern Pacific was build- 
ing a trans-continental line southeastward and 
there was a chance for Los Angeles on a 
through line. After considerable negotiation be- 

tween a committee of the people of Los Angeles 
and the directors of the Southern Pacific Rail- 
road, the Southern Pacific people proposed to 
build fifty miles of their main trunk line through 
Los Angeles county, twenty-five miles north 
from the city and twenty-five east, on condition 
that the people vote a subsidy to the company 
of five per cent of the taxable property of the 
county. The Los Angeles and San Pedro Rail- 
road, valued at $225,000, was to be part of the 

An election was called, November 5, 1872, and 
the proposition accepted by the people. The 
total consideration, bonds and lands, given the 
railroad, amounted to $610,000. To appease the 
people of the southeastern part of the county and 
secure their votes for the bonds, the railroad 
company agreed to build a branch road to Ana- 
heim, twenty-seven miles. Work on the road 
was pushed vigorously and trains to San Fer- 
nando, the northern end, and to Spadra, the east- 
ern end, were run .'Vpril 24, 1874. The great 
tunnel, 6,964 feet long, under a spur of the San 
Fernando mountains, twenty-seven miles north 
of Los Angeles, delayed the early completion 
of the road. On the 6th of September, 1876, 
the northern and southern ends of the road 
were united at Soledad Station, in a caiion of that 
name ; the golden spike was driven with a ham- 
mer of silver, and a train bearing the dignitaries 
of the company and invited guests passed over 
the road from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 
A grand bancjuet was held in Union hall, fol- 
lowed by a grand ball, which lasted till morning, 
when the San Franciscans returned to their 
home city on the first through train over the 
road from the Los Angeles end. The road was 
pushed on eastward, and in 1882 was completed 
to El Paso, where it united with the eastern end 
and Los. Angeles had a trans-continental road. 
. The Anaheim branch was coiupleted to that 
town January 17, 1875. 

The Los Angeles and Independence Rail- 
Ko.M) Company was incorporated in January, 
T875. The purpose of the company was to build a 
railroad beginning at Santa Monica and pass- 
ing through Los .\ngeles and San Bernardino 
and froiu there by way of the Cajon Pass to 
Independence, Inyo county. Work was begun 
at once and the first train between Los Angeles 
and Santa Monica passed over the road Decem- 
ber I, 1875. A long wharf was built at Santa 
Monica and ocean steamers slopped there for 
passengers and freight. The financial panic of 
1875 and the dry years that followed put an 
end to the extension of the road. In 1878 it was 
sold to the Southern Pacific Company, and that 
coiupany pulled down the wharf because it did 
not pay to maintain two shipping points. 




Among the earliest colony projects of this 
decade was the San Tasqual plantation scheme. 
Its prospectus was published in the city papers 
during April and May, 1870. The advertise- 
ments stated that "The tract of land selected is 
a portion of the San Pasqual ranch in Los An- 
geles county, comprising 1,750 acres of the finest 
quality. A ditch which forms the northern 
boundary of the tract, at a cost of $10,000, has 
also been purchased. The ditch furnishes in 
the driest seasons sufficient water to irrigate 
the entire tract. It is proposed to cultivate this 
land with oranges, lemons, olives, nuts, raisins, 
grapes, etc., and to conunencc at once. For 
this purpose the above company has been 
formed, with a capital of $200,000, divided into 
4,000 shares of $50 each. Payments to be made 
in regular and easy installments as follows : 
$10 per share at date of subscription and $5 
each year afterward till the whole amount is 
paid. All money to be used in paying for the 
land and cultivating the same." When the trees 
and vines should come into bearing it was pro- 
posed to divide the lands among the colonists 
on the plan that the Anaheim colony lands were 
divided among the shareholders in 1859. The 
projectors of the scheme were San Francisco 
and Los Angeles capitalists. Subscription 
books were opened at the office of R. M. Wid- 
ney in the Ilelhnan Bank building. Stock in 
the company did not go of? like the proverbial 
hot cakes. The scheme was a failure. Citrus 
fruit culture then was in its infancy, and a very 
young infant at that. The few orange orchards 
in the county were on the sandy land of the 
river bottom. The scheme of growing oranges 
on the gravelly lands of the San Pasqual was 
laughed to scorn by the wise oldxtimers who 
knew it all. 

The most successful colony scheme of the 
'70s was the Indiana Colony of California. It 
had its inception in Ind'anapolis, Ind., in the 
winter of 1872-73. Dr. T. B. Elliott was the 
originator of the scheme, and he, D. M. Berry, 
J. H. Baker and Calvin Fletcher, its most active 
]jromoters. The committee sent out to view 
tlie land decided the San Pasqual rancho was 
the best location ofTere<l. An incorporation was 
effected under the name of the San Gabriel 
Orange Grove Association. The capital stock 
was fi.xed at $25,000, divided into 100 shares of 
$250 each. In December, 1873, the associa- 
tion purchased Dr. J. S. Griffin's interest in the 
San Pasqual ranclio, consisting of about 4,000 
acres; 1,500 acres of the choicest land in the 
tract were subdivided into lots varying in size 
from fifteen to sixtv acres. 

January 27, 1874, the lands were distributed 
on the basis of fifteen acres to a share of stock, 
and the colonists who were on the ground im- 
mediately set to work planting their lands in 
oranges, raising grapes and deciduous fruits. 
"It is a singular fact," says Mrs. Jeanne C. Carr, 
"that there was not a professional and hardly 
a iiractical horticulturist or farmer among them." 
Nevertheless they made a success of fruit cul- 
ture and demonstrated the fact that oranges 
could be grown on the mesa lands. April 22, 
1875, the settlement ceased to be the Indiana 
Colony and officially became Pasadena. To Dr. 
T. B. Elliott, the originator of the California 
Colony scheme, belongs the credit of conferring 
on Pasadena its euphonious name. The word is 
of Indian origin, Chippewa dialect, and means 
"Crown of the Valley." 

So rapidly were the Indiana Colony lands 
absorbed by settlers that in four years after 
their purchase only a few small tracts remained 
unsold. In 1876, B. D. Wilson threw on the 
market about 2,500 acres lying eastward of 
h'air C)aks avenue. This was the Lake \'ine- 
yard Land and Water Company tract. The set- 
tlers on this tract were known as "east siders." 
while the original colonists were the "west 
siders," Fair Oaks avenue being the division 
line. A postoffice had been established March 
15, 1875, but had been discontinued in Decem- 
ber of that year because no one cared to serve 
as postmaster at a salary of a dollar a month. 
September 21, 1876, L. D. HoUingsworth, who 
had erected a building and opened a store near 
the corner of Fair Oaks avenue and Colora<lo 
street, secured the re-establishment of the ]iost- 
olfice, and the office was kept in his store. Thus 
was the germ of the city of Pasadena planted, 
but it took it nearly a decade to germinate. At 
the beginning of the fourth decade (1880) the 
"town consisted of a store and postoffice build- 
ing, a blacksmith shop, a meat market and a 
sclioolhousc at the crossroads near the center 
of the settlement." The history of the city of 
Pasadena and a record of its wonderful growth 
belong in the fourth decade. 

PoMON.A is a child of the colony era. While 
not incorporated as a colony, like Pasadena, it 
owes its origin to a co-operative colony-promo- 
ting association. Early in 1875, Louis Phillips 
sold to P. C. Tonner, Cyrus Burdick and I'ran- 
cisco Palomeres 2,700 acres of the \'ejar iiorlion 
of the San Jose rancho. Tonner and his asso- 
ciates sold their ]nirchase, shortly after tlu-x 
made it, to the Los Angeles Immigration and 
Land Co-operative .Association. This associa- 
tion was incorporated December 10, 1874, with 
a capital stock of $250,000, divided into 2.500 
shares, at a par value of $100 per share. Its 


officers were: Thomas A. Garey, president; C. 
E. While, vice-president ; L. M. Holt, secretary ; 
Milton Thomas, manager; R. M. Town, assist- 
ant manager, and H. G. Crow, treasurer. Its 
principal object was the subdivision of large 
land holdings and the placing of these on the 
market in small tracts for settlement. The asso- 
ciation surveyed and subdivided 2,500 acres of 
its purchase. The town of Pomona, located 
near the center of the tract, was platted and 640 
acres adjoining the town site was subdivided 
into five-acre lots. The remainder of the 2,500 
acres was cut up into forty-acre tracts. In No- 
vember, 1875, the town had a hotel, a drug store, 
a dry goeds store, two groceries, a meat market 
and eight or ten dwelling houses. February 22, 
23 and 24, 1876, a great auction sale of land and 
town lots was held on the town site. The first 
day's sale realized $19,000, which was a big- 
thing in those days. The farm land brought an 
average of $64 per acre. A nundjer of artesian 
wells had been sunk and a reservoir holding- 
two and a half million gallons of water con- 
.'tructed. The Southern Pacific Railroad, which, 
in conformity with the requirements of the sub- 
sidy granted by the county in 1873, had been 
built eastward twenty-five miles to Spadra, was 
extended to Pomona and that town became the 
railroad shipping point for Riverside, another 
colony of the early '70s. Pomona seemed to be 
on the high road to prosperity, but disaster 
struck it. First the dry season of 1876-77 dem- 
onstrated the need of a more abundant water 
supply, and ne.xt a disastrous fire on the night 
of July 30, 1877, swept away nearly all of the 
town. These disasters checked the growth of 
the town and settlement. In 1880 the popula- 
tion of the town was only 130. The next 
decade saw a wonderful growth in the town and 
country around. 

Sant.x Monica was another town that was 
founded in this decade. Early in 1875, Senator 
J. P. Jones, of Nevada, and Col. R. S. Baker 
subdivided a portion of the Rancho San Vicente, 
lying on the mesa adjoining the bay of Santa 
Monica. The town was named after the bay. 
July 16, 1875, a great sale of lots was held at 
the town site. An excursion steamer came down 
from San Francisco, loaded with lot buyers, 
and the people of Los Angeles rallied in great 
numbers to the site of the "Zenith City by the 
Sunset Sea," as the silver-tongued orator of the 
Pacific slope, Tom Fitch, named it. Lots on 
the barren mesa sold at prices ranging from 
$100 to $500. The town's growth was rapid. 
In less than nine months after its founding it 
had 160 houses and 1,000 inhabitants. The 
Los Angeles & Independence Railroad had been 
completed to Los .'Xngclcs. A wharf had been 

built and Santa Monica was becoming a ship- 
ping point of great importance. Then a financial 
blight struck the fortunes of Senator Jones. 
The railroad was sold to the Southern Pacific 
Railroad ; the wharf was pulled down, and the 
town fell into a decline. In 1880 it and its sub- 
urb. South Santa Monica, had only 350 inhab- 

The decade that had been ushered in with 
a boom closed in gloom. The bank fail- 
ures of 1875-76 brought on a monetary crisis. 
The total failure of the Temple & Work- 
man Bank swept away the fortunes of many. 
The dry years of 1876-77 supplemented the bank 
disasters by killing the sheep industry that to 
a certain extent had taken the place of the cattle 
industry of the previous decade. The railroad to 
San hrancisco had not proved a blessing. 
Freighl charges were high and the price of grain 
low. It look about all the farmer received for 
his grain crop to pay freight, warehouse and 
commission charges. Indeed, he was lucky if 
after his crop was sold he did not have to borrow 
money to pay a deficit — mortgage his farni for 
the privilege of farming it. San Francisco was 
his only market. It was evident that the South- 
ern California farmer, with a market 500 miles 
away, could not compete with the grain growers 
of the central part of the state, with a market 
at their doors. Grain growing in the third 
decade of American occupation had been but 
little less disastrous than cattle raising in the 
second. What could the people do? 


The third decade had set in gloom. No 
roseate hues irradiated the rise of the fourth. 
The season of. 1S80-81 was one of the dreaded 
dry years. The total rainfall was only 5.32 
inches. Crops were a partial failure. There 
were, however, no such harrowing sights as 
were seen in the famine years. There were no 
cattle on a thousand hills, no sheep in the val- 
leys, starving to death. The flocks and the herds 
had disappeared. The more provident husband- 
men who now possessed the ranchos, once the 
domain of the cattle kings and their retainers, 
were able to provide sustenance for their stock, 
though the former and the latter rains came 
not. Irrigation had been made to rectify the 
shortcomings of nature, and works had taken 
the place of faith in novenas.* 

The next season showed a decided improve- 
n-ient. Crops were fair and prices good. The 

*.A term of nine days set apart for prayers, fre- 
quently resorted to during dry years in the Spanish 
and Mexican eras. 


Soiitliern Pacific Railroad, pushing eastward, 
had opened a market for Southern Cahfornia 
products in the mining regions of Arizona. Tlie 
completion of the road in 1882 gave Los Angeles 
a trans-continental route, and immigration 
began to drift in — slowly and cautiously at first 
— then with more confidence and in larger vol- 
ume. The mortgaged farmers took the first 
opportunity to unload on the newcomers and 
chuckled over their success. lUit when they 
began to look around for reinvestment they 
found there had been a sudden rise in the finan- 
cial temperature. The newcomers brought 
money with them to develop their purchases 
and the wheels of industry began to go round. 
The seasons continued good, that of 1884 being 
a flood year. Rumors came of a railroad on the 
thirty-fifth parallel, building westward— rumors 
that later became a certainty. 


In 1S85 the Santa Fe system leased the right 
to run trains over the Southern Pacific road from 
Deming to Los Angeles. Later on it obtained 
an interest in the Atlantic & Pacific road be- 
tween Albuquerque and Barstow. From Rar- 
stow it constructed the Southern California Rail- 
road through the Cajoii Pass to San Bernardino, 
and thence westward to Mud Springs, where "it 
united with the San Gabriel Valley road, which 
it had absorbed. The completion of this road 
gave Southern California two complete trans- 
continental lines, and then the boom was on in 
earnest. It had begun in 1886 and gathered 
volume as it progressed. There had been a 
steady advance in the values of real estate from 
i8iS2, when the upward movement began, to 
i88Ci, but no inflation. Additions and subdivi- 
sions had been made in the older cities and 
towns, but no new towns created. Early in 1887 
town-making I)egan and it went with a rush, a 
boom when once begun. As the Southern Cali- 
fornia Railway approached completion, town- 
making seemed to become ei)idemic. Within 
the first six months of 1887, between the eastern 
limits of Los Angeles city and the western line 
of San Bernardino county, a distance, by way of 
the Southern California Railway, of thirty-six 
miles, there were twenty-five cities and towns 
located — an average of one to every mile and 
a half of the road. On the Southern Pacific 
there were eight and thrown in between the 
l)arallel railroads there were three more — mak- 
ing a grand total of thirty-six cities and towns 
in the San Gabriel valley. Tiie only limit to 
the greatness of a city was the lioumlary lines 
of the adjoining cities. 

Other parts of the county were keeping i)ace 
with the San Gabriel vallex in town-making 

Up on the mountains, down in the desert, and 
out on the arid mesa, town sites were located and 
town lots sold. What was to support these 
towns, the lot purchaser did not stop to con- 
sider. He hoped to find an easier dupe than 
himself, and sell at an advance. The more inac- 
cessible a town, the better the lots in it seemeij 
to sell. Romberg's twin cities, Manchester and 
Border City, were located on the steep sides 
of the Sierra Madre mountains, overlooking the 
Mojave desert. The sites of the twin cities 
could be seen through a field glass on a clear 
day, and the easiest way to reach them was l)y 
a balloon. Yet Flomberg sold about all of the 
4,000 lots that he carved out of two quarter 
sections of government land, and realized about 
$50,000 by the operation. Chicago Park was 
located in the wash of the San Gabriel river, 
where the rocks were so thick that it was im- 
possible to drive a corner stake, yet its 2,300 
lots changed hands. Santiago, with its 2,000 
lots, was out on a \\aterless desert, where even 
the coyotes had to carry canteens when they 
crossed it. Yet fojls rushed in w-here coyotes 
feared to tread, and — bought lots. 

And yet the boom was not all bilk. There 
was legitimate speculation and there were honest 
real-estate agents. The fellows who blew the 
bubble to its greatest inflation were professional 
boomers, who had learned the tricks of their 
trade in the I)oom cities of the w^est. They came 
here not to build up the country, but to make 
money — honestly if they could make it no other 
way. It is needless to say they made it the other 

The magnitude of our great real-estate boom 
can be more accurately measured bv a monev 
standard than any other. The total considera- 
tion named in the instruments filed for recortl 
with the county recorder in 1887 reached the 
enormous sum of $98,084,162. Yet this does 
not tell half the story. Thousands of agreements 
and contracts of sale were never recordeil. Cnn- 
tracts were often transferred anywhere from one 
to half a dozen times as the property was resold, 
but when the deed was given the consideration 
named would be that of the first sale, although 
the last might be a hundred or a thousand i)er 
cent above the first. It is safe to say that the 
total consideration of all the sales made in 1887 
in Los Angeles county alone reached $2(X).ooo,- 

The great booms of fornu'r times jiale into 
insignificance when comjiared with ours. The 
capital slock of John Law's National P.ank of 
I'"rance, with his Mississippi grants thrown in, 
only figured up about $15,000.000 — a sum equal 
to our real-estate transfer for one month, yet the 
bursting of the Mississippi bubble very nearly 



bankrupted the Frencli empire. The capital in- 
vested in the Darien colonization scheme, which 
bankrupted Scotland and came near plunging- 
all Europe into war, was only 220,000 pounds 
sterling, a stmi about equal to our real-estate 
transfers for one day. We ought to feel proud 
of our boom. 

The collapse began in the fall of 1887. Specu- 
lators had loaded up for the eastern dupes who 
were reported coming by thousands to the land 
of promise. The dupes did not come in great 
numbers and the visitors who came refused to 
be duped. Then the real-estate craze began to 
subside. Those who had loaded for profit tried 
to unload at cost. Some refused to believe the 
boom was over, and held on till their burthens 
crushed them. Others let go at once and saved 
something out of the crash that followed. Dur- 
ing 1888, the adjusting process was going on. 
Huilding was active and people still hopeful. 
In 1889 the outlook was gloomy. Even the 
most sanguine began to realize that the boom 
was over. The contraction in values was even 
more rapid than had been the expansion. Choice 
business lots and the s^tes of palace hotels in 
the new cities, that had been valued by the front 
foot, were now offered by the acre, and there 
were no takers. The fourth decade, like the 
third, closed in gloom. 

THE FIFTH DECADE— 1890-1900. 

The financial depression in which the fourth 
decade closed did not last long. The energy and 
the push that had been evolved during the boom 
had received a momentary check, but they were 
not dead. There was no time to indulge in whin- 
ing or repining. Adversity had followed closely 
on the heels of prosperity and the necessity for 
bread and butter was more pressing than the 
need of new towns. The millionaire of a boom 
metropolis, when the doom of his phantom city 
had been pronounced, looked out upon a ghostly 
array of white stakes, often the only visible evi- 
dence of the city that was to be. If his city was 
not hopelessly buried under a mortgage, he 
plowed under business streets and the sites of 
tourist hotels and planted them with fruit trees 
or sowed them in grain. 

The professional boomers — the fellows of the 
baser sort — when the collapse came, betook 
themselves to pastures new. Retributive jus- 
tice overtook a few of them and they did en- 
forced service to the country in striped uniforms. 
When the county at large, in 1890, took an in- 
ventory to ascertain the profit or loss of the 
previous decade, there was a good showing of 
assets on the credit side. Los Angeles city had 
increased its population from 11,150 to 50,395 

in ten years, and its assessed wealth from six 
to fifty million dollars. Pasadena, from a cross- 
roads grocery, had grown to a city of 5,000 in- 
habitants, with its banks, daily newspapers and 
palatial business blocks. Pomona, from 130 
people in 1880, had increased to 3,634 in 1890. 
The county at large had raised the number of 
its people from 33,881 in 1880 to 101,454 in 1890, 
with 13.589 taken off to form Orange county. 
Its wealth had increased from $18,000,000 to 

As Pasadena had soared highest in the balloon 
of inflation, when the drop came she struck bot- 
tom the hardest. iHer orange groves, once her 
pride and boast, had been mostly sacrificed on 
the altar of town lots ; and what the boomer had 
left the cottony scale had devastated. But the 
boomer departed or ceased to boom, and the 
cottony scale met its Nemesis in the Australian 
lady-bug. Then tl.e work of rehabilitation 
began ; and it is remarkable what perseverance, 
coupled with energy and intelligence, did in a 
short time. In less than two years Pasadena was 
on the high road to prosperity, and she has kept 
pattering along that road at a rapid rate ever 
since. The reaction throughout the county was 
equally rapid. After the entanglements in real- 
estate titles, that the boom had made, were 
readjusted the people pursued the even tenor 
of their ways, building up the real cities, plant- 
ing orange groves, increasing irrigating facili- 
ties and promoting new schemes for developing 
the country. 

In 1893 c-anie the bank panic, when nearly 
every bank in the county closed its doors, but 
in a few weeks all except two were doing busi- 
ness at the old stands. 

At the beginning of the Spanish war, Los An- 
geles county furnished five companies of the 
Seventh Regiment California Volunteers, three 
from Los Angeles city, one from Pasadena and 
one from Pomona. This regiment, which was 
made up of volunteers from Southern Califor- 
nia, took its departure for San Francisco, May 
5, 1898, amidst the plaudits of an immense mul- 
titude. It remained encamped there until the 
close of the war, when the volunteers were dis- 
charged. Company D, California Light Artil- 
lery, made up of volunteers from the southern 
counties, was sent to Manila and saw consider- 
able active service. 

The most prominent event of the closing years 
of the fifth decade was the free harbor fight, 
a contest in which the Southern Pacific Railroad 
and a few of its local auxiliaries were arrayed 
against the people of the county in regard to 
the location of a harbor. The Southern Pacific 
Company, in 1891. had built a long wharf in 
the bay of Santa Monica at Port Los Angeles. 



When the question of a free harbor came up, 
Colhs P. Huntifigton, then the president of the 
road, used all liis powerful influence in congress 
to secure an appropriation for a harbor at Port 
Los Angeles. As this would be virtually con- 
trolled by him and would defeat an appropria- 
tion for a harbor at San Pedro, the people, with 
a few exceptions, opposed his scheme. The fight 
was a protracted one, but the people won. In 
1898 congress voted an appropriation of $3,900,- 
000 for the construction of breakwaters in the 
bay of San Pedro. The contract for their con- 
struction was let to Heldmaier & Neu, of Chi- 
cago, for $1,303,198.54. The Free Harbor Jubi- 
lee, which was celebrated at San Pedro, April 
27, and at Los Angeles April 28 and 29, 1899, 
was one of the great events of the decade. On 
that occasion the first boatload of rock from the 
Catalina quarries was dumped on the site of the 
breakwater. Misfortune overtook the con- 
tractors. Neu was killed in a runaway at Los 
Angeles before work was begun, and Held- 
maier failing to push the work, his contract was 
cancelled by the government. May 14, 1900, 
a contract was let to the California Construction 
Company, of San Francisco, for $2,375,546.05, 
over a million dollars above the former con- 

The three dry vears with which the decade 

and the century closed were not accompanied by 
the disasters which overtook the county in for- 
mer years of drought. Except in a few locali- 
ties, the people thrived and prospered, and tlie 
county increased in population during the 
decade 70,000. 





Founded. Population. 

Alhambra 1SS4 808 

Avalon 1887 178 

Azusa 1887 863 

liurbank 1887 366 

Clarejuont 1887 ISO 

Covina 1887 255 

Compton 1809 636 

Downey 1873 700 

El Monte 1853 266 

Glendale 1883 200 

Glcndora 1SS7 492 

Hollywood 1887 200 

Inglewood 1887 200 

Irvindale 1894 141 

Lordsburg 1887 500 

Long Beach 1884 2.252 

Los Angeles 1781 102,479 

Monrovia : 1886 1,205 

Pasadena 1875 9,117 

Pomona 1875 5,526 

Norwalk 1873 596 

Newhall 1877 202 

Redondo 1887 855 

San Gabriel 1775 737 

San Fernando 1873 200 

San Pedro 1851 1,787 

Santa Monica 1875 3,057 

South Pasadena 1885 1,001 

Whittier 1887 1,590 

Wilmington 1858 500 

Only towns whose population exceeds one hundred are in- 
cluded in the above list. 





PIFTY years after its founding, Los An- 
geles was like the earth on the murning 
of creation, "without form." It had no 
plat or plan, no map and no official survey of 
its boundaries. The streets were crooked, ir- 
regular and undefined. The houses stood at 
different angles to the streets, and the house 
lots were of all geometrical shapes and forms. 
No man held a written title to his land and pos- 
session was ten parts of the law; indeed, it was 
all the law he had to protect his title. Not to 
use his land was to lose it. 

With the fall of the missions a spasm of terri- 
torial expansion seized upon the colonists. In 
1834, the territorial legislature, by an enactment, 
fixed the boundaries of the pueI)lo of Los An- 
geles at "two leagues to each of the four winds, 
measuring from the center of the plaza." This 
gave the pueblo an area of sixteen square leagues 
or over one hundred square nii!es. Next year 
(1835) Los .Angeles was made the capital of Alta 

California by the Mexican congress and rai-^ed 
to the dignity of a city ; and then its first-<real- 
estate boom was on. There was an increased 
demand for lots and lands, but there were no 
maps or plats to grant by; and no additions or 
subdivisions of the pueblo lands on the market. 
All the unoccupied lands belonged to the munic- 
ipality and when a citizen wanted a house lot 
to build on, he petitioned the ayuntamiento for 
a lot, anil if the piece asked for was vacant he 
was granted a lot, large or small, deep or shal- 
low, on the street or off it, just as it happened. 
With the growth of the town, the confusion 
and irregularity increased. The disputes arising 
from overlapping grants, conflicting property 
lines and indefinite descriptions intluced the 
ayuntamiento of 1836 to appoint a commission 
to investigate anil report upon the manner of 
granting house lots and agricultural lands. The 
commissioners reported "that they had con- 
sulted with several of the founders and with old 
settlers, who declared that from the founding 
of the town the concession of lots and lands 



had been made verbally without any other for- 
mality than locating and measin-ing the extent 
of the land the fortunate one siiould occupy." 

"In order to present a fuller report your com- 
mission obtained an 'Instruction,' signed by Don 
Jose Francisco de Ortega, dated at San Gabriel 
February 2, 1782, and we noted tliat Articles 
3, 4 and 17 of said Instruction provides that con- 
cession of said agricultural lands and house lots 
must be made by the government, which shall 
issue the respective titles to the grantees. Ac- 
cording to the opinion of the city's advisers, said 
"Instruction' or at least the three articles re- 
tired to, have not been observed, as there is 
no property owner who can show a legal title to 
liis property." 

The connnissioners can not do otherwise but 
call attention of the Most Illustrious Ayuntami- 
ento to the evil consequence which may result by 
reason of said abuses and recommend that some 
means may be devised that they may be avoided. 
"God and Liberty." 

Abel Ste.-vrns, 
Cacilio V.\ldez, 
Jose M. Herrera, 


Angeles, March 8, 1836. 

Acting on the report of the connnissioners, 
the ayuntamiento required all holders of prop- 
erty to apply for written titles. But the poco 
ticmpo ways of the pobladores (colonists) could 
not be altogether overcome. We find from the 
records that in 1847 the land of Mrs. Carmen 
Navarro, one of the founders of the town, was 
denounced (filed on) because she could not show 
a written title to it. The ayuntamiento decided 
"that as she had always been allowed to hold it 
lier claim should be respected, because she was 
one of the founders, which makes her entitled 
to a lot on which to live." 

March 17, 1836, "a commission on streets, 
plazas and alleys" was appointed to report a plan 
for repairing "the monstrous irregularity of the 
streets brought about by ceding house lots and 
erecting houses in this pueblo." 

The conmiission reported in favor of "formu- 
lating a plat of the city as it actually exists, on 
which shall be marked the names of tlie streets, 
alleys and plazas ; also, the house lots and com- 
mon lands of the pueblo." But nothing came 
of the report, no plat was made and the ayun- 
tamiento went on in the same old way, granting 
lots of all shapes and forms. 

In March, 1846, another connnission was ap- 
pointed to locate the bounds of the pueblo lands. 
All that was done was to measure two leagues 
"in the direction of the four winds from the plaza 
church" and set stakes to mark the boundarv 

lines. Then came the .American conquest of 
California and the da)S of poco tiempo were 
numbered. In 1847, after the conquest, another 
attempt was made to straighten and narrow the 
streets. A commission was appointed to try to 
bring order out of the chaos into which the 
streets had fallen. The commissioners reported, 
July 22, 1847, ''s follows: "Your commissioners 
could not but be amazed seeing the disorder and 
the manner how the streets run. More particu- 
larly the street which leads to the cemetery, 
whose width is out of proportion to its length ; 
and whose aspect offends the sense of the beauti- 
ful which should prevail in the city. When 
discussing this state of affairs with the syndic 
(city attorney), he informed us that on receiving 
his instructions from the ayuntamiento he was 
ordered to give the streets a width of fifteen 
varas (about 42 feet). This he found to be in con- 
flict witli the statutes. The law referred to is in 
r.iHilx- 4. ChapUr 7, Statute 10 (probably a com- 
pilatinu ijf the "Law of the Indies," two or three 
centuries old and brought from Spain to Mex- 
ico and from there to California). The law reads : 
"In cold countries the streets shall be wide and 
in warm countries narrow ; and when there are 
horses it would be convenient to have wide 
streets for purpose of an occasional defense or to 
widen them in the form above mentioned, care 
being taken that nothing is done to spoil the 
looks of the buildings, weaken the points of de- 
fense or encroach upon the comfort of the peo- 

"The instructions given the syndic by the 
ayuntamiento are absolutely opposed to this 
law and therefore illegal." 

It probably never occurred to the connnission 
to question the wisdom of so senseless a law ; 
it had been a law in Spanish-America for centur- 
ies, and therefore must be venerated for its an- 

A iDlind, unreasoning faith in the wisdom of 
church and state has been the undoing of the 
Spanish people. Apparently the commission did 
nothing more than report. California being a 
warm country, the streets perforce must be nar- 

The same \ear a connnission was appointed 
to "square the plaza." Through carelessness 
some of the houses fronting on the square had 
l)cen allowed to encroach upon it ; others were 
set back so that the boundary lines of the plaza 
zigzagged back and forth like a Virginia rail 
fence. The neighborhood of the plaza was the 
aristocratic residence quarter of the city then, 
and a plaza front was considered high-toned. 
The commissioners found tJie squaring of the 
plaza as difificult a problem as the squaring of 
a circle. After nianv trials and tribulations the 



commissioners succeLcled in overcoming most of 
the irregularities by reducing the area of the 
plaza. The houses that protruded were not torn 
down, but the property lines of the house owners 
moved forward. The north, south and west lines 
each measured 134 varas and the east line 112 
varas after "squaring." 

The ayuntamiento attempted to open a street 
from the plaza north of the church (now West 
Marchessault street), but Pedro Cabrera, who 
had been granted a lot which fell in the line 'of 
the street, refused to give up his plaza front for 
a better lot without that aristocratic appendage 
which the council offered him. Then the city 
authorities offered him as compensation for the 
difference a certain number of days' labor of the 
chain gang (the treasury was in its usual state of 
collapse), but Pedro could not be traded out of a 
plaza front and thus sidetracked in his social 
status, so the street took a twist around Pedro's 
lot, a twist that fifty years has not straightened 
out. The irregularities in granting portions of 
the unapportioned city lands still continued and 
the confusion of titles increased. 

In May, 1849, the territorial governor, Gen. 
Bennet Riley, sent a request to the ayuntamiento 
for a city map and information in regard to the 
manner of granting city lots. The ayuntamiento 
replied that there was no map of the city in 
existence and no surveyor here wdio could make 
cne. The governor was asked to send a sur- 
veyor to make a plan or plat of the city. He was 
also informed that in making land grants within 
"the perimeter of two leagues square" the city 
acted in the belief that it is entitled to that much 
land as a pueblo. 

Lieut. E. O. C. Ord of the United States Army 
was sent down by the governor to plat the city. 
July 18, 1849, ^1*^ submitted two propositions to 
the ayuntamiento : "He would make a map of 
the city, marking boundary lines and points of 
the municipal lands for $1,500 coin, ten lots se- 
lected from among the defined lots on the map 
and vacant lands to the extent of 1,000 varas to 
be selected in sections of 200 varas wherever 
he may choose it ; or he would make a map for 
$3,000 in coin." 

The ayuntamiento chose the last proposition — 
the president prophetically remarking that the 
time might come in the future when the land 
alone might be worth $3,000. The money to 
pay for the survey was borrowed from Juan 
Temple at the rate of one per cent per month 
and lots pledged as security for payment. 

The ayuntamiento also decided that there 
should be embodied in the map a plan of all the 
lands actually under cultivation from the princi- 
pal dam down to tlic last cultivated field below. 
'As to the lots that should be shown on the map 

they should begin at the cemetery (Calvary) and 
end with the house of Botiller (near Twelfth 
street). As to the commonalty lands of this city 
the surveyor should determine the four points 
of the compass, and, taking the parish church for 
a center, measure two leagues in each cardinal 
direction. These lines will bisect the four sides 
of a square within which the lands of the mu- 
nicipality will be contained, the area of the same 
being sixteen square leagues and each side of the 
square measuring four leagues.* The United 
States claims commission rejected the city's 
claim to sixteen square leagues, and in 1856 
confirmed its title to four square leagues, the di- 
mensions of the old pueblo under the rule of 

Lieut. Ord, assisted by William R. Hutton, 
completed his Plan de la Ciudad de Los An- 
geles, August 29, 1849. He divided into blocks 
all that portion of the city bounded north by 
First street and the base of the first line of hills, 
east by i\Iain street, south by Twelfth street and 
west by Figueroa street ; and into lots all of the 
above to Eighth street ; also into lots and blocks 
that portion of the city north of Short street to 
College street and west of Upper Main (now San 
Fernando) street to the base of the hills. On the 
"plan" the lands between Main street and the 
river are designated as "plough grounds, gar- 
dens, corn and vine lands." The streets in the 
older portion of the city are marked on the map, 
but not named. The blocks, except the tier be- 
tween First and Second streets, are each 600 feet 
in length and are divided into ten lots, each 120 
feet front by 165 feet deep. 

Ord took his compass course for the line of 
Main street, south 24° 43' west from the corner 
opposite Jose Antonio Carrillo's house, which 
stood where the Pico house now stands. On his 
map Main, Spring and I'^ort (now Broadway) 
streets ran in parallel straight lines southerly 
to Twelfth street. Travel, regardless of street 
surveys, persisted in keeping on the mesa and 
thus Main street, the principal thoroughfare to 
the south, was made to bend to the westward 
below Fifth, cutting off the lower ends of Spring 
and Fort streets. 

The names of the streets on Ord's plan are 
given in both Spanish and English. Beginning 
with Main street they are as follows : Calle Prin- 
cipal, Main street ; Calle Primavcra. Spring 
street (named for the season, spring) ; Calle For- 
tin. Fort street (so named because the street ex- 
tended northward would pass through the old 
fort on the hill); Calle Loma, Hill street; Calle 
.\ccytuna, Olive street ; Calle de Caridad, Street 
of Charity (now Grand avenue) ; Calle de La 

♦City archive 



Espranza, the Street of Hope ; Calle de Las 
Flores, the Street of Flowers ; Calle de Los 
Chapules, the Street of Grasshoppers (now South 
Figueroa street). Above the plaza church, the 
north and south streets, were the Calle de Eter- 
nidad, Eternity street (so named because it had 
neither beginning or end, or rather because each 
end terminated in steep hills). Calle del Toro, 
Bull street (so named because the upper end of 
the street terminated at the Corrida de Toro, the 
bull ring, where bull fights were held; it is now 
Castelar street) ; Calle de Las Avispas, Street of 
Hornets, or Wasps ; Calle de Los Adobes, Adobe 
street. The east and west streets were : Calle 
Corta, Short street ; Calle Alta, High street ; 
Calle de Las Virgines, Street of Virgins, and 
Calle del Colegio, College street. This street, so 
named because the ayuntamiento had given the 
Catholic Church a grant of a tract of land for a 
college, is the oidy street north of the plaza that 
retains its original name. 

Spring street was known as Calle de Caridad 
(Street of Charity) at the time of the American 
conquest. The town then was centered around 
the plaza and the present Spring street was well 
out in the suburbs. Its inhabitants were of the 
poorer classes, who were largely dependent on 
the charity of their wealthier neighbors around 
the plaza ; hence the name, Calle de Caridad. 
North Spring is part of an old road made a cen- 
tury ago. It led around the base of the hills 
out to the brea beds, where the inhabitants ob- 
tained the crude asphaltum used for roofing. Ord 
evidently transferred Spring street's original 
name. La Caridad, to one of his western streets 
which was a portion of the old road. 

Main street, from its junction with Spring 
south, in 1846 was known as Calle de La Alle- 
gria. Junction street. Los Angeles street was 
the Calle Principal. Whether the name had 
been transferred to the present Main streetbefore 
Ord's survey I have not been able to ascertain. 
In the early years of the century Los Angeles 
street was known as Calle de La Zanja, Ditch 
street. Later on it was sometimes called Calle 
de Los Vinas, Street of Vineyards ; and with its 
continuation Calle de Los Huertos, Street of 
Orchards (now San Pedro), formed the principal 
highway southward to the Embarcedaro of San 

Ord's survey or plan left some of the houses, 
in the old parts of the city, in the middle of the 
streets and others were cut ofT from street front- 
age. The city council labored long and ardu- 
ously to satisfy complainants and to satisfac- 
torily adjust property lines to the new plan of the 
city. Finally in 1854, an ordinance was passed 
allowing property owners with no street outlet 
to claim frontage to the streets nearest their 

houses. Gradually the city took the form that 
Ord had planned, and the "monstrous irregular- 
ity" that had amazed the old regidores disap- 
peared, but the streets widened instead of nar- 
rowing, as they should have done to accord 
with the Spanish street laws. 


Although the decree of the Mexican congress 
making Los Angeles a city was published in 
California in 1836, ten years later, when the 
Americans took possession of it, it was still 
known as El Pueblo, the town. Only in official 
records and communications did it rise to the 
dignity of a ciudad (city). American writers of 
the decade previous to the conquest all refer to 
it as the "pueblo;" and one of them, Hastings, 
who came to California overland in 1843, 3"<^' 
wrote a book describing the country and telling 
how to get there, seems not to have heard its real 
name, but calls it "Poabola, below;" and San 
Jose "Poabola, above." The act incorporating it 
as a city of the American regime was passed by 
the legislature April 4, 1850. Its area, according 
to that act, was four miles. Why the "legisla- 
ture of a thousand drinks" pared down its do- 
main of four square leagues that for seventy 
years, under monarchy, empire and republic, it 
had possessed without dispute, does not appear 
in the act nor in the city records. 

As the members of that legislature were 
mostly "tenderfeet," recently the "plains across," 
they may not have known the difference between 
an English mile and a Spanish ligua (league), 
but the most charitable conclusion is, that they 
deemed four square miles area enough for a city 
of sixteen hundred people. Why incorporate 
chaparral-covered hills and mustard-grown me- 
sas, inhabited by coyotes, jack rabbits and 
ground squirrels? So they made it a mile each 
way from the plaza; and the city of Los An- 
geles half a century ago ended at Fifth street 
on the south ; on the north at the Catholic ceme- 
tery ; its eastern boundary just included the river 
and its western was hopelessly lost in the hills. 
No one on that side knew just where the city 
ended and the country began, and nobody cared, 
for the land was considered worthless. 

Two difTerent nations by legislative decree 
had raised Los Angeles to the dignity of a city. 
And yet it was not much of a city after all. With- 
in its bounds there was not a graded street, a 
sidewalk, a street lamp, a water pipe or a public 
building of any kind belonging to the munici- 

The first city election under its American in- 
corporation was held July i, 1850. The officers 
elected were : A. P. Hodges, mayor (who also 
held the office of county coroner) ; Francisco 



Figueroa, treasurer; A. F. Coronel, city asses- 
sor (also county assessor) ; Samuel Whiting, city 
marshal (also county jailer). 

The first common council met July 3, 1850, 
and the first record of its doings reads : "Messrs. 
David W. Alexander, Alexander Bell, Manuel 
Requena, Juan Temple, Morris L. Goodman, 
Cristobal Aquilar and Julian Chavez took the 
oath of office in conformity with Section 3, Arti- 
cle XI, of the state constitution, before Jona- 
than R. Scott (justice of the peace), and entered 
upon the discharge of their duties as members 
of the common council of this city, to which 
oftke they had been elected by the people on the 
first day of this month." David W. Alexander 
was elected president and Vicente del Campo 
secretary. The members had been sworn to 
support the constitution of the state of Califor- 
nia, and yet there was no state. California had 
not been admitted as a state of the Union. It 
had taken upon itself the functions of a state. 
The legislature had made counties and cities 
and provided for their organization and govern- 
ment, and a governor elected by the people had 
approved the acts of the k'g;islalure. The state 
government was a political nondescript. It had 
sloughed ofif its territorial condition, but it could 
not become a state until congress admitted it 
into the Union and the slave-holding faction of 
that body, headed by Jeff'erson Davis, would not 
let it in. 

The first common council of the city was patri- 
otic and self-denying. The first resolution passed 
was as follows : "It having been observed that in 
other places the council members were drawing 
a salary, it was unanimously resolved that the 
members of this council shall receive neither 
salary nor fees of whatsoever nature for dis- 
charging their duties as snch." But some of them 
wearied of serving an ungrateful public and tak- 
ing their pay in honor. Before sixty days had 
passed two had resigned, and at the end of the 
year only two of the original memlicrs, David 
W. Alexander and Manuel Rcqucna, were left. 
There had been six resignations in eight months ; 
and the first council had thirteen different mem- 
bers during its short existence. 

The process of Americanizing (he people was 
no easy undertaking. The population of the city 
and the laws were in a chaotic condition. It 
was no easy task that these municipal legislators 
entered upon, that of evolving order out of the 
chaos left by the change of nations. The native 
population neither understood the language nor 
the customs of their new rulers, and the new- 
comers among the Americans had very little tol- 
eration for the Mexican ways and methods they 
found prevailing in the cily. To keep jicacc be- 
tween Ihc f.iclions rcciuired more tact than 

knowledge of law in the legislator. Fortunately 
the first council was made up of level-headed 

What to do with the Indian was the burning 
issue of that day, not with the wild ones that stole 
the rancheros' horses and cattle. For them when 
caught there was but one penalty for their of- 
fense, death. 

It was the tame Indians, the Christianized ne- 
ophytes of the missions, that worried the city fa- 
thers. The Mission Indians constituted the labor 
element of the city and country. When sober 
they were harmless, but in their drunken orgies 
they became veritable fiends, and the usual re- 
sult of their Saturday night revels was a dead 
Indian or two on Sunday morning; and all the 
others, old and young, male and female, were 
dead drunk. 

They were herded in a corral and worked in 
gangs on the streets, but the supply became too 
great for city purposes ; so the council, ^Vugust 
16, T850, passed this ordinance : "When the city 
has no work in which to employ the chain gang, 
the recorder shall, by means of notices conspicu- 
ously posted, notify the public that such and such 
a number of prisoners will be auctioned of¥ to the 
highest bidder for private service ; and in that 
manner they shall be disposed of for a sum 
which shall not be less than the amount of their 
fine for double the time which they were to 
serve at hard labor." It would have been a right- 
eous retribution on the white wretches who suj)- 
plied the Indians with intoxicants if they could 
have been sold into perpetual slavery. 

Evidently auctioning off Indians to the highest 
bidders paid the city quite a reveiuie, for at a 
subsequent meeting of the council "the recorder 
was authorized to pay the Indian alcaldes (chiefs) 
the sum of one real (12} cents) out of every fine 
collected from Indians the said alcaldes may 
bring to the recorder for trial." A month or so 
later the recorder presented a bill for $15, the 
amount of money he had paid the alcaldes out ol 
fines. At the rate of eight Indians to the dollar, 
the alcaldes had evidently gathered up a hundred 
and twenty poor Los. 

Usually poor Lo paid a higher penalty for sin- 
ning than his white brother, but there was one 
city ordinance in which this was reversed. ".\r- 
ticle 14 — For playing cards in the streets regard- 
less of the kin<l of game; likewise for playing 
any other game of the kind as is played in houses 
that are paying a license for the privilege, the of- 
fender shall be fined not less than $10 nor more 
than $25, which shall be paid on the spot ; other- 
wise he shall be sent to the chain gang for ten 
days. If he be an Indian then he shall be fined 
not le^s Ihan $3 nor more than $5 or sent to the 
chain eight davs." .Vt first glance this 



ordinance might seem to have been drafted in the 
interest of morality, but a closer inspection will 
show that it is for revenue only. The gambling 
houses paid a license of $ioo a month. So for 
their benefit the council put a protective tariff 
on all kinds of gambling. 

The whipping post, too, was used as a reforma- 
tory agent to instill lessons of honesty and mor- 
ality into the Indians. One court record reads : 
"Chino Valencea ^,Indian) was fined $50 and 
twenty-five lashes for stealing a pair of shears ; 
the latter fine (the lashes) was paid promptly in 
full ; for the former he stands committed to the 
chain-gang for two months, unless it is sooner 
paid." At the same session of the court a white 
man was fined $30 for selling liquor to the In- 
dians; "fine paid and defendant discharged." 
Drunkenness, immorality and epidemics — civili- 
zation's gifts to the aborigines — finally settled 
the Indian question — settled it by exterminating 
the Indian. 


The post-ofifice at Los Angeles was established 
April 9, 1850, nearly four years after California 
had passed into the possession of the United 
States. J. I'ugh was the first postmaster. There 
had been a mail service in the territory and possi- 
bly a post-ofifice in tlie pueblo under Spanish 
rule. Once a month military couriers picked up 
at presidios, pueblos and missions from San 
Francisco to San Diego, their little budgets of 
mail and carried them down the coast of Lower 
California to Loreto, where the mail was taken 
in sailing vessels across the gulf to San Bias. 
The couriers made the round trip in a month. 
The habilitados (paymaster) acted as postmas- 
ters at the presidios. At the pueblos the alcalde 
or some officer detailed for that purpose acted as 
administrador de correos (postmaster). As but 
few could read or write and there were no news- 
papers taken the revenue of La casa 6 adminis- 
tracion de correos la estafeta (post-ofifice) was 
not large, and it did not require nuich of a \)o- 
litical pull to secure the office of postmaster in 
Los Angeles a century ago. 

Under Mexican rule there was an irregular 
land service, but most of the mail was carried 
by sailing vessels. There was a route by the 
Colorado River and Sonora much shorter than 
the Lower California post road, but the Indians 
had a bad habit of distributing the mail, and the 
mail carriers along the road, and it was used only 
when a military force made the trip. After the 
conquest, in 1847, the military authorities estab- 
lished a regular service between San Francisco 
and San Diego. Soldier-carriers starting from 
each end of the route met at Dana's Ranch, 
half way, and, exchanging mail pouches, each 

then returned to his starting point. It took 
a fortnight for them to go and return. After the 
soldiers were discharged, in the latter part of 
1848, the land service was discontinued and the 
mail was carried up and down the coast between 
San Francisco and San Diego in sailing vessels. 
Wind and weather permitting, a letter might 
reach its destination in a few days ; with the ele- 
ments against it, it might take a month to get 

In 1849, Wilson & Packard, whose store was 
on Main street where the Farmers & Merchants' 
Bank now stands, were the custodians of the let- 
ters received at Los Angeles. A tub stood on 
the end of a counter. Into this the letters were 
dumped. Anyone expecting a letter was at lib- 
erty to sort over the contents of the tub and 
take away his mail. The office was conducted on 
a free delivery system and every man was his 
own postmaster. Col. John O. Wheeler, who 
had clerked for the firm in 1849, bought out the 
business in 1850, and still continued the laundry 
post-ofifice. After the establishment of the post- 
office an officious postal agent from San Fran- 
cisco found fault with the tub post-office and free 
and easy delivery system, and the colonel, who 
had been acconmiodating the public free of 
charge, told the agent to take his postal matter 

The coast mail was carried by steamers after a 
regular line was established in 185 1, but the 
service was not greatly improved. Tlie Lo^ An- 
geles Star of October i, 1853, under the head of 
"Information Wanted," sends forth this doleful 
wail : "Can anybody tell us what has become of 
the United States mail for this section of the 
world? Some four weeks since the mail actually 
arrived here. Since that time two other mails are 
due. The mail rider comes and goes regularly 
enougli, but the mail bags do not. One time he 
says the mail is not landed at San Diego. Another 
time there was so much of it his donkey could 
not bring it and he sent it to San Pedro on the 
steamer 'T. Flunt,' which carried it to San 
Francisco. Thus it goes wandering up and down 
the ocean." According to the Star, one mail was 
fifty-two days in transmission from San Fran- 
cisco to Los Angeles. 

The first regular mail service Los Angeles ob- 
tained was by the Butterfield stage line. This 
was the longest mail stage line ever organized 
and the best managed. Its eastern termini 
were St. Louis and Memphis ; its western term- 
inus San Francisco. Its lenglh was 2,881 miles. 
It began operation in September, 1858, and the 
first stage from the east carrying mail reached 
Los Angeles, October 7, 1858. The first service 
was two mail coaches each way a week, for which 
the government paid the stage company a sub- 



sidy of $600,000 a year. The schedule time be- 
tween San Francisco and St. Louis was twenty- 
four days. The Butterfield route southward from 
San Francisco was by the way of San Jose, Gil- 
roy, Pacheco's Pass, Visalia and Fort Tejon to 
Los Angeles. Eastward from Los Angeles it ran 
by way of El Monte, Temecula and Warner's 
ranch to Yuma. From there it followed about 
the present route of the Southern Pacific Rail- 
road to El Paso ; then northward to St. Louis, 
branching at Fort Smith for Memphis. Los An- 
geles never has had a mail service more prompt 
and reliable. The Star, in lauding it, says : "The 
arrival of the overland mail is as regular as the 
index on the clock points to the hour, as true to 
time as the dial to the sun." The best time that 
it ever made between St. Louis and Los Angeles 
was nineteen days. In 1861 the Confederates at 
the eastern end and the Indians at the western 
destroyed the stations and got away with some 
of the stock. The coaches were transferred to 
the Central Overland route via Omaha and Salt 
Lake City to San Francisco. After the discontin- 
uance of the Butterfield stage line Los Angeles 
got her eastern mail by way of San Francisco, 
and had the old irregularities and delays until the 
railroad was completed in 1876. In 1882 the com- 
pletion of the Southern Pacific Railroad gave 
direct mail service east. 

The first location of the post-office was on Los 
Angeles street, near the plaza. In fifty years it 
has wandered up and down foifr dififerent streets 
from the plaza on the north to Eighth street on 
the south. In June, 1893, it was moved into the 
building erected for it on the corner of Main and 
Winston streets and removed, March, 1901, to 
the corner of Eighth and Spring, while the gov- 
ernment building undergoes the slow process of 

The postmasters in the order of their appoint- 
ment are as follows : J. Pugh, W. T. B. Sanford, 
William B. Osburn, James S. Waite, J. D. 
Woodworth, T. J. White, William G. Still, Fran- 
cisco P. Ramirez, Russell Sackett, George J. 
Clarke, H. K. W. Bent, Isaac R. Dunkelberger, 
John W. Green, E. A. Preuss, J. W. Green, H. 
V. Van Dusen, John R. Mathews and Lewis A. 


The only school of which there is any record 
in the Spanish era of Los Angeles history is one 
taught by Maximo Pefia, an invalid soldier, in 
1817 and 1818. His yearly salary was $140. The 
first school of the Mexican regime mentioned 
in the archives was taught by Luciano Valdez, 
beginning in 1827. His school was kept open 
at varying intervals until the close of 183 1. On 
account of "the lack of improvement in the ptib- 

lic school of the pueblo," the ayuntamiento dis- 
charged him and employed Vicente Morago, who 
had the necessary qualifications for "civilizing 
and morally training the children," * * * "al- 
lowing him $15 monthly, the same as was paid the 
retiring citizen, Luciano Valdez." February 12, 
1833, Morago was appointed secretary of the 
ayuntamiento at $30 per month and resigned his 
position as teacher. Francisco Pontoja was ap- 
pointed preceptor of the pueblo school. He 
taught to January, 1834, when he demanded $20 
per month ; the ayuntamiento, "seeing certain 
negligence and indolence in his manner of ad- 
vancing the children," discharged him and em- 
ployed Cristoval Aquilar at $15 per month. He 
taught a year, and then asked for an increase in 
his salary. "After discussion it was decided that 
his fitness for the position was insufficient." He 
was discliarged. In 1835 Vicente Morago again 
took charge of the school. As he was satisfied 
with $15 per month his fitness was evident. In 
1838 Don Yznacio Coronel taught the school. 
He received $15, and the parents, according to 
their means, paid certain amounts. His daughter, 
Soledad, assisted him, and she was the first laily 
teacher of Los Angeles. 

January, 1844, Ensign Guadalupe Medina, an 
officer of Micheltorena's army, opened a primary 
school on the Lancastrian plan, wdiich attained 
an attendance of 103 pupils and was the most 
successful school of the RIexican era. The Lan- 
castrian plan was an educational fad once popu- 
lar, but dead for fifty years. The gist of the sys- 
tem was the nearer the teacher was in education 
to the level of the pupil, the more successful 
would he be in imparting instruction. So the 
preceptor taught the more advanced pupils ; 
these taught the next lower grades, and so down 
the scale to the lowest class. Lieut. Medina's 
school was closed because the school-house was 
needed for army headquarters. Los Angeles 
was in the throes of a revolution. It could get 
along without a school, but a political eruption 
it must have about so often or die. Next year 
the gringos came, and when school opened again 
another nation was in charge of afYairs. In the 
seventy years the pueblo was under Spanish and 
Mexican rule it never built or owned a school- 
house ; nor was there a public school buildhig 
in California. 

The first school under American rule in Cali- 
fornia was taught by Dr. William B. Osburn in 
Los Angeles during the year 1847. It was under 
the auspices of Col. Stevenson, the military com- 
mander of the southern district. 

When the council was organized July 3, 1850, 
Francisco Bustamente, employed by the ayun- 
tamiento, was in charge of the public school at 
$60 per month and an allowance of $20 for house 



rent. He taught until near the close of the year, 
when, on account of his large family, whom he 
could not support out of his meager salary, he 
asked for $ioo per month. The council dis- 
charged him, but whether for unfitness or for too 
much family, records do not state. 

In July, 1850, Hugh Overns petitioned the 
council to establish a school in which he would 
teach the English, French and Spanish lan- 
guages. The council allowed him from the pub- 
lic funds $50 per month for the privilege of send- 
ing to the school "six orphan boys or others 
whose parents are poor." January 4, 185 1, Rev. 
Henry Weeks and his wife opened a school, 
Weeks teaching the boys and his wife the girls. 
They received $150 a month and furnished their 
own school rooms. The first school ordinance 
was adopted by the council July 9, 185 1. It pro- 
vided for an allowance of $50 per month to any 
educational institution in the city teaching the 
rudiments of English and Spanish languages. 

August 13, 1852, by ordinance, ten cents on 
the $100 of the municipal tax was set apart for 
the support of public schools. July 25, 1853, an 
ordinance was passed for the establishment and 
government of the city's schools. It provided 
for the appointment of three commissioners, who 
shall constitute a board of education, the chair- 
man of which shall be superintendent of schools. 
J. Lancaster Brent, Lewis Granger and Stephen 
C. Foster were appointed a board of education, 
J. L. Brent becoming ex-officio school superin- 

May 20, 1854, an amended ordinance was 
passed and Stephen C. Foster, then mayor, was 
made the first superintendent, and three mem- 
Ijers of the council constituted the board of edu- 
cation. That year school house No. i, a brick 
two-story building, was built on the northwest 
comer of Spring and Second streets, where the 
Bryson block now stands. School was opened 
in it March 19, 1855, with William A. Wallace in 
charge of the boys and Miss Louisa Hayes in 
charge of the girls. Co-education was not al- 
lowed in those days. School house No. 2 was 
built in 1856. It was on Bath street, north of the 
plaza, now North Main street. These two school 

houses supplied the needs of the city lor ten 

During the '60s, on account of sectional ha- 
treds growing out of the Civil war, the public 
schools in Los Angeles were unpopular. They 
were regarded as Yankee institutions and were 
hated accordingly by the Confederate sympathiz- 
ers, who made up a majority of the city's popula- 
tion. In 1865-66 the number of school census 
children in the city was 1,009. Of these only 
331 were enrolled in the public schools during 
the year. The average attendance in the pri- 
vate schools was fifty per cent greater than in 
the public schools. Twenty-one negro children 
were enrolled in a separate school. The educa- 
tion of these twenty-one little negroes was re- 
garded as a menace to the future ascendancy of 
the white race. Out of such mole hills does po- 
litical bigotry contract impassable mountains. 
The northern immigration that began to drift 
into Los Angeles in the early '70s changed pub- 
lic opinion in regard to the common schools. 
The Los Angeles high school, the first in South- 
ern California, was established in 1873. From 
this onward the schools of the city have steadily 
progressed. The city school superintendents, in 
the order of their service, are as follows : J. Lan- 
caster Brent, ex-officio; Stephen C. Foster, Dr. 
William B. Osborn, Dr. John S. Griffin, J. Lan- 
caster Brent, E. J. C. Kewen, Rev. W. E. Board- 
man, A. F. Heinchman, G. L. Mix, Dr. R. F. 
Flayes, Rev E. Birdsell, Joseph Huber, Sr. ; H. 
D. Barrows, A. Glassell, Dr. T. FI. Rose, A. G. 
Brown, Dr. W. T. Lucky, C. H. Kimball, Mrs. 
C. B. Jones, J. M. Guinn, L. D. Smith, W. M. 
Freisner, Leroy D. Brown, P. W. Search and 
J. A. Foshay. 

The ofifice of superintendent in earlier years 
was filled by lawyers, doctors, ministers and 
business men. It was not until 1869 that a pro- 
fessional teacher was chosen superintendent ; 
since then professional teachers have filled the 

The State Normal school building at Los An- 
geles was completed in 1882, and the school 
opened August 29, of that year. It is now next 
to largest Normal School in tlie state. 






LOS ANGELES was a turbulent city in its 
youth. During the Spanish and Mexican 
eras of its history it was not the scene 
of many capital crimes, but during Mexican 
domination it became a storm center of political 
revolutions. These rarely resulted in bloodshed, 
and were more famous for noise than for physical 

The first vigilance committee on the Pacific 
coast of North America had its origin in Los 
Angeles in 1836, twenty years before the world- 
famous vigilance committee of 1856 was formed 
at San Francisco. Its story briefly told runs 
thus : The wife of Domingo Feliz, part owner 
of the Los Feliz rancho, who bore the poetical 
name of Maria del Rosario Villa, became infat- 
uated with a handsome Init disreputable Sonoran 
vaquero, Gervacio Alispaz by name. She de- 
serted her husband and lived with Alispaz as his 
mistress at San Gabriel. Feliz, failing to reclaim 
his erring wife, sought the aid of the authorities. 
A reconciliation was effected, ami the husljand 
and wife started on horseback for the rancho. 
On their way they met Alispaz. An altercation 
occurred and Feliz was stabbed to death by his 
wife's paramour. The body was dragged into a 
ravine and covered with brush and leaves. Next 
day the body was found and the guilty pair ar- 
rested. The people were filled with horror and 
indignation, and there were threats of summary 
vengeance, but better counsel prevailed. It was 
the beginning of holy week, and all efforts to 
bring them to punishment were deferred until 
after Easter. Monday morning, April 7, a large 
number of citizens assembled at the house of 
Juan Tcmi)lc. An organization was effected. 
Victor I'rudon, a native of Breton, France, but 
a naturalized citizen of California, was made 
president, M^muel Arzaga, secretary, and Fran- 
cisco Arunjo, a retired army ofificer, commander 
of the vigilantes. Fifty-five persons were en- 
rolled in a vigilance committee. The organiza- 
tion was named Junta Defensora dc La Seguri- 
dad Publico — Ihiited Defenders of the Public 
Safety. An address to the people and the au- 
thorities was formulated, setting forth the ne- 
cessity of the organization and demanding the 
immediate execution of the assassins. The ayun- 

taniicnto, alarmed at tlie threatening attitude of 
the people, assembled in extraordinary session. 
An attempt was made to enroll the militia to put 
down the uprising, but it was given up. A de- 
mand was made on the authorities for Alispaz 
and the woman. This was refused. The mem- 
bers of the Junta Defensora, all armed, marched 
in a body to the jail. The guard refused to give 
up the keys. They were secured by force and 
Gervacio Alispaz taken out and shot to death. 
-A demand was then made for the key to the 
apartment (in a private house) where the woman 
was incarcerated. The alcalde refused to give it 
up. The key was secured. The wretched Maria 
was taken to the place of execution on a carreta 
and shot. The bodies of the guilty pair were 
brought back to the jail and the following com- 
munication sent to the alcalde, Manuel Requena : 

"Junta of the Defenders of the Public Safety — 
To the b'irst Constitutional Alcalde: 
The dead bodies of Gervacio Alispaz and Ma- 
ria del Rosario Villa are at your disposal. W'c 
also forward you the jail keys that you may de- 
liver them to whomsoever is on guard. In case 
you are in need of men to serve as guards we are 
at your disposal. 

God and Liberty. Angeles, .Xpril 7, 1836. 
Victor Prudon, President. 
Manuel Arzaga, Secretary. 

A few days later the Junta Defensora de La 
Seguridad Publico disbanded, and so ended the 
only instance in the seventy-five vears of Span- 
ish and Mexican rule in California of the people 
by popular tribunal taking the administration of 
justice out of the hands of the legally constituted 

\\'\i\\ the discovery of gold in California began 
the era of crime. In the decade following that 
event, to paraphrase one of the.Junta Defensora's 
nieta]ihors, "the dike of legal restraint was swept 
away by a torrent of atrocious infamy." Gold al- 
lured to California the law-defying as well as the 
law-abiding of many countries. They came from 
Europe, from South America and from Mexico. 
From Australia and Tasmania came the escajie 1 
convict and the lickef-of-leave man; from .Asia 
came tlio "hcnlhen Cliincr:" and the I'nited 
States usually furnished the heavy villain in all 



the tragedies. These conglomerate elements of 
society found the Land of Gold practically with- 
out law and the vicious among them were not 
long in making it a land without order. 

The American element among the gold seek- 
ers soon adjusted a form of government to suit 
the exigencies of the times and the people. There 
may have been too much lynching, too much 
vigilance conmiittee in it, and too little respect 
for lawfully constituted authorities, but it was 
effective in controlling the criminal element and 
was suited to the social condition existing. Los 
Angeles was far removed from the gold fields, 
but from some cause, or rather from several 
causes, it furnished more villains, vigilance com- 
mittees and lynchings than any other city in the 
state. San Francisco in its two famous commit- 
tees, that of 185 1 and that of 1856, executed ten 
men and then gave up the business to the legal 
authorities. Los Angeles city and county be- 
tween 1851 and 1871 hanged thirty-five, con- 
demned by popular tribunal and executed by vig- 
ilantes. From 1850, for at least two decades the 
city was seldom or never without some form 
of a people's tribunal of last resort. The gal- 
lows tree in early times stood on Fort Hill. The 
first execution there was in 1852, when three na- 
tive Californians were hanged for the murder 
of two young cattle buyers on the banks of the 
San Gabriel river, December 4, 1852; threemore 
were hanged, two for complicity in the murder 
of Gen. Bean, and one for stabbing his friend to 
death on some slight provocation. One of the 
sus])ects for the murder of Bean, a poor cobbler 
by the name of Sandoval, died declaring his 
innocence. Years afterwards one of the real 
murderers on his death bed confessed that the 
cobbler was innocent. 

January T2, 1855, David Brown, for the mur- 
der of his companion, Clifford, was taken from 
the jail and hanged to the gateway of a corral 
on .Spring street opposite the prison. During 
1855 and 1856 lawlessness increased. There ivas 
an organized band of about one hundred Mexi- 
cans who patroled the highways, robbing and 
murdering. On the night of January 22, 1857, 
Sheriff James R. Barton, with a posse consisting 
of William H. Little, Charles K. Baker, Charles 
F. Daley, Alfred Hardy and Franl- Alexander, 
left Los Angeles in pursuit of this banditti, who 
under their leaders, Pancho Daniel and Juan 
Flores, had been robbing and committing out- 
rages in the neighborhood of San Juan Capis- 
trano. On the road near San Juan they encoun- 
tered a detachment of the bandits. A short, 
sharp engagement took place. Barton, Baker, 
Little and Daley were killed. Hardy and Al- 
exander escaped by the fiectness of their horses. 
This tragedy aroused the people to a determi- 

nation to exterminate the murderous gang. Sev- 
eral military companies were organized. The 
country was scoured, suspicious characters ar- 
rested and known criminals hanged without 
judge, jury or the benefit of a priest. Flores 
was hanged on Fort Hill and Pancho Daniel 
eighteen months later was found one morning 
hanging to a beam across the gate of the jail 
yard. The vigilantes, exasperated at the law's 
delays, hanged him. Tiburcio Vasquez's gang- 
were the last banditti to terrorize the southern 
counties. After committing a scries of crimes, 
the leader was captured in a canon of the Calui- 
enga mountains May 15, 1874, by a sheriff's 
posse under Deputy Sheriff Albert Johnson. 
Vasquez was hanged March 19, 1S75, at San 
Jose for murder committed in Santa Clara 
County. His band was broken up and disap- 
peared from the county. 

October 24, 1871, occurred one of the most 
disgraceful afTairs that ever occurred in Los An- 
geles. It is known as the Chinese massacre. It 
grew out of one of those interminable feuds 
between rival tongs or companies of highbinders 
over the possession of a woman. In attempting 
to quell the disturbance, Robert Thompson was 
shot and killed by a bullet fired through the 
door of a Chinese house. A mob soon gathered 
and attacked the Chinese dens, and dragging 
frjrth the wretched occupants, hanged nineteen of 
them to wagon boxes, awnings and beams of a 
corral gate. The mob plundered the Chinese 
quarters, stealing everything of value they could 
lay their hands on. The rioting had begun about 
dark and continued until 9 r^o in the evening, 
when the law-abiding citizens, under the lead of 
Henry T. Hazard, R. M. Widney, IT. C. .'Vustin, 
Sheriff Burns and others, had gathered in suffi- 
cient force to put a stop to the mob's wild work. 
Finding determined opposition, the murderous 
miscreants quickly dispersed. Of the nineteen 
Chinamen hanged, shot or dragged to death, 
only one. Ah Clioy, was implicated in the high- 
binder war that gave the mob an excuse for rob- 
l)cry and pillage. One hundred and fifty indict- 
ments were found by the grand jury against per- 
sons implicated in the riot. Only six were con- 
victed and these after serving a short time in 
the state's prison were released on a tech- 

The last execution by a vigilance conunittee 
in Los .'\ngelcs occurred on the morning of De- 
cember 17. 1870. The victim was Michael Lach- 
cnias, a French desperado, who murdered his 
neighbor, Jacob Bell, an inoffensive little man. 
without provocation. Laclienias, who had the 
reputation of having killed five or six men, af- 
ter shooting Bell rode in from his ranch south of 
town boasting of his deed. He gave himself up 


and was placed in jail. A vigilance committee, 
three hundred strong, was formed and, march- 
ing to the jail in broad daylight, took Lachenias 
out, then proceeded to Tomlinson's corral on the 
corner of Temple and New High streets (where 
the Law Building now stands), and hanged him 
to the beam over the gate. During the Chinese 
massacre five Chinamen were hanged to the 
same beam. No attempt was made to prosecute 
the vigilantes that executed Lachenias. 


In our American colonization of the Great 
West the newspaper has kept pace with immigra- 
tion. It was not so in Spainsh colonization ; in it 
the newspaper came late if it came at all. There 
were no newspapers published in California dur- 
ing the Spanish and Mexican eras. 

Seventy years elapsed between the founding 
of Los Angeles and the founding of its first 
newspaper. October i6, 1850, Theodore Fos- 
ter petitioned the city council "for a lot situated 
at the northerly corner of the jail for the pur- 
pose of erecting thereon a house to be used as 
a printing establishment." The council, "taking 
in consideration the advantages which a print- 
ing house offers to the advancement of public 
enlightenment, resolved for this once only that a 
lot from amongst those that are marked on the 
city map be given to Mr. Theodore Foster for 
the purpose of establishing thereon a printing- 
house, and the donation be made in his favor 
because he is the first to inaugurate this public 
benefit." Foster selected a lot "back of John- 
son's fronting on the corral." The corral or zanja 
madre (mother ditch) ran along Los Angeles 
street. Foster's lot, "forty varas each way," 
granted him by the council, was directly in the 
rear of where the St. Charles now stands. On 
this lot Foster built a two-story building. The 
lower story was used for a printing office and the 
upper for a living room for the proprietors and 

The first number of the pioneer paper was 
issued May 17, 185 1. It was named La Estrella 
dc Los Angeles — the Star of Los Angeles, or the 
Los Angeles Star. It was a four-page, five-col- 
umn paper; size of page, 12x18 inches. Two of 
its pages were printed in English and two in 
Spanish. The subscription price was $10 a year, 
payable in advance. Advertisements were in- 
serted at the rate of $2 per square for the first 
insertion and $1 for each subsequent insertion. 
The publishers were John A. Lewis and John 
McElroy. Foster had transferred his interest 
in the printing house before the issue of the pa- 
per. In September, 1853, he committed suicide 
by drowning himself in the Fresno river. 

Between 1851 and 1856 the Star had a number 

of different proprietors and publisJK-rs. It was 
not a very profitable investment, so it was passed 
along from one to another, each proprietor imag- 
ining that he knew how to run a paper to make 
it pay. In June, 1856, Henry Hamilton bought 
it. He continued its publication until October 
12, 1864, when, having fallen under the ban of 
the Federal government for his outspoken sym- 
pathy with the Southern Confederacy, he was 
forced to discontinue its publication, and the Star 
set for a time. May 16, 1868, he resumed its 
publication. In 1870 the Daily Star was issued 
by Hamilton & Barter, liarter retired from 
the firm in a short time and Hamilton con- 
tinued its publication. Ben. C. Truman leased it 
in 1S73, and continued its publication until, July, 
1877, Hamilton sold the paper to Paynter & Co. 
It passed from one publisher to another until 
finally the sheriff attached the plant for debt in 
the latter part of 1879, ''"'^' t^'^^ ■^''"' ^^ Los An- 
geles ceased to shine. 

The second paper founded in Los Angeles was 
the Southern Californian. The first issue ap- 
peared Jul) JO, 1S54, L". N. Richards & Co., pub- 
lishers ; William Butts, editor. November 2, 
1854, William Butts and John O. Wheeler suc- 
ceeded Richards & Co. in the proprietorship. The 
paper was ably conducted and large in size. It 
died in January, 1856, from insufficient support. 

El Clomor Publico was the first Spanish paper 
published in Los Angeles. The first issue ap- 
peared June 8, 1855; its last December 31, 1859. 
Francisco P. Ramirez was the editor and proprie- 
tor. The Southern Vineyard was founded by 
Col. J. J. Warner March 20, 1858. It was at first 
a weekly and later on a semi-weekly. It ceased 
to exist June 8, i860. 

The Los Angeles News was established by C. 
R. Conway and Alonzo Waite, January 18, i860. 
It was at first a semi-weekly ; then changed to 
a tri-wcekly and back again to a semi-weekly. 
January i, 1869, tinder the management of King 
& Oflfutt it appeared as the Los Angeles Daily 
A'C7Vs. It was the first daily paper published in 
Los Angeles. Subscription price was $12 a year, 
six numbers a week. Its publication ceased in 


1 hesc enumerated above were pioneers in the 
field of journalism. Of the modern papers (those 
that have ai)pcarcd since i860) their nunil)er is 
legion and the journalistic graveyard of unfell 
wants is well filled with their remains. I have not 
space even lo cnumeralc thcni. The oldest paper 
now published in Los Angeles is the E':'eiiing 
Express. It was established March 27, 1871. 


During the first decade (1850 to iS6o~) of 
.•\niericnn government of the city it made a 



steady growth. Wood and brick to a consider- 
able extent had supplanted adobe in building. 
The first brick were made in 1S52 by Jesse 
Hunter, and the first brick building erected in 
the city was built on the northwest corner of 
Main and Third streets. 

The population of the city in 1850 was 1,610; 
in i860, 4.399. The growth of the city has been 
irregular, by fits and starts, or booms, as they 
are now called. In 1849 and 1850 the city had 
one of its spasms of expansion that astonished 
the old-timers. Houses already framed for put- 
ting together were shipped around the Horn 
from Boston and New York and even from Lon- 
don. Some of these were sheet-iron buildings. 
Again in 1858 and 1859 the city had another 
building boom. The Arcadia block, on the corner 
of Arcadia and Los Angeles streets, was built 
by Don Abel Stearns. It is said to have cost 
$80,000. The Angeleiios pointed to it with 
pride and claimed that it was the finest business 
block south of San Francisco. In 1859 Juan 
Temple erected for a city market the building 
that was afterward used for a court house. The 
upper story was designed for and used several 
years as a theater. It cost $30,000. Ten years 
later it was sold at $25,000 to the county for a 
court house. During the year 1859, thirty-one 
brick buildings and a considerable number of 
wooden ones were built in the city. It was the 
biggest building boom in the history of the city 
up to that time. In January, 1858, the first train 
of pack camels appeared in Los Angeles. For 
a year or more afterwards it was no unconnnon 
sight to see a caravan of these hump-backed 
burden-bearers solemnly wending their way 
single file through the city. In 1857, through 
the efforts of JciTerson IDavis, then secretary 
of war, seventy-five camels were imported fnim 
Egypt and Arabia to Texas for army service in 
the arid plains of the southwest. One detach- 
ment from the main body was used in packing 
supplies from Los Angeles to Fort Tej(Mi ; 
others were used in transporting military sup- 
plies to the forts in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico 
and Texas. But the experiment proved a fail- 
ure. The perversity of the camel and the im- 
possibility of transforming an American mule 
whacker into an Arabian camel driver destroyed 
all hopes of utilizing the camel in America, and 
these "ships of the desert" were left finally to 
drift in their native element at will. It is said that 
some of the survivors of the experiment or their 
descendants are still running loose in the deserts 
of Arizona and Northern Alcxico. 

In i860 the telegraph line between San Fran- 
cisco and Los Angeles was completed and the 
first message over the wires was sent by Henry 
Melius, the mayor of Los Angeles, at 10 o'clock 

P. M., October 8, to H. F. Teschemacher, presi- 
dent of the board of supervisors of San Fran- 
cisco. The Salt Lake trade, begun in 1855, had 
grown to considerable proportions. In one 
month as high as sixty wagons had been loaded 
in Los Angeles for Salt Lake. May 25, 1861, 
a grand Union demonstration was held in the 
city. The Civil war had split the citizens into 
two hostile factions; the larger number were 
Confederate sympathizers. The Union men, 
taking advantage of the presence of a company 
of the First United States Dragoons, got up a 
grand procession and marched around the plaza, 
down Main and up Spring to the court house, 
where the national colors were unfurled. The 
United States military band struck up the "Star- 
Spangled Banner," thirty-four guns were fired, 
one for each state in the Union, and patriotic 
speeches were made by Gen. Drown, Major 
Carlton and Capt. (afterwards Gen.) W. S. Han- 

January, 1862, was noted for the greatest flood 
in the history of California. It began raining 
December 24, 1861, and kept it up almost with- 
out cessation for a month. New Year's day the 
valleys were like inland seas and all communica- 
tion with the city from the south and east was 
cut of?. The Arroyo Seco brought down im- 
mense rafts of driftwood, but as there were no 
bridges then across the river these did but little 
harm. They supplied the poor people of the 
city with firewood. During the early part of 
1862 there were about 4,000 troops at Wilming- 
ton en route for Arizona and New Mexico. One 
regiment was stationed at Camp Latham on the 
La Ballona rancho. This camp was broken up 
in tb.e summer and the troops removed to Wil- 

The year 1863 was one of disasters. Sniall]iox 
was raging among the Mexicans and Indians 
and they were dying so fast that it was difficult 
to find persons to bury them. The great drouth 
had set in and cattle on the overstocked ranges 
were dying by droves. There was a feud be- 
tween the Unionist and secessionist so bitter 
that a body of troops had to be stationed in the 
city to protect the Unionists, who were in the 
minority. Times were hard and money almost 
an unknown quantity. The property of several 
of the richest men in the city was advertised for 
sale on account of delinquent taxes. No assess- 
ment for citv taxes was made for the fiscal vear 
of 1863-64. ' 

The year 1864 was a cominnati.m of the evil 
days of 1863. The drouth continued and many 
of the cattle carried over from the previous year 
died before grass grew. The secession element 
was still rampant and a number of arrests were 
made by the government. 


In 1S65 the war was over and those on both 
sides who hail fought valiantly with their tongues 
sheathed their weapons and cried peace. April 
19, public obsequies were held in respect to the 
memory of President Lincoln. Rev. Elias Bird- 
sell delivered the funeral oration. The 4th of 
July was celebrated for the first time since the 
beginning of the war. The church of the First 
Protestant Society, the erection of which had 
been begun in 1859, under the ministry of Rev. 
William E. Boardman, a Presbyterian minister, 
was this year turned over to the Episcopalians in 
an unfinished condition. It was completed and oc- 
cupied by Rev. Elias Birdsell, an Episcopal min- 
ister. It was advertised for sale by the sheriff 
in 1864, but nobody wanted a church, and so it 
was not sold. It stood on the southwest corner 
of Temple and New High streets, where the 
steps leading up to the court house now are. It 
was the pioneer Protestant church of the city. 

The year 1868, like that of 1862, was ushered 
in by a great flood, which left a lasting impress 
on the physical contour of the county. It formed 
a new river, or rather an additional channel for 
the San Gabriel river. Several thousand acres of 
valuable land were washed away by the San Ga- 
briel river cutting a new channel to the sea, from 
three to five miles southeast of the old river. 
The damage by loss of land was more than offset 
by the increased facilities for irrigation afforded 
by having two rivers instead of one. The flood 
in the Los .Angeles river swept away the dam 
of the water-works and cut off the city"s water 
supply, leaving the inhabitants very much in 
the condition of Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, 
"Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to 
drink." The disastrous years of 1863 and 1864 
had stopped all growth and improvement in the 
city. In 1868 the city began to take on a new 
growth. The subdivision of some of the large 
ranchos and their sale in small tracts brought in 
home-seekers. In the city, old-timers who had 
been holding on for years to town property took 
the first opportunity to imload on the new- 
comers; and lots that to-day are valued in the 
hundred thousands each changed hands in 1868 
with the thousands left off. 

.\ mimber of new enterprises were inaugurateil 
this year. \\'ork was begun on the Los Angeles 
& San Pedro Railroad. The City Water Com- 
]iany was organized and water pijied in iron pijies 
to the houses. The first bank was organized 
by Alvinza Hay ward and John G. Downey, capi- 
tal $100,000. The new Ma.sonic Hall on Spring 
street was dedicated September 29th. The city 
was lighted with gas. 

In 1869 immigration was coming by boatloads. 
Real estate was advancing in value rapidly. 
There was a great demand for houses and new 

buildings were springing up all over the city. 
The Los .\ngeles <& San Pedro Railroad was 
completed October 26 and then the old stage 
coaches that for nearly two decades had raced 
and rattled over the road between city and port 
were relegated to obscurity. 

In February, 1870, the houses in the business 
l)ortion of the city were numbered systematically 
for the first time. The first city directory was 
compiled this year, but was not published until 
1871. There were no places where liquor was 
retailed. The Federal census gave the popula- 
tion of the city 5,614, which was an increase of 
1,215 '" t^" years. The assessed value of prop- 
erty in the city was $2,108,061. 

The railroad bond issue was the live question 
of 1872. The Southern Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany had made an offer to build twenty-five 
miles north and twenty-five east from Los An- 
geles city of its trans-continental line that it was 
building up the San Joaquin valley. The Texas 
Pacific met this with an offer to build frotii San 
Diego (the prospective terminus ol its trans- 
continental line) a railroad up the coast to Los 
Angeles, giving the county si.xty miles of rail- 
road. The Southern Pacific countered this offer 
by agreeing to build, in addition to the fifty 
miles of its previous offer, a branch to Anaheim, 
making in all seventy-seven miles. The recom- 
pense for this liberality on the part of the roads 
was that the people should vote bonds equal to 
five per cent of the total taxable property of the 
county. The bond question stirred up the peo- 
ple as no previous issue had done since the Civil 
war. The contest was a triangular one. South- 
ern Pacific, Texas Pacific or no railroad. Each 
company had its agents and advocates abroad 
enlightening the people on the superior merits 
of its individual offer, while "Taxpaxer" and 
"Pro Bono Publico," through the newsi^apers, 
bewailed the waste of the people's money and 
bemoaned the increase of taxes. .\t the election. 
November 5, the Southern Pacific won. 

The city reached the high tide of its prosperity 
tUiring the '70s in 1874. Building was active. It 
was estimated that over $300,000 was expended 
in the erection of business houses and fully that 
amount in residences. The Spring and Sixth 
street horse railroad, the street car line in 
the city, was completed this year. 

The year 1875 was one of disasters. The great 
financial panic of 1873, ])resaged by that mone- 
tary cyclone, "Black Friday in Wall street." had 
no innnediate effect upon business in California. 
The years 1873 and 1874 were among the most 
prosperous in our hi.-tory. The panic reached 
California in September, 1875, begimiing with 
the suspension of the Bank of Cali'ornia in San 
Francisco and the tragic death of its president, 



William C. Ralston. In a few days nearly every 
bank in California closed its doors. The two in 
Los Angeles — the Temple & Workman and 
Hellman's — closed. The latter resumed busi- 
ness in a few days. The former made an at- 
tempt to stem the current of its financial diffi- 
culties, failed, and went down forever, carrying 
with it the fortune of many an unfortunate de- 
positor. One of the bankers, William Work- 
man, an old and highly respected pioneer, from 
brooding over the failure, went insane and com- 
mitted suicide. Temple died a few years later, 
a poor man. 

The hard times following the bank failures 
were intensified by the drought of 1877, which 
brought disaster to the sheep industry of South- 
ern California. There was no business reaction 
during the remainder of the decade. The Fed- 
eral census of 1880 gave the city's population at 
11,183, an increase of almost one hundred per 
cent in ten years. The greater part of the gain 
was made in the first half of the decade. Rail- 
road connection with San Francisco and Sacra- 
mento was made in September, 1876, but it 
opened up no new market for Los Angeles. 
Times continued hard and money close. The 
adoption of the new constitution of the state in 
1879 did not improve matters. The capitalists 
were afraid of some of its radical innovations. 

In 1881 times began to improve. The rail- 
road had penetrated into the mining regions of 
Arizona and opened up a market for the prod- 
ucts of Southern California. Its completion next 
year gave Los Angeles direct connection with 
the east and brought in eastern investors. Dur- 
ing 1883 and 1884 the city grew rapidly. In 
JMay, 1883, the school lot on the northwest cor- 
ner of Spring and Second streets was sold for 
$31,000; two years before it was valued at 
$12,000. The board of education purchased 
from part of the proceeds of that sale the present 
site of the Spring street school, near Si.xth street, 
for $12,500. The school building was erected 
in 1884, at a cost of about $40,000. In the spring 
of 1886 the Atlantic & Pacific and its connecting 
roads — the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and 
Southern California — precipitated a rate war 
with the Southern Pacific. Round-trip tickets 
from Missouri river points to Los Angeles were 
sold as low as $15. Thousands of eastern peo- 
ple, taking advantage of the low rates, visited 
Southern California. 

The country was looking its loveliest. East- 
ern people, shivering in the "bleak winds of 
March" when they left their homes, in three or 
four days were in a land where the plains and 
hills were green with verdure, flowers bloom- 
ing and the fragrance of orange bloom perfuming 
the air. The result was that manv of the tourists 

invested in land and lots and others went home 
to sell their possessions and return to the prom- 
ised and promising land. Real-estate values 
went up rapidly in 1886, but in 1887 came that 
event that marks the turning point in the city's 
history — the Boom. 

In the historical sketch of Los Angeles 
county some of the extravagant as well as the 
ludicrous features of the boom are portrayed. 
Speculation in city property was mostly legiti- 
mate, but values were inflated to the burstmg 
point. After a lapse of fifteen years and a popu- 
lation three times as great as that of 1887, very 
little of the property that changed hands during 
the boom, outside of that on three business 
streets, could be sold to-day at the figures at 
which it changed hands during the height of the 
boom ; and many of the outlying lots in the east- 
ern part of the city could not be disposed of for 
the amount of the commission the real-estate 
agent received for making the sale fifteen years 

In 1889 work was begun on the cable railway 
system. A line was extended on Broadway to 
Seventh and west on Seventh to West Lake 
Park. Another line extended from Seventh on 
Grand avenue to Jefiferson street. From First 
and Spring a line ran on East First to Boyle 
Heights and from the same point another ran on 
North Spring, Upper Main and Downey avenue 
to East Los Angeles. A million and a half dol- 
lars were expended in tracks, power houses and 
machinery. All but the tracks were discarded a 
few years later, when electricity was substituted 
for steam and the trolley for the cable. The 
Los Angeles electric railway system was begun 
in 1892. The first line constructed was that on 
West Second, Olive, First and other streets to 
Westlake Park. The traction system was begun 
in 1895. 

In February, 1892, Messrs. Doheny and Con- 
non, prospecting for petroleum, dug two wells 
with pick and shovel on West State street, in the 
resident portion of the city. .\t the depth of 
150 feet oil was found. From this small begin- 
ning a profitable industry has grown up. The oil 
belt extends diagonally across the northwestern 
part of the city. The total number of wells 
drilled within the city limits up to June, 1900, 
was 1,300, and the yield of these from the begin- 
ning of the oil development was estimated at 
7,000,000 barrels, worth in round numbers about 

In the spring of 1900 the oil industry took on 
.some of the wild-cat characteristics of the great 
real-estate boom. For a time it was no uncom- 
mon feat to incorporate half a dozen oil com- 
panies in a day. The capital of some of these ran 
u]) into the millions. Oil stocks could be bought 



all the way from one cent up; and later on, when 
the excitement began to subside, in bunches 
of five for a cent. Thousands of dollars were 
invested in oil slock, not wild-cat, from which 
there will be no return. Many an investor to-day 
has a nicely lithographed certificate of oil stock 
that has cost hininiore than would an oil paint- 
ing bv one of the <ild masters. At several elec- 

tions called at dififerent times between 1896 and 
1899 the city area was increased by annexations 
on the southw'est and northeast from twenty- 
seven to thirty-seven square miles. The popu- 
lation of the city, according to the census of 
1900, was 102,298. The assessed value of city 
property was $67,576,047. 




WHEN Cabrillo explored the Santa Bar- 
bara channel in 1542 he named only a 
few of the prominent points of the 
main land and the islands that mark the chan- 
nel; but few of the names he gave have been 

Sixty years later Sebastian Viscaino's ships 
sailed through the channel. Padre de La As- 
cension, one of the three Carmelite friars ac- 
companying the expedition, December 4, 1602, 
writing a letter descriptive of the mainland 
and the islands of the channel, headed it Santa 
Barbara, in honor of Santa Barbara, virgin and 
martyr, whose day in the Catholic calendar is 
December 4. 

Santa Barbara was born in Nicomedia, Asia 
Minor, and suffered martyrdom, December 4, 
A. D. 218, during the persecution of the Chris- 
tians under the Emperor Maximum. She is said 
to have been decapitated by her father, a Roman 
officer serving under the Emperor. One hun- 
dred and sixty-seven years after Viscaino's ex- 
plorations. Portala's expedition passed up the 
coast and through the valley where the city of 
Santa Barbara now stands. Through all these 
years the channel still retained the name given 
it by Padre de La .Ascension, although so far as 
we know no ship's keel had cut its waters since 
\'iscaino's time. 

When the presidio was founded. April 21, 
1782, the name of the fort, and of the mission 
that was to be, had already been determined. To 
Padre de La .Xscension belongs the honor of 
naming the channel from which caiue the name 
of the presidio, the mission and the pueblo that 
grew up around these. When the county was 
formed naturally it took the name so long 
borne by the i)ucblo and the district over which 
it exercised jurisdiction. 

0Rr,.\NIZ.\TI0N OK Till-: COUNTY. 

Santa Barbara is one of the original twenty- 
seven counties into which the state, or rather 

the territory, of California (for it had not yet 
been admitted as a state of the Union) was di- 
vided by an act of the legislature. Approved 
February 18, 1850. 

Section 4 of that act created the county of 
Santa Barbara. The boundaries as given in the 
act are as follows: "Beginning on the sea coast 
at the mouth of the creek called Santa Maria, 
and running up the middle of said creek to its 
source; thence due northeast to the summit of 
the Coast Range, the farm of Santa Maria fall- 
ing within Santa Barbara county; thence fol- 
lowing the summit of the Coast Range to the 
northwest corner of Los Angeles county; thence 
along the northwest boundary of said county 
to the ocean and three English miles therein; 
and thence in a northerly direction parallel with 
the coast to a point due west of the mouth of 
Santa Maria creek; thencedue east to the mouth 
of said creek, which was the place of beginning; 
including the islands of Santa Barbara, San 
Nicolas, San Miguel. Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz 
and others in the same vicinity. The seat of 
justice shall be at Santa Barbara." By an act 
of the legislature of 1851-52 the boundaries of 
the county were more clearly defined and some 
slight changes made in the lines. 

The legislature passed acts creating county 
organizations and providing for the election of 
county officers. The old system of numicipal 
government that had been in force under Span- 
ish and Mexican rule and under the .\iuerican 
rule from the time of the conquest swept out 
of existence. In place of ayuntamientos and 
courts of first, second and third instance, and of 
offices of alcaldes, prefects, sub-prefects, regi- 
dores and sindicos were substituted district 
courts, courts of sessions, county courts, justices 
of the peace, common councils, mayors, sheriffs, 
district attorneys, treasurers, assessors, record- 
ers, surveyors, coroners and constables. To the 
natives who had been reared under the simple 
forms of early years the .American system of 
government was complicated and confusing. .An 
election for countv officers was ordered held 


throughout the state on the first JMonday o'i 
April, 1850; and the machinery of county gov- 
ernment was put into operation as speedily as 
possible. The transition from the old form to 
the new took place in Santa Barbara in Au- 

Henry A. Tefft was appointed judge of the 
second judicial district, which consisted of the 
counties of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. 
John ]\L Huddars acted as clerk of the court. 
.\t the April election Pablo de la Guerra, who 
had represented the Santa Barbara district in 
the constitutional convention, was chosen state 
senator and J. j\L Covarrubias and Henry S. 
Carnes the first assemblymen. 

Joaquin Carriflo was the first county judge 
and by virtue of his office presiding justice of 
the court of sessions. This court consisted of the 
county judge and two justices of the peace, who 
acted as associate justices. Besides its judicial 
duties it also fulfilled the functions of county 
government now performed by boards of super- 
visors. The first meeting of the court of ses- 
sions was held October 21. 1850, and its first 
recorded act was the ordering of a county seal. 
The design of the seal is described as follows: 
"Around the margin the words, county court of 
Santa Barbara county, with the following device 
in the center: A female figure holding in her 
right hand a balance and in her left a rod of 
justice; above, a figure of a rising sun; below, 
CAL. The associate justices at the first meet- 
ing of the court of sessions were Samuel Barney 
and William A. Streeter. 

Jose A. Rodriguez, the first sheriff of the 
county, was killed in the fall of 1850 on the 
present site of the oil wells of Summerland 
while leading a party in pursuit of the murderers 
of the Reed family at San Miguel Mission. Ro- 
driguez was recklessly brave. The murderers 
had been surrounded. The members of the 
sherifif's posse hesitated to close in on them. 
Rodriguez, to inspire his men with courage, 
rushed in upon the murderers and, seizing one 
of them, pulled him from his horse. In the 
scuffle the fellow shot and killed the sheriff. One 
of the desperadoes, endeavoring to escape, swam 
out to sea and was drowned. Three of them, 
Lynch, Raymond and Quin, were captured, 
taken to Santa Barbara and shot. 

The first assessment of property was made 
by Lewis T. Burton, county assessor. The total 
value of all property in the county, real and 
personal, was placed at $992,676. Cattle were 
assessed at $8 per head, sheep at $3 per head 
and land at twenty-five cents per acre. The 
assessment list of Don Jose de la Guerra y No- 
riega is a good illustration of how the lands 
of the county had been monopolized by a 

few men. Noriega owned the Cone jo ran- 
cho, which contained 53.880 acres; the Simi, 
containing acres ; Las Pasas, containing 
26,640 acres ; San Julian, 20,000 ; the Salsipu- 
edes, 35,200 acres; a total of 243,120 acres; the 
assessed value of which was about $60,000. 

It took the new officers some time to become 
acquainted with the duties of the several offices. 
There was a disposition to mix American and 
]Mexican law. In the county as in the city gov- 
ernment there were frequent resignations, and 
the officers changed from one official position 
to another. County officers held city offices and 
vice versa, sometimes by appointment and 
sometimes by election. Joaquin Carrillo. in 
1852, was county judge and mayor of Santa 
Barbara city at the same time. J. W. Burroughs 
breaks the record as champion officeholder. He 
was elected sheriff in 1857; appointed recorder 
September 3, 185 1 ; justice of the peace Septem- 
ber 16, 1857; acted as county clerk January 23, 
1852, and was appointed treasurer April 14, 
1852. January 29, 1851, he had been elected 
a member of the common council. He held six 
distinct offices within a little more than a year. 

The frequent recurrence of the same family 
name in the lists of city and county officials 
might give rise to the charge of nepotism or a 
family political ring. The de la Guerras and the 
Carrillos were ruling families in Santa Barbara 
before the conquest and they continued to be 
for some time after. The first mayor of the city 
was a de la Guerra (Francisco). The first state 
senator was also a de la Guerra (Pablo). Don 
Pablo, although a bitter opponent to the Amer- 
icans during the war, after the conquest be- 
came thoroughly Americanized. He held many 
offices. He was a member of the constitutional 
convention, state senator, acting lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, mayor of Santa Barbara, councilman, su- 
pervisor and district judge. At a meeting of 
the court of sessions December 6, 1852, the 
judges of the court were Joaquin Carrillo, coun- 
ty judge: Pedro Carrillo and Jose Carrillo, asso- 
ciate justices. 

In earlv davs politics had very little to do 
with the selection of county officers. Fitness 
and family (particularly family) were the chief 
oualifications. It was urged against Don Pablo 
de la Guerra when he was a candidate for dis- 
trict judge that in a great many cases which 
would come before him if elected he would be 
barred from sitting as judge because about half 
of the population of Santa Barbara county was 
related to him bv blood or marriage. In 1852 
District Judge Henry A. Tefft was drowned at 
Port San Luis while attempting to land from 
the steamer to hold court at San Ltiis Obispo. 
Joaquin Carrillo was elected district judge U> 



fill the vacancy. He held office by appointment 
and election fourteen years. He did not under- 
stand English and all the business of the court 
was conducted in the Spanish language. Although 
not a lawyer his decisions were seldom over- 
ruled by the higher courts. Charles Fernakl was 
appointed county judge to fill the vacancy 
caused by the promotion of Joaquin Carrillo. 
The first county building, a jail, was completed 
December i. 1853. In 1853 the county was di- 
vided into three townships of about equal area. 
Township No. i, elections held at San Buenaven- 
tura; No. 2 at Santa Barbara, and No. 3 at 
Santa Ynez. By act of the legislature of 1852-3 
a board of supervisors was created for each 
county. This relieved the court of sessions of 
the legislative part of its duties. The first board 
of supervisors of Santa Barbara consisted of 
Pablo de la Guerra, Fernando Pico and Ramon 

Up to 1856 Santa Barbara was solidly Demo- 
cratic in politics. The Whig party seems not 
to have gained a foothold. In local politics, fam- 
ily, as I have said before, was one of the chief 
requisites. So one-sided was the county politi- 
cally that at the state election of 1855 the super- 
visors in canvassing the vote recorded only the 
Democratic. Tlie opposition vote seems not to 
have risen to the dignity of scattering. 

November 27, 1855, the supervisorspurchased 
the house of John Kays for a court house, pay- 
ing for it and the grounds $6,000. The county 
was now equipped with a court house and jail. 
The prisoners, who were mostly Indians, were 
not doomed to solitary confinement. Tlie jail 
was not capacious enough to hold them. They 
were given employment outside. We find among 
the proceedings of the board of supervisors in 
1856 an order to the sheriff to sell the adobes 
made by the prisoners at the county jail at not 
less than $2. 50 per hundred. 


During the early '50s the coast counties were 
the scenes of many deeds of violence. The 
.Argonauts who came to the state by the south- 
ern routes and the Sonorian migration traveled 
the coast road on their way to the mines. The 
cattle buyers coming south to the cow coun- 
ties to buy stock came by this route. The long 
stretches of unsettled country in Santa Bar- 
bara and San Luis Obispo counties gave the 
banditti who infested the trail an opportunity 
to rob and nnirdcr with but little fear of detec- 

The Scjjomon Pico l^and of outlaws was the 
first organized gang that terrorized the coast 
counties. Their victims were mostly cattle buy- 
ers. This gang was finally hunted down and 

most of them died "with their boots on." Sonic 
of the remnants of this gang that escaped jus- 
tice and others of the same kind were gathered 
up by Jack Powers, who became the recognized 
leader of a band of robbers and desperadoes. 
Powers came to the coast as a member of Ste- 
venson's regiment. After his discharge from 
.-ervice he turned gambler and robber. .\1- 
thougli it was known that he was implicated 
in a numl)cr of robberies and several mur- 
ders, he escaped punishment. He was arrested 
in 1856 when the vigilance committee was dis- 
posing of his kind. Although he was released 
he felt safer to be beyond the jurisdiction of the 
committee. He went to Sonora, Mexico, where 
he stocked a ranch with stolen cattle. In a quar- 
rel with one of his men he was shot and killed. 
His body when found was half eaten by hogs. 

Fear of the vigilance committee drove out 
of San Francisco in 1856 a number of undesir- 
able citizens. Among those who fled from the 
city was Ned McGowan, a notorious and dis- 
reputable politician, who, with several others of 
liis kind, had been indicted by the grand jury of 
San P^rancisco county as accessory before the 
fact of the murder of James King of William. 
JMcGowan made his escape to Santa Barbara, 
where he was assisted and befriended by Jack 
Powers and some others whose sympathies 
were with the criminal element. The vigilantes 
chartered a vessel and sent thirty of their men, 
under the command of one of their captains, to 
capture him. McGowan's Santa Barbara friends, 
some of whom were wealthy and influential, 
kept him concealed until the vigilantes left. 
After the disbanding of the vigilance commit- 
tee McGowan's friends in the legislature se- 
cured the passage of a bill giving him a change 
of venue from San Francisco to Napa county. 
He was tried and acquitted mainly on the evi- 
dence of one of the twenty-two doctors who at- 
tended King after he was shot. This physicia'n 
testified that King was killed by the doctors 
and not by Casey. 

Local vigilance committees, between 1855 
and i860, in Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, 
Monterey and Santa Cruz to a considerable ex- 
tent purified the moral atmosphere of these 
coast counties; but Santa Barbara, judging from 
a grand jury report made to the court of ses- 
sions in 1859, seems to have been immune from 
outbreaks of vigilantes. Says this report: 
"Thieves and villains of every grade have been 
from time to time upheld, respected, fostered 
and pampered by our influential citizens, and, if 
need be, aided and assisted in escaping from 
merited i)unishnient due their crimes. * * * 
OfTenses. thefts and villainies in defiance of the 
law. (if every grade and character, from the 



horse and cattle thief to the highway robber 
and midnight assassin, have dwelt, to our 
knowledge, for the last five years in our very 

For a decade and a half after the discovery 
of gold in California the owners of the great 
ranches of Santa Barbara continued, as they 
had been in the past, the feudal lords of the land. 
Their herds were more profitable than gold 
mines and their army of retainers gave them 
unlimited political power, which they did not 
always use wisely or well. 

The high price of cattle, the abundant rain- 
fall of the years 1860-61-62 and the consequent 
luxuriant growth of grass led to an overstock- 
ing of the cattle ranges. When the terrible dry 
years of 1863 and 1864 came, the stockmen 
were in no condition to carry their numerous 
herds through the drought. "The county assess- 
ment roll of 1863 showed over 200,000 head 
of cattle in Santa Barbara county. This prob- 
ably was 100,000 less than the true number. 
When grass started in the winter of 1864-65 less 
than 5,000 head were alive. The great herds 
were gone, and the shepherd kings were kings 
no more, for their ranchos were mortgaged be- 
yond redemption, and in the next five years 
passed entirely out of their hands."* 

Tlie downfall of these feudal lords was, in- 
deed, pathetic. For nearly a century their an- 
cestors and they themselves had ruled the land. 
The transition of the country from the domina- 
tion of Spain to that of Mexico had not afifected 
their rule. The conquering Saxon had come, 
but his advent had only increased their wealth 
without lessening their power; at least such was 
the case in the coast counties. The famine 
years and their own improvidence had at last 
undone them. In the days of their affluence 
they had spent lavishly. If money was needed, 
it was easy to negotiate a loan on their broad 
acres. Rates of interest in early times were 
usurious, ruinous. Five, ten and even fifteen per 
cent a month were no uncommon rates. Present 
needs were pressing and pay day was manaiia 
(tomorrow). The mortgage, with its cancerous 
interest, was made and the money spent. So 
when the "famine years" swept away the herds 
and flocks there was nothing to sell or mort- 
gage to pay interest and the end came quickly. 
It was with the stoicism of fatalists that the great 
ranch owner viewed their ruin. They had be- 
sought the intercession of their patron saints 
for the needed rain. Their prayers had been 
luianswered. It was the will of God, whv com- 

•s Hisl. 

of Sant;i P.arl>aia. 

plain? Thus do Faith and Fatalism often meet 
on a common plane. 

During the next four or five years several 
uf the great ranchos were subdivided, or segre- 
gated portions cut up into small tracts. When 
immigration began to drift into the coast coun- 
ties in the early '70s many of these small tracts 
in Santa Barbara were bought by eastern immi- 
grants and the transition from cattle-raising to 
grain-growing and fruit culture wrought a great 
change not only in the character of the prod- 
ucts, but in the character of the population as 

The write-up of the climate and agricultural 
possibilities of the coast counties by NordhofT 
and others, the judicious advertising of the re- 
sources of the county by J. A. Johnson, editor 
of the Santa Barbara Press (a paper established 
in 1868), increased steamer communication, and 
the prospects of a railroad down the coast, all 
combined, attracted settlers from Northern Cali- 
fornia and the eastern states. The price of land 
advanced and in 1874 the city and the county 
experienced their first boom. The dry year of 
1876-77 checked the rising wave of prosperity, 
and disastrously afifected the sheep industry, 
which since the "famine years" had to a consid- 
erable extent taken the place of cattle-raising. 
Business revived in the early '80s, and the 
county made good progress. The completion 
to Santa Barbara in 1887 of the southern end of 
the Southern Pacific Coast Railroad, and the 
prospect of an early closing of the gap between 
the northern and southern ends of that road 
gave the city and county their second boom. 
Real estate values went up like a rocket. In 
1886 the count V assessment roll footed up 
$8,585,485; in 1887 it went up to $15,035,982, 
an increase of seventy-five per cent in one year. 
When railroad building ceased the reaction 
came. Land values dropped, but the county 
continued to grow, notwithstanding the long 
and discouraging delay of fourteen years in clos- 
ing the gap in direct railroad communication 
between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. 
March 31, 1901, the first through trains from 
the north and the south passed over the com- 
pleted coast line of the Southern Pacific Rail- 
road. The event was not heralded by any great 
demonstration, nor was it followed by a land 
boom, as in 1887, yet there can be no doubt but 
that it marks the beginning of a new era in the 
growth and development of the city and county 
of Santa Barbara. 


In August. 1874. the Lompoc Valley Com- 
jianv, an incorporation, bought the ranchos 
Lompoc and Mission Vieja de La Purisima. 



containing a total of 45,644.49 acres. A consid- 
erable portion of these lands was divided into 
5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 acre tracts. One square 
mile about the center of the Lompoc valley and 
nine miles from the coast was reserved for a 
town site. The sale of the lands began No- 
vember 9, 1874. It had been widely advertised 
and attracted a large crowd. The capital stock 
of the company was divided into 100 shares oi 
$5,000 each. While the sale was in progress 
shares rose to a premium of $1,000. During 
the sale about $700,000 worth of land and lots 
were disposed of. The average price of the 
farm land was $60 per acre. Some of the corner 
lots in the town site sold as high as $1,200. 

Lompoc was founded as a temperance colony, 
and like all such colonies has had its battles 
with the liquor traffic. The first engagement 
was with a druggist, who was carrying on an 
illicit traffic in forbidden liquids. His place was 
invaded by a number of citizens and a Mrs. 
Pierce plied an ax on a 40-gallon cask of whis- 
key and flooded the store with the fiery liquid. 
The druggist drew a pistol and threatened to 
shoot the destroyers of his intoxicants, but, con- 
fronted by two hundred crusaders, he concluded 
that discretion was the better part of valor and 
put up his gun. Another engagement, which 
scored a "knock-out" for the opponents of the 
liquor traffic, took place on the evening of May 
20, 1 88 1. A bomb was thrown into the saloon 
of George Walker. Nobody was hurt, but the 
saloon and its contents were completely de- 
molished. The Lompoc Record, commenting 
on the ''earthquake" (as the people facetiously 
called it), said: "Any one looking for a location 
for a saloon had better not select a community 
founded on temperance principles where the 
land is sold on express conditions that no liquor 
shall be made or sold thereon, where public sen- 
timent is so nearly unanimous against saloons 
and where "earthquakes' are so prevalent and 
destructive." The seismic disturbances that 
shook up saloons in the early days of the colony 
have ceased. The crusaders have buried their lit- 
tle hatchets, but not in the heads of whiskey 
barrels. The report of the Santa Barbara Cham- 
ber of Commerce for 1901 says of Lompoc: 
"The liquor traffic is confined by license of $73 
per month each to two saloons." 

Lompoc is an incorporated city of the sixth 
class. It has a grammar school building, cost- 
ing $15,000; a union high school that, with its 
furnishings, cost $12,000; the North, 
Methodist South. Baptist, Christian, Presby- 
terian. Roman Catholic and Episcopal have each 
its own church l)uilding. A bank, mercantile 
houses, hotels, restaurants, blacksmith shops, 
creamery, livery stable, warehouses, fruit pack- 

ing houses, etc., make up the business establish- 
ments of the town. Two weekly newspapers are 
published in the town, the Record and the Jour- 
nal. The Lompoc Record was established April 
10, 1875, and is one of the oldest newspapers in 
the county. 


ibis town is ninety-five miles northwesterly 
from Santa Barbara on the Southern Pacific 
Railroad. In 1872 John Dunbar opened a store 
at this point and was appointed postmaster 
wlien the post-office was established here. This 
was the beginning of the town. In 1874 it had 
grown to be a village of 100 houses. In 1875 a 
newspaper, the Guadalupe Telegraph, was es- 
tablished. It has now a bank, a. hotel and sev- 
eral mercantile establishments. A spur of the 
Southern Pacific Railroad runs to the Union 
Sugar Factory at Batteravia. 


The Union Sugar Factory at Batteravia was 
built in 1898 at a cost of $1,000,000. It em- 
ploys during the sugar-making season 500 men 
and works up 500 tons per day. The lime used 
in the manufacture of sugar from beets is 
burned and prepared for use at the factory. Last 
season the factory used 8,000 tons of lime. The 
company has a store, shops and boarding- 
houses at Batteravia. 


Santa Maria, situated near the center of the 
Santa Maria valley on the Pacific Coast Rail- 
road, was founded in 1876. It is the business 
center of a rich agricultural district. A branch 
line of railroad, five miles long, extends to the 
sugar factory on Guadalupe Lake. The town 
has a grammar school employing five teachers 
and a union high school. It has a bank, three 
large mercantile establishments and several 
smaller ones. The community supports two 
weekly newspapers, the Santa Maria Times, 
founded in 1872, and the Graphic. 

Lo.s Oliv.\.s. founded in 1880, is the present 
terminus of the Pacific Coast Railroad and is a 
shipping point of considerable importance. 

Lo.s At. AMOS, founded in 1878, situated on 
the Pacific Coast Railway, midway between 
Santa Ynez and Santa Maria, has a population 
of about 300. It is the commercial outlet of an 
agricultural district of about 150,000 acres, most 
of which is grazing land. 


The village of Santa Ynez is situated in the 
midst of the Rancho Canada de Los Finos or 


] 03 

College ranch. The College ranch or grant was 
given to the padres in 1843 to found a college, 
hence the name. The town of Santa Ynez has 
an excellent hotel, a grammar school, a high 
school, stores, shops, etc.; also a weekly news- 
paper, Tlic Santa Vncc Argus. It is surrounded 
by a large area of farming and grazing lands. 

GoLETA is a small village eight miles to the 
northwest of Santa Barbara. The country 
around to a considerable extent is devoted to 
walnut-growing and olive culture. 

El Montecito (the Little Forest) is prop- 
erly a suburb of Santa Barbara. It is about 
four miles eastward of the city. The valley is 
nearly oval, and opens to the southwest on the 
sea. It contains an area of about nine square 
miles. It is divided into small tracts, and is 
a favorite place for the suburban residences of 
persons doing business in the city. The Santa 
Barbara Country Club's grounds are here. The 
cottages are built on a level bluff above the 
ocean. The club has its golf links, tennis courts, 
bath house, wharf for boating and other acces- 
sories tor pleasure and amusement. 

SuiMMERLAND, six miles below Santa Bar- 
bara, on the Southern Pacific Railroad, is the 
principal petroleum district of Santa Barbara 
county. Oil was struck here in 1893. The oil 
belt is about a quarter of a mile wide and a mile 
long. Most of the wells are sunk in the ocean 
beyond low-water mark. Wharves are run out 
and the wells bored beside the wharves. Some 
of these wharves are 1.500 feet long. The 
output of the oil wells, of which there are about 
300, is about 15,000 barrels a month. A railroad 
station, post-office, several business places, 
boarding houses and residences of oil operators 
constitute the village of Summerland. 

Carpinteria valley is about fifteen miles 
due east from Santa Barbara. It is sheltered 
by mountains on three sides and opens to the 
sea. Its area is about ten square miles, and its 
width between the mountains and the ocean 
varies from one to three miles. It is one of the 
oldest settled valleys in the county. It bears 
the name given it by the soldiers of Portola's 
expedition in 1769. They found the Indians 
here manufacturing canoes, and they named the 
place Carpinteria (carpenter shop). The village 
is located near the center of the valley on the 
Southern Pacific Railroad. 


Three of the Channel islands are included in 
the area of Santa Barbara county, namely San 
Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz. These 
islands are mainly devoted to sheep and cattle- 

San Miguel, the most westerly of the group, 

is seven and one-half miles long, with an average 
width of two and one-half miles. The principal 
landing place is Cuyler's Harbor. At this land- 
ing Cahrillo, the discoverer of California, is 
buried. The island is now owned by the San 
Miguel Island Company. 

Santa Rosa Island is nine and three-fourths 
miles long, with an average width of seven and 
one-half miles, and contains 53,000 acres. It 
was granted by the Mexican government to Don 
Carlos Carrillo after his failure to secure the 
governorship of California in 1837. He gave it 
in 1842, as a marriage portion, to his two 
daughters, who were married on the same day, 
one to J. C. Jones, United States consul to the 
Sandwich Islands, and the other to Capt. A. B. 
Thompson. It now belongs to the heirs of A. 
P. More. 

Santa Cruz Island is twenty-two and one- 
half miles long by five and one-half wide, and 
contains 52,760 acres. It lies almost opposite 
the city of Santa Barbara and twenty-five miles 
distant. The surface is uneven, the hills at one 
point rising to the height of 1,700 feet. The 
Mexican government at one time attempted to 
utilize the island for a penal colony. About a 
dozen convicts were landed on the island with 
live stock and provisions, with the expectation 
that they would become self-supporting. They 
remained on the island long enough to eat up 
the provisions and the live stock. Then they 
constructed a raft, crossed the channel to Santa 
Barbara and quartered themselves on the ■Mis- 
sion fathers. They served out their sentences 
in irons. The island once had a large Indian 
population. It is a favorite hunting ground for 
Indian relic hunters. It is now owned by the 
Santa Cruz Island Company. 

PUBLIC schools. 

The first public school opened in Santa Bar- 
bara was taught by a young sailor named Jose 
Manuel Toca. He taught from October, 1795, 
to June, 1797. Jose Medina, another sailor of 
the Spanish navy, succeeded him and trained 
the young ideas until December, 1798. Manuel 
de \'argas, a retired sergeant of the army, who, 
in 1794 taught at San Jose the pioneer public 
school of California, was teaching at Santa Bar- 
bara in 1799. How long he continued to wave 
the pedagogical birch, or, rather, ply the cat- 
o'nine-tails, which was the schoolmaster's in- 
strument of punishment then, is not known. 
With the departure of Governor Borica, the 
schools of California took a vacation. During 
the closing years of Spanish rule, it seems to 
have been mostly vacation in them. 

The first school under Mexican rule in Santa 
Barbara that we have any report of was in 1829, 



when a primary school of sixty-seven pupils 
was conducted at the presidio. Governor 
Echeandia was a friend to education, and made 
a vigorous effort to establish public schools. 
But "unable," says Bancroft, "to contend 
against the enmity of the friars, the indifference 
of the people and the poverty of the treasury, 
he accomplished no more than his predecessors. 
Reluctantly he abandoned the contest, and the 
cause of education declined." And it might be 
added, the cause of education continued in a 
state of decline during the remaining years of 
I\Iexican rule. The curriculum of the Spanish 
and Mexican schools was like the annals of the 
poor — "short and simple." To paraphrase Pete 
Jones' alliterative formula, it consisted of "lick- 
in' and no larnin'." The principal numbers in 
the course were the doctrina Cristiana and Fray 
Ripalda's Catechism. These were learned by 
rote before the pupil was taught to read. If 
there was any time left him after he had commit- 
ted to memory these essentials to his future 
spiritual welfare, he was given a little instruc- 
tion in reading, writing and numbers for his 
earthly advantage. 

The invalid soldiers, the schoolmasters of 
early days, were brutal tyrants, who ruled with- 
out justice and punished without mercy. Gov- 
ernor Micheltorena attempted to establish a 
public school system in the territory; but his 
scheme failed from the same causes which had 
neutralized the efforts of his predecessors. Un- 
der his administration in 1844, a primary school 
was opened in Santa Barbara, but was closed 
after a few months for want of funds. Pio Pico, 
the last governor under Mexican rule, under- 
took to establish public schools, but his efforts 
were fruitless. The old obstacles, an empty 
treasury, incompetent teachers and indifferent 
parents, confronted him and put an end to his 
educational schemes. 

During the first two or three years of Ameri- 
can rule in Santa Barbara, but little attention 
was paid to education. The old indifference re- 
mained. The discovery of gold had not greatly 
increased the population nor wrought any 
change in social conditions. 

When the common council in April, 1850, 
took control of the municipal business of the 
newly created city, it inherited from the ayun- 
tamiento a school taught by a Spanish school- 
master, Victor Vega. The school was in part 
supported by public funds. Tlie council sent 
a certain number of poor pupils, i. e., pupils who 
were unable to pay tuition, for whom they paid 
a certain stipulated sum. March 26, 1851, "the 
committee appointed to examine the school, 
reported, and the president was ordered to pay 
the schoolmaster, Victor Vega, $64.50, and to 

draw $64 for every month." This is the first 
recorded school report of the city. 

Evidently there was considerable truancy. 
At the meeting of the council, November 8, 
185 1, Jose M. Covarubias was appointed a com- 
mittee to examine the school once a month and 
to report precisely the number and names of 
pupils who absent themselves and the time of 
their absence. Any pupil absent over a day lost 
his seat. 

In November, 1852, three school commission- 
ers were elected in each of the three townships 
of Santa Barbara county. Each township was 
a school district. After their election the con- 
trol of the schools in Santa Barbara passed from 
the council to the schools commissioners of the 
district. In 1854 a tax of five cents on the $100 
was levied for the support of the public schools. 
Previous to this the school revenues had been 
derived from liquor licenses, fines, etc. 

At the election in 1854 Joaquin Carrillo, dis- 
trict judge, was elected county school superin- 
tendent. He did not qualify, and A. F. Hinch- 
man was appointed to fill the vacancy. The 
Gazette of December 20, 1855, says: "According 
to the school census there are 453 white children 
between the ages of four and eighteen years in 
Santa Barbara district, which is sixty miles long 
and forty wide. There is one school in it, in 
charge of a schoolmaster." 

December 24, 1855, George D. Fisher, county 
school superintendent, reported a school taught 
in the first district (San Buenaventura) by John 
Rapelli, and one in the second (Santa Barbara), 
taught by Pablo Caracela. Both of these 
schools were taught in the Spanish language. 
.American residents had no place to send their 
children except to a school kept by George 
Campbell at the Mission Santa Inez (third dis- 
trict), a distance of fifty miles from the bulk of 
the people. 

February 4, 1856, two teachers were employed 
in the Santa Barbara city schools, Owen Con- 
nolly teaching the English school in "the house 
adjoining the billiard saloon," and Victor Mon- 
dran teaching the Spanish school in "the house 
of the late Pedro Diablar." 

In 1857 it was decided "that instruction in the 
iniblic schools shall be in the English language." 
The native Californians had opposed this, but 
the aggressive Anglo-Saxon won. It was the 
ringing out of the old, the ringing in of the 

The schools had now passed the experimental 
stages, and had become an institution of the 
land. .Although no school district in the county 
owned a school house, yet public education had 
been systemized. Teachers were required to 
pass an examination in the subjects taught in 



the schools, and their compensation was no 
longer subject to whims of the parents. 

Although public schools had been established 
and somewhat systemized, the people were slow 
to avail themselves of the educational facilities 
offered. In 1867, fifteen years after the public 
school system of California had been inaugu- 
rated, there were but three school districts and 
five teachers in Santa Barbara, which then in- 
cluded all of what is now Ventura county. Of 
the 1,332 census children, only 305, or 23 per 
cent of the whole, attended any school, public 
or private, during the year. 

The next decade showed a great change in 

educational conditions. Ventura county had 
been cut off from the parent county in 1873, but 
taking the territory as it stood in 1867. there 
were in it in 1877, ^^ districts and 53 teachers. 
Of the 4,030 census children, 2,782 had been 
enrolled in the schools. 

In i8yo there were 4,429 census children in 
Santa Barbara county, 3,439 of whom attended 
school. In 1900 there were 5,617 census chil- 
dren and 66 districts. 

Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Santa Maria and 
Santa Ynez each have a high school. Santa Bar- 
bara recently voted $60,000 bonds to build a 
new high school building. 



SANTA BARBARA was incorporated as 
a city by an act of the legislature 
approved April 9, 1850. The early mu- 
nicipal records were kept very carelessly. There 
is no record in the archives of the first city 
election. The first record of any official action 
taken for the organization of a city is the min- 
utes of the meeting of the common council 
held August 26, 1850. A mayor and members 
of the council had been elected at some previous 
date, and the councilmen-elect met to organize. 
The minutes of their proceedings were kept on 
sheets of foolscap stitched together. Either 
record books could not be obtained then in 
Santa Barbara, or the members of the council did 
not consider their acts of municipal legislation 
worth preserving in any better form. The 
minutes of the first meeting are as follows: "In 
the city of Santa Barbara, on the 26th day of 
August, 1850, the persons elected to the com- 
mon council assembled and proceeded to elect 
a president. Lewis T. Burton having received 
a majority of the votes, was declared elected. 
Luis Carrillo was then elected clerk. 

Luis Carrillo (Rubica), 

Tenio" (Clerk). 

From the subsequent minutes we learn that 
Francisco de la Guerra was the first mayor, and 
"the persons elected to the common council" 
were Isaac J. Sparks, Anastasio Carrillo, Luis 
Carrillo, Lewis T. Burton and Antonio Rod- 
riguez. Having elected a president and clerk, 
or secretary, the council took a vacation for 
nearly three months. Evidently municipal busi- 
ness was not pressing. The record of the next 
meeting reads: "November 21, 1850. At the 

house Anastasio Carrillo, Common Council of 
Santa Barbara. Present, Isaac J. Sparks, Anas- 
tasio Carrillo and Luis Carrillo. Lewis T. Bur- 
ton and Antonio Rodriguez sent in their resig- 
nations as members of the council, which were 
accepted. Isaac J. Sparks was elected president 
of the council. An election was ordered to be 
held on the second day of December next for 
two members of the council, a treasurer and a 
marslial; the election to be held in one of the 
corridors of the house of Lewis T. Burton. 
Nicolas A. Den was appointed inspector. 
Augustus F. Hinchman was chosen clerk of the 
common council. 

(Signed) Luis Carrillo, Secretario." 

At the special city election, held December 2, 
1850, Samuel Barney and Edward S. Hoar were 
elected councilmen; Carlos Antonio Carrillo, 
treasurer, and Juan Ayala, marshal. At the 
next meeting of the council, a committee, con- 
sisting of Isaac J. Sparks, Antonio Maria de La 
Guerra and Nicolas Den was appointed to re- 
ceive proposals for a survey of the city and 
report thereon to the council within six weeks. 
At the meeting of December 14, 1850, a demand 
was made on the members of the late ayunta- 
miento for all papers and documents belonging 
to the old pueblo of Santa Barbara and an ac- 
counting for all funds in their hands on April 9, 
1850, the date of the city's incorporation. 

.'\t the meeting of January 8, 185 1, the com- 
mittee appointed at a previous meeting to ascer- 
tain what had become of the papers, documents 
and moneys in the hands of the officers of the 
late ayuntamiento reported that the moneys 
were in the hands of the late prefect, Joaquin 



C'arrillo. From subsequent minutes it seems 
tliey remained there. What became of the 
papers and documents of the ayuntamiento the 
records of the council do not show. 

A contract was made by the council, January 
29, 185 1, with Salisbury Haley, "To make a 
complete survey of all that part of the city 
bounded on the southeast by the shore of the 
sea; on the northwest by a straight line running- 
parallel to the general direction of said shore 
boundary directly through the southwest corner 
of the Mission Garden and from hill to hill on 
cither side; on the southwest by a line running 
along the foot of the mesa; and on the northeast 
by a line beginning at the Salinitas and follow- 
ing the city boundary to the foot of the hills, then 
to the said northwest line; to divide said tract 
into squares of 150 yards by streets which shall 
be sixty feet wide, except two streets to be 
designated by the councfl, which shall be eighty 
feet wide; to make an accurate map of said 
city." For making the survey and map, Haley 
was to receive $2,000, to be paid in installments 
of $500 each. April 5, 1851, Haley presented 
to the council a map of his survey of the city 
and a demand for the first installment of $500 
on the contract. 

October 23, 1852, Vitus Wrackenrueder was 
given a contract to survey the central part of 
the city and make a new map. His survey is 
now regarded as the official survey of the city. 
These surveys in some places ran streets 
through the houses and in others left the resi- 
dences without street frontage. It was many 
years before all the streets were opened through 
the central or thickly inhabited portion of the 
city. Those whose land was taken for streets, 
were given equivalent tracts in the squares be- 
longing to the city. 

At the municipal election held in May, 185 1. 
Joaquin Carrillo was elected mayor; he was 
also county judge. Raymundo Carrillo was 
chosen treasurer; Thomas Warner, marshal 
and assessor; Esteban Ortega, John Kays, 
Antonio Arellanas, Jose Lorenzano and R. W. 
Wallace, members of the council. Although 
the flag of the United States had been waving 
in California for four years and the constitution 
had arrived more recently to keep it company, 
yet the people of Santa Barbara had not become 
accustomed to the new order of things. At the 
meeting of the council, ]\Iay 26, 1851, Samuel 
P>arry, Esq., sent a communication to the coun- 
cil informing that body that he had been ap- 
pointed United States revenue officer at the 
port of Santa Barbara. Whereupon the council 
by resolution agreed to grant him official recog- 
nition as an officer of the United States. Had 
the council considered him a f^crsona uon grata 

and refused him recognition, it is hard to say 
N\hat the consequence might have been — to 
Santa Barbara. 

The early ordinances of the common council 
give us glimpses of conditions existing then 
that have long since become obsolete. The 
Indian question, fifty years ago, was one that 
worried the municipal officers of Santa Barbara. 
as it did those of all other cities and towns of 
Southern California. The ex-neophyte of the 
missions was a pariah. He was despised and 
abused by the whites. His one ambition was 
to get drunk, and there were always high caste 
whites, or those who considered themselves 
such, ready and willing to gratify poor Lo's 
ambition. To imprison an Indian and give him 
regular rations was no punishment. He enjoyed 
such punishment. In Los Angeles, Indian con- 
victs were auctioned ofT every Monday morning 
to the highest bidder for the term of their sen- 
tence. In Santa Barbara, an ordinance passed 
June 4, 185 1, reads: "When Indians for viola- 
tions of city ordinances are committed to 
prison, the recorder shall hire them out for the 
term of their imprisonment." 

One of the most singular decisions ever an- 
nounced by a court of justice was given in a 
case of liquor selling to Indians. .\ certain 
festal day in the early '50s had been celebrated 
with a great deal of hilarity and imbibing of 
wine and aguardiente. The noble red man had 
vied with his white brothers in celebrating and 
in getting drunk. This was an offense to the 
white man, and as there was a heavy fine for 
selling liquor to Indians, some of the whites 
instigated the arrest of certain liquor dealers. 
-Among the accused was a scion of one of the 
most influential families. He was charged with 
having sold liquor to a Yaqui Indian. The 
evidence was very clear that the liquor had been 
sold by the defendant to the Yaqui, but to con- 
vict a member of that family, the justice very 
well knew, would be his political undoing for 
all time. So in the trial the ethnological ques- 
tion was sprung as to whether a Yaqui was an 
Indian or a white man. The race question was 
argued at great length by the attorneys on both 
sides, and the judge, after summing up the evi- 
dence, decided that the prominent cheek bones, 
yellow skin, straight black hair and dark eyes 
of the Yaqui were the effects of climate and not 
of heredity, and inside the Yaqui was a white 
man. The saloon-keeper was declared not guilty 
and discharged. 

The city government was administered eco- 
nomically in the early '50s, and taxes were light. 
-According to Ordinance No. 30, adopted June 
jg, 1852, the mayor, acting as recorder or police 
judge, received $2 for each conviction, which 


1(5 r 

amount he was required Id pa)' into tho dXy 
treasury. It does not appear that he was allowed 
to draw anything out of the treasury for salary. 
The city clerk received $35 per month, the city 
marshal $20. the city treasurer three per cent 
on all moneys paid in; the city tax collector six 
per cent on all collections and the city attorney 
$10 per month. 

The lighting of the city was accomplished in 
a very economical manner. An ordinance passed 
in 1852 required "every head of a family in that 
part of the city bounded north by Santa Barbara 
street, east by Ortega, south by ChapuLa and 
west lay Figueroa, to cause a lantern containing 
a lighted lamp or candle to be suspended every 
dark or cloudy evening in front of his house 
from dark to ten o'clock; neglecting to do so 
he will be fined not less than 50 cents or more 
than $1 for each ofTense." 

Fifty years ago Santa Barbara was, to use 
an expressive slang phrase of to-day, a "wide 
open town." Saloon keeping was the most 
popular industry. Of fifty licenses granted be- 
tween August, 1850, and February, 1851, thirty- 
two were for permission to retail liquors. Sun- 
day was a gala day, and dissipation reached high 
tide then. 

Before the conquest, the Californians were 
moderate drinkers. Although using wine freely, 
they seldom drank to excess. When they wished 
to indulge in a social glass, and some one stood 
treat for the crowd, they all drank not standing, 
but sitting on their horses. A squad of three 
or four, or half a dozen may be, would ride up 
to a pulperia and, without dismounting, one of 
the party would order the drinks. The mercader 
de vino (wine merchant) would bring out a cup 
or glass filled with wine or aguardiente; each 
one would take a sip and pass it to his neighbor. 
One cup served all the party; it w^as a sort of 
loving cup. It is said that once, when a crowd 
of American miners bestowed their patronage 
for the first time upon a native vinatero, and 
each called for a separate glass, the wineseller, 
who had but one glass in his shop, had to send 
out and borrow enough glasses from his neigh- 
bors to supply the demand. When each one of 
his patrons poured out a full glass of fiery 
aguardiente and gulped it down, the astonished 
saloonkeeper crossed himself and implored the 
saints to protect him from the American di- 

In 1855, a spasm of virtue seems to have 
seized the city council. It passed a Sunday 
closing ordinance: "All stores, shops, taverns 
and groceries shall close from 12 o'clock Satur- 
day night to 12 o'clock p. m. the following 
Sunday, except butcher, baker and apothecary 
shops," so read the ordinance. For a violation 

nf this ninnicipal law the pcnall)- was a fine of 
not less than $10 or more than $50. 

The early councils did business very care- 
lessly. The ofSce of councilman was not a 
lucrative one. The members took their pay in 
honors, and honors were not always easy. The 
office sought the man, but the man dodged it 
when he could. Resignations were frequent, 
and as vacancies were not promptly filled, the 
membership of the council was not often full. 
The council elected in j\Iay, 1853, held no meet- 
ing between May 5 and August 2J for want 
of a quorum. When a quorum w'as obtained, 
the disgusted clerk offered his resignation, and 
it was found that the mayor and two council- 
men-elect had failed to qualify. An election 
was ordered to fill vacancies. Whether they 
were filled or what that council did afterwards 
does not appear. When a new council was 
elected in May, 1854, the minutes of the old 
council had not been engrossed. The new 
council ordered them written up, and blank 
pages were left in the record book for their 
entry, but the pages are still blank. 

The members of the new council instituted 
an investigation to find out whether the old 
council could grant its members city lands at 
lower rates than the appraised value; and also 
to ascertain whether the land laws of the old 
a}-untamiento were still in force. What they 
found out is not written in the record. 


Shortly after the organization of the United 
States land commission in California, Santa 
r)arbara presented her claim for eight and three- 
fourths leagues of pueblo lands. In May, 1854, 
the council allowed a bill of $700 for prosecuting 
the city's claim. December 2^, 1854. a public 
meeting was called to consider the advisability 
of prosecuting the city's claim to its pueblo 
lands in the L'nited States courts. The land 
commission had rejected the city's claim to 
eight and three-fourths leagues. March 10, 
1855, Hinchman & Hoar were given a fee of 
$500 "for prosecuting the city's claims to her 
lands before the United States District Court." 
After a long drawn out contest in the courts, 
the city's claim w^as finally allowed in 1861 for 
four leagues, or 17,826 ''/i„n acres, extending 
from the Rancho Goleta to the .\rroyo de La 
Carpinteria. It was surveyeil by G. H. Thomp- 
son, May, 1867, and a patent signed by Presi- 
dent U. S. Grant, May 25, 1872. 

lender the Spanish and Alexican regimes, 
there was no survey made of the pueblo lands 
and no map or plat of the town. The ayunta- 
miento granted house lots on the application 
of any one desiring to build. The only survey 



made was li.> measure so maii\ \aras from some 
previous grant. Streets in those days were nol 
made, but, like Topsy, they "just grow-ed," antl 
in growing many of them became twisted. It 
took years alter the Haley survey was made 
to untwist some, or rather to adjust the houses 
to the new street lines. The street names given 
were mostly in Spanish. The mixed population 
of the early '50s so bungled the spelling of these 
that in 1854 the council appointed a committee 
'"to correct the orthography of certain streets." 
In the nomenclature of its streets, Santa 
Barbara has remembered many of the famous 
men of the Spanish and Mexican eras of Cali- 
fornia. Not only have famous men been remem- 
bered, but local historical incidents, too, have 
been commemorated. The historic event that 
gave Canon Perdido street its name, gave names 
also to two other streets and a design for a city 
seal. Briefly told, the story runs about as fol- 
lows: In the winter of 1847-48, the American 
brig Elisabeth was wrecked near Santa Bar- 
bara. Among the articles saved was a six- 
pounder brass cannon. It was brought ashore 
and lay on the beach for some time. One dark 
night in April, 1848, a little squad of Califor- 
nians stole down to the beach, hauled it away 
and buried it in the sands on the banks of the 
Estero. What their object was in taking the 
gun no one knows, probably they did not know 
themselves. Several days passed before the gun 
was missed. Capt. Lippett of Company F, 
Stevenson's Regiment of New York Volunteers, 
was in command of the post. He was a nervous, 
excitable man. In the theft of the cannon, he 
thought he had discovered preparations for an 
uprising of the natives. He dispatched a courier 
post haste to Col. Mason, the military governor 
of the territory at Monterey, with a highly 
colored account of his discovery. Mason, plac- 
ing reliance in Lippett's story and desiring to 
give the Californians a lesson that would teach 
them to let guns and revolutions alone, levied a 
military contribution of $500 on the town, to be 
paid by a capitation tax of $2 on every male 
over 20 years, the balance to be assessed on the 
real and personal property of the citizens, the 
money when collected to be turned over to the 
post quartermaster. The promulgation of the 
order in Santa Barbara raised a storm of indig- 
nation, and among those whose wail the 
loudest were the American-born residents of 
the town, who had become Mexican citizens by 
naturalization. Col. Stevenson, commander of 
the southern military district, who had been 
ordered to collect the pueblo's ransom by tact, 
by the soothing strains of a brass band and the 
influence of Pablo de la Guerra, all exerted on 
the nation's birthday, July 4, succeeded in col- 

lecting the money without any more dangerous 
nntl>rfak than a few nuUtered curses on the 
hated gringos. 

After peace was declared, Governor Mason 
ordered the money turned over to the prefect 
of the pueblo to be used in building a jail. 
When the city survey was made in 1850, three 
street names commemorated the incident, 
Canon Perdido (Lost Cannon) street, Quinien- 
tos (Five Hundred) street, and Mason street. 
When the council, in 1850, chose a design for 
a city seal they selected the device of a cannon 
statant, encircled by the words "\'ale Quinien- 
tos Pesos — Worth Five Hundred Dollars." 
The members of the city council made repeated 
demands on the ex-prefect for the five hundred 
dollars, but he refused to turn it into the city 
treasury, claiming that it was entrusted to him 
for a specific purpose, and until a jail was built 
no money would the city get. The city built 
a jail, but the ex-prefect still held on to the 
money. The council began legal proceedings 
to recover the money, but as the judge of the 
district and the ex-prefect were very closely 
related the case was transferred to San Fran- 
cisco. In some unaccountable way the papers 
in the case were lost, and as no new suit was 
begun the city never recovered the money. The 
council chose a new design for its seal, and all 
the city has left for its $500 is some street 

One stormy night in 1858 the Estero cut a 
new channel through its banks. Some citizen 
next morning, viewing the effects of the flood, 
saw the muzzle of a cannon protruding from the 
cut in the bank. Unearthing the gun. it proved 
to be the lost cannon. It was hauled up State 
street to Canon Perdido, where, mounted on an 
improvised carriage, it frowned on the passers 
by. Ten years had wrought great changes in 
the town and the people. The cannon episode 
was ancient history. Nobody cared to preserve 
the old gun as an historic relic, and as finders in 
this case were keepers, they sold it to a city 
merchant for $80, and he disposed of it in San 
Francisco at a handsome profit to a junk dealer 
for old brass. 

Santa Barbara in early days had her squatter 
troubles, in common with other parts of the 
state, covered by Spanish grants. The most 
noted of these was what is known as the Arroyo 
Burro affair. I give the following account of it 
taken mainly from Mason's History of Santa 
Barbara: John \'ida!, an ex-member of Steven- 
son's Regiment of New York Volunteers, had 
for some time rented a piece of land from Dr. 
Den. When the lease expired, he laid claim to 
the land under the United States pre-emption 
laws. Tlie court adjudged the land to Dr. Den, 



and Sheriff Twist was ordered to evict Vidal. 
A number of gamblers, among whom was the 
notorious Jack Powers, rallied to the assistance 
of Vidal. 

Vidal and his friends were reported to be 
fortified at his ranch house. Sheriff Twist sum- 
moned a posse coinitatus of two hundred men, 
and secured a small cannon that stood on the 
Plaza to batter down the fortifications. The 
Twist party assembled at the Egirrea House, 
then used for a court house. Vidal and his 
companions came riding up as if to begin the 
fight. Some say their intentions were to effect 
a compromise. As Vidal rode up two of his 
men, "Little Mickey" and a Spaniard, lassoed 
the cannon and tried to drag it away. Twist 
fired upon them, and the firing became general. 
Vidal was shot and fell from his horse. The 
Spaniard of the cannon episode stabbed Twist 
with a knife. A running fight ensued, but with- 
out any further casualties. Vidal lingered four- 
teen days before death relieved him of his 
sufferings. Pablo de la Guerra went out to the 
fort next day and induced the Powers gang to 
submit to the legal authorities. The disputed 
tract was afterwards declared by the courts to 
be government land. 


The pioneer newspaper of Santa Barbara was 
the Santa Barbara Gazette. The first number 
was issued Thursday, May 24, 1855. It was a 
four-page, five-column weekly, size of page 
12x18 inches. One page was printed in Spanish. 
W. B. Keep & Co. were the proprietors. The 
names of the members of the company were 
R. Hubbard, T. Dunlap, Jr., and W. B. Keep. 
Later on the firm was Hubbard & Keep. In 
their salutatory the publishers say: "After tak- 
ing into consideration the fact that there are 
now in California more newspapers than in any 
three states in the Union, the doubt of future 
success of one more might naturally arise in 
the minds of some wiseacres of our county. A 
field is undoubtedly open for enterprise and 
energy in this portion of the state. The counties 
of Los Angeles and San Diego have, for some 
time, supported papers, and without boasting 
we believe that the county of Santa Barbara 
possesses many advantages over these."' 

The Gazette was vigorously edited. It made 
strenuous efforts to arouse the officials and the 
citizens of the sleepy old city to make improve- 
ments, but it was labor in vain. If it did not 
arouse them to put forth efforts, it did excite 
their wrath. In the issue of October 4, 1855, 
the editor draws this picture of existing con- 
ditions within the city: "There are deep, un- 
covered wells, pit-falls and man-traps in various 

parts of the city, rendering it extremely hazard- 
ous tu traverse the streets at night, not only 
for horses and teams but foot passengers as 
well. There are unsightly gorges and gullies 
through which the water flows into the street 
in winter. The slaughter houses reek with filth, 
and the horrid stench from them pollutes the 
atmosphere." In another issue the editor ap- 
peals to the citizens "to tear themselves away 
from the blandishments of keno, billiards and 
cards long enough to examine the route for a 
post road" over which the mail could be carried 
through the coast countries to and from San 

The Gazette in its issue of May i, 1856, thus 
inveighs against the want of public spirit in the 
city officials and citizens: "It does not sound 
well to hear it said that since the incorporation 
of this city, more than six years ago, not a 
single improvement of general utility has been 
made, if the survey and maps be excepted. Not 
a street has been graded at the public expense, 
nor an artesian well nor a public edifice of any 
kind even projected, nor a wharf at the landing 
attempted or planned or even its cost esti- 
mated." These plain statements of facts were 
not relished by the old fogies of the town, and 
they resolved to crush the paper. Its principal 
revenue had been derived from the public print- 
ing. A bill was passed by the Legislature (at 
the instigation, it is said, of a scion of one of 
the ruling families whom the Gazette had casti- 
gated) authorizing county officials to publish 
legal notices by posting them on bulletin boards. 
The public patronage was not sufficient to sup- 
port a newspaper. The plant was sold in 1858 to 
two Spaniards, who removed it to San Francisco, 
where the paper was printed in Spanish as the 
Gaceta dc Santa Barbara. It lingered out an 
existence of several years, being edited and 
printed in San Francisco and publislied in Santa 
Barbara. Then it died. 

Through the first decade of its existence as 
an American city, Santa Barbara grew in a 
leisurely way. It was in no haste Ic become a 
great city. Old customs prevailed. The Span- 
ish language was the prevailing form of speech. 
Trade and travel came and went by sea as in 
the old hide drogher days. Twice a month a 
steamship landed the little budget of mail, some- 
times water-soaked in passing through the surf 
from ship to shore. Passengers were carried 
ashore from the surf boats on the backs of 
sailors, for there was no wharf. If there was 
no tip offered the sailor there might be a dip 
proffered the passenger. The sailor was already 
soaked; if he toppled over with his burden 
when a breaker struck him a little more salt 
water did not disturb him. It was different 



with his burden. Those actiuaiiitcd with the 
bucking propensities of the sailors always tipped 
before they left the boat. 

The feudal lords of the old regime still ruled. 
They had cattle on a thousand hills and an army 
of retainers. The retainers had votes and the 
cattle kings controlled their dependents' ballots. 
The second decade — the decade betw-een i860 
and 1870 — saw the beginning of the end of old 
time manners and customs. The story of the 
dethronement of the cattle kings more properly 
belongs to the history of the county at large 
than to that of the city. 


The terrible dry years of 1863 and 1864, which 
destroyed cattle raising, the dominant industry 
of the county, disastrously affected the city. 
Destitution prevailed and everybody was dis- 
couraged. There was no advance, no building, 
no progress during the early '60s. It was not 
until immigration began to drift southward 
about 1867 that the city shook off its lethargy 
and aroused itself to action. The Santa Barbara 
wharf was constructed in the summer of 1868. 
This greatly facilitated commerce. Previous to 
this vessels anchored a mile or two from shore, 
and all freight to and from the ship was taken 
on surf boats. In early times the only road 
between Santa Barbara and San Buenaventura 
was along the beach around Punta Gorda and 
Rincon Point. In high tide it was often impos- 
sible, and it was rendered dangerous on account 
of masses of earth falling from the cliffs. A 
new road was constructed that avoided the 
dangers of Rincon Pass, and a. stage line up 
the coast gave increased mail facilities and 
regular communication by land between Los 
Angeles and San Francisco without waiting for 
low tide. Increased steamship communication 
with San Francisco brought tourists and visitors, 
and the city began to fix up to receive its guests. 
June 2, 1870, a franchise w^as granted to Thomas 
R. Bard, S. B. Bunkcrhoff, Charles Fernald and 
JarrettT. Richards to lay. gas pipes in the streets 
and light the city with gas. Several large hotels 
were erected, among them the famous Arling- 
ton. Property values advanced. Blocks that in 
1870 sold for $100 in 1874 changed hands at 

The Santa Barbara College was founded in 
1869 by a joint stock company, of which Elwood 
Cooper was a leading member. The college 
building w^as erected in 1871. The college sus- 
pended in 1878 for want of support. The rooms 
on the lower floor of the building, now the San 
Marcos, are occupied by the high school classes; 
the upper floors are used as an apartment house. 

The cornerstone of the new court house was 

laid October 5, 1872. The building was com- 
|)leted in 1873 at a cost of $60,000. 

The First Xational Bank of Santa Barbara 
was organized in 1873. in 1876 its building was 
completed and occupied. The Santa Barbara 
National Bank was organized July, 1875, as the 
Santa Barbara County Bank. 

The Natural History Society was organized 
December, 1876, with a list of twenty-one mem- 
bers. For the first two years of its existence 
the society met in the Santa Barbara College 
building. It had but a small collection. In 1883 
about 1,200 volumes of government publica- 
tions that had been in charge of the Santa Bar- 
bara College were transferred to it. Funds 
were donated for furniture and bookcases. Its 
collections have had several lodging places, and 
are now kept in rooms on the ground floor of the 
San Marcos. 


The first movement looking towards the 
founding of a public library for Santa Barbara 
originated with the Odd Fellows. That organi- 
zation along in the later '70s had a considerable 
collection of books which were loaned out to 
readers. The time and trouble involved in loan- 
ing the books and looking after them was 
too great to be done gratuitously, and the asso- 
ciation after a time discontinued loaning, and 
the books were stored away. 

Under the state law of 1880 for establishing 
free libraries, the city council, February 16, 1882, 
adopted a resolution to establish a free library 
and reading room. At the next citv election T. 

B. Dibblee, Jas. AI. Short, O. N. Dimmick, W. 
E. Noble and S. B. P. Knox were elected library 
trustees. The Odd Fellows donated all the 
books in their collection, numbering 2,921 vol- 
umes. The first librarian appointed was Mrs. 
Mary Page. The city has erected a neat and 
commodious library building, so planned that 
it can be enlarged without change of design or 
inconvenience to the patrons of the library. The 
library now has about 14,000 volumes. Mrs. M. 

C. Reed is the present librarian, and Miss D. 
Chambers, assistant. 

The decade between 1870 and 1880 marked 
tlic transformation of Santa Barbara from an 
adobe town to one built of brick and wood. The 
increase of population was not great. After the 
decadence of the cattle industry many of the 
natives left the country. The population of 
Santa Barbara in i860 was 2,351; in 1870, 2,970, 
an increase of 26 per cent; in 1880. 3,469, an 
increase of 17 per cent. The decade between 
1880 and 1890 witnessed its most rapid growth. 
Its population in 1880 as previously stated was 
3,469; in 1890, 5,864, an increase of nearly 70 



per cent. In the early '80s began a concerted 
movement among the counties of Southern Cali- 
fornia to advertise their resources in the Eastern 
states. "California on Wheels" was sent on its 
mission east. Railroad building, and particu- 
larly railroad projecting by real estate agents, 
was active. It is remarkal)lc how easily rail- 
roads were built then — on paper. A beautifully 
illustrated pamphlet advertising the Santa Ynez 
valley issued at this time, states that among 
the many railroads building or soon to be 
built is the Atchison, Topeka and Santa 
Fe line from Santa Monica via San Buena- 
ventura to the headwaters of the Santa Ynez 
river, making "the shortest, coolest and most 
superb scenic route from Los Angeles via the 
Salinas valley to San Francisco." 

August 17, 1887, the first passenger train from 
Los Angeles arrived in Santa Barbara. The 
same afternoon came one from San Francisco 
via Saugus. The city turned out en masse to 
celebrate the event. There was a bancjuet in the 
evening and a grand ball. The boom in real 
estate was on in earnest and prices expanded, but 
the railroad before the end of August stopped 
building, and the real estate bubble collapsed. 
While the boom lasted, some large sales were 
made. The recorded transfers for seven months 

aggregated over $5,000,000. As many of the 
contracts were not recorded, the sales really 
reached about $7,000,000. .V number of sub- 
stantial improvemaiits were completed. State 
street was paved with bituminous rock for two 
miles at a cost of $180,000. Other streets were 
graded and miles of sidewalk laid. 

The first through trains on the Southern Pa- 
cific coast line from San Francisco and Los An- 
geles passed through Santa Barbara .March 31. 
1901. Among the recent improvements at Santa 
Barbara is the completion of St. .\nthony's Col- 
lege, a Franciscan college for the preparation of 
young men who wish to enter priesthood. It is lo- 
cated on rising ground near the old mission. The 
corner stone was laid June 13, 1899. It was 
formally dedicated April 25, 1901. It is a stone 
building, three stories high, and cost about' 
$50,000. The school for a number of years had 
been conducted in a wing of the old mission. 
The president is Rev. Peter Wallischeck, O. F. 
M. February 27, 1896, a horrible tragedy 
occurred in the monastery of Santa Barbara. 
An insane domestic, employed in the building, 
shot and killed the Guardian Father Ferdinand 

The new high school of Santa Barbara will 
cost, when completed, about $60,000. 




THE history of the territory now included 
in Ventura county up to the time of its 
segregation from Santa Barbara prop- 
erly belongs in the sketch of that county. As 
but little space could be given it there, I give 
a brief review of some of the principal events 
occurring during the Mexican and early Ameri- 
can periods. The mission buildings of San 
Buenaventura formed a nucleus from which the 
settlement of the district radiated. The country 
contiguous, after the secularization of the mis- 
sions, was held in large ranchos by owners 
hving in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles, and the 
district suffered from absenteeism. 

At the time of the American conquest anil 
for years afterwards the district was sparsely 
populated. In early days San Buenaventura 
was one of the stations or stopping places on 
the so-called Camino real (royal highway), that 
led from mission to mission up and down the 

It was an easy day's ride from San Fernando 
or from Los Angeles, as rides were made in 
those days. Although surrounded by a mag- 
nificent cattle country, there was but little ship- 
ping from its port in the hide droghing days. 
Dana, Robinson and others who were on the 
coast at. that time make but meager mention 
of it. The cattle of its extensive ranchos trans- 
ported their own hides and tallow to market, 
that is. they were driven to some point near 
Santa Barbara or San Pedro for slaughter. 

The old mission figured in the Civil war of 
1838, when Juan Bautista .-Mvarado and Don 
Carlos Carrilio were hostile rivals for the gover- 
norship of the territory. The battle of San 
r.uenaventura was tiie \Vaterloo of Carrilio. It 
was not nuich of a battle, as battles were fought 
in the .American Civil war from 1861 to 1865, 
but it was the most sanguinary conflict in the 
struggle between Northern and Southern Cali- 
fornia over which, Los .Vngcles or Monterey, 
should be the capital, and who. .Mvarado or 
Carrilio, should be governor. 



Castenada, in command of Carrillo's army of 
the south, had fallen back from Santa Barbara 
on the approach of Castro with the army of the 

i north and taken position in^he mission church 
of San Buenaventura. Castro pursuing, with 
three pieces of artillery, reached San Buenaven- 
tura in the night and planted his cannon on 
the heights overlooking the mission. In the 
morning he summoned Castenada to surrender. 
The summons was indignantly rejected, and the 
liattle was on. For three days there was a rattle 
of nuisketry and a roar of artillery. Each sup- 
posed he was annihilating the forces of the 
other. On the third night the southern soldiers, 
weary of slaughter, attempted to steal out under 
the cover of darkness and make their way to 
their desolate homes. They did the stealing 

•part admirably, but when they had crawled out 
they were promptly halted by the enemy lying 
in ambush; and as promptly surrendered. After 
the battle came the painful duty of burying the 
dead and caring for the wounded. There was 
but one dead and one wounded — a dead south- 
erner and a wounded northerner, or possibly 
the reverse (authorities difTer). The mission 
building had received several severe wounds. 
Castro's marksmen could hit a mission, but not 
a man. It is said that there are several of 
Castro's cannon balls still embedded in the 
adobe walls of the old mission. The battle of 
San Buenaventura was the Gettysburg of the 
Civil war between the arribanas (uppers) and 
the abajanos (lowers). 

At the time of the American conquest there 
was not so far as known an American settler in 
San Buenaventura. Col. Stevenson, when he 
was commander of the military district of the 
South, in 1847-48, sent Isaac Callahan and W. 
O. Streeter to take charge of the mission prop- 
erty, which had beeii abandoned by the superin- 
tendent. After the organization of Santa Barbara 
county the San Buenaventura district con- 
stituted a township of that county. November, 
1852, an election was called to elect three school 
commissioners for the township of San Buena- 
ventura, but w-hether any were elected the rec- 
ords do not show. The boundaries, as defined 
in 1855, are as follows: "First township to ex- 
tend from the division line of Los Angeles 
county to the Arroyo known as Arroyo del 
Rincon. The elections shall be held at the 
Mission San Buenaventura." The boundaries 
of the school district were the same as those of 
the township. The scliool trustees elected in 
November, 1855. were Jose A. Pacifico and 
Sanchez Rey Olivas. 

In December, 1855, John Koselli was teach- 
ing a public school at the mission of San Buena- 
ventura. The school was taught in the Spanish 

language. This was probably the first common 
school taught in the district and the pioneer 
school of Ventura county. 

In 1857 A. Schiappa Pietra, then a resident of 
Santa I'.arbara, started the first store in San 
Buena\entura. At that time there were but 
two places in the whole district where travelers 
could be entertained. One was a tent on the 
Sespe raiicho and the other a hotel kept in the 
east wing of the mission. In 1858, the American 
residents were A. M. Conway, Grififin Robbins, 
\^•. T. Na.*. \\". 1). Ilobson, McLaughlin an<! 

In 1859 the first attempt was made to form 
a county out of the eastern portion of Santa 
Barbara. A petition containing 130 names was 
sent to the legislature praying for the fomiation 
of the county of San Buenaventura. 

The Los Angeles Star of January 29, 1859, 
commenting on the project, says: "We might, 
however, have remained silent, had not the in- 
terests of Los Angeles county been brought into 
the question. Our informant stated to us tliat 
we are to be deprived of Fort Tejon township; 
and that according to the petition it w-as to be 
incorporated into the new county, giving to us 
the Rancho of Conejo or some other place al- 
most entirely valueless in exchange. It is an 
old maxim not only taught by the fireside, but 
spread upon every statute book, that he who 
takes from another without his consent is guilty 
of robbery. And he who assists in such an act 
is equally guilty with the leaders. Has Los An- 
geles county been consulted in this matter? We 
are certain it has not. Has Tejon district been 
asked if it w-ould accede to it? We find no one 
who can answer. San Buenaventura then would 
like to control not only the 130 persons who are 
said to have signed tlie petition, but also the 
board of supervisors of Santa Barbara county 
and the like body of Los Angeles county. Don 
Antonio de la Guerra, chairman of the board 
of super\'isors of Santa Barbara, immediately 
on hearing of the movement, ordered the clerk 
of the county to send the representatives of the 
county in the legislature and the senator of 
the second district a comparative statement of the 
number of votes the would-be new county could 
cast; the pro rata amount of debt they w-ould 
have to assume ; and requesting these represent- 
atives to show to the legislative body the folly 
of the undertaking." The Star assures its read- 
ers that our delegation in the legislature will 
see to it that no "snap judgment" is taken by 
these plotters for a new county. 

It is rather strange that this county division 
project did not carry in that legislature. The leg- 
islature of 1859 was a secession body. It passed 
;i bill dividing the stale and creatine' the state of 



South California, subject to the approval of the 
people. At an election held in the fall of 1859 
the proposition was voted upon by the counties 
of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los An- 
geles, San Diego, San Bernardino and Buena 
Vista. A majority of the voters favored divis- 
ion, but the state was not divided. It was a 
pro-slavery scheme designed to give the slave- 
holders of the south more representation in 
congress. The election of Linciiln, in i860, put 
an end to the plot. Nothing came of that 
county division scheme, either. 

In i860, there were but nine American voters 
in the precinct of San Buenaventura. The first 
survey of a town site was made in 1862, by 
Waterman, Vassault & Co., who owned the ex- 
mission lands. The first attempt to incorporate 
the town was made in 1863. Messrs. Simpson, 
Beebe, Stow, Escandon and others met at the 
hotel kept by V. A. Simpson and drew up a 
petition to the legislature asking for incorpora- 
tion. The legislature, probably considering it 
too small a matter to waste time on, did nothing 
with the petition. 

The Noahian deluge of 1861-62 made an in- 
land sea of the Santa Clara valley, but did very 
little damage. The cattle and horses escaped 
to the foothills and the loss of stock was light. 
During the famine years of 1863 and 1864 there 
was a heavy loss of cattle. The dry years, how- 
ever, did not bring about a subdivision of the 
ranchos as in Los Angeles. The ranches were 
restocked gradually and the old industry, cattle- 
raising, continued for a time. 

The flood of 1867-68 was more severe than 
that of 1861. "On Christmas day, 1867, the wa- 
ter rose until it was three feet deep in Main 
street (San Buenaventura). The lower portions 
of the town were submerged and the inhabitants 
had to be removed to a place of safety. The 
warm rain falling on and melting the recently 
deposited snows of the mountains filled the 
rivers to overflowing and caused the flood. The 
land from the Santa Clara hotel to the river 
was flooded. Forty-seven women were rescued 
from the flooded houses and carried on the 
backs of horses or on the shoulders of men to 
. places of safety." 

In 1868 the current of immigration, which for 
years had steadily flowed into Central and 
Northern California, turned southward. Flic 
subdivision of the great ranchos of the south 
had begun and cheap farm lands were thrown 
on the market. Successive years of abundant 
rainfall had obliterated the traces of the "famine 
years." Prices of all products were good and 
men of small means in Central California, who 
had made money by grain-raising on rented 
lands, began to look around for homes of their 

own. The completion of the first transconti- 
nental railroad (the Union and Central Pacific) 
in May, i86g, brought many home-seekers to the 
coast and some of these drifted southward. 

The coast stage line had been established in 
1868 on a better basis, and, with increased serv- 
ice, running on regular time, attracted land 
travel. Heretofore travel up and down the coast 
had been almost entirely by steamer; and as the 
large passenger steamers did not stop at San 
Buenaventura, it had remained comparatively 
unknown. The stage passengers coming down 
from the mountains on their journey northward 
or, rising as it were out of the sea, on their 
southward trip, beheld stretched out before 
them the valley of the Santa Clara in all its 
loveliness and were delighted with the view 
and enthusiastic over the country's future pros- 

The following table of distances and stations 
gives the line of the old stage route between 
Los Angeles, San Buenaventura and Santa Bar- 
bara in 1868: 

From Los Angeles to Cahuenga Pass 

House 9H miles. 

To New Station Sj4 '" 

To Mountain House (Larry's) ISJ4 " 

To Simi Ranch 8^ " 

To Las Posas 12 " 

To Santa Clara River 10 " 

To San Buenaventura 8j4 

To Rincon 12 

To Santa Barbara 15 " 

Total 98^ " 

The stage, which carried the daily mail, left 
Los Angeles at 6 a. m. and arrived at 8 p. m. 
The through time from San Francisco to Los 
Angeles by stage was 66 hours. The following 
extract taken from Josephine CliiTord's "Trop- 
ical California," a series of articles descriptive of 
the coast counties from San Luis Obispo south- 
ward, published in the Overland Monthly sev- 
eral years before Nordhofif's famous letters ap- 
peared, gives a pleasing dcscrijition of the stage 
ride and of San Buenaventura as she saw it in 

"The regrets I expressed on leaving Santa 
Barbara came from my heart; it is a lovely spot, 
and even when I went from it I could not but 
lean out of the window to catch departing 
glimpses of it as it faded more and more from 
sight. The stage road winds along by the sea; 
the sun was shining, golden, as it seems ever to 
shine on these serene, blue ripples of water, and 
there was something so (|uieting in the soft 
plashing of the waves against the shore that I 
laid my head back and, with open eyes, dreamed 
■ — dreamed till I fell asleep, and was waked up 
again by the sound of water rushing imme- 



diately under the coach. I looked out in bewil- 
derment; it was true, the horses were drawing 
the coach through the foaming, flashing waves. 
The other passengers expressed no concern; so 
1, too, remained quiet, and soon found tliat this 
was the pleasantest way of traveling along the 

"Twenty-five miles below Santa Barbara lies 
San Buenaventura, another old mission, around 
which quite a flourishing place has sprung up. 
The flimsy, garish frame houses have crowded 
themselves in where the olive, the palm, and the 
fig-tree once grew in unbroken lines; but now 
or.h- patches of ground, covered with giant pear 
trees and huge old olives, are visible back of the 
fast-growing town. Passing through in the 
broad, positive light of noonday, I could look 
on these things philosophically and with equa- 
nimity; but on my way back from Los Angeles 
some time later, in the chill hours of the wan- 
ing night, the sight of the place made me feel 
sad, almost bitter. Night had not yet lifted her 
mantle from the earth as the stage rolled heavily 
toward San Buenaventura, and the roar of the 
ocean fell on my ear with hollow sound. Soon 
I distinguished the bell towers of the Mission 
Church, and the tinkling of the bells, just 
touched, had a feeble, complaining tone; now 
we turn into the one long street of San Buena- 
ventura, and in the darkening halls, the clerk of 
the hotel shows me into a cheerless room, up- 
stairs. I walk to the window — to the rising- 
light — and there, in the yard below are those 
peerless, graceful palm trees I saw waving and 
bending in the dim distance. How pitiful to see 
these neglected daughters of the torrid zone 
lifting their royal shafts among the stove pipes 
and empty dry goods boxes of a country store 
back yard. I stretched out my hands lovingly, 
and they nodded their proud heads, and flung 
their arms to the morning breeze, pointing to 
where those clusters of dark olives stood. But 
it grows lighter, the stage is at the door, and 
bears us rapidly away. In the far east breaks 
the cold gray morning — 'those .\m?ricans' are 

And "those Americans" continued to come; 
the "garish frame houses" crowded out the 
adobe structures. The age of wood supplanted 
the age of unbaked clay, and in turn was 
crowded back from the business streets by brick 
and stone. The "clusters of dark olives" have 
been thinned by the woodman's ax and but two 
of the palms nod their proud heads in the morn- 
ing breeze. .\nd still "those .\nicricans are 
coming," not by stage, but by steam. 

Mrs. Clifford's description of a night ride over 
the mountains between San l>uen.aventur.i and 
Lus .'\ngelcs illustrates sonic of the perils and 

inconveniences of travel a third of a century ago: 
"We had been ascending the mountain for some 
time, when, during a breathing spell given the 
horses, the sharp, decided rattle that seems pe- 
culiar to just these stages, sounded back to us 
from somewhere above, as though it were the 
echo of our own wheels. The driver listened a 
moment, and then broke out with an abrupt 

oath, for which he didn't even apologize. 'D 

that fellow! But I'll make him take the out- 
side,' he muttered. 'What's the matter?" I 
asked apprehensively; 'anything wrong?' 'Oh 
no!' with a look over to my side of the road 
where the light of the lanterns fell on the trees 
that grew up out of the mountain side below 
us, and were trying to touch the wheels of our 
coach with their top branches — 'nothing at all. 
Only he's got to take that side of the road and 
take his chances of going over. He'd no busi- 
ness coming on me here.' 

"The rattling had come nearer all this time 
and now a light flashed up a little in front of us 
and directly a fiery, steaming monster seemed 
rushing down to destroy us. The air had grown 
chilly and the horses in the approaching stage 
seemed to have cantered down the mountain at 
quite a lively gait; for the white steam was issu- 
ing from their nostrils and rising in clouds from 
their bodies. The six gallant horses, reined up 
short and stamping nervously to be let loose for 
the onward run, were a noble sight; and the 
heavy coach with its two glowing eyes was 
grandly swaying in its springs. Our own horses 
were blowing little impatient puffs from dis- 
tended nostrils, and our coach drawn safely up 
on the rocky hillside. Both drivers stopped to 
exchange the compliments of the day — or, 
rather, the night — our driver speaking in crusty 
tones, and, pointing down to where the road 
fell ofif steep and precipitous below him, warned 
the other driver 'not to run ahead of his time 

"There was nothing remarkable about the 
supper we took that night except the bats that 
kept coming in at the front door in a perfectly 
free-and-easy manner, swarming about our 
heads till they thought they knew us. and tiien 
settling in their favorite nooks and corners. No-- 
ticing my imtiring endeavors to prevent them 
from inspecting my head and face too closely, 
the station keeper observed that people were 
'most always afraid of them things when they 
first come,' but that they 'needn't fright of them: 
they wouldn't hurt nobody.' The rest of the 
night was passed inside the stage, though of 
sleep there was no thought, such jolting and 
jumi)ing over rocks and boulders: I ache all 
over to think of it even now! Just before day- 
Lreak we entered the City of the .\ngels." * * * 



San Buenaventura became ambitious to be 
classed as a seaport. In January, 1871, a fran- 
chise was secured to build a wharf; work was 
begun upon it in March; and in February, i$72, 
it was so near completion that steamers were 
able to discharge their cargoes directly on it. 
The next advance was the establishing of a 
newspaper. April 22, 1871, appeared the first 
number of the Ventura Signal. The editor and 
|iroprietor, J. H. Bradley, was a wide-awake, 
progressive newspaper man. He directed his 
efforts towards building up the prospective 
county. He was an earnest and intelligent ad- 
vocate of county division and labored to organ- 
ize and unify public sentiment in favor of that 


After the failure of the attempt to divide 
Santa Barbara county in 1859, the scheme fell 
into a state of "innocuous desuetude." It was not 
given up; only held in abeyance. The people 
were biding their time. There were abundant 
reasons why the people of the eastern portion 
of Santa Barbara should have a county of their 
own when they could afford the expense. It 
was a long distance to the county seat, and the 
journey had to be made over roads that were 
next to impassable in the winter time. The 
western and more populous part of the county 
monopolized the offices; and the most harrow- 
ing grievance that the average American office- 
seeker can suffer is to have his claims to polit- 
ical preferment ignored by his party. Then, too, 
Santa Barbara city, which really dominated the 
politics of the county, had a large purchasable 
clement among its voters, which, under the 
leadership and controlled by crafty politicians, 
decided the political destiny of aspirants for 
office on a coin basis. The advocates of a new 
coimty pointed to the many and grievous 
wrongs against the right of suffrage commit- 
ted by the political bosses of Santa Barbara and 
urged a separation from their contaminating 
influence. Examples were many. 

It is said that at one time when political feel- 
ing ran high a whole tribe of Indians were 
voted. At another closely contested election 
the passenger list of a Panama steamer was 
copied and a precinct of 20 voters rolled up 160 
votes. The "hole in the wall" election fraud of 
1852 was one of the many scandals that shook 
confidence in the verdict of the ballot box. At 
that election the voter passed his ballot through 
a hole in the wall. The election officers, who 
were all of one political faith, disposed of the 
ballots as seemed good to them. The electors 
of the other side had the privilege of voting 
carlv and often. If their votes were not coimtcd 

at least they had the satisfaction of casting a 
goodly number. The registry law of 1866 
checked some of the more flagrant abuses, but 
bribery, coercion and the open buying of votes 
went on for several years afterwards. 

Inimignition had brought into the eastern end 
of Santa Barbara county a population almost 
entirely American, and the desire to cut loose 
from the western end with its peculiar election 
methods increased as population increased. In 
1869, ten years after the failure ofthe first, a sec- 
ond effort to form a new county was made. flon. 
A. G. Escandon was elected to the assembly 
largely on a county division issue, but Santa 
Barbara bitterly opposed the scheme when it 
came before the legislature and the bill for the 
creation of a new county failed to pass. 

In the legislature of 1871-72, the measure 
•again came* to the front. Hon. W. D. Hobson, 
who represented the county divisionists in the 
legislature, was successful in carrying the meas- 
ure. The bill creating the county of Ventura 
was approved March 22, 1872. The boundaries 
111 the county are as follows: "Commencing on 
the coast of the Pacific ocean at the mouth of 
Rincon creek; thence following up the center 
n[ said creek to its source; thence due north 
to the boundary line of Santa Barbara county; 
thence in an easterly direction along the bound- 
ary line of Santa Barbara county to the north- 
cast corner of the same; thence southerly along 
tlic line between the said Santa Barbara county 
and Los .Angeles county to the Pacific ocean 
and three miles therein; thence in a northwest- 
erly direction to a point due south and three 
niilc.^ distant from the mouth of Rincon creek; 
tlience north to the point of beginning; and in- 
chuling the islands of Anacapa and San Nic- 

The bill provided for the appointment of five 
conuuissioncrs to effect a county organization. 
Rarlv in Tanuarv the governor appointed 
Thomas R.Bard, S. r.ristol, W. D. F. Richards, 
.\. C;. Escandon and C. W. Tliacker. 

.\ special election was called for February 25, 
1873. to elect county and township officers. The 
total vote cast was 608 and the following were 
declared elected: 

T. l^farion Rrooks. District Attorney. 

I". Atollcda. Coiinlv Clerk. 

Frank rolcrson. SlierilT. 

Jcilni 7.. Barnctt. Connty Assessor. 

!■". .\. Edwards, Connty Treasurer. 

C. J. Do Merritle, County Surveyor. 

F. S. S. Bncknian. County Superintendent of Schools. 

Dr. C. L. Bard, Coroner. 

The supervisors were James Daly of the first 
district, a hold-over from Santa Barbara; J. A. 
Conuwav of the second, and C. W. Tliacker of 



the third district. All the officers except the cor- 
oner were Democrats. The coroner had no op- 
position or he, too, would have been over- 
whelmed by the Democratic tidal wave. Pablo 
de la Guerra was the district judge of the sec- 
ond district — San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara 
and Ventura. Milton Wasson was county judge. 
Frank Molleda, county clerk, died a few weeks 
after his election and S. M. W. Easley was ap- 
pointed to fill the vacancy. The officers having 
all qualified and filed their bonds, the county of 
Ventura opened for business March 14, 1873. 

The offices of the county officials except that 
of the treasurer were located in a rented build- 
ing on the corner of Main and Palm streets 
in what was known as Spear's Hall. San Buena- 
ventura owned a jail and this was used jointly 
by the town and county until the county jail 
was built. A plat for a court house square in 
the old mission orchard was deeded to the 
county by Bishop Amat; and in 1873 bonds 
were issued to the amount of $6,000 by the 
county; the town donating $4,000 for the pur- 
pose of building a court house and jail. The 

project of building a court house in San Buena- 
ventura aroused the opposition of other towns 
ambitious to be the county seat (particularly 
Saticoy and Hueneme), and a court house war 
was on with all its bitterness. The court house 
nevertheless was built among the century-old 
olives in the mission garden; and, although the 
mutterings of the discontented towns were 
heard for years afterwards, it availed them noth- 
ing. It is not probable that any one of the as- 
pirants of early days will ever become the seat 
of county government. The main building of 
the court house was completed in 1874; a wing 
was added in 1878, and in 1884 four rooms were 
added to the west end. 

During the years of 1872 and 1873 business 
was active in San Buenaventura and throughout 
the county. New buildings were going up, prop- 
erty changing hands, and the old town after its 
sleep of a century awoke from its lotus dream 
of ease to find itself metamorphosed from a 
sleepy, half-Indian, half-]\Iexican hamlet to a 
bustling, wide-awake, progressive American 




EARLY in 1872 San Buenaventura dis- 
trict issued school bonds to the amount 
of $10,000 to build a new school house. 
The bonds were sold and the corner-stone of the 
building laid September 16, 1872. The number 
of school census children in the county in 1872 
was 809. of whicli 323 were in the town of Ven- 

The first murder in the new county was com- 
mitted March 3, 1873. In a dispute over land 
boundaries George Hargen shot and killed 
George Martin, on the Colonia rancho. Har- 
gen, after the murder, attempted to escape by 
flight. He was followed by some of his neigh- 
bors, overtaken, arrested and taken back to the 
scene of the murder. He was confined in a small 
house and closely guarded. An inquest was 
held on the body of Martin and the verdict was 
that he had been murdered by Hargen without 
provocation. Martin was a peaceable man and 
a good citizen, Hargen a quarrelsome and dan- 
gerous fellow. /\fter the inquest, Hargen was 
taken to a lone tree on the ranch and hanged. 
He showed no penitence for his deed, but ex- 
pressed himself glad that he had killed 'Martin. 
No effort was ever made tn arrest the visrilantcs. 

It was generally conceded that Hargen had re- 
ceived his just deserts. 

The year of 1874 was one of abundant rain- 
fall ; crops were good, prices of grain and stock 
high, immigrants were coming and the city and 
county were riding on the wave of prosperity. 
The first boom was on. The town had grown 
rapidly. Its population was about 1,000. 

The Ventura Library Association was incor- 
porated November 23, 1874. The incorporators 
were Milton Wasson, James Dalv, C. G. Finnev, 
L. F. Eastin. G. S. Gilbert, Jr.; C. H. Baily, J. J. 
Sheridan, T. B. Steplton and L. C. Granges. .Ml 
members paid $5 a year to the support of the 
library; those not members were allowed the 
privilege of drawing books on the payment of 
twenty-five cents per month. A room was se- 
cured, and with the proceeds of a fair and festi- 
val was fitted up with shelves and furniture. Six 
hundred volumes were bought and the library 
opened. It was kept open until 1878, when, 
becoming involved in debt, it was closed. The 
library trustees, Messrs. James Daly. M. H. 
Gay, C. H. Baily, L. F. Eastin and J. J. Sheridan, 
made a proposition to the board of town trus- 
tees to transfer the assets of the association to 
the town, provided the town trustees would pay 
the library indebU'diicss and agree to levy a tax 



for the support of the library in accordance with 
the state law providing for a library fund in in- 
corporated cities and towns. The town board 
accepted the proposition and took charge of the 
library August 21, 1878. J. F. Newby was ap- 
pointed librarian and held the office until Febru- 
ary, 1888. The town owns' its own library build- 
ing, which is a part of the city hall. New books 
are added as means will allow. The library is in 
charge of Miss Florence Vandever, who is a 
very efficient and competent librarian. 

In 1875 the town and the county had grown 
populous enough to support another newspa- 
per. J. H. Bradley had done good work with the 
Signal, the pioneer newspaper founded in 1871. 
He made it a model country newspaper. His 
health failed and in 1873 he disposed of his in- 
terest in it to E. Shepherd and J. J. Sheridan. 
They kept up the early reputation of the paper. 
The first number of the Daily Ventura l-'rcc 
Press was issued November 14, 1875. It was 
published by O. P. Hoddy. The subscription 
price of the daily was $8; weekly, $3. In his 
salutatory, the editor says: "In conducting the 
Free Press we shall endeavor to the best of our 
ability to be a champion and friend of the peo- 
ple." The daily was a four-page, eight-column 
blanket sheet. The editor was often driven to 
desperation to fill his local columns with news 
items. The town was small, the people were 
intent on their own business and it was the same 
wearying round of sameness day after day. At 
the end of an uneventful week the editor utters 
this wail: "If ever in the publication of a local 
paper we were driven to desperation in search 
of items we are this week. Not even a dog fight 
has occurred to relieve the monotony. We have 
felt almost justified in placing a man on the 
watch for wild geese or sending a reporter to 
the clam beds." 

February 19, 1876, H. G. McLean became 
proprietor of the daily and weekly free Press. 
With the advent of a rival paper a newspaper 
war broke out. There was no scarcity of items 
after that. There was perhaps no more news, 
but there was more noise. People never quarrel 
silently. Expletives, hot with wrath or icy with 
irony, were hurled back and forth from sanctum 
to sanctum. During the famous More murder 
trial the rival papers assailed each other vi- 
ciously, the Signal scathingly condemning the 
murder and the Free Press excusing it. 

The Monumentals, a fire company, was or- 
ganized in 1875; B. F. Williams, president; L. 
F. Eastin, secretary, and R. G. Surdam, fore- 

The Gas Company was organized the same 
year; J. M. Miller, president; L. F. Eastin, sec- 

February 25, 1876, the steamer "Kalorama," 
491 tons' burden, belonging to the Coast Steam- 
ship Company, was lost. While lying at Wolf- 
son's wharf, on account of the rough sea, she 
chafed against the wharf and was ordered to 
move out to the floating buoy. On the way 
thither her screw fouled with the mooring rope 
and left the vessel at the mercy of the wind, 
v.'hich drove her ashore. As she lay on the beach 
her heavy machinery broke loose in her hull. 
The loose machinery and the beating of the 
waves broke her to pieces. The loss was esti- 
mated at $77,500. 

In 1877 occurred the murder of T. Wallace 
JMore. The excitement, prejudices and politi- 
cal issues even, that arose out of the varying 
circumstances connected with the trial of the 
conspirators made this one of the most cele- 
brated cases in the criminal annals of Cali- 
fornia. Thomas Wallace More, by purchase 
from the old Californian families, had acquired 
large land holdings in the Santa Clara valley. 
ITe and his three brothers at one time owned 
a tract thirty-two miles long, bordering on the 
Santa Clara river. Among his purchases was 
the Sespe rancho, originally granted to Don 
Carlos Carrillo in 1829. More bought this grant 
in 1874, paying in full for six leagues the 
amount of land the grant was supposed to con- 
tain. The United States Land Commission had 
confirmed the grant in 1853 for this amount. 
The United States, as adverse claimant, ap- 
pealed the case to the United States district 
court. When the plat was brought into court 
it was found that the number of leagues had 
been changed from two to six at some time dur- 
ing the existence of the grant. More, to prevent 
the w'hole grant from being rejected, consented 
to take two leagues; the remaining four leagues 
Iieing government land, was open to settlement 
and about forty squatters located on it. Fre- 
c|uent disputes arose between More and the 
squatters. The ill feeling between them was 
intensified by More attempting to buy the four 
leagues from the government under an act 
passed subsequent to the rejection. 

On the night of the 23d of March, 1S77, More 
was sleeping at the ranch house on his grant. 
About midnight the barn was discovered on fire 
and he and his hired man rushed out to save the 
contents of the building. More was shot down 
as lie came into the light by some masked men, 
and while lying on the ground begging for his 
life was riddled with bullets. Suspicion fell upon 
the squatters. To avert it they held a meeting 
and some of the murderers were loudest in their 
condemnation of it. and passed resolutions de- 
notuicing it and offering their assistance in fer- 
reting out the murderers. 



Austin Broiii, one of the Sespe settlers, hav- 
ing quarreled with Curlee, one of the conspira- 
tors, revealed to the administrator of the More 
estate the names of those who had conspired to 
kill More. As a result of these revelations and 
sonic other evidence obtained by the authorities, 
F. A. Spraguc, J. S. Churchhill, J. F. Curlee, 
Jesse M. Jones, Ivory D. Lord, Charles McCart, 
H. Cook and J. A. Swanson were arrested. N. H. 
Hickerson, chairman of the meeting at which 
the resolutions were passed, being on his death 
bed, also made some revelations. After the ar- 
rest Jesse M. Jones turned state's evidence. On 
trial Sprague and Curlee were found guilty. 
Sprague was sentenced to be hanged and Cur- 
lee to imprisonment for life. On the trial of 
Lord the jury disagreed. When the trial of the 
next conspirator was begun, Jones, a weak and 
unscrupulous fellow, having evidently been in- 
duced to do so by purchase or persuasion, re- 
tracted his former evidence and admitted that he 
had perjured himself. As it was impossible to 
convict without his testimony, the others were 
discharged. Sprague's sentence was commuted 
to imprisonment for life. Stoneman, when gov- 
ernor, pardoned him. Curlee obtained a new 
trial, and the jury disagreeing, his case was 
finally dismissed. Jones' financial circumstances 
were greatly improved by his connection with 
the plot. 

The year 1877 was one of disasters to Ventura 
both by sea and land. Two vessels were wrecked 
in the bay that year. The brig Crimea, 223 
tons' burden, loaded with lumber, while made 
fast to the wharf, parted her cable and was driven 
ashore by the heavy northwesterly gale prevail- 
ing at the time. The loss was estimated at 


Deccmljcr i, 1S77, the brig I,ucy Ann. 200 
tons' burden, parted her mooring during a vio- 
lent northwester and was broken to pieces. One 
life was lost. The vessel was valued at $6,500. 

The year 1877 was one of the dreaded dry 
years. After the almost total destruction of 
cattle-raising in the "famine years" of 1863 and 
1864 the sheep industry came to the front in 
Southern California. The high price of wool 
in the years immediately following the close of 
tlie Civil war. the rapidity with which sheep mul- 
tiplied and the small cost of their maintenance 
made the business of wool-growing very profit- 
able. As the agricultural lands of the valleys 
were utilized for gi-ain-growing the ranges were 
curtailed and the sheep were crowded back on 
the mesas and foothills. When drought came 
the feed on these was soon exhausted and sheep 
were dying by thousands. On the island of 
Santa Cru7. alone 25,000 starved to death. On 
the main land whole droves perished. Some 

of the owners drove their sheep to Arizona and 
Southern Utah and thus saved a remnant of 
their flocks. Others depending on a late rainfall 
delayed their departure until too late, and at- 
teni])ting to cross the deserts with their starving 
bands lost them all. The dry year put a tempo- 
rary check to the prosperity the county had Ijecn 
enjoying for several years. 

In 1879 the assessed value of the property 
of the county was $3,399,000. The land under 
cultivation was estimated by the county assessor 
at 75,000 acres. Of this amount about one-half 
was sown in barley; corn came next and wheat 
third, the three cereals monopolizing about 
60,000 acres of the cultivated lands; while the 
bean, now one of the great agricultural staples, 
only occupied 1,800 acres, and the sugar beet 
was then unknown among the products of the 

The great flood of 1884 swept down through 
the Soledad caiion and carried the Southern Pa- 
cific Railroad track out of the canon down the 
Santa Clara river to the sea. Out beyond the 
mouth of the river for several days during the 
flood a great raft made up of bridge timbers, tics 
and telegraph poles, the wreckage of the rail- 
road, was tossed back and forth by the river 
current and the breakers. When the flood sub- 
sided this flotsam was cast on the beach or car- 
ried out to sea. The Santa Clara river spread 
out over the valley and for a time rivaled tlie 
Father of Waters during a spring rise. The 
flood did but very little damage in \^entura 

In 1886 the construction of the coast line 
of the Southern Pacific Railroad was begun at 
Saugus. a station on the main road from Los 
Angeles to San Francisco. Work was puslied 
rapidly down the Santa Clara valley, and early 
in 1887 the road was completed to San Buena- 
ventura. The reaction from the debilitating ef- 
fects of l)ank failures on the coast, dry years 
and the low prices of grain did not begin till 
nbout 1882; from that on there was a steady 
advance in the price of real estate. With the 
advent of the railroad in 1887 it went up with 
a bound. The real estate agent became very 
much in evidence. Wbat the town or the county 
lacked in actual conditions his vivid imagination 
supplied. On every side was evidence of growth 
and progress. The magnificent Hotel Rose was 
built at a cost of $i20,coo. To prevent business 
from drifting up town too rapidly a syndicate 
of down-town property holders built the Ana- 
capa Hotel. Streets were graded, sidewalks 
laitl, a theater built and the town assumed met- 
ropolitan airs. 

The railroad reached Santa Fiarbara in .Au- 
gust, 1S87, and there stopped. The halt would 



not be long. The gap between the northern and 
southern ends would soon be closed, so the real 
estate boomers said. Besides, the Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe had surveyed a route from 
Santa Monica to San Buenaventura, then up the 
river of the same name, crossing the divide to 
the Santa Ynez, down its valley and by way of 
the Salinas valley and San Jose to San Fran- 
cisco. Rivalry between the two roads would 
force them to hurry up the work. San Buena- 
ventura on two main lines would become a great 
railroad center. But the Santa Fe did not ma- 
terialize; the Southern Pacific remained station- 
ary and the gap was wide open. Hope deferred 
made the heart of the real estate agent sick. 
The boom subsided and San Buenaventura 
awoke from a dream to the reality that she was 
not a great railroad center. 

In 1890 the Federal census gave the town a 
population of 3,869, a very healthy growth for 
the decade. The population of the county was 
10,071. The total number of school census chil- 
dren between five and seventeen was 2,703, of 
whom 1,962 attended school. 

September i, 1890, the town was lighted by 

The Ventura County Pioneer Society was 
organized September 19, 1891. Dr. C. L. Bard 
was made president and L. F. Eastin secretary. 
The vice-presidents were John Barry, J. Ho- 
bart, K. P. Grant, Thomas A. Rice and J. A. 
Conaway. James Daly was chosen treasurer and 
A. J. Snodgrass marshal. All male residents of 
the county, June 2, 1873, were made eligible 
to membership. Sixty-two members signed the 
rolls the first evening. 

F. S. S. Buckman, the first superintendent of 
schools of Ventura county, was assassinated in 
San Francisco by a man named Daly. He shot 
Buckman in the back, mistaking him for his 
(Buckman's) brother, with whom he had a quar- 
rel. Daly was tried, found guilty and sentenced 
to the state's prison for life. 

December 29, 1891, Jose de la Rosa, the first 
printer to set type in California, died in the 
town of Ventura. He brought a printing press 
and font of type to Monterey in 1834, and 
printed the first book ever issued in California. 
He was born in the pueblo of Los Angeles, 
Old Mexico, and lacked but eight days of being 
103 years old. At the time of his death he was 
the oldest printer in the world. On the press 
he brought was printed the first newspaper pub- 
lished in California, The Californian, published 
by Semple & Colton, August 15, 1846. 

The railroad to NordhofT was completed in 

July 9, 1895, an election was held to vote upon 
the proposition of bonds to the amount of 

$106,500 to purchase the property of the Santa 
Ana Water Company. The bond issue was car- 
ried by a vote. of about seven to one in favor. 
On the question of issuing bonds in the sum of 
$23,500 to purchase the arc light system of the 
Ventura Land and Power Company, submitted 
the same day, the vote stood six to one in favor. 
The proposition to purchase the water system 
was afterwards rejected by the town trustees on 
account of defective title so it was claimed. 

The number of census children in the county 
in 1895 was 3,592. Two high schools had been 
established, Ventura and Santa Paula. The as- 
sessed valuation of the county in 1895 was 
$8,236,147. It was estimated that the county in 
1895 produced 2,600 carloads of beans valued at 

The year 1898 marked the beginning of a 
new industry and the introduction of a new 
agricultural product into the county. The Pa- 
cific Beet Sugar Company erected a sugar fac- 
tory and refinery at Oxnard and inaugurated 
the cultivation of the sugar beet. Oxnard was 
founded in Januai-y, 1898. The population of 
^''entura county, according to the Federal cen- 
sus of 1900, was 14.367, an increase of 4,298 in 
ten years, or about thirty per cent; that of San 
Buenaventura 2,470; of Santa Paula, 1,047; of 
Oxnard, 1,000. 


Huencme or Wynema, as the name was for- 
merly spelled, is an Indian word, meaning a rest- 
ing place, or place of security, and was so named 
by the Indians because in this bay or harbor 
thcv found a resting place from adverse winds. 
The town was founded in June, 1870, by W. E. 
Barnard, G. S. Gilbert and H. P. Flint. It was 
the first town really founded in the district, 
which later formed Ventura county. San Buena- 
ventura, the oldest town of the district, grew 
up around the mission without founding. Huen- 
eme is twelve miles south of the county seat and 
is situated on a coast projection of the Colonia 
rancho. The Iluenemc Lighter Company es- 
tablished a shipping port here in June, 1870, 
and received shipments of lumber. During the 
first year 60,000 sacks of grain were loaded on 
vessels by means of lighters. Thomas R. Bard 
and R. G. Surdani obtained a franchise to con- 
struct a wharf at this point. Work was pushed 
rapidly on the structure, and in .\ugust, 1871, 
the wharf, 900 feet long and extending out to 
where the water was 18 feet deep, was com- 
pleted. (In 1897 the wharf was extended to 


1, 600 feet, with an average depth of water at its 
end of 30 feet.) 

Upon the completion of its wharf, Hueneme 
became one of the most important shipping 
points on the southern coast. It was the outlet 
by sea of the rich corn, barley and bean district 
south of the Santa Clara river; and of the wheat 
and fruit-growing valleys of the Las Posas, Simi 
and Conejo. Hueneme is a town of warehouses. 
It now has seven of these, with a capacity of 
500,000 sacks. It has a bank with a capital of 
$50,000, three churches and supports a weekly 


Nordhofif, named for the celebrated writer, 
Charles Nordhofif, is located in the center of the 
Ojai valley, fifteen miles north of San Buena- 
ventura. It has an elevation of 900 feet above 
the sea level. The town was founded in 1874. 
R. G. Surdam purchased sixty acres, which he 
subdivided into town lots. The town contains 
several churches, a good school and a public 
library. It supports a weekly newspaper, the 
Ojai, established in 1890. The Ojai valley is a 
famous citrus fruit belt. Nordhoff is connected 
with San Buenaventura by railroad. 


Santa Paula, sixteen miles easterly from San 
Buenaventura, on the coast line of the Southern 
Pacific Railroad, was founded in 1873 by 
Blanchard and Bradley. It is located .at the junc- 
tion of the Santa Paula creek with the Santa 
Clara river and takes its name from the creek. 
The first hotel opened in the town was Dod- 
son's. Wiley Brothers opened the first mercan- 
tile establishment. One business place that an- 
tedated the founding of the town was Major 
Gordon's saloon, "The Cross Roads." One Sep- 
tember day in 1873, Tiburcio Vasquez and his 
gang of robbers and cutthroats visited the ma- 
jor's liquid dispensary and spent money for 
drinks most lavishly. Their high toned liber- 
ality and disregard for money made a deep im- 
pression on tlie major; and after their departure 
he was loud in their praise. "The most polished 
gentlemen, sir, I ever met in California." The 
major very nearly had a fit when an officer of 
the law who was on their trail told the major 
who his "polished gentlemen" were. 

In 1875 Santa Paula contained two hotels, 
two stores, two saloons, a postoffice and a flour- 
ing mill half a mile above the business center. 
The discovery of petroleum that year in Santa 
Paula cafion greatly accelerated its growth. It 
experienced another boom in 18S7, when the 
railroad was built through the Inwn. Since 1873 
Santa Paula h;is been the heridquarters of the 

oil industry of Ventura county. The larger oil 
companies have offices here and a pipe line from 
the wells conveys the oil to Ventura. Besides 
the support the town receives from the oil in- 
dustry it is the center of a rich fruit growing 
district. Both citrus and deciduous fruits are 
produced here. Santa Paula is a city of 
churches. It supports more different denom- 
inations than any other town of its size in the 
slate. The Universalists, Presbyterians, Catho- 
lics, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Holi- 
ness and Christians have church buildings, and 
there are several other religious organizations 
who have not yet erected buildings. The town 
has an excellent high school. Two weekly news- 
papers — the Chronicle, founded in 1886, and the 
Sentinel — keep the people posted on the news 
of the day. 

Oxnard, named for Henry T. Oxnard, Presi- 
dent of the American Beet Sugar Company, is 
the youngest town in the county, but in rapidity 
of growth it has distanced all competitors. Jan- 
uary, 1898, it consisted of one lone house — a 
structure of rough upright boards. In March, 
two months later, there were seven buildings. 
In Jime, 190 1, it boasted of an elegant house, 
a bank, a $22,000 school house, a $16,000 
Masonic Hall, a number of mercantile estab- 
lishments, among them one carrying a $100,000 
stock, a daily newspaper (the only one in the 
county), a number of fine residences, a sugar 
factory (the largest with one exception in the 
world), three church buildings, one of the pretti- 
est designed plazas in Southern California and 
a population of 2,000. Its school census, taken 
]\Iay, 1901, gave its school population 523, the 
largest of any town in the county except that 
of San Buenaventura which numbered 720. 

The following, compiled from the Oxnard 
Courier, gives a brief description of the sugar 
factory: "The construction of the Oxnard Beet 
Sugar Factory was begun early in 1898. The 
main building is an immense structure. It is 
121 feet in width by 401 in length and 90 feet 
high. The sugar house, where the finished 
jiroduct is stored, extends from the west end of 
the building 220 feet, and is 65 feet in width. 
The boiler house is 100x300 feet. Crude oil is 
used for fuel and three iron tanks placed 700 
feet away from the main building have a stor- 
age capacity of 33,000 barrels each. The twin 
steel smoke stacks are twelve feet each in 
diameter at the base, and rise to a height of 
155 feet. They constitute a landmark that can 
be seen miles away. There are two vertical lime 
kilns, one 05 feet high and the other 85 feet, 
supplying i8t) tons of lime a day, which is used 


in clarifying and purifying the beet juice in the 
process of sugar making. The building, ma- 
chinery, etc., cost $2,000,000. Oxnard and the 
factory are connected by rail with the main line 
of the Southern Pacific by a branch road to 
Montalvo, distant five miles. The Oxnard Daily 
Courier, founded May 8, 1901, published by 
Charles A. Whitmore and edited by J. A. Whit- 
more, is the only daily paper now published in 
Ventura county. The Weekly Courier was 
established in 1898. 


El Rio was formerly known as New Jerusalem. 
It was founded by Simon Cohn in 1875. As 
about all the business of the town was in the 
hands of Hebrews, it took the name of the holy 
city of the Jews, with a prefix. It has consider- 
able business. There is no synagogue in it, but 
it has a large Catholic church and parsonage. 
The Methodists had a church building there, 
but it has recently been removed to Oxnard. 
El Rio is on the stage road between Montalvo 
and Oxnard, and about half way between San 
Buenaventura and Hueneme. 

Montalvo, five miles by railroad easterly from 
San Buenaventura, is a small town with one of 
the Southern Pacific Milling Company's great 
warehouses in it. It is in the center of the 
apricot region. The Oxnard branch unites with 
the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad 
here. It was laid out in 1887, when the railroad 
Vvas built. 

Saticoy, on the railroad nine miles east from 
the county seat, was formerly known as the 
Springs. It is the principal town of the Santa 
Paula y Saticoy rancho. Saticoy and West 
Saticoy, two different settlements, are practically 
one for business. West Saticoy contains three 
churches and a school building that cost $10,500. 

Fillmore began its existence at the advent of 
the railroad in 1887. From it is shipped the 
famous brown building stone. It is surrounded 
by oil derricks. 

Bardsdale is on the old Sespe grant, and was 
named for Thomas R. Bard, who sold 1,500 
acres to R. G. Surdani. The latter laid out the 
town in 1887. 

Camulos Ranciio, made famous by Helen 
Hunt Jackson in her story of Ramona, is in the 
extreme eastern end of the county near the 
railroad. Visitors have been debarred admit- 
tance to the ranch house, as it was in danger 
of being carried away piecemeal for relics. 

Other post towns are Simi, thirty-four miles 
from the county seat; Springville, fifteen miles 
away; Piru City, thirty miles; Newberry Park, 
a mountain town, and Timberville, also in the 

THE OIL industry. 

Next to Ventura's magnificent agricultural 
resources comes its wealth in petroleum. It is 
the pioneer county in oil production. The first 
attempt to utilize the oil from the seepages 
which abound in various parts of the county was 
made by George S. Gilbert in 1861. He put 
up a small refinery on the Ojai rancho and a sim- 
ilar one in the Santa Paula canon, and made a 
fair quality of illuminating and lubricating oil. 
The experiment did not pay; the cost of pro- 
duction exceeded the profits. 

In 1864, a company, composed of Leland Stan- 
ford, A. P. Stanford, W. T. Coleman and Levi 
Parsons, commenced operations in Wheeler 
canon, Cache cafion, and at several other 
points. They hoped to find light oil similar to 
that of Pennsylvania. With the imperfect ma- 
chinery for boring then in use, they could not 
sink deep wells. Their development work was 
done by running tunnels into the ridges where 
the seepages showed the presence of oil. One 
tunnel in Wheeler canon yielded fifteen barrels 
of oil a day, but as it was a heavy black oil they 
had no use for it. So the tunnel was abandoned 
and work ceased. 

In the same year, 1864, the California Petro- 
leum Company, with a capital of $10,000,000, 
was organized iu Pennsylvania by Col. Thomas 
A. Scott, the great railroad magnate of that day. 
The company purchased the Ojai, Colonia, 
Calleguas, Simi, Las Posas and Guadalasca 
ranchos. Machinery, tools, piping and every- 
thing needed in well boring were purchased in 
the east and shipped to California by water. 
Thomas R. Bard, now United States Senator of 
California, was sent to superintend the business 
of the company. Some of the machinery was 
lost while landing it at Hueneme. In June, 
1865, the first well was begun in Ventura canon, 
seven miles from San Buenaventura, near a 
large pit of tar. It was not a success. Another 
was bored, but was also a failure. After consid- 
erable experimenting a gusher was struck, but 
it soon ceased to gush. Several tunnels were 
run into the hills. Some of these gave a fair 
yield of black oil, but that was not what the 
I'onnsylvanians were looking for. After four 
years of experimenting without success, the 
company retired from the oil business, having 
sunk over $200,000 in prospecting. 

About the time the Pennsylvania Company 
abandoned the field, Messrs. Adams and Thayer 
began prospecting. They had purchased land 
in what is now Adams canon with the intention 
of going into stock raising. From the oil indi- 
cations they imagined that oil stock might be 
the more profitable stock to raise. They devel- 



oped several small wells. In 1876 they sunk a 
well and obtained a fine quality of light oil, just 
what prospectors for a decade or more had been 
seeking. Later in the year the Pacific Coast Oil 
Company made an important strike in oil of the 
same quality. The oil business began now to 
assume importance. In 1S83, Lyman Stewart, 
an experienced Pennsylvania oil man, came to 
California and shortly afterwards W. L. Hardi- 
son came from the same state. They formed 
the Hardison-Stewart Company. This con.ipany 
and the Torrey canon and the Sespe companies 
were later merged into the Union Oil Company 
of California. One of the wells sunk by the 
Hardison-Stewart Company is 2,800 feet deep. 
Another in the same canon, bored in 1888, has 
produced 122,000 barrels in a single year, w'orth 
at that time $4 per barrel. Well No. 16 of the 
Union Oil Company was a genuine gusher. It 
was estimated that 10,000 barrels of oil ran to 
waste before it could be capped. Oil develop- 
ment has steadily progressed in Ventura for a 
quarter of a century with no sign of decline. 
The principal oil districts are Santa Paula caiion, 
Adams caiion, Torrey canon, Sespe, Little Sespe, 
and Piru. 

The strikes of tlie later '70s developed the 
first oil boom of Southern California. Wher- 
ever a seepage showed, a claim was located, 
then a company was formed and.stock sold. As 
the boom progressed, sharpers sunk holes and 
poured oil into them to entrap the confiding 
into purchasing claims or stocks. The second 
oil boom of Southern California, that of 1900, 
is too recent and too well remembered by those 
who were duped into purchasing wild-cat stock 
to need recording here. History repeats itself 
sometimes, and so do oil booms. 


On the block east of the Rose Hotel are the 
floral gardens established in 1886 by Mrs. Theo- 
dosia B. Shepherd. From small beginnings 
the enterprise has grown to a large busi- 
ness. From the gardens and seed farms 
near by are annually shipped to eastern deal- 
ers thousands of bulbs, 1)csidcs seeds and 
plants in great quantities. By hybridization and 
fertilization Mrs. Shepherd has produced a num- 
ber of new and beautiful flowers, among which 
may be named a new eschoscholtzia — -the Gold- 
en West. Mrs. Shepherd's greatest work has 
been with begonias, of which she has 300 varie- 
ties, many of these prorluced liy crossings. 


Ventura counly includes wilhin its area two 
islands: Anncapa, cightci n miles from the 

coast, and San Nicolas, distant eighty miles. 
-Anacapa is seven miles long and one wide. It 
IS uninhabited. There is no water upon it. On 
the higher portions there is some vegetation, 
upon which a band of sheep subsists, obtaining 
water out of their feed. Father Gaballeria, in 
his History of Santa Barbara, writing of the 
Channel Islands, says: "One of them, formerly 
called the uninhabited island, was named Ana- 
capa, meaning deceptive vision. This name the 
Indians had always applied to it. The Indians 
were wont to ply between the coast and the 
i.'^land with their canoes, and Anacapa island 
presents a complete deception to the navigator. 
At times the island seems quite near, when in 
reality it is a long distance away; and again 
it appears from afar a panorama brilliant with 
rich vegetation, wdiile in fact it does not possess 
sufficient water to supply life's needs. The 
natives styled it for this reason Anacapa — false 
appearance, deceptive, illusory." 

In the Santa Barbara Gazette of November, 
1856, I find this account of the massacre of the 
Indians on San Nicolas Island by the Aleuts 
of Russian America: "In 181 1 a ship owned 
by Broodman & Pope, of Boston, commanded 
by Capt. Whettemore, trading on this coast, 
took from the port of Sitka, Russian America, 
about thirty Kodiak Indians to the islands of 
the Santa Barbara Channel for the purpose of 
killing sea otter, which were very numerous on 
these islands. Capt. Whettemore, after landing 
the Kodiaks on the island and placing in their 
hands firearms and the necessary implements 
of tJie chase, sailed away to the coast of Lower 
California and South America. In the absence 
of the ship a dispute arose between the natives 
and the newcomers on account of the seizure of 
the females by the Kodiaks. The Kodiaks, 
possessing more activity, endurance and know-l- 
edge of war and having superior weapons, 
slaughtered the native males, old and young, 
without mercy. 

"On the island of San Nicolas not a male, old 
or young, was spared. At the end of a year 
Capt. Wlietlemore returned, took the Kodiaks 
on board and carried them back to Sitka. From 
tliat period little is known of this island till 1836, 
when Capt. Isaac Williams, collector of the port 
of San Pedro, visited the island in a small vessel 
and took on board all the Indians remaining, 
except one woman who was left in the manner 
stated by Capt. Russell in the California Maga- 
zine. The Indians of the islands were of the 
type of the coast Indians, and were no doubt 
a part of them." 

Retribution overtook Whittemore. His ship 
was rnplured the following vear (1812') near the 
Sandwicli Islands liy the British sliip of war 



"Phcebe," and he was taken to England a pris- 
oner of war. 

The following is Capt. Russell's "Narrative 
of a Woman Who Was Eighteen Years Alone 
Upon the Island of San Nicolas, Coast of Cali- 
fornia," referred to in the above extract from 
the Santa Barbara Gazette. It was published 
in Hutching's California Magazine, November, 
1856, and probably is the earliest and one of the 
most reliable accounts of the lone woman of 
San Nicolas Island. I omit the introduction 
wiiich does not directly apply to the subject, and 
leave out the sentimental padding that the 
author stufifed into the story. 

"One evening while seated beside our quiet 
camp fire, placidly smoking our pipes, Mr. Nid- 
cver related to me the following remarkable 
iiistory: Twenty years ago the whole of the 
Indian tribes inhabiting this group of islands 
were engaged in a fierce and exterminating war 
with each other, and to such an extent was this 
deadly hostility waged that already the popula- 
tion had very much diminished and would in all 
probability before many years become entirely 
extinct. To prevent this, and at the same time 
to ameliorate the condition of the Indians, the 
fathers of the mission of Santa Barbara con- 
ceived the idea of removing them to the main 
land. I*"or this purpose they visited the islands 
m company with a few partially civilized Indians 
and explained to them the advantages of re- 
moving to the mission. They finally consented 
to go on promise of protection from their ene- 
mies being given by the fathers. 

Accordingly a small vessel was sent to the 
different islands and the various tribes were 
taken, one by one, to the mission of Santa 
Barbara. But while the last of the Indians were 
embarking at the island of San Nicolas and all 
v.ere supposed to be on board, a child was miss- 
ing, and its mother, after frantically looking 
for it on the ship and adjacent rocks, rushed ofif 
to the interior of the island to seek for it. A 
storm was threatening, and the captain, after 
delaying as long as he dared, put to sea. The 
storm broke in all its fury, and the vessel, after 
narrowly escaping shipwreck, landed its living- 
cargo at Santa Barbara. Before the vessel could 
return for the woman, it was wrecked and en- 
tirely lost, and as no other could be obtained 
at that time, the poor wonian had to remain 
upon the island, where she lived alone for eigh- 
teen years. After the discovery of gold it was 
rumored that San Nicolas was inhabited. Sea 
otter hunters had frequently found human foot- 
prints on it. As the footprints were all alike 
it was concluded that there was but one person 
living on it, and many attempts were made to 
find out wlio this strange being was. Mr. Nid- 

evcr, of Santa Barbara, a pioneer who came to 
California twenty-five years ago, took up the 
search. He had been a Rocky Mountain trap- 
per, and was as expert as an Indian in following 
a trail. Visiting the island he discovered the 
tracks and followed them until he saw among 
the rocks of the island near the mouth of a cave 
a singular object on its knees skinning a seal. 
Upon approaching he found it to be a woman 
clad in a dress of feathers. When she saw him 
she jumped up, and with excessive joy ran to- 
wards him and seemed almost beside herself 
with delight at the sight once more of a human 
being. In her hand she held a rude knife-blade 
that she had made from a piece of old iron, 
probably obtained from the fragment of some 
wreck, and which she valued beyond anything 
in her possession. She was unable to make 
herself understood, except by signs. She will- 
ingly accompanied her rescuer to Santa Barbara. 
Father Gonzales of the mission tried to find 
some of the Indians who had been taken from 
the island eighteen years before, but none were 
discovered, and none of the Santa Barbara 
Indians understood her language. 

"It appears from her narrative that after leav- 
ing the vessel in search of her child she wan- 
dered about for several hours, and when she 
found it the wild dogs which infest the island, 
even to the present day (1856), had killed and 
nearly devoured it. When she returned to the 
landing the vessel was gone with all her friends 
and kindred. 

"From day to day she lived in hope, beguiling 
the weary hours in providing her wants. With 
snares made of her hair she caught birds, and 
with their skins, properly prepared, she made 
her clothing; her needles were neatly made of 
bone and cactus thorns ; her thread was of 
sinews from the seal. In these and many other 
articles found in her possession she exhibited 
much of the native ingenuity she possessed. 
Whether she still remembered her own lan- 
guage or not will forever remain a mystery. She 
was very gentle and kind, especially to children, 
and nothing seemed to ])leasc her more than 
to be near them. 

"The sympathy felt for her welfare caused 
the people to supjjly her, bountifully, with 
everything she needed, and very imprudently 
allowed her to eat almost anything she chose, 
and the result was that in about six months after 
her escape from her lonely exile she sickened 
and diccl. having undoubtedly been killed by 

In the February number (1857) of Hutching's 
ralifornia Magazine the editor, in an article on 
The Indian Woman of San Nicolas, states that 
George Nidever, the gentleman who discovered 



the woman, had presented Capt. C. J. W. Rus- 
sell on his recent visit to Santa Barbara with a 
water-bottle made of grass, a stone mortar, 
necklace and other things made by the woman 
during her long and solitarj' residence on the 
island. He further states: "There is upon this 
island a good-sized cave in which she took up 

her abode, and on the walls of which she had 
kept a rude record of all the vessels that had 
passed the island, and of all the most remarkable 
occurrences in her lonely history, such as seeing 
large quantities of seals, hailing of vessels in the 
distance, etc." 



BY an act of the legislature approved 
March ii, 1889, the territory now form- 
ing Orange county was cut off from the 
southeastern portion of Los Angeles county. 
The movement to form a new county out of 
that portion was begun twenty years before it 
was accomplished. The late Major Max Strobcl 
of Anaheim was the originator of the scheme. 
In the fall of i86g he drew up a bill creating 
the county of Anaheim and making the town 
of Anaheim the county-scat. The dividing line 
between the old and the new county began at 
a point in the Pacific ocean, three nautical miles 
southwestward from the mouth of the old San 
Gabriel river, thence running northeasterly, fol- 
lowing the channel of that river to an intersec- 
tion with the San Bernardino base line; thence 
east on that line to the division line between Los 
Angeles and San Bernardino counties. 

Strobel had enlisted in his scheme the active 
co-operation of some of the wealthiest pioneers 
of the county. William Workman of the Puente, 
Temple, Rubottom, Fryer, Don Juan Foster, 
Ben Dryfus, A. Langenberger, and others, 
favored ids project. Armed with numerously 
signed petitions and abundantly supplied with 
coin, Strol)el appeared in Sacramento at the 
opening of the legislative session of 1869-70. 
Early in the session his bill passed the assembly 
with but little opposition. The hopes of the 
divisionist rose high, the new county was as- 
sured. Anaheim became a political Mecca for 
oiifice-seeking pilgrims. Statesmen of Los Nie- 
tos and place hunters from San Juan counselled 
with the patriots of Anaheim, and parcelled out 
the prospective county offices among them. 

Then came a long delay. Opposition to the 
scheme had shown itself in the senate. The 
people of Los Angeles city had awakened to the 
fact that they were about to be left with a large 
area of mountains and deserts, and but very 
little else. 

The new county took in all of the fertile val- 
leys of the Los Nietos, the San Jose and the 
Santa Ana. The delay lengthened. Strobel was 

hopeful, but the opposition was working most 
vigorously. Gold would win, and gold he must 
have or all would be lost. The envious and un- 
charitable queried as to what had become of all 
the coin Strobel had taken with him, and inti- 
mated that he had been fighting the tiger in 
the jungles of Sacramento and that the tiger 
had the best of it. But the faithful gathered 
together their hard earned shekels, and the pro- 
ceeds of many a gallon of wine, the price of 
many a bronco and many a bullock were sent 
to Strobel that he might convince the honest 
legislators of the richness and resources of the 
new county. 

Another long delay and anxiety that was cruel 
to the waiting statesmen on the banks of the 
Santa Ana. Then one day in the ides of March 
the lumbering old stage coach, with its tri- 
weekly mail, rolled into the embryo capital of 
the new county. The would-be officeholders 
gatlicred at the postoffice, eager for the latest 
news from Sacramento. It came in a letter from 
Strobel. The bill had been defeated in the sen- 
ate, but he was working for a reconsideration 
and would be sure of success if more money 
were sent. To Strobel's last appeal oven the 
most faithful were dumb. 

Major Max Strobel. the originator of the 
division scheme and its most earnest advocate 
in its early stages, deserves more than a passing 
notice. A soldier of fortune and a Machiavel 
in politics, he was always on the losing side. He 
was a man of versatile genius and varied re- 
sources, a lawyer, an editor, a civil engineer, an 
accomplished linguist and a man of education. 
Me was a German by birth, and reputed to be 
of aristocratic lineage. A compatriot of Carl 
Schurtz and Sigel in the German revolution of 
'48, on the failure of that movement, wdth 
Sigel, his intimate friend, he fled to this country, 
lie drifted down to Nicaragua, and for a time 
filibustered with Walker. He finally located in 
.Anaheim, where he bought a vineyard and en- 
gaged in wine making. But the life of a vine- 
yardist was too narrow and contracted for his 



genius; he was constantly branching out into 
new projects. He was one of the pioneer petro- 
leum prospectors of the state. In 1867 he sunk 
a great hole in Brea canon, where, if he did not 
strike oil, he did strike the bottom of the purses 
of those whom he enlisted in his scheme. Even 
m this project his ill luck followed him. In the 
immediate vicinity of where he bored for oil 
thirty-four years ago, oil gushers abound to-day 
;ind fortunes have been made in oil. 

After his failure to divide the county he start- 
ed a newspaper in Anaheim. It was to be the 
organ of county division. It succeeded in divid- 
ing the divisionists into two factions, the Strobe! 
and the anti-Strobel, who waged a wordy war 
against each other through the columns of their 
respective organs, the .-Idrocate and the Gazette. 
Strobel's organ, The -People's Advocate, died 
from some cause, probably insufficient nutrition, 
and was buried in the grave of journalistic fail- 
ures. Strobel's last venture was the sale of 
Santa Catalina Island to European capital- 

Supplied with funds by the owners and rich 
mineral specimens from the island, he sailed to 
England and located in London. He succeeded 
in convincing a syndicate of English capitalists 
of the mineral wealth and other resources of the 
island, and negotiated its sale for a million dol- 
lars. y\ contract was drawn up and an hour set 
on the next day when the parties were to sign 
and the money to be paid. When the hour 
arrived for closing the transaction Strobel did 
not appear. Search was made for him. He was 
found in his room dead, dead on the very eve 
of success, for the sale of the island would have 
made him rich. Negotiations for the island were 
broken off by the death of Strobel. Nearly 
twenty years after his death it was sold for one- 
quarter of what he was to receive. 

Strobel might be said to be the father of 
Orange county. He was the progenitor of the 
scheme that resulted in its creation, although 
he died years before it was born. After the 
death of Strobel, the management of the county 
division scheme was placed in the hands of a 
committee. The name was changed from the 
county of Anaheim to the county of Orange. 
the committee arguing that immigrants would 
be attracted by the name, forgetful of the fact 
that there were only about fifty other places 
named Orange in the United States. The north- 
eastern boundaries of the prospective county 
were contracted so as to leave out the San Jose 
valley, the people of that valley electing to re- 
main in the old county. A bill creating the 
county of Orange was introduced into the legis- 
lative session of 1872, but it never reached a 

In 1873 the division question drifted into poli- 
tics. A county division convention was held in 
Anaheim, and a man by the name of Bush from 
Santa Ana was nominated for the assembly. 
The policy of the divisionists was to force one 
or the other of the political parties to place 
Bush on its ticket to secure the division vote. 
In their conventions neither the Democratic nor 
the Republican party took any notice of Bush's 
candidacy. Ignored by both parties, he made 
an independent campaign, received a few votes 
and then passed out of the political arena for- 

In the legislature of 1874, Wiseman, nick- 
named the "Broadaxe" from the vigorous way 
he hewed the Queen's English, appeared as the 
champion of county division. Neither his 
pathetic appeals for the oppressed people of the 
prospective county of Orange nor his superla- 
tive denunciations of their oppressors, the coun- 
ty officials of Los Angeles, convinced the law- 
makers at Sacramento that the people were suf- 
fering for the want of a new county. 

.Another change was made in boundaries and 
name. The northern line of the prospective 
county drifted southward to the new San Gabriel 
river. In 1878 a bill to create the county of 
Santa Ana and making Anaheim the seat of its 
government was drafted. The name was a con- 
cession to Santa Ana, a concession, however, 
that failed to conciliate. The town of Santa 
Ana, that had no existence when Strobel pro- 
mulgated the division scheme in 1869, had now 
grown to be a formidable rival of Anaheim. It 
was ambitious to become a. county scat itself. 
and vigorously combated the division projects 
of its rival. Local jealousies and the opposition 
of Los Angeles defeated the measure in the 

In 1881 another division effort was made. 
Anaheim patched up a truce with her rival, 
Santa Ana. The vineyard city was to have the 
scat of government for two years, then it was 
to be a free-for-all scramble among all the towns 
and the one that could corral the most votes was 
henceforth to be the capital of the county of 
Santa Ana. Bills were introduced in both the 
senate and the assembly, but died on the files, 
smothered by "slickens" (mining debris), the 
absorbing question of that session. 

The question of county division fell into a 
state of "innocuous desuetude." The rivals, 
Anaheim and Santa Ana, were preparing for the 
final struggle. It came in 1889. Col. E. E. 
Edwards, a resident of Santa Ana, was elected 
one of the members of the assembly from Los 
Angeles county. He introduced a bill to create 
the county of Orange and leaving tlic location 
of the county seat to a vote of the people of the 



new county. The northern boundary line had 
again drifted southward. Coyote creek had be- 
come the Rubicon, and it was only four miles 
north of Anaheim. Santa Ana in the change 
of boundaries had outgeneraled her rival and 
virtually decided the county seat question 
against her opponent. For twenty years Ana- 
heim had contended for county division. Now 
she opposed it, but in vain. The bill passed and 
was approved by the governor. In the county 
seat question Santa Ana won over all of her 
rivals. The county of Orange set up in business 
for itself, August i, i88g, and so ended the long- 
est contest over the formation of a new county 
of any in the history of the state. 

An election for county ofificers was held July 
17, 1889, and the following named officials were 
chosen: Superior judge, J. W. Towner; sheriff 
and tax collector, R. T. Harris; district attor- 
ney, E. E. Edwards; county clerk, R. O. Wick- 
ham; auditor and recorder, G. E. Foster; treas- 
urer, W. B. Wall; county assessor, Fred C. 
Smythc; county superintendent of schools, J. P. 
Greeley; county surveyor, S. O. Wood; coroner 
and public administrator, I. D. Mills; super- 
visors, William H. Spurgeon, S. Armor, S. A. 
Littlefield, Jacob Ross and A. Guy Smith. 

Orange county is Iwunded north by Los 
Angeles county, east by Riverside, south by 
San Diego and west by the Pacific ocean. It 
has an area of 675 square miles, or 432,000 
acres. All the area of Orange county, with the 
exception of a few hundred acres of mountain 
land, was covered by Spanish land grants. The 
old time ranchos south of the Santa Ana river 
except the Santiago dc Santa Ana belonged to 
the Mission San Juan Capistrano; those north 
were attached to the Mission San Gabriel. After 
the secularization of the mission, these ranchos, 
when they became depleted of cattle and horses, 
were granted by the governor on recommenda- 
tion of the ayuntamiento of Los .\ngeles to 
Jipplicants who could comply with the law: that 
is, make certain improvements and stock the 
rancho with cattle. 


The following named comprises the ranchos 
within the limits of Orange county: Mission 
Vieja or La Paz, Trabuco, Boca de La Plava, 
El Sobrante, Niguel, Canada de los Alisos, 
Lomas de Santiago, San Joaquin, Santiago de 
Santa Ana, La Bolsa Chico, Las Bolsas, half of 
tlic Los Alamitos, part of the Los Coyotes, San 
Juan Cajon de Santa Ana, Cajon de Santa Ana, 
i)art of La Brea and a part of La Ilabra. 

The Rancho Santiago de Santa .\na, on which 
the cities of Santa Ana, Orange, Tustin and 
several smaller towns arc located, is one of the 

oldest grants in California. Col. J. J. Warner, 
writing in 1876, says, "During the first quarter 
of the present century, the Santiago de Santa 
Ana rancho was universally known among 
tlic people inhabiting the country, as one of the 
oldest ranchos, and there are many good rea- 
sons for the belief that its founding was con- 
temporary with that of San Rafael." (The San 
Rafael rancho lying on the left bank of the Los 
Angeles river and extending to the Arroyo Scco 
was granted by Governor Pedro Pages, October 
20, 1784, to Jose Maria Verdugo.) 

"There is no room to doubt the statement 
that a grant of the Santiago de Santa Ana tract 
to Jose Antonio Yorba was made in 1810 by 
Gov. Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga, but in a parti- 
tion suit in the district court for this county, a 
few years ago, for the partition of that tract of 
land among the heirs and claimants, testimony 
was introduced which showed that the original 
occupant of that tract was N. Grijalva, who, as 
also his wife, died leaving only two children, both 
daughters; that one of these daughters married 
Jose Antonio Yorba and the other Juan Palilo 
Peralta, and it is far more probable that the 
former of these two latter persons obtained a 
new or confirmed grant from Arrillaga in 1810 
tlian that Grijalva should have established him- 
self upon the tract without having obtained a 
grant from the governor. In this partition suit 
the court recognized the claim of the Peraltas 
as descendants of the original proprietor of the 

The boundaries of the Santiago de Santa Ana 
as defined in the grant made in 1810, were the 
summit of the mountains on the northeast, the 
Santa Ana river on the west, the ocean on the 
south, and a line running from what is now 
Newport bay to a certain Red Hill for the 
southwest boundary. The rancho contained 
62,000 acres. During the great flood of 1825, 
the Santa Ana river left its old channel at a point 
about three miles easterly of where Orange now 
stands and cut a new channel for itself some 
distance southeasterly from its former one. 
Between the two channels there was about 
13,000 acres. The rancho was surveyed by a 
I'nited States dejuity surveyor, and the new 
channel was taken as its western boundary, 
although all the old residents claimed that the 
old channel was the true western boundary. The 
raiiclii) Las I'xilsas was llijated <i\'cr llic land 
Ih'I Weill the clianncls. 


In the early '70s, a number of settlers squat- 
ted on this land, claiming that it was govern- 
ment land. The land was covered with a heavy 
growth of willov>s and the squatters made a 



living l^y cutting and selling the timber for fire 

The squatters soon found that they could not 
hold the tract as government land, for since the 
river was the dividing line between Las Bolsas 
and the Santiago, the land must be in one or the 
oiher ranches. Their next move was to buy the 
claims of the Yorba heirs to all lands outside 
of that portion of the Santiago dc Santa Ana 
that had been partitioned among the heirs. The 
legal contest between the scjuatters and the Los 
Angeles and San Bernardino Land Company, 
the owners of the Bolsas grant, was waged in 
all the courts up to the supreme court of the 
United States. In that court Judge Stephen J. 
Field decided that since a United States patent 
had l)ecn issued to the Bolsas first it held over 
the Santiago, which, although the older grant, 
had been patented later than the other. He re- 
quired of the settlers a bond of $75,000 before 
he would grant an appeal. This ended the 
squatter war. They could not put up the bond. 
The. settlers were evicted by the United States 
marshal and the land company, after a decade 
of litigation, obtained possession of the disputed 
territory, but the timber was gone. The squat- 
ters rcallv had the best of it. 

Orange county has most excellent public 
schools. Their efficiency is largely due to the 
untiring labors of Prof. J. P. Greeley, who has 
held the office of county school superintendent 
since the organization of the county. Through 
the efforts of Prof. Greeley the county possesses 
a larger teachers' library than any other coimty 
in the state. There are 2,300 volumes in the 
library. According to the first school census 
taken after the organization of the county (that 
of 1S90) there were 4,011 children between the 
ages of five and seventeen. There were at that 
time in the county thirty-nine school districts 
and seventy-four teachers. The school census 
of 1900 gives 5,887 between the ages of five and 
seventeen. When the county was organized 
there was not a high school within its limits; 
now there are three. 

The high school of Santa .\na was organized 
September, 1891. -V fine new building, costing 
about $30,000, was completed in 1900. Ten 
teachers are employed in the school. The total 
enrollment of pupils last year (1900-01) was 

Anaheim high school was organized in iSijS. 
It employs four teachers and has an attendance 
of sixty-six pupils. Bonds have been issued for 
the erection of a high school building costing 
$12,500. The corner stone of the new higli 
school was laid July 4, 1901. 

Fullerton high school is made up of a union 
of six districts. It employs four teachers and 
has an enrollment of sixty-two pupils. A two- 
story high school building was completed and 
occupied in 1898. 

The educational afTairs of the city of Santa 
.Ana arc managed by a board of education con- 
sisting of five members. There are six primary 
and grammar school buildings. Thirty teachers 
are employed in these schools. Prof. J. C. Tem- 
pleton is the city superintendent and also the 
principal of the high school. 

The pioneer school of the section now com- 
prising Orange county was the Upper Santa 
Ana, now Yorba. The first school opened in 
it was taught by T. J. Scully in 1857. Hon. 
William M. McFadden, school superintendent 
of Los Angeles comity from 1870 to 1874, taught 
in the district a number of years. About fifteen 
Ncars ago the name of the district was changed 
to Yorba, the city of .Santa Ana taking the 
former name of the pioneer district. 

Since the county set up in business for itself 
it has built a handsome court house costing over 
$100,000. The affairs of the county have been 
well managed. There has been a steady growth 
in production and a healthy increase in popula- 
tion. The census of i8go gave the population 
of the county at 13,589. In 1900 it had increased 
to i9,6o''>, a gain of over thirty-three per cent. 
Although one of the smallest counties in the 
state, it ranks among the highest in fruit produc- 
tion. Over 1,500 car loads of citrus fruits are 
shipped out of the county annually, bringing a 
return of nearly lialf a million dollars. The dried 
fruits amount to about 2,000 tons. 

The Orange County Park in the Santiago 
canon is one of the finest natural parks in tlie 
state. The park is the gift of James Irvine 
and contains 160 acres, wooded with magnificent 
oaks and sycamores. 

Thirty-one years ago, when the author first 
visited the now famous peat lands of the West- 
minster and Bolsas country, these lands were 
known as cienagas, and were regarded as worth- 
less. These cienagas were tracts of swampy 
lands containing usually ponds of water in the 
middle skirted around with a rank growth of 
willows, tules and nettles. During the rainy 
season the entire area of the cicnaga was over- 
llowed. In the fall and winter these marshy 
lauds well' the resorts of millions of wild geese; 
llie\- were also the haunts of wild ducks and 
other water fowl, and were the favorite hunting 
grounds of the sportsmen of that day. The 
early settlers counted the cienagas as so much 
waste l.Tiid, or rather as worse than waste, for 



the drier portions of these swamps were the 
hirking places of wild cats, coyotes, coons and 
other prowlers wdiich preyed upon the settler's 
pigs and poultry. 

Later on the larger of these swamps became 
the feeding places of wild iiogs that subsisted 
upon the tule roots and wild celery growing 
there. About twenty years ago some of the 
smaller of these marshes were drained, cleared 
of their brush and vegetable growth and planted 
to corn. The yield was so prolific that these 
lands rose rapidly in value. The settlers organ- 
ized drainage districts and constructed canals 
to carry off the water, and these swamps were 
reclaimed. They became the most valuable corn 
and potato lands in the county. The abundant 
growth of wild celery upon which the wild hogs 
had fed and fattened before the reclamation of 
the cienagas indirectly led to the experiment of 
growing tame celery upon them for the eastern 

The following sketch of the origin and growth 
of the celery industry of Orange county is com- 
piled from the Santa Ana Blade's Celery edition 
of February 7, 1901 : "The first experiment in 
celery culture on the peat lands was made in 
1 89 1 on a tract of land south of Westminster 
known locally as the Snow & Adams place, on 
which several thousand dollars was expended, 
but without satisfactory results. E. A. Curtis, 
D. E. Smeltzer and others were the prime mov- 
ers in making the experiment the outcome of 
which was such a flat failure that all but Mr. 
Curtis gave up the idea. Mr. Curtis' pet scheme 
came to fruition sooner than was anticipated, 
for about this time he entered the employ of the 
Earl Fruit Company, and with the consent of 
the firm resolved to again give cclcrv culture a 

"The ]iroposition had many drawbacks, not 
least of which was the scarcity of help to culti- 
vate the crop and the entire hck of experience 
in the laliorcrs available. In this extremity, Air. 
Curtis bethought himself of the Los Angeles 
Chinese market gardeners and their knowledge 
of celery growing, and at once entered into 
negotiations with a leading Chinaman to under- 
take the W'Ork of growing eighty acres of celery 
on contract, the Earl l^'ruit Company to furnish 
everything, including implements, needed in the 
ctiltivation of the crop, also money advanced for 
rental of the land and the supplying of water 
where needed by digging wells; so that $5,000 
was advanced before a stfick of celery was ready 
for shipment. The result was fairly successful, 
notwithstanding the untoward experience of the 
Chinese laborers at the hands of wliite men, who 
worried and harassed the Celestials both in 
season and out of season, carrving their unrea- 

soning resentment to the extent of burning the 
buildings erected by the Ear! Fruit Company, 
carrying off the implements used in cultivation 
and terrorizing the Chinamen employed to the 
imminent risk of driving them away entirely and 
thus sacrificing the crop for want of help to 
attend it. 

"All this risk and expense fell directly on the 
Earl Fruit Company, for returns for their invest- 
ment could only come when the crop was ready 
for market, and it may easily be imagined that 
E. A. Curtis, as a prime mover in the venture, 
occupied a most unenviable position. But Mr. 
Curtis kept right on and overcame every obsta- 
cle that presented itself, and to E. A. Curtis, as 
manager for the Earl Fruit Company, is due 
the credit of demonstrating the superior advant- 
ages of Orange county for the successful grow- 
ing of celery and the introduction and establish- 
ment of an industry that has permanently added 
luindreds of thousands of dollars to the re- 
sources of the county. 

"The crop from the land thus experimented 
with w-as shipped to New York and Kansas City 
and consisted of about fifty cars, a considerable 
shipment at that time, as prior to then a car load 
of California celery was an unheard of quantity. 
There was, of course, not much profit made for 
that season after everything was paid, for the 
items of expense were many and included all 
the loss and damage suffered wdiile the crop was 
maturing and a bill of $1,100 paid an officer of 
the law for protection afTorded the Chinese 
laborers while at work during the season. But 
it paid a margin of profit and proved beyond 
ilispute that under favorable conditions celery 
culture might be undertaken w-ith prospects of 
success, and this fact once established the rest 
was easy." 

Celery growing has developed into one of the 
leading industries of Orange county. It is esti- 
mated that the area planted this season to celery 
will exceed 2.500 acres. About 1,000 cars were 
required to move last year's crop. The celery 
cars carry 150 crates, or about 1.200 dozen 

The area of celery culture has extended \vo\u 
the peat lands where it was begun, over a con- 
siderable portion of the "Willows," a tract of 
land lying between the old and the new beds of 
the Santa .Ana river, the scene of the squatter 
contest of twenty-five years ago. 

The Southern Pacific Railroad has a branch 
line running from Newport Beach, the terminus 
of the Santa Ana and Newport road, to Smeltzer 
(eleven miles), near the northern extremity of 
the peat lands. The station and shipping points 
on tills road are Celery. La Bolsa, Winlersburg, 
anil Smelt;^cr. 




Prospecting for petroleum in what is now 
the Fullerton oil district began more than a 
third of a century ago. In 1867 Major Max 
Strobel of Anaheim sunk a well in Brea canon. 
.About the same time a prospect well was sunk 
on the Olinda rancho, but in neither place was 
oil found in pacing quantities, ^^'ith the imper- 
fect machinery in use at that time it was impos- 
sible to sink to any great depth. Indications 
were plentiful and every expert who prospected 
the caiions and foothills of the district was con- 
vinced that rich oil deposits existed in that 
locality. Brea canon contained large deposits 
of crude asphaltum, and twenty-five years ago 
the Los Angeles Gas Company was shipping 
two car loads .a week of brea for the manufacture 
of gas, it being cheaper than coal at that time. 
In 1897 the Santa Fe Railroad Company made 

a rich strike, and since then oil development has 
gone on steadily. 

The oil district extends from Brea canon 
to the head of the Soquel cafion. In depth the 
wells range from 800 to 1,600 feet. The output 
of oil in November, 1900, reached 35,000 barrels. 
The Santa Fe Railroad Company is an exten- 
sive operator; at the beginning of the present 
year it had twenty-si.x wells yielding 10,000 bar- 
rels per month. The price of land in the oil dis- 
trict advanced with boom-like rapidity. The 
Olinda rancho, containing 4,480 acres, was sold 
early in 1898, before oil was struck on' it, for 
$15,000. The purchaser, after consulting some 
of his friends over his bargain, forfeited his 
deposit. Two years later the rancho was sold 
to a syndicate of capitalists for $500,000. The- 
oil of the Fullerton district is of superior quality. 
Its gravity ranges from 30° to 32°. 


ORANGE COUNTY— Continued. 



NEXT after the Mormon settlement of San 
Bernardino, Anaheim is the oldest suc- 
cessful colony experiment in the state. 
The scheme of purchasing with their combined 
capital a large tract of land, dividing it into 
small farms and planting it with vines for wine 
making, was originated by several Germans re- 
siding in San Francisco. Early in 1857 they 
began an examination of difTerent localities for 
their proposed colony site. In the Los Angeles 
Star of September 19, 1857, I find these itcnis 
regarding the project: "It is with much pleas- ■ 
ure we make the announcement that the com- 
pany who have for some time been seeking a 
location for an extensive vineyard have at last 
succeeded in obtaining land suitable to their 
purpose. The project is the mos't important 
ever contemplated in the southern country, and 
as it is to be carried out by energetic, practical 
men, there can of course be no doubt of its full 
success, especially as the stock required is 
already paid up. 

"The Los Angeles Vineyard Comjiany is com- 
posed of fifty share holders, who we 1)elicve are 
principally Germans, the majority residing in 
San Francisco. Each share is rated at $750. 
They have purchased a tract of land on the 
Santa Ana ri\cr, alirmt twentv-five miles from 

the city, consisting of 1,200 acres, which is to 
be laid off in lots of twenty acres each. Streets 
are to be made throughout the grounds so that 
each lot shall open on a good highway. * * * 
The land has been purchased from Don Pacifico 
Ontivera, with certain privileges from Don Ber- 
nardino Yorba, from whose residence these 
grounds are situated about five miles. Mr. 
George Hansen, a very competent gentleman, 
has been appointed superintendent of the com- 
pany. This we understand will be the largest 
vineyard in the world, there being none in 
Europe of such extent. 

"The company is under the direction of a 
board of trustees in San Francisco — president, 
Otmar Caler; vice-president, G. Charles Kohler; 
treasurer, Cyrus Beythien ; secretary, John 
I'ischer. In Los Angeles the affairs are carried 
ijut under the direction of an auditing commit- 
tee, composed of the following gentlemen: 
Messrs. John Frohling, R. Emerson and Jay 
zinsky ; sub-treasurer, Felix Bachman." The 
San Francisco Alia of January 15, 1858, has this 
notice: "The stockholders of the Los Angeles 
\'ineyard Society held a meeting on the even- 
ing of January 13, at Leutgen's Hotel. Mont- 
gomery street. They resolved to give the name 
of .\naheim to their vineyard in the Santa Ana 
valley in Los Angeles county." Tliis effectually 
disposes of that pleasant fiction often repeated 



of late years, nriiiicl)-, that the colony was named 
for the first cliikl born in it — Anna Fischer. At 
the time it was named there were no families 
living there. Its name is a combination of the 
(jerman word heim (home) and the Spanish 
form of the proper name Ana — a home by the 
(Santa) Ana river. 

The improvement of the tract purchased was 
!)egun in the winter of 1857-58 and pushed 
forward vigorously by the superintendent, 
George Hansen. The Los Angeles Star of Jan- 
uary 30, 1858, contains this notice of the labor 
in progress on the colony site: "As may be 
expected, Anaheim is a busy place. All is life, 
industry and activity." * * * "In the op- 
erations at present in progress there, are em- 
ployed seven men, fourteen horses and seven 
plows in making ditches; one man, one wagon 
and two horses procuring provisions and fire- 
wood; fourteen men, fourteen wagons and fifty- 
six horses in hauling fence poles; one wagon 
and ten horses in bringing cuttings; thirty-three 
men making ditches and fences; there are two 
overseers, besides cooks, etc. — making in all 
eighty-eight men. ten women, eighty-four 
horses, seven plows and seventeen wagons. The 
daily expenses are $216." 

"The land owned by the company is a tract 
of one and a half miles long by one and a quar- 
ter miles broad. It is surrounded by a fence five 
and a half miles long, composed of 40,000 willow 
poles, each of which is eight feet long, being six 
feet above the ground. They are planted one 
and a half feet apart, and are strengthened by 
three horizontal poles, and defended by a ditch 
four feet deep six feet wide at the top, .sloping 
to a breadth of one foot at the bottom." 

These willow poles took root and made a liv- 
ing wall around the colony. Across the streets 
were gates, which when closed shut out all in- 
vaders. This live fence was necessary to keep 
out the tens of thousands of cattle that roamed 
over the plains for miles on all sides of the little 
vineyard colony. The superintendent, George 
Hansen, constructed for the company a main 
zanja seven and a half miles long to bring water 
from the Santa .\na river to and through the 
colony tract and about three hundred and fifty 
miles of lateral ditches for distributing the water 
to the different tracts. On each twenty-acre lot, 
eight acres of vines were planted the first year. 
These were cultivated and cared for by the com- 
pany. At the end of two years the vines first 
planted had come into bearing, and all assess- 
ments having been paid a division of the lands 
was made. Each shareholder had paid into the 
general fund $1,200. Each lot had a value placed 
on it according to situation, improvements, etc., 
the values ranging from $6co to $1,400. The 

division was made by lot. As each stockholder 
had paid in the same amount, viz.: $1,200, the 
man who drew a $1,400 lot paid over $200 to the 
equalization fund, and the man who drew a $600 
lot received $600 cash. In addition to his vine- 
yard lot, each shareholder received a lot in the 
town plot. After the distriliution, a number of 
the colonists came down from San Francisco, 
built houses on their lots and entered on the 
career of vineyardist and wine makers. Each 
proprietor assumed control of his vineyard lot 
December 15, 1859, and thereupon the company 
management ceased. 

Among the original settlers there was but 
one man who understood the art of wine mak- 
ing. The colonists were mostly mechanics. 
"There were several carpenters, a gunsmith, an 
engraver, three watchmakers, four blacksmiths, 
a brewer, a teacher, a shoemaker, a miller, sev- 
eral merchants, a bookbinder, a poet, four or 
five musicians, a hatter, several teamsters and a 

They went to work with that patient industry 
characteristic of the Teuton. They had to learn 
the art of wine making mostly by experiment- 
ing. The colony was thirty miles from Los .^n- 
geles, the nearest point to obtain supplies. From 
there they hail to haul lumber for building and all 
other necessities, until they established a land- 
ing on the ocean twelve miles from the town. 

It was a hard struggle for several years, but 
their perseverance and industry won. The prop- 
erty that cost them an average of about $1,080 
ciiginally, at the end of ten years was worth 
from $5,000 to $io,coo. The colonist during 
that time had supported their families and paid 
for their improvement from the products of 
their lands. 

Unlike the Spanish pobladores (colonists), 
who always built a church first and left the 
iMiilding of a school house to those who came 
after theiu, the Anaheim colonists built the 
school house first and left the church Iniilding 
to those who came later. 

In the town plot of forty acres, which oc- 
cupied the center of the colony, a lot hail been 
reserved for a school house. On this a conuiio- 
dious building of adobe had been erected to 
serve the double purpose of a school house and 
assembly hall, but during the great flood of 
1S61-62 the waters of the Santa .Ana river over- 
flowed the colony site and damaged the founda- 
tions of the school house, rendering the building 
imsafe. .V school was maintained in the Water 
Company's building on Center .street until iSfx), 
w hen a new building was erected. 

The original colony tract contained 1,165 


acres (it was part of tlie rancho San Juan Cajon 
de Santa Ana), and was purchased from Juan 
Pacifico Ontiveras for $2 per acre. In i860 the 
Anaheim Water Company became the possessor 
of the ditches and water rights originally be- 
longing to the Anaheim \'ineyard Company. 
The stock of this company was an appurtenance 
of the land and could not be diverted from it. 
This company originally incorporated with 
$20,000 capital stock. In 1879 its stock was in- 
creased to $90,000. and the ditches extended 
to cover what was known as the Anaheim ex- 

The Cajon Irrigation Company's ditch was 
completed in November, 1878, at a cost of 
$50,000. It tapped the Santa Ana river at Bed 
Rock canon, and was, at the time of its com- 
pletion, fifteen miles long. It has since been 
extended. In 1879 the Anaheim Water Com- 
pany bought a half interest in this ditch. All 
the water interests on the north side of the Santa 
Ana river have been consolidated into the Ana- 
heim Union Water Company. Anaheim was in- 
corporated as a city February 10, 1870, but a 
city government was too great a burthen for the 
people to carry. The legislature of 1872, on pe- 
tition of the tax-burthened inhabitants, disincor- 
porated it. It was incorported as a town by act 
of the legislature March 18, 1878. Thompson 
& West's History of Los Angeles county, pub- 
lished in :88o, says of the schools of Anaheim: 
"The town of Anaheim boasts of the hand- 
somest school building and the largest school in 
the county outside of Los Angeles city." 

For several years the school buildings had 
been inadequate for the school population. In 
1877 Prof. J. M. Guinn, who had been principal 
of the Anaheim school for eight years, drafted a 
bill authorizing the district to issue bonds to the 
amount of $10,000. He was instrumental in 
securing its passage by the legislature. It be- 
came a law March 12, 1878. The bonds were 
sold at par and the school building, costing over 
$10,000, was built out of the proceeds. This 
was one of the first, if not the first, instance in 
the state of incorporating and bonding a school 
district to secure funds to build a school house — 
a method that since has become quite common 
and has given to California the best district 
school houses of any state in the Union. Ana- 
heim school district was extended to take in 
what was formerly Fairview district and a four- 
room school house erected in West Anaheim. 


The pioneer newspaper of Anaheim and also 
of Orange county is the Anahciui Gazette. The 
first number was issued October 29, 1870. 

It was established by George W. Barter, who 

obtained a subsidy from a number of public- 
spirited citizens to found a newspaper in Ana- 
heim. He bought the plant of the defunct 
Wihiiingtoti Journal. The old press that he 
o])tained had come around the "Horn," and in 
1851 had been used in printing the Lo.f An- 
geles Star, the pioneer paper of Southern Cali- 
fornia. Carter, after a short and inglorious ca- 
reer, sold the paper to Charles A. Gardner in 

1871. Gardner sold it to Melrose and Knox in 

1872. Knox retired in 1876. Fred. W. Atheran 
was connected with the paper for a time in 
1876-77, after which Richard Melrose became 
sole proprietor and continued so until it was 
sold to its present proprietor, Henry Kuchel. 
The Orange County Plain Dealer was estab- 
lished at Fullerton, March, 1898, and afterwards 
removed to Anaheim. It is an eight-column, 
four-page weekly ; size of page, 20x25 inches. 
Its present editor and publisher is J. E. Val- 

For a quarter of a century Anaheim was the 
greatest wine-producing district in California. 
About 1885 a mysterious disease attacked the 
vines. Within five years from its first appear- 
ance two million vines that made up the vine- 
yards of Anaheim and vicinity were dead. After 
the destruction of the grapevines, the vineyard 
lots were planted with orange trees and English 
walnuts. These have come into bearing and 
have transformed the appearance of the old 
vinej-ard colony. The living wall of willows that 
once surrounded it and the four gates on the 
four sides that shut out the great armies of cat- 
tle that once roamed over the plains beyond 
disappeared long ago. There is little in the 
present appearance of Anaheim to remind the 
old-timer of the "Campo Aleman" (German 
Camp), as the native Californians named it forty- 
five years ago. 


The pioneer church of Anaheim is the Presby- 
terian. It was organized by Rev. L. P. Webber 
(the founder of the Westminster colony) in 1869. 

The church building was erected in 1872, at a 
cost of $3,500. The Episcopal Church of Ana- 
heim was organized April 27, 1875. The church 
building was completed in the fall of 1876, at a 
total cost of $3,600. The Roman Catholic So- 
ciety was organized in 1876. A church, costing 
about $1,000, was built in 1879. These are the 
l)ioneer churches. In addition to these, the 
Methodist Episcopal North and the Christian 
denominations have church buildings. 


.\naheini Lodge No. 207, F. & .V. M.. was or- 
ganized in OctoixM-, 1870. The lodge built a hall 



in 1874, at a cost of $4,000. Anaheim Lodge, 
I. O. O. F., was organized January 23, 1872. 
Odd Fellows' Hall was erected in 1875. Orpheus 
Lodge No. 217, I. O. O. F., was organized No- 
vember 5, 1875. Orion Encampment No. 54, 
I. O. O. F., was organized January 4, 1876. 
Anaheim Lodge No. 85, A. O. U. W., was or- 
ganized March 5, 1879. It surrendered its char- 
ter in 1893, but was reorganized under the same 
name and number in June, 1900. The various 
fraternal organizations are well represented in 


In January, 1875, the Southern Pacific Rail- 
road completed a branch to Anaheim. For 
nearly two years that town was the terminus; 
then the road was extended to Santa Ana, where 
it ended. In 1887 the San Diego line of the 
Southern California or Santa Fe system was 
built through the city. The same year a num- 
ber of vineyards in the eastern part of the town 
were divided into building lots. The Hotel del 
Campo, a $40,000 tourist caravansary, was built, 
but it did not pay and came very near bankrupt- 
ing its progenitors. The city has steadily pro- 
gressed through all vicissitudes. It has a bank 
(the Citizens'), a number of stores, several man- 
ufacturing establishments, and is the center of a 
large trade. Its growth has always been solid 
and substantial. 


Santa Ana, the capital of Orange county, was 
founded in October, 1869, by William H. Spur- 
geon. He purchased the allotment of Zenobia 
Yorba de Rowland, one of the heirs to the ran- 
cho Santiago de Santa Ana. The tract pur- 
chased contained seventy-six acres. This, with 
the exception of ten acres reserved for a public 
square, Mr. Spurgeon platted in town lots and 
placed on the market for sale. He built a store 
room. 18x36 feet, on the northeast corner of 
Fourth and West streets, of rough redwood 
boards battened. This was the first building 
erected in the town. In this building he 
opened a general merchandise store. At first 
the only patronage he received from the citizens 
of the town was his own, for the reason that he 
constituted the town's entire population. But 
he did not long remain "monarch of all he sur- 
veyed." Others joined him, and in December 
there was a population enough to organize a 
school district. The district was named Spring. 
In January a public school was opened; Miss 
Annie Casad was the first teacher. The school 
house was a rough board structure, with long, 
backless benches for seats, and no desks or 
blackboarils. It stnnd on Svcnmore street, near 

Santa Ana was about two miles south of the 
old stage road that led from Los Angeles to San 
Diego. This road was the so-called Camino Real 
or Royal Highway that had been traveled for a 
century. There were no bridges across the Santa 
Ana river at that time. In winter when the wa- 
ters were high, on account of the quicksands 
fording the river was a hazardous undertaking. 
The Rodriguez crossing, just north of Orange. 
on the old stage road, was the only safe crossing 
in times of high water. Mr. Spurgeon built a 
road at his own expense from the stage road tn 
his town and subsidized the stage company to 
diverge its route through Santa Ana. He se- 
cured a post-office for the town and was ap- 
pointed postmaster. His salary was the munifi- 
cent sum of $1 a month. He held the office until 
1879, when the yearly compensation had in- 
creased to $800. Then several public-spirited 
citizens were not only willing, but anxious to re- 
lieve him of his burden. At first the town grew 
slowly. Much of the country around it was held 
in large tracts and was sparsely settled. In 1877 
the Anaheim branch of the Southern Pacific 
Railroad was completed to Santa Ana. This 
gave the town an impetus that sent it way ahead 
of its competitors. Orange and Tustin. It be- 
came the business center of a large area of coun- 

The first newspaper established in the town 
was the Santa Ana Ncii's, founded by Nap. Don- 
ovan May 15, 1876. It was not a paying ven- 
ture, and after running it about a year he sold 
it to Spurgeon, Fruit and James McFadden, who 
experimented with it for a time and then dis- 
continued its publication. 


The first church organized at Santa Ana was 
the Methodist Episcopal South. The organiza- 
tion was effected at a meeting held in the resi- 
dence of W. H. Tichenal in December, 1869. 
Services were held in a private residence at first, 
and later on in the school house. A church 
building was erected in 1876. The IMethodist 
Episcopal Church North was organized in 1874. 
Tlie Baptist Church was organized in March. 
1871. Its building was completed and dedi- 
cated in September, 1878. The United Presby- 
terian Church was organized June 22. 1876. Its 
edifice was completed August. 1877. These are 
the iMoneer church organizations, all of which 
v,erc organized over a quarter of a century ago. 
Now almost every religious denomination is 
represented in the city. 


The fiillin\ing named arc the pioneer fraternal 
M,-u;niizatin,;s:' Sanla Ana I.ndoe. I". &". A. 


AI., was organized October i, 1875. Santa 
Ana Lodge, No. 236, I. O. O. F., was organized 
October 30, 1875. Santa Ana Lodge, No. 151, 
L O. G. T., was organized January 19, 1878. 
Santa .\na Lodge, No. 82, .\. O. U. W., was or- 
ganized February 27, 1879. SedgAvick Post, No. 
17, G. A. R., was organized December, 1879. 
The following named orders and societies, in ad- 
dition to those named above, have organizations 
in the city: Sedgwick Woman's Relief Corps; 
K. O. T. M. Tent No. 8; Santa Ana Command- 
cry, No. 36, K. T.; Santa Ana W. C. T. U.; Her- 
iiiosa Chapter, O. E. S.; Santa Ana Council, 
I'Vaternal Aid .Association; Santa Ana Lodge, 
K. of P.; Shiloh Circle, Ladies of the G. A. R.; 
Santa Ana Camp, Woodmen of the World; 
Court Santa Ana, Foresters of America; L. O. 
T. M., Ekell Society; Uniform Rank, K. of P.; 
Court Silverado, L O. F.; S3'camore Lodge, Re- 

The pioneer bank of Santa Ana is the Com- 
mercial, incorporated in April, 1882. It tran- 
sacts a general banking business. 

The First National Bank was organized May, 
1886. It has a paid-up capital of $150,000. It 
pays interest on deposits, as well as doing a 
general banking business. 

Orange County Bank of Savings was organ- 
ized in 1889. It pays interest on deposits. 

Santa Ana is well supplied with newspapers. 
The pioneer paper of Santa Ana, as has been 
previously stated, was the Santa . Ana JVcckly 
Nczvs, established May 15, 1876, by Nap. Dono- 
van. It was short-lived. The next paper was 
the Santa Ana Herald, established in October, 
1877, by Nap. Donovan. In 1880 it was sold 
to Jacob Ross. November 13, 1881, A. Waite 
became the publisher. He continued in charge 
to 1886. As the Orange County Herald, weekly 
and semi-weekly, it is now published by Hon. 
Linn Shaw. 

The Pacifie ]Veckl\ Blade was founded in 
1886 by W. F. X. Parker and J. Waterhouse. 
Later Waterhouse purchased Parker's interest 
in the paper and founded the Daily Blade in 
1887. In 1889 the paper passed into the hands 
of a syndicate, composed of Victor Montgom- 
ery, W. H. Spurgeon, J. M. Lacy and C. W. 
Humphreys. The syndicate conducted the pa- 
per until May, 1895, when the present manage- 
ment, AlcPhee & Co., purchased the property. 
The daily is an evening paper. 

The Sajita .Ina JVeeklv Bulletin was founded 
Tune 16. 1899, bv D. M. Baker and T. W. Rouse. 
Tt is now published bv D. 1\T. Baker and F. A. 

Chamberlin. It is Democratic in politics. The 
semi-weekly Standard is published by Belmont 


The town of Santa Ana attained considerable 
prominence during the anti-Chinese campaign 
of the so-called workingmen's party as the place 
where the sand lot agitator, Dennis Kearney, 
met his Waterloo. Kearney was making a tour 
of the southern counties, delivering vitupera- 
tive harangues against the government and 
abusing every man of prominence who did not 
truckle to his domination. He had a large fol- 
lowing in Southern California, the leaders of 
which were for the most part disgruntled politi- 
cians out of a job, but who hoped to ride into 
power on the sand lot agitation. Kearney, feel- 
ing secure in the number of his followers, turned 
his abusive tongue loose on certain persons in 
the different communities he visited who had 
incurred the enmity of his adherents there, with- 
out regard to whether the information given him 
was true or false. Reaching Santa .'Ana on his 
journey southward, he delivered one of his char- 
acteristic harangues. In it he made a number of 
false charges against the McFadden Brothers, 
who a year or so before had built a steamer and 
ran it from Newport to San Francisco in opposi- 
tion to the Old Line Steamship Company, but 
had finally been compelled to sell it to their op- 
ponents at a considerable loss. 

As Kearney was about to take the stage for 
San Diego at the old Layman Hotel, that then 
stood on the present site of the Brunswick, he 
was confronted by Mr. Rule, an employe of the 
McFaddens, with a demand for the name of the 
jierson who had given him the lying informa- 
tion about the steamship transaction. Kearney 
turned livid with fear and blubbered out some- 
thing about not giving away his friends. Rule 
made another and more imperative demand for 
th.e name. Kearney began to back ofif from 
his opponent, fumbling at his pistol pocket in an 
effort to draw his gun. Rule struck him a blow 
that sent him reeling across the sidewalk against 
the hotel. Recovering himself he ran through 
the barroom into the dining room and across 
a vacant lot into a drug store, pursued by Rule. 
In the drug store Rule floored him, and, holding 
him down, punctuated each demand for the 
name of the informer by a punch in Kearney's 
countenance. One of the slandered men res- 
cued Kearney from his uncomfortable position. 
Rule's attack on the sand lot agitator was made 
without the knowledge of his employers, who 
would have prevented it had they known any 
such action was contemplated. Kearney de- 
part od fur San I')iog(T; a sadder and a wiser 



man. He had learned to his sorrow the ar- 
rant cowardice of the men who had been urging 
him on in his tirades of slander; not one of 
whom when he was taking his punishment at 
Santa Ana had dared to interfere in his behalf. 
He had counseled hemp and mobbing for pluto- 
crats and capitalists, but when a little mob-law 
had been applied to himself he whimpered. He 
had said from the sand lot platform: "I hope I 
will be assassinated, for the success of this move- 
ment depends on that;" but when offered an 
opportunity to play martyr for the cause, he had 
fled the chance with all the agility that fear lent 
his heels. From that day on liis star waned. 
When, with pistol in hand, he had taken to his 
heels and fled from an unarmed opponent he had 
shown himself to be a cowardly blatherskite. 
Rule had unmasked him. His followers began 
to desert him. The politicians who had hoped to 
ride into power on the back of this ex-drayman, 
when his following began to desert him, scram- 
bled out of his party with as much speed as they 
had tumbled into it. Rule a few years later was 
drowned in Newport bay. 

The territory of Orange originally bore the 
name of Richland. In 1870 A. B. Chapman and 
Andrew Glassell bought the allotments of sev- 
eral of the Yorba heirs in the Santiago de Santa 
Ana rancho, comprising several thousand acres. 
This tract was subdivided into ten, twenty and 
forty acre lots. Eighty acres were divided into 
town lots. 

A ditch from the Santa Ana river was con- 
structed to the tract in the winter of 1871-72. 
Several vineyards of muscat grapes were planted 
in the spring of 1872, and a few orange trees. 
Early in 1873 a post-office was established and 
named Orange. The agitation for the formation 
of a new county to be named Orange was quite 
active about this time. The town of Orange 
had hopes of becoming the seat of government 
of the new county. The former name of the dis- 
trict, Richland, fell into disuse and Orange took 
its place both for the town and school district. 
.\ school house was built in 1873. In 1874 the 
first church was built. It belonged to the Aleth- 
odist denomination, but was also used by others. 
A hotel was erected, but as the patronage was 
not sufficient to support it, it was used as a sani- 
tarium. Three stores, the hotel and a saloon 
constituted the business houses of the town in 
1875. In the winter of 1878-79 a new ditch was 
constructed at a cost of $60,000. This gave an 
abundant water supi)ly and the settlement flour- 

The ravages of the yellow scale in the early 
'80s retarded citrus tree culture, and the vine dis- 

ease materially injured the raisin industry. The 
energy and perseverance of the people overcame 
all obstacles and the district has become a large 
producer of oranges and lemons. Orange sup- 
])orts six churches, each owning its own house 
of worship. The denominations represented are 
the Methodist, Presbyterian, Christian, Lu- 
theran, Baptist and Episcopalian. The town 
supports a free library, containing about 3,000 
volumes. Connected with the library is a read- 
ing room. Orange supports two weekly news- 
papers, the Orange Post, established in 1885 by 
William Ward, and, passing through several 
hands, it was bought in 1892 by its present 
editor and proprietor, JSIrs. Alice L. Armor. The 
Orange Nczvs was founded in February, 1886, 
by its present publisher, James Fullerton. 

Orange is an incorporated city of the sixth 
class. It is located at the junction of the kite- 
shaped track and the surf line of the Southern 
California or Santa Fe Railroad. It is also con- 
nected with Santa Ana by a motor line. 


In 1867 Columbus Tustin and N. O. Stafford 
bought of Bacon & Johnson a tract of land 
containing 5,000 acres. This they divided equally 
between them. Mr. Tustin, on his portion, sub- 
divided about 100 acres into town lots and 
named the place Tustin City. On the town site, 
at his own expense, in 1872, he built a school 
house. The same year a post-office was estab- 
lished in the town or city. In 1887 the Tustin 
branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad was 
built to the town, w^hich ever since has remained 
the terminus of that road. The town has a bank, 
hotel, store and other business facilities. It has 
an excellent school, employing six teachers. The 
Presbyterians and Adventists have church build- 
ings. ■ 


Fullerton while one of the youngest towns of 
the county is one of the most thriving. It is a 
child of the boom and was founded in 1887. It is 
located on the Santa Fe Railroad, twenty-three 
miles southeast from Los Angeles and ten miles 
northerly from the county seat. It is surrounded 
by an excellent fruit country and does a heavy 
shipping business in English walnuts, oranges 
and lemons. The oil from a number of wells in 
the oil district is piped to Fullerton for ship- 
ment. The town has several hotels, a number 
of mercantile establishments, a bank and a news- 
paper, the Fullerton Tribune, established in 
i8q8. The union high school building, a brick 
structure, costing about $10,000, was completed 
and dedicated in 1898. The town is not incor- 
liorated. .\t a recent election the question of 
inr(ir]iiM-ating was decided in the negative. 




In the autumn of 1871 Rev. L. P. Webber 
secured from the Los Angeles and San Bernar- 
(h'no Land Company a tract of 8,000 acres lying 
between Anaheim and the ocean on which to 
locate a colony. It was intended to be a temper- 
ance colony. The settlers pledged themselves not 
to grow grapes for the production of wine and 
brandy. The founder endeavored, as far as he 
was able, to secure settlers of his own church 
and the colony was known as a Presbyterian 
settlement. The first church erected in the 
colony was Presbyterian. A tract of 160 acres 
in the center of the colony lands was subdivided 
into town lots. A hotel, a school house, three 
churches, a blacksmith shop, two store build- 
ings, a doctor's office and drug store were built 
on the town site; then, the town stopped grow- 
ing and has remained stationary ever since. Of 
late years dairying has become the principal in- 
dustry and two creameries are located near the 
town. Near Westminster are the famous peat 
lands, where trainloads of celery are grown and 
shipped to the eastern states. 


The town of Garden Grove was founded in 
1877 by Dr. A. G. Cook and Converse Howe. 
A post-office was established the same year. A 
large business house was built and a store 
opened in it. The building was burned down in 
1880. The town has a fine school house and em- 
ploys five teachers. It has a hotel, a Methodist 
church, a Holiness church and a Latter-day 
Saint's organization. There are a number of 
walnut groves in its immediate vicinity. It is 
surrounded by an excellent agricultural coun- 


A large sugar factory was located on the Ala- 
mitos rancho in 1897. Around this has grown 
up a town. It is located on a branch of the 
Southern Pacific Railroad, extending from the 
Santa Ana line at Lorra, near Anaheim, to Ala- 

mitos, nme miles. The beet sugar factory dis- 
tributes about a half a million dollars yearly 
among the farmers in this district. There is a 
school building, a church and boarding houses 
for the employes of the factory. 


The town of Buena Park was laid out in 1887. 
It is located on the Southern Pacific Railroad, 
thirteen miles northerly of Santa Ana. It has a 
condensed milk factory, established in 1889. This 
factory distributes monthly about $15,000 for 
milk and labor. The town has a hotel, two gen- 
eral merchandise stores, a school of two depart- 
ments, and a Congregational church. 


Newport Beach is the chief seaport of 
Orange county. It is ten miles southwest of 
Santa Ana and is reached by the Santa Ana & 
Newport Railroad. The town contains a school 
house, a Methodist church, a post-office and a 
mercantile establishment. It has a wharf where 
freight and passengers are landed. It is a favor- 
ite seaside resort for the people of Santa Ana. 


The first settlement in Orange county was 
made at what was formerly known as San Juan 
Capistrano. The mission of that name was 
founded in 1776. After the secularization of the 
missions an Indian pueblo was established here, 
but it was not a success. A Mexican popula- 
tion built up a town at the ruins of the old Mis- 
sion buildings. Capistrano is probably the most 
thoroughly native Californian of any town in 
the state. The Mission church, destroyed by an 
earthquake, was the largest and most imposing 
building ever built by the Mission fathers. Its 
ruins attract many visitors. Capistrano has a 
hotel, several stores, a school house and a num- 
ber of saloons. Church service is still held in a 
room of the old Mission buildings. Capistrano 
is on the main line of the Santa Fe Railroad, 
sixty miles from Los Angeles and about the 
same distance from San Diego. 





RIVERSIDE county, the youngest of the 
counties of Southern California, was 
formed of segregated portions of San 
Bernardino and San Diego counties. San Ber- 
nardino parted with 590 square miles of her ter- 
ritory, which inchided the rich valleys and toot- 
hills of the southwest section. In this area are 
the cities and towns of Riverside, Corona, Beau- 
mont and Banning. The early history of the 
portion segregated is properly a part of the his- 
tory of San Bernardino, but to make a continu- 
ous narrative I give a brief outline of the first 
settlement of that county. 

The earliest settlement within the bounds of 
what is now San Bernardino county was made 
at what is known as Old San Bernardino, or, as 
it is sometimes called, the Old Mission of San 
Bernardino. In the year 1820 an adobe building 
forty varas wide by eighty long, with walls three 
feet thick and thatched with tules, was erected 
on a sloping mesa of the upper Santa Ana val- 
ley. It was not built for a mission church, as is 
generally supposed. It was built as a store house 
for the large crops of wheat raised by the Mis- 
sion Indians of the valley, and a part of it was 
used as the residence of the mayordomo or over- 
seer of the neophytes. The rancho on which it 
was located belonged to the Mission San Ga- 
briel and was named by the padres San Ber- 
nardino. From the rancho the county derived 
its name. 

After the secularization of the Missions in 
1835, the rancho was used by Don Antonio Ma- 
ria Lugo as a cattle range. One of his sons re- 
sided in the old building erected by the padres. 
In 1842 Governor Alvarado granted to Jose 
Maria Lugo, Jose del Carmen Lugo (sons of 
Don Antonio Maria Lugo) and Diego Sepul- 
veda the Rancho de San Bernardino, containing 
nine square leagues, or about forty thousand 
acres. LIpon this tract is located the city of San 
Piernardino. The Lugos built houses for them- 
selves and for their vaqueros and thus became 
the first settlers. 

The Jurupa, another of the Mission ranches, 
was granted to Juan Bandini in 1838 by Gov- 
ernor .\lvarado. P.aiidini stocked the rancho 

with horses and cattle. The mountain Indians 
and the renegade neophytes, who had joined 
their gentile brethren, were expert horse and 
cattle thieves. They made frequent raids upon 
the stock of the rancheros of the valley and ren- 
dered both their lives and their property unsafe. 
To resist the encroachments of the Indians, the 
ranch owners encouraged immigration. The first 
colony to settle in the valley consisted of twenty 
families of New ]\Iexico. They located on the 
upper part of the Jurupa. Their town, known as 
Agua Mansa (still water), was built on the low 
bank of the Santa Ana river. It was entirely 
destroyed by the great flood of 1862. At the 
close of the Mexican era (1847) the settlements 
in the San Bernardino valley consisted of a few 
scattered ranch houses, with their accompani- 
ments of corrals and jaceles or huts of the Indian 

After the discovery of gold in 1848 the immi- 
grants who reached Salt Lake City too late to 
cross the Sierra Nevadas on account of the deep 
snow in the mountain passes had to choose be- 
tween wintering with the Saints or reaching 
California by some Southern route. Early in 
1849, an advance guard of Mormons had found 
a route to Southern California that was not 
blocked by snow in the winter. This route led 
southwesterly from Salt Lake along the foot of 
the Wasatch Mountains, then through the Utah 
valley to the southern end of Utah Lake, where 
it struck the old Spanish trail from Los Angeles 
to Santa Fc. This trail entered the San Bernar- 
dino valley by the Cajon Pass. 

.'\ train of 500 wagons came by this route to 
California in the winter of 1849-50. Jefferson 
Hunt, a former captain of the Mormon Bat- 
talion, was the guide. In the winter of 1850-.'; i 
a large ninnber of immigrants came by that 
route, and for many years the belated gold- 
seekers reached the land of promise by the 
Mormon trail, as it was called. 

Brigham Young, recognizing the necessity of 
some more accessible outlet to the ocean for 
the inland empire that he hoped to found tlian 
over the high Sierras or eastward to the Mis- 
souri across the long stretch of arid plains, 
early in the spring of 1851 sent out a colony to 
form a Mormon stake of Zion somewhere near 



the mouth of the Cajon Pass. The first detach- 
ment of this Mormon colony, consisting of 150 
families, reached the San Bernardino valley early 
m May, 185 1. While the leaders were looking 
for a location the immigrants remained en- 
camped at the southwest entrance tn the 

In June about 300 wagons arrived from Salt 
Lake. A portion of these were Mormons and 
the remainder belated gentiles from the "states." 
During the summer about 900 Mormons arrived 
in the San Bernardino valley. In September the 
leaders of the band, Amasa Lyman and Charles 
Rich, bought the San Bernardino rancho, con- 
sisting of eight square leagues, from the Lu- 
gos. The stipulated price was $77,500. It was 
bought on credit, the Mormons depending on 
their future grain crops for the purchase money. 
The colonists set about improving the land, and 
the same year of their arrival they had 3,000 
acres sown in grain. In the sprnig of 1852 the 
Indians became troublesome and the Mormons 
built a fort on part of what is now the site of 
San Bernardino City. The Indians were subdued 
and the Mormons located on their individual 
tracts. The rancho was subdivided into five, ten, 
twenty, forty and eighty acre lots. These lots 
were sold on reasonable terms to persons de- 
siring to settle. The colony became quite pros- 
perous. In 1856 the colonists produced 30,000 
bushels of wheat, 15,000 bushels of barley and 
7,000 of corn. They owned, according to the 
assessor's report of that year, 14,470 cattle and 
1,558 horses. The population on the ranch was 
estimated at 3,000. In the town of San Bernar- 
dino there were ten business houses. 

In 1857 trouble came upon the colony. For 
ten years Brigham Young had acted as governor 
of the state of Deseret, as the Mormons called 
their settlements in the Salt Lake valley. He 
and his followers had given the United States 
government a great deal of trouble. President 
Buchanan shortly after taking office appointed 
Amos Cummings governor of Utah to super- 
sede Young and sent a force of 2,500 soldiers 
to aid Cummings in enforcing the laws. Brigham 
and the Twelve Apostles rebelled and prepared 
for war. He issued a mandate ordering all the 
Mormons in the distant Stakes of Zion to return 
to Salt Lake. The faithful at San Bernardino 
obeyed. They disposed of their property for 
whatever they could get for it and departed. 
Some remained. These were called "indepen- 
dents" and were regarded by the faithful as ren- 
egades. Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich, 
the purchasers of the rancho and the leaders of 
the colonists, with a train of thirty wagons, took 
their departure for Salt Lake April 25, 1857. 
This was the first train to go. During the sum- 

mer and fall about 1,200 Mormons left San 
Bernardino for Salt Lake. 

In December, 1857, about 25,000 acres of the 
rancho which had not been subdivided and 
placed on sale was transferred by Lyman, Rich, 
flanks & Co. to Messrs. Conn, Tucker, Allen & 
Coopwood. Although many of the Mormons 
remained and some of those who obeyed the 
"prophets' " call returned later, San Bernardino 
thereafter ceased to be a Stake of Zion and 
ceased to be distinctively a Mormon colony. 

Up to 1870 the increase in the population 
of the county was slow. It was isolated and 
far from market. Most of the land was held 
in large tracts and was devoted to the raising 
of cattle and sheep. 

The early '70s was the colony-forming era of 
Southern California history. This form of coloni- 
zation wrought a great change in the class of 
immigrants coming and in the kind of produc- 
tions grown. It was the transition period from 
cattle and sheep to grain and fruit. San Bernar- 
dino county profited greatly by the change, but 
of this more anon when we come to treat of 


Having given a brief outline of the history 
of one of the counties from which the most 
populous portion of the new colony was segre- 
gated, I take up the formation of Riverside 
county. The first attempt to form the county 
of Riverside was made in the legislature of 
1891. Three ambitious towns in Southern Cali- 
fornia were at the same time seized with a de- 
sire to become county seats, and bills were intro- 
duced in the legislature of 1891 to form the three 
new counties from territory taken from the three 
old counties, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and 
San Diego. 

Pomona county was to have been formed from 
the eastern portion of Los Angeles county and 
a slice taken from the western side of San Ber- 
nardino. Riverside county sliced a triangle off 
the southwestern part of San Bernardino and 
appropriated a rectangle of San Diego's north- 
western area; while San Jacinto county cut 
deep into San Diego's eastern area. Bills cre- 
ating these counties were introduced in the leg- 
islature. Then there was a triangular contest 
between the inchoate counties, each fighting its 
rivals. The old counties, San Bernardino and 
San Diego, bitterly opposed the schemes of the 
divisionists. One San Bernardino editor de- 
nounced the division plan as "geographical sacri- 
lege," and another charged the divisionists with 
attempting iiiayhcin on the Saints (Diego and 
Bernardino). The Riverside hill passed the 
senate with only eleven opposing votes and the 



hopes of its progenitors soared high. The 
county offices were divided up and a seat se- 
lected for the new county. Then came an agon- 
izing delay. The assembly had become in- 
volved in one of those interminable scandals 
that crop out during the sessions of our legisla- 
ture. Before the "waste basket scandal" could 
be hushed up the session ended and the River- 
side bill died on the files. 

In the legislature of 1893 the Riverside 
scheme came to the front early in the session; 
the other two division projects were held in 
abeyance or at least were not pushed with vigor, 
and did not reach a vote. The act to create 
the county of Riverside was approved March 11, 
1893. Riverside county was formed from the 
southwestern part of San Bernardino county 
and the northern part of San Diego. From San 
Bernardino it took 560 square miles and from 
.San Diego 6,418, thus giving the new county 
an area of 7,008 square miles. It is bounded 
on the west by Orange county and on the east 
by the Colorado river. In its contour Riverside 
county is widely diversified. In it rises one of the 
highest peaks (Mount San Jacinto) in Southern 
California and the deepest depressions below 
the sea level are found within its limits. 

It possesses every variety of climate. In the 
wooded canons of Mount San Jacinto the snow 
never melts; in the depression of the Colorado 
desert the heat exceeds that of the torrid zone; 
while on its western mesas, where the breezes 
waft the fragrance of the rose and the orange 
blossom, perpetual spring rules the year. 

Its productions are as varied as its climate. 
Its mountains produce lumber ; its deserts yield 
salt, and its western plains are the greatest 
orange-growing districts in the world. It pro- 
duces deciduous fruits as well as the semi-tropic. 
Peaches, apples, apricots, prunes, pears and cher- 
ries thrive and yield abundantly. In the low- 
lands along the Santa Ana river alfalfa makes 
dairying a profitable industry. Gold, silver, coal, 
coal asbestos are found within its borders. 


The terrible drought of 1863 and 1864, which 
virtually put an end to cattle-raising as the dis- 
tinctive industry of Southern California, brought 
about the subdivision of many of the large grants 
that had been held for stock ranges. The de- 
cline of the cattle industry compelled the 
agriculturists of the south to cast about for 
some other use to which their lands could be 
turned. The later '60s and the early '70s might 
be called the era of agricultural experiments in 
California. Olden-time tillers of the soil will 
recall perhaps with a sigh the silk-culture craze, 
the Ramie-plant fad. the raisin-grape experi- 

ment and other experiences with tree and plant 
and vine that were to make the honest farmer 
happy and prosperous, but which ended in dreary 
failure and often in great pecuniary loss. 

To one of these fads — the silk-cukure craze — 
Riverside owes its location, and for this reason 
the sericulture mania deserves more than a pass- 
ing notice. To encourage silk culture in Cali- 
fornia the legislature in 1866 passed an act au- 
thorizing the payment of a bounty of $250 for 
every plantation of 5,000 mulberry trees two 
years old. This greatly stimulated the planting 
of mulberry trees if it did not greatly increase the 
production of silk. 

In 1869 it was estimated that in the central 
or southern portions of the state there were ten 
millions of mulberry trees in various stages of 
growth. Demands for the bounty poured in upon 
the commissioners in such a volume that the 
state treasury was threatened with bankruptcy. 
.\t the head of the silk industry in the state was 
Louis Prevost, an educated French gentleman, 
who was thoroughly conversant with the busi- 
ness in all its details. He saw a great future for 
it, and firmly believed that the Golden State 
would outrival his native country, France, in 
the production of silk. He had estabUshed at 
Los Angeles an extensive nursery of mulberry 
trees and a large cocoonery for the rearing of 
silk worms. His enthusiasm had induced a num- 
ber of the leading men of the south to enter into 
an association for the purpose of planting exten- 
sive forests of mulberry trees for the nourish- 
ment of silk worms; and for the establishment of 
a colony of silk weavers. The directors of the 
association cast about for a suitable location 
to plant a colony. 

I take this notice of the visit of the president 
and a director of the association to San Bernar- 
dino from the letter of a correspondent of the 
Los Angeles Star June 15, 1869: "Messrs. Pre- 
vost and Garey have been here looking out for 
land with a view to establish a colony for the 
culture and manufacture of silk. The colony is 
to consist of one hundred families, sixty of 
whom are ready to settle as soon as the location 
is decided upon. Both of these gentlemen are 
highly pleased with our soil, climate, etc.. and 
consider it far better adapted to the culture of 
the mulberry than any other of the southern 
counties." The directors of the California Silk 
Center .Association of Los Angeles (by which 
name the organization was known), through its 
superintendent, purchased 4,000 acres of the 
Rubidoux rancho, which was a part of the 
Jurupa rancho, granted to Juan Bandini in 1838, 
and 1,460 acres of government land on the 
Hartshorn tract, which adjoined the Rubidoux 
rancho to the eastward. Thev also arranged to 



purchase from the Los Angeles & San Bernar- 
dino Land Company 3,169 acres of that portion 
of the Juriipa rancho opposite the Rubidoux 
rancho on the east side of the Santa Ana river. 
Prevost, the president of the association, died 
.\ugust 16, 1869, before the land deal was com- 
pleted. The winter of 1869-70 was one of short 
rainfall and but little was done towards planting 
trees on the colony grounds, and no efifort was 
made to colonize the tract. The death of Pre- 
vost had deprived the association of its main- 
spring and its works stopped. Besides the silk 
culture craze had begun to decline. The im- 
mense profits of $1,000 to $1,200 per acre that 
had been made in the beginning l)y selling silk 
worm eggs to those who had been seized by the 
craze later had fallen of? several figures from 
over-production; and to give a finishing blow to 
the fad the state canceled the bounty. The Silk 
Center Association having fallen into hard lines, 
offered its lands for sale on most advantageous 
terms, and it soon found a buyer. 


"On the 17th day of March, 1870, at Knox- 
ville, Tenn., J. W. North issued and sent to 
numerous persons in the Northern states a cir- 
cular, entitled, 'A Colony for California.' In that 
circular was briefly stated what was expected 
as to the establishment and carrying on of the 
proposed colony which had not at that time an\ 
definite form or special proposed location." 

In this circular judge North said: "We do not 
expect to buy as much land for the same amount 
of money in Southern California as we could ob- 
tain in remote parts of Colorado or Wyoming; 
but we expect it will be worth more in propor- 
tion to cost than any other land we could pur- 
chase in the United States. We expect to have 
schools, churches, lyceum, public library, read- 
ing room, etc., at a very early date, and we invite 
such people to join our colony as will esteem it a 
privilege to build them."* 

In the summer of 1870 Judge J. W. North, in 
company with several other gentlemen who had 
become interested in the proposed colony, visited 
Southern California to secure a location for their 
prospective colony. After examining a number 
of tracts of land ofTered, they, on the 14th of 
September, 1870, purchased from the stock- 
holder of the Silk Center Association all the real 
estate, water rights and franchises of that cor- 
]ioration. The purchasers had organized under 
tlie name of The Southern California Colony 
.Association. The members of the association 
were Judge John W. North, Dr. James P. 

♦Riverside— The Fulfillment of a Prophecy. By John 
G. North. 

( ireves, I )r. Sanfuvd Eastman, E. G. Brown, Dr. 
K. D. Shugarl, A. J. Twogood, D. C. Twogood, 
John Broadhurst, James A. Stewart and William 
J. Linville. Judge J. W. North was made presi- 
dent and general manager of the association. 
The land was bought at $3.50 per acre. It was 
mesa or tableland that had never been culti- 
vated, and so dry that one old timer said he had 
seen "the coyotes carrying canteens when they 
crossed it." It was not even good sheep pasture, 
and it is said that Rubidou.x at one time had 
it struck from the assessment roll because it was 
not worth paying taxes on. 

During the fall of 1870 a portion of the lands 
was surveyed and platted. A town was laid out 
and named Jurupa, from the name of the rancho, 
but this was soon changed to Riverside. The 
river, the Santa Ana, did not flow by the side 
of the town, but the colonists hoped that a con- 
siderable portion of its waters would eventually 
be made to do so. 

The first families to arrive in the colony 
reached it late in September, 1870. Their dwell- 
ings were constructed of rough upright redwood 
or pine boards, battened, the families camping 
out while the buildings were in the process of 
construction. As there were neither paint nor 
plaster used and the chimney was a hole in the 
roof out of which the stove pipe projected, it 
did not take long to erect a dwelling. The near- 
est railroad was Los Angeles, sixty-five miles 
away, and from there most of their supplies and 
building material had to be hauled on wagons. 

It was easy enough to survey their land and 
plat a town site, but to bring that land under 
cultivation and to produce from it something 
to support themselves was a more serious prob- 
lem. Land was cheap enough and plentiful, but 
water was dear and distant. It required engi- 
neering skill and a large outlay of capital to 
bring the two together. Without water for irri- 
gation their lands were worthless and the colony 
a failure. 

The colonists set to work vigorously in the 
winter of 1870-71 to construct an irrigating canal 
from a point on the Santa Ana river to the 
colony lands. Early in the summer of 1871 the 
canal, at a cost of about $50,000, was completed 
to the town site. A few enthusiasts in citrus cul- 
ture, before the canal was dug, bought seedling 
orange trees in Los Angeles at $2 apiece, and 
after hauling them across the arid plains sixty- 
five miles, planted them in the dry mesa and 
irrigated them with water hauled from Spring 
brook in barrels. The rapid growth of these 
trees, even under adverse circumstances, disap- 
proved the sneer of the old-timers that orange 
trees would not grow in the sterile soil of the 
mesas, and greatly encouraged the colonists. 



The raisin grape was at that time coming into 
notice, and many of the early settlers planted 
their grounds in vineyards. Others experiment- 
ed with the deciduous fruits, and a few had an 
abiding faith in the orange. Orange trees had 
to be raised from the seed, and the eight or nine 
years required to bring a seedling orange to 
bearing looked like a long time to wait for 

After a series of experiments, some of them 
costly, the colonists finally evolved the "fittest" 
product for their soil and market, and that was 
the Bahia orange, or, as it is now called, the 
Washington navel orange. In December, 1873, 
L. C. Tibbetts, a Riverside colonist, received by 
mail from a friend at \\'ashington, D. C, two 
small orange trees which had been imported from 
the City of Bahia, in Brazil, by the agricultural 
department. This variety is seedless and of fine 
flavor. It became immensely popular. Buds were 
taken from the parent trees and inserted in the 
stocks of the seedling orange trees and the varie- 
ty was propagated by budding from tree to tree as 
rapidly as buds could be obtained. The descend- 
ants from these two trees number well up to a 
milhon. One of these old trees has been recently 
presented to the city by its present owner, O. 


In 1875 Samuel C. Evans, a wealthy banker 
of Fort Wayne, Ind., came to Riverside. He 
purchased a half interest in 10,000 acres of land 
known as the Hartshorn tract (now known as 
Arlington), lying to the southward of the origi- 
nal colony tract. Capt. W. T. Sayward of San 
Francisco was the owner of the other half. These 
gentlemen began the construction of a canal for 
the irrigation of their lands. They were denied 
the riglrt of way across the lands of the Southern 
California Colony Association. Mr. Evans quiet- 
ly secured a controlling interest in the stock 
of the Colony Association and then dictated his 
own terms. In 1875 he assisted in organizing 
the Riverside Land and Irrigation Company, 
and in 1876 he became its president. This com- 
pany absorbed the Southern California Colony 
Association, its unsold land, water rights and 
canals. The two water systems were consoli- 
dated under one management, the canals were 
extended and thousands of acres of fertile land 
brought under irrigation. 

Up to 1875 Riverside had grown slowly, but 
with the accession of a larger territory, with an 
increased water supply, new settlers coming and 
more money in circulation, it took on a new and 
healthier growth. The world-famous Magnolia 
avenue was begun at this time. From a pam- 
phlet published by Capt. W. T. Sayward in 1875, 

descriptive of the new lands just thrown on the 
market, I take this description of what Magnolia 
avenue was intended to be by one of its pro- 
genitors: "A grand avenue has been surveyed 
and laid out from Temcscal creek nearly to San 
Bernardino in a straight line eighteen miles long 
and 132 feet wide, running through the lands 
of the Santa Ana, New England and Riverside 
colonies. This avenue is to be lined the entire 
distance with fruit, shade and ornamental trees 
on each side and one row in the center; and 
when completed will make the most beautiful 
drive and be the best ornamented road in the 

The amount of land contained in the colonies 
named above is, according to the pamphlet, as 
follows: "Riverside colony, 8,000 acres; New 
England, 10,000 acres; Santa Ana, 7,000 acres. 
.\11 these colonies are united in one irrigating 
system." The city of Riverside has long since 
swallowed up all these colonies and has taken 
in about 10,000 acres besides. The present area 
of the city is about fifty-six square miles. It was 
incorporated in 1883. 

In 1875 the population of the Riverside set- 
tlements was estimated at 1,000. The town then 
ha<l within its limits one church edifice, a school 
house, a hotel, two restaurants, a carriage and 
wagon factory, three general merchandise stores, 
a drug store, a livery stable and two saloons. 
Another saloon was added to the number early 
in 1876. Although not large, it seems then to 
have been a "wide open town," judging from 
the number of saloons in it. The saloons were 
closed so long ago that many of the present in- 
habitants are perhaps not aware they ever had 
any in the town. 


The first railroad meeting in Riverside of 
which I have any record was one held in the 
school house February 23, 1876. The Southern 
Pacific was building eastward. San Bernardino 
confidentially expected to be on the main line, 
and Riverside had hopes that it might be. The 
railroad passed between them and laid out a 
town of its own. Colton. San Bernardino set up 
a wail and petitioned the legislature to pass an 
act bonding the county so that it could build a 
road of its own to tide water at Anaheim land- 
ing. Riverside cautioned the legislature against 
the schemes of its neighbor in the following 
amusing resolution: "Resolved, That the people 
of Riverside respectfully request the honorable 
senate and house of representatives of California 
not to be too much moved by the touching ap- 
peal of the town of San Bernardino: Riverside 
tould lament just as hard if it were disposed to." 

The first Citrus Fair held in Riverside opened 



February 12, 1879. It was conducted under the 
auspices of the Southern California Horticul- 
tural Society. The exhibit was mainly seedling 
oranges, Mediterranean Sweets, St. Michaels and 
Konahs, with a few specimens of the navel 
Drange. The Riverside Press thus exultingly 
describes one of the most attractive features of 
the fair: "D. C. Twogood's exhibit was four 
boxes of seedling oranges packed. These four 
lioxes, open and full of fine fruit, made a broad 
glare which fairly illuminated that end of the 
hall." The oranges were exhibited on plates, 
and the plates were not heaped. Cicily and 
China lemons formed a part of the exhibit. A 
Konah orange six inches in diameter was one 
of the wonders of the fair. A census or enumer- 
ation taken in 1879 of the citrus fruit trees in 
Riverside, Sunnyside and Arlington gave the 
following numbers of each: orange trees, 160,- 
861; lemon, 23,950; limes, 28,642. In addition 
to the citrus trees there were 221,465 vines and 
about 50,000 deciduous fruit trees. A very good 
showing for a colony only eight years old. 


The first building erected in the Riverside 
settlenient was the office of the Southern Cali- 

fornia Colony Association, September, 1870, It 
was built on land now occupied by the Santa Fe 

The first child born in the settlement was a 
daughter of John Broadhurst, born December 
26, 1870. The first in the town of Riverside was 
a daughter of i\. R. Smith, born March 31, 1871. 

The first sermon preached in the town was 
delivered by Rev. A. Higbie, a Methodist min- 
ister. He was also the surveyor of the colony 

The first resident clergyman was Rev. J. W. 
Atherton, a Congregational minister. The first 
church erected in the town was a Congrega- 

The first school house was built in 1871. It 
was a frame building costing $1,200. 

The first mercantile establishment was opened 
by E. Ames in the winter of 1870-71. The first 
brick building, a store room 25x75, was erected 
by Buet Brothers in 1875. 

The first newspaper published was the River- 
side IVeekiy News. The first number appeared 
November 27, 1875. 

The public library was established in 1879. 

The first shipment of oranges was made in 
Ihe winter of 1879-80. 




THE citrus groves of the Riverside valley 
cover about 20,000 acres. Four large 
water systems supply water for irrigating 
the territory covered by these groves, viz.: The 
Riverside Water Company, the Gage canal, the 
Jurupa canal and the Riverside Highland ^Yatc^ 

The Riverside Water Company is com- 
l)Osed of the land owners under the system. It 
supplies the older orchards in the valley. Two 
shares of stock are appurtenant to an acre. The 
company obtains its water supply from the Santa 
Ana river, and from Warm Springs and wells in 
the San Bernardino artesian belt. This system has 
forty miles of main canal (half of which are ce- 
mented) andabout 150 milesof laterals. Thiscom- 
l)any also owns and operates a piped water system, 
by means of which it distributes throughout the 
city about 150 inches of pure artesian water un- 
der heavy pressure. The pressure is sufificient 
to afford fire protection without fire engines. 

This water is delivered through eighteen miles 
of mains and twenty-six miles of smaller pipes. 

THE gage canal. 

Very few of the many irrigating schemes that 
have been promoted in recent years for the de- 
velopment of water and the reclamation of arid 
lands have been so successful as that connnonly 
known as the Gage canal. From small begin- 
nings this enterprise has developed into mag- 
nificent proportions. In its gradual development 
it well illustrates the truth of the old couplet: 

"Tall oaks from little acorns grow. 
Great streams from little fountains flow." 

Mathew Gage, a jeweler by occupation, came 
to Riverside in March, 1881. He was compara- 
tively a poor man. Shortly after his arrival he 
took up under the desert land act a section of 
land. This land was situated on the plain above 
the canals and eastward of the Riverside settle- 
ment. There was apparently no way of getting 



water upnii it except from tliv cloinK. Anjuiid 
it were thousands of acres fertile ami ]irnihicii\e 
if water could be brought upon them, but barren 
without it. To perfect the title to his section of 
desert land he must bring water upon it from 
some source. His first move was to buy some 
old water rights in the Santa Ana river. Next 
he secured a large tract of land bordering on 
that river and lying about two miles southeast 
of San Bernardino City. On this land he began 
sinking wells. In 1882 he began work on his 
great canal. Wiseacres who "knew it all" ridi- 
culed the scheme of the tenderfoot, and prophe- 
sied its failure. Narrow-minded people who 
could not comprehend the magnitude of the 
undertaking and who feared some injury to their 
petty interests opposed it. But Gage labored on 
undaunted, conquering every obstacle and sur- 
mounting every difficulty. On the lOth of 
November, 1886, he had twelve miles of the 
canal completed and was delivering water there- 
from. In the year 1888 he extended the canal 
a distance of ten miles in a southwesterly direc- 
tion, skirting the foothills and bringing under 
irrigation the lands now known as Arlington 
Heights. The main canal is twenty-three miles 
long, it is twelve feet wide on the bottom and 
four feet deep at the head ; and reduces 
to five feet wide and four feet deep at 
the terminus. It is cemented throughout 
with Portland cement, which prevents any 
loss from absorption. The Gage water 
system covers about 7,500 acres. Its total cost, 
including the land up to the present time, is 
about $2,000,000. The system and the lands un- 
der it have been transferred by its progenitor 
to the Riverside Trust Company, Limited, a cor- 
poration of English capitalists. This company 
controls the lands of Arlington Heights, and 
has spent a large amount of money in grading 
and planting trees along Victoria avenue. This 
street rivals the famous Magnolia avenue. Its 
elevation and graceful curves afiford magnificent 
views of the Riverside valley. It is proposed 
to connect it with Magnolia avenue near Arling- 
ton station, thus making a continuous drive of 
twenty miles. 

The JuRUP.v c.vNAL is used in common by 
four or five different corporations. It carries 
about 850 inches and supplies the orchards of 
West Riverside and the land along the Santa 
Ana river. The water rights of this system arc 
the oldest on the river, and come down from the 
original granting of the Jurupa rancho. 

The RiVERsiDE-HiGiri,.\XD W.\ti;k Comp.\nv 
obtains its supply of water from 175 acres of 
water-bearing land in the Lyttle creek basin. 
It has developed about 500 inches, which is 
pumped into its pipes by electricity. To econo- 

mize tlie cost of pumping, a tunnel was run some 
3.<H)() feet, reaching the wells forty feet below 
llie surface. The water is conveyed to the or- 
chards in a 24-inch steel pipe twelve miles long. 
This water supply covers about 2,300 acres lying 
above the Gage canal in the Highgrove section. 


The population of Riverside county, according 
to the federal census of 1900, was 17,897; the 
population of the city in 1890 was 4,683 ; in 1901, 
7.973. a gain of 70 per cent in ten years. The 
total assessed value of the county property in 
1901 was nearly $17,000,000. City assessment, 
$5,919,630. The orange shipment from River- 
side City for the season of 1900-01 was 5,327 
car loads ; of oranges and lemons combined, 
5,517 cars. 


The pioneer newspaper of the colony was the 
Riverside Weekly Neivs. The first number was 
issued November 27, 1875. It was founded by 
Jesse Buck and R. A. Davis. It was a five- 
column paper; size, 12x15 inches. April 29, 
1876, Buck retired with this brief valedictory: 
"The bell rings, the curtain drops. Buck is out." 
R. A. Davis, Jr., continued the publication until 
it was merged into the Riverside Press two vears 

The Riverside Press, a seven-column week- 
ly paper, was founded by James H. Roe, June 
29, 1878. L. M. Holt assumed the management 
of it, January 10, 1880. He enlarged it to eight 
columns and changed the name to the Press 
and Horticulturist. The Daily Press was estab- 
lished in 1886. It is still published as an even- 
ing daily. The Valley Echo was established in 
1882 by James H. Roe and R. J. Pierson. 
December 6, 1888, the Eclio was consolidated 
with the Daily Press and the Weekly Press 
Olid Horticulturist, E. W. Holmes becoming a 
partner, the firm being Holmes, Roe & Pierson. 
The ll'eekly Reflc.v, established in 1895, was 
consolidated with the Press and Horticulturist, 
October i, 1896. 

The Daily Enterprise, the oldest daily of 
Riverside, was established in 1885. The Daily 
Globe, established in 1896, was consolidated 
with the Enterprise, October 30, 1897. A bi- 
weekly edition of the Enterprise is also pub- 
lished. The Enterprise has absorbed the follow- 
mg named weekly papers; the Weekly Search- 
light, May 7, 1896; the Weekly Perris Valley 
Record, March 5, 1896; Moreno Indicator, 
November 7, 1896. 

The Daily Enterprise is a morning paper, 
eight pages, six columns to the page. Monroe 
& Barton are the publishers and proprietors. 


Corona, formerly South Riverside, is fifteen 
miles southwest of Riverside on the San Diego 
branch of the Santa Fe railroad. It was founded 
in 1887 by the South Riverside Land and Water 
Company of which ex-Governor Samuel Merrill 
of Iowa was president. The town site was 
jilatted in the form of a circle one mile in diame- 
ter. The town is encircled b}' a boulevard lOO 
feet wide, lined on each side b_\- shade trees. The 
town grew rapidly at first. Six months after 
its founding there were in it ninety buddings 
completed, some of them brick blocks — one a 
$40,000 hotel. Then it came to a standstill. 
Recently it has taken on a new growth. Its 
water supply is obtained from wells in the 
Temescal cafion. Recently the Corona Irriga- 
tion Company purchased 160 acres of land near 
Ferris in the San Jacinto artesian belt, and has 
a large force of men employed constructing a 
cemented ditch to bring the water to the head 
of the present pipe line, a distance of twenty- 
nine miles. When completed, the entire line 
will be about forty miles long, and it is estimated 
that it will increase the present supply about 800 
inches. The town or city is incorporated. The 
corporation boundaries, like those of Riverside, 
take in a large number of orange groves. The 
owners of the groves do not object to city taxes 
as the municipal ordinances afford them better 
[irotection against insect pests. 

Corona supports an excellent high school. 
The school building, which also includes the 
class rooms of the grammar and primary depart- 
ments, cost $20,000. The city has within it six 
church organizations owning buildings, a weekly 
newspaper (The Corona Courier), six mercantile 
establishments and a public library of 600 vol- 
umes. Its population, according to the last 
federal census (June, 1900) was 1,434. In the 
foothills back of the town is a large pipe factory, 
the Pacific Clay Manufacturing Company, where 
is made the vitrified pipe so extensively used in 
the irrigating pipe lines. The company also 
manufactures pottery, fire brick and tiling. Cor- 
ona has several sobriquets. It is known as Circle 
City and Crown City, and the district as the 
Queen colony. 

Temecul.\, the most southern town in the 
county, is the terminus of the San Jacinto, Elsi- 
nore and Temecula branch of the Santa Fe rail- 
road system, fifty-one miles southeasterly of 
Riverside. The town was formerly a station on 
the California Southern Railroad ( now the Santa 
Fe), built in 1881, and connecting .San I'.ernar- 
dino and San Diego. The great Hood of i8q2 
destroyed the railroad in the Temecula canon, 
and it has not been rebuilt. Since then Temecula 

has been the southern terminus of the Santa Fe 
system in the valley between the Santa Ana and 
San Jacinto mountains. It is the business center 
of a large and productive area of fertile land. It 
is largely devoted to grain raising. The Teme- 
cula grant was in the olden time the wheat field 
of the Mission San Luis Rev, to which it be- 

MuRRiETTA, un the Temecula branch of the 
Santa Fe railroad, was laid out in 1886. The 
Murrietta portion (about 14,000 acres) of the 
Temecula rancho was purchased by the Teme- 
cula Land and Water Company, subdivided and 
placed on the market in small tracts in the 
autumn of 1884. Grain and hay are the principal 
products shipped from Murrietta. There are 
two churches in the town, but no saloons. 

Elsinore, known as the "Lake City," is 
twenty-eight miles south of Riverside. The 
town is located between the hills and the shore 
of the lake or laguna. This laguna, which gives 
name to the rancho, is about five miles long by 
two wide. Its waters are slightly alkaline. In 
1884 Graham, Collier & Heald bought the 
Laguna rancho, subdivided it and placed it on 
the market in small tracts. The town is famous 
for its hot springs. Within its limits there are 
over one hundred of these springs. The waters 
of these are efificacious in curing bronchial ail- 
ments, asthma, dyspepsia, rheumatism and de- 
rangements of the liver and kidneys. In the 
neighborhood of Elsinore is the most extensive 
coal mine in Southern California. The output 
of this mine is largely used in operating the fac- 
tories for manufacturing vitrified salt glazed 
sewer pipe. There is also near Elsinore one of 
the largest deposits of potter's clay in the state. 
The town is well supplied with schools and 
churches, and supports a good weekly news- 
paper, the Elsinore Press. 

Perris, sixteen miles southeast of Riverside, 
is located at the junction of the San Jacinto and 
Temecula branches of the Santa Fe railroad. 
The town was laid out in 1882. In 1883 the 
Southern California railroad was completed to 
this point. The San Jacinto branch road was 
completed in 1888. Perris has an elevation of 
about 1,300 feet above the sea level. It is sur- 
rounded by a fine agricultural region. The 
failure of the Bear valley irrigation scheme was 
a serious drawback to Perris valley, but the dis- 
covery that the plain around it is a great artesian 
belt has more than recompensed for the loss of 
the Bear valley water rights. Near Perris is a 
government Indian school, where 150 boys and 
girls are being educated and trained i'n the indus- 
trial arts. 

Winchester is a small town on the San Jacin- 
to branch of the Santa Fe railroad, nine miles 



westerly from San Jacinto. It is surrounded 
by a fine agricultural country, and is within the 
artesian belt. 

Laken'iew is connected with the Santa Fe 
railroad system by a short branch road, of which 
the town is the terminus. It is twenty miles 
southeast of Riverside. It derives its name from 
its proximity to San Jacinto lake, or sink of the 
San Jacinto river. The Lakeview Town Com- 
pany, a Chicago association, controls about 
10,000 acres of rich fertile mesa varying in ele- 
vation from 1,400 to 1,800 feet. The tract is 
irrigated from artesian wells. 

Hemet is located on the foot hills of the San 
Jacinto mountains at an elevation of 1,600 feet. 
Its population in 1900 was 905. It has a mag- 
nificent water supply, the source of which is 
Lake Hemet, an artificial lake made by building 
a dam across the lower end of the Hemet valley 
at an elevation of 4,200 feet. The dam is con- 
structed of granite, and is 100 feet thick at the 
bottom and 30 feet at the top, and 122 feet high. 
The dam flows the water back nearly three miles. 
This water supply covers about 7,000 acres. 
Hemet has a fine hotel costing $35,000. It has 
the only flouring mill in Riverside county. 
Hemet is the starting point for Strawberry. 
Stages run to the valley during the summer. 

San J.\cinto City is the temiinus of the San 
Jacinto branch of the Santa Fe railroad. It is 
the oldest town in the county. The nucleus of 
the San Jacinto settlement dates back into the 
Mexican era. The rancho San Jacinto ^^iejo 
was granted to one of the Estudillos in the early 
'40s, and included some 36.000 acres of the 
choicest land in the valley. The lines of the 
grant were so run as to take in most of the 
San Jacinto river. This gave the rancho control 
of abmit all the pasture lands of the val- 

A s\ ndicate of capitalists in the early '80s pur- 
chased 18,000 acres of this rancho, and laid out 
the town of San Jacinto. The town was incor- 
porated April 9, 1888. The corporate limits 
take in six sections of land. It is substantially 
built, most of the buildings being of brick. It 
was severely shaken by the earthquake of De- 
cember 25. 1899, but no lives were lost in the 
city. San Jacinto is an important shipping point. 
having abotit 200.000 acres of choice fruit and 
grain lands tributary to it. 

Strawuerry \'ai.i.ev, an elevated plateau in 
the San Jacinto mountains, twenty-two miles 
from San Jacinto, has for many years been a 
popular summer resort. It has an elevation 
above the sea level of 5.200 feet. The valley is 
timbered with ])ine and oak, and lias three 
streams of running water and several s])rings. 
There were furnicrlv two hotels in the vallev, 

the old hotel at Strawberr}' and a small one at 
Idyl wild. 

in the fall of 1899 a syndicate of Los Angeles 
physicians, of which Dr. F. T. Bicknell is presi- 
dent, bought the 120 acres on which the old 
hotel was located: and next they secured the 
Idylwild tract containing 160 acres. They have 
since purchased adjoining tracts, making in all 
1,090 acres of mountain land. This corporation, 
known as the California Health Resort Compan\', 
is constructing a large central building of sixty 
rooms for a sanatorium. Besides the main build- 
ing there will be a number of cottages of from 
three to five rooms each, the occupants of which 
will take their meals in the dining hall of the 
main building. In addition to these improve- 
ments the association has laid of? the village of 
Idylwild, where cottages will be built for rent. 
The creeks and springs afTord a plentiful supply 
of pure mountain water. 

BE.A.UM0NT was formerly known as San Gor- 
gonia. It is a station on the Southern Pacific 
railroad, and is located on the divide or summit 
of the San Gorgonia Pass, at an elevation of 
2,500 feet above the sea level. The town was 
laid out in 1887, and had for a time quite a rapid 
growth. It has at present two mercantile estab- 
lishments, one church (Presbyterian), a school- 
house of three departments and a hotel. It is 
surrounded by a grain-growing district. 

Banning, on the Yuma branch of the South- 
ern Pacific railroad, was laid out in 1882. A 
syndicate of Nevada capitalists purchased a 
tract of land, a small plat of which was divided 
into town lots and the remainder subdivided 
into farm lots. A cement ditch eight miles long 
was contructed up into Moore's canon, and an 
abundant supply of water secured for the colony 
tract. Banning is most picturesquely located. 
In its immediate vicinity are J\Iount San Ber- 
nardino. Mount San Jacinto and Cirayback, the 
three highest peaks in Southern California, and 
stretching out to the eastward lies the Colorado 
desert. The Banning district produces large 
quantities of excellent peaches. 


That trite old metaphor, "the desert shall be 
made to blossom as the rose" has been literally 
verified in a desert section of Riverside county. 
While the roses blooming in the desert may not 
be very numerous, there are acres of melon 
blossoms. Fifty miles eastward from Riverside 
City lies the Conchilla (Little Shell) valley, a 
part of the Colorado desert. This valley extends 
forty miles from northwest to southeast, and is 
from five to fifteen miles in width. On three 
sides it is inclosed by mountain chains, and on 
the fourtli it merges into an un1)roken plain that 



stretches to the Colorado river. Its bottom is 
from I20 to 250 feet below the sea level. Several 
years since the Southern Pacific managers pro- 
cured water at some of their desert stations, but 
the sinking of these wells was quite expensive. 
Early in the year 1900 the hydraulic process of 
well boring was introduced into the valley and 
proved quite successful. Bountiful supplies of 
fresh water were struck at depths varying from 
350 to 600 feet. 

As soon as it was known, that an abundance 
of artesian water for irrigation could be obtained 
at a moderate cost there was a rush for claims.. 
-Vctual settlement did not I^egin until Septem- 
ber and October, 1900, and but few of the set- 
tlers had their wells bored and their land cleared 
for cultivation before February, 1901. The crop 
that seemed to assure the quickest returns and 
the most profit was melons. By the middle of 
June the farmers had harvested their grain crops 
and were shipping cantaloupes and watermelons 
to Chicago at the rate of a car load a day. There 
are now about fifty flowing wells in the valley, 
which will eventually form a fruitful oasis in the 
desert. The heat and the entire absence of fogs 
ripen fruits and melons from six weeks to two 
months earlier than any other part of the United 
States. As an example of the value at which 
land is held, an offer of $8,000 was refused for 
the relinquishment of a homestead claim of 160 
acres, of which only fifty acres has been brought 
under cultivation. 


Among the leading events that have agitated 
Riverside City and county the present year 
(1 901) may be named the building of a city high 
school at a cost of $30,000, the purchase of the 
Chalmers block at a cost of $20,000 for a court 
house and county jail site, the donation of 
$20,000 by the millionaire philanthropist, An- 
drew Carnegie, to the city of Riverside for the 
erection of a free library building, the letting 
of a contract by the board of supervisors for the 
construction of a $35,000 county jail, and the 
laying of the corner stone of the Sherman 
Institute, an Indian school. The question of 
building a new jail called forth considerable 
discussion. Some invidious comparisons were 
made in regard to the policy of building a $30.- 
000 high school for the accommodation of 300 
high school pupils and the building of a $35,000 
jail for the reception of a dozen or so hobos. 
The supervisors nevertheless decided to build 
the jail. 


Nearly fifty years ago Hon. ]'.. 1). Wilson, in 
1 ahle report on the condition of llic Southern 

California Indians, their needs, their treatment 
by the whites, the laws enacted for their gov- 
ernment, and the cruelties to which they were 
subjected, sums up the Indian's status thus: 
"All punishment — no reform ;"' and such has 
been his fate under the rule of Spain, of Mexico 
and of the United States. 

Though long delayed, for the remnants of the 
Southern California Indians happier days are 
coming. These wards of the nation are to be 
cared for and given a chance to reform. En- 
lightened statesmanship has taken away the gov- 
ernmental support formerly given to sectarian 
Indian schools, and has established instead secu- 
lar institutions for his intellectual and industrial 

Nearly ten years ago the superintendent of 
Indians affairs under President Harrison recom- 
mended the establishing at some point on the 
Pacific slope a government school for the in- 
dustrial training of Indian youth, similar to the 
great school at Carlisle, Pa. During President 
McKinley's first term commissioners were sent 
to look over the field. They recommended the 
location of a school at some point south of Te- 
hachepi. The fifty-fifth congress appropriated 
$75,000 for the purchase of land and erection 
of buildings. The commissioners authorized to 
select a site recommended that offered by River- 
side, and congress ratified its purchase. This 
site consists of forty acres on ^Magnolia avenue, 
near Arlington. The present congress voted an 
additional appropriation for the erection of 
buildings and other improvements. The plans 
for twelve brick buildings, suitable for school 
rooms, dormitories, offices, laundry, mess hall, 
etc., were drawn by a government architect in 
accordance with suggestions made by Capt. A. 
C. Tonner, assistant superintendent of Indian 
affairs. A contract for the construction of these 
buildings was let to Lynn & Lewis of Redlands 
for $150,000, the buildings to be completed by 
March i, 1902. 

July 18, 1901, was a gala day for Riverside. It 
was the day designated for the laying of the cor- 
nerstone of the Sherman Institute, an institu- 
tion that is to be made the great Indian school 
of the west. Every portion of Southern Cali- 
fornia was represented and there were repre- 
sentative men from the northern and central 
parts of the state. United States Senator Per- 
kins presided and Hon. Will. A. Harris of Los 
Angeles delivered the oration of the day. A 
guitar and mandolin club of twenty girls 
from the Indian school at Perris and a 
brass band composed of twenty-six boys from 
the same school furnished the instrumental 
music for the occasion. Quartets of Indian 



dered vocnl selections that were highly appre- 

The school is named for Hon. James S. Sher- 
man, congressman from the twenty-fifth con- 
gressional district of New York and chaimian of 
the committee on Indian affairs of the present 
house of representatives. He has been active 
in securing the appropriation and in furthering 
the interests of the school. 

It is estimated that there are about 600 In- 

dian children in the various Indian reservations 
of Southern California without school facilities. 
If these are left to grow up on the reservations 
they will follow in the footsteps of their fathers. 
The only hope of "reform" for the Indians of 
Southern California is in the removal of the 
young from the evil environments of the reser- 
vations and an industrial training in schools such 
as the Sherman Institute is intended to be. 



The high standing of Southern California is due not alone to its ideal climate and the rare 
beauty of its scenery. Other regions, boasting an environment as attractive, have nevertheless 
remained unknown to the great ^vorkl of commerce and of thought. When we study the progress 
made by the various cities and counties of Southern California, especially during the two last 
decades of the nineteenth century and the opening years of the twentieth century, we are led to 
the conclusion that the present gratifying condition is due to the enterprise of public-spirited citizens. 
They have not only developed commercial possibilities and horticultural resources, but they have 
also maintained a commendable interest in public affairs, and have given to their commonwealth 
some of its ablest statesmen. The prosperity of the past has been gratifying; and, with the build- 
ing of the canal to connect the Atlantic and the Pacific, with the increasing of railroad facilities, 
with the further development of local resources, there is every reason to believe that the twentieth 
century will witness the most marvelous growth this region has ever made. 

The preceding pages have been devoted to a resume of the history of Southern California, 
while in the following pages m-ention is made of many of the men who have contributed to the 
development and progress of this region, — not only capable business men of the present day, but 
also honored pioneers of years gone by. In the compilation of this work and the securing of neces- 
sary data, a number of writers have been engaged for many months. They have visited leading 
citizens and used every endeavor to produce a work accurate and trustworthy in every detail. 
Owing to the great care exercised, and to the fact that every opportunity was given to those rep- 
resented to secure accuracy in their biographies, the publishers believe they are giving to their read- 
ers a volume containing few errors of consequence. The biographies of a number of representa- 
tive citizens will be missed from the work. In some instances this was caused by their absence 
from home when our writers called, and in some instances was caused by a failure on the part of 
the men themselves to understand the scope of the work. The publishers, however, have done all 
within their power to make this work a representative one. 

The value of the data herein presented will grow with the passing years. Posterity will pre- 
serve the volume with care, from the fact that it perpetuates biographical history that otherwise 
would be wholly lost. In those now far-distant days will be realized, to a greater extent than at 
the present time, the truth uf Macaulay's statement, "The history of a country is best told in the 
lives of its people." 

Chapm.-\n Publishing Co., 
. . Chicasro. 

DURE FOREVER."— A'i'iWanrt. 

COMEST ON HUMAN WALLS."— TftomO* Catiljlc. 



family of which United States Senator Bard is 
a distinguished member was founded in Amer- 
ica by Richard Bard, who, with his father, Archi- 
bald Bard, crossed the ocean in 1745 and settled 
m Pennsylvania. In common with other pio- 
neers, Richard Bard experienced many trials 
and vicissitudes, not the least of which was 
the capture of himself and wife by the Indians, 
April 19, 1758. Five days later he effected his 
escape, after which he made constant efforts to 
secure the release of his wife. Finally, after 
more a year of captivity, she was given up 
at Fort DuQuesne for a ransom of forty pounds 
sterling. A son of Richard Bard was Thomas 
Bard, a native of Franklin coimty, Pa. The lat- 
ter's son, Robert M., was born in that county in 
1810 and died there in 1851. He married Eliza- 
beth S. Little, who was born at ]\Iercersburg, 
Pa., in 1812, and died in 1880. She was a daugh- 
ter of Dr. P. W. Little, and granddaughter of 
Col. Robert Parker, a Revolutionary officer. 

Into the family of Robert j\l. and Elizabeth S. 
Bard, a son, Thomas Robert, was born at Cham- 
bersburg. Pa., December 8, 1841. His education 
was secured principally in Chambersburg Acad- 
emy, from which he was graduated, with the 
honors of his class, at eighteen years of age. 
In 1859 he studied law under Hon. George 
Chamliers, a retired supreme justice of the state 
of Pennsylvania; however, preferring an active 
life, he soon turned his atteiUion to railroad and 
mining engineering, in which he received a 
practical training in the Allegheny mountains. 
Later he accepted a position in a forwarding and 
commission house at Ilagerstown, Pa., and was 
there during the war period, when, owing to his 
])rniiounced Union sympathies, his life was more 
than once in peril. He was on the battlefield of 
Antietam during that great engagement and, 
though not a soldier, entered the lists and fought 
for the Union. About that time he rendered 
valuable services for the assistant secretary of 
war, Col. Thomas A. Scott, who, after tlie Con- 
federates in a raid had burned the residence of 
Mr. Bard's mother, at Chambersburg, induced 
him to go to California to take charge ot the 
Colonel's business interests. 

Early in 1865 Mr. Bard settled in Ventura 

county, where he has since been a leading citi- 
zen. For a time he superintended the California 
Petroleum Company's affairs on Rancho Ojai, 
in which Colonel Scott was interested, but later 
he turned his attention to the management of 
the Colonel's property, consisting of the fol- 
lowing ranchos: Simi, 113,000 acres; Las Posas, 
26,600; San Francisco, 48,000; Calleguas, 10,- 
000; El Rio de Santa Clara, 45,000; Canada 
Larga, 6,600; and Ojai, 16,000, besides his lands 
in Los Angeles and Humboldt counties, about 
12,000 acres, making a total of 277,000 acres. 
The management of these vast interests required 
the greatest tact and energy, owing especially 
to disputes concerning titles which caused ill 
feeling; but the lands of which he disposed have 
been found to have perfect titles. 

In 1871 Mr. Bard built the wharf at Hueneme 
and laid out the town. For years he has been 
president of the Hueneme Bank and the Hue- 
neme Wharf Company, also president of the 
Sespe Oil Company, which controls large areas 
of oil territory; president of the Torrey Canon 
Oil Company; and president of the Mission 
Transfer Company, whicii owns the pipe lines 
and refineries at Santa Paula. After the incor- 
poration of the Bank of Ventura, he was chosen 
its president, which position he filled for fifteen 
years. He organized the Simi Land and Water 
Company and the Las Posas Land and Water 
Company. On the death of Colonel Scott in 
1882, he was appointed administrator of his Cal- 
ifornia estate and disposed of the same in the 
interests of the heirs. 

The homestead of Air. Bard, known as "Beryl- 
wood," is one of unusual beauty. The grounds 
are attractively laid out, with long avenues of 
palms and other ornamental and shade trees. 
The choicest plants and most beautiful flowers 
add to the artistic completeness of the scene. 
Indeed, floriculture may be said to be Senator 
Bard's hobby, and when he traveled abroad in 
1899, his first quest was a study of the flora of 
different European countries. It has been his 
ambition to secure for his California home rare 
and choice plants, and he has propagated new 
varieties, having in this way secured the rose 
known as the "Beauty of Berylwood." The 
grounds at Berylwood resemble a great English 


estate and are among the most beautiful in 
Southern California. In connection with the 
property there is an apricot orchard, from which 
a handsome income is assured. 

Ever since coming west Mr. Bard has been 
one of the active workers in the Republican 
party. Several times he Vias elected supervisor 
of Santa Barbara county, before Ventura county 
was formed. In 1884 he served as a delegate to 
the Blaine convention at Chicago, and in 1892 
was chosen to act as a presidential elector. The 
greatest honor of his life came to him February 
8, 1900, when he was elected to the United 
States senate, being tlic unanimous choice of 
the Republican members of the state legislature. 
Since becoming senator, much of his time has 
necessarily been spent in Washington, and there 
he has guarded the interests of his constituents 
and proved himself to be a worthy representa- 
tive of the greatest state of the west. The trust 
reposed in him he has never violated: on the 
contrary, he has ever been watchful of the peo- 
ple's interests and has been a stanch advocate 
of measures calculated to promote California's 
development. From his youth he has been a 
keen judge of men, and this trait has proved 
helpful to him in the discharge of his many 
duties; indeed, it is said that his first impressions 
of men are seldom incorrect, and that he has 
seldom had occasion to regret a confidence once 
reposed in another. 

In 1876 iMr. Bard married Miss Mary Gcrber- 
ding, who was born in California in 1858, being 
a daughter of E. O. Gerberding, the founder of 
the San Francisco Bulletin. Their marriage was 
solemnized at the family residence on Clay 
street, San Francisco, where Mrs. Gerberding 
still makes her home. Born to their union were 
eight children, seven of whom are living, viz.: 
Beryl, ]\Iary L., Anna Greenwell, Thomas G., 
Elizabeth Parker, Richard and Bernard Philip. 
In order that the children may have the ad- 
vantages offered by the city schools, Mr. Bard 
purchased a residence on West Adams street, 
Los Angeles, and there the family spend the 
winters, returning to their country estate in 
Ventura county for the summer months. 
Senator Bard was reared in the Presbyterian 
faith, to which he has always adhered, but he is 
very liberal and broad in his views and 
thoroughly sympathizes with all movements and 
societies aiming to benefit mankind. He is one 
of the principal supporters of the Presbyterian 
Church in the Hueneme district and attends its 
services when at his country place. 

Doubtless California has no citizen better 
known throughout the United States than is 
Senator Bard. The qualities that gave him 
prominence in his own state have also made him 
a notable addition to a body numbering among 
its members some of the most able and gifted 
men of our country, and it may be safely pre- 

dicted that the eminence already attained by 
Southern California will be enhanced by the wise 
efforts of its representative in the U. S. Senate. 

Some lives, though short as we count the years, 
are nevertheless long Avhen estimated by the 
amount accomplished in private business enter- 
prises or in public service. Of Stephen M. 
\\'hite it may be said that his life is "measured 
not by years, but by intensity." Into an exist- 
ence covering less than half a century he 
crowded experiences and secured resuhs not 
often attained in a life that stretches beyond the 
allotted three score and ten. Only the posses- 
sion of extraordinarj- ability can account for his 
pre-eminence. Beginning his career as an office- 
holder of the state in 1886 and as a United States 
senator in 1893, in the comparatively short pe- 
riod that elapsed from these dates to the time 
of his death, he achieved a national reputation, 
and was a constant promoter of California's 
prosperity and commercial welfare. 

Undoubtedly Senator \Miitc inherited much 
of his ability from his father, William F., himself 
a man of literary tastes and the author of "Early 
Days in California." A native of Ireland, edu- 
cated in New York City, he came to California, 
accompanied by his bride, in 1849, and spent 
his remaining years in this state, principally re- 
siding on his large ranch at Watsonville, Santa 
Cruz county. He married Fannie Russell, a 
relative of Hon Stephen Mallory, of Florida, 
whose son served in the United States senate 
at the same time with Stephen Mallory White. 
At this writing j\Irs. Fannie White resides in 
San Francisco. In her family there were two 
sons and six daughters who attained mature 
years, and all are living excepting Stephen M. 
One of the family, Edward, resides at Watson- 

In San Francisco, Stephen M. White was born 
January 19, 1853. His boyhood days were 
largely passed on the ranch in Santa Cruz 
county. He was educated in St. Ignatius Col- 
lege at San Francisco, and in Santa Clara Col- 
lege, from which he was graduated with the 
degree of B. S. After having been admitted to 
the bar, in the fall of 1874 he came to Los An- 
geles, where he was soon recognized as a prom- 
ising lawyer and able man. His election to the 
office of district attorney, in 1883, was a tribute 
to his ability and the recognition of the same, by 
the people. It was largely due to his admirable 
ser\-ice in that capacity that he was selected as 
one able to represent the district in the state 
senate. His election in 1886 may be termed the 
beginning of his public career. Thenceforward 
he remained in the service of his state and coun- 
try. Soon after he became senator the governor, 
Washington Bartlctt, died, and Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor Waterman became chief executive, which 



caused Mr. White to be made presiding officer 
of the senate in die first session and acting lieu- 
tenant-governor in the second session. His 
thorough knowledge of parliamentary law en- 
abled him to fill these positions with fairness to 
all and in a manner preventing criticism from 

Tlie stanch advocacy of Democratic principles 
bv Senator White brought him into notice 
among those of his party throughout the state 
Lud nation. His ability as a leader was unques- 
tioned, his knowledge of parliamentary law un- 
e.xcelled by any statesman, and his insight into 
questions of state thorough and comprehensive. 
In 1888 he w-as delegate-at-large to the Demo- 
cratic national convention, of which he was 
chosen temporary chairman. Four years later 
he was a delegate, and again in 1896 served as 
delegatc-at-large and permanent chairman. His 
career as United States senator began in 1893, 
and during his service in Washington he made a 
notable record for thorough work in questions of 
finance and commerce. Perhaps, however, his 
greatest work, and that which will stand as his 
monument, was in connection with the establish- 
ment of the harbor at San Pedro. For this measure 
he stood with his whole heart. He gave himself 
unreservedly to promoting its success; this, too, 
in spite of the enormous moneyed interests ar- 
ra3-ed by the opposition. Finally, after a strug- 
gle that would have daunted a man less deter- 
mined, he conquered, and the harbor was estab- 
lished that is destined to be a mighty factor in 
the future growth of California. What the 
future might have held for him is beyond our 
ken, but it might reasonably be supposed that, 
had he been spared to old age, the remainder 
of his life would have been given to public serv- 
ice and to a championship of measures calculated 
to promote the welfare of the state. When he 
passed away, February 21, 1901, there were not 
wanting men who believed that the greatest 
Democrat west of the Rocky Mountain region 
had been called away; be that as it may, certain 
it is that his death removed one of the notable 
figures in the senate during the latter part of the 
nineteenth century and one of California's great- 
est statesmen. 

In Los Angeles, June 5, 1883, Mr. White mar- 
ried Miss Hortense Sacriste, who was born in 
A'orth Carolina and came to Los Angeles with 
her father in 1873, afterward going east and 
completing her education in a convent at Phila- 
delphia. Her acquaintance wdth Senator White 
began when she was fifteen years of age, and they 
were married as soon as her education was fin- 
ished. Born of their union were four children now 
living, William Stephen, Fstelle, Hortense and 
Gerald Griffin. Her grandparents, Francis and 
Eliza (Genotelle) Sacriste, resided near Phila- 
delphia, where the former engaged in manufac- 
turing. Her father, Charles, was born at Bor- 

deau.x, France, and received his education in a 
Quaker college at \Vilmington, Del. After com- 
ing to Los Angeles he started the first woolen 
manufactory in this city, it being located on 
Sixth and Pearl streets. His death occurred in 
1890. His wife, Ann (O'Neill) Sacriste, was 
born in Ireland and received her education in a 
convent at Wilmington, Del. Some years after 
the death of her husband she passed away in 
Los Angeles. They were the parents of eleven 
children, only four of whom are living, Mrs. 
White being the youngest of these. The other 
daughter resides at Santa Clara, Cal., w'hile the 
two sons make their home in Virginia. 

HON. ORESTES ORR. For some years 
past the Republican party in Ventura county has 
had as one of its principal members ex-Senator 
Orr, a resident of the city of Ventura since 1878. 
His prominence in the party may be judged from 
the fact that for several terms he was chosen 
chairman of the county central committee, while 
for many years he was a member of the state 
central committee. The various positions to 
which he has been elected have come to him 
from his party and are a tribute to his popularity 
and a just recognition of his worth. For three 
successive terms he served as district attorney, 
being elected in 1884, 1886 and 1888, and serv- 
ing until January, 1891. On the Republican 
ticket, in 1892, he was nominated for senator and 
was elected, over two opponents, by a large plu- 
rality, serving in the state legislative sessions of 
1893 and 1895. During his first term he was 
chairman of the committee on roads and high- 
ways and in 1895 was honored by the chairman- 
ship of the committee on corporations, both of 
w-hich positions he filled in an efficient and cred- 
itable manner. At the expiration of his second 
term he was not a candidate for re-election, but 
resumed the practice of law, in which he had 
previously been engaged. 

The Orr family is of Scotch descent, but the 
first of the family in America came from county 
Donegal, Ireland. They possessed the sturdy 
characteristics of the Scotch-Irish race, and 
these qualities have been transmitted to their 
descendants. The great-grandfather of Mr. Orr 
settled in Pennsylvania, where the grandfather, 
Russell, was born and reared. In early man- 
hood the latter settled in Mahoning county, 
Ohio, where he afterward improved a farm. 
The father, Casselman, was born on that home- 
stead and when a young man sought a home- 
stead for himself among the cheaper lands of 
the Mississippi valley, settling in Wayne county, 
111., where he cleared and improved a farm and 
remained until his death. He married Mary E. 
Willett, who w-as born in Ohio and died in'lUi- 
nois. Her father, George Willett, a Virginian 
by birth, sojourned in Ohio a few years, and 
then established his permanent home in Wayne 



county, 111. The Willctts are an old \irginian 
family, of English origin. 

In a family of three sons and three daughters 
(all living), Orestes Orr was the oldest and was 
born near Fairfield, Wayne county, 111., Decem- 
ber 5, 1857. As a boy he attended district 
schools in Illinois. Showing the possession of 
qualities that fitted him for the law, be deter- 
mined to fit himself for that profession, and 
accordingly took up his studies in Fairfield. 
Coming to' \'entura, Cal, in 1878, he continued 
his studies in the office of Williams & Williams, 
and in 1881 was admitted to the bar, since which 
time he has engaged in practice, with the excep- 
tion of the period spent in the state senate, l-'or 
one term he was city attorney. This was during 
the early period of his practice and furnished 
him with the practical experience so essential to 
complete success in the law. Fraternally he is 
connected with the Elks at Santa Barbara, and 
is also identified with the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows. His marriage took place in \'en- 
tura and united him with Aliss Ella M. Com- 
stock, who was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa. They 
are the parents of three children, Charles, Addie 
and Frank. 

JOHN M. RADEBAUGH, M. D. The pio- 
neer physician of Pasadena is a descendant of 
two of Pennsylvania's oldest families. On the 
paternal side he represents the fourth generation 
from Peter Radebaugh, a captain in the Revo- 
lutionary conflict; the third generation from 
Jacob, a merchant; and the second generation 
from John Radebaugh, a native of Franklin 
county. Pa., a soldier in the war of 181 2 and for 
years a large real-estate owner in Chambersburg, 
Pa. The family was founded in America by 
H'einrich Radebaugh, father of Capt. Peter, 
and an emigrant from Germany to Lancaster, 
Pa., in 1738. When the Reformed Church was 
established the family had cast in their fortunes 
with those of the new faith, and succeeding gen- 
erations adhered to the same belief. 

Through maternal ancestry Dr. Radebaugh 
traces his descent from Peter Middelkauf?, who 
came from Germany to America in 1728 and set- 
tled in Lancaster county, F*a. His son, Leonard, 
served as a private in the Revolutionary war, 
and in defense of the same cause fought side by 
.•^ide with three of his wife's brothers, bearing the 
family name of Castle. This Revolutionary sol- 
dier had a son, Jacob, who was a farmer in 
Adams county. Pa. Next in line of descent was 
David, who inherited the valor of his Revolu- 
tionary ancestor and ofifered iiis services to the 
country in tlie war of 1812. At nineteen years 
of age he was brevet-major. At the close of the 
war he took up mercantile pursuits in Gettys- 
burg, Pa., and became so prominent in Adams 
county that he was elected from there to the 
state li-gislaturc and senate, serving in the for- 

mer body for a period of fifteen years. Though 
he was about seventy years of age when the 
Civil war broke out, years had not extinguished 
the fire of his patriotism, and he was as eager 
to serve his country as he had been fifty years 
before. His service at that time as captain of 
ihe Pennsylvania Cavalry Company Militia was 
remarkable by reason of his unusual age for ac- 
tive service. His death occurred in Shippens- 
burg. Fie had married Susan Mark, whose 
grandfather was a captain in the first war with 

The father of Dr. Radebaugh was John, a na- 
tive of Chambersburg, Pa., a graduate of Penn- 
sylvania College, and a practicing attorney in 
the city of his birth. While he was still too 
yo'.mg to have achieved success, at the very out- 
set of his career, when twenty-eight years of 
age, death brought to an untimely end all of his 
activities and blasted the hopes he had cherished 
for a successful future. He had married Mary 
MiddelkaufT, who was born in Gettysburg, Pa., 
and who survived him many years, dying when 
sixty-three. Of their union two children w-ere 
born, but David died in infancy, and John was 
the only one to attain maturity. He was born in 
Chambersburg March 11, 1851, and grew to 
manhood in Gettysburg. After having prepared 
for college in Chambersburg Academy, in 1866 
he entered Pennsylvania College, where he took 
the complete course, graduating in 1870 with the 
degree of A. B. Three years later the degiee of 
A. M. was conferred upon him. During the 
same year (1873) he was graduated from the 
medical department of the University of Penn- 
sylvania and received the degree of M. D. By 
competitive examination he was awarded a posi- 
tion as interne in the Orthopedic Hospital, 
where he remained a year, afterward being for 
fifteen months connected with the Philadelphia 
Hospital. The experience gained in these two 
institutions was of inestimable value to him when 
lie began in practice for himself, which he did 
in Philadelphia. After a year of private practice 
there he joined his stepfather. Dr. Robert 
Horner, a graduate of the University of Penn- 
sylvania, the two practicing together in Gettvs- 

When Dr. Radebaugh came to Pasadena in 
1881, it was not only his first glimpse of this 
now beautiful city, but also his first visit to the 
coast. Being pleased with the country, he de- 
cided to remain, and he has since made Pasadena 
his home. He was the first physician to build 
an office here, the location lie selected being 
now the site of the Carrollton Hotel. At the 
lime there were only two physicians in the com- 
munity, and both of these "were ranchers, de- 
voting little time to the profession. Hence he 
deserves the title of "pioneer physician." He 
is now located on Euclid avenue and conducts a 
general practice, in addition to which he served 



as a member of the board of health from its or- 
ganization until 1 90 1. By means of study in the 
Post-Graduate School of New York City he 
has kept in touch with the many developments 
made in therapeutics since he completed his 
university course, and his knowledge is further 
enlarged by the careful perusal of medical jour- 
nals and other literature bearing upon the pro- 
fession, also by his active connection with Cali- 
fornia State and Los Angeles County Medical 
Societies. Though not active in politics to the 
extent of partisanship, he is nevertheless a 
strong Republican. In religion he is of the 
Episcopalian faith. 

ELLWOOD COOPER. It is the opinion of 
many that there is no region where wise judg- 
ment and tireless industry bring more satisfac- 
tory results than in this far western state. With 
a soil that readily responds to cultivation and a 
climate that is unsurpassed, the horticulturist 
has much to aid him in his efforts to gain suc- 
cess; and certainly, if the career of Ellwood 
Cooper may be taken as an example, a young 
man has great opportuniiies in the field of hor- 
ticulture in California. Ellwood ranch is known 
throughout the entire country. To the student 
of progress it presents a type unique and inter- 
esting. Established by its present owner in 
1870, it has since been developed from a seem- 
ingly barren waste into a valuable homestead. 
The owner is a man who has made a thorough 
study of horticulture, and his knowledge of the 
science was recognized some years ago by his 
election as president of ttie State Board of Hor- 
ticulture. A practical test has been made of 
many theories he held, and in this way he has 
promoted his own success, as well as advanced 
the science of horticulture. He is a leader, pos- 
sessing the resourceful mind, the keen judgment 
and the originality of thought that fit him for 
projecting new ideas and new methods of work 
into his chosen occupation. 

Ellwood ranch lies twelve miles west of Santa 
Barbara and is intersected by Hollister avenue. 
It comprises two thousand acres, the western 
portion of wliicli extends from the ocean to the 
mountains. At the foothills there are a number 
of tenements and other houses, occupied by the 
employes of the ranch, and lying seven-eighths 
of a mile from Hollister avenue. One of the 
most noticeai)le features of the property is the 
olive oil manufacturing plant, which is the larg- 
est in California, and from which is turned out 
more oil than from any other plant in the world. 
Two hundred and fifty acres are planted in an 
olive orchard, comprising twelve thousand five 
hundred trees. j\Ir. Cooper is the pioneer olive- 
grower of Santa Barbara county, having planted 
his first trees in 1S72, and since then he has 
demonstrated that the olive is one of the most 
profitable trees grown here. 

Besides the olives, there are one hundred 
acres in English walnuts, with about four thou- 
sand trees; and more than one thousand decidu- 
ous fruit trees. To protect these trees from the 
ocean v>'inds and to modify the climate, Mr. 
Cooper planted a large number of eucalyptus 
trees, comprising twent3'-five varieties of this 
genus. In addition to the fruit industry, many 
hundred acres are devoted to grain and grazing, 
the owner having a herd of one hundred and 
fifty Jersey cattle, from which he supplies butter 
to Santa Barbara and San Francisco. In an 
article in the Youth's Companion the Marquis 
of Lome refers to Mr. Cooper as a "gentleman 
who has a magnificent farm on the Pacific and 
has shown that California can produce better 
olive oil than France, Spain or Italy; grapes as 
good as any man could desire; English walnuts 
and European almonds in crops whereof the old 
countries hardly ever dream; oranges, lemons 
and Japanese persimmons, with other fruit and 
crops too numerous to mention; and all hedged 
from the gentle sea winds by belts and bands of 
Australian eucalypti, which grow in ten years 
to one hundred feet. But such a paradise 
is not for the beginner, who must make his 
money before he indulges in so many broad 

Tracing the ancestry of the Cooper family, we 
find that they are of English extraction and 
Quaker belief, and adhered to the peace-loving 
customs of their sect. The first of the name in 
America came with William Penn from Eng- 
land. The grandfather, Jeremiah, was a son of 
John Cooper, and a woolen manufacturer, while 
the father of our subject, Morris, was a farmer 
and miller. The wife of Morris Cooper was 
Phoebe Barnaby, who like him was a native of 
Pennsylvania and the descendant of English 
Quakers. Ellwood Cooper was born in Lan- 
caster county. Pa., in Alay, 1829, and received 
school advantages. When quite young he went 
to Philadelphia, where he worked in a store for 
a year, and then joined an importing and ship- 
ping house. His employers, .Samuel A. Lewis & 
Bro., were engaged in the Brazilian trade, prin- 
cipally with Pcrnambuco and Rio de Janeiro. 
In 1855 he left Philadelphia, taking a position 
with a shipping house in the West Indies, 
where he remained ten years, being for a year 
head clerk and afterward a partner in the busi- 
ness. His home was at Port au Prince, .St. Do- 
mingo. The unhealthful climate finally forced 
him to return to the States, and afterward he 
connected himself with a mercantile house in 
New York, that ran a line of steamboats, built 
ships and had vessels trading with many differ- 
ent countries. They were both importers and 
exporters, and conducted a large commission 
business. The revolution in Cuba during 
Grant's administration and the troubles in Hayti 
before the overthrow of General Salnave caused 



the firm great losses in money, although in other 
respects they were uniformly prosperous. 

Tlie inclement climate of the Atlantic sea- 
board led Mr. Cooper to invest in California 
property and m 1870 he came to Santa Barbara 
county and settled upon the ranch which he had 
purchased before leaving the east. This has 
been the scene of his subsequent activities and 
successes. His knowledge of horticulture is so 
extensive and thorough that he has been re- 
peatedly requested to furnish articles on the sub- 
ject to newspapers and periodicals, and he has 
been a very frequent contributor to the Santa 
Barbara Press. In addition he is the author of 
three books: "Report of Trade, with Statistics, 
between the United States and San Domingo;" 
"Fruit Culture and Eucalyptus Trees;" and 
"Treatise on Olive Culture." Through these 
various publications he has done much to direct 
attention to needed reforms in fruit-growing and 
to arouse attention on the part of intelligent 
men in this industry. With the firmest faith in 
California's future, he has never hesitated to 
proclaim the richness of her resources and the 
wide range of her possibilities. Indeed, it is to 
such men as he that the state owes its present 
standing. One phase of the olive industry in 
which he has been particularly interested is its 
introduction as a food and medicine. Physicians 
testify to the value of pure olive oil as a reme- 
dial agency, possessing a direct alterative effect 
in constitutional diseases and restoring to a 
worn-out or broken-down tissue just such ele- 
ments of repair as its reconstruction demands. 
It is also used with happy results for massage, 
inunctions and bathing. Hence its introduction 
into the homes throughout our countr)- will be 
attended by helpful consequences, and he is a 
true friend of humanity who labors toward that 

In Philadelphia, in 1853, occurred the mar- 
riage of Mr. Cooper and Miss Sarah P. Moore, 
a native of Pennsylvania and a descendant of 
Quaker ancestors who accompanied William 
Penn to America. One son and two daughters 
comprise the family of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper. 
The former, Henry, is in charge of the oil manu- 
facturing industry. The latter, Ellen and Fan- 
nie, also reside on the home ranch. 

The political belief of Mr. Cooper brings him 
into hearty sympathy with the Republican party. 
He was an ardent admirer of President Mc- 
Kinley as embodying the highest type of Amer- 
ican spirit and American impulse, and ap- 
proves of the protective system known as the 
McKinley tariff; also supported his conservative 
and determined course in the Cuban difficulties; 
admired the very able manner in which the in- 
cidents arising out of the Spanish war were 
managed; champions the policy adopted in the 
Chinese outbreak; and, in a word, believes that 
the prosperity enjoyed by the United States the 

past few years is directly attributable to the 
lamented martyr president, William McKinley. 

de la Guerra, ex-lieutenant governor of Califor- 
nia, was bom in Santa