Annie L. Stringfellow Morrison.

History of San Luis Obispo County and environs, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county and environs who have been identified with the growth and development of the section from the early days to the present online

. (page 119 of 125)
Online LibraryAnnie L. Stringfellow MorrisonHistory of San Luis Obispo County and environs, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county and environs who have been identified with the growth and development of the section from the early days to the present → online text (page 119 of 125)
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In 1882, Mr. Bondietti was united in marriage with Dora La Franchi, a
native of Switzerland, and they have three daughters, all of whom are
married : Adeline, Mrs. Virgil Larnotti, who has four children ; Mrs. Lillie
Larnotti, who has three children ; and Mrs. Elvezia Rhigetti, who has four
children. In 1906, Mr. Bondietti retired from active ranch work, having
accumulated sufificient to permit him to enjoy the comforts of life; and the
ranch is being conducted by his sons-in-law, who are successfully carrying
out the plans made by Mr. Bondietti.

A Republican, active in party work, Mr. Bondietti is a firm believer in
a high standard of education, and has served for years on the school board
of his district. He is a member of Guadalupe Lodge, No. 224, I. O. O. F.,
and has held offices in the lodge. He is interested in real estate in Guadalupe,
and has erected several houses on lots owned by him. He is public-spirited,
and successful, a valued citizen of the cnunty, wdio has made his own way
to his present position in the community, where he is highly respected.

MANUEL M. MARTINEZ.— If California owes a particular debt to any
class of its citizens, it is to tli(.)se who, residing beyond the limits and con-
veniences of the town, yet contribute their full share to the progress of the
State. Sucli a worthy citizen is Manuel M. Martinez, the well-known rancher,
and at present the clerk of the Bonita school district. His father, now
deceased. \\;!s A. C. Martinez, a native of the Azores, who became a rich
rancher in the Santa Maria valley, and was the owner of two ranches at Oso
Flaco and two other ranches at Edna, six miles from San Luis Obispo. A
sister, Mary R., is Mrs. M. D. Martin, a resident of Santa Alaria ; a brother,
of the same place, is A. Martinez, in charge of one of the Martinez ranches at
Oso Flaco: while another brother is J. C. Martinez, unmarried and living
with lii:^ mother at Santa IMaria.

Manuel attended the public schools and graduated as a l50(.>kkeeper from
the San Luis Obispo College, after which he worked for several comjDanies
until his impaired health compelled him to quit office work. He then ran
one of the Martinez ranches at Edna for six years, and of late has been
managing one hundred seven acres of the Red Tank Farm, three miles west
of Santa Maria. Enjoying such prosperity, he married a native daughter,
Miss Julia L. Heyd, now the mother of two children, Arthur L. and Julia
M. Martinez. A live citizen and a good neighbor, Mr. Martinez is popular
as the executive secretary of the I. D. E. S., Council 105.

JOE J. SOUZA. — A product of the great public school system of Cali-
fornia, Joe J. Souza, by Jiis services as trustee of the Bonita school district, is
helloing to maintain fur others the educational advantages he himself enjoyed.
Mr. Souza is ;i well-known rancluT, who rents a hundred fifty acres of his
father's ranch, .-diout four miles west of Santa Maria. Born in the Oso
Flaco, in San Luis Oliisjjo- County, March 12, 1881, he is the son of Manuel
J. Souza, a sketch of whose active and useful life appears elsewhere in our
V(jlume. His mother, who is still living, and wdio came to Guadalupe when
she was Init a young l;idy, was Miss Mary Lawrence I'.ello, a n;itive of the
.\zores. Mr. Souza linished the "rammar school cotn-se i)ro\idcd 1)\- his


neighborhood, and l)cin8- the eldest son Ijegan to drive a team when only
ten years of age.

At general farm work he ontinurd on his father's ranch until the age
of twenty-seven, when he married Miss Ainiie I'.ell.i, a daughter of Victor
J. Bello of Pismo. Two children, (iladys and Albert, were born to the happy
couple, who are among the faithful of the Catholic Church at Santa Maria.

A Republican in politics, an active member of the U. P. E. C, and the
efficient vice-president of the I. D. E. S., Mr. Souza still finds time, as he has
for the past two years, to attend to the duties of a school trustee, as a mem-
ber of the board of trustees of the Bonita district, of which A. V. Bras is
president and M. Martinez is secretary. Under their conscientious supervision
the Bonita school is justly regarded as one of the best elementary institutions
in the Santa Maria Valle\-.

ANTONIO P. SILVEIRA.— .\ representalive citizen and a well-to-do
rancher residing in the vicinity of (inadaluiie in the Santa Alaria valley,
Antonio P. Silveira was born on January 15, 1863, in the Azores, in one of the
most beautiful parts of the Portuguese dependency. His father was Anton
P. Silveira, who died in May, 1916, aged ninety years; his mother, before her
marriage to Mr. Silveira, was Annie \ieira. and she passed away in 1900.
Neither of them ever left the .Azores, but some of their children have found
their way to America. Among the brothers and sisters of Mr. Silveira are:
Mary, unmarried and living in the Azores; Anna, widow of Joe Mello, and
Joe, both living in Providence, R. I. ; Manuel, who died at the age of twenty-
one ; Catherina, married and living in Oakland; Mary .\nn, wife of Joe Bento
of Carey; Mary Josephine, Mrs. Anton J. Bello, of the Oso Flaco ; Isabel,
who died at the age of twenty ; John, who died in Reno, Nov., leaving one
child; Frank, a resident of Idaho; and Mary Rosalie, of Oakland.

Antonio P. Silveira attended school for a short time in his native land,
and in 1880, at the age of seventeen, came t(5 California, where he had an
uncle living at Salinas, Monterey count}'. With him he worked for wages
fur three years, doing general farm work and learning farming details as
carried on in this state. In 1883 he came to the Santa Maria valley and leased
land; and for six years he fJirmed for himself. It was about this time
that young Siheira thought that he was able to support a wife; and on
November 25, 1889, he was united in marriage, in San Francisco, with Miss
Francesca Medeiras, then of Pctaluma, but a native of the Azores. Her
parents were Joaquin J. and Leo Poldina (\'ieira) Medeiras. both of the
Azores, from which jilace her father came to C'alifornia. later sending for his
wife and children, who joined him in Petaluma in 1884, Mrs. Silveira then
being fifteen years of age. Her three sisters are: Mary .\., widow of Joe Cas-
par, residing in Petaluma; Annie, wife of Caton I'ocha, also living near that
city ; and Marian, deceased wife of .\nt()n Silveira. Jr. I kr ]>arents are both

After their marriage, the young peo])le came ddwn to this valley and
^fr. Silveira took up ranching and followed it witii s|)lendid success, r.iising
be.ins and grain. So successful has he l)cen that in I'X)1 he was able to
purchase his present ranch of one hundred eighty-three and one-half acres,
situated about si.x and one-hall miles west of .Santa Maria, upon whicli he
has made all the improvements. Some few years ago they sulTorcd a loss
of about $10,000 when their fine home and its c(Mitents were dcstroved bv


fire ; but with characteristic energy Mr. Silveira at once rebuilt liis modern
home on the Ijungalow style of architecture. In 1916 he harvested nineteen
hundred sacks of beans, which brought him a good sum. Wherever you
may travel in California you will not find a superior among sturdy farmer
folk to A. P. Silveira. He is a member of the Santa Maria Lodge, I. D. E.
S., and the Guadalupe Lodge of I. O. O. F., and }ilrs. Silveira is a welcome
member of the S. P. R. S. I.

To this Avorthy couple thirteen children have been bo'rn, three of them
dying in infancy, while the remainder have been reared according to the
tenets of the Catholic Church. They are : ]\Iary Lucile, wife of Antonio
Gomes, living at Orcutt, where he is employed by the Pinal-Dome Oil Co. ;
Manuel, who married Carrie Bras and lives in Betteravia ; Anton, married to
Mary Nunes and living in this valley, the father of one son, Edward ; Joacjuin,
a young surveyor of promise living at home ; Al, an engineer and machinist ;
Frances, attending the Santa Maria high school ; Frank and Deolinda, attend-
ing the grammar school ; and David and Louis, also in the grammar schools.
All the children are being given the best schooling obtainable in the public
schools to fit them for their places in life. Both Mr. and Mrs. Silveira are
estimable people, and have won their own way to places of esteem in the
community where they have lived so many years.

In the spring of 1915, Mr. Silveira took a vacation of nearly four months,
and went back to see his aged father in the Azores. Fie sailed from
Boston on the White Star steamer "Canopio," and while in mid-ocean he
learned by wireless of the sinking of the "Lusifania" half an hour after that
ill-fated vessel sank. He made his visit and was more than pleased to return
to California and its wonderful opportunities.

JOHN P. DOMINGUES. — Another enterprising native of the ocean-
girdled Azores is John P. Domingues, the wide-awake rancher, who was
born in the Island of Pico on November 10, 1882, and came to America in his
nineteenth year.. His father was Frank P. Domingues, a worthy blacksmith,
who lived and died in his native land. His mother, Mary, also born in that
island, came to California, where she now resides. A brother, Manuel P.
Domingues, preceded John to America by a year, and stopped for a while
near Bedford, Mass., working on a farm, and then came to California. He sent
for John, who came in the fall of 1899, and for fifteen months worked on the
Jesus Maria Rancho, after which, in 1909, he made his way to the Santa ]\laria
valley, where he worked out by the month.

After a while he began to rent part of the Catano J. Souza ranch, and
today he farms one hundred seventy-five acres, planting the same to beans.
He has ten horses and a full complement of machinery; and having learned
the blacksmith's trade in his father's shop, he has opened a good forge for
himself on the ranch. Prior to engaging in farming, for several years he
worked as a blacksmith and tool dresser in the Santa Maria oil fields. For
the Pinal-Dome and Los Alamos Oil & Developing Co. he set up several fine
blacksmith shojjs, and in the end secured from his employers many recom-
mendations of the highest order.

.\fter coming to the Santa Alaria valley he married Miss :\Iaria G. Souza,
a daughter of Catano J. and Alary Dorothy Souza, the facts of whose lives
will be found elsewhere. She is a most excellent lady, and is justly proud of
the part played by her pioneer father in the development of this section. Three


charming children, named respectively Catano, Albert and John P., Jr., have
blessed the union. Frugal, industrious and inspired with the desire to get
ahead, a self-made man, indeed, who may well lift up his head and look the
whole world in the face, he manages with care and wisdom his well-kept
ranch, a mile and a half to the northwest of Santa Maria. In 1916, Mr.
Domingues, with his brother, Joseph, and Julius Garcia, bought a hundred
sixty acres of the Sweeny ranch near Lompoc, one of the best places in that
section. A conscientious Catholic, he is also a member of the U. P. E. C. at
Santa [Maria; while as a naturalized American citizen, he acts in political
matters with independent judgment and always votes for the best man.

GEORGE SARGENTI— An agriculturist to whom the marvelous fer-
tility of the soil of the Santa Maria valley has brought more than a comfortable
living, is George Sargcnti, a native son born at Gilroy on September 29, 1889,
who came to the valley in 1908. For five years he worked for the Union Sugar
Co. at Betteravia, for monthly wages, and then he began to farm for himself.

He rented one hundred forty acres on a four-year lease ; and a hundred
tAventy acres, near Bettcra\ia, have been added to this original parcel to be
operated in 1917.

Once well established, he married Miss Annie Souza, a daughter of Antone
J. Souza. the well-to-do teacher and large land-owner near Santa Maria, secur-
ing thereby for a wife a splendid woman and a good housekeeper, who is
particularly popular in the S. P. R. S. I. lodge of Santa Maria. lie was also
blessed through this marriage with one child, a daughter named Amy.

As a complement to his excellent farm, on which he has a dozen horses,
the best obtainable caterpillar, 45 h. p., and every other necessary agricultural
appliance, he has built for himself and his family a commodious bungalow
reflecting Mrs. Sargenti's taste. The family are members of the Catholic
Church in Santa Maria.

CLEMENT MUSCIO. — If his success is measured by his progress finan-
cially, as well as by his standing in the community where the scenes ot
his labors have been staged, Clement Muscio stands well towards the top
round of the ladder. He started with nothing but a willing spirit, strong con-
stitution and an aptitude to do whatever came to his hand, and to do it well.
His career should be an object lesson to those who have been less fortunate
and who have often despaired of getting ahead. The opportunities are here
and conditions equally as good, for the pioneering has already been done.

A native of Switzerland, Clement .Muscio was born in canton Ticino.
August 10, 1870, a son of Eustachio and Caterina (Giumini) Muscio, small
farmers in Ticino, though the father was handy with tools of all kinds, lie
died at the age of seventy-eight years in 1910. The mother, now eighty-one.
lives on the old home place in Someo. They had five boys and one girl,
Seraphino, of Casmalia : Joseph, of Gonzales; Clement: Calimorio. who died
in 1892; Victoria. Mrs. A. Iranscioni of Gonzales; and Micliele, who lives in
far-off Ticino.

When a lad of seven years Clement began working out for wages, and
they were very small, but from that age he has been self-sujiporting and has
made his own way in the world. The first pair of shoes he ever put on was
bought with money he earned. Being ambitious, he could see no way that he
could accomplish his aims in life by remaining in his native land, and he
looked to the I'nitcd Stales for a future, .\ccordingly. when he was sixteen


he borrowed money for his passage; and leaving home, sailed from Havre,
St'ptemljer 1, 1886, on the steamer "Xormandie," his destination being San

On his arrival in the east he at once came to this state and reached
Cayncos in October. He was unfamiliar with our language and customs,
and took a job on a dairy ranch at twenty dollars per month. For ten
years he worked for wages, saving his money, and later, from 1896 to 1911,
engaged in the liquor business at Casmalia, and from July, 1898, to Octo]:er,
1902. he served as postmaster there.

He bought his ranch of twenty-five hundred acres, part of the Arellanes
ranch un the Punta de Laguna, incorporated the Soladino Land Company,
was made \ice-president and still holds that ofifice. This company subdivided
part of the holdings, four hundred acres of which was sold to Edward
Doheny of Los Angeles, and five hundred twenty-five acres leased for oil
development, the balance being farmed by the company. Of the balance
retained by Mr. Muscio he sold to the Doheny Pacific Petroleum Company
in 1916 four hundred acres at a handsome figure. He still owns three hundred
sixty-four' acres, upon which are located the farm buildings, and which is being
successfully operated as a bean ranch by its owner, in addition to his interest
in the land company.

]\lr. Muscio was married when he was twenty-two, in 1892, to ]\Iiss ]\Ia-
tilda Righetti, who. like himself, was a native of Ticino — a friend of his youth.
They have five children : Mabel ; Nellie, wdio married C. Bassetti and lives
on the home ranch ; and Julius, Elvira, and Wesley. Mr. Muscio erected a fine
residence on his ranch, has good barns and outbuildings, and is ranching on
a large scale.

In 1911 Mr. Muscio tonk his wife and family for an extended visit back
to his old home in Switzerland, but was glad to get back to California. Air.
Muscio is liberal and enjoys thoroughly the good things of life. He has a
wide circle of friends and by all who know him he is counted one of the suc-
cessful business men of the county. Pie is a Republican in [jolitics, though he
ne\-er sought office.

JOSEPH C. SILVA, JR.— A native son of California, born of Portu-
guese parents. Joseph C. Silva is the oldest son of Joseph Silva, senior, a
very successful rancher in the Santa Maria valley, now enjoying his sixty-
fifth year. His mother was Evangeline M. Rodrigues, who is forty-three years
of age. Young Joseph was born at Arroyo Grande on November 15, 1888,
the first of six children ; he attended the public schools and began, when twelve
years of age. to work on his father's farm.

Arriving at maturity, lie married Miss Mary G. Silva. a daughter of
.Antone Silva of Casmalia. then one of the estimable Catholic l)elles of
Santa Maria : ;ind by her he has two children — a boy named Louis and a girl
named Lucille.

Becoming thoroughly conversant with the raising of beans on a portion
of the r.onita Ranch, northwest of Santa Maria, which he rents, he harvested
in 19lCi alone 3,375 sacks of beans, an exceptional yield for one hundred
fifty -two acres. In every sense a progressive rancher, and one of the most
successful grain growers in the valley, Mr. Silva employs, in addition to
twelve horses, ;i Unit C;iteri)illar Tractor of 75 h. p., costing $5,000 and doing
the work of thirly-ei-lu head Ml horses in ploughing.


Mr. Silva is a Rci)ublican who does his own thinking and votes intelli-
gently. He is a member of the U. P. E. C. of Santa IMaria ; while Mrs. Silva is
always welcomed at tin- L;athcriiigs of the S. P. R. S. 1.

FRANK C. SOUZA. — A native son of California and a popular, prog-
ressive and successful rancher of the Santa Maria valley, Frank Souza has
been associated with the agricultural development of the county since boy-
hood. He was born on the Oso Flaco, in San Luis Obispo County, Decem-
ber 27, 1890, and was educated in the public schools until he was eleven.
Then, on account of the illness of his fatlur, Catano J. Souza, he had to go to
work on the ranch, being the oldest son of the family, and attended to such
duties as were ])ossible for a lad of his age. He has grown up in the bean
industry, and is an expert on the preparation of the soil, planting, cultivating,
harvesting and marketing the crop. He farms one hundred sixty-five acres,
one hundred twenty in beans and the balance in barley, gathering very satis-
factorj' crops of each.

In 1910 Frank C. Souza and Miss Julia Lewis were united in marriage ;
they have two children, Isadore and Dorothy. Mr. Souza is a member of
the Santa Maria lodge, U. P. E. C. ; and both he and his wife are members of
the Catholic Church. In 1915, Mr. Souza erected their bungalow on land
belonging to his mother, where they enjoy all comforts possible in a country
home. Mr. and Mrs. Souza arc ])opular, and are leaders in tlieir social set in
the valley.

The children of C ataiio J. and .Mary Dorothy Sou/.a are all well known
throughout the Santa Maria valley. They are Maria (]., wife of John P. Do-
mingues, Frank C, John P., Manuel C, and Blanche, all living; wiiile five girls
and one boy are deceased. This family rei)resents one of the leading families
of the Azores Islands. The father, Catano J. S(5uza, was a successful rancher,
who became the owner of several tracts of valuable land west of Santa Maria.
Frank Souza is an energetic, self-made man, who has won the respect of iiis

WILLIAM L. ENOS." As engineer in charge of the gas-lreating plant
of the Union Oil Company on the Hartnell lease in the Santa Maria oil field,
W. L. Enos has made a record for himself in his chosen field; and he is well-
known also in athletic and musical circles, more especially, perhaps, in the
field of athletics, as a runner and a footl^ll star. A native of the state,
he was born in San Luis Obispo, September 14, 1883. a son of Louis and
Mary G. (Lawrence) Enos, both of the Azores Islands. The father fol-
lowed the sea from the age of twehe and came to California in 1849. After
his arrival here he mined from 1850 to 1853 in Sierra and Napa counties, and
also \vas in the silver mines in Mexico for several years, lie was married in
San Luis Obispo, and became a rancher. He died in 1913 at the age of eigiity-
seven, while his widow, now sixty-six, lives in San Luis Obispo. Their lour
children are Louis A., an attorney; .Vrcliie C. ; William L. ; and Ceorge .\.. of
Colusa count)'.

William L. Enos attended the i)ul)lic schools of San Luis Obispo: and
it was while attending the high school tliat he became interested in athletics.
He was prominent in the Southern California Inter-Collegiate Athletic As-
sociation, and for several years ( 1900-1 W3) held the one-mile running rccor.l
of five minutes flat. He also distinguisiied himself as a footl)all player witii
the San Luis Obispo high school eleven.


AFr. Eniis started wnrk as a loconiDtive fireman for the Sciuthcrn Pacific,
and later worked in the machine shn])s at San Luis Obispo. In 1911 he began
with the L'nicn ( )il CMm])any on the Prdchicers Transportation Company's
line as fireman, in 1912 was fireman at the A\ila refinery, and in 1913 came
to the oil fields, where he has since been em]}lciyed at the gasoline ])lant, which
has a capacity of 1,000 gallons per day of t\\ent>-four hcurs, making gasoline
from natural gas.

As an amateur in music, Mr. Enos has considerable talent, and finds
in this a source of pleasure and profit. Himself a violinist, he organized the
Encjs orchestra of six pieces, in Santa Maria, which plays for dances and enter-
tainments, and at many social tunctinns.

Mr. Entis was united in marri;ige at San Luis C)l)ispo on October 24,
1908, with Miss Flo P>. Chapin, a native of Parsons, Kan. They have five
bright children — Richard, Lucile, Marjorie, Elena and Aliriam. Mr. Enos
is a member of the Moose lodge in Santa Maria and is po]>ular wherever he
is known. Both he and his wife have a large circle of friends in San Luis
Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, where they are leaders in their social set.

JOSEPH C. PIMENTEL.— To succeed in face of severe discourage-
ments, and that, too, when handicapped by not being able to speak or under-
stand English, has been the lot of Joseph C. Pimentel of the vicinity of Guad-
alupe. He was born on Pico island, in the Azores, January 10, 1877, a son of
Manuel C. and Isabel C. (Bettencourt) Pimentel, both natives of the Azores.
The father is a farmer and still lives at the age of eighty-seven, while the
mother died aged seventy-four. They had eight children: JNlanuel. a baker,
and Tony, a merchant, in Rio de Janeiro ; Maria, Airs. Alanuel Gudarte. living
on the home place on Pico island; Joseph C, of this review; John, a res-
tauranteur, in Rio de Janeiro ; August, ranching near Guadalupe ; Antonazi,
deceased; and Adelida, of Rio de Janeiro.

When seventeen years old, Joseph C. Pimentel bade goodbye to home and
friends and came to the L^nited States on the steamer Vega, arriving June
15, 1893, after a voj-age of twelve days. His destination was San Francisco;
and nine days later he arrived there, a stranger in a strange land. It was at
a time when the stress of hard times was widespread over the country, and
there were thousands out of work. This young man needed work in order
to Ii\c, and he was willing to do anything. Hearing that many of his country-
men were in Marin county, he journe}-ed there and was set to work milking
cows for his board.

In the latter part of 1894 he arrived in Arroyo Grande, hunted several
days for work and finally got a "job" at $15.00 a month as milker in a dairy;
and for three years he worked for wages. In 1897 he thought he would strike
out for himself and paid cash rent to Mrs. Kelley for part of her ranch ; but
the drouth of 1897-8 made his venture disastrous and he lost everything. He
then rented the William Adams ranch on shares, put in beans and beets, got
a good crop and made up for what he had lost. The year 1900 was a dry sea-
son, but he made up for it in 1901 and in the main he has been very successful.
He has farmed on his present place, one hundred and seventy acres of the
Gu;idalupe ranch, for six years.

On lulv 31, 1902, Mr. Pimentel was united in marriage with Maria Alen-
dos... daughter ,.f Anton P. Mendoso, a resident of IVovidence, R. I., though
both father an<l d;iughter are natives of the .\zores. Of this union four chil-

Online LibraryAnnie L. Stringfellow MorrisonHistory of San Luis Obispo County and environs, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county and environs who have been identified with the growth and development of the section from the early days to the present → online text (page 119 of 125)