J. P Munro-Fraser.

History of Solano County...and histories of its cities, towns...etc. .. online

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dature, with the following result :

Total votes cast 1,730

Number of votes for Benicia 625

Fairfield 1,029

Denverton 38

Vallejo 10

Eockville 2

Suisun 26



Total votes 1,730

The consequence, therefore, was the triumph of Fairfield over Benicia.
It is supposed, and with much reason, that Vallejo in her inmost heart had
long borne a grudge against Benicia, for having in 1852 deprived her of the
capital and its attendant glories ; now, there opened a chance for vengeance,
and the votes of the Vallejoites went to swell the list of the voters for
Fairfield, notwithstanding that by so doing they moved the county seat
further away from them than if they had permitted it to remain at Benicia.
In this regard, the Solano Herald, then published in that city, announces
the disaster in these words :

" In every general engagement, however glorious the bulletin of victory,
there necessarily follows the melancholy supplement of casualties.

In the list of killed and wounded in Wednesday's battle, our eye falls
mournfully on the name of Benicia — Benicia ! the long suffering, mortally
wounded, if not dead — killed by Vallejo's unsparing hand ! That the
people of Suisun and the adjoining region should have desired a removal of
the county seat, was by no means surprising ; but Vallejo ! et tu Brute !
In the house of our friends we were wounded.

While we hold in grateful remembrance the majority of the citizens of
Vallejo, let us not forget those aspiring gentlemen who dealt us the deadly
blow. ' Lord keep our memory green,' for good and evil. "

The grass was not allowed to grow under the feet of the Supervisors.
In October following, a brick building erected at Fairfield, by Captain
Waterman, for County Clerk and Treasurer's offices, was completed and
handed over to them, and at once occupied ; while at the Board meeting
held January 22, 1859, Mr. Waterman's bond, quoted above, with all its
provisions, was accepted. Tenders were at once advertised for to construct
the necessary edifices, when, at a Supervisoral sederunt held on March 14th
of that year, the undermentioned bids were ratified :

For Court-house and Jail, Larkin Richardson .... 824,440 00
For Court-house for temporary use of County. . . . 1,373 00



38 THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.

And on September 1st, the county buildings were handed over to the
Board of Supervisors.

In 1862 "An Act to organize townships and regulate their powers and
duties, and submit the same to the vote of the people," was approved by
the Legislature on May 15th. The provisions of the act were that town-
ships should be corporate bodies and have capacity :

First — To sue and be sued in the manner prescribed by law.

Second — To purchase and hold lands within its own limits for the use of
its inhabitants, and for the promotion of education within the limits of the
township.

Third — To make such contracts, and to purchase and hold such personal
property as may be necessary to the exercise of its corporate and adminis-
trative powers.

Fourth — To make such orders for the disposition, regulation or use of its
corporate property as may be deemed conducive to the interests of its
inhabitants.

The corporate powers and duties of these townships were to be vested in
a Board of Trustees, to consist of three qualified electors of the township,
to be voted for by qualified electors within said township, when, at the
same time, were to be elected certain officers for especial service within the
township. Such trustees were to be endowed with powers appertaining to
the peace, order and good government of the townships to which they were
chosen by the public vote, and were to collect taxes, which were to be paid
into the office of the County Treasurer. The Act was ordered to be sub-
mitted to a vote of the people at the general election. In those counties in
which the affirmative should have the majority, the law should take effect ;
but in those (like Solano, where the majority against it was sixty-one) in
which the negative has the preponderance of votes, the act should not
apply or be in force.

At the same election, September 3, 1862, the proposed amendments to
the Constitution of California, suggested in the following :

Article IV — The Legislative Department.
" V — The Executive Department.

'• VI — The Judicial Department.

IX— Education.

were put to the popular voice, with the result as stated below :

Yes 4,800 :

No 657

Majority for the yeas 4,143



THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY. 39

On August 12, 1863, a petition from 0. Bingham and others was pre-
sented to the Board of Supervisors, when, in conformity with the prayer
therein set forth, it was ordered that a new township be formed, to be
called

MAINE PRAIRIE,

to be bounded as follows, to wit : commencing at the corners of Sections
7, 8, 17 and 18, in Township 5 N. R. 1 E. of Monte Diablo meridian, and
running thence north to the corners of Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, in Township
6 N. R. 1 E.; thence running east to the eastern limit of Solano county, on
the line between ranges 2 and 3 east ; thence with said line south to the
township line between Townships 5 and 6 north ; thence with said line
east, to the centre of Sacramento river, the eastern limit of Solano county ;
thence down Sacramento river and Steamboat or Merritt slough to where
the line between townships 4 and 5 crosses said slough ; thence with said
line west to the centre of Cache Creek slough ; thence up said slough to
the mouth of Linda slough to the line between ranges 1 and 2 east ; thence
with said line north to the north-west corner of Section 18, in Township
5 N. R. 2 E. ; thence west to the place of beginning.

SUISUN TOWNSHIP.

The township heretofore known as Suisun township, is hereby changed to
conform to the following description, to-wit : beginning at a point on the
southern boundary of Solano county, in Suisun bay, where a section line
two inches west of the meridian line, passing over Monte Diablo and run-
ning with said line north to the township line between townships 5 and 6
north ; thence with said line west to the east boundary of Green Valley
township, as previously established ; thence with said boundary, southerly,
to the south boundary of the county, in Suisun bay ; thence with said
boundary, easterly, to the place of beginning.

VACAVILLE TOWNSHIP.

The township heretofore known as Vacaville township is hereby changed
to conform to the following description, to wit : commencing at a point on
the Putah creek where the line between ranges 1 and 2 east, crosses said
creek, and running thence with said range line south to the southeast
corner of Section 1, Township 6 N. R. 1 E. ; thence west to corners of
sections 5, 6 and 7 and 8 of said township and range ; thence south to
the corners of Sections 7, 8, 17 and 18, in Township 5 N. R. 1 E. ; thence
west to the corner of Sections 10, 11, 14 and 15, in Township 5 N. R.
1 W. ; thence north to the township line between townships 5 and 6
north ; thence with said line west to the western boundary of Solano



40 -THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.

county, on the ridge of the Vaca mountains ; thence northerly with said
ridge to the centre of Putah creek ; thence down said creek, and following
its sinuosities to the place of beginning.

MONTEZUMA TOWNSHIP.

The township heretofore known as Montezuma township, is hereby

changed to conform to the following boundaries, to-wit : commencing on

the south line of the county of Solano, in Suisun bay, where the section

lines two miles west of the meridian line passing on Monte Diablo would

intersect said limit, and running thence north to the north-west corner of

section number 14, in Township 5N. R. 1 W. ; running thence east to

the line between ranges 1 and 2 east ; thence south on said line until it

intersects the first slough or fork of Linda slough ; thence down said slough

to Cache Creek slough ; thence down Cache Creek slough to where the line

between townships numbers 4 and 5 north, intersects said slough ; thence

with said line east to the eastern boundary of the county, on Steamboat, or

Merritt slough ; thence with said boundary and following its sinuosities to
the place of beginning.

TREMONT TOWNSHIP.

The township heretofore known as Tremont township, is hereby changed
to conform to the following description : commencing at the south-west
corner of Section number 6, Township 6 N. R. 2 E. of the meridian and
base of Monte Diablo, and running thence north on the line between
ranges 1 and 2 east, to the centre of Putah Creek, the northern limit of
Solano county; thence with said limit eastward, to the eastern limit of said
county, in the line between ranges 2 and 3 east ; thence with said limit
south, to the south-east corner of Section number 1, in Township 6 N.
R. 2 E. ; thence east to the place of beginning.

There was still some difficulty in conforming the townships into some-
thing like natural and equable divisions ; the supervisors, therefore, on
February 6, 1866, ordered " that the following described portion of Tre-
mont township be set off and attached to Vacaville township, and the bound-
aries of said townships hereafter shall conform to this change. Said por-
tion is described as follows : beginning on the eastern boundary line of
said Vacaville Township 7 N. R 2 E., and running thence east on the
Government line two miles ; thence north six miles ; thence west two miles,
to the north-west corner of said township 7, on said boundary line of said
Vacaville township, and thence south on said line six miles to the point of
beginning.

On June 27th of the same year the county was again distributed into
townships, as under :



THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY. 41



BENICIA TOWNSHIP.



The township known as Benicia township is hereby laid down so as to
conform to the following boundaries, to wit : commencing at the south-west
corner of a tract of land purchased by Robert Semple and Thomas 0. Larkin
from M. G. Vallejo, and on a part of which is situated the city of Benicia,
from thence with the western boundary of said tract of land to the north-
west corner of the same ; thence in an easterly direction to where the line
of said tract intersects the boundary of the stone purchase known as the
stone line ; thence along said stone line in a northerly direction until the
same intersects the north line of Section 34, Township 4 N. R. 3 W. ; thence
east on north line of Sections 31 and 32, Township 4 N. R. 2 W., contin-
uing east to Cordelia slough ; thence down said slough to Suisun slough ;
thence down Suisun slough to Suisun bay ; thence down said bay and
Straits of Carquinez to a point due south of the point of beginning.

VALLEJO TOWNSHIP.

The township known as Vallejo township is hereby laid down so as to
conform to the following boundaries, to-wit : commencing at the south-west
corner of a certain tract of land purchased by Robert Semple and Thomas
O. Larkin from M. G. Vallejo, and commonly known as the Benicia tract ;
thence with the western boundary line of said tract to the north-west corner
of the same ; thence easterly to where the line of said tract intersects the
boundary of the stone purchase known as the stone line ; thence along said
stone line in a northerly direction until the same intersects the north line of
Section 34, Township 4 N. R. 3 W. ; thence west on said north line
to the intersection of said line with the boundary line of Napa and Solano
counties ; thence south along said county boundary line to a mound of stones
established by R. Norris ; thence due west along said boundary line between
Napa and Solano counties to Napa bay ; thence down said bay and up the
Straits of Carquinez, including Mare Island, to the south-west corner of
Benicia township ; thence due north to the place of beginning.

GREEN VALLEY.

The township known as Green Valley township, is hereby laid down so
as to conform to the following boundaries, to-wit : Commencing at a rock
mound on the crest of hills on Section 34, Township 4 N. R. 3 W.
established by R. Norris for a boundary between Napa and Solano counties ;
thence northerly along the boundary line of said counties, to the north line
of Township 5 N. R. 3 W. ; thence east along said township line to the
dividing ridge running to the peak called " Twin Sisters ;" thence south-
erly along said divide to Suisun creek, passing on the line of A. Blake and
William Brown's land ; thence down said creek to the south-east corner of



42 THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.

Hiram Macy's land ; thence south to the north line of Section 16, Townshid
4 N. R. 2 W. ; thence west to Cordelia slough ; thence down said slough
to the north line of Sections 31 and 32, Township 4 N.R2W.; thence
west along said north line to the boundary line of Solano and Napa
counties.

SUISUN TOWNSHIP.

The township known as Suisun township is hereby laid down so as to
conform to the following boundaries, to-wit : Beginning at the mouth of
Cordelia slough, thence up said slough to a point due west of the north line
of Section 16, Township 4 N. B. 2 W. ; thence east to a point due south
of the south-east corner of Hiram Macy's land ; thence north to the
mouth of the Suisun creek ; thence up said creek to the line of Alexander
Blake's and William Brown's land ; thence northerly along the ridge or
divide running to the peaks called " Twin Sisters ;" thence northerly
along said divide to the county line ; thence easterly along the county line
to the top of the ridge at the south-east corner of Napa county ; thence
easterly on the boundary of the Armijo rancho to the north-east corner of
Section 3, Township 5 N. B. 1 W. ; thence south on section lines to the
main Suisun bay ; thence westerly along said bay to the mouth of Sui-
sun creek ; thence up said creek to the mouth of Cordelia slough, the place



of beginning.



VACAVILLE TOWNSHIP.



That a township be established to be known as the Vacaville township,
commencing at the north-east corner of Section 18, Township 5 N. B. 1
E. ; thence west on section lines to the south-west corner of Section 3,
Township 5 N. B. 1 W. ; thence north to the north-east corner of Section
3, Township 5 N. B. 1 W ; thence west on the township line to the
boundary of the Armijo rancho at the north-west corner of said township ;
thence north and west, following said boundary to the county line at the
south-east corner of Napa county ; thence northerly along the boundary
between Napa and Solano counties to Butah creek ; thence down said creek
to a point one mile west of Mount Diablo meridian ; thence south on section
lines to the south-west corner of Section number 1, Township 6 N. B. 1
W. ; thence east two miles ; thence south to the place of beginning.

SILVEYVILLE TOWNSHIP.

That a township be established to be known as the Silveyville township,
and to conform to the following boundaries, to wit : Beginning at the south-
east corner of Section number 5, Township 6 N. B. 2 E. ; thence west
to the south-west corner of Section number 1, Township 6 N. B. 1 W. ;
thence north to the county line, centre of Butah creek ; thence easterly
down said creek to the line between ranges 1 and 2 east ; thence south on



THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY. 43

said line to the northwest corner of Section 7, Township 7 N. R. 2 E. ;
thence east to the north-east corner of Section number 8, Township 7
N. R. 2 E. ; thence south to the place of beginning.

TREMONT TOWNSHIP.

That a township be established to be known as Tremont township, and
to conform to the following boundaries, to wit : Beginning at the south-east
corner of Section number 5, Township 6 N. R. 2 E. ; thence north six
miles to the south-east corner of Section number 5, Township 7 N. R. 2
E. ; thence west two miles to the line between ranges 1 and 2 E. ;
thence north to the centre of Putah creek at the county line ; thence
easterly down said creek to the east line of the county on the line between
ranges 2 and 3 east ; thence with said line south to the south-east corner of
Section 1, Township 6 N. R. 2 E. ; thence west to the place of beginning.

MAINE PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP.

That a township be established to be known as Maine Prairie township,
and to conform to the following boundaries, to wit : Beginning at the north-
west corner of Section 17, Township 5 N. R. 1 E. ; thence north to the
north-west corner of Section 8, Township 6 N. R. IE.; thence east to
the east line of Solano county ; then with the said county line south to
the line between townships 5 and 6 north ; thence along said line east to
the north-west corner of Section number 4>, Township 5 N. R. 3 E. ; thence
south to the southwest corner of Section number 21, Township 5 N. R.
3 E. ; thence west to Prospect slough ; then up Cache slough to Linda
slough ; then up Linda slough to the line between ranges 1 and 2 east ;
thence north on said line to the north-west corner of Section number 18,
Township 5 IS . R. 2 E. ; thence west to the place of beginning.

RIO VISTA TOWNSHIP.

That a township be established to be known as Rio Vista township, and
to conform to the following boundaries, to wit : Commencing on the Sacra-
mento river at the point where the section line, one mile east of the
township line between Townships 1 and 2 east, intersect the river ; thence
running north on said line until it intersects Linda slough ; thence down
said slough to Cache slough ; thence down said slough to Prospect slough ;
thence up Prospect slough to the section line of Section 17, Township 5
N. R. 3 E.; thence east to the south-east corner of said section; thence
north on said section line to the Yolo county line ; thence east on said
county line to the Sacramento river; thence down the river to the place
of beginning.



44 THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.

MONTEZUMA TOWNSHIP.

That a township be established to be known as Montezuma township,
and to conform to the following boundaries, to wit : Beginning at the
Sacramento river on the line between ranges 1 and 2 east, Mount Diablo
meridian; thence down said river and Suisun bay to the line between
Sections 22 and 23, Township 3 N. R. 1 W. ; thence north on section lines
to the north-west corner of Section number 35, Township 4 N. R. 1 W.;
thence east to the north-west corner of Section 32, R. 2 E. ; thence south
to the Sacramento river ; thence down said river to the place of beginning.

DENVERTON TOWNSHIP.

That a township be established to be known as Denverton township, and
to conform to the following boundaries, to wit : Beginning at the north-
west corner of Section number, 32, Township 4 N. R. 2 E. ; thence west on
section lines to the north-west corner of Section 35, Township 4 N. R, 1
W. ; thence north to the north-west corner of Section number 14, town-
ship 5 N. R. 1 W. ; thence east to the north-west corner of Section number
18, Township 5 N. R. 2 E.; thence south to the south fork of Linda slough;
thence down said slough to the east line of Section number 19, Township 5
N. R. 2 E. ; thence south to the place of beginning.

The western boundary line of this township was, however, subsequently
changed on May 4, 1868, to the Mount Diablo meridian line, and on
November 10, 1870, it was ordered by the Board of Supervisors that
" Robinson's Island, and being a portion of Sections numbers 3 and 24, in
Township 4 N. R. 1 W., Meridian of Mount Diablo, be and is set over as
part of Denverton township," while on May 22, of the following year the
under mentioned district was planned and authorized.

ELMIRA TOWNSHIP.

It was ordered that a new township be formed out of portions of
Vacaville, Silveyville, and Maine Prairie townships as follows, to wit :
"Beginning at the south-west corner of the south-east quarter of Section
number 3, Township 5 N. R. 1 W., Mount Diablo meridian and base ;
running thence north seven miles to the quarter-section corner on the
north line of Section 3, Township 6 N. R. 1 W. ; thence along said town-
ship line six miles ; thence along quarter-section lines south seven miles
to the quarter-section corner on the south line of Section number 3, Town-
ship 5 N. R. 1 E. ; thence west six miles along the section lines to the point
of beginning. And it is further ordered that the said township be known
and designated as Elmira township."

On August 8, 1872, the boundary line between Silveyville and Vacaville
townships was changed to conform to the following : " Commencing at a



THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY. 45

point on the north and south line between Silveyville and Vacaville town-
ships, and at the corner of Sections numbers 1, 2, 11, and 12,' in Town-
ship number 7 N. R. 1 W., Mount Diablo meridian ; thence west five
miles to line between ranges 1 and 2 west ; thence north one mile, more
or less, to Putah creek ; thence along and down said creek to where the
present line of Silveyville township intercepts the same ; be and the same is
hereby set over to and become part of said Silveyville township." It was
then also ordered that the western boundary of Suisun township be and
the same is as follows, to wit : " Commencing at a point on the north line
of Section 3, Township 5 N. R. 1 W., which point is the intersection of the
boundary line of Elmira township ; thence south on half -section line one
mile to the southern line of Section 3, Township 5 N. R. 1 W. ; thence
east on section line two and one-half miles to Mount Diablo meridian line ;
thence south on said meridian line to the southern boundary line of Solano
county."

With this last adjustment of the boundaries the distribution of townships
was so far completed, and leaves these twelve districts as the present parti-
tion of the county.

In 1873 Vallejo had a sudden accession of success, and the conception of
having the county seat moved thither took permanent shape by the pre-
sentation of a petition by E. H. Sawyer and others to the Board of
Supervisors on September 23, praying that a public vote should be taken
in this regard. On the sounding of Vallejo's trumpet the other towns and
cities sniffed the battle from afar, champed their bits and tossed their flow-
ing manes. A bitter fight waged between the newspapers of the county,
while Benicia and her cohorts vented every conceivable argument, not so
much that she might be once more endowed with the county honors, but
that she should prevent. the acquisition of so great a triumph to her former
enemy. She had not forgotten the stormy days of 1858. Leader after
leader and argument upon argument appeared in the public prints; meet-
ings were held all over the county, while in Vallejo an executive county
seat committee was appointed, having as its officers Messrs. J. B. Frisbie,
President ; E. H. Sawyer, Vice-President ; J. B. Robinson, Secretary ; J. K.
Duncan, Treasurer, who framed the following address to the citizens of
Solano county, which we cull from the columns of the " Solano Democrat "
of that period:

Your attention is invited to the following reasons why the county seat
of Solano county should be removed from Fairfield to Vallejo :

First — It is evident to all who have given the matter any thought, that
Fairfield cannot be the permanent county seat of a great and growing
county like Solano.

The entire lack of accommodations for the persons attending court, and



46 THE HISTORY OF SOLANO COUNTY.

the fact that those accommodations are growing worse as the town con-
tinues to decay, and that there is no hope of any improvement, is a matter
of consideration.

We cannot compare the dreary, treeless plain upon which our county
seat is located, and meagre accommodation for visitors, with the pleasant
location and ample quarters provided by other counties, without a feeling
of shame. The great county of Solano will not always endure this.

Second — Assuming, then, that a change in the county seat must ulti-
mately come, we say that it should come now. An immediate expenditure
of many thousand dollars will be necessary to make the present county
buildings answer the purpose for which they were designed. Fire-proof
rooms or vaults must be provided for the county records, and the papers
and records of the courts. It is criminal to neglect this longer. Consider
the confusion, the litigation, the utter ruin that would result from the
destruction of the records of our courts and of our titles. And yet at pre-
sent they are scarcely more secure than they would be in an ordinary
frame-house. Is it wise to make these extensive improvements upon build-
ings which in a few years at most must be abandoned ? Is it not best that
the change should be made now, and a new location selected which shall be