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Juan José Warner.

An historical sketch of Los Angeles county, California. From the Spanish occupancy, by the founding of the mission San Gabriel Archangel, September 8, 1771, to July 4, 1876 online

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Online LibraryJuan José WarnerAn historical sketch of Los Angeles county, California. From the Spanish occupancy, by the founding of the mission San Gabriel Archangel, September 8, 1771, to July 4, 1876 → online text (page 7 of 15)
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Guager — J. R. Brierly. Deputy Marshal — J. D. Dunlap. U. S. Commission-
er— B. C. Whiting.

Gov. John G. Downey came to Los Angeles in December, 1850. He mar-
ried ^{iss Maria Jesus Guirado, of this city, February 10th, 1852. His dis-
tinguished career belongs to the history of California.

In 1850 this county was represented ia the State Senate by Dr. A. W. Hope;
followed in 1851 and i852 by Stephen C. Foster. The Senators since have been:
18.53, 1854, James P. McFarland; 1855, 185(>, Benjamin D. Wilson; 1857, 1858, Came-
ron E Thom; 1859, 1860, Andre.s Pico; 1861, 1862, John R. Vineyard; 1863, 1864, Hen-
ry Hamilton; 18U5 until 1868, Phineas Banning; 1869 until 1872, B. D. Wilson; 1873
and now, C. W. Bush.

Members of Asseml)ly— 1850, A. P. Crittenden, Montgomery ]\Iartin.
1851, Aliel Stearns, Ignacio del Valle. 1852, James P. ]VIcFarland, Capt.
Jeflerson Hunt. 1853, Charles E. Carr, Edward Hunter. 1854, Francis Mel-
ius, Dr. Wilson W. Jones. 1855, John G. Downey, J. Lancaster Brent. 1856,
J. Lancaster Brent, Edward Hunter. 1857, Andres Pico, Henry Hancock.
1858, Andres Pico, Henry Hancock. 1859, John J. Warner, Andrew J.
King. 1860, Abel Stearns, Murray Morrison. 1861, James A. Watson, Mur-
ray Morrison. 1862, James A. Watson, Edward J. C. Kewen. 1863. 1864,
Ignacio Sepulveda, E. J. C. Kewen. 1865, 1866, William H. Peterson, E. C.
Parrish. 1867, 1868, Asa Ellis, James A. Watson. 1869, 1870, Manuel F.
Coronel, R. C. Fryer. 1871, 1872, Tliomas D. Mott, Asa Ellis. 1873, 1874, J.
W. Venable, A. Higbie. 1875, 1876, John R. McConnell, Frederick Lam-
bourne.

The City of Los Angeles was incorporated by Act of the Legislature,
approved April 4th, 1850. The government was organized July 3d. Mayor,



§8 LOS ANGELEiS COUNTl

A. P. Hodges; Common Council, Da\'id ^Y. Alexander, President; Alexander
Bell, Manuel liiquena, John Temple, Jlorriy L. Goodman, Cristoi)al Aguilar,
Julian Cha%X'z. Recorder, John G. Nichols: Treasurer, Francisco Figueroa;
Assessor, Antonio F^. Coronel; Marshall, Samuel Whiting; Attorney, Ben-
jamin Playes.

The Miiyors since have been, Beujamiu D. Wilson, 1851 ; John G. Nich-
ols, 1S32; Antonio Franco Coronel, 185o; Stephen C. Foster, is.jl; Thomas
Foster, IS.jo; Stephen C. Foster, 4 months— John G. Nichols, residue, 1856;
John G. Nichols, 1857,1858; Damien Marchessault. 1859 ; llenrv Melius,
1860; D. Marchessault, 1861, 1863, 186:3,1864; Jose Mascarel, 1865-'(J6; Cristo-
bal Aguilar, 18G7-'68; Joel Turner, 186[)-'70; Cristobal Aguilar, 1871-'72;
James R. Toberman, 1878-'74; Prudent 15eaudry, 1875—.

Mayors Hodges and Wilson, tliro;ii;h tempestuous times, held the liehn
with lirmuess and foresight. Under the iir.-t term of Nichols Ix'gau Henry
Hancock's survey. August 13th, ll-OJ, is the date of the Donation System
(repealed in 1854), by which thir'iy-ii.e a-ro tracts and other lots were grant-
ed on sole condition of improvemcni, wiih payment of fees. He was Maj'or
again in 1857 and 1858. The uncertainty, apathy, rather, of the public mind
upon the vital question of irrigation may be inferred from a rem;irk in his
message of the former year: 'Tt appears that under the present system of ir-
rigation there is as much land under cultivation as can be supi)lied with
water from the river of the pueblo; but it is believed by our most intelligent
farmers, and by many gentlemen of experience who have visited us, that by
the adoption of !i ditierent system, a suiliciency of water to irrigate the entire
plain l)elow the city could be obtained." But on August 2d, 1858, Zanja No.
2 was provided for, which led to the buildiugof Aliso Mill, and has brought
a large amount of first rate land into cultivation. The survey was long be-
fore that, of Captain, now General E. O. C. Ord, to ascertain the practicabili-
ty of bringing water for drinking and gene;'al domestic uses from the river
oVer the bencli laud; a project supported by 'the business men, but defeated
at the municipal election by an absurd prejudice and superior influence of
leading viueyardists. To resume: Coronel had his hands full. The bulk
of Donation lots was made by him. Stephen C. Foster managed well
through 1854. In January, 1855,he resigned ; within two weeks was re-elect-
ed without opposition; merely a curious circumstance, or a capricious freak,
it might seem, if left unexplained.

October loth, 1854, one David Brown killed Pinckney Clifl'ord, in this city.
This act created deep excitement. A public meeting on the next day was ap-
peased only by the Mayor's promise that if the laws should fail, he would re-
sign and help to punish the murderer. Brcnvn was tried November 30th.
The District Court — Benj. Hayes, Judge— sentenced him to be executed on
the 12th day of January, 1855. The same day had been fixed by that Court
for the execution of Felipe Alvitre, for the murder of James Ellington, in
El Monte. In Brown's case, his counsel, J. R. Scott and J. A. Watson, had
obtaiaed from the Supreme Court a stay of execution. Public expectation
waited for it, but a like stay did not come for the wretched, friendless Alvi-
tre. This still more inflamed the native Californian and Mexican portion of
tlie population. The fatal day arrived, and with it an early gathering at the
county jail of a great multitude of all classes. Meanwhile, the Mayor had re-
signed. Sheriff B;irton posted within the yard an armed guard of forty men.
Alvitre w^ashung the rope broke, he fell to the ground. Arriba! Arri-
ba! (up! up!) Avas the cry from outside— all was instantly adjusted and the
law's sentence carried into effect. ^Vords fail to describe the demeanor then
of that mass of eager, angry men. Suspense was soon over. Persuaded by
personal friends— and in truth the odds against him seemed too great — Sheriff
Barton withdrew the guard. The gate was crushed with heavy timbers, black-
smiths procured, the iron doors, locked and well barred from within, were
forced. Within the next hour Brown was dragged from his cell to a corral
across the street; where, amidst the shouts of the people, he uttered some
incoherent observations, but quickly was hung from a beam of the corral
gate. It is stated credibly, that a w'eek thereafter was received an order
of the Supreme Court, in favor of Alvitre, which had been delayed partly
by tlie bad mail ai-raugements of that time, and more by reason of his appli



CENTEN1SIA.L HISTOHY. 81

eation liaving been first forwarded to llie Governor. Another cp.11 held a third
person condemned for a later day; him the infuriated crowd did not molest.
He was finally allowed a new trial by the Supreme Court, and at Santa
Barbara acquitted.

Thomas Foster succeeded in May of this year. June lf)th he signed th»
first well matured ordinance for establishing and regulating Common Schools.
The first Public Scliool houses were erected; and measures now were seri-
ously fomented to increase the supply of water for agricultural and industri-
al pursuits in tlip Sonth-western portion of the city. He died on his wi.y to
San Fraiici 1 1 cht to



^'■'i LOS ANGP]LES COUNTY

demo' 'i I iv 1 , h^

p!Ul\ I "• 1 i

ria A i < >,

ter ofs n,(_ !ir-,Iic

Bean. The ii-,intj; of Autonio Cnrra, ( liief of Agua Cnlicnte, in the 1 ill of
1851, '"1)1 ( ad f' i: tiirough Lo^ An j,elc-, ot a general in^iirreclion, fn m San
'' '> I ' T'li ' ■ The d inger ^oi>D pa scd awa/ The regulai^ and S m Die
■re iinc'ei C .[ihiin Gcoi^e Fii7gerald G'n J IT I>'in
'I 1 'I'll, Los Auiitles \(>luntei-, >L ron NoVton, Colonel and Chi. t of
Stati,,- I'olrwir Cox a-! 1 B S Ealou, CoVporalb. Hon. II. C R'jlfe, V^in
K'ordholdt — and many .Uio iie dead — v ere in fecrvice ou the ocei'^ion E'-ti
mable lor m my \iuue-,, Gen Va n nut an untimely end, at San Gabriel
Scjit i'tii, I'-")] Our expo-.c'l ]' - In i 1 'i a long time thereafter, in tlie Kcm
n\(i I'.il "'l'.;a\c V. r.^, and nV R Blake.
Caplains Da\idson andLo\cll, ' " Geui'i d \\ inh 1 ' Seod Hancock,

^ ^ -. Lively recollections then :e of the .splendid ])aud of tlic 2d
Dragoons, Fort Tejon, that made m-v- j.you^ the "Fourth of July, 1855,"
with General Banning as orator of the '1 .y ;"agai:i, when Hon. Myron ISTorton,
in 1857, stirred up patriotic feelings. Tlie day bad been kept from the besrin-
aiag. Maj. Edward H. Fitzgerald lies in tlie'Catholic Cemetery, Los Ange-
les. He died JanU'iry 0th, 1360, of eonsmnption.

A quarter of a century, whereof reminiscences come involunlarily,is wor
i by of review. A record of crime mu.st have attended this progress ' in man-
ni.-rs nml government. For one reason or another the people felt compelled
often to "take the huv into their own hands." Those morad tempests which
agitated the eommunity to its depths, slumber, v* e trust, to rise no more, iu
this better social condition.

For physicians, 1850 had Wm. B. Osborne, A. P. Hodges, W. W. Jones.
A. W. Hope and Overstreet; in 1851, John BrinckerhotI', Thom.is Foster and
James P. McFarland ; 1852, James B. Winston, and others. Dr. John S.
Griffin returned to reside here in August, 1854. Dr. Richard S. Den ^vas a
physician esteemed highly, prior to 1843. Dr. Osborne was a native of New
York,camc to California in 1847, in Col. Stevenson's regiment. He put up the
first drng store in 1850, wdiich was followed by that of McFarland and Down-
ey in 1851. Our first daguerreotypes were taken by him and Moses Searles,
August 9th, 1851. He often acted as Deputy Sherili— impossible to recount
Ills various functions ; a most useful man anywhere — friendly among his
neighbors, of intelligence and public spirit. He was the pre>jector of the
famed artesian well near the hills on the wTSt side of the city. It reached
the depth of 780 feet, June 7th, 1856, but was abandoned by the company for
want of funds. In 1852, fruit grafts had been introduced from New York by
J. G. Nichols. In 1855 Dr. O. imported from Rochester a grand collection
of roses and other choice shrubbery, as well as fruit trees. "lie was the first,
too, in October, 1854, to .«hip fresh Los Angeles grapes, which were exhibi-
!ed with admiration at a meeting of the business committee of the New York
Agricultural Society at Albany. As late as November 17th, 1856, when Mat-
thew Keller sent a like specimen. It was almost doubted at the U. S. Patent
Office— "if such products are common in California." Thetiiird drug store
war that of A. W. Hope, September, 1854; the fourth of Dr. Henry R.'Myles,
in 1860 ; then Winston & Welch— Dr. James C. AVelch ; then Dr. Theodore
Wollweber, 1863. The first dentist was J. W. Gay lord. Dr. J. C. Welch died
August 1st, 1869; he was a native of South Carolina. Dr. Heipe was
born m Virginia; died in the year 1855.

Let us make a diary of a j'ear or two : 1851, 3Iay 24th, came news of the


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Online LibraryJuan José WarnerAn historical sketch of Los Angeles county, California. From the Spanish occupancy, by the founding of the mission San Gabriel Archangel, September 8, 1771, to July 4, 1876 → online text (page 7 of 15)
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