Lewis Publishing Company.

An illustrated history of Southern California : embracing the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange, and the peninsula of Lower California, from the earliest period of occupanc online

. (page 128 of 146)
Online LibraryLewis Publishing CompanyAn illustrated history of Southern California : embracing the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange, and the peninsula of Lower California, from the earliest period of occupanc → online text (page 128 of 146)
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A. Logan Post, No. 139.

Sons of Veterans. — Nathaniel Lyon Camp,
No. 1; John C. Fremont Camp, No. 14.

O. U. A. M. — Los Angeles Council; Israel
Putnam Degree Council; Daughters of Liberty;
Martha Washington Council.

Knights of Honor. — Los Angeles Lodge, No.

Native Sons of the Golden West. — Los An-
geles Parlor, No. 45; Ramona Parlor, No. 109.

Native Daughters of the Golden West. — La
Esperanza, No. 24.

Independent Order of B'nai B'rith. — Semi-
Tropical Council, No. 341; Orange, No. 224.

Ancient Order of Hibernians.

United Friends of the Pacific. — Orange Coun-
cil, No. 26.

Order of Chosen Friends. — Guardian Coun-
cil, No. 90.

Order of the Golden Cross.

The Historical Society of Southern California,


with headquarters in Los Angeles, has been in
existence some six years. The original pro-
moter of this society is Noah Levering, Esq ,
who in 1883 canvassed among his friends and
obtained a list of persons who agreed to become
members. At the first meeting there were
present only Judge N. Levering, Colonel J. J.
Warner, John B. Niles, General John Mans-
field, and H. N. Rust, of Pasadena. The con-
stitution of this society declares its objects to
be: "The collection and preservation of all
material which can have any bearing on the
history of the Pacific coast in general and South-
ern California in particular; the discussion of
historical, literary or scientific subjects, and the
reading of papers thereon; and the trial of such
scientific experiments as shall be determined by
the society."

The Illinois Association was organized in
October, 1885, being originally composed of
former residents of Illinois. After a time its
entertainments became so popular that the
doors were thrown open to other parties. The
organization was incorporated in the spring of
1889. The membership now numbers several
hundred. The weekly entertainments comprise
musical and literary exercises.

There is also a flourishing Iowa Association.

The Young Men's Christian Association has
long been doing a practical work among the
young men of the city, and its membership and
influence have steadily increased. It now has
over 400 members, including many prominent
business men of the community. During the
past year a new building was erected by this
society, which is a credit to the organization
and an ornament to the city.

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union
was first organized, as to its Southern California
representation, in the spring of 1883, by Miss
Frances E. Willard. Five others came into
existence that same year, and the six were
represented at a convention held in 1884 for
county organization. These charter unions were
at Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange, Tustin, Po-
mona and Westminster. In five years the

number of unions in the county has increased
to thirty-six, with an aggregate membership of
nearly 1,000. Moreover, there are sixteen chil-
dren's organizations, numbering over 1,500
juvenile members. In the county there are at
least 1,700 boys under fifteen years of age who
are pledged against the use of tobacco in any
form. Eight of these unions report no saloon
in their community. The organization is well
officered* and its executive administration is

The Flower Festival Society is a unique or-
ganization. In the month of April, every year,
it holds a festival of a week's duration, at which
the display and the decorations are entirely of
the flowers grown in Los Angeles County. The
exhibits are large and handsome, and these fes-
tivals are very popular. The lady managers
realize large sums of money, which are devoted
to the maintenance of the Woman's Home and
the Woman's Exchange. For the former they
have built a large, handsome building, contain-
ing accommodations for seventy, where working
girls and women can have a respectable home at
a moderate price.

Among other institutions of a charitable
character in Los Angeles are: The Young
Women's Christian Temperance Union; the
Associated Charities of Los Angeles, for the
prevention of pauperism, the promotion of
thrift and the relief of the worthy poor; Los
Angeles Orphans' Home; Ladies' Benevolent
Society; Unione e Frattelanza Garibaldina;
Order of Good Templars; Sons of Temperance;
Ladies' Aid Society; Ladies' Missionary Society;
Arion Band of Little Missionaries; the Los An-
geles County Hospital; Los Angeles Infirmary
(conducted by the Sisters of Charity); St. Paul's
Hospital; Southern Pacific Railroad Hospital-
Santa Fe Railroad Hospital; French Hospital-
and two Orphans' Homes, one non-sectarian, the
other Roman Catholic. There is also a Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Grand Division Brotherhood of Railway
Conductors was organized in Los Angeles, No-
vember 13, 1888, with 104 charter members


consisting of railway conductors on the various
lines centering in Los Angoles; but its geo-
graphical scope is the whole of North America.
Already auxiliary associations are organized in
some twenty other important railroad centers of
the United States, and the total membership is
already 2,700. The first grand annual conven-
tion was held on September 16, 1889, in Los
Angeles. None are eligible to membership but
conductors who have served as such for three
years. The chief mission of this fraternity is
the use of all honorable means in its power to
prevent the hiring by railway companies of men
for brakesmen who lack the qualifications neces-
sary to make respectable, competent and intelli-
gent conductors.

The Rifleros de Los Angeles, Pantaleon Zava-
leta, Captain, were established March, 1873; the
Los Angeles Guard, September 8, 1874, Captain
James Bartlett. The Eagle Corps was organ-
ized June 9, 1881. Its first officers were: W.
H. H. Russell, Captain; Hamlet R. Brown,
First Lieutenant; E. G. Barclay, Second Lieu-
tenant. In the spring of 1883 the discipline of
this company grew lax; some of the members
regaided the enlistment as boys' play, others
were guilty of non-attendance, ineligibility and
drunkenness. For these causes thirty-three
members were court-martialed and dishonorably
discharged from the service; notwithstanding
which the company grew large enough to be
divided, and accordingly in 1884 a second com-
pany was organized. The first became Company
A; the second, Company C; the San Diego City
Guards were made Company B, and the whole
was organized into the Seventh Battalion, N.
G. C The following were the officers: W. H.
H. Russell, Major commanding; A. M. Green,
Captain and Adjutant; Cyrus Willard, First
Lieutenant and Quartermaster; C. N. Wilson,
First Lieutenant and Commissary; J. D. Gil-
christ, First Lieutenant and Inspector of Rifle
Practice; T. M. Flotts, First Lieutenant and
Ordnance Officer; Dr. J. Ilannon, Major and
Surgeon; Rev. P. W. Dorsey, Captain and
Chaplain. The National Guard of California

consists of 4,417 officers and men, all told.
There are fifty companies, of which Southern
California has seven. Two years since the State
appropriated $70,000 lor the maintenance of the
Guard, and $46,000 more for uniforming the
men. The United States appropriates about
$60,000 annually for the arming of the National
Guard of the differeut States, and of this Cali-
fornia receives about $12,000 for the purchase
of arms. Los Angeles is the headquarters of
the First Brigade, N. G. C, consisting at
present of seven companies, each of which re-
ceives an annual allowance of about $1,750, or
for the present force, $12,250 per annum. This
money goes direct to the several companies, and
is disbursed for rent of armory and other ex-
penses. The First Brigade consists of one
Brigadier-General, with fourteen staff officers;
one Colonel, with thirteen staff officers; one
Lieutenant-Colonel, one Major, twenty-one com-
pany officers, and 430 men. Brigadier-General
E. P. Johnson is in command.


The United States Land Commission ap-
pointed by act of Congress to pass upon the
validity of Spanish and Mexican land grants in
California brought here some of the ablest legal
talent in the United States. The fees iD these
cases were large, and many fortunes were
founded upon these claims, as the lawyers in
not a few cases bargained for half the lands
contingent upon confirmation. The following
were the earlier lawyers, who arrived in the
order mentioned: Don Manuel C. Rojo, 1849;
Russell Sackett, 1849; Lewis Granger, 1850;
Benjamin Hayes, February 3, 1850; Jonathan
R. Scott, March, 1850. The last four, as well
as Mr. Hart man, were overland emigrants.
Law books were very scarce. A brief passage
in " Kent's Commentaries," that was found
somewhere in town, decided au interesting case
between a rich Peruvian passenger and a liberal
French sea captain, some time in March, before
Alcalde Stearns. The captain lost, but he com-
forted his attorney, Scott, with a $1,000 fee, all in



$5 gold pieces, as it happened. In 1850 came
also William G. Dryden and J. Lancaster Brent,
the latter bringing a good library; in 1851, I.
K. S. Ogier; in 1852, Myron Norton, James
H. Lander, Charles E. Carr, Ezra Drown, Co-
lumbus Sims, Kimball H. Diminick, Henry
Hancock, Laac Hartman; in 1853, Samuel R.
Campbell; in 1854, Cameron E. Thorn and
James H. AVatson (" Colonel Jack Watson "); in
1856, E. J. C. Kewen and W. W. Hamlin; in

1858, Alfred B. Chapman; in 1861, Volney E.
Howard; in 1865, Andrew J. Glassell and
James G. Howard, who arrived on the same
steamer from San Francisco, November 27. In

1859, Myer J. Newman was admitted to the
bar in September, and Andrew J. King in Oc-
tober. Other attorneys prior to 1860 were:
Hon. S. E. Reynolds (afterward district judge
of San Francisco); Joseph R. Gkchell (in April,
1858. appointed district attorney); A. Thomas
and William E. Pickett. Casanueva & Jones
advertised December 13, 1851, this being Will-
iam Claude Jones, well known in Missouri.
Scott & Hayes were partners from March, 1850,
until April, 1852; then Scott & Granger; after-
ward Scott & Lander. Ygnacio Sepulveda was
admitted to the bar September 6, 1862. Be-
tween 1852 and 1860, the land questions before
the Commissioners and the United States Dis
trict Court brought, almost as residents, many
distinguished lawyers — II. W. Halleck, A. C.
Peachy, F. Billings, C. B. Strode, William
Carey Jones, P. W. Tompkins, Gregory Yale,
John H. Saunders, H. P. Hepburn, and many
others. Kimball H. Dimmick had been a cap-
tain in Colonel Stevenson's regiment, and he
was a member of the Constitutional Convention
of 1849. J. Lancaster Brent stood high as a
lawyer and a statesman. He now resides in
Louisiana, near New Orleans, and represented
a part of that State at the late Democratic Na-
tional Convention at St. Louis. Lewis C. Gran-
ger came from Ohio to Los Angeles; he was a
refined, gentle, polite man, a college graduate,
a fine lawyer, kind and generous. In 1857 he
removed from Los Angeles to Oroville, Butte

County, where he still resides, ripe in age and
full of merited honors. Of the early firms of
attorneys practicing before the commission,
William Carey Jones, a son-in-law of Thomas
II. Benton, only remained a short time,
but returned to Washington; "Pat" Tomp-
kins, of Tompkins & Strode, born of the poorest
of parents in Kentucky, was self-educated, a man
of eccentric character, of great ability, and a
most humorous wit; he remained in California
but a few years, and died many years ago; Jon-
athan R. Scott was a man of great physical
strength, almost a giant, but greater mentally
than in body; at the bar he was a tornado; he
died in the '60s. Charles Edward Carr was a
Louisianian, a scholarly man, good, jovial, and
generous, believing strongly in the code of
honor; he left Los Angeles in 1854. I. S. K.
Ogier was a South Carolinian; in 1854 he was
appointed Judge of the United States District
Court of the Southern District of California;
he died in San Bernardino County about 1864.
His widow, a relative of ex-Senator Guinn, still
lives in Los Angeles. Myron Norton was a
New Yorker and a graduate of Harvard, who
the day after his graduation joined the army
and served in Scott's line in Mexico, afterward
joining the Stevenson California Regiment, with
which he came to California. He was chairman
of the judiciary committee of the first Con-
stitutional Convention of this State, and Judge
of the Superior Court of San Francisco, and in
1855 he was judge of Los Angeles County. The
same year he was the Democratic nominee for
the Supreme Court Bench, but, this being the
Know-Nothing "off-year," he was defeated;
this ended his political career. He died in Los
Angeles in 1887. General Ezra Drown came
here in 1853 from Iowa, where he had been
brigadier general of militia. He and his wife
and children were passengers on the ill-fated
steamer Independence, which was burned oft'
the coast of Lower California in 1853, on which
occasion his wife was drowned, pushed by a
human brute from the support on which her hus-
band had placed her. Drown was a scholarly,


able and most eloquent advocate. He died here
in the '60s.


The object of this organization, as stated in
the constitution and by-laws, is as follows:
" The association is established to maintain the
honor and dignity of the profession of the law;
to increase its usefulness in promoting the
due administration of justice; to cultivate social
intercourse among its members, and when
deemed necessary or advisable to procure and
maintain a library for their use." Any attor-
ney in good standing who has been admitted
to practice before the Supreme Court of the
State of California is eligible to become a mem-
ber by paying the regular admission fee of $20,
and signing the constitution of the association.
The officers are elected by ballot at the annual
election holden on the first Tuesday in June of
each year; and these are president, senior vice-
president, junior vice-president, recording
secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer,
live trustees, and a committee on admission, to
consist of seven members. The first regular
meeting of the association was held on the first
Tuesday in June, 1888, and the constitution
provides for monthly meetings to' be held on the
first Tuesday of every month. The association
was organized with fifty charter members, em-
bracing the leading attorneys of Los Angeles.
The first officers of the association, all of whom
were re-elected in June, 1889, were as follows:
President, Albert M. Stephens; Senior Vice
President, John D. Bicknell; Junior Vice
President, Anson Brunson; Treasurer, Robert
N. Bulla; Recording Secretary, James A.
Anderson, Jr.; Corresponding Secretary, C. W.
Pendleton; Trustees, John H. Haynes, H. T.
Lee, J. A. Anderson, John S. Chapman,
Stephen M. White. Committee on admission,
J. A. Graves, W. F. Fitzgerald, R. H. F
Variel, H. A. Barclay, Julius Broussean, F. H.
Howard, B. W. Lee. Committee on the amend-
ment of the law, Stephen M. White, W. P.
Wade, James H. Shankland, John S. Chapman,

J. M. Damron. Judiciary committee, James
A. Anderson, George H. Smith, Walter Van
Dyke, Anson Brunson. Committee on griev-
ances, William F. Fitzgerald, John D. Bicknell,
J. A. Graves, John Haynes, George J. Denis.
Committee on legal education, Lucien Shaw,
F. H. Howard, John R. Scott, Bradner W.
Lee, Samuel Minor. Committee on invitation
and reception, G. Wiley Wells, George S. Pat-
ton, Shirley C. Ward, J. D. Bethune, R. F.
Del Valle. The Law Library of Los Angeles
was established in 1886 as a private enterprise
intended for the benefit of the shareholders,
hut open to subscriptions. The shares are $100
each and about 100 are taken by eighty mem-
bers. The library contains $10,000 worth of
books, including all the State Reports but four,
which are to be supplied in the near future.
The Library is,, situated^ in the Law Building.
The monthly dues are $1 for each member,
and they are enough to cover current expenses.
The present officers are: James A. Anderson, F.
H. Howard, Richard Dunnegan, Lucien Shaw,
Albert M. Stephens, Trustees; Albert M.
Stephens, President; and H. H. C. Horton,


Los Angeles is not without a record of crimes
dark and bloody. After the first spell of the
gold fever from 1848 to 1850 a large number
of people were drawn here by the good times.
The wine, fruit and cattle of Los Angeles found
a market in the mines, and money and gold-
dust were plentiful. Men from every quarter
of the globe, mostly unaccustomed to prosper-
ity, and freed from the restraints of home sur-
roundings, plunged into excesses of every kind.
Gambling, drinking, fighting and other disor-
ders ran riot, and crime flourished. This era of
crime, common to all new countries, and some-
times recurring in older communities, at last
ran its course.

In 1851 there came from the north a party
of thirty rough men, under the command of
one Irving, ostensibly bound for Arizona. They



threatened to hang two grandsons of Jose Maria
Lugo, then in jail charged with a murder com-
mitted in Cajon pass, Lugo having refused their
previous offer to rescue the young men for a
certain sum. They were prevented from carry-
ing out their plans by the timely arrival of a
military party. About the last of May, this
precious gang, then reduced to sixteen, left for
Mexico, but while they were endeavoring to
kidnap some of the Lugo family near San Ber-
nardino, all but one man were slain by Indians,
in a ravine west of Timoteo valley.

On October 26, 1854, Felipe Alvitre, a half-
breed Indian, was arrested for the murder of
James Ellington, at El Monte, and he was
hanged January 12, 1855.

On November 8, 1854, Mrs. Cassin, wife of
a merchant, was murdered in her own door by
a Mexican, who then was pursued and killed in
the suburbs.

From a pamphlet by Ben. C. Truman is
taken the following account of early lawless-
ness at Los Angeles: " Shortly after the cap-
ture and death of Joaquin Murrietta, Luis
Bulvia, one of his lieutenants, came to Los
Angeles County, bringing with him a remnant
of Murrietta's gang. Here they were joined
by Atanacio Moreno, a bankrupt merchant, who
in the reorganization of the party was elected
captain, Senati being a member of the same.
Society in Los Angeles was in a most disorgan-
ized condition. It had been found necessary
to equip a company of rangers, who, upon oc-
casions, took the law into their own hands,
and were always ready to assist in the arrest
of malefactors or put down disturbances. In
1854 a party of lewd women, who had but
lately arrived from San Francisco, signalized
the opening of an elegantly fitted-up bagnio
by a grand ball, to which certain men were in-
vited. While the revelry was at. its height,
Moreno, with his gang, numbering eighteen
men, swooped down upon the scene of the fes-
tivities, surrounded the house, and demanded
unconditional surrender. Certain of the party
were detailed, who entered the ball-room, and

relieved every man and woman of all the valu-
ables they had about them. Leaving, they
went to the house of a then resident of Los An-
geles, recently deceased, and robbed it in the
most thorough and systematic manner; after
which they committed an outrage too horrible
for recital. A perfect reign of terror existed.
Citizens were under arms; the rangers were
scouring the country, but outrages seemed to
multiply. But a short time alter the event
just narrated the same band made another raid
upon Los Angeles, robbed several houses, and
carried off a nnmber of Mexican girls.

During one of their forages a deputy city
marshal was assassinated by Senati. A price
was set upon his head; $1,500 was offered for
his delivery at the jail yard, alive or dead. The
jailor was awakened one night by a demand
for admission. Opening his doors, he found
Moreno with an ox cart containing the dead
bodies of Bulvia and Senati. Moreno claimed
that he had been captured by Bulvia's gang,
and that he managed at once to free himself
and compass the death of the men whose
bodies were in the cart. Bulvia and Senati
were identified by the women who had been
so cruelly outraged, as members of the party
by whom the offense was committed. The re-
ward offered for the delivery of Senati's body
was paid to Moreno. For a few days he was
the lion of the town, and lived royally upon his
blood-money. He happened one day to step
into the jewelry store of Charles Ducoinmnn,
who then did business on Commercial street
below his present stand, and offered a watch for
sale. Mr. Ducommun at once recognized it
as the watch taken from the husband of the
woman above alluded to, at the time of the
assassination. Mr. Ducommun asked Moreno
to wait until he stepped out for the money to
complete the purchase. Instead of looking for
money Mr. Ducommun made a straight track
for the headquarters of the rangers, and in-
formed Captain Hope, who was then in com-
mand, of the facts above stated. William
Getman at once arrested Moreno. He was


tried, convicted of robbery, and sent to the
State Prison for fourteen years. It afterward
transpired that he had killed Bulvia and Senati
in the most treacherous manner. He and Sen-
ati were left alone in camp, all the other mem-
bers of the gang having left on a scout. While
Senati was cleaning his saddle, Moreno blew
his brains out, supposing he could get his body
into town and obtain the reward before any of
their companions returned. Bulvia had not,
however, gotten out of the sound of the shot
which killed Senati. He returned to camp and
asked the meaning of it. Moreno told him
that Senati's pistol had gone oft' accidentally.
Bulvia inquired where Senati was, and was told
that he was sleeping. Distrusting Moreno, he
stooped to raise Senati's blanket from his face,
when Moreno completed his murderous work by
plunging a sword blade through his heart! The
bodies of Senati and Bulvia were buried on
Mariposa Hill, where they were disinterred in
1886 when excavations were made for the pres-
ent county jail. Their bones were carted to the
city's dumping grounds.

On October 13, 1854, one David Brown
killed Pinckney Clifford in this city, the
act causing great excitement. A public meet-
ing on the next day was appeased only by the
mayor's promise that if the law should fail, he
would resign and help to punish the murderer.
Brown was tried November 30. The District
Court, Benjamin Hayes, Judge, sentenced him
to be executed on January 12,1855. The same
day had been fixed by that court for the execu-
tion of Felipe Alvitre for the murder of James
Ellington at El Monte. Brown's counsel, J. R.
Scott and J. A. Watson, had obtained a stay of
execution from the Supreme Court. Public ex-
pectation waited for it, but a like stay did not
come for the wretched, friendless Alvitre. This
still more inflamed the native Californian and
Mexican portion of the population. The fatal
day arrived, and with it a gathering at the
county jail of a great multitude of all classes.
Meanwhile, the mayor had resigned. Sheriff
Barton posted within the jail yard an armed

guard of forty men. Alvitre was hung — the
the rope broke, he fell to the ground.

" Arriba! arriba! " (Up! up!) was the cry
from outside; and all was instantly adjusted
and the law's sentence carried into effect.
Words fail to describe the demeanor then of
that mass of eager, angry men. Suspense was
soon over. Persuaded by personal friends, the
odds against him seeming too greit, Sheriff
Barton withdrew the guard. The gate was
crushed with heavy timbers, blacksmiths were
procured, and the iron doors 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. Another cell
held a third person condemned for a later day,
but him the crowd did not molest. He was
finally allowed a new trial, by the Supreme
Court, and at Santa Barbara he was acquitted.
It was stated that a week after the lynching an
order of the Supreme Court in favor of Alvitre,
was received, it having been delayed by various

On May 30, 1856, Nicholas Graham was
hung for the murder of Joseph Brooks in the
previous January. A large crowd attended, but

Online LibraryLewis Publishing CompanyAn illustrated history of Southern California : embracing the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange, and the peninsula of Lower California, from the earliest period of occupanc → online text (page 128 of 146)