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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

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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 68 of 146)
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of their arrival witnessed the sowing of 3,000
acres of grain, which the next season yielded a
large crop. Som^ barley was planted but the
crops were wheat for the most part. One
wheat-field on the plains of Old San Bernardino
contained 1,600 acres. There was a very large
"mountain field" also on the Muscupiabe
Rancho, to the left of the Waterman Cafion

The Mormons received as much as $5 per
bushel for their wheat, as there were now many
settlers at Los Angeles, where flour sold at from
$15 to $18 per hundredweight. Thus, it must
be seen that the Mormons made admirably com-
mendable settlers, and their industry and thrift
not only promoted rapid growth of the town,
but developed the surrounding country. They
purchased and brought under cultivation large
tracts of land that hitherto had only nurtured
sheep and cattle. Large fields of grain they
sowed by their usual system of joint labor on
the mesa lands near the base of the mountains,
on what is now known as the Muscupiabe
Rancho. On these lands, now barren from the
lack of water, may still be seen traces of that
earlier cultivation.

Lyman and Rich, who afterward associated
with themselves in the ownership of the prop-
erty Ebecezer Hanks, managed the affairs of
the colony on a wise and liberal basis. They
subdivided the entire rancho into tracts of
varying size, ranging from fiva to ninety acres,
and these lots they offered for sale at low prices
and on easy terms of payment. In this way
many settlers not of the Mormon faith were
attracted into the valley.

Thus it was, too, that while many other fine

ranchos of Southern California were given over
to exclusive use as ranges for large bands of
cattle and horses, this settlement was already


of fences, dotted with

cottages and covered with orchards and vine-

The Mormons were, too, a peaceable and law-
abiding element, and as long as their party
was in the majority they maintained good gov-

It was not long, however, before the Gentiles
were attracted to this beautiful valley in con-
siderable numbers, coming from neighboring
counties and from a distance; and between
these and the Mormons hard feelings were soon
engendered owing to disparity of tastes and
customs, as well as to the conflict of mutual

In 1852 came to San Bernardino the first
physician, Dr. Ira Burris, who was shortly fol-
lowed by Dr. Ainsworth. The settlement was
always very healthy.

Up to this time all the territory to the Colo-
rado river on the east had been comprised with-
in the limits of Los Angeles County, and for
the transaction of all business of a legal charac-
ter the residents in the San Bernardino district
were under the necessity of journeying to Los
Angeles, the county seat, a distance of sixty
miles. The State Legislature was now peti-
tioned to ordain a division of the county, and
accordingly on April 26, 1853, the Legislature
of California passed an act separating from the
county of Los Angeles a new county to be
known a6 San Bernardino. This act appointed
Isaac Williams, H. G. Sherwood, David Seeley
and John Brown members of a board to desig-
nate election precincts, appoint inspectors, re-
ceive returns, and issue certificates of election.

The first county election was held in January,
1853, resulting in the election of the first offi-
cers of San Bernardino County, as follows*
County Judge, D. X. Thomas; County Attor-
ney, Ellis Ames; Clerk, Richard K. Hopkins;
Sheriff. Robert Clift; Trea-urer, David Seeley;
Assessor, William Stout; Surveyor, H. G. Sher.


wood; Justices of the Peace, John Brown and
Andrew Lytle. These officers entered upon
their duties, and the new county assumed her
portion of the deht of Los Angeles County, and
moved forward under the new organization.
The town of San Bernardino had been appointed
as the county seat, by disposition of the act be-
fore mentioned, and in the spring of 1853 it
was surveyed and laid off. The town as then
platted was one mile square, and this was
abundantly ample for the business needs of the

Among the first buildings erected upon the
town site was the old Mormon Council-House,
which was long a landmark of the town. This
structure, which stood at the corner of Third
and Grafton streets, was razed in July, 1867, to
make way for a large, new brick building.

In 1856 was celebrated for the first time the
Fourth of July.

At this time the friction between the Mor-
mons and the Gentiles had grown to such a
point as to menace serious difficulties, which
were averted, in all probability, only by the
circumstance that the Mormon population of
San Bernardino was recalled to Utah, in conse-
quence of causes as follows: President James
Buchanan, in 1857, had sent out Alfred Cum-
ming to take the office of Governor of Utah in
place of Brigham Young, and to enforce the
authority of the National Government a mili-
tary force of 2,500 men was sent with Gum-
ming. The chief of the Mormons attempted to
oppose force of arms by armed force in resist-
ing the mandate of the President, and to con-
centrate all his strength to that end he called in
to Salt Lake all his distant followers from the
outlying colonies of the church. The bli-dly
faithful obeyed, and submitted to the facritice


ind fruitful homes and valuable

lands, in exchange for the lesser attractions of
Utah and a very fair prospect of death at the
hands of the UniteJ States soldiery. These
obedient ones took their departure, having sold
to eager purchasers, and at nominal prices,
their rich lands and careful improvements.

Others there were who resisted the manifest
injustice of the sacrifices demanded of them, and
so elected to remain in California and defy the
thunders of the "prophet's" wrath. Among
these independent spirits were the leaders,
Messrs. Lyman, Rich, Hanks, and many others.

The departure of the majority of the Mor-
mons relieved to a great extent the strain of
feeling between their party and the other fac-
tion, although the animosity continued to exist
for long thereafter.

In the fall of 1859 there took place in the
town of San Bernardino a difficulty of local
origin, that had somewhat the aspect of a civil
war on a small scale. There were in the place
two rival physicians, Dr. Ainsworth and Dr.
Thomas Gentry. They met one day at a livery
stable, and Ainsworth returned fire on Gentry,
who fled, and sent word to his friends at El
Monte that he was "corralled by Mormons."
Impartial testimony on either side goes to show
that the affair was purely personal, and that no
faction or party question was concerned. But
Gen try '8 friends at El Monte rallied to his sum-
mons, and, led by a rough named Frank Green,
they set forth, 100 strong, prepared to capture
the town if necessary. On arriving at San Ber-
nardino, and learning the circumstances as they
actually existed, the more rational of the in-
vaders, comprising about one- half of the party,
returned home, but the rest remained, being in
a frame of mind disposed toward disorder.
Ainsworth and his friends had intrenched
themselves in an old adobe house on the corner
west of the South Methodist Church. As
night came on, with no indications of the ap-
proach of the hostile party, the to-be-besieged,
who were well armed with rifles and revolvers,
went forth and dispersed themselves over the
cornfield surrounding the house. It was not
until a late hour that Green's gang was seen
approaching the house, upon which all the party
of defense lay down, leveling their guns upon
the enemy. The party from El Monte formed
in line of battle on the opposite side of the
road as quietly as possible, but they retreated



in confusion and disorder on perceiving that
they were under the eyes and the guns of the
foe. As a body they were demoralized, but
certain individuals remained and caused some
disorder and bloodshed. Jim Greenwade, Frank
Green and the Sea brothers were thus persistent,
Green shooting David Coopwood in the thigh.
The ruffian Green was bravely attacked in his
turn by Taney Woodward, and the two men
emptied their pistols at each other at short

This frac« took place Septe.nber 21, 1859
For days thereafter San Bernardino was a scene
of lawless disorder. . There were United States
troops encamped on the banks of the Santa Ana
river, three miles from town, but they did not
interfere, probably because they were not called
upon by the civil authorities. The sheriff was
powerless to quell the mob, until at last he made
a general call for all citizens to unite and drive
out the intruders. This being done, peace and
quiet, law and order, prevailed for a long time

Green subsequently met a violent death at
El Monte, slain by a man whose father he had


In 1859-'60, politics ran high in San Bernard-
ino County. There was a strong secessionist
element, to oppose which John Brown rode over
the country convoking the Union men thereof
to rally at the " old school-house " to form a
political organization. There were present at
the first, meeting John Brown, Charles G. Hill,
William Heap, Moses Martin, and one other
man and two ladies, — Mrs. Highmoor and
Mrs. Blackburn. The meeting was inter-
rupted by the advent of nineteen roughs,
armed with various weapons, from clubs to
cheese-knives and guns, who cursed the speaker
and made other violent demonstrations, but who
were finally persuaded to desist by the eloquence
of John Brown, and their departure left the
meeting free to continue. The Union League
presently attained considerable power, and to its
endeavors, in all probability, was due the local

result of the presidential election, which showed
a plurality of eighty-three for Lincoln — the first
success of the party in the county. " Uncle
George" Lord, now a veteran eighty-seven
years old, was the president of the league, and
the Mrs. Highmoor, mentioned as attending
the first meeting, played the bass drum at the

At this period a strict watch wa-s kept in this
county and in Arizona along the route to be
pursued, in order to prevent from passing
through the country armed bands in sympathy
with, and going to the assistance of, the Con-
federate forces. A regular organization for this
purpose existed in Holcomb valley, being con-
nected with similar leagues extending northward
along the Sierra Nevada. The conditions of
the section, largely populated by an immigra-
tion attracted by the gold mines, were pecu-
liarly fitted to protect and foster enterprises of
this character.

From political differences also arose a due
in 1861, between Mr. Shoalwater and C. W.
Piercy, who had been elected the preceding
year to represent San Bernardino County in
the Assembly. Mr. Piercy was killed in this

In 1861 there was so large a population
gathered at the mines in Holcomb valley that
the precinct, at the general election, polled a vote
of 230, which was nearly as much as all the rest
of the county.

The position of San Bernandino as a frontier
county, and the heterogeneous elements attracted
by the mines, contributed greatly to local law-
lessness and disorder. Not a few of the county
offices having been captured by representatives
of a desperado class attracted thither by the op-
portunity for crime and spoil, it became neces-
sary to take protectionary measures; and there-
fore the best citizens united into a party pledged
to support the law and maintain order. The
county was almost bankrupted during the sea-
son of misrule, which lasted about four years.
In those days, and indeed, for about twelve
years, no attention was paid to Whigs, Demo-



cratic or Republican proclivities in politics, men
being nominated for office by their friends, ir-
respective of party. As an instance of the little
respect shown to " the majesty of the law " by
the community at large, the following episode
may be related: A man belonging to one clan
or clique, stabbed to death a member of another
clan, near Holcomb valley, and he was indicted
and placed on trial at San Bernaudino. Soon
after the case opened fifteen men entered the
court-room, heavily armed, and without remov-
ing their hats, they seated themselves near the
jury. Judge Boren recognized them as friends
of the accused, and read their purpose in their
demeanor, their hard, determined faces, and
their resolution in having marched forty miles
lor the occasion. Not a word spoke the intrud-
ers, paying the closest attention to the pro-
ceedings. After a time, these somber visitors
adjourned to a source of liquid refreshment, and
the magistrate also adjourned court until the
afternoon. During the recess, the authorities
had time for deliberation, and the jury, under-
standing that conviction of the prisoner would
entail an outbreak and bloodshed, decided to
acquit him, and did so.

About this time it was that J. M. Greenwade,
who held the combined offices of County Clerk,
Recorder and Auditor, became dissatisfied with
the mode of procedure of the board of supervis-
ors in the transaction of county business, drew
his six-shooter and cleared the room of all those
functionaries. Shortly after this, the same man,
while intoxicated, met Judge Boren unarmed
on the street, and, putting a pistol to the Judge's
breast with one hand, with the other struck the
•fudge with a stick. Judge Boren retreated to
where he could procure a gun, but was then
prevented by the outsiders from shooting his
county clerk, for which, as he has often expressed
himself, he since feels profoundly content.

The winter of 1861-'62 was characterized by
excessive rains, and in January, 1862, a heavy
flood inundated the settlement of Agua Mansa,
and the people barely escaped with their lives,
fleeing homeless and beggared to the hills,

while the angry waters swept away their homes,
their stock, their fields and orchards, leaving a
waste of sand-beds in place of the fruitful colony.

In 1862 John Brown, Sr., established a ferry
across the Colorado river.

In 1863 the census showed the county to
contain 1,072 children of the age prescribed as
eligible for attendance at the public schools.

In 1864-'65-'66 hydraulic gold mining was
extensively carried on in the Lytle creek canon.

During the civil war — 1861-'65 — there was
no regular company mustered into service from
San Bernardino County, although numerous in-
dividuals departed from that section, to join
one or the other of the combatants. For three
months there was, moreover, an encampment
near the timber, of two companies, which went
to Texas.

The winter of 1867 is said to have been the
rainiest season on record, the rain being almost
continuous for six weeks, and the rainfall being
twice to thrice that of the average years. The
ground remained wet from this excess of moist-
ure for some years thereafter.

In February, 1867, a company of rangers,
fitted out by the citizens of San Bernardino,
made an expedition to the Mohave desert, for
the purpose of chastising Indians who had been
committing depredations. On the 18th, this
party, consisting of some fifteen men, had a
battle with some 100 Indians, Chimehuevas,
Mohaves and Pah-utes, and four of the Indians
were killed, one of the whites having his arm
fractured by a ball.

In April, 1867, a small company on the way
to Borax lake, found a rancheria of hostile In-
dians, and killed its denizens, finding relics of
some of the whites previously 6lain by these

These maurauders in this year massacred
Parish, Bemis, and Whiteside, who at the time
were herding their 6tock near the north base of
the sierra; and indeed it is but of very late years
that it has been safe to attempt to effect a set-
tlement or to pasture stock near the verge of
the desert.


At this period the cultivation of citrus fruits,
which has since become the leading industry of
the county, was practically unassayed. In all
the county the only orange trees were a few —
not to exceed two or three dozen — at Old San
Bernardino, and three or four on Judge Boren's
place at San Bernardino proper. Tlie general
idea was that at no place in the county save at
Old San Bernardino was the winter climate
mild enough to spare these trees, and the sup-
posed orange limit was therefore in that district;
whereas present results show that the orange
belt of San Bernardino County is at least forty
miles long by thirty wide.

At this time, the leading industries were
wheat, barley, corn, alfalfa, pumpkins, mission
grapes, and deciduous fruits in moderate quan-

At this time the only mail communication
was by stage-coach via Los Angeles.

San Bernardino was then the great entrepot
and furnishing point for the desert mines, as
well as for those of Arizona; and this com-
mercial importance continued to be hers until
the traversal of the county by the Southern
Pacific Railway, with its improved facilities for

In 1867, Henry Goodall, Sr., established the
first brickyard in the county — still running in
San Bernardino.

In 1870 " Uncle George " Lord, a pioneer in
this as in many other directions, prodnced ab-
solutely the first raisins grown and prepared in
San Bernardino County. Other parties had
a'ueady sold roughly-cured raisins from the
Mission grapes; but Mr. Lord's raisins were
from White Muscat grapes, which he raised on
Lytle creek, on a farm four miles west of the
town of San Bernardino. The scions of his
White Muscat vines he had procured from El
Monte, and he prepared the raisins after the
approved regular process. On account of diffi-
culties in obtaining the means of packing, he
used empty cigar-boxes for that purpose, and
put his goods, as a novelty, on the local market,
where they sold readily at twenty-five cents per

pound. Certain parties shipped by mail a num-
ber of boxes to the Eastern States, where, not-
withstanding the flavor of tobacco with which
the raisins were impregnated from the cigar-
boxes, they were pronounced of superior quality.

The development of San Bernardino County
has been comparatively slow, as contrasted with
other portions of Southern California. The
citizens here have been more conservative and
less disposed to " boom " their section. The
growth and development have been, however,
remarkably steady and enduring, as will be
seen in the divisions treating of the various

It is notable, too, as a special feature, that
while San Diego and Los Angeles counties have
been developed largely by capital from abroad,
San Bernardino County has depended almost
entirely upon home moneys and domestic re-
sources. It would almost seem, indeed, as if
something in the soil and atmosphere fostered
and nurtured the spirit of local exploitation
displayed by the early Mormon settlers, to win
from the land itself the price of its improve-
ment; colloquially speaking, to "make it pay
its own way as it goes along."

The increase of population in the county up
to 1870 was slow, it numbering in that year
only 7,310 souls. Then the era of fruit colo-
nies began, and since that time the increase has
been constant. The census ot 1880 gave a pop-
ulation of 7,786, and in July, 1888, it was
deemed that 29,415 was a fair estimate, based
upon the school census of that year.

The school census, including all childreu be-
tween the ages of five and seventeen years,
shows a steady increase each succeeding year,
and, according to the accepted ratio between the
census children and the whole number of inhab-
itants, the population of the county is now about

It is estimated that that portion of the San
Bernardino valley situated south of the mount-
ain range contains about 450,000 acres of arable
land. Of this area, 64,410 acres are under
cultivation, and the remainder either is used for


grazing purposes, or else lies as waste land,
having no water available for irrigation. Of
the 64,410 acres under cultivation, only 22,-
460 acres are planted to orchard and vine-
yard, and from this portion the income, count-
ing the citrns fruit crop harvested in the spring
of 1889, and the other fruit crop harvested
later in that season, amounted to $1,635,000,
with an estimated income of about $2,000,000
if the citrus crop of 1889-'90 be counted with
the other fruit crop of 1889.


of the county of San Bernardino are: State
Senator, W. W. Bowers, of San Diego; Assem-
blyman, K. W. Holmes, of Riverside; Judges
of the Superior Court, C. W. C. Rowell and
John L. Campbell; Sheriff, E. C. Seymour;
County Clerk, George L. Hison; Recorder, A.
S. Davidson; Auditor, W. L. G. Soule; Treas-
urer, W. H. Beattie; Tax Collector, R. H. Stet-
son; District Attorney, Henry Connor; School
Superintendent, H. C. Brooke; Surveyor, W.
C. Chamblin; Coroner, C. C. Wainwright; Pub-
lic Administrator, James E. Mack; Court Com-
missioner, J. C. Christy; Supervisors, J. A.
Johnson, Thomas Holmes, G. W. Garcelon,
George Cooley, W. H. Glass; Board of Educa-
tion, J. E. Roberts, Lyman Evans, H. C.
Brooke, E. P. Clarke.


that inhabited San Bernardino County were not
a few, and several of them have representatives
at the present day. There are the Yumas, who
dwell along the Colorado river, from its entrance
into Arizona to its outlet, occupying only
the river bottoms; the Yumas are so far
removed from the settled districts as to belong
practically to Arizona. The Serrano and Ca-
huilla Indians have intermarried for so long a
time that now the separate tribes can hardly be
distinguished. They occupy divers fruitful val-
leys in the vicinity of San Bernardino. The
Chimehueras and Pah-utes inhabit the sterile
desert countrynorth of the San Bernardino val-

ley, rarely visiting the settlements. Already very
i'ew in number, they are rapidly becoming ex-
tinct. In the early days of San Bernardino these
two tribes were very troublesome to the settlers,
miners, and particularly to the stockmen, owing
to their predilection for stock stealing. Hence
resulted contests in which no little blood was
shed on both sides. During the civil war
these tribes became thoroughly imbued with the
spirit of outlawry, and, reinforced by renegade
whites, their menaces caused serious fears of a
regular attack upon the town of San Bernardino.

The Mission Indians, accustomed to whole-
some restraints and guidance under the rule of
the padres, found themselves homeless, helpless,
and without resources or direction, on the car-
rying into effect of the laws of secularization.
No other influence or provision was substituted
for those which they then lost, and they were
left in the situation of grown-up and untrained
children, so that they have for the most part
lapsed into the lives of vagrants and outcasts.

The agency for the Mission Indians in this
county was established in 1878, with Colonel
S. S. Lawson as agent. In 1879-'80 there was
great distress among them because of a failure
of crops and scarcity of work. The agent rep-
resented to the Government the imminent ap-
proach of famine among them, and provision
was accordingly made for feeding them until
after the crisis.

Of the six or eight schools established under
the agency one is in this county, at the Potrero
near Banning. The teacher reports encouraging
progress by the pupils.

The first census of the Indians in this county
seems to have been taken about 1880, under the
superintendence of Indian Agent Lawson, who
ascertained as nearly as possible the number in
each tribe. Of the Serranos, living chiefly at
the Potrero, on the Colorado desert, he found
only 212, all told; of the Cahuillas, living
mostly in the valleys, he found 204. This is a
very small proportion of the tribes, as they
mostly live in San Diego County. About the
only possession of value in the hands of the


Indians of San Bernardino at present is a lim-
ited number of horses. Yet there has been a
marked improvement in their condition since
the establishment of the agency. The Indians
of the various tribes in these counties have
mostly embraced Christianity, and they attend
religious services at the mission chapel when
they have an opportunity.

The Mission Indians' Consolidated Agency,
a Federal institution, comprising some twelve
Government employes, has its headquarters at

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 68 of 146)