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Annual publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and of the Pioneers of Los Angeles County (Volume yr.1902-1904) online

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Mrs. Annie Spence, Mrs. H. T. Hazard, Mrs. B. C. Truman.
Mrs. William H. Workman, Mrs. B. S. Eaton, Mrs. A. G. Mappa,
Mrs. Isabella Loosmore, Mrs. Cecelia Johansen, and many others.
Maj or Ben C. Truman, the veteran journalist and good fel-
low, acted as toastmaster. M. F. Quinn, president of the pioneer
society, welcomed the guests on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Work-

"Mr. Workman," said Mr. Quinn, "arrived here when but
16 years of age. Now he is 66 years old, a hale and hearty man
and one of whom it may be said 'Hail fellow well met.' He
has seen fit to call the pioneers of Los Angeles together that
we may enjoy with him an old-time banquet. We thank him
for this kind expression of good will, and we say 'Long may he
live and prosper.' We will now eat and be merry."


The banquet was made up of Spanish dishes. The following
menu was served :

Frijoles, Mejicanos

Pan Frances y Viena

Chili-Salza a la Capistrano

Francisco Wiggins' Camara de Comercio Ponche

Tamales de Sonora

Empanada de Jamon y queso

Apio Olivas Pepinas


The following was the programme of literary exercises for

the evening :

President, M. F. Quinn
Toastmaster, Major Ben C. Truman

Address of Welcome M. F. Quinn

Music by Ahrens' Orchestra
The Pioneers — How They Came to California :

( i). "The Plains Across," Henry T. Hazard

(2.) Via Panama J. M. Guinn

(3.) Via the Santa Fe Trail . . Mrs. Virginia Whisler Davi;.
(4.) "Fifty Years in Los Angeles," .... W. H. Workman

(5.) Via Nicaragua Louis Roeder


Five Minute Speeches Other Guests

"Auld Lang Syne," The Pioneers

"Home Sweet Home," Orchestr.4

Henry T. Hazard responded to the sentiment, "Crossing the
Plains," and said he once belonged to an ancient debating society
of which M. F. Quinn was president.

The guests cheered and Hazard stopped speaking and, looking
very serious, remarked that when he was talking he didn't want
members of the family to interfere. He said every old pioneer
had two very clear recollections of the trip across — the ox team
and the navy six shooter. These were the chief things upon
which the argonauts depended.

J. M. Guinn told of the pioneer's trip by way of the isthmus of
Panama. "It took nine months for the story of the gold dis-
covery to reach the east and then the rush set in.

"There were three routes by which the pioneers could reach
California. One by way of the isthmus, another by way of Cape


Horn and the third by crossing the plains. No matter which way
a man came he always wished he had come by some other."

Mrs. Virginia Whisler Davis told an interesting story of ex-
periences she encountered while coming across by the Santa Fe

Louis Roeder told of crossing by way of Nicaragua, and a
narrow escape his party had during the troublous days of Walk-
er's filibustering in Central America.

Major Truman said that a great number of letters had been
received by the president of the Pioneer Society. As a sample
of these one from the veteran journalist, Col Joseph D. Lynch,
was read. This letter sketched Mr. Workman's career gracefully
and clearly. Commenting upon it. Major Truman said he had
known Mr. Workman almost forty years, and v.'as one of those
who attended the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Workman thirty-
seven years ago.

The host of the evening and his good' v/ife were then intro-
duced. They were given a great ovation. Responding to this
reception, Mr. Workman said :

"I am most happy to greet my fellow pioneers here tonight in
such large numbers. From the looks of this assemblage it shows
that after all many of us are left. I have long had a desire to
entertain my pioneer friends, and I only regret that available space
prevented me from including many of those outside of the Pio-
neer Society.

'Tt would indeed be the joy of my life to entertain in this
manner my 14,000 friends of December 5, 1904. I had intended
celebrating the actual day that marked my fiftieth arrival in Los
Angeles, but being absent at that time visiting the St. Louis ex-
position I could not do it.

"After January i I resolved to defer the pleasure no longer,
and because of the uncertainty of the weather at this time of the
year I have been obliged to give up my original plan of an out-
door barbecue.

"Fifty Years in Los Angeles" is the toast assigned to me.
Fifty years, or half a century, is a long time, and yet I feel as
though I would like to live fifty years more in this angelic city.
Coming here a mere lad more than fifty years ago, when Los An-
geles was a small town of 2500 inhabitants, today I am proud
to say that I have seen it grow to a beautiful city of nearly 200,000

"In 1880 Los Angeles contained but 11,000 people. This
immense increase of population has occurred within the last twen-


ty-five years. Imagine, if you please, what this city will be fifty
years hence, reaching from the mountains to the sea and spreading
out east and west over a vast area and containing millions of peo-
ple. This is no visionary or idle talk, but certainly within the
possibilities, for there is but one Los Angeles and one Southern

"When I came here First street was I might say the southern
boundary of the populated portion of the city; now the city
stretches out in every direction, north, east, south and west. Then
we had no railroads ; today we are about to celebrate the opening
of the third transcontinental railroad in Los Angeles. Our county
is fairly gridironed with many excellent railway systems, electric
as well as steam. There were no street cars, no telegraphic com-
munication with the outside world, no banks, no conveniences of
modern commercial life when I came here.

"The occasional steamer at San Pedro and a consequent occa-
sional stage coach in Los Angeles were the only links with the
rest of mankind. Those were not lonely days, however, for the
early residents of Los Angeles were a hospitable and generous
people. Many pleasant recollections must ever remain in my
memory of those early Spanish and American families.

'T came here an ambitious lad trying to succeed in life; how
well I have accomplished that I leave you to judge. Political hap-
penings have likewise come, while there remains a certain simi-
larity of procedure.

"Our worthy secretary. Prof. J. M. Guinn, and myself were
candidates on opposing tickets for the legislature in this county in
1873, and we both got left. We canvassed the entire county,
including what is now Orange county. We visited a place called
Gospel Swamp, near Santa Ana. Gospel Swamp was inhabited
by a very large number of good Methodists, and produced the
tallest corn, the largest pumpkins and the finest babies in the

"Our opponents both being of that denomination got the best
of us. They went to camp meetings and caressed and kissed the
beautiful children. Our worthy secretary and myself being un-
sophisticated youths, did not follow that art in campaigning,
and were both defeated.

"Times have changed, however, for Air. Guinn and myself.
Last December we ran on the same ticket and were both elected
by handsome majorities, and we have never forsaken our prin-
ciples either. I have always had a fondness for Professor Guinn,
we have been good friends ever since our first political annihila-



"I would rather have the esteem and good will of my fellow
citizens than all the wealth of the Rockefellers. I am proud to
be a pioneer among you. I am proud of my fellow pioneers, to
have their love and esteem ; to have them as friends in adversity
and prosperity. I am proud of my numerous nephews and nieces
who stood in the front ranks to encourage and aid me. Their
memory shall never fade from the memory of their 'Uncle Billy.'
Long may you live and prosper. God bless you all."

A few five minute speeches followed Mr. Workman's address
and then while the orchestra played "Auld Lang Syne" the guests
bade their host and hostess good night.



From the earliest dawning of intelligence in man — through all
his intervening steps from barbarism to civilization, next to the
struggle for existence, no other subject has so engrossed his atten-
tion as the atmospheric phenomena we call weather. Nor is this
strange, so intimately is his physical welfare dependent upon cli-
matic conditions that it would be stranger still if it were not so.
The science of meteorology — if indeed it may be said that there
is such a science — is comparatively young. Its kindred science,
astronomy, dates its origin far back in the childhood of the race.

The star gazers on the plains of Asia evolved the fundamental
facts of the science of astronomy centuries before the Christian
era; but weather prophets, pagan and Christian, through all the
centuries down to almost to the present, have been content to at-
tribute atmospheric phenomena to supernatural causes — to the
agency of beneficent or malignant weather makers. The gentle
rain, the warm sunshine and the refreshing south wind, were the
gifts of a beneficent deity; while the thunder's roar, the light-
ning's flash and the hurricane's blast, were the manifestations of a
god's displeasure, or were attributed to the malign influence of

The Indian tribes of North America have their weather mak-
ers — medicine men, who by certain observances and incanta-
tions, through the intercession of fetiches and spirits of the air,
are believed to be able to change the wind and bring rain in time^
of drought. Years ago an old skipper who commanded a small
sailing vessel that traded along the northwest coast, gave me his
experience with an Indian weather maker. He had been de-
tained by contrary winds for several weeks in a little harbor on
the Oregon coast. The situation was becoming desperate, when
one day the medicine man of the Indian tribe which inhabited
that part of the coast, came to him and ofifered for the considera-
tion of a sack of flour to change the wind. A bargain was made —
the flour to be given when the wind changed. The medicine man
repaired to a high bluff overlooking the harbor and began his in-
cantations. For twenty-four hours he kept up a succession of
shrieks, howls and blood curdling war whoops, occasionally vary-


ing his lingual gymnastics by frantically waving his arms in the
direction he wished the wind to blow. Suddenly the wind
did change, and the captain, in his anxiety to catch the favoring
breeze, sailed away without giving the Indian his sack of flour.
Here was proof positive to the Indians' untutored minds that
their medicine man did change the wind, and proof as positive
of the perfidy of the white man.

In California, during Spanish and Mexican domination, in
seasons when the former and the latter rains came not; and the
dreaded dry year threatened death to the flocks and herds, the
people besought the intercession of some saint vv^ho was sup-
posed to have control of the celestial weather bureau. Alfred
Robinson, in his "Life in California," thus describes an "inter-
cession" that he saw in Santa Barbara during the great drought
of 1833:

"The holy father of the Mission was besought that the Virgin,
Nuestra Seiiora del Rosario might be carried in procession
through the town whilst prayers and supplications should be of-
fered for her intercession with the Almighty in behalf of their
distress. This was complied with as was customary on such oc-
casions, and conducted in the following manner : First came the
priest in his church robes, who with a fine clear voice led the
rosary. On each side of him were two pages and the music fol-
lowed ; then four females who supported on their shoulders a kind
of litter, on which rested a square box containing the figure of the
Holy Virgin. Lastly came a long train of men, women and chil-
dren, who united in the recital of the sacred mysteries. The fig-
ure was ornamented for the occasion with great finery, and every
one who had pleased had contributed some rich ornament of
jewelry or dress for its display. In this manner they proceeded
from the church through the town to the beach; chanting verses
between the Mysteries accompanied by violins and flutes. From
the beach they returned to the church in the same order, where the
prayers were concluded.

"After this performance all looked for rain with as mucn
faith as our countrymen look for the steamer from Liverpool
on the thirteenth or fourteenth day of her time of departure.
Should these expectations, however, not be realized, the proces-
sion would be repeated until they were."

The belief that human agency by intercession or other means
can change the laws of nature and produce storms still exists.
Not twenty miles away from Los Angeles at the present time in a
mountain canon on a platform that he has erected, a man with


certain chemicals claims that he can produce rain to order. It is
reported that he claims to have produced the recent storms with
his rainmaking ingredients. As proof positive he shows that the
rainfall was heaviest near his tower and gradually diminishes as
you descend into the valley. He seems to be unaware of the fact
that in some places in the San Bernardino mountains sivty,
seventy and a hundred miles away, the rainfall was more than
double the quantity that fell where his platform is located. If he
was alone in his belief that rain can be produced by artificial
means it might be attributed to his conceit, but the opinion that
human influence can effect changes in weather conditions is wide-

There is a report current that Rainmaker Hatfield is to receive
$1000 from some benevolently disposed citizen on condition that
he causes a rainfall of eighteen inches before the first of May,
1905. If the report is true it appears that we have persons who
are willing to back their faith in rainmakers with their coin.

At what point or place the pluvial downpour is to be meas-
ured for the award the report does not state. There has been
a greater difference this year in the rainfall at different points
than usual. At present writing (Febuary 17, 1905) Forecaster
Franklin reports that the rainfall ar the Weather Bureau station,
located near the center of this city, is 12.19 inches. In the eastern
portion of the city a local observer reports a small fraction less
than 17 inches. On Mount Wilson 25 inches are reported and
at some points in the San Bernardino mountains as high as 36
inches have fallen, while at Santa Monica the record gives only
nine inches. The difference in the rainfall between the extreme
eastern and that in the extreme western limits of the city is six
inches ; the eastern receiving that excess of favors from Jupiter
Pluvius or Hatfield. It might be well for Hatfield until his finan-
cial backers call time on him to distribute the moisture that he
coaxes from the clouds more evenly and thus avoid complica-
tions that may rob him of his award.

For centuries good Christian people throughout Europe and
America believed in the power of witches to produce devastat-
ing storms and many an innocent person has been burned at the
stake for complicity with Satan in producing destroying floods.
During the Middle Ages the belief in the diabolical origin of
storms was universal. The great churchman, Bede, had full
faith in it. St. Thomas Aquinas gave it his sanction. "It is," he
says, "a dogma of faith that the demons can produce winds,
storms and rain of fire from heaven." Luther declared that he


had himself calmed more than twenty storms caused by Satan.
If Hatfield's rain machine should sHp a cog or get beyond his
control and bring upon us a devastating flood he is in no danger
of being burned for a witch. But the belief in the diabolical
origin of storms still exists. It is only a few years since that
an evangelist holding forth in this city told how he by prayci
turned aside a storm raised by Satan that threatened to destroy
his tent where he was preaching.

It is exceedingly fortunate for us that the laws of nature
can not be amended, suspended or set aside at the caprice of the
individual. Contemplate even from a local standpoint, the power
for evil that a man would have who could produce rain at will.
Suppose out of a spirit of pique or revenge because he did
not get a promised reward for his services he should turn loose
his rainmaking apparatus in midsummer and let it run until it
flooded our valleys and made tropical swamps of our fields —
producing malaria, miasma, mosquitoes and other afflictions of
the tropics — ruining our climate and drowning out our tour;st
crop ; how earnestly we would pray for a restoration of Nature's
laws and even yearn for occasional dry years. Our recent storm
extended from Alaska to Mexico and from the Pacific Coast to
the Rocky Mountains. A rainmaker who at will, can cause
atmospheric changes that affect half a continent comes danger-
ously near being omnipotent.

Our rainstorms are originated by electrical disturbances in
the North Pacific ocean. They enter the land at some point be-
tween Southern Alaska and Northern California. Occasionally
one drifts down the ocean with the current and strikes the land
south of Point Concepcion. The most of the storms that reach us
come down the coast from the northwest and arrive here from
36 to 24 hours from the time they are first reported in the north.
There is a paradox about our rainstorms that I do not recollect
to have seen explained. Our storms travel down the coast
from the northwest, but it is always a southeast wind that brings

It is not the rain that travels down the coast, but a wind cur-
rent. The northwest wind is an upper cold current, the southeast
wind a lower warm current of air. The meeting of the winds
produces electrical disturbances that act as condensers of the
moisture that is always present in the atmosphere. This is my
explanation of the seeming paradox of a southeast rainstorm
when according to all appearances we ought to have a northwest
one. You can take it for what it is worth.


There is a very prevalent belief that great battles and heavy
discharges of artillery are followed by rain-storms.

I recently read what purported to be a scientific article on the
causing of rainfall by mechanical disturbance of the atmosphere.
The author delved into history to prove his theory. He showed
that all the great battles of the civil war as well as of other
wars were followed by rain-storms. It happened to be my fortune
or my fate to take part in some of the great battles of the civil
war which this author cites to prove his theory. As I was there
and he was not I think I am the better authority. The battle of
Antietam was one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Between
sunrise and sunset there was an incessant roar of artillery, but no
rain followed. At the second battle of Bull Run for two days
there was a continuous roar of musketry and artillery, yet no
rain followed except a little thunder storm of a few moments
duration which occurred about midnight after the battle when
our army was on the retreat. With the first crack of thunder
some of the teamsters of our baggage train which was ten mules
long cut loose their saddle mules, abandoned their wagons and
made a mad ride for Washington. They mistook the crack of
thunder for the boom of artillery and supposing the train at-
tacked started ofif on a wild rush to carry the news to the Secre-
tary of War or somebody else at the capital. Had they known
of this scientist's theory that r?.'m ahvays follows a battle they
would have been listening for thunder and would not have
made the mistake they did. It did rain the 4th and 5th of July,
after the battle of Gettysburg in 1863, and so it did the 4th and
5th of July, 1904, and yet there was no fighting within ten thou-
sand miles of Gettysburg last year. At the siege of Petersburg,
in the fall of 1864. there was a constant succession of artillery
duels with guns of the heaviest calibre. According to the the-
ory there should have been continuous rains. On the contrary it
was rather a dry season for that country.

How will the theory of rain after a battle apply to the war
between Russia and Japan. I cannot say, as weather reports from
the seat of war are scarce. I have no doubt some theorist will
discover that our recent rain-storms are due to the heavy can-
nonading at the siege of Port Arthur, the battle of Mukden, or
the sortie on Meteor Hill. The concussions of the atmosphere
caused by the discharge of heavy artillery disturbed the meteoro-
logical conditions of the Kuro Siwo or Japan current and sent the
rain currents drifting down the northwest coast of America.

There is no more popular topic of conversation than the


weather. If you doubt this listen to the opening of a conversa-
tion between persons when they meet. And yet we know less
about the weather than almost any other subject you can name
What was the cause of the climatic changes that sent the ice-
bergs during the great ice age drifting over nearly all the land of
North America? What changed the tropical regions that once
surrounded the North pole into a country of eternal ice and snow ?
Or coming near home, what dried up the arm of the sea that once
covered what is now the Colorado desert? What asmospheric
cataclysm depopulated and made almost a desert of the once fer-
tile and densely inhabited plains of Arizona? Why does it not
rain in California during the summer months?



Mathew Teed, the youngest of seven brothers and sisters,
was born in Devonshire, England, April 17, 1828. After com-
pleting a course of study in the local schools he served five year's
apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade. Soon after reaching his
majority he emigrated to the United States. Landing at Nev;
York he found employment at his trade. From New York he
went to Adair, Michigan, where he remained four years. Hav-
ing learned much about the gold excitement on the Pacific
Slope, Mr. Teel decided to seek his fortune there. He came to
California via the Nicaragua route, landing at San Francisco.
From there he proceeded to Stockton. After a short stop in
that city he proceeded to Mariposa, where he tried placer min-
ing. He was not successful as a gold miner. Abandoning the
gold fields he returned to Stockton, where he found employment
at his trade. He remained there until 1858. He then decided
to quit California. He bought a ticket for New York. Three
hours out from the Golden Gate the shaft of the ship was dis-
abled and the passengers were landed.

Mr. Teed and eight other men fitted up a pack-train at San
Jose and started overland through Southern California, Ari-
zona and New Mexico. They suffered many hardships on ac-
count of the scarcity of water and feed on their trip. After
four months of weary plodding over desert sands and arid
regions, six men and seven mules arrived at Las Vegas more
dead than alive. Two of the men and twenty of the mules had
perished on the journey.

Mr. Teed remained at Las Vegas ten weeks to recuperate,
and then pushed on to Denver. Arriving there he found a
camp comprising about twenty-five miners. He claims to have
built the first log cabin on the site of Denver. He remained
there until 1862, engaged in mining and contracting. Rumorb
of gold discoveries in Montana reaching him he joined in a rush
for the Montana gold mines. The journey was hard and dan-
gerous. They were compelled to abandon their teams and


over three hundred miles of the journey were made on foot.

Arriving at Elk City, Montana, they found that there was
neither gold nor work for them. Mr. Teed set out for Walla
Walla. He went to Stockton, where he obtained efployment at
his trade. He remained there until 1863, when he came to Los
Angeles county. In 1865 with six companions he made a trip
across Death Valley into Nevada. He went as far as Paranighat,
Nevada, where the gold excitement was running high at that time.
Not striking it rich he returned to Los Angeles, where he en-
gaged in building and contracting. Many of the older busi-
ness blocks are monuments of his skill.

In 1868 Mr. Teed married Miss Tonner of Iowa, who died in
188 1. Later he was united in marriage with Mrs. Helen Wyatt,

Online LibraryHistorical Society of Southern CaliforniaAnnual publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and of the Pioneers of Los Angeles County (Volume yr.1902-1904) → online text (page 26 of 29)