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ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY



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SENEALOGV

[979.4
3 1 833 01 744 5708 ^ 2 4E



1905



Organized November i, 1883 Incorporated February 12, 1891

PART III. VOL. VI.



ANNUAL PUBLICATION



OF THE



Historical Society



OF



I Southern California

Published by the Society
\9o$



LOS ANGELES, CAL.

Geo. Rice & Sons

1906



Organise! November i, 1883 Incorporated February 12, 1891

PART III. VOL. VI.



ANNUAL PUBLICATION



OF THE



Historical Society



OF



Southern California

Published by the Society
i9o^



LOS ANGELES, CAL.

Geo. Rice & Sons

1 9 O fi



CONTENTS



Officers of the Historical Society 1905-1906

Los Angeles Fifty Years Ago H. D. Barrows .

How New Zealand Got Its Honey Bees. .Mary M. Bowman.
Pioneer Courts and Lawyers of Los Angeles . . W. R. Bacon .

How California Escaped State Division J. M. Guinn.

Two Pioneer Physicians of Los Angeles H. D. Barrows.

J. Lancaster Brent H. D. Barrows .

Extracts From the Los Angeles Archives H. J. Lelande.

The Old Highways of Los Angeles J. M. Guinn.



202
203
208
211
223
233
238
242
253



Officers of the Historical Society



1905

OFFICERS

Walter R. Bacon President

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson First Vice-President

Hon. Henry E. Carter Second Vice-President

Edwin Baxter Treasurer

J. M. Guinn Secretary and Curator

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Walter R. Bacon A. C Vroman

Hon. Henry E. Carter H. D. Barrows

J. M. Guinn Edwin Baxter

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson



1906

OFFICERS

Walter R. Bacon President

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson First Vice-President

Hon. Henry E. Carter Second Vice-President

Edwin Baxter Treasurer

J. M. Guinn Sesretary and Curator

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Walter R. Bacon Dr. J. D. Moody

Hon. Henry E. Carter H. D. Barrows

J. M. Guinn Edwin Baxter

Mrs. M. Burton Williamson



Historical Society

OF

Southern California

LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
1905



LOS ANGELES FIFTY YEARS AGO

Read before Historical Society, April 16, 1905

By H. D. Barrows

The first time that I ever heard that there was such a place
as Los Angeles, was in the summer of 1854, at Benicia, where, in
buying some fruit, which at that time, was both of indifferent
quality and scarce, as well as dear, a friend told me that Los
Angeles grapes would, later, be in the market and that they
would be far superior to any other kind of fruit then to be
had.

I arrived in Los Angeles December 12, 1854, and it has been
my home ever since. I came from San Francisco on the steamer
"Goliah," in company with the late William Wolf skill, the
Pioneer, and his nephew John Wolfskill, the latter still a resident
of this county. The fare on the steamer at that time was forty
dollars. Arriving at the Port of San Pedro, we came ashore
on a lighter, and from thence by stage to Los Angeles, where we
arrived about noon.

There are many striking contrasts between both the city and
county of that day, and the Los Angeles of today. Topograph-
ically, this then, was an imperial county, including, as it did,
all of San Bernardino and Orange counties, and the greater
part of the present county of Riverside. The immense valley



204 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

or s eries of valleys, lying between the great, grisly Sierra Madre
or series of valleys, lying between the great grizzly Sierra Madre
mountains and the ocean, and extending 80 or 90 miles fror.
Simi Pass, to Mount San Bernardino, at that period was one vast,
almost treeless region, over which roamed unnumbered cattle,
horses and sheep. The planting since of the various species
of the Australian Eucalypti, and of continuous orange, walnut
and other orchards, throughout thesie valleys, has radically
changed their appearance. To the new-comer of today, the
landscape of these prairie-valleys of Southern California presents
the appearance of a wooded country, similar to other sections of
the United States.

The city of Los Angeles, when I first saw It. half a century
ago, was a one-stoiy, adobe town, of less than five thousand
inhabitants, a large portion of whom were of Spanish descent,
and among whom, of course Spanish customs and the us»e of the
Spanish language prevailed. There were, I think, not to exceed
three or four two-story buildings in tbe town.

Behold, what a magical change half a century has wrought [
The population of the former Spanish Pueblo or Ciudad of 5,000
or less, has risen to nearly 200.000 souls. The quaint, flat-roofed
white-washed, one-story houses, clustering around or near the
Plaza, have given way to splendid, fire-proof, brick and steel
blocks, of two, three, five and ten stories; and to p'icturesque,
luxurious homes 'extending throughout and beyond the four
square leagues of territory granted to the ancient Pueblo, by the
King of Spain, under whose authority its foundations were
laid by that wise Spanish Governor, Don Felipe de Neve, nearly
a century and a quarter ago.

When I first came here, Los Angeles had but one Roman
Catholic church edifice, that fronting the plaza ; and not one
Protestant or other church building. How many places of wor-
ship there are now, of the numerous religious sects of the
city and county, I do not know. There were then but two public
school houses in the city : one, on the site of the present
Bryson Block, on Spring street; the other, was located on the
east side of Bath street, north of the Plaza. Today there are,
I know not how many, large, commodious school buildings scat-
tered throughout the widely extended sections of the munici-
pality, and new ones are constantly being built, to meet the
pressing necessities of our rapidly increasing population. The
number of pupils attending the two schools in '54, probably
did not exceed 200. The number of children between the ages



LOS ANGELES FIFTY YEARS AGO 205

of 5 and 17 years, who attended the public schools during the
school year 1903-1904, as reported by Superintendent Foshay,
was 29,072 ; and of those who attended private schools 2,322 ; —
making the total number of both public and private school
pupils, 31,394.

By the census of April, 1904, there were 35,411 children
between the ages of 5 and 15; and 9,812 under five years; or
altogether, 45,223 children of 17 years and under in Los Angeles
one year ago. I think it a fair statement to say that at the
present time there must be at least 50,000 children ; and that
the total population of the city must be not far from 200,000.

We had no High, Polytechnic, or Normal schools in those
early years. Los Angeles was so isolated from all the rest
of the world, and so difficult of access, that first-class teachers
were not easily obtained ; and when one was secured he or
she was retained if possible by any reasonable increase of salary.
In the early '50s, I think we had but one District (Superior)
court, presided over by Judge Benjamin Hayes,, and later by
Judge Publo de la Guerra, of Santa Barbara, who in turn
was succeeded by Judge Ygnacio Sepulveda, who is now con-
nected with the United States Embassy at the City of Mexico.,
The former jurisdiction of this district included besides Los
Angeles, the counties of San Diego and Santa Barbara. We
had also a County Court, and court of Sessions which was also
a Probate Court, over which Judge Wm. G. Dryden presided for
many years.

We had besides a U. S. District Court in the fifties, of which
I. S. K. Ogier was the presiding Judge. This Southern dis-
trict included all the southern part of the State extending to a
line just north of the city of Santa Cruz. Sessions of this
court were held alternately at Monterey and Los Angeles. In
those early days of the fifties, we had no horse or steam rail-
roads or telegraphs. Electric roads, telephones, bicycles, auto-
mobiles and the like, so necessary to our recent modern life,
were totally unknown anywhere.

We had no paved streets or sidewalks. We had no elevators,
because, first, we had no use for them as our houses were of
but one story; and second, because elevators were unknown.
Type-writing machines and Linotype printing machines^ and.
operators of the same, were unknown and unthought of. Ws
had no gas, and electric-lighting had not been invented. We had,
I think, but one book store, and, although modest attempt to
establish a public library was made, it soon petered out. I know



206 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

I contributed a few books to it, but I remember that, having made
a trip to the Atlantic States in '57, when I came back, I learned
that the library had been abolished and that the books, including
those I had donated, had been sold.

We had neither mercantile nor savings banks during the
entire decade of the '50s, and but few money safes. All mer-
chandise not produced here, was brought from San Francisco
by steamer or sail-vessels, lightered at San Pedro, and brought up
to town by big mule trains of "prairie schooners." Until vine-
yards and orchards were planted and came to bearing in the
upper country, after the change of Government, the people
of that part of the State, including the population of the mining
regions, depended on the vineyards of Los Angeles for their
fruit. I know that for several years large shipments of mission
grapes, the only kind grown bere then, were made by each
steamer during the grape season. The "vignerones" hero, real-
ized all the way from one to two bits, (reales) a pound for
their grapes. Other fruits besides the "mission grape" (which
was originally brought from Spain, and which was one of the
best raised there,) were scarce here also, as well as in the
north, and generally of inferior quality, until improved varieties
were introduced from the eastern states. Among the enterpris-
ing pioneers who first brought the best standard fruits and
vegetables to Los Angeles, were Dr. Wra. B. Osborne, Los
Angeles' first Postmaster, H. C. Cardwell, O. W. Childs, etc.

The Hollisters of Santa Barbara brought a flock of American
improved sheep all the way from Ohio to Los Angeles, arriving
here in the early part of 1854. Los Angeles was long known as
one of the "Cow counties," as stock raising was extensively car-
ried on throughout Southern California for some years under
American rule, as it had been in mission times; and it was very
profitable even in spite of occasional severe drouths, as these coun-
ties were natural grass countries: burr-clover, alfileria and
wild oats being especially valuable indigenous grasses. Cattle
did not need to be fed and housed in winter in our mild climate, as
they are required to be fed in colder countries Besides the best
known breeds of horse, sheep and neat cattle stock were gradually
introduced. But eventually, as the admirable adaptation of
Southern California for the perfection in growth of citrus fruits
was demonstrated, and the splendid seedless navel orange was dis-
covered the immense cattle ranges were gradually converted into
orange and lemon orchards. The English Walnut crop has been
found to be profitable here also, and thus, as we now see, our orch-



LOS ANGELES FIFTY YEARS AGO 207

ards have taken the place of what were formerly 'extensive cattle
ranges.

In '55, the "Star," established in '51 by McElroy and Lewis,
and the "Southern California," published by Wheeler and Butts,
both weekly, were the only local newspapers Los Angeles could
boast of. We heard from the outside world by steamer from San
Francisco, twice a month.

When Johnny Temple built a theatre in '58, on the site of
the present Bullard Block, our list of entertainments was some-
what enlarged. Instead of high-toned "Horse Shows" like that
just held in Pasadena, we sometimes had in those primitive times,
Bear and Bull fights, cock fights and frequent horse, mule and
donkey races, and occasionally a Spanish circus, or "maroma,"
and at Christmas times we were regaled with the quaint, beauti-
ful characteristically-Spanish "Pastorela," which was very
effectively and charmingly presented by a thoroughly trained
company under the direction of Don Antonio Coronel. So that
despite our isolation, we had many and varied amusements.

Of the adult people of Los AngeLes who were living here when
I came here, and with whon I gradually became more or less ac-
quainted very very fiew are now alive, although many of their
children have grown up, and have become heads of families.

I cannot suppress a feeling of sadness as I necall the past and
review the changes that have occurred, in persons, and scenes that
now, as I look back seem but dreams, but which then were indeed
so real. And the thought arises, if such great changes have oc-
curred during the past fifty years, who can till or even imagine
what Los Angeles will be fifty years hence, or what is In store for
our children and grandchildren? Of the present citizens of
Los Angeles except the younger portion, very few indeed will then
be alive. And although we may strain our eyes to peer into the
future,

"And strive to see what things shall be;" —

* * # # *

"Events and deeds for us exist,
As figures moving in a mist;
And what approaches — bliss or woe —
We cannot tell, we may not know —
Not yet, not yet!" —



HOW NEW ZEALAND GOT ITS HONEY BEES.
By Mary M. Bowman.

Most people whose faces time has turned toward the setting
sun would feel gratified could they be assured that when the
light of earth fades from the vision some one had been happier
because they had lived; that some little spot of earth had been
made bettor and brighter that they had labored in it. To few
men has it been given to create a great industry to add to the
wealth of a country and the welfare of its inhabitants by one
unselfish, unpretentious service.

This opportunity came to my friend, Mr. Noah Levering, the
founder of this society and how well he improved it, is the
purpose of this paper to set forth. Mr. Lettering's interest and
enthusiasm in local history has been the inspiration of much
useful and permanent work being done, in the preservation of
landmarks and valuable records of the past, not only here but
much more extensively in other localities in which he has lived.
When he related the story of how New Zealand procured its
Ligurnian or honey bees, which transformed it from an annual
importer of red clover seed into an extensive exporter of that
important factor of the dairy products of the country, as though
it were an everyday affair, I was intensely interested. It was
history interwoven with the industrial progress of two continents
and worthy of record in the annals of this society, more per-
manent than the columns of ephemeral newspapers. At my
earnest solicitation Mr. Levering was induced to furnish the
notes from which this brief account is written, of his very suc-
cessful experiment in sending the little captains of industry
across the equator and eJight thousand miles over seas to a
foreign country.

For several years previous to 1880, when this shipment was
sent, numerous trials had been made by the best apiarists of
Europe and America in exporting the Ligurnian bee to the
island of New Zealand, but in every instance it had resulted in
failure ; when the hives reached their destination the occupants
were dea-d. The success of the project was considered so
essential to the welfare of the country, the Commissioner of
Colonial Industries urged the appropriation of $2500 to send a



HOW NEW ZEALAND GOT ITS HONEY BEES 209

man to Europe on this especial errand. But, while the matter
was under consideration private enterprise was at work striving
to bring about its accomplishment. S. C. Farr, secretary of the
Canterbury Acclimation socjiely,, had communicated with R.
J. Creighton of the San Francisco Post, the official representative
of New Zealand in that city. Mr. Creighton wrote to Mr. Lever-
ing, a pioneer bee keeper in Los Angeles county, then conducting
a department of apiaculture in the Los Angeles Herald, request-
ing his assistance, which was readily given.

Mr. Creighton ordered two colonies of bees sent to San Fran-
cisco early in July in time for the steamer Australia, which
was to sail for Aukland, under command of Captain Cargill.
All the details were left to Mr. Levering 's well known knowl-
edge and experience in bee culture. He had hives constructed
after his own plan, similar to those used in his apiary, except
that special provision was made for ventilation in crossing
the equator. An orifice was left in the side of the hive in front,
covered with wire cloth. A small V-shaped box was placed
over the opening on the outside with a sliding cover on top.
The box was filled with sponge to be moistened occasionally
with fresh water, which the bees could inhale through the wire
cloth and which also cooled the atmosphere of their prison. A
similar opening was left in the top of the hive, covered wth
wire and provided with a sliding lid for protection against
possible cold. Several three-quarter inch augur holes in the floor
permitted a circulation of air. The alighting board and the
top board, each extended out about four inches and the space
between being securely covered with wire cloth formed an air
chamber through which the honey-makers could circulate at
will, or at the promptings of instinct, as the case may be. A
sufficient amount of honey in old comb well sealed over, was
provided for food, a frame or two of brood comb, empty frames
and frames of empty comb, kept in place by wooden slats, filled
the remaining space and supplied the working implements for
the ever-busy and industrious inmates. About one-half the
colony with a queen was put in each hive and the tops firmly
screwed down; the object of dividing the colony' being to
obviate the heat that the whole would engender in crossing
the equator, which would have melted the comb and caused the
bees to perish in their own sweetness. In Mr. Levering 's opinion
the failures of other shippers were due to their putting an entire
colony in a hive, which, with the honey and the comb necessary,
could not withstand the heat of the equator; an important
factor in the success of the undertaking which had been over-



210 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHORN CALIFORNIA

looked. After the bees were placed aboard the steamer a
gentleman considered an authority on bee culture, assured
Captain Cargill that they could not survive the voyage, owing
to the faulty construction of the hives.

In October following, the Herald of Aukland announced the
safe arrival of the Los Angeles county bees; a public demon-
stration of rejoicing was held and more orders! for bees followed.
In the courste of a few months Mr. Levering shipped a number of
colonies without the loss of a single bee, and the increase soon
supplied New Zealand. Mr. Levering, having been so successful
with Italian bees, was asked to send bumble bees, but after a
long and fruitless search for them in Southern California, he was
forced to abandon the project, as they are not natives of this
part of the world.

Red clover had previously been raised in New Zealand, but
produced no seed, there being no insect there to pollenlze the
blossom, consequently seed for each crop had to be imported
from other countries. In 1889 the newspapers of Aukland stated
that the island was then exporting clover seed of home raising.
New Zealand is unquestionably deeply indebted to California and
to Ma*. Levering for the growth of its resources in apiaculture
and a very valuable and appetizing food product, but aside from
newspaper glory, the mere price of the colonies of bees and the
satisfaction of a deed well done there has been no substantial
acknowledgement of the debt.



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS
ANGELES

By Walter R. Bacon

The first Constitution of California provided a judicial system
that was installed under the acts of the legislature of 1850, and
was continued practically unchanged until the adoption and going
into force of the Constitution of 1879. Under this system transi-
tion was made from the Spanish to the American method of pro-
cedure in law courts. Under the first Constitution the judiciary
comprised : the Court of Sessions, the County Court, the District
Court and the Supreme Court.

The Legislature on April 11, 1850, adopted Chapter 86 of the
laws of that year which established the Court of Sessions. The
court as constituted consisted of three judges. The County
Judge being ex-officlo, one member, the other two being justices
of the peace from the body of the County, the law providing
that after the first election all the justices of the peace of the coun-
ty should meet in the court room of the County Court and select
two of their number to serve as members of the County Court
for a given term, at the end of which two successors should be
elected in the same manner.

This court had jurisdiction of all cases of assault, assault and
battery, breaches of the peace, affrays, petit larceny, and all
misdemeanors punishable by fine of no more than $500, or
imprisonment of not more than three months, or both.

Its ministerial and executive functions embraced the entire
care of all County property. It ordered expenditure of money for
county purposes, fixed the roads, audited the expenses of all de-
partments of the County Government, ordered them paid and lev-
ied taxes. Thus in additon to its manifold and important duties
as a court it performed all the duties now devolving on the Super-
visors.

COUNTY COURT

On the 14th day of April, 1850, the legislature passed an act
to put into effect the provision in the Constitution for a County
Court. Each County elected a County Judge, who was president



212 HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

at County Court. The court had exclusive probate jurisdiction,
heard appeals from Justices' Courts and had original jurisdiction
in the issuance of writs of extraordinary remedies, such as habeas
corpus, mandamus, injunction and attachments.

DISTRICT COURTS

The District Courts had jurisdiction much similar to our
Superior Courts. The notable difference being that all probate
matters were then cognizable by the County Court, whilst now
the Superior Court has this jurisdiction. One fruitful source of
pride for Anglo Saxons is the apparent excellence of its judicial
system under the old common law, in which reason and justice are
given large play. The English point with pride to the fact that
the Dreyfus incident could never have occurred in England, which
is doubtless true, but we Americans believe that we have taken
all that is good of the common law and by appropriate machinery
adapted Its rules and principles to our peculiar political exigencies
and social conditions, in such a manner that no where in the world
is life or liberty under the law less subject to caprice in judges, or
prejudice of juries than here. So that from the beginning of
a legal assault on either of these, the defendant if guilty, knows
that the law will but proceed against him in an orderly manner
and without the spirit of vengance, and if innocent, that although
circumstances may point to his guilt he will have the presumption
of innocence in h'is favor under the law, and all the machinery of
the law to procure the evidence of the innocence of apparently
guilty circumstances, and then if convicted an appeal to a court
of ample power, whose judges are good men and nearly always
good lawyers, who have but recently submitted their qualifi-
cations to the people at an election, are close enough to the
soil to have retained what sacred writ terms "the bowels of com-
passion," and an intimate sympathy with the short-comings and
needs of the people, yet, by our system are enough removed from
local influences not to be swayed by popular prejudices ;
then in case of ultimate failure in the courts, intelligent
executive clemency may be appealed to, so that we are quite
certain that the Graves incident in England could never have
occurred In America.

There is inherent respect for law and its exponents in all
civilized peoples. And the ease of transition from life under
one system of jurisprudence to a system radical'y different with
as little friction as attended the change from the regime of crude



PIONEER COURTS AND LAWYERS OF LOS ANGELES 213

Spanish law to the American system in California is a pleasant
commentary upon the law-abiding character of Californians and
of the beneficence of American laws. The leaders of the old
naturally became leaders under the new.

FIRST COUNTY JUDGE

Agustin Olvera was elected the first county Judge of this
county. He seems to have been a fair lawyer and was a polished


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