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Title: Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913 - Containing the Reminiscences of Harris Newmark
Author: Newmark, Harris
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's Note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  The book uses both Phillippi and Phillipi.

  An upside-down T symbol is represented as [Symbol: upside-down T].

  [Illustration: Harris Newmark]





     Every generation enjoys the use of a vast hoard bequeathed
     to it by antiquity, and transmits that hoard, augmented by
     fresh acquisitions, to future ages. In these pursuits, therefore,
     the first speculators lie under great disadvantages, and, even
     when they fail, are entitled to praise.--MACAULAY.


     The Knickerbocker Press

     COPYRIGHT, 1916
     M. H. AND M. R. NEWMARK

     MY WIFE

In Memoriam

At the hour of high twelve on April the fourth, 1916, the sun shone
into a room where lay the temporal abode, for eighty-one years and
more, of the spirit of Harris Newmark. On his face still lingered that
look of peace which betokens a life worthily used and gently

Many were the duties allotted him in his pilgrimage; splendidly did he
accomplish them! Providence permitted him the completion of his final
task--a labor of love--but denied him the privilege of seeing it given
to the community of his adoption.

To him and to her, by whose side he sleeps, may it be both monument
and epitaph.

_Thy will be done!_

     M. H. N.
     M. R. N.


Several times during his latter years my friend, Charles Dwight
Willard, urged me to write out my recollections of the five or six
decades I had already passed in Los Angeles, expressing his regret
that many pioneers had carried from this world so much that might have
been of interest to both the Angeleño of the present and the future
historian of Southern California; but as I had always led an active
life of business or travel, and had neither fitted myself for any sort
of literary undertaking nor attempted one, I gave scant attention to
the proposal. Mr. Willard's persistency, however, together with the
prospect of coöperation offered me by my sons, finally overcame my
reluctance and I determined to commence the work.

Accordingly in June, 1913, at my Santa Monica home, I began to devote
a few hours each day to a more or less fragmentary enumeration of the
incidents of my boyhood; of my voyage over the great wastes of sea and
land between my ancestral and adopted homes; of the pueblo and its
surroundings that I found on this Western shore; of its people and
their customs; and, finally, of the men and women who, from then until
now, have contributed to the greatness of the Southland, and of the
things they have done or said to entitle their names to be recorded.
This task I finished in the early fall. During its progress I entered
more and more into the distant Past, until Memory conjured before me
many long-forgotten faces and happenings. In the end, I found that I
had jotted down a mass of notes much greater than I had expected.

Thereupon the Editors began their duties, which were to arrange the
materials at hand, to supply names and dates that had escaped me, and
to interview many who had been principals in events and, accordingly,
were presumed to know the details; and much progress was made, to the
enlarging and enrichment of the book. But it was not long before they
found that the work involved an amount of investigation which their
limited time would not permit; and that if carried out on even the
modest plan originally contemplated, some additional assistance would
be required.

Fortunately, just then they met Perry Worden, a post-graduate of
Columbia and a Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Halle,
Germany; a scholar and an author of attainments. His aid, as
investigator and adviser, has been indispensable to the completion of
the work in its present form. Dr. Worden spent many months searching
the newspapers, magazines and books--some of whose titles find special
mention in the text--which deal with Southern California and its past;
and he also interviewed many pioneers, to each of whom I owe
acknowledgment for ready and friendly coöperation. In short, no pains
was spared to confirm and amplify all the facts and narratives.

Whether to arrange the matter chronologically or not, was a problem
impossible of solution to the complete satisfaction of the Editors;
this, as well as other methods, having its advantages and
disadvantages. After mature consideration, the chronological plan was
adopted, and the events of each year have been recorded more or less
in the order of their happening. Whatever confusion, if any, may arise
through this treatment of local history as a chronicle for ready
reference will be easily overcome, it is believed, through the dating
of the chapters and the provision of a comprehensive index; while the
brief chapter-heading, generally a reference to some marked occurrence
in that period, will further assist the reader to get his bearings.
Preference has been given to the first thirty years of my residence in
Los Angeles, both on account of my affectionate remembrance of that
time and because of the peculiarity of memory in advanced life which
enables us to recall remote events when more recent ones are
forgotten; and inasmuch as so little has been handed down from the
days of the adobe, this partiality will probably find favor.

In collecting this mass of data, many discrepancies were met with,
calling for the acceptance or rejection of much long current here as
fact; and in all such cases I selected the version most closely
corresponding with my own recollection, or that seemed to me, in the
light of other facts, to be correct. For this reason, no less than
because in my narrative of hitherto unrecorded events and
personalities it would be miraculous if errors have not found their
way into the story, I shall be grateful if those who discover
inaccuracies will report them to me. In these sixty years, also, I
have met many men and women worthy of recollection, and it is certain
that there are some whose names I have not mentioned; if so, I wish to
disclaim any intentional neglect. Indeed, precisely as I have
introduced the names of a number for whom I have had no personal
liking, but whose services to the community I remember with respect,
so there are doubtless others whose activities, past or present, it
would afford me keen pleasure to note, but whom unhappily I have

With this brief introduction, I give the manuscript to the printer,
not with the ambitious hope of enriching literature in any respect,
but not without confidence that I have provided some new material for
the local historian--perhaps of the future--and that there may be a
goodly number of people sufficiently interested to read and enjoy the
story, yet indulgent enough to overlook the many faults in its

     H. N.

     _December 31, 1915_.


The Historian no longer writes History by warming over the pancakes of
his predecessors. He must surely know what they have done, and
how--and whereby they succeeded and wherein they failed. But his own
labor is to find the sidelights they did not have. Macaulay saves him
from doing again all the research that Macaulay had to do; but if he
could find a twin Boswell or a second Pepys he would rather have
either than a dozen new Macaulays. Since history is becoming really a
Science, and is no more a closet exploration of half-digested
arm-chair books, we are beginning to learn the overwhelming value of
the contemporary witness. Even a justice's court will not admit
Hearsay Evidence; and Science has been shamed into adopting the same
sane rule. Nowadays it demands the eye-witness. We look less for the
"Authorities" now, and more for the Documents. There are too many
histories already, such as they are--self-satisfied and oracular, but
not one conclusive. Every history is put out of date, almost daily, by
the discovery of some scrap of paper or some clay tablet from under
the ashes of Babylon.

Mere Humans no longer read History--except in school where they have
to, or in study clubs where it is also Required. But a plain personal
narrative is interesting now as it has been for five thousand years.
The world's greatest book is of course compulsory; but what is the
_interesting_ part of it? Why, the stories--Adam and Eve; Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob; Saul and David and Samson and Delilah; Solomon, Job,
and Jesus the Christ! And if anyone thinks Moses worked-in a little
too much of the Family Tree--he doesn't know what biblical archæology
is doing. For it is thanks to these same "petty" details that modern
Science, in its excavations and decipherings, has verified the Bible
and resolved many of its riddles!

Greece had one Herodotus. America had _four_, antedating the year
1600. All these truly great historians built from all the "sources"
they could find. But none of them quite give us the homely, vital
picture of life and feeling that one untaught and untamed soldier,
Bernal Diaz, wrote for us three hundred years ago when he was past
ninety, and toothless--and angry "because the historians didn't get it
straight." The student of Spanish America has often to wish there had
been a Bernal Diaz for every decade and every province from 1492 to
1800. His unstudied gossip about the conquest of Mexico is less
balanced and less authoritative, but far more illuminative, than the
classics of his leader, Cortez--a university man, as well as a great

For more than a quarter of a century it was one of my duties to study
and review (for the _Nation_ and other critical journals) all sorts of
local chronicles all over Spanish and English America--particularly of
frontier times. In this work I have read searchingly many hundreds of
volumes; and have been brought into close contact with our greatest
students and editors of "History-Material," and with their standards.

I have read no other such book with so unflagging interest and content
as these memoirs of Harris Newmark. My personal acquaintance with
Southern California for more than thirty years may color my interest
in names and incidents; but I am appraising this book (whose proofs I
have been permitted to read thoroughly) from the standpoint of the
student of history anywhere. Parkman and Fiske and Coues and Hodge and
Thwaites would join me in the wish that every American community might
have so competent a memorandum of its life and customs and growth, for
its most formative half-century.

This is _not_ a history. It is two other much more necessary
things--for there is no such thing as a real History of Los Angeles,
and cannot be for years. These are the frank, naïve, conversational
memoirs of a man who for more than sixty years could say of Southern
California almost as truly as Æneas of his own time--"All of which I
saw, much of which I was." The keen observation, the dry humor, the
fireside intimacy of the talk, the equity and accuracy of memory and
judgment--all these make it a book which will be much more valued by
future generations of readers and students. We are rather too near to
it now.

But it is more than the "confessions" of one ripe and noble
experience. It is, beyond any reasonable comparison, the most
characteristic and accurate composite picture we have ever had of an
old, brave, human, free, and distinctive life that has changed
incredibly to the veneers of modern society. It is the very mirror of
who and what the people were that laid the real foundations for a
community which is now the wonder of the historian. The very details
which are "not Big enough" for the casual reader (mentally over-tuned
to newspaper headlines and moving pictures) are the vital and enduring
merits of this unpretentious volume. No one else has ever set down so
many of the very things that the final historian of Los Angeles will
search for, a hundred years after all our oratories and "literary
efforts" have been well forgotten. It is a chronicle indispensable for
every public library, every reference library, the shelf of every
individual concerned with the story of California.

It is the _Pepys's Diary_ of Los Angeles and its tributary domain.



The Editors wish to acknowledge the coöperation given, from time to
time, by many whose names, already mentioned in the text, are not
repeated here, and in particular to Drs. Leo Newmark and Charles F.
Lummis, and Joseph P. and Edwin J. Loeb, for having read the proofs.
They also wish to acknowledge Dr. Lummis's self-imposed task of
preparing the generous foreword with which this volume has been
favored. Gratitude is also due to various friends who have so kindly
permitted the use of photographs--not a few of which, never before
published, are rare and difficult to obtain. Just as in the case,
however, of those who deserve mention in these memoirs, but have been
overlooked, so it is feared that there are some who have supplied
information and yet have been forgotten. To all such, as well as to
several librarians and the following, thanks are hereby expressed:
Frederick Baker, Horace Baker, Mrs. J. A. Barrows, Prospero Barrows,
Mrs. R. C. Bartow, Miss Anna McConnell Beckley, Sigmund Beel, Samuel
Behrendt, Arthur S. Bent, Mrs. Dora Bilderback, C. V. Boquist, Mrs.
Mary Bowman, Allan Bromley, Professor Valentin Buehner, Dr. Rose
Bullard, J. O. Burns, Malcolm Campbell, Gabe Carroll, J. W. Carson,
Walter M. Castle, R. B. Chapman, J. H. Clancy, Herman Cohn, Miss
Gertrude Darlow, Ernest Dawson and Dawson's Bookshop, Louise Deen,
George E. Dimitry, Robert Dominguez, Durell Draper, Miss Marjorie
Driscoll, S. D. Dunann, Gottlieb Eckbahl, Richard Egan, Professor
Alfred Ewington, David P. Fleming, James G. Fowler, Miss Effie
Josephine Fussell, A. P. Gibson, J. Sherman Glasscock, Gilbert H.
Grosvenor, Edgar J. Hartung, Chauncey Hayes, George H. Higbee, Joseph
Hopper, Adelbert Hornung, Walter Hotz, F. A. Howe, Dr. Clarence
Edward Ide, Luther Ingersoll, C. W. Jones, Mrs. Eleanor Brodie Jones,
Reverend Henderson Judd, D. P. Kellogg, C. G. Keyes, Willis T.
Knowlton, Bradner Lee, Jr., H. J. Lelande, Isaac Levy, Miss Ella
Housefield Lowe, Mrs. Celeste Manning, Mrs. Morris Meyberg, Miss
Louisa Meyer, William Meying, Charles E. Mitchell, R. C. Neuendorffer,
S. B. Norton, B. H. Prentice, Burr Price, Edward H. Quimby, B. B.
Rich, Edward I. Robinson, W. J. Rouse, Paul P. Royere, Louis
Sainsevain, Ludwig Schiff, R. D. Sepúlveda, Calvin Luther Severy, Miss
Emily R. Smith, Miss Harriet Steele, George F. Strobridge, Father
Eugene Sugranes, Mrs. Carrie Switzer, Walter P. Temple, W. I. Turck,
Judge and Mrs. E. P. Unangst, William M. Van Dyke, August Wackerbarth,
Mrs. J. T. Ward, Mrs. Olive E. Weston, Professor A. C. Wheat and
Charles L. Wilde.



     IN MEMORIAM                                                v

     INTRODUCTION                                             vii

     FOREWORD                                                  xi

     PREFACE                                                   xv


           I.--CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH, 1834-1853                   1

          II.--WESTWARD, HO! 1853                               6

         III.--NEW YORK--NICARAGUA--THE GOLDEN GATE, 1853      14

          IV.--FIRST ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES, 1853           27

           V.--LAWYERS AND COURTS, 1853                        45

          VI.--MERCHANTS AND SHOPS, 1853                       60

         VII.--IN AND NEAR THE OLD PUEBLO, 1853                80

        VIII.--ROUND ABOUT THE PLAZA, 1853-1854                97

          IX.--FAMILIAR HOME-SCENES, 1854                     112

           X.--EARLY SOCIAL LIFE, 1854                        128

          XI.--THE RUSH FOR GOLD, 1855                        146

         XII.--THE GREAT HORSE RACE, 1855                     157

        XIII.--PRINCELY _RANCHO_ DOMAINS, 1855                166

         XIV.--ORCHARDS AND VINEYARDS, 1856                   189

          XV.--SHERIFF BARTON AND THE _BANDIDOS_, 1857        204

         XVI.--MARRIAGE--THE BUTTERFIELD STAGES, 1858         220

        XVII.--ADMISSION TO CITIZENSHIP, 1859                 240


         XIX.--STEAM-WAGON--ODD CHARACTERS, 1860              274

          XX.--THE RUMBLINGS OF WAR, 1861                     289

         XXI.--HANCOCK--LADY FRANKLIN--THE DELUGE, 1861       299

               1862-1863                                      310

       XXIII.--ASSASSINATION OF LINCOLN, 1864-1865            328

              1865-1866                                       342

         XXV.--REMOVAL TO NEW YORK, AND RETURN, 1867-1868     359

        XXVI.--THE CERRO GORDO MINES, 1869                    379

       XXVII.--COMING OF THE IRON HORSE, 1869                 393

      XXVIII.--THE LAST OF THE VIGILANTES, 1870               408

        XXIX.--THE CHINESE MASSACRE, 1871                     421

         XXX.--THE WOOL CRAZE, 1872-1873                      437

        XXXI.--THE END OF VASQUEZ, 1874                       452

       XXXII.--THE SANTA ANITA _RANCHO_, 1875                 472


       XXXIV.--THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC, 1876                     496

        XXXV.--THE REVIVAL OF THE SOUTHLAND, 1877-1880        509

               1881-1884                                      525

      XXXVII.--REPETTO AND THE LAWYERS, 1885-1887             546

     XXXVIII.--THE GREAT BOOM, 1887                           564

       XXXIX.--PROPOSED STATE DIVISION, 1888-1891             588

          XL.--THE FIRST _FIESTAS_, 1892-1897                 602

               1898-1905                                      616

        XLII.--THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE, 1906-1910        633

       XLIII.--RETROSPECTION, 1910-1913                       641

               INDEX                                          653



         Engraved from a photograph                _Frontispiece_

     FACSIMILE OF A PART OF THE MS                              2


     PHILIPP NEUMARK                                           10
         From a Daguerreotype

     ESTHER NEUMARK                                            10
         From a Daguerreotype

     J. P. NEWMARK                                             10
         From a Daguerreotype

     MR. AND MRS. JOSEPH NEWMARK                               10

     LOS ANGELES IN THE EARLY FIFTIES                          11
         From a drawing of the Pacific Railway Expedition

     BELLA UNION AS IT APPEARED IN 1858                        26
         From a lithograph

     JOHN GOLLER'S BLACKSMITH SHOP                             27
         From a lithograph of 1858

     HENRY MELLUS                                              50
         From a Daguerreotype

     FRANCIS MELLUS                                            50
         From a Daguerreotype

     JOHN G. DOWNEY                                            50

     CHARLES L. DUCOMMUN                                       50

     THE PLAZA CHURCH                                          51
         From a photograph, probably taken in the middle

     PIO PICO                                                  68
         From an oil portrait

     JUAN BANDINI                                              68

     ABEL STEARNS                                              68

     ISAAC WILLIAMS                                            68

     STORE OF FELIPE RHEIM                                     69

     JOHN JONES                                               102

     CAPTAIN F. MORTON                                        102

     CAPTAIN AND MRS. J. S. GARCIA                            102

     CAPTAIN SALISBURY HALEY                                  102

     _El Palacio_, HOME OF ABEL AND ARCADIA STEARNS           103
         From a photograph of the seventies

     THE LUGO RANCH-HOUSE, IN THE NINETIES                    103

     J. P. NEWMARK                                            112
         From a vignette of the sixties

     JACOB RICH                                               112

     O. W. CHILDS                                             112

     JOHN O. WHEELER                                          112

     BENJAMIN D. WILSON                                       113

     GEORGE HANSEN                                            113

     DR. OBED MACY                                            113

     SAMUEL C. FOY                                            113

     MYER J. AND HARRIS NEWMARK                               128
         From a Daguerreotype

     GEORGE CARSON                                            128

     JOHN G. NICHOLS                                          128

     DAVID W. ALEXANDER                                       129

     THOMAS E. ROWAN                                          129

     MATTHEW KELLER                                           129

     SAMUEL MEYER                                             129

     LOUIS SAINSEVAIN                                         154

     MANUEL DOMINGUEZ                                         154

     _El Aliso_, THE SAINSEVAIN WINERY                        154
         From an old lithograph

     JACOB ELIAS                                              155

     JOHN T. LANFRANCO                                        155

     J. FRANK BURNS                                           155

     HENRY D. BARROWS                                         155

     MAURICE KREMER                                           168

     SOLOMON LAZARD                                           168

     MELLUS'S, OR BELL'S ROW                                  168
         From a lithograph of 1858

     WILLIAM H. WORKMAN AND JOHN KING                         169

     PRUDENT BEAUDRY                                          169

     JAMES S. MALLARD                                         169

     JOHN BEHN                                                169

     LOUIS ROBIDOUX                                           174

     JULIUS G. WEYSE                                          174

     JOHN BEHN                                                174

     LOUIS BREER                                              174

     WILLIAM J. BRODRICK                                      175

     ISAAC R. DUNKELBERGER                                    175

     FRANK J. CARPENTER                                       175

     AUGUSTUS ULYARD                                          175

     LOS ANGELES IN THE LATE FIFTIES                          188
         From a contemporary sketch

     MYER J. NEWMARK                                          189

     EDWARD J. C. KEWEN                                       189

     DR. JOHN S. GRIFFIN                                      189

     WILLIAM C. WARREN                                        189



       INVITATION                                             225



     VIEW OF PLAZA, SHOWING THE RESERVOIR                     255

     OLD LANFRANCO BLOCK                                      255

     WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK                                   290

     ALBERT SIDNEY JOHNSTON                                   290

     LOS ANGELES COUNTY IN 1854                               291
         From a contemporary map


     EUGENE MEYER                                             310

     JACOB A. MOERENHOUT                                      310

     FRANK LECOUVREUR                                         310

     THOMAS D. MOTT                                           310

     LEONARD J. ROSE                                          311

     H. K. S. O'MELVENY                                       311

     REMI NADEAU                                              311

     JOHN M. GRIFFITH                                         311

     KASPARE COHN                                             342

     M. A. NEWMARK                                            342


     1884                                                     343

     DR. TRUMAN H. ROSE                                       370

     ANDREW GLASSELL                                          370

     DR. VINCENT GELCICH                                      370

     CHARLES E. MILES, IN UNIFORM OF 38'S                     370



     HARRIS NEWMARK WAS BORN                                  384

     CITY WALL                                                384

     ROBERT M. WIDNEY                                         385

     DR. JOSEPH KURTZ                                         385

     ISAAC N. VAN NUYS                                        385

     ABRAHAM HAAS                                             385

     PHINEAS BANNING, ABOUT 1869                              400

     HENRI PENELON, IN HIS STUDIO                             400

     _Carreta_, EARLIEST MODE OF TRANSPORTATION               401

     PEDRO RAILROAD                                           401

     HENRY C. G. SCHAEFFER                                    428

     LORENZO LECK                                             428

     HENRY HAMMEL                                             428

     LOUIS MESMER                                             428

     JOHN SCHUMACHER                                          428

     WILLIAM NORDHOLT                                         428


     VASQUEZ AND HIS CAPTORS                                  452
         (_Top_)    D. K. SMITH,
                    WILLIAM R. ROWLAND,
                    WALTER E. RODGERS.
         (_Middle_) ALBERT JOHNSON,
                    GREEK GEORGE'S HOME,
                    G. A. BEERS.
         (_Bottom_) EMIL HARRIS,
                    TIBÚRCIO VASQUEZ,
                    J. S. BRYANT.

     GREEK GEORGE                                             453

     NICOLÁS MARTINEZ                                         453

     BENJAMIN S. EATON                                        464

     HENRY T. HAZARD                                          464

         HALL; JOSEPH NEWMARK AT THE DOOR                     464

     CALLE DE LOS NEGROS (NIGGER ALLEY), ABOUT 1870           465

         SEVENTIES                                            465

     ROUND HOUSE, WITH MAIN STREET ENTRANCE                   476


         1870                                                 477

     PICO HOUSE, SOON AFTER COMPLETION                        477

     WILLIAM PRIDHAM                                          500

     BENJAMIN HAYES                                           500

     ISAAC LANKERSHIM                                         500

     RABBI A. W. EDELMAN                                      500


     ANTONIO FRANCO AND MARIANA CORONEL                       520
         From an oil painting in the Coronel Collection

     FOURTH STREET, LOOKING WEST FROM MAIN                    520

     TIMMS LANDING                                            521
         From a print of the late fifties

     SANTA CATALINA, IN THE MIDDLE EIGHTIES                   521

     THE LATE SEVENTIES                                       530

     HIGH SCHOOL, ON POUND CAKE HILL, ABOUT 1873              530

     COUNTY                                                   531

     FIRST STREET, LOOKING EAST FROM HILL                     531


     FORT STREET), NEAR SECOND                                567

     (STILL IN SERVICE)                                       567

     GEORGE W. BURTON                                         594

     BEN C. TRUMAN                                            594

     CHARLES F. LUMMIS                                        594

     CHARLES DWIGHT WILLARD                                   594


     ISAIAS W. HELLMAN                                        616

     HERMAN W. HELLMAN                                        616

     CAMERON E. THOM                                          616

     YGNÁCIO SEPÚLVEDA                                        616


     BUILDING, MIDDLE NINETIES                                617



     & CO.'S ESTABLISHMENT, 1912                              644

     J. P. NEWMARK, ABOUT 1890                                644

     ORPHANS' HOME, NOVEMBER 28TH, 1911                       645


Sixty Years in Southern California




I was born in Loebau, West Prussia, on the 5th of July, 1834, the son
of Philipp and Esther, _née_ Meyer, Neumark; and I have reason to
believe that I was not a very welcome guest. My parents, who were
poor, already had five children, and the prospects of properly
supporting the sixth child were not bright. As I had put in an
appearance, however, and there was no alternative, I was admitted with
good grace into the family circle and, being the baby, soon became the

My father was born in the ancient town of Neumark; and in his youth he
was apprenticed to a dealer in boots and shoes in a Russian village
through which Napoleon Bonaparte marched on his way to Moscow. The
conqueror sent to the shop for a pair of fur boots, and I have often
heard my father tell, with modest satisfaction, how, shortly before he
visited the great fair at Nijni Novgorod, he was selected to deliver
them; how more than one ambitious and inquisitive friend tried to
purchase the privilege of approaching the great man, and what were his
impressions of the warrior. When ushered into the august presence, he
found Bonaparte in one of his characteristic postures, standing
erect, in a meditative mood, braced against the wall, with one hand to
his forehead and the other behind his back, apparently absorbed in
deep and anxious thought.

When I was but three weeks old, my father's business affairs called
him away from home, and compelled the sacrifice of a more or less
continued absence of eight and one half years. During this period my
mother's health was very poor. Unfortunately, also, my father was too
liberal and extravagantly-inclined for his narrow circumstances; and
not being equipped to meet the conditions of the district in which we
lived and our economical necessities, we were continually, so to
speak, in financial hot water. While he was absent, my father traveled
in Sweden and Denmark, remitting regularly to his family as much as
his means would permit, yet earning for them but a precarious living.
In 1842 he again joined his family in Loebau, making visits to Sweden
and Denmark during the summer seasons from 1843 until the middle
fifties and spending the long winters at home. Loebau was then, as
now, of little commercial importance, and until 1849, when I was
fifteen years of age and had my first introduction to the world, my
life was very commonplace and marked by little worthy of special
record, unless it was the commotion centering in the cobble-paved
market-place, as a result of the Revolution of 1848.

With the winter of 1837 had come a change in my father's plans and
enterprises. Undergoing unusually severe weather in Scandinavia, he
listened to the lure of the New World and embarked for New York,
arriving there in the very hot summer of 1838. The contrast in
climatic conditions proved most disastrous; for, although life in the
new Republic seemed both pleasing and acceptable to one of his
temperament and liberal views, illness finally compelled him to bid
America adieu.

  [Illustration: Facsimile of a Part of the MS.]

  [Illustration: "Note.--The 'F' in the above announcement is the
   abbreviation for Fabian, one of Philipp Neumark's given names, at
   one time used in business, but seldom employed in social
   correspondence, and finally abandoned altogether."]

My father was engaged in the making of ink and blacking, neither of
which commodities was, at that time, in such universal demand as it is
now; and my brother, Joseph Philipp, later known as J. P. Newmark,
having some time before left Sweden, where he had been assisting
him, for England, it was agreed, in 1849, after a family council, that
I was old enough to accompany my father on his business trips,
gradually become acquainted with his affairs, and thus prepare to
succeed him. Accordingly, in April of that year, I left the family
hearth, endeared to me, unpretentious though it was, and wandered with
my father out into the world. Open confession, it is said, is good for
the soul; hence I must admit that the prospect of making such a trip
attracted me, notwithstanding the tender associations of home; and the
sorrow of parting from my mother was rather evenly balanced, in my
youthful mind, by the pleasurable anticipation of visiting new and
strange lands.

Any attempt to compare methods of travel in 1849, even in the
countries I then traversed, with those now in vogue, would be somewhat
ridiculous. Country roads were generally poor--in fact, very bad; and
vehicles were worse, so that the entire first day's run brought us
only to Lessen, a small village but twelve miles from home! Here we
spent the night, because of the lack of better accommodations, in
blankets, on the floor of the wayside inn; and this experience was
such a disappointment, failing to realize, as it did, my youthful
anticipations, that I was desperately homesick and ready, at the first
opportunity, to return to my sorrowing mother. The Fates, however,
were against any such change in our plans; and the next morning we
proceeded on our way, arriving that evening at the much larger town of
Bromberg. Here, for the first time, the roads and other conditions
were better, and my spirits revived.

Next day we left for Stettin, where we took passage for Ystad, a small
seaport in southern Sweden. Now our real troubles began; part of the
trip was arduous, and the low state of our finances permitted us
nothing better than exposed deck-quarters. This was particularly
trying, since the sea was rough, the weather tempestuous, and I both
seasick and longing for home; moreover, on arriving at Ystad, after a
voyage of twelve hours or more, the Health Officer came on board our
boat and notified us that, as cholera was epidemic in Prussia, we
were prohibited from landing! This filled me with mortal fear lest we
should be returned to Stettin under the same miserable conditions
through which we had just passed; but this state of mind had its
compensating influence, for my tears at the discouraging announcement
worked upon the charity of the uniformed officials, and, in a short
time, to my inexpressible delight, we were permitted to land. With a
natural alertness to observe anything new in my experience, I shall
never forget my first impressions of the ocean. There seemed no limit
to the expanse of stormy waters over which we were traveling; and this
fact alone added a touch of solemnity to my first venture from home.

From Ystad we proceeded to Copenhagen, where my father had intimate
friends, especially in the Lachmann, Eichel and Ruben families, to
whose splendid hospitality and unvarying kindness, displayed whenever
I visited their neighborhood, I wish to testify. We remained at
Copenhagen a couple of months, and then proceeded to Gothenburg. It
was not at this time my father's intention to burden me with serious
responsibility; and, having in mind my age, he gave me but little of
the work to do, while he never failed to afford me, when he could, an
hour of recreation or pleasure. The trip as a whole, therefore, was
rather an educational experiment.

In the fall of 1849, we returned to Loebau for the winter. From this
time until 1851 we made two trips together, very similar to the one
already described; and in 1851, when I was seventeen years of age, I
commenced helping in real earnest. By degrees, I was taught the
process of manufacturing; and when at intervals a stock had been
prepared, I made short trips to dispose of it. The blacking was a
paste, put up in small wooden boxes, to be applied with a brush, such
a thing as waterproof blacking then not being thought of, at least by
us. During the summer of 1851, business carried me to Haparanda, about
the most northerly port in Sweden; and from there I took passage,
stopping at Luleå, Piteå, Umeå, Hernösand, Sundsvall, Söderhamn and
Gefle, all small places along the route. I transacted no business,
however, on the trip up the coast because it was my intention to
return by land, when I should have more time for trade; accordingly,
on my way back to Stockholm, I revisited all of these points and
succeeded beyond my expectations.

On my trip north, I sailed over the Gulf of Bothnia which, the reader
will recollect, separates Sweden from Finland, a province most
unhappily under Russia's bigoted, despotic sway; and while at
Haparanda, I was seized with a desire to visit Torneå, in Finland. I
was well aware that if I attempted to do so by the regular routes on
land, it would be necessary to pass the Russian customhouse, where
officers would be sure to examine my passport; and knowing, as the
whole liberal world now more than ever knows, that a person of Jewish
faith finds the merest sally beyond the Russian border beset with
unreasonable obstacles, I decided to walk across the wide marsh in the
northern part of the Gulf, and thus circumvent these exponents of
intolerance. Besides, I was curious to learn whether, in such a
benighted country, blacking and ink were used at all. I set out,
therefore, through the great moist waste, making my way without much
difficulty, and in due time arrived at Torneå, when I proceeded
immediately to the first store in the neighborhood; but there I was
destined to experience a rude, unexpected setback. An old man,
evidently the proprietor, met me and straightway asked, "Are you a
Jew?" and seeing, or imagining that I saw, a delay (perhaps not
altogether temporary!) in a Russian jail, I withdrew from the store
without ceremony, and returned to the place whence I had come.
Notwithstanding this adventure, I reached Stockholm in due season, the
trip back consuming about three weeks; and during part of that period
I subsisted almost entirely on salmon, bear's meat, milk, and
_knäckebröd_, the last a bread usually made of rye flour in which the
bran had been preserved. All in all, I was well pleased with this
maiden-trip; and as it was then September, I returned to Loebau to
spend one more winter at home.




In April, 1853, when I had reached the age of nineteen, and was
expected to take a still more important part in our business--an
arrangement perfectly agreeable to me--my father and I resumed our
selling and again left for Sweden. For the sake of economy, as well as
to be closer to our field of operations, we had established two
insignificant manufacturing plants, the one at Copenhagen, where we
packed for two months, the other at Gothenburg, where we also prepared
stock; and from these two points, we operated until the middle of May,
1853. Then a most important event occurred, completely changing the
course of my life. In the spring, a letter was received from my
brother, J. P. Newmark, who, in 1848, had gone to the United States,
and had later settled in Los Angeles. He had previously, about 1846,
resided in England, as I have said; had then sailed to New York and
tarried for a while in the East; when, attracted by the discovery of
gold, he had proceeded to San Francisco, arriving there on May 6th,
1851, being the first of our family to come to the Coast. In this
letter my brother invited me to join him in California; and from the
first I was inclined to make the change, though I realized that much
depended on my father. He looked over my shoulder while I read the
momentous message; and when I came to the suggestion that I should
leave for America, I examined my father's face to anticipate, if
possible, his decision. After some reflection, he said he had no
doubt that my future would be benefited by such a change; and while
reluctant enough to let me go, he decided that as soon as practicable
I ought to start. We calculated the amount of blacking likely to be
required for our trade to the season's end, and then devoted the
necessary time to its manufacture. My mother, when informed of my
proposed departure, was beside herself with grief and forthwith
insisted on my return to Loebau; but being convinced that she intended
to thwart my desire, and having in mind the very optimistic spirit of
my brother's letter, I yielded to the influence of ambitious and
unreflecting youth, and sorrowfully but firmly insisted on the
execution of my plans. I feared that, should I return home to defend
my intended course, the mutual pain of parting would still be great. I
also had in mind my sisters and brothers (two of whom, Johanna, still
alive, and Nathan, deceased, subsequently came to Los Angeles), and
knew that each would appeal strongly to my affection and regret. This
resolution to leave without a formal adieu caused me no end of
distress; and my regret was the greater when, on Friday, July 1st,
1853, I stood face to face with the actual realization, among absolute
strangers on the deck of the vessel that was to carry me from
Gothenburg to Hull and far away from home and kindred.

With deep emotion, my father bade me good-bye on the Gothenburg pier,
nor was I less affected at the parting; indeed, I have never doubted
that my father made a great sacrifice when he permitted me to leave
him, since I must have been of much assistance and considerable
comfort, especially during his otherwise solitary travels in foreign
lands. I remember distinctly remaining on deck as long as there was
the least vision of him; but when distance obliterated all view of the
shore, I went below to regain my composure. I soon installed my
belongings in the stateroom, or cabin as it was then called, and began
to accustom myself to my new and strange environment.

There was but one other passenger--a young man--and he was to have a
curious part in my immediate future. As he also was bound for Hull,
we entered into conversation; and following the usual tendency of
people aboard ship, we soon became acquaintances. I had learned the
Swedish language, and could speak it with comparative ease; so that we
conversed without difficulty. He gave Gothenburg as his place of
residence, although there was no one at his departure to wish him
God-speed; and while this impressed me strangely at the time, I saw in
it no particular reason to be suspicious. He stated also that he was
bound for New York; and as it developed that we intended to take
passage on the same boat, we were pleased with the prospect of having
each other's company throughout the entire voyage. Soon our relations
became more confidential and he finally told me that he was carrying a
sum of money, and asked me to take charge of a part of it.
Unsophisticated though I was, I remembered my father's warning to be
careful in transactions with strangers; furthermore, the idea of
burdening myself with another's responsibility seeming injudicious, I
politely refused his request, although even then my suspicions were
not aroused. It was peculiar, to be sure, that when we steamed away
from land, the young man was in his cabin; but it was only in the
light of later developments that I understood why he so concealed

We had now entered the open sea, which was very rough, and I retired,
remaining in my bunk for two days, or until we approached Hull,
suffering from the most terrible seasickness I have ever experienced;
and not until we sailed into port did I recover my sea legs at all.
Having dressed, I again met my traveling companion; and we became
still more intimate. On Sunday morning we reached Hull, then boasting
of no such harbor facilities as the great Humber docks now in course
of construction; and having transferred our baggage to the train as
best we could, we proceeded almost immediately on our way to
Liverpool. While now the fast English express crosses the country in
about three hours, the trip then consumed the better part of the night
and, being made in the darkness, afforded but little opportunity for

Hardly had we arrived in Liverpool, when I was surprised in a way
that I shall never forget. While attempting to find our bundles as
they came from the luggage van--a precaution necessitated by the poor
baggage system then in vogue, which did not provide for checking--my
companion and I were taken in hand by officers of the law, told that
we were under arrest, and at once conducted to an examining
magistrate! As my conscience was clear, I had no misgivings on account
of the detention, although I did fear that I might lose my personal
effects; nor was I at ease again until they were brought in for
special inspection. Our trunks were opened in the presence of the
Swedish Consul who had come, in the meantime, upon the scene; and mine
having been emptied, it was immediately repacked and closed. What was
my amazement, however, when my fellow-traveler's trunk was found to
contain a very large amount of money with which he had absconded from
Gothenburg! He was at once hurried away to police headquarters; and I
then learned that, after our departure, messages had been sent to both
Hull and Liverpool to stop the thief, but that through confusion in
the description, doubtless due to the crude and incomplete information
transmitted by telegraph (then by no means as thoroughly developed as
now), the Liverpool authorities had arrested the only two passengers
arriving there who were known to have embarked at Gothenburg, and I,
unfortunately, happened to be one of them.

At the period whereof I write, there was a semimonthly steamer service
between Liverpool and New York; and as bad luck would have it, the
boat in which I was to travel paddled away while I was in the midst of
the predicament just described, leaving me with the unpleasant outlook
of having to delay my departure for America two full weeks. The one
thing that consoled me was that, not having been fastidious as to my
berth, I had not engaged passage in advance, and so was not further
embarrassed by the forfeiture of hard-earned and much-needed money. As
it was, having stopped at a moderately priced hotel for the night, I
set out the next morning to investigate the situation. Speaking no
English, I was fortunate, a few days later, in meeting a Swedish
emigration agent who informed me that the _Star King_, a three-masted
sailing vessel in command of Captain Burland--both ship and captain
hailing from Baltimore--was booked to leave the following morning; and
finding the office of the company, I engaged one of the six
first-class berths in the saloon. There was no second-cabin, or I
might have traveled in that class; and of steerage passengers the
_Star King_ carried more than eight hundred crowded and seasick souls,
most of whom were Irish. Even in the first-class saloon, there were
few, if any, of the ordinary comforts, as I soon discovered, while of
luxuries there were none; and if one had the misfortune to lose even
trifling delicacies such as I had, including half a dozen bottles of
assorted syrups--put up by good Mrs. Lipman, on my leaving Gothenburg,
and dropped by a bungling porter--the inconvenience of the situation
was intensified.

We left Liverpool--which, unlike Hull, I have since seen on one of my
several visits to Europe--on the evening of the 10th of July. On my
way to the cabin, I passed the dining table already arranged for
supper; and as I had eaten very sparingly since my seasickness on the
way to Hull, I was fully prepared for a square meal. The absence not
only of smoke, but of any smell as from an engine, was also favorable
to my appetite; and when the proper time arrived, I did full justice
to what was set before me. Steamers then were infrequent on the
Atlantic, but there were many sailing vessels; and these we often
passed, so close, in fact, as to enable the respective captains to
converse with each other. In the beginning, we had an ample supply of
fresh meat, eggs and butter, as well as some poultry, and the first
week's travel was like a delightful pleasure excursion. After that,
however, the meat commenced to deteriorate, the eggs turned stale, and
the butter became rancid; and as the days passed, everything grew
worse, excepting a good supply of cheese which possessed, as usual,
the faculty of improving, rather than spoiling, as it aged. Mountain
water might justly have shown indignation if the contents of the
barrels then on board had claimed relationship; while coffee and
tea, of which we partook in the usual manner at the commencement of
our voyage, we were compelled to drink, after a short time, without
milk--the one black and the other green. Notwithstanding these
annoyances, I enjoyed the experience immensely, once I had recovered
from my depression at leaving Europe; for youth could laugh at such
drawbacks, none of which, after all, seriously affected my naturally
buoyant spirits. Not until I narrowly escaped being shot, through the
Captain's careless handling of a derringer, was I roused from a
monotonous, half-dreamy existence.

  [Illustration: Philipp Neumark
   From a Daguerreotype]

  [Illustration: Esther Neumark
   From a Daguerreotype]

  [Illustration: J. P. Newmark
   From a Daguerreotype]

  [Illustration: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Newmark]

  [Illustration: Los Angeles in the Early Fifties
   From a drawing of the Pacific Railway Expedition]

Following this escape, matters progressed without special incident
until we were off the coast of Newfoundland, when we had every reason
to expect an early arrival in New York. Late one afternoon, while the
vessel was proceeding with all sail set, a furious squall struck her,
squarely amidships; and in almost as short a time as it takes to
relate the catastrophe, our three masts were snapped asunder, falling
over the side of the boat and all but capsizing her. The utmost
excitement prevailed; and from the Captain down to the ordinary
seaman, all hands were terror-stricken. The Captain believed, in fact,
that there was no hope of saving his ship; and forgetful of all need
of self-control and discipline, he loudly called to us, "Every man for
himself!" at the same time actually tearing at and plucking his bushy
hair--a performance that in no wise relieved the crisis. In less than
half an hour, the fury of the elements had subsided, and we found
ourselves becalmed; and the crew, assisted by the passengers, were
enabled, by cutting away chains, ropes and torn sails, to steady the
ship and keep her afloat. After this was accomplished, the Captain
engaged a number of competent steerage passengers to help put up
emergency masts, and to prepare new sails, for which we carried
material. For twelve weary days we drifted with the current,
apparently not advancing a mile; and during all this time the
Atlantic, but recently so stormy and raging, was as smooth as a
mill-pond, and the wreckage kept close to our ship. It was about the
middle of August when this disaster occurred, and not until we had
been busy many days rigging up again did a stiff breeze spring up,
enabling us to complete our voyage.

On August 28th, 1853, exactly forty-nine days after our departure from
Liverpool, we arrived at New York, reaching Sandy Hook in a fog so
dense that it was impossible to see any distance ahead; and only when
the fog lifted, revealing the great harbor and showing how
miraculously we had escaped collision with the numerous craft all
about us, was our joy and relief at reaching port complete. I cannot
recollect whether we took a pilot aboard or not; but I do know that
the peculiar circumstances under which we arrived having prevented a
health officer from immediately visiting us, we were obliged to cast
anchor and await his inspection the next morning. During the evening,
the Captain bought fresh meat, vegetables, butter and eggs, offered
for sale by venders in boats coming alongside; and with sharpened
appetites we made short work of a fine supper, notwithstanding that
various features of shore life, or some passing craft, every minute or
two challenged our attention, and quite as amply we did justice, on
the following morning, to our last breakfast aboard ship. As I
obtained my first glimpse of New York, I thought of the hardships of
my father there, a few years before, and of his compulsory return to
Europe; and I wondered what might have been my position among
Americans had he succeeded in New York. At last, on August 29th, 1853,
under a blue and inspiriting sky and with both curiosity and hope
tuned to the highest pitch, I first set foot on American soil, in the
country where I was to live and labor the remainder of my life, whose
flag and institutions I have more and more learned to honor and love.

Before leaving Europe, I had been provided with the New York addresses
of friends from Loebau, and my first duty was to look them up. One of
these, named Lindauer, kept a boarding-house on Bayard Street near the
Five Points, now, I believe, in the neighborhood of Chinatown; and as
I had no desire to frequent high-priced hotels, I made my temporary
abode with him. I also located the house of Rich Brothers, associated
with the San Francisco concern of the same name and through whom I
was to obtain funds from my brother with which to continue my journey;
but as I had to remain in New York three weeks until their receipt, I
could do little more in furthering my departure than to engage
second-cabin passage _via_ Nicaragua by a line running in opposition
to the Panamá route, and offering cheapness as its principal
attraction. Having attended to that, I spent the balance of the time
visiting and seeing the city, and in making my first commercial
venture in the New World. In my impatience to be doing something, I
foolishly relieved Samuel, a brother of Kaspare Cohn, and a nephew of
mine, of a portion of his merchandise; but in a single day I decided
to abandon peddling--a difficult business for which, evidently, I was
never intended. After that, a painful experience with mosquitoes was
my only unpleasant adventure. I did not know until later that an
excited crowd of men were just then assembled in the neighborhood, in
what was styled the Universal Ice-Water Convention, and that not far
away a crowd of women, quite as demonstrative, excluded from the
councils of men and led by no less a personality than P. T. Barnum,
the showman, were clamoring for both Prohibition and Equal Suffrage!




On September 20th, during some excitement due to the fear lest
passengers from New Orleans afflicted with yellow-fever were being
smuggled into the city despite the vigilance of the health
authorities, I left New York for Nicaragua, then popularly spoken of
as the Isthmus, sailing on the steamer _Illinois_ as one of some
eleven or twelve hundred travelers recently arrived from Europe who
were hurrying to California on that ship and the _Star of the West_.
The occasion afforded my numerous acquaintances a magnificent
opportunity to give me all kinds of advice, in the sifting of which
the bad was discarded, while some attention was paid to the good. One
of the important matters mentioned was the danger from drinking such
water as was generally found in the tropics unless it were first mixed
with brandy; and this led me, before departing, to buy a gallon
demijohn--a bulging bottle destined to figure in a ludicrous episode
on my trip from sea to sea. I can recall little of the voyage to the
eastern coast of Nicaragua. We kept well out at sea until we reached
the Bahama Islands, when we passed near Mariguana, felt our way
through the Windward Passage, and steered east of the Island of
Jamaica; but I recollect that it became warmer and warmer as we
proceeded farther south to about opposite Mosquito Gulf, where we
shifted our position in relation to the sun, and that we consumed nine
days in covering the two thousand miles or more between New York and
San Juan del Norte, or Grey Town.

From San Juan del Norte--in normal times, a hamlet of four or five
hundred people clustered near one narrow, dirty street--we proceeded
up the San Juan River, nine hundred passengers huddled together on
three flat-bottomed boats, until, after three or four days, our
progress was interfered with, at Castillo Rapids, by a fall in the
stream. There we had to disembark and climb the rough grade, while our
baggage was carried up on a tramway; after which we continued our
journey on larger boats, though still miserably packed together, until
we had almost reached the mouth of Lake Nicaragua, when the water
became so shallow that we had to trust ourselves to the uncertain
_bongos_, or easily-overturned native canoes, or get out again and
walk. It would be impossible to describe the hardships experienced on
these crowded little steamboats, which were by no means one quarter as
large as the _Hermosa_, at present plying between Los Angeles harbor
and Catalina. The only drinking water that we could get came from the
river, and it was then that my brandy served its purpose: with the
addition of the liquor, I made the drink both palatable and safe. Men,
women and children, we were parched and packed like so many herring,
and at night there was not only practically no space between
passengers sleeping on deck, but the extremities of one were sure to
interfere with the body of another. The heat was indeed intense; the
mosquitoes seemed omnivorous; to add to which, the native officers in
charge of our expedition pestered us with their mercenary proceedings.
For a small cup of black coffee, a charge of fifty cents was made,
which leaves the impression that food was scarce, else no one would
have consented to pay so much for so little. This part of the trip was
replete with misery to many, but fortunately for me, although the
transportation company provided absolutely no conveniences, the
hardships could not interfere with my enjoyment of the delightful and
even sublime scenery surrounding us on all sides in this tropical
country. As the river had no great width, we were at close range to
the changing panorama on both banks; while the neighboring land was
covered with gorgeous jungles and vegetation. Here I first saw
orange, lemon and cocoanut trees. Monkeys of many kinds and sizes
were to be seen; and birds of variegated colors were plentiful, almost
innumerable varieties of parrots being visible. All these things were
novel to me; and notwithstanding the great discomforts under which we
traveled, I repeat that I enjoyed myself.

A walk of a mile or two along the river bank, affording beneficial
exercise, brought us to Port San Carlos, from which point a larger
boat crossed the lake to Virgin Bay, where we took mules to convey us
to San Juan del Sur. This journey was as full of hardship as it was of
congeniality, and proved as interesting as it was amusing. Imagine, if
you please, nine hundred men, women and children from northern climes,
long accustomed to the ways of civilization, suddenly precipitated,
under an intensely hot tropical sun, into a small, Central American
landing, consisting of a few huts and some cheap, improvised tents
(used for saloons and restaurants), every one in search of a mule or a
horse, the only modes of transportation. The confusion necessarily
following the preparation for this part of the trip can hardly be
imagined: the steamship company furnished the army of animals, and the
nervous tourists furnished the jumble! Each one of the nine hundred
travelers feared that there would not be enough animals for all, and
the anxiety to secure a beast caused a stampede.

In the scramble, I managed to get hold of a fine mule, and presently
we were all mounted and ready to start. This conglomeration of
humanity presented, indeed, a ludicrous sight; and I really believe
that I must have been the most grotesque figure of them all. I have
mentioned the demijohn of brandy, which a friend advised me to buy;
but I have not mentioned another friend who told me that I should be
in danger of sunstroke in this climate, and who induced me to carry an
umbrella to protect myself from the fierce rays of the enervating sun.
Picture me, then, none too short and very lank, astride a mule, a big
demijohn in one hand, and a spreading, green umbrella in the other,
riding through this southern village, and practically incapable of
contributing anything to the course of the mule. Had the animal been
left to his own resources, he might have followed the caravan; but in
my ignorance, I attempted to indicate to him which direction he should
take. My method was evidently not in accordance with the tradition of
guiding in just that part of the world; and to make a long story
short, the mule, with his three-fold burden, deftly walked into a
restaurant, in the most innocent manner and to the very great
amusement of the diners, but to the terrible embarrassment and
consternation of the rider. After some difficulty (for the restaurant
was hardly intended for such maneuvers as were required), we were led
out of the tent. This experience showed me the necessity of abandoning
either the umbrella or the brandy; and learning that lemonade could be
had at points along the route, I bade good-bye to the demijohn and its
exhilarating contents. From this time on, although I still displayed
inexpertness in control, his muleship and I gradually learned to
understand each other, and matters progressed very well,
notwithstanding the intense heat, and the fatigue natural to riding so
long in such an unaccustomed manner. The lemonade, though warm and,
therefore, dear at ten cents a glass, helped to quench my thirst; and
as the scenery was wonderful, I derived all the benefit and pleasure
possible from the short journey.

All in all, we traversed about twelve miles on mule or horseback, and
finally arrived, about four o'clock in the afternoon of the day we had
started, at San Juan del Sur, thus putting behind us the most
disagreeable part of this uncomfortable trip. Here it may be
interesting to add that on our way across the Isthmus, we met a crowd
of disappointed travelers returning from the Golden Gate, on their way
toward New York. They were a discouraged lot and loudly declared that
California was nothing short of a _fiasco_; but, fortunately, there
prevailed that weakness of human nature which impels every man to earn
his own experience, else, following the advice of these discomfited
people, some of us might have retraced our steps and thus completely
altered our destinies. Not until the publication, years later, of the
_Personal Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman_, did I learn, with
peculiar interest, that the then rising soldier, returning to
California with his young wife, infant child and nurse, had actually
embarked from New York on the same day that I had, arriving in San
Francisco the same day that I arrived, and that therefore the
Shermans, whose experience with the mules was none the less trying and
ridiculous than my own, must have been members of the same party with
me in crossing the mosquito-infested Isthmus.

There was no appreciable variation in temperature while I was in
Nicaragua, and at San Juan del Sur (whose older portion, much like San
Juan del Norte, was a village of the Spanish-American type with one
main street, up and down which, killing time, I wandered) the heat was
just as oppressive as it had been before. People often bunked in the
open, a hotel-keeper named Green renting hammocks, at one dollar each,
when all his beds had been taken. One of these hammocks I engaged; but
being unaccustomed to such an aërial lodging, I was most
unceremoniously spilled out, during a deep sleep in the night, falling
only a few feet, but seeming, to my stirred-up imagination, to be
sliding down through limitless space. Here I may mention that this
Nicaragua Route was the boom creation of a competitive service
generally understood to have been initiated by those who intended, at
the first opportunity, to sell out; and that since everybody expected
to pack and move on at short notice, San Juan del Sur, suddenly
enlarged by the coming and going of adventurers, was for the moment in
part a community of tents, presenting a most unstable appearance. A
picturesque little creek flowed by the town and into the Pacific; and
there a fellow-traveler, L. Harris, and I decided to refresh
ourselves. This was no sooner agreed upon than done; but a passer-by
having excitedly informed us that the creek was infested with
alligators, we were not many seconds in following his advice to
scramble out, thereby escaping perhaps a fate similar to that which
overtook, only a few years later, a near relative of Mrs. Henry

At sundown, on the day after we arrived at San Juan del Sur, the
Pacific terminal, we were carried by natives through the surf to
small boats, and so transferred to the steamer _Cortez_; and then we
started, amidst great rejoicing, on the last lap of our journey. We
steamed away in a northerly direction, upon a calm sea and under the
most favorable circumstances, albeit the intense heat was most
unpleasant. In the course of about a week the temperature fell, for we
were steadily approaching a less tropical zone. Finally, on the 16th
of October, 1853, we entered the Golden Gate.

Notwithstanding the lapse of many years, this first visit to San
Francisco has never been forgotten. The beauty of the harbor, the
surrounding elevations, the magnificence of the day, and the joy of
being at my journey's end, left an impression of delight which is
still fresh and agreeable in my memory. All San Francisco, so to
speak, was drawn to the wharf, and enthusiasm ran wild. Jacob Rich,
partner of my brother, was there to meet me and, without ceremony,
escorted me to his home; and under his hospitable roof I remained
until the morning when I was to depart for the still sunnier South.

San Francisco, in 1853, was much like a frontier town, devoid of
either style or other evidences of permanent progress; yet it was
wide-awake and lively in the extreme. What little had been built, bad
and good, after the first rush of gold-seekers, had been destroyed in
the five or six fires that swept the city just before I came, so that
the best buildings I saw were of hasty and, for the most part, of
frame construction. Tents also, of all sizes, shapes and colors,
abounded. I was amazed, I remember, at the lack of civilization as I
understood it, at the comparative absence of women, and at the
spectacle of people riding around the streets on horseback like mad.
All sorts of excitement seemed to fill the air; everywhere there was a
noticeable lack of repose; and nothing perhaps better fits the scene I
would describe than some lines from a popular song of that time
entitled, _San Francisco in 1853_:

     City full of people,
       In a business flurry;
     Everybody's motto,
       Hurry! hurry! hurry!

     Every nook and corner
       Full to overflowing:
     Like a locomotive,
       Everybody going!

One thing in particular struck me, and that was the unsettled state of
the surface on which the new town was being built. I recall for
example, the great quantity of sand that was continually being blown
into the streets from sand-dunes uninterruptedly forming in the
endless vacant lots, and how people, after a hard wind at night, would
find small sand-heaps in front of their stores and residences; so
that, in the absence of any municipal effort to keep the thoroughfares
in order, the owners were repeatedly engaged in sweeping away the
accumulation of sand, lest they might be overwhelmed. The streets were
ungraded, although some were covered with planks for pavement, and
presented altogether such an aspect of uncertainty that one might well
believe General Sherman's testimony that, in winter time, he had seen
mules fall, unable to rise, and had even witnessed one drown in a pool
of mud! Sidewalks, properly speaking, there were none. Planks and
boxes--some filled with produce not yet unpacked--were strung along in
irregular lines, requiring the poise of an acrobat to walk upon,
especially at night. As I waded through the sand-heaps or fell over
the obstructions designed as pavements, my thoughts reverted, very
naturally, to my brother who had preceded me to San Francisco two
years before; but it was not until some years later that I learned
that my distinguished fellow-countryman, Heinrich Schliemann, destined
to wander farther to Greece and Asia Minor, and there to search for
ancient Troy, had not only knocked about the sand-lots in the same
manner in which I was doing, but, stirred by the discovery of gold and
the admission of California to the Union, had even taken on American
citizenship. Schliemann visited California in 1850 and became
naturalized; nor did he ever, I believe, repudiate the act which makes
the greatest explorer of ancient Greece a burgher of the United

During my short stay in San Francisco, before leaving for Los
Angeles, I made the usual rounds under the guidance of Jacob Rich.
Having just arrived from the tropics, I was not provided with an
overcoat; and since the air was chilly at night, my host, who wore a
talma or large cape, lent me a shawl, shawls then being more used than
they are now. Rich took me to a concert that was held in a one-story
wooden shack, whereat I was much amazed; and afterward we visited a
number of places of louder revelry. Just as I found it to be a few
days later in Los Angeles, so San Francisco was filled with saloons
and gambling-houses; and these institutions were in such contrast to
the features of European life to which I had been accustomed, that
they made a strong impression upon me. There were no restrictions of
any sort, not even including a legal limit to their number, and people
engaged in these enterprises because, in all probability, they were
the most profitable. Such resorts attracted criminals, or developed in
certain persons latent propensities to wrong-doing, and perhaps it is
no wonder that Walker, but the summer previous, should have selected
San Francisco as headquarters for his filibustering expedition to
Lower California. By far the most talked-of man of that day was Harry
Meiggs--popularly known as "Honest Harry"--who was engaged in various
enterprises, and was a good patron of civic and church endeavor. He
was evidently the advance guard of the boomer organization, and built
the Long Wharf at North Beach, on a spot now at Commercial and
Montgomery streets, where later the Australian convict, trying to
steal a safe, was captured by the First Vigilance Committee; and so
much was Meiggs the envy of the less pyrotechnical though more
substantial people, that I repeatedly had my attention called, during
my brief stay in San Francisco, to what was looked upon as his
prodigious prosperity. But Meiggs, useful as he was to the society of
his day, finally ended his career by forging a lot of city scrip (a
great deal of which he sold to W. T. Sherman and his banking
associates), and by absconding to Peru, where he became prominent as a
banker and a developer of mines.

Situated at the Plaza--where, but three years before, on the
admission of California as a State, the meeting of gold-seeking
pioneers and lassoing natives had been symbolized with streaming
banners, and the thirty-one stars were nailed to a rude pole--was the
El Dorado, the most luxurious gambling-place and saloon in the West,
despite the existence near by of the Bella Union, the Parker House and
the Empire. Music, particularly native Spanish or Mexican airs, played
its part there, as well as other attractions; and much of the life of
the throbbing town centered in that locality. It is my impression that
the water front was then Sansome Street; and if this be correct, it
will afford some idea of the large territory in San Francisco that is
made ground.

As there was then no stage line between San Francisco and the South, I
was compelled to continue my journey by sea; and on the morning of
October 18th, I boarded the steamer _Goliah_--whose Captain was
Salisbury Haley, formerly a surveyor from Santa Bárbara--bound for Los
Angeles, and advertised to stop at Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa
Bárbara and one or two other landings formerly of importance but now
more or less forgotten. There were no wharves at any of those places;
passengers and freight were taken ashore in small boats; and when they
approached shallow water, everything was carried to dry land by the
sailors. This performance gave rise, at times, to most annoying
situations; boats would capsize and empty their passengers into the
water, creating a merriment enjoyed more by those who were secure than
by the victims themselves. On October 21st we arrived a mile or so off
San Pedro, and were disembarked in the manner above described, having
luckily suffered no such mishap as that which befell passengers on the
steamship _Winfield Scott_ who, journeying from Panamá but a month or
so later, at midnight struck one of the Anacapa Islands, now belonging
to Ventura County, running dead on to the rocks. The vessel in time
was smashed to pieces, and the passengers, several hundred in number,
were forced to camp on the island for a week or more.

Almost from the time of the first visit of a steamer to San Pedro, the
_Gold Hunter_ (a side-wheeler which made the voyage from San
Francisco to Mazatlán in 1849), and certainly from the day in January
of that same year when Temple & Alexander put on their four-wheeled
vehicle, costing one thousand dollars and the second in the county,
there was competition in transporting passengers to Los Angeles.
Phineas Banning, Augustus W. Timms, J. J. Tomlinson, John Goller,
David W. Alexander, José Rúbio and B. A. Townsend were among the most
enterprising commission men; and their keen rivalry brought about two
landings--one controlled by Banning, who had come to Los Angeles in
1851, and the other by Timms, after whom one of the terminals was
named. Before I left San Francisco, Rich provided me with a letter of
introduction to Banning--who was then known, if I remember aright, as
Captain, though later he was called successively Major and General--at
the same time stating that this gentleman was a forwarding merchant.
Now, in European cities where I had heretofore lived, commission and
forwarding merchants were a dignified and, to my way of thinking, an
aristocratic class, which centuries of business experience had brought
to a genteel perfection; and they would have found themselves entirely
out of their element had their operations demanded their sudden
translation, in the fifties, to the west coast of America. At any
rate, upon arriving at San Pedro I had expected to find a man dressed
either in a uniform or a Prince Albert, with a high hat and other
appropriate appurtenances, and it is impossible to describe my
astonishment when Banning was pointed out to me; for I knew absolutely
nothing of the rough methods in vogue on the Pacific Coast. There
stood before me a very large, powerful man, coatless and vestless,
without necktie or collar, and wearing pantaloons at least six inches
too short, a pair of brogans and socks with large holes; while
bright-colored suspenders added to the picturesque effect of his
costume. It is not my desire to ridicule a gentleman who, during his
lifetime, was to be a good, constant friend of mine, but rather to
give my readers some idea of life in the West, as well as to present
my first impressions of Southern California. The fact of the matter is
that Banning, in his own way, was even then such a man of affairs
that he had bought, but a few months before, some fifteen wagons and
nearly five times as many mules, and had paid almost thirty thousand
dollars for them. I at once delivered the letter in which Rich had
stated that I had but a smattering of English and that it would be a
favor to him if Banning would help me safely on my way to Los Angeles;
and Banning, having digested the contents of the communication, looked
me over from head to foot, shook hands and, in a stentorian voice--loud
enough, I thought, to be heard beyond the hills--good-naturedly called
out, "_Wie geht's?_" After which, leading the way, and shaking hands
again, he provided me with a good place on the stage.

Not a minute was lost between the arrival of passengers and the
departure of coaches for Los Angeles in the early fifties. The
competition referred to developed a racing tendency that was the talk
of the pueblo. The company that made the trip in the shortest time
usually obtained, through lively betting, the best of advertising and
the largest patronage; so that, from the moment of leaving San Pedro
until the final arrival in Los Angeles two and a half hours later, we
tore along at breakneck speed, over roads slowly traveled, but a few
years before, by Stockton's cannon. These roads never having been
cared for, and still less inspected, were abominably bad; and I have
often wondered that during such contests there were not more
accidents. The stages were of the common Western variety, and four to
six broncos were always a feature of the equipment. No particular
attention had been given to the harness, and everything was more or
less primitive. The stage was provided with four rows of seats and
each row, as a rule, was occupied by four passengers, the front row
including the oft-bibulous driver; and the fare was five dollars.

Soon after leaving San Pedro, we passed thousands of ground squirrels,
and never having seen anything of the kind before, I took them for
ordinary rats. This was not an attractive discovery; and when later we
drove by a number of ranch houses and I saw beef cut into strings and
hung up over fences to dry, it looked as though I had landed on
another planet. I soon learned that dried beef or, as the natives
here called it, _carne seca_ (more generally known, perhaps, at least
among frontiersmen, as "jerked" beef or _jerky_) was an important
article of food in Southern California; but from the reminiscences of
various pioneers I have known, it evidently astonished others as much
as it did me.

Having reached the Half-Way House, we changed horses; then we
continued and approached Los Angeles by San Pedro Street, which was a
narrow lane, possibly not more than ten feet wide, with growing
vineyards bordered by willow trees on each side of the road. It was on
a Sunday and in the midst of the grape season that I first beheld the
City of the Angels; and to these facts in particular I owe another odd
and unfavorable first impression of the neighborhood. Much of the work
connected with the grape industry was done by Indians and native
Mexicans, or Californians, as they were called, and every Saturday
evening they received their pay. During Saturday night and all day
Sunday, they drank themselves into hilarity and intoxication, and this
dissipation lasted until Sunday night. Then they slept off their
sprees and were ready to work Monday morning. During each period of
excitement, from one to three or four of these revelers were murdered.
Never having seen Indians before, I supposed them to represent the
citizenship of Los Angeles--an amusing error for which I might be
pardoned when one reflects that nine out of forty-four of the founders
of Los Angeles were Indians, and that, according to an official census
made the year before, Los Angeles County in 1852 had about
thirty-seven hundred domesticated Indians among a population of a
little over four thousand whites; and this mistake as to the typical
burgher, together with my previous experiences, added to my amazement.

At last, with shouts and yells from the competing drivers, almost as
deafening as the horn-blowing of a somewhat later date, and hailed
apparently by every inhabitant and dog along the route, we arrived at
the only real hotel in town, the Bella Union, where stages stopped and
every city function took place. This hotel was a one-story, adobe
house enlarged in 1858 to two stories, and located on Main Street
above Commercial; and Dr. Obed Macy, who had bought it the previous
spring from Winston & Hodges, was the proprietor.

  [Illustration: Bella Union as it Appeared in 1858
   From a lithograph]

  [Illustration: John Goller's Blacksmith Shop
   From a lithograph of 1858]

My friend, Sam Meyer (now deceased, but for fifty years or more
treasurer of Forty-two, the oldest Masonic lodge in Los Angeles), who
had come here a few months in advance of me, awaited the arrival of
the stage and at once recognized me by my costume, which was anything
but in harmony with Southern California fashions of that time. My
brother, J. P. Newmark, not having seen me for several years, thought
that our meeting ought to be private, and so requested Sam to show me
to his store. I was immediately taken to my brother's place of
business where he received me with great affection; and there and then
we renewed that sympathetic association which continued many years,
until his death in 1895.




Once fairly well settled here, I began to clerk for my brother, who in
1852 had bought out a merchant named Howard. For this service I
received my lodging, the cost of my board, and thirty dollars each
month. The charges for board at the Bella Union--then enjoying a
certain prestige, through having been the official residence of Pio
Pico when Stockton took the city--were too heavy, and arrangements
were made with a Frenchman named John La Rue, who had a restaurant on
the east side of Los Angeles Street, about two hundred feet south of
Bell's Row. I paid him nine dollars a week for three more or less
hearty meals a day, not including eggs, unless I provided them; in
this case he agreed to prepare them for me. Eggs were by no means
scarce; but steaks and mutton and pork chops were the popular choice,
and potatoes and vegetables a customary accompaniment.

This La Rue, or Leroux, as he was sometimes called, was an interesting
personality with an interesting history. Born in France, he sailed for
the United States about the time of the discovery of gold in
California, and made his way to San Francisco and the mines, where
luck encouraged him to venture farther and migrate to Mazatlán,
Mexico. While prospecting there, however, he was twice set upon and
robbed; and barely escaping with his life, he once more turned
northward, this time stopping at San Pedro and Los Angeles. Here,
meeting Miss Bridget Johnson, a native of Ireland, who had just come
from New York by way of San Diego, La Rue married her, notwithstanding
their inability to speak each other's language, and then opened a
restaurant, which he continued to conduct until 1858 when he died, as
the result of exposure at a fire on Main Street. Although La Rue was
in no sense an eminent citizen, it is certain that he was esteemed and
mourned. Prior to his death, he had bought thirty or thirty-five acres
of land, on which he planted a vineyard and an orange-orchard; and
these his wife inherited. In 1862, Madame La Rue married John Wilson,
also a native of Ireland, who had come to Los Angeles during the year
that the _restaurateur_ died. He was a blacksmith and worked for John
Goller, continuing in business for over twenty years, and adding
greatly, by industry and wise management, to the dowry brought him by
the thrifty widow.

I distinctly recall La Rue's restaurant, and quite as clearly do I
remember one or two humorous experiences there. Nothing in Los
Angeles, perhaps, has ever been cruder than this popular eating-place.
The room, which faced the street, had a mud-floor and led to the
kitchen through a narrow opening. Half a dozen cheap wooden tables,
each provided with two chairs, stood against the walls. The
tablecloths were generally dirty, and the knives and forks, as well as
the furniture, were of the homeliest kind. The food made up in
portions what it lacked in quality, and the diner rarely had occasion
to leave the place hungry. What went most against my grain was the
slovenliness of the proprietor himself. Flies were very thick in the
summer months; and one day I found a big fellow splurging in my bowl
of soup. This did not, however, faze John La Rue. Seeing the
struggling insect, he calmly dipped his coffee-colored fingers into
the hot liquid and, quite as serenely, drew out the fly; and although
one could not then be as fastidious as nowadays, I nevertheless found
it impossible to eat the soup.

On another occasion, however, mine host's equanimity was disturbed. I
had given him two eggs one morning, to prepare for me, when Councilman
A. Jacobi, a merchant and also a customer of La Rue's, came in for
breakfast, bringing one more egg than mine. Presently my meal,
unusually generous, was served, and without loss of time I disposed of
it and was about to leave; when just then Jacobi discovered that the
small portion set before him could not possibly contain the three eggs
he had supplied. Now, Jacobi was not only possessed of a considerable
appetite, but had as well a definite unwillingness to accept less than
his due, while La Rue, on the other hand, was very easily aroused to a
high pitch of Gallic excitement; so that in less time than is required
to relate the story, the two men were embroiled in a genuine
Franco-Prussian dispute, all on account of poor La Rue's unintentional
interchange of the two breakfasts. Soon after this encounter, Jacobi,
who was an amateur violinist of no mean order, and had fiddled himself
into the affections of his neighbors, left for Berlin with a snug
fortune, and there after some years he died.

Having arranged for my meals, my brother's next provision was for a
sleeping-place. A small, unventilated room adjoining the store was
selected; and there I rested on an ordinary cot furnished with a
mattress, a pillow, and a pair of _frazadas_, or blankets. According
to custom, whatever of these covers I required were taken each evening
from stock, and the next morning they were returned to the shelves.
Stores as well as houses were then almost without stoves or
fireplaces; and as it grew colder, I found that the blankets gave
little or no warmth. Indeed they were nothing more or less,
notwithstanding their slight mixture of wool, than ordinary
horse-blankets, on which account in winter I had to use five or six of
them to enjoy any comfort whatever; and since I experienced difficulty
in keeping them on the cot, I resorted at last to the device of
tacking them down on one side.

In 1853, free-and-easy customs were in vogue in Los Angeles,
permitting people in the ordinary affairs of life to do practically as
they pleased. There were few if any restrictions; and if
circumscribing City ordinances existed--except, perhaps, those of 1850
which, while licensing gaming places, forbade the playing of cards on
the street--I do not remember what they were. As was the case in San
Francisco, neither saloons nor gambling places were limited by law,
and there were no regulations for their management. As many persons as
could make a living in this manner kept such establishments, which
were conspicuous amid the sights of the town. Indeed, chief among the
surprises greeting me during my first few weeks upon the Coast, the
many and flourishing gambling dens caused me the greatest

Through the most popular of these districts, a newly-found friend
escorted me on the evening of my arrival in Los Angeles. The quarter
was known by the euphonious title of Calle de los Negros--Nigger
Alley; and this alley was a thoroughfare not over forty feet wide
which led from Aliso Street to the Plaza, an extent of just one
unbroken block. At this period, there was a long adobe facing Los
Angeles Street, having a covered platform or kind of veranda, about
four feet from the ground, running its entire length. The building
commenced at what was later Sanchez Street, and reached, in an
easterly direction, to within forty feet, more or less, of the east
side of Nigger Alley, then continuing north to the Plaza. This formed
the westerly boundary, while a line of adobes on the other side of the
street formed the easterly line. The structure first described, and
which was demolished many years ago, later became the scene of the
beginning of an awful massacre to which I shall refer in due season.

Each side of the alley was occupied by saloons and gambling houses.
Men and women alike were to be found there, and both sexes looked
after the gaming tables, dealing monte and faro, and managing other
contrivances that parted the good-natured and easy-going people from
their money. Those in charge of the banks were always provided with
pistols, and were ready, if an emergency arose, to settle disputes on
the spot; and only rarely did a case come up for adjustment before the
properly-constituted authorities, such as that in 1848, which remained
a subject of discussion for some time, when counterfeiters, charged
with playing at monte with false money, were tried before a special
court made up of Abel Stearns and Stephen C. Foster. Time was
considered a very important element during the play; and sanguinary
verdicts in financial disputes were generally rendered at once.

Human life at this period was about the cheapest thing in Los Angeles,
and killings were frequent. Nigger Alley was as tough a neighborhood,
in fact, as could be found anywhere, and a large proportion of the
twenty or thirty murders a month was committed there. About as
plentiful a thing, also, as there was in the pueblo was liquor. This
was served generously in these resorts, not only with respect to
quantity, but as well regarding variety. In addition to the
prodigality of feasting, there was no lack of music of the native
sort--the harp and the guitar predominating. These scenes were
picturesque and highly interesting. Nigger Alley, for a while the
headquarters for gamblers, enjoyed through that circumstance a certain
questionable status; but in the course of years it came to be more and
more occupied by the Chinese, and given over to their opium-dens,
shops and laundries. There, also, their peculiar religious rites were
celebrated in just as peculiar a joss house, the hideously-painted
gods not in the least becoming a deterrent factor. Juan Apablasa was
among those who owned considerable property in Chinatown, and a street
in that quarter perpetuates his name.

Having crossed the Plaza, we entered Sonora Town, where my friend told
me that every evening there was much indulgence in drinking, smoking
and gambling, and quite as much participation in dancing. Some of this
life, which continued in full swing until the late seventies, I
witnessed on my first evening in Los Angeles.

Returning to Main Street, formerly Calle Principal, we entered the
Montgomery, one of the well-known gambling houses--a one-story adobe
about a hundred feet in width, in front of which was a shaded
veranda--situated nearly opposite the Stearns home, and rather
aristocratic, not only in its furnishings but also in its management.
This resort was managed by the fearless William C., or Billy Getman,
afterward Sheriff of Los Angeles County, whom I saw killed while
trying to arrest a lunatic. The Montgomery was conducted in an
orderly manner, and catered to the most fastidious people of Los
Angeles, supplying liquors of a correspondingly high grade; the charge
for a drink there being invariably twenty-five cents. It was provided
with a billiard parlor, where matches were often arranged for a stake
of hundreds of dollars. Games of chance there were for every
requirement, the long and the short purse being equally well
accommodated. The ranch owner could bet his hundreds, while he of
lowlier estate might tempt the fickle goddess according to his
narrower means.

A fraternity of gamblers almost indigenous to California, and which
has been celebrated and even, to an extent, glorified by such writers
as Mark Twain, Bret Harte and others, was everywhere then in evidence
in Los Angeles; and while it is true that their vocation was
illegitimate, many of them represented nevertheless a splendid type of
man: generous, honest in methods, courageous in operations and
respected by everybody. It would be impossible, perhaps, to describe
this class as I knew them and at the same time to satisfy the modern
ideal; but pioneers will confirm my tribute to these early gamesters
(among whom they may recall Brand Phillips) and their redeeming

As I have said, my brother, J. P. Newmark, was in partnership with
Jacob Rich, the gentleman who met me when I reached San Francisco;
their business being dry-goods and clothing. They were established in
J. N. Padilla's adobe on the southeast corner of Main and Requena
streets, a site so far "out of town" that success was possible only
because of their catering to a wholesale clientele rather than to the
retail trade; and almost opposite them, ex-Mayor John G. Nichols
conducted a small grocery in a store that he built on the Main Street
side of the property now occupied by Temple Block. There was an old
adobe wall running north and south along the east line of the lot, out
of which Nichols cut about fifteen feet, using this property to a
depth of some thirty feet, thus forming a rectangular space which he
enclosed. Here he carried on a modest trade which, even in addition to
his other cares, scarcely demanded his whole time; so that he would
frequently visit his neighbors, among whom Newmark & Rich were his
nearest friends. Often have I seen him therefore, long and lank,
seated in my brother's store tilted back in a chair against the wall
or merchandise, a cigar, which he never lighted, in his mouth,
exhorting his hearers to be patriotic and to purchase City land at a
dollar an acre, thereby furnishing some of the taxes necessary to
lubricate the municipal machinery. Little did any of us realize, as we
listened to this man, that in the course of another generation or so
there would spring into life a prosperous metropolis whose very heart
would be situated near where old Mayor Nichols was vainly endeavoring
to dispose of thirty-five-acre bargains at thirty-five dollars each--a
feature of municipal coöperation with prospective settlers which was
inaugurated August 13th, 1852, and repealed through dissatisfaction in
1854. Nichols, who, with J. S. Mallard and Lewis Granger, brought one
of the first three American families to settle here permanently, and
who married a sister of Mrs. Mallard, was the father of John Gregg
Nichols, always claimed to be the first boy born (April 24th, 1851),
of American parents, in Los Angeles. Nichols when Mayor was never
neglectful of his official duties, as may be seen from his record in
providing Hancock's survey, his construction of the Bath Street
School, his encouragement of better irrigation facilities, his
introduction of the first fruit grafts--brought, by the way, from
far-off New York--and his reëlection as Mayor in 1856, 1857, and 1858.
In 1869, another son, Daniel B. Nichols, of whom I shall speak, was a
participant in a fatal shooting affray here.

A still earlier survey than that of Hancock was made by Lieutenant
Edward O. C. Ord--later distinguished in the Union Army where,
singularly enough, he was fighting with Rosecrans, in time a resident
of Los Angeles--who, in an effort to bring order out of the pueblo
chaos, left still greater confusion. To clear up the difficulty of
adobes isolated or stranded in the middle of the streets, the Common
Council in 1854 permitted owners to claim a right of way to the
thoroughfares nearest their houses. This brings to mind the fact that
the _vara_, a Spanish unit equal to about thirty-three inches, was a
standard in real estate measurements even after the advent of Ord,
Hancock and Hansen, who were followed by such surveyors as P. J.
Virgen (recalled by Virgen Street) and his partner Hardy; and also
that the _reata_ was often used as a yardstick--its uncertain length
having contributed, without doubt, to the chaotic condition
confronting Ord.

Graded streets and sidewalks were unknown; hence, after heavy winter
rains mud was from six inches to two feet deep, while during the
summer dust piled up to about the same extent. Few City ordinances
were obeyed; for notwithstanding that a regulation of the City Council
called on every citizen to sweep in front of his house to a certain
point on Saturday evenings, not the slightest attention was paid to
it. Into the roadway was thrown all the rubbish: if a man bought a new
suit of clothes, a pair of boots, a hat or a shirt, to replace a
corresponding part of his apparel that had outlived its usefulness, he
would think nothing, on attiring himself in the new purchase, of
tossing the discarded article into the street where it would remain
until some passing Indian, or other vagabond, took possession of it.
So wretched indeed were the conditions, that I have seen dead animals
left on the highways for days at a time, and can recall one instance
of a horse dying on Alameda Street and lying there until a party of
Indians cut up the carcass for food. What made these street conditions
more trying was the fact that on hot days roads and sidewalks were
devoid of shade, except for that furnished by a few scattered trees or
an occasional projecting veranda; while at night (if I except the
illumination from the few lanterns suspended in front of barrooms and
stores) thoroughfares were altogether unlighted. In those nights of
dark streets and still darker tragedies, people rarely went out unless
equipped with candle-burning lanterns, at least until camphine was
imported by my brother, after which this was brought into general use.
Stores were lighted in the same manner: first with candles, then with
camphine and finally with coal-oil, during which period of advancement
lamps replaced the cruder contrivances.

Southern California from the first took an active part in State
affairs. Edward Hunter and Charles E. Carr were the Assemblymen from
this district in 1853; and the following year they were succeeded by
Francis Mellus and Dr. Wilson W. Jones. Carr was a lawyer who had come
in 1852; Hunter afterward succeeded Pablo de la Guerra as Marshal.
Jones was the doctor who just about the time I came, while returning
from a professional call at the Lugos at about sunset, nearly rode
over the bleeding and still warm body of a cattle-buyer named Porter,
on Alameda Street. The latter had been out to the Dominguez _rancho_,
to purchase stock, and had taken along with him a Mexican named Manuel
Vergara who introduced himself as an experienced interpreter and
guide, but who was, in reality, a cutthroat with a record of one or
two assassinations. Vergara observed that Porter possessed
considerable money; and on their way back to Los Angeles shot the
American from behind. Jones quickly gave the alarm; and Banning,
Stanley and others of the volunteer mounted police pursued the
murderer for eighty-five or ninety miles when, the ammunition of all
parties being exhausted, Vergara turned on the one Vigilante who had
caught up with him and, with an adroit thrust of his knife, cut the
latter's bridle and escaped. In the end, however, some of Major
Heintzelman's cavalry at Yuma (who had been informed by a fleet Indian
hired to carry the news of the fugitive's flight) overtook Vergara and
shot him dead. These volunteer police or Rangers, as they were called,
were a company of one hundred or more men under command of Dr. A. W.
Hope, and included such well-known early settlers as Nichols, J. G.
Downey, S. C. Foster, Agustin Olvera, Juan Sepúlveda, Horace Bell, M.
Keller, Banning, Benjamin Hayes, F. L. Guirado, David Alexander, J. L.
Brent and I. S. K. Ogier.

Under the new order of things, too, following the adoption in 1849 of
a State constitution, County organization in Los Angeles was effected;
and by the time I declared myself for American citizenship, several
elections had been held. Benjamin Hayes was District Judge in 1853;
Agustin Olvera was finishing his term as County Judge; Dr. Wilson W.
Jones was County Clerk and Recorder--two offices not separated for
twenty years or until 1873; Lewis Granger was County Attorney; Henry
Hancock was Surveyor; Francis Mellus (who succeeded Don Manuel
Garfias, once the princely owner but bad manager of the San Pasqual
_rancho_), was Treasurer; A. F. Coronel was Assessor; James R. Barton
was Sheriff and also Collector of Taxes; and J. S. Mallard, whose name
was given to Mallard Street, was Coroner. Russell Sackett was a
Justice of the Peace here when I arrived; and after a while Mallard
had a court as Justice, near my store on Commercial Street. All in
all, a group of rather strong men!

The administrative officials of both the City and the County had their
headquarters in the one-story adobe building at the northwest corner
of Franklin Alley (later called Jail Street[1]) and Spring Street. In
addition to those mentioned, there was a Justice of the Peace, a
_Zanjero_, and a Jailer. António Franco Coronel had but recently
succeeded Nichols as Mayor; A. S. Beard was Marshal and Tax Collector;
Judge William G. Dryden was Clerk; C. E. Carr was Attorney; Ygnácio
Coronel was Assessor; and S. Arbuckle was Treasurer.

António Franco Coronel, after whom Coronel Street is named, had just
entered upon the duties of Mayor, and was busy enough with the
disposal of donation lots when I first commenced to observe Los
Angeles' government. He came from Mexico to California with his
father, Don Ygnácio F. Coronel; and by 1850 he was the first County
Assessor. He lived at what is now Alameda and Seventh streets, and had
a brother, Manuel, who was City Assessor in 1858.

Major Henry Hancock, a New Hampshire lawyer and surveyor, came to Los
Angeles in 1852, and at the time of my arrival had just made the
second survey of the city, defining the boundaries of the
thirty-five-acre City lots. I met him frequently, and by 1859 I was
well acquainted with him. He then owed Newmark, Kremer & Company some
money and offered, toward liquidation of the debt, one hundred and ten
acres of land lying along Washington and extending as far as the
present Pico Street. It also reached from Main Street to what is now
Grand Avenue. Newmark, Kremer & Company did not wish the land, and so
arranged with Hancock to take firewood instead. From time to time,
therefore, he brought great logs into town, to be cut up; he also
bought a circular saw, which he installed, with horse-power and
tread-mill, in a vacant lot on Spring Street, back of Joseph Newmark's
second residence. The latter was on Main Street, between First and the
northern junction of Main and Spring; and between this junction and
First Street, it may be interesting to note, there was in 1853 no
thoroughfare from Main to Spring. As I was living there, I acted as
his agent for the sale of the wood that was left after our settlement.
The fact is that Hancock was always land poor, and never out of debt;
and when he was particularly hard up, he parted with his possessions
at whatever price they would bring. The Major (earlier known as
Captain Hancock, who enjoyed his titles through his association with
the militia) retained, however, the celebrated La Brea _rancho_--bought
at a very early date from A. J. Rocha, and lying between the city and
the sea--which he long thought would furnish oil, but little dreamt
would also contain some of the most important prehistoric finds; and
this ranch, once managed by his wife, a daughter of Colonel Augustin
Haraszthy, the San Francisco pioneer, is now owned by his son, George
Allan Hancock.

George Hansen, to whose far-reaching foresight we owe the Elysian Park
of to-day, was another professional man who was here before I reached
Los Angeles, having come to California in 1850, by way of Cape Horn
and Peru. When he arrived at Los Angeles, in 1853, as he was fond of
recounting, he was too poor to possess even surveying instruments; but
he found a friend in John Temple, who let him have one hundred dollars
at two per cent interest per month, then a very low rate. Thereupon
Hansen sent to San Francisco for the outfit that enabled him to
establish himself. I met Hansen for the first time in the last few
weeks of 1853, when he came to my brother's store to buy a suit of
clothes, his own being in rags. He had been out, very probably, on an
expedition such as subjected a surveyor, particularly in the early
days, to much hard work and fatigue. Hansen, a good student and fine
linguist, was prominent for many years and made more land measurements
hereabouts than did any one else; he had the real management, in fact,
of Hancock's second survey.

Among others who were here, I might mention the Wheeler brothers.
Colonel John Ozias Wheeler, at various times an office-holder, came to
California from Florida, and having endured many hardships on the trip
along the Mississippi, Arkansas and Gila rivers, arrived at the Chino
_rancho_ on August 12th, 1849, afterward assisting Isaac Williams in
conveying a train of supplies back to the Colorado River. The next
year he was joined by his brother, Horace Z. Wheeler, who came by way
of the Isthmus, and later rose to be Appraiser-General of the Imperial
Customs at Yokohama; and the two young men were soon conducting a
general merchandise business in Los Angeles--if I recollect aright, in
a one-story adobe at the northeast corner of Main and Commercial
streets. Extravagant stories have been printed as to Wheeler's
mercantile operations, one narrative crediting him with sales to the
extent of five thousand dollars or more a day. In those times,
however, no store was large enough to contain such a stock; and two
successive days of heavy sales would have been impossible. In 1851
Colonel Wheeler, who had been on General Andrés Pico's staff, served
as a Ranger; and in 1853 he organized the first military company in
Los Angeles.

Manuel Requena, from Yucatan, was another man of influence. He lived
on the east side of Los Angeles Street, north of the thoroughfare
opened through his vineyard and named after him--later extended east
of Los Angeles Street. As early as June, 1836, Requena, then
_Alcalde_, made a census of this district. He was a member of the
first, as well as the second, third, fifth and seventh Common
Councils, and with David W. Alexander was the only member of the first
body to serve out the entire term. In 1852, Requena was elected a
Supervisor. Mrs. Requena was a sister of Mrs. Alexander Bell and Mrs.
James, or Santiago Johnson, and an aunt of Henry and Francis Mellus
and Mrs. J. H. Lander. Requena died on June 27th, 1876, aged
seventy-four years.

Henry N. Alexander appeared in Los Angeles at about the same time that
I did--possibly afterward--and was very active as a Ranger. He too
occupied positions of trust, in business as well as public life, being
both City and County Treasurer--in the latter case, preceding Maurice
Kremer. It is not surprising, therefore, that he became Wells Fargo &
Company's agent when much uphill work had to be done to establish
their interests here. He married a daughter of Don Pedro Dominguez.
Alexander moved to Arizona, after which I lost track of him.

John W. Shore, who was here in 1853, was County Clerk from 1854 to
1857, and again from 1860 to 1863. He always canvassed for votes on
horseback until, one day, he fell off and broke his leg, necessitating
amputation. This terminated his active campaigns; but through sympathy
he was reëlected, and by a larger majority. Shore was a Democrat.

Mention of public officials leads me to speak of an interesting
personality long associated with them. On the west side of Spring
Street near First, where the Schumacher Building now stands, John
Schumacher conducted, in a single room, as was then common, a grocery
store and bar. A good-hearted, honest German of the old school, and a
first-class citizen, he had come from Würtemberg to America, and then,
with Stevenson's Regiment, to California, arriving in Los Angeles in
1847 or 1848. From here he went to Sutter's Creek, where he found a
nugget of gold worth eight hundred dollars, for which he was offered
land in San Francisco later worth millions--a tender which the
Würtemberger declined; and the same year that I arrived, he returned
to Los Angeles, whose activity had increased considerably since he had
last seen it. In 1855, Schumacher married Fräulein Mary Uhrie, from
which union six children including two sons, John and Frank G.
Schumacher, were born. The eldest daughter became Mrs. Edward A.
Preuss. Schumacher established his store, having bought nearly the
whole block bounded by Spring and First streets and Franklin Alley
for the value of his famous gold nugget; and there he remained until
the early seventies, the Schumacher Block being built, as I have said,
on a part of the property. Mrs. Schumacher in 1880 met with a tragic
death: while at the railway station in Merced, she was jolted from the
platform of a car and was instantly killed.

For something else, however, Schumacher was especially known. When he
returned in 1853, he put on sale the first lager beer introduced into
Los Angeles, importing the same from San Francisco, of which
enterprise the genial German was proud; but Schumacher acquired even
more fame for a drink that he may be said to have invented, and which
was known to the early settlers as _Peach and Honey_. It contained a
good mixture with peach brandy, and was a great favorite, especially
with politicians and frequenters of the neighboring Courthouse,
including well-known members of the Bar, all of whom crowded John's
place, "between times," to enjoy his much-praised concoction. Whenever
in fact anyone had a cold, or fancied that he was going to be so
afflicted, he hastened to John for his reputedly-certain cure.
Schumacher, who served as Councilman in 1855, 1856 and 1857, was
proficient in languages and, as an interpreter, often gave his time
and services freely in assisting his less-gifted neighbors,
particularly the poor and unfortunate, to straighten out their
affairs. In the fall of 1860, he had a narrow escape through the
carelessness of a customer who threw a lighted match into a can of
powder. Schumacher owned some acreage in what was known as the Green
Meadows, a section located near what is now South Figueroa Street; and
this land he held with Jacob Bell, who was assassinated, as I shall
relate, by a Frenchman named Lachenais--hanged, in turn, by an
exasperated mob.

Most political meetings of that period took place at the Plaza home of
Don Ygnácio Del Valle, first County Recorder. From 1841, Don Ygnácio
lived for some time on the San Francisco _rancho_ granted by the King
of Spain to his father and confirmed by patent in 1875. He also owned
the more famous Camulos _rancho_ on the Santa Clara River, consisting
of several thousand acres north and west of Newhall, afterward
selected by Helen Hunt Jackson as the setting for some of the scenes
in her novel, _Ramona_; and these possessions made him a man of great
importance. During his later life, when he had abandoned his town
residence, Del Valle dwelt in genteel leisure at the _rancho_, dying
there in 1880; and I will not miss this opportunity to attest his
patrician bearing and genial qualities.

At the time of my arrival, there was but one voting precinct and the
polling place was located at the old municipal and County adobe
already spoken of; although later a second polls was established at
the Round House. Inside the room sat the election judges and clerks;
outside a window stood the jam of voters. The window-sill
corresponded to the thickness of the adobe wall, and was therefore
about three feet deep. This sill served as a table, upon it being
placed a soap- or candle-box, into which a hole had been cut for the
deposit of the votes.

There was also no register, either great or small, and anyone could
vote. Each party printed its own tickets; and so could any candidate.
This resulted in great confusion, since there were always many tickets
in the field--as many, in fact, as there were candidates; yet the
entire proceeding had become legalized by custom. The candidate of one
party could thus use the ticket of the other, substituting his own
name for his opponent's, and leaving all of the remainder of the
ticket unchanged; in addition to which there was such a lack of
uniformity in the size and color of the ballots as greatly to add to
the confusion in counting.

To make matters worse, the ballot-box was not easily reached because
of the crowd which was made up largely of the candidates and their
friends. Challenging was the order of the day; yet, after crimination
and recrimination, the votes were generally permitted to be cast.
Although it is true, of course, that many votes were legitimate, yet
aliens such as Mexicans, who had not even considered the question of
taking out citizenship papers, were permitted to vote while Indians
and half-breeds, who were not eligible to citizenship at all, were
irregularly given the franchise. The story is told of an election not
far from Los Angeles at which a whole tribe of Indians was voted;
while on another occasion the names on a steamer's passenger-list were
utilized by persons who had already voted, that very day, once or
twice! Cutting off the hair, shaving one's beard or mustache,
reclothing or otherwise transforming the appearance of the
voter--these were some of the tricks then practiced, which the new
registry law of 1866 only partially did away with.

Sonorans, who had recently arrived from Mexico, as well as the aliens
I have mentioned, were easy subjects for the political manipulator.
The various candidates, for example, would round-up these prospective
voters like so many cattle, confine them in corrals (usually in the
neighborhood of Boyle Heights), keep them in a truly magnificent state
of intoxication until the eventful morning, and then put them in
stages hired from either Banning or Tomlinson for the purpose; and
from the time the temporary prisoners left the corral until their
votes had been securely deposited, they were closely watched by
guards. On reaching the voting place, the captives were unloaded from
the stage like so much inanimate baggage, and turned over to friends
of the candidate to whom, so to speak, for the time being they
belonged. One at a time, these creatures were led to vote; and as each
staggered to the ballot-box, a ticket was held up and he was made to
deposit it. Once having served the purpose, he was turned loose and
remained free until another election unless, as I have intimated, he
and his fellows were again corralled and made to vote a second or even
a third time the same day.

Nearly all influential Mexicans were Democrats, so that this party
easily controlled the political situation; from which circumstance a
certain brief campaign ended in a most amusing manner. It happened
that Thomas H. Workman, brother of William H., once ran for County
Clerk, although he was not a Democrat. Billy was naturally much
interested in his brother's candidacy, and did what he could to help
him. On the evening before election, he rented a corral--located near
what is now Macy Street and Mission Road, on property later used by
Charles F., father of Alfred Stern, and for years in partnership with
L. J. Rose; and there, with the assistance of some friends, he herded
together about one hundred docile though illegal voters, most of whom
were Indians, kept them all night and, by supplying fire-water
liberally, at length led them into the state of bewilderment necessary
for such an occasion. The Democratic leaders, however, having learned
of this magnificent _coup_, put their heads together and soon resolved
to thwart Billy's plan. In company with some prominent Mexican
politicians led by Tomás Sanchez, they loaded themselves into a stage
and visited the corral; and once arrived there, those that could made
such flowery stump speeches in the native language of the horde that,
in fifteen or twenty minutes, they had stampeded the whole band! Billy
entered a vigorous protest, saying that the votes were _his_ and that
it was a questionable and even a damnable trick; but all his protests
were of no avail: the bunch of corralled voters had been captured in a
body by the opposition, deciding the contest. These were the methods
then in vogue in accordance with which it was considered a perfectly
legitimate transaction to buy votes, and there was no secret made of
the _modus operandi_ by either party.

During these times of agitated politics, newspapers (such as they
were) played an important part. In them were published letters written
by ambitious candidates to themselves and signed, "The People," "A
Disinterested Citizen," or some equally anonymous phrase. As an
exception to the usual maneuver, however, the following witty
announcement was once printed by an office-seeker:

     George N. Whitman, not having been requested by "Many
     Friends," or solicited by "Many Voters," to become a
     candidate for the office of Township Constable, at the end
     of the ensuing September election, offers himself.

Here I am reminded of an anecdote at the expense of John Quincy Adams
Stanley, who in 1856 ran for Sheriff against David W. Alexander, and
was County Assessor in the middle seventies. Stanley was a very
decent but somewhat over-trusting individual; and ignoring suggestions
as to expenditures for votes, too readily believed promises of support
by the voters of the county, almost every one of whom gave him a
favorable pledge in the course of the campaign. When the ballots were
counted, however, and Stanley learned that he had received just about
fifty votes, he remarked, rather dryly: "I didn't know that there were
so many _damned liars_ in the county!"

Another interesting factor in early elections was the vote of
Teháchepi, then in Los Angeles County. About thirty votes were cast
there; but as communication with Los Angeles was irregular, it was
sometimes necessary to wait a week or more to know what bearing the
decision of Teháchepi had on the general result.


[1] In April, 1872, officially named Franklin Street.




In the primitive fifties there were but comparatively few reputable
lawyers in this neighborhood; nor was there, perhaps, sufficient call
for their services to insure much of a living to many more. To a
greater extent even than now, attorneys were called "Judge;" and at
the time whereof I write, the most important among them were Jonathan
R. Scott, Benjamin Hayes, J. Lancaster Brent, Myron Norton, General
Ezra Drown, Benjamin S. Eaton, Cameron E. Thom, James H. Lander, Lewis
Granger, Isaac Stockton, Keith Ogier, Edward J. C. Kewen and Joseph R.
Gitchell. In addition to these, there was a lawyer named William G.
Dryden, of whom I shall presently speak, and one Kimball H. Dimmick,
who was largely devoted to criminal practice.

Scott, who had been a prominent lawyer in Missouri, stood very high,
both as to physique and reputation. In addition to his great stature,
he had a splendid constitution and wonderful vitality and was
identified with nearly every important case. About March, 1850, he
came here an overland emigrant, and was made one of the two justices
of the peace who formed, with the county judge, on June 24th, the
first Court of Sessions. He then entered into partnership with
Benjamin Hayes, continuing in joint practice with him until April,
1852, after which he was a member successively of the law firms of
Scott & Granger, Scott & Lander, and Scott, Drown & Lander.
Practicing law in those days was not without its difficulties, partly
because of the lack of law-books; and Scott used to tell in his own
vehement style how, on one occasion, when he was defending a French
sea captain against charges preferred by a rich Peruvian passenger, he
was unable to make much headway because there was but one volume
(Kent's _Commentaries_) in the whole pueblo that threw any light, so
to speak, on the question; which lack of information induced _Alcalde_
Stearns to decide against Scott's client. Although the Captain lost,
he nevertheless counted out to Scott, in shining gold-pieces, the full
sum of one thousand dollars as a fee. In 1859, a daughter of Scott
married Alfred Beck Chapman, a graduate of West Point, who came to Los
Angeles and Fort Tejón, as an officer, about 1854. Chapman later
studied law with Scott, and for twenty years practiced with Andrew
Glassell. In 1863, Chapman succeeded M. J. Newmark as City Attorney;
and in 1868, he was elected District Attorney. If I recollect rightly,
Scott died in the sixties, survived by Mrs. Scott--a sister of both
Mrs. J. S. Mallard and Mrs. J. G. Nichols--and a son, J. R. Scott,
admitted in 1880 to practice in the Supreme Court.

Hayes was District Judge when I came, and continued as such for ten or
twelve years. His jurisdiction embraced Los Angeles, San Diego, San
Luis Obispo and Santa Bárbara counties; and the latter section then
included Ventura County. The Judge had regular terms in these
districts and was compelled to hold court at all of the County seats.
A native of Baltimore, Hayes came to Los Angeles on February 3d,
1850--followed on St. Valentine's Day, 1852, by his wife whose journey
from St. Louis, _via_ New Orleans, Havana and Panamá, consumed
forty-three days on the steamers. He was at once elected the first
County Attorney, and tried the famous case against the Irving party.
About the same time Hayes formed his partnership with Scott. In
January, 1855, and while District Judge, Hayes sentenced the murderer
Brown; and in 1858 he presided at Pancho Daniel's trial. Hayes
continued to practice for many years, and was known as a jurist of
high standing, though on account of his love for strong drink, court
on more than one occasion had to be adjourned. During his residence
here, he was known as an assiduous collector of historical data. He
was a brother of both Miss Louisa Hayes, the first woman public-school
teacher in Los Angeles, later the wife of Dr. J. S. Griffin, and Miss
Helena Hayes, who married Benjamin S. Eaton. Judge Hayes died on
August 4th, 1877.

Brent, a native of the South, was also a man of attainment, arriving
here in 1850 with a fairly representative, though inadequate library,
and becoming in 1855 and 1856 a member of the State Assembly. He had
such wonderful influence, as one of the Democratic leaders, that he
could nominate at will any candidate; and being especially popular
with the Mexican element, could also tell a good story or two about
fees. When trouble arose in 1851 between several members of the Lugo
family and the Indians, resulting finally in an attempted
assassination and the narrow escape from death of Judge Hayes (who was
associated with the prosecution of the case), several of the Lugos
were tried for murder; and Brent, whose defense led to their
acquittal, received something like twenty thousand dollars for his
services. He was of a studious turn of mind and acquired most of Hugo
Reid's Indian library. When the Civil War broke out, Brent went South
again and became a Confederate brigadier-general. Brent Street bears
his name.

Norton, a Vermonter, who had first practiced law in New York, then
migrated west, and had later been a prime mover for, and a member of,
the first California Constitutional Convention, and who was afterward
Superior Court Judge at San Francisco, was an excellent lawyer, when
sober, and a good fellow. He came to the Coast in the summer of 1848,
was made First Lieutenant and Chief-of-Staff of the California
Volunteers, and drifted in 1852 from Monterey to Los Angeles. He
joined Bean's Volunteers, and in 1857 delivered here a flowery Fourth
of July oration. Norton was the second County Judge, succeeding
Agustin Olvera and living with the latter's family at the Plaza; and
it was from Norton's Court of Sessions, in May, 1855, that the
dark-skinned Juan Flores was sent to the State prison, although few
persons suspected him to be guilty of such criminal tendencies as he
later developed. Norton died in Los Angeles in 1887; and Norton Avenue
recalls his life and work.

Judge Hayes' successor, Don Pablo de la Guerra, was born in the
_presidio_ of Santa Bárbara in 1819, a member of one of the most
popular families of that locality. Although a Spaniard of the
Spaniards, he had been educated in an Eastern college, and spoke
English fluently. Four times he was elected State Senator from Santa
Bárbara and San Luis Obispo, and was besides a member of the
Constitutional Convention of 1849. Late in 1863, he was a candidate
for District Judge when a singular opposition developed that might
easily have led, in later years at least, to his defeat. A large part
of the population of Santa Bárbara was related to him by blood or
marriage; and it was argued that, if elected, De la Guerra in many
cases would be disqualified from sitting as judge. On January 1st,
1864, however, Don Pablo took up the work as District Judge where
Hayes surrendered it. Just as De la Guerra in 1854 had resigned in
favor of Hunter, before completing his term as United States Marshal,
so now toward the end of 1873, De la Guerra withdrew on account of
ill-health from the district judgeship, and on February 5th, 1874, he

Drown was a lawyer who came here a few months before I did, having
just passed through one of those trying ordeals which might easily
prove sufficient to destroy the courage and ambition of any man. He
hailed from Iowa, where he had served as Brigadier-General of Militia,
and was bound up the Coast from the Isthmus on the steamer
_Independence_ when it took fire, off Lower California, and burned to
the water's edge. General Drown, being a good swimmer and a plucky
fellow, set his wife adrift on a hencoop and then put off for shore
with his two children on his back. Having deposited them safely on the
beach, he swam back to get his wife; but a brutal fellow-passenger
pushed the fainting woman off when her agonized husband was within a
few feet of her; she sank beneath the waves, and he saw his companion
go to her doom at the moment she was about to be rescued. Though
broken in spirit, Drown on landing at San Pedro came to Los Angeles
with his two boys, and put his best foot forward. He established
himself as a lawyer and in 1858 became District Attorney, succeeding
Cameron E. Thom; and it was during his term that Pancho Daniel was
lynched. In 1855, too, Drown instituted the first Los Angeles lodge of
Odd Fellows. Drown was an able lawyer, eloquent and humorous, and
fairly popular; but his generosity affected his material prosperity,
and he died, at San Juan Capistrano, on August 17th, 1863, none too
blessed with this world's goods.

Dimmick, who at one time occupied an office in the old Temple Block on
Main Street, had rather an eventful career. Born in Connecticut, he
learned the printer's trade; then he studied law and was soon admitted
to practice in New York; and in 1846 he sailed with Colonel J. D.
Stevenson, in command of Company K, landing, six months later, at the
picturesquely-named Yerba Buena, on whose slopes the bustling town of
San Francisco was so soon to be founded. When peace with Mexico was
established, Dimmick moved to San José; after which with Foster he
went to the convention whose mission was to frame a State
constitution, and was later chosen Judge of the Supreme Court. In
1852, after having revisited the East and been defrauded of
practically all he possessed by those to whom he had entrusted his
California affairs, Dimmick came to Los Angeles and served as Justice
of the Peace, Notary Public and County Judge. He was also elected
District Attorney, and at another time was appointed by the Court to
defend the outlaw, Pancho Daniel. Dimmick's practice was really
largely criminal, which frequently made him a defender of
horse-thieves, gamblers and desperadoes; and in such cases one could
always anticipate his stereotyped plea:

     Gentlemen of the Jury: The District Attorney prosecuting my
     client is paid by the County to convict this prisoner,
     whether he be guilty or innocent; and I plead with you,
     gentlemen, in the name of Impartial Justice, to bring in a
     verdict of "Not guilty!"

Through the help of his old-time friend, Secretary William H. Seward,
Dimmick toward the end of his life was appointed Attorney for the
Southern District of the United States in California; but on September
11th, 1861, he suddenly died of heart disease.

Eaton, another prominent representative of the Bar, came from New
England as early as 1850, while California government was in its
infancy and life anything but secure; and he had not been here more
than a few months when the maneuvers of António Garra, Agua Caliente's
chief, threatened an insurrection extending from Tulare to San Diego
and made necessary the organization, under General J. H. Bean, of
volunteers to allay the terror-stricken community's fears. Happily,
the company's chief activity was the quieting of feminine nerves. On
October 3d, 1853, Eaton was elected District Attorney and in 1857,
County Assessor. Later, after living for a while at San Gabriel, Eaton
became a founder of the Pasadena colony, acting as its President for
several years; and in 1876 he was one of the committee to arrange for
the local Centennial celebration. Frederick Eaton, several times City
Engineer and once--in 1899-1900--Mayor of Los Angeles, is a son of
Benjamin Eaton and his first wife, Helena Hayes, who died a few years
after she came here, and the brother of Mrs. Hancock Johnston. He
reflects no little credit on his father by reason of a very early,
effective advocacy of the Owens River Aqueduct. Under his
administration, the City began this colossal undertaking, which was
brought to a happy consummation in the year 1913 through the
engineering skill of William Mulholland, Eaton's friend. In 1861,
Judge Eaton married Miss Alice Taylor Clark, of Providence, R. I., who
is still living.

  [Illustration: Henry Mellus
   From a Daguerrotype]

  [Illustration: Francis Mellus
   From a Daguerrotype]

  [Illustration: John G. Downey]

  [Illustration: Charles L. Ducommun]

  [Illustration: The Plaza Church
   From a photograph, probably taken in the middle eighties]

While I am upon this subject of lawyers and officialdom, a few words
regarding early jurists and court decorum may be in order. In 1853,
Judge Dryden, who had arrived in 1850, was but a Police Justice, not
yet having succeeded Dimmick as County Judge; and at no time was his
knowledge of the law and things pertaining thereto other than
extremely limited. His audacity, however, frequently sustained him in
positions that otherwise might have been embarrassing; and this
audacity was especially apparent in Dryden's strong opposition to
the criminal element. He talked with the volubility of a Gatling gun,
expressing himself in a quick, nervous manner and was, besides, very
profane. One day he was trying a case, when Captain Cameron E. Thom
(who had first come to Los Angeles in 1854, as the representative of
the National Government, to take testimony before Commissioner
Burrill) was one of the attorneys. During the progress of the case,
Thom had occasion to read a lengthy passage from some statute book.
Interrupting him, the Judge asked to see the weighty volume; when,
having searched in vain for the citation, he said in his
characteristic, jerky way:

"I'll be ---- _damned_, Mr. Thom, if I can find that law!"

All of which recalls to me a report, once printed in the _Los Angeles
Star_, concerning this same jurist and an inquest held by him over a
dead Indian:

     Justice Dryden and the Jury sat on the body. The verdict
     was: "Death from intoxication, _or_ by the visitation of

Dryden, who was possessed of a genial personality, was long remembered
with pleasure for participation in Fourth of July celebrations and
processions. He was married, I believe, in 1851, only one year after
he arrived here, to Señorita Dolores Nieto; and she having died, he
took as his second wife, in September, 1868, another Spanish lady,
Señorita Anita Dominguez, daughter of Don Manuel Dominguez. Less than
a year afterward, on September 10th, 1869, Judge Dryden himself died
at the age of seventy years.

Thom, by the way, came from Virginia in 1849 and advanced rapidly in
his profession. It was far from his expectation to remain in Los
Angeles longer than was necessary; and he has frequently repeated to
me the story of his immediate infatuation with this beautiful section
and its cheering climate, and how he fell in love with the quaint
little pueblo at first sight. Soon after he decided to remain here, he
was assigned as associate counsel to defend Pancho Daniel, after the
retirement of Columbus Sims. In 1856, Thom was appointed both City
and District Attorney, and occupied the two positions at the same
time--an odd situation which actually brought it about, during his
tenure of offices, that a land dispute between the City and the County
obliged Thom to defend both interests! In 1863, he was a partner with
A. B. Chapman; and twenty years later, having previously served as
State Senator, he was elected Mayor of the city. Captain Thom married
two sisters--first choosing Miss Susan Henrietta Hathwell, and then,
sometime after her death, leading to the altar Miss Belle Cameron
Hathwell whom he had named and for whom, when she was baptized, he had
stood godfather. A man ultimately affluent, he owned, among other
properties, a large ranch at Glendale.[2]

Another good story concerning Judge Dryden comes to mind, recalling a
certain Sheriff. As the yarn goes, the latter presented himself as a
candidate for the office of Sheriff; and in order to capture the vote
of the native element, he also offered to marry the daughter of an
influential Mexican. A bargain was concluded and, as the result, he
forthwith assumed the responsibilities and dangers of both shrieval
and matrimonial life.

Before the Sheriff had possessed this double dignity very long,
however, a gang of horse-thieves began depredations around Los
Angeles. A _posse_ was immediately organized to pursue the
desperadoes, and after a short chase they located the band and brought
them into Los Angeles. Imagine the Sheriff's dismay, when he found
that the leader was none other than his own brother-in-law whom he had
never before seen!

To make the story short, the case was tried and the prisoner was found
guilty; but owing to influence (to which most juries in those days
were very susceptible) there was an appeal for judicial leniency.
Judge Dryden, therefore, in announcing the verdict, said to the
Sheriff's brother-in-law, "The jury finds you guilty as charged," and
then proceeded to read the prisoner a long and severe lecture, to
which he added: "But the jury recommends clemency. Accordingly, I
declare you a free man, and you may go about your business." Thereupon
someone in the room asked: "What _is_ his business?" To which the
Judge, never flinching, shouted: "_Horse-stealing_, sir!

Lander was here in 1853, having come from the East the year previous.
He was a Harvard College graduate--there were not many on the Coast in
those days--and was known as a good office-practitioner; he was for
some time, in fact, the Bar's choice for Court Commissioner. I think
that, for quite a while, he was the only examiner of real estate
titles; he was certainly the only one I knew. On October 15th, 1852,
Lander had married Señorita Margarita, a daughter of Don Santiago
Johnson, who was said to have been one of the best known business men
prior to 1846. Afterward Lander lived in a cottage on the northeast
corner of Fourth and Spring streets. This cottage he sold to I. W.
Hellman in the early seventies, for four thousand dollars; and
Hellman, in turn, sold it at cost to his brother. On that lot, worth
to-day probably a million dollars, the H. W. Hellman Building now
stands. Lander died on June 10th, 1873.

Granger was still another lawyer who was here when I arrived, he
having come with his family--one of the first American households to
be permanently established here--in 1850. By 1852, he had formed a
partnership with Jonathan R. Scott, and in that year attained
popularity through his Fourth of July oration. Granger was, in fact, a
fluent and attractive speaker, which accounted, perhaps, for his
election as City Attorney in 1855, after he had served the city as a
member of the Common Council in 1854. If I recollect aright, he was a
candidate for the district judgeship in the seventies, but was

Ogier, a lawyer from Charleston, S. C., came to California in 1849,
and to Los Angeles in 1851, forming a partnership on May 31st of that
year with Don Manuel Clemente Rojo, a clever, genial native of Peru.
On September 29th, Ogier succeeded William C. Ferrell, the first
District Attorney; in 1853, he joined the voluntary police; and later
served, for some years, as United States District Judge. He died at
Holcombe Valley in May, 1861. Ogier Street, formerly Ogier Lane, was
named for him. Rojo, after dividing his time between the law and the
Spanish editorial work on the _Star_, wandered off to Lower California
and there became a "sub-political chief."

Kewen, a native of Mississippi and a veteran of the Mexican War, came
to Los Angeles in 1858 with the title of Colonel, after _fiasco_
followed his efforts, in the Southern States, to raise relief for the
filibuster Walker, on whose expedition A. L. Kewen, a brother, had
been killed in the battle at Rivas, Nicaragua, in June, 1855. Once a
practitioner at law in St. Louis, Kewen was elected California's first
Attorney-General, and even prior to the delivery of his oration before
the Society of Pioneers at San Francisco, in 1854, he was
distinguished for his eloquence. In 1858, he was Superintendent of Los
Angeles City Schools. In the sixties, Kewen and Norton formed a
partnership. Settling on an undulating tract of some four hundred and
fifty acres near San Gabriel, including the ruins of the old Mission
mill and now embracing the grounds of the Huntington Hotel, Kewen
repaired the house and converted it into a cosy and even luxurious
residence, calling the estate ornamented with gardens and fountains,
_El Molino_--a title perpetuated in the name of the present suburb.
Kewen was also a member of the State Assembly and, later, District
Attorney. He died in November, 1879.

Gitchell, United States District Attorney in the late fifties,
practiced here for many years. He was a jolly old bachelor and was
popular, although he did not attain eminence.

Isaac Hartman, an attorney, and his wife, who were among the
particularly agreeable people here in 1853, soon left for the East.

Volney E. Howard came with his family in the late fifties. He left San
Francisco, where he had been practicing law, rather suddenly, and at a
time when social conditions in the city were demoralized, and the
citizens, as in the case of the people of Los Angeles, were obliged to
organize a vigilance committee. William T. Coleman, one of the
foremost citizens of his city, led the Northern movement, and M. J.
Newmark, then a resident of San Francisco, was among those who
participated. Howard, who succeeded William T., afterward General
Sherman in leading the Law and Order contingent, opposed the idea of
mob rule; but the people of San Francisco, fully alive to the
necessity of wiping out the vicious elements, and knowing how hard it
was to get a speedy trial and an honest jury, had little sympathy with
his views. He was accordingly ordered out of town, and made his way,
first to Sacramento, then to the South. Here, with Kewen as their
neighbor, Howard and his talented wife, a lady of decidedly
blue-stocking tendencies, took up their residence near the San Gabriel
Mission; and he became one of the most reliable attorneys in Los
Angeles, serving once or twice as County Judge and on the Supreme
Court bench, as well as in the State Constitutional Convention of

Speaking of the informality of courts in the earlier days, I should
record that jurymen and others would come in coatless and, especially
in warm weather, without vests and collars; and that it was the
fashion for each juryman to provide himself with a jack-knife and a
piece of wood, in order that he might whittle the time away. This was
a recognized privilege, and I am not exaggerating when I say that if
he forgot his piece of wood, it was considered his further prerogative
to whittle the chair on which he sat! In other respects, also, court
solemnity was lacking. Judge and attorneys would frequently lock
horns; and sometimes their disputes ended violently. On one occasion,
for example, while I was in court, Columbus Sims, an attorney who came
here in 1852, threw an inkstand at his opponent, during an
altercation; but this contempt of court did not call forth his
disbarment, for he was later found acting as attorney for Pancho
Daniel, one of Sheriff Barton's murderers, until sickness compelled
his retirement from the case. As to panel-service, I recollect that
while serving as juror in those early days, we were once locked up for
the night; and in order that time might not hang too heavily on our
hands, we engaged in a sociable little game of poker. Sims is dead.

More than inkstands were sometimes hurled in the early courts. On one
occasion, for instance, after the angry disputants had arrived at a
state of agitation which made the further use of canes, chairs, and
similar objects tame and uninteresting, revolvers were drawn,
notwithstanding the marshal's repeated attempts to restore order.
Judge Dryden, in the midst of the _mêlée_, hid behind the platform
upon which his Judgeship's bench rested; and being well out of the
range of the threatening irons, yelled at the rioters:

"_Shoot away_, damn you! and to _hell_ with all of you!"

After making due allowance for primitive conditions, it must be
admitted that many and needless were the evils incidental to court
administration. There was, for instance, the law's delay, which
necessitated additional fees to witnesses and jurors and thus
materially added to the expenses of the County. Juries were always a
mixture of incoming pioneers and natives; the settlers understood very
little Spanish, and the native Californians knew still less English;
while few or none of the attorneys could speak Spanish at all. In
translating testimony, if the interpreter happened to be a friend of
the criminal (which he generally was), he would present the evidence
in a favorable light, and much time was wasted in sifting biased
translations. Of course, there were interpreters who doubtless
endeavored to perform their duties conscientiously. George Thompson
Burrill, the first Sheriff, received fifty dollars a month as court
interpreter, and Manuel Clemente Rojo translated testimony as well;
officials I believe to have been honest and conscientious.

While alluding to court interpreters and the general use of Spanish
during at least the first decade after I came to California, I am
reminded of the case of Joaquín Carrillo, who was elected District
Judge, in the early fifties, to succeed Judge Henry A. Tefft of Santa
Bárbara, who had been drowned near San Luis Obispo while attempting to
land from a steamer in order to hold court. During the fourteen years
when Carrillo held office, he was constantly handicapped by his little
knowledge of the English language and the consequent necessity of
carrying on all court proceedings in Spanish, to say nothing of the
fact that he was really not a lawyer. Yet I am told that Carrillo
possessed common sense to such a degree that his decisions were seldom
set aside by the higher courts.

Sheriff Burrill had a brother, S. Thompson Burrill, who was a lawyer
and a Justice of the Peace. He held court in the Padilla Building on
Main Street, opposite the present site of the Bullard Block and
adjoining my brother's store; and as a result of this proximity we
became friendly. He was one of the best-dressed men in town, although,
when I first met him, he could not have been less than sixty years of
age. He presented me with my first dog, which I lost on account of
stray poison: evil-disposed or thoughtless persons, with no respect
for the owner, whether a neighbor or not, and without the slightest
consideration for pedigree, were in the habit of throwing poison on
the streets to kill off canines, of which there was certainly a

Ygnácio Sepúlveda, the jurist and a son of José Andrés Sepúlveda, was
living here when I arrived, though but a boy. Born in Los Angeles in
1842, he was educated in the East and in 1863 admitted to the Bar; he
served in the State Legislature of the following winter, was County
Judge from 1870 to 1873, and District Judge in 1874. Five years later
he was elected Superior Judge, but resigned his position in 1884 to
become Wells Fargo & Company's representative in the City of Mexico,
at which capital for two years he was also American _Chargé
d'Affaires_. There to my great pleasure I met him, bearing his honors
modestly, in January, 1885, during my tour of the southern
republic.[3] Sepúlveda Avenue is named for the family.

Horace Bell was a nephew of Captain Alexander Bell, of Bell's Row; and
as an early comer to Los Angeles, he joined the volunteer mounted
police. Although for years an attorney and journalist, in which
capacity he edited the _Porcupine_, he is best known for his
_Reminiscences of a Ranger_, a volume written in rather a breezy and
entertaining style, but certainly containing exaggerations.

This reference to the Rangers reminds me that I was not long in Los
Angeles when I heard of the adventures of Joaquín Murieta, who had
been killed but a few months before I came. According to the stories
current, Murieta, a nephew of José María Valdez, was a decent-enough
sort of fellow, who had been subjected to more or less injustice from
certain American settlers, and who was finally bound to a tree and
horsewhipped, after seeing his brother hung, on a trumped-up charge.
In revenge, Murieta had organized a company of bandits, and for two or
three years had terrorized a good part of the entire State. Finally,
in August, 1853, while the outlaw and several of his companions were
off their guard near the Tejón Paso, they were encountered by Captain
Harry Love and his volunteer mounted police organized to get him,
"dead or alive;" the latter killed Murieta and another desperado known
as Three-fingered Jack. Immediately the outlaws were despatched, their
heads and the deformed hand of Three-fingered Jack were removed from
the bodies and sent by John Sylvester and Harry Bloodsworth to Dr.
William Francis Edgar, then a surgeon at Fort Miller; but a flood
interfering, Sylvester swam the river with his barley sack and its
gruesome contents. Edgar put the trophies into whiskey and arsenic,
when they were transmitted to the civil authorities, as vouchers for a
reward. Bloodsworth died lately.

Daredevils of a less malicious type were also resident among us. On
the evening of December 31st, 1853, for example, I was in our store at
eight o'clock when Felipe Rheim--often called Reihm and even
Riehm--gloriously intoxicated and out for a good time, appeared on the
scene, flourishing the ubiquitous weapon. His celebration of the New
Year had apparently commenced, and he was already six sheets in the
wind. Like many another man, Felipe, a very worthy German, was
good-natured when sober, but a terror when drunk; and as soon as he
spied my solitary figure, he pointed his gun at me, saying, at the
same time, in his vigorous native tongue, "Treat, or _I shoot_!" I
treated. After this pleasing transaction amid the smoky obscurity of
Ramón Alexander's saloon, Felipe fired his gun into the air and
disappeared. Startling as a demand like that might appear to-day, no
thought of arrest then resulted from such an incident.

The first New Year's Eve that I spent in Los Angeles was ushered in
with the indiscriminate discharging of pistols and guns. This method
of celebrating was, I may say, a novelty to me, and no less a
surprise; for of course I was unaware of the fact that, when the city
was organized, three years before, a proposition to prohibit the
carrying of firearms of any sort, or the shooting off of the same,
except in defense of self, home or property, had been stricken from
the first constitution by the committee on police, who reported that
such an ordinance could not at that time be enforced. Promiscuous
firing continued for years to be indulged in by early Angeleños,
though frequently condemned in the daily press, and such was its
effect upon even me that I soon found myself peppering away at a
convenient adobe wall on Commercial Street, seeking to perfect my aim!


[2] Thom died on February 2d, 1915.

[3] After an absence of thirty years, Judge Sepúlveda returned to Los
Angeles, in 1914, and was heartily welcomed back by his many friends
and admirers.




Trivial events in a man's life sometimes become indelibly impressed on
his memory; and one such experience of my own is perhaps worth
mentioning as another illustration of the rough character of the
times. One Sunday, a few days after my arrival, my brother called upon
a tonsorial celebrity, Peter Biggs, of whom I shall speak later,
leaving me in charge of the store. There were two entrances, one on
Main Street, the other on Requena. I was standing at the Main Street
door, unconscious of impending excitement, when a stranger rode up on
horseback and, without the least hesitation or warning, pointed a
pistol at me. I was not sufficiently amused to delay my going, but
promptly retreated to the other door where the practical joker,
astride his horse, had easily anticipated my arrival and again greeted
me with the muzzle of his weapon. These maneuvers were executed a
number of times, and my ill-concealed trepidation only seemed to
augment the diversion of a rapidly-increasing audience. My brother
returned in the midst of the fun and asked the jolly joker what in
hell he meant by such behavior; to which he replied: "Oh, I just
wanted to frighten the boy!"

Soon after this incident, my brother left for San Francisco; and his
partner, Jacob Rich, accompanied by his wife, came south and rented
rooms in what was then known as Mellus's Row, an adobe building for
the most part one-story, standing alone with a garden in the rear,
and occupying about three hundred feet on the east side of Los Angeles
Street, between Aliso and First. In this row, said by some to have
been built by Barton & Nordholt, in 1850, for Captain Alexander Bell,
a merchant here since 1842, after whom Bell Street is named, and by
others claimed to have been the headquarters of Frémont, in 1846,
there was a second-story at the corner of Aliso, provided with a large
veranda; and there the Bell and Mellus families lived. Francis Mellus,
who arrived in California in 1839, had married the niece of Mrs. Bell,
and Bell having sold the building to Mellus, Bell's Row became known
as Mellus's Row. Finally, Bell repurchased the property, retaining it
during the remainder of his life; and the name was again changed. This
famous stretch of adobe, familiarly known as The Row, housed many
early shopkeepers, such as Ferner & Kraushaar, general merchants,
Kalisher & Wartenberg, and Bachman & Bauman. The coming to Los Angeles
of Mr. and Mrs. Rich enabled me to abandon La Rue's restaurant, as I
was permitted to board with them. None the less, I missed my brother
very much.

Everything at that time indicating that I was in for a commercial
career, it was natural that I should become acquainted with the
merchants then in Los Angeles. Some of the tradesmen, I dare say, I
have forgotten; but a more or less distinct recollection remains of
many, and to a few of them I shall allude.

Temple Street had not then been opened by Beaudry and Potts, although
there was a little _cul-de-sac_ extending west from Spring Street; and
at the junction of what is now Spring and Temple streets, there was a
two-story adobe building in which D. W. Alexander and Francis Mellus
conducted a general merchandise business, and at one time acted as
agents for Mellus & Howard of San Francisco. Mellus, who was born in
Salem, Massachusetts, February 3d, 1824, came to the Coast in 1839,
first landing at Santa Bárbara; and when I first met him he had
married Adelaida, daughter of Don Santiago Johnson, and our
fellow-townsman, James J. Mellus--familiarly known as plain Jim--was
a baby. Alexander & Mellus had rather an extensive business in the
early days, bringing goods by sailing vessel around Cape Horn, and
exchanging them for hides and tallow which were carried back East by
the returning merchantmen. They had operated more or less extensively
even some years before California was ceded to the United States; but
competition from a new source forced these well-established merchants
to retire. With the advent of more frequent, although still irregular
service between San Francisco and the South, and the influx of more
white people, a number of new stores started here bringing merchandise
from the Northern market, while San Francisco buyers began to outbid
Alexander & Mellus for the local supply of hides and tallow. This so
revolutionized the methods under which this tradition-bound old
concern operated that, by 1858, it had succumbed to the inevitable,
and the business passed into the hands of Johnson & Allanson, a firm
made up of Charles R. Johnson, soon to be elected County Clerk, and
Horace S. Allanson.

Most of the commercial activity in this period was carried on north of
First Street. The native population inhabited Sonora Town, for the
most part a collection of adobes, named after the Mexican state whence
came many of our people; there was a contingent from other parts of
Mexico; and a small sprinkling of South Americans from Chile and Peru.
Among this Spanish-speaking people quite a business was done by
Latin-American storekeepers. It followed, naturally enough, that they
dealt in all kinds of Mexican goods.

One of the very few white men in this district was José Mascarel (a
powerfully-built French sea-captain and master of the ship that
brought Don Luis Vignes to the Southland), who settled in Los Angeles
in 1844, marrying an Indian woman. He had come with Prudhomme and
others; and under Captain Henseley had taken part in the military
events at San Bartolo and the Mesa. By 1865, when he was Mayor of the
city, he had already accumulated a number of important real estate
holdings and owned, with another Frenchman, Juan Barri, a baker, the
block extending east on the south side of Commercial Street, from
Main to Los Angeles, which had been built in 1861 to take the place of
several old adobes. This the owners later divided, Mascarel taking the
southeast corner of Commercial and Main streets, and Barri the
southwest corner of Commercial and Los Angeles streets. In the
seventies, I. W. Hellman bought the Mascarel corner, and in 1883, the
Farmers & Merchants Bank moved to that location, where it remained
until the institution purchased the southwest corner of Fourth and
Main streets, for the erection of its own building.

Andrés Ramirez was another Sonora Town merchant. He had come from
Mexico in 1844, and sold general merchandise in what, for a while, was
dubbed the Street of the Maids. Later, this was better known as Upper
Main Street; and still later it was called San Fernando Street.

Louis Abarca was a tradesman and a neighbor of Ramirez. Prosperous
until the advent of the pioneer, he little by little became poorer,
and finally withdrew from business.

Juan Bernard, a native of French Switzerland, whose daughter married
D. Botiller, now an important landowner, came to California by way of
the Horn, in search of the precious metal, preceding me to this land
of sunshine. For awhile, he had a brickyard on Buena Vista Street; but
in the late seventies, soon after marrying Señorita Susana Machado,
daughter of Don Agustin Machado, he bought a vineyard on Alameda
Street, picturesquely enclosed by a high adobe or brick wall much
after the fashion of a European _château_. He also came to own the
site of the Natick House. A clever linguist and a man of attractive
personality, he passed away in 1889.

An American by the name of George Walters lived on Upper Main Street,
among the denizens of which locality he was an influential person.
Born at New Orleans as early as 1809, Walters had trapped and traded
in the Rocky Mountains, then teamed for awhile between Santa Fé and
neighboring points. Near the end of 1844, he left New Mexico in
company with James Waters, Jim Beckwith and other travelers, finally
reaching Los Angeles. Walters, who settled in San Bernardino, was at
the Chino Ranch, with B. D. Wilson and Louis Robidoux, when so many
Americans were made prisoners.

Julian Chavez, after whom Chavez Street is named, was here in 1853. If
he was not native-born, he came here at a very early day. He owned a
stretch of many acres, about a mile northeast of Los Angeles. He was a
good, honest citizen, and is worthy of recollection.

Ramón Alexander, a Frenchman often confused with David Alexander, came
to Los Angeles before 1850, while it was still a mere Mexican village.
Pioneers remember him especially as the builder of the long-famous
Round House, on Main Street, and as one who also for some time kept a
saloon near Requena Street. Alexander's wife was a Señorita Valdez. He
died in 1870.

Antoine Laborie was another Frenchman here before the beginning of the
fifties. He continued to live in Los Angeles till at least the late
seventies. A fellow-countryman, B. Dubordieu, had a bakery in Sonora

Philip Rheim, the good-natured German to whom I have referred, had a
little store and saloon, before I came, called _Los dos Amigos_, as
the proprietor of which he was known as Don Felipe. Nor was this title
amiss; for Felipe married a native woman and, German though he had
been, he gradually became, like so many others who had mated in the
same way, more and more Californian in manners and customs.

A month after I arrived here, John Behn, who had a grocery business at
the northeast corner of First and Los Angeles streets, retired. He had
come to Los Angeles from Baden in 1848, and, after forming one or two
partnerships, had sold out to Lorenzo Leck, a German Dane, who reached
here in November, 1849, and whose son, Henry von der Leck, married a
daughter of Tom Mott and is living at San Juan Capistrano. Leck opened
his own store in 1854, and despite the trials to which he was to be
subjected, he was able, in 1868, to pay John Schumacher three thousand
dollars for a lot on Main Street. Leck had a liking for the
spectacular; and in the November previous to my arrival was active, as
I have been told, with Goller and Nordholt, in organizing the first
political procession seen in Los Angeles. The election of Pierce was
the incentive, and there were gorgeous transparencies provided for the
event. It was on this occasion that a popular local character, George
the Baker, burned himself badly while trying to fire off the
diminutive cannon borrowed from the Spanish _padre_ for the event.

In the one-story adobe of Mascarel and Barri, on the corner of
Commercial and Main streets, now the site of the United States
National Bank, an Irishman named Samuel G. Arbuckle, who had come here
in 1850 and was associated for a short time with S. Lazard, conducted
a dry goods store. From 1852 to 1856, Arbuckle was City Treasurer.

In the same building, and adjoining Arbuckle's, John Jones, father of
Mrs. J. B. Lankershim and M. G. Jones, carried on a wholesale grocery
business. Jones had left England for Australia, when forty-seven years
old, and a year later touched the coast of California at Monterey and
came to Los Angeles. Twice a year, Jones went north in a schooner, for
the purpose of replenishing his stock; and after making his purchases
and having the boat loaded, he would return to Los Angeles. Sometimes
he traveled with the round-bellied, short and jolly Captain Morton who
recalled his illustrious prototype, Wouter van Twiller, so humorously
described by Washington Irving as "exactly five feet six inches in
height, and six feet five inches in circumference;" sometimes he
sailed with Captain J. S. Garcia, a good-natured seaman. During his
absence, the store remained closed; and as this trip always required
at least six weeks, some idea may be obtained of the Sleepy Hollow
methods then prevailing in this part of the West. In 1854 or 1855,
Jones, who was reputed to be worth some fifty thousand dollars, went
to San Francisco and married Miss Doria Deighton, and it was generally
understood that he expected to settle there; but having been away for
a couple of years, he returned to the City of the Angels, this being
one of the first instances within my observation of the irresistible
attraction of Los Angeles for those who have once lived here. It is
my recollection that Jones bought from John G. Downey the Cristóbal
Aguilar home then occupied by W. H. and Mrs. Perry; a building the
more interesting since it was understood to have served, long in the
past and before the American occupation, as a _calabozo_ or jail, and
to have had a whipping-post supposed to have done much service in
keeping the turbulently-inclined natives quiet. How many of the old
adobes may at times have been used as jails, I am unable to say, but
it is also related that there stood on the hill west of the Plaza
another _cuartel_, afterward the home of B. S. Eaton, where Fred,
later Mayor of Los Angeles, was born. Like Felix Bachman and others,
Jones entered actively into trade with Salt Lake City; and although he
met with many reverses--notably in the loss of Captain Morton's _Laura
Bevan_, which sank, carrying down a shipload of uninsured goods--he
retired well-to-do.

John, sometimes called Juan Temple--or Jonathan, as he used to sign
himself in earlier years--who paid the debt of Nature in 1866, and
after whom Temple Street is named, was another merchant, having a
store upon the piece of land (later the site of the Downey Block, and
now occupied by the Post Office) which, from 1849 to 1866, was in
charge of my friend, Don Ygnácio Garcia, his confidential business
agent. Garcia imported from Mexico both _serapes_ and _rebozos_; and
as every Mexican man and woman required one of these garments, Temple
had a large and very lucrative trade in them alone. Following the
death of Temple, Garcia continued under Hinchman, the executor of the
estate, until everything had been settled.

It was really far back in 1827 when Temple came to Los Angeles,
started the first general merchandise store in town, and soon took
such a lead in local affairs that the first Vigilance Committee in the
city was organized in his store, in 1836. Toward the fifties, he
drifted south to Mexico and there acquired a vast stretch of land on
the coast; but he returned here, and was soon known as one of the
wealthiest, yet one of the stingiest men in all California. His real
estate holdings in or near Los Angeles were enormous; but the bad
judgment of his executor cost him dear, and valuable properties were
sacrificed. After his death, Temple's wife--who once accompanied her
husband to Paris, and had thus formed a liking for the livelier French
capital--returned to France with her daughter, later Doña Ajuria, to
live; and A. F. Hinchman, Temple's brother-in-law, who had been
Superintendent of Santa Bárbara County Schools, was appointed
administrator. Hinchman then resided in San Diego, and was intensely
partial to that place. This may have prejudiced him against Los
Angeles; but whatever the cause, he offered Temple's properties at
ridiculous prices, and some of the items of sale may now be

The present site of the Government Building, embracing as it then did
the forty-foot street north of it, was at that time improved with an
adobe building covering the entire front and running back to New High
Street; and this adobe, known after Temple's death as the Old Temple
Block, Hinchman sold for fifteen thousand dollars. He also disposed of
the new Temple Block, including the improvement at the south end which
I shall describe, for but sixteen thousand dollars. I remember quite
well that Ygnácio Garcia was the purchaser, and that, tiring of his
bargain in a couple of weeks, he resold the property to John Temple's
brother, Francisco, at cost.

Hinchman, for fourteen thousand dollars, also disposed of the site of
the present Bullard Block, whereon Temple had erected a large brick
building, the lower part of which was used as a market while the upper
part was a theater. The terms in each of these three transactions were
a thousand dollars per annum, with interest at ten per cent. He sold
to the Bixbys the Cerritos _rancho_, containing twenty-six thousand
acres, for twenty thousand dollars. Besides these, there were eighteen
lots, each one hundred and twenty by three hundred and thirty feet,
located on Fort Street (now Broadway), some of which ran through to
Spring and others to Hill, which were bought by J. F. Burns and
William Buffum for one thousand and fifty dollars, or fifty dollars
each for the twelve inside and seventy-five dollars each for the six
corner lots.

Returning to the Fort Street lots, it may be interesting to know that
the property would be worth to-day--at an average price of four
thousand dollars per foot--about nine million dollars. Eugene Meyer
purchased one of the lots (on the west side of Fort Street, running
through to Hill, one hundred and twenty by three hundred and thirty
feet in size), for the sum of one thousand dollars; and I paid him a
thousand dollars for sixty feet and the same depth. In 1874 I built on
this site the home occupied by me for about twelve years, after which
I improved both fronts for F. L. Blanchard. These two blocks are still
in my possession; the Broadway building is known as Blanchard Hall.
Blanchard, by the way, a comer of 1886, started his Los Angeles career
in A. G. Bartlett's music store, and has since always been closely
identified with art movements. He organized the system of cluster
street-lights in use here and was an early promoter of good roads.

  [Illustration: Pio Pico From an oil portrait]

  [Illustration: Juan Bandini]

  [Illustration: Abel Stearns]

  [Illustration: Isaac Williams]

  [Illustration: Store of Felipe Rheim]

Charles L. Ducommun was here in business in 1853, he and John G.
Downey having arrived together, three years before. According to the
story still current, Ducommun, with his kit and stock as a watchmaker,
and Downey, with his outfit as a druggist, hired a _carreta_ together,
to transport their belongings from San Pedro to Los Angeles; but the
_carreta_ broke down, and the two pilgrims to the City of the Angels
had to finish their journey afoot. Ducommun's first store, located on
Commercial Street between Main and Los Angeles, was about sixteen by
thirty feet in size, but it contained an astonishing assortment of
merchandise, such as hardware, stationery and jewelry. Perhaps the
fact that Ducommun came from Switzerland, then even more than now the
chief home of watchmaking, explains his early venture in the making
and selling of watches; however that may be, it was to Charlie
Ducommun's that the bankrupt merchant Moreno--later sentenced to
fourteen or fifteen years in the penitentiary for robbing a
Frenchman--came to sell the Frenchman's gold watch. Moreno confessed
that he had organized a gang of robbers, after his failure in
business, and had murdered even his own lieutenants. Ducommun,
pretending to go into a rear room for the money, slipped out of the
back door and gave the alarm. Ducommun's store was a sort of
curiosity-shop containing many articles not obtainable elsewhere; and
he was clever enough, when asked for any rarity, to charge all that
the traffic would bear. I wonder what Charlie Ducommun would say if he
could return to life and see his sons conducting a large, modern
wholesale hardware establishment on an avenue never thought of in his
day and where once stretched acres of fruit and vine lands! Ducommun
Street commemorates this pioneer.

Ozro W. Childs, who came to Los Angeles in November, 1850, was for
awhile in partnership with J. D. Hicks, the firm being known as Childs
& Hicks. They conducted a tin-shop on Commercial Street, in a building
about twenty by forty feet. In 1861, H. D. Barrows joined them, and
hardware was added to the business. Somewhat later the firm was known
as J. D. Hicks & Company. In 1871, Barrows bought out the Childs and
Hicks interests, and soon formed a partnership with W. C. Furrey,
although the latter arrived in Los Angeles only in 1872. When Barrows
retired, Furrey continued alone for several years. The W. C. Furrey
Company was next organized, with James W. Hellman as the active
partner of Furrey, and with Simon Maier, the meat-packer and brother
of the brewer, and J. A. Graves as stockholders. Hellman, in time,
succeeded this company and continued for himself. When Childs
withdrew, he went in for importing and selling exotic trees and
plants, and made his home place, in more modern days known as the
Huntington Purchase and running from Main to Hill and Eleventh to
Twelfth streets, wonderfully attractive to such tourists as then
chanced this way; he also claimed to be the pioneer floriculturist of
Los Angeles County. Toward the end of his life, Childs erected on Main
Street, south of First, a theater styled an opera house and later
known as the Grand, which was popular in its time. Childs Avenue bears
the family name.

Labatt Brothers had one of the leading dry goods houses, which,
strange as it may seem, they conducted in a part of the Abel Stearns
home, corner of Main and Arcadia streets, now occupied by the Baker
Block. Their establishment, while the most pretentious and certainly
the most specialized of its day in town, and therefore patronized by
our well-to-do people, would nevertheless make but a sorry appearance
in comparison with even a single department in any of the mammoth
stores of to-day.

Jacob Elias was not only here in 1853, in partnership with his brother
under the firm name of Elias Brothers, but he also induced some of his
friends in Augusta, Georgia, to migrate to California. Among those who
came in 1854 were Pollock, whose given name I forget, and L. C.,
better known as Clem Goodwin. The latter clerked for awhile for Elias
Brothers, after which he associated himself with Pollock under the
title of Pollock & Goodwin. They occupied premises at what was then
the corner of Aliso Street and Nigger Alley, and the site, some years
later, of P. Beaudry's business when we had our interesting contest,
the story of which I shall relate in due time. Pollock & Goodwin
continued in the general merchandise business for a few years, after
which they returned to Augusta. Goodwin, however, came back to
California in 1864 a Benedick, and while in San Francisco accidentally
met Louis Polaski who was then looking for an opening. Goodwin induced
Polaski to enter into partnership with him, and the well-known early
clothing house of Polaski & Goodwin was thus established in the Downey
Block. In 1867, they bought out I. W. Hellman and moved over to the
southeast corner of Commercial and Main streets. Goodwin sold out to
Polaski in 1881, when the firm became Polaski & Sons; in 1883 Sam,
Isidor and Myer L. Polaski bought out their father, and in time
Polaski Brothers also withdrew. Goodwin became Vice-president of the
Farmers & Merchants Bank. Polaski died in 1900, Goodwin having
preceded him a short time before. Goodwin left his wife some valuable
property, and as they were without issue, she so richly endowed the
Children's Hospital, at her death, that the present building was made

The Lanfranco brothers--Juan T. and Mateo--came from Genoa, Italy, by
way of Lima, Peru and New York, whence they crossed the Plains with
James Lick the carpenter later so celebrated, and they were both here
in business in 1853; Juan, a small capitalist or _petit rentier_,
living where the Lanfranco Building now stands, opposite the Federal
Building, while Mateo kept a grocery store on Main Street, not far
from Commercial. In 1854, Juan added to his independence by marrying
Señorita Petra Pilar, one of fourteen children of Don José Loreto
Sepúlveda, owner of the Palos Verdes _rancho_; the celebration of the
nuptials, in dancing and feasting, lasting five days. It was at that
ranch that a great stampede of cattle occurred, due to fright when the
pioneer sulky, imported by Juan Lanfranco from San Francisco, and then
a strange object, was driven into their midst. About 1861, the first
Lanfranco Building was erected. Mateo died on October 4th, 1873, while
Juan passed away on May 20th, 1875. His wife died in 1877. A daughter
married Walter Maxwell; a second daughter became the wife of Walter S.
Moore, for years Chief of the Fire Department; and still another
daughter married Arthur Brentano, one of the well-known Paris and New
York booksellers.

Solomon Lazard and Maurice Kremer, cousins of about the same age, and
natives of Lorraine, were associated in 1853 under the title of Lazard
& Kremer, being located in a storeroom in Mellus's Row, and I may add
that since nearly all of the country development had taken place in
districts adjacent to San Gabriel, El Monte and San Bernardino, travel
through Aliso Street was important enough to make their situation one
of the best in town. Lazard had arrived in San Francisco in 1851, and
having remained there about a year, departed for San Diego, where it
was his intention to engage in the dry goods business. Finding that
there were not enough people there to maintain such an establishment
of even moderate proportions, Lazard decided upon the advice of a
seafaring man whom he met to remove his stock, which he had brought
from the Northern town, to Los Angeles. He told me that he paid
fifty-six dollars' steamer fare from San Francisco to San Diego, and
that the freight on his merchandise cost him twenty dollars a ton.
Among his native friends, Lazard was always known as Don Solomon, and
being popular, he frequently acted as floor-manager at balls and
fandangos. Lazard is still living at the good old age of eighty-seven
years. Kremer also reached here in 1852. In time, Timoteo Wolfskill, a
son of William Wolfskill, bought Kremer's interest, and the firm name
became Lazard & Wolfskill. Each of these worthy pioneers in his day
rendered signal service to the community--Lazard serving as Councilman
in 1862; and I shall have occasion, therefore, to refer to them again.
Abe Lazard, a brother of Solomon, who had spent some years in South
America, came in the late fifties. Dr. E. M. Lazard is a son of S.

While speaking of San Diego, I may remark that it was quite fifteen
years before the interesting old Spanish settlement to the South, with
which I had no business relations, attracted me; and as I was no
exception, the reader may see how seldom the early settlers were
inclined to roam about merely for sight-seeing.

In 1853, M. Norton and E. Greenbaum sold merchandise at the southwest
corner of Los Angeles and Commercial streets (when Jacob, J. L., an
early Supervisor and City Treasurer, 1863-64 and Moritz Morris,
Councilman in 1869-70, were competitors). In time, Jacob returned to
Germany, where he died. Herman Morris, a brother, was a local
newspaper reporter. Jacob Letter was another rival, who removed to
Oakland. Still another dealer in general merchandise was M. Michaels,
almost a dwarf in size, who emigrated to South America. Casper
Behrendt--father-in-law of John Kahn, a man prominent in many
movements--who arrived in 1851, was another Commercial Street
merchant. Still other early merchants whom I somewhat distinctly
recall were Israel Fleishman and Julius Sichel, who had a glassware,
crockery and hardware business; and L. Lasky, on Commercial Street.

Thomas D. Mott, father of John Mott, the attorney, who was lured to
California by the gold-fever of 1849, and to Los Angeles, three years
later, by the climate, I met on the day of my arrival. His room
adjoined my brother's store, so that we soon formed an acquaintanceship
which ripened, in the course of time, into a friendship that endured
until the day of his death. In the early sixties, he was the
proprietor of a livery stable on Main Street, opposite the Stearns
home. He was very fond of hunting, being an expert at dropping a bird
on the wing; and frequently went dove-shooting with his friends.

All of which, insignificant as it may at first appear, I mention for
the purpose of indicating the neighborhood of these operations. The
hunting-ground covered none other than that now lying between Main and
Olive streets from about Sixth Street to Pico, and teeming to-day, as
the reader knows, with activity and life. There sportsmen hunted,
while more matter-of-fact burghers frequently went with scythes to cut
grass for their horses.

Prudent Beaudry, a native of Quebec destined to make and lose several
fortunes, was here when I came, having previously been a merchant in
San Francisco when staple articles--such as common tacks, selling at
sixteen dollars a package!--commanded enormous prices. Two or three
times, however, fire obliterated all his savings, and when he reached
Los Angeles, Beaudry had only about a thousand dollars' worth of goods
and two or three hundred dollars in cash. With these assets he opened
a small store on Main Street, opposite the Abel Stearns home; and
again favored by the economic conditions of the times, he added to his
capital very rapidly. From Main Street Beaudry moved to Commercial,
forming partnerships successively with a man named Brown and with one
Le Maître. As early as 1854, Beaudry had purchased the property at the
northeast corner of Aliso Street and Nigger Alley for eleven thousand
dollars, and this he so improved with the additional investment of
twenty-five thousand dollars that he made his now elongated adobe
bring him in an income of a thousand a month. As stated elsewhere,
Beaudry went to Europe in 1855, returning later to Montreal; and it
was not until 1861 or later that he came back to Los Angeles and
reëngaged in business, this time in his own building where until 1865
he thrived, withdrawing, as I shall soon show, in the beginning of
1866. Beaudry Avenue recalls this early and important man of affairs.

David W. Alexander, Phineas Banning's enterprising partner in
establishing wagon-trains, was here when I came and was rather an
influential person. An Irishman by birth, he had come to California
from Mexico by way of Salt Lake, in the early forties, and lived for
awhile in the San Bernardino country. From 1844 to 1849, John Temple
and he had a store at San Pedro, and still later he was associated in
business with Banning, selling out his interest in 1855. In 1850,
Alexander was President of the first Common Council of Los Angeles,
being one of the two members who completed their term; in 1852, he
visited Europe; and in September, 1855, he was elected Sheriff of the
County, bringing to his aid the practical experience of a Ranger.
Before keeping store, Alexander had farmed for awhile on the Rincon
_rancho_; he continued to hold a large extent of acreage and in 1872
was granted a patent to over four thousand acres in the Providencia,
and in 1874 to nearly seventeen thousand acres in the Tejunga
_rancho_. George C. Alexander, David's brother, was Postmaster at San
Pedro in 1857.

The Hazards arrived in 1853 with a large family of children, Captain
A. M. Hazard having made his way with ox-teams from the East, via Salt
Lake, on a journey which consumed nearly two years. At first they took
up a claim about four miles from Los Angeles, which was later declared
Government land. The eldest son, Daniel, was employed by Banning as a
teamster, traveling between Los Angeles and Yuma; but later he set up
in the teaming business for himself. George W. Hazard became a dealer
in saddlery in Requena Street; and taking an active interest in the
early history of Los Angeles, he collected, at personal sacrifice,
souvenirs of the past, and this collection has become one of the few
original sources available for research.[4] In 1889, Henry T. Hazard,
after having served the City as its Attorney, was elected Mayor, his
administration being marked by no little progress in the town's growth
and expansion. Henry, who married a daughter of Dr. William Geller,
and after whom Hazard Street is named, is the only one of the
brothers who survives.

Sam Meyer, who met me, as related, when I alighted from the stage, was
another resident of Los Angeles prior to my coming. He had journeyed
from Germany to America in 1849, had spent four years in New Orleans,
Macon, and other Southern cities, and early in 1853 had come to
California. On Main Street, south of Requena, I found him, with
Hilliard Loewenstein, in the dry goods business, an undertaking they
continued until 1856, when Loewenstein returned to Germany, to marry a
sister of Meyer. Emanuel Loewenstein, one of the issue of this
marriage, and a jolly, charitable fellow, is well known about town. On
December 15th, 1861, Meyer married Miss Johanna,[5] daughter of S. C.
and Rosalia Davis, and the same year formed a partnership with Davis
in the crockery business. After two and a half years of residence in
Germany, Loewenstein returned to Los Angeles. Meyer, so long
identified with local freemasonry, died in 1903. A daughter married
Max Loewenthal, the attorney.

Baruch Marks, one of the very few people yet living who were here when
I arrived, is now about ninety-one years of age, and still[6] a
resident of Los Angeles. He was with Louis Schlesinger (who lost his
life when the _Ada Hancock_ was destroyed) and Hyman Tischler in the
general merchandise business in 1853 at Mellus's Row, the firm being
known as B. Marks & Company; and having prospered, he went to Berlin.
There, after the Franco-Prussian War, when much disaster befell
speculators, he lost most of his means; and greatly reduced in
resources, he returned to Los Angeles. Since then, however, he has
never been able to retrieve his fortune. Luckily he enjoys good
health, even being able at his advanced age, as he told me recently,
to shave himself.

In 1851, Herman Schlesinger reached Los Angeles and engaged in the dry
goods business with Tobias Sherwinsky. In 1855, Moritz Schlesinger,
Herman's brother, came here and clerked for the firm. In 1857,
Schlesinger & Sherwinsky, having made, approximately, fourteen
thousand dollars, which they divided, sold out to Moritz Schlesinger
and returned to Germany. A few years later Sherwinsky lost his money
and, coming back to California, located in San Diego where he died.
Schlesinger remained in Germany and died there, about 1900.

Collins Wadhams had a general store on the northeast corner of Main
and Commercial streets--a piece of property afterward bought by
Charlie Ducommun. At another time, Wadhams & Foster were general
merchants who, succeeding to the business of Foster & McDougal, were
soon followed by Douglass, Foster & Wadhams. Clerking for this firm
when I came was William W. Jenkins, who left for Arizona, years
afterward, where he led an adventurous life.

Henry G. Yarrow, often called _Cuatro Ojos_ or four eyes, from the
fact that he wore a pair of big spectacles on a large hooked nose, was
an eccentric character of the fifties and later. He once conducted a
store at the southwest corner of Los Angeles and Requena streets, and
was the Jevne of his day in so far as he dealt in superior and
exceptional commodities generally not found in any other store. In
other respects, however, the comparison fails; for he kept the
untidiest place in town, and his stock was fearfully jumbled together,
necessitating an indefinite search for every article demanded. The
store was a little low room in an adobe building about twenty feet
long and ten feet wide, with another room in the rear where Yarrow
cooked and slept. He was also a mysterious person, and nobody ever saw
the inside of this room. His clothes were of the commonest material;
he was polite and apparently well-bred; yet he never went anywhere for
social intercourse, nor did he wish anyone to call upon him except for
trade. Aside from the barest necessities, he was never known to spend
any money, and so he came to be regarded as a miser. One morning he
was found dead in his store, and for some time thereafter people dug
in his backyard searching for the earnings believed to have been
secreted there; but not a cent of his horde was ever found. There
were all kinds of rumors, however, respecting Yarrow. One was to the
effect that he was the scion of a noted English family, and that
disappointment in love had soured and driven him from the world; while
another report was that his past had been somewhat shady. Nobody,
apparently, knew the truth; but I personally believe that Yarrow was
honest, and know that when at one time, despite his efforts, he failed
in business, he endeavored to settle his debts upon the most honorable

Charles Hale, later associated with M. W. Childs, had a tin-shop just
where Stearns's Arcadia Block now stands. This shop stood on elevated
ground, making his place of business rather difficult of access; from
which the reader will gain some idea of the irregular appearance of
the landscape in early days. Hale in time went to Mexico, where he was
reported to have made a fortune.

August Ulyard arrived with his wife on the last day of December, 1852,
and rented a house near the Plaza. In competition with Joseph Lelong,
who had established his Jenny Lind bakery a couple of years previous,
Ulyard opened a bake-shop, making his first bread from yeast which
Mrs. Ulyard had brought with her across the Plains. There had been
nothing but French bread in Los Angeles up to that time, but Ulyard
began to introduce both German and American bread and cake, which soon
found favor with many; later he added freshly-baked crackers. After a
while, he moved to the site of the Natick House, at the southwest
corner of Main and First streets; and once he owned the southwest
corner of Fifth and Spring streets, on which the Alexandria Hotel now
stands. Having no children of their own, Ulyard and his wife adopted
first one and then another, until eventually they had a family of

Picturing these unpretentious stores, I recall a custom long prevalent
here among the native population. Just as in Mexico a little lump of
sugar called a _pilon_, or something equally insignificant, was given
with even the smallest purchase, so here some trifle, called a
_pilon_, was thrown in to please the buyer. And if a merchant
neglected to offer such a gratuity, the customer was almost certain to
ask for it.

Among the meat-handlers, there were several Sentous brothers, but
those with whom I was more intimately acquainted were Jean and Louis,
father of Louis Sentous the present French Consul, both of whom, if I
mistake not, came about the middle of the fifties. They engaged in the
sheep business; and later Louis had a packing-house of considerable
importance located between Los Angeles and Santa Monica, where he also
owned over a thousand acres of valuable land which he sold some time
before his death. They were very successful; and Sentous Street bears
their name. Jean died in 1903, and Louis a few years later.

Refúgio Botello was another wholesale cattle- and meat-dealer.

Arthur McKenzie Dodson, who came here in 1850 and later married Miss
Reyes, daughter of Nasário Dominguez, conducted a butcher shop and one
of the first grocery stores. He was also the first to make soap here.
For a while Dodson was in partnership with John Benner who, during a
quarter of a century when in business for himself, in the old Temple
adobe on Main Street, built up an important trade in the handling of
meat. James H. Dodson is Arthur's son.

Santiago Bollo also kept a small grocery.

"Hog" Bennett was here in the middle fifties. He raised and killed
hogs, and cured the ham and bacon which he sold to neighboring

Possessed as he was of an unusual sense of rectitude, I esteemed
Francisco Solano, father of Alfredo Solano, for his many good
qualities. He was in the butcher business in Sonora Town, and was
prosperous in the early fifties.

An odd little store was that of Madame Salandie, who came to
California in 1849, on the same vessel that brought Lorenzo Leck. She
had a butcher shop; but, rather curiously, she was also a

I believe that Jack Yates was here in 1853. He owned the first general
laundry, located on Los Angeles Street between First and Requena, and
conducted it with success and profit for many years, until he
succumbed to the competition of the Chinese. Yates's daughter, Miss
Mary D., married H. J. Woollacott, at one time a prominent financier.

More than once, in recording these fragmentary recollections, I have
had occasion to refer to persons who, at one time or another, were
employed in a very different manner than in a later period of their
lives. The truth is that in the early days one's occupation did not
weigh much in the balance, provided only that he was honorable and a
good citizen; and pursuits lowly to-day were then engaged in by
excellent men. Many of the vocations of standing were unknown, in
fact, fifty or sixty years ago; and refined and educated gentlemen
often turned their attention to what are now considered humble


[4] George Hazard died on February 8th, 1914.

[5] Mrs. Meyer died on September 4th, 1914.

[6] Marks died on July 9th, 1914.




About the time when I arrived, Assessor António F. Coronel reported an
increase in the City and County assessment of over eight hundred and
five thousand dollars, but the number of stores was really limited,
and the amount of business involved was in proportion. The community
was like a village; and such was the provincial character of the town
that, instead of indicating the location of a store or office by a
number, the advertiser more frequently used such a phrase as "opposite
the Bella Union," "near the Express Office," or "_vis-à-vis_ to Mr.
Temple's." Nor was this of great importance: change of names and
addresses were frequent in business establishments in those days--an
indication, perhaps, of the restless spirit of the times.

Possibly because of this uncertainty as to headquarters, merchants
were indifferent toward many advertising aids considered to-day rather
essential. When I began business in Los Angeles, most of the
storekeepers contented themselves with signs rudely lettered or
painted on unbleached cloth, and nailed on the outside of the adobe
walls of their shops. Later, their signs were on bleached cloth and
secured in frames without glass. In 1865, we had a painted wooden
sign; and still later, many establishments boasted of letters in gold
on the glass doors and windows. So too, when I first came here,
merchants wrote their own billheads and often did not take the trouble
to do that; but within two or three years afterward, they began to
have them printed.

People were also not as particular about keeping their places of
business open all day. Proprietors would sometimes close their stores
and go out for an hour or two for their meals, or to meet in a
friendly game of billiards. During the monotonous days when but little
business was being transacted, it was not uncommon for merchants to
visit back and forth and to spend hours at a time in playing cards. To
provide a substitute for a table, the window sill of the thick adobe
was used, the visitor seating himself on a box or barrel on the
outside, while the host within at the window would make himself
equally comfortable. Without particularizing, it is safe to state that
the majority of early traders indulged in such methods of killing
time. During this period of miserably lighted thoroughfares, and
before the arrival of many American families, those who did not play
cards and billiards in the saloons met at night at each other's stores
where, on an improvised table, they indulged in a little game of draw.

Artisans, too, were among the pioneers. William H. Perry, a carpenter
by trade, came to Los Angeles on February 1st, 1853, bringing with
him, and setting up here, the first stationary steam engine. In May,
1855, seeing an opportunity to expand, he persuaded Ira Gilchrist to
form a partnership with him under the name of W. H. Perry & Company. A
brief month later, however--so quickly did enterprises evolve in early
Los Angeles--Perry gave up carpentering and joined James D. Brady in
the furniture business. Their location was on Main Street between
Arcadia and the Plaza. They continued together several years, until
Wallace Woodworth--one of Tom Mott's horsemen who went out to avenge
the death of Sheriff Barton--bought out Brady's interest, when the
firm became Perry & Woodworth. They prospered and grew in importance,
their speciality being inside cabinet-work; and on September 6th,
1861, they established a lumber yard in town, with the first regular
saw- and planing-mills seen here. They then manufactured beehives,
furniture and upholstery, and contracted for building and
house-furnishing. In 1863, Stephen H., brother of Tom Mott, joined the
firm. Perry & Woodworth were both active in politics, one being a
Councilman, the other a Supervisor--the latter, a Democratic leader,
going as a delegate to the convention that nominated General Winfield
S. Hancock for the presidency. Their political affiliations indeed
gave them an influence which, in the awarding of contracts, was
sufficient to keep them supplied with large orders. Woodworth's demise
occurred in 1883. Perry died on October 30th, 1906.

Nels Williamson, a native of Maine and a clever fellow, was another
carpenter who was here when I arrived. He had come across the Plains
from New Orleans in 1852 as one of a party of twenty. In the
neighborhood of El Paso de Águila they were all ambushed by Indians,
and eighteen members of the party were killed; Williamson, and Dick
Johnson, afterward a resident of Los Angeles, being the two that
escaped. On a visit to Kern County, Nels was shot by a hunter who
mistook him for a bear; the result of which was that he was badly
crippled for life. So long as he lived--and he approached ninety
years--Nels, like many old-timers, was horribly profane.

Henri Penelon, a fresco-painter, was here in 1853, and was recognized
as a decorator of some merit. When the old Plaza Church was renovated,
he added some ornamental touches to it. At a later period, he was a
photographer as well as a painter.

Among the blacksmiths then in Los Angeles was a well-known German,
John Goller, who conducted his trade in his own shop, occupying about
one hundred feet on Los Angeles Street where the Los Angeles Saddlery
Company is now located. Goller was an emigrant who came by way of the
Salt Lake route, and who, when he set up as the pioneer blacksmith and
wagon-maker, was supplied by Louis Wilhart, who had a tannery on the
west side of the river, with both tools and customers. When Goller
arrived, ironworkers were scarce, and he was able to command pretty
much his own prices. He charged sixteen dollars for shoeing a horse
and used to laugh as he told how he received nearly five hundred
dollars for his part in rigging up the awning in front of a
neighboring house. When, in 1851, the Court of Sessions ordered the
Sheriff to see that fifty lances were made for the volunteer Rangers,
Goller secured the contract. Another commission which he filled was
the making for the County of a three-inch branding-iron with the
letters, _L. A._ There being little iron in stock, Goller bought up
old wagon-tires cast away on the plains, and converted them into
various utensils, including even horseshoes. As an early wagon-maker
he had rather a discouraging experience, his first wagon remaining on
his hands a good while: the natives looked upon it with inquisitive
distrust and still clung to their heavy _carretas_. He had introduced,
however, more modern methods, and gradually he established a good
sale. Afterward he extended his field of operations, the late sixties
finding him shipping wagons all over the State. His prosperity
increased, and Mullaly, Porter & Ayers constructed for him one of the
first brick buildings in Los Angeles. A few years later, Goller met
with heavy financial reverses, losing practically all that he had.

I have stated that no care was given to either the streets or
sidewalks, and a daily evidence of this was the confusion in the
neighborhood of John's shop, which, together with his yard, was one of
the sights of the little town because the blacksmith had strewn the
footway, and even part of the road, with all kinds of piled-up
material; to say nothing of a lot of horses invariably waiting there
to be shod. The result was that passers-by were obliged to make a
detour into the often muddy street to get around and past Goller's

John Ward was an Angeleño who knew something of the transition from
heavy to lighter vehicles. He was born in Virginia and took part in
the Battle of New Orleans. In the thirties he went to Santa Fé, in one
of the earliest prairie schooners to that point; thence he came to Los
Angeles for a temporary stay, making the trip in the first carriage
ever brought to the Coast from a Yankee workshop. In 1849, he returned
for permanent residence; and here he died in 1859.

D. Anderson, whose daughter married Jerry Newell, a pioneer of 1856,
was a carriage-maker, having previously been in partnership with a man
named Burke in the making of pack-saddles. After a while, when
Anderson had a shop on Main Street, he commenced making a vehicle
somewhat lighter than a road wagon and less elaborate than a carriage.
With materials generally purchased from me he covered the vehicle,
making it look like a hearse. A newspaper clipping evidences
Anderson's activity in the middle seventies--"a little shaky on his
pins, but cordial as ever."

Carriages were very scarce in California at the time of my arrival,
although there were a few, Don Abel Stearns possessing the only
private vehicle in Los Angeles; and transportation was almost entirely
by means of saddle-horses, or the native, capacious _carretas_. These
consisted of a heavy platform, four or five by eight or ten feet in
size, mounted on two large, solid wheels, sawed out of logs, and were
exceedingly primitive in appearance, although the owners sometimes
decorated them elaborately; while the wheels moved on coarse, wooden
axles, affording the traveler more jounce than restful ride. The
_carretas_ served, indeed, for nearly all the carrying business that
was done between the _ranchos_ and Los Angeles; and when in operation,
the squeaking could be heard at a great distance, owing especially to
the fact that the air being undisturbed by factories or noisy traffic,
quiet generally prevailed. So solid were these vehicles that, in early
wars, they were used for barricades and the making of temporary
corrals, and also for transporting cannon.

This sharp squeaking of the _carreta_, however, while penetrating and
disagreeable in the extreme, served a purpose, after all, as the
signal that a buyer was approaching town; for the vehicle was likely
to have on board one or even two good-sized families of women and
children, and the keenest expectation of our little business world was
consequently aroused, bringing merchants and clerks to the front of
their stores. A couple of oxen, by means of ropes attached to their
horns, pulled the _carretas_, while the men accompanied their families
on horseback; and as the roving oxen were inclined to leave the road,
one of the riders (wielding a long, pointed stick) was kept busy
moving from side to side, prodding the wandering animals and thus
holding them to the highway. Following these _carretas_, there were
always from twenty-five to fifty dogs, barking and howling as if mad.

Some of the _carretas_ had awnings and other tasteful trimmings, and
those who could afford it spent a great deal of money on saddles and
bridles. Each _caballero_ was supplied with a _reata_ (sometimes
locally misspelled _riata_) or leathern rope, one end of which was
tied around the neck of the horse while the other--coiled and tied to
the saddle when not in use--was held by the horseman when he went into
a house or store; for hitching posts were unknown, with the natural
result that there were many runaways. When necessary, the _reata_ was
lowered to the level of the ground, to accommodate passers-by. Riders
were always provided with one or two pistols, to say nothing of the
knife which was frequently a part of the armament; and I have seen
even sabers suspended from the saddles.

As I have remarked, Don Abel Stearns owned the first carriage in town;
it was a strong, but rather light and graceful vehicle, with a closed
top, which he had imported from Boston in 1853, to please Doña
Arcadia, it was said. However that may be, it was pronounced by Don
Abel's neighbors the same dismal failure, considering the work it
would be called upon to perform under California conditions, as these
wiseacres later estimated the product of John Goller's carriage shop
to be. Speaking of Goller, reminds me that John Schumacher gave him an
order to build a spring wagon with a cover, in which he might take his
family riding. It was only a one-horse affair, but probably because of
the springs and the top which afforded protection from both the sun
and the rain, it was looked upon as a curiosity.

It is interesting to note, in passing, that John H. Jones, who was
brought from Boston as a coachman by Henry Mellus--while Mrs. Jones
came as a seamstress for Mrs. Mellus--and who for years drove for Abel
Stearns, left a very large estate when he died, including such
properties as the northeast corner of Fifth and Spring streets, the
northwest corner of Main and Fifth streets (where, for several years,
he resided,) and other sites of great value; and it is my recollection
that his wage as coachman was the sole basis of this huge
accumulation. Stearns, as I mention elsewhere, suffered for years from
financial troubles; and I have always understood that during that
crisis Jones rendered his former employer assistance.

Mrs. Frémont, the General's wife, also owned one of the first
carriages in California. It was built to order in the East and sent
around the Horn; and was constructed so that it could be fitted up as
a bed, thus enabling the distinguished lady and her daughter to camp
wherever night might overtake them.

Shoemakers had a hard time establishing themselves in Los Angeles in the
fifties. A German shoemaker--perhaps I should say a _Schuhmachermeister_!
--was said to have come and gone by the beginning of 1852; and less
than a year later, Andrew Lehman, a fellow-countryman of John Behn,
arrived from Baden and began to solicit trade. So much, however, did
the general stores control the sale of boots and shoes at that time,
that Lehman used to say it was three years before he began to make
more than his expenses. Two other shoemakers, Morris and Weber, came
later. Slaney Brothers, in the late sixties, opened the first shoe
store here.

In connection with shoemakers and their lack of patronage, I am
reminded of the different foot gear worn by nearly every man and boy
in the first quarter of a century after my arrival, and the way they
were handled. Then shoes were seldom used, although clumsy brogans
were occasionally in demand. Boots were almost exclusively worn by the
male population, those designed for boys usually being tipped with
copper at the toes. A dozen pair, of different sizes, came in a case,
and often a careful search was required through several boxes to find
just the size needed. At such times, the dealer would fish out one
pair after another, tossing them carelessly onto the floor; and as
each case contained odd sizes that had proven unsalable, the none too
patient and sometimes irascible merchant had to handle and rehandle
the slow-moving stock. Some of the boots were highly ornamented at the
top, and made a fine exhibit when displayed (by means of strings
passing through the boot straps) in front of the store. Boot-jacks,
now as obsolete as the boots themselves, are also an institution of
that past.

Well out in the country, where the Capitol Milling Company's plant now
stands, and perhaps as successor to a still earlier mill built there
by an Englishman, Joseph Chapman (who married into the Ortega
family--since become famous through Émile C. Ortega who, in 1898,
successfully began preserving California chilis),--was a small mill,
run by water, known as the Eagle Mills. This was owned at different
times by Abel Stearns, Francis Mellus and J. R. Scott, and conducted,
from 1855 to 1868, by John Turner, who came here for that purpose, and
whose son, William, with Fred Lambourn later managed the grocery store
of Lambourn & Turner on Aliso Street. The miller made poor flour
indeed; though probably it was quite equal to that produced by Henry
Dalton at the Azusa, John Rowland at the Puente, Michael White at San
Gabriel, and the Theodore brothers at their Old Mill in Los Angeles.
The quantity of wheat raised in Southern California was exceedingly
small, and whenever the raw material became exhausted, Turner's supply
of flour gave out, and this indispensable commodity was then procured
from San Francisco. Turner, who was a large-hearted man and helpful to
his fellows, died in 1878. In the seventies, the mill was sold to J.
D. Deming, and by him to J. Loew, who still controls the corporation,
the activity of which has grown with the city.

Half a year before my coming to Los Angeles, or in April, 1853, nearly
twenty-five thousand square miles had been lopped off from Los Angeles
County, to create the County of San Bernardino; and yet in that short
time the Mormons, who had established themselves there in 1851 as a
colony on a tract of land purchased from Diego Sepúlveda and the three
Lugos--José del Carmen, José María and Vicente--and consisting of
about thirty-five thousand acres, had quite succeeded in their
agricultural and other ventures. Copying somewhat the plan of Salt
Lake City, they laid out a town a mile square, with right-angled
blocks of eight acres and irrigating _zanjas_ parallel with the
streets. In a short time, they were raising corn, wheat (some of it
commanding five dollars a bushel), barley and vegetables; and along
their route of travel, by way of the Mormon metropolis, were coming to
the Southland many substantial pioneers. From San Bernardino, Los
Angeles drew her supply of butter, eggs and poultry; and as three days
were ordinarily required for their transportation across what was then
known as the desert, these products arrived in poor condition,
particularly during the summer heat. The butter would melt, and the
eggs would become stale. This disadvantage, however, was in part
compensated for by the economical advantage of the industry and thrift
of the Mormons, and their favorable situation in an open, fertile
country; for they could afford to sell us their produce very
reasonably--fifteen cents a dozen for eggs, and three dollars a dozen
for chickens well satisfying them! San Bernardino also supplied all of
our wants in the lumber line. A lumber yard was then a prospect--seven
or eight years elapsing before the first yard and planing-mill were
established; and this necessary building material was peddled around
town by the Mormon teamsters who, after disposing of all they could in
this manner, bartered the balance to storekeepers to be later put on
sale somewhere near their stores.

But two towns broke the monotony of a trip between Los Angeles and San
Bernardino, and they were San Gabriel Mission and El Monte. I need not
remind my readers that the former place, the oldest and quaintest
settlement in the county, was founded by Father Junípero Serra and his
associates in 1771, and that thence radiated all of their operations
in this neighborhood; nor that, in spite of all the sacrifice and
human effort, matters with this beautifully-situated Mission were in a
precarious condition for several decades. It may be less known,
however, that the Mission Fathers excelled in the cultivation of
citrus fruits, and that their chief competitors, in 1853, were
William Wolfskill and Louis Vignes, who were also raising seedling
oranges of a very good quality. The population of San Gabriel was then
principally Indian and Mexican, although there were a few whites
dwelling some distance away. Among these, J. S. Mallard, afterward
Justice of the Peace and father of the present City Assessor, Walter
Mallard, carried on a small business; and Mrs. Laura Cecelia
Evertsen--mother-in-law of an old pioneer, Andrew J. King, whose wife
is the talented daughter, Mrs. Laura Evertsen King--also had a store
there. Still another early storekeeper at the quaint settlement was
Max Lazard, nephew of Solomon Lazard, who later went back to France.
Another pioneer to settle near the San Gabriel River was Louis
Phillips, a native of Germany who reached California in 1850, by way
of Louisiana, and for a while did business in a little store on the
Long Wharf at San Francisco. Then he came to Los Angeles, where he
engaged in trade; in 1853, he bought land on which, for ten years or
until he removed to Spadra (where Mrs. Phillips still survives him),
he tilled the soil and raised stock. The previous year, Hugo Reid, of
whom I often heard my neighbors speak in a complimentary way, had died
at San Gabriel where he had lived and worked. Reid was a cultured
Scotchman who, though born in the British Isles, had a part, as a
member of the convention, in making the first Constitution for
California. He married an Indian woman and, in his leisure hours,
studied the Indians on the mainland and Catalina, contributing to the
Los Angeles _Star_ a series of articles on the aborigines still
regarded as the valuable testimony of an eyewitness.

This Indian wife of the scholarly Reid reminds me of Nathan Tuch, who
came here in 1853, having formerly lived in Cleveland where he lost
his first wife. He was thoroughly honest, very quiet and genteel, and
of an affectionate disposition. Coming to California and San Gabriel,
he opened a little store; and there he soon married a full-blooded
squaw. Notwithstanding, however, the difference in their stations and
the fact that she was uneducated, Tuch always remained faithful to
her, and treated her with every mark of respect. When I last visited
Tuch and his shop, I saw there a home-made sign, reading about as

               NOW 73 YEARS OLD.

When he died, his wife permitted his burial in the Jewish Cemetery.

Michael White was another pioneer, who divided his time between San
Gabriel and the neighborhood that came to be known as San Bernardino,
near which he had the rancho Muscupiabe. Although drifting hither as
long ago as 1828, he died, in the late eighties, without farm, home or

Cyrus Burdick was still another settler who, after leaving Iowa with
his father and other relatives in December, 1853, stopped for a while
at San Gabriel. Soon young Burdick went to Oregon; but, being
dissatisfied, he returned to the Mission and engaged in farming. In
1855, he was elected Constable; a year later, he opened a store at San
Gabriel, which he conducted for eight or nine years. Subsequently, the
Burdicks lived in Los Angeles, at the corner of First and Fort streets
on the site of the present Tajo Building. They also owned the
northeast corner of Second and Spring streets. This property became
the possession of Fred Eaton, through his marriage to Miss Helen L.

Fielding W. Gibson came early in the fifties. He had bought at Sonora,
Mexico, some five hundred and fifty head of cattle, but his _vaqueros_
kept up such a regular system of side-tracking and thieving that, by
the time he reached the San Gabriel Valley, he had only about
one-seventh of his animals left. Fancying that neighborhood, he
purchased two hundred and fifty acres of land from Henry Dalton and
located west of El Monte, where he raised stock and broom corn.

El Monte--a name by some thought to refer to the adjacent mountains,
but actually alluding to the dense willow forests then surrounding the
hamlet--the oldest American settlement in the county, was inhabited by
a party of mixed emigrants, largely Texans and including Ira W.
Thompson who opened the first tavern there and was the Postmaster when
its Post Office was officially designated Monte. Others were Dr. Obed
Macy and his son Oscar, of whom I speak elsewhere, Samuel M. Heath and
Charlotte Gray, who became John Rowland's second wife; the party
having taken possession, in the summer of 1851, of the rich farming
tract along the San Gabriel River some eleven or twelve miles east of
Los Angeles. The summer before I came, forty or fifty more families
arrived there, and among them were A. J. King, afterward a citizen of
Los Angeles; Dr. T. A. Hayes, William and Ezekiel Rubottom, Samuel
King--A. J. King's father--J. A. Johnson, Jacob Weil, A. Madox, A. J.
Horn, Thomas A. Garey, who acquired quite a reputation as a
horticulturist, and Jonathan Tibbets, spoken of in another chapter.
While tilling the soil, these farmer folks made it their particular
business to keep Whigs and, later, Republicans out of office; and slim
were the chances of those parties in El Monte and vicinity, but
correspondingly enthusiastic were the receptions given Democratic
candidates and their followers visiting there. Another important
function that engaged these worthy people was their part in the
lynchings which were necessary in Los Angeles. As soon as they
received the cue, the Monte boys galloped into town; and being by
temperament and training, through frontier life, used to dealing with
the rougher side of human nature, they were recognized disciplinarians.
The fact is that such was the peculiar public spirit animating these
early settlers that no one could live and prosper at the Monte who was
not extremely virile and ready for any dare-devil emergency.

David Lewis, a Supervisor of 1855, crossed the continent to the San
Gabriel Valley in 1851, marrying there, in the following year, a
daughter of the innkeeper Ira Thompson, just referred to. Thompson was
a typical Vermonter and a good, popular fellow, who long kept the
Overland Stage station. Sometime in the late fifties, Lewis was a
pioneer in the growing of hops. Jonathan Tibbets, who settled at El
Monte the year that I came to Los Angeles, had so prospered by 1871
that he left for the mines in Mohave County, Arizona, to inaugurate a
new enterprise, and took with him some twenty thousand pounds of cured
pork and a large quantity of lard, which had been prepared at El
Monte. Samuel M. Heath was another El Monte pioneer of 1851; he died
in 1876, kindly remembered by many poor immigrants. H. L., J. S. and
S. D. Thurman were farmers at El Monte, who came here in 1852. E. C.
Parish, who arrived in 1854 and became a Supervisor, was also a
ranchman there. Other El Monte folks, afterward favorably spoken of,
were the Hoyts, who were identified with early local education.

Dr. Obed Macy, father of Mrs. Sam Foy, came to Los Angeles from the
Island of Nantucket, where he was born, by way of Indiana, in which
State he had practiced medicine, arriving in Southern California about
1850 and settling in El Monte. He moved to Los Angeles, a year later,
and bought the Bella Union from Winston & Hodges; where were opened
the Alameda Baths, on the site of the building later erected by his
son Oscar. There Dr. Macy died on July 9th, 1857. Oscar, a printer on
the _Southern Californian_, had set type in San Francisco, swung a
miner's pick and afterward returned to El Monte where he took up a
claim which, in time, he sold to Samuel King. Macy Street recalls this
pioneer family.

The San Fernando and San Juan Capistrano missions, and Agua Caliente,
were the only other settlements in Los Angeles County then; the
former, famous by 1854 for its olives, passing into history both
through the activity of the Mission Fathers and also the renowned
set-to between Micheltorena and Castro when, after hours of
cannonading and grotesque swinging of the would-be terrifying _reata_,
the total of the dead was--_a single mule!_ Then, or somewhat
subsequently, General Andrés Pico began to occupy what was the most
pretentious adobe in the State, formerly the abode of the _padres_--a
building three hundred feet long, eighty feet wide and with walls four
feet thick.

In 1853, there was but one newspaper in the city--a weekly known as
_La Estrella de los Angeles_ or _The Los Angeles Star_, printed half
in Spanish, half in English. It was founded on May 17th, 1851, by John
A. Lewis and John McElroy, who had their printing office in the lower
room of a small wooden house on Los Angeles Street, near the corral of
the Bella Union hotel. This firm later became Lewis, McElroy & Rand.
There was then no telegraphic communication with the outside world,
and the news ordinarily conveyed by the sheet was anything but
important. Indeed, all such information was known, each week, by the
handful of citizens in the little town long before the paper was
published, and delays in getting mail from a distance--in one case the
post from San Francisco to Los Angeles being under way no less than
fifty-two days!--led to Lewis giving up the editorship in disgust.
When a steamer arrived, some little news found its way into the paper;
but even then matters of national and international moment became
known in Los Angeles only after the lapse of a month or so. The
admission of California to the Union in 1850, for example, was first
reported on the Coast six weeks after Congress had voted in
California's favor; while in 1852, the deaths of Clay and Webster were
not known in the West until more than a month after they had occurred.
This was a slight improvement, however, over the conditions in 1841
when (it used to be said) no one west of the Rockies knew of President
Harrison's demise until over three months and a half after he was
buried! Our first Los Angeles newspaper was really more of an
advertising medium than anything else, and the printing outfit was
decidedly primitive, though the printers may not have been as badly
off as were the typos of the _Californian_. The latter, using type
picked up in a Mexican cloister, found no _W_'s among the Spanish
letters and had to set double _V_'s until more type was brought from
the Cannibal or Sandwich Islands! Which reminds me of José de la Rosa,
born in Los Angeles about 1790, and the first journeyman to set type
in California, who died over one hundred years old. But if the
_Estrella_ made a poor showing as a newspaper, I have no doubt that,
to add to the editor's misfortunes, the advertising rates were so low
that his entire income was but small. In 1854, the _Star_ and its
_imprenta_, as it was then styled, were sold to a company organized by
James S. Waite, who, a year later, was appointed Postmaster of the
city. Speaking of the _Star_, I should add that one of its first
printers was Charles Meyrs Jenkins, later City _Zanjero_, who had come
to California, a mere stripling, with his stepfather, George Dalton,

The Post Office, too, at this time, was far from being an important
institution. It was located in an adobe building on Los Angeles,
between Commercial and Arcadia streets, and Dr. William B. Osburn,
sometimes known as Osbourn--who came to California from New York in
1847, in Colonel Stevenson's regiment, and who had established a drug
store, such as it was, in 1850--had just been appointed Postmaster. A
man who in his time played many parts, Osburn had half a dozen other
irons in the fire besides politics (including the interests of a
floral nursery and an auction room), and as the Postmaster was
generally away from his office, citizens desiring their mail would
help themselves out of a soap box--subdivided like a pigeon house,
each compartment being marked with a letter; and in this way the
city's mail was distributed! Indifferent as Dr. Osburn was to the
postmastership (which, of course, could not have paid enough to
command anyone's exclusive services), he was rather a clever fellow
and, somewhat naturally perhaps for a student of chemistry, is said to
have made as early as August 9th, 1851, (and in connection with one
Moses Searles, a pioneer house and sign painter) the first
daguerreotype photographs produced in Los Angeles. For two years or
more, Dr. Osburn remained Postmaster, resigning his office on November
1st, 1855. While he was a notary public, he had an office in Keller's
Building on Los Angeles Street. J. H. Blond was another notary; he had
an office opposite the Bella Union on Main Street. Osburn died in Los
Angeles on July 31st, 1867.

No sooner had I arrived in San Francisco, than I became aware of the
excitement incidental to the search for gold, and on reaching Los
Angeles, I found symptoms of the same fever. That year, as a matter of
fact, recorded the highest output of gold, something like sixty-five
million dollars' worth being mined; and it was not many months before
all was bustle in and about our little city, many people coming and
going, and comparatively few wishing to settle, at least until they
had first tried their luck with the pick and pan. Not even the
discovery of gold in the San Feliciano Cañon, near Newhall, in the
early forties--for I believe the claim is made that Southern
Californians, while searching for wild onions, had the honor of
digging out, in the despised "cow-counties," the first lump of the
coveted metal--had set the natives so agog; so that while the rush to
the mines claimed many who might otherwise have become permanent
residents, it added but little to the prosperity of the town, and it
is no wonder that, for a while, the local newspapers refused to give
events the notice which they deserved. To be sure, certain
merchants--among them dealers in tinware, hardware and groceries, and
those who catered especially to miners, carrying such articles as
gold-washers, canteens and camp-outfits--increased their trade; but
many prospective gold-seekers, on their way to distant diggings,
waited until they got nearer the scene of their adventures before
buying tools and supplies, when they often exhausted their purses in
paying the exorbitant prices which were asked. Barring the success of
Francisco Garcia who used gangs of Indians and secured in the one year
1855 over sixty thousand dollars' worth of gold--one nugget being
nearly two thousand dollars in value--the placer gold-mining carried
on in the San Gabriel and San Francisquito _cañons_ was on the whole
unimportant, and what gold-dust was produced at these points came to
Los Angeles without much profit to the toiling miners; so that it may
be safely stated that cattle- and horse-raising, of which I shall
speak in more detail, were Southern California's principal sources of
income. As for the gold dust secured, San Francisco was the
clearing-house for the Coast, and all of the dust ultimately found its
way there until sometime later Sacramento developed and became a
competitor. Coming, as I did, from a part of the world where gold dust
was never seen, at least by the layman, this sudden introduction to
sacks and bottles full of the fascinating yellow metal produced upon
me, as the reader may imagine, another one of those strange
impressions fixing so indelibly my first experiences in the new, raw
and yet altogether romantic world.




At the time of my arrival, the Plaza, long the nucleus of the original
settlement, was the center of life in the little community, and around
it clustered the homes of many of those who were uppermost in the
social scale, although some of the descendants of the finest Spanish
families were living in other parts of the city. This was particularly
so in the case of José Andrés Sepúlveda, who had a beautiful old adobe
on some acreage that he owned northwest of Sonora Town, near the place
where he constructed a stone reservoir to supply his house with water.
Opposite the old Plaza Church dwelt a number of families of position
and, for the most part, of wealth--in many cases the patrons of less
fortunate or dependent ones, who lived nearby. The environment was not
beautiful, a solitary pepper, somewhat north of the Plaza, being the
only shade-tree there; yet the general character of the homes was
somewhat aristocratic, the landscape not yet having been seriously
disturbed by any utilitarian project such as that of the City Fathers
who, by later granting a part of the old square for a prosaic water
tank, created a greater rumpus than had the combative soldiers some
years before. The Plaza was shaped much as it is at present, having
been reduced considerably, but five or six years earlier, by the
Mexican authorities: they had planned to improve its shape, but had
finished their labors by contracting the object before them. There was
no sign of a park; on the contrary, parts of the Plaza itself, which
had suffered the same fate as the Plaza in San Francisco, were used
as a dumping-ground for refuse. From time to time many church and
other festivals were held at this square--a custom no doubt traceable
to the Old World and to earlier centuries; but before any such affair
could take place--requiring the erecting of booths and banks of
vegetation in front of the neighboring houses--all rubbish had to be
removed, even at the cost of several days' work.

Among the distinguished citizens of Los Angeles whose residences added
to the social prestige of the neighborhood was Don Ygnácio Del Valle,
father of R. F. Del Valle. Until 1861, he resided on the east side of
the square, in a house between Calle de los Negros and Olvera Street,
receiving there his intimate friends as well as those who wished to
pay him their respects when he was _Alcalde_, Councilman and member of
the State Legislature. In 1861, Del Valle moved to his ranch, Camulos.
Ygnácio Coronel was another eminent burgher residing on the east side
of the Plaza, while Cristóbal Aguilar's home faced the South.

Not far from Del Valle's--that is, back of the later site of the Pico
House, between the future Sanchez Street and Calle de los
Negros--lived Don Pio Pico, then and long after a striking figure, not
merely on account of his fame as the last of the Mexican governors,
but as well because of his physique and personality. I may add that as
long as he lived, or at least until the tide of his fortune turned and
he was forced to sell his most treasured personal effects, he
invariably adorned himself with massive jewelry of much value; and as
a further conceit, he frequently wore on his bosom Mexican decorations
that had been bestowed upon him for past official services. Don Pio
really preferred country life at the _Ranchito_, as his place was
called; but official duties and, later, illness and the need of
medical care, kept him in town for months at a time. He had three
sisters, two of whom married in succession José António Carrillo,
another resident at the Plaza and the then owner of the site of the
future Pico House; while the third was the wife of Don Juan Forster,
in whose comfortable home Don Pio found a retreat when distressing
poverty overtook him in old age. Sanchez Street recalls still another
don of the neighborhood, Vicente Sanchez, grandfather of Tomás A.
Sanchez, who was domiciled in a two-story and rather elaborate
dwelling near Carrillo, on the south side of the Plaza. Sanchez Hall
stood there until the late seventies.

The Beau Brummel of Los Angeles in the early fifties was Don Vicente
Lugo, whose wardrobe was made up exclusively of the fanciest patterns
of Mexican type; his home, one of the few two-story houses in the
pueblo, was close to Ygnácio Del Valle's. Lugo, a brother of Don José
María, was one of the heavy taxpayers of his time; as late as 1860, he
had herds of twenty-five hundred head of cattle, or half a thousand
more than Pio and Andrés Pico together owned. María Ballestero, Lugo's
mother-in-law, lived near him.

Don Agustin Olvera dwelt almost opposite Don Vicente Lugo's, on the
north side of the Plaza, at the corner of the street perpetuating his
name. Don Agustin arrived from Mexico, where he had been _Juez de
Paz_, in 1834, or about the same time that Don Ygnácio Coronel came,
and served as Captain in the campaign of Flores against Frémont, even
negotiating peace with the Americans; then he joined Dr. Hope's
volunteer police, and was finally chosen, at the first election in Los
Angeles, Judge of the First Instance, becoming the presiding officer
of the Court of Sessions. Five or six years later, he was School
Commissioner. He had married Doña Concepción, one of not less than
twenty-two children of Don Santiago Arguello, son of a governor of
both Californias, and his residence was at the northeast end of the
Plaza, in an adobe which is still standing. There, while fraternizing
with the newly-arrived Americans, he used to tell how, in 1850, when
the movement for the admission of California as a State was under way,
he acted as secretary to a meeting called in this city to protest
against the proposal, fearing lest the closer association with
Northern California would lead to an undue burden of taxes upon the
South. Olvera Street is often written by mistake, Olivera.

Francisco O'Campo was another man of means whose home was on the east
side of the Plaza. Although he was also a member of the new
_Ayuntamiento_, inaugurated in 1849, and although he had occupied
other offices, he was very improvident, like so many natives of the
time, and died, in consequence, a poor man. In his later years, he
used to sit on the curbstone near the Plaza, a character quite
forlorn, utterly dejected in appearance, and despondently recalling
the by-gone days of his prosperity.

Don Cristóbal Aguilar, several times in his career an _Alcalde_,
several times a City Councilman beginning with the first organization
of Los Angeles, and even twice or thrice Mayor, was another resident
near the Plaza. His adobe on upper Main Street was fairly spacious;
and partly, perhaps, for that reason, was used by the Sisters of
Charity when they instituted the first hospital in Los Angeles.

A short distance from the Plaza, on Olvera Street, had long stood the
home of Don José María Ábila, who was killed in battle in the early
thirties. It was there that Commodore Stockton made his headquarters,
and the story of how this was brought about is one of the entertaining
incidents of this warlike period. The widow Ábila, who had scant love
for the Americans, had fled with her daughters to the home of Don
Luis[7] Vignes, but not before she placed a native boy on guard,
cautioning him against opening either doors or windows. When the young
custodian, however, heard the flourishes of Stockton's brass band, he
could not resist the temptation to learn what the excitement meant; so
he first poked his head out of a window, and finally made off to the
Plaza. Some of Stockton's staff, passing by, and seeing the tasteful
furniture within, were encouraged to investigate, with the result that
they selected the widow Ábila's house for Stockton's abode. Another
Ábila--Francisco--had an adobe at the present southeast corner of San
Fernando and Alpine streets.

Francisca Gallardo, daughter of one of the Sepúlvedas, lived in the
vicinity of the Plaza.

The only church in Los Angeles at this time was that of _Nuestra
Señora la Reyna de los Angeles_, known as Our Lady, the Queen of the
Angels, at the Plaza; and since but few changes were made for years in
its exterior, I looked upon the edifice as the original adobe built
here in the eighties of the preceding century. When I came to inquire
into the matter, however, I was astonished to learn that the Church
dated back no farther than the year 1822, although the first attempt
at laying a corner-stone was made in 1815, probably somewhat to the
east of the old Plaza and a year or two after rising waters frustrated
the attempt to build a chapel near the river and the present Aliso
Street. Those temporary foundations seem to have marked the spot where
later the so-called Woman's Gun--once buried by Mexicans, and
afterward dug up by women and used at the Battle of Dominguez
Ranch--was long exposed to view, propped up on wooden blocks. The
venerable building I then saw, in which all communicants for want of
pews knelt on the floor or stood while worshiping, is still admired by
those to whom age and sacred tradition, and the sacrifices of the
early Spanish Fathers, make appeal. In the first years of my residence
here, the bells of this honored old pile, ringing at six in the
morning and at eight in the evening, served as a curfew to regulate
the daily activities of the town.

Had Edgar Allan Poe lived in early Los Angeles, he might well have
added to his poem one more stanza about these old church bells, whose
sweet chimes, penetrating the peace and quiet of the sleepy village,
not alone summoned the devout to early mass or announced the time of
vespers, but as well called many a merchant to his day's labor and
dismissed him to his home or the evening's rendezvous. That was a time
of sentiment and romance, and the memory of it lingers pleasantly in
contrast with the rush and bustle of to-day, when cold and
chronometrical exactitude, instead of a careless but, in its time,
sufficient measure of the hours, arranged the order of our comings and
our goings.

Incidental to the ceremonial activity of the old Church on the Plaza,
the _Corpus Christi_ festival was one of the events of the year when
not the least imposing feature was the opening procession around the
Plaza. For all these occasions, the square was thoroughly cleaned,
and notable families, such as the Del Valles, the Olveras, the Lugos
and the Picos erected before their residences temporary altars,
decorated with silks, satins, laces and even costly jewelry. The
procession would start from the Church after the four o'clock service
and proceed around the Plaza from altar to altar. There the boys and
girls, carrying banners and flowers, and robed or dressed in white,
paused for formal worship, the progress through the square, small as
the Plaza was, thus taking a couple of hours. Each succeeding year the
procession became more resplendent and inclusive, and I have a
distinct recollection of a feature incidental to one of them when
twelve men, with twelve great burning candles, represented the

These midwinter festivities remind me that, on Christmas Eve, the
young people here performed pastoral plays. It was the custom, much as
it still is in Upper Bavaria, to call at the homes of various friends
and acquaintances and, after giving little performances such as _Los
Pastores_, to pass on to the next house. A number of the Apostles and
other characters associated with the life of Jesus were portrayed, and
the Devil, who scared half to death the little children of the hamlet,
was never overlooked. The _buñuelo_, or native doughnut, also added
its delight to these celebrations.

  [Illustration: John Jones]

  [Illustration: Captain F. Morton]

  [Illustration: Captain and Mrs. J. S. Garcia]

  [Illustration: Captain Salisbury Haley]

  [Illustration: El Palacio, Home of Abel and Arcadia Stearns
   From a photograph of the seventies]

  [Illustration: The Lugo Ranch-house, in the Nineties]

And now a word about the old Spanish Missions in this vicinity. It was
no new experience for me to see religious edifices that had attained
great age, and this feature, therefore, made no special impression. I
dare say that I visited the Mission of San Gabriel very soon after I
arrived in Los Angeles; but it was then less than a century old, and
so was important only because it was the place of worship of many
natives. The Protestant denominations were not as numerous then as
now, and nearly all of the population was Catholic. With the passing
of the years, sentimental reverence for the Spanish Fathers has grown
greater and their old Mission homes have acquired more and more the
dignity of age. Helen Hunt Jackson's _Ramona_, John S. McGroarty's
_Mission Play_ (in which, by the by, Señorita Lucretia, daughter of
R. F. and granddaughter of Don Ygnácio Del Valle, so ably portrays the
character of _Doña Josefa Yorba_) and various other literary efforts
have increased the interest in these institutions of the past.

The missions and their chapels recall an old Mexican woman who had her
home, when I came to Los Angeles, at what is now the southeast corner
of San Pedro and First streets. She dwelt in a typical adobe, and in
the rear of her house was a vineyard of attractive aspect. Adjoining
one of the rooms of her dwelling was a chapel, large enough, perhaps,
to hold ten or twelve people and somewhat like those on the Dominguez
and Coronel estates; and this chapel, like all the other rooms, had an
earthen floor. In it was a gaudily-decorated altar and crucifix. The
old lady was very religious and frequently repaired to her sanctuary.
From the sale of grapes, she derived, in part, her income; and many a
time have I bought from her the privilege of wandering through her
vineyard and eating all I could of this refreshing berry. If the
grape-season was not on, neighbors were none the less always welcome
there; and it was in this quiet and delightful retreat that, in 1856,
I proposed marriage to Miss Sarah Newmark, my future wife, such a mere
girl that a few evenings later I found her at home playing
jackstones--then a popular game--with Mrs. J. G. Downey, herself a

But while Catholics predominated, the Protestant churches had made a
beginning. Rev. Adam Bland, Presiding Elder of the Methodists in Los
Angeles in 1854, had come here a couple of years before, to begin his
work in the good, old-fashioned way; and, having bought the barroom,
El Dorado, and torn down Hughes's sign, he had transformed the place
into a chapel. But, alas for human foresight, or the lack of it: on at
least a part of the new church lot, the Merced Theater later stood!

Two cemeteries were in existence at the time whereof I write: the
Roman Catholic--abandoned a few years ago--which occupied a site on
Buena Vista Street, and one, now long deserted, for other
denominations. This cemetery, which we shall see was sadly neglected,
thereby occasioning bitter criticism in the press, was on Fort Hill.
Later, another burial-ground was established in the neighborhood of
what is now Flower and Figueroa streets, near Ninth, many years before
there was any thought of Rosedale or Evergreen.

As for my co-religionists and their provision of a cemetery, when I
first came to Los Angeles they were without a definite place for the
interment of their dead; but in 1854 the first steps were taken to
establish a Jewish cemetery here, and it was not very long before the
first Jewish child to die in Los Angeles, named Mahler, was buried
there. This cemetery, on land once owned and occupied by José Andrés
Sepúlveda's reservoir, was beautifully located in a recess or little
pocket, as it were, among the hills in the northwest section of the
city, where the environment of nature was in perfect harmony with the
Jewish ideal--"Home of Peace."

Mrs. Jacob Rich, by the way, had the distinction of being the first
Jewess to settle in Los Angeles; and I am under the impression that
Mrs. E. Greenbaum became the mother of the first Jewish child born

Sam Prager arrived in 1854, and after clerking a while, associated
himself with the Morrises, who were just getting nicely established.
For a time, they met with much success and were among the most
important merchants of their day. Finally they dissolved, and the
Morris Brothers bought the large tract of land which I have elsewhere
described as having been refused by Newmark, Kremer & Company in
liquidation of Major Henry Hancock's account. Here, for several years,
in a fine old adobe lived the Morris family, dispensing a bountiful
hospitality quite in keeping with the open-handed manner of the times.
In the seventies, the Morris Brothers sold this property--later known
as Morris Vineyard--after they had planted it to vines, for the
insignificant sum of about twenty thousand dollars.

Following Sam Prager, came his brother Charles. For a short time they
were associated, but afterward they operated independently, Charles
Prager starting on Commercial Street, on May 19th, 1869. Sam Prager,
long known as "Uncle Sam," was a good-natured and benevolent man,
taking a deep interest in Masonic matters, becoming Master of 42, and
a regular attendant at the annual meetings of the Grand Lodge of
California. He was also Chairman of the Masonic Board of Relief until
the time of his death. Charles Prager and the Morrises have all gone
to that

         undiscovered country, from whose bourn
     No traveler returns.

In the summer of 1853, a movement was inaugurated, through the
combined efforts of Mayors Nichols and Coronel, aided by John T.
Jones, to provide public schools; and three citizens, J. Lancaster
Brent, Lewis Granger and Stephen C. Foster, were appointed School
Commissioners. As early as 1838, Ygnácio Coronel, assisted by his wife
and daughter, had accepted some fifteen dollars a month from the
authorities--to permit the exercise of official supervision--and
opened a school which, as late as 1854, he conducted in his own home;
thereby doubtless inspiring his son António to take marked interest in
the education of the Indians. From time to time, private schools,
partly subsidized from public funds, were commenced. In May, 1854,
Mayor Foster pointed out that, while there were fully five hundred
children of school age and the pueblo had three thousand dollars
surplus, there was still no school building which the City could call
its own. New trustees--Manuel Requena, Francis Mellus and W. T. B.
Sanford--were elected; and then happened what, perhaps, has not
occurred here since, or ever in any other California town: Foster,
still Mayor, was also chosen School Superintendent. The new energy put
into the movement now led the Board to build, late in 1854 or early in
1855, a two-story brick schoolhouse, known as School No. 1, on the
northwest corner of Spring and Second streets, on the lot later
occupied, first by the old City Hall and secondly by the Bryson Block.
This structure cost six thousand dollars. Strange as it now seems, the
location was then rather "out in the country;" and I dare say the
selection was made, in part, to get the youngsters away from the
residential district around the Plaza. There school was opened on
March 19th, 1855; William A. Wallace, a botanist who had been sent
here to study the flora, having charge of the boys' department and
Miss Louisa Hayes directing the division for girls. Among her pupils
were Sarah Newmark and her sisters; Mary Wheeler, who married William
Pridham; and Lucinda Macy, afterward Mrs. Foy, who recalls
participating in the first public school examination, in June, 1856.
Dr. John S. Griffin, on June 7th, 1856, was elected Superintendent.
Having thus established a public school, the City Council voted to
discontinue all subsidies to private schools.

One of the early school-teachers was the pioneer, James F. Burns.
Coming with an emigrant train in 1853, Burns arrived in Los Angeles,
after some adventures with the Indians near what was later the scene
of the Mountain Meadow Massacre, in November of the same year. Having
been trained in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as a teacher, Burns settled, in
1854, in San Gabriel; and there with Cæsar C. Twitchell, he conducted
a cross-roads school in a tent. Later, while still living at San
Gabriel, Burns was elected County School Superintendent. Before
reaching here--that is, at Provo, Utah, on September 25th--the young
schoolmaster had married Miss Lucretia Burdick, aunt of Fred Eaton's
first wife. Burns, though of small stature, became one of the fighting
sheriffs of the County.

Among others who conducted schools in Los Angeles or vicinity, in the
early days, were Mrs. Adam Bland, wife of the missionary; H. D.
Barrows and the Hoyts. Mrs. Bland taught ten or twelve poor girls, in
1853, for which the Common Council allowed her about thirty-five
dollars. Barrows was one of several teachers employed by William
Wolfskill at various times, and at Wolfskill's school not merely were
his own children instructed but those of the neighboring families of
Carpenter, Rowland and Pleasants as well. Mrs. Gertrude Lawrence Hoyt
was an Episcopal clergyman's wife from New York who, being made a
widow, followed her son, Albert H. Hoyt, to Los Angeles in 1853.
Young Hoyt, a graduate of Rutgers College and a teacher excited by the
gold fever, joined a hundred and twenty men who chartered the bark
_Clarissa Perkins_ to come around the Horn, in 1849; but failing as a
miner, he began farming near Sacramento. When Mrs. Hoyt came to Los
Angeles, she conducted a private school in a rented building north of
the Plaza, beginning in 1854 and continuing until 1856; while her son
moved south and took up seventy or eighty acres of land in the San
Gabriel Valley, near El Monte. In 1855, young Hoyt came into town to
assist his mother in the school; and the following year Mrs. Hoyt's
daughter, Mary, journeyed West and also became a teacher here. Later,
Miss Hoyt kept a school on Alameda Street near the site of the Los
Angeles & San Pedro Railroad depot. Mrs. Hoyt died in Los Angeles in
1863. Other early teachers were William McKee, Mrs. Thomas Foster and
Miss Anna McArthur.

As undeveloped as the pueblo was, Los Angeles boasted, in her very
infancy, a number of physicians, although there were few, if any,
Spanish or Mexican practitioners. In 1850, Drs. William B. Osburn, W.
W. Jones, A. W. Hope, A. P. Hodges and a Dr. Overstreet were here;
while in 1851, Drs. Thomas Foster, John Brinckerhoff and James P.
McFarland followed, to be reënforced, in 1852, by Dr. James B. Winston
and, soon after, by Drs. R. T. Hayes, T. J. White and A. B. Hayward.
Dr. John Strother Griffin (General Albert Sidney Johnston's
brother-in-law and the accepted suitor of Miss Louisa Hayes) came to
Los Angeles in 1848, or rather to San Gabriel--where, according to
Hugo Reid, no physician had settled, though the population took drugs
by the barrel; being the ranking surgeon under Kearney and Stockton
when, on January 8th, they drove back the Mexican forces. He was also
one of the hosts to young W. T. Sherman. Not until 1854, however,
after Griffin had returned to Washington and had resigned his
commission, did he actually settle in Los Angeles. Thereafter, his
participation in local affairs was such that, very properly, one of
our avenues is named after him. Dr. Richard S. Den antedated all of
these gentlemen, having resided and practiced medicine in Los Angeles
in 1843, 1844 and again in the early fifties, though he did not dwell
in this city permanently until January, 1866. Den I knew fairly well,
and Griffin was my esteemed physician and friend. Foster and Griffin
were practitioners whom I best recall as being here during my first
years, one or two others, as Dr. Osburn and Dr. Winston, having
already begun to devote their time to other enterprises.

Dr. Richard S. Den, an Irishman of culture and refinement, having been
for awhile with his brother, Nicholas Den, in Santa Bárbara, returned
to Los Angeles in 1851. I say, "returned," because Den had looked in
on the little pueblo before I had even heard its name. While in the
former place, in the winter of 1843-44, Den received a call from Los
Angeles to perform one or two surgical operations, and here he
practiced until drawn to the mines by the gold excitement. He served,
in 1846-47, as Chief Physician and Surgeon of the Mexican forces
during the Mexican War, and treated, among others, the famous American
Consul Larkin, whose surety he became when Larkin was removed to
better quarters in the home of Louis Vignes. Den had only indifferent
luck as a miner, but was soon in such demand to relieve the sufferers
from malaria that it is said he received as much as a thousand dollars
in a day for his practice. In 1854, he returned to Santa Bárbara
County, remaining there for several years and suffering great loss, on
account of the drought and its effects on his cattle. Nicholas Den,
who was also known in Los Angeles, and was esteemed for both his
integrity and his hospitality, died at Santa Bárbara in 1862.

Old Dr. Den will be remembered, not only with esteem, but with
affection. He was seldom seen except on horseback, in which fashion he
visited his patients, and was, all in all, somewhat a man of mystery.
He rode a magnificent coal-black charger, and was himself always
dressed in black. He wore, too, a black felt hat; and beneath the hat
there clustered a mass of wavy hair as white as snow. In addition to
all this, his standing collar was so high that he was compelled to
hold his head erect; and as if to offset the immaculate linen, he tied
around the collar a large black-silk scarf. Thus attired and seated on
his richly-caparisoned horse, Dr. Den appeared always dignified, and
even imposing. One may therefore easily picture him a friendly rival
with Don Juan Bandini at the early Spanish balls, as he was on
intimate terms with Don and Doña Abel Stearns, acknowledged social
leaders. Dr. Den was fond of horse-racing and had his own favorite
racehorses sent here from Santa Bárbara, where they were bred.

Dr. Osburn, the Postmaster of 1853, had two years before installed a
small variety of drugs on a few shelves, referred to by the
complimentary term of drug store. Dr. Winston also kept a stock of
drugs. About the same time, and before Dr. A. W. Hope opened the third
drug store in September, 1854, John Gately Downey, an Irishman by
birth, who had been apprenticed to the drug trade in Maryland and
Ohio, formed a partnership with James P. McFarland, a native of
Tennessee, buying some of Winston's stock. Their store was a long,
one-story adobe on the northwest corner of Los Angeles and Commercial
streets, and was known as McFarland & Downey's. The former had been a
gold-miner; and this experience intensified the impression of an
already rugged physique as a frontier type. Entering politics, as
Osburn and practically every other professional man then
did--doubtless as much as anything else for the assurance of some
definite income--McFarland secured a seat in the Assembly in 1852, and
in the Senate in 1853-54. About 1858, he returned to Tennessee and in
December, 1860, revisited California; after which he settled
permanently in the East. Downey, in 1859, having been elected
Lieutenant-Governor, was later made Governor, through the election of
Latham to the United States Senate; but his suddenly-revealed
sympathies with the Secessionists, together with his advocacy of a
bill for the apprenticing of Indians, contributed toward killing him
politically and he retired to private life. Dr. H. R. Myles, destined
to meet with a tragic death in a steamboat disaster which I shall
narrate, was another druggist, with a partner, Dr. J. C. Welch, a
South Carolinian dentist who came here in the early fifties and died
in August, 1869. Their drug store on Main Street, nearly opposite the
Bella Union, filled the prescriptions of the city's seven or eight
doctors. Considerably later, but still among the pioneer druggists,
was Dr. V. Gelcich, who came here as Surgeon to the Fourth California

Speaking of druggists, it may be interesting to add that medicines
were administered in earlier days to a much greater extent than now.
For every little ailment there was a pill, a powder or some other
nostrum. The early _botica_, or drug store, kept only drugs and things
incidental to the drug business. There was also more of home treatment
than now. Every mother did more or less doctoring on her own account,
and had her well-stocked medicine-chest. Castor oil, ipecac, black
draught and calomel were generally among the domestic supply.

The practice of surgery was also very primitive; and he was
unfortunate, indeed, who required such service. Operations had to be
performed at home; there were few or none of the modern scientific
appliances or devices for either rendering the patient immune or
contending with active disease.

Preceded by a brother, Colonel James C. Foy--who visited California in
1850 and was killed in 1864, while in Sherman's army, by the bursting
of a shell--Samuel C. Foy started for San Francisco, by way of New
Orleans and the Isthmus, when he was but twenty-two years old and,
allured by the gold-fever, wasted a year or two in the mines. In
January, 1854, he made his way south to Los Angeles; and seeing the
prospect for trade in harness, on February 19th of that year opened an
American saddlery, in which business he was joined by his brother,
John M. Foy. Their store was on Main Street, between Commercial and
Requena. The location was one of the best; and the Foy Brothers
offering, besides saddlery, such necessities of the times as tents,
enjoyed one of the first chances to sell to passing emigrants and
neighboring _rancheros_, as they came into town. Some spurs, exhibited
in the County Museum, are a souvenir of Foy's enterprise in those
pioneer days. In May, 1856, Sam Foy began operating in cattle and
continued in that business until 1865, periodically taking herds
north and leaving his brother in charge of the store.

In the course of time, the Foys moved to Los Angeles Street, becoming
my neighbors; and while there, in 1882, S. C. Foy, in a quaint
advertisement embellished with a blanketed horse, announced his
establishment as the "oldest business house in Los Angeles, still at
the old stand, 17 Los Angeles Street, next to H. Newmark & Company's."
John Foy, who later removed to San Bernardino, died many years ago,
and Sam Foy also has long since joined the silent majority; but one of
the old signs of the saddlery is still to be seen on Los Angeles
Street, where the son, James Calvert Foy, conducts the business. The
Foys first lived on Los Angeles Street, and then on Main. Some years
later, they moved to the corner of Seventh and Pearl streets, now
called Figueroa, and came to control much valuable land there, still
in possession of the family. A daughter of Samuel C. Foy is Miss Mary
Foy, formerly a teacher and later Public Librarian. Another daughter
married Thomas Lee Woolwine, the attorney.

Wells Fargo & Company--formerly always styled Wells, Fargo &
Company--were early in the field here. On March 28th, 1854, they were
advertising, through H. R. Myles, their agent, that they were a joint
stock company with a capital of five hundred thousand dollars!


[7] Often spoken of as Don Louis.




Many of the houses, as I have related, were clustered around and north
of the Plaza Church, while the hills surrounding the pueblo to the
West were almost bare. These same hills have since been subdivided and
graded to accommodate the Westlake, the Wilshire, the West Temple and
other sections. Main and Spring streets were laid out beyond First,
but they were very sparsely settled; while to the East of Main and
extending up to that street, there were many large vineyards without a
single break as far south as the Ninth Street of to-day, unless we
except a narrow and short lane there. To enable the reader to form an
accurate impression of the time spent in getting to a nearby point, I
will add that, to reach William Wolfskin's home, which was in the
neighborhood of the present Arcade Depot, one was obliged to travel
down to Aliso Street, thence to Alameda, and then south on Alameda to
Wolfskin's orchard. From Spring Street, west and as far as the coast,
there was one huge field, practically unimproved and undeveloped, the
swamp lands of which were covered with tules. All of this land, from
the heart of the present retail district to the city limits, belonged
to the municipality. I incline to the opinion that both Ord and
Hancock had already surveyed in this southwestern district; but
through there, nevertheless, no single street had as yet been cut.

  [Illustration: J. P. Newmark
   From a vignette of the sixties]

  [Illustration: O. W. Childs]

  [Illustration: Jacob Rich]

  [Illustration: John O. Wheeler]

  [Illustration: Benjamin D. Wilson]

  [Illustration: Dr. Obed Macy]

  [Illustration: George Hansen]

  [Illustration: Samuel C. Foy]

Not merely at the Plaza, but throughout Los Angeles, most of the
houses were built of adobe, or mud mixed with straw and dried for
months in the sun; and several fine dwellings of this kind were
constructed after I came. The composition was of such a nature that,
unless protected by roofs and verandas,[8] the mud would slowly wash
away. The walls, however, also requiring months in which to dry, were
generally three or four feet thick; and to this as well as to the
nature of the material may be attributed the fact that the houses in
the summer season were cool and comfortable, while in winter they were
warm and cheerful. They were usually rectangular in shape, and were
invariably provided with _patios_ and corridors. There was no such
thing as a basement under a house, and floors were frequently earthen.
Conventionality prescribed no limit as to the number of rooms, an
adobe frequently having a sitting-room, a dining-room, a kitchen and
as many bedrooms as were required; but there were few, if any,
"frills" for the mere sake of style. Most adobes were but one story in
height, although there were a few two-story houses; and it is my
recollection that, in such cases, the second story was reached from
the outside. Everything about an adobe was emblematic of hospitality:
the doors, heavy and often apparently home-made, were wide, and the
windows were deep. In private houses, the doors were locked with a
key; but in some of the stores, they were fastened with a bolt fitted
into iron receptacles on either side. The windows, swinging on hinges,
opened inward and were locked in the center. There were few curtains
or blinds; wooden shutters, an inch thick, also fastening in the
center, being generally used instead. If there were such conveniences
as hearths and fireplaces, I cannot recollect them, although I think
that here and there the _brasero_, or pan and hot coals, was still
employed. There were no chimneys, and the smoke, as from the kitchen
stove, escaped through the regular stacks leading out through a pane
in the window or a hole in the wall. The porches, also spoken of as
verandas and rather wide, were supported by equidistant perpendicular
posts; and when an adobe had two stories, the veranda was also
double-storied. Few if any vines grew around these verandas in early
days, largely because of the high cost of water. For the same reason,
there were almost no gardens.

The roofs which, as I have intimated, proved as necessary to preserve
the adobe as to afford protection from the semi-tropical sun, were
generally covered with asphalt and were usually flat in order to keep
the tar from running off. As well as I can recollect, Vicente
Salsido--or Salcito, as his name was also written--who lived in or
somewhere near Nigger Alley, was the only man then engaged in the
business of mending pitch-roofs. When winter approached and the first
rainfall produced leaks, there was a general demand for Salsido's
services and a great scramble among owners of buildings to obtain
them. Such was the need, in fact, that more than one family, drowned
out while waiting, was compelled to move to the drier quarters of
relatives or friends, there to stay until the roofer could attend to
their own houses. Under a huge kettle, put up in the public street,
Salsido set fire to some wood, threw in his pitch and melted it. Then,
after he or a helper had climbed onto the roof, the molten pitch was
hauled up in buckets and poured over the troublesome leaks. Much of
this tar was imported from the North, but some was obtained in this
locality, particularly from so-called springs on the Hancock ranch,
which for a long time have furnished great quantities of the useful,
if unattractive, substance. This asphalt was later used for sidewalks,
and even into the eighties was employed as fuel. To return to Salsido,
I might add that in summer the pitch-roofer had no work at all.

Besides the adobes with their asphalt roofs, some houses, erected
within the first quarter of the Nineteenth Century, were covered with
tiles. The most notable tiled building was the old Church, whose roof
was unfortunately removed when the edifice was so extensively
renovated. The Carrillo home was topped with these ancient tiles, as
were also José María Ábila's residence; Vicente Sanchez's two-story
adobe south of the Plaza, and the Alvarado house on First Street,
between Main and Los Angeles streets.

It was my impression that there were no bricks in Los Angeles when I
first came, although about 1854 or 1855 Jacob Weixel had the first
regular brickyard. In conversation with old-timers, however, many
years ago, I was assured that Captain Jesse Hunter, whom I recall, had
built a kiln not far from the later site of the Potomac Block, on Fort
Street, between Second and Third; and that, as early as 1853, he had
put up a brick building on the west side of Main Street, about one
hundred and fifty feet south of the present site of the Bullard Block.
This was for Mayor Nichols, who paid Hunter thirty dollars a thousand
for the new and more attractive kind of building material. This
pioneer brick building has long since disappeared. Hunter seems to
have come to Los Angeles alone, and to have been followed across the
plains by his wife, two sons and three daughters, taking up his
permanent residence here in 1856. One of the daughters married a man
named Burke, who conducted a blacksmith and wagon shop in Hunter's
Building on Main Street. Hunter died in 1874. Dr. William A. Hammel,
father of Sheriff William Hammel, who came to California during the
gold excitement of '49, had one of the first red brick houses in Los
Angeles, on San Pedro Street, between Second and Third.

Sometime in 1853, or perhaps in 1854, the first building erected by
the public in Los Angeles County was put together here of brick baked
in the second kiln ever fired in the city. It was the Town Jail on the
site of the present Phillips Block,[9] at the northwest corner of
Spring and Franklin streets. This building took the place of the first
County Jail, a rude adobe that stood on the hill back of the present
National Government Building. In that jail, I have understood, there
were no cells, and prisoners were fastened by chains to logs outside.

_Zanja_ water was being used for irrigation when I arrived. A system
of seven or eight _zanjas_, or open ditches--originated, I have no
doubt, by the Catholic Fathers--was then in operation, although it
was not placed under the supervision of a _Zanjero_, or Water
Commissioner, until 1854. These small surface canals connected at the
source with the _zanja madre_, or mother ditch, on the north side of
the town, from which they received their supply; the _zanja madre_
itself being fed from the river, at a point a long way from town. The
_Zanjero_ issued permits, for which application had to be made some
days in advance, authorizing the use of the water for irrigation
purposes. A certain amount was paid for the use of this water during a
period of twelve hours, without any limit as to the quantity consumed,
and the purchaser was permitted to draw his supply both day and night.

Water for domestic uses was a still more expensive luxury. Inhabitants
living in the immediate neighborhood of _zanjas_, or near the river,
helped themselves; but their less-fortunate brethren were served by a
carrier, who charged fifty cents a week for one bucket a day, while he
did not deliver on Sunday at all. Extra requirements were met on the
same basis; and in order to avoid an interruption in the supply,
prompt settlement of the charge had to be made every Saturday evening.
This character was known as Bill the Waterman. He was a tall American,
about thirty or thirty-five years old; he had a mustache, wore long,
rubber boots coming nearly to his waist, and presented the general
appearance of a laboring man; and his somewhat rickety vehicle, drawn
by two superannuated horses, slowly conveyed the man and his barrel of
about sixty gallons capacity from house to house. He was a wise
dispenser, and quite alert to each household's needs.

Bill obtained his supply from the Los Angeles River, where at best it
was none too clean, in part owing to the frequent passage of the river
by man and beast. Animals of all kinds, including cattle, horses,
sheep, pigs, mules and donkeys, crossed and recrossed the stream
continually, so that the mud was incessantly stirred up, and the
polluted product proved unpalatable and even, undoubtedly,
unhealthful. To make matters worse, the river and the _zanjas_ were
the favorite bathing-places, all the urchins of the hamlet disporting
themselves there daily, while most of the adults, also, frequently
immersed themselves. Both the yet unbridged stream and the _zanjas_,
therefore, were repeatedly contaminated, although common sense should
have protected the former to a greater or less extent; while as to the
latter there were ordinances drawn up by the Common Council of 1850
which prohibited the throwing of filth into fresh water designed for
common use, and also forbade the washing of clothes on the _zanja_
banks. This latter regulation was disobeyed by the native women, who
continued to gather there, dip their soiled garments in the water,
place them on stones and beat them with sticks, a method then popular
for the extraction of dirt.

Besides Bill the Waterman, Dan Schieck was a water-vender, but at a
somewhat later date. Proceeding to the _zanja_ in a curious old cart,
he would draw the water he needed, fresh every morning, and make daily
deliveries at customers' houses for a couple of dollars a month.
Schieck forsook this business, however, and went into draying, making
a specialty of meeting Banning's coaches and transferring the
passengers to their several destinations. He was a frugal man, and
accumulated enough to buy the southwest corner of Franklin and Spring
streets. As a result, he left property of considerable value. He died
about twenty-five years ago; Mrs. Schieck, who was a sister of John
Fröhling, died in 1874.

Just one more reference to the drinking-water of that period. When
delivered to the customer, it was emptied into _ollas_, or urn-shaped
vessels, made from burned clay or terra cotta. Every family and every
store was provided with at least one of these containers which, being
slightly porous, possessed the virtue (of particular value at a time
when there was no ice) of keeping the water cool and refreshing. The
_olla_ commonly in use had a capacity of four or five gallons, and was
usually suspended from the ceiling of a porch or other convenient
place; while attached to this domestic reservoir, as a rule, was a
long-handled dipper generally made from a gourd. Filters were not in
use, in consequence of which fastidious people washed out their
_ollas_ very frequently. These wide-mouthed pots recall to me an
appetizing Spanish dish, known as _olla-podrida_, a stew consisting of
various spiced meats, chopped fine, and an equally varied assortment
of vegetables, partaken of separately; all bringing to mind, perhaps,
Thackeray's sentimental _Ballad of Bouillabaisse_. Considering these
inconveniences, how surprising it is that the Common Council, in 1853,
should have frowned upon Judge William G. Dryden's proposition to
distribute, in pipes, all the water needed for domestic use.

On May 16th, 1854, the first Masonic lodge--then and now known as
42--received its charter, having worked under special dispensation
since the preceding December. The first officers chosen were: H. P.
Dorsey, Master; J. Elias, Senior Warden; Thomas Foster, Junior Warden;
James R. Barton, Treasurer; Timothy Foster, Secretary; Jacob Rich,
Senior Deacon; and W. A. Smith, Tyler.

For about three decades after my arrival, smallpox epidemics visited
us somewhat regularly every other year, and the effect on the town was
exceedingly bad. The whole population was on such a friendly footing
that every death made a very great impression. The native element was
always averse to vaccination and other sanitary measures; everybody
objected to isolation, and disinfecting was unknown. In more than one
familiar case, the surviving members of a stricken family went into
the homes of their kinsmen, notwithstanding the danger of contagion.
Is it any wonder, therefore, when such ignorance was universal, that
the pest spread alarmingly and that the death-rate was high?

The smallpox wagon, dubbed the _Black Maria_, was a frequent sight on
the streets of Los Angeles during these sieges. There was an isolated
pesthouse near the Chavez Ravine, but the patients of the better class
were always treated at home, where the sanitation was never good; and
at best the community was seriously exposed. Consternation seized the
public mind, communication with the outside world was disturbed, and
these epidemics were the invariable signal for business disorder and

This matter of primitive sanitation reminds me of an experience. To
accommodate an old iron bath-tub that I wished to set up in my Main
Street home in the late sixties, I was obliged to select one of the
bedrooms; since, when my adobe was built, the idea of having a
separate bathroom in a house had never occurred to any owner. I
connected it with the _zanja_ at the rear of my lot by means of a
wooden conduit; which, although it did not join very closely, answered
all purposes for the discharge of waste water. One of my children for
several years slept in this combination bath- and bedroom; and
although the plumbing was as old-fashioned as it well could be, yet
during all that time there was no sickness in our family.

It was fortunate indeed that the adobe construction of the fifties
rendered houses practically fireproof since, in the absence of a
water-system, a bucket-brigade was all there was to fight a fire with,
and this rendered but poor service. I remember such a brigade at work,
some years after I came, in the vicinity of the Bell Block, when a
chain of helpers formed a relay from the nearest _zanja_ to the
blazing structure. Buckets were passed briskly along, from person to
person, as in the animated scene described by Schiller in the
well-known lines of _Das Lied von der Glocke_:

     _Durch der Hände lange Kette
     Um die Wette
     Fliegt der Eimer_;[10]

a process which was continued until the fire had exhausted itself.
Francis Mellus had a little hand-cart, but for lack of water it was
generally useless. Instead of fire-bells announcing to the people that
a conflagration was in progress, the discharging of pistols in rapid
succession gave the alarm and was the signal for a general fusillade
throughout the neighboring streets. Indeed, this method of sounding a
fire-alarm was used as late as the eighties. On the breaking out of
fires, neighbors and friends rushed to assist the victim in saving
what they could of his property.

On account of the inadequate facilities for extinguishing anything
like a conflagration, it transpired that insurance companies would not
for some time accept risks in Los Angeles. If I am not mistaken, S.
Lazard obtained the first protection late in the fifties and paid a
premium of four per cent. The policy was issued by the Hamburg-Bremen
Company, through Adelsdorfer Brothers of San Francisco, who also
imported foreign merchandise; and Lazard, thereafter, as the Los
Angeles agent for the Hamburg-Bremen Company, was the first insurance
underwriter here of whom I have any knowledge. Adelsdorfer Brothers,
it is also interesting to note, imported the first Swedish matches
brought into California, perhaps having in mind cause and effect with
profit at both ends; they put them on the retail market in Los Angeles
at twenty-five cents a package.

This matter of fires calls to mind an interesting feature of the city
when I first saw it. When Henry, or Enrique Dalton sailed from
England, he shipped a couple of corrugated iron buildings, taking them
to South America where he used them for several years. On coming to
Los Angeles, he brought the buildings with him, and they were set up
at the site of the present corner of Spring and Court streets. In a
sense, therefore, these much-transported iron structures (one of
which, in 1858, I rented as a storeroom for wool) came to be among the
earliest "fire-proof" buildings here.

As early as 1854, the need of better communication between Los Angeles
and the outside world was beginning to be felt; and in the summer of
that year the Supervisors--D. W. Alexander, S. C. Foster, J.
Sepúlveda, C. Aguilar and S. S. Thompson--voted to spend one thousand
dollars to open a wagon road over the mountains between the San
Fernando Mission and the San Francisco _rancho_. A rather broad trail
already existed there; but such was its grade that many a pioneer,
compelled to use a windlass or other contrivance to let down his
wagon in safety, will never forget the real perils of the descent. For
years it was a familiar experience with stages, on which I sometimes
traveled, to attach chains or boards to retard their downward
movement; nor were passengers even then without anxiety until the
hill- or mountain-side had been passed.

During 1854, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Newmark and family, whom I had met,
the year before, for a few hours in San Francisco, arrived here and
located in the one-story adobe owned by John Goller and adjoining his
blacksmith shop. There were six children--Matilda, Myer J., Sarah,
Edward, Caroline and Harriet--all of whom had been born in New York
City. With their advent, my personal environment immediately changed:
they provided me with a congenial home; and as they at once began to
take part in local social activities, I soon became well acquainted.
My aunt took charge of my English education, and taught me to spell,
read and write in that language; and I have always held her efforts in
my behalf in grateful appreciation. As a matter of fact, having so
early been thrown into contact with Spanish-speaking neighbors and
patrons, I learned Spanish before I acquired English.

The Newmarks had left New York on December 15th, 1852, on the ship
_Carrington_, T. B. French commanding, to make the trip around the
Horn, San Francisco being their destination. After a voyage for the
most part pleasant, although not altogether free from disagreeable
features and marked by much rough weather, they reached the Golden
Gate, having been four months and five days on the ocean. One of the
enjoyable incidents _en route_ was an old-fashioned celebration in
which _Neptune_ took part when they crossed the equator. In a diary of
that voyage kept by Myer J. Newmark, mention is made that "our
Democratic President, Franklin Pierce, and Vice-President, William R.
King, were inaugurated March 4th, 1853;" which reminds me that some
forty years later Judge H. A. Pierce, the President's cousin, and his
wife who was of literary proclivities, came to be my neighbors in Los
Angeles. Mr. and Mrs. Newmark and their family remained in San
Francisco until 1854.

Joseph Newmark, formerly Neumark, born June 15th, 1799, was, I assume,
the first to adopt the English form of the name. He was genuinely
religious and exalted in character. His wife, Rosa, whom he married in
New York in 1835, was born in London on March 17th, 1808. He came to
America in 1824, spent a few years in New York, and resided for a
while in Somerset, Connecticut, where, on January 21st, 1831, he
joined the Masonic fraternity. During his first residence in New York,
he started the Elm Street Synagogue, one of the earliest in America.
In 1840, we find him in St. Louis, a pioneer indeed. Five years later
he was in Dubuque, Iowa, then a frontier village. In 1846, he once
more pitched his tent in New York; and during this sojourn he
organized the Wooster Street Congregation. Immediately after reaching
Los Angeles, he brought into existence the Los Angeles Hebrew
Benevolent Society, which met for some time at his home on Sunday
evenings, and which, I think, was the first charitable institution in
this city. Its principal objects were to care for the sick, to pay
proper respect, according to Jewish ritual, to the dead, and to look
after the Jewish Cemetery which was laid out about that time; so that
the Society at once became a real spiritual force and continued so for
several years. The first President was Jacob Elias. Although Mr.
Newmark had never served as a salaried Rabbi, he had been ordained
and was permitted to officiate; and one of the immediate results of
his influence was the establishment of worship on Jewish holidays,
under the auspices of the Society named. The first service was held in
the rear room of an adobe owned by John Temple. Joseph Newmark also
inspired the purchase of land for the Jewish Cemetery. After Rabbi
Edelman came, my uncle continued on various occasions to assist him.
When, in course of time, the population of Los Angeles increased, the
responsibilities of the Hebrew Benevolent Society were extended.
Although a Jewish organization, and none but Jews could become members
of it or receive burial in the Jewish Cemetery, its aim was to give
relief, as long as its financial condition would permit, to every
worthy person that appeared, whoever he was or whatever his creed.
Recalling this efficient organization, I may say that I believe myself
to be one of but two survivors among the charter members--S. Lazard
being the other.

Kiln Messer was another pioneer who came around the Horn about that
time, although he arrived here from Germany a year later than I did;
and during his voyage, he had a trying experience in a shipwreck off
Cape Verde where, with his comrades, he had to wait a couple of months
before another vessel could be signaled. Even then he could get no
farther toward his destination--the Golden Gate--than Rio de Janeiro,
where he was delayed five or six months more. Finally reaching San
Francisco, he took to mining; but, weakened by fever (an experience
common among the gold-seekers), he made his way to Los Angeles. After
brewing beer for a while at the corner of Third and Main streets,
Messer bought a twenty-acre vineyard which, in 1857, he increased by
another purchase to forty-five or fifty acres; and it was his good
fortune that this property was so located as to be needed by the Santa
Fé Railroad, in 1888, as a terminal. Toward the end of the seventies,
Messer, moderately well-to-do, was a grocer at the corner of Rose and
First streets; and about 1885, he retired.

Joseph Newmark brought with him to Los Angeles a Chinese servant, to
whom he paid one hundred dollars a month; and, as far as I know, this
Mongolian was the first to come to our city. This domestic item has
additional interest, perhaps, because it was but five or six years
before that the first Chinese to emigrate from the Celestial Kingdom
to California--two men and a lone woman--had come to San Francisco in
the ship _Eagle_ from Hong Kong. A year later, there were half a
hundred Chinamen in the territory, while at the end of still another
year, during the gold excitement, nearly a thousand Chinese entered
the Golden Gate.

The housekeeping experiences of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Newmark remind me
that it was not easy in the early days to get satisfactory domestic
service. Indians, negroes and sometimes Mexicans were employed, until
the arrival of more Chinese and the coming of white girls. Joseph
Newmark, when I lived with his family, employed, in addition to the
Chinaman, an Indian named Pedro who had come with his wife from
Temécula and whose remuneration was fifty cents a day; and these
servants attended to most of the household duties. The annual _fiesta_
at Temécula used to attract Pedro and his better-half; and while they
were absent, the Newmark girls did the work.

My new home was very congenial, not the least of its attractions being
the family associations at meal-time. The opportunities for obtaining
a variety of food were not as good perhaps as they are to-day, and yet
some delicacies were more in evidence. Among these I might mention
wild game and chickens. Turkeys, of all poultry, were the scarcest and
most-prized. All in all, our ordinary fare has not changed so much
except in the use of mutton, certain vegetables, ice and a few

There was no extravagance in the furnishing of pioneer homes. Few
people coming to Los Angeles expected to locate permanently; they
usually planned to accumulate a small competency and then return to
their native heaths. In consequence, little attention was paid to
quality or styles, and it is hard to convey a comprehensive idea of
the prevailing lack of ordinary comforts. For many years the inner
walls of adobes were whitewashed--a method of mural finish not the
most agreeable, since the coating so easily "came off;" and only in
the later periods of frame houses, did we have kalsomined and
hard-finished wall surfaces. Just when papered and tinted walls came
in, I do not remember; but they were long delayed. Furniture was plain
and none too plentiful; and glassware and tableware were of an
inferior grade.

Certain vegetables were abundant, truck-gardening having been
introduced here in the early fifties by Andrew Briswalter, an Alsatian
by birth and an original character. He first operated on San Pedro
Street, where he rented a tract of land and peddled his vegetables in
a wheelbarrow, charging big prices. So quickly did he prosper that he
was soon able to buy a piece of land, as well as a horse and wagon.
When he died, in the eighties, he bequeathed a large estate,
consisting of City and County acreage and lots, in the disposition of
which he unrighteously cut off his only niece. Playa del Rey was later
built on some of this land. Acres of fruit trees, fronting on Main, in
the neighborhood of the present Ninth and Tenth streets, and extending
far in an easterly direction, formed another part of his holding. It
was on this land that Briswalter lived until his last illness. He
bought this tract from O. W. Childs, it having originally belonged to
H. C. Cardwell, a son-in-law of William Wolfskill--the same Cardwell
who introduced here, on January 7th, 1856, the heretofore unknown
seedling strawberries.

One Mumus was in the field nearly as soon as Briswalter. A few years
later, Chinese vegetable men came to monopolize this trade. Most of
their gardens neighbored on what is now Figueroa Street, north of
Pico; and then, as now, they peddled their wares from wagons. Wild
celery grew in quantities around the _zanjas_, but was not much liked.
Cultivated celery, on the other hand, was in demand and was brought
from the North, whence we also imported most of our cabbage,
cauliflower and asparagus. But after a while, the Chinese also
cultivated celery; and when, in the nineties, E. A. Curtis, D. E.
Smeltzer and others failed in an effort to grow celery, Curtis fell
back on the Chinese gardeners. The Orientals, though pestered by
envious workmen, finally made a success of the industry, helping to
establish what is now a most important local agricultural activity.

These Chinese vegetable gardeners, by the way, came to practice a
trick[11] designed to reduce their expenses, and at which they were
sometimes caught. Having bargained with the authorities for a small
quantity of water, they would cut the _zanjas_, while the _Zanjero_ or
his assistants slept, steal the additional water needed, and, before
the arrival of the _Zanjero_ at daybreak, close the openings!

J. Wesley Potts was an early arrival, having tramped across the Plains
all the way from Texas, in 1852, reaching Los Angeles in September. At
first, he could obtain nothing to do but haul dirt in a hand-cart for
the spasmodic patching-up of the streets; but when he had earned five
or six dollars in that way, he took to peddling fruit, first carrying
it around in a basket. Then he had a fruit stand. Getting the
gold-fever, however, Potts went to the mines; but despairing at last
of realizing anything there, he returned to Los Angeles and raised
vegetables, introducing, among other things, the first locally-grown
sweet potatoes put on the market--a stroke of enterprise recalling J.
E. Pleasants's early venture in cultivating garden pease. Later he was
widely known as a "weather prophet"--with predictions quite as likely
to be worthless as to come true.

The prickly pear, the fruit of the cactus, was common in early Los
Angeles. It grew in profusion all over this Southern country, but
particularly so around San Gabriel at which place it was found in
almost obstructing quantities; and prickly pears bordered the gardens
of the Round House where they were plucked by visitors. Ugly enough
things to handle, they were, nevertheless, full of juice, and proved
refreshing and palatable when properly peeled. Pomegranates and
quinces were also numerous, but they were not cultivated for the
trade. Sycamore and oak trees were seen here and there, while the
willow was evident in almost jungle profuseness, especially around
river banks and along the borders of lanes. Wild mustard charmingly
variegated the landscape and _chaparral_ obscured many of the hills
and rising ground. In winter, the ground was thickly covered with
burr-clover and the poetically-named _alfilaria_.

Writing of vegetables and fruit, I naturally think of one of
California's most popular products, the _sandía_ or watermelon, and of
its plenteousness in those more monotonous days when many and many a
_carreta_ load was brought to the indulging town. The melons were sold
direct from the vehicles, as well as in stores, and the street seemed
to be the principal place for the consumption of the luscious fruit.
It was a very common sight to see Indians and others sitting along the
roads, their faces buried in the green-pink depths. Some old-timers
troubled with diseases of the kidney, believing that there was virtue
in watermelon seeds, boiled them and used the tea medicinally.

Fish, caught at San Pedro and peddled around town, was a favorite item
of food during the cooler months of the year. The _pescadero_, or
vender, used a loud fish horn, whose deep but not melodious tones
announced to the expectant housewife that he was at hand with a load
of sea-food. Owing to the poorer facilities for catching them, only a
few varieties of deep-water fish, such as barracuda, yellowtail and
rockfish were sold.

Somewhere I have seen it stated that, in 1854, O. W. Childs brought
the first hive of bees from San Francisco at a cost of one hundred and
fifty dollars; but as nearly as I can recollect, a man named Logan
owned the first beehives and was, therefore, the pioneer
honey-producer. I remember paying him three dollars for a three-pound
box of comb-honey, but I have forgotten the date of the transaction.
In 1860, Cyrus Burdick purchased several swarms of bees and had no
difficulty in selling the honey at one dollar a pound. By the fall of
1861, the bee industry had so expanded that Perry & Woodworth, as I
have stated, devoted part of their time to the making of beehives. J.
E. Pleasants, of Santiago Cañon, known also for his Cashmere goats,
was another pioneer bee-man and received a gold medal for his exhibit
at the New Orleans Exposition.


[8] Verandas, spoken of locally as _corridors_; from which fact I may
use both terms interchangeably.

[9] Recently razed.

[10] Translated by Perry Worden for the centenary of _The Song of the

     Through each hand close-joined and waiting,
     Flies the pail.

[11] History repeats itself: in 1915, ranchers at Zelzah were accused
of appropriating water from the new aqueduct, under cover of the
night, without paying for it.




In June, 1854, my brother sold out, and I determined to establish
myself in business and thus become my own master. My lack of knowledge
of English was somewhat of a handicap; but youth and energy were in my
favor, and an eager desire to succeed overcame all obstacles. Upon
computing my worldly possessions, I found that I had saved nearly two
hundred and forty dollars, the sum total of my eight months' wages;
and this sum I invested in my first venture. My brother, J. P.
Newmark, opened a credit for me, which contributed materially to my
success; and I rented the store on the north side of Commercial
Street, about one hundred feet west of Los Angeles, owned by Mateo
Keller and just vacated by Prudent Beaudry. Little did I think, in so
doing, that, twelve years later, some Nemesis would cause Beaudry to
sell out to me. I fully realized the importance of succeeding in my
initial effort, and this requited me for seven months of sacrifices,
until January 1st, 1855, when I took an inventory and found a net
profit of fifteen hundred dollars. To give some idea of what was then
required to attain such success, I may say that, having no assistance
at all, I was absolutely a prisoner from early morning until late in
the evening--the usual hour of closing, as I have elsewhere explained,
being eight o'clock. From sweeping out to keeping books, I attended to
all my own work; and since I neither wished to go out and lock up nor
leave my stock long unprotected, I remained on guard all day,
giving the closest possible attention to my little store.

  [Illustration: Myer J. and Harris Newmark
   From a Daguerreotype]

  [Illustration: George Carson]

  [Illustration: John G. Nichols]

  [Illustration: David W. Alexander]

  [Illustration: Thomas E. Rowan]

  [Illustration: Matthew Keller]

  [Illustration: Samuel Meyer]

Business conditions in the fifties were necessarily very different
from what they are to-day. There was no bank in Los Angeles for some
years, although Downey and one or two others may have had some kind of
a safe. People generally hoarded their cash in deep, narrow buckskin
bags, hiding it behind merchandise on the shelves until the departure
of a steamer for San Francisco, or turning it into such vouchers as
were negotiable and could be obtained here. John Temple, who had a
ranch or two in the North (from which he sent cattle to his agent in
San Francisco), generally had a large reserve of cash to his credit
with butchers or bankers in the Northern city, and he was thus able to
issue drafts against his balances there; being glad enough to make the
exchange, free of cost. When, however, Temple had exhausted his cash,
the would-be remitter was compelled to send the coin itself by
express. He would then take the specie to the company's agent; and the
latter, in his presence, would do it up in a sealed package and charge
one dollar a hundred for safe transmission. No wonder, therefore, that
people found expressing coin somewhat expensive, and were more partial
to the other method.

In the beginning of the fifties, too, silver was irregular in supply.
Nevada's treasures still lay undiscovered within the bowels of the
earth, and much foreign coin was in use here, leading the shrewdest
operators to import silver money from France, Spain, Mexico and other
countries. The size of coins, rather than their intrinsic value, was
then the standard. For example, a five-franc piece, a Mexican dollar
or a coin of similar size from any other country passed for a dollar
here; while a Mexican twenty-five-cent piece, worth but fourteen
cents, was accepted for an American quarter, so that these importers
did a "land-office" business. Half-dollars and their equivalents were
very scarce; and these coins being in great demand among gamblers, it
often happened that they would absorb the supply. This forced such a
premium that eighteen dollars in silver would commonly bring twenty
dollars in gold.

Most of the output of the mines of Southern California--then rated as
the best dust--went to San Francisco assayers, who minted it into
octagonal and round pieces known as slugs. Among those issuing
privately-stamped coins were J. S. Ormsby (whose mark, _J. S. O._,
became familiar) and Augustus Humbert, both of whom circulated
eight-cornered ingots; and Wass Molitor & Co., whose slugs were always
round. Pieces of the value of from one to twenty-five dollars, and
even miniature coins for fractional parts of a dollar, were also
minted; while F. D. Kohler, the State Assayer, made an oblong ingot
worth about fifty dollars. Some of the other important assaying
concerns were Moffatt & Co., Kellogg & Co. and Templeton Reid. Baldwin
& Co. was another firm which issued coins of smaller denomination; and
to this firm belonged David Colbert Broderick, who was killed by

Usurers were here from the beginning, and their tax was often
ruinously exorbitant. So much did they charge for money, in fact, that
from two to twelve and a half per cent. _a week_ was paid; this
brought about the loss of many early estates. I recollect, for
example, that the owner of several thousand acres of land borrowed two
hundred dollars, at an interest charge of twelve and a half per cent.
for each week, from a resident of Los Angeles whose family is still
prominent in California; and that when principal and interest amounted
to twenty-two thousand dollars, the lender foreclosed and thus
ingloriously came into possession of a magnificent property.

For at least twenty years after I arrived in Los Angeles, the credit
system was so irregular as to be no system at all. Land and other
values were exceedingly low, there was not much ready money, and while
the credit of a large rancher was small compared with what his rating
would be today because of the tremendous advances in land and stock,
much longer time was then given on running accounts than would be
allowed now. Bills were generally settled after the harvest. The
wine-grower would pay his score when the grape crop was sold; and the
cattleman would liquidate what he could when he sold his cattle. In
other words, there was no credit foundation whatever; indeed, I have
known accounts to be carried through three and four dry seasons.

It is true, also, that many a fine property was lost through the mania
of the Californian for gambling, and it might be just as well to add
that the loose credit system ruined many. I believe, in fact, it is
generally recognized in certain lines of business that the too
flexible local fiscal practice of to-day is the descendant of the
careless methods of the past.

My early experiences as a merchant afforded me a good opportunity to
observe the character and peculiarities of the people with whom I had
to deal. In those days a disposition to steal was a common weakness on
the part of many, especially Indians, and merchants generally suffered
so much from the evil that a sharp lookout had to be kept. On one
occasion, I saw a native woman deftly abstract a pair of shoes and
cleverly secrete them on her person; and at the conclusion of her
purchases, as she was about to leave the store, I stepped up to her,
and with a "_¡Dispense me Vd.!_" quietly recovered the _zapatos_. The
woman smiled, each of us bowed, the pilfering patron departed, and
nothing further was ever said of the affair.

This proneness to steal was frequently utilized by early and astute
traders, who kept on hand a stock of very cheap but gaudy jewelry
which was placed on the counter within easy reach--a device which
prevented the filching of more valuable articles, while it attracted,
at the same time, this class of customers; and as soon as the esteemed
customers ceased to buy, the trays of tempting trinkets were removed.

Shyness of the truth was another characteristic of many a native that
often had to be reckoned with by merchants wishing to accommodate, as
far as possible, while avoiding loss. One day in 1854, a middle-aged
Indian related to me that his mother (who was living half a block
north on Main Street, and was between eighty and ninety years of age)
had suddenly died, and that he would like some candles, for which he
was unable to pay, to place around the bed holding the remains of the
departed. I could not refuse this filial request, and straightway gave
him the wax tapers which were to be used for so holy a purpose. The
following day, however, I met the old woman on the street and she was
as lively a corpse as one might ever expect to see; leaving me to
conclude that she was lighted to her room, the previous night, by one
of the very candles supposed to be then lighting her to eternity.

The fact that I used to order straw hats which came telescoped in
dozens and were of the same pattern (in the crown of one of which, at
the top, I found one morning a litter of kittens tenderly deposited
there by the store cat), recalls an amusing incident showing the
modesty of the times, at least in the style of ladies' bonnets. S.
Lazard & Company once made an importation of Leghorn hats which, when
they arrived, were found to be all trimmed alike--a bit of ribbon and
a little bunch of artificial flowers in front being their only
ornamentation! Practically, all the fair damsels and matrons of the
town were limited, for the season, to this supply--a fact that was
patent enough, a few days later, at a picnic held at Sainsevain's
favorite vineyard and well patronized by the feminine leaders in our
little world.

But to return to one or two pioneers. David Workman died soon after he
came here, in 1854, with his wife whose maiden name was Nancy Hook. He
was a brother of William Workman and followed him to Los Angeles,
bringing his three sons, Thomas H.--killed in the explosion of the
_Ada Hancock_--Elijah H. and William H., who was for a while a printer
and later in partnership with his brother in the saddlery business.
Elijah once owned a tract of land stretching from what is now Main to
Hill streets and around Twelfth. Workman Street is named after this

Henry Mellus, brother of Francis Mellus, to whom I elsewhere more
fully refer, who had returned to New England, was among us again in
1854. Whether this was the occasion of Mellus's unfortunate
investment, or not, I cannot say; but on one of his trips to the East,
he lost a quarter of a million through an unlucky investment in iron.

Jean B. Trudell (a nephew of Damien Marchessault and a cousin of P.
Beaudry), for a short time in partnership with S. Lazard, was an
old-timer who married Anita, the widow of Henry Mellus; and through
this union a large family resulted. He conducted salt works, from
which he supplied the town with all grades of cheap salt; and he stood
well in the community. Mrs. Trudell took care of her aunt, Mrs. Bell,
during her later years.

With the growth of our little town, newspapers increased, even though
they did not exactly prosper. On the 20th of July, 1854, C. N.
Richards & Company started the _Southern Californian_, a name no doubt
suggested by that of the San Francisco journal, with William Butts as
editor; and on November 2d, Colonel John O. Wheeler joined Butts and
bought out Richards & Company. Their paper was printed in one of
Dalton's corrugated iron houses. The _Southern Californian_ was a
four-page weekly, on one side of which news, editorials and
advertisements, often mere translations of matter in the other
columns, were published in Spanish. One result of the appearance of
this paper was that Waite & Company, a month or so later, reduced the
subscription price of the _Star_--their new rate being nine dollars a
year, or six dollars in advance.

In 1853, a number of Spanish-American restaurant keepers plied their
vocation, so that Mexican and Spanish cooking were always obtainable.
Then came the _cafetería_, but the term was used with a different
significance from that now in vogue. It was rather a place for
drinking than for eating, and in this respect the name had little of
the meaning current in parts of Mexico to-day, where a _cafetería_ is
a small restaurant serving ordinary alcoholic drinks and plain meals.
Nor was the institution the same as that familiarly known in Pacific
Coast towns, and particularly in Los Angeles--one of the first
American cities to experiment with this departure; where a
considerable variety of food (mostly cooked and warm) is displayed to
view, and the prospective diner, having secured his tray and napkin,
knife, fork and spoons, indicates his choice as he passes by the
steam-heated tables and is helped to whatever he selects, and then
carries both service and viands to a small table.

The native population followed their own _cuisine_, and the visitor
to Spanish-American homes naturally partook of native food. All the
Mexican dishes that are common now, such as _tamales_, _enchiladas_
and _frijoles_, were favorite dishes then. There were many saloons in
Sonora Town and elsewhere, and _mescal_ and _aguardiente_, popular
drinks with the Mexicans, were also indulged in by the first white
settlers. Although there were imported wines, the wine-drinkers
generally patronized the local product. This was a very cheap article,
costing about fifteen cents a gallon, and was usually supplied with
meals, without extra charge. _Tamales_ in particular were very popular
with the Californians, but it took some time for the incoming epicure
to appreciate all that was claimed for them and other masterpieces of
Mexican cooking.

The _tortilla_ was another favorite, being a generous-sized maize
cake, round and rather thin, in the early preparation of which the
grain was softened, cleaned and parboiled, after which it was rolled
and crushed between two pieces of flat stone. Deft hands then worked
the product into a pancake, which was placed, sometimes on a piece of
stoneware, sometimes on a plate of iron, and baked, first on one side
and then on the other. A part of the trick in _tortilla_-baking
consisted in its delicate toasting; and when just the right degree of
parching had been reached, the crisp, tasty _tortilla_ was ready to
maintain its position even against more pretentious members of the
pancake family.

_Pan de huevos_, or bread of eggs, was peddled around town on little
trays by Mexican women and, when well-prepared, was very palatable.
_Panocha_, a dark Mexican sugar made into cakes, was also vended by
native women. _Pinole_ was brought in by Indians; and as far as I can
remember, it could not have had a very exact meaning, since I have
heard the term applied both to ground pinenuts and ground corn, and it
may also have been used to mean other food prepared in the same
manner. Be this as it may, the value to the Indian came from the fact
that, when mixed with water, _pinole_ proved a cheap, but nutritious
article of diet.

I have told of the old-fashioned, comfortable adobes, broad and
liberal, whose halls, rooms, verandas and _patios_ bespoke at least
comfort if not elaborateness. Among the old California families
dwelling within these houses, there was much visiting and
entertainment, and I often partook of this proverbial and princely
hospitality. There was also much merry-making, the firing of crackers,
bell-ringing and dancing the _fandango_, _jota_ and _cachucha_ marking
their jolly and whole-souled _fiestas_. Only for the first few years
after I came was the real _fandango_--so popular when Dana visited Los
Angeles and first saw Don Juan Bandini execute the dance--witnessed
here; little by little it went out of fashion, perhaps in part because
of the skill required for its performance. Balls and hops, however,
for a long time were carelessly called by that name. When the
_fandango_ really was in vogue, Bandini, António Coronel, Andrés Pico,
the Lugos and other native Californians were among its most noted
exponents; they often hired a hall, gave a _fandango_ in which they
did not hesitate to take the leading parts, and turned the whole
proceeds over to some church or charity. On such occasions not merely
the plain people (always so responsive to music and its accompanying
pleasures) were the _fandangueros_, but the flower of our local
society turned out _en masse_, adding to the affair a high degree of
_éclat_. There was no end, too, of good things to eat and drink, which
people managed somehow to pass around; and the enjoyment was not
lessened by the fact that every such dance hall was crowded to the
walls, and that the atmosphere, relieved by but a narrow door and
window or two, was literally thick with both dust and smoke.

Still living are some who have memories of these old _fandango_ days
and the journeys taken from suburb to town in order to participate in
them. Doña Petra Pilar Lanfranco used to tell me how, as a young girl,
she came up from the old Palos Verdes ranch house in a _carreta_ and
was always chaperoned by a lady relative. On such occasions, the
_carreta_ would be provided with mattresses, pillows and covers, while
at the end, well strapped, was the trunk containing the finery to be
worn at the ball. To reach town even from a point that would now be
regarded as near, a start was generally made by four o'clock in the
morning; and it often took until late the same evening to arrive at
the Bella Union, where final preparations were made.

One of the pleasant features of a _fandango_ or hop was the use of
_cascarones_, or egg-shells, filled with one thing or another,
agreeable when scattered, and for the time being sealed up. These
shells were generally painted; and most often they contained
many-colored pieces of paper, or the tinsel, _oropel_, cut up very
fine. Not infrequently the shell of the egg was filled with perfume;
and in the days when Californians were flush, gold leaf or even gold
dust was sometimes thus inclosed, with a wafer, and kept for the
_casamiento_, when it would be showered upon the fortunate bride. The
greatest compliment that a gentleman could pay a lady was to break one
of these _cascarones_ over her head, and often the compliment would be
returned; the floor, at the termination of such festivities, being
literally covered with the bits of paper and egg-shell. When the
_fandango_ was on in all its mad delight, a gentleman would approach a
lady to salute her, upon which she would bow her head slightly and
permit him, while he gently squeezed the egg-shell, to let its
contents fall gracefully over her head, neck and shoulders; and very
often she would cleverly choose the right moment--perhaps when he was
not looking--to politely reciprocate the courtesy, under which
circumstances he was in duty bound to detect, if he could, among the
smiling, blushing ladies, the one who had ventured so agreeably to
offend. Such was the courtliness, in fact, among the native population
that even at _fandangos_, in which the public participated and the
compliment of the _cascarón_ was almost universally observed, there
was seldom a violation of regard for another's feelings. When such
rowdyism did occur, however (prompted perhaps by jealousy), and bad
eggs or that which was even less aromatic, were substituted, serious
trouble ensued; and one or two fatalities are on record as growing out
of such senseless acts. Speaking of _fandangos_, it may be added that
in January, 1861, the Common Council of Los Angeles passed an
ordinance requiring the payment in advance of ten dollars for a
one-night license to hold any public dance within the city limits.

The pueblo was so small in the fifties, and the number of white people
so limited that, whenever a newcomer arrived, it caused considerable
general excitement; and when it infrequently happened that persons of
note came for even a single night, a deputation of prominent citizens
made their short stay both noisy with cannonading and tiresome with
spread-eagle oratory.

A very important individual in early days was Peter Biggs, or Nigger
Pete, a pioneer barber who came here in 1852, having previously been
sold as a slave to an officer at Fort Leavenworth and freed, in
California, at the close of the Mexican War. He was a black-haired,
good-natured man, then about forty years of age, and had a shop on
Main Street, near the Bella Union. He was, indeed, the only barber in
town who catered to Americans, and while by no means of the highest
tonsorial capacity, was sufficiently appreciative of his monopoly to
charge fifty cents for shaving and seventy-five cents for
hair-cutting. When, however, a Frenchman named Felix Signoret (whose
daughter married Ed. McGinnis, the high-toned saloon keeper) appeared,
some years later--a barber by trade, of whom we shall hear more
later--it was not long before Pete was seriously embarrassed, being
compelled, first to reduce his prices and then to look for more humble
work. In the early sixties, Pete was advertising as follows:


             PRICES REDUCED!
           To Keep Pace with the Times
             Shaving       12½c.
             Hair-cutting  25c.
             Shampoo_n_ing   25c.

     Peter Biggs will always be on hand and ready to attend to
     all business in his line, such as cleaning and polishing
     the "understanding" together with an Intelligence Office
     and City Express. Also washing and ironing done with all
     neatness and despatch, at reasonable rates.

Recalling Biggs and his barber shop, I may say that, in fitting up his
place, he made little or no pretension. He had an old-fashioned,
high-backed chair, but otherwise operated much as barbers do to-day.
People sat around waiting their turn; and as Biggs called "Next!" he
sprinkled the last victim with Florida water, applying to the hair at
the same time his _Bear Oil_ (sure to leave its mark on walls and
pillows), after which, with a soiled towel he put on the finishing
touch--for one towel in those days served many customers. But few
patrons had their private cups. Biggs served only men and boys, as
ladies dressed their own hair. To some extent, Biggs was a maker or,
at least, a purveyor of wigs.

Besides Peter Biggs, a number of colored people lived in Los Angeles
at an early date--five of whom belonged to the Mexican Veterans--Bob
Owens and his wife being among the most prominent. Owens--who came
here from Texas in December, 1853--was known to his friends as Uncle
Bob, while Mrs. Owens was called Aunt Winnie. The former at first did
all kinds of odd jobs, later profiting through dealings with the
Government; while his good wife washed clothes, in which capacity she
worked from time to time for my family. They lived in San Pedro
Street, and invested their savings in a lot extending from Spring to
Fort streets, between Third and Fourth. Owens died in 1865. Their
heirs are wealthy as a result of this investment; in fact, I should
not be surprised if they are among the most prosperous negroes in

Another colored man of the sixties was named Berry, though he was
popularly known as Uncle George. He was indeed a local character, a
kind of popinjay; and when not busy with janitor or other all-around
scrubwork, sported among the negroes as an ultra-fashionable.

Elsewhere I have spoken of the versatility of Dr. William B. Osburn,
who showed no little commendable enterprise. In October, 1854, he
shipped to an agricultural convention in Albany, New York, the first
Los Angeles grapes ever sent to the East; and the next year he
imported roses, shrubbery and fruit trees from Rochester.

On October 13th, 1854, a good-for-nothing gambler, Dave Brown--who had
planned to rob John Temple on one of his business trips, but was
thwarted because Temple changed his route--murdered a companion,
Pinckney Clifford, in a livery stable at what was later to become the
corner of Main and Court streets; and next day the lawless act created
such general indignation that vengeance on Brown would undoubtedly
then and there have been wreaked had not Stephen C. Foster, who was
Mayor, met the crowd of citizens and persuaded them quietly to
disperse. In order to mollify the would-be Vigilantes, Foster promised
that, if the case miscarried in the courts and Brown was not given his
due, he would resign his office and would himself lead those who
favored taking the law into their own hands; and as Foster had been a
Lieutenant in the Rangers under Dr. Hope, showing himself to be a man
of nerve, the crowd had confidence in him and went its way.

On November 30th, Brown was tried in the District Court, and Judge
Benjamin Hayes sentenced him to hang on January 12th, 1855--the same
date on which Felipe Alvitre, a half-breed Indian, was to pay the
penalty for killing James Ellington at El Monte. Brown's counsel were
J. R. Scott, Cameron E. Thom and J. A. Watson; and these attorneys
worked so hard and so effectively for their client that on January
10th, or two days before the date set for the execution, Judge Murray
of the Supreme Court granted Brown a stay, although apparently no
relief was provided for Alvitre. The latter was hanged in the
calaboose or jail yard, in the presence of a vast number of people, at
the time appointed. Alvitre having been strung up by Sheriff Barton
and his assistants, the rope broke, letting the wretch fall to the
ground, more dead than alive. This bungling so infuriated the crowd
that cries of "_Arriba! Arriba!_" (Up with him! up with him!) rent the
air. The executioners sprang forward, lifted the body, knotted the
rope together and once more drew aloft the writhing form. Then the
gallows was dismantled and the guards dismissed.

The news that one execution had taken place, while the Court, in the
other case, had interfered, was speedily known by the crowds in the
streets and proved too much for the patience of the populace; and only
a leader or two were required to focus the indignation of the masses.
That leader appeared in Foster who, true to his word, resigned from
the office of Mayor and put himself at the head of the mob. Appeals,
evoking loud applause, were made by one speaker after another, each in
turn being lifted to the top of a barrel; and then the crowd began to
surge toward the jail. Poles and crowbars were brought, and a
blacksmith called for; and the prison doors, which had been locked,
bolted and barred, were broken in, very soon convincing the Sheriff
and his assistants--if any such conviction were needed--that it was
useless to resist. In a few minutes, Brown was reached, dragged out
and across Spring Street, and there hanged to the crossbeam of a
corral gateway opposite the old jail, the noose being drawn tight
while he was still attempting to address the crowd.

When Brown was about to be disposed of, he was asked if he had
anything to say; to which he replied that he had no objection to
paying the penalty of his crime, but that he did take exception to a
"lot of _Greasers_" shuffling him off! Brown referred to the fact that
Mexicans especially were conspicuous among those who had hold of the
rope; and his coarsely-expressed objection striking a humorous vein
among the auditors, the order was given to indulge his fancy and
accommodate him--whereupon, Americans strung him up! One of those who
had previously volunteered to act as hangman for Brown was Juan
Gonzales; but within four months, that is, in May, 1855, Gonzales
himself was sent to the penitentiary by Judge Myron Norton, convicted
of horse-stealing.

A rather amusing feature of this hanging was the manner in which the
report of it was served up to the public. The lynching-bee seemed
likely to come off about three o'clock in the afternoon, while the
steamer for San Francisco was to leave at ten o'clock on the same
morning; so that the schedules did not agree. A closer connection was
undoubtedly possible--at least so thought Billy Workman, then a typo
on the _Southern Californian_, who planned to print a full account of
the execution in time to reach the steamer. So Billy sat down and
wrote out every detail, even to the confession of the murderer on the
improvised gallows; and several hours before the tragic event actually
took place, the wet news-sheet was aboard the vessel and on its way
north. A few surplus copies gave the lynchers the unique opportunity,
while watching the stringing-up, of comparing the written story with
the affair as it actually occurred.

While upon the subject of lynching, I wish to observe that I have
witnessed many such distressing affairs in Los Angeles; and that,
though the penalty of hanging was sometimes too severe for the crime
(and I have always deplored, as much as any of us ever did, the
administration of mob-justice) yet the safety of the better classes in
those troublous times often demanded quick and determined action, and
stern necessity knew no law. And what is more, others besides myself
who have also repeatedly faced dangers no longer common, agree with me
in declaring, after half a century of observation and reflection, that
milder courses than those of the vigilance committees of our young
community could hardly have been followed with wisdom and safety.

Wood was the only regular fuel for many years, and people were
accustomed to buy it in quantities and to pile it carefully in their
yards. When it was more or less of a drug on the market, I paid as
little as three dollars and a half a cord; in winter I had to pay
more, but the price was never high. No tree was spared, and I have
known magnificent oaks to be wantonly felled and used for fuel.
Valuable timber was often destroyed by squatters guilty of a form of
trespassing that gave much trouble, as I can testify from my own

Henry Dwight Barrows, who had been educated as a Yankee schoolmaster,
arrived in Los Angeles in December, 1854, as private tutor to William
Wolfskill. Other parts of Barrows's career were common to many
pioneers: he was in business for a while in New York, caught the
gold-fever, gave up everything to make the journey across the Isthmus
of Panamá, on which trip he was herded as one of seventeen hundred
passengers on a rickety Coast vessel; and finally, after some
unsuccessful experiences as a miner in Northern California, he made
his way to the Southland to accept the proffered tutorship, hoping to
be cured of the malarial fever which he had contracted during his
adventures. Barrows taught here three years, returned East by steamer
for a brief trip in 1857, and in 1859-60 tried his hand at cultivating
grapes, in a vineyard owned by Prudent Beaudry. On November 14th,
1860, Barrows was married to Wolfskill's daughter, Señorita Juana; and
later he was County School Superintendent. In 1861, President Lincoln
appointed Barrows United States Marshal, the duties of which office he
performed for four years. In 1864, having lost his wife he married the
widow (formerly Miss Alice Woodworth) of Thomas Workman. The same year
he formed a partnership with J. D. Hicks, under the firm name of J. D.
Hicks & Company, and sold tin and hardware for twelve or fifteen
years. In 1868, bereaved of his second wife, Barrows married Miss
Bessie Ann Greene, a native of New York. That year, too, he was joined
by his brother, James Arnold Barrows,[12] who came by way of Panamá
and bought thirty-five acres of land afterward obtained by the
University of Southern California. About 1874, Barrows was
manufacturing pipe. For years he dwelt with his daughter, Mrs. R. G.
Weyse, contributing now and then to the activities of the Historical
Society, and taking a keen interest[13] in Los Angeles affairs.

About 1854 or 1855, I. M., Samuel and Herman (who must not be confused
with H. W.) Hellman, arrived here, I. M. preceding his brothers by a
short period. In time, I. M. Hellman, in San Francisco, married Miss
Caroline Adler; and in 1862 her sister, Miss Adelaide, came south on a
visit and married Samuel Hellman. One of the children of this union
is Maurice S. Hellman, who, for many years associated with Joseph F.
Sartori, has occupied an important position in banking and financial

In 1854 or 1855, Bishop & Beale, a firm consisting of Samuel A. Bishop
and E. F. Beale, became owners of an immense tract of Kern County land
consisting of between two and three-hundred thousand acres. This vast
territory was given to them in payment for the work which they had
done in surveying the Butterfield Route, later incorporated in the
stage road connecting San Francisco with St. Louis. Recently I read an
account of Beale's having been an Indian Agent at the Reservation; but
if he was, I have forgotten it. I remember Colonel James F. Vineyard,
an Indian Agent and later Senator from Los Angeles; one of whose
daughters was married, in 1862, to Congressman Charles De Long, of
Nevada City, afterward United States Minister to Japan, and another
daughter to Dr. Hayes, of Los Angeles.

Bishop, after a while, sold out his interest in the land and moved to
San José, where he engaged in street-car operations. He was married
near San Gabriel to Miss Frances Young, and I officiated as one of the
groomsmen at the wedding. After Bishop disposed of his share, Colonel
R. S. Baker became interested, but whether or not he bought Bishop's
interest at once, is not clear in my memory. It is worth noting that
Bakersfield, which was part of this great ranch, took its name from
Colonel Baker. Some time later, Baker sold out to Beale and then came
South and purchased the San Vicente Ranch. This _rancho_ comprised the
whole Santa Monica district and consisted of thirty thousand acres,
which Baker stocked with sheep. On a part of this land, the Soldiers'
Home now stands.

Hilliard P. Dorsey, another typical Western character, was Register of
the Land Office and a leading Mason of early days. He lived in Los
Angeles in 1853, and I met him on the _Goliah_ in October of that
year, on the way south, after a brief visit to San Francisco, and
while I was bound for my new home. We saw each other frequently after
my arrival here; and I was soon on good terms with him. When I
embarked in business on my own account, therefore, I solicited
Dorsey's patronage.

One day, Dorsey bought a suit of clothes from me on credit. A couple
of months passed by, however, without any indication on his part that
he intended to pay; and as the sum involved meant much to me at that
time, I was on the lookout for my somewhat careless debtor. In due
season, catching sight of him on the other side of the street, I
approached, in genuine American fashion, and unceremoniously asked him
to liquidate his account. I had not then heard of the notches in
Friend Dorsey's pistol, and was so unconscious of danger that my
temerity seemed to impress him. I believe, in fact, that he must have
found the experience novel. However that may be, the next day he
called and paid his bill.

In relating this circumstance to friends, I was enlightened as to
Dorsey's peculiar propensities and convinced that youth and ignorance
alone had saved me from disaster. In other words, he let me go, as it
were, on probation. Dorsey himself was killed sometime later by his
father-in-law, William Rubottom, who had come to El Monte with Ezekiel
Rubottom, in 1852 or 1853. After quarreling with Rubottom, Dorsey, who
was not a bad fellow, but of a fiery temper, had entered the yard with
a knife in his hand; and Rubottom had threatened to shoot him if he
came any nearer. The son-in-law continued to advance; and Rubottom
shot him dead. M. J. Newmark, Rubottom's attorney, who had been
summoned to El Monte for consultation as to Dorsey's treatment of
Rubottom's daughter, was present at the fatal moment and witnessed the
shooting affray.

Uncle Billy Rubottom, as he was familiarly called, came to Los Angeles
County after losing heavily through the bursting of Yuba Dam and was
one of the founders of Spadra. He named the settlement, laid out on a
part of the San José _rancho_, after his home town, Spadra Bluffs in
Arkansas, and opened a hotel which he made locally famous, during a
decade and a half, for barbecues and similar events, giving personal
attention (usually while in shirt-sleeves) to his many guests. In his
declining years, Uncle Billy lived with Kewen H. Dorsey, his grandson,
who was also prominent in masonic circles.


[12] Died, June 9th, 1914.

[13] Died, August 7th, 1914.




As I have already related, I made fifteen hundred dollars in a few
months, and in January, 1855, my brother advised me to form a
partnership with men of maturer years. In this I acquiesced. He
thereupon helped to organize the firm of Rich, Newmark & Company,
consisting of Elias Laventhal (who reached here in 1854 and died on
January 20th, 1902), Jacob Rich and myself. Rich was to be the San
Francisco resident partner, while Laventhal and I undertook the
management of the business in Los Angeles. We prospered from the
beginning, deriving much benefit from our San Francisco representation
which resulted in our building up something of a wholesale business.

In the early fifties, Los Angeles was the meeting-place of a Board of
Land Commissioners appointed by the National Government to settle
land-claims and to prepare the way for that granting of patents to
owners of Southern California ranches which later awakened from time
to time such interest here. This interest was largely due to the fact
that the Mexican authorities, in numerous instances, had made the same
grant to different persons, often confusing matters badly. Cameron E.
Thom, then Deputy Land Agent, took testimony for the Commissioners. In
1855, this Board completed its labors. The members were Hiland Hall
(later Governor of Vermont,) Harry I. Thornton and Thompson Campbell;
and during the season they were here, these Land Commissioners formed
no unimportant part of the Los Angeles legal world.

Thomas A. Delano, whose name is perpetuated in our local geography,
was a sailor who came to Los Angeles on January 4th, 1855, after
which, for fifteen or sixteen years, he engaged in freighting. He
married Señorita Soledad, daughter of John C. Vejar, the well-known
Spanish Californian.

Slowness and uncertainty of mail delivery in our first decades
affected often vital interests, as is shown in the case of the
half-breed Alvitre who, as I have said, was sentenced to be executed.
One reason why the Vigilantes, headed by Mayor Foster, despatched
Brown was the expectation that both he and Alvitre would get a stay
from higher authority; and sure enough, a stay was granted Alvitre,
but the document was delayed in transit until the murderer, on January
12th, 1855, had forfeited his life! Curiously enough, another
Alvitre--an aged Californian named José Claudio--also of El Monte, but
six years later atrociously murdered his aged wife; and on April 28th,
1861, he was hanged. The lynchers placed him on a horse under a tree,
and then drove the animal away, leaving him suspended from a limb.

Washington's Birthday, in 1855, was made merrier by festivities
conducted under the auspices of the City Guards, of which W. W.
Twist--a grocer and commission merchant at Beaudry's Block, Aliso
Street, and afterward in partnership with Casildo Aguilar--was
Captain. The same organization gave its first anniversary ball in May.
Twist was a Ranger, or member of the volunteer mounted police; and it
was he who, in March, 1857, formed the first rifle company. In the
early sixties, he was identified with the sheriff's office, after
which, venturing into Mexico, he was killed.

Henry C. G. Schaeffer came to Los Angeles on March 16th, 1855, and
opened the first gunsmith shop in a little adobe on the east side of
Los Angeles Street near Commercial, which he soon surrounded with an
attractive flower garden. A year after Schaeffer came, he was followed
by another gunsmith, August Stoermer. Schaeffer continued, however, to
sell and mend guns and to cultivate flowers; and twenty years later
found him on Wilmington Street, near New Commercial, still encircled
by one of the choicest collections of flowers in the city, and the
first to have brought here the night-blooming cereus. With more than
regret, therefore, I must record that, in the middle seventies, this
warm-hearted friend of children, so deserving of the good will of
everyone, committed suicide.

Gold was discovered at Havilah, Kern County, in 1854; and by the early
spring of 1855 exaggerated accounts of the find had spread broadcast
over the entire State. Yarn after yarn passed from mouth to mouth, one
of the most extravagant of the reports being that a Mexican doctor and
alchemist suddenly rode into Mariposa from the hills, where he had
found a gulch paved with gold, his horse and himself being fairly
covered with bags of nuggets. The rush by gold-seekers on their way
from the North to Los Angeles (the Southern gateway to the fields)
began in January, 1855, and continued a couple of years, every steamer
being loaded far beyond the safety limit; and soon miles of the rough
highways leading to the mines were covered with every conceivable form
of vehicle and struggling animals, as well as with thousands of
footsore prospectors, unable to command transportation at any price.
For awhile, ten, twelve and even fifteen per cent. interest a month
was offered for small amounts of money by those of the prospectors who
needed assistance, a rate based on the calculation that a wide-awake
digger would be sure of eight to ten dollars a day, and that with such
returns one should certainly be satisfied. This time the excitement
was a little too much for the Los Angeles editors to ignore; and in
March the publisher of the _Southern Californian_, himself losing his
balance, issued an "extra" with these startling announcements:


     There are a thousand gulches rich with gold, and room for
     ten thousand miners! Miners average $50.00 a day. One man
     with his own hands took out $160.00 in a day. Five men in
     ten days took out $4,500.00.

The affair proved, however, a ridiculous failure; and William Marsh,
an old Los Angeles settler and a very decent chap, who conducted a
store at Havilah, was among those who suffered heavy loss. Although
some low-grade ore was found, it was generally not in paying
quantities. The dispersion of this adventurous mass of humanity
brought to Los Angeles many undesirable people, among them gamblers
and desperadoes, who flocked in the wake of the gold-diggers, making
another increase in the rough element. Before long, four men were
fatally shot and half a dozen wounded near the Plaza, one Sunday

When the excitement about the gold-finds along the Kern River was at
its height, Frank Lecouvreur arrived here, March 6th, on the steamship
_America_, lured by reports then current in San Francisco. To save the
fare of five dollars, he trudged for ten hours all the way from San
Pedro, carrying on his shoulders forty pounds of baggage; but on
putting up at the United States Hotel, then recently started, he was
dissuaded by some experienced miners from venturing farther up the
country. Soon after, he met a fellow-countryman from Königsberg, named
Arnold, who induced him, on account of his needy condition, to take
work in his saloon; but disliking his duties and the rather frequent
demands upon his nervous system through being shot at, several times,
by patrons not exactly satisfied with Lecouvreur's locomotion and his
method of serving, the young German quit the job and went to work as a
carriage-painter for John Goller. In October, Captain Henry Hancock,
then County Surveyor, engaged Lecouvreur as flagman, at a salary of
sixty dollars; which was increased twenty-five per cent. on the trip
of the surveyors to the Mojave.

March 29th, 1855, witnessed the organization of the first Odd Fellows'
lodge--No. 35--instituted here. General Ezra Drown was the leading
spirit; and others associated with him were E. Wilson High, Alexander
Crabb, L. C. Goodwin, William C. Ardinger, Morris L. Goodman and M. M.

During the fifties, the Bella Union passed under several successive
managements. On July 22d, 1854, Dr. Macy sold it to W. G. Ross and a
partner named Crockett. They were succeeded, on April 7th, 1855, by
Robert S. Hereford. Ross was killed, some years afterward, by C. P.
Duane in San Francisco.

In pursuit of business, in 1855, I made a number of trips to San
Bernardino, some of which had their amusing incidents, and most of
which afforded pleasure or an agreeable change. Meeting Sam Meyer on
one of these occasions, just as I was mounted and ready to start, I
invited him to accompany me; and as Sam assured me that he knew where
to secure a horse, we started down the street together and soon passed
a shop in which there was a Mexican customer holding on to a _reata_
leading out through the door to his saddled nag. Sam walked in; and
having a casual acquaintance with the man, asked him if he would lend
him the animal for a while? People were generous in those days; and
the good-hearted Mexican, thinking perhaps that Sam was "just going
around the corner," carelessly answered, "_Sí, Señor_," and proceeded
with his bartering. Sam, on the other hand, came out of the shop and
led the horse away! After some days of minor adventures, when we lost
our path near the Old Mission and had to put back to El Monte for the
night, we arrived at San Bernardino; and on our return, after watering
the horses, Sam found in his unhaltered steed such a veritable Tartar
that, in sheer desperation, he was about to shoot the borrowed beast!

On another one of these trips I was entertained by Simon Jackson, a
merchant of that town, who took me to a restaurant kept by a Captain
Weiner. This, the best eating-place in town, was about ten feet square
and had a mud floor. It was a miserably hot day--so hot, in fact, that
I distinctly remember the place being filled with flies, and that the
butter had run to oil. Nature had not intended Weiner to cater to
sensitive stomachs, at least not on the day of which I speak, and to
make matters worse, Weiner was then his own waiter. He was wallowing
around in his bare feet, and was otherwise unkempt and unclean; and
the whole scene is therefore indelibly impressed on my memory. When
the slovenly Captain bawled out: "Which will you have--chops or
steak?" Jackson straightened up, threw out his chest, and in evidence
of the vigor of his appetite, just as vociferously answered: "I want a
steak _as big as a mule's foot_!"

Living in San Bernardino was a customer of ours, a celebrity by the
name of Lewis Jacobs. He had joined the Mormon Church and was a
merchant of worth and consequence. Jacobs was an authority on all
matters of finance connected with his town, and anyone wishing to know
the condition of business men in that neighborhood had only to apply
to him. Once when I was in San Bernardino, I asked him for information
regarding a prospective patron who was rather a gay sort of
individual; and this was Jacobs's characteristic reply: "A very fine
fellow: he plays a little poker, and drinks a little whiskey!" Jacobs
became a banker and in 1900 died on shipboard while returning from
Europe, leaving a comfortable fortune and the more valuable asset of a
good name.

In referring to Alexander & Mellus and their retirement from business,
I have said that merchandise required by Southern Californians in the
early days, and before the absorption of the Los Angeles market by San
Francisco, was largely transported by sailing vessels from the East.
When a ship arrived, it was an event worthy of special notice, and
this was particularly the case when such sailing craft came less and
less often into port. Sometimes the arrival of the vessel was heralded
in advance; and when it was unloaded, the shrewd merchants used
decidedly modern methods for the marketing of their wares. In 1855,
for example, Johnson & Allanson advertised as follows:


     Direct from the Atlantic States, 112 Days' Passage.

     Samples of the Cargo at our Store in the Stearns Building;
     and the entire Cargo will be disposed of cheap, for cash.

     Goods delivered at San Pedro or Los Angeles.

From the above announcement, it must not be inferred that these Los
Angeles tradesmen brought to this port the whole shipload of
merchandise. Such ships left but a small part of their cargo here, the
major portion being generally consigned to the North.

The dependence on San Francisco continued until the completion of our
first transcontinental railway. In the meantime, Los Angeles had to
rely on the Northern city for nearly everything, live stock being
about the only exception; and this relation was shown in 1855 by the
publication of no less than four columns of San Francisco
advertisements in the regular issue of a Los Angeles newspaper. Much
of this commerce with the Southland for years was conducted by means
of schooners which ran irregularly and only when there was cargo. They
plied between San Francisco and San Pedro, and by agreement put in at
Santa Bárbara and other Coast places such as Port San Luis, when the
shipments warranted such stops. N. Pierce & Company were the owners.
One of these vessels in 1855 was the clipper schooner _Laura Bevan_,
captained by F. Morton and later wrecked at sea when Frank Lecouvreur
just escaped taking passage on her; and another was the _Sea Serpent_,
whose Captain bore the name of Fish.

I have said that in 1849 the old side-wheeler _Gold Hunter_ had
commenced paddling the waters around here; but so far as I can
remember, she was not operating in 1853. The _Goliah_, on the other
hand, was making two round trips a month, carrying passengers, mail
and freight from San Francisco to San Diego, and stopping at various
Coast points including San Pedro. In a vague way, I also remember the
mail steamer _Ohio_ under one of the Haleys, the _Sea Bird_, at one
time commanded by Salisbury Haley, and the _Southerner_; and if I am
uncertain about others, the difficulty may be due to the fact that,
because of unseaworthiness and miserable service, owners changed the
names of ships from time to time in order to allay the popular
prejudice and distrust, so that during some years, several names were
successively applied to the same vessel. It must have been about 1855
or 1856 that the _Senator_ (brought to the Coast by Captain Coffin,
January 28th, 1853) was put on the Southern run, and with her advent
began a considerably improved service. As the schooners were even more
irregular than the steamers, I generally divided my shipments, giving
to the latter what I needed immediately, and consigning by the
schooners, whose freight rates were much lower, what could stand
delay. One more word about the _Goliah_: one day in the eighties I
heard that she was still doing valiant service, having been sold to a
Puget Sound company.

Recalling these old-time side-wheelers whose paddles churned the water
into a frothing foam out of all proportion to the speed with which
they drove the boat along her course, I recall, with a feeling almost
akin to sentiment, the roar of the signal-gun fired just before
landing, making the welcome announcement, as well to the traveler as
to his friends awaiting him on shore, that the voyage had been safely

Shortly after my arrival in Los Angeles, the transportation service
was enlarged by the addition of a stage line from San Francisco which
ran along the Coast from the Northern city to the Old Town of San
Diego, making stops all along the road, including San José, San Luis
Obispo, Santa Bárbara and San Buenaventura, and particularly at Los
Angeles, where not only horses, but stages and supplies were kept. The
stage to San Diego followed, for the most part, the route selected
later by the Santa Fé Railroad.

These old-time stages remind me again of the few varieties of vehicles
then in use. John Goller had met with much skepticism and ridicule, as
I have said, when he was planning an improvement on the old and clumsy
_carreta_; and when his new ideas did begin to prevail, he suffered
from competition. E. L. Scott & Company came as blacksmiths and
carriage-makers in 1855; and George Boorham was another who arrived
about the same time. Ben McLoughlin was also an early wheelwright.
Among Goller's assistants who afterward opened shops for themselves,
were the three Louis's--Roeder, Lichtenberger and Breer; Roeder and
Lichtenberger[14] having a place on the west side of Spring Street
just south of First.

Thomas W. Seeley, Captain of the _Senator_, was very fond of Los
Angeles diversions, as will appear from the following anecdote of the
late fifties. After bringing his ship to anchor off the coast, he
would hasten to Los Angeles, leaving his vessel in command of First
Mate Butters to complete the voyage to San Diego and return, which
consumed forty-eight hours; and during this interval, the old Captain
regularly made his headquarters at the Bella Union. There he would
spend practically all of his time playing poker, then considered the
gentleman's game of chance, and which, since the mania for Chemical
Purity had not yet possessed Los Angeles, was looked upon without
criticism. When the steamer returned from San Diego, Captain Seeley,
if neither his own interest in the game nor his fellow-players'
interest in his pocketbook had ebbed, would postpone the departure of
his ship, frequently for even as much as twenty-four hours, thus
adding to the irregularity of sailings which I have already mentioned.
Many, in fact, were the inconveniences to which early travelers were
subjected from this infrequency of trips and failure to sail at the
stated hour; and to aggravate the trouble, the vessels were all too
small, especially when a sudden excitement--due, perhaps, to some new
report of the discovery of gold--increased the number of intending
travelers. It even happened, sometimes, that persons were compelled to
postpone their trip until the departure of another boat. Speaking of
anchoring vessels off the coast, I may add that high seas frequently
made it impossible to reach the steamers announced to leave at a
certain time; in which case the officers used to advertise in the
newspapers that the time of departure had been changed.

  [Illustration: Louis Sainsevain]

  [Illustration: Manuel Dominguez]

  [Illustration: El Aliso, the Sainsevain Winery]

  [Illustration: Jacob Elias]

  [Illustration: John T. Lanfranco]

  [Illustration: J. Frank Burns]

  [Illustration: Henry D. Barrows
   From an old lithograph]

When Captain Seeley was killed in the _Ada Hancock_ disaster, in 1863,
First Mate Butters was made Captain and continued for some time in
command. Just what his real fitness was, I cannot say; but it seemed
to me that he did not know the Coast any too well. This impression
also existed in the minds of others; and once, when we were
supposed to be making our way to San Francisco, the heavy fog lifted
and revealed the shore thirty miles north of our destination;
whereupon a fellow-passenger exclaimed: "Why, Captain, this isn't at
all the part of the Coast where we should be!" The remark stung the
sensitive Butters, who probably was conscious enough of his
shortcomings; and straightway he threatened to put the offending
passenger in irons!

George F. Lamson was an auctioneer who arrived in Los Angeles in 1855.
Aside from the sale of live stock, there was not much business in his
line; although, as I have said, Dr. Osburn, the Postmaster, also had
an auction room. Sales of household effects were held on a Tuesday or
a Wednesday; while horses were offered for sale on Saturdays. Lamson
had the typical auctioneer's personality; and many good stories were
long related, illustrating his humor, wit and amusing impudence by
which he often disposed, even to his friends, of almost worthless
objects at high prices. A daughter Gertrude, widely known as Lillian
Nance O'Neill, never married; another daughter, Lillian, is the wife
of William Desmond, the actor.

In 1854, Congress made an appropriation of fifty thousand dollars
which went far toward opening up the trade that later flourished
between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. This money was for the survey
and location of a wagon-road between San Bernardino and the Utah
capital; and on the first of May, 1855, Gilbert & Company established
their Great Salt Lake Express over that Government route. It was at
first a pony express, making monthly trips, carrying letters and
stopping at such stations as Coal Creek, Fillmore City, Summit Creek
and American Fork, and finally reaching Great Salt Lake; and early
having good Los Angeles connections, it prospered sufficiently to
substitute a wagon-service for the pony express. Although this was at
first intended only as a means of connecting the Mormon capital with
the more recently-founded Mormon settlement at San Bernardino, the
extension of the service to Los Angeles eventually made this city the

Considerable excitement was caused by the landing at San Pedro, in
1855, of a shipload of Mormons from Honolulu. Though I do not recall
that any more recruits came subsequently from that quarter, the
arrival of these adherents of Brigham Young added color to his
explanation that he had established a Mormon colony in California, as
a base of operations and supplies for converts from the Sandwich

Thomas Foster, a Kentuckian, was the sixth Mayor of Los Angeles,
taking office in May, 1855. He lived opposite Masonic Hall on Main
Street, with his family, among whom were some charming daughters, and
was in partnership with Dr. R. T. Hayes, in Apothecaries' Hall near
the Post Office. He was one of the first Masons here and was highly
esteemed; and he early declared himself in favor of better school and
water facilities.

About the second week of June, 1855, appeared the first Spanish
newspaper in Los Angeles under the American _régime_. It was called
_El Clamor Público_, and made its appeal, socially, to the better
class of native Californians. Politically, it was edited for
Republicans, especially for the supporters, in 1856, of Frémont for
President. Its editor was Francisco P. Ramirez; but though he was an
able journalist and a good typo--becoming, between 1860 and 1862,
State Printer in Sonora and, in 1865, Spanish Translator for the State
of California--the _Clamor_, on December 31st, 1859, went the way of
so many other local journals.


[14] Lichtenberger died some years ago; Roeder died February 20th,




From all accounts, Fourth of July was celebrated in Los Angeles with
more or less enthusiasm from the time of the City's reorganization,
although afterward, as we shall see, the day was often neglected; but
certainly in 1855 the festivities were worthy of remembrance. There
was less formality, perhaps, and more cannonading than in later years;
music was furnished by a brass band from Fort Tejón; and Phineas
Banning was the stentorian "orator of the day." Two years previously,
Banning had provided a three days' celebration and barbecue for the
Fourth, attended by my brother; and I once enjoyed a barbecue at San
Juan Capistrano where the merriment, continuing for half a week,
marked both the hospitality and the leisurely habits of the people. In
those days (when men were not afraid of noise) boys, in celebrating
American Independence, made all the hullabaloo possible, untrammeled
by the nonsense of "a sane Fourth."

On the Fourth of July and other holidays, as well as on Sundays, men
from the country came to town, arrayed in their fanciest clothes; and,
mounted upon their most spirited and gaily-caparisoned _caballos de
silla_, or saddle-horses, they paraded the streets, as many as ten
abreast, jingling the metallic parts of their paraphernalia, admired
and applauded by the populace, and keenly alive to the splendid
appearance they and their outfits made, and to the effect sure to be
produced on the fair _señoritas_. The most popular thoroughfare for
this purpose was Main Street. On such occasions, the men wore short,
very tight-fitting jackets of bright-colored material--blue, green and
yellow being the favorite colors--and trimmed with gold and silver
lace or fringe. These jackets were so tight that often the wearers put
them on only with great difficulty. The _calzoneras_, or pantaloons,
were of the same material as the jackets, open on the side and flanked
with brass buttons. The openings exposed the _calzoncillos_, or
drawers. A fashionable adjunct was the Mexican garter, often costing
ten to fifteen dollars, and another was the high-heeled boot, so small
that ten minutes or more were required to draw it on. This boot was a
great conceit; but though experiencing much discomfort, the victim
could not be induced to increase the size.

The _serape_, worn by men, was the native substitute for the overcoat.
It was a narrow, Mexican blanket of finest wool, multicolored and
provided with a hole near the center large enough to let the wearer's
head through; and when not in actual use, it was thrown over the
saddle. The head-gear consisted in winter of a broad-rimmed,
high-crowned, woolen _sombrero_, usually brown, which was kept in
place during fast travel or a race by a ribbon or band fastened under
the chin; often, as in the familiar case of Ygnácio Lugo, the hat was
ornamented with beads. In summer, the rider substituted a shirt for
the _serape_ and a Panamá for the _sombrero_. The _caballero's_
outfit, in the case of some wealthy dons, exceeded a thousand dollars
in value; and it was not uncommon for fancy costumes to be handed down
as heirlooms.

The women, on the other hand, wore skirts of silk, wool or cotton,
according to their wealth or the season. Many of the female conceits
had not appeared in 1853; the grandmothers of the future suffragettes
wore, instead of bonnets and hats, a _rebozo_, or sort of scarf or
muffler, which covered their heads and shoulders and looked
delightfully picturesque. To don this gracefully was, in fact, quite
an art. Many of the native California ladies also braided their hair,
and wore circular combs around the back of their heads; at least this
was so until, with the advent of a greater number of American women,
their more modern, though less romantic, styles commenced to prevail,
when even the picturesque _mantilla_ was discarded.

Noting these differences of dress in early days, I should not forget
to state that there were both American and Mexican tailors here; among
the former being one McCoy and his son, merry companions whose
copartnership carousals were proverbial. The Mexican tailor had the
advantage of knowing just what the native requirements were, although
in the course of time his _Gringo_ rival came to understand the tastes
and prejudices of the _paisano_, and to obtain the better share of the
patronage. The cloth from which the _caballero's_ outfit was made
could be found in most of the stores.

As with clothes and tailors, so it was with other articles of apparel
and those who manufactured them; the natives had their own shoe- and
hat-makers, and their styles were unvarying. The genuine Panamá hat
was highly prized and often copied; and Francisco Velardes--who used a
grindstone bought of John Temple in 1852, now in the County
Museum--was one who sold and imitated Panamás of the fifties. A
product of the bootmakers' skill were leathern leggings, worn to
protect the trousers when riding on horseback. The _Gringos_ were then
given to copying the fashions of the natives; but as the pioneer
population increased, the Mexican came more and more to adopt American

Growing out of these exhibitions of horsemanship and of the natives'
fondness for display, was the rather important industry of making
Mexican saddles, in which quite a number of skilled _paisanos_ were
employed. Among the most expert was Francisco Moreno, who had a little
shop on the south side of Aliso Street, not far from Los Angeles. One
of these hand-worked saddles often cost two hundred dollars or more,
in addition to which expensive bridles, bits and spurs were deemed
necessary accessories. António María Lugo had a silver-mounted saddle,
bridle and spurs that cost fifteen hundred dollars.

On holidays and even Sundays, Upper Main Street--formerly called the
Calle de las Virgenes, or Street of the Maids, later San Fernando
Street--was the scene of horse races and their attendant festivities,
just as it used to be when money or gold was especially plentiful, if
one may judge from the stories of those who were here in the
prosperous year, 1850. People from all over the county visited Los
Angeles to take part in the sport, some coming from mere curiosity,
but the majority anxious to bet. Some money, and often a good deal of
stock changed hands, according to the success or failure of the
different favorites. It cannot be claimed, perhaps, that the Mexican,
like the _Gringo_, made a specialty of developing horseflesh to
perfection; yet Mexicans owned many of the fast horses, such as Don
José Sepúlveda's _Sydney Ware_ and _Black Swan_, and the Californian
_Sarco_ belonging to Don Pio Pico.

The most celebrated of all these horse races of early days was that
between José Andrés Sepúlveda's _Black Swan_ and Pio Pico's _Sarco_,
the details of which I learned, soon after I came here, from Tom Mott.
Sepúlveda had imported the _Black Swan_ from Australia, in 1852, the
year of the race, while Pico chose a California steed to defend the
honors of the day. Sepúlveda himself went to San Francisco to receive
the consignment in person, after which he committed the thoroughbred
into the keeping of Bill Brady, the trainer, who rode him down to Los
Angeles, and gave him as much care as might have been bestowed upon a
favorite child. They were to race nine miles, the _carrera_ commencing
on San Pedro Street near the city limits, and running south a league
and a half and return; and the reports of the preparation having
spread throughout California, the event came to be looked upon as of
such great importance, that, from San Francisco to San Diego, whoever
had the money hurried to Los Angeles to witness the contest and bet on
the result. Twenty-five thousand dollars, in addition to five hundred
horses, five hundred mares, five hundred heifers, five hundred calves
and five hundred sheep were among the princely stakes put up; and the
wife of José Andrés was driven to the scene of the memorable contest
with a veritable fortune in gold slugs wrapped in a large
handkerchief. Upon arriving there, she opened her improvised purse and
distributed the shining fifty-dollar pieces to all of her attendants
and servants, of whom there were not a few, with the injunction that
they should wager the money on the race; and her example was followed
by others, so that, in addition to the cattle, land and merchandise
hazarded, a considerable sum of money was bet by the contending
parties and their friends. The _Black Swan_ won easily. The peculiar
character of some of the wagers recalls to me an instance of a later
date when a native customer of Louis Phillips tried to borrow a wagon,
in order to bet the same on a horse race. If the customer won, he was
to return the wagon at once; but if he lost, he was to pay Phillips a
certain price for the vehicle.

Many kinds of amusements marked these festal occasions, and
bull-fights were among the diversions patronized by some Angeleños,
the Christmas and New Year holidays of 1854-55 being celebrated in
that manner. I dare say that in earlier days Los Angeles may have had
its Plaza de Toros, as did the ancient metropolis of the great country
to the South; but in the later stages of the sport here, the
_toreador_ and his colleagues conducted their contests in a
gaudily-painted corral, in close proximity to the Plaza. They were
usually proclaimed as professionals from Mexico or Spain, but were
often engaged for a livelihood, under another name, in a less
dangerous and romantic occupation near by. Admission was charged, and
some pretense to a grandstand was made; but through the apertures in
the fence of the corral those who did not pay might, by dint of hard
squinting, still get a peep at the show. In this corral, in the
fifties, I saw a fight between a bear and a bull. I can still
recollect the crowd, but I cannot say which of the infuriated animals
survived. Toward the end of 1858, a bull-fight took place in the Calle
de Toros, and there was great excitement when a horse was instantly

Cock-fights were also a very common form of popular entertainment, and
sports were frequently seen going around the streets with fighting
cocks under each arm. The fights generally took place in Sonora Town,
though now and then they were held in San Gabriel. Mexicans carried on
quite a trade in game roosters among the patrons of this pastime, of
whom M. G. Santa Cruz was one of the best known. Sometimes, too,
roosters contributed to still another brutal diversion known as
_correr el gallo_: their necks having been well greased, they would be
partially buried in the earth alongside a public highway, when riders
on fleet horses dashed by at full speed, and tried to seize the fowls
and pull them out! This reminds me of another game in which horsemen,
speeding madly by a succession of suspended, small rings, would try,
by the skillful handling of a long spear, to collect as many of the
rings as they could--a sport illustrated in one of the features of the
modern merry-go-round.

The easy-going temperament of the native gave rise to many an amusing
incident. I once asked a woman, as we were discussing the coming
marriage of her daughter, whom the dark-eyed _señorita_ was to marry;
whereupon she replied, "I forget;" and turning to her daughter, she
asked: "_¿Como se llama?_" (What did you say was his name?)

George Dalton bought a tract of land on Washington, east of San Pedro
Street, in 1855, and set out a vineyard and orchard which he continued
to cultivate until 1887, when he moved to Walnut Avenue. Dalton was a
Londoner who sailed from Liverpool on the day of Queen Victoria's
coronation, to spend some years wandering through Pennsylvania and
Ohio. About 1851, he followed to the Azusa district his brother, Henry
Dalton, who had previously been a merchant in Peru; but, preferring
the embryo city to the country, he returned to Los Angeles to live.
Two sons, E. H. Dalton, City Water Overseer, in 1886-87, and Winnall
Travelly Dalton, the vineyardist, were offspring of Dalton's first
marriage. Elizabeth M., a daughter, married William H. Perry. Dalton
Avenue is named after the Dalton family.

In another place I have spoken of the dearth of trees in the town when
I came, though the editor of the _Star_ and others had advocated
tree-planting. This was not due to mere neglect; there was prejudice
against such street improvement. The School Trustees had bought a
dozen or more black locust-trees, "at eight bits each," and planted
them on the school lot at Second and Spring streets. Drought and
squirrels in 1855 attacked the trees, and while the pedagogue went
after the "varmints" with a shot-gun, he watered the trees from the
school barrel. The carrier, however, complained that drinking-water
was being wasted; and only after several rhetorical bouts was the
schoolmaster allowed to save what was already invested. The
locust-trees flourished until 1884, when they were hewn down to make
way for the City Hall.

Two partially-successful attempts were made, in 1855, to introduce the
chestnut-tree here. Jean Louis Sainsevain, coming to Los Angeles in
that year, brought with him some seed; and this doubtless led Solomon
Lazard to send back to Bordeaux for some of the Italian variety.
William Wolfskill, who first brought here the persimmon-tree, took a
few of the seeds imported by Lazard and planted them near his
homestead; and a dozen of the trees later adorned the beautiful garden
of O. W. Childs who, in the following year, started some black walnut
seed obtained in New York. H. P. Dorsey was also a pioneer walnut

My brother's plans at this time included a European visit, commencing
in 1855 and lasting until 1856, during which trip, in Germany, on
November 11th, 1855, he was married. After his Continental tour, he
returned to San Francisco and was back in Los Angeles some time before
1857. On this European voyage, my brother was entrusted with the care
and delivery of American Government documents. From London he carried
certain papers to the American Minister in Denmark; and in furtherance
of his mission, he was given the following introduction and passport
from James Buchanan, then Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St.
James and later President of the United States:



     To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting;

     Know Ye, that the bearer hereof, Joseph P. Newmark, Esq.,
     is proceeding to Hamburgh and Denmark, bearing Despatches
     from this Legation, to the United States' Legation at

     These are therefore to request all whom it may concern, to
     permit him to pass freely without let or molestation, and
     to extend to him such friendly aid and protection, as would
     be extended to Citizens and Subjects of Foreign Countries,
     resorting to the United States, bearing Despatches.

     In testimony whereof, I, James Buchanan, Envoy
     Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, of the United
     States of America, at London, have hereunto set my hand,
     and caused the Seal of this Legation to be affixed this
     Tenth day of July A.D. 1855 and of the Independence of the
     United States the Eightieth.



     (Seal of the Legation of the U. S.
     of America to Great Britain.)

I have always accepted the fact of my brother's selection to convey
these documents as evidence that, in the few years since his arrival
in America, he had attained a position of some responsibility. Aside
from this, I am inclined to relate the experience because it shows the
then limited resources of our Federal authorities abroad, especially
as compared with their comprehensive facilities to-day, including
their own despatch agents, messengers and Treasury representatives
scattered throughout Europe.

A trip of Prudent Beaudry abroad about this time reminds me that
specialization in medical science was as unknown in early Los Angeles
as was specialization in business, and that persons suffering from
grave physical disorders frequently visited even remoter points than
San Francisco in search of relief. In 1855, Beaudry's health having
become seriously impaired, he went to Paris to consult the famous
oculist, Sichel; but he received little or no benefit. While in
Europe, Beaudry visited the Exposition of that year, and was one of
the first Angeleños, I suppose, to see a World's Fair.

These early tours to Europe by Temple, Beaudry and my brother, and
some of my own experiences, recall the changes in the manner of
bidding Los Angeles travelers _bon-voyage_. Friends generally
accompanied the tourist to the outlying steamer, reached by a tug or
lighter; and when the leave-taking came, there were cheers,
repetitions of _adiós_ and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs, which
continued until the steamer had disappeared from view.

The first earthquake felt throughout California, of which I have any
recollection, occurred on July 11th, 1855, somewhat after eight
o'clock in the evening, and was a most serious local disturbance.
Almost every structure in Los Angeles was damaged, and some of the
walls were left with large cracks. Near San Gabriel, the adobe in
which Hugo Reid's Indian wife dwelt was wrecked, notwithstanding that
it had walls four feet thick, with great beams of lumber drawn from
the mountains of San Bernardino. In certain spots, the ground rose; in
others, it fell; and with the rising and falling, down came chimneys,
shelves full of salable stock or household necessities, pictures and
even parts of roofs, while water in barrels, and also in several of
the _zanjas_, bubbled and splashed and overflowed. Again, on the 14th
of April, the 2d of May and the 20th of September of the following
year, we were alarmed by recurring and more or less continuous shocks
which, however, did little or no damage.




Of the wonderful domains granted to the Spanish dons some were still
in the possession of their descendants; some had passed into the hands
of the Argonauts; but nothing in the way of subdividing had been
attempted. The private ownership of Los Angeles County in the early
fifties, therefore, was distinguished by few holders and large tracts,
one of the most notable being that of Don Abel Stearns, who came here
in 1829, and who, in his early adventures, narrowly escaped exile or
being shot by an irate Spanish governor. Eventually, Stearns became
the proud possessor of tens of thousands of acres between San Pedro
and San Bernardino, now covered with cities, towns and hamlets. The
site of the Long Beach of to-day was but a small part of his Alamitos
_rancho_, a portion of the town also including some of the Cerritos
acres of John Temple. Los Coyotes, La Habra and San Juan Cajón de
Santa Ana were among the Stearns ranches advertised for sale in 1869.
Later, I shall relate how this Alamitos land came to be held by Jotham
Bixby and his associates.

Juan Temple owned the Los Cerritos _rancho_, consisting of some
twenty-seven thousand acres, patented on December 27th, 1867, but
which, I have heard, he bought of the Nieto heirs in the late
thirties, building there the typical ranch-house, later the home of
the Bixbys and still a feature of the neighborhood. Across the
Cerritos Stockton's weary soldiers dragged their way; and there, or
near by, Carrillo, by driving wild horses back and forth in
confusion, and so creating a great noise and dust, tricked Stockton
into thinking that there were many more of the mounted enemy than he
had at first supposed. By 1853, Temple was estimated to be worth, in
addition to his ranches, some twenty thousand dollars. In 1860, Los
Cerritos supported perhaps four thousand cattle and great flocks of
sheep; on a portion of the same ranch to-day, as I have remarked, Long
Beach stands.

Another citizen of Los Angeles who owned much property when I came,
and who lived upon his ranch, was Francis Phinney Fisk Temple, one of
the first Los Angeles supervisors, a man exceptionally modest and
known among his Spanish-speaking friends as Templito, because of his
five feet four stature. He came here, by way of the Horn, in 1841,
when he was but nineteen years of age, and for a while was in business
with his brother John. Marrying Señorita Antónia Margarita Workman,
however, on September 30th, 1845, Francis made his home at La Merced
Ranch, twelve miles east of Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley,
where he had a spacious and hospitable adobe after the old Spanish
style, shaped something like a _U_, and about seventy by one hundred
and ten feet in size. Around this house, later destroyed by fire,
Temple planted twenty acres of fruit trees and fifty thousand or more
vines, arranging the whole in a garden partly enclosed by a fence--the
exception rather than the rule for even a country nabob of that time.
Templito also owned other ranches many miles in extent; but misfortune
overtook him, and by the nineties his estate possessed scarcely a
single acre of land in either the city or the county of Los Angeles;
and he breathed his last in a rude sheep herder's camp in a corner of
one of his famous properties.

Colonel Julian Isaac Williams, who died some three years after I
arrived, owned the celebrated Cucamonga and Chino ranches. As early as
1842, after a nine or ten years' residence in Los Angeles, Williams
moved to the Rancho del Chino, which included not merely the Santa Ana
del Chino grant--some twenty-two thousand acres originally given to
Don António María Lugo, in 1841--but the addition of twelve to
thirteen thousand acres, granted in 1843 to Williams (who became
Lugo's son-in-law) making a total of almost thirty-five thousand
acres. On that ranch Williams built a house famed far and wide for its
spaciousness and hospitality; and it was at his _hacienda_ that the
celebrated capture of B. D. Wilson and others was effected when they
ran out of ammunition. Williams was liberal in assisting the needy,
even despatching messengers to Los Angeles, on the arrival at his
ranch of worn-out and ragged immigrants, to secure clothing and other
supplies for them; and it is related that, on other occasions, he was
known to have advanced to young men capital amounting in the aggregate
to thousands of dollars, with which they established themselves in
business. By 1851, Williams had amassed personal property estimated to
be worth not less than thirty-five thousand dollars. In the end, he
gave his _ranchos_ to his daughters as marriage-portions: the Chino to
Francisca, or Mrs. Robert Carlisle, who became the wife of Dr. F. A.
McDougall, Mayor in 1877-78, and, after his death, Mrs. Jesurun; and
the Cucamonga to María Merced, or Mrs. John Rains, mother-in-law of
ex-Governor Henry T. Gage, who was later Mrs. Carrillo.

Benjamin Davis Wilson, or Benito Wilson, as he was usually called, who
owned a good part of the most beautiful land in the San Gabriel Valley
and who laid out the trail up the Sierra Madre to Wilson's Peak, was
one of our earliest settlers, having come from Tennessee _via_ New
Mexico, in 1841. In June, 1846, Wilson joined the riflemen organized
against Castro, and in 1848, having been put in charge of some twenty
men to protect the San Bernardino frontier, he responded to a call
from Isaac Williams to hasten to the Chino _rancho_ where, with his
compatriots, he was taken prisoner. Somewhat earlier--I have
understood about 1844--Wilson and Albert Packard formed a partnership,
but this was dissolved near the end of 1851. In 1850, Wilson was
elected County Clerk; and the following year, he volunteered to patrol
the hills and assist in watching for Garra, the outlaw, the report of
whose coming was terrorizing the town. In 1853, he was Indian Agent
for Southern California. It must have been about 1849 that Wilson
secured control, for a while, of the Bella Union. His first wife
was Ramona Yorba, a daughter of Bernardo Yorba, whom he married in
February, 1844, and who died in 1849. On February 1st, 1853, Wilson
married again, this time Mrs. Margaret S. Hereford, a sister-in-law of
Thomas S. Hereford; they spent many years together at Lake Vineyard,
where he became one of the leading producers of good wine, and west of
which he planted some twenty-five or thirty thousand raisin grape
cuttings, and ten or twelve hundred orange trees, thus founding Oak
Knoll. I shall have occasion to speak of this gentleman somewhat
later. By the time that I came to know him, Wilson had accumulated
much real estate, part of his property being a residence on Alameda
Street, corner of Macy; but after a while he moved to one of his
larger estates, where stands the present Shorb station named for his
son-in-law and associate J. De Barth Shorb, who also had a place known
as Mountain Vineyard. Don Benito died in March, 1878.

  [Illustration: Maurice Kremer]

  [Illustration: Solomon Lazard]

  [Illustration: Mellus's, or Bell's Row
   From a lithograph of 1858]

  [Illustration: William H. Workman and John King]

  [Illustration: Prudent Beaudry]

  [Illustration: James S. Mallard]

  [Illustration: John Behn]

Colonel Jonathan Trumbull Warner, master of Warner's Ranch, later the
property of John G. Downey, and known--from his superb stature of over
six feet--both as Juan José Warner and as Juan Largo, "Long John,"
returned to Los Angeles in 1857. Warner had arrived in Southern
California, on December 5th, 1831, at the age of twenty-eight, having
come West, from Connecticut, _via_ Missouri and Salt Lake, partly for
his health, and partly to secure mules for the Louisiana market. Like
many others whom I have known, Warner did not intend to remain; but
illness decided for him, and in 1843 he settled in San Diego County,
near the California border, on what (later known as Warner's Ranch)
was to become, with its trail from old Sonora, historic ground. There,
during the fourteen years of his occupancy, some of the most stirring
episodes of the Mexican War occurred; during one of which--Ensign
Espinosa's attack--Don Juan having objected to the forcible searching
of his house, he had his arm broken. There, also, António Garra and
his lawless band made their assault, and were repulsed by Long John,
who escaped on horseback, leaving in his wake four or five dead
Indians. For this, and not for military service, Warner was dubbed
Colonel; nor was there anyone who cared to dispute his right to the
title. In 1837, Juan married Miss Anita Gale, an adopted daughter of
Don Pio Pico, and came to Los Angeles; but the following year, Mrs.
Warner died. Warner once ran against E. J. C. Kewen for the
Legislature but, after an exceedingly bitter campaign, was beaten. In
1874 Warner was a notary public and Spanish-English interpreter. For
many years his home was in an orchard occupying the site of the
Burbank Theater on Main Street. Warner was a man of character and
lived to a venerable age; and after a decidedly arduous life he had
more than his share of responsibility and affliction, even losing his
sight in his declining years.

William Wolfskill, who died on October 3d, 1866, was another pioneer
well-established long before I had even thought of California. Born in
Kentucky at the end of the Eighteenth Century--of a family originally
of Teutonic stock (if we may credit a high German authority) traced
back to a favorite soldier of Frederick the Great--Wolfskill in 1830
came to Los Angeles, for a short time, with Ewing Young, the noted
beaver-trapper. Then he acquired several leagues of land in Yolo and
Solano counties, sharing what he had with his brothers, John and
Mateo. Later he sold out, returned to Los Angeles, and bought and
stocked the _rancho_ Lomas de Santiago, which he afterward disposed of
to Flint, Bixby & Company. He also bought of Corbitt, Dibblee & Barker
the Santa Anita _rancho_ (comprising between nine and ten thousand
acres), and some twelve thousand besides; the Santa Anita he gave to
his son, Louis, who later sold it for eighty-five thousand dollars.
Besides this, Wolfskill acquired title to a part of the _rancho_ San
Francisquito, on which Newhall stands, disposing of that, however,
during the first oil excitement, to the Philadelphia Oil Company, at
seventy-five cents an acre--a good price at that time. Before making
these successful realty experiments, this hero of desert hardships had
assisted to build, soon after his arrival here, one of the first
vessels ever constructed and launched in California--a schooner fitted
out at San Pedro to hunt for sea otter. In January, 1841, Wolfskill
married Doña Magdalena Lugo, daughter of Don José Ygnácio Lugo, of
Santa Bárbara. A daughter, Señorita Magdalena, in 1865 married Frank
Sabichi, a native of Los Angeles, who first saw the light of day in
1842. Sabichi, by the way, always a man of importance in this
community, is the son of Mateo and Josefa Franco Sabichi (the mother,
a sister of António Franco Coronel), buried at San Gabriel Mission. J.
E. Pleasants, to whom I elsewhere refer, first made a good start when
he formed a partnership with Wolfskill in a cattle deal.

Concerning Mateo, I recall an interesting illustration of early fiscal
operations. He deposited thirty thousand dollars with S. Lazard &
Company and left it there so long that they began to think he would
never come back for it. He did return, however, after many years, when
he presented a certificate of deposit and withdrew the money. This
transaction bore no interest, as was often the case in former days.
People deposited money with friends in whom they had confidence, not
for the purpose of profit but simply for safety.

Elijah T. Moulton, a Canadian, was one of the few pioneers who
preceded the Forty-niners and was permitted to see Los Angeles well on
its way toward metropolitan standing. In 1844 he had joined an
expedition to California organized by Jim Bridger; and having reached
the Western country, he volunteered to serve under Frémont in the
Mexican campaign. There the hardships which Moulton endured were far
severer than those which tested the grit of the average emigrant; and
Moulton in better days often told how, when nearly driven to
starvation, he and a comrade had actually used a remnant of the Stars
and Stripes as a seine with which to fish, and so saved their lives.
About 1850, Moulton was Deputy Sheriff under George T. Burrill; then
he went to work for Don Louis Vignes. Soon afterward, he bought some
land near William Wolfskill's, and in 1855 took charge of Wolfskill's
property. This resulted in his marriage to one of Wolfskill's
daughters, who died in 1861. In the meantime, he had acquired a
hundred and fifty acres or more in what is now East Los Angeles, and
was thus one of the first to settle in that section. He had a dairy,
for a while, and peddled milk from a can or two carried in a wagon.
Afterward, Moulton became a member of the City Council.

William Workman and John Rowland, father of William or Billy Rowland,
resided in 1853 on La Puente _rancho_, which was granted them July
22d, 1845, some four years after they had arrived in California. They
were leaders of a party from New Mexico, of which B. D. Wilson, Lemuel
Carpenter and others were members; and the year following they
operated with Pico against Micheltorena and Sutter, Workman serving as
Captain, and Rowland as Lieutenant, of a company of volunteers they
had organized. The ranch, situated about twenty miles east of Los
Angeles, consisted of nearly forty-nine thousand acres, and had one of
the first brick residences erected in this neighborhood. Full title to
this splendid estate was confirmed by the United States Government in
April, 1867, a couple of years before Workman and Rowland, with the
assistance of Cameron E. Thom, divided their property. Rowland, who in
1851 was supposed to own some twenty-nine thousand acres and about
seventy thousand dollars' worth of personal property, further
partitioned his estate, three or four years before his death in 1873,
among his nearest of kin, giving to each heir about three thousand
acres of land and a thousand head of cattle. One of these heirs, the
wife of General Charles Forman, is the half-sister of Billy Rowland by
a second marriage.

John Reed, Rowland's son-in-law, was also a large land-proprietor.
Reed had fallen in with Rowland in New Mexico, and while there married
Rowland's daughter, Nieves; and when Rowland started for California,
Reed came with him and together they entered into ranching at La
Puente, finding artesian water there, in 1859. Thirteen years before,
Reed was in the American army and took part in the battles fought on
the march from San Diego to Los Angeles. After his death on the ranch
in 1874, his old homestead came into possession of John Rowland's son,
William, who often resided there; and Rowland, later discovering oil
on his land, organized the Puente Oil Company.

Juan Forster, an Englishman, possessed the Santa Margarita _rancho_,
which he had taken up in 1864, some years after he married Doña
Ysidora Pico. She was a sister of Pio and Andrés Pico, and there, as a
result of that alliance, General Pico found a safe retreat while
fleeing from Frémont into Lower California. Forster for a while was a
seaman out of San Pedro. When he went to San Juan Capistrano, where he
became a sort of local _Alcalde_ and was often called Don San Juan or
even San Juan Capistrano, he experimented with raising stock and
became so successful as a _ranchero_ that he remained there twenty
years, during which time he acquired a couple of other ranches, in San
Diego and Los Angeles counties, comprising quite sixty thousand acres.
Forster, however, was comparatively land-poor, as may be inferred from
the fact that even though the owner of such a princely territory, he
was assessed in 1851 on but thirteen thousand dollars in personal
property. Later Don Juan lorded it over twice as much land in the
ranches of Santa Margarita and Las Flores. His fourth son, a namesake,
married Señorita Josefa del Valle, daughter of Don Ygnácio del Valle.

Manuel, Pedro, Nasário and Victoria Dominguez owned in the
neighborhood of forty-eight thousand acres of the choicest land in the
South. More than a century ago, Juan José Dominguez received from the
King of Spain ten or eleven leagues of land, known as the Rancho de
San Pedro; and this was given by Governor de Sola, after Juan José's
death in 1822, to his brother, Don Cristóbal Dominguez, a Spanish
officer. Don Cristóbal married a Mexican commissioner's daughter, and
one of their ten children was Manuel, who, educated by wide reading
and fortunate in a genial temperament and high standard of honor,
became an esteemed and popular officer under the Mexican _régime_,
displaying no little chivalry in the battle of Dominguez fought on his
own property. On the death of his father, Don Manuel took charge of
the Rancho de San Pedro (buying out his sister Victoria's interest of
twelve thousand acres, at fifty cents an acre) until in 1855 it was
partitioned between himself, his brother, Don Pedro and two nephews,
José António Aguirre and Jacinto Rocha. One daughter, Victoria,
married George Carson in 1857. At his death, in 1882, Dominguez
bequeathed to his heirs twenty odd thousand acres, including
Rattlesnake Island in San Pedro Bay. James A. Watson, an early-comer,
married a second daughter; John F. Francis married a third, and Dr.
del Amo married a fourth.

Henry Dalton, who came here sometime before 1845, having been a
merchant in Peru, owned the Azusa Ranch of over four thousand acres,
the patent to which was finally issued in 1876, and also part of the
San Francisquito Ranch of eight thousand acres, allowed him somewhat
later. Besides these, he had an interest, with Ygnácio Palomares and
Ricardo Vejar, in the San José _rancho_ of nearly twenty-seven
thousand acres. As early as the twenty-first of May, 1851, Dalton,
with keen foresight, seems to have published a plan for the
subdivision of nine or ten thousand acres into lots to suit limited
ranchers; but it was some time before Duarte and other places, now on
the above-mentioned estates, arose from his dream. On a part of his
property, Azusa, a town of the Boom period, was founded some
twenty-two miles from Los Angeles, and seven or eight hundred feet up
the Azusa slope; and now other towns also flourish near these
attractive foothills. One of Dalton's daughters was given in marriage
to Louis, a son of William Wolfskill. Dalton's brother, George, I have
already mentioned as having likewise settled here.

Of all these worthy dons, possessing vast landed estates, Don António
María Lugo, brother of Ygnácio Lugo, was one of the most affluent and
venerable. He owned the San António _rancho_, named I presume after
him; and in 1856, when he celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday, was
reputed to be the owner of fully twenty-nine thousand acres and
personal property to the extent of seventy-two thousand dollars. Three
sons, José María, José del Carmen and Vicente Lugo, as early as 1842
also acquired in their own names about thirty-seven thousand acres.

  [Illustration: Louis Robidoux]

  [Illustration: Julius G. Weyse]

  [Illustration: John Behn]

  [Illustration: Louis Breer]

  [Illustration: William J. Broderick]

  [Illustration: Isaac R. Dunkelberger]

  [Illustration: Frank J. Carpenter]

  [Illustration: Augustus Ulyard]

Louis Robidoux, a French-American of superior ability who, like many
others, had gone through much that was exciting and unpleasant to
establish himself in this wild, open country, eventually had an
immense estate known as the Jurupa _rancho_, from which on September
26th, 1846, during the Mexican War, B. D. Wilson and others rode forth
to be neatly trapped and captured at the Chino; and where the outlaw
Irving later encamped. Riverside occupies a site on this land; and the
famous Robidoux hill, usually spoken of as the Robidoux mountain, once
a part of Louis's ranch and to-day a Mecca for thousands of tourists,
was named after him.

Many of the _rancheros_ kept little ranch stores, from which they sold
to their employees. This was rather for convenience than for profit.
When their help came to Los Angeles, they generally got drunk and
stayed away from work longer than the allotted time; and it was to
prevent this, as far as possible, that these outlying stores were

Louis Robidoux maintained such a store for the accommodation of his
hands, and often came to town, sometimes for several days, on which
occasions he would buy very liberally anything that happened to take
his fancy. In this respect he occasionally acted without good
judgment, and if opposed would become all the more determined. Not
infrequently he called for so large a supply of some article that I
was constrained to remark that he could not possibly need so much;
whereupon he would repeat the order with angry emphasis. I sometimes
visited his ranch and recall, in particular, one stay of two or three
days there in 1857 when, after an unusually large purchase, Robidoux
asked me to assist him in checking up the invoices. The cases were
unpacked in his ranchhouse; and I have never forgotten the amusing
picture of the numerous little Robidoux, digging and delving among the
assorted goods for all the prizes they could find, and thus rendering
the process of listing the goods much more difficult. When the
delivery had been found correct, Robidoux turned to his Mexican wife
and asked her to bring the money. She went to the side of the room,
opened a Chinese trunk such as every well-to-do Mexican family had
(and sometimes as many as half a dozen), and drew therefrom the
customary buckskin, from which she extracted the required and rather
large amount. These trunks were made of cedar, were gaudily painted,
and had the quality of keeping out moths. They were, therefore,
displayed with pride by the owners. Recently on turning the pages of
some ledgers in which Newmark, Kremer & Company carried the account of
this famous _ranchero_, I was interested to find there full
confirmation of what I have elsewhere claimed--that the now renowned
Frenchman spelled the first syllable of his name _Ro-_, and not _Ru-_,
nor yet _Rou-_, as it is generally recorded in books and newspapers.

I should refrain from mentioning a circumstance or two in Robidoux's
life with which I am familiar but for the fact that I believe
posterity is ever curious to know the little failings as well as the
pronounced virtues of men who, through exceptional personality or
association, have become historic characters; and that some knowledge
of their foibles should not tarnish their reputation. Robidoux, as I
have remarked, came to town very frequently, and when again he found
himself amid livelier scenes and congenial fellows, as in the late
fifties, he always celebrated the occasion with a few intimates,
winding up his befuddling bouts in the arms of Chris Fluhr, who winked
at his weakness and good-naturedly tucked him away in one of the
old-fashioned beds of the Lafayette Hotel, there to remain until he
was able to transact business. After all, such celebrating was then
not at all uncommon among the best of Southern California people, nor,
if gossip may be credited, is it entirely unknown to-day. Robert
Hornbeck, of Redlands, by the way, has sought to perpetuate this
pioneer's fame in an illustrated volume, _Roubidoux's Ranch in the
70's_, published as I am closing my story.

Robidoux's name leads me to recur to early judges and to his
identification with the first Court of Sessions here, when there was
such a sparseness even of _rancherías_. Robidoux then lived on his
Jurupa domain, and not having been at the meeting of township justices
which selected himself and Judge Scott to sit on the bench, and
enjoying but infrequent communication with the more peopled districts
of Southern California, he knew nothing of the outcome of the
election until sometime after it had been called. More than this,
Judge Robidoux never actually participated in a sitting of the Court
of Sessions until four or five weeks after it had been almost daily
transacting business!

Speaking of ranches, and of the Jurupa in particular, I may here
reprint an advertisement--a miniature tree and a house heading the
following announcement in the _Southern Californian_ of June 20th,

     The Subscriber, being anxious to get away from Swindlers,
     offers for sale one of the very finest _ranchos_, or tracts
     of land, that is to be found in California, known as the
     Rancho de Jurupa, Santa Ana River, in the County of San

Bernardo Yorba was another great landowner; and I am sure that, in the
day of his glory, he might have traveled fifty to sixty miles in a
straight line, touching none but his own possessions. His ranches, on
one of which Pio Pico hid from Santiago Arguello, were delightfully
located where now stand such places as Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana,
Westminster, Garden Grove and other towns in Orange County--then a
part of Los Angeles County.

This leads me to describe a shrewd trick. Schlesinger & Sherwinsky,
traders in general merchandise in 1853, when they bought a wagon in
San Francisco, brought it here by steamer, loaded it with various
attractive wares, took it out to good-natured and easy-going Bernardo
Yorba, and wheedled the well-known _ranchero_ into purchasing not only
the contents, but the wagon, horses and harness as well. Indeed, their
ingenuity was so well rewarded, that soon after this first lucky hit,
they repeated their success, to the discomfiture of their competitors;
and if I am not mistaken, they performed the same operation on the old
don several times.

The Verdugo family had an extensive acreage where such towns as
Glendale now enjoy the benefit of recent suburban development,
Governor Pedro Fages having granted, as early as 1784, some thirty-six
thousand acres to Don José María Verdugo, which grant was reaffirmed
in 1798, thereby affording the basis of a patent issued in 1882, to
Julio Verdugo _et al_, although Verdugo died in 1858. To this Verdugo
_rancho_, Frémont sent Jesus Pico--the Mexican guide whose life he had
spared, as he was about to be executed at San Luis Obispo--to talk
with the Californians and to persuade them to deal with Frémont
instead of Stockton; and there on February 21st, 1845, Micheltorena
and Castro met. Near there also, still later, the celebrated Casa
Verdugo entertained for many years the epicures of Southern
California, becoming one of the best-known restaurants for Spanish
dishes in the State. Little by little, the Verdugo family lost all
their property, partly through their refusal or inability to pay
taxes; so that by the second decade of the Twentieth Century the
surviving representatives, including Victoriano and Guillermo Verdugo,
were reduced to poverty.[15]

Recalling Verdugo and his San Rafael Ranch let me add that he had
thirteen sons, all of whom frequently accompanied their father to
town, especially on election day. On those occasions, J. Lancaster
Brent, whose political influence with the old man was supreme, took
the Verdugo party in hand and distributed, through the father,
fourteen election tickets, on which were impressed the names of
Brent's candidates.

Manuel Garfias, County Treasurer a couple of years before I came, was
another land-baron, owning in his own name some thirteen or fourteen
thousand acres of the San Pasqual Ranch. There, among the picturesque
hills and valleys where both Pico and Flores had military camps, now
flourish the cities of Pasadena and South Pasadena, which include the
land where stood the first house erected on the ranch. It is my
impression that beautiful Altadena is also on this land.

Ricardo Vejar, another magnate, had an interest in a wide area of rich
territory known as the San José Ranch. Not less than twenty-two
thousand acres made up this _rancho_ which, as early as 1837, had been
granted by Governor Alvarado to Vejar and Ygnácio Palomares who died
on November 25th, 1864. Two or three years later, Luis Arenas joined
the two, and Alvarado renewed his grant, tacking on a league or two of
San José land lying to the West and nearer the San Gabriel mountains.
Arenas, in time, disposed of his interest to Henry Dalton; and Dalton
joined Vejar in applying to the courts for a partitioning of the
estate. This division was ordered by the Spanish _Alcalde_ six or
seven years before my arrival; but Palomares still objected to the
decision, and the matter dragged along in the tribunals many years,
the decree finally being set aside by the Court. Vejar, who had been
assessed in 1851 for thirty-four thousand dollars' worth of personal
property, sold his share of the estate for twenty-nine thousand
dollars, in the spring of 1874. It is a curious fact that not until
the San José _rancho_ had been so cut up that it was not easy to trace
it back to the original grantees, did the authorities at Washington
finally issue a patent to Dalton, Palomares and Vejar for the
twenty-two thousand acres which originally made up the ranch.

The Machados, of whom there were several brothers--Don Agustin, who
died on May 17th, 1865, being the head of the family--had title to
nearly fourteen thousand acres. Their ranch, originally granted to Don
Ygnácio Machado in 1839 and patented in 1873, was known as La Ballona
and extended from the city limits to the ocean; and there, among other
stock, in 1860, were more than two thousand head of cattle.

The Picos acquired much territory. There were two brothers--Pio, who
as Mexican Governor had had wide supervision over land, and Andrés,
who had fought throughout the San Pasqual campaigns until the
capitulation at Cahuenga, and still later had dashed with spirit
across country in pursuit of the murderers of Sheriff Barton. Pio Pico
alone, in 1851, was assessed for twenty-two thousand acres as well as
twenty-one thousand dollars in personal property. Besides controlling
various San Fernando ranches (once under B. H. Lancaro's management),
Andrés Pico possessed La Habra, a ranch of over six thousand acres,
for which a patent was granted in 1872, and the ranch Los Coyotes,
including over forty-eight thousand acres, patented three years later;
while Pio Pico at one time owned the Santa Margarita and Las Flores
_ranchos_, and had, in addition, some nine thousand acres known as
Paso de Bartolo. In his old age the Governor--who, as long as I knew
him, had been strangely loose in his business methods, and had
borrowed from everybody--found himself under the necessity of
obtaining some thirty or forty thousand dollars, even at the expense
of giving to B. Cohn, W. J. Brodrick and Charles Prager, a blanket
mortgage covering all of his properties. These included the Pico
House, the Pico Ranch on the other side of the San Gabriel River--the
homestead on which has for some time been preserved by the ladies of
Whittier--and property on Main Street, north of Commercial, besides
some other holdings. When his note fell due Pico was unable to meet
it; and the mortgage was foreclosed. The old man was then left
practically penniless, a suit at law concerning the interpretation of
the loan-agreement being decided against him.

Henry C. Wiley must have arrived very early, as he had been in Los
Angeles some years before I came. He married a daughter of Andrés Pico
and for a while had charge of his San Fernando Ranch. Wiley served, at
one time, as Sheriff of the County. He died in 1898.

The _rancho_ Los Nietos or, more properly speaking, perhaps, the Santa
Gertrudis, than whose soil (watered, as it is, by the San Gabriel
River) none more fertile can be found in the world, included indeed a
wide area extending between the Santa Ana and San Gabriel rivers, and
embracing the ford known as Pico Crossing. It was then in possession
of the Carpenter family, Lemuel Carpenter having bought it from the
heirs of Manuel Nieto, to whom it had been granted in 1784. Carpenter
came from Missouri to this vicinity as early as 1833, when he was but
twenty-two years old. For a while, he had a small soap-factory on the
right bank of the San Gabriel River, after which he settled on the
ranch; and there he remained until November 6th, 1859, when he
committed suicide. Within the borders of this ranch to-day lie such
places as Downey and Rivera.

Francisco Sanchez was another early _ranchero_--probably the same who
figured so prominently in early San Francisco; and it is possible that
J. M. Sanchez, to whom, in 1859, was re-granted the forty-four hundred
acres of the Potrero Grande, was his heir.

There were two large and important landowners, second cousins, known
as José Sepúlveda; the one, Don José Andrés, and the other, Don José
Loreto. The father of José Andrés was Don Francisco Sepúlveda, a
Spanish officer to whom the San Vicente Ranch had been granted; and
José Andrés, born in San Diego in 1804, was the oldest of eleven
children. His brothers were Fernando, José del Carmen, Dolores and
Juan María; and he also had six sisters. To José Andrés, or José as he
was called, the San Joaquín Ranch was given, an enormous tract of land
lying between the present Tustin, earlier known as Tustin City, and
San Juan Capistrano, and running from the hills to the sea; while, on
the death of Don Francisco, the San Vicente Ranch, later bought by
Jones and Baker, was left to José del Carmen, Dolores and Juan María.
José, in addition, bought eighteen hundred acres from José António
Yorba, and on this newly-acquired property he built his ranchhouse,
although he and his family may be said to have been more or less
permanent residents of Los Angeles. Fernando Sepúlveda married a
Verdugo, and through her became proprietor of much of the Verdugo
_rancho_. The fact that José was so well provided for, and that
Fernando had come into control of the Verdugo acres, made it mutually
satisfactory that the San Vicente Ranch should have been willed to the
other sons. The children of José Andrés included Miguel, Maurício,
Bernabé, Joaquín, Andrónico and Ygnácio, and Francisca, wife of James
Thompson, Tomása, wife of Frank Rico, Ramona, wife of Captain
Salisbury Haley of the _Sea Bird_, Ascención, wife of Tom Mott, and
Tranquilina. The latter, with Mrs. Mott and Judge Ygnácio, are still
living here.

Don José Loreto, brother of Juan and Diego Sepúlveda, father of Mrs.
John T. Lanfranco, and a well-known resident of Los Angeles County in
early days, presided over the destinies of thirty-one thousand acres
in the Palos Verdes _rancho_, where Flores had stationed his soldiers
to watch the American ship _Savannah_. Full patent to this land was
granted in 1880.

There being no fences to separate the great ranches, cattle roamed at
will; nor were the owners seriously concerned, for every man had his
distinct, registered brand and in proper season the various herds were
segregated by means of _rodeos_, or round-ups of strayed or mixed
cattle. On such occasions, all of the _rancheros_ within a certain
radius drove their herds little by little into a corral designated for
the purpose, and each selected his own cattle according to brand.
After segregation had thus been effected, they were driven from the
corral, followed by the calves, which were also branded, in
anticipation of the next _rodeo_.

Such round-ups were great events, for they brought all the _rancheros_
and _vaqueros_ together. They became the _raison d'être_ of elaborate
celebrations, sometimes including horse-races, bull-fights and other
amusements; and this was the case particularly in 1861, because of the
rains and consequent excellent season.

The enormous herds of cattle gathered at _rodeos_ remind me, in fact,
of a danger that the _rancheros_ were obliged to contend with,
especially when driving their stock from place to place: Indians
stampeded the cattle, whenever possible, so that in the confusion
those escaping the _vaqueros_ and straggling behind might the more
easily be driven to the Indian camps; and sometimes covetous ranchmen
caused a similar commotion among the stock in order to make thieving

While writing of ranches, one bordering on the other, unfenced and
open, and the enormous number of horses and cattle, as well as men
required to take care of such an amount of stock, I must not forget to
mention an institution that had flourished, as a branch of the
judiciary, in palmier Mexican days, though it was on the wane when I
arrived here. This was the Judgeship of the Plains, an office charged
directly with the interests of the ranchman. Judges of the Plains were
officials delegated to arrange for the _rodeos_, and to hold informal
court, in the saddle or on the open hillside, in order to settle
disputes among, and dispense justice to, those living and working
beyond the pales of the towns. Under Mexican rule, a Judge of the
Plains, who was more or less a law unto himself, served for glory and
dignity (much as does an English Justice of the Peace); and the latter
factor was an important part of the stipulation, as we may gather from
a story told by early Angeleños of the impeachment of Don António
María Lugo. Don António was then a Judge of the Plains, and as such
was charged with having, while on horseback, nearly trampled upon
Pedro Sanchez, for no other reason than that poor Pedro had refused to
"uncover" while the Judge rode by, and to keep his hat off until his
Honor was unmistakably out of sight! When, at length, Americans took
possession of Southern California, Judges of the Plains were given
less power, and provision was made, for the first time, for a modest
_honorarium_ in return for their travel and work.

For nearly a couple of decades after the organization of Los Angeles
under the incoming white pioneers, not very much was known of the vast
districts inland and adjacent to Southern California; and one can well
understand the interest felt by our citizens on July 17th, 1855, when
Colonel Washington, of the United States Surveying Expedition to the
Rio Colorado, put up at the Bella Union on his way to San Francisco.
He was bombarded with questions about the region lying between the San
Bernardino Mountain range and the Colorado, hitherto unexplored; and
being a good talker, readily responded with much entertaining

In July, 1855, I attained my majority and, having by this time a fair
command of English, I took a more active part in social affairs.
Before he married Margarita, daughter of Juan Bandini, Dr. J. B.
Winston, then interested in the Bella Union, organized most of the
dances, and I was one of his committee of arrangements. We would
collect from the young men of our acquaintance money enough to pay for
candles and music; for each musician--playing either a harp, a guitar
or a flute--charged from a dollar to a dollar and a half for his
services. Formal social events occurred in the evening of almost any
day of the week. Whenever Dr. Winston or the young gallants of that
period thought it was time to have a dance, they just passed around
the hat for the necessary funds, and announced the affair. Ladies were
escorted to functions, although we did not take them in carriages or
other vehicles but tramped through the dust or mud. Young ladies,
however, did not go out with gentlemen unless they were accompanied by
a chaperon, generally some antiquated female member of the family.

These hops usually took place at the residence of Widow Blair,
opposite the Bella Union and north of the present Post Office. There
we could have a sitting-room, possibly eighteen by thirty feet square;
and while this was larger than any other room in a private house in
town, it will be realized that, after all, the space for dancing was
very limited. We made the best, however, of what we had; the
refreshments, at these improvised affairs, were rarely more than
lemonade and _olla_ water.

Many times such dances followed as a natural termination to another
social observance, transmitted to us, I have no doubt, by the romantic
Spanish settlers here, and very popular for some time after I came.
This good old custom was serenading. We would collect money, as if for
dancing; and in the evening a company of young men and chaperoned
young ladies would proceed in a body to some popular girl's home
where, with innocent gallantry, the little band would serenade her.
After that, of course, we were always glad to accept an invitation to
come into the house, when the ladies of the household sometimes
regaled us with a bit of cake and wine.

Speaking of the social life of those early days, when warm,
stimulating friendships and the lack of all foolish caste distinctions
rendered the occasions delightfully pleasant, may it not be well to
ask whether the contrast between those simple, inexpensive pleasures,
and the elaborate and extravagant demands of modern society, is not
worth sober thought? To be sure, Los Angeles then was exceedingly
small, and pioneers here were much like a large family in plain,
unpretentious circumstances. There were no such ceremonies as now;
there were no four hundred, no three hundred, nor even one hundred.
There was, for example, no flunky at the door to receive the visitor's
card; and for the very good reason that visiting cards were unknown.
In those pastoral, pueblo days it was no indiscretion for a friend to
walk into another friend's house without knocking. Society of the
early days could be divided, I suppose, into two classes: the
respectable and the evil element; and people who were honorable came
together because they esteemed each other and liked one another's
company. The "gold fish" of the present age had not yet developed. We
enjoyed ourselves together, and without distinction were ready to
fight to the last ditch for the protection of our families and the
preservation of our homes.

In the fall of 1855, Dr. Thomas J. White, a native of St. Louis and
Speaker of the Assembly in the first California Legislature convened
at San José, in December, 1849, arrived from San Francisco with his
wife and two daughters, and bought a vineyard next to Dr. Hoover's
ten-acre place where, in three or four years, he became one of the
leading wine-producers. Their advent created quite a stir, and the
house, which was a fine and rather commodious one for the times, soon
became the scene of extensive entertainments. The addition of this
highly-accomplished family was indeed quite an accession to our social
ranks. Their hospitality compared favorably even with California's
open-handed and open-hearted spirit, and soon became notable. Their
evening parties and other receptions were both frequent and lavish, so
that the Whites quickly took rank as leaders in Los Angeles. While yet
in Sacramento, one of the daughters, who had fallen in love with E. J.
C. Kewen when the latter was a member of the White party in crossing
the great Plains, married the Colonel; and in 1862, another daughter,
Miss Jennie, married Judge Murray Morrison. A son was T. Jeff White,
who named his place _Casalinda_. In the late fifties, Dr. White had a
drug-store in the Temple Building on Main Street.

It was long before Los Angeles had anything like a regular theater, or
even enjoyed such shows as were provided by itinerant companies, some
of which, when they did begin to come, stayed here for weeks; although
I remember having heard of one ambitious group of players styling
themselves _The Rough and Ready Theater_, who appeared here very early
and gave sufficient satisfaction to elicit the testimony from a local
scribe, that "when Richmond was conquered and laid off for dead, the
enthusiastic auditors gave the King a smile of decided approval!"
Minstrels and circuses were occasionally presented, a minstrel
performance taking place sometime in the fifties, in an empty store on
Aliso Street, near Los Angeles. About the only feature of this event
that is now clear in my memory is that Bob Carsley played the bones;
he remained in Los Angeles and married, later taking charge of the
foundry which Stearns established when he built his Arcadia Block on
Los Angeles Street. An Albino also was once brought to Los Angeles and
publicly exhibited; and since anything out of the ordinary challenged
attention, everybody went to see a curiosity that to-day would attract
but little notice. Speaking of theatrical performances and the
applause bestowed upon favorites, I must not forget to mention the
reckless use of money and the custom, at first quite astounding to me,
of throwing coins--often large, shining slugs--upon the stage or
floor, if an actor or actress particularly pleased the spendthrift

In October, 1855, William Abbott, who was one of the many to come to
Los Angeles in 1853, and who had brought with him a small stock of
furniture, started a store in a little wooden house he had acquired on
a lot next to that which later became the site of the Pico House.
Abbott married Doña Merced Garcia; and good fortune favoring him, he
not only gradually enlarged his stock of goods, but built a more
commodious building, in the upper story of which was the Merced
Theater, named after Abbott's wife, and opened in the late sixties.
The vanity of things mundane is well illustrated in the degeneration
of this center of early histrionic effort, which entered a period of
decay in the beginning of the eighties and, as the scene of
disreputable dances, before 1890 had been pronounced a nuisance.

During the first decade under the American _régime_, Los Angeles
gradually learned the value of reaching toward the outside world and
welcoming all who responded. In 1855, as I have said, a brisk trade
was begun with Salt Lake, through the opening up of a route--leading
along the old Spanish trail to Santa Fé. Banning & Alexander, with
their usual enterprise, together with W. T. B. Sanford, made the first
shipment in a heavily-freighted train of fifteen wagons drawn by one
hundred and fifty mules. The train, which carried thirty tons, was
gone four months; having left Los Angeles in May, it returned in
September. In every respect the experiment was a success, and
naturally the new route had a beneficial effect on Southern California
trade. It also contributed to the development of San Bernardino,
through which town it passed. Before the year was out, one or two
express companies were placarding the stores here with announcements
of rates "To Great Salt Lake City." Banning, by the way, then
purchased in Salt Lake the best wagons he had, and brought here some
of the first vehicles with spokes to be seen in Los Angeles.

The school authorities of the past sometimes sailed on waters as
troubled as those rocking the Educational Boards to-day. I recall an
amusing incident of the middle fifties, when a new set of Trustees,
having succeeded to the control of affairs, were scandalized, or at
least pretended to be, by an action of their predecessors, and
immediately adopted the following resolution:

     _Resolved_, that page seven of the School Commissioners'
     Record be pasted down on page eight, so that the indecorous
     language written therein by the School Commissioners of
     1855, can never again be read or seen, said language being
     couched in such terms that the present School Commissioners
     are not willing to read such record.

Richard Laughlin died at his vineyard, on the east side of Alameda
Street, in or soon after 1855. Like William Wolfskill, Ewing
Young--who fitted out the Wolfskill party--and Moses Carson, brother
of the better-known Kit and at one time a trader at San Pedro,
Laughlin was a trapper who made his way to Los Angeles along the Gila
River. This was a waterway of the savage Apache country traversed even
in 1854--according to the lone ferryman's statistics--by nearly ten
thousand persons. In middle life, Laughlin supported himself by
carpentry and hunting.

With the increase in the number and activity of the Chinese in
California, the prejudice of the masses was stirred up violently. This
feeling found expression particularly in 1855, when a law was passed
by the Legislature, imposing a fine of fifty dollars on each owner or
master of a vessel bringing to California anyone incapable of becoming
a citizen; but when suit was instituted, to test the act's validity,
it was declared unconstitutional. At that time, most of the opposition
to the Chinese came from San Franciscans, there being but few coolies

Certain members of the same Legislature led a movement to form a new
State, to be called Colorado and to include all the territory south of
San Luis Obispo; and the matter was repeatedly discussed in several
subsequent sessions. Nothing came of it, however; but Kern County was
formed, in 1866, partly from Los Angeles County and partly from
Tulare. About five thousand square miles, formerly under our County
banner, were thus legislated away; and because the mountainous and
desert area seemed of little prospective value, we submitted
willingly. In this manner, unenlightened by modern science and
ignorant of future possibilities, Southern California, guided by no
clear and certain vision, drifted and stumbled along to its

  [Illustration: Los Angeles in the Late Fifties
   From a contemporary sketch]

  [Illustration: Myer J. Newmark]

  [Illustration: Dr. John S. Griffin]

  [Illustration: Edward J. C. Kewen]

  [Illustration: William C. Warren]


[15] Julio Chrisostino Verdugo died early in March, 1915, supposed to
be about one hundred and twelve years old.




During 1856, I dissolved with my partners, Rich and Laventhal, and
went into business with my uncle, Joseph Newmark, J. P. Newmark and
Maurice Kremer, under the title of Newmark, Kremer & Company. Instead
of a quasi wholesale business, we now had a larger assortment and did
more of a retail business. We occupied a room, about forty by eighty
feet in size, in the Mascarel and Barri block on the south side of
Commercial Street (then known as Commercial Row), between Main and Los
Angeles streets, our modest establishment being almost directly
opposite the contracted quarters of my first store and having the
largest single storeroom then in the city; and there we continued with
moderate success, until 1858.

To make this new partnership possible, Kremer had sold out his
interest in the firm of Lazard & Kremer, dry goods merchants, the
readjustment providing an amusing illustration of the manner in which
business, with its almost entire lack of specialization, was then
conducted. When the stock was taken, a large part of it consisted, not
of dry goods, as one might well suppose, but of--cigars and tobacco!

About the beginning of 1856, Sisters of Charity made their first
appearance in Los Angeles, following a meeting called by Bishop Amat
during the preceding month, to provide for their coming, when Abel
Stearns presided and John G. Downey acted as Secretary. Benjamin
Hayes, Thomas Foster, Ezra Drown, Louis Vignes, Ygnácio del Valle and
António Coronel coöperated, while Manuel Requena collected the
necessary funds. On January 5th, Sisters María Scholastica, María
Corzina, Ana, Clara, Francisca and Angela arrived--three of them
coming almost directly from Spain; and immediately they formed an
important adjunct to the Church in matters pertaining to religion,
charity and education. It was to them that B. D. Wilson sold his Los
Angeles home, including ten acres of fine orchard, at the corner of
Alameda and Macy streets, for eight thousand dollars; and there for
many years they conducted their school, the Institute and Orphan
Asylum, until they sold the property to J. M. Griffith, who used the
site for a lumber-yard. Griffith, in turn, disposed of it to the
Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Sister Scholastica, who celebrated
in 1889 her fiftieth anniversary as a sister, was long the Mother

The so-called First Public School having met with popular approval,
the Board of Education in 1856 opened another school on Bath Street.
The building, two stories in height, was of brick and had two rooms.

On January 9th, John P. Brodie assumed charge of the _Southern
Californian_. Andrés Pico was then proprietor; and before the
newspaper died, in 1857, Pico lost, it is said, ten thousand dollars
in the venture.

The first regular course of public lectures here was given in 1856
under the auspices of a society known as the Mechanics' Institute, and
in one of Henry Dalton's corrugated iron buildings.

George T. Burrill, first County Sheriff, died on February 2d, his
demise bringing to mind an interesting story. He was Sheriff, in the
summer of 1850, when certain members of the infamous Irving party were
arraigned for murder, and during that time received private word that
many of the prisoners' friends would pack the little court room and
attempt a rescue. Burrill, however, who used to wear a sword and had a
rather soldierly bearing, was equal to the emergency. He quickly sent
to Major E. H. Fitzgerald and had the latter come post-haste to town
and court with a detachment of soldiers; and with this superior,
disciplined force he overawed the bandits' _compañeros_ who, sure
enough, were there and fully armed to make a demonstration.

Thomas E. Rowan arrived here with his father, James Rowan, in 1856,
and together they opened a bakery. Tom delivered the bread for a short
time, but soon abandoned that pursuit for politics, being frequently
elected to office, serving in turn as Supervisor, City and County
Treasurer and even, from 1893 to 1894, as Mayor of Los Angeles.
Shortly before Tom married Miss Josephine Mayerhofer in San Francisco
in 1862--and a handsome couple they made--the Rowans bought from Louis
Mesmer the American Bakery, located at the southwest corner of Main
and First streets and originally established by August Ulyard. When
James Rowan died about forty years ago, Tom fell heir to the bakery;
but as he was otherwise engaged, he employed Maurice Maurício as
manager, and P. Galta, afterward a prosperous business man of
Bakersfield, as driver. Tom, who died in 1899, was also associated as
cashier with I. W. Hellman and F. P. F. Temple in their bank. Rowan
Avenue and Rowan Street were both named after this early comer.

The time for the return of my brother and his European bride now
approached, and I felt a natural desire to meet them. Almost
coincident, therefore, with their arrival in San Francisco, I was
again in that growing city in 1856, although I had been there but the
year previous.

On April 9th, occurred the marriage of Matilda, daughter of Joseph
Newmark, to Maurice Kremer. The ceremony was performed by the bride's
father. For the subsequent festivities, ice, from which ice cream was
made, was brought from San Bernardino; both luxuries on this occasion
being used in Los Angeles, as far as I can remember, for the first

To return to the Los Angeles _Star_. When J. S. Waite became
Postmaster, in 1855, he found it no sinecure to continue even such an
unpretentious and, in all likelihood, unprofitable news-sheet and at
the same time attend to Uncle Sam's mail-bags; and early in 1856 he
offered "the entire establishment at one thousand dollars less than
cost." Business was so slow at that time, in fact, that Waite--after,
perhaps, ruefully looking over his unpaid subscriptions--announced
that he would "take wood, butter, eggs, flour, wheat or corn" in
payment of bills due. He soon found a ready customer in William A.
Wallace, the Principal of the boys' school who, on the twelfth of
April, bought the paper; but Waite's disgust was nothing to that of
the schoolteacher who, after two short months' trial with the
editorial quill, scribbled a last doleful _adiós_. "The flush times of
the pueblo, the day of large prices and pocket-books, are past,"
Wallace declared; and before him the editor saw "only picayunes, bad
liquor, rags and universal dullness, when neither pistol-shots nor
dying groans" could have any effect, and "when earthquakes would
hardly turn men in their beds!" Nothing was left for such a destitute
and discouraged quillman "but to wait for a _carreta_ and get out of
town." Wallace sold the paper, therefore, in June, 1856, to Henry
Hamilton, a native of Ireland who had come to California in 1848 an
apprenticed printer, and was for some years in newspaper work in San
Francisco; and Hamilton soon put new life into the journal.

In 1856, the many-sided Dr. William B. Osburn organized a company to
bore an artesian well west of the city; but when it reached a depth of
over seven hundred feet, the prospectors went into bankruptcy.

George Lehman, early known as George the Baker (whose shop at one time
was on the site of the Hayward Hotel), was a somewhat original and
very popular character who, in 1856, took over the Round House on Main
Street, between Third and Fourth, and there opened a pleasure-resort
extending to Spring Street and known as the Garden of Paradise. The
grounds really occupied on the one hand what are now the sites of the
Pridham, the Pinney and the Turnverein, and on the other the Henne,
the Breed and the Lankershim blocks. There was an entrance on Main
Street and one, with two picket gates, on Spring. From the general
shape and appearance of the building, it was always one of the first
objects in town to attract attention; and Lehman (who, when he
appeared on the street, had a crooked cane hanging on his arm and a
lemon in his hand), came to be known as "Round House George." The
house had been erected in the late forties by Raimundo, generally
called Ramón, or Raymond Alexander, a sailor, who asserted that the
design was a copy of a structure he had once seen on the coast of
Africa; and there Ramón and his native California wife had lived for
many years. Partly because he wished to cover the exterior with vines
and flowers, Lehman nailed boards over the outer adobe walls and thus
changed the cylinder form into that of an octagon. An ingenious
arrangement of the _parterre_ and a peculiar distribution of some
trees, together with a profusion of plants and flowers--affording cool
and shady bowers, somewhat similar to those of a typical beer or wine
garden of the Fatherland--gave the place great popularity; while two
heroic statues--one of _Adam_ and the other of _Eve_--with a
conglomeration of other curiosities, including the _Apple Tree_ and
the _Serpent_--all illustrating the world-old story of Eden--and a
moving panorama made the Garden unique and rather famous. The balcony
of the house provided accommodation for the playing of such music,
perhaps discordant, as Los Angeles could then produce, and nearby was
a framework containing a kind of swing then popular and known as
"flying horses." The bar was in the Garden, near a well-sweep; and at
the Main Street entrance stood a majestic and noted cactus tree which
was cut down in 1886. The Garden of Paradise was opened toward the end
of September, 1858, and so large were the grounds that when they were
used, in 1876, for the Fourth of July celebration, twenty-six hundred
people were seated there.

This leads me to say that Arthur McKenzie Dodson, who established a
coal- and wood-yard at what was later the corner of Spring and Sixth
streets, started there a little community which he called
Georgetown--as a compliment, it was said, to the famous Round House
George whose bakery, I have remarked, was located on that corner.

On June 7th, Dr. John S. Griffin, who had an old fashioned, classical
education, and was a graduate, in medicine, of the University of
Pennsylvania, succeeded Dr. William B. Osburn as Superintendent of the
Los Angeles City Schools.

In these times of modern irrigation and scientific methods, it is hard
to realize how disastrous were climatic extremes in an earlier day: in
1856, a single electric disturbance, accompanied by intense heat and
sandstorms, left tens of thousands of dead cattle to tell the story of
drought and destruction.

During the summer, I had occasion to go to Fort Tejón to see George C.
Alexander, a customer, and I again asked Sam Meyer if he would
accompany me. Such a proposition was always agreeable to Sam; and,
having procured horses, we started, the distance being about one
hundred and fifteen miles.

We left Los Angeles early one afternoon, and made our first stop at
Lyons's Station, where we put up for the night. One of the brothers,
after whom the place was named, prepared supper. Having to draw some
thick blackstrap from a keg, he used a pitcher to catch the treacle;
and as the liquid ran very slowly, our sociable host sat down to talk
a bit, and soon forgot all about what he had started to do. The
molasses, however, although it ran pretty slowly, ran steadily, and
finally, like the mush in the fairy-tale of the enchanted bowl,
overflowed the top of the receptacle and spread itself over the dirt
floor. When Lyons had finished his chat, he saw, to his intense
chagrin, a new job upon his hands, and one likely to busy him for some

Departing next morning at five o'clock we met Cy Lyons, who had come
to Los Angeles in 1849 and was then engaged with his brother Sanford
in raising sheep in that neighborhood. Cy was on horseback and had two
pack animals, loaded with provisions. "Hello, boys! where are you
bound?" he asked; and when we told him that we were on our way to Fort
Tejón, he said that he was also going there, and volunteered to save
us forty miles by guiding us over the trail. Such a shortening of our
journey appealed to us as a good prospect, and we fell in behind the
mounted guide.

It was one of those red-hot summer days characteristic of that region
and season, and in a couple of hours we began to get very thirsty.
Noticing this, Cy told us that no water would be found until we got to
the Rancho de la Liebre, and that we could not possibly reach there
until evening. Having no _bota de agua_ handy, I took an onion from
Lyons's pack and ate it, and that afforded me some relief; but Sam,
whose decisions were always as lasting as the fragrance of that
aromatic bulb, would not try the experiment. To make a long story
short, when we at last reached the ranch, Sam, completely fagged out,
and unable to alight from his horse, toppled off into our arms. The
chewing of the onion had refreshed me to some extent, but just the
same the day's journey proved one of the most miserable experiences
through which I have ever passed.

The night was so hot at the ranch that we decided to sleep outdoors in
one of the wagons; and being worn out with the day's exposure and
fatigue, we soon fell asleep. The soundness of our slumbers did not
prevent us from hearing, in the middle of the night, a snarling bear,
scratching in the immediate neighborhood. A bear generally means
business; and you may depend upon it that neither Sam, myself nor even
Cy were very long in bundling out of the wagon and making a dash for
the more protecting house. Early next morning, we recommenced our
journey toward Fort Tejón, and reached there without any further
adventures worth relating.

Coming back, we stopped for the night at Gordon's Station, and the
next day rode fully seventy miles--not so inconsiderable an
accomplishment, perhaps, for those not accustomed to regular saddle

A few months later, I met Cy on the street. "Harris," said he, "do you
know that once, on that hot day going to Fort Tejón, we were within
three hundred feet of a fine, cool spring?" "Then why in the devil," I
retorted, "didn't you take us to it?" To which Cy, with a chuckle,
answered: "Well, I just wanted to see what would happen to you!"

My first experience with camp meetings was in the year 1856, when I
attended one in company with Miss Sarah Newmark, to whom I was then
engaged, and Miss Harriet, her sister--later Mrs. Eugene Meyer. I
engaged a buggy from George Carson's livery stable on Main Street; and
we rode to Ira Thompson's grove at El Monte, in which the meeting was
held. These camp meetings supplied a certain amount of social
attraction to residents, in that good-hearted period when creeds
formed a bond rather than a hindrance.

It was in 1856 that, in connection with our regular business, we began
buying hides. One day a Mexican customer came into the store and,
looking around, said: "_¿Compra cueros?_" (Do you buy hides?) "_Sí,
señor_," I replied, to which he then said: "_Tengo muchos en mi
rancho_" (I have many at my ranch). "Where do you live?" I asked.
"Between Cahuenga and San Fernando Mission," he answered. He had come
to town in his _carreta_, and added that he would conduct me to his
place, if I wished to go there.

I obtained a wagon and, accompanied by Samuel Cohn, went with the
Mexican. The native jogged on, _carreta_-fashion, the oxen lazily
plodding along, while the driver with his ubiquitous pole kept them in
the road by means of continual and effective prods, delivered first on
one side, then on the other. It was dark when we reached the ranch;
and the night being balmy, we wrapped ourselves up in blankets, and
slept under the adobe veranda.

Early in the morning, I awoke and took a survey of the premises. To my
amazement, I saw but one little kipskin hanging up to dry! When at
length my Mexican friend appeared on the scene, I asked him where he
kept his hides? (_¿Donde tiene usted los cueros?_) At which he pointed
to the lone kip and, with a characteristic and perfectly indifferent
shrug of the shoulders, said: "_¡No tengo más!_" (I have no more!)

I then deliberated with Sam as to what we should do; and having
proceeded to San Fernando Mission to collect there, if possible, a
load of hides, we were soon fortunate in obtaining enough to
compensate us for our previous trouble and disappointment. On the way
home, we came to a rather deep ditch preventing further progress.
Being obliged, however, to get to the other side, we decided to throw
the hides into the ditch, placing one on top of the other, until the
obstructing gap was filled to a level with the road; and then we drove
across, if not on dry land, at least on dry hides, which we reloaded
onto the wagon. Finally, we reached town at a late hour.

In this connection, I may remind the reader of Dana's statement, in
his celebrated _Two Years before the Mast_, that San Pedro once
furnished more hides than any other port on the Coast; and may add
that from the same port, more than forty years afterward, consignments
of this valuable commodity were still being made, I myself being
engaged more and more extensively in the hide trade.

Colonel Isaac Williams died on September 13th, having been a resident
of Los Angeles and vicinity nearly a quarter of a century. A
Pennsylvanian by birth, he had with him in the West a brother, Hiram,
later of San Bernardino County. Happy as was most of Colonel Williams'
life, tragedy entered his family circle, as I shall show, when both of
his sons-in-law, John Rains and Robert Carlisle, met violent deaths at
the hands of others.

Jean Louis Vignes came to Los Angeles in 1829, and set out the Aliso
Vineyard of one hundred and four acres which derived its name, as did
the street, from a previous and incorrect application of the Castilian
_aliso_, meaning alder, to the sycamore tree, a big specimen of which
stood on the place. This tree, possibly a couple of hundred years old,
long shaded Vignes' wine-cellars, and was finally cut down a few years
ago to make room for the Philadelphia Brew House. From a spot about
fifty feet away from the Vignes adobe extended a grape arbor perhaps
ten feet in width and fully a quarter of a mile long, thus reaching to
the river; and this arbor was associated with many of the early
celebrations in Los Angeles. The northern boundary of the property was
Aliso Street; its western boundary was Alameda; and part of it was
surrounded by a high adobe wall, inside of which, during the troubles
of the Mexican War, Don Louis enjoyed a far safer seclusion than many
others. On June 7th, 1851, Vignes advertised El Aliso for sale, but
it was not subdivided until much later, when Eugene Meyer and his
associates bought it for this purpose. Vignes Street recalls the
veteran viticulturist.

While upon the subject of this substantial old pioneer family, I may
give a rather interesting reminiscence as to the state of Aliso Street
at this time. I have said that this street was the main road from Los
Angeles to the San Bernardino country; and so it was. But in the
fifties, Aliso Street stopped very abruptly at the Sainsevain
Vineyard, where it narrowed down to one of the willow-bordered,
picturesque little lanes so frequently found here, and paralleled the
noted grape-arbor as far as the river-bank. At this point, Andrew
Boyle and other residents of the Heights and beyond were wont to cross
the stream on their way to and from town. The more important travel
was by means of another lane known as the Aliso Road, turning at a
corner occupied by the old Aliso Mill and winding along the Hoover
Vineyard to the river. Along this route the San Bernardino stage
rolled noisily, traversing in summer or during a poor season what was
an almost dry wash, but encountering in wet winter raging torrents so
impassable that all intercourse with the settlements to the east was
disturbed. For a whole week, on several occasions, the San Bernardino
stage was tied up, and once at least Andrew Boyle, before he had
become conversant with the vagaries of the Los Angeles River, found it
impossible for the better part of a fortnight to come to town for the
replenishment of a badly-depleted larder. Lovers' Lane, willowed and
deep with dust, was a narrow road now variously located in the minds
of pioneers; my impression being that it followed the line of the
present Date Street, although some insist that it was Macy.

Pierre Sainsevain, a nephew of Vignes, came in 1839 and for a while
worked for his uncle. Jean Louis Sainsevain, another nephew, arrived
in Los Angeles in 1849 or soon after, and on April 14th, 1855,
purchased for forty-two thousand dollars the vineyard, cellars and
other property of his uncle. This was the same year in which he
returned to France for his son Michel and remarried, leaving another
son, Paul, in school there. Pierre joined his brother; and in 1857
Sainsevain Brothers made the first California champagne, first
shipping their wine to San Francisco. Paul, now a resident of San
Diego, came to Los Angeles in 1861. The name endures in Sainsevain

The activity of these Frenchmen reminds me that much usually
characteristic of country life was present in what was called the city
of Los Angeles, when I first saw it, as may be gathered from the fact
that, in 1853, there were a hundred or more vineyards hereabouts,
seventy-five or eighty of which were within the city precincts. These
did not include the once famous "mother vineyard" of San Gabriel
Mission, which the _padres_ used to claim had about fifty thousand
vines, but which had fallen into somewhat picturesque decay. Near San
Gabriel, however, in 1855, William M. Stockton had a large vineyard
nursery. William Wolfskill was one of the leading vineyardists, having
set out his first vine, so it was said, in 1838, when he affirmed his
belief that the plant, if well cared for, would flourish a hundred
years! Don José Serrano, from whom Dr. Leonce Hoover bought many of
the grapes he needed, did have vines, it was declared, that were
nearly a century old. When I first passed through San Francisco, _en
route_ to Los Angeles, I saw grapes from this section in the markets
of that city bringing twenty cents a pound; and to such an extent for
a while did San Francisco continue to draw on Los Angeles for grapes,
that Banning shipped thither from San Pedro, in 1857, no less than
twenty-one thousand crates, averaging forty-five pounds each. It was
not long, however, before ranches nearer San Francisco began to
interfere with this monopoly of the South, and, as, a consequence, the
shipment of grapes from Los Angeles fell off. This reminds me that
William Wolfskill sent to San Francisco some of the first Northern
grapes sold there; they were grown in a Napa Valley vineyard that he
owned in the middle of the fifties, and when unloaded on the Long
Wharf, three or four weeks in advance of Los Angeles grapes, brought
at wholesale twenty-five dollars per hundred weight!

With the decline in the fresh fruit trade, however, the making and
exportation of wine increased, and several who had not ventured into
vineyarding before, now did so, acquiring their own land or an
interest in the establishments of others. By 1857, Jean Louis Vignes
boasted of possessing some white wine twenty years old--possibly of
the same vintage about which Dr. Griffin often talked, in his
reminiscences of the days when he had been an army surgeon; and Louis
Wilhart occasionally sold wine which was little inferior to that of
Jean Louis. Dr. Hoover was one of the first to make wine for the
general market, having, for a while, a pretty and well-situated place
called the Clayton Vineyard; and old Joseph Huber, who had come to
California from Kentucky for his health, began in 1855 to make wine
with considerable success. He owned the Foster Vineyard, where he died
in July, 1866. B. D. Wilson was also soon shipping wine to San
Francisco. L. J. Rose, who first entered the field in January, 1861,
at Sunny Slope, not far from San Gabriel Mission, was another
producer, and had a vineyard famous for brandy and wine. He made a
departure in going to the foothills, and introduced many varieties of
foreign grapes. By the same year, or somewhat previously, Matthew
Keller, Stearns & Bell, Dr. Thomas J. White, Dr. Parrott, Kiln Messer,
Henry Dalton, H. D. Barrows, Juan Bernard and Ricardo Vejar had
wineries, and John Schumacher had a vineyard opposite the site of the
City Gardens in the late seventies. L. H. Titus, in time, had a
vineyard, known as the Dewdrop, near that of Rose. Still another wine
producer was António María Lugo, who set out his vines on San Pedro
Street, near the present Second, and often dwelt in the long adobe
house where both Steve Foster, Lugo's son-in-law, and Mrs. Wallace
Woodworth lived, and where I have been many times pleasantly

Dr. Leonce Hoover, who died on October 8th, 1862, was a native of
Switzerland and formerly a surgeon in the army of Napoleon, when his
name--later changed at the time of naturalization--had been Huber. Dr.
Hoover in 1849 came to Los Angeles with his wife, his son, Vincent A.
Hoover, then a young man, and two daughters, the whole family
traveling by ox-team and prairie schooner. They soon discovered rich
_placer_ gold-beds, but were driven away by hostile Indians. A
daughter, Mary A., became the wife of Samuel Briggs, a New Hampshire
Yankee, who was for years Wells Fargo's agent here. For a while the
Hoovers lived on the Wolfskill Ranch, after which they had a vineyard
in the neighborhood of what is now the property of the Cudahy Packing
Company. Vincent Hoover was a man of prominence in his time; he died
in 1883. Mrs. Briggs, whose daughter married the well-known physician,
Dr. Granville MacGowan, sold her home, on Broadway between Third and
Fourth streets, to Homer Laughlin when he erected the Laughlin
Building. Hoover Street is named for this family.

Accompanied by his son William, Joseph Huber, Sr., in 1855 came to Los
Angeles from Kentucky, hoping to improve his health; and when the
other members of his family, consisting of his wife and children,
Caroline, Emeline, Edward and Joseph, followed him here, in 1859, by
way of New York and the Isthmus, they found him settled as a
vineyardist, occupying the Foster property running from Alameda Street
to the river, in a section between Second and Sixth streets. The
advent of a group of young people, so well qualified to add to what
has truthfully been described by old-time Angeleños as our family
circle, was hailed with a great deal of interest and satisfaction. In
time, Miss Emeline Huber was married to O. W. Childs, and Miss
Caroline was wedded to Dr. Frederick Preston Howard, a druggist who,
more than forty years ago, bought out Theodore Wollweber, selling the
business back to the latter a few years later. The prominence of this
family made it comparatively easy for Joseph Huber, Jr., in 1865, to
secure the nomination and be elected County Treasurer, succeeding M.
Kremer, who had served six years. Huber, Sr., died about the middle
sixties. Mrs. Huber lived to be eighty-three years old.

José de Rúbio had at least two vineyards when I came--one on Alameda
Street, south of Wolfskill's and not far from Coronel's, and one on
the east side of the river. Rúbio came here very early in the
century, after having married Juana, a daughter of Juan María Miron, a
well-known sea captain, and built three adobe houses. The first of
these was on the site of the present home of William H. Workman, on
Boyle Heights; the second was near what was later the corner of
Alameda and Eighth streets, and the third was on Alameda Street near
the present Vernon Avenue. One of his ranches was known as "Rúbio's,"
and there many a barbecue was celebrated. In 1859, Rúbio leased the
Sepúlveda Landing, at San Pedro, and commenced to haul freight, to and
fro. Señor and Señora Rúbio[16] had twenty-five children, of whom five
are now living. Another Los Angeles vineyardist who lived near the
river when I came was a Frenchman named Clemente.

Julius Weyse also had a vineyard, living on what is now Eighth Street
near San Pedro. A son, H. G. Weyse, has distinguished himself as an
attorney and has served in the Legislature; another, Otto G., married
the widow of Edward Naud, while a third son, Rudolf G., married a
daughter of H. D. Barrows.

The Reyes family was prominent here; a daughter married William
Nordholt. Ysidro had a vineyard on Washington Street; and during one
of the epidemics, he died of smallpox. His brother, Pablo, was a

While on the subject of vineyards, I may describe the method by which
wine was made here in the early days and the part taken in the
industry by the Indians, who always interested and astounded me.
Stripped to the skin, and wearing only loin-cloths, they tramped with
ceaseless tread from morn till night, pressing from the luscious fruit
of the vineyard the juice so soon to ferment into wine. The grapes
were placed in elevated vats from which the liquid ran into other
connecting vessels; and the process exhaled a stale acidity, scenting
the surrounding air. These Indians were employed in the early fall,
the season of the year when wine is made and when the thermometer as a
rule, in Southern California, reaches its highest point; and this
temperature coupled with incessant toil caused the perspiration to
drip from their swarthy bodies into the wine product, the sight of
which in no wise increased my appetite for California wine.

A staple article of food for the Indians in 1856, by the way, was the
acorn. The crop that year, however, was very short; and streams having
also failed, in many instances, to yield the food usually taken from
them, the tribes were in a distressed condition. Such were the
aborigines' straits, in fact, that _rancheros_ were warned of the
danger, then greater than ever, from Indian depredations on stock.

In telling of the Sisters of Charity, I have forgotten to add that,
after settling here, they sent to New York for a portable house, which
they shipped to Los Angeles by way of Cape Horn. In due time, the
house arrived; but imagine their vexation on discovering that,
although the parts were supposed to have been marked so that they
might easily be joined together, no one here could do the work. In the
end, the Sisters were compelled to send East for a carpenter who,
after a long interval, arrived and finished the house.

Soon after the organization of a Masonic lodge here, in 1854, many of
my friends joined, and among them my brother, J. P. Newmark, who was
admitted on February 26th, 1855, on which occasion J. H. Stuart was
the Secretary; and through their participation in the celebration of
St. John's Day (the twenty-fourth of June,) I was seized with a desire
to join the order. This I did at the end of 1856, becoming a member of
Los Angeles Lodge No. 42, whose meetings were held over Potter's store
on Main Street. Worshipful Master Thomas Foster initiated me, and on
January 22d, 1857, Worshipful Master Jacob Elias officiating, I took
the third degree. I am, therefore, in all probability, the oldest
living member of this now venerable Masonic organization.


[16] Señora de Rúbio survived her husband many years, dying on October
27th, 1914, at the age of one hundred and seven, after residing in Los
Angeles ninety-four years.




In the beginning of 1857, we had a more serious earthquake than any in
recent years. At half-past eight o'clock on the morning of January
9th, a tremor shook the earth from North to South; the first shocks
being light, the quake grew in power until houses were deserted, men,
women and children sought refuge in the streets, and horses and cattle
broke loose in wild alarm. For perhaps two, or two and a half minutes,
the _temblor_ continued and much damage was done. Los Angeles felt the
disturbance far less than many other places, although five to six
shocks were noted and twenty times during the week people were
frightened from their homes; at Temple's _rancho_ and at Fort Tejón
great rents were opened in the earth and then closed again, piling up
a heap or dune of finely-powdered stone and dirt. Large trees were
uprooted and hurled down the hillsides; and tumbling after them went
the cattle. Many officers, including Colonel B. L. Beall--well known
in Los Angeles social circles--barely escaped from the barracks with
their lives; and until the cracked adobes could be repaired, officers
and soldiers lived in tents. It was at this time, too, that a
so-called tidal wave almost engulfed the _Sea Bird_, plying between
San Pedro and San Francisco, as she was entering the Golden Gate.
Under the splendid seamanship of Captain Salisbury Haley, however, his
little ship weathered the wave, and he was able later to report her
awful experience to the scientific world.

This year also proved a dry season; and, consequently, times became
very bad. With two periods of adversity, even the richest of the
cattle-kings felt the pinch, and many began to part with their lands
in order to secure the relief needed to tide them over. The effects of
drought continued until 1858, although some good influences improved
business conditions.

Due to glowing accounts of the prospects for conquest and fortune
given out by Henry A. Crabb, a Stockton lawyer who married a Spanish
woman with relatives in Sonora, a hundred or more filibusters gathered
in Los Angeles, in January, to meet Crabb at San Pedro, when he
arrived from the North on the steamer _Sea Bird_. They strutted about
the streets here, displaying rifles and revolvers; and this would seem
to have been enough to prevent their departure for Sonita, a little
town a hundred miles beyond Yuma, to which they finally tramped. The
filibusters were permitted to leave, however, and they invaded the
foreign soil; but Crabb made a mess of the undertaking, even failing
in blowing up a little church he attacked; and those not killed in the
skirmish were soon surrounded and taken prisoners. The next morning,
Crabb and some others who had paraded so ostentatiously while here,
were tied to trees or posts, and summarily executed. Crabb's body was
riddled with a hundred bullets and his head cut off and sent back in
_mescal_; only one of the party was spared--Charley Evans, a lad of
fifteen years, who worked his way to Los Angeles and was connected
with a somewhat similar invasion a while later.

In January, also, when threats were made against the white population
of Southern California, Mrs. Griffin, the wife of Dr. J. S. Griffin,
came running, in all excitement, to the home of Joseph Newmark, and
told the members of the family to lock all their doors and bolt their
windows, as it was reported that some of the outlaws were on their way
to Los Angeles, to murder the white people. As soon as possible, the
ladies of the Griffin, Nichols, Foy, Mallard, Workman, Newmark and
other families were brought together for greater safety in Armory
Hall, on Spring Street near Second, while the men took their places
in line with the other citizens to patrol the hills and streets.

A still vivid impression of this startling episode recalls an
Englishman, a Dr. Carter, who arrived here some three years before. He
lived on the east side of Main Street near First, where the McDonald
Block now stands; and while not prominent in his profession, he
associated with some estimable families. When others were volunteering
for sentry-work or to fight, the Doctor very gallantly offered his
services as a Committee of One to care for the ladies--far from the
firing line!

On hearing of these threats by native _bandidos_, James R. Barton,
formerly a volunteer under General S. W. Kearny and then Sheriff, at
once investigated the rumors; and the truth of the reports being
verified, our small and exposed community was seized with terror.

A large band of Mexican outlaws, led by Pancho Daniel, a convict who
had escaped from San Quentin prison, and including Luciano Tapía and
Juan Flores, on January 22d had killed a German storekeeper named
George W. Pflugardt, in San Juan Capistrano, while he was preparing
his evening meal; and after having placed his body on the table, they
sat around and ate what the poor victim had provided for himself. On
the same occasion, these outlaws plundered the stores of Manuel
Garcia, Henry Charles and Miguel Kragevsky or Kraszewski; the last
named escaping by hiding under a lot of wash in a large
clothes-basket. When the news of this murder reached Los Angeles,
excitement rose to fever-heat and we prepared for something more than

Jim Barton, accompanied by William H. Little and Charles K. Baker,
both constables, Charles F. Daley, an early blacksmith here, Alfred
Hardy and Frank Alexander--all volunteers--left that evening for San
Juan Capistrano, to capture the murderers, and soon arrived at the San
Joaquín Ranch, about eighteen miles from San Juan. There Don José
Andrés Sepúlveda told Barton of a trap set for him, and that the
robbers outnumbered his _posse_, two to one; and urged him to send
back to Los Angeles for more volunteers. Brave but reckless Barton,
however, persisted in pushing on the next day, and so encountered some
of the marauders in Santiago Canyon. Barton, Baker, Little and Daley
were killed; while Hardy and Alexander escaped.

When Los Angeles was apprised of this second tragedy, the frenzy was
indescribable, and steps were taken toward the formation of both a
Committee of Safety and a Vigilance Committee--the latter to avenge
the foul deed and to bring in the culprits. In meeting this emergency,
the El Monte boys, as usual, took an active part. The city was placed
under martial law, and Dr. John S. Griffin was put in charge of the
local defenses. Suspicious houses, thought to be headquarters for
robbers and thieves, were searched; and forty or fifty persons were
arrested. The State Legislature was appealed to and at once voted
financial aid.

Although the Committee of Safety had the assistance of special foot
police in guarding the city, the citizens made a requisition on Fort
Tejón, and fifty soldiers were sent from that post to help pursue the
band. Troops from San Diego, with good horses and plenty of
provisions, were also placed at the disposition of the Los Angeles
authorities. Companies of mounted Rangers were made up to scour the
country, American, German and French citizens vying with one another
for the honor of risking their lives; one such company being formed at
El Monte, and another at San Bernardino. There were also two
detachments of native Californians; but many Sonorans and Mexicans
from other States, either from sympathy or fear, aided the murdering
robbers and so made their pursuit doubly difficult. However, the
outlaws were pursued far into the mountains; and although the first
party sent out returned without effecting anything (reporting that the
desperadoes were not far from San Juan and that the horses of the
pursuers had given out) practically all of the band, as will be seen,
were eventually captured.

Not only were vigorous measures taken to apprehend and punish the
murderers, but provision was made to rescue the bodies of the slain,
and to give them decent and honorable burial. The next morning, after
nearly one hundred mounted and armed men had set out to track the
fugitives, another party, also on horseback, left to escort several
wagons filled with coffins, in which they hoped to bring back the
bodies of Sheriff Barton and his comrades. In this effort, the posse
succeeded; and when the remains were received in Los Angeles on Sunday
about noon, the city at once went into mourning. All business was
suspended, and the impressive burial ceremonies, conducted on Monday,
were attended by the citizens _en masse_. Oddly enough, there was not
a Protestant clergyman in town at the time; but the Masonic Order took
the matter in hand and performed their rites over those who were
Masons, and even paid their respects, with a portion of the ritual, to
the non-Masonic dead.

General Andrés Pico, with a company of native mounted Californians,
who left immediately after the funeral, was especially prominent in
running down the outlaws, thus again displaying his natural gift of
leadership; and others fitted themselves out and followed as soon as
they could. General Pico knew both land and people; and on capturing
Silvas and Ardillero, two of the worst of the _bandidos_, after a hard
resistance, he straightway hung them to trees, at the very spot where
they had tried to assassinate him and his companions.

In the pursuit of the murderers, James Thompson (successor, in the
following January, to the murdered Sheriff Getman) led a company of
horsemen toward the Tejunga; and at the Simi Pass, high upon the
rocks, he stationed United States soldiers as a lookout. Little San
Gabriel, in which J. F. Burns, as Deputy Sheriff, was on the watch,
also made its contribution to the restoration of order and peace; for
some of its people captured and executed three or four of Daniels's
and Flores's band. Flores was caught on the top of a peak in the
Santiago range; all in all, some fifty-two culprits were brought to
Los Angeles and lodged in jail; and of that number eleven were lynched
or legally hung.

When the Vigilance Committee had jailed a suspected murderer, the
people were called to sit in judgment. We met near the veranda of the
Montgomery, and Judge Jonathan R. Scott having been made Chairman, a
regular order of procedure, extra-legal though it was, was followed;
after announcing the capture, and naming the criminal, the Judge
called upon the crowd to determine the prisoner's fate. Thereupon some
one would shout: "_Hang him!_" Scott would then put the question
somewhat after the following formula: "Gentlemen, you have heard the
motion; all those in favor of hanging So-and-So, will signify by
saying, Aye!"

And the citizens present unanimously answered, _Aye!_

Having thus expressed their will, the assemblage proceeded to the
jail, a low, adobe building behind the little Municipal and County
structure, and easily subdued the jailer, Frank J. Carpenter, whose
daughter, Josephine, became Frank Burns's second wife. The prisoner
was then secured, taken from his cell, escorted to Fort Hill--a rise
of ground behind the jail--where a temporary gallows had been
constructed, and promptly despatched; and after each of the first
batch of culprits had there successively paid the penalty for his
crime, the avengers quietly dispersed to their homes to await the
capture and dragging in of more cutthroats.

Among those condemned by vote at a public meeting in the way I have
described, was Juan Flores, who was hanged on February 14th, 1857,
well up on Fort Hill, in sight of such a throng that it is hardly too
much to say that practically every man, woman and child in the pueblo
was present, not to mention many people drawn by curiosity from
various parts of the State who had flocked into town. Flores was but
twenty-one years of age; yet, the year previous he had been sent to
prison for horse-stealing. At the same time that Flores was executed,
Miguel Blanco, who had stabbed the militiaman, Captain W. W. Twist, in
order to rob him of a thousand dollars, was also hanged.

Espinosa and Lopez, two members of the robber band, for a while eluded
their pursuers. At San Buenaventura, however, they were caught, and on
the following morning, Espinosa was hung. Lopez again escaped; and it
was not until February 16th that he was finally recaptured and
despatched to other realms.

Two days after Juan Flores was sent to a warmer clime, Luciano Tapía
and Thomas King were executed. Tapía's case was rather regrettable,
for he had been a respectable laborer at San Luis Obispo until Flores,
meeting him, persuaded him to abandon honest work. Tapía came to Los
Angeles, joined the robber band and was one of those who helped to
kill Sheriff Barton.

In 1857, the Sisters of Charity founded the Los Angeles Infirmary, the
first regular hospital in the city, with Sister Ana, for years well
known here, as Sister Superior. For a while, temporary quarters were
taken in the house long occupied by Don José María Aguilar and family,
which property the Sisters soon purchased; but the next year they
bought some land from Don Luis Arenas, adjoining Don José Andrés
Sepúlveda's, and were thus enabled to enlarge the hospital. Their
service being the best, in time they were enabled to acquire a
good-sized, two-story building of brick, in the upper part of the
city; and there their patients enjoyed the refreshing and
health-restoring environment of garden and orchard.

It was not until this year that, on the corner of Alameda and Bath
streets, Oscar Macy, City Treasurer in 1887-88, opened the first
public bath house, having built a water-wheel with small cans attached
to the paddles, to dip water up from the Alameda _zanja_, as a medium
for supplying his tank. He provided hot water as well as cold. Oscar
charged fifty cents a bath, and furnished soap and towels.

In 1857, the steamship _Senator_ left San Francisco on the fifth and
twentieth of each month and so continued until the people wanted a
steamer at least once every ten days.

Despite the inconvenience and expense of obtaining water for the home,
it was not until February 24th that Judge W. G. Dryden--who, with a
man named McFadden, had established the nucleus of a system--was
granted a franchise to distribute water from his land, and to build a
water-wheel in the _zanja madre_. The Dryden, formerly known as the
Ábila Springs and later the source of the Beaudry supply, were near
the site selected for the San Fernando Street Railway Station; and
from these springs water was conveyed by a _zanja_ to the Plaza.
There, in the center, a brick tank, perhaps ten feet square and
fifteen feet high, was constructed; and this was filled by means of
pumps, while from the tank wooden pipes distributed water to the

So infrequently did we receive intelligence from the remoter parts of
the world throughout the fifties that sometimes a report, especially
if apparently authentic, when finally it reached here, created real
excitement. I recall, more or less vividly, the arrival of the stages
from the _Senator_, late in March, and the stir made when the news was
passed from mouth to mouth that Livingstone, the explorer, had at last
been heard from in far-off and unknown Africa.

Los Angeles schools were then open only part of the year, the School
Board being compelled, in the spring, to close them for want of money.
William Wolfskill, however, rough pioneer though he was, came to the
Board's rescue. He was widely known as an advocate of popular
education, having, as I have said, his own private teachers; and to
his lasting honor, he gave the Board sufficient funds to make possible
the reopening of one of the schools.

In 1857, I again revisited San Francisco. During the four years since
my first visit a complete metamorphosis had taken place. Tents and
small frame structures were being largely replaced with fine buildings
of brick and stone; many of the sand dunes had succumbed to the march
of improvement; gardens were much more numerous, and the uneven
character of streets and sidewalks had been wonderfully improved. In a
word, the spirit of Western progress was asserting itself, and the
city by the Golden Gate was taking on a decidedly metropolitan

Notwithstanding various attempts at citrus culture in Southern
California, some time elapsed before there was much of an orange or
lemon industry in this vicinity. In 1854, a Dr. Halsey started an
orange and lime nursery, on the Rowland place, which he soon sold to
William Wolfskill, for four thousand dollars; and in April, 1857, when
there were not many more than a hundred orange trees bearing fruit in
the whole county, Wolfskill planted several thousand and so
established what was to be, for that time, the largest orange orchard
in the United States. He had thrown away a good many of the lemon
trees received from Halsey, because they were frost-bitten; but he
still had some lemon, orange and olive trees left. Later, under the
more scientific care of his son, Joseph Wolfskill, who extended the
original Wolfskill grove, this orchard was made to yield very large

In 1857, a group of Germans living in San Francisco bought twelve
hundred acres of waste, sandy land, at two dollars an acre, from Don
Pacífico Onteveras, and on it started the town of Anaheim--a name
composed of the Spanish _Ana_, from Santa Ana, and the German _Heim_,
for home; and this was the first settlement in the county founded
after my arrival. This land formed a block about one and a quarter
miles square, some three miles from the Santa Ana River, and five
miles from the residence of Don Bernardo Yorba, from whom the company
received special privileges. A. Langenberger, a German, who married
Yorba's daughter, was probably one of the originators of the Anaheim
plan; at any rate, his influence with his father-in-law was of value
to his friends in completing the deal. There were fifty shareholders,
who paid seven hundred and fifty dollars each, with an Executive
Council composed of Otmar Caler, President; G. Charles Kohler,
Vice-President; Cyrus Beythien, Treasurer; and John Fischer,
Secretary; while John Fröhling, R. Emerson, Felix Bachman, who was a
kind of Sub-treasurer, and Louis Jazyinsky, made up the Los Angeles
Auditing Committee. George Hansen, afterward the colony's
Superintendent, surveyed the tract and laid it out in fifty
twenty-acre lots, with streets and a public park; around it a live
fence of some forty to fifty thousand willow cuttings, placed at
intervals of a couple of feet, was planted. A main canal, six to seven
miles long, with a fall of fifteen to twenty feet, brought abundant
water from the Santa Ana River, while some three hundred and fifty
miles of lateral ditches distributed the water to the lots. On each
lot, some eight or ten thousand grape vines were set out, the first as
early as January, 1858. On December 15th, 1859, the stockholders came
south to settle on their partially-cultivated land; and although but
one among the entire number knew anything about wine-making, the dream
of the projectors--to establish there the largest vineyard in the
world--bade fair to come true. The colonists were quite a curious
mixture--two or three carpenters, four blacksmiths, three watchmakers,
a brewer, an engraver, a shoemaker, a poet, a miller, a bookbinder,
two or three merchants, a hatter and a musician; but being mostly of
sturdy, industrious German stock, they soon formed such a prosperous
and important little community that, by 1876, the settlement had grown
to nearly two thousand people. A peculiar plan was adopted for
investment, sale and compensation: each stockholder paid the same
price at the beginning, and later all drew for the lots, the
apportionment being left to chance; but since the pieces of land were
conceded to have dissimilar values, those securing the better lots
equalized in cash with their less lucky associates. Soon after 1860,
when Langenberger had erected the first hotel there, Anaheim took a
leading place in the production of grapes and wine; and this position
of honor it kept until, in 1888, a strange disease suddenly attacked
and, within a single year, killed all the vines, after which the
cultivation of oranges and walnuts was undertaken. Kohler and Fröhling
had wineries in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, the latter being
adjacent to the present corner of Central Avenue and Seventh Street;
and this firm purchased most of Anaheim's grape crop, although some
vineyard owners made their own wine. Morris L. Goodman, by the way,
was here at an early period, and was one of the first settlers of

Hermann Heinsch, a native of Prussia, arrived in Los Angeles in 1857
and soon after engaged in the harness and saddlery business. On March
8th, 1863, he was married to Mary Haap. Having become proficient at
German schools in both music and languages, Heinsch lent his time and
efforts to the organization and drill of Germans here, and contributed
much to the success of both the Teutonia and the Turnverein. In 1869,
the Heinsch Building was erected at the corner of Commercial and Los
Angeles streets; and as late as 1876 this was a shopping district, a
Mrs. T. J. Baker having a dressmaking establishment there. After a
prosperous career, Heinsch died on January 13th, 1883; his wife
followed him on April 14th, 1906. R. C. Heinsch, a son, survives them.

Major Walter Harris Harvey, a native of Georgia once a cadet at West
Point, but dismissed for his pranks (who about the middle of the
fifties married Eleanor, eldest full sister of John G. Downey, and
became the father of J. Downey Harvey, now living in San Francisco),
settled in California shortly after the Mexican War. During the first
week in May, 1857, or some four years before he died, Major Harvey
arrived from Washington with an appointment as Register of the Land
Office, in place of H. P. Dorsey. At the same time, Don Agustin Olvera
was appointed Receiver, in lieu of General Andrés Pico. These and
other rotations in office were due, of course, to national
administration changes, President Buchanan having recently been

One of the interesting legal inquiries of the fifties was conducted in
1857 when, in the District Court here, António María Lugo, crowned
with the white of seventy-six winters, testified, at a hearing to
establish certain claims to land, as to what he knew of old _ranchos_
hereabouts, recalling many details of the pueblo and incidents as far
back as 1785. He had seen the San Rafael Ranch, for example, in 1790,
and he had also roamed, as a young man, over the still older Dominguez
and Nietos hills.

Charles Henry Forbes, who was born at the Mission San José, came to
Los Angeles County in 1857 and, though but twenty-two years old, was
engaged by Don Abel Stearns to superintend his various _ranchos_,
becoming Stearns's business manager in 1866, with a small office on
the ground-floor of the Arcadia Block. In 1864, Forbes married Doña
Luisa Olvera, daughter of Judge Agustin Olvera, and a graduate of the
Sisters' school. On the death of Don Abel, in 1871, Forbes settled up
Stearns's large estate, retaining his professional association with
Doña Arcadia, after her marriage to Colonel Baker, and even until he
died in May, 1894.

As I have intimated, the principal industry throughout Los Angeles
County, and indeed throughout Southern California, up to the sixties,
was the raising of cattle and horses--an undertaking favored by a
people particularly fond of leisure and knowing little of the latent
possibilities in the land; so that this entire area of magnificent
soil supported herds which provided the whole population in turn,
directly or indirectly, with a livelihood. The live stock subsisted
upon the grass growing wild all over the county, and the prosperity of
Southern California therefore depended entirely upon the season's
rainfall. This was true to a far greater extent than one might
suppose, for water-development had received no attention outside of
Los Angeles. If the rainfall was sufficient to produce feed, dealers
came from the North and purchased our stock, and everybody thrived;
if, on the other hand, the season was dry, cattle and horses died and
the public's pocket-book shrank to very unpretentious dimensions. As
an incident in even a much later period than that which I here have in
mind, I can distinctly remember that I would rise three or four times
during a single meal to see if the overhanging clouds had yet begun to
give that rain which they had seemed to promise, and which was so
vital to our prosperity.

As for rain, I am reminded that every newspaper in those days devoted
much space to weather reports or, rather, to gossip about the weather
at other points along the Coast, as well as to the consequent
prospects here. The weather was the one determining factor in the
problem of a successful or a disastrous season, and became a very
important theme when ranchers and others congregated at our store.

And here I may mention, _à propos_ of this matter of rainfall and its
general effects, that there were millions of ground-squirrels all over
this country that shared with other animals the ups and downs of the
season. When there was plenty of rain, these squirrels fattened and
multiplied; but when evil days came, they sickened, starved and
perished. On the other hand, great overflows, due to heavy rainfalls,
drowned many of these troublesome little rodents.

The raising of sheep had not yet developed any importance at the time
of my arrival; most of the mutton then consumed in Los Angeles coming
from Santa Cruz Island, in the Santa Bárbara Channel, though some was
brought from San Clemente and Santa Catalina islands. On the latter,
there was a herd of from eight to ten thousand sheep in which Oscar
Macy later acquired an interest; and L. Harris, father-in-law of H. W.
Frank, the well- and favorably-known President and member of the Board
of Education, also had extensive herds there. They ran wild and needed
very little care, and only semi-yearly visits were made to look after
the shearing, packing and shipping of the wool. Santa Cruz Island had
much larger herds, and steamers running to and from San Francisco
often stopped there to take on sheep and sheep-products.

Santa Catalina Island, for years the property of Don José María
Covarrúbias--and later of the eccentric San Francisco pioneer James
Lick, who crossed the plains in the same party with the Lanfranco
brothers and tried to induce them to settle in the North--was not far
from San Clemente; and there, throughout the extent of her hills and
vales, roamed herd after herd of wild goats. Early seafarers, I
believe it has been suggested, accustomed to carry goats on their
sailing vessels, for a supply of milk, probably deposited some of the
animals on Catalina; but however that may be, hunting parties to this
day explore the mountains in search of them.

Considering, therefore, the small number of sheep here about 1853, it
is not uninteresting to note that, according to old records of San
Gabriel for the winter of 1828-29, there were then at the Mission no
less than fifteen thousand sheep; while in 1858, on the other hand,
according to fairly accurate reports, there were fully twenty thousand
sheep in Los Angeles County. Two years later, the number had doubled.

George Carson, a New Yorker who came here in 1852, and after whom
Carson Station is named, was one of the first to engage in the sheep
industry. Soon after he arrived, he went into the livery business, to
which he gave attention even when in partnership successively with
Sanford, Dean and Hicks in the hardware business, on Commercial
Street. On July 30th, 1857, Carson married Doña Victoria, a daughter
of Manuel Dominguez; but it was not until 1864 that, having sold out
his two business interests (the livery to George Butler and the
hardware to his partner), he moved to the ranch of his father-in-law,
where he continued to live, assisting Dominguez with the management of
his great property. Some years later, Carson bought four or five
hundred acres of land adjoining the Dominguez acres and turned his
attention to sheep. Later still, he became interested in the
development of thoroughbred cattle and horses, but continued to help
his father-in-law in the directing of his ranch. When rain favored the
land, Carson, in common with his neighbors, amassed wealth; but during
dry years he suffered disappointment and loss, and on one occasion was
forced to take his flocks, then consisting of ten thousand sheep, to
the mountains, where he lost all but a thousand head. It cost him ten
thousand dollars to save the latter, which amount far exceeded their
value. In this movement of stock, he took with him, as his lieutenant,
a young Mexican named Martin Cruz whom he had brought up on the
_rancho_. Carson was one of my cronies, while I was still young and
single; and we remained warm friends until he died.

Almost indescribable excitement followed the substantiated reports,
received in the fall of 1857, that a train of emigrants from Missouri
and Arkansas, on their way to California, had been set upon by
Indians, near Mountain Meadow, Utah, on September 7th, and that
thirty-six members of the party had been brutally killed. Particularly
were the Gentiles of the Southwest stirred up when it was learned that
the assault had been planned and carried through by one Lee, a Mormon,
whose act sprang rather from the frenzy of a madman than from the
deliberation of a well-balanced mind. The attitude of Brigham Young
toward the United States Government, at that time, and his alleged
threat to "turn the Indians loose" upon the whites, added color to the
assertion that Young's followers were guilty of the massacre; but
fuller investigation has absolved the Mormons, I believe, as a
society, from any complicity in the awful affair. Some years later the
two Oatman girls were rescued from the Indians (by whom they had been
tattooed), and for a while they stayed at Ira Thompson's, where I saw

In 1857, J. G. Nichols was reëlected Mayor of Los Angeles, and began
several improvements he had previously advocated, especially the
irrigating of the plain below the city. By August 2d, _Zanja_ No. 2
was completed; and this brought about the building of the Aliso Mill
and the further cultivation of much excellent land.

One of the passengers that left San Francisco with me for San Pedro on
October 18th, 1853, who later became a successful citizen of Southern
California, was Edward N. McDonald, a native of New York State. We had
sailed from New York together, and together had finished the long
journey to the Pacific Coast, after which I lost track of him.
McDonald had intended proceeding farther south, and I was surprised at
meeting him on the street, some weeks after my arrival, in Los
Angeles. Reaching San Pedro, he contracted to enter the service of
Alexander & Banning, and remained with Banning for several years,
until he formed a partnership with John O. Wheeler's brother, who
later went to Japan. McDonald, subsequently raised sheep on a large
scale and acquired much ranch property; and in 1876, he built the
block on Main Street bearing his name. Sixteen years later, he erected
another structure, opposite the first one. When McDonald died at
Wilmington, on June 10th, 1899, he left his wife an estate valued at
about one hundred and sixty thousand dollars which must have increased
in value, since then, many fold.

N. A. Potter, a Rhode Islander, came to Los Angeles in 1855, bringing
with him a stock of Yankee goods and opening a store; and two years
later he bought a two-story brick building on Main Street, opposite
the Bella Union. Louis Jazynsky was a partner with Potter, for a
while, under the firm name of Potter & Company; but later Jazynsky
left Los Angeles for San Francisco. Potter died here in 1868.

Possibly the first instance of an Angeleño proffering a gift to the
President of the United States--and that, too, of something
characteristic of this productive soil and climate--was when Henry D.
Barrows, in September, called on President Buchanan, in Washington
and, on behalf of William Wolfskill, Don Manuel Requena and himself,
gave the Chief Executive some California fruit and wine.

I have before me a Ledger of the year 1857; it is a medium-sized
volume bound in leather, and on the outside cover is inscribed, in the
bold, old-fashioned handwriting of fifty-odd years ago, the simple


Each page is headed with the name of some still-remembered worthy of
that distant day who was a customer of the old firm; and in 1857, a
customer was always a friend. According to the method of that period
the accounts are closed, not with balancing entries and red lines but,
in the blackest of black ink, with the good, straightforward and
positive inscription, _Settled_.

The perusal of this old book carries me back over the vanished years.
As the skull in the hand of the ancient monk, so does this antiquated
volume recall to me how transitory is this life and all its affairs. A
few remain to tell a younger generation the story of the early days;
but the majority, even as in 1857 they carefully balanced their scores
in this old Ledger, have now closed their accounts in the great Book
of Life. They have settled with their heaviest Creditor; they have
gone before Him to render their last account. With few or no
exceptions, they were a manly, sterling race, and I have no doubt that
He found their assets far greater than their liabilities.




In January, 1858, I engaged, in the sheep business. After some
investigation, I selected and purchased for an insignificant sum, just
west of the present Hollenbeck Home on Boyle Avenue, a convenient
site, which consisted of twenty acres of land, through which a ditch
conducted water to Don Felipe Lugo's San António _rancho_--a flow
quite sufficient, at the time, for my herd. These sheep I pastured on
adjacent lands belonging to the City; and as others often did the
same, no one said me Nay. Everything progressed beautifully until the
first of May, when the ditch ran dry. Upon making inquiry, I learned
that the City had permitted Lugo to dig a private ditch across this
twenty-acre tract to his ranch, and to use what water he needed during
the rainy season; but that in May, when the authorities resumed their
irrigation service, the privilege was withdrawn. I was thus deprived
of water for the sheep.

Despite the fact that there was an adobe on the land, I could not
dispose of the property at any price. One day a half-breed known as
the Chicken Thief called on me and offered a dozen chickens for the
adobe, but--not a chicken for the land! Stealing chickens was this
man's profession; and I suppose that he offered me the medium of
exchange he was most accustomed to have about him.

Sheriff William C. Getman had been warned, in the tragic days of 1858,
to look out for a maniac named Reed; but almost courting such an
emergency, Getman (once a dashing Lieutenant of the Rangers and
bearing grapeshot wounds from his participation in the Siege of
Mexico) went, on the seventh of January, with Francis Baker to a
pawnbroker, whose establishment, near Los Angeles and Aliso streets,
was popularly known as the Monte Pio. There the officers found Reed
locked and barricaded in a room; and while the Sheriff was endeavoring
to force an entrance, Reed suddenly threw open the door, ran out and,
to the dismay of myself and many others gathered to witness the
arrest, pulled a pistol from his pocket, discharged the weapon, and
Getman dropped on the spot. The maniac then retreated into the
pawnbroker's from which he fired at the crowd. Deputy Baker--later
assistant to Marshal Warren, who was shot by Dye--finally killed the
desperado, but not before Reed had fired twenty to thirty shots, four
or five of which passed through Baker's clothing. When the excited
crowd broke into the shop, it was found that the madman had been armed
with two derringers, two revolvers and a bowie knife--a convenient
little arsenal which he had taken from the money-lender's stock. The
news of the affray spread rapidly through the town and everywhere
created great regret. Baker, who had sailed around the Horn a couple
of years before I arrived, died on May 17th, 1899, after having been
City Marshal and Tax Collector.

Such trouble with men inclined to use firearms too freely was not
confined to maniacs or those bent on revenge or robbery. On one
occasion, for example, about 1858, while passing along the street I
observed Gabriel Allen, known among his intimates as Gabe Allen, a
veteran of the War with Mexico--and some years later a Supervisor--on
one of his jollifications, with Sheriff Getman following close at his
heels. Having arrived in front of a building, Gabe suddenly raised his
gun and aimed at a carpenter who was at work on the roof. Getman
promptly knocked Allen down; whereupon the latter said, "You've got
me, Billy!" Allen's only purpose, it appeared, was to take a shot at
the innocent stranger and thus test his marksmanship.

This Gabe Allen was really a notorious character, though not
altogether bad. When sober, he was a peaceable man; but when on a
spree, he was decidedly warlike and on such occasions always "shot up
the town." While on one of these jamborees, for example, he was heard
to say, "I'll shoot, if I only kill six of them!" In later life,
however, Allen married a Mexican lady who seems to have had a
mollifying influence; and thereafter he lived at peace with the world.

During the changing half-century or more of which I write, Los Angeles
has witnessed many exciting street scenes, but it is doubtful if any
exhibition here ever called to doors, windows and the dusty streets a
greater percentage of the entire population than that of the
Government camels driven through the town on January 8th, 1858, under
the martial and spectacular command of Ned, otherwise Lieutenant, and
later General and Ambassador E. F. Beale, and the forbear of the
so-called hundred million dollar McLean baby; the same Lieutenant
Beale who opened up Beale's Route from the Rio Grande to Fort Tejón.
The camels had just come in from the fort, having traveled forty or
more miles a day across the desert, to be loaded with military stores
and provisions. As early as the beginning of the fifties, Jefferson
Davis, then in Congress, had advocated, but without success, the
appropriation of thirty thousand dollars for the purchase of such
animals, believing that they could be used on the overland routes and
would prove especially serviceable in desert regions; and when Davis,
in 1854, as Secretary of War, secured the appropriation for which he
had so long contended, he despatched American army officers to Egypt
and Arabia to make the purchase. Some seventy or seventy-five camels
were obtained and transported to Texas by the storeship _Supply_; and
in the Lone Star State the herd was divided into two parts, half being
sent to the Gadsden Purchase, afterward Arizona, and half to
Albuquerque. In a short time, the second division was put in charge of
Lieutenant Beale who was assisted by native camel-drivers brought from
abroad. Among these was Philip Tedro, or Hi Jolly--who had been picked
up by Commodore Dave Porter--and Greek George, years afterward host
to bandit Vasquez; and camels and drivers made several trips back and
forth across the Southwest country. Once headquartered at Fort Tejón,
they came to Los Angeles every few weeks for provisions; each time
creating no little excitement among the adult population and affording
much amusement, as they passed along the streets, to the small boy.

To return to Pancho Daniel, the escaped leader of the Barton
murderers. He was heard from occasionally, as foraging north toward
San Luis Obispo, and was finally captured, after repeated efforts to
entrap and round him up, by Sheriff Murphy, on January 19th, 1858,
while hiding in a haystack near San José. When he was brought to Los
Angeles, he was jailed, and then released on bail. Finally, Daniel's
lawyers secured for him a change of venue to Santa Bárbara; and this
was the last abuse that led the public again to administer a little
law of its own. Early on the morning of November 30th, Pancho's body
was found hanging by the neck at the gateway to the County Jail yard,
a handful of men having overpowered the keeper, secured the key and
the prisoner, and sent him on a journey with a different destination
from Santa Bárbara.

On February 25th, fire started in Childs & Hicks's store, on Los
Angeles Street, and threatened both the Bella Union and _El Palacio_,
then the residence of Don Abel Stearns. The brick in the building of
Felix Bachman & Company and the volunteer bucket-brigade prevented a
general conflagration. Property worth thousands of dollars was
destroyed, Bachman & Company alone carrying insurance. The
conflagration demonstrated the need of a fire engine, and a
subscription was started to get one.

Weeks later workmen, rummaging among the _débris_, found five thousand
dollars in gold, which discovery produced no little excitement. Childs
claimed the money as his, saying that it had been stolen from him by a
thieving clerk; but the workmen, undisturbed by law, kept the

A new four-page weekly newspaper appeared on March 24th, bearing the
suggestive title, the _Southern Vineyard_, and the name of Colonel J.
J. Warner, as editor. By December, it had become a semi-weekly.
Originally Democratic, it now favored the Union party; it was edited
with ability, but died on June 8th, 1860.

On March 24th, I married Sarah, second daughter of Joseph Newmark, to
whom I had been engaged since 1856. She was born on January 9th, 1841,
and had come to live in Los Angeles in 1854. The ceremony, performed
by the bride's father, took place at the family home, at what is now
501 North Main Street, almost a block from the Plaza, on the site of
the Brunswig Drug Company; and there we continued to live until about

At four o'clock, a small circle of intimates was welcomed at dinner;
and in the evening there was a house-party and dance, for which
invitations printed on lace-paper, in the typography characteristic of
that day, had been sent out. Among the friends who attended, were the
military officers stationed at Fort Tejón, including Major Bell, the
commanding officer, and Lieutenant John B. Magruder, formerly Colonel
at San Diego and later a Major General in the Civil War, commanding
Confederate forces in the Peninsula and in Texas, and eventually
serving under Maximilian in Mexico. Other friends still living in Los
Angeles who were present are Mr. and Mrs. S. Lazard, Mrs. S. C. Foy,
William H. Workman, C. E. Thom and H. D. Barrows. Men rarely went out
unarmed at night, and most of our male visitors doffed their
weapons--both pistols and knives--as they came in, spreading them
around in the bedrooms. The ladies brought their babies with them for
safe-keeping, and the same rooms were placed at their disposal.
Imagine, if you can, the appearance of this nursery-arsenal!

  [Illustration: Harris Newmark, when (about) Thirty-four Years Old]

  [Illustration: Sarah Newmark, when (about) Twenty-four Years of Age]

  [Illustration: Facsimile of Harris and Sarah Newmark's Wedding

It was soon after we were married that my wife said to me one day,
rather playfully, but with a touch of sadness, that our meeting might
easily have never taken place; and when I inquired what she meant, she
described an awful calamity that had befallen the Greenwich Avenue
school in New York City, which she attended as a little girl, and
where several hundred pupils were distributed in different
classrooms. The building was four stories in height; the ground floor
paved with stones, was used as a playroom; the primary department was
on the second floor; the more advanced pupils occupied the third;
while the top floor served as a lecture-room.

On the afternoon of November 20th, 1851, Miss Harrison, the Principal
of the young ladies' department, suddenly fell in a faint, and the
resulting screams for water, being misunderstood, led to the awful cry
of _Fire!_ It was known that the pupils made a dash for the various
doors and were soon massed around the stairway, yet a difference of
opinion existed as to the cause of the tragedy. My wife always said
that the staircase, which led from the upper to the first floor, _en
caracole_, gave way, letting the pupils fall; while others contended
that the bannister snapped asunder, hurling the crowded unfortunates
over the edge to the pavement beneath. A frightful fatality resulted.
Hundreds of pupils of all ages were precipitated in heaps on to the
stone floor, with a loss of forty-seven lives and a hundred or more
seriously crippled.

My wife, who was a child of but eleven years, was just about to jump
with the rest when a providential hand restrained and saved her.

News of the disaster quickly spread, and in a short time the crowd of
anxious parents, kinsfolk and friends who had hastened to the scene in
every variety of vehicle and on foot, was so dense that the police had
the utmost difficulty in removing the wounded, dying and dead.

From Geneva, Switzerland, in 1854, a highly educated French lady,
Mlle. Theresa Bry, whose oil portrait hangs in the County Museum,
reached Los Angeles, and four years later married François Henriot, a
gardener by profession, who had come from _la belle France_ in 1851.
Together, on First Street near Los Angeles, they conducted a private
school which enjoyed considerable patronage; removing the institution,
in the early eighties, to the Arroyo Seco district. This matrimonial
transaction, on account of the unequal social stations of the
respective parties, caused some little flurry: in contrast to her own
beauty and ladylike accomplishments, François's manners were
unrefined, his stature short and squatty, while his full beard
(although it inspired respect, if not a certain feeling of awe, when
he came to exercise authority in the school) was scraggy and unkempt.
Mme. Henriot died in 1888, aged eighty-seven years, and was followed
to the grave by her husband five years later.

In 1858, the outlook for business brightened in Los Angeles; and Don
Abel Stearns, who had acquired riches as a _ranchero_, built the
Arcadia Block, on the corner of Los Angeles and Arcadia streets,
naming it after his wife, Doña Arcadia, who, since these memoirs were
commenced, has joined the silent majority. The structure cost about
eighty thousand dollars, and was talked of for some time as the most
notable business block south of San Francisco. The newspapers hailed
it as an ornament to the city and a great step toward providing what
the small and undeveloped community then regarded as a fire-proof
structure for business purposes. Because, however, of the dangerous
overflow of the Los Angeles River in rainy seasons, Stearns elevated
the building above the grade of the street and to such an extent that,
for several years, his store-rooms remained empty. But the enterprise
at once bore some good fruit; to make the iron doors and shutters of
the block, he started a foundry on New High Street and soon created
some local iron-casting trade.

On April 24th, Señora Guadalupe Romero died at the age, it is said, of
one hundred and fifteen years. She came to Los Angeles, I was told, as
far back as 1781, the wife of one of the earliest soldiers sent here,
and had thus lived in the pueblo about seventy-seven years.

Some chapters in the life of Henry Mellus are of more than passing
interest. Born in Boston, he came to California in 1835, with Richard
Henry Dana, in Captain Thompson's brig _Pilgrim_ made famous in the
story of _Two Years before the Mast_; clerked for Colonel Isaac
Williams when that Chino worthy had a little store where later the
Bella Union stood; returned to the East in 1837 and came back to the
Coast the second time as supercargo. Settling in San Francisco, he
formed with Howard the well-known firm of Howard & Mellus, which was
wiped out, by the great fire, in 1851. Again Mellus returned to
Massachusetts, and in 1858 for a third time came to California, at
length casting his fortune with us in growing Los Angeles. On Dana's
return to San Pedro and the Pacific Coast in 1859, Mellus--who had
married a sister of Francis Mellus's wife and had become a
representative citizen--entertained the distinguished advocate and
author, and drove him around Los Angeles to view the once familiar and
but little-altered scenes. Dana bore all his honors modestly,
apparently quite oblivious of the curiosity displayed toward him and
quite as unconscious that he was making one of the memorable visits in
the early annals of the town. Dana Street serves as a memorial to one
who contributed in no small degree to render the vicinity of Los
Angeles famous.

Just what hotel life in Los Angeles was in the late fifties, or about
the time when Dana visited here, may be gathered from an anecdote
often told by Dr. W. F. Edgar, who came to the City of the Angels for
the first time in 1858. Dr. Edgar had been ordered to join an
expedition against the Mojave Indians which was to start from Los
Angeles for the Colorado River, and he put up at the old Bella Union,
expecting at least one good night's rest before taking to the saddle
again and making for the desert. Dr. Edgar found, however, to his
intense disgust, that the entire second story was overcrowded with
lodgers. Singing and loud talking were silenced, in turn, by the
protests of those who wanted to sleep; but finally a guest, too full
for expression but not so drunk that he was unable to breathe
hoarsely, staggered in from a Sonora Town ball, tumbled into bed with
his boots on, and commenced to snort, much like a pig. Under ordinary
circumstances, this infliction would have been grievous enough; but
the inner walls of the Bella Union were never overthick, and the
rhythmic snoring of the late-comer made itself emphatically audible
and proportionately obnoxious. Quite as emphatic, however, were the
objections soon raised by the fellow-guests, who not only raised them
but threw them, one after another--boots, bootjacks and sticks
striking, with heavy thud, the snorer's portal; but finding that even
these did not avail, the remonstrants, in various forms of deshabille,
rushed out and began to kick at the door of the objectionable bedroom.
Just at that moment the offender turned over with a grunt; and the
excited army of lodgers, baffled by the unresisting apathy of the
sleeper, retreated, each to his nest. The next day, breathing a sigh
of relief, Edgar forsook the heavenly regions of the Bella Union and
made for Cajón Pass, eventually reaching the Colorado and the place
where the expedition found the charred remains of emigrants' wagons,
the mournful evidence of Indian treachery and atrocity.

Edgar's nocturnal experience reminds me of another in the good old
Bella Union. When Cameron E. Thom arrived here in the spring of 1854,
he engaged a room at the hotel which he continued to occupy for
several months, or until the rains of 1855 caused both roof and
ceiling to cave in during the middle of the night, not altogether
pleasantly arousing him from his slumbers. It was then that he moved
to Joseph Newmark's, where he lived for some time, through which
circumstance we became warm friends.

Big, husky, hearty Jacob Kuhrts, by birth a German and now living here
at eighty-one years of age, left home, as a mere boy, for the sea,
visiting California on a vessel from China as early as 1848, and
rushing off to Placer County on the outbreak of the gold-fever.
Roughing it for several years and narrowly escaping death from
Indians, Jake made his first appearance in Los Angeles in 1858, soon
after which I met him, when he was eking out a livelihood doing odd
jobs about town, a fact leading me to conclude that his success at the
mines was hardly commensurate with the privations endured. It was just
about that time, when he was running a dray, that, attracted by a
dance among Germans, Jake dropped in as he was; but how sorry an
appearance he made may perhaps be fancied when I say that the
door-keeper, eyeing him suspiciously, refused him admission and
advised him to go home and put on his Sunday go-to-meetings. Jake went
and, what is more important, fortunately returned; for while spinning
around on the knotty floor, he met, fell in love with and ogled
Fräulein Susan Buhn, whom somewhat later he married. In 1864, Kuhrts
had a little store on Spring Street near the adobe City Hall; and
there he prospered so well that by 1866 he had bought the northwest
corner of Main and First streets, and put up the building he still
owns. For twelve years he conducted a grocery in a part of that
structure, living with his family in the second story, after which he
was sufficiently prosperous to retire. Active as his business life has
been, Jake has proved his patriotism time and again, devoting his
efforts as a City Father, and serving, sometimes without salary, as
Superintendent of Streets, Chief of the Fire Department and Fire

In 1858, John Temple built what is now the south wing of the Temple
Block standing directly opposite the Bullard Building; but the Main
Street stores being, like Stearns's Arcadia Block, above the level of
the sidewalk and, therefore, reached only by several steps, proved
unpopular and did not rent, although Tischler & Schlesinger, heading a
party of grain-buyers, stored some wheat in them for a while or until
the grain, through its weight, broke the flooring, and was
precipitated into the cellar; and even as late as 1859, after
telegraph connection with San Francisco had been completed, only one
little space on the Spring Street side, in size not more than eight by
ten feet, was rented, the telegraph company being the tenants. One day
William Wolfskill, pointing to the structure, exclaimed to his
friends: "What a pity that Temple put all his money there! Had he not
gone into building so extravagantly, he might now be a rich man."
Wolfskill himself, however, later commenced the construction of a
small block on Main Street, opposite the Bella Union, to be occupied
by S. Lazard & Company, but which he did not live to see completed.

Later on, the little town grew and, as this property became more
central, Temple removed the steps and built the stores flush with the
sidewalk, after which wide-awake merchants began to move into them.
One of Temple's first important tenants on Main Street was Daniel
Desmond, the hatter. His store was about eighteen by forty feet. Henry
Slotterbeck, the well-known gunsmith, was another occupant. He always
carried a large stock of gunpowder, which circumstance did not add
very much to the security of the neighborhood.

On the Court Street side, Jake Philippi was one of the first to
locate, and there he conducted a sort of _Kneipe_. His was a large
room, with a bar along the west side. The floor was generously
sprinkled with sawdust, and in comfortable armchairs, around the good,
old-fashioned redwood tables, frequently sat many of his German
friends and patrons, gathered together to indulge in a game of
_Pedro_, _Skat_ or whist, and to pass the time pleasantly away. Some
of those who thus met together at Jake Phillippi's, at different
periods of his occupancy, were Dr. Joseph Kurtz, H. Heinsch, Conrad
Jacoby, Abe Haas, C. F. Heinzeman, P. Lazarus, Edward Pollitz, A.
Elsaesser and B. F. Drackenfeld, who was a brother-in-law of Judge
Erskine M. Ross and claimed descent from some dwellers on the Rhine.
He succeeded Frank Lecouvreur as bookkeeper for H. Newmark & Company,
and was in turn succeeded, on removing to New York, by Pollitz; while
the latter was followed by John S. Stower, an Englishman now residing
in London, whose immediate predecessor was Richard Altschul.
Drackenfeld attained prominence in New York, and both Altschul and
Pollitz in San Francisco. Of these, Drackenfeld and Pollitz are dead.

Most of these convivial frequenters at Phillipi's belonged to a sort
of _Deutscher Klub_ which met, at another period, in a little room in
the rear of the corner of Main and Requena streets, just over the cool
cellar then conducted by Bayer & Sattler. A stairway connected the two
floors, and by means of that communication the _Klub_ obtained its
supply of lager beer. This fact recalls an amusing incident. When
Philip Lauth and Louis Schwarz succeeded Christian Henne in the
management of the brewery at the corner of Main and Third streets, the
_Klub_ was much dissatisfied with the new brew and forthwith had Bayer
& Sattler send to Milwaukee for beer made by Philip Best. Getting
wind of the matter, Lauth met the competition by at once putting on
the market a brand more wittily than appropriately known as "Philip's
Best." Sattler left Los Angeles in the early seventies and established
a coffee-plantation in South America where, one day, he was killed by
a native wielding a _machete_.

The place, which was then known as Joe Bayer's, came to belong to Bob
Eckert, a German of ruddy complexion and auburn hair, whose
good-nature brought him so much patronage that in course of time he
opened a large establishment at Santa Monica.

John D. Woodworth, a cousin, so it was said, of Samuel Woodworth, the
author of _The Old Oaken Bucket_, and father of Wallace Woodworth who
died in 1883, was among the citizens active here in 1858, being
appointed Postmaster, on May 19th of that year, by President Buchanan.
Then the Post Office, for a twelvemonth in the old Lanfranco Block,
was transferred north on Main Street until, a year or two later, it
was located near Temple and Spring streets.

In June, the Surveyor-General of California made an unexpected demand
on the authorities of Los Angeles County for all the public documents
relating to the County history under Spanish and Mexican rule. The
request was at first refused; but finally, despite the indignant
protests of the press, the invaluable records were shipped to San

I believe it was late in the fifties that O. W. Childs contracted with
the City of Los Angeles to dig a water-ditch, perhaps sixteen hundred
feet long, eighteen inches wide and about eighteen inches deep. As I
recollect the transaction, the City allowed him one dollar per running
foot, and he took land in payment. While I cannot remember the exact
location of this land, it comprised in part the wonderfully important
square beginning at Sixth Street and running to Twelfth, and taking in
everything from Main Street as far as and including the present
Figueroa. When Childs put this property on the market, his wife named
several of the streets. Because of some grasshoppers in the vicinity,
she called the extension of Pearl Street (now Figueroa) Grasshopper
or Calle de los Chapules[17]; her Faith Street has been changed to
Flower; for the next street to the East, she selected the name of
Hope; while as if to complete the trio of the Graces, she christened
the adjoining roadway--since become Grand--Charity. The old Childs
home place sold to Henry E. Huntington some years ago, and which has
been subdivided, was a part of this land.

None of the old settlers ever placed much value on real estate, and
Childs had no sooner closed this transaction than he proceeded to
distribute some of the land among his own and his wife's relatives. He
also gave to the Catholic Church the block later bounded by Sixth and
Seventh streets, between Broadway and Hill; where, until a few years
ago, stood St. Vincent's College, opened in 1855 on the Plaza, on the
site now occupied by the Pekin Curio Store. In the Boom year of 1887,
the Church authorities sold this block for one hundred thousand
dollars and moved the school to the corner of Charity and Washington

Andrew A. Boyle, for whom the eastern suburb of Los Angeles, Boyle
Heights, was named by William H. Workman, arrived here in 1858. As
early as 1848, Boyle had set out from Mexico, where he had been in
business, to return to the United States, taking with him some twenty
thousand Mexican dollars, at that time his entire fortune, safely
packed in a fortified claret box. While attempting to board a steamer
from a frail skiff at the mouth of the Rio Grande, the churning by the
paddle-wheels capsized the skiff, and Boyle and his treasure were
thrown into the water. Boyle narrowly escaped with his life; but his
treasure went to the bottom, never to be recovered. It was then said
that Boyle had perished; and his wife, on hearing the false report,
was killed by the shock. Quite as serious, perhaps, was the fact that
an infant daughter was left on his hands--the same daughter who later
became the wife of my friend, William H. Workman. Confiding this child
to an aunt, Boyle went to the Isthmus where he opened a shoe store;
and later coming north, after a San Francisco experience in the
wholesale boot and shoe business, he settled on the bluff which was to
be thereafter associated with his family name. He also planted a small
vineyard, and in the early seventies commenced to make wine, digging a
cellar out of the hill to store his product.

The brick house, built by Boyle on the Heights in 1858 and always a
center of hospitality, is still standing, although recently remodeled
by William H. Workman, Jr. (brother of Boyle Workman, the banker), who
added a third story and made a cosy dwelling; and it is probably,
therefore, the oldest brick structure in that part of the town.

Mendel was a younger brother of Sam Meyer, and it is my impression
that he arrived here in the late fifties. He originally clerked for
his brother, and for a short time was in partnership with him and
Hilliard Loewenstein. In time, Meyer engaged in business for himself.
During a number of his best years, Mendel was well thought of
socially, with his fiddle often affording much amusement to his
friends. All in all, he was a good-hearted, jovial sort of a chap, who
too readily gave to others of his slender means. About 1875, he made a
visit to Europe and spent more than he could afford. At any rate, in
later life he did not prosper. He died in Los Angeles a number of
years ago.

Thomas Copley came here in 1858, having met with many hardships while
driving an ox-team from Fort Leavenworth to Salt Lake and tramped the
entire eight hundred miles between the Mormon capital and San
Bernardino. On arriving, he became a waiter and worked for a while for
the Sisters' Hospital; subsequently he married a lady of about twice
his stature, retiring to private life with a competence.

Another arrival of the late fifties was Manuel Ravenna, an Italian. He
started a grocery store and continued the venture for some time; then
he entered the saloon business on Main Street. Ravenna commissioned
Wells Fargo & Company to bring by express the first ice shipped to Los
Angeles for a commercial purpose, paying for it an initial price of
twelve and a half cents per pound. The ice came packed in blankets;
but the loss by melting, plus the expense of getting it here, made the
real cost about twenty-four cents a pound. Nevertheless, it was a
clever and profitable move, and brought Ravenna nearly all of the best
trade in town.

John Butterfield was originally a New York stage-driver and later the
organizer of the American Express Company, as well as projector of the
Morse telegraph line between New York and Buffalo. As the head of John
Butterfield & Company, he was one of my customers in 1857. He
contracted with the United States, in 1858, as President of the
Overland Mail Company, to carry mail between San Francisco and the
Missouri River. To make this possible, sections of the road, afterward
popularly referred to as the Butterfield Route, were built; and the
surveyors, Bishop and Beale, were awarded the contract for part of the
work. It is my recollection that they used for this purpose some of
the camels imported by the United States Government, and that these
animals were in charge of Greek George to whom I have already

Butterfield chose a route from San Francisco coming down the Coast to
Gilroy, San José and through the mountain passes; on to Visalia and
Fort Tejón, and then to Los Angeles, in all some four hundred and
sixty-two miles. From Los Angeles it ran eastward through El Monte,
San Bernardino, Temécula and Warner's Ranch to Fort Yuma, and then by
way of El Paso to St. Louis. In this manner, Butterfield arranged for
what was undoubtedly the longest continuous stage-line ever
established, the entire length being about two thousand, eight hundred
and eighty miles. The Butterfield stages began running in September,
1858; and when the first one from the East reached Los Angeles on
October 7th, just twenty days after it started, there was a great
demonstration, accompanied by bon-fires and the firing of cannon. On
this initial trip, just one passenger made the through journey--W. L.
Ormsby, a reporter for the New York _Herald_. This stage reached San
Francisco on October 10th, and there the accomplishment was the
occasion, as we soon heard, of almost riotous enthusiasm.

Stages were manned by a driver and a conductor or messenger, both
heavily armed. Provender and relief stations were established along
the route, as a rule not more than twenty miles apart, and sometimes
half that distance. The schedule first called for two stages a week,
then one stage in each direction, every other day; and after a while
this plan was altered to provide for a stage every day. There was
little regularity, however, in the hours of departure, and still less
in the time of arrival, and I recollect once leaving for San Francisco
at the unearthly hour of two o'clock in the morning.

So uncertain, indeed, were the arrival and departure of stages, that
not only were passengers often left behind, but mails were actually
undelivered because no authorized person was on hand, in the lone
hours of the night, to receive and distribute them. Such a ridiculous
incident occurred in the fall of 1858, when bags of mail destined for
Los Angeles were carried on to San Francisco, and were returned by the
stage making its way south and east, fully six days later! Local
newspapers were then more or less dependent for their exchanges from
the great Eastern centers on the courtesy of drivers or agents; and
editors were frequently acknowledging the receipt of such bundles,
from which, with scissors and paste, they obtained the so-called news
items furnished to their subscribers.

George Lechler, here in 1853, who married Henry Hazard's sister, drove
a Butterfield stage and picked up orders for me from customers along
the route.

B. W. Pyle, a Virginian by birth, arrived in Los Angeles in 1858, and
became, as far as I can recall, the first exclusive jeweler and
watchmaker, although Charley Ducommun, as I have said, had handled
jewelry and watches some years before in connection with other things.
Pyle's store adjoined that of Newmark, Kremer & Company on Commercial
Street, and I soon became familiar with his methods. He commissioned
many of the stage-drivers to work up business for him on the
Butterfield Route; and as his charges were enormous, he was enabled,
within three or four years, to establish himself in New York. He was
an exceedingly clever and original man and a good student of human
affairs, and I well remember his prediction that, if Lincoln should be
elected President, there would be Civil War. When the United States
Government first had under consideration the building of a
trans-isthmian canal, Pyle bought large tracts of land in Nicaragua,
believing that the Nicaraguan route would eventually be chosen.
Shortly after the selection of the Panamá survey, however, I read one
day in a local newspaper that B. W. Pyle had shot himself, at the age
of seventy years.

In 1857, Phineas Banning purchased from one of the Dominguez brothers
an extensive tract some miles to the North of San Pedro, along the arm
of the sea, and established a new landing which, in a little while,
was to monopolize the harbor business and temporarily affect all
operations at the old place. Here, on September 25th, 1858, he started
a community called at first both San Pedro New Town and New San Pedro,
and later Wilmington--the latter name suggested by the capital of
Banning's native State of Delaware. Banning next cultivated a tract of
six hundred acres, planted with grain and fruit where, among other
evidences of his singular enterprise, there was soon to be seen a
large well, connected with a steam pump of sufficient force to supply
the commercial and irrigation wants of both Wilmington and San Pedro.
Banning's founding of the former town was due, in part, to heavy
losses sustained through a storm that seriously damaged his wharf, and
in part to his desire to outdo J. J. Tomlinson, his chief business
rival. The inauguration of the new shipping point, on October 1st,
1858, was celebrated by a procession on the water, when a line of
barges loaded with visitors from Los Angeles and vicinity, and with
freight, was towed to the decorated landing. A feature of the
dedication was the assistance rendered by the ladies, who even tugged
at the hawser, following which host and guests liberally partook of
the sparkling beverages contributing to enliven the festive occasion.

In a short time, the shipping there gave evidence of Banning's
wonderful go-ahead spirit. He had had built, in San Francisco, a
small steamer and some lighters, for the purpose of carrying
passengers and baggage to the large steamships lying outside the
harbor. The enterprise was a shrewd move, for it shortened the
stage-trip about six miles and so gave the new route a considerable
advantage over that of all competitors. Banning, sometimes dubbed "the
Admiral," about the same time presented town lots to all of his
friends (including Eugene Meyer and myself), and with Timms Landing,
the place became a favorite beach resort; but for want of foresight,
most of these same lots were sold for taxes in the days of long ago. I
kept mine for many years and finally sold it for twelve hundred
dollars; while Meyer still owns his. As for Banning himself, he built
a house on Canal Street which he occupied many years, until he moved
to a more commodious home situated half a mile north of the original

At about this period, three packets plied between San Francisco and
San Diego every ten days, leaving the Commercial Street wharf of the
Northern city and stopping at various intermediate points including
Wilmington. These packets were the clipper-brig _Pride of the Sea_,
Captain Joseph S. Garcia; the clipper-brig _Boston_, Commander W. H.
Martin; and the clipper-schooner _Lewis Perry_, then new and in charge
of Captain Hughes.

In the fall of 1858, finding that our business was not sufficiently
remunerative to support four families, Newmark, Kremer & Company
dissolved. In the dissolution, I took the clothing part of the
business, Newmark & Kremer retaining the dry goods.

In November or December, Dr. John S. Griffin acquired San Pasqual
_rancho_, the fine property which had once been the pride of Don
Manuel Garfias. The latter had borrowed three thousand dollars, at
four per cent. per month, to complete his manorial residence, which
cost some six thousand dollars to build; but the ranch proving
unfavorable for cattle, and Don Manuel being a poor manager, the debt
of three thousand dollars soon grew into almost treble the original
amount. When Griffin purchased the place, he gave Garfias an
additional two thousand dollars to cover the stock, horses and
ranch-tools; but even at that the doctor drove a decided bargain. As
early as 1852, Garfias had applied to the Land Commission for a
patent; but this was not issued until April 3d, 1863, and the
document, especially interesting because it bore the signature of
Abraham Lincoln, brought little consolation to Garfias or his proud
wife, _née_ Ábila, who had then signed away all claim to the splendid
property which was in time to play such a _rôle_ in the development of
Los Angeles, Pasadena and their environs.

On November 20th, Don Bernardo Yorba died, bequeathing to numerous
children and grandchildren an inheritance of one hundred and ten
thousand dollars' worth of personal property, in addition to
thirty-seven thousand acres of land.

Sometime in December, 1858, Juan Domingo--or, as he was often called,
Juan Cojo or "Lame John," because of a peculiar limp--died at his
vineyard on the south side of Aliso Street, having for years enjoyed
the esteem of the community as a good, substantial citizen. Domingo,
who successfully conducted a wine and brandy business, was a Hollander
by birth, and in his youth had borne the name of Johann Groningen; but
after coming to California and settling among the Latin element, he
had changed it, for what reason will never be known, to Juan Domingo,
the Spanish for John Sunday. The coming of Domingo, in 1827, was not
without romance; he was a ship's carpenter and one of a crew of
twenty-five on the brig _Danube_ which sailed from New York and was
totally wrecked off San Pedro, only two or three souls (among them
Domingo) being saved and hospitably welcomed by the citizens. On
February 12th, 1839, he married a Spanish woman, Reymunda Feliz, by
whom he had a large family of children. A son, J. A. Domingo, was
living until at least recently. A souvenir of Domingo's lameness, in
the County Museum, is a cane with which the doughty sailor often
defended himself. Samuel Prentiss, a Rhode Islander, was another of
the _Danube's_ shipwrecked sailors who was saved. He hunted and fished
for a living and, about 1864 or 1865, died on Catalina Island; and
there, in a secluded spot, not far from the seat of his labors, he
was buried. As the result of a complicated lumber deal, Captain Joseph
S. Garcia, of the _Pride of the Sea_, obtained an interest in a small
vineyard owned by Juan Domingo and Sainsevain; and through this
relation Garcia became a minor partner of Sainsevain in the Cucamonga
winery. Mrs. Garcia is living in Pomona; the Captain died some ten
years ago at Ontario.

_A propos_ of the three Louis, referred to--Breer, Lichtenberger and
Roeder--all of that sturdy German stock which makes for good American
citizenship, I do not suppose that there is any record of the exact
date of Breer's arrival, although I imagine that it was in the early
sixties. Lichtenberger, who served both as a City Father and City
Treasurer, arrived in 1864, while Roeder used to boast that the ship
on which he sailed to San Francisco, just prior to his coming to Los
Angeles, in 1856 brought the first news of Buchanan's election to the
Presidency. Of the three, Breer--who was known as Iron Louis, on
account of his magnificent physique, suggesting the poet's smith,
"with large and sinewy hands," and muscles as "strong as iron
bands,"--was the least successful; and truly, till the end of his
days, he earned his living by the sweat of his brow. In 1865,
Lichtenberger and Roeder formed a partnership which, in a few years,
was dissolved, each of them then conducting business independently
until, in comfortable circumstances, he retired. Roeder, an early and
enthusiastic member of the Pioneers, is never so proud as when paying
his last respects to a departed comrade: his unfeigned sorrow at the
loss apparently being compensated for, if one may so express it, by
the recognition he enjoyed as one of the society's official committee.
Two of the three Louis are dead.[18] Other early wheelwrights and
blacksmiths were Richard Maloney, on Aliso Street, near Lambourn &
Turner's grocery, and Page & Gravel, who took John Goller's shop when
he joined F. Foster at his Aliso Street forge.


[17] Mexican corruption of the Aztec _chapollin_, grasshopper. _Cf._
Chapultepec, Grasshopper Hill.--CHARLES F. LUMMIS.

[18] Louis Roeder died on February 20, 1915




In 1858, my brother, to whom the greater opportunities of San
Francisco had long appealed, decided upon a step that was to affect
considerably my own modest affairs. This was to remove permanently to
the North, with my sister-in-law; and in the Los Angeles _Star_ of
January 22d, 1859, there appeared the following:

     Mr. Joseph P. Newmark has established a commission-house in
     San Francisco, with a branch in this city. From his
     experience in business, Mr. Newmark will be a most
     desirable agent for the sale of our domestic produce in the
     San Francisco market, and we have no doubt will obtain the
     confidence of our merchants and shippers.

This move of my brother's was made, as a matter of fact, at a time
when Los Angeles, in one or two respects at least, seemed promising.
On September 30th, the building commenced by John Temple in the
preceding February, on the site of the present Bullard Block, was
finished. Most of the upper floor was devoted to a theater, and I am
inclined to think that the balance of the building was leased to the
City, the court room being next to the theater, and the ground floor
being used as a market. To the latter move there was considerable
opposition, affecting, as the expenditures did, taxes and the public
treasury; and one newspaper, after a spirited attack on the "Black
Republicans," concluded its editorial with this patriotic appeal:

     Citizens! Attend to your interests; guard your pocketbooks!

This building is one of the properties to which I refer as sold by
Hinchman, having been bought by Dr. J. S. Griffin and B. D. Wilson who
resold it in time to the County.

A striking feature of this market building was the town clock, whose
bell was pronounced "fine-toned and sonorous." The clock and bell,
however, were destined to share the fate of the rest of the structure
which, all in all, was not very well constructed. At last, the heavy
rains of the early sixties played havoc with the tower, and toward the
end of 1861 the clock had set such a pace for itself regardless of the
rest of the universe that the newspapers were full of facetious jibes
concerning the once serviceable timepiece, and many were the queries
as to whether something could not be done to roof the mechanism? The
clock, however, remained uncovered until Bullard demolished the
building to make room for the present structure.

Elsewhere I have referred to the attempt, shortly after I arrived
here, or during the session of the Legislature of 1854-55, to divide
California into two states--the proposition, be it added of a San
Bernardino County representative. A committee of thirteen, from
different sections of the commonwealth, later substituted a bill
providing for three states: Shasta, in the North; California, at the
middle; Colorado, in the South; but nothing evolving as a result of
the effort, our Assemblyman, Andrés Pico, in 1859 fathered a measure
for the segregation of the Southern counties under the name of
Colorado, when this bill passed both houses and was signed by the
Governor. It had to be submitted to the people, however, at the
election in September, 1859; and although nearly twenty-five hundred
ballots were cast in favor of the division, as against eight hundred
in the negative, the movement was afterward stifled in Washington.

Damien Marchessault and Victor Beaudry having enthusiastically
organized the Santa Anita Mining Company in 1858, H. N. Alexander,
agent at Los Angeles for Wells Fargo & Company, in 1859 announced that
the latter had provided scales for weighing gold-dust and were
prepared to transact a general exchange business. This was the same
firm that had come through the crisis with unimpaired credit when
Adams & Company and many others went to the wall in the great
financial crash of 1855.

I have mentioned the Mormon Colony at San Bernardino and its
connection, as an offshoot, with the great Mormon city, Salt Lake; now
I may add that each winter, for fifteen or twenty years, or until
railroad connection was established, a lively and growing trade was
carried on between Los Angeles and Utah. This was because the Mormons
had no open road toward the outside world, except in the direction of
Southern California; for snow covered both the Rockies and the Sierra
Nevadas, and closed every other highway and trail. A number of Mormon
wagon-trains, therefore, went back and forth every winter over the
seven hundred miles or more of fairly level, open roadways, between
Salt Lake and Los Angeles, taking back not only goods bought here but
much that was shipped from San Francisco to Salt Lake via San Pedro. I
remember that in February, 1859, these Mormon wagons arrived by the
Overland Route almost daily.

The third week in February witnessed one of the most interesting
gatherings of _rancheros_ characteristic of Southern California life I
have ever seen. It was a typical _rodeo_, lasting two or three days,
for the separating and re-grouping of cattle and horses, and took
place at the residence of William Workman at La Puente _rancho_.
Strictly speaking, the _rodeo_ continued but two days, or less; for,
inasmuch as the cattle to be sorted and branded had to be deprived for
the time being of their customary nourishment, the work was
necessarily one of despatch. Under the direction of a Judge of the
Plains--on this occasion, the polished cavalier, Don Felipe Lugo--they
were examined, parted and branded, or re-branded, with hot irons
impressing a mark (generally a letter or odd monogram) duly registered
at the Court House and protected by the County Recorder's certificate.
Never have I seen finer horsemanship than was there displayed by those
whose task it was to pursue the animal and throw the lasso around the
head or leg; and as often as most of those present had probably seen
the feat performed, great was their enthusiasm when each _vaquero_
brought down his victim. Among the guests were most of the _rancheros_
of wealth and note, together with their attendants, all of whom made
up a company ready to enjoy the unlimited hospitality for which the
Workmans were so renowned.

Aside from the business in hand of disposing of such an enormous
number of mixed-up cattle in so short a time, what made the occasion
one of keen delight was the remarkable, almost astounding ability of
the horseman in controlling his animal; for lassoing cattle was not
his only forte. The _vaquero_ of early days was a clever rider and
handler of horses, particularly the bronco--so often erroneously
spelled broncho--sometimes a mustang, sometimes an Indian pony. Out of
a drove that had never been saddled, he would lasso one, attach a
halter to his neck and blindfold him by means of a strap some two or
three inches in width fastened to the halter; after which he would
suddenly mount the bronco and remove the blind, when the horse,
unaccustomed to discipline or restraint, would buck and kick for over
a quarter of a mile, and then stop only because of exhaustion. With
seldom a mishap, however, the _vaquero_ almost invariably broke the
mustang to the saddle within three or four days. This little Mexican
horse, while perhaps not so graceful as his American brother, was
noted for endurance; and he could lope from morning till night, if
necessary, without evidence of serious fatigue.

Speaking of this dexterity, I may add that now and then the early
Californian _vaquero_ gave a good exhibition of his prowess in the
town itself. Runaways, due in part to the absence of hitching posts
but frequently to carelessness, occurred daily; and sometimes a clever
horseman who happened to be near would pursue, overtake and lasso the
frightened steed before serious harm had been done.

Among the professional classes, J. Lancaster Brent was always popular,
but never more welcomed than on his return from Washington on
February 26th, 1859, when he brought the United States patent to the
Dominguez _rancho_, dated December 18th, 1858, and the first document
of land conveyance from the American Government to reach California.

In mercantile circles, Adolph Portugal became somewhat prominent,
conducting a flourishing business here for a number of years after
opening in 1854, and accumulating, before 1865, about seventy-five
thousand dollars. With this money he then left Los Angeles and went to
Europe, where he made an extremely unprofitable investment. He
returned to Los Angeles and again engaged in mercantile pursuits; but
he was never able to recover, and died a pauper.

Corbitt, who at one time controlled, with Dibblee, great ranch areas
near Santa Bárbara, and in 1859 was in partnership with Barker, owned
the Santa Anita _rancho_, which he later sold to William Wolfskill.
From Los Angeles, Corbitt went to Oregon, where he became, I think, a
leading banker.

Louis Mesmer arrived here in 1858, then went to Fraser River and
there, in eight months, he made twenty thousand dollars by baking for
the Hudson Bay Company's troops. A year later he was back in Los
Angeles; and on Main Street, somewhere near Requena, he started a
bakery. In time he controlled the local bread trade, supplying among
others the Government troops here. In 1864, Mesmer bought out the
United States Hotel, previously run by Webber & Haas, and finally
purchased from Don Juan N. Padilla the land on which the building
stood. This property, costing three thousand dollars, extended one
hundred and forty feet on Main Street and ran through to Los Angeles,
on which street it had a frontage of about sixty feet. Mesmer's son
Joseph is still living and is active in civic affairs.

William Nordholt, a Forty-niner, was also a resident of Los Angeles
for some time. He was a carpenter and worked in partnership with Jim
Barton; and when Barton was elected Sheriff, Nordholt continued in
business for himself. At length, in 1859, he opened a grocery store on
the northwest corner of Los Angeles and First streets, which he
conducted for many years. Even in 1853, when I first knew him,
Nordholt had made a good start; and he soon accumulated considerable
real estate on First Street, extending from Los Angeles to Main. He
shared his possessions with his Spanish wife, who attended to his
grocery; but after his death, in perhaps the late seventies, his
children wasted their patrimony.

Notwithstanding the opening of other hotels, the Bella Union continued
throughout the fifties to be the representative headquarters of its
kind in Los Angeles and for a wide area around. On April 19th, 1856,
Flashner & Hammell took hold of the establishment; and a couple of
years after that, Dr. J. B. Winston, who had had local hotel
experience, joined Flashner and together they made improvements,
adding the second story, which took five or six months to complete.
This step forward in the hostelry was duly celebrated, on April 14th,
1859, at a dinner, the new dining-room being advertised, far and wide,
as "one of the finest in all California."

Shortly after this, however, Marcus Flashner (who owned some
thirty-five acres at the corner of Main and Washington streets, where
he managed either a vineyard or an orange orchard), met a violent
death. He used to travel to and from this property in a buggy; and one
day--June 29th, 1859--his horse ran away, throwing him out and killing
him. In 1860, John King, Flashner's brother-in-law, entered the
management of the Bella Union; and by 1861, Dr. Winston had sole

Strolling again, in imagination, into the old Bella Union of this
time, I am reminded of a novel method then employed to call the guests
to their meals. When I first came to Los Angeles the hotel waiter rang
a large bell to announce that all was ready; but about the spring of
1859 the fact that another meal had been concocted was signalized by
the blowing of a shrill steam-whistle placed on the hotel's roof. This
brought together both the "regulars" and transients, everyone
scurrying to be first at the dining-room door.

About the middle of April, Wells Fargo & Company's rider made a fast
run between San Pedro and Los Angeles, bringing all the mail matter
from the vessels, and covering the more than twenty-seven miles of
the old roundabout route in less than an hour.

The Protestant Church has been represented in Los Angeles since the
first service in Mayor Nichols' home and the missionary work of Adam
Bland; but it was not until May 4th, 1859, that any attempt was made
to erect an edifice for the Protestants in the community. Then a
committee, including Isaac S. K. Ogier, A. J. King, Columbus Sims,
Thomas Foster, William H. Shore, N. A. Potter, J. R. Gitchell and
Henry D. Barrows began to collect funds. Reverend William E. Boardman,
an Episcopalian, was invited to take charge; but subscriptions coming
in slowly, he conducted services, first in one of the school buildings
and then in the Court House, until 1862 when he left.

Despite its growing communication with San Francisco, Los Angeles for
years was largely dependent upon sail and steamboat service, and each
year the need of a better highway to the North, for stages, became
more and more apparent. Finally, in May, 1859, General Ezra Drown was
sent as a commissioner to Santa Bárbara, to discuss the construction
of a road to that city; and on his return he declared the project
quite practicable. The Supervisors had agreed to devote a certain sum
of money, and the Santa Barbareños, on their part, were to vote on the
proposition of appropriating fifteen thousand dollars for the work.
Evidently the citizens voted favorably; for in July of the following
year James Thompson, of Los Angeles, contracted for making the new
road through Santa Bárbara County, from the Los Angeles to the San
Luis Obispo lines, passing through Ventura--or San Buenaventura, as it
was then more poetically called--Santa Bárbara and out by the Gaviota
Pass; in all, a distance of about one hundred and twenty-five miles.
Some five or six months were required to finish the rough work, and
over thirty thousand dollars was expended for that alone.

Winfield Scott Hancock, whom I came to know well and who had been here
before, arrived in Los Angeles in May, 1859, to establish a depot for
the Quartermaster's Department which he finally located at
Wilmington, naming it Drum Barracks, after Adjutant-General Richard
Coulter Drum, for several years at the head of the Department of the
West. Hancock himself was Quartermaster and had an office in a brick
building on Main Street near Third; and he was in charge of all
Government property here and at Yuma, Arizona Territory, then a
military post. He thus both bought and sold; advertising at one time,
for example, a call for three or four hundred thousand pounds of
barley, and again offering for sale, on behalf of poor Uncle Sam, the
important item of a lone, braying mule! Hancock invested liberally in
California projects, and became interested, with others, in the Bear
Valley mines; and at length had the good luck to strike a rich and
paying vein of gold quartz.

Beaudry & Marchessault were among the first handlers of ice in Los
Angeles, having an ice-house in 1859, where, in the springtime, they
stored the frozen product taken from the mountain lakes fifty miles
away. The ice was cut into cubes of about one hundred pounds each,
packed down the _cañons_ by a train of thirty to forty mules, and then
brought in wagons to Los Angeles. By September, 1860, wagon-loads of
San Bernardino ice--or perhaps one would better say compact snow--were
hawked about town and bought up by saloon-keepers and others, having
been transported in the way I have just described, a good seventy-five
miles. Later, ice was shipped here from San Francisco; and soon after
it reached town, the saloons displayed signs soliciting orders.

Considering the present popularity of the silver dollar along the
entire Western Coast, it may be interesting to recall the stamping of
these coins, for the first time in California, at the San Francisco
mint. This was in the spring of 1859, soon after which they began to
appear in Los Angeles. A few years later, in 1863, and for ten or
fifteen years thereafter, silver half-dimes, coined in San Francisco,
were to be seen here occasionally; but they were never popular. The
larger silver piece, the dime, was more common, although for a while
it also had little purchasing power. As late as the early seventies
it was not welcome, and many a time I have seen dimes thrown into the
street as if they were worthless. This prejudice against the smaller
silver coins was much the same as the feeling which even to-day
obtains with many people on the Coast against the copper cent. When
the nickel, in the eighties, came into use, the old Californian
tradition as to coinage began to disappear; and this opened the way
for the introduction of the one-cent piece, which is more and more
coming into popular favor.

In the year 1859, the Hellman brothers, Isaias W. and Herman W.,
arrived here in a sailing-vessel with Captain Morton. I. W. Hellman
took a clerkship with his cousin, I. M. Hellman, who had arrived in
1854 and was established in the stationery line in Mellus's Row, while
H. W. Hellman went to work in June, 1859, for Phineas Banning, at
Wilmington. I. W. Hellman immediately showed much ability and greatly
improved his cousin's business. By 1865, he was in trade for himself,
selling dry-goods at the corner of Main and Commercial streets as the
successor to A. Portugal; while H. W. Hellman, father of Marco H.
Hellman, the banker, and father-in-law of the public-spirited citizen,
Louis M. Cole, became my competitor, as will be shown later, in the
wholesale grocery business.

John Philbin, an Irishman, arrived here penniless late in the fifties,
but with my assistance started a small store at Fort Tejón, then a
military post necessary for the preservation of order on the Indian
Reservation; and there, during the short space of eighteen months, he
accumulated twenty thousand dollars. Illness compelled him to leave,
and I bought his business and property. After completing this
purchase, I engaged a clerk in San Francisco to manage the new branch.
As John Philbin had been very popular, the new clerk also called
himself "John" and soon enjoyed equal favor. It was only when Bob
Wilson came into town one day from the Fort and told me, "That chap
John is gambling your whole damned business away; he plays seven-up at
twenty dollars a game, and when out of cash, puts up blocks of
merchandise," that I investigated and discharged him, sending Kaspare
Cohn, who had recently arrived from Europe, to take his place.

It was in 1859, or a year before Abraham Lincoln was elected
President, that I bought out Philbin, and at the breaking out of the
War, the troops were withdrawn from Fort Tejón, thus ending my
activity there as a merchant. We disposed of the stock as best we
could; but the building, which had cost three thousand dollars,
brought at forced sale just fifty. Fort Tejón, established about 1854,
I may add, after it attained some fame as the only military post in
Southern California where snow ever fell, and also as the scene of the
earthquake phenomena I have described, was abandoned altogether as a
military station on September 11th, 1864. Philbin removed to Los
Angeles, where he invested in some fifty acres of vineyard along San
Pedro Street, extending as far south as the present Pico; and I still
have a clear impression of the typical old adobe there, so badly
damaged by the rains of 1890.

Kaspare remained in my employ until he set up in business at Red
Bluff, Tehama County, where he continued until January, 1866. In more
recent years, he has come to occupy an enviable position as a
successful financier.

Somewhat less than six years after my arrival (or, to be accurate, on
the fifteenth day of August, 1859, about the time of my mother's death
at Loebau), and satisfying one of my most ardent ambitions, I entered
the family of Uncle Sam, carrying from the District Court here a
red-sealed document, to me of great importance; my newly-acquired
citizenship being attested by Ch. R. Johnson, Clerk, and John O.
Wheeler, Deputy.

On September 3d, the Los Angeles _Star_ made the following
announcement and salutation:

     CALLED TO THE BAR--At the present term of the District
     Court for the First Judicial District, Mr. M. J. Newmark
     was called to the bar. We congratulate Mr. Newmark on his
     success, and wish him a brilliant career in his profession.

This kindly reference was to my brother-in-law, who had read law in
the office of E. J. C. Kewen, then on Main Street, opposite the Bella
Union, and had there, in the preceding January, when already eleven
attorneys were practicing here, hung out his shingle as Notary Public
and Conveyancer--an office to which he was reappointed by the Governor
in 1860, soon after he had been made Commissioner for the State of
Missouri to reside in Los Angeles. About that same time he began to
take a lively interest in politics; being elected, on October 13th,
1860, a delegate to the Democratic County Convention. A. J. King was
also admitted to the Bar toward the end of that year.

We who have such praise for the rapid growth of the population in Los
Angeles must not forget the faithful midwives of early days, when
there was not the least indication that there would ever be a lying-in
hospital here. First, one naturally recalls old Mrs. Simmons, the
_Sarah Gamp_ of the fifties; while her professional sister of the
sixties was Lydia Rebbick, whose name also will be pleasantly spoken
by old-timers. A brother of Mrs. Rebbick was James H. Whitworth, a
rancher, who came to Los Angeles County in 1857.

Residents of Los Angeles to-day have but a faint idea, I suppose, of
what exertion we cheerfully submitted to, forty or fifty years ago, in
order to participate in a little pleasure. This was shown at an outing
in 1859, on and by the sea, made possible through the courtesy of my
hospitable friend, Phineas Banning, details of which illustrate the
social conditions then prevailing here.

Banning had invited fifty or sixty ladies and gentlemen to accompany
him to Catalina; and at about half-past five o'clock on a June morning
the guests arrived at Banning's residence where they partook of
refreshments. Then they started in decorated stages for New San Pedro,
where the host (who, by the way, was a man of most genial temperament,
fond of a joke and sure to infuse others with his good-heartedness)
regaled his friends with a hearty breakfast, not forgetting anything
likely to both warm and cheer. After ample justice had been done to
this feature, the picknickers boarded Banning's little steamer _Comet_
and made for the outer harbor.

There they were transferred to the United States Coast Survey ship
_Active_, which steamed away so spiritedly that in two hours the
passengers were off Catalina; nothing meanwhile having been left
undone to promote the comfort of everyone aboard the vessel. During
this time Captain Alder and his officers, resplendent in their naval
uniforms, held a reception; and unwilling that the merrymakers should
be exposed without provisions to the wilds of the less-trodden island,
they set before them a substantial ship's dinner. Once ashore, the
visitors strolled along the beach and across that part of the island
then most familiar; and at four o'clock the members of the party were
again walking the decks of the Government vessel. Steaming back
slowly, San Pedro was reached after sundown; and, having again been
bundled into the stages, the excursionists were back in Los Angeles
about ten o'clock.

I have said that most of the early political meetings took place at
the residence of Don Ygnácio del Valle. I recall, however, a mass
meeting and barbecue, in August, 1859, in a grove at El Monte owned by
inn-keeper Thompson. Benches were provided for the ladies, prompting
the editor of the _Star_ to observe, with characteristic gallantry,
that the seats "were fully occupied by an array of beauty such as no
other portion of the State ever witnessed."

On September 11th, Eberhard & Koll opened the Lafayette Hotel on Main
Street, on the site opposite the Bella Union where once had stood the
residence of Don Eulógio de Celis. Particular inducements to families
desiring quiet and the attraction of a table "supplied with the
choicest viands and delicacies of the season" were duly advertised;
but the proprietors met with only a moderate response. On January 1st,
1862, Eberhard withdrew and Frederick W. Koll took into partnership
Henry Dockweiler--father of two of our very prominent young men, J. H.
Dockweiler, the civil engineer and, in 1889, City Surveyor, and
Isidore B. Dockweiler, the attorney--and Chris Fluhr. In two years,
Dockweiler had withdrawn, leaving Fluhr as sole proprietor; and he
continued as such until, in the seventies, he took Charles Gerson into
partnership with him. It is my recollection, in fact, that Fluhr was
associated with this hotel in one capacity or another until its name
was changed, first to the Cosmopolitan and then to the St. Elmo.

Various influences contributed to causing radical social changes,
particularly throughout the county. When Dr. John S. Griffin and other
pioneers came here, they were astonished at the hospitality of the
ranch-owners, who provided for them, however numerous, shelter, food
and even fresh saddle-horses; and this bounteous provision for the
wayfarer continued until the migrating population had so increased as
to become something of a burden and economic conditions put a brake on
unlimited entertainment. Then a slight reaction set in, and by the
sixties a movement to demand some compensation for such service began
to make itself felt. In 1859, Don Vicente de la Osa advertised that he
would afford accommodation for travelers by way of his ranch, _El
Encino_; but that to protect himself, he must consider it "an
essential part of the arrangement that visitors should act on the good
old rule and--pay as one goes!"

In 1859, C. H. Classen, a native of Germany, opened a cigar factory in
the Signoret Building on Main Street, north of Arcadia; and believing
that tobacco could be successfully grown in Los Angeles County, he
sent to Cuba for some seed and was soon making cigars from the local
product. I fancy that the plants degenerated because, although others
experimented with Los Angeles tobacco, the growing of the leaf here
was abandoned after a few years. H. Newmark & Company handled much
tobacco for sheep-wash, and so came to buy the last Southern
California crop. When I speak of sheep-wash, I refer to a solution
made by steeping tobacco in water and used to cure a skin disease
known as scab. It was always applied after shearing, for then the wool
could not be affected and the process was easier.

Talking of tobacco, I may say that the commercial cigarette now for
sale everywhere was not then to be seen. People rolled their own
cigarettes, generally using brown paper, but sometimes the white,
which came in reams of sheets about six by ten inches in size.
Kentucky leaf was most in vogue; and the first brand of granulated
tobacco that I remember was known as _Sultana_. Clay pipes, then
packed in barrels, were used a good deal more than now, and brier
pipes much less. There was no duty on imported cigars, and their
consequent cheapness brought them into general consumption.
Practically all of the native female population smoked cigarettes, for
it was a custom of the country; but the American ladies did not
indulge. While spending an enjoyable hour at the County Museum
recently, I noticed a cigarette-case of finely-woven matting that once
belonged to António María Lugo, and a bundle of cigarettes, rolled up,
like so many matches, by Andrés Pico; and both the little _cigarillos_
and the holder will give a fair understanding of these customs of the

Besides the use of tobacco in cigar and cigarette form, and for pipes,
there was much consumption of the weed by chewers. _Peachbrand_, a
black plug saturated with molasses and packed in caddies--a term more
commonly applied to little boxes for tea--was the favorite chewing
tobacco fifty years or more ago. It would hardly be an exaggeration to
say that nine out of ten Americans in Los Angeles indulged in this
habit, some of whom certainly exposed us to the criticism of Charles
Dickens and others, who found so much fault with our manners.

The pernicious activity of rough or troublesome characters brings to
recollection an aged Indian named Polonia, whom pioneers will easily
recollect as having been bereft of his sight, by his own people,
because of his unnatural ferocity. He was six feet four inches in
height, and had once been endowed with great physical strength; he was
clad, for the most part, in a tattered blanket, so that his mere
appearance was sufficient to impress, if not to intimidate, the
observer. Only recently, in fact, Mrs. Solomon Lazard told me that to
her and her girl playmates Polonia and his fierce countenance were the
terror of their lives. He may thus have deserved to forfeit his life
for many crimes; but the idea of cutting a man's eyes out for any
offense whatever, no matter how great, is revolting in the extreme.
The year I arrived, and for some time thereafter, Polonia slept by
night in the corridor of Don Manuel Requena's house. With the aid of
only a very long stick, this blind Indian was able to find his way all
over the town.

Sometime in 1859, Daniel Sexton, a veteran of the battles of San
Bartolo and the Mesa, became possessed of the idea that gold was
secreted in large sacks near the ruins of San Juan Capistrano; and
getting permission, he burrowed so far beneath the house of a citizen
that the latter, fearing his whole home was likely to cave in,
frantically begged the gold-digger to desist. Sexton, in fact, came
near digging his own grave instead of another's, and was for a while
the good-natured butt of many a pun.

Jacob A. Moerenhout, a native of Antwerp, Belgium, who had been French
Consul for a couple of years at Monterey, in the latter days of the
Mexican _régime_, removed to Los Angeles on October 29th, 1859, on
which occasion the Consular flag of France was raised at his residence
in this city. As early as January 13th, 1835, President Andrew Jackson
had appointed Moerenhout "U. S. Consul to Otaheite and the Rest of the
Society Islands," the original Consular document, with its quaint
spelling and signed by the vigorous pen of that President, existing
to-day in a collection owned by Dr. E. M. Clinton of Los Angeles; and
the Belgian had thus so profited by experience in promoting trade and
amicable relations between foreign nations that he was prepared to
make himself _persona grata_ here. Salvos of cannon were fired, while
the French citizens, accompanied by a band, formed in procession and
marched to the Plaza. In the afternoon, Don Louis Sainsevain in honor
of the event set a groaning and luxurious table for a goodly company
at his hospitable residence. There patriotic toasts were gracefully
proposed and as gracefully responded to. The festivities continued
until the small hours of the morning, after which Consul Moerenhout
was declared a duly-initiated Angeleño.

  [Illustration: San Pedro Street, near Second, in the Early Seventies]

  [Illustration: Commercial Street, Looking East from Main, about 1870]

  [Illustration: View of Plaza, Showing the Reservoir]

  [Illustration: Old Lanfranco Block]

Surrounded by most of his family, Don Juan Bandini, a distinguished
Southern Californian and a worthy member of one of the finest Spanish
families here, after a long and painful illness, died at the home of
his daughter and son-in-law, Doña Arcadia and Don Abel Stearns, in
Los Angeles, on November 4th, 1859. Don Juan had come to California
far back in the early twenties, and to Los Angeles so soon thereafter
that he was a familiar and welcome figure here many years before I

It is natural that I should look back with pleasure and satisfaction
to my association with a gentleman so typically Californian,
warm-hearted, genial and social in the extreme; and one who dispensed
so large and generous a hospitality. He came with his father--who
eventually died here and was buried at the old San Gabriel
Mission--and at one time possessed the Jurupa _rancho_, where he
lived. Don Juan was a lawyer by profession, and had written the best
part of a history of early California, the manuscript of which went to
the State University. The passing glimpse of Bandini, in sunlight and
in shadow, recorded by Dana in his classic _Two Years before the
Mast_, adds to the fame already enjoyed by this native Californian.

Himself of a good-sized family, Don Juan married twice. His first
wife, courted in 1823, was Dolores, daughter of Captain José
Estudillo, a _comandante_ at Monterey; and of that union were born
Doña Arcadia, first the wife of Abel Stearns and later of Colonel R.
S. Baker; Doña Ysidora, who married Lieutenant Cave J. Coutts, a
cousin of General Grant; Doña Josefa, later the wife of Pedro C.
Carrillo (father of J. J. Carrillo, formerly Marshal here and now
Justice of the Peace at Santa Monica), and the sons, José María
Bandini and Juanito Bandini. Don Juan's second wife was Refúgio, a
daughter of Santiago Arguello and a granddaughter of the governor who
made the first grants of land to _rancheros_ of Los Angeles. She it
was who nursed the wounded Kearny and who became a friend of
Lieutenant William T. Sherman, once a guest at her home; and she was
also the mother of Doña Dolores, later the wife of Charles R. Johnson,
and of Doña Margarita whom Dr. James B. Winston married after his
rollicking bachelor days. By Bandini's second marriage there were
three sons: Juan de la Cruz Bandini, Alfredo Bandini and Arturo

The financial depression of 1859 affected the temperament of citizens
so much that little or no attention was paid to holidays, with the one
exception, perhaps, of the Bella Union's poorly-patronized Christmas
dinner; and during 1860 many small concerns closed their doors

I have spoken of the fact that brick was not much used when I first
came to Los Angeles, and have shown how it soon after became more
popular as a building material. This was emphasized during 1859, when
thirty-one brick buildings, such as they were, were put up.

In December, Benjamin Hayes, then District Judge and holding court in
the dingy old adobe at the corner of Spring and Franklin streets,
ordered the Sheriff to secure and furnish another place; and despite
the fact that there was only a depleted treasury to meet the new
outlay of five or six thousand dollars, few persons attempted to deny
the necessity. The fact of the matter was that, when it rained, water
actually poured through the ceiling and ran down the court-room walls,
spattering over the Judge's desk to such an extent that umbrellas
might very conveniently have been brought into use; all of which led
to the limit of human patience if not of human endurance.

In 1859, one of the first efforts toward the formation of a Public
Library was made when Felix Bachman, Myer J. Newmark, William H.
Workman, Sam Foy, H. S. Allanson and others organized a Library
Association, with John Temple as President; J. J. Warner,
Vice-President; Francis Mellus, Treasurer; and Israel Fleishman,
Secretary. The Association established a reading-room in Don Abel
Stearns's Arcadia Block. An immediate and important acquisition was
the collection of books that had been assembled by Henry Mellus for
his own home; other citizens contributed books, periodicals and money;
and the messengers of the Overland Mail undertook to get such Eastern
newspapers as they could for the perusal of the library members. Five
dollars was charged as an initiation fee, and a dollar for monthly
dues; but insignificant as was the expense, the undertaking was not
well patronized by the public, and the project, to the regret of many,
had to be abandoned.

This effort to establish a library recalls an Angeleño of the fifties,
Ralph Emerson, a cousin, I believe, though somewhat distantly removed,
of the famous Concord philosopher. He lived on the west side of
Alameda Street, in an adobe known as Emerson's Row, between First and
Aliso streets, where Miss Mary E. Hoyt, assisted by her mother, had a
school; and where at one time Emerson, a strong competitor of mine in
the hide business, had his office. Fire destroyed part of their home
late in 1859, and again in the following September. Emerson served as
a director on the Library Board, both he and his wife being among the
most refined and attractive people of the neighborhood.

It must have been late in November that Miss Hoyt announced the
opening of her school at No. 2 Emerson Row, in doing which she
followed a custom in vogue with private schools at that time and
published the endorsements of leading citizens, or patrons.

Again in 1861, Miss Hoyt advertised to give "instruction in the higher
branches of English education, with French, drawing, and ornamental
needlework," for five dollars a month; while three dollars was asked
for the teaching of the common branches and needlework, and only two
dollars for teaching the elementary courses. Miss Hoyt's move was
probably due to the inability of the Board of Education to secure an
appropriation with which to pay the public school teachers. This lack
of means led not only to a general discussion of the problem, but to
the recommendation that Los Angeles schools be graded and a high
school started.

Following a dry year, and especially a fearful heat wave in October
which suddenly ran the mercury up to one hundred and ten degrees,
December witnessed heavy rains in the mountains inundating both
valleys and towns. On the fourth of December the most disastrous rain
known in the history of the Southland set in, precipitating, within a
single day and night, twelve inches of water; and causing the rise of
the San Gabriel and other rivers to a height never before recorded and
such a cataclysm that sand and _débris_ were scattered far and wide.
Lean and weakened from the ravaging drought through which they had
just passed, the poor cattle, now exposed to the elements of cold rain
and wind, fell in vast numbers in their tracks. The bed of the Los
Angeles River was shifted for, perhaps, a quarter of a mile. Many
houses in town were cracked and otherwise damaged, and some caved in
altogether. The front of the old Church, attacked through a leaking
roof, disintegrated, swayed and finally gave way, filling the
neighboring street with impassable heaps.

I have spoken of the Market House built by John Temple for the City.
On December 29th, there was a sale of the stalls by Mayor D.
Marchessault; and all except six booths were disposed of, each for the
term of three months. One hundred and seventy-three dollars was the
rental agreed upon; and Dodson & Company bid successfully for nine out
of thirteen of the stalls. By the following month, however, complaints
were made in the press that, though the City Fathers had "condescended
to let the suffering public" have another market, they still prevented
the free competition desired; and by the end of August, it was openly
charged that the manner in which the City Market was conducted showed
"a gross piece of favoritism," and that the City Treasury on this
account would suffer a monthly loss of one hundred dollars in rents

About 1859, John Murat, following in the wake of Henry Kuhn,
proprietor of the New York Brewery, established the Gambrinus in the
block bounded by Los Angeles, San Pedro and First and what has become
Second streets. The brewery, notwithstanding its spacious yard, was
anything but an extensive institution, and the quality of the product
dispensed to the public left much to be desired; but it was beer, and
Murat has the distinction of having been one of the first Los Angeles
brewers. The New York's spigot, a suggestive souvenir of those
convivial days picked up by George W. Hazard, now enriches a local

These reminiscences recall still another brewer--Christian Henne--at
whose popular resort on Main Street, on the last evening of 1859,
following some conferences in the old Round House, thirty-eight Los
Angeles Germans met and formed an association which they called the
Teutonia-Concordia. The object was to promote social intercourse,
especially among Germans, and to further the study of German song. C.
H. Classen was chosen first President; H. Hammel, Vice-President; H.
Heinsch, Secretary; and Lorenzo Leck, Treasurer.

How great were the problems confronting the national government in the
development of our continent may be gathered from the strenuous
efforts--and their results--to encourage an overland mail route. Six
hundred thousand dollars a year was the subsidy granted the
Butterfield Company for running two mail coaches each way a week; yet
the postal revenue for the first year was but twenty-seven thousand
dollars, leaving a deficit of more than half a million! But this was
not all that was discouraging: politicians attacked the stage route
administration, and then the newspapers had to come to the rescue and
point out the advantages as compared with the ocean routes. Indians,
also, were an obstacle; and with the arrival of every stage, one
expected to hear the sensational story of ambushing and murder rather
than the yarn of a monotonous trip. When new reports of such outrages
were brought in, new outcries were raised and new petitions, calling
on the Government for protection, were hurriedly circulated.




In 1860, Maurice Kremer was elected County Treasurer, succeeding H. N.
Alexander who had entered the service of Wells Fargo & Company; and he
attended to this new function at his store on Commercial Street, where
he kept the County funds. I had my office in the same place; and the
salary of the Treasurer at the time being but one hundred and
twenty-five dollars a month, with no allowance for an assistant, I
agreed to act as Deputy Treasurer without pay. As a matter of fact, I
was a sort of Emergency Deputy only, and accepted the responsibility
as an accommodation to Kremer, in order that when he was out of town
there might be someone to take charge of his affairs. It is very
evident, however, that I did not appreciate the danger connected with
this little courtesy, since it often happened that there were from
forty to fifty thousand dollars in the money-chest. An expert burglar
could have opened the safe without special effort, and might have gone
scot-free, for the only protector at night was my nephew, Kaspare
Cohn, a mere youth, who clerked for me and slept on the premises.

Inasmuch as no bank had as yet been established in Los Angeles, Kremer
carried the money to Sacramento twice a year; nor was this
transportation of the funds, first by steamer to San Francisco, thence
by boat inland, without danger. The State was full of desperate
characters who would cut a throat or scuttle a ship for a great deal
less than the amount involved. At the end of five or six years,
Kremer was succeeded as County Treasurer by J. Huber, Jr. I may add,
incidentally, that the funds in question could have been transported
north by Wells Fargo & Company, but their charges were exorbitant. At
a later period, when they were better equipped and rates had been
reduced, they carried the State money.

On January 2d, Joseph Paulding, a Marylander, died. Twenty-seven years
before, he came by way of the Gila, and boasted having made the first
two mahogany billiard tables constructed in California.

The same month, attention was directed to a new industry, the
polishing and mounting of _abalone_ shells, then as now found on the
coast of Southern California. A year or so later, G. Fischer was
displaying a shell brooch, colored much like an opal and mounted in
gold. By 1866, the demand for _abalone_ shells had so increased that
over fourteen thousand dollars' worth was exported from San Francisco,
while a year later consignments valued at not less than thirty-six
thousand dollars were sent out through the Golden Gate. Even though
the taste of to-day considers this shell as hardly deserving of such a
costly setting, it is nevertheless true that these early ornaments,
much handsomer than many specimens of quartz jewelry, soon became
quite a fad in Los Angeles. Natives and Indians, especially, took a
fancy to the _abalone_ shell, and even much later earrings of that
material were worn by the Crow scout Curley, a survivor of the Custer
Massacre. In 1874, R. W. Jackson, a shell-jeweler on Montgomery
Street, San Francisco, was advertising here for the rarities, offering
as much as forty and fifty dollars for a single sound red, black or
silver shell, and from fifty to one hundred dollars for a good green
or blue one. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that the Chinese
consumed the _abalone_ meat in large quantities.

Broom-making was a promising industry in the early sixties, the
Carpenters of Los Nietos and F. W. Gibson of El Monte being among the
pioneers in this handiwork. Several thousand brooms were made in that
year; and since they brought three dollars a dozen, and cost but
eleven cents each for the handles and labor, exclusive of the corn, a
good profit was realized.

Major Edward Harold Fitzgerald, well known for campaigns against both
Indians and bandits, died on January 9th and was buried with military

On January 10th, Bartholomew's Rocky Mountain Circus held forth on the
Plaza, people coming in from miles around to see the show. It was then
that the circus proprietor sought to quiet the nerves of the anxious
by the large-lettered announcement, "A strict Police is engaged for
the occasion!"

The printing of news, editorials and advertisements in both English
and Spanish recalls again not only some amusing incidents in court
activities resulting from the inability of jurists and others to
understand the two languages, but also the fact that in the early
sixties sermons were preached in the Catholic Church at Los Angeles in
English and Spanish, the former being spoken at one mass, the latter
at another. English proper names such as John and Benjamin were
Spanished into Juan and Benito, and common Spanish terms persisted in
English advertisements, as when Don Juan Ávila and Fernando Sepúlveda,
in January, announced that they would run the horse _Coyote_ one
thousand _varas_, for three thousand dollars. In 1862, also, when
Syriaco Arza was executed for the murder of Frank Riley, the peddler,
and the prisoner had made a speech to the crowd, the Sheriff read the
warrant for the execution in both English and Spanish. Still another
illustration of the use of Spanish here, side by side with English, is
found in the fact that in 1858 the Los Angeles assessment rolls were
written in Spanish, although by 1860 the entries were made in English

A letter to the editor of the _Star_, published on January 28th, 1860,
will confirm my comments on the primitive school conditions in Los
Angeles in the first decade or two after I came. The writer complained
of the filthy condition of the Boys' Department, School No. 1, in
which, to judge by the mud, "the floor did not seem to have been swept
for months!" The editor then took up the cudgel, saying that the Board
formerly paid a man for keeping the schoolroom clean, but that the
Common Council had refused any longer to pass the janitor's bills;
adding that, in his opinion, the Council had acted wisely! If the
teacher had really wished the schoolroom floor to be clean, contended
the economical editor, he should have appointed a pupil to swing a
broom each day or, at least, _each week_, and otherwise perform the
necessary duties on behalf of the health of the school.

The year 1860 witnessed the death of Don António María Lugo--brother
of Don José Ygnácio Lugo, grandfather of the Wolfskills--uncle of
General Vallejo and the father-in-law of Colonel Isaac Williams, who
preceded Lugo to the grave by four years. For a long time, Lugo lived
in a spacious adobe built in 1819 near the present corner of East
Second and San Pedro streets, and there the sons, for whom he obtained
the San Bernardino _rancho_, were born. In earlier days, or from 1813,
Don António lived on the San António Ranch near what is now Compton;
and so well did he prosper there that eleven leagues were not enough
for the support of his cattle and flocks. It was a daughter of Lugo
who, having married a Perez and being made a widow, became the wife of
Stephen C. Foster, her daughter in turn marrying Wallace Woodworth and
becoming María Antónia Perez de Woodworth; and Lugo, who used to visit
them and the business establishments of the town, was a familiar
figure as a sturdy _caballero_ in the streets of Los Angeles, his
ornamental sword strapped in Spanish-soldier fashion to his
equally-ornamental saddle. Don António died about the first of
February, aged eighty-seven years.

About the middle of February, John Temple fitted up the large hall
over the City Market as a theater, providing for it a stage some
forty-five by twenty feet in size--in those days considered an
abundance of platform space--and a "private box" on each side, whose
possession became at once the ambition of every Los Angeles gallant.
Temple brought an artist from San Francisco to paint the scenery, Los
Angeles then boasting of no one clever enough for the work; and the
same genius supervised the general decoration of the house. What was
considered a record-breaking effort at making the public comfortable
was undertaken in furnishing the parquet with armchairs and in filling
the gallery with two tiers of raised benches, guaranteeing some chance
of looking over any broad _sombreros_ in front; and to cap the
enterprise, Temple brought down a company of players especially to
dedicate his new house. About February 20th, the actors arrived on the
old _Senator_; and while I do not recall who they were or what they
produced, I believe that they first held forth on Washington's
Birthday when it was said: "The scenery is magnificent, surpassing
anything before exhibited in this city."

The spring of 1860 was notable for the introduction of the Pony
Express as a potent factor in the despatch of transcontinental mail;
and although this new service never included Los Angeles as one of its
terminals, it greatly shortened the time required and, naturally if
indirectly, benefited the Southland. Speed was, indeed, an ambition of
the new management, and some rather extraordinary results were
attained. About April 20th, soon after the Pony Express was started,
messages were rushed through from St. Louis to San Francisco in eight
and a half days; and it was noised about that the Butterfields planned
a rival pony express, over a route three hundred miles shorter, that
would reach the Coast in seven days. About the end of April, mail from
London and Liverpool reached Los Angeles in twenty or twenty-one days;
and I believe that the fastest time that the Pony Express ever made
was in March, 1861, when President Lincoln's message was brought here
in seven days and seventeen hours. This was somewhat quicker than the
passage of the report about Fort Sumter, a month afterward, which
required twelve days, and considerably faster than the transmission,
by the earlier methods of 1850, of the intelligence that California
had been admitted to the Union--a bit of news of the greatest possible
importance yet not at all known here, I have been told, until six
weeks after Congress enacted the law! Which reminds me that the death
of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the poet, although occurring in Italy
on June 29th, 1861, was first announced in Los Angeles on the
seventeenth of the following August!

In February or March, the sewer crossing Los Angeles Street and
connecting the Bella Union with the _zanja_ (which passed through the
premises of Francis Mellus) burst, probably as the result of the
recent rains, discharging its contents into the common yard; and in
short order Mellus found himself minus two very desirable tenants. For
a while, he thought of suing the City; and then he decided to stop the
sewer effectually. As soon as it was plugged up, however, the Bella
Union found itself cut off from its accustomed outlet, and there was
soon a great uproar in that busy hostelry. The upshot of the matter
was that the Bella Union proprietors commenced suit against Mellus.
This was the first sewer--really a small, square wooden pipe--whose
construction inaugurated an early chapter in the annals of
sewer-building and control in Los Angeles.

Competition for Government trade was keen in the sixties, and
energetic efforts were made by merchants to secure their share of the
crumbs, as well as the loaves, that might fall from Uncle Sam's table.
For that reason, Captain Winfield Scott Hancock easily added to his
popularity as Quartermaster, early in 1860, by preparing a map in
order to show the War Department the relative positions of the various
military posts in this district, and to emphasize the proximity of Los

One day in the Spring a stranger called upon me with the interesting
information that he was an inventor, which led me to observe that
someone ought to devise a contrivance with which to pluck oranges--an
operation then performed by climbing into the trees and pulling the
fruit from the branches. Shortly after the interview, many of us went
to the grove of Jean Louis Sainsevain to see a simple, but ingenious
appliance for picking the golden fruit. A pair of pincers on a light
pole were operated from below by a wire; and when the wire was pulled,
the fruit, quite unharmed by scratch or pressure, fell safely into a
little basket fastened close to the pincers. In the same year, Pierre
Sainsevain established the first California wine house in New York and
bought the Cucamonga vineyard, where he introduced new and better
varieties of grapes. But bad luck overtook him. In 1870, grasshoppers
ate the leaves and destroyed the crop.

Small as was the population of Los Angeles County at about this time,
there was nevertheless for a while an exodus to Texas, due chiefly to
the difficulty experienced by white immigrants in competing with
Indian ranch and vineyard laborers.

Toward the middle of March, much interest was manifested in the
welfare of a native Californian named Serbo--sometimes erroneously
given as Serbulo and even Cervelo--Varela who, under the influence of
bad whiskey, had assaulted and nearly killed a companion, and who
seemed certain of a long term in the State prison. It was recalled,
however, that when in the fall of 1846, the fiendish Flores, resisting
the invasion of the United States forces, had captured a number of
Americans and condemned them to be dragged out and shot, Varela, then
a soldier under Flores, and a very brave fellow, broke from the ranks,
denounced the act as murder, declared that the order should never be
carried out except over his dead body, and said and did such a number
of things more or less melodramatic that he finally saved the lives of
the American prisoners. Great sympathy was expressed, therefore, when
it was discovered that this half-forgotten hero was in the toils; and
few persons, if any, were sorry when Varela was induced to plead
guilty to assault and battery, enabling the court to deal leniently
with him. Varela became more and more addicted to strong drink; and
some years later he was the victim of foul play, his body being found
in an unfrequented part of the town.

A scrap-book souvenir of the sixties gives us an idyllic view of
contemporaneous pueblo life, furnishing, at the same time, an idea of
the newspaper English of that day. It reads as follows:

     With the exception of a little legitimate shooting affair
     last Saturday night, by which some fellow had well-nigh the
     top of his head knocked off, and one or two knock-downs and
     drag-outs, we have had a very peaceful week indeed. Nothing
     has occurred to disturb the even tenor of our way, and our
     good people seem to be given up to the quiet enjoyment of
     delicious fruits and our unequalled climate,--each one
     literally under his own vine and fig tree, revelling in
     fancy's flights, or luxuriating among the good things which
     he finds temptingly at hand.

The demand for better lighting facilities led the Common Council to
make a contract, toward the end of March, with Tiffany & Wethered, who
were given a franchise to lay pipes through the streets and to
establish gas-works here; but the attempt proved abortive.

In this same year, the trip east by the Overland Stage Route, which
had formerly required nearly a month, was accomplished in eighteen or
nineteen days; and toward the end of March, the Overland Company
replaced the "mud-wagons" they had been using between Los Angeles and
San Francisco with brightly-painted and better-upholstered Concord
coaches. Then the Los Angeles office was on Spring Street, between
First and Second--on the lot later bought by Louis Roeder for a
wagon-shop, and now the site of the Roeder Block; and there, for the
price of two hundred dollars, tickets could be obtained for the entire
journey to St. Louis.

Foreign coin circulated in Los Angeles, as I have said, for many
years, and even up to the early sixties Mexican money was accepted at
par with our own. Improved facilities for intercourse with the outside
world, however, affected the markets here, and in the spring of that
year several merchants refused to receive the specie of our southern
neighbor at more than its actual value as silver. As a result, these
dealers, though perhaps but following the trend elsewhere, were
charged openly with a combination to obtain an illegitimate profit.

In 1860, while Dr. T. J. White was Postmaster, a regulation was made
ordering all mail not called for to be sent to the Dead Letter Office
in Washington, within a week after such mail had been advertised; but
it was not until the fall of 1871 that this order was really put into
operation in our neighborhood. For some time this worked great
hardship on many people living in the suburbs who found it impossible
to call promptly for their mail, and who learned too late that
letters intended for them had been returned to the sender or

Political enthusiasm was keen in early days, as is usual in small
towns, and victorious candidates, at least, knew how to celebrate. On
Monday, May 7th, 1860, Henry Mellus was elected Mayor; and next day,
he and the other City officers paraded our streets in a four-horse
stagecoach with a brass band. The Mayor-elect and his _confrères_ were
stuffed inside the hot, decorated vehicle, while the puffing musicians
bounced up and down on the swaying top outside, like pop-corn in a

More than a ripple of excitement was produced in Los Angeles about the
middle of May, when Jack Martin, Billy Holcomb and Jim Ware, in from
Bear Valley, ordered provisions and paid for the same in shining gold
dust. It was previously known that they had gone out to hunt for bear,
and their sudden return with this precious metal, together with their
desire to pick up a few appliances such as are not ordinarily used in
trapping, made some of the hangers-on about the store suspicious. The
hunters were secretly followed, and were found to return to what is
now Holcomb Valley; and then it was learned that gold had been
discovered there about the first of the month. For a year or two, many
mining camps were formed in Holcomb and Upper Holcomb valleys, and in
that district the town of Belleville was founded; but the gold, at
first apparently so plentiful, soon gave out, and the excitement
incidental to the discovery subsided.

While some men were thus digging for treasure, others sought fortune
in the deep. Spearing sharks, as well as whales, was an exciting
industry at this period; sharks running in large numbers along the
coast, and in the waters of San Pedro Bay. In May, Orin Smith of Los
Angeles, with the aid of his son, in one day caught one hundred and
three sharks, from which he took only the livers; these, when boiled,
yielding oil which, burned fairly well, even in its crude state.
During the next year, shark-hunting near Rattlesnake Island continued
moderately remunerative.

Sometime in the spring, another effort was made to establish a tannery
here and hopes were entertained that an important trade might thus be
founded. But the experiment came to naught, and even to-day Los
Angeles can boast of no tannery such as exists in several other
California cities.

With the approach of summer, Elijah and William H. Workman built a
brick dwelling on Main Street, next to Tom Rowan's bakery, and set
around it trees of several varieties. The residence, then one of the
prettiest in town, was built for the boys' mother; and there, with
her, they dwelt.

That sectarian activity regarding public schools is nothing new in Los
Angeles may be shown from an incident, not without its humorous side,
of the year 1860. T. J. Harvey appeared with a broadside in the press,
protesting against the reading of the Bible in schoolrooms, and saying
that he, for one, would "never stand it, come what may." Some may
still remember his invective and his pyrotechnical conclusion:
"_Revolution! War!! Blood!!!_"

During Downey's incumbency as Governor, the Legislature passed a law,
popularly known as the Bulkhead Bill, authorizing the San Francisco
Dock and Wharf Company to build a stone bulkhead around the
water-front of the Northern city, in return for which the company was
to have the exclusive privilege of collecting tolls and wharfage for
the long period of fifty years, a franchise the stupendous value of
which even the projectors of that date could scarcely have
anticipated. Downey, when the measure came before him for final
action, vetoed the bill and thus performed a judicious act--perhaps
the most meritorious of his administration.

Whether Downey, who on January 9th had become Governor, was really
popular for any length of time, even in the vicinity of his home, may
be a question; but his high office and the fact that he was the first
Governor from the Southland assured him a hearty welcome whenever he
came down here from the capital. In June Downey returned to Los
Angeles, accompanied by his wife, and took rooms at the Bella Union
hotel, and besides the usual committee visits, receptions and speeches
from the balcony, arranged in honor of the distinguished guests,
there was a salute of thirteen guns, fired with all ceremony, which
echoed and re-echoed from the hillsides.

In 1860, a number of delegates, including Casper Behrendt and myself,
were sent to San Francisco to attend the laying of the corner-stone,
on the twenty-fifth of June, of the Masonic Temple at the corner of
Post and Montgomery streets. We made the trip when the weather was not
only excessively hot, but the sand was a foot deep and headway very
slow; so that, although we were young men and enjoyed the excursion,
we could not laugh down all of the disagreeable features of the
journey. It was no wonder, therefore, that when we arrived at Visalia,
where we were to change horses, Behrendt wanted a shave. While he was
in the midst of this tonsorial refreshment, the stage started on its
way to San Francisco; and as Behrendt heard it passing the shop, he
ran out--with one side of his face smooth and clean, while the other
side was whiskered and grimy--and tried to stop the disappearing
vehicle. Despite all of his yelling and running, however, the stage
did not stop; and finally, Behrendt fired his pistol several times
into the air. This attracted the attention of the sleepy driver, who
took the puffing passenger on board; whereupon the rest of us chaffed
him about his singular appearance. Behrendt[19] did not have much
peace of mind until we reached the Plaza Hotel at San Juan Bautista
("a relic," as someone has said, "of the distant past, where men and
women played billiards on horseback, and trees bore human fruit"),
situated in a sweet little valley, mountain-girdled and well watered;
where he was able to complete his shave and thus restore his
countenance to its normal condition.

In connection with this anecdote of the trip to San Francisco, I may
add another story. On board the stage was Frederick J. McCrellish,
editor of the _Alta California_--the principal Coast paper, bought by
McCrellish & Company in 1858--and also Secretary of the telegraph
company at that time building its line between San Francisco and Los
Angeles. When we reached a point between Gilroy and Visalia, which
was the temporary terminus of the telegraph from San Francisco,
McCrellish spoke with some enthusiasm of the Morse invention and
invited everybody on the stage to send telegrams, at his expense, to
his friends. I wrote out a message to my brother in San Francisco,
telling him about the trip as far as I had completed it, and passed
the copy to the operator at the clicking instrument. It may be hard
for the reader to conceive that this would be an exciting episode in a
man's life; but since my first arrival in the Southland there had been
no telegraphic communication between Los Angeles and the outside
world, and the remembrance of this experience at the little wayside
station was never to be blotted from my mind. I may also add that of
that committee sent to the Masonic festivities in San Francisco,
Behrendt and I are now the only surviving members.

It has been stated that the population of Los Angeles in 1850 was but
sixteen hundred and ten. How true that is I cannot tell. When I came
to the city in 1853, there were some twenty-six hundred people. In the
summer of 1860 a fairly accurate census was made, and it was found
that our little town had four thousand three hundred and ninety-nine

Two distinguished military men visited Los Angeles in the midsummer of
1860. The first was General James Shields who, in search of health,
arrived by the Overland Route on the twenty-fourth of July, having
just finished his term in the Senate. The effect of wounds received at
the battle of Cerro Gordo, years before, and reports as to the climate
of California started the General westward; and quietly he alighted
from the stage at the door of the Bella Union. After a while, General
Shields undertook the superintending of a Mexican mine; but at the
outbreak of the Civil War, although not entirely recovered, he
hastened back to Washington and was at once appointed a
Brigadier-General of volunteers. The rest of his career is known.

A week later, General, or as he was then entitled, Colonel John C.
Frémont drew up at the Plaza. His coming to this locality in
connection with the Temescal tin mine and Mariposa forestry interests
had been heralded from Godey's ranch some days before; and when he
arrived on Tuesday, July 31st, in company with Leonidas Haskell and
Joseph C. Palmer, the Republicans were out in full force and fired a
salute of twenty-five guns. In the evening, Colonel Frémont was waited
upon in the parlors of the Bella Union by a goodly company, under the
leadership of the Republican Committee, although all classes,
irrespective of politics, united to pay the celebrated California
pioneer the honors due him.

Alexander Godey, to whose _rancho_ I have just referred, was a man of
importance, with a very extensive cattle-range in Kern County not far
from Bakersfield, where he later lived. He occasionally came to town,
and was an invariable visitor at my store, purchasing many supplies
from me. These and other provisions, which Godey and his neighbors
sent for, were transported by burro- or mule-train to the ranches in
care of Miguel Ortiz, who had his headquarters in Los Angeles. Loading
these so-called pack-trains was an art: by means of ropes and slats of
wood, merchandise was strapped to the animal's sides and back in such
a fashion that it could not slip, and thus a heavy, well-balanced load
was conveyed over the plain and the mountain trails.

By 1860, the Germans were well-organized and active here in many ways,
a German Benevolent Society, called the Eintracht, which met Tuesday
and Friday evenings in the Arcadia Block for music drill under
Director Heinsch, affording stimulating entertainment and
accomplishing much good. The Turnverein, on the other hand, took an
interest in the success of the Round House, and on March 12th put up a
liberty pole on top of the oddly-shaped building. Lager beer and other
things deemed by the Teutonic brethren essential to a Garden of
Paradise and to such an occasion were freely dispensed; and on that
day Lehman was in all his glory.

A particular feature of this Garden of Paradise was a cabbage, about
which have grown up some traditions of the Brobdingnagian sort that
the reader may accept _in toto_ or with a grain of salt. It was
planted when the place was opened, and is said to have attained, by
December, 1859, a height of twelve feet, "with a circumference" (so
averred an ambiguous chronicler of the period, referring doubtless to
crinolines) "equal to that of any fashionably-attired city belle
measuring eight or ten feet." By July, 1860, the cabbage attained a
growth, so the story goes, of fourteen feet four inches although,
George always claimed, it had been cropped twenty or more times and
its leaves used for _Kohlslau_, _Sauerkraut_ and goodness knows what.
I can afford the modern reader no better idea of Lehman's personality
and resort than by quoting the following contemporaneous, if not very
scholarly, account:

     THE GARDEN OF PARADISE. Our friend George of the Round
     House, who there keeps a garden with the above captivating
     name, was one of the few who done honor to the Fourth. He
     kept the National Ensign at the fore, showed his
     fifteen-foot cabbage, and dealt _Lager_ to admiring crowds
     all day.

Among the popular pleasure-resorts of 1860 was the Tivoli Garden on
the Wolfskill Road, conducted by Charles Kaiser, who called his
friends together by placarding the legend, "Hurrah for the Tivoli!"
Music and other amusements were provided every Sunday, from two
o'clock, and dancing could be enjoyed until late in the night; and as
there was no charge for admission, the place was well patronized.

When the Fourth of July, 1859, approached and no preparation had been
made to observe the holiday, some children who were being instructed
in calisthenics by A. F. Tilden began to solicit money, their childish
enthusiasm resulting in the appointing of a committee, the collecting
of four hundred dollars, and a picnic in Don Luis Sainsevain's
enclosed garden. A year later, Tilden announced that he would open a
place for gymnastic exercises in "Temple's New Block;" charging men
three dollars for the use of the apparatus and the privilege of a
shower-bath, and training boys at half rates. This was the origin of
systematic physical culture in Los Angeles.


[19] Died November 19th, 1913.




Early in 1860, Phineas Banning and J. J. Tomlinson, the energetic
rivals in lighterage and freighting at San Pedro, embarked as lumber
merchants, thereby anticipating the enormous trade that has flowed for
years past from the North through Los Angeles to Southern California
and Arizona. Having many teams, they hauled lumber, when traffic was
not sufficient to keep their wagon-trains busy, from the harbor to the
city or even, when there was need, to the _ranchos_. It must have been
in the same year that F. P. F. Temple, at a cost of about forty
thousand dollars for lumber alone, fenced in a wide acreage, at the
same time building large and substantial barns for his stock. By the
summer of that year, Banning was advertising lumber, delivered in Los
Angeles; and from October 1st, Banning & Hinchman had an office near
the northern junction of Main and Spring streets. A couple of years
before, Banning in person had directed the driving of seventeen mule
teams, from San Pedro to Fort Yuma, covering, in twelve or thirteen
days, the two hundred and thirty miles of barely passable road. The
following March, Banning and Tomlinson, who had so often opposed each
other even in the courts, came to an understanding and buried the
hatchet for good.

At this time, Joseph Everhardt, who, with Frederick W. Koll, had
conducted the Lafayette Hotel, sold out and moved to San Francisco,
marrying Miss R. Mayer, now John Lang's widow, sister-in-law of Kiln
Messer. Later, Everhardt went to Sonoma and then to Victoria, B. C.,
in each place making his mark; and in the latter city he died.

Like both Messer and Lang, Everhardt had passed through varied and
trying experiences. The owner of the Russ Garden restaurant in 1849,
in lively San Francisco, he came to Los Angeles and took hold of the
hotel Lafayette. With him was a partner named Fucht; but a free fight
and display of shooting irons, such as often enlivened a California
hotel, having sent the guests and hangers-on scurrying to quarters,
induced Fucht to sell out his interests in very short order, whereupon
Everhardt took in with him Frederick W. Koll, who lived on a site now
the southeast corner of Seventh and Spring streets where he had an

Pursuing Indians was dangerous in the extreme, as Robert Wilburn found
when he went after some twenty head of cattle stolen from Felix
Bachman by Pi-Ute or Paiute Indians in January, 1860, during one of
their marauding expeditions into California. Wilburn chased the red
men but he never came back; and when his body was found, it was
pierced with three or four arrows, probably shot at him simultaneously
by as many of the cattle-thieves.

Don Tomás A. Sanchez, Sheriff from 1860 to 1867, had a record for
physical courage and prowess, having previously been an officer under
Pico in the Mexican War days, and having later aided Pico in his
efforts to punish Barton's murderers. Sanchez had property; and in
1887 a patent was granted his estate for four thousand or more acres
in the ranch known as _Ciénega ó Paso de la Tijera_.

Destructive fires in the open country, if not as common as now, still
occasionally stirred our citizens. Such a fire broke out in the San
Fernando Valley in the middle of July, and spread so rapidly that a
square mile and a half of territory was denuded and charred. Not only
were there no organized means to fight such fires, but men were
compelled to sound the alarm through couriers on horseback; and if the
wind happened to be blowing across the plains, even the fleetest
horseman had all he could do to avoid the flames and reach in time the
widely-separated _rancheros_. Here I may add that as late as the
sixties all of the uninhabited parts of Los Angeles, especially to
the of Main Street, were known as plains, and "crossing the plains"
was an expression commonly used with a peculiarly local significance.

So wretched were the roads in the early decades after my arrival, and
so many were the plans proposed for increasing the rapidity of travel,
that great curiosity was excited in 1860 when it was announced that
Phineas Banning had bought a "steam-wagon" and would soon introduce a
kind of vehicle such as Los Angeles, at least, had never before seen.
This steam-wagon was a traction engine built by J. Whitman & Sons, at
Leeds, England, and was already on its way across the ocean. It had
been ordered by Richard A. Ogden, of San Francisco, for the Patagonia
Copper Mining Company, a trial before shipping having proved that,
with a load of thirty-eight tons, the engine could attain a speed of
five miles an hour; and Banning paid handsomely for the option of
purchasing the vehicle, on condition that it would ultimately prove a

The announcement was made in April, and by early June the engine had
reached San Francisco where it made the run to Mission Dolores in
three-quarters of an hour. All the San Francisco papers told of "the
truly wonderful machine," one reporter averring that "the engineer had
so perfect control that a visit was made to various parts of the city,
to the astonishment and gratification of the multitude;" and since
these accounts were immediately copied by the Los Angeles papers
(which added the official announcement that Captain Hughes had loaded
the engine on board his schooner, the _Lewis Perry_, and was bringing
it south as fast as he could), popular excitement rose like the
mercury in summer, and but one more report was needed to make it the
absorbing talk of the hour. That came on the twenty-eighth of July,
when the _Star_ announced: "The steam-wagon has arrived at San Pedro;"
and it was not long before many persons went down to the port to get a
sight of the wonderful object.

And wait they did. Although the _Star_ said that "all our citizens
were anxiously, hourly, expecting to see Major Banning heave in sight
at the foot of Main Street," no Banning hove! Instead, on the fourth
of August, the same _Star_ broke forth with this lament: "The
steam-wagon is at San Pedro, and we regret to learn that it is likely
to remain there. So far, all attempts to reach this city with freight
have failed." And that was the end of the steam-wagon experiment here.

In every community there are characters who, for one reason or
another, develop among their fellows a reputation for oddity. We have
all seen the good-natured, rather stout old gentleman, whose claim to
dignity is his old-fashioned Prince Albert and rather battered-looking
silk hat, but who, although he boasts many friends, is never
successful in the acquisition of this world's goods. We have seen,
too, the vender of ice-cream, _tamales_ or similar commodity, who in
his youth had been an opera singer or actor, but whose too intensive
thirst rendered him impossible in his profession and brought him far
down in the world. Some were dangerous criminals; some were harmless,
but obnoxious; others still were harmless and amusing. Many such
characters I have met during my sixty years in Los Angeles; and each
filled a certain niche, even those whose only mission was to furnish
their fellows with humor or amusement having thus contributed to the
charm of life.

Viejo Cholo, or Old Half-breed, a Mexican over sixty years of age who
was never known by any other name, was such an eccentric character. He
was half blind; wore a pair of white linen pantaloons, and for a
mantle used an old sheet. This he threw over his shoulders; and thus
accoutered, he strutted about the streets like a Spanish cavalier. His
cane was a broom-handle; his lunch-counter, the swill-bucket; and when
times were particularly bad, Viejo begged. The youngsters of the
pueblo were the bane of Cholo's existence and the torment of his
infirmity and old age.

Cholo was succeeded by Pinikahti, who was half Indian and half
Mexican. He was not over four feet in height and had a flat nose, a
stubby beard and a face badly pockmarked; and he presented,
altogether, as unkempt and obnoxious an appearance as one might
imagine. Pinikahti was generally attired in a well-worn straw hat, the
top of which was missing, and his long, hair stuck out in clumps and
snarls. A woolen undershirt and a pair of overalls completed his
costume, while his toes, as a rule, protruded from his enormous boots.
Unlike Viejo Cholo, Pinikahti was permitted to go unmolested by the
juvenile portion of the population, inasmuch as, though half-witted,
he was somewhat of an entertainer; for it was natural for him to play
the flute and--what was really interesting--he made his own
instruments out of the reed that grew along the river banks. Pinikahti
cut just the holes, I suppose, that produced what seemed to him proper
harmony, and on these home-made flutes performed such airs as his
wandering fancy suggested. He always played weird tunes and danced
strange Indian dances; and through these crude gifts he became, as I
have said, sufficiently popular to enjoy some immunity. Nevertheless,
he was a professional beggar; and whatever he did to afford amusement,
was done, after all, for money. This was easily explained, for money
alone would buy _aguardiente_, and Pinikahti had little use for
anything else. _Aguardiente_, as the word was commonly used in
Southern California, was a native brandy, full of hell fire; and so
the poor half-breed was always drunk. One day Pinikahti drank a glass
too much, and this brought about such a severance of his ties with
beautiful Los Angeles that his absorption of one spirit released, at
last, the other.

Sometime in the eventful sixties, a tall, angular, muscular-looking
woman was here, who went by the singular _sobriquet_ of Captain Jinks,
a title which she received from a song then very popular, the first
couplet of which ran something like this:

     I'm Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines,
     I feed my horse on pork and beans!

She half strode, half jerked her way along the street, as though
scanning the lines of that ditty with her feet. She was strong for
woman's rights, she said; and she certainly looked it.

Chinamen were not only more numerous by 1860, but they had begun to
vary their occupations, many working as servants, laundrymen or farm
hands. In March, a Chinese company was also organized to compete for
local fish trade.

In 1860, Émile Bordenave & Company opened the Louisiana Coffee Saloon
as a French restaurant. Roast duck and oysters were their specialty,
and they charged fifty cents a meal. But they also served "a plate at
one bit."[20] Some years later, there was a two-bit restaurant known
as Brown's on Main Street, near the United States Hotel, where a good,
substantial meal was served.

James, often called Santiago Johnson, who, for a short time prior to
his death about 1860 or 1861, was a forwarder of freight at San Pedro,
came to Los Angeles in 1833 with a cargo of Mexican and Chinese goods,
and after that owned considerable ranch property. In addition to
ranching, he also engaged extensively in cattle-raising.

Peter, popularly known as Pete or Bully Wilson, a native of Sweden,
came to Los Angeles about 1860. He ran a one horse dray; and as soon
as he had accumulated sufficient money, he bought, for twelve hundred
dollars, the southeast corner of Spring and First streets, where he
had his stable. He continued to prosper; and his family still enjoy
the fruits of his industry.

The same year, George Smith started to haul freight and baggage. He
had four horses hitched to a sombre-looking vehicle nicknamed the
_Black Swan_.

J. D. Yates was a grocer and provision-dealer of 1860, with a store on
the Plaza.

I have referred to Bishop Amat as presiding over the Diocese of
Monterey and Los Angeles; but Los Angeles was linked with Monterey,
for a while, even in judicial matters. Beginning with 1860 or 1861
(when Fletcher M. Haight, father of Governor H. H. Haight, was the
first Judge to preside), the United States Court for the Southern
District of California was held alternately in the two towns
mentioned, Colonel J. O. Wheeler serving as Clerk and the Court for
the Southern term occupying seven rooms of the second story of John
Temple's Block. These alternate sessions continued to be held until
about 1866 when the tribunal for the Southern District ceased to exist
and Angeleños were compelled to apply to the court in San Francisco.

For years, such was the neglect of the Protestant burial ground that
in 1860 caustic criticism was made by each newspaper discussing the
condition of the cemetery: there was no fence, headstones were
disfigured or demolished, and there was little or no protection to the
graves. As a matter of fact, when the cemetery on Fort Hill was
abandoned, but few of the bodies were removed.

By 1860, the New England Fire Insurance Company, of Hartford,
Connecticut, was advertising here through its local agent, H.
Hamilton--our friend of the Los Angeles _Star_. Hamilton used to
survey the applicants' premises, forward the data to William Faulkner,
the San Francisco representative, who executed the policy and mailed
the document back to Los Angeles. After a while, Samuel Briggs, with
Wells Fargo & Co., represented the Phoenix Insurance Company.

H. Newmark & Company also sold insurance somewhat later, representing
the Commercial Union Insurance Company. About 1880, however, they
disposed of their insurance interests to Maurice Kremer, whose main
competitor was W. J. Brodrick; and from this transaction developed the
firm of Kremer, Campbell & Company, still in that business. Not only
in this connection but elsewhere in these memoirs it may be noted how
little specialization there was in earlier days in Los Angeles; in
fact it was not until about 1880 that this process, distinctive of
economic progress, began to appear in Los Angeles. I myself have
handled practically every staple that makes up the very great
proportion of merchandising activity, whereas my successors of to-day,
as well as their competitors, deal only in groceries and kindred

Two brothers, Émile and Théophile Vaché, in the fall of 1860, started
what has become the oldest firm--Vaché Frères--in the local wine
business, at first utilizing the Bernard residence at Alameda and
Third streets, in time used by the Government as a bonded warehouse.
Later, they removed to the building on Aliso Street once occupied by
the Medical College, where the cellars proved serviceable for a
winery. There they attempted the manufacture of cream of tartar from
wine-crystals, but the venture was not remunerative. In 1881, the
Vachés, joined by their brother Adolphe, began to grow grapes in the
Barton Vineyard in San Bernardino County, and some time afterward they
bought near-by land and started the famous Brookside Vineyard. Émile
is now dead; while Théophile, who retired and returned to Europe in
1892, retaining an interest in the firm of T. Vaché & Company, passes
his hours pleasantly on the picturesque island of St. George d'Oléron,
in the Charente Inférieure, in his native France.

On September 21st, Captain W. S. Hancock, who first came to Los
Angeles in connection with the expedition against the Mojave Indians
in 1858, sought to establish a new kind of express between Los Angeles
and Fort Mojave, and sent out a camel in charge of Greek George to
make the trial trip. When they had been gone two and a half days, the
regular express messenger bound for Los Angeles met them at Lane's
Crossing, apparently in none too promising a condition; which later
gave rise to a report that the camel had died on the desert. This
occasioned numerous newspaper squibs _à propos_ of both the speed and
the staying powers of the camel as contrasted with those of the burro;
and finally, in October, the following announcement appeared placarded
throughout the town:




     From a cold and mountainous country, comprising 6 males and
     7 females, (5 being with young,) all in fine health and

     * * * For further particulars, inquire of the Auctioneers.

In 1858, Richard Garvey came to Los Angeles and entered the Government
service as a messenger, between this city and New Mexico, for Captain
W. S. Hancock. Later, he went to the Holcomb Valley mines, where he
first met Lucky Baldwin; and by 1872 he had disposed of some San
Bernardino mine properties at a figure which seemed to permit his
retirement and ease for the rest of his life. For the next twenty
years, he was variously employed, at times operating for Baldwin.
Garvey is at present living in Los Angeles.

What was one of the last bullfights here, toward the end of September,
when a little child was trodden upon in the ring, reminds me not only
of the succeeding sports, including horse-racing, but as well that
Francis Temple should be credited with encouraging the importation and
breeding of good horses. In 1860 he paid seven thousand dollars, then
considered an enormous sum, for _Black Warrior_; and not long
afterward he bought _Billy Blossom_ at a fancy figure.

A political gathering or two enlivened the year 1860. In July, when
the local sentiment was, to all appearances, strongly in favor of
Breckenridge and Lane, the Democratic candidates for President and
Vice-President, one hundred guns were fired in their honor; and great
was the jubilation of the Democratic hosts. A later meeting, under the
auspices of the Breckenridge Club, was held in front of the Montgomery
saloon on Main Street. Judge Dryden presided, and Senator Milton S.
Latham was the chief speaker. A number of ladies graced the occasion,
some seated in chairs near by and others remaining in their vehicles
drawn up in a semicircle before the speaker's stand. As a result of
all this effort, the candidates in question did lead in the race here,
but only by four votes. On counting the ballots the day after
election, it was found that Breckenridge had two hundred and
sixty-seven votes, while Douglas, the Independent Democratic nominee,
had polled two hundred and sixty-three. Of permanent interest,
perhaps, as showing the local sentiment on other questions of the
time, is that Lincoln received in Los Angeles only one hundred and
seventy-nine votes.

Generally, a candidate persuaded his friends to nominate and endorse
him, but now and then one came forward and addressed the public
directly. In the fall of 1860, the following announcement appeared in
the _Southern News_:


     I am a candidate for the office of Justice of the Peace,
     and I desire to say to you, frankly, that I want you all to
     vote for me on the 6th of November next. I aspire to the
     office for two reasons,--first, because I am vain enough to
     believe that I am capable of performing the duties
     required, with credit to myself and to the satisfaction of
     all good citizens; second, because I am poor, and am
     desiring of making an honest living thereby.


During my first visit to San Francisco, in the fall of 1853, and while
_en route_ to Los Angeles, my attention was called to a line of
electric telegraph, then just installed between the Golden Gate and
the town, for use in reporting the arrival of vessels. About a month
later a line was built from San Francisco to Sacramento, Stockton and
around to San José. Nothing further, however, was done toward reaching
Southern California with the electric wire until the end of May or the
beginning of June, 1860, when President R. E. Raimond and Secretary
Fred. J. McCrellish (promoters of the Pacific & Atlantic Telegraph
Company, organized in 1858 to reach San António, Texas, and Memphis,
Tennessee) came to Los Angeles to lay the matter before our citizens.
Stock was soon subscribed for a line through the city and as far as
Fort Yuma, and in a few days Banning had fifty teams ready to haul the
telegraph poles, which were deposited in time along the proposed
route. In the beginning, interest was stimulated by the promise that
the telegraph would be in operation by the Fourth of July; but
Independence Day came and went, and the best that the telegraph
company could do was to make the ambiguous report that there were so
and so many "holes in the ground." Worse than that, it was announced,
toward the end of July, that the stock of wire had given out; and
still worse, that no more could be had this side of the Atlantic
States! That news was indeed discouraging; but by the middle of
August, twenty tons of wire were known to be on a clipper bound for
San Francisco, around the Horn, and five tons were being hurried here
by steamer. The wire arrived, in due season, and the most energetic
efforts were made to establish telegraphic communication between Los
Angeles and San Francisco. It was while McCrellish was slowly
returning to the North, in June, that I met him as narrated in a
previous chapter.

Finally, at eight o'clock on October 8th, 1860, a few magic words from
the North were ticked out in the Los Angeles office of the telegraph
company. Two hours later, as those familiar with our local history
know, Mayor Henry Mellus sent the following memorable message to H. F.
Teschemacher, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:

     Allow me, on behalf of the citizens of Los Angeles, to send
     you greeting of fellowship and good-feeling on the
     completion of the line of telegraph which now binds the two
     cities together.

Whereupon, the next day, President Teschemacher (who, by the way, was
a well-known importer, having brought the first almond seed from the
Mediterranean in the early fifties) replied to Mayor Mellus:

     Your despatch has just been received. On behalf of the
     citizens of San Francisco, I congratulate Los Angeles,
     trusting that the benefit may be mutual.

A ball in Los Angeles fittingly celebrated the event, as will be seen
from the following despatch, penned by Henry D. Barrows, who was then
Southern California correspondent of the _Bulletin_:

     LOS ANGELES, October 9, 1860, 10.45 A. M.

     Here is the maiden salutation of Los Angeles to San
     Francisco by lightning! This despatch--the first to the
     press from this point--the correspondent of the _Bulletin_
     takes pleasure in communicating in behalf of his
     fellow-citizens. The first intelligible communication by
     the electric wire was received here last night at about
     eight o'clock, and a few hours later, at a grand and
     brilliant ball, given in honor of the occasion, despatches
     were received from San Francisco announcing the complete
     working of the entire line. Speeches were made in the
     crowded ball-room by E. J. C. Kewen and J. McCrellish. News
     of Colonel Baker's election in Oregon to the United States
     Senate electrified the Republicans, but the Breckenridges
     doubted it at first. Just before leaving yesterday, Senator
     Latham planted the first telegraph pole from this point
     east, assisted by a concourse of citizens.

Barrows' telegram concluded with the statement, highly suggestive of
the future commercial possibilities of the telegraph, that the steamer
_Senator_ would leave San Pedro that evening with three thousand or
more boxes of grapes.

On October 16th, the steamer _J. T. Wright_, named after the
boat-owner and widely advertised as "new, elegant, and fast," arrived
at San Pedro, in charge of Captain Robert Haley; and many persons
professed to see in her appearance on the scene new hope for
beneficial coastwise competition. After three or four trips, however,
the steamer was withdrawn.

Leonard John Rose, a German by birth, and brother-in-law of H. K. S.
O'Melveny, arrived with his family by the Butterfield Stage Route in
November, having fought and conquered, so to speak, every step of his
way from Illinois, from which State, two years before, he had set out.
Rose and other pioneers tried to reach California along the
Thirty-fifth parallel, a route surveyed by Lieutenant Beale but
presenting terrific hardships; on the sides of mountains, at times,
they had to let down their wagons by ropes, and again they almost died
of thirst. The Mojave Indians, too, set upon them and did not desist
until seventeen Indians had been killed and nine whites were slain or
wounded, Rose himself not escaping injury. With the help of other
emigrants, Rose and his family managed to reach Albuquerque, where
within two years in the hotel business he acquired fourteen thousand
dollars. Then, coming to Los Angeles, he bought from William Wolfskill
one hundred and sixty acres near the old Mission of San Gabriel, and
so prospered that he was soon able to enlarge his domain to over two
thousand acres. He laid out a splendid vineyard and orange grove, and
being full of ambition, enterprise and taste, it was not long before
he had the show-place of the county.

Apparently, Temple really inaugurated his new theater with the coming
to Los Angeles in November of that year of "the Great Star Company of
Stark & Ryer," as well as with the announcement made at the time by
their management: "This is the first advent of a theatrical company
here." Stark & Ryer were in Los Angeles for a week or two; and though
I should not vouch for them as stars, the little hall was crowded each
night, and almost to suffocation. There were no fire ordinances then
as to filling even the aisles and the window-sills, nor am I sure that
the conventional fire-pail, more often empty than filled with water,
stood anywhere about; but just as many tickets were sold, regardless
of the seating capacity. Tragedy gave way, alternately, to comedy, one
of the evenings being devoted to _The Honeymoon_; and as this was not
quite long enough to satisfy the onlookers, who had neither trains nor
boats to catch, there was an after-piece. In those days, when Los
Angeles was entirely dependent on the North for theatrical and similar
talent, it sometimes happened that the steamer was delayed or that the
"star" failed to catch the ship and so could not arrive when expected;
as a result of which patrons, who had journeyed in from the ranches,
had to journey home again with their curiosity and appetite for the
histrionic unsatisfied.

Prisoners, especially Indians, were employed on public works. As late
as November, 1860, the Water Overseer was empowered to take out any
Indians who might be in the calaboose, and to use them for repairing
the highways and bridges.

About 1860, Nathan Jacoby came to Los Angeles, on my invitation, as I
had known him in Europe; and he was with me about a year. When I sold
out, he entered the employ of M. Kremer and later went into business
for himself. As the senior partner of Jacoby Brothers, he died
suddenly in 1911. Associated with Nathan at different periods were his
brothers, Herman, Abraham, Morris, Charles and Lesser Jacoby, all of
them early arrivals. Of this group, Charles and Lesser, both active in
business circles in their day, are also dead.

Toward the end of 1860, Solomon Lazard returned to France, to visit
his mother; but no sooner had he arrived at his old home and
registered, according to law, with the police, than he was arrested,
charged with having left his fatherland at the age of seventeen,
without having performed military duty. In spite of his American
citizenship, he was tried by court-martial and sentenced to a short
imprisonment; but through the intervention of the United States
Minister, Charles J. Faulkner--the author of the Fugitive Slave Law of
1850--and the clemency of the Emperor Napoleon III., he was finally
released. He had to furnish a substitute, however, or pay a fine of
fifteen hundred francs; and he paid the fine. At length,
notwithstanding his unpleasant experience, Lazard arrived in Los
Angeles about the middle of March, 1861.

Tired of the wretched sidewalks, John Temple, in December, 1860, set
to work to introduce an improvement in front of his Main Street block,
an experiment that was watched with interest. Bricks were covered with
a thick coating of asphalt brought from La Brea Ranch, which was
smoothed while still warm and then sprinkled with sand; the
combination promising great durability. In the summer season, however,
the coating became soft and gluey, and was not comfortable to walk

I have already spoken of the effect of heat and age on foodstuffs such
as eggs and butter, when brought over the hot desert between San
Bernardino and Los Angeles. This disadvantage continued for years; nor
was the succeeding plan of bringing provisions from San Francisco and
the North by way of the ocean without its obstacles. A. Ulyard, the
baker, realized the situation, and in December advertised "fresh
crackers, baked in Los Angeles, and superior to those half spoiled by
the sea voyage."

Previous to the days of warehouses, and much before the advent of
railroads, the public hay-scale was an institution, having been
constructed by Francis Mellus in the dim past. Exposed to the
elements, it stood alone out in the center of Los Angeles Street,
somewhat south of Aliso; and in the lawless times of the young town
was a silent witness to the numerous crimes perpetrated in the
adjacent Calle de Los Negros. Onto its rough platform the neighboring
farmers drove their heavy loads, often waiting an hour or two for the
arrival of the owner, who alone had the key to its mysterious
mechanism. Speaking of this lack of a warehouse brings to my mind the
pioneer of 1850, Edouard Naud, who first attracted attention as a
clever pastryman with a little shop on Commercial Street where he made
a specialty of lady-fingers--selling them at fifty cents a dozen.
Engaging in the wool industry, he later become interested in wool and
this led him in 1878 to erect Naud's warehouse on Alameda Street, at
present known as the Union Warehouse.[21] Naud died in 1881. His son,
Edward, born in Los Angeles, is famous as an amateur _chef_ who can
prepare a French dinner that even a professional might be proud of.

In May, as elsewhere stated, Henry Mellus was elected Mayor of Los
Angeles; and on the twenty-sixth of December he died--the first to
yield that office to the inexorable demands of Death. The news of his
demise called forth unfeigned expressions of regret; for Mellus was
not only a man of marked ability, but he was of genial temperament and
the soul of honor.


[20] Twelve and one-half cents.

[21] Destroyed by fire on September 22d, 1915.




The year 1861 dawned dark and foreboding. On the twentieth of the
preceding December, South Carolina had seceded, and along the Pacific,
as elsewhere, men were anxiously wondering what would happen next.
Threats and counter-threats clearly indicated the disturbed state of
the public mind; and when, near Charleston Harbor, a hostile shot was
fired at the _Star of the West_, the certainty of further trouble,
particularly with the coming inauguration of Lincoln, was everywhere

Aside, however, from these disturbing events so much affecting
commercial life, the year, sandwiched between two wet seasons, was in
general a prosperous one. There were evil effects of the heavy rains,
and business in the spring was rather dull; but cattlemen, upon whose
success so many other people depended, took advantage of the favoring
conditions and profited accordingly.

During the period of the flood in 1859-60, the river, as we have seen,
was impassable, and for months there was so much water in the bed,
ordinarily dry, that foot-passage was interrupted. In January, 1861,
therefore, the Common Council, under the influence of one of its
members, E. Moulton, whose dairy was in East Los Angeles, provided a
flimsy foot-bridge in his neighborhood. If my memory serves me,
construction was delayed, and so the bridge escaped the next winter's
flood, though it went down years later.

On January 9th, the schooner _Lewis Perry_ arrived at anchorage, to be
towed across the bar and to the wharf by the little steamer[22]
_Comet_. This was the first sea-going vessel that had ever visited New
San Pedro with a full cargo, and demonstrated, it was thought by many,
that the port was easily navigable by vessels drawing eleven feet of
water or less! Comments of all kinds were made upon this event, one
scribe writing:

     We expect to see coasting steamers make their regular trips
     to New Town, discharging freight and loading passengers on
     the wharf, safe from the dangers of rough weather, instead
     of lying off at sea, subjecting life and property to the
     perils of southeast gales and the breakers. The _Senator_
     even, in the opinion of experienced persons, might easily
     enter the channel on the easterly side of Dead Man's
     Island, and thence find a safe passage in the Creek. _It
     will yet happen!_

John M. Griffith came to Los Angeles in 1861, having four years
previously married a sister of John J. Tomlinson. With the latter he
formed a partnership in the passenger and freight-carrying business,
their firm competing with Banning & Company until 1868, when Tomlinson

This same year, at the age of about eighteen, Eugene Meyer arrived. He
first clerked for Solomon Lazard, in the retail dry-goods business;
and in 1867 he was admitted into partnership. On November 20th of that
year Meyer married Miss Harriet, the youngest daughter of Joseph
Newmark--who officiated.

Felix Bachman, who came in 1853, was at various times in partnership
with Philip Sichel (after whom Sichel Street is named, and Councilman
in 1862), Samuel Laubheim and Ben Schloss, the firm being known as
Bachman & Company; and on Los Angeles Street near Commercial they
carried on the largest business in town. Bachman secured much Salt
Lake trade and in 1861 opposed high freight rates; but although well
off when he left here, he died a poor man in San Francisco, at the age
of nearly one hundred years.

  [Illustration: Winfield Scott Hancock]

  [Illustration: Albert Sidney Johnston]

  [Illustration: Los Angeles County in 1854 From a contemporary map]

  [Illustration: The Morris Adobe, once Frémont's Headquarters]

In 1861, Adolph Junge arrived and established a drug-store in the
Temple Block, his only competitor being Theodore Wollweber; and there
he continued for nearly twenty years, one of his prescription books,
now in the County Museum, evidencing his activity. For a while, F. J.
Gieze, the well-known druggist for so many years on North Main Street,
and an arrival of '74, clerked for Junge. At the beginning of the
sixties, Dr. A. B. Hayward practiced medicine here, his office being
next to Workman Brothers' saddlery, on Main Street. Wollweber's name
recalls a practical joke of the late sixties, when some waggish friend
raised the cry that there was a bear across the river, and induced my
Teutonic neighbor to go in hot pursuit. After bracing himself for the
supreme effort, Wollweber shot the beast dead; only to learn that the
bear, a blind and feeble animal, was a favorite pet, and that it would
take just twenty-five dollars to placate the irate owner!

The absence in general of shade trees was so noticeable that when John
Temple, on January 31st, planted a row facing Temple Building there
was the usual town gossip. Charley Ducommon followed Temple's example.
Previously, there had been several wide-spreading trees in front of
the Bella Union hotel, and it came to pass within the next five years
that many pepper-trees adorned the streets.

In 1861, the Post Office was removed from North Spring Street to a
frame building on Main Street, opposite Commercial. About the same
time when, owing to floods, no mail arrived for three or four weeks
and someone facetiously hung out a sign announcing the office "To
Let!" the Washington postal authorities began issuing stamped
envelopes, of the values of twelve and twenty-four cents, for those
business men of Los Angeles and the Pacific Coast who were likely to
use the recently-developed Pony Express.

Matthew Keller, or Don Mateo, as he was called, who died in 1881, was
a quaint personality of real ability, who had a shop on the northwest
corner of Los Angeles and Commercial streets, and owned the adjoining
store in which P. Beaudry had been in business. His operations were
original and his advertising unique, as will be seen from his
announcement in the _Star_ in February:


     You are hereby notified that the time has at last arrived
     when you must pay up, without further delay, or I shall be
     obliged to invoke the aid of the law and the lawyers.

     Your most ob't servant,
     M. KELLER.

Which warning was followed, in the next issue, by this:


     The Right of Secession Admitted!

     You are hereby notified that the time has arrived when you
     must pay up, without further delay, or I shall be obliged
     to invoke the aid of the law and the lawyers.

     After such settlement, slow-payers are requested to secede.

     M. KELLER.

     (to be augmented next week)

This later advertisement, with the line in parenthesis, continued to
be printed, week after week, without change, _for at least twelve

The following year, Keller, in flaring headlines, offered for sale the
front of his Los Angeles vineyard, facing on Aliso Street, in building
lots of twenty by one hundred feet, saying, in his prospectus:

     Great improvements are on the _tapis_ in this quarter.
     Governor Downey and the intrepid Beaudry propose to open a
     street to let the light of day shine in upon their dark
     domains. On the Equerry side of Aliso Street, "what fine
     legs your master has," must run to give way for more
     permanent fixtures. Further on, the Prior estates are about
     to be improved by the astute and far-seeing Templito; and
     Keller sells lots on the sunny side of Aliso Street. The
     map is on view at my office; come in and make your
     selections,--first come, first served! Terms will be made

     M. KELLER.

Nathaniel Pryor--sometimes known as Don Miguel N. Pryor or Prior--is
the pioneer referred to by Keller. At the age of thirty, it is said,
in 1828, he came here, and fifteen or twenty years later, about the
time that he was a _Regidor_ or Councilman, was one of eight or ten
Easterners who had farms within the pueblo district. His property, in
part a vineyard, included what is now Commercial to First streets and
possibly from Los Angeles Street to the river; on it was an adobe
which is still standing on Jackson Street, and is the only mud-brick
structure in that section. For a while, and probably because he had
loaned Pryor some money, F. P. F. Temple had an interest in the
estate. Pryor was twice married, having a son, Charles, by his first
wife, and a son, Nathaniel, Jr., by his second. Pablo Pryor of San
Juan was another son. The first Mrs. Pryor died about 1840, and is one
of the few--with the mother of Pio Pico--buried inside of the old
church at the Plaza. The second Mrs. Pryor, who inherited the
property, died about 1857. A granddaughter, Mrs. Lottie Pryor, is a
surviving member of this family.

During the administration of Padre Blas Raho, a genial, broad-minded
Italian, several attempts were made, beginning with 1857 or 1858, to
improve the old church at the Plaza; and in 1861, the historic
edifice, so long unchanged, was practically rebuilt. The front adobe
wall, which had become damaged by rains, was taken down and
reconstructed of brick; some alterations were made in the tower; and
the interesting old tiled roof was replaced--to the intense regret of
later and more appreciative generations--with modern, less durable
shingles. A fence was provided, and trees, bushes and plants were set
out. The church was also frescoed, inside and out, by Henri Penelon,
the French pioneer artist and photographer, who painted upon the wall
the following inscription:

     _Los Fieles de Esta Parroquia á la Reina de los Angeles, 1861._[23]

Early in March, Sanchez Street was opened by the Common Council. It
was opposite the northern section of Arcadia Block, passed through
the properties of Sanchez, Pico, Coronel and others, and terminated at
the Plaza.

The Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, part of the five thousand militia
wanted by California, was organized on March 6th at a meeting in the
Court House presided over by George W. Gift, with M. J. Newmark, who
became an officer in the company, as Secretary.

Late in March, John Fröhling rented from the City Fathers a space
under the Temple Market building for a wine cellar; and in December,
1860, at the close of his vintage, when he had conducted a hearty
harvest-home celebration, he filled the vault with pipes and other
casks containing twenty thousand or more gallons of native wines. In a
corner, a bar was speedily built; and by many Angeleños that day not
associated with at least one pilgrimage to Fröhling's cool and rather
obscure recesses was considered incomplete.

Few who witnessed the momentous events of 1861 will forget the
fever-heat of the nation. The startling news of the attack on Fort
Sumter took twelve days by Pony Express to reach the Coast, the
overland telegraph not being completed until six months later; but
when, on the twenty-fourth of April, the last messenger in the relay
of riders dashed into San Francisco with the story, an excited
population was soon seething about the streets. San Francisco
instantly flashed the details south, awakening here much the same
mingled feelings of elation and sorrow.

When the war thus broke out, Albert Sidney Johnston, a fellow-townsman
who had married a sister of Dr. J. S. Griffin, and who, in 1857, had
successfully placed Utah under Federal control, resigned from his
command as head of the Department of the Pacific--General Edwin V.
Sumner succeeding him--and, being a Southerner, left for the South, by
way of Warner's Ranch and the Overland Route, with about a hundred
companions, most of whom were intercepted at Fort Yuma through the
orders of Captain W. S. Hancock. According to Senator Cornelius Cole,
Sumner arrived at Johnston's headquarters in San Francisco after dark;
and in spite of Johnston's protest, insisted on assuming command at
once. Johnston took up arms for the Confederacy, and was made a
Brigadier-General; but at Shiloh he was killed, the news of his death
causing here the sincerest regret. I shall speak of the loss of one of
General Johnston's sons in the disaster to the _Ada Hancock_; another
son, William Preston, became President of Tulane University.

Others of our more enthusiastic Southerners, such as Cameron E. Thom
and J. Lancaster Brent, also joined the Rebellion and proceeded to the
seat of war. Thom, who has since attained much distinction, returned
to Los Angeles, where he is still living[24]. Brent never came back
here, having settled near New Orleans; and there I again met him,
while I was attending the Exposition. He had fought through the War,
becoming a General before its close; and he told me that he had been
arrested by Federal officers while on his way to the South from Los
Angeles, but had made his escape.

Among the very few who went to the front on the Union side and
returned here was Charles Meyrs Jenkins, already referred to as a city
_Zanjero_. Owing to the possible need of troops here, as well as to
the cost of transportation, volunteers from the Pacific slope were not
called for and Jenkins joined an Eastern cavalry battalion organized
in October, 1862. Even then, he and his comrades were compelled to pay
their own way to the Atlantic seaboard, where they were incorporated
into the Second Massachusetts Cavalry. Jenkins engaged in twenty
battles, and for fifteen months was a prisoner of war confined at both
Andersonville and Libby; suffering such terrible hardships that he was
but one of three, out of a hundred and fifty of his battalion, who
came out alive.

Not everyone possibly even among those familiar with the building of
the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad, knows that an effort was made,
as far back as 1861, to finance a railroad here. About the middle of
February in that year, Murray Morrison and Abel Stearns, Assemblymen,
learned of the willingness of Eastern capitalists to build such a road
within eighteen months, providing the County would subscribe one
hundred thousand dollars toward the undertaking, and the City fifty
thousand. The Legislature therefore on May 17th, 1861, granted the
franchise; but important as was the matter to our entire district,
nothing further was done until 1863 to give life to the movement.

For almost a decade after I came here, St. Valentine's Day was seldom
observed in Los Angeles; but about 1861 or 1862, the annual exchange
of decorated cards, with their sentimental verses, came to be somewhat

Phineas Banning was a staunch Republican and an ardent Abolitionist;
and it was not extraordinary that on May 25th, at a grand Union
demonstration in Los Angeles, he should have been selected to present
to the Union Club, in his characteristically vigorous manner, an
American flag made for the occasion. Columbus Sims, as President,
accepted the emblem, after which there was a procession, led by the
First Dragoons' band, many participants being on horseback. In those
days such a procession had done its duty when it tramped along Main
Street and around the Plaza and back, by way of Spring Street, as far
as First; and everyone was in the right frame of mind to hear and
enjoy the patriotic speeches made by Captain Winfield Scott Hancock,
General Ezra Drown and Major James Henry Carleton, while in the
distance was fired a salute of thirty-four guns--one for each State in
the Union.

Senator William McKendree Gwin was another man of prominence.
Following his search for gold with the Forty-niners--due, he used to
say, to advice from John C. Calhoun, who, probably taking his cue from
Dana's prophecy in _Two Years Before the Mast_, one day put his finger
on the map and predicted that, should the bay now called San Francisco
ever be possessed by Americans, a city rivaling New York would spring
up on its shores--Gwin came to Los Angeles occasionally, and never
forgot to visit me at my home. In 1861, he was arrested by the Federal
Government for his known sympathy with the South, and was kept a
prisoner for a couple of years; after which he went to France and
there planned to carry through, under force of arms, the colonization
of Sonora, Mexico, depending in vain on Napoleon III. and Maximilian
for support. Notwithstanding this futile effort, Gwin became a leader
in national Democratic councils, and was an intimate adviser of Samuel
J. Tilden in his historic campaign.

Oscar Macy, son of Dr. Obed Macy, having as a newspaper man
enthusiastically advocated the election of Frémont in 1856, was
appointed, on Lincoln's inauguration, to the Collectorship of Customs
at San Pedro; a post which he continued to fill even after the office
had been reduced to an inspectorship, later resigning in favor of
George C. Alexander. This recalls another appointment by Lincoln--that
of Major António María Pico, a nephew of Pio Pico, to the Receivership
of Public Moneys at Los Angeles. Pico lived at San José; and finding
that his new duties exiled him from his family, he soon resigned the

Old-time barbers, as the reader may be aware, were often surgeons, and
the arrival in Commercial Street, in the early sixties, of J. A.
Meyer, "late of San Francisco," was announced in part as follows:

     Gentlemen will be waited on and have Shaving,
     Hair-Dressing, and Shampooing prepared in the most
     luxurious manner, and in the finest style of the art; while
     Cupping, Bleeding, and Teeth-Extracting will also be
     attended to!

Fort Tejón had been pretty well broken up by June, when a good deal of
the army property was moved to Los Angeles. Along with Uncle Sam's bag
and baggage, came thirty or more of the camels previously mentioned,
including half a dozen "young uns." For some months they were
corralled uncomfortably near the genial Quartermaster's Main Street
office; but in October they were removed to a yard fixed up for them
on D. Anderson's premises, opposite the Second Street schoolhouse.

Starting with the cook brought to Los Angeles by Joseph Newmark, the
Chinese population in 1861 had increased to twenty-one men and eight
women--a few of them cooks and servants, but most of them working in
five or six laundries. About the middle of June of that year, Chun
Chick arrived from San Francisco and created a flurry, not merely in
Chinatown, but throughout our little city, by his announcement that he
would start a store here; and by the thirteenth of July, this pioneer
Chinese shop, a veritable curiosity shop, was opened. The
establishment was on Spring Street, opposite the Court House; and
besides a general assortment of Chinese goods, there was a fine
display of preserves and other articles hitherto not obtainable in
town. Chun Chick was clever in his appeals of "A Chinese Merchant to
the Public;" but he nevertheless joined the celebrities advertised for
delinquent taxes. Chun Chick--or, as he appeared on the tax
collector's list, Chick Chun--was down for five hundred dollars in
merchandise, with one dollar and twenty-five cents for City, and the
same amount for school taxes. Sing Hop, Ching Hop and Ah Hong were
other Chinamen whose memory failed at the critical tax time of that

For years, until wharves made possible for thousands the pleasures of
rod and reel, clams, since used for bait, were almost a drug on the
market, being hawked about the streets in 1861 at a dollar a bucket--a
price not very remunerative considering that they came from as far
north as San Buenaventura.


[22] A term locally applied to tugs.

[23] "The Faithful of this Parish, to the Queen of the Angels."

[24] Captain Thom died on February 2d, 1915.




When the Civil War began, California and the neighboring territory
showed such pronounced Southern sympathies that the National
Government kept both under close surveillance, for a time stationing
Major, afterward General James Henry Carleton--in 1862 sent across the
Colorado River when the Government drove out the Texans--with a force
at Camp Latham, near Ballona, and dispatching another force to Drum
Barracks, near Wilmington. The Government also established a thorough
system of espionage over the entire Southwest. In Los Angeles and
vicinity, many people, some of whom I mention elsewhere, were
arrested; among them being Henry Schaeffer who was taken to Wilmington
Barracks but through influential friends was released after a few
days. On account of the known political views of their proprietors,
some of the hotels also were placed under watch for a while; but
beyond the wrath of the innkeepers at the sentinels pacing up and down
their verandas, nothing more serious transpired. Men on both sides
grew hot-headed and abused one another roundly, but few bones were
broken and little blood was shed. A policy of leniency was adopted by
the authorities, and sooner or later persons arrested for political
offenses were discharged.

The ominous tidings from beyond the Colorado, and their effect,
presaging somewhat the great internecine conflict, recalls an
unpublished anecdote of Winfield Scott Hancock, who was a graduate of
West Point, an intense patriot and a "natural born" fighter. One day
in 1861, coincident with the Texan invasion, and while I was visiting
him in his office on Main Street near Third (after he had removed from
the upstairs rooms adjoining the Odd Fellows' Hall in the Temple
Building), John Goller dropped in with the rumor that conspirators, in
what was soon to become Arizona, were about to seize the Government
stores. Hancock was much wrought up when he heard the report, and
declared, with angry vehemence, that he would "treat the whole damned
lot of them as common thieves!" In the light of this demonstration and
his subsequent part as a national character of great renown, Hancock's
speech at the Fourth of July celebration, in 1861, when the patriotic
Angeleños assembled at the Plaza and marched to the shady grove of Don
Luis Sainsevain, is worthy of special note. Hancock made a sound
argument for the preservation of the Union, and was heartily
applauded; and a few days afterward one of the local newspapers, in
paying him a deserved tribute, almost breathed an augury in saying:

     Captain Hancock's loyalty to the Stars and Stripes has
     never for a moment been doubted, and we hope he may be
     advanced in rank and honors, and live to a green old age,
     to see the glorious banner of our country yet waving in
     peaceful glory over a united, prosperous, and happy people.

Few of us, however, who heard Hancock speak on that occasion, dreamed
to what high position he would eventually attain.

Soon after this episode, that is, in the early part of August, 1861,
Hancock left for the front, in company with his wife; and taking with
him his military band, he departed from San Pedro on the steamer
_Senator_. Some of my readers may know that Mrs. Hancock--after whom
the ill-fated _Ada Hancock_ was named--was a Southern woman, and
though very devoted to her husband, had certain natural sympathies for
the South; but none, I dare say, will have heard how she perpetrated
an amusing joke upon him on their way north. When once out upon the
briny deep, she induced the musicians to play _Dixie_, to the great
amusement of the passengers. Like many Southerners, Mrs. Hancock was
an Episcopalian and frequently contributed her unusual musical talent
to the service of the choir of St. Athanasius Church, the little
edifice for a while at the foot of Pound Cake Hill--first the location
of the Los Angeles High School and now of the County Courthouse--and
the forerunner of the Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, on Olive Street
opposite Central Park.

Having in mind the sojourn in Los Angeles for years of these
representative Americans, the following editorial from the Los Angeles
_Star_ on the departure of the future General and Presidential
nominee, seems to me now of more than passing significance:

     While resident here, Captain Hancock took great interest in
     our citizens, the development of our resources, and the
     welfare of this section of the country; and as a
     public-spirited, enterprising gentleman, he will be missed
     from among us, and his most estimable lady will long live
     in the hearts of her many friends. We desire their
     prosperity, happiness, and long life, wherever their lot
     may be cast.

The establishing of Drum Barracks and Camp Drum at Wilmington was a
great contribution to the making of that town, for the Government not
only spent over a million dollars in buildings and works there, and
constantly drew on the town for at least part of its supplies, but
provisions of all kinds were sent through Wilmington to troops in
Southern California, Utah, Yuma, Tucson and vicinity, and New Mexico.

P. H., popularly known as Major Downing, was employed by Banning for
some time during the War to take charge of the great wagon-trains of
Government supplies sent inland; and later he opened a general
merchandise store in Wilmington, after which he transacted a large
volume of business with H. Newmark & Company.

At the breaking out of the War, the Southern Overland Mail Route was
discontinued and a contract was made with Butterfield for service
along a more central course, by way of Great Salt Lake. There was then
a stage six times a week; and a branch line ran to Denver, the
terminus having been changed from St. Joseph to Omaha. Twenty days was
the time allowed the company to get its stages through during eight
months of the year, and twenty-three days for the more uncertain
winter months. This contract was made for three years, and one million
dollars a year was the compensation allowed the Butterfields. After
the War, the old route was resumed.

J. De Barth Shorb came to Los Angeles at the commencement of the War,
as Assistant Superintendent of the Philadelphia & California Oil
Company; and in 1867 he bought the Temescal grant and began to mine
upon the property. The same year he married a daughter of B. D.
Wilson, establishing a relationship which brought him a partnership in
the San Gabriel Wine Company, of which he eventually became manager.
His position in this community, until he died in 1895, was important,
the little town of Shorb testifying to one of his activities.

Not only were the followers of the indefatigable _padres_ rather tardy
in taking up the cultivation of olives, but the olive-oil industry
hereabouts was a still later venture. As an illustration, even in 1861
somewhat less than five hundred gallons of olive oil was made in all
Los Angeles County, and most of that was produced at the San Fernando

How important was the office of the _Zanjero_, may be gathered from
the fact that in 1861 he was paid twelve hundred dollars a year, while
the Mayor received only eight hundred dollars and the Treasurer two
hundred dollars less than the Mayor. At the same time, the Marshal,
owing to the hazardous duties of his office, received as much as the
Mayor; the City Attorney one hundred dollars less than the Treasurer;
and the Clerk but three hundred and fifty.

By 1861, there were serious doubts as to the future of cattle-raising
in Southern California, but Banning & Company came forward proposing
to slaughter at New San Pedro and contracted with John Temple, John
Rains and others, to do their killing. For a while, the enterprise
was encouraged; Temple alone having six hundred head so disposed of
and sold.

In September, Columbus Sims, the popular attorney of unique
personality who from 1856 to 1860 had been Clerk of the United States
District Court, was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in the United States
Army and placed in charge of Camp Alert, at the Pioneer Race Course,
San Francisco, where twelve companies were soon assembled; and a month
or two later he was made Colonel in the Second Cavalry. Late in
December of that year, however, he had an altercation with D. D.
Colton, in San Francisco, when blows were exchanged and Sims drew "a
deadly weapon." For this, the doughty Colonel was arrested and held to
await the action of the Grand Jury; but I am under the impression that
nothing very serious befell the belligerent Sims as a result.

On September 11th, H. Stassforth, after having bought out A. W.
Schulze, announced a change in the control of the United States Hotel,
inviting the public, at the same time, to a "free lunch," at half-past
four o'clock the following Sunday. Stassforth was an odd, but
interesting character, and stated in his advertisement that guests
were at liberty, when they had partaken of the collation, to judge if
he could "keep a hotel." Whether successful or otherwise, Stassforth
did not long continue in control, for in November, 1862, he disposed
of the business to Webber & Haas, who in turn sold it to Louis Mesmer.

In the fall, an atrocious murder took place here, proving but the
first in a series of vile deeds for which, eventually, the culprit
paid with his own life at the hands of an infuriated populace. On
Sunday evening, September 30th, some Frenchmen were assembled to sit
up with the body of one of their recently-deceased countrymen; and at
about eleven o'clock a quarrel arose between two of the watchers, A.
M. G., or Michel Lachenais--a man once of good repute, who had cast
some slurs at the French Benevolent Society--and Henry Delaval, a
respected employee of the Aliso Mills who spiritedly defended the
organization. Lachenais drew a weapon, approached Delaval and tried to
shoot him; but the pistol missed fire. Thereupon Lachenais, enraged,
walked toward a lamp, adjusted two other caps, and deliberately shot
Delaval through the body. The next day his victim died. Lachenais made
his escape and so eluded the authorities that it was not until the
middle of February, 1866, that he surrendered himself to Deputy
Sheriff Henderson. Then he was tried, but was acquitted.

About October, Remi Nadeau, a Canadian, after whom Nadeau Street is
named and father of George A. Nadeau, came across the Plains to Los
Angeles, having spent the previous winter, _en route_, in Salt Lake
City; and for a while he teamed between here and Montana. Within the
year, believing that San Francisco offered a larger field, he moved to
that city and continued his operations there.

In the front part of a little building on Main Street, between Second
and Third, Lorenzo Leck, whom I have already mentioned, conducted a
grocery, living with his family in the rear. He was a plain,
unassuming, honest Dane of the old school, who attended scrupulously
to his business and devoted his Sundays and holidays to modest
amusements. On such days, he would put his wife, Caroline, and their
children on a little wagon that he owned and take them to his vineyard
on the outskirts of the town; and there he would enjoy with them those
rural pastimes to which he had been accustomed in the Fatherland, and
which to many early-comers here were a source of rest and delight.

On the afternoon of Saturday, October 17th, Francisco Cota, a Mexican
boy fifteen years of age, entered Leck's store while he was out, and,
taking advantage of the fact that Frau Leck was alone, whipped out a
knife, stabbed her to death, stole what cash was in sight and then
escaped to a vineyard, where he hid himself. John W. Henderson, the
son of A. J. Henderson, a Deputy Sheriff here still living in Los
Angeles, came in soon after and finding Mrs. Leck horribly disfigured,
he gave the alarm. Neighbors and friends at once started in pursuit
and caught Cota; and having tied a rope around the murderer's neck
during the excitement they dragged him down to Alameda Street, where I
witnessed the uproar. As they proceeded by way of Aliso Street, the
mob became more and more infuriated, so that before it reached the
spot which had been selected for his execution, the boy had been
repeatedly stabbed and was nearly dead. At length, he was strung up as
a warning to other malefactors.

A short time after this melancholy event, I was driving with my wife
to the Cerritos _rancho_ and, missing our road, we stopped at a
Mexican home to inquire the way. The woman who answered our summons
proved to be one who knew, and was known by all Los Angeles merchants
on account of her frequent excursions to town; she was, in fact, the
mother of the Mexican boy who had been mobbed and hung for the murder
of poor Leck's wife! The sight of _Gringos_ kindled anew her maternal
wrath; and she set up such a hue and cry as to preclude any further
intelligible conversation.

California being so far removed from the seat of war did not awake to
its full significance until the credit of the Government began to
decline. Four weeks were required, it is well to remember, to complete
the trip from New York to San Francisco _via_ Panamá, and our
knowledge of events in the East was far from perfect. Until the
completion of the continental telegraph in October, 1861, the only
immediate news that reached the Coast came privately and we were,
therefore, pretty much in the dark until the arrival of Eastern
papers, and even after that telegraphing was so expensive that our
poorly-patronized little news-sheets could not afford the outlay. A
few of us therefore made up a purse of one hundred dollars a month,
which small sum enabled us to allay our anxiety at least in the case
of very important happenings.

It must not be forgotten, though, that we then had a little relief
from San Francisco, whose newspapers, containing some telegraphic
despatches, arrived in town perhaps three to four days after their
publication. I may add, in fact, that it was not until about the
beginning of the eighties that Los Angeles dailies could afford the
luxury of regular direct telegrams.

In other respects as well, editing a local newspaper during the War
was apt to entail financial loss. The Los Angeles _News_, for
instance, was outspoken for the Union and so escaped the temporary
eclipse suffered by the _Star_ through Government censorship; but the
Unionists being in a decided minority in the community, pickings for
the _News_ were mighty poor. Perhaps this want of patronage suggested
the advisability, in 1863 (when that paper was published by C. R.
Conway and Alonzo Waite, on Main Street, opposite the express office),
of reducing the subscription rate to five dollars a year.

Probably one of the most interesting visits to Los Angeles ever made
by a well-known personage was the sudden call with which Lady
Franklin, the wife of the eminent, lost Arctic explorer, honored our
little town far back in 1861. The distinguished lady, accompanied by
Mrs. Cracroft, her niece, Commodore and Madame Watkins and Collector
and Mrs. Rankin, arrived at San Pedro on the _Golden State_ during the
first week in November and was driven, with her companions, to the
Bella Union hotel, from which she made such short excursions about the
city as were then possible; and as sympathy for her in her sorrow, and
admiration for her long years of plucky though vain search for her
husband were still general, every courtesy possible was afforded her.
During Lady Franklin's stay Benjamin D. Wilson arranged a delightful
garden party at his hospitable mansion at Lake Vineyard in her
ladyship's honor, and Phineas Banning also entertained her with a
reception and collation at his San Pedro home; and these receptions
and collations were as enjoyable as they were notable. After a day or
two, Lady Franklin and her party left on the _Senator_ for San
Francisco, being accorded, as the vessel weighed anchor, a marked

For many years funerals were attended by men on horseback and by women
on foot, as hacks were unknown in early days; and while the good
citizens were doubtless then conducted to their last resting-place in
a manner just as satisfactory to themselves as are their descendants
who are buried according to present-day customs, those who followed in
the train were very seriously inconvenienced by the melancholy, dusty
processions to the old and now-forgotten burial-grounds; for in those
days the trip, in summer exceedingly hot and in winter through rain
and mud, was a long, fatiguing one.

Speaking of funerals, a strange sight was witnessed in our streets
about the end of November, 1861, attending the burial of a child. The
father and mother, both native Californians, were seated in a wagon,
in which was also placed the strikingly plain little coffin or box
containing the dead. Beside the wagon walked an old man, playing a
fiddle. Two or three persons followed in the deep mud; the whole
forming a weird picture, said to be the relic of an almost obsolete
back-woods custom.

Banning & Hinchman's _Comet_ proving insufficient, the _Gondolier_ was
put on in the fall of 1861 and became a familiar craft in the
conveying of passengers and freight between New San Pedro and the
ships lying off the harbor.

Two years previous to the completion of the telegraph from San
Francisco to Los Angeles--that is, in 1858--the first continental
telegraph was undertaken; and by October, 1861, Governor Downey of
California sent a congratulatory message to President Lincoln. On
November 7th, the line was open to the public. Several months before,
all the companies in the State had consolidated into the California
State Telegraph Company. Banning & Hinchman having succeeded, for a
short season, Phineas Banning, the sub-contractor for the building of
the first telegraph, they made an effort, following the establishment
of communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific, to secure a
line to New San Pedro; and at the end of October, 1861, the first
telegraph pole in the long row from Los Angeles to the harbor was
formally set. About the middle of November, this line was completed;
and though it was widely proclaimed as "working like a charm," the
apparatus soon got out of order and by the following January there
were many complaints that both poles and wire had fallen to the
ground, blocking the thoroughfares and entangling animals in such a
way as to become a nuisance. Indeed, there was soon a public demand
either to repair the telegraph or to remove it altogether and throw
the equipment away. Soon after the first of February, 1862, the line
was working again; but by that time the telegraph to San Francisco had
gotten out of order! And so great were the difficulties in repairing
that line, that Los Angeles was not again talking uninterruptedly over
the wire with its neighbor until July.

On November 15th, the first number of _El Amigo del Pueblo_, printed
in Spanish, appeared from the shop of José E. Gonzales & Company; but
native support being withheld, "The Friend of the People" starved to
death in the following May.

Whaling, like shark-hunting, continued brisk in 1861 and 1862, and
many vessels were fitted out at San Pedro; Los Angeles merchants
selling them most of their supplies. The sea-monsters usually moved up
the coast about the first of the year, the males keeping in toward the
shore going up, and the females hugging the coast, coming down; and
small boats such as Captain W. Clark's _Ocean_, used to take from four
hundred and fifty to five hundred barrels of oil in five or six weeks.
For six days, in March, 1862, San Pedro whalers harpooned a whale a
day, bringing to the landing over two hundred barrels of oil as a
result of the week's labor.

The bitter fight between Abolitionists and Southern sympathizers was
immediately reflected in the public schools. Defenders of the Union
worked for a formal oath of allegiance to the National Government, as
a preliminary to granting teachers' certificates; while the
Confederates, incensed at what they deemed a violation of personal
rights, assailed the institutions. The result was that attendance at
the public schools gradually fell off until, in the winter of 1865-66,
only about three hundred and fifty children of school age were being
instructed by public teachers; another third of a thousand was in
private schools, while some three hundred and sixty-nine were not on
any roster.

The gloom naturally caused by the outbreak of war was sometimes
penetrated by the brightness of social life, and among the happier
occasions of the winter of 1861 was the marriage, on December 23d, in
the presence of a large circle of friends, of Tom D. Mott to
Ascención, daughter of Don José Andrés and Doña Francisca Ábila

The winter of 1861-62 recorded the greatest of all floods, especially
in the North where, in December and January, something like
thirty-five inches of rain was precipitated. In Los Angeles County the
rivers soon rose and overflowed the lowlands; but the rise was
gradual, causing the loss of but few or no lives and permitting the
stock to reach the neighboring hills in safety. In Anaheim the water
was four feet deep in the streets and people had to seek flight to the
uplands or retreat to the roofs of their little houses. Vineyards were
sometimes half-ruined with the layers of deep sand; banks of streams
were lined for miles with driftwood; and ranchers saw many a clod of
their farms carried off and deposited to enrich their neighbors, miles
away. For a month it rained so steadily that the sun peeped out for
scarcely an hour.

I witnessed this inundation in Los Angeles, where much damage was done
to business buildings, especially to Mellus's Row, and saw merchants
in water up to their waists, trying to save their goods. The wall of
the room occupied by Sam Meyer fell first, whereupon Hellman & Brother
became intensely interested in the removal of their stock, while poor
Sam, knee-deep in water, sadly contemplated his losses. Before the
Hellmans had made much headway, they observed a tendency on the part
of their walls to crumble, and their exit was neither graceful nor
delayed. After that the store occupied by Meyer & Breslauer caved in,
smashing show cases and shelves, and ruining a large amount of
merchandise. The ludicrous picture of this rush for "safety first" is
not a fit reflection of the feelings of those pioneers who saw the
results of years of labor obliterated in a moment. Friends and
neighbors lent assistance to the unfortunate, and helped to save what
they could. After this flood, Hellman & Brother and Sam Meyer removed
to the Arcadia Block, while Meyer & Breslauer secured accommodations
north of the Plaza Church.




On the first of January, 1862, after an experience of about five
years, I retired from the selling of clothing, which was never
congenial to me; and as I had been buying hides and wool on a small
scale since the middle of the fifties, I forthwith devoted myself to
the commission business. Frenchmen from the Basque country, among whom
were Miguel Leonis, Gaston Oxarart, Domingo Amestoy and Domingo
Bastanchury, had commenced to appear here in 1858 and to raise sheep;
so that in 1859 large flocks were brought into Southern California,
the sheep commanding a price of three dollars and a half per head. My
own operations, exceedingly small in the beginning, increased in
importance, and by 1862 I was fairly equipped for this venture. Corn,
barley and wheat were also then being raised, and I busied myself with
these commodities as well.

  [Illustration: Eugene Meyer]

  [Illustration: Jacob A. Moerenhout]

  [Illustration: Frank Lecouvreur]

  [Illustration: Thomas D. Mott]

  [Illustration: Leonard J. Rose]

  [Illustration: H. K. S. O'Melveny]

  [Illustration: Remi Nadeau]

  [Illustration: John M. Griffith]

Most of the early sheepmen prospered and in time bought large tracts
of land for their flocks, and with all of them I had dealings of more
or less importance. Amestoy's career is worthy of particular mention
as exemplifying the three cardinal virtues of business: honesty,
application and frugality. He and his wife took in washing; and while
the husband went from house to house, leading a horse with a large
basket strapped to either side, to collect and deliver the clothes,
the wife toiled at the tub. In the end, what they together had
saved became the foundation of their important investments in sheep
and land. Pedro Larronde, another early sheepman, married the widow of
his Basque fellow-countryman, Etchemendy, the tippling baker.

Having regularly established a commission business, I brought
consignments of varied merchandise from San Francisco on the
semi-monthly steamer _Goliah_, whose Captain at one time was Robert
Haley, and at another his brother Salisbury Haley, a brother-in-law of
Tom Mott; and I disposed of them to small dealers with whom I thus
became pretty well acquainted. These consignments were sold almost as
soon as they arrived. I was careful to bring in only staple articles
in the grocery line, and it was long before I appreciated the
advantage of carrying sufficient stock to supply a regular demand. On
the return trips of the steamer to San Francisco I forwarded such
produce as I had accumulated.

I do not recall any important changes in 1862, the declining months of
which saw the beginning of the two years' devastating drought. The
Civil War was in progress, but we were so far from the scene of strife
that we were not materially affected. Sympathy was very general here
for the Confederate cause, and the Government therefore retained in
Wilmington both troops and clerks who were paid in a badly-depreciated
currency, which they were obliged to discount at exorbitant rates, to
get money at all; while other employees had to accept vouchers which
were subject to a still greater discount. Notwithstanding these
difficulties, however, pay-day increased the resources of the pueblo

Hellman & Brother, a partnership consisting of I. M. and Samuel
Hellman, dissolved, on January 2d, I. M. continuing in the dry goods
business while Sam took the books and stationery. Another brother and
associate, H. M. Hellman, a couple of years before had returned to
Europe, where he died. If my memory is accurate, I. W. remained with
I. M. Hellman until the former, in 1865, bought out A. Portugal.
Samuel A. Widney, who later had a curio store, was for a while with
Sam Hellman in a partnership known as Hellman & Widney.

On January 17th, Don Louis Vignes passed away in Los Angeles, at the
age of ninety-one years.

January also witnessed one of those typical scenes, in the fitting out
of a mule- and wagon-train, never likely to be seen in Los Angeles
again. Two hundred wagons and twelve hundred mules, mostly brought
from San Francisco on steamers, were assembled for a trip across the
desert to convey Government stores.

M. J. Newmark became a partner, on February 1st, in the firm of
Howard, Butterworth & Newmark, Federal and State Attorneys with
offices in the Temple Building, Los Angeles, and Armory Hall, San
Francisco; and it was considered at the time a rapid advance for a man
of but twenty-three years of age. The Los Angeles _Star_ of that date,
in fact, added a word of good fellowship: "We congratulate friend
Newmark on the association."

The intimate relations characteristic of a small community such as
ours, and the much more general effect then than nowadays of any
tragical occurrence have already been described. Deep sympathy was
therefore awakened, early in February, on the arrival of the steamer
_Senator_ and the rapid dissemination of the report that Dr. Thomas
Foster, the ex-Mayor, had been lost overboard, on January 29th, on the
boat's trip northward. Just what happened to Foster will never be
known; in San Francisco it was reported that he had thrown himself
into the sea, though others who knew him well looked upon the cause of
his death as accidental.

But slight attention was paid to the report, brought in by horsemen
from San Bernardino on February 4th, that an earthquake had occurred
there in the morning, until Captain Tom Seeley returned with the
_Senator_ to San Pedro and told about a seismic disturbance at sea,
during which he struck the wildest storm off Point Concepción, in all
his sea-faring experience. Sailors were then better all-round seamen
than now; yet there was greater superstition in Jack Tar's mind, and
such a storm made a deep impression upon his imagination.

I have alluded to the dependence of Los Angeles on the outside world,
no better evidence of which, perhaps, can be cited than that on the
twenty-second of February, George W. Chapin & Company of San Francisco
advertised here to furnish servants and other help to anyone in the
Southland. About the same time, San Bernardino parties, wishing to
bore a little artesian well, had to send to the Northern metropolis
for the necessary machinery.

In October, 1860, as I have intimated, Phineas Banning took A. F.
Hinchman into partnership, the firm being known as Banning & Hinchman,
and they seemed to prosper; but on February 12th, 1862, the public was
surprised at the announcement of the firm's dissolution. Banning
continued as proprietor, and Hinchman became Banning's Los Angeles

Although cattle-raising was the mainstay of Southern California for
many years, and gold-mining never played a very important part here,
Wells Fargo & Co., during the spring, frequently shipped thousands of
dollars' worth of gold at a time, gathered from Santa Anita, San
Gabriel and San Fernando _placers_, while probably an equally large
amount was forwarded out through other channels.

I have already pointed to the clever foresight shown by Abel Stearns
when he built the Arcadia Block and profited by the unhappy experience
of others, with rain that flooded their property; but I have not
stated that in elevating his new building considerably above the grade
of the street, somewhat regardless of the rights of others, he caused
the surplus water to run off into neighboring streets and buildings.
Following the great storm of 1861-62, the City sued Stearns for
damages, but he won his case. More than that, the overflow was a
Godsend to him, for it induced a number of people to move from
Mellus's Row to Arcadia Block at a time when the owner of vast ranches
and some of the best town property was already feeling the pinch of
the alternate dry and over-wet seasons. The fact is, as I shall soon
make clear, that before Stearns had seen the end of two or three
successive dry seasons yet to come, he was temporarily bankrupt and
embarrassed to the utmost.

By April, the walls and roof for the little Protestant Church at
Temple and New High streets had been built, and there the matter
rested for two years, when the structure, on which the taxes were
unpaid, was advertised for sale.

We have seen that the first Jewish services here were held soon after
the arrival of Joseph Newmark in 1854; under the same disadvantageous
conditions as had hampered the Protestant denominations, Mr. Newmark
volunteered to officiate on the principal holidays until 1862, when
the Reverend Abraham Wolf Edelman arrived. Born at Warsaw in 1832,
Rabbi Edelman came to America in 1851, immediately after he was
married to Miss Hannah Pessah Cohn, and settled successively in New
York, Paterson and Buffalo. Coming to California in 1859, he resided
in San Francisco until 1862, when he was chosen Rabbi of the orthodox
Congregation B'nai B'rith of Los Angeles, and soon attained
distinction as a Talmudic scholar and a preacher. The first services
under Rabbi Edelman were held in Stearns's, or Arcadia Hall; next, the
Congregation worshipped in Leck's Hall on Main Street between Second
and Third; and finally, through the courtesy of Judge Ygnácio
Sepúlveda, the court room was used. In 1873 the Jews of Los Angeles
erected their first synagogue, a brick building entered by a steep
stairway leading to a platform, and located on the east side of Fort
Street between Second and Third, on what is now the site of the Copp
Building next to the City Hall. In 1886, when local Jewry instituted a
much more liberal ritual, Rabbi Edelman's convictions induced him to
resign. The purchase of a lot for a home on the corner of Sixth and
Main streets proved a fortunate investment, later enabling him to
enjoy a well-deserved comfort and to gratify his charitable
inclinations. It is a strange coincidence that Reverend Edelman's
first marriage ceremony was that which blessed Samuel Prager; while
the last occasion on which he performed the solemn rites for the
dead--shortly before his own death in 1907--was for the same friend.
A. M. Edelman, the architect, and Dr. D. W. Edelman, both well-known
here, are sons of the Rabbi.

As late in the season as April, hail and snow fell in and near Los
Angeles. To the North of the city, the white mantle quite hid the
mountains and formed a new and lower snow-line; while within the city,
the temperature so lowered that at several intervals during the day,
huge hail-stones beat against the window-panes--a very unusual
experience for Angeleños.

Because of political charges preferred against A. J. King, then Under
Sheriff of the County, the latter, on April 10th, was arrested by
Henry D. Barrows, United States Marshal, who had been appointed by
President Lincoln, the year previous. Colonel Carleton, Commander of
the Southern Military Division, however, soon liberated King. On the
last day of the year, the Under Sheriff married the estimable Miss
Laura C. Evertsen.

Travelers to Europe have often suffered much annoyance through
safe-conduct regulations, but seldom have Americans had their liberty
thus restricted by their own authorities. Toward the middle of June,
word was received in Los Angeles that, owing to the suspicion lest
disloyalists were embarking for Aspinwall, all passengers for
California _via_ the Isthmus would be required to take out passports.

Anticipating, by forty years or more, Luther Burbank's work, attention
was directed, as early as 1862, to the possibility of eating the
cactus and thus finding, in this half-despised plant of the desert,
relief from both hunger and thirst. Half a century later, in 1913, Los
Angeles established the cactus candy industry through which the boiled
pulp of the _bisnaga_, often spoken of as the fishhook, barrel and
nigger-head variety, is made deliciously palatable when siruped from
ten to thirty days.

Ygnácio Sepúlveda, declared by the Los Angeles _Star_ "a young
gentleman of liberal education, and good, natural endowments, already
versed in legal studies," on September 6th was admitted to the
District Court Bar.

On January 18th, 1860, the first number of the _Semi-Weekly Southern
News_ appeared, containing advertisements in both English and Spanish.
It was issued by C. R. Conway and Alonzo Waite, who charged
twenty-five cents a copy, or seven dollars a year. On October 8th,
1862, the title was changed to the _Los Angeles Semi-Weekly News_.

In 1860, the Bella Union, as I have said, was under the management of
John King, who came here in 1856; while in 1861 J. B. Winston &
Company, who were represented by Henry Reed, controlled the hotel. In
1862 or 1863, John King and Henry Hammel were the managers.

I have told of the purchase of the San Pasqual _rancho_ by Dr. J. S.
Griffin. On December 11th, Dr. and Mrs. Griffin for five hundred
dollars sold to B. D. Wilson and wife some six hundred and forty acres
of that property; and a few hours afterward the Wilsons disposed of
two hundred and sixty-two acres for one thousand dollars. The
purchaser was Mrs. Eliza G. Johnston, wife of General Albert Sidney
Johnston. Mrs. Johnston at once built a neat residence on the tract
and called it _Fair Oaks_, after the plantation in Virginia on which
she had been born; and from this circumstance the name of the now
well-known Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena is derived. At the time of her
purchase Mrs. Johnston had hoped to reside there permanently; but the
tragic fate of her son in the _Ada Hancock_ disaster, following the
untimely death of her husband at Shiloh, and the apparent uselessness
of the land, led her to sell to Judge B. S. Eaton what to-day would be
worth far more than thousands of acres in many parts of the Southern
States. A curious coincidence in the relations of General Sumner, who
superseded General Johnston, to the hero of Shiloh is that, later in
the War, Sumner led a corps of Union troops at Fair Oaks, Virginia!

Don Ygnácio Coronel, father of António Franco Coronel, and the early
school patron to whom I have referred, died in Los Angeles on December
19th, aged seventy years. He had come to California in 1834, and had
long been eminent in political councils and social circles. I recall
him as a man of strong intellect and sterling character, kind-hearted
and popular.

Another effort, without success, to use camels for transportation over
the California and adjacent sands, was made in January, 1863, when a
camel express was sent out from New San Pedro to Tucson.

Elsewhere I have indicated the condition of the public cemetery. While
an adobe wall enclosed the Roman Catholic burial-place, and a brick
wall surrounded the Jewish resting-place for the dead, nothing was
done until 1863 to improve the Protestant cemetery, although
desecration went so far that the little railing around the grave of
poor Mrs. Leck, the grocer's wife who had been murdered, was torn down
and burned. Finally, the matter cried to Heaven so audibly that in
January, Los Angeles Masons appropriated one hundred and fifty dollars,
to be added to some five hundred dollars raised by popular
subscription; and the Common Council having appointed a committee to
supervise the work, William H. Perry put up the fence, making no
charge for his services.

About the middle of January word was received in Los Angeles of the
death, at Baltimore, of Colonel B. L. Beall, commander for years of
the Fort Tejón garrison, and active in the Mojave and Kern River

Death entered our home for the first time, when an infant daughter,
less than a month old, died this year on February 14th.

In February, the editor of the _News_ advised the experiment of
growing cotton as an additional activity for the Colorado Indians, who
were already cultivating corn, beans and melons. Whether this
suggestion led William Workman into cotton culture, I do not know; at
any rate, late in November of the same year F. P. F. Temple was
exhibiting about town some well-matured bolls of cotton raised on
Workman's ranch, and the next spring saw in El Monte a number of
fields planted with cotton seed. A year later, J. Moerenhout sent Los
Angeles cotton to an exhibition in France, and received from across
the water official assurance that the French judges regarded our
product as quite equal to that grown in the Southern States. This gave
a slight impetus to cotton-culture here and by January, 1865, a number
of immigrants had arrived, looking for suitable land for the
production of this staple. They soon went to work, and in August of
that year many fields gave promise of good crops, far exceeding the
expectations of the experimenters.

In the month of March a lively agitation on behalf of a railroad began
in the public press, and some bitter things were said against those
who, for the sake of a little trade in horses or draying, were opposed
to such a forward step; and under the leadership of E. J. C. Kewen and
J. A. Watson, our Assemblymen at that session, the Legislature of 1863
passed an act authorizing the construction of the Los Angeles & San
Pedro Railroad. A public meeting was called to discuss the details and
to further the project; but once more no railroad was built or even
begun. Strange as it seems, the idea of a railroad for Los Angeles
County in 1863 was much too advanced for the times.

Billed as one who had "had the honor of appearing before King William
IV. and all the principal crowned heads of Europe," Professor Courtier
held forth with an exhibition of magic in the Temple Theatre; drawing
the usual crowd of--royalty-haters!

In 1863, Santa Catalina was the scene of a gold-mining boom which soon
came to naught, and through an odd enough occurrence. About April,
Martin M. Kimberly and Daniel E. Way staked out a claim or two, and
some miners agreed on a code of laws for operations in what was to be
known as the San Pedro Mining District, the boundaries of which were
to include all the islands of the County. Extensive claims, chiefly in
Cherry and Joly valleys and on Mineral Hill, were recorded, and
streets were laid out for a town to be known as Queen City; but just
as the boom seemed likely to mature, the National Government stepped
in and gave a quietus to the whole affair. With or without foundation,
reports had reached the Federal authorities that the movement was but
a cloak to establish there well-fortified Confederate headquarters for
the fitting out and repair of privateers intended to prey upon the
coast-wise traders; and on February 5th, 1864, Captain B. R. West,
commanding the Fourth California Infantry, ordered practically all of
the miners and prospectors to leave the island at once. The following
September the National troops were withdrawn, and after the War the
Federal authorities retained control of a point on the island deemed
serviceable for lighthouse purposes.

In the spring of 1863, feeling ill, I went to San Francisco to consult
Dr. Toland, who assured me that there was nothing serious the matter
with me; but wishing to satisfy myself more thoroughly, I resorted to
the same means that I dare say many others have adopted--a medical
examination for life insurance! Bernhard Gattel, general agent of the
Germania Life Insurance Company, at 315 Montgomery Street, wrote out
my application; and on March 20th, a policy, numbered 1472, was
issued, making me, since the fall of 1913, the oldest living
policy-holder in the Southwest, and the twentieth oldest of the
Germania's patrons in the world.

Californians, during that period of the War when the North was
suffering a series of defeats, had little use for greenbacks. At one
time, a dollar in currency was worth but thirty-five cents, though
early in April it was accepted at sixty-five, late in August at
ninety, and about the first of October at seventy-five cents; even
interest-bearing gold notes being worth no more. This condition of the
money market saw little change until some time in the seventies; and
throughout the War greenbacks were handled like any other commodity.
Frank Lecouvreur, in one of these periods, after getting judgment in a
suit against Deputy Surveyor William Moore, for civil engineering
services, and being paid some three hundred and eighty-three dollars
in greenbacks, was disconcerted enough when he found that his currency
would command but one hundred and eighty dollars in gold. San
Francisco merchants realized fortunes when a decline occurred, as they
bought their merchandise in the East for greenbacks and sold it on the
Coast for gold. Los Angeles people, on the other hand, enjoyed no such
benefit, as they brought their wares from San Francisco and were
therefore obliged to liquidate in specie.

Among the worst tragedies in the early annals of Los Angeles, and by
far the most dramatic, was the disaster on April 27th to the little
steamer _Ada Hancock_. While on a second trip, in the harbor of San
Pedro, to transfer to the _Senator_ the remainder of the passengers
bound for the North, the vessel careened, admitting cold water to the
engine-room and exploding the boiler with such force that the boat was
demolished to the water's edge; fragments being found on an island
even half to three-quarters of a mile away. Such was the intensity of
the blast and the area of the devastation that, of the fifty-three or
more passengers known to have been on board, twenty-six at least
perished. Fortunate indeed were those, including Phineas Banning, the
owner, who survived with minor injuries, after being hurled many feet
into the air. Among the dead were Thomas W. Seeley, Captain of the
_Senator_; Joseph Bryant, Captain of the _Ada Hancock_; Dr. H. R.
Myles, the druggist, who had been in partnership, opposite the Bella
Union, with Dr. J. C. Welch, an arrival of the early fifties who died
in 1869; Thomas H. Workman, Banning's chief clerk; Albert Sidney
Johnston, Jr.; William T. B. Sanford, once Postmaster; Louis
Schlesinger and William Ritchie, Wells Fargo's messenger, to whom was
entrusted ten thousand dollars, which, as far as my memory goes, was
lost. Two Mormon missionaries, _en route_ to the Sandwich Islands,
were also killed. Still another, who lost not only his treasure but
his life, was Fred E. Kerlin of Fort Tejón: thirty thousand dollars
which he carried with him, in greenbacks, disappeared as mysteriously
as did the jewelry on the persons of others, and from these
circumstances it was concluded that, even in the presence of Death,
these bodies had been speedily robbed. Mrs. Banning and her mother,
Mrs. Sanford, and a daughter of B. D. Wilson were among the wounded;
while Miss M. Hereford, Mrs. Wilson's sister and the _fiancée_ of Dr.
Myles, was so severely injured that, after long suffering, she also
died. Although the accident had happened about five o'clock in the
afternoon, the awful news, casting a general and indescribable gloom,
was not received in town until nearly eight o'clock; when Drs. Griffin
and R. T. Hayes, together with an Army surgeon named Todd, hastened
in carriages to the harbor where soldiers from Camp Drum had already
asserted their authority. Many of the victims were buried near the
beach at New San Pedro. While I was calling upon Mrs. Johnston to
express my sympathy, the body of her son was brought in; and words
cannot describe the pathos of the scene when she addressed the
departed as if he were but asleep.

In June the Government demanded a formal profession of loyalty from
teachers, when Miss Mary Hoyt and Miss Eliza Madigan took the oath,
but Mrs. Thomas Foster and William McKee refused to do so. The
incident provoked bitter criticism, and nothing being done to punish
the recalcitrants, the Los Angeles Board of Education was charged with
indifference as to the allegiance of its public servants.

During 1863 sectional feeling had grown so bitter on account of the
War that no attempt was made to celebrate the Fourth of July in town.
At Fort Latham, however, on the Ballona Ranch, the soldiers observed
the day with an appropriate demonstration. By the end of July, troops
had been sent from Drum Barracks to camp in the city--for the
protection, so it was asserted, of Union men whose lives were said to
be in danger, although some people claimed that this movement was
rather for the purpose of intimidating certain leaders with known
sympathy for the South. This military display gave Northerners more
backbone; and on the twenty-sixth of September a Union mass-meeting
was held on Main Street in front of the Lafayette Hotel.

Eldridge Edwards Hewitt, a Mexican War veteran who came to California
in 1849 to search for gold, arrived in Los Angeles on July 31st and
soon went on a wild-goose chase to the Weaver Diggings in Arizona,
actually tramping with luggage over five hundred miles of the way!
After his return, he did odd jobs for his board, working in a
stationery and toy store on Main Street, kept by the Goldwater
Brothers, Joe and Mike, who had arrived in the early sixties; and
later he entered the employ of Phineas Banning at Wilmington, with
whom he remained until the completion of the Los Angeles & San Pedro
Railroad in 1870, when he became its Superintendent. When the Southern
Pacific obtained control of that road in 1873, Hewitt was made Agent,
and after the extension of the line from San Francisco he was
appointed Division Superintendent. In that capacity he brought Senator
Leland Stanford to me, as I shall elsewhere relate, to solicit H.
Newmark and Company's patronage.

It was in 1863 that Dr. J. S. Griffin, father of East Los Angeles,
purchased two thousand acres in that section, at fifty cents an acre;
but even at that price he was only induced to buy it by necessity.
Griffin wanted sheep-pasture, and had sought to secure some eight
hundred acres of City land along the river; but as this would prevent
other cattle or sheep from approaching the water to drink, the Common
Council refused Griffin's bid on the smaller area of land and he was
compelled to buy the _mesa_ farther back. It seems to me that B. D.
Wilson, J. G. Downey and Hancock M. Johnston, General Johnston's son,
also had something to do with this transaction. Both Downey and
Griffin avenues derived their names from the association of these two
gentlemen with that section.

A smallpox epidemic which had started in the previous fall spread
through Los Angeles in 1863, and owing possibly to the bad sanitary
and climatic conditions much vigilance and time were required to
eradicate it; compulsory vaccination not having been introduced (as it
finally was at the suggestion of Dr. Walter Lindley) until the summer
of 1876. The dread disease worked its ravages especially among the
Mexicans and Indians, as many as a dozen of them dying in a single
day; and these sufferers and their associates being under no
quarantine, and even bathing _ad libitum_ in the _zanjas_, the pest
spread alarmingly. For a time fatalities were so frequent and the
nature of the contagion so feared that it was difficult to persuade
undertakers to bury the dead, even without funeral or other ceremony.

Following the opening of the Owens River Mines this year, Los Angeles
merchants soon established a considerable trade with that territory.
Banning inaugurated a system of wagon-trains, each guarded by a
detachment of soldiers. The San Fernando mountains, impassable for
heavy teaming, were an obstacle to regular trade with the new country
and compelled the use of a circuitous route over poor roads. It became
necessary, therefore, to consider a means of overcoming the
difficulty, much money having already been spent by the County in an
abortive attempt to build a tunnel. This second plan likewise came to
naught, and it was in fact more than a decade before the Southern
Pacific finally completed the famous bore.

Largely because of political mistakes, including a manifestation of
sympathy for the Southern Confederacy that drew against him Northern
resentment and opposition, John G. Downey, the Democratic nominee for
Governor, was defeated at the election in September; Frederick F. Low,
a Republican, receiving a majority of over twenty thousand votes.

In October, a peddler named Brun was murdered near Chino. Brun's
brother, living at San Bernardino and subsequently a merchant of
prominence there, offered two hundred dollars of his slender savings
as a reward for the capture of the slayer; but nothing ever came of
the search.

In November the stern necessities of war were at last driven home to
Angeleños when, on the ninth of that somber month, Don Juan Warner,
Deputy Provost Marshal, appeared with his big blank books and began to
superintend the registering of all able-bodied citizens suitable for
military service. To many, the inquisition was not very welcome and,
had it not been for the Union soldiers encamped at Drum Barracks, this
first step toward compulsory enrollment would undoubtedly have
resulted in riotous disturbances.

I have frequently named Tom Mott, but I may not have said that he was
one of the representative local Democratic politicians of his day. He
possessed, indeed, such influence with all classes that he was not
only elected Clerk of Los Angeles County in 1863, but succeeded
himself in 1865, 1867 and 1869, afterward sitting in the State
Assembly; and in 1876, he was appointed a delegate to the National
Convention that nominated Samuel J. Tilden for the Presidency. His
relations in time with Stanford, Crocker, Huntington and Hopkins were
very close, and for at least twenty-five years he acted as their
political adviser in all matters appertaining to Southern California.
Tall, erect and dignified, scrupulously attired and distinguished by
his flowing beard, Tom was for more than half a century a striking
figure in Los Angeles.

A most brutal murder took place on November 15th on the desert not far
from Los Angeles, but few days passing before it was avenged. A poor
miner, named R. A. Hester, was fatally attacked by a border ruffian
known as Boston Daimwood, while some confederates, including the
criminals Chase, Ybarra and Olivas, stood by to prevent interference.
In a few hours officers and citizens were in the saddle in pursuit of
the murderous band; for Daimwood had boasted that Hester was but the
first of several of our citizens to whom he intended to pay his
respects. Daimwood and his three companions were captured and lodged
in jail, and on the twenty-first of November two hundred or more armed
Vigilantes forced the jail doors, seized the scoundrels and hung them
to the _pórtico_ of the old City Hall on Spring Street. Tomás Sanchez,
the Sheriff, talked of organizing a _posse comitatus_ to arrest the
committee leaders; but so positive was public sentiment, as reflected
in the newspapers, in support of the summary executions, that nothing
further was heard of the threat.

An incident of value in the study of mob-psychology accentuated the
day's events. During the lynching, the clattering of horses' hoofs was
heard, when the cry was raised that cavalry from Drum Barracks was
rushing to rescue the prisoners; and in a twinkling those but a moment
before most demonstrative were seen scurrying to cover in all
directions. Instead, however, of Federal soldiers, the horsemen were
the usual contingent of El Monte boys, coming to assist in the
neck-tie party.

Besides the murderers lynched, there was an American boy named Wood of
about eighteen years; and although he had committed no offense more
vicious than the theft of some chickens, he paid the penalty with his
life, it having been the verdict of the committee that while they
were at it, the jail might as well be cleared of every malefactor. A
large empty case was secured as a platform on which the victim was to
stand; and I shall never forget the spectacle of the youth, apparently
oblivious of his impending doom, as he placed his hands upon the box
and vaulted lightly to the top (just as he might have done at an
innocent gymnastic contest), and his parting salutation, "I'm going to
die a game _hen-chicken!_" The removal of the case a moment later,
after the noose had been thrown over and drawn about the lad's head,
left the poor victim suspended beyond human aid.

On that same day, a sixth prisoner barely escaped. When the crowd was
debating the lynchings, John P. Lee, a resident of El Monte who had
been convicted of murder, was already under sentence of death; and the
Vigilantes, having duly considered his case, decided that it would be
just as well to permit the law to take its course. Some time later, J.
Lancaster Brent, Lee's attorney, appealed the case and obtained for
his client a new trial, finally clearing Lee of the charges against
him, so that, in the end, he died a natural death.

I frequently saw Lee after this episode, and vividly recall an
unpleasant interview years later. The regularity of his visits had
been interrupted, and when he reappeared to get some merchandise for a
customer at El Monte, I asked him where he had been. He explained that
a dog had bitten a little girl, and that while she was suffering from
hydrophobia she had in turn attacked him and so severely scratched his
hands and face that, for a while, he could not show himself in public.
After that, whenever I saw Lee, I was aware of a lurking, if
ridiculous, suspicion that the moment might have arrived for a new
manifestation of the rabies.

Speaking of the Civil War and the fact that in Southern California
there was less pronounced sentiment for the Union than in the Northern
part of the State, I am reminded of a relief movement that emphasized
the distinction. By the middle of November San Francisco had sent over
one hundred and thirty thousand dollars to the United States Sanitary
Commission, and an indignant protest was voiced in some quarters that
Los Angeles, up to that date, had not participated. In time, however,
the friends of the Union here did make up a small purse.

In 1863 interest in the old San Juan Capistrano Mission was revived
with the reopening of the historic structure so badly damaged by the
earthquake of 1812, and a considerable number of townspeople went out
to the first services under the new roof. When I first saw the
Mission, near Don Juan Forster's home, there was in its open doors,
windows and cut-stone and stucco ruins, its vines and wild flowers,
much of the picturesque.

On November 18th, 1862, our little community was greatly stirred by
the news that John Rains, one of Colonel Isaac Williams' sons-in-law
and well known in Los Angeles, had been waylaid and killed on the
highway near the Azusa _rancho_ the night before. It was claimed that
one Ramón Carrillo had hired the assassins to do the foul deed; and
about the middle of February, 1863, a Mexican by the name of Manuel
Cerradel was arrested by Thomas Trafford, the City Marshal, as a
participant. In time, he was tried and sentenced to ten years in San
Quentin Prison. On December 9th, Sheriff Tomás Sanchez started to take
the prisoner north, and at Wilmington boarded the little steamer
_Cricket_ to go out to the _Senator_, which was ready to sail. A
goodly number of other passengers also boarded the tugboat, though
nothing in particular was thought of the circumstance; but once out in
the harbor, a group of Vigilantes, indignant at the light sentence
imposed, seized the culprit at a prearranged signal, threw a noose
about his neck and, in a jiffy, hung him to the flagstaff. When he was
dead, the body was lowered and stones--brought aboard in packages by
the committee, who had evidently considered every detail--were tied to
the feet, and the corpse was thrown overboard before the steamer was
reached. This was one of the acts of the Vigilantes that no one seemed
to deprecate.

Toward the end of 1861, J. E. Pleasants, while overseeing one of
Wolfskill's ranches, hit the trail of some horse thieves and,
assisted by City Marshal William C. Warren, pursued and captured
several, who were sent to the penitentiary. One, however, escaped.
This was Charles Wilkins, a veritable scoundrel who, having stolen a
pistol and a knife from the Bella Union and put the same into the
hands of young Wood (whose lynching I have described), sent the lad on
his way to the gallows. A couple of years later Wilkins waylaid and
murdered John Sanford, a rancher living near Fort Tejón and a brother
of Captain W. T. B. Sanford, the second Postmaster of Los Angeles; and
when the murderer had been apprehended and was being tried, an
exciting incident occurred, to which I was an eye-witness. On November
16th, 1854, Phineas Banning had married Miss Rebecca Sanford, a sister
of the unfortunate man; and as Banning caught sight of Wilkins, he
rushed forward and endeavoured to avenge the crime by shooting the
culprit. Banning was then restrained; but soon after, on December
17th, 1863, he led the Vigilance Committee which strung up Wilkins on
Tomlinson & Griffith's corral gateway where nearly a dozen culprits
had already forfeited their lives.




Of all years of adversity before, during or since the Civil War, the
seemingly interminable year of 1864 was for Southern California the
worst. The varying moves in the great struggle, conducted mostly by
Grant and Lee, Sherman and Farragut, buoyed now one, now the other
side; but whichever way the tide of battle turned, business and
financial conditions here altered but little and improved not a whit.
The Southwest, as I have already pointed out, was more dependent for
its prosperity on natural conditions, such as rain, than upon the
victory of any army or fleet; and as this was the last of three
successive seasons of annihilating drought, ranchman and merchant
everywhere became downhearted. During the entire winter of 1862-63 no
more than four inches of rain had fallen, and in 1864 not until March
was there a shower, and even then the earth was scarcely moistened.
With a total assessment of something like two million dollars in the
County, not a cent of taxes (at least in the city) was collected. Men
were so miserably poor that confidence mutually weakened, and
merchants refused to trust those who, as land and cattle-barons, but a
short time before had been so influential and most of whom, in another
and more favorable season or two, were again operators of affluence.
How great was the depreciation in values may be seen from the fact
that notes given by Francis Temple, and bearing heavy interest, were
peddled about at fifty cents on the dollar and even then found few

As a result of these very infrequent rains, grass started up only to
wither away, a small district around Anaheim independent of the
rainfall on account of its fine irrigation system, alone being green;
and thither the lean and thirsty cattle came by thousands, rushing in
their feverish state against the great willow-fence I have elsewhere
described. This stampede became such a menace, in fact, that the
Anaheimers were summoned to defend their homes and property, and
finally they had to place a mounted guard outside of the willow
enclosures. Everywhere large numbers of horses and cattle died, as
well as many sheep, the plains at length being strewn with carcasses
and bleached bones. The suffering of the poor animals beggars
description; and so distressed with hunger were they that I saw
famished cattle (during the summer of 1864 while on a visit to the
springs at Paso de Robles) crowd around the hotel veranda for the
purpose of devouring the discarded matting-containers which had held
Chinese rice. I may also add that with the approach of summer the
drought became worse and worse, contributing in no small degree to the
spread of smallpox, then epidemic here. Stearns lost forty or fifty
thousand head of live stock, and was much the greatest sufferer in
this respect; and as a result, he was compelled, about June, 1865, to
mortgage Los Alamitos _rancho_, with its twenty-six thousand acres, to
Michael Reese of San Francisco, for the almost paltry sum of twenty
thousand dollars. Even this sacrifice, however, did not save him from
still greater financial distress.

In 1864, two Los Angeles merchants, Louis Schlesinger and Hyman
Tischler, owing to the recent drought foreclosed a mortgage on several
thousand acres of land known as the Ricardo Vejar property, lying
between Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Shortly after this
transaction, Schlesinger was killed while on his way to San Francisco,
in the _Ada Hancock_ explosion; after which Tischler purchased
Schlesinger's interest in the ranch and managed it alone.

In January, Tischler invited me to accompany him on one of the
numerous excursions which he made to his newly-acquired possession,
but, though I was inclined to go, a business engagement interfered
and kept me in town. Poor Edward Newman, another friend of Tischler's,
took my place. On the way to San Bernardino from the _rancho_, the
travelers were ambushed by some Mexicans, who shot Newman dead. It was
generally assumed that the bullets were intended for Tischler, in
revenge for his part in the foreclosure; at any rate, he would never
go to the ranch again, and finally sold it to Don Louis Phillips, on
credit, for thirty thousand dollars. The inventory included large
herds of horses and cattle, which Phillips (during the subsequent wet
season) drove to Utah, where he realized sufficient from their sale
alone to pay for the whole property. Pomona and other important places
now mark the neighborhood where once roamed his herds. Phillips died
some years ago at the family residence which he had built on the ranch
near Spadra.

James R. Toberman, after a trying experience with Texan Redskins, came
to Los Angeles in 1864, President Lincoln having appointed him United
States Revenue Assessor here, an office which he held for six years.
At the same time, as an exceptional privilege for a Government
officer, Toberman was permitted to become agent for Wells Fargo &

Again the Fourth of July was not celebrated here, the two factions in
the community still opposing each other with bitterness. Hatred of the
National Government had increased through an incident of the previous
spring which stirred the town mightily. On the eighth or ninth of May,
a group stood discussing the Fort Pillow Massacre, when J. F.
Bilderback indiscreetly expressed the wish that the Confederates would
annihilate every negro taken with arms, and every white man, as well,
who might be found in command of colored troops; or some such equally
dangerous and foolish sentiment. The indiscretion was reported to the
Government authorities, and Bilderback was straightway arrested by a
lieutenant of cavalry, though he was soon released.

Among the most rabid Democrats, particularly during the Civil War
period, was Nigger Pete the barber. One hot day in August, patriotic
Biggs vociferously proclaimed his ardent attachment to the cause of
Secession; whereupon he was promptly arrested, placed in charge of
half a dozen cavalrymen, and made to foot it, with an iron chain and
ball attached to his ankle, all the way from Los Angeles to Drum
Barracks at Wilmington. Not in the least discouraged by his uncertain
position, however, Pete threw his hat up into the air as he passed
some acquaintances on the road, and gave three hearty cheers for Jeff
Davis, thus bringing about the completion of his difficulty.

For my part, I have good reason to remember the drought and crisis of
1864, not alone because times were miserably hard and prosperity
seemed to have disappeared forever, or that the important revenue from
Uncle Sam, although it relieved the situation, was never sufficient to
go around, but also because of an unfortunate investment. I bought and
shipped many thousands of hides which owners had taken from the
carcasses of their starved cattle, forwarding them to San Francisco by
schooner or steamer, and thence to New York by sailing vessel. A large
number had commenced to putrefy before they were removed, which fact
escaped my attention; and on their arrival in the East, the
decomposing skins had to be taken out to sea again and thrown
overboard, so that the net results of this venture were disastrous.
However, we all met the difficulties of the situation as
philosophically as we could.

There were no railroads in California until the late sixties and,
consequently, there was no regular method of concentration, nor any
systematic marketing of products; and this had a very bad economic
effect on the whole State. Prices were extremely high during her early
history, and especially so in 1864. Barley sold at three and a half
cents per pound; potatoes went up to twelve and a half cents; and
flour reached fifteen dollars per barrel, at wholesale. Much flour in
wooden barrels was then brought from New York by sailing vessels; and
my brother imported a lot during a period of inflation, some of which
he sold at thirteen dollars. Isaac Friedlander, a San Francisco
pioneer, who was not alone the tallest man in that city but was as
well a giant operator in grain and its products, practically
monopolized the wheat and flour business of the town; and when he
heard of this interference, he purchased all the remainder of my
brother's flour at thirteen dollars a barrel, and so secured control
of the situation.

Just before this transaction, I happened to be in San Francisco and
noticing the advertisement of an approaching flour auction, I attended
the sale. This particular lot was packed in sacks which had been eaten
into by rats and mice and had, in consequence, to be resacked,
sweepings and all. I bought one hundred barrels and shipped the flour
to Los Angeles, and B. Dubordieu, the corpulent little French baker,
considered himself fortunate in obtaining it at fifteen dollars per

Speaking of foodstuffs, I may note that red beans then commanded a
price of twelve and a half cents per pound, until a sailing vessel
from Chile unexpectedly landed a cargo in San Francisco and sent the
price dropping to a cent and a quarter; when commission men, among
them myself, suffered heavy losses.

In 1864, F. Bachman & Company sold out. Their retirement was ascribed
in a measure to the series of bad years, but the influence of their
wives was a powerful factor in inducing them to withdraw. The firm had
been compelled to accept large parcels of real estate in payment of
accounts; and now, while preparing to leave, Bachman & Co. sacrificed
their fine holdings at prices considered ridiculous even then. The
only one of these sales that I remember was that of a lot with a
frontage of one hundred and twenty feet on Fort Street, and a
one-story adobe house, which they disposed of for four hundred

I have told of Don Juan Forster's possessions--the Santa Margarita
_rancho_, where he lived until his death, and also the Las Flores.
These he obtained in 1864, when land was worth but the merest song,
buying the same from Pio Pico, his brother-in-law. The two ranches
included over a hundred and forty thousand acres, and pastured some
twenty-five thousand cattle, three thousand horses and six or seven
thousand sheep; yet the transaction, on account of the season, was a
fiscal operation of but minor importance.

The hard times strikingly conduced to criminality and, since there
were then probably not more than three or four policemen in Los
Angeles, some of the desperadoes, here in large numbers and not
confined to any particular nationality or color, took advantage of the
conditions, even making several peculiar nocturnal assaults upon the
guardians of the peace. The methods occasionally adopted satisfied the
community that Mexican _bandidos_ were at work. Two of these worthies
on horseback, while approaching a policeman, would suddenly dash in
opposite directions, bringing a _reata_ (in the use of which they were
always most proficient) taut to the level of their saddles; and
striking the policeman with the hide or hair rope, they would throw
him to the ground with such force as to disable him. Then the
ingenious robbers would carry out their well-planned depredations in
the neighborhood and disappear with their booty.

J. Ross Browne, one of the active Forty-niners in San Francisco and
author of _Crusoe's Island_ and various other volumes dealing with
early life in California and along the Coast, was on and off a visitor
to Los Angeles, first passing through here in 1859, _en route_ to the
Washoe Gold fields, and stopping again in 1864.

Politics enlivened the situation somewhat in the fall of this year of
depression. In September, the troops were withdrawn from Catalina
Island, and the following month most of the guard was brought in from
Fort Tejón; and this, creating possibly a feeling of security, paved
the way for still larger Union meetings in October and November.
Toward the end of October, Francisco P. Ramirez, formerly editor of
_El Clamor Público_, was made Postmaster, succeeding William G. Still,
upon whose life an attempt had been made while he was in office.

As an illustration of how a fortunate plunger acquired property now
worth millions, through the disinclination on the part of most people
here to add to their taxes in this time of drought, I may mention two
pieces of land included in the early Ord survey, one hundred and
twenty by one hundred and sixty-five feet in size--one at the
southwest corner of Spring and Fourth streets, the other at the
southeast corner of Fort and Fourth--which were sold on December 12th,
1864, for _two dollars and fifty-two cents_, delinquent taxes. The tax
on each lot was but one dollar and twenty-six cents, yet only one
purchaser appeared!

About that very time, there was another and noteworthy movement in
favor of the establishment of a railroad between Los Angeles and San
Pedro. In December, committees from outside towns met here with our
citizens to debate the subject; but by the end of the several days'
conference, no real progress had been made.

The year 1865 gave scant promise, at least in its opening, of better
times to come. To be sure, Northern arms were more and more
victorious, and with the approach of Lincoln's second inauguration the
conviction grew that under the leadership of such a man national
prosperity might return. Little did we dream that the most dramatic of
all tragedies in our history was soon to be enacted. In Southern
California the effects of the long drought continued, and the
certainty that the cattle-industry, once so vast and flourishing, was
now but a memory, discouraged a people to whom the vision of a far
more profitable use of the land had not yet been revealed.

For several years my family, including three children, had been
shifting from pillar to post owing to the lack of residences such as
are now built to sell or lease, and I could not postpone any longer
the necessity of obtaining larger quarters. We had occupied, at
various times, a little shanty on Franklin Street, owned by a
carpenter named Wilson; a small, one-story brick on Main Street near
First, owned by Henne, the brewer; and once we lived with the Kremers
in a one-story house, none too large, on Fort Street. Again we dwelt
on Fort Street in a little brick house that stood on the site of the
present Chamber of Commerce building, next door to Governor Downey's,
before he moved to Main Street. The nearest approach to convenience
was afforded by our occupancy of Henry Dalton's two-story brick on
Main Street near Second. One day a friend told me that Jim Easton had
an adobe on Main Street near Third, which he wished to sell; and on
inquiry, I bought the place, paying him a thousand dollars for
fifty-four feet, the entire frontage being occupied by the house. Main
Street, beyond First, was practically in the same condition as at the
time of my arrival, no streets running east having been opened south
of First.

After moving in, we were inconvenienced because there was no driveway,
and everything needed for housekeeping had to be carried, in
consequence, through the front door of the dwelling. I therefore
interviewed my friend and neighbor, Ygnácio Garcia, who owned a
hundred feet adjoining me, and asked him if he would sell or rent me
twenty feet of his property; whereupon he permitted me the free use of
twenty feet, thus supplying me with access to the rear of my house. A
few months later, Alfred B. Chapman, Garcia's legal adviser (who, by
the way, is still alive)[25] brought me a deed to the twenty feet of
land, the only expense being a fee of twenty-five dollars to Chapman
for making out the document; and later Garcia sold his remaining
eighty feet to Tom Mott for five dollars a foot. This lot is still in
my possession. In due time, I put up a large, old-fashioned wooden
barn with a roomy hay-loft, stalls for a couple of horses or mules,
and space for a large flat-truck, the first of the kind for years in
Los Angeles. John Simmons had his room in the barn and was one of my
first porters. I had no regular driver for the truck, but John usually
served in that capacity.

Incidentally to this story of my selecting a street on which to live,
I may say that during the sixties Main and San Pedro streets were
among the chief residential sections, and Spring Street was only
beginning to be popular for homes. The fact that some people living on
the west side of Main Street built their stables in back-yards
connecting with Spring Street, retarded the latter's growth.

Here I may well repeat the story of the naming of Spring Street,
particularly as it exemplifies the influence that romance sometimes
has upon affairs usually prosaic. Ord, the surveyor, was then more
than prepossessed in favor of the delightful Señorita Trinidad de la
Guerra, for whose hand he was, in fact, a suitor and to whom he always
referred as _Mi Primavera_--"My Springtime;" and when asked to name
the new thoroughfare, he gallantly replied, "Primavera, of course!

On February 3d, a wind-storm, the like of which the proverbial "oldest
inhabitant" could scarcely recall, struck Los Angeles amidships,
unroofing many houses and blowing down orchards. Wolfskill lost
heavily, and Banning & Company's large barn at the northeast corner of
Fort and Second streets, near the old schoolhouse, was demolished,
scarcely a post remaining upright. A curious sight, soon after the
storm began to blow, was that of many citizens weighing down and
lashing fast their roofs, just as they do in Sweden, Norway and
Switzerland, to keep them from being carried to unexpected, not to say
inconvenient, locations.

In early days, steamers plying up and down the Pacific Coast, as I
have pointed out, were so poor in every respect that it was necessary
to make frequent changes in their names, to induce passengers to
travel on them at all. As far back as 1860, one frequently heard the
expression, "the old tubs;" and in 1865, even the best-known boat on
the Southern run was publicly discussed as "the rotten old _Senator_,"
"the old hulk" and "the floating coffin." At this time, there was a
strong feeling against the Steam Navigation Company for its arbitrary
treatment of the public, its steamers sometimes leaving a whole day
before the date on which they were advertised to depart; and this
criticism and dissatisfaction finally resulted in the putting on of
the opposition steamer _Pacific_ which for the time became popular.

In 1865, Judge Benjamin S. Eaton tried another agricultural experiment
which many persons of more experience at first predicted would be a
failure. He had moved into the cottage at _Fair Oaks_, built by the
estimable lady of General Albert Sidney Johnston, and had planted five
thousand or more grapevines in the good though dry soil; but the lack
of surface water caused vineyardists to shake their heads
incredulously. The vines prospered so well that, in the following
year, Eaton planted five or six times as many more. He came to the
conclusion, however, that he must have water; and so arranged to bring
some from what is now known as Eaton's Cañon. I remember that, after
his vines began to bear, the greatest worry of the Judge was not the
matter of irrigation, but the wild beasts that preyed upon the
clustering fruit. The visitor to Pasadena and Altadena to-day can
hardly realize that in those very localities both coyotes and bears
were rampant, and that many a night the irate Judge was roused by the
barking dogs as they drove the intruders out of the vineyard.

Tomlinson & Company, always energetic competitors in the business of
transportation in Southern California, began running, about the first
of April, a new stage line between Los Angeles and San Bernardino,
making three trips a week.

On the fifteenth of April, my family physician, Dr. John S. Griffin,
paid a professional visit to my house on Main Street, which might have
ended disastrously for him. While we were seated together by an open
window in the dining-room, a man named Kane ran by on the street,
shouting out the momentous news that Abraham Lincoln had been shot!
Griffin, who was a staunch Southerner, was on his feet instantly,
cheering for Jeff Davis. He gave evidence, indeed, of great mental
excitement, and soon seized his hat and rushed for the door, hurrahing
for the Confederacy. In a flash, I realized that Griffin would be in
awful jeopardy if he reached the street in that unbalanced condition,
and by main force I held him back, convincing him at last of his
folly. In later years the genial Doctor frankly admitted that I had
undoubtedly saved him from certain death.

This incident brings to mind another, associated with Henry Baer,
whose father, Abraham, a native of Bavaria and one of the earliest
tailors here, had arrived from New Orleans in 1854. When Lincoln's
assassination was first known, Henry ran out of the house, singing
_Dixie_ and shouting for the South; but his father, overtaking him,
brought him back and gave him a sound whipping--an act nearly breaking
up the Baer family, inasmuch as Mrs. Baer was a pronounced

The news of Lincoln's assassination made a profound impression in Los
Angeles, though it cannot be denied that some Southern sympathizers,
on first impulse, thought that it would be advantageous to the
Confederate cause. There was, therefore, for the moment, some
ill-advised exultation; but this was promptly suppressed, either by
the military or by the firm stand of the more level-headed members of
the community. Soon even radically-inclined citizens, in an effort to
uphold the fair name of the town, fell into line, and steps were taken
fittingly to mourn the nation's loss. On the seventeenth of April, the
Common Council passed appropriate resolutions; and Governor Low having
telegraphed that Lincoln's funeral would be held in Washington on the
nineteenth, at twelve o'clock noon, the Union League of Los Angeles
took the initiative and invited the various societies of the city to
join in a funeral procession.

On April 19th all the stores were closed, business was suspended and
soldiers as well as civilians assembled in front of Arcadia Block.
There were present United States officers, mounted cavalry under
command of Captain Ledyard; the Mayor and Common Council; various
lodges; the Hebrew Congregation B'nai-B'rith; the Teutonia, the French
Benevolent and the Junta Patriotica societies, and numerous citizens.
Under the marshalship of S. F. Lamson the procession moved slowly over
what to-day would be regarded as an insignificantly short route: west
on Arcadia Street to Main; down Main Street to Spring as far as First;
east on First Street to Main and up Main Street, proceeding back to
the City Hall by way of Spring, at which point the parade disbanded.

Later, on the same day, there were memorial services in the upper
story of the old Temple Court House, where Rev. Elias Birdsall, the
Episcopal clergyman, delivered a splendid oration and panegyric; and
at the same time, the members of the Hebrew Congregation met at the
house of Rabbi A. W. Edelman. Prayers for the martyred President were
uttered, and supplication was made for the recovery of Secretary of
State Seward. The resolutions presented on this occasion concluded as

     RESOLVED, that with feelings of the deepest sorrow we
     deplore the loss our country has sustained in the untimely
     end of our late President; but as it has pleased the
     Almighty to deprive this Country of its Chief and great
     friend, we bow with submission to the All-wise Will.

I may add that, soon after the assassination of the President, the
Federal authorities sent an order to Los Angeles to arrest anyone
found rejoicing in the foul deed; and that several persons, soon in
the toils, were severely dealt with. In San Francisco, too, when the
startling news was flashed over the wires, Unionist mobs demolished
the plants of the _Democratic Press_, the _News Letter_ and a couple
of other journals very abusive toward the martyred Emancipator; the
editors and publishers themselves escaping with their lives only by
flight and concealment.

Notwithstanding the strong Secessionist sentiment in Los Angeles
during much of the Civil War period, the City election resulted in a
Unionist victory. José Mascarel was elected Mayor; William C. Warren,
Marshal; J. F. Burns, Treasurer; J. H. Lander, Attorney; and J. W.
Beebe, Assessor. The triumph of the Federal Government doubtless at
once began to steady and improve affairs throughout the country; but
it was some time before any noticeable progress was felt here.
Particularly unfortunate were those who had gone east or south for
actual service, and who were obliged to make their way, finally, back
to the Coast. Among such volunteers was Captain Cameron E. Thom who,
on landing at San Pedro, was glad to have J. M. Griffith advance him
money enough to reach Los Angeles and begin life again.

Outdoor restaurant gardens were popular in the sixties. On April 23d,
the Tivoli Garden was reopened by Henry Sohms, and thither, on
holidays and Sundays, many pleasure-lovers gravitated.

Sometime in the spring and during the incumbency of Rev. Elias
Birdsall as rector, the Right Reverend William Ingraham Kip, who had
come to the Pacific Coast in 1853, made his first visit to the
Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, as Bishop of California, although
really elevated to that high office seven years before. Bishop Kip was
one of the young clergy who pleaded with the unresponsive culprits
strung up by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee of 1856; and later
he was known as an author. The Reverend Birdsall, by the way, was
Rector of St. Paul's School on Olive Street, between Fifth and Sixth,
as late as 1887.

John G. Downey subdivided the extensive Santa Gertrudis _rancho_ on
the San Gabriel River in the spring, and the first deed was made out
to J. H. Burke, a son-in-law of Captain Jesse Hunter. Burke, a man of
splendid physique, was a blacksmith whose Main Street shop was next to
the site of the present Van Nuys Hotel. Downey and he exchanged
properties, the ex-Governor building a handsome brick residence on
Burke's lot, and Burke removing his blacksmith business to Downey's
new town where, by remaining until the property had appreciated, he
became well-to-do.

I have alluded to the Dominguez _rancho_, known as the San Pedro, but
I have not said that, in 1865, some four thousand acres of this
property were sold to Temple & Gibson at thirty-five cents an acre,
and that on a portion of this land G. D. Compton founded the town
named after him and first called Comptonville. It was really a
Methodist Church enterprise, planned from the beginning as a pledge to
teetotalism, and is of particular interest because it is one of the
oldest towns in Los Angeles County, and certainly the first "dry"
community. Compton paid Temple & Gibson five dollars an acre.

Toward the end of the War, that is, in May, Major-General Irwin
McDowell, the unfortunate commander of the Army of the Potomac who had
been nearly a year in charge of the Department of the Pacific, made
Los Angeles a long-announced visit, coming on the Government steamer
_Saginaw_. The distinguished officer, his family and suite were
speedily whirled to the Bella Union, the competing drivers shouting
and cursing themselves hoarse in their efforts to get the General or
the General's wife, in different stages, there first. As was customary
in those simpler days, most of the townsfolk whose politics would
permit called upon the guest; and Editor Conway and other Unionists
were long closeted with him. After thirty-six hours or more, during
which the General inspected the local Government headquarters and the
ladies were driven to, and entertained at, various homes, the party,
accompanied by Collector James and Attorney-General McCullough,
boarded the cutter and made off for the North.

Anticipating this visit of General McDowell, due preparations were
made to receive him. It happened, however, as I have indicated, that
José Mascarel was then Mayor; and since he had never been able to
express himself freely in English, though speaking Spanish as well as
French, it was feared that embarrassment must follow the meeting of
the civil and military personages. Luckily, however, like many scions
of early well-to-do American families, McDowell had been educated in
France, and the two chiefs were soon having a free and easy talk in
Mascarel's native tongue.

An effort, on May 2d, better to establish St. Vincent's College as the
one institution of higher learning here was but natural at that time.
In the middle of the sixties, quite as many children attended private
academies in Los Angeles County as were in the public schools, while
three-fifths of all children attended no school at all. At the
beginning of the Twentieth Century, two-thirds of all the children in
the county attended public schools.


[25] Died, January 22d, 1915.




From 1862 I continued for three years, as I have told, in the
commission business; and notwithstanding the bad seasons, I was thus
pursuing a sufficiently easy and pleasant existence when a remark
which, after the lapse of time, I see may have been carelessly
dropped, inspired me with the determination to enter again upon a more
strenuous and confining life.

On Friday, June 18th, 1865, I was seated in my little office, when a
Los Angeles merchant named David Solomon, whose store was in the
Arcadia Block, called upon me and, with much feeling, related that
while returning by steamer from the North, Prudent Beaudry had made
the senseless boast that he would drive every Jew in Los Angeles out
of business. Beaudry, then a man of large means, conducted in his
one-story adobe building on the northeast corner of Aliso and Los
Angeles streets the largest general merchandise establishment this
side of San Francisco. I listened to Solomon's recital without giving
expression to my immediately-formed resolve; but no sooner had he left
than I closed my office and started for Wilmington.

  [Illustration: Kaspare Cohn]

  [Illustration: M. A. Newmark]

  [Illustration: H. Newmark & Co.'s Store, Arcadia Block, about 1875,
   Including (left) John Jones's Former Premises]

  [Illustration: H. Newmark & Co.'s Building, Amestoy Block, about

During the twelve years that I had been in California the forwarding
business between Los Angeles and the Coast had seen many changes.
Tomlinson & Company, who had bought out A. W. Timms, controlled the
largest tonnage in town, including that of Beaudry, Jones, Childs and
others; while Banning & Company, although actively engaged in the
transportation to Yuma of freight and supplies for the United States
Government, were handicapped for lack of business into Los Angeles. I
thought, therefore, that Phineas Banning would eagerly seize an
opportunity to pay his score to the numerous local merchants who had
treated him with so little consideration. Besides, a very close
intimacy existed between him and myself, which may best be illustrated
by the fact that, for years past when short of cash, Banning used to
come to my old sheet-iron safe and help himself according to his

Arriving in Wilmington, I found Banning loading a lot of teams with
lumber. I related the substance of Solomon's remarks and proposed a
secret partnership, with the understanding that, providing he would
release me from the then existing charge of seven dollars and a half
per ton for hauling freight from Wilmington to Los Angeles, I should
supply the necessary capital, purchase a stock of goods, conduct the
business without cost to him and then divide the profits if any should
accrue. Banning said, "I must first consult Don David," meaning
Alexander, his partner, promising at the same time to report the
result within a few days. While I was at dinner, therefore, on the
following Sunday, Patrick Downey, Banning's Los Angeles agent, called
on me and stated that "the Chief" was in his office in the Downey
Block, on the site of Temple's old adobe, and would be glad to see me.

Without further parleying, Banning accepted my proposition; and on the
following morning, or June 21st, I rented the last vacant store in
Stearns's Arcadia Block on Los Angeles Street, which stands to-day, by
the way, much as it was erected in 1858. It adjoined John Jones's, and
was nearly opposite the establishment of P. Beaudry. There I put up
the sign of H. Newmark, soon to be changed to H. Newmark & Company;
and it is a source of no little gratification to me that from this
small beginning has developed the wholesale grocery firm of M. A.
Newmark & Company.[26]

At that time, Stearns's property was all in the hands of the Sheriff,
Tomás Sanchez, who had also been appointed Receiver; and like all the
other tenants, I rented my storeroom from Deputy A. J. King. Rents and
other incomes were paid to the Receiver, and out of them a regular
monthly allowance of fifty dollars was made to Stearns for his private
expenses. The stock on Stearns's ranches, by the way, was then in
charge of Pierre Domec, a well-known and prosperous man, who was here
perhaps a decade before I came.

My only assistant was my wide-awake nephew, M. A. Newmark, then
fifteen years of age, who had arrived in Los Angeles early in 1865. At
my request Banning & Company released their bookkeeper, Frank
Lecouvreur, and I engaged him. He was a thoroughly reliable man and
had, besides, a technical knowledge of wagon materials, in which, as a
sideline, I expected to specialize. While all of these arrangements
were being completed, the local business world queried and buzzed as
to my intentions.

Having rented quarters, I immediately telegraphed my brother, J. P.
Newmark, to buy and ship a quantity of flour, sugar, potatoes, salt
and other heavy staples; and these I sold, upon arrival, at cost and
steamer freight plus seven dollars and a half per ton. Since the
departure of my brother from Los Angeles for permanent residence in
San Francisco (where he entered into partnership with Isaac Lightner,
forming J. P. Newmark & Company), he had been engaged in the
commission business; and this afforded me facilities I might
otherwise not have had. Inasmuch also, as all of my neighbors were
obliged to pay this toll for hauling, while I was not, they were
forced to do business at cost. About the first of July, I went to San
Francisco and laid in a complete stock paralleling, with the exception
of clothing and dry goods, the lines handled by Beaudry. Banning, who
was then building prairie schooners for which he had ordered some
three hundred and fifty tons of iron and other wagon materials, joined
me in chartering the brig _Tanner_ on which I loaded an equal tonnage
of general merchandise, wagon parts and blacksmith coal. The very
important trade with Salt Lake City, elsewhere described, helped us
greatly, for we at once negotiated with the Mormon leaders; and giving
them credit when they were short of funds, it was not long before we
were brought into constant communication with Brigham Young and
through his influence monopolized the Salt Lake business.

Thinking over these days of our dealings with the Latterday Saints, I
recall a very amusing experience with an apostle named Crosby, who
once brought down a number of teams and wagons to load with supplies.
During his visit to town, I invited him and several of his friends to
dinner; and in answer to the commonplace inquiry as to his preference
for some particular part of a dish, Crosby made the logical Mormonite
reply that _quantity_ was what appealed to him most--a flash of wit
much appreciated by all of the guests. During this same visit, Crosby
tried hard to convert me to Mormonism; but, after several ineffectual
interviews, he abandoned me as a hopeless case.

At another time, while reflecting on my first years as a wholesale
grocer, I was led to examine a day-book of 1867 and to draw a
comparison between the prices then current and now, when the high cost
of living is so much discussed. Raw sugar sold at fourteen cents;
starch at sixteen; crushed sugar at seventeen; ordinary tea at sixty;
coal oil at sixty-five cents a gallon; axle-grease at seventy-five
cents per tin; bluing at one dollar a pound; and wrapping paper at one
dollar and a half per ream. Spices, not yet sold in cans, cost three
dollars for a dozen bottles; yeast powders, now superseded by baking
powder, commanded the same price per dozen; twenty-five pounds of shot
in a bag cost three dollars and a half; while in October of that year,
blacksmith coal, shipped in casks holding fifteen hundred and
ninety-two pounds each, sold at the rate of fifty dollars a ton.

The steamers _Oriflamme_, _California_, _Pacific_ and _Sierra Nevada_
commenced to run in 1866 and continued until about the middle of the
seventies. The _Pacific_ was later sunk in the Straits of San Juan de
Fuca; and the _Sierra Nevada_ was lost on the rocks off Port Harford.
The _Los Angeles_, the _Ventura_ and the _Constantine_ were steamers
of a somewhat later date, seldom going farther south than San Pedro
and continuing to run until they were lost.

To resume the suggestive story of I. W. Hellman, who remained in
business with his cousin until he was able in 1865 to buy out Adolph
Portugal and embark for himself, at the corner of Main and Commercial
streets: during his association with large landowners and men of
affairs, who esteemed him for his practicality, he was fortunate in
securing their confidence and patronage; and being asked so often to
operate for them in financial matters, he laid the foundation for his
subsequent career as a banker, in which he has attained such success.

The Pioneer Oil Company had been organized about the first of
February, with Phineas Banning, President; P. Downey, Secretary;
Charles Ducommon, Treasurer; and Winfield S. Hancock, Dr. John S.
Griffin, Dr. J. B. Winston, M. Keller, B. D. Wilson, J. G. Downey and
Volney E. Howard among the trustees; and the company soon acquired
title to all _brea_, petroleum or rock oil in San Pasqual _rancho_. In
the early summer, Sackett & Morgan, on Main Street near the Post
Office, exhibited some local kerosene or "coal-oil;" and experimenters
were gathering the oil that floated on Pico Spring and refining it,
without distillation, at a cost of ten cents a gallon. Coming just
when Major Stroble announced progress in boring at la Cañada de Brea,
these ventures increased here the excitement about oil and soon after
wells were sunk in the Camulos _rancho_.

On Wednesday afternoon, July 5th, at four o'clock, occurred one of the
pleasant social occasions of the mid-sixties--the wedding of Solomon
Lazard and Miss Caroline, third daughter of Joseph Newmark. The
bride's father performed the ceremony at M. Kremer's residence on Main
Street, near my own adobe and the site on which, later, C. E. Thom
built his charming residence, with its rural attractions, diagonally
across from the pleasant grounds of Colonel J. G. Howard. The same
evening at half-past eight a ball and dinner at the Bella Union
celebrated the event.

While these festivities were taking place, a quarrel, ending in a
tragedy, began in the hotel office below. Robert Carlisle, who had
married Francisca, daughter of Colonel Isaac Williams, and was the
owner of some forty-six thousand acres comprising the Chino Ranch,
fell into an altercation with A. J. King, then Under Sheriff, over the
outcome of a murder trial; but before any further damage was done,
friends separated them.

About noon on the following day, however, when people were getting
ready to leave for the steamer and everything was life and bustle
about the hotel, Frank and Houston King, the Under Sheriff's brothers,
passing by the bar-room of the Bella Union and seeing Carlisle inside,
entered, drew their six-shooters and began firing at him. Carlisle
also drew a revolver and shot Frank King, who died almost instantly.
Houston King kept up the fight, and Carlisle, riddled with bullets,
dropped to the sidewalk. There King, not yet seriously injured, struck
his opponent on the head, the force of the blow breaking his weapon;
but Carlisle, a man of iron, put forth his little remaining strength,
staggered to the wall, raised his pistol with both hands, took
deliberate aim and fired. It was his last, but effective shot, for it
penetrated King's body.

Carlisle was carried into the hotel and placed on a billiard-table;
and there, about three o'clock, he expired. At the first exchange of
shots, the people nearby, panic-stricken, fled, and only a merciful
Providence prevented the sacrifice of other lives. J. H. Lander was
accidentally wounded in the thigh; some eight or ten bystanders had
their clothes pierced by stray bullets; and one of the stage-horses
dropped where he stood before the hotel door. When the first shot was
fired, I was on the corner of Commercial Street, only a short distance
away, and reached the scene in time to see Frank King expire and
witness Carlisle writhing in agony--a death more striking, considering
the murder of Carlisle's brother-in-law, John Rains. Carlisle was
buried from the Bella Union at four o'clock the next day. King's
funeral took place from A. J. King's residence, two days later, at
eight o'clock in the morning.

Houston King having recovered, he was tried for Carlisle's murder, but
was acquitted; the trial contributing to make the affair one of the
most mournful of all tragic events in the early history of Los
Angeles, and rendering it impossible to express the horror of the
public. One feature only of the terrible contest afforded a certain
satisfaction, and that was the splendid exhibition of those qualities,
in some respects heroic, so common among the old Californians of that

July was clouded with a particularly gruesome murder. George Williams
and Cyrus Kimball of San Diego, while removing with their families to
Los Angeles, had spent the night near the Santa Ana River, and while
some distance from camp, at sunrise next morning, were overtaken by
seven armed desperadoes, under the leadership of one Jack O'Brien, and
without a word of explanation, were shot dead. The women, hearing the
commotion, ran toward the spot, only to be commanded by the robbers to
deliver all money and valuables in their possession. Over three
thousand dollars--the entire savings of their husbands--was secured,
after which the murderers made their escape. _Posses_ scoured the
surrounding country, but the cutthroats were never apprehended.

Stimulated, perhaps, by the King-Carlisle tragedy, the Common Council
in July prohibited everybody except officers and travelers from
carrying a pistol, dirk, sling-shot or sword; but the measure lacked
public support, and little or no attention was paid to the law.

Some idea of the modest proportion of business affairs in the early
sixties may be gathered from the fact that, when the Los Angeles Post
Office, on August 10th, was made a money-deposit office, it was
obligatory that all cash in excess of five hundred dollars should be
despatched by steamer to San Francisco.

In 1865, W. H. Perry, having been given a franchise to light the city
with gas, organized the Los Angeles City Gas Company, five years later
selling out his holdings at a large profit. A promise was made to
furnish free gas for lamps at the principal crossings on Main Street
and for lights in the Mayor's office, and the consumers' price at
first agreed upon was ten dollars a thousand cubic feet.

The history of Westlake Park is full of interest. About 1865, the City
began to sell part of its public land, in lots of thirty-five acres,
employing E. W. Noyes as auctioneer. Much of it went at five and ten
dollars an acre; but when the district now occupied by the park and
lake was reached, the auctioneer called in vain for bids at even a
dollar an acre; nobody wanted the alkali hillocks. Then the auctioneer
offered the area at twenty-five cents an acre, but still received no
bids, and the sale was discontinued. In the late eighties, a number of
citizens who had bought land in the vicinity came to Mayor Workman and
promised to pay one-half of the cost of making a lake and laying out
pleasure grounds on the unsightly place; and as the Mayor favored the
plan, it was executed, and this was the first step in the formation of
Westlake Park.

On September 2d, Dr. J. J. Dyer, a dentist from San Francisco, having
opened an office in the Bella Union hotel, announced that he would
visit the homes of patrons and there extract or repair the sufferers'
teeth. The complicated equipment of a modern dentist would hardly
permit of such peripatetic service to-day, although representatives of
this profession and also certain opticians still travel to many of the
small inland towns in California, once or twice a year, stopping in
each for a week or two at a time.

I have spoken of the use, in 1853, of river water for drinking, and
the part played by the private water-carrier. This system was still
largely used until the fall when David W. Alexander leased all the
public water-works for four years, together with the privilege of
renewing the lease another four or six years. Alexander was to pay one
thousand dollars rental a year, agreeing also to surrender the plant
to the City at the termination of his contract. On August 7th,
Alexander assigned his lease to Don Louis Sainsevain, and about the
middle of October Sainsevain made a new contract. Damien Marchessault
associated himself with Don Louis and together they laid pipes from
the street now known as Macy throughout the business part of the city,
and as far (!) south as First Street. These water pipes were
constructed of pine logs from the mountains of San Bernardino, bored
and made to join closely at the ends; but they were continually
bursting, causing springs of water that made their way to the surface
of the streets.

Conway & Waite sold the _News_, then a "tri-weekly" supposed to appear
three times a week, yet frequently issued but twice, to A. J. King &
Company, on November 11th; and King, becoming the editor, made of the
newspaper a semi-weekly.

To complete what I was saying about the Schlesingers: In 1865, Moritz
returned to Germany. Jacob had arrived in Los Angeles in 1860, but
disappearing four years later, his whereabouts was a mystery until,
one fine day, his brother received a letter from him dated, "Gun Boat
_Pocahontas_." Jake had entered the service of Uncle Sam! The
_Pocahontas_ was engaged in blockade work under command of Admiral
Farragut; and Jake and the Admiral were paying special attention to
Sabine Pass, then fortified by the Confederacy.

On November 27th, Andrew J. Glassell and Colonel James G. Howard
arrived together in Los Angeles. The former had been admitted to the
California Bar some ten or twelve years before; but in the early
sixties he temporarily abandoned his profession and engaged in
ranching near Santa Cruz. After the War, Glassell drifted back to the
practice of law; and having soon cast his lot with Los Angeles,
formed a partnership with Alfred B. Chapman. Two or three years later,
Colonel George H. Smith, a Confederate Army officer who in the early
seventies lived on Fort Street, was taken into the firm; and for years
Glassell, Chapman and Smith were among the leading attorneys at the
Los Angeles Bar. Glassell died on January 28th, 1901.

To add to the excitement of the middle sixties, a picturesque street
encounter took place, terminating almost fatally. Colonel, the
redoubtable E. J. C. Kewen, and a good-natured German named Fred
Lemberg, son-in-law to the old miller Bors, having come to blows on
Los Angeles Street near Mellus's Row, Lemberg knocked Kewen down;
whereupon friends interfered and peace was apparently restored. Kewen,
a Southerner, dwelt upon the fancied indignity to which he had been
subjected and went from store to store until he finally borrowed a
pistol; after which, in front of John Jones's, he lay in wait. When
Lemberg, who, because of his nervous energy, was known as the Flying
Dutchman, again appeared, rushing across the street in the direction
of Mellus's Row, the equally excited Colonel opened fire, drawing from
his adversary a retaliatory round of shots. I was standing nearly
opposite the scene and saw the Flying Dutchman and Kewen, each dodging
around a pillar in front of The Row, until finally Lemberg, with a
bullet in his abdomen, ran out into Los Angeles Street and fell to the
ground, his legs convulsively assuming a perpendicular position and
then dropping back. After recovering from what was thought to be a
fatal wound, Lemberg left Los Angeles for Arizona or Mexico; but
before he reached his destination, he was murdered by Indians.

I have told of the trade between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, which
started up briskly in 1855, and grew in importance until the
completion of the transcontinental railroad put an end to it. Indeed,
in 1865 and 1866 Los Angeles enterprise pushed forward until
merchandise was teamed as far as Bannock, Idaho, four hundred and
fifty miles beyond Salt Lake, and Helena, Montana, fourteen hundred
miles away. This indicates to what an extent the building of
railroads ultimately affected the early Los Angeles merchants.

The Spanish drama was the event of December 17th, when Señor Don
Guirado L. del Castillo and Señora Amelia Estrella del Castillo played
_La Trenza de sus Cabellos_ to an enthusiastic audience.

In 1865 or 1866, William T. Glassell, a younger brother of Andrew
Glassell, came to Los Angeles on a visit; and being attracted by the
Southwest country, he remained to assist Glassell & Chapman in
founding Orange, formerly known as Richland. No doubt pastoral
California looked good to young Glassell, for he had but just passed
eighteen weary months in a Northern military prison. Having thought
out a plan for blowing up the United States ironclads off Charleston
Harbor, Lieutenant Glassell supervised the construction of a
cigar-shaped craft, known as a _David_, which carried a torpedo
attached to the end of a fifteen-foot pole; and on October 5th, 1863,
young Glassell and three other volunteers steamed out in the darkness
against the formidable new _Ironsides_. The torpedo was exploded,
doing no greater damage than to send up a column of water, which fell
onto the ship, and also to hurl the young officers into the bay.
Glassell died here at an early age.

John T. Best, the Assessor, was another pioneer who had an adventurous
life prior to, and for a long time after, coming to California. Having
run away to sea from his Maine home about the middle fifties, Best
soon found himself among pirates; but escaping their clutches, he came
under the domination of a captain whose cruelty, off desolate Cape
Horn, was hardly preferable to death. Reaching California about 1858,
Best fled from another captain's brutality and, making his way into
the Northern forests, was taken in and protected by kind-hearted
woodmen secluded within palisades. Successive Indian outbreaks
constantly threatened him and his comrades, and for years he was
compelled to defend himself against the savages. At last, safe and
sound, he settled within the pale of civilization, at the outbreak of
the Civil War enlisting as a Union officer in the first battalion of
California soldiers. Since then Best has resided mostly in Los

The year 1866 is memorable as the concluding period of the great War.
Although Lee had surrendered in the preceding April, more than fifteen
months elapsed before the Washington authorities officially proclaimed
the end of the Titanic struggle which left one-half of the nation
prostrate and the other half burdened with new and untold
responsibilities. By the opening of the year, however, one of the
miracles of modern history--the quiet and speedy return of the soldier
to the vocations of peace--began, and soon some of those who had left
for the front when the War broke out were to be seen again in our
Southland, starting life anew. With them, too, came a few pioneers
from the East, harbingers of an army soon to settle our valleys and
seasides. All in all, the year was the beginning of a brighter era.

Here it may not be amiss to take up the tale of the mimic war in which
Phineas Banning and I engaged, in the little commercial world of Los
Angeles, and to tell to what an extent the fortunes of my competitors
were influenced, and how the absorption of the transportation charge
from the seaboard caused their downfall. O. W. Childs, in less than
three months, found the competition too severe and surrendered "lock,
stock and barrel;" P. Beaudry, whose vain-glorious boast had stirred
up this rumpus, sold out to me on January 1st, 1866, just a few months
after his big talk. John Jones was the last to yield.

In January, 1866, I bought out Banning, who was soon to take his seat
in the Legislature for the advancing of his San Pedro Railroad
project, and agreed to pay him, in the future, seven dollars and a
half per ton for hauling my goods from Wilmington to Los Angeles,
which was mutually satisfactory; and when we came to balance up, it
was found that Banning had received, for his part in the enterprise,
an amount equal to all that would otherwise have been charged for
transportation and a tidy sum besides.

Sam, brother of Kaspare Cohn, who had been in Carson City, Nevada,
came to Los Angeles and joined me. We grew rapidly, and in a short
time became of some local importance. When Kaspare sold out at Red
Bluff, in January, 1866, we tendered him a partnership. We were now
three very busy associates, besides M. A. Newmark, who clerked for us.

Several references have been made to the trade between Los Angeles and
Arizona, due in part to the needs of the Army there. I remember that
early in February not less than twenty-seven Government wagons were
drawn up in front of H. Newmark & Company's store, to be loaded with
seventy to seventy-five tons of groceries and provisions for troops in
the Territory.

Notwithstanding the handicaps in this wagon-train traffic, there was
still much objection to railroads, especially to the plan for a line
between Los Angeles and San Pedro, some of the strongest opposition
coming from El Monte where, in February, ranchers circulated a
petition, disapproving railroad bills introduced by Banning into the
Legislature. A common argument was that the railroad would do away
with horses and the demand for barley; and one wealthy citizen who
succeeded in inducing many to follow his lead, vehemently insisted
that two trains a month, for many years, would be all that could be
expected! By 1874, however, not less than fifty to sixty freight cars
were arriving daily in Los Angeles from Wilmington.

Once more, in 1866, the Post Office was moved, this time to a building
opposite the Bella Union hotel. There it remained until perhaps 1868,
when it was transferred to the northwest corner of Main and Market

In the spring of 1866, the Los Angeles Board of Education was
petitioned to establish a school where Spanish as well as English
should be taught--probably the first step toward the introduction into
public courses here of the now much-studied _castellano_.

In noting the third schoolhouse, at the corner of San Pedro and
Washington streets, I should not forget to say that Judge Dryden
bought the lot for the City, at a cost of one hundred dollars. When
the fourth school was erected, at the corner of Charity and Eighth
streets, it was built on property secured for three hundred and fifty
dollars by M. Kremer, who served on the School Board for nine years,
from 1866, with Henry D. Barrows and William Workman. There, a few
years ago, a brick building replaced the original wooden structure.
Besides Miss Eliza Madigan, teachers of this period or later were the
Misses Hattie and Frankie Scott, daughters of Judge Scott, the Misses
Maggie Hamilton, Eula P. Bixby, Emma L. Hawkes, Clara M. Jones, H. K.
Saxe and C. H. Kimball; a sister of Governor Downey, soon to become
Mrs. Peter Martin, was also a public school teacher.

Piped gas as well as water had been quite generally brought into
private use shortly after their introduction, all pipes running along
the surface of walls and ceilings, in neither a very judicious nor
ornamental arrangement. The first gas-fixtures consisted of the
old-fashioned, unornamented drops from the ceiling, connected at right
angles to the cross-pipe, with its two plain burners, one at either
end, forming an inverted T ([Symbol: upside-down T]); and years passed
before artistic bronzes and globes, such as were displayed in
profusion at the Centennial Exposition, were seen to any extent here.

In September, Leon Loeb arrived in Los Angeles and entered the employ
of S. Lazard & Company, later becoming a partner. When Eugene Meyer
left for San Francisco on the first of January, 1884, resigning his
position as French Consular Agent, Loeb succeeded him, both in that
capacity and as head of the firm. After fifteen years' service, the
French Government conferred upon Mr. Loeb the decoration of an Officer
of the Academy. As Past Master of the Odd Fellows, he became in time
one of the oldest members of Lodge No. 35. On March 23d, 1879, Loeb
married my eldest daughter, Estelle; and on July 22d, 1911, he died.
Joseph P. and Edwin J. Loeb, the attorneys and partners of Irving M.
Walker, (son-in-law of Tomás Lorenzo Duque),[27] are sons of Leon

In the summer there came to Los Angeles from the Northern part of
California an educator who had already established there and in
Wisconsin an excellent reputation as a teacher. This was George W.
Burton, who was accompanied by his wife, a lady educated in France and
Italy. With them they brought two assistants, a young man and a young
woman, adding another young woman teacher after they arrived. The
company of pedagogues made quite a formidable array; and their number
permitted the division of the school--then on Main near what is now
Second Street--into three departments: one a kind of kindergarten,
another for young girls and a third for boys. The school grew and it
soon became necessary to move the boys' department to the vestry-room
of the little Episcopal Church on the corner of Temple and New High

Not only was Burton an accomplished scholar and experienced teacher,
but Mrs. Burton was a linguist of talent and also proficient in both
instrumental and vocal music. Our eldest children attended the Burton
School, as did also those of many friends such as the Kremers, Whites,
Morrises, Griffiths, the Volney Howards, Kewens, Scotts, Nichols, the
Schumachers, Joneses and the Bannings.

Daniel Bohen, another watchmaker and jeweler, came after Pyle,
establishing himself, on September 11th, on the south side of
Commercial Street. He sold watches, clocks, jewelry and spectacles;
and he used to advertise with the figure of a huge watch. S.
Nordlinger, who arrived here in 1868, bought Bohen out and continued
the jewelry business during forty-two years, until his death in 1911,
when, as a pioneer jeweler, he was succeeded by Louis S. and Melville
Nordlinger, who still use the title of S. Nordlinger & Sons.

Charles C. Lips, a German, came to Los Angeles from Philadelphia in
1866 and joined the wholesale liquor firm of E. Martin & Company,
later Lips, Craigue & Company, in the Baker Block. As a volunteer
fireman, he was a member of the old Thirty-Eights; a fact adding
interest to the appointment, on February 28th, 1905, of his son,
Walter Lips, as Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

On October 3d, William Wolfskill died, mourned by many. Though but
sixty-eight years of age, he had witnessed much in the founding of our
great Southwestern commonwealth; and notwithstanding the handicaps to
his early education, and the disappointments of his more eventful
years, he was a man of marked intelligence and remained unembittered
and kindly disposed toward his fellow-men.

A good example of what an industrious man, following an ordinary
trade, could accomplish in early days was afforded by Andrew Joughin,
a blacksmith, who came here in 1866, a powerful son of the Isle of
Man, measuring over six feet and tipping the beam at more than two
hundred pounds. He had soon saved enough money to buy for five hundred
dollars a large frontage at Second and Hill streets, selling it
shortly after for fifteen hundred. From Los Angeles, Joughin went to
Arizona and then to San Juan Capistrano, but was back here again in
1870, opening another shop. Toward the middle seventies, Joughin was
making rather ingenious plows of iron and steel which attracted
considerable attention. As fast as he accumulated a little money, he
invested it in land, buying in 1874, for six thousand dollars, some
three hundred and sixty acres comprising a part of one of the Ciénega
_ranchos_, to which he moved in 1876. Seven years later, he purchased
three hundred and five acres once called the Tom Gray Ranch, now known
by the more pretentious name of Arlington Heights. In 1888, three
years after he had secured six hundred acres of the Palos Verdes
_rancho_ near Wilmington, the blacksmith retired and made a grand tour
of Europe, revisiting his beloved Isle of Man.

Pat Goodwin was another blacksmith, who reached Los Angeles in 1866 or
1867, shoeing his way, as it were, south from San Francisco, through
San José, Whisky Flat and other picturesque places, in the service of
A. O. Thorn, one of the stage-line proprietors. He had a shop first on
Spring Street, where later the Empire Stables were opened, and
afterward at the corner of Second and Spring streets, on the site in
time bought by J. E. Hollenbeck.

Still another smith of this period was Henry King (brother of John
King, formerly of the Bella Union), who in 1879-80 served two terms as
Chief of Police. Later, A. L. Bath was a well-known wheelwright who
located his shop on Spring Street near Third.

In 1866, quite a calamity befell this pueblo: the abandonment by the
Government of Drum Barracks. As this had been one of the chief sources
of revenue for our small community, the loss was severely felt, and
the immediate effect disastrous. About the same time, too, Samuel B.
Caswell (father of W. M. Caswell, first of the Los Angeles Savings
Bank and now of the Security), who had come to Los Angeles the year
before, took into partnership John F. Ellis, and under the title of
Caswell & Ellis, they started a good-sized grocery and merchandise
business; and between the competition that they brought and the
reduction of the circulating medium, times with H. Newmark & Company
became somewhat less prosperous. Later, John H. Wright was added to
the firm, and it became Caswell, Ellis & Wright. On September 1st,
1871, the firm dissolved.


[26] Fifty years after this unpretentious venture in Arcadia Block,
that is, in the summer of 1915, the half-centenary of M. A. Newmark &
Company and their predecessors was celebrated with a picnic in the
woodlands belonging to Universal City, the holiday and its pleasures
having been provided by the firm as a compliment to its employees. On
that occasion, a loving-cup was presented by the employees to M. A.
Newmark, who responded feelingly to the speech by M. H. Newmark.
Another, but somewhat differently inscribed cup was tendered Harris
Newmark in an address by Herman Flatau, bringing from the venerable
recipient a hearty reply, full of genial reminiscence and natural
emotion, in which he happily likened his commercial enterprise, once
the small store in Los Angeles Street, to a snowball rolling down the
mountain-side, gathering in momentum and size and, fortunately,
preserving its original whiteness. Undoubtedly, this Fifty-Year
Jubilee will take its place among the pleasantest experiences of a
long and varied career.--THE EDITORS.

[27] Died on April 6th, 1915.




The reader may already have noted that more than one important move in
my life has been decided upon with but little previous deliberation.
During August, 1866, while on the way to a family picnic at La
Ballona, my brother suggested the advisability of opening an office
for H. Newmark & Company in New York; and so quickly had I expressed
my willingness to remove there that, when we reached the _rancho_, I
announced to my wife that we would leave for the East as soon as we
could get ready. Circumstances, however, delayed our going a few

My family at this time consisted of my wife and four children; and
together on January 29th, 1867, we left San Pedro for New York, by way
of San Francisco and Panamá, experiencing frightfully hot weather.
Stopping at Acapulco, during Maximilian's revolution, we were
summarily warned to keep away from the fort on the hill; while at
Panamá yellow fever, spread by travelers recently arrived from South
America, caused the Captain to beat a hasty retreat. Sailing on the
steamer _Henry Chancey_ from Aspinwall, we arrived at New York on the
sixth of March; and having domiciled my family comfortably, my next
care was to establish an office on the third floor at 31 and 33
Broadway, placing it in charge of M. J. Newmark, who had preceded me
to the metropolis a year before. In a short time, I bought a home on
Forty-ninth Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, then an
agreeable residence district. An intense longing to see my old home
next induced me to return to Europe, and I sailed on May 16th for
Havre on the steam-propeller _Union_; the band playing _The Highland
Fling_ as the vessel left the pier. In mid-ocean, the ship's propeller
broke, and she completed the voyage under sail. Three months later, I
returned on the _Russia_. The recollection of this journey gives me
real satisfaction; for had I not taken it then, I should never again
have seen my father. On the twenty-first of the following November, or
a few months after I last bade him good-bye, he died at Loebau, in the
seventy-fifth year of his age. My mother had died in the summer of

It was during this visit that, tarrying for a week in the brilliant
French capital, I saw the Paris Exposition, housed to a large extent
in one immense building in the Champ de Mars. I was wonderfully
impressed with both the city and the fair, as well as with the
enterprising and artistic French people who had created it, although I
was somewhat disappointed that, of the fifty thousand or more
exhibitors represented, but seven hundred were Americans.

One little incident may be worth relating. While I was standing in the
midst of the machinery one day, the _gendarmes_ suddenly began to
force the crowd back, and on retreating with the rest, I saw a group
of ladies and gentlemen approaching. It was soon whispered that they
were the Empress Eugénie and her suite, and that we had been commanded
to retire in order to permit her Majesty to get a better view of a new
railroad coach that she desired to inspect.

Not long ago I was reading of a trying ordeal in the life of Elihu B.
Washburne, American Minister to France, who, having unluckily removed
his shoe at a Court dinner, was compelled to rise with the company on
the sudden appearance of royalty, and to step back with a stockinged
foot! The incident recalled an experience of my own in London. I had
ordered from a certain shoemaker in Berlin a pair of patent-leather
gaiters which I wore for the first time when I went to Covent Garden
with an old friend and his wife. It was a very warm evening and the
performance had not progressed far before it became evident that the
shoes were too small. I was, in fact, nearly overcome with pain, and
in my desperation removed the gaiters (when the lights were low),
quietly shoved them under the seat and sat out the rest of the
performance with a fair degree of comfort and composure. Imagine my
consternation, however, when I sought to put the shoes on again and
found the operation almost impossible! The curtain fell while I was
explaining and apologizing to my friends; and nearly every light was
extinguished before I was ready to emerge from the famous opera house
and limp to a waiting carriage.

A trifling event also lingers among the memories of this revisit to my
native place. While journeying towards Loebau in a stage, I happened
to mention that I had married since settling in America; whereupon one
of my fellow-passengers inquired whether my wife was white, brown or

Major Ben C. Truman was President Johnson's private secretary until he
was appointed, in 1866, special agent for the Post Office department
on the Pacific Coast. He came to Los Angeles in February, 1867, to
look after postal matters in Southern California and Arizona, but more
particularly to reëstablish, between Los Angeles and points in New
Mexico, the old Butterfield Route which had been discontinued on
account of the War. Truman opened post offices at a number of places
in Los Angeles County. On December 8th, 1869, the Major married Miss
Augusta Mallard, daughter of Judge J. S. Mallard. From July, 1873,
until the late summer of 1877, he controlled the Los Angeles _Star_,
contributing to its columns many excellent sketches of early life in
Southern California, some of which were incorporated in one or more
substantial volumes; and of all the pioneer journalists here, it is
probable that none have surpassed this affable gentleman in brilliancy
and genial, kindly touch. Among Truman's books is an illustrated work
entitled _Semi-Tropical California_, dedicated, with a _Dominus
vobiscum_, to Phineas Banning and published in San Francisco, 1874;
while another volume, issued seven years later, is devoted to
_Occidental Sketches_.

A fire, starting in Bell's Block on Los Angeles Street, on July 13th,
during my absence from the city, destroyed property to the value of
sixty-four thousand dollars; and the same season, S. Lazard & Company
moved their dry goods store from Bell's Row to Wolfskill's building on
Main Street, opposite the Bella Union hotel.

Germain Pellissier, a Frenchman from the Hautes-Alpes, came to Los
Angeles in August, and for twenty-eight years lived at what is now the
corner of Seventh and Olive streets. Then the land was in the country;
but by 1888, Pellissier had built the block that bears his name. On
settling here, Pellissier went into sheep-raising, scattering stock in
Kern and Ventura counties, and importing sheep from France and
Australia in order to improve his breed; and from one ram alone in a
year, as he demonstrated to some doubting challengers, he clipped
sixty-two and a half pounds of wool.

P. Beaudry began to invest in hill property in 1867, at once improving
the steep hillside of New High Street, near Sonora Town, which he
bought in, at sheriff's sale, for fifty-five dollars. Afterward,
Beaudry purchased some twenty acres between Second, Fourth, Charity
and Hill streets, for which he paid five hundred and seventeen
dollars; and when he had subdivided this into eighty lots, he cleared
about thirty thousand dollars. Thirty-nine acres, between Fourth and
Sixth, and Pearl and Charity streets, he finally disposed of at a
profit, it is said, of over fifty thousand dollars.

John G. Downey having subdivided Nieto's _rancho_, Santa Gertrudis,
the little town of Downey, which he named, soon enjoyed such a boom
that sleepy Los Angeles began to sit up and take notice. Among the
early residents was E. M. Sanford, a son-in-law of General John W.
Gordon, of Georgia. A short time before the founding of Downey, a
small place named Galatin had been started near by, but the flood of
1868 caused our otherwise dry rivers to change their courses, and
Galatin was washed away. This subdividing at once stimulated the
coming of land and home-seekers, increased the spirit of enterprise
and brought money into circulation.

Soon afterward, Phineas Banning renewed the agitation to connect Los
Angeles with Wilmington by rail. He petitioned the County to assist
the enterprise, but the larger taxpayers, backed by the
over-conservative farmers, still opposed the scheme, tooth and nail,
until it finally took all of Banning's influence to carry the project
through to a successful termination.

George S. Patton, whose father, Colonel Patton of the Confederate
Army, was killed at Winchester, September 19th, 1864, is a nephew of
Andrew Glassell and the oldest of four children who came to Los
Angeles with their mother and her father, Andrew Glassell, Sr., in
1867. Educated in the public schools of Los Angeles, Patton afterward
attended the Virginia Military Institute, where Stonewall Jackson had
been a professor, returning to Los Angeles in September, 1877, when he
entered the law firm of Glassell, Smith & Patton. In 1884, he married
Miss Ruth, youngest daughter of B. D. Wilson, after which he retired
to private life. One of Patton's sisters married Tom Brown; another
sister became the wife of the popular physician, Dr. W. Le Moyne
Wills. In 1871, his mother, relict of Colonel George S. Patton,
married her kinsman, Colonel George H. Smith.

John Moran, Sr., conducted a vineyard on San Pedro Street near the
present Ninth, in addition to which he initiated the soda-water
business here, selling his product at twenty-five cents a bottle. Soda
water, however, was too "soft" a drink to find much favor and little
was done to establish the trade on a firm basis until 1867, when H. W.
Stoll, a German, drove from Colorado to California and organized the
Los Angeles Soda Water Works. As soon as he began to manufacture the
aerated beverages, Stevens & Wood set up the first soda-water fountain
in Los Angeles, on North Spring Street near the Post Office. After
that, bubbling water and strangely-colored syrups gained in popularity
until, in 1876, quite an expensive fountain was purchased by Preuss &
Pironi's drug store, on Spring Street opposite Court. And what is
more, they brought in hogsheads from Saratoga what would be difficult
to find in all Los Angeles to-day: Congress, Vichy and Kissingen
waters. Stoll, by the way, in 1873, married Fräulein Louisa Behn,
daughter of John Behn.

An important industry of the late sixties and early seventies was the
harvesting of castor beans, then growing wild along the _zanjas_. They
were shipped to San Francisco for manufacturing purposes, the oil
factories there both supplying the ranchmen with seed and pledging
themselves to take the harvest when gathered. In 1867, a small
castor-oil mill was set up here.

The _chilicothe_--derived, according to Charles F. Lummis, from the
Aztec, _chilacayote_, the wild cucumber, or _echinocystes fabacea_--is
the name of a plaything supplied by diversified nature, which grew on
large vines, especially along the slope leading down to the river on
what is now Elysian Park, and in the neighborhood of the hills
adjacent to the Mallard and Nichols places. Four or five of these
_chilicothes_, each shaped much like an irregular marble, came in a
small burr or gourd; and to secure them for games, the youngsters
risked limb, if not life, among the trees and rocks. Small circular
holes were sometimes cut into the nuts; and after the meat, which was
not edible, had been extracted, the empty shells were strung together
like beads and presented, as necklaces and bracelets, to sisters and

Just about the time when I first gazed upon the scattered houses of
our little pueblo, the Pacific Railway Expedition, sent out from
Washington, prepared and published a tinted lithograph sketch of Los
Angeles, now rather rare. In 1867, Stephen A. Rendall, an Englishman
of Angora goat fame, who had been here, off and on, as a photographer,
devised one of the first large panoramas of Los Angeles, which he sold
by advance subscription. It was made in sections; and as the only view
of that year extant, it also has become notable as an historical

Surrounded by his somewhat pretentious gallery and his mysterious
darkroom on the top floor of Temple's new block, V. Wolfenstein also
took good, bad and indifferent photographs, having arrived here,
perhaps, in the late sixties, and remaining a decade or more, until
his return to his native Stockholm where I again met him. He operated
with slow wet-plates, and pioneers will remember the inconvenience,
almost tantamount to torture, to which the patron was subjected in
sitting out an exposure. The children of pioneers, too, will recall
his magic, revolving stereoscope, filled with fascinating views at
which one peeped through magnifying glasses.

Louis Lewin must have arrived here in the late sixties. Subsequently,
he bought out the stationery business of W. J. Brodrick, and P.
Lazarus, upon his arrival from Tucson in 1874, entered into
partnership with him; Samuel Hellman, as was not generally known at
the time, also having an interest in the firm which was styled Louis
Lewin & Company. When the Centennial of the United States was
celebrated here in 1876, a committee wrote a short historical sketch
of Los Angeles; and this was published by Lewin & Company. Now the
firm is known as the Lazarus Stationery Company, P. Lazarus[28] being
President. Lewin and Lazarus married into families of pioneers: Mrs.
Lewin is a daughter of S. Lazard, while Mrs. Lazarus is a daughter of
M. Kremer. Lewin died at Manilla on April 5th, 1905.

On November 18th, the Common Council contracted with Jean Louis
Sainsevain to lay some five thousand feet of two- and three-inch iron
pipe at a cost of about six thousand dollars in scrip; but the great
flood of that winter caused Sainsevain so many failures and losses
that he transferred his lease, in the spring or summer of 1868, to Dr.
J. S. Griffin, Prudent Beaudry, and Solomon Lazard, who completed
Sainsevain's contract with the City.

Dr. Griffin and his associates then proposed to lease the water-works
from the City for a term of fifty years, but soon changed this to an
offer to buy. When the matter came up before the Council for adoption,
there was a tie vote, whereupon Murray Morrison, just before resigning
as President of the Council, voted in the affirmative, his last
official act being to sign the franchise. Mayor Aguilar, however,
vetoed the ordinance, and then Dr. Griffin and his colleagues came
forward with a new proposition. This was to lease the works for a
period of thirty years, and to pay fifteen hundred dollars a year in
addition to performing certain things promised in the preceding

At this stage of the negotiations, John Jones made a rival offer, and
P. McFadden, who had been an unsuccessful bidder for the Sainsevain
lease, tried with Juan Bernard to enter into a twenty-year contract.
Notwithstanding these other offers, however, the City authorities
thought it best, on July 22d, 1868, to vote the franchise to Dr.
Griffin, S. Lazard and P. Beaudry, who soon transferred their
thirty-year privileges to a corporation known as the Los Angeles City
Water Company, in which they became trustees. Others associated in
this enterprise were Eugene Meyer, I. W. Hellman, J. G. Downey, A. J.
King, Stephen Hathaway Mott--Tom's brother--W. H. Perry and Charles
Lafoon. A spirited fight followed the granting of the thirty-year
lease, but the water company came out victorious.

In the late sixties, when the only communities of much consequence in
Los Angeles County were Los Angeles, Anaheim and Wilmington, the
latter place and Anaheim Landing were the shipping ports of Los
Angeles, San Bernardino and Arizona. At that time, or during some of
the especially prosperous days of Anaheim, the slough at Anaheim
Landing (since filled up by flood) was so formed, and of such depth,
that heavily-loaded vessels ran past the warehouse to a considerable
distance inland, and there unloaded their cargoes. At the same time
the leading Coast steamers began to stop there. Not many miles away
was the corn-producing settlement, Gospel Swamp.

I have pointed out the recurring weakness in the wooden pipes laid by
Sainsevain and Marchessault. This distressing difficulty, causing, as
it did, repeated losses and sharp criticism by the public, has always
been regarded as the motive for ex-Mayor Marchessault's death on
January 20th, when he committed suicide in the old City Council room.

Jacob Loew arrived in America in 1865 and spent three years in New
York before he came to California in 1868. Clerking for a while in San
Francisco, he went to the Old Town of San Diego, then to Galatin, and
in 1872 settled in Downey; and there, in conjunction with Jacob
Baruch, afterward of Haas, Baruch & Company, he conducted for years
the principal general merchandise business of that section. On coming
to Los Angeles in 1883, he bought, as I have said, the Deming Mill now
known as the Capitol Mills. Two years later, on the second of August,
he was married to my daughter Emily.

Dr. Joseph Kurtz, once a student at Giessen, arrived in Los Angeles on
February 3d, with a record for hospital service at Baltimore during
the Civil War, having been induced to come here by the druggist, Adolf
Junge, with whom for a while he had some association. Still later he
joined Dr. Rudolph Eichler in conducting a pharmacy. For some time
prior to his graduation in medicine, in 1872, Dr. Kurtz had an office
in the Lanfranco Building. For many years, he was surgeon to the
Southern Pacific Railroad Company and consulting physician to the
Santa Fé Railroad Company, and he also served as President of the Los
Angeles College Clinical Association. I shall have further occasion to
refer to this good friend. Dr. Carl Kurtz is distinguishing himself in
the profession of his father.

Hale fellow well met and always in favor with a large circle, was my
Teutonic friend, Lewis Ebinger, who, after coming to Los Angeles in
1868, turned clay into bricks. Perhaps this also recalled the days of
his childhood when he made pies of the same material; but be that as
it may, Lewis in the early seventies made his first venture in the
bakery business, opening shop on North Spring Street. In the bustling
Boom days when real estate men saw naught but the sugar-coating,
Ebinger, who had moved to elaborate quarters in a building at the
southwest corner of Spring and Third streets, was dispensing cream
puffs and other baked delicacies to an enthusiastic and unusually
large clientele. But since everybody then had money, or thought that
he had, one such place was not enough to satisfy the ravenous
speculators; with the result that John Koster was soon conducting a
similar establishment on Spring Street near Second, while farther
north, on Spring Street near First, the Vienna Bakery ran both Lewis
and John a merry race.

Dr. L. W. French, one of the organizers of the Odontological Society
of Southern California, also came to Los Angeles in 1868--so early
that he found but a couple of itinerant dentists, who made their
headquarters here for a part of the year and then hung out their
shingles in other towns or at remote ranches.

One day in the spring of 1868, while I was residing in New York City,
I received a letter from Phineas Banning, accompanied by a sealed
communication, and reading about as follows:


     Herewith I enclose to you a letter of the greatest
     importance, addressed to Miss Mary Hollister (daughter, as
     you know, of Colonel John H. Hollister), who will soon be
     on her way to New York, and who may be expected to arrive
     there by the next steamer.

     This letter I beg you to deliver to Miss Hollister
     personally, immediately upon her arrival in New York,
     thereby obliging

     Yours obediently,

     (Signed) PHINEAS BANNING.

The steamer referred to had not yet arrived, and I lost no time in
arranging that I should be informed, by the company's agents, of the
vessel's approach, as soon as it was sighted. This notification came,
by the by, through a telegram received before daylight one bitterly
cold morning, when I was told that the ship would soon be at the dock;
and as quickly as I could, I procured a carriage, hastened to the
wharf and, before any passengers had landed, boarded the vessel. There
I sought out Miss Hollister, a charming lady, and gave her the
mysterious missive.

I thought no more of this matter until I returned to Los Angeles when,
welcoming me back, Banning told me that the letter I had had the honor
to deliver aboard ship in New York contained nothing less than a
proposal of marriage, his solicitation of Miss Hollister's heart and

One reason why the Bella Union played such an important _rôle_ in the
early days of Los Angeles, was because there was no such thing as a
high-class restaurant; indeed, the first recollection I have of
anything like a satisfactory place is that of Louis Vielle, known by
some as French Louis and nicknamed by others Louis _Gordo_, or Louis
the Fat. Vielle came to Los Angeles from Mexico, a fat, jolly little
French caterer, not much over five feet in height and weighing, I
should judge, two hundred and fifty pounds; and this great bulk,
supported as it was by two peg-like legs, rendered his appearance
truly comical. His blue eyes, light hair and very rosy cheeks
accentuated his ludicrous figure. Louis, who must have been about
fifty-four years of age when I first met him, then conducted his
establishment in John Lanfranco's building on Main Street, between
Commercial and Requena; from which fact the place was known as the
Lanfranco, although it subsequently received the more suggestive
title, the What Cheer House. Louis was an acknowledged expert in his
art, but he did not always choose to exert himself. Nevertheless his
lunches, for which he charged fifty or seventy-five cents, according
to the number of dishes served, were well thought of, and it is
certain that Los Angeles had never had so good a restaurant before. At
one time, our caterer's partner was a man named Frederico Guiol, whom
he later bought out. Louis could never master the English language,
and to his last day spoke with a strong French accent. His florid
cheeks were due to the enormous quantity of claret consumed both at
and between meals. He would mix it with soup, dip his bread into it
and otherwise absorb it in large quantities. Indeed, at the time of
his fatal illness, while he was living with the family of Don Louis
Sainsevain, it was assumed that over-indulgence in wine was the cause.
Be that as it may, he sickened and died, passing away at the Lanfranco
home in 1872. Vielle had prospered, but during his sickness he spent
largely of his means. After his death, it was discovered that he had
been in the habit of hiding his coin in little niches in the wall of
his room and in other secret places; and only a small amount of the
money was found. A few of the real pioneers recollect Louis _Gordo_
as one who added somewhat to the comfort of those who then patronized
restaurants; while others will associate him with the introduction
here of the first French dolls, to take the place of rag-babies.

Both Judge Robert Maclay Widney and Dr. Joseph P. Widney, the surgeon,
took up their residence in Los Angeles in 1868. R. M. Widney set out
from Ohio about 1855 and, having spent two years in exploring the
Rockies, worked for a while in the Sacramento Valley, where he chopped
wood for a living, and finally reached Los Angeles with a small trunk
and about a hundred dollars in cash. Here he opened a law and
real-estate office and started printing the _Real Estate Advertiser_.
Dr. Widney crossed the Continent in 1862, spent two years as surgeon
in the United States Army in Arizona, after which he proceeded to Los
Angeles and soon became one of the charter members of the Los Angeles
Medical Society, exerting himself in particular to extend Southern
California's climatic fame.

I have spoken of the ice procured from the San Bernardino mountains in
rather early days, but I have not said that in summer, when we most
needed the cooling commodity, there was none to be had. The
enterprising firm of Queen & Gard, the first to arrange for regular
shipments of Truckee River ice in large quantities by steamer from the
North, announced their purpose late in March, 1868, of building an ice
house on Main Street; and about the first of April they began
delivering daily, in a large and substantial wagon especially
constructed for that purpose and which, for the time being, was an
object of much curiosity. Liberal support was given the enterprise;
and perhaps it is no wonder that the perspiring editor of the _News_,
going into ecstasies because of a cooling sample or two deposited in
his office, said, in the next issue of his paper:

     The founding of an ice depot is another step forward in the
     progress that is to make us a great City. We have Water and
     Gas, and now we are to have the additional luxury of Ice!

  [Illustration: Dr. Truman H. Rose]

  [Illustration: Dr. Vincent Gelcich]

  [Illustration: Andrew Glassell]

  [Illustration: Charles E. Miles, in Uniform of 38's]

  [Illustration: Facsimile of Stock Certificate, Pioneer Oil Co.]

  [Illustration: American Bakery, Jake Kuhrts's Building, about 1880]

Banning's fight for the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad has been
touched upon more than once. Tomlinson, his rival, opposed the
project; but his sudden death, about two weeks before the election in
1868, removed one of the serious obstacles. When the vote was taken,
on March 24th, as to whether the City and County should bond
themselves to encourage the building of the railroad, seven hundred
votes were cast in favor of, and six hundred and seventy-two votes
against, the undertaking, leaving Banning and his associates ready to
go ahead. By the way, as a reminder of the quondam vogue of Spanish
here, it may be noted that the proclamation regarding the railroad,
published in 1868, was printed in both English and Spanish.

On May 16th, Henry Hamilton, whose newspaper, the _Star_, during part
of the War period had been suspended through the censorship of the
National Government, again made his bow to the Los Angeles public,
this time in a half-facetious leader in which he referred to the "late
unpleasantness" in the family circle. Hamilton's old-time vigor was
immediately recognized, but not his former disposition to attack and

Dr. H. S. Orme, once President of the State Board of Health of
California, arrived in Los Angeles on July 4th and soon became as
prominent in Masonic as in medical circles. Dr. Harmon, an early
successor to Drs. Griffin and Den, first settled here in 1868,
although he had previously visited California in 1853.

Carl Felix Heinzeman, at one time a well-known chemist and druggist,
emigrated from Germany in 1868 and came direct to Los Angeles, where
after succeeding J. B. Saunders & Company, he continued, in the
Lanfranco Building, what grew to be the largest drug store south of
San Francisco. Heinzeman died on April 29th, 1903. About the same
period, a popular apothecary shop on Main Street, near the Plaza, was
known as Chevalier's. In the seventies, when hygiene and sanitation
were given more attention, a Welshman named Hughes conducted a
steam-bath establishment on Main Street, almost opposite the Baker
Block, and the first place of its kind in the city.

Charles F. Harper[29] of Mississippi, and the father of ex-Mayor
Harper, in 1868 opened with R. H. Dalton a hardware store in the Allen
Block, corner of Spring and Temple streets, thus forerunning Coulter &
Harper, Harper & Moore, Harper, Reynolds & Company and the
Harper-Reynolds Company.

Michel Lèvy, an Alsatian, arrived in San Francisco when but seventeen
years of age, and after various experiences in California and Nevada
towns, he came to Los Angeles in 1868, soon establishing, with Joe
Coblentz, the wholesale liquor house of Lèvy & Coblentz. The latter
left here in 1879, and Lèvy continued under the firm name of M. Lèvy &
Company until his death in 1905.

Anastácio Cárdenas, a dwarf who weighed but one and a half pounds when
born, came to Los Angeles in 1867 and soon appeared before the public
as a singer and dancer. He carried a sword and was popularly dubbed
"General." A brother, Ruperto, long lived here.

When the Canal & Reservoir Company was organized with George Hansen as
President and J. J. Warner as Secretary, P. Beaudry contributed
heavily to construct a twenty-foot dam across the _cañon_, below the
present site of Echo Park, and a ditch leading down to Pearl Street.
This first turned attention to the possibilities in the hill-lands to
the West; and in return, the City gave to the company a large amount
of land, popularly designated as canal and reservoir property.

In 1868, when there was still not a three-story house in Los Angeles,
James Alvinza Hayward, a San Franciscan, joined John G. Downey in
providing one hundred thousand dollars with which to open, in the old
Downey Block on the site of the Temple adobe, the first bank in Los
Angeles, under the firm name of Hayward & Company. The lack of
business afforded this enterprise short shrift and they soon retired.
In July of the same year, I. W. Hellman, William Workman, F. P. F.
Temple and James R. Toberman started a bank, with a capital of one
hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, under the title of Hellman,
Temple & Company, Hellman becoming manager.

I do not remember when postal lock-boxes were first brought into use,
but I do recollect that in the late sixties Postmaster Clarke had a
great deal of trouble collecting quarterly rents, and that he finally
gave notice that boxes held by delinquents would thereafter be nailed

A year or two after the Burtons had established themselves here, came
another pedagogue in the person of W. B. Lawlor, a thick-set, bearded
man with a flushed complexion, who opened a day-school called the
Lawlor Institute; and after the Burtons left here to settle at
Portland, Oregon, where Burton became headmaster of an academy for
advanced students, many of his former pupils attended Lawlor's school.
The two institutions proved quite different in type: the Burton
training had tended strongly to languages and literature, while
Lawlor, who was an adept at short-cut methods of calculation, placed
more stress on arithmetic and commercial education. Burton, who
returned to Los Angeles, has been for years a leading member of the
_Times_ editorial staff, and _Burton's Book on California and its
Sunlit Skies_ is one of this author's contributions to Pacific Coast
literature; his wife, however, died many years ago. Lawlor, who was
President of the Common Council in 1880, is also dead.

The most popular piano-teacher of about that time was Professor Van

William Pridham came to Los Angeles in August, having been transferred
from the San Francisco office of Wells Fargo & Company, in whose
service as pony rider, clerk at Austin, Nevada, and at Sacramento, and
cashier in the Northern metropolis he had been for some ten years.
Here he succeeded Major J. R. Toberman, when the latter, after long
service, resigned; and with a single office-boy, at one time little
Joe Binford, he handled all the business committed to the company's
charge. John Osborn was the outside expressman. Then most of the heavy
express matter from San Francisco was carried by steamers, but letters
and limited packages of moment were sent by stage. With the advent of
railroads, Pridham was appointed by Wells Fargo & Company
Superintendent of the Los Angeles district. On June 12th, 1880, he
married Miss Mary Esther, daughter of Colonel John O. Wheeler, and
later moved to Alameda. Now, after fifty-one years of association
with the express business, Pridham still continues to be officially
connected with the Wells Fargo company.

Speaking of that great organization, reminds me that it conducted for
years a mail-carrying business. Three-cent stamped envelopes,
imprinted with Wells Fargo & Company's name, were sold to their
patrons for ten cents each; and to compensate for this bonus, the
Company delivered the letters entrusted to them perhaps one to two
hours sooner than did the Government.

This recalls to me a familiar experience on the arrival of the mail
from the North. Before the inauguration of a stage-line, the best time
in the transmission of mail matter between San Francisco and Los
Angeles was made by water, and Wells Fargo messengers sailed with the
steamers. Immediately upon the arrival of the boat at San Pedro, the
messenger boarded the stage, and as soon as he reached Los Angeles,
pressed on to the office of the Company, near the Bella Union, where
he delivered his bagful of letters. The steamer generally got in by
five o'clock in the morning; and many a time, about seven, have I
climbed Signal or Pound Cake Hill--higher in those days than now, and
affording in clear weather a view of both ocean and the smoke of the
steamer--upon whose summit stood a house, used as a signal station,
and there watched for the rival stages, the approach of which was
indicated by clouds of dust. I would then hurry with many others to
the Express Company's office where, as soon as the bag was emptied, we
would all help ourselves unceremoniously to the mail.

In August, General Edward Bouton, a Northern Army officer, came to Los
Angeles and soon had a sheep ranch on Boyle Heights--a section then
containing but two houses; and two years later he camped where
Whittier now lies. In 1874, he bought land for pasture in the San
Jacinto Valley, and for years owned the ocean front at Alamitos Bay
from Devil's Gate to the Inlet, boring artesian wells there north of
Long Beach.

Louis Robidoux, who had continued to prosper as a _ranchero_, died in
1868 at the age of seventy-seven years.

With the usual flourish of spades, if not of trumpets, ground was
broken for the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad at Wilmington on
September 19th, and toward the end of November, the rails had been
laid about a mile out from Wilmington.

The last contract for carrying the Overland Mail was given to Wells
Fargo & Company on October 1st and pledged a round remuneration of one
million, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum, while it
also permitted passengers and freight to be transported; but the
Company came to have a great deal of competition. Phineas Banning, for
example, had a stage-line between Los Angeles and Yuma, in addition to
which mail and passengers were carried in buckboards, large wagons and
jerkies. Moreover there was another stage-line between Tucson and El
Paso, and rival stage-lines between El Paso and St. Louis; and in
consequence, the Butterfield service was finally abandoned.

This American vehicle, by the by, the jerky, was so named for the very
good reason that, as the wagon was built without springs, it _jerked_
the rider around unmercifully. Boards were laid across the wagon-box
or bed for seats, accommodating four passengers; and some space was
provided in the back for baggage. To maintain one's position in the
bumping, squeaking vehicle at all, was difficult; while to keep one's
place on the seat approached the impossible.

Of the various Los Angeles roadways in 1868, West Sixth Street was
most important in its relation to travel. Along this highway the daily
Overland stages entered and departed from the city; and by this route
came all the Havilah, Lone Pine, Soledad and Owens River trade, as
well as that of the Ballona and Ciénega districts. Sixth Street also
led to the Fair Grounds, and over its none too even surface dashed
most of the sports and gallants on their way to the race course.

I have said that I returned to New York, in 1867, presumably for
permanent residence. Soon after I left Los Angeles, however, Samuel
Cohn became desperately ill, and the sole management of H. Newmark &
Company suddenly devolved on Sam's brother Kaspare. This condition of
affairs grew so bad that my return to Los Angeles became imperative.
Accordingly, leaving my family, I took passage on October 31st, 1868,
for San Francisco, and returned to Los Angeles without delay. Then I
wired my wife to start with the children for the Coast, and to have
the furniture, including a Chickering grand piano, just purchased,
shipped after them; and when they arrived, we once more took
possession of the good old adobe on Main Street, where we lived
contentedly until 1874. This piano, by the way, which came by freight
around Cape Horn, was one of the first instruments of the kind seen
here, John Schumacher having previously bought one. While we were
living in New York, Edward J. Newmark, my wife's brother, died here on
February 17th, 1868.

Before I left for New York, hardly anything had been done, in
subdividing property, save perhaps by the Lugos and Downey, and at
Anaheim and Wilmington. During the time that I was away, however,
newspapers and letters from home indicated the changes going on here;
and I recall what an impression all this made upon me. On my way down
from San Francisco on Captain Johnson's _Orizaba_ in December--about
the same time that the now familiar locomotive _San Gabriel_ reached
Wilmington--land-agents were active and people were talking a great
deal about these subdivisions; and by the time I reached Los Angeles
I, too, was considerably stirred up over the innovations and as soon
as possible after my return hastened out to see the change. The
improvements were quite noticeable, and among other alterations
surprising me were the houses people had begun to build on the
approaches to the western hills. I was also to learn that there was a
general demand for property all over the city, Colonel Charles H.
Larrabee, City Attorney in 1868, especially having bought several
hundred feet on Spring and Fort streets. Later, I heard of the
experiences of other Angeleños aboard ship who were deluged with
circulars advertising prospective towns.

To show the provincial character of Los Angeles fifty years ago, I
will add an anecdote or two. While I was in New York, members of my
family reported by letter, as a matter of extraordinary interest, the
novelty of a silver name-plate on a neighboring front door; and when I
was taken to inspect it, a year later, I saw the legend, still novel:

     Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Meyer

In the metropolis I had found finger-bowls in common use, and having
brought back with me such a supply as my family would be likely to
need, I discovered that it had actually fallen to my lot to introduce
these desirable conveniences into Los Angeles.

William Ferguson was an arrival of 1868, having come to settle up the
business of a brother and remaining to open a livery stable on North
Main Street near the Plaza, which he conducted for ten years.
Investing in water company stock, Ferguson abandoned his stable to
make water-pipes, a couple of years later, perhaps, than J. F.
Holbrook had entered the same field. Success enabled Ferguson to build
a home at 303 South Hill Street, where he found himself the only
resident south of Third.

This manufacture here of water pipe recalls a cordial acquaintance
with William Lacy, Sr., an Englishman, who was interested with William
Rowland in developing the Puente oil fields. His sons, William, Jr.,
and Richard H., originators of the Lacy Manufacturing Company, began
making pipe and tanks a quarter of a century ago.

C. R. Rinaldi started a furniture business here in 1868, opening his
store almost opposite the Stearns's home on North Main Street. Before
long he disposed of an interest to Charles Dotter, and then, I think,
sold out to I. W. Lord and moved to the neighborhood of the San
Fernando Mission. About the same time, Sidney Lacey, who arrived in
1870 and was a popular clerk with the pioneer carpet and wall-paper
house of Smith & Walter, commenced what was to be a long association
with this establishment. In 1876, C. H. Bradley bought out Lord, and
the firm of Dotter & Bradley, so well known to householders of forty
years ago, came into existence. In 1884, H. H. Markham (soon to be
Congressman and then Governor of the State), with General E. P.
Johnson bought this concern and organized the Los Angeles Furniture
Company, whose affairs since 1910, (when her husband died), have been
conducted by the President, Mrs. Katherine Fredericks.

Conrad Hafen, a German-Swiss, reached Los Angeles in December, 1868,
driving a six-horse team and battered wagon with which he had braved
the privations of Death Valley; and soon he rented a little vineyard,
two years later buying for the same purpose considerable acreage on
what is now Central Avenue. Rewarded for his husbandry with some
affluence, Hafen built both the old Hafen House and the new on South
Hill Street, once a favorite resort for German arrivals. He retired in


[28] Died on September 30th, 1914.

[29] Died on September 13th, 1915.




It was early in 1869 that I was walking down Spring Street one day and
saw a crowd at the City Hall. On a large box stood Mayor Joel H.
Turner, and just as I arrived a man leaning against the adobe wall
called out, "Seven dollars!" The Mayor then announced the bid--for an
auction was in progress--"Seven dollars once, seven dollars twice,
seven dollars three times!" and as he raised his hand to conclude the
sale, I called out, "A half!" This I did in a spirit of fun; in fact,
I did not even know what was being offered! "Seven dollars fifty once,
seven dollars fifty twice, seven dollars fifty three times, and
sold--to Harris Newmark!" called the Mayor. I then inquired what I had
bought, and was shown the location of about twenty acres, a part of
nine hundred being sold by the City at prices ranging from five to ten
dollars an acre.

The piece purchased was west of the city limits, and I kept it until
1886 when I had almost forgotten that I was the owner. Then George
Williamson, one of the first salesmen of H. Newmark & Company, who
became a boomer of the period, bought it from me for ten thousand
dollars and resold it within two weeks for fourteen thousand, the
Sunset Oil Company starting there, as the land was within what was
known as the oil district. Since the opening of streets in all
directions, I have lost trace of this land, but incline to the belief
that it lies in the immediate vicinity of the Wilshire district.

My experience reminds me of Colonel John O. Wheeler's investment in
fifty or sixty acres at what is now Figueroa and Adams streets. Later,
going to San Francisco as a Customs officer, he forgot about his
purchase until one day he received a somewhat surprising offer.

On January 1st, A. J. King and R. H. Offutt began to publish a daily
edition of the _News_, hitherto a semi-weekly, making it strongly
Democratic. There was no Sunday issue and twelve dollars was the
subscription. On October 16th, Offutt sold his interest to Alonzo
Waite, and the firm became King & Waite. In another year King had

How modest was the status of the Post Office in 1869 may be gathered
from the fact that the Postmaster had only one assistant, a boy, both
together receiving fourteen hundred dollars in greenbacks, worth but a
thousand dollars in gold.

Henry Hammel, for years connected with the Bella Union, and a partner
named Bremerman leased the United States Hotel on February 1st from
Louis Mesmer; and in March, John King succeeded Winston & King as
manager of the Bella Union. King died in December, 1871.

In the winter of 1868-69, when heavy rains seriously interfered with
bringing in the small supply of lumber at San Pedro, a coöperative
society was proposed, to insure the importation each summer of enough
supplies to tide the community over during the wintry weather. Over
one hundred persons, it was then estimated, had abandoned building,
and many others were waiting for material to complete fences and

Thanks to Contractor H. B. Tichenor's vigor in constructing the Los
Angeles & San Pedro Railroad, public interest in the venture, by the
beginning of 1869, had materially increased. In January, a vessel
arrived with a locomotive and a steam pile-driver; and a few days
later a schooner sailed into San Pedro with ties, sleepers and rails
enough for three miles of the track. Soon, also, the locomotive was
running part of the way. The wet winter made muddy roads, and this led
to the proposal to lay the tracks some eight or ten miles in the
direction of Los Angeles, and there to transfer the freight to

Stearns Hall and the Plaza were amusement places in 1869. At the
latter, in January, the so-called _Paris Exposition Circus_ held
forth; while Joe Murphy and Maggie Moore, who had just favored the
passengers on the _Orizaba_, on coming south from San Francisco, with
a show, trod the hall's more classic boards.

Ice a quarter of an inch thick was formed here for several days during
the third week in January, and butchers found it so difficult to
secure fat cattle that good beef advanced to sixteen and a quarter
cents a pound.

On January 20th, I purchased from Eugene Meyer the southern half of
lots three and four in block five, fronting on Fort Street between
Second and Third, formerly owned by William Buffum and J. F. Burns.
Meyer had paid one thousand dollars for one hundred and twenty feet
front and three hundred and thirty feet depth; and when I bought half
of this piece for one thousand dollars, it was generally admitted that
I had paid all that it was worth.

Isaac Lankershim--father of J. B. Lankershim and Mrs. I. N. Van
Nuys--who first visited California in 1854, came from San Francisco in
1869 and bought, for one hundred and fifteen thousand dollars, part of
Andrés Pico's San Fernando _rancho_, which he stocked with sheep. Levi
Strauss & Company, Scholle Brothers, L. and M. Sachs & Company of San
Francisco and others, were interested in this partnership, then known
as the San Fernando Farm Association; but Lankershim was in control
until about one year later, when Isaac Newton Van Nuys arrived from
Monticello, where he had been merchandising, and was put permanently
in charge of the ranch. At this period Lankershim lived there, for he
had not yet undertaken milling in Los Angeles. A little later,
Lankershim and Van Nuys successfully engaged in the raising of wheat,
cultivating nearly sixty thousand acres, and consigning some of their
harvests to Liverpool. This fact recalls a heavy loss in the spring of
1881, when the _Parisian_, which left Wilmington under Captain Reaume,
foundered at sea with nearly two hundred and fifty tons of wheat and
about seventy-five tons of flour belonging to them.

J. B. Lankershim, owner of the well-known hotel bearing his name,
after the death of his father made some very important investments in
Los Angeles real estate, including the northwest corner of Broadway
and Seventh Street, now occupied by the building devoted to Bullock's
department store.

M. N. Newmark, a nephew of mine and President of the Newmark Grain
Company, arrived in 1869, and clerked for H. Newmark & Company until
1871, in which year he established a partnership with S. Grand in
Compton, selling general merchandise. This partnership lasted until
1878, when Newmark bought out Grand. He finally disposed of the
business in 1889 and, with D. K. Edwards, organized the firm of
Newmark & Edwards. In 1895 Edwards sold out his interest.

Victor Ponet, a native of Belgium, and once Belgian Consul here, while
traveling around the world, landed in California in 1867 and two years
later came to Los Angeles. Attracted by the climate and Southern
California's possible future, Ponet settled here, engaging first in
the pioneer manufacture and importation of mirrors and picture frames;
and before his retirement to live in Sherman, he had had experience
both as undertaker and banker.[30]

In 1869, General W. S. Rosecrans came south in the interest of the
proposed San Diego & Gila Railroad, never constructed. The General, as
a result, took up land around Sausal Redondo, and there by the summer
of 1869 so many people (who insisted that Rosecrans had appropriated
public land) had squatted, that he was put to no end of trouble in
ejecting them.

Though I have witnessed most of the progress in Southern California,
it is still difficult to realize that so much could have been
accomplished within the life-time of one man. During 1868-69 only
twenty-two hundred boxes of oranges were shipped from Los Angeles,
while the Southern counties' crop of oranges and lemons for 1913-14 is
estimated, I am told, at about twelve million boxes!

Due to the eight-day shindy marking the celebration of the Chinese New
Year, demand for a more concentrated rumpus was voiced in February,
1869, threatening an agitation against John Chinaman.

The same month, residents, wishing a school in which German should be
taught, and a gymnasium, petitioned the Common Council to acquire a
lot in New High Street for the purpose.

About 1869, the Los Angeles Social Club which, to the best of my
recollection, was the first of its kind in the city, was organized,
with headquarters in the earliest building erected by I. W. Hellman,
at the northwest corner of Los Angeles and Commercial streets. Among
other pioneer members were Captain Cameron E. Thom, Tom Mott, Eugene
Meyer, Sam and Charles Prager, Tom Rowan, I. W. and H. W. Hellman, S.
Lazard, W. J. Brodrick, John Jones, Kaspare Cohn, A. C. Chauvin, M.
and J. L. Morris, Leon Loeb, Sam Meyer, Dr. F. A. McDougal, B. Cohn
and myself. Somewhat later, the Club moved to the east side of Los
Angeles Street, between Commercial and Aliso. Still later, it
dissolved; and although it did not become the direct ancestor of any
of the several well-known social organizations in the Los Angeles of
to-day, I feel that it should be mentioned as having had the honor of
being their precursor and model.

Speaking of social organizations, I may say that several Los Angeles
clubs were organized in the early era of sympathy, tolerance and good
feeling, when the individual was appreciated at his true worth and
before the advent of men whose bigotry has sown intolerance and
discord, and has made a mockery of both religion and professed ideals.

It must have been early in the sixties that Alexander Bell sold the
southern end of his property to H. Heinsch, the saddler. On February
23d, 1869, the directors of the San Pedro Railroad selected the Mike
Madigan lot on Alameda Street, on a part of which the owner was
conducting a livery-stable, as the site for the depot in Los Angeles;
and Heinsch having allowed the authorities to cut through his
property, the extension of Commercial and Requena streets eastward
from Los Angeles to Alameda was hastened.

Late on February 14th, the news was circulated of a shocking tragedy
in the billiard saloon of the Lafayette Hotel, and at once aroused
intense regret, affecting, as the affair did, the standing and
happiness of two well-known Los Angeles families. About eight o'clock,
Charles Howard, a young lawyer of prominence and a son of Volney E.
Howard, met Daniel B. Nichols, son of the ex-Mayor; and some dispute
between them having reached its climax, both parties drew weapons and
fired. Howard was killed and Nichols wounded, though not fatally, as
was at first thought. The tragedy--the cause of which was never
generally known--made a profound impression.

The work of extending water mains along Fort, Spring and other streets
progressed steadily until the Los Angeles Water Company struck a snag
which again demonstrated the city's dependence. Difficulty in coupling
pipes called a halt, and the management had to send all the way to San
Francisco for _a complete set of plumbers' tools_!

In the spring, Tileston, Emery & Company, a Los Angeles and San
Gabriel firm, brought south the first steam separator seen here and
took contracts to thrash the farmers' grain. On June 3d they started
the machine, and many persons went out to see it work. Among features
pointed out were precautions against fire from the engine, which the
contractors declared made "everything perfectly safe."

From its inception, Wilmington sought, in one way or another, to rival
Los Angeles, and in April threw down the gauntlet. A. A. Polhamus, a
workshop engineer of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad, (in 1887, a
manufacturer of straw wrapping paper somewhere between here and
Wilmington,) had built a velocipede; and no sooner was it noised about
than John Goller set to work to eclipse the achievement. About one
o'clock, therefore, on April 25th one of Goller's apprentices suddenly
appeared ready to make the first experiment. The streets were soon
crowded and interest was at fever heat. The young fellow straddled the
wheels, moved about half a block, and then, at the junction of Main
and Spring streets, executed a first-class somersault! Immediately,
however, other intrepid ones tried their skill, and the velocipede
was voted a successful institution of our young and progressive city.

  [Illustration: Loebau Market Place, near the House in which Harris
   Newmark was Born]

  [Illustration: Street in Loebau, Showing (right) Remnant of ancient
   City Wall]

  [Illustration: Robert M. Widney]

  [Illustration: Dr. Joseph Kurtz]

  [Illustration: Isaac N. Van Nuys]

  [Illustration: Abraham Haas]

By the first week in May, the velocipede craze had spread, crowds
congregating daily on Main Street to see the antics of the boys; and
soon H. F. Laurence announced the opening in Stearns's Hall, on May
14th, of a Velocipede School, where free instruction would be given:
afternoons to _ladies_ and evenings to men; and to further stimulate
interest, Laurence announced a raffle on May 15th of "a splendid
velocipede." By May 22d, J. Eastman had obtained permission of the
Common Council to build a velocipede track on the historic old Plaza;
but evidently he did not make use of the privilege, for a newspaper
writer was soon giving vent to the following sarcasm:

     Our City Fathers tried to make a little coin by leasing the
     Plaza as a velocipede circle or square; but, so far, the
     velocipedist has failed to connect. I dare say the cost of
     cleaning up the place of weeds backed the poor soul out!

It happened in 1869 that Judson, the financier, and Belshaw, a
practical miner, began working their lead mines in Cerro Gordo, in the
Owens River country; and as the handling of the ore necessitated a
great many wagons, Remi Nadeau obtained the contract for the
transportation of the ore brought down to Wilmington and then shipped
by boat to San Francisco. Remi had returned here about 1866, after
having been in San Francisco for four or five years; and eventually he
built the Nadeau Hotel at the corner of Spring and First streets,
where A. Bouelle, father of Frank A. Bouelle, had formerly kept a
little grocery store in an adobe. This ore was loaded on to very large
wagons, each drawn on level stretches by twelve or fourteen mules, but
requiring as many as twenty or more mules while crossing the San
Fernando Mountains--always regarded as one of the worst places on the
route. In order not to return with empty wagons, Nadeau purchased
supplies of every description, which he sold to people along the
route; and in this way he obtained the best financial results. This
was about the same time that Victor Beaudry (Prudent's brother, who
came in 1855, to mine at San Gabriel) opened a store at Camp
Independence, Inyo County, and became a stockholder in the Cerro Gordo
mines. In the early eighties, Beaudry was interested with his brother
in local real estate movements. He died in Montreal in 1888.

After a time, the mines yielded so much ore that Nadeau found himself
short of transportation facilities; but with the assistance of Judson
& Belshaw, as well as H. Newmark & Company, he was enabled to increase
his capacity until he operated thirty-two teams. Los Angeles was then
the southern terminus of his operations, although, during the building
of the numerous Southern Pacific tunnels, his headquarters were
removed to San Fernando, and still later, on the completion of the
railroad, to Mojave. Nadeau's assistant, Willard G. Halstead,
son-in-law of H. K. W. Bent, handled most of the business when Nadeau
was absent; A. E. Lott was foreman of teams and continually rode up
and down the line of operations; while Thomas O'Brien was
station-agent at Cerro Gordo. The contract had been very profitable to
Judson & Belshaw; yet when the agreement expired on January 1st, 1872,
they wished to renew it at a lower figure. Nadeau, believing that no
one else could do the work satisfactorily, refused the new terms
offered; whereupon Judson & Belshaw entered into an arrangement with
William Osborn, a liveryman, who owned a few teams.

The season of 1871-72 was by no means a good one and barley was high,
involving a great expense to Nadeau in feeding four or five hundred
animals; and right there arose his chief difficulty. He was in debt to
H. Newmark & Company and therefore proposed that he should turn his
outfit over to us; but as we had unlimited confidence both in his
integrity and in his ability, we prevailed on him to keep and use his
equipment to the best advantage. The suggestion was a fortunate one,
for just at this time large deposits of borax were discovered in the
mountains at Wordsworth, Nevada, and Nadeau commenced operations
there with every promise of success. In his work of hauling between
Cerro Gordo and Los Angeles, Nadeau had always been very regular, his
teams with rare exceptions arriving and leaving on schedule time; and
even when, occasionally, a wagon did break down, the pig-lead would be
unloaded without delay, tossed to the side of the trail and left there
for the next train; a method that was perfectly safe, since thieves
never disturbed the property. Osborn, on the other hand, soon proved
uncertain and unreliable, his wagons frequently breaking down and
causing other accidents and delays. To protect themselves, Judson &
Belshaw were compelled to terminate their contract with him and reopen
negotiations with Nadeau; but the latter then rejected their advances
unless they would buy a half-interest in his undertaking and put up
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the construction and
maintenance of the numerous stations that had become necessary for the
proper development of his business. Nadeau also made it a condition
that H. Newmark & Company be paid. The stations already constructed or
proposed were Mud Springs, Lang's Station, Mojave, Red Rock, Panamint,
Indian Wells, Little Lake, Haiwee Meadows and Cartago. Before these
were built, the teamsters camped in the open, carrying with them the
provisions necessary for man and beast. Cartago was on the south side
of Owens Lake, Cerro Gordo being on the north side, eighteen miles
opposite; and between these points the miniature side-wheeler
_Bessie_, of but twenty tons capacity, operated.

An interesting fact or two in connection with Owens Lake may be
recorded here. Its water was so impregnated with borax and soda that
no animal life could be sustained. In the winter, the myriads of wild
duck were worth talking about; but after they had remained near the
lake for but a few days, they were absolutely unpalatable. The
teamsters and miners operating in the vicinity were in the habit of
sousing their clothes in the lake for a few minutes, and when dried,
the garments were found to be as clean as if they had passed through
the most perfect laundry. Even a handful of the water applied to the
hair would produce a magnificent lather and shampoo.

Judson & Belshaw were compelled to accept Nadeau's terms; and Nadeau
returned from Nevada, organized in 1873 the Cerro Gordo Freighting
Company, and operated more extensively than ever before until he
withdrew, perhaps five years after the completion of the Southern
Pacific Railroad and just before the petering out of the Cerro Gordo
Mines. In their palmy days, these deposits were the most extensive
lead-producers of California; and while the output might not have been
so remarkable in comparison with those of other lead mines in the
world, something like eighty-five to ninety bars, each weighing about
one hundred pounds, were produced there daily. Most of this was
shipped, as I have said, to San Francisco; and for a while, at least,
from there to Swansea, Wales.

Nadeau at one time was engaged in the industry of raising sugar-beets
at the Nadeau _rancho_, near Florence, now Nadeau Station; and then he
attempted to refine sugar. But it was bad at best, and the more sugar
one put in coffee, the blacker the coffee became.

On April 24th, 1869, under Mayor Joel Turner's administration, the Los
Angeles Board of Education came into existence.

In the early sixties, the City authorities promised to set out trees
at the Plaza, providing neighboring property-owners would fence in the
place; but even though Governor Downey supplied the fence, no trees
were planted, and it was not until the spring of 1869 that any grew on
the public square. This loud demand for trees was less for the sake of
the usual benefits than to hide the ugliness of the old water tank.

On May 9th, F. G. Walther issued the first number of the _Los Angeles
Chronik_, a German weekly journal that survived scarcely three months.

The tenth of May was another red-letter day for the Pacific Coast,
rejoicing, as it did, in the completion of the Central Pacific at
Promontory Point in Utah. There, with a silver hammer, Governor
Stanford drove the historic gold spike into a tie of polished
California laurel, thus consummating the vast work on the first
trans-continental railroad. This event recalls the fact that, in the
railway's construction, Chinese labor was extensively employed, and
that in 1869 large numbers of the dead bodies of Celestials were
gathered up and shipped to Sacramento for burial.

William J. Brodrick, after wandering in Peru and Chile, came to Los
Angeles in 1869 and started as a stationer; then he opened an
insurance office, and still later became interested in the Main Street
Railway and the water company. On May 8th, 1877, Brodrick married Miss
Laura E., daughter of Robert S. Carlisle. On October 18th, 1898,
Brodrick died, having been identified with many important activities.

Hacks and omnibuses first came into use in 1869. Toward the end of May
of that year, J. J. Reynolds, who had long been popular as a driver
between Los Angeles and Wilmington, purchased a hack and started in
business for himself, appealing to his "reputation for good driving
and reliability" as a reasonable assurance that he would bring his
patrons right side up to their scattered homes; and so much was he in
demand, both in the city and its suburbs, that a competitor, J.
Hewitt, in the latter part of June ordered a similar hack to come by
steamer. It arrived in due time and was chronicled as a "luxurious
vehicle." Hewitt regularly took up his stand in the morning in front
of the Lafayette Hotel; and he also had an order slate at George
Butler's livery-stable on Main Street.

During the sixties, Dr. T. H. Rose, who had relinquished the practice
of medicine for the career of a pedagogue, commenced work as Principal
of the Boys' Grammar School on Bath Street, and in 1869 was elected
Superintendent of City Schools. He held this office but about a year,
although he did not resign from educational work here until 1873.
During his incumbency, he was Vice-Principal of the first Teachers'
Institute ever held here, contributing largely toward the founding of
the first high school and the general development of the schools prior
to the time when Dr. Lucky, the first really professional teacher,
assumed charge. On leaving Los Angeles, Dr. Rose became Principal of
the school at Healdsburg, Sonoma County, where he married a Mrs.
Jewell, the widow of an old-time, wealthy miner; but he was too
sensitive and proud to live on her income and, much against her
wishes, insisted on teaching to support himself. In 1874, he took
charge of the high school at Petaluma, where the family of Mrs. Rose's
first husband had lived; and the relationship of the two families
probably led to Rose and his wife separating. Later, Dr. Rose went to
the Sandwich Islands to teach, but by 1883, shortly before he died, he
was back in Los Angeles, broken in health and spirit. Dr. Rose was an
excellent teacher, a strict disciplinarian and a gentleman.

The retirement of Dr. Rose calls to mind a couple of years during
which Los Angeles had no City School Superintendent. While Rose was
Principal, a woman was in charge of the girls' department; and the
relations between the schoolmaster and the schoolmistress were none
too friendly. When Dr. Rose became Superintendent, the schoolma'am
instantly disapproved of the choice and rebelled; and there being no
law which authorized the governing of Los Angeles schools in any other
manner than by trustees, the new Superintendent had no authority over
his female colleague. The office of Superintendent of City Schools,
consequently, remained vacant until 1873.

Dr. James S. Crawford had the honor, as far as I am aware, of being
one of the first regular dentists to locate in Los Angeles. As an
itinerant he had passed the winters of 1863, 1864 and 1865 in this
city, afterward going east; and on his return to California in 1869 he
settled in the Downey Block at Spring and Main streets, where he
practiced until, on April 14th, 1912, he died in a Ventura County

In 1864, the California Legislature, wishing to encourage the silk
industry, offered a bounty of two hundred and fifty dollars for every
plantation of five thousand mulberry trees of two years' growth, and a
bounty of three hundred dollars for each one hundred thousand salable
cocoons; and in three years an enormous number of mulberry trees, in
various stages of growth, was registered. Prominent among silk-growers
was Louis Prévost, who rather early had established here an extensive
mulberry-tree nursery and near it a large cocoonery for the rearing
of silk worms; and had planned, in 1869, the creation of a colony of
silk-worms whose products would rival even those of his native _belle
France_. The California Silk Center Association of Los Angeles was
soon formed, and four thousand acres of the _rancho_ once belonging to
Juan Bandini, fourteen hundred and sixty acres of the Hartshorn Tract
and three thousand one hundred and sixty-nine acres of the Jurupa, on
the east side of the Santa Ana River, were purchased. That was in June
or July; but on August 16th, in the midst of a dry season, Louis
Prévost died, and the movement received a serious setback. To add to
the reverses, the demand for silk-worm eggs fell off amazingly; while
finally, to give the enterprise its death-blow, the Legislators,
fearful that the State Treasury would be depleted through the payment
of bounties, withdrew all State aid.

The Silk Center Association, therefore, failed; but the Southern
California Colony Association bought all the land, paying for it
something like three dollars and a half an acre. To many persons, the
price was quite enough: old Louis Robidoux had long refused to list
his portion for taxes, and some one had described much of the acreage
as so dry that even coyotes, in crossing, took along their canteens
for safety! A town called at first Jurupa, and later Riverside, was
laid out; a fifty thousand-dollar ditch diverted the Santa Ana River
to a place where Nature had failed to arrange for its flowing; and in
a few months a number of families had settled beside the artificial
waterway. Riversiders long had to travel back and forth to Los Angeles
for most of their supplies (a stage, still in existence, being used by
ordinary passengers), and this made a friendly as well as profitable
business relation with the older and larger town; but experiments soon
showing that oranges could grow in the arid soil, Riverside in course
of time had something to sell as well as to buy.

Who was more familiar both to the youth of the town and to grown-ups
than Nicolás Martinez, in summer the purveyor of cooling ice cream, in
winter the vender of hot _tamales_! From morning till night, month in
and month out during the sixties and seventies, Martinez paced the
streets, his dark skin made still swarthier in contrast to his white
costume--a shirt, scarcely tidy, together with pantaloons none too
symmetrical and hanging down in generous folds at the waist. On his
head, in true native fashion, he balanced in a small hooped tub what
he had for sale; he spoke with a pronounced Latin accent, and his
favorite method of announcing his presence was to bawl out his wares.
The same receptacle, resting upon a round board with an opening to
ease the load and covered with a bunch of cloths, served both to keep
the _tamales_ hot and the ice cream cool; while to dispense the
latter, he carried in one hand a circular iron tray, in which were
holes to accommodate three or four glasses. Further, for the
convenience of the exacting youth of the town, he added a spoon to
each cream-filled glass; and what stray speck of the ice was left on
the spoon after the youngster had given it a parting lick, Nicolás,
bawling anew to attract the next customer, fastidiously removed with
his tobacco-stained fingers!


[30] Died, February 9th, 1914.




The Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad continued in 1869 to be the local
theme of most importance, although its construction did not go on as
rapidly as had been promised. The site for a depot, it is true, had
been selected; but by June 14th, only six miles were finished. Farmers
were loud in complaints that they had been heavily taxed, and in
demanding that the road be rushed to completion, in order to handle
the prospectively-large grain crop. Additional gangs were therefore
employed, and by the twentieth of July, seven more miles of track had
been laid. In the meantime, the Sunday School at Compton enjoyed the
first excursion, the members making themselves comfortable on benches
and straw in some freight cars.

As the work on the railroad progressed, stages, in addition to those
regularly running through from Los Angeles to Wilmington, began
connecting with the trains at the temporary terminus of the railroad.
People went down to Wilmington to see the operations, not merely on
the track, but in the machine shops where the cars for freight,
express, baggage, smoking and passenger service (designed by A. A.
Polhamus, the machinist) were being built under the superintendence of
Samuel Atkinson, who had been brought West by the San Francisco & San
José Valley Railroad, because of a reputation for railroad experience
enjoyed by few, if by any other persons on the Coast. The Company also
had a planing mill and wheelwright shop under the charge of George W.

By the first of August, both the railroad and connecting stages were
advertising Sunday excursions to the beach, emphasizing the chance to
travel part of the way by the new means of transit. Curiously,
however, visitors were allowed to enjoy the sea-breezes but a short
time: arriving at Wilmington about ten or half-past, they were
compelled to start back for Los Angeles by four in the afternoon. Many
resorters still patronized the old service; and frequently the regular
stages, racing all the way up from the steamer, would actually reach
the city half an hour earlier than those transferring the passengers
from the railway terminus which was extended by August 1st to a point
within four miles of town.

When eighteen miles had been finished, it was reported that General
Stoneman and his post band would make an excursion on the first train,
accompanied by General Banning and leading citizens of the town; but
strong opposition to the Company laying its tracks through the center
of "The Lane," now Alameda Street, having developed, the work was
stopped by injunction. The road had been constructed to a point
opposite the old Wolfskill home, then "far from town," and until the
matter was settled, passengers and freight were unloaded there.

Great excitement prevailed here shortly after sundown on Wednesday
evening, August 21st, when the mail-stage which had left for Gilroy
but a short time before came tearing back to town, the seven or eight
passengers excitedly shouting that they had been robbed. The stage had
proceeded but two miles from Los Angeles when four masked highwaymen
stepped into the road and ordered, "Hands up!" Among the passengers
was the well-known and popular Ben Truman who, having learned by
previous experience just what to do in such a ticklish emergency and
"being persuaded that the two barrels of cold steel had somewhat the
proportions of a railway tunnel," sadly but promptly unrolled one
hundred and eighty dollars in bills, and quite as sadly deposited, in
addition, his favorite chronometer. The highwayman picked up the
watch, looked it over, shook his head and, thanking Ben, returned it,
expressing the hope that, whatever adversity might overwhelm him, he
should never be discovered with such a timepiece! All in all, the
robbers secured nearly two thousand dollars; but, strange to relate,
they overlooked the treasure in the Wells Fargo chest, as well as
several hundred dollars in greenbacks belonging to the Government.
Sheriff J. F. Burns and Deputy H. C. Wiley pursued and captured the
robbers; and within about a week they were sent to the Penitentiary.

On the same evening, at high tide, the little steamer christened _Los
Angeles_ and constructed by P. Banning & Company to run from the wharf
to the outside anchorage, was committed to the waters, bon-fires
illuminating quite distinctly both guests and the neighboring
landscape, and lending to the scene a weird and charming effect.

In a previous chapter I have given an account of Lady Franklin's visit
to San Pedro and Los Angeles, and of the attention shown her. Her
presence awakened new interest in the search for her lamented husband,
and paved the way for the sympathetic reception of any intelligence
likely to clear up the mystery. No little excitement, therefore, was
occasioned eight years later by the finding of a document at San
Buenaventura that seemed "like a voice from the dead." According to
the story told, as James Daly (of the lumber firm of Daly & Rodgers)
was walking on the beach on August 30th, he found a sheet of paper a
foot square, much mutilated but bearing, in five or six different
languages, a still legible request to forward the memoranda to the
nearest British Consul or the Admiralty at London. Every square inch
of the paper was covered with data relating to Sir John Franklin and
his party, concluding with the definite statement that Franklin had
died on June 11th, 1847. Having been found within a week of the time
that the remnant of Dr. Hall's party, which went in search of the
explorer, had arrived home in Connecticut with the announcement that
they had discovered seven skeletons of Franklin's men, this document,
washed up on the Pacific Coast, excited much comment; but I am unable
to say whether it was ever accepted by competent judges as having been
written by Franklin's associates.

In 1869, the long-familiar adobe of José António Carrillo was razed to
make way for what, for many years, was the leading hotel of Los
Angeles. This was the Pico House, in its decline known as the National
Hotel, which, when erected on Main Street opposite the Plaza at a cost
of nearly fifty thousand dollars, but emphasized in its contrasting
showiness the ugliness of the neglected square. Some thirty-five
thousand dollars were spent in furnishing the eighty-odd rooms, and no
little splurge was made that guests could there enjoy the luxuries of
both gas and baths! In its palmy days, the Pico House welcomed from
time to time travelers of wide distinction; while many a pioneer,
among them not a few newly-wedded couples now permanently identified
with Los Angeles or the Southland, look back to the hostelry as the
one surviving building fondly associated with the olden days. Charles
Knowlton was an early manager; and he was succeeded by Dunham &

Competition in the blacking of boots enlivened the fall, the Hotel
Lafayette putting boldly in printer's ink the question, "Do You Want
to Have Your Boots Blacked in a Cool, Private Place?" This challenge
was answered with the following proclamation:

     Champion Boot-Black! Boots Blacked Neater and Cheaper than
     Anywhere Else in the City, at the _Blue Wing_ Shaving
     Saloon by D. Jefferson.

Brickmaking had become, by September, quite an important industry. Joe
Mullally, whose brickyard was near the Jewish Cemetery, then had two
kilns with a capacity of two hundred and twenty-five thousand; and in
the following month he made over five hundred thousand brick.

In course of time, the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad was completed
to the Madigan lot, which remained for several years the Los Angeles
terminus; and justly confident that the difficulty with the
authorities would be removed, the Company pushed work on their depot
and put in a turn-table at the foot of New Commercial Street. There
was but one diminutive locomotive, though a larger one was on its way
around the Horn from the East and still another was coming by the
Continental Railway; and every few days the little engine would go out
of commission, so that traffic was constantly interrupted. At such
times, confidence in the enterprise was somewhat shaken; but new
rolling stock served to reassure the public. A brightly-painted
smoking-car, with seats mounted on springs, was soon the "talk of the

I have spoken of J. J. Reynolds's early enterprise and the competition
that he evoked. Toward the end of July, he went up to San Francisco
and outdid Hewitt by purchasing a handsome omnibus, suitable for hotel
service and also adapted to the needs of families or individuals
clubbing together for picnics and excursions. This gave the first
impetus to the use of hotel 'buses, and by the first Sunday in
September, when the cars from Wilmington rolled in bringing passengers
from the steamer _Orizaba_, the travelers were met by omnibuses and
coaches from all three hotels, the Bella Union, the United States and
the Lafayette; the number of vehicles, public and private, giving the
streets around the railroad depot a very lively appearance.

Judge W. G. Dryden, so long a unique figure here, died on September
10th and A. J. King succeeded him as County Judge.

A notable visit to Los Angeles was that of Secretary William H. Seward
who, in 1869, made a trip across the Continent, going as far north as
Alaska and as far south as Mexico, and being everywhere
enthusiastically received. When Seward left San Francisco for San
Diego, about the middle of September, he was accompanied by Frederick
Seward and wife (his son and daughter-in-law), General W. S.
Rosecrans, General Morton C. Hunter, Colonel Thomas Sedgwick and
Senator S. B. Axtell; and the news of their departure having been
telegraphed ahead, many people went down to greet them on the arrival
of the steamer _Orizaba_. After the little steamer _Los Angeles_ had
been made fast to the wharf, it was announced, to everyone's
disappointment, that the Secretary was not coming ashore, as he wished
to continue on his way to San Diego.

Meanwhile, the Common Council had resolved to extend the hospitality
of the City to the distinguished party; and by September 19th, posters
proclaimed that Seward and his party were coming and that citizens
generally would be afforded an opportunity to participate in a public
reception at the Bella Union on September 21st. A day in advance,
therefore, the Mayor and a Committee from the Council set out for
Anaheim, where they met the distinguished statesman on his way, whence
the party jogged along leisurely in a carriage and four until they
arrived at the bank of the Los Angeles River; and there Seward and his
friends were met by other officials and a cavalcade of eighty citizens
led by the military band of Drum Barracks. The guests alighted at the
Bella Union and in a few minutes a rapidly-increasing crowd was
calling loudly for Mr. Seward.

The Secretary, being welcomed on the balcony by Mayor Joel H. Turner,
said that he had been laboring under mistakes all his life: he had
visited Rome to witness celebrated ruins, but he found more
interesting ruins in the Spanish Missions (great cheers); he had
journeyed to Switzerland to view its glaciers, but upon the Pacific
Coast he had seen rivers of ice two hundred and fifty feet in breadth,
five miles long and God knows how high (more cheers); he had explored
Labrador to examine the fisheries, but in Alaska he found that the
fisheries came to him (Hear! hear! and renewed applause); he had gone
to Burgundy to view the most celebrated vineyards of the world, but
the vineyards of California far surpassed them all! (Vociferous and
deafening hurrahs, and tossing of bouquets.)

The next day the Washington guests and their friends were shown about
the neighborhood, and that evening Mr. Seward made another and equally
happy speech to the audience drawn to the Bella Union by the playing
of the band. There were also addresses by the Mayor, Senator Axtell,
ex-Governor Downey and others, after which, in good old American
fashion, citizens generally were introduced to the associate of the
martyred Lincoln. At nine o'clock, a number of invited guests were
ushered into the Bella Union's dining-room where, at a bounteous
repast, the company drank to the health of the Secretary. This brought
from the visitor an eloquent response with interesting local

Secretary Seward remarked that he found people here agitated upon the
question of internal improvements--for everywhere people wanted
railroads. Californians, if they were patient, would yet witness a
railroad through the North, another by the Southern route, still
another by the Thirty-fifth parallel, a fourth by the central route,
and lastly, as the old plantation song goes, one "down the middle!"
California needed more population, and railroads were the means by
which to get people.

Finally, Mr. Seward spoke of the future prospects of the United
States, saying much of peculiar interest in the light of later
developments. We were already great, he affirmed; but a nation
satisfied with its greatness is a nation without a future. We should
expand, and as mightily as we could; until at length we had both the
right and the power to move our armies anywhere in North America. As
to the island lying almost within a stone's throw of our mainland,
ought we not to possess Cuba, too?

Other toasts, such as "The Mayor and Common Council," "The Pioneers,"
"The Ancient Hospitality of California," "The Press," "The Wine Press"
and "Our Wives and Sweethearts," were proposed and responded to, much
good feeling prevailing notwithstanding the variance in political
sentiments represented by guests and hosts; and everyone went home, in
the small hours of the morning, pleased with the manner in which Los
Angeles had received her illustrious visitors. The next day, Secretary
Seward and party left for the North by carriages, rolling away toward
Santa Barbara and the mountains so soon to be invaded by the puffing,
screeching iron horse.

Recollecting this banquet to Secretary Seward, I may add an amusing
fact of a personal nature. Eugene Meyer and I arranged to go to the
dinner together, agreeing that we were to meet at the store of S.
Lazard & Company, almost directly opposite the Bella Union. When I
left Los Angeles in 1867, evening dress was uncommon; but in New York
I had become accustomed to its more frequent use. Rather naturally,
therefore, I donned my swallowtail; Meyer, however, I found in a
business suit and surprised at my query as to whether he intended
going home to dress? Just as we were, we walked across the street and,
entering the hotel, whom should we meet but ex-Mayor John G. Nichols,
wearing a grayish linen duster, popular in those days, that extended
to his very ankles; while Pio and Andrés Pico came attired in blue
coats with big brass buttons. Meyer, observing the Mayor's outfit,
facetiously asked me if I still wished him to go home and dress
according to Los Angeles fashion; whereupon I drew off my gloves,
buttoned up my overcoat and determined to sit out the banquet with my
claw-hammer thus concealed. Mr. Seward, it is needless to say, was
faultlessly attired.

The Spanish archives were long neglected, until M. Kremer was
authorized to overhaul and arrange the documents; and even then it was
not until September 16th that the Council built a vault for the
preservation of the official papers. Two years later, Kremer
discovered an original proclamation of peace between the United States
and Mexico.

Elsewhere I allude to the slow development of Fort Street. For the
first time, on the twenty-fourth of September street lamps burned
there, and that was from six to nine months after darkness had been
partially banished from Nigger Alley, Los Angeles, Aliso and Alameda

  [Illustration: Phineas Banning, about 1869]

  [Illustration: Henri Penelon, in his Studio]

  [Illustration: Carreta, Earliest Mode of Transportation]

  [Illustration: Alameda Street Depot and Train, Los Angeles & San
   Pedro Railroad]

Supplementing what I have said of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad
depot: it was built on a lot fronting three hundred feet on Alameda
Street and having a depth of one hundred and twenty feet, its
situation being such that, after the extension of Commercial Street,
the structure occupied the southwest corner of the two highways.
Really, it was more of a freight-shed than anything else, without
adequate passenger facilities; a small space at the North end
contained a second story in which some of the clerks slept; and in a
cramped little cage beneath, tickets were sold. By the way, the
engineer of the first train to run through to this depot was James
Holmes, although B. W. Colling ran the first train stopping inside the
city limits.

About this time the real estate excitement had become still more
intense. In anticipation of the erection of this depot, Commercial
Street property boomed and the first realty agents of whom I have any
recollection appeared on the scene, Judge R. M. Widney being among
them. I remember that two lots--one eighty by one hundred and twenty
feet in size at the northwest corner of First and Spring streets, and
the other having a frontage of only twenty feet on New Commercial
Street, adjacent to the station--were offered simultaneously at twelve
hundred dollars each. Contrary, no doubt, to what he would do to-day,
the purchaser chose the Commercial Street lot, believing that location
to have the better future.

Telegraph rates were not very favorable, in 1869, to frequent or
verbose communication. Ten words sent from Los Angeles to San
Francisco cost one dollar and a half; and fifty cents additional was
asked for the next five words. After a while, there was a reduction of
twenty-five per cent, in the cost of the first ten words, and fifty
per cent, on the second five.

Twenty-four hundred voters registered in Los Angeles this year.

In the fall, William H. Spurgeon founded Santa Ana some five miles
beyond Anaheim on a tract of about fifty acres, where a number of the
first settlers experimented in growing flax.

It is not clear to me just when the rocky Arroyo Seco began to be
popular as a resort, but I remember going there on picnics as early as
1857. By the late sixties, when Santa Monica Cañon also appealed to
the lovers of sylvan life, the Arroyo had become known as Sycamore
Grove--a name doubtless suggested by the numerous sycamores there--and
Clois F. Henrickson had opened an establishment including a little
"hotel," a dancing-pavilion, a saloon and a shooting-alley. Free lunch
and free beer were provided for the first day, and each Sunday
thereafter in the summer season an omnibus ran every two hours from
Los Angeles to the Sycamores. After some years, John Rumph and wife
succeeded to the management, Frau Rumph being a popular _Wirtin_; and
then the Los Angeles Turnverein used the grove for its public
performances, including gymnastics, singing and the old-time
sack-racing and target-shooting.

James Miller Guinn, who had come to California in November, 1863 and
had spent several years in various counties of the State digging for
gold and teaching school, drifted down to Los Angeles in October and
was soon engaged as Principal of the public school at the new town of
Anaheim, remaining there in that capacity for twelve years, during
part of which time he also did good work on the County School Board.

Under the auspices of the French Benevolent Society and toward the end
of October, the corner-stone of the French Hospital built on City
donation lots, and for many years and even now one of the most
efficient institutions of our city, was laid with the usual

On October 9th, the first of the new locomotives arrived at Wilmington
and a week later made the first trial trip, with a baggage and
passenger car. Just before departure a painter was employed to label
the engine and decorate it with a few scrolls; when it was discovered,
too late, that the artist had spelled the name: LOS ANGEL_O_S. On
October 23d, two lodges of Odd Fellows used the railway to visit Bohen
Lodge at Wilmington, returning on the first train, up to that time,
run into Los Angeles at midnight.

October 26th was a memorable day, for on that date the Los Angeles &
San Pedro Railroad Company opened the line to the public and invited
everybody to enjoy a free excursion to the harbor. Two trains were
dispatched each way, the second consisting of ten cars; and not less
than fifteen hundred persons made the round trip. Unfortunately, it
was very warm and dusty, but such discomforts were soon forgotten in
the novelty of the experience. On the last trip back came the
musicians; and the new Los Angeles depot having been cleared, cleaned
up and decorated for a dedicatory ball, there was a stampede to the
little structure, filling it in a jiffy.

Judge H. K. S. O'Melveny, who first crossed the Plains from Illinois
on horseback in 1849, came to Los Angeles with his family in November,
having already served four years as a Circuit Judge, following his
practice of law in Sacramento. He was a brother-in-law of L. J. Rose,
having married, in 1850, Miss Annie Wilhelmina Rose. Upon his arrival,
he purchased the southwest corner of Second and Fort streets, a lot
one hundred and twenty by one hundred and sixty-five feet in size, and
there he subsequently constructed one of the fine houses of the
period; which was bought, some years later, by Jotham Bixby for about
forty-five hundred dollars, after it had passed through various hands.
Bixby lived in it for a number of years and then resold it. In 1872,
O'Melveny was elected Judge of Los Angeles County; and in 1887, he was
appointed Superior Judge. H. W. O'Melveny, his second son, came from
the East with his parents, graduating in time from the Los Angeles
High School and the State University. Now he is a distinguished
attorney and occupies a leading position as a public-spirited citizen,
and a patron of the arts and sciences.

In his very readable work, _From East Prussia to the Golden Gate_,
Frank Lecouvreur credits me with having served the commonwealth as
Supervisor. This is a slight mistake: I was an unwilling candidate,
but never assumed the responsibilities of office. In 1869, various
friends waited upon me and requested me to stand as their candidate
for the supervisorship; to which I answered that I would be glad to
serve my district, but that I would not lift a finger toward securing
my election. H. Ábila was chosen with six hundred and thirty-one
votes, E. M. Sanford being a close second with six hundred and
sixteen; while five hundred and thirty-seven votes were cast in my

Trains on the new railway began to run regularly on November 1st; and
there still exists one of the first time-tables, bearing at the head,
"Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad" and a little picture of a
locomotive and train. At first, the train scheduled for two stated
round trips a day (except on steamer days, when the time was
conditioned by the arrival and departure of vessels) left Wilmington
at eight o'clock in the morning and at one o'clock in the afternoon,
returning at ten in the morning and four in the afternoon. The fare
between Los Angeles and Wilmington was one dollar and fifty cents,
with an additional charge of one dollar to the Anchorage; while on
freight from the Anchorage to Los Angeles, the tariff was: dry goods,
sixteen dollars per ton; groceries and other merchandise, five
dollars; and lumber, seven dollars per thousand feet.

After the formal opening of the railroad, a permanent staff of
officers, crew and mechanicians was organized. The first
Superintendent was H. W. Hawthorne, who was succeeded by E. E. Hewitt,
editor of the _Wilmington Journal_. N. A. McDonald, was the first
conductor; Sam Butler was the first and, for a while, the only
brakeman, and the engineers were James McBride and Bill Thomas. The
first local agent was John Milner; the first agent at Wilmington, John
McCrea. The former was succeeded by John E. Jackson, who from 1880 to
1882 served the community as City Surveyor. Worthy of remark, perhaps,
as a coincidence, is the fact that both Milner and McCrea ultimately
became connected in important capacities with the Farmers & Merchants

The first advertised public excursion on the Los Angeles & San Pedro
Railroad after its opening was a trip to Wilmington and around San
Pedro Harbor, arranged for November 5th, 1869. The cars, drawn by the
locomotive _Los Angeles_ and connecting with the little steamer of the
same name, left at ten and returned at three o'clock in the afternoon.
Two dollars was the round-trip fare, while another dollar was exacted
from those who went out upon the harbor.

In the late seventies, a Portuguese named Fayal settled near what is
now the corner of Sixth and Front streets, San Pedro; and one Lindskow
took up his abode in another shack a block away. Around these rude
huts sprang up the neighborhoods of Fayal and Lindville, since
absorbed by San Pedro.

Probably the first attempt to organize a fire company for Los Angeles
was made in 1869, when a meeting was called on Saturday evening,
November 6th, at Buffum's Saloon, to consider the matter. A temporary
organization was formed, with Henry Wartenberg as President; W. A.
Mix, Vice-President; George M. Fall, Secretary; and John H. Gregory,
Treasurer. An initiation fee of two dollars and a half, and monthly
dues of twenty-five cents, were decided upon; and J. F. Burns, B.
Katz, Emil Harris, George Pridham, E. B. Frink, C. D. Hathaway, P.
Thompson, O. W. Potter, C. M. Small and E. C. Phelps were charter
members. A committee appointed to canvass for subscriptions made
little progress, and the partial destruction of Rowan's American
Bakery, in December, demonstrating the need of an engine and hose
cart, brought out sharp criticism of Los Angeles's penuriousness.

About the middle of November, Daniel Desmond, who had come on October
14th of the preceding year, opened a hat store on Los Angeles Street
near New Commercial, widely advertising the enterprise as a pioneer
one and declaring, perhaps unconscious of any pun, that he proposed to
fill a want that had "long been felt." The steamer _Orizaba_, which
was to bring down Desmond's goods, as ill luck would have it left half
of his stock lying on the San Francisco pier; and the opening, so much
heralded, had to be deferred several weeks. As late as 1876, he was
still the only exclusive hatter here. Desmond died on January 23d,
1903, aged seventy years, and was succeeded by his son, C. C. Desmond.
Another son, D. J. Desmond, is the well-known contractor.

Toward the close of November, Joseph Joly, a Frenchman, opened the
Chartres Coffee Factory on Main Street opposite the Plaza, and was the
pioneer in that line. He delivered to both stores and families, and
for a while seemed phenomenally successful; but one fine morning in
December it was discovered that the "Jolly Joseph" had absconded,
leaving behind numerous unpaid bills.

The first marble-cutter to open a workshop in Los Angeles was named
Miller. He came toward the end of 1869 and established himself in the
Downey Block. Prior to Miller's coming, all marble work was brought
from San Francisco or some source still farther away, and the delay
and expense debarred many from using that stone even for the pious
purpose of identifying graves.

With the growth of Anaheim as the business center of the country
between the new San Gabriel and the Santa Ana rivers, sentiment had
been spreading in favor of the division of Los Angeles County; and at
the opening of the Legislature of 1869-70, Anaheim had its official
representative in Sacramento, ready to present the claims of the
little German settlement and its thriving neighbors. The person
selected for this important embassy was Major Max von Stroble; and he
inaugurated his campaign with such sagacity and energy that the bill
passed the Assembly and everything pointed to an early realization of
the scheme. It was not, however, until Los Angeles awoke to the fact
that the proposed segregation meant a decided loss, that opposition
developed in the Senate and the whole matter was held up.

Stroble thereupon sent posthaste to his supporters for more cash, and
efforts were made to get the stubborn Senate to reconsider. Doubtless
somebody else had a longer purse than Stroble; for in the end he was
defeated, and the German's dream did not come true until long after he
had migrated to the realms that know no subdivisions. One of the
arguments used in favor of the separation was that it took two days's
time, and cost six dollars, for the round trip to the Los Angeles
Courthouse; while another contention then regarded as of great
importance was that the one coil of hose pipe owned by the County was
kept at Los Angeles! Stroble, by-the-way, desired to call the new
county Anaheim.

Major von Stroble was a very interesting character. He was a German
who had stood shoulder to shoulder with Carl Schurz and Franz Sigel in
the German Revolution of 1848, and who, after having taken part in the
adventures of Walker's filibustering expedition to Nicaragua, finally
landed in Anaheim, where he turned his attention to the making of
wine. He soon tired of that, and in 1867 was found boring for oil on
the Brea Ranch, again meeting with reverses where others later were so
successful. He then started the movement to divide Los Angeles County
and once more failed in what was afterward accomplished. Journalism in
Anaheim next absorbed him and, having had the best of educational
advantages, Stroble brought to his newspaper both culture and the
experience of travel.

The last grand effort of this adventurous spirit was the attempt to
sell Santa Catalina Island. Backed by the owners, Stroble sailed for
Europe and opened headquarters near Threadneedle Street in London. In
a few weeks he had almost effected the sale, the contract having been
drawn and the time actually set for the following day when the
money--a cool two hundred thousand pounds--was to be paid; but no
Stroble kept tryst to carry out his part of the transaction. Only the
evening before, alone and unattended, the old man had died in his room
at the very moment when Fortune, for the first time, was to smile upon
him! Eighteen or twenty years later, Catalina was sold for much less
than the price once agreed upon.




As I have somewhere related, I began buying hides as far back as 1855,
but it was not until 1870 that this branch of our business assumed
such importance as to require more convenient quarters. Then we bought
a place on the southeast corner of Alameda and Commercial streets,
facing sixty feet on Alameda and having a depth of one hundred and
sixty-five feet, where we constructed a hide-house and erected a press
for baling. We paid P. Beaudry eleven hundred dollars for the lot. The
relatively high price shows what the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad
depot had done for that section. In the days when hides were sent by
sailing-vessels to the East, a different method of preparing them for
shipment was in vogue. The wet hides having been stretched, small
stakes were driven into the ground along the edge of, and through the
skins, thus holding them in place until they had dried and expanding
them by about one-third; in this condition they were forwarded loose.
Now that transportation is more rapid and there are tanneries in
California, all hides are handled wet.

In 1870, business life was centered on Los Angeles Street between
Commercial and Arcadia; and all the hotels were north of First Street.
Fort Street ended in a little bluff at a spot now between Franklin and
First streets. Spring Street was beginning to take on new life, and
yet there was but one gas lamp along the entire roadway, though many
were the appeals to add another lamp, "say, as far as First Street!"

Sometime in January, a number of ladies of this city met and, through
the exertions of Mrs. Rosa Newmark, wife of Joseph Newmark, formed the
Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society. Mrs. Newmark, as was once pointed
out in a notable open-air meeting of women's clubs (to which I
elsewhere refer), never accepted any office in the Society; but for
years she was untiring in her efforts in the cause of charity. The
first officers were: President, Mrs. W. Kalisher; Vice-President, Mrs.
Harris Newmark; Treasurer, Mrs. John Jones; Secretary, Mrs. B. Katz;
and Collector, Mrs. A. Baer. Three Counselors--Henry Wartenberg, I. M.
Hellman and myself--occasionally met with the ladies to advise them.

Aside from the fact of its importance as the pioneer ladies'
benevolent organization instituted in Los Angeles, the Society found a
much-needed work to do. It was then almost impossible to obtain
nurses, and the duty devolved on members to act in that capacity,
where such assistance was required, whether the afflicted were rich or
poor. It was also their function to prepare the dead for interment,
and to keep proper vigil over the remains until the time of burial.

During the year 1869 or 1870, as the result of occasional gatherings
in the office of Dr. Joseph Kurtz, the Los Angeles Turnverein was
organized with eleven members--Emil Harris leading in the movement,
assisted by Dr. Kurtz, Ed. Preuss, Lorenzo Leck, Philip and Henry
Stoll, Jake Kuhrts, Fred Morsch, C. C. Lips and Isaac Cohn. Dr. Kurtz
was elected President. They fraternized for a while at Frau Wiebecke's
Garden, on the west side of Alameda near First Street, about where the
Union Hardware and Metal Company now stands; and there, while beer and
wine were served in the open air, the Teutons gratified their love of
music and song. Needing for their gymnastics more enclosed quarters,
the Turnverein rented of Kalisher & Wartenberg the barn on Alameda
Street between Ducommon and First, used as a hide-house; and in that
rough-boarded shack, whose none too aromatic odors are still a
souvenir to many a pioneer resident, the _Turners_ swung and vaulted
to their heart's content. Classes were soon arranged for boys; and the
envy of all was the lad who, after numerous risks to limb and neck,
proudly topped the human pyramid. Another garden of this period often
patronized by the Turnverein was Kiln Messer's, on First Street
between Alameda and the river.

The Post Office was moved this year from the corner of North Main and
Market streets to the middle of Temple Block, but even there the
facilities were so inadequate that Wells Fargo & Company, in June, put
up a letter-box at the corner of Main and Commercial streets which was
emptied but once a day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, save on
steamer days when letters were taken out at half-past nine. One other
box was at the sole railroad depot, then at the corner of Alameda and
Commercial streets. The Post Office at that time was also so miserably
illuminated that citizens fumbled about to find their letter-boxes,
and ladies were timid about entering the building at night.
Postmasters were allowed small reserves; and for some time in 1870 the
Los Angeles Post Office was entirely out of one- and two-cent stamps.

In February, the way was prepared for the first city directory when
the houses of Los Angeles were ordered to be numbered, a public
discussion of the need for a directory having taken place the previous
December. When the collaborators began to collect names and other
data, there were many refusals to answer questions; but the little
volume of seventy pages was finally published in 1871.

Until 1870 Los Angeles had no bookbinder, all binding having had to be
sent to San Francisco; and a call was then sent out to induce a
journeyman to settle here.

On the fourteenth of February, Phineas Banning was married to Miss
Mary, daughter of Colonel J. H. Hollister--the affair being the
consummation of a series of courtly addresses in which, as I have
related, it was my pleasurable privilege to play an intermediary part.
As might be expected of one who was himself an experienced and
generous entertainer, the wedding was a social event to be long and
pleasantly remembered by the friends of the bride and groom. Mrs.
Banning, who for years maintained an attractive home on Fort Hill, is
now living on Commonwealth Avenue.

About this time, Colonel Isaac R. Dunkelberger came to Los Angeles to
live, having just finished his fifth year in the army in Arizona,
following a long service under Northern banners during the Civil War.
While here, the Colonel met and courted Miss Mary Mallard, daughter of
Judge Mallard; and on February 26th, 1867, they were married. For
eight years, from March, 1877, Dunkelberger was Postmaster. He died on
December 5th, 1904, survived by his widow and six children. While
writing about this estimable family, it occurs to me that Mary, then a
little girl, was one of the guests at my wedding.

Frank Lecouvreur, who was Surveyor of Los Angeles County from 1870
until 1873, was a native of East Prussia and like his predecessor,
George Hansen, came to California by way of the Horn. For a while, as
I have related, he was my bookkeeper. In 1877, he married Miss
Josephine Rosanna Smith who had renounced her vows as a nun. Ten years
later he suffered a paralytic stroke and was an invalid until his
death, on January 17th, 1901.

Once introduced, the telegraph gradually grew in popularity; but even
in 1870, when the Western Union company had come into the field and
was operating as far as the Coast, service was anything but
satisfactory. The poles between Los Angeles and San Francisco had
become rotten and often fell, dragging the wires with them, and
interrupting communication with the North. There were no wires, up to
that time, to Santa Bárbara or San Bernardino; and only in the spring
of that year was it decided to put a telegraph line through to San
Diego. When the Santa Bárbara line was proposed, the citizens there
speedily subscribed twenty-two hundred and forty-five dollars; it
having been the company's plan always to get some local stockholders.

As the result of real estate purchases and exchanges in the late
sixties and early seventies between Dr. J. S. Griffin, Phineas
Banning, B. D. Wilson, P. Beaudry and others, a fruit-growing colony
was planned in April, when it was proposed to take in some seventeen
hundred and fifty acres of the best part of the San Pasqual _rancho_,
including a ten-thousand-dollar ditch. A company, with a capital stock
of two hundred thousand dollars divided into four thousand shares of
fifty dollars each, was formed to grow oranges, lemons, grapes,
olives, nuts and raisins, John Archibald being President; R. M.
Widney, Vice-President; W. J. Taylor, Secretary; and the London & San
Francisco Bank, Treasurer. But although subscription books were opened
and the scheme was advertised, nothing was done with the land until D.
M. Berry and others came from Indiana and started the Indiana Colony.

A rather uncommon personality for about thirty years was Fred Dohs,
who came from Germany when he was twenty-three and engaged in trading
horses. By 1870 he was managing a barber shop near the Downey Block,
and soon after was conducting a string band. For many years, the
barber-musician furnished the music for most of the local dances and
entertainments, at the same time (or until prices began to be cut)
maintaining his shop, where he charged two bits for a shave and four
bits for a hair-cut. During his prosperity, Dohs acquired property,
principally on East First Street.

The first foot-bridge having finally succumbed to the turbulent waters
of the erratic Los Angeles River, the great flood of 1867-68 again
called the attention of our citizens to the necessity of establishing
permanent and safe communication between the two sides of the stream;
and this agitation resulted in the construction by Perry & Woodworth
of the first fairly substantial bridge at the foot of the old Aliso
Road, now Macy Street, at an outlay of some twenty thousand dollars.
Yet, notwithstanding the great necessity that had always existed for
this improvement, it is my recollection that it was not consummated
until about 1870. Like its poor little predecessor carried away by the
uncontrolled waters, the more dignified structure was broken up by a
still later flood, and the pieces of timber once so carefully put
together by a confident and satisfied people were strewn for a mile or
two along the river banks.

'Way back in the formative years of Los Angeles, there were suddenly
added to the constellation of noteworthy local characters two jovial,
witty, good-for-nothing Irishmen who from the first were pals. The two
were known as Dan Kelly and Micky Free. Micky's right name was Dan
Harrington; but I never knew Kelly to go under any other appellation.
When sober, which was not very frequent, Dan and Micky were
good-natured, jocular and free from care, and it mattered not to
either of them whether the morrow might find them well-fed and at
liberty or in the jail then known as the Hotel de Burns: "sufficient
unto the day is the evil thereof" was the only philosophy they knew.
They were boon companions when free from drink; but when saturated,
they immediately fought like demons. They were both in the toils quite
ten months of the year, while during the other two months they carried
a hod! Of the two, Micky was the most irredeemable, and in time he
became such a nuisance that the authorities finally decided to ship
him out of the country and bought him a ticket to Oregon. Micky got as
far as San Pedro, where he traded his ticket for a case of delirium
tremens; but he did something more--he broke his leg and was bundled
back to Los Angeles, renewing here the acquaintance of both the
bartender and the jailer. Some years later, he astonished the town by
giving up drink and entering the Veterans's Home. When he died, they
gave him a soldier's honors and a soldier's grave.

In 1870, F. Bonshard imported into Los Angeles County some five or six
hundred blooded Cashmere goats; and about the same time or perhaps
even earlier, J. E. Pleasants conducted at Los Nietos a similar
enterprise, at one time having four or five hundred of a superior
breed, the wool of which brought from twenty-five to thirty-five cents
a pound. The goat-fancying Pleasants also had some twelve hundred

On June 1st, Henry Hamilton, who two years before had resumed the
editorship of the Los Angeles _Star_, then a weekly, issued the first
number of the _Daily Star_. He had taken into partnership George W.
Barter, who three months later started the _Anaheim Gazette_. In 1872,
Barter was cowhided by a woman, and a committee formally requested the
editor to vamose the town! Barter next bought the _Daily Star_ from
Hamilton, on credit, but he was unable to carry out his contract and
within a year Hamilton was again in charge.

At the beginning of this decade, times in Arizona were really very
bad. H. Newmark & Company, who had large amounts due them from
merchants in that Territory, were not entirely easy about their
outstanding accounts, and this prompted Kaspare Cohn to visit our
customers there. I urged him to consider the dangers of the road and
to abandon his project; but he was determined to go. The story of the
trip, in the light of present methods and the comparative safety of
travel, is an interesting one, and I shall relate his experiences as
he described them to me.

He started on a Saturday, going by stage (in preference to buckboard)
from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, and from there rode, as the only
passenger, with a stage-driver named Brown, passing through Frink's
Ranch, Gilman's, White River, Agua Caliente, Indian Wells, Toros, Dos
Palmas, Chuckawalla, Mule Springs and Willow Springs. H. Newmark &
Company had forwarded, on a prairie schooner driven by Jesse Allen of
Los Angeles, a considerable amount of merchandise which it was their
intention should be sold in Arizona, and the freighting charge upon
which was to be twelve and a half cents per pound. In Chuckawalla,
familiarly called Chucky Valley, the travelers overtook Allen and the
stock of goods; and this meeting in that lonesome region was the cause
of such mutual rejoicing that Kaspare provided as abundant an
entertainment as his limited stores would permit. Resuming their
journey from Chuckawalla, the driver and his companion soon left Allen
and his cumbersome load in the rear.

It was near Granite Wash, as they were jogging along in the evening,
that they noticed some Indian fire signals. These were produced by
digging a hole in the ground, filling it with combustible material,
such as dry leaves, and setting fire to it. From the smoldering that
resulted, smoke was emitted and sparks burst forth. Observing these
ticklish warnings, the wayfarers sped away and escaped--perhaps, a
tragic fate. Arriving at Ehrenberg on a Tuesday morning, Kaspare
remained there all night. Still the only passenger, he left the next
day; and it may be imagined how cheering, after the previous
experience, was the driver's remark that, on account of the lonesome
character of the trip, and especially the danger from scalping
Apaches, he would never have departed without some company!

Somewhere between Granite Wash and Wickenberg, a peculiar rattling
revealed a near-by snake, whereupon Kaspare jumped out and shot the
reptile, securing the tail and rattles. Changing horses or resting at
Tyson's Wells, McMullen's and Cullen's Station, they arrived the next
night at Wickenberg, the location of the Vulture Mines, where Kaspare
called upon the Superintendent--a man named Peoples--to collect a
large amount they owed us. Half of the sum was paid in gold bars, at
the rate of sixteen dollars per ounce, while the other half we lost.

A niece of M. Kremer lived in Wickenberg, where her husband was in
business. She suffered a great deal from headaches, and a friend had
recommended, as a talisman, the possession of snake rattles. Kaspare,
with his accustomed gallantry, produced the specimen which he had
obtained and gave it to the lady; and it is to be hoped that she was
as permanently relieved of her pain as so many nowadays are cured of
imaginary troubles by no more substantial superstitions.

Making short stops at Wilson's Station, Antelope Station, Kirkland
Valley, Skull Valley and Mint Valley, Kaspare reached Prescott, some
four hundred and thirty miles from San Bernardino, and enquired after
Dan Hazard, the ex-Mayor's brother and one of our customers--who died
about the middle of the eighties--and learned that he was then on his
way to St. Louis with teams to haul back freight for Levi Bashford
who, in addition to being an important trader, was Government Receiver
of Public Moneys. Kaspare decided to remain in Prescott until Hazard
returned; and as Jesse Allen soon arrived with the merchandise,
Kaspare had ample time to sell it. Bashford, as a Government official,
was not permitted to handle such goods as matches and cigars, which
bore revenue stamps, but Kaspare sold him quantities of lard, beans,
coffee, sugar and other supplies. He sold the revenue-stamped articles
to Buffum & Campbell, the former of whom had once been a well-known
resident of Los Angeles. He also disposed of some goods to Henderson
Brothers, afterward prominent bankers of Tucson and Globe, Arizona. In
the meantime, Dan Hazard returned and settled his account in full.

Kaspare remained in Prescott nearly four weeks. Between the
collections that he made and the money which he received for the
consigned merchandise, he had about thirteen thousand dollars in
currency to bring back with him. With this amount of money on his
person, the return trip was more than ever fraught with danger.
Mindful of this added peril, Kaspare kept the time of his departure
from Prescott secret, no one, with the exception of Bashford, being in
his confidence. He prepared very quietly; and at the last moment, one
Saturday afternoon, he slipped into the stage and started for
California. Brown was again his companion as far as Ehrenberg. There
he met Frank Ganahl and Charles Strong, both soon to become Southern
Californians; and knowing them very well, their companionship
contributed during the rest of the trip not only pleasure but an
agreeable feeling of security. His arrival in Los Angeles afforded me
much relief, and the story of his adventures and success added more
than a touch of interest.

The first street-sprinklers in Los Angeles were owned and operated
about the middle of July by T. W. McCracken, who was allowed by the
Council to call upon residents along the route for weekly
contributions to keep the water wagon going.

I have told of the establishing of Hellman, Temple & Company as
bankers. In September, the first-named bought out his partners and
continued, until 1871, as Hellman & Company.

With the commencement of autumn, when the belief prevailed that little
or nothing could be done toward persuading the Common Council to
beautify the Plaza, a movement to lay out and embellish the five-acre
tract bounded by Hill and Olive, and Fifth and Sixth streets, met with
such favor that, by the first week in October, some eight hundred
dollars had been subscribed for the purpose. On November 19th a public
meeting was held, presided over by Prudent Beaudry, Major H. M.
Mitchell serving as Secretary; and it was suggested to call the
proposed square the Los Angeles Park, and to enclose it, at a cost of
about five hundred dollars, with a fence. Another two hundred dollars
was soon made up; and the services of L. Carpenter, who offered to
plow the land prior to sowing grass-seed, were accepted in lieu of a
subscription. Both George Lehman and Elijah Workman showed their
public spirit by planting what have since become the largest trees
there. Sometime later, the name was changed to Central Park, by which
it is still known.

The first hackney coach ever built in Los Angeles was turned out in
September by John Goller for J. J. Reynolds--about the same time that
the Oriental Stage Company brought a dozen new Concord coaches from
the East--and cost one thousand dollars. Goller was then famous for
elaborate vehicles and patented spring buggies which he shipped even
to pretentious and bustling San Francisco. Before the end of November,
however, friends of the clever and enterprising carriage-maker were
startled to hear that he had failed for the then not insignificant sum
of about forty thousand dollars.

Up to the fall of the year, no connection existed between Temple and
First Streets west of Spring; but on the first day of September, a cut
through the hill, effected by means of chain-gang labor and continuing
Fort Street north, was completed, to the satisfaction of the entire

About the middle of October, a petition was presented to the Common
Council calling attention to the fact that the Los Angeles Water
Company two years before had agreed to erect a fountain on the Plaza;
and declaring that the open place was little short of a "scarecrow for
visitors." The Company immediately replied that it was ready to put up
the fountain; and in November the Council ordered the brick tank taken
away. At the beginning of August, 1871, the fountain began playing.

During the second marshalship of William C. Warren, when Joe Dye was
one of his deputy officers, there was great traffic in Chinese women,
one of whom was kidnaped and carried off to San Diego. A reward of a
hundred dollars was offered for her return, and she was brought back
on a charge of theft and tried in the Court of Justice Trafford, on
Temple Street near Spring. During the trial, on October 31st, 1870,
Warren and Dye fell into a dispute as to the reward; and the quarrel
was renewed outside the courtroom. At a spot near the corner of Spring
and Temple streets Dye shot and killed Warren; and in the scrimmage
several other persons standing near were wounded. Dye was tried, but
acquitted. Later, however, he himself was killed by a nephew, Mason
Bradfield, whose life he had frequently threatened and who fired the
deadly bullet from a window of the New Arlington Hotel, formerly the
White House, at the southeast corner of Commercial and Los Angeles
streets. Mrs. C. P. Bradfield, Bradfield's mother and a teacher, who
came in 1875, was the author of certain text-books for drawing,
published by A. S. Barnes & Company of New York.

Failures in raising and using camels in the Southwest were due, at
least partially, to ignorance of the animal's wants, a company of
Mexicans, in the early sixties, overloading some and treating them so
badly that nearly all died. Later, Frenchmen, who had had more
experience, secured the two camels left, and by 1870 there was a herd
of no less than twenty-five on a ranch near the Carson River in
Nevada, where they were used in packing salt for sixty miles or more
to the mills.

On October 31st, the first Teacher's Institute held in Los Angeles
County was opened, with an attendance of thirty-five, in the old Bath
Street schoolhouse, that center being selected because the school
building at Spring and Second streets, though much better adapted to
the purpose, was considered to be too far out of town! County
Superintendent W. M. McFadden was President; J. M. Guinn was
Vice-President; and P. C. Tonner was Secretary; while a leader in
discussions was Dr. Truman H. Rose, who there gave a strong impetus to
the founding of the first high school.

Soon after this Institute was held, the State Legislature authorized
bonds to the amount of twenty thousand dollars for the purpose of
erecting another schoolhouse; and the building was soon to be known as
the Los Angeles High School. W. H. Workman, M. Kremer and H. D.
Barrows were the building committee.

Mentioning educators, I may introduce the once well-known name of
Professor Adams, an instructor in French who lived here in the early
seventies. He was so very urbane that on one occasion, while overdoing
his polite attention to a lady, he fell off the sidewalk and badly
broke his leg!

In a previous chapter I have spoken of a Frenchman named Lachenais who
killed a fellow-countryman at a wake, the murder being one of a
succession of crimes for which he finally paid the penalty at the
hands of a Vigilance Committee in the last lynching witnessed here.

Lachenais lived near where the Westminster Hotel now stands, on the
northeast corner of Main and Fourth streets, but he also had a farm
south of the city, adjoining that of Jacob Bell who was once a partner
in sheep-raising with John Schumacher. The old man was respectable and
quiet, but Lachenais quarreled with him over water taken from the
_zanja_. Without warning, he rode up to Bell as he was working in his
field and shot him dead; but there being no witnesses to the act, this
murder remained, temporarily, a mystery. One evening, as Lachenais (to
whom suspicion had been gradually directed), was lounging about in a
drunken condition, he let slip a remark as to the folly of anyone
looking for Bell's murderer; and this indiscretion led to his arrest
and incarceration.

No sooner had the news of Lachenais's apprehension been passed along
than the whole town was in a turmoil. A meeting at Stearns's Hall was
largely attended; a Vigilance Committee was formed; Lachenais's record
was reviewed and his death at the hands of an outraged community was
decided upon. Everything being arranged, three hundred or more armed
men, under the leadership of Felix Signoret, the barber--Councilman in
1863 and proprietor of the Signoret Building opposite the Pico
House--assembled on the morning of December 17th, marched to the jail,
overcame Sheriff Burns and his assistants, took Lachenais out, dragged
him along to the corral of Tomlinson & Griffith (at the corner of
Temple and New High streets) and there summarily hanged him. Then the
mob, without further demonstration, broke up; the participants going
their several ways. The reader may have already observed that this was
not the first time that the old Tomlinson & Griffith gate had served
this same gruesome purpose.

The following January, County Judge Y. Sepúlveda charged the Grand
Jury to do its duty toward ferreting out the leaders of the mob, and
so wipe out this reproach to the city; but the Grand Jury expressed
the conviction that if the law had hitherto been faithfully executed
in Los Angeles, such scenes in broad daylight would never have taken
place. The editor of the _News_, however, ventured to assert that this
report was but another disgrace.




H. Newmark & Company enjoyed associations with nearly all of the most
important wool men and _rancheros_ in Southern California, our office
for many years being headquarters for these stalwarts, as many as a
dozen or more of whom would ofttimes congregate, giving the store the
appearance of a social center. They came in from their ranches and
discussed with freedom the different phases of their affairs and other
subjects of interest. Wheat, corn, barley, hay, cattle, sheep,
irrigation and kindred topics were passed upon; although in 1871 the
price of wool being out of all proportion to anything like its
legitimate value, the uppermost topic of conversation was wool. These
meetings were a welcome interruption to the monotony of our work. Some
of the most important of these visitors were Jotham, John W. and
Llewellyn Bixby, Isaac Lankershim, L. J. Rose, I. N. Van Nuys, R. S.
Baker, George Carson, Manuel Dominguez, Domingo Amestoy, Juan Matías
Sanchez, Dan Freeman, John Rowland, John Reed, Joe Bridger, Louis
Phillips, the brothers Garnier, Remi Nadeau, E. J. Baldwin, P. Banning
and Alessandro Repetto. There was also not a weather prophet, near or
far, who did not manage to appear at these weighty discussions and
offer his oracular opinions about the pranks of the elements; on which
occasions, one after another of these wise men would step to the door,
look at the sky and broad landscape, solemnly shake his head and then
render his verdict to the speculating circle within. According as the
moon emerged "so that one could hang something upon it," or in such a
manner that "water would run off" (as they pictured it), we were to
have dry or rainy weather; nor would volumes of talk shake their
confidence. Occasionally, I added a word, merely to draw out these
weather-beaten and interesting old chaps; but usually I listened
quietly and was entertained by all that was said. Hours would be spent
by these friends in chatting and smoking the time away; and if they
enjoyed the situation half as much as I did, pleasant remembrances of
these occasions must have endured with them. Many of those to whom I
have referred have ended their earthly careers, while others, living
in different parts of the county, are still hale and hearty.

A curious character was then here, in the person of the reputed son of
a former, and brother of the then, Lord Clanmorris, an English
nobleman. Once a student at Dr. Arnold's famous Rugby, he had knocked
about the world until, shabbily treated by Dame Fortune, he had become
a sheepherder in the employ of the Bixbys.

M. J. Newmark, who now came to visit us from New York, was admitted to
partnership with H. Newmark & Company, and this determined his future

As was natural in a town of pueblo origin, plays were often advertised
in Spanish; one of the placards, still preserved, thus announcing the
attraction for January 30th, at the Merced Theater:



     Lunes, Enero 30, de 1871

     Primero Función de la Gran Compañia Dramática, De Don Tomás
     Maguire, El Empresario Veterano de San Francisco, VEINTE Y
     CUATRO Artistas de ambos sexos, todos conocidos como
     ESTRELLAS de primera clase.

In certain quarters of the city, the bill was printed in English.

Credit for the first move toward the formation of a County Medical
Society here should probably be given to Dr. H. S. Orme, at whose
office early in 1871 a preliminary meeting was held; but it was in the
office of Drs. Griffin and Widney, on January 31st, that the
organization was effected, my friend Griffin being elected President;
Dr. R. T. Hayes, Vice-President; Dr. Orme, Treasurer; and Dr. E. L.
Dow, Secretary. Thus began a society which, in the intervening years,
has accomplished much good work.

Late in January, Luther H. Titus, one of several breeders of fast
horses, brought from San Francisco by steamer a fine thoroughbred
stallion named _Echo_, a half-brother of the celebrated trotter
_Dexter_ which had been shipped from the East in a Central Pacific car
especially constructed for the purpose--in itself something of a
wonder then. Sporting men came from a distance to see the horse; but
interest was divided between the stallion and a mammoth turkey of a
peculiar breed, also brought west by Titus, who prophesied that the
bird, when full grown, would tip the beam at from forty-five to fifty

Early in February, the first steps were taken to reorganize and
consolidate the two banking houses in which Downey and Hellman were
interested, when it was proposed to start the Bank of Los Angeles,
with a capital of five hundred thousand dollars. Some three hundred
and eighty thousand dollars of this sum were soon subscribed; and by
the first week in April, twenty-five per cent. of the capital had been
called in. John G. Downey was President and I. W. Hellman was Cashier;
their office was in the former rooms of Hellman, Temple & Company. On
the tenth of April the institution was opened as the Farmers &
Merchants Bank; and on July 10th, J. G. Downey, Charles Ducommun, O.
W. Childs, I. M. Hellman, George Hansen, A. Glassell, J. S. Griffin,
José Mascarel and I. W. Hellman were chosen Trustees. From the first
the Bank prospered, so that when the crisis of 1875 tested the
substantiability of the financial institutions here, the Farmers &
Merchants rode the storm. In April, 1871, Hellman inaugurated a
popular policy when he offered to pay interest on time deposits, for
it brought many clients who had previously been accustomed to do their
banking in San Francisco; and before long the Bank advertised one
hundred thousand dollars to lend on good security.

On February 14th, Stephen Samsbury, known as Buckskin Bill, and a man
named Carter murdered the twin brothers Bilderback who had taken up
some land very close to Verdugo--now incorporated in Glendale--and
were engaged in chopping wood; the murderers coveting the land and
planning to sell the fuel. Deputy Sheriff Dunlap went in pursuit of
the desperadoes, and noticing some loose earth in the roadbed near by,
he thrust a stick into the ground and so uncovered the blood-stained
end of a blanket which led to the finding of the bodies.

J. F. Burns, who, at eighty-three years of age, still manifests his
old time spirit, being then Sheriff, pursued Buckskin Bill until the
twenty-fourth of June. A young soldier on the way to Fort Yuma met
Burns at San Pedro, and having agreed to sell him certain information
about the fugitive, revealed the fact that Bill had been seen near
Tecate, mounted on a horse, with his squaw and infant riding a mule.
The chase had previously taken the Sheriff from Verdugo Cañon to White
Pine, Nevada, and back to Los Angeles; and acting on this new clue,
Burns obtained a requisition on the Mexican Governor from Judge
Ygnácio Sepúlveda, and went to Lower California where, with Felipe
Zarate, a Mexican officer, he located the man after two or three days'
search. About twenty miles north of Real Castillo, the Sheriff found
the fugitive, and in the ensuing fight Samsbury accidentally shot
himself; and so terribly did the wounded man suffer that he begged
Burns to finish him at once. The Sheriff, refusing, improved the
opportunity to secure a full confession of Bill's numerous crimes,
among which figured the killing of five other men--besides the
Bilderback brothers--in different parts of California.

After Samsbury died, Burns cut off his foot--known to have six
toes--and placed it in _mescal_, a popular and strongly-intoxicating
beverage of the Mexicans; and when later the Sheriff presented this
trophy to the good citizens of California, it was accepted as abundant
proof that the man he had gone after had been captured and disposed
of. The Legislature promptly paid Burns nearly five thousand dollars;
but Los Angeles County, which had pledged two hundred dollars' reward,
refused to recompense the doughty Sheriff and has never since made
good its promise. In 1889, Burns was Chief of Police, with Emil Harris
as his Captain.

The earliest move toward the formation of a Los Angeles Board of Trade
was made, not in 1883, nor even in 1873--when the first Chamber of
Commerce began--but in 1871, a fact that seems to be generally
forgotten. Late in February of that year, a number of leading shippers
came together to discuss Coast trade and other interests; and B. L.
Peel moved that a Board of Trade be organized. The motion was carried
and the organization was effected; but with the waning of enthusiasm
for the improvements proposed or, perhaps, through the failure of its
members to agree, the embryonic Board of Trade soon died.

In February, B. L. Peel & Company installed the telegraph in their
commission office--probably the first instance of a private wire in
local business history.

At the outset of the somewhat momentous decade of the seventies,
Hellman, Haas & Company was established, with H. W. Hellman, Jacob
Haas and B. Cohn partners; their first store being on the east side of
Los Angeles Street opposite H. Newmark & Company's. Abraham Haas, who
came in December, 1873, had a share in his brother's venture from the
start; but it was not until 1875, when he bought out Cohn's interest,
that he became a partner. Ten years after the firm commenced business,
that is, in 1881, Jacob Baruch, who had come to California with J.
Loew, and with him had made his start at Galatin, was admitted to
partnership; and in 1889, a year after Jacob Haas's death, Haas &
Baruch bought out H. W. Hellman. Then it was that Haas, Baruch &
Company, a name so agreeably known throughout Southern California,
first entered the field, their activity--immediately felt--permitting
very little of the proverbial grass to grow under one's feet. On
January 7th, 1909, Jacob Baruch died. Haas since December 12th, 1900
has been a resident of San Francisco.

This year the United States Government began the great work of
improving Wilmington or San Pedro Harbor. The gap between Rattlesnake
and Dead Man's islands was closed by means of a breakwater, creating a
regular current in the channel; and dredging to a depth of seventeen
or eighteen feet first made it possible for vessels of size to cross
the bar at low tide. Among those active in preparing documents for
Congress and securing the survey was Judge R. M. Widney, of whose
public services mention has been made; while Phineas Banning, at his
own expense, made trips to Washington in behalf of the project.

A genuine novelty was introduced in 1871, when Downs & Bent late in
February opened a roller-skating rink at Teutonia Hall. Twenty-five
cents was charged for admission, and an additional quarter demanded
for the use of skates. Ladies and gentlemen flocked to enjoy the new
sensation; a second rink was soon opened in Los Angeles and another in
El Monte; and among those who became proficient skaters was Pancho
Coronel, one of the social lions of his day. In time, however, the
craze waned, and what had been hailed as fashionable because of its
popularity in the great cities of the East, lost in favor,
particularly among those of social pretensions.

In March, a call for a meeting to organize an Agricultural Society for
the Counties of Los Angeles, Santa Bárbara, San Bernardino, Kern and
San Diego brought together a large number of our citizens. L. J. Rose
and his neighbor L. H. Titus, Dr. J. S. Griffin, Colonel J. J. Warner,
Judge H. K. S. O'Melveny, Judge A. J. King, John G. Downey, F. N.
Slaughter and many others including myself became actively interested,
and then and there started the Southern District Agricultural Society
which, for years, contributed so much to advance the agricultural
interests of Southern California. Annual trotting races, lasting a
week, lent impetus to the breeding of fine stock, for which this part
of the State became famous. L. J. Rose was the moving spirit in this
enterprise; and he it was who induced me and other friends to

Even the first ice machine, in March, did not freeze the price below
four cents per pound.

Edited by Henry C. Austin, the _Evening Express_ made its first
appearance on March 27th. It was started by the printers, George and
Jesse Yarnell, George A. Tiffany, J. W. Paynter and Miguel Verelo; but
James J. Ayers--in 1882 State Printer--who was one of the founders of
the San Francisco _Morning Call_, succeeded Austin in 1875, and then
the Yarnells and Verelo retired.

L. V. Prudhomme, better known as Victor Prudhomme--a name sometimes,
but probably incorrectly, spelled Prudhon--who is said to have come
from France about the middle of the thirties, died here on May 8th.
His wife was a Spanish woman and for a while they resided on the east
side of Main Street between Requena and First, not far from my
brother's store. As a rather active member of the French Colony, he
was a man in good standing, and was engaged, it seems to me, in the
wine industry. He also owned some land near San Bernardino and was
continually visiting that place.

On May 27th, S. J. Millington, announced as "the pioneer dancing
master of California," opened a dancing academy at Stearns's Hall, and
it at once sprang into social favor. He had morning classes for
children and evening classes for adults. I happen to recall the
circumstances more clearly for I was one of his committee of patrons.
Dances, by the way, were given frequently, and were often attended in
costume and even in disguise. I remember such an occasion in the early
seventies when elaborate toilettes and variety of dress marked an
advance in these harmless diversions. Conspicuous among the guests was
John Jones, elderly and seldom given to frivolity, who appeared in the
character of the Father of his Country.

In early June, a Chinese junk, cruising in search of _abalones_,
attracted no little attention at San Pedro as a primitive and clumsy
specimen of marine architecture.

The sudden and abnormal demand for the _abalone_ shell offered such
large returns as to tempt men to take desperate chances in hunting for
them among the rocks. Sometime in the seventies, a Chinaman, searching
near San Diego, thrust his hand into an open shell and the _abalone_
closed upon his wrist with such an irresistible grip that the
unfortunate shell-hunter was held fast until overtaken by the rising
tide and drowned.

For many years Los Angeles booklovers were supplied by merchants who
sold other things, or who conducted a limited loan library in
conjunction with their business. Such a circulating collection Samuel
Hellman displayed in February, 1871. The first exclusively book and
periodical store was opened in the same year, by Brodrick & Reilly,
adjoining the Post Office on Spring street.

Albert Fenner Kercheval, who took up his residence in 1871 on the west
side of Pearl Street near the end of Sixth, on what was formerly known
as the Gelcich Place, first came to California--Hangtown--in 1849 and
experienced much the same kind of mining adventure as inspired Bret
Harte. On his second visit to the Coast, Kercheval raised strawberries
and early tomatoes, for which he found a ready sale in San Francisco;
and in his spare moments he wrote poems--collected and published in
1883 under the title of _Dolores_--some of which rather cleverly
reflect California life.

On June 19th, the Teutonia-Concordia society merged with the Los
Angeles Turnverein, forming the Turnverein-Germania; and about the
same time, the original home of the _Verein_, a frame building on
South Spring Street, was erected. In that year, also, the first German
school was founded--the sessions being conducted at the old Round


     (_Standing_) Lorenzo Leck
                  Louis Mesmer
                  William Nordholt

     (_Sitting_)  Henry C. G. Schaeffer
                  Henry Hammel
                  John Schumacher]

  [Illustration: Turnverein-Germania Building, Spring Street]

Having had no fitting celebration of the Fourth of July for years, a
number of citizens in 1871 called a meeting to consider the matter,
and A. J. Johnston, L. Lichtenberger, W. H. Perry, J. M. Griffith,
John Wilson, O. W. Childs and myself were appointed to make
arrangements. A list of forty or fifty leading merchants willing to
close their places of business on Independence Day was drawn up; a
program was easily prepared; and the music, display of flags and
bunting, and the patriotic addresses awakened, after such a neglect of
the occasion, new and edifying emotions.

Slight regard was formerly paid by officers to the safety or life of
the Indian, who had a persistent weakness for alcohol; and when
citizens did attend to the removal of these inebriates, they
frequently looked to the Municipality for compensation. For instance:
at a meeting of the Common Council, in July, Pete Wilson presented a
bill of two dollars and a half "for the removal of a nuisance," which
nuisance, upon investigation, was shown to have been a drunken squaw
whom he had retired from the street! The Council, after debating the
momentous question of reimbursement, finally reached a compromise by
which the City saved just--twenty-five cents.

Alexander Bell died on July 24th, after a residence of twenty-nine
years in Los Angeles.

Beginning with the seventies, attention was directed to Santa Monica
as a possible summer resort, but it was some years before many people
saw in the Bay and its immediate environment the opportunities upon
which thousands have since seized. In the summer of 1871 less than
twenty families, the majority in tents, sojourned there among the
sycamore groves in the Cañon where J. M. Harned had a bar and
"refreshment parlor." The attractions of beach and surf, however, were
beginning to be appreciated, and so were the opportunities for
shooting--at Tell's and elsewhere; and on Sundays two or three hundred
excursionists frequently visited that neighborhood, Reynolds, the
liveryman, doing a thriving business carrying people to the beach.

Speaking of this gradual awakening to the attractions of Santa Monica,
I recall that school children of the late sixties held their picnics
at the Cañon, going down on crowded stages where the choicest seats
were on the box; and that one of the most popular drivers of that
period was Tommy O'Campo. He handled the reins with the dexterity of a
Hank Monk, and before sunrise Young America would go over to the
corral, there to wait long and patiently in order to get an
especially desirable seat on Tommy's stage.

With the completion of the Los Angeles & San Pedro Railroad,
excursions to Catalina began to be in vogue; but as the local
population was small, considerable effort was needed sometimes to
secure enough patrons to make the trips pay. Thus an excursion for
Sunday, August 13th, was advertised by the skipper of the steamer
_Vaquero_, a couple of dollars for the round trip being charged, with
half price for children; but by Saturday morning the requisite number
of subscribers had not been obtained, and the excursion was called

Otto J. and Oswald F. Zahn, sons of Dr. Johann Carl Zahn who came here
about 1871, were carrier-pigeon fanciers and established a service
between Avalon and Los Angeles, fastening their messages, written on
tissue paper, by delicate wire to the birds' legs. For some time the
Catalina Pigeon Messengers, as they were called, left Avalon late in
the afternoon, after the last steamer, bringing news that appeared in
the Los Angeles newspapers of the following morning. Usually the birds
took a good hour in crossing the channel; but on one occasion, _Blue
Jim_, the champion, covered the distance of forty-eight miles in fifty

On the evening of August 23d, the announcement came over the wires of
Don Abel Stearns's death in San Francisco, at five o'clock that
afternoon, at the Grand Hotel. Late in October, his body was brought
to Los Angeles for final interment, the tombstone having arrived from
San Francisco a week or two previously. Awesome indeed was the scene
that I witnessed when the ropes sustaining the eight hundred pound
metallic casket snapped, pitching the coffin and its grim contents
into the grave. I shall never forget the unearthly shriek of Doña
Arcadia, as well as the accident itself.

With the wane of summer, we received the startling news of the death,
through Indians, of Frederick Loring, the young journalist and author
well known in Los Angeles, who was with the United States Exploring
Expedition to Arizona as a correspondent of _Appleton's Journal_.
"Bootless, coatless and everything but lifeless," as he put it, he
had just escaped perishing in Death Valley, when the stage party was
attacked by Apaches, and Loring and four other passengers were killed.

In September, during Captain George J. Clarke's administration as
Postmaster, foreign money-orders began to be issued here for the first
time, payable only in Great Britain and Ireland, twenty-five cents
being charged for sending ten dollars or less; and shortly afterward,
international money-orders were issued for Germany and some other
Continental countries. Then five or six hundred letters for Los
Angeles County were looked upon as rather a large dispatch by one
steamer from San Francisco and the North; and the canceling of from
twelve to fifteen dollars' worth of stamps a day was regarded as "big

Vincent Collyer--the Peace Commissioner sent out with General O. O.
Howard by the Government in 1868--who eventually made himself most
unpopular in Arizona by pleading the cause of the scalping Apaches in
the fall of 1871, put up at the Pico House; when public feeling led
one newspaper to suggest that if the citizens wished "to see a
_monster_," they had "only to stand before the hotel and watch Collyer
pass to and fro!"

In the fall, tidings of Chicago's awful calamity by fire reached Los
Angeles, but strange to say, no public action was taken until the
editor of the Los Angeles _News_, on October 12th, gave vent to his
feelings in the following editorial:

     Three days ago the press of this City called upon the
     public generally to meet at a stated hour last evening, at
     the County Courtroom, to do something towards alleviating
     the sufferings of the destitute thousands in Chicago. The
     calamity which has overtaken that unfortunate City has
     aroused the sympathy of the world, and the heart and pulse
     of civilized humanity voluntarily respond, extending
     assistance in deeds as well as in words. From all parts of
     the globe, where the name of Chicago is known, liberal
     donations flow into a common treasury. We had hoped to be
     able to add the name of Los Angeles among the list, as
     having done its duty. But in whatever else she may excel,
     her charity is a dishonorable exception. Her bowels are
     absolute strangers to sympathy, when called upon to
     practically demonstrate it. At the place of meeting,
     instead of seeing the multitude, we were astonished to find
     but three persons, viz: Governor Downey, John Jones, and a
     gentleman from Riverside, who is on a visit here. Anything
     more disgraceful than this apathy on the part of her
     inhabitants she could not have been guilty of. For her
     selfishness, she justly deserves the fearful fate that has
     befallen the helpless one that now lies stricken in the
     dust. Let her bow down her head in shame. Chicago, our
     response to your appeal is, _Starve_! _What do we care?_

This candid rebuke was not without effect; a committee was immediately
formed to solicit contributions from the general public, and within an
hour a tidy sum had been raised. By October 18th the fund had reached
over two thousand dollars, exclusive of two hundred and fifty dollars
given by the Hebrew Benevolent Society and still another hundred
dollars raised by the Jewish ladies.

About the twenty-first of October a "war" broke out near Nigger Alley
between two rival factions of the Chinese on account of the forcible
carrying off of one of the companies' female members, and the steamer
_California_ soon brought a batch of Chinamen from San Francisco, sent
down, it was claimed, to help wreak vengeance on the abductors. On
Monday, October 23d some of the contestants were arrested, brought
before Justice Gray and released on bail. It was expected that this
would end the trouble; but at five o'clock the next day the factional
strife broke loose again, and officers, accompanied by citizens,
rushed to the place to attempt an arrest. The Chinese resisted and
Officer Jesus Bilderrain was shot in the right shoulder and wrist,
while his fifteen-year-old brother received a ball in the right leg.
Robert Thompson, a citizen who sprang to Bilderrain's assistance, was
met by a Chinaman with two revolvers and shot to death. Other shots
from Chinese barricaded behind some iron shutters wounded a number of

News of the attacks and counter-attacks spread like wildfire, and a
mob of a thousand or more frenzied beyond control, armed with pistols,
guns, knives and ropes, and determined to avenge Thompson's murder,
assembled in the neighborhood of the disturbance. While this solid
phalanx was being formed around Nigger Alley, a Chinaman, waving a
hatchet, was seen trying to escape across Los Angeles Street; and Romo
Sortorel, at the expense of some ugly cuts on the hand, captured him.
Emil Harris then rescued the Mongolian; but a detachment of the crowd,
yelling "Hang him! shoot him!" overpowered Harris at Temple and Spring
streets, and dragged the trembling wretch up Temple to New High
street, where the familiar framework of the corral gates suggested its
use as a gallows. With the first suspension, the rope broke; but the
second attempt to hang the prisoner was successful. Other Chinamen,
whose roofs had been smashed in, were rushed down Los Angeles Street
to the south side of Commercial, and there, near Goller's wagon shop,
between wagons stood on end, were hung. Alarmed for the safety of
their cook, Sing Ty, the Juan Lanfrancos hid the Mongolian for a week,
until the excitement had subsided.

Henry T. Hazard was lolling comfortably in a shaving saloon, under the
luxurious lather of the barber, when he heard of the riot; and
arriving on the scene, he mounted a barrel and attempted to
remonstrate with the crowd. Some friends soon pulled him down, warning
him that he might be shot. A. J. King was at supper when word was
brought to him that Chinese were slaughtering white people, and he
responded by seizing his rifle and two revolvers. In trying one of the
latter, however, it was prematurely discharged, taking the tip off a
finger and putting him _hors de combat_. Sheriff Burns could not reach
the scene until an hour after the row started and many Chinamen had
already taken their celestial flight. When he arrived, he called for a
_posse comitatus_ to assist him in handling the situation; but no one
responded. He also demanded from the leader of the mob and others that
they disperse; but with the same negative result. About that time, a
party of rioters started with a Chinaman up Commercial Street to
Main, evidently bent on hanging him to the Tomlinson & Griffith gate;
and when Burns promised to attempt a rescue if he had but two
volunteers, Judge R. M. Widney and James Goldsworthy responded and the
Chinaman was taken from his tormentors and lodged in jail. Besides
Judge Widney, Cameron E. Thom and H. C. Austin displayed great courage
in facing the mob, which was made up of the scum and dregs of the
city; and Sheriff Burns is also entitled to much credit for his part
in preventing the burning of the Chinese quarters. All the efforts of
the better element, however, did not prevent one of the most
disgraceful of all disturbances which had occurred since my arrival in
Los Angeles. On October 25th, when Coroner Joseph Kurtz impanelled his
jury, nineteen bodies of Chinamen alone were in evidence and the
verdict was: "Death through strangulation by persons unknown to the
jury." Emil Harris's testimony at the inquest, that but one of the
twenty-two or more victims deserved his fate, about hits the mark and
confirms the opinion that the slight punishment to half a dozen of the
conspirators was very inadequate.

At the time of the massacre, I heard a shot just as I was about to
leave my office, and learned that it had been fired from that part of
Chinatown facing Los Angeles Street; and I soon ascertained that it
had ended Thompson's life. Anticipating no further trouble, however, I
went home to dinner. When I returned to town, news of the riot had
spread, and with my neighbors, Cameron E. Thom and John G. Downey, I
hurried to the scene. It was then that I became an eye-witness to the
heroic, if somewhat comical parts played by Thom and Burns. The
former, having climbed to the top of a box, harangued the crowd, while
the Sheriff, who had succeeded in mounting a barrel, was also
addressing the tumultuous rabble in an effort to restore order.
Unfortunately, this receptacle had been coopered to serve as a
container, not as a rostrum; and the head of the cask under the
pressure of two hundred pounds or more of official avoirdupois
suddenly collapsed and our Worthy Guardian of the Peace dropped, with
accelerated speed, clear through to the ground, and quite
unintentionally, for the moment at least, turned grim tragedy into
grotesque comedy.

Following this massacre, the Chinese Government made such a vigorous
protest to the United States that the Washington authorities finally
paid a large indemnity. During these negotiations, Chinese throughout
the country held lamentation services for the Los Angeles victims; and
on August 2d, 1872, four Chinese priests came from San Francisco to
conduct the ceremonies.

In 1870, F. P. F. Temple, who had seen constructed two sections of the
building now known as Temple Block, made the fatal blunder of
accepting the friendly advice that led him to erect the third section
at the junction of Spring and Main streets, and to establish therein a
bank under the name of Temple & Workman. The building, costing in the
neighborhood of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, was all that
could have been desired, proving by long odds the most ornamental
edifice in the city; and when, on November 23d, 1871, the bank was
opened in its comfortable quarters on the Spring Street side of the
block, nothing seemed wanting to success. The furnishings were
elaborate, one feature of the office outfit being a very handsome
counter of native cedar, a decided advance in decoration over the
primitive bare or painted wood then common here. Neither Temple, who
had sold his fine ranch near Fort Tejón to embark in the enterprise,
nor Workman had had any practical experience in either finance or
commerce; and to make matters worse, Workman, being at that time a
very old man, left the entire management to his son-in-law, Temple, in
whom he had full confidence. It soon became evident that anybody could
borrow money with or without proper security, and unscrupulous people
hastened to take advantage of the situation. In due season I shall
tell what happened to this bank.

In the preceding spring when the Coast-line stage companies were still
the only rivals to the steamers, a movement favoring an opposition
boat was started, and by June leading shippers were discussing the
advisability of even purchasing a competitive steamer; all the
vessels up to that time having been owned by companies or individuals
with headquarters in the Northern metropolis. Matthew Keller was then
in San Francisco; and having been led to believe that a company could
be financed, books were opened for subscriptions in Los Angeles, Santa
Bárbara, San Luis Obispo and elsewhere. For lack of the necessary
support, this plan was abandoned; but late in July a meeting was held
in the Bella Union to further consider the matter. Among those present
was George Wright, long engaged in coast shipping; and he proposed to
sell the control of the _Olympia_.

H. Newmark & Company being considerably interested in the movement,
declared themselves ready to coöperate in improving the situation; for
which reason great surprise was expressed when, in December, 1871, B.
L. Peel, the commission merchant, made an attack on us, openly
charging that, although "the largest shippers in the city," we had
revoked our pledge to sustain the opposition to high freight rates,
and so had contributed toward defeating the enterprise! It is true
that we finally discouraged the movement, but for a good and
sufficient reason: Wright was in the steamship business for anything
but his health. His method was to put on a tramp steamer and then cut
passenger and freight rates ridiculously low, until the regular line
would buy him out; a project which, on former occasions, had caused
serious disturbances to business. When therefore Wright made this
offer, in 1871, H. Newmark & Company forthwith refused to participate.
I shall show that, when greater necessity required it, we took the
lead in a movement against the Southern Pacific which, for lack of
loyalty on the part of many of the other shippers, met not only with
disastrous failure but considerable pecuniary loss to ourselves.

On December 18th, 1871, Judge Murray Morrison died. Three days later,
his wife, Jennie, whom we knew as the attractive daughter of Dr.
Thomas J. White, also breathed her last.




As already stated, the price of wool in 1871 was exceedingly high and
continued advancing until in 1872 when, as a result, great prosperity
in Southern California was predicted. Enough wool had been bought by
us to make what at that time was considered a very handsome fortune.
We commenced purchasing on the sheep's back in November, and continued
buying everything that was offered until April, 1872, when we made the
first shipment, the product being sold at forty-five cents per pound.
As far as I am aware, the price of wool had never reached fifty cents
anywhere in the world, it being ordinarily worth from ten to twelve
cents; and without going into technicalities, which would be of no
interest to the average reader, I will merely say that forty-five
cents was a tremendously high figure for dirty, burry, California wool
in the grease. When the information arrived that this sale had been
effected, I became wool-crazy, the more so since I knew that the
particular shipment referred to was of very poor quality.

Colonel R. S. Baker, who was living on his ranch in Kern County, came
to Los Angeles about that time, and we offered him fifty cents a pound
for Beale & Baker's clip amounting to one hundred and seventy-five
thousand pounds. His reply was that it would be impossible to sell
without consulting Beale; but Beale proved as wool-crazy as I, and
would not sell. It developed that Beale & Baker did not succeed in
effecting a sale in San Francisco, where they soon offered their
product, and that they concluded to ship it to Boston; the New England
metropolis then, as now, being the most important wool-center in the
United States. Upon its arrival, the wool was stored; and there it
remained until, as Fate would have it, the entire shipment was later
destroyed in the great Boston fire of 1872. As a result of this
tremendous conflagration, the insurance company which carried their
policy failed and Beale & Baker met with a great loss.

The brothers Philip, Eugène and Camille Garnier of the Encino
Ranch--who, while generally operating separately, clubbed together at
that time in disposing of their product--had a clip of wool somewhat
exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. The spokesman for the
three was Eugène, and on the same day that I made Colonel Baker the
offer of fifty cents, I told Eugène that I would allow him forty-eight
and a half cents for the Garnier product. This offer he disdainfully
refused, returning immediately to his ranch; and now, as I look back
upon the matter, I do not believe that in my entire commercial
experience I ever witnessed anything demonstrating so thoroughly, as
did these wool transactions, the monstrous greed of man. The sequel,
however, points the moral. My offer to the Garnier Brothers was made
on a Friday. During that day and the next, we received several
telegrams indicating that the crest of the craze had been reached, and
that buyers refused to take hold. On Monday following the first visit
of Eugène Garnier, he again came to town and wanted me to buy their
wool at the price which I had quoted him on Friday; but by that time
we had withdrawn from the market. My brother wired that San Francisco
buyers would not touch it; hence the Garnier Brothers also shipped
their product East and, after holding it practically a full year,
finally sold it for sixteen and a half cents a pound in currency,
which was then worth eighty-five cents on the dollar. The year 1872 is
on record as the most disastrous wool season in our history, when
millions were lost; and H. Newmark & Company suffered their share in
the disaster.

It was in March that we purchased from Louis Wolfskill, through the
instrumentality of L. J. Rose, the Santa Anita _rancho_, consisting of
something over eight thousand acres, paying him eighty-five thousand
dollars for this beautiful domain. The terms agreed upon were twenty
thousand dollars down and four equal quarterly payments for the
balance. In the light of the aftermath, the statement that our
expectations of prospective wool profits inspired this purchase seems
ludicrous, but it was far from laughable at the time; for it took less
than sixty days for H. Newmark & Company to discover that buying
ranches on any such basis was not a very safe policy to follow and
would, if continued, result in disaster. Indeed, the outcome was so
different from our calculations, that it pinched us somewhat to meet
our obligations to Wolfskill. This purchase, as I shall soon show,
proved a lucky one, and compensated for the earlier nervous and
financial strain. John Simmons, who drove H. Newmark & Company's truck
and slept in a barn in my back yard on Main Street, was so reliable a
man that we made him overseer of the ranch. When we sold the property,
Simmons was engaged by Lazard Frères, the San Francisco bankers, to do
special service that involved the carrying of large sums of money.

When we bought the Santa Anita, there were five eucalyptus or blue gum
trees growing near the house. I understood at the time that these had
been planted by William Wolfskill from seed sent to him by a friend in
Australia; and that they were the first eucalyptus trees cultivated in
Southern California. Sometime early in 1875, the Forest Grove
Association started the first extensive tract of eucalyptus trees seen
in Los Angeles, and in a decade or two the eucalyptus had become a
familiar object; one tree, belonging to Howard & Smith, florists at
the corner of Olive and Ninth streets, attaining,[31] after a growth
of nineteen years, a height of one hundred and thirty-four feet.

On the morning of March 26th, Los Angeles was visited by an earthquake
of sufficient force to throw people out of bed, many men, women and
children seeking safety by running out in their night-clothes. A day
or two afterward excited riders came in from the Owens River Valley
bringing reports which showed the quake to have been the worst, so far
as loss of life was concerned, that had afflicted California since the
memorable catastrophe of 1812.

Intending thereby to encourage the building of railroads, the
Legislature, on April 4th, 1870, authorized the various Boards of
Supervisors to grant aid whenever the qualified voters so elected.
This seemed a great step forward, but anti-railroad sentiment, as in
the case of Banning's line, again manifested itself here. The Southern
Pacific, just incorporated as a subsidiary of the Central Pacific, was
laying its tracks down the San Joaquín Valley; yet there was grave
doubt whether it would include Los Angeles or not. It contemplated a
line through Teháchepi Pass; but from that point two separate surveys
had been made, one by way of Soledad Pass via Los Angeles, through
costly tunnels and over heavy grades; the other, straight to the
Needles, over an almost level plain along the Thirty-fifth parallel,
as anticipated by William H. Seward in his Los Angeles speech. At the
very time when every obstacle should have been removed, the opposition
so crystallized in the Legislature that a successful effort was made
to repeal the subsidy law; but thanks to our representatives, the
measure was made ineffective in Los Angeles County, should the voters
specifically endorse the project of a railroad.

In April, 1872, Tom Mott and B. D. Wilson wrote Leland Stanford that a
meeting of the taxpayers, soon to be called, would name a committee to
confer with the railroad officials; and Stanford replied that he would
send down E. W. Hyde to speak for the company. About the first of May,
however, a few citizens gathered for consultation at the Board of
Trade room; and at that meeting it was decided unanimously to send to
San Francisco a committee of two, consisting of Governor Downey and
myself, there to convey to the Southern Pacific Company the overtures
of the City. We accordingly visited Collis P. Huntington, whose
headquarters were at the Grand Hotel; and during our interview we
canvassed the entire situation. In the course of this interesting
discussion, Huntington displayed some engineer's maps and showed us
how, in his judgment, the railroad, if constructed to Los Angeles at
all, would have to enter the city. When the time for action arrived,
the Southern Pacific built into Los Angeles along the lines indicated
in our interview with Huntington.

On Saturday afternoon, May 18th, 1872, a public meeting was held in
the Los Angeles Court-house. Governor Downey called the assembly to
order; whereupon H. K. S. O'Melveny was elected President and Major
Ben C. Truman, Secretary. Speeches were made by Downey, Phineas
Banning, B. D. Wilson, E. J. C. Kewen and C. H. Larrabee; and
resolutions were adopted pledging financial assistance from the
County, provided the road was constructed within a given time. A
Committee was then appointed to seek general information concerning
railroads likely to extend their lines to Los Angeles; and on that
Committee I had the honor of serving with F. P. F. Temple, A. F.
Coronel, H. K. S. O'Melveny, J. G. Downey, S. B. Caswell, J. M.
Griffith, Henry Dalton, Andrés Pico, L. J. Rose, General George
Stoneman and D. W. Alexander. A few days later, Wilson, Rose and W. R.
Olden of Anaheim were sent to San Francisco to discuss terms with the
Southern Pacific; and when they returned, they brought with them
Stanford's representative, Hyde. Temple, O'Melveny and I were made a
special committee to confer with Hyde in drawing up ordinances for the
County; and these statutes were immediately passed by the Supervisors.
The Southern Pacific agreed to build fifty miles of its main trunk
line through the County, with a branch line to Anaheim; and the
County, among other conditions, was to dispose of its stock in the Los
Angeles & San Pedro Railroad to the Southern Pacific Company.

When all this matter was presented to the people, the opposition was
even greater than in the campaign of 1868. One newspaper--the _Evening
Express_--while declaring that "railway companies are soulless
corporations, invariably selfish, with a love for money," even
maintained that "because they are rich, they have no more right to
build to us than has Governor Downey to build our schoolhouses."
Public addresses were made to excited, demonstrative audiences by
Henry T. Hazard, R. M. Widney and others who favored the Southern
Pacific. On the evening of November 4th, or the night before the
election, the Southern Pacific adherents held a torchlight procession
and a mass-meeting, at the same time illuminating the pueblo with the
customary bonfires. When the vote was finally counted, it was found
that the Southern Pacific had won by a big majority; and thus was made
the first concession to the railroad which has been of such paramount
importance in the development of this section of the State.

In 1872, Nathaniel C. Carter, who boasted that he made for the
Government the first American flag woven by machinery, purchased and
settled upon a part of the Flores _rancho_ near San Gabriel. Through
wide advertising, Carter attracted his Massachusetts friends to this
section; and in 1874 he started the Carter excursions and brought
train-loads of people to Los Angeles.

Terminating a series of wanderings by sea and by land, during which he
had visited California in 1849, John Lang, father of Gustav J. (once a
Police Commissioner), came to Los Angeles for permanent residence in
1872, bringing a neat little pile of gold. With part of his savings he
purchased the five acres since known as the Laurel Tract on Sixteenth
Street, where he planted an orchard, and some of the balance he put
into a loan for which, against his will, he had to take over the lot
on Spring Street between Second and Third where the Lang Building now
stands. Soon after his advent here, Lang found himself one of four
persons of the same name, which brought about such confusion between
him, the pioneer at Lang's Station and two others, that the bank
always labelled him "Lang No. 1," while it called the station master
"Lang No. 2." In 1866, Lang had married, in Victoria, Mrs. Rosine
Everhardt, a sister of Mrs. Kiln Messer; and his wife refusing to live
at the lonesome ranch, Lang bought, for four hundred dollars, the lot
on Fort Street on which Tally's Theater now stands, and built there a
modest home from which he went out daily to visit his orchard. Being
of an exceedingly studious turn of mind, Lang devoted his spare time
to profitable reading; and to such an extent had he secluded himself
that, when he died, on December 9th, 1900, he had passed full thirty
years here without having seen Santa Monica or Pasadena. Nor had he
entered the courtroom more than once, and then only when compelled to
go there to release some property seized upon for taxes remaining
unpaid by one of the other John Langs. Regarded by his family as
idealistic and kind-hearted, John Lang was really such a hermit that
only with difficulty were friends enough found who could properly
serve as pall-bearers.

On June 2d, B. F. Ramirez and others launched the Spanish newspaper,
_La Cronica_, from the control of which Ramirez soon retired to make
way for E. F. de Celis. Under the latter's leadership, the paper
became notable as a Coast organ for the Latin race. Almost
simultaneously, A. J. King and A. Waite published their City

On the seventeenth of July our family circle was gladdened by the
wedding festivities of Kaspare Cohn and Miss Hulda, sister of M. A.
Newmark. The bride had been living with us for some time as a member
of our family.

I have spoken of the attempt made, in 1859, to found a Public Library.
In 1872, there was another agitation that led to a mass-meeting on
December 7th, in the old Merced Theatre on Main Street; and among
others present were Judge Ygnácio Sepúlveda, General George H.
Stoneman, Governor John G. Downey, Henry Kirk White Bent, S. B.
Caswell, W. J. Brodrick, Colonel G. H. Smith, W. B. Lawlor and myself.
The Los Angeles Library Association was formed; and Downey, Bent,
Brodrick, Caswell and I were appointed to canvas for funds and
donations of books. Fifty dollars was charged for a life membership,
and five dollars for yearly privileges; and besides these
subscriptions, donations and loans of books maintained the Library.
The institution was established in four small, dark rooms of the old
Downey Block on Temple and Spring streets, where the Federal Building
now stands, and where the _Times_, then the youngest newspaper in Los
Angeles, was later housed; and there J. C. Littlefield acted as the
first Librarian. In 1874, the State Legislature passed an enabling act
for a Public Library in Los Angeles, and from that time on public
funds contributed to the support of the worthy undertaking.

On January 1st, 1873, M. A. Newmark, who had come to Los Angeles eight
years before, was admitted into partnership with H. Newmark & Company;
and three years later, on February 27th, he married Miss Harriet,
daughter of J. P. Newmark. Samuel Cohn having died, the associates
then were: Kaspare Cohn, M. J. Newmark, M. A. Newmark and myself.

On February 1st, 1873, two job printers, Yarnell & Caystile, who had
opened a little shop at 14 Commercial Street, began to issue a
diminutive paper called the _Weekly Mirror_, with four pages but ten
by thirteen inches in size and three columns to the page; and this
miniature news-sheet, falling wet from the press every Saturday, was
distributed free. Success greeted the advertising venture and the
journal was known as the smallest newspaper on the Coast. A month
later, William M. Brown joined the firm, thenceforth called Yarnell,
Caystile & Brown. On March 19th, the publishers added a column to each
page, announcing, rather prophetically perhaps, their intention of
attaining a greatness that should know no obstacle or limit. In
November, the _Mirror_ was transferred to a building on Temple Street,
near the Downey Block, erected for its special needs; and there it
continued to be published until, in 1887, it was housed with the

Nels Williamson, to whom I have referred, married a native
Californian, and their eldest daughter, Mariana, in 1873 became the
wife of António Franco Coronel, the gay couple settling in one of the
old pueblo adobes on the present site of Bishop & Company's factory;
and there they were visited by Helen Hunt Jackson when she came here
in the early eighties. In 1886, they moved opposite to the home that
Coronel built on the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Central
Avenue. Educated here at the public and the Sisters' schools, Mrs.
Coronel was a recognized leader in local society, proving very
serviceable in the preparation of _Ramona_ and receiving, in return,
due acknowledgment from the distinguished authoress who presented her
with the first copy of the book published.

Daniel Freeman, a Canadian who came in 1873, was one of many to be
attracted to California through Nordhoff's famous book. After looking
at many ranches, Freeman inspected the Centinela with Sir Robert
Burnett, the Scotch owner then living there. Burnett insisted that the
ranch was too dry for farming and cited his own necessity of buying
hay at thirty dollars a ton; but Freeman purchased the twenty-five
thousand acres, stocked them with sheep and continued long in that
business, facing many a difficulty attendant upon the dry seasons,
notably in 1875-76, when he lost fully twenty-two thousand head.

L. H. Titus, who bought from J. D. Woodworth the land in his San
Gabriel orchard and vineyard, early used iron water-pipes for
irrigation. A bold venture of the same year was the laying of iron
water-pipes throughout East Los Angeles, at great expense, by Dr. John
S. Griffin and Governor John G. Downey. About the same time, the
directors of the Orange Grove Association which as we shall later see
founded Pasadena, used iron pipe for conducting water, first to a good
reservoir and then to their lands, for irrigating. In 1873 also, the
Alhambra Tract, then beginning to be settled as a fashionable suburb
of Los Angeles, obtained its water supply through the efforts of B. D.
Wilson and his son-in-law, J. De Barth Shorb, who constructed large
reservoirs near the San Gabriel Mission, piped water to Alhambra and
sold it to local consumers.

James R. Toberman, destined to be twice rechosen Mayor of Los Angeles,
was first elected in 1873, defeating Cristóbal Aguilar, an honored
citizen of early days, who had thrice been Mayor and was again a
candidate. Toberman made a record for fiscal reform by reducing the
City's indebtedness over thirty thousand dollars and leaving a balance
of about twenty-five thousand in the Treasury; while, at the same
time, he caused the tax-rate during his administration to dwindle,
from one dollar and sixty cents per hundred to one dollar. Toberman
Street bears this Mayor's name.

In 1873, President Grant appointed Henry Kirk White Bent, who had
arrived in 1868, Postmaster of Los Angeles.

The several agitations for protection against fire had, for a long
time no tangible results--due most probably to the lack of water
facilities; but after the incorporation of the Los Angeles Water
Company and the introduction of two or three hydrants, thirty-eight
loyal citizens of the town in April organized themselves into the
first volunteer fire company, popularly termed the 38's, imposing a
fee of a dollar a month. Some of the yeomen who thus set the ball
a-rolling were Major Ben C. Truman, Tom Rowan, W. J. Brodrick, Jake
Kuhrts, Charley Miles, George Tiffany, Aaron Smith, Henry T. Hazard,
Cameron E. Thom, Fred Eaton, Matthew Keller, Dr. J. S. Crawford,
Sidney Lacey, John Cashin and George P. McLain; and such was their
devotion to the duty of both allaying and producing excitement, that
it was a treat to stand by the side of the dusty street and watch the
boys, bowling along, answer the fire-bell--the fat as well as the lean
hitched to their one hose-cart. This cart, pulled by men, was known as
the _jumper_--a name widely used among early volunteer firemen and so
applied because, when the puffing and blowing enthusiasts drew the
cart after them, by means of ropes, the two-wheeled vehicle jumped
from point to point along the uneven surface of the road. The first
engine of the 38's, known as Fire Engine No. 1, was housed, I think,
back of the Pico House, but was soon moved to a building on Spring
Street near Franklin and close to the City Hall.

About 1873, or possibly 1874, shrimps first appeared in the local

In 1873, the Los Angeles _Daily News_ suspended publication. A. J.
King had retired on the first of January, 1870, to be succeeded by
Charles E. Beane; on October 10th, 1872, Alonzo Waite had sold his
interest and Beane alone was at the helm when the ship foundered.

To resume the narrative of the _Daily Star_. In July, Henry Hamilton
sold both the paper and the job-printing office for six thousand
dollars to Major Ben C. Truman, and the latter conducted the _Star_
for three or four years, filling it brimful of good things just as his
more fiery predecessor had done.

John Lang--"number two"--the cultivator of fruit on what was afterward
Washington Gardens, who established Lang's Station and managed the
sulphur springs and the hotel there, in July killed a bear said to
have been one of the grizzliest grizzlies ever seen on the Coast. Lang
started after Mr. Bruin and, during an encounter in the San Fernando
range that nearly cost his life, finally shot him. The bear tipped the
beam--forbid it that anyone should question the reading of the
scales!--at two thousand, three hundred and fifty pounds; and later,
as gossip had it, the pelt was sold to a museum in Liverpool, England.
This adventure, which will doubtless bear investigation, recalls
another hunt, by Colonel William Butts, later editor of the _Southern
Californian_, in which the doughty Colonel, while rolling over and
over with the infuriated beast, plunged a sharp blade into the
animal's vitals; but only after Butts's face, arms and legs had been
horribly lacerated. Butts's bear, a hundred hunters in San Luis Obispo
County might have told you, weighed twenty-one hundred pounds--or

Dismissing these bear stories, some persons may yet be interested to
learn of the presence here, in earlier days, of the ferocious wild
boar. These were met with, for a long time, in the wooded districts of
certain mountainous land-tracts owned by the Ábilas, and there wild
swine were hunted as late as 1873.

In the summer, D. M. Berry, General Nathan Kimball, Calvin Fletcher
and J. H. Baker came to Los Angeles from Indianapolis, representing
the California Colony of Indiana, a coöperative association which
proposed to secure land for Hoosiers who wished to found a settlement
in Southern California. This scheme originated with Dr. Thomas Balch
Elliott of Indianapolis, Berry's brother-in-law and an army surgeon
who had established the first grain elevator in Indiana and whose
wife, now ill, could no longer brave the severe winters of the middle

Soon after their arrival, Wall Street's crash brought ruin to many
subscribers and the members of the committee found themselves stranded
in Los Angeles. Berry opened a real estate office on Main Street near
Arcadia, for himself and the absent Elliott; and one day, at the
suggestion of Judge B. S. Eaton, Baker visited the San Pasqual
_rancho_, then in almost primeval glory, and was so pleased with what
he saw that he persuaded Fletcher to join Dr. Elliott, Thomas H. Croft
of Indianapolis and himself in incorporating the San Gabriel Orange
Grove Association, with one hundred shares at two hundred and fifty
dollars each. The Association then bought out Dr. J. S. Griffin's
interest, or some four thousand acres in the ranch, paying about
twelve dollars and a half per acre, after which some fifteen hundred
of the choicest acres were subdivided into tracts of from fifteen to
sixty acres each.

The San Pasqual settlement was thus called for a while the Indiana
Colony, though but a handful of Hoosiers had actually joined the
movement; and Dr. and Mrs. Elliott, reaching Los Angeles on December
1st, 1874, immediately took possession of their grant on the banks of
the Arroyo Seco near the Frémont Trail. On April 22d, 1875, The
Indiana Colony was discontinued as the name of the settlement; it
being seen that a more attractive title should be selected. Dr.
Elliott wrote to a college-mate in the East for an appropriate Indian
name; and _Pasadena_ was adopted as Chippewa for "Crown of the
Valley." Linguists, I am informed, do not endorse the word as Indian
of any kind, but it is a musical name, and now famous and
satisfactory. Dr. Elliott threw all his energy into the cultivation of
oranges, but it was not long before he saw, with a certain prophetic
vision, that not the fruit itself, but the health-giving and charming
qualities of the San Pasqual climate were likely to prove the real
asset of the colonists and the foundation of their prosperity.
Pasadena and South Pasadena, therefore, owe their existence largely to
the longing of a frail Indiana woman for a less rigorous climate and
her dream that in the sunny Southland along the Pacific she should
find health and happiness.

M. J. Newmark was really instrumental, more than anyone else, in first
persuading D. M. Berry to come to California. He had met Berry in New
York and talked to him of the possibility of buying the Santa Anita
_rancho_, which we were then holding for sale; and on his return he
traveled homeward by way of Indiana, stopping off at Indianapolis in
order to bring Berry out here to see the property. Owing to the high
price asked, however, Berry and his associates could not negotiate the
purchase, and so the matter was dropped.

Lawson D. Hollingsworth and his wife, Lucinda, Quakers from Indiana,
opened the first grocery at the crossroads in the new settlement, and
for many years were popularly spoken of as Grandpa and Grandma
Hollingsworth. Dr. H. T. Hollingsworth, their son, now of Los Angeles,
kept the Post Office in the grocery, receiving from the Government for
his services the munificent sum of--twenty-five cents a week.

The summer of 1873 was marked by the organization of a corporation
designed to advance the general business interests of Los Angeles and
vicinity. This was the Chamber of Commerce or, as it was at first
called, the Board of Trade; and had its origin in a meeting held on
August 1st in the old Court-House on the site of the present Bullard
Block. Ex-Governor John G. Downey was called to the chair; and J. M.
Griffith was made Secretary _pro tem_. Before the next meeting, over
one hundred representative merchants registered for membership, and on
August 9th, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, a board of eleven
Directors elected and an admission fee of five dollars agreed upon.
Two days later, the organization was incorporated, with J. G. Downey,
S. Lazard, M. J. Newmark, H. W. Hellman, P. Beaudry, S. B. Caswell,
Dr. J. S. Griffin, R. M. Widney, C. C. Lips, J. M. Griffith and I. W.
Lord, as Directors; and these officers chose Solomon Lazard as the
first President and I. W. Lord as the first Secretary. Judge Widney's
office in the Temple Block was the meeting-place. The Chamber unitedly
and enthusiastically set to work to push forward the commercial
interests of Southern California; and the first appropriation by
Congress for the survey and improvement of San Pedro Harbor was
effected mainly through the new society's efforts. Descriptive
pamphlets setting forth the advantages of our locality were
distributed throughout the East; and steps were taken to build up the
trade with Arizona and the surrounding territory. In this way the
Chamber of Commerce labored through the two or three succeeding years,
until bank failures, droughts and other disasters, of which I shall
speak, threw the cold blanket of discouragement over even so
commendable an enterprise and for the time being its activities

On October 3d, C. A. Storke founded the _Daily and Weekly Herald_,
editing the paper until August, 1874 when J. M. Bassett became its
editor. In a few months he retired and John M. Baldwin took up the

In the autumn of 1873, Barnard Brothers set in operation the first
woolen mill here, built in 1868 or 1869 by George Hansen and his
associates in the Canal and Reservoir Company. It was located on the
ditch along the _cañon_ of the Arroyo de Los Reyes--now Figueroa
Street; and for fifteen years or more was operated by the Barnards and
the Coulters, after which it was turned into an ice factory.

In March of the preceding year, I sent my son Maurice to New York,
expecting him there to finish his education. It was thought best,
however, to allow him, in 1873, to proceed across the ocean and on to
Paris where he might also learn the French language, at that time an
especially valuable acquisition in Los Angeles. To this latter
decision I was led when Zadoc Kahn, Grand Rabbi of Paris and afterward
Grand Rabbi of France, and a brother-in-law of Eugene Meyer, signified
his willingness to take charge of the lad; and for three years the
Grand Rabbi and his excellent wife well fulfilled their every
obligation as temporary guardians. How great an advantage, indeed,
this was will be readily recognized by all familiar with the published
life of Zadoc Kahn and his reputation as a scholar and pulpit orator.
He was a man of the highest ideals, as was proved in his unflinching
activity, with Émile Zola, in the defense and liberation of the
long-persecuted Dreyfus.

Sometime in December, L. C. Tibbetts, one of the early colonists at
Riverside, received a small package from a friend at Washington, D.
C., after having driven sixty-five miles to Los Angeles to get it; and
he took it out of the little express office without attracting any
more attention than to call forth the observation of the clerk that
some one must care a lot about farming to make so much fuss about two
young trees. "'Tis nothing, says the fool!" The package in question
contained two small orange trees from Bahia, Brazil, brought to the
United States by the Agricultural Department and destined to bestow
upon Tibbetts the honor of having originated the navel orange industry
of California.

In 1873, Drum Barracks at Wilmington were offered by the Government at
public auction; and what had cost a million dollars or so to install,
was knocked down for less than ten thousand dollars to B. D. Wilson,
who donated it for educational purposes.

During the winter of 1873-74, the Southern Pacific commenced the
construction of its Anaheim branch; and the first train from Los
Angeles to the thriving, expectant German settlement made the run in
January, 1875.

Max Cohn, a nephew, arrived in Los Angeles in 1873 and clerked for H.
Newmark & Company for a number of years. In December, 1885, when I
retired from the wholesale grocery business, Max became a full
partner. In 1888, failing health compelled him, although a young man,
to seek European medical advice; and he entered a sanatorium at
Falkenstein, in the Taunus Mountains where, in 1889, he died.


[31] Blown down, in a wind-storm, on the night of April 13th, 1915.




Although a high school had been proposed for Los Angeles as early as
1860, it was not until 1873, during Dr. W. T. Lucky's superintendency
and under his teaching, that high-school courses were inaugurated
here. Then the more advanced students were accommodated in the
schoolhouse on Pound Cake Hill, where the Court-house now stands; and
from this humble beginning the present high-school system of Los
Angeles has been evolved. Later, under Dr. T. H. Rose's leadership,
the grammar departments were removed to the other school buildings and
the High School was conducted as an independent institution.

In 1874, S. Lazard & Company dissolved, Eugene and Constant Meyer
succeeding, on June 15th, under the firm name of Eugene Meyer &
Company or, as the store was better known, the City of Paris.

Charles H., or Charley White, long prominent in the passenger
department of the Southern Pacific, entered the service of the Los
Angeles & San Pedro Railroad in 1874, as John Milner's assistant, and
soon became the regular ticket-agent here. After forty years of
invaluable service, he is still with the Southern Pacific occupying
the important position of Chief Clerk of the General Passenger Office.

  [Illustration: Vasquez and his Captors

     (_Top_) D. K. Smith,
     William R. Rowland,
     Walter E. Rodgers.

     (_Middle_) Albert Johnson,
     Greek George's Home,
     G. A. Beers.

     (_Bottom_) Emil Harris,
     Tibúrcio Vasquez,
     J. S. Bryant.]

  [Illustration: Greek George]

  [Illustration: Nicolás Martinez]

George H. Peck, County Superintendent of Schools between 1874 and
1876, was a Vermonter who came in 1869 and bought five hundred acres
of land near El Monte. On his first visit to the Coast, Peck
handled hay in San Francisco when it was worth two hundred dollars a
ton; then he mined a little; and subsequently he opened the first
public school in Sacramento and the first industrial school in San

Andrew A. Weinschank, a veteran of the Battle of Vera Cruz who came to
Los Angeles in 1856, died on February 16th, 1874. For a while, he sold
home-made sauerkraut, pickles and condiments, and was one of a
well-known family in the German pioneer group here. Carrie, one of
Weinschank's daughters, married a circus man named Lee who made
periodical visits to Los Angeles, erecting a small tent, at first
somewhere in the neighborhood of the present _Times_ Building, in
which to conduct his show. Later, Polly Lee became a rider in the
circus and with her father electrified the youth of the town when Lee,
in the character of _Dick Turpin_, and mounted on his charger, _Black
Bess_, carried off the weeping Polly to his den of freebooters. A son,
Frank A. Weinschank, was a pioneer plumber.

In the early seventies, while the Southern Pacific Railway was
building from San Francisco to San José, some twelve or fifteen
bandits, carousing at a country dance in the Mexican settlement,
Panamá (about six miles south of Bakersfield) planned to cross the
mountains and hold up the pay-car. They were unsuccessful; whereupon,
they turned their attention to the village of Tres Pinos, robbed
several store-keepers and killed three or four men. They were next
heard of at little Kingston, in Tulare County, where they plundered
practically the whole town. Then they once more disappeared.

Presently various clues pointed to the identity of the chief _bandido_
as one Tibúrcio Vasquez, born in Monterey in the thirties, who had
taken to the life of an outlaw because, as he fantastically said, some
_Gringos_ had insolently danced off with the prettiest girls at
_fandangos_, among them being his sweetheart whom an American had
wronged. With the exception of his Lieutenant, Chavez, he trusted no
one, and when he moved from place to place, Chavez alone accompanied
him. In each new field he recruited a new gang, and he never slept in
camp with his followers.

Although trailed by several sheriffs, Vasquez escaped to Southern
California leading off the wife of one of his associates--a bit of
gallantry that contributed to his undoing, as the irate husband at
once gave the officers much information concerning Vasquez's life and
methods. One day in the spring of 1874, Vasquez and three of his
companions appeared at the ranch of Alessandro Repetto, nine miles
from town, disguised as sheep-shearers. The following morning, while
the inmates of the ranch-house were at breakfast, the highwaymen
entered the room and held up the defenceless household. Vasquez
informed Repetto that he was organizing a revolution in Lower
California and merely desired to borrow the trifling sum of eight
hundred dollars. Repetto replied that he had no money in the house;
but Vasquez compelled the old man to sign a check for the sum
demanded, and immediately dispatched to town a boy working for
Repetto, with the strict injunction that if he did not return with the
money alone, and soon, his master would be shot.

When the check was presented at the Temple & Workman Bank, Temple, who
happened to be there, became suspicious but could elicit from the
messenger no satisfactory response to his questions. The bank was but
a block from the Courthouse; and when Sheriff Rowland hurriedly came,
in answer to a summons, he was inclined to detain the lad. The boy,
however, pleaded so hard for Repetto's life that the Sheriff agreed to
the messenger's returning alone with the money. Soon after, Rowland
and several deputies started out along the same trail; but a lookout
sighted the approaching horsemen and gave the alarm. Vasquez and his
associates took to flight and were pursued as far as Tejunga Pass; but
as the cutthroats were mounted on fresh horses, they escaped. Even
while being pursued, Vasquez had the audacity to fleece a party of men
in the employ of the Los Angeles Water Company who were doing some
work near the Alhambra Tract. The well-known Angeleño and engineer in
charge, Charles E. Miles, was relieved of an expensive gold watch.

In April, 1874, Sheriff Rowland heard that Vasquez had visited the
home of "Greek George"--the Smyrniot camel-driver to whom I have
referred--and who was living about ten miles from Los Angeles, near
the present location of Hollywood. Rowland took into his confidence D.
K. Smith and persuaded him to stroll that way, ostensibly as a
farmer's hand seeking employment; and within two weeks Smith reported
to Rowland that the information as to Vasquez's whereabouts was
correct. Rowland then concluded to make up a _posse_, but inasmuch as
a certain element kept Vasquez posted regarding the Sheriff's
movements, Rowland had to use great precaution. Anticipating this
emergency, City Detective Emil Harris--four years later Chief of
Police--had been quietly transferred to the Sheriff's office; in
addition to whom, Rowland selected Albert Johnson, Under Sheriff; B.
F. Hartley, a local policeman; J. S. Bryant, City Constable; Major
Henry M. Mitchell, an attorney; D. K. Smith; Walter Rodgers,
proprietor of the Palace Saloon; and G. A. Beers, a correspondent of
the _San Francisco Chronicle_. All these were ordered to report, one
by one with their horses, shortly after midnight, at Jones's Corral on
Spring Street near Seventh. Arms and ammunition, carefully packed,
were likewise smuggled in. Whether true or not that Vasquez would
speedily be informed of the Sheriff's whereabouts, it is certain that,
in resolving not to leave his office, Rowland sacrificed, for the
public weal, such natural ambition that he cannot be too much
applauded; not even the later reward of eight thousand dollars really
compensating him for his disappointment.

By half-past one o'clock in the morning, the eight members of the
_posse_ were all in the saddle and silently following a circuitous
route. At about daybreak, in dense fog, they camped at the mouth of
Nichols's Canyon--two miles away from the house of Greek George--where
Charles Knowles, an American, was living. When the fog lifted,
Johnston, Mitchell, Smith and Bryant worked their way to a point
whence they could observe Greek George's farm; and Bryant, returning
to camp, reported that a couple of gray horses had been seen tied near
the ranch-house. Shortly thereafter, a four-horse empty wagon, driven
by two Mexicans, went by the _cañon_ and was immediately stopped and
brought in. The Mexicans were put in charge of an officer, and about
the same time Johnston came tearing down the ravine with the startling
statement that Vasquez was undoubtedly at Greek George's!

A quick consultation ensued and it was decided by the _posse_ to
approach their goal in the captured vehicle, leaving their own horses
in charge of Knowles; and having warned the Mexicans that they would
be shot if they proved treacherous, the deputies climbed into the
wagon and lay down out of sight. When a hundred yards from the house,
the officers stealthily scattered in various directions. Harris,
Rodgers and Johnston ran to the north side, and Hartley and Beers to
the west. Through an open door, Vasquez was seen at the breakfast
table, and Harris, followed by the others, made a quick dash for the
house. A woman waiting on Vasquez attempted to shut the officers out;
but Harris injected his rifle through the half-open door and prevented
her. During the excitement, Vasquez climbed through a little window,
and Harris, yelling, "There he goes!" raised his Henry rifle and shot
at him. By the time Harris had reached the other side of the house,
Vasquez was a hundred feet away and running like a deer toward his
horse. In the meantime, first Hartley and then the other officers used
their shotguns and slightly wounded him again. Vasquez then threw up
his hands, saying: "Boys, you've done well! but I've been a damned
fool, and it's my own fault!" The identity of the bandit thus far had
not been established; and when Harris asked his name, he answered,
"Alessandro Martinez."[32] In the meantime, captors and prisoner
entered the house; and Vasquez, who was weakened from his wounds, sat
down, while the young woman implored the officers not to kill him. At
closer range, a good view was obtained of the man who had so long
terrorized the State. He was about five feet six or seven inches in
height, sparely built, with small feet and hands--in that respect by
no means suggesting the desperado--with a low forehead, black, coarse
hair and mustache, and furtive, cunning eyes.

By this time, the entire _posse_, excepting Mitchell and Smith (who
had followed a man seen to leave Greek George's), proceeded to search
the house. The first door opened revealed a young fellow holding a
baby in his arms. He, the most youthful member of the organization,
had been placed on guard. There were no other men in the house,
although four rifles and six pistols, all loaded and ready for use,
were found. Fearing no such raid, the other outlaws were afield in the
neighborhood; and being warned by the firing, they escaped. One of
Vasquez's guns, by the way, has been long preserved by the family of
Francisco Ybarra and now rests secure in the County Museum.

Underneath one of the beds was found Vasquez's vest containing Charley
Miles's gold watch, which Harris at once recognized. The prisoner was
asked whether he was seriously hurt and he said that he expected to
die, at the same time admitting that he was Vasquez and asking Harris
to write down some of his bequests. He said that he was a single man,
although he had two children living at Elizabeth Lake; and he
exhibited portraits of them. He protested that he had never killed a
human being, and said that the murders at Tres Pinos were due to
Chavez's disobedience of orders.

The officers borrowed a wagon from Judge Thompson--who lived in the
neighborhood--into which they loaded Vasquez, the boy and the weapons,
and so proceeded on their way. When they arrived near town, Smith and
Mitchell caught up with them. Mitchell was then sent to give advance
notice of Vasquez's capture and to have medical help on hand; and by
the time the party arrived, the excitement was intense. The City
Fathers, then in session, rushed out pellmell and crowds surrounded
the Jail. Dr. K. D. Wise, Health Officer, and Dr. J. P. Widney, County
Physician, administered treatment to the captive. Vasquez, in irons,
pleaded that he was dying; but Dr. Widney, as soon as he had examined
the captive, warned the Sheriff that the prisoner, if he escaped,
would still be game for a long day's ride. Everybody who could,
visited him and I was no exception. I was disgusted, however, when I
found Vasquez's cell filled with flowers, sent by some white women of
Los Angeles who had been carried away by the picturesque career of the
_bandido_; but Sheriff Rowland soon stopped all such foolish

Vasquez admitted that he had frequently visited Mexicans in Los
Angeles, doing this against the advice of his lieutenant, Chavez, who
had warned him that Sheriff Rowland also had good friends among the

Among those said to have been in confidential touch with Vasquez was
Mariano G. Santa Cruz, a prominent figure, in his way, in Sonora Town.
He kept a grocery about three hundred feet from the old Plaza Church,
on the east side of Upper Main Street, and had a curiously-assorted
household. There on many occasions, it is declared, Vasquez found a
safe refuge.

Five days after the capture, Signor Repetto called upon the prisoner,
who was in chains, and remarked: "I have come to say that, so far as
_I_ am concerned, you can settle that little account with God
Almighty!" Vasquez, with characteristic flourishes, thanked the
Italian and began to speak of repayment, when Repetto replied: "I do
not expect that. But I beg of you, if ever you resume operations,
never to visit _me_ again." Whereupon Vasquez, placing his hand
dramatically upon his breast, exclaimed: "Ah, Señor, I am a cavalier,
with a cavalier's heart!"--_¡Señor Repetto, yo soy un caballero, con
el corazón de un caballero!_

As soon as Vasquez's wounds were healed, he was taken by Sheriff
Rowland to Tres Pinos and there indicted for murder. Miller & Lux, the
great cattle owners, furnished the money, it was understood, for his
defense--supposedly as a matter of policy. His attorneys asked for,
and obtained, a change of venue, and Vasquez was removed to San José.
There he was promptly tried, found guilty and, in March, 1875, hanged.

Many good anecdotes were long told of Vasquez; one of which was that
he could size up a man quickly, as to whether he was a native son or
not, by the direction in which he would roll a cigarette--toward or
away from himself! As soon as the long-feared bandit was in captivity,
local wits began to joke at his expense. A burlesque on Vasquez was
staged late in May at the Merced Theater; and the day the outlaw was
captured, a merchant began his advertisement: "VASQUEZ says that
MENDEL MEYER has the Finest and Most Complete Stock of Dry Goods and
Clothing, etc."

In the spring of 1874, Charles Maclay, with whom were associated
George K. and F. B. Porter, purchased the San Fernando _rancho_ which
consisted of fifty-six thousand acres and embraced the old Spanish
Mission; and on April 20th, Maclay invited fifty of his friends to a
picnic on his newly-acquired possession. During the day some one
suggested founding a town there. The name of the new settlement was to
be decided by a vote of the participants, and almost unanimously they
selected the title of San Fernando. Within a couple of weeks, hundreds
of lots were sold and the well-known colony was soon on the way to
prosperity. Boring for petroleum commenced in the San Fernando
Mountains about that time, and the new town became the terminus of the
Southern Pacific until the long tunnel was completed. Maclay, who was
a native of Massachusetts, came to California at about the same time
as I did; he was at first a tanner in Santa Cruz, but later came south
and, entering into politics in addition to his other activities,
became State Senator, in which position he attained considerable local

A charming home of the seventies was that of Dr. and Mrs. Shaw,
pioneers situated, as I recollect, on San Pedro Street perhaps as far
south as what is now Adams. They conducted a diversified nursery,
including some orange trees, to obtain which Shaw had journeyed all
the way to Nicaragua.

Toward the end of April, 1874, General E. F. Beale and Colonel R. S.
Baker, representing themselves and New York capitalists, sought
support for a new railroad project--a single-track line to run from
this city to Shoo-Fly Landing, located, I think, near the present
Playa del Rey and considerably north of San Pedro; where a town,
Truxton--doubtless named after the General's son--was to be founded.
The proposed railway was to be known as the Los Angeles & Truxton
Railroad, with a route from the western part of the city in the
direction of Ciénega and the Rincon de los Bueyes, and along a corner
of the Ballona. The estimated length of the line was fourteen miles,
and the projectors claimed that it would enable the Angeleño to reach
San Francisco within thirty hours, with but one night at sea, and so
add to the comfort, convenience and cheapness of passenger travel. A
new harbor and an additional pier stretching far into the ocean were
to be features of the enterprise; but for some reason or other,
nothing grew out of the movement. As late as the following September,
the promoters were still interviewing councilmen and ranch-owners; but
the Los Angeles & Truxton Railroad remained a mere fancy of the
financier and engineer.

For a resort that never came to be settled by a community, Truxton
acquired some fame in the early seventies, a rumor also being current
in the summer of 1874 that a fine sea-shore hotel was to be built
there. A clipping before me of the same date even says that "the roads
to Santa Monica, Truxton and Will Tell's are in splendid order--the
former being the finest natural highway on the Pacific Coast."

F. X. Eberle and wife, Marsetes, came here in 1874, bought six or
seven acres on the corner of San Pedro and the present Eighth streets,
and fitted up the City Gardens, with bowling alleys, swings, lawns and
bowers, erecting there also a picturesque windmill.

I have expressed the surprise that I felt, when, upon my return from
New York in 1868, I observed that the approaches to the hills were
dotted here and there with little homes. This extension of the
residence area, together with the general lack of street and sidewalk
improvements making travel to and from the town somewhat inconvenient,
suggested, I have no doubt, the need of the first street railroad
here. In 1869, Judge R. M. Widney, together with his associates,
obtained a fifty-year franchise; and by 1874, the little Spring and
Sixth Street line--in time bought by S. C. Hubbell and J. E.
Hollenbeck--had been built and was in operation. It is my recollection
that this line (partly paid for by subscriptions from property owners
along the selected route, each of whom contributed fifty cents per
running foot) began at the Plaza and extended as far out as Pearl and
Sixth streets by way of Main, Spring, First, Fort, Fourth, Hill, Fifth
and Olive; and that it was at the Sixth and Pearl Street terminus that
the almost miniature wooden barn was put up. For the convenience of
the traveling public, two bob-tailed, one-horse cars with a small
platform at each end were used over a single track approximately but
two and a half miles in length; and to permit these cars to pass each
other when they met halfway along the line, a turnout or side-track
was constructed. Many a time at such a siding have I wasted precious
minutes awaiting the arrival of the other, belated car; and the
annoyance of these delays was accentuated when, in winter, the cars
stuck in the mud and often required an hour or more to make the run
from one end of the line to the other. Indeed, the ties having been
laid almost on the surface of the streets, service in bad weather was
sometimes suspended altogether. Each car was in charge of a driver who
also acted as conductor and was permitted to stop as often as he
pleased to take on or let off passengers; and while the single horse
or mule jogged along slowly, the driver, having wound his reins around
the handle of the brake, would pass through the never-crowded vehicle
and take up the fares. Single rides cost ten cents; four tickets were
sold for two bits; and twenty tickets were given for a dollar. So
provincial was the whole enterprise that passengers were expected to
purchase their tickets either at W. J. Brodrick's book store or of Dr.
Fred. P. Howard, the druggist. At a later period, a metal box with a
glass front was installed, into which the passenger was required to
drop his coin or ticket.

In those modest days, small compensation in public utility
enterprises--if such they could be called--was quite acceptable; and
since the Spring and Sixth Street line had proven rather profitable,
it was not long before W. J. Brodrick, Governor Downey, O. W. Childs,
Dave Waldron, I. W. Hellman and others inaugurated a second
horse-railway. This was popularly known as the Main Street line and
extended straight down Main Street from Temple Block to Washington
Gardens. Much the same kind of equipment was used, one horse or mule
poking along with a bob-tailed car in tow, seating at most eight or
ten passengers; but the fare for adults was ten cents, and for
children five. At night, the motor power and the couple of cars were
housed in a barn at either Main or Washington Street.

Soon after this line was in running order, it was extended from
Washington south to Jefferson, out Jefferson to Wesley (now
University) Avenue, and thence to the race-track at Agricultural Park;
and there the shed for this section was erected. Still later, a branch
was built out Washington Street to Figueroa, and down Figueroa to
Jefferson, where it connected with the first extension. No formal
transfers were made, transfer-tickets first coming into vogue in Los
Angeles about 1889. Two routes for the cars were arranged, both
running between Temple Block and the race-track. The entire system was
controlled by the Main Street & Agricultural Park Railroad Company,
with which W. J. Brodrick was associated as its first President,
continuing in that office until his death in 1898. In 1877, Colonel
John O. Wheeler, the quondam journalist, was Manager. Later, E. M.
Loricke was Superintendent--the same Loricke who built the line
between Oakland and Berkeley, and was finally killed by one of his own
cars. James Gallagher, who went to work for the Main Street &
Agricultural Park Railroad Company in October, 1888, and who had
charge also of one of the first electric cars run here, is still a
street-car conductor pleasantly known, with the longest record for
service of any conductor in the city. As I have said, travel in winter
was anything but expeditious and agreeable; and it was not uncommon
for passengers, when a car left the track, to get out and assist in
the operation of putting it back. Notwithstanding these drawbacks,
however, the mule-car novelty became popular with some; and one
Spanish girl in particular, whose father amply supplied her with
pocket-money, was a frequent passenger, riding back and forth, from
hour to hour, for months. As late as 1887, there were no cars before
six o'clock in the morning or after ten o'clock at night; and in that
same year, serious complaint was made that, despite a city ordinance
forbidding any street railway company to carry more than forty persons
in a car drawn by a single horse, the ordinance was shamefully
disregarded. Another regulation then frequently disobeyed was supposed
to limit smoking to the rear end of street cars.

The same year, D. V. Waldron bought about thirty-five acres on the
southwest corner of Main and Washington streets, soon known as the
Washington Gardens, later Chute's Park. These Gardens, among the most
popular pleasure resorts here, were served by the Main Street cars
which ran direct to the gate. In addition to a Sunday afternoon
variety show that held forth in a small pavilion and secured most of
its talent from Wood's Opera House, there was also dancing for those
who wished to indulge. I may add that this so-called opera house was
nothing more than a typical Western song and dance resort, the gallery
being cut up into boxes where the actresses, between the acts, mingled
with the crowd. Patrons indulged in drinking and smoking; and the bar
in front did a thriving business. An insignificant collection of
animals--one of which, an escaping monkey, once badly bit
Waldron--attracted not only the children, but their elders as well;
and charmingly-arranged walks, amid trees and bowers, afforded
innocent and healthful means of recreation. Waldron later went to
Alaska, where a tragic death closed his career: alone and in want, he
was found, in May, 1911, dead in his hut.

Waldron and Eberle's prosperity may have influenced George Lehman's
fortunes; but however that was, he always maintained his popularity.
Many a joke was cracked at his expense; yet everybody had a good word
for him. Here is a newspaper note of '74:

     Round House George is making great improvements in his
     property at Fort and Sixth streets. He has already, at
     great expense, _set out a post and whitewashed a cactus

The popularity of the 38's Fire Company soon inspired a second group
of the good men of Los Angeles; and in 1874 or 1875, George Furman,
George E. Gard, Joe Manning, John R. Brierly, Bryce McClellan and
others started Confidence Engine Company No. 2, obtaining a steamer
known as an Amoskeag, which they installed in a building on Main
Street near First, on what was later the site of Childs' Opera House.
It soon developed, as in the days of the San Pedro stages when the
most important feature of the trip was the race to town, that a
conflagration was a matter of secondary importance, the mad dash, in
rivalry, by the two companies being the paramount object. This was
carried to such an extent that the day following a fire was largely
given to discussing the race, and the first thing that everybody
wished to know was, who got there first? Indeed, I believe that many
an alarm was sounded to afford the boys around town a good chance to
stake their bets! All this made the fire-laddies the most popular
groups in the pueblo; and in every public parade for years the
volunteer fire companies were the chief attraction. In 1876, Walter S.
Moore, an arrival of 1875, became the Confidence Engine Company's
Secretary, that being the commencement of his career as a builder of
the department. In 1877, Moore was elected President, occupying that
office till 1883 when he was made Chief Engineer of the Los Angeles
Fire Department.

On May 13th, 1874, the Los Angeles _Daily Star_ contained the
following reference to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Newmark and an event of
particular interest to me and my family:

     Mr. Newmark, _père_ and wife, were among the passengers for
     San Francisco by the _Senator_ yesterday. This well-known
     and highly-esteemed couple go to attend the marriage of
     their son, Judge M. J. Newmark, which event occurs on the
     seventh proximo, as announced in the Star some time ago.

  [Illustration: Benjamin S. Eaton]

  [Illustration: Henry T. Hazard]

  [Illustration: Fort Street Home, Harris Newmark, Site of Blanchard
   Hall; Joseph Newmark at the Door]

  [Illustration: Calle de los Negros (Nigger Alley), about 1870]

  [Illustration: Second Street, Looking East from Hill Street, Early

Eugene Meyer and myself attended the wedding, leaving Los Angeles by
stage and completely surprising the merry company a few moments before
the groom's father performed the ceremony. The fair bride was Miss
Sophie Cahen, and the occasion proved one of the very agreeable
milestones in an interesting and successful career. The first-born of
this union, Henry M. Newmark, now of Morgan & Newmark, has attained
civic distinction, being President of the Library Board.

The reason we journeyed north by stage was to escape observation, for
since the steamer-service had been so considerably improved, most of
our friends were accustomed to travel by water. The Pacific Mail
Steamship Company at that time was running the _Senator_, the
_Pacific_, the _Orizaba_ and the _Mohongo_, the latter being the
gunboat sold by the Government at the end of the War and which
remained on the route until 1877; while the line controlled by
Goodall, Nelson & Perkins or Goodall, Nelson & Company had on their
list the _Constantine_, the _Kalorama_, the _Monterey_ and the _San
Luis_, sometimes also running the _California_, which made a specialty
of carrying combustibles. A year later, the _Ancon_ commenced to run
between San Francisco and San Diego, and excepting half a year when
she plied between the Golden Gate and Portland, was a familiar object
until 1884.

The Farmers & Merchants Bank, on June 15th, 1874, moved to their new
building on the west side of Main Street, opposite the Bella Union.

On July 25th, 1874, Conrad Jacoby commenced in the old Lanfranco
Building the weekly _Sued-Californische Post_; and for fifteen years
or more it remained the only German paper issued in Southern
California. Jacoby's brother, Philo, was the well-known sharpshooter.

Henry T. Payne, the early photographer, was probably the first to go
out of town to take views in suburbs then just beginning to attract
attention. Santa Monica was his favorite field, and a newspaper
clipping or two preserve the announcements by which the wet-plate
artist stimulated interest in his venture. One of these reads:

     Mr. Payne will be at Santa Monica next Sunday, and take
     photographic views of the camp, the ocean, the surrounding
     scenery, and such groups of campers and visitors as may see
     fit to arrange themselves for that purpose;

while another and rather contradictory notice is as follows:

     To make photographs of _moving_ life, such as Mr. Payne's
     bathing scenes at Santa Monica next Sunday, _it is
     absolutely necessary that everybody should keep perfectly
     still_ during the few seconds the plate is being exposed,
     for the least move might completely spoil an otherwise
     beautiful effect. Santa Monica, with its bathers in nice
     costume, sporting in the surf, with here and there an
     artistically-posed group basking in the sunshine, ought to
     make a beautiful picture.

As late as 1874, Fort Street--not yet called Broadway--was almost a
plain, except for the presence of a few one-story adobe houses. J. M.
Griffith, the lumberman, put up the first two-story frame
dwelling-house between Second and Third streets, and Judge H. K. S.
O'Melveny the second; shortly after which Eugene Meyer and myself
built our homes in the same block. These were put upon the lots
formerly owned by Burns & Buffum. Within the next two or three years,
the west side of Fort Street between Second and Third was the choicest
residence neighborhood in the growing city, and there was certainly
not the remotest idea at that time that this street would ever be used
for business purposes. Sometime later however, as I was going home one
day, I met Griffith and we walked together from Spring Street down
First, talking about the new County Bank and its Cashier, J. M.
Elliott--whom Griffith had induced four years previously to come to
Los Angeles and take charge of Griffith, Lynch & Company's lumber yard
at Compton. We then spoke of the city's growth, and in the course of
the conversation he said: "Newmark, Fort Street is destined to be the
most important business thoroughfare in Los Angeles." I laughed at
him, but Time has shown the wisdom of Griffith's prophecy.

The construction of this Fort Street home I commenced in the spring,
contracting with E. F. Keysor as the architect, and with Skinner &
Small as the builders. In September, we moved in; and I shall never
forget a happy compliment paid us the first evening. We had already
retired when the sound of music and merriment made it unmistakable
that we were being serenaded. Upon opening the door, we saw a large
group of friends; and having invited them into the house, the
merrymakers remained with us until the early morning hours.

In July, 1874, the Los Angeles County Bank was started with a capital
of three hundred thousand dollars, its first directors being R. S.
Baker, Jotham Bixby, George S. Dodge, J. M. Griffith, Vincent A.
Hoover, Jonathan S. Slauson and H. B. Tichenor, with J. M. Elliott as
Cashier. Its first location was the room just rented by the Farmers &
Merchants Bank adjoining the Bella Union, the County Bank's step in
that direction being due, no doubt, to a benevolent desire to obtain
some of its predecessor's business; and in July, 1878, it moved into
the Temple & Workman banking-room, after the latter's failure. For a
while the County Bank did both a commercial and a savings business;
but later it forfeited the savings clause of its charter, and its
capital was reduced to one hundred thousand dollars. In time, John E.
Plater, a well-known Angeleño, became a controlling factor.

About the end of 1874, Edward F. Spence, who had come to California by
way of the Nicaragua route a year earlier than myself, reached Los
Angeles. In 1884, Spence was elected Mayor on the Republican ticket.
In the course of time, he withdrew somewhat from activity in Los
Angeles and became a heavy investor in property at Monrovia.

In 1874 or 1875, there appeared on the local scene a man who, like his
second cousin, United States Senator Mallory of Florida, was destined
to become a character of national renown; a man who as such could and,
as a matter of fact, did serve his constituents faithfully and well.
That man was Stephen M. White. He was born in San Francisco a few
weeks before I saw that harbor city, and was, therefore, a Native Son,
his parents having come to the Coast in 1849. While a youth, he was
sent to Santa Clara where, in June, 1871, he graduated from the
well-known college; he read law at Watsonville and later at Santa
Cruz; and having been admitted to the Bar in 1874, he shortly
afterward came to the Southland.

Arriving in Los Angeles, White studied law with John D. Bicknell, who
afterward took him into partnership; and he soon proved to be a
brilliant lawyer. He was also an orator of the first magnitude; and
this combination of talent made him not only prominent here, but
attracted great attention to him from beyond the confines of city and
county. Standing as a Democrat in 1882, he was elected District
Attorney by a large majority and in that capacity served with
distinction, in the end declining renomination. In 1886 he was elected
State Senator and soon became President of the Senate, and then acting
Lieutenant Governor. After a phenomenal career both in his profession
and in the public service--during which he was one of three counsel
elected by the California Legislature to maintain the Scott Exclusion
Act before the United States Supreme Court and thus conclude the
controversy in the Chae Chan Ping case--he was elected to the United
States Senate, and there, too, his integrity and ability shone

The zeal with which White so successfully entered the conflict against
C. P. Huntington in the selection of a harbor for Los Angeles was
indefatigable; and the tremendous expenditures of the Southern Pacific
in that competition, commanding the best of legal and scientific
service and the most powerful influence, are all well known.
Huntington built a wharf--four thousand six hundred feet long--at Port
Los Angeles, northwest of Santa Monica, after having obtained control
of the entire frontage; and it was to prevent a monopoly that White
made so hard a fight in Congress in behalf of San Pedro. The virility
of his repeated attacks, his freedom from all contaminating influence
and his honesty of purpose--these are some of the elements that
contributed so effectively to the final selection of San Pedro Harbor.
On February 21st, 1901, Senator White died. While at his funeral, I
remarked to General H. G. Otis, his friend and admirer, that a
suitable monument to White's memory ought to be erected; and on
December 11th, 1908, the statue in front of the County Courthouse was

Hotel competition was lively in 1874. Charles Knowlton concluded his
advertisement of the Pico House with a large index-finger and the
following assurance:

     The unpleasant odor of gas has entirely disappeared since
     the building of the new sewer!

Hammel & Denker announced for the United States (commonly known as the
U. S.):

     We have all _Spring Beds_ at this Hotel!

Fluhr & Gerson--the latter long a popular chap about town--claimed for
the Lafayette:

     The Eating Department will be conducted with especial care;

and this was some of the bait displayed by the Clarendon, formerly the
Bella Union:

     Carriages are kept standing at the door for the use of the
     guests, and every effort is being made by COL. B. L. BEAL,
     the Present Manager, to render the guests comfortable and

A couple of years later, the name of the Clarendon was changed to the
St. Charles; next to which, during the Centennial year, the Grand
Central, pretentious of name though small of dimension, opened with a
splurge. Hammel & Denker continued to manage the United States Hotel.
The Lafayette in time became, first the Cosmopolitan and then the St.

Octavius Morgan, a native of the old cathedral town of Canterbury,
England, came to Los Angeles in 1874 and associated himself with the
architect, E. F. Keysor, the two forming the firm of Keysor & Morgan.
They were charter members of the Southern California Architects
Association, and for many years Morgan and his associates have largely
influenced the architectural styles of Los Angeles.

A really picturesque old-timer even now at the age of nearly seventy,
and one who, having withstood the lure of the modern automobile, is
still daily driving a "one-hoss" buggy to the office of the Los
Angeles Soap Company, is J. A. Forthman. In 1874, he brought a small
stock of groceries from San Francisco and started a store at what is
now Sixth and Olive streets; but at the end of three months, having
sold out at a loss, he bought a quarter interest in a little soap
plant conducted by C. W. Gibson. Soon thereafter, vats and fat were
moved to their present site on First Street. In 1875, W. B. Bergin and
in 1879, Gideon Le Sage joined Forthman and Gibson; and in 1887, the
latter sold out to his associates. J. J., a brother of W. B. Bergin,
was added to the force in 1895. For many years the concern dealt in
hides, and this brought us into close business relations. I have
referred to the death of four children. Edith, a child of six, was
taken from us on October 15th, 1874.

While William F. Turner, son of the miller, was busy in his little
store near the Puente Mills about three miles from El Monte, on the
third of June, 1874, a Californian named Romo, who lived at Pio Pico's
_Ranchito_, entered and bought some goods, also asking to be shown a
pair of boots. Turner stooped to reach the articles, when the stranger
drew a pruning-knife across his throat. In defense, the storekeeper
caught hold of the sharp blade with both hands and thereby crippled
himself for the rest of his days.

Turner had been in the habit of closing before dark on account of the
rough element near by; and when he did not return home at the
accustomed hour, Mrs. Turner, taking with her a little five-shooter,
set out to find him and arrived in the midst of the murderous assault.
Her pistol missed fire, but she succeeded in seizing the assassin and
dragging him away from her husband; after which, the Mexican shot her
just as Turner, bleeding, fell in the road. The explosion aroused a
neighbor who reached the scene after Romo had fled with some
boots--mostly for one foot!--and seventy dollars in cash.

When the news passed from mouth to mouth in El Monte, a _posse_
started out to hunt for the Mexican; but after two days' unsuccessful
search, they gave up the job. Then Fred Lambourn, who had a share in
Turner's business, rushed in on Jake Schlesinger, shouting excitedly,
"By God, Jake, I know where the fellow is!" and Jake and others
responded by saddling their horses and hurrying to a rendezvous at
Durfee's farm. The party of nineteen, including John Broaded and Bill
Cooper, broke up into divisions of one or two and in time found
themselves wading in and out of the San Gabriel River and the Puente
Creek. Soon old Dodson spied their quarry floundering across stream;
and when Schlesinger took a pop at him, the culprit cried out, "Don't
shoot!" and agreed to come ashore. Of the money stolen, all but a few
dollars was found on the prisoner; nevertheless, the captors told him
that, as soon as Turner should identify him, he would be hung and that
there was not much time for foolishness. Romo said that he had
assaulted the storekeeper in order to get money with which, on the
following Sunday, to marry; that his immediate need was a cigar; and
that, if he must die, he would like to have his friends notified, that
they might bury him. Jake handed the doomed man his only weed; and
soon after, five or six masked men rode up and announced that they
would care for the criminal. Then they drove under a tree on the bank
of the river and there, in short order, the cutthroat was hanged.

Pio Pico soon heard of the lynching and sent Jake and the El Monte
boys word that he would come over and "kill the whole damned lot" of
them; in reply to which, El Monte forwarded to the last of the Mexican
governors a cordial invitation to come, at the same time pledging to
receive him in true California style--with due hospitality and warmth.
This was contemporaneous with the Vasquez excitement, and Romo was
probably bent on imitating the outlaw.


[32] Not the Spanish Alejandro; a variation doubtless suggested by the
Italian Repetto's forename.

[33] Executive Committee of the Memorial Fund: M. P. Snyder, Chairman;
Joseph Scott, Secretary; James C. Kays, Treasurer; F. W. Braun, A. B.
Cass, R. F. Del Valle, I. B. Dockweiler, W. J. Hunsaker, M. H. Newmark
and H. G. Otis.




Until near the end of the seventies, there was very little done toward
the laying of sewers, although the reader will remember that a private
conveyor connected the Bella Union with the _zanja_ running through
Mellus's Row. Los Angeles Street from First to Second, in 1873, had
one of brick and wood; and in 1875, a brick sewer was built from the
corner of Main and Arcadia streets down to Winston and thence to Los
Angeles Street. It must have been in the early seventies that a wooden
sewer was constructed on Commercial Street from Los Angeles to
Alameda, and another on New High Street for about one block. In 1879,
one of brick was laid from Los Angeles and Commercial as far north as
Arcadia, and connecting with the Main Street sewer. At about the same
time, vitrified clay was used on a portion of Temple Street. My
impression is that there was no _cloaca_ laid on Spring Street until
after 1880, while it was still later that Fort, Hill and Olive streets
were served. As late as 1887, Hope Street had no sewer and very little
conduit-building, if any, had been undertaken south of Seventh or west
of Flower.

In January, 1875, the Commercial Bank, that was to change five years
later into the First National, began business. Most of the
incorporators were San Diego men--among them being Captain Henry
Wilcox--although four--L. J. Rose, S. H. Mott, R. M. Town and Edward
Bouton--were from Los Angeles. M. S. Patrick, of Chicago, was
President; and Edward F. Spence was Cashier. Their room was on Main
Street between Commercial and Requena. J. E. Hollenbeck, who was
succeeded by Spence, was the first President of the National Bank. J.
M. Elliott, made Cashier in 1885, has for years well filled the office
of President. A pillar of strength in this institution is
Vice-president Stoddard Jess.

Captain Wilcox, owner of the Colorado Steam Navigation Company, who
finally sold out to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, brought to
California, on his own vessel in 1848, the first light-houses. He
married Señorita María Antónia Arguello, the granddaughter of an early
Governor of California. One of his daughters became the wife of
Lieutenant Randolph Huntington Miner, and another married Lieutenant
J. C. Drake. Captain Wilcox had induced E. F. Spence to come from San
Diego to Los Angeles, and thereby gave a decided impetus to the
starting of the Commercial Bank.

Milton Lindley, formerly an Indiana saddle-maker and Treasurer of Los
Angeles County in 1879, arrived here in 1875, accompanied by Walter,
the physician; Henry, the banker, who settled at Whittier; Albert, an
attorney; and Miss Ida B., a teacher. In the eighties, he was twice
Supervisor. Dr. Walter Lindley, once a Minnesota schoolmaster, so soon
established himself that in 1878 he was elected health officer and, in
1880, a member of the Board of Education. The following year, he was
President of the County Medical Society. With Dr. Widney, he
contributed to the literature setting forth California's natural
attractions; and with his brother-in-law, Dr. John R. Haynes, he took
a leading part in organizing the California Hospital. Both Lindley and
Haynes have identified themselves with many other important local
institutions and movements.

Madame Caroline Severance, already distinguished as the founder, in
1868, of the first woman's club in America--the New England, of
Boston--took up her residence in Los Angeles in 1875 and soon made her
home, _El Nido_, the center of many notable sociological and
philanthropic activities. Especially active was she in promoting the
free kindergarten, working in coöperation with Mrs. Grover Cleveland
and Kate Douglas Wiggin, the California author who was her _protégée_
and resided for some time at _El Nido_ when she was first becoming
famous as a story-writer.

On March 27th, the _Weekly Mirror_ was again enlarged and a
subscription rate of one dollar a year was charged. By the beginning
of 1876, a bindery was established in connection with the printery;
and a Potter cylinder press--one of the first operated west of the
Rockies--was installed.

E. J. Baldwin bought the Santa Anita _rancho_, in April, from H.
Newmark & Company--a transaction recalled thirty-eight years later
when, in 1913, the box which had been sealed and placed in the
corner-stone of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, at about the
time of the sale, was brought forth from its long burial. Baldwin had
just sold his controlling interest in the Ophir mine of the Comstock
district for five million, five hundred thousand dollars. In the same
year, we purchased of the Vejar estate the splendid vineyard of fifty
acres commencing at Washington Street, on the south and a little east
of Main Street, and taking in many important sections of to-day;
selling it, in the early eighties, to Kaspare Cohn who, in turn,
disposed of it during the boom of that decade. George Compère,
somewhat noted as a local entomologist, cared for this vineyard while
we owned it. Baldwin died on March 1st, 1909.

The sale of the Santa Anita is not without an incident or two,
perhaps, of exceptional interest. On "Lucky" Baldwin's first visit, he
offered us one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the property;
but learning that we wanted two hundred thousand dollars, he started
off in a huff. Then Reuben Lloyd, the famous San Francisco attorney
who accompanied him, said on reaching the sidewalk, "Lucky, go back
and buy that ranch, or they'll raise the price on you!" and Baldwin
returned, carrying under his arm a tin-box (containing several million
dollars) from which he drew forth twelve thousand, five hundred,
tendering the same as a first payment.

One can hardly refer to Baldwin without recalling H. A. Unruh, in the
late sixties in the employ of the Central Pacific. It is my impression
that I first met him at the Baldwin Hotel in San Francisco. This
meeting may have occurred nearly thirty-five years ago; and after his
removal to the Santa Anita Ranch, where he took charge of Baldwin's
interests in the Southland, he transacted a large amount of business
with H. Newmark & Co. In 1887, Unruh was also in partnership at La
Puente with a man named Carroll, the firm advertising as "Agents for
Baldwin's Grain Warehouse, Wells Fargo & Co.'s Express and
Postmaster." When Baldwin died, his will named Unruh executor; Bradner
W. Lee being the attorney.

Ravenna, on the Southern Pacific, was a town of the middle seventies,
at whose start James O'Reilly, an Irishman of medium build, with
reddish hair and a pug nose decidedly indented at the bridge, turned
up with a happy-go-lucky air. Always slovenly, he wore a big, black
slouch hat on the back of his head, as well as a good-natured
expression, in days of prosperity, on his comical face. He had a
grocery, famed for a conglomeration of merchandise not at all improved
by age and hard usage; and this he sold to a none too fastidious
clientele. He also cooked for himself, bragging that he was
sufficiently adroit to throw a slapjack up the chimney and catch it in
the pan, _outside the shanty_ on its flop or turn! When Jim took to
working a couple of claims known as the New York and Parnell Mines,
his tribulations began: he spent more in the development of his
property than he ever recovered, and claim-jumpers bothered him to
death. In truth, once ascribing debatable motives to a man prowling
there, he took aim at the intruder and--shot off an ear! Later, he
married; but his wife soon divorced him. In time, his troubles
affected his mind; and having lost everything and come to fancy
himself an alchemist, he would sit for hours in the burning sun (his
temples plastered with English mustard) industriously stirring a
pestle and convinced that he could bring about a transmutation of the
mortarful of mud. In the end, this good-natured Son of Erin was one
day found dead in his little shanty.

J. A. Graves arrived in Los Angeles on June 5th and soon entered the
office of Brunson & Eastman, lawyers. The following January he was
admitted to practice before the Supreme Court and then became a member
of the firm of Brunson, Eastman & Graves, dissolved in 1878.
Practicing alone for a couple of years, Graves, in 1880, formed a
partnership with J. S. Chapman. On the dissolution of this firm, in
1885, Graves joined, first H. W. O'Melveny and then J. H. Shankland;
Graves, O'Melveny & Shankland continuing until January, 1904. On June
1st, 1903, Graves became Vice-president of the Farmers & Merchants
National Bank. In the fall of 1879, the young attorney married Miss
Alice H., daughter of J. M. Griffith, and for nine years they lived at
the corner of Fort and Third streets. In 1888 they removed to
Alhambra, where they still live. In 1912, Graves published some
entertaining reminiscences entitled, _Out of Doors California and

Colonel W. E. Morford, a native of New Jersey and, late in the
eighties, Superintendent of Streets, returned to Los Angeles in 1875,
having previously been here. Morford had been assistant to Captain
Sutter; and when he left San Francisco on March 14th, 1849, to return
East, he carried the first gold taken from the diggings in the
exciting era of 1848. This gold was sent by Frank Lemon, a member of
Stevenson's Regiment, to his brother William, a partner of John
Anderson, the New York tobacco merchant; and Morford liked to tell
how, when the strange find was displayed on August 22d, in a little
window of the well-known jewelry store of Benedict at 7 Wall Street
near a high-hatted guard, the narrow thoroughfare was soon beyond hope
of police control, thousands of curious, excited people struggling to
get a glimpse of the California treasure.

  [Illustration: Round House, with Main Street Entrance]

  [Illustration: Spring Street Entrance to Garden of Paradise]

  [Illustration: Temple Street, Looking West from Broadway, about 1870]

  [Illustration: Pico House, soon after Completion]

Moses Langley Wicks was a Mississippian who for some years had a law
office at Anaheim until, in 1877 or 1878, he removed to Los Angeles
and soon became an active operator in real estate. He secured from
Jonathan S. Slauson--who organized the Azusa Land and Water Company
and helped lay out the town--the Dalton section of the San José
Ranch. Wicks was also active in locating the depot of the Santa Fé
Railroad, carrying through at private expense the opening of Second
Street from Main almost to the river. A brother, Moye Wicks, long an
attorney here, later removed to the State of Washington.

Southern California was now prospering; in fact, the whole State was
enjoying wonderful advantages. The great Comstock mines were at the
height of their prosperity; the natural resources of this part of the
country were being developed; land once hard to sell, at even five
dollars an acre, was being cut up into small tracts; new hamlets and
towns were starting up; money was plentiful and everybody was happy.

About this time my brother, J. P. Newmark, and I made a little tour,
visiting Lake Tahoe--an unusual trip in that day--as well as the mines
of Nevada. Virginia City, Gold Hill and other mining-camps were the
liveliest that I had ever seen. My friend, General Charles Forman, was
then Superintendent of the Overman and Caledonia Mines, and was
engaged in constructing a beautiful home in Virginia City. After the
collapse of the Nevada boom in the early eighties, he transported this
house to Los Angeles, at a freight expense of eleven hundred and
thirty-five dollars and a total cost of over six thousand, and located
it on ten acres of land near the present site of Pico and Figueroa
streets, where Mr. and Mrs. Forman, still residents of Los Angeles,
for years have enjoyed their home.

Miners were getting high wages and spending their money lavishly,
owners of buildings in Virginia City receiving from four to eight per
cent. a month on their investments. W. C. Ralston, President of the
Bank of California at San Francisco, was largely responsible for this
remarkable excitement, for he not only lent money freely but he lent
it regardless of conservative banking principles. He engaged in
indiscriminate speculation, for a time legitimatizing illegitimacy,
and people were so incited by his example that they plunged without
heed. All of Nevada's treasure was shipped to San Francisco, whose
prosperity was phenomenal. From San Francisco the excitement spread
throughout the State; but these conditions, from the nature of things,
could not endure. From Bull to Bear is but a short step when the
public is concerned, and it happened accordingly, as it so frequently
does, that the cry of "Save yourself, if you can!" involved California
in a general demoralization. One day in October, 1875, when Ralston's
speculation had indeed proven disastrous, the Bank of California
closed its doors; and a few days after this, Ralston, going a-swimming
in the neighborhood of the North Beach at San Francisco, was
drowned--whether a suicide or not, no one knows. In the meantime, the
recessional frenzy extended all over the State, and every bank was
obliged to close its doors. Those of Los Angeles were no exception to
the rule; and it was then that Temple & Workman suspended. I. W.
Hellman, who was on a European trip at the time, forthwith returned to
Los Angeles, re-opened the doors of the Farmers & Merchants Bank and
resumed business just as if nothing had happened. Following this
panic, times became dreadfully bad; from greatest prosperity, we
dropped to the depths of despair. Specie disappeared from circulation;
values suffered, and this was especially true of real estate in

Temple & Workman's Bank, for reasons I have already specified, could
not recover. Personally, these gentlemen stood well and had ample
resources; but to realize on these was impossible under conditions
then existing. They applied to E. J. Baldwin, a Monte Cristo of that
period, for a loan. He was willing to advance them two hundred and ten
thousand dollars, but upon two conditions: first, that they would give
him a blanket-mortgage on their combined real estate; secondly, that
their intimate friend, Juan Matías Sanchez, would include in the
mortgage his splendid tract consisting of twenty-two hundred acres of
the finest land around the Old Mission. Sanchez, who transacted a good
deal of business with H. Newmark & Company, came to me for advice. I
felt convinced that Temple & Workman's relief could be at best but
temporary, although I am sure that they themselves believed it would
be permanent, and so I strenuously urged Sanchez to refuse; which he
finally pr