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MAY 24 '23



IN WRITING THE STORY of an individual life the biographer has one great advantage in knowing just where to begin. It oc- casionally happens that it appears worth while to give the world some account of the ancestors of his subject, but this is not strictly one of the requirements of the writer's task. There may be some slight doubt as to the exact time the individual first opened his eyes and beheld the world, but there is rarely room for doubt as to the time and the date when the world first noticed the advent of the individual, thanks to the natural instinct or desire of fond parenthood.

But the community is different. A city may have come into existence legally as a municipality on a certain date, but that in itself means very little, while on the contrary the story of the years preced- ing its putting on the habiliments of a city and the acts and incidents leading up to that climax, are more likely to possess considerable interest. And, as the biographer sometimes considers it desirable to set forth the ancestry of his subject, so the historian endeavors to account for certain characteristics in the subject of his story by delving into the past.

Every community has some distinct characteristic, something individual to itself which is quite possibly a birthright, inherited and not acquired. This individual quality may not be such as to be readily recognized, but it exists. The present it is true is the only thing alive, speaking materially, but it is of great importance that the present does not forget the past from which it sprung, for jiossibly it may find something in the dead past that will make more worth while the living present, something that will answer questions that are often asked but have not before been answered. And so in writing the story of Glendale and the surrounding community, the present historian will take the reader back for something over a cen- tury, and endeavor to present a picture of the beginning of civilization in this locality, assuming, rather liberally perhaps, that the European was the importer of civilization to our California coast.

The story of any progressive community is interesting particu- larly to the people who are a part of it and whose interests are bound up in it. but the story of a city that has been evolved from the sage- brush and cactus within such a brief space of time, as is comprised in the era covering the growth and development of Glendale from the time of its christening to the present, is in itself something of a romance and possesses more than local interest to any one who is a student (jf human development. Of the pioneers and their successors it may well be said in the words of the poet, "they builded better than thev knew."


The pioneers did not think of building a city; their object was to create homes for themselves and their children, and their ideas of home were based upon the Biblical conception of living under one's own vine and fig tree, with all the outdoor spaces in which to realize their dreams of rural independence and prosperity. But they be- longed to an age that will stand forth in history as characterized by a feverish desire for accomplishment in things both material and spirit- ual, and in which desire has been followed swiftly by fruition; and this spirit took possession of them until, with constantly increasing vision, they reached out toward an ideal in which the city beautiful, and pro- gressive in the highest sense, became crystallized into a living fact, with a still increasing demand upon their ideals and energy which gives promise of yet greater achievements.

While engaged in this work, the writer has often been reminded by his inner mentor, of his indebtedness to others, and here wishes to freely acknowledge the weight of the obligation. In preparing the introductory history he has cc)nsulted the works of Bancroft, Guinn, McGroarty, Willard and others, and appreciates the labor involved by the research of each of them, and through which they have rendered service to posterity, which should bring them all honor, whether they have received other recompense or not. To the "old settlers" who have gladly delved into the storehouses of their memories and to the more recent comers who have so cheerfully given assistance, the writer renders thanks. Particular mention should be made of the help given by Mr. George B. Woodberry and Mr. E. D. Goode for the use of invaluable "Minute" and "Scrap" books.


CHAPTER I Discoveries on the California Coast 7

CHAPTER H The Rancho San Rafael Appears 13

CHAPTER HI Don Jose Maria Verdugo and His Son Julio 20

CHAPTER IV The Period of Juljo Verdugo and the Mexican \^'AR 30

CHAPTER V Julio Verdugo, His Family and Activities 40

CHAPTER VI The Passing of the Sage Brush Period 32

CHAPTER VII The Story of Tropico 77

CHAPTER VIII The Transportation Question <53

CHAPTER IX The Water Question 113

CHAPTER X The Municipality of Glendale 129

CHAPTER XI Newspapers of Glendale 1S3

CHAPTER XII Banking Institutions of Glendale 191


CHAPTER XIII The Schools of Gi.endale 197

CHAPTER XIV Post Offices of Glendale 214

CHAPTER XV Improvement Associations, Chambers of Commerce. Etc 218

CHAPTER XVI Libraries 224

CHAPTER XVII The Telephone in Gi.endale 228

CHAPTER XVIII Sanitariums and Hospitals 231

CHAPTER XIX Patriotic Organizations 237

CHAPTER XX Churches 240

CHAPTER XXI Fraternal Organizations 257

CHAPTER XXII Women's Clubs 266

CHAPTER XXIII Other Clubs, Associations, Etc 274


The Professions 278

CHAPTER XXV Interviews and Afterthoughts 286

Biographies 301-476




The stur\' of every community in California is so closely related to the history of California as a whole, that it seems quite proper here to take a brief glance at the salient points of early California history, [)articularl)' in reference to the work of early discoverers along the coast, and to the work of development and settlement which, in itself, fonns a chapter of thrilling interest, and although many times told is not yet familiar to a very large proportion of our people.

After Columbus had made known to the world the existence of a great continent to the westward, it was the work principallj^ of the adventure seeking Spaniards that rapidly extended that knowledge. To these adventurers, by land and sea, there was no danger too great to be bravely met and no obstacle the conquest of which they hesitated to attempt.

Twenty-one years after the great discovery by Colunibu,';. Vasco Nunez de Balboa (Who is said to have voyaged from Spain as a stow- away) stood "upon a ]ieak in Darien" and beheld the world's greatest ocean at his feet. The splendid harbor, the Bay of Panama, afforded a gathering place for the adventurers of that and another century or two, and an outfitting point for the galleons that soon were traveling the highways of the newly found ocean, making frequent trips to the Philippines, and up and down the coast of the country that was pres- ently to be known as California. A ])arty of mutineers under one Jiminez, sailed out from the mainland and discovered Lower Cali- fornia in 15v^3. It was for many years thought that this discovery was an island and early maps show it as such. Voyages of discovery in attempts to circumnavigate the "island" took the voyagers up the Gulf of California, and led later to the establishment of a chain of Missions for a stretch of 700 miles, along the eastern shore of the gulf on Mexico's mainland.

It was about the year 1535 that the name of California was a])plicd to the supposed island. Fifty years after Columbus sighted San Salvador, and gave to Spain an opportunity to conquer a new world and open it up to civilization, a hardy Portuguese, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sailing under the flag of Spain, fixed for three hundred years the title to California in the Spanish crown. In


September, 1542, he sailed out of the port of Navidad, on that memor- able voj-age which resulted in placing his name high among the navi- gators of his time, added California to the list of Spain's possessions with the group of islands off its coast and where on one of the latter (San Miguel), his earthly journeyings ended.

It was on September 28, 1542, that Cabrillo entered a bay which he named San Miguel, and which he descril)ed as a "land locked and very good harbor" a description of the Bay of San Diego which has been allowed to stand undisputed until the present. It was his suc- cessor, Viscaino, after a period of sixty years, who entered the same bay and rechristened it San Diego. On October third, Cabrillo sailed 18 leagues northward, discovering the islands of Santa Catalina and San Clemente. On October eighth, he crossed the channel between the islands and the mainland and anchored in a body of water that he called the "Bay of Smokes," which proved to be the present-day harbor of San Pedro. From there he sailed six leagues up the coast and arrived at Santa Monica Bay, and went from there to San Buena Ventura. It seems to be doubtful whether he went ashore at any of these places owing to the difficulty in making a landing. Sailing out to sea from Ventura he discovered the Santa Barbara islands, and then went northward and cast anchor in the Bay of Pines (Monterey). October 17, 1592.

He continued northward as far as latitude 40° when he was turned back by the storms encountered, reaching his newly discovered island of San Miguel where he died three or four months later, as a result of injuries received in the course of his adventures. His suc- cessor, Juan Rodriguez, resuming the voyage after the passing of his chief, discovered Cape Mendocino and reached the coast of Oregon.

Then appeared upon the scene that picturesque Englishman, Sir Francis Drake, patriot or pirate, whichever you choose. He sailed from England on December 13, 1577, with a fleet of five ships to cir- cumnavigate the globe, a feat which he accomplished after three years; a voyage which was characterized by one perilous adventure aker another. For the truth of history it must be stated, however, that the greater peril in a great number of cases was that experienced by the unfortunate Spanish vessels that he encountered and the equally unfortunate cities along the Spanish-American coast which he looted and destroyed. It was his boast, when he sailed along the coast of California, that his vessel was ballasted with Spanish treasure of which he took enough back to England, to serve as unmis- takable evidence of the success of his enterprise and to establish him in the good graces of his king.

He was unfortunate at the outset of his expedition, as it is recorded that when he had passed through the Straits of Magellan he had only one vessel left of the original five with which he sailed. This craft was originally known as the Pelican, liut was re-christened the "Golden Hind" by Drake, who seems to have had the courage and the skill that guaranteed success even with the small crew that could be accommodated on a vessel of one hundred tons burden. It can be imagined that with a craft of this size he did not burden himself witli


prisoners from the numerous vessels that he plundered ; the hospi- tality of the insatiable ocean was ever ready to be supplied.

Drake had not much to do with the discovery and settlement of California, and his voyage is principally notable for the narrow escape he had from making really important discoveries, notably that of the Bay of San Francis which he so narrowly missed. On June 17, 1579, having sailed a thousand leagues northward from Nicaragua, he entered Sir Francis Drake's Bay, a few miles above San Francisco, remaining there thirty-six days. He made some sort of a claim on this part of the coast in the name of England, but it was not backed up in any effectual way and was barren of practical results.

In September, 1595, Viceroy Conde de Monte Key contracted with one Sebastian Viscaino to engage in a pearl fishing expedition, but by some evolutionary process, this scheme was exchanged for one of more importance to the world and resulted in Viscaino getting fitted out for the discovery of harbors and bays of the coast of the South Sea as far as Mendocino. It was in November, 1602, however, when he set sail on his memorable voyage. He reached the Bay of San Miguel on November tenth of that year and re-christened it San Diego. On December fifteenth he arrived at the Bay of Pines, to which he applied the name of Monterey in honor of the Viceroy.

He seems to have tarried there long enough to get some knowl- edge of the country, its productions and of the natives who inhabited the country along the coast. Viscaino appears to have been not only a bold mariner but a man of vision, for he made a report on the country which would have done honor to a twentieth century Cham- ber of Commerce. He recommended its colonization, which recom- mendation was, after delay of a few years, ultimately adopted but not acted upon, owing partially to the death of Viscaino, who passed away with his life dream unrealized; but due more likely to the in- ability of the Spanish authorities to push their brilliant initiatives to a successful conclusion. Had this recommendation of Viscaino been successfully followed up, it would have changed the entire history of our country and have given to the Pacific Coast the honor of being the site of the first settlement of Europeans in the territory now known as the United States. The fact is almost unbelievable that after Viscaino for a period of 160 years, Spanish galleons sailed up and down the highways of the Pacific, to and from the Philippines and never entered a harbor on the California coast. It seemed as if the knowledge of the existence of the land discovered by the venture- some sailors of Spain had entire!}- faded from the recollection of the generations that succeeded them.

The Jesuits who had constructed the missions along the Mexican coast of the Gulf of California, finally got into such disfavor with the Spanish authorities, that a decree was issued for their banishment. It was not at once enforced, but the government finally succeeded in getting the most of them shipped out of the country, the decree being put into efifect b\' (jovernor Caspar de Portola. who had been ap- pointed for that purjjose. The Jesuits were succeeded by the Francis- cans and to this circumstance, California is indebted for the new era in


its development which now began after such a long period of neglect.

At this point appears upon the scene Father Junipero Serra, whose story of sacrifice and achievement is familiar to all Califor- nians, as the builder of the missions, and the principal figure in the tardy effort of the Spaniards to Christianize the natives and develop the resources of the country which Cabrillo, Viscaino and other dis- coverers had presented to the Spanish crown two centuries before.

Father Serra had arrived in Mexico in 1749, and had demon- strated his ability and enthusiasm in mission work. He was selected by Jose de Galvez as president of California Missions and arrived at Loreta, Lower California, in 1768, accompanied by fifteen associates who were distributed to the various missions which Father Keno and the other Jesuits had founded around the Gulf of California. The de- cree banishing the Jesuits having been enforced and the Franciscans put in charge of the existing missions, Galvez turned his attention to the Christianizing of Alta California, no doubt urged on to it by the enthusiastic Serra. It was decided to send expeditions to Monterey and San Diego, two of them overland and another by sea. Father Serra accompanied one of the former under the command of Captain Rivera y Moncado and a start was made on March 24, 1569. Later, however, Father Serra attached himself to the company commanded by de Portola and was, therefore, in the last of all the expeditions to arrive at San Diego, when that party caught their first sight of that beautiful bay on July 1, 1769.

As if to make up as far as possible for the long delay in taking up the work of civilization, both the holy father and the militarj' com- mander lost no time in starting the work that they left Mexico to ac- complish. On the fourteenth of July, Portola started for Monterey with his company of 62 persons, and on July sixteenth the Mission of San Diego was founded, the first place of worship erected in the Pacific territory of Imperial Spain, to be followed by that wonderful string of missions which were nearly all completed during the life of Father Junipero Serra, and around which cluster so much of the glory and romance, and some of the shame of California's early history.

John Steven McGroarty in the wonderful Mission Play has set forth so man)' of the incidents in the life of this holy Franciscan priest, and particularly his first experiences at proselyting the natives, that only a few more lines are required here to complete the outline of this brief chapter covering that period. The record of the location left by Cabrillo of the Bay of Monterey (or Bay of Pines as he called it), proved to be inaccurate, and as a consequence the expedition of Por- tola failed to locate that harbor, and although it had in November, 1769, discovered the Bay of San Francisco, returned in a condition of great discouragement to San Diego, reaching there January 24, 1770.

During the absence of this party, Father Serra had a very dis- couraging time at his new Mission. The Indians refused to be friendly and consequently were not converted. Provisions became scarce and when Portola returned, he decided to go back to Mexico at once. To this Father Serra strenuously objected and finally ob-


tained from his commaiicling officer an extension of one more day he- fore sailing. He fell on his knees and wrestled with the Lord until at the end of his day of grace, his eyes fixed on the western horizon, were gladdened by sight of the sails of a relief ship which had been sent out from Mexico. From this time on, the work of the missions prospered and the neo])hytes were in a few years numl>ered by sev- eral thousand, with flocks and herds covering the hills and valleys of the "new world."

Having acquired additional details as to the location of Monterey, Portola, on the seventeenth of April, 1770, with a party of 20 soldiers under command of I.ieut. Pages, started again for the lost harbor. On May twent}-fiiurth, they re-discovered the object of their search and on May thirty-first, the ship San .\ntonio, commanded by Capt. Juan Perez, the first sail that was ever spread over the waters of that bay, entered the harbor of Monterey. From that time forward for a half century or more, Monterey was the chief city of California.

The Founding of S.^n Gabriel .\nd Los An'gele.s

There were at the opening of 1771 only two European settle- ments in California, San Diego and Monterey. Felipe de Neve, the jjrogressive governor of .-\lta California, having been instructed by his superiors in 1776 to make observations of the country with regard to its agricultural and other possibilities, recommended that two pueblos be established, one on the Rio de Porciuncula CLos Angeles), and the other on the Rio de Guadalupe (near San Jose), and Don Fernando de Rivera y Moncado, was instructed to begin a campaign in L<nver Cal- ifornia for volunteer settlers in the cities to be founded.

The government offered what might be considered very alluring inducements to these settlers in the payment of money and grant of lands for homes, but the desire for the ownership of homes does not seem to have been developed as yet in the minds of the few Euro- peans who had come to .^.merica, probably because they had been drawn from their home countries in the first place by the love of ad- venture; and the building up of homes, associated as it always has been more or less with the expenditure of laborious effort, did not appeal to their ideas of independent indolence, .^t any rate, after nine months' labor he only procured fourteen pobladores (settlers) to join his expedition. To these prospective settlers the government had agreed to pay $116.00 yearly for two years and to provide them with stock and tools and to buy from them their products.

Father Serra had gone out a little ways from Monterey in 1770. and founded his favorite mission at El Carmelo. From his headquar- ters there he had sent orders to Fathers Somera and Cambon at San Diego, to establish a mission in a certain location to the northward and call it San Gabriel. The two priests promptly obeyed orders and left San Diego with a guard of ten men. On August 17, 1771, they ar- rived at the site previously selected and planted the emblem of their faith. Three or four mission buildings on different sites are said to have been constructed until the present site was finally determined on


for a permanency. The party which arrived at the site of the mission consisted of eleven famihes and the military escort; but from this small nucleus San Gabriel soon developed into one of the most popu- lous and successful of the missions. It became a place of importance as a stop-over on the Kings Highway from Monterey to San Diego, Governor de Neve making it his headquarters very frequently when in the southern part of his territory.

It was from San Gabriel that, on September 4, 1781, the gov- ernor led out a small body of people marching westward eight miles to a point previously selected for the building of a pueblo to be known as Pueblo de Neustra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles. The city was founded with much ceremony, religious and military. The pioneer settlers on that memorable day were eleven families, none of the mem- bers of which could read or write. At this distance of time it may be unkind to do so, but there is a strong temptation to call them "a job lot" of first families. Certainly they were a cosmopolitan body and in that respect were typical of the great city that was to grow from that small beginning. It is as little as posterity can do for them to attempt to keep their names from disappearing from the records of memory, so here they are: Navarro, a Mestizo; Villavicencio and De Lara, Spaniards; Miranda, nationality unknown; Rosas, Vanegas and Rodriguez, Indians; Quintero, negro; Camero and Moreno, mulattoes.

Father Crespi who passed through this section in 1769, with Por- tola on their way to Monterey, had described it as being "the best lo- cality of all those we have seen for a Mission, besides having all the resources required for a great town," which indicates that he had in him the stuff that prophets are made of and however spiritual he may have been, was not without worldly wisdom and good judgment. It was this same Father Crespi also, who on the journey above alluded to and in the diary descriptive of the same which he wrote, describes the Arroyo Seco as a "dry" river and gave to the stream it opened into the name of Rio de Porciuncula after the name of a town in Italy. The names of the pueblo (city) and of the river, in the process of time became reduced to more acceptable every-day nomenclature.

A pueblo consisted of three square leagues of land to be distrib- uted among settlers for house lots and "sowing land." The pueblo of Los Angeles centered around the square that is now known as the "Plaza," and was intended to extend a league outward from that center in the four directions, north, south, east and west. There was plenty of trouble in after years about the actual boundaries as surveys at that time were largely guesswork and natural objects, a hill, a mountain or a tree were considered the proper corner marks.

As a matter of fact, the Rancho San Rafael at the junction of the Arroyo Seco and the Los Angeles river ran down into the original pueblo with a sharp triangular projection, quite a distance. The grant to the Rancho San Rafael antedated the grant to the pueblo about two years, and being dated October, 1784, was the first of a long list of grants of land given by the Spanish governors beginning with Gov. Fajes.




In 1784 the San Rafael Rancho appeared on the pages of history. Lieutenant Fajes. whose name is found previous to this time as being a lieutenant of Catalonia volunteers, had become governor. It is fair to assume that he had his favorites among the soldiers under his com- mand. It is not quite clear whether among these was one Jose Maria Berdugo, but it is most probable that this was the case, and he must certainly have stood well with the governor to be the first one to se- cure a grant of land from him, for the San Rafael Rancho heads the list in point of time of the hundreds granted under the Mexican regime. The governor, having no established precedent to guide him, exercised his own judgment as to these grants and after giving them appealed to his superiors for confirmation which was not given until Governor Rorica confirmed some of them in 1798, the San Rafael among others. It is probable, therefore, that the so-called grant of 1784 was merely a permit granted under certain conditions. The ranch was also known as "La Zanja," and under the latter name it was occupied by Berdugo under permit from Gov. Borica, which allowed him to settle there with his relatives and family and property.

A sort of general confirmation of the granting of lands was given in 1786 by Commanding General Ugarte, the conditions being that they should not exceed three leagues square in extent and must be beyond the four league limits of the pueblos. They were not to injure the missions in any way; a stone house was to be built and the occu- pant of the ranch was to raise and keep at least 2,000 head of stock. There was also some requirement as to producing a certain amount of grain yearly, "two fanegas of maize or wheat for a fondo de proprias," to be spent for the good of the community. It is quite possible that all of these requirements were not complied with, but they must have been in a great measure effective as the number of live stock on the ranches rapidly increased.

The country in the neighborhood of the settlements in a few years became well stocked with horses, cattle and sheep, but there was a scarcity of manufactured goods as intercourse with other parts of the world was only maintained by water and the sailing vessels of that period could not, even if their captains wished, conform to any- thing that even suggested regularity in schedules. It is related that upon one occasion a man who owned a thousand head of cattle and


horses came into the Mission San Gabriel and begged cloth for a shirt, as there were none to be had at pueblo or presidio. This was in 1795.

In order to get a proper perspective of conditions at this period, it is advisable to compare this beginning of the development of civiliza- tion on the Pacific coast with the history that was being made else- where. The Revolutionary War had ended by the surrender of Corn- wallis, in 1781, although the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the newly created United States was not signed until 1783, the year before the Rancho San Rafael was given over to Jose Maria Ber- dugo. By this treaty the complete independence of this country had been granted ; Florida had been re-ceded to Spain and the remainder of the country east of the Mississippi and south of the great lakes had been declared to belong to the United States. Washington had deliv- ered his farewell to the army the previous year. Over in France the revolution was hatching and Napoleon Bonaparte had not yet been heard of outside of his native Corsica. Daniel Boone and other pio- neers were blazing the waj' for civilization in Kentucky and else- where, and the great Louisiana Territory stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Oregon, was to the white man practically unknown.

Manuel Nieto was awarded a rancho about the time that the Rancho San Rafael was bestowed upon Berdugo. l^ut he lost it, al- though he had been its recognized owner for a number of years, through a decision of the United States Land Commission which was upheld by the Supreme Court. Other land granted to Nieto also ap- ])ears to have been taken from him on the plea of the missions that it was needed by the Indians attached to the San Gabriel Mission. The mission authorities were practically supreme during this period and they were very jealous of the rights of the natives who had come within the mission fold. It is related tliat in 1797, the Rancho Encino belonging to Francisco Reyes, with its buildings which he had placed upon it, was appropriated for the use of the Mission San Fernando.

In 1795 the San Rafael Rancho was visited by a party seeking a site for another mission. In this same year the region between San Buena Ventura and San Gabriel was explored by a party composed of Father Santa Maria. Alfred Cota. Sergt. Ortega and four men. in ac- cordance with orders issued by the Governor. They reported that the Encino Rancho then held by Reyes was well adapted for mission pur- poses but the natives thereabouts did not seem to be desirous of being civilized and had no use for missionaries. Among the places visited was "Tuyunga" where the "Pagans" were found to be cultivating land on their own account.

In 1795 there were about sixteen ranches held provisionally in the neighborhood of Monterey and Los .'Vngeles by a like number of men and upon these ranches were several thousand head of live stock. At the end of the century there were eighteen missions and four presid- ios, the latter without settlers, who when obtained would enable the government to establish the presidios as pueblos giving to each of the settlers house lots and land for grain. Of the three pueblos estab- lished up to this time, there were attached to all something over one hundred families, each of whom held four acres of land subject to


certain conditions, among whicli was the stipulation that tlie property was not to be hypothecated. There were some twenty or thirty men raising cattle on lands to which they had no legal title but the use of which was allowed them by some form of permit. Some of these lat- ter (lid, however, subsequently obtain titles. In 1800 the white popula- tion in the state did not e.\ceed 600. exclusive of the soldiers. There being such a small number of whites to draw upon and the desire of the Spanish government being to do everything possible to develop this great territory, it may readily be imagined that it was not dif- ficult for any white man to get hold of public land.

At this time and upon this scene enters Jose Maria Berdugo (the "B" in the evolution towards English presently giving way to "V"), Corporal or Captain of "the San Diego Company." alluded to by Ban- croft as a "retired Corporal" of that company and yet again referred to elsewhere as "Captain of the Guard at San Gabriel." One may easily imagine this "Soldier of the King," as legend says he delighted to call himself, scouting on horseback over the country round about the Mission at which he was stationed and developing a very natural desire to be the possessor of some of its unused broad acres. No doubt he made himself familiar with the streams that water it, par- ticularly the Arroj'o Seco; originally referred to as Arroyo Hondo (deep arroyo), and the Los Angeles river, and when he made specific application for the grant which he received from Governor Fages on October 20, 1784, it is noticeable that the former was well within the scope of it while the latter formed its western boundary. Not much is known of Jose Maria Berdugo. Bancroft tells us that he was acting Captain of the Guards at San Gabriel until he retired in 1784. lUit there are of record several facts that lead us to logically infer that the family was rather numerous for that time. The record of his marriage as found in the archives at San Gabriel is as follows : No- vember 7, 1779. Joseph (?) Maria Berdugo (son of Juan Diego Ber- dugo and Maria Ygnacia Carrillo, natives of the Royal Presidio of Loreto), and Maria de la Encarnacion, daughter of Ygnacio Lopez, native of Sinaloa.

Bancroft tells of one Juan Diego X'erdugo and his wife Ygnacia Concepcion Carilla, at San Diego in 1776. These were evidently the parents of Jose Maria, and there appears on the records at San Ga- l)riel the names of several other members of the Verdugo family who were contemporaries of the grantee of the San Rafael Rancho, who must have been related to him. One of these was Joaquin Verdugo whose marriage to Guadeloupe Buelna occurred September 23, 1798, and who died Januar\' 25, 1832, less than a year after the death of Jose Maria. The family appears to have been one of importance, nu- merically at least, at the close of the century.

.\nother soldier bearing the same family name was Sergeant Mariano Berdugo w'ho came north with Moncada on the expedition of 1769. He seems to have acquired considerable military fame, hav- ing enlisted at Loreta in 1766, ser\ ing seven years each in the capacity of private, corporal and sergeant. He served in several Indian campaigns and his name appears on the Register at San Diego as hav-


ing acted in the capacity of godfather at the first baptism celebrated there. He was Commander of the Guard at San Luis Obispo in 1773 and Sergeant at Monterey in 1787 when he was evidently discharged. His first wife was a Lugo and the second was a member of the Es- pinosa family. This is more than appears on record in regard to Jose Maria. But it is fair to assume that he stood well in the estimation of his superior, the governor, who having been a military man himself, probably knew Berdugo while both were in the army and thought well enough of him to confer upon him the first prize when he began to distribute his favors.

He is alluded to briefly during the following thirty or forty years, from time to time, and appears to have accumulated much live stock and to have produced considerable grain.

On October 20, 1797, it is on record that he was granted permis- sion to pasture his cattle at Arroyo Hondo on a guarantee that no harm be done to the natives, this location being one and a half leagues from San Gabriel on the road to Monterey. This was probably the road that passes through what is now South Pasadena from San Ga- briel. On November 12, 1798 he petitioned Gov. Borica for permis- sion to settle on his property at "La Zanja" and on January 12, 1798. the permission was granted for him to go there with his family and relatives, and in addition to other requirements he was to raise sheep as well as horses and cattle. This was two years after the ranch had been visited, as previously related, by the party seeking a mission site, and it is probable that Berdugo's delay in settling on the property awarded to him, was caused by some uncertainty as to whether the land would be taken for mission purposes or not. In 1801 there was a call sent out for a list of the ranches that could be relied upon to furnish grain for export, and the Rancho San Rafael was one that responded favorably. The grain was probably wanted for shipment to Mexican ports as with San Bias in Lower California a very irregu- lar traffic was maintained.

For a few years affer the founding of Los Angeles, there were not many additions to the number of the pueblo citizens from the outside except retired soldiers from the Mission at San Gabriel who appear to have in a number of instances, upon being relieved of their military duties, retired with their families to private life in the new city. We learn from the will of Jose Maria Berdugo, which will be presented further on in this history, that he came to San Gabriel from Loreto and it is probable that he had already been married to a native of Lower California some considerable time before coming north.

Quoting from W'illard's History of Los Angeles: "By 1790, the number of householders had increased from 9 to 28 with a total popu- lation of 139." The same author also states that among the names of the twenty new families, are a number that are now common in Southern California, among them such as Garcia, Figueroa, Domin- gues, Pico, Reyes, Ruiz. Lugo, Sepulveda and Verdugo. The "first citizens" who founded the pueblo seem not to have made much more history after the formal start of the cit}', except in the criminal


records which show that several of them proved to be undesirables, one or two being formally expelled as having moral characteristics which made them quite unfit for the responsibility of good citizenship. But the rci)resentatives of the families named above seem to have been a quite different type of citizens, for their descendants have as a rule played an honorable part in the development and upbuilding of the state during the century and a (luarter that has elapsed since that time. It is evident, therefore, that the retired Captain of the Guard became a citizen of the pueblo very early in its history.

Bancroft says that the name appears frequently in the early records chiefly in connection with farming operations, which indi- cates that he did not let all of his acreage lie idle. He raised stock and grain and evidently planted a vineyard and followed the example of primitive people throughout history from Noah's time to the pres- ent, of converting grapes into wine, as his last Will and Testament indicates that he left some behind to make glad the hearts of his friends. It meant work to produce a crop of grain or to bring a vine- yard into bearing in 1800. in Southern California.

It is difficult to imagine the conditions then existing in the newly discovered country. In Bible times there was nothing more primi- tive. To form a mental picture (jf the threshing of grain by piling it on a floor and driving horses over it until it was threshed and then winnowing it by throwing it against the wind, does not require as much of an effort in the present day as it does to imagine the farmer turning over the ground with a wooden plow, and yet by such means did Don Jose Maria Berdugo and his sons carry on the farming op- erations which enabled them to get results which no doubt in their day fixed the retired Captain of the Guard in the opinion of a host of dependents, as considerable of a personage.

For the first twenty years of the century there was comparative peace in California and the pioneers were left pretty much alone to care for their flocks and herds and carry on their limited agricultural operations without intrusion from the world outside. But about 1820 the foreigners began to dribble in on the occasional vessels that reached the coast and a few years later tliey began to arrive overland, much to the wonderment and consternation of the natives, and it must be admitted that subseqent events proved that their alarm at this in- vasion of the "gringoes" was well founded.

Joseph Chapman was about the first white man to arrive from the -Atlantic side of the continent, coming in 1820 and proving to be a verj' useful citizen, aiding materially in building the Plaza church in Los Angeles. Then followed John Tem])le in 1829, Abel Stearns in 1828. John J. Warner in 1829 and so on. A great many of these early comers married Spanish women and some of their descendants are [)rominent today in our community.

When the 19th century opened, the work of civilization in Cali- fornia had scarcely begun. The white settlers were clustered around the missions in the vicinity of Monterey, Los .'\ngeles and San Diego. One authority states that there were in Los Angeles 315 families at this time, but it is probable that the most of them were Indians.


The efforts of the Mexican government to secure settlers appear to have been made in sincerity, but were not followed by much suc- cess, and upon the Franciscans more and more as time went on de- pended the continuation of all efforts to develop the country which with all of its natural resources had been thrown by Providence into the lap of Spain. The fathers took good care of their neophytes, looking well after both their physical and spiritual needs, but they were zealous about the upbuilding of the church and cared little about affairs of state, and seem to have become rather independent and in the end of their era of power were not looked upon as