History of Ventura County, 1883
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its
Prominent Men and Pioneers
by Thompson and West
Oakland & West, 1883
A Transcription of the Section on Ventura County
CONDITION AND COUNTY ORGANIZATION.
Old Families—Don Ygnacio del VALLE—American Residents—Fourth of July, 1880—Wet Winter of 1861-.62—Dry Season of 1864—Town Surveys, etc.—Inhabitants of San Buenaventura—High Water in 1867— Division of Ranches—Fourth of July Celebration—Building the Wharf—Desire for a County—Newspaper Established—Statistics in 1871—Passage of the Act—The Law Creating the County—Boundaries—Building of a School House—Number of School Children—Water Companies—Santa Clara Irrigating Company—Farmers' Canal and Water Ditch—Political Affairs—Organization of the County Government—Town-ships Formed—Supervisor Districts—Election Precincts—The First Election—Republican Ticket—Democratic Ticket—Voting Places—County Officers, 1873—Dr. Cephas L BARD—City Council—Road Districts—County Bonds Issued—Settlement with Santa Barbara—Court House.
ALTHOUGH the general history of the county has been included in that of Santa Barbara, down to the first day of January, 1873, some preliminary remarks seem necessary to fairly introduce the subject. The County sprang full-sized to life, it is true; yet, by a kind of umbilical cord, it is connected with the past, and had to some extent a history of its own—a history of the enterprises and failures, the individualities and generalities which, in later years, made it long for an independent existence. The history so far has been substantially the history of the city of Santa Barbara and the neighboring Missions. Pastoral life furnishes but few points for history—few lights and shades. With the discovery of gold, and the influx of men of various habits and designs, came a corresponding change. Ranchos exchanged owners; new faces were seen everywhere; new merchants opened stores of costly goods to satisfy the vanity and luxurious desires of the shepherds, who formerly were satisfied with the simplest surroundings. Carriages were seen in the streets, where formerly the clumsy ox-cart did duty for a wagon. The steamers now waited in the offing, transferring passengers to the land, who had recently come from Boston, New York or Paris. The drowsy world had begun to move. Grain was cultivated as well as fruits. Finer houses were erected. The school house sent forth its busy throng. The whir of machinery was heard. The old, easy-going, contented existence was gone, no more to return. The portion of the world organized into the county of Ventura had its own financial and social existence long before its first courts were established. A long tract of waste land divided it from Santa Barbara. Its very climate, with its bracing character, gave man an energy of action that induced a difference. The soil too was different; the cacti on the hill-sides were of other varieties. The rivers, that had their sources in the region of snows, by their very presence spoke of different surroundings. In short, "Ventura" had a life of its own long before it became named—a life that was demonstrated in its great projects for railroads, mining projects, agricultural projects. Even the old residents who came with the fathers, had something of the enterprise which characterized the subsequent population.
Of these old patrician families, there were, in Ventura, in 1854, representatives of the de la GUERRA, SANCHEZ, ARNAZ, OLIVAS, AYALA, Del VALLE and GONZALES families, besides others of lesser prominence. Don Juan SANCHEZ and wife kept up the style of hospitality in vogue among their countrymen of equal rank. Dr. POLI, who became possessor of the ex-Mission Rancho and was accidentally killed at Stockton, by a fall from his horse, lived in town, and possessed much influence. Manuel GONZALES, Ysidro OBIOLS and Don Felipe GONZALES also were prominent. Don Raymundo OLIVAS, a worthy gentleman, quite a cattle king too, asserted the dignity of the former possessors of California, until his death, on February 24, 1879. In passing, it may be remarked that this patriarch was of the approved Biblical mode of life, his sons and daughters numbering twenty-two, all begotten with one wife, formerly Senorita Feodora LOPEZ, with whom he lived happily during his fifty-three years of wedded life. Victor USTUSAUSTEGUI, then as now, a resident of San Buenaventura, has always been known as a man of dignity and high character. Don Jose ARNAZ is a name with which the reader has become familiar, recognizing the Don as one of the most progressive and enterprising of his race. His connection with the vital interests of the country are elsewhere referred to. One who has also been largely identified with Ventura County is Ygnacio del VALLE of the Camulos Rancho, was born in Compostela, State of Jalisco, Mexico, on the first of July, 1808. He received a liberal education, his parents having been persons of wealth and position.
In the year 1818, depredations were committed on the coast towns of California by pirates, under the command of a desperado named BOUCHARD. To protect the country, two military companies—one from San Blas—were sent by the Mexican Government in 1819. Don Antonio del VALLE, father of the subject of this sketch, was Lieutenant of the San Blas Company. Six years after the arrival of Don Antonio in California, he sent for his son, Don Ygnacio, who landed in Monterey on the 27th of July, 1825. In March, 1828, Don Ygnacio entered the service as Second Lieutenant, being attached to the staff of General ECHEANDIA, Governor of California, with headquarters at San Diego, remaining there till 1833, discharging various functions at that place, as Captain in command of the Station, and Chief Custom House officer. On the arrival of Governor FIGUEROA, in 1833, Lieutenant Del VALLE was transferred to Monterey, where he continued to discharge his duties on the staff of Governor FIGUEROA, until the latter's death, in 1836, when, on account of the insurrectionary movement led by CASTRO and ALVARADO against the Government represented by GUTIERREZ, Lieutenant Del VALLE, unwilling to take part in the movement, remained separate from the service until 1840, when he obtained his
discharge. In 1844 Don Ygnacio was appointed Commissioner by Governor FIGUEROA, in the secularization of the Missions of Santa Cruz and Dolores. In 1845, he was a member of the Junta Departamental, or Departmental Assembly of California, and in 1846, he was appointed Treasurer of the Department, occupying said office until the United States took possession of the country. In 1850, he was Alcalde of Los Angeles, and, on the first election under the American rule, was elected Recorder of the county, and in 1852, was Member of the Assembly from Los Angeles County. From 1861 to the time of his death in 1880, he resided with his family on his rancho in Camulos, devoting his time to the rearing and proper education of his children, developing the resources of his beautiful domain, and lavishing the utmost hospitality on all.
Don Ygnacio was twice married. No issue of the first marriage survives. At his death he left a widow and six children, the eldest being the Honorable R. F. de VALLE, who was re-elected to the Legislature the present year (1882), with prospects of being promoted to still greater honors. Few men have impressed upon the memory of their friends a livelier sense of excellence and unsullied virtue, than the elder del VALLE. He possessed an enlightened benevolence and a warm sensibility, always eager to advance those who were within the sphere of his influence. He was a man of inflexible honor and integrity, a devout lover of truth, and conscientiously scrupulous in the discharge of his duties.
Although quite a number of American trader sailors, and adventurers generally had settled in various parts of what afterwards became Santa Barbara County, it had happened that up to the time American military occupation none of them had permanently located at San Buenaventura. Santa Barbara, being quite a town, far overshadowing it neighbor in importance, had attracted the American population almost exclusively. When Colonel STEVENSON's regiment was sent to establish American supremacy on the coast of Southern California, Isaac CALLAHAN and W. A. STREETER were put in charge of the Mission at San Buenaventura. Some years later Russel HEATH, in connection with Don Jose de ARNAZ and —MORRIS, established the first store in the county. C. C. RHYNERSON and wife, emigrating from the Mississippi Valley, came across the plains and arrived in town in 1850, and camped for a time at the mouth of the San Buenaventura River, but afterwards locating near Linden on the Calaveras River, in what is now San Joaquin County. A. Colombo, who lived in a small house where SPEARS's block now stands, was the first .American farmer, and WARE was the first blacksmith. In the entire region there were, even as late as 1857, but two houses of entertainment, one a tent on the Sespe Rancho, the other, Mr. John CARR's little establishment in town, in the rooms in the east wing of the Mission buildings, which were afterwards occupied by GILBERT & CHAFFEE as a store. Mr. CARR was the happy possessor of an American wife, whose tact, kindness, and other social qualities still form matter of pleasant recollection. She was said to have rendered the place attractive to wayfarers by reason of her capable handiwork and social habits. The couple had lived together for twelve years and remained childless, but within two years of their arrival in San Buenaventura, they realized a family of five children! Mrs. CARR attributed it to the climate.
Thomas DENNIS kept the first lumber yard, but the date of his arrival is not ascertained. The first American magistrates were Thomas BEEBE and — WELCH, the former a well-known name in the history issue of the place. A. M. CAMERON dated his coming in 1854. Long previous to this T. Wallace MORE had obtained a title to a vast tract of the richest land Ventura, claiming over THIRTY MILES along the Santa Clara. His possessions in other districts were nearly as enormous. This land was valued at from ten to fifty cents per acre, and over MORE's principality 10,000 head of cattle roamed. The whole Colonia Rancho was sold, back in the fifties, for $5,000—a price that the purchaser finally decided not to pay. In 1858 there were in town the following American residents: A. M. CAMERON, Griffin ROBBINS, W. T. NASH, W. WILLIAMS, James BEEBE, — PARK, W. D. HOBSON, — McLAUGHLIN, and one other, name unknown. W. D. HOBSON came to Santa Barbara in 1854, moving to the Sespe later, and residing on that ranch in 1859, where he built a house. In 1861 he moved to town and built the first brick house known there. SPEARS, in 1870, constructed the next one. A later arrival than the list given above was V. A. SIMPSON, who became the first postmaster, on the establishment of the post-office in 1861. It is recorded that the mail matter was not great in amount, and the obliging postmaster would, on its arrival, bestow the same in his hat, and walk around among the citizens and deliver the letters. This may be regarded as the first introduction of the system of letter-carriers in California. About the time of Mr. SIMPSON's arrival came also John HILL, Albert MARTIN, G. S. BRIGGS, the three BARNETTs, G. S. GILBERT, W. S. CHAFFEE, W. A. NORWAY, H. P. FLINT, BURBANK, HANKERSON, CRANE, and HARRINGTON.
As late as 1860 there were but nine American voters in the precinct. CHAFFEE & ROBBINS, and after-wards CHAFFEE & GILBERT, kept the only store in the place for many years.
THE FOURTH OF JULY, 1860,
Was celebrated with as much of style and formality as the little band of Americans could command. The regular exercises of a soul-stirring oration and the reading of the immortal Declaration were carried out, Judge MAGUIRE assuming the duties of orator, while Thomas DENNIS was reader of the Declaration of Independence.
THE WET WINTER OF 1861-62
Was excessively rainy in Ventura. Rain fell for sixty days successively. The results were damaging to stock and so many land-slides happened that the face of the country was materially changed. In certain localities half of the land was moved a greater or less distance. Sometimes an acre or more of land would begin moving, crumple up on the surface, and sliding downward with an increasing motion, would conclude with a grand rush to the bottom of the slope. The enormous bulk of these moving masses coupled with its velocity, produced effects still visible. All the land was thoroughly saturated to a great depth; travel was almost impossible; dead cattle abounded, and almost all the living animals were reduced to skeletons. The water came up to the Santa Clara House, and other houses were submerged to the windows, or even, in several cases, carried away bodily. The latter fate befell a building owned by MARTIN & HILL, 48x30 feet in size, which was swept away, and in the morning a gulch ten feet deep had been created by the running water on the spot, where the house had stood. The only person whose life was lost was one Hewitt, an inhabitant of Santa Barbara, who had gone to Piru Creek on a prospecting tour. The road to Los Angeles was rendered impassable for twenty days, and the losses in stock were very serious. Still the damage to pecuniary interests were not nearly so great as followed the
DRY SEASON OF 1864
In this disastrous year the ground in the preceding rainy season had never been wet to a depth of more than three inches,, consequently the famishing of two-thirds of all the stock of Ventura followed.
TOWN SURVEYS, ETC
As early as 1848 Don Jose ARNAZ laid out a town site near the Mission, advertised the advantages of the place in the Eastern papers, and offered any one a lot who would make improvements thereon. There being no response, the subject was not agitated further until 1862, when WATERMAN, VASSAULT & Co., owning the lands of the ex-Mission, laid out a town. The survey was rejected by the Board of Trustees after the town was incorporated, and another substituted. The first attempt to incorporate was made in 1863. Messrs. SIMPSON, BEEBE, STOW, ESCANDON, CHATEAUNEUF, and some others met at the American Hotel, kept by V. A. SIMPSON, and drew up a petition addressed to the Legislature, asking for its incorporation. Ramon J. HILL, at that time a member from the county of Santa Barbara, being opposed to it, the subject was dropped until the following year, when the project was revived and accomplished, but it was not until thirteen years had gone by that the patents to the town site were received from the Government. Messrs. COGGESWELL, William RILEY and J. T. STOW were instrumental in securing the title.
INHABITANTS OF SAN BUENAVENTURA
The following is presumed to be a perfectly accurate and reliable list of the citizens of the town in 1862. It includes but few of the Mexican population, which is presumed to include by far the greater proportion of the inhabitants at that day. They were, Walter S. CHAFFEE, Volney A. SIMPSON, John T. STOW, Griffin ROBBINS, William S. RILEY, William T. NASH, Jefferson CRANE, John HILL, Henry CLIFTON, Marshall ROUTH, George S. GILBERT, James BEEBE, William H. LEIGHTON, Samuel BARNETT, Sr., Samuel BARNETT, Jr., William BARNETT, W. D. HOBSON, Alex. CAMERON, Melvin BEARDSLEY, George DODGE, and George S. BRIGGS, the eminent orchardist of Marysville. All these were Americans, as were Albert and Frank MARTIN, who came in 1859. Albert de CHATEAUNEUF, French, and Henry DUBBERS, German, were of the population also. Baptiste YSOARDY came in 1858; Augustin SOLARI, in 1857; Victor USTUSAUSTEGUI, in 1852; Isidro OBIOLS, in 1853; Antonio SCHIAPPAPIETRA, in 1862; John THOMPSON, in 1862; Oscar WELLS and George V. WHITMAN, in 1859. Of subsequent arrivals, Myron WARNER came in 1863; William PRATT, in 1866; William WHITNEY, in 1864; Thomas R. BARD, in 1865; Henry COHN, in 1866; Joseph WOLFSON, in 1867; — CLEMENTS, in 1868; Thomas WILLIAMS, in 1866; A. S. HERRING, in 1863; Henry SPEARS, in 1865. A. G. ESCANDON, an old resident and a very prominent citizen, was also in San Buenaventura at that time.
HIGH WATER IN 1867
Next in this retrospection of interesting events is found the overflow of the Ventura River in December, 1867. On Christmas day the water rose until it became three feet deep on Main Street. The lower portion of the town was submerged, and the inhabitants had to be removed to places of safety. The immediate cause of the flood is said to have been a warm rain falling on and melting the recently deposited snows of the mountains about the river's source. The land from the Santa Clara House to the river was flooded. Forty-seven women, rescued from the endangered houses, had taken refuge in one little adobe shanty. Some of these females had been taken from their places of residence on horseback, while others had been carried out on the shoulders of men. Some feats of remarkable gallantry are said to have been performed on this occasion, in the rescue of the imperiled fair sex. Messrs. STOW, WOLFSON and others have received merited praise for their share in the matter. The writer uses the word merited advisedly, as there can be no question of the self-sacrificing bravery of a man, young or old, who feels impelled to wade into three feet of ice-cold muddy water, and carry out a heavy woman, perhaps young, perhaps old, on his manly shoulders, bearing her to a place of safety.
DIVISION OF RANCHES
Of course with a district of gradual increase, like Ventura, it is difficult to assign a date to which can be referred particular periods of growth. It has, however, been customary among the people of Ventura to regard 1868 as the beginning of what may be called an era of growth and prosperity. The reason for the rapid increase of business and population at that time, was the division of several important ranches near by into smaller tracts, which became the property of small farmers and fruit-raisers, whose signal successes have been the salvation of the county. In 1866 the BRIGGS' tract was subdivided and offered for sale. Two years later a general immigration of Americans began, and that time was marked as an epoch of vast importance to Ventura. The extensive ranchos of Santa Paula y Saticoy and Colonia or Santa Clara were broken up and sold to actual settlers, and the prosperity of the country became assured. The curse of extensive land-owners then became lessened, and public opinion and the lessons of years have continued the valuable work until the lands of Ventura have become open to all whose pecuniary resources can provide homes.
DESIRE FOR A COUNTY ORGANIZATION
To this beginning in 1868, one may trace whatever of subsequent growth has taken place here. The throwing open of these productive lands to agriculturists, was the commencement of the tide of prosperity which resulted in the organization of the county of Ventura, and the building up of a community whose industries, wealth and cultivation far out-stripped that of the parent county of a few years before, and whose history it will be a pleasure to recount.
With the increase of population came the desire of having a municipality of their own, and the project of a new county was agitated. In the election of 1869 the subject was brought fully before the public. Mr. A. G. ESCANDON was elected to the Assembly on this issue, but in consequence of opposition from the other portion of Santa Barbara County, failed to carry the measure through the Legislature.
The primary steps made towards the new county not having succeeded, no discouragement was felt as to the final issue, but time and repeated efforts were depended upon to effect the end.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Pausing a moment in the history of the building up of the county, it is recorded that the Fourth of July, 1871, was celebrated in San Buenaventura with a great deal of originality and interest. There was a firing of guns in the morning, and at nine o'clock a procession formed, containing thirty-seven young ladies on a car, symbolical of the States of the Union, riding in front; a live ram following, symbolical of wool, the chief staple of the district; a schooner, indicative of commerce; members of the Bar; a huge wax doll, to simulate the rising generation; and an apt illustration of the Fifteenth Amendment, composed of a Mexican cart with the traditional solid wheels, drawn by long-horned Mexican steers, driven by darkies provided with fiddles, on which they performed as for dear life. The President of the day, W. E. BARNARD: Orator, Rev. G. O. ASHE; Chaplain, W. C. MEREDITH, and pupils of the school completed the array. Rev. Juan CAMPOLA made an address to the Spanish-speaking citizens in their own beautiful and poetical language, and the festivities were appropriately (for this latitude) terminated with a ball in the evening; at which sixty couples met and danced.
BUILDING THE WHARF.
San Buenaventura's greatest public necessity, the wharf, was begun in 1871. Previous to its construction, as is readily remembered, the transfer of goods between shore and vessel was made by means of lighters. It is unnecessary to say that such means were inconvenient and costly, and greatly retarded business and progress. With the growing needs of the place, demands for increased commercial facilities were heard, and in 1871, Joseph WOLFSON commenced the construction of a wharf of sufficient length to meet all the demands of traffic. A franchise was procured in January of that year, and somewhat later work began. The beginning was signalized by initiatory ceremonies as follows: When the machine was ready to take up the first pile, Mr. Joseph WOLFSON, the projector of the wharf, took off his hat and announced that the work was ready, and suggested that some member of the Press should be invited forward to conduct the proper ceremonies. J. J. AYRES, who was then connected with the Signal Office, led forward Miss CAMARILLO, youngest daughter of Senor Don Juan CAMARILLO, and took a position on the platform of the pile-driver. After making a few appropriate remarks concerning the importance of the work about to be commenced to the town and surrounding country, he called upon the Senorita, who then broke a bottle of champagne against the timbers of the pile-driver, as a baptismal sprinkling, to which the spectators responded with hearty cheers, after which more champagne was opened and the work commenced.
In the month or February 1872, the wharf was so far completed that the steamers discharged directly upon it, for the future avoiding the inconveniences of lightering.
From the first the wharf has been of vast public utility, and is absolutely indispensable. At various times, matters have occurred in connection therewith, which will find description in their appropriate places. When the wharf was opened for business the following rates of toll were established:
In anticipation of the creation of a new county, and to some extent anticipating the wants of the community, John H. BRADLEY started the Ventura Signal, at San Buenaventura, the proposed county seat of the new county. The first number was issued April 22, 1871. Perhaps no fitter man could have been found for the position than Mr. BRADLEY, whose former experience as writer on the Amador Ledger and other newspapers published in the mines, as well as his business habits acquired partly in the sale of real estate, proved of the greatest service to the new paper, and through it to the county.
Immediately upon the first appearance of the Signal, its editor began the preparation of a series of articles on the climate and other natural advantages of this part of Southern California, in connection with the question of the division of Santa Barbara County, carrying on the discussion until the fact was accomplished. One particularly commendable feature of the Signal was the absence of ordinary political discussions. Mr. BRADLEY's good sense led him to refrain from political discussions, which find their appropriate sphere in metropolitan papers, and which are totally different from the proper function of country newspapers, but which, nevertheless, too frequently turn aside from their proper sphere of action to deal in subjects unprofitable and impertinent.
STATISTICS OF 1871
In connection with the proposition to divide the county, some statistics in relation to the matter were prepared, which are herein mentioned. The estimates were doubtless exceedingly liberal in some instances. The total area of Santa Barbara as it existed before the division was 5,450 square miles, or 3,491,000 acres. Of this extensive territory the Spanish grants covered 1,570,419 acres of the very best land, leaving 1,920,581 acres of public lands, some of which had been settled upon, but the greater portion entirely worthless for most purposes. In the proposed new county there were 20,600 acres of improved land and 2,000 acres of what is described as wooded land, probably included in private bounds. Of unimproved lands held by individuals there were 390,000 acres. The value of real estate was estimated at $3,018,200; personal property, $911,000; giving a total of $3,929,200 for the valuation of the proposed new county. The value of live stock was given as $442,000, there being 2,800 head of horses and mules, 6,000 cattle, and 74,000 sheep. The annual wool product amounted to 350,000 pounds, and 35,000 pounds of butter and 20,000 pounds of cheese were produced annually, the estimated value of farm products footing up $307,000.
The figures are to be considered as sufficiently close to the truth to enable an adequate idea of the property and resources of the eastern portion of Santa Barbara County to be obtained. It will also be observed that the region was exclusively agricultural. Even these resources had not been developed to any extent. The wool crop had not by any means reached its fullest development, while a large number of industries which have since been inaugurated do not appear at all on the list. The evils of large land holding had only begun to be lessened; communication with the outer world was difficult and precarious, and to crown all, the population was still so limited that the really extensive and important resources could not obtain development. As might be expected the price of land still rated low, hardly more than the Government price being realized for large tracts, as is shown by the sale of the Guadalasca Rancho in December, 1871, by Ysabel YORBA to DICKENSON & FUNK for $28,000, there being 22,000 acres included.
The Signal, under date of February 17, 1872, said the proposed county contained 2,000 square miles and 3,500 inhabitants, with an assessment roll of $1,200,000. Santa Barbara was left with 3,000 square miles, 7,000 inhabitants and an assessment roll of $2,000,000. The large discrepancy between the estimated valuation of Ventura and its assessment roll is left as a subject of reflection by the thoughtful reader. It may be said, however, that the prices of property vary exceedingly, whether considered as subject to taxes or for sale. It is not in the stock-raising counties alone that property hides itself from taxation. In the cities residences that are valued at $100.000 will be assessed at less than ten per cent. of their value.
PASSAGE OF THE ACT
Public sentiment had become so organized by the beginning of the legislative session of 1871-2, that efficient measures were taken to secure the passage of the desired measure. W. D. HOBSON, an influential and active citizen, was selected to proceed to Sacramento and aid in the passage of the bill. Mr. HOBSON spent a portion of the winter at the Capital, and was instrumental in securing the desired legislation. The bill, on being brought up before the Assembly, passed with but a single dissenting voice; and, passing the Senate was approved March 22, 1872. The following extracts from the law is all that is necessary to reproduce here: -
LAW CREATING THE COUNTY.
An Act to Create the County of Ventura, to Establish the Boundaries Thereof, and to Provide for its Organization.
The People of the State of California, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:—
SECTION 1. There shall be formed, out of the eastern portion of Santa Barbara County, a new county to be called Ventura. * * * *
SEC. 3. The seat of justice shall be at the town of San Buenaventura, until otherwise provided by law.
SEC. 4. The Governor of the State shall, when this Act takes effect, appoint some suitable person, resident of Ventura County, to act as County Judge of said county, whose term of office shall continue until the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, and until his successor elected and qualified, and who shall hold his office and reside at the county seat.
SEC. 5. There shall be an election held in the county of Ventura, within sixty days from the time of the first meeting of the Commissioner, for the election of Commissioners, county officers, Supervisors, etc., etc. * * * *
SEC. 7. It shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors of Ventura County, whose election is by the Act provided for, to meet at the county seat on the first Monday of the month subsequent to their election and qualification, and elect the member from District Number One Chairman. They shall the allow such per diem and mileage to the Commissioners and officers of election as they may think proper and just; and such allowance shall be paid by a warrant drawn in favor of each by the proper officers.
Said Board, or majority of them, shall then appoint two Free-holders, residents of Ventura County, to act as a Board of Commissioners, whose duty it shall be to meet a like number of Commissioners appointed by the Board of Supervisors of Santa Barbara County, at a time and place agreed upon. Such Joint Commissioners shall then organize, by appointing from their number a President and a Secretary, and shall immediately proceed to determine the indebtedness of said county at the time when this Act takes effect.
After ascertaining the total amount of indebtedness, they shall ascertain the total market value of the assets belonging to the county under consideration. They shall also ascertain the assessed value under the assessment of eighteen hundred and seventy-one of the property in the territory hereby set apart to form Ventura County. Then, after deducting the total value of assets from the total amount of indebtedness, so as to ascertain the actual indebtedness, the proportion due from the county of Ventura shall be ascertained as follows:
As the total assessed value of property in the territory taken from Santa Barbara County to form Ventura County, is to the total assessed value of said county, so shall be the proportion of the actual indebtedness of Ventura County to Santa Barbara County and when so ascertained, said Commissioners; shall certify to their respective Boards of Supervisors such amounts.
The Board of Supervisors of Ventura County shall then cause to be issued the bonds of Ventura County, payable in five years from the organization of said county, to the county of Santa Barbara, for such sum as the County Commissioners certify to be due, bearing the same rate of interest as the county of Santa Barbara is now paying on such debt. Said Board of Supervisors shall procure and provide a suitable place or places to be used as a Court House and jail, and for the accommodation of the various county officers. They shall then, in accordance with the general laws governing Boards of Supervisors, levy State and county taxes;—provided, that for the General Fund they shall have power to levy not exceeding eighty cents on each one hundred dollars of taxable property in said county.
They shall also levy a tax of ten cents upon each one hundred dollars of taxable property in said county, which shall be collected as other State and county taxes are collected; and when so collected, the same shall be set apart, pro rata, as a Sinking Fund, to liquidate the debt due from Ventura County to the county of Santa Barbara, effected by the creation of Ventura County; and when there shall be five hundred dollars or more placed to the credit of said county of Santa Barbara, it shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors of Ventura County, to draw upon their own order such sum, and purchase the warrants of said county of Santa Barbara; and upon presentation to the Treasurer of the county of Santa Barbara, he shall surrender a like amount of Ventura County bonds; said bonds shall then be canceled, and on their face countersigned by the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and filed in the Clerk's office.
Said Board of Supervisors shall exercise such other powers and duties as are conferred by the general laws on Boards of Supervisors in the counties of this State. The levy of taxes for the first year shall be as effective as if levied at the time provided in the general law.
SEC. 8. All civil actions, or proceedings in the nature of actions, whether original or upon appeal, civil or criminal, which shall be pending in the District Court, County Court, or Probate Court, in the County of Santa Barbara, at the time of the organization of Ventura County, in which the defendants are residents of Ventura County, shall be removed for trial and final determination to the proper courts of Ventura County on motion of any party interested; provided, that all actions commenced for the collection of taxes and licenses, shall not be removed from the courts of Santa Barbara County; provided, further, that in all criminal causes, where the offense was committed within the present limits of Ventura County, upon the application of the District Attorney of Ventura County, said causes shall be removed to Ventura County.
SEC. 9. All residents or property holders of the County of Ventura, upon application to the County Recorder of the county of Santa Barbara, and upon Payment of fees required by law, shall be entitled to receive a transcript of the record, duly attested of any property situated in the county of Ventura, and recorded in his office; and upon presentation of said transcript to the County Recorder of Ventura County and upon the payment of the required by law, said County Recorder shall record the same, and said record shall have the full force and effect of the original record; provided, however, the Board of Supervisors of Ventura County shall, within two years, procure a suitable set of books, and make such arrangements as they may agree upon with the County Recorder of Santa Barbara County for transcribing therein all necessary records, properly certified; said records to have the same effect and force of the original records; provided, that the expense of such records shall not exceed the sum of four thousand dollars.
SEC. 10. The county of Ventura shall be attached to and form a part of the Third Senatorial District, and for judicial purposes shall be attached to and form a part of the First Judicial District. The terms of the District Court shall be held in and for the county of Ventura on the first Monday of March, July, and November of each year.
SEC. 11. The county officers of Ventura County shall, except as otherwise provided by this Act, be elected at the same time as county officers in other counties of this State, and shall hold their offices for the term fixed by law. * *
SEC. 13. The Supervisors of Ventura County shall receive for their services four dollars per day, and twenty-five cents per mile in coming to the county seat.
SEC. 15. Ventura County shall be entitled to five Notaries Public, as provided by law. * * * *
SEC. 17. All delinquent taxes due the county of Santa Barbara at the time this Act takes effect from the persons or property in Ventura County, shall be paid to and collected by the proper officers of Ventura County, and the proper officers of Ventura County, and the Auditor of Santa Barbara County shall certify such delinquent taxes and tax list in duplicate to the Collector and Auditor respectively of Ventura County; they shall be collected by the officers of Ventura County in the same manner as delinquent taxes are collected in the other counties of this State.
SEC. 19. All Acts and parts of Acts, so far as they conflict with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed.
SEC. 20. This Act shall take effect and be in force from and after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and seventy-three.
Under the new Act the boundaries of the county were as follows: Commencing on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of the Rincon Creek, thence following up the center of said creek to its source; thence due north to the boundary line of Santa Barbara County; thence in an easterly direction along the boundary line of Santa Barbara County to the northeast corner of the same; thence southerly along the line between the said Santa Barbara County and Los Angeles County to the Pacific Ocean and three miles therein; thence in a northwesterly direction to a point due south of and three miles distant from the center of the mouth of Rincon Creek; thence north to the point of beginning and including the islands of Anacapa and San Nicolas.
AFFAIRS IN 1872.
During the year of the passage of the bill, great activity was manifested in Ventura; to the good effects of the new measure being ascribed the sudden and hopeful growth of business. During the summer of 1872 many visitors arrived in the county, in such numbers that the hotels of San Buenaventura were crowded, and it was difficult to obtain lodgings anywhere in town. To meet the increased demands of travel, Ayer's Hotel was built, since remaining one of the prominent features of the place.
BUILDING OF A SCHOOL HOUSE.
As might be supposed, the subject of providing educational facilities for the increasing juvenile population occupied a large share of public interest. On the same day on which the Act creating the county was approved, an Act was also passed empowering the School District of San Buenaventura to issue bonds to the amount of $10,000 for the purpose of building a suitable school house. The proceeds being devoted to the desired object, the work of constructing the present fine brick building was commenced, the corner-stone of this, the first public building yet begun, being laid on Monday, September 16, 1872, with appropriate ceremonies. A procession was formed in front of the Masonic Hall, Brice GRIMES being Marshal, in which the High School, (Mr. BUCKMAN in charge); the primary school (Miss M. HALLEY, teacher); County Superintendent of Schools, School Trustees, Town Council, Members of the I. O. O. F., Masons, citizens, and visitors marched in line. The orator of the day was J. Franklin WILLIAMS. The corner-stone was laid with Masonic ceremonies, and contained in its hollow a short description of the town and its history; gold, silver, and nickel coins; the working tools of a Master Mason; a Bible; the names of the School Trustees; the Town Council and the Lodge of Masons; and copies of several newspapers of Southern California.
The building was duly completed, its dedication taking place on the 8th of the following March, with ceremonies equally as formal as attended the laying of the corner-stone. The exercises consisted of songs by the school children; a prayer by Rev. H. H. DOBBINS; singing of the "Star Spangled Banner" by Miss BOUKOFSKY; oration by Mr. BUCKMAN; reading of a report on school finances by Mr. GRIMES, and short speeches by Rev. G. O. ASHE, Rev. H. H. DOBBINS, B. GRIMES, W. E. BARNARD, D. D. DeNURE, and J. M. BROOKS. Principal BUCKMAN's address was reputed to be the chief event of the day, and it was printed in the Signal, filling four columns of that paper. In this able production, the teacher demonstrated the power of the common school to prepare pupils to become efficient and valuable inhabitants of the republic.
NUMBER OF SCHOOL CHILDREN
In 1872 the total number of school children in Ventura County was 809, of whom San Buenaventura had 323; Santa Paula, 39; Pleasant Valley, 66; San Pedro, 76; Santa Clara, 46; BRIGGS, 36; Live Oak, 31; Ocean, 68; Ojai, 35; Sespe, 89. On the Simi Rancho, of 96,000 acres, there are now but three or four children, and the extensive Las Posas five.
Contemporaneously with the formation of the county, movements began to be made towards the construction of canals for supplying water, irrigating and domestic uses. The old Mission Water works, begun in immemorial times, and made to bring a supply of water from six miles up the Ventura River, were overhauled and repaired. The wet winter of 1861-62 had caused land-slides which had carried a great deal of the aqueduct bodily down hill. The structure was originally of brick, and a foot and a half square inside. Dr. POLI's antiquated grist-mill in town was driven by the force of the stream that brought. This was the mill that HARRINGTON in early times had run, and of which it was said that by running day and night, it could grind enough grain to keep three Mexican families from starving. It is doubtful at this day whether this remark alluded to the limited efficiency of the mill, or to the almost unlimited size of the Mexican families. In the autumn of 1872, work was prosecuted on the old water-works, the canal was repaired, and the reservoir cleaned out and partially rebuilt; sixteen to twenty men were employed, and the works were put in a state of comparative efficiency.
Other water schemes were on foot, which alluded to by the Signal in the previous winter in saying that the town had two strings to her bow, they being the Santa Clara and Ventura Rivers of which were to be brought near by means of canals, when the abundance of water would be immediately utilized. The two Santa Clara Canals have been mentioned in an issue of the Signal in the fall of 1871, when their advantages were fully discussed. In May, 1871, the Signal announced the formation of the
SANTA CLARA IRRIGATING COMPANY
Designed to conduct the water from that river up the lands of the fertile Colonia Rancho. The concerned in this scheme were H. G. SWINNEY, W. SWINNEY, P. MADDOCKS, Clay MADDOCKS, A. S. CLARK, R S. RAMSAUER, John ALLEN, G. L. ALLEN, O. STEWART, E. STEWART, L. SUTTON, H. K. JONES, Ben FROST, W. MADDOCKS, A. A. DEAL, and D. GILBERT. Their canal was to be twelve miles long, twelve feet wide, and two feet deep, with branches of less dimension. The canal was duly constructed, and is now in use irrigating considerable tracts.
" THE FARMERS' CANAL AND WATER DITCH"
Had its preliminary survey in 1871 by Peter BOYLE has not proved as successful an institution as the south side ditch. It takes water from the Santa Paula Creek, and carries it some eight and a half miles down the valley. M. D. L. TODD, E. P. TODD, J. CUTTLER, Abner HAINES, Horatio STONE, Peter BOYLE and James McKINNEY were the original promoters of the ditch, while J. K. GREIS obtained an interest in it soon after its conception.
The year 1872 was still further characterized by the refusal of many property owners to pay taxes. The cause of this was owing to the still existing connection with Santa Barbara County, no election having yet been held. At a later date this difficulty was settled.
ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
The Commissioners appointed by the Legislature, composed of Messrs. S. BRISTOL, Thomas R. BARD, W. D. F. RICHARDS, A. G. ESCANDON and C. W. THACKER, constituting a Board of which Mr. BRISTOL was President and Mr. BARD Secretary, to put into action the Government of Ventura County, met January 15, 1873, and issued the following proclamation:—
"Know all men by these presents: That we, the Board of Commissioners appointed, and by law authorized, to perfect the organization of the county of Ventura, in accordance with an Act entitled 'An Act to create the county of Ventura, to establish the boundaries thereof, and to provide for its organization,' approved March 22, 1872, do hereby give notice that an election shall be held in the county of Ventura on the 25th day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three. "There shall be chosen by the qualified electors of said county at said election, one District Attorney, one County Clerk, one County Superintendent of Public Schools, one Sheriff, one County Assessor, one County Treasurer, one County Surveyor, one County Coroner; and by the qualified electors thereof, one Supervisor for each Supervisor District of said county. "There shall also he chosen at said election, by the qualified electors thereof:—
"For the township of Ventura, one Constable; for the township of Saticoy, two Constables and two Justices of the Peace; and for the township of Hueneme, one Constable."
The county of Ventura is divided into three townships, named and described as follows:—
THE TOWNSHIP OF VENTURA
Bounded on the west by the boundary between the boundary of Santa Barbara and the county of Ventura, as established by statute; on the south by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by the northern boundary of Ventura County, and on the coast by a line beginning at the sea-shore, in front of a gulch commonly called the "Graveyard Barranea," and running thence northwardly to the head of said gulch; thence in a northerly direction to the easternmost corner of the Rancho Canada Largo, as now surveyed; thence in the same direction to the summit of Sulphur Mountain; thence along the summit of said mountain in an easterly direction to the Santa Paula Creek, sometimes called the Mupu Creek; thence northwardly, following the general direction of said creek to the head thereof, and thence northwardly so as to exclude the dwelling and rancho of - Mutah to the northern boundary of Ventura County.
TOWNSHIP OF SATICOY
Bounded on the west by the eastern boundary of the township of Ventura, on the south by the Pacific Ocean and the northern boundary of the township of Hueneme, on the north by the north boundary of tae county of Ventura, and on the east by the eastern boundary of the county of Ventura.
THE TOWNSHIP OF HUENEME
Bounded on the north by a line beginning at the mouth of the Santa Clara River and running thence eastwardly up the middle of said river to a point opposite the hill on the south side of the river known as and called " Punta de Loma," and thence eastwardly following the summit of the bills immediately south of said river to the eastern boundary of said county of Ventura; on the south by the Pacific Ocean and the southern boundary of Ventura, on the west by the Pacific Ocean, and on the east by the eastern boundary of Ventura. The islands of Anacapa and San Nicolas are attached to and form a part of the township of Hueneme.
The county of Ventura is divided into three Supervisor Districts, designated and numbered as follows:
District No. 1 embraces all the territory included in the township of Ventura.
District No. 2 embraces all the territory within the township of Saticoy.
District No. 3 embraces all the territory within the township of Hueneme.
The county of Ventura is also divided into eight election precincts, named and described respectively as follows:
Precinct of San Buenaventura, embracing all the territory included within the corporate town of San Buenaventura.
Precinct of La Canada, embracing all the territory within the township of Ventura, except the corporate town of San Buenaventura.
Precinct of Mountain View, bounded on the north by the northern boundary of the county of Ventura, on the east by the eastern boundary of the county of Ventura, on the west by the western boundary of the county of Ventura, and on the south by a line extended easterly from a point in the Santa Paula Creek and opposite the eastern end of the Sulphur Mountain, and following the summit of the Sierra Pinal, so called, to the eastern boundary of the county of Ventura, excluding the farms of Joseph Bartlett and — RICHARDSON in the Santa Paula Canon.
Precinct of Sespe, embracing all the territory in the township of Saticoy lying south of the Mountain View Precinct, and east of the precinct of Saticoy.
Precinct of Saticoy, bounded as follows: Beginning at the mouth of the Santa Clara River, and running thence northwesterly along the boundary of the township of Saticoy to the eastern boundary of the township of Ventura; thence along the eastern boundary of the township of Ventura to the Santa Paula Creek; thence southerly, including all the water-shed on either side of the Santa Paula Creek to the mouth of the Santa Paula Canon; thence following the principal stream-bed of the Santa Paula Creek to the Santa Clara River; thence due south to the township of Saticoy; thence westwardly along the southern boundary of the township of Saticoy to the place of beginning.
Precinct of Pleasant Valley, bounded as follows: Beginning at " Fickas Point," or " Punta del Posito," and running thence westerly along the Conejo Road to the northeast corner of William RICE's tract of land at the Saucelito, so called, on the Rancho el Rio de Santa Clara de la Colonia about one and a half miles; thence south to the southeast corner of said Rice's tract; thence southerly to Point Magu on the Pacific Ocean; thence eastwardly following the southern boundary of the county of Ventura to the boundary between the Ranchos Simi and Conejo; thence following the boundary lines between said ranchos to the corner of the Ranchos Calleguas, Las Posas, Simi, and Conejo, and thence following the southern boundary of the Rancho Las Posas to the place of beginning.
Precinct of San Pedro, embracing all the territory within the township of Hueneme lying north of the precinct of Hueneme and north of the precinct of Pleasant Valley, including all of the Ranchos Simi, Las Posas, Santa Clara del Norte, and a part of the Rancho el Rio de Santa Clara de la Colonia.
Precinct of Hueneme, bounded as follows: Beginning at the southeast corner of Rice's tract on the Rancho el Rio de Santa Clara de la Colonia, defined as one of the points on the western boundary of the precinct of Pleasant Valley, and running thence due west to the Pacific Ocean, thence along the shore of the Pacific Ocean southwardly to Point Magu; thence northerly to the place of beginning; the islands of Anacapa and San Nicolas being attached to and forming part of the precinct of Hueneme.
THE FIRST ELECTION
Was held on February 25, 1873. There had been an attempt on the part of the Republicans to forego the usual party issues in making the required nominations, and they accordingly proposed a fusion of the Democrats and Republicans, and an effort to select, irrespective of party, suitable individuals as candidates, whose election would secure benefits not to be had otherwise. A Republican caucus selected J. H. BRADLEY, W. D. HOBSON, and L. C. McKEEBY as a committee to confer with the Democracy in the matter; but through jealousy, or hopes of greater benefits to their side, the latter refused, and both parties nominated candidates.
Sheriff, W. B. BAKER; Assessor, W. D. HOBSON; Treasurer, E. A. EDWARDS; County Clerk, Robert LYON; District Attorney, B. F. WILLIAMS; Superintendent of Schools, Elemer DRAKE; Surveyor, L. D. CHILLSON; Coroner, C. L. BARD.
Sheriff, Frank PETERSON; Assessor, John Z. BARNETT; Treasurer, P. V. McCARTY; County Clerk, Frank MOLLEDA; District Attorney, J. Marion BROOKS; Superintendent of Schools, F. S. S. BUCKMAN; Surveyor, C. J. De MERRITTE; Coroner, C. L. BARD.
THE VOTING PLACES
In the various precincts and the election officials were:—
San Buenaventura—House of William AYRES; Inspector, L. C. McKEEBY; Judges of election, Ysidro OBIOLS, William AYRES.
La Canada—House of Jose de ARNAZ; Inspector, Jose de ARNAZ; Judges, A. D. BARNARD, R. AYERS.
Mountain View—House of Alexander GONZALES; Inspector, William CUDDY; Judges, Joventino MORAGA, Griffin ROBBINS.
Sespe--House of F. A. SPRAGUE; Inspector, S. M. W. EASLEY; Judges, J. A. CONAWAY, F. A. SPRAGUE.
Saticoy—Saticoy School House; Inspector, N. W. BLANCHARD; Judges, W. BAKER, Hugh O'HARA.
Pleasant Valley—House of Solomon WALBRIDGE.; Inspector, W. D. RAMSAUER; Judges, D. ROUDEBUSH, J. S. HASKEY.
San Pedro—House of Roberto DOMINGUEZ; Inspector, L. SNODGRASS; Judges, J. Y. SAVIERS, S. D. PINKARD.
Hueneme—Hueneme School House; Inspector, M. H. ARNOLD; Judges, — BROWNING, Wesley COBLE.
The total vote of the county in this election was 630, the result being generally favorable to the Democrats. The successful candidate for the County Clerkship, F. MOLLEDA, did not live long to enjoy his position; but dying soon after election, was succeeded in the office by S. M. W. EASLEY, who was appointed by the Supervisors, April 2, 1873.
COUNTY OFFICERS IN 1873
District Judge, Pablo de la GUERRA; County Judge, Milton WASON; District Attorney, J. M. BROOKS; County Clerk, Frank Molleda; S. M. W. Bagley; Sheriff, Frank PETERSON; Treasurer, E. A. EDWARDS; Assessor, J. Z. BARNETT; Superintendent Schools, F. S. S. BUCKMAN; Surveyor, C. J. De MERRITTE; Coroner, Dr. C. L. BARD; County Physician, Dr. S. P. GUIBERSON.
Supervisors: Township 1, James DALEY; Township 2, J. A. CONAWAY; Township 3, C. W. THACKER.
Justices of the Peace: Township 1, J. W. GUIBERSON, W. D. HOBSON; Township 2, F. A. SPRAGUE, J. G. RICKER; Township 3, John SAVIORS, R. J. COLYEAR.
During the canvass preceding this election the party lines were generally strictly drawn; there was one notable exception, however: Dr. BARD was nominated for Coroner on both tickets, and of course unanimously elected. This was due more to his popularity as a man and a physician and a desire to pay him a compliment, than to the importance of the office to which he was nominated. He is a brother of the famous financier, T. R. BARD, coming to the State about the same time. He is a physician with a wide practice, to which he seems devoted. His carriage may be seen going day and night, on his errands of mercy. If the thanks and gratitude of the patients he has relieved could be converted into coin, he would undoubtedly be the richest man in the county, for his praise is on every tongue. He is possessed of one of those phenomenal elastic spirits, that never fails him, and whether at a sick bed or in social meeting, his cheerful spirit is always contagious. Every man, woman, and child within his acquaintance regards him as a personal friend, which indeed he is, with all he meets. Among the things San Buenaventura has reason to be proud of, not the least is the presence of a physician like Cephas L. BARD.
With the election of the Supervisors the duties of the Commissioners ceased, which had been to organize and set in motion the county government, which was now done. County Judge Milton WASON has received his official appointment at the same time with the Commissioners - an appointment good until January 1, 1874.
City Council of San Buenaventura: Y. OBIOLS, T. F. CHAPMAN, J. H. BRADLEY, L. C. McKEEBY, F. Molleda. City Attorneys, HINES & BROOKS; City Marshal, M. M. HENDERSON.
CEPHAS L. BARD, M.D.
Was born at Chambersburgh, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, April 7, 1843. Inheriting a taste for the study of medicine, nearly all of his maternal ancestors being physicians, and on his paternal side being connected with Drs. John and Samuel BARD, founders of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, he early determined to devote himself to the medical profession, and after completing a course of classical studies at the Chambersburgh Academy, he entered the office of Dr. A. H. SEUSENY, one of Pennsylvania's most talented physicians. Whilst an office student, the reverses of McCLELLAN occurred, and Dr. BARD, yielding to patriotism and responding to the call for volunteers, enlisted as private in Company A, 126th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, and with that regiment participated in the battles of Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburgh, and Chancellorsville. The term of service having expired, he returned to his studies, attending lectures at the Jefferson Medical College. Again, yielding to a sense of patriotism, he, after passing a satisfactory examination and being appointed Assistant Surgeon of Pennsylvania Volunteers, went to the front, and with his regiment participated in all of the successes and reverses of the Army of the Potomac, until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. Returning to his old home, he practiced his profession until 1868, when he removed to San Buenaventura, California, he being the first American physician to locate there.
It is worthy of note that Dr. Samuel BARD was General Washington's physician, and that Col. Robert Parker, Dr. BARD's maternal great grandfather, was a Colonel under Washington, and from him received special recognition for gallant services.
Dr. BARD's time being fully occupied by professional duties, he has had little leisure for political matters, although he is known to entertain decided opinions on most national questions, which, however has not prevented his having numerous friends, as was shown by the election of 1873.
Immediately on the establishment of the county government, certain changes were made in the road districts. All the territory in the First Supervisor District was made into the San Buenaventura Road District, and R. R. HALL was appointed overseer thereof. The Third Supervisor District was to constitute the Saticoy Road District—M. D. L. TODD, overseer. Mountain View and Sespe Road Districts were united under the name of Sespe Road District, and Ari HOPPER became overseer.
COUNTY BONDS ISSUED.
In May, 1873, the Supervisors ordered the issue of interest-bearing bonds to the amount of $20,000, to meet current expenses; and bids for these bonds were advertised for. The Board also authorized F. A. THOMPSON to transcribe such portions of the records of Santa Barbara County as related to Ventura County, paying $4,000 for the service.
SETTLEMENT WITH SANTA BARBARA.
On April 13, 1875, a final settlement with Santa Barbara was effected under the terms of the Act of March 22, 1872. C. E. HUSE and Ulpiano YNDART were Commissioners on the part of Santa Barbara, and Thomas R. BARD and Charles LINDLEY for Ventura, making the proper estimates, decided that the latter county was entitled to $581.52. Their report was as follows:
Amount of indebtedness, according to the statement of F. W. FROST, Treasurer of Santa Barbara County.
The proportion thereof belonging to Ventura County was fixed at $581.52.
Immediately upon the establishment of the county seat at San Buenaventura, the question of procuring suitable buildings for the use of the county officials became of importance. The Signal, in summing up the reasons why new buildings should be erected, said that the rent of the private buildings then in use by the county amounted to $1,044 per annum: SPEAR's building costing $720, the District Attorney's office $144, the Treasurer's office $120, and Jail $60, while it cost $3.00 daily to pay for guarding the prisoners, in the absence of a suitable house of detention. The total annual expenditures, then, were $2,139, " all of which," said the Signal, "might be saved in the event of erecting a new Court House."
The result of the matter was that the Board of Supervisors appropriated $6,000, received from the sale of the before-mentioned county bonds, to the erection of a Court House, conditioned upon the donation of $4,000 by private parties for that purpose. In addition they made the grant contingent upon the gift of a suitable site. Bishop AMAT, head of the diocese of Southern California, had previously offered for this purpose three blocks of the old Mission Garden, and he now came forward and renewed the proffer, with the proviso that a $10,000 building should be put up within two years. These terms were accepted, and the $4,000 being subscribed, work was soon begun on the Court House, the contract being let to W. D. HOBSON and T. B. STEEPLETON, by whom its conditions were carried out conscientiously.