Chapter XXIX - EASTERN PORTION
Rancho La Colonia -- First Cultivation -- John SCARLETT -- P. B. HAWKINS -- John G. HILL -- Edward R. BENCHLEY -- Hueneme War -- Artesian Wells -- Growth of the Town -- Good Templars --Hueneme in 1850 -- Shipments of Grain -- The Light-house -- James FENTON -- Guadalasca Rancho -- W. R. BROOME's Estate -- Las Posas Rancho -- Peter RICE -- Simi Rancho -- Tapo Rancho -- Springville -- J. B. PALIN -- Independent Baptist Church -- Wm. A. HUGHES -- The Calleguas -- Juan CAMARILLO -- The Conejo Rancho.
The Rancho La Colonia, or Rio de Santa Clara, as finally confirmed, comprises a tract of about 48,883 acres, having the San Miguel Rancho on the northwest, separated from it by the Santa Clara River, to the north the Rancho Santa Clara del Norte and Government land, to the east and south a small triangular piece of public land and the Rancho Guadalasca, and to the southwest the Pacific Ocean. The history of the contention over the boundaries of this grant will illustrate the legal war common to most ranch histories.
LITIGATION OVER THE TITLE
In May, 1837, eight old soldiers petitioned Governor Juan B. ALVARADO for permission to settle with their families on the Santa Clara River. They were Valentine COTA, Salvador VALENZUELA, Leandro GONZALES, Rafael GONZALES, Vicente PICO, Rafael VALDES, Vincent FELIZ, and Jose MARIA. May 22d the Governor granted their prayer, upon condition that they should occupy, and directed the authorities of the municipality of Santa Barbara to point out the lands upon which they might locate. The record of possession is dated September 28, 1840. A translation of the claims of the grantees was filed May 10, 1852, before the Board of United States Land Commissioners, appointed under the act of Congress of March 3, 1851, to settle the private land claims in the State of California. The original papers were filed December 29, 1852. No expediente (a map and description of same) or other record evidence of a grant to Valentine COSTA et al, for the Rio de Santa Clara could be found amongst the archives, and the claim was rejected, October 31, 1854. Five years later the case came up on appeal before Judge OZIER, of the United States District Court, of whom it is stated that his decrees of confirmation have become notorious as having caused great litigation and much misery amongst the poor settlers. In June, 1857, he reversed the decision of the Commissioners, declaring the grant to be valid, and fixed the boundaries as follows:
"Beginning on the Santa Clara River, in the place called El Paso del Rio, and thence easterly two and a half leagues to a hill, called the En Medio, on the side of the main road to El Conejo; thence southerly to the sea-shore, between two esteros, three leagues; thence over the plain and along the sea-shore northwest to the river, where there is a cienega or marsh, three leagues; thence over the plain and along the bank of the river to the point of beginning, one and a half leagues; stakes having been driven in each corner, as is more particularly described in the juridical possession, which is of record in this case, and to which reference is had in aid of said description."
The decree of confirmation was filed June 4, 1857. An appeal was taken to the United States Supreme Court, which was dismissed, and the decree of the lower court became final. The Mexican measurements were thus left to settle the question as to boundaries, and all that the Surveyor-General of the United States could legally do was to locate the rancho in accordance with said measurements.
In the meantime, sixteen days later than the application of Valentine COTA et al., viz., upon January 15, 1853, Guadalupe Ortega de CHAPMAN filed another claim before the Commissioners, which was also rejected. This claim was also appealed to the U. S. District Court, and heard before Judge OZIER, who confirmed a part of the same land to Mrs. CHAPMAN that four years before he had awarded to Valentine COTA, et al. The words of the award, though differing from the former decision, will be recognized by those acquainted with the locality as covering a part of the same ground:
"The lands confirmed are those known under the name of Rancho San Pedro, situate in the county of Santa Barbara, being the last rancho on the left bank of the Rio de Santa Clara towards the sea, and bounded as follows: Commencing at a point on the left bank of said river, and opposite the center of the old Corral of San Pedro, situate on the left bank of the river, and a short distance from the same, thence in a direct line to the center of said corral; and from thence in a direct line towards the Rodeo Hueneme to a point in front of a small lake situate near the sea, thence in a direct line (to be so run as to exclude from the rancho hereby confirmed the said small salt lake) to the high water-mark of the Pacific Ocean; thence along the line of the high water-mark aforesaid to the mouth of the River Santa Clara; thence up the left bank of the same and along the left bank of the river to the place of beginning, including in the limits of the land hereby confirmed, one-half of the aforesaid Corral Viejo de San Pedro, a certain rodeo formerly called 'The Rodeo of the Willow', and a place called 'The Estero'; provided that the quantity of land hereby confirmed shall not exceed the maximum quantity prescribed by the colonization law of Mexico of 1824, of eleven square leagues of land."
Three separate surveys were made by as many surveyors, each survey being larger than the previous one. But the claim of Mrs. CHAPMAN, (Mrs. CHAPMAN, the wife of Joseph (Jose) CHAPMAN, of the romantic affair of the Ortega Rancho, mentioned on page 38) being later found to be included in the earlier decree of confirmation to Valentine COTA et al., fell to the ground as null and void.
Returning to the consideration of the Superior Court confirmation to Valentine COTA et al, it had become necessary to fix the boundaries by a new survey. This was made by G. H. THOMPSON, U.S. Deputy Surveyor, in 1867, and the results of the survey published in November and December of the same year. The rancho was thus made to contain 44,833.3 acres. This result was retained in the Surveyor-General's office, open to inspection and objection, for more than ninety days, the time prescribed by law. Bishop AMAT presented objections, which were waived, and the survey approved June 22, 1869. The case was transmitted to the General Land Office upon AMAT's appeal. December 3, 1869, the decision of the Surveyor-General was affirmed.
July 17, 1869, a number of settlers, who had squatted on what they considered public land, appeared before the Commissioners of the Land Office, by BRITTAIN & GREY, and set forth why they had not appeared before, to protest against the survey. They filed a letter of their attorney, James F. STUART, who explained their laches for not contesting the matter before the Surveyor-General. In spite of their representations the survey was again approved. The settlers then appealed to the Secretary of the Interior, S. D. COX, by BRITTAIN, GREY & STUART. June 15, 1870, Cox modified the decision of the General Land Office, cutting off 17,000 acres from the eastern portion. A copy of this decision was transmitted to the Surveyor-General, June 16, 1870, with orders to amend the survey accordingly. June 23d, the original claimants applied to the Secretary of the Interior for a modification of his decision, so as to direct the Surveyor-General to take proof as to where the eastern boundary should be located to satisfy the decree. This application was denied. May 26, 1871, Secretary COX having been succeeded by Secretary Delano, the claimants applied for a review of his predecessor's action. The Secretary, in order to satisfy himself of the probable grounds of COX’s action, instructed the General Land Office to select its most skillful experts, familiar with Spanish titles and surveys, to make a personal examination and report. Surveyor-General HARDENBURG, and T. Silas REED, of Wyoming, were appointed for this purpose, with Eugene A. FISH as Secretary. They came upon the ground, HARDENBURG resigned, but REED, however, made a rigid examination, taking much testimony. Among the witnesses was Antonio RODRIGUEZ, one of the Mexican officers who gave the orginal possession to the colonists.
All this time squatters were taking possession.
Reed made an elaborate report, accompanied by a map, and recommended the approval of THOMPSON's survey. Whereupon, Secretary DELANO, upon the joint opinion of Geo. H. WILLIAMS, Attorney-General, and W. H. SMITH, Assistant Attorney-General, as to his power to grant a rehearing, re-opened the case, set aside the order of Secretary COX, and directed the approval of the survey and patents to issue, which was done. Bills have been introduced into Congress to re-open the survey, but thus far all attempts have failed.
Christian BORCHARD, in company with his son, J. E. BORCHARD, settled upon the Colonia Rancho in November, 1867. They moved into an old adobe formerly occupied by the GONZALES family. Their first crop, the first planted on the rancho, was wheat and barley. Thirty acres of each were sown in the spring of 1868. At harvest time it was found that the wheat had rusted so badly as to be worthless, and was hence left standing. The barley yielded eighteen centals to the acre. It was estimated that the wheat would have averaged five tons to the acre as hay. The BORCHARD place is about nine miles from the county seat, on the Hueneme road. C. BORCHARD lives near Springville. J. E. BORCHARD—to prove how thickly mustard grew—at one time stated that he was one of two men who gathered, with a remodeled old-fashioned Mayberry header, twenty-five tons of wild black mustard-seed in two months and a half. The whole country being open, they moved from place to place, just where the mustard stood thickest. They cleaned it and sold it for two cents per pound. M. C. BORCHARD was the projector of the enterprise. James Leonard settled on the Colonia in 1868.
Cutler ARNOLD, of Hueneme, came to the valley in 1868, and settled on the ranch now owned by
Who was born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, June 18, 1825, his father being Richard SCARLETT and 'his mother's maiden name Elizabeth ARMSTRONG. There were four children in the family, John being the second child and only son. His parents were farmers, and he grew up to the same occupation, spending his youth at the schools of his native land, and aiding in the work of the farm. In 1852, he bade farewell to Ireland and emigrated to America, locating in Philadelphia, where he engaged in business as a dyer, and continued it for three years. Still westward, like the star of Bishop Berkeley, seemed his destiny, and in 1857 he sailed from New York by steamer, via the Isthmus of Panama, for California, arriving at San Francisco in March of that year. He soon obtained employment as fireman in the San Francisco Sugar Refinery, but showing himself very efficient and faithful to his duties, he was quickly made assistant engineer, and then promoted to be first engineer. This position he held for three years, and then went into business for himself, moving to Dublin, Amador Valley, Alameda County, where he built a hotel. The business of hotel keeping he continued for ten years, when, in 1871, he leased his house and engaged in the business of sheep and wool growing. During the succeeding three years, he successfully pursued this lucrative business, and then, in 1874, purchased the farm upon which he now resides. This fine property, comprising 700 acres of most excellent land, is situated on the Santa Clara River, in Ventura County, three miles from the county seat. An illustration of his pleasant home is elsewhere published. Here he has lived with his family since 1875. Mr. SCARLETT was married September 22, 1864, to Miss Annie LYSTER, a native of Australia. They have four children, three girls and one son.
P. B. HAWKINS,
Who lives three miles east of Hueneme, came to the county in 1869. He had been here in 1850, purchasing cattle. Seeing that the land was goodly, he returned at a later day, and made a home. Pendleton B. HAWKINS was born in the town of Paris, Henry County, Tennessee, in 1824, and there lived until be was six years old, when his parents moved to Missouri. That was in 1830, a period in the history of the Republic when the Mississippi River was the western border of civilization, only a comparative few venturing across into Missouri or Arkansas or Louisiana, where the great rivers of the West opened channels of travel. Missouri was the only State west of the river, excepting a part of Louisiana; and all the vast region from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains was called Missouri Territory. In this frontier State, Mr. HAWKINS grew to manhood, becoming familiar with the work of the farm, the management of stock, and the ways of life that make one self-reliant and able to make his way in the world, wherever his lot might be cast. In 1850, Mr. HAWKINS came to California, and, like the great majority of the immigrants of those early years, sought his wealth in the placers of the Sierra Nevada. Continuing mining for three years, he then tried stock-raising, and for this, located in the San Joaquin Valley. For a period of six years he remained in that valley, which was then the great cattle range of California—the broad acres that now produce so many millions of centals of wheat yearly being then considered fitted only for grazing.
In 1855, Mr. HAWKINS married Miss Adeline DICKEY, and in 1860, moved with his family to Eastern Oregon and there continued his business of stock-raising. Soon thereafter the discovery of mines of gold and silver in Idaho induced another removal, and he went to Boise City in 1862, engaging in farming and freighting until in 1869, when he disposed of his business in the snowy region of Idaho, and sought the more genial clime of the Southern California Coast, settling upon his present ranch, three miles east of Hueneme, Ventura County. Here he re-established his stock-raising business, and also engaged in farming, having upwards of 200 acres of fine land, well adapted to his purpose.
The residence of Mr. HAWKINS is shown in an illustration in these pages. His family consists of himself and wife and ten children—six daughters and four sons.
Jacob GRIES also came in 1869, and has farmed ever since on the rancho he now owns.
Henry W. OLD started his present home near Hueneme on July 23, 1869. He also has a place on the Conejo Rancho, fourteen miles from Hueneme, where he has large stock-raising interests.
Thomas SCOTT, the railroad king, who had purchased the Colonia from its Spanish owners, as a possible terminus for a trans-continental railroad, sold it in 1869 to Thomas R. BARD for $150,000. The year of 1873 is noted for the number of artesian wells sunk upon the rancho, several of which proved to be flowing. That of P. B. HAWKINS is said to have been the first one which struck a flow. The Colonia Rancho includes the greater part of the broad expanse of the Santa Clara Valley, oceanward. The country between the bluffs of the river and Hueneme is nearly level, with vast fields of grain and flax, presenting a scene at once peaceful and busy. The farm-houses are hidden away among stately groves of eucalyptus, pepper, cypress, India-rubber and pine trees, while the fields, for the most part, are unfenced, and reach far and wide. The views are necessarily limited to the far-off mountains and the immediate neighborhood along the road. The rancho extends along the ocean about eight miles, and back into the interior ten miles. The soil is variable, oftentimes even on the same acre. In the vicinity of Hueneme and along the coast, it is sandy, and uniformly produces good crops of grain and corn, while farther from the coast it is often clayey, and heavier and more difficult to work, but produces well in a favorable season. The lower portions of the rancho are subject to exudations of salt and alkali, which materially interfere with agricultural operations.
As illustrating the power of the soil, the following incident may be related of one of the Colonia's most enterprising farmers,
JOHN G. HILL
In 1882, he thought, from the appearance of his barley field, that 4,500 sacks would hold the crop, and he purchased that many. By the time the threshing-machine had labored for one day, he concluded he could fill 1,000 more, and ordered them. Next day, as the pile of grain still increased, and the pile of sacks diminished, he ordered another thousand. The result was not less than 6,500 sacks, from what he estimated as a 4,500-sack crop, and he is a good judge of grain too.
Mr. HILL was born March 14, 1845, in Paris, Monroe County, Missouri. When he was seven years of age his parents immigrated to California, crossing the plains with ox teams, and settled in Napa County. There his mother still resides, his father having died in 1870. Mr. HILL remained in Napa County until 1868, when he removed to his present home in Ventura. This is located about three miles from the seaport of Hueneme, and ten miles from San Buenaventura, the county seat. A view of the residence and surroundings is published in this volume.
Mr. HILL is principally engaged in farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of fine blooded stock, of which he is a great admirer. He has a number of thorough-bred horses, especially of the Lexington and Ben Wade stock, that are his pride and delight. In their introduction he is doing great good to Ventura County. It is a pleasure for him to exhibit them to the many interested and admiring visitors to his well-improved and handsome place. He is also a specialist in hog breeding.
Mr. HILL was married June 20, 1866, to Miss Aranetta RICE, of Contra Costa County, and they have been blessed with two children, both sons.
The surface water on the Colonia Rancho is generally unfit for household use. Fair water, however, is obtained in wells 43, 90, 200, and 343 feet deep. The Santa Clara Ditch, which flows through Springville, irrigates a part of the eastern portion of the rancho; but everywhere artesian wells capable of irrigating 160 acres, if ever needed, can be obtained at a depth of from 125 to 150 feet, and at a cost of about $225. It is stated that the number of wells at present is nearly fifty, those of Wesley CABLE, P. B. HAWKINS, M. BACON, L. SUTTON, and John G. HILL being amongst the most notable ones. Corn, barley, and flax have been the exclusive crops, but late experiments prove that the rust-proof wheats, White Russian and Odessa, will yield large crops. Forty acres have averaged forty bushels to the acre. Apricots. apples, quinces, figs, pears, peaches, and English walnuts have been successfully cultivated. Lemons and oranges make a rapid growth. Including 6,000 acres owned by J. D. PATTERSON, about half the lands have been sold to actual settlers, who have been improving their farms for a number of years. The balance is offered for sale or lease in small farms of from forty to 160 acres each. Tenants are supplied with a house and a barn. Leases are for one-fifth of the crop delivered at Hueneme, with first right to purchase at the expiration of the lease. Many of the farms offered for lease have artesian wells.
The climate is excellent, no malaria, no ague. Four school districts maintain school for the greater part of the year. The town of Hueneme, where large warehouses and a wharf have been built, is on the tract. Attention is called to the salient facts in the career of
EDWARD KELLOGG BENCHLEY
As affording an interesting and instructive example which the young gentlemen of the San Francisco metropolis would do well to imitate.
His farm comprises an area of 320 acres under a high degree of cultivation. The fortunate owner is a California boy, Mr. BENCHLEY, having been born in San Francisco, August 9, 1854. In that city he grew up to manhood, obtaining his education in its excellent public schools, and there was trained to thorough business habits. When twenty-two years old he made a journey to Japan and China on a tour of business and pleasure. In 1876, after this very pleasant and instructive trip, he came to Ventura County, and took a position in the office of Thomas R. BARD, where he remained for a period of nine months. He then bought 160 acres of the farm he now occupies, and engaged in its cultivation. Making a success in his new vocation, he added another 160 acres, thus doubling his farm. Mr. BENCHLEY is a strong advocate of thorough cultivation, and his success is convincing proof that his theory is correct. In 1877 he married Miss Emma WAGNER, a native of Wisconsin, and they have two children.
Among the fine engravings which adorn this book, and illustrate the homes and scenery of Ventura County, will be found on giving a view of his residence, which is located about four miles northeast of Hueneme, and about the same distance from Springville.
Is situated upon a projection of the Colonia Rancho into the sea, about twelve miles from Point Magu on the south, an equal distance from San Buenaventura on the north, and eight miles from Springville.
The town was started by W. E. BARNARD, of Ventura (now of Oakland), G. S. GILBERT, and H. P. FLINT, in June, 1870. It was urged against the site that it would be overflowed at high tide; that the morasses and swamps about the town would prevent any communication with the surrounding country; and furthermore, that it was a part of the Colonia Rancho, whose proprietors, indeed, undertook to dispossess the founders of the town.
The Hueneme Lighter Company, composed of Chas. H. BAILEY, W. E. BARNARD, Christopher CHRISTENSENS, and Daniel DEMPSEY, began work in 1870. The first shipments were made in June, and were composed of lumber. Experienced persons had prophesied dismal results. They declared that no goods could be safely landed; that the place would be overwhelmed by the fury of the waves, or by devastating floods from the Santa Clara River; but the result fully confirmed the wisdom of Mr. BARNARD's opinions. So successful were the landings that a store was started by Messrs. GILBERT (now of San Buenaventura), FLINT & BARNARD, and arrangements made to have the steamer Kalorama make regular visits. Her first trip to Hueneme was made June 20, 1870, when fifty tons of grain were shipped without difficulty, and the practicability of the landing firmly established. Sixty thousand sacks of grain were shipped during the first year. All shipments thus far had been by means of lighters. A few disasters, such as the loss of some valuable machinery destined for the oil-works, and the probability of the place doing a great business in the future, demanded and justified the building of a wharf. Accordingly, T. R. BARD and R. G. SURDAM petitioned the Board of Supervisors for the right to construct a wharf at that point. Their prayer was granted August 4, 1871, and the work began and was finished the same month. It was 900 feet long, and had a depth of eighteen feet of water at its outer end. It was connected, by means of a tram-way, with a warehouse built on the shore at the same time. Corrals for stock were also built. This enterprise reaped its just reward within a short time, in the shape of a large volume of business. On September 12, 1871, the County Board of Supervisors fixed the maximum rates to be charged at Hueneme Wharf as follows: Steamers and vessels owned in port, 100 tons or less, $25.00 per year; steams and vessels owned in port, 200 tons or upwards, $50.00 per year; other vessels, $10.00 per trip; lighters or steamers used in discharging freight, 25 tons register, $3.00 per day; 25 to 100 tons register, $7.50 per day; 100 tons register or upwards, $10.00 per day; first-class freight, per ton, $2.00; second-class freight, hay, light machinery, and petroleum, per ton, $1.50; lumber, per M, $1.50; shingles, per M, 15 cents; sheep or hogs, each, 10 cents; cattle or horses, each, $1.50; single packages, 25 cents.
However pleasant the conception of the wharf enterprise may have been to its projectors, it was not brought forth a perfect creation without severe travail, and the promise, if not the execution, of much bloodshed. To fully understand the matter it is necessary to retrogress a little. It should be remembered that T. R BARD bought the Colonia Rancho of Thomas SCOTT in 1869; that W. E. BARNARD was the first settler at Hueneme, and claimed his place as being public land; that at this time the question of the proper boundaries was yet awaiting final decision before the United States authorities.
Squatters to the number of over a hundred had settled upon that tract of 17,000 acres which Secretary COX, upon June 15, 1870, ruled was public land. Among them was W. E. BARNARD and J. F. WILLSON, who were prominent in the Squatter's League, an organization looking to the protection of the interests of the settlers. T. R. BARD brought suit in the District Court to dispossess BARNARD, but his cause failed. However, nothing daunted, and anticipating a final decision in his favor, which was afterward made by Secretary DELANO, and wishing to lose no time in the development of his property by the building of a wharf, he determined upon a coup de main. Daring the night he imported lumber and hands to the proposed site of the wharf, and at five o'clock in the morning threw up a fence enclosing it. Daylight, which betrayed the deed to the settlers, found them astonished, but not dismayed. It happened that a settler's meeting had been called for that day, and when the neighboring squatters had assembled, after duly viewing the work accomplished, violent counsel inflamed their minds to such a degree that they proposed to meet Mr. BARD's strategic measure with a counter-move, which should prove a finishing stroke to him and to his enterprise.
Some time previous to this a picnic party had erected a frame-work for a swing, and over this the settlers threw a rope with a hangman's noose on the end, designed to accommodate Mr. BARD's neck. Mr. BARD, supported by his faction, refused to become a victim. Both parties, in imitation of the Homeric combatants, expressed their determination not to yield, but to vanquish effectually the opposing force. Fortunately, neither party was "armed to the teeth." BARD's party numbered four rifles and several pistols, and to what extent the settlers were armed is not known, but it is said that a number of persons with rifles were stationed behind the hillocks, resolved to shoot in case the affray began. W. E. BARNARD seemed to be leader of the squatters, and eloquently urged them to maintain their rights at all hazards. BARD assured BARNARD that he should cover him with his rifle, and if his party commenced an assault upon the fencing party that he should certainly shoot him. Whereupon, BARNARD walked forward and pushed over some portions of the fence, but no attempt was made to attack the men of the opposing party. The crowd shortly dispersed, and the building of the wharf went on bravely. A compromise was effected by both claimants giving bonds for a title when the ownership should be legally established.
As early as July 15, 1871, the artesian wells in the vicinity of Hueneme were attracting a great deal of notice. That of T. R. BARD was but 147 feet deep but threw up an immense volume of water, which soon flooded several acres, necessitating the construction of flumes to carry away the surplus water.
THOMPSON and JUDSON built the first two houses in Hueneme, in 1871. The town was laid out by T. R. BARD. D. D. McCOY, of San Buenaventura, settled at Hueneme in 1871, and built the Pioneer Hotel, over which neat hostelry he still presides.
GROWTH OF THE TOWN
Soon after the termination of the difficulty between the settlers and BARD, the embryo town received quite an accession to its population. Amongst the newcomers were DeTROY Bros. & Co., who opened a meat shop; L. CERF & Co., who started a new and large general merchandise store; William JUDKINS, hotel; DESPAIN & BARNETT, and also Caldwell & White, saloon-keepers. The pioneer store of GILBERT, BARNARD & Co. was enlarged to meet the increase of business. Within a year after the town was started, Hueneme had seventeen families and forty-eight school children.
In September, 1872, it contained two stores for the sale of general merchandise, L. CERF & Co. and GILBERT & FLINT; a grocery store, RONDEBUSH & BROWNING; two lumber yards, W. E. BARNARD and W. G. HUGHES, respectively; one hotel, D. D. McCOY; a restaurant, Mrs. JUDKINS; a fruit and confectionery store, a hog yard, a livery stable, two blacksmith shops, a barber shop, a carpenter shop, a private school, and vessels lying alongside the wharf, loading and unloading. During the summer of 1873 many artesian wells were sunk near Hueneme.
On May 5, 1873, the Hueneme School District was established; also, road districts for that vicinity. In 1874, Hueneme had several large stores, and contained representatives of most of the trades, and had become a lively town. In 1877 a matanza was established to kill and utilize cattle and sheep which were likely to perish during the dry season which was anticipated, and which, in fact, had already begun.
In April, 1879, a lodge of Independent Order of Good Templars, No. 236, was organized, with twenty members, and the following officers: Leonard C. CLARK, W. C. T. ; Miss Belle PITTS, W. R. S.; Miss Ida POTTER, L. R. S.; Alpha BAKER, W. S.; F. F. KAUTMAN, W. A. S.; Miss Effie M. LILY, W. V. T. and H. F. KAUFMAN, P. W. T.
The order sprung from the labors of Levi LELAN, who delivered a lecture that aroused the people from their apathy on this vital question. Mrs. Emily PITTS-STEVENS, whose effective temperance work is several times chronicled in these pages, infused new vitality into the lodge by the substantial results of her tireless work in that vicinity. Through her influence sixty-five persons joined in one night. Amongst those who have joined the lodge were several confirmed drunkards, who, it is believed, have been thoroughly reformed. The lodge now numbers 128 members, and is a power in that neighborhood. Frequent literary exercises keep up the interest. Meetings are held in a neat hall belonging to the lodge, and which cost $3,000. The present officers are: Mrs. C. A. GILGER, W. C. T.; Miss Laura ALEXANDER, W. V. T.; A. PAKER, W. S.; Miss C. HICKS, W. T.; L. ARNOLD, W. F. S.; and D. ZELLER, W. C.
In 1880 the business of the town was conducted by T. R. BARD & Co., Wharf & Lighter Co.; SALISBURY & BARD, lumber; James RASMUSSEN, cabinetmaker; R. G. LIVINGSTON, postmaster and dealer in general merchandise; WOLFF & LEVY, dealers in general merchandise; D. D. McCOY, hotel; C. B. McCOY, butcher; L. C. Clark, harness and saddles; James Ham. and B. H. KORTS, liquors; H. W. WARD, blacksmith; H. B. STOVELL, Notary Public; T. R. BARD, land agent for the La Colonia, Simi and Las Posas Ranchos.
The success of the wharf enterprise has proven the sagacity of its projector and builder, T. R. BARD. In 1872, 86,900 centals of grain were shipped; in 1873, 145,000 centals; in 1874, 198,500 centals. In 1878, 264,336 sacks of grain were received, of which 140,217 sacks were shipped during the year, 10,418 sacks - being shipped by steamer. The shipments expressed in sacks were as follows: For August - per Ventura, 4,760; Beebee, 9,336; Hueneme, 10,818; Suldcn, 12,029. For September - per Ida Schramer, 6,999; Una, 6,442; Serena Thayer, 5,073; H. Madison, 4,261; M. Burke, 4,551; M. E. Russ, 6,833. For October - per N. L. Drew, 2,920; Maxim, 3,555; T. A. Hyde, 2,900; Sarah, 3,040; Hayward, 5,570. For November - per Beebee, 10,114; Parks, 4,324; Ventura, 5,900; Page, 2,000; Ingalls, 2,900; Drew, 2,581. For December - per Alice Kimball, 4,018; H. Madison, 4,216; Big River, 3,221.
About 5,000 head of bogs were also shipped. One thousand tons of freight were received, together with 800,000 feet of lumber. The shipments for the year ending April 30, 1878, were: Barley, 3,893 sacks; wheat, 50 sacks; corn, 6,680 sacks; beans, 1,002 sacks; mustard, 2,224 sacks; rock soap, 37,735 pounds; wool, 1,231 bales; hay, 1,228 bales; hogs, 4,070 head; calves, 32 head; petroleum, 862 barrels; hides, 1,510; pelts, 381 bundles; eggs, 53 boxes; other freight, 190 tons.
The abbreviated report for the year ending March 31, 1880, is as follows: Receipts, $20,100.92; expenditures, $10,461.96; earnings, $9,638.96, or about one and one-sixth per cent per month on the cost.
The staples shipped to same date were as follows: Sacks of corn, 16,888; sacks of barley, 232,995; sacks of flax-seed, 2,012; sacks of rye, 352; sacks of wheat. 21,479; sacks of beans, 3,156; sacks of mustard, 406: sacks of oats, 140; boxes of eggs, 149; hogs, 10,035; bales of wool (64,000 pounds), 160; sheep, 418.
The growing business demanded a longer wharf, and it was extended to a total length of about 1,500 feet. The assertion is made that it is now the best wharf on the Southern Coast. Successive warehouses have been built, which are the largest south of San Francisco. At present there are four of these structures of dimensions as follows: 66x120, area, 7,920 square feet; 80x320, area, 25,600 square feet; 60x320, area, 19,200 square feet; 65x66, area, 4,290 square feet; total area, 57,010 square feet, or something over an acre of surface. Multiplying this by an average height of twelve feet, the contents are found to be 684,120 cubic feet, or a total capacity of about 300,000 sacks. Twenty-seven platform cars, running on the tram-way, facilitate the handling of freight.
Thos. R. BARD is the principal owner of these improvements, and the manager of the business transacted.
The growth of the town has kept pace with that of the wharf enterprise. It contains a hotel, several stores and saloons, telegraph and post-office, wharf and steamship offices, and about twenty-five dwellings. The mechanical arts are also well represented. The school house is a prominent building.
Hueneme is the "embarcadero" of a large back country, and derives its chief importance from that fact, particularly as being the shipping point for the: rich agricultural valleys and pastoral hills of the Simi, Conejo, and Santa Clara Ranchos, Pleasant Valley, and the products from the wonderful rich lands of the Colonia Rancho at its door. The water supply is from one artesian well. Considering the quantity used and that which is running to waste from this well, the reader will have an idea of the abundance of artesian water found here. The water has a slight trace of sulphur in it, but is good tasting and very healthy.
Hueneme is situated on nearly level ground, almost touching the sea, only a sandy beach intervening. The town will grow and expand as long as freight can be more cheaply floated on waterways than rolled on railways. A mild climate prevails here; the sea breeze blows from the west; elixir permeates every cubic foot of this sea air; each breath inhaled and every drink taken of the artesian water, is so much clear health gained. There are few places where quinine would be so likely to sell at a discount as at Hueneme.
In the future, here will be a popular seaside resort for bathing and fishing, and sailing over to the islands. Good roads lead out north, east, and west, with the ocean for its outlet on the south. The Ventura and Los Angeles Stage Line, carrying a tri-weekly mail, passes through here. The attractions of a fine climate, rich soil, good business opportunities with the immense increase of wealth that is sure to follow a diversified industry, gives a promising outlook for Hueneme.
Hueneme can be reached by steamer from San Francisco, fare, $12.00 for first-class passage, or by rail to Newhall on the Southern Pacific Railroad, and thence by stage, fifty-five miles. The freight on grain from Hueneme to San Francisco, distance 321 miles, is from $1.50 to $1.80 per ton by schooners, and $2.50 per ton on steamers.
The most notable object in the landscape about Hueneme is the residence of Mr. BARD, some half a mile distant. It is completely embowered in a grove of eucalyptus and pepper trees, which are doing remarkably well. The eucalyptus trees are some thirty or forty feet high. The pepper tree makes an excellent wind-break.
The Hueneme light-house situated one mile west of the wharf, is a two-story brick structure of the Swiss and Elizabethan style combined. It contains ten large rooms, with closets, offices, etc., and is designed to accommodate two families. The revolving light is of the fourth order, with fine French prisms and concentrators, and may be seen at its elevation of fifty feet above the sea-level, forty miles away. About three gallons of oil is consumed weekly. A regular memorandum is kept of everything done, such as the time of lighting and extinguishing the lamp. The light was first exhibited December 15, 1874. The successive keepers have been, Samuel ENSIGN, J. A. McFARLAND, and E. H. PINNEY. Mr. McFARLAND has been in the service for about twelve years, three years and a half of which he was located at Alcatraz.
Is a native of the "Emerald Isle," born September 29, 1827, in County Carlow, Ireland, remaining in the mother country until 1849. Upon his arrival in America, he sought employment on a farm and worked one season in Canada, and then removed to Oneida County, New York. Tarrying but a short time in the Empire State he went west, and for one year was engaged in business in Columbus, Ohio. From the capital of the Buckeye State he moved to Cook County. Illinois, where he dealt in cattle for one year; then removing to Kankakee County, he engaged in farming and stock-raising, which occupied his time until in 1854, when he made the journey across the plains to California. At Placerville he made a halt, and there tried his luck at mining but did not continue long at that precarious, but fascinating vocation. Continuing his westward march, he entered the Sacramento Valley and commenced the business of farming. That suited his tastes and rewarded his labor, and there he continued until 1869. The produce of the farm Mr. FENLON usually hauled to the mines for a market, and after the discovery of the silver mines of Nevada extended his marketings to Virginia City, and the mines of that region. In 1869, Mr. FENLON disposed of his property in Sacramento County and removed to his present home in Ventura, which is the subject of an illustration in this volume. The ranch contains 160 acres of excellent land, located about two miles east of Hueneme, and is well adapted to farming and stock-raising. Mr. FENLON was married in 1854 to Miss Catherine SMITH. By this marriage they have three children, of whom two are sons and one a daughter.
Comprises the extreme southern part of the county, bordering on Los Angeles County about two miles, on the coast about eight miles, and extending into the interior about ten miles. To the northwest lies the La Colonic Rancho, Government lands, and the Calleguas Rancho, and to the east the El Conejo Rancho, and Los Angeles County. It was a grant of 30,593.85 acres to Isabel Yorba, May 6, 1846, the title being confirmed by the United States Land Commissioners, that were appointed soon after the conquest of California, to determine the validity of the Spanish claims, it being stipulated in the treaty of peace, that such Mexicans as chose to remain in California and become citizens of the United States, should be secured in the possession of their lands and other property.
The valleys, plains and mountain land form a romantic and picturesque tract on the southern slope of the Sierra del Conejo, a range of mountains generally called by the settlers " Old Bony." The range is a volcanic elevation, and rises suddenly to a height of some four thousand feet, its sharp crags standing up like the teeth of a saw (hence the name " sierra '), and visible up and down the coast and oat at sea a hundred miles.
WM. RICH'D BROOME
An English gentleman of leisure, bought the greater part of this landed estate, which was an old Spanish hacienda, containing 23.000 acres of land. The place has an ancient history, being spoken of by Cabrillo, three centuries since, as the site of an immense Indian town, known as Xucu, or Canoe Town. According to his account, no part of the coast was populated like this. The honor of being the site of this town was formerly claimed by the city of Santa Barbara, but recent explorations of antiquarians determine the location of it to be on the Guadalasca estate.
The mountains abound in game, such as bears, deer, California lions, or panthers, wild cats, coyotes, foxes, hares, rabbits, and quail. The oyster, clam mussel, abalone, crab, lobster, and many other kind of edible shell-fish abound along the sea-shore, which borders the estate for some miles, and prove the abundance of food for a large population, such as Cabrillo asserted lived there. The sea also abounds with fish, such as mackerel, bonito, red-fish, and barracuda; the latter being sometimes four feet long, delicious as a table fish, and the gamiest fellow for sportsmen to handle in the world, a troll for barracuda being equal to a buffalo hunt in point of interest. Millions of sardines swarm along the shore. Larger fish, such as sharks, porpoises, etc., occasionally flounder to the surface, and schools of whales, spouting and rolling in the waves, may often be seen. The seals from the Anacapa and Santa Rosa Islands also visit the coast to feed on the schools of fish.
Several thousand acres of the estate are on the fertile Colonia plain, where flowing artesian wells of good water can be obtained at a depth of from 100 to 150 feet. This alone would be a magnificent property. In the mountainous portions, sheltered from the winds, are numerous valleys of rich soil, watered by springs and brooks, which are suitable for the cultivation of the fruits of the citrus family, while a great portion of the estate, about 10,000 acres, is adapted to the cultivation of the cereals. One of the valleys, called the " Jolla," well watered and sheltered from the strong sea-breezes, seems to have been the residence of a large number of Indians for ages, as a large extent of ground is covered by their kitchen refuse, shells of fish, bones, etc. A deeply worn trail over the hills from the landing is still a prominent feature. "The Estero" is the termination of the Guadalasca Creek, and is a basin some four miles long, and in some parts 1,000 feet wide, and deep enough to float large vessels. Near Point Magu is a safe landing for vessels in any kind of weather, and it is considered one of the best harbors on the coast of California. The site is looked upon as favorable for a commercial town, and the terminus of a railroad line connecting with the Southern Pacific Transcontinental Railroad, which is but sixty miles away, with a good route for a road between.
Mr. BROOME's family residence is in Santa Barbara, an illustration of which is contained in this volume.
LAS POSAS RANCHO
Occupies the lower end of the Las Posas and Simi Valley, where it debouches upon the great Santa Clara Plain. Over the hills to the north lies the Sespe Rancho; over the mountains to the south lies the Calleguas Rancho and Government lands; to the west is the rancho Santa Clara del Norte, and to the east the Simi Rancho. The old overland stage road from San Buenaventura runs through the rancho. Las Posas was granted to Jose CARRILLO May 15, 1824, and confirmed to Jose de la GUERRA y NORIEGA. It contains 26,623.26 acres. Mr. BARD owns 900 acres of it; Mr. RICE, 1,150, and Andrew GRAY, the balance. In 1876 the ranchos Las Posas and Simi; a total area of about 125,000 acres, were sold for $550,000. They were at the same time assessed at but $172,000. Probably 12,000 acres of the Las Posas are arable, 13,000 suitable for grazing, and the balance of no value except for bee-keeping. It has no timber. The fields reach far and wide, and are unfenced for the most part. Large crops of wheat, corn, barley, and beans, grown without irrigation, are harvested from the fertile soil. All the grains and semi-tropic fruits succeed here, and there are several thousand acres perfectly adapted to the growth of the orange, lemon, fig, almond, and apricot. Artesian water is easily obtainable. At one place a well ti4rows a stream of water one and a half inches in diameter, twenty-five feet high; on Rice & Bell's place the water from six artesian wells rushes with immense volume through seven-inch pipes, each well capable of irrigating 100 acres.
Of the firm of Rice & Bell, was born in Tuscarora Valley, Juniata County, Pennsylvania, on Friday February 13, 1818. His parents' names were Zechariah and Catherine RICE. At the age of five years, he removed with his parents to Ohio, and received his education in the public schools of that State. In 1839, having reached his majority, he made a trip to his native State, after having purchased the interest of the other heirs in the estate of his mother, deceased in 1827. Returning to Ohio, he turned his attention to the buying and selling of cattle, for which purpose he went to Detroit, Michigan, and while there made a contract with the Hudson Bay Fur Company, to engage in the fur business. This venture proved very successful. In 1840 he invested in a drove of horses, which were driven to Juniata County, and disposed of at a profit. Returning, he once more engaged in the fur business, investing about $10,000, but owing to the sudden collapse of the market, this did not prove a success. After engaging in various occupations, he finally bought a farm in Richland County, Ohio; was married to Miss Isabella TURBETT, and settled down, where he remained engaged in farming and sheep-raising until 1849, when he started for California via the plains, in company with John TURBETT, Eli CLINE, and others. Leaving Kansas City, May 1st, they reached Hangtown, Placer County, the following September. He of course began mining at once and after having "panned out" enough to buy a load of provisions, started for Redding's diggings, Shasta County, but finding that the reports had been exaggerated, he returned to Bidwell's Bar where he spent the winter.
He continued to engage in mining and the lumber business until the spring of 1852, when he purchased the "Oregon Ranch" in Yuba County, and sent for his family, which arrived in April. During the same year, in company with the ATCHINSON Bros., John, Samuel, and Silas, he built the Yuba Turnpike leading from Marysville to Camptonville, bridging Yuba River at Foster's Bar. He also put an opposition line of stages on the Marysville and Rabbit Creek Route, against the California Stage Company, which were run one month, when he sold out at an advance of $4,000. In 1855 be was again engaged in another stage enterprise, but in this was not successful, losing thereby $20,000.
About the year 1857, and at the time Colonel Lander built the Overland Road to Honey Lake Valley, the adjacent counties in California decided to build a road to connect with it, and at a joint convention. held by Yuba, Butte, and Sutter Counties, Peter RICE and S. M. ATCHISON were chosen as delegates to act in conjunction with D. C. CARTER, of Sierra County, and James BLOOD, of Plumas County (now of Carpinteria), to select and locate the most feasible route from Marysville to Honey Lake Valley. This was done to the entire satisfaction of all concerned.
From this time until 1859 he was very extensively engaged in building turnpikes, bridges, etc., being President and Secretary of the Yuba Branch, South Branch, and Foster's Bar Companies. In 1869 he went to Virginia City, Nevada, being led there by the discovery of silver, and while there was variously engaged erecting saw-mills, building ditches, etc., at which he was very successful and amassed a large fortune. After having been engaged in numerous enterprises in Nevada, Mr. RICE, in 1871, made a trip to Ventura County, where he invested in a farm of 1,150 acres, a part of the Las Posas grant, where he has since resided in partnership with Robert BELL, his son-in-law, engaged in farming his own and other adjoining lands, having under cultivation at times some 3,000 acres.
Mr. RICE sustained a severe loss in the death of his wife, in 1881. In politics he is a Republican, always an active worker, but never a candidate for office.
Las Posas, signifying the rests, or places for repose, has a beautiful situation, and when cultivated and covered with farms, orchards, vineyards and timber, as it undoubtedly will be, it will become one of the loveliest places in the world.
The lands of Las Posas are offered for sale or lease, on the most liberal terms, viz.: Leases are for one-fifth the crop, delivered at Hueneme, the tenant having the right to purchase at the expiration of the time. Payments are in three or four installments, without interest for the first year, or during the term of lease. Tenants will be supplied with a good house and barn. Thos. R. BARD, of Hueneme, is the agent. The
A vast tract of about 100,000 acres, is completely walled in from the outside world by continuous ranges of hills and mountains on all sides, save the comparatively narrow valley of the Las Posas Rancho, to the west. It lies south of the Upper Santa Clara Valley, and north of the Conejo Valley, while on the east and south the Santa Susana Range of mountains separates it from Los Angeles County. According to Hoffman, the Simi, or San Jose de Gracia Rancho was a grant to Patricio Javier y Miguel PICO, in 1795, by Governor Diego de BORCIA; the claim was revived by ALVARSDO to NORIEGA, April 25, 1842, and contained 92,341.35 acres. Sixty-odd years ago, it contained about 114,000 acres. Since that time, as a settlement of a dispute as to title, 15/113 of the whole, or about 14,000 acres were conveyed to Eugene SULLIVAN. This portion comprising the homestead of the de la GUERRAS, lies in the northeast corner of the Simi Valley, and is now known as Tapo Rancho. Two thousand acres of the Simi have been sold to Mr. CHAFFEE, leaving 98,000 acres now owned by Andrew GRAY, of Philadelphia. Thos. R. BARD of Hueneme, agent.
Entering the Simi through the Susana Pass, the visitor will see a wilderness of live-oaks; rocks massive as fortresses environ this pass, and immense gray sandstone bowlders are everywhere seen, overtopping the pretty live-oaks growing upon the steep northern slopes which partly inclose the valley. Anything more wild in natural scenery could hardly be imagined. At the foot of these mountains the hills are packed in thick ranks, clothed with apparently unbroken forest; the foreground of the picture is a pleasant valley, with forests of live-oak at the upper end, and clothed with fields of wheat far down the wide plains. Here and there, though far apart, stand the quaint farm-houses of this region.
Of the 98,000 acres of this rancho, but about 11,000 are adapted to farming; 67,000 acres are grazing land, and 20,000 acres are of no use except for bee pasturage. The larger masses of the farming lands are distributed about as follows: Tierra Rajoda, 1,200 acres; Mes de Casa, 1,500 acres; Canada de Oso, 2,500 acres; Mes de Lomas, 2,000 acres, and on the southern boundary about 2,000 acres. The altitude of the valley is about 700 feet above sea level. Messrs. HOAR & BROWN, partners in 1880, had the rancho rented for sheep-raising, their flocks numbering about 13,000 head. Mr. C. E. HOAR is a nephew of the noted Senator HOAR, of Massachusetts. Those gentlemen sub-let the fine middle valley to farmers for wheat raising, for which the soil and climate are especially adapted. The natural conditions, however, being very like those of the Camulos Rancho, make it extremely probable that all manner of temperate and semi-tropical fruits would flourish here. There seems to be no reason why this valley should not become noted for its wine as well, when some enterprising vine-grower shall have made the experiment. Thus far this valley has been especially famous as a stock-raising section. The hills are covered with a fine wild grass, principally the alfileria. The valleys, where not cultivated, grow wild burr-clover in such rank luxuriance that it falls down and dries up into a thick coat of hay, which, with the quantity of clover-burrs it contains, makes the finest fattening food for horses, cattle and sheep.
The old overland stage road from San Buenaventura traverses the rancho. In 1876, the Simi and Las Posas Ranchos, containing jointly about 125,000 acres, sold for $550,000, and were assessed at the same time for $172,000.
The Simi Rancho is for sale and lease on the most favorable terms—the same as the Las Posas Rancho. Thos. R. BARD, of Hueneme, is the agent.
Belongs to the estate of Francisco de la GUERRA, and has been established for sixty-odd years. It lies in the northeastern portion of the Simi Rancho, of which it was once a part, having been conveyed to Eugene Sullivan as a-result of a title dispute. It contains 14,000 acres of which about 1,500 are arable, the rest being grazing land. At this rancho, amidst a variety of ornamental shrubbery and flowers, there is to be found every variety of fruit known to this clime, from the hardy varieties of the apple to the delicate orange. The Tapo, being protected by a wall of mountains, and having a rich soil, is peculiarly adapted to fruit-growing. From a vineyard which has been planted forty years, superior wines and brandy have been made. It is claimed that they have never been excelled in this State, and always command a high price and a ready sale. A new and stately adobe mansion, with all the modern conveniences, has supplanted the old residence.
Is situated upon and about the extreme western point of a triangular-shaped tract of land of about 1,003 acres, known as "The Gore," and which is bounded on the north by the Rancho Las Posas, on the south by the Rancho La Colonia, and on the east by the Rancho Calleguas. It comprises part of the highly delectable vale known as Pleasant Valley. By some accident or error of judgment, this section of country escaped the limits of the Spanish Grants. The statement is made, that the omission was caused by a boundary line having been run to include a certain oil district. At all events, the result attained was the throwing open to immediate settlement of one of the finest sections in the county. The soil is unusually fertile, and adapted to the production of all the cereals, vegetables and fruits common to Southern California. Situated upon the Colonia Rancho, but in the vicinity of Springville, is the home of
J. B. PALIN,
A local authority on stock-breeding topics. He is a descendant of one of the old French families who settled in Canada in the early years of American history and was born in St. Johns, in the Dominion of Canada. January 6, 1847. He lived in that country until sixteen years of age, when he removed to the United States, and engaged as a farmer at Springfield, Massachusetts. There he remained for five years, continuing in the employment of farming. Coming to the age of twenty-one, he returned to his native home in Canada and spent a year visiting his family and the scenes of his childhood. In 1869 he emigrated to the Pacific Coast, taking passage from New York, and reaching California by the Panama route. He first located at San Diego, remaining in that town one year, during a portion of that time being the proprietor of the Franklin House. From San Diego he went to Kern County, and there entered upon the business of farming and stock-raising. In 1873, Mr. PALIN transferred his business to Ventura County, and located in the Santa Clara Valley, about one mile and a half from Springville, where he has since resided. Since his residence in this county he has devoted much attention to improved breeds of stock, some of his thoroughbred horses demanding a special mention. Among his stock is the celebrated stallion, "Governor Morton," by John MORGAN, foaled in 1878; is sixteen and a half hands high and weighs 1,420 pounds. He is a blood bay in color, and about as handsome as the equine family ever grow to be. The artist has made a sketch of this fine horse, which appears in this volume. Another of this gentleman's fine animals is "Eva P.," who is noted for her running qualities. She was sired by the well-known racer, "Ben Wade;" was foaled in 1879, and, in her two-year-old form, won the Ben Wade stakes on the Ventura track, July 4, 1881.
The Santa Clara Ditch, which has a large flow of water, taps the Santa Clara River three miles above Springville, passes through the Santa Clara del Norte Rancho and Springville, and extends six miles south upon the Colonia Rancho. The company that built this ditch was chartered in 1871.
The town of Springville, in 1880, was a thriving little town, with post-office, store, hotel, blacksmith shops, school house and church. It is a lively center of trade, especially during harvest time, and is a convenient stopping place for teams from the Las Poses, Calleguas and Simi Ranchos.
The stage road from San Buenaventura to Los Angeles passes through the village, which is distant from the county seat twelve miles, and from Hueneme ten miles.
The Baptist Church Society of Springville, known to the conference as the Pleasant Valley Church, numbered forty-one members in October, 1878, amongst whom may be mentioned as prominent, Rev. C. C. Riley, Deacon J. SISSON, John MAHAN, Wm. H. WALKER, J. B. GEORGE, and J. G. BELIEU, and many others. They had had no regular pastor for two years. In 1879 the society numbered thirty-nine members, and assisted in maintaining a union Sabbath-school. In 1880 Rev, C. C. RILEY preached to the society most of the year. The Sabbath-school was continued.
On October 14, 1881, the Santa Barbara Baptist Association held its fifth anniversary at the Pleasant Valley Church. The church owes its prosperity to the indomitable energy and persistence of the Rev. W. O. WOOD, its founder.
INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH.
On November 23, 1878, Rev. W. O. WOOD organized an Independent Baptist Church, with fifteen members, and himself as pastor and moderator. The society took the title of "Little Flock." Infused with some of the indomitable energy of their leader, the society set about building a church in 1880. W. 0. WOOD was chosen Chairman of the Building Committee and Superintendent of construction; B. LEHMAN, builder. The site, a five-acre lot, was donated by Thos. R. BARD, and is within that part of the town that is built upon the Colonia Rancho. The contract was for a little more than $1,600, but this was enlarged afterwards to $2,666. The subscription list was at first limited to members of the society, but afterwards was circulated amongst the residents generally. Among the largest donors wore Thos. R BARD, R. G. LIVINGSTON, P. B. HAWKINS, Samuel HILL, and Cyrus BELLAM, who pledged from $60 to $200 each. The edifice was erected, and dedication services held November 27, 1880, the sermon being preached by the Rev. J. W. RILEY, of Illinois. At that time there was still due on the building $663. A collection resulted in the sum of $210. leaving $453 unpaid. As, according to the rules of the denomination, the church could not be dedicated until free from debt, the Rev. Mr. WOOD generously assumed the balance, making $903 in all that he subscribed. The church is a suitable structure, built with a gallery and possessing an organ, and a 1,400-pound bell, costing $200, both purchased in 1880. Its roster at present contains only nineteen names, thirty-two in all having been connected with the church.
No debt or other incumbrance on the building hangs like a hideous vampire over the consciences of its members. This society was recognized by the association in 1880.
As the settlement of Springville and vicinity was the result of a sobrante, or failure of the big ranchos to cover the land, any record of the settlements will be of general interest, as showing what the whole country open to settlement would have been: -
Edward ARNOLD, 120 acres; Cutler ARNOLD, 40; Mathew ARNOLD, 320; Henry ARNOLD, 160; Samuel GUTHRIE (renter), 320; John SEBASTIAN, 92; J. and G. GRIES, 2,000; Extensive and thorough farmers making a specialty of grain and hogs: B. F. LASWELL, 180 acres; A. LASWELL, 160; John RIGGS, 40; J. B. ROBBINS, 160, generally fruit; Christine THOMAS, 40; Betsy DIEHL, 40; James FENTON, 160; P. B. HAWKINS, 200; Leroy ARNOLD, 160; Michael KELLY (renter) 240; Wm. RUTTNER, 600; B. HORDING, 160; BARTCH & BONHOMME (renters), 200; Harvey EVANS, 160; W. O. WOOD, 480; John CRINKLAU, 140; Eugene FOSTER, 100; D. ROUDEBUSH, 160; Mrs. Melinda HARTMAN, 80; Isaac HARRIS, 135; Cyrus SNODGRASS, 160; J. B. GEORGE, 160; Robert BUCKINGHAM, 160; and Wm. WALKER, 170.
WM. A. HUGHES
Is one of the reputable and well-to-do denizens of Pleasant Valley, who, by persistent endeavor and force of character, have conquered all obstacles to the achievement of a comfortable home and the possession of a bit of God's foot-stool. He was born October 1, 1837, in Pennsylvania, near the city of Wheeling, West Virginia. When eight years of age his parents took him to Illinois, settling in Hancock County, of that State. When twenty-two years of age Mr. HUGHES learned the cooper's trade, and made that his occupation until 1864, when he crossed the plains to California. His first home in the Golden State was at Marysville, Yuba County, and there he remained one year. While a resident of Marysville he married Miss Marietta BARNET, a native of Illinois. From this marriage he has seven living children, three being daughters and four sons. In the fall of 1865 he moved to Tehama County, where he engaged in teaming and farming until 1869. In the last-named year he came to Ventura, locating in Pleasant Valley, about four miles east of Springville, where he has since lived, a prosperous farmer and stock-raiser. A view of the premises of Mr. HUGHES will be found in this work.
Lies south of and over the hills from the Las Posas Rancho, east of the La Colonia, from which it is separated by Government lands, north of the Guadalasca, and west of El Conejo. The extension of Pleasant Valley forms a portion of its surface. Jose Pedro RUIZ was made the grantee. May 10, 1847, the area called for being 9,998.29 acres. About half of the tract is fitted only for stock-raising; the balance is arable, most of which is now producing the cereals and flax, corn being considered the best crop. There is no timber. A small vineyard produces excellent wine. A considerable portion of this rancho has living springs upon it, which sub-irrigate a large surface, rendering it peculiarly adapted to fruit. Oil springs make their appearance in many places, which, however, have never been utilized. The property now belongs to the estate of
Who was born in the city of Mexico, May 27, 1812. His father's name was Luis CAMARILLO, his mother's, Maria Rodriguez CAMARILLO; both natives of Mexico. After having been educated in his native country, at the age of twenty-two be removed to California, his first location being Santa Barbara County, where he remained until 1859, engaged in mercantile pursuits. In the latter year he came to what is now Ventura County, which place he made his home. At the time of his death, which occurred in December, 1880, he owned what is known as the Calleguas Rancho, a tract of land situated east of the La Colonia and twenty miles east of San Buenaventura, and containing 10,000 acres of land.
On the 12th of April, 1840, he married Miss Martina HERNANDES, a native of California. Fourteen children blessed this union, of whom seven are living at present, three sons and four daughters. The CAMARILLOs are reckoned among the best of the old Spanish stock, having occupied many positions of trust and honor in times past.
EL CONEJO RANCHO,
Or Rabbit Ranch, was a Spanish grant of 48,674.56 acres to Jose de la GUERRA y NORIEGA, October 12, 1822, by Governor SOLA. It lies east of the Calleguas and Guadalasca Ranchos and south of the Simi, which also forms part of its eastern boundary; the county-of Los Angeles completes its eastern and forms its southern boundary approximately, which latter is but from four to ten miles from the coast. It is cradled between the Guadalasca or Conejo range of mountains on the south and west, the extension of the Susana range of hills on the north, and the Susana and Santa Monica mountains on the east. The rancho opens seaward to the west by a small valley and out across the Calleguas and La Colonia Ranchos; altitude above sea level, about seven hundred feet. It is situated a little south of east from the county seat, at a distance of twenty-five miles from it. This beautiful spot is barricaded by mountains from fogs and wind, and protected from the summer sun by forests of evergreen oaks, making its climate similar to the Ojai, which has gained a celebrity as a health resort for persons suffering from throat, lung, and other diseases. The valley is well watered by springs and small streams—the main creek running through it for five or six miles, and finally reaching the Las Posas Creek. The scenery is grand and beautiful, the road winding through forests of oak, presenting the features of a natural park. The soil is of a black, loamy nature, rich and deep, inexhaustible in fertility, and, owing to its elevation above sea-level and distance from the ocean, it is all that could be desired for the production of wheat and the culture of the finest semi-tropical fruits and flowers. The grazing lands are among the best in the county. The hills, canons and mountainside afford fine bee-pasturage, and here the natural home of the honey bee is found. A fine commodious hotel is open for the accommodation of tourists, visitors and health-seekers; elevation, 640 feet above the sea. It is an L-shaped structure, about sixty-six feet on each front, and was built by James HAMMEL in 1875 at a cost of $7,000, in anticipation of a great overland travel via the Butterfield route, established by Congress. Game is plenty, and the stages afford an easy and cheap mode of conveyance to and from this beautiful and valuable rancho. The Conejo school house is a neatly-finished and well-furnished building, in sight of the stage station, and is midway between Los Angeles and San Buenaventura. The Conejo Post-office, styled "Newbury Park" in the postal guide was established in 1875 with E. S. NEWBURY as Postmaster. H. H. MILLS succeeded him in January, 1879. It is thirty-two miles from San Buenaventura and twenty miles from Hueneme.
H. W. MILLS purchased one-half of the Conejo grant in 1872-73 from the heirs of the estates of Captain Jose de la GUERRA and RODRIGUEZ. Henry W. OLD has a mountain or upper mesa ranch, fourteen miles from Hueneme, where he has a large stock range which he keeps well covered with cattle. The SNODGRASS Valley in the southern part of the rancho, is wide and level and well adapted to grain and fruit. It takes its name from that of its owner. Messrs. SEXTON and BORCHARD are also located in this section.
John EDWARDS owns about 9,000 acres of the Conejo Rancho, which he uses mostly for stock-raising, though there are a number of fertile tracts of an aggregate acreage of 6,660, susceptible of cultivation. It is well watered and magnificently wooded with white and live-oaks. Several dwellings and barns have been erected, as well as other improvements made. Edwards' Proper wheat is famous for its quality. A part of his wheat lands are for sale. Samuel HILL, formerly of Buckeye Valley, Amador County, has secured possession of 7,000 acres of beautifully situated land, and with his family has anchored upon it for the rest of his days, after a somewhat tempestuous life voyage. The ARNOLD Brothers own a ranch of 3,000 acres on the Conejo. No irrigation is needed for the growth of small grains and many varieties of vegetables. HOWARD & WHITESIDES own a portion of the Conejo called the "Potrero" (pasture) from its natural inclosure of mountains. They each own twelve quarter sections. HOWARD has about 500 acres of bottom-land adapted to fruit. The visitor who may be so fortunate as to enjoy his hospitality in the fruit season, will find his table crowded with the choicest products of Pomona's kingdom, while Bacchus would not long go athirst. Frost is a serious detriment to grape culture. Two thousand two hundred acres of the Newbury tract, of which 1,000 acres are level, rich land, were sold in 1882 at $5 per acre. In the same year A. and H. RUSSEL bought 6,000 acres above Newbury Park in the vicinity of the post-office, for $15,000. One thousand eight hundred acres of this ranch is fertile and even surfaced. The water is cool and pure. Distance from Hueneme, twenty-five miles. Newbury Park and RUSSEL's place are dubbed "The Triumpho," from the de la GUERRAS having once successfully fought the Indians there, or, as others say, having gained the ground by a suit at law.